Charming Bard, looking for feedback

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I'l be taking a paragon Bard to the table this weekend, and I wanted to check if my idea has merit. 

The build has 2 encounter dominates through MC Druid for Charm Beast and the Heartwarder paragon path. This lets you enable your allies by making dominated enemies run past them, generating OA's with combat advantage all over the place. That beats most other ways a Bard has to generate attacks at that level. As an added bonus, you also stun the target for a round. 

Because it's a Prescient Bard, it also gets to turn 2 misses into hits every combat with Prescient Aid and Rhyme of the Blood-Seeking Blade. (I know War Chanter is better for preventing misses, but the paragon path is already taken for the dominate plan)

Lastly, Echoing Weapon lets one ally do a doubletap. 

The Build

level 13 Deva, Bard, Heartwarder
Bardic Virtue Option: Virtue of Prescience
Born Under a Bad Sign (Born Under a Bad Sign Benefit)
Theme: Halaster's Clone

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
STR 11, CON 14, DEX 9, INT 12, WIS 21, CHA 21

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


AC: 27 Fort: 21 Ref: 21 Will: 28
HP: 93 Surges: 9 Surge Value: 23

TRAINED SKILLS
Arcana +12, Diplomacy +16, History +14, Insight +16, Nature +16, Perception +16, Religion +14

POWERS
Halaster's Clone Utility: Alter Time
Deva Racial Power: Memory of a Thousand Lifetimes
Bard Feature: Majestic Word
Bard Feature: Words of Friendship
Cleric Utility: Healing Word
Bard Attack 1: Staggering Note
Bard Attack 1: Vicious Mockery
Bard Attack 1: Arrow of Warning
Invoker Attack 1: Hand of Radiance
Bard Utility 2: Moment of Escape
Bard Attack 3: Rhyme of the Blood-Seeking Blade
Bard Attack 5: Song of Discord
Druid Utility 6: Eagle's Splendor
Druid Attack 7: Charm Beast
Bard Attack 9: Counterpoint
Bard Utility 10: Mantle of Unity
Heartwarder Attack 11: Siren Voice
Heartwarder Utility 12: Sune's Shield
Bard Attack 3: Echoing Weapon

FEATS
Level 1: Battle Intuition
Level 2: Battle Song Expertise
Level 4: Sentinel Initiate
Level 7: Novice Power
Level 8: Acolyte Power
Level 10: Acolyte of Divine Secrets
Level 11: Prescient Aid
Level 12: Superior Will

ITEMS
Magic Wand +3 
Distance Dagger +3 
Magic Chainmail +3 
Amulet of Protection +3


 
The thing I'm not too happy about is the defenses. Because it's a Wis/Cha build, the AC, Fort and Ref are in the toilet (although Mantle of Unity does help). Being able to use my dagger as an implement so I can use a shield would help somewhat, as would being able to take Combat Virtuoso so I can assign some points to Int and/or Con, but the build appears to be too feat-starved for that. 

I could change race to Human for the extra feat, or take Elemental Initiate instead of Halaster's Clone so I can use a ki focus, but then I lose a LOT of initiative (have to use Dex instead of Wis and no +6 bonus). Dominating enemies before they can take their turn seems pretty important.

I can also lose Acolyte Power, but Eagle's Splendor is just nuts on a Bard. 

Should I just suck it up, watch out and stay in the back line, or is there something else I can do? Maybe there's a good hybrid I missed?
I see the goal here, but taking 2 feats to poach 2 abilities from a class makes me almost wonder why hybrid is not an option.

But then hybriding Druid is rather meh.

I dunno what more you can do here. 

As a note if you are really trying to pump as much dominate as possible onto this guy you could pick up, or try to pick up some of these:
Dominating Gaze (Vampire Feat power, turns your D15 into a dominate (SE)
Undying's Command (Feat + Channel Div)
Touch of Command (Warlock E7 IR)
Domineering Gaze (Vampire D9)
Command Insanity (Warlock D9)
Summon Succubus (Warlock D9)

With 3 good warlock dominates in there, would it maybe be worth it to go Bard|Lock if you are just going for a master of dominates. 
 
