Swords and Sorcery: A Swordmage Manual

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Swords and Sorcery
A Swordmage Manual

IMAGE(http://i258.photobucket.com/albums/hh275/Ravingdork/GenasiElementalTempest.jpg)

The Warrior-Wizard is a well-known fantasy archetype, and a fairly popular one at that. After all, if swords are awesome, and magic is awesome, then swords + magic must be something beyond awesome. A Swordmage is one who slings spells, cuts down swathes of enemies, and looks bad doing it. Hopefully, the information contained within will help you create your own Swordmage.

Table of Contents
01.) Introduction (Complete)
02.) Class Features (Complete)
03.) Abilities and Races (Complete)
04.) Heroic Tier Powers (Complete)
05.) Paragon Tier Powers (Complete)
06.) Epic Tier Powers (Complete)
07.) Paragon Paths and Epic Destinies (In-Progress)
08.) Skills (Complete)
09.) Feats (Complete)
10.) Multiclassing (Incomplete)
11.) Weapons and Armor (In-Progress)
12.) Sample Swordmages (Incomplete)

Color-Coding?
As is the style with guides on this board, I will be using Dictuum Mortuum's color-coding system for rating options, as it allows you to see at a glance how useful the option might be to you.
Sky Blue choices are excellent options. Any Swordmage can make use of these, and they should always be considered.
Blue choices are good options. A Swordmage who uses one of these won't regret it.
Black choices are solid options. Maybe not the best choice there is, but it's not an outright bad choice either.
Purple choices are limited options. These choices might work for some swordmages, but they're generally not very good.
Red choices are bad options. To use board lingo, they are "traps," and should generally be avoided.

Other Swordmage Threads
If you want to know more about Swordmages, you might want to look up one of these threads:
Swordmage Optimization Brainstorming

Special Thanks
Hdier came up with the wonderful idea of providing links to the D&D Compendium, so that Insiders can get a better look at individual powers, and has been providing the links for me. It will take a while to get all those links up, so until then, be patient (just like with the rest of this guide, actually).
Merchant_of_Shadows evaluated the items in the Adventurer's Vault.
Herid_Fel evaluated Armor Choices

A list of CharOp Handbooks I'm currently updating:

Heart of the Dragon: A Dragonborn's Handbook

Infernal Wrath: A Tiefling's Handbook

Class Features:

Hit Points: You begin with 15 + Constitution score hit points (and your constitution score will be good). Add in 6 hit points per level, and you should be one of the toughest members of your party.

Healing Surges You automatically start with 8 surges, and get more depending on your Constitution modifier. 8 isn't a lot for a defender, but your good Constitution should help with that.

Weapon Proficiencies: You start with the ability to use military blades, and all simple weapons. Not a bad selection of weapons, all-in-all, so you don't need to bother with getting a superior sword if you don't want to.

Armor Proficiency: Cloth and leather. Okay, but if you can, upgrade to Hide Armor at some point. There's no real reason not to, unless you dump strength entirely.

Swordmage Aegis:
As a defender, one of the Swordmage's main jobs is to ensure allies take as little damage as possible. This is done through their Swordmage Aegis, which marks an enemy and allows a Swordmage to react to an attack the enemy makes. The secondary effect of the Aegis is one of the most important choices you'll make when making a Swordmage. Swordmages come in several varieties:

Assaulting Swordmages (also referred to as Assaultmages) are the more offensively-oriented Swordmages. Their Aegis allows them to teleport next to the enemy they marked and make a melee basic attack against that enemy as an immediate reaction. These guys work best as a second defender in the party, teleporting to battlefield hotspots to help allies who need help most.

Shielding Swordmages (also referred to as Shieldmages) are more defensive, of course. Their Aegis allows them to reduce damage that an ally takes when an enemy they've marked hits them. If you want to play a Swordmage and have only one defender in the party, this is probably what you'll be aiming for.

Ensnaring Swordmages (also referred to as Snaremages) are detailed in Arcane power. Most of their powers deal with repositioning the enemy, and they should play a little more offensively than Shielding Swordmages, but more defensively than Assault Swordmages. They could work as the party's primary defender, but are better served working with another defender.

Swordbond:
This class feature is more fluff than anything else. It allows you to call your Sword from 10 squares away, and lets you reform a Sword that was damaged or destroyed by an enemy. Be one with your blade, or something like that.

Swordmage Warding:
This feature on the other hand, is absolutely fantastic. As long as you hold a sword, you get an automatic +1 AC, and if one had is free, the bonus increases to +3 AC. This feature is here to keep the Swordmage's AC on par with that of other defenders, and it does this well.

A list of CharOp Handbooks I'm currently updating:

Heart of the Dragon: A Dragonborn's Handbook

Infernal Wrath: A Tiefling's Handbook

Abilities and Races:

Abilities:
So, here are the stats you will generally need as a Swordmage:

Strength: The Assaulting Swordmage's secondary stat. This helps out fortitude defense, the damage bonus on some powers, the athletics skill, and is a prerequisite for some feats.

Constitution: The Shielding and Ensnaring Swordmage's secondary stat. It will increase your Fortitude defense, the Aegis of Shielding's effect, the damage of some powers, the endurance skill, and is a feat prerequisite.

Dexterity: Dexterity nets the swordmage some interesting feats, but Intelligence should be helping the AC and reflex defense, so this shouldn't be a high priority.

Intelligence: This should be the top score of any Swordmage. It boosts your attack bonus, damage bonus, AC, reflex defense, and some relevant skills as well. An 18 is solid, and a 20 wouldn't be bad either.

Wisdom: The only reason to invest in Wisdom is if you're going into the Wandering Swordmage Paragon Path. Otherwise, don't worry about it.

Charisma: Swordmages have more to worry about than how they present themselves in public.

Races:
There are a lot of weird races running around the world. Here are the most likely to become a Swordmage:

Player's Handbook/Forgotten Realms Races

Dragonborn: Dragonborn can make passable Assaulting Swordmages, but don't expect anything spectacular. Link to Compendium
Drow: Drow don't really have anything going for them here. Link to Compendium
Dwarves: Dwarves get a constitution bonus and some nice feats, but this brand of Arcane Magic isn't really their thing. Link to Compendium
Eladrin: Eladrin make solid Swordmages of either type. Their INT bonus works well, and DEX helps out with feats. Link to Compendium
Elves: The only real saving grace elves have is their Elven Accuracy racial power. Eladrin are a much better pick by far. Link to Compendium
Genasi: Genasi were born to be Swordmages. Assaulting is obvious, given the STR and INT bonuses, but Genasi can also be good Shielding Swordmages as well. Link to Compendium
Half-elves: Half-elves dilettante, access to human racial feats, and CON bonus can make an okay shielding swordmage. Don't get your hopes up. Link to Compendium
Halflings: Same stat placement as Drow. Next! Link to Compendium
Humans: Humans make excellent Swordmages of either kind. Their floating bonus should be placed in INT of course, and the racial bonuses, feats, and the extra At-Will really seal the deal here. Link to Compendium
Tieflings: Tieflings have a INT bonus, which is always welcome, and while the CHA bonus isn't as good, it helps with Will Defense at least. Tieflings work best with fire-based Swordmage spells. Link to Compendium


Player's Handbook 2 Races
Deva: Deva make excellent Swordmages of either kind, with boosts in intelligence (always good) and wisdom (good thing too). Their racial power is solid as well. If you want to be a Wandering Swordmage, this is easily a top contender.
Gnomes: Gnomes get the same stat boosts as Tieflings do, and have several racial feats that make them sneaky. Their small size limits their weapon choice, but you're not playing a Swordmage to be a striker anyway. Overall, a solid choice. Link to Compendium
Goliaths: Goliaths don't have an inherent Intelligence bonus, but they're tough, and toughness is always a good thing for a defender. Both of their ability boosts allow them to do well at either Swordmage build.
Half-Orcs: Half-Orcs are better off being a striker class, but they can make alright Assault Swordmages, with their strength boost. Their higher dexterity helps with heavy blade feats and Arcane Reach.
Longtooth Shifters: Longtooth Shifters would best work as an Assult Swordmages, and they get free regeneration when they get bloodied. That's about all they have going for them, though. Link to Compendium
Razorclaw Shifters: Yeah, Razorclaws should consider other lines of work. Link to Copmendium


Dragon/Eberron/Planar
Bladelings (MotP): Weak feat support, and no bonuses to Primary or Secondary stats. I'd rethink this if I were you.
Changelings (EPG): Changelings can boost the all-important Intelligence stat, and Charisma, while a dump stat, allows them to have a better-than-usual will defense. Unfortunately, most of the racial abilities also key off of Charisma, which means you'll have to keep it decent if you want to make use of the abilies.
Gnolls (D367):
Gnolls get a boost to CON and DEX, which can be useful to a Shielding Swordmage, and they got some interesting feats in a recent Dragon article. You could do worse. Link to Compendium
Minotaurs (D369): Minotaurs have lost the oversized trait, but they do also get boosts in both Swordmage secondary stats and do pretty well while charging. Minotaurs can do alright, although they favor the Assault Swordmage's Path because their racial power and feats demand Strength. Link to Compendium
Kalashtar (EPG): A boost to two dump stats do the Kalashtar no favors. They do get some nice racial feats, and telepathy is pretty cool, but that's all that the Kalashtar have going for them.
Shadar-Kai (D372): The recent dragon article has made Shadar-Kai a very nice choice for Swordmages, with Racial Feats that make them excellent all-around.Link to Compendium
Revenant (D376): A boost to secondary and tertiary stat for Shielding and Ensnaring Swordmages means your undead defender won't be terrible at his job, and they get some nice feats as well. Still, lacking a boost to Intelligence doesn't push Revenants into "optimal" territory.
Warforged (EPG): Robotic Swordmage, anyone? Warforged get the same stat placement as Minotaurs and Orcs, and Warforged Resolve help's survivability. Link to Compendium
Wilden (PH3 Playtest): A bonus to a secondary stat and a tertiary stat, but at the moment, the Wilden lack racial feat support. Play only if being a tree wielding a flaming sword appeals to you.


Monster Manual Races

Bugbears: Bugbears don't have a Intelligence boost, but their increased Strength and Dexterity make them alright Assaulting Swordmages, and oversized and predatory eye are nice to have. Link to Compendium
Githyanki: One of the monsters in the MM is the Githyanki Gish, a warrior-spellcaster similar to a Swordmage. It shouldn't be surprising, then, that Githyanki are excellent at this class, getting stat boosts in the most important abilities a Shielding Swordmage needs. Telekinetic Leap is pretty sweet too. Link to Compendium
Githzerai: Githzerai, on the other hand, are not really cut out for the Swordmage job. Link to Compendium
Goblins: Goblin Tactics is a really nice racial power, and is the only reason to consider a Goblin Swordmage. Link to Compendium
Hobgoblins: Hobgoblins have a similar stat placement to Half-elves, but the racial features and feats Half-elves get place them ahead. Try looking elsewhere. Link to Compendium
Kobolds: Kobolds get a boost to Dexterity and Constitution, and get the excellent Shifty Racial power. They may not be the best for the job, but they can pull their weight. Link to Compendium
Orcs: Orcs get the same stat placement as Minotaurs, but they're better served being Assaulting Swordmages, as their racial power (which lets them spend a healing surge) is keyed off of strength. Link to Copmpendium

A list of CharOp Handbooks I'm currently updating:

Heart of the Dragon: A Dragonborn's Handbook

Infernal Wrath: A Tiefling's Handbook

Heroic Tier Powers

Level 1 At-Will Spells

Booming Blade: An excellent "sticky" power. It deals damage to an enemy, and punishes them even more if they try to run away. Link to Compendium
Greenflame Blade: A solid power that hurts one enemy and deals autodamage to any enemies next to the guy you hit. Sky blue for Tieflings, for obvious reasons. Link to Compendium
Lightning Lure: This power has a fairly short range, but is used to pull an enemy adjacent to you. Just make sure there's an empty space next to you. Link to Copmendium
Swordburst: The only close burst At-Will there is. This power is made even more versatile with Arcane Reach. Link to Compendium
Luring Strike (AP): Essentially the Swordmage's answer to the Fighter power Footwork Lure. Maneuvering the enemy around is a nice ability.
Frigid Blade (D367): This power is fantastic. It's secondary effect is just amazing when used by a Shielding Swordmage, who at Epic Levels can use this to immobilize enemies if their Constitution is high enough. Link to Compendium


Level 1 Encounter Spells

Chilling Blow: Not too bad an attack, and it punishes enemies for attacking before the end of your next turn. This obviously gets better at later levels when enemies get more attacks. Link to Compendium
Flame Cyclone: A very solid AOE spell. Great for Assaulting Swordmages, but is also welcome in a Shielding Swordmage's arsenal as well. [url=
“http://ww2.wizards.com/dnd/insider/power.aspx?id=3326&searchterm=swordmage”]Link to Compendium[/url]
Foesnare: Immobilization at level 1 is rather good, and this power can be used while charging as well, which ups the power's accuracy. Link to Compendium
Lightning Clash: If you want to hit more than one foe, Flame Cyclone is a better overall pick. Link to Compendium
Blazing Pursuit (AP): It's an okay power, but it depends how open your battlefields are. A 5-square teleportation radius may mean this isn't the best choice for you.
Crackling Burst (AP): A close burst move that punishes movement. not a bad pick.
Falcon's Mark (AP): This allows you to mark a faraway for a level one ability. Ensnaring Swordmages will like this because of the specific rider effect is has for them.
Fox's Fient (AP): Pretty good. Try to swap the enemy into a flanking position.
Sword of Sigils (AP): This is really good for Shielding Swordmages. Damage to enemies and damage reduction to allies? What more do you need?


Level 1 Daily Spells

Burning Blade: This power is better for Assaulting Swordmages, who are bond to have a better overall strength. Link to Compendium
Frost Backlash: This will be the most powerful attack you'll have for a while. This is an immediate action, which means you shouldn't be using this if you're expecting to use your aegis, but this can be handy, eliminating an enemy before it hurts you. Link to Compendium
Whirling Blade: Kind of a fun power. You throw your sword and it whirls around until it hits something. Link to Compendium
Dance of the Sword (AP): An area-of-effect attack that guarantees allies safe movement for a round, with a high potential for your party to hit your foes with OAs. Pretty good.
Dragon's Teeth (AP): This power if for Assault Swordmages, and it punishes a group of foes who don't want to stand next to you. Not too bad.
Lashing Asp (AP): Basically a damage boosting stance. Depending on how much you favor your Constitution, it could be useful.
Sweeping Frostblade (AP): Close burst immobilization. Sweet.
Dimensional Thunder (D367): A rather good power. Move action is folded into it, and it inflicts ongoing damage to enemies around you. Link to Compendium
Warding Flourish (D374): If your allies need to have the enemies keep away for just that one round, you have this. Basically, makes it impossible for your enemies to move next to allies for a round. Allies also get to push enemies too. Overall, a solid defender power.


