Hexhammer Gish

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Hi guys. Here's something I thought I'd share: a nice use for a multi-class feat and some good Paragon Path synergy. It uses a Dwarf Warlock to quickly make a passable melee 2nd at Heroic tier, and at Paragon level able to hold his own against a Fighter in melee without sacrificing much as a Warlock.

Update:
- StarKiller_'s Hexforged -- a solid Warforged variant that kicks much posterior.
- The integral components: Build Skeleton.
- Hexhealer variant by MwaO.
- Accounted for July's rules update; added equipment section.

- - -


Original Build (through Paragon tier):

Stumpy MacHexhammer -- Dwarf Warlock (infernal pact)
Str: 16
Con: 18 (16 +2)
Dex: 10
Int: 12
Wis: 14 (12 +2)
Cha: 8

Level 1:
At-Will: Infernal pact = Eldritch Blast + Hellish Rebuke. No choices there.
Encounter: Vampiric Embrace is nice. It's a Will attack, and gives us 5+Int temporary HP.
Daily: Armor of Agathys. 10+Int temporary HP, and for the rest of the encounter, all enemies who start adjacent to us take 1d6+Con cold damage (or 2d6+Con with curse).
Feat: Chainmail Proficiency, so we can survive enemies starting adjacent to us.

Level 2:
Feat: Toughness, so we're slightly less squishy.
Utility power: Ethereal Stride. We're still kinda squishy.

Level 3:
Encounter: Fiery Bolt. It's a nice, fast way to clear minions away from a primary target, so you can curse the BBEG quickly.

Level 4: Con +1, Str +1
Feat: Dwarven Weapon Training (+2 damage with your warhammer). We could have taken this at 2nd level, but I'm a chicken.

Level 5:
Daily: Hunger of Hadar. "Sustain minor" is unappealing, but we are pretty sturdy by now, and not afraid of a charge attack, nor of being mobbed by minions (thanks to Armor of Agathys) -- thus, we can afford to regularly spend our Move action on a Curse.

Level 6:
Feat: Fighter multi-class feat (which is mostly useless in itself). We'll take the one-handed attack version, since we'll want our other hand free for an implement.
Utility power: Shroud of Black Steel seems most fitting. Gish buff! (However, note that Fey Switch is downright dirty if you've got your Armor of Agathys active, and your ally was surrounded by minions. Consider Fey Switch if you have a squishy Rogue who tends to get into trouble.)

Level 7:
Encounter: Howl of Doom! Our first Close power. Yay! This power is sweet if used in conjunction with a Wizard-made "zone of nastiness", and unlike the Wizard, you're tough enough to deliver it in person.

Level 8: +1 Str (-> 18), +1 Con (-> 20)
Free feat. Don't pay much attention to it, we're retraining this one at 11th level.

Level 9:
Daily: Summons of Khirad. I'd previously been in favor of the Iron Spike of Dis, because it deals half damage on a miss (and half + curse is still decent), but the ability to move a foe adjacent to you while you have your Armor of Agathys up is juicy. Unlike most Warlocks, you often enjoy standing toe-to-toe with a foe, so the opportunity to smack someone with your hammer is appealing too.

Level 10:
Feat: Wintertouched.
Utility power: Shielding Shades or Warlock's Leap. Both are good.
Retrain: Fiery Bolt (attack 3) -> Frigid Darkness (attack 3)

Level 11:
Feat: Hammer Rhythm (deal Con damage on a miss).
Enter Iron Vanguard paragon path (heal Con damage when we drop a foe; interrupt to spend an Action Point to act if we are dropped to zero).
Paragon Encounter: Frontline Surge. Str vs. AC, 2[w]+Str, and push the bugger one square, and we can Shift into into his old square, and if we do then our allies can shift as well.
Retrain: our 8th level Heroic feat into Lasting Frost*.
Equipment: You must now buy a Frost Warhammer. You should already own a Rod of Corruption.

Level 12:
Feat: Dwarven Durability (+2 healing surges; surges give you +5 healing).
Utility: Inexorable Shift. We can shift into any adjacent square, and if there was a critter there, we get to push him (no attack or save).
Retrain: Dwarven Weapon Training -> Scale Armor Proficency**.

