Swordmage Guide: V.5

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Swordmage Guide

V.1
-Added Skeleton
-Basic overview
V.2
-Added Races
-Added Feats/Skills
-Added Preview Abilities
V.3
-Added Weapons and Warding stuff
-Stat Arrays
V.4
-More Stat Arrays including theory change on aegis of shielding
-Bugbear Race Added
-Few rankings changes
-Sample build Skeleton Here
V.5
-Starting to add FRPG Feats, Skills, Skills.

More to come very soon

Key

I shall use Dictum Mortuum's color-coding, which is easy on the eyes and is good at getting attention.

Red is dead. An "option" that is more likely a trap.
Purple is not as bad as red, but is an option that, at best, is only situationally useful.
Black is an option neither particularly bad nor particularly good.
Blue is something definitely worthy of consideration.
Sky Blue is the creme de la creme.

I. Version History
II. Swordmage Overview and Assault/Shielding comparison
III. Weapons and Warding Discussion
IV. Races
V. Feat/Skill Selection
VI. Heroic Tier Powers
VII. Paragon Tier Powers.
VIII. Epic Tier Powers.
IX. Paragon/Epic Destiny Options
X. Assault Builds
XI. Shielding Builds
XII. Random Builds
XIII. Misc
II. Swordmage Overview

http://www.wizards.com/rpga/downloads/rpga4_frpgpreview.zip

A swordmage is a defender with some arcane flavor. It is the first defender that as of right now does not use strength for any attack rolls. Their at-wills offer great variety with some AoE which offer a bit more minion control than a fighter. They wear leather armor but their AC will generally be higher because of their high intelligence.

Weapon wise you are stuck with a sword. You are a swordmage. This is good because you can use your sword as an implement for your many implement powers. You can jedi it up by bringing your sword to you from across the room and even regenerate it if it were to break.

That being said there are two ways to play a swordmage: main defender, off-tank. Main defender will most of the time be a shielding swordmage with a decent con score to use booming blade and aegis to tie down two targets. Off-tank will be doing decent damage or controlling by being an assaulting sword mage an making use of a good basic attack or aoe powers..

Stats:

Strength- For assaulting swordmages this is secondary. However, you only need it to be a 12 with either swordmage in order for Greenflame Blade to be an effective minion clearer. It is, however, required for Heavy Blade mastery and if you want to qualify for that at level 21 it needs to start at 15.
Key breaking points 12:Greenflame blade is useful; 13:Armor Prof Hide; 14:Will qualify for HBO without bumping

Constitution- This is the secondary stat for shielding swordmages. If you want to qualify for heavy blade mastery, however, you aren't going to sart this very high. Also if you are shielding with transposing lunge at level 3 you won't be using your actually damage reduction once per encounter and that is just from the preview. For assaulting swordmages you can keep this nominal.

Dexterity- For you it should only effect Initiative and your ability to qualify for feats. If you are aiming epic then Heavy Blade Mastery will be your goal and in order to do so it must start at 15 unless you are willing to spend your optional stat boosts to it. If you are going for HBM then you will probably qualify for Heavy Blade Opportunity out of hand but it does require 15 Dex. Can also be used for Scimitar dance although then it must start at 16 or you have to spend an optional stat boost to it. Also you can get Arcane Reach which is probably the main reason for a shielding swordmage will have some dexterity as it gets a little too MAD for them to go for HBO or HBM as well.

Intelligence
- Your primary stat. Pick a race that has a bonus to Int and start at 18. Never let this start under 16. You also get a good reflex and armor class based on this. Boost this whenever you can.

Wisdom/Charisma - Dump stats. Your Will defense will not scale well as a result but your other stats are more important. Only reason to get 14 Wis is polearm gambit but still that is one exception of a minority of this class.


Starting Stat Arrays:

These are all AFTER racial modfiers


Assaulting Swordmage:

+Str/Int or +Dex/Int

15 Str / 13 Con / 15 Dex / 18 Int / 10 Wis / 8 Cha
Solid stat array that allows you to qualify for everything on time and lets you boost Str and Int only. Gives you easy access to Solid Sound in paragon as well.

16 Str / 11 Con / 15 Dex / 18 Int / 10 Wis / 8 Cha
Solid stat array that allows you to qualify for everything on time and lets you boost Str and Int only. Trades some health with extra damage. Also will not qualify for Solid Sound.

15 Str / 10 Con / 15 Dex / 18 Int / 13 Wis / 8 Cha:
This is the Polearm Gambit stat array. You have to drop a stat boost to wisdom at level 8. You can grab all the paragon feats needed for this to work. Two issues 1) You delay HBM until level 24 and 2) you are a bit squishy compared to most other builds so you will want to grab Toughness and probably Durability for sure.


Any other +Int, including humans

15 Str / 11 Con / 14 Dex / 18 Int / 10 Wis / 8 Cha
A basic swordmage stat array. Have to spend one ability boost to dex eventually which delays HBM a bit and you don't qualify for Solid Sound but you do get Arcane Reach.



+Str/Dex races..... ok Bugbears

15 Str / 10 Con / 15 Dex / 18 Int / 10 Wis / 8 Cha
Solid stat array that allows you to qualify for everything on time and lets you boost Str and Int only. Basically gaining extra oomph for a lack of Con

16 Str / 12 Con / 15 Dex/ 17 Int / 10 Wis / 8 Cha
Extra Str and Con at a 4 level loss of int basically. Not worth it IMO but it is up to you.



Lastly there is the alternate assaulting swordmage that relies on Intelligent blademaster and implement powers because he won't qualify for weapon feats.
Alternate Assaulting Swordmage

13 Str/ 13+ Con/ 12+ Dex/ 20 Int / 10 Wis / 8 Cha
Always boost Int other stat boost is up to you.


Shielding Swordmage:

It should be noted that you can function at a lower CON score and still be effective. This is a benefit as you can still grab weapon feats. A small comparison...

Shielding Swordmage with 16 Con 14 Dex and 18 Int (14 dex is needed for arcane reach) Stat boosts to Con/Int
Aegis at level 1: 8 Aegis at Level 11: 14 Aegis at Level 14: 15 Aegis at Level 21: 21 Aegis at 28: 22

Shielding Swordmage with a minimum of 13 Con 14 Dex and 18 Int (14 dex is minimum needed for arcane reach) Stat boosts to Int and another non Con ability
Aegis at level 1: 6 Aegis at Level 11: 12 Aegis at Level 14: 12 Aegis at Level 21: 17 Aegis at 28: 17

The largest Gap is 5 at level 28 and the median is 3.2. So basically it is up to the player if they think having weapon feats and basic weapon attack is worth the difference of HP, Healing Surges and a small bit of damage reduction.

+Con/Int races

13 Str / 16 Con / 14 Dex / 18 Int / 10 Wis / 8 Cha:
Basic shielding stat array. Can afford to use more implement powers if wanted with the lack of weapon feats. Don't forget you qualify for Solid Sound and Armor Spec Hide


+Dex/Int races

12 Str / 16 Con / 14 Dex / 18 Int / 10 Wis / 8 Cha:
Essentially lose one point to Str but shouldn't be a big loss. Don't forget you qualify for Solid Sound and Armor Spec Hide

15 Str / 13 Con / 15 Dex / 18 Int / 10 Wis / 8 Cha
Assaulting stat array but with the shielding aegis this allows you to qualify for everything on time and lets you boost Str and Int only. Gives you easy access to Solid Sound in paragon as well.

15 Str / 10 Con / 15 Dex / 18 Int / 13 Wis / 8 Cha:
This is the Polearm Gambit/Assaulting stat array but with the shielding aegis. You have to drop a stat boost to wisdom at level 8. You can grab all the paragon feats needed for this to work. Two issues 1) You delay HBM until level 24 and 2) you are a bit squishy compared to most other builds so you will want to grab Toughness and probably Durability for sure.


+Str/Int

15 Str / 13 Con / 15 Dex / 18 Int / 10 Wis / 8 Cha
Solid stat array that allows you to qualify for everything on time and lets you boost Str and Int only. Gives you easy access to Solid Sound in paragon as well.

15 Str / 10 Con / 15 Dex / 18 Int / 13 Wis / 8 Cha:
This is the Polearm Gambit stat array. You have to drop a stat boost to wisdom at level 8. You can grab all the paragon feats needed for this to work. Two issues 1) You delay HBM until level 24 and 2) you are a bit squishy compared to most other builds so you will want to grab Toughness and probably Durability for sure.



