Please help with a level 3 Fighter

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Our defender quit the party, and so I have to fill in. The party is: Warlock, Psion, Ranged Cleric and Hexblade. So, we have three ranged characters and one melee striker. I chose Fighter because it has a lot of powers that keep enemies immobile and away from the squishies. The character is only level 3, but am I doing all I can with the flail at this level? Any other suggestions would also be helpful, of course.

  ====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======

Haldir, level 3
Wild Elf, Fighter (Weaponmaster)
Fighter Option: Combat Superiority
Fighter Talents Option: One-handed Weapon Talent
Auspicious Birth (Auspicious Birth Benefit)
Theme: Guardian
 
FINAL ABILITY SCORES
STR 18, CON 10, DEX 15, INT 8, WIS 15, CHA 10
 
STARTING ABILITY SCORES
STR 18, CON 10, DEX 13, INT 8, WIS 13, CHA 10    

AC: 21 Fort: 18 Ref: 16 Will: 16

HP: 45 Surges: 9 Surge Value: 11  

TRAINED SKILLS
Athletics +8, Intimidate +6, Streetwise +6  

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +1, Arcana +0, Bluff +1, Diplomacy +1, Dungeoneering +3, Endurance +0, Heal +3, History +0, Insight +3, Nature +5, Perception +5, Religion +0, Stealth +1, Thievery +1  

POWERS
Basic Attack: Melee Basic Attack
Basic Attack: Ranged Basic Attack
Guardian Attack: Guardian's Counter
Elf Racial Power: Elven Accuracy
Fighter Attack: Combat Challenge
Fighter Attack 1: Cleave
Fighter Attack 1: Footwork Lure
Fighter Attack 1: Steel Serpent Strike
Fighter Attack 1: Driving Attack
Fighter Utility 2: Glowering Threat
Fighter Attack 3: Rain of Blows  

FEATS
Level 1: Flail Expertise
Level 2: Superior Will  

ITEMS
Quick Alhulak +1 (Chosen for the ability to add some extra punishment on an OA/II if I need it)
Dwarven Scale Armor +1 
Badge of the Berserker +1 (Allows me to get into melee range safely)
Heavy Shield 
Magic Javelin +1

====== End ======
Well you have Footwork Lure so you can replace Sup Will with Dragging flail to move them right where you want them.  But that might not be needed this early on.

Other than that, why Elf over a race with strength? 
Currently working on making a Dex based defender. Check it out here
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Need a few pre-generated characters for a one-shot you are running? Want to get a baseline for what an effective build for a class you aren't familiar with? Check out the Pregen thread here If ever you are interested what it sounds like to be at my table check out my blog and podcast here Also, I've recently done an episode on "Refluffing". You can check that out here
I like Elf because it's an unusual, but still good choice for a Fighter. It boosts DEX, which is necessary for Flail Mastery and other good feats. It also boosts my Reflex defense. The bonus to WIS allows for good Will defense and for a good bonus to my OAs. I like that I still have a speed of 6 with scale armor and I have a racial power that allows me a reroll once/encounter.
Those are decent benefits, but honestly a Str primary is still superior. Also, do you plan on having a 19 Dex in epic? Straight Str/Wis seems like a better idea.
I was planning on having a 19 at level 21, yes. It would require a bump in heroic and one in paragon, which to me doesn't seem like a large investment. But I could be wrong. Would a heavy blade be a better option then?
Expanded crit range is not a big deal unless you are focusing on crit optimization, so I wouldn't bend the build just to qualify for the feat.
Fair point. So would you suggest a Dwarf or Goliath then?
Fair point. So would you suggest a Dwarf or Goliath then?



I am partial towards dwarves for Second Wind as a minor and good feat support.
Something like this?

