Self-Made Man: A Human Handbook

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Self Made Man: A Human Handbook



Humans are a decisive and rash race, hurling themselves into danger, dealing with consiquences as they arise, trusting in their native resoursefulness to see them through any situation.

Format for this guide is taken from Lord_Ventnor's "Heart of the Dragon" Dragonborn guide.

When I talk about your options for how you wish to adventure, I shall associate them with a color, similar to the style first used by Dictum_Mortuum:
Sky Blue choices are best suited for you.
Blue choices, while not as strong, are fine choices as well, and you'll do well in that profession.
Black choices are not the best, but they're workable nonetheless.
Purple choices can work, but they're much less suited to your abilities.
Red choices are those that are least workable for you.

Table of Contents
01.) Introduction
02.) What is a man? A miserable pile of secrets!
03.) The Masters of Body- Martial Humans
04.) The Masters of Mind- Psionic Humans
05.) The Masters of Soul- Ki Humans
06.) The Servants of the Holy- Divine Humans
07.) The Servants of the Primordial- Elemental Humans
08.) The Servants of the World- Primal Humans
09.) The Students of Magic- Arcane Humans
10.) The Students of Darkness- Shadow Humans
11.) Roll of Glory: Humans of Renown
12.) The Destiny of Man
02.) What is a man?

Racial Traits, feats, and Paragon Path

Humans are well known for doing as they please, nearly as well as the very best of the other races. Whatever a human does, he does well.
Racial Traits
Ability Score: +2 to a stat of choice- Whatever you choose to be, you will be good at. While other races get a secondary stat, they cannot count on it being the stat they need. No human is a Red choice for any class.

Bonus At-Will: You may choose a third At-will power from your class. This allows you to pick more niche powers that you may not use as often, but you are glad to have when they come up. I will have a suggested list of at-wills for each class in the class entries.

Bonus Feat: This feature makes Humans masters of low-level play- Being able to be one step ahead of all others, every step of the way, is very nearly the defining feature of Humans. It also combines well with the incredibly nice Racial Feats Humans gain. I will discuss this later.

Bonus Skill: You gain one more skill from your Class Skill list. This has been much maligned by these boards, as most classes have enough skill picks for the "Must have" picks for your build. However, with Player's Handbook 2 introducing Generic Backgrounds, picking up a normally off-class skill has never been easier. While other races may specialize in their racial skill better, only Eladrin outdo Humans when it comes to being able to master the skill list.

Human Defence Bonuses: +1 to every NAD. One of the downsides to only getting a bonus to one stat, is you only get a bonus to 1 NAD from stats. However, this racial feature more than compensates for the lack, giving extra defenses against your weakest areas.


Racial Feats

Action Recovery (paragon) While I suppose it's cheaper, feat-wise, than going for a full on "trollblood" build, I don't like this feat- it's less consistant, and rhe really nasty status effects don't let you spend an action point anyway. (Stun, dying, ect) But it works for several others, and IS much more affordable.
Action Surge- +3 to hit for right when you need it, this feat is usually what makes Humans for people. Particularly good for multi-strike attacks.
Bloody Tenacity (paragon, Martial) A niche feat, I could see it for a few builds, expecially combined with Bloodied Greatness from the Adroit Explorer.
Human Perserverence- the basic feat if your DM likes to throw out status effects or drop you below zero, on a regular basis- it doubles your chance to roll a 20 or higher on a death save, and forms the basis of a "trollblood" build- being able to self revive, by paragon, more than 75% of the time.
Nerathi Vanguard Style (martial, stat requirement for other races) While this is only a "racial" feat if you dump Con, it strengthens several martial builds, and makes taking Sure Strike for a defensive sword'n'board worthwhile.
Stubborn Survivor- Good for a "Trollblood" saves build, which is nice for defenders who are good at their jobs, but this feat doesn't combine well with the human Racial PP- you almost never run out of action points, so it never applies
Timely Revival (Epic, Martial)- Spend your second wind when dying? On a 10+? At the beginning of you're turn?! Yes please!
[b]Sideways Defense (Fighter)[/b] A basic feat for the human fighter, this helps you be a defender, effectivly increasing the strength of your mark. Of note, you don't have to be a credible threat to use this, unlike most fighter stickyness tricks.
Avenging Spirit (Fighter or Warlord, Paragon) This fits in well with Adroit Explorer, giving you more action points over the course of the adventuring day.
Inspired Defense (Warlord) Improve the defenses of those in dire need? this helps you fill your role nicely.
Rash Sneak Attack (Rogue) +2 damage by granting Combat advantage to everybody, and only 1/round? While someone could probably find a use for it, this is probably the worst of a particularly good lot.
Human Beast Mastery (Ranger) Extra defenses on your pet, saving you healing surges down the road. Nice, but not spectacular.

