Swordmage|Shaman/Cleric Hybrid Dual role Defender/Leader

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I have been working on a Leader/Defender for LFR play and could use some advise to fine tune it. Please let me know how you would improve on this.

Highlights:
Burst 8 Aegis 2 targets
Companion causes enemies to grant CA when adjacent
Decent personal damage
Party starts with surge value THP every encounter
Can grant basic attacks At-will


Weak points I see:
Only one encounter Heal
Assault swordmage punishes but doesn't prevent
No room for Improved Defense or Superior Will yet leaving a weak fort defense as well
Ranged powers provoke in Melee

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level 16
Githzerai, Swordmage|Shaman, Wandering Swordmage
Swordmage Aegis (Hybrid): Aegis of Assault
Companion Spirit (Hybrid): Stalker Spirit (Hybrid)
Hybrid Shaman: Hybrid Shaman Fortitude
Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Heavy Blade)
Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Holy Symbol)
Hybrid Talent: Spirit Boon (Hybrid)

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 12, Con 14, Dex 11, Int 22, Wis 22, Cha 9.


STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 11, Con 13, Dex 10, Int 16, Wis 16, Cha 8.



AC: 31 Fort: 24 Reflex: 28 Will: 28
HP: 102 Surges: 9 Surge Value: 25


TRAINED SKILLS
Nature +19, Perception +19, Arcana +19, Heal +19


UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +11, Bluff +8, Diplomacy +8, Dungeoneering +14, Endurance +10, History +20, Insight +14, Intimidate +8, Religion +14, Stealth +9, Streetwise +8, Thievery +9, Athletics +9


FEATS
Level 1: Intelligent Blademaster
Level 2: Githzerai Blade Master
Level 4: Divine Healer (Battle Cleric's lore)
Level 6: Versatile Expertise
Level 8: Tome Expertise
Level 10: Battlewise
Level 11: Double Aegis
Level 12: Nimble Spirit
Level 14: Hybrid Talent
Level 16: Acolyte Power


POWERS
Hybrid at-will 1: Spirit Infusion
Hybrid at-will 1: Greenflame Blade
Hybrid encounter 1: Lightning Clash
Hybrid daily 1: Spirit of the Healing Flood
Hybrid utility 2: Spirit's Sacrifice
Hybrid encounter 3: Twin Panthers
Hybrid utility 6: Armathor's Step
Hybrid encounter 7: Spirit of Weakness
Hybrid daily 9: Mountain's Might
Hybrid utility 10: Call Forth the Spirit World
Hybrid encounter 13: Seed of Fire (replaces Spirit of Weakness)
Hybrid daily 15: Reaper's Challenge (replaces Mountain's Might)
Hybrid utility 16: Fate Weaver's Shield (retrained to Cloak of Courage at Acolyte Power)


ITEMS
Drowmesh of Dark Deeds +3, Cloak of Translocation +3, Iron Armbands of Power (paragon tier), Firewind Blade Fullblade +3, Symbol of Victory +2



Deva epic version
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Eve, level 30
Deva, Swordmage|Shaman, Wandering Swordmage, Soul of the World
Swordmage Aegis (Hybrid): Aegis of Assault
Companion Spirit (Hybrid): Elemental Spirit (Hybrid)
Hybrid Shaman: Hybrid Shaman Fortitude
Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Heavy Blade)
Versatile Expertise: Versatile Expertise (Holy Symbol)
Hybrid Talent: Spirit's Power
Knowledge of Ancient Lives: Knowledge of Ancient Lives (Wizard)
Past Spirit: Past Spirit (Genasi)
Past Spirit: Past Spirit (Githzerai)
Extra Manifestation: Firesoul
Firepulse: Firepulse Constitution
Background: Auspicious Birth (Auspicious Birth Benefit)


FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 13, Con 15, Dex 12, Int 28, Wis 28, Cha 10.


STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 11, Con 13, Dex 10, Int 16, Wis 16, Cha 8.



