Heart of the Blade - A Swordmage Manual

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Heart of the Blade A Swordmage Manual


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 Color-CodingGoing with the style for the boards, I will follow Dictuum Mortuum's color coding scheme to show the options for a Swordmage, which will hopefully help you decide which options are more beneficial for you.
Sky Blue choices are excellent options. Any Swordmage can make use of these, and they should always be considered.
Blue choices are good options. A Swordmage who uses one of these won't regret it.
Black choices are solid options. Maybe not the best choice there is, but it's not an outright bad choice either.
Purple choices are limited options. These choices might work for some swordmages, but they're generally not very good.
Red choices are bad options. To use board lingo, they are "traps," and should generally be avoided.

traits
Hit Points - 15 + Con score at 1st level; 6 at each level thereafter. You get a large amount of HP,which is good 'cause you're a defender and you're going to get smacked around.
Healing Surges - 8 + Con modifier. Shieldmages however will have plenty of surges.
Proficiencies - Gain proficiency in all simple melee weapons and military light and heavy blades. Not particularly the best, but could be worse.
Implements - All light and heavy blades, why thank you very much!
Defenses - +2 to the one defense that will more than likely be your lowest, thanks for helping round out those defenses for me.

Features
Swordmage Warding - This does a great job at keeping your AC high,even if you're using a 2-hander you'll be happy to have this.
Swordbond - You get to call your weapon from far away,or reform it if it gets destroyed. Umm,cool but that's about it.
Swordmage Aegis - All your aegis powers use your immediate action to punish those enemies you mark that don't attack you, so you only get to punish one enemy per turn, but these enemies can be any distance from you up to 10 squares away, 20 with the right feat.
Swordmage Aegis
Aegis of Assault(aka Assaultmages) - Doesn't exactly have a stat mod to go off of, but having a decent Str score will help many of the powers associated with the build, especially if you don't take Intelligent Blademaster or Melee Training. The Aegis itself uses your Immediate Reaction when triggered, so the damage will still go through, thus making it harder to play this class as a primary defender. However, this does make a good choice for a secondary defender due to its strikerish feel to it.
Aegis of Ensnarement(aka Snaremages) - Again, doesn't require a secondary stat, although having a decent Con score will help this build out. This one also uses your Immediate Reaction, but to teleport the triggering enemy back to you and giving all creatures CA against it. So this build is also less likely to be the primary defender, but with the right build, this can be changed due to the stickiness of this feature.
Aegis of Shielding(aka Shieldmages) - This build clearly functions off of Con and is the only one that, right from the go, can act as the primary defender. It uses your Immediate Interrupt to reduce the damage your marked target deals to a single ally of yours that it hits.

Skills
Class Skills
Arcana - Being able to identify magical effects as well as gleam knowledge on magical creatures can be a huge boon for your party. Plus, you have no choice if you're a non-hybrid Swordmage.
Athletics - Being able to Swim, climb, or jump decently will occasionally help, but the main reason is for those rare occasions that you get grabbed.
Diplomacy - Swordmages aren't known for their ability to influence others due to their (normally) lack of charm.
Endurance - Shieldmages and most Snaremages are better off than Assaultmages in taking this. But being able to endure rough weather and resist those horrible diseases can really get you out of dire circumstances.
History - You like being a tactically minded warrior. This can show how you gained all those tactics. Plus, it fits rather nicely due to following your primary stat.
Insight - This helps in many situations, though is based off one of your dump stats, unless you're going for the Wandering Swordmage.
Intimidate - Based off the stat you really don't need, except for fluff reasons. Ignore this with all your power.
Other skills
Acrobatics - allows the use of escaping from restraints, reducing falling damage (although items do this as well), and balancing. If you can take this in anyway, then don't worry about athletics.
Bluff - Dump stat, so don't worry with this one.
Dungeoneering - Let your Ranger buddy take this. It's based off a dump stat and doesn't help that often.
Heal - Fighters and Clerics will probably take this instead, so don't worry about it.
Nature - Again, based off a dump stat, although the monster knowledge may come in handy occasionally. Still not worth it much though.
Perception - Although highly useful, it's based off a dump stat and would require a feat to get it. Is it really worth a feat? If multiclassing is beneficial and gives this, then yes.
Religion - Based off you Int score, so you will naturally already have a high modifier in this skill anyways, though it does open up new knowledge for certain enemies.
Stealth - Very nice skill for giving yourself CA, but would require MCing or taking a feat. Still good though.
Streetwise - Who cares what the word on the street is? based off a dump stat and completely useless for you.
Thievery - Let your rogue buddy handle all this. Not really worth it at all for you.

Stats
 
Strength - Secondary stat for Assaultmages, to a degree, but can be ignored. Starting stat 12 after racials. This will net you Greater Swordmage Warding as soon as you reach Paragon. Otherwise, it's not really needed.
Constitution - Secondary stat for Shieldmages and semi-secondary for Snaremages. Also determines starting HP and Surges. Starting stat 12-16 before racials.
Dexterity - Not exactly a much needed stat, but good for initiative as well as a couple feats that truly help out Swordmages. Starting stat 10-12 before racials.
Intelligence - Primary stat for all Swordmages. Keeps AC and REF high, while also determining your hit with powers. Starting stat 16-18 before racials.
Wisdom - Dump stat, although needed for Wandering Swordmage. Also affects Will defense. Starting stat 10-14.
Charisma - Complete dump stat. Not needed except for MC purposes. Starting stat 8-10 before racials.

Races
PHB1
Dragonborn - Make decent Assaultmages, but don't have bonus to primary stat.
Dwarf - Mobility is a key concern, although they do get second wind as a minor and stat boost to Con.
Eladrin - Good mobility, great racial power, and a stat boost to primary stat make this race straight win.
Elf - Oustanding mobility, but stat boosts to two stats that aren't particularly needed. There racial power is pretty great also.
Half-Elf - Great race if you plan on MCing, and gets a boost to Con. Other than that, kinda meh IMO.
Halflings - Small size, thus limiting your weaponry, as well as stat boosts to two non-needed stats. Racial power is pretty good for what a Swordmage does however.
Humans - +1 to all NAD's, bonus feat and at-will power is really good. If only they had a second stat boost. Sigh.
Tieflings - Bonus to primary stat makes this race very nice, plus fire resistant. Just get a flaming weapon and this race becomes very good.

PHB2
Deva - The perfect race for Wandering Swordmages. Also allows you to keep your warding after going unconscious, the bane of all Swordmages. Very solid race.
Gnome - Boost to primary stat is good, but small size gives you the same problem as halflings. The racial power is pretty good also, in order to force your aegis to trigger.
Goliath - Decent Assaultmages that can potentially keep THP's up with the right feat. No INT boost, however, makes it harder for this race to keep up with others.
Half-Orc - Boost to STR makes this class a decent Assaultmage again, but fit into different roles better.
Longtooth Shifter - Good mobility and Racial power make this race an ok Assaultmage, but would probably make a better striker than defender.
Razorclaw Shifter - Horrible stat boosts as well as a lackluster racial power. Not a good choice for Swordmages.

EPG&FRPG
Changeling - Gives a boost to INT, and keeps others guessing as to what you really are, but currently has lack of support for Swordmages.
Kalashtar - Lacks primary stat boost, and racial power isn't too great for a Swordmage. Lacks class support as well.
Warforged - Survivability isn't really an issue with this race, and gets stat boost to both secondary stats, so can fill any of the Swordmage roles. Also has a few decent feats in the dragon articles.
Drow - Stat boosts in two subprime stats make it very difficult to play a Drow Swordmage, even though the racial powers are pretty good.
Genasi - The pinnacle Assaultmage. Boosts to both Strength and Int make this class highly playable. Plus, with the manifestations, you can pick and choose your style of play. Good choice for any type of Swordmage with good support as well.

Others
Githyanki - The best stat boosts for a Shieldmage. This is the only race, atm, that gives a boost to both CON and INT. Hopefully PHB3 will give these shielding maniacs some race support.
Shadar-Kai - Same boosts as Eladrin, and also a very close resemblance to their racial power. Very strong race for a Swordmage.
Bladeling - Lack of support makes this race a highly reckless choice to use.
Gnoll - Some nice feats in Dragon mags, and semi decent Assaultmages, but there are better choices out there.
Minotaur - Great Assaultmage that will probably like to charge everywhere. Is lacking the Int boost, however.
Revenant - Another race that can make a decent Shieldmage or Snaremage. Nice racial abilities that let it emulate other races powers. Overall, not "the" most solid choice for those two builds, but still a solid choice.

Note: I will add PHB3 races after the book is released to view all the options related to the race as well as the race itself.

Note: I haven't included any skill powers from the PHB3 preview material yet since the actual book isn't out yet.

Heroic Tier Powers


Level 1 At-Will Spells
Booming Blade: Excellent "sticky" power that can work really well with Sword Burst master builds due to the synergy with Echoes of Thunder in that build. Those builds will probably want to retrain into this after getting Echoes of Thunder.
Greenflame Blade: Decent power that keys off Strength as well, thus more to Assaultmages likings. Tieflings and Assaultmages going Sword of Assault can make great use of this. Somewhat of a waste with Sword Burst though.
Lightning Lure: Super short (3 squares) ranged attack that pulls the target toward you. I would rather just walk up to them instead. However, Human swordmages would do well to take this power, just to give them more versatility. Best used for pulling aura enemies to you.
Swordburst: One of the best, if not THE best at-wills in the game for Defenders. This one has SO many possibilities that come with it that not having it is kinda a waste.
Luring Strike: The other really nice power here. This one just screams tactical advantage from the get go. Every type of Swordmage can benefit from this little dandies positioning advantage.
Frigid Blade: Decent power based off your Con score. For those Cold themed Snaremages then this power becomes a must.
Frostwind Blade: Deals cold damage, so good for that frost cheese, plus additional cold damage to a marked enemy close to you. Though this looks like a good choice, It appears to limit how far away you stray from your marked enemies, which could be more of a hindrance for a Swordmage. NOTE however, the additional target just needs to be marked by you, not necessarily with your aegis power, so if you have another way to mark targets, this becomaes slightly better. I'll need to playtest with this more to better understand it though, hence the black rating.