Arcane Power Preview feats. (Summaries only)
Arcane Reserves (any arcane class) Extra damage on your "underpowered" at-wills when you're out of spells? Sweet! Sign me up at level 1!
Reckless Curse (warlock, Warlock’s Curse) +1 to attack. Probably grant combat advantage. Overall, probably pretty good.



Paragon Paths
Paragon Multiclassing
With your extra feat and At-will, the costs of Paragon Multiclassing are less severe for you than for other races, opening up access to PMC feats, first shown in Martial Power. While still a power drain, you have less to lose from choosing this path than any other race.
Fighter PMC feats:
-Battle Acumen: Gain Combat Superiority, stopping opponent's movement on your OAs.
Rogue PMC Feats:
-First In: Gain First Strike, Combat advantage against anyone lower than you in initiative for the first round of combat. Qualifies you for Into the Fray, a bonus to speed and to hit in suprise rounds, and Aggressive Assault which adds a slide effect,
Ranger PMC feats:
-Courageous Shooter: Gain Prime Shot, a +1 untyped bonus to hit against a foe who is as close to you as to anyone else. Also qualifies you for Called Shot +5 untyped damage, and Improved Prime Shot, an Epic feat, which boosts it to +2 untyped.
Warlord PMC feats:
-Gain Combat Leader: +2 power bonus to Inititive, for you and each ally. Qualifies you for Combat Commander, which increses the bonus to the higher of your Charisma or Int.


Adroit Explorer
This paragon path, introduced in PH2, is notable for allowing you to be able to use the same enccounter attack power twice in one encounter. I will address it's benefits, and suggested powers in a later Edit.

Ambitius Effort: This is what all the noise is about- choose a 1st, 3rd, or 7th level encounter power from your class. Do you have it already? If not, now you do. If you do... Congradulations, this is one of the only known ways to have the same encounter power twice in the same encounter, short of Magic Item Dailies.
Bloody Deturmination: Like Action surge, but better, it triggeres any fight where you are reduced to half life or less. Unfortunately, it only works against the triggering opponent. Woe unto the ally that accidentally bloodies you with an area attack... You don't have to attack him, but if he makes you waste this ability, you may want to anyway.
Heroic Action: Resist all on command? So hit with action surge, and run away, and live to fight another day!
Champion of Humanity: Really, how many encounters do you go through a day? Action points in your first 3 encounters, even without Feats like Avenging Spirit. Action Surge is your friend.
Destined for Greatness: If your DM throws status effects against you, this is no-action healing, and an Esuna, too. If you don't fail any saves anyway, it's wasted. Usually decent. Doesn't work on death saves though... you have to use your other human options to cheat death. (More information in the Builds section)
Bloodied Greatness: Did I mention you got an extra encounter power? I lied- you get 2. This daily lets you use ANY encounter power you know, whether you have used it already or not, against anyone who bloodies you. Synergises well with Bloody Deturmination... you get +5 to hit with whatever power you choose.
03.) The Masters of Body- Martial Humans

Fighter
The fighter generally comes in one of three flavors: Str-dex, Str-con, and Str-wis. I will adress each of these separately.

Strength/Dexterity: This stat combination is mainly the domain of Tempest Fighters, as well as those who seek to Master Flails, Spears, and Light and Heavy blades. As a general rule, Damage is seen to be more important than defense or stickyness.
Suggested at Wills: Dual Strike/Reaping Strike(dual wield vs greatweapon) for focus damage, Cleave for multi target, Footwork Lure for forced movement, setting up the foe for your allies.
Best Backround skill: Stealth. You're already pumping your Dex, so even if you don't MC Rogue, you can still keep up with one

Strength/Constitution: This stat combination is the domain of Battleragers and those who wish to master Axes, Picks, and Hammers. Though still capable of dishing out mean damage- Mordencrads and Execution Axes being the two highest [w] weapons in the game- this build tends to focus more on survivability than on being sticky.
Suggested At-Wills: Brash Strike for damage, Crushing Surge for defense, Tide of Iron/Footwork Lure (sword'n'board vs Greatweapon) for mobility
Best Backround Skill: Perception- Wisdom isn't exactly your strong suit, so you might as well patch the hole while you can.

