Shielding Swordmage - from the "statted out archetype" series

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The archetypical shielding swordmage was a tricky one. When I rediscovered the jagged weapon and found weapon mastery for free, this build fell into place.

He's very good at defending others. Aegis/Double Aegis/Total Aegis makes him the most flexible marker in the game. The damage softening of his Aegis of Shielding is quite significant, and he can target who he wants to defend the most without having to stay close to them. So either the strikers/controllers of the party get to lead a charmed life, or the swordmage draws a lot of fire. And he's extremely good at handling that fire. His toughness comes from top tier defences across the board, defender HP, and lots of powers, feats and path features aimed at protection. He's extremely sticky as well. Booming Blade early on acts as a good deterrent, but later Frigid Blade is an at-will immobiliser.

Damage is solid without being striker level, and his wide variety of choices of elemental damage make him able to target weaknesses. He can use lasting frost/wintertouched on most of his powers without taking a cold weapon (which I never liked). Solid sound activates on most of the rest, enabling him to switch between extra aggressive or defensive from turn to turn.

Mobility is excellent for a defender. Actually, mobility is excellent for anyone. His defences are top-notch, and he has plenty of teleportation powers for himself and his opponents.

Controversial choices: I didn't go for the dex to get arcane reach, although that would have been nice. He should be able to teleport or just walk wherever he needs to be, however. This also ruled out HBO. The advantage was extra Con and Wis, which besides the aegis of shielding effects, is also worth +1 fort, +1 will, 2 HP, 1 healing surge and +1 endurance/perception.

Latest Updates: Githyanki build updated for arcane power. He's dumped the bastard sword and is now defaulting to sword burst over frozen blade. He'll put out decent damage now.


Shielding Swordmage Coronal Guard
Swordmage / Coronal Guard / Demigod

Swordmage, L1

Race: Githyanki
Class: Swordmage
Aegis: Shielding

Ability Scores, with racial adjustments:
Str 12 (+1)
Con 18 (+4)
Dex 12 (+1)
Int 18 (+4)
Wis 10 (+0)
Cha 8 (-1)

HP: 33; Bloodied: 16; Surges: 12 (8 HP)
AC/Fort/Ref/Will: 19/14/14/13
Initiative: +3; Speed: 6

Booming Blade: +7 vs. AC, 1d8+5 (1d6+4 if they move) [+4 damage if attacked]

At-will Powers: Booming Blade, Sword Burst, Aegis of Shielding

Encounter Powers: Telekinetic Leap, Foesnare
Daily Powers: Frost Backlash

Skills: Arcana (+9), Athletics (+6), Endurance (+9), History (+11)
Feats: White Lotus Riposte

Gear: longsword, leather armor, standard adventurer's kit


Levels 2-10

L2. +6 HP, +1 to all level-dependent abilities, new feat: Focussed Expertise (heavy blades), new utility power: Mythal Recovery

L3. +6 HP, new encounter power: Dimensional Vortex

L4. +6 HP, +1 to all level-dependent abilities, +1 Int (19), +1 Con (19), new feat: Intelligent Blademaster

L5. +6 HP, new daily power: Swordmage Shielding Fire

L6. +11 HP, +1 to all level-dependent abilities, new feat: Toughness, new utility power: Swordmage's Decree

L7. +6 HP, new encounter power: Incendiary Sword

L8. +6 HP, +1 to all level-dependent abilities, +1 Int (20), +1 Con (20), new feat: Weapon Focus (heavy blades)

L9. +6 HP, new daily power: Lightning Strider

L10. +6 HP, +1 to all level-dependent abilities, new feat: Improved Initiative, new utility power: Impenetrable Warding


Swordmage, L11

Race: Githyanki
Class: Swordmage
Aegis: Shielding
Paragon Path: Coronal Guard

Ability Scores, with racial adjustments:
Str 13 (+1)
Con 21 (+5)
Dex 13 (+1)
Int 21 (+5)
Wis 11 (+0)
Cha 9 (-1)

HP: 106; Bloodied: 53; Surges: 13 (26 HP)
AC/Fort/Ref/Will: 30/24/24/21
Initiative: +8; Speed: 6

