Help with Ranger|Cleric Hybrid!

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Hi!  I'm new to DnD and my playgroup is starting a campaign made by our DM which ought to take us from lv1 to lv15.  We currently have:

Mul Battlerager Fighter
Minotaur Barbarian (idk what kind)
Bard
Hengeyokai Rogue

Our Bard has a few healing abilities but not many, and in the combat simulations we've been doing with lv1-5 characters pitted against level-appropriate encounters, I've found that my character, which I intended to be a Striker, needs to have some healing capacity, at least for the purpose of self-sufficiency.  With that in mind I put together the following build.  All materials are fair game, except Backgrounds and Themes, which our group decided to avoid because they give characters free bonuses with few, if any, drawbacks.

I'd love any criticism on suboptimal choices which I have likely made here, so I can optimize this character with the following goals, prioritized in order:
1) Primarily Striker - Solid DPR with Encounter/Daily Nova capability
2) Self-sufficient in terms of managing own HP
3) Able to provide some party utility or healing

THE CHARACTER
Munch, level 6
Longtooth Shifter, Ranger|Cleric
Hybrid Cleric Option: Battle Cleric's Lore
Hybrid Ranger Option: Hybrid Ranger Reflex
Hybrid Talent: Ranger Fighting Style
Ranger Fighting Style: Two-Blade Fighting Style (Hybrid)

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
STR 19, CON 13, DEX 14, INT 10, WIS 17, CHA 8

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
STR 18, CON 13, DEX 14, INT 10, WIS 16, CHA 8

DEFENSES AND HP
AC: 23 Fort: 18 Ref: 17 Will: 18
HP: 55 Surges: 7 Surge Value: 13

TRAINED SKILLS
Athletics +14, Dungeoneering +11, Heal +11, Perception +11

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +5, Arcana +3, Bluff +2, Diplomacy +2, Endurance +7, History +3, Insight +6, Nature +6, Religion +3, Stealth +5, Streetwise +2, Thievery +5

POWERS
Basic Attack: Melee Basic Attack
Basic Attack: Ranged Basic Attack
Longtooth Shifter Racial Power: Longtooth Shifting
Hybrid Cleric Utility: Healing Word
Hybrid At-Will (Ranger) 1: Twin Strike
Hybrid At-Will (Cleric) 1: Righteous Brand
Cleric Attack 1: Mighty Hew
Cleric Attack 1: Moment of Glory
Ranger Utility 2: Invigorating Stride
Ranger Attack 3: Ruffling Sting
Ranger Attack 5: Frenzied Skirmish
Cleric Utility 6: Cure Serious Wounds

FEATS
Level 1: Hybrid Talent
Level 2: Weapon Proficiency (Bastard Sword)
Level 4: Heavy Blade Expertise
Level 6: Weapon Focus (Bastard Sword)

ITEMS
Quick Bastard Sword +1   x2
Dwarven Scale Armor +1  x1
Baffling Cape +1               x1
Rapier/light blade expertise is a better choice than bastard sword heavy blade expertise.

You have better choices than cure serious wounds for your level 6 utility.  Stream of life, spirit of healing, or bastion of health are all better if you want more healing and none of those are standard actions.
Agreed on both counts with the above.
"Non nobis Domine Sed nomini tuo da gloriam" "I wish for death not because I want to die, but because I seek the war eternal"

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/19.jpg)

before i give my 2 cents, are you sure this is what you want to play? you already have striking aplenty and have no controlling, this could make the party pretty miserable.

Also, is your rogue ranged? If not, you are also missing in the ranged dept. (even if the bard doesn't cover it)--and wis/dex cleric|ranger is the more traditional route. It seems like your party has pretty boss MBA's (you could even encourage your rogue to take melee training dex) and then go for an enabling leader (warlord, shaman, whatever) and you would get striker like damage just through enabling. You could do warlord|ranger if you wanted to keep the build, or you could pretty easily bring in controlling with one of these enabling leaders.

To work with your current build I would recommend the following:

1) Ditch the Quick Bastard swords, they're not that powerful. I would recommend battle crazed and do some bloody spamming, which can work w/ shifters anyway.
2) At least think about not treating WIS as a coprimary and getting str based powers... or get a ki focus via the theme elemental initiate. 
Rapier/light blade expertise is a better choice than bastard sword heavy blade expertise.

You have better choices than cure serious wounds for your level 6 utility.  Stream of life, spirit of healing, or bastion of health are all better if you want more healing and none of those are standard actions.



