Siren: Nearly Inescapable Fighter Build

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Siren: She Who Calls You to Your Death

"Draw near ... illustrious Odysseus, flower of the Achaean chivalry, and bring your ship to rest that you may hear our voices. No seaman ever sailed his black ship past this place without listening to the sweet voice that flow from our lips... and we have foreknowledge of all that is going to happen on this fruitful earth."The SIRENS to Odysseus. Homer, Odyssey 12.184).




I rarely post here, and almost never post builds. However, a friend of mine and I were proud of this one, and decided to see what CharOp thought. I could not find a similar build with the search function, or on any of the Fighter Handbooks, so hopefully this is an original.

Let me explain the general concept, post the build, and then explain all the little details.

The basic idea is to use Warrior's Urging as many times as possible in a combat, to consistently draw enemies away from your allies, mark them, and force them to waste actions to get back to attacking your allies.

Note: The khopesh has been chosen to get all the benefits of Swordmaster, while being able to drop Dex completely to focus on Con, and axe feats. Dragonborn has been chosen over Dwarf to increase the base surge value, and to allow for mass marking with the dragon breath.

The build:
====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&DI Character Builder ======
Siren, level 30
Dragonborn, Fighter, Swordmaster, Legendary General
Fighter Talents: Battlerager Vigor
Invigorating Exploit: Warrior's Urging

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 26, Con 24, Dex 13, Int 12, Wis 15, Cha 12.

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 16, Con 16, Dex 11, Int 10, Wis 13, Cha 8.


AC: 48 Fort: 41 Reflex: 38 Will: 37
HP: 228 Surges: 16 Surge Value: 64

TRAINED SKILLS
Athletics +24, Endurance +23, Perception +22, Intimidate +23

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +12, Arcana +16, Bluff +16, Diplomacy +16, Dungeoneering +17, Heal +17, History +18, Insight +17, Nature +17, Religion +16, Stealth +12, Streetwise +16, Thievery +12

FEATS
Level 1: Enlarged Dragon Breath
Level 2: Student of Battle
Level 4: Weapon Expertise (Axe)
Level 6: Weapon Focus (Axe)
Level 8: Improved Vigor
Level 10: Toughness
Level 11: Daunting Challenge
Level 12: Iron Will (retrained to Epic Will at Level 22)
Level 14: Lightning Reflexes (retrained to Epic Reflexes at Level 23)
Level 16: Combat Anticipation (retrained to Epic Resurgence at Level 21)
Level 18: Armor Proficiency (Plate)
Level 20: Armor Specialization (Plate)
Level 21: Axe Mastery
Level 22: Martial Mastery
Level 24: Invigorating Exploit
Level 26: Triumphant Attack
Level 28: Distracting Shield
Level 30: Reckless Attacker

POWERS
Fighter at-will 1: Crushing Surge
Fighter at-will 1: Tide of Iron
Fighter encounter 1: Passing Attack
Fighter daily 1: Knee Breaker
Fighter utility 2: Pass Forward
Fighter encounter 3: Dance of Steel
Fighter daily 5: Dizzying Blow
Fighter utility 6: Settling the Score
Fighter encounter 7: Come and Get It
Fighter daily 9: Fighter's Recovery
Fighter utility 10: Menacing Stance
Fighter encounter 13: Scattering Swing (replaces Dance of Steel)
Fighter daily 15: Quicksilver Stance (replaces Knee Breaker)
Fighter utility 16: Iron Warrior
Fighter encounter 17: Vorpal Tornado (replaces Passing Attack)
Fighter daily 19: Devastation's Wake (replaces Dizzying Blow)
Fighter utility 22: Inspired Resurgence
Fighter encounter 23: Warrior's Urging (replaces Scattering Swing)
Fighter daily 25: Fighter's Resurgence (replaces Quicksilver Stance)
Fighter encounter 27: Cruel Reaper (replaces Vorpal Tornado)
Fighter daily 29: Force the Battle (replaces Devastation's Wake)