Booming Blade: +17 vs. AC, 1d8+13 (+1d6+12 if they move) [5 damage to attacker if attacked]

At-will Powers: Booming Blade, Sword Burst, Aegis of Shielding

Encounter Powers: Telekinetic Leap, Countering Thunderclap, Foesnare, Incendiary Sword, Dimensional Vortex
Daily Powers: Frost Backlash, Swordmage Shielding Fire, Lightning Strider
Utility Powers: Mythal Recovery, Swordmage's Decree, Impenetrable Warding

Skills: Arcana (+15), Athletics (+11), Endurance (+15), History (+17)
Feats: White Lotus Riposte, Toughness, Intelligent Blademaster, Weapon Focus (heavy blades), Focussed Expertise (heavy blades), Improved Swordmage Warding, Greater Swordmage Warding

Gear:
+3 jagged longsword
+3 shadowflow drowmesh armor
+1 javelin
+2 cloak of resistance
Belt of vim +1
Boots of the fencing master
Casque of tactics +1
Iron armbands of power +2
Standard adventurer's kit


Levels 12-20

L12. +6 HP, +1 to all level-dependent abilities, new feat: Double Aegis, new utility power: Dragon Scales

L13. +6 HP, new encounter power: Seed of Fire (replaces Foesnare)

L14. +6 HP, +1 to all level-dependent abilities, +1 Int (22), +1 Con (22), new feat: White Lotus Master Riposte, Frigid Blade replaces Booming Blade

L15. +6 HP, new daily power: Free The Storm Within (replaces Frost Backlash)

L16. +6 HP, +1 to all level-dependent abilities, new feat: Resounding Thunder, new utility power: Bolstering Warding, replace Intelligent Blademaster with Arcane Admixture (thunder, sword burst)

L17. +6 HP, new encounter power: Ice Cage (replaces Incendiary Sword)

L18. +6 HP, +1 to all level-dependent abilities, +1 Int (23), +1 Con (23), new feat: Echoes of Thunder

L19. +6 HP, new daily power: Death's Resurgence (replaces Free The Storm Within)

L20. +16 HP, +1 to all level-dependent abilities, new feat: Intelligent Blademaster, new daily power: Avaunt Foe


Swordmage, L21

Race: Githyanki
Class: Swordmage
Aegis: Shielding
Paragon Path: Coronal Guard
Epic Destiny: Demigod

Ability Scores, with racial adjustments:
Str 14 (+2)
Con 26 (+8)
Dex 14 (+2)
Int 26 (+8)
Wis 12 (+1)
Cha 10 (+0)

HP: 186; Bloodied: 93; Surges: 16 (46 HP)
AC/Fort/Ref/Will: 43/36/35/32
Initiative: +16; Speed: 7

Sword Burst (close burst 2): +25 vs. Ref, 2d6+20 [+3 for every previous strike by thunder in the last round, 8 force&thunder damage & Immediate Reaction to repeat if attacked]

At-will Powers: Frigid Blade, Sword Burst, Aegis of Shielding

Encounter Powers: Telekinetic Leap, Countering Thunderclap, Seed of Fire, Ice Cage, Dimensional Vortex
Daily Powers: Avaunt Foe, Death's Resurgence, Swordmage Shielding Fire, Lightning Strider
Utility Powers: Mythal Recovery, Armathor's Step, Impenetrable Warding, Dragon Scales, Bolstering Warding

Skills: Arcana (+23), Athletics (+17), Endurance (+23), History (+25)
Feats: Toughness, Weapon Focus (heavy blades), Intelligent Blademaster, White Lotus Riposte, White Lotus Master Riposte, Focussed Expertise (heavy blades), Improved Swordmage Warding, Greater Swordmage Warding, Arcane Admixture (Sword Burst, thunder), Echoes of Thunder, Resounding Thunder, Total Aegis, Epic Resurgence

Gear:
+5 jagged longsword
+5 shadowflow anathema armor
+4 brooch of vitality
Boots of Striding
Belt of vim +2
Circlet of indomitability +2
Iron armbands of power +4
Premonition ring
Standard adventurer's kit
Salve of Power