Currently working on making a Dex based defender. Check it out here
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Why not do a Bard|Sentinel?
Charismatic Leader with control interrupts: Warlock|Warlord/Bard/Student of Caiphon

You get a great MBA in Eldritch Strike, DTS for allies, Powerful Warning, Touch of command, VIM, Lead the Attack, Command Insanity, Song of Discord (swapped), and of course Combat Commander, Fight On, and all the SoC goodies.
"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.
Warlock is cool, also with the dominates, but I like Charm Beast more than Touch of Command because you have far more control over who you get to dominate. And I want Bard to be a major part of the build, so no Warlord this time. 

I've rebuilt it as a Sentinel hybrid, and it actually works pretty well! Frees up 2 feats (still need one of the three for Hybrid Talent),  so I can at least take Improved Defenses. And Magic Stones and Wall of Thorns are pretty yummy powers for a leader|controller to have. 

AC is even crappier than before (Hide instead of Chain), but that just means I've got to stay out of melee. And now that I have room for MC Sorcerer (dagger as implement), I can at least carry a shield.

EDIT: and a Bear Companion for a +2 to all defenses also helps a lot.
With starting Str/Con of 12, you could retrain into Chain at 11th. Carry a Shielding Dagger + Staff of Sleep & Charm. Both Common Items.
Bard|Sentinel? My head hurts. 
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!
Given the build is about getting 2 dominates by 13th and utilizing Wisdom and Charisma, that does tend to limit the options. And in that context, Sentinel is cheaper than the other options.

A way around it might be to pick up Combat Virtuoso and therefore not need significant Wisdom for Charm Beast. But that's a lot of feats to spend - mc, novice, acolyte, combat virtuoso by 13th
Yeah, but it doesn't destroy your entire build.
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 think we all know the right answer here is Hybrid Vampire.
"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.
If you're allowed to MC for BCL, then that would be a good route on the Bard|Sentinel version.

EDIT: Or, even if you can't MC for it, then doing the original build as a hybrid Cleric will still be an improvement I'd say.
The point of the build is to be able to use this enabling power twice per action as your standard action:

Hit: the target is dazed, and for its next action it moves its speed+2 charges one of its allies. This movement provokes opportunity attacks.

The immediate actions also have to be leader stuff, like turning misses into hits or granting extra attacks. Lastly, you want two heals as well.

By being a |Sentinel, you get one heal and one dominate.
By being a Heartwarden you get the second dominate.
The immediates and the second heal can be gotten by being either |Warlord or |Bard.

I went with Bard. Warlord is better because of Combat Commander, no real second stat dependancy and better defenses, but I want to see what a Bard is capable of.
Again, hybrid or MC cleric for BCL (this also saves you from having to take Acolyte of Divine Secrets, opening a feat up).

Just out of curiousity, what happens when you make an OA on an enemy that's afflicted by Siren's Voice? The domination ends when the target is attacked, so do they get to choose now to stop the movement? Do they get the remainder of their actions (a standard and a minor)? Not sure exactly how that plays out.

A Bard|Sentinel with MC for BCL is up *3* feats in heroic over what you have. 2 if you take Hybrid Talent to get Virtue of Prescience back (a good idea, since that's why you're going Wis/Cha...). And much better AC, and holy symbol proficiency, and Magic Stones...I think it'll help a lot.
MC Cleric is indeed better than Invoker when you hybrid Sentinel. Initially I wanted Invoker for for an encounter minion-wipe power (Hand of Radiance), but with Magic Stones that's already taken care of. So MC Cleric for BCL is better, or for Healing Word if BCL through multiclassing isn't allowed.

I'm not sure how Siren's Voice interacts with OA's, but I'd say that the enemy can end its current action at any point during its turn when it's attacked. So the best course of action would be to let the dominated enemy charge one of its allies, and have your allies position themselves so that the enemy provokes from all of them at once. An OA-corridor, so to speak:

  D
A  A

  T

D = Dominated enemy
A = Ally
T = Target for the charge attack

For reference, here's the updated Bard|Sentinel build at level 14 (without BCL, with Chainmail proficiency as MwaO suggested).