Level 2 Utility Spells

Dimensional Warp: Every encounter, you can warp in and take a friend's place, sending them to safety (hopefully). Especially helpful if you have a rogue or ranger buddy, since they're not as durable as you are. Link to Compendium
Eldritch Speed: Boosts your initiative and gives you an extra move action one encounter per day. Pretty good, all-in-all. Link to Compendium
Fear No Elements: Not too many enemies at this level with elemental attacks, but this should prove useful, and scales up as you level. Link to Compendium
Arcane Transport (AP): A daily power that allows you to teleport your ally as you teleport. Not bad, but as a daily, it's limited, and it only keys off of Swordmage powers, making it not as good for multiclass Swordmages or Eladrin.
Channeling Shield (AP): Once per encounter, any Swordmage can use an Aegis of Shielding. This is a good one, even for Shielding Swordmages because they can use it to reduce damage from an enemy that they couldn't mark, or reduce damage to themselves; they also get a damage bonus on top of that.
Ghost Step (AP): An interesting stance power that allows you to shift an additional square when you shift. Not bad on its own, but if you have the Luring Strike power, this power works more for you.
Host of Shields (AP): A once-per-day encounter-long buff to AC and Reflex. Nothing more needs be said.
Ward of Brilliance (AP): A power similar to the Wizard's Shield spell, in that it increases AC when a foe attacks you. If the attack still hit, the foe is blinded. Not bad, but it's a daily power, and there are several other good choices at this level.
Mythal Recovery: Gives you an extra saving throw once per encounter. Not bad, but not very spectacular either. Link to Compendium
Elemental Aegis (Dragon 367): This power is an immediate action which gives an ally an elemental resistance until the end of your next turn. Thing is, your immediate actions are probably better spent using your Aegis ability instead. Link to Compendium


Level 3 Encounter Spells

Blastback Swipe: Not a bad power choice. It pushes an enemy, can be used on a charge, and Assaulting Swordmages can also use it with their Aegis Attack. Link to Compendium
Corrosive Ruin: Another close blast power, like Flame Cyclone. This one isn't quite as powerful, but is still usable. Link to Compendium
Sloth Strike: Deals more damage than Foesnare, but has a worse effect. Still, it doesn't suck. Link to Compendium
Transposing Lunge: Absolutely amazing. There is no reason for a Shielding Swordmage not to learn this, and even Assaulting Swordmages can use it. Link to Compendium
Blazing Lunge (AP): A basic 2[W] fire attack that can be used on a charge, and that Assault Swordmages can use as an OA. Alright, but not amazing.
Dimensional Vortex (AP): This power is simply amazing. Your foe attacks an ally, you teleport that foe next to one of its buddies, and the buddy gets whacked. And if you're a Shielding Swordmage, the whacked buddy gets even more hurt than the ally would have. AND it targets Will. This is a power that any Swordmage should seriously consider.
Dual Lightning Strike (AP): You strike two foes, marking them both. It's... okay, I guess.
Shadow Snake Lunge (AP): An attack, and the foe is punished if they move. Take only if you have a good Constitution modifier.
Unseen Gauntlet (AP): A ranged power that immobilizes. It strikes Fortitude, true, but this is the kind of power that should be used against skirmishers, whose Fortitude tends to be lower. Ensnaring Swordmages also get a slight damage bonus too.
Incendiary Sword (Dragon 367): Where do I begin? First of, this is a power that targets Will Defense, which is generally the lowest defense on an enemy. It's an AOE, and if punishes enemies for not attacking you as well. You'd be better served having both this and Transposing Lunge at 7th Level. Link to Compendium


Level 5 Daily Spells

Deep Freeze: This power is best used against enemies that tend to bunch up, like hobgoblins. Link to Compendium
Elemental Foible: Low damage, but this power can synergize with teammates who have elemental-based attacks. Link to Compendium
Lingering Lightning: Ongoing damage to 3 enemies isn't bad at all. Link to Copmendium
Dimensional Bond (AP): You attack a foe, and can teleport next to it as a move action for the rest of the encounter. Can be used for some tactical repositioning, true, but doesn't have much else going for it.
Energy Theft (AP): A weak damage attack that makes a foe vulnerable to damage, and provides reistance to your allies. Overall okay.
Enervating Slash (AP): A foe hit by this little number strikes for half damage it saves. Not to mention its a weapon attack against Fortitude, which tends to be lower than AC at these levels.
Mark of the Hound (AP): An attack that basically makes it impossible for a foe to hide from you.
Purifying Wound (AP): An attack with ongoing damage, and the target's friends also suffer while the target takes the damage. But, it's fire damage, and several other choices here are stronger than this one.
Shielding Fire (Dragon 367): This power gives you an extra mark at heroic tier. You usually don't get two marks until Paragon levels, that's a fantastic reason to take it. But wait, there's more! Shielding Swordmages can also use this to inflict damage on enemies who hurt their allies! Freakin' awesome. Link to Compendiump


Level 6 Utility Spells

Armathor's Step: A teleport that gives you an attack bonus on the next enemy you hit? Why the hell not? Link to Copmendium
Dimensional Warding: An anti-teleport zone. Gets better as you meet more enemies that cannot teleport. Link to Compendium
Fate-Spurned Foe: This isn't as versatile as the Wizard's Orb of Imposition, but some Swordmage spells have some nasty rider effects. Link to Copmpendium
Silversteel Veil: Not a bad defensive boost, but there are better options that you have here. Link to Compendium
Quickling Stride (AP): You move 12 squares. Any questions?
Swordmage's Decree (AP): Once per day, you get an additional mark during combat. This power is nice to keep in reserve even at higher levels, because you always can't get enemies to cluster around you when you cast your Aegis.
Unicorn's Touch (AP): A saving throw, or a little bit of free healing. Yeah, this is nice.
Zephyr of the Barren Sands (AP): When you gotta fly, you gotta fly. And with this, you can fly.
Variable Defense (Dragon 367): Gives you an elemental resistance that's equal to your CON modifier which can be swapped to another resistance for the duration of the fight. Obviously better for Shielding Swordmages. Link to Compendium


Level 7 Encounter Spells

Electrified Lash: A lightning-based implement power. It's okay, but if you already have Swordburst there's little reason to bother. Link to Copmpendium
Flamewall Strike: Yeah, leave the walls to the Wizards. Link to Compendium
Isolating Slam: This can be useful to knock enemies away who benefit from being near each other. Not so much otherwise. Link to Compendium
Spikes of Agony: This is rather good power. It's basically a souped-up Booming Blade that can be used with the Assault Swordmage's Aegis. It works better for them, but Shielding Swordmages might want to give this a look too. Link to Compendium
Dazing Rebuke (AP): Attacks will, and dazes. So far so good. But it's an immediate reaction, which means it only works after the ally's been hit. The attack still triggers when an ally is missed though, so it's still pretty good. There are some iffy timing issues though, so be careful about who you use it on (solos and elites are most ideal).
Rejuvenating Strike (AP): Sometimes, the leader's out of usage of their healing powers. Sometimes, they're out of reach, sometimes, you just need the healing now. Well, that's what Rejuvenating Strike is for. Ensnaring Swordmages also get an addition Constitution bonus to this surge spent as well. Groovy.
Shatterblade (AP): Damage a foe, then deal Intelligence and Strength modifier damage to creatures around it. Not exactly ally-friendly, although you could do worse.
Thunderclap Strike (AP): Implement attack that targets Fortitude, and knocks those it hits prone. Solid enough.
Watchful Strike (AP): You strike one foe, then mark another. Better for Assualtmages, maybe even blue, because it allows them to mark an artillery or controller monster that they might not have been able to get to this turn. If that creature attacks someone other that the Assaultmage, he gets to teleport next to that monster and mark him for real.
Sleet Strike (Dragon 367): It's alright. It causes the target and adjacent enemies to slip and fall prone if they shift, so the mental picture is hilarious. Link to Compendium


Level 9 Daily Spells

Beacon Blade: This has some use against lurker enemies and enemies who turn invisible. Link to Compendium
Be Gone: If you or an ally really need some breathing space, teleport that sucker away. Link to Compendium
Glamor Blade: There's some debate on how exactly this power works, but cloning yourself in the middle of the fight is just too cool for words. Link to Compendium
Arcane Deflection (AP): The attack is so-so for this level, but the stance effect is amazing. Stay next to an ally who needs protection, and they have a good chance of surviving as you knock all attacks headed their way out of the air.
Blade Bolt (AP): You slow a target with a ranged attack. Alright, but in addition to that, you also get an additional Aegis that lasts the encounter. Packaged together, this power works well.
Forceful Dismissal (AP): This power is more geared towards Assaultmages, pushing foes aside. It targets fortitude though, which makes it not as nice.
Hellspike Assault (AP): Another meh power. The only real utility it has is clustering opponents together for another ally's AOE, but you'd also be exposed to it as well (which may or may not be a good thing, depending on the AOE used).
Troll Rampage (AP): This is fun. You can charge down a foe, and smacking the opponent nets you regeneration while you're bloodied. And Snaremages get a bonus to the attack while charging.
Leaping Flames (Dragon 367): This one is rather fun. It hurts the enemy, and deals ongoing damage. When the enemy saves against that ongoing damage, you can send to flames to another enemy and give them ongoing damage. Rinse and repeat. Link to Compendium
Icy Sweep (Dragon 367): Transposing Lunge already does what this power can do, and it can do it every encounter. Link to Compendium
Lightning Strider (Dragon 367): A rather interesting multiattack power. A pretty good choice, but maybe not the best. Link to Compendium


Level 10 Spells

Arcane Awareness: Not granting combat advantage can be pretty useful in a fight. Link to Compendium
Dimensional Dodge: Artillery monsters got nothin' on you. Link to Compedium
Impenetrable Warding: Best for one-handed weapon Swordmages. A +3 bonus to Fortitude, Reflex, and Will is pretty awesome. Link to Compendium
Like a Feather (AP): Feather Fall by a different name. Well, it also prevents being knocked prone to, so I guess there's that.
Feywild Grace (AP): A stance that boosts speed, certain skill checks, and allows you to ignore difficult terrain. Not too bad, all-in-all.
Spider's Leap (AP): A big leap. Allows Snaremages to rain death down from above using it too.
Unerring Vision (AP): So, you kind of know where enemies are, but not exactly. Pass it over, there are too many other good choices at this level.

A list of CharOp Handbooks I'm currently updating:

Heart of the Dragon: A Dragonborn's Handbook

Infernal Wrath: A Tiefling's Handbook

Paragon Tier Powers

Level 13 Spells

Acid Burst Blade: Basically a souped-up Greenflame Blade that can be used with the Assaulting Swordmage's Aegis. Link to Compendium
Dimensional Slash: Similar to Be Gone except now you teleport with the enemy and it's usable every encounter. Link to Compendium
Seed of Fire: This is pretty sweet. You hurt an enemy, kick it towards more enemies, and it explodes. If you're a Shielding Swordmage, the resulting explosion doesn't hurt allies either! Can be used to set up awesome combos with a Wizard buddy or a Fighter with Close Burst attacks. Link to Compendium
Blinding Light (AP): You attack a foe, and every other enemy around you is immobilized. Assaultmages can also use this as part of their Aegis teleportation. It's okay, but obviously works better if you become surrounded.
Ensnaring Bolts (AP): A close blast attack that pulls foes closer to you, and if you're a Snaremage, slows them. Works well enough.
Fist of Force (AP): Before I say anything else, I must just add that this is one of my favorite powers in 4E, due to the mental image it gives me. Now, mechanically, it targets Fortitude (not so good), and pushes foes back a number of squares dependent on your Strength modifier and knocks it prone. Assaultmages also get a small boost on the damage too. Overall? Acceptable.
Hypnotic Swordplay (AP): The damage sucks, but it's an attack against will that stuns a foe. Basically, the enemy's just lost his next turn because of you. Awesome.
Silverlight Strike (AP): When this attack connects, all of your allies are invisible to the target. A good defender-type power, useful for making the squishies disappear when they need it most.


Level 15 Spells

Acid for Blood: Targets one enemy, and inflicts ongoing damage. All right, but you can do better. Link to Compendium
Inferno's Sword: A close blast that inflicts ongoing damage? Why not? Except for the ongoing damage it inflicts, this outdoes Acid for Blood in every way. Link to Compendium
Free the Storm Within: Gives the enemy a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" set of choices. Stay and get torn apart by you, leave and get zapped and possibly hit by an OA. Link to Compendium
Assualt of Fiery Cuts (AP): Cool name, but meh power. Hit a foe, then make an explosion, kinda.
Burning Mantle (AP): Hit a foe, and you light yourself of fire, a little. Just enough that guys who stand next to you get hurt. The damage is weak though, and it's fire damage, so it may end of being absorbed by a foe's resistance.
Death's Blade (AP): A power that's for use on elite and solo enemies. Prevents them from using their special toys like action points, rechargable powers, and regeneration. At least, until they save, and elites and solos tend to have bonuses to save against effects like this.
Eldritch Chains (AP): Immobilize some foes, and keep them immobilized when you stand next to them. Alright.
Hunter's Pursuit (AP): Quite a nice choice for this level. You hit a foe and immobilize it. And you can do this for the rest of the encounter with any melee attack you make. Especially nice for Snaremages, since they can knock foes prone with the power instead. My personal pick for this level.
Reaper's Challenge Dragon 372: Another strong contender for this level. Immediate Reaction vs. Will that weakens opponents who don't attack you. Missing out on using your Aegis for one turn is worth it for the effect, since the effect won't eat up your immediate actions.


Level 16 Spells

Bolstering Warding: Automatic saving throws? Hell yes! Link to Compendium
Elemental Protection: Fear No Elements' big brother. Link to Compendium
Ironskin: Resist 5 all damage. Need I say more? Link to Compendium
Sudden Escape: Let's you teleport away from one attack your opponent makes against you. It's fun to visualize this. Link to Compendium
Aegis of Lost Souls (AP): A foe dies, and you mark all enemies nearby it with your Swordmage Aegis. AND it's a free action to boot, so you don't have to worry about not using your Aegis this turn.
Borrowed Confidence (AP): You know how most suckers have to multiclass to get rerolls for their attacks? You get it right here, and with a free reroll bonus for Saving Throws added on.
Shared Fortune (AP): Use at the start of an encounter, and whenever an ally you choose makes a save, you also get the benefit of it too.
Shield of the Besieged Tower (AP): A stance that increases AC. If two or more enemies are nearby, the buff is bigger.
Unerring Parry (AP): An attack that hits you deals half damage. Especially nice when facing down elites and solos whose attacks tend to be nastier.


Level 17 Spells

Ice Cage: This spell really shines against brutes. It weakens enemies, and punishes them for attacking while weakened. Link to Compendium
Spidersilk Slash: Close Burst immobilization? I'm down for that. Link to Copmendium
Swordshock: If you really wanted to play a striker, you should have been a Rogue or a Warlock instead. Link to Compendium
Dazzling Display (AP): A rather weak attack, but a foe hit with it grants combat advantage, and you get concealment.
Firelasher's Lunge (AP): A more powerful Greenflame Blade (at least, until Epic Levels) that can be used on a charge or with an Assaultmage's Aegis. Those perks don't really change that fact that its really just Greenflame Blade by a different name.
Snake Strike (AP): A ranged attack that punishes a foe if it doesn't close in on you. The punishment isn't really that bad, though.
Surprising Transposition (AP): Another great "make your foe hit his friend" power. The fact that it targets Fortitude is the only reason this isn't Sky Blue, but you don't have to worry about an attack roll, as you can use this if one of your other friends decides to take the hit in the damage ally's place.
Thundering Vortex (AP): A close burst 3 that targets enemies, pulls them in close, and marks them. Shieldmages have their Aegis applied for a turn if they use it. Okay, but targets Fortitude, so be careful about the kinds of foes you target with it.
Necromantic Disruption (Dragon 372): This power outdoes Swordshock in every way. Similar damage, hits insubstantial enemies for full damage, and it recharges if you drop the enemy to zero hit points with this attack. Go nuts.


Level 19 Spells

Bane Blade: One of my personal favorites. If one of your encounters conisists of nothing but beasts, you may as well take advantage of that. Link to Compendium
Hell's Own Blade: A fairly heavy-damage AOE. Go nuts. Link to Compendium
Lightning Rod: If you took Fate-Spurned Foe at Heroic Tier, this is what you'll be using it for. Hurts one enemy, continually zaps them, and zaps other enemies who get close. Link to Compendium
Forceful Rebuke (AP): An attack that pushes. That's it, really.
Marksman's Vision (AP): Use this power on a foe, and it can't hide from you, and any cover or concealment it has is useless.
Planar Shock (AP): Hit the foe, teleport him, and stun him. A good set up for a sneak attack or Ranger Nova.
Ward of Scales (AP): Attack a foe that smacks an ally, and grant that foe resist all equal to your Constitution that you can sustain on your turn. A good way to keep a squishy friend alive.
Whirling Threat (AP): You teleport, attack, and mark foes, and you can continue to mark them throughout the encounter. Unfortunately, a vanilla mark isn't as good for you as it is for a Fighter or a Warden.
Death's Resurgence (Dragon 372): The damage isn't spectacular, but this power is one of the few healing powers a Swordmage can get. Furthermore, each enemy you kill or bloody in the burst gives you more HP. A solid choice.

