Tank (v2.0): When Push Comes to Shove

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Disclaimer: This character build is a follow up to my previous concept Tank. With the addition of Martial Power, Tank has received an abundance of new options that can make him sturdier than ever possible before. This version of Tank will primarily be taking advantage of battlerager vigor in synergy with his previous abilities.

Tank: When Push Comes to Shove
“Aye laddie, but if you think yer gonna hit me friend here, yer sadly mistaken. First ya gots t’ get through me, and I ain’t no picnic.”
IMAGE(http://img153.imageshack.us/img153/3731/dwarfnf9.jpg)



Getting to Know Your Tank:

“Eh? around here they call me ‘Tank.’ My real name... Meh, my real name ain’t important. All ya need to know is that if ya mess up me bar, I’ll mess up yer face.”


Tank is a massive dwarf by dwarven standards, standing just over five feet and weighing well over 200 pounds with a fiery blonde beard and a tan complexion. He was the former bouncer at the Whiskey Dog Inn. Sure, his past life as a soldier for his clan is much more reputable, but far less relevant. Lately, Tank has spent his time throwing drunkards out of an inn for a fair payment of drink and lodging. He is as tough and solid as the stone foundations of the Whiskey Dog Inn and even more stubborn than the half-witted, drunken patrons that reside there. Tank lived a tolerable half-life until one of his rather brash and costly extrications of an inn patron left him without home and work. Now, Tank is ready to take up any quest so long as it offers enough pay to afford some quality dwarven spirits.

“Now now, ya can try to push me, son. But I’ll warn ya, I push back.”


Tank is a Dwarven Fighter / Iron Vanguard / Demigod that revolves around being as immovable as stone, as forceful as a landslide, and as resilient as the earth itself. Tank fully reaps the benefits of the Battlerager Vigor fighter variant with both his dwarven heritage and high constitution. Also, utilizing the benefits of Iron Vanguard’s Trample the Fallen and Enduring Warrior features, Tank is not only resilient but also very destructive. Constitution is the single-most important ability score for a defender’s survivability and Tank takes full advantage of it.

Building Your Tank:

“If ya get me a hammer, I’ll getchya yer princess back.”


Ability Scores
The Sturdy Tank:
STR: 16 +3 +10 = 26 +8
CON: 18 +4 +10 = 28 +9
DEX: 12 +1 +2 = 14 +2
INT: 8 -1 +2 = 10 +0
WIS: 14 +2 +2 = 16 +3
CHA: 10 +0 +2 = 12 +1


The Brawny Tank:
STR: 18 +4 +10 = 28 +9
CON: 16 +3 +10 = 26 +8
DEX: 10 +0 +2 = 12 +1
INT: 8 -1 +2 = 10 +0
WIS: 13 +1 +2 = 15 +2
CHA: 10 +0 +2 = 12 +1


Nearly all of Tank’s powers and features benefit from a high constitution score and a high constitution is the single greatest boon to a defender’s survivability; therefore constitution is his primary ability score. Tank also requires a high strength score to ensure that his attacks hit his targets and pack as much punch as possible. Fortunately, if Tank misses, he has his constitution score to fall back on for damage, and if he hits, his constitution just heightens the hurt. Wisdom is Tank’s tertiary score. It gives a bonus to his Opportunity Attacks, which is important in making sure that his enemies don’t get to rough up his friends, or more importantly, run away in fear.

The Sturdy Tank ability array provides Tank with more resilience and the high constitution synergizes with nearly all of his features and powers. Most importantly, it grants a higher return from Battlerager Vigor and Invigorating powers. The Brawny Tank ability array provides a higher attack bonus at the cost of lower defenses and constitution. Personally, I prefer the Sturdy Dwarf as you gain a benefit to many various important features while the Brawny Tank only provides a bonus to you attack bonus. However, if you are mostly concerned with landing your attack than taking a beating, the Brawny Tank ability array is for you.

Skills
Athletics
Endurance
Intimidate

With the exception of Intimidate, Tank is simply feeding off his primary ability scores. Intimidate comes from years of dissuading drunkards from getting themselves forcibly removed from the inn.