Level 1 Encounter Spells
Chilling Blow: Punishing the target just for attacking, regardless of hit or miss, is always nice, but there are better options here.
Flame Cyclone: Decent enough attack for Assaultmages, but your job is to protect your allies form the enemies hitting them, not hitting them as well as your enemies.
Foesnare: This used to be a decent to take power due to its immobilization ability, but has since been overshadowed by others.
Lightning Clash: This power is just a wash when compared with other powers at this level.
Blazing Pursuit: Makes it extremely difficult for enemies to get away from you, especially for Assaultmages.
Crackling Burst: Punishes the target for moving during its next turn which is decent for Snaremages, but this also targets allies in the burst as well.
Falcon's Mark: Ranged attack, thus provoking OA's that marks is pretty good, but Snaremages get to mark with their Aegis, which is SO much better.
Fox's Fient: Allowing you to swap positions either out of, or into, a possible flank is always nice. Snaremages get it even better.
Sword of Sigils: Close Burst Weapon power that only targets enemies and marks them while punishing them if they don't attack you is really nice. Shieldmages even get to use a watered-down version of their shielding power.

Level 1 Daily Spells
Burning Blade: Adds fire damage to all your attacks for the encounter. Tieflings with a decent STR score might like this.
Frost Backlash: Highest damage power Swordmages will see for awhile, but if the creature hitting you has reach, this won't work. Plus it uses your Immediate Action to protect yourself and not your allies.
Whirling Blade: Possibly provoking an OA just for 4 chances to hit an enemy. Kinda pointless, especially if that enemy is a solo.
Dance of the Sword: Targets Will defense, which is nice, and makes it impossible for the target(s) to make OA's or shift is also nice. However, not really needed.
Dragon's Teeth: Nice blast radius that targets REF and deals force damage, although the extra STR damage isn't going to be too great, it might force some enemies into making tough decisions, especially minions.
Lashing Asp: Superb minion clearing ability. Also punishes any enemies that stay close to you. Plus, this is a Stance. Only downside is that it's poison damage.
Sweeping Frostblade: Close burst immobilization. Becomes even better if you have a way out as well so the enemies next turn is wasted.
Dimensional Thunder: Free move action (Con mod squares) built into this power is nice. What makes it better is the ongoing damage to enemies you end next to. Great power for Con oriented builds.
Warding Flourish: Great power for keeping enemies away from your allies especially if you have a way for punishing them for attacking you. Although this is wasted on enemies with reach.

Level 2 Utility Spells
Dimensional Warp: Allows either you and an ally, or two allies to swap places. This is great for positioning tactics.
Eldritch Speed: Gives an Init boost as well as an extra move action 1/day. Kinda a waste since you need to use it prior to rolling init.
Fear No Elements: Very short limit on what resistances you can take and is based off CON, so too few of options for it to be worthwile.
Arcane Transport: 1/day tele an ally within 2 of you when you use a SM tele power. Greta if you want to be a taxi cab, but otherwise just too limited.
Channeling Shield: Gives all three varieties of Swordmages a beefed up shileding aegis, since it can also target yourself. Shieldmages get the added affect of dealing extra damage on there next successful attack. Doesn't tier that well, however, so you'll probably want to retrain it in paragon, if you're a shieldmage.
Ghost Step: Stance that allows you to shift 2 instead of 1 whenever you shift. Pretty good in difficult terrain. Really makes Luring Strike shine even more as well.
Host of Shields: Once per day you gain a power bonus to your two highest defenses. Not really needed as much as other powers.
Ward of Brilliance: Wastes your Immediate action when something hits you with a melee attack to gain a bonus to your two highest defenses and if they still hits, they become blinded. Nice, but not for a Daily.
Mythal Recovery: Can really help you end those pestering (save ends) effects that truly limit you, like daze or Immobilize and slow. Can be a lifesaver for your allies, sometimes.
Elemental Aegis: This power is a complete trap. Either you're a Shieldmage or you took, the better, Channeling Shield (which is much better!)

Level 3 Encounter Spells
Blastback Swipe: Pushing enemies away is pretty good, but there are better choices here. Assaultmages that like to charge alot should look into this.
Corrosive Ruin: A blast Implement attack that targets FORT. That's it.
Sloth Strike: Slowing enemies can usually be helpful.
Transposing Lunge: A good attack for anyone looking for positioning advantages. Multitudes better for Shieldmages though. If they take Dimensional Vortex instead at this level, then this should be their level 7 power.
Blazing Lunge: Trades 1[W] damage for the push of Blastback Swipe. Assaultmages get to use this on OA's as well.
Dimensional Vortex: Other than Shieldmages, who have an interesting choice at this level, this is the absolute best choice here. Lets your target waste its attack on either one of its allies or nothing.
Dual Lightning Strike: Attacks multiple foes and marks them, though generically, if you hit can help out some. Assaultmages with a good strength score even get to extend their range for the second target.
Shadow Snake Lunge: Forces the target to stay next to you or suffer the consequence.
Unseen Gauntlet: Having a ranged Immobilization power is nice. Provoking OA's isn't worth immobilizing one enemy though, even for Snaremages who get additional damage.
Incendiary Sword: Area Bust that targets everyones Will defense and punishes them if they don't attack you, which I wouldn't blame any allies hit by this power for doing.

Level 5 Daily Spells
Deep Freeze: Works great when enemies tend to bunch up. Also, if you have an Avenger ally in the group, this helps them out immensely against their Oathed target.
Elemental Foible: Gives a foe vulnerability to your choice of an element. In an elementally focused group This power truly shines.
Lingering Lightning: Targetting up to 3 enemies and dealing ongoing lightning damage is nice.
Dimensional Bond: Makes it very difficult for the target to get away from you.
Energy Theft: Low damage and gives the target a vulnerability until it saves, but the main feature of this power is that it gives each ally within 5 squares of you that same elemental resistance. Gives Shieldmages an interesting choice at this level and level 9.
Enervating Slash:. Shieldmages would love this power if they didn't have Shielding Fire. Basically gives the target weakness until it makes its save.
Mark of the Hound: Being able to pinpoint and have CA against the target and is nice, but you still have the penalties of any cover or concealment it has.
Purifying Wound: This deals the highly resistable fire damage, thus making it less effective.
Shielding Fire: Gives an extra Aegis mark regardless of hit or miss. This is a must have, however, for Shieldmages due to the additional punishment dished out to the target by not attacking you.

Level 6 Utility Spells
Armathor's Step: Gives any race a version of an Eladrins Fey Step with the added benefit of a bonus to attack to each enemy you end the move adjacent to.
Dimensional Warding: Anti-teleport zone. However, not many enemies teleport at this level.
Fate-Spurned Foe: If you like those save ends powers, than this is a decent choice, however, there aren't many killer save ends effects at this tier. Maybe hold out for later.
Silversteel Veil: Being able to help out each allies AC and REF with an untyped bonus is nice.
Quickling Stride: Regardless of your current movement, you get to move 12 squares. Great for mobility concerns, but not exactly good enough yet.
Swordmage's Decree: Can potentially have this as an encounter power, if you only mark 1 target with it each encounter. Great power up to the point that you take Total Aegis, then kinda pointless.
Unicorn's Touch: This used to be a really good pick until it was changed to a daily. Now it might have been swept under the rug.
Zephyr of the Barren Sands: Once per encounter you have a fly speed equal to your movement. It's ok, but just not exactly necessary.
Variable Defense: Having a resistance to one element from a limited choice of them based of your Con mod isn't really all that great.

Level 7 Encounter Spells
Electrified Lash: Lightning-based power that attacks only enemies in a close burst. However, nothing at all exciting about this power.
Flamewall Strike: A very short wall that deals fire damage. NEXT!
Isolating Slam: Pushes enemies adjacent to the target away from it. Is slightly more useful in helping out an Avenger ally get their oath target, but controller allies will become upset with you at this.
Spikes of Agony: Deals force damage, and punishes the target for moving at all on its next turn. Better for Assaultmages.
Dazing Rebuke: Attacks will, and dazes, but the timing issues currently with this power make it a complete trap.
Rejuvenating Strike: Helps mitigate the drain on the leaders if there is another ally that needs healing as well. Snaremages find it slightly more useful due to the additional healing.
Shatterblade: Mediocre damage for this level, and has the potential to damage your allies. How undefendery of you.
Thunderclap Strike: If it didn't target allies or be an IMP attacking Fort, then it would be a bit better.
Watchful Strike (AP): generic mark for an enemy withing 5 squares of the one you hit. Better for Assaultmage.
Sleet Strike: Forces enemies hit by this to either take an actual move, thus provoking OA's or fall prone if they want to move at all. Snaremages might find a good use for this.