Agreed on both counts with the above.



Thanks for the advice.  Since Rapiers are now a martial weapon I could likely do that, since it saves me a feat as far as grabbing the proficiency.  What low-level feat would you recommend here?  And how would that affect my ability score distribution?

before i give my 2 cents, are you sure this is what you want to play? you already have striking aplenty and have no controlling, this could make the party pretty miserable.

Also, is your rogue ranged? If not, you are also missing in the ranged dept. (even if the bard doesn't cover it)--and wis/dex cleric|ranger is the more traditional route. It seems like your party has pretty boss MBA's (you could even encourage your rogue to take melee training dex) and then go for an enabling leader (warlord, shaman, whatever) and you would get striker like damage just through enabling. You could do warlord|ranger if you wanted to keep the build, or you could pretty easily bring in controlling with one of these enabling leaders.

To work with your current build I would recommend the following:

1) Ditch the Quick Bastard swords, they're not that powerful. I would recommend battle crazed and do some bloody spamming, which can work w/ shifters anyway.
2) At least think about not treating WIS as a coprimary and getting str based powers... or get a ki focus via the theme elemental initiate. 



Maybe it's childish of me, but I just love the idea of rolling a bazillion dice and mowing through the monstrous hordes before me.  Our party could probably use a controller, but I think we're getting a Psion as well, though I can't be certain. 

Also, our Bard, who is indeed ranged, is thinking of making an Artificer instead.  Would that change much?

As for ability scores...I'm not sure I follow.  Are you saying that I should drop my points in Wisdom and invest more in Str?
you can recommend that the artificer use a superior crossbow and picks up the artificer feat to allow all implement and weapon attacks to be used via the crossbow (which is the recommended thing to do for all artificers anyway).  This would give you a ranged leader.

As for your ability scores, he's saying that you should pick a main primary stat (STR or WIS) and then lower the other.  Obviously the only real choice here to make this work is STR.  You probably want your WIS at about 14 or so.  You should change your powers accordingly.  The only exception to this would be Moment of Glory because it's amazingly good either way.  Keep that.

Or of course you can keep your current set up of 18/18 and boost WIS and STR at every bump.  It'll open up more powers on the cleric side and make your Ranger secondary shine.
"Non nobis Domine Sed nomini tuo da gloriam" "I wish for death not because I want to die, but because I seek the war eternal"

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/19.jpg)

For new feats I would look at Two Weapon Fighting, which leads into Two Weapon Defense
I think you're wasting a feat with your Hybrid Talent. Weapon damage dice become less important as time goes on, unless you're throwing hundreds of them like Time Bomb. I'd say that a rapier and short sword would do fine for you.

Feats: Light Blade Expertise, Nimble Blade (DEX 15 is required), Cunning Stalker and Superior Will (WIS or CHA 15 required).

Race: Shifter has the right stat boosts, but a good alternative is Elf. STR 18, DEX 15 and WIS 15 at 1st level. Bump STR and WIS as you level up. And Elves just have more feat support than Shifters. But play what you want to play.

It's a big investment, but Prime Shot through Hybrid Talent would do a lot for your accuracy later in the game. Something to consider. 
If You are looking to roll multiple dice, consider spending a feat on Spiked Chain proficiency. That gives you a double sided (light blade) weapon with +3 proficiency, 2d4 damage (in either hand) and reach. An additional benefit is that a single weapon enchant would apply to both off-hand and main hand attacks. This weapon eliminate the needs for your current use of the hybrid talent.

There is a ranger specific feat that alls you to slow an enemy by sacrificing your quary damage. Combo that with the feat "world serpents grasp" and your can knock something onto its face at least 1x/turn.
oh yeah there's lots of options.  If you go with the spiked chain training then cleric buffing of weapons becomes a lot more interesting since you only have one weapon to buff and it would apply to both main hand and off hand attacks.  Weapon of the Gods comes to mind to do just that.  I have a build that I've used for a Ranger|Cleric that uses the Spiked chain, Half-Orc, with STR/DEX as co-primaries.  I also grab the style feat to make twin strike deal my dex modifier in extra damage if I hit with both attacks using a light blade.  Basically the premise is that, even though you're not using large dice to attack, your damage bonuses are high enough that it doesn't matter.  Mix that with the fact that you have plenty of multi attack powers or minor action attacks and you get a good striker in scale armor with reach who multi attacks every turn and can self heal + buff.  However that's just a variation of the build concept.