Feats
1: Toughness
2: Dwarf Stoneblood
4: Dwarven Weapon Training
6: Armor Proficiency (plate)
8: Improved Vigor
10: Shield Push
11: Dwarven Durability
12: Hammer Rhythm
14: Armor Specialization (plate)
16: Daunting Challenge
18: Distracting Shield
20: Improved Second Wind
21: Epic Recovery
22: Strongheart Warrior
24: Bludgeon Mastery
26: Martial Mastery
28: Martial Resolve
30: Invigorating Exploit (Cruel Reaper)


Between a very high constitution score and the feats Toughness, Dwarf Stoneblood, and Dwarven Durability, Tank has nearly the highest pool of hit points for any character. Plate armor gives Tank a nearly perfect armor class to help build up a pool of temporary hit points between getting hit. Shield Push is invaluable for two reasons: Tank can help protect his allies by pushing enemies out of striking range before they land an attack, and he can also add even more hurt to his combat challenge basic attack via Trample the Fallen. Hammer Rhythm is pure butter for this build and paired with constitution damage on most attacks, grants Tank a formidable average damage per round. Epic Recovery and Stoneheart Warrior allow Tank to recover well over 100% of his hit points per encounter without even using any actions.

At-Will Powers
1: Crushing Surge, Tide of Iron

“No! I said ‘get outta me way!’ Ah, now that’s better.”


Tide of Iron is invaluable to Tank. It is perhaps the best positioning at-will power available for any class, and Tank puts it to even more use with Trample the Fallen. Compared to other classes, the average damage of Tide of Iron is comparable if not better than nearly all other at-will powers. Crushing Surge is incredibly powerful when paired with Battlerager Vigor and allows Tank to build a large pool of temporary hit points during his round.

Encounter Powers
1: Steel Serpent Strike
3: Crushing Blow
7: Come and Get It
11: Frontline Surge
13: Crumpling Slump [replace: Steel Serpent Strike]
17: Boggling Smash [replace: Crushing Blow]
23: Warrior's Urging [replace: Come and Get It]
27: Cruel Reaper [replace: Boggling Smash]


Tank’s encounter powers focus on applying constitution damage whether from using a hammer or from pushing the target back.

“Really? Ya thought it’d be that easy for ya to hit me?”


It might seem that Warrior’s Urging and Cruel Reaper are out of place for the theme of applying constitution damage; however, the combination of the two linked through an action point is pure devastation for any group of foes. Furthermore, both powers grant Tank a better chance at controlling and marking multiple targets. Crumpling Slump is kept over Boggling Smash, because it simply deals much more damage at 2[W]+STR+3xCON.

Daily Powers
1: Knee Breaker
5: Cometfall Charge
9: Terrifying Impact
15: Quicksilver Stance [replace: Knee Breaker]
19: Boulder Charge [replace: Cometfall Charge]
20: Indomitable Strength
25: Earthquake Smash [replace: Terrifying Impact]
29: Force the Battle [replace: Quicksilver Stance]


Unlike his predecessor, Tank's daily powers now also follow the theme of applying constitution damage through pushes and knocking the target prone. The two exceptions to constitution-based attacks are Quicksilver Stance and Force the Battle, which are both very high damage stances. Also, Tank's daily powers often target multiple targets and allow for multiple marking and reaping the benefits of Enduring Warrior against minions. The loss of healing-based daily powers is compensated by several new utility powers.

Utility Powers
2: Boundless Endurance
6: Unbreakable
10: Defensive Resurgence
12: Inexorable Shift
16: Iron Warrior
22: Inspired Resurgence
26: Divine Regeneration

With the exception of Inexorable Shift, all of Tank's utility powers focus on spending healing surges or mitigating damage. Inspired Resurgence is an amazing utility power, because it is one of the very few powers that allow a fighter to spend a healing surge per encounter.

Equipping Your Tank:

“Aww, ya dented me helmet.”


Recommended Equipment
Plate Armor of Durability
Magic Craghammer
Shield of Defiance
Battlestrider Greaves
Gauntlets of the Ram
Helm of Battle
Cloak of the Walking Wounded
Iron Ring of the Dwarf Lords
Iron Ring of the Dwarf Lords
Belt of Blood

"I call this one Headsmasher. And this one... Aye, I prob’ly shouldn’t say this one’s name in front of the little ones.”