Any other +Int, including humans

13 Str / 14 Con / 14 Dex / 18 Int / 10 Wis / 8 Cha:
Basic shielding stat array. Can afford to use more implement powers if wanted with the lack of weapon feats. Don't forget you qualify for Solid Sound and Armor Spec Hide
II. Weapon and Warding Discussion


Weapon choice:

Sword:


Basically you are going to want to grab Bastard Sword ASAP unless you are:
1)Eladrin shielding swordmage
2)Some variant that uses mostly implement powers.
3)Glaive user

You are not going to be grabbing power attack most likely. 90% of the builds are not going to be using scimitars since that puts too much emphasis on a tertiary stat (Dex). Bastard sword allows you to use the +3 warding for a nice boost to AC as well. So not only do you have the normal arguments for bastard sword vs greatsword but now add in AC boost and this is no contest.

Glaive:


An interesting choice. Technically it works with swordmage but it poses a few issues. 1) Aegis of Assault teleports you adjacent to the target 2) Lightning Lure and Transposing Lunge do the same 3) You will have a hard time qualifying for HBO and HBM on time if you try to grab Polearm Gambit

Adventurer's Vault weapons:

Fullblade:
Item of choice for a DPR minded swordmage

Double Sword
Interesting choice, if you get CA a lot opens up Nimble Blade. The +1ac is nice as well but overall I do not think it is worth the feat over Bastard sword or Fullblade considering you do less damage if you are going for damage or give up AC.

Khopesh or Spiked Shield
For gimmick builds

Warding or Shields

With 2 feats for shields you basically exchange +3 till you go down in a fight with +2 AC and Ref all the time. Once you hit Paragon, however, it then becomes +3/+3 with a heavy shield. Going this route does put you down 3 feats but you could have them to spare depending on the build. This is mostly an option for shielding swordmages.

With a shielding swordmage I would grab the shield prof later in Heroic and keep a shield on my back until I go down in a fight. Once I hit paragon, however, grab Arcane Reach and retrain something to Shield Spec and stick with shield for the rest of my life.
First number is for assaulting second is for shielding.

III. Races
Some races tend to be better at being Swordmages than others. Generally speaking as long as a race adds to intelligence it makes a decent swordmage.
Core Races

Dragonborn (2/1): Dragonborn make poor swordmages. Their bonuses are towards a secondary stat and then a non-important stat. Unless you have a really good roleplaying concept I would avoid Dragonborn from a practical standpoint.

Dwarf (1/2): Read above, just switch dragonborn with dwarf.

Eladrin (5/5): Here we are. Eladrin make great assaulting swordmages and good shielding swordmages. With assaulting they will be able to qualify for all of the important heavy blade feats. For shielding they get +2 int, allow easier access to Arcane Reach and allow for a decent balanced build as well. Solid race.

Elf (1): Stick with the Eladrin you get a bonus to a teritary stat and a dump stat. Basically worse than dwarf, dragonborn or Half-Elf

Genasi (5/4): This becomes core in FR and since swordmages are FR they get put here. Primarily Earthsoul and Stormsoul with their added racial abilities make great swordmages. Great synergy and great abilities make for a great character option. They tend to lead more towards assaulting swordmages like the Eladrin although they could make for a great balanced build.

Half-Elf (1/2): Same reason as Dwarves and Dragonborn.

Halfling (2/1): Halflings are the same as Half Elves...

Human (4): After making the stat arrays I have decided that Humans are a bit sub-optimal. Swordmages are just a bit too mad for them to make the best. You certainly are not gimping yourself in any way but you will have to face tough choices to qualify for every feat or lower your con a bit as a shielding swordmage

Tiefling (3.5): Tieflings get the Int boost which by default will put them above Halflings, Half-Elves, Dwarves and Dragonborn but that is all they offer. Racial stats plus a flaming sword do offer some promise although you have to determine if that is worth the trade-off that humans give.

Drow (2): You are a tiefling without the fire racial feats.


Monster Races


Bugbear (4/3): A non +Int race doesn't get below black? Well hear me out. The two stat array options lets you qualify for everything on time plus you gain the oversized ability for added oomph.

Doppelganger (3): The same as Tieflings only without the racial feats. It was actually a stretch to put them at 3...

Githyanki (4/5): Could make for an extremely good shielding build. You get your primary and secondary boosted, bonus to initiative, an extra +1 to will and a good racial ability. Also makes a very good alternate assaulting build

Gnome (3): Same thing as Doppleganger.

Shadar-kai (4/3): Essentially the same as Eladrin although I would argue slightly less useful in the defender roll with an encounter ability to make you insubstantial. Also the Eladrin gains racial feats over this.


IV. Feats and Skills

Feats

Please check to make sure I didn't miss anything!

Sky Blue-Excellent Choice
Blue-Good Choice
Black-Acceptable choice, you could do better
Purple-Under certain conditions this might be a decent choice
Red-Bad choice

Feats

Player's Handbook

Heroic Feats

Alertness: Not really worth it considering it doesn't stop surprise.

Armor Proficiency (Anything Heavy): Your primary stat adds to AC already which eventually will put you above plate armor's bonus anyways.

Armor Proficiency (Hide): Take it eventually, it is basically +1 AC for you.

Blade Opportunist: This is Cyan primarily for Assaulting or maybe Balanced builds. Basically, if you are planning on using Heavy Blade Opportunity, take this. Shielding swordmages need not apply.

Combat Reflexes: If you have a spare feat it is an additional +1 with HBO. But that is very situational and you already have Blade Opportunist.

Defensive Mobility:
You can teleport or have ranged abilities already. Perhaps if you want to use lightning lure on a secondary target while in melee, but that is too situational to be worth a feat most of the time.

Durable: Excellent feat.

Fast Runner: Meh

Improved Initiative: Varies depending on your Dex and how much you want to go first. Take this over danger sense if you want a boost to initiative, but you may look at quick draw.

Jack of All Trades: Meh

Linguist: You will not be the "Face" of the group

Power Attack: Meh. You don't have an at-will that triggers off a miss. If you grab Scimitar's Dance then possibly...

Powerful Charge: You probably won't be charging that much as a shielding swordmage and if you are assaulting your going to be needing a few free heroic slots anyways for re-training.

Quick Draw: You are bonded to your sword but if you find yourself at range a lot perhaps to swap out for javelins. Can also be handy for potions for assaulting swordmages especially if they skimp on con.

Ritual Caster: You could possibly fill this role. Shielding Mages may have the feat to spare

Shield Proficiency (Any): Debated above

Skill Focus: Unless there is a skill you use all the time, take another feat.

Skill Training: Possible, but you are probably better off taking a MC feat.

Toughness: Nice especially at higher levels and especially since you are an assaulting swordmage and not as tough as you may need to be.

Weapon Focus: Works on implement powers last I heard.

Weapon Proficiency: Bastard Sword or Fullblade FTW. If you are a shielding swordmage that focuses on implement powers you can ignore this color.

Wintertouched: You need lasting frost for this to work so you are probably going to re-train into this at paragon instead of taking it straight up. Good for an ice themed swordmage.



Paragon Feats

Paragon Feats


Arcane Reach: Great for Alternate Assaulting mages or a shielding mage that can qualify. If you grab this then re-train to sword burst and out of greenflame blade because sword burst will be better 90% of the time now unless you also have HBO. Other powers gain a lot more utility as well.

Agile Athlete: If you have an extra paragon feat and you trained athletics. Go for it.

Armor Specialization (Hide): Free AC boost and Skill boost for shielding swordmages. Assaulting probably won't qualify. Doesn't stack with Shield Spec though so that is where most shielding specs will go. Possible useful for an alternate assaulting swordmage build

Back to the Wall: Not really all that useful.

Bloodthirst: More damage for an open slot. Take Weapon Focus first.

Combat Anticipation: If you are keeping your defenses up, take the defense specific feats. If not, this is a small boost, but might be too little too late.

Danger Sense: Its a trap!

Devastating Critical: Another empty feat filler...

Evasion: Possible, but would be taken late in paragon for assaulting swordmages.

Fleet Footed: Extra speed is extra speed but low on priority

Great Fortitude: You should have this as your 3rd highest defense (next to AC and Ref) this defense becomes crucial in Paragon and Epic as monsters start gaining stuns triggered off fort. Sure up your high defenses first before thinking of improving your weakest one.

Heavy Blade Opportunity: CAN NOT BE USED FOR SWORD BURST OR LIGHTNING LURE. If you have the requirements then you were obviously aiming for it.

Improved Second Wind: Take toughness instead.