This build here can also do very well, the chasis is strong from the get go.  You just have to pick what flavor you want.  Personally from your build I'd say keep the hybrid talent as is in heroic and think about maybe retraining it once you get to paragon into prime shot to then take the prime shot feats.  Before then, hybrid talent would be better served elsewhere (like ranger weapon talent to dual wield rapiers).
"Non nobis Domine Sed nomini tuo da gloriam" "I wish for death not because I want to die, but because I seek the war eternal"

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/19.jpg)

I love this forum!  So many replies so fast.  I appreciate all the help, so thanks again!

I believe we'll be getting an Invoker rather than a Psion, which I mistakenly said in an earlier post.

Would a Spiked Chain satisfy the requirements for some abilities which say "you must be wielding two melee weapons," like Twin Strike?  Spiked Chains look a lot more flavorful to an Inquisitor-type character than either Bastard Swords or Rapiers, imo, so I'm pretty sure I'll switch from Bastard Swords to Spiked Chain if the latter works with Twin Strike.

Also, as an overarching question:

How much less damage do Archery Rangers deal when compared to TWF Rangers? I definitely want to Strike and perhaps Lead a little, ideally from melee range, but if being ranged will provide a huge advantage to our party compared to the alternative I may switch it up.  I just identify more with melee rather than ranged characters, so that's my preference.  On the other hand I can certainly see the tactical weakness of our party being primarily melee, and in a practice encounter on difficult terrain last night we had a very difficult time dealing with distant foes with our Bard being the only source of ranged damage.


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yes, if you take the multi class feat Spiked Chain Training, you can use the spiked chain with twin-strike and any other power that requires to have a weapon in each hand, or an off-hand hand and main hand weapon.

For the comparison between Melee Ranger and Archer Ranger it comes down to the number of attacks that you can generate per turn.  Both get Twin-Strike and many other standard action powers that make multiple attacks however there's key differences: 

Minor Action attacks being one of the more important.  Archer Rangers simply don't get any if you compare to the amount the melee Ranger does.  Starting at level 1 a melee ranger has a minor action encounter power.  There's another at level 3, then another at level 13.  So by 13 you can effectively have 3 minor action attacks if you decide that's what you want.  An archer ranger on the other hand has no such luxury and has to wait until mid or late Paragon I believe before they get one, multi class rogue and then use another feat to grab a minor action ranged attack which then (depending on your weapon of choice, like a bow for example) would require another feat to grab treetop sniper.  Another source would be from items like the weapon of speed I believe which has an encounter power minor action ranged basic attack, however it's a rare item which means it's not something you should count on getting unless your DM likes you :p

The second biggest difference is that the multi attack powers that Melee Rangers get are so much better than the ones that archer rangers get.  In low to mid heroic, powers usually have both the melee and ranged mechanics.  However as you go, they become more and more rare and at the same time, they become more and more powerful.  For example, look at the Daily power Blade Cascade in comparisson to anything that the archer ranger gets from level 1-15 in terms of pure damage potential and absolutely nothing compares.

Thirdly, the Ranger feature prime shot doesn't do much at first, however once Paragon comes around it gets a slew of new feats to play with.  Notably a straight up +5 to damage rolls for example, along with a higher bonus to hit.  It's so good in fact that Archer Rangers are known to get into or near melee range just to get the bonuses associated to it in Paragon or even in heroic just for the +1 to hit.
"Non nobis Domine Sed nomini tuo da gloriam" "I wish for death not because I want to die, but because I seek the war eternal"

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/19.jpg)



Would a Spiked Chain satisfy the requirements for some abilities which say "you must be wielding two melee weapons," like Twin Strike?  Spiked Chains look a lot more flavorful to an Inquisitor-type character than either Bastard Swords or Rapiers, imo, so I'm pretty sure I'll switch from Bastard Swords to Spiked Chain if the latter works with Twin Strike.

Also, as an overarching question:

How much less damage do Archery Rangers deal when compared to TWF Rangers? I definitely want to Strike and perhaps Lead a little, ideally from melee range, but if being ranged will provide a huge advantage to our party compared to the alternative I may switch it up.  I just identify more with melee rather than ranged characters, so that's my preference.  On the other hand I can certainly see the tactical weakness of our party being primarily melee, and in a practice encounter on difficult terrain last night we had a very difficult time dealing with distant foes with our Bard being the only source of ranged damage.


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Yes, The Spiked chain would count that one weapon as both your main hand and off hand simutaneously (visualize holding the center of a long chain in both hands and swinging the ends to make attacks)  The one major downside to using spiked chain training is that it prevents you from taking a multiclass feat.