Levels 22-29

L22. +6 HP, +1 to all level-dependent abilities, new feat: Solid Sound, new utility power: Giant's Might

L23. +6 HP, new encounter power: Thunder Riposte (replaces Ice Cage)

L24. +6 HP, +1 to all level-dependent abilities, +1 Int (27), +1 Con (27), new feat: Quickened Spellcasting

L25. +6 HP daily replace, new daily power: Waves of Langour (replaces Death's Resurgence)

L26. +6 HP, +1 to all level-dependent abilities, new feat: Epic Reflexes, new utility power: Divine Regeneration

L27. +6 HP, new encounter power: Circle of Devastation (replaces Seed of Fire

L28. +6 HP, +1 to all level-dependent abilities, +1 Int (28), +1 Con (28), new feat: Epic Fortitude

L29. +6 HP, new daily power: Astral Thunder Blade (replaces Lightning Strider)


Swordmage, L30

Race: Githyanki
Class: Swordmage
Aegis: Shielding
Paragon Path: Coronal Guard
Epic Destiny: Demigod

Ability Scores, with racial adjustments:
Str 14 (+2)
Con 28 (+9)
Dex 14 (+1)
Int 28 (+9)
Wis 12 (+1)
Cha 10 (+0)

HP: 252; Bloodied: 126; Surges: 17 (63 HP)
AC/Fort/Ref/Will: 51/49/46/43
Initiative: +27; Speed: 6 (fly)

Sword Burst (close burst 2, minor 1/encounter): +33 vs. Ref, 2d6+18 [+3 for every previous strike by thunder in the last round, 9 force&thunder damage & Immediate Reaction to repeat if attacked]

At-will Powers: Frigid Blade, Sword Burst
Encounter Powers: Telekinetic Leap, Countering Thunderclap, Circle of Devastation, Thunder Riposte, Dimensional Vortex
Daily Powers: Avaunt Foe, Waves of Langour, Swordmage Shielding Fire, Astral Thunder Blade
Utility Powers: Mythal Recovery, Armathor's Step, Impenetrable Warding, Dragon Scales, Bolstering Warding, Giant's Might, Divine Regeneration

Skills: Arcana (+29), Athletics (+22), Endurance (+29), History (+31)
Feats: Toughness, Intelligent Blademaster, Focussed Expertise (heavy blades), Weapon Focus (heavy blades), White Lotus Riposte, White Lotus Master Riposte, Improved Swordmage Warding, Greater Swordmage Warding, Arcane Admixture (Sword Burst, thunder), Echoes of Thunder, Resounding Thunder, Total Aegis, Solid Sound, Epic Fortitude, Epic Reflexes, Quickened Spellcasting (SB), Epic Will, Triumphant Attack

Gear:
+6 jagged longsword
+6 shadowflow starleather armor
+6 javelin
+6 brooch of vitality
Zephyr Boots
Belt of vim +3
Eye of awareness
Iron armbands of power +6
Nullifying ring
Shadow band
Standard adventurer's kit
Salve of Power



As always, questions, comments, criticism and cash rewards are welcome.
Any advice on equipment?
I'd get Intelligent Blademaster before Weapon Proficiency (Bastard Sword). I'd say hitting with all attacks at level 1 is better than doing more damage with some attacks.

At Lv. 3, get Transposing Lunge, and at Lv. 7, get Incendiary Sword (or the other way around). Those two moves are the cream of the crop for heroic tier Swordmages. And don't replace Transposing Lunge, as the ability for a Shielding Swordmage to remove an ally from danger altogether is just awesome for any defender to have.

A list of CharOp Handbooks I'm currently updating:

Heart of the Dragon: A Dragonborn's Handbook

Infernal Wrath: A Tiefling's Handbook

You can't take Martial Resolve, since unfortunately the Swordmage is arcane class, not a martial one. Other that that it looks nice. Not sure how useful is the frigid blade in epic though - since then most notable threats already have teleportation.
You might also consider retraining Armathor's Step to Silversteel Veil @ lvl 30. Besides marking you have very little use for you minor actions and once you get your divine miracle going - Silversteel gives you almost constant +2 AC/Reflex to you and everyone near you that is not a power bonus so it stacks with everything, but itself and activates solid sound as well to boot.
@LVentnor, regarding the first two feats: My group sees very few OAs in general, but that's a simple change to make either way.

