Hard as a Rock: The Fighter's Handbook

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Hard as a Rock: The Fighter's Handbook

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WARNING: THIS HANDBOOK IS NOW OUT-OF-DATE AND WILL BE UPDATED IN A SEPARATE THREAD, WHICH YOU CAN FIND HERE.


So, boys, you think you're real tough guys, huh? Well, I'm gonna see about that! This isn't Guard School where they just teach you to stand still and fill out papers! You came here to fight! That means, I'm gonna see how much punishment you can take! Why do I do this, you ask? Apart from the fact that it's great fun, you're gonna have a responsibility: you're gonna have to watch after a pretty wussy bunch of guys, and that means that you can't be one, boy! Now, drop down and gimme 40!!! 


Selling Points: Why You Would Want To Play a Fighter




I'm sure by now that you've heard all about these other fancy Defender classes who are all packing magic. Now, why would you want to play a plain old Fighter after seeing them? Allow me to elaborate on some of the perks of life as a Fighter:
  • You hit hard - The Fighter is the Defender with the most single-target damage potential. Even before your mark is triggered, you're at or slightly below Striker-level damage. If you don't have a Striker in your group or if he's light on the damage side, this is the Defender you want.

  • People don't get away from you too easily - A combination of class features and feats can make it almost impossible for an enemy to escape your grasp without giving in to your challenge and beating you (easier said than done). If you want to be able to hold off the big, bad Solo even though he's doing his best to get away from you, you've found your class.

  • You have a multitude of builds available to you - Just about every weapon in this game has a different Fighter build focusing on it, and I haven't talked about the specialized class features. If you want your playstyle to be centered on what weapon you prefer to wield, this is your stop.


This Handbook will use the following system for ratings:
Red: Garbage, or completely overshadowed by another option.
Purple: Situationally useful, but overall pretty meh.
Black: OK. You could do worse than pick this.
Blue: Good stuff. You probably want this.
Sky Blue: You want this. Period.
Gold: Why haven't you taken this yet? A defining choice for a build, or even the whole class.

This Handbook covers the following sources:
AP - Arcane Power
AV - Adventurer's Vault
AV 2 - Adventurer's Vault 2
D XXX - Dragon Magazine, issue XXX
DMA 2009 - Dragon Magazine Annual 2009
DP - Divine Power
FRPG - Forgotten Realms Player's Guide
MM - Monster Manual
MM 2 - Monster Manual 2
MOTP - Manual of the Planes
MP - Martial Power
PHB - Player's Handbook
PHB 2 - Player's Handbook 2
PHB 3 - Player's Handbook 3
PHH 1 - Player's Handbook Heroes: Series 1
PHH 2 - Player's Handbook Heroes: Series 2
PP - Primal Power

References (aka will be borrowing shamelessly from):
Dwarf Axe Fighter - Optimized, by Philip:
Dwarf Hammer Fighter - Optimized, by Philip:
The Dwarven Battlemaster, by Elder_basilisk:
The Fighter's Handbook, C_A:
Fighter/Warpriest/Demigod, by C_A:
Weapon Talent Fighter
, by runreallyfast:
MC Hammer, by Titanium Dragon:
Mr. Smith, by me:
Holding the Line, by Squirreloid:
Saint of Killers
, by McSmashin
Swordmaster DPR, by runreallyfast:
Tank, by Gnoob:
Tank, v.2.0, by Gnoob:
The Iron Curtain, by langeweile:
The Wise Wolf, by Adslahnit:
The Wise Wolf (Again), by Adslahnit:

Props to:
Everyone posting

Baseline Mechanics: Surface of the Rock



HP, Surges, and Proficiencies

Hit Points - 15 + Con score at 1st level; 6 at each level thereafter. You get a large amount of HP overall, especially if you are Constitution-based, which means you can show off how well you can take a shot to the jaw compared to just about everyone else in the party.



Healing Surges - 9 + Con modifier. About average for your role, but that still is a whole lot of healing surges. As a matter of fact, only the Paladin gets more healing surges than you.



Proficiencies - You get the best weapon and armor proficiency combo in the game. The only thing is missing is Plate armor, and most of you can grab that for the cost of a feat.


Features

Combat Challenge - This is a nice marking feature in that it requires almost no input from you; if you attack the target, you mark it, hit or miss. Its only flaw is that you have to keep attacking your opponent for the effect to be maintained.

Combat Superiority
- Holy mobility denial, Batman! This is the reason Fighters are considered the stickiest Defenders in the game. Not only do you get a sizable bonus to Opportunity Attacks, a hit will stop your opponent's movement in its tracks. Super, super awesome.

Fighter Style

Battlerager Vigor (MP)
- Makes you significantly harder to kill in Melee, and makes Invigorating powers work on a miss. This is the post-errata Battlerager, of course.

Tempest Technique (MP) - If you like dual-wielding, but you don't want to play a Striker, this is the build for you.

Weapon Talent (PHB) - A no-questions-asked bonus to attack rolls. This can help you do your job, so it's useful, though it is rather plain.





Races: Foundation of the Rock



Races - PHB

Dragonborn - +2 Strength is made of win. Though +2 Charisma isn't the greatest racial bonus ever, the true power of the race lies in its racial ability: the Dragon Breath allows you to mark large amounts of targets for the paltry cost of a minor action. Toss in some incentive to be tougher, and you have one heck of a Fighter.



Dwarf - The lack of Strength is about the only thing wrong with this race. Bonuses to Constitution and Wisdom are always appreciated, and reducing forced movement is good for a front-line guy. Toss in the ability to second wind as a minor action (which means you can heal up and attack in the same turn), and you have a prime candidate.

Eladrin - +2 to Intelligence is useless, but +2 Dexterity can see use from some weapon groups. Add in a teleporting ability to get you where you need to be and some strong racial support, and it's an adequate pick.

Elf - The speed and bonuses to Dexterity and Wisdom are pretty good, and a reroll is always nice. Not an orthodox Fighter, but a solid one nonetheless.

Half-Elf - +2 to Constitution is good, +2 to Charisma isn't, but Dilettante can give you an additional ability to work with, and you can grab a Human's racial support. A pretty good choice.



Halfling - Even though being a Small Melee character hurts and +2 Charisma does you no favors, it has some pretty synergystic racial features and support. Solid enough.



Human - An extremely nice choice. +1 to all defenses is made of win, a bonus feat and skill helps, and the racial feats and Paragon Path kick all kinds of hiney. The bonus at-will is actually useful to you as icing on the cake.

Tiefling - The attribute bonuses are in the wrong places for everyone, and the skill bonuses are not for you. They have a smidgen of racial support available to them, but it's still a pretty bad choice overall.




Races - PHB 2

Deva - This is pretty similar to an Elf, except that the racial bonuses aren't as good. Ergo, not as good as the Elf.



Gnome - Move along, nothing to see here (lol pun).

Goliath - The stats are in the right places, it packs a bonus to Will (nice to have), and it even has a racial power to resist all. Nice.



Half-Orc - +2 Strength is what you want, +2 Dexterity works if you get a Flail, a Heavy Blade or a Spear (hint, hint), and bonuses to speed while charging and buffing an attack's [W] multiplier are never bad.



Shifter, Longtooth
- +2 Strength and +2 Wisdom are the most universally applicable racial bonuses to a Fighter build, and you even get regeneration while bloodied to keep you up on your feet. Awesome.

Shifter, Razorclaw - +2 Dexterity instead of Strength and a weaker shifting ability is not so good for you. A bit weaker than Elf, but not terrible.


Races - PHB 3

Githzerai - Very similar to Elves. The abilities are arguably stronger for you (racial feat for Fullblades and damage reduction? Nice...).


Races - Other Rulebooks

Bladeling (MOTP) - Very similar to an Elf overall, but the racial support is not quite as good. Not the worst idea.

Changeling
(EPG) - The fact that it can boost Dexterity instead of Intelligence is what saves it from being useless. It's still a bad idea, though.

Drow (FRPG) - The racials are just OK, but the powers are nice to buff your allies and the like. A solid choice.

Genasi (FRPG) - +2 Str is great, +2 Int is useless, but the manifestations are pretty good all around.

Kalashtar
(EPG) - ...Aaaaaand skip. The only positive is +2 Wisdom, and that will only get you so far.

Warforged (EPG) - These guys rival Dwarves as the toughest guys around, AND they have the +2 to Strength you so crave. *drool*


Races - Dragon

Gnoll (D 367) - Dexterity and Constitution are solid bonuses, but what really seals the deal are the high speed and the bonuses you get for hanging tough.



Minotaur (D 369) - One of the best choices in the business for a Fighter. +2 Strength and Constitution are just what the doctor ordered, and the charging incentive is just bonus.


Revenant (D 376) - Solidly placed stats in Dexterity and Constitution, and it has some potential in that it can mooch off another race's goodies. Not a bad idea.

Shadar-Kai (D 372) - Weaker than Eladrin overall (the racial support is simply not as good), but the insubstantial teleportation is marginally more useful to you.


Races - Monster Manuals

Bugbear (MM) - +2 Strength, oversized, and "sneak attack" make a fantastic case, and +2 Dexterity only sweetens the deal. A strong choice, especially for Dexterity-based weapon users.


Bullywug (MM 2) - Solid attribute bonuses, but that’s about it for you.

Doppelganger (MM) - All of the negative aspects of the Tiefling... none of the positive ones. Avoid.


Duergar (MM 2) - Basically a Dwarf who trades some of his toughness for some mobility and a damaging racial power. Solid, but not exceptional.

Githyanki (MM) - Meh. +2 Con is OK, +2 Int is a waste, +2 initiative is nice, but I'm just not sold.

Goblin (MM) - Slightly weaker than the Halfling, it has the same racial stat allotments, which are not spectacular for Fighters, and he's also Small...



Hobgoblin (MM) - These guys are about the same as Half-Elves, sans the beauty that is Dilettante. Ah, well.


Kenku (MM 2) - These guys are more suited for other lines of work than manning the frontlines.

Kobold (MM) - Small Gnolls. Small is not the greatest thing to be as a Fighter, and to boot you don't get a Strength bonus. Shifty is awesome for a Fighter who wants to cooperate with his allies, though, so it can see use.



Orc (MM) - Another fantastic candidate, he has the same stat allotment as the Minotaur, and has a self-healing ability, and more speed while charging. Nice.



Ability Scores: Mettle of the Rock




Strength - This is your main stat. No exceptions. Boost it every chance you get. (Recommended Starting Score: 16-18, before racial adjustments)



Constitution - Adds HP and healing surges, which are always good to have. Axes require some Constitution investment. Hammers require absolute dedication to it. The only flaw this stat has is that it boosts the same defense as Strength, and the Tanks in the room don't even care about that. (Recommended Starting Score: 13-16, before racial adjustments)



Dexterity
- Gives you Reflex defense and AC in light armor, which can be important. Flails, Heavy Blades, and Spears require investment in Dexterity to varying degrees, with Heavy Blades requiring a smidgen and the rest requiring a bit more. It also keeps your Reflex defense out of the gutter, but very few Fighters (mostly Tempests) will have to dedicate a lot of building points here. (Recommended Starting Score: 12-16, before racial adjustments)


Intelligence - Your designated dump stat. It has a redundant function with Dexterity on the defensive side of the ball, grants you a bonus to skills you will (hopefully) never have to use, and it aids no weapon group. The only use for it is MC; otherwise, avoid it like the plague. (Recommended Starting Score: 8-10, before racial adjustments)



Wisdom
- Helps out your Will defense, which has the been the bane of many a Fighter, and it also makes your Combat Superiority feature better. The Polearm feat tree also requires investment in this, so it's a pretty good place to put your points in. (Recommended Starting Score: 12-16, before racial adjustments)



Charisma - About as bad as Intelligence... except that it buffs Intimidate and Streetwise, so there are some corner cases that may not want to dump it all the way down, but those are rare (usually putting the 10 here will placate those corner cases). (Recommended Starting Score: 8-10, before racial adjustments)


Skills: Talents of the Rock




Skills - Fighter Class List

Athletics - The only skill that keys off your main stat, and it's actually useful to you.



Endurance - Battleragers don't exist if not for this skill, and most other Fighters will want it as well. Being a tough guy is part of the job description, after all.

Heal - Your Wisdom should be decent as a bare minimum, so this skill is useful for keeping you and your allies up on their feet.



Intimidate - Can potentially be useful, but you won't be buffing Charisma to that point (or at least you shouldn't be). It's absolute fluff gold, though, so if you like the image of a menacing brute, this is the skill for you.

Streetwise - It has some marginal use in information-gathering skill challenges (and to show off your street cred ), but overall not the best pick you could have made.




Skills – Other

Dungeoneering - Dispel the "Big Stupid Fighter" stereotype by picking up this skill and identifying every trap in the dungeon.

Insight - A little social savvy never hurt anybody, and you have the stats for it...

Perception - Arguably the most useful skill in the game, keying off one of your secondary attributes. Sweet.

Fighter Style: Way of the Rock



This is one of the toughest choices in a Fighter's career: the choice of style is irrevocable and influences many things about your character. Evaluate, and choose wisely.

The Battleragers are real tough and durable guys, especially in Melee, thanks to a steady stream of temporary HP they get for merely attacking. Additionally, you even get temporary HP from Invigorating powers if you miss. That's a pretty good deal. It also promotes certain weapon and armor groups. Unfortunately, using those weapon and armor groups means your AC and accuracy usually won't be all that great.

The Tempest Technique hands you quite a few bonuses for going with off-hand weapons, making you one of the most damaging Fighter builds out there. Just don't expect to be the "immovable object" style of Fighter; you're invariably sacrificing some of your traiditional durability for that extra damage.

The Weapon Talent is pretty versatile, with the ability to go sword-and-shield, two-handed, or two-weapon fighting, especially if you multiclass. You also have the best potential: some of the best Fighters are Weapon Talent Fighters. Your power may seem to be underwhelming, and you would probably like to have some of the fancier special abilities, but that's the price to pay for a strong class feature with almost universal applicability.

Battlerager Vigor (MP)
Pros: Higher damage, increased Melee durability
Cons: Lower attack bonus, restricted weapon and armor choices

Tempest Technique (MP)
Pros: Higher attack bonus, damage with off-hand weapons
Cons: Restricted weapon and armor choices

Weapon Talent (PHB)
Pros: Higher attack bonus, versatile
Cons: Lack of flashy special abilities

Weapon Groups: Channeling the Rock




Weapon Groups

Axes - The members of this weapon group deal a load of damage, though not quite as much as Hammers. They only require a mediocre Con investment, which frees up your stat points to travel elsewhere. To boot, they're available in all the flavors imaginable for a Fighter: one-handed, two-handed, two-handed reach, and off-hand ranged. However, a crit with one of these babies can REALLY ruin someone's day. Also, their superior versions (Waraxe and Execution Axe, Adventurer's Vault) do some obscene amounts of damage.

Flails - Deals a load of damage, and though the support is a bit weak, it has some very nice perks (like Rain of Blows). The Dex investment provides some well-roundedness. The Triple-Headed Flail (Adventurer's Vault) is my personal favorite here, though a case can be made for the Heavy Flail.

Hammers - Deals a load of damage, even a little on a miss, and give you more toughness due to their ravenous hunger for more Con. Requires unwavering devotion to Con as a secondary stat. The Craghammer and Mordenkrad are excellent choices from the Adventurer's Vault, but don't forget the Maul, especially if you're a Goliath.

Heavy Blades - Their (usually) high proficiency bonus means a better hit rate, which means more stickiness on OA's. Additionally, Heavy Blade Opportunity means you get to have some fun with the people who try to get past you (and fail in a spectacular fashion). Also, their Dex focus means your defenses will benefit from focusing on them.

Light Blades - Under par for most, especially because many powers for them can be used by Spears or Heavy Blades, and they work better for you. If you do use this, for the love of the gods, PLEASE pick up a Rapier so you can deal some respectable damage. Be warned; going down this path requires a LOT of Dexterity.

A notable exception to this rule are the Tempest Fighters; they exult in Light Blades, especially the Two-Bladed Sword, to the point that this may be their preferred weapon group overall.

Maces - Recently, these weapons have gained a few nice perks in their power selection, but they're still playing second-fiddle to the Hammer overall, because of their inferior stats.

Picks - No real support yet. So put it down.

Polearms - Reach is good; not quite as powerful as in 3E, but still nothing to ignore. A Polearm Fighter works best as a second-rank Defender, however. A good note is that its feats (which require Dexterity and Wisdom in almost equal measure) will give you some well-roundedness. So far, all of them share another weapon type, so you can have some more fun with them. The Glaive is my personal choice here, though a case can be made for the superior accuracy and damage of the Greatspear.

Spears - One word: control. A one-handed Spear Fighter can really control the battlefield with this thing. You pay for it with a rather low damage for your proficiency bonus, though. In spite of this, if you want to really make your opponent's day miserable, this is one of the best ways to do it.

Staffs - Bad damage, two-handed only, and no perks whatsoever for you. If you MC Wizard, you might consider this, so you don't have to switch weapons, even despite the fact that it's the worst weapon group right now (heck, not even Fighter weapon group Encounter powers support it).