Damage would be farily eqaul between ranged and melee rangers with some of the major differences being: The archer can stay far away from enemies and still hit them. The melee character has an easier time getting combat advantage (and minor action attacks), Bard powers grant far more melee basic attacks than they do ranged basic attacks.

Edit: The person above me has a much better understanding the the damage differences.
for pure damage, melee are better, though what ranged people lack in minor attacks, they can make up for *a little* with minor attacks... ranged also pick up triple attack encounters sooner, which is greater than or equal to twin strike+minor

Eventually you are going to want to use your hybrid talent feat to get prime shot (and then a feat for prime punisher and called shot) for +1 to hit/+5 dmg... this is where i like ranged better 
oh here's an image of what a spiked chain Ranger|Cleric might look like:



"Non nobis Domine Sed nomini tuo da gloriam" "I wish for death not because I want to die, but because I seek the war eternal"

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/19.jpg)

Spiked Chain Training is painful. Sure, you get reach, but Battle Awareness is a free MBA assuming you move next to one of the Fighter's marks and a free skill on top of it. Sneak of Shadows is +2/3/5d6 of damage once an encounter.

I'd definitely pick up Cunning Stalker/Light Blade Expertise/Rapier/Shortsword will do a good job with your damage. 
yeah, in my mind the primary problem with MCing Spiked chain is losing out on battle awareness, which will also open up the PP you want: shock trooper (or kensai if you want to go DPR (+1 to hit/+4 dmg) over schock trooper's Nova (one of the best E11s in the game). I don't know what PP you would put on the current build. Reach is nice, but every time i put together a build like this, i always end up with 2 shortswords, battle awareness and shocktrooper or kensai. It's a lot of fun (at least the warlord version was).

Of course we are getting further and further away from your design here as the shock trooper will want 18str/18dex/13wis half orc or thrikreen. The kensai build can stay str. focused (which, if you haven't dropped WIS already, you should, focusing on STR cleric powers) 
For new feats I would look at Two Weapon Fighting, which leads into Two Weapon Defense

Why would you ever take TWD on this build? It gives +1 Reflex. You already have a Shield Bonus to AC from BCL.
wis/dex cleric|ranger is the more traditional route.

What? Cleric|Ranger is only mentioned in these forums for the melee STR build. Anything you'd want to do with a ranged DEX/WIS build could be done better with another class.
Here are the feats I'm looking at, assuming I go Rapier:

Battle Awareness
Light Blade Expertise
Nimble Blade
Weapon Focus (Light Blades)
Two-Weapon Fighting
Deft Blade
Cunning Stalker
Two-Weapon Fighting
Improved Defenses
Hobbling Strike
World Serpent's Grasp

The alternative, with a Spiked Chain, would involve replacing Battle Awareness with Spiked Chain Training.

Could I incorporate "Radiantcheese" in this build?  What would it entail?  Is it significantly superior to "Frostcheese?"

yeah, in my mind the primary problem with MCing Spiked chain is losing out on battle awareness, which will also open up the PP you want: shock trooper (or kensai if you want to go DPR (+1 to hit/+4 dmg) over schock trooper's Nova (one of the best E11s in the game). I don't know what PP you would put on the current build. Reach is nice, but every time i put together a build like this, i always end up with 2 shortswords, battle awareness and shocktrooper or kensai. It's a lot of fun (at least the warlord version was).

Of course we are getting further and further away from your design here as the shock trooper will want 18str/18dex/13wis half orc or thrikreen. The kensai build can stay str. focused (which, if you haven't dropped WIS already, you should, focusing on STR cleric powers) 



You want Rapier/Shortsword if you don't go TWF.

And you don't want to go 18str/18dex and lose hit and even damage just for that crappy feature, that gives you + [Dex] DPR, do you?
in my rec for 18 dex i forgot about BCL... If you go shocktrooper, isn't it better to have 2 shortswords? But i am getting ahead of things here. What PP are you looking at?

i would steer clear of twf, +1 dmg on 1 wep isnt worth the feat and as was mentioned you only get half the benefit for twd
If you're a shock trooper, it makes exactly 0 difference to you whether one of your weapons is a rapier or a shortsword.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
For new feats I would look at Two Weapon Fighting, which leads into Two Weapon Defense

Why would you ever take TWD on this build? It gives +1 Reflex. You already have a Shield Bonus to AC from BCL.