@LVentnor, regarding encounter powers: That advice means you think incendiary cloud > sleet strike, which I probably buy. It also means that I have to lose one of ice cage or seed of fire for thunder riposte, which is a far more painful choice. I think I'll keep the multitarget powers by preference, but this reduces my number of cold powers. The more I look at it, the level 27 encounter powers are not worth taking - no good debuffs.

@MoShadows, regarding martial resolve: Good point. I kinda assumed I'd revise to pick up a multiclass at some point, so maybe martial resolve will come back.

@MoShadows, regarding Armathor's Step: +2 to hit is a pretty good bonus, but +2 AC/Reflex is good too. I'd leave this to see how things were working around level 28 before choosing. The retrain would have to happen then, as I retrain something on both levels 29 and 30.
I'd pick up Warlord, and swap your 6 utility for Rousing Words.


Cheers
Updated for latest errata, which means veteran's gets replaced by displacer armour. This guy is hard to hit.

Jagged is still fabulous - I always assumed it would get (save ends)
I just want to agree with your general assessment of this build. It is fantastic. I play a warlock in a party with two swordmages (one of each build; along with an archer ranger and a healing cleric), and I LOVE the shielding swordmage. The other has some cool tricks, but the shielding swordmage is overall far better in terms of DEFENDING the other characters--we're level 9 right now, and a -8 to damage pretty much neuters attacks against me (not that they do no damage, but that they do little enough that they don't concern me). It opens up a lot more tactical options, and leaves me free to deal more damage without worrying about the enemies---so in essence, the shielding swordmage is a defender who successfully defends, and facilitates the ability of the strikers to strike. It's excellent.
Looking at your build up to level 21, I'd recommend keeping Shielding Fire as opposed to Lightning Stride. By that point you have plenty of multiattack powers, but nothing as powerful as Shielding Fire for keeping a tough solo monster focused on attacking your incredibly high AC. In my experience, a solo will accept doing reduced damage in order not to have to deal with your AC (which will likely be much higher than your party members') because they hit hard already and often have multiattack powers that reduce your ability to affect their DPR. Shielding Fire tosses a significant amount of auto damage on top of your normal mark that will give a solo pause before triggering it willy-nilly.
@Nelyo: Thanks for the comment.

Yes, it's obvious that Shielding Fire is better against a solo. I'm torn about losing a triple attack power with arbitrary teleporting, however. That's just amazing. Revisiting those decisions, I'm actually considering dropping Bane Blade. It more or less equates to 7 extra damage (12 on crit) on attacks for the encounter, which if I'm guessing right might turn out to be something like 50-60 damage over an epic encounter. The extra two attacks from Lightning Strider is worth very close to that in damage, and it happens quicker.

One thing I've noted about swordmage powers is that the higher level ones really lose steam. There are lots of levels where the replacement power just doesn't seem worth replacing the earlier powers. Here's hoping Arcane Power helps this out a little. Oh well... Maybe this means that the low level powers are just really solid?
Other than the utility powers, most SM powers from 16+ are seriously weak. The class almost demands that you take power swap feats and Eternal Seeker.
A single good choice per level from Arcane Power would obviate that need. And I'm hoping for more than that.
Personally I would keep Booming Blade and pick up Solid Sound. Stick with Thunder and Force abilities, and enjoy the +2 variable AC nearly every round.
The build already picks up Solid Sound. I moved it later in paragon recently, but it could come earlier. Dropping Booming Blade for Frigid Blade makes moving impossible rather than merely painful, plus it gets wintertouched/lasting frost. In times of trouble, or multiple foes, I'll be using Sword Burst anyway, which qualifies for the NAD increase.