*) Previously I'd had Twofold Curse as our 11th level feat, and it remains excellent, but the idea of Armor of Agythis + Summons of Khirad + a Frost Warhammer... makes me feel warm inside. In place of Twofold Curse, you should own and be familiar with the use of a Rod of Corruption, my favorite Rod in the whole game. NOTE: Armor of Agythis isn't an attack, so it can't impose cold vulnerability. However, it can sure as Hell be used to exploit cold vulnerability.

**) I'm counting on our +2d6 Curse to make up the damage, though the Frost trick won't hurt either. We'll probably take Weapon Focus (hammers) near Epic, just to be sure.

At 11th level, our basic attack deals Con damage on a miss, which is equivalent to a Fighter at-will (since our Con is higher than our Str). We have one (or two with power swap) Str vs. AC encounter powers that deal multiple Warhammer dice. We have one Close encounter power for crowd control, and of course we have many Warlock ranged attacks.

With our Curse, we deal 1d10+2d6+Str on a melee hit, and on a miss we still deal Con damage. We can benefit from items like Bracers of Mighty Striking, since we're mostly going to be making melee basic attacks.

Moreover, whenever we drop a foe, we get 5 hit points healed, and if that foe was cursed, we also get 11 temporary hit points. With Twofold Curse and Howl of Doom, we could drop two enemies in one round easy for 10 hit points and 11 temporary. That's staying power. Basically, if there are minions around, we can harvest them and heal up.

There's even more Con synergy between Iron Vanguard and Infernal Warlock. The 16th level ability ("Deal Con damage when you push a foe or knock a foe prone") is gold alongside the Iron Vanguard's regular powers (all of which push), and it makes Bull Rush a useful tactic against high-AC, low-Fortitude foes (though there are fewer of those than you'd expect). Con damage on a push makes Howl of Doom competitive with high-level powers, making me want to keep it alongside Spiteful Darts at high level.

Anyway, we're now getting to the point where we have to replace old stuff to get new stuff.

- - -

Level 12 Snapshot
Str: 19 (16 +3 level)
Con: 21 (16 +2 racial +3 level)
Dex: 11 (10 +1 level)
Int: 13 (12 +1 level)
Wis: 15 (12 +2 racial +1 level)
Cha: 9 (8 +1 level)

HP: 103 (12 +21 Con +60 level +10 feat); Bloodied 51; Surge 30 hp (25 +5 Con); Surges/Day: 13 (6 +5 Con +2 feat), plus one from Armor

Defenses:
- AC 26 (10 +6 level +10 armor)
- Fort 24 (10 +6 level +5 Con +3 item)
- Reflex 21 (10 +6 level +1 Int +3 item +1 class)
- Will 22 (10 +6 level +2 Wis +3 item +1 class)

Feats: Chainmail, Toughness, Dwarven Weapon Training -> Scale Armor, Fighter multi-class feat, Wintertouched, (whatever) -> Lasting Frost, Hammer Rhythm, Dwarven Durability


Magic Items:
- Frost Hammer +2 (8th level)
- Amulet of Protection +3 (11th level)
- Dwarven Scale Armor +3 (12th level)
- Rod of Corruption +3 (13th level)

Attacks: +2d6 Curse damage
Basic:
Frost Warhammer +14 vs. AC (6 level +4 Str +2 prof +2 weapon), hit 1d10 +6; miss 5 damage
Eldritch Blast +14 vs. Reflex (6 level +5 Con +3 impl), hit 1d10 +8

At-Will:

Hellish Rebuke: +14 vs. Reflex, damage 1d6 +8 fire

Encounter:
L1 - Vampiric Embrace: +14 vs. Will, hit 2d8 +8 necrotic
L3 - Frigid Darkness: +14 vs. Fort, hit 2d8 +8 cold +combat advantage
L7 - Howl of Doom: +14 vs. Fort, hit 2d6 +8 thunder +push 2 squares
Paragon - Frontline Surge: +14 vs. AC, hit 2d10 +6 +push +shift (+allies shift)

Daily:
L1 - Armor of Agathys (special), damage 1d4+5
L5 - Hunger of Hadar: 1-burst Zone, hit 2d10 necrotic and LoS; sustain attack +14 vs. Fort, damage 1d6 +8 necrotic
L9 - Summons of Khirad: +14 vs. Will, hit 2d10 +8 psychic and teleport; sustain minor teleport

Utility Powers:
L2 - Ethereal Stride (encounter)
L6 - Shroud of Black Steel (daily)
L10 - Shielding Shades (daily)
Paragon - Inexorable Shift (encounter)

- - -


Level 13:
Encounter: Vampiric Embrace -> Coldfire Vortex (yay cold synergy)

Level 14: +1 Str (-> 20), +1 Con (-> 22)
Feat: Plate Armor Proficiency

Level 15:
Daily: Hunger of Hadar -> Tendrils of Thuban (cold synergy, Zone immobilizes)

Level 16:
Paragon: Push or trip a foe = deal Con damage (6 points).
Feat: Plate Armor Specialization
Utility: Cloak of Shadow or Infuriating Elusiveness. Either way, nice mobility.