Show

Servatius, level 14
Deva, Bard/Druid (Sentinel), Heartwarder
Season: Druid of Summer
Hybrid Bard Option: Hybrid Bard Will
Versatile Expertise Option: Versatile Expertise (Light blade)
Versatile Expertise Option: Versatile Expertise (Wand)
Hybrid Talent Option: Bardic Virtue
Bardic Virtue Option: Virtue of Prescience
Arcane Implement Proficiency Option: Arcane Implement Proficiency (light blade group)
Born Under a Bad Sign (Born Under a Bad Sign Benefit)
Theme: Halaster's Clone
 
FINAL ABILITY SCORES
STR 13, CON 13, DEX 9, INT 11, WIS 22, CHA 22
 
STARTING ABILITY SCORES
STR 12, CON 12, DEX 8, INT 10, WIS 16, CHA 16
 
 
AC: 29 Fort: 24 Ref: 23 Will: 30
HP: 99 Surges: 8 Surge Value: 24
 

POWERS
Halaster's Clone Utility: Alter Time
Deva Racial Power: Memory of a Thousand Lifetimes
Bard Feature: Majestic Word
Cleric Utility: Healing Word
Bard Attack 1: Staggering Note
Druid Attack 1: Magic Stones
Bard Attack 1: Arrow of Warning
Bard Utility 2: Moment of Escape
Bard Attack 3: Rhyme of the Blood-Seeking Blade
Druid Attack 5: Wall of Thorns
Bard Attack 5: Song of Discord
Druid Utility 6: Eagle's Splendor
Druid Attack 7: Charm Beast
Bard Utility 10: Mantle of Unity
Heartwarder Attack 11: Siren Voice
Heartwarder Utility 12: Sune's Shield
Bard Attack 3: Echoing Weapon
 
FEATS
Level 1: Battle Intuition
Level 2: Versatile Expertise
Level 4: Hybrid Talent
Level 6: Superior Will
Level 8: Improved Defenses
Level 10: Initiate of the Faith
Level 11: Prescient Aid
Level 12: Armor Proficiency: Chainmail
Level 14: Arcane Implement Proficiency
 
ITEMS
Distance Dagger +3
Shield of Deflection Light Shield (paragon tier)
Periapt of Cascading Health +3
Time Link Braidmail Armor +3
As a possibility to avoid the Heartwarder problem, what about Adroit Explorer? It would let you take Charm Beast twice. It would mean being human and having a 16 Cha, but Eagle's Splendor would make up for the -1 - and most of your Bard interrupts are weapon vs. reflex anyway.
Wow, that's an excellent idea. The only powers that really "suffer" from the -1 to hit are Staggering Note and Song of Discord, but that's ok. I like Adroit Explorer more than Heartwarder anyway, and it saves two feats! (not having to MC divine, and the extra human feat)

I'll switch Battle Intuition for Improved Initiative, and the extra two feats can then go to something cool like Bard of All Trades, and well, what else? Any suggestions?

EDIT: I like Battlewise and Superior Implement: Accurate Dagger a lot here, also to offset the loss of accuracy some more.
Wow, that's an excellent idea. The only powers that really "suffer" from the -1 to hit are Staggering Note and Song of Discord, but that's ok. I like Adroit Explorer more than Heartwarder anyway, and it saves two feats! (not having to MC divine, and the extra human feat)

I'll switch Battle Intuition for Improved Initiative, and the extra two feats can then go to something cool like Bard of All Trades, well, what else? Any suggestions?



You could switch Battle Intuition for Battlewise and then take Improved Initiative as well.

Also, if you don't otherwise use your MC feat, you can MC into Sorcerer via Soul of Sorcery for resist 5 and then be able to use Dagger as an implement. If you go Bard of All Trades, be sure to train in Acrobatics/Arcana as those are the two skills with 'benefits'

Edit: Superior Implement is definitely a must.
A bit of an aside, I admit, but with all the talk of MC Cleric for BCL, am I right in remembering that there is no way to do this through the Online Character Builder? Thus, any characters built along this tack must recalculate AC and/or scale armor "manually"?
A bit of an aside, I admit, but with all the talk of MC Cleric for BCL, am I right in remembering that there is no way to do this through the Online Character Builder? Thus, any characters built along this tack must recalculate AC and/or scale armor "manually"?



Correct. And not all DMs will go for it, either.
A bit of an aside, I admit, but with all the talk of MC Cleric for BCL, am I right in remembering that there is no way to do this through the Online Character Builder? Thus, any characters built along this tack must recalculate AC and/or scale armor "manually"?