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Bromir, level 3
Dwarf, Fighter (Weaponmaster)
Fighter Option: Combat Superiority
Fighter Talents Option: Two-handed Weapon Talent
Auspicious Birth (Auspicious Birth Benefit)
Theme: Guardian  

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
STR 20, CON 13, DEX 10, INT 8, WIS 14, CHA 10  

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
STR 18, CON 11, DEX 10, INT 8, WIS 14, CHA 10    

AC: 19 Fort: 19 Ref: 12 Will: 14 

HP: 47 Surges: 10 Surge Value: 11  

TRAINED SKILLS
Athletics +11, Endurance +9, Intimidate +6  

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +1, Arcana +0, Bluff +1, Diplomacy +1, Dungeoneering +4, Heal +2, History +0, Insight +2, Nature +2, Perception +2, Religion +0, Stealth +1, Streetwise +1, Thievery +1  

POWERS
Basic Attack: Melee Basic Attack
Basic Attack: Ranged Basic Attack
Guardian Attack: Guardian's Counter
Dwarf Racial Power: Dwarven Resilience
Fighter Attack: Combat Challenge
Fighter Attack 1: Cleave
Fighter Attack 1: Footwork Lure
Fighter Attack 1: Steel Serpent Strike
Fighter Attack 1: Driving Attack Fighter
Utility 2: Glowering Threat Fighter
Attack 3: Rain of Blows  

FEATS
Level 1: Weapon Proficiency (Gouge)
Level 2: Spear Expertise  

ITEMS
Magic Gouge +1 
Magic Scale Armor +1 
Amulet of Protection +1 

  ====== End ======
Fair point. So would you suggest a Dwarf or Goliath then?



I am impartial towards dwarves for Second Wind as a minor and good feat support.



Partial or impartial?
Fair point. So would you suggest a Dwarf or Goliath then?



I am impartial towards dwarves for Second Wind as a minor and good feat support.



Partial or impartial?



Partial...I fail at english
No shield, no dex, high risk maneuvre.


Why not grab an Alhulak, a heavy shield, flail expertise and one handed weapon talent instead?
You hit with footwork lure, they'll stay right there.

Or, if you want to deal damage, take the Dwarven Weapon Talent feat which you should take instead of Gouge Proficiency.

Either way, as level 1 daily, I would take Menacing Presence for its encounter long boost. Not to be used in an unruly mob, but rather against some tough monster the DM will throw at you sooner or later.

Since you are already level 3, maybe ability scores of 17/10/13/8/15/10 work for you? At level 4, boost Str and Dex, and forever after that Str and Wis.
Definitely Dwarven Weapon Training if you're going with a Gouge, it will give you proficiency (since Gouge is also an axe) and +2 to damage, which is more than Weapon Focus, plus you save a feat. As an axe wielding dwarf there is absolutely no reason not to take it, unless you plan an elemental-heavy build.

I suggest a 16/13/10/8/16/10 array, with racial bonuses to Str/Con and bumps to Str/Wis. You'll start with 18Str/15Con/16Wis, a solid array overall that will let you qualify for some more things later on. An example would be upgrading to Plate (since you're not using a shield) as soon as you can spare a feat (one you just happened to save by taking DWT) and taking Plate Armor Specialization come Paragon, both of them requiring 15Con.

As for powers, I'm partial towards Hack and Hew as E1 and especially Villain's Menace as D1. But that's up to debating.
ArelofAikala: By replacing Gouge Proficiency with DWT, please explain to me how this build is saving a feat.

Also, by starting at level 3 with even ability scores, this player will have odd ability scores from level 4-8. Is that really a tactic you recommend ? 

On top of which, you are sacrificing any shot at a Reflex defense for 2 more points of AC.  
Yes to DWT, yes to Hack and Hew for encounter power, yes to Bald's stat array (unless this is a group that has been consistent and there is no chance of it breaking up pre-paragon and then it becomes a discussion), yes to Villain's Menace D1.
Currently working on making a Dex based defender. Check it out here
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Need a few pre-generated characters for a one-shot you are running? Want to get a baseline for what an effective build for a class you aren't familiar with? Check out the Pregen thread here If ever you are interested what it sounds like to be at my table check out my blog and podcast here Also, I've recently done an episode on "Refluffing". You can check that out here
I agree also with Dwarf, DWT and Hack and Hew. I also like Bald's stat array but i might suggest a 16/13/14/8/14/10 (after mods= 18/13/14/8/16/10 with all bumps going into Str/Wis. I might go with a Craghammer and Heavy Shield and focus on pushing and proning.

