High DPR with a shield?

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I want to make a medium-armor knight type character that kicks ass while using a shield for a Forgotten Realms campaign coming up, and wanted to know which class seems like the most viable candidate to suit my needs. I am NOT the main tank (we've got swordmage), nor am I the only striker (we have an archer-ranger), if that affects your judgement on advice.

My first thought was Berserker, since they're still strikers at heart and can jack some awesome Barbarian powers, plus that sweet +2 static damage Temperate Heartlanders get. The fact that the aura would not clash with the main tank's mark is pretty cool, too.

Another thought was a using a Ranger or a Tempest Fighter with a Spiked Shield?

Thoughts, ladies and gents? Don't need an in-depth build, mind ya, but the best class and core feats for the job would be appreciated.
Straight up 1h talent fighter going dex secondary can use hide, and still do pretty well with sword (or Flail) and board.
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Slayer. Sure, you'll go from ~9 damage per [W] to ~4.5 damage per [W], but that hardly matters.
@Alcestis: Sheesh, completely disregarded Slayer. After a quick look-through, turns out I've been stupidly believing that their abilities REQUIRED two-handed weapons! Hm. Now they seem much more palatable! And yeah, I could really give a crap about the [W] weapon damage when I'm pumping out static +Dex damage.

If I grab a +Str/Dex race, should I balance the stats (starting 18 in both and mediocre stats for the rest) to keep my offense and defense balanced, or focus more on strength? I thought the +Dex would make a balanced build more viable, but there may be something I am missing!

Oh, and how comparable will the character be to other strikers in higher tiers?

 @Ruins: What advantage would I have over other high-damage melee combatants? I'm a bit green here ^^; is the +1 to hit really that much of a buff? Because Slayers get that too, if I'm not mistaken, and they'll put the dex to better use. Like, are their feats tied with it that I'm not seeing or something?
No, the Slayer is a perfectly viable option, if you like the class. I just thought you might not, since you didn't mention it in your inital post.

As for 18/18 vs 20/16, it's +1 ac vs +1 to-hit, since you'll get the extra point of damage back from str. Personally, on a Slayer I'd go for the latter.
A Beginners Primer to CharOp. Archmage's Ascension - The Wizard's Handbook. Let the Hammer Fall: Dwarf Warpriest/Tactical Warpriest/Indomitable Champion, a Defending Leader. Requiem for Dissent: Cleric/Fighter/Paragon of Victory Melee Leader Ko te manu e kai i te miro, nona te ngahere. Ko te manu e kai i te matauranga e, nano te ao katoa. It's the proliferation of people who think the rules are more important than what the rules are meant to accomplish. - Dedekine
I just assumed he was going to wear Scale, so there isn't really a hit vs AC trade-off.... though an Elven Chain Shirt would fix it at some point anyway if he went for Light armor. Though I wouldn't personally ever go for a 20 because it means I won't qualify for Superior Will ever, and an 18/18 won't qualify till Epic (and only then if I start with a 13 in Wis or Cha and I dislike odd stats). Superior Will is just to good mid-Paragon on. I also sort of question Improved Defenses at this point. Every build should make an effort to grab Sup. Will if at all possible and for most, it is. So that means Imp. Def is benefiting two defenses. Now Fort and Ref aren't that bad to be hit in, usually. Ref is just damage and Fort is usually movement+damage, but with a decent Leader and full complement of actions you can deal with that. The benefit on Superior Will is so strong you basically take it if at all possible. That means that Imp. Def is only improving two defenses with no other benefit, whereas another Superior feat is improving one defense slightly more and giving you a strong secondary benefit. Sup. Ref on a controller is just fantastic for instance (Sup Fortitude is fairly weak, depending on your DM, but the argument isn't Imp. Def vs all three Sup feats, it is Sup Will+Imp Def vs Sup Will+another Sup feat). At that point, Imp. Defenses isn't worth it imo. But it radically changed what I think are optimal stats for some classes. I'd go 18/16 for ES Wardens for instance (Str/Con) and bump my Wis enough to access Sup Will. Which is actually kind of nice in some cases, it opens up races that aren't dual-stat aligned, so long as they have my primary and either Cha or Wis.