With the exception of a few items, Tank's equipment is geared towards survival. Cloak of the Walking Wounded is incredibly powerful in the epic tier when paired with Epic Recovery and Stoneheart Warrior. I suggest a Magic Craghammer, because your attack bonus is lacking compared to your teammates, and you'll need the enhancement bonuses as soon as you can earn them.

Conclusion:

“Aye, that one hurt. Ya can keep beatin’ on me like that all day if ya want, ‘cause unlike you, I can actually take the hits!”


Constitution is far superior to any ability score for ensuring survivability. Tank not only accepts this reality, but fully takes advantage of it by increasing both his damage and utility along with it. Trample the Fallen and Hammer Rhythm give Tank a solid average damage per round, and all of his pushes give him a great amount of battlefield control and extra movement. Tank’s at-will, Tide of Iron, is beefed up significantly so that he can apply constitution to his damage and keep a hurting on his foes consistently; it is arguably his best offensive power, while Crushing Surge is his perhaps his best defensive power. Battlerager Vigor is incredibly powerful for Tank, by providing a significant amount temporary hit points each time he is hit and also allowing his Invigorating temporary hit points to stack, which is possibly more useful than the former benefit. With the addition of Martial Power, Tank is now even more indesctructible than before.

"Silly lich, yer weapons cannot harm me. Dun ya know who I am?"

Tank always seemed like a fun character concept to play - and with Battle Rager (as broken as it is...) he's even tougher! That said, I have a couple of questions:

First up, why did you replace Unyielding Avalanche with Quicksilver Stance? Surely, Avalanche is better in this build both because it does more damage and because the regeneration from UA is obscene?

Secondly, Demigod is certainly good but are there better options for tank now? Undying Warrior truly would make you an everlasting battery of HP and you'd never die! Likewise, Adamantine Soldier just makes Tank supremely tough - more AC, damage resistance equal to con! It's a great boost.

Iron Vanguard still seems like the best PP for this by miles though - even if newcommers like Dreadnought are intriguing.
It seems to me that Brash Strike with it's bonus to-hit and extra con-damage is to good to miss. Particuarly at Heroic where you don't get con-bonus to Tide of Iron. Also have you considered Adamantite soldier for ED and/or Dreadnaught for Paragon? Either one synergizes really well with Battlerager vigor.
Tank always seemed like a fun character concept to play - and with Battle Rager (as broken as it is...) he's even tougher! That said, I have a couple of questions:

First up, why did you replace Unyielding Avalanche with Quicksilver Stance? Surely, Avalanche is better in this build both because it does more damage and because the regeneration from UA is obscene?

Secondly, Demigod is certainly good but are there better options for tank now? Undying Warrior truly would make you an everlasting battery of HP and you'd never die! Likewise, Adamantine Soldier just makes Tank supremely tough - more AC, damage resistance equal to con! It's a great boost.

Iron Vanguard still seems like the best PP for this by miles though - even if newcommers like Dreadnought are intriguing.

I chose Quicksilver, because it deals much more damage to one target. I was tempted to write up both an offensive and defensive list of daily powers though. Demigod is still on the top in my opinion. Undying Warrior is nice for ensuring that you have enough healing surges, but I have found that's not as much of an issue as I first though. Adamantine Soldier would be nice too for the resistance, but I feel that Demigod still offers more. And yeah, it doesn't seem like Iron Vanguard is going anywhere.
Hmm...I'm not sure Quicksilver is better for one-target damage in this situation. It allows you to make a melee basic attack as a move action (this is very good) so that's 1[W] + Str + static mods. Unyielding Avalanche is 1[W] + static mods (no strength but other bonuses like weapon focus would apply). The big extra is it attacks everyone and there's no chance for you to miss - the damage is automatic and not mitigated by a poor to-hit roll.