Archetypes: Formation of the Rock




1. The Tank.

This build is pretty straight-forward; put Strength and Constitution as high up as you possibly can, and use a big weapon to put out as much damage as possible. You usually can take a lot of damage, and you can give plenty back, too. A great build to attract enemies' attention. If you want, you can add some effects to manipulate your opponents via push effects, but this will only work if you take a shield.
Fighter Style: Battlerager Vigor, Weapon Talent
Races: Dwarf, Goliath, Human, Minotaur, Orc, Warforged
Weapon Types: Axes, Hammers
Array: Str 16, Con 16, Dex 12, Int 8, Wis 12, Cha 10

2. The Protector.

This build's thing is that it looks to put the enemies between a rock and a hard place; either you attack him and try to get through his high AC and hit points, or you try to get past him and get hammered by his punishing and accurate attacks that will likely have some nasty rider effects attached. Hitting is paramount to this build (as it is more of a "pure Defender"), so Strength and Wisdom are what it will mostly focus on.
Fighter Style: Tempest Technique, Weapon Talent
Races: Bugbear, Dragonborn, Genasi, Goliath, Half-Orc, Human, Longtooth Shifter, Minotaur, Orc, Warforged
Weapon Types: Heavy Blades, Light Blades
Array: Str 16, Con 13, Dex 14, Int 8, Wis 14, Cha 10

3. The Dominator.

Control is the name of the game here; this build looks to impose its style of combat on its opponent. This is usually accomplished by pushing and sliding the opponent across the battlefield, or by restricting its access with a Polearm or other Reach weapon. Like the Protector, acccuracy is paramount to success, and Wisdom is a welcome boost. However, Constitution- based variants do exist, and you're going to need some Dexterity to be successful, as well.
Fighter Style: Weapon Talent
Races: Bugbear, Dragonborn, Genasi, Goliath, Half-Orc, Human, Longtooth Shifter, Minotaur, Orc, Warforged
Weapon Types: Axes, Heavy Blades, Polearms, Spears
Array: Str 16, Con 13, Dex 14, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 8

4. The Athlete.

This build is interesting in that it eschews some of the tenets espoused by other builds (namely a high Constitution and Wisdom) and goes right down to brass tacks: it wants to be quick, agile, and mobile. Even if enemies wriggle out of his grasp, it'll chase them down and engage them again. The reliance on Strength and Dexterity also opens up interesting avenues with regards to weapon selection. Overall, a good pick if playing a "by the book" Fighter isn't appealing to you.
Fighter Style: Tempest Technique, Weapon Talent
Races: Bugbear, Elf, Gnoll, Goliath, Half-Orc, Human, Longtooth Shifter, Minotaur, Orc, Warforged
Weapon Types: Flails, Heavy Blades, Light Blades, Spears
Array: Str 16, Con 12, Dex 16, Int 8, Wis 12, Cha 10

5. The Warrior.

This is more of a well-rounded style of Fighter; it looks to take advantage of all the abilities the Fighter class has to offer. It seeks to strike a healthy balance between the styles described above, drawing at least a little from all of them. What is constant is that it will favor Strength above all else, with Wisdom likely coming in as a distant second due to the competition with Dexterity or Constitution. This is one of the most likely builds to use a shield overall.
Fighter Style: Weapon Talent
Races: Bladeling, Bugbear, Dragonborn, Dwarf, Elf, Genasi, Githzerai, Goliath, Half-Orc, Longtooth Shifter, Minotaur, Orc, Razorclaw Shifter, Warforged
Weapon Types: Axes, Flails, Heavy Blades, Spears
Array: Str 16, Con 14, Dex 13, Int 8, Wis 14, Cha 10

Multiclassing: Expanding the Rock



Assassin (PHB 3) - The powers themselves have little synergy, but the Ki Focus implement means you can carry multiple weapons around and thus alter your tactics at a moment's notice.

Avenger (PHB 2) - The class itself has little to offer you, but its MC feat is awesome.

Barbarian (PHB 2) - Battleragers in particular benefit from this MC option, as there is plenty of synergy to be had.

Cleric (PHB) - Healing and defense makes this a decent choice to round yourself out, as well as some pretty solid Paragon Paths.

Ranger (PHB) - It has some strong synergy with dual-wielders, which is nice to have, and his powers pack a whole lot of damage, too.

Warden (PHB 2) - The synergies are there as far as stats go, so look around; you might find something you like, especially if control is what you're looking for.

Warlock (PHB) - Offers 18+ crits for Radiant Weapon-wielding Students of Caiphon. Not a bad trade for selling your soul to this guy -->

Warlord (PHB) - Healing and buffing comes from this MC, as well as some pretty awesome paths.

Powers - Heroic Tier: Foundation of the Rock



Level 1, At-Will

Brash Strike (MP) - An attack with a +2 bonus to hit that doesn't suck! Packs Con to damage if you use some weapon types, too. Who cares if you grant CA? Definitely the at-will of choice for any Str/Con build, if you ask me.

Cleave (PHB) - This At-Will is useful to all Fighters due to its minion-popping extra damage ability, and if you invest in some of the great feat support available to it, it becomes even more awesome.



Crushing Surge (MP) - This is a solid choice for Battlerager builds that look for anything than involves staying alive longer. Not many others want this power, though.



Dual Strike (MP)
- This power was too good as originally written, so they toned it down so it attacks two separate targets. It’s still a very good power, as it can potentially mark two different enemies at once and deliver respectable damage. No dual-wielding Fighter should go without this.

Footwork Lure (MP) - Tide of Iron in reverse, and still allows you to keep people off your squishies. To boot, it even gets your buddies out of grapples. Grab some choice magic items and a Polearm, and watch it become absolutely brilliant.


Knockdown Assault (PHH 1) - While an At-Will that knocks prone is very useful (and being usable on a charge makes it even more appealing), the damage is pathetic, and Footwork Lure can accomplish the same thing with a Polearm and some feat investiture, so it’s not “all that”. If you pick the right gear, though, this can be pretty good.

Reaping Strike (PHB) - If you fight with a two-handed weapon, this At-Will is probably high on your priority list, because of its inherently good DPR. Not quite worth it for other Fighters, though, and Hammer users will likely look to retrain this out once they grab Hammer Rhythm.


Resolute Shield (D 382) - Another shield-only At-Will, this one grants you a decent bit of resistance to your opponent’s attacks, which can go a heck of a long way toward keeping you upright, especially against Elites and Solos.

Sure Strike (PHB) - Absolute and utter garbage. You could add the ability modifier to the damage and I'd still think about taking it. Once Martial Power came out, the fringe cases of Fighters picking this power (aka Human two-handed weapon wielders, because they literally couldn't use Tide of Iron) just up and disappeared.



Tide of Iron (PHB) - Your main at-will as a shield fighter. Pushing is prime in maintaining a positioning advantage, as well as advancing the frontline (which is defined by you, after all). As a bonus, this is great for getting grapplers off your buddies. Unusable by two-handers and dual-wielders, though.

Weapon Master’s Strike
(D 382) - Great versatility, and a multitude of useful effects to be found here, with the standouts being the Mace (finally!) and the Polearm/Spear.

Wicked Strike
(D 379) - Why you would pick this over Brash Strike is officially beyond me.




Level 1, Encounter

Bell Ringer (MP) - This is weaksauce. Dazing is not worth losing the damage. This is weaker than Crushing Surge, and that’s saying something.

Covering Attack (PHB) - You do a Leader impression. Meh.



Distracting Spate (MP) - A solid swing, and combat advantage for you. Dual-wielders get some extra damage if they pump Dexterity. If you could only grant that CA to your allies as well...



Funneling Flurry
(MP) - A multiattacking (and thus multimarking) swing that slides. Easily the dual-wielder’s choice.

Insightful Strike (MP) - A vanilla swing that deals a little extra damage if your target is bloodied. Thoroughly underwhelming.



Lunging Strike (MP) - Good for the time you were one square short from getting your hit in, but that doesn’t come up that often.

Passing Attack (PHB) - This is essentially a slightly more damaging Dual Strike, with an accuracy bonus on the second attack, and can be used by any weapon. Dual-wielders will want Funneling Flurry, but everyone else will be perfectly happy to have this instead.


Punishing Charge (D 379) - A decent power for two-handed weapon wielders, this charge delivers a bit of extra damage as well as some minion-popping ability.

Shield Bash (MP) - A solid power for Shield wielders, especially Dwarves. Be sure to retrain it out fast, though; it doesn't scale too well, and will probably be useless by the time you finish Heroic Tier.



Spinning Sweep (PHB) - The damage blows, but knocking someone prone is an excellent effect to have as a Fighter, because it means it’s hell to get away from you.

Steel Serpent Strike (PHB) - Solid damage, slows, and disallows shifting. Not bad.


Level 1, Daily

Brute Strike (PHB) - This power had been made obsolete by Lasting Threat, and it wasn't that great to begin with.

Comeback Strike (PHB) - *Eye of the Tiger plays in the background* A solid swing, and some healing. Comes with Reliability, too.

Flanking Assault (MP) - This is some pretty heavy damage if you can cluster your party around your opponent. With that being said, you’re likely getting more mileage out of Villain’s Menace.



Harrier's Ploy (MP) - Stickiness at the cost of your Combat Challenge attack. Only really appealing if your Dexterity is good enough for you to be able to shadow your enemy left and right.



Knee Breaker (MP) - A solid mobility denial power, it combines well with Steel Serpent Strike for lots of damage and immobilization.



Lasting Threat (MP) - A perma-mark on a 3[W] attack with Reliable is something to consider.


Ruinous Assault
(D 378) - This is Dual Strike with ability modifiers to damage and a little ongoing damage sprinkled in. Not quite good enough to be a Daily IMHO.

Savage Advance
(D 379) - I'm all for big damage on a Fighter, but losing accuracy to do it is a not so great an idea.

Tempest Dance (MP) - Spreading the mark around is a good idea, especially when the swings come with a touch of extra damage if you have CA.



Villain's Menace (PHB) - This absolutely ravages Elites and Solos, and allows you to drop anyone faster.


Level 2, Utility

Battle Fury Stance
(D 382) - Free damage bonus, and it can be used every encounter. Especially good for Battleragers, who are at less need to spend surges at all. The best part about it is you can turn it off whenever you need to, which is good, because -2 AC is a bit of a risk, especially for those who chose not to wear a shield.

Boundless Endurance
(PHB) - A high amount of regen while bloodied if you’re Con-based. Not as good as it used to be due to the multitude of things a Fighter can do with his stance slot (and the fact that it’s a Daily), but not bad by any means.


Close the Gap
(PHH 2) - Action economy is nice to have, but the move distance will be small for most Fighters.

Create an Opening (MP) - A shift is NOT worth a free attack on you.

Defensive Stance (MP) - Not that spectacular (slowing yourself kind of sucks), but it's not bad, either.

Get Over Here (PHB) - Another sub-optimal utility with an unclear purpose.

No Opening (PHB) - Again, not all that useful.

Pass Forward (MP) - Very useful mobility, it can help you maneuver into a flank without ever having to worry about provoking an OA. Gets even better when enemies get bigger.



Shielded Sides (MP) - A nice effect, and it's an Encounter power. Sweet.



Shrewd Repositioning (MP) - Weaker than the Ranger's Yield Ground, on a class that doesn't want to move away. Avoid like the plague; if you want to move around your enemy, pick Pass Forward instead.

Unstoppable (PHB) - A decent amount of THP, but it’s a Daily. Pass.

Who’s Next? (D 379) - Shifting + damage pump when you drop an enemy. Solid enough.




Level 3, Encounter

Advance Lunge (MP) - A decent enough get-in, get-out power if you have the right weapon.



Armor-Piercing Strike (PHB) - An accurate, mediocre-damage hit. The end.

Blinding Smash (MP) - Good condition; horrible damage. Skip.

Crushing Blow (PHB) - A solid amount of damage, but nothing else.

 Not what you're looking for.

Dance of Steel (PHB) - Immobilizing is a great condition for you, so this power is pretty solid.


Deflecting Shield
(D 382) - A swing with a Cleave-like effect for another enemy. Skip this.

Hesitation Slash (D 366) - An accurate swing that grant you CA. A solid setup attack, provided you use the correct weapons.



Parry and Riposte (MP) - A sweet power, as it grants an out-of-turn attack if they miss you (and if they attack you, you don't get a CC trigger anyway) and hands out CA like candy corn.



Precise Strike (PHB) - Sure Strike tries again and fails spectacularly.

Probing Attack (MP) - A sweet self-buffing benefit. If you get this off as an OA, your next turn will be made of win.



Rain of Blows (PHB) - If you are using one of the weapon types favored by this power, there is ABSOLUTELY NO REASON why you shouldn't take this power, even with the errata limiting it to three 1[W] attacks with no modifier.

Restoring Strike
(D 379) - Second wind as a minor action is not worth having to use this lame power to activate it.

Rhino Strike (MP) - You get +1[W] to one charge per encounter. If you use a shield, this is a bit better because you can charge in without fear of retaliation, but it's still a tough sell.



Shield Slam (MP) - Put that annoying enemy down where he can't move away from you as a free action. Again, be warned that its poor scaling will render it useless soon.



Sweeping Blow (PHB) - Close burst + accuracy bonus = tasty.


Level 5, Daily

Agonizing Assault (MP) - Daze and immobilize (save ends) with some decent damage. Nice.



Bedeviling Assault (MP) - Some sweet 1-2 punches if your ally will cooperate.


Brutal Advance
(D 379) - Now THIS is a worthy power! You get to attack the same target twice (if you’ve seen the Ranger at work, you know this is good), and you push him away and knock him prone at the end of the whole thing! This lets you channel your inner Striker while still doing your job.

Cometfall Charge
(MP) - One heavy charge. A Barbarian likely wouldn’t take this over a L5 Rage, which means you likely shouldn’t, either.

Crack the Shell (PHB) - A solid swing, a debuff, and ongoing damage. Can I get some fries with that?


Dancing Defense
(D 378) - Oh, wow. Free multimarking or shifting + defense for dual-wielders? This is awesome!

Dizzying Blow (PHB) - A reliable immobilizer with 3[W] attached. Not bad at all.

Hounding Longarm (MP) - Essentially enhances the range of your Combat Challenge attack against one enemy. That’s pretty cool.



Nimble Bladestorm (D 366) - An accurate, if generic, close burst 1 for 2[W].

 Solid enough if you have the right weapon.

Pinning Smash (MP) - Poor damage, but a single-target lockdown effect this good cannot be ignored.



Rain of Steel (PHB) - Damage for starting their turn adjacent to you. Made of absolute win. This is the front-runner here; if you like any of the other Dailies, you might want to pick them up at Level 9 instead.

Subtle Cut (MP) - Not worth the risk IMHO, as it is very hard to make ongoing damage reliable.

Spinning Razor Strike
(D 378) - This is basically a slightly weaker version of Tempest Dance... except that the third attack is a double swing. That is obviously very nice to have, because it lets you hit a spread-out bunch of targets AND have focus fire muscle simultaneously (and it even comes with a small accuracy boost).
 Not much to dislike here.


Level 6, Utility

Agile Approach (MP) - A conditional shift. Yeah... no.



Battle Awareness (PHB) - Massive initiative boost once per day. Solid.


Bodyguard’s Stance (D 382) - Taking hits for your allies is what you’re about, so this is prime role reinforcement material right here. Unfortunately, you have to cluster for it to work, and you can’t really absorb much of the damage.

Daring Shot
(PHH 1) - Mass marking is good. The fact that you can get THP out of it is better. Throw in the ability to use it every encounter, and you have yourself a favorite.

Defensive Training
(PHB) - +2 to only one NAD and it takes up your stance slot? Yuuuck.


Line in the Sand
(D 379) - As much as I like free CA, the fact that you restrict your movement to a 3 x 3 zone is taboo, and making it a Daily just makes it worse.

Phalanx Leader (PHH 2) - Though clustering is kind of a no-no, +2 to hit every encounter for having an ally adjacent to you (and handing him +2 AC, +2 Ref) is decent, because it gives your ally a defensive boost without your having to sacrifice the +2 to hit from the CA you would get if you were flanking with the ally.

Rock Steady (MP) - A stance for -1 forced movement is kinda conditional...



Settling the Score (MP) - A free +2 to hit for an entire encounter is a solid benefit, even if it’s a Daily and it only works against one enemy (feels very Striker-y in flavor, though).



Strong Focus (MP) - +Wis to Athletics and Str checks for a turn? Pass on most situations.



Unbreakable (PHB) - Some decent damage reduction, it can ignore a hit altogether if you're Constitution-based. It doesn't scale too well, though.



Vigilant Protector (MP) - A stance to help out your allies at a cost, but it promotes clustering. *sigh* One would think the drawback would net the power some extra range.




Level 7, Encounter

Come and Get It (PHB) - You do your job by pulling your enemies to you, and marking them all via an attack. No way you miss out on this.



Griffon's Wrath (PHB) - A swing and a debuff. Solid enough.

Hampering Flurry (MP) - Your first double-up Encounter power, and it's pretty good.


Inertia Strike
(D 379) - This effect is not worth taking an accuracy penalty on an otherwise generic 2[W] attack for. Garbage.

Iron Bulwark
(PHB) - Eh. It's not really that impressive.

Not So Fast (MP) - Basically a souped-up Combat Challenge against movement, it’s really worth it if you use a Flail, because an Immediate Reaction Immobilize is made of win.



Reckless Strike (PHB) - Requires some decent backup to make it hit, and the extra damage is definitely not worth the extra work and risk.

Savage Parry (MP) - Just use the Combat Challenge attack...

Stay Down (MP) - The effect is pretty solid, but it requires setup to work.



Sudden Surge (PHB) - So you get a 2[W] and a move. Yeah... weak.



Trip Up (MP) - A sweet power, especially because you can use it as a follow-up on a charge or a Combat Challenge attack, and doubling up on a swing and slapping on a slow effect or knocking them prone is absolutely nasty. This also has the nice side effect of working well with all those crazy Ranger nova turns, so if you like dealing lots of damage in a single turn, you may consider picking this up.



Twofold Torment (MP) - Two swings, and some pushback. Decent.

Weapon Master’s Gambit (D 382) - A swing with a suite of solid effects. Not bad.


Level 9, Daily

Bloodspike Sweep (D 375) - A close burst 1 for low damage and a touch of ongoing damage, it also knocks prone if you have the correct weapon (made of win for the ones wielding them).

Fighter's Recovery (MP) - A solid swing, and recovery of an Encounter power. Nice.



Jackal Strike (MP) - A free action swing under feasible circumstance is very sweet. And it's Reliable to boot.


Murderous Assault (D 379) - Swing + charge another target. Not that impressive for a Daily.

Pestering Wound (MP) - A decent swing, and some punishment damage if they try to run. Solid enough. Plus, it’s actually a reason to wield a pick! 



Piquing Dare (MP) - If a (save ends) effect weren’t so unreliable in duration, this would be awesome. Even with the default escape chances, it’s still worth a look.


Punishing Storm (D 378) - Yet another Tempest Dance-wannabe.

