How to be a Gishy Squishy: A Sorcerer Handbook

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How to be a Gishy Squishy: A Sorcerer Handbook

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Hi, I'm new to the forums, but I'm a longtime lurker. I wanted my first contribution to the forums to be useful, so I decided to try to write a handbook on a class that I feel hasn't received enough attention from the Char Op forum. I hope that someone finds it useful!

Part 1: Introduction and Assumptions



The Sorcerer occupies an odd niche in 4e's wide spectrum of roles and subroles. It can deal tons of damage over an area while still applying controller effects. There are lots of ways to effectively use a Sorcerer, depending on what you want to do with it. It can sit back and pew-pew like the wizard, or it can rush in headlong and be gishy.

I believe that the format that I'm using is lordduskblade's but I'm not sure. If I owe credit somewhere else, please let me know so that I can acknowledge that person.

I assume that all rules are RAW. Apparently I was up for debating my other assumption, and it has been removed.

Sky Blue denotes an amazing option that may be broken or could act as a cornerstone to a build. Blue denotes an excellent pick in most cases. Black denotes a decent choice, mauve suggests a suboptimal choice, and red marks a clearly underpowered option.

Please note that this is a work in progress. I'd love to add things that other people come up with, so if you think of something please tell me and I'll give you credit.

Please refrain from posting until I reserve enough posts to fit all of the sections. I will mark the final post so that it's obvious when posting can begin.

Stats and Races



More than almost any other class, Sorcerers love their secondary ability score since it adds directly to their damage. Also, the lack of a tertiary score allows them to crank their secondary score higher than normal.

Strength - Directly adds damage to spells. It doesn't govern to-hit, which makes it worse than charisma, but not as much as you'd think, since it governs a number of secondary effects as well, such as temp HP from Draconic Spellfury and fortitute penalties from a bunch of powers (and, of course AC). This is also a great stat for multiclassing. You want to buy 14-16 in this for Dragon Mages, but Wild Mages can use this as a dump stat.
Dexterity - Also directly adds to damage, sometimes several times with Wild Spellfury. Also governs a variety of slide and teleport effects. Ups Initiative, making it strictly better than Intelligence for most Sorcs. Wild Mages love to be twitchy, so they'll want to buy 14-16 after stat bumps. Dragon Mages might want a 10 or so, or a little more if they want to qualify for some odd feats.
Constitution - Gives you a few more HP, and maybe a surge or two. Dragon Sorcs are encouraged to take a 13 here to qualify for hide armor proficiency.
Intelligence - Does the same thing as dexterity, except it doesn't affect initiative or help you qualify it for feats, making it strictly worse. Can be sorta useful if you multiclassed Warlock, but otherwise you'll definitely want an 8 or a 10 in this stat.
Wisdom - Worthless for Sorcs. Charisma does everything that this stat does, and you'll have an 18 in Cha already. You can dump this stat and be at ease. If you love perception for some reason, take a 10 in this, but don't go any higher.
Charisma - Your primary score. Governs to-hit and damage for every power. Allows you to be attractive and a smooth talker as well, and who doesn't want that? 18 here, no exceptions.

The best races will have a bonus to both the Sorcerer's Cha and their secondary ability score. Sorcs don't need to qualify for many feats that have stat requisites, so having unmatching stats from a race is often completely undesirable for Sorcs.

Builds and Arrays



Dragon Mages - These Sorcs aren't afraid of getting their scales dirty in melee. They have a handful of "don't touch me" powers. High Str and a decent Con means they'll have hide armor, giving them decent AC. They have a couple ways of gaining temp HP as well. Strength is better for multiclassing (and allows for some nice gishes). Noob friendly, and probably better for twinkers as well.
[INDENT]Recommended Stat Array: Str 16 Dex 11 Con 13 Int 8 Wis 10 Cha 16[/INDENT]
[INDENT][INDENT]-Maximizes damage and qualifies you for hide armor.[/INDENT][/INDENT]
[INDENT]Alternative Array: Str 14 Dex 14 Con 11 Int 8 Wis 10 Cha 16[/INDENT]
[INDENT][INDENT]-Gives you access to more weapon feats. For those who'd like some squish with their gish, rather than vica versa.[/INDENT][/INDENT]

Wild Mages - These guys like to sit back and shoop da whoop. They have a stronger lean towards controller than the dragons, but sacrafice a bit of durability. In paragon they have some encouragement to go into melee to make the most of Wild Spellfury. Not the best option for new players, and twinkers will feel a little shortchanged, but it's a great build for those who have a solid grasp of the rules while not being a huge optimizer. Their random element is also plenty of fun.
[INDENT]Recommended Stat Array: Str 12 Dex 16 Con 12 Int 8 Wis 10 Cha 16[/INDENT]
[INDENT][INDENT]-Maximizes damage. I don't recommend dropping Dex any further, as it really hurts Wild Spellfury. Gets access to hide in paragon.[/INDENT][/INDENT]

Races



PHB Races:
Dragonborn - The Dragon Magic power source was customized specifically for this race. Stat bumps in each of the major scores, as well as a minion-clearing encounter power and a handful of useful feats. Nice.

Dwarf - Dwarves are good at a lot of things. Dwarves love to be fighters, clerics, invokers, avengers, druids, barbarians, wardens, and warlocks. This is something they're not good at. If you want to be an arcane dwarf really badly, be an inferna-lock.

Eladrin - +Dex is kinda nice, and their encounter power can get you out of trouble. Still, not having a Cha bonus is bad, and Eladrin Soldier doesn't help you at all. Can be decent Wild Mages.

Elf - +Dex again for Wild Mages, and the reroll is nice for the offensive-minded. Again, no Cha brings this race down a notch.