Iron Will: You will have one bad defense and Will is going to be it. Suck it up and skip this feat

Lasting Frost: Good for ice themed swordmages

Lightning Reflexes: You sure up your high defense with this.

Mettle: There are currently not enough attacks of the type that this feat will affect.

Polearm Gamble: If you meet the Pre-Req and you wield a glaive this is why.

Scimitar Dance: Extremely hard to get, if you have the dex for it though this is why.

Shield Specialization: Debated above...

Solid Sound: Extremely good feat should be able to trigger off both of your At-Wills that you should have in paragon.


Epic Feats

Epic Feats

Blind-Fight: This requires two feats to pull off, but negated many enemy tactics.

Epic Resurgence: An excellent feat for almost anyone.

Irresistible Flame: Meh. I would pray for a energy substitution feat in the future then bank on this. Tieflings take a look

Triumphant Attack: Free Debuff is a free debuff.

Unfettered Stride: Like Blind-Fight, this requires an extra heroic feat and negates many enemy tactics.

Weapon Mastery: If you aimed for it take it ASAP



Forgotten Realms Players Guide

Heroic

Escalating Assault You will be gaining encounter powers that most likely will replace your aegis of assault making this feat not worth its punch.
Improved Swordbond no...just no. No not even then....no.
Intelligent Blademaster Very useful feat for either swordmage. Some will have a high enough strength to make this not as useful but most should take this eventually probably at the end of the tier.
Retributive Shield In all honesty it depends on your tactics but for me I would be using my aegis on things I wasn't adjacent to anyways which makes this kind of silly unless if there is only 1 guy you are fighting and that is a minority of the fights in 4e.
Student of Sword Magic Adds some versatility. That is never a bad thing.

Paragon

Distant Swordbond: Doesn't have improved swordbond as a pre-req and the shear cool factor makes it not a red. I still wouldn't recommend it except for the cool factor.
Double Aegis An extra -2 is never bad even if you can't trigger your aegis 2 times

Epic

Total Aegis: What is with these feats not having the logical pre-req... Re-Train double aegis and then basque in the glory of having to decide who to use your aegis on every round for the rest of combat.




Racial Feats

Disregards your actual race choice

Racial Feats


Player's Handbook

Racial Heroic Feats

Action Surge: Always useful, a big reason for going human.

Dodge Giants: Could be useful but is very situational especially in Heroic. Take it late if you do

Dragonborn Frenzy: If you have an open feat, nice but hardly required.

Dragonborn Senses: Depends if low-light comes up at all in your campaign really.

Dwarven Weapon Training: non-debatable.

Eladrin Soldier: If you are a shielding swordmage and use a longsword this beats weapon focus until epic.

Elven Precision: If you picked an elf this must have been the reason why

Enlarged Dragon Breath: If you picked a dragonborn you might as well take this

Ferocious Rebuke: Meh

Group Insight: Good group bonus but you should have been a leader instead

Halfling Agility: Halflings are going to need this help.

Hellfire Blood: If a Tiefling can get a hold of a flaming sword, then this starts becoming a realistic option. Can also mesh well with greenflame blade.

Human Perseverance: Good for any human.

Light Step: Meh

Lost in the Crowd: Once again. If you are a halfling you are gonna need this.


Racial Paragon Feats

Racial Paragon Feats

Action Recovery: Another boon to being a human.

Dwarven Durability: All dwarves should take this

Empowered Dragonbreath: Dragonbreath is going to be a minion killer... doing more damage to minions is not that useful.

Feywild Protection: A good boost to defense when you use your racial

Fiery Rebuke: Extra 10-15 Fire damage once per encounter at paragon.... meh

Running Shot: Negatory

Underfoot: You have to take skill training or a MC feat for this to become an option


Forgotten Realms

Heroic

Avowed Dragonefoe: Avowed Crap
Broken Shackles: Broken in a bad way. Crap
Cluth of Darkness: no
Elemental Assault: If you are a genasi and are being elementally themed then sure.
Extra Manifestation: meh. Kinda cool becomes blue as a pre-req to Double manisfestation so take it when you have a spare feat.
Ghostwise Heritage: Lots of crappy heroic tier feats for swordmages
Goldplate CRAP: bad for anyone.
manifest resistence: Maybe for a themed campaign or something where you face a lot of the same element. As a last resort feat of course.
Moonelf Resilience: You put yourself on a island but you do get a free healing surge. A good strat would be if you are the alternate assaulting swordmage is to Aegis someone then put yourself in a place you can't be hit so you just teleport back or the enemy does not attack.
Shield of Shadows: Defenders don't hide
Shield of the Fallen: no...
Sun elf Pansy: I'd perfer Moon Elf myself
Wild Elf: Well if you're an elf you have elven precision and this for +2+1d4 on your re-roll at least.
That other crappy elf feat: YAY ITS OVER

Paragon

Master of Suck and Fire: If you are a drow I can't see you using cloud that much anyways.
Merciless Killer: Oh my god a drow feat worth taking..... if you have a spare slot AT BEST
All those Genasi feats: Meh out of all of them Shocking flame would be the only one I would consider taking and even then it would be late late paragon.
Crappy Heritage:

Epic

Double Manifestation: \





Skills

Show

Arcana: You dont have a choice

Athletics: Solid choice for skill challenges and maneuvering around the battle field.

Diplomacy: You aren't the face

Endurance: Solid choice for long periods of travel and resisting disease which comes up because your going to be in melee with a bunch of stuff that can disease you.

History:
Goes off your primary stat and you get it for free. Why not.

Insight:
Meh. You won't have the wisdom to make it that useful.

Perception:
If you grab a MC feat that allows this as an option. Take it. Otherwise it maybe too much of an investment for not that much return.

Intimidate:
Not the face
V. Heroic Tier Powers

Sky Blue-Excellent Choice
Blue-Good Choice
Black-Acceptable choice, you could do better
Purple-Under certain conditions this might be a decent choice
Red-Bad choice

At-Will


(Dragon 367) Frigid Blade: Ok it boils down to this. Shielding swordmages will typically want booming blade more for stickiness UNLESS they have a high enough Con to make enemies slowed far too much for them to consider moving. Human Shielding mages should consider both but otherwise it is probably a power you re-train into later.

Booming Blade: LB because of three reasons. 1) Assaulting Swordmages need a [w] at will and this is an extra sticky ability regardless of con. 2) You can sticky two target by marking one and using this on another. 3)Triggers Solid Sound GREAT ability

Greenflame Blade:Assaulting swordmage MAY want this. Booming allows you to be sticky. Sword Burst is a bit more reliable than this because of the multiple attack rolls and it helps prevent minion flanking.

Lightning Lure:
If you are a human you are taking this as your 3rd power. Other swordmages it depends on preference. Typically this will be used first round of combat or right after what you were focusing on dies. Probably too situational to be useful for everyone especially if you took Sword Burst.

Sword Burst: Arcane reach makes this superior to Greenflame Blade in every way. This is a good minion killer. Also will trigger Solid Sound.

Encounter Powers



level 1

Chilling Blow: Meh.... Useful if your target attacks more than once a round for sure but... really this would be more useful for assaulting swordmages but they won't have the Con to make it that much more useful...

Flame Cyclone:
Good Minion clearer and attacks ref. Becomes rather redundant once you get arcane reach though so it is the first encounter to go.

Foesnare:
Being able to use at the end of a charge basically means when you use this it is going to be at +1 to hit. Useful mid battle as an extra sticky if someone gets into your back lines allowing your ally to shift away. If your group has plenty of AoE already then you might want to pass up Flame Cyclone for something else and this could be else.

Lightning Clash:
I don't really like this at all.


level 3

Blastback Swipe: Decent choice but if it didn't have the aegis option it would be lower. 1[w]? really? no, pass

Corrosive Ruin: Implement power that attacks fort....NO

(Dragon 367) Incendiary Sword: Oh hi you beautiful beautiful power. AoE vs Will? Burst 1 within 5? Forces a bunch of baddies to attack you or take more damage? yes plz.

Sloth Strike: I think Transposing Lunge is superior...

