Half-elf storm sorcerer with rogue MC

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Hey, folks.  New to 4e, have played all of the previous editions.  I'm tooling around with the character builder and trying to put together an acceptable dual-dagger half-elf storm sorceror with just a touch of rogue.

Now, I'm not sure if this is the precise board for it, because I'm not trying to build the absolute optimal character, but what I do want is to make sure I'm not taking anything that could easily be replaced by an obviously better version.  E.g., I finally found Versatile Expertise and saved myself a feat slot.

I'm aware that there are more exploitive builds than this, but I more just want to retain my theme while building a non-gimp.  He's a half-elf with a ranger for a father and a rogue mentor, so I don't plan on swapping out the Dilettante ability (Throw and Stab) despite the low STR because of the history, and I want to have at least one rogue MC feat starting out.

This is where I think I'll be at level 10, poking around the CB.  I really don't have any idea what paragon path I'm looking at; daggermaster would be obvious as written but I hear that's been errataed.


====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Felix, level 10
Half-Elf, Sorcerer
Spell Source Option: Storm Magic
Versatile Expertise Option: Versatile Expertise (Light blade)
Versatile Expertise Option: Versatile Expertise (Sling)

(actually, I think I need to select "dagger" each time, but the CB won't let me do that)

Half-Elf Power Selection Option: Dilettante

(Throw & Stab selected)

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
STR 12, CON 14, DEX 18, INT 10, WIS 8, CHA 20

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
STR 12, CON 12, DEX 16, INT 10, WIS 8, CHA 16


AC: 25 Fort: 17 Ref: 21 Will: 22
HP: 71 Surges: 8 Surge Value: 17

TRAINED SKILLS
Arcana +10, Bluff +15, Diplomacy +17, Nature +9, Thievery +14

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +9, Athletics +6, Dungeoneering +4, Endurance +7, Heal +4, History +5, Insight +6, Intimidate +10, Perception +4, Religion +5, Stealth +9, Streetwise +10

POWERS
Basic Attack: Melee Basic Attack
Basic Attack: Ranged Basic Attack
Ranger Attack 1: Throw and Stab
Sorcerer Attack 1: Ensorcelled Blade
Sorcerer Attack 1: Lightning Strike
Sorcerer Attack 1: Thunder Slam
Sorcerer Attack 1: Shocking Magnetism
Sorcerer Utility 2: Sorcerous Sirocco
Sorcerer Attack 3: Lightning Cuts
Sorcerer Attack 5: Thunder Leap
Half-Elf Utility 6: Sudden Switch
Sorcerer Attack 7: Dweomer Dagger
Sorcerer Attack 9: Force Daggers
Sorcerer Utility 10: Storm of Energy

FEATS
Level 1: Sneak of Shadows
Level 2: Versatile Expertise
Level 4: Armor Proficiency: Leather
Level 6: Dual Implement Spellcaster
Level 8: Two-Weapon Fighting
Level 10: Two-Weapon Defense

ITEMS
Dagger
Thieves' Tools
Adventurer's Kit
Gambling cheats
Sling
Darkleaf Leather Armor +2 x1
Rhythm Blade Dagger +2 x1
Stormbiter Warblade Dagger +2 x1
====== End ======


 The items are sort of arbitrary, just to have something to look at.

Some thoughts:

Maybe I should swap a feat out for a Disembodied Hand, if I'm going to do a lot of throwing?

I'm sort of aiming to have one big alpha opener, to nuke somebody to start with.  So, e.g., move action, Lightning Cuts as a minor action, Thunder Slam as a standard, and hopefully sneak attack, for hopefully (if I'm calculating right) 2d4 + 7 + 2d6 + 2d10 + 13 ~= 43 avg at 10th level plus a pushed enemy, with all encounter powers and no dailies burned.  I honestly don't know how good that is, but two hits like that would kill Felix here.

Flavor-wise I like the idea of more thorough multiclassing, but the power swap feats seem pretty underpowered to me.

Anyway, hello, thanks for reading, apologies if I'm in the wrong spot, pleasure to meet you, what not &c, yr obdt svt.
Sure, fair enough wrt Throw and Stab.  I just like Dilettante, though, so I think I'll hang onto it.  I can use it with with Ensorcelled Blade, so in a round where I'd be doing that anyway, I don't lose anything to it.