Strength/Wisdom: This combination is favored by those who want to play a defender or a controller, those who want to be able to punish on OAs, and those who choose to wield polearms and some heavy blades.
Suggested At-wills: For those wielding reach weapons, I suggest Footwork Lure, Reaping Strike, and Cleave. (Dual strike instead of Reaping, if you master the Spiked Chain or double Whips) Sword and Board fighters instead go for Tide of Iron, for the greater potential places you can put a target, Cleave to deal with minions, and one of the following: Sure strike for accuracy and defense, (Expecially with a few Arena feats to back it up) Brash Strike for the same accuracy but trading defence for a little damage (more if you have an ax/hammer and some con), Footwork Lure for even more control, or Reaping strike, because damage on a miss is just that nice.
Best Backround Skill: Perception again. Unlike the others, you actually will have a decent Passive Perception, allowing you to act on surprise rounds.


Rogue
Rogues tend to be built around their class features, and so there are 3 builds we should be looking at for a Rogue: Artful Dodger, Ruthless Ruffian, and Brutal Scoundrel.

Artful dodger: High Dex and Charisma
Suggested At-Wills: Piercing Strike, Sly Florish, and either Deft strike or Disheartening Strike
Suggested off-class skill: Diplomacy

Brutal Scoundrel: High Strength and Dex
Suggested At-Wills: Piercing strike, Dishertening Strike, Riposte Stike
Suggested off-class skill: Heal- you don't need charisma, so Wis is an acceptable alternative stat.

Ruthless Ruffian: power riders use Charisma, but the class feature uses Strength. Accuracy, of course, is still Dex
Suggested At-Wills: Disheartening strike is a must, and Piercing strike is your accuracy choice. Deft Strike or Riposte strike for the third, one gets you into position at the cost of damage, the other punishes foes if they take advantage of the fact that the tank is busy. (and, being as your stats are split 3 ways, you can't afford to pump Con for HP)
Suggested off-class skill: Endurance- you cannot afford to bump con, and when this skill comes up, it's a big one.



Ranger
Ranger actually gets the least benifit out of being Human, not really needing a second at-will, let alone a third one. Also, a Ranger's powers are so restrictive, your weapons will basically decide your powers for you. However, Humans are slightly better at "mixing" styles. You'll have to carry more than one weapon, but you will gain options you wouldn't have had as another race.

Archer Style: This kinda works, if you're willing to burn a feat to make an at-will useful. True Arrow Style lets you make a RBA if you miss with Sure strike, making it slightly better than Twin Strike in accuracy.
At-wills: Sure Strike, Twin Strike, Nimble Strike

Two Weapon Fighting/Archer mix: Pretty much the only option if you don't go Beastmaster and don't want to spend feats
At-wills: Twin Strike(duh), Nimble Strike, Hit and Run

Two Weapon Beastmaster: You'll tend to want a wolf for this
At-Wills: Twin Strike, Predator Strike, Circling Strike

Archer Beastmaster: Raptor tends to be the favored companion for this
At-Wills: Twin strike, Circling Strike, Nimble Strike.

Greatweapon Beastmaster: Yes, it's possible- most beastmaster powers don't have that two-weapon requirement.
At-Wills: Hit and Run, Predator Strike, Circling Strike


Warlord- Guest Written by Elder Basilisk
Warlord: IMO, humans are decent warlords of all kinds (though they are weakest in the resourceful warlord role than the others). While I don't think that humans are quite an optimal pick for any kind of warlord, I think that they are close for inspiring warlords--and maybe bravura warlords as well. Certainly the gap between human and dragonborn or half-elf inspiring warlords is not as great as the gap between human and genasai or eladrin tactical warlords.

Humans make solid inspiring warlords. The extra feat helps quite a bit in the early heroic tier though.

Str 16 (+2=18), Dex 11, Con 13, Int 10, Wis 8, Cha 16

The extra at-will enables humans to pick up commander's strike in order to help maximize their allies use of their allies only buffs (warlord's strike, inspired belligerence, etc) without sacrificing wolf pack tactics or brash assault/furious smash/opening shove (all of which have both admirers and fervent detractors on these boards and seem to be love them or hate them powers). You could also pick up viper's strike if you need to help make someone else sticky.

