Psion Swordmage Hybrid...

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Hi all,

I'm looking for a general consensus as to whether you think this character will rock, be useful, be fun to play, thematically fits, etc.  I'll be playing a Swordmage/Psion Hybrid.  The group I'll be playing with will be balanced with a slight lean to striking and will be weakest in our defenders as we will only have one character who's a hybrid pally/cleric.  My plan of attack is to create summoned creatures, debuff enemies with -to hit, and hinder enemy melee units drastically.  I'll primarily be functioning as a ranged controller, but want the swordmage hybridization to greatly enhance my defenses and to rock his mark ability.  Provided we make it to the Epic Tier, I'll be taking a swordmage epic path as well and doing a cheese combo I thought of.

Presently, my party is level 13 so if I replaced my character I'd join in at this level.   

First off, the theme.  He's going to be wandering human adventurer who looks very unassuming.  He's going to use gloves of storing where he'll keep his sword in until he needs it for combat.  He's going to keep a ritual book for warding rituals in the other glove.  He'll have the psion's creation discipline power to create mundane items (DM will be cool with it) in lieu of the other class powers available.  He'll be wearing cloth armor and he'll have an absence amulet so no one will be able to track him or see magic items on him.  So apart from food and water he will be travelling very light indeed.

Disclaimer: My DM likes pitting us against stronger than normal encounters and as such is very lenient on stats & gear.  My stats below are with bonuses and match my current guys point total.

Important: My group does NOT have access to dragon magazine or online resources.  We only play with what is printed in the hardcover books where we have almost all of them.

Stats:
STR: 17 CON: 20 DEX: 11 INT: 23 WIS: 11 CHA: 18
Defenses unbuffed (includes swordmage warding): AC: 30  Fort: 27  Ref: 28  Will: 29
Hitpoints: 103
Skills Trained: Acrobatics, Athletics, Arcana, Bluff, Perception
Power Points: 8
Initiative: +6
Movement: 6
Saves: +2 all 

Gear:
Bloodthread armor +2 (phb) lvl 10   <--- +2 to ac saves while bloody as property
Absence amulet +3 (AV1) lvl 12
Githyanki Silver Weapon +3 (MOTP) lvl 14  <--- really like this as all attacks become psychic 
Circlet of mental onslaught (AV1) lvl 11
Gloves of Storing (AV1) lvl 9
Diamond Bracers (AV1) lvl 9
Elven Chain Shirt (MME wonderous item) lvl 9
Exodus Knife (AV wonderous item) lvl 12
Ritual book (includes rituals included in feat mark of warding), food rations, water pouch(s), money pouch, backpack, gold & expensive gems

Feats:
Swordmage Warding (hybrid)
Bardic Dilettante (phb2)
Unarmored Agility (phb3) 
Mark of Warding (EB)   <--- really like this 
Versatile Implement (phb3)
Improved Defenses (hotfl)
toughness (phb)
psychic lock (phb)   <--- really like this
resilient focus (hotfl) 

Paragon Paths:
Dreamwalker (phb3) lvl 11
Arcane Sword (AP) lvl 21 future swordmage epic path <--- my goal is to use swordmages sword chaser assualt lvl27 as an at-will eventually

At-wills:
Mindwipe (phb3) lvl 13 psion
Luring Strike (AP) lvl 1 swordmage
Static Mote (PP) lvl 1 psion (due to human extra at-will)
Kinetic Buffer (PP) lvl 7 psion

Encounters:
Dimensional Vortex (AP) lvl 3 swordmage
Dream Blade (phb3) lvl 11 dreamwalker paragon

Daily Powers: 
Force Spheres (PP) lvl 5 psion
Burning Blade (FR) lvl 1 swordmage
Summon Phantasmal Killer (PP) lvl 9 psion

Utility Powers:
Borrow Training (phb3) lvl 2 psion
Unicorn's Touch (AP) lvl 6 swordmage
Impenetrable Warding (FR) lvl 10 swordmage
dream stride (phb 3) lvl 12 dreamwalker paragon