AC: 48 Fort: 43 Reflex: 44 Will: 44
HP: 186 Surges: 9 Surge Value: 46


TRAINED SKILLS
Nature +29, Perception +29, Arcana +29, Heal +29, Religion +31


UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +16, Bluff +15, Diplomacy +15, Dungeoneering +24, Endurance +17, History +35, Insight +24, Intimidate +15, Stealth +16, Streetwise +15, Thievery +16, Athletics +16


FEATS
Level 1: Intelligent Blademaster
Level 2: Weapon Proficiency (Fullblade) (retrained to Githzerai Blade Master at Level 26)
Level 4: Divine Healer
Level 6: Versatile Expertise
Level 8: Tome Expertise
Level 10: Battle Intuition
Level 11: Double Aegis (retrained to Total Aegis at Level 23)
Level 12: Improved Defenses
Level 14: Hybrid Talent
Level 16: Icy Heart (retrained to Double Manifestation at Level 22)
Level 18: Acolyte Power
Level 20: Toughness (retrained to Rapid Aegis Reaction at Level 21)
Level 21: Shocking Flame
Level 22: Extra Manifestation
Level 24: Tempered Iron Mind
Level 26: Marked With Iron
Level 28: Adamantine Mind
Level 30: Epic Fortitude


POWERS
Hybrid at-will 1: Greenflame Blade
Hybrid at-will 1: Spirit Infusion
Past Spirit (Genasi): Promise of Storm
Hybrid encounter 1: Lightning Clash
Hybrid daily 1: Spirit of the Healing Flood
Hybrid utility 2: Spirit's Sacrifice
Hybrid encounter 3: Twin Panthers
Hybrid daily 5: Swordmage Shielding Fire
Hybrid utility 6: Armathor's Step
Hybrid encounter 7: Spirit of Weakness
Hybrid daily 9: Mountain's Might
Hybrid utility 10: Call Forth the Spirit World
Hybrid encounter 13: Seed of Fire (replaces Spirit of Weakness)
Hybrid daily 15: Reaper's Challenge (replaces Mountain's Might)
Hybrid utility 16: Fate Weaver's Shield (retrained to Cloak of Courage at Acolyte Power)
Hybrid encounter 17: Boar's Toss (replaces Twin Panthers)
Hybrid daily 19: Tree Father's Ward (retrained to Mirage Arcana at Level 25) (replaces Swordmage Shielding Fire)
Hybrid utility 22: Borrowed Confidence
Hybrid encounter 23: Freezing Swordburst (retrained to Chain Lightning at Level 24) (replaces Lightning Clash)
Hybrid daily 25: Prismatic Spray (replaces Spirit of the Healing Flood)
Hybrid encounter 27: Steal Time (replaces Boar's Toss)
Hybrid daily 29: Devastating Whirlwind (replaces Reaper's Challenge)


ITEMS
Symbol of Victory +2, Elven Chain Shirt (paragon tier), Belt of the Witch King (paragon tier), Backlash Tattoo (heroic tier), Firewind Blade Fullblade +6, Iron Armbands of Power (epic tier), Cloak of Translocation +6, Foe Caller Gauntlets (epic tier), Starleather Armor of Dark Deeds +6, Circlet of Arkhosia (epic tier), Ring of Free Time (epic tier), Zephyr Boots (epic tier), Foe Binder Ring (paragon tier), Siberys Shard of the Mage (epic tier), Lens of Descernment (heroic tier)

 

 

Why do you wear Armor of Dark Deeds (Leather/Hide only) when you don't have Warding and MCed for BCL? 

If you want to make your Catch-22 better, you can consider taking Spirit's Power as your HT for the Spirit's OA. Then this happens: 
- During your turn, you mark two enemies, conjure your SC next to one of them (or both!), and attack a third enemy (which is as far away as possible).
- When it's the marked enemy's turn, it can't move to you or an ally without eating an OA from your SC. If you're out of range of the enemy's attacks, it can attack an ally or your SC and take another attack from your mark punishment.

EDIT: is fire damage part of your character concept? If not, I'd consider replacing it with cold. Four Corners Attack, Twin Panthers and Lightning Clash don't work with Firewind Blade, and those are potentially your most damaging attacks. If you just get a Frost weapon, Gloves of Ice and a Siberys Shard of Merciless Cold, your damage on every hit increases by 5. Find room for Icy Heart and Lasting Frost, and you approach striker damage. 