I tried to make the vast majority of my powers trigger either LF/Wintertouched, or Solid Sound. Solid sound is quite situational - you need to know which defence you need - but when it does come up it looks very handy indeed. Against a single target, I'd start with something frosty, and then switch up the appropriate defense as required.
Honestly, I'd keep Shielding Fire if I were you. Its one of the best things a Shielding Swordmage can ever pick up in power terms. It does a great amount of damage, for a Swordmage at least, while preventing that damage. Hell, use it with another power that you can use in conjunction with AoS and watch the enemy just start completely rethinking what its going to do.
I know the NAD is situational, of course boosting your AC is almost always a good idea. Sounds like you have what you need for your concept though. Have fun playing.
Honestly, I'd keep Shielding Fire if I were you.

I'd already taken that advice, actually, but somehow forgot to update the level 30 snapshot. Should be fixed now.
I might be missing something, but how come you have 23 INT and CON at level 18, and suddenly 26 at 21?
Level bump at 21, and demigod at 21.
Right, I didn't notice the Demigod bonus, sorry!
No worries. Scrutiny catches bugs.
well personally i would not let you use the jagged bastard sword with reckless gauntlets unless you were dual wielding and hence loosing the +2 from shielding.
if you try to use both of them in 1 hand you would be violating the 1 magic item per slot rule.
Very nice build, 99% match to one I just started playing.

I feel Dimensional Warp might be more useful than Mythal Recovery though. Allowing 2 friendly targets in a close burst 3 to swap places is a very strong power.
Very nice build, 99% match to one I just started playing.

I feel Dimensional Warp might be more useful than Mythal Recovery though. Allowing 2 friendly targets in a close burst 3 to swap places is a very strong power.

I like Mythal Recovery too, but Dimensional Warp is a minor action teleport. It's pretty nice.
well personally i would not let you use the jagged bastard sword with reckless gauntlets unless you were dual wielding and hence loosing the +2 from shielding.
if you try to use both of them in 1 hand you would be violating the 1 magic item per slot rule.

Then in your campaign I'd dump the gauntlets. I do think it's RAW legal, though, so I'll leave it for the archetype writeup here. A weapon in a hand and the hand slot are different magic item slots. Spiked gauntlets kinda blur the boundary between gauntlets and a weapon, but your interpretation means that they'd count as taking both slots, which seems a bit intense.

In our campaigns, gear is the thing least in our control, so I try not to have builds that reply on certain pieces of equipment. This is the first character I built with lasting frost, for example, because I don't like the idea of having feats that rely on specific equipment. The 'jagged' weapon is a really good idea for this build, I think, but there are certainly other good choices for every slot.
Very nice build, 99% match to one I just started playing.

I feel Dimensional Warp might be more useful than Mythal Recovery though. Allowing 2 friendly targets in a close burst 3 to swap places is a very strong power.

Free saving throws are very handy too. This call probably depends a lot on party composition. Some parties will benefit more from Dimensional Warp than others, and some parties already have another good source of spare saving throws.
Free saving throws are very handy too. This call probably depends a lot on party composition. Some parties will benefit more from Dimensional Warp than others, and some parties already have another good source of spare saving throws.

True, but at lower levels Dimensional Warp is bound to be much better, since there aren't many "debuffers" around.
I don't know - I can think of several low level parties I've been in where extra movement options were really unnecessary as well. It's the kind of decision you can revisit level to level anyway, so I don't see it as a big deal.
I had thought the idea behind and "archetype" was to do a more generalized build.

Anyway, since Shielding Swordmages are just plain easier to plan and use than Assault ones (so far, at least), I built two variants, but they were different from "standard".

One was a Stormsoul/Firesoul Genasi who dual-wielded Craghammer and Parrying Dagger (the character was very Norse-inspired and I would have wanted to drop the Dagger but that's not an option yet) and went to Coronal Guard. The other was a Tiefling with Spiked Shield who went to Warfiend.
I had thought the idea behind and "archetype" was to do a more generalized build.

That's right. A good base from which to plan variants. A build that takes the "obvious" choices, but tries for solid, optimal choices where possible. If I'm truly convinced that there's a better option for something in this build (which I have been many times), then I change it in. I'll also try to keep my little family updated, so that they stay useful.