Level 17:
Frigid Darkness -> Warlock's Bargain. At last, a way to spend our copious temporary HP! Sadly, we won't be keeping this power for long.

Level 18: +1 Str (-> 21), +1 Con (-> 23)
Feat: Encounter Power Swap (Warlock's Bargain -> Vorpal Tornado). Now let me explain the awesome that is Vorpal Tornado. You get a Str vs. AC against all foes in a Close burst 1, and your hit deals 1[w]+Str +push +knockdown. Iron Vanguard deals Con damage on a push or a knockdown. So really, you're dealing 1[w] +Curse +Str +2Con, and your foes are prone and 1 square away from you. Together with Howl of Doom, we have two area Encounter powers that push. We can lay down a lot of damage when we're surrounded.

Level 19:
Daily: Armor of Agathys -> Minions of Mlbolge. Anyone who enters a square adjacent to you is pushed 3 squares and takes 2d10 fire damage, +implement bonus (keyword), +Con bonus (Trample the Fallen). That's a minimum of 2d10 +10. You don't even have to sustain it! You just need to keep replenishing your reservoir of temporary hit points.

Level 20:
Feat: Twofold Curse
Paragon Daily: Indomitable Strength. Str vs. AC, 4[w] +Str damage +push +knockdown +dazed, AND you get to spend a healing surge.

- - -

Equipment
Necessary:
  • Rod of Corruption. This is my favorite magic item for a Warlock who plans to use his Pact Boon frequently.
  • Armor: Duh. Get good armor. Preferably Dwarf armor, since extra Free action healing is tanky.
  • Bracers of Mighty Striking: You're only going to be making melee basic attacks, so the extra damage is tasty.
  • Weapon: Less important than your Armor & Rod. Can be up to 5 levels below you without impacting your awesomeness too much. Luckily Frost weapons are relatively cheap. (Compared to Flaming, for example -- why do they hate Tieflings? Oh well, not your problem.) If you are not taking the Lasting Frost route, look into a Relentless weapon (Dragon 365, Bazaar column) once you hit 16th level, and you'll probably have the most brutal critical hits possible before Vorpal at level 30.


Nice to Have:
  • Winged Boots: If you're 15th level or higher, it's hard to find a better pair of boots, particularly since falling damage got so nasty.
  • Cloak of Survival: Dwarves don't worry much about poison damage, so survival is superior to health IMHO.
  • Belt of Vigor: You have a lot of healing surges. This is a good item for you.
  • Rod of the Dragon's Heart: (Dragon 365, Bazaar column) Juicy, but highly situational. Since it's an Immediate power, you can't trigger it yourself, and it requires that your foes be clumped up. When it works, it can heal you a chunk of damage, but don't expect it to be useful every day.
  • Flask of the Dragon's Breath: (Dragon 365, Bazaar column) Hey look, a cheap area attack. It appears the attack is either a Minor or a free action, but this may just be poor writing.


- - -

For Epic Destiny, I'm thinking Eternal Seeker, so we can get a couple more Str vs. AC powers. There's nothing bad about Demigod, though.

What are your thoughts? I'm sure there's still room for improvement!

Thanks, -- N
Is this good, or too obvious to merit comment?

Shamelessly bumping, -- N
I was looking for something similar (in case I would not go for Warlock with Wizard multiclass)

some differences:
Stats: Str 13, Con 18 816+2), Dex 8, Int 16, Wis 13 (11+2), Cha 12 for the time being
level 1: encounter: thinking to get Diabolic Grasp, moving enemies could be useful, but we will see in next months ... still don't know how temporal hp sould be applied ... are different spells and powers considered like different sources so they do not stack? in that case taking to much powers with temporal hps wouldn't work, right?
feat: Dwarven Weapon Training for hammers and throwing hammers (is it useful in any situation for warlock to use melee weapon or throwing weapons? melee sometimes, probably ... otherwise it's more fot fluff)

level 2: ethereal stride (same comments about temporal hps for fiendish resilience)
feat: Improved Initiative

next levels similar to yours ... I'm fan more to utility powers like Spider Climb than just buffing
Does the fighter multiclass feat allow you to chose a weapon-fighting style?