Transposing Lunge: Can be useful for either swordmage. How? Well an assaulting swordmage can take the target from one side of him and basically flip him to the other side. It also does 2[W] damage and you should have the bigger boomstick. So much so you might take it instead of your level 7 power.


level 7

Electrified Lash: Implement....fort.....only damage.....2[W] in burst? meh meh meh if you are an assaulting swordmage this might be good because you might not have sword burst
Flamewall Strike: Meh
Isolating Slam: Low Str swordmages look here
Sleet Strike: Maybe useful against kobolds if you actually see any at level 7......
Spikes of Agony: Can be useful depending on the build, obviously Assaulting swordmages only need apply




Daily Powers


level 1



Burning Blade: this is against AC which means you will land it about 50% of the time. If it misses or hits you gain Strength mod to damage for the rest of the encounter. If you are a tiefling grab this. If you have a lot of strength possibly grab this for a long fight.
(Dragon 367) Dimensional Thunder: Auto-minion killer if you want..... no. Mainly because Frost Backslash is superior. Maybe if you wield a wussy weapon and you really really like teleporting and have decent Con.

Frost Backlash:
an immediate interrupt against reflex that has the weapon keyword meaning you are going to land this a lot more. Plus, you don't waste an action. YES PLEASE

Whirling Blade:
A meh power. especially with your alternatives.


Level 5


Deep Freeze:
Weapon power that attacks Fort so it is ok. The secondary effect will be greatly enhanced with a cha-rogue or a shield fighter. With either of those you can bump this up to blue

Elemental Foible:
A more versatile and at this level probably slightly more damaging burning blade. With a wizard or some other form of elemental damage this could be rather damaging though. If your group is set up to use it then this does land the important part regardless of it hitting.

Lingering Lightning:
Attacks 3 targets ref defense but is an implement power. Meh
(Dragon 367) Shielding Fire: Marks a target for the entire fight that you can use your aegis against. Good enough for me.


level 9

Beacon Blade: no damage and only useful if you fight lots of invis
Be Gone: Reliable and you can teleport the target either up 5 squares for more damage or off ledges for some fun.
Glamor Blade: This is kinda cool. Maybe some abuses will come up for it later but being a one man flanking machine is fun. Can ruin your chance to use aegis of assaulting though.
(Dragon 367) Leaping Flames: It can be good if you are spec'd for fire. If you miss though all you get is half damage? eek
(Dragon 367) Lightning Strider: Lots of teleporting. Cyan if you went Feysword
(Dragon 367) Icy Sweep: meh.





Utility Powers

Utility Powers

Level 2

Dimensional Warp: You get to change places with an ally or allow two allies to change with each other. Plus you can do this every encounter. Definitely a good controller ability to have.

Eldritch speed:
IMO is outclassed by the sheer usefulness and availability of Dimensional Warp
(Dragon 367)Elemental Aegis: Replaces your normal aegis power de facto because it is an Immediate action. What use is this over your normal aegis? Ongoing damage and multiple elemental attacks. Unfortunately a lot ongoing damage is untyped and poison as well and depending on your init order this might not be useful at all comparatively.
Dear no elements:I wonder how many days this would actually be used....
Mythral Recovery: There are always status effects that you would rather end sooner than later and this is once an encounter to try and do it. And a minor action to boot.





reserved 6
reserved 7
reserved 8
A sample build skeleton. Why not in detail? Well you can't level up past level 4 at this point and hopefully there is a better weapon option for an assualting swordmage than a one-hander with Adventurer's Vault

Assuming 15 Str / 13 Con / 15 Dex / 18 Int / 10 Wis / 8 Cha Starting Stats with Str/Int boosts
Feats:
1: WP Bastard Sword
2: Toughness
4: Armor Proficiency Hide
6: Blade Opportunist
8: Light Shield Prof
10: Heavy Shield Prof
11: Arcane Reach
12: Heavy blade Opportunity (Can switch with 11)
14: Shield Spec
16: Lightning Reflexes
18: Weapon Focus
20: Solid Sound
21: HBM
22: Epic Resurgence
24: Free
26: Free
28: Free
30: Free

Ideally if you don't want to use the shield you can get some retraining in there and get weapon focus a lot sooner.

Polearm build:
SM/War Priest/

15 Str / 10 Con / 15 Dex / 18 Int / 13 Wis / 8 Cha:

1. Weapon Focus: heavy blade
2. Toughness
4. Multiclass: Cleric
6. Blade Opportunist
8. Combat Reflexes
10. Power Attack
11. Polearm Gamble
11. Heavy Blade Opportunity Power attack retrain
12. Uncanny Dodge
14. Arcane Reach
16. Lightning Reflexes
18.
20.
21. If Demi-God HBM

Gives you the ability to mark 2 foes at 16. Inspired from Glen
reserved 10
reserved 11
Hopefully last one I'll ever need
Nice job so far. I'm looking for some more stuff!

You could do the races in colors. That would make it more clearly arranged.
Probably worth mentioning Fey Step Trailblazer from Dragon 366. Lets your assault SM port allies out from danger. Particuarly good with assault SM because you get to use your Aegis of Assault to punish the guy harassing your stranded friend, then on the following round you smack the mob again and get your ally out of dodge with Fey Step.
Dex isn't just for Heavy Blade Mastery. It also lets you qualify for very nice feats like Heavy Blade Opportunity and Arcane Reach. (both of which are extremely awesome) I would also like to note that Greenflame Blade is likely to be inferior to Sword Burst in most situations. Greenflame Blade does 1[W]+Int damage to the primary target, and Str to all other targets surrounding it. Sword Burst does 1d6+Int damage to the primary target, (1 or 2 less damage) and the same to all the others (a lot more.) Greenflame Blade hits all targets adjacent to the target you hit. How often are there going to be enemies that are adjacent to the target but not adjacent to you? Probably not too often, I'd guess. How often are there going to be enemies that are adjacent to you and not adjacent to the target? I'd suggest a decent amount of the time. Also, fire damage < force damage.

The major problem is that Heavy Blade Opportunity needs a weapon attack. Arcane Reach with Sword Burst should be hilarious, though. (I Sword Burst in a close blast 3 that way!)


Evaluation of stuff as I see it: (by the way, bolded text is for keywords, not emphasis, unless I screw up)
At-wills
Booming Blade - Nice, possible double damage rolls is good, makes you stickier.
Sword Burst - Very nice, it's like Scorching Burst but a close burst, and a good damage type instead of crappy fire. Also, you don't hurt allies! (big plus)
Greenflame Blade - Generally not as good as Sword Burst, but is useful with HBO (if you don't use Booming Blade for that)
Lightning Lure - Ranged?! Provoking OAs is generally frowned upon when you're a Defender... Targets Fort? Not looking very good. It has a cool effect, but it's only useful if you're not next to anyone, (no OAs) which would mean that you can just move over to them anyway. Also, it targets a crappy defense. Stick with the other at-wills.

Encounters
Level 1:
Flame Cyclone - Nice. Close blast 3 is good, and the damage is nice, even as a Shielding Swordmage. (does about the same damage as Chilling Blow against 1 target that attacks 1/turn, and it can hit multiple)
Chilling Blow - Eh. Good on multi-attacking creatures, but I don't like it too much as an encounter power compared to Flame Cyclone. Con damage just isn't enough. I might use Booming Blade instead of this...

Level 3:
Blackbast Swipe - Nice. Attack vs. a defense, plus push 2. I can even use it on a charge or my Assault immediate reaction instead of a melee basic attack. It's good for an Assault Swordmage.
Transposing Lunge - ...!...!!!!! Whoa! So, when I use my immediate interrupt to negate most of their damage, I can also attack them for a really good damage attack, (basically a free attack) and if I hit, teleport them next to me, which would then cancel their hit entirely? Sweet!

Dailies
Level 1:
Burning Blade - Interesting. Nice for high Str Assault Swordmages.
Frost Backlash - Wow. That's pretty amazing. The opportunity cost saved from using an immediate action instead of a standard action is that of an at-will. (meaning that it effectively does an extra at-will attack vs. other dailies) It also targets a defense as a weapon attack.

Utilities
Level 2:
Dimensional Warp - Nice. Minor action encounter get-friend-out-of-jail-free card.
Eldritch Speed - Interesting. 1/day, significantly increase the odds of going early, and move fast enough to hit people in the face from far away (even better during a surprise round.) Initiative isn't as important to Defenders as it is to Controllers, though. I think I'd pick up Dimensional Warp instead, but this is interesting.




Something I've been pondering: What happens when you hit an enemy with Booming Blade on an OA using HBO?
Something I've been pondering: What happens when you hit an enemy with Booming Blade on an OA using HBO?