Shift the Battlefield
(PHB) - A weak close burst with a slide. Not much to look at.

Stop Thrust (MP) - Some backup for your allies, but beware of charging enemies.



Terrifying Impact (MP) - Eh. Not that impressive, but could see use for an Iron Vanguard or similar push-mongering build.

Thicket of Blades (PHB) - A 3[W] close burst with Reliable and slow. Good stuff.

Victorious Surge (PHB) - 3[W], Reliable, and healing without spending a surge. Solid.




Level 10, Utility

Defensive Resurgence
(MP) - Minor action healing is good. An AC buff added to it is even better.

Hunker Down
(MP) - Not so hot for most folks. Slowing yourself is rarely a good idea.



Into the Fray
(PHB) - Moving 3 as a minor will help you get to an enemy when your normal speed isn't enough.


Last Ditch Evasion
(PHB) - If you must have damage prevention, but I don't like it much.


Martial Redoubt (D 382) - Cover for your adjacent allies in exchange for your granting CA. Solid enough, though I don’t like the clustering it promotes.

Menacing Stance (MP) - Free CA for ignoring your mark. Ironically enough, this stance is a consolation prize; you want them to attack you if you can reach them.

Mighty Surge
(D 379) - Whoa. Buffs for healing and healing in the same power? And it doesn’t even occupy your stance slot?! It quite simply faces no competition at this level.

Shooter's Nemesis (MP) - Healing from getting shot at. Bound to come up eventually.



Stalwart Guard
(PHB) - Helps your allies, but it's kinda weak... and now it’s a Stance, which makes it even worse.

Strength from Pain (MP) - Damage bonus while Bloodied. Helps you finish the fight on your own two feet, and it’s a bit better for Dragonborn because of the extra bonus.


Powers - Paragon Tier: Body of the Rock



Level 13, Encounter

Anvil of Doom (PHB) - An Encounter Stun power for Hammer wielders (who already have damage pretty much covered)?! Get on this gravy train ASAP.

Appalling Crunch (MP) - Solid damage, and a bit of mass marking and THP for your trouble. Not a bad pick.

Assured Strike
(MP) - Pretty hefty damage, but a conditional trigger is a bit of a bummer. Better for Halflings.

Blades from All Angles (D 366) - Some decent damage, and knocks prone. Sticky Heavy Blade Fighters like this.



Brutal Rebuke
(MP) - A solid buff for your OA if you use a Mace or a Pick, but most folks won't.



Chains of Sorrow
(PHB) - Good damage, and imposes a hefty penalty to all defenses with a Flail, which can help set up your allies for whatever they may want to do on their turns.



Crumpling Slam
(MP) - Solid single-target damage, Invigorating, push, and prone? Can I get some fries with that, too? This is the power of choice for Axe wielders, especially if they’re Iron Vanguards.



Dance of Blades (MP) - Less damage per hit than Silverstep, and a lesser shifting distance overall, but you get to shift between the attacks, and sliding is better than pushing. I like Silverstep more overall, but this is a viable choice.


Entrapping Shield (D 382) - Damage for the target when you’re attacked, which will make him try to run away, which will let you smack him.

Giant's Wake (PHB) - Although it’s worse than a close burst attack in that you have to hit the first attack to trigger the rest, the first attack deals more damage, and Melee attacks deal more damage overall.

Leaping Assault (D 379) - The cool thing about this power is that it can be used when you’re bogged down by multiple marked enemies (a common post-Come and Get It scenario), so you can go get one that was either beyond your reach or somehow managed to get away. The not-so-cool bit is that you’d better have someone who can mop up the mess you left behind, or your party may be in a tough spot.

Salamander Lash (D 375)
- A nice upgrade for your Combat Challenge attack. This is fantastic if you have a Reach weapon, as it extends the reach on your Combat Challenge and delivers some hefty damage.

Scattering Swing
(MP) - Comparable to the higher-level Vorpal Tornado, with more damage and a miss effect. Nice.



Silverstep
(PHB) - Nice push for two enemies, and good damage. And good mobility at the end as a bonus.



Storm of Blows
(PHB) - Low damage to three different targets. Essentially a Tempest Dance, every encounter. I’d pick that.

Talon of the Roc
(PHB) - A slightly more damaging version of Steel Serpent Strike. Meh.




Level 15, Daily

Boulder Charge (MP) - This power's mental image is made of win, and the power itself is not too shabby, as you can squeeze off a hilarious amount of attacks if your opponents are in a line of sorts. Something to consider.



Carve Initials
(MP) - Perma-mark, round 2! It requires a light blade, and it only got +1[W] over the earlier version, so it's kind of sub-optimal. Black for Light Blade users, though.



Defender's Gambit
(MP) - I don't like this power, because if your opponent doesn't react the way you think it will, you lost a Daily power, and that kinda sucks...

Dragon's Fangs (PHB) - This brings the proverbial can of whup-a$$ down on your opponent. Unfortunately for it, the Fighter’s Dailies at this level provide it with stiff competition.



Gale of Steel (MP) - If you could double up, this would be insanely good. As it is, it’s still a close burst for solid damage that lets you have a do-over if you miss. Not a bad power.


Hurricane Strike (D 379) - You get a close burst for meh damage, with a follow-up for a little extra damage. Not really that appealing, except for the ability to attack multiple targets.

Masterful Parry
(D 378) - Triggers outside your turn for damage prevention, solid damage, and a (save ends) dazing debuff. Since the enemy attacked you, it won’t trigger your Combat Challenge and you don’t have to make a choice between triggering this power or bailing out an ally. Now THIS is what dual-wielders wanted to see.

Quicksilver Stance (MP) - This power has seen some changes due to errata. Right now, it increases your mobility greatly, but it limits you to Melee Basic Attacks. Solid overall, but I’m not that sold on it.



Serpent Dance Strike
(PHB) - Whoa. 4 attacks, that knock prone, and let you shift away? Super awesome! It does have a flaw, however; it’ll only knock down enemies your size or smaller, which keeps it from being a truly elite power, but it’s still very good.

Slayer's Lunge (MP) - Any attack outside your turn with a trigger that is so easy to pull off is at least worth a look. Unfortunately, you may have to choose between this and your Combat Challenge attack, which trims the rating somewhat.



Unerring Blow
(D 366) - Extremely accurate, but a vanilla 3[W] hit is bad at Level 1, let alone now.



Unyielding Avalanche
(PHB) - Oh, yeah! It packs regeneration, an AC bonus, a saving throw bonus, and even sprinkles in some damage from being adjacent to you. The power of choice for any Fighter with a good Constitution score, and even some of those who don't have it may like it. It's that good.




Level 16, Utility

Bolstering Stride (MP) - A solid movement and THP power, but the conditional movement gimps it a bit.



Giant's Stride
(MP) - This is not strong enough to merit being a Daily, though it is a touch too good to be an Encounter power for a Fighter...

Immovable Mountain
(MP) - A dwarf should consider this to be Black, as it makes you almost impossible to move, preventing 6 (!) squares of forced movement (probably more than anyone will ever try to move you). For anyone else, 2 squares less is kinda weak, especially because it takes up your precious stance slot.

Interposing Shield (PHB) - It's a crappy version of the Wizard’s Shield power, but at least it works on other people. Unfortunately, it does eat up your Immediate Action...

Iron Warrior (PHB) - Holy healing surges Batman, that's a lot of HP! This is a solid choice for all Fighters, but the Str/Con guys get the most 'oomph' out of it.

Marking Stance (MP) - Excellent for keeping multiple opponents on you without having to spam Close Burst attacks. It may occupy your Stance slot, but this is a pretty good use for it.

Regnant Shout (MP) - A (save ends) effect is a bit unreliable, but the attack bonus along with a marking effect is very welcome. It can see use.


Surprise Step (PHB) - You trade your Combat Challenge potshot for a shift 1 and CA. Not as impressive as it looks on first glance.

Warding Shield (D 382) - A sweet bonus to all defenses, and immunity to forced movement is a solid additional benefit. Since you can end this whenever you need to, it’s a solid power overall.

Warding Steel
(D 379) - A hefty AC buff that doesn’t interfere with most of your abilities and can be used every encounter? A nice way to get where you need to go unimpeded, or to stand up to that big, bad Solo for one more turn.




Level 17, Encounter

Bitter Harvest (D 379) - A solid minion-popper that will push away what it won’t kill. Too bad the secondary attack is so mediocre...

Boggling Smash
(MP) - Solid damage and two debuffs for Hammer users make it a pretty good choice.


Buffeting Torque
(MP) - This power’s effect is garbage; most of the time, people will be trying to get AWAY from you, not nearer to you!



Driving Flurry
(MP) - It's weaker than Mountain Breaking Blow overall, and it grants +Con temporary HP to a non-Con based build (Heavy Bladers). *sigh*

Exacting Strike (PHB) - A giant step forward for the Sure Strike family (but that’s not really saying much), the phenomenal accuracy bonus (coupled with some actual, you know, damage on a hit) is what makes this better than its smaller cousins. It’s still not that great an idea IMHO.



Exorcism of Steel (PHB) - The disarm flavor is appealing to some people (not to me, I hated that part about 3E...), but the fact of the matter is that most enemies don’t carry weapons around, so this is a vanilla 2[W] hit for them. Even if they do wield it, I believe a minor action is all it takes to pick the weapon up, so its use is limited even if they do meet the prerequisites. Skip it.



Harrying Assault (PHB) - A very versatile power that can be used to double up on a single opponent, or spread the marking love around if you take the first guy out and your Dexterity is decent. All Fighters should take a look at this, since multiattacking does wonders for your damage potential.



Mountain Breaking Blow (PHB) - Basically a really big Tide of Iron, minus the shield requirement. Solid enough, but there are better choices at this level.



Skirmisher Pounce (MP) - This is pretty similar to Harrying Assault, but it can be used on a charge and it has some mobility. I'd consider them about equal overall.



Tap and Counterstrike
(MP) - This basically lays down a buff for your Combat Challenge for a turn, because this has a few more [W]’s, a shift, and an accuracy. It’s cheapened by the fact your opponent could simply attack you and waste the power.

Vorpal Tornado (PHB) - Not as good as it used to be thanks to significantly stiffer competition. The 1[W] damage isn’t too hot, but a close burst that pushes and knocks prone is just too tasty on a Fighter.



Warrior's Challenge (PHB) - Not quite Come and Get It part 2, but solid enough.


Weapon Master’s Tactics (D 382) - It's another grab bag of effects for different weapons, with some pretty solid ones in the mix (dazing, extra marking penalties, sliding, you get it). It’s a solid attack power overall, but the damage is kind of lame.

Wild Strike (MP) - Heavy damage, and can be used on a charge. Not bad.


Level 19, Daily

Adaptable Maneuver (D 378) - Two swings, where you can go for big damage or a solid debuff. It’s a pretty solid power overall.

Controlling Thrust
(MP) - Behold, your Wizard impersonation. Offers some heavy control, with some decent damage, and it can even be used on a charge. Sweet.

Devastation's Wake
(PHB) - Hooray for damage! Also has a close burst aftereffect for more damage. Not overly flashy, but efficient.



Protective Sweep (MP) - A defensive version of Devastation's Wake, it's not as good, since it doesn't buff NAD's.



Reaving Strike
(PHB) - Brute Strike on 'roids. Feels a bit plain compared to the other options available.

Relentless Assailant (MP) - Apart from carrying a load of keywords, this packs respectable damage, healing, and THP on a Reliable power. Not bad.



Smash and Grab (MP) - As it requires a free hand, this is not as useful as it seems on first glance. IMHO, this is a power for Shield users, as you can drop the shield and then use this power to lock down a single target.

Strike of the Watchful Guard (PHB) - This power basically gives you Combat Challenge as a free action against the target for the rest of the encounter. You can either use this to then lock up another enemy, or go devastating double punishment turns. It doesn’t get much stickier than this, and your fellow Defenders will likely want to get in on the action via MC as well.

Toppling Finish
(D 379) - Absolutely savage damage, and knockdown as a sweet rider. Single-target damage isn’t priority 1 for a Fighter, but you may want to take a look at this.

Powers - Epic Tier: Summit of the Rock



Level 22, Utility

Act of Desperation (PHB) - Oooohhh... cinematic... But, not much else. A waste of ink, if you ask me...


Battle Furor
(D 379) - Wow. Puts on your excess healing as THP, and hands you free damage based on your Con, and you can assume the Stance every encounter?!?! This is ridiculously good.

Howl of Defiance
(MP) - A Daily perma-marking power with CA attached is really, really good, but there is a heck of a power list at this level.



Inspired Resurgence (MP) - Encounter power for healing and shifting under feasible circumstances, you say? This is a pretty strong pick.


Martial Supremacy
(D 382) - This is about as good as it gets for a Fighter. Rerolling all your bread-and-butter attacks is a beautiful benefit, especially when you can do it every encounter.

No Surrender
(PHB) - A -2 penalty to attacks for a revival doesn't seem like such a good deal, considering the options now available...



Steadfast Stance
(MP) - Can get you out of some hairy situations fast. That’s a pretty good deal if you ask me, because if you go down, your party is in big, big trouble.

Unyielding (MP) - This is a bit better for Dragonborn, who get a buff out of it as well as max HP, but it's worth looking at for everyone.



Victor's Stance (MP) - A solid effect for dropping enemies. It’s not the favorite at the level, but It can be useful.




Level 23, Encounter

Battering Shield (D 382) - A daze effect, combined with sharing the pain you feel. Especially hilarious if your opponent reflects the damage on itself. A solid pick.

Cage of Chains
(PHB) - Restraining is a strong condition for you. A very nice power for Flail users.

Crippling Smash (MP) - A barrage of conditions, but the damage is a bit weak...

Fangs of Steel (PHB) - Good damage... if both attacks hit. Multimarking... if the first attack hits. It’s OK, I guess.

Hack 'n' Slash
(PHB) - Damage, and not even that much of it. Garbage.



Harrowing Hammer (MP) - Hack ‘n’ Slash with a touch of mass marking and some THP. Solid enough.


Maneuvering Assault
(D 366) - An accurate power for solid damage that slides your enemy about, and then lays an immobilize effect on him. Put this on a Glaive user and smile.



Meticulous Stab
(MP) - Makes your next OA stronger, but that’s about it. Not impressive.

Paralyzing Strike (PHB) - OK damage, great crit range, and immobilized... could be worse.


Slash and Kick
(D 379) - A big push and prone secondary attack after an average hit. Meh.

Skullcrusher
(PHB) - Strictly better than any other single-target power on this list for a Hammer wielder. Period.



Smashing Hammer (MP) - An OK close burst attack.

Turnabout Riposte
(MP) - Adds some damage reduction to your Combat Challenge once per encounter. Not the best pick on this list by a long shot.

Warrior’s Urging
(PHB) - At long last, Come and Get It gets an upgrade! Not an auto-pick because of real stiff competition at this level, but still one of the best choices on the list.

Weaponmaster's Lure (MP) - The Tempest power at this level, and it's not bad at all, as it allows a double swing for some heavy damage.




Level 25, Daily

Ballista Charge (MP) - A double swing against a single target that immobilizes, dazes, and knocks prone for heavy damage. Beautiful for Spear wielders.

Earthquake Smash
(MP) - A strong choice for Axe and Hammer users, it offers a quasi-Ranged AoE while handing you an OK-damage attack that dazes and knocks prone. Solid enough.



Fighter's Resurgence
(MP) - Good accuracy, good damage, Reliable, and gives you a free Encounter power. Pretty good.



Marking Barrage
(MP) - Weaker damage than most powers here in exchange for hitting Reflex, being a Close Burst, and perma-marking is a solid trade.

Pinpoint Cyclone (D 366) - An accurate close burst attack that nets you CA. A middle-of-the-road sort of power.



Reaper’s Stance (PHB) - If you are a dedicated Dexterity Fighter, this is insanely good. If not, it loses some of its value, but it’s still a very good pick.



Ruthless Slaughter
(MP) - It's a tad conditional, but spectacular when it does work. Unfortunately, this level has stiff competition for a Fighter's attention.


Reign of Terror
(PHB) - Why flat-mark when you can perma-mark?


Storm’s Fury Strike (D 378) - A close burst for low damage that sheds opponents, and an extra attack for low damage. It doesn't have the best damage, nor does it pack the meanest effects, but few powers spread your mark around as efficiently.

Supremacy of Steel (PHB) - Big damage, and a nasty debuff. Solid enough.


Time to Die
(D 379) - Brutal Advance’s bigger, meaner brother. Still an excellent choice compared to most powers here, although it hasn't improved upon much of what Brutal Advance already did.

Transfixing Provocation (MP) - A dominating single-target mark. Not bad.




Level 27, Encounter

Adamantine Strike (PHB) - An accurate attack with a minor debuff. Meh.

Blood Rush
(MP) - Weaker than L23’s Hack and Slash. Cringe-inducingly bad.

Coward's Reward
(MP) - Great flavor; very weak power.



Cruel Reaper (PHB) - RAGING BLENDER ATTACK!!! A double-up attack is good for you. A close burst attack is for you. Put those two together, and you have one for the books.

Desperate Strike (MP) - Defense debuffs are OK; attack debuffs are not. Not as good as Wild Strike.



Diamond Shield Defense
(PHB) - OK against Solos and Elites. Bad against just about anything else (too bad it didn't impose the Weakened condition...).


Dual-Weapon Supremacy (MP) - A pretty good double swing power, though CA is quite underwhelming a benefit.


Indomitable Battle Strike (PHB) - More fight picking for me, sir!



Spinning Death Strike (MP) - Not quite Cruel Reaper, but not bad either.



Stabbing Torrent (MP) - Why this power is here is beyond me; Cruel Reaper just plain owns this...

Wild Offensive
(D 379) - Three targets do not compensate for the accuracy penalty.


Level 29, Daily

Avalanche of Steel (MP) - Not really that great, but it packs big damage and it is usable on a charge...

Blade Storm (MP) - A pumped-up version of Tempest Dance. It's solid for its level, but nothing special.



Cascading Catapult Slam
(MP) - At this point, you have Encounter powers better than this.

Catastrophic Flurry (MP) - Devastating enough to be considered; until you read Force the Battle, that is.