Quicksilver is definitely good but for this build I feel Avalanche to be superior. It's your choice though
Could you explain why you think Iron Vanguard is so obviously better than Dreadnaught? The way I see it the ability to take 10 damage in order to end any save end effect that allow you to take free action is huge and an extra 10 hit points is nice to. The Dreadnaught utility is vastly superior to the Iron Vanguard one and the Daily and Encounter powers strike me as better also, though that might be subject to debate. Granted the Iron Vanguards level 16 ability is much better than the Dreadnaughts, but with Brash Strike you get an at-will that allows you to ad Con in any case and though it does hurt you DPR with encounter and dailys.
Mostly DPR I believe - and the Iron Vanguard with Tide of Iron gets better battlefield control abilities. They're very, very similar Paragon Paths though and to be honest, I wouldn't fault someone for choosing Dreadnought over Iron Vanguard. At the end of the day, you'll still have an exceptionally hard to kill TANK. Which is what we want :D

Gnoob, you said you might write up an offensive/defensive build for Tank. A question then, how would you feel about a Dragonborn version of Tank? No second wind as a minor action, true, but they get their breath weapon as a minor action attack so that balances out. Dragonborn will get less surges, but they still get their Con mod to every surge (and don't have to spend a feat for it). Stat mods are slightly worse in some ways but the Str boost is still there. The big draw would be the Draconic Arrogance feat from MP - basically Trample the Fallen but working off your Str mod.
Gnoob, you said you might write up an offensive/defensive build for Tank. A question then, how would you feel about a Dragonborn version of Tank? No second wind as a minor action, true, but they get their breath weapon as a minor action attack so that balances out. Dragonborn will get less surges, but they still get their Con mod to every surge (and don't have to spend a feat for it). Stat mods are slightly worse in some ways but the Str boost is still there. The big draw would be the Draconic Arrogance feat from MP - basically Trample the Fallen but working off your Str mod.

If I were to do a Dragonborn, it'd be a Barbarian / Iron Vanguard with Draconic Arrogance. Draconic Arrogance is great for an Iron Vanguard, but I feel that if I am trying to fill the defender role, I would pick a dwarf, because they have by far the best feats of any race.
Why Insightful Strike at Level 1? The rider seemed like one of the weaker ones, am I missing something?
Why Insightful Strike at Level 1? The rider seemed like one of the weaker ones, am I missing something?

Which would you suggest?
Which would you suggest?

Covering Attack, Distracting Spate, and Steel Serpent Strike all have solid riders. Not always useful, but often enough that I think they'd come out ahead of an extra 1-2 damage, on average.
I'd personally go for Covering Attack, but if you want another damage focused strike, I bet Distracting Spate will give you higher average damage over the course of a fight.
personally, I really like what dwarven defender has to offer for a PP. Because we're going for an all out defender, I'd be willing to sacrifice the extra DPR form Trample the Fallen in order to be able to reduce forced movement by 5. I find it super hard to be sticky if you get pushed away from everybody you mark.
I just remembered why I chose Quicksilver stance. You actually make an attack, which means you can mark two enemies each round.
@Gnoob:

So you stuck with the Iron Vanguard PP? I was hoping that you would, as I am following version 1 of the tank.

I looked at the Dreadnaught, but liked inexorable shift better.

Just wanted to say great job. Love it.
Great post. Forgive my ignorance, but why is Tide of Iron so good?
Great post. Forgive my ignorance, but why is Tide of Iron so good?

Pushing people is a great way to control things.
Great post. Forgive my ignorance, but why is Tide of Iron so good?

Control, but also it deals CON damage because of Trample the Fallen. Very solid.
Control, but also it deals CON damage because of Trample the Fallen. Very solid.

Forgot about the CON damage. Solid indeed. Inexorable Shift as a move action, CON bonus damage, then Tide of Iron, regular damage, plus CON bonus damage again. And on top of that, you might be close enough to a pit, or deep water, or whatever to make the enemy go into that. I love doing that kind of stuff.
Forgot about the CON damage. Solid indeed. Inexorable Shift as a move action, CON bonus damage, then Tide of Iron, regular damage, plus CON bonus damage again. And on top of that, you might be close enough to a pit, or deep water, or whatever to make the enemy go into that. I love doing that kind of stuff.