Notably, inspiring warlords also have one of the prime candidates for a power to make adroit explorer good: war of attrition. +Cha to hit and damage with at-will powers and basic attacks is incredible at any level. It remains to be seen if adroit explorer can stack up enough war of attrition cheese to compete with knight commander or battlelord of kord as a paragon path, but at the moment, I think inspiring warlords have a better shot at making it work than other warlords do.

Humans make decent tactical warlords as well. The two recommended stat arrays are:

Str 16, Dex 10, Con 12, Int 18, Wis 8, Cha 12
Str 18, Dex 10, Con 12, Int 16, Wis 8, Cha 12

You might want to drop the wisdom to 11 in order to grab a 13 con in either build. Scale proficiency will actually increase the armor class of the 16 Int character throughout most of the heroic and paragon tiers and since tactician's armor only comes in heavy armor, if you want tactician's armor, scale is an unambiguous upgrade from chain. (Though if what you're looking for is the presnece boost, you could also spend a feat on improved tactical presence and wear whatever armor you like).

Your primary at-wills should be commander's strike and wolf pack tactics. The exta at-will will probably be opening shove or viper's strike since furious smash is pointless for a taclord and adding your Int bonus to damage with Commander's strike makes brash assault a much less attractive gamble. (If you have an option that will always give your ally an attack with significant bonus damage, the possibility of giving your ally an attack without bonus damage is not nearly as attractive).

Humans make decent bravura warlords as well. I would use the same
18 str, 11 dex, 13 con, 1o int, 8 wis, 16 cha stat array that I use for an inspiring warlord, but if you like your warlords tougher, you might go:

Str 18, Dex 13, Con 14, Int 10, Wis 8, Cha 14. (You could also take the 13 in Int for the minor boost to commander's strike instead of +1 init--that would be my choice but I'm guessing most people would rather have the init).

As a bravura warlord, you have the same basic at will selection as an inspiring warlord. Wolf Pact Tactics, Commander's strike (to let your allies take further advantage of any short-term "allies only" buffs you drop), and whichever one of furious smash (high charisma version only), opening shove, or brash assault you don't think sucks. If you think all of thems suck, you're stuck with viper's strike as your third at-will. (No one thinks it sucks but no one is really impressed with it either).

Humans should probably stay away from resourceful warlords in general as they are very demanding in terms of stats, but if the human wants to focus very heavily on either Int or Charisma, they can probably pull it off acceptably.

Str 18, Dex 10, Con 12, Int 16, Wis 8, Cha 12
Str 18, Dex 10, Con 12, Int 12, Wis 8, Cha 16

Either way, your at-wills of choice are likely to be Commander's strike and wolf pack tactics with opening shove, furious smash, or viper's strike as your back up. You could take brash assault, but without the Con to upgrade your armor to scale or with the Int to make Commander's strike really good, you probably wouldn't get a lot of use out of it.
04.) The Masters of Mind- Psionic Humans

(coming not-so-soon)
05.) The Masters of Soul- Ki Humans

(Coming in April/May with the Monk Preview)
06.) The Servants of the Holy- Divine Humans

Cleric)

Paladin)

Avenger)

Invoker)
07.) The Servants of the Primordial- Elemental Humans

(Coming not-so-soon)
06.) The Servants of the World- Primal Humans

Barbarian

Str/Con At-Wills: Recuperating strike, Devastating strike, pressing strike- You have the toughness to take attacks like a defender, and Devstating Strike is your mark power. Recouperating strike gives you the durability to take the beating you draw down upon yourself. Pressing is a splash of control, like Footwork Lure for fighters.
Str/Cha At-Wills: Devastrating Strike, Howling strike, Pressing Strike. Devastating is a poor choice for this build- Primal power should give more options.




Shaman)

Warden)
09.) The Students of Magic- Arcane Humans

Artificer)

Bard)

Sorcerer)

Swordmage)

Warlock)

Wizard)


-Spellscarred)
09.) The Students of Darkness- Shadow Humans

(Coming not-so-soon)
11.) Roll of Glory: Humans of Renown

Notable Human builds

Harvey Donais, Two Weapon Fighter by Lord_Ventnor
Avenger Master of Defense by Lord Duskblade
Orbizard by Lord Duskblade
"Trollblood" Warden by Sven_Stryker
12) The Destiny of Man.

Man makes his own destiny. He chooses his own gods, masters what he choses to master, and woe be to the ones who deny him his birthright.

Nonetheless, some scholars have some thoughts to weigh in on the matter.