Good catch (and Oops); TWD is not a good choice for a character with Battle Cleric's Lore
The main possible reason is that IIRC it's a prerequisite for Two Weapon Opening at Paragon, which may well be worth using on a multi-attacker like this.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.
Nah, you only need TWF for TWO.
Here are the feats I'm looking at, assuming I go Rapier:

Battle Awareness
Light Blade Expertise
Nimble Blade
Weapon Focus (Light Blades)
Two-Weapon Fighting
Deft Blade
Cunning Stalker
Two-Weapon Fighting
Improved Defenses
Hobbling Strike
World Serpent's Grasp

The alternative, with a Spiked Chain, would involve replacing Battle Awareness with Spiked Chain Training.

Could I incorporate "Radiantcheese" in this build?  What would it entail?  Is it significantly superior to "Frostcheese?"




I've been playing a melee cleric|ranger for over a year now and I've read boatloads on the subject.

Past heroic, the best melee cleric|ranger is a genasi with firewind blades, there's little debate about this. Double Manifestation + Shocking Flame is really all that.

"Radiantcheese" does deal a hell of a lot more damage than frostcheese of course. It entails taking the Morninglord PP, waiting patiently until level 16, picking up Pelor's boon, and finding a way to do radiant damage (a sunblade or the Pervasive Light feat for example). You do something like 10+WIS damage per hit, and thanks to firewind blades, you do even more instances of damage.

So basically to damage optimize a ranger|cleric at mid-paragon you go stormsoul/firesoul genasi + shocking flame + 2 firewind blades + morninglord + pelor's boon + Pervasive Light + frostcheese (lasting frost/wintertouched/frozen whetstones) + hybrid talent (prime shot) + prime punisher + called shot and you can slaughter like few other strikers in the game. You go with rapier + short sword and all the light blade feats. It builds itself.

In heroic you're more flexible if you want to optimize and there's many good options. I for instance went with a mul, which is a prime pick for heroic for a few reasons: the usefulness of Incredible Toughness (remove a status effect as a no action) cannot be underestimated and Dwarven Weapon Training, which lets you wield a 1d12 waraxe and a 1d8 gauntet axe (+1 AC on an already overpowered off-hand weapon die) along with a +2 damage per hit, all for a single feat. It's great. Yeah many will scream about how light blades are more accurate and die size doesn't matter but earlier in the game die size does hold weight and axe expertise effectively gives you brutal 1, a prime striker feature that works even on your quarry dice. And since you don't need to boost DEX as much you can go 20 STR, which means your to-hit is just as good as a rapier wielder's with 18 STR. Again this is for HEROIC only. Also since you wield axes, if you have allies that can prone at-will, headsman's chop (+5 dmg on prone targets) is amazing. You pick up Gauntlets of Blood and Iron armbands and you're pretty much as optimized as it gets for heroic. 

Also, I know Battle Awareness is popular on the forum, but it's not that good for a melee Ranger|Cleric in heroic because he's basically forced to take mighty hew, which is better in many cases, and because of the existance of the Avenger multiclass feat Disciple of Divine Wrath which lets you play as a mini-Mia for 2 rounds each battle: rolling twice per attack is amazing for nova rounds and is guaranteed, unlike Battle Awareness. Trust me it's the superior choice for when something really needs to go down.

But past heroic it's genasi all the way.
I'd like to throw out some support for Disciple of Divine Wrath; it is truely awesome to have an encounter power that almost guarantees hits.  I suually use it on my AP round getting double rolls on 3 standard actions; if you are lucky one immediate attach as well.  

You do have to use some posiitoning to ensure that you only have one enemy next to you, but it is otherwise awesome.
Here are the feats I'm looking at, assuming I go Rapier:

Battle Awareness
Light Blade Expertise
Nimble Blade
Weapon Focus (Light Blades)
Two-Weapon Fighting
Deft Blade
Cunning Stalker
Two-Weapon Fighting
Improved Defenses
Hobbling Strike
World Serpent's Grasp

The alternative, with a Spiked Chain, would involve replacing Battle Awareness with Spiked Chain Training.

Could I incorporate "Radiantcheese" in this build?  What would it entail?  Is it significantly superior to "Frostcheese?"




I've been playing a melee cleric|ranger for over a year now and I've read boatloads on the subject.

Past heroic, the best melee cleric|ranger is a genasi with firewind blades, there's little debate about this. Double Manifestation + Shocking Flame is really all that.