Correct. And not all DMs will go for it, either.


Which is typically time to find a DM that isn't a cheater.
"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.
Why is BCL via MC supposedly possible? Divine Healer says you gain the Healer's Lore class feature. Dragon 401 says a Cleric can take BCL instead. MC Cleric means you count as a cleric as far as feat and PP requirements go. It doesn't seem to say anything about class features.
You just answered yourself...
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!
Zelink is right; because of the law of syllogism, there is no reason why any DM should disallow the MC feat to allow this swap. Which leaves me perplexed as to why the CB doesn't allow for this possibility. But, then, we all know the limitations of the CB....
You can disallow it because of its disproportionate benefit. There are legitimate arguements against it, but its pretty clear to see how it works.
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!
Why is BCL via MC supposedly possible? Divine Healer says you gain the Healer's Lore class feature. Dragon 401 says a Cleric can take BCL instead. MC Cleric means you count as a cleric as far as feat and PP requirements go. It doesn't seem to say anything about class features.

"If you take a class-specific multiclass feat, you count as a member of that class for the purpose of meeting prerequisites." PHB3 pg. 193.

Helps not to use the PHB1 rules, most of which are something like five years out of date, and didn't even allow you to take EDs from your MC class (which was fixed in the PHB2, for reference).

So... if you have Healer's Lore, you can take BCL instead, so long as you are a Cleric. MCing Cleric means you are a Cleric for the purposes of all prerequisites. So RAW there is zero debate to be had.
Why is BCL via MC supposedly possible? Divine Healer says you gain the Healer's Lore class feature. Dragon 401 says a Cleric can take BCL instead. MC Cleric means you count as a cleric as far as feat and PP requirements go. It doesn't seem to say anything about class features.

"If you take a class-specific multiclass feat, you count as a member of that class for the purpose of meeting prerequisites." PHB3 pg. 193.

So... if you have Healer's Lore, you can take BCL instead, so long as you are a Cleric. MCing Cleric means you are a Cleric for the purposes of all prerequisites. So RAW there is zero debate to be had.



The option is an alternate class feature, not a prerequisite.
The option is an alternate class feature, not a prerequisite.

The option has the prereq of being a Cleric and having Healer's Lore to swap out, both of which you have. Reading comprehension helps you not make inane posts.
The option is an alternate class feature, not a prerequisite.

The option has the prereq of being a Cleric. Reading comprehension helps you not make inane posts.



Where does Battle Cleric's Lore say:
Prerequisite: Cleric 
The option is an alternate class feature, not a prerequisite.



Basically what I was thinking. A MC Cleric fulfills Prerequisite: Cleric for the purpose of things that say Prerequisite: Cleric. It's not obvious that this means you can take Alternative Class Features when a feat says you get Class Feature X.

Edit: It seems that if BCL via MC isn't legal, it's somewhat difficult to find a way for the rules to support why regular cleric's would be able to take it. So I admit defeat.
The option is an alternate class feature, not a prerequisite.



Basically what I was thinking. A MC Cleric fulfills Prerequisite: Cleric for the purpose of things that say Prerequisite: Cleric. It's not obvious that this means you can take Alternative Class Features when a feat says you get Class Feature X.
Is there anything that flat out doesn't work under this interpretation? 

So it doesn't work if you make things up. Got it. Munchkin fallacy works both ways, you can't ever make things up the rules don't actually say. The only thing BCL says is that you can take it in place of Healer's Lore, it doesn't care how you gain Healer's Lore.

@MWAO: Well, now, that would be the general class feature rules, which state you have to be a member of that class. Which you are. Like I said, reading helps, though in this case the thing you ought to have read was the rules before you commented on them.
So it doesn't work if you make things up. Got it.



Despite the fact that I now think you are right, this is a moronic strawman.
So it doesn't work if you make things up. Got it.



Despite the fact that I now think you are right, this is a moronic strawman.

You were making rules up. Pointing it out is hardly moronic. Well, not on my end at least.

The only possible debate on MC BCL is if it is intended. It flat out works by RAW. If everyone could get on the same page, after I dunno how many months of ignorance and stupidity, that'd be great. "It is overpowered" is not a RAW argument. If it were, a great deal of the material CharOp discovers wouldn't be considered RAW and, for that matter, the inverse should also be true and stuff that is underpowered would have to be upped in power, regardless of the rules. But this forum doesn't work that way. It operates solely on the actual rules. Intended or not, overpowered or not.
The option is an alternate class feature, not a prerequisite.