I really don't see how Inexorable shift is that good. It certainly doesn't strike me as remotely comparable to resist all 5, even if the later requires you to be bloodied first and is a daily.
I really don't see how Inexorable shift is that good. It certainly doesn't strike me as remotely comparable to resist all 5, even if the later requires you to be bloodied first and is a daily.

Inexorable shift is an encounter power. But yeah, admittedly it's not THAT great. Trample the Fallen is great. Enduring Warrior is great. Really, I just like all of the Iron Vanguard features besides their encounter power, which is basically Tide of Iron at the epic tier.

Also, I changed both the level 1 encounter and daily powers. I chose Steel Serpent Strike (which I dislike the name so I call it something else), and Knee Breaker. They can synergize nicely, if needed, to let me immobilize someone. Also, I am really happy with Unbreakable. I can see it's uses in mitigating the first attack I take then riding on my cushion of temporary hp the rest of the encounter, so that I barely ever take full damage.

Also, I'd just like to say that I am very impressed by Battlerager Vigor. My last encounter at level 2, I took only 15 damage (11 of which was recovered by my second wind). But in truth I probably got hit for at least 50 damage (6 over my total hp)
I really don't see how Inexorable shift is that good. It certainly doesn't strike me as remotely comparable to resist all 5, even if the later requires you to be bloodied first and is a daily.

For me, it's just a preference. I don't always take powers solely based on the idea that it will do the most damage, or give me the most temp hit points, or whatever. I like to push things around, so I go with that kind of stuff.

I am also trying to get ways to increase my initiative, so I can go early in the first round, so I can throw my throwing hammer in before charging in. More of a personal effect than anything else. It just looks cool to me.
For me, it's just a preference. I don't always take powers solely based on the idea that it will do the most damage, or give me the most temp hit points, or whatever. I like to push things around, so I go with that kind of stuff.

I am also trying to get ways to increase my initiative, so I can go early in the first round, so I can throw my throwing hammer in before charging in. More of a personal effect than anything else. It just looks cool to me.

I agree with that. When picking powers for Tank, I always heavily weigh the feel of the power. For example, Terrifying Impact and Earthquake Smash are strong dailies, but they also fit with Tank's feeling. And finally, a big part of being a defender is battlefield control. Tank accomplishes this with pushes.
Gnoob, first I just want to say that I absolutely love your Tank threads. I thought about creating a fighter based on the original tank and Tank 2.0 has convinced me. With that said, I'd like to offer a suggestion for the Level 5 Daily Power. After reading it, it seems like Pinning Strike would be incredible. It only does 1W + Str + Con, but it immobilizes the creature you hit until you are not adjacent to it. With Stand Your Ground and Tank's ridiculous defenses, this pretty much permanently glues one enemy to you until you decide to move, sans teleportation powers and the like. This frees up your attacks and thus marks for other enemies around you. It's more situational than Cometfall Charge and does less damage, but it seems like a very solid tactical choice.
I'm curious why you didn't include Devoted Challenge in the build. It's not exactly tank centric, but otherwise I'd think it would be a real plus for dwarf fighters. A Wis bonus to attack and damage whenever you use your combat challenge attack makes Dwarf Fighters the stickiest build out there. I'd personally prefer it over Daunting Challenge.
I'm curious why you didn't include Devoted Challenge in the build. It's not exactly tank centric, but otherwise I'd think it would be a real plus for dwarf fighters. A Wis bonus to attack and damage whenever you use your combat challenge attack makes Dwarf Fighters the stickiest build out there. I'd personally prefer it over Daunting Challenge.

It's a +2 to hit I suppose. I really like the synergy between Distracting Shield and Daunting Challenge for a -5 to hit. But, I will think about where I can fit it in.
This build looks great and I'm planning on using it for a new campaign. But the one thing that concern's me is the build's attack score. It really lags behind the typical fighter's to-hit bonus.

For example, the best case scenario a fighter gets bonuses that look something like this:

+4 strength bonus with a score of 18
+1 fighter weapon talent
+3 weapon proficiency (remember, this is the best case scenario)
Total +8

But this tank build loses a +1 with a 16 strength, doesn't get the fighter weapon talent, and uses a +2 weapon proficiency weapon. Tank's to-hit bonus is only +5.