Regarding your feat starvation, I'm not terribly impressed by Tome Expertise. As a Swordmage you should be taking Borrowed Confidence at 16, especially when you have this many multiattacks, so Acolyte Power can go too. That frees up two feats that you can use for either offensive or defensive feats.

Anyway, the build looks more like a striker/defender that has some leader traits (can grant attacks and has a heal). If you think of it like that, it should become more clear what choices you should make. 
Do you mean World Speaker? I don't see how the Elemental Spirit's OA is going to help you be a defender more than Warding + Intelligent Blademaster would.
Why do you wear Armor of Dark Deeds (Leather/Hide only) when you don't have Warding and MCed for BCL? 
Scale armor is 1 more AC and I prefer the concealment which increases my NADs and will add in a mithral shirt to make up the ac at some point.

If you want to make your Catch-22 better, you can consider taking Spirit's Power as your HT for the Spirit's OA. Then this happens: 
- During your turn, you mark two enemies, conjure your SC next to one of them (or both!), and attack a third enemy (which is as far away as possible).
- When it's the marked enemy's turn, it can't move to you or an ally without eating an OA from your SC. If you're out of range of the enemy's attacks, it can attack an ally or your SC and take another attack from your mark punishment.
Yeah I wasn't sure how much the int vs bloodies creatures was worth compared to this option. You may be right.


EDIT: is fire damage part of your character concept? If not, I'd consider replacing it with cold. Four Corners Attack, Twin Panthers and Lightning Clash don't work with Firewind Blade, and those are potentially your most damaging attacks. If you just get a Frost weapon, Gloves of Ice and a Siberys Shard of Merciless Cold, your damage on every hit increases by 5. Find room for Icy Heart and Lasting Frost, and you approach striker damage. 
I was thinking ahead a little bit when I was going for Shocking flame at Epic. Cold may be a good place holder for leveling.

Regarding your feat starvation, I'm not terribly impressed by Tome Expertise. As a Swordmage you should be taking Borrowed Confidence at 16, especially when you have this many multiattacks, so Acolyte Power can go too. That frees up two feats that you can use for either offensive or defensive feats.
I would prefer borrowed confidence but I needed something to make my party a little more resilient. 

Anyway, the build looks more like a striker/defender that has some leader traits (can grant attacks and has a heal). If you think of it like that, it should become more clear what choices you should make.
I am trying to meet the role of leader in all that as well and there lies the dilemma.
 


erachima:
You mentioning a Shaman Swordmage a while back and it got me thinking that this would be an interesting build. What power selections did you go with? I hadn't considered ED yet as I don't play much epic so that didn't influence my race choice, I just saw good options with the Gith and Blade Master drew me in for the added damage to implement attacks and saved feat. The epic destiny Soul of the World is too good to pass up so I may go Deva after all. That would make the feats hurt more however.

Also why Elemental spirit? I see no riders that seem worthwhile on Elemental powers and Panther Shaman's attack targets same defense and does slightly more damage. Nevermind, I was thinking that the CA would apply from the Spirit but once it leaves it will be gone so yeah, a better choice for the party.
Then you aren't thinking. The Spirit OA makes the Spirit actually hurt to walk past.


Right, but you aren't (you can't Booming Blade everything), and you also have 3 lower AC. Yes, both can be fixed eventually, but that's a feat down to add +damagemaybe; that's not a defender choice, that's a mwao choice.
You are missing the ac fix. This build has a 2shield bonus to ac. Swordmage warding is only 1
I am trying to meet the role of leader in all that as well and there lies the dilemma.


Of the three roles you fill, I feel leader fits this character the worst. I'd look into your encounter and utility powers first and see if you can't change something there to make you a bit more leader-y. This will reduce your striker traits a bit, bit not that much if you keep one Swordmage multiattack (you already have Four Corners Attack, after all).
When you have Battle Cleric's Lore and are in Paragon, adding Swordmage Warding to that is just a waste of a perfectly good feat.



Maybe he's not aware that a Fullblade is a two-handed weapon...
I know you mentioned that this could be a bit of controller, what do you consider to be controller assets? It has multi targeting and can distract with the mark but lacks hard control with the exception of the DEAD status effect. Are there powers you suggest for that purpose?