ITEMS
Dwarven Godplate Armor +6, Battlemaster's Khopesh +6, Shield of the Barrier Sentinels Heavy Shield (epic tier), Greaves of Maldeen (paragon tier), Lightning Reflex Gloves (paragon tier), Crown of Eyes (paragon tier), Torc of Power Preservation +6, Ring of the Dragonborn Emperor (paragon tier), Ring of Protection (paragon tier), Cord of Foresight (paragon tier)
====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&DI Character Builder ======

So, here is how all of that works together, optimally:

The build is based around regaining, and consistently using Warrior's Urging. The primary way to do this is through the Swordmaster PP 16th level ability Steel Blitz, which allows you to regain a spent righter encounter power when you crit with a light or heavy blade. While you also have Epic Resurgence, Steel Blitz is vastly superior. Epic Resurgence only works if you crit with the first attack roll. Steel Blitz doesn't care what attack roll you use, only that you crit with a heavy or light blade. You have many other ways to regain this power, though, as you will see below.

The benefits of using Warrior's to you and your party are legion. You hopefully mark a decent number of the opposing force(or eliminated them if they are minions). Any foes still standing have to waste a shift to get away from you and attack someone squishy, often leaving them with charge as about their only option(eliminating the use of most nasty encounter powers for now...), unless they want to waste a round just moving. In which case, you have done your job admirably. Otherwise they attack you(win) or try to get to get to someone by using regular movement(win). In which case, you lay the "don't move" Combat Superiority smack-down on them.

Here is the opening of a standard combat:

When combat starts, move to a place where you can call as many mobs as possible with your use of Warrior's Urging. You get X many attacks, hopefully at least 3, which is that many chances to get a crit, to recharge Urging. Note: You are also hopefully flanked at this time, because you are actually harder to hit when surrounded. Your Crown of Eyes negates the CA enemies get from flanking you, and your Shield of the Barrier Sentinels says you gain a +3 to AC and Reflex while flanked. These together are full of awesome, since being surrounded by mobs is your bag.

Now, in all likelihood, you probably didn't get that crit to recharge Warrior's Urging you were looking for, unless you had at least 6 or more mobs around you. Not to worry. Martial Mastery is here for you. Next round, spend an action point first thing, recharging Warrior's Urging. Then use Warrior's Urging again, followed up by Cruel Reaper.

Now, at this point it is very likely that you have recovered one, if not two powers. But even if you haven't, you have all the back-ups you might ever need. Fighter's Recovery and Fighter's Resurgence both recharge an encounter attack power once you are out of them. Crescendo Sword, the Swordmaster daily attack, allows you to recharge one daily or encounter, depending on a hit or miss. If you hit, recharge Fighter's Resurgence and get yourself another Warrior's Urging. If you miss, go straight for Warrior's Urging(Unless of course you want to recharge something else. Though this build is focused around Warrior's Urging, you need to adapt to whatever situation you find yourself in.)

You also have the Torc of Power Preservation, so use it wisely.

At 26th level you will get the Legendary Exploits daily utility from Legendary General, which can also be used to recharge Warrior's Urging(or just about anything else you want).

As well, keep Come and Get It from earlier in your career as a weaker, though still useful version of Warrior's Urging, to help you do your job and recharge Warrior's Urging.

Plus you get some good action out of Ring of the Dragonborn Emperor for re-using Warrior's Urging, so long as you have reached a milestone(and since most of your encounter powers are close attacks. Boo-yah).

The key to this build is always positioning. Making sure you can call the baddies away from your buddies who are squishy or in trouble is why this build is worth assembling in the first place. If you need to take an OA or three to get to a position where you can pull the bad guys off of your buddies who don't necessarily want to be toe-to-toe... do it.