It seems to me that humans become weaker in paragon in terms of 'brute' physical stats such as damage, ac and health compared to othe races. A lot of human feats deal with improved NADs (except Action Surge), compared to other race's feats like increased healing surge values, conditional attack bonuses, rerolling attack rolls etc. The feats that enhance 'brute' physical stats like toughnes, armour prof, weapon focus etc. run out well before your 18 feats are used up, making the 19 feat useless for 'brute' physical bonuses. But there are more than 19 useful feats if you count feats that help your party.

The extra feat and at will means that humans make great non-warrior classes, who rely on at wills and feats more than brute power. For classes with a large 'brute' focus like fighters, humans won't be as good at fighting individually compared to a dwarf or a dragonborn IMO, past paragon. But a human will be better at synergizing as part of a team, having an extra feat to spend on synergy feats like enhanced OA's, or on defender-esque feats like durability. The extra at-will will help you have the right tool to help your party at the right time. You won't have as much time in the spotlight individually when fighting against a troll with a greatclub, compared to a dwarf or dragonborn fighter. But if it tries to get at your party members, you will be better able to fill your team role.

The bonus to NADs mean humans are tough when it comes to attacks that target NADs, which include magic and non-'brute' physical attacks. At heroic level humans will be equally tough in 'brute' toughness, due to the wide availability of feats like toughness and weapon specializations.

I have only DMed a few adventures in 4E, and apart from reading the book don't have much experience with humans or fighters in the game. I am also not great at mathematical balancing. So feel free to pick apart any flaws in my post. This is merely an impression I got from reading the book.

I've always tout humans also make better exotic (superior) weapon fighters: a tripe headed flail, or bastard sword, rapier, and related blades are better in the hands of a human, who can use the superior weapon without losing feats to the rest of the build, compared with a non-human fighter

* Humans aren't behind any other race on armor class unless you're talking about things like Dodge Giants which won't apply a lot of the time. Also, Dodge Giants just isn't a feat that typically shows up in Dwarf builds. Dwarves have better things to buy.
* Calling AC a "brute" attribute while ignoring NADs as being in the same category is just flat-out wrong. Many fights involve few (if any) attacks against armor class, and usually the NAD attacks are nastier.
* You're paying a lot of attention to the Dragonborn and Dwarf bonus to healing surge values. While that's really nice for Con-heavy builds in the early Heroic tier, it gets outscaled pretty quickly past Heroic...it's never useless but it's a pretty weak sell at Epic.
* Saving throw bonuses run the line between mostly useless and absolutely critical. Shaking off a dazed or immobilized status effect with Action Surge can save your whole turn, for instance. Saving against status effects often prevents nastier monster powers from coming into play. Nobody likes a Fighter that's been dominated by a vampire, either. My Warlord found that out the hard way the other night.

You're not exactly wrong, but I think you're using the wrong terms to say what you're seeing. Humans aren't a very offensive race on the whole, excepting Action Surge and a few uses of the Adriot Exploiter paragon path. Humans are great at staying in the game or shifting the tide of battle when things get tough, though.

Humans make great front-line combatants.

one thing that I think deserves its own little blurb.

What encounter powers are worth doubling up on with Adroit Explorer. The PP is one of the main things giving humans breathe of life in CO right now. Also you should have a blip about different high defense strategies as that is the other huge draw point.

this is all after acton surge of course
This is a handbook I've been waiting for for a long time. One question: In this handbook, are you going by the assumption that humans are nearly as good as the best race for every build; or will you be trying to prove that humans can be as good or even best at some builds?
I'm going to be looking at each class from the perspective of a human, suggesting how to make the most of the Human's extra options.
Feel free to add any iteration of Harvey to your human builds list.

... and I really have set a precedent. Cool.

A list of CharOp Handbooks I'm currently updating:

Heart of the Dragon: A Dragonborn's Handbook

Infernal Wrath: A Tiefling's Handbook

Cyan sucks and is painful to behold
Deep Sky Blue is equally light blue while being easy on the eyes
-Gain Combat Leader: +2 power bonus to Inititive, for you and each ally. Humans do not qualify for any feats from this, though Elfs do.

There is a paragon level feat that lets you use your charisma or intelligence modifier for the combat leader bonus to initiative.
There is a paragon level feat that lets you use your charisma or intelligence modifier for the combat leader bonus to initiative.

...serves me right for only looking in Martial Power. *Scours PHB for other feats*
A suggestions, nitpicks and arguments here:

First, I'll note that you've taken on a massive task. You can make a human version of nearly any class. That makes this a much bigger job than most other handbooks. Good luck.