A list of CharOp Handbooks I'm currently updating:

Heart of the Dragon: A Dragonborn's Handbook

Infernal Wrath: A Tiefling's Handbook

Epic Tier Powers

Level 22 Spells

Eyes of the Mage: This is awesome. Your perception is boosted (and it will be pretty sad unless you're a Wandering Swordmage), allows you to ignore concealment of any kind, and allows you to see invisible enemies. Plus, if an ally or yourself is in dire straits, you can give up these benefits to force a reroll on the enemy's attack. Link to Compendium
Giant's Might: A rather monstrous power. This would be better used on a striker, but you can use it to good effect as well. Link to Copmpendium
Shackled Warding: This is Dimensional Warding, beefed up for epic levels. Still a no-teleport zone, but it has a bigger radius and slows enemies in it as well. Link to Compendium
Borrowed Ascension (AP): This power gives you wings. So you can fly. Once per day, but what can you.
Boundless (AP): You get a +5 power bonus to saving throws against several nasty conditions. Unfortunately, stunning and domination aren't among them, but it's not too bad.
Ghost Walk (AP): You become insubstantial and phasing. Even if it's only for two turns, it's still all kinds of awesome.
Oni's Gift: You become invisible unless you attack, although you can become invisible again by spending a minor action. This occurs throughout the encounter. Useful for getting combat advantage, or for escaping to catch your breath.


Level 23 Spells

Acid Fountain: Close burst power that deals about as much damage as Swordshock does. Multihit powers are always welcome. Link to Compendium
Meteor Strike: This power works well for Assaulting Swordmages. Shielding Swordmages should probably pass. Link to Copmendium
Thunder Riposte: Weak damage for an Epic level spell, but both prone and dazed is rather good, and you can allow it to originate from an ally that was hit as well. Link to Compendium
Aegis Bolt: One extra turn of an enemy having an Aegis on it. Useful in some situations.
Blink Assault (AP): An attack that delivers good damage. On top of that, you can use it to teleport an ally into a flanking position with you, so you can usually count on combat advantage when using this attack. And of course, the ally's next attack is going to have combat advantage too.
Bravado Strike (AP): It's a more powerful Rejuvenating Strike that also allows you to roll a saving throw. Awesome.
Freezing Swordburst (AP): Immobilizes the foe it strikes, damages and slows foes around it, and can be used with Aegis of Assault. A definitely strong Assaultmage choice this level.
Lightning Bolt Charge (AP): One of the more damaging Swordmage powers, and one of the only multiattacks you get. You can also attack more than one foe, if you have to.
Radiant Shield (AP): Hurts foes, and marks them, with the Aegis of Shielding if you have it. The truly excellent part of it though is making all allies in the burst insubstantial, which makes them more resistant to damage.


Level 25 Spells

Bounding Lightning: Not a bad multiattack power at all, but you can do better. Link to Compendium
Icy Shackles: Locks down one enemy you want to stay locked down, until it saves. Another good target for Fate-Spurned Foe. This is also a reliable power, so if you miss, you can just try again. Sweet. Link to Compendium
Quicksilver Blade: Extra attack as a minor action for an entire encounter. Sick. Link to Compendium
Thundering Heart: This power is worth it only to Assaulting Swordmages, because of its reliance on Strength, but it's an excellent multiattack power. Link to Compendium
Darksword Bolt (AP): A strikeresque power that ensures that the enemy will be taking ongoing damage for a while. Okay, I suppose.
Invincible Rampage (AP): Troll Rampage's older, meaner, more regeneratey brother. A good pick.
Mindsap Maneuver (AP): Forces an opponent to use nothing but basic attacks. Well, until they save.
Sword Duel (AP): You hit the foe, and until the encounter ends, the foe gets hit with automatic damage. The disincentive not to attack you isn't too huge, but the opponent can't save against it, so there's that.
Waves of Languor (AP): A Swordmage's sleep spell. Hits will, and eventually knocks an opponent unconscious... well, if they don't make the save. Having a Warlord would be a good idea.
Death Grip Dragon 372: Rather weak damage for this level, but then your not a Swordmage to be a striker, are you? The real beauty of this power is that it prevents teleportation. If you didn't want to use shackled warding, or maybe fight two battles in one day with foes teleporting around (not uncommon in Epic Tier), then the ability to shut teleportation down, at least for a little while, is a great boon.


Level 27 Spells

Maelstrom Blade: Close burst that Assault Swordmages can use as part of their Aegis reaction. Works for me. Link to Compendium
Circle of Devastation: Close burst 2 power that knocks foes away and can be used by Shielding Swordmages to protect their allies. Oh yeah. Link to Compendium
Dimensional Charge: Unlike the other two, this only hits a single enemy. It has a move action folded right into it though, and if you do so, counts as a charge, which means you have an extra minor action if you want it. It's also the Swordmage's highest damage encounter attack power, so there's that, too. Link to Compendium
Slash and Burn (AP): Attack the foe, and with another attack, you can push and daze him. Not quite so good, since the secondary attack only happens with a second attack, but okay.
Steel Tempest (AP): Hits for good damage, and creates a zone that encourages enemies to move away. Not too bad.
Sword Chaser Assault (AP): An attack that hits for great damage, and allows you to get in position for a flank for an ally's nova next turn.
Thundering Burst (AP): You strike a foe, and it gets hit with heavy thunder damage, and Snaremages slow the target too. So, it's Booming Blade, but with teeth.
Wrath of the Arctic Wind (AP): You hit a foe, and immobilize it. You can also slide the foe or knock it prone. And Assualtmages get to use it with their Aegis attack. Not bad.


Level 29 Spells

Astral Thunder Blade: This power is freakin' amazing. Damage and stuns for everybody! Link to Compendium
Obliterating Blaze: Turns an enemy into a bomb that hurts his allies when he dies. Awesome. Link to Compendium
Vorpal Doom: The Swordmage's highest-damage single target power, and it's effect gives the Swordmage a Weapon Mastery feat-type effect once per day. Solid. Link to Compendium
Constrictor's Strike (AP): Immobilizes a foe, and you can continue to immobilize that enemy. Even better for Snaremages though, since they can restrain foes with the power.
Mirrorblade Army (AP): For a Swordmage that's been working on his Constitution, this will provide quite nice returns, allowing you to strike out at foes normally beyond your reach, and drawing enemy attacks that would deplete the HP of your allies and you instead.
Silver Lightning Assault (AP): Cool flavor and a strong attack, but other than that, this power doesn't have a lot going for it.
Sword of Soul Rot (AP): Death's Blade all grown up.

A list of CharOp Handbooks I'm currently updating:

Heart of the Dragon: A Dragonborn's Handbook

Infernal Wrath: A Tiefling's Handbook

Paragon Paths

Swordmage Paragon Paths
General Swordmage Paths
Coronal Guard: An excellent Paragon Path for Swordmages of all kinds, although Sheilding Swordmages appreciate it more because one of the features works only for them. The powers are all excellent, and the features make your job easier. If you can't think of anything else, give this one a shot.

Umbriri: This Paragon Path gives you a more sneaky, shadowy feel. One of the powers is strength-based, so Assaultmages can use this a bit better, but it's fine for any build.

Wandering Swordmage: My personal favorite path, and it could easily be the most powerful Swordmage Path if not for the fact that Wandering Swordmage features depend on your Wisdom, which is normally a dump stat; so plan your stats beforehand. Extending your Aegis's reach, excellent attack powers, and Action-point teleporting all combine to make a flavorful and excellent path.

Ghost Blade (AP): This path is for the more sneaky and teleportation-inclined Swordmages, with bonuses for being insubstantial (along with ways to become insubstantial). The attacks are kind of weak (even for a Swordmage), but it's not a bad path overall.

Ward Guardian (AP): A nice, defenderey path for Swordmages of all stripes (although a little better for Shieldmages and Snaremages). You can give your Warding Bonus to allies in certain situations, use your Warding to bolster another defense when you become bloodied (rather nice during fights with enemies who will try to dominate you), and the attack powers provide some good debuffs on the enemy as well (I'm including prone as a debuff. Sue me). If you go with this path, you should do fine.

Malac-Keth Janissary (MotP): Planar Swordmages can take this specialized path, which helps boost your offensive potential. Again, it has a Strength-based encounter attack, which means Assaultmages will like it more, but there's something for everyone here, including a feature that increases your Aegis size; it's not quite as good as a Wandering Swordmage's feature, but it doesn't rely on a dump stat either.


Assaulting Swordmage Paths
Anarch of Shyr: A solid path for an Assaulting Swordmage. The main draw here is the features that improve your Aegis of Assault, including an attack bonus and extending your immediate reaction range to 20 squares.

Sword of Assault (AP): Arcane Power's new Path for Assaultmages, and quite a nice gift indeed. This path allows you to use At-Will attacks with your Aegis attack, gives you Quickened Spellcasting a whole tier earlier than you'd normally get it, and Aegis Reserve, which gives you another chance to mark foes with Aegis of Assault if you missed a chance to earlier.


Shielding Swordmage Paths
Sigil Carver (AP): The new Shieldmage PP in Arcane Power. It isn't quite up to Coronal Guard level, but it still offers some impressive features and powers, including giving a defense bonus to nearby allies, making Opportunity Attacks against foes who attack your friends, and the Sigil of Enmity, which is a boon for multiattacking strikers in your party. Overall, an excellent path for a Shielding Swordmage to take.


Ensnaring Swordmage Paths
Arcane Hunter (AP): This path is for Snaremages only, and it focuses on taking advantage of an opponents weaknesses and decreasing resistances. Take it if you want a more strikery Swordmage, although you'll also be helping some allies out as well, if they focus heavily on one element (Tiefling Fire-users, for example). I recommend using the Wintertouched/Lasting Frost/Cold Weapon combo to take full advantage of this path's features and attacks in every encounter you can.

Sage of Fate's Bonds (AP): The other Snaremage-exclusive Paragon Path in Arcane Power, a Sage of Fate's Bonds plays up the connection your Aegis gives you to foes, allowing you to damage them when they harm allies, or teleport your friends away from danger if they're near a marked foe. One of the best reasons to take this path is Foe Binder, an encounter power which essentially gives you two more Aegis Marks for free. And they last the entire encounter, unlike most of the Swordmage powers with place Aegises on foes. The other powers are nice too. Overall, a solid pick for a Snaremage.


Racial Paragon Paths

Drow Wanderer: Drow Swordmages aren't exactly that good in the first place, and while this is alright, the powers only work off of Secondary stats.

Elemental Tempest: Has good features, and while the powers work off of Secondary Stats, they're pretty good in general.

Steelsky Liberator: The powers work off of Strength, which limits this to Assault Swordmages, but if you're in a Dragon/Elemental-heavy campaign, you could do worse.

Whirlwind Genasi: The powers can work off of Intelligence, and the features are excellent as well. A solid pick for Genasi Swordmages of any kind.

Wildfire Genasi: Again, works off of Secondary stats, and Assault Swordmages will like this a little better. Still, a solid choice.

Adriot Explorer (PHB2): A worthy pick for Human Swordmages. It has excellent features, and allows you to use Transposing Lunge twice per encounter.

Ancestral Incarnate (PHB2): Deva Swordmages should avoid this. The features are okay, but the powers depend on Wisdom, and the only reason you should focus on Wisdom is to become a Wandering Swordmage.

Bloodfury Savage (PHB2): Half-Orc Assaultmages can put this to reasonably good use. It's better served being a Striker path, though.

Fey Beguiler (PHB2): A rather sneaky path that Gnomes can use to keep out of trouble when they get into it. The features are okay, and the powers work off of Intelligence. Works for me.

Firstborn of Moradin (PHB2): Dwarven Swordmages can use this alright, but Dwarves are better Shielding Swordmages, and this path relies on Strength.

Halfling Soundrel (PHB2): Halflings still don't make good Swordmages, and this path doesn't change that.

Moonstalker (PHB2): This path doesn't really work with Swordmages.

Scion of Arkhosia (PHB2): Dragonborn Swordmages can use this path. The features reward constitution, and the powers work off of Secondary stats. This power allows you to fly, too, which is definitely worth style points.

Shiere Knight (PHB2): Not a bad pick for Eladrin Swordmages. It gives a defense boost whenever you teleport, increased saves vs. charm effects, and powers that screw with the mind of your enemies.

Stoneblessed (PHB2): Better for Goliath Assaultmages. The features are pretty good, and the powers are okay too.

Turathi Highborn (PHB2): This is a nice path. The features are striker-esque, to be sure, but the powers are Intelligence-based, give you the power to dominate foes, and allow you punish enemies for attacking you.

Twilight Guardian (PHB2): Elves aren't the best Swordmages, but they can do alright by this path. The powers are Intelligence-based and allow you to keep enemies in place and away from the squishies, and the features are pretty good.

Warforged Juggernaut (Dragon 364): Not to bad for a Warforged Assaultmage. If has some incentives for charging, some enemy control, and an excellent daily stance.

Curseborn (Dragon 367): An excellent Paragon Path. The powers all key off of Intelligence, and it has some control elements that make it quite powerful.

Beastblooded Minotaur (Dragon 369): Although the path is more suited for strikers, a Minotaur Assaultmage can use this reasonably well. The extra reach will come in handy, certainly.

Horned Champion (Dragon 369): This path, like the one above, is nice for a Minotaur Assaultmage.

Abiding Reaper (Dragon 372): This path can work off of Intelligence, has some nice, if boring, powers, and has solid features. A good pick.

Doomspeaker (Dragon 372): The attacks are based off of a dump stat. Pass.


Other Paragon Paths
Silverstar: For Selune-worshiping Swordmages, this isn't a bad pick. Automatic silvered weapons can be useful, and it has a stunning encounter power, which is nice. If you like this, try to have a positive Charisma modifier; riders for the daily power are somewhat Charisma-dependent. Not enough to focus on it, but don't make it an 8 either.

Son of Mercy (Dragon 370): Only Assaultmages should apply, as this is Strength-based. Still extra Wisdom-modifier damage (don't dump it completely) and slowing with every attack is not bad at all. The powers are pretty good, even if they do trigger off of a secondary stat.

Academy Master (Dragon 374): A solid path that focuses on empowering your at-will attacks. For this reason, I'd recommend that Shielding Swordmages take this path more that Assault Swordmages, mainly because this path's daily power works well in conjunction with Booming Blade or Frigid blade.

A list of CharOp Handbooks I'm currently updating:

Heart of the Dragon: A Dragonborn's Handbook

Infernal Wrath: A Tiefling's Handbook

Skills

Class Skills

Arcana: You're stuck with this skill automatically, but it works off of your highest ability modifier, there's that. Link to Compendium
Athletics: All Swordmages should have at least a small strength modifier, and at some point you may need to leap a gorge, swim across a river, or climb a sheet cliff face. This helps. Link to Comendium
Diplomacy: Let's face it: No one wants to talk to you. Get over it. Link to Compendium
Endurance: Dying of mummy rot does not sound like a pleasant experience. Link to Compendium
History: This also works off of a Swordmage's highest modifier. Wandering Swordmages want this skill trained, obviously. Link to Compendium
Insight: Only Wandering Swordmages have the Wisdom to pull this skill off. Otherwise, leave it alone. Link to Compenium
Intimidate: You'll generally find that you'll scare people with actual violence more than with the threat of violence. Link to Compendium


Other Skills

Acrobatics: If you invest a little in Dexterity, than this should be all right. Link to Compendium
Bluff: Don't play poker. EVER. Link to Compendium
Dungeoneering: Stuff in caves generally wants to kill you, and therefore you should kill it. All you need to know. Link to Compendium
Heal: A Wisdom-based skill, meaning only Wandering Swordmages should be thinking about this. You're generally better off training Perception, however. Link to Compendium
Nature: Let the Ranger worry about if those delicious berries you just ate were poisonous or not. That's his job.Link to Compenidum
Perception: If you're a Wandering Swordmage, it may be well worth your while to get skill training or a multiclass feat to pick this up. Otherwise, forget about it. Link to Compendium
Religion: This works off the Swordmage's highest modifier, but only pick this up if it isn't being covered by someone else. Link to Compendium
Stealth: Umbriri might like this one. Link to Compendium
Streetwise: You're one of those people who lives under a rock. In your defense, it's rather comfy under there. Link to Compendium
Thievery: Swordmages with an okay Dexterity might give this a once-over, but there are classes better suited to using this skill. Link to Compendium


Heroic Tier Feats

Heroic Tier Feats


Swordmage Feats

Escalating Assault: The value of this feat depends on how often your Aegis of Assault is activated. If you don't use it that often, pass.
Improved Swordbond: This feat is more fluff than anything, and is generally not worth it.
Intelligent Blademaster: This should be among the first feats any Swordmage gets, period.
Retributive Shield: Although you don't want your allies to be attacked, getting an attack bonus regardless is always a nice thing.
Student of Sword Magic: This feat actually has its uses in higher levels, since Swordmages do get some spectacular daily powers around late paragon and epic levels. The ability to pick and choose what you want could be beneficial.
Closing Advantage (AP): Hitting with a ranged attack makes your melee attacks more accurate. Alright.
Combat Casting (AP): Hitting with a melee attack makes your ranged and area attacks not provoke OAs, which makes it kind of the opposite of Closing Advantage. Could be useful for some.
Grasping Ensnarment (AP): If a Snaremage teleports their marked foe, the foe is also slowed, making very hard for them to get next to the guy they hit. Not a bad pick.
Improved Swordmage Warding (AP): If you don't really want to get into Hide Armor or dump strength, pick this up. Actually, you might want to go with this instead of Hide Armor, seeing as you won't get penalties to your physical skills with this. Only caveat is you need 13 DEX to use this, which means it will be easier for some races to get it than others (I'm looking at you, Eladrin and Shadar-Kai).