Nothing. The effect takes place after the start of the enemy's turn, so it now takes place on the enemy's next turn. Effects are not retrospective; whilst yes, he -was- next to you at the start of his turn, we have already gone past that step; it does mean you have an active booming blade debuff on your turn, so you can do something else on your turn and still have him marked by it.
Thanks. I missed arcane reach. I disagree slightly on Greenflame vs Sword burst. I do think you need at least one of them however and there are times one is better than the other. I would also like to think there will be an energy substitution feat for the sword mage in the future. Right now, however, there are few monster immunities up through level 3 so the rating will reflect that. Edit- I do agree though that if you get arcane reach Sword Burst will be better 90% of the time but until paragon it is a coin toss.

About Booming Blade. One it has to start adjacent to you making it worthless if you have reach, second comes the wording; it says moves away which may not include shifting. If it does include shifting then you can always mark something else then booming blade for a double stick and I will put that in there.

Lightning Lure can be great I would think Human's will pick it up at the very least. The range can be the difference between a charge (Which shielding swordmages suck at) and getting something in melee and marking it. Situational? Yes, but that is why humans gain the extra at-will.

editing more stuff now
I just played my first 4e game with a Tiefling shielding swordmage who mostly has fire abilities (unfortunately they're mostly str. based). At 1st level, it doesn't matter too much, but I may change him around after the whole class comes out. With Hellfire Blood, I get a +1 to most attacks, then with Bloodhunt and Infernal Wrath I can get some decent bonuses to hit.

Greenblade flame: Helps to kill minions. Not bad, though flame cyclone could also do the job.

Lightning Lure: This worked out pretty well. I used it to pull an enemy out of a corner (who was then flanked). It also helps when attacking an enemy just out of reach. Overall, this adds versatility to the swordmage.

Flame cyclone: There were often times when I'd have 3 or 4 enemies in good position for this. I'd recommend it.

Burning Flame: Average ability, but then my strength is a 14. The longer your fight takes, the better it is, and some fights do take a long time.

I may retrain to booming blade, as there were times an enemy would attack me then shift away.

In three battles I used my aegis three times. It lessened the damage a great deal to my team mate, though I have no experience to compare it to the Fighter's combat challenge or Paladin's divine challenge.
Nothing. The effect takes place after the start of the enemy's turn, so it now takes place on the enemy's next turn. Effects are not retrospective; whilst yes, he -was- next to you at the start of his turn, we have already gone past that step; it does mean you have an active booming blade debuff on your turn, so you can do something else on your turn and still have him marked by it.

It doesn't specify 'next turn'. I was wondering if it would 'poof', take effect next turn, or do the damage this turn. See, it could be interpreted to not be a series of conditions that must apply before it activates, but more like: Opponent moving away. Was it next to you at start of its turn? Yes --> Do damage. In other words, a passive effect that doesn't actually check for two separate conditions to be met in order for it to activate, and rather checks for the conditions when it would take effect.

In other words, effect: Check- If target is (I'm arguing that it is reasonable to interpreted it as possible to exchange 'is' with 'was', to make things make sense with the timing) adjacent to you at the start of its turn and moves away, deal damage. It's similar to other situations where phrases dependent on timing must be ignored/changed in order to make sense of the issue. I can't actually think of any examples, so I may be making this up...

In any case, if they add in 'next turn', it'll be clear, and none of this will matter.

Thanks. I missed arcane reach. I disagree slightly on Greenflame vs Sword burst. I do think you need at least one of them however and there are times one is better than the other. I would also like to think there will be an energy substitution feat for the sword mage in the future. Right now, however, there are few monster immunities up through level 3 so the rating will reflect that. Edit- I do agree though that if you get arcane reach Sword Burst will be better 90% of the time but until paragon it is a coin toss.

Meh. There's also a difference of the chances for hitting opponents. Greenflame will either hit all or none, while Sword Burst will have a separate chance for each. They'll both have the same average 'hits', though. Sword Burst will always (unless you use it against 1 person) do more average damage. Against minions and monsters mixed together, I think I'd prefer Sword Burst, since although you don't need the extra damage, minions tend to have lower defenses, (from what I've seen) so it'll be easier to hit with an attack than to hit a harder-to-hit target and get the damage from that hit. High Reflexes are bad for Sword Burst, though.

About Booming Blade. One it has to start adjacent to you making it worthless if you have reach, second comes the wording; it says moves away which may not include shifting. If it does include shifting then you can always mark something else then booming blade for a double stick and I will put that in there.

I think that 'move' includes any kind of movement, and that though shifting is a 'move', it specifically says it doesn't provoke. I could be wrong, though.

Lightning Lure can be great I would think Human's will pick it up at the very least. The range can be the difference between a charge (Which shielding swordmages suck at) and getting something in melee and marking it. Situational? Yes, but that is why humans gain the extra at-will.

editing more stuff now

Hmm, I guess with a Human Shielding Swordmage (who neither really benefits from Greenflame Blade nor has the Str for HBO) I'd pick it up. I suppose I didn't think about being just outside of move range... Still, that's very situational. I wouldn't pick it up as one of my two if I were any other race... I wouldn't pick it as a Human Assault Swordmage either.
I think that 'move' includes any kind of movement, and that though shifting is a 'move', it specifically says it doesn't provoke. I could be wrong, though.

I may have to ask custserv on this but I don't really trust them anyways. Need a rules lawyer in here.
I may have to ask custserv on this but I don't really trust them anyways. Need a rules lawyer in here.

I'm a rules lawyer, in the sense that I've looked over the rules a lot and can tell you what they generally say. I didn't look it up before, but here:
SHIFT: MOVE ACTION
✦ Movement: Move 1 square.

In general, when they say 'move', they mean any kind of non-teleportation movement.
Examples:
IMMOBILIZED
✦ You can’t move from your space, although you can teleport and can be forced to move by a pull, a push, or a slide.

FORCED MOVEMENT
...
✦ Distance in Squares: The power you’re using specifies how many squares you can move a target. You can choose to move the target fewer squares or not to move it at all. You can’t move the target vertically.

CRAWL: MOVE ACTION
✦ Prone: You must be prone to crawl.
✦ Movement: Move up to half your speed.

In all of the teleportation section, they don't use the word 'move' once (in the rules text, they do use it once in the flavor-y explanation text.) They use the word 'movement' once to say, "Your movement doesn't provoke OAs." It's kind of odd, actually. I guess it's because they don't want teleportation to trigger things that trigger on moves. They should just say it, though.
Playing a shielding Sword Mage in LFR at GenCon, I ended up switching out Greenflame Blade out for Lightning Lure when I leveled. My other at-will was Sword Burst. The extra damage from Greenflame blade was nowhere near as useful as what I was able to do as a defender with Lightning Lure.
Based on the games I've played with a Swordmage, I don't necessarily agree with DemonLord's evaluation of powers. Here's mine, ranging from 1 (avoid it at all costs!) to 5 (never leave home without it):

At-wills
Booming Blade: 2/5
A staple for shielding swordmage, makes you stickier and the conditional damage is very similar to an automatic OA. Your at-will of choice if you are a Shielding Swordmage, can be avoided otherwise.
Greenblade Flame: 4/3
The extra damage is useful against minions, otherwise it's negligible, especially at higher levels. Doesn't require much Strength to be effective though, but rather situational. Assault swordmages, who have superior mobility on the battlefield, will probably have an easier time taking advantage of it than their Shielding siblings.
Lightning Lure: 3/4
Very useful to punish enemies that moved away from you. It's main targets will be opposing strikers that try to avoid you to target the squishier guys in the party. Also useful in the opening round of an encounter to start attracting enemies next to you. This is obviously more useful to the Shielding swordmage, whose style of combat is more static than the Assault swordmage's.
Sword Burst: 3/4
close Burst is always nice, especially when targeting enemies only. Strong power as you're likely to end up being flanked as a defender, allows you to target 2 enemies instead of 1. Targets Reflex, but is an implement power. Force damage is less likely to be resisted by enemies as well. Probably better for Shielding Swordmage than Greenblade Flame.

Encounter 1
Flame Cyclone: 5/4
Close Blast 3 is very strong for a defender. This is your best minion-clearing ability at low levels. Assault swordmages benefit most from it as they have a higher strength, but it's also a very strong choice for Shielding swordmages.
Chilling Blow: 1/2
Doesn't do a lot of damage compared to Flame Cyclone, and CON modifier conditional damage is not significant enough to make a difference, even for a Shieldidng Swordmage. Useful against Solo monsters that have lots of attacks, such as dragons. Overall very situational, and pales from the comparison with Flame Cyclone.