I did not realize magic thrown weapons all come back.  That's cool.

Looked up RBA.  What's the benefit of a "ranged basic attack" over anything else?  With an MBA, I can use it for AoO, but I don't know what RBAs do for me.  New to 4e, as I said.

I'll ask the DM about themes. 
^

Also, I suggest using a thunderbolt dagger and taking eldritch blast as your dilettante. Take an area attack like blazing starfall or burning spray.

edit: the ^ is in agreement with Erachima, if that wasn't obvious.  
Thematically, I want to keep a ranger power on the character.  I suppose I could go with Twin Strike and use it to throw a couple of daggers, although I don't know when I'd do that over an at-will sorcerer ranged.  T&S at least gives me another roll in a round in which I'm going to be using Ensorcelled Blade, even if it's got a small chance of hitting.
Okay, so there are powers that will grant a free RBA to characters, that's the information I was missing.  That makes sense, then.
Should I really take Flame Spiral over, say, Thunder Bomb?
Mm, all right.  So then I guess the actual question is whether I should take Lightning Cuts over Thunder Bomb or something else at that level.  But it seems to me that there isn't anything else in the minor-action-for-damage space for sorcerers, at least at the levels I'm looking at.
Thematically, I want to keep a ranger power on the character.  I suppose I could go with Twin Strike and use it to throw a couple of daggers, although I don't know when I'd do that over an at-will sorcerer ranged.  T&S at least gives me another roll in a round in which I'm going to be using Ensorcelled Blade, even if it's got a small chance of hitting.


When you hit level 11 Look into Archery Mastery: Rapid Shot Mastery. It will replace Twin Strike with Rapid Shot, which allows you to use a Range Basic Attack against all targets in an area. Acid Orb is a range basic attack.
Thematically, I want to keep a ranger power on the character.  I suppose I could go with Twin Strike and use it to throw a couple of daggers, although I don't know when I'd do that over an at-will sorcerer ranged.  T&S at least gives me another roll in a round in which I'm going to be using Ensorcelled Blade, even if it's got a small chance of hitting.


When you hit level 11 Look into Archery Mastery: Rapid Shot Mastery. It will replace Twin Strike with Rapid Shot, which allows you to use a Range Basic Attack against all targets in an area. Acid Orb is a range basic attack.

That would be awesome, but I think I can't work it without taking Versatile Master.

That said, it's awesome enough to maybe justify that. 
Also consider taking War Wizards Expertise instead of Versatile Expertise. You get the bonus to attacks, while taking a penalty to hitting your allies. Usually you do not want to nuke your allies.
I looked at it, and Rapid Shot does specify that the RBA has to be made "with a weapon".

So, I'm curious, not for this character but as a general question; if I have a weapon implement and an at-will ranger power on a sorcerer, can I really use Archery Mastery to swap that ranger power for Rapid Shot and then Acid Orb anybody who's nearby?  Does casting through a weapon implement count as "with a weapon"?

So, I'm curious, not for this character but as a general question; if I have a weapon implement and an at-will ranger power on a sorcerer, can I really use Archery Mastery to swap that ranger power for Rapid Shot and then Acid Orb anybody who's nearby?  Does casting through a weapon implement count as "with a weapon"?



Depends on the wording, but yes (similarly, the minor action attack on a Weapon of Speed would also work with Acid Orb).  The only way it wouldn't work is if it said "weapon attack," rather than "attack with a weapon."
Should I really take Flame Spiral over, say, Thunder Bomb?

Flame Spiral is good because you can apply your bonuses to damage rolls multiple times.

So first the initial hit. You do something like 1d10 + CHA + DEX + other bonuses.

Say the target was one square away from you. Now your ally goes and pushes the enemy adjacent to you. Flame Spiral deals another 1d6 + DEX + other bonuses. (this can be repeated by other allies on their turns)

Now the enemy goes. Flame Spiral hits a third time for 1d6 + DEX + other bonuses.