@MWAO: Well, now, that would be the general class feature rules, which state you have to be a member of that class.



MC feats do not say you count as a member of the class. It says you count as a member of the class for all prerequisites. Prerequisites are a specific game term used in a very specific manner. They are called out.

Battle Cleric's Lore is an alternate class feature that you can choose if you are a member of the class. That is not a prerequisite, the game term. That is a prerequisite, the commonly understood meaning of prerequisite in the English language.
Would you care to show where prerequisite is a defined as a game term, that makes it different to the English language definition?
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
Prerequisites are a specific game term used in a very specific manner. They are called out.


See this is what I mean about making things up being the only way this doesn't work. Good luck citing that (Hint: You can't).
Would you care to show where prerequisite is a defined as a game term, that makes it different to the English language definition?

Think of it this way: if prereq is used in a broad English sense, then you should also get the Healing Word class feature automatically, because the only prerequisite for gaining that class feature is being a cleric, and you count as a cleric for the purpose of meeting prerequisites.

I don't know that being a cleric is actually a prereq for BCL though. The D400 that I'm looking at only says "You can choose this class feature in place of Healer's Lore" and that's about it, meaning that if you get HL somehow, you could take BCL instead. But in the earlier section (arguably flavor and descriptions, but Not A Rule) it does say "Battle Cleric's Lore, which a cleric can take in place of Healer's Lore." So I guess the RAW argument here is over whether not that applies.
You were making rules up.



Quote my exact words and tell me which rule I'm making up.
And yet another perfectly good thread goes down under rules violence :-(

Take it outside next time guys.
And yet another perfectly good thread goes down under rules violence :-( Take it outside next time guys.

Or provide popcorn.

Would you care to show where prerequisite is a defined as a game term, that makes it different to the English language definition?

Think of it this way: if prereq is used in a broad English sense, then you should also get the Healing Word class feature automatically, because the only prerequisite for gaining that class feature is being a cleric, and you count as a cleric for the purpose of meeting prerequisites.

I don't know that being a cleric is actually a prereq for BCL though. The D400 that I'm looking at only says "You can choose this class feature in place of Healer's Lore" and that's about it, meaning that if you get HL somehow, you could take BCL instead. But in the earlier section (arguably flavor and descriptions, but Not A Rule) it does say "Battle Cleric's Lore, which a cleric can take in place of Healer's Lore." So I guess the RAW argument here is over whether not that applies.



No one ever said the rules were logical. He just made a rules statement and with a quick compendium search I couldn't find prerequisite as a defined term, so I was wondering if he was basing his statement on anything but a wish that the rules were logical.

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
Would you care to show where prerequisite is a defined as a game term, that makes it different to the English language definition?

Think of it this way: if prereq is used in a broad English sense, then you should also get the Healing Word class feature automatically, because the only prerequisite for gaining that class feature is being a cleric, and you count as a cleric for the purpose of meeting prerequisites.

I don't know that being a cleric is actually a prereq for BCL though. The D400 that I'm looking at only says "You can choose this class feature in place of Healer's Lore" and that's about it, meaning that if you get HL somehow, you could take BCL instead. But in the earlier section (arguably flavor and descriptions, but Not A Rule) it does say "Battle Cleric's Lore, which a cleric can take in place of Healer's Lore." So I guess the RAW argument here is over whether not that applies.



No one ever said the rules were logical. He just made a rules statement and with a quick compendium search I couldn't find prerequisite as a defined term, so I was wondering if he was basing his statement on anything but a wish that the rules were logical.




Page 57 of PHB defines a Prerequisite:
Prerequisite: You must meet this provision to select this power. If you ever lose a prerequisite for a power (for example, if you use the retraining system to replace training in a skill with training in a different skill), you can’t use that power thereafter.

They don't seem to explicitly define prerequisites in the same way for feats, but they generally give them the same definition - i.e. have this or else don't take the option.

In any case, the game simply doesn't work as we know it if you try to use the broad English definition. Why are you restricted from picking Invoker powers, as an example?