Class Powers:
Aegis of Shielding (FR)
Sword Bond (FR)
Minor Creation (PP)
Manifest Dream Form (dreamwalker paragon)
Majestic Word (phb2) 

Basics of the build.  I'll get the true self summon due to my paragon path at lvl 20 and I'll pick up summon mind wierds at lvl 19 and drop my current summon.  These are both super strong summon abilities in my opinion.  I'll be marking whoever is the toughest and/or most appropriate enemy and then kiting as I don't need to stay next to them for the effect to go off (mitigating damage).  Primarily I'll be using dishearten and static mote at a distance.  Up close I'll generally use kinetic buffer for the increased defense.  Force Spheres and Dimensional Vortex powers will prevent damage and/or help with positioning.  I figure with my fairly high defenses coupled with all of the -to hit I'll be dishing out in addition to my mark ability, he should be hard to hit and cause problems in general if he isn't dealt with. Add in my dreamwalker path and summoned creatures and I should be able to further help hamper enemy positioning.

Your thoughts?
Not bad, you made a lot of good choices (Dreamwalker, Dimensional Vortex, playing it as a ranged controller, Silver Sword, Aegis of Shielding). I like it so far.

Couple of things:
- In your power list, you have Mind Wipe. But that's almost strictly worse than Dishearten. I'd switch those two.

- When your L16 Dreamwalker feature kicks in, consider switching Static Mote for Dimensional Scramble. That power wrecks havoc with enemy positioning.

- With crazy stats like that, consider MC Fighter instead if Bard and taking Polearm Momentum to go with some of your push/slide powers. In my sig I have a build, the Untouchable Mindblade, that's a Psion|SM hybrid that's built around that feat.
I am not really positive on how hard printed versions of the powers listed work, though it seems silly to me to ignore errata. That said, I'm not in this game, so my opinion on that is not relevant.

What I can tell you is that I would drop Strength, pick up the Intelligent Blademaster feat and use those points in Strength for something else (anything, really). Though, in hindsight, those ability scores seem an awful way off standard array. 

Unarmored Agility doesn't seem as useful as you start at level 13 already, and hopefully you will not be targetted much.


And because no one else has pointed this out so far, but have you considered Wizard|Swordmage instead?  
Consider Armor of Aegis Expansion (AV2) over the Bloodthread Armor.

I'm not really a fan of utilities that only boost a skill, consider Intellect Fortress (PH3B) for those times when the DM does focus on attacking you.
Also take a look at Booming Blade (FRPG), it will make you much stickier as a Defender and pairs wonderfully with targets marked by the Paladin (attack you, likely miss, and take damage or move away to attack the paladin and take damage)

For daily powers, I would strongly consider Living Missile (PsP) for D1, as it combines forced movement, solid control, and good damage. You can keep Force Spheres as your D5 by taking some SM Daily there and then retraining once you hit 9th and taking a SM Daily at that level. I suggest this because Phantasmal Killer really isn't a good power since it disappears as soon as its Prey dies, and attack isn't impressive compared to your Dishearten (as suggested by Svendj, stacking attack penalties is very powerful); Blade Bolt (AP) would give you a much needed 2nd mark or Arcane Deflection (AP) for rather amusing attack negation.

If at all possible, can you drop your Str and increase Dex a little? Obviously you should be boosting Con and Int every time, but with 13 dex you can take Improved Swordmage Warding feat (AP) boosts your AC and also adds to when you use Impenetrable Warding.

Get rid of Toughness and take Superior Will, trust me.
"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.
Thanks guys for all your insight.  Svendj I really like your swordmage/psion but I don't think doing the polearm tricks will fit with the image I have of him as I am unwilling to get rid of my gloves of storing (so gloves of anti-path are out) and I really would prefer a sword over a polearm for thematic reasons.  Mostly because I'll be taking the Arcane Sword Epic Path at level 21.  Still your guy would be a beast.  I'll probably keep mindwipe as my intention is to never augment it so ultimately it is a +2 damage increase over dishearten.  Lastly, I was unable to find Dimensional Scramble so could you tell me what book it is in as it sounds tempting?

