PEACH: Argan, Cleric|Ranger/Avenger, Paragon of Victory, Demigod

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Here's a character who I've been working on. I've been playing him since level 1 (he's level 3 now). Since Ranger|Cleric's are considered by many to be strictly better than Rangers, I've tried to build one from the ground up as well as I could. His role is mostly striker, but more stout with some leaderly abilities he mostly uses to boost himself or enable party damage after novas, and I try to hold onto at least one Cleric area attack to scatter minions. Let me know what you think.

He's either going to be wielding a frost double axe or frost waraxe/gauntlet axe. I've been hesitating between pushing for items/feats which give him more benefits on a kill or more benefits on a crit. This version is more benefits on a kill.



Argan Bloodaxe The Unstoppable
Mul, Cleric|Ranger, Paragon of Victory, Demigod
Cleric option: Battle Cleric Lore
Background: Auspicious Birth (Auspicious Birth Benefit)
Theme: Sohei
Starting Score (after racials): Str 20, Con 12, Dex 13, Int 10, Wis 13, Cha 8
Score evolution:
+STR, +WIS
+STR, +DEX
+ALL
+STR, +WIS
+STR, +DEX
+ALL
+STR, +WIS
+STR, +DEX
+2 STR, WIS
Final Score: Str 30, Con 14, Dex 18, Int 12, Wis 20, Cha 8

======POWERS=======
At-Will: Twin Strike                
At-Will: Righteous Brand    
Lv1 Enc: Mighty Hew
Lv1 Daily: Moment of Glory (or Weapon of Astral Flame later)
Lv2 Util: Holy Blessing at level 8 (Stalker's Mist for now)
Lv3 Enc: Disruptive Strike      
Lv5 Daily:  Two-Wolf Pounce
Lv6 Util: Holy Celerity
Lv7 Enc: Ruffling Sting
Lv9 Daily: Attacks on the Run
Lv10 Util: Resume the hunt (move 5, +2 def on a kill)  
Lv13 Enc: Off-hand Diversion (replace Ruffling Sting) or Promise of Victory (replace Mighty Hew)
Lv15 Daily: Blade Cascade
Lv16 Util: Enter the Crucible or Root Gate
Lv17 Enc: Off-hand Diversion (replace minor) or Violence Betrayed (replace Cleric encounter)
Lv19 Daily: Cruel Cage of Steel (stun) or Holy Wrath (blast+regen10)
Lv22 Util: Master of the Hunt (stance, +wis damage)
Lv23 Enc: Nonchalant Collapse
Lv25 Daily: Righteous Might
Lv27 Enc: Valorous Charge (all allies charge or MBA/RBA)
Lv29 Daily: Astral Exile     



======FEATS=========
Feat 1: Dwarven Weapon Training
Feat 2: Disciple of Divine Wrath 
Feat 4: Axe Expertise
Feat 6: Silvery Glow  [retrain to Icy Heart]
Feat 8: Acolyte Power (Holy Blessing) 
Feat 10: Hybrid Talent (Prime Shot)
Feat 11: Prime Punisher 
Feat 12: Called Shot
Feat 14: Lasting Frost
Feat 16: Wintertouched
Feat 18: Prime Quarry [retrain to Improved Prime Shot at epic]
Feat 20: Improved Defenses [retrain to Rending Tempest]
Feat 21: Hand of Divine Guidance (expanded crit on OoE targets, since I don't qualify for Axe Mastery and I'm too feat starved to switch to Heavy Blades)
Feat 22: Slashing Storm
Feat 24: Cleaving Axe
Feat 26: Vengeful Declaration (OoE as a free action)
Feat 28: Arbiter of Justice (if OoE target dies, it's as if you killed it)
Feat 30: Improved Defenses or Stoneheart Warrior

My first idea was, why you didn't pick Morninglord/Pelor's boon if you already got the Cleric Hybrid and high Wis. I guess you took Paragon of Victory for the additional minor action attack, but you already have enough of them, imo (you've even picked Sohei). I'm sure the regulars on this board will tell you very soon, that not going for elemental/radiant damage and/or vulnerabilites + firewind blade will make you weaker, compared to strikers that do.

Edit: You have picked many feats that depend on your OoE, which lasts only 2 rounds in an encounter. If you don't play with some sort of leader, which makes encounters end after this amount of rounds (whatever-switch), those feat slots could be invested in something better, imo.
My first idea was, why you didn't pick Morninglord/Pelor's boon if you already got the Cleric Hybrid and high Wis. I guess you took Paragon of Victory for the additional minor action attack, but you already have enough of them, imo (you've even picked Sohei). I'm sure the regulars on this board will tell you very soon, that not going for elemental/radiant damage and/or vulnerabilites + firewind blade will make you weaker, compared to strikers that do.