Now, since you will optimally be attacked a whole lot, Battlerage Vigor makes the most sense, and you should frequently have 20 thp at the end of a round, thanks to being attacked a lot, and having used Invigorating Exploit on Warrior's Urging. You also have Force the Battle in a tough spot, to allow you to use Crushing surge on every adjacent enemy at the beginning of that enemy's turn. In addition, you should start the first battle each day with 64 thp by using the Cord of Foresight. If all of those aren't enough, you have Dwarven Armor, Iron Warrior, Inspired Resurgence, and Inspiring Word to help you out if things get rough, so you have resources to keep yourself going if for some reason the rest of the party can't get your back.

If your enemies still aren't enraged enough at your dancing them all around the battlefield to want your head on a platter, and keep attacking your allies anyway, that's the time to break out Menacing Stance.

This build shines in groups, but lacks a little oomph in Solo battles. In Solo battles, remember that you can still play around the with BBEG, drawing him away from you allies. Your ability to re-use such powers will be more limited though, so act more sparingly in your use of Warrior's and Come and Get It.

In any case, your level 30 ED ability should rock the house when nothing else will. As long as you have 1 or more hit points, your party should be good to go. Look out for Orcus' Touch of Death.

Comments welcome.
First Note: Why not just go Demi-god, blow all your encounter powers, and then use Warrior's Urging to your heart's content? Because that only works at one level: level 30. This build allows for power recharging as early as level 16 with Steel Blitz and Come and Get It(at this point use a jagged weapon for maximum recharge). This only improves as you gain axe mastery, epic resurgence, martial mastery, Warrior's Urging, etc. in the epic levels.

Second Note: If you are not interested in the Legendary General, the Adamantine Soldier is also very good for survivability in this build. Demigod is always good, but once you reach level 30 the build becomes chief of The Redundancy Department of Redundancy. Eternal Defender is pretty good for more Strength and more damage, and the 30th level ability is basically a guaranteed crit once per day(thanks, heyyon!)

Third Note: Although I am a fan of the Battlemaster's Khopesh for this build, the Rending Khopesh would provide a greater number of attacks on crits, allowing you to possibly recharge even more powers at once(and dealing more damage, thanks scrollreader!)
This is an interesting build. Most Swordmaster builds I have seen (understandably) try to recover powers like Rain of Blows. I think this is the first time I have seen one focus on Warrior's Urging/Come and Get It.

You might want to check out SongNSilence's Inescapable Fisherman build(s). It is very different from your build in execution but has a similar theme (to keep enemies adjacent to a Battlerager fighter). Warden multiclass + Form of the Winter Herald + Sudden Roots might be a very powerful option for keeping foes close once you pull them in.


Fighter encounter 13: Dance of Blades (replaces Dance of Steel)

You seem to be using a khopesh and heavy shield, but Dance of Blades requires two melee weapons. Even so, I tend to prefer Scattering Swing or Appalling Crunch.

Edit: Oh, I just remembered. Bloodhound Style feat from Dragon 373 might be nice for you as well. At your option, it allows you to slow your target (instead of push) with Tide of Iron.
Polearm Fighter Build Thread:The Reacher
Shokatsuryou: Thank you for pointing that out. You are absolutely correct about Dance of Blades, and I will be editing the OP to Scattering Swing.

In addition, I had also thought about Bloodhound Style, but wasn't sure what to give up in exchange.

I have been looking at the Inescapable Fisherman, and it also is pretty nasty at what it does. I will look for details I can assimilate to improve the Siren.
i like the concept of abusing the Swordmaster PP. Recursion tends to be powerful in any game, and D&D (especially 4.0) is no different. The issue is that critical hits (so far) are difficult to come by. 1 in 10 odds are difficult to make occur every round. There are two ways to make recursion go: have a better critical hit rate and have more attacks.

There's a few easy ways to generate more attacks:

- Dual Strike as an at-will. You have to use Heavy Blades as it is (do we really care to use Light Blades?), so Heavy Blade Opportunity is out there for the taking. It requires 15 dex, but it's worthwhile for a fighter to take.

