Any Defender - Barbarian (Berzerker) Builds out there?

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Made a defender - barbarian (bezerker) build from CB, but looking for some more pointers. Can anyone point me in the right direction? 
Well here's the Berzerker Handbook. It's a bit of a trainwreck IIRC, but you might find useful info in the comments.

Berzerkers are generally seen as not that great at defending, so they haven't gotten a lot of coverage here.
A paragon flail package can negate most attacks with berserker punishment, and it's incredibly easy to get 2 or more surge values worth of THP for free per encounter as a berserker. Arid desert has top-tier defenses, and the whole while you get to cherry pick / powerswap powers like battle fury stance, rain of blows, curtain of steel, and storm of blades.

But much like the other aura defenders, forced movement, daze, and teleporting mobs can make you incredibly worthless in short order.

Add to this that the class (any barbarian for that matter) really only functions at its best when built STR/DEX, and that barbarians are on a striker HP/level and starting surge number, and they end up being a little squishy on the HP front, as well.

It's an interesting class, and not entirely awful, but not top-tier either, and the fact that barbarian powers aren't really designed to be good at defending (though they're often great for striking!) makes them tricky to optimize. For the most part, the things that you can add on top of the berserker chassis to make a good defender are things that you can add to any class, and many of the other classes would end up better.
Basically, Arid Desert, Flail package, gogogo.  It's a solid defender, vulnerable to forced movement and teleportation.

A lot of CharOppers really don't like them though, so bear that in mind.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
Mine works just fine, thanks.  It'll get a lot better when the full flail package comes online at 11th  Do basically anything other than try to hit him, he hits you back (and when he hits you, he knocks you prone and slides you, which stands a decent chance of invalidating your attack anyway when he does it as an interrupt).  If you do try to hit him, you probably miss, he's quite likely to hit you back, and he has probably got some form of resist all active, so even if you do hit, you probably do less damage than you're expecting to anyway.

If you can forcemove him, he has trouble, which is why he'll be taking a number of options which make him able to resist forced movement, or punish people who try to force move him (and, indeed, if you're attacking him to try to force him to move, he's done his job, because you'll probably miss, he'll probably hit you back, and on his turn, he'll stand up from prone if applicable and move back next to you).  If you can teleport, he's pretty screwed, which is why he'll be picking up a Feyslaughter Spiked Chain in early Paragon - and teleportation causes problems for all the melee-punishing Defenders.  Not having a lasting mark is, yes, an issue, but it's countered by the fact that he gets a wide range of useful immediates, and can double-punish when enemies do trigger punishment.  And, when he hits you, he usually knocks you prone, which means if you are teleporting to get away, you're still taking a penalty to hit, because you probably can't stand up and teleport on the same turn.  I have seen a couple of enemies who would seriously threaten him (minor-action forced movement attacks) but then... they are designed to screw with Defenders in general.

A DM can screw him up, good and proper, by designing encounters around doing so - but the same is true of ANY class at all.  If your DM's out to kill you, he will kill you.  It may be slightly easier with a Berserker than most, but so what?  If your DM's a dick, you'll get screwed, that's a fact of D&D, not a fact of this class.

So... why exactly is it a terrible defender, when it's basically a Flail Fault Knight but with daily powers?
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
A DM can screw him up, good and proper, by designing encounters around doing so - but the same is true of ANY class at all.  If your DM's out to kill you, he will kill you.  It may be slightly easier with a Berserker than most, but so what?  If your DM's a dick, you'll get screwed, that's a fact of D&D, not a fact of this class.

So... why exactly is it a terrible defender, when it's basically a Flail Fault Knight but with daily powers?



There are 4 basic problems:
If you're a top-tier defender, your goal is to force both mark punishment and an additional attack on your mark. A Fighter with your setup can force the combat challenge and get the OA to flatten them. You just get the OA with a small amount of extra damage.

Your mark is only when adjacent. Top-tier Defenders can both penalize their targets and sometimes damage targets for violating their mark at a distance. Some of them can even penalize targets who aren't even their mark. This becomes highly relevant when fighting controllers and large creatures simultaneously and in Paragon, that's basically at least a third of the combats.

Most Defender classes have options that make up for their specific deficiencies as a Defender. Mass sanction for Paladins, Mobile Challenge and Come and Get It for Fighters, Dimensional Vortex for Swordmages, terrain control for Wardens, Lightning Rush for Battleminds. And let's not even get into how hybrids often synergize in crazy ways. As a Berserker, you have almost zero support beyond going Striker.

If you simply switch over to doing damage, you're now the possible focus fire target with the exact same defenses. And with powers such as Storm of Blows, you want to use those in the beginning rounds, not wait until the combat is starting to resolve.

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This is not to say Berserkers are actually terrible Defenders in general. They just don't have a lot of class specific support and have issues with combats that other Defenders don't have issues with...in a normal baseline game, they shouldn't be a liability.
A DM can screw him up, good and proper, by designing encounters around doing so - but the same is true of ANY class at all.  If your DM's out to kill you, he will kill you.  It may be slightly easier with a Berserker than most, but so what?  If your DM's a dick, you'll get screwed, that's a fact of D&D, not a fact of this class.

So... why exactly is it a terrible defender, when it's basically a Flail Fault Knight but with daily powers?



There are 4 basic problems:
If you're a top-tier defender, your goal is to force both mark punishment and an additional attack on your mark. A Fighter with your setup can force the combat challenge and get the OA to flatten them. You just get the OA with a small amount of extra damage.


I thought the point was to leave the enemy with no good choices.  When your choices are: probably miss my ally, and probably get hit (twice), probably miss me, and probably get hit, or have a low chance to push me away and quite likely do nothing else that round, I think that qualifies as 'no good choices'.

A lot of that is patching the class options with items and feats, and yes, I agree, if you run it purely as written without doing any optimisation on it, it's a pretty hopeless class.

But who in this forum would do that?

It's not ultimate defender tier; I wouldn't even try to claim that.  But nor is it not a defender at all.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
How does it compare to a cavalier?
Back to Basics - A Guide to Basic Attacks You might be playing DnD wrong if... "Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I'm not sure about the former." Albert Einstein
How does it compare to a cavalier?

Better.

Cavalier is probably the worst defender.  Their punishment is basicly ignorable by any but minions and can't really be upgraded.

guides
List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
Power
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

I would rather have any other defender including the berserker than a cavalier regardless of party makeup.

If I had to pick a primary defender in a party that was fine with damage already, I would pick berserker after all the other non-cavalier defenders.  That doesn't make the berserker a bad class, especially in a regular not superoptimized game, but its a lot more work to make it really good defender.

If you are not sure who is going to show up any given game or you already have a solid party its a fine choice.
If I wanted to post my build defender-bezerker build for comments, could I do it on here or is there a better place for it?
If I wanted to post my build defender-bezerker build for comments, could I do it on here or is there a better place for it?



I'd make a new thread on this forum.