Half-Elves - Gets a Cha bonus, which is nice. Con helps it qualify for hide armor, and dilettante can be useful sometimes. Being able to take human feats is a major perk. Versatile Master has recently made Half-Elves the top pick for many builds, but I haven't seen anything synergize quite as well with Sorcerers. If anyone finds anything really good (like Avenger twin-strike crit madness), I'll bump it up to sky blue.

Halflings - Cha and Dex make Halflings amazing for Wild Mages. Their encounter power helps them out when they get into trouble.

Humans - +Cha, extra defenses, and a much needed feat.

Tieflings - +Cha makes them blue. Has the possiblity for some nifty tricks with their encounter ability.


FRPG Races:
Drow - Another primo race for Wild Mages. Perfect stat bumps, and their encounter ability can either save you when you get swarmed, or grant you combat advantage when you're on the offensive. To top it all off, their feat pool is one of the best. Darkfire + (that feat that gives +5 damage to bloodied enemies you have CA against) is amazing.

Genasi - Makes an ok Dragon Mage. Has a variety of defensive options, and lightning Genasi can apply their extra damage to many people with an area attack.


PHB2 Races:
Deva - Intelligence and Wisdom are both possible dumpstats for Sorcerers. Their accuracy-enhancing power is kinda nice, but isn't spectacular for you.

Gnome - Bonus to Cha is important. No bonus to a secondary stat, but their encounter power can help you get out of trouble.

Goliath - Bonus to a secondary stat. The resistance to damage is good for a turn when you really want to get into melee, but don't want to get hurt. Obviously, no Cha detracts from their ability to be Sorcerers significantly.

Half-Orc - Gives a bonus to the secondary stats of both Sorcs, but again offers no Charisma. Would have been interesting if their encounter power added damage to everyone in the area of effect, but alas, the wording prevents this from happening.

Shifter, Longtooth - The extra damage can add up on the area powers, and regeneration can really help Dragon Mages stay alive. The encounter power can only be used while bloodied, but Dragon Mages get a perk while being bloodied, so this is actually kinda synergistic.

Shifter, Razorclaw - Extra speed is helpful for Wild Mages who like to keep away from the opponent, but they need to be bloodied for this to occur. The bonus to Dexterity is helpful for Wild Mages, but you probably want to go with a +Cha race instead.

Boomtwig's Spells: Heroic Tier Powers



Level 1 At-Wills:

Acid Orb - Your typical long range, single target spell. Being a ranged basic attack makes it great when used with Spitting Cobra Stance, especially for Wild Mages who don't necessarily want to push their target away.

Burning Spray - Huge area damage for an at-will. For dragons, provides a great incentive for everyone to leave you alone. Not quite as great for Wild Mages.

Chaos Bolt - Area damage with less chance to hurt your allies than Burning Spray. Still, not nearly as good at taking out mobs/minions, and it doesn't have a kicker. However, with Wild Spellfury and Sorcerous Blade, this at-will becomes amazing, since it triggers Wild Spellfury multiple times.

Dragonfrost - An at-will push. Decently controllery while still doing respectable damage. With bonuses to push distance and Spitting Cobra Stance, this at-will is incredible, especially for Dragon Mages, who get temp HP every shot (from Draconic Spellfury), making them a pseudo battlerager. With Sorcerous Blade, makes for a decent defensive at-will as well

Storm Walk - Sorcs' only sure-fire way to get out of trouble when the mob has a ransom for them out. The free shift before the attack allows them to safely move away without taking a bunch of OAs. This is also Wild Mages' only decent defensive at-will.


Level 1 Encounter Powers:
Bedeviling Burst - An ok power if you get swarmed, but only targets two creatures and does poor damage. Honestly, Burning Spray is probably better.

Explosive Pyre - Decent damage, and AoE damage that promotes the isolation of your target, allowing your strikers to get in cleanly (*cough* avenger *cough*). The extra damage gets your secondary attribute to damage added, since it's still a damage roll.

Frostbind - Decent damage, and can help you land your next attack if you're a Dragon Mage. Wild Mages probably don't want this.

Tempest Breath - Good AoE damage that messes up lurkers. Dragons get a bit of defense from this power as well.

Thunder Slam - Highest single-target damage out of these encounter powers, which could be important. The push is decent, but the AoEs are probably going to do more for you since they spread around your secondary ability score in damage.


Level 1 Dailies:
Chromatic Orb - Pretty low damage, and the extra effects are pretty minor for a daily. Does 1/3 damage on a miss, which is bad.

Dazzling Ray - High average damage with a huge debuff for Wild Mages. A very good daily that does what a striker wants to do rather than what a controller wants to do. Targets Will to boot, which is often a creature's lowest defense. The damage's distribution curve tends towards the average as well, making it a fairly reliable power.

Dragonfang Bolt - Bad damage. Would have been much better if it did decent damage and had the reliable keyword rather than just doing full damage on a miss.

Lightning Breath - Good damage, AoE, and a sustainable defensive effect that acts like a permanent burning spray on steroids for dragons.


Level 2 Utilities:
Dragonflame Mantle - Gets you out of trouble once per encounter, or does massive damage when you're swarmed. The obvious choice out of this lot.

Elemental Shift - Pretty bad, unless you're not using a frost dagger.

Stretch Spell - You don't really have a problem with the range of your spells. Might do interesting things with Sorcerous Blade, but I'm not sure if that works.

Unseen Aid - It has the same effect as aid another, except it takes up a power slot. Massive fail.


Level 3 Encounter Powers:
Dancing Lightning - Ok single target damage, but the radial damage is less than Explosive Pyre's (1d6+ Dex/Str is more than just Cha damage), and it doesn't linger. If you have some kind of fetish for these kinds of powers, then go right ahead and take it, but otherwise look to the other powers at this level.

Flame Spiral - Good range, low damage, and an incentive for enemies to target someone else. Still, you're a striker, not a controller, so you might want something that packs a little more oomph.

