Pillars of Faith (and Facestabs): The Paladin's Handbook

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Pillars of Faith (and Facestabs):


The Paladin's Handbook




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Thy heart ist pure, thy sword ist sharp, thy faith ist strong. So thou thinkest that thou art off to a good start down the arduous road of the defender of faith, but thou stillst haveth a long way to go before thou art ready to rescueth fair damsels, protecteth the innocent, and passeth judgment through steel and light on the most vile of creatures such as demons and the ever-infamous red dragons.  Dost thou still believeth thou haveth what it taketh to measureth up to the standards of champions past? Then followeth along.  But I do believeth that expecting thee to follow along in the language style of the champions of old ist a bit much to asketh at this point.


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... So now I speak in words that you raw recruits to the divine order can understand. Now let's go.


So why play a Paladin?


So you know about the inescapability of the Fighter, the mobility of the Swordmage and the sturdiness of the Warden. What do Paladins have to offer?


* Hurt or heal. Within this class has the potential for builds that can do anything from hit close to Striker-level damage to pick up a Leader's slack healing and buffing. You'll definitely find a way to make yourself useful.


* You can punish multiple foes like few others. Between your Divine Challenge and powers and abilities that inflict Divine Sanction, your wrath in any given round is not limited to just one enemy. All enemies can suffer extra damage for violating your marks. Besides you, only the Knight and your offshoot, the Cavalier, have anything near your level of multiple-foe punishment.


* You're not tied to your immediate actions. Other Defenders must use their immediate actions to punish those who violate a challenge. You don't. That's important for three big reasons: (1) You can still defend when dazed. (2) You are free to select and use immediate action powers and abilities as you please without sacrificing your ability to punish enemies. (3) This opens up punishment stacking, a case in which you use immediate action attacks to pile on extra retaliatory damage and status effects on top of what your divine marks were already doing.


 


Ratings system:

Red: A trap, obsoleted by something else, or just plain crap.
Purple: Situational at best. Substandard in most cases.
Black: Not bad. You could do worse.
Blue: Definitely consider it, at least.
Sky Blue: A gift from the Astral Sea itself. Cherish it.
Gold: Mandatory. Not just the best. Mandatory. A very rare rating.


This Handbook covers the following sources:

PHB - Player's Handbook
PHB2 - Player's Handbook 2
PHB3 - Player's Handbook 3
DP - Divine Power
E:HFL - Essentials: Heroes of the Fallen Lands
E:HFK - Essentials: Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms
FRPG - Forgotten Realms Player's Guide
MM - Monster Manual
MM2 - Monster Manual 2
AV - Adventurer's Vault
AV2 - Adventurer's Vault 2
D XXX - Dragon Magazine, issue XXX
DA XX - Dragon Annual, year XX
MOTP - Manual of the Planes
PHBH - Player's Handbook Heroes
MP - Martial Power
MP2 - Martial Power 2
AP - Arcane Power
PP - Primal Power
EPG - Eberron Player's Guide
DSCS - Dark Sun Campaign Setting
PHR:D - Player's Handbook Races: Dragonborn
PHR:T - Player's Handbook Races: Tieflings
HoS - Heroes of Shadow
HotF - Heroes of the Feywild
MME - Mordenkainen's Magnificent Emporium
NWCS - Neverwinter Campaign Setting 


Glossary

AoE - Area of effect, often denotes a burst or blast attack.


AP - Action Point


BBEG - Big Bad Evil Guy (typically a Solo or an Elite)


DC - Divine Challenge


DPR - Damage per round


DS - Divine Sanction. A special type of mark, introduced in Divine Power, that's attached to many of the Paladin's more recently drafted feats and powers. It works like Divine Challenge in that it automatically and unavoidably deals radiant damage (3/6/9 + CHA modifier, like DC) when the enemy doesn't include you in an attack, again at no action cost, but it doesn't have DC's engagement stipulations. DS marks last as long and affect as many enemies as the associated power or feat prescribes. There's also no limit to how many enemies suffer the damage if they violate DS, making mass-DS powers very good for defense against a crowd. Like DC, DS punishment costs no action, works perfectly when you're dazed, and is open to punishment stacking. DS complements DC, and it often covers for the situations in which DC fails.


ED - Epic destiny


MAD - Multiple-attribute dependency. Otherwise known as stretching your ability scores too thin. Typically a designator for a build needing three or more ability scores to function.


MBA - Melee basic attack


NAD - Non-AC Defense (Fortitude, Reflex or Will).


OA - Opportunity attack


PP - Paragon path


Punishment stacking - Using multiple action types for punishment against the same triggering attack. While some other Defenders can do this on special occasions, Paladins take it to a whole other level. They can make it a large part of their gameplan, thanks to their default mark/punishment mechanics not taking up an action with the punishment part. Abilities and powers that Paladins can use for punishment stacking (many of which are immediate actions) will be referred to as punishment stackers.


Radiant Mafioso (or Radiant Soldier) - A character built around creating vulnerability to Radiant damage, greatly increasing not only his own damage, but in many cases his allies' as well. All Divine characters, Paladins included, have a capacity to become this type of character, thanks to things like at-will powers with the Radiant keyword, Radiant weapons, the Power of the Sun domain feat and the Morninglord paragon path. A full party of this type of character makes up the Radiant Mafia (or Radiant Army).


THP - Temporary hit points.


References

Domains/Powers list by despo1na (Saved me some work there.)
Davy Jones by Imperii
Stormhammer of Mercy by me


Thanks to:

Everyone who posts and helps out.


NOTE: This handbook deals with the classical 4e Paladin. If you're looking for help with the Paladin's subclasses, visit my Cavalier Guide and my Blackguard Guide.

Expectations of Faith: Power source and Role


You are a Divine Defender, which means you channel the power that the gods themselves use to protect your allies and punish those who would do your allies harm. The Divine power source, in general, carries a strong Leader component, and, sure enough, you do have some capacity to heal and buff your allies as well.


Battlefield Control - You've always been pretty good in this area, and you got even better after the release of Divine Power. Quite a few of your powers inflict some debilitating conditions, be it some good-old-fashioned attack penalties, dazing, slowing, blinding, weakening and, at higher levels, stunning. Sometimes even to multiple foes.


Damage - VERY dependent on your build type, although your class does have the potential to approach Striker-level DPR. In most cases, you'll want to focus on Strength as your primary attack attribute if you want to deal high damage (although a few Charisma-based exceptions to this rule do exist). Compared to other Defender classes, the Fighter still has a higher ceiling than yours, but yours is a solid second place.


Mobility - And here's where you're not so great. Considering you favor heavy armor, you will already be a square slower, more than likely. Plus your class doesn't exactly have a wealth of mobility-enhancing powers.


Stickiness - This is a combination of (a) how likely enemies are to attack you, rather than your allies and (b) how much you control the space around you and limit enemy movement. You're very good at the first part, particularly since Divine Power with Divine Sanctions, punishment stacking and penalty stacking all in your toolbox. The second part, on the other hand, isn't exactly your strong suit, but you have your ways to be at least passable.


Survivability - The class defense bonus to all NADs, plate mail proficiency from the start, the highest baseline for number of healing surges, and a lot of amazing feat support in this department means you will have no problem staying alive.


Secondary Roles

Controller - You're not bad at this. Several of your powers afflict multiple foes with hindering status effects.


Leader - You may not necessarily be a flat-out replacement for a full-time Leader, but you can make said full-time Leader's job a whole lot easier. With some of your features and powers, you are no slouch at removing status effects and healing and buffing the party in your own right, enough to liberate some Leaders to focus a lot less on healing and a lot more on offense-enabling capability. Paladins aren't much of enablers themselves, though (not without some power swapping, anyway), which is the only reason you're not totally awesome at filling this role.


Striker - It's very build-dependent on how well you can sub for this role. A Paladin who wants a Striker-level at-will DPR (typically a Straladin) won't have too much trouble obtaining it, but getting that multi-attacking nova that makes higher-level Strikers work is going to take some power-swapping. Funny thing is that Paladins have a ton of feat support that can make such novas absolutely scream, but they lack the powers in their own class' repertoire.


 


Fundamentals of Faith: Baseline mechanics


Hit Points: 15 + CON score at 1st level, 6 gained per level. It's the standard hit point figures for Defender classes, which you certainly can't complain about. Only the Warden has more base hit points than you.


Healing Surges: 10 + CON modifier is the highest baseline for any class in the game. Even if you're not paying anything beyond the standard attention to your Constitution, you'll do well enough.


Proficiencies: You're one of the very few classes that can wear plate mail from the start. You're also trained in all military melee weapons, which as far as basic training goes is as good as it gets. Your implement is a holy symbol, which is the only type of implement other than a ki focus that doesn't take up a weapon or shield slot. As for ranged weapons, you can only use the simple ones, but no one gets everything.


Defense Bonuses: +1 to all three NADs. About as good as it gets.


 

Features


Divine Challenge (PHB): After errata, the intent of the Paladin's default mark power is now perfectly clear and actually even buffed a little bit from its original form. If the marked foe targets allies without targeting you (this is before the attack hits or misses, by the way), it automatically and unavoidably deals the scaling radiant damage. The damage costs no action at all, meaning it works perfectly when you're dazed and it's open for punishment stacking. You have to engage the DC target to make the mark last past the end of your turn, so some judicial use is necessary. However, the errata also made one VERY welcome change that makes engagement failure much less of a liability than it used to be: namely, removing the penalty round that disabled the use of this power for failing to engage.


Channel Divinity: This is your per-encounter feature power. You start with two possible ways to use Channel Divinity in any given encounter (one that uses your STR, and another that uses your CHA, and feats and paragon paths may give you more ways to use it. But no matter how many options you wind up with, you still only get one use of Channel Divinity per encounter. Use it wisely.


Charisma-based CD (choose one of the following)

Divine Mettle (PHB): Grant a save to an ally with your CHA-modifier's worth of a bonus. Amazing for a high-CHA Paladin, and gets some nice feat support later on, to boot.


Specter's Shield (D 398): This immediate reaction power is for the more offensively minded high-CHA Paladin looking to put a marked enemy into a catch-22. If the enemy attacks you, he gets rewarded with this lovely, free debuff to all his defenses equal to your CHA-mod until the end of your next turn. You do have to be smart about when you pop this: Ideally it should be at a moment between the end of your last turn and the start of your allies' next turns so they get to take advantage of your debuff. But used correctly, this one can be very devastating. It does have the Fear keyword, though, so be aware of using this against enemies immune to that.


Strength-based CD

Divine Strength (PHB): Extra damage equal to your STR modifier on one attack. It has a rather weird power curve. It's great in early Heroic Tier, where it can make certain powers kill many enemies in one hit. Then it falls off a bit, but you'll still want to use it on your most damaging attacks. Then in Epic Tier, it becomes great again with its feat support.


Special Daily Feature Powers: This is the power that you can use a number of times per day based on your WIS modifier.


Choose one of the following

Ardent Vow (DP): If you're building for an early-Heroic one-shot, a Straladin might consider this one, as the damage it adds can elevate the likes of powers such as Heedless Fury and Blood of the Mighty into one-hit kills. However, if you're building for the long haul, this power is not recommended. The damage does not scale very well in any case (especially since it only gets applied to one hit ever), and the ability to lay DS down with attacks after it is pretty redundant with powers and feats that even a Straladin is likely to take.


Lay on Hands (PHB): Use your healing surge and heal an ally (or yourself) with it. The healing target heals their healing surge value's worth (by default, anyway). At its most basic, it's essentially retroactive defending, canceling out hits against an ally that should've gone against you. With some of its amazing feat support (this power, out of the three here, gets the best of it by far) it can actually become anything from extremely solid leader backup in the healing department to a terrific buff power via a huge pool of THPs.


Virtue's Touch (DP): Removes one condition from you or an ally that can include: blinded, dazed, deafened, slowed, stunned, or weakened. This one is a nice boost against enemies who deal such effects in a manner that doesn't involve a save. It's amazing when it stops effects that can get worse after failed saves. This power kinda has the opposite utility curve of Ardent Vow: It probably won't be used too often in Heroic, but past that point it pays off pretty nicely as the conditions get deadlier, especially if you pick up other means to heal to compensate for having no Lay on Hands.


 


Your Arm or Your Face?

Your Method of Exaltation


You have the (not-so) honored distinction of being one of the double-attack-stat classes in the game (also known as a V-class), along with Clerics, Warlocks and Rangers. Some of the powers in the Paladin's divine arsenal test the very strength of his arm, while others rely on his force of personality.


Straladins are those Paladins who believe that their arm must still swing the sword, and lift and throw stones to optimize the manifestation of that belief. Strength is their main attack stat. Wisdom is their secondary stat, and some may pay attention to Constitution as a co-secondary. They tend toward Striker as a secondary role, so they pay more attention to the damage they do than other Paladins. A lot of them strive for weapon mastery in Epic Tier.


Chaladins are those Paladins who stand behind a mirror all day, because presence and image are everything. They hone that image, and can channel their astral powers with great force as a result. Charisma is their main attack stat, and they're far more likely to make use of an implement than their brawny brethren. Like Straladins, they favor Wisdom as a secondary stat, and they're even more likely to care about Constitution enough to make it a co-secondary (extra Fortitude defense and healing surges). They tend toward Leader as a secondary role, so they focus on healing, buffs and status effects.


Baladins (or Balanced Paladins) focus every bit of their attention on both their Strength and Charisma to have free reign of the entire arsenal of Paladin powers. They also have the most powerful DC, thanks to the feat Mighty Challenge. However, lack of attention to Constitution and Wisdom mean lower hit points and healing surges, weaker riders and less uses of their special daily powers per day.


 


Forged for the Crusade: Ability Scores


Paladins are typically the first class that comes to mind when the acronym "MAD" gets mentioned. While it's not quite as much of a hassle now as it was earlier in 4e's lifespan, Paladins still have to pay attention to more abilities than most other classes. But at least they have the solace of one universal dump stat.


Strength: The main stat for Straladins, and one of two for Baladins. Those should max it and boost it every chance they get, since they'll be using that brawn to smite enemies. Chaladins as a whole still need a little bit of muscle, at least. A Strength of 11 is necessary to wear and carry all vital equipment, shield and adventurer's kit without getting slowed. Also, some Chaladin feats require a Strength of 15 by Epic Tier.
(Recommended start: 11-18, before racial adjustments. Dwarf Chaladins can get away with a 10, thanks to Encumbered Speed.)


Constitution: The ability to take a hit and endure long days is important. All Paladins should at the very least start with a positive modifier here for extra healing surges and starting hit points to keep upright. Later on, CON can help you make better use of your plate mail (must hit 15 at some point). Straladins looking for mastery in axes or hammers by Epic Tier will be paying special attention to this. And some Chaladins will make this their secondary stat; even if that isn't the case, it should at least be a strong tertiary.
(Recommended start: 12-16, before racial adjustments.)


Dexterity: This is the ability that tends to be all over the place for the Paladin class. It can range from fairly important in the case of Straladins looking to master a heavy blade in Epic Tier (must be 17 by that point) to an outright dump stat (even below Intelligence) for Paladin builds who can take advantage of any feats that substitute another ability score to determine initiative (e.g. Battlewise for WIS-secondary builds, Imperious Majesty for Tiefling Chaladins). For all the Paladin builds in between, a starting 10-12 will typically suffice, and they should dump Intelligence, instead.
(Recommended start: 8-14, before racial adjustments.)


Intelligence: The universal dump stat for the Paladin class (which is where the "Paladunce" moniker comes from). A good deal many of you should tank this one hard and never look back. Even if you're one of those builds who can conceivably dump Dexterity, instead, you're probably not going to start this one much higher, if any, than a pre-adjusted 10.
(Recommended start: 8-12, before racial adjustments.)


Wisdom: An all-out secondary stat for most Straladins and Hospitaler Chaladins, in particular. And even those Paladins who don't use this as a secondary will still want a decent modifier here. Even just a little bit of common sense (+2 or +3) can go a long way as it determines the number of times you can use your Lay on Hands or equivalent power per day, as well as the riders of certain powers and the effectiveness of certain survivability-related class feats.
(Recommended start: 12-16, before racial adjustments.)


Charisma: The main stat for Chaladins, and one of two for Baladins. Those Paladins should focus on their appeal and allure at every possible juncture, as they do their gods' will with it (i.e. smack enemies around).  Even some Straladins will want at least a modicum of this, if only to qualify for certain key feats in Epic Tier (aim for 15 by that point).
(Recommended start: 10-18, before racial adjustments.)


 


Focus Your Efforts: Ability Score Arrays


16, 14, 14, 13, 10, 8: The "well-rounded" stat line, commonly used by Straladins and Chaladins alike. It offers solid secondary and tertiary stats, as well as an above-average fourth stat that can be used to meet any Paragon Tier and Epic Tier feat prerequisites or multiclass requirements. You can't go wrong with this array.


16, 16, 12, 12, 10, 8: Baladins head straight for this one. This one is also best for Straladins and Chaladins who plan to multiclass or hybrid with a class that uses their secondary stat as an attack stat, such as a Chaladin/Cleric (CHA/WIS), just as an example.


18, 13, 13, 10, 10, 8: Straladins and Chaladins who want to start with a 20 in their attack stat (after racial bonus) and thus the highest attack bonus possible go for this array. The 13's go into WIS and CON; bump one of them to 14 at Lv. 4, the other one to 14 at Lv. 8, then go from there. The drawback is that you will likely miss out on certain feats, particularly in Epic Tier. It's also a good array for Wilden, who can take this array to max out their attack and still have solid secondary and tertiary stat scores.

Born to be Faithful: Races


As long as you have a bonus in Strength (for Straladins) or Charisma (for Chaladins), you'll do well. Dragonborn are a great choice for all Paladins, and are hands-down the best Baladins. Dwarves, GoliathsHalf-Orcs and Longtooth Shifters are terrific Straladins, in particular. Prime Chaladins are found among the Half-Elves, Tieflings, Devas and Kalashtars.


PHB

Dragonborn (PHB/E:HFK): You're always charismatic, and you're hands-down the best Baladin option if you choose to be strong. Chaladins can opt to be sturdy instead, which is awesome since you add your CON modifier to your healing surge value. Plus, you're more dangerous when bloodied. And to top it off, you get great feat support, including Draconic Challenge early on, which slaps Divine Sanction on every enemy caught in your breath, hit or miss.


Dwarf (PHB/E:HFL): Hardy by nature, with minor-action second wind, resistance to forced movement and a whole lot of amazing feat support to boot. Straladins choose to come in with some extra muscle and rock it out like few other races can. And Dwarves who choose to be wise instead can actually be decent Chaladins; with two secondaries getting bonuses you can still start with an 18 in Charisma without much trouble.


Eladrin (PHB/E:HFL): Amazing what a choice in stat bonuses will do to a race. All of a sudden, with the option to be charismatic in play, you're a solid Chaladin option. Fey Step is quite an asset, as are the bonuses to Will and saves against Charm, Trance and your Education (best spent on Perception).


Elf (PHB/E:HFL): Quick and either wise or smart. Elven Accuracy is an excellent racial power, but alas, it's not enough compensation for lack of muscle or image.


Half-Elf (PHB/E:HFK): Easily one of the best Chaladin races. You've got the the Constitution and the option for Charisma, and you can take Human and Elf feats. But the best part of all is Dilletante, which lets you swipe an at-will power from another class. In Paragon Tier, that power can become a true at-will with the Versatile Master feat (PHB2). By virtue of that one, you're not a half-bad Straladin, either, despite not being particularly strong.


Recommended Dilletante powers

Cutting Words (Bard) (PHBH): Attack at range and pull 2 squares. Helps you better maintain Divine Challenge and force enemies to close distance with you. Implement-based, Psychic, and attacks.


Dragonfrost (Sorcerer) (PHB2): If you're looking for a ranged basic attack, this is the way to go. 10-square range, decent damage, and it can push the enemy a square if it hits.


Eldritch Strike (Warlock) (PHBH): Weapon-based, and it counts as a CHA-based MBA. It also slides the enemy a square if it hits. It serves as a fine alternative to Virtuous Strike if you'd rather select two other Paladin at-wills. Or, if you do plan on multiclassing with an arcane class, you want to outfit a melee basic attack with fun stuff like the White Lotus feat line (D 374), Quickened Spellcasting (AP), Arcane Admixture (AP) and all the goods that feat opens up, etc. Take the Melee Training feat to tide you over in Heroic Tier, then retrain that feat for Versatile Master when you hit Lv. 11.


Eyebite (Warlock) (PHB): Psychic attack vs. Will (which means it's enhanceable by Psychic Lock), and a popular pick from the early days of 4e. It can still be a good, even great choice, but it's no longer automatic. To make this one live up to its full potential, you'll want to already provide an orgy of disincentive to the enemy to attack anyone else besides you (e.g. Hospitaler, Forceful Challenge, Weakening Challenge, several immediate action punishment powers ... preferably all in combination).


Intent Laid Bare (Ardent) (D 395): Counts as a CHA-based MBA and prevents the enemy from shifting when you hit. Perfect for some extra stickiness. The only snag is that it does not get an extra [W] of damage in Epic Tier, but that's a small price to pay for Chaladins who aren't all that damage-focused, anyway.


Sacred Flame (Cleric) (PHB): Ranged radiant attack against Reflex that can give an ally a solid amount of THPs or allow a save. Good choice for a CHA/WIS Paladin/Cleric.


Twin Strike (Ranger) (PHB): The reason Rangers are king of DPR. Adept Dilletante works nicely to let Chaladins attack with it; or, alternatively, multiclass Bard and take Combat Virtuoso, which works out perfectly since this power doesn't add ability modifier to damage, anyway.


Vicious Mockery (Bard) (PHB2): Like the Chaladin's own Enfeebling Strike, but with a 10-square range! Implement-based attack vs. Will that slaps a -2 attack roll debuff on the enemy if it hits. Use this against a marked enemy to make it hell for the knave to hit your allies (cumulative -4). For that matter they're not gonna have an easy time hitting you, either. It's a Psychic attack, too, which means it can be enhanced by feats like Psychic Lock. For many Chaladins, this has superseded Eyebite as the go-to Dilletante.


Halfling (PHB/E:HFL): Agile, and I'll assume you're working on the personality. You'll make a good Chaladin. Your racial power can make an enemy miss when he thinks he got you, and you get access to some good racial feats. Small size does hold you back, though, limiting your choice of weapons.


Human (PHB/E:HFL): You can train in any one attribute, and it'd better be either Strength or Charisma. Bonus feat and skill are great. The +1 racial bonus to all NADs is huge, too. Finally, you can choose between a third at-will (a good choice for Chaladins in particular), or a HUGE per-encounter boost on an attack roll or save. Can't go wrong here at all.


Tiefling (PHB/E:HFK): Your race's star as a Chaladin has really taken off since the beginning, to the point that you're arguably the best at it now. You can now opt for Constitution to go along with your natural Charisma, for one. Plus you have some of the best feat support from the likes of Imperious Majesty, Wrath of the Crimson Legion and Dispater's Iron Discipline. Your Bloodhunt feature also lets you finish bloodied foes that much faster.


PHB2

Deva (PHB2/D 397): Welcome to the club. Now that you can be charismatic instead of smart, and add that to your innate Wisdom, you're easily among the best Chaladins out there. (Aasimar fans from 3.5 should be happy.) Especially if you're going all-out dual-stat CHA/WIS, this is as good as it gets. Memory of a Thousand Lifetimes is a terrific and versatile racial power that can provide huge corrections on attacks, saves and even skill checks. Extra defense against bloodied creatures, a nice amount of level-scaling resistance to radiant and the very common necrotic, and some incredible feat support for different build types top it all off.


Gnome (PHB2): You're charismatic, so you'll do fine as a Chaladin. Fade Away is a solid racial power, and you do get some pretty good feat support throughout your career. Unfortunately, small size limits your weapon choices.


Goliath (PHB2/D 397): Strong by nature, and now with the option to be wise. This brings you completely out of the shadow of the STR/CON Dwarf and makes you one of the very top Straladin races in your own right. Stone's Endurance is still a fantastic racial power for durability, and your feat support is likewise still great for the Defender role. Last but not least, you still get that +1 racial bonus to Will.


Half-Orc (PHB2/E:HFK): The feat Blessed Strength single-handedly makes you one of the best Straladin races. That's on top of your being strong and quick, fast on a charge and hard-hitting. With your quickness you also sacrifice the least to master a heavy blade.


Shifter, Longtooth (PHB2): Strong and wise, which makes you prime Straladin material. Longtooth Shifting is an excellent racial power, making you more dangerous and tougher to bring down when the fight heats up.


Shifter, Razorclaw (PHB2): Your Longtooth counterpart is simply better.


PHB3

Githzerai (PHB3): Wise and either quick or smart. Similar to an Elf, but its racial power is defensive. A solid power it is, but like the Elf, not nearly enough to make up for a lack of Strength or Charisma.


Minotaur (PHB3): Strong all the time, and you can choose to either be sturdy or wise. The stats line up fine for you, but compared to other races with similar stat bonuses (Dwarf, Goliath, Longtooth Shifter), you have some faults that make you fall just short of their high standards. Namely your racial power, Goring Charge, can't hit a bull in the ass with a bass fiddle. That's not to say you won't be effective; you do have some solid feat support, such as the awesome Bloodied Ferocity, but you're not among the best of the best.


Shardmind (PHB3): You can potentially be charismatic and do well as a Chaladin. Too bad you're stuck being smart, but the Living Contruct benefit is pretty great. So is Shard Swarm, and Telepathy is also pretty cool.


Wilden (PHB3): You can potentially start off wise and sturdy, just like a Dwarf. As those are likely to be your second- and third-most important stats, this is good. You can still buy a natural starting 18 in your main attack stat without compromising your secondary and tertiary much. Also like the Dwarf, you have some more nice abilities to make up for lack of a primary stat bonus. Namely Nature's Aspect. Wrath of the Destroyer is an excellent per-encounter punishment stacker. Some may prefer Pursuit of the Hunter, which makes it possible once every fight to follow a marked enemy when he tries to get away. Good feat support, too.


Other rulebooks/Dragon


Changeling/Doppelganger (EPG): You can win friends easily, so the path of the Chaladin is your calling. You can choose to be smart or quick; go with quick for the extra initiative unless you plan on multiclassing with Artificer (the only INT-based class worth doing that with). The Fickle Servant feat lets you choose feats from any domain, not just the ones that belong to your deity. An interesting, and potentially effective, choice.


Drow (FRPG/E:HFK): Add some personality to your inherent quickness to be a solid Chaladin. Darkvision and Trance are excellent adventuring benefits. Lolthtouched powers are also pretty nice.


Genasi (FRPG): Brains and brawn. The brawn is good. As are the racial powers, manifestations and feat support. Solid choice for a Straladin. The brains are there if you want to have an easy time multiclassing Artificer.


Gnoll (D 367): Decent racial power, but CON and DEX aren't the best racial bonuses. 


Hamadryad (HotF): This female-only race can go with CHA and WIS for stat bonuses, making them very appealing for Chaladins who want to emphasize WIS as a secondary. The racial encounter power's option for damage resistance can be quite handy for a round in which you expect to draw heavy focus fire. A Trance-type ability and +2 racial bonuses to saves against the three heavy hitters of daze, dominate and stun round it out quite nicely. 


Kalashtar (EPG): Charismatic, with the option to be wise, you're in on the argument of best Chaladin race. It's especially great if you're going full dual-stat CHA/WIS. Telepathy has a lot of useful adventuring applications, Bastion of Mental Clarity is a solid racial power, and being able to make saves against daze and dominate at the start of your turn is very nice.


Mul (DSCS): Same stat options as a Dwarf, an option to poach the Dwarf's excellent feats and an excellent racial recovery power in Incredible Toughness. An amazing Straladin option (assuming you're not in Dark Sun, of course), and even a workable Chaladin if you choose to be wise instead.


Pixie (HotF): Don't let the Tiny size fool you, this race can do quite well as a Chaladin (as for your second stat bonus, DEX is probably the better choice). Being Tiny means you can occupy the squares of other creatures on the map, which can come in quite handy. (For starters, an enemy will have to move/shift two squares to get away from your melee range, which is still 1 like it is for other PC races.) You can fly as fast as most Medium races walk, so even after plate, movement isn't any more of an issue than it is for anyone else. Plus, well, you fly, which is great when difficult terrain is involved. Typically, you'll be using rapier + shield, since you use the same weapon rules as Small races. Letting an ally fly with your move action once per encounter is icing on the cake.


Revenant (D 376/397): Has the choice to get that Charisma bonus necessary for Chaladins, now, and on top of that this race has some rather absurd tricks that can make them all but invincible. The ability to swipe another race's feat support, and even their racial powers via racial Soul feats, can also have some very interesting results.


Satyr (HotF): This male-only fey race can go CHA/CON, which, of course, is an ideal set of bonuses for a Chaladin. You get a decent bonus to your surge use (albeit not as much as a Dragonborn's) and a pretty neat racial power that lets you slide an enemy you hit with an attack. That one's best used with one of your ranged implement attacks (especially an immediate-action power, of which you have a few) to corral an enemy closer to you and make your DC easy to maintain.


Shadar-Kai (D 372): Quick and smart, exactly what you didn't need to be. Shadow Jaunt is a solid encounter power, but other than that you're just not suitable.


Shade (HoS): Losing a healing surge is an automatic disqualification from the Defender role (or hell, really anything for that matter). It's that bad. Then add a racial power that's utterly useless in combat to the mix and training in a skill that you'll never be good at, and you have a complete failure of a race. Oh, you have a Charisma bonus, you say? Sorry, you still fail.


Thri-Kreen (DSCS): Members of this race who wander outside the Dark Sun setting want to be strong to complement their natural quickness. They'll make solid Straladins who have an easy time mastering heavy blades. Having a minor-action racial attack power is quite nice.


Vryloka (HoS): The penalty to healing surge value when bloodied is pretty damn annoying early in Heroic, especially for a Defender, but in later levels it's almost inconsequential, making for a weird power curve. If you're starting a campaign past lower Heroic, you'll actually find a lot to like. You can have the Strength and Charisma bonuses to be a perfect Baladin, a la the Dragonborn. Your extra speed really helps you get into ideal defending positions, you have some sweet resistance to a common enemy damage type in necrotic, and you have a potent and versatile per-encounter racial utility that can give you an awesome free shift of up to your speed, a nice THP buffer or a bonus to your attacks as you see fit.


Warforged (EPG): Strong and sturdy, just like the Goliath, which means you'll be a great Straladin. As it is for the Shardmind, Living Construct is a host of adventuring benefits, Unsleeping Watcher is basically Trance, and Warforged Resilience means you're just not going to die very often. Warforged Resolve is a solid racial power, too. And on top of all this, you get some nice feat support.


Monsters (at DM's discretion)

Bladeling (MOTP): DEX and WIS bonuses, and a racial power you won't put to very good use.


Bugbear (MM): Geared toward Straladins who might want to master use of a heavy blade. Use of oversized weapons is a big plus.


Bullywug (MM2): Meh.


Duergar (MM2): The bonuses to two secondary stats are good for you. The racial power isn't, and unfortunately that's all you get in comparison to your morally superior kin.


Githyanki (MM): Aaaaah, no.


Goblin (MM): Goblin Tactics is awesome, and you've also got some personality. A good Chaladin. Only small size holds you back.


Hobgoblin (MM): Just like a Half-Elf, you can win friends and you're durable. But you don't have Dilletante. Still, you're good enough.


Kenku (MM2): An interesting choice for a Chaladin. Make sure you train Bluff in some way.


Kobold (MM): At-will minor-action shifting is awesome. Small size and the racial bonuses (CON, DEX) aren't.


Orc (MM): You're not bad, but you're clearly Half-Orc-lite at this point.


 


When Violence Is Not the Answer: Skills


Class Skills

Diplomacy: Odds are pretty good you're going to be the party face, especially if you're a Chaladin.


Endurance: Resist diseases and generally survive in a lot of adverse conditions. Yes, you want this.


Heal: Useful for treating diseases. Not everyone in your party has Endurance as a class skill. First Aid, while potentially a lifesaver should be a last resort, though, as it takes a standard action. If the task of rituals or alchemy should fall to you, this one becomes even more vital.


History: Don't know much about it. Unless you need it trained as a prerequisite for something, leave this knowledge skill to those who aren't so slow in the head.


Insight: Counters Bluff, which can prevent an ambush in some cases.


Intimidate: Its combat application is arguably broken. Even that aside, it's useful in many skill challenges.


Religion: You're trained in it automatically, so it doesn't matter what I think of it. Because academics in general probably aren't your thing, you're not gonna make great use of this skill. But at least you have easy access to Ritual Casting or Alchemist in the unfortunate case such tasks should fall to you. It also counts as a knowledge skill, in case that matters.


Other Skills of Interest

Athletics: Straladins will make great use of this one. Escape grabs, jump, climb, swim, it's all there.


Bluff: Chaladins could make good use of this one. Vital for Changelings. A multiclass feat for Bard will do nicely here.


Perception: Lots of sneaky enemies out there. Acting in a surprise round is a very, very, very good thing. Certain multiclass feats for Avenger, Barbarian, Bard and Ranger can get you training in this skill.


Streetwise: A good information-gathering skill. Chaladins will excel here.


 


Defining your Faith: Recommended Themes


Guardian (D 399): Guardian's Counter is absolutely perfect for you: A per-encounter combination of martyrdom and MBA-based punishment stacking. Definitely THE theme of choice for most Paladins. The Lv. 10 bonded charge feature is also pretty nifty, giving you a free +1 to attacks when an important ally that might be a bit on the squishy side gets attacked.