Baldhermit, I'll look into replacing unarmored agility if you don't think the +2 to AC is worth a feat.  Intelligent blademaster feat I've been mulling over.  On the one hand, I will be way better at opportunity attacks, but on the other my str is decent enough as-is, and I'll be playing this guy at range whenever possible. 

Zathris, I like the bloodthread armor as my +2 to saves and armor while bloody I feel could be super useful and I already have the swordmage mark so the encounter power seems like it's doubling up.  Looking at Intellect Fortress that you pointed out, I completely agree, that is straight up better and I'll definitely use that.  I had booming blade originally, but thematically I changed it to luring strike as I decided that I DON'T want people sticking to me as the ranged powers of the psion will definitely outweigh my swordmage powers.  As for Blade Bolt, that does sound good, but I need to know first off if I can mark a 2nd person as I know the swordmage hybrid power says I can mark only one user instead of functioning normally.  If I can mark two people, that is tempting for sure.  Lastly, I agree.  I want Superior Will.
Gloves of Antipathy are hardly the cornerstone of my build, so that wouldn't matter. But sword over polearm is legitimate, just giving you some ideas.

If you're never going to augment Mind Wipe, what are you going to use those power points for? Your prefered mode of attack is ranged debuffing, so you won't use Kinetic Buffer much (and even then, your WIS isn't high enough for the augment 2 to do anything useful). And Static Mote can't be augmented since it's granted by your racial feature, which leaves only Mind Wipe. Unaugmented it's the same as Dishearten, but the augment 1 is much worse than Dishearten's augment 2. You're never going to use the augment 4, so I don't think you should ever pick Mind Wipe over Dishearten.

Dimensional Scramble is in Psionic Power. Check it out, it's a pretty awesome power.
I've seen a solid SM|Psion that spams Aug1 Voidshard while stocking up on SM IAs and grabbing the Sigil Carver PP.
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After listening to you guys, maybe it would be in my interest to keep dishearten (maybe as my racial) and instead of keeping static mote to instead upgrade from that to the Void Shard lvl 13 at-will.  I was debating that earlier because of the prone effect.  The augment 4 on that looks deadly too.  I like how once the (melee-based) enemy goes prone, he's essentially a write off for the rest of the encounter, provided I can keep attacking him unhindered with the power (teleportation aside).

I might play around with my guy some more to see if I can work in living missile as I could see it being a good to setup for voidshard.  I'll have to remove summon phantasmal killer to a swordmage power (possibly troll rampage for the regen effect).
Zathris, I like the bloodthread armor as my +2 to saves and armor while bloody I feel could be super useful and I already have the swordmage mark so the encounter power seems like it's doubling up.  Looking at Intellect Fortress that you pointed out, I completely agree, that is straight up better and I'll definitely use that.  I had booming blade originally, but thematically I changed it to luring strike as I decided that I DON'T want people sticking to me as the ranged powers of the psion will definitely outweigh my swordmage powers.  As for Blade Bolt, that does sound good, but I need to know first off if I can mark a 2nd person as I know the swordmage hybrid power says I can mark only one user instead of functioning normally.  If I can mark two people, that is tempting for sure.  Lastly, I agree.  I want Superior Will.


The Armor's encounter power is designed for bursts/blasts that catch you and multiple allies. Unlike your normal mark, a. It works even when you're being targeted, and b. protects all targets of the attack instead of just one. It's certainly not amazing, but it's in the top 5 choices (with others being Armor of Dark Deeds, Shimmering Armor, Flowform Armor, and the one with 2 resists that I always forget the name of). Since you mention Psion powers being a concern in melee, I'd actually recommend taking the Shimmering Armor.

Blade Bolt, Swordmages Decree, Aegis of Lost Souls, Thundering Vortex, etc. all grant additional Aegis marks beyond your first one because they specifically say they mark with your Aegis and don't remove any prior marks you have out. I actually would have suggested Swordmage's Decree (use it to mark a single target so it's an encounter power instead of a daily, unless you get a really nice burst and just wanna mark them all) except unerrata'd Unicorn's Touch is so fantastic. Thundering Vortex is a must-have for Shielding Hybrids.
"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.
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