Critique my Battlemind-Warlock

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Hey,

So I created a build and wanted people's opinion on it.  I want to make sure I'm not misunderstanding something fundamental, because it's almost the opposite of what the battlemind handbook recommends.  The build seems to me like it would work well... but maybe I'm misunderstanding something.

The premise of the build is I have Eldrich Strike for a MBA that prones when I hit, I can also use Eldrich strike for OAs.  I chose Primal Guardian for fluff, and also for power swops.  As a hybrid I need to choose Warlock encounter powers and they all require an implement, I plan to try getting around this with the fast hands utility and by swopping in primal guardian dailies (which are stances) to try to avoid warlock dailies/encounters unless they're really powerful.  It's my understanding that even if a power says 'melee touch' if it has the implement keyword I need to be holding my implement to use the power.

The setting is in Dark Sun where I'll be filling the defender role.
  
Here's the build:

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Iskiab, level 3
Human, Battlemind/Warlock
Eldritch Blast Option: Eldritch Blast Constitution
Eldritch Pact (Hybrid) Option: Sorcerer-King Pact (Hybrid)
Eldritch Strike Option: Eldritch Strike Constitution
Hybrid Warlock Option: Hybrid Warlock Will
Hybrid Talent Option: Battlemind Armor Proficiency
Psionic Augmentation (Hybrid) Option: Hybrid Encounter Power
Human Power Selection Option: Bonus At-Will Power
Dark Sun, Inherent Bonuses
Forest Warden (Forest Warden Benefit)
Theme: Primal Guardian

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
STR 8, CON 20, DEX 11, INT 10, WIS 14, CHA 10

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
STR 8, CON 18, DEX 11, INT 10, WIS 14, CHA 10


AC: 20 Fort: 17 Ref: 14 Will: 16
HP: 43 Surges: 12 Surge Value: 10

TRAINED SKILLS
Endurance +9, Nature +9, Perception +9, Thievery +4

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics –1, Arcana +1, Athletics –2, Bluff +1, Diplomacy +1, Dungeoneering +3, Heal +3, History +1, Insight +3, Intimidate +1, Religion +1, Stealth –1, Streetwise +1

POWERS
Basic Attack: Melee Basic Attack
Basic Attack: Ranged Basic Attack
Primal Guardian Feature: Mark of Thunder
Battlemind Feature: Battlemind's Demand
Battlemind Feature: Mind Spike
Warlock's Curse  Power: Warlock's Curse
Warlock Attack 1: Eldritch Blast
Warlock Attack 1: Vampiric Embrace
Battlemind Attack 1: Whirling Defense
Warlock Attack 1: Eldritch Strike
Battlemind Attack 1: Aspect of Elevated Harmony
Thievery Utility 2: Fast Hands

FEATS
Level 1: Mindbite Scorn
Level 1: Hybrid Talent
Level 2: Flail Expertise

ITEMS
Flail x1
Scale Armor x1
Heavy Shield x1
Rod Implement
Thieves' Tools
Backpack (empty)
Bedroll
Fire Kit
Torch
Survival Day
Hempen Rope (50 ft.)
Waterskin
Potion of Healing
Dagger
====== End ======



      
A better solution to the weapliment problem is to pick the Elemental Initiate theme instead of Primal Guardian. It gives you ki focus proficiency, a great encounter power, free skill training and a bonus to Will. That way, you don't have to invest your U2 and pick up bad powers.
The dailies for primal guardian aren't too bad.  They're mostly stances so I still get to use my strong other attacks when I pick them up.

One thing with Ki Focus, I wouldn't be able to prone with eldritch strike, usually battleminds have an issue where the targets you've marked can just walk away from you so your mark has no teeth.  With eldritch strike and flail expertise, I'm proning whomever I attack so I can either step back for action denial or stay there if I want to punish with mind spike for ignoring my mark.  I don't think you can do that with a ki focus.

This is what I plan on looking like at 10, I haven't made final decisions on all the powers and feats, but something along these lines.