Ice Dragon's Teeth - 2d8 and burst 1 slow. I know that I just said you're not really a controller, but an AoE encounter slow at this level is quite good, especially with decent damage.

Poisonous Exhalation - Decent damage and a fort debuff. If you're a Dragon Mage and are planning on throwing out another close blast really soon, and if you think you'll hit all of the same targets somehow, then this is really useful. Otherwise, it'll likely just be used to set up another fort-targetting power. If your daily targets fort, this is quite helpful.

Spectral Claw - Immobilized is better than slow, but this only targets one creature. The kicker effect for Wild Mages isn't too hot, and it only has a 50% chance of activating.


Level 5 Dailies:

Most of these powers a bit below the power curve, which is another good reason to multiclass Ranger and take Spitting Cobra Stance.

Acidic Implantation - Autodamage is funny, but it's essentially equivalent to a miss: half damage line. Chance to slide, but kinda crappy damage for a daily. It would have gotten bonus points for applying your secondary score twice (two damage rolls), but those rolls don't apply your Cha mod at all, which totally sucks.

Palest Flames - HORRIBLE damage, and a bad effect that ends on a save. This power is the Swordmage power 'Elemental Foible's' twin brother. Could be decent if everyone in the party spammed cold attacks on a solo, but the solo is probably going to save early anyway. The fact that the vulnerability is halved and lasts until the end of your next turn on a miss makes this power truly the palest power of this level.

Reeling Torment - Meh damage, but being able to slide a target 3 squares every turn is nice. Targetting will brings this power out of the gutter.

Serpentine Blast - Umm, you probably shouldn't be blindly shooting your dailies at stuff that has cover and concealment.

Thunder Leap - Much better than Acidic Implantation, but that isn't saying much.


Level 6 Utilities:
Arcane Empowerment - Works well with your dailies.

Energetic Flight - All this really does is kinda get you outta trouble once per day. You'll still take OAs, and it's a daily. Don't bother.

Sudden Scales - Awesome power. For Wild Mages, this power is sort of a better version of the Wizard's shield, which is a good power. For Dragon Mages, you get an INSANE bonus to all defenses for the round in which you activate it, giving you virtual invincibility.

Swift Escape - Even though it's a good power for Wild Mages, I don't recommend taking it over Sudden Scales.


Level 7 Encounter Powers:
Chaos Storm - Put the artillery on the front line, and the soldiers in the back. Can also reposition your allies to a more advantageous spot. Very cool.

Crushing Sphere - Penalty to attack over an area. Pretty decent. Try not to hit allies with this one.

Rimestorm - Better damage than the other two, knocks prone, and only hurts enemies. Still, you need to be upfront to use it, and prone is a mixed blessing for ranged attackers like yourself. Also, more fort penalties for Dragon Mages, which no one really cares about.

Shout - Big blast, but deafened? What does that even do?




Level 10 Utilities:
Chaos Link - It doesn't defend you against the attack, and monsters tend to do less damage than you. Pretty worthless, especially for a daily. Although, a thread has been made using it to one-shot Orcus, which is cool.

Devour Magic - Only really useful if you have a Wizard buddy who can make a zone as an encounter power and doesn't mind you gobbling it up. The benefits from doing that are pretty nice.

Invert Resistance - Useless if you have lasting frost and a frost dagger. For everyone else, it's pretty situational.

Narrow Escape - Technically this power makes you take 1.5 times the damage of the attack, since you took the damage and afterwards take half. Assuming your DM isn't a jerk and makes this work as it was obviously meant to work, it's a decent defensive spell.
Reserved 5: Boomstick's Spells: Paragon Tier Powers
Reserved 6: Boom-10-Foot-Pole's Spells: Epic Tier Powers

Feats



*Note: Only the PHB is covered thus far, and only for heroic and paragon

General, Heroic

Arcane Spellfury (PHB2) - Works well in conjunction with Spitting Cobra Stance or when using Burning Spray. Don't take it before Implement Expertise.

Armor Proficiency (Leather) (PHB) - +2 unconditionalAC for one feat. That's as big of a boost as you're going to get.

Armor Proficiency (Hide) (PHB) - Less of a bonus than leather, but upping your AC is important. Dragon Sorcs can easily qualify for this in heroic, but Wild Mages may need to wait until paragon.

Astral Fire (PHB) - Limits you to only two damage types, which is mostly unnecessary. Decent for Tieflings, and staff-wielders may find a use for it, but Weapon Focus is strictly better for dagger users.

Burning Blizzard (PHB) - Same problem as astral fire, with more flaws. First, the perk with Tieflings doesn't apply. Secondly, the stat requirements are dump stats for you, whereas Astral Fire's prereqs are likely to be met by most Sorcerers. Pass on this.

Coordinated Explosion (PHB2) - Extra to-hit is nice, but you need to be hurting an ally. I'm a bit up in the air on this one. Don't take it before Implement Expertise.

Dark Fury (PHB) - See Burning Blizzard.

Defensive Mobility (PHB) - You have ways to avoid or deter OAs, but if you find that you're taking a lot of them, this feat will help.

Disciplined Wild Soul (PHB2) - Helps to get you the resistance you want, but not very reliably. With the Arcane Wellsping paragon path, you have four chances to get what you want, but that's still only a little over a 1/3 chance.

Distant Advantage (PHB2) - Gain combat advantage against the enemy that your allies are flanking. Very helpful, especially with other feats like Sneak of Shadows and Merciless Killer.

Durable (PHB) - With a decent defender, you probably won't need the extra surges.

Implement Expertise (PHB2) - Amazingly good feat. Some call it broken, other people call it a math fix. Either way, you should take this.

Imrpoved Dragonsoul (PHB2) - Helps ignore more resistance of your chosen type, which sometimes means more damage for you. There are more important feats to take first, however.