Arcane Feats
Arcane Fire (AP): Hit an enemy with a fire power, and they become weak to cold. Okay for setting up combos with allies, I guess, but not super-important.
Arcane Implement Proficiency (AP): You've already got a sweet gig going, what with your weapon and implement being the same thing. Why let that change?
Dual Implement Spellcaster (AP): If you have an implement in your off-hand, you don't have your full warding bonus. Might be okay for some fringe dual-wielding Swordmages, but beyond them, avoid it.
White Lotus Defense (Dragon 374): A bonus to defenses when hitting with a commonly-used power is nice. Very nice.
White Louts Enervation (Dragon 374): This feat is nice for humans, who can take powers that target 3 different defenses. Using it can help set an ally up for a big attack.
White Lotus Evasion (Dragon 374): Minor action shifting? Sure, why not?
White Lotus Hindrance: Beautiful for you. This really helps you lock down an enemy like nobody's business.
White Lotus Riposte (Dragon 374): Since you'll be attacked more than your fair share of times as a defender, having enemies get hurt when hitting you is rather nice indeed.


Racial Feats

[u]Bladeling[/u]
Improved Razor Storm: This is the only racial feat you get, and it makes your racial power pretty deadly. Nab it at some point.

Changeling
Shapeshifting Contortionist: You can escape a grab as a minor action, and you don't take any penalties for fighting while squeezing. Both are very, very situational benefits.

[u]Deva[/u]
Auspicious Lineage: Makes a good racial power even better. Get it.
Potent Rebirth: No one likes dropping to 0 hit points, but at least you'll get something out of it.
Radiant Power: It's power attack, except for implement powers. I said it once and I'll say it again: you're not here to do damage.
Immortal Warding (AP): A Deva Swordmage knocked unconscious will still have their Warding protecting them. Their Warding increasing Astral Resistance is also nice, especially if you find yourself facing off with a lot of undead or angels or something.
Magic of the Ages (AP): A nice little boost to your Memory of a Thousand Lifetimes if you use it to boost your attacks.

[u]Dragonborn[/u]
Dragonborn Frenzy: Since you'll be in melee a lot, expect to find yourself bloodied.
Dragonborn Senses: Low-Light Vision and small Perception boost probably won't be all that helpful, unless you're a Wandering Swordmage.
Enlarged Dragon Breath: Always a helpful feat for a Dragonborn of any class.
Avowed Dragonfoe (FRPG): This feat's usefulness if proportional to the number of dragons you intend to slay.
Broken Shackles (FRPG): A will boost and saving throw bonus? Not bad.
Draconic Spellcaster (AP): If you're a Dragonborn Swordmage, you'll want all the help you can get, and this feat will definitely help, although it will pigeonhole you into picking certain elemental spells unless you pick up Adaptable Breath.
Adaptable Breath (Dragon 365): Adds some versatility to your Dragon Breath. Pretty good, all-in-all.
Hurl Breath (Dragon 365): Having an extra ranged attack is never a bad thing.

[u]Drow[/u]
Clutch of Darkness: Extends the range of Drow Racial powers. Not bad.
Ruthless Hunter: You're a Swordmage, not a Hand Crossbowmage.
Shield of Shadows: Bonus Reflex when using your racial power. Not a bad pick.
Darkfire Implement (AP): You deal a little damage when you hit with Darkfire. Not really worth it, no.
Drow Fighting Style (Dragon 367): You want a free hand. And as I've said before, you're not a Hand Crossbowmage. Put it down.
Drow Heretic (Dragon 367): There aren't a lot of spider enemies. But if you find you're fighting a lot of them... well, yeah.
Instinctive Darkness (Dragon 367): Need a breather? Drop a Cloud of Darkness down.
Lolth's Meat (Dragon 367): Usually, you won't be the one dropping enemies. But if you do... this is a nice boost.
Shadowslip (Dragon 367): A free shift when you use Cloud of Darkness? Why not?
Xen'drik Weapon Training (EPG): The Xen'drik Boomerang is useless to you, but the Drow Long Knife could be handy, depending on if your DM allows Intelligent Blademaster to apply to thrown weapons, or you're a Strength-boosting Assaultmage.

[u]Dwarves[/u]
Dodge Giants: This becomes useful at higher levels, where you'll be facing off against a lot of foe bigger than you are.
Dwarven Weapon Training: There are a few ways to make a Dwarven "Hammermage," in which this feat is useful. Otherwise, pass.
Gold Dwarf Pride (FRPG): You don't want to drop to 0 in an encounter, but if it happens, this is a nice little bonus you get if you stand up again.
Shield the Fallen (FRPG): Your wounded allies will appreciate you very very much. And really, isn't that what being a defender is all about?
Rune-Scribed Foe (AP): After using your second wind, you get a bonus to attack and damage rolls with your spells. If you're a Dwarf Shieldmage or Snaremage, this is worth a good look.
Mror Stalwart (EPG): Only useful if you're using a Khopesh. And only use after taking Focused Expertise.

Eladrin
Eladrin Soldier: This feat makes Longswords the weapon of choice for Eladrin Swordmages in Heroic Tier.
Moon Elf Resilience (FRPG): The bonus this feat gives is very situational and probably won't see much use
Sun Elf Grace (FRPG): All Eladrin Swordmages are Sun Elves, I guess. This feat helps you teleport right next to the guy who needs marking while staying (sort of) safe.
Twist the Arcane Fabric (AP): There aren't a lot of Swordmage bursts or blasts that hurt allies, but if you have one, and an ally is in the way of a perfect blast, then just teleport them away, I guess.
Eladrin Swordmage Advance (AP): You Fey Step next to a foe, and you get a free attack against them before you do anything else. Cool flavor, good benefit, and an overall solid feat that any Eladrin Swordmage should consider.

Elves
Elven Precision: If you're using Elven Accuracy, you want that attack to hit. This helps.
Light Step: This feat is really more for Elven Rogues and Rangers.
Elven Arcane Precision (AP): IF you miss a bunch of foes with a burst or blast, you can reroll against all of them. Good, if you've picked up some burst/blast powers.
Wild Elf Luck (FRPG): Boosts Elven Accuracy, and stacks with Elven Precision. Good enough for me.
Wood Elf Agility (FRPG): An 8 on an Acrobatics or Athletics check may or may not be enough. They're not your primary stats anyway.
Aerenal Arcanist (EPG): Not a bad feat at all. Swordmages have several great utility powers, and the ability to choose what you need like a Wizard can is certainly a nice perk (in fact, with Student of Sword Magic, you've basically duplicated the Wizard Spellbook feature. Something to think about).
Aerenal Half-Life (EPG): Adds damage to Necrotic powers, and a boost to attack rolls with necrotic powers when you use an action point. Unfortunately, necrotic damage is often resisted, and Swordmages don't possess very many necrotic attacks anyway.

Genasi
Elemental Assault: Like Escalating Assault, this only is useful if you find yourself using Aegis of Assault's reaction a lot.
Extra Manifestation: Most Genasi only have one elemental manifestation. You are not most Genasi.
Manifest Resistant: If your manifestation has a resistance, why not pad it a bit?
Versatile Resistance: If you start with a manifestation that doesn't have an inherent resistance, this feat is even more valuable to you. If you do have one, this is still a nice pick anyway.
Elemental Echo (AP): After using a Genasi Racial Power, you gain a bonus to attack and damage rolls. Sweet deal.
Elemental Blade Attunement (AP): It's sort of like Weapon Focus, but only for Swordmage powers that have certain elements. If your DM rules that Weapon Focus doesn't apply to weapon powers, you might look twice at this.
Genasi Fire Affinity (Dragon 367): Extra fire resistance, and a penalty to your techniques that cause ongoing fire damage. Not bad.
Earthshock Master (Dragon 367): Earthshock deals 1d8 damage, and becomes reliable. Not a bad way to use a minor action.
Fast Manifestation (Dragon 367): Allows you to swap manifestations as a minor action once per day. This'll have to do until epic level.
Firepulse Master (Dragon 367): Firepulse deals more damage, and becomes reliable. Why not?
Genasi Frost Affinity (Dragon 367): Increases your cold resistance if you have some, and makes you immune to slowing and immobilization caused by cold powers. Take this if you know you're heading North, otherwise don't worry too much.
Primordial Surge (Dragon 367): Temporary hit points after using a Genasi racial power? Yes please!

[u]Gnolls[/u]
Butchers Lore: Ghost Sound as an At-Will should be fun to play around with, although the Bluff bonus is probably wasted on you.
Carrion Eater: If you're in a campaign with rampant disease and a lot of poison, this isn't a bad investment.
Claw Fighter: Sounds cool in theory, but you'll miss with your Claw attacks at high levels, and since you'll have two weapons all the time, your Swordmage Warding won't be as effective.
Gnoll Tracker: Only a Wandering Swordmage will have the Wisdom to make this work right, and Gnolls aren't generally good Wandering Swordmages.

[u]Gnomes[/u]
Fey Trickster: Encounter-based Cantrips. Not necessary, but fun nonetheless.
Group Stealth: You're not the king of sneakiness, but you can help your friends become one instead.
Shadow Skulk: You won't be making many many ranged attacks from hiding.
Magic of the Mists (AP): Any arcane attack power you make doesn't break your invisibility. Solid for any Arcane Class, and Swordmage is no exception.

[u]Goliaths[/u]
Goliath Greatweapon Prowess: Generally, Swordmages should stay away from two-handed weapons, but a Goliath Assaultmage with a Greatsword, Falchion, or Glaive should be able to do just fine.
Markings of the Blessed: A nice saving throw boost early in the fight. Could be life-saving.
Markings of the Victor: A good attack boost; consider using a daily power as your first attack.
Mountain Hammer Spellcasting (AP): After using Stone's Endurance, your Arcane Powers ignore resistance. If you fight with a lot of fire powers, or something, you might want this.

Half-Elves
(All Human Feats and some Elven Feats)
Group Insight: This helps your allies with their initiative and insight. Way to be a team player!

[u]Half-Orcs[/u]
Anger Unleashed: An attack boost after you become bloodied. It works.
Savage Assault: Turns a striker-esque ability into a debuff, which is good for you.
Thirst for Battle: A good initiative boost and an extra healing surge make for a nice package, no matter what class your playing.
Arcane Fury (AP): Deals Furious Assault damage to all enemies hit by a burst/blast. Okay, but nothing to build around.

Halflings
Halfling Agility: If you're using Second Chance, you want them to miss. This helps you make them miss.
Lost in the Crowd: Almost every enemy you meet will be bigger than you, and you're going to be on the front lines a lot. Make it work for you!
Ghostwise Heritage: This is more to benefit you than your ally. You're going to have a sucky perception, so pay attention to your Ranger buddy!
Nimble Spellcaster (AP): It's combat casting, but without having to hit with a melee attack. Useful for some.
Talenta Weapon Training (EPG): Gives you training with a bunch of weapons that you're better off not using.

[u]Humans[/u]
Action Surge: You're a human. Take it. End of discussion.
Human Perseverance: An untyped bonus to every saving throw there is? Yes, please!
Stubborn Survivor: This will only come into play every other encounter, but it could be handy to have around.
Arcane Reserves (AP): If you've run out of encounter powers, your At-Will powers hurt more. Okay.
Risky Aegis (AP): If a marked opponent triggers your Aegis, both you and that foe get incentives to hit each other. Both a strikeresque and a defendery boost in one, which makes it a solid pick.

Kalashtar
Group Mindlink: Handy in situations where you need to communicate with allies, but can't talk to them. How often that comes up depends on the campaign you're in.
Quori Shield: Gives you resistance to psychic damage comparable to a tiefling's fire resistance. Useful if you run into several enemies who deal psychic damage (a Far Realm-themed campaign, for example), not as useful if you don't.
Telepathic Sensitivity: You gain a bonus to locating hiding creatures. If you're a Wandering Swordmage with Perception training, it's worth a look.

[u]Minotaurs[/u]
Goring Shove: For Assaultmages. Adds a degree of control to your racial power.
Greathorn: More damage is always nice, but don't take this first.
Natural Cunning: You probably won't have the wisdom to make the most of this.
Opportunity Gore When coupled with Goring Shove, you have a nice move to make when enemies let their guard down.

Revenants
Chill of the Grave: Not a bad deal, having your Dark Reaping harder to resist, on top of the Wintertouched/Lasting Frost combo you can pull off in paragon tier.
Dark Feasting: An excellent feat to boost your survivability. Not to mention the temporary hit points go up as you increase your Constitution.
Death's Blessing: You're not living anymore. It's mostly a fluff feat, although it also is the prerequisite for some other nice feats as well.
Death's Quickening: Your Unnatural Vitality feature just got better. Score!
Draconic Reaping: For Dragonborn Revenants. Your Dragon Breath and Dark Reaping just got harder to resist. Not a bad deal.
Dragonborn Soul: You were a Dragonborn before you died. Not bad, considering you can make use of the excellent Draconic Spellcasting feat.
Drow Soul: You were a Drow once: now, you have access to the Lolthtouched Powers, which are not bad. Drow Racial feats aren't exactly Swordmage-friendly though.
Dwarf Soul: As a former Dwarf, you can use Dwarven Resilience or Dark Reaping. Okay.
Eladrin Soul: Once an Eladrin, now undead, you can use Fey Step or Dark Reaping. Eladrin also have some good feats for Swordmages, although you were probably better at this while you were alive.
Elf Soul: As a risen Elf, you can use the excellent Elven Accuracy as an encounter power. If you don't need the extra accuracy? Dark Reaping the crap out of your foes!
Empowered Reaping: Extra damage for a situational power isn't that good, unless you picked up Dark Feasting. This is worth a look then.
Genasi Soul: Although you're not the Swordmage you were in life, as an undead Genasi, you can use one of your manifestation racial powers in place of Dark Reaping.
Gnome Soul: A former Gnome, you can Fade Away instead of using Dark Reaping in an encounter. Not bad, but not excellent.
Goliath Soul: The Stone's Endurance power you had in your past life can be used now instead of Dark Reaping. Goliath Racial feats are pretty snazzy too.
Half-Elf Soul: You can use Dark Reaping, or Dilettante. How this feat interacts with Versatile Master should be hashed out between you and your DM, though.
Half-Orc Soul: You can use Furious Assault instead of Dark Reaping, but odds are that Dark Reaping is going to end up doing more damage anyway.
Halfling Soul: Second Chance is a nice power to have in your arsenal, even if it didn't help you not die before.
Hellfire Soul: A Revenant Tiefling's Dark Reaping now deals fire and necrotic damage, two of the most resisted types in the game. But, how often are they both resisted on the same monster?
Human Soul: You get a nice boost to defenses in heroic tier, and you don't have to share Dark Reaping with any other power. A nice feat to have.
Marked for Death: Dealing damage with Dark Reaping causes enemies you have marked to take damage equal to your Constitution modifier. Gets considerably better in Paragon and Epic tiers.
Minotaur Soul: You get the Minotaur Ferocity feature in all but name. Another feat in which you don't have to share Dark Reaping.
Past-Life Flashbacks: You gain a small boost to attack rolls and skill checks in the first round, but it's probably not worth taking a -10 penalty on your initiative roll.
Reaper's Resistance: Requires Death's Blessing. You gain a scaling resistance to necrotic damage. As a fairly common damage type used by foes, you'll likely be liking this resistance at some point.
Remembered Knack: It's skill training, with a small bonus to the skill you learned added in, and usable only after taking a multiclassing feat. Not too bad.
Shadar-Kai Soul: You were a shadar-kai, and your Shadow Jaunt power you can use in place of Dark Reaping proves it. It's a nice power, especially when you add in one other nice feat that improves the power.
Shifter Soul: Dark Reaping, of your shifter ability. Those shifting powers, especially Longtooth Shifting, are rather nice.
Spectral Reaping: When you use Dark Reaping, you ignore insubstantial. Could be handy.
Tiefling Soul: You dead Tieflings can employ Infernal Wrath in place of Dark Reaping, once per encounter.
Warforged Soul: Even constructs can come back from the dead. Those that do can use Warforged Resolve in place of Dark Reaping.