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Iskiab at 10, level 10
Human, Battlemind/Warlock
Eldritch Blast Option: Eldritch Blast Constitution
Eldritch Pact (Hybrid) Option: Sorcerer-King Pact (Hybrid)
Eldritch Strike Option: Eldritch Strike Constitution
Hybrid Warlock Option: Hybrid Warlock Will
Hybrid Talent Option: Battlemind Armor Proficiency
Psionic Augmentation (Hybrid) Option: Hybrid Encounter Power
Human Power Selection Option: Bonus At-Will Power
Dark Sun, Inherent Bonuses
Forest Warden (Forest Warden Benefit)
Theme: Primal Guardian

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
STR 8, CON 22, DEX 11, INT 10, WIS 16, CHA 10

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
STR 8, CON 18, DEX 11, INT 10, WIS 14, CHA 10


AC: 26 Fort: 24 Ref: 22 Will: 25
HP: 80 Surges: 13 Surge Value: 20

TRAINED SKILLS
Endurance +14, Nature +14, Perception +14, Thievery +8

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +3, Arcana +5, Athletics +2, Bluff +5, Diplomacy +5, Dungeoneering +8, Heal +8, History +5, Insight +8, Intimidate +5, Religion +5, Stealth +3, Streetwise +5

POWERS
Basic Attack: Melee Basic Attack
Basic Attack: Ranged Basic Attack
Primal Guardian Feature: Mark of Thunder
Battlemind Feature: Battlemind's Demand
Battlemind Feature: Mind Spike
Warlock's Curse  Power: Warlock's Curse
Warlock Attack 1: Eldritch Blast
Warlock Attack 1: Vampiric Embrace
Battlemind Attack 1: Whirling Defense
Warlock Attack 1: Eldritch Strike
Battlemind Attack 1: Aspect of Elevated Harmony
Thievery Utility 2: Fast Hands
Primal Guardian Attack 5: Storm of Debris
Warlock Utility 6: Iron Aspect of Dispater
Battlemind Attack 7: Forceful Reversal
Primal Guardian Attack 9: Of Wood and Stone
Human Utility 10: Flush with Success

FEATS
Level 1: Mindbite Scorn
Level 1: Hybrid Talent
Level 2: Flail Expertise
Level 4: Killing Curse
Level 6: Lightning Reflexes
Level 8: Superior Will
Level 10: Mark of Warding

ITEMS
Flail x1
Scale Armor x1
Heavy Shield x1
Rod Implement
Thieves' Tools
Backpack (empty)
Bedroll
Fire Kit
Torch
Survival Day
Hempen Rope (50 ft.)
Waterskin
Potion of Healing
Dagger
====== End ======



  
One thing with Ki Focus, I wouldn't be able to prone with eldritch strike, usually battleminds have an issue where the targets you've marked can just walk away from you so your mark has no teeth.  With eldritch strike and flail expertise, I'm proning whomever I attack so I can either step back for action denial or stay there if I want to punish with mind spike for ignoring my mark.  I don't think you can do that with a ki focus.


That's incorrect. Eldritch Strike + Flail Expertise works just fine when the attack uses the enchantment of your ki focus. After all, you're using a flail to make the melee weapon attack, which is what counts for Flail Expertise. 

At the same time, your ki focus provides an implement that doesn't take up one of your hands, so you can use your warlock implement attacks without having to bother with stowing and drawing. It's really the easiest solution to your problem, along with MCing for a ki focus or holy symbol class (which you can't do because of Dark Sun).
One thing with Ki Focus, I wouldn't be able to prone with eldritch strike, usually battleminds have an issue where the targets you've marked can just walk away from you so your mark has no teeth.  With eldritch strike and flail expertise, I'm proning whomever I attack so I can either step back for action denial or stay there if I want to punish with mind spike for ignoring my mark.  I don't think you can do that with a ki focus.


That's incorrect. Eldritch Strike + Flail Expertise works just fine when the attack uses the enchantment of your ki focus. After all, you're using a flail to make the melee weapon attack, which is what counts for Flail Expertise. 

At the same time, your ki focus provides an implement that doesn't take up one of your hands, so you can use your warlock implement attacks without having to bother with stowing and drawing. It's really the easiest solution to your problem, along with MCing for a ki focus or holy symbol class (which you can't do because of Dark Sun).

Ah, I didn't realize that you don't need to hold a ki focus as an implement.  I'll definitely check that out.

Unfortunately our DM only allows Dark Sun themes, I'll have to spend a feat for the ki-focus but it'll definitely be worth it. 
I have some quick questions...