"Radiantcheese" does deal a hell of a lot more damage than frostcheese of course. It entails taking the Morninglord PP, waiting patiently until level 16, picking up Pelor's boon, and finding a way to do radiant damage (a sunblade or the Pervasive Light feat for example). You do something like 10+WIS damage per hit, and thanks to firewind blades, you do even more instances of damage.

So basically to damage optimize a ranger|cleric at mid-paragon you go stormsoul/firesoul genasi + shocking flame + 2 firewind blades + morninglord + pelor's boon + Pervasive Light + frostcheese (lasting frost/wintertouched/frozen whetstones) + hybrid talent (prime shot) + prime punisher + called shot and you can slaughter like few other strikers in the game. You go with rapier + short sword and all the light blade feats. It builds itself.

In heroic you're more flexible if you want to optimize and there's many good options. I for instance went with a mul, which is a prime pick for heroic for a few reasons: the usefulness of Incredible Toughness (remove a status effect as a no action) cannot be underestimated and Dwarven Weapon Training, which lets you wield a 1d12 waraxe and a 1d8 gauntet axe (+1 AC on an already overpowered off-hand weapon die) along with a +2 damage per hit, all for a single feat. It's great. Yeah many will scream about how light blades are more accurate and die size doesn't matter but earlier in the game die size does hold weight and axe expertise effectively gives you brutal 1, a prime striker feature that works even on your quarry dice. And since you don't need to boost DEX as much you can go 20 STR, which means your to-hit is just as good as a rapier wielder's with 18 STR. Again this is for HEROIC only. Also since you wield axes, if you have allies that can prone at-will, headsman's chop (+5 dmg on prone targets) is amazing. You pick up Gauntlets of Blood and Iron armbands and you're pretty much as optimized as it gets for heroic. 

Also, I know Battle Awareness is popular on the forum, but it's not that good for a melee Ranger|Cleric in heroic because he's basically forced to take mighty hew, which is better in many cases, and because of the existance of the Avenger multiclass feat Disciple of Divine Wrath which lets you play as a mini-Mia for 2 rounds each battle: rolling twice per attack is amazing for nova rounds and is guaranteed, unlike Battle Awareness. Trust me it's the superior choice for when something really needs to go down.

But past heroic it's genasi all the way.



Double Manifestation is an epic feat.
When you use Firewind Blades in Paragon you have to drop lightning, so you can't use your racial anymore. So, basically you don't want Firewind Blades before Epic, if you don't pick a PP that adds elemental damage.


Double Manifestation is an epic feat.
When you use Firewind Blades in Paragon you have to drop lightning, so you can't use your racial anymore. So, basically you don't want Firewind Blades before Epic, if you don't pick a PP that adds elemental damage.



Yes you're right, my memory is a bit fuzzy. I meant Extra Manifestation in paragon, and Firewind Blade is still useful in paragon with a flamesoul. The rest still stands and doesnt change the fact that genasi is still king post-heroic.

Double Manifestation is an epic feat.
When you use Firewind Blades in Paragon you have to drop lightning, so you can't use your racial anymore. So, basically you don't want Firewind Blades before Epic, if you don't pick a PP that adds elemental damage.



Yes you're right, my memory is a bit fuzzy. I meant Extra Manifestation in paragon, and Firewind Blade is still useful in paragon with a flamesoul. The rest still stands and doesnt change the fact that genasi is still king post-heroic.




Firewind Blade really adds up at 16th+ (only 5 levels away from adding your second damage type anyway), if an ally goes the Morninglord route. Before, it just isn't worth it, and you really should pick Stormsoul instead and wait those 5 levels, since Firesoul from start is inferior as hell. If you go the Morninglord route you'll need a Radiant Weapon, anyway, or pick Radiant One at epic (would save two feats (Second Manifestation and Double Manifestation), as well; [would even save 3 feats (+Pervasive Light) in a party where an ally is Morninglord]). Pervasive Light makes no sense at all, if you go Morninglord by yourself, only if an ally does.
Overall, the feat picks that you suggested will result in over starvation and aren't practicable without neglecting your defense.

Is the Hobbling Strike/World Serpent's Grasp synergy very useful?  Or is burning two feats to obtain it not worth the effort?

EDIT: Is going Ranger|Cleric actually superior to going Ranger with MC Cleric?  Early on I can see how the hybrid shines with Moment of Glory and some minor action healing, but in later Paragon and Epic don't the rules on powers for Hybrids hobble that version?  Having to take at least one Cleric Daily and at least one Cleric Encounter power mean that I don't get the full 3 minor action attacks, nor do I get a full three high-damage Daily attack powers (Attacks on the Run, Blade Cascade, Cruel Cage of Steel, Circling Cascade).