Encounter 3
Blastback Swipe: 5/1
Designed for Assault Swordmages, and boy it does its job. Can be used instead of a basic melee attack when the Aegis of Assault is trigerred. Push 2 also helps disengaging the target from the party member that was attacked, and can be conbined with a lot of cool effects if you have a controller in the party. As a power with the Weapon keyword targeting Fortitude, you're likely to land a blow, especially if you teleport into a combat advantage situation...
Transposing Lunge: 1/5
If the target of your Aegis of Shileding attacks someone else, attack it and teleport it to a square adjacent to you if you hit... while still reducing the damage dealt. This is a striker's nightmare. It can also potentially negate the need for Lightning Lure if you seldom fight very mobile enemies. This power targets AC, so is more difficult to land than Blastback Swipe.

Daily 1
Burning Blade: 5/3
The damage is not that impressive for a daily power, but the effect will on average increase your at-wills' damage by 33-50%. Probably the best choice for an Assault swordmage, a very strong choice as well for a Shielding swordmage investing in strength rather than constitution.
Frost Backlash: 3/4
As an immediate interrupt granting you an attack, it's effectively giving you 1 additional action point. The trigerring cost is high though, as you need to be hit. Decide wisely when you use it. The damage is standard for a daily power, and targeting Reflex with a power having the Weapon keyword usually insures a good chance of success. Probably better for Shielding swordmage, who usually have more hit points.

Utility 2
Dimensional Warp: 4/3
I believe it is a strong power, but I had no opportunity to use it effectively so far so I view it rather situational. Still, I guess I'll be very glad to have it when I use it. Gives Assault swormages another option to move elsewhere on the battlefield, or attack enemies on different locations, thus negates part of the inconvenient of the Aegis of Assault (especially since it's a minor action).
Eldritch Speed: 2/3
Will provide a significant tactical advantage 1/day as increasing your chances of going early, and giving you an additional move action in the first move of combat. Probaly better if you decide to focus on the controller minor of the swordmage, but I still consider teleportation to be superior.


I'm surprised Solid Sound is not considered for the parangon tier feats. The constitution 13 requirement is easily met, and 2 or the class' at-wills have the thunder or force keywords. Granting a +2 untyped bonus to a defense when using such a power seems very strong to me, especially considering you don't have to hit with the attack. Did I miss something?
Stuff

Good enough for me I am going to have to upgrade Booming Blade and downgrade Greenflame as a result

edit: Forgot those elemental feats I'll get around to adding them soon.

double edit: To the above specifically. On your ranking of Frost Backlash... If you don't plan on getting hit don't play a defender.
Skills challenges are going to be a key of DnD encounters with 4e, and a player has to find to way to be a contributor. As far as skills are concerned, I'd try to keep at least 1 skill of each of the following groups:
- knowledges: Arcana is a compulsory skill, so this area is covered
- physical skills: either endurance or athletics, possibly both if possible
- perception skills: insight, or perception if you are an eladrin
- social skills: either diplomaty or intimidate
on the Booming blade move this is my take on it ....

Shifting - if they Shift to a non adjacent Square they are "Moving Away"

Teleporting - Eladraport at the least cause I dont know Locks that well if they start their turn adjacent with booming blade on them and port away .... they follow all criteria for the triggered damage

Forced Movment Via Readyed actions (Push / pull ect) - my inclination is no simply because A) that would be come too unbalanced B) Forced movements dont trigger anything

However

Ready action Fear after Target attacks - this is a touchy one ... it is deemed movment not Forced movment .. and the target starts adjacent to you and then moves away ... Im up in the air on this ... and see both sides ...
It doesn't specify 'next turn'. I was wondering if it would 'poof', take effect next turn, or do the damage this turn. See, it could be interpreted to not be a series of conditions that must apply before it activates, but more like: Opponent moving away. Was it next to you at start of its turn? Yes --> Do damage. In other words, a passive effect that doesn't actually check for two separate conditions to be met in order for it to activate, and rather checks for the conditions when it would take effect.

In other words, effect: Check- If target is (I'm arguing that it is reasonable to interpreted it as possible to exchange 'is' with 'was', to make things make sense with the timing) adjacent to you at the start of its turn and moves away, deal damage. It's similar to other situations where phrases dependent on timing must be ignored/changed in order to make sense of the issue. I can't actually think of any examples, so I may be making this up...

In any case, if they add in 'next turn', it'll be clear, and none of this will matter.

I'll admit it is fairly ambiguous, but the trick here is to use good English, not semantic discord ;D "If the creature is adjacent to you at the start of its turn" This statement does not lend itself to past tense, or ambiguous tense; is, is an instant conjunctive. When the attack is applied, the power is overlayed. Yes, it was next to you at the beginning of its turn, but we have already gone through the "beginning of its turn":

If you note Page 268: "Other Effects: Deal with any other effects that occur at the start of your turn" is the 3rd step of "The start of your turn". We do not deal with effects that occur at the start of our turn, after this point. At least, there is nowhere in the rules that says we do, and, dity, filthy rules laywers that we are, we go by structure when it is present =D

This is not to say I wouldn't try and wrangle it your way if a GM was feeling fruity and was the tricky sort themselves ;3
You have Genasi, but not Drow in your race break down, any reason or is this just an ommission?
You have Genasi, but not Drow in your race break down, any reason or is this just an ommission?

Bout as good as any other race that doesn't add to Int. AKA bad. I'll add them in the future but they will be purple for sure.

edit: Changed Humans down to blue as well. Swordmages are just a bit too MAD for them to by Sky Blue

on the Booming blade move this is my take on it ....

...

Forced Movment Via Readyed actions (Push / pull ect) - my inclination is no simply because A) that would be come too unbalanced B) Forced movements dont trigger anything

...

Forced movement would probably never interact work with Booming blade because it specifically states they have to start their turn adjacent to you. I would argue with something like Dire Radiance it would work. At least a DM I play with allows it as such.
Forced movement would probably never interact work with Booming blade because it specifically states they have to start their turn adjacent to you. I would argue with something like Dire Radiance it would work. At least a DM I play with allows it as such.

Note I said Forced movment Via Readyed actions

e.g. Fighter Readys an action to Tide of Iron the target (hit with booming blade prior this turn) after he attacks .... my point was ... he started his turnm adjacent to you ... the readied action (also on targets turn) moves him away

therefore completing the terms of the secondary damage from booming blade ...

TBH I think that would be a bit much ... and hopefully this gets updated to EXACTLY what kind of movement can/will trigger the 2ndary damage

because the Fear option ... since its not a shift / slide / push could get really nasty ... granted its only an encounter power ... but think of 5 SM's BB a single target (and its still alive) Cleric fears ... thats 5d6 + the Sum of all 5 Cons

yes I know this example is a bit extreme ... and it will be rare if at all that you see 5 SM's and 1 cleric at a table ... Im just pointing out that "if the target is adjacent to you and moves away" needs to be a bit more clarified Due to the interpretation of the DM and table Variation ... I am not saying that the power needs to be nerfed .... or not to take it ... Just saying I see a lot of variation
Glaive:

An interesting choice. Technically it works with swordmage but it poses a few issues. 1) Aegis of Assault teleports you adjacent to the target 2) Lightning Lure and Transposing Lunge do the same...

You can attack adjacent enemies with reach weapons.
You can attack adjacent enemies with reach weapons.

Not arguing that, if you couldn't then glaive wouldn't be worthwhile at all; what would make glaives the end all would be if you could say tleport to reach range, instead of adjacent.

Note I said Forced movment Via Readyed actions

Noted, I retract my statement.
For shielding swordmage and a +Str/Int race I would just invert the +Str/Dex stats:

14 Str / 16 Con / 12 Dex / 18 Int / 10 Wis / 8 Cha

Put both your heroic stat bumps into Dex.

An alternative for both +Str/Int and +Dex/Int is this:

13 Str / 16 Con / 13 Dex / 18 Int / 10 Wis / 8 Cha

One heroic stat bump in Dex, the other in Str. For +Dex/Int races this has the advantage of qualifying you for Hide Armor right away; IIRC that requires 13 Str.
I'll admit it is fairly ambiguous, but the trick here is to use good English, not semantic discord ;D "If the creature is adjacent to you at the start of its turn" This statement does not lend itself to past tense, or ambiguous tense; is, is an instant conjunctive. When the attack is applied, the power is overlayed. Yes, it was next to you at the beginning of its turn, but we have already gone through the "beginning of its turn":

If you note Page 268: "Other Effects: Deal with any other effects that occur at the start of your turn" is the 3rd step of "The start of your turn". We do not deal with effects that occur at the start of our turn, after this point. At least, there is nowhere in the rules that says we do, and, dity, filthy rules laywers that we are, we go by structure when it is present =D

This is not to say I wouldn't try and wrangle it your way if a GM was feeling fruity and was the tricky sort themselves ;3

Heh. In any case, I was trying to say that wordings can be changed to make sense of a strange situation not possible in the actual wording of feats/powers. I couldn't think of an example before, but I thought of some stuff. HBO (Twin Strike) +Two Weapon Flurry. HBO lets you use an at-will with the weapon keyword instead of the basic melee attack for an OA. Two Weapon Flurry lets you, when you make a successful OA with your main-hand weapon, (hit with it on an OA) make an OA with your off-hand. The combination is confusing, since 'OA with your main hand' no longer translates well into at-wills like Twin Strike. I interpret that it causes an infinite loop.