Improved Initiative (PHB) - Going first is very good, especially for strikers who need to get their positioning just right. Might not be at the top of your list, but you'll probably want to take it at some point.

Melee Training (PHB2) - Gives Wild Mages a chance to hit with their melee basic attacks. Good if you have a warlord in the party. Not as it would be if you were a melee striker that didn't employ Strength, however.

Nimble Blade (PHB) - Implement Expertise is strictly better, but these two stack with each other so Nimble Blade still might be useful. Also helpful if you want a bonus to hit that applies to weapon and implement powers at the same time.

Power Attack (PHB) - Mathematically proven to be unhelpful for one-handed weapons. I'm not sure that it would apply to implement attacks anyway.

Quick Draw (PHB) - Useful if you're implement juggling. Bonus to initiative is nice too. If you're not, then Improved Initiative is better.

Raging Storm (PHB) - Sorcerers have a decent amount of powers with these types, and it's easy to hit the prerequisites. Again, if it's useful, it's only for staff-users, as Weapon Focus(light blades) is superior for dagger users.

Shield Proficiency (Light) (PHB)
- More AC, with a reflex bonus to boot. This is a good choice if you don't want to pick up the two-weapon feats.

Shield Proficiency (Heavy) (PHB) - Another +1 AC.

Sorcerous Blade Channeling (PHB2) - Allows Sorcerers to function in melee and lets Wild Mages pull off shenanigans with Wild Spellfury.

Surging Flame (PHB2) - If you concentrated on fire powers and took fire resistance, it might be decent, but this doesn't apply to most people. Tieflings might get some use out of this feat.

Toughness (PHB) - Extra HP is just what the doctor ordered.

Two Weapon Defense (PHB) - Another source of AC. Provides the same amount of AC as a heavy shield if you use a Mage's dagger in your offhand and morph it into a parrying dagger.

Two Weapon Fighting (PHB) - +1 Damage, but you sacrafice your offhand.

Weapon Expertise (PHB2) - Doesn't apply to implement powers, but you might take this if you went really gishy.

Weapon Focus (PHB) - Dagger wielders want this.

Weapon Proficiency (Parrying Dagger) (PHB) - If you're using two weapons, you probably want a parrying dagger. So why is this marked so low? It's because you can simply buy the lowest level Mage's Weapon (dagger) and keep it perpetually morphed into a parrying dagger, thereby circumventing the necessity to take this feat. Only if you need a different property for your offhand is this feat justified.

Wintertouched (PHB) - To be used only in conjunction with Lasting Frost. More to come in Lasting Frost's description.




General, Paragon

Arcane Flexibility (PHB2) - Useful if you have some means of increasing your crit chance. A few optimal damage builds seem to use this to good effect.

Agile Opportunist (PHB2) - This is actually quite good if you have a bard in the party (who slides you when he heals) and you took Melee Training (or are a Dragon Mage). Alternatively, make your friends take this if you're a Wild Mage and roll a lot of 1s.

Arcane Reach (PHB) - Seems like it would be good, but the specifics of this feat mess things up a bit. The Dragon Mage would have gotten the most out of it, but it would have to sacrifice stats in order to do so. The Wild Mage has the stats to qualify, but it has less close powers. If you're a Wild Mage with lots of close powers, however, totally go for it.

Armor Specialization (Hide) (PHB) - If you met the requirements, you should take this. The requirements are steep for a Sorcerer, though.

Combat Anticipation (PHB) - It was good, but Paragon Defenses largely invalidates this as a choice, since they don't stack. The only time that this feat is superior is if a non-melee attack targets AC, which is limited mostly to ranged attacks.

Draconic Spellfury (PHB2) - This really helps out a Dragon Mage's survivability in melee. With this and Spitting Cobra Stance, you effectively gain damage resistance.

Lasting Frost (PHB) - To be used in conjunction with Wintertouched. Cherry-picking cold powers specifically because of this feat isn't a bad idea, as this causes them to gain +2 to hit and +5 damage. There is also an epic destiny that causes one of your powers to gain the cold keyword, in case there's a power that you really like that doesnt benefit from this feat.

Light Blade Precision (PHB) - Creatures get larger on average as you go up in tier. If you're using a dagger, this is a decent source of extra damage that stacks with Weapon Focus.

Paragon Defenses (PHB2) - +1 to all of your defenses unconditionally for one feat is a good deal.

Reserve Maneuver (PHB2) - The main use for this feat at the moment is to swap out a bad paragon path encounter power. So this feat's value is inversely proportional to the value of your paragon path's encounter power.

Wild Spellfury (PHB2) - This is one of the primary reasons why Wild Mages want to go into melee, and it helps out their DPR a ton.






Reserved 8: More Feats?

Paragon Paths and Epic Destinies



Sorcerer Paths:
Arcane Wellspring - Makes your powers hard to resist. The encounter power is a split-ray type attack, which is meh. The action point ability doubles the effectiveness of your dailies in a pure mathematical sense. Also, their capstone daily has personal as the target entry, which according to the phb means the target is "you." "You" is a subset of "creature" in 4e, meaning that if you spend an action point, you can target another creature. Give your buddy the same effect. The level 16 ability synergizes amazingly with one of your level 29 dailies, making this path a solid choice(Bu) if you're trying to optimize that, as it adds a ton of damage each round.

Demonskin Adept - MULTIATTACKS!!!! Too bad it doesn't trigger Wild Spellfury. The powers of this path are amazing, and the utility power promotes multiattacks. Variable resistance is nice for Wild Mages, who now have a reliable method of scoring cold resistance. The other features are quite bad, which brings this path down a notch. While the blindness isn't quite as bad as I had originally thought (it only lasts until the start of your next turn, so it won't mess up your following turn), it still could screw up your novas, which is especially bad since this path promotes multiple attacks (and thus more chances to critical). If you can remedy this, it's a great path.