[u]Shadar-Kai[/u]
Benighted Birthright: If you find yourself running into a lot of undead enemies, this is probably a good investment.
Blighting Power: Makes Booming Blade a Necrotic attack. Necrotic is a fairly common resistance, so you can skip this.
Deathward Aegis: For Shielding Swordmages only. This adds some Necrotic resistance to an ally when you shield them. Useful, depending on the enemies you face.
Deathly Disruption: There aren't too many necrotic spells that a Swordmage can use right now, so you can pass this over.
Devious Jaunt: Allows you to teleport insane distances. Take it and love it.
Life on the Edge: Similar to Action Surge, except a smaller bonus that applies to all die rolls. Very nice indeed.
Winter Favored: Similar to Benighted Birthright, but cold-oriented instead. And like said feat, is useful depending on the enemies you'll be facing.

[u]Shifter[/u]
Blurring Claws: Razorclaws only. Provides a damage bonus vs. enemies granting combat advantage while you use Razorclaw Shifting. Meh.
Gorebrute Charge: Longtooths only. When using Longtooth Shifting, you get a damage bonus to charge attacks. Not bad, but not essential.
Wild Senses: The Perception bonus for tracking is okay, depending on your Wisdom score. The Initiative Boost the feat gives is okay too.
Fanged Magic (AP): Longtooth Shifters only. While shifting, your ranged arcane spells do extra damage to a foe adjacent to the target. It's okay, but nothing to write home about.
Predatory Magic (AP): This one only works for Razorclaws, and it actually provides a solid benefit: while using Razorclaw Shifting, and you use a Close Burst, you get a free shift in the deal. Combine with Sword Burst for some rather nice mobility after you're bloodied.
Shifter's Agility (EPG): Shifters get a nice bonus to Acrobatics and Athletics while using their racial power. Not so bad, and could be useful in a fight with a lot of nasty terrain in it.

[b]Tieflings[/b]
Ferocious Rebuke: It's a push effect, which means you may find some tactical application for this.
Hellfire Blood: Look at the pretty fire. You know you want to.
Scion of the Gods (FRPG): Increased Fortitude and Will is a pretty good deal. You'll probably want to retrain this to Great Fortitude and Iron Will in Paragon Tier, though.
Wrathful Magic (AP): If you miss with an Arcane attack, you can use Infernal Wrath against that foe as if it had hit you. Okay, but you only get Infernal Wrath's benefits for a single round as opposed to two, unless you spend an action point.

[u]Warforged[/u]
Component Modification An incentive to make your equipment into components, and it's dependent on your Constitution, which Shieldmages have in spades.
Immutability: Takes an already good Racial Power, and adds another saving throw to it. Good deal.
Improved Warforged Resolve: Exactly what it says on the tin.
Warforged Tactics:An attack boost that you should be able to get fairly often.




General Feats

Alertness: Boosts your perception, and gives you a defensive benefit during surprise rounds. Not a bad feat, but not a priority either.
Armor Proficiency (Hide): If you don't have the Dexterity to take Improved Swordmage Warding, or you like the look of Hide Armor on your Swordmage, this is still a top choice for improving your AC. Don't bother with Heavier Armor though.
Astral Fire: Swordmages have plenty of Implement-based fire attacks that could benefit from this feat, and the Dexterity requirement is manageable, but the Charisma needed makes this hard to get with sacrificing something else. The recent ruling on Weapon Focus makes this not worth it anyway.
Blade Opportunist: Swordmages aren't masters of Opportunity Attacks like Fighters are, but padding your OAs isn't a bad idea.
Burning Blizzard: There are a few implement-based Acid spells that could benefit from this feat, but generally only Wandering Swordmages will have enough Wisdom to qualify for this feat. Besides, Weapon Focus works just as well without ability score requirements.
Combat Reflexes: Get Blade Opportunist instead. This stacks with it to be sure, but you have better things to do than worry about your OAs.
Dark Fury: Swordmages don't have any psychic or necrotic attacks. Next!
Defensive Mobility: Not bad, but you should have some teleport powers that will allow you to bypass enemy OAs completely.
Durable: More healing surges mean you stay alive longer.
Escape Artist: If you're trained in acrobatics, you might want to think about this.
Fast Runner: Swordmages don't charge often enough to make this worthwhile.
Improved Initiative: Any character can make use of this feat.
Jack of All Trades: Could be useful, I suppose.
Linguist: You have the intelligence for this, and if there are some languages not spoken by the party...
Long Jumper: If you fancy yourself some kind of jumpman, go for it. Oh, and watch out for barrels.
Mounted Combat: Another situation feat, this time based around if your DM likes ponies or not.
Nimble Blade: Gives an attack boost when using a light blade and with combat advantage.
Power Attack: This feat is better for Assaulting Swordmages, who are more likely to use two-handed weapons.
Powerful Charge: If you want to play a charging character, may I recommend the Barbarian?
Quick Draw: Boosts initiative, and allows you to swap among weapons quickly. Just remember to not take both this and Improved Initiative.
Raging Storm: Swordmages can have the requirements to use this feat, but Weapon Focus completely invalidates it.
Ritual Caster: If you don't have a Wizard or a Cleric in the party, than you might as well be the designated "Ritual monkey."
Shield Proficiency (Heavy): Swordmages with heavy shields have the same AC and extra Reflex defense, but skills are worse.
Shield Proficiency (Light): You trade 1 AC for 1 Reflex, and open up heavy shield proficiency.
Skill Focus: This will probably be in Arcana, if you choose this feat.
Skill Training: If you want an extra skill, it's generally better to choose a multiclass feat which will allow you to get that extra skill on top of an extra benefit.
Sure Climber: If you find yourself mountaineering a lot, you could do worse.
Toughness: A great overall feat for every character, ever.
Two-Weapon Defense If you're going the two-weapon route, you'll want this, I suppose.
Two-Weapon Fighting: Trading 2 AC for 1 damage is generally not a good idea.
Weapon Focus: Swordmages aren't strikers, but scaling damage on all weapon attacks isn't a bad deal. Plus, it's recently been ruled that the damage bonus from this feat applies to Swordmage implement powers as well, making this more attractive.
Weapon Proficiency: A Bastard Sword or a Full Blade, as superior weapons, are a fine choice for any Swordmage's arsenal. They're not vital, but handy nontheless.
Wintertouched: There are several Swordmage cold powers, although this feat doesn't really shine until Paragon Tier.
Combat Medic: Leave the healing to the Leaders. You're there to make sure you'll never have to use tis, anyway.
Coordinated Explosion (PHB2): Swordmages have several bursts and blasts, some of which only target enemies. Getting those to hit is pretty good.
Distant Advantage (PHB2): Swordmages have enough ranged attacks to where you might consider taking this,
Echoes of Thunder (PHB2): Storm theme Swordmages might consider this. It's a damage booster, but it's pretty good nonetheless.
Implement Expertise (PHB2): Just get focused expertise and save yourself an extra feat.
Melee Training (PHB2): Get Intelligent Blademaster. It has a cooler name.
Oncoming Storm (PHB2): Hit with a lightning attack to make your thunder attacks more accurate. Got it?
Restful Healing (PHB2): This is a leader-oriented feat. Ignore it.
Speed Loader (PHB2): Yeah... No crossbow for you.
Surging Flame (PHB2): This helps you get around fire resistance some. If you don't have fire powers, don't bother.
Two-Weapon Threat (PHB2): If you use two weapons... Well, your Opportunity Attacks are better. That's about it.
Weapon Expertise (PHB2): Focused expertise does what this feat does and more.
Focused Expertise (PHB3): Get it at some point. That is all.

A list of CharOp Handbooks I'm currently updating:

Heart of the Dragon: A Dragonborn's Handbook

Infernal Wrath: A Tiefling's Handbook

Paragon and Epic Tier Feats

Paragon Tier Feats


Swordmage Feats

Distant Swordbond: Not quite as useless as Improved Swordbond, but not a very high priority either.
Double Aegis: You want this. Two marks that last an encounter (well, until you use the Aegis Power again, but, you know)? YES!
Greater Swordmage Warding (AP): A bonus to every defense that scales up at level 21? Don't mind if I do.
Ensnaring Flourish (AP): A (big) damage bonus against a foe that you teleport with Aegis of Ensnarement. Show the monster you mean business, and all that.
Greater Aegis of Shielding (AP): Further increases the damage you reduce with Aegis of Shielding. Need I say more?
Vigorous Assault (AP): Your Aegis of Assault teleport nets you some Temporary HP, and it isn't dependent on whether you use a basic attack or not. Cool.


Arcane Feats
Arcane Reach: As good a reason as any to have a decent dexterity score. The ability to use Sword Burst at a range is quite powerful, and there are other Swordmage close powers as well.
Arcane Admixture: This feat, helps out several builds, including Tieflings with Hellfire Blood, Dragonborn with Draconic Spellcasting, and anyone who decides to go with the Wintertouched/Lasting Frost combo.
Arcane Ritualist (AP): Unless you picked up Ritual Caster, don't bother.
White Lotus Master Evasion (Dragon 374): Extra shifting when using an At-Will power? The speed bonus is just the cherry on top.
White Lotus Master Hindrance (Dragon 374): An enemy treats squares by allies as difficult terrain. If you have some other defender friends, they'll like you for this.
White Lotus Master Riposte (Dragon 374): If an enemy attacks you, you can counterattack with an At-Will attack. It eats up your immediate action, so be sure that your allies are not in danger before deciding to riposte the enemy.


Racial Feats
[u]Deva[/u]
Ascendent Lineage: If Memory of a Thousand Lifetimes fails you, you don't expend it. Nothing more need be said.
Astral Renewal: You get an attack boost if you're hit by a necrotic or radiant attack. If you find yourself fighting a lot of angels or undead, go ahead and nab this one.

[b][u]Dragonborn[/b][/u]
Empowered Dragon Breath: If you can work it in, boosting Dragon Breath damage isn't that bad.
Admixture Breath (Dragon 365): Expands upon the Versatility given to your breath by Adaptable Breath. Rather nice, all-in-all.
Dragonborn Zeal (Dragon 365): The power this feat allows you to use is an excellent comeback move, especially if you haven't dumped strength entirely.

[b][u]Drow[/b][/u]
Master of Fire and Darkness: Every Drow wants this sooner or later.
Merciless Killer: How good this is depends on how often you can get combat advantage.
Venomous Heritage: If you encounter a lot of poisons, take this feat. Otherwise, don't bother.
Flickering Shroud (Dragon 367): Lets you use darkfire to protect allies instead of target enemies. Not bad.
Highborn Drow (Dragon 367): An extra Lolthtouched power on top of an Arcana bonus? Well, sure.
Shadowborn (Dragon 367): Unless you spend all your time underground, don't worry about it.

[b][u]Dwarves[/b][/u]
Dwarven Durability: You're a Dwarf. Take it.

[b][u]Eladrin[/b][/u]
Feywild Protection: Not as situational as Sun Elf Grace, and it stacks with it. Yeah, you want this at some point.

[b][u]Elves[/b][/u]
Running Shot: If you wanted to be Legolas, you should have played a Ranger.

[b][u]Genasi[/b][/u]
Shocking Flame: Stormsoul and Firesoul are good manifestations for a Swordmage to have. This makes them better.
Stoneguard: If you encounter a lot of Artillery monsters, this is a good investment.
Stormrider: Extra Mobility can be useful, although the hover thing is kind of confusing.

[u]Gnomes[/u]
Fade Ally: This allows you to help get a squishier ally out of trouble by making them disappear. For a team player like you, that's a nice option to have.
Surprising Disappearance: Combat advantage is always nice to have, and since you'll be targeted quite a lot...

[u]Gnolls[/u]
Fierce Charge: At the end of a charge, you can use one of your melee attacks. Yeah, go ahead. It's a nice perk.
Swift Bite: It's not much, but it's automatic damage. If you can work it in, this isn't a bad feat to have.

[u]Goliaths[/u]
Unyielding Stone: Shielding Swordmage Goliaths get even tougher.

[u]Half-Elf[/u]
Versatile Master: Your Dilettante power becomes At-Will. This is very, very nice.

[u]Half-Orc[/u]
Strength from Pain: When you become bloodied, you get a damage bonus. Not to shabby.
Unrelenting Assault: If your attack misses, it still hurts. Works for me.

[b][u]Halflings[/b][/u]
Underfoot: You need acrobatics to even THINK about this feat, but upper paragon and epic tier features some massive baddies, and moving through their space to flank on the other side can be useful (if you've burned out you teleports, at any rate).

[b][u]Humans[/b][/u]
Action Recovery: A nice bonus to have when you spend an action point. Not vital, but helpful at any rate.

Kalashtar
Extended Telepathy: Exactly what it says on the tin.
Quori Backlash: When your mind is invaded, the opponent pays the price. The damage is rather pitiful though, unless you're a Wandering Swordmage.

[u]Minotaurs[/u]
Beast Within: Your attack and damage rolls are boosted while you're bloodied. Not a bad bonus for a guy who's going to be in the thick of things.
Bloody Gore: When you become bloodied, Goring Charge recharges. Alright.
Brutal Ferocity: Not bad in most cases, but as a Swordmage, the only At-Will that's worthwhile to have when you get this feat is Greenflame Blade.

Revenant
Cull the Weak: When a creature near you gets bloodied, you can use Dark Reaping. Alright.
Death Scorned: The bonus to Death Saving throws is nice, but the ability to increase the number of times you have to save before dying? Wonderful.
Distant Reaping: Creatures farther away from you can trigger Dark Reaping. Since your a close combatant most of the time, this isn't that helpful.
Double Reaping: An enemy adjacent to the foe you hit with Dark Reaping takes damage. A nice little boost.
Fierce Vitality: Makes Unnatural Vitality even better. Schweet.
Reaper's Strike: After using Dark Reaping, you get a bonus to attack rolls. Nice.
Reaping Burst: Allows you to spread out your Dark Reaping's damage bonus. It deals less damage as a result though. Not as good if you're using Dark Reaping to get some temporary hit points.
Resilience of Death: You're immune to disease, and you gain a resistance to poison damage on top of that. Requires Death's Blessing, though.
Unnatural Stamina: You get an extra healing surge, and you get some nice resistances when you spend a healing surge. Nicer for those Revenants who decided to skip out on the Death's Blessing feat chain.

[u]Shadar-Kai[/u]
Ghostly Rejuvination: You don't tend to have many healing powers unless you multiclass. It's nice if you do, but if you don't, avoid this.
Reactive Jaunt: If you need to escape from a sticky situation, this is a good way to do so.
Shadowed Aegis: Your Aegis of Assault teleport is essentially another Shadow Jaunt. Awesome.

[u]Shifters[/u]
Beasthide Shifting Resisting damage is nice for a class that's going to be taking damage.
Cliffwalk Shifting If you fight a lot of battles on steep terrain, you might consider this.