Enemy Undone
(D 378) - No Mercy for dual-wielders. Just as terrible as No Mercy, too.

Force the Battle (PHB) - Nothing more need be read at this level; this power is what you want.


Image of Death (D 379) - An accuracy penalty, and CA is all you get?! This is crap.

Mortal Wound (MP) - Big ongoing damage, but not much else.



No Mercy (PHB) - Brute Strike with 4 more [W]'s. Yeah, whatever.



Storm of Destruction (PHB) - Bigger Dragon's Fangs... except you can't double up on a single target. That sucks...



Titan's Hammer (MP) - A (save ends) stun is what makes it even worth looking at, and it's still not enough to put up a fight against Force the Battle.


Recommended Feats: Sculpting the Rock


Class Feats

Heroic Tier:



Agile Superiority
(D 378) - A great feat for Fighters focused on Dexterity.

Brutal Tactics (D 379) - Damage rerolls for your flanking buddy. Solid enough.

Distracting Shield
(PHB) - A -2 to hit as an additional penalty for a CC attack is sweet.


Fighter Weapon Specialization (D 379) - A touch of extra damage for Weapon Talent Fighters.

Focused Superiority
(D 378) - A solid damage bonus on OA’s for Shield Fighters.

Forceful Opportunist
(D 379) - Pushing on OA’s is nice, because it moves the frontline away from your allies. Even more devastating if you favor a Polearm.

Hewing Charge
(D 379) - Essentially turns your charge into Brash Strike, minus the drawback. Sweet.

Improved Vigor
(MP) - Extra THP’s for an Invigorating power are a nice boost to your durability.


Martial Freedom (MP) - A strong bonus to fight off annoying status effects. Solid enough.

Mobile Challenge
(D 378) - A free shift after Combat Challenge can allow you to defend against the most common way to escape a Fighter’s grasp (shift-charge). Very, very nice.

Polearm Momentum
(MP) - Polearm builds just don’t quite work without it.

Potent Challenge
(PHB) - Some solid extra damage for two-handed weapon wielders’ Combat Challenge attacks.


Reaping Blade (MP) - A solid mobility-oriented feat for Heavy Blade users.


Savage Axe
(D 378) - A nice OA damage bonus for Axe wielders.

Shield Defense
(MP) - This is fantastic for any Shield user, as your premier at-will (Tide of Iron) requires a Shield. Obviously useless for any other Fighter, though.

Shield Push
(PHB) - A very nice benefit for your Shield attacks that only gets better as you add items to enhance the push. I wouldn’t make a Shield Fighter without this feat.


Shielded Resurgence (D 378) - Most Fighters don’t use second wind all that much, but they will a bit more if they have this feat. It’s just plain good for Dwarves, who do use it often.

Stout Shield (D 378) - Your Fortitude defense shouldn’t be hurting all that much, but a free +2 to Fortitude that stacks with other NAD-boosters is nice.

Surprising Charge
(MP) - A nice feat for Light Blade/Spear wielders, as they have a higher capability of catching people off guard than other Fighters. Works wonderfully with the Wintertouched/Lasting Frost combo as well.


Swift Spear
(D 378) - Sliding on OA’s and movement negation can be pretty good, especially if you use a Greatspear (which is also a Polearm).

Wary Fighter
(D 378) - This feat can be better than Improved Initiative on some Fighters, and it hands out skill bonuses as icing on the cake. Nice.

Paragon Tier:



Advantageous Perspective
(D 378) - Finally, a benefit for being Small!

Agile Tempest
(MP) - Free damage! Get your free damage!

Chainmail Agility (MP) - No speed penalty for Chain you say? This is good for Battleragers and Tempests that don't pump Dexterity, since they're kind of stuck with it...



Daunting Challenge
(MP) - It lets you do your job better by increasing the penalty inflicted by your mark. Though it is strictly inferior to Mark of Warding, it bears mentioning because not everyone plays or allows material from Eberron. If you do, this is obsolete.

Dizzying Mace (D 378) - A conditional benefit for one of the weaker weapon groups, but it’s beautiful for those who invest in it.

Grit (MP) - Extra temporary HP for healing? Sweet.


Marked Scourge
(MP) - Some solid extra damage for Wisdom-based Fighters after the errata.



Mighty Battlerage (MP) - A smidge of extra damage is always welcome.

Pinning Challenge (D 379) - Immobilizing on your OA’s and CC attacks for two-handed weapon wielders. I can't justify your not taking this feat, frankly.

Plunging Blade
(D 378) - A conditional improved critical situation is still an improved critical situation, and you can just retrain it into Weapon Mastery later.

Reckless Attacker
(MP) - A slightly weaker version of the Barbarian's Rampage, on a class that can get more attack rolls (if you dual-wield). I'd take it.

Staggering Challenge
(D 378) - So what if your OA’s don’t do damage? Your opponents CAN’T GET AWAY.

Epic Tier:



Channeled Battlerage (MP) - Put that leftover THP to some use.


Epic Recovery
(MP) - More second winds for the dwarf! Or is that third wind?
 Useful for anyone who plans on being a frontline man for a long time.

Inevitable Challenge (D 379) - A smidge of miss damage on Combat Challenge attacks. Solid.

Knock-Back Swing
(MP) - Push on your OA’s? Even on a miss? A sweet benefit for using one of the weapons it favors.

Mobile Warrior (MP) - Shifting shenanigans are usually the realm of Strikers and Leaders, but you can probably benefit from this as well.



Martial Mastery (MP) - Last I checked, power recovery was kind of good. Absolutely nuts for any character who can use it.

Martial Resolve (MP) - A very good way to help yourself out of certain conditions. If you have Martial Freedom, you're probably going to retrain it into this.

Reaching Whirlwind (MP) - +1 reach on close bursts is certainly worth a feat.

Rending Tempest (MP) - A very nice feat for dual-wielders, it gets even better if you can string a few attacks together to get some real damage out of it.

Unstoppable Charge
(MP) - Makes charging very, very appealing.


General Feats

Heroic Tier:



Armor Proficiency (plate) (PHB) - Axe and Hammer Fighters might want this.



Combat Reflexes (PHB)
- A small boost for your OA's is appreciated.

Durable
(PHB) - More healing surges gives you more survivability. Con-based Fighters likely have more than they can spend, but other Fighters may not be that lucky.

Improved Bull Rush/Improved Grab (PHB 2) - If you're going for the unconventional sort of Fighter, one of these should help you out.



Improved Initiative/Quick Draw (PHB) - Helps make up for your (usually) mediocre Dexterity. Take one, but not both: they don't stack.

Mark of Warding (EPG) - Whoa. Heroic Tier, extra buffs to defense, AND extra marking penalties? You should try to fit this in your build any way you can.

Nimble Blade (PHB) - If you picked up a Light Blade, this isn't a bad idea at all, especially with the Wintertouched/Lasting Frost combo.

Poison Inured (D 373) - Can conceivably make you almost immune to poison, especially if you're a Dwarf.

Power Attack (PHB) - Use with caution; Reaping Strike loves this, but your Dailies don't, unless they're Reliable.

Powerful Charge (PHB) - You actually charge every so often, so having this is not a bad idea.

Scrappy
(D 379) - This makes Small two-handed weapon wielders viable.



Toughness
(PHB) - Never leave home without it. More HP is awesome.

Two-Weapon Defense
(PHB) - A +1 bonus to AC and Reflex for a feat is a pretty good deal.



Two-Weapon Fighting (PHB) - Very unexceptional by itself... until you consider the feats it opens up access to.


Two-Weapon Threat (PHB 2) - A solid damage bonus for your OA’s.

Weapon Expertise
(PHB 2) - Take this feat; you’re literally hurting your character if you don’t.

Weapon Focus
(PHB) - Damage bonus, which is very nice to have.

Weapon Master (D 382) - A great way to increase your versatility in combat, or just plain be able to hit with your Javelin more often.

Weapon Proficiency
(PHB) - Just about every Fighter will want to pick this feat up.

Wintertouched (MP) - Useless until you pick up Lasting Frost, but mighty when you do.

Paragon Tier:



Agile Opportunist
(PHB 2) - A nice feat to work with your Leader if he can move you about the battlefield.


Armor Specialization
(PHB) - Scale Armor Spec. is spectacular, but Hide and Plate Armor Spec. is just OK. Still, more AC is nice to have.


Deadly Axe
(PHB) - Gods, this is a beautiful feat. Makes Axes the Kings of Crits. Greataxe and Execution Axe wielders don't need it, though.

Defensive Advantage (PHB) - Though the Dexterity investment required is steep for some Fighters, +2 AC with Combat Advantage makes the condition truly live up to its name, and with Frostcheese and/or flanking, it's not too hard to obtain.

Great Fortitude/Iron Will/Lightning Reflexes (PHB) - Boosts your non-AC defenses, which will likely need boosting (except maybe Fortitude).


Hammer Rhythm
(PHB) - Damage on a miss, just for having a large Constitution score and wielding a Hammer. Woo-hoo!

Heavy Blade Opportunity
(PHB) - Formerly a must-have for all Fighters wielding a Heavy Blade, Pinning Challenge has made it less of a must for two-handed weapon wielders. Still necessary for any Heavy Blade Shield build worth its salt, though.

Lasting Frost (PHB) - Infinite CA with Wintertouched and a Frost weapon; cold resistance is a hurdle, but it can be overcome.



Light Blade Precision (PHB) - If you were forced into picking up a Light Blade, you should think about picking this up.


Paragon Defenses (PHB 2) - For when you just don't 3 feats to burn on defense-boosting, but still need better defenses.



Polearm Gamble (PHB) - Polearm builds depend heavily on this feat to increase the range at which they can apply their punishment.


Reserve Maneuver
(PHB 2) - Versatility notwithstanding, this feat also allows you to swap out a lackluster Paragon Path power for something a touch more... palatable.



Scimitar Dance (PHB) - Great for a Str/Dex Heavy Blade fighter that is willing to be a slave to his Dex, but not many are willing to be.

Spear Push
(PHB) - A little more muscle for your push powers. Fairly good, if a bit limited.



Two-Weapon Ambush (D 368) - A rather marginal benefit IMHO, but it can see use.



Two-Weapon Opening
(PHB 2) - A major factor in why Two-Weapon Fighting is even worth mentioning. Free hits on a crit? Yes, please.



Uncanny Dodge (PHB) - OK, but it's better if you get Polearm Gamble or if you enjoy using Brash Strike.

Epic Tier:



Axe/Bludgeon/Flail/Heavy Blade/Light Blade/Pick/Spear Mastery
(PHB) - Whatever your weapon may be, now's the time to pick up the mastery feat. Improved crits for everyone!

Blind-Fight (PHB) - Helps you deal with Invisible enemies.

Epic Fortitude/Epic Reflexes/Epic Will
(PHB 2) - Now this is what I call defense-boosting.

Epic Resurgence
(PHB) - A pretty cool power-recovery feat. If you're a Demigod, retrain it out at 30th; you won't need it after that.

Robust Defenses
(PHB 2) - +2 to all your NADs. Nice. 



Triumphant Attack
(PHB) - Encounter-long debuffing on crits FTW!!!



Racial Feats – Heroic Tier

Dragonborn:



Adaptable Breath (D 365) - Useful for punching through resistances to your breath weapon.


Bracing Breath (MP) - An attack bonus for using your racial power is worth mentioning.

Dragonborn Frenzy
(PHB) - Damage bonus while bloodied. Nice to have, but not essential.

Enlarged Dragon Breath (PHB) - 5 x 5 marking!!! Awesome.



Hurl Breath
(D 365) - Ranged AoE on a Fighter?! I'm listening...

Dwarf:



Devoted Challenge
(MP) - The reason why Dwarf Axe Fighters are every bit as good as Dwarf Hammer Fighters.

Dodge Giants (PHB) - After a certain point in time, almost everything you will be fighting will be Large or higher, so it's a +1 untyped bonus to AC and Reflex after that.



Dwarf Stoneblood (MP) - A strictly better version of Improved Vigor for Dwarven Battleragers. Since they don't stack, pick this instead.

Dwarven Weapon Training
(PHB) - Pick this before Weapon Focus, and retrain it out at Epic tier (unless you're using a Superior weapon, in which case you just pick Weapon Focus up at Epic).



Eladrin:



Eladrin Soldier
(PHB) - Pick this before Weapon Focus, and retrain it out at Epic tier (unless you're using a Superior weapon, in which case you just pick Weapon Focus up at Epic).

Fey Blades (MP) - A sweet (and untyped) damage bonus for dual-wielders.



Elf:



Elven Precision
(PHB) - +2 to hit on a reroll is a good use of a feat.



Wild Elf Luck
(FRPG) - Statistically better than Elven Precision (most of the time), but you don’t have to worry about which to take, because they stack.

Genasi:



Earthshock Master/Firepulse Master (D 367) - Solid buffs to good racial powers.

Master of Rumbling Earth
(MP) - A nice buff to your racial power.

Extra Manifestation (FRPG) - Adds versatility to your racial arsenal.



Primordial Surge (D 367) - THP for using a good power is nice.


Githzerai:



Githzerai Blade Master
(D 378) - This feat is even better than Eladrin Soldier or Dwarven Weapon Training, because the damage scales!

Goliath:



Goliath Greatweapon Training
(PHB 2) - Big weapon builds rejoice!

Markings of the Blessed (PHB 2) - Rerolling a save is never bad.



Markings of the Victor (PHB 2) - Rerolling an attack every encounter? Sweet!



Half-Orc:



Anger Unleashed
(PHB 2) - An attack bonus is never bad.

Savage Assault (PHB 2) - Debuffs on your racial power. Solid.



Thirst for Battle (PHB 2) - +3 initiative, and a healing surge. Nice.

Half-Elf:



Group Assault (MP) - A decent Leader-ish feat.



Halfling:



Halfling Agility
(PHB) - Make sure that attack misses.



Halfling Stalwart
(MP) - A solid feat, since most things you'll be fighting will be Large or larger.



Lost in the Crowd
(PHB) - +2 to AC for doing your job? Yes, please.

Human:



Action Surge
(PHB) - In case you were wondering, this is why people play Humans.



Human Perseverance (PHB) - +1 to saves, no questions asked. A good choice.

Stubborn Survivor (FRPG) - Saving throw bonuses are good (and hard to find), so more fuel for playing human (and for burning your AP's).

Sideways Defense (MP) - Not a bad feat for Human Fighters, though it does promote clustering...



Minotaur:



Goring Shove
(D 369) - Combined with Opportunity Gore, this wreaks havoc on enemy tactics.



Greathorn (D 369) - If you plan on using Opportunity Gore, you might as well make the damage a bit better.



Opportunity Gore (D 369) - An OA THAT KNOCKS PRONE?! Man, this is good.



Tiefling:



Hellfire Blood
(PHB) - A solid feat for Tiefling Fighters, it can help you compensate for your lower Strength.



Lingering Wrath (MP) - A mighty single-target feat for Tiefling Fighters; this gives you +1 to hit and +Cha to damage against an enemy for the ENTIRE ENCOUNTER!!!



Warforged:



Warforged Tactics
(EPG) - The conditions for it are easy to fulfill, and it hands out a hit bonus. No reason why this shouldn't have this feat if you're a 'forged.




Racial Feats – Paragon Tier

Dragonborn:



Admixture Breath (D 365) - Your breath weapon is genuinely hard to resist.



Draconic Arrogance (MP) - You get the Iron Vanguard's Trample the Fallen ability... but based on Strength. Gets funny if you actually are an Iron Vanguard.



Dragonbreath Warrior (MP) - A +1[W] boost for using a minor action attack is solid.



Dwarf:



Dwarven Durability
(PHB) - Every Dwarf should take this feat, regardless of class, especially Defenders like you.

Enduring Wallop
(MP) - Hands out your Con in ongoing damage as an additional effect of your Dailies. Good stuff.



Stonefoot Reprisal (MP) - Forced movement will never be a concern again.



Eladrin:



Fey Charge
(MP) - Massively upgrades your charge mobility. Gets pretty crazy when combined some other features and items.



Genasi:



Shocking Flame
(FRPG) - Free, scaling damage on every hit? Sweet!

Githzerai:



Iron Hands
(PHB 3) - Free damage for using a defensive racial power? I'm in.

Gnoll:



Fierce Charge
(D 367) - A solid feat to buff your racial Encounter power.



Swift Bite (D 367) - Some goodness for bloodying an enemy. Solid enough.



Goliath:



Unyielding Stone
(PHB 2) - A nice jump in THP when you use your racial power. Can make you hilariously hard to bring down.


Half-Elf:



Versatile Master
(PHB 2) - Whoa. Half-Elves just got a MAJOR boost. No reason to ever skip out on this feat, ever.

Half-Orc:



Strength from Pain
(PHB 2) - Big damage for a turn when you're bloodied. Nice.

Unrelenting Assault (PHB 2) - Damage on a miss is nothing to sneeze at.



Halfling:



Underfoot
(PHB) - Not as useful for you as for a Striker, but still useful.

Human:



Action Recovery
(PHB) - Could prove useful.



Minotaur:



Beast Within
(D 369) - +1 to hit AND damage while bloodied is sweet.

Shifter:



Beasthide Shifting
(PHB 2) - A little damage resist while shifting. Sweet.

Cliffwalk Shifting (PHB 2) - Increases your movement options. It'll do.


Tiefling:



Fiery Rebuke (PHB) - Adds some 'oomph' into your Infernal Wrath.




Racial Feats – Epic Tier

Dragonborn:



Dragon Warrior
(MP) - You get another breath weapon sweep when you get Bloodied. Sweet.



Dwarf:



Stoneheart Warrior
(MP) - Free action second wind is made of WIN.



Eladrin:



Feywild Warrior
(MP) - Teleportation after Dailies is positioning win.



Genasi:



Double Manifestation
(FRPG) - Versatility meets power. Win.



Elemental Warrior (MP) - A decent power recovery feat.

Gnoll:



Brutal Charge
(D 367) - This makes things very interesting 1/encounter.



Goliath:



Ancient Stone
(PHB 2) - And the pseudo-invincibility feat tree continues!