Dragonsoul Heir - Most likely the path of choice for Dragon Mages, and what a path it is! The iffy encounter power can be fixed with Reserve Maneuver, and the rest of this path ranges from helpful to great. The utility and daily powers are what really shine. The utility power deals 1d10 + 2x Str (it's a damage roll from an arcane power, remember?), and it doesn't use up your opportunity or immediate action. The daily power is phenomenal; deals massive damage in a huge burst, provides a ton of auto-damage, and gives you a rediculously strong melee basic attack.

Wild Mage - The random effects, even at their best, aren't as good as the other paths' abilities. The ones that occur on a roll have a combined 10% chance to activate (too low for a path feature). The encounter power is weak, and the daily power is meh for a single-target damage spell. Wild Mages have better options, but if you have trouble paying attention to the game, this will help suck you in by being unpredictable. Gets points for having vorpal as a daily utility power.


Multiclass Paths:
Daggermaster - This is the path that everyone seems love. Decidedly meh, as Sorcs don't have many multiattack options to take advantage of that high crit chance, which is only 10% higher than normal. The powers are all wrong for you; the encounter power was already pretty situational for a rogue, and even moreso for you since you'll be in melee less. The utility power literally does nothing, and the daily power is alright but doesn't get your bonus damage. The encounter power problem can be remedied with Reserve Maneuver, but Admiral Ackbar still thinks that this path is a trap.

Multiclass Options



PHB Classes:
Fighter() -

Paladin - Has stat synergy, but few useful powers outside of its level 6 utility (which singlehandedly bumps this class from red to black). Also lets you play defender quite well, which no other multiclass can boast. You're a little too squishy to do that, though.

Ranger - Extra d6s for two rounds. Oh yeah, and it has SPITTING COBRA STANCE. That power automatically puts it at the top of the list for multiclassing, as it works amazingly with Sorcerers and their perks for using at-wills. It also has great attribute synergy with both mages. Dragons can get more gishy powers, and Wild Mages will find some nice picks as well. The wonders of Spitting Cobra Stance will be covered in the endnotes section.

Rogue() -

Warlock() -

Warlord() -


FRPG Classes:
Spellscarred - All of the Spellscarred's powers are arcane, which means they get the Sorcerer's extra damage, as well as having the added benefit of being versatile in the stat that their powers key off of. The class has a few good defensive powers (like Blurring Blade - level 5 daily), as well as some multiattack powers that Sorcs will love (Enc. 7 - Reach of the Doomed). Might even be Sky Blue, but I haven't seen anything particularly broken come from it.


PHB2 Classes:
Avenger - 'S' comes towards the end of the alphabet, and 'A' is at the beginning of the alphabet, so this class helps to balance you out in that regard. Hopefully it'll make you first in line for stuff more often while you attend gradeschool. Other than that, this class has crappy powers that you don't want to touch, and the oath doesn't help you much either.

Barbarian() -

Bard() -
Reserved 11: Items

Endnotes



Fun with Spitting Cobra's Stance:

Spitting Cobra's Stance operates a little differently between the two types of Sorcerer.

Dragon Mage:
Relevent Feats: Warrior of the Wild, Sorcerous Blade, Draconic Spellfury, Adept Power, Weapon Focus (light blades), Implement Expertise(daggers).

Relevant Items: Gauntlets of the Ram, Ring of Ramming x2

With this setup, whenever an enemy comes closer, the Sorcerer pushes the enemy 4 squares with Dragonfrost, deals a good amount of damage, and gains temp hp (from Draconic Spellfury). This effectively gives him a damage resistance equaled to his strength mod against anyone who can get near him (which requires a movement of at least 9), which is reminiscent of the Battlerager's amazing temp HP ability.


Wild Mage
Relevent Feats: Warrior of the Wild, Sorcerous Blade, Wild Spellfury, Adept Power, Weapon Focus (light blades), Implement Expertise(daggers).

Relevant Items: Anything to help keep you alive (bloodcut armor comes to mind)

The Wild Mage uses Acid Orb instead of Dragonfrost to allow people to get near to him to take advantage of Wild Spellfury. If N baddies rush the Wild Mage, they all take at-will damage, and due to Wild Spellfury, the first enemy takes (N-1)*dex mod damage, the second one takes (N-2)*dex mod damage. In general, the nth person to attack the Sorcerer takes damage from Acid Orb, as well as (N-n)*dex damage, which adds up fast.
I'm sorry, I just realized that I don't know how to create spoilers, which is stopping me cold on my editting spree. Could someone help me out with this?
it's [sblock=Title
Thank you very much.
Could you bold anything for black? Makes it easier to see.
Resident generic resident.
Here's a picture for the first post of your guide. Eye candy never hurts!

A list of CharOp Handbooks I'm currently updating:

Heart of the Dragon: A Dragonborn's Handbook

Infernal Wrath: A Tiefling's Handbook

Awesome. Good on you for getting through the powers. I have yet to finish mine.

I completely disagree about the level 5 dailies. You shouldn't assume every sorcerer ever will multiclass ranger anyway. Spitting Cobra is definitely awesome and I hadn't thought of it, but it isn't a requirement to playing a sorcerer.
I think both flavours of sorcerer like melee. Dragon sorcerers are potentially much tougher, but chaos sorcerers actually do more damage in that environment, so they have an actual incentive. That's why my chaos sorc option put lots of effort into defensive options.
Lord Ventor - Thanks! That's a really cool picture.

Sven_Stryker - Sorry, I hadn't seen that you had begun a handbook for sorcerers as well. I promise that I'm not trying to step on your toes or anything. I completely agree with that statement about the level 5 dailies, and honestly that really wasn't what I meant. I'm changing the statement to be closer to my intended meaning.