I would say that this interpretation of changing it is less good, though, since there is an interpretation that would make logical sense, however strange it is.

Note I said Forced movment Via Readyed actions

e.g. Fighter Readys an action to Tide of Iron the target (hit with booming blade prior this turn) after he attacks .... my point was ... he started his turnm adjacent to you ... the readied action (also on targets turn) moves him away

therefore completing the terms of the secondary damage from booming blade ...

TBH I think that would be a bit much ... and hopefully this gets updated to EXACTLY what kind of movement can/will trigger the 2ndary damage

because the Fear option ... since its not a shift / slide / push could get really nasty ... granted its only an encounter power ... but think of 5 SM's BB a single target (and its still alive) Cleric fears ... thats 5d6 + the Sum of all 5 Cons

yes I know this example is a bit extreme ... and it will be rare if at all that you see 5 SM's and 1 cleric at a table ... Im just pointing out that "if the target is adjacent to you and moves away" needs to be a bit more clarified Due to the interpretation of the DM and table Variation ... I am not saying that the power needs to be nerfed .... or not to take it ... Just saying I see a lot of variation

Text:
FORCED MOVEMENT
...
Distance in Squares: The power you’re using specifies how many squares you can move a target. You can choose to move the target fewer squares or not to move it at all. You can’t move the target vertically.
...
Not a Move: Forced movement doesn’t count against a target’s ability to move on its turn. A target’s speed is irrelevant to the distance you move it.

From this, I glean that since you are moving it, and the text of Booming Blade is 'moves away', I take it to mean only when it moves away. (when I am 'moved', I did not necessarily 'move' myself, and it is more appropriate to say that I was ____ (pushed, pulled, slid)) Also, the text saying that it doesn't count against a target's ability to move (and the big bolded 'Not a Move' part..) somewhat supports this reading.

Cause Fear is nice, and would work, since it is voluntary movement. Sort of. It's forced voluntary movement..... They themselves are the one doing the moving, even if you are the one who made them do it... I hope I'm making myself clear... It is not classified under 'forced movement', and thus is separate from it. I like BB+BP + Booming Blade. Sounds fun. Lots of damage, too.
I'll quote myself here:

Show
I'm going to drop in and do something that should have been done ages ago instead of people reitterating each other repeatedly =D First off:

If you don't want it to work, then houserule it doesn't. However, according to the -acutal- rules; I will post this:



Okay let's look at the feats


and finally:


Now these are the exact descriptions from your player's handbook. Here is a fun way to describe what happens. Say I have a longsword mainhand, and scimitar offhand:

1) I am granted an opportunity attack
I may make a melee basic attack with a weapon I am holding against the target. I decide to attack with my offhand weapon, the scimitar!

2) Heavy Blade Opportunity
You are making an Opportunity Attack against a target with a heavy blade! You can use an [/b]At-Will Power[/b] with the Weapon keyword instead of a basic attack for this Opportunity Attack against the target!

RULE CHANGE HAS OCCURED
Heavy Blade Opportunity has replaced Basic Attack in an Opportunity Attack with an At-Will Power

3) At-Will Opportunity
I am no longer making a basic melee attack with my scimitar, now I am making one attack with my longsword, and one attack with my scimitar, as per the At-Will Power: Twin Strike

4) The attack: Twin Strike
For all intents and purposes, I am making a attack with Twin Strike. As this power can target one or two creatures, I may nominate another target if I so wish. I chose to attack the same target with both attacks. As I have now declared my target, I move on to the next phase:

5) Attack: Twin Strike with main weapon
For my first attack, I roll my Longsword, this is my main weapon and the first instruction in Twin Strike. I score a Hit. I would normally now progress to the "Hit:" part of my power, but instead I am briefly interrupted:

6) Two-Weapon Flurry
You are wielding a melee weapon in both hands and have successfully struck a target with an opportunity attack with your primary weapon (we presume this is main weapon)! You can also make an attack with your off-hand weapon, with an unnamed -5 penalty to the attack roll!

A RULE CHANGE HAS OCCURED
I have been granted the option of an opportunity attack against the target with my off-hand weapon with an unnamed-5 penalty to the attack roll. An Opportunity Attack is a melee basic attack

=[INTERMISSION]=
We now have 3 options:

A) Resolve Twin Strike as two strikes -at the same time-
Twin Strike is specific in that states that the attack is main weapon and off-hand. This could be read to mean they take place -with the same roll- as it states "melee;main weapon and off-hand", not "melee two attacks:
Note that is is NOT:
.
With this reading. I make BOTH attacks, as it is part of the description of my main hand weapon's attack, and THEN make my additional Off Hand attack basic attack.

B)Resolve Twin Strike as two attacks, then make the Two-Weapon Flurry attack
This is electing to make my extra opportunity attack after I have finished my power. This would mean rolling the Twin Strike as two separate attacks (How everyone uses Twin Strike) and then electing to take my extra opportunity attack at the end of the Twin Strike attack. This is reasonable; and I think this is how most people would interpret the rule.

C) Resolve Two-Weapon Flurry INSTANTLY
In which case; I get to roll my damage for the main hand, and THEN, make an Opportunity Attack (which is a Basic Melee Attack) with my Scimitar, which is my off-hand weapon. This is the choice that makes most sense, as a rule has overrided a basic At-Will Power, and is how it works with the simplified reading of the rules -as they are written-. Remember, that I have +1 Off Hand attack to make from Twin Strike, with NO PENALTY, after Two Weapon Flurry is resolved.

Let us, in this case, go with Option C. The reason I choose Option C, as this is what will make the people who do not beleive there is an infinate loop here happy, AND, is what the rules actually say ;D

=[/INTERMISSION]=

7) Hit: Twin Strike: Main Weapon
Having hit the target, I now roll 2[w] with my longsword, as this is my main weapon.

8) Two-Weapon Flurry: Opportunity Attack with Off-Hand Weapon
I now make an Opportunity Attack with my off-hand weapon, the Scimitar, with -5 to my attack roll! So, that's a Basic Melee Attack.

9)Heavy Blade Opportunity
You are making an Opportunity Attack, with a -5 penalty added to your attack roll, against a target with a heavy blade! You can use an [/b]At-Will Power[/b] with the Weapon keyword instead of a basic attack for this Opportunity Attack against the target!

RULE CHANGE HAS OCCURED
Heavy Blade Opportunity has replaced Basic Attack in an Opportunity Attack with an At-Will Power.

10) At-Will Opportunity (Off hand waiting)
I am no longer making a basic melee attack with my scimitar, now I am making one attack with my longsword, and one attack with my scimitar, as per the At-Will Power: Twin Strike This attack has -5 to it

11) The attack: Twin Strike from the OA from Two-Weapon Flurry
For all intents and purposes, I am making a attack with Twin Strike. As this power can target one or two creatures, I may nominate another target if I so wish. I chose to attack the same target with both attacks, and there's that -5 penalty on my attack rolls. As I have now declared my target, I move on to the next phase:

12) Attack: Twin Strike with main weapon from the OA from Two-Weapon Flurry
For my first attack, I roll my Longsword, this is my main weapon and the first instruction in Twin Strike. If I score a hit, I would normally now progress to stage 6). Let us assume I have MISSED

=[INTERMISSION]=
If I hit; I would progress to 6) the point where Two-Weapon Flurry notices I have made an attack with my primary weapon, the longsword. At this stage the normal thing happens: Two-Weapon Flurry says I can make an opportunity attack with my off-hand weapon as an opportunity attack. I now can make an Opportunity Attack, nowhere does Two-Weapon Flurry say this is a -only- a BASIC MELEE ATTACK. It says I make an Opportunity Attack, which, of course, would normally be a basic melee attack.
=[/INTERMISSION]=

13) Attack: Twin Strike with off-hand weapon from BEFORE Two-Weapon Flurry
Having resolved the extra attack from Two-Weapon Flurry a I roll my off-hand attack from before Two-Weapon Flurry interrupted; this would be at the static -5 to hit, unless it is the very last Off-hand attack I have. It doesn't matter if I hit or miss:

14) Hit: Twin Strike with off-hand weapon from BEFORE Two-Weapon-Flurry
If I hit the target, I now roll 2[w] with my scimitar, as this is my off-hand weapon, and part of Twin Strike. Otherwise, I get no damage.