Harper Agent (NWCS): Gives you a Harper Pin with an encounter power letting use one of three blessings, all of which are pretty sweet (correcting a missed attack roll, reducing the damage of a hit against you by a nice level-scaling amount, or rerolling a failed save). You basically choose the order in which you get them for your first 10 levels.


Iliyanbruen Guardian (NWCS): For Eladrin only, this one lets you do nice things like take an ally with you when you Fey Step and, at Lv. 10, you ca even do this as a minor action.


Knight Hospitaler (D 399): Shares part of its name with the famous Chaladin PP, and sure enough Shield of Devotion, the encounter utility, delivers an effect quite a bit like that PP's key feature -- a tier-scaling + WIS or CHA mod amount of healing when an ally is attacked. At Lv. 10, you can deliver this immediate-reaction healing twice per encounter. A pretty good choice for any Paladin, considering you're likely to boost at least one of either WIS or CHA.


Ordained Priest (D 399): Whichever of the Symbol attacks you decide to pick up, you're getting something that will play quite nicely with your Defender abilities. The weapon-based Smiting Symbol provides beaucoup protection (THPs and defense boosts) for one particular ally, and the implement-based Shining Symbol is a nice one to throw out after a mass-Sanction power to stack attack penalties on top of each other.


Order Adept (D 399): Being able to snag a Wizard utility might just come in handy. A +1 power bonus to Will at Lv. 10 is also pretty nice to have.


Samurai (D 404): A theme that can be effective for secondary Striker-inclined Paladins, but it does require that you build around it. Iaijutsu is at its best when (a) you fully maximize your initiative boosts (this will likely mean taking all of Battlewise or equivalents, Improved/Superior Initiative AND Danger Sense), and (b) you develop strong crit-triggered abilities. This theme also has a very nice Lv. 10 utility that lets you make a save for a minor-action and also gives you massive boosts to your NADs.


Sohei (D 404): Some Paladins with a secondary Striker inclination will prefer this Oriental- and divine-flavored theme over even Guardian. It's been said that Paladins have great feat support for pumping burst damage, but don't have the multi-attacking powers beyond Heroic Tier to go along with that support. Enter a neat solution to that problem: Sohei Flurry, a minor action to tack on another attack after you hit an enemy with your standard. A sweet power for a "nova" turn, and in Epic Tier you can even hit a second enemy with this for collateral damage. (Another Epic Tier note: Since Sohei Flurry is a Divine power, it can be recovered with Divine Mastery.) The +1 power bonus to saves at Lv. 10 against the three big ones (daze, dominate, stun) is also pretty neat.


 

Thy God Lives On ... Through This Arm:

Weapon Groups


Axe: A more appealing choice for Straladins than for Chaladins, this group is great for the damage potential, and many fine weapon properties are of the axe variety, including the important weapon/implement combo properties your class loves. Axe mastery is also easier than most. The proficiency on axes is only +2, though.


Specific weapons

Execution Axe (AV): 1d12 brutal 2 and comes with high crit. Can't go wrong with it.


Gouge (DSCS): Simply the most exploitable weapon out there. Counts as a spear as well, which is the heart of its exploitability. If you're looking to pump your DPR as high as it will go, this is where you look. It requires substantial DEX investment to use it properly (17 for Surprising Charge, 19 for Spear Mastery), and locks you into multiclassing Fighter, but the returns you get on the investment can be huge.


Waraxe (AV): Versatile one-handed 1d12 weapon. Since you're probably taking a member of this group for the intent to deal damage, this is a worthy upgrade over the battleaxe.


Flail: Surprisingly good choice for Champions of Order multiclassing Martial, thanks to the slide you can put on the MBAs from In Defense of Order, possibly sliding enemies out of reach of your allies before they connect.


Specific weapons

Triple-Headed Flail (AV): Accurate +3 proficiency and solid 1d10 damage for good times all around.


Hammer: While the CON-based optimizations will be a bit of a stretch for most builds (Hammer Rhythm, Bludgeon Mastery), there's still plenty of goods left over to aim for with this group. Those goods do lock you into the Fighter multiclass, but Sons of Mercy and those with the Earth domain on Bolstering Strike will have too much fun with the likes of Overwhelming Impact in Epic to care. Also important, this group holds a lot of the Paladin-favored weaplement properties as well. However, they do have a +2 proficiency to contend with, so keep that in mind.


Specific weapons

Craghammer (AV): The most damaging one-handed hammer with its d10 brutal 2 damage. If you're a Dwarf you're going to prefer this over the warhammer thanks to Dwarven Weapon Training.


Mordenkrad (AV): 2d6 brutal 1 damage is never a bad thing. A strong damage option. What it gives up to the gouge in that department it more than makes up for in its at-will dazing potential for Sons of Mercy or those of the Earth domain.


Warhammer (PHB): For most of you, the standard d10 on this martial one-hander will do nicely, since this group in your hands is more about status effect shenanigans than raw damage.


Heavy Blade: An iconic option for Paladins, and this group backs up that status nicely. The heavy blades worth mentioning all have a +3 proficiency bonus for that extra accuracy, and this group is home to some of the best Paladin-favored weaplement properties, to boot. The only negative is that Straladins looking to master it will need some DEX investment (17 by Epic), but that's not major. Overall, this is definitely the best group for Paladins who aren't looking to shape their builds around the exploits of other specific weapons.


Specific weapons

Bastard Sword (PHB): The most damaging one-handed representative of this group, with a 1d10 damage die. The Weapon Proficiency feat to take this over the longsword is not a particularly high priority for most sword-wielding builds, though. Chaladins probably shouldn't even bother.


Fullblade (AV) : The best two-handed member of this group, with 1d12 damage die and high crit. This one is well worth the Weapon Proficiency feat over the greatsword if you're going for damage.


Longsword (PHB): The all-important +3 proficiency, solid 1d8 damage die and, as it's a martial weapon, you're automatically proficient. No Paladin can go wrong with this weapon. Chaladins prefer this weapon almost exclusively.


Light Blade: Like heavy blades, the members of this group worth mentioning have that sweet +3 proficiency, and feats like Nimble Blade and (with a Martial multiclass) Deft Blade can up the accuracy factor even higher. It's easily the best choice for small Paladins (Halflings, Gnomes). But for all this group's strengths, this group also has its drawbacks for non-Small members of the Paladin class that keep it from the upper echelon of their options. For one, this group is rather limited on Paladin-favored weaplement choices. And even if that isn't a factor for you, the options that boost this group's damage all require a specific multiclass (Fighter or Rogue) and a substantial DEX investment for the likes of Surprising Charge. Plus mastery is out of the question with its 21 DEX requirement.


Specific weapons

Rapier (PHB): The best light blade for you, with its 1d8 damage die. And it's a martial weapon, so you start with proficiency in it already. Gnome and Halfling Paladins do just fine with it, too.


Mace: Never use one when you can use a hammer instead.


Pick: No worthwhile support for this.


Polearm: In Paragon Tier, Polearm Gamble makes this a nice defender option with some stat investment (STR 15, WIS 15 by that point). This group gets even better if you have an at-will forced movement attack somehow (Half-Elf with Eldritch Strike, Mark of Storm), in which case MC Fighter, DEX 15, WIS 15 for Polearm Momentum makes this an awesome choice. Just add some extra squares to that forced movement somehow and you'll be set.


Specific weapons

Glaive (PHB): Counts as a heavy blade, although it only has a +2 proficiency. Still suits the purpose.


Greatspear (AV): Accurate +3 proficiency, d10 damage die and open to both Polearm shenanigans and Spear charging optimization avenues. As good as it gets here if you MC Fighter and have the DEX necessary for Surprising Charge. Only drawback besides the steep ability investment is no weaplement properties, but if you're interested in charging you're probably a Straladin taking mostly weapon powers, anyway.


Halberd (PHB): Counts as an axe as well as a polearm, meaning it benefits from Deadly Axe and is one of the easier weapons for Straladins to get mastery in.


Spear: The banner members of this group were already discussed under the other weapon categories that they're also members of (Gouge as Axes and Greatspears as Polearms). That said, you might want to keep a one-handed member of this group as a sidearm for when you need to make ranged attacks. The feat support for this group is undeniably great, especially if multiclassing Fighter.


Specific weapons

Javelin (PHB): +2 proficiency and 1d6 damage die, and it can be thrown up to 10 squares. Solid sidearm.


Trident (AV): More damaging than the javelin (1d8 die), but it can only be thrown 3 squares. Not as good a sidearm as the javelin, but rather a worthy choice if you want to take advantage of MC Fighter and Surprising Charge while still using a shield.


Staff: lol

Prayers Always Granted: Lv. 1 At-Will Powers


The good thing and the bad thing here is that you have several quality choices, but no one real dominant choice. Your choice will depend on your attack stat, playstyle and, in some cases, your domain. A nice problem to have. (Well, except all Chaladins who aren't Tieflings or Half-Elves will be taking Virtuous Strike, period.)


Strength OR Charisma, Weapon

Ardent Strike (DP): You hit with it, you put Divine Sanction on your foe. You can charge with it, too, which nowadays is very important if DPR is your thing. Now that DC's engagement failure penalty has been ditched, it is easier than ever to use this power in conjunction with DC to keep two enemies next to you marked. And, last but not least, you can turn it into a source of constant combat advantage with the feats Deadly Draw and Commanding Vow.


Associated Domains: Darkness, Destruction, Strife, Torment


Strength, Weapon

Challenging Strike (PHBH): For all intents and purposes, this one is obsoleted by Ardent Strike.


Associated Domains: None


Dominator's Strike (HoS): This Blackguard of Domination at-will is basically a Baladin-appropriate copy of Bolstering Strike, minus the domain support. Which certainly isn't bad, mind you, just not the best you can do.


Associated Domains: None


Ferocious Strike (HoS): Blackguards of Fury don't have a choice about this one, but you do, and the correct choice is to stay as far the hell away from it as possible. Combat advantage is easy enough to get when you need it the most that you should never need this.


Associated Domains: None


Forbidding Strike (PHBH): When someone next to you just needs protecting in a pinch, throw this out. When it hits, the ally gets tier-scaling damage resistance (2/5/10) until the end of your next turn. You won't use it all the time, but it's very handy when you do need it. No domain support, but this one really doesn't need it.


Associated Domains: None


Holy Strike (PHB): Radiant damage is always handy to keep around, and it does extra WIS-modifier damage against a marked enemy. The best option a Straladin whose secondary is Wisdom has for stationary (non-charging) DPR.


Associated Domains: Fate, Freedom, Luck, Strength, Vengeance


Strike of Hope (E:HFK): A power tied to a Cavalier Virtue, but since it has a level, standard Paladins can take it just fine. And a fine power it is for Baladins, granting extra protection to allies by tossing around THPs, even more if they're bloodied. It also has the Radiant keyword.


Associated Domains: None


Valiant Strike (PHB): +1 bonus to hit for each enemy next to you. In a crowd, this one strikes true quite often, and unless you use a reach weapon, you're always going to get at least a +1 bonus to hit out of this. Valiant Strike also gets very good domain support, which is more likely to work its effects thanks to this power's enhanced hitting chances.


Associated Domains: Civilization, Hope, Protection, Skill, Storm, Wilderness


Vengeance Strike (HoS): The Blackguard's default power. There is no reason to ever take this over Valiant Strike. Valiant Strike is hands-down better in the exact same situations.


Associated Domains: None


Vengeful Strike (E:HFK): Another Cavalier Virtue power, and another nice option for Baladins. This one gives Baladins the at-will Radiant and stationary extra damage option they missed before. The extra CHA-mod radiant damage only happens when an ally nearby is bloodied, but that's probably going to happen quite a bit despite your best efforts. And if you miss with this power at any time, you get a nice little damage boost on your next damage roll to make amends.


Associated Domains: None


Charisma, Weapon

Bolstering Strike (PHB): This self-THP granting power is not quite up to the level of some of the other Paladin at-wills by itself, but the domain support is pretty good, Earth and Life, in particular. Earth is really neat, especially, possibly leading to neat stuff like setting up off-action knockdown attacks and, in Epic Tier, at-will dazing.


Associated Domains: Change, Creation, Earth, Life, War


Enfeebling Strike (PHB): Debuffs the attacks by -2 of an enemy marked by you. Which means they're going to have a tough time hitting you back and an even tougher time hitting your allies. Very nice. And this power gets some great domain support, too.


Associated Domains: Death, Madness, Moon, Poison, Trickery, Tyranny, Undeath, Winter


Virtuous Strike (DP): This works as a CHA-based MBA, which means if you're a Chaladin, you're taking this, period. (Only exceptions are Tiefling and Half-Elf Chaladins, who do have other highly attractive options for a competent MBA.) Fortunately, this Chaladin cornerstone has other very nice things going for it, namely the Radiant keyword and the +2 power bonus to your saves when you hit. And this power gets arguably the best domain support out of the Paladin's repertoire.


Associated Domains: Arcana, Justice, Knowledge, Love, Sea, Sun


 


Master of Your Domain: Deities and Domains


Domain power feats, the access of which is tied to your deity and the domains in his/her portfolio, may influence your choice of at-wills. So, for your convenience, they get their own section, separate from other feats, right after the at-will powers. All these domain power feats also come with a feat bonus to a skill (or skills in some cases).


You can only apply the benefits of one domain power feat per usage of an at-will. They're optional, just like all feats, but it is recommended you at least consider them, as many of them do provide fairly significant extra bonuses on your at-will powers.


As a general rule of thumb, there is one type of domain feat to avoid: Those that grant situational damage bonuses on a single at-will power and do nothing else.


 


Deities and Associated Domains


Core

Good/Unaligned
Avandra: Change, Freedom, Luck
Bahamut: Hope, Justice, Protection
Corellon: Arcana, Skill, Wilderness
Erathis: Civilization, Creation, Justice
Ioun: Fate, Knowledge, Skill
Kord: Storm, Strength, War
Melora: Life, Sea, Wilderness
Moradin: Creation, Earth, Protection
Pelor: Hope, Life, Sun
The Raven Queen: Death, Fate, Winter
Sehanine: Love, Moon, Trickery

Evil
Asmodeus: Civilization, Tyranny
Bane: Skill, War
Gruumsh: Destruction, Strength
Lolth: Darkness, Trickery
Tharizdun: Destruction, Madness
Tiamat: Strife, Vengeance
Torog: Earth, Torment
Vecna: Knowledge, Undeath
Zehir: Darkness, Poison


Forgotten Realms (D 378)

Good/Unaligned
Amaunator: Civilization, Justice, Sun
Angharradh: Hope, Protection
Bahamut: Justice, Strength
Berronar Truesilver: Life, Protection
Chauntea: Earth, Hope, Life
Corellon: Arcana, Skill, Wilderness
Garl Glittergold: Creation, Trickery
Gond: Creation, Knowledge
Ilmater: Freedom, Hope
Kelemvor: Death, Fate, Justice
Mielikki: Freedom, Wilderness
Moradin: Creation, Earth, Protection
Oghma: Knowledge, Skill, Trickery
Selûne: Arcana, Change, Moon
Sheela Peryroyl: Love, Wilderness
Silvanus: Life, Storm, Wilderness
Sune: Love, Skill, Trickery
Tempus: Protection, Strength, War
Torm: Civilization, Justice, Protection
Tymora: Change, Luck
Waukeen: Civilization, Knowledge

Evil
Asmodeus: Knowledge, Torment, Tyranny
Auril: Storm, Winter
Bane: Civilization, Tyranny, War
Beshaba: Fate, Trickery
Cyric: Madness, Strife, Trickery
Ghaunadaur: Destruction, Earth, Madness
Gruumsh: Destruction, Storm, Strength
Lolth: Darkness, Poison, Strife
Loviatar: Torment, Vengeance
Luthic: Earth, Protection
Shar: Darkness, Knowledge, Undeath
Sseth: Arcana, Darkness
Talona: Destruction, Poison
Tiamat: Tyranny, Vengeance
Umberlee: Sea, Storm
Zehir: Darkness, Poison


Eberron (D 378)

Good/Unaligned
The Silver Flame: Hope, Justice, Protection
The Sovereign Host: Civilization, Fate, Knowledge
Arawai: Life, Storm, Wilderness
Aureon: Arcana, Justice, Knowledge
Balinor: Earth, Strength, Wilderness
Boldrei: Civilization, Justice, Protection
Dol Arrah: Hope, Sun, War
Dol Dorn: Skill, Strength, War
Kol Korran: Civilization, Skill, Trickery
Olladra: Change, Freedom, Luck
Onatar: Civilization, Creation, Strength
The Traveler: Change, Creation, Trickery
The Blood of Vol: Death, Undeath
The Path of Light: Freedom, Skill, Sun
The Spirits of the Past: Protection, Vengeance, War
The Undying Court: Fate, Knowledge, Undeath

Evil
The Dark Six: Destruction, Wilderness
The Devourer: Destruction, Sea, Storm
The Fury: Madness, Vengeance
The Keeper: Death, Torment
The Mockery: Trickery, War
The Shadow: Arcana, Darkness
Cults of the Dragon Below: Darkness, Madness


 


Domain Power Feats


Ardent Strike

Power of Darkness (DP): Concealment against the next attack when you hit. This one's pretty good.


Power of Destruction (DP): One of those, works only against unbloodied enemies.


Power of Strife (DP): Tier-scaling damage bonus, but this one's a lot better than the others of that type. +1/2/3 bonus for each enemy within 3 squares of the target, which means in some cases you could really pile on the damage with this one. You should still pick up the general damage feats first, but this one's actually worth a look.


Power of Torment (DP): A hit with Ardent Strike sets up combat advantage for your ally's next attack. Decent.


Holy Strike

Power of Fate (DP): +1 to attack a bloodied enemy. Not bad, but don't look at it until after you get Versatile Expertise.


Power of Freedom (DP): A +2 to saves for you or an ally if you hit. Not bad at all.


Power of Luck (DP): Crit on 19-20 with Holy Strike. Paragon Tier is about when this one really starts getting good, when more crit-triggered effects come into play. In Epic Tier, retrain this for your weapon mastery feat, assuming you qualify for one.


Power of Strength (DP): An unconditional +2/3/4 untyped damage bonus on an at-will that's geared toward damage dealing. The fact it's unconditional makes it a lot better than those feats you're supposed to avoid. Still take the general damage feats first, but if you're looking to maximize your Holy Strike DPR, keep this one in mind.


Power of Vengeance (DP): Deterrent damage that is no more than those feats you should avoid. Which makes it fail miserably.


Valiant Strike

Power of Civilization (DP): +1 damage bonus per enemy next to you. Situational as far as how effective it can be. Overall, only a step above the worst of the damage-only domain feats. Definitely keep this on the backburner.


Power of Hope (DP): Grant a +1 power bonus to attack to an ally up to 5 squares away when you hit. Solid power that allows a Straladin to show a little leadership.


Power of Protection (DP): A hit gives an ally up to 5 squares away +1 power bonus to all defenses. This one's nice. You'll be in position to grant this a lot.


Power of Skill (DP): Turns Valiant Strike into a deadly accurate melee basic attack. This is one you should definitely take.


Power of the Storm (DP): Gives Valiant Strike the Thunder keyword, along with the +2/3/4 damage bonus. This one is actually really nice. The Thunder keyword gets great support from feats and other features (Echoes of Thunder, Oncoming Storm). A Stormsoul Genasi will love this one. And if you're in Eberron and have the Mark of Storm Dragonmark, even better.


Power of the Wilderness (DP): On a hit, you and adjacent allies ignore difficult terrain. Not bad.


Bolstering Strike

Power of Change (DP): Hit or miss, set up an easier hit with an encounter or daily power (+1 attack bonus). Not that impressive.


Power of Creation (DP): +1 power bonus to AC for either you or an ally up to 5 squares away when you hit. Decent.


Power of Earth (DP): A hit slows the enemy until the start of your next turn. Now this one makes Bolstering Strike worth considering. At-will slow makes for some nice stickiness, just what you want. If you get ample chances at off-action attacks every fight, World Serpent's Grasp will work out very well. In Epic Tier, this one can even result in an at-will daze if you multiclass Fighter, use a hammer, and take Overwhelming Impact.


Power of Life (DP): A hit also gives an ally up to 10 squares away some THPs. This one's pretty good.


Power of War (DP): +1 to attack unbloodied enemies. Not bad, but pick up Versatile Expertise first.


Enfeebling Strike

Power of Death (DP): One of those. And this one only works against bloodied enemies.


Power of Madness (DP): You increase the attack debuff to -3. Good one.


Power of the Moon (DP): Enfeebling Strike now also debuffs the enemy's AC by -2 if it hits. Beautiful.


Power of Poison (DP): Enfeebling Strike gets the Poison keyword along with the +2/3/4 to damage. Not a good choice because (a) poison is the most commonly resisted damage type in the game, (b) very few things are vulnerable to poison, and (c) the keyword gets lousy support.


Power of Trickery (DP): A hit lets you or an ally shift a square. Nice one. This can help set up flanks.


Power of Tyranny (DP): Hit or miss, you impose a -2 penalty to saves. Beautiful if you want to improve the mileage of save-ends status effects.


Power of Undeath (DP): Enfeebling Strike becomes Necrotic, along with the +2/3/4 damage. Necrotic is a commonly resisted damage type, so this sucks.


Power of Winter (DP): Gives Enfeebling Strike the Cold keyword, along with the +2/3/4 damage bonus. This one's great. You get access to the famous Lasting Frost synergy, and you don't even have to use a Frost Weapon.


Virtuous Strike

Power of Arcana (AP): Makes your Virtuous Strike an Arcane power when you use it, which opens it up for synergies with certain feats you can get via Arcane multiclassing, such as the White Lotus line. The best synergy this domain had is gone, now, but other attractive options still remain.


Power of Justice (DP): A hit grants a +1 power bonus to attack for all bloodied allies within 10 squares. Situational, but it comes up often enough to warrant a look.


Power of Knowledge (DP): A hit gives you a +1 power bonus to all defenses. Solid.


Power of Love (DP): THPs at the expense of all your damage done with Virtuous Strike is NEVER a good deal. Shun this like the Spellplague.


Power of the Sea (DP): A hit either allows you to make a save or slaps a -2 penalty on the enemy's save. Solid choice, and very versatile. It can save you or help prolong an enemy's misery from a save-ends status power. And if you get Hero's Poise in Paragon Tier, this one really takes off.


Power of the Sun (DP): Cause tier-scaling Radiant vulnerability (3/5/8) when you hit. This one's actually really good, and not just for the extra damage on follow-up Radiant attacks from you or anyone else until the end of your next turn. It also makes violating your DC and DS hurt more. And certain powers (such as Bless Weapon) can really punish Radiant vulnerability.

Squire's Prayers: Heroic Tier Powers


Lv. 1 Encounter


For Chaladins, the discussion begins and ends with Valorous Smite. Straladins have a little more freedom of choice. Heedless Fury will kill a lot of things in the first few levels of play, but you will want to replace it in the later half of Heroic Tier with another power from this level, such as Divine Pursuit.


Strength OR Charisma, Weapon

Guardian Light (DP): Give yourself a WIS-mod bonus to a NAD if it hits. Not too bad for a Straladin, but Chaladins should stay away as it's not any better than Enfeebling Strike for them.


Strength, Weapon

Divine Pursuit (DP): Attacks Fortitude. Push the enemy WIS-mod squares and follow. It does a good job at either setting up flanks or isolating an enemy. Solid.


Heedless Fury (DP): If you're using a big weapon (fullblade, mordenkrad, executioner's axe), 3[W] damage as a Lv. 1 encounter power is good for the first few levels of play, as it can possibly kill some Lv. 1 and Lv. 2 enemies outright. That can be worth taking a -5 penalty to all defenses. This one loses its value in the second half of Heroic Tier, so retrain out of it around that point.


Piercing Smite (PHB): Not nearly as attractive as it used to be. Attacking Reflex is nice, but the marks are generic. Still, you could do worse.


Radiant Smite (PHB): Just doesn't fit in at all. 1[W], and nothing else, over Holy Strike is hardly worth ever getting excited over, and if you're actually serious about killing enemies in one blow in the early stages, you should be using Heedless Fury.


Stolen Life (D 381): Tailored for Baladins, with the CHA-mod healing for you or an ally when you hit. Decent enough, but mind the Necrotic keyword.


Charisma, Weapon

Fearsome Smite (PHB): Obsoleted completely now, and it wasn't good to begin with.


Shielding Smite (PHB): If you're the off-defender in a two-defender party, you might care about this one. Otherwise, shift your gaze to a certain other power here and keep it there.


Valorous Smite (DP): The Chaladin's first mass-Sanction power. You'd better have a very good reason not to take this ... wait, there are none.


Charisma, Implement

Dazzling Flare (DP): Puts a -2 attack debuff at a 5-square range. Still doesn't offer enough against the likes of Valorous Smite.


 


Lv. 1 Daily


Chaladins and Baladins love Majestic Halo and Radiant Delirium. Straladins can put Blood of the Mighty to grisly use throughout Heroic Tier if they have a big weapon. Those of smaller weapons should probably take Blazing Brand, instead.


Strength, Weapon

Blood of the Mighty (DP): At this level, 4[W] is very hard to ignore. With a fullblade, executioner's axe or mordenkrad you're looking at consistently killing many Lv. 1 and Lv. 2 non-Brutes in one hit. If you're traveling with an Orbizard with Sleep, you're looking at coup de grace killing certain elite monsters as high as Lv. 5. This power is Reliable, so you'll always get the full effect when you do hit with it. You take 5 damage whenever you use it, but that's not too bad.


Blazing Brand (DP): Attacks Fortitude and is also Reliable. Deals ongoing fire damage and makes the enemy give up combat advantage, save ends. Solid power that's best taken by those Straladins who don't use weapons big enough to use Blood of the Mighty to its fullest.


Driving Blades (D 383): When you hit, the save-ends effect deals untyped ongoing damage and lets you push and follow the target as long as that lasts. Solid when you hit, no doubt, but unfortunately the miss effect is quite feeble, so its Reliable competitor, Blazing Brand, probably still holds the edge.


Paladin's Judgment (PHB): Allows an ally to spend a healing surge, hit or miss, but deals no damage on a miss. Not bad, but you can do better.


Charisma, Weapon

Glorious Charge (DP): Good healing effect if you have the Wisdom, but the 2-square range of the healing makes this one less appealing, and more situational, than it would've been otherwise.


Majestic Halo (DP):Good damage on hit, halved on miss, and regardless of hit or miss you lay down Divine Sanctions like a Warden lays down his marks. Splendid.


Charisma, Implement

Frost of Letherna (D 381): Used to immobilize marked enemies, but now it just slows your enemies, marked or not. Still decent for the stickiness, but not the winner it used to be.


On Pain of Death (PHB): Attacks Will and makes the target take damage whenever it attacks, until it saves. Complements the divine marks nicely.


Radiant Delirium (PHB): Attacks Reflex and dazes whether it hits or misses. That's great. If it hits, it imposes a -2 penalty to AC until the enemy saves. Even better. Still a great power.


 


Lv. 2 Utility


Remember when this level used to abysmally suck for Paladins? How times have changed. Call of Challenge and Virtue would be quality picks for all Paladins well into Paragon Tier, never mind at Lv. 2. Depending on how often you or your party creates and abuses Radiant vulnerability, Bless Weapon can also be a top choice.


Class Powers

Astral Speech (PHB): In low-combat campaigns this might actually see some use, since the role of party face often falls on you. But you're probably better off looking elsewhere.


Bless Weapon (DP): This daily Radiant-keyword weapon buff is downright godly if you can consistently create radiant vulnerability (such as the Sun domain or the Morninglord paragon path). Otherwise, it's still pretty good, but not as much of a headliner.


Call of Challenge (DP): A no-fail, minor action, mass-Sanction encounter power. Beautiful.


Divine Counter (DP): Half the damage and impose DS as a per-encounter immediate interrupt for an enemy attacking one of your NADs. Not bad, but other options are better.


Kord's Strength (D 383): Per-encounter boost to an Athletics or Endurance check in combat, followed by +2 power bonus to melee damage and Sanctioning enemies on your attacks for a round. Not wholly terrible, but you're not going to roll one of those skills every combat. Situational.


Martyr's Blessing (PHB): May have been worth it as an encounter power. As is, no.


Restore Vitality (E:HFK): A minor-action surgeless heal, using your healing surge value at all times, at melee range, with a saving throw attached. Decent little healing spell.


Sacred Circle (PHB): Think of just about everything wrong that a daily utility power can possibly do. That's this abortion in a nutshell.


Touch of Grace (DP): Not a bad encounter power. With Virtuous Strike you're likely to save against the effect you incur better than the ally would've.


Vice's Reward (HoS): A tier-scaling amount of THPs, a saving throw and a +2 power bonus to all defenses for a minor action every encounter. Pretty solid, all in all. However, it's important to note that this power is strictly Shadow and is NOT Divine, a common trait among utilities originating from the Blackguard. One sample consequence is that this one can't be recovered by Divine Mastery in Epic Tier.


Virtue (DP): You can expect to burn through at least one healing surge every encounter. This encounter utility lets you be proactive about it, and your leader/healer will love you for that. If you have abilities that work when bloodied (for example, you're a Dragonborn or Shifter), you have a second application for this power: pop it when you're bloodied and buy a couple of "safe" bloodied rounds to take advantage of your abilities. Note this power is incredibly synergistic with the feat Virtuous Recovery; not only will you have all those THPs, but the enemy can't remove them easily.


 


Lv. 3 Encounter


Very robust level here. Hold Fast is a great choice for any Paladin, especially if you've got a Leader who grants MBAs. Straladins can make a strong case for Strength from Valor and Winter's Edge. Chaladins, not to be outdone, can get their first class-native punishment stacker in Avenging Smite, or they can improve their healing ability with Invigorating Smite or Righteous Smite.


Strength OR Charisma, Weapon

Fortune Spurned Smite (D 380): Hit the enemy with this when you've got melee allies surrounding the foe. If the foe takes any damage after that point before he gets to take his turn, your party can take OAs as he escapes you and beat him down. Its only weakness is the Necrotic keyword, which is a liability against a few enemies.


Hold Fast (DP): Immobilizes on hit and can be used in any situation that a melee basic attack can be used. Opportunity attacks, Leader-grants, Battle Awareness, you name it. Very nice, indeed.


Strength, Weapon

Arcing Smite (PHB): This one just doesn't cut it anymore.


Staggering Smite (PHB): Strictly worse than Divine Pursuit at Lv. 1, and also outclassed at this level.


Strength from Valor (DP): This whirlwind-style close burst against Fortitude is great for some extra survivability in a crowd. You can get a pretty juicy amount of THPs from this.


Winter's Edge (D 381): Another whirlwind attack, this one with the Cold keyword that slows enemies on hit unless they were marked, in which case they're immobilized. Terrific for the stickiness. It even salvages generic marks somewhat.


Charisma, Weapon

Avenging Smite (DP): Your first class-native punishment stacker, an immediate reaction to an adjacent enemy hitting your ally, and it immobilizes if it hits. Solid choice.


Invigorating Smite (PHB): Attacks Will, which with a weapon means it hits quite often, and heals you (if bloodied) and any bloodied allies a solid amount. It's more situational than some of the other powers here, but when you need it, you're glad you have it.


Night's Mantle (D 386): What the hell? This power requires you to use a bow. And what would you be doing with a bow, pray tell? Especially considering that you don't even start with proficiency in one.


Righteous Smite (PHB): This is Invigorating Smite's more proactive counterpart. It attacks AC, instead, but it's probably the more widely used of the two because it works in any situation. Grants a solid amount of THPs to you and all allies within 5 squares.


Trial of Strength (DP): Make a save with WIS-mod bonus, then make an attack. Not bad.


Charisma, Implement/Weapon

Call to Arms (DP): The implement attack vs. Will pulls the enemy to you, then you make a weapon attack with a +2 bonus against AC. This is one you pull out against your Divine Challenge target to keep him close. Not too bad.


Charisma, Special

Mocking Smite (D 390): Cool flavor, and it's actually a pretty good choice. Essentially any Paladin gets the opportunity to enact an Eyebite trap with one of his at-will attacks once per encounter, with a little extra psychic and radiant damage to boot.


 


Lv. 5 Daily


Name of Might is a solid power for Chaladins, although they could easily just as well take a second Lv. 1 power. Straladins like Arc of Vengeance, Frenzying Smite or Chilling Smite. Baladin Champions of Order will all of a sudden fall in love with Unyielding Faith once they hit Paragon Tier.


Strength, Weapon

Arc of Vengeance (DP): A solidly damaging close burst 1 whirlwind that, hit or miss, applies Divine Sanction until the end of your next turn. This also happens to be one of those powers that salvages generic marks, thanks to the save-ends effect that makes such marked enemies take WIS-mod damage when they hurt someone.


Chilling Smite (E:HFK): Cold-based attack that reduces the enemy's damage by -5 until they save. Even if you miss, the effect lasts a round. Pretty good.


Dark Majesty (HoS): Attacks Will, so at least it hits often. The damage is pretty mediocre on hit, though, and the splash damage isn't exactly going to make its recipient cry, either. Can be a bit better if you have ways to take advantage of sliding your enemies.


Fiery Smite (E:HFK): A garden-variety, fire-based Brute Strike ability that also pops minions next to the target. Meh, whatever.


Frenzying Smite (HoS): Another 4[W] attack in Heroic, this time dealing half-damage on miss and coming packed with a nice push-and-follow effect. You give up CA, but who cares?