Anomalousman - I agree that both like melee, and I stated in the Wild Mage description that they do like to go into melee a bit when using their at-wills. However, most of the Wild Mage's powers are ranged or area burst, while the Dragon Mage has lots of close bursts and blasts. If you can find something in my text that conflicts with that idea, please let me know, but otherwise I don't see a reason to modify my statements based on yours.

Hopefully, updates will come sooner rather than later - we'll see how well this week goes.
Um, I hate to tell you this, but Weapon Enhancement Powers don't work when using said Weapon as an Implement. WotC Ruling. :S
Resident Logic Cannon
Please read my initial post. If something new has been added, please direct me to that source.
Ahh, I missed that part. Yeah, see, R&D explained that things like the Pact Bow (which has a Power that adds your Proficiency Bonus to the next Arcane attack Roll) are simply exceptions to their Ruling, and I fully expect them to declare every other specific Weapon Implement to be the same. So I'm fairly sure that all those Weapon Enchantments made specifically for Implement use will work just fine, but Frost/Raidant/etc will still be denied.
Resident Logic Cannon
I understand you're argument and I've read what you said in another thread. I also read the counter arguments and agree with them more. I'm not really willing to argue this in depth, but this is a significant alteration to the statement made in the PHB, which belongs in the errata section of the site, not the FAQ, which is going to be altered anyway.

Also, you really can't just say that this ruling only applies to certain weapons because you feel like it. The weapon powers in the PHB2 have the exact same wording as in the PHB1, so this ruling would in fact invalidate a bunch of new material. This has been discussed previously, so I won't get into details here.

Finally, I wouldn't exactly call a PM from a random person from R&D 'official.' I don't mean to sound beligerent, but I also need to defend my standpoint. It's not a randomly founded opinion from some new guy; it's actually based on logic.
Also, you really can't just say that this ruling only applies to certain weapons because you feel like it. The weapon powers in the PHB2 have the exact same wording as in the PHB1, so this ruling would in fact invalidate a bunch of new material. This has been discussed previously, so I won't get into details here.

I didn't. WotC through CustServ did. And yes, they're full of it, exactly as they were with the Weapon Focus (Staff) argument.

Finally, I wouldn't exactly call a PM from a random person from R&D 'official.' I don't mean to sound beligerent, but I also need to defend my standpoint. It's not a randomly founded opinion from some new guy; it's actually based on logic.

It was through Customer Service, who said they had discussed it with R&D. If that's not enough, then nothing anyone can say will make a difference to you, because then you're not looking for a discussion, you just want to be right. ::shrug::
Resident Logic Cannon
The second assumption that I make is that a frost dagger works with Sorcerer powers.

This seems a really poor way to start out a general use guide.
Crimson Lancer - The you I meant wasn't specifically you, it was any asserter. It doesn't matter who says what - it still needs to have logical grounds. The weapon focus (Staff) argument did have logical grounding in the printed material, while this does not.

As for your latter statement - R&D can certainly change my mind, but not in the manner that they have done so. If they add it to errata, then I will certainly abide by it. I have to parse through difficult texts on a daily basis, so I'm confident in my reading comprehension skills, and I can fairly reliably spot a contradiction when I see it.

I honestly don't care about being right - I have no personal connection to that combo. I didn't discover it. I'm just going to recommend it until either it's allowed or it's more obvious that the combo is disallowed.


Verisimilar - Your statement is pretty unhelpful. Please be more constructive with your comments in the future.
Dragonfrost - An at-will push. Decently controllery while still doing respectable damage. With bonuses to push distance and Spitting Cobra Stance, this at-will is incredible, especially for Dragon Mages, who get temp HP every shot, making them a pseudo battlerager. With Sorcerous Blade, makes for a decent defensive at-will as well

Emphasis mine.
Sorry, but I don't understand how. Nothing in the power's description mentions anything of the sort.
Cattle die, kindred die, every man is mortal. But the good name never dies of one who has done well. Cattle die, kindred die, every man is mortal. But I know one thing that never dies: the glory of the great dead. - [i]Hávamál[/i] D&D 4th Edition Bard builds: The Dashing Swordsman, The Master of Sound and Illusions, The Warrior Skald Captain Morality! (No point in not having fun with it. )
Absolutely. Draconic Spellfury is a feat that states that when you use as Sorcerer At-Will power, you gain temp HP equaled to your Strength modifier. I'll edit the statement to make it more clear as to where that came from.
Sven_Stryker - Sorry, I hadn't seen that you had begun a handbook for sorcerers as well. I promise that I'm not trying to step on your toes or anything.

I don't mind at all. As has been mentioned, having more than one guide is good for getting multiple opinions. I believe we have several differing opinions on things already. =P I referenced you in my guide about Spitting Cobra Stance, so it's good that we can increase our knowledge from others' ideas, competitors or not.
I'm glad - multiple opinions on stuff is good for everyone. I don't really see us as competitors, rather as co-researchers or something. Thanks for the reference.
I gotta say, there are some pretty telling assumptions in this guide thus far

- You assume Sorcerer's don't attack Fort when *A LOT* of their powers attack Fort
- You choose to ignore the FAQ which says Weapon Powers can not be used with Implement attacks
- You assume the Level 2 Utility which swaps your resistances is pointless, when it is actually really good

There are more but those are the glaring examples. I don't want to be rude, but I gotta say, your guide starts off on a really bad footing here.
Sticks128 - I think you need to look up the definition of 'assumption.' What I did was analysis.

1.) At Wills that attack fort: 2/5 1 Encounters: 2/5 1 Dailies: 1/4 3 Encounters: 2/5 5 Dailies: 2/5 7 Encounters: 1/2 9 Dailies: 3/4 (obvious outlier)

The real NAD that Sorcs focus on is Reflex. While a penalty to AC is good for weapons-based characters who only target AC, a kicker that only applies to 2/5 of your powers most of the time isn't wonderful. And I didn't say they don't target fort, I said they don't always target fort.