If going for flails then i would go with 17+2str/15dex/13+2wis and look to get Rain of blows w/either Triple Headed Flail prof or use the Alhulak with a Heavy Shield.
Edit- some other options would be to get Driving attack as your level one daily and look to grab dragging flail at level 4.
Feats
1.Triple Headed Flail(+3 Prof/1d10)
2.Flail Expertise(choose to prone instead of slide)
4.Dragging Flail(add slide to prone target) 

"Something, something, something, Darkside. Utini."

I agree also with Dwarf, DWT and Hack and Hew. I also like Bald's stat array but i might suggest a 16/13/14/8/14/10 (after mods= 18/13/14/8/16/10 with all bumps going into Str/Wis. I might go with a Craghammer and Heavy Shield and focus on pushing and proning.

If going for flails then i would go with 17+2str/15dex/13+2wis and look to get Rain of blows w/either Triple Headed Flail prof or use the Alhulak with a Heavy Shield.



+2 Con is fixed
I agree also with Dwarf, DWT and Hack and Hew. I also like Bald's stat array but i might suggest a 16/13/14/8/14/10 (after mods= 18/13/14/8/16/10 with all bumps going into Str/Wis. I might go with a Craghammer and Heavy Shield and focus on pushing and proning.

If going for flails then i would go with 17+2str/15dex/13+2wis and look to get Rain of blows w/either Triple Headed Flail prof or use the Alhulak with a Heavy Shield.



+2 Con is fixed


Well duh. Stupid,stupid me. I've built like 5000 dwarfs you would think i had that little nugget memmorized.

"Something, something, something, Darkside. Utini."

Because i find it easier to puzzle things out this way. I threw together a quick build for Dwarf w/THF and Shield.
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====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Baird, level 3
Dwarf, Fighter (Weaponmaster)
Build: Guardian Fighter
Fighter Option: Combat Superiority
Fighter Talents Option: One-handed Weapon Talent
Auspicious Birth (Auspicious Birth Benefit)
Theme: Ironwrought

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
STR 19, CON 12, DEX 15, INT 8, WIS 13, CHA 10

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
STR 17, CON 10, DEX 15, INT 8, WIS 13, CHA 10


AC: 21 Fort: 18 Ref: 16 Will: 13
HP: 46 Surges: 10 Surge Value: 11

TRAINED SKILLS
Athletics +9, Endurance +8, Intimidate +6

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +1, Arcana +0, Bluff +1, Diplomacy +1, Dungeoneering +4, Heal +2, History +0, Insight +2, Nature +2, Perception +2, Religion +0, Stealth +1, Streetwise +1, Thievery +1

POWERS
Basic Attack: Melee Basic Attack
Basic Attack: Ranged Basic Attack
Ironwrought Attack: Inevitable Strike
Dwarf Racial Power: Dwarven Resilience
Fighter Attack: Combat Challenge
Fighter Attack 1: Footwork Lure
Fighter Attack 1: Cleave
Fighter Attack 1: Hack and Hew
Fighter Attack 1: Driving Attack
Fighter Utility 2: Glowering Threat
Fighter Attack 3: Rain of Blows

FEATS
Level 1: Weapon Proficiency (Triple-headed flail)
Level 2: Flail Expertise

ITEMS
Magic Triple-headed flail +1 x1
Magic Scale Armor +1 x1
Amulet of Protection +1 x1
Floating Shield Heavy Shield x1
====== End ======




Starts with a lower Wisdom in order to front load the Flail goodies earlier in your career but all of your stat bumps go into STR and WIS for the rest of the life of the PC. At level 4 you can take Dragging flail to add a slide to your prones with FWL and DA, just for positioning. You can later add items that can help increase your slide distance but i wouldn't  focus on that too much since having  the enemy prone and next to you gives them no really good choices.

"Something, something, something, Darkside. Utini."