I havent chosen a theme yet, I was considering Sohei as a good option or maybe Elemental initiate for Ki focus possibilities. 

I am working on two versions of this now. I feel the Gith is stronger through Paragon and the Deva pulls ahead in Epic so i'll build both up for amusement. 
Ah, Scary. I hadn't considered that. The daily options felt really weak and this... Eww!
Without investing in save penalties I am not sure the wizard dailies are where it's at at the cost of a feat and breaking item limits. It might be a good class to swap powers with Soul of the World but until epic I don't think I can fit in the tomes into the item budget and spare the feat.

Posted the Deva version at level 30. Lots of room for improvement I am sureas I have limited epic experience.

Fun trick with Gitzerai racial.

Round 1:
Minor: Borrowed Confidence
Minor: Promise of Storm
Free: Monster Knowledge/Use Vulnerability
Action point: teleport 5 giving the cloak of translocation bonus and Stun one target with Steal time
Minor: Mark all targets within 11 now that I have positioned myself (Ring of Free Time)
Standard: Chain lightning activating concealment of armor of dark deeds from attacking the stunned target
Standard: Throw down any power that seems situationally appropriate or use Chain lightning if Steal Time missed with double rolls and Memory
Free action: When attacked Iron mind for +4 to defenses and - 11 mark penalty even if I am included in the burst

Final defenses AC: 56, Fort 49, Ref 52, Will 52 and +4 to all vs my monster knowledge target if I make Hard DC +4

Hopefully I got this all correct. Seems good on paper but I have never played above level 24.

Elemental initiate for Ki focus possibilities. 


What do you gain from that? You can already use your sword as an implement, after all.
You've got three minor and two standard actions in your AP round; I think that is one too many.
You've got three minor and two standard actions in your AP round; I think that is one too many.


Minor: Mark all targets within 11 now that I have positioned myself (ring of borrowed time)


I assume he means Ring of Free Time, since there no item called Ring of Borrowed Time. 

Anyway, that's a L29 rare item, so I'd hesitate to include it in the write-up of an AP-round.
1 Rare item in a build is not unreasonable, and yes I meant Free Time. 

Misha: I have up to 3 standard actions on the AP round because on of the Standards grants me another Standard 
I hate item rarity.  If it's in the game, it should be usable.  I don't understand how they came to the conclusion that introducing item tiers into the game would be a good thing.
Aside from unique/artifact items?
Yes, aside from artifacts, but arguably, WotC wanted them used occasionally as well or they wouldn't be printed.

I bet you're right Erachima.  Laziness seems a likely culprit.
They wanted to put in more interesting items but have the out of saying no one will actually use that so it's not broken. It's a bad design philosophy when you create things with the intent of no one using them. Regardless the item selection of this build is all items I can guarantee through normal LFR play with it's restriction with the one exception of the Ring of Free Time. I have not played the later Epic modules and I would like to think there will be an opportunity for players to acquire one rare item that supports their build.

Failing that I have a floating standard action on my nova round that could easily be used for a minor action although I feel pain in my soul when doing so. The nova I posted was more of an example of play rather than a script on how to play the build.

 
Ring of free time isn't "one rare item to support their build," its one rare item to trump every other item. Ever. I doubt it will be available.
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!
Before I wrap this up I just wanted to be sure my power choices were legal. As I read it the epic destiny overwrites the hybrid rules for choosing powers as long as they are from the class I chose. Is this right?
Before I wrap this up I just wanted to be sure my power choices were legal. As I read it the epic destiny overwrites the hybrid rules for choosing powers as long as they are from the class I chose. Is this right?


Read it again, nothing in the ED (or any other power swapping rules) is specific to the point of "a Hybrid can take these powers instead of class powers even if it would mean not having a power in that category from one of your classes."

The only ways "around" the Hybrid restriction are having an additional class power in that category, ex. there are both attack and utility channel divinities obtainable with Hybrid Talent. Reserve Maneuver to get rid of your e11 for a class power should also work since you "know" that power.
RM sadly doesn't work that way. You are using one power in place of another, not changing your powers.
Before I wrap this up I just wanted to be sure my power choices were legal. As I read it the epic destiny overwrites the hybrid rules for choosing powers as long as they are from the class I chose. Is this right?