Why are you bothering to hybrid Warlock? Psionic classes do not do terribly well in hybrid form unless with another psionic class, due to the loss of power points. If it is just for the good MBA, some options are to go half-elf (and use dillettante to pick up Eldritch Strike) or to just pick up Melee Training (Constitution). This would save you from having to juggle a flail and an implement. 

If you are sticking with the hybrid option, why not take Order Adept as a theme (and get 1 extra power point)? 

What level are you playing until or around? If the reason you want to hybrid warlock is damage dealing, I think mark of storm + lightning weapon + lyrander wind rider PP + all the wonderful item and feat support for lightning damage would be more efficient.

Just some ideas to kick around.  
Well I was playing around with battlemind builds and wasn't happy with them.  The MBA was weak, so opportunity attacks were weak, and I felt their at-wills were weak too.

By going hybrid warlock I get my MBA (eldritch strike) that prones with flail expertise.  The damage is also nice, since it's d10+2d6+6 at level 3, so the battlemind opportunity attack problem is solved (I doubt many monsters will run by me when I'm proning on an opportunity attack and doing d10+2d6+6 damage).  I'm only planning on using my battlemind at-wills when I'd be augmenting them for some benefit - double mark or with the daily power.

A little background on our campaign so far - we only have a warlord for a leader so our healing is very weak.  The encounters are also very difficult: we'll be ambused by mobs in elevated positions making melee difficult, enemy surprise rounds, etc... plus we go 4 encounters before we can take an extended rest.  I tried another defender but found the survivability wasn't there, so I'm using this build because:
- warlock has some pretty good defenderish utility/encounter powers
- I get a solid ranged attack for encounters that punish melee, I can sit back and use eldritch blast
- defenses are strong... but not quite strong enough, I'd prefer to generate more temp hps if I could but this is the best dark sun campaign build I could come up with      
- we typically have to trade surges to not run out by the 4th encounter, or so we can go into the 4th with full hit points.  20 con gives me lots of surges which will help


Our group is me, sorcerer (earth elementalist), warlord (always gives the sorcerer the extra attack), barbarian (not very optimized) and psionicist.  

What level are you playing until or around? If the reason you want to hybrid warlock is damage dealing, I think mark of storm + lightning weapon + lyrander wind rider PP + all the wonderful item and feat support for lightning damage would be more efficient.


Hybrid Warlock is awesome for a striker Battlemind, due to TFP Elemental Pact.
I doubt that the OP wants to go for full BB op, tho, since he picked the wrong weapon, secondary stat, and race for it. 
If you want to be a heroic defender which prones at-will through Eldritch Strike, you have every reason to go Warlock|Cavalier over Warlock|Battlemind. Battlemind makes for a poor hybrid defender while Paladin keeps almost everything intact, especially if he's a Cavalier. Your Defense aura doesn't take up minors and punishes competently, especially if you prone targets next to you. That by itself isn't sufficient, but with multi-marking divine sanction powers like Call of Challenge and Valorious Smite, now you've really left the hybrid battlemind in the dust if your goal is to be a good defender. If you go Tiefling, you'll even have access to a burst 5 divine sanction mark. The Paladin also has access to Holy Symbols from the get-go so your implement is taken care of as long as you take close burst/blast powers, so no need to waste feats or themes on it. Devout Protector Expertise (weapon/implement expertise feat) is also amazing especially in early levels.


Also, why not take something like Dire Radiance if you want a ranged at-will. More worthwhile than Eldritch Blast unless your warlord doesn't have any other allies with capable RBAs to enable.

EDIT: Here's a competent take on it.

Show

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Mortis Ironsmile, level 10
Human, Paladin (Cavalier)/Warlock
Virtue: Virtue of Valor
Hybrid Paladin (Cavalier) Option: Hybrid Cavalier Reflex
Eldritch Pact (Hybrid) Option: Sorcerer-King Pact (Hybrid)
Eldritch Strike Option: Eldritch Strike Charisma
Hybrid Warlock Option: Hybrid Warlock Reflex
Hybrid Talent Option: Paladin Armor Proficiency
Human Power Selection Option: Bonus At-will
Spellscarred
Born Under a Bad Sign (Born Under a Bad Sign Benefit)
Theme: Guardian
 