@ezrider: I put this together before I looked at your build. Wanted to put it together myself first. So if they look alike at all, know that I'm not just copy-pasting your work.

Okay, how does this look?


====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Haldir the Second, level 3
Dwarf, Fighter (Weaponmaster)
Fighter Option: Combat Superiority
Fighter Talents Option: One-handed Weapon Talent
Auspicious Birth (Auspicious Birth Benefit)
Theme: Guardian

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
STR 18, CON 15, DEX 11, INT 8, WIS 16, CHA 10

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
STR 16, CON 13, DEX 11, INT 8, WIS 16, CHA 10


AC: 21 Fort: 18 Ref: 14 Will: 15
HP: 45 Surges: 11 Surge Value: 11

TRAINED SKILLS
Athletics +8, Endurance +9, Intimidate +6

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics –1, Arcana +0, Bluff +1, Diplomacy +1, Dungeoneering +6, Heal +4, History +0, Insight +4, Nature +4, Perception +4, Religion +0, Stealth –1, Streetwise +1, Thievery –1

POWERS
Basic Attack: Melee Basic Attack
Basic Attack: Ranged Basic Attack
Guardian Attack: Guardian's Counter
Dwarf Racial Power: Dwarven Resilience
Fighter Attack: Combat Challenge
Fighter Attack 1: Cleave
Fighter Attack 1: Footwork Lure
Fighter Attack 1: Hack and Hew
Fighter Attack 1: Villain's Menace
Fighter Utility 2: Glowering Threat
Fighter Attack 3: Rain of Blows

FEATS
Level 1: Weapon Proficiency (Triple-headed flail)
Level 2: Flail Expertise

ITEMS
Heavy Shield 
Adventurer's Kit
Quick Triple-headed flail +1 
Dwarven Scale Armor +1 
Badge of the Berserker +1 
Magic Javelin +1
====== End ======


 
My criticism of your Dex score as opposed to your Con score remains unchanged.


Also, this being level 3, and at level 4 being allowed a +1 on two of your stats, I would seriously recommend starting with odd stats in 2 of your abilities.
For example a 17+2 in Str now (which comes down to a +4 Str modifier) combined with a +1 at level 4 means a +5 Str modifier from level 4 till 8.


The 16+2 in Strength you have chosen gives you a +4 Str modifier now, just like you would have with the 17+2, but with the additional point at level 4 will still keep you at a +4 Str modifier till level 8.


Considering your role depends on your ability to deliver punishment, I'd say that +1 to hit for 4 levels is fairly important.  

More like this, then?

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Haldir the Second, level 3
Dwarf, Fighter (Weaponmaster)
Fighter Option: Combat Superiority
Fighter Talents Option: One-handed Weapon Talent
Auspicious Birth (Auspicious Birth Benefit)
Theme: Guardian

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
STR 19, CON 12, DEX 13, INT 8, WIS 15, CHA 10

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
STR 17, CON 10, DEX 13, INT 8, WIS 15, CHA 10


AC: 21 Fort: 18 Ref: 15 Will: 14
HP: 46 Surges: 10 Surge Value: 11

TRAINED SKILLS
Athletics +8, Endurance +8, Intimidate +6

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +0, Arcana +0, Bluff +1, Diplomacy +1, Dungeoneering +5, Heal +3, History +0, Insight +3, Nature +3, Perception +3, Religion +0, Stealth +0, Streetwise +1, Thievery +0

POWERS
Basic Attack: Melee Basic Attack
Basic Attack: Ranged Basic Attack
Guardian Attack: Guardian's Counter
Dwarf Racial Power: Dwarven Resilience
Fighter Attack: Combat Challenge
Fighter Attack 1: Cleave
Fighter Attack 1: Footwork Lure
Fighter Attack 1: Hack and Hew
Fighter Attack 1: Villain's Menace
Fighter Utility 2: Glowering Threat
Fighter Attack 3: Rain of Blows