Martyr's Retribution (PHB): This 4[W] damage power is strictly worse than Blood of the Mighty at the exact same purpose. It's not Reliable, for one, so it's not nearly as good for the coup-de-grace situations. Plus spending a full healing surge with no healing is a lot more costly than taking only 5 damage. It's also decidedly inferior to Frenzying Smite at this same level. Stay away from this one, whatever you do.


Shadow's Apathy (D 381): Reliable attack that save-ends slows and weakens on hit. A good power that would be even better if it weren't Necrotic.


Unrelenting Punishment (DP): Hit or miss, causes 5 ongoing damage (save-ends) and heals you WIS-mod HPs every time the enemy takes the damage. The attack itself does no miss damage, though, which hurts it a bit.


Charisma, Weapon

Unyielding Faith (DP): Imposes Divine Sanction for the whole encounter, but only if it hits. Does do half damage on a miss. Decent enough for most, but Baladins will fall in love with it all of a sudden if they take the Champion of Order PP in Paragon Tier.


Charisma, Implement

Hallowed Circle (PHB): Attack vs. Reflex followed by a slightly upgraded Sacred Circle. At least the bonus is to all defenses this time, but an unmovable zone with an effect like this is still rather situational.


Name of Might (DP): Close blast attack vs. Fortitude that save-ends slows if it hits and still slows until the end of the enemies' next turns if it misses. Does decent AoE damage, and slow is a good sticky effect. This one's pretty solid.


Sign of Vulnerability (PHB): Ranged attack vs. Fortitude that imposes Radiant vulnerability if it hits. If you have the Sun domain you don't need this at all. Everyone else might want to give it a look though, especially if you have Bless Weapon.


Strength/Weapon AND Charisma/Implement

Prayer of Two Paths (DP): Meant to be used by Baladins. An interesting power, but unfortunately just not very impressive.


 


Lv. 6 Utility


Another robust level for all Paladins. Straladins love Shield of Discipline, and the full-party damage buff Wrath of the Gods still catches the eye of many a Chaladin. And then, of course, there's always the option to head back to the Lv. 2 list, where you still left some greatness behind.


Class Powers

Aspect of Domination (HoS): This daily Shadow utility lets you push your CHA-mod with all your at-will attacks for the whole fight. Some might be able to take advantage of that.


Aspect of Ferocity (HoS): An extra 1[W] on all your attacks when you're next to anyone who is bloodied (ally or enemy) is pretty good. Note that this daily is pure Shadow.


Bond of Protection (E:HFK): Single-ally protection spell. I'm not the biggest fan of those, but this daily's not bad. +2 power bonus to the ally's defenses and you can choose to reduce any damage that ally takes by 5 at the cost of 5 of your own HP. Basically Divine Bodyguard done right, with a solid measure of control and a defensive bonus.


Divine Bodyguard (PHB): If you must take a single-ally protection spell, stick with either Bond of Protection or Shield the Virtuous.


Fear Not (DP): Per-encounter, grant an adjacent ally a saving throw which gets a bonus if it's a fear effect. You can't really have too many powers that grant saving throws. You can only cast Divine Mettle once per encounter, after all. Plus unlike Divine Mettle, you can use this on yourself.


Flare of Divine Vengeance (PHBH): No way in the hells is this one-round attack buff and surge use worth a daily. Not at all.


Fury of the Battle God (D 383): The only way this power is ever going to be worthwhile is if you miss most of your targets with an AoE encounter or daily power. Translation: Picking this is planning for failure and being a failure. Seriously, go back to the Lv. 2 arsenal and take Call of Challenge if you want mass Sanctioning. If you already had that one, well, pick something else.


One Heart, One Mind (PHB): Not bad, especially if you're looking for both in-combat and out-of-combat utility.


Pure Devotion (DP): A +4 power bonus to Fortitude and Will per encounter as an immediate interrupt if an enemy attacks you. Pretty good.


Shield of Discipline (DP): An excellent encounter power geared toward Straladins. Pop this at the start of a turn when you've been under an enemy's focused efforts and cut their DPR against you down for that round.


Shield the Virtuous (DP): The damage from this single-ally protection spell stacks with your divine marks, essentially doubling their punishment power when they attack that one particular ally. So as far as such spells go, this daily's pretty good.


Valiant Rush (DP): Double your speed on a move action one round per encounter. Not bad, especially if you wanted to maintain Divine Challenge in a round you normally couldn't.


Winter's Fated Stance (D 381): This stance is certainly good against enemies that deal Cold and Necrotic damage. But unless you're fighting those enemies every day, this isn't the wisest choice.


Wrath of the Gods (PHB/E:HFK): The CHA-mod bonus to your and your allies' damage has been retyped as a power bonus, but this is still a (potentially) full-party damage buff that many Leaders would kill for. A weakness is its area of effect is only close burst 1, but in most cases, that's not too much of an issue with good planning.


Class Skill Powers

Heal


Physician's Care (PHB3): I mentioned it just to ridicule it. Why anyone would take this instead of Swift Recovery is a mystery.


Swift Recovery (PHB3): Grant an ally a no-action second wind every encounter, using just your minor action. This one's pretty good.


Religion


Deliverance of Faith (D 385): Hello, Virtue, good to see you again. You can do a whole lot worse than have that power twice.


 


Lv. 7 Encounter


Chaladins choose between Astral Thunder and Price of Cowardice. Pick either one of those and you're set for a good long while. Straladins can do fine with Ravenfrost Strike or Thunder Smite, but better still would be to head back to the Lv. 3 list, where they left some truly great powers behind.


Strength OR Charisma, Weapon

Resurgent Smite (DP): Trigger a healing surge in an ally. A Straladin would do well to use this in the round he used Divine Strength and further his chance of getting his 2x WIS-mod bonus to the healing. Decent power.


Strength, Weapon

Comeback Smite (DP): Pretty situational, as this one is best used when you're under multiple save-ends effects. Handy when it happens, though.


Crescent Moon (D 386): Weapon attack vs. Reflex with a 5-square range (or 10 with a heavy blade) and a DS on hit. Nice.


Force of Arms (DP): Use this after you opened the round with Divine Strength, and this attack will often hit true. Not bad.


Ravenfrost Strike (D 381): Cold attack that immobilizes and Sanctions the enemy on hit. Pretty good.


Thunder Smite (PHB): Knock prone and crit on 19-20 against a marked enemy. Still solid.


Charisma, Weapon

Benign Transposition (PHB): Rescue an ally who's being mobbed and take his place, along with an attack. Not bad at all if you have the Wisdom for a decent range.


Blade of Light (DP): 3[W] Radiant encounter attack is not bad at this level, and you can charge with it. The defense bonuses are gravy.


Charisma, Implement

Astral Thunder (DP): If your WIS is high enough, this close burst 3 vs. Fortitude can just about render an entire enemy party impotent. A crowd-control AoE that scales beautifully, this one is a terrific follow-up to a Call of Challenge or some other minor-action mass-DS in the opening round. Some of you might actually keep this power for the rest of your career.


Beckon Foe (PHB): Pulls the enemy you hit. Just doesn't pack the punch of the Chaladin's other options, though.


Divine Reverence (PHB): Attack vs. Will dazes every enemy next to you. Actually pretty solid.


Price of Cowardice (DP): Punishment stacker, and a fantastic one at that. Immediate interrupt, attacks Will, and it blinds the triggering marked enemy if it hits. Since it's an interrupt, it's very likely to make the triggering attack miss thanks to the blinding, which puts the enemy in a really bad place. Incidentally, this also salvages a generic mark, if such a one should happen somehow.


 


Lv. 9 Daily


A solid level for all Paladins. Straladins looking for a damage/control dual option will love Death Angel, and others will be satisfied with Knightly Intercession, Spirit Harrow, Shadow Blades of Shared Doom, or even Whirling Radiance for you Radiant Mafiosi. Chaladins can do well with Crown of Glory or the punishment stacker Ray of Reprisal.


Strength OR Charisma, Weapon

Reaper's Harvest (D 380): If you guess wrong and don't kill the enemy with this, you've got a weak version of an encounter power you may have been using since Lv. 1. No thanks.


Strength, Weapon

Death Angel (HoS): This attack vs. Will is positively nasty if you have other melee allies surrounding the target of this one. You force any one enemy in the close blast 3, if you hit, to choose between running away from you and eating your allies' OAs for a quick death, or standing there save-ends dazed. You also get to teleport anywhere in the blast regardless of hit or miss.


Final Rebuke (DP): Attack Fortitude, push the enemy far and add some extra damage if you push the enemy into something solid. Not too bad. It's Reliable, too.


Holy Outrage (D 383): No miss damage, and the effect that happens regardless of hit or miss requires a combination of some serendipitous positioning and a source of plenty of extra attacks in a round to be worthwhile. Not particularly appealing, and the effect isn't really worth spending the minor action to sustain, either.


Knightly Intercession (DP): An immediate interrupt, and you know how synergistic that is with the divine marks. You take the hit for an ally under attack, then pull the offender to you and attack him. If it hits, the enemy is Sanctioned for the rest of the encounter. The only weakness is that the attack does nothing on a miss, but you can't complain too much about this one.


Shadow Blades of Shared Doom (D 381): You've got a pretty strong possibility to DS an entire cluster of enemies if you hit with the initial attack, since the secondary attack triggered on hit is still weapon-based versus Will. Baladins will do the most damage on the secondary attack, but any Straladin will still find this useful. You Sanction the initial target for a round hit or miss. Good one; would be even better if it wasn't Necrotic.

Spirit Harrow (HoS): Close burst 1 Psychic attack vs. everyone around you, and if you hit the enemies can't shift or make OAs until they save. A very fine Defender power, especially considering it originated from your morally bankrupt Striker counterpart. It even stuns enemies if they are near death.


Thundering Smite (E:HFK): Thunder-based attack that knocks all enemies within 2 squares of the target (but not the target itself) prone. Eh, fair enough.


Whirling Radiance (E:HFK): Close-burst attack vs. Reflex, so this radiant attack will hit often and invoke the save-ends ongoing 5 radiant damage. If you can create radiant vulnerability the damage from this can add up quickly.


Strength, Implement

Shout of Condemnation (DP): One of the rare STR-based implement powers. It's actually a fairly solid power. Attacks Will, save-ends DS on hit, half damage and a one-round DS on a miss, Thunder keyword, and nice blast area. A good option mainly for those Straladins who wield weapons that can double as implements. Baladins, who care more about implement usage, are also likely to look at this one.


Charisma, Weapon

Shackles of Justice (DP): The save-ends condition, moderate radiant damage for damaging an ally, happens hit or miss, but unfortunately a miss does no damage. At this level, it doesn't really add up.


Charisma, Implement

Crown of Glory (PHB): Close burst 1 attack vs. Will, followed, hit or miss, by you slowing enemies who start their turns next to you. This can be sustained with minor actions. A very good sticky power.


One Stands Alone (PHB): Close burst 1 vs. Will, save-ends weakens regardless of hit or miss. With proper coordination you can get in position to be able to use this one when you need it. Solid enough effect.


Radiant Pulse (PHB): This one is just plain bad. You have to hit to do anything of worth with this power, and even then, the other powers at this level are better. A simple push just isn't as good as slowing or weakening.


Ray of Reprisal (DP): An immediate interrupt, and thus a punishment stacker. This Radiant attack vs. Fortitude deals half damage on a miss, and regardless of hit or miss, the damage the ally takes from the triggering attack is cut in half. Quite nice.


 


Lv. 10 Utility


After the fantastic powers at Lv. 2 and Lv. 6, this level seems like a letdown. But there are some solid options here, including Benediction, Guiding Verse, Spirit of the Virtuous Charger, Vengeful Vigilance and Winter's Arrival. If none of those tickle your fancy, there's nothing wrong with dipping back into the Lv. 2 or Lv. 6 pool.


Class Powers

Beacon of Nobility (E:HFK): For a whole encounter, this daily lets you use a minor action to hand out 5 THPs to an ally, as well as a skill check bonus. Decent little booster power.


Beacon of Penance (E:HFK): For a whole encounter, this daily lets you use a minor action to effectively transfer 10 hit points from you to an ally, in the form of healing. The reactive counterpart to Beacon of Nobility that essentially serves as retroactive defending. Fair pick.


Benediction (DP): Per-encounter utility that rewards an ally who hits with either a use of a healing surge or potentially some extra damage. The former application is a solid backup healer ability, and the latter is great when the ally used an attack that involves several large dice to roll for the damage.


Cleansing Spirit (PHB): Again, you can't really have too many powers per encounter that grant a save. Divine Mettle is only once per encounter. This one comes with a +2 bonus, and unlike Divine Mettle you can use it on yourself. This one is also good if you took a particularly strong Divinity feat, in which case you'd rather use your Channel Divinity for that power instead of Divine Mettle.


Deathguide's Stance (D 381): This stance is similar to getting the Bard's Virtue of Valor once per day (except doling out actual healing, rather than temp HPs). Which makes it decent in 5-standard fights, but not so good against Elites and Solos. It's also useless against minions.


Deathly Aura (HoS): This pure Shadow daily can pile some nice damage on enemies in the aura 1 pretty nicely (assuming they don't resist necrotic, of course), but you have to be bloodied for this to happen. I'm not sure how long you want to stay bloodied for this.


Font of Healing (DP): This daily power is basically two Lay on Hands for the price of one, for you and an ally. Not too bad. If you actually took Lay on Hands, though, you'd want to retrain this one out at Epic Tier, when your actual Lay on Hands becomes just as effective.


Guiding Verse (DP): A per-encounter saving throw for you, with a huge bonus if you have the Wisdom. Has great synergy with Hero's Poise in Paragon Tier, if you take that feat.


Noble Shield (PHB): This daily is extremely situational. It's only useful at all for AoE attacks from an enemy.


Righteous Indignation (DP): This one fails. If it affected more than one attack, or were an encounter power, it might have been worth it.


Spirit of the Virtuous Charger (Lv. 8) (E:HFK): If you like to charge a lot (particularly true if you're mounted), this minor-action daily is a very nice pick. At later levels this power gets even better, gaining a lot more general usefulness aside from merely charging. At Lv. 18 you get flight. And at Lv. 28, this power also grants its benefits to all allies within 2 squares of you.


Turn of the Dark Tide (HoS): This pure Shadow daily is similar to the existing Turn the Tide, but even worse, since it forces your party members to take damage in the process. Still uses up your standard action, too. Avoid it.


Turn the Tide (PHB): Unless your party somehow finds itself loaded with multiple save-ends status effects all at once, this one is not going to see much use. Worse, it's a standard action, so you give up attacking.


Vengeful Vigilance (D 375): Daily stance, and this one's pretty good. Lay down a DC as a free action every time any enemy within 5 squares doesn't include you in an attack.


Winter's Arrival (D 381): A per-encounter teleport that makes DC engagement a lot easier for Chaladins and Baladins. The difficult terrain you create can rob the enemy of a few movement options. Pretty nice.


Class Skill Powers

Diplomacy


Cry for Mercy (PHB3): Grant a bloodied ally (or yourself) a huge bonus to all defenses and movement unthreatened by OAs every encounter. Only costs a minor action, too, and works at a solid range. A good deal.


Noble Sacrifice (PHB3): A per-encounter martyr-type power, very fitting for your role. The range and application are a bit limited, though.


Heal


Time Out (PHB3): An extra second wind for one ally per encounter, granted with your minor action. Nice to have for helping any allies who have good reasons to use their second winds.


History


Lessons of History (D 385): Well, well, a reason to actually consider training History. Letting all your allies recover an encounter utility in one fight per day is quite handy.


Non-class Skill Powers

Streetwise


Navigate Crowds (PHB3): Shift your speed through enemy squares once per encounter. That can be handy.

Knight's Prayers: Paragon Tier Powers


Lv. 13 Encounter


Straladins who felt left out at Lv. 1, rejoice, because you can take Castigating Strike. Of course, so can every other Paladin out there. That power pretty much rules this level, although some Straladins might make the case for Zealous Smite, and some Chaladins for Compel Obedience or Entangling Smite.


Strength OR Charisma, Weapon

Castigating Strike (DP): With the update, this is now officially Valorous Smite, Mark II. And now a Straladin can join in on the mass-Sanction fun. Of course, a Chaladin who keeps Valorous Smite and trades in a Lv. 3 or Lv. 7 power for this instead gets to have even more of that fun.


Strength, Weapon

Fervent Strike (DP): More accurate attack, to be sure, but pretty underwhelming.


Radiant Charge (PHB): You can fly up to your WIS mod in squares as part of this charge-only power. Decent damage on the Radiant attack, and useful for getting to flying enemies or enemies protected by their minions in the way.


Whirlwind Smite (PHB): If you need another AoE, take another Lv. 3 power (Strength from Valor, Winter's Edge), since those are better. This one is completely outclassed, now.


Zealous Smite (DP): Good damage potential on this one, and it also slaps Divine Sanction on hit.


Charisma, Weapon

Compel Obediance (DP): Attacks Will and can either set up easy flanks or isolate the enemy. A solid power.


Entangling Smite (PHB): Attacks Will and immobilizes. Good.


Renewing Smite (PHB): Not very impressive, especially comparing it to Lv. 3 healing attack powers. While this heals more single-ally damage than the likes of Invigorating Smite and especially Righteous Smite, those Lv. 3 powers are just more useful all around.


Charisma, Implement

Eye for an Eye (DP): Overall, inferior to the Lv. 7 Price of Cowardice, doing less damage and being a reaction rather than an interrupt, which means it doesn't help make the triggering attack miss. In addition, because the blinding still lasts until the end of your next turn, rather than the enemy's next turn, you don't even get to make the enemy waste a turn. So the benefit of the blinding is very limited. You might look at this one if you're an off-defender, since unlike Price of Cowardice it does work on unmarked foes, but that's about it.


Letherna's Hounds (D 381): Solid sticky power that knocks prone anyone whose Fortitude it hits within two squares of you and pulls them toward you. Necrotic keeps it from true greatness.


 


Lv. 15 Daily


Chaladins veer toward either Knight's Defiance for crowd control or True Nemesis for solo control. Straladins tend toward Divine Vengeance or Avatar of Undaunted Bravery.


Stance

Divine Vengeance (DP): With a good Wisdom, you can create some very nice lose-lose situations in melee. The enemy takes automatic, no-action damage for attacking you or an ally next to you. And if the enemy is divinely marked, the stance damage stacks with the mark's punishment, pushing the damage figures to dangerous levels.


Strength, Weapon

Avatar of Righteous Nobility (E:HFK): Useless to you. Cavaliers love it, though.


Avatar of Slaughter (HoS): Hit or miss, gain a nice power bonus to damage and the ability to splash necrotic damage on a second enemy next to you. Decent enough.


Avatar of Subjugation (HoS): Hot or miss, gain a bonus to attack rolls, THPs at the start of all your turns and even let an ally take some damage in exchange for twice the THPs in return. Not bad.


Avatar of Undaunted Bravery (E:HFK): Regardless of hit or the half-damage miss, you get to pull one enemy at the start of every single one of your turns a couple squares as a free action. This one's pretty good. Definitely makes your DC easier to maintain on elusive enemies.


Bloodied Retribution (PHB): Hit hard when bloodied and use a healing surge. Basic enough.


Flames of Devotion (DP): Hit or miss, your attacks deal 2d6 extra fire damage for as long as you sustain the effect with minor actions. A little too costly for the effect, especially compared to something like Bless Weapon. Lack of miss damage hurts, too.


Pyre of Judgment (DP): Reliable attack that causes ongoing 10 fire damage and damages surrounding enemies by a fair amount until a save. Decent.


Wayfinder's Charge (D 375): Get enemies in the way out of the way and make them pay for taking OAs, then hit the marked target for decent damage, halved on miss. Not bad.


Charisma, Weapon

Knight's Defiance (DP): Pull all enemies within 5 squares to you, save-end Sanction all of them, then attack one of them in melee. A terrific crowd-control power and combat opener.


Tower of Faith (DP): Attack deals half on a miss, and hit or miss you get some pretty good bonuses to saves. Fair.


Charisma, Implement

Break the Wall (PHB): Debuff all of an enemy's defenses, -2 if you hit, -1 if you miss. Decent.


Darkness Unleashed (D 381): This Necrotic close burst 1 power is actually not bad for Dwarves and anyone else whose second winds are minor-action or better. In their employ it can amount to an AoE attack above and beyond their standard action. If your second wind is a standard action you're better off looking elsewhere.


True Nemesis (PHB): Whether you hit or miss with the initial attack, this power lets you make all the punishment-stacking immediate-reaction attacks against the target you could possibly want for the rest of the encounter. These happen if the enemy attacks you, as well, so it creates a rather vicious Catch-22 situation. Solo control at its finest.


 


Lv. 16 Utility


Among your class powers, Divine Aegis wins this level quite handily. If you're trained in Insight, a class skill for you, this level isn't a bad time to take a skill power, namely Insightful Riposte.


Class Powers

Angelic Intercession (PHB): This daily is a fancier Martyr's Blessing. And it still sucks.


Call from the Brink (E:HFK): Immediate reaction healing surge trigger to an ally getting KO-ed, with a +2 power bonus to his attack rolls for the round after. This daily's a pretty decent recovery spell.


Death Ward (PHB): The healing is actually a better deal than Call from the Brink: Use one healing surge to heal your dying ally by two healing surges + CHA mod. However, the fact that this daily is a standard action and melee 1 range make it less useful than Call from the Brink, overall.


Devotion (DP): Boost the whole party's Fortitude and Will by +4 power bonus, but only until the end of your next turn. At this point, you should expect more from a daily utility.


Divine Aegis (DP): Daily stance giving a +2 untyped bonus to all defenses for you and anyone up to 2 squares away. Straightforward, but very effective, since it stacks with every other defense bonus out there. And in Eberron, this gets even better with Mark of Warding.


Higher Cause (DP): This daily stance gives untyped save bonuses and regeneration when bloodied. Pretty good, especially with Hero's Poise.


Liberation (DP): Per-encounter move action that lets you pull an ally away from a tough spot and trigger their healing surge. Decent one for Chaladins.

Pragmatic Sacrifice (HoS): Certainly interesting and flavorful (if against type for most Paladins), but in practice this self-death rescue daily just isn't really worth the slot.


Prayer for the Valiant (DP): This one is just in a bad place. It's only worth using at all if multiple allies are under save-ends effects. And in a few more levels, you might get Divine Mettle, as an encounter power, to do what this daily does and better.


Shadow Healing (HoS): This pure Shadow daily is definitely best used immediately after combat is over. Your bloodied value's worth of surgeless self-healing is very nice, no doubt, but the prohibition on spending your healing surges until after your next short rest makes this unwise to use in the heat of a battle.


Stave off Winter (D 386): Sort of an immediate-interrupt, ranged Lay on Hands, followed by some situational benefits at the cost of additional healing surges. Not really worth it.



Class Skill Powers

Insight


Insightful Riposte (PHB3): If ever there was a reason for you to train Insight, this encounter utility is it. A +3 untyped bonus as a free action to correct a failed attack roll. Incredible. This power is a great investment of the Skill Power feat to nab as an extra.


 


Lv. 17 Encounter


Straladins head straight for Mark of Terror. Chaladins have some leeway; Hand of the Gods is the best if you have a really high WIS, and others will take Enervating Smite or Wrathful Smite.


Strength OR Charisma, Weapon

Reassuring Strike (DP): You trigger your healing surge with Wisdom modifier to heal. Decent.


Strength OR Charisma, Implement

Frozen Shackles (D 380): Has its uses, like if you want to keep an enemy standing still in a hazardous zone until your party is ready to deal with him. In that case, if the enemy forces want him back in action, they'll have to go over to him and attack him, wasting their turn and possibly suffer damage themselves.


Strength, Weapon

Icy Clutches (D 381): Decent, and certainly fun, if nothing else, with its special Divine Sanction versus standing up from the prone condition this one inflicts.


Mark of Terror (DP): It stuns a marked enemy. Awesome. Its only possible weakness is the Fear keyword, but in a few levels even that might not matter.


Shattering Smite (DP): This one's just a little too situational. Not many enemies have resist all, nor are any members of your party likely to be completely shut down by resistances.


Terrifying Smite (PHB): It'll render a melee opponent worthless for a round, but this does nothing against ranged attackers. Stick with Mark of Terror, which works on a much wider range of enemies.


Charisma, Weapon

Enervating Smite (PHB): Attacks Will and weakens outright. Nice.


Fortifying Smite (PHB): WIS-power bonus to your AC if this hits. Decent if you've been the object of your enemies' scorn.


Wrathful Smite (DP): Close burst 1 vs. Reflex, so this thing will hit often. Best done on a crowd of marked enemies, as the debuff on their attack rolls stacks with your mark penalty, and the power also does more damage in that case. Solid power that basically works like an AoE version of Enfeebling Strike.


Charisma, Implement

Hand of the Gods (PHB): Hit or miss, this gives allies in the burst a huge power bonus to attack rolls if your Wisdom is good. If it hits, it marks the enemies. They're generic marks, but you can't have everything. Great power, overall.


Sanctified Light (DP): Weaksauce, plain and simple.


 


Lv. 19 Daily


Corona of Blinding Radiance is the clear winner for Chaladins here. Baladins may take that power as well, or they may opt for Deathguide's Sanction. Straladins, not to be outdone, will welcome the excellent Wheel of Fate, with Smite of Winter's Grip and Smite the Soul also being solid options.


Special

Plundering Smite (HoS): Tacked on to an at-will attack, this adds necrotic damage on the spot and additional ongoing necrotic, and gives you a little self-healing each time the target takes the ongoing damage. Fair enough. You'll probably appreciate it a little more than Blackguards do.


Ruinous Smite (HoS): Tacked on to an at-will attack, this adds some nice extra damage and makes the enemy yell, "I'm fallen and I can't get up!" when you're standing over him until he saves. This one's pretty nice for locking down one foe. You give up CA, but that's a pretty small price to pay.


Strength OR Charisma, Implement

Visage of Sorrow (D 380): Close burst 2 mass sanction for a turn and hit or miss a debuff to attacks against yourself. Not that impressive, and unless you have a more lasting mass-Sanction power to follow up with, it's counterintuitive.


Strength, Weapon

Crusader's Boon (PHB): Simply inadequate.


Deathguide's Sanction (D 381): Geared toward Baladins, this one does solid damage, it's Reliable, it's Radiant, and when it hits, it save-ends Sanctions the target while also turning it into a fencing dummy of free healing (5 + CHA mod) every round for all your allies who hit it while the Sanction lasts. Awesome stuff.


Overwhelming Fervor (DP): Solid damage on hit, halved on miss. You want to hit with it so you can impose Divine Sanction on the target for the rest of the encounter.


Smite of the Flame Cage (E:HFK): The 15 automatic fire damage for escaping or attacking an ally outside the zone is no joke, at least, particularly when it stacks with Challenge/Sanction damage. You kind of wish this lasted more than one round, though.


Smite of Winter's Grip (E:HFK): A good status effect -- restraining -- hit or miss with this cold-based attack (save-ends if you hit) and also some ongoing cold damage on hit. Pretty solid.


Smite the Soul (DP): Save-end stuns on hit, with a dazing aftereffect. A little low on the damage for a daily of this level, but a worthy pick nonetheless, especially if you can put a penalty on the save.


Wheel of Fate (DP): A solidly-damaging close burst 1 attack with a free surge's worth of healing if you hit at least two enemies. Regardless of any hitting or missing, WIS-mod worth of regeneration when bloodied for the rest of the encounter. Very good.


Charisma, Weapon

Corona of Blinding Radiance (PHB): Close burst 1 vs. Reflex, Radiant, and is just plain devastating even if it misses (which it won't too often). Save-end blinds on hit, and even on miss, half damage and blinds until the end of your next turn. Second to none for melee control.


Righteous Resolve (DP): The Honored Foe feat in Paragon Tier renders this mostly unnecessary in respect to you, and if you're the one getting THPs when your ally gets damaged, that's not really going to help persuade the enemy to go after you instead. Stay away from this one.


Charisma, Implement

Name of Potency (DP): Close burst 2, mass save-ends immobilization if it hits, save-ends slow if it misses. Solid sticky power.


Righteous Inferno (PHB): The CA-granting effect is simply not impressive for this level, and the zone it creates is way too small to balance out said weak effect.

Champion's Prayers: Epic Tier Powers




Lv. 22 Utility


Shared Valor is the jewel of this level. Shared Sacrifice is also a good option if you're not led by a Cleric. Holy Wings can be good for a few levels until you can afford at-will flight items.


Class Powers

Angelic Rescue (PHB): This one isn't going to see too much use.


Cleansing Burst (PHB): Turn the Tide, Mark II. At least this daily is a minor action, but there's still the question of just how often will the entire party be saddled with multiple save-ends effects and penalties.


Dark Grace (HoS): A purely Shadow power from the Blackguard Vice of Domination, and sadly pretty lackluster. The aura 1 has extremely limited range for its THP granting to allies, and halving an ally's healing from surge usage and taking the other half is rather inappropriate for your Defender role.


Failure Is No Option (DP): Thoroughly obsoleted by Shared Valor.


Fateful Cleansing (D 381): This daily is essentially a double-strength Lay on Hands (one surge for two surges' worth healing) with saves against all such effects. Decent.


Gift of Life (PHB): With Leaders everywhere getting resurrection spells at this level now, this daily isn't as crucial as it was. It's still a good backup spell, if nothing else.


Gift of Resistance (D 387): This daily stance is only worth it at all if you have sources of resistance to specific damage types, and even then it's pretty campaign specific. You'd have to be fighting a lot of enemies that inflict the type of damage you resist for this to be really useful.


Holy Wings (DP): You get to fly once per encounter. You also get some extra AC against OAs. Good for helping you get where you need to on the battlefield. Although if you're in the market for Airstriders in a few levels, you'll want to retrain out of this.


Inspiring Hymn (DP): This encounter power is rather situational. Even when they do happen, only few enemies, even at this tier, have truly devastating crits.


Rampaging Bloodlust (HoS): A strictly Shadow power from the Blackguard Vice of Fury, and not too hot for you. True, your allies do gain a decent amount of damage on their attacks if you've got several enemies in this power's aura, but aura 2 is a rather small area to work with, and making your allies yield combat advantage isn't exactly appropriate for a Defender, either. 


Return to the Living (DP): Not a bad daily to keep around. It can definitely save you, although it's unlikely you'll have to, or want to, spend all four healing surges.


Shared Sacrifice (E:HFK): The effect of this Cavalier Virtue-related daily is certainly a good thing: Free exchange of healing surges among you and all allies within your aura 5. However, if you have a Cleric in the party, don't take this, since that Cleric should have the Shared Healing feat, which accomplishes much the same thing.


Shared Valor (E:HFK): How do you like starting one fight per day with yourself and your allies in perfect attack formation, all of you buffed with a solid amount of THPs? This Cavalier Virtue utility is a fantastic positioning enabler for a party with multiple melee units, one that a Bard would envy. A high Charisma will add even more starting THPs.


United in Faith (PHB): Minor-action mass-triggering of healing surges for this daily. A Leader-type heal about 12 levels too late.


 


Lv. 23 Encounter


Chaladins get an amazing punishment stacker in Demand Respect. Straladins who actually have a level-appropriate implement should take Champion's Call. Otherwise, they can get the solid Grave Smite or Resounding Smite.


Strength OR Charisma, Weapon

Grave Smite (D 380): Prone and inability to stand is solid. If you have Paladin's Truth at this point, Necrotic isn't an issue.


Trial of Adversity (DP): Trigger mass saves, then make a 4[W] attack with possibly a bonus to attack and damage. Fair enough.


Strength, Weapon

Martyr's Smite (PHB): Solid damage, and if you hit, you can take the damage the target deals in place of an ally. Decent.


Resounding Smite (PHB): Can potentially knock everyone around you prone. A good melee control power.


Strength, Implement

Champion's Call (DP): If you have an implement that can hit reliably, you definitely want this. It's essentially your version of the Fighter's Warrior's Urging.


Charisma, Weapon

Censuring Radiance (DP): The effect weakens an enemy if it doesn't include you in an attack. Which would be fine if you weren't doing this already (via the feat Weakening Challenge). It's also inferior to Enervating Smite at Lv. 17, which just weakens outright.


Resurgent Wrath (DP): Decent attack with either healing surge trigger or saving throw for you and an adjacent ally. And by this point, this attack should clear the 30-point barrier fairly consistently for the extra Wisdom-related bonuses.


Sublime Transposition (PHB): Benign Transposition's big brother. Decent rescue-and-attack power for when one ally is getting mobbed.


Charisma, Implement

Demand Respect (DP): Another punishment stacker, and a genuine upgrade to Price of Cowardice this time around. An immediate interrupt just like its predecessor, this one has twice the range and also knocks prone in addition to the blinding. Unlike Price of Cowardice, this one works even on non-marked enemies, so off-defenders will love it, too.


Freezing Censure (D 381): Attacks Will, Cold, ranged 5 and restrains the enemy on hit. Fair.


Here Waits Thy Doom (PHB): Like Beckon Foe except a lot more damaging and Radiant. This one actually isn't bad.


 


Lv. 25 Daily


Chaladins and Baladins will marry Discipline the Unruly and give it some sweet, sweet loving. Straladins take Exalted Retribution for the nice Catch-22 and extra attacks it creates.


Strength OR Charisma, Weapon

World in Winter (D 380): It's important to note that the difficult terrain and light obscurity effects are NOT party friendly. That is a HUGE blow to what would've been a fantastic control power.