Level 9 Daily Spells
Beacon Blade: Very situational power, but if that situation comes up, you'll be glad you had this.
Be Gone: Good for getting allies out of sticky situations quickly. That's about it.
Glamor Blade: Good power, but you and your duplicate share hitpoints and actions. Thus, you could potentially have double the number of attacks against you, thus dropping you quicker, since the two of you share the same pool of HP's.
Arcane Deflection: Low damage for this level, but great stance ability, especially if you plan on the Sigil Carver paragon path. A downside, though, is that it uses your interrupt for the turn, so there is always that choice.
Blade Bolt: Slow and an extra mark for the encounter from range! Sure, and thanks.
Forceful Dismissal: Pushing and knocking enemies prone in a close blast 3 is nice. Assaultmages find this better than others. The only downsides are this also targets allies and is an IMP vs FORT.
Hellspike Assault: A weapon attack that targets REF for the primary target and can go after a secondary target. Sweet! The only downside to this is the possibility of setting yourself up to give CA, if you teleport the primary target with you.
Troll Rampage: Ability to use this on a charge, and it either gives you regen 2+con mod while bloodied for the encounter or heals you for that amount. Snaremages get even better chance of getting the regen.
Leaping Flames: Rather lackluster power. Deals fire damage and can potentially target allies. However, stays the entire combat.
Icy Sweep: The only Swordmages that should even look at this are polearm wielding Fighter Multiclassing ones that are looking for the Polearm Gamble/Momentum combo.
Lightning Strider: High STR score Swordmages can get a bit more use out of this due to STR mod to damage. Attacking 3 enemies is always fun though.

Level 10 Spells
Arcane Awareness: With proper mobility, this power shouldn't be needed at all.
Dimensional Dodge: Great for getting up close and personal with ranged attackers, once per day.
Impenetrable Warding: Give your NAD's anywhere between a +1 and +5 bonus, YES PLZ!!
Like a Feather: If you like cliff diving or wrestling, then this will be good, otherwise too situational.
Feywild Grace: Stance giving you more mobility, bonus to some skills, and the ability to ignore difficult terrain. Sounds really good, but then there's Impenetrable Warding.
Spider's Leap: Only works for jumping, so situational at best, unless you like leaping about the combat field.
Unerring Vision: Hmmm, a power that replaces your passive perception. Not too bad, but not extremely useful all the time either.

Paragon Tier Powers


level 13 Encounter Spells
Acid Burst Blade (FRPG): Decent enough attack, plus additional damage against enemies adjacent to the target. Assaultmages even get a nice rider out of this.
Binding Light (AP): Immobilizes all enemies adjacent to you other than the target is pretty decent. Even better for Assaultmages.
Dimensional Slash (FRPG): Just teleports you and the target a distance dependant upon your Con score. This can help out one of your squishy allies, but thats almost about it.
Ensnaring Bolts (AP): pulls the target equal to your con mod, but Snaremages make the target slowed as well.
Fist of Force (AP): Assaultmages get a tad more kick out of this due to increased damage and normally a higher STR score to push the target further. KD's after the push.
Hypnotic Swordplay (AP): Targets Will for pidly damage, but causes stun. Snaremages get slightly more damage with this.
Seed of Fire (FRPG): Pushes the target 2+Con mod then deals additional damage to everything within 2 squares of it, unless you're a Shieldmage.
Silverlight Strike (AP): Makes all your allies invisible until the end of your next turn. Hey, great way to defend. Shieldmages get a bit more damage than the measly 1[W]+Int. And it deals Radiant damage.

Level 15 Daily Spells
Acid for Blood (FRPG): Not much here other than ongoing damage and half damage on a miss.
Assault of Fiery Cuts (AP): Not much going on here either, except a secondary attack that deals, fire damage, nevermind.
Burning Mantle (AP): Can possibly force enemies to stay away from you, unless they're one of many with fire resistance. Assaultmages even get a rider with this.
Death's Blade (AP): Even though this deals necrotic damage, the main pull for this power are its other abilities, mainly stopping recharge of powers, and negating regen.
Eldritch Chains (AP): Slows the targets regardless of hitting, and if you do hit, then you get to immoblize those targets when you end adjacent to them for the rest of the encounter.
Free the Storm Within (FRPG): Forces enemies from moving away from you or suffer the consequences.
Hunter's Pursuit (AP): Immobilizes everytime you hit the target with a melee attack.
Snaremages instead get to KD the target.
Inferno's Sword (FRPG): Can also target allies, plus deals fire damage. Not looking too good here.
Reapers Challenge (DRAG): Deals necrotic, BOOOO!!, but causes weakness whenever the target attacks someone other than you. Makes it even easier for Shieldmages to negate damage taken.

Level 16 Utility Spells
Aegis of Lost Souls (AP): Hmmm, enemy dies and I get to mark a bunch of stuff at range! Why thank you very much and good day.
Bolstering Warding (FRPG): Ability to shake off those pesky Daze, Stuns, and Dominates help out alot.
Borrowed Confidence (AP): If you wanted rerolls on attacks then why didn't you just go Avenger? The reroll on saving throws is nice, but other stuff can let you get this.
Elemental Protection (FRPG): Once per day you get to choose an elemental resistance is nice, but doesn't have a wide assortment, mainly no necrotic resist in there.
Ironskin (FRPG): Resist 5 all damage is nice, but there are more useful things out there.
Shared Fortune (AP): If you're worried about making saving throws then just take Bolstering Warding since this one relies on allies making saves rather than you.
Shield of the Besieged Tower (AP): Normally gonna gain the +3 bonus, but it is a power bonus, and it only affects AC.
Sudden Escape (FRPG): If you're so worried about getting hit, then why play a defender in the first place?
Unerring Parry (AP): Same as above.

Level 17 Encounter Spells
Dazzling Display (AP): gives CA to all your allies vs each target in a close burst 1 and gives you concealment regardless of hitting.
Firelasher's Lunge (AP): Deals fire damage, so thats a con, but also fire damage to each enemy adjacent to the target. Plus you can use this with a charge and Assaultmages have a rider with this as well.
Ice Cage (FRPG): Weakens the target on a hit, but it targets Fort. Also deals additional damage based of Con if the target attacks while weakened.
Necromantic Disruption (DRAG): Great ability in ignoring insubstantial, but still deals necrotic damage. One upside is that if it kills the target, you get to keep the power.
Snake Strike (AP): Ranged implement attack that targets FORT. It is nice to force the enemy into a lose/lose situation if it hits though.
Spidersilk Slash (FRPG): True, immobilizes each hit target in a close burst 1, but targets Fort, and all it does is a mediocre amount of damage and immobilize.
Surprising Transposition (AP): The higher level variant of Dimensional Vortex. This one, however, lacks due to targeting Fort and possibly being a useless power against solos since then you'll have to target an ally. The one nice thing, however, is that the enemy won't need to reroll the attack roll, but instead uses the original roll vs the new target.
Swordshock (FRPG): Deals 3[W]+Int mod lightning damage. That's it.
Thundering Vortex (AP): Pulls all targets in large close burst 2 squares and then marks them. Shieldmages however get to mark with their aegis.

Level 19 Daily Spells
Bane Blade (FRPG): Ability to get a decent amount of extra damage against creatures of the same type, even if you initially miss against the target is always helpful, unless the enemies are different types.
Death's Resurgence (DRAG): This is used more as a save your own hide manuever once per day.
Forceful Rebuke (AP): possibly gets you out of a bind, but at the cost of your allies possibly getting attacked. Too dependant on enemies reactions from this to be very worthwile.
Hell's Own Blade (FRPG): Deals the dreaded fire damage, so alot of the damage will probably get soaked up.
Lightning Rod (FRPG): Forces enemies to stear clear of each other or suffer the same fate as the target.
Marksman's Vision (AP): Lets you see the target no matter what, except thru obstacles like walls, for the remainder of the encounter. Allows you to really go after those Lurkers and enemies that like to goinvisible.
Planar Shock (AP): Teleport the target away from everyone plus stun is always pure win.
Ward of Scales (AP): Interrupt to give an ally resist all equal to Con mod is always good. Even better for Shieldmages.
Whirling Threat (AP): Free marks, even if generic marks are always nice. This lasts as long as you're in the stance as well.