FEATS
Level 1: Weapon Proficiency (Triple-headed flail)
Level 2: Flail Expertise

ITEMS
Heavy Shield x1
Adventurer's Kit
Quick Triple-headed flail +1 x1
Dwarven Scale Armor +1 x1
Badge of the Berserker +1 x1
Magic Javelin +1
====== End ======

With the stats i used you will get Dragging flail and qualify for Scale Specialization while getting a third attack with RoB, all of which require a 15 DEX. Granted you will be taking a hit early on with your Combat Superiority but as you head into the later stages of your life this will continue to go up by dedicating all stat bumps to STR/WIS. You will qualify for Superior Will at level 8 which is around the time you should be looking to pick up that feat.
Edit- I don't mind people copy pasting my work as long as it's good work. If i had some problem with it i would't post full builds. 

"Something, something, something, Darkside. Utini."

Triple Headed Flail is unnecessary (until maybe epic), with the +3 proficiency Alhulak available feat-free.

For the extra attack with Rain of Blows you need (and should get) Dex 15. It's good to boost your Reflex anyway.

I'd honestly go with a Str/Dex or Str/Wis race. Thrikreen is a good option with the increased speed, super jump, and minor action multimark. I'd place stats 16/11/13/8/16/10 or 16/13/14/8/14/10, racials go into Str/Dex, level bumps go into Str/Wis. Feats Flail Expertise and whatever, maybe Dragging Flail, maybe Improved Initiative, maybe a multiclass, lots of options there.
Triple Headed Flail is unnecessary (until maybe epic), with the +3 proficiency Alhulak available feat-free.

For the extra attack with Rain of Blows you need (and should get) Dex 15. It's good to boost your Reflex anyway.

I'd honestly go with a Str/Dex or Str/Wis race. Thrikreen is a good option with the increased speed, super jump, and minor action multimark. I'd place stats 16/11/13/8/16/10 or 16/13/14/8/14/10, racials go into Str/Dex, level bumps go into Str/Wis. Feats Flail Expertise and whatever, maybe Dragging Flail, maybe Improved Initiative, maybe a multiclass, lots of options there.


Different can of worms but i can't disagree with any of it. Thri-Kreen Flail Brawler would be tons of fun. Goliath and Longtooth Shifter work for STR/WIS.

"Something, something, something, Darkside. Utini."

Ok, final answer (?):

 

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Haldir the Second, level 3
Dwarf, Fighter (Weaponmaster)
Fighter Option: Combat Superiority
Fighter Talents Option: One-handed Weapon Talent
Auspicious Birth (Auspicious Birth Benefit)
Theme: Guardian

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
STR 19, CON 12, DEX 15, INT 8, WIS 13, CHA 10

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
STR 17, CON 10, DEX 15, INT 8, WIS 13, CHA 10


AC: 21 Fort: 18 Ref: 16 Will: 13
HP: 46 Surges: 10 Surge Value: 11

TRAINED SKILLS
Athletics +8, Endurance +8, Intimidate +6

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +1, Arcana +0, Bluff +1, Diplomacy +1, Dungeoneering +4, Heal +2, History +0, Insight +2, Nature +2, Perception +2, Religion +0, Stealth +1, Streetwise +1, Thievery +1

POWERS
Basic Attack: Melee Basic Attack
Basic Attack: Ranged Basic Attack
Guardian Attack: Guardian's Counter
Dwarf Racial Power: Dwarven Resilience
Fighter Attack: Combat Challenge
Fighter Attack 1: Cleave
Fighter Attack 1: Footwork Lure
Fighter Attack 1: Hack and Hew
Fighter Attack 1: Villain's Menace
Fighter Utility 2: Glowering Threat
Fighter Attack 3: Rain of Blows

FEATS
Level 1: Flail Expertise
Level 2: Dragging Flail

ITEMS
Heavy Shield 
Adventurer's Kit
Dwarven Scale Armor +1 
Badge of the Berserker +1 
Magic Javelin +1
Quick Alhulak +1 
====== End ======

I would personally switch to Ironwrought for my theme. More damage with two chances to hit with inevitable strike and some added durability in the regen @5th. You're already using your IA to punish as a fighter and Guardian counter just gives a slight versatility to a Immediate Interupt. Bonded charge could be cool @10 if the DM rules a PC can be your charge but overall Ironwrought is just superior.
Outside of a STR/WIS or DEX race and my one power nit pick it looks fine.
I might look into buying mundane javelins and dropping Badge of the Berserker for a Amulet of life or Cloak of the Walking wounded. Both add some extra oomph to your secondwind/surge use.