Since you're taking fighter multiclass only to open up that paragon path, why not take it 10th?

Some pact powers are enhanced by INT; I take it those fell by the wayside. I'd say +1 to some pact powers > +1 Init (which is all your 12 DEX is really giving you).
Warning: I may say that Enduring Warrior is Con Score, it is Con Modifier.

I can't think of enough times where a thrown weapon is better for a Warlock than Eldritch Blast (since both would be Basic Ranged Attacks).

When a warlock is made they choose Cha or Con to use for Eldritch Blast.

I think Demigod might be better. Eventually you can stop using At-Wills almost (once you use up your encounters you can just select one of them to be readied again). Who needs new Con vs X powers when you already have a few? Also Demigod gives two +2 stat boosts. Potential Finishing Stats:
Str: 26
Con: 28
Dex: 14
Int: 12
Wis: 14
Cha: 12

Also, I am kind of leery of the 12 in Dex instead of Int. Int will help a few of your Warlock powers (the effects, not the attacks), Dexterity does nothing.

Then, as long as you have at least one Warlock Encounter Power that can push or knock prone, you can do Con Damage after the push (and as a Infernal Warlock power, it probably does Con damage on a hit anyway).

Unfortunately, Iron Vanguard explicitly requires PUSH or PRONE. Sliding will not count. Fortunately Howl of Doom and Spiteful Darts (Warlock Encounter 23) do push. And it pushes 3 + Int squares!

Edit: I just realized that Enduring Warrior makes no mention of a limitation of how many times this can go off in a round. This flies in the face of one of my tips in the primer, but perhaps the "Hexhammer Gish" should try to leave a few standing so that one well placed Close Blast could knock a bunch down to allow for multiple Constitution scores of healing to go off.

Edit 2: I would have to look through the Warlock powers, but the Infernal Pact Boon gives Temporary hit points when you drop a cursed foe. So That would effectively stack with the Enduring Warrior.

Also, Ferocious Reaction is amazing! You drop to 0, spend the action point for an extra action, use a Power that has Effect: You may spend a healing surge. So you retaliate on the guy that did it (assuming he is adjacent), heal a surge, and possibly knock him down with a 4[W] + Str + 1 push + Prone attack (oh look! + Con damage if you hit). On a miss it is still half damage (but no push or prone). So you might heal 1 Quarter HP + Con Modifier (Dwarven Durability) + Con Modifier (if you knock an adjacent enemy to 0) and then get your level in temporary hp if the thing that went down was Cursed by you!

WOW!

With a starting Con of 18 and level 20 (when you could do that), you could have a Daily that lets you leave like 41 for the surge (counts Dwarven Durability), then get another 7 for Enduring Warrior and get 20 temporary hit points! So you go from getting knocked to 0 (zero) to an effective 68 hit points! That is amazing. Granted you can only do it once per day (but with a different power you can try it once per encounter as long as you have an action point).

Too bad there aren't many Warlock powers that have Effect: Spend a Healing Surge.
Guys, I cannot figure out why I went for Dex over Int. Maybe I was trying for Astral Fire? Well, whatever: Dex sucks, and we all know it. Please consider it a clerical error.

Too bad there aren't many Warlock powers that have Effect: Spend a Healing Surge.

So use your 10th level feat for a Power Swap (trade for a Fighter Daily power): Vigorous Surge. 8th level feat is still free for re-training at 11th level.

OR, take a look at the Iron Vanguard, as I just did: Indomitable Strength, the level 20 attack power, gives you a healing surge.

Cheers, -- N
I'm looking at something similar... but its a primary fighter that takes feats to multi into a Warlock (also infernal pact).

My big worry would be the slow dwarven speed on a Warlock (especially at the lower levels before you get the armor)
I'm looking at something similar... but its a primary fighter that takes feats to multi into a Warlock (also infernal pact).

My big worry would be the slow dwarven speed on a Warlock (especially at the lower levels before you get the armor)

You get Chain armor at level one, so that's not really an issue.