Strength, Weapon

Exalted Retribution (PHB): Hit or miss (and on miss it deals half-damage), this power creates a very nifty Catch-22 opportunity. The enemy you target with this provokes a supercharged OA from you when it makes an attack, regardless of if it's against you or against your allies. Which makes this a good way for a Paladin to get an extra attack in a round. Too bad the enemy can save against this, but even the one probable extra attack (especially if set up right) is worth its weight in damage.


Mark of Weakness (DP): Save-end weakens and Sanctions on hit, half damage and weaken for one turn on miss. Fair.


Radiant Storm (E:HFK): Close burst vs. Reflex for good hitting, half-damage on miss, and creates a zone for a whole encounter in which the enemy gets zapped for 10 radiant damage if he enters or ends his turn in it. This one seems to have been tailor-made for the Cavalier, and it shows. You don't offer the incentive for the enemy to stick around next to you the way the Cavalier does, which makes this power a lot less potent in your hands.


Ravenous Shadows (HoS): Creates a wall that can slide nearby enemies into it upon conjuration and the minor-action sustains, immobilize them and make them eat some combined cold/necrotic damage. Actually better in your hands than in those of the Blackguard for whom it originated, and a fair control spell.


Roaring Thunder (E:HFK): Pretty much Thundering Smite, Mark II, this time with a daze on the target and an extra square's distance on the mass-prone effect. Can't say I'm impressed.


Spurn the Unworthy (DP): The attack itself isn't that good for this level, and all you get are an extra weapon die's worth of damage on your melee basic attack. Not impressive.


Venomous Infection (HoS): Attack that deals a fairly hefty amount of ongoing acid and poison damage and comes with a minor spray damage effect when the target is bloodied or killed. Cool enough flavor, but in practice it doesn't exactly inspire.


Charisma, Weapon

Discipline the Unruly (DP): At this point, there is no reason for any Paladin with an attack-caliber Charisma to not take this. It's about as good as area control can get. Enemies within 5 squares of you, marked or not, that attack any ally automatically suffer a solid amount of radiant damage and are blinded for a round. You can sustain this with minor actions, and you will most definitely want to do that. A fantastic power for both primary and off-defenders, this one allows for some incredible punishment-stacking combos.


Harsh Verdict (DP): Attacks Will, which is about all this one has going for it. No reason to take this over Discipline the Unruly.


Charisma, Implement

To the Nine Hells with You (PHB): To the Nine Hells with this power, you mean. Generic marks and moderate fire damage at this point just do not measure up.


 


Lv. 27 Encounter


Stunning Smite absolutely rules this level for Straladins and Baladins. Although Chaladins have nothing to complain about with Restricting Smite and Deific Vengeance in their repertoire.


Strength, Weapon

Ardent Judgment (DP): Bonus to attack and crit if the enemy is marked, and creates vulnerability 10 to all damage if you used Ardent Vow. Fair on an Ardent Vow build, inadequate otherwise.


Blinding Smite (PHB): Attacks Will and blinds, like its name says. Would get more attention if not for a couple other powers at this level.


Overwhelming Smite (DP): Sanctions enemies next to you on hit. At this point ... meh.


Stunning Smite (PHB): Still the king. Attacks Will, and can potentially stun all enemies next to you. This one is as good as melee control gets.


Terrible Charge (DP): This one is about as good as charge powers get, so if you're particularly charge-focused this stunner is for you. Otherwise, Stunning Smite is better.


Charisma, Weapon/Implement

Astral Thunderbolt (DP): A two-part Thunder attack. The first part is with your weapon against Fortitude, and a hit slows the enemy and debuffs its attacks by -2. On hit, you also get a secondary attack with your implement vs. Fortitude that does further damage and also slaps a -2 attack debuff. Both attacks can be against the same target, so you can do some real single-target damage with this one, as well as stack the debuffs on the enemy.


Charisma, Weapon

Restricting Smite (PHB): This attack vs. Will is best used against enemies with powerful AoEs and off-action attacks. It's extremely effective at letting your allies maneuver as they please without such a threat being able to harm them. Incidentally, puts down a generic mark as well. Still a great power.


Charisma, Implement

Brand of Judgment (PHB): Attack vs. Will. Not all that impressive, actually. The enemy taking half damage from his own attack isn't likely enough to dissuade him from making an attack, or appreciably add to the party's DPR.


Deific Vengeance (PHB): An immediate reaction power made when an enemy attacks you. It attacks Fortitude with a +2 bonus and does very nice damage from quite some range. This power is threatening enough to force enemies into a catch-22 if your mark is as potent as it should be. Only reason it's not ranked even higher is because the weakening effect suffers from Dazing Rebuke Syndrome.


Wrathful Flame (DP): Good burst area on this attack vs. Reflex, which helps. Best done after a mass-Sanction.


Strength, Weapon AND Charisma, Implement

Charge of the Dead (D 381): This Necrotic attack can be used on a charge, and on hit, you follow up with the implement-based burst that targets the enemy you charged as well as those closeby. Solid damage potential, being a multi-attack power, and by this point Necrotic isn't an issue if you have Paladin's Truth. Fair enough.


 


Lv. 29 Daily


Straladins aren't particularly excited about their capstones. Avatar of Virtue, Powerful Faith and Prostration aren't bad, but hardly get the blood pumping. And the rest of the STR powers here are just awful. This would definitely not be a bad time for Straladins to consider power-swapping, or failing that going back and taking Discipline the Unruly if they hadn't already. Chaladins, on the other hand, can smile at their capstones, with both Even Hand of Justice and Name of Awe being solid powers.


Strength, Weapon

Avatar of Vice (HoS): 5[W] hit with half-damage on miss, and regardless of hit or miss extra CHA-mod necrotic damage on all attacks and you also get some THPs when you hit. The dark counterpart to Avatar of Virtue, and not nearly as useful for you overall, unfortunately. The cool recharge feature for Blackguards is useless to you.


Avatar of Virtue (E:HFK): 5[W] hit with half-damage on miss, and regardless of hit or miss a mass-surge trigger, followed by CHA-mod power bonus to your damage and some free healing to throw around on all your turns after. Not bad. Certainly better than many other powers here.


Day of Reckoning (DP): This one is just plain terrible.


Devastating Surge (DP): No. If you really want a healing capstone attack, take Avatar of Virtue.


Powerful Faith (PHB): Solid single-target damage and if it hits, triggers a secondary attack that can blind all enemies within 10 squares for a round. Not totally great, but considering its competition you take what you can get.


Prostration (DP): Good damage for a close burst 1, attacks Reflex so it'll hit often, has Lightning and Thunder keywords, and hit or miss, it knocks prone. This one's decent, again, considering most of the alternatives.


Sanctioned Slaughter (DP): Epic fail. Nothing else to say.


Sorrowsworn Smite (D 381): Save-ends blinding and inability to heal on hit. Again, Necrotic isn't an issue if you have Paladin's Truth. The feeble miss consequences for a power of this level keep this one from being great.


Charisma, Implement

Even Hand of Justice (PHB): Attacks Will, does solid damage hit or miss, and if it hits, the enemy takes the full damage and effects from his own attacks. Basically, the harder they hit, the harder they fall, and their own immunities and resistances do not apply. Use this against enemies with particularly dangerous attacks. Saves against this are done at a -2 penalty. Nice capstone, overall.


Name of Awe (DP): Solid damage in a nice burst, and on hit causes save-ends immobilize and weaken (slows on miss). And Sanctions for a round hit or miss. Good crowd-control power.

Fortifying the Faith: Feats


Note on the general, class, racial, and divine power source feats: Not all of those will be listed. Only the consequential ones (many of those will be rated blue or sky blue). Traps among those will be noted. This saves space, plus since feats have become a more precious resource thanks to simply the increasing number of them in 4e, narrowing them down to the meaningful choices is justified.


As for what you should prioritize when selecting feats:


1. Attack accuracy. Hitting enemies is the most important thing any character does in 4e combat, and you are no exception.


2. Mark potency/frequency. This is how you ensure that enemies will want to attack you, rather than that Wizard in the back. You'll definitely want to take feats that give you more opportunities to mark foes, especially with Divine Sanction. Then you'll want to take feats that make the mark punishment hurt more, give you punishment stacking options, weaken the foes' attacks, inflict status conditions, or increase the hit penalty for the mark itself.


3. Defense/survivability. With marks that make enemies want to attack you and no other, you'll need to then make sure that you can take the extra heat. Doing this will turn marked foes' situations into more of a lose-lose, which is exactly what you want. Note that this category can also include ways to hurt the foe for attacking you, as well.


4. Initiative. Just like all other Defenders, you want your enemies marked and put on notice before they ever get to act. Since you're not likely to have a high Dexterity, feats are your best way of hiking your initiative and making sure you beat your enemies to the punch more often than not. Some of you like to buff your allies, too, which makes this even more important.


5. Power recovery. If you come upon feats that let you recover your encounter powers, take them. They can impact the battle in a big way.


6. Healing/buffing OR damage. You're probably going to be either a secondary Leader or secondary Striker, but rarely both in equal measure. Once you've accounted for the points above, then feel free to concentrate on one of these two things to round out your Paladin.


 


Class/Power Source feats

Heroic Tier

Accursed Challenge (D 384): Must worship Avandra. If you have enough allies who inflict save-ends effects (or even have your own powers with save-ends effects), the -2 save penalties adds some extra bite to your marks. Curiously enough, this even works with generic marks, not just Challenge or Sanction. Starts peaking in early Paragon, when characters get their full suite of daily attack powers.


Bitter Challenge (D 380): With World Serpent's Grasp in play, this one is now a great buff on your Divine Challenge. This feat's slowing effect on DC would normally suffer from a timing issue, but World Serpent's Grasp (either from you or from your allies) renders that irrelevant, now that the enemy who violates your DC risks getting knocked prone before the end of your next turn. Good times.


Commanding Vow (D 388): Sounds nice in general, but in practice it's pretty niche. However, it should be considered for certain combos involving Ardent Strike, such as with Deadly Draw for the constant combat advantage. Or Champion of Order + Heavy Blade Opportunity for action denial.


Devoted Paladin (DP): CHA-mod healing bonus for allies to Lay on Hands, and an extra healing surge per day to boot. Nice.


Healing Hands (PHB): This ally-only bonus for Lay on Hands isn't completely worthless, as it does stack with Devoted Paladin, but feat priorities for Paladins have shifted in favor of so many other choices that I really can't recommend this one in good faith.


Implacable Mettle (D 388): Allows you another use of Channel Divinity if your ally fails a save from your Divine Mettle. Good at this tier, although if you're a Chaladin or Baladin it's diminishing returns by mid-Paragon or so.


Lend Health (D 388): For Paladins with Lay on Hands, and it's beautiful. In short, the higher your surge value (usually from having a higher maximum HP value), the better you heal your allies, which is simply perfect for the Defender/Leader dual-role some of you will take. What's more, this works not only with Lay on Hands, but any other powers you have that either trigger healing surges to restore HPs or let allies recover HPs as if they spent a surge. If you're multiclassing into, say, an actual Leader class to poach such powers, it's even more important.


Light of Order (D 381): Gives you a free at-will spell, Shining Light of Order, that shines bright light, which negates concealment in dark places. Useful if you do a lot of dungeon-crawling or night fighting. The feat also grants you the option to replace a utility power with Punitive Radiance, although with the great utilities your class gets you probably won't want to exercise that option.


Mercy's Reward (D 388): If you're the type of Paladin who wasn't going for DPR, then the surge-triggering sacrifice of critical damage can come in handy.


Mettle Proven (D 378): Grant use of a healing surge for your ally when your Divine Mettle successfully helps him save. Good one.


Mighty Challenge (DP): Makes a Straladin's Divine Challenge viable, and a Baladin's pretty damn dangerous. Essential in both cases.


Protector's Commitment (DP): CHA 15 required. Take the Expertise feats first, but this is worth a look after those. You or an enemy next to a bloodied ally is a fairly common situation (particularly the latter case, since that happens with a simple flank) that will give you the +1 untyped bonus to attacks.


Shared Vitality (D 385): Must worship Moradin. This can make your second wind act as a per-encounter ranged Lay on Hands. It still won't make most of you start using your second winds, but this feat's value goes up exponentially for Dwarves, Questing Knights and anyone else who somehow gets their second wind to minor action or better. Better still if you multiclass Fighter to access feats that enhance your second wind's effects even more.


Sudden Smite (D 388): Makes your Divine Strength a free action you can save until after your attack actually hits, giving that power a nice action economy upgrade and some more reliability. The attractiveness of this feat pretty much coincides with, well, the stages in a Straladin's career in which Divine Strength is a major player in his arsenal. In other words, great in early Heroic, not so hot past that point, but then awesome again in Epic Tier with the feat support Divine Strength gets then.


Symbol of the Sonnlinor (D 385): Must worship Moradin, and this is a great option if you plan on wielding an axe or hammer in his name. Not only does it reduce multiple-item dependency, but it opens up a lot of interesting combinations for implement use. Like the classic Lasting Frost synergy. Or how about following up a close-burst implement crit with a Rending attack? Bloodiron's sure looking fine. The possibilities are endless.


Versatile Channeler (DP): Pick up another Divine class' Divinity power and add it to your list. If you actually plan to multiclass into another Divine class, however, you may want to consider using Divine Channeler for that, which also adds another class' Divinity power, so keep that in mind. If Divine Channeler doesn't suit your multiclassing plans but you still see a Divinity power you like, then take this one.


Virtuous Recovery (DP): Huge boost to survivability in the form of WIS-mod damage resistance until the start of your next turn whenever you spend a healing surge in any way. That can be second wind, Lay on Hands usage ... and Virtue. In fact, if you plan on using that Lv. 2 utility every encounter and have a WIS modifier of at least +2 in Heroic (working to +3 in Paragon), consider this mandatory and don't let go unless you get a more reliable source of damage resistance (probably won't happen until Epic Tier).


Paragon Tier

Angelic Protection (D 388): Your Lay on Hands can now heal proactively via THPs. And the number of THPs is exactly the same as if you had actually healed with the power normally, all bonuses included (Lend Health, Devoted Paladin, etc.). This makes Lay on Hands an excellent buffing power, sort of a supercharged Virtue that you can use either on yourself or an ally who needs it most at the start of a fight.


Chosen Defender (D 381): The penalty you put down on enemies' OAs just for being next to them comes in quite handy for giving your allies a better chance of moving around (or away from) those foes unscathed. You become a better point-man for flanks.


Contagious Challenge (DP): Hit your Divine Challenge target and spread a Divine Sanction to another enemy next to it. Good one.


Forceful Challenge (D 378): Now this feat explicitly puts the sliding effect on your DC and DS after the enemy's whole attack is resolved. Which can still be neat for disengaging a melee enemy from a vulnerable ally, but this one isn't nearly the auto-pick it used to be.


Hero's Poise (D 388): Wow. Just, wow. Chaladins and Baladins take without any questions. No reason why they wouldn't want to become a font of nigh-automatic saving throws for the entire party and ruin the day for monsters who rely on save-ends attacks. And since the more often you make a save, the more often you grant this feat's bonus to your party, it has amazing synergy with feats and powers that grant you bonuses to saving throws and opportunities to roll extra saves (Superior Will, for starters). Powers and feats that grant allies more chances to roll saves also become more valuable, since they'll all be working with the bonus you grant.


Honored Foe (DP): If you have even an appreciable WIS modifier (+3 or greater), you want this if at all possible. A stacked arsenal of mass-Sanction powers and abilities will ensure you get the WIS-mod THPs early and often against enemies who dare hit you. The only reason this isn't universally mandatory for WIS-focused Paladins is that you may be starting every fight with massive amounts of THPs from things like Virtue and Angelic Protection; if that doesn't apply to you, this IS mandatory.


Persistent Challenge (DP): Basically works out to a free Divine Challenge per encounter against an enemy you can't reach. That can come in handy against, say, a Skirmisher or Artillery unit. Requires CHA 15.


Pervasive Light (DP): This one is aimed at those of you who primarily like to attack with other damage types besides Radiant, but still want to take advantage of Radiant vulnerability. If you're hanging out with a full-fledged Radiant Mafia, this can be an outright amazing choice, allowing you to stack the Radiant vulnerability your allies create with the extra damage or nasty tricks from your own preferred attack type (such as from Cold, Psychic or Thunder).


Touch of Salvation (DP): Almost like a free Divine Mettle (CHA-modifier bonus included) attached to use of Virtue's Touch or Lay on Hands. Some might find this useful.


Untiring Virtue (DP):This one is typically good for an extra two uses of your special daily power per day. This feat allows a Chaladin who wants higher Fortitude defense and extra healing surges to pay attention to Constitution as well as Wisdom when leveling up. Baladins, who tend to have low Wisdom, anyway, will also want this. For that matter, this feat is good for any Paladin.


Virtue's Chosen (D 388): Virtue's Touch also ends ongoing damage. Decent bonus, but it's just that, a bonus. Don't ever use your Virtue's Touch JUST to end ongoing damage.


Wrathful Conviction (D 388): Extra WIS or CHA modifier damage on Divine Strength. Aside from the obvious buff to the Straladin's application, this also makes using Divine Strength a viable option for certain Chaladins (Devas with Shared Channeling come to mind). Most Paladins can take or leave this one, though, since Divine Strength only works on a single hit by default. On the other hand, those who plan to milk one Tireless Wrath for all it's worth when they get to Epic Tier will find this feat a lot more appealing then.


Epic Tier

Champion's Countenance (D 388): Doesn't look that appealing on first reading, until you take into account all the ways Paladins can start every fight with massive THP cushions on top of maximum hit points (namely Virtue, Deliverance of Faith, and Angelic Protection + Lay on Hands). With such a THP cushion, you're looking at effortlessly giving your whole party +2 to all NADs for the first round or two. In conjunction with your marks, enemies who love attacking NADs (which would describe a ton of Epic Tier foes) will quickly find it a losing proposition and try to beat those THPs off of you, instead. Which is exactly what you wanted all along.


Crusading Wrath (DP): For many Straladins with the qualifying WIS 15, taking this power is a matter of when, not if. The next attack after Divine Strength, hit or miss, slaps a Divine Sanction on the enemy for the whole encounter, which also gets a boost to its punishment from your WIS-modifier. In other words, your Divine Strength becomes a way to mark and forget. NOTE: This is ESPECIALLY brutal in a Champion of Order's hands, and Straladins of that PP should consider this mandatory and get it ASAP.


Divine Mastery (DP): Regain a divine encounter power when you spend an action point. A necessity, and you want to get it as early in Epic Tier as possible.


Echoes of Letherna (D 380): Must worship the Raven Queen. Actually not a bad deal, since the Necrotic keyword and damage are added to the Radiant powers, rather than replacing the Radiant qualities. Dual damage types and keywords on a power work wonders to cover up one that may be commonly resisted.


Glorious Channeler (DP): This one's good if you have a particularly strong Divinity feat, and then still want to be able to use Divine Strength or Divine Mettle.


Icon of Purity (DP): A lot of enemies deal necrotic damage, so this one's good.


Paladin's Truth (DP): Ignore resistances and immunities on marked targets. That Fear or Charm power you like a lot? Works every time now. Fire resistance? No problem. Resist all? Resist this. Splendid stuff.


Pious Champion (DP): If you have either Lay on Hands or Virtue's Touch, you want this if you can fit it at all. That goes double for Lay on Hands, which you can now use to heal two targets for the price of only one of your healing surges.


Promise of Judgment (D 388): It's a fact of life and math in this game: You will miss attacks every now and then. The free DS from missing with a Paladin attack power is a fine consolation prize. A finer point: Ardent Strike becomes a guaranteed DS with this feat.


Protecting Boon (DP): Let everybody in the close burst 10 make the save from Divine Mettle, which is awesome. Baladins will automatically qualify; Chaladins who want it should make sure they get a STR of 15 by Epic Tier.


Punishing Radiance (DP): Radiant vulnerability 10 (or the increasing of it by 10) until the end of your next turn on a radiant divine power's crit. Fantastic, especially if you had built yourself to take full advantage of radiant vulnerability. Also note the synergy with Font of Radiance.


Righteous Challenge (D 377): I'm normally wary of feats that only apply against specific enemy types, but since demons and devils do make up a large chunk of Epic Tier monsters currently, this is worth a look. Obviously, a lot more valuable if you fight these enemy types constantly.


Tireless Wrath (DP): Now your Divine Strength bonus lasts on all attacks until the end of your next turn. A pretty good feat for Straladins and Baladins that becomes great in two situations: (a) You poached a focus-fire multiattack power such as the Barbarian's Hurricane of Blades, or (b) your Leader likes to trigger off-action attacks for you. Deva Baladins with Shared Channeling can turn this into a nasty buff for a Striker ally, too. Requires STR 21 and CHA 15.


Weakening Challenge (D 378): I'll be blunt: This should be the first feat you take in Epic Tier, pretty much without exception. With this your DC and DS effectively cut all enemy damage against your allies in half, instantly making those marks arguably the strongest deterrents in the game at this point.


General feats

Heroic Tier

Battlewise (E:HFK): If your build plans involve Wisdom as a secondary stat, you're taking this any way you can (racial initiative feats that function similarly or better notwithstanding). Initiative is vital for all Defenders, you are no exception, and using WIS instead of DEX to determine it is as clean a solution as it gets for the builds that can do so. Taking this feat, cleverly enough, also allows you to dump DEX instead of INT, so your Religion skill isn't completely dead weight.


Blindfighting Warrior (E:HFK): Ignoring concealment of all sorts can come in handy for melee types.


Bludgeon Expertise (E:HFL): Tier-scaling feat bonus to attacks with hammers and maces, and its perk of an extra square of forced movement on an attack can be very nice if you can find at-will ways of creating forced movement. (Mark of Storm and Half-Elf with Eldritch Strike are obvious ones.) For those builds, this may be the only weapon-type-based feat in the Expertise family that can legitimately stand up to Devout Protector Expertise and Two-Handed Weapon Expertise (but even then you'd probably still want one of those in addition, anyway). NOTE: This does not work with Ardent Strike and Commanding Vow, though, since it's the Sanction, not the attack, that slides.


Deadly Draw (PHB3): If you have means of sliding your enemy in any way at-will (e.g. Ardent Strike + Commanding Vow, or Mark of Storm, or Half-Elf with Eldritch Strike) this can net you constant combat advantage. Great fun.


Devout Protector Expertise (D 402): I'll be blunt: If you plan on using a shield, this is THE member of the Expertise family you're taking. PERIOD. Passively handing out a +1 shield bonus to AC to all allies anywhere on the map beats the crap out of anything else you'll see in this family for one-handed weapons. The tier-scaling Expertise bonus applies to weapon attacks with your one-handed weapon and implement attacks with your holy symbol, covering all the ways your class will make attack rolls.


Disciple of Freedom (E:HFL): While you're not quite as screwed by slowing, immobilizing and restraining as some other Defenders are, those conditions are still pretty inconvenient, so the ability to save at the start of your turn against those is great to have. Plus, there's the fact that in Paragon Tier, this feat is going to have some beautiful synergy with Hero's Poise. Requires CHA 13.


Disciple of Justice (E:HFL): Essentially turns your second wind into another Lay on Hands. Those who have a minor-action or less second wind (Dwarves, Questing Knights) will want to give this a look. Requires CHA 13.


Disciple of Light (E:HFL): Tier-scaling THPs to all allies within 5 squares of you when you use a healing surge (this can even be Lay on Hands, Virtue, etc.) is a very nice deal. Requires WIS 13.


Disciple of Stone (E:HFL): Tier-scaling THPs for you when you use a healing surge. Good one, assuming you're not already taking encounter powers that grant THPs on surge use (e.g. Virtue) or things like Angelic Protection. Requires CON 13.


Disciple of Strength (E:HFL): If your second wind is minor-action or better (Dwarf, Questing Knight) this one's good for the extra sting on your next hit. 


Durable (PHB): Lay on Hands Paladins should take Devoted Paladin, instead. Paladins with one of the other special daily powers might give this a look, but not before Toughness.


Echoes of Thunder (PHB2): Extra tier-scaling damage when you hit with Thunder powers. For Power of the Storm Straladins, this should be next on the radar after Weapon Focus, as it really lends potency to their preferred keyword.


Focused Mind (PHB3): +4 feat bonus against two of the more crippling conditions, dazing and stunning. Good now, even better later. Especially if you take Hero's Poise in Paragon Tier.


Headsman's Chop (PHB3): With an axe or heavy blade, deal 5 extra damage on a prone enemy. Sons of Mercy (with World Serpent's Grasp) will want to look at this one.


Heavy Armor Agility (E:HFL): If you have the STR or CON 15 to qualify, this is a good investment for your mobility in plate. Gnomes should consider this mandatory; speed 4 is unacceptable.


Holy Symbol Expertise (HoS): Nowadays the only Paladins I can see taking this one would be those using a two-hander who still, for some reason, want to pack some encounter implement powers. In that case, they'll want to hit with those attacks properly and should take this. The added bonus of canceling CA against you in many situations is pretty nice, though, I'll say that much.


Implement Focus (E:HFL): Finally, a general tier-scaling feat bonus to implement damage. It's probably not that high a priority for you, though.


Improved Defenses (E:HFL): It's not a matter of if you're taking this tier-scaling feat bonus to NADs, but when. This one is absolutely necessary for all Defenders (that means you). NADs don't scale right as your levels increase, and this feat helps corrects that. Note: This feat obsoletes Paragon Defenses (PHB2) and Robust Defenses (PHB2).


Improved Initiative (PHB): If your build won't have the Wisdom to put Battlewise to good use, you'll take this one for the all-important boost to the all-important initiative. No DEX-dumping for you, though. Even if you did take Battlewise, or a racial equivalent, this one in addition certainly doesn't hurt if you can fit it in.


Melee Training (PHB2): If you're a Chaladin who, for whatever reason, doesn't want to take Virtuous Strike, then you take this to get the all-important competent MBA. I don't know why you'd do that, nowadays, as feat space is quite scarce. Plus you only use half your CHA modifier for the MBA damage. Straladins and Baladins can ignore this one, altogether.


Oncoming Storm (PHB2): A key feat for Mark of Storm builds in Eberron, who have a reason to take Lightning Weapons beyond the +1 to attack with Thunder powers afterwards this feat gives you. Take Power of the Storm with Valiant Strike, and also Echoes of Thunder, to have a power that takes ready advantage of this feat's benefit through Heroic and Paragon. In Epic Tier, Avatar of Storm makes this one great even if you aren't a Mark of Storm build.


Resilient Focus (E:HFL): Flat +2 feat bonus to all saves. Certainly nice, but some of you will have better options in this department.


Ritual Caster (PHB): It's here if such a task should fall to you. You're already trained in Religion.


Skill Power (PHB3): Gives you an extra skill power for the cost of this feat. If you use it to pick up the right power, this one can actually be a very good choice.


Spear Expertise (E:HFL): The extra untyped tier-scaling bonus to damage when you charge stacks with Two-Handed Weapon Expertise's damage bonus in the same situation, so it's conceivable that gouge wielders might take this one in addition to Two-Handed Weapon Expertise.


Superior Implement Training (PHB3): If you're taking a preponderance of implement encounter powers, consider taking this for an accurate symbol. It's not quite as necessary for you as for some other classes, though, since your class doesn't have any at-will implement attacks.


Superior Will (E:HFL): Requires WIS 15 or CHA 15, which any Paladin will easily get. Your Will defense increases an extra point over what Improved Defenses gets you, but by far the most important part of this is saving against daze or stun at the start of your turn, even if a save normally wouldn't end those conditions. (If it is a save-ends condition you still get a save at the end of your turn as well.) No way you're passing this up. Ever. And with Hero's Poise and some more save bonuses in play, you can potentially make your entire party all but immune to daze and stun by Paragon Tier. Amazing stuff.


Swift Recovery (E:HFL): Tier-scaling feat bonus to your healing surge value, available to you if you trained Endurance. As far as the HP-related feats go, this one should be top priority. It has the greatest effect on your daily hit point totals, factoring in surge use, even more so than Toughness has. Healing-focused Paladins with Lend Health especially love this one, as they can get the benefits of this feat to count for both themselves and their allies, thus not only making themselves tougher, but making themselves better healers, too.


Toughness (PHB): Tier-scaling increase of your maximum hit points value. This is actually not as good as Swift Recovery for your survivability over the course of a day (especially in Heroic and Paragon Tiers), but it's still worthy of your attention in case you can fit both feats in your build. In Epic Tier, the comparison between this and Swift Recovery becomes more of a wash. Healing-focused Paladins with Lend Health should note that Toughness also has the side effect of increasing their healing surge values (albeit not as much as Swift Recovery), so for them this feat also benefits both themselves and any allies they heal.


Two-Handed Weapon Expertise (HotF): The necessary tier-scaling feat bonus to attacks, which applies to all two-handed melee weapons, plus a tier-scaling untyped bonus to damage on a charge. As long as you take Ardent Strike, this is easily the preferred Expertise feat if you're using weapon attack powers exclusively with a two-handed weapon (typically Straladins). 


Vicious Advantage (PHB3): Combat advantage against any slowed or immobilized opponent. Sons of Mercy or Chaladins with the Earth domain could put this one to good use.


Weapon Focus (PHB): Your feat bonus to damage. Straladins should consider this a priority (unless they're Dwarves or Goliaths, who have their own damage feats that will serve them through Paragon Tier). Most Chaladins, on the other hand, will just consider it nice to have.


Weapon Proficiency (one superior weapon) (PHB): Typically, a superior weapon will give you an average of 1 extra damage (2 in Epic) over its military counterparts on an at-will attack (and sometimes a bit more than that). Straladins should consider this a priority. Chaladins, on the other hand, typically have other things to worry about besides a point or two of personal damage. Dwarves, again, don't need to look at this one; they have their own racial feats that provide the equivalent of this and Weapon Focus. Goliaths might forego this for their racial feat as well, at least for a while.


Wintertouched (PHB): The first half of the Lasting Frost synergy. Obviously, you don't need to take until Paragon Tier.


World Serpent's Grasp (E:HFK): Combos with Bitter Challenge to make your DC a lot more threatening. Knocking down any slowed or immobilized enemy when you hit him is just too good. Straladin Sons of Mercy, who slow with every attack they make, will love this feat even more and should consider it mandatory.


Paragon Tier

Agile Opportunist (PHB2): This one depends on party composition. If your Leader is someone who has a lot of features or powers that can slide you, such as a Cunning Bard, you DEFINITELY want this; they'll thank you for it. Especially since, unlike other defender classes, you don't even use your immediate action for your default mark punishment. And rolling more attacks is always fun.


Armor Specialization (PHB): Your feat bonus to AC. Most likely, you'll be picking this one for plate (CON 15 needed).


Danger Sense (PHB): Roll twice for initiative and take the better result. Good for guarding against bad initiative rolls.


Deadly Axe (PHB): If your axe didn't have high-crit already, giving it that property is a good idea.


Fleet-Footed (PHB): Extra speed is never a bad thing if you have the room.


Hammer Rhythm (PHB): The CON-modifier miss damage does wonders for a hammer-wielding Straladin's DPR figures.


Heavy Blade Opportunity (PHB): A long time ago, this was essential for Chaladins. No more. Some Straladins, particularly Champions of Order, who have the Dexterity necessary might still want to take it.


Lasting Frost (PHB): Synergistic with Wintertouched to set up combat advantage on every hit with a Cold-keyword attack.


Polearm Gamble (PHB): This is the feat that allows you to control real estate like nobody's business with a halberd or glaive.


Psychic Lock (PHB): If you're using a Githyanki Silver weapon, you might want the attack debuff this inflicts (especially nasty when stacking with Enfeebling Strike). It's also for Half-Elves who took a Psychic at-will power with Dilletante, such as Vicious Mockery or Eyebite (which also come with their own debuffs).


Repel Charge (PHB3): In the right party, you can optimize your DC and DS to the point where the enemy will have no recourse other than to charge at you. This feat lets you make them pay for that with an MBA. Best taken with other melee support (which makes the enemy shift away from them to not draw an OA before charging at you), or with a strong Controller packing daze spells.


Reserve Maneuver (PHB2): Don't like your paragon path's encounter power? Trade it out for something else after you rest. This feat may not be for everyone, but it's handy for those  who want it.


Shield Mastery (PHB3): Chaladins, who typically use shields, anyway, should strongly consider this one to shore up that Fortitude defense. Those advancing Wisdom as a full-blown secondary or co-primary should consider this mandatory.


Solid Sound (PHB): +2 untyped bonus to a NAD for a round when you hit with the Thunder or Force keyword. This one is good for those with the Storm domain or those using a Force Weapon. Some of your class' encounter and daily powers also benefit.


Uncanny Dodge (PHB): If you're taking Polearm Gamble, you'll want this one, too. For that matter, it's not a bad choice for anyone.


Vexing Flanker (PHB2): All your allies get combat advantage against an enemy you're flanking. Pretty useful.


Epic Tier

Axe/Bludgeon/Heavy Blade Mastery (PHB): Only Straladins need apply here. Take it if you can; most Straladins can build to get it without crippling sacrifices.


Blind-Fight (PHB): Thwart invisibility and concealment (but not total concealment) on adjacent creatures. Not bad.


Epic Fortitude/Reflexes/Will (PHB2): +4 to the NAD in question. Stacks with Improved Defenses (at least for now). You would do well to go for at least one of these. Can make your highest defense extremely hard to hit, a medium defense from a secondary stat in the high teens-low 20s solid, and even your lowest defense at least passable.


Epic Resurgence (PHB): Not as high priority as Divine Mastery, but still worth a look after, especially if you expanded your crit range.