Ruin's point was you get +1 to hit from 20 Str over where you would have been though. And Misses are zero damage. It doesn't matter that Slayer's get a +1 baked into their class features, you're still +1 ahead. But I still wouldn't do it. Well, caveat: If I knew I was playing a Heroic only character or I knew I'd be allowed to re-allocate stats (LFR), I wouldn't worry about Sup. Will.

You should be fine in all tiers, so long as you grab the full charge package.
What is a bugbear slayer?

A fair warning on the Slayer idea, they don't come with shield proficiencies.  Which might not be a problem for you if you got the feat or two to spare, but that's not all that common.

Maybe consider hybrids or somesuch that nabs you proficiencies?  I mean, not a whole lot to the Slayer in the long run, every turns just charge and charge and charge again if you manage to get things optimal.  To bad the Slayer itself can't hybrid, might find a way to have your cake and eat it too.

While notably lower in the DPR calcs from what I've seen, I might toss out a suggestion for Blackguard.  They're basically made for sword-and-board builds while still doing respectable damage, and being built from the Paladin chassis they're pretty much the definitive secondary defender.
It is a Slayer whose race is Bugbear...
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So wait, that means a Gnome Slayer isn't ...
Damn, my friends are going to be upset with my character concept for the next campaign.
"Invokers are probably better round after round but Wizard dailies are devastating. Actually, devastating is too light a word. Wizard daily powers are soul crushing, encounter ending, havoc causing pieces of awesome." -AirPower25 Sear the Flesh, Purify the Soul; Harden the Heart, and Improve the Mind; Born of Blood, but Forged by Fire; The MECH warrior reaches perfection.
So wait, that means a Gnome Slayer isn't ...
Damn, my friends are going to be upset with my character concept for the next campaign.

Yay for ambiguous modifiers (as in adjectives/adverbs, not bonuses and penalties)? Tongue Out

I always enjoyed The Most Annoying Rogue Ever build. Might not be as heavily armored but you can always change it around a bit if you want to upgrade to hide or just refluff.
Pit Fighter MC Avenger with a Rapier and Shield. I played one that puts out almost 230 damage on an AP round with Rain of Blows and Bash & Pummel at level 16 (no crits).

At-will, he hits for 50.5 damage on average with tide of iron.
Fighter with shield and rapier, MC Avenger, Pit Fighter or Adroit Explorer, and you're multi-attacking for about 3 rounds, and have a nova that consists of as many as 6 attacks with a daily. Works best with a Resourceful Warlord, though I play a similar build with a Shaman ally with Call to the Blood Dancer, and it's fun making 5-6 attacks with double rolls next to a spirit companion that gives crits on 18-20 and +5 damage. Fighter built as a multi-attacker is pretty respectable when played as a durable striker.

Slayer works too, but you won't have a shield unless you burn feats (not exactly the best way), and other than a good nova, your round to round damage is harder to keep high without something like half-elf shenanigans.

 
Well it's not a DEX race, one of the Dwarf race variants in Neverwinter can gain sheild proficiancy.
You won't have as high a DEX but I have heard that STR, CON and minor action 2nd wind can be good.  
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If your DM is up for Heroes of Shadow material, the Blackguard is the only striker who already has plate and shield proficiencies.  Also has defender hp and a number of healing surges rivaled only by the paladin.  Get yourself an Superior 1 handed weapon, and a STR/CHA race.
If your DM is up for Heroes of Shadow material, the Blackguard is the only striker who already has plate and shield proficiencies.  Also has defender hp and a number of healing surges rivaled only by the paladin.  Get yourself an Superior 1 handed weapon, and a STR/CHA race.



The Blackguard is a very poor striker beyond the very lowest levels. Paladin|Warlock is much better and has the same flavour. Fighters are also much better even with little investment.
A Dwarf Slayer could get shield profiency. I think only light shields, but still.
A Dwarf Slayer could get shield profiency. I think only light shields, but still.



If you're playing a Slayer without a gouge, you're doing it wrong.
If you're playing a Slayer without a gouge, you're doing it wrong.

Unless you are a pixie slayer... But dwarf slayer without a gouge does sound pretty wrong. If you're a dwarf though, you could always use a gouge, and fluff a gauntlet axe as a shield. That opens a lot of two handed weapon builds to you.
Brutal Barrage Battlemind, anyone? Honestly, I think most DPR mechanics with a shield user will involve some sort of striker-y conversion of a defender chassis, or else Battlefront Warlord|Striker...I think Warlord|Executioner might actually work here.