- Rain of Blows. In situations where you can not get surrounded by 5 or more monsters, this will outperform Come and Get It or Warrior's Urging. Also, it's beastly damage. Against Solo monsters, this will likely be your bread and butter.

- Storms of Blades / Hurricane of Blades. Yeah, they're barbarian powers. Yeah, Storm of Blades requires big Con. Yeah, it's totally worth it.

There's also a great way to make your crit chance go up a lot. Again, a barbarian power. Stone Tempest Rage.

Using up three feats to go barbarian MC and get an *insanely* good encounter power to recur, as well as a very high quality daily power (which you can recur using Crescendo Sword!) seems a wise choice.

Here's how I'd do it:
Go fighter, and select the Battlerager feature. With this option, you're locked in to being a Str/Con fighter, but that's okay by you. Getting hit isn't a big deal (you'll shrug off Con Modifier damage from all those melee attacks you'll take), and you're still a tank... stuff *should* be hitting you. Towards the end of the Heroic tier, I'd gather up my Barbarian MC, but wait for Storm of Blades to take Novice Power. Again, wait on Stone Temptest Rage to take Adept Power.

Make sure to load up on multi-hit powers. Rain of Blows is *an absolute must.* Keeping it, along with Storm of Blades, and the better of Come and Get It or Warrior's Urging seems the best course of action.

It would play out something like this. Size up the battlefield and decide if you want to nuke a solo monster or gather in the large group. Fire off Come and Get It or Rain of Blows accordingly. If you crit, repeat. If not, Storm of Blades for many attacks. If you crit, repeat your choice power again. If not, fire off the remaining encounter power.

On the first challenging encounter of the day, use Stone Tempest Rage. This gives you a 1 in 7 critical hit chance. Assuming you've pumped your Con like a good Battlerager, Storm of Blades will hit 7-8 times. A critical hit in that bunch can almost be expected. (Mathematically, it can, but dice are fickle.) In the next encounter, use Crescendo Sword, recharging Stone Tempest Rage, and, since it is a burst attack, maybe even an encounter power. When you need it again, you can use Stone Tempest Rage once more.

The only question now is what epic destiny. My choice is Eternal Defender. +2 strength is good, and wielding a size larger in each hand is also quite useful. The real boon comes from it's level 30 ability: 1/day, treat a hit as a natural 20. Basically, you're given one crit when you need it. So, in the middle of that Orcus fight, when you flung off Warrior's Urging, Rain of Blows and Storm of Blades, but not a single g'damn crit... you got your crit, sir!

All in all, this is a real high dpr build. What it gets over other builds is a tool box-y recursion. It doesn't quite nova like other builds and it's not quite the stickiest i've seen. But it does a blend of each with a chance of going off for a mini-nova multiple rounds in a row. That's always fun.
You really, really want a Rending Khopesh. Bonus attacks on a crit make curther critting more likely, etc.
i added this to the builds link.
You really, really want a Rending Khopesh. Bonus attacks on a crit make curther critting more likely, etc.

This echoes something I was thinking myself: Why use adamantine when by using a Khopesh, you qualify for Rending? I don't consider it a plainly superior weapon in all builds or anything elitist like that, but for your goal, it seems like it would provide a clear benefit.
heyyon: Thanks for a different look at this build. Let me respond to a few things.

- Dual Strike as an at-will. You have to use Heavy Blades as it is (do we really care to use Light Blades?), so Heavy Blade Opportunity is out there for the taking. It requires 15 dex, but it's worthwhile for a fighter to take.

- Rain of Blows. In situations where you can not get surrounded by 5 or more monsters, this will outperform Come and Get It or Warrior's Urging. Also, it's beastly damage. Against Solo monsters, this will likely be your bread and butter.