[b][u]Tieflings[/b][/u]
Fiery Rebuke: If an enemy hurts you, make them feel it, big-time.

[u]Warforged[/u]
Improved Immutability: Swordmages generally have some nice utility powers, but the ability to instantly negate a save-ends effect? That could mean you'll spend that much more time fighting the enemy instead of being under his control. Think about this one.


General Feats
Agile Athlete: Another "good, but not great" feat. Makes you more likely to succeed to acrobatics and athletics checks, at any rate.
Armor Specialization (Hide): Except for removing Armor Check penalties, this is outclassed in every way by Greater Swordmage Warding. Only take if you've had it with that -1 penalty to your skill checks
Back to the Wall: When you find yourself cornered, this could be helpful, I suppose.
Blood Thirst: Damage isn't your forte, but you'll be up close and personal with monsters, who will oftentimes be bloodied.
Combat Anticipation: Extra defense vs. every kind of attack but melee. 3 outta 4 ain't bad at all.
Danger Sense: If you really MUST go first in battle, you can take this...
Deadly Axe: Assaulting Swordmages using the Khopesh should be able to take this feat. Stay away otherwise.
Defensive Advantage: Usefulness depends on how often you can get combat advantage.
Devastating Critical: Powered up critical hits are nice, but you have more things to worry about.
Evasion: Swordmages who have enough Dexterity to get Arcane Reach can qualify for this too, and it's a good pick. Not as good as Arcane Reach, but if you have a feat to spare, nab this.
Fleet-Footed: You can move faster. That's good.
Great Fortitude: The first of Non-AC Defense booster feats. Always a solid choice.
Hammer Rhythm: There are certain ways to build a Hammer-using Swordmage, and this is a good feat for them to have. Only works for them, though.
Heavy Blade Opportunity: Not as awesome for Swordmages, since Intelligent Blademaster is sufficient for OAs, and you can only use Greenflame Blade, Booming Blade, and Frigid Blade with this feat. Still, with Greenflame Blade you can hit multiple foes, and Booming Blade activates Solid Sound, so there's still some reasons to consider this feat.
Improved Second Wind: It works.
Inescapable Force: Swordmages with Sword Burst should look into this. Insubstantial creatures would be a pain to fight otherwise.
Iron Will: The second of the NAD boosters, and probably to best to get first, since Swordmage Will Defenses usually fall by the wayside at higher levels.
Lasting Frost: Combined with Wintertouched and the many cold powers a Swordmage has, you should be hitting quite often and for more damage, too.
Light Blade Precision: Light Blades aren't the best Swordmage weapons, but if you use one, this feat should be all right.
Lightning Arc: If you have a thunder-and-lightning themed Swordmage, this might be handy to have.
Lightning Reflexes: Third of the NAD boosters. Like the other two, a good choice.
Mettle: Like Evasion, but works with different defenses.
Polearm Gamble: Only a Glaive-wielding Swordmage can use this feat at all, but there are some feats which improve OAs, which might make this a worthwhile choice.
Resounding Thunder: There's only 1 Swordmage power that is both a blast and is thunder-based, but it's quite good. Whether its worth a feat is debatable.
Scimitar Dance: Swordmages who have enough Dexterity to qualify for this feat may be investing to heavily in Dexterity.
Secret Stride: Fits Umbriris, but you need to be trained in stealth to even think about this.
Seize the Moment: This feat requires too much DEX to even think about.
Shield Specialization: Hide specialization and Lightning Reflexes are a better combo than this.
Solid Sound: Many Swordmage powers have the thunder and force keywords, including two At-Will powers. This makes Solid Sound an excellent choice.
Uncanny Dodge: Only Wandering Swordmages will have enough Wisdom to qualify for this, but taking the teeth out of combat advantage is excellent.
Agile Opportunist (PHB2): When you're forcefully moved next to an enemy, you hit them. Pretty sweet.
Paragon Defenses (PHB2): Grab Greater Swordmage Warding, as it provides a bonus to AC as well.
Quick Recovery (PHB2): Your healing surges should be pretty good at this level, high enough where 5 extra hit points isn't that important.
Reserve Maneuver (PHB2): Basically, you have one more power you can call upon if you think you'll need it in an upcoming encounter. This is nice, quite nice.
Two-Weapon Opening (PHB2): An extra attack, if you're wielding two weapons and score a critical hit. Two weapons generally aren't your thing, though.
Vexing Flanker (PHB2): When you flank an enemy, all allies have the advantage. Aren't you the best?


Epic Tier Feats


Swordmage Feats
Total Aegis Retrain Double Aegis to this. That is all.
Binding Ensnarement (AP): Immobilizes foes who you teleport with your Aegis of Ensnarement. If you picked up Grasping Ensnarement, retrain it to this.
Charging Aegis (AP): The opposite of Total Aegis, this allows you to impose a -3 marked penalty on one enemy (provided you charge them first). If you face down some solos or elites, this is nice to have in your corner.
Extended Aegis (AP): Your Aegis reaction is doubled to 20 squares, as opposed to 10. Whether this is useful depends on how open the battlefields you fight on are.
Shared Warding (AP): Standing next to your allies gives them an untyped bonus to AC.


Arcane Feats
Explosive Spellcasting (AP): If you crit with an area attack, you can deal your critical extra damage to any foe you hit with the attack. Okay.
Quickened Spellcasting (AP): Once per encounter, you get to use one of your At-Will attacks as a minor action. Cool.
Tusted Spellcasting (AP): One of your encounter spells deals half damage on a miss. Well... it works, but isn't super important.


Racial Feats
Changeling
Fluid Anatomy: When you get hit with a critical hit, you make a saving throw to turn it into a regular hit. Not bad, but not to terribly reliable either.

[u]Devas[/u]
Transcendent Lineage: You roll twice for Memory of a Thousand Lifetimes, and take the better result. Another solid taker.

[b][u]Genasi[/b][/u]
Double Manifestation: You want. You want bad.

[u]Gnolls[/u]
Brutal Charge: When you charge, you use an encounter melee attack. Unfortunately at epic levels, Swordmages don't possess many melee powers, and what ones they do have either suck or can be used on a charge already.

[u]Gnomes[/u]
Vanishing Act: Teleportation + invisibility? Are you kidding me?

[u]Goliaths[/u]
Ancient Stone: As if Goliaths weren't unkillable enough already...

[u]Half-Orcs[/u]
Ferocious Critical: An attack boost on a critical hit is excellent, and Half-Orcs can probably get Weapon Mastery as well, which means this will kick in more times.

Kalashtar
Quori Desperation: If you're dying, you still take actions until the end of your next turn. Not quite as resilient as a Revenant, but still handy to have if your Epic Destiny's "I don't die" feature has already kicked in today.

[u]Minotaurs[/u]
Uncanny Scent: The prerequisites for this feat are kind of steep, but its benefits are definitely worth it.

Revenants
Ghostly Vitality: If you have Death's Quickening, retrain it to this. The feat, combined with a certain Paragon Path, can result in a Revenant who is near unkillable.
Eerie Resurgance: You get a bonus to death saving throws, and when you roll a 20 on death saving throws, you get to spend more surges. Workable.
Reaping Renewal: Two Dark Reapings per encounter. I'm down.
Reaping Synergy: You gain a bonus to attack rolls when using Dark Reaping, but only for powers that deal the same damage type as Dark Reaping. More selective that Reaper's Strike, but last longer.

[u]Shadar-Kai[/u]
Blade of the Raven Queen
Deathless Warrior: Making all your cold attacks necrotic as well doesn't serve much purpose right now.
Deathless Warrior: Shadar-Kai Swordmages, especially Shielding Swordmages, can suddenly scrape by just that little while longer before the leader's turn pops up again.
Spirit Jaunt: Shadow Jaunt lets you walk through walls now. Heck yeah!
[u]Shifters[/u]

Burst of Savagery: This feat lets you end your shifting power early for some extra damage on one attack and some temporary hit points. It's usually not worth it.

[u]Warforged[/u]
Warforged Fortification: Swordmages have some nice Lv. 22 Utility spells, but the ability to negate a crit once per encounter could be helpful.


General Feats

Axe Mastery: Assaulting Swordmages using a Khopesh may find this easier to work towards than heavy blade mastery.
Blind-Fight: Any Swordmage who didn't entirely dump Wisdom (kept it at 10 and placed a single attribute point in it) can easily qualify for this. Attacking the unseen can be rather useful.
Bludgeon Mastery: The aforementioned "Hammermages" won't be able to get this.
Epic Resurgence: This is an excellent Epic Tier feat. Demigods may want to retrain this at Level 30, but its great for anyone to have.
Flanking Maneuver: The Dexterity requirement is rather high, and your teleportation should be adequate to cover the distances you need.
Heavy Blade Mastery: Again, Dexterity is an issue here. Also, only Assaulting Swordmages could possibly qualify for this feat, for obvious reasons.
Irresistible Flame: Swordmages have several excellent fire spells. Tieflings will find this to be a top priority.
Light Blade Mastery: The Dexterity requirement for this feat is monstrous.
Triumphant Attack: Another excellent Epic Tier feat.
Two-Weapon Flurry: Even if you're using 2 weapons, it still requires a lot of Dexterity to pull off.
Unfettered Stride: You need to be trained in Acrobatics, but this isn't a bad feat to have.
Epic Fortitude (PHB2): A huge, untyped bonus to fortitude. Not bad.
Epic Reflexes (PHB2): A huge, untyped bonus to reflex. Interesting.
Epic Will (PHB2): A huge, untyped bonus to will. If your will defense is lagging (and it probably will be), you could do worse.
Indomitable Will (PHB2): Iron Will, with a bonus to saves against being dazed, stunned, and dominated. Those three are pretty bad conditions, so... this helps.
Opportune Reflexes (PHB2): Lightning Reflexes, and it improves your saves versus ongoing damage. Pretty good.
Robust Defenses (PHB2): Paragon Defenses' older brother. If you have that feat, retrain it out to get this.
Unyielding Fortitude (PHB2): Great Fortitude, along with a bonus to Death saving throws.

A list of CharOp Handbooks I'm currently updating:

Heart of the Dragon: A Dragonborn's Handbook

Infernal Wrath: A Tiefling's Handbook

Multiclassing

Cleric

Feats

Initiate of the Faith:


Powers

Coming Soon!


Paragon Paths

Coming Soon



Fighter

Feats

Student of the Sword
Battle Awareness
Battle Acumen


Powers

Coming Soon!


Paragon Paths

Coming Soon



Paladin

Feats

Soldier of the Faith


Powers

Coming Soon!


Paragon Paths

Coming Soon



Ranger

Feats

Warrior of the Wild
Two-Blade Warrior
Courageous Shooter


Powers

Coming Soon!


Paragon Paths

Coming Soon



Rogue

Feats

Sneak of Shadows
Ruthless Efficiency
Sly Dodge
First In


Powers

Coming Soon!


Paragon Paths

Coming Soon



Warlock

Feats

Pact Initiate


Powers

Coming Soon!


Paragon Paths

Coming Soon



Warlord

Feats

Student of Battle
Tactical Leader
Battle Instructor


Powers

Coming Soon!


Paragon Paths

Coming Soon



Wizard

Feats

Arcane Initiate


Powers

Coming Soon!


Paragon Paths

Coming Soon



Spellscarred

Feats

Student of the Plague:


Powers

Coming Soon!


Paragon Paths

Coming Soon

A list of CharOp Handbooks I'm currently updating:

Heart of the Dragon: A Dragonborn's Handbook

Infernal Wrath: A Tiefling's Handbook

Weapons and Armor

Weapons

Swordmages can utilize a variety of Heavy Blades and Light Blades, and there are several to choose from:

Weapon Types

Heavy Blades

Heavy Blades are generally better weapons for Swordmages to wield, as they often have higher damage dice.

Player's Handbook

Scythe: As a simple weapon, scythes of course don't really measure up to weapons of higher quality. Unless you like the flavor, stay away.
Longsword: The Longsword is probably the best weapon a Swordmage can use without spending a feat. The weapon of choice for Eladrin in heroic tier.
Scimitar: Not as accurate as the Longsword, but not a terrible choice either. In Paragon Tier, you can pick up Scimitar Dance if you invest heavily in Dexterity. Maybe not optimal, but it's an option.
Falchion: If you want a two-handed sword but don't have a feat to spare, a falchion could work for you. Vorpal Falchions are especially deadly.
Glaive: The only reach Heavy Blade there is. If you're a Wandering Swordmage, you might also have the Wisdom to get Polearm Gamble, which could work for you.
Greatsword: Greatswords... aren't really that great. If you really must have a two-handed sword, a Falchion or Glaive would be a better choice.
Bastard Sword: As accurate as a Longsword, but with more power behind it. If you have a feat to spare, wielding a Bastard Sword is always a solid choice.

Adventurer's Vault

Broadsword A broadsword basically trades accuracy for power. It's better to have both with the aforementioned Bastard Sword, but if it comes down to choosing between this and the Longsword, the Longsword's a better choice.
Khopesh The khopesh is unique, as it is both a Heavy Blade and an Axe. This means a Swordmage can grab the Deadly Axe feat, and Assault Swordmages with a good Constitution might be able to qualify for Axe Mastery.
Full Blade: If you want a two-handed sword, this is your best bet. a d12 damage die and high crit means that Assault Swordmages can get behind this, at least.
Double Sword: There are several two-weapon feats that are nice, and the defensive property helps alleviate the AC penalty (which can be restored with Two-Weapon Defense).


Light Blades

Light Blades are generally inferior to Heavy Blades, although Swordmages that multiclass might want to look into them.

Player's Handbook

Dagger: The dagger can be thrown, but its d4 damage die does it no favors.
Sickle: Yeah, it looks cool, but it's not worth it.
Short Sword: The best Light Blade a Swordmage can wield without using a feat. For goodness sake, don't stop here.
Katar: The high crit property elevates this above the Short Sword, but it's not the best weapon ever.
Rapier: A longsword that's a light blade. This is a good all-around weapon if you absolutely need a light blade, or if you want to play a "swashbuckler-ey" Swordmage.

Adventurer's Vault

Kukri Higher damage than the Short Sword, but lower accuracy. No thanks.
Parrying Dagger: I once used this when constructing a Hammer Swordmage. That's the only instance I can think of where you'd want this.
Spiked Shield: This is actually not a bad Weapon for a Swordmage who wants to have as high defenses as possible. Your damage would be low, so pick up implement powers that have fixed damage dice, and you might want to multiclass to get some other implement powers as well.



Weapon Enchantments

Yeah, magic weapons are really fun. How fun? Let's see...

Player's Handbook

Berserker: This weapon allows you to be more strikery at the cost of defense. Probably not worth it.
Dancing: Once per day, you can be using 2 weapons at once (with no AC penalty), although Swordmages have several good things they can use minor actions for...
Dragonslayer: This weapon has a specific purpose in mind, as indicated by its name. If you fight a lot of Dragons... You might want this.
Duelist: More valuable for a Rogue than for you, but you might still want it. The fact that it's only for Light Blades means that you'll probably want something else...
Flaming: Tieflings like this a lot, since it allows them to strike more accurately with all weapon attacks, but its power is pretty good as well.
Frost: This weapon in conjunction with Wintertouched and Lasting Frost are a well-documented combo.
Holy Avenger: This is an excellent weapon if you multiclass to get some radiant powers, and it has a fantastic property. Still, a Paladin will probably want this more than you.
Lifedrinker: Temporary Hit Points are always a good thing.
Lightning: It's an alright weapon. Maybe not the best, but not bad.
Magic: A basic enchantment. Upgrade ASAP.
Pact Blade: Swordmages can viably multiclass into Warlock, making this item a rather smart buy. You can't use its extra property since you can't curse enemies, but them's the breaks.
Terror: The power this weapon has is a fear effect, which means not all enemies will be affected by it. Still, a -2 to all defenses can be helpful.
Thundering: The power this weapon has is okay, and activates Solid Sound.
Vicious: This is basically a basic enchantment with better crits. Better, but not by much.
Vorpal: One of the best weapon enchantments, period.