Second, I would suggest that you make sure to focus on a couple builds that really make human characters shine and which are not simply second best substitutes for builds where other races are better. That's not to say you should ignore builds where humans are first loser (second place), but the builds that can only be done or can best be done with humans would be a good place to start and focus. My suggestions for promising human builds would be to look into Adroit Explorer builds. Ones that focus on Rain of Blows (fighter) or war of attrition (inspiring warlord) are probably the most promising picks for this but there may be something hiding in the wings. (Maybe Trip Up would also be worth adroit exploring).

Third, some arguments:

A. The third at-will is at best black. Really, it should probably be purple in most cases but black (or maybe dark blue) for a wizard. It might push black for warlords and rogues as well, but having played human warlords for quite a while I'm not sold on it. For some classes (paladin), any warlock other than a charisma focused starlock, and nonbalanced clerics, it is unambiguously red. For rangers, and tempest fighters, it is also red--but for a different reason. They would be doing just fine if they only got one at-will power (Twin strike or dual strike).

I've made the argument before in other places, but the third at-will is inevitably the third best choice for your build. As such, it will probably only see use once every two to three combats at most, and even in those cases, it is probably only marginally better than what you would have done if you didn't have it. (For instance, the fighter who has Cleave as hit third at-will will use it in some situations and it is good when he does so. However, it is probably not that much better than brash strike or reaping strike would have been in the same situation). On the other hand, a truly blue or sky blue racial power like elven accuracy or dwarven durability is useful in nearly every encounter and does not have a "second best" option that it competes with. If you didn't have elven accuracy, you would miss--you wouldn't use an alternate power. On the other hand, if you don't have illusory ambush, you may make do with cloud of daggers.

B. Stubborn Survivor is not sky blue. It is black at best. It's basically an improved human perseverance that does nothing when you are sitting on an action point. (And therefore is not really that improved). It has its up side, but it encourages a rash and inefficient use of action points (gotta use the action point or you don't get the bonus), and has some serious negative synergy with adroit explorer (who can never benefit from it at all until the second encounter of the day--or the fourth encounter of the day if encounter 1 or 2 is a skill challenge).

C. Timely revival is red. One time in 20 not losing an action when you are dying is not worth a feat--it would be garbage even as a heroic feat. Epic characters have a number of ways to cheat death in any event and feats or powers that only kick in once you are losing are bad choices.

D. Avenging Spirit looks good and I want to like it but since it doesn't grant an exception to the 1 action point per combat rule, the extra action point will often go to waste. If you hold off on using action points when it would otherwise be a good time because you want to be able to use your bonus action point from an ally going down, you are making a self-fulfilling prophecy and deliberately gimping your strategy in order to gain a bonus that will not usually make up for the bad position you put yourself into. On the other hand, if you use your action points normally, you will generally have already used your action point in any encounter that is challenging enough to drop an ally. It has potential with the feats or epic destinies that let you give action points away so maybe there is something that can be done about it, but it's definitely not sky blue.

E. Action surge should be mentioned in conjunction with multiattacking powers. Action surge on a power like war of attrition or frigid darkness is great. Action surge on Rain of Blows or Path of the Storm, on the other hand is incredible.
Added Fighter. That's my intended template for classes, unless anyone has something else they'd like me to add.
A. The third at-will is at best black. Really, it should probably be purple in most cases but black (or maybe dark blue) for a wizard. It might push black for warlords and rogues as well, but having played human warlords for quite a while I'm not sold on it. For some classes (paladin), any warlock other than a charisma focused starlock, and nonbalanced clerics, it is unambiguously red. For rangers, and tempest fighters, it is also red--but for a different reason. They would be doing just fine if they only got one at-will power (Twin strike or dual strike).

Shaman and Druids benefit significantly from the extra at-will due to how their at-will powers are divided up and restricted. Sorcerers benefit in the same way and for many of the same reasons as Wizards. Invokers barely register the third at-will because their powers are already so same-y. Barbarians it's eh, though tasty. For most races it's easier to just make-do without Howling Strike than decide between a valuable at-will push and good chunk of Temp HP. Bards are as bad as Clerics, though without the stat-split problem. Avengers it's pretty good since it lets you have two really decent melee attacks and a good ranged attack for the inevitable flying enemy, which is a frequently overlooked capability.

But, yes, the greatest strength of a third at-will is being able to cover 3/4 defenses, while most of the classes don't even have at-wills that target more than 2 different defenses.