FINAL ABILITY SCORES
STR 18, CON 10, DEX 11, INT 8, WIS 13, CHA 20
 
STARTING ABILITY SCORES
STR 16, CON 10, DEX 11, INT 8, WIS 13, CHA 16
 
 
AC: 28 Fort: 23 Ref: 22 Will: 25
HP: 78 Surges: 8 Surge Value: 21
 
TRAINED SKILLS
Bluff +15, Diplomacy +15, Endurance +6, Intimidate +15, Streetwise +15
 
UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +1, Arcana +4, Athletics +5, Dungeoneering +6, Heal +6, History +4, Insight +8, Nature +6, Perception +8, Religion +4, Stealth +1, Thievery +1
 
POWERS
Basic Attack: Melee Basic Attack
Basic Attack: Ranged Basic Attack
Guardian Attack: Guardian's Counter
Human Racial Power: Heroic Effort
Multiple Class Utility: Defender Aura
Paladin Attack: Righteous Radiance
Warlock's Curse  Power: Warlock's Curse
Paladin Attack 1: Virtuous Strike or Ardent Strike or Enfeebling Strike (can never make up my mind)
Warlock Attack 1: Dire Radiance
Warlock Attack 1: Eldritch Strike
Paladin Attack 1: Valorous Smite
Warlock Attack 1: Armor of Winter's Grasp
Paladin Utility 2: Call of Challenge
Warlock Utility 2: Ethereal Stride
Warlock Attack 3: Delban's Deadly Attention
Paladin Attack 5: Hallowed Circle
Warlock Utility 6: Fey Switch
Warlock Attack 7: Touch of Command
Paladin Attack 9: Spirit Harrow
 
FEATS
Hybrid Talent
Level 1: Flail Expertise
Level 2: Devout Protector Expertise
Level 4: Battle Awareness
Level 6: Mindbite Scorn
Level 8: Superior Will
Level 10: Starfire Womb
 
ITEMS
Adventurer's Kit
Symbol of the Champion's Code +2 x1
Bracers of Mighty Striking (heroic tier) x1
Gauntlets of Blood (heroic tier) x1
Diamond Cincture (heroic tier) x1
Layered Plate Armor of Dwarven Vigor +2 x1
Casque of Tactics (heroic tier) x1
Amulet of Life +2 x1
Rod of Corruption +1
Quickcurse Rod +2
Boots of Eagerness x1
Heavy Shield x1
Staggering Alhulak +2 x1
====== End ======
Looks like it's a Dark Sun(-based) campaign, so I'm guessing Eberron material and divine classes are a no-go.
He used Mark of Warding, so I felt comfortable suggesting Mark of Storm. 
I'm not seeing how at-will proning is so valuable to the builds posted here.  None of them can attack as punishment for violating marks / auras (both battleminds and cavaliers just apply damage as punishment), so none of them can prone as punishment.  At best you can knock your target prone when you attack it on your turn, which isn't terrible, but your punishments are still pretty weak (damage that doesn't scale with monster HP), and you're still not sticky at all.  Being able to knock prone at will becomes much more valuable when you can do it as part of your punishment, and these builds don't do that.
...and this is besides the entire fallacy that just because there are no gods, you for some reason should be not be able to play a divine class.
I'm not seeing how at-will proning is so valuable to the builds posted here.  None of them can attack as punishment for violating marks / auras (both battleminds and cavaliers just apply damage as punishment), so none of them can prone as punishment.  At best you can knock your target prone when you attack it on your turn, which isn't terrible, but your punishments are still pretty weak (damage that doesn't scale with monster HP), and you're still not sticky at all.  Being able to knock prone at will becomes much more valuable when you can do it as part of your punishment, and these builds don't do that.



I don't see your point and not even one bit. Proning At-will has also a lot to do with control and enabling the rest of your party. Are you suggesting that only defenders which can punish through direct attacking are worthwhile? Did you just throw the whole paladin class in the garbage can unless they're past heroic with Champion of Order? What you're narrowly focusing on is single target lock-down. As a defender, drawing mass aggro (ie: not just from one opponent) can do a lot more for your party than locking down a single foe. Besides at-will prone already helps with locking down foes. Do you think -2/3 to hit and 3/6/9 + Charisma damage will regularly get ignored, especially later on with a Morninglord in the party?