One was a Stormsoul/Firesoul Genasi who dual-wielded Craghammer and Parrying Dagger (the character was very Norse-inspired and I would have wanted to drop the Dagger but that's not an option yet) and went to Coronal Guard. The other was a Tiefling with Spiked Shield who went to Warfiend.

For a swordmage, a parrying dagger gives a smaller AC boost than not holding a parrying dagger, so I would have thought it would be a decent option from the start. Is there an RP reason for the dagger?

That tiefling sounds like it might have decent damage. This build is a bit short on that particular stat.
For a swordmage, a parrying dagger gives a smaller AC boost than not holding a parrying dagger, so I would have thought it would be a decent option from the start. Is there an RP reason for the dagger?

That tiefling sounds like it might have decent damage. This build is a bit short on that particular stat.

RAW, the only things that can be used as implements for swordmage powers are heavy blades and light blades. Also, swordmage warding only works when wielding a light or heavy blade. However, light and heavy blades tend to be designed with Dex in mind, which is otherwise useful on a swordmage only if you're going for Arcane Reach. Shielding Swordmages especially are Int + Con and then whatever minimum of Str or Dex you need for whatever you want to get. So one of the few ways to design an effective weapon-wielding swordmage is to dual-wield with a hammer. The only way to get the 2 AC back is to use a parrying dagger + TWD.

Tiefling Warfiend especially at epic struck me as something that could make a fire-based swordmage worthwhile. Unfortunately, WotC seems to have schizophrenia on what adds what keyword to what...RAW a flaming spiked shield should add the [fire] keyword to whatever attack you want it to (and thus qualify for +1 to hit for Hellfire Blood)...but they've decreed such tactics only work on attacks using the [w] keyword. Anyway, since you're stuck with either a light or heavy blade, the spiked shield is a way to add an extra +1 to your AC...and so you become equivalent to the Coronal guard in AC if nothing else defensive. You can use a flaming weapon for all your [w] attacks and cherry-pick your implement attacks, but it still seems like something that will only get worthwhile when more sourcebooks are printed...or there's ever a concrete rule about weapons/implements adding keywords...
Of course! I forgot about the blade dependence of the class. I doubt the craghammer is so much better than a bastard sword in terms of damage (-1 to hit for brutal 2 sounds like a big loss). Even hammer rhythm will only go so far. I'd try to find out a deal with your DM that let you reflavour the class for another weapon type. If he/she refused, I'd give serious thought to dropping the hammer idea. If they're worried about hammer rhythm, maybe you could come to some arrangement on that - just not using it could bring out ahead, especially given the number of feats required to maintain the parrying dagger. Is hammer rhythm worth three other feats?
My thoughts on doing a Fire Swordmage was to do a Firesoul Genasi Assault Swordmage with 18 STR, 12 CON, 10 DEX, 18 INT, 12 WIS, 8 CHA and go for the Wildfire PP. You can get loads of bursts and blasts and many fire stuff, which is cool. A shame Assault seem so crap at the moment
A shame Assault seem so crap at the moment

Well, Assault isn't crap. It's simply not superior. This is due both to the nature of the Aegis(immediate reaction instead of interrupt, which is replaced by powers instead of supplemented by powers like the shielding sm) and to the fact that Assault really isn't supported well by their powers. The powers that work with shielding are simply better than the ones that work with Assault. If they were serious about making the Assault swordmage viable, they'd give them some powers that are a serious damage boost, to bring them more in line with fighters in damage.

That said, a good assault swordmage isn't going to be a disastrous character...optimized they do just as well as most other builds.
This build needs an update:

-1-
Jagged weapon was errata'd to save ends - finally. It's still good: The barbarian in our group rolls at least one crit in every fight and deals tons of damage with it, but it's no longer the "OMG broken". Jagged is no longer the default choice, it might be a good idea to check for alternatives.