Sorcerers do lots of damage by boosting up these "other bonuses" with feats like implement focus, dual implement caster, item bonuses, etc, so applying all of those three times is a very significant amount of damage. The fact that it can work on mulitple enemies makes it even better. It often does more damage than any other available sorcerer power even late in the game.
Please note, pure sorcerers only !

...or, why are you a half-rogue? 
Please note, pure sorcerers only !

...or, why are you a half-rogue? 



Because his father was a rogue or something, durr. 
The rogue and ranger powers are there for flavor, not optimization, although I don't see how sneak attack 1/encounter is bad, precisely. (ETA: I mean, it's on average 7 damage per encounter assuming I can trigger it every time, which I can, which seems like plenty for a level 1 feat to me)

Also, I just found "rebounding weapon", which I think I can make work for me with Throw & Stab.  Now if (when) it does miss, I get to Energy Strobe and Ensorcelled Blade in the same round.
It is a strange way of getting an RBA and an MBA against the same target with Throw and Stab...There will be a problem (beyond the resources invested in this, among other things) of you hitting sometimes. 
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Christ, fine.  I'm obviously in the wrong place.  Never mind.
Oh please. If you can't take the extremely mild ribbing that is a literal description of what your power does, then yes, you are in the wrong place, because you've left your bubble-boy outfit.

Anyway, the Rebounding Weapon + Throw And Stab idea is somewhat clever, but has a problem: due to how accurate daggers are, you can't be sure that it will miss until you're at a high enough level that you normally don't use at-wills, so about half the time you're just going to end up making the attack and hitting for piddling damage. Feel free to keep the Rebounding Weapon though, you're likely to miss with at least one AoE attack roll each encounter and it lets you turn those misses into focus fire opportunities instead.

*shrug* People just seemed hostile to the idea that the question was "what's the best storm sorecerer I can build with a ranger and a rogue ability?" and not "should I be doing this?".

Yeah, I think Rebounding fills a hole until that hole doesn't much matter, and then just becomes basically fine.  I'm now running into the question of whether I want Lightning Cuts or Spark Form; probably the latter, because I get to apply my bonus damage more often with it, but QC bumps up my one-golden-round thing.

I'm also thinking about 11, and whether to take Arcance Admixture for Flame Spiral (probably best) or Slaying Action, which is fun and gives me another use of Sneak Attack, plus has some synergy with Electric Action.

(edit: typos, mistakes) 
The answer to that is simple "Play the best Storm Sorcerer there is, but gimp yourself by taking a Ranger and Rogue ability". If you want us to build an optimized character for you, we're going to tell you to drop the bad options, especially when you are only defending them from a fluff standpoint; Lightning Cuts at level 7 fits "Ranger Ability" from a fluff standpoint, and Sneak Attack works decently on its own.
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Well... fair enough.  Maybe he'll retrain it after a level for a bard or warlock ability or something.  That works within the "fluff" I care about and is less non-optimal.  I could see Eyebite being useful for getting combat advantage if I can't find another way.
Can I retrain into that?  I didn't see it before I made the character, and have already made adjustments by leaning on the "I'm new to 4e" thing with this DM and feel sort of embarrassed to keep going back to that well.  This is why I was sort of set on a ranger power; it didn't seem like there were a lot of great choices, so I figured I might as well use it to shore up character background instead.

I also just like the idea of having powers from multiple classes, and don't think a lack of Knack is going to completely ruin the character's effectiveness.
Indeed - one critical thing to remember is that Ranger the class is not the same a ranger the in-game profession.  One is a mechanical construct (melee fighter with two weapons or ranged weapon, possibly animal companion, good with skills, does lots of damage), the other is flavour (wilderness guide dude).  Similarly, not all Clerics (mechanic) are clerics (flavour, priests, employed in a church etc).
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Okay, also fair, but it's not like I was convinced that being a ranger would genetically pass on Throw & Stab.  I just thought it was kind of cool to say "here's a neat trick his dad taught him".  But then he's trained in Nature and that more than fits that bill that doesn't really need to be fit.
If I use a Lightning Dagger and a Stormbiter together, can I apply the Stormbiter's knockdown power to spells cast with the Lightning dagger as my main weapon?  Does the answer change if I have Dual Implement Spellcaster?