Epic Tier Powers

Level 22 Utility Powers
Borrowed Ascension (AP): Flying for the remeinder of the combat, possibly, is nice. Too bad it's not teleport. Oh well, can't have everything. Boundless (AP): Ending Immobilized and Slowed could be useful, but the rest is more situational. Eyes of the Mage (FRPG): Good power to ensure you keep your senses about you. Good for highly defensive Swordmages. Ghost Walk (AP): Gaining Insubstantial and phasing is pretty good per encounter. Even better for the Ghost Blade path. Giant's Might (FRPG): Just like the old school enlarge person spell, only this one targets only you. Oni's Gift (AP): Now that this works properly it is absolutely amazing. 1 encounter per day you can basically remain invisible, allowing your Aegis to go off virtually at will. Just remember one thing, make those stealth checks to actually be invisible. Shackled Warding (FRPG): Makes those, now slightly more common, teleporting enemies to stick to hoofing it like the rest of us folks.
Level 23 Encounter Powers
Acid Fountain (FRPG): Deals acid damage to all creatures in close blast 3. Stay away!! Aegis Bolt (AP): Decent amount of Force damage and allows you to mark the target with your aegis power. Always nice to get additional marks, even when you already have Total Aegis. Blink Assault (AP): Teleport you and an ally adjacent to you 5 squares, to possibly get CA. Thats about it for this power. Bravado Strike (AP): Decent damage and you get to spend a healing surge, and gain additional hit points based of Con, AND make a saving throw. Quite a few ands in there, wouldn't you say? Freezing Swordburst (AP): A very nice power that has a really nice effect, especially for Assaultmages getting their rider effect, however, has the potential to slow your allies as well since the secondary targets are all creatures in the burst except you. Can decieve alot of Assaultmages due to this. Lightning Bolt Charge (AP): Hit a target, then tele away to hit another target. All I see here really is steam. Meteor Strike (FRPG): Has the possibility to hit three targets, which is really nice, however, Assaultmages would really like to punish the guy who hit their ally, plus a couple of his friends. Radiant Shield (AP): Targets Will, deals Radiant damage, and marks the targets for you! Always nice, but wait!! makes all allies in that burst insubstantial as well. WOW! Shieldmages get even more use out of this in that they get to mark using their aegis. Very nice power for all builds however. Thunder Riposte (FRPG): Uses your Immediate Reaction, unless you're a Shieldmage using your interrupt aegis power. However, hits everything in close blast 3, so you might want to be careful where you place it. As a bonus, it KD's and dazes the targets, which is absolutely wonderful!
Level 25 Daily Spells
Bounding Lightning (FRPG): Possibly targets 3 enemies, which is always nice, but gets weaker as it hits each one. Darksword Bolt (AP): Again with the necrotic damage. This one also has two steps of ongoing damage, but who cares if so many enemies can resist it? Death Grip (DRAG): Deals necrotic damage, but also restrains, but requires a second hit for that. Icy Shackles (FRPG): Forces the target to, basically, stay put until it saves vs the ongoing damage. Invincible Rampage (AP): Gotta love the regen granted while bloodied. The healing surge effect is just icing on the cake. You can also use this on a charge, which Snaremages will benefit more from. Mindsap Manuever (AP): Stops enemies from using those pesky powers that they love to use. That is, until they save from it. Quicksilver Blade (FRPG): Stance that gives a MBA as a minor 1/round. Assaultmages really like this due to the increased damage it provides. Sword Duel (AP): This power forces the target to attack you or take an additional consequence. Thundering Heart (FRPG): Only good for Strength based builds, and can hit allies with the secondary attack. Not good here! Waves of Languor (AP): Hmm, targets Will, slows, weakens, and then possibly knocks them unconscious. YES PLZ! Where do I sign up?
Level 27 Encounter Spells
Circle of Devastation (FRPG): Pushes all targets in the close burst 2 power 3 squares away. Shieldmages get to use this as part of their interrupt as well. Dimensional Charge (FRPG): You can teleport with this power to make it a charge, but its best factor is the triple elemental attack. Not many enemies have triple resistances that I know of. Maelstrom Blade(FRPG): Again with a triple element power, only this one hits all enemies in close burst 1. Assaultmages even get to use this with their reaction. Slash and Burn (AP): Pushing and Dazing the target is always really nice, especially when you can push them into the corner for a timeout. However, secondary damage deals fire damage, which will be ignored by many enemies. Steel Tempest (AP): This power has the potential to minion clear, but thats about it, and you already have at-wills for that. Sword Chaser Assault (AP): Interrupt, which is nice that deals decent damage and allows you to tele adjacent to the triggering enemy. That's where it really losing its steam. Thundering Burst (AP): Makes enemies pay for trying to move away from you, and Snaremages get to slow the targets as well. Wrath of the Arctic Wind (AP): Immobilizes plus either KD's the target or slides them 3 sqaures. Assaultmages also get a decent rider with this.
Level 29 Daily Spells
Astral Thunder Blade (FRPG): A power that works with Solid Sound, and either stuns or dazes multiple enemies. Outstanding! Constrictor's Strike (AP): Immobilizes the target until it saves, and then immobilizes everytime you hit it again. Pretty nice. Snaremages, however, get to restrain the target instead. Mirrorblade Army (AP): Wanna make an army of yourself? Well here's the power to do that. Obliterating Blaze (FRPG): Although it has really good damage for any Swordmage, the damage is fire, so highly resistable. Silver Lightning Assault (AP): This is the ultimate hit and run power. Sword of Soul Rot (AP): Like it's lower level counterpart, this one is used more for its effects than anything else. However, many enemies at this level have bonuses to their saves. Vorpal Doom (FRPG): Highest damage dealing power for a Swordmage, plus gives all your attacks a 19-20 crit range, if Swordmages truly cared about damage then this would be a much better power.

Paragon Paths



Swordmage

General

Coronal Guard (FRPG): Although this is open to all Swordmages, it is best used by Shieldmages to gain the full benefits of the path. This is still a strong path for all Swordmages given the level 16 feature. The powers themselves function more in line with a Shieldmage as well, but can be used to full advantage by all the builds.
Umbriri(FRPG): This path doesn't really have anything that screams "TAKE ME!", but can still be playable, unless playing against nonstop necrotic resistant enemies, which will considerably weaken this path
Wandering Swordmage (FRPG): Requires your Swordmage to be at least a little MAD, but worth it for the primary feature of this class, adding your WIS mod to the burst radius of your aegis power. All Swordmages benefit from this path, but if you went Deva for your race, then this path is SO much easier to get.
Ghost Blade (AP): A semi-decent path, it focuses around the insubstantial ability and attacking from the void. If only it's level 12 utility power were a stance, then this path would be alot better. Assaultmages get the most benefit out of this path.
Ward Guardian (AP): It's level 11 feature, Guardian's Action, just spells win for your allies, and the lvl 16 feature allows allies slightly more freedom in moving around during battle. All in all though, it almost looks like they stole ideas from the Sigil Carver path and used it here. So Shieldmages probably won't want to go this route as much as the other.

Assault

Anarch of Shyr (FRPG): Gives a semi-striker like class more of a strikerish feel to it. The level 16 feature basically allows you to extend how far you can be from your marked foe(s) and still get the use of their aegis. Very nice features as well as elemental powers. Strong path for Assaultmages.
Sword of Assault (AP): Very strong path for Assaultmages. Allows you to use your at-will powers more often, as well as giving you slightly more flexibility with your powers if you like to charge. The level 16 feature basically gives you the Quickened Spellcasting feat for free, 5 levels before you qualify for it. It also gives varitablility to which elemental attacks you use.

Ensnarement

Arcane Hunter (AP): This path is all about getting around the resistances of your enemies, and punishing them if they have vulnerabilities. That's about it.
Sage of Fate's Bond (AP): This path basically tries to control the battlefield through positioning. It doesn't care if it moves friends or foes, but does have the choice. As in any tactical battle, position matters, so this path can really help out the team.

Shielding

Sigil Carver (AP): Gives all adjacent allies a +2 power bonus to all defenses, which I think they'll enjoy, the possibility to allow an ally to make a save on your turn, and, AFAIK, is the only defender that can ever double punish someone. Also, no other defender can punish anyone if they're targeted by the enemies attack, but this guy can. You're striker allies will absolutely love you with your level 20 power.




Racial Paragon Paths

Drow Wanderer(FRPG): This path is more useful to Drow strikers then Swordmages. Also, Drow normally don't make the best Swordmage or even remotely good ones out there.

Elemental Tempest(FRPG): Great path for Assault style Genasi. This gives you your Dual Manifestation a whole tier earlier. Powers are pretty decent, even though they use secondary stats.

Steelsky Liberator(FRPG): Highly situational path. If you're in a campaign with alot of dragons and elementals, then this isn't that bad, however, if you're in one that is more widespread and erratic, enemy-wise, then this isn't as appealing.


Whirlwind Genasi(FRPG): The powers can work off your primary stat, however, the powers are somewhat lacking and the features aren't too great either.

Wildfire Genasi(FRPG): The powers work off your secondary stats, but giving allies within 2 squares of you fire resistance the same as you is pretty good, plus forces melee attackers to think twice about attacking you after 16th if they don't have fire resistance.

Adriot Explorer (PHB2): A very nice path for Humans. It also allows you to use any one of your encounter powers twice per combat. Very nice!

Ancestral Incarnate (PHB2): A trap for Deva Swordmages. Powers focus on WIS, which is a dump stat unless you were planning on going Wandering Swordmage, in which case you wouldn't have taken this path anyway.

Bloodfury Savage (PHB2): Can somewhat be used as an Assaultmage, and the level 16 feature lets you stay up longer, but this is better used for strikers.

Fey Beguiler (PHB2): Trickery abounds with this path. level 12 feature gives you a Wizard or Rogue Utility power 10th level or lower. WOW!! This makes Gnomes slightly more playable as Swordmages.

Firstborn of Moradin (PHB2): Although Dwarves make better shieldmages than assaultmages, this path requires STR to use the powers effectively. It still does make you a sturdier combatant though.

Halfling Soundrel (PHB2): Shows us just how much Halfings aren't meant to be Swordmages.

Moonstalker (PHB2): Powers function of Wisdom, but the features are ok, especially if you like to KD your enemies.

Scion of Arkhosia (PHB2): Gives Dragonborns flight and mainly deals with your breath weapon type. It is usable, but not the absolute best choice for Dragonborn Swordmages.

Shiere Knight (PHB2): A decent pick for Eladrin Swordmages, especially shieldmages, as it keeps your defenses high and makes enemies want to stay away from you. Also works off your primary stat.

Stoneblessed (PHB2): Goliath Assaultmages can really make use of this path. Increases your reach by one and once per encounter gives you threatening reach. Really makes enemies think about where they're walking to. Makes Goliath Assaultmages a good choice to play as well.

Turathi Highborn (PHB2): Very nice control-styled path, although absolutely horrible for Snaremages due to the enemies not really wanting to stick to you. The powers basically give you a dominate type ability, which is always really nice. Only downside to it is that it uses fire damage.

Twilight Guardian (PHB2): This path actually makes playing an Elf swordmage slightly better. It revolves around restarining your enemies, and giving you bonuses to your natural elven traits. pretty good!

Warforged Juggernaut (Dragon 364): Very nice path for Warforged Swordmages. Makes you even more durable and if you enjoy charging everything, then this path will fit your style.

Curseborn (Dragon 367): Makes playing a Drow Snaremage actually playable. Makes greater use of your Llothtouched powers and the paths powers can key off INT. very nice.