Font of Radiance (PHB): On a radiant crit, inflict a save-ends condition that involves bright light and a healthy amount of free radiant damage per round on the enemy and its adjacent lackeys. Very nice. Note the synergy with Punishing Radiance; if you're going for DPR, these two feats together are your answer to things like the Fighter's Reckless Attacker.


Long Step (PHB3): Most of you probably won't be strictly charge-oriented, but it's there in case you are.


Rapid Regeneration (PHB3): If you have any substantial sources of regeneration and an even appreciable CON modifier, you should look at it.


Strength Through Challenge (D 387): Resist 5 just for having two enemies marked is pretty nice, especially when stacked with things like Honored Foe.


Superior Initiative (PHB3): Likely, you'll be retraining Improved Initiative for this vital feat, since it's just a higher feat bonus. If you took an initiative stat substituion feat (e.g. Battlewise for WIS or some racial initiative feat), then this one isn't quite as vital, but it's still pretty attractive.


Triumphant Attack (PHB): Attack roll and defense debuff for a full encounter whenever you crit in melee. A nice one that got a good boost with recent errata.


Unfettered Stride (PHB): Ignore difficult terrain. Good if you've somehow trained yourself in Acrobatics.


Mount feats

Heroic Tier


Mounted Combat (PHB): This feat is pretty much a necessity to get the most out of your time mounted, should that apply to you somehow. (Jade Horse comes to mind.) You can get some really awesome benefits from your mount.


Paragon Tier


Holy Steed (D 388): Requires the Mounted Combat feat, but you should have that anyway if you plan on using a mount often. +2 to all your mount's defenses is obviously awesome, and extra CHA-mod bonus to all your mount's damage rolls actually makes your mount a somewhat credible damage threat.

Feats, cont'd


Racial feats

Changeling

Heroic Tier


Fickle Servant (DP): Lets you pick any Domain Feat you want. This one is a curious case, though, considering you actually are allowed to worship multiple deities as long as they're the same alignment as you. If you're trying to cherry-pick domains from a deity not of your alignment, then it becomes quite valuable.


Deva

Heroic Tier


Auspicious Lineage (PHB2): Increases Memory of a Thousand Lifetimes' die to d8, which essentially means a +1 average bonus to the correction provided by that power. Not a bad pick if you can fit it in, but I'd look for feats that give more consistent bonuses to attacks and saves, first.


Battle Intuition (D 374): This one is strictly better than Battlewise. If you're a WIS-heavy Chaladin, hold it, love it and call it George. This gives you Battlewise's WIS substitution for initiative and an additional +2 feat bonus to initiative on top of that. Amazing.


Immortal Skill (D 374): Eliminates bad die rolls on your racial power for skill and ability checks. Valuable in a skill-heavy campaign.


Majestic Presence (DP): Tier-scaling resistance to radiant and the very common necrotic for adjacent allies. Worth a look. 


Potent Rebirth (PHB2): I'm not too hot on abilities that kick in after you get KO-ed, normally, but an untyped +2 to attack and damage is about as good as that type gets, so it's worth a look. 


Radiant Recovery (D 374): Auto-take if you're a CON-heavy Chaladin. CON-mod THPs for hitting with any Radiant attack, which you'll have in spades (Virtuous Strike, for starters), is just incredible.


Paragon Tier


Ascendant Lineage (PHB2): Memory of a Thousand Lifetimes is not expended if the triggering roll still fails. Due to the variable nature of that racial power, this is a great feat to take to alleviate being on the wrong end of the die. It also lets you use your racial power more aggressively when your triggering roll was very low (say, when you need a 5 or 6 on your MOTL roll to succeed).


Immortal Resilience (D 374): Eliminates bad die rolls on your racial power for saving throws. Requires having Immortal Skill before it, but this one's great all around. 


Shared Channeling (D 374): Has some potentially interesting, and powerful, results with the right personal-range Divinity powers on hand. One example that readily comes to mind is for a Deva Baladin (or even a Chaladin with Wrathful Conviction), who can use his Divine Strength to buff the Striker in the party, rather than himself.


Epic Tier


Immortal Prowess (D 374): The pinnacle of the Immortal line, this eliminates the bad die rolls on your racial power for attack rolls. If you already took the previous two Immortal feats, definitely take this one if you can.


Transcendant Lineage (PHB2): Roll twice and take the better result for Memory of a Thousand Lifetimes. Really awesome boost for your racial power.


Dragonborn

Heroic Tier


Bolstering Breath (PHR:D): Your breath becomes party-friendly and also gives allies in its AoE a +1 untyped bonus to all attacks. Pretty good.


Draconic Challenge (DP): You slap Sanctions on all enemies in your breath, hit or miss. This should be one of the first three feats any Dragonborn Paladin takes, if not the very first. No exceptions.


Enlarged Dragon Breath (PHB): The larger your breath area, the more enemies you can Sanction with it. That's a good thing.


Hurl Breath (PHR:D): Combined with Draconic Challenge, allows you to Sanction a group of enemies in a burst 2 up to 10 squares away. Good one.


Io's Challenge (PHR:D): Extra CON-mod DC damage when you're bloodied, which is very nice. Just remember to back up your bloodied condition with something like Virtue and, later on, Angelic Protection.


Powerful Breath (PHR:D): Chaladins get to hit things with their breath now. Woo. At least for Heroic Tier when your breath isn't yet scaled out of commission in that department. Later on, you can probably retrain it. Obviously, Straladins and Baladins don't need this.


Radiant Breath (D 378): Those with Sun domain access will want to consider taking this early on (while your breath can still hit things). Adds the Radiant keyword and damage in addition to your element of choice.


Epic Tier


Draconic Restoration (PHR:D): Get another use of your breath when you use second wind. If you can get your second wind to a minor-action or less, somehow, this one's value goes up exponentially. Restoring your breath weapon means more Sanctioning.


Draconic Triumph (PHR:D): Another way to regain use of your breath, this time by killing enemies. Not reliable enough to be an absolute must-take, but it is a solid option.


Drow

Heroic Tier


Brilliant Darkfire (DP): CHA-mod radiant vulnerability after hitting with Darkfire. Nice.


Paragon Tier


Master of Fire and Darkness (FRPG): Now your two Lolthtouched powers are separate encounter powers. Nice.


Merciless Killer (FRPG): +5 damage to a bloodied enemy when you have combat advantage, killing him faster. Either of your Lolthtouched powers can set that up nicely.


Dwarf

Heroic Tier


Dwarven Weapon Training (PHB): You get proficiency in all axes and hammers, including the superior versions, and on top of that, the equivalent of Paragon Tier Weapon Focus with those weapons. This one is an automatic pick for Dwarven Straladins. Some Dwarven Chaladins could conceivably skip this one if they need the room, but even that's not a decision to be made lightly.


Paragon Tier


Dwarven Durability (PHB): Two extra healing surges and you get to steal the Dragonborn's healing surge value benefit. This one is definitely an auto-pick for all Dwarves.


Genasi

Heroic Tier


Elemental Challenge (DP): Interesting, if nothing else. Nice to be able to tailor your Divine Challenge to different creatures' vulnerabilities, but it's not crucial.


Extra Manifestation (FRPG): Some extra versatility never hurt.


Paragon Tier


Shocking Flame (FRPG): Extra fire or lightning damage on all melee attacks with the right manifestation. Solid.


Stormrider (FRPG): Strictly better than Fleet-Footed with the right manifestations.


Epic Tier


Double Manifestation (FRPG): Manifest two elements at once. Yes, this is awesome.


Gnome

Heroic Tier


Armored Warrenguard (D 384): Moving at a speed of 4 isn't fun. You take this one when you don't have the CON 15 to qualify for Heavy Armor Agility, but as soon as you get that, retrain this feat for it and start wearing plate like other Paladins.


Distracting Challenge (D 384): Enemies you zap with DC grant combat advantage. Good.


Enshrouding Touch (D 384): Grant concealment with Lay on Hands or Virtue's Touch. Pretty neat, if not high priority.


Paragon Tier


Fade Ally (PHB2): Gives your Fade Away power a legitimate defender/leader application by letting an ally turn invisible instead of you.


Surprising Disappearance (PHB2): Combat advantage for the party when you use your Fade Away power. Nice.


Epic Tier


Vanishing Act (PHB2): Teleportation on your Fade Away is quite nice.


Goliath

Heroic Tier


Goliath Greatweapon Prowess (PHB2): This one's a good deal for Heroic and Paragon Tier. You essentially get the damage benefits of Weapon Focus and Superior Weapon Proficiency together in this feat. It does fall behind that combination a little bit in Epic Tier, however.


Kord's Resilience (DP): Give all allies next to you your Stone's Endurance damage resistance. Good.


Markings of the Victor (PHB2): Reroll your first attack of every encounter and take the better result. Especially great in early Heroic when you're trying to kill an enemy right off the bat, but it's always valuable for starting the fight off right.


Strength of Stone (DP): Give your ally a little extra protection after using Virtue's Touch or Lay on Hands. Nice.


Paragon Tier


Unyielding Stone (PHB2): A high amount of temp HPs when you use Stone's Endurance, in addition to the damage resistance. Now you're even tougher to bring down.


Epic Tier


Ancient Stone (PHB2): Extends your Stone's Endurance another round with a slight drop-off in power, essentially. That's still really good.


Half-Elf

Heroic Tier


Adept Dilletante (D 385): Use Charisma to determine attack and damage figures for your Dilletante power. Can be great, but remember that it does mean you use up your multiclass on the power's native class.


Group Defense (DP): Stack a +1 untyped defense bonus for all your allies against the attack of enemies you marked, making your marks that much more effective. No Half-Elf Paladin should go without this. In Eberron, this gets even more fun stacking with Mark of Warding.


Paragon Tier


Versatile Master (PHB2): You took that Dilletante option for a reason, I'm sure. Make that thing a true at-will power.


Halfling

Heroic Tier


Lost in the Crowd (PHB): Plenty of things are bigger than you. A +2 untyped bonus to AC in this case is great.


Paragon Tier


Underfoot (PHB): If you're trained in Acrobatics somehow, this one is worth a look for the beneficial movement option. You'll fight plenty of Large things.


Half-Orc

Heroic Tier


Blessed Strength (D 386): The feat that single-handedly lifts Half-Orcs to top-tier Straladin status. Now you can use Strength to determine DC and DS damage. Also note that THIS STACKS with Mighty Challenge, thus making your DC as painful as a Baladin's.


Divine Assault (DP): A serious damage buff for all an ally's attacks until your next turn when you use your racial power. Very, very nice, especially if you've got, say, a Ranger in the party. Or a leader who likes enabling extra attacks.


Thirst for Battle (PHB2): +3 feat bonus to initiative (only 1 less than Improved Initiative) and an extra healing surge to boot make this a great feat for you.


Paragon Tier


Strength from Pain (PHB2): +5 extra damage until the end of your next turn after you're bloodied is nothing to sneeze at. Especially if you have a close burst attack or, somehow, a focus-fire multi-attack ready.


Epic Tier


Ferocious Critical (PHB2): A huge bonus to attack and damage until the end of your next turn when you score a crit. Awesome.


Human

Heroic Tier


Action Surge (PHB): Still a good choice, make no mistake, but not nearly as crucial as it was earlier in 4e's lifespan. Versatile Expertise is far more important. You don't need to care about this one nearly as much as Leaders and multi-attacking Strikers do.


Sunspray Heritage (D 386): +2 feat bonus to Endurance and the encounter power that absorbs fire and radiant damage for healing is fair enough, but the real prize is the next branch of this feat tree.


Sunspray Warrior (D 386): This is the reason you're even taking Sunspray Heritage. The at-will attack from this feat, which replaces any one of your at-will powers, is a Radiant beauty with an attack debuff on an enemy hit by this that lasts until the start of your next turn. Sort of like Enfeebling Strike, but without the mark requirement, and allows you to use your best ability modifier (great for Straladins who want their own "Enfeebling Strike"). And, as mentioned, is Radiant, so Morninglords get to have even more fun. And to top it off, this feat also gives you a +1 to melee and ranged attacks while mounted, which could very well apply to you past mid-Heroic.


Kalashtar

Heroic Tier


Clarity of Spirit (DP): Bastion of Mental Clarity triggers a healing surge in you or an ally. Nice.


Dual Mind Strength (D 385): Strictly better than Weapon Focus if you're using a Githyanki Silver Sword.


Epic Tier


Quori Desperation (EPG): Buy yourself a round to heal and/or act when you would've been knocked out. Nice.


Minotaur

Heroic Tier


Bloodied Ferocity (PHB3): A free melee basic the first time you're bloodied every fight, a trigger that's pretty much always going to happen if you let it. Never pass up the opportunity for free attacks. And who cares if you give up combat advantage?


Paragon Tier


Beast Within (PHB3): Steal from the Dragonborn's arsenal and then some with this feat. +1 to hit and damage when you're bloodied. Great.


Epic Tier


Mythic Senses (PHB3): If you're trained in Perception somehow, take this one for sure.


Pixie

Heroic Tier 


Streak of Light (HotF): Pixies are most likely to be Chaladins, who aren't as likely to charge as their STR-based counterparts. But in case they need to charge with an Ardent Strike or Virtuous Strike, the free CA will definitely help.


Teeny Target (HotF): Put that Tiny size to good use and get partial cover for being in an ally's space. With a well supported mark, the extra defense you get from this can make the enemy's choices really disadvantageous.


Paragon Tier


Flitting Harrier (HotF): Entering and exiting enemies' spaces for free is great for you role. Mostly because now you flip the tables on your enemies, who have to shift twice to get out of your OA range.


Revenant

Heroic Tier


Revenant's Challenge (D 380): Enforce necrotic vulnerability with your Divine Challenge. Might as well. Must worship the Raven Queen.


Shardmind

Heroic Tier


Psychic Focus (PHB3): Just like the Kalashtar's Dual Mind Strength, if you're using a Githyanki Silver Sword, this is strictly better than Weapon Focus.


Paragon Tier


Healing Fragments (PHB3): Free WIS-mod healing for all allies within your telepathy range when you use a healing surge. Yes, that includes Lay on Hands and even Virtue.


Epic Tier


Telepathic Sustenance (PHB3): Certainly neat, and occasionally lifesaving.


Shifter

Heroic Tier


Blessed Shifter (DP): Take the more general damage feats first, but with a good secondary Wisdom score, this one can set up some nice burst damage when using your Shifting power.


Paragon Tier


Beasthide Shifting (PHB2): Resist all 2 when you use your Shifting power. Nice.


Tiefling

Heroic Tier


Hellfire Blood (PHB): Only worth a look in Epic Tier, which is when Flaming weapons actually become worth a damn (from Hell's Burning Mark).


Imperious Majesty (D 381): Charisma for initiative instead of DEX. No Tiefling Chaladin should ever, EVER go without this one. It's better than Battlewise for you and will obviously fit a wider range of Chaladin builds. And just like Battlewise builds, you can dump DEX instead of INT and have a not-as-sorry Religion skill.


Wrath of the Crimson Legion (D 381): Charisma for your MBAs (full damage included, unlike Melee Training), which means you can take another at-will in place of Virtuous Strike. But probably the best part is replacing your Infernal Wrath with a close burst 5 mass-DS power in Paladin's Wrath. Paladin's Wrath is hands-down the better power for your role, so consider this mandatory.


Paragon Tier


Dispater's Iron Discipline (PHR:T): CHA-modifier bonus to your personal saves against the three heavy hitters (daze, stun, dominate). A definite auto-pick. And the synergy with the Hero's Poise/Superior Will combo is simply delicious.


Epic Tier


Hell's Burning Mark (PHR:T): Your marks make enemies vulnerable to your Fire attacks. If you ever wanted to use a Flaming weapon, this is the feat that makes it worth your while.


Warforged

Heroic Tier


Warforged Tactics (EPG): Good to consider after the Expertise feats. An extra +1 to attack an enemy next to an ally in melee.


Wilden

Heroic Tier


Burden of Guardianship (PHB3): A solid amount of temp HPs when you use your racial power and an ally is near.


Burden of Rejuvenation (PHB3): A free Lay on Hands-style effect on an unconscious ally when you use your racial power.


Improved Aspect of Nature (PHB3): Decent benefits on the two aspects you're likely to use most often. The Pursuit of the Hunter benefit is actually quite good.


Divinity feats

Core deities

Armor of Bahamut (PHB): Only a few monsters have crits you really need to worry about, and they don't happen often enough to make this worth it, anyway.


Avandra's Rescue (PHB): Switch places with an adjacent ally as a move action. Generally not too useful.


Corellon's Grace (PHB): As an immediate interrupt, you can take a move action of any sort when someone uses an action point. This can be an ally or an enemy. This one can be pretty useful.


Harmony of Erathis (PHB): Not bad. The range is huge, so someone is likely to get the +2 power bonus to an attack.


In Death, Life (D 381): Must worship the Raven Queen. Essentially gives you a Lay on Hands-type effect to use as a close burst 3 free action when you bloody or kill an enemy. Can be handy.


Ioun's Poise (PHB): Huge bonus to Will defense for you or an ally. Decent.


Kord's Favor (PHB): Trigger a healing surge when the target (you or an ally) crits. Too situational.


Melora's Tide (PHB): Tier-scaling regeneration for you or an ally when bloodied that lasts until the end of the encounter or until no longer bloodied. This one's nice. It's useful out-of-combat as well when someone needs healing from the brink of death, reducing the number of healing surges they need to use.


Moradin's Resolve (PHB): Good one. You'll fight plenty of things bigger than you, so that +2 untyped bonus to attacks will see a lot of action. But only take it after the Expertise feats.


Pelor's Radiance (PHB): It is better than any of the anti-undead Divinity powers you could pick up from other classes with Versatile Channeler. Not that it's too much of a compliment. A WIS-heavy Paladin in an undead-heavy campaign might pick this up, but that's about it.


Raven Queen's Blessing (PHB): Trigger a healing surge in you or an ally for killing something. Has a greater range than In Death, Life from the same deity, but if used on an ally requires him to use his own healing surge. It's also ranged as opposed to burst, which means you can draw OAs from using it. Overall, not as good as In Death, Life.


Sehanine's Reversal (PHB): This power just isn't going to get triggered often.


Domains

Anthem of Civilization (DP): Extra attack bonus for you or an ally if they're in a flank. Not bad.


Arcana Ward (DP): With all the more general resistances your class can get, this situational one is diminishing returns.


Creation Secret (DP): 55% chance of not expending an item's daily power when you use it. This one's nice.


Cycle of Change (DP): You already have access to a Lv. 2 utility that does exactly this if you wanted it.


Darkness Consumes (DP): You and adjacent allies get concealment for a round. Decent.


Death Knell (DP): This one can really come in handy. Like when you think your attack almost killed an enemy, then use this minor action afterwards to finish the job. And if you guessed wrong, you get to use another Divinity power in the encounter. A good deal.


Divine Excellence (DP): Not bad in skill challenges.


Earth Hold (DP): The only case where this might ever be useful is in a very narrow corridor. Avoid.


Fate Rolls On (DP): Used either to screw over an enemy further for failing a save, or to help an ally's next save for making one. Solid.


Grasp of the Wild (DP): Create a 3x3 area of difficult terrain for a round. Pretty situational. Good in a corridor but not much else.


Hope Remains (DP): For you or an ally, +2 power bonuses to saves, attacks and defenses after getting knocked out. Not bad.


Immediate Justice (DP): An immediate reaction to an enemy knocking out your ally. Stack this on top of any divine mark damage that may have happened. This is one you hope you never have to use, but it's not bad.


Imminent Luck (DP): If you plan on taking an Avenger multiclass feat, you would do well to consider this one. The fairly rare Elf Paladin might also look at this.


Loving Sacrifice (DP): You take some of the damage your ally took as an immediate interrupt. Sort of a per-encounter, single-instance, lower-grade Divine Bodyguard effect. Except using this one isn't likely to screw you over. Still somewhat situational, but it's not bad.


Master of Tyranny (DP): Bonus to attacks but only against bloodied enemies. A little too situational, especially in the face of the Expertise feats and other, more high-priority feats that give attack bonuses.


Moon Touched (DP): An interesting, but not particularly effective, healing power.


Original Poison (DP): You're not likely to have poison powers, nor are you likely to wield a poison weapon.


Path of Destruction (DP): Use this on daily powers and certain encounter powers, those with several and/or large dice for the damage. Straladins with two-handers are the most likely to make use of this.


Path of Freedom (DP): This one just won't see a whole lot of use.


Path of War (DP): Give your allies a +2 untyped bonus to attack at the cost of a -2 to their defenses for a round. If you're trying to kill an enemy or two fast, this is a good, all-purpose power to use on the party.


Path of Winter (DP): Good against enemies with cold attacks, but how many of those do you plan to fight?


Perfect Torment (DP): Follow up that AoE save-ends power you just cast with this minor-action burst 5 and make it more difficult for the enemies to end your effect.


Pulse of Life (DP): Another power you hope you never have to use, but it sure is handy when you need it.


Screaming Madness (DP): Straladins have a few Fear powers, so they may look at this.


Sea Surge (DP): Meh.


Small Vengeance (DP): Immediate reaction free damage against an enemy who bloodies you. Decent.


Solar Enemy (DP): Create or increase radiant vulnerability until the end of your next turn. Awesome for a nova round with Radiant powers or Bless Weapon. True story: This power's effects used to last forever.


Storm Sacrifice (DP): A fine complement to the Storm domain feat, or a Lightning Weapon. You can do some solid damage with this.


Strength of the Gods (DP): Basically, give the benefit of your Divine Strength to an ally, instead. Not bad.


Sudden Strife (DP): A huge attack debuff to two enemies near each other. Nice one.


Sure Knowledge (DP): Reroll a knowledge check, or let an ally do the same. Not bad in skill challenges.


Sure Protection (DP): This one's pretty good, especially if someone (you or an ally) is a Dwarf. +3 power bonus to all defenses after a second wind.


Trickster's Fortune (DP): Nice one. Penalize an enemy's save and if it fails, you or an ally gets a save.


Undeath's Ally (DP): Basically an enhanced Virtue, but cast on an ally. Use it on an ally whom you expect to take some damage, such as a melee Striker or Leader. It gives that ally the same proactive healing, up-front durability effect Virtue gives to yourself, which is just very, very good.


Forgotten Realms

Angharradh's Favor (FRPG): Not a bad one to use when multiple party members are under save-ends effects. It costs no action to use, which really helps.


Berronar's Salve (FRPG): Trigger a healing surge in an ally when he drops. Simple, and handy.


Blessing of Silvanus (FRPG): A piddly healing bonus. Just not worth it.


Chauntea's Blessing (FRPG): Let an ally reroll a failed saving throw with a +4 bonus. This one is great, especially since it costs no action to use. This one can even trigger if you're stunned, something even Divine Mettle can't boast.


Eyes of Selune (FRPG): This one's for you, a reroll of a failed saving throw that's not an action. Good, and even better with Hero's Poise.


Fleetness of Mielikki (FRPG): Extra speed and ignoring of difficult terrain for a round or two. Not bad. If you're somehow trained in Acrobatics by Epic Tier, retrain this for Unfettered Stride.


Glittergold's Gambit (FRPG): Grant your ally a reroll of an attack or skill check. Powerful in both combat and in skill challenges.


Gond's Craft (FRPG): You're not going to make too many direct attacks with item powers.


Ilmater's Martyrdom (FRPG): Again, only a few enemies you'll fight have crits you need to worry about, and they don't come up often enough to justify spending a feat on powers like this.


Kelemvor's Judgment (FRPG): Anti-undead blast attack. The attack can use your highest mental stat, but Wisdom always determines the damage. Only useful in an undead-heavy campaign, but at least it's good for that.


Oghma's Recall (FRPG): Knowledge checks usually aren't your job.


Power of Amaunator (FRPG): Extra damage boost to a Radiant attack. Decent.


Righteous Rage of Tempus (FRPG): This one used to be even more devastating. Even in its current form, it's great. Extra normally crit-only damage on a normal hit, and maximize a crit.


Sheela Peryroyl's Gift (FRPG): You already have a much better version of this. It's called Divine Mettle.


Sune's Touch (FRPG): Not quite Glittergold's Gambit for the same situations. But not bad, either.


Torm's Justice (FRPG): Power bonus to attack rolls only against bloodied enemies. There are several other attack-enhancement feats you should be considering before this one.


Tymora's Coin (FRPG): Triggers on a natural 1 or a natural 20 for an attack roll or a saving throw. Assuming a 10-round encounter, this one is bound to trigger sometime if you believe in the law of averages. And the effect is quite nice, allowing you to roll an attack or a save twice and keep the better result. Good for making up for a 1 or capitalizing further on a crit.


Waukeen's Silver Tongue (FRPG): Reroll a conversation skill check with a +5 power bonus. Good for those types of skill challenges.


Eberron

Ancenstral Guidance (EPG): Decent in skill challenges.


Arawai's Abundance (EPG): Basic healing spell with a +2 power bonuses to defenses after. It's there if you need to take on more of the healing burden.


Aureon's Instruction (EPG): Knowledge check reroll. Meh, that's usually not your job.


Balinor's Prey (EPG): A Hunter's Quarry-esque, tier-scaling damage bonus to the next hit the enemy takes. This hit can come from anyone before the end of your next turn, not just you. Not bad.


Beacon of Dol Arrah (EPG): Not really worth it. Only useful at all on a radiant power involving a lot of large damage dice, like a daily.


Boldrei's Shelter (EPG): An all-purpose +2 power bonus to all defenses for you and allies next to you for a round. Good.


Kol Korran's Boon (EPG): This one's excellent. Let none of the healing from a power go to waste. If someone is only slightly wounded, use this with Lay on Hands, for example, and give your ally a healthy amount of temp HPs.


Light Within (EPG): Sort of a ranged Lay on Hands effect. In practice it'll only affect one ally most of the time. Still pretty solid. You should consider it more strongly if you didn't take Lay on Hands.


Might of Dol Dorn (EPG): Tier-scaling amount of temp HPs when you hit with an attack. Pretty good.


Onatar's Gift (EPG): An encounter you won't use this is an encounter you didn't miss. This can set up some good burst damage from someone when that happens.


Shield of the Silver Flame (EPG): Limited saving throw trigger. Not really worth it.


Sovereign Justice (EPG): Give an ally some temp HPs, tier-scaling, if you get hit. Solid defender application.


Traveler's Gift (EPG): Uh, no. Close burst 3, allies shift one square is not worth giving up a standard action to attack.


Undying's Command (EPG): It's definitely great against undead, being domination and all. But like all anti-undead powers, it's useless otherwise.



Eberron Dragonmark feats

Mark of Healing (EPG): Saves attached to all your healing powers. Good one, indeed.


Mark of Storm (EPG): Slide an enemy a square every time you hit with a Thunder or Lightning power. A Lightning Weapon or Power of the Storm is going to make this one sing, plus your class itself has some encounter and daily powers with those keywords.


Mark of Warding (EPG): Gods, you just can't get much better than this. Extra +1 on powers that grant defense bonuses, and your marks penalize by -3 now. While certain Eberron Paladins can make the case for Healing or Storm over this one, that's only a select few. Everyone else should take this.

Rising in the Faith: Paragon Paths


4e Paladins have a tradition of powerful paragon paths, even going back to the days when the base class wasn't so hot. Champion of Order, Hospitaler, Son of Mercy and Morninglord are the most famous (some would dare say cheap), followed by slightly less power-trippy but still rock-solid PPs like Questing Knight and Heartwarder. If none of those tickle your fancy, fear not, you'll find something slightly more niche in this list that should be a nice fit for your character.


Paladin PPs

Astral Weapon (PHB): The Lv. 11 feature Astral Judgment, a -2 defense debuff for violating your mark, is the only remotely noteworthy thing about this very unimpressive Straladin PP.


Champion of Corellon (DP): A solid path for Corellon-worshiping Chaladins with a little more agility training than usual. Superior Defense takes advantage of a DEX score up to 15 for extra AC in heavy armor, and Light-Footed Warrior lets you ignore the speed penalty. All the powers are pretty good, too, in particular the daily Corellon's Wrath, which attacks Reflex, save-ends blinds on hit, and makes your OAs deadlier.


Champion of Order (PHB): In Defense of Order lets you stack an OA on top of the Divine Challenge punishment for some serious retaliatory pain. And the encounter power, Certain Justice, is just plain brutal. It's deadly accurate and dazes and weakens as long as you keep the target marked. Easily one of a Straladin's (or Baladin's) top options.


Demonslayer (DP): It's way too specialized, for one, and Champion of Order, among other paths, does a better job with its "specialization." Avoid it.


Dragonslayer (DP): Despite its name, this path geared toward more offensively minded Chaladins is actually not specialized at all, which is only a good thing. Dragonslayer's Challenge is a good damage boost, particularly against a Divine Challenge target, that scales into Epic Tier. Challenging Smite makes your divine marks deadlier for a round, Deflect the Blast is a decent AoE mitigation utility per encounter, and Ground the Foe always comes in handy even if the target wasn't a flier. Solid path all around.


Faithful Shield (DP): Pretty average Chaladin path. The most consistent benefit from this PP will be granting a +2 power bonus to defenses with Lay on Hands at Lv. 11, which is fair enough. The 16th-level feature Defensive Presence will only see a lot of use if your entire party is full of characters who actually use their second winds (e.g. Dwarves, characters who took the Fighter feat Striking Resurgence).


Fortune Blessed (D 384): Requires you to worship Avandra. An interesting, and pretty solid path, with its luck tokens mechanic that can boost bad rolls or even let you reroll d20s and keep your better result. The encounter power is an immediate reaction counter when an enemy attacks you and gives you a luck token for free if you don't have any. The per-encounter utlity is HUGE damage reduction, even before you add any luck token effects, and the daily is also a solid debilitator.


Gray Guard (DP): Gray Guard Vigilance is very handy if you're going to fight a lot at night or in dark places, and also trains you in the all-important Perception skill. Debilitating Smite is a solid daze and slow encounter power. An encounter you didn't use the utility Relentless Justice is an encounter where all your encounter powers hit their mark. And the daily, Devastating Smite, is Reliable and utterly brutal. Your healing surge's worth of extra damage on the attack is huge, especially if you're a Dragonborn or a Dwarf. Solid path for damage-focused Straladins, if still a step below Champion of Order and Son of Mercy.


Hammer of Moradin (DP): Hammer-wielding Straladins who worship Moradin might look at this one. Hammer Bond is a permanent +1 to attack with hammers, which is great. The powers are flavorful and decent, but not eyecatching.


Holy Conqueror (DP): For Straladins who took the unimpressive Ardent Vow. The encounter and utility powers are actually pretty good; the encounter power is a nice charge-based punishment stacker and the utility is a per-encounter martyr power with some free Sanctioning attached. It's too bad those powers are attached to a PP with rather tame features and such a suboptimal entry requirement.


Hospitaler (PHB): Even after errata, Hospitaler's Blessing makes a Shielding Swordmage question his own manhood. The effect heals an amount comparable to the damage Aegis of Shielding prevents, hit or miss, and does it on every attack from your DC target that doesn't include you. Yikes. Hospitaler's Care stacks with Devoted Paladin's bonus for Lay on Hands. This is still arguably the most potent Chaladin PP.


Justiciar (PHB): The encounter power Just Radiance is easily this Chaladin path's highlight, a very nice punisher of a crowd of marked enemies that forces them all to attack you. However, its party protection features, while they do have solid effects, all require that allies stay adjacent to you, which is usually not practical. With such iffy features, it's Just Radiance alone that brings this PP up to a rating of average.


Knight of Celestia (MOTP): Nothing about this one is remotely impressive. Shun it.


Knight of the Chalice (DP): Another specialized paragon path, this one for Chaladins. It isn't quite as egregious as Demonslayer; Aura Suppression is useful against quite a few enemies, and Ensnaring Smite's restraining is always handy. But the rest of it is only really effective (or effective at all) against devils.


Questing Knight (DP): Very flavorful, and very strong, too. While this PP doesn't have anything that's outright "cheap," it's a collection of extremely solid benefits, none of which will go to waste for any Chaladin. Strength of Ten, the encounter power, is just about the best mass-Sanction attack power you will find, even giving you some extra mobility and enemy positioning control to boot. At Lv. 16, you get the other highlight of this PP: free-action second wind when you're bloodied. This is awesome for obvious reasons (and on a side note, practically cries out for a Martial multiclass and CON 19 by Epic Tier, so you can take the feat Epic Recovery for two second winds per encounter). The +2 bonus to Will against the more common anti-Will attack types you get at Lv. 11 doesn't hurt, either. To round it off, Quester's Discipline is a handy get-out-of-jail card, and Virtuous Wrath is a Reliable, anti-Will weakening attack.


Sainted General (D 390): Meant for high-CHA characters, this requires you either multiclass or hybrid Warlord. Hybrids easily make the most of this PP, and it's most effective as part of a melee-dominant Radiant Mafia. However, even full Paladins who MC Warlord will love Sainted Challenge at Lv. 11, which grants a nasty extra Radiant damage buff to the melee and close attacks of all allies adjacent to your DC target when it triggers your punishment. But if you want to use the Lv. 16 feature, you must be a Hybrid, since it works off Inspiring Word. The powers, all involving CHA in some way, are a mixed bag: The daily is a solid melee enabler with the chance for an encounter-long damage buff, but the encounter and utility leave a bit to be desired.


Scion of Sacrifice (DP): Requires you to take Ardent Vow, which is a suboptimal choice to begin with, and moreover, the powers are CHA-based attack, so you must be a Chaladin or Baladin, who aren't even likely to consider Ardent Vow in the first place. All's the pity, because this PP would be a potent choice, otherwise. Scion's Sanction, the encounter power, is a mass-Sanction that rivals the Questing Knight's Strength of Ten (unlike that power it even lays down the DS marks hit or miss).