Adventurer's Vault

Acidic: Could be of some use to some paladins or fighters who can use the encounter power to maintain their challenge or to mark at range... you are neither so for you this is slightly better and considerably more expensive then plain magic weapon.
Adamantine: Not only this is very specialized enchantment, but your attack also rarely do untyped damage. Pass...
Assassin's: Light blade only and nothing that useful for you anyway.
Avandra’s Whisper: You are not really the type of person to dable in divine arts, so its not for you.
Battlecrazed: If you are taking a lot of hits and getting bloodied - you probably want to get healed asap. You also don't have many multiattacks to really put that into use. Not really useful unless you are a specialized secondary defender build.
Battlemaster’s: You have some pretty useful encounter powers. Two rounds of hypnotic swordplay against can really ruin a solo's day. Too bad this weapon is a bit expensive and comes late in your career when transporting lunge, and Incendiary Sword are starting to loose steam.
Bilethorn: Expensive, unremarkable, skip it...
Blackshroud: Concealment is good, temporary hit points are good... too bad that it is in the 5/10 pricing line and that you hardly deal enough damage to be the one doing most of the killing blows. If you are the designated minion sweeper or an assaultmage putting pressure on the enemy back lines - this could be an interesting choice.
Blade of Bahamut: You are neither pretty, nor persuasive... and this weapon is not for you.
Blade of Night: Neat power and critical hit effect, but there are better things to use your weapon slot for. Most of them also include a heavy blade.
Bloodclaw: Awesome weapon for assaultmages who even get a source of temporary hit points to fuel it with Vigorous Assault and sometimes fancy using fullblades. Not so hot for everyone else.
Bloodiron: Unless you have a way to fish for criticals - you are much better of with jagged weapon compared to this. If you DO have a way to fish for criticals, this is of course light blue.
Bloodthirsty: If you don't have Opal Ring of Remembrance yet and if you are not using iron armbands of power - this is actually a decent choice.
Brilliant Energy: Radiant damage, nice critical, useful encounter power... what is not to like. Soon you will probably be getting vorpal though.
Bronzewood: Niche weapon and even in its niche it sucks. Pass...
Chaos Weave: Another niche weapon, but this one at least is worth considering for a special occasion. If you find it when there is a battle with demons on the horizon - consider using it for it and then melt it for residuum.
Cloaked: Hmm... no. Would make a kick ass enhancement for spiked gauntlets in a fist fight though.
Cold Iron: No, not really.
Communal: Quite useful - considering you will use it when you are sure that this +1 will make the difference. Turning an ally miss with daily power into a hit is one of the best uses for daily item power. Still - when using a daily he will probably have a power bonus from your leader.
Cunning: This is the weapon for you if you are into (save ends) effects.
Deathstalker: No...
Defensive: You can still manage your aegis while taking total defense so shieldmages in particular can make great use of this enchantment after they nail the bad guy with shielding fire or something equally annoying.
Demonbane: Useless unless fighting demons, but really useful to have against them.
Desiccating: Attacking Fort is generally frowned upon, since its the hardest to hit. This weapon can help with that, but your allies probably won't have many powers attacking Fort to make use of your help.
Dread: Good critical, good daily use, decent weapon.
Dynamic: You are going to war, not to the circus... if you want source of amusement for the general public with little practical benefit - you have swordbond. Even if there is an occasion when you would want to change your weapon to something else - the fact that you can't change it back until the end of the encounter will likely ruin your creative impulse.
Farslayer: If for some reason you are not using White Lotus powered at-wills instead of melee basics... you are much better of starting to use White Lotus powered at-wills instead of picking this weapon to use melee basics at range. OK, with eldritch strike you can do both, so if you can think of some neat combo - go ahead, but generally this is not very useful weapon.
Feyslaughter: You have more than enough ways to deal with teleporting enemies. No need to waste to waste your weapon slot on item that helps you deal with only a specific kind of teleporting enemies.
Flanking: Combat advantage is easy to get. You don't need this.
Flesh Seeker: Its an upgrade over a plain magic weapon and that's about it. Somewhat useful at level 2, hardly worth considering after that.
Forbidding: No, you don't really want this.
Force: Works with solid sound and the daily is useful.
Gambler’s: Slightly better that Fleshseeker, but it's light blade only. Pass...
Graceful: Graceful is something you are not. Leave this to the rogue.
Grasping: You can carry a backup Grasping Javelin for the lulz. It even works with Intelligent Blademaster. "Get over here!" and all that jazz... some people find it amusing and it even can be useful.
Inescapable: Mildly useful. Moderately so if you don't have Intelligent Blademaster yet by level 3. At least you will gain something from all these AoO you are missing. The bonus is also untyped which save the weapon from going into the purple list.
Inspiring: For some reason this weapon doesn't inspire me. A daily power should be better than that and it doesn't offer anything else.
Jagged: You probably want his for the paragon tier and even after that.
Legendary: The power is decent, but unreliable.
Luckblade: Nice power and a buffed crit damage to go with it. Count me in.
Lucklender: Your powers are usually not so crucial to land and this weapon doesn't offer an increased crit damage to sweeten the deal. It also gives power bonus which you already should have for your few crucial powers. The main reason it gets black ratting is because you get a reason to sing "Always look on the bri-i-ight si-i-ide of life" when you roll a second 1 against that annoying minion or eat a stone giant's hammer in the face.
Mage’s: Before you have a feat to spend on bastard sword or full blade - this is probably your most attractive choice. If you manage to find a way and put the encounter power to good use - even more power to you.
Mauling: Nothing to write home about... unless you really need to get even with that gazebo.
Medic’s: It should be obvious.
Necrotic: All by itself - nothing too impressive, especially when you consider that you don't have multiattack powers to make use of that vulnerability. If there are other characters who can inflict necrotic vulnerability and/or can inflict necrotic damage (eg. characters with the same weapon) it can become an interesting choice.
Oathblade: I have no idea why this weapon is in the 4/9 price tag. Terrible for shieldmages who don't attack their marked target most of the time and simply [color=red]subo[/color]ptimal for assault and snare ones.
Opportunistic: Not worth it, unless AoO really happen a lot in your games. Even then its not worth it, but less so.
Pact Sword If you are an eladrin with warlock multiclass - its made for you, you can just as well use it. With student of malediction you can even use its daily power. There are better choices though.
Paired: Well, combined with quick draw it lets you pull the two-weapon opening or dual implement spellcaster trick and still keep your warding. Combined with swordbond it lets you smuggle two weapons instead of one in place where weapons aren't allowed. Other than those two questionable benefits it costs almost just as much as two plain magic weapons.
Parrying: Melee attacks are usually against AC and your AC is already high enough, so if an attack manages to hit you - chances are that your daily item power might go to waste.
Pinning: Assaultmages tend to move alot, snaremages have their trick to keep an enemy near them. This is black for shieldmages trying to act like primary defenders.
Poisoned: Weakened (save ends) is good. Light blade only is not. Its also too expensive. Probably you can do better than that.
Predatory: Black in the early heroics when you still might have trouble marking multiple enemies.
Quick: You deserve better weapon.
Radiant: A bit pricey, but a price well worth paying. Radiant damage and item bonus to all damage (unlike the iron armbands who aplly only to melee.
Reckless: Good for shieldmages who want to make themselves more attractive target and for assault and snareages who want to make their hits count. Good for explaining your frustration to anything that dares attack your NADs as well.
Reproachful: A solo will be fast to save against this. Using it on anything else is probably not worth it. Skip.
Retribution: Unreliable and hardly impressive even when it happens.
Righteous: Too expensive for what it does.
Sacrificial: Healing surge AND daily item use? No, thank you.
Scalebane: Nothing to see here... next?
Shadow Spike: Light blade only and daily use... leave it to the rogue, although he probably will pass on it as well.
Shapechanger’s Sorrow: Another niche weapon. Still, its very good if you are going on a crusade against the shifters or something. Useless for anything else.
Staggering: Useless, except to a few very specialized builds.
Strongheart: You are not really a massive damage dealer, so you are hardly a primary target for weakening powers. Even if you were - they are still quite situational.
Subtle: It's okay for assault and snaremages who can pretty much ensure combat advantage against their targets. Its usefulness for shieldmages depends a lot on their playstyle.
Sunblade: Probably worth it mostly for assaultmages with enough strength to make use of the daily power or if you are fighting a lot of enemies with radiant vulnerability. If both cases are present, its value increases substantially.
Tenacious: You can almost double your crit and hit chance for one attack per encounter. Not bad. Extra points if your characer's name is "D" and he is not a vampire hunter.
Thieving: Unless you have thievery trained AND your enemies actually have things that when stolen will influence their fighting abilities... if that's not the case - stick to looting dead targets - they tend to move less.
Thundergod: Most swordmages don't charge all that often to make use out of that. For Demigods with Dimensional Charge though - its [color=cyan]nice[/color]. But then again... Divine Miracle Demigods can kill you with a wet noodle.
Transference: Its convenient way to get rid of a nasty condition, but then again - most nasty conditions will prevent you from hitting your target. If you have a way to keep fighting when dieing though - it becomes one blue surprise for your enemy.
Transposing: Good if you abuse slashing wake... neat, but hardly worth it, if you don't unless you use it as a setup for some aoe attack.
Trespasser’s Bane: You have better use for your immediate interrupts. Pass.
Tyrant’s: The daily power has the potential to be useful for 2 rounds and the effect on critical hit is nice. Two bad you are not really a machine for critical hits.
Vampiric: Healing is good, the fact that you can't switch off the necrotic property can be bad though.
Vanguard: You are not into charging, you don't have high charisma. Only good for some fey charge builds.
Vengeful: A bit too pricey. Assaultmages will make the most use out of it since they can activate it right before their aegis strike on the triggering enemy. Better put in on your spiked gauntlets and use another weapon. Mask the smell of cheese with some deodorant if you go into that direction.
Waterbane: Terrible weapon for general use, but perfect for its designated environment.
Withering: Very good weapon for spellcaster lite party. Swordmages are usually not a monster in the DPR departament - so why not help others become one.
Wounding: Untyped ongoing damage is not what you do.



[u]Armor[/u]

Armor Enchantments
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Leather
Show

Stanching Armor - This armor helps against ongoing damage and allows you to spend a healing surge as a minor action as a daily. As a defender, you're less concerned than most about ongoing damage, and the healing surge benefit is fairly minor. It could go up to black if you're in a group with little leader-based healing.

Battle Harness - This armor basically gives the benefits of Quick Draw, which is a useful feat. Note that it's a power bonus to initiative, not an item bonus, so it will stack with a helm of battle or casque of tactics, but not a warlord's Combat Leader.

Dragonclaw Armor - How often do you get grabbed? For a level 4 armor, getting a very situational daily (that should be an immediate reaction, but was miswritten) is overpriced.

Death Burst Armor - Situational (ends ongoing damage of a specific type), and a daily action that does a minimal amount of damage with a secondary stat. It's also split, in that the property helps against undead, while the daily action is unlikely to damage them due to their resist.

Stonemeld Armor - Resist 5 for a short period is somewhat underwhelming as a daily, but resist 10 could save you if you get swarmed. It doesn't scale very quickly, though, and its utility lessens around paragon.

Feytouched Armor - I could see an argument being made for making this light blue. It gives an item bonus to initiative, and it gets an encounter power that makes you invisible until the end of your next turn. Note: not "or until you attack". On the downside, it's a standard action to activate that power, and as a defender, you're expected to be soaking hits. Invisibility doesn't help with that.

Dawn Warrior Armor - This is a defender's armor. You get resistance to four energy types, and on top of that, you get a daily power. The daily is almost the same as death burst armor's, but the difference between necrotic and radiant damage is the difference between night and day. Too bad it's in a module, so your DM will only see it if he's an Insider.


Hide
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Battle Harness - This armor basically gives the benefits of Quick Draw, which is a useful feat. Note that it's a power bonus to initiative, not an item bonus, so it will stack with a helm of battle or casque of tactics, but not a warlord's Combat Leader.

Dragonclaw Armor - How often do you get grabbed? For a level 4 armor, getting a very situational daily (that should be an immediate reaction, but was miswritten) is overpriced.

Death Burst Armor - Situational (ends ongoing damage of a specific type), and a daily action that does a minimal amount of damage with a secondary stat. It's also split, in that the property helps against undead, while the daily action is unlikely to damage them due to their resist.

Feral Armor - If you spent the feat for proficiency in hide, then this armor also acts as the equivalent of a magic rapier of the same enhancement bonus (with proficiency). One interesting idea is to use this armor along with another weapon (such as an axe). Your armor is your implement and gives you your swordmage warding at full strength. For those concepts, this armor increases to light blue.

Feytouched Armor - I could see an argument being made for making this light blue. It gives an item bonus to initiative, and it gets an encounter power that makes you invisible until the end of your next turn. Note: not "or until you attack". On the downside, it's a standard action to activate that power, and as a defender, you're expected to be soaking hits. Invisibility doesn't help with that.

Dawn Warrior Armor - This is a defender's armor. You get resistance to four energy types, and on top of that, you get a daily power. The daily is almost the same as death burst armor's, but the difference between necrotic and radiant damage is the difference between night and day. Too bad it's in a module, so your DM will only see it if he's an Insider.


A list of CharOp Handbooks I'm currently updating:

Heart of the Dragon: A Dragonborn's Handbook

Infernal Wrath: A Tiefling's Handbook

Sample Builds

Coming soon!

A list of CharOp Handbooks I'm currently updating:

Heart of the Dragon: A Dragonborn's Handbook

Infernal Wrath: A Tiefling's Handbook

Player's Handbook/Forgotten Realms Races

Dragonborn: Dragonborn can make passable Assaulting Swordmages, but don't expect anything spectacular.
Drow: Drow don't really have anything going for them here.
Eladrin: Eladrin make solid Swordmages of either type. Their INT bonus works well, and DEX helps out with feats.
Elves: The only real saving grace elves have is their Elven Accuracy racial power. Eladrin are a much better pick by far.
Genasi: Genasi were born to be Swordmages. Assaulting is obvious, given the STR and INT bonuses, but Genasi can also be good Shielding Swordmages as well.
Half-elves: Half-elves dilettante, access to human racial feats, and CON bonus can make an okay shielding swordmage. Don't get your hopes up.
Halflings: Same stat placement as Drow. Next!
Humans: Humans make excellent Swordmages of either kind. Their floating bonus should be placed in INT of course, and the racial bonuses, feats, and the extra At-Will really seal the deal here.
Tieflings: Tieflings have a INT bonus, which is always welcome, and while the CHA bonus isn't as good, it helps with Will Defense at least. Tieflings work best with fire-based Swordmage spells.

I really think you need to move Eladrin from Blue to Cyan. Arcane Reach is a no-brainer for anyone using Sword Burst, and it only costs an Eladrin two points to get a 14 Dex (which bumps to 15 in Paragon). With a 12 Str, 12 Con, 14 Dex, 20 Int, 10 Wis, 8 Cha build combined with Intelligent Blademaster as a starting feat, the Eladrin has the highest possible attack bonus and can have the highest possible AC in Paragon tier (when they have access to Armor Proficiency: Hide and Armor Specialization: Hide). While Str and Con start out a bit low, stat bumps at every level will bring their Str or Con (depending on their Aegis) up to par quickly. The bonus to Will defense helps compensate for the Swordmage not putting stat bumps in Charisma or Wisdom (unless he's a Wandering Swordmage).

Humans suffer from only having one +2 bump. The extra at-will is nice, but certainly not essential. Sword Burst is the mainstay of most swordmages once you reach Paragon - it's hard to beat a 3x3 AoE that doesn't harm allies, activates Solid Sound, and can even be used with Inescapable Force. The other at-wills are helpful, but aren't nearly as good...and with Intelligent Blademaster, your basic attack may even be better than some at-will powers (Bracers of Mighty Striking are fairly cheap to purchase).

I agree, however, that Genasi are excellent swordmages. They get boosts to two stats that a swordmage needs, and an extra +1 to either Fort or Reflex defense. Earthsoul Genasi are resilient (+1 to saves) and can get combat advantage from Earthshock. Watersoul Genasi can make it much harder for a foe under Aegis to get to them. Stormsoul Genasi do amazing damage with Promise of Storm and a Lightning Weapon. Genasi are also the only swordmages that can get Heavy Blade Mastery without sacrificing too much from their other stats.
I hope you add the powers from the Dragon article last month. There are a few gems in there.
Greenflame Blade has a formatting error when you talk about Tieflings. Your [color] code is a little wonky.