Beastblooded Minotaur (Dragon 369): Great path if you're playing a Minotaur Assaultmage. Increases speed and reach, thus giving you tactical advantage in many circumstances, as well as many charge options. Great if you like be everywhere, since this path can sorta do that.

Horned Champion (Dragon 369): This path isn't as great for a Minotaur Swordmage. Maybe more for a striker type.

Abiding Reaper (Dragon 372): You choose which stat to use for the powers, which is always nice. However, the features are all kinda meh features, and the powers all act oddly. So basically, pretty meh path.

Doomspeaker (Dragon 372): The features all work off you having a power with the Rattling keyword, which Swordmages don't, and the powers all function off a dump stat= STAY AWAY!!

Changeling (EPG): Hmmm, lets see what we can put together today. A path that lets you decide what powers, from your allies choices, that you get to use. There are many choices that can be chosen from, but it also requires your allies to take powers that you can use.


Other Paragon Paths
Silverstar (FRPG): Extremely useful for a Lycanthrope based campaign, otherwise it's a lackluster path. Although its level 11 attack power is nice early in combats.

Son of Mercy (Dragon 370): This is a pretty decent path for STR based Swordmages, although they will want to also keep a decent Wis score as well. You can think of this as a mild version of a fighters Pit Fighter Paragon Path, sorta.

Academy Master (Dragon 374): A very solid path that takes advantage of your at-will powers. This can make Sword Burst a really potent power with the right feats for it.

Cannith Mastermaker (EPG): Powers function of Int and have pretty good effects, and can give you many more uses of your magic item powers each day.

Deneith Protector (EPG): Gives you a chance to get rid of those pesky Daze effects prior to a marked target attacking an ally, very nice! Can force enemies into attacking you instead of adjacent allies, even better!

Orien Swiftblade (EPG): This path is all about what swordmages handle best, mobility. The powers can key off Int, and allow you to REALLY move around the field. Just not as defendery as other paths. It kinda reminds me of the Swiftblade class from last edition.

Sivis Trunamer (EPG): Pretty decent path, but it's more useful to more control based classes. The powers are based off INT and have some nice effects.




Epic Destinies



PHB1&2, EPG, and FRPG

Deadly Trickster: Although the features and Utility are pretty nice, the reqs make this destiny a complete wash.

Demigod: The main thing for this is the bonus to 2 different stats. The rest is just icing on the cake.

Eternal Seeker: This is the best destiny for those rare Swordmage that chose to multiclass due to the versatiity that it adds. Otherwise, it could be a fun one.

Harbringer of Doom: This destiny has some interesting features for any defender and a nice, if odd, Utility power.

Lorekeeper: Ah, the famous knowledge collector. Has a few nice features, especially the level 30 (eyeing Impenetrable Warding here) and a decent spike in damage against an enemy each encounter, by your entire group.

Champion of Prophecy: Another bonus to 2 stats, although this one gets better the more encounters you face throughout the day.

Dispossessed Champion: Gives a bit of leader qualities that also fit nicely with a Swordmages style of combat, hit and run.

Mourning Savior: Seems more focused around The Mournland, an Eberron feature. Plus, it's final feature is CHA based, making this destiny rather bad to look at.

Chosen: This is Forgotten Realms version of Demigod, although the Utility power is based off which God you worship.


Arcane

Arcane Sword: Only You can apply for this destiny, and it's a nice one, though no stat boost, for Swordmages as well. Although the Utility flat out sucks, especially if you have Total Aegis.

Archlich: Bonus to your primary stat and some really sweet features. Your Utility power can basically make you almost immune to damage as well.

Archspell: The Archmage (almost), but for all Arcane classes. This destiny revolves around 1 daily spell, which is nice, but completly needless as well. The Utility is very nice though.

Feyliege: Extremely restricted to race or class, and it boosts your biggest dump stat. The features aren't that good and neither is the Utility. STAY AWAY!!

Immanence: A great destiny for getting resistances, although thats pretty much all it does.

Lord of Fate: Very nice destiny with nice features as well. It's Utility power can make creatures have a very hard time hitting anyone that has high defenses. Must be Unaligned for this destiny though.

Magister: Increases an ability score of your choice=great, great for keeping yourself up with its other fetures. Being able to perform rituals during combat as a standard action and "refueling" magic item powers are just a bonus if you have a way to cast rituals in the first place.

Sage of Ages: Although you don't get any stat bumps, you really don't need them. Your Utility power replaces everything that any stat bump can do, except with damage and HP's, and the ability to use an extra d20 a turn is phenomenal. Just make sure you have maxed your Arcana check by level 26.


Dragon Mags


Darklord: This destiny is more a fluff one. It doesn't really get anything decent until your career is almost over.

Harper of Legend: A Forgotten Realms styled Destiny. It has a few nice features, especially the one granting an additional encounter power and it's Utility, though only working 1/day, is exceptional.

Keybearer: Although a VERY good fluff destiny, some of its features and utility power are a bit akward to be useful, though they are easily understandable.

Prince of Hell: For those darker styled, or Tiefling, Swordmages. This can be a rather fun destiny, causing you to convert over to the "dark side", as many DM's like to call Swordmages "Jedi". The ability to completely ignore Fire resistance as well as make you nigh invulnerable to Fire attacks is a huge blessing to those fire based Swordmages.

Prison of the Winds: You become as quick as the wind, moving about the battlefield like a strong breeze. The bonus to Dex is unimportant, but the Con bump can help Shieldmages and Snaremages a bit. Other than that, the rest of the destiny is meh.

Punisher of the Gods: Although this destiny can rival Demigod in most instances, this isn't one of them. You don't really have a way to Critfish, which is what truly makes this a great destiny, and it forces you to stay away from your allies when using the utility. All in all, a destiny that you can stay away from, unless you truly can Critfish.

Radiant One: The features of this path deal mainly with radiant damage, although the Utility power is absolutely awesome. If only you could take that through another destiny.

Raven Consort: Only available to Shadar-Kai, but the features are what make an undying Warrior. Other than that, the rest is pretty standard.

Feats



Heroic Tier Feats

Swordmage Feats

Escalating Assault: If your Aegis of Assault triggers repeatedly, this feat is great. If it doesn't, then it's a wash.
Improved Swordbond: This tends to be a more fluff based feat. Stay away.
Intelligent Blademaster: The original Melee Training, although this also works with Heavy Thrown weapons.
Retributive Shield: Shieldmages tend to stay away from their aegis targets, but if you like to get up close and personal with them, then the bonus to attack is always nice. Don't count on that aegis going off against that enemy again though.
Student of Sword Magic: Gives you more versatility with your Daily powers, but not a must have feat.
Closing Advantage: Not many ranged or area attacks within the Swordmage's power choices, but if you use them often, this can help out some.
Combat Casting: For those that do take ranged and area attacks, this is a godblessing.
Grasping Ensnarment: Only usable by Snaremages, but makes it VERY difficult for those enemies to get away from you.
Improved Swordmage Warding: For those that don't like wearing Hide armor. This is a fantastic feat, although it requires Dex, it still is a high priority feat to take, especially for Deva, Eladrin, and Shadar-Kai.


Arcane Feats
Arcane Fire: This basically gives you a watered down version of the lasting frost/wintertouched combo, as long as you take wintertouched, in Heroic levels.
Arcane Implement Proficiency: Only reason to take this is if you MC into another Arcane class that doesn't give use of their implements.
Dual Implement Spellcaster: Only used by the rare dual wielding Assaultmage, and then only to gain a bit of additional damage, or for the bloodclaw/reckless cheese as well.
Arcane Familiar: Gives those old school players looking for the Fighter/Wizard something to look at. Also, those looking to go Sage of Ages will probably want to get this for a familiar increaing their Arcana check.

White Lotus Feats
White Lotus Defense: Gaining a bonus to all defenses against the enemy you hit is nice, though better for powers that can hit multiple enemies, like Sword Burst.
White Louts Enervation: Making it easier for each ally and yourself to hit a certain defense can be helpful, although Humans and Paragon tiered Half-Elves can have a better variety to hit with.
White Lotus Evasion: This gives you tactical advantage whenever you hit with any at-will. Polearm wielding Fighter/Swordmages with the polearm feats will really cherish this advantage.
White Lotus Hindrance: This makes all adjacent sqaures to you difficult terrain, which is nice to get away from being flanked. However, there is no hindrance in it at all if an enemy is gonna move 1 square towards you to attack or move away from you.
White Lotus Riposte: Punishes an enemy for just attacking you back. Gotta love it.

Racial Feats

[u]Bladeling[/u]
Improved Razor Storm: Significantly increases the damage your Razor Storm puts out.

Changeling
Shapeshifting Contortionist: Getting out of grabs as a minor action is nice as is squeezing without granting CA, but how often do either of these situations come up?

[u]Deva[/u]
Auspicious Lineage: Makes your Racial Power a tad bit more potent.
Battle Intuition: Those planning on Wandering Swordmage will enjoy your higher Init modifier.
Immortal Skill: Basically like Brutal 3 or 4, depending on die rolled for skills only when you use your racial power.
Potent Rebirth: Makes enemies wish they hadn't knocked you unconscious.
Radiant Power: Basically Power attack for Implement attacks.
Immortal Warding: Maintaining your warding bonus after being knocked unconscious really helps out. Especially those still in Leather Armor with ISW.
Magic of the Ages: Having an additional bonus for using your racial power on attack roles is always nice.
Upright Revival: Being able to shift after getting up from unconsciousness can sometimes help.