Slayer of the Dead (DP): Another overly-specialized path. Just about all of it is only worthwhile at all against undead, and even against undead it's not any better than the more general-purpose PPs the Paladin has.


Son of Mercy (D 370): Geared toward Straladins looking for brutality in spades. Lawbreaker's Doom is a nasty feature, giving you WIS-mod damage bonus to attacks against its object of affection, slowing with every attack that hits (hello, World Serpent's Grasp), and lasting until the enemy is dead. At which point you get to use it again. The encounter power Dispensed Justice is almost as vicious, with its immediate interrupt application serving as a punishment stacker on your Lawbreaker's Doom target. The utility and daily are also pretty devastating, and Strength of Conviction is a solid amount of THPs' reward for killing the lawbreaker.


Vengeful Crusader (D 377): The encounter power Driving Force is probably the highlight of this Straladin PP, and it lets you punishment stack with a charge if you hit. Vengeful Shield deals a little extra STR mod damage to enemies who attack allies next to you, but that's a little too finicky to rely on a whole lot. Not a bad choice, overall, but nothing that really impresses, either.


Forgotten Realms PPs

Doomguide (FRPG): Geared toward Baladins who worship Kelemvor. It's features and powers are very effective against undead, but even when undead aren't involved, they're at least decent, and the daily power in particular, Kelemvor's Sword, is quite good. You wish more of the "specialized" paths were like this one. Not a bad choice in any case.


Eartheart Defender (FRPG): For Dwarf Straladins, and it's pretty solid. Heart of Earth is an attack bonus after using that minor-action second wind. Gain Heart is a good power to pull out when bloodied, healing you significantly. And the daily, Earthsurge, is an excellent sticky power, a good-sized zone that moves with you and slows enemies in it.


Heartwarder (FRPG): For Chaladins who worship Sune. Sune's Touch is fantastic healing; it works when you spend a healing surge. In any way. Including Lay on Hands on the ally. Which means it stacks with Lay on Hands for the ally. Great stuff. Also great stuff are the powers. Siren Voice is domination every encounter, which is awesome. Sune's Shield is essentially a Divine Bodyguard that doesn't suck; it can't screw you over since you can choose on a hit-by-hit basis whether to take the damage for the ally, and it lasts for the whole encounter no matter what happens. And the daily, Sune's Kiss, is perfect on an elite or solo; it can force ridiculous lose-lose situations, especially if you Sanctioned or Challenged it and have immediate actions to pile on.


Morninglord (FRPG): Must worship Amaunator. The Lv. 16 feature Burning Radiance is the heart of this path and makes it capable of incredible damage. If you had the Sun domain feat, you can retrain that out now. The radiant vulnerability 10 is greater than the Sun domain is capable of and is caused by any Radiant power, including attacks from a Radiant Weapon. Or from a weapon buffed by the Lv. 2 utility Bless Weapon, which also gets a lovely boost via this feature. Radiant vulnerability also makes your Sanction and Challenge a lot more threatening. Everything else in this path is just extras by comparison (not bad ones, either, mind you). The attack powers use your highest mental stat, making them usable by Chaladins and WIS-heavy Straladins alike.


Purple Dragon Knight (FRPG): Geared toward Straladins and Baladins. Vanilla features, but the powers are pretty decent, in particular the daily.


Silverstar (FRPG): Moonfire, the daily, is a decent healing attack if it hits, and it uses your best mental stat. The rest of the path, on the other hand, is pretty underwhelming, and the encounter power is a waste.


Steelsky Liberator (FRPG): For Dragonborn, Genasi, Half-Orc and Human Straladins, and it's geared toward fighting dragons. It's not very good otherwise, though.


Eberron PPs

Exorcist of the Silver Flame (EPG): A fairly specialized path which only those with high enough WIS to serve as an attack stat should take. The features are indeed specialized, but the powers are actually pretty good all-purpose; the encounter and daily both blind.


Jorasco Jadehand (EPG): For those with Mark of Healing and high WIS. Sort of a mixed bag. Improved Recovery is very good, and the encounter power Preventative Medicine is a fantastic immediate interrupt. The rest of it is better geared toward Clerics than to you, though.


Kundarak Ghorad'din (EPG): Uh, what? Mark of Warding is such an awesome Dragonmark, but the associated path had to be completely incompatible.


Lyrandar Wind-Rider (EPG): For those with Mark of Storm. Baladins with the Storm domain and Chaladins with a Lightning Weapon can take advantage of what this path has to offer, which is quite a bit, actually. Storm Adept is a +1 to attack rolls with Thunder and Lightning powers, which is great. Feather's Touch can come in handy, and the CHA-based (or CON, but that's not likely for you) powers are decent control effects. Not too bad.


Racial PPs

Changeling


Chameleon (EPG): Mimic the powers your allies have, and use Charisma for the attack and damage on all of them. For Chaladins, this can get very interesting ...


Dragonborn


Mithral Arm (D 385): Basically the Dragonborn version of the Human's Adroit Explorer, which has simply impressive potential. The per-encounter utility is also a nice survivability boost, and the daily is also great, letting you use an encounter power twice in a fight.


Platinum Templar (PHR:D): Polar Breath is pretty nice, and Misty Breath is a good daily. The rest you could take or leave.


Scion of Arkhosia (PHB2): If you like the idea of growing wings and flying everywhere this one's for you. The attack powers, variations of your breath, aren't anything special, though.


Dwarf


Firstborn of Moradin (PHB2): Only Straladins need apply. Decent, not great, features. The encounter power Receive the Charge is quite good, but the other powers are only average.


Elf


Twilight Guardian (PHB2): Pretty solid path all around, features and powers. Both attack powers do some restraining, which is pretty good. You can choose which mental stat to use for those powers, too.


Gnome


Gnome Nightcloak (D 384): Must train Stealth, somehow, but if you do this PP is quite a get. Your Charisma applies to Stealth, and you even get a working Sneak Attack-like feature against marked targets. The powers are really good, too, in particular the encounter power Shadowstride Rebuke, which is an excellent punishment stacker.


Goliath


Stoneblessed (PHB2): Unusual Reach is awesome, and the utility Summit Advantage even lets you take proper advantage of it for a round every encounter. The rest is pretty solid, too.


Half-Elf


Half-Elf Polymath (D 385): Two extra trained skills at Lv. 11, an extra at-will from a different class at Lv. 16 beyond your Dilletante power, and a daily power whose usefulness varies based on party composition. Pretty interesting choice, if nothing else.


Half-Orc


Bloodfury Savage (PHB2): Savage Resilience is nice, and the powers are geared toward doing more and more damage. Not too bad, but not all that special.


Lightning Blitzer (D 386): Armored Swiftness is nice to eliminate the speed penalty for heavy armor. The daily is a nice blinder, too, but the rest of it is pretty avarage.


Human


Adroit Explorer (PHB2): An extra Lv. 7 encounter power, including a duplicate of one you already have, a great action point ability, start the day with two action points, and an immediate reaction daily using your encounter power of choice. Awesome.


Warforged


Warforged Juggernaut (EPG): You might like this if you're particularly charge-oriented. The daily stance is very good, sort of a Fighter's Unyielding Avalanche with resistance to forced movement.


Legend of Your Faith: Epic Destinies


General/Paladin EDs

Avatar of Death (DP): You have how many necrotic powers now? Other than the utility, there just isn't much here.


Avatar of Freedom (DP): Requires a rather unattractive Divinity feat to qualify. At least the capstone, with all its wonderful immunities, is great. The rest of it isn't anything special.


Avatar of Hope (DP): Requires Hope Remains, which isn't a bad Divinity feat. Two important Chaladin stats, Charisma and Wisdom, increase by 2, and the rest of the features are pretty decent. You could do worse.


Avatar of Justice (DP): Pretty mediocre all around. Requires Immediate Justice.


Avatar of Life (DP): Requires Pulse of Life. You get a +2 bonus to almost every Paladin's secondary and tertiary stats, and the capstone, which greatly enhances your and nearby allies' second winds, is quite nice. Font of Life is a solid party heal spell. Can't go wrong with this one.


Avatar of Storm (DP): Geared mostly toward Straladins with the Storm domain or a Lightning Weapon. Requires Storm Sacrifice, which is a solid Divinity feat, and it increases STR and CON by 2 each. Stormhand is pretty nice, giving you the benefits of both Lightning and Thunder with all such attacks, and the capstone gives you flight. Solid and flavorful.


Avatar of War (DP): A solid ED that caters to both Defenders and Leaders. Requires the solid Divinity feat Path of War, and at Lv. 24 Invoker of War makes that feat's buffing power even better. You get a +2 to STR and CHA both, making this one good for any Paladin. Master of the Battlefield at Lv. 21 means you never give up combat advantage. And the utility, Rouse Conflict, adds some party enabling to your arsenal with a devastating minor-action nova trigger.


Bahamut's Vessel (D 378): Starts off with +2 to STR, WIS or CHA (your choice) and a lot of free healing whenever you use an action point. At Lv. 24 your divine healing powers double as attack and defense buffs for your allies; make sure you have one or two per-encounter divine heals to take full advantage of this. Mostly quite solid, but the capstone is rather mediocre. Turning into a dragon sounds cool, but your attacks are likely much weaker than if you were still using your weapon. Still, it's a near-death recovery, and at least you can get out of it by using your breath weapon.


Ceaseless Guardian (D 387): If you're into punishment stacking, then you'll like the ability to take immediate and opportunity actions while dazed or stunned. A free +2 to a stat of your choice and some extra speed round out this ED. Too bad the capstone, Never Again, is kinda lame; it's just a Lay on Hands-type effect you can only use when you or an ally dies. Other defender classes love this ED immensely, but since your defending ability wasn't as affected by dazing to begin with, it only ranks as "good" for you.


Darklord (D 372): Nice after-death ability, and the capstone is good fun. Solid choice.


Dead God Avatar (D 390): Interesting option if worshipping a dead deity, and pretty solid all around. Immunity to charm and bonus to Wisdom and Charisma are nice, and the capstone Sacrifice to recover a daily power or encounter power is also appealing.


Deadly Trickster (PHB): A Chaladin who got Bluff training somehow might go for this. Solid features, albeit somewhat limited in use. Epic Trick is an awesome utility, though.


Demigod/Chosen (PHB/FRPG/DP): Divine Miracle, that infamous capstone, finally got toned down so that now it only recovers one encounter power in a fight. That's still pretty good, though, especially combined with all the other ways to recover encounter powers. And the +2 to two stats of your choice, a solid near-death recovery mechanic and access to some great utilities still make this one great. Just no longer overpowering. The default Demigod's Divine Regeneration is an insane regeneration spell. The Chosen variants, tied to specific deities, differ from the Demigod via the utility power.


Core Chosen Utility Powers

Freedom is Life (Avandra) (DP): +10 to saves for the party for a turn. Rather situational.


Sheltering Wings (Bahamut) (DP): Basically a Cure Serious Wounds for you and an ally. Not bad.


High Arcana (Corellon) (DP): Everyone in the party, including you, can choose +2 power bonus with implement attacks or +4 bonus to NADs at the start of every turn for the whole encounter. Very solid. Note for Forgotten Realms: This is Corellon's second attempt at his Chosen power, and this version is hands-down the better one.


Anthem of Progress (Erathis) (DP): 16-20 crits on at-will attacks for the whole party. Nice. Even better if you have some crit fishermen aboard.


Unerring Foreknowledge (Ioun) (DP): Grant allies extra standard actions, using your minor action, every round until you've cycled through all your allies. Very, very nice.


Test of Strength (Kord) (DP): A Straladin with Tireless Wrath-enhanced Divine Strength activated can do some special things with this one.


Wild Surge (Melora) (DP): 18-20 crits on daily attacks. Very underwhelming, especially compared to what Erathis offers.


Forge of Creation (Moradin) (FRPG/DP): You and any allies who hit in the next round restore second winds, a healing surge and a daily item power. Solid. Note for Forgotten Realms: The FRPG and DP versions of this power are identical.


Celestial Balance (Pelor) (DP): Pretty underwhelming.


Death is Nigh (Raven Queen) (DP): +2 untyped bonus to attacks if someone has failed a death save in the encounter. Not a bad one to keep around.


Horns of the Moon (Sehanine) (DP): Buff any ally's attack and strip any enemy's defenses every turn for the whole encounter. This one is awesome.


Forgotten Realms Chosen Utility Powers (FRPG)

Renewing Dawn (Amaunator): Fairly hefty free radiant damage against a nearby foe when you or an ally use a healing surge in any way. Turns things you wouldn't even dream of (Lay on Hands, Virtue, etc.) into damage dealers. Sustain this effect with minor actions. If you worship Amaunator, odds are you're a Morninglord, and this utility can really help take advantage of the vulnerability that paragon path creates.


Horn of Life (Chauntea): Healing surge trigger, followed by 20 regeneration on the ally who needs it most any given round. The regeneration switches targets based on need at the start of your turns. A fantastic party heal.


True Death (Kelemvor): Anti-undead power, so it's situational. Good for that type of fight, at least.


Supreme Knowledge (Oghma): You're likely not good enough at knowledge skills to use this effectively.


Waxing Fortune (Selune): The chance of the situation that would make the bonus to attacks actually worth a damn happening is slim to none.


Divine Regeneration (Silvanus): Well, this looks familiar. No complaints, though, obviously.


Sune's Censure (Sune): Spread vulnerabilities from one enemy to another. This one can even make normally temporary vulnerabilities last the whole encounter. Or, if all else fails, force vulnerability 5 all. This one's nice.


Tempus's Glare (Tempus): This one can really mess with a Challenged or Sanctioned enemy.


Battle Judgment (Torm): Unless you killed a foe with a high-damage single-hit daily, this one's not going to heal much more, if not less, than a healing surge. Just awful.


Destined Scion (E:HFK): +2 to two stats of your choice, an extra +1 to attack rolls on top of that and a +2 untyped bonus to saves. A good, solid, no-nonsense ED. The utilities won't dazzle you, but they're handy.


Eternal Seeker (PHB): This one has come a long way, and it has infinite room to grow. It's about as good as you can get without crossing the line into abuse.


Exalted Angel (DP): Flavorful destiny, and good overall if you like a lot of flying. However, the Lv. 24 death-triggered feature is not worth it; save-ends blinding may be good by itself normally, but NOT when it removes you from the fight.


Harbinger of Doom (PHB2): Shield of Ill Fortune is about the only remotely attractive thing in this destiny.


Indomitable Champion (E:HFL): +2 to two stats of your choice, extra hit points and extra NADs are as good a package as it gets. The utilities aren't completely earth-shattering, but they're handy when stuff happens. Another extremely solid, no-nonsense ED.


Keybearer (D 372): Traveler's Tricks is nice, as is the capstone that gives you phasing. Reality Distortion, on the other hand, kills this one. It would be pretty awesome if it weren't for the fact that it affects your allies as well as your enemies.


Legendary Sovereign (MP2): Comparable to Demigod/Chosen. You get a +2 to Charisma to start off. Sword of Kings, the capstone, is open to abuse sooner in a fight than Divine Miracle if you use it on the right type of power (you may have to multiclass); choose either a close burst attack or a focus-fire multiattack to greatly reduce your chance of missing at all so you can keep using it. Great Captain is devastating when a crit happens, and the utility, Sword of the Sovereign, rounds it off by providing insane bonuses to attack rolls for allies' at-will and basic attacks (equal to your CHA-mod). This is Not My Fate is also a better recovery ability than Divine Recovery.


Lorekeeper (PHB2): A Paladin whose secondary is Wisdom might qualify. You're already trained in Religion, and History is a class skill. It's a mixed bag; the first two features aren't really your cup of tea unless you're somehow handling rituals, but the capstone is awesome (two daily utility powers as encounter powers).


Planeshaper (D 372): Using an encounter power twice is great, as is removing an enemy from the fight for a turn on a crit. Shape Reality, the capstone, adds a whole lot of Controller to your arsenal. Can't go wrong with this one.


Prince of Hell (D 372): This positively-evil inclined destiny is pretty interesting for that type of Chaladin. You get a +2 to Charisma and can teleport and summon some minions. Not the best you can do, though.


Punisher of the Gods (D 372/DA 09): Seems to have stabilized, but its current form, while good against one foe per encounter, is still a shadow of its former selves. Yes, that plural was intentional.


Raven Knight (D 380): Bonused to speed and going insubstantial and phasing on a charge are pretty good. The ability bonuses aren't the best, though. The utility, Dark Scythe is good; if you have Paladin's Truth, the Necrotic damage won't be an issue and you'll have the potential to heal a lot while you do some killing. You could do worse.


Revered One (PHB2): A stunningly mediocre destiny ... except for Manifest the Divine, the Lv. 24 feature. That one makes a solid Eternal Seeker capstone, so if you want it, you should just take Eternal Seeker instead (and let the Glorious Channeler feat tide you over until Lv. 30, when you retrain it for another Divinity feat).


Saint (DP): Yes, you want to be in that number. +2 to all NADs, hefty necrotic resistance, immune to domination, let your healing spells grant saves and your Divine Mettle and other such powers trigger healing surges, capstone increases your healing efficiency greatly, and Sanctified Revival is about as good as a resurrection spell can get. Full of win without being abusive.


Storm Sovereign (D 372): Pretty underwhelming.


Unyielding Sentinel (D 388): Good bonuses to Constitution and one other ability, and Unbreakable plays nice with Hero's Poise. The capstone of free healing caps it off. Can't complain about this one.


Racial EDs

Avatar of Io (PHR:D): Bonuses to both STR and CHA, a fully versatile breath weapon, and the ability to fly with hover. Pretty decent, although the capstone isn't the best.


Forgotten Realms EDs

Harper of Legend (D 367): An extra encounter power (including from a multiclass if applicable) and extra action points. Not bad at all. Spectral Harpist is interesting and a decent death-triggered capstone. Tymora Smiles is pretty weak, though.


Eberron EDs

Champion of Prophecy (EPG): +2 to a physical and a mental stat of your choice, great capstone that lets you recover dailies per milestone instead of action points, and Prophetic Certainty is a solid per-encounter utility.


Dispossessed Champion (EPG): Solid utility power (resist 10 to nearby allies), but the rest is pretty mediocre.


Mourning Savior (EPG): Very setting specific here, but the benefits in that respect are huge. Memory of Cyre is a great save-ends debuff whenever you use an action point. And speaking of action points, the capstone Cyran Vengeance opens up some nice abuse with those. Awesome.


Sublime Flame (EPG): You can't say no to an extra daily per day for worshiping the Silver Flame. The rest is pretty solid, too.

When Faith Is Not Enough: Multiclassing


General Power Source Options

Arcane classes


Key feats

Heroic Tier


Arcane Implement Proficiency (AP): This feat has a newfound purpose in a post-Essentials world, giving you the ability to use your sword for all your implement attacks. That's a huge asset. And since most of you are too dumb to enter Swordmage multiclassing (not that it's a Paladin's best option, anyway), you take this.


White Lotus Enervation (D 374): -1 debuff to a defense targeted by an arcane at-will. Pretty neat bonus to your favorite arcane at-will if you got one, including an Arcana Virtuous Strike.


White Lotus Hindrance (D 374): Hit them with your Arcana Virtuous Strike or another arcane at-will you borrowed, and you create difficult terrain in all squares next to you. Not bad in itself, since it can help cut off charging lanes for enemies who shift away from you, but the bigger prize lies in Paragon Tier.


White Lotus Riposte (D 374): At least this feat remains untouched by errata, unlike its successor. The automatic damage from this feat when an enemy you hit with an Arcana Virtuous Strike or an Arcane Dilletante power decides to attack you is nothing to sneeze at.


Paragon Tier


Arcane Admixture (AP): Add another type of damage keyword to an Arcane power, which opens up a whole new world of feat synergies. Best spent on an at-will, making this most useful for Half-Elves with an Arcane Dilletante.


White Lotus Master Hindrance (D 374): This is why you took Hindrance. Now when you hit with an arcane at-will, you create the difficult terrain around all your allies as well, making them more difficult for melee enemies to approach. And it also makes flanks VERY easy to maintain. With the demise of Master Riposte as regards Defenders, this is probably THE reason to stick with the Arcana domain.


Epic Tier


Quickened Spellcasting (AP): Arcane Dilletante Half-Elves get a minor-action use of their at-will per encounter, allowing for a decent mini-nova on that turn.


Key epic destinies

Sage of Ages (AP): Keeper's Prescience at Lv. 24 is incredible, basically allowing you to cover for a possible d20 failure every turn. That one makes for one of the best Seeking Destiny capstones for an Eternal Seeker there is. You won't likely make good use of this destiny's other key benefit, the utility, though.


 


Martial classes


Key feats

Heroic Tier


Martial Freedom (MP): Huge save bonus against slow and immobilized, and you should easily have the Wisdom for it. Solid.


Resilience of Stone (MP2): For Dwarves to use their second wind as an immediate interrupt. Good deal, since your immediate action isn't used for your standard punishment.


Paragon Tier


Deft Blade (MP2): Hey, this actually makes light blades worth a look. You can attack Reflex with basic attacks, melee or ranged. Good for Halfling and Gnome Paladins, in particular, who are more likely to use light blades.


Hammer Shock (MP2): Give your melee basic attacks with a hammer the Rattling keyword. Must be trained in Intimidate. Good one for hammer-users. Especially if you're a Skill-domain Straladin.


Impaling Spear (MP2): Practically a must if you're using a gouge, in which case you get to nail Reflex with an MBA.


Lashing Flail (MP2): Champions of Order may actually start looking at using a flail (triple-headed flail or spiked chain in particular). You slide an enemy a square for hitting with a melee basic attack. Because In Defense of Order gives you an actual opportunity attack, which interrupts, you can slide an enemy out of attack range before he can hit your ally. Splendid.


Epic Tier


Epic Recovery (MP): CON 19 required. Gives you two second winds per encounter. Questing Knights and Dwarves should make this one a goal, with the great action economy of their second winds.


Martial Resolve (MP): Saves at both the start and end of your turns against some of the more debilitating conditions, including ones Superior Will doesn't cover. Very nice, especially in conjunction with Hero's Poise.


Slashing Storm (MP2): Free WIS-mod damage as long as you nailed somebody last turn? Yes, please. Can be entered via Fighter or Ranger multiclassing.


Epic Tier, Dragonborn


Dragon Warrior (MP): Must have CON 17. Gives you an extra use of Dragon Breath after you get bloodied. Which you definitely want, since it gives you a second use of what should be a mass-Sanction tool.


Epic Tier, Dwarf


Stoneheart Warrior (MP): Must have CON 17. Makes your second wind a free action, which is awesome.


Key epic destinies

Adamantine Soldier (MP): Damage resistance and ignoring speed and check penalties in plate are the highlights of this solid destiny. Must multiclass into Fighter or Warlord.


 


Primal classes


Key feats

Heroic Tier


Longtooth Spirit Shifter (PP): Extra regen on your Longtooth Shifting power? Awesome.


Key epic destinies

Reincarnate Champion (PP): Well, well, well, this one's a lot of fun. Accessing nice things like Fey Step, Elven Accuracy and Memory of a Thousand Lifetimes no matter what race you are is lovely indeed.


World Tree Guardian (PP): Nearly constant 5 + CON mod damage resistance from the start, and massive constant regeneration as a capstone make this one worth considering for a high-CON Chaladin. Solid Leader-geared daily utility, too.


 


Specific Classes

Artificer


Only smart races (Changelings, Genasi, Tieflings, Gnomes) need apply. You'll qualify in Paragon Tier, which is fine, because none of the paragon paths matter to you. You multiclass here to pick up excellent utilities and weapon buffs, many of which are powered by one of your secondary stats.


Entry feats

Student of Artifice (EPG): Training in Arcana and a daily use of Healing Infusion. Does the job, and Healing Infusion is essentially an extra healing surge in the party pool per day. Requires INT 13.


Key powers

Lv. 1 Daily


Icebound Sigil (EPG): Cold keyword, extra damage equal to CON mod. If you'd rather carry around something else besides a Frost Weapon for the Wintertouched/Lasting Frost combo, this'll do the job.


Lv. 9 Daily


Radiant Sigil (EPG): Another Radiant keyword weapon buff. This one heals the wielder their CON mod in hit points every time the buffed weapon hits. A good one for Sun Domain Paladins and Morninglords to cast on someone to help them take advantage of radiant vulnerability you create.


Lv. 10 Utility


Slick Concoction (EPG): Per-encounter battlefield rearrangement as a minor action. Lovely.


Lv. 15 Daily


Lightning Sigil (EPG): Lightning keyword, CON determines amount of extra lightning damage, goes well with the various feats that work with that one. A Stormsoul Genasi loves it, too.


Lv. 19 Daily


Hellfire Sigil (EPG): Tieflings like this Fire keyword weapon buff. Damage bonus determined by CON.


Lv. 22 Utility


Bag of the Four Winds (EPG): Like Slick Concoction before it, a per-encounter, minor-action battlefield rearrangement. This one lets you move, too. Very, very nice if you have a high WIS.


 


Avenger


The entry feats are the most attractive part of this multiclassing option, giving you some attack rerolls.


Entry feats

Disciple of Divine Wrath (PHB2): The Religion training is redundant and wasted. However, believe it or not, this feat's version of the Oath of Enmity is now the superior, being able to last for two rounds' worth of attacks. Requires WIS 13.


Hero of Faith (DP): Unlike Disciple of Divine Wrath, this lets you train in any one of the Avenger's class skills; go for Perception. That makes it more valuable for you than for most, but the Oath of Enmity that comes from this feat now only lasts until you hit. A far cry from what this feat used to be. Requires WIS 15.


 


Barbarian


Straladins and Baladins looking to top out their damage potential go here. Some of the Rages also greatly improve your defender performance.


Entry feats

Berserker's Fury (PHB2): Training in any one of the Barbarian's class skills (go for Perception or Athletics). Also gives you a daily free action damage buff that lasts a whole encounter. Requires STR 13 and CON 13, easily done.


Key powers

Lv. 7 Encounter


Curtain of Steel (PHB2): Immediate reaction to someone attacking you. Good synergy with your Challenge or Sanctions to force a lose-lose. This'll tide you over until Lv. 13.


Lv. 13 Encounter


Storm of Blades (PHB2): It's recently been capped at three attacks, maximum. That does still deal a lot of damage if you've been set up to hit on a roll of 2 with each attack. If you don't mind maneuvering for proper setup, it's powerful, indeed.


Lv. 15 Daily


Thunderfury Rage (PHB2): Punish attacks against you with an immediate reaction. Forces serious lose-lose situations in conjunction with your Challenge and Sanction.


Lv. 25 Daily


Stone Tempest Rage (PHB2): 18-20 crits. Excellent. Also has the Thunder keyword, in case that matters to you.


Lv. 27 Encounter


Hurricane of Blades (PHB2): When it's absolutely, positively got to die, accept no substitute. Yes, even now. A guaranteed four-attack flurry is still the most damaging encounter power you'll see.


Lv. 29 Daily


World Serpent Rage (PHB2): Increases your stickiness tenfold with its unlimited free action melee basic attacks against shifting enemies.


 


Bard


A top MC choice thanks to ease of qualification, Arcane class entry and the goods therein, as well as some nice Leader-type utilities, including one of the best healing powers you'll find.


Entry feats

Bardic Dilletante (PHB2): Requires a CHA 13 and lets you train any skill on the Bard's extensive list (go for Perception), and getting a once-per-day use of Majestic Word certainly doesn't hurt. With the errata takedown of the once-amazing Master of Stories, this is once again the top Bard MC entry feat.


Key powers

Lv. 6 Utility


Revitalizing Incantation (HotF): A surge trigger for normal healing PLUS your target's surge value's worth of THP on top! Or, to illustrate the point, normal healing plus the benefits of your Virtue power, for either yourself or an ally in need. The normal healing part of the power works with Lend Health. In short, one of the best pure heals in Heroic Tier and even beyond. Only drawback is that it's a ranged power and thus draws OAs when you use it, but we can't have everything, now, can we?


Lv. 10 Utility


Illusory Erasure (PHB2): Per-encounter make an ally invisible. Nice.


Mantle of Unity (AP): Pool everyone's highest defenses together in the party for a round every fight. Really awesome.


Lv. 22 Utility


Climactic Chord (AP): A fantastic daily to use when your party is in position to tee off on an enemy, especially an elite or solo. With your high Charisma, the beatdown is close to guaranteed.


Elegy Unwritten (PHB2): Arguably the best class-related resurrection spell in the game. Unlike the others, this one is an off-action. Worth a look for that alone.


Invisible Troupe (PHB2): Per-encounter mass-invisibility. Even without everyone trained in stealth this can work out to be the equivalent of blinding all enemies. The burst 3 is a decent size.


Note of Aggression (AP): Per-encounter minor-action granting of a free melee basic attack or a charge to either yourself or an ally. The results will never be as spectacular as Climactic Chord, but for per-encounter consistency you can't go wrong here.


Lv. 27 Encounter, Implement


Pounding Rhythm (AP): This close blast 3 can result in a lot of stunned enemies, particularly if you have an ally ready to follow up with an AoE.


Lv. 29 Daily, Implement


Horrifying Truth (AP): Fairly large AoE blast that save-ends dazes enemies ... until your friends hit them and they get save-ends stunned instead. The beginning daze happens regardless of hit or miss.


Spellbind (PHB2): Save-ends domination, with a dazing aftereffect. Very nice.


Lv. 29 Daily, Weapon


Hero's Beacon (PHB2): Attack followed, hit or miss, by a zone that turns an enemy into a walking battery of free healing for your allies and free radiant damage on enemies caught in it (including the enemy you initially attacked). Excellent, especially for Radiant Mafiosos.


Key paragon paths

Life Singer (AP): Chaladins and Baladins have a lot to like here. Serene Will at Lv. 16 is the obvious draw; reroll any missed attack against Will (even if it's not a pacifist power; if you do have one by chance, it's rerolled at a bonus). Your class itself has some quality anti-Will powers, and if you pick up an at-will power that attacks Will (Half-Elf with Dilletante, mainly), even better. Solid powers, too.


Key class feats

Heroic Tier


Combat Virtuoso (AP): Only Half-Elf Chaladins can make any use out of this one, but it can work wonders for them. Great powers like Twin Strike become options for Dilletante.


Epic Tier


Multiclass Mastery (AP): Grants you the benefits of two multiclass feats. Note that this does NOT allow you to take entry feats for more than one class. Only a real Bard can do that. What this does allow is getting the benefits of two power swap feats for the price of one, so if you currently have more than one power swap feat, you can retrain one of them out for something else.


 


Cleric


The main draw with this multiclass nowadays is the paragon paths, a couple of which can be pretty good on a Chaladin, in particular. Some of the Epic Tier feats from this class are also pretty nice, particularly for healers and radiant attackers, if you don't mind waiting that long for such a payoff. The entry feats, unfortunately, leave quite a bit to be desired.


Entry feats

Divine Channeler (DP): Requires WIS 13, and can actually be used to enter any Divine multiclass. For Cleric purposes, mainly used to take Healer's Mercy, which isn't a bad emergency heal. It can heal multiple allies, but it's a standard action and weakens you, so only use it in an emergency.


Divine Healer (DP): After errata, Healer's Lore is worth it only if you intend on power swapping for surge-triggering Cleric powers. This feat trains Heal, though, so at least that won't go to waste. Requires WIS 15.


Initiate of the Faith (PHB): The skill training in Religion was long since wasted on you. You get a once-per-day use of Healing Word, which isn't exactly awe-inspiring, either (although Lend Health helps). Requires WIS 13.


Key powers

Lv. 22 Utility


Clarion Call of the Astral Sea (PHB): The ultimate heal-and-rescue spell. Lets an ally (or you) heal up completely with no surges spent, watch the battle in complete safety, and then return them to action right on schedule for their next turn.


Mass Cure Serious Wounds (DP): It's a daily and a standard action, but it's surgeless healing for the whole party: two surges' worth of it for everyone. Lend Health works very nicely with this one.


Key paragon paths

Divine Oracle (PHB): Foresight's roll twice for initiative and prevention of surprise are both awesome, even making up for not having Perception or Insight trained. Prophecy of Doom can lead to an auto-crit once per encounter. Still a great path.


Tactical Warpriest (PHB/D 400): After a name change and an accomodation of its powers to fit STR attackers (and certain other details in the process in between which you know by now), this PP is a pretty nice fit both for Straladins and for CHA/WIS Paladins. The +1 to AC in heavy armor right off is great, and the Lv. 16 feature Warpriest's Challenge is a nice second mark for your character to have and, because it punishes shifts, even makes you control enemy movement better than your standard DC and DS.


Key class feats

Epic Tier


Beatific Healer (DP): More, more, more healing via your CHA-modifier. It affects all divine healing powers, including the Paladin's own, that trigger allies' healing surges. So if you took a few of those, and perhaps poached one from the Cleric class, you should consider this one.


Radiant Advantage (DP): Make an enemy surrender combat advantage when you deal radiant damage to it. You can make some great use of this one. It even works with your divine marks.


Shared Healing (DP): If you didn't take Lay on Hands, you take this feat to make up for that decision and then some. Best used with any encounter healing utility: Bastion of Health or Word of Vigor from Acolyte Power, or even your own Benediction or Liberation. You can even get this to work with your Divine Mettle (Mettle Proven, Saint).


 


Fighter


Straladins get full reign of the attack powers, many of which add to up-front stickiness and, in some cases, damage. Even Chaladins can make use of many of the stances. And one entry feat in particular is flat-out incredible (hint, you're picking up a punishment stacker).