Half-Elf:



Tactical Insight (MP) - Another solid, but unexceptional feat. Has a very Leader-ish feeel to it.

Half-Orc:



Ferocious Critical
(PHB 2) - ... Seriously? Wow, man. Just... wow.



Human:



Timely Revival
(MP) - A powerful way to keep yourself on your feet, and to actually use your second wind.

Minotaur:



Uncanny Scent
(D 369) - If you can afford the Wis, take this feat instead of Blind-Fight.




Multiclass Feats

Assassin:



Shadow Initiate (PHB 3) - If you're going for the "walking armory" concept or just plain want to save some gold as a dual-wielder, this is the MC feat for you.

Avenger:



Disciple of Divine Wrath (PHB 2) - The powers don't offer much, but two turns of Oath of Enmity are sweet.


Barbarian:



Berserker's Fury
(PHB 2) - Opens you up to a fellow tough guy’s power selection (which includes multiattacks, by the way), and +2 to damage for an entire encounter is sweet.


Cleric:



Initiate of the Faith (PHB) - Tank and Sticky builds like some dipping here.


Ranger:



Two-Blade Warrior
(MP) - Allows you to get into the oversized TWF party.



Warrior of the Wild (PHB) - Hands you a solid damage spike once per encounter.

Rogue:



Sneak of Shadows (PHB) - Offers some love for Light Blade users.


Warden:



Defender of the Wild
(PHB 2) - Encounter AoE marking and access to a fellow Defender's power suite? Nice.

Warlock:



Pact Initiate (PHB) - Your only choice for Caiphon's madness (well, that and ).


Warlord:



Student of Battle (PHB) - Healing and buffing is pretty sweet. And it opens up some interesting avenues, such as Combat Veteran and Earthfast Brigadier.

Other:



Bravo/Cutthroat
(D 373) - A nice option for Fighters in general, though Cutthroat requires training in Bluff...



Arena Style Feats (D 368)

Binding Style - If damage isn't your thing, this is a nice benefit.



Catspaw Style - A decent benefit, but you're gonna have to invest in Cha to get it...

Deft Hurler Style - Makes Cleave a nice option, especially if you wield a thrown weapon.

Spear and Shield Style - Free Reach for Tide of Iron while using a Spear? Mental images of 300 are surfacing...



Spirited Rider - A decent benefit while mounted.



Starlight Duelist Style - Two swings and a shift? Not bad...



Trickster's Blade Style - Solid mobility boost.



Untamed Berserker Style - For the price of a feat, Cleave becomes Crushing Surge as well. It’s a solid versatility-oriented benefit, especially for Battleragers.



Warborn Fury Style - A decent benefit for Reaping Strike.




Technique Style Feats (D 373)

Bloodhound Style - An at-will that SLOWS?! On a SHIELD FIGHTER?! ... This propels your stickiness into the stratosphere.



Cruel Cut Style - A brutal benefit for Cleave, especially if you're in a 1-on-1.



Executioner's Style - Considering you have abilities that can impose most of those conditions and your Constitution could be pretty high, it's not that bad an idea.

Harlequin Style - Requires Cha investment, but it can negate the edge you just gave the opponent via Brash Strike, and even end up as a net defensive bonus (weird, I know).



Hunting Wolf Style - A nice benefit for a very mediocre At-Will. Solid enough.

Lolthdark Style - A rather conditional pseudo-racial feat, but it's solid gold after Come and Get It.

Vigilante Justice - Brash Strike as a Combat Challenge attack is a real deterrent for your opponent.




Exotic Weapon Feats

Garrote Training (D 373) - This is better on a Rogue, but having a KO Daily is nice.



Net Training (D 368) - Some solid control abilities.


Notable Feats from Other Classes

Any Divine Class:



Blessed Scoundre
l (DP) - Healing and making ‘em miss? Sweet.

Any Primal Class:



Hide Armor Expertise
(PP) - Battleragers rejoice! You can use Hide armor now!

Second Skin
(PP) - Strictly better than Hide Armor Specialization. A quality target to retrain into.

Warden:



Sudden Roots (PHB 2) - Slowing on any Opportunity Attack for free is a devastating effect to have.


Paragon Paths: The Weathered Rock



Fighter PP's

Arena Champion (D 368) - A nice revival feature, but that's it.



Avenging Slayer (MP) - This PP is a bit... unorthodox, but it's good if you don't feel like making a by-the-book Fighter.


Bladestorm Duelist (D 378) - It panders to Rapier + off-hand weapon wielders, which is not the typical Fighter, but it can be useful.

Doomguard Marauder (MOTP) - A solid offensive PP, it sports healing on criticals, a devastating benefit on an AP (especially if you dual-wield), and some pretty cool powers. Unfortunately, it seems to pander to the sort of character that can't use its abilities to their maximum potential...



Draeven Marauder (D 365) - Very strong control and offensive benefits for Spears, making them about as good as any weapon group out there.

Dreadnought (MP) - IMHO one of the best Paragon Paths in the business for a Fighter. It hands you +10 to your max HP right off the bat, as well as strong powers and numerous ways to resist all damage and the ability to shake off debilitating status effects.



Dread Reaper (MP) - This PP favors two-handed weapon wielders. The features it offers are weak, but the powers are fairly strong.



Dwarven Defender (MP) - A solid defensive Paragon Path, it has great positioning abilities, but not much else. Disappointing, because Dwarves have positioning defense pretty much covered.

Eartheart Defender (FRPG) - A very solid defensive Paragon Path, though it’s a bit lacking on the damage side.



Giantslayer (MP) - Considering that most enemies will be Large or larger, this PP's additional effects will actually see play, making it a very solid choice.


Great Weapon Master
(D 379) - Unimpressive features, and weak powers for the level. One of the few truly bad Paragon Paths in this game.

Halfling Bounder
(MP) - Solid features and powers all around. IMHO pushes Halflings a bit higher up as a Fighter choice.



Inner Dragon (MP) - A very solid PP for Dragonborn, it offers some interesting options.



Iron Vanguard
(PHB) - Aggressive Con-based Fighters favor this Paragon Path, and control-oriented Dragonborn exult in it. It's too Con-intensive for anybody else, though.

Kensei
(PHB) - The classic Fighter Paragon Path. Untyped bonuses to hit and damage are very nice. The Encounter power is pretty useless, but the others can see use.



Knight Protector (MP) - If defense is your shtick, this is an excellent PP for you.

Pit Fighter (PHB) - A great Paragon Path for anyone that has a Wisdom focus. The mix of offensive and defensive features is appreciated by all Fighters.



Polearm Master
(MP) - A Paragon Path with some pretty cool control abilities.

Purple Dragon Knight (FRPG) - Solid powers, weak features.



Ravager (MP) - The Paragon Path abilities are fairly strong for an aggressive Battlerager, but the powers are so weak that they bring it down a few notches.

Shield Adept (MP) - Frankly, I think the features are underwhelming, but the powers are very solid.

Shock Trooper (MP) - Though this path appeals to a very limited subset of Fighters (Tempests that pump Str/Dex), it’s still very good for them, if a bit Striker-y.


Siegebreaker (D 379) - It’s a solid Path for great weapon wielders, but it doesn’t have that much going for it.

Son of Mercy
(D 370) - This is very similar to a Pit Fighter, except that you trade in your explosive damage abilities for stickiness-oriented abilities. If it weren’t for the fact that your damage bonus is limited to a single enemy and that the defensive feature isn’t as universal, it’d be even better, because it packs better powers.


Swordmaster
(PHB) - It does have some very strong features, but it has somewhat limited appeal, since it is only useful to a subset of all Fighters, the Heavy Blade/Light Blade wielders.

 That said, it is a very dominant choice for them.

Tiefling Warfiend (MP) - A very strong PP for an admittedly sub-optimal race. The features are very strong; the powers are nothing to write home about, though.

Wrathbearer
(D 378) - A nice path for Battleragers looking to become tougher.


Other PP's

Barbarian:



Bear Warrior (PHB 2) - It's solid if you MC extensively in Barbarian.

Stonefire Rager
(PP) - I would argue that this path is better for you than it is for a Barbarian.

Twinclaw Slayer (PP) - It can be an option to consider for some Tempests.

Winter Fury
(PP) - A very strong lockdown Path, it has plenty of immobilizing to help you do your job.

Cleric:



Battle Chaplain
(DP) - Though some features are useless to you (proficiency with heavy shields, for instance), but marking enemies when your ALLIES hit them is just too tasty to ignore.

Stone Keeper (DP) - Again, some rather useless features, but some solid things to be had here.

Warpriest (PHB) - Even more stickiness and defense, and packs some good offense too (too bad it's Wis-based offense...)

Ranger:



Blade Banshee
(MP) - IMHO better for Eladrin Fighters than it is for Rangers, it offers some sweet control powers as well as some solid features.



Blade Dancer (MP) - If you're looking for a defensive Tempest PP, this is it.

Rogue:



Daggermaster
(PHB) - Though it restricts your weapons, the path's strength cannot be denied.

Warden:



Bloodwrath Guardian
(PHB 2) - A strong alternative for sticky Str/Wis Fighters.


Child of the North Wind (PP) - A solid Path focusing on knocking folk prone. Solid.

First Hunter (PP) - A solid Thrown weapon Paragon Path, which effectively extends your range.

Horned Champion
(PHB 2) - Slowing on OA's, you say? This makes Tank builds stickier than ever.


Storm Sentinel
(PHB 2) - Tough as nails, and has strong powers (including a full-fledged Stormwarden imitation as a Daily). Nice.



Verdant Lord (PHB 2) - Another decent, sticky alternative.



Warlock:



Student of Caiphon
(D 366) - Radiant weapon wielding for the win.



Warlord:



Combat Veteran
(PHB) - More toughness for you and more love for you allies. Everyone benefits.



Earthfast Brigadier (MP) - IMHO better for you than it is for a Warlord, Dwarven Payback has great promise if your Con is high and you buff AC properly.

Racial:



Adroit Explorer
(PHB 2) - Recycling powers was never a bad idea.

Beastblooded Minotaur
(D 369) - Great control benefits if you're willing to wield a Polearm.

Bloodfury Savage
(PHB 2) - A very strong racial Path for Half-Orcs.

Moonstalker (PHB 2) - If you're knocking folk prone a lot, give this a look.

Scion of Arkhosia (PHB 2) - Some decent AoE power.

Stoneblessed (PHB 2) - A sweet all-around Path.



Warforged Juggernaut (EPG) - A solid Path that emphasizes a charging offense and a strong defense in equal measure.


Wildfire Genasi (FRPG) - This racial path's powers and abilities are surprisingly strong.


Epic Destinies: The Primordial Rock



Fighter ED's

Adamantine Soldier (MP) - This is a pretty strong choice for Constitution-based Fighters, especially if you're a defensive kind of guy.



Darklord (D 372) - Get your inner Grim Reaper on.

Deadly Trickster (PHB) - This is only a choice if you buff Dex real high, and you pick up an extra skill, but maybe you can pull something interesting out of it.


Demigod (PHB) - Still arguably the best Epic Destiny for any character, and you are no exception.



Eternal Defender (MP) - A strong path, it offers a bonus to Strength, oversized, and other nice goodies.

Eternal Seeker (PHB) - The mix-and-matching part is very appealing, and it only gets better as more material is released. Right now, it's looking very, very good.

Harbinger of Doom (PHB 2) - Another solid, but not spectacular ED.



Harper of Legend
(D 367) - Two skills to enter, and just OK features. Nah...



Keybearer
(D 372) - Huh?


Martial Archetype (MP) - Really conditional entry pre-requisites, but you get some nice stuff out of it.



Mythic Sovereign (D 367) - A fairly cool Epic Destiny for you.



Planeshaper (D 372) - Though unrelated to what you do for a living, the features are not bad at all.

Prince of Hell (D 372) - A bit off-kilter with what your job is, but the benefits are nice (especially the summons).

Prison of the Winds (D 371) - The only issue I have with this ED is that it doesn't boost Strength, but everything else is about on par with Demigod.

Punisher of the Gods
(D 372) - If there is an ED that can challenge Demigod's supremacy, this is it. The benefits you get on criticals are downright INSANE (even post-errata).

Ruler of Winter (D 372) - You don't do a lot of (save ends) shenanigans, but the features are still pretty good, and it helps if you like Wintertouched/Lasting Frost.

Storm Sovereign (D 372) - A pretty nice choice if you're gonna go for Constitution, but it seems better suited to a Warlock.



Undying Warrior (MP) - Immortality is fun. That alone justifies this ED.




Other ED's

Champion of Prophecy (EPG) - The capstone isn't the best in the world, but the stat increases alone are worth looking into this.

Legendary General (MP) - Your allies never die if you don't go down first. It basically means you never fail at your job. Nice.

Perfect Guardian (PP) - Helps you do your job better with various features geared to help Defenders in general. Nice to have, though not a truly elite ED.

Equipment: Reinforcing the Rock



Armor

Level 2+



Dwarven Armor (Chain, Scale, Plate) (PHB) - Healing as a free action that doesn't spend a surge, and a bonus to Endurance checks as a bonus? OK!


Screaming Armor (Hide, Scale, Plate) (AV) - A free bonus to Intimidate, and a nifty debuffing power (with range, no less). A pretty good choice
.

Level 3+



Armor of Exploits (Any) (AV) - Lets you make interesting combinations with allies who share your attack stat, or simply load an Encounter power for an extra use. Pretty cool.



Bestial Armor (Leather, Hide) (AV) - A free attack with a bonus after a charge. Solid enough.

Meliorating Armor (Chain, Scale, Plate) (AV) - This armor makes you tougher as the day wears on. Not bad, but rather party-dependent, because the party usually stops when somebody runs out of healing surges.

Level 4+



Battle Harness (Cloth, Leather, Hide) (D 368) - An initiative bonus is never bad (even if it doesn’t stack with a Warlord’s buff), and Quick Draw for free doesn’t hurt either. A pretty good choice.

Dazzling Plate (Plate) (AV 2) - A bonus vs. mental conditions, and an attack debuff. Pretty solid.

Salubrious Armor (Scale, Plate) (AV) - Adding in more AC when you regain HP can make you even harder to handle.

Serpentine Armor (Scale) - A small punishment ability that doesn't conflict with your Combat Challenge. Solid.

Verve Armor (Scale, Plate) (AV) - This armor basically says, "I get up from being down," once per day.



Level 5+



Agile Armor (Chain, Scale, Plate) (AV) - Only usable by Heavy Armor wearers, and not really worth it until Paragon Tier, but good enough during Epic that it’s worth mentioning.



Supporting Armor (Scale, Plate) (AV 2) - Helps you keep your wits about you, which is always good.


Level 7+




Marauder's Armor (Leather, Hide) (AV 2) - Some solid defensive bonuses for charging about. Hardly bad.

Level 9+



Magnetic Armor (Scale, Plate) (AV 2) - Have your enemies come to you, and stay there.

Solar Armor (Scale, Plate) (AV) - I'm not a friendly-fire supporter, but Laser Clerics' at-will damage is pretty piddly, so getting hit by your Cleric to trigger a Healing Surge may not be that bad an idea (and you might even get THP or a save in return for it if they hit you with Sacred Flame!).



Level 10+



Lifeblood Armor (Hide) (PHB 2) - If I’m reading this right, this grants you free HP just for using a short rest (which you will do; you want your Encounter powers back). Whoa.


Level 14+



Armor of Attraction (Scale, Plate) (AV) - Allows you to take even Ranged hits for your allies.

Displacer Armor (Cloth, Leather, Hide) (AV) - A fantastic property for any Fighter willing to wear light armor.


Level 15+



Trollskin Armor (Hide, Scale) (PHB) - Regen is always great to have.


Level 18+



Driftmetal Armor (Chain, Scale) (MOTP) - A smidge of elemental resistance, and an easy-to-use power that hands out an attack penalty. Solid.

Level 20+



Dragonscale Armor, Red (Scale) (AV) - Slaps on hefty ongoing damage, and immobilizes. Nice.

Spectral Plate (Plate) (AV 2) - Makes Heavy Armor feel light, and a solid mobility power to boot.


Level 23+



Armor of Enduring Health (Hide, Chain) (AV 2) - Dwarves especially like this armor.

Mind Armor (Scale, Plate) (AV 2) - Anything that protects you from mental effects is worth looking at.


Weapons

Level 1+



Earth-Wrought Hammer (Hammer) - Cheap, and knocks prone on a critical. OK, I guess.

Level 3+



Cunning (Any Melee) (AV) - If you like (save ends) effects, this is the weapon for you.



Foe Maker (Any Melee) (D 381) - Mass marking is always welcome for a Fighter.

Frost (Any) (PHB) - Combines with Wintertouched and Lasting Frost for eternal combat advantage and +5 damage. Better than ever, thanks to other items helping it beat cold resistance.


Frost Fury Waraxe (Axe) (AV 2) - Pretty solid extra damage, and it has cold damage attached to it.

Inescapable (Any) (AV) - Buffs your attack bonus after a miss. Solid.

Luckblade (Heavy Blade, Light Blade) (AV) - Rerolls, which are great.


Paired (Any One-Handed Melee) (AV) - Some pretty good economy for your weapons if you dual-wield.



Quick (Any) (AV) - Free basic attacks are fun.



Vanguard (Any Melee) (AV) - Bonuses to damage while charging, and a solid buffing power. OK, I guess.


Level 4+



Avalanche Hammer (Hammer) (AV 2) - Extra damage on a charge, and knocks prone on a critical. Surprisingly good.

Battlecrazed (Axe, Heavy Blade) (AV) - Some hefty extra damage while you’re bloodied, and its power makes you “bloodied” for 2 turns. Nice.

Harmony Blade (Heavy Blade) (AV 2) - You essentially get Two-Weapon Opening for free, plus Dual Strike will pack a debuff. Consider it.

Master’s Blade (Heavy Blade, Light Blade) (AV 2) - So let me get this straight. This buffs the attack rolls for your Melee Basic Attacks and At-Wills when you're in a Stance (which you should be all the time, considering how many you have available), AND it allows you to assume TWO stances at a time as a Daily?! Incredibly good for you.