2.) I stated my reasons as to why this is so, and I don't think that I'm the only one who has taken this stance. If there's enough of a consensus that an analysis with that ruling would be more beneficial, I will remove it and change the related entries accordingly, which honestly doesn't change much.

3.) It would be pointless if you could force each attack to be a certain element (which is what frost dagger does). This is a direct result of #2. Also, you provide no support as to why it's good. If you want me to seriously consider your opinion, you need to provide a reason for the alteration.

Honestly, it sounds like you're a proponent of the FAQ and are taking out your frusteration on me, which is unfair. In my experience, when people allude to more problems that they didn't feel like mentioning, they really mean that they don't actually have any more. If you do, mention them and I will consider them. Otherwise, yes, you were quite rude and could have easily phrased your comments better. Here are examples:

-I feel like Fort is a more common NAD than you're giving it credit for, and thus powers that lower a target's Fort are actually better than you suggest. *provides numbers*

-I think that it would be more beneficial for you to stick with what Wizards has said officially, rather the alternative.

-Elemental Shift is actually quite good, becaues *provides reason*.

Care to mention more of these examples? I'd be happy to know what they are and either change it, or defend my reasoning. Unfortunately, I can't do this with vague statements and mild-mannered attacks. Please don't assume that I'm an idiot just because I'm new.
Sticks128 - I think you need to look up the definition of 'assumption.' What I did was analysis.

1.) At Wills that attack fort: 2/5 1 Encounters: 2/5 1 Dailies: 1/4 3 Encounters: 2/5 5 Dailies: 2/5 7 Encounters: 1/2 9 Dailies: 3/4 (obvious outlier)

While this is true, I think you need to look at a breakdown here. Dragon Sorcerers focus on Close attacks. So, looking at it in that reality

At-Will - 0/1
Level 1 - (Encounter and Daily) - 0/3
Level 3 - 1/2
Level 5 - 1/1
Level 7 - 2/2
Level 9 - 1/1
Level 13 - 1/1
Level 15 - 0/1
Level 17 - 2/2
Level 19 - 0/0

So as you can see, once you get past Level 1, 80% of close attacks target Fort. I don't think you realized how many times a Dragon Sorcerer will want to target Fort when you wrote "Honestly, why did Wizards think that Dragon Sorcs would be targetting fort so much? They wrote the powers, they should know." That statement tells me that you are rather unaware of how important targeting Fort is to a Dragon Sorcerer.

The real NAD that Sorcs focus on is Reflex. While a penalty to AC is good for weapons-based characters who only target AC, a kicker that only applies to 2/5 of your powers most of the time isn't wonderful. And I didn't say they don't target fort, I said they don't always target fort.

You implied that Fort was rarely targted, when in reality, after Level 1, 8 of 10 Close attacks target Fort.

2.) I stated my reasons as to why this is so, and I don't think that I'm the only one who has taken this stance. If there's enough of a consensus that an analysis with that ruling would be more beneficial, I will remove it and change the related entries accordingly, which honestly doesn't change much.

The "concesus" is about 3 or 4 vocal guys who ar too stubborn to admit that the FAQ stops them from doing what they want to do. The FAQ is clear. They have just shut their ears and are yelling "LA LA LA LA LA I can't hear you!" To me, the rules should always be taken into account when writing a guide. I mean what good is a guide when you ignore some of the rules?

3.) It would be pointless if you could force each attack to be a certain element (which is what frost dagger does). This is a direct result of #2. Also, you provide no support as to why it's good. If you want me to seriously consider your opinion, you need to provide a reason for the alteration.

To be honest, I have no idea what you are trying to say. Are you trying to claim that making all of your attacks Cold with a Frost Dagger is pointless? Is CA and +5 damage to every attack pointless to you? I am honestly confused.

Honestly, it sounds like you're a proponent of the FAQ and are taking out your frusteration on me, which is unfair.

Actually, I hate the FAQ. I really fought it at first. I am a proponent of the rules though, and the rules are clear. What has made me happier is seeing PHB 2 where they are making Weapons for Implement classes that uses "Specific Ovverides General". This tells me they are not just shafting Implement wielders (again).

In my experience, when people allude to more problems that they didn't feel like mentioning, they really mean that they don't actually have any more. If you do, mention them and I will consider them. Otherwise, yes, you were quite rude and could have easily phrased your comments better. Here are examples:

-I feel like Fort is a more common NAD than you're giving it credit for, and thus powers that lower a target's Fort are actually better than you suggest. *provides numbers*

I would hope as the writer of a guide you would know the numbers. But since I apparently had to, I listed them above for you. 80% of close attacks past level 1.

-I think that it would be more beneficial for you to stick with what Wizards has said officially, rather the alternative.

Not sure what more you want from me here. I think you should stick with the rules, even if 3 or 4 vocal people don't like it.

-Elemental Shift is actually quite good, becaues *provides reason*.

Altering your damage resistance is really good? I thought this was a no-brainer. If you have Fire Resistance normally, and you fight some tough Frost Giants, it is good to alter your resistance to cold so you take less damage and do more damage with your cold spells.

Care to mention more of these examples? I'd be happy to know what they are and either change it, or defend my reasoning. Unfortunately, I can't do this with vague statements and mild-mannered attacks. Please don't assume that I'm an idiot just because I'm new.

I never called you an idiot, though it sounds like you are being very defensive. I gave my honest opinion that I think you were being short-sighted on a few things. The main two were choosing to ignore a very important rule and not knowing what defense half of the class attacks the most.

I apologize if you were offended, though I would note that being able to take criticism is an important skill.
I think you need to read what I'm saying more carefully. I'll respond to each point separately, each point being a phrase that you quoted.