What Cleric powers are worth taking over the ones I mentioned which make the hybrid superior to a multiclass?
community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...

I'll list only the ones that follow a STR build with no focus on implement attacks.

D19 = Beacon of Doom, Holy Wrath
E17 = Sever the Source, Brilliant Idea, Divine Phalanx
D15 = Nothing very good
E13 = Nothing very good


So here's what you do.  At level 1 you start with a minor action attack via Off-hand strike.  At level 3 you pick up Words are not Enough.  At level 7 you pick up another minor action attack via Ruffling sting from level 3.  At level 13 you replace your level 1 minor action attack with another minor action attack Off-hand diversion.  At level 17 you pick up Sever the Source and replace Words are not Enough.

For dailies at level 1 you pick up Moment of Glory if you are the only leader in your party or Jaws of the Wolf if you want to focus on damage and have another leader in the party.  At level 5 you pick up Frenzied Skirmish and retrain L1 into Moment of Glory if you haven't already taken it (a notable exception here is if you went the spiked chain or other single weapon route you can take the Cleric Daily Weapon of the Gods, I know it's black in the handbook but making your weapon of choice deal radiant damage AND give a penalty of 2 to AC all encounter long is a good power).  At level 9 you pick up Attacks on the Run.  At level 15 you pick up Blade Cascade and lose whichever ranger power you have other than Attacks on the run.  At level 19 it's really your choice, you can lose Attacks on the Run for Cruel Cage of Steel or pick up a better cleric daily via Beacon of Doom or Holy Wrath.  Either way you're getting a great power.

As for the hobbling strike + world serpent's grasp, the whole point is to prone the target and then beat it to death using another feat called headman's chop.  If you have 2-3 strikers who all pick up that feat and then go to town on whoever you prone, then yes it's very much worth it.  However 2 feats for you alone to get advantage via another feat (up to 3 now) is just not high up in my book of things I want to invest my feats into as a striker.  It's a gimmick, it can be a very good one, but only with the right set up.
"Non nobis Domine Sed nomini tuo da gloriam" "I wish for death not because I want to die, but because I seek the war eternal"

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/19.jpg)

I like Mighty Hew at E1, Ruffling Sting for E3 and then Disruptive Strike for E7 on Ranger|Cleric.

Add in Sohei and you've still got two minor actions and two easy to trigger immediates.

Weapon of Peace Foretold at E13 can be a hoot if you've got other people to gang up on a monster.

Bargle wrote:
This is CharOp. We not only assume block-of-tofu monsters, but also block-of-tofu DMs.
 

Zelink wrote:
You're already refluffing, why not refluff to something that doesn't suck?
sure that works too
"Non nobis Domine Sed nomini tuo da gloriam" "I wish for death not because I want to die, but because I seek the war eternal"

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/19.jpg)

So this is something I'm not entire clear on about ranger|clerics:

Are you going cleric for just battle cleric's lore, or is there something particular to clerics that helps with damage?
D&D Next = D&D: Quantum Edition
So this is something I'm not entire clear on about ranger|clerics:

Are you going cleric for just battle cleric's lore, or is there something particular to clerics that helps with damage?



Really I just heard that Ranger|Cleric is superior to straight Ranger or Ranger MC Cleric for most purposes, which is why I went with it.  BCL is really the most obvious draw for me personally, but having access to some Leader ability in heals and Moment of Glory has been quite useful in our sample encounters.
Thanks to all the help everyone has given me, I've modified my initial build as follows, with a plan up to level 16.  The current campaign is projected to take us to lv15, so I may not get to use the full benefit of Morninglord, but there it is.

THE CHARACTER

Munch, level 16
Stormsoul Genasi, Ranger|Cleric, Morninglord
Hybrid Cleric Option: Battle Cleric's Lore
Hybrid Ranger Option: Hybrid Ranger Reflex
Hybrid Talent: Ranger Combat Talent
Ranger Combat Talent: Prime Shot (Hybrid)
Deity: Avaunator

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
STR 22, CON 14, DEX 15, INT 13, WIS 18, CHA 9

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
STR 18, CON 13, DEX 14, INT 10, WIS 14, CHA 8

DEFENSES AND HP
AC: 32 Fort: 30 Ref: 26 Will: 28
HP: 101 Surges: 8 Surge Value: 25