Well I did go full frost cheese, doesn't that cover elemental/vulnerable damage? How much better is it to go Morninglord, especially considering my WIS isn't that high? And also, Paragon of Victory has much more going for it than what you've mentioned.
My first idea was, why you didn't pick Morninglord/Pelor's boon if you already got the Cleric Hybrid and high Wis. I guess you took Paragon of Victory for the additional minor action attack, but you already have enough of them, imo (you've even picked Sohei). I'm sure the regulars on this board will tell you very soon, that not going for elemental/radiant damage and/or vulnerabilites + firewind blade will make you weaker, compared to strikers that do.



Well I did go full frost cheese, doesn't that cover elemental/vulnerable damage? How much better is it to go Morninglord, especially considering my WIS isn't that high? And also, Paragon of Victory has much more going for it than what you've mentioned.



For your damage it's not so important that you can use the powers granted by Morninglord. It's mostly the 10+Wis mod static damage boost what you want. If you can add fire damage you probably want to pick a firewind blade, as well.
My first idea was, why you didn't pick Morninglord/Pelor's boon if you already got the Cleric Hybrid and high Wis. I guess you took Paragon of Victory for the additional minor action attack, but you already have enough of them, imo (you've even picked Sohei). I'm sure the regulars on this board will tell you very soon, that not going for elemental/radiant damage and/or vulnerabilites + firewind blade will make you weaker, compared to strikers that do.



Well I did go full frost cheese, doesn't that cover elemental/vulnerable damage? How much better is it to go Morninglord, especially considering my WIS isn't that high? And also, Paragon of Victory has much more going for it than what you've mentioned.



For your damage it's not so important that you can use the powers granted by Morninglord. It's mostly the 10+Wis mod static damage boost what you want. If you can add fire damage you probably want to pick a firewind blade, as well.



I see your point but I may not get to level 16, if we end our game at level 15, that's 5 levels with a pretty so-so paragon path ex F16. I know Genasi's are strictly better past heroic, but I'm starting at level 1 hence why I picked mul, so how would I add fire damage?

I guess at level 16, if I get there, I could kill off my mul and draft up a new Cleric|Ranger Genasi Morninglord. But then I might as well just build a Mia which is probably even better.
Genasi. You're fine, radiant isn't a requirement in all builds all the time. This looks solid, and since you're starting at 1 you can adapt from there.
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 could also just pick Solar Enemy + Pelor's Boon for your nova, instead of picking Morninglord. That would even be stronger, at least in your 2 nova turns, since you could pick some better PP, power- and AP-feature-wise (like you did with PoV) + Battlecrazed weapons or Firewind Blade (if you go Radiant One/get Double Manifestation) in epic and Frozen whetstones (hard to afford every encounter in heroic, tho). A final thought would be to go with Str/Int, Radiant One, 2 x Firewind Blades and stick with your PP. All of that with Stormsoul ofc, as Zelink already said.
You could also just pick Solar Enemy + Pelor's Boon for your nova, instead of picking Morninglord. That would even be stronger, at least in your 2 nova turns, since you could pick some better PP, power- and AP-feature-wise (like you did with PoV) + Battlecrazed weapons or Firewind Blade (if you go Radiant One/get Double Manifestation) in epic and Frozen whetstones (hard to afford every encounter in heroic, tho). A final thought would be to go with Str/Int, Radiant One, 2 x Firewind Blades and stick with your PP. All of that with Stormsoul ofc, as Zelink already said.



Solar Enemy would be good for Heroic if my DM allows Pelor's Boon, thanks for pointing it out. But at Paragon, I'll probably prefer going with the Prime Shot hybrid talent for the +2 to hit/+5 damage over the Channel Divinity Class Feature.

But If I ever build direct to paragon or epic level version though, I'll make him a STR/INT Genasi/Morninglord/Radiant One dual-wielding Firewind Blades with Frozen Whetstones (CharOp has thought me well).

But you are making me think. Since I can't excel at static mods because of my non genasi-ness and non-morninglord-ness, perhaps I should refocus towards getting more hits/damage on crits and do more critfishing.
Yep, i forgot about CD locking the hybrid talent slot, so you better skip that. 
Improved Prime Shot is for ranged attacks only, btw. I thought about the Holy Blessing swap earlier, as well and if it works this way, avenger's really one of the worse classes to make a critfisher out of.
I'm just wondering what kind of OoE it lays on the target? Is it the "real" avenger one, the one granted by the MC feat or is it not even possible to gain a 2nd OoE per encounter this way?
Oh, and if you go Radiant One + Morninglord as a Ranger, i'd go for Str/Wis instead for the feat support. Damage will be the same, just make sure you have at least 1 Int mod by epic. 