So, I'm wondering if in your experience this is has been a problem for you. Or if anyone else playing this build has been frustrated by its hit rate. Now, I understand the pain is minimized a bit because of Hammer Rhythm. But still, it would be nice for powers to hit when you need them to (also that feat is over 10 levels away).

A followup question, does anyone have ideas to make some minor tradeoffs to improve the attack bonus (something like Gnoob's alternate ability score array he calls The Browny Tank)?
This build looks great and I'm planning on using it for a new campaign. But the one thing that concern's me is the build's attack score. It really lags behind the typical fighter's to-hit bonus.

For example, the best case scenario a fighter gets bonuses that look something like this:

+4 strength bonus with a score of 18
+1 fighter weapon talent
+3 weapon proficiency (remember, this is the best case scenario)
Total +8

But this tank build loses a +1 with a 16 strength, doesn't get the fighter weapon talent, and uses a +2 weapon proficiency weapon. Tank's to-hit bonus is only +5.

So, I'm wondering if in your experience this is has been a problem for you. Or if anyone else playing this build has been frustrated by its hit rate. Now, I understand the pain is minimized a bit because of Hammer Rhythm. But still, it would be nice for powers to hit when you need them to (also that feat is over 10 levels away).

A followup question, does anyone have ideas to make some minor tradeoffs to improve the attack bonus (something like Gnoob's alternate ability score array he calls The Browny Tank)?

I don't know if I'd worry too much about damage at low levels here. Assuming your typical opponent at 1st level is AC 15, Tank will hit him on a 10+, averaging 10.5 damage on a hit (5.5 hammer+2 battlerager+3 STR), and will do 15 damage on a critical, for an average DPR of 6.

A Weapon Talent Fighter using a longsword who has taken a defensive feat (as Tank did) and started with an 18 STR will hit on a 7+, doing 8.5 damage on a hit and 12 damage on a critical, for an average DPR of 6.13.

Tank is maybe a bit overfocussed on not dying; personally, I would take Dwarven Weapon Training a bit earlier and not switch over from Chain to Plate until paragon.

The Martial Power choices for fighters are incomparably better than the Player's Handbook ones. Weapon Talent isn't bad, but Battleragers and Tempests are far, far, better.
Yeah, his attack is low. However, that's why I push for magic weapons as early as you can afford them. All in all though, I don't find it to be much of an issue. And as you can see, the Brawny tank is an option for those who are worried about it. Personally, I'd rather have 6 temporary hp from being hit at level 2 instead of 4 much more than a +8 to hit instead of a +7 to hit.
I think DSCrankshaw's post actually goes hand in hand with jeevz's post. I'd take Devoted Challenge to make up for the lower to-hit on Combat Challenge attacks. Honestly I'm less concerned about hitting my Standard Action attacks and more concerned about hitting my Opportunity Attacks and Combat Challenge attacks. Devoted Challenge will make up for this, making us more sticky.
Why not take grit? wouldn't you gain double con mod on your second winds, and in combination with belt of blood you'd end up gaining 4x con mod + 2 surges while bloodied.
Why don't you use Brash Strike? I thought of using Brash Strike and Crushing Surge and retrain Brash Strike at Lvl 16 to Tide of Iron. At lower levels you get 2 benefits:
1. You get +2 to attack
2. You get your Con-modifier on damage

I didn't do any damage calculations, but I think you would be a much higher threat at lower levels. That way, you will be attacked more often, which is fine for you as you are supposed to take the hits.
Why not take grit? wouldn't you gain double con mod on your second winds, and in combination with belt of blood you'd end up gaining 4x con mod + 2 surges while bloodied.