[u]Dragonborn[/u]
Dragonborn Frenzy: Making enemies pay for you being bloodied is a nice way to ensure they don't make you bloodied.
Dragonborn Senses: Piddly bonus to perception, although the low-light vision can help at times.
Enlarged Dragon Breath: Having a larger breath weapon means potentially more enemies are hit by it.
Avowed Dragonfoe: Highly situational ability, unless you face dragons often.
Broken Shackles: This is only good until you take GSW. Although the +2 vs Charm effects is nice.
Draconic Spellcaster: If you don't mind using an elemental weapon or having powers that all deal the same type of damage as your breath weapon, then really look at this. Otherwise, you can skip it.
Adaptable Breath: Changing your Breath weapon to a different type really helps against those resistant to your normal one.
Hurl Breath: At the risk of provoking OA's, you get a breath weapon that is basically like Enlarged Breath, but can originate up to 10 squares away.

[u]Drow[/u]
Clutch of Darkness: Increases size and range of your racial powers. meh.
Ruthless Hunter: Only useful if you wield a crossbow, which you don't.
Shield of Shadows: Hmm, a bonus to your highest NAD while within your cloud of darkness, ok.
Darkfire Implement: Adds a bit of damage to your darkfire power, but it's negligible.
Drow Fighting Style: Only useful is dual wielding with a crossbow. Again, no.
Drow Heretic: If you plan on fighting alot of spiders then this is ok. Otherwise way too situational.
Instinctive Darkness: Complete trap. Uses your Immediate action for one, and it's a reaction, meaning the attack goes off anyway.
Lolth's Meat: Gives a bonus to attacks for dropping an enemy. Nice.
Shadowslip: Free action shift when you use your cloud of darkness power can really help.
Xen'Drik Weapon Training: Like Dwarven weapon training and Eladrin Soldier, but for the Drow Long Knife and Xen'Drik Boomerang, both of which are Superior weapons.

[u]Dwarves[/u]
Dodge Giants: Situational bonus to AC and REF, your two highest defenses is nice, but not necessary.
Dwarven Weapon Training: This will only really work for 1 weapon atm, the Khopesh, since it also is a heavy blade, thus allowing usage with your Implement powers. Can be retrained to weapon focus in paragon tier.
Gold Dwarf Pride: Helps remove some of the loss from losing your warding, or the whole thing if wielding a big weapon. But how often do you plan on dropping to no HP's?
Shield the Fallen: Adjacent, bloodied, allies will really thank you. Especially if you go Sigil Carver for your Paragon Path.
Rune-Scribed Foe: You're usually gonna use your second wind in combat, and gaining a bonus to attacks and damage is really nice. Shieldmages and Snaremages will really enjoy this.

Eladrin
Eladrin Soldier: Makes taking Weapon Focus, if wielding a Longsword, useless before Epic tier.
Moon Elf Resilience: Healing Surge as a free action when you fey step after becoming bloodied. This can be a real life saver.
Sun Elf Grace: Good choice if you want to focus more on defense than anything else, but Swordmages already have good defenses.
Twist the Arcane Fabric: Only needed when you use a power that targets all creatures in burst or blast.
Eladrin Swordmage Advance: Free MBA when you Fey Step next to a foe, Thanks. Feychargers will definately want this as well.

Elves
Elven Precision: Using your Racial power gives you a bonus to the new attack roll, nice. Even better with Elven Arcan Precision.
Light Step: Allows your group to move overland quicker and hide their tracks better with a piddly bonus to Acrobatics and Stealth.
Elven Arcane Precision: With so many bursts and blasts at your disposal, having the opportunity to reroll against those missed is simply fantastic. Makes playing an Elven Swordmage a little more worth it.
Wild Elf Luck: Gain an additional bonus when you use your Racial power. Very nice.
Wood Elf Agility: Makes an Acrobatics or Athletics check be a 1 or 8 thru 20. Ok, sure.

Genasi
Elemental Assault: Only for Assaultmages, but this really helps the striker part of the build. If you have Dual Manifestation or went Elemental Tempest, this really helps with those resistant to your normal element.
Extra Manifestation: This can be used for both "role-playing" and "roll-playing" purposes. Can also help with upcoming situations as well.
Manifest Resistant: For those with resistances, this increases them. For those without, stay away!!
Versatile Resistance: This is for those that don't have any resistances or for Stormsoul Genasi. Although it can help all of them, just not as much.
Elemental Echo: Free untyped bonus to your attacks when you use your racial power.YES PLZ!
Elemental Blade Attunement: Weapon Focus doesn't stack with this, and it only works with certain lemental based powers.
Genasi Fire Affinity: Increases your fire resistance by a piddly amount and gives a penalty to saves vs your ongoing fire damage. Not too great.
Earthshock Master: Now your Earthshock power is Reliable and deals damage. FANTASTIC!
Fast Manifestation: Allows you to Switch Manifestations as a minor action 1/day. Nice, but limited usage.
Firepulse Master: Firepulse is now Reliable and deals even more damage. Would be SO much better if it wasn't fire damage.
Genasi Frost Affinity: Increases your cold resistance by a small amount. But the big thing here is the immunity to slow and immobilize effects from cold powers. VERY NICE!
Primordial Surge: Gaining THP's by using your racial power is always nice. Even better for those with two of them.

[u]Gnolls[/u]
Butchers Lore: Somewhat of a fluff feat, although it can have some benefits anywhere.
Carrion Eater: Makes resisting diseases and poison effects easier. meh.
Claw Fighter: Although it looks like a nice feat, this actually will hinder Swordmages. Stay away!
Gnoll Tracker: Basically treats you as trained in Perception and Insight against certain things. Which are almost completely unnecessary as a Swordmage.

[u]Gnomes[/u]
Fey Trickster: Makes it to where you have 3 of the 4 Cantrips that Wizards have.
Group Stealth: Helps those allies that can't hide worth beans a smidge better. Dang clunkers.
Shadow Skulk: Remain hidden after missing with ranged or area attacks. Can be helpful, occasionally.
Magic of the Mists: Really helps out those rare Gnome Assaultmages. Although unnecessary.

[u]Goliaths[/u]
Goliath Greatweapon Prowess: This feat makes Weapon Focus completely useless with 2handed weapons and is absolutely amazing for Assaultmages and Polearm wielding Snaremages. Shieldmages will want to stick with one handed weapons instead.
Markings of the Blessed: Gives you a slightly better chance of making the first save you roll each encounter. ok.
Markings of the Victor: Same as Markings of the Blessed, but for the first attack roll of the encounter.
Mountain Hammer Spellcasting: Allows you to get that quick resistable power through after you use your Racial power.

Half-Elves
(All Human Feats and some Elven Feats)
Group Insight: Makes you a tad like the Warlord, allowing allies close to you to gain a bonus to init and insight. pretty good.

[u]Half-Orcs[/u]
Anger Unleashed: For 1 turn after first becoming bloodied you gain a bonus to attacks. Extremely short duration
Savage Assault: Makes it easier for anybody to hit the target you used your Racial power against. very nice.
Thirst for Battle: Bonus to init and an additional surge. Sure, if I have room.
Arcane Fury: Now your Racial power effects everything hit in bursts and blast. YES PLZ!!

Halflings
Halfling Agility: Makes it even harder for an enemy to hit you when you use your Racial power.
Lost in the Crowd: Being small, this will almost always kick in when adjacent to 2 enemies, which you can do regularly.
Ghostwise Heritage: Allows you and an ally to have a better chance of getting higher Perception roll, however, you normally use you Passive Perception anyway, so this won't help much.
Nimble Spellcaster: Restricted to only area based powers, which there aren't many of for Swordmages. It is nice to negate OA's though when you use those powers. Too limited though.

[u]Humans[/u]
Action Surge: Bonus to 1 attack every other encounter is very nice, but not an absolute must have.
Human Perseverance: Having a bonus against all saves can seriously help out against those pesky detrimental effects that all defenders hate. I'm looking at you Daze, Dominate, Slow, Blind, and Immobilize.
Stubborn Survivor: Requires you to have used up your AP, but an untyped bonus to saves is nice. Though Human Perseverance is better.
Arcane Reserves: Swordmages tend to have Encounter powers that can be used with their Aegis Immediate Action, so getting a boost on your at-wills when those encounter powers are expended can be a real blessing.
Risky Aegis: Shieldmages won't get much use out of this, normally, but Assaultmages and Snaremages will get a huge benefit out of it, especially if they get the enemy into a flanked position.

Kalashtar
Group Mindlink: This is just a fluff feat.
Quori Shield: Having any resistance is always nice. This one gives you psychic resistance.
Telepathic Sensitivity: Having an easier time finding those stealthy enemies is a pain, this makes it easier.

[u]Minotaurs[/u]
Goring Shove: Allows you to push the foe targeted by your Racial Power. Pretty nice, especially since it KD's them as well.
Greathorn: Your Racial power now deals d8's instead of d6's. ok.
Natural Cunning: Skill Focus plus an added to Perception and against things that make you become lost. Ok, but seems a bit fluffy.
Opportunity Gore Use your Racial power in place of an OA, very nice. Especially if you took Goring Shove as well.

[u]Shadar-Kai[/u]
Benighted Birthright: Resistance to necrotic as well as a bonus to saves against ongoing necrotic can be useful, but not exactly necessary.
Blighting Power: Turns your Booming Blade extra damage into Necrotic and Thunder, not too bad.
Deathward Aegis: Only for Shieldmages. Works great against the many Necrotic damage dealers, but that's it.
Deathly Disruption: Ignoring the necrotic resistance can be really beneficial, if you use the few Necrotic dealing powers that Swordmages have.
Devious Jaunt: Adding your INT mod to the distance teleported for your Racial power is OUTSTANDING!
Life on the Edge: Spending AP's while bloodied has now become a real boon.
Winter Favored: Just like Benighted Birthright, but with Cold instead.