Edit: After a second look, i think going for Int 2nd wont work very well for a Ranger, since you may want to have Rending Tempest, as well. So, i guess, theres no other way than Str/Wis/17 Dex, that makes sense.
Prime shot is useful for a melee ranger as well via the Prime Punisher feat.

As for Holy Blessing, I was also really wondering about that, so I made this thread in the Rule FAQ section, still waiting for more convincing arguments: community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...

Noted on the 1 int mod, it's definitively workable. I guess I have to look at some decent radiant feats and crit feats. Two-Weapon Opening would be good on a nova round with Morninglord's Expanded crit range.
I do wonder about whether Rending Tempest is worth it since that's all I'd be boosting my Dex for, I guess it is better for reflex and initiative anyway.
Ah, you're right. Prime Punisher would convert this feat, as well.

Personally, i don't like crit feats on a striker (if it's no explicit crit fisher build, of course), since it doesn't give you granted numbers and get's better, the more actions you take. And that should only be the case, if your party is a balanced group that doesn't aim for alphastriking very much. But that's only personal gusto, i guess.
I guess, Rending Tempest is just too strong not to take, as a ranger. Just make sure, that your Wis is high enough for the Prime Shot feats.

 
Ah, you're right. Prime Punisher would convert this feat, as well.

Personally, i don't like crit feats on a striker (if it's no explicit crit fisher build, of course), since it doesn't give you granted numbers and get's better, the more actions you take. And that should only be the case, if your party is a balanced group that doesn't aim for alphastriking very much. But that's only personal gusto, i guess.
I guess, Rending Tempest is just too strong not to take, as a ranger. Just make sure, that your Wis is high enough for the Prime Shot feats.

 


I'm a bit confused on what you mean, doesn't crit fishing get better the more actions you take?

But I have news, if I get the feat Divine Channeler, I can get Solar Enemy. Now, if this is worth two feats, I just want to know what's the best way to add radiant damage to my attacks for the nova round in heroic. How did you envision this going down?
May I suggest that you should fit Superior Will in there somewhere. It seems like your defenses are going to be pretty bad. Right now your Will is looking like 15+10+5+6 (item enhancement)+3+1 (Hybrid defense boost)= 40. Superior Will and Epic Will are going to take you up to 45, which is more comfortable.

EDIT: As for items, you'll want a Symbol of Victory and a Torc of Power Preservation. And also Martial Mastery if you want to make the most of your action economy. 
No, crit fishers depend on expanded crit range+bonus attacks on critting+multiple rolls. None of which is really available in Heroic. The most optimized Crit-fisher build on CharOp is Mia, and she doesn't get going with it till mid-Paragon, and gets to regain minor action attacks from critting and gets extra attacks, which is stellar. Yes, part of that comes her extra attacks, but not the statistically significant part that makes her a top-tier striker.

Rangers depend on minor, multi, and off-action attacks.

Wintertouched is worse than Cunning Stalker, since with CS you'll get CA on every attack, including the first one, and you want to isolate the target for Prime Punisher anyway.

You don't have Superior Will.

You invalidated the one benefit of DWT by taking a Feat bonus to damage, so you can just drop whatever +2 Prof weapon you were using and change to Rapiers. +1 hit > larger damage die. Not to mention LBE is so much better.
No, crit fishers depend on expanded crit range+bonus attacks on critting+multiple rolls. None of which is really available in Heroic. The most optimized Crit-fisher build on CharOp is Mia, and she doesn't get going with it till mid-Paragon, and gets to regain minor action attacks from critting and gets extra attacks, which is stellar. Yes, part of that comes her extra attacks, but not the statistically significant part that makes her a top-tier striker.

Rangers depend on minor, multi, and off-action attacks.

Wintertouched is worse than Cunning Stalker, since with CS you'll get CA on every attack, including the first one, and you want to isolate the target for Prime Punisher anyway.

You don't have Superior Will.

You invalidated the one benefit of DWT by taking a Feat bonus to damage, so you can just drop whatever +2 Prof weapon you were using and change to Rapiers. +1 hit > larger damage die. Not to mention LBE is so much better.


Yeah Mia is crazy.

Noted on Cunning Stalker.

I figured I didn't need as much Will since I have my racial which removes almost all status effects Will attacks usually cause.

I had no idea Icy Heart didn't stack with other feat bonuses to damage, I thought it was a different type of damage entirely. This kinda blows since I already got a miniature that dual wields axes, but now this is something I'll have to rethink since I know light blades are plenty strong. May also consider going heavy blade since I could qualify for mastery.
Okay, so you get stunned ('cause your Will is super low) and you spend your racial to end it. What will you do when you get stunned in round 2 ('cause your Will is super low)?