Grit wouldn't stack with Battlerager vigor's temporary hp. I already would have 1.5xCON anytime I used a second wind, and Grit can only give me 1xCON. So there is almost never going to be a benefit from it.
1. You get +2 to attack
2. You get your Con-modifier on damage

3. You grant combat advantage.
Sure you do. But if the enemy attacks you, it doesn't attack a squishy member of your group. And you can take the hits.
I'm currently working on my own defender build of a Dragonborn tank based on Battle Rager/Iron Vanguard/Draconic Arrogance/Demigod. The basic principle behind it is using con to gain regeneration in multiple scenarios. Temp hit points gained from abilities increase as well as temp hit points from con while bloodied.

And if you happened to change your plate armor type to the new master types in Adventurers Vault you can gain 5 resist all by changing your +6 enhancement bonus plate to that subtype while retaining your magical properties. There would be no need to go dreadnought or choose another tier for damage resist when you have the static ability.

But a good example of how the battlerager/IV/DA build is good is in the application of even one of the abilities at level 13. Crumpling Slam on Page 14 of martial power allows a dragonborn on succesful hit to deal:

2(W)+enhancement+3Str+3Con due to the double activation of DA and IV's Trample the Fallen. Not to mention the ability in and of itself is invigorating is beautiful.

For further clarification the ability triggering for those feats can be double activated as it's listed in the feat as a damage modifier that goes off with both activating effects, ie: push/prone. Since the ability and many others utilize both you can gain str&con to every attack you perform that has either. At level 16 you'll be looking at 11-12 extra damage from modifers for every effect. And I agree with you wholeheartedly on IV and it's inexorable shift. Maybe follow that with tide of iron and a shield slam free action for three push effects and one prone equaling:

Str+Con(Shift) +1(W)+2Str+Con(Tide of Iron) +2Str+2Con(shield slam) That means even using your encounter move and your at will with another encounter free action you gain a total damage of:

1(W)+5Str+4 Con. At level 16 you'd be looking at on average 1d10+46. Thats 47-56 damage in one turn as a defender and your enemy is prone and marked on you.

As for enemy lockdown, pinning smash/ring of personal gravity and a feyslaughter weapon(Found in AV) allows you to negate movement as long as you remain adjacent and continue to hit with melee attacks on said teleporting monster. I'd like your imput on some of the ideas if you wouldn't mind messaging me. I've had a lot of time to think this build out and any help would be appreciated.
Skaarn, I think a dragonborn would make a perfectly adequate Fighter/Iron Vanguard (especially with draconic arrogance). To me, it's the racial feats that seperate the feel of the two builds. A dwarf gets incredibly powerful defensive feats, such as Dwarf Stoneblood and Stoneheart Warrior. In comparison, dragonborns get one amazing feat for the build and that's Draconic Arrogance. If I chose to make a dragonborn, I would try to focus solely on an offensive build. And in that case, I think a Barbarian / Iron Vanguard with a healthy supply of push and prone moves would serve really well.
I do enjoy the push effects but the reason I thought of going battlerager was the temp hit point increase gained from bloodied invigoration. If I can apply that with the regeneration effects from say boundless endurance at level 16 I could see. Resist 1-2 all, regain 5+con hit under bloodied, temp hp con+2 for invigorating while bloodied, temp hp on enemy attack melee/close burst&blast.

I know that dwarfs are inherently better for defense with their racial feats. Which are beautiful btw. But it wouldn't be far off to make a dragonborn with similar if not completely min maxed abilities plus you keep a fair modicum of damage. Resists and survivability with damage just feels right to me.

Love your tank build just to let you know.
Sure you do. But if the enemy attacks you, it doesn't attack a squishy member of your group. And you can take the hits.

The other reason for Tide of Iron before levle 16 is that it is still a very effective means of control. Although I must concede that Brash Strike would make for a worthy substitution before 16 if you are more concerned with higher damage.
If I were to do a Warforged what would you replace the dwarven feats with? I know warforged tactics would be one but I am trying to find some others. I understand it is not as optimal but bleh.
If I were to do a Warforged what would you replace the dwarven feats with? I know warforged tactics would be one but I am trying to find some others. I understand it is not as optimal but bleh.

I never looked at the warforged articles, so I really don't of any warforged feats. But warforged are a good choice, because of whatever gives them an additional 2d6 temp hp.
why armor specialization over shield specialization?
Shield specialization requires an (unreachable) 15 DEX.