Warlocks are better as a base class. You can't get Warlock's Curse otherwise. Seriously, what does the Fighter have that you want? The ability to Mark a foe?

-- N
Guys, I cannot figure out why I went for Dex over Int. Maybe I was trying for Astral Fire? Well, whatever: Dex sucks, and we all know it. Please consider it a clerical error.

Cheers, -- N

I found out just initiative as warlock's reason for Dex. And that's, may be, why I would spend a feat on Improve Initiative not to be caught off-guard all-the-time, but I saw you are more orientated to armor.
For me going for both armor and healing+tmp_hps is a little to bit too much defense orientated. May be in a very small groups but otherwise you shouldn't be a target of so many attacks that would leave you far behnid the rest of your group (speaking about hps), because of very good hit points, many tmp_hitpoints during encounters and huge resorvoire of healing surges.

So I would rather take feats for attacks (dwarven weapon training, dark fury and then take appropriate powers, ...) or utilities like improved initiative, ritual caster, jack of all trades ... I doubt warlock with multiclass feat to fighter is allowed to take feat like Potent Challange, but not sure.
You get Chain armor at level one, so that's not really an issue.

Warlocks are better as a base class. You can't get Warlock's Curse otherwise. Seriously, what does the Fighter have that you want? The ability to Mark a foe?

-- N

Depends on if you're going to be majoring in striking or defending. Mine is leaning more towards defender which makes the fighter (and his features and his powers) more useful.
Depends on if you're going to be majoring in striking or defending. Mine is leaning more towards defender which makes the fighter (and his features and his powers) more useful.

The thing is, if you start as a Fighter, you never get an at-will ranged attack that's anywhere near as good as a Warlock's at-will powers.

If you start as a Warlock, you can easily get at-will melee damage that's as good or better than a Fighter.

It's true that you can't Mark every round. How important is Marking for you?

Cheers, -- N
The thing is, if you start as a Fighter, you never get an at-will ranged attack that's anywhere near as good as a Warlock's at-will powers.

If you start as a Warlock, you can easily get at-will melee damage that's as good or better than a Fighter.

It's true that you can't Mark every round. How important is Marking for you?

Cheers, -- N

Where do you propose that you're going to get that awesome at-will melee damage for the warlock, from making basic melee attacks? And, it isn't just marking, its being sticky in general for which fighter powers are awesome. I'm not too concerned about an at-will ranged attack, I'd have at least 2 ranged encounter powers and if my primary concern is being able to be knee-deep in baddies this isn't too much of a problem.
Where do you propose that you're going to get that awesome at-will melee damage for the warlock, from making basic melee attacks? And, it isn't just marking, its being sticky in general for which fighter powers are awesome. I'm not too concerned about an at-will ranged attack, I'd have at least 2 ranged encounter powers and if my primary concern is being able to be knee-deep in baddies this isn't too much of a problem.

Hammer Rhythm is at least comparable to Reaping Strike. It's not much, but it's at-will.

Though honestly, if I'm defending I don't see myself ever using anything other than Tide of Iron for my at-will. Especially with Heavy Blade Proficiency.
Hammer Rhythm is at least comparable to Reaping Strike. It's not much, but it's at-will.

Exactly. And it's a Basic attack, so when the goblin provokes an OA, or the Warlord gives you another go, you get full benefit. Finally, it isn't reliant on using a two-handed weapon.

(And let's not forget that you should be using it on critters you've Cursed, so that damage pushes it above & beyond Reaping Strike as well.)

Though honestly, if I'm defending I don't see myself ever using anything other than Tide of Iron for my at-will. Especially with Heavy Blade Proficiency.

Yeah, Tide of Iron is better for a Defender. No question. The Warlock is a Striker, though, and dealing guaranteed damage isn't terrible for his role.

The big deal about this build is that most Warlocks are utterly screwed by melee, in a way even Wizards are not: many Wizards can blast out Thunderwaves at-will, and they have a lot more Close powers in general. This guy is comfortable in melee, and he's just as durable as a Fighter, even if he's not able to fill the role of Defender quite as well.

Cheers, -- N
This looks like a great build! Have you thought about completing it, Nifft? What upper-level powers do you recommend selecting?
I really like it, and am curious about how it plays. After you've used it for a few session, return here and let us know how it goes.
Retrain one of our Heroic feats into Twofold Curse.