Rending (Axe) (AV) - This turns an Axe crit into something genuinely fearsome.



Level 5+



Flaming (Any) (PHB) - This weapon is OK by itself, but it's great for Tieflings, thanks to Hellfire Blood.



Lightning (Any) (PHB) - Makes Stormsoul Genasi very, very happy.


Level 6+




Grasping (Polearm, Spear) (AV) - What every Fighter wants on his Javelin. Grab your enemies and bring them down where you can smack them.

Level 8+



Dread (Any) (AV) - Slaps out defensive penalties like it's nobody's business.
 Great for setting you or your Striker buddies up for something ridiculous.


Level 9+



Feyslaughter (Any) (AV) - The only truly safe to elude a Fighter's grasp is teleportation; this takes care of that flaw nicely.

Githyanki Silver Weapon (Heavy Blade) (MOTP) - Unexceptional by itself, but toss in Psychic Lock, and this makes all your powers come in with an additional -2 to hit debuff. Nasty.


Level 10+



Berserker (Axe, Heavy Blade) (PHB) - A damage bonus for a penalty to all defenses, but resist all might be worth it, especially because you get +2 to hit as well. Unfortunately it’s real expensive...

Level 12+




Jagged (Axe, Heavy Blade, Light Blade) (AV) - Improved crits at LEVEL 12!!!!!!!!


Level 13+



Bloodiron (Any) (AV) - Your criticals are so nice, they damage twice.

Farslayer (Any Melee) (AV) - Extending your Melee Range to 5 for Basic Attacks is a solid benefit.

Thundergod (Any Melee) (AV) - +2d6 damage on charges at Epic. Solid enough.


Level 14+



Battlemaster's (Any) - An extra go with an Encounter power for an Item Daily? That's always a good deal.

Level 15+



Radiant (Any) (AV) - This lets you play nice with Divine classes, and smacks undead around pretty well. Too bad it’s so expensive...


Reaper’s Axe (Axe) (AV 2) - Free attacks AND free shifting when you drop an opponent. Awesome.


Level 19+



Moradin's Weapon (Hammer) (AV) - A very nice power. If you multiclassed into a Divine class, this is even better.


Level 23+



Death Mark (Any) (AV 2) - Basically lets you cut out the move action required to move from mark to mark. Less useful than it is for other Defenders because you actually have to attack someone to mark them, unless you spend a Utility power to do so.


Level 30



Vorpal (Axe, Heavy Blade) (PHB) - Kill it with damage. Too bad it’s an endgame weapon...


Arms Slot Items


Level 4



Counterstrike Guards (L4/14) (AV) - A decent item, it grants you more attacks.


Level 5



Quickhit Braces (L5/15/25) (AV) - Some decent damage for Tempests, but only if both attacks hit. Better if you’re getting an item bonus to damage from another source (like Radiant Weapons).



Level 6




Foe Fending Shield (L6/16/26) (D 381) - A solid defensive item for you and your allies that can also impose a lingering mark.

Iron Armbands of Power (L6/16/26) (AV) - A very sweet damage bonus.


Level 9



Recoil Shield (AV) - Knocking people prone for hitting you? Awesome.


Level 10



Barrage Bracers (AV 2) - A bonus to attack when you score a hit. Nice.

Bloodsoaked Bracers (L10/20/30) (AV) - If you're OK with your damage being a huge spike instead of a steady flow, this is the item for you. Be warned, though; it doesn’t stack very well with other sources of damage.

Level 14



Hypnotic Shield (AV) - A solid single-target daze control effect.


Level 19




Trollhide Braces (L19/29) (AV) - Regen is always a solid choice.

Level 27



Reflective Shield (L27) - An awesome power which turns the tables on your opponent. The best part is that since your opponent attacked you, your Immediate Action (normally reserved for Combat Challenge) is free.

Level 30



Shield of Ultimate Protection (AV 2) - Big protection, but it’s a capstone item.


Feet Slot Items

Level 2



Acrobat Boots (AV) - Cheap, and they let you stand up as a minor action (a very useful property).

Level 6



Foe Chaser Boots (D 381) - These boots allow you to quickly close the distance against a fleeing opponent.

Level 7



Boots of the Fencing Master (AV) - A decent benefit for shifting about every turn.

Level 8



Boots of Quickness (L8/18/28) (AV) - A decent boost to your Reflex defense.



Level 9



Boots of Eagerness (AV) - Pretty cheap, and they pack a power you might just keep for the rest of your days...



Level 10



Boots of Sand and Sea (AV) - This is a cheap speed boost that also allows you to swim if you're in light armor. Not bad.



Boots of the Mighty Charge (D 381) - An Encounter power on a charge is nice to have once a day.

Level 12



Battlestrider Greaves (PHB) - The cheapest speed boost available for heavy armor users.


Level 16



Survivor’s Boots (AV 2) - Yeah, they require you to be bloodied, but after that, you can pretty much do whatever you want in combat. That's gotta be worth something.

Level 22



Boots of Speed (AV) - +2 to speed and a decent power.



Level 24



Boots of Caiphon
(AV 2) - They sap your HP, but it’s probably less damage than you would take for eating an OA, especially at these levels, and you ARE moving with a minor action...

Level 25



Sandals of Avandra (AV) - Expensive, but very powerful and allow for crazy mobility.


Level 28




Boots of Teleportation (AV) - Get them if you can afford them. That is all.




Hands Slot Items

Level 3



Gloves of Piercing (PHB) - Real cheap, and they should punch through most resistance to your attacks if they're not element-based.


Level 5



Parry Gauntlets (AV) - If you like to second wind, you might want to pick this one up.


Level 8




Gauntlets of the Ram (PHB) - More push effects are always welcome for a control Fighter.

Level 10



Antipathy Gloves (AV) - A solid restraining power. Get something else fast, though; this power doesn't scale at all.

Dwarven Throwers (AV) - This allows you to make a basic attack with your main weapon at range once per encounter. Pretty cool.

Strikebacks (AV) - Some sweet role-reinforcement properties.

Level 11



Gloves of Ice (L11/21) (AV 2) - More damage for your cold attacks, or punch through cold resistance. Glorious, especially with Frost Weapons.

Level 12



Shield of Deflection (L12/22) (PHB) - Resistance to Ranged attacks has to come in handy sometime.


Level 13




Gloves of Missile Deflection (AV) - Some solid resistance against Ranged attacks.

Level 18



Gauntlets of Destruction (PHB) - A superior version of Brutal 1. Sweet.



Level 22



Foe Caller Gauntlets (D 381) - In the words of Mortal Kombat's Scorpion, "GET OVER HERE!!!" A fantastic power.




Head Slot Items

Level 4



Casque of Tactics (L4/14/24) (AV) - An initiative bonus is good for anyone.



Helm of Opportunity (L4/14/24) (AV) - Helps you do your job better. Solid, if a bit plain.

Level 6



Horned Helm (L6/16/26) (PHB) - Extra d6's while charging. Very nice.


Level 8




Coif of Mindiron (L8/18/28) (AV) - Protects against an increasing array of mental conditions (albeit only against Will, but that's what you're worried about anyway) as an ENCOUNTER POWER. Sexy.




Level 9




Helm of Battle (L9/19/29) (PHB) - Initiative bonuses for everyone!




Level 12



Charger's Headdress (AV 2) - Accuracy bonuses while charging are always appreciated.

Vortex Mask (D 381) - A decent pull effect against a marked (or soon-to-be-marked) target.

Level 15



Carcanet of Psychic Schism (AV) - Slaps a penalty on you, but it sure beats being incapacitated.


Level 21




Coif of Focus
(AV) - Comes by later in your career, and burns up a Magic Item Daily, but negating Daze or Stun is awesome.

Level 22



Helm of Ghostly Defense (PHB) - Helps you take the sting off your opponent’s hits.

Level 23



Eye of Awareness (AV) - A decent bonus to Will defense, and a huge initiative boost on top of that.




Neck Slot Items

Level 2+



Badge of the Berserker (AV 2) - Cheap, and allows you to charge into any mess without having to worry about getting hammered coming in.

Cloak of Resistance (PHB) - Decent resistance for a turn.

Level 4+



Cloak of Distortion (AV) - Forces your enemies to get in close enough for you to engage them if they want to hit you with any kind of regularity.



Cloak of the Walking Wounded (AV) - Double second wind while bloodied is a nice way to get yourself back in a fight, especially for Dwarves. This is a touch weaker than the Amulet of Life, especially because the Amulet can trigger off any healing surge (not just second wind). The Cloak closes the gap between them at Epic Tier if you have Epic Recovery, though.

Level 5+



Amulet of Life (D 381) - Double-up healing every encounter? Fantastic.

Level 8+



Steadfast Amulet (AV) - This prevents daze or stun. 'Nuff said.



Level 9+



Amulet of False Life (PHB) - Your healing surge value in THP is a sweet ability, even if it's a Daily.



Level 10+



Periapt of Cascading Health (D 369) - Ends one effect per encounter, no questions asked. Win.


Level 13+



Amulet of Scales (D 365) - Scaling, immediate-application, encounter-long resistance to a keyword (which includes Arcane, Weapon, and the like, by the way) is nice.




Level 14+




Flamewrath Cape (AV) - Offers a nice damage boost, as well as disincentive for enemies attacking you. Only for one turn, though.

Timeless Locket (AV 2) - Turn a Minor into a Standard? Sign me up!

Level 15+



Brooch of Vitality (AV) - More HP is NICE, especially the Epic Tier versions.



Cloak of Displacement (AV) - A nice bonus to AC and Reflex until you get hit, and a pretty cool power. Worth a look.

Necklace of Fireballs (AV) - Defense that packs some decent offense.



Torc of Power Preservation (AV) - It retains Encounter powers when you use them. Need I really say more?

Level 30



Scarab of Invulnerability (PHB) - Makes you immune to everything for a round. Sure, it's a Level 30 item, but you will enjoy the short amount of time you'll have it.


Rings


Level 13



Ring of Giants (D 378) - A sweet bonus to critical hit damage, and push 2 + prone on any primal attack power you may power-swap for can come in handy.

Level 14



Ring of Fury (D 366) - When you're bloodied, you let it be known.



Level 15



Ring of the Dragonborn Emperor (AV) - A must if you plan to spam close burst attacks.


Level 16




Ring of Protection (PHB) - Generic defensive item. Useful, though it's about as exciting as watching grass grow.



War Ring (AV) - Adds a little more 'oomph' into your criticals.

Level 18



Bone Ring of Better Fortune (AV) - Since this halves all necrotic damage, it can potentially be better than a lot of resistance.


Ring of Ramming (AV) - Hands you a bit more 'oomph' on those push effects. Nice.



Level 19



Foe Binder Ring (D 381) - Helps you defend your allies against area attacks. The ring power is useless, though (if you don't already have a -3 penalty on your marks, you missed the one absolute must-have feat for every Defender).

Grace Ring of Prowess (AV 2) - A solid power that lets you rev up for +2 to hit before teeing off.

Level 20



Ring of Action Reversal (AV 2) - A hefty bonus to initiative checks, and a sweet benefit should you miss with an Encounter power.


Level 21



Ring of Heroic Insight (AV) - Allows you to buff yourself pretty well once per day.




Level 22



Blink Ring (AV) - Teleportation is nice to have.



Level 23



Greater Ring of Invisibility (AV 2) - Invisibility every encounter, and concealment the whole way after a milestone. Especially mean with your marking ability.

Level 24



Golden Ring of Teros (AV 2) - +2 to AC and Fortitude is nice to have, even if it’s conditional.

Level 27



Avandra’s Ring (AV 2) - Ignoring difficult terrain is pretty cool. Too bad it shows up so late...

Ring of the Phoenix (AV) - A pretty sweet revival ability.

Shadow Band (AV) - You can't really argue against +2 to all defenses as a static property...



Level 28



Ring of Elemental Mastery (MOTP) - Allows you to shave some elemental resistance off your opponent, or flat-out ignore it after a milestone. Solid, especially for people looking to abuse the Frostcheese combo.


Level 29



Ring of Free Time (L29) (AV 2) - Expensive, but resist all 5 is nice, as is an extra minor action every turn to pull off all those Utility powers simultaneously.

Level 30



Dauntless Champion’s Ring (AV 2) - For all you non-Demigods out there (you know who you are).

Nullifying Ring (AV) - A capstone defensive item. Pretty nuts... if you can foot the bill.




Waist Slot Items

Level 8



Belt of Lucky Strikes (D 365) - A free attack after you miss is a solid benefit.

Belt of Vim (L8/18/28) (AV) - Reinforces your strongest defense.




Level 10



Diamond Cincture (L10/20/30) (AV 2) - Non-surge healing, and a bonus a to Fortitude. Tasty.


Level 11



Backbone Belt (AV) - If you second wind, this is a very nice item to have.

Healer's Sash (L11/21) (AV) - Anything that allows you to heal your allies is at least worth mentioning, even post-errata.


Totemic Belt (AV) - Buffs for charging are nice to have.

Level 15



Belt of Giant Strength (PHB) - A meh offensive Daily buff, but a pretty cool bonus to skills.


Girdle of the Umber Hulk (L15/25) (AV) - A solid burrow power, and a boost to Fortitude.

Level 16



Girdle of the Dragon (L16/26) (AV) - Fortitude boost, and an OK attack power.




Level 18



Belt of Mountain Endurance (D 365) - Glorious. +Str to surge value and an AP benefit, all in one package.

Cord of Foresight (AV) - Hooray for front-loaded hit points!


Level 19



Belt of Breaching (AV 2) - Healing as you chug on. Solid.

Level 23



Belt of Vitality (AV) - Gets you up when you're down, and boosts Fortitude. Could be worse...


Level 25



Belt of Titan Strength (PHB) - A strong buff for one turn, and strong skill bonuses.




Level 28



Sash of Regeneration (AV 2) - Regen while bloodied is nice.


Miscellaneous Items

Dragonshard Augments:


Level 2



Eberron Shard of Lightning (L2/12/22) (EPG) - A great incentive to wield Lightning weapons.

Khyber Shard of the Fiery Depth (L2/12/22) (EPG) - Incentive for wielding Flaming weapons.

Siberys Shard of Merciless Cold (L2/12/22) (EPG) - Yet another reason to like Frost weapons.


Level 3




Siberys Shard of Radiance (L3/13/23) (EPG) - Another selling point for the Radiant weapon.

Wondrous Items:


Level 9




Battle Standard of the Hungry Blade
(D 381) - The constant pull effect is well worth the standard action expended in planting it. Now, no one can escape you forever, so long as you are between them and the battle standard.

Level 12



Foe Stone (AV) - Cheap, and it pinpoints your opponent’s weakest defense at will. Somebody in the party has to have this; why not you?

Level 16



Solitaire (Aquamarine)
(AV) - Free attacks after a critical are nice.


Level 21



Solitaire (Cerulean) (AV) - Expensive, but getting rid of (save ends) effects this easily should be.

Level 26



Solitaire (Violet)
(AV) - Free AP’s after a crit are awesome.

Tactics: How to Be a Rock



After some analysis and playtesting, I believe that the following guidelines are key to playing a successful Fighter.

1. Know how you rock.

The first step to playing a successful Fighter is identifiying what each particular build does best. This depends on the combat style you have chosen, which I will detail as follows:

• Battlerager - This build is a straight-up Brute, plain and simple. The marking ability gives you a hint of Soldier, but the base playstyle is still that of a Brute. You exult in Melee combat, as you may be the build that is best suited to survive a close-quarters fight in the entire game. That means you don't have to worry as much about yourself, and instead worry about keeping people off your allies. That means charge in, grab their attention, and crack some skulls.
• Tempest - This buid is a Soldier because of its higher-accuracy, lower-damage approach, as well as the marking ability, but its occasional ability to have spikes in damage because of double swing powers means it carries a strong hint of a Skirmisher. In this case, you use your (usually) superior mobility to get you where you need to go, help your allies bring the enemy down, and move on to the next target. You can also hold an enemy off by yourself, but you're at your best when you can combine your mobility with your marking ability and be a Striker's true best friend.
• Weapon Talent - Though the finer points in tactics for this build vary wildly, as is expected of such a universally applicable class feature, the one common theme is that the Soldier style of combat (higher AC and accuracy, lower damage, and marking) is omnipresent. The strategy here is to pick a strategy (the common ones are Great Weapon, Polearm, and Shield), and stick with it: Great Weapon users are more akin to Battleragers, Polearm users are closer to Tempests, and Shield users are more of the "pure" Soldier. Either way, your place is still the frontline.

2. Make yourself an appealing target.

There are many ways you can make yourself an appealing target for enemy attacks. I believe a combination of the following three methods will yield the best results, in the order they are presented:

• Be in the right place at the right time. Positioning is key for drawing attacks; if you're in the enemy's face all the time and your squishies can spend time behind you, you will provoke attacks from your opponents if for no other reason than for you to leave them alone. This also goes for abilities that affect the enemy's positioning; your enemy is sure to attack you if you punt him halfway across the room for trying to attack somebody else.
• Hit them hard. Enemies will tend to go after the target that is hitting them the hardest, so damage is important towards making yourself an appealing target. Don't worry about being the most damaging member in your party; you usually won't be. However, you do want to be able to punish your enemies so that they won't forget about you while they're running after your Striker.
• Take a risk every once in a while. Though at first charging into a rather dangerous situation or deliberately stepping in front of a swarm of enemies can seem counterproductive, making yourself a more available target will direct enemy attention toward you; they don't have to eat an OA to try and hit you, so they're more inclined to try it. If you do this, be sure to look for abilities to grant you temporary HP or damage resistance in order to compensate for the extra hits you're going to be drawing.

3. Know when to ask for help.

You may be the guy with the best healing surges and HP in your party (most of the time), but you're not a Solo monster. What this means is that you should take MOST of the hits, not ALL of the hits. If you do, you'll be face-planting more often than not (even with a dedicated healer), and you won't be contributing much after that. Having other allies who can dart in and out of the Melee and take some of the pressure off you can go a long way in prolonging the group's overall encounters per day before an extended rest. Not only that, but having an ally who can go toe-to-toe with the Brutes and Soldiers for a while frees you up to chase and lock down more mobile enemies like Artillery, Lurkers, and Skirmishers.