Just thought I'd point it out.
Card Dump!

Keywords
Challenge: When ~ comes into play, all opponents may put a Legendary creature card with the same or smaller converted mana cost as ~ into play without paying its mana cost.
Responses already, huh?

@ Fedifensor: I see your point. Guess I'll make the change.

@ ppaladin123: Eventually. I want to get all the FRPG Powers in first.

@ Ekko: Thanks for catching that!

A list of CharOp Handbooks I'm currently updating:

Heart of the Dragon: A Dragonborn's Handbook

Infernal Wrath: A Tiefling's Handbook

About lightning clash, it should be a higher grade for stormsoul genasi, who can deal out extra damage to both targets with promise of storm.
Looks ok so far. Just to avoid seeming like a bad person, you may want to reference the other threads and swordmage guides that came before you.
Swordmage Optimization Brainstorming by WinterAyars and Swordmage Guide V.5 by Tektonik come to mind.

Enjoy!
Dimensional Dodge doesn't appear to actually prevent the hit like the name implies it can. It's interrupting being attacked, but then you teleport to a square that they'll definitely still have LOS and LOE to, so the attack can complete. Any thoughts on this one?

As to Flamewall Strike, it's a crappy wall, but it's basically a 1[w] hit that doesn't require an attack roll, which is cool. The main reason to get it is that other L7 swordmage powers just suck so much.
I'd like to see some discussion of the paragon and epic level powers and how they compare with heroic tier powers. Do the current ratings of these powers take into consideration that you might have to swap out transposing lunge or frost backlash to take them? You might want to add some notes as to which powers one should swap out if at all.
Dimensional Dodge doesn't appear to actually prevent the hit like the name implies it can. It's interrupting being attacked, but then you teleport to a square that they'll definitely still have LOS and LOE to, so the attack can complete. Any thoughts on this one?

As to Flamewall Strike, it's a crappy wall, but it's basically a 1[w] hit that doesn't require an attack roll, which is cool. The main reason to get it is that other L7 swordmage powers just suck so much.

They have line of effect but they have already aimed at the square you teleported away from (because it is an interrupt). I don't think the enemy can instantaneously redirect the power to your new location.
The main reason to get it is that other L7 swordmage powers just suck so much.

You could take a level 1 or level 3 power instead...
They have line of effect but they have already aimed at the square you teleported away from (because it is an interrupt). I don't think the enemy can instantaneously redirect the power to your new location.

Hmm..... well I guess that's reasonable.

Fedifensor, I'm personally avoiding the issue by multiclassing for Enemies Abound, a burst 1 enemies only Int vs Will psychic attack for 2d8+Int damage and a weird flanking benefit. It's just better in every way.
Very nice guide so far. I like that you don't say "16 or better" under intelligence. IMHO 18 is really the lowest starting intelligence a swordmage can get away with, due to their AC being tied to that stat.

I would suggest making tieflings Cyan too. Bloodhunt + Flaming Weapon + Hellfire Blood is a very nice combo. While not the greatest, the +2 charisma is not too bad. It makes it easy to start with a +2 bonus to will save. This will serve you well in the heroic and paragon tiers. It's also nice for picking up the Paladin MC or Spell Focus, if you want to go there.

They work especially well for builds that start with a 20 intelligence, as they hit very often and don't sacrifice too much in terms of defenses.
Purple options will generally only be useful in very specific circumstances. There are usually better options out there.

Your purple is not purple. Its pink (acctually, magenta, but its the same). Nothing against the color, but its not purple. :P

Will make meaningfull comments later...:D

Edit:
would suggest making tieflings Cyan

While tieflings certally have the nice Int bonus, they are not comparable to a humman or a eladrin as they both have other things going for then. The Cha bonus is nice, bonus to hit vs bloodied foes and bonus on fire powers are all nice, but not as much to make they a cyan. Blue is still good toght.



I don't think Str its a blue atribute for swordmages. Certally black, but even for assaulting swordmages, the bonus on certain powers is only marginal, and you should be going for Intelligent blademaster anyway, making anything more then str13 for hide armor a not-so-great way to spend your points. It's not that its a bad atribute, it is just that its not blue to me. even for assaulting. That could change with the martial power book as it could introduce more good feats based on Str.


On Lightning Clash vs Flame Cyclone subject. First, the secondary attack of the Lightning Clash can be to a target further way, and its a Weapon attack vs Refl, adding your +3 proficiency bonus. Flame Cyclone its a implement powers, and target both ally and enemy in the area. The str bonus to damage its only meaningful if you have a str of 16+, and even then I think that Lightning Clash comes up with a better damage per round, and since this two powers are "only damage" powers, DPR really matters in this case. Plus, you will rarely fit more then two enemy targets in the Flame Cyclone area(but may fit more allies :P) so the numbers of targets its the same.
Flame Cyclone its blue in my opinion and LClash its blue or higher. But that's just my opinion.
Have to go, more on that latter.

Edit: Actually, I put some numbers together and what I said was partially wrong: the Flame Cyclone does have a better DPR then the Lightning Clash. Still, I consider the tactical advantages of the second power to be better, since you never hit a ally, can get flank for the first target, and can use the secondary attack(with a proficiency bonus) to hit targets further away. And by any means its NOT a red power.

I looked on the rest of the guide now, looks good The Swordmage Optimization Brainstorming thread its kind of a guide already, but the more the better While I like sblocks, i find the things are easier to find without then,a t least in guides and such, especially when you are already using different sizes and colors. overall, its all good and organized tough, and i agreed with mostly everything you said. Great guide, good writing, thanks for the effort of putting all together! But your purple still isn't purple!
The powers' strengths depend very much on the race/build you take. e.g, Electrified Lash seems meh, but with Promise of Storm its dmg is amped up rather past Swordburst.

I would consider tiefling a cyan. Hellfire blood, bloodhunt, infernal wrath are good powers in and themselves, but they shine in a defender with fire powers. Having a +1 bonus to hit and dmg for plenty of powers from 1 heroic feat is nothing to sneeze at. Thats 1 at-will, 7 encounters and 7 dailies. Bloodhunt comes up statistically half the time and your staying power as a defender ensures you'll use it. Again as a defender taking blows, their Infernal Wrath would come up a lot more. They synergize really well with the swordmage class. By keeping to fire powers (which is not hard to do with a fire power at nearly every encounter/daily level), you get +1 to hit early on during an encounter, +2 to hit later, and +3 for 1 power.

Their non-secondary attr. boost to Cha isn't that big a deal since SMs really just rely on Int for most of their powers. Its the same for the other races; Eladrin's Dex boost isn't a secondary attr, and Genasi's Str boost isn't that impt due to Intelligent Blademaster.
Str and Dex gets you blade feats and armors. Cha gets you nothing. That's why Tiefling is only Blue.
Str and Dex gets you blade feats and armors. Cha gets you nothing. That's why Tiefling is only Blue.

And initiative and arcane reach. Just agreeing and expanding.

Also just wanted to say the guide looks to be coming along well.
Tieflings are good swordmages, thats why they get blue. The aren't bad by any means, they just aren't quite there to be a perfect fit. the bonus to hit with fire powers just isn't enough, nor the bonus vs bloodied foes.

First fire is the most common resistance type, and will always be, and then, in many levels there's no fire power, and in even more situations the fire powers aren't the most optimal. In the whole heroic level you get only a at-will, the encounter lvl 1, and the daily lvl 1(that is just Villain's menace totally nerfed, with a bonus damage easy resistible to boot, and that's little even if your Str is 18(not the case if you are a tiefling)). Your next power with a fire keyword that requires a hit is Seed of Fire at E13. while its a good power, you should probably be replacing with your E1, the other encounter fire power you have.

Yes, its good the bonus to hit with fire powers, they just don't come up a lot. Fire resistance is good, but genasi can get that too, with a bonus to Ref and a immediate (even if not that great) encounter power. That and dual manifestation and a lot of other stuff. Eladrin get a same(probably better in a sense they can boost wisdom if wanted) bonus to Will defense, can make good use of sword burst(and a few other powers) with arcane reach witch is nice, and get the awesome teleport power, tactically great for anyone.

The tiefling wound be 4,5* star in my opinion, while the other contenders wound be 5*. After arcane power comes out, if there are enough good fire powers and maybe a feat/something to ignore a little resistance by paragon (Irresistible flame lite version), or good feats/PP that require a 14+ Cha, then they could become better then the others, but I don't believe they are right now.
Great work on your guide, man.

Here's a suggestion, though. Maybe you shouldn't put all powers up on the same rating. For example, your L16 Utilities have 3 Sky-Blue's and 1 Blue. IMHO, Sky Blue is a "you're nuts if you don't pick this" choice. Therefore, to avoid confusion, I wouldn't evaluate powers in a vacuum; you should instead evaluate them according to the choices you have at the level. Generally, this means only 1 Sky Blue power at any given level. If several options are more or less at the same level and they're all great, Blue for everyone. That's just a suggestion, however, which you can freely ignore.

All in all, I'm eagerly awaiting for the complete Manual.
Great work on your guide, man.

Here's a suggestion, though. Maybe you shouldn't put all powers up on the same rating. For example, your L16 Utilities have 3 Sky-Blue's and 1 Blue. IMHO, Sky Blue is a "you're nuts if you don't pick this" choice. Therefore, to avoid confusion, I wouldn't evaluate powers in a vacuum; you should instead evaluate them according to the choices you have at the level. Generally, this means only 1 Sky Blue power at any given level. If several options are more or less at the same level and they're all great, Blue for everyone. That's just a suggestion, however, which you can freely ignore.

All in all, I'm eagerly awaiting for the complete Manual.

I think they should also be compared to powers from previous levels. Sometimes you might not want to switch out a good power like Frost Backlash.
Great work on your guide, man.

Here's a suggestion, though. Maybe you shouldn't put all powers up on the same rating. For example, your L16 Utilities have 3 Sky-Blue's and 1 Blue. IMHO, Sky Blue is a "you're nuts if you don't pick this" choice. Therefore, to avoid confusion, I wouldn't evaluate powers in a vacuum; you should instead evaluate them according to the choices you have at the level. Generally, this means only 1 Sky Blue power at any given level. If several options are more or less at the same level and they're all great, Blue for everyone. That's just a suggestion, however, which you can freely ignore.

All in all, I'm eagerly awaiting for the complete Manual.

I might try this, but I'll wait to re-evaluate powers until I have the other sections up, methinks.

And thanks for the ego-boost. Always welcome. :D

A list of CharOp Handbooks I'm currently updating:

Heart of the Dragon: A Dragonborn's Handbook

Infernal Wrath: A Tiefling's Handbook

I think they should also be compared to powers from previous levels. Sometimes you might not want to switch out a good power like Frost Backlash.

What do you mean by "switch out"?
At paragon and epic levels, you stop gaining powers that come from your base class. Instead, you swap old ones. And sometimes, a power is good enough that you do NOT want to swap it (Hello, Attacks on the Run!).
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 think they should also be compared to powers from previous levels. Sometimes you might not want to switch out a good power like Frost Backlash.

True. I don't see any reason why a Shielding Swordmage, especially one going into Coronal Guard, should ever train out Shielding Fire. Some powers are just that good.
I might try this, but I'll wait to re-evaluate powers until I have the other sections up, methinks.

And thanks for the ego-boost. Always welcome. :D

Sounds good to me.

No need to call it an ego-boost; this is good enough a guide that it has made me re-examine my Swordmage builds and shuffle things about, or at least open up to different alternatives.
Saw that the skills section got updated; couple of comments.

Swordmages (SwordMagi?) get Arcana + 4 skill choices.

Their list includes Arcana + 6 skills to choose from.

This means you will get Arcana and 4/6 of the available options. Charisma is the dump stat for most Swordmages and 2 of the skill choices on their list are based on Charisma. In my mind, that makes what to choose from the list fairly obvious. Luckily, the remaining skills on the list are decent to good choices.

Eladrin make good swordmages, so any complete guide would be remiss to not take some time looking at the options for an Eladrin to pick up with their racial skill, plus it helps in the case of any other swordmage picking up skill training. Luckily, this guide has that covered ;).

However, I would say Perception should be black, and not purple. Versus your other choices, it is really a nice pick. Your passive Perception will probably be used almost every session. Yeah, you won't have a rocking total, like a class that is trained and pumps Wis at all (like a ranger), but it is better than walking in to traps blindly all the time. Most groups also have watches setup for resting, and it helps for when your character is on watch. It is especially nice for Eladrin, as when they trance for resting, they can still basically be on guard.
I'm not too sure there are only 3 fire powers for all of heroic level.
Just to be clear, here they are -
lvl 1: Greenflame Blade, Flame Cyclone, Burning Blade
lvl 3: Incendiary Sword
lvl 5: Shielding Fire
lvl 7: Flamewall Strike
lvl 9: Leaping Flames
lvl 13: Seed of Fire
lvl 15: Inferno's Sword
lvl 17: -
lvl 19: Hell's Own Blade
lvl 23: Meteor Strike
lvl 25: -
lvl 27: Maelstrom Blade, Circle of Devastation, Dimensional Charge
lvl 29: Obliterating Blaze

Or take a flaming weapon (available at lvl 5) and all powers are now fire.

arcane reach can be taken by anyone, just easier for eladrin. firesoul's +1 Ref is good but you already have Int as a primary stat. Tiefling has one thing going that the rest cannot get. Consistent bonuses to hit cannot be underestimated; its hard to come by in normal circumstances w/o a warlord around. It ups your DPR and synergizes with your powers. Tiefling defender makes it easy to trigger them:

enemy: to-hit bonus
fire resist: +0
non-fire resist: +1
fire resist, bloodied: +1
non-fire resist, bloodied: +2
fire resist, bloodied, just hit you 1/enc: +2
non-fire resist, bloodied, just hit you 1/enc: +3

I'm fine with relegating the tiefling to 4.5 / 5; just needed to clear the air on what's going for the tiefling so others can make up their minds :D

Seeing as how the stormsoul genasi and the tiefling (and those heroic tier elemental feats) rely on the right elements, might I suggest the OP to include the elemental keyword for each power?
Swordmages get Arcana + 3 skills.

With Perception such a key skill but only rogue/ranger gets it as a class skill, I always advocate Eladrin Education -> Perception, regardless of the class, though orbizards make the full use of it.
I'm not too sure there are only 3 fire powers for all of heroic level.
Just to be clear, here they are -
lvl 1: Greenflame Blade, Flame Cyclone, Burning Blade
lvl 3: Incendiary Sword
lvl 5: Shielding Fire
lvl 7: Flamewall Strike
lvl 9: Leaping Flames
lvl 13: Seed of Fire
lvl 15: Inferno's Sword
lvl 17: -
lvl 19: Hell's Own Blade
lvl 23: Meteor Strike
lvl 25: -
lvl 27: Maelstrom Blade, Circle of Devastation, Dimensional Charge
lvl 29: Obliterating Blaze

Well, yeah, if you add the dragon article to the mix things are a bit different. I was counting just the FR Players. Tough Flamewall shouldn't really count as they have no hit roll to apply the bonus. But that's alright because both Incendiary Sword and Shielding Fire are crazy good.

Or take a flaming weapon (available at lvl 5) and all powers are now fire.

I know it works and its really all good (and it is probably not unbalanced), but every time I think of this or the big brother Lastering frost + wintertouched +cold weapon I think of cheddar with mozzarella, and that the DM is probably allergic to lactose. :P

And my commentary is not even a bit relevant to the topic thought.


I'm fine with relegating the tiefling to 4.5 / 5; just needed to clear the air on what's going for the tiefling so others can make up their minds :D

If you are fine then stop complaining!

(just kidding man, I don't want start a flame, especially since you are a tiefling and have bonus with flames :P :D )
Swordmages get Arcana + 3 skills.

Have to check my book when I get home, but from the compendium:
Trained Skills: Arcana. From the class skills list below, choose 4 more trained skills at 1st level.
Class Skills: Arcana (Int), Athletics (Str), Diplomacy (Cha), Endurance (Con), History (Int), Insight (Wis), Intimidate (Cha).

"4 more" to me indicates Arcana + 4