EDIT- Man i loves me some fighterLaughing 

"Something, something, something, Darkside. Utini."

ArelofAikala: By replacing Gouge Proficiency with DWT, please explain to me how this build is saving a feat.

Also, by starting at level 3 with even ability scores, this player will have odd ability scores from level 4-8. Is that really a tactic you recommend ? 

On top of which, you are sacrificing any shot at a Reflex defense for 2 more points of AC.  



DWT doesn't save a feat at level 3, but it does as soon as you level up more or less. Thing is, DWT packs proficiency and Weapon Focus together, so instead of taking both (and as a great weapon fighter Weapon Focus is something you normally take) you just have to grab one feat.

As for the stat arrary, it depends what the scope of the game is. I usually pick even scores because I tend to plan long-term. If they're not gonna make it Paragon then a lot of choices are less meaningful, e.g. any armor specialization.

Anyway, looks like he's going for a sword and board flail build.


@babcock3030: I wouldn't bump Con with that build if I were you. With 15Dex you have all you need for flail feats and scale specialization, at that point your Will defense become your greatest love. If enemies need to make you ineffective, you can bet they won't be trying to take your health down for long. It's easier to just lock you up with some silly condition. And the worst (Dominate, Stun, Daze) usually all target Will. Bump Wisdom instead.
Sadly it's not a choice. Dwarves get the CON.


EDIT: And I need the 15 in DEX anyway, so WIS got the short straw with this build.  
Sadly it's not a choice. Dwarves get the CON.


EDIT: And I need the 15 in DEX anyway, so WIS got the short straw with this build.  



Err, don't mind me. For some reasons I thought it was 10 and had level bumps ._.
Just make sure you boost Wis when you get the chance, it'll be 15 by level 8 which means you can have Superior Will in late Heroic or early Paragon.

Couple tricks for a shield and flail build: having both Dragging Flail and Lashing Flail (at Paragon) allows you to prone and slide. Since you're using a shield, you can take Hindering Shield (also Paragon) and add a Slow on top of that slide. Fighters may not be as multi-punishing as Paladins, but boy they're sticky.
Consider Mark of Storm (if Dragonmarks are allowed) and a lightning weapon later on as well. Lashing Flail works only with MBAs, so if you an add a slide on everything you do, you can prone, slide and slow everything you hit.
Another cool "sticky" trick would be to MC Warden and power swap for the Daily power Form of Winter's Herald. Costs some precious feat slots but could be cool to combo with your stance and multi-mark powersThis opens up Warden PP's or you could go for Dreadnought or Gladiator Champion. You won't have the CON for something like Iron Vanguard.
1. Flail Expertise
2. Dragging Flail
4. Shield Push
6. Defender of the Wild
8. Superior Will
10. Adept Power (Form of Winter's Herald in place of Villian's Menace)

"Something, something, something, Darkside. Utini."

Gladiator Champion fits it well imo. Denying adjacent enemies their chances to shift away means forcing them to eat OAs, which luckily can be 1/enemy instead of 1/round. Considering Fighter's OAs hit well, stop movement, and in this case can also prone-shift-slow, there's little chance to move away.
Could you retrain your Adept Power at higher levels in order to get better/different Form powers? 

"Something, something, something, Darkside. Utini."

As far as I know, you can change your power swap at every level.
As far as I know, you can change your power swap at every level.


Form of the Willow Sentinel @9 for some added reach is nice or Form of the Crushing Mountain @15 to combo with Gladiator Champion's Whirlwind of destruction @16 for super sticky.

"Something, something, something, Darkside. Utini."

Great ideas, guys/gals. Thanks a ton!
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