1.) This is a fair assessment for the Dragon Sorcerer, so I will up its rating. I wish you would have just made that argument in the first place. It still isn't automatically good, as Wild Mages have little use for it. Also, not having an at-will that targets fort would be bad, but you missed dragonfrost.

2.) Already covered.

3.) It's not really a rule, it's a supposed clarification of a rule that has no grounding in the source text. Since enough people have brought this up, however, I'll remove it and change what needs to be changed. The consensus that I was referring to was a consensus in this topic that I should remove the statement, not a consensus on the ruling of the FAQ. Please read my statement more carefully.

4.) Again, read my statement more carefully. If you are fighting an opponent who resists cold, and you have a dagger that changes your fire attack into a cold one, and you can already ignore cold resistance, then this power doesn't have an effect. As to me thinking that +2 to attack and +5 damage is pointless, I have no idea how you came to that conclusion from the given text.

5.) Items in the PHB2 are worded in such a way that specific doesn't override general. The Pact Bow is written that way. I've seen this clause be deployed erroneously many times on this board, and I believe that this is the case here as well. This is a separate argument that has another topic, but it's largely moot due to my concedence in #3.

6.) Again, please read what I wrote. Those lines with hyphens are described as examples of what you could have done to make the same comments in a more polite and helpful manner.

7.) My response to this is the same as what I stated against #6.

8.) For the same reason as #4, you do not necessarily do more damage to that opponent if you already can force a bypass of his resistance elsewhere. It does have some defensive merit in situations where the enemy has an obvious elemental affinity, but I feel that a net +1 to AC all of the time, as an encounter power rather than a daily, as well as having a deterrent to being attacked thrown in is a much more solid defense. Certainly not a "no-brainer."

9.) I understand how to take criticism - I'm actively trying to solicit constructive criticism. What you offered was destructive criticism. I'll point out several examples:

-You opened your argument with the sentence, "I gotta say, there are some pretty telling assumptions in this guide thus far." This is clearly an offensive stance. It says that according to a few specific reasons, the whole of the handbook is discredited. This falls squarely in the category of 'destructive criticism' by definition, as it attempts to cause the discontinuation of the handbook by suggesting that if I can't analyze these items correctly, there is no merit in continuing. I still haven't heard any other of these reasons that you suggested exist.

-By saying, "I don't want to be rude," you acknowledge that you are, in fact, being rude. You wouldn't have to make this qualifier if you felt that this was not the case.

-By saying, "I would hope as the writer of a guide you would know the numbers. But since I apparently had to, I listed them above for you," you were directly attacking my ability to perform mathematical analysis. What you were actually doing was bringing up a separate point entirely, but you perverted the statement to make me look less intelligent than I am.

I'm not offended. This is a random internet forum that is literally entirely impoersonal, but I'd rather you not discredit genuine analysis via a hastily formulated opinion and an improper tone.
You're welcome to use my character image for eye candy. I made that image look 10x better imo.

IMAGE(http://i53.photobucket.com/albums/g43/MLenser/DnD/Kelreth.png)
Thanks, that does look quite a bit clearer!
Absolutely. Draconic Spellfury is a feat that states that when you use as Sorcerer At-Will power, you gain temp HP equaled to your Strength modifier. I'll edit the statement to make it more clear as to where that came from.

Ah, I see. Thanks for answering!
Cattle die, kindred die, every man is mortal. But the good name never dies of one who has done well. Cattle die, kindred die, every man is mortal. But I know one thing that never dies: the glory of the great dead. - [i]Hávamál[/i] D&D 4th Edition Bard builds: The Dashing Swordsman, The Master of Sound and Illusions, The Warrior Skald Captain Morality! (No point in not having fun with it. )
snip

I have no desire to get into a long-winded debate with you, and now I really have no desire to help out your handbook.

I opened this thread and thought to myself "Cool, another guide, lets see what he sees that I have missed". I got about 5 minutes in and already saw many egregious errors, three of which I have pointed out.

You turned a few quick criticisms into a very long-winded argument, accusing me of attacking you (rather than assuming that maybe the internet distorts the intent of my message), and that tells me all that I need to know. Good luck on your handbook.

EDIT: One tip for the road though. You are very unclear when you type. Please try using the Quote function in the future (and using clearer language) and likely you won't be misunderstood as often. This is not an attack, it is genuine advice.
This really is a simple process. I make claim x, person y dissents why they dissent with claim x. I will do one of two things - either accept the proposed changes or, if I disagree or fail to understand the dissention, I will defend my position and ask for elaboration. This is called rational discussion, and, according to Socrates, ends with the discovery of truth. You can call it whatever you want, but if you're not willing to engage in it, don't bother in the first place.

Please don't blame the internet for your tone - you control the phrasing of your comments. And again, you fail to mention any more specific errors, only referencing that supposedly many exist.

Also, "quick" is not a synonym for "vague," and "unclear" is not a synonym for "concise." I didn't want to bring up, but many of your misunderstandings were directly from failing to read some of my sentences. I'd be happy to point out which ones if you want

I'm really quite friendly, and I love to help people out, but I don't let vague or erroneous statements go uncontested, and I don't put up with underhanded insults, whether or not you meant them.
I'm really quite friendly, and I love to help people out, but I don't let vague or erroneous statements go uncontested, and I don't put up with underhanded insults, whether or not you meant them.

Hate to say it, but you are coming off as a bit of the opposite.

That said, I am wondering about why you are such a proponent of arcane reach. It looks *great* for dragon sorcerers, who use many close burst attacks. But for wild sorcerers, who seem to be utilizing range a lot more, it is less appealing. This, of course, is a bit unfortunate as it screws up your stats as a dragon sorcerer a bit if you go for it.

Also, for sorcerer feats in the PHB2 (I know, not covered yet), note that Arcane Spellfury stacks. Forgot where I saw it, I think it was in the 'things to keep in mind for a sorcerer guide' thread.