[u]Shifter[/u]
Blurring Claws: Gaining a bonus to damage against foes granting you CA while using your Racial Power can be somewhat helpful. Though it only applies to Melee weapon attacks.
Gorebrute Charge: While under your Racial power, you get an additional boost to damage when charging.
Shifter's Agility: Bonus to Athletics and Acrobatics when using your Racial power is a bit of a wash.
Sturdy Shifter: Gain THP's whenever you use your Racial Power, and it tiers.
Wild Senses: You aren't known for your tracking skills, and if you wanted a boost to init, then Improved Init is a better choice.
Fanged Magic: Only for Longtooth Shifters, and the additional damage is decent, although it only works with ranged powers.
Predatory Magic: Shift as a free action when using a close attack power while under your Racial Power. VERY NICE!!

[b]Tieflings[/b]
Ferocious Rebuke: So you push the target when you hit with your Racial power. Sure.
Hellfire Blood: Plenty of Fire Spells for Swordmages, and this just fits the Tieflings nature.
Scion of the Gods: Feat bonus to Fort and Will is nice to have, but useless in Paragon and Epic.
Wrathful Magic: Use you Racial power when you miss instead of being hit, better with the punishment the other way around.

[u]Warforged[/u]
Component Modification Your Racial Power grants additional THP's equal to the number of components you have attached. Ok.
Immutability: Lets you make a save against any effect on you instead of ongoing damage when you use your Racial power, and you get a bonus to the save. Very Nice!
Improved Warforged Resolve: Gain even more THP's when you use your Racial Power. Ok.
Warforged Tactics: Gain a bonus against any enemy adjacent to an ally of yours. Most likely gonna happen, so take it and don't look back.


General Feats

Armor Proficiency (Hide): The biggest decision any Swordmage will ever have, this or Improves Swordmage Warding. If you take ISW, then don't bother with this, and vice versa.
Blade Opportunist: If you get alot of OA's, then this is extremely helpful. If not, then it's a complete waste.
Combat Reflexes: Same as Blade Opportunist, but a lower bonus. Take that instead.
Dark Fury: A trap in waiting due to the miniscule amount of necrotic and Psychic powers Swordmages have, or will ever really want to take.
Defensive Mobility: Making it harder for enemies to hit when you give them an OA, but any tactically minded Swordmage probably will try to avoid such circumstances anyway.
Durable: Gaining 2 healing surges has its usefulness, but is not necessary.
Fast Runner: Swordmages don't normally charge, and the ones that do will be using the Eladrin Feychargers, so this is kinda a wasted feat.
Improved Initiative: Increasing your Initiative is good, but not necessary.
Linguist: There's a better feat out there than this in a dragonmark. Plus Swordmages normally aren't the best party faces to really need to take this feat. More for fluff reasons though.
Power Attack: The STR req is kinda high for Swordmages, but 2handed wielding ones will enjoy the extra damage this deals.
Powerful Charge: Only Feychargers can really find a good, potent use out of this, but don't really need it.
Quick Draw: Initiative bonus and "free" action to draw a weapon is always helpful.
Ritual Caster: There's a better version of this in a dragonmark.
Skill Focus: This is more for fluff, unless you're going Sage of Ages as you're Epic Destiny, in which case you'll want this as Arcana.
Toughness: Defenders normally have high amounts of HP's, add this with Swordmages difficulty in being hit and you can normally do without this, although having it is nice as well if you have a free feat.
Weapon Focus: This is a nice feat to have, but not necessarily a must have. Longsword wielding Eladrin and Khopesh wielding Dwarves can retrain for this later, and 2handed wielding Goliaths can refrain from ever picking this up at all.
Weapon Proficiency: Bastard Swords, Fullblade, Talenta Sharrash, Parrying Dagger, and Rapier are really the only weapons worth taking from this feat, if you have room for them.
Wintertouched: The staple feat for the cold based builds, which is normally retrained into when they take lasting frost. Without that, or Arcane Fire, this is a very situational feat.
Coordinated Explosion: With many burst and blast powers that don't target allies, having a +1 bonus is extremely useful, if you have room.
Distant Advantage: You don't have many ranged or area powers, but if you took the ones there are, then this will help.
Echoes of Thunder: Swordmages have quite a few Thunder based spells, and it stacks with itself, at the moment, so it is a good choice. Even better in Paragon when Arcane Admixture opens up for you.
Implement Expertise: Completely unnecessary due to Focused Expertise. If your DM doesn't allow that, then this is sky blue.
Melee Training: This is Intelligent Blademasters younger brother. Skip it.
Oncoming Storm: Useless unless you're playing a Storm themed build.
Surging Flame: Swordmages have many fire based powers, this helps mitigate those resistant to fire. Tieflings will really enjoy this.
Weapon Expertise: Same as Implement Expertise.
Focused Expertise: Absolutely a must have. Best to take in mid to late heroic tier.


Dragonmarks

Aberrant Mark of Contagion: The enemy takes a -2 penalty to saves vs ongoing damage whenever you hit with daily powers. Nice, but can be skipped.
Aberrant Mark of Madness: Swordmages don't have many attacks that target Will.
Aberrant Mark of Terror: Whenever you hit a target with a daily power it becomes harder for that enemy to hit you back.
Mark of Detection: This primarily just focuses on Perception, which is difficult for you to get trained in.
Mark of Finding: Makes enemies you have CA against have a harder time getting away from you.
Mark of Handling: Free Mounted Combat and your mount gains defense and speed bonuses is nice, but how many Swordmages use mounts?
Mark of Healing: This is something best left for the leaders.
Mark of Hospitality: Again, best left for the leaders, but you can still take this to ease their burden.
Mark of Making: Allows you to create higher level equipment. This is nice, but not necessary for you.
Mark of Passage: This outright gives even more mobility. Even allows you to shift into and throughout difficult terrain.
Mark of Scribing: One ups Linguist, gives a boost to Diplomacy, and gives you the Ritual Caster Feat! If all this helps you, then feel free to take it, otherwise you should just pass.
Mark of Sentinel: If you get alot of OA's then you should look into this, otherwise just pass.
Mark of Shadow: Leave this for your sneakier allies.
Mark of Storm: If you themed your Swordmage around Thunder and Lightning then this is a great option, otherwise it's not.
Mark of Warding: Makes your marks have an even harder time hitting your allies, which is especially nice.


Paragon Tier Feats

Swordmage Feats

Distant Swordbond: Still a fluff feat, although better than Improved Swordbond.
Double Aegis: Marking more enemies is always a must have.
Greater Swordmage Warding: Armor spec and paragon defenses rolled into one, which tiers as well! Sign me up!!
Ensnaring Flourish: Really helps Snaremages punish those that trigger their Aegis power.
Greater Aegis of Shielding: Gives those rare Shieldmages that don't just focus on improving CON a way to maximize their shielding power.
Vigorous Assault: Str based Assaultmages can really get used to this, as long as there Aegis power kicks in a bit.


Arcane Feats
Arcane Reach: Having your Bursts and Blasts start out up to 2 squares away can be a great boon, though the Dex req may keep many Swordmages away from it.
Arcane Admixture: Helps out many builds, but its best function is to mitigate the resistance issues you come up against. Best if applied to your at-will powers.
Arcane Ritualist: This is somewhat a fluff feat, though if your group doesn't have anybody else that casts rituals, you might enjoy this benefit.
White Lotus Master Evasion: Replaces the minor action shift from WL Evasion to a free action shift and gives you a boost to speed. Very Nice, especially with Boots of the Fencing Master.
White Lotus Master Hindrance: Gives your allies the same benefits you gain from White Lotus Hindrance, but still has the same function.
White Lotus Master Riposte: Further allows you to punish enemies that attack you after hitting with an at-will attack power. Just be careful because it uses your immediate action for the turn.


Racial Feats
[u]Deva[/u]
Ascendent Lineage: Maintainyour racial power if the triggering roll fails is nice.
Astral Renewal: Great way to gain a bonus to attacks against Necrotic damage dealing foes.
Remembered Mother Tongue: Fluff only feat.

[b][u]Dragonborn[/b][/u]
Empowered Dragon Breath: Having your breath weapon more powerful can really help.
Admixture Breath: Now you can use both types of breath weapons you have in one attack instead of just one type. Very nice.

[b][u]Drow[/b][/u]
Master of Fire and Darkness: Now you get to use both your Racial powers during the same encounter. Pretty nice, but not completely necessary.
Merciless Killer: Additional damage against bloodied foes that grant you CA. Pretty good.
Venomous Heritage: Resistance to poison and a bonus to saves vs poison effects can sometimes be helpful. Not too many things that deal poison damage compared to other stuff.
Flickering Shroud: This gives you a reason to target allies with your Darkfire power. Pretty nice.
Highborn Drow: This can be extremely helpful to your group, unless it's a massive cluster of enemies and allies, then this outright sucks.
Shadowborn: In Underground environments, this is really nice. Otherwise you won't gain the benefits as often as needed to make this useful.
Eyedark Strike: Expends your cloud of darkness power to blind an enemy damaged by you. I would rather get it as a burst instead.

[b][u]Dwarves[/b][/u]
Dwarven Durability: Gaining more healing Surges as well as your Con mod to the value is extremely valuable, especially for Shieldmages and Snaremages.

[b][u]Eladrin[/b][/u]
Feywild Protection: Applies whenever you use your Fey Step which is nice. If only there were a way to get your Racial power to work more times per encounter, OH wait! Feychargers can do that.
Fey Death: This is a trap! Wastes your Immediate action whenever you drop an enemy.
Fey Step Trailblazer: Bringing a willing adjacent creature with you can be helpful, if the situation is right.
Reactive Fey Step: Uses your Immediate Action to negate forced movement. Ok, and?

[b][u]Elves[/b][/u]
Running Shot: Not that many Ranged attacks for Swordmages, but this helps those, if you like to run first.

[b][u]Genasi[/b][/u]
Shocking Flame: Additional damage when manifesting either Firesoul or Stormsoul, nice. Even better if manifesting both.
Stoneguard: Makes it even harder for ranged enemies to hit you while manifesting Earthsoul. Can be helpful.
Stormrider: Feat bonus to speed while manifesting Windsoul or Watersoul and you hhover when you fly. Very nice mobility boost.

[u]Gnomes[/u]
Fade Ally: You get hit, so your striker pal becomes invisible. Nice
Surprising Disappearance: Punishes the creature that triggered your Fade Away power. Very nice.

[u]Gnolls[/u]
Fierce Charge: Allows you to use an at-will attack instead of MBA with your Racial power, very nice.
Swift Bite: Free attack whenever you bloody a foe, very nice, especially for Assaultmages.

[u]Goliaths[/u]
Unyielding Stone: Wow, whenever you use your Racial power, you can act like a BRV fighter. VERY nice.

[u]Half-Elf[/u]
Versatile Master: The big reason why you chose to play a Half-Elf. No choice really here. Take it!

[u]Half-Orc[/u]
Strength from Pain: When combined with Anger Unleashed, this can be very potent, although it's good already.
Unrelenting Assault: Better to use you Racial against those you hit, but ok against those missed.

[b][u]Halflings[/b][/u]
Underfoot: Anyone that's seen LotR where the hobbits run under the ogre can get the picture of this.

[b][u]Humans[/b][/u]
Action Recovery: This can actualy be very beneficial, especially if combined with Human Perseverance.

Kalashtar
Quori Backlash: Punish those enemies that like to deal psychic damage to you, daze, or dominate you. That should teach them.

[u]Minotaurs[/u]
Beast Within: Untyped bonus to attacks and damage when bloodied, and Swordmages, like all defenders, become bloodied quite a bit. Very Nice.
Bloody Gore: Your Racial Power recharges when you first become bloodied in an encounter. Not too shabby, but not too good either.
Brutal Ferocity: Using an at-will when reduced to 0hp is a nice way to punish the enemy that dropped you, but how often do you plan on dropping to 0hp's?

[u]Shadar-Kai[/u]
Ghostly Rejuvination: Would work great, if Swordmages had many Healing Powers that affected allies.
Reactive Jaunt: complete trap due to the loss of your Immediate Action as well as it being a Reaction, meaning the attack will hit you anyway.
Shadowed Aegis: Assaultmages will love this. Treats your Assault Reaction like your Racial power.

[u]Shifters[/u]
Beasthide Shifting Gain resist all while under your Racial Power. Outstanding.
Cliffwalk Shifting Having a climb speed while using your Racial Power isn't too great.

[b][u]Tieflings[/b][/u]
Fiery Rebuke: Really helps get thru that fire resistance that many enemies have.

[u]Warforged[/u]
Improved Immutability: Replace a Utility Power from 12th level on for a daily that lets you end an effect placed on you as an Interrupt. Nice, but not worth it due to Bolstering Warding at 16th.


General Feats
Armor Specialization (Hide): GSW blows this out of the water, but if you really want to get rid of the check penalties, then take this.
Blood Thirst: Getting rid of those bloodied enemies quicker can save you alot of trouble.
Combat Anticipation: For those taking GSW, this is a trap. If you didn't take GSW, then this can be somewhat helpful against everything but melee attacks.
Danger Sense: Having a better chance of going when you want to is nice, but this can be skipped.
Defensive Advantage: Even though it's nice to have a bonus to AC when you have CA, the DEX req makes this very difficult to even look at.
Devastating Critical: Deals additional damage on a crit, but how often do Swordmages Crit?
Evasion: Swordmages pride themselves on their high Reflex defense, and having a feat that is based off REF is nice, but SM's are already extremely feat starved. If you can find a way to fit it in, then go for it.
Great Fortitude: +2 feat bonus to Fort, thats it.
Heavy Blade Opportunity: Getting your Booming Blade, Frigid Blade, Greenflame Blade, or Luring Strike off on an OA is nice, if you get them enough. Sigil Carvers might want to look into this a bit closer.
Inescapable Force: Dealing additional damage against insubstantial damage is nice, ignoring the insubstantial property is even better. Too bad Swordmages are extremely feat starved.
Iron Will: +2 feat bonus to Will. Nice.
Lasting Frost: For Coldmages this is a must have, otherwise it's not needed except for occasional purposes.
Light Blade Precision: With the increased number of large or larger creatures this is nice, but it only works with light blades, so Small creature will find a more useful reason to have this
Lightning Reflexes: +2 feat bonus to REF is kinda a waste, due to it being your highest save already.
Mettle: Anything that deals damage on a miss against FORT or WILL against you is negated, nice.
Polearm Gamble: Req is based off two non-prime stats, although Glaive wielding Swordmages can find a use for this.
Resounding Thunder: Applied with Arcane Admixture(Thunder, Sword Burst), this feat makes it an extremely potent power, and probably the most powerful at-will power out of all the others due to the potential number of bad guys this can target.
Shield Specialization: If you really want to wield a shield you might as well complete the mistake by taking this.
Solid Sound: Swordmages have many Force and Thunder powers, and with Arcane Admixture you can make yourself even more of them, so having a feat that gives you a general bonus to an NAD of your choice after using such a power is a huge blessing.
Uncanny Dodge: For those Swordmages that generally find themselves giving CA, this can help, but the WIS req is horrible, except for Wandering Swordmages.
Agile Opportunist: Gain an OA whenever you're forced adjacent to an enemy. Nice, but not exactly widely used.
Paragon Defenses: +1 Feat bonus to all NAD's is nice, too bad GSW far exceeds it.
Psychic Lock: Not many Swordmage powers have the Psychic keyword, but if you're using a Githyanki Silver Weapon then this feat become so much more potent.
Reserve Maneuver: Very highly situational due to the power you choose. However, if that situation comes up, then this is extremely helpful.


Epic Tier Feats

Swordmage Feats
Total Aegis Marking every enemy within your Aegis marking features range is a must! Retrain Double Aegis for this.
Binding Ensnarement: Snaremages now get to Immobilize those they've ensnared, but there are alot of teleporting enemies now, so this is somewhat wasted.
Charging Aegis: Chargemages might enjoy this due to the additional penalty the enemy gets. But those are it.
Extended Aegis: If you deal with alot of large area encounters, then you'll really want to look at this.
Shared Warding: Hmmm, an extremely watered down version of Sigil Carver's Bolstering Sigil feature, without the word "power" in front of it. These are probably the best choices to take this feat.


Arcane Feats
Explosive Spellcasting: Swordmages have alot of Burst powers, if one crits on a minion then the crit is wasted, unless you have this.
Quickened Spellcasting: Turns one at-will power into a minor action 1/encounter. SWEET!!
Tusted Spellcasting: Gives an Encounter Power the Miss: Deal half damage. bit. Would be more useful if it did that on a Daily though.


Racial Feats
[u]Devas[/u]
Transcendent Lineage: Rolling twice and using the better roll is good, especially when it adds to the initail roll.

[b][u]Genasi[/b][/u]
Double Manifestation: For those Genasi that took Extra Manifestation, this is a must have. Otherwise, you don't even qualify for this.

[u]Gnolls[/u]
Brutal Charge: Now, instead of an at-will power, you get to use an encounter power when you use your Racial power. Pretty nice.

[u]Gnomes[/u]
Vanishing Act: Now you get to teleport whenever you Fade Away. Extremely nice.

[u]Goliaths[/u]
Ancient Stone: Gives you an additional turn for your Racial power, at a reduced amount.

[u]Half-Orcs[/u]
Ferocious Critical: If only there was an easier way for Swordmages to be Critfishers.

Kalashtar
Quori Desperation: Gives your leaders a bit more time to get you back into fighting shape.

[u]Minotaurs[/u]
Uncanny Scent: Negates any form of concealment and invisible creatures within 2 squares of you. Pretty nice.

Shadar-Kai
Blade of the Raven Queen: Just adds the Necrotic damage to all your Cold based spells, Helps out against those with cold resistance.
Deathless Warrior: Pretty good for Shieldmages and Snaremages, although Assaultmages won't get as much use out of it.
Spirit Jaunt: This just adds Phasing to your Racial power. Not too important.

[u]Shifters[/u]
Burst of Savagery: Ending your Racial power to gain THP's and deal some damage is ok, but not the greatest, except for Razorclaw Shifters, which might enjoy this.

[u]Warforged[/u]
Warforged Fortification: Replace your 22nd level Utility Power to negate 1 crit per encounter. Nice, occasionally.


General Feats

Axe/Bludgeon/Heavy Blade/Light Blade Mastery: Very difficult to qualify for as a Swordmage. If you really want the higher crit chance, I suggest using a Jagged weapon instead.
Blind-Fight: The WIS req is easy enough to qualify for this, and negating the benefit from concealment and invisibility to creatures adjacent to you is always nice, but other feats outweigh this one.
Epic Resurgence: Regaining an encounter power by critting is always nice, but this can also be wasted as well.
Irresistible Flame: For those many enemies with fire resistance, this helps. Tieflings will really like this feat.
Triumphant Attack: Critting an enemy makes it easier for your group to hit it, and makes it harder for that enemy to hit anybody. This can really help. Too bad it has the (save ends) bit at the end since many enemies in this tier have bonus' to saves.
Epic Fortitude: +4 unnamed bonus to Fort (usually your second highest NAD) is extremely nice.
Epic Reflexes: Same as Epic Fort, but goes to REF, which should