4. Be a team player.

If the party Rogue needs you to flank an enemy, help him out (especially if he's the one who has to provoke the OA to do it, because that nets you a potential free attack too). If you have to take some heat off the enemy so the Wizard can nuke the area, that's OK. If you have to provoke an occasional OA for moving in to get the aforementioned flank or to help get an enemy off your Wizard, that's OK too; you're the one responsible for everyone getting out of the situation alive.

5. Apply force judiciously.

Having a good understanding of a given tactical situation can save your party more time and HP than any damage combo you (or anyone else) can cook up. Learn when to stick to your guns and fight conservative, and when to gamble more resources to end the encounter faster. You don't necessarily need ALL your Dailies to take out the BBEG, after all, but you probably will need SOME of them.

6. Balance specialization with versatility.

Fighters are not exactly varied with regards to what they do; you get in your enemies' faces and keep them off the fragile members of your party. Avoid being one-dimensional; your opponents will exploit your limitations if you are. However, remember to play to your strengths as well; wanting to be good at everything usually ends up with your being good at nothing and mediocre at everything.

Sample Characters, Level 1



Dragonborn Fighter - "The Bruiser"

Male dragonborn Fighter 1 (Weapon Talent)

Ability Scores: Str 18, Con 16, Dex 12, Int 8, Wis 12, Cha 12

HP: 36; Bloodied: 18; Surges: 12 (12 HP)

AC/Fort/Ref/Will: 19/16/13/11

Basic Melee: Warhammer (+7 vs. AC, 1d10+4 damage)
Basic Ranged: Throwing hammer (+7 vs. AC, 1d6+4 damage)

Racial Powers: Dragon Breath (Lightning)

At-Will Powers: Brash Strike, Tide of Iron

Encounter Powers: Spinning Sweep

Daily Powers: Villain's Menace

Trained Skills: Athletics (+7), Endurance (+6), Intimidate (+8)

Feats: Toughness

Gear: Warhammer, Throwing Hammer (2), Heavy Shield, Scale Armor, standard adventurer's kit, 5 gp


Dwarf Fighter - "The Axeman"

Male dwarf Fighter 1 (Weapon Talent)

Ability Scores: Str 18, Con 15, Dex 10, Int 10, Wis 15, Cha 8

HP: 30; Bloodied: 15; Surges: 11 (7 HP)

AC/Fort/Ref/Will: 19/16/12/12

Basic Melee: Waraxe (+7 vs. AC, 1d12+6 damage, reroll all 1's)

At-Will Powers: Cleave, Tide of Iron

Encounter Powers: Spinning Sweep

Daily Powers: Comeback Strike

Trained Skills: Athletics (+7), Endurance (+9), Heal (+6)

Feats: Dwarven Weapon Training

Gear: Scale Armor, standard adventurer's kit, Waraxe, Heavy Shield, 0 gp


Goliath Fighter - "The Crusher"

Male minotaur Fighter 1 (Weapon Talent)

Attributes: Str 18, Con 18, Dex 12, Int 8, Wis 12, Cha 10

HP: 33; Bloodied: 16; Surges: 13 (8 HP)

AC/Fort/Ref/Will: 17/16/11/12

Basic Melee: Maul (+7 vs. AC, 2d6+6 damage)
Basic Ranged: Throwing hammer (+6 vs. AC, 1d6+4 damage)

Racial Powers: Stone's Endurance

At-Will Powers: Brash Strike, Cleave

Encounter Powers: Spinning Sweep

Daily Powers: Lasting Threat

Trained Skills: Athletics (+10), Endurance (+8), Intimidate (+5)

Feats: Goliath Greatweapon Prowess

Gear: Throwing hammer (2), Maul, Chainmail Armor, standard adventurer's kit, 5 gp


Half-Orc Fighter - "The Ripper"

Male half-orc Fighter 1 (Tempest Technique)

Ability Scores: Str 18, Con 12, Dex 18, Int 8, Wis 12, Cha 10

HP: 27; Bloodied: 13; Surges: 10 (6 HP)

AC/Fort/Ref/Will: 19/16/15/11

Basic Melee: Double sword (+8 vs. AC, 1d6+6 damage)
Basic Ranged: Javelin (+6 vs. AC, 1d6+4 damage)

Racial Powers: Furious Assault

At-Will Powers: Dual Strike, Footwork Lure

Encounter Powers: Funneling Flurry

Daily Powers: Villain's Menace

Trained Skills: Athletics (+8), Endurance (+7), Intimidate (+7)

Feats: Two-Weapon Defense (Tempest bonus feat), Weapon Proficiency (double sword)

Gear: Double Sword, Javelin (4), Hide Armor, standard adventurer's kit, 5 gp


Human Fighter - "The Bodyguard"

Female human Fighter 1 (Weapon Talent)

Ability Scores: Str 18, Con 14, Dex 13, Int 8, Wis 14, Cha 10

HP: 34; Bloodied: 17; Surges: 11 (8 HP)

AC/Fort/Ref/Will: 19/17/14/13

Basic Melee: Longsword (+8 vs. AC, 1d8+4 damage)
Basic Ranged: Javelin (+7 vs. AC, 1d6+4 damage)

At-Will Powers: Cleave, Footwork Lure, Tide of Iron

Encounter Powers: Passing Attack

Daily Powers: Comeback Strike

Trained Skills: Athletics (+7), Endurance (+4), Heal (+7), Intimidate (+5)

Feats: Action Surge, Toughness

Gear: Heavy Shield, Javelin (2), Scale Armor, standard adventurer's kit, Longsword, 5 gp


Shifter Fighter - "The Reacher"

Male longtooth shifter Fighter 1 (Weapon Talent)

Ability Scores: Str 18, Con 13, Dex 15, Int 8, Wis 15, Cha 10

HP: 33; Bloodied: 16; Surges: 10 (8 HP)

AC/Fort/Ref/Will: 17/16/12/12

Basic Melee: Glaive (+7 vs. AC, 2d4+4 damage)
Basic Ranged: Javelin (+6 vs. AC, 1d6+4 damage)

Racial Powers: Longtooth Shifting

At-Will Powers: Cleave, Footwork Lure

Encounter Powers: Spinning Sweep

Daily Powers: Lasting Threat

Trained Skills: Athletics (+11), Endurance (+8), Heal (+7)

Feats: Toughness

Gear: Glaive, Javelin (2), Scale Armor, standard adventurer's kit, 5 gp

My opinions on the PHB races:

Dragonborn 5/5: They get a boost to your primary stat, something no other PHB race gives you (except for humans, who grant a bonus to any single stat). Although the boost to Charisma doesn't help you, they also get boosts to having a good Con score, something you'll want anyway. Dragon Breath is also awesome for marking a lot of foes at once.

Dwarf 5/5: Dwarves are made to take it in the face and like it. Both of their stat boosts are useful to you. They're particularly good if you want to wield hammers or axes, but even if you opt for a different weapon group, they're still great. Second wind as a minor action is great for you since you'll get hit a lot, and Stand Your Ground is particularly good for you since you'll want to hold on to a good defensive position.

Eladrin 2/5: You're already proficient with martial weapons so the longsword proficiency doesn't help. The +1 to Will defense makes up for one of the fighter's cliche weaknesses, but then you get benefits for boosting Wisdom anyway. Fey Step is useful for getting into just the right spot, but it's not as good as keeping a good spot (see Dwarf's Stand Your Ground). The bonus to Dex helps if you plan on using light or heavy blades and Eladrin do make decent longsword guardian fighters.

Elf 4/5: Both stat boosts help if you plan on wielding light or heavy blades. Wild Step is useful for anyone, and moreso for you because you'll be in the thick of it and shifting is valuable. Though the proficiencies don't help, Elven Accuracy is awesome for landing your encounter and daily powers, especially if feat-enhanced.

Half-Elf 2/5: The boost to Con is great, but Charisma is useless for you. There are some good powers based on your key ability scores so Dilettante can prove useful. Cha can also be useful if you plan to multiclass, which is this race's strong suit.

Halfing 3/5: The boost to Dex is only good if you plan on using light blades or heavy blades, which you should certainly go for if you plan on playing a Halfling fighter (and may I suggest the scimitar). Nimble Reaction and Second Chance make you more defensive, which is very important for you, particularly if you go Guardian (which, as a halfling, is pretty much your only choice).

Human 4/5: The bonus at-will is still useful, even if it isn't awesome for the fighter the way it is for other classes. Humans are the only other race besides Dragonborn that can boost Strength, which is great. The bonus feat is also good, especially humans have some of the best racial feats in the game. Action Surge is awesome, even if it isn't quite as good as the Elf's Elven Accuracy.

Tiefling 1/5: Both racial stat boosts are wasted on the fighter, as Int and Cha are the fighter's two dump stats (except for those fighters that want a decent Intimidate score). Infernal Wrath is useful since you'll be getting hit a lot, and Bloodhunt rocks since you'll be right next to your foes as they are bloodied-- however, even those these abilities are good, overall the Tiefling has the least synergy with the fighter (though tiefling fighters are still certainly very playable).
Rain of blows is a fair level 3 pick even if you're not using the right weapon, depending on your static bonuses. 2[w]+2*(static bonuses) could easily outweigh 2[w]+Con, and you've 2 chances for a Crit to come up.

Reaping strike isn't bad even for a 1H fighter as long as you have the "full" 18 strength. Taking down tougher soldier types is just as important as blasting away minions, and sometimes you're just going to have an unlucky streak of 1s and 2s. Unless of course you're using a Hammer/Scimitar already.

Look into the "Weapon of Mydroon's Shard" (Dragon 364; Pg 24) if you are a spear fighter (1H or 2H). Level 4/9/etc; At-Will Standard you can make a basic melee attack with +1 reach. Daily you can add a push to an attack, and after the push the target and all adjacent creatures take lightning damage.
In defense of streetwise: I think it actually has a fair bit of utility in skill challenges.

At least in Living Forgotten Realms, there seem to be nearly as many skill challenges as combats. Many of the skill challenges are socially oriented and, of those, quite a few seem to make intimidate counterproductive or more difficult. Streetwise is a skill that will often contribute meaningfully in these situations but will rarely result in an automatic failure like Intimidate will. (And if you do fail, which will occur sooner or later even at the errattaed DCs since we're talking about a skill keyed off of a dump stat, you generally won't incur as many negative results with Streetwise as with Intimidate). As one of two options for a single classed core rules fighter to participate in social skill challenges (and sometimes, knowledge skill challenges), Streetwise deserves at least as good as intimidate--probably better. And let's face it, even a 12 charisma dragonborn (which is about as optimized as a fighter should get for intimidate) will usually be better off killing a bloodied opponent rather than intimidating it. (At first level, +8 vs. will defense +10 will usually need a 15+ (30%), whereas chance to hit should be at least 60%; and since monster defenses advance at 1/level but the intimidate check will only advance 1/2 levels, it's only going to get worse). And a failed attempt to Intimidate contributes nothing while a hit that doesn't drop the opponent still makes it easier for the rest of the party to drop said foe.
Rain of blows is a fair level 3 pick even if you're not using the right weapon, depending on your static bonuses. 2[w]+2*(static bonuses) could easily outweigh 2[w]+Con, and you've 2 chances for a Crit to come up.

This is probably the wrong thread for it, but the way I read Rain of Blows is that it only gives you the second attack when you're wielding the right kind of weapon. I think the whole "4 attacks" thing is a misinterpretation.

Anyway. Back to the thread at hand!
Could be. But it says to make two 1[w]+Strength attacks before it has any special cases about what weapon you're using, so if you think it's 3 total hits or 4 you still make two hits when you're using a maul. The other main contender as a level 3 power gives a single 2[w]+Str+Con attack. Now, assuming your con is 18 (for example), then if you've got a +2 maul (easily possible at level 3 or 4) it's equal between the two, but if you've got Weapon Focus or Dwarven Weapon Training then Rain of Blows comes out ahead.

If you're heavy blade fighter, the Slow effect with Dance of Steel is probably preferable to the raw damage of Rain of Blows, since Heavy Blade types tend to be controller-like instead of striker-like.
Level 3 is where you get your first close burst encounter attack; I think it's a better option than either making multiple individual attacks or a single big one. Marking multiple foes is a big control point for a fighter, and doing so can enable further damage from a Combat Challenge attack.
Halflings are clearly skyblue if you go sword n board =3
I had a thread a while back containing feats specifically considered for sword-n-board (with low con).

http://forums.gleemax.com/showthread.php?p=16618157#post16618157

I stopped updating it; part of the complexity lies in the fact that there are quite a few builds possible and they have quite a bit of overlap so you'd like not to repeat advice, but also like to split em up where they differ. Then there's the point of view: do you say, "this is how to build a decend sword fighter" or "this is what you can do with a decent str and dex if your wis is low"? Perspective matters.

I think the only way to really make such a guide is to split the major categories. What kind of major categories do we have?
  • Str>Con>Wis plain solid fighter
  • Str>Wis>Dex polearm gamble
  • Str>Wis,Dex swordfighter
  • Others...

Anyhow, many builds can progress largely identically, and we shouldn't split em up - it's good to emphasize the overlap since that demonstrates you can actually do both (and thus adapt to the circumstances - such as what you find)
Dusk, if you don't mind, I'll provide my analysis on the first tier powers.

At-Wills:

Cleave: This lets you autokill more minions, and add up more damage against normal monsters. No matter the build, this is ALWAYS your first at-will.

Reaping Strike: Unadulterated awesome for Two handed weapon fighters (2HW from now on). Making damage any way you want, any color you like (as long as it's black), is as good as it gets. Must have for a 2HW.

Tide of Iron: If you're a shield fighter, you're a nobody without this power. The control it adds is immense, and those who don't have it should be kicked out of the class.

Sure Strike: And in contrast to the other awesomesauce powers, we get this horrible monstrosity. Reaping strike is almost always better than this one, and as you get higher and higher, this becomes even more pronounced. Skip it unless you're human.

Encounter Powers:

Level 1:

Covering Attack: This lets you sub in as a leader. Not a good pick, unless your party is frequently ambushed or the like.

Passing Attack: Awesome. Best damage for the level, good accuracy, and movement for you. The only reason it's not sky blue is that sometimes, you don't want to move an inch.

Spinning Sweep: The other best choice for the level. Doesn't do as much damage, and is not as precise, but if you knock the enemy prone and retreat out of charge range, the enemy loses the turn. 2HW fighters will probably prefer Passing attack, but sword and board (SNB from now on) users will probably like this one better.

Steel Serpent Strike: Slowing isn't as good as knocking prone, and you WANT the enemy to shift so you can take a jab at them, most of the time. Not BAD, per se, but not the best choice.


Level 3:

Armor Piercing Thrust: For when you absolutely, positively need to hit and do some damage. There are better choices out there, though.

Crushing Blow: HULK SMASH! With this power, you can deal really nice damage, and it'll get better as you level, to boot. Nice choice for executioners and skullcrushers.

Precise Strike: Sure strike doesn't learn it's lesson, does it? It popped steroids and tried again, but it didn't realize it's simply NOT fit for fighting. Skip this one, avoid it like the plague.

Rain of Blows: When it comes down to doing big, brutal burst damage, this is it. An excellent choice for any weapon (combine it with Power Attack for Ludicrous Gibs TM), completely ludicrous for the favored weapons, to the point it can be the best power for damage dealing in all of the fighter's career. Get it unless you have a very good reason to get something else.

Sweeping Blow: If you meet many minions, this is the power for you. Get in their midst, use this power (particularly if you have one of it's favored weapons), and watch 'em go bye bye.


Level 7:

Griffon's Wrath: Nice damage, AND it debuffs the enemy. A good pick for your power.

Iron Bulwark: While Griffon's Wrath debuffs, this one buffs you. Nice, and if you can stack it with something else, can make you a total tank. Only for SNB fighters, though.

Reckless Strike: Many people crucify this power, but they fail to realize that it's power lies in team play. If you can manage to stage something with your party, this one can do dailyesque damage. Only consider it if you have a party that is good at teamwork.

Sudden Surge: Meh. The usefulness of this power is very, very dubious, and I was tempted to give it a purple rating. It says MOVE, not SHIFT, so you're going to eat an OA for it. All in all, a bad choice.


Utility Powers:

Level 2:

Boundless Endurance: The only reason this isn't sky blue is that it takes up your stance. Really nice power, especially for skullcrushers (as I affectionately call hammer users). If you're not gonna use stances, take it. If you will, take it anyway and use it in a fight in which you DON'T use a stance.

Get Over Here: Can get an ally out of a VERY sticky situation. Situational, but when you need it, you'll be glad you have it.

No Opening: Waaaaaaaay too situational to be useful. It's like a mini shield, which saves it from being totally useless.


Level 6:

Battle Awareness: For when you absolutely, positively must go first. When it comes up, it's awesome. A bit situational for my tastes, though.

Defensive Training: Nice bonus, but it clogs up your stance. I'd pass it up, but I can't deny it's usefulness.

Unbreakable: For skullcrushers, this one's blue. Can be very good for when you're critted, for example. A choice to consider.


Level 10:

Into The Fray: Impressively useful. You could close in on an enemy, whack him, and shift away, forcing him to spend his move to reach you, for example. A very good choice.

Last Ditch Evasion: This can save your behind when an enemy crits you or uses a big power. Consider it, as it may well save your life.


Daily Powers:

Level 1:

Brute Strike: Not too shabby, but not spectacular either. Gets better the bigger your weapon is.

Comeback Strike: *Eye of the Tiger plays in the background* Hey, you can be Rocky! Very nice, as self heals always are. A power to consider.

Villain's Menace: Gets better and better as you level up and get more powers that will be able to use the boost. Nice choice.


Level 5:

Crack The Shell: More damage AND a debuff. Follow it up with another encounter or daily for extremely satisfying results.

Dizzying Blow: Basically the "run for it, guys!" power. Once you use it, every meleer in your team should take it as a signal to shift out to avoid attacks while the ranged attackers use their free round to pile up damage.