In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
who, squatting upon the ground,
held his heart in his hands, and ate of it.
I said, "is it good, friend?"
"It is bitter – bitter," he answered;
"but I like it,
"beacuase it is bitter,
"and because it is my heart."

For S&B Fighters I'd actually go ToI, Cleave, Footwork Lure. The precision control over the field that Tide and Lure give when you have both is really really sweet for that style of character.

In the desert
I saw a creature, naked, bestial,
who, squatting upon the ground,
held his heart in his hands, and ate of it.
I said, "is it good, friend?"
"It is bitter – bitter," he answered;
"but I like it,
"beacuase it is bitter,
"and because it is my heart."

As for simotaniously complaining about Timely Revival and Stubborn Survival, EB... you obvously have not seen the Trollblood build. When I get a chance, I'll assemble a proper build, but Here is a quick overview I put together.
Champion of humanity actually makes stubborn survivor less powerful. You'll only have the benefit for a fraction of one fight in a 3-encounter day.

Timely revival is decent IFF you have a lot of saving throw bonuses (nullifying ring, stubborn survivor, human perseverance, verve armor, etc.) I probably wouldn't pick it up in most builds though.
Champion of humanity actually makes stubborn survivor less powerful. You'll only have the benefit for a fraction of one fight in a 3-encounter day.

:/
You don't use them both on the SAME BUILD...
:/
You don't use them both on the SAME BUILD...

Oh I know. I just think you should point that out. For example...humans make awesome wardens because they can specialize in saving throws and become immune or near immune to "save ends," effects. If you are going that route you shouldn't pick adroit explorer.
As for simotaniously complaining about Timely Revival and Stubborn Survival, EB... you obvously have not seen the Trollblood build. When I get a chance, I'll assemble a proper build, but Here is a quick overview I put together.

I'm not impressed by the concept--let's say you put together a build that automatically gets a 20 on its death save at the start of its turn. Nifty, but how much of your character did you light on fire to get there? To the degree that the feats are not useful unless you are lying on your back unconscious, the combo assures that you will go through healing surges more quickly and spend more time taking the dirt nap. It also encourages your DM to just target you while you're down and kill you outright if his monsters have the ability to do so--that's what players in previous versions of D&D did to actual trolls.

Plus, epic level immortality is just not that special. If you really want it, you can have the real thing as an undying soldier.
Hmm... I'm liking this racial Handbook idea! Maybe I should make one of my own...

Anyway, I posted here to link a couple of Human builds for the Roll of Glory section: my Avenger Master of Defense and my Orbizard.

As per the formatting, I'd use some sblocking to separate the classes; otherwise, it gets a bit muddled.
Rated racial feats, and put in Sblocking.
Hmm... I'm liking this racial Handbook idea! Maybe I should make one of my own...

I would jump for joy and maybe even pee my pants in glee...
I would point out that both bloodied determination and bloodied greatness specify enemy, so no reason to mention allies really. You need a [/b] after stubborn survivor instead of a [b], and it actually works fine with Adroit explorer after the first battle of the day. You just have to use your 2nd AP right at the beginning of the 2nd fight, similar to how you would use your 1st AP at the beginning of the 1st fight if you weren't an Adroit Explorer. Still sucks for the first fight each day though.

Also, here's my Human Warden/Wildrunner that basically can't fail saves, if you're interested.
Congradulations, this is the only known way to have the same encounter power twice in the same encounter

I would double check the Planeshaper ED.

Just grabbed the PDF, here's the text:

and after an extended rest you
can choose one encounter power. You can use that
encounter power twice per encounter. When you take
another extended rest, you can choose a different
encounter power.

It's part of their 21st level feature.
A. The third at-will is at best black. Really, it should probably be purple in most cases but black (or maybe dark blue) for a wizard. It might push black for warlords and rogues as well, but having played human warlords for quite a while I'm not sold on it. For some classes (paladin), any warlock other than a charisma focused starlock, and nonbalanced clerics, it is unambiguously red. For rangers, and tempest fighters, it is also red--but for a different reason. They would be doing just fine if they only got one at-will power (Twin strike or dual strike).