Also that cavalier hybrid build can prone as punishment twice per encounter through the Guardian Theme and Battle Awareness as well.
I'm not seeing how at-will proning is so valuable to the builds posted here.  None of them can attack as punishment for violating marks / auras (both battleminds and cavaliers just apply damage as punishment), so none of them can prone as punishment.  At best you can knock your target prone when you attack it on your turn, which isn't terrible, but your punishments are still pretty weak (damage that doesn't scale with monster HP), and you're still not sticky at all.  Being able to knock prone at will becomes much more valuable when you can do it as part of your punishment, and these builds don't do that.



Maybe if you go Lightning Rush over Forceful Reversal? Then your defender mechanic is really Lightning Rush, and you can either completely negate melee attacks (due to your superior defenses), or get double attacks in on enemies using ranged or area attacks (LR, and an attack of opportunity).

Lightning Rush is also why I suggested Lightning Weapon + Mark of Storm, since it allows you to either negate a melee attack (due to the slide 1) or decrease the effectiveness of the attack (due to knocking prone). 
Are you suggesting that only defenders which can punish through direct attacking are worthwhile?


No, I'm suggesting that the hurdles these builds jump through for at-will proning (maintaining a flail with expertise plus an implement) aren't worth the benefits reaped.


Maybe if you go Lightning Rush over Forceful Reversal?



Yes, this would do it, though losing your standard action unless you pay 2 power points (as a hybrid) is pricey too.  (Sorry for the double post--I noticed this one after I posted the last one.)
Are you suggesting that only defenders which can punish through direct attacking are worthwhile?


No, I'm suggesting that the hurdles these builds jump through for at-will proning (maintaining a flail with expertise plus an implement) aren't worth the benefits reaped.



Your opportunity cost is Versatile Expertise or Devout Protector Expertise. The at-will prone costs you 1 feat total. At-will prone at level 1 for a single feat is not a high cost, especially when you compare it to the amount of stuff a polearm momentum build needs to invest in for the same effect. Proning is both enabling and control in one and your heavy blade ranger will kiss you for it.


Your opportunity cost is Versatile Expertise or Devout Protector Expertise. The at-will prone costs you 1 feat total. At-will prone at level 1 for a single feat is not a high cost, especially when you compare it to the amount of stuff a polearm momentum build needs to invest in for the same effect. Proning is both enabling and control in one and your heavy blade ranger will kiss you for it.


No, you also have to maintain both an implement and a flail.
No, you also have to maintain both an implement and a flail.



Many arguments against this pretty naive logic:



1) A paladin would likely be incentivized to maintain both implement and weapon unless he wants to get locked in with specific weapons early on.

2) In all the campaigns I've played I've never had trouble buying a Magical Symbol appropriate for my own level.

3) You can use Ki Focuses if you're that cheap, and you may even prefer doing so if you're a tiefling since Blazing Arc Ki Focus is a common item.

4) Eldritch Strike isn't an implement attack.



No, you also have to maintain both an implement and a flail.



Many arguments against this pretty naive logic:



1) A paladin would likely be incentivized to maintain both implement and weapon unless he wants to get locked in with specific weapons early on.

2) In all the campaigns I've played I've never had trouble buying a Magical Symbol appropriate for my own level.

3) You can use Ki Focuses if you're that cheap, and you may even prefer doing so if you're a tiefling since Blazing Arc Ki Focus is a common item.

4) Eldritch Strike isn't an implement attack.






  1. Specializing is better.  If you are forced into being a dabbler, that makes the build weaker.

  2. You must not play LFR or with DMs that use standard loot rules.

  3. This is another form of opportunity cost.  Instead of multiclassing into whatever you want, or taking a theme in whatever you want, you're locked in to something just for ki focus proficiency.  (Also, your own builds can't do this: you took Guardian and Battle Awareness.  The opportunity cost for you is losing at least one of those immediate action attacks.)

  4. I never said it was.  Touch of Command is, though.  If you want to maintain both Eldritch Strike for proning + Touch of Command for catch-22, you have to sacrifice something.


The point of all this is not that it can't be done, but rather that it might not be worth it if you can't knock prone as part of your punishment.

1. So you've just thrown out all Paladin implement powers in the garbage because they constitute dabbling?

2. My DM is relatively cheap actually. Once you've got a weapon, armor and amulet (most through loot drops), what else is there to buy with your gold? Even then, if you were limited to being at below level enhancement level for your implement for a short time, that wouldn't be the end of the world.


3. That's right I took Guardian and Battle Awareness, two punishments that would prone. I'd say that would serve any Paladin well enough in his career.