Rain of Steel: Impressively, all the choices are good this level. While this one is nowhere near as effective as it's big brothers, it'll kill minions dead and add up some really neat damage through the fight. My personal choice, but the other two are extremely good too.


Level 9:

Shift The Battlefield: Hit 'em and avoid Retaliation. Sadly, this stops you from capitalizing on the mark. I'd avoid it.

Thicket of Blades: SWEET POWER! Excellent damage, good debuff, and, until it is errataed, if you just miss ONE foe (not all), you get another shot of it! Hug it, love it, and call it George. Or maybe not, you're supposed to be a macho fighter. :P

Victorious Surge: A bigger Comeback Strike. Not as good, however, as there's Thicket of Blades, and you probably don't need SO MUCH self healing.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
Armisael, you missed Come and Get It.

7th Level Encounters

  • Come and Get It - Burst pull and attack
  • Griffon Wrath - AC debuff on target (one round)
  • Iron Bulwark - AC buff for you (one round)
  • Reckless Strike - Penalty to hit for 1[W] more damge
  • Sudden Surge - Hit then move (not shift)


The only time when Griffon's Wrath or Iron Bulwark will be better then Come and Get It is against solo creature and both AC effects only last until end of turn.

Come and Get It is not only a mass marking power, but it completely shifts the battle field to your favor. Its not so great in a solo encounter (functioning at best like a Covering Strike), but in any other situation, this power absolutely shines.

Level 6 Utility
  • Battle Awareness - Massive Initiative bonus, Daily
  • Defensive Training - Stance, bonus to Fort, Refl, Will, Daily Power
  • Unbreakable - Immediate Reaction reduce damage taken, Encounter Power


Defenders take damage every encounter. Thus with Unbreakable, every encounter, you will take 5+Con Modifier less damage. Clearly the correct choice for the Utility 6. The only reason Unbreakable isn't a light blue power is that it uses your Immediate Action for the turn (and thus you can not take a Combat Challenge Attack).

Battle Awareness would be interesting as an Encounter Power. As a Daily, its clearly worse then both other powers at the level.

Defensive Training isn't bad. The question is will the damage it mitigates in one encounter beat out the damage that Unbreakable mitigates over several encounters.

Level 10 Utility
  • Into The Fray - Shift an ally to become adjacent to an enemy, Encounter
  • Last Ditch Evasion - Immediate Interrupt, negate an attack against you, take a penalty to AC for the rest of the encounter, Daily


Into the Fray gets a bump from purple status because it is an Encounter power. Otherwise, its highly situational depending on party make up and battlefield positioning. Finally, it does not fulfill the primary role of the fighter (damage mitigation). Edit - Into the Fray was misread by me, it effects you not an ally and I consider it a solid black power.

Last Ditch Evasion is amazing. Negate the worst attack your enemy will throw at you. The AC penalty is rough and it uses your Interrupt for the round, but when you need it, its going to stop a ton of damage and probably keep your fighter standing. It would be light blue if it wasn't an Interrupt action (and thus conflict with Combat Challenge)
True, I missed come and get it. It's blue, though. The LAST thing you want is to be unable to pick your battles, which is what Come and Get it does. Tank you might be, but if four or five enemies are next to you, you're going down, period. The level 3 encounter power is better, much better, when you need close bursts.

Unbreakable is NOT blue, though. Reducing the damage by five doesn't stop a normal hit at level 1, much less at level 6 and higher. It's only blue for CON monkeys.

And Into the Fray is awesome. Seriously. The advantage of extra movement CANNOT be underestimated. There's all sorts of thigns you can do with it, like getting close, using tide of iron, then scarpering and forcing the opponent to charge you. It's serious win, even if Last Ditch is really good too.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
Thicket of Blades: SWEET POWER! Excellent damage, good debuff, and, until it is errataed, if you just miss ONE foe (not all), you get another shot of it! Hug it, love it, and call it George. Or maybe not, you're supposed to be a macho fighter. :P

It was errata'd (or rather "reliable" was). Reliable only kicks in if you miss with all attacks.
It was errata'd (or rather "reliable" was). Reliable only kicks in if you miss with all attacks.

What does reliable say? Does it say "if you miss with the power", or "if you miss with all the attacks"?
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
Boundless Endurance: The only reason this isn't sky blue is that it takes up your stance. Really nice power, especially for skullcrushers (as I affectionately call hammer users). If you're not gonna use stances, take it. If you will, take it anyway and use it in a fight in which you DON'T use a stance.

I'm not entirely sold on this power if your con isn't good. The heavy dependance on Con should at least be mentioned in the handbook; it grants 2+ConMod regeneration, which, if you're not a Con-fighter, is liable to be regeneration 3 - but only when bloodied, and only once a day.

No Opening: Waaaaaaaay too situational to be useful. It's like a mini shield, which saves it from being totally useless.

It's much worse than the wizard power Shield, however: this triggers on an attack (which might miss anyhow), and when you activate it, you have no idea whether the minor +2 bonus of combat advantage will matter). This power is good specifically against opponents that have nasty abilities tied to combat advantage (such as rogue's, say), and potentially for polearm-gamble users.

Unbreakable: For skullcrushers, this one's blue. Can be very good for when you're critted, for example. A choice to consider.

You'll be hit often. Toughness is just 5 hitpoints at these levels, but unbreakable essentially adds 5+ConMod hitpoints to each encounter - so that saves you healing surges, and overshadows toughness even if you have a low con. With a high Con, it's brilliant.
What does reliable say? Does it say "if you miss with the power", or "if you miss with all the attacks"?

“Reliable: If you don’t hit when using a reliable power, you don’t expend the use of that power.”
It's in the update PDF's.
True, I missed come and get it. It's blue, though. The LAST thing you want is to be unable to pick your battles, which is what Come and Get it does. Tank you might be, but if four or five enemies are next to you, you're going down, period. The level 3 encounter power is better, much better, when you need close bursts.

That pull is heinous (see the errata, it's a pull - you get to choose how the enemies move). When enemies are all adjacent to you, that's when you shift to a more advantageous position. It's great because it allows you to disturb the tactics the opponents were going to try on your allies, even if you miss!.

It's true that it might be lethal. But heck, it's called "Come and Get It" for a reason eh? Be careful which fights you pick!
Reckless Strike: Many people crucify this power, but they fail to realize that it's power lies in team play. If you can manage to stage something with your party, this one can do dailyesque damage. Only consider it if you have a party that is good at teamwork.

...and if you're building a striker-esque fighter such as MC hammer. Interesting note, though, about the teamwork.

Sudden Surge: Meh. The usefulness of this power is very, very dubious, and I was tempted to give it a purple rating. It says MOVE, not SHIFT, so you're going to eat an OA for it. All in all, a bad choice.

I don't think it can compare to "Come and Get It", but movement can be great, and if you're a halfling with the OA-defense feat, this might be usuable. You probably still want come and get it (see Lost in the Crowd), but heck...
“Reliable: If you don’t hit when using a reliable power, you don’t expend the use of that power.”
It's in the update PDF's.

Could go both ways. As a DM, I'd rule for a single hit counting for not getting reliable, though.

About come and get it: D'oh, the pull, forgot about it. It limits the movement, but it is a good thing, though, in most cases.

As for unbreakable, toughness is MUCH, much better. Adding to the healing surge value is much more valuable. Trust me, if it were every round, it'd be blue. As is, it's solidly black except for high CON people.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
Wow, thanks for all the great feedback, guys. I'll try to at least get the Heroic Tier stuff in (thx Armisael and Coldwynd for some good ideas). Though I have different opinions on a few powers, I am open to discussion.
True, I missed come and get it. It's blue, though. The LAST thing you want is to be unable to pick your battles, which is what Come and Get it does. Tank you might be, but if four or five enemies are next to you, you're going down, period. The level 3 encounter power is better, much better, when you need close bursts.

Unbreakable is NOT blue, though. Reducing the damage by five doesn't stop a normal hit at level 1, much less at level 6 and higher. It's only blue for CON monkeys.

And Into the Fray is awesome. Seriously. The advantage of extra movement CANNOT be underestimated. There's all sorts of thigns you can do with it, like getting close, using tide of iron, then scarpering and forcing the opponent to charge you. It's serious win, even if Last Ditch is really good too.

Come and Get It
The only draw-back to Come and Get It is that it is not very useful in Solo encounters. If you've got 5 enemies marked and on you thanks to this power, your doing your job. As a defender, you will have the highest AC in the party, highest HP total, and most surges to blow. If you get 5 enemies next to you and marked, you are preforming your Damage Mitigation role perfectly.

Come and Get It is even more impressive for Power Attacking fighters as any AoE attack is highly valued.

Unbreakable
On Unbreakable, perhaps I'm evaluating the power t0o heavily on a pure defender build. The pure fighter defender will be aggressively bumping Str and Con, meaning that the power will never be just 5 damage. It is blue for a fighter attempting to fulfill his defender role. Example: in Heroic tier, let's assume a 16 con for the fighter and hit points equal to 66 at level 6 (15 base, +16 con, +30 levels, +5 toughness) and a healing surge value of 16. Every two encounters, the fighter mitigates 16 damage (Unbreakable is at 8, 5+3 from con), a free healing surge every two encounters.

With a base 10 Con, your hp at 6 will be 60 (or less if you don't have toughness) for a healing surge value of 15. Thus it will take 3 encounters to equal one surge.

Obviously, the effects of Unbreakable are greatest at 6th level when compared to surges gained, still it is damage mitigation at the cost of an interrupt action. That is a very good trade.

Into the Fray
Forgive my misread no Into the Fray, I thought it was Ally not Personal. It is much more useful then I gave it credit for (minor action to move 3 is good, even with its draw back). Its still situational, though it does allow some mitigation as you will be able to land a mark with this power when you would otherwise not be able to do so. Its a solid black power.

For mitigation purposes, Last Ditch Evasion is still the choice at Level 10. Comparing the two powers, I think its obvious that Last Ditch is much better then Into the Fray.
On No Opening
It's much worse than the wizard power Shield, however: this triggers on an attack (which might miss anyhow), and when you activate it, you have no idea whether the minor +2 bonus of combat advantage will matter). This power is good specifically against opponents that have nasty abilities tied to combat advantage (such as rogue's, say), and potentially for polearm-gamble users.

Everything Eamon says is true and this power forces you to use your 1/round Interrupt (meaning no Combat Challenge attack, Unbreakable, Last Ditch Evasion, or any other Interrupt power). The scope of this power is absurdly minor. Purple on this power is very generous :D
I find the overwhelming popularity of Boundless Endurance bizarre. Yes, regeneration is all that and a bag of chips, but this is bad regeneration. It kicks in only while bloodied, which is not a state you want to remain in. The regeneration is huge at lower levels but by the time you hit Paragon the best you can hope for is to equal a healing surge after three rounds of BE ticking (and that's a generous assumption). You don't want to spend three rounds sitting below 50% health. That's how Defenders die. It looks great on paper, but I think in practice actually trying to benefit from this power is suicidal. Its real selling point is that there's nothing better to get at level 2. That doesn't make it good.
As for unbreakable, toughness is MUCH, much better. Adding to the healing surge value is much more valuable. Trust me, if it were every round, it'd be blue. As is, it's solidly black except for high CON people.

This I don't understand: A guy that uses a surge (and has toughness) will heal less than a guy that uses a surge and unbreakable. Toughness adds just 1.25 points to your surge value, so if you surge once a combat, then that's 6.25 hp extra. Unbreakable easily beats that if you have a reasonable con. If you use more surges then toughness looks better, and if you have higher con, unbreakable looks better. If you have 20Con (level 8 dwarf, say), then unbreakable loses to toughness only if you use 5 or more surges. And I think using an immediate action is probably cheaper than a feat.

Put it this way - I'd rather have distracting shield but lose one immediate action per encounter than not have it, but not lose the immediate action.

In any case, toughness is still a great feat, of course
Unbreakable is good in the low levels, assuming you have a good Con score. After the level at which you acquire it, however, it steadily declines simply because it scales so poorly. By the end of Heroic tier you'll be lucky if it is preventing half your surge value, which would mean that it saves you one healing surge every two encounters. It only gets worse as time goes on. You have to weigh that against something like Defensive Training or Battle Awareness. Unbreakable is decent at 6, but by Paragon it's pretty much junk.
I find the overwhelming popularity of Boundless Endurance bizarre. Yes, regeneration is all that and a bag of chips, but this is bad regeneration. It kicks in only while bloodied, which is not a state you want to remain in. The regeneration is huge at lower levels but by the time you hit Paragon the best you can hope for is to equal a healing surge after three rounds of BE ticking (and that's a generous assumption). You don't want to spend three rounds sitting below 50% health. That's how Defenders die. It looks great on paper, but I think in practice actually trying to benefit from this power is suicidal. Its real selling point is that there's nothing better to get at level 2. That doesn't make it good.

Actually, when I've seen it in play, it's more of a 'clutch' power: it gets better when your situation gets worse. Our Fighter ran into a string of superb rolls by his opponents, and was in serious trouble. An Inspiring Word by the party Warlord wasn't enough, so he activated BE. Though he spent the whole encounter Bloodied, he didn't faceplant thanks to BE (the rest of the party was rolling rather poorly, and he was facing an ugly mix of Brutes and Soldiers). So BE is your "break in case of emergency" kind of power, when you know the healing won't be enough and/or you know you won't be healed for a while.
I find the overwhelming popularity of Boundless Endurance bizarre. Yes, regeneration is all that and a bag of chips, but this is bad regeneration. It kicks in only while bloodied, which is not a state you want to remain in. The regeneration is huge at lower levels but by the time you hit Paragon the best you can hope for is to equal a healing surge after three rounds of BE ticking (and that's a generous assumption). You don't want to spend three rounds sitting below 50% health. That's how Defenders die. It looks great on paper, but I think in practice actually trying to benefit from this power is suicidal. Its real selling point is that there's nothing better to get at level 2. That doesn't make it good.

Actually, it's because it buys you time, and more. The real use of it is to help until someone can give you a surge, not to work like divine regeneration. At this it performs spectacularly, which is the reason it is liked.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
I find the overwhelming popularity of Boundless Endurance bizarre. Yes, regeneration is all that and a bag of chips, but this is bad regeneration. It kicks in only while bloodied, which is not a state you want to remain in. The regeneration is huge at lower levels but by the time you hit Paragon the best you can hope for is to equal a healing surge after three rounds of BE ticking (and that's a generous assumption). You don't want to spend three rounds sitting below 50% health. That's how Defenders die. It looks great on paper, but I think in practice actually trying to benefit from this power is suicidal. Its real selling point is that there's nothing better to get at level 2. That doesn't make it good.

Boundless Endurance
Its a tricky power to use correctly. If you wait until your bloodied to use it, your in trouble (as regeneration happens at the beginning of your turn). You really want to time this to the round before your bloodied. If you do that, its a lot better (though if you fail to predict the future properly, you've wasted a daily power).

If only this power let you regenerate on the turn you activated it if you were bloodied.

Your correct though, it only scores as a blue power because Get Over Here and No Opening are just terrible. Its probably black at best.
Actually, when I've seen it in play, it's more of a 'clutch' power: it gets better when your situation gets worse. Our Fighter ran into a string of superb rolls by his opponents, and was in serious trouble. An Inspiring Word by the party Warlord wasn't enough, so he activated BE. Though he spent the whole encounter Bloodied, he didn't faceplant thanks to BE (the rest of the party was rolling rather poorly, and he was facing an ugly mix of Brutes and Soldiers). So BE is your "break in case of emergency" kind of power, when you know the healing won't be enough and/or you know you won't be healed for a while.

Hm. I'm normally a fan of 'clutch' powers, since in my experience things do go badly and often in spades. Every time I look at Boundless Endurance, though, I keep seeing a frayed safety net. Can I ask what level your experience took place at?
Boundless Endurance
Its a tricky power to use correctly. If you wait until your bloodied to use it, your in trouble (as regeneration happens at the beginning of your turn). You really want to time this to the round before your bloodied. If you do that, its a lot better (though if you fail to predict the future properly, you've wasted a daily power).

If only this power let you regenerate on the turn you activated it if you were bloodied.

Your correct though, it only scores as a blue power because Get Over Here and No Opening are just terrible. Its probably black at best.

Minor nitpick: it's a stance, so it sticks around, even if you're not bloodied right after you activate it.
Minor nitpick: it's a stance, so it sticks around, even if you're not bloodied right after you activate it.

I think he meant that if you guess that you're going to get your face smashed in and then it doesn't happen, you've blown your safety net and won't have it later in the day when you may need it.

I also dislike the power specifically because it is a stance, and don't like the idea of finding myself forced to abandon something like Rain of Steel or Defensive Training to activate it. I keep thinking that in any situation where I would activate BE I would rather just use a Second Wind or a potion rather than risk falling to bloodied and getting critted into the ground. I've tanked in MMOs before and the most important thing to do when it comes to durability is to be capable of absorbing burst damage. D&D isn't an MMO but the principle still holds: if you're going to die, it will probably happen fast. There are enough monsters with nasty ways to punish bloodied PCs that it's not a state you want to linger in unless you have no choice.

I dunno. Maybe it's better than I give it credit for. There's certainly no competition for the power slot at level 2.
I think he meant that if you guess that you're going to get your face smashed in and then it doesn't happen, you've blown your safety net and won't have it later in the day when you may need it.

I also dislike the power specifically because it is a stance, and don't like the idea of finding myself forced to abandon something like Rain of Steel or Defensive Training to activate it. I keep thinking that in any situation where I would activate BE I would rather just use a Second Wind or a potion rather than risk falling to bloodied and getting critted into the ground. I've tanked in MMOs before and the most important thing to do when it comes to durability is to be capable of absorbing burst damage. D&D isn't an MMO but the principle still holds: if you're going to die, it will probably happen fast. There are enough monsters with nasty ways to punish bloodied PCs that it's not a state you want to linger in unless you have no choice.

I dunno. Maybe it's better than I give it credit for. There's certainly no competition for the power slot at level 2.

See, unlike an MMO, there ISN'T any attack that could possibly dealt he burst damage necessary to kill you.

And, if you're knocked down, I believe the regeneration pulls you right back up to 0, meaning you are always ready to fight.
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
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