Best Defender and second Striker for this party

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Planning ahead for our next party. So far we have a Half-elf Cunning Bard (aiming toward Resourceful Magician), an Elf Avenger (slightly tweaked version of erachima's Mia/PMC Ranger build), and an Invoker (race tbd). Play will start at level 2 and likely not hit Epic.

What race/class/archetypal builds would you suggest we look at for a Defender and second Striker for this group, whose gameplay largely will center around urban intrigue in Eberron?  
Whatever you want, really, though some feel Ranger and Barbarian aren't well-suited for Urban environments. You have Divine power in spades (with Insight and Perception double-covered), a face and some Arcana already. One STR character might not go amiss and if you play 'heavy armor looks weir don the streets' a Shielding Swordmage (or Swormage|Warlock) and a Dragon Sorcerer wouldn't go amiss.  That would double you up on Arcana and Charisma and give you people who can actually make Religeion checks reliably.
I'd go with a Fighter or Swordmage for your Defender, and a ranged striker like a sorcerer, seeker, ranger, or rogue. On second thought, I would say that your party definitely needs a ranged rogue for dex checks.
A Half-Elf Cunning Bard? With Pixie, Tiefling (especially Tiefling) available?

@I_throw: The Avenger is Dex/Wis

Warlord|Warlock, build as a striker, would be a good secondary striker, back-up leader, and initiative booster.

I'd pick some flavor of Fighter for a defender.
A Half-Elf Cunning Bard? With Pixie, Tiefling (especially Tiefling) available?

@I_throw: The Avenger is Dex/Wis

Warlord|Warlock, build as a striker, would be a good secondary striker, back-up leader, and initiative booster.

I'd pick some flavor of Fighter for a defender.

Avenger's are Wisdom primary, and don't tend to be trained in things like thievery because of their deity alignments. Just a suggestion.
Um, Mia is Dex/Wis. Evenly split. And, in point of fact, after you PMC most of your attacks use Dex, not Wis. Helps to be familiar with the build specified.

What does deity alignment have to do with it? There is no rule in 4e that prevents you from being trained in Thievery based on alignment or who you worship. Just grab training in Thievery (probably via background) if you want it.
A Half-Elf Cunning Bard? With Pixie, Tiefling (especially Tiefling) available?

@I_throw: The Avenger is Dex/Wis

Warlord|Warlock, build as a striker, would be a good secondary striker, back-up leader, and initiative booster.

I'd pick some flavor of Fighter for a defender.

Avenger's are Wisdom primary, and don't tend to be trained in things like thievery because of their deity alignments. Just a suggestion.



EDIT: Alcestis hit submit first.

Mia is a very specific build that is Wis/Dex co-primary.

community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...

Avengers are trained in Thievery all the time in games I play (it's an ongoing joke that all Avengers come from Luskan) because they don't wear armor and often have a fantastic Dex.  There are no alignment restrictions on either the class or the skill.

I'd also pick a Fighter for the defender roll.  It makes for an excellent defender that's easy to enable and you have someone rolling for Str-linked skills.

Between a Fighter and a Bard, you should have a ton of forced movement, which really makes Flame Spiral appealing (or even more appealing than it normally is).

Um, Mia is Dex/Wis. Evenly split. And, in point of fact, after you PMC most of your attacks use Dex, not Wis. Helps to be familiar with the build specified.

What does deity alignment have to do with it? There is no rule in 4e that prevents you from being trained in Thievery based on alignment or who you worship. Just grab training in Thievery (probably via background) if you want it.

You misunderstand. What I mean is that it's not that easy in my experience to have an avenger storyline fit that he or she is good at stealing things... I could definitely see it done, but a rogue just fits better in my head I guess.
A Half-Elf Cunning Bard? With Pixie, Tiefling (especially Tiefling) available?

@I_throw: The Avenger is Dex/Wis

Warlord|Warlock, build as a striker, would be a good secondary striker, back-up leader, and initiative booster.

I'd pick some flavor of Fighter for a defender.

Avenger's are Wisdom primary, and don't tend to be trained in things like thievery because of their deity alignments. Just a suggestion.



EDIT: Alcestis hit submit first.

Mia is a very specific build that is Wis/Dex co-primary.

community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/758...

Avengers are trained in Thievery all the time in games I play (it's an ongoing joke that all Avengers come from Luskan) because they don't wear armor and often have a fantastic Dex.  There are no alignment restrictions on either the class or the skill.

I'd also pick a Fighter for the defender roll.  It makes for an excellent defender that's easy to enable and you have someone rolling for Str-linked skills.

Between a Fighter and a Bard, you should have a ton of forced movement, which really makes Flame Spiral appealing (or even more appealing than it normally is).


Thanks for the link. Now I see what y'all mean.
@Alcestis: Yes, clearly Half-Elf isn't up to those other racial choices for the Cunning Bard, but it's a necessary component of the concept (a dragonmarked Eberron character in a game where 3E race/mark matches is enforced), a build you helped me with a year ago, in fact (Building the Detective).

Fighter does seem the consensus and the direction we were leaning anyway. Any specific build suggestions? It seems like the Invoker is going Deva and Morninglord and the party will look to exploit radiant, if that helps.

Dragon (or other) Sorcerer vs. Alcestis's suggestion of Warlord/Warlock hybrid striker? Hmmmm. 
You misunderstand. What I mean is that it's not that easy in my experience to have an avenger storyline fit that he or she is good at stealing things... I could definitely see it done, but a rogue just fits better in my head I guess.

That has nothing to do with the rules....