Can you even do that? My books are still in shipping but I was assuming that Heroic feat slots couldn't be used to take Paragon feats, regardless of retraining. It doesn't particularly matter since you have the build taking armor proficiencies with Paragon feat slots, but I thought I'd bring it up.

I'm considering making a Fighter/Warlock as well, (a Dragonborn) but I can't finalize my decision until I can actually see how everything is working. Threads like this make me want to keep my options open at least.
D&D rules were never meant to exist without the presence of a DM. RAW is a lie.
Can you even do that? My books are still in shipping but I was assuming that Heroic feat slots couldn't be used to take Paragon feats, regardless of retraining. It doesn't particularly matter since you have the build taking armor proficiencies with Paragon feat slots, but I thought I'd bring it up.

I'm considering making a Fighter/Warlock as well, (a Dragonborn) but I can't finalize my decision until I can actually see how everything is working. Threads like this make me want to keep my options open at least.

From PH28: "You can replace heroic tier feats (see page 193) with higher-tier feats, but only one at a time, once per level you gain. For instance, at 11th level, you gain one feat and you can also retrain one of your heroic tier feats, gaining a paragon tier feat in its place. At 12th level you can do the same, so you can potentially have four paragon tier feats at 12th level. (You might
find that many of your heroic tier feats remain worth-while well into higher levels, however.)"
Would it be a bad idea to get the plate proficiency as soon as possible (i.e. 4th level), maximizing AC, and then getting the other stuff?
Let me take a look at higher level powers. I'll update soon.

Regarding faster access to plate armor, I don't see it buying much until Paragon level, when you can qualify for Armor Specialization. I only had one spare feat before Paragon anyway -- which feats would you neglect?

Cheers, -- N
Well, you indicate that levels 6 and 10 could both be free feat slots, perhaps use the armor upgrade feats in those slots? That way you can get armor specialization at 12th level, instead of 18th.
Well, you indicate that levels 6 and 10 could both be free feat slots, perhaps use the armor upgrade feats in those slots? That way you can get armor specialization at 12th level, instead of 18th.

6th level is NOT free! Useless in itself, but very important in what it qualifies us to take as our Paragon Path! 10th level is free, so we could take Scale Proficiency at 6th (and take the Fighter multi-class feat at 10th).

Plate proficiency would have to wait for 14th level, then Specialization at 16th level. That wouldn't be bad.

Cheers, -- N
Oops, sorry, meant 8th and 10th.
Oops, sorry, meant 8th and 10th.

Right, but one of those will get retrained at 11th level, because there are three Paragon feats we want really badly.

I guess you could enter Paragon with Plate armor and retrain back to Scale armor... but then you're going to have to store your magic Plate armor and find some magic Scale armor to wear for six levels. I dunno. Seems like a hassle.

Cheers, -- N
Would Power-Swapping (Utility) for something like Boundless Endurance/Unbreakable instead of Vigorous Surge be worthwhile do you think? Unbreakable is (almost) a 10-point heal once an encounter, and +7 regen when you're bloodied is nice, and both take advantage of a nice, juicy con bonus.
Would Power-Swapping (Utility) for something like Boundless Endurance/Unbreakable instead of Vigorous Surge be worthwhile do you think? Unbreakable is (almost) a 10-point heal once an encounter, and +7 regen when you're bloodied is nice, and both take advantage of a nice, juicy con bonus.

The one thing this character does not lack are temporary hit points! I'd rather kick off an encounter with Vampiric Embrace.

Boundless Endurance is interesting, at least until we hit 11th level and start healing while we kill, but it's solid for 8th, 9th and 10th levels, and still good when we fight Solo monsters.

Victorious Surge is there so we have a nice melee attack, as well as to heal us. It's a Reliable 3[w] attack, which is the maximum damage of any of the Fighter's 9th level Daily attacks. (Why did I type Vigorous Strike in my first post? How dumb am I? Cleaning up now...)

However, if you're happy with your damage output and want more "staying power" to tank on the front lines, Boundless Endurance isn't bad at all.