Read it again, nothing in the ED (or any other power swapping rules) is specific to the point of "a Hybrid can take these powers instead of class powers even if it would mean not having a power in that category from one of your classes."

The only ways "around" the Hybrid restriction are having an additional class power in that category, ex. there are both attack and utility channel divinities obtainable with Hybrid Talent. Reserve Maneuver to get rid of your e11 for a class power should also work since you "know" that power.



Knowledge of Ancient Lives (24th level): Choose any class. You can choose a power from this class or your class any time you gain a new class power or retrain a class power.

As 4e is exception based I believe this does in fact do the opposite of what you say. A Feat, Paragon Path, or ED alters the way a character functions in relation to the basic rules. Why would this not function? Until this effect is in place the Hybrid restriction is in place but upon reaching this ability it replaces how powers are gained and retrained.
The only ways "around" the Hybrid restriction are having an additional class power in that category, ex. there are both attack and utility channel divinities obtainable with Hybrid Talent. Reserve Maneuver to get rid of your e11 for a class power should also work since you "know" that power.



Knowledge of Ancient Lives (24th level): Choose any class. You can choose a power from this class or your class any time you gain a new class power or retrain a class power.

As 4e is exception based I believe this does in fact do the opposite of what you say. A Feat, Paragon Path, or ED alters the way a character functions in relation to the basic rules. Why would this not function? Until this effect is in place the Hybrid restriction is in place but upon reaching this ability it replaces how powers are gained and retrained.



It doesn't specifically state that it overcomes the limitation. Can you do both at once? i.e. pick a power from another class and be limited to still need 1 of each power? Seems like it.

One of those two possible RAW situations.
The hybrid restriction of power selection is a basic rule that explains power selection. When a rule or feature modifies power selection wouldn't it take presidence? Generally generic rules are overwritten by specific ones.

For example: Normal Power selection > Hybrid Powers Rule > Soul of the World.

Or do you think it works as Normal Power Selection > Soul of the World > Hybrid Power Rule?

I am not intending to be argumentative but this is really making me think that Epic Destinies/Paragon Paths/Feats/ect. Trump Base rules when they contradict them as many things just wouldn't work otherwise.
Specific only trumphs general when both can't be valid, which in this case they can.
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Specific only trumphs general when both can't be valid, which in this case they can.


Basically, and if you look at practically every other power-swap ability that exist outside the feats, they all have the same type of wording as SotW, and even the feats say "you can swap one x you know for one x of the same level or lower from the class you mc'd." You (Veleria) are essentially making the same argument that would allow Polearm Gamble to trigger off of Forced Movement, or allow SoTW to let you pick higher level powers from other classes when you leveled
"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.
I'd also argue that both the hybrid power selection rules and the soul of the world power selection rules are specific exceptions to the general power selection rules.

The "specific > general" rule has no mention of any "more specific" rules beating specific ones, so they don't. And, as mentioned, the rules don't actually conflict, they just both exist at the same time.
Specific only trumphs general when both can't be valid, which in this case they can.



This makes the most sense to me, I just wanted to understand it better, thanks. I will rework the dalies. Does this prevent the level 30 ability from swapping since it is a temporary swap?
You (Veleria) are essentially making the same argument that would allow Polearm Gamble to trigger off of Forced Movement



Worse, actually, since Polearm Gamble and the new Opportunity Attack rules AREN'T compatible.


Well, I like to pretend that rules that don't work at all actually do, it makes me not turn into a 3.5 grog.
"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 this build is for LFR, it's worth mentioned that getting Battle Cleric's Lore through the MC feat is questionable and, likely, not LFR legal.

Also, you won't be *starting* this character at level 16.  At least, not legally. 
If this build is for LFR, it's worth mentioned that getting Battle Cleric's Lore through the MC feat is questionable and, likely, not LFR legal.

Also, you won't be *starting* this character at level 16.  At least, not legally. 