4. Yeah, potentially a -1 to your Touch of Command roll until you get enough money for a symbol upkeep. Certainly worth considering since at-will prone and an adjacent enemy dominate Immediate Action are gold on a Defender.


The solution to your so called problem would be to go Swordmage|Warlock which wouldn't need addition implement upkeep and can prone as punishment. But he'd still be stuck in single target lockdown land, which is fine but may not be your ideal defender if you're more interested in drawing mass aggro. The prone punishment in his case wouldn't add much to anything since his punishment mba is a reaction.

At any rate, "maintaining" is a complete non-issue in this case it seems.  They're using the inherent bonuses rules, if the level 10 build is any indication (also, it's Dark Sun,  inherent is pretty much a given unless specified otherwise).
What about Swordmage|Warlock?  They can do striker level damage in heroic, have good defenses, and can play defender well.

They are strong at all tiers and are legal in Darksun. 

Scorpion Knight: High Armor, High Damage in Heroic Safe Haven: Stay near me and never get hit Eldritch Avenger: Crit Fishing at level 12, LFR friendly

I'll also note that proning can be very effective in conjuction with White Lotus Repost (and White Lotus Repost Master, for defenders like the Cavalier that don't mark).

If you prone an enemy next to you and your allies don't move adjecent (within range) of its melee attacks, it is likely only able to attack you (or draw AoO, which can be worse).

It can be an effective way to keep a second enemy "marked", for something like a heroic swordmage|warlock, because you can mark one creature and then prone a second next to you.

Scorpion Knight: High Armor, High Damage in Heroic Safe Haven: Stay near me and never get hit Eldritch Avenger: Crit Fishing at level 12, LFR friendly

While Lotus (Master) Riposte is great if you have no allies next to the proned enemy, but pretty counter productive to your defender role if you do, which isn't an infrequent occurance. Hard choice! But at least in the Cavalier case the enemy would take a -2 to hit and eat decent punishment.


1. So you've just thrown out all Paladin implement powers in the garbage because they constitute dabbling?

2. My DM is relatively cheap actually. Once you've got a weapon, armor and amulet (most through loot drops), what else is there to buy with your gold? Even then, if you were limited to being at below level enhancement level for your implement for a short time, that wouldn't be the end of the world.


3. That's right I took Guardian and Battle Awareness, two punishments that would prone. I'd say that would serve any Paladin well enough in his career.

4. Yeah, potentially a -1 to your Touch of Command roll until you get enough money for a symbol upkeep. Certainly worth considering since at-will prone and an adjacent enemy dominate Immediate Action are gold on a Defender.


The solution to your so called problem would be to go Swordmage|Warlock which wouldn't need addition implement upkeep and can prone as punishment. But he'd still be stuck in single target lockdown land, which is fine but may not be your ideal defender if you're more interested in drawing mass aggro. The prone punishment in his case wouldn't add much to anything since his punishment mba is a reaction.




  1. No, but it's harder to maintain both than just one.

  2. If your characters always have extra gold to spare, congratulations.  That's not how the loot progression is supposed to work, though; you're supposed to have to make hard choices about what to buy or upgrade, such that at any given time you may not have enough gold or loot to have level appropriate gear in all slots.

  3. You missed my point: forgoing one of those things in order to pick up ki focus proficiency is a cost.  By stating how useful those two immediate attacks are, you've thereby proven my point that the opportunity cost of forgoing one is high.

  4. Right, another way to shift the cost is to just concede that your implement attacks will be less accurate.


I'm not sure why you seem to be so angry about this.  I'm just trying to point out that maintaining an implement as well as a flail for at-wil proning, without being able to knock prone as punishment, might be too costly.  The real question is what else you could do with everything you spent to get the proning.

 Also, your so-called solution to the problem works only if you pick up spiked chain training, which eats your multiclass slot.  Otherwise the swordmage can't use flails as implements.  Again, there's a cost, and I'm not sure it's worth it.

Planeswalker817 is right, though, that if they're using inherent bonuses, as I hope they are in Dark Sun, then a lot of this discussion is moot.  Maintaining multiple weapons is a lot easier with inherent bonuses than without.

Also, WLMR can be great even if you have allies adjacent.  The point of a defender isn't to soak up all the attacks (this isn't World of Warcraft) but rather to create nasty double-binds.  The threat of WLMR might help with that.
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