Entry feats

Battle Awareness (MP): Why, yes, I most definitely do want a punishment stacker at the cost of a mere feat. You also get training in any Fighter skill (Athletics recommended). Without question the Fighter entry feat of choice. Requires STR 13 and WIS 13.


Brawling Warrior (MP2): Not for you.


Cyclone Warrior (MP2): Not for you, either.


Student of the Sword (PHB): The original. And inadequate these days.


Wrathful Warrior (MP2): Not completely terrible, actually, but far, far, far from Battle Awareness.


Key powers

Lv. 5 Daily


Rain of Steel (PHB): Great battlefield control with this stance. Even a Chaladin will do well with this. Easy choice for Adept Power at this point.


Lv. 7 Encounter


Trip Up (MP): Free action follow-up to a melee basic attack. Very, very nice. Especially if you have a polearm.


Lv. 13 Encounter


Anvil of Doom (PHB): Stuns with a hammer. Great if you use that weapon.


Lv. 15 Daily


Unyielding Avalanche (PHB): Incredible battlefield control stance with CON-mod regeneration. Another one a Chaladin can use well.


Key paragon paths

Dreadnought (MP): A double-attacking encounter power straight out of the box in Inexorable Advance, an increase in your maximum HPs and a ton of damage resistance sources all make for a premier choice.


Gladiator Champion (DSCS): The Dark Sun theme isn't required if you MC Fighter, so you're good to go in any setting for this awesome PP that enhances your stickiness and hard control greatly. Especially its Lv. 16 feature, which prohibits enemies from shifting away from you, outright. The attack powers use your highest ability, so all Paladins can take it without fear.


Kensei (PHB): +1 to attack and +4 to damage with your chosen weapon. Boring, but effective feature for damage maximization if that's the route you're going. The powers aren't too hot, though. But with Pit Fighter's recent demise, this is easily the new go-to for pure DPR.


Polearm Master (MP): Polearm specialists will fall in love with the Lv. 16 feature, Longarm Grasp, that gives them punishment stacking every single round, all day, every day.


Key class feats

Heroic Tier


Polearm Momentum (MP): If you're really serious about using a polearm, I'm going to assume you multiclassed Fighter to nab this feat.


Surprising Charge (MP): If you're using a gouge, congratulations, you get an extra [W] of damage for charging with combat advantage. One of the many reasons why that weapon is so awesome on the DPR front. 


Wary Fighter (D 378): Strictly better than Battlewise, this one gives you the WIS-for-initiative benefit of that feat plus a +2 feat bonus to Insight and Perception on top. So if you were already using Battlewise, retrain that for this immediately as you take your Fighter MC feat.


Paragon Tier


Striking Resurgence (MP2): Makes second wind a viable thing to do for the 95% of you who can only do it as a standard action. Dwarves and Questing Knights have no use for it.


Epic Tier


Overwhelming Impact (MP2): Can potentially give you at-will dazing if you use a hammer. That alone makes this feat amazing. Straladins, who are more likely to use hammers, get it by taking the Son of Mercy path. Chaladins take the Earth domain and Bolstering Strike.


 


Ranger


This class has some immediate action powers that any Straladin could pick for devastating mark synergy. The rare dual-wielding Straladin (who is likely a Half-Elf) will go here for the obvious damage potential.


Entry feats

Two-Blade Warrior (MP): If you dual-wield, you'll want this one if your DEX is high enough (13). Also trains a Ranger skill (go Perception or Athletics).


Warrior of the Wild (PHB): Training in a Ranger skill (go Perception or Athletics), and a Hunter's Quarry that can last two rounds. Go with this one if you don't dual-wield, or don't have the DEX to qualify for Two-Blade Warrior.


Key powers

Lv. 3 Encounter, Universal


Disruptive Strike (PHB): Immediate interrupt if the enemy attacks either you or an ally, setting up an splendid lose-lose. If it hits, the enemy's attack will also miss, more than likely. Keep this one for a very long time.


Lv. 3 Encounter, Dual-Wield


Ruffling Sting (MP): Minor-action off-hand attack. You'll keep this for a while.


Lv. 9 Daily, Universal


Attacks on the Run (PHB): Two attacks with a free move action. Nice.


Lv. 13 Encounter, Dual-Wield


Armor Splinter (PHB): Insane to inhumane AC debuff to set up some sick power plays.


Off-Hand Diversion (MP): The minor-action attack at this level, and a real upgrade over Ruffling Sting.


Lv. 15 Daily, Dual-Wield


Blade Cascade (PHB): Needs no introduction. Just make sure you're set up for nigh-guaranteed success before using it.


Lv. 19 Daily, Dual-Wield


Cruel Cage of Steel (PHB): 3 attacks with a +2 bonus each to hit and can inflict a cocktail of status effects. If you just can't be bothered to wait and maneuver for proper Blade Cascade setup, you might prefer this one as your Adept Power, instead.


Lv. 23 Encounter, Dual-Wield


Nonchalant Collapse (MP): The capstone of minor-action off-hand attacks. This one attacks Fortitude and knocks prone.


 


Sorcerer


Chaladins and Baladins may see something they like. Some very good utilities, too, which even Straladins may want.


Entry feats

Arcane Prodigy (PHB2): Just plain inferior to Soul of Sorcery.


Soul of Sorcery (AP): The preferred entry feat. Permanent resistance 5 to an element is a solid perk. Need STR 13 and CHA 13.


Key powers

Lv. 22 Utility


Platinum Scales (PHB2): So incredible Straladins may very well want to multiclass Sorcerer just to take it. STR-bonus to all defenses for a whole encounter. Wow.



Warden


Straladins looking for some extra stickiness might look this way.


Entry feats

Defender of the Wild (PHB2): Training in any one of the Warden's skills, and those include Perception and Athletics. Good enough. Also a per-encounter mass mark, but the marks are generic.


Key powers

Lv. 1 Daily


Form of Winter's Herald (PHB2): Create difficult terrain for enemies only wherever you step. Great for stickiness. Also comes with an close burst attack that can save-ends immobilize.


Key class feats

Heroic Tier


Sudden Roots (PHB2): Now this is what you call up-front stickiness.


 


Warlock


With many of the old synergies being overshadowed by more recent developments, it's not quite as appealing as it used to be. Still, Chaladins might find something they like.


Entry feats

Pact Initiate (PHB): Still the general entry feat of choice. Training in any Warlock skill (Bluff and Streetwise are good), and you choose a pact and get a per-encounter use of a pact-related at-will. Pick Fey if you want Eyebite.


Student of Malediction (AP): Meh. Stick with Pact Initiate.


Key powers

Lv. 7 Encounter


Mire the Mind (Fey) (PHB): Like Eyebite, except it makes all of your allies invisible to the target as well. This one is grand.


 


Warlord


All Paladins have a lot to love here if they want to expand their Leader capabilities, including some great utilities. While Baladins have the widest selection of attack powers, there are still some that Straladins will want. And even a few that Chaladins can use.


Entry feats

Bravura Leader (MP2): Unless you're dumping Charisma entirely, you should instead go with Resourceful Leader, which gives allies a damage bonus almost as good as this one, but doesn't make the ally give up combat advantage for it. But since some of you will dump Charisma, here's a serviceable option in that case. Requires either STR 13 or CHA 13. Of course, you could always take this along with Resourceful Leader, and they do stack ...


Insightful Leader (MP2): Requires STR 13 or WIS 13, gives training in a Warlord skill and a +1 to all defenses for an ally who uses an action point, any time that happens. Not too impressive.


Inspiring Leader (MP): Obsolete now. The temp HPs that result are more than those an ally can get from Resourceful Leader, but they only happen to one ally per encounter, and Resourceful Leader is just much better offensively. We've moved on to multiple times-per-encounter benefits with our Warlord MC feats. Get with the times, people.


Resourceful Leader (MP2): The Warlord multiclass feat to rule them all. Requires either CHA 13 or INT 13. Skill training from the Warlord list, plus an ally that spends an action point either gets a nice damage bonus if he hits with his attack, or a solid amount of temp HPs if he misses. Like the other Warlord MC feats from Martial Power 2, these benefits aren't limited to once per encounter. Simply impressive.


Skirmishing Leader (MP2): Warlord skill training plus give an ally a free 1-square shift when they use an action point. The least impressive of the new Warlord MC feats, which isn't a surprise when it's derived from perhaps the least impressive of the new Warlord Presences.


Student of Battle (PHB): The original Warlord multiclass feat has been completely left in the dust.


Key powers

Lv. 1 Daily


Lamb to the Slaughter (D 381): A beatdown power at Lv. 1. Awesome if your party is melee-heavy. Any high-STR Paladin will use this well.


Lv. 3 Encounter


Devastating Offensive (D 381): The Warlord's new favorite power at this level is great in your hands, too. Even without the Presence benefit, the slide of an enemy and an ally, followed by a free action attack, is marvelous. In Paragon Tier, if the ally you slide is an Agile Opportunist, he gets two attacks. Very nice.


Lv. 10 Utility


Instant Planning (MP): Likely, you'll want to use this when your allies are in position to tee off on one enemy. High-CHA Paladins can grant a huge power bonus to the whole party's attack rolls to set up certain mayhem that round.


Lv. 13 Encounter


Invitational Assault (D 381): Devastating Offensive, Mark II. Can result in the same triple flurry with an Agile Opportunist ally.


Lv. 15 Daily


War Master's Assault (MP): Baladins and even Chaladins will love this one. A high CHA with this power leads to a near-certain full-party beatdown of an unfortunate foe.


Lv. 16 Utility


Help or Hinder (MP2): If your Wisdom is even decent at this point, you'll want to look at this per-encounter utility to prolong an enemy's misery from a save-ends condition for free. Oh, yeah, it can also boost an ally's save, instead, if that ever matters to you.


Lv. 17 Encounter


Hail of Steel (PHB): Leads to a full-party attack on a foe if it hits. Relies on no secondary stat, and is also Presence-independent, so a Straladin can have fun with this one.


Lv. 25 Daily


Relentless Assault (PHB): Warlords love it, and you will, too. The important part of this happens hit or miss; a full-party beatdown once per any given round if anyone scores a crit. True story: Before errata the beatdown happened on every single crit.


Lv. 27 Encounter


Insightful Assault (MP2): Awesome. Enact a four-man beatdown of an enemy with either melee or ranged basic attacks for free. You don't even have to hit the enemy to trigger it, making it a good pick even for Chaladins. Sort of an encounter version of War Master's Assault. Great even without the Presence benefit.


Warlord's Indignation (MP): Warlords love this one, and other Leader classes have been known to multiclass Warlord just to pick it up. So why the red rating? Because it's a trap for a Defender like you. This power is so good at retaliation against a melee attacker that an enemy won't want to attack you at all. Which is exactly what you do NOT want happening.


Lv. 29 Daily


Deny Death (PHB): So cinematic. And pretty damn good, too. An immediate interrupt to an ally being attacked that deals high damage, halved on miss, makes the enemy's attack miss completely if you hit, and lets the ally spend a surge.


Stand Invincible (PHB): Huge defense bonuses for the whole party and damage resistance, too. Fun stuff.


Key epic destinies

Warmaster (MP): An awesome Leader destiny that grants extra party actions with your action points, and the capstone lets you spend as many as you want. Spring the Trap is the ultimate beatdown utility.


 

Equipped for the Crusade: Items


Just remember that your top priority in every 5-level interval should be to keep your armor, weapon (and implement if you use one) and neck item up to date. Plan it right and you'll still have plenty of room for other nice things.


Armor

Lv. 2+


Dwarven (PHB): Bonus to Endurance as a property, and a free surge-value heal per day. Good value.


Martyr's (AV): The at-will gives up a point of your AC to give to adjacent allies. Can be useful sometimes.


Screaming (AV): Bonus to Intimidate as a property, along with a per-encounter attack debuff from range. Nice.


Veteran's (AV): Property gives you +1 to attack and all defenses on action point use. This one used to be a lot more powerful, but even now it's still pretty solid.


Lv. 3+


Heartening (AV): Dwarves and anyone else who gets a minor-action or less second wind will look at this one for its property granting a healthy amount of temp HPs.


Lifegiving (AV): Necrotic resistance with a daily last-resort healing power. Not bad.


Meliorating (AV): Better defense every time you reach a milestone in the day. Awesome, especially if you don't have the Dexterity to take full advantage of Agile Armor. And this is in a lower pricing bracket than that one.


Versatile (AV): At-will lets you sacrifice a point of AC to remove speed and skill penalties. Can be handy, at least until you get access to plate that lets you ignore such penalties at no cost.


Lv. 4+


Armor of Durability (AV): Property grants bonus to personal healing surge use. Good one.


Black Iron (PHB): Resistance properties against two of the more common damage types used by enemies (fire and necrotic). Solid.


Reinforcing (AV): Property grants an +1 item bonus to all defenses when you get hit in melee for the round after. The potential isn't as high as Meliorating, but it's more consistent. Another good choice if you can't take full advantage of Agile.


Salubrious (AV): This one is outstanding if you get enough sources of regeneration at some point in your career. Late Paragon and Epic are where this one is likely to really shine. Yet another good one for those who can't use Agile to its fullest.


Verve (AV): The property means you don't die as easily. Solid.


Lv. 5+


Agile (AV): A trap ... until you close in on Lv. 30, then it becomes awesome if you have any sort of DEX modifier. At that point there are no other masterwork armors a level or two above to grab your immediate attention.


Battleforged (PHB): Stronger second wind when bloodied. Not bad for a Dwarf or anyone else with a minor-action or less second wind.


Shared Suffering (AV): Encounter power makes an enemy pay for inflicting you with ongoing damage. Not bad.


Lv. 8+


Bloodiron (AV): +2 item bonus to AC against a target you thump for a round. Nice. 


Lv. 13+


Coral (AV): Worth a look if your campaign involves a lot of water travel.


Lv. 20+


Spectral Plate (AV2): Ignore speed and check penalties in this plate, along with a daily move action power where you're insubstantial and phasing. Very solid.


Lv. 24+


Soulwarding (AV): Resist two common enemy damage types (necrotic and psychic) and protection against attacks that make you lose healing surges. Nice.


Lv. 27


Gallant (AV2): Half-surge's worth of free healing for yourself when you use Lay on Hands on an ally. Excellent. Combine with the Pious Champion feat and you can either heal two allies and yourself some, or one ally and yourself a lot.


Weapons

Lv. 2+


Bloodclaw (AV): Actually not bad for two-handed weapon Straladins to take in the first half of Heroic Tier, which they can use with Blood of the Mighty or Heedless Fury. After that point, ditch this entirely.


Vicious (PHB): The basic d12 per plus crit weapon. Decent.


Lv. 3+


Frost (PHB): This weapon really earns its stripes in Paragon Tier, when you can use Wintertouched and Lasting Frost together to set up combat advantage whenever you hit with it.


Inescapable (AV): Stacks bonuses to hit with every miss until you hit the enemy. Solid.


Vanguard (AV): Good for chargers.


Lv. 4+


Battlecrazed (AV): Good damage bonus when bloodied.


Medic's (AV): Extra healing for an ally when you use Channel Divinity, and the daily gives you a second use of Channel Divinity in the encounter. Solid.


Rending (AV): Axe only; follow up a crit with a melee basic attack. Solid.


Sunblade (AV): A heavy blade with an at-will Radiant keyword and damage option. It can also shed a lot of light to negate concealment in dark places. Your first lightsaber, and a solid option, especially if you didn't take Holy Strike, Virtuous Strike and Bless Weapon.


Vigilant Blade (D 381):The first of several weapons that serve as a combination of weapon and implement, which reduces your item dependency (and thus saves money). This heavy blade (or, curiously, light blade) lets you shed bright light at-will for dark places and night scenarios, and the per-encounter power that lets you switch places with an ally being attacked and set up combat advantage against the assailant is also nice.


Lv. 5+


Flaming (PHB): Poor Tieflings can't catch a break, can they? Just when it looked as if this weapon was gonna be worth it for them at last, the update comes along and breaks their hearts. You have to wait until Epic Tier, and Hell's Burning Mark, for this to be even remotely worth the investment.


Lightning (PHB): A flavorful, and finally viable option, thanks to nice things like Storm Sacrifice and (if you're in Eberron) Mark of Storm. Unlike Flaming, this one can be worth the cost.


Lv. 8+


Cunning (AV): If you're into dealing save-ends effects with weapons, you'll want to consider this weapon for the penalty to the first save against it inflicts. Good even after the errata.


Disrupting (DA 09): Can be a flail or hammer (or a mace, but Paladins don't use those). Serves as a weapon/implement combo and is more effective against undead. Fair enough, but Crusader's is better.


Unforgettable Cudgel (AV2): What did I just say about Paladins and maces ... oh wait, this one may actually be an exception. The 19-20 crit range on all divine powers brings the DPR into competitive standing with a warhammer. And you can choose to save-ends daze an enemy on a crit instead of deal the extra damage. Not a bad option for late Heroic on up through Paragon if you're looking for a combo weapon/implement, especially if you have extra things to trigger with crits. It does lose its luster going into Epic, though.


Lv. 9+


Crusader's (AV): A hammer that serves as a weapon/implement combo. Half of the damage is radiant, which makes it very good for those who abuse radiant vulnerability, and the daily power gives you a second use of Channel Divinity in an encounter.


Githyanki Silver (MOTP): Heavy blade only, and boy is this one nasty. Take the Psychic Lock feat and have fun. If you're a Chaladin, use with Enfeebling Strike on top of that.


Lullaby (AV): One of the very few daily-power-only weapons worth a look. In this case, it's because the daily is a Sleep power. Comes in hammer or flail.


Lv. 10+


Blackshroud (AV): Concealment when you off an enemy. Comes in axe or heavy blade. Not bad.


Weapon of Evil Undone (AV2): A weapon/divine implement combo that comes in any weapon a Paladin will think to use. This one is particularly special because it works with all divine powers that can be cast with a holy symbol. That's important for some Half-Elves.


Lv. 12+


Jagged (AV): Crit deals heavy save-ends ongoing damage instead of extra damage die, and it crits on 19-20. Comes in axe or heavy blade. Nice.


Lv. 13+


Bloodiron (AV): Essentially doubles the crit damage dealt, and the d10 per plus figures makes that quite worthwhile.


Bradaman's (AV2): Part of the Arms of Unbreakable Honor set, but it does just fine on its own. It's a weapon/implement combo available for all the main Paladin weapon types. The best part, however, is the ability to Divine Challenge two enemies. Hospitalers and Champions of Order, in particular, will covet this one greatly.


Desiccating (AV): Cumulative weakening of Fortitude (save-ends) with every hit. Not bad against Brutes.


Farslayer (AV): At-will power lets you melee basic attack from 5 squares away. Can come in handy.


Withering (AV): Cumulative debuff of AC (save-ends) with every hit. This one is more all-purpose than Desiccating.


Lv. 15+


Radiant (AV): At-will Radiant keyword switch, just like the Sunblade. When the switch is on, it also deals an extra item bonus to damage, which by itself makes it superior to its far more flavorful counterpart. However, if you're wearing the Iron Armbands of Power, you can stick with the Sunblade, as item bonuses don't stack.


Lv. 19+


Blade of Bahamut (AV): If you worship Bahamut, this heavy blade is a weapon/implement combo and helps reduce your item dependency. Solid crits, d10 per plus, along with a CHA-based blast 5 attack power that heals your allies a bit.


Moradin's (AV): If you worship Moradin, this hammer is a weapon/implement combo and helps reduce your item dependency. It deals great crits, too, d12 per plus.


Lv. 25+


Brilliant Energy (AV): Like the Sunblade, a far more interesting and flavorful lightsaber than the technically superior Radiant Weapon. If you're wearing Iron Armbands of Power then the disparity disappears, and you get solid crit damage of d10s per plus and a very nice encounter power that lets you attack Reflex with an attack that would normally target AC.


Holy Avenger (PHB): This weapon, which can also be used as an implement, is one of the best damage-increasing options for Paladins who throw around a lot of light. The bonus damage on Radiant powers applies to both weapon and implement usage, making it excellent for all breeds of Paladins. The daily is a +5 to all NADs for potentially the whole party for a turn when you need it. Comes in axe, hammer, or heavy blade.


Lv. 29


Sorrowsong Blade (E2 KotG): This heavy blade is like Githyanki Silver but even better, as all attacks with it deal half psychic damage, permanently. And now that damage types and keywords have been clarified, what this means is that not only does it work with Psychic Lock, but attacks with this weapon don't lose their original damage type, either. Major win.



Holy Symbols

Lv. 8+


Symbol of the Champion's Code (AV2): There is literally no reason to use any other symbol. Moreover, there's no reason not to have one of these after late Heroic Tier. Even if you never make any attacks with it, the bonus to Challenge and Sanction damage is something you simply don't pass up. Even if your symbol is a plus or two below attack-caliber for your level, it will make a difference.



Neck

Lv. 2+


Amulet of Mental Resolve (AV): +2 item bonus to saves against charm, illusion and sleep. Good early on.


Amulet of Physical Resolve (AV): +2 item bonus to saves against weakening, slowing and immobilizing. Also good early.


Lv. 4+


Cloak of Distortion (AV): Not really worth it in Heroic Tier, anymore. It does get a lot better later, though.


Healer's Brooch (AV): Extra hit points on all of your own healing powers. Great one for the healing-inclined.


Lv. 5+


Amulet of Life (D 381): Encounter power lets you spend an additional healing surge on top of any power that lets you use one. Pretty good, if rather pricey. Best taken if you have bonuses to your surge value.


Lv. 8+


Periapt of Recovery (AV): +2 bonus to death saves. Nice.


Lv. 15


Brooch of Vitalty (AV): Increase your max HPs. Simple, and awesome.


Lv. 25


Life Charm (AV): Also known as: You (almost) never die.


Arms (Bracers)

Lv. 6


Bracers of Mental Might (AV): Good one for Chaladins who picked up an item bonus to damage in another item slot. Opens you up to perhaps pick a STR-based power or paragon path.


Iron Armbands of Power (AV): If you don't have an item bonus to damage from anywhere else, this is your default arms slot item. Period.


Lv. 14


Counterstrike Guards (AV): If you got your item bonus to damage from somewhere else (such as a Radiant Weapon), this is a great item to take in place of the Iron Armbands, making your Defender Catch-22 ever deadlier with its MBA payback from an enemy's miss.



Arms (Shields)

Lv. 9


Recoil Shield (AV): Per-encounter knocking prone of an enemy who hits you in melee. Nice.


Lv. 15


Shield of Fellowship (AV2): Lets you transfer THPs you gain to an ally next to you. Think of the possibilities in conjunction with things like Bolstering Strike and Virtue.



Feet

Lv. 2


Acrobat Boots (PHB): Minor action to stand up from being prone. Good one early.


Boots of Adept Charging (AV): Shift after a charge. Nice.


Lv. 3


Catstep Boots (AV): Half-damage, land on your feet from a fall. Good for this tier.


Lv. 7


Boots of the Fencing Master (AV): +1 item bonus to AC and Reflex whenever you shift, and you get to shift 2 squares every encounter. Good one.


Rushing Cleats (AV): A vital item for polearm specialists.


Lv. 8


Boots of Quickness (AV): Untyped bonus to your Reflex defense. There's a version of it at each tier. Reflex is likely to be your weakest defense; you may or may not care about it.


Lv. 9


Boots of Eagerness (AV): Extra move action per encounter. Nice.


Lv. 12


Battlestrider Greaves (PHB): Essentially negates the speed penalty for plate. Not bad.


Dragonborn Greaves (AV): Extra defense and speed when bloodied. Nice.


Lv. 13


Winged Boots (PHB): Your first item that prevents fall damage completely. Also comes with a daily flight power.


Lv. 14


Oceanstrider Boots (AV): +1 item bonus to speed and you can walk and stand on water and other non-hazardous liquid surfaces. Very nice.


Lv. 18


Dimensional Stride Boots (AV): +1 untyped bonus to Reflex, with a per-encounter teleportation power. Good.


Phantom Chaussures (AV): Concealment for moving 3 or more squares. Awesome.


Lv. 24


Boots of Caiphon (AV2): +2 item bonus to Reflex, and you get to sacrifice a little damage in exchange for a nice-distance shift. That damage isn't nearly as much as you'd take from an OA, so a great deal all around.


Lv. 25


Airstriders (AV): You get to fly. Along with taking no damage from falls. Great.


Sandals of Avandra (AV): +2 item bonus to speed, and shift half your speed at-will. Awesome.


Lv. 28


Boots of Teleportation (AV): At-will teleportation. That should say it all.


Hands

Lv. 6


Breaching Gauntlets (AV): Reduce some resistance against your attacks. Good for this point.


Lv. 9


Gloves of Storing (AV): Interesting, and handy at times.


Lv. 10


Strikebacks (AV): Per-encounter immediate reaction attack against an enemy who hit you, creating a sick Catch-22 if your punishment ability is what it ought to be.


Lv. 11


Gloves of Ice (AV2): Practically a must if you're playing with the Lasting Frost synergy.


Lv. 12


Gloves of the Healer (AV): And this is one for the more healing-oriented. A bonus on all your healing spells, including Lay on Hands.


Lv. 18


Gauntlets of Destruction (PHB): Makes all your attacks brutal 1. Good option if you're not already using a brutal weapon.


Lv. 20


Many-Fingered Gloves (AV2): Wear an extra ring. Very beneficial.


Lv. 22


Foe Caller Gauntlets (D 381): Pull 'em over, cancel their attack, and strike a punishment-stacking MBA once every fight. Very nice.


Head

Lv. 4


Casque of Tactics (AV): Until you can comfortably afford a Helm of Battle, this will do.


Helm of Opportunity (AV): More accurate OAs = better front-line defender.


Lv. 6


Horned Helm (PHB): If you charge a lot this is good for the extra damage.


Lv. 7


Phrenic Crown (AV): If you have any save-ends attacks at all against Will, the penalty to enemies' first saves against the effect helps ensure another round of misery. Used to be even more powerful, but it's still good.


Lv. 8


Circlet of Indomitability (AV): Untyped bonus to Will, and a version comes at each tier. Most Paladins will have either Wisdom or Charisma high enough to care about Will, so this one's a great all-purpose benefit.


Coif of Mindiron (AV): Per-encounter prevention of daze if Will is attacked. Gets even better in later tiers, when it also prevents stuns and eventually domination.


Lv. 9


Helm of Battle (PHB): Item bonus to initiative for you and nearby allies. Nice.


Lv. 14


Goggles of Night (PHB): Darkvision is nice if you don't have it already.


Helm of Able Defense (AV2): +1 item bonus to Will and an extra +2 to all defenses until your first turn at minimum. Quite good.


Lv. 21


Essence of the Wisp (AV2): +2 item bonus to Will, and an at-will power that pulls enemies who dare use ranged attacks against you a couple squares as an immediate action. Can help you lock down enemies who prefer to stay at range.


Eye of Discernment (AV): Practical immunity to blinding is the main draw here, and that's pretty major.


Lv. 22


Helm of Ghostly Defense (PHB): Necrotic resistance and per-encounter insubstantial. Nice.


Lv. 23


Eye of Awareness (AV): +2 to Will and +5 to initiative. Very good.



Rings

Lv. 13


Ring of Giants (D 378): Stronger crits, which is good if you're damage-focused. The daily power is only for Primal powers, but that's not the important part.


Lv. 15


Ring of Aquatic Ability (AV): A ring slot is where you're most likely to put swim speed/underwater breathing properties.


Ring of the Dragonborn Emperor (AV): Item bonus to damage on all close attacks. Including close bursts and blasts with your weapon. Note this is not redundant with Iron Armbands of Power since that item applies only to powers designated "melee."


Lv. 16


War Ring (AV): Stronger crits. Good if you're going for damage.


Lv. 17


Ring of the Radiant Storm (AV2): If your main damage type is either Lightning or Radiant, you'll want to take a good look at this one. Rerolling damage and keeping the better result is a nice boost.


Lv. 21


Ring of Tenacious Will (AV): Uses Charisma to determine number of healing surges instead of Constitution. Practically a must for Chaladins who boost Wisdom as a secondary stat exclusively.


Lv. 22


Luminary Ring (AV): Increase the range of powers that heal or give bonuses, nice things like Wrath of the Gods. Apparently this includes attack powers that do those things as well, not just utilities, which makes this even more amazing.


Lv. 24


Ring of Regeneration (PHB): Item bonus to healing surge value as a property, and the daily, after a milestone, gives you regeneration 10 and gives you back a healing surge. Good.


Lv. 25


Gargoyle Ring (AV): Save against petrification, even when you are petrified. Nice.


Lv. 27


Ring of the Phoenix (AV): Solid fire resistance property, and a very nice self-resurrection daily power.


Shadow Band (AV): Concealment all the time. Great fun.


Lv. 29


Ring of Free Time (AV2): Resist 5 all constantly is awesome enough. Then there's the one extra minor action per encounter from this ring ... which turns into an extra minor action every single round after the first milestone. Incredible, since Paladins tend to use their minor actions a lot. For certain builds, particularly those with sustain-minor powers, this could even be essential.


Waist

Lv. 2


Belt of Vigor (PHB): Item bonus to healing surge value. Solid start.


Lv. 6


Cincture of the Dragon Spirit (AV): If you're allowed liberal use of the Intimidate skill in combat this could be handy for Straladins.


Lv. 7


Belt of Sacrifice (PHB): Item bonus to nearby allies' healing surge value. Great property, especially if you use Lay on Hands and some of the Paladin's healing surge trigger spells. Ignore the daily.


Rope of Slave Fighting (AV): Attack normally when prone. Nice. The Paragon Tier version cancels combat advantage when prone as well.


Lv. 8


Belt of Vim (AV): Untyped Fortitude bonus. Comes in a version at each tier. Just a great all-purpose benefit.


Lv. 10


Diamond Cincture (AV2): Item bonus to Fortitude with the opportunity to spend more healing surges if you need to. Good one, for sure, but since you can easily pick up ways to use your own healing surges every encounter, it's not the be-all, end-all like it is for some other classes.


Lv. 21


Baldric of Valor (AV): Bonuses to attack, saves and defenses for action point usage. Nice.


Lv. 23


Belt of Vitality (AV): +2 untyped bonus to Fortitude, and once per day get back up when you make a death save. Very nice.



Dragonshard Augments (Eberron)

Lv. 2


Eberron Shard of Lightning (EPG): The shard of choice for those who use Lightning Weapons, as well as Avatars of Storm.


Siberys Shard of Merciless Cold (EPG): Lasting Frost users go straight for this one.


Lv. 3


Siberys Shard of Radiance (EPG): Untyped bonus to Radiant damage rolls. If you have Holy Strike or Virtuous Strike, you want this as soon as possible. Paragon and Epic Tier versions available, too.

Advanced Purification: Combos


These are some of the key tricks that Paladins can do. Most of them can either be done at-will or per encounter. Many of these have been hinted at throughout this guide, but here is where you get to see them all come together.


 


Heroic Tier


Lv. 1 One Hit, One Kill, Every Fight, No Matter Your God

NOTE: This assumes a Paladin starting with STR 18.


Piece 1: Heedless Fury (Paladin encounter 1, DP)
Piece 2: Any two-handed weapon with 1d12 or 2d6 damage dice
Piece 3: Divine Strength (Paladin Channel Divinity, PHB)


Sequence:
Minor action - Divine Strength
Standard action - Heedless Fury


Description: This is the way a Straladin serves as a secondary Striker every encounter very early on, aided by Heedless Fury's 3[W] figure and Divine Strength to add more damage.


A Lv. 1 enemy on average has 29 HPs. A Brute has 33. In comparison, here's what Heedless Fury with some of the biggest weapons can do (assume no Weapon Focus or racial equivalents for any of them):


Fullblade or greataxe: 3d12 + 4 (STR) + 4 (Divine Strength) = 27.5 average.
Maul: 6d6 + 4 + 4 = 29 average.
Execution axe: 3d12 (brutal 2) + 4 + 4 = 30.5 average.
Mordenkrad: 6d6 (brutal 1) + 4 + 4 = 32 average.


In the last three cases, you average killing one non-Brute enemy outright if you hit, with no help at all.


Dwarves using an execution axe or mordenkrad pick up Dwarven Weapon Training and get a free +2 extra damage along with their proficiency. A mordenkrad-wielding Dwarf, at 34 average damage, thus averages killing a Brute every encounter that he hits.


Another piece to the puzzle: If you start the fight  next to the enemy you're trying to kill, you can also use Ardent Vow as  your second minor action if you have it, before you attack. Assuming a  starting WIS of 14, add 7 to all the damage figures above.


Variation 1: Use Blood of the Mighty (Paladin daily 1, DP) instead of Heedless Fury.


Fullblade or greataxe: 34 average.
Maul: 36 average.
Execution axe: 38 average.
Mordenkrad: 40 average.


Easily averaging killing a Brute outright in all cases.


Variation 2 (Tempus worshippers only): With a high-crit weapon, use Righteous Rage of Tempus (Divinity feat, FRPG) instead of Divine Strength with Heedless Fury.


Non-humans can only use a greataxe with this at Lv. 1. Humans can use a fullblade or execution axe because of the extra feat.


Fullblade or greataxe: 3d12 + 4 (STR) + 1d12 (RRoT, high crit) = 30 average.
Execution axe: 3d12 (brutal 2) + 4 + 1d12 = 33 average.


So a human Straladin of Tempus can potentially average killing one Brute every encounter.



Lv. 2 Massive Damage

NOTE: This assumes a Paladin starting with STR 18.