-2-
Githyanki are in the MM, and not every DM allows them (happened to me with my Swordmage). Please stat out an alternative build with a PHB standard race (Eladrin comes to mind)

-3-
Your feat picks for Epic are all wrong. First, you pick Lightning Reflexes twice, at 18 and 26. Then, you have Blind Fight and Triumphant Attack at level 30, but you don't write when you pick them.

And then of course there is still the issue of the Martial feats, which you take without multiclassing. Please either pick up a Martial multiclass feat or remove Martial Resolve and Martial Mastery. As it stands, the build is not legal!

Multiclassing: Martial Resolve is very handy, but I doubt the usefulness of Martial Mastery: Since you can only regain martial powers, you actually need to swap in martial powers to make it useful. If you really want to go that route, rebuild with Eternal Seeker. Also, the feat is made useless at 30th level because you can't run out of encounter powers at that point!

Single class: Tough one. There is a shortage of good feats to take in Epic, mainly because your stats don't match typical Str/Dex (fighter) sword builds, and most arcane feats are wizard only. You already have Blind-Fight and Triumphant Attack.

One solution is to raid Heroic or Paragon feats for good stuff you missed.

Blood thirst adds a bit of damage. Stacks with Weapon Focus, but is pretty weak at Epic.
Danger Sense is always handy.
Fleet-Footed helps to keep up with fast or even teleporting enemies.
Heavy Blade Opportunity would be great, but needs a different build (and ideally Genasi or Eladrin)
Inescapable Force is situational, but can come in handy as you have quite a number of force powers.
Lightning Arc is interesting if you go for Lightning Lure as at-will.
Uncanny Dodge helps against nasty flankers when you are in the thick of things.

Blade Opportunist makes you almost as sticky as a fighter. Overkill at heroic, but great if you have a feat slot to spare. As an Eladrin it would be easy to qualify.
Durable: Never wrong for a defender! You don't have much self-healing, but you're still expected to soak a good portion of the enemy damage.
Improved Initiative: This or danger sense is definitely a good idea
Jack of All Trades: I almost lost a Swordmage to failed Endurance (dehydration in desert), Perception (spiked pits) and Athletics (climbing cliffs) checks. Don't let this happen to you.
Ritual Caster: An excellent choice if your party does not have a wizard. And you can make your own swords and armor.
For this kind of iconic, archetypal, off-the-shelf build, should you really include something as dubious (rules-wise) as Spiked Gauntlets?

Spiked Gauntlets are weapons (that also take up the Hand slot). There's very little indication that you can actually wield (or even hold, or qualify that hand as unused, for Swordmage purposes) something else when wearing Spiked Gauntlets.

Some GMs may allow it, but it's definitely high-cheese and border-line.
well i would say my version is not a standard achtype shielding sword mage and i haven't thought all of the build trough yet but i am headed for wandering sword mage and probably demigod (hoping for something nice and stylish from phb2/arcana)

As you will notice i have picked spells over weapon powers as i only have a +2 profidency weapon. most likely enchantment on the kopesh would be berserkers maby.

especially the epic tier feat options are totally open. arcane reach would be fun but would be tough on the stats. i know i am totally un optimized as i have bad attack stat etc.
Paragon feats are totally debatable too but you get the general idea. might even be worth it to do armor feats to plate instead of hide (in epic) as the guy will be marking all enemies in a close burst 9 or 10 depending on epic path. sure the damage reduction is a bit less that a full con boosted one but the difference is not all that huge.
my version

harbeck the Spellblade (Kopesh)
Dwarf Swordmage
Str 13
Con 16
Dex 10
Int 16
Wis 16
Cha 8
Skills: Arcana, Athletics, History, Insight
L1
Swordbond
Swordmage Warding
Aegis of Shielding

Lightning Lure
Sword Burst
Flame Cyclone
Dimensional Thunder
Toughness
L2
Mythal Recovery
Dwarven Weapon Training
Toughness -> Inteligent Blademaster

L3
Transposing Lunge
L4
+1 Int, +1 Wis
Armor Profidency: Hide
L5
Shielding Fire
L6
Armathor's Step
Toughness
L7
Incendiary Sword
L8
+1 Int, +1 Wis
Retributive Shield
L9
Glamour Blade
L10
Impenetrable Warding
Feat1(something)
L11 Wandering Swordmage Paragon Path
+1 to All Stats
Aegis Insight
People's History
Teleportation Action