Do you know what Avengers are in the official 4e fluff? They aren't "the good holy warriors." They are trained in secret temples far away from anyone, beholden only to their God, weapons of divine retribution that will do anything smite their God's enemies. They are the physical embodiment of "The ends justify the means."

That is the "official" fluff, but you can refluff your character any way you like. Which is what you're discussing, so it shouldn't be hard at all...
@Alcestis: Yes, clearly Half-Elf isn't up to those other racial choices for the Cunning Bard, but it's a necessary component of the concept (a dragonmarked Eberron character in a game where 3E race/mark matches is enforced), a build you helped me with a year ago, in fact (Building the Detective).

Fighter does seem the consensus and the direction we were leaning anyway. Any specific build suggestions? It seems like the Invoker is going Deva and Morninglord and the party will look to exploit radiant, if that helps.

Dragon (or other) Sorcerer vs. Alcestis's suggestion of Warlord/Warlock hybrid striker? Hmmmm. 

I remember that. OK, though Mark of Storm doesn't do a whole lot for that build (I'd rather have an optimal race).

Fighters are basically all strong. I'd sit down with the player who is going to be playing it and check the handbook, see if anything appeals.

My suggestion was more along the lines of party-op. Initiative boosts are a big deal and at 11 you're getting +stat to the party's initiative with that build. In addition to having another MBA for the Cunning Bard and granting attacks.


I have to agree, the Warlord|Warlock sounds like a great match as far as boosting your party's effectiveness. A sorcerer would just provide heavy damage either to help the fighter in melee or rain down bombs from range. If you're after a serious powerhouse for damage (which I wouldn't be in your shoes), go for a Barbarian|Sorcerer Hybrid. Does the most damage of anything I've ever seen at higher levels.
I have to agree, the Warlord|Warlock sounds like a great match as far as boosting your party's effectiveness. A sorcerer would just provide heavy damage either to help the fighter in melee or rain down bombs from range. If you're after a serious powerhouse for damage (which I wouldn't be in your shoes), go for a Barbarian|Sorcerer Hybrid. Does the most damage of anything I've ever seen at higher levels.


I have to agree, the Warlord|Warlock sounds like a great match as far as boosting your party's effectiveness. A sorcerer would just provide heavy damage either to help the fighter in melee or rain down bombs from range. If you're after a serious powerhouse for damage (which I wouldn't be in your shoes), go for a Barbarian|Sorcerer Hybrid. Does the most damage of anything I've ever seen at higher levels.



Yay, facepalm picture.  Boo, can't show it in a quote.

I agree with Alcestis that a warlord hybrid would contribute a lot. There are many ways to do it though (|warlock, |barbarian, even |monk could be cool with your party composition...most strikers can be made to hybrid well there). I would personally pick a pixie monk|warlord/radiant fist in that party and campaign type (with a strong emphasis on stealth and thievery), but that's just my style. Then the Mia player can focus on wisdom skills.

For defender, I'll throw out a dragonborn battlemind|paladin/mithral arm. A bit different, but super effective, especially with a morninglord in the party.

Not claiming these are the absolute best options, but they are very strong if built correctly, and more interesting than "fighter."
Warlord|Warlock is stronger than any of those, due the prevalence of MBA focused Warlord powers and the Warlock having a striker-powered MBA. You're essentially double-dipping. Monks do not hybrid well and certainly do not synergize at all with a |Warlord.

The party lacks someone who can make Str checks and a defender. That limits you to Fighter or Warden (Straladins being too weak for consideration). I love Wardens, but I can't reccomend them over a Fighter. Really Hobson's Choice, since most hybrids that can be full defenders are not Str based either. Though actually if you really want to destroy things, Ranger|Fighter (Tempest Technique) is ridiculous through Heroic.

Warlord|Warlock is stronger than any of those, due the prevalence of MBA focused Warlord powers and the Warlock having a striker-powered MBA. You're essentially double-dipping. Monks do not hybrid well and certainly do not synergize at all with a |Warlord.

The party lacks someone who can make Str checks and a defender. That limits you to Fighter or Warden (Straladins being too weak for consideration). I love Wardens, but I can't reccomend them over a Fighter. Really Hobson's Choice, since most hybrids that can be full defenders are not Str based either. Though actually if you really want to destroy things, Ranger|Fighter (Tempest Technique) is ridiculous through Heroic.


Like I said, my statements were more of powerful choices that I'd consider more interesting, not necessarily the best choices.

That being said, I agree completely that monk and warlord have little to no synergy, but I think hybrid warlord can be tacked on to anything at all with a high STR, INT, or CHA mod (or even WIS in some cases), especially since the main point of it was for Combat Leader and some backup healing. It also gives some nice utility options for any character.

As for the monk end, a Desert Wind, Radiant Fist, Sarifal Feywarden monk can produce a ton of damage instances and deal a lot of pain (particularly paired with the Morninglord's vulnerability). It needs to be built correctly, but it'll contribute substantially and be something slightly different. 
You misunderstand. What I mean is that it's not that easy in my experience to have an avenger storyline fit that he or she is good at stealing things... I could definitely see it done, but a rogue just fits better in my head I guess.


And yet, the more unlikely something is on a DnD character, the more interesting it becomes. When people follow archetypes, nothing special or original tends to happen. Paladin/Warlocks, Warforged Wizards, evil Halflings, thieving Clerics... All the things people keep telling me are silly, tend to work out as something interesting roleplay wise! To be more to the point, some gods might actively encourage thievery! Be it sleight of hand parlour tricks or actual pick pocketing (The Wanderer comes to mind...). 

Never ask yourself "Does this make sense?". Instead, ask yourself "How can I make a lasting, awesome impression on people!?".