Piece 1: Heedless Fury (Paladin encounter 1, DP)
Piece 2: Bloodclaw for any two-handed weapon with 1d12 or 2d6 damage dice (Weapon property, AV)
Piece 3: Divine Strength (Paladin Channel Divinity, PHB)


Sequence:
Minor action - Divine Strength
Standard action - Heedless Fury
Free action (only after hit) - Bloodclaw encounter power


Description: An extension of the above combo. At minimum, when you use Heedless Fury, you stand to gain +4 to all of the damage figures from the above combo (+1 enhancement bonus, +3 Bloodclaw encounter power).


Fullblade or greataxe: 31.5 average.
Maul: 33 average.
Execution axe: 34.5 average (36.5 Dwarf).
Mordenkrad: 36 average (38 Dwarf).


A Lv. 2 average enemy has 38 HPs, and a Brute has 44. Which means that a mordenkrad-wielding Dwarf averages killing one non-Brute every fight that he hits with Heedless Fury.


Another piece to the puzzle: If you start the fight   next to the enemy you're trying to kill, you can also use Ardent Vow as  your second minor action if  you have it, before you attack. Assuming a  starting WIS of 14, add 7 to all damage  figures.


Variation 1: Use Blood of the Mighty (Paladin daily 1, DP) instead of Heedless Fury.


Fullblade or greataxe: 38 average.
Maul: 40 average.
Execution axe: 42 average (44 Dwarf).
Mordenkrad: 44 average (46 Dwarf).


You average killing one non-Brute every fight in for all the 1d12 or 2d6 weapons. A mordenkrad will kill a Brute outright.


Variation 2 (Tempus worshippers only): With a high-crit weapon, use Righteous Rage of Tempus (Divinity feat, FRPG) instead of Divine Strength with Heedless Fury.


RRoT adds an additional +1d6 (Bloodclaw crit property) to what it did before. So add a total of 7.5 to the damage figures from the above combos:


Fullblade or greataxe: 37.5 average (just short of killing non-Brutes on average, taking Weapon Focus will push this over the threshold)
Execution axe: 40.5 average (easily killing non-Brutes on average)


Variation 3 (Tempus worshippers only): Blood of the Mighty + high crit weapon + RRoT


Fullblade or greataxe: 44 damage (killing a Brute on average)
Execution axe: 48 damage (EASILY killing a Brute on average)



Full-Blooded Nova

NOTE: This assumes a Paladin starting with STR 18, WIS 14.


Piece 1: Heedless Fury (Paladin encounter 1, DP)
Piece 2: Superior Weapon Proficiency (General feat, PHB)
Piece 3: Weapon Focus (General feat, PHB)
Piece 4: Bloodclaw +1 fullblade, execution axe or mordenkrad (Weapon property, AV)
Piece 5: Divine Strength (Paladin Channel Divinity, PHB)
Piece 6: Ardent Vow (Paladin class feature, DP)
Piece 7: Blood of the Mighty (Paladin daily 1, DP)


Sequence:
You MUST start your turn next to your target.
Minor action - Divine Strength
Minor action - Ardent Vow
Standard action - Heedless Fury
Free action (only after hit) - Bloodclaw encounter power
Free action (only after hit) - Action point
Standard action - Blood of the Mighty


Description: The Straladin's big nova for Heroic Tier. This time we're fully optimizing it, so we only want superior weapons, and we must have Weapon Focus (unless you're a Dwarf, in which case you took Dwarven Weapon Training and have a net +1 damage benefit per hit over everyone else). Everyone can get this combo going in full by Lv. 2.


Now for the numbers:


Fullblade: 39.5 (HF hit) + 32 (BotM hit) = 71.5 average
Execution axe: 42.5 (HF hit) + 36 (BotM hit) = 78.5 average (80.5 Dwarf)
Mordenkrad: 44 (HF hit) + 38 (BotM hit) = 82 average (84 Dwarf)


Enemy HPs for comparisons:


Lv. 5: 63 (Brute 75) (All weapons kill non-Brutes, last two kill Brutes)
Lv. 6: 72 (Brute 86) (Fullblade falls just short of killing non-Brutes, no Brutes killed)
Lv. 7: 80 (Brute 96) (Mordenkrad and Dwarf with execution axe kill non-Brutes)


Further development: Lv. 8 Straladin, now with STR 20, WIS 16, Bloodclaw +2 and Iron Armbands of Power. This adds +4 damage to both hits, and an additional +5 to Heedless Fury.


Fullblade: 48.5 + 36 = 84.5
Execution axe: 51.5 + 40 = 91.5 (93.5 Dwarf)
Mordenkrad: 53 + 42 = 95 (97 Dwarf)


Enemy HPs:


Lv. 8: 89 (Brute 107) (Execution axe and mordenkrad kills non-Brute)
Lv. 9: 97 (Brute 117) (Only a Dwarf with mordenkrad can kill anything)
Lv. 10: 106 (Brute 128) (Haha, forget it)


Closing thoughts: We see that this is clearly a potent combo up to Lv. 5 or so, being able to kill standard enemies outright and take an Elite down to half or lower.


However, we also see just how much monster HPs scale, to the point that even after optimizing everything we could think of at Lv. 8, the combo still lost its one-shot ability (except for Dwarves with a mordenkrad) at the very next level. At this point, we're definitely experiencing diminishing returns.


This is why the recommended progression of Straladins throughout this handbook has been to keep Heedless Fury, Blood of the Mighty, and the Bloodclaw Weapons until about Lv. 5 or Lv. 6, but then start retraining and requipping yourself more for at-will DPR, mark optimization and battlefield control.



 


Paragon Tier


Unyielding Justice

Piece 1: Unyielding Faith (Paladin daily power,  DP)
Piece 2: Certain Justice (Champion of Order encounter power, PHB)


Sequence:
Standard action - Unyielding Faith
Free action - If you hit with Unyielding Faith, action point
Standard action - Certain Justice


Description: This is how you completely lock down one enemy per day. Since Unyielding Faith is a permanemt Sanction, that makes the Certain Justice follow-up a permanent daze and weaken. Note that since Unyielding Faith is a Charisma-based attack, only Baladin Champions of Order can do this one.



Knightly Justice

Piece 1: Knightly Intercession (Paladin daily power, DP)
Piece 2: Certain Justice (Champion of Order encounter power, PHB)


Sequence:
Immediate action - If enemy within 10 squares hits an ally, Knightly Intercession
Standard action - If you hit with Knightly Intercession, Certain Justice


Next turn: Have fun.


Description: Off-action punishment followed by the Certain Justice perma-lockdown. This is one that all Straladins can do.



Bolster the Fellowship

Piece 1: Bolstering Strike (Paladin at-will power, DP)
Piece 2: Shield of Fellowship (Shield property, AV2)


Sequence:


Standard action - Bolstering Strike
Free action - Shield of Fellowship property, transfer your THPs +3 to an adjacent ally


Description: The Shield of Fellowship, a Lv. 15 item, lets you transfer THPs that you gain to an adjacent ally, and 3 more. This means Bolstering Strike can now grant the THPs to your allies, instead of yourself. An effective way to keep a THP cushion on an ally who needs it.



Fellowship of Virtue

Piece 1: Virtue (Paladin 2 utility, DP)
Piece 2: Shield of Fellowship (Shield property, AV2)
Piece 3 (optional): Deliverance of Faith (Religion 6 utility, D 385)


Sequence:


Minor action - Virtue or Deliverance of Faith
Free action - Shield of Fellowship property, transfer your THPs +3 to an adjacent ally


Description: The Shield of Fellowship lets your Virtue act as a proactive, per-encounter version of Lay on Hands. Actually, scratch  that, even better, since you always use your healing surge value! If you also take Deliverance of Faith, you get to do this twice per encounter. This is a great way for Paladins who took Ardent Vow or Virtue's Touch to make up for not taking Lay on Hands.



No Shifting Allowed

Piece 1: Any Arcane multiclass feat (Recommended: Bardic Dilletante, PHB2; Soul of Sorcery, AP; Pact Initiate, PHB)
Piece 2: White Lotus Hindrance (Arcane heroic feat, D 374)
Piece 3: White Lotus Master Hindrance (Arcane paragon feat, D 374)
Piece 4: Virtuous Strike (Paladin at-will, DP)
Piece 5: Power of Arcana (Domain feat, DP)


OR


Piece 4: Any Arcane at-will (Half-Elf only, Dilletante) (Recommended: Eldritch Strike, PHBH; Vicious Mockery, PHB2; Eyebite, PHB)
Piece 5: Versatile Master (Half-Elf paragon feat, PHB2)


Sequence:


Move action - Get into a flank with your ally, if necessary.
Standard action - Virtuous Strike or Arcane at-will from Dilletante.


Next turn: Lather, rinse, repeat.


Description: Master Hindrance makes all squares adjacent to all allies (and you, with the original Hindrance) difficult terrain. If you get an enemy in a flank he cannot shift out of it, since your difficult terrain and your ally's touch.



Champion of Order Action Denial

Piece 1: Champion of Order (Paladin paragon path, PHB)
Piece 2: Mark of Storm (Eberron Dragonmark feat, EPG)
Piece 3: Lightning Weapon (Weapon property, Any weapon, PHB)


OR


Piece 2: Mark of Storm (Eberron Dragonmark feat, EPG)
Piece 3: Valiant Strike (Paladin at-will, PHB)
Piece 4: Power of the Storm (Domain feat, DP)
Piece 5: Any heavy blade
Piece 6: Heavy Blade Opportunity (General paragon feat, PHB)


OR


Piece 2: Eldritch Strike (Warlock at-will, PHBH, Half-Elf only, Dilletante)
Piece 3: Versatile Master (Half-Elf paragon feat, PHB2)


OR


Piece 2: Any Martial multiclass feat (Recommended: Battle Awareness, MP; Resourceful Leader, MP2)
Piece 3: Lashing Flail (Martial paragon feat, MP2)
Piece 4: Any flail


Sequence:


Minor action - Divine Challenge
Opportunity action - Triggered when a Challenged enemy makes an attack that does not include you as a target, make an OA.


Next turn: Repeat.


Description: Whether you get here via Mark of Storm, Eldritch Strike or Lashing Flail, the result is the same. Namely, if the enemy decides to defy your Divine Challenge when you're bearing down on him, you strike with an OA that not only stacks on top of the Challenge damage, but also slides the enemy a square. And because an OA is an interrupt, this can slide the enemy out of melee attack range before his attack can connect, sparing your ally completely and wasting the enemy's turn.



Mark Penalty Madness


Piece 1: Mark of Warding (Eberron Dragonmark feat, EPG)
Piece 2: Group Defense (Half-Elf Paladin heroic feat, DP)
Piece 3: Enfeebling Strike (Paladin at-will, PHB)
Piece 4: Power of Madness (Domain feat, DP)
Piece 5: Githyanki Silver Weapon (Weapon property, Heavy blade, MOTP)
Piece 6: Psychic Lock (General paragon feat, PHB)


Sequence:
Minor action - Divine Challenge
Standard action - Enfeebling Strike


Next turn: Repeat.


Description: This Half-Elf Chaladin of Madness is all about stacking penalties on marks. With all the pieces in place, an enemy he whacks with Enfeebling Strike gets slapped with a -5 to hit him, and a whopping -8 to hit his allies, who also have an extra +1 to all defenses from his Group Defense. So, effectively, that's -9 to hit his allies. Perfect way to render an enemy impotent.



Mega-Zap

Piece 1: Mighty Challenge (Paladin heroic feat, DP)
Piece 2: Morninglord (Divine paragon path, FRPG)
Piece 3: Any Radiant keyword attack (e.g. Holy Strike, Virtuous Strike, Radiant weapon, Sunblade)
Piece 4: Symbol of the Champion's Code (Holy symbol, AV2)


Sequence:
Minor action - Divine Challenge
Standard action - Radiant keyword attack


Next turn: Repeat.


Description: The Baladin Morninglord's calling card. With the pieces in place his Divine Challenge becomes truly scary all by itself. We're talking 33 points of automatic damage by the end of Paragon Tier, and 43 by the end of Epic. In both cases, that's competitive with a moderately optimized melee basic attack. And, of course, to bring up your threat level even more, keep some punishment stackers handy.



 


Epic Tier


Certain Justice, Indeed

Piece 1: Champion of Order (Paladin paragon path, PHB)
Piece 2: Crusading Wrath (Paladin epic feat, DP)


Sequence:
Minor action - Divine Strength
Standard action - Certain Justice


Next turn: Laugh.


Description: If you thought Certain Justice was awesome in Paragon Tier, then you'll really love it in Epic Tier when you get Crusading Wrath. With that feat, Divine Strength becomes a way to perma-mark your foe. Combine that with Certain Justice, and you've effectively got an attack that turns the biggest threat in every single fight into a mewling little kitten. Permanently if they can't escape your mark. Perfect to use on that Solo or Elite your party may be saving for last.



At-Will Dazing - Earth Domain

Piece 1: Bolstering Strike (Paladin at-will, PHB)
Piece 2: Power of Earth (Domain feat, DP)
Piece 3: Battle Awareness (Fighter multiclass feat, MP)
Piece 4: Overwhelming Impact (Fighter epic feat, MP2)
Piece 5: Any hammer


Sequence:
Standard action - Bolstering Strike


Next turn: Rinse and repeat.


Description: An at-will daze attack for Chaladins. What more needs to be said?



At-Will Dazing - Son of Mercy

Piece 1: Son of Mercy (Defender class paragon path, D 370)
Piece 2: Battle Awareness (Fighter multiclass feat, MP)
Piece 3: Overwhelming Impact (Fighter epic feat, MP2)
Piece 4: Any hammer


Sequence:
Minor action - Divine Challenge
Free action - Lawbreaker's Doom
Standard action - Any attack


Next turn: Attack again. If enemy dies, repeat Divine Challenge and Lawbreaker's Doom on new target.


Description: At-will dazing for Straladins. Yet another present for an already godly paragon path.


Executing the Crusade: Tactics




I. Threat Level vs. Survivability.


As a defender, you always want to present enemies with two bad choices. Balacing the equation between threat level and survivability is how you accomplish this, and is, hands-down, the No. 1 priority of any defender.


When one thinks of threat level for a defender, they typically think of mark punishment. And that is indeed the most important part of it. Things to take into account:


(a) Damage and/or status effects caused by your mark punishment.
(b) Damage mitigated by your mark punishment.
(c) What penalties the mark itself inflicts, or what penalties you can stack on top of it.
(d) Since your default punishment mechanic doesn't use up your immediate action, what CAN you use your immediate action for? Punishment stacking? Ways to punish enemies who aren't even marked?


However, threat level goes beyond your mark. Almost as important is how strong your opportunity attack is. If it's a threat, enemies will take their move actions with care when you are nearby. This is why having a working melee basic attack is vital. Together with your mark, this constitutes your off-turn threat level.


Then there is the question of what you do when it is your turn. Do you deal damage at or near Striker benchmarks? Can you heal enough to undo your enemies' handiwork and make your party's healing surge uses efficient (or better still, do this proactively via prodigious amounts of THPs)? Do you cancel out status effects regularly? Did you somehow pick up means of executing burst damage or enabling party novas? Can you execute multi-round status effect lockdown sequences on enemies near your space? Paladins are capable of acquiring means to do any of these things, and focusing on at least one, as well as your mark punishment, makes you an even greater threat the enemy will want to account for.


As your threat level, both on-turn and off-turn, increases to the point where enemies will not want to attack anyone except you, you then want to make that choice unappealing. That's where survivability comes in. Survivability includes defenses, damage reduction, maximum hit point value, temporary hit points, self-healing, and punishments against enemies for attacking you. Paladins already have a terrific start here, being able to wear plate mail from the start, having the highest total of healing surges, and having a class bonus to all NADs. If you have trained your survivability beyond even the default, with the feat support your own class provides in this area, general feats and powers, and so forth, enemies will not enjoy wasting their attacks on you. But if your threat level is high, they'll have no choice.


 


II. Know how to increase your threat level.


Straladins: You increase your threat level by maximizing the damage you deal. You'll typically use a superior two-handed weapon, and in the first 5 or 6 levels you optimize the tools you have to kill one enemy outright per encounter. Once enemy HPs outpace your ability to do that, you turn your attention to at-will DPR (typically from Holy Strike), which you can deal near or at Striker benchmarks if you build correctly. At Paragon Tier, you should start looking at the great debilitation options available to Straladins, in terms of both PPs and powers.


At about the same time you shift your focus toward at-will DPR and debilitation, you also make your Divine Challenge punishment a priority. Mighty Challenge and Symbol of the Champion's Code are musts here. In combination with your high on-turn damage, an enemy will be loath to attack anyone else other than you if a strong DC zap lifts your damage threat to unhealthier levels. Because Mighty Challenge only works on DC, you're best as a single-target defender (Half-Orcs are the exception here). Later on, definitely invest in Forceful Challenge and, in Epic, Weakening Challenge. Those feats are just as good for Straladins as for anyone else.


Although single-target defense is your major strong point, you shouldn't neglect your per-encounter crowd-control abilities. Even if your Divine Sanctions aren't the most damaging (again, except for Half-Orcs), you can still follow up a mass-Sanction with AoE powers that have strong effects on marked foes, such as the Lv. 3 power Winter's Edge.


Chaladins: Moreso than the Straladin's, your threat level rests on your mark and your other off-actions. You have effective Divine Challenge and Divine Sanction by default, so you can be good at both single-target and multi-target defense. You will want to throw DS around a few times per encounter to take advantage of your multi-target potential, so Valorous Smite and Call of Challenge are very good to have early on. Unlike the Straladin, you also have class-native punishment stackers, and some really good ones, too, so that will help your single-target stickiness. A good melee basic attack is vital, too, so you'll want to take Virtuous Strike or Melee Training. The former is even good for survivability with its saves bonus.


Your on-turn threat level typically doesn't involve big damage (a few exceptions do exist here), but you have other ways to be a threat to be noted. Two that stick out in particular are (a) inflicting additional hit penalties besides your mark (and that stack with it), and (b) optimizing your healing and save-granting ability. These two stick out because they're the two to which Chaladins have the most regular access. Hit penalties can be accomplished by the at-will Enfeebling Strike and encounter powers like Astral Thunder. And healing/saves optimization has a ton of feat support in just your class alone (Lend Health, Devoted Paladin, Angelic Protection, Hero's Poise, etc., etc., etc.). Besides those, you have access to encounter and daily powers that inflict annoying and crippling status effects, as well as ways to buff the party's attacks and damage.


Baladins: You have the highest off-turn threat level of the three main Paladin types, especially when your mark is involved. Your Sanctions are every bit as good as the Chaladin's, making you great against multiple foes, and thanks to Mighty Challenge, your Challenge is far more devastating. You also have access to all the class-native punishment stackers that Chaladins have to make yourself an even deadlier single-target defender.


Your on-turn threat level is where it gets interesting. Particularly power selection. You want to avoid any powers that rely on Wisdom for riders, so Holy Strike and Bolstering Strike are definitely out. In general, you'll find that you are better suited for control than damage on your turn. Powers like Valiant Strike (best with domain support) and Enfeebling Strike are still fair game, so those give you, respectively, sure-hitting (hopefully with other good effects) and extra hit penalties to stack on your marks. And thankfully, you'll use to full effect plenty of encounter and daily powers that bolster your ability to control the space around you.


You also have some capacity for healing and saves, if not quite as frequently as the Chaladin. You'll definitely want to take Untiring Virtue in Paragon Tier to actually be able to cast more than one Virtue's Touch or Lay on Hands per day. One that's taken care of, you'll find that you can actually take advantage of much the same feat support in this area that Chaladins enjoy (including the great Angelic Protection and Hero's Poise).


 


III. Know how to increase your survivability.


Straladins: You're likely to have a high Wisdom as well as a high Strength, which is great for your survivability. You'll have two good NADs by default, and your high Wisdom allows you to take full advantage of feats such as Virtuous Recovery and Honored Foe.


Chaladins: You probably have the highest number of survivability options overall, and you will want to use them. You will typically still have a high enough Wisdom to put Virtuous Recovery and Honored Foe to good use. As increasing your threat level typically doesn't involve dealing massive amounts of on-turn damage, you should use a shield. You should have a fairly high Constitution score to start, and in Paragon Tier, Shield Mastery will really help your Fortitude defense keep pace.


Baladins: Your extremely high off-action threat level comes with a price: Because your Wisdom and your Constitution aren't that high, your survivability options are a lot more limited than your single attack-stat counterparts (thankfully, you have two high NADs by default). Forget about Virtuous Recovery and Honored Foe. You'll have to make do with Toughness, which is practically a must for you. You will also want Devoted Paladin for the extra healing surge, and maybe even Durable as well. You will also want to use a shield for the AC and Reflex, especially since you probably won't even qualify for Armor Specialization (Plate).


 


IV. Know how you execute the crusade.


Straladins: Your typical round will consist of walking up to a target within your speed, Challenging him if you hadn't already, and laying a smackdown. Sometimes you will want to charge. Typically, you're about simple Soldier tactics with a hint of Brute. If you can get multiple enemies around you, use a mass-Sanction power followed by one of your AoEs, preferably one that inflicts crippling status effects.


Chaladins: You are pretty much a Solider through and through, with quite a bit of the Leader parenthetical as well. You function best in the middle of your allies' formation (preferably with other melee support nearby), ready to strike out into melee, but always mindful of an opportunity to use a burst or blast power. Unlike the Straladin, you typically don't want to rush ahead of the rest of your party, since you also want to be in position to heal and buff.


Baladins: Overall, you play similar to the Chaladin in that you function best as a Soldier in the middle of your allies and with other melee support nearby. You can be a little more aggressive than the Chaladin against single targets, thanks to your stronger DC and not having as many Leader responsibilities, but you're not as Brutish as Straladins can get away with.

Great picture of the Avatar! Now we need Iolo for the Ranger's Handbook, and Dupre for the Fighter.
Keep up the good work.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/23.jpg)

Great picture of the Avatar! Now we need Iolo for the Ranger's Handbook, and Dupre for the Fighter.
Keep up the good work.

Iolo was a bard. It was Shamino who was the ranger (he ever fought with two weapons in at least one game...)
Dupre was actually a Paladin. :P

But I figured the Avatar himself would suffice just as well. And be more recognizable.
I really need to refresh my Ultima memories. I was influences by the fact that I mainly played Underworld 2 where Iolo is only teaching you how to use the crossbow and Dupre teaches you attack and defense skills.

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/23.jpg)

Excerpts from DP:

Mighty Challenge (Heroic)
Prerequisite: Paladin, divine challenge power
Benefit: Whenever a target of your divine challenge takes damage from that power, it takes extra radiant damage equal to your Strength modifier.

Honored Foe (Paragon)
Prerequisite: 11th level, paladin
Benefit: When a creature marked by you damages you, you gain temporary hit points equal to your Wisdom modifier.

And also:

Virtuous Strike: Radiant melee Cha vs AC - 1[W]+Cha radiant, works as a mba and grants you +2 to saving throws

Ardent Strike: str/cha vs AC, melee - 1[W]+Str/cha damage and imposes divine sanction. Can be used on charges.

Divine sanction is like DC that doesn't need to be upheld, but still deals 3/6/9+Cha damage when the enemy attacks others. It's a mark that damages.

Ardent Vow replaces lay on hands and gives Wis uses of a minor action that gives you 5+Wis extra damage against the target and each hit until end of encounter puts the divine sanction on the target.

And 3 level 9 Str-powers!

EDIT: I guess my size 6 summary has played it's part, so I removed it in order to save some space. EDIT

Thank you, WotC...

More can be found here. I think its a very interesting thread...
Test your PC builds' combat prowess and pit them against other builds at the Core Coliseum - the online D&D arena.
+STR to Divine Challenge, while feat tax for STR-Pals, is of course a great option. Would've been better if Pals could choose either STR or CHA for divine challenge at 1st level, but it's great news. The feat tax is less problematic since STR pals won't have to MC anymore if they don't want to.

New at-wills for my human pals, and level 9 STR-powers. Cool new feats.

Rejoice!
+STR to Divine Challenge, while feat tax for STR-Pals, is of course a great option. Would've been better if Pals could choose either STR or CHA for divine challenge at 1st level, but it's great news. The feat tax is less problematic since STR pals won't have to MC anymore if they don't want to.

New at-wills for my human pals, and level 9 STR-powers. Cool new feats.

Rejoice!

That feat is also useful for Chaladins who decided to have a positive STR-mod for some reason. And of course Baladins will really rock it out.

Virtuous Strike = <3
Some considerations I had from the sketch so far:

Paragons: Will the Doppleganger and Kalashtar Racial paragons go under the Racial or Eberron section?

Artificer MC: You can use the non-attack Sigil daily powers which aren't INT based (CON based mainly) as well as their strong Con, Wis, or stat-free utilties. Healing Infusion is rather useful and based on CON or WIS. I'd make it purple at least.
Looking forward for it!

Good idea to place the associated Domains along with the at-wills makes it easier for reference, here, I'll try and help a bit:

Bolstering Strike is:
Change, Creation, Earth, Life,

Ardent Strike is:
Darkness, Destruction, Strife and Torment

Enfeebling Strike is:
Death, Moon, Trickery, Tyranny,

Holy Strike is:
Freedom, Luck,

Valiant Strike is:
Civilization, Hope, Protection, Skill, Wilderness

Virtuous Strike
is:
Arcana, Justice, Knowledge, Love, Sun

The following domains haven't been addressed so far on the leaking page (that or I missed them):
Fate, Madness, Poison, Sea, Storm, Stregth, Undeath, Vengeance, War and Winter
Domains:

Avandra - Change, freedom, luck
Bahamut - Hope, justice, protection
Corellon - Arcana, skill, wilderness
Erathis - Civilization, creation, justice
Ioun - Fate, knowledge, skill
Kord - Storm, strength, war
Melora - Life, sea, wilderness
Moradin - Creation, earth, protection
Pelor - Hope, life, sun
The Raven Queen - Death, fate, winter
Sehanine - Love, moon, trickery

Asmodeus - Civilization, tyranny
Bane - Skill, war
Gruumsh - Destruction, strength
Lolth - Darkness, trickery
Tharizdun - Destruction, madness
Tiamat - Strife, vengeance
Torog - Earth, torment
Vecna - Knowledge, undeath
Zehir - Darkness, Poison

Credit to Ishi over at rpg.net
Melee Training (PHB2): Why are you looking at this one, Chaladin? Take Virtuous Strike instead and spare yourself the feat. ... Exception: If you're a Half-Elf Chaladin with Eldritch Strike as your Dilletante power, you'll want this feat to tide you over for Heroic Tier.

So yes your spearing yourself a feat tax but haven't you just incurred a power tax? As a defender you actually need a good OA unlike other role a defender can't see having a power be a MBA as an added bonus. So a CHA Paladin is either paying for a good OA with a power (that he only gets 2 of) or with a Feat (which he gets 18 of). I see Ardent Strike + Enfeebling Strike + Melee Training being just as viable as Virtuous Strike + Ardent Strike/Enfeebling Strike (at least now its a choice).

Now you and I don't often see things the same way so I don't expect this to change your mind but you might want to take a step back and reevaluate this.
So yes your spearing yourself a feat tax but haven't you just incurred a power tax? As a defender you actually need a good OA unlike other role a defender can't see having a power be a MBA as an added bonus. So a CHA Paladin is either paying for a good OA with a power (that he only gets 2 of) or with a Feat (which he gets 18 of). I see Ardent Strike + Enfeebling Strike + Melee Training being just as viable as Virtuous Strike + Ardent Strike/Enfeebling Strike (at least now its a choice).

Now you and I don't often see things the same way so I don't expect this to change your mind but you might want to take a step back and reevaluate this.

If Virtuous Strike's only deal was that it was an MBA, I might agree. But it's also radiant (this one's huge all by itself), gives you a bonus to saving throws and can be outfitted with domains. Even without domains it's probably the best overall Chaladin at-will.
If Virtuous Strike did not count as a MBA would you rank it higher then Ardent or Enfeebling? I wouldn't, the thing that even puts it in those powers league is that it can count as a MBA, especially now that Virtue's Touch is an option.

It's really sad how badly designed the Paladin is if your Strength based you need to fix your challenge somehow if your Charisma based you need to fix your OAs and if you go balanced you need don't get any of the cool rider effects. It's almost like they thing of this a some kind of blanching mechanics.
If Virtuous Strike did not count as a MBA would you rank it higher then Ardent or Enfeebling?

Higher? Probably not. But likely equal (blue). Again, radiant is huge for an at-will, and that bonus to saves also helps a lot.

EDIT: That said, I'll adjust Melee Training's rating, although I'll still stipulate that Virtuous Strike is a better idea in most cases.
Some considerations I had from the sketch so far:

Paragons: Will the Doppleganger and Kalashtar Racial paragons go under the Racial or Eberron section?

Racial.

Artificer MC: You can use the non-attack Sigil daily powers which aren't INT based (CON based mainly) as well as their strong Con, Wis, or stat-free utilties. Healing Infusion is rather useful and based on CON or WIS. I'd make it purple at least.

It might change, although I think the qualifying 13 INT is a pretty big sacrifice to make.

In general, I'm waiting until the actual release to fill out the multiclassing section, simply because priorities will change. For example, if you've checked out the last couple pages of my soon-to-be-outdated first edition, you see that Lv. 2 utilities will no longer be a concern.
True, the 13 INT is less than ideal unless you already decided to play an INT race- Eladrin Palad(r)in is fun to say in any case.
Thank you for not using the old guide's language. It fits the paladin, but seriously painful to read. Heart fell as I read the opening, but the artificer in me fixed it as I looked through the rest.

For all who hated that, thank you for not repeating that.
I agree. I like that the guide is easier to read.
Wow, this looks poised to be an awesome guide. Looking forward to it!
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Really looking forward to Divine Power. Your previous paladin guide was really helpful, and I am really looking forward to this one too.
I like how you've separated the powers by which stat was focused on, though I think carrying that over into the utilities may be an idea.
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Wow, lots of great Str powers in DP. Really digging the high damage, but slight bit of feedback mechanism. They will help up the damage potential and make for some aggressive paladins, while simultaneously making him that much more of a juicy target. Which is perfect for defending. Heedless Fury (3w dmg, -5 to defenses) will draw some blows, and Blood of the Mighty is a nice reliable 4w lvl 1 daily. Lots of ongoing damage effects, too.
Is there a rating worse than red? Or maybe 'power might be useful, but is completely insulting'? I still can't figure out how Castigating Strike(13th) is a 1[w] and Valorous Smite(1st) is a 2[w] given what happens on hit are identical for both powers. The only benefit is Str Paladins get to use their Str stat. It may be just how good Valorous Smite is, though.

Hold Fast(Paladin 3) is an interesting 'want MBA once per combat, can make do with other things most of the time' option.
You may want to mention Eyebite in the Recommended Dilletante powers section; it's more build specific than some other options, but it's a key part of Catch 22 builds.
You may want to mention Eyebite in the Recommended Dilletante powers section; it's more build specific than some other options, but it's a key part of Catch 22 builds.

Eyebite is ok for low level paladins, but there are a lot of better options out there for half elf paladins now that do not require you to worry about having an implement. Eldrich strike and sacred flame for instance are both more useful for most builds.
I've been analyzing the racial stuff in Divine Power. It's more general than paladin focused, but here's what I've noticed so far:

Racial Feats

Changeling 1 general, 1 avenger
Deva 1 general, 1 avenger, 1 invoker
Drow 1 general, 1 avenger, 1 cleric
Dwarf 1 cleric, 1 invoker
Dragonborn 1 cleric, 1 paladin
Eladrin 1 general, 1 avenger, 1 invoker
Elf 1 avenger, 1 cleric
Genasi 1 general, 1 invoker, 1 paladin
Gnome 1 general, 1 cleric, 1 invoker
Goliath 1 general, 1 invoker, 1 paladin
Half-elf 1 general, 1 invoker, 1 paladin
Half-orc 1 general, 1 avenger, 1 paladin
Halfling 1 general, 1 avenger, 1 cleric
Human 1 general, 1 avenger, 1 cleric, 1 invoker, 1 paladin
Kalashtar 1 general, 1 avenger, 1 invoker
Shifter 1 general, 1 avenger, 1 paladin
Tiefling 1 general, 1 invoker, 1 paladin
Warforged 1 general, 1 cleric, 1 paladin


Most races got three feats: one general and two class-specific. The exceptions are changelings, who get 1 general and 1 class; elves, dwarves, and dragonborn, who get 2 class specific feats; and humans, who get 5 feats, 1 general and 1 for each class. If there's a pattern, it seems that those races who are considered best for divine classes (elves and dwarves for clerics and avengers(elves) and invokers (dwarves); dragonborn for paladins) got feats focused on what they're best at, and no general feat. Where this doesn't work is for Deva, Kalashtar, and Shifter, who are great divine races, but they're also newer races, and have fewer racial feats in other sources, such as Martial Power. I wouldn't mind this so much if WotC hadn't taken the opposite approach in Arcane Power, and given the most racial feats to those races who were best at it. Now, those races who are better at divine than arcane classes have fewer racial feats overall, and there are no divine racial feats available to, say, dwarf paladins, which is one of the classes recommended for that race in the PHB.

To make up for it, there are a few paragon paths that help: For dwarves, 1 cleric paragon path that looks pretty strong, and for elves, 1 cleric paragon path, which also looks pretty good. There are also two paladin paragon paths which are specific to their patron deities, Moradin and Corellon, which both look good at first glance.
Divine Power has been out for like 30 hours and the handbook isn't finished? Litigation is slacking! ;)
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