While I LOVE both of these powers, they both require sacrifices that may not benefit the overall build. The reason to go with the khopesh is so that you can drop Dex completely, and focus on Con and thp like a good Battlerager. And since Rain of Blows would require the use of light blades, that would put me back to needing to increase my Dex at the cost of my Con.

- Storms of Blades / Hurricane of Blades. Yeah, they're barbarian powers. Yeah, Storm of Blades requires big Con. Yeah, it's totally worth it.

I had considered both Storm/Hurricane of Blades. Unfortunately, their recharge potential would be more limited, since Swordmaster only recharges Fighter encounter powers. That was one of the top reasons I didn't go for Barbarian MC-ing. However, since they are still very, very useful for recharging Warrior's Urging(and killing things dead), I think you are right that I should consider them for any build that is looking to crit as often as possible like this one. I like Come and Get It, but perhaps could lose it, since one of those would add some much needed anti-Solo power.

Would then look to change the ED to Adamantine Soldier or Eternal Defender(as you also pointed out, thank you!), depending on preference.

There's also a great way to make your crit chance go up a lot. Again, a barbarian power. Stone Tempest Rage.

Yeah, if you take this build MC Barbarian, there is no way you can ignore this Daily. Good call.

Thanks for the advice heyyon! I may add an alternate build that goes Barbarian MC, either by editing this post, or adding to the OP. We'll see how lazy I am in the next few days.
scrollreader: Thanks, good pick! A friend of mine also pointed out that Battlemaster's khopesh would be good for this one. Since the Rending property only goes off on a crit, which would mean I would already have a re-charged Warrior's Urging anyway, I think I will change the OP to Battlemaster's, but Rending would be great for also potentially getting Cruel Reaper back as well!

Hannibal_Mago_Barca: Righteous! Thank you.
dual strike/rain of blows: I'm not necessarily suggesting this, but you wouldn't have to invest in dex at all. Get a jagged shortsword for your offhand, and invest 0 feats in it. Use the shortsword for rain of blows, and for the offhand for dual strike. The real cost here is the fact that you'd have to give up the shield - and the bit of dex if you wanted HBO for it.
I'm doing something similar right now. Have you considered using Shielded Sides as your level 2 utility? It'll flank-proof you until you have a Crown of Eyes and always offers a little bit more defense.

Avenger MC also - Oath won't work with Urging but in a tight spot its double rolls could give you another little boost to crit chance and thus recharging, and if you're willing to spare the swap feat Aspect of Agility serves to get you to the eye of the storm while offering still more defense.
SanityFaerie: You make a good point about Dual Strike, that the Dex investment is unnecessary. Perhaps carrying a back-up weapon for off-hand use when the crits just aren't coming could benefit this build. Unfortunately, you would have to make a Dex investment for Rain of Blows, as it requires a Dex 15 in order to get the Secondary Attacks. Perhaps sacrifice some Wis for Dex? I'll have to double check what feats I have/need that require Wis.

SuperKlausster: I did consider Shielded Sides, since I agree it is great for anti-flank in early levels, and in general is just a good utility for defense. While I ended up taking Pass Forward for the mobility, I think Shielded Sides is great for this build, and is primarily just a matter of personal preference.

As for Avenger MC, I think that would work very well if I went the Dex route, with Rain of Blows(and Dual Strike, although as pointed out above, that doesn't require the Dex). For the Con version, I think the utility of one round of Oath isn't worth the investment, but I am thinking more and more as I get feedback that there is a good argument for a slightly more Dex focused version of this build, in which the Avenger MC would be very helpful. And Aspect of Agility is made of win.
It also depends what level of play you're focused on. The dex is very nice at 15 (RoB, HBO, etc), but not nearly as helpful as the wisdom otherwise. If all you're willing to tank is the wis, then you won't get the 15 until epic - so you're going to have sacced +1 to hit on opportunity attacks throughout your character's career for something that only applies after level 21 (and after he gets the feats swapped in for it).
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