Cheers, -- N
Well for higher levels I'd take go for eternal seeker
level 22: entropic ward (taking less hits for one turn and gaining attack bonus) (woohoo attack bonus)
level 23: spitefull darts (close burst 5, 4d8+con mod damage and push 3 (5 because of int)
level 25: either nimbus of doom ( If not eternal seeker retrain the 10th level feat for the adept power feat for supremacy of steel.
(Level 26: from eternal seeker: 22 utility: time stop( level 27: diamond shield of defens ( level 29: powerfull faith ( level 30 divine recovery (< demigod)

feats
21 : bludgeon mastery
22 : epic resurgence
24 : Triumphant attack
25 : Retrain 10th level feat for Adept power
26, 28, 30: defense feats (fort ref will) or devastating critical or ... well basicly anything
If healing isn't really an issue, how about Thicket of Blades? It's a 3W, reliable, close-burst with slow. Plus, being a dwarf would mean smacking people in the legs comes naturally :P
Now that I read this in detail, it really is brilliant. I'm tempted to roll this way instead of the human life-stealer I'm planning... hmmm.
Well for higher levels (...)

I like what you chose. Let me pore over my book and see if it's perfect, or if there's still room for improvement.

If healing isn't really an issue, how about Thicket of Blades? It's a 3W, reliable, close-burst with slow. Plus, being a dwarf would mean smacking people in the legs comes naturally :P

I really like the idea of a Dwarf pulling people's speed down to "normal".

Thanks, -- N
MASSIVE REVISION!

Added:
- Feats & Powers through 20th level

Updated:
- Frost Hammer abuse
- Trample the Fallen abuse

Cheers, -- N
Quick revision:

Warlocks only start with Leather Prof. So you're gonna have to slog through 1st level with a 14AC, and lose a feat for more Armor.

Since my DM ruled Wintertouched+Lasting Frost doesn't work, I can swap that one out in Heroic for the extra Armor Prof. Since I would want Plate pre-Paragon, this leaves the question of which 2 'optional' feats should I take?

Toughness seems a no-brainer. Improved Dark One's Own Luck also seems to be fairly nice as well, but I'm wondering if their are -any- feats that would also be helpful?
You need to fix the name Lingering Frost to Lasting Frost.

Also, your level 12 feat list seems to be missing Wintertouched.

Working through the build with a Warforged, yummy...
Awesome! Thanks for the update!

One thing: At level 18, you talk about Vorpal Tornado being worth losing Howl of Doom in the last sentence. It looks like you mean losing Warlock's Bargain.
Warlocks only start with Leather Prof. So you're gonna have to slog through 1st level with a 14AC, and lose a feat for more Armor.

Look at his 1st level feat.

You need to fix the name Lingering Frost to Lasting Frost.

Also, your level 12 feat list seems to be missing Wintertouched.

Will fix name and list; thanks!

@ Brian888: Thanks, I will fix that.

Cheers, -- N
With our Curse, we deal 1d10+2d6+Str+2 on a melee hit, and on a miss we deal 2d6+Con damage. Our miss is as good as a Heroic fighter hitting with a maul, and that applies to all basic melee attacks, including Opportunity Attacks.

This is a really nifty build.

One question though: why do you expect to get your curse damage added when you miss? Hammer Rythm specifies that "this damage receives no modifiers or other beneifts you normally gain to weapon damage".
This is a really nifty build.

One question though: why do you expect to get your curse damage added when you miss? Hammer Rythm specifies that "this damage receives no modifiers or other beneifts you normally gain to weapon damage".

I thought about that, and here's my reasoning: Curse damage isn't a benefit to weapon damage in particular, so the specific rule doesn't override the general rule in this case.

The rules of the Warlock's Curse simply state: if you damage a cursed enemy, you deal extra damage. You could Inexorable Shift (Iron Vanguard utility 12), Push an enemy, deal Con damage to him, and if he's Cursed he also takes Curse damage. I see this similarly.

However, it is cheesy, and requires a close reading of "weapon damage", so I'm open to counter-arguments.

Thanks, -- N
The Hexforged

This is the update based on the Nov 2009 errata and the EPG's removal of embedded leg components.

First here are my thoughts on key differences between a Hexhammer and a Hexforged:
1. As a warforged you don't get the dwarf's warhammer proficiency so you have a couple choices:
... 1a. use a mace which a warlock already knows how to use instead of spending a proficiency on a hammer weapon since Hammer Rhythm works with both maces and hammers;
... 1b. you can get Warhammer as a bonus proficiency if you use the Scales of War "Gritty Sergeant" background.
2. If you want to spend a feat on hammer proficiency:
... 2a. Theziner has pointed out the intense damage offered by the mordenkrad hammer and that is certainly the best 2-handed option;
... 2b. the craghammer is the 1-handed alternative. Note that if you have two vanguard weapons you get an extra 1d8 on a charge which is awesome but you will need to spend a feat on the Rakshasa Claw or Disembodied Hand familiar in order to be able to stow the weapon when you want to use your implement attack.
3. If you didn't spend that feat on a 2-handed hammer proficiency use it to grab a light shield proficiency and eventually make it to a heavy shield, this provides great utility as an attached component to a warforged and boosts your Reflex defense as well.
... 3a. You could stick with chainmail armor: the heavy shield makes up the difference between chain & plate and improves the Reflex defense which armor doesn't do; as an option not available to scale/plate you can get Eladrin Chain which is a boon to teleport spells.
4. No matter your weapon, have your implement embedded into an arm slot; the EPG removed our leg slots but you can still embed two implements (one per arm) and take the hand of whichever arm you want to use off your weapon to blast away. Thus, a two-handed weapon works quite well. If you go with the dual Vanguard weapons & Claw/Hand familiar then you familiar will basically hold the weapon while you blast with your embedded implement or swap weapon for non-embedded implement.

Thanks to being able to take Eldritch Strike instead of Eldritch Blast, this build becomes really good with a pre-racial 18 in Con as you no longer need to pump Str beyond enough to get chainmail.

Iron Vanguard is still a good PP but Warforged Juggernaught works well for charging since you can use Eldritch Strike as a melee basic.

Most of all, like the base Hexhammer, this build is fun: you get to do the striker role of Warlocks without the "glass cannon" feel. Again, thanks to Nifft for coming up with the original Hexhammer build and to Theziner & others who have pitched in on the Hexforged build.

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Sulfur, level 1
Warforged, Warlock
Eldritch Strike: Eldritch Strike Constitution
Eldritch Pact: Infernal Pact
Background: Windrise Ports (Windrise Ports Benefit)

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 13, Con 20, Dex 10, Int 14, Wis 8, Cha 10.

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 11, Con 18, Dex 10, Int 14, Wis 8, Cha 10.


AC: 16 Fort: 15 Reflex: 13 Will: 12
HP: 32 Surges: 11 Surge Value: 8

TRAINED SKILLS
Religion +7, History +7, Arcana +7, Intimidate +7

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics -1, Bluff, Diplomacy, Dungeoneering -1, Endurance +6, Heal -1, Insight -1, Nature -1, Perception -1, Stealth -1, Streetwise, Thievery -1, Athletics

FEATS
Level 1: Armor Proficiency (Chainmail)

POWERS
Eldritch Blast: Eldritch Strike
Warlock encounter 1: Vampiric Embrace
Warlock daily 1: Armor of Agathys

ITEMS
Chainmail, Implement, Rod, Adventurer's Kit, Morningstar
====== Copy to Clipboard and Press the Import Button on the Summary Tab ======

Future Feats:
2: Wpn Prof: Mordenkrad
4: Imp Dark One's Blessing
6: Sacrifice to Caiphon
8: Wpn Expertise
10: Student of the Sword (if Iron Vanguard PP) or Warforged Tactics (if Warforged Juggernaught PP)

Personality: play him as being possessed by an infernal entity and laugh maniacally as you feast upon mortal souls!

Played this build last night, had a blast! I used a warforged and he is a very memorable character: he definitely has that Cylon/Terminator vibe going.

Awesome! :D Glad to hear that it works for you, and excellent idea using a Warforged! Looks like you got really good use out of the embedded component rules.

3. I'm planning to stick with Chainmail: the heavy shield will make up the difference between chain & plate (in addition to helping out the Reflex save) and this way I can get Eladrin Chain which is a boon to our teleport spells.

You take a speed penalty with Chainmail though, right? Scale armor may be better for non-Dwarves. Depends on your party composition, probably, and you're right about teleporting -- Eladrin Armor gives a nice boost to your most powerful tactical movement.

Will you be able to squeeze Toughness in, too?

Cheers, -- N
Eladrin Chain has no speed or skill check penalties! Not planning for Toughness, will look at it in the future but your build gives us lots of temporary hit points so it may not be necessary...
Great Build, thank you.

I am still learning 4e, (like many) and am wondering why this build has so many temp hit points from different sources if they do not stack?

I am sure there is a great reason and am eager to learn it.

Thanks
Skrim
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