I've made the argument before in other places, but the third at-will is inevitably the third best choice for your build. As such, it will probably only see use once every two to three combats at most, and even in those cases, it is probably only marginally better than what you would have done if you didn't have it. (For instance, the fighter who has Cleave as hit third at-will will use it in some situations and it is good when he does so. However, it is probably not that much better than brash strike or reaping strike would have been in the same situation). On the other hand, a truly blue or sky blue racial power like elven accuracy or dwarven durability is useful in nearly every encounter and does not have a "second best" option that it competes with. If you didn't have elven accuracy, you would miss--you wouldn't use an alternate power. On the other hand, if you don't have illusory ambush, you may make do with cloud of daggers.

As usual, E_B, I disagree, and think it's fine as a Dark Blue in general. For some Builds, yes, it is the last thing you care about when you choose to be Human, but for many other Builds it's either a very nice benefit to the other bonuses the Race gets you, or an absolute blessing you can't wait to abuse.

It's Sky Blue for Druids, Sorcerers, Wizards, and Warlocks*.

It's Dark Blue for Barbarians, Rogues, and Warlords.

For everyone else**, it's either Black or Red.

*The Feylock is the only one who can't really get excellent use out of the 3rd At-Will. Starlocks/Inferlocks using Con can easily get excellent usage out of each other's At-Wills, and Darklocks/Starlocks using Cha can both get excellent usage out of Eyebite.

**The problem here is that once Arcane Power and Divine Power hit, the Wizard, Cleric, Paladin, etc. will be getting a Black+ rating out of the extra At-Will.



EDIT: However, I do 100% agree with E_B about the "Trollblood" Build. Anything that relies on you to be getting your teeth knocked in to be useful is a Bad Thing in my book.
Resident Logic Cannon
[SIZE="1"]*The Feylock is the only one who can't really get excellent use out of the 3rd At-Will. Starlocks/Inferlocks using Con can easily get excellent usage out of each other's At-Wills, and Darklocks/Starlocks using Cha can both get excellent usage out of Eyebite.

Um... Isn't the Darklock power CHA based?
Ahh, so THIS is where I can add a sig. Remember: Killing an ancient God inside of a pyramid IS a Special Occasion, and thus, ladies should be dipping into their Special Occasions underwear drawer.
Um... Isn't the Darklock power CHA based?

It sucks. Eldritch Blast is actually better.
Resident Logic Cannon
It sucks. Eldritch Blast is actually better.

*shrug* haven't read through it. I haven't played a warlock since before FRPG came out.

Personally, I realized that I need weapons.
Ahh, so THIS is where I can add a sig. Remember: Killing an ancient God inside of a pyramid IS a Special Occasion, and thus, ladies should be dipping into their Special Occasions underwear drawer.
I'm probably going to be working on this rather slowly- perhaps a class a day, and that until I get a job, at which point all bets are off.

However, if people whant to help out will class writeups, that would speed things up immensely.
Today's class: Rogue!
I've always tout humans also make better exotic (superior) weapon fighters: a tripe headed flail, or bastard sword, rapier, and related blades are better in the hands of a human, who can use the superior weapon without losing feats to the rest ofhe build, compared with a non-human fighter
It seems to me that humans become weaker in paragon in terms of 'brute' physical stats such as damage, ac and health compared to othe races. A lot of human feats deal with improved NADs (except Action Surge), compared to other race's feats like increased healing surge values, conditional attack bonuses, rerolling attack rolls etc. The feats that enhance 'brute' physical stats like toughnes, armour prof, weapon focus etc. run out well before your 18 feats are used up, making the 19 feat useless for 'brute' physical bonuses. But there are more than 19 useful feats if you count feats that help your party.

The extra feat and at will means that humans make great non-warrior classes, who rely on at wills and feats more than brute power. For classes with a large 'brute' focus like fighters, humans won't be as good at fighting individually compared to a dwarf or a dragonborn IMO, past paragon. But a human will be better at synergizing as part of a team, having an extra feat to spend on synergy feats like enhanced OA's, or on defender-esque feats like durability. The extra at-will will help you have the right tool to help your party at the right time. You won't have as much time in the spotlight individually when fighting against a troll with a greatclub, compared to a dwarf or dragonborn fighter. But if it tries to get at your party members, you will be better able to fill your team role.

The bonus to NADs mean humans are tough when it comes to attacks that target NADs, which include magic and non-'brute' physical attacks. At heroic level humans will be equally tough in 'brute' toughness, due to the wide availability of feats like toughness and weapon specializations.

I have only DMed a few adventures in 4E, and apart from reading the book don't have much experience with humans or fighters in the game. I am also not great at mathematical balancing. So feel free to pick apart any flaws in my post. This is merely an impression I got from reading the book.