1: Battle Cleric's Lore works just fine. I have played hundreds of LFR Tables and not one DM has ever disagreed with it. I am not just referring to them not noticing. I make a point of letting my DMs know my character shenanigans so they can respond accordingly. Most think it is a good use of a feat which otherwise doesn't function.

2: I have no intention of starting at 16. The whole purpose of posting a build at higher levels is to make sure it is sound and does what you expect so when you spend the time getting there you are not dissapointed. 
If this build is for LFR, it's worth mentioned that getting Battle Cleric's Lore through the MC feat is questionable and, likely, not LFR legal.

Also, you won't be *starting* this character at level 16.  At least, not legally. 



1: Battle Cleric's Lore works just fine. I have played hundreds of LFR Tables and not one DM has ever disagreed with it. I am not just referring to them not noticing. I make a point of letting my DMs know my character shenanigans so they can respond accordingly. Most think it is a good use of a feat which otherwise doesn't function.

2: I have no intention of starting at 16. The whole purpose of posting a build at higher levels is to make sure it is sound and does what you expect so when you spend the time getting there you are not dissapointed. 



But you want to make sure it's playable *before* 16 so it can survive and be helpful to the party.
Do you feel it is not playable at earlier levels? I need to order the feats on the build a bit, I just have not had the free time to do so. What issues do you see pre 16 I would really like to know.
If this build is for LFR, it's worth mentioned that getting Battle Cleric's Lore through the MC feat is questionable and, likely, not LFR legal.

Also, you won't be *starting* this character at level 16.  At least, not legally. 



1: Battle Cleric's Lore works just fine. I have played hundreds of LFR Tables and not one DM has ever disagreed with it. I am not just referring to them not noticing. I make a point of letting my DMs know my character shenanigans so they can respond accordingly. Most think it is a good use of a feat which otherwise doesn't function.



Hmm...starting a rules argument at a table at a convention where the rule doesn't appear at first glance to break anything and I, the DM, haven't heard about it before? And at a table of likely random players. And I'm going to have to arbitrate what happens, because your build obviously wouldn't have taken the feat if you weren't going to get any benefit out of it? And what if you call over the senior DM, because as DM, I have no idea if you're that kind of player or not.

Does that sound like a way to start 4 hours off on the right foot?

In general, it is a bad idea to assume that your DM wants to let it in simply because they do let it in. Even if they point it out as a good use of a feat - they're not there to sit down and think about the consequences of a rule, they're there to get the table(including themselves) to have a good time.
If this build is for LFR, it's worth mentioned that getting Battle Cleric's Lore through the MC feat is questionable and, likely, not LFR legal.

Also, you won't be *starting* this character at level 16.  At least, not legally. 



1: Battle Cleric's Lore works just fine. I have played hundreds of LFR Tables and not one DM has ever disagreed with it. I am not just referring to them not noticing. I make a point of letting my DMs know my character shenanigans so they can respond accordingly. Most think it is a good use of a feat which otherwise doesn't function.



Hmm...starting a rules argument at a table at a convention where the rule doesn't appear at first glance to break anything and I, the DM, haven't heard about it before? And at a table of likely random players. And I'm going to have to arbitrate what happens, because your build obviously wouldn't have taken the feat if you weren't going to get any benefit out of it? And what if you call over the senior DM, because as DM, I have no idea if you're that kind of player or not.

Does that sound like a way to start 4 hours off on the right foot?

In general, it is a bad idea to assume that your DM wants to let it in simply because they do let it in. Even if they point it out as a good use of a feat - they're not there to sit down and think about the consequences of a rule, they're there to get the table(including themselves) to have a good time.



In the region I play I know this is not an issue. In your neck of the woods it may be up for debate but on this coast it has never been an issue. To be fair I rarely use it myself except in theory craft because I don't like taking Multiclass unless I plan to make it part of the character. In this case it is vital at 16.

Besides at Paragon I really don't care that much. At level 16 I will get just as much from a daily heal as I will from a 10% hit chance on one defense. If a DM ever dislikes a choice I either leave the table if I think they are just being an ass or if its just a minor rules disagreement like this I ask to change the feat to something they will alow for the game and then play without it. AC is uncommonly targeted by late paragon and before that I could just take the hits and move on with my life.