TRAINED SKILLS
Athletics +19, Dungeoneering +17, Heal +17, Perception +17

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +11, Arcana +9, Bluff +7, Diplomacy +7, Endurance +15, History +9, Insight +12, Nature +14, Religion +9, Stealth +10, Streetwise +7, Thievery +10

POWERS
Basic Attack: Melee Basic Attack
Basic Attack: Ranged Basic Attack
Longtooth Shifter Racial Power: Longtooth Shifting
Hybrid Cleric Utility: Healing Word
Hybrid At-Will (Ranger) 1: Twin Strike
Hybrid At-Will (Cleric) 1: Righteous Brand
Cleric Attack 1: Mighty Hew
Cleric Attack 1: Moment of Glory
Ranger Utility 2: Invigorating Stride
Ranger Attack 3: Ruffling Sting
Ranger Attack 5: Frenzied Skirmish
Cleric Utility 6: Bastion of Health
Ranger Attack 7: Lashing Leaves
Ranger Attack 9: Attacks on the Run
Ranger Utility 10: Resume the Hunt
Ranger Attack 13: Off-Hand Diversion (replaces Lashing Leaves)
Ranger Attack 15: Blade Cascade (replaces Frenzied Skirmish)
Ranger Utility 16: Death Threat


FEATS
Level 1: Spiked Chain Training
Level 2: Light Blade Expertise
Level 4: Two-Weapon Fighting
Level 6: Weapon Focus (Light Blade) ------> Retrained to Hybrid Talent: Ranger Combat Talent (Prime Shot) @ lv12
Level 8: Improved Defenses
Level 10: Cunning Stalker
Level 11: Shocking Flame
Level 12: Prime Punisher
Level 14: Called Shot
Level 16: Prime Quarry

ITEMS
Radiant Spiked Chain +3                            x1
Dwarven Wyvernscale Armor +3                x1
Iron Armbands of Power (Paragon Tier)     x1
Acrobat Boots                                             x1
Casque of Tactics (Heroic Tier)                   x1
Steadfast Amulet +3                                   x1

Attack Bonus (+24 or 26):
+8 (half level)
+6 from Strength
+3 Spiked Chain Proficiency
+2 Light Blade Expertise
+3 Weapon Enhancement Bonus
+2 Prime Shot (w/ Prime Quarry)
+2 (Possibly) from Cunning Stalker

Damage Bonus (+16 minimum; likely +26-31; possibly +31 +2d8)
+6 (Ability) from Strength
+3 (Enhancement) Weapon Enhancement Bonus
+4 (Item) Iron Armbands of Power
+1 (Untyped) Two-Weapon Fighting
+2 (Untyped - Lightning) Shocking Flame
+5 (Untyped) Called Shot
+2d8 (Untyped - Lightning) Promise of Storm
+10 (Untyped) Burning Radiance
If the campaign is expected to end at 15th level, I would consider selecting a paragon path that is front loaded with great powers you will get to play with.  Paragon of Victory and Pathfinder are great choices with Tactical Warpriest, Blade Dancer and Stormwarden backing them up.
So this is something I'm not entire clear on about ranger|clerics:

Are you going cleric for just battle cleric's lore, or is there something particular to clerics that helps with damage?



Battle clerics lore also helps with accuracy when you heal yourself with it, but for the most part I think hybrid cleric is good for toughening up a ranger and the party.  The ability to heal yourself and maybe an ally or 2 along with you a few times each encounter helps a lot and you don't give up that much for it.  Clerics have access to a few good dailies and other powers that will toughen up the party as a whole like divine power and moment of glory.

The problem with it is that they don't have that many good encounter powers that help with most charoped ranger builds.  Mighty hew is good.  Sever the source is good if you boosted your wisdom, but its more a power you want your ally to have.  Most of the time charop style rangers trying to get nova rounds aren't as interested in some of the better powers cleric strength cleric powers which tend to do things like debuff multiple enemies as a standard action, provide a boost to allies attacks, or which require a simple weapon.

The other thing to watch out for is that a lot of the good cleric powers will eat up your minor and immediates which rangers need for other things.
Basically, hybridding cleric, you pick up Mighty Hew and Weapon of Astral Flame, and then continue to build exactly as a normal ranger would, secure in your decent AC and emergency button utilities and heal.  Rangers have enough levels that aren't stellar, that having to lose one of each slot is not too taxing - and missing out on the other at-will is a non-issue.  You lose little, and gain much.
Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.