Four Corners Attack
Dwarven Durability
Feat1 -> Double Aegis

L12
Arcane Tanglestep
Armor Specialisation: Hide
L13
Flame Cyclone -> Seed of Fire
L14
+1 Int, +1 Wis
Battle Awareness
L15
Dimensional Thunder -> Free the Stom Within
L16
Learn from Experience
Grit ?
L17
Incendiary Sword -> Ice Cage
L18
+1 Int, +1 Wis
Fleet Footed
L19
Glamour Blade -> Bane Blade
L20
Heritage of Blades
Feat1
L21 Demigod??
+1 to All Stats
Epic Recovery
Double Aegis -> Total Aegis

L22
Eyes of the Mage
Blind Fight
Feat1 -> Stoneheart Warrior

L23
Seed of Fire -> Thunder Riposte
L24
+1 Int, +1 Wis
?
L25
Free the stom Within -> Quicksilver Blade
L26
?
L27
Ice Cage -> Circle of Devastation
L28
+1 Int, +1 Wis
?
L29
Bane Blade -> Vorpal Doom
L30
Great Power
?
Personally I'd think of pushing intelligence to the limit for the advantage in to-hit, damage, and AC, but this seems like a reasonably alternative.

I wish there was a better race than Githyanki for int-con bonuses, though. It lacks feats, and the pictures look like a thirty-year-old kermit the frog fresh out of drug rehab. I'm planning on making my swordmage a Genasi to spare myself the agony (and pick up stormsoul for more damage with all the lightning/thunder powers in the class).
This build needs an update:

Thanks for the feedback.

Jagged weapon was errata'd to save ends - finally. It's still good: The barbarian in our group rolls at least one crit in every fight and deals tons of damage with it, but it's no longer the "OMG broken". Jagged is no longer the default choice, it might be a good idea to check for alternatives.

Always assumed it would be - jagged is still my favourite choice, since weapon mastery will always be unavailable. I'm quite happy to hear other suggestions however.

Githyanki are in the MM, and not every DM allows them (happened to me with my Swordmage). Please stat out an alternative build with a PHB standard race (Eladrin comes to mind)

Fair enough, I'll add a variant. The name 'Gish' does come from Githyanki after all, so I'm unrepentant at calling this an archetype. But an eladrin variant will be popular and useful, so I'll put together a list of changes for an eladrin build.

Your feat picks for Epic are all wrong. First, you pick Lightning Reflexes twice, at 18 and 26. Then, you have Blind Fight and Triumphant Attack at level 30, but you don't write when you pick them.

And then of course there is still the issue of the Martial feats, which you take without multiclassing. Please either pick up a Martial multiclass feat or remove Martial Resolve and Martial Mastery. As it stands, the build is not legal!

I thought Lightning Reflexes was temporarily swapped out at level 21 to get 2 epic feats, but actually that should have been Double Aegis. Triumphant attack was swapped in at level 29, and Blind fight was swapped in at level 30, (as I replaced Martial Mastery and Epic Resurgence in preparation for Demigod 30, which obsoletes them). The martial requirement for martial resolve/mastery is a good point - I haven't fixed that yet! In fact, epic recovery should be scrapped as well. A mess indeed. I shall get to work.

...it turns out that martial resolve (which I really liked) also needs Wis I don't have. So the easiest fix is to just drop those feats. I'm hoping for some epic options in arcane power, but until then...

Thanks for your suggestions on feats. After looking through the list and all epic feats, I just took the three most generic.
well i would say my version is not a standard achtype shielding sword mage and i haven't thought all of the build trough yet but i am headed for wandering sword mage and probably demigod (hoping for something nice and stylish from phb2/arcana)

The low int will cause some trouble for some time, I'd imagine, but the wandering swordmage feature is amazing with that wisdom.
well the idea if fully doable with an int race to get 18 int and still bump wis all the way to pretty much same results i just like the dwarf idea :D