15) END


This is a recurring loop. Each time you HIT with a main hand, you get +1 main hand +1 Off hand attacks with -5 to your attack rolls.

Let us say you hit THREE times with your Main weapon attack (MW) and hit with your FIRST off-hand attack and miss the rest of the off-hand attacks (OH): Each set of brackets indicates a NEW Twin Strike, caused by an Opportunity Attack replacement from Heavy Blade Opportunity.

(MW:Hit (MW:Hit-5 (MW:Hit-5 (MW:Miss-5 OH:Miss-5) OH:Miss-5) OH:Miss -5) OH:Hit)

As you can see, the first OH attack is made LAST, and hit. This is the final part of the first Twin Strike (the off hand attack) and -not- an off-hand attack from Two-Weapon Flurry that can be turned into a new itteration of Twin Strike. As soon as you miss with a MW attack, you end the loop, and resolve all the OH attacks that are waiting to be resolved.

I would suggest that you DO NOT houserule this; as it is unlikely to cause much bother. You, as a DM, will know how to avoid Opportunity Attacks by the time your party is level 21. You will also know when to throw them a few expendable targets for them to enjoy a chance at recurring blows.

If you play against it, and find that you really want to tone it down; I recommend the following:

OH/MH attack + OH/MH at -5. That way you are not penalizing him for taking an clever combo, which relies on him putting his ass in the middle of your guys, and cost him feats. Remember, if his attacks of opportunity are annoying; just shift away from him. Or Push him away, stun him. Or go invisible. Remember, you've had 21 levels to get to know your party and the game by the time this could even possibly be a problem, and you might NEVER see it =D

Otherwise there is applying the -5 to hit to the additional OA. This would cause it to stack as they are unnamed penalties that are not from a power.

The example you provided, unfortunately, is not relevant. Twin strike on a main hand or off hand strike are no different: Say I have a wraith blade in my main hand and a frost weapon (zomg inside joke = ). Someone provokes an OA and I want to slow them, so I use my frost weapon; I am attacking with my off hand weapon with a melee basic attack. Why is this any different than attacking with my main hand for HBO? HBO only wants me to make an OA.

HBO and Flurry both take part in a linear fashion, it doesn't matter what I use to activate either, as the feat takes place at the same time as the qualifying action.

Booming Blade as an OA is happening after the qualifying action in the enemys turn (adjacent at the start of its turn), and thus the power cannot activate until the qualifying action has taken place; step 3 of the start of the enemy's turn. That's not happened since the power has been activated.


Do you want to agree to agree in principle and disagree in execution? I'm open to being disproven, but I think we can both see how the other works, and we might have incompatible views on this specific subject.
I'll quote myself here:



The example you provided, unfortunately, is not relevant. Twin strike on a main hand or off hand strike are no different: Say I have a wraith blade in my main hand and a frost weapon (zomg inside joke = ). Someone provokes an OA and I want to slow them, so I use my frost weapon; I am attacking with my off hand weapon with a melee basic attack. Why is this any different than attacking with my main hand for HBO? HBO only wants me to make an OA.

HBO and Flurry both take part in a linear fashion, it doesn't matter what I use to activate either, as the feat takes place at the same time as the qualifying action.

Booming Blade as an OA is happening after the qualifying action in the enemys turn (adjacent at the start of its turn), and thus the power cannot activate until the qualifying action has taken place; step 3 of the start of the enemy's turn. That's not happened since the power has been activated.


Do you want to agree to agree in principle and disagree in execution? I'm open to being disproven, but I think we can both see how the other works, and we might have incompatible views on this specific subject.

I was trying to point out that the wording can change depending on the situation, especially things like that (where you're doing something that the power doesn't work with, when you come to either a contradiction or plain absurd/nonsensical parsing of what now happens.) If you will look at it again, parsing it leads to a problem. (multiple, actually) The effect doesn't end.... It never states how long it lasts, and thus is instantaneous. It goes 'poof' all of the time. However, assuming that the text is there to do something other than confuse and mislead you, (a fair assumption, I'd say) it would mean something like 'start of its next turn' or something. The thing is that there are multiple ways of adjudicating how a strange situation will work when it's not exactly covered by the RAW. I think that it can be reasonable to argue that changing the tense of the verb is a reasonable way of handling the interaction. If they fixed the first part to say 'start of its next turn', it'd be clear how it works. Otherwise, it's unclear, (IMO) and can be interpreted as meaning whatever fits the situation and makes it intuitive.

The other problem is that it simply says 'moves away'. Moves away from what? You? That is assumed to be the object by context, but it doesn't mention a reference point at all. Just 'moves away.'
is this out yet because i can't seem to find any book of this...

can you tell me were i can get this from??
neeeaaarlly:

Show
You've not quite described it right: The current wording means that if the target is adjacent to you, for the rest of it's life, if it moves away, it will take damage, but only once per application. The power itself doesn't last forever because:

Page 57 and 58 gives us rules to indicate that powers only last beyond their instant effect, if they have a save ends criteria, or explicitly state otherwise.

As the power does not quantify a time, it becomes instantanious closed effect; the power awaits phase 3 of the target's turn and checks for "adjacent". If the target is adjacent; apply the second criteria: upon "move away" the target receives the damage, thus ending the trigger and the power is now resolved; the effect has been dealt (damage), causing the structure of power to take place. It is resolved becuase there is no "save ends" or until X.

Move away is not attached to you; this means you attach it automatically to the referenced subject, as with English in general. Away, in English, is a singular term that means from the present location (possessive and current) to another place (separate, dispossessive, undefined). Grammatically, it can only mean away from itself, not you. For the sake of this situation however, whether you chose to have it apply to yourself, or the target, only makes a difference in the direction of move, which we know is a specific term in the game, unlike "away" ;D

so, if at stage 3, the target is not adjacent to you, the power ends. If it is, the power only ends when it actually moves away. Fun.


I mean, there's no confusion in HBO/flurry/twin strike, it's really easy to read. Something like Twin-Blade Storm is -slightly- more the direction you want when trying to point out the ambiguity:

Twin-Blade Storm (16th level): As long as you
are armed with a melee weapon and are capable of
making an opportunity attack, two adjacent enemies
(your choice) take lightning damage equal to your
Dexterity modifier at the end of your turn.

Because, technically, that means two monsters adjecent to each other (adjacent being ambiguous with regard to possession when unquantified); not to you specifically. Doesn't say anything about melee range. I hope that the king and queen of the kingdom I am at war at don't try to be intimate, I'll zap them! Or, maybe I need to specifically be able to make an OA at the end of my turn! Something needs to act when I take a save maybe ;3 Does and able to make an opportunity attack mean that I am not dazed/stunned? That's not what it says =P



Anyway, enough fun; the power still takes effect after stage 3, which is a trigger. Powers are not retrospective, they are instantaneous. The only thing we've done here is that it would be very funny to make a group of people too paranoid to ever move ;D

If you can show me a power which has a retrospective effect, I'll certainly reconsider. However at this stage there's nothing saying that we work backward through the turn sequence.
I've used an Assault swordmage so far.

Dimension warp is nice for saving your allies, if you're a water genasi you can save them, attack, and shift away with the racial. Very fun.

Its also handy any time you have a flanker you don't want to get hit, for example, you shift 1 away, then dimension swap with the flanking ally (or any ally adjacent to the monster) and they basically are out of melee range at the start of their turn.
For +Int only races, you basically have to make a choice between Con and Dex. I suggest the 2 following arrays:

If you want to qualify for Arcane Reach at early Parangon tier
STR 13 CON 14 DEX 14 INT 18 WIS 10 CHA 8

You decrease slightly your Constitution, but that should not overly impact the effectiveness of the build (at least as we currently know it).

If you choose not to to qualify for Arcane Reach
STR 13 CON 16 DEX 11 INT 18 WIS 10 CHA 8

Probably better with a human build as you can still have ranged capabilities with Lightning Lure.
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