Barbarian Critique

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This build is ment to try to optimize charging while also packing a huge punch while bloodied. I am not sure if this is a good idea or not, but it really suits the my idea of this character and the bloodied status is something that is probably going to come up often, (more often then not listening to some of the posts from our DM). Also Half-Orc and Blood-Crazed Berserker have lots of support to turn you into a killing machine while bloodied so I figured why not take advantage of it?

What are some peoples thoughts on the build? Is it a bad idea to invest some feats/powers that rely on being bloodied? Is it too conditional?
    
====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Korgul, level 11 Half-Orc, Barbarian, Blood-Crazed Berserker
Build: Rageblood Barbarian
Feral Might Option: Rageblood Vigor
Born Under a Bad Sign (Born Under a Bad Sign Benefit)
Theme: Iron Wolf Warrior  

FINAL ABILITY SCORES STR 21, CON 15, DEX 19, INT 9, WIS 14, CHA 11  
STARTING ABILITY SCORES STR 16, CON 14, DEX 14, INT 8, WIS 13, CHA 10    

AC: 24 Fort: 22 Ref: 21 Will: 17
HP: 96 Surges: 10 Surge Value: 24  

TRAINED SKILLS Athletics +14, Endurance +13, Intimidate +12, Perception +14  
UNTRAINED SKILLS Acrobatics +8, Arcana +4, Bluff +5, Diplomacy +5, Dungeoneering +7, Heal +7, History +4, Insight +7, Nature +9, Religion +4, Stealth +8, Streetwise +5, Thievery +8  

POWERS Basic Attack: Melee Basic Attack
Basic Attack: Ranged Basic Attack
Iron Wolf Warrior Attack: Iron Wolf Charge
Half-Orc Racial Power: Furious Assault
Barbarian Feature: Swift Charge
Barbarian Feature: Rage Strike
Barbarian Attack 1: Howling Strike
Barbarian Attack 1: Pressing Strike
Barbarian Attack 1: Desperate Fury
Barbarian Attack 1: Swift Panther Rage
Barbarian Utility 2: Shrug It Off
Barbarian Attack 3: Blood Strike
Barbarian Attack 5: Rage of the Crimson Hurricane
Half-Orc Utility 6: Revitalizing Charge
Iron Wolf Warrior Attack 7: Wolf's Bound
Barbarian Attack 9: Oak Hammer Rage
Iron Wolf Warrior Utility 10: Savage Resurgence
Blood-Crazed Berserker Attack 11: Mutilating Strike  

FEATS Level 1: Weapon Proficiency (Gouge)
Level 2: Two-Handed Weapon Expertise
Level 4: Battle Awareness
Level 6: Surprising Charge
Level 8: Reckless Charge
Level 10: Anger Unleashed
Level 11: Strength From Pain  

ITEMS Fur Armor x1 Adventurer's Kit Iron Wolf Axe x1 Dagger

====== End ======

i46.tinypic.com/34ytsg4.jpg
I'd go with another Paragon Path, probably Bloodfury Savage for fluff reasons with this character. On top of that, you should either use a Vanguard Gouge for charge optimisation or a Battlecrazed Gouge combined with a Bloodfury Handaxe for bloody cheese. The latter one could be low level as its Encounter Power is everything that's ever used.

Power wise I'd definitely take Curtain of Steel as E7 anytime, plus Rage of the Death Spirit at D9 if it doesn't conflict with your Defender too much.
If you think you're going to bloodied/reduced to 0 HP a lot, you should switch race to Minotaur. Backlash Tattoo and Bloodied Ferocity/Beastblooded Minotaur paragon path give you 2 MBA's when you first become bloodied. Ferocity (racial feature) and Iron Wolf Warrior's level 10 feature let you make 2 MBA's when you're reduced to 0 HP. For additional awesomeness, get one of your mates to take the Knight Hospitaler theme so he can immediately revive you when you're reduced to zero. That means the next time you get hit, you can make another one or two MBA's! Trust me, that's a lot of fun.
With your AC where it is, you will certainly spend some time bloodied.

Cry Havoc!  And let slip the hogs of war!


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Critique number one: your massive image width is breaking the forum formatting, which is terribly rude, and until you fix that I'm not looking at the rest.



Lol are you for real? "terribly rude"? I don't mean to be a douch man but if this offended your delicate sensibilities, then you've got some issues.

In any case, I am not familiar with forum formatting and was unaware I was breaking anything. Thanks to Mad_Jack the issue should be under control.

What are everyone's thought on the Blood-crazed berserker? I've also considered Bloodfury Savage but it does not seem to compliment the build as well as the Blood-crazed berserker.

I've had some critique from some fellow party members (havent' playtested yet) that the build is not very good due to my ability to burst being out of my control and relying on being bloodied?

Anyone care to weigh in?

@Svendj Minotaur looks like all kinds of awsomness, alas I am pretty partial to half-orcs.

@Mattatador666 I do not have any magical items equipped yet. This is just a look at the build to start with.
When you use the right items, your nova is absolutely in your control. That's an important part of any bloodcheese build.

The build by itself will function well on the DPR side using chargespamming, but has got no nova, which is considered more important for a striker.

As for Blood-crazed Berserker, the E11 seems quite weak to me. You'll only use MBAs on special occasions. If your leader is good at enabling, it will surely come to use. Still, it is much weaker than the Bloodfury Savage E11. Also, the D20 can get your fellows in trouble.
Ok i'm going to take a closer look at Bloodfury Savage. TY for the input. Now you mentioned that this build has no nova? Is there any recommendations you could make that will help with this short-comming?

Also could you give me a few suggestions on the proper items for this build?

community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...

Link to the Barbarian guide, you can also find item and nova guides in the complete collection of build links thread, or specific barbarian builds.
Personally, I would go with either Kensai or Winterfury.

I don't think Bloodcrazed Berserker or Bloodfury Savage measure up.
I really need to finish that new barbarian's handbook...explaining that every barb should have Savage Growl, Thundering Howl, and on and on gets soooo tiring after a while.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
To get a nova pre L13 and Storm of Blades you have to

a) power swap for Rain of Blows (Fighter E3) via the Novice Power Multiclass Feat

b) take the Curtain of Steel E7

c) take the Savage Growl U2

Of course, if everyone follows these advices then all barbarians are 80% the same.
No you don't, don't be silly. You just have to take Thundering Howl.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
Assuming a barbarian has one of the elemental damage feats (not weapon focus), why is Thundering Howl so great? It's a double attack sure, but the blast does not get the bonuses from melee attacks (say, Shocking Flame), lightning/frost/whatever elemental damage (feats/dragonshard), and ends up getting simply +enh to damage.
To get a nova pre L13 and Storm of Blades you have to

a) power swap for Rain of Blows (Fighter E3) via the Novice Power Multiclass Feat

b) take the Curtain of Steel E7

c) take the Savage Growl U2

Of course, if everyone follows these advices then all barbarians are 80% the same.



So just so I have it straight how would this nova round play out? 

Assuming a barbarian has one of the elemental damage feats (not weapon focus), why is Thundering Howl so great? It's a double attack sure, but the blast does not get the bonuses from melee attacks (say, Shocking Flame), lightning/frost/whatever elemental damage (feats/dragonshard), and ends up getting simply +enh to damage.



It does. This has been checked by CharOp - it counts as a single melee attack that his a bunch of dudes because of the wonky-ass wording.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
Thundering Howl can seem kind of unimpressive in heroic tier unless you take Savage Growl. The key to Thundering Howl is to use it on AP right after nailing the enemy with Howling Strike (triggering Savage Growl). Most barbarians in heroic tier can't action point to charge the same target, so Thundering Howl gives you a nice AP option, even though it hits for less damage than a vanilla charge attack.
Since you use a gouge, are multiclassed fighter, and have the dex for it, at the cost of one feat you have access to Rain of Blows, if you're looking for a nova option.
Every striker should always be looking for a nova option. Its why Hybrid Barbarians are almost always superior.
10/10 Would Flame Again: An Elite Paladin|Warlock The Elemental Man (or Woman): A Genasi Handbook The Warlord, Or How to Wield a Barbarian One-Handed The Bookish Barbarian Fardiz: RAI is fairly clear, but RAZ is different That's right. Rules According to Zelink!
Meh I prefer sticking with pure barbarian and getting a free charge on a kill.
I prefer being more powerful.
10/10 Would Flame Again: An Elite Paladin|Warlock The Elemental Man (or Woman): A Genasi Handbook The Warlord, Or How to Wield a Barbarian One-Handed The Bookish Barbarian Fardiz: RAI is fairly clear, but RAZ is different That's right. Rules According to Zelink!
I prefer being more powerful.



That's debatable, and also depends on the level range we're talking about.
In heroic, I'll be down a feat, but have better power selection. Hybrids will be better by mid heroic.
10/10 Would Flame Again: An Elite Paladin|Warlock The Elemental Man (or Woman): A Genasi Handbook The Warlord, Or How to Wield a Barbarian One-Handed The Bookish Barbarian Fardiz: RAI is fairly clear, but RAZ is different That's right. Rules According to Zelink!
You also lose a free charge attack (my level 9 barbarian hits for around 40 damage), a point of AC, THP on a kill (Belt of Feral Might is a cheap item that boosts THP gain by +Str), and Battle Awareness (if you hybrid fighter).
Assuming a barbarian has one of the elemental damage feats (not weapon focus), why is Thundering Howl so great? It's a double attack sure, but the blast does not get the bonuses from melee attacks (say, Shocking Flame), lightning/frost/whatever elemental damage (feats/dragonshard), and ends up getting simply +enh to damage.



Even the +enh is discussable. But people here seem to have a different opinion on this, as Armisael points out.



To get a nova pre L13 and Storm of Blades you have to

a) power swap for Rain of Blows (Fighter E3) via the Novice Power Multiclass Feat

b) take the Curtain of Steel E7

c) take the Savage Growl U2

Of course, if everyone follows these advices then all barbarians are 80% the same.



So just so I have it straight how would this nova round play out? 





Use the Bloodfury Handaxe to make yourself bloodied. Use an Action Point to use the Bloodfury Savage E11. If it hits, use Savage Growl. Use Rain of Blows. If you didn't already use it, use Savage Growl on the first hit. The enemy is standing adjacent and can choose between shifting away/attacking someone else and eating an MBA via Battle Awareness, running away and eating an OA or attacking you and eating Curtain of Steel (or doing nothing and waisting its turn). If he is still alive, that is.
Even the +enh is discussable. But people here seem to have a different opinion on this, as Armisael points out.

What? No, it isn't. It is a damage roll that is part of a power with an accesory keyword, it gets Enhance. If the very explicit rules saying precisely that aren't enough for you (RC pg. 222, multiple damage rolls in a power), the exact issue was explicitly FAQed on a near-identical power. You might want to learn to differenitate between facts and opinion.
Guys I am looking at rain of blows and I must be missing something? I don't see how it is any better then alot of other pure damage powers at lvl 3? For example Rain of blows allows me to do 3[W] damage without modifiers? If you look at Blood Strike as long as either I or the target is bloodied it will do 3[W] damage plus my Str modifier? Doesn't really seem worth a feat to me?

Again I must be missing something? 
Separate attacks get your static mods.
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
It doesn't have wonky text, it just doesn't have a secondary attack. Which means you deal damage automatically with the blast if you hit with the melee attack. I have a feeling you would accept it as being a blast if that was to your advantage, but you're just picking what you want because melee is going to lead to more damage.

Melee attacks are not blasts. And blasts are not melee attacks. I'm not picking a fight, I just can't see how anyone can argue against this without lying to themselves.
It's all the hit line of a melee weapon power so it gets melee weapon bonuses.
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
Because it's a blast that needs no attack roll that is triggered when you hit from a melee attack. That does not mean that a blast is a melee attack.
It's not a separate attack.
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
It's an autohit blast. Triggered from a melee attack. Which does not mean that a blast is a melee attack.
It's not triggered from anything, it is the hit of the melee attack.
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
Guys I am looking at rain of blows and I must be missing something? I don't see how it is any better then alot of other pure damage powers at lvl 3? For example Rain of blows allows me to do 3[W] damage without modifiers? If you look at Blood Strike as long as either I or the target is bloodied it will do 3[W] damage plus my Str modifier? Doesn't really seem worth a feat to me?

Again I must be missing something? 



You're missing that you'll get your static riders and weapon property damage on every single hit.

Basically, being bloodied, using a Battlecrazed Gouge +3, Iron Armbands of Power, and after hitting with the Bloodfury Savage E11 and Using Savage Growl you'll get 2d6b1 (Gouge) + 3 (Weapon Enhancement Bonus) + 4 (Iron Armbands Power Bonus) + 5 (Strength from Pain) + 4 (Bloodfury Savage E11) + 2d6 (Battlecrazed Weapon) + 1d8 (Savage Growl) three times. That's 34.5 damage per attack or 103.5 damage. If you take the Weapon Focus Feat, it'll be 6 more. And that's all before any bonuses given by your leader. With the E11 used to start this will easily kill a normal enemy.

More attacks also means more chances to crit and trigger your Rampage Class Feature.


---------------------------------------------


Even the +enh is discussable. But people here seem to have a different opinion on this, as Armisael points out.

What? No, it isn't. It is a damage roll that is part of a power with an accesory keyword, it gets Enhance. If the very explicit rules saying precisely that aren't enough for you (RC pg. 222, multiple damage rolls in a power), the exact issue was explicitly FAQed on a near-identical power. You might want to learn to differenitate between facts and opinion.




I'd appreciate it if someone points me to the original discussion and FAQ post on Thundering Howl.
And if you can include vulnerability taps in that, it gets even more vicious as the damage piles up.  See also Morninglord, Sarifal Feywarden, Runepriest's Rune of Diminishment, etc.  Each damage instance will benefit from the vulnerability, adding up rapidly.  Rain of Blows at level 3, with an elemental damage conversion weapon, is already sitting at +15 damage from Sarifal Feywarden's encounter power.

That is why different damage instances are basically the king of DPR.  You get to add all your static modifiers, and vulnerabilities... again!

Bargle wrote:
This is CharOp. We not only assume block-of-tofu monsters, but also block-of-tofu DMs.
 

Zelink wrote:
You're already refluffing, why not refluff to something that doesn't suck?
It doesn't have wonky text, it just doesn't have a secondary attack. Which means you deal damage automatically with the blast if you hit with the melee attack. I have a feeling you would accept it as being a blast if that was to your advantage, but you're just picking what you want because melee is going to lead to more damage.

Melee attacks are not blasts. And blasts are not melee attacks. I'm not picking a fight, I just can't see how anyone can argue against this without lying to themselves.

That isn't actually how keywords work. Which you would know, if you'd read the RC's section on powers, which is convienently titled "Understanding Powers." Which has two fun sections, one defines what keywords are, accesory keywords, damage keywords, attack type keywords, and then has another fun little rule that says unless the keywords of an attack are explicitly changed (usually in the paranthetical form), they don't change. Your issue is primarily that this doesn't make sense to you, but whether it makes sense to your or not doesn't effect the actual rules.

RAW says you're a liar is the point I'm getting at here. And when you lie about RAW on a forum that operates on it, yes, you are picking a fight. One you just lost. Good day.
Fine, then. I'll call a spade a spade, and you can call a blast damage roll a melee one, and keep giving damage rolls to brutal barrage
Fine, then. I'll call a spade a spade, and you can call a blast damage roll a melee one, and keep giving damage rolls to brutal barrage



Or you could smarten up and listen. Nobody's saying Thundering Howl shouldn't be a Blast attack, as far as game elegance goes. It's terribly written and obviously not doing what it was intended to (which was 'deal a teeny tiny bit of extra damage to minionpop'). It is, however, impossible to argue about it ruleswise, because the side that says Thundering Howl is a full multitarget double tap has ironclad rules coverage. If you want to prove us wrong, stop acting like a little kid and saying 'well SCREW YOU GUYS, I'M GOING HOME' and start quoting rules. That's how CharOp rolls, see.

EDIT: And there's also the fact that Thundering Howl's awful wording ends up being an excellent feature, as without it non-whirling barbarians have NO good powers except for Savage Growl until freakin' level 7. That's just unreal, and anything that helps with it while still being rules-approved is a great boon to an otherwise weak class.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
Fine, then. I'll call a spade a spade, and you can call a blast damage roll a melee one, and keep giving damage rolls to brutal barrage

So rather than admitting you're wrong, you're going to whine. Got it.
And there's also the fact that Thundering Howl's awful wording ends up being an excellent feature, as without it non-whirling barbarians have NO good powers except for Savage Growl until freakin' level 7. That's just unreal, and anything that helps with it while still being rules-approved is a great boon to an otherwise weak class.


Ignoring rules (since Bob is already doing that), this is precisely the reason to allow it. I don't like Barbarians, and am sometimes annoying vocal about it; it's because as a Striker they have basically 1 option in Heroic: Charge, and they can't even use their Daily Powers for noticable improvement in damage once you get about half of the Charge kit. When you're talking about an option that doesn't even bring them up to the same potential as Sorcerers or Rangers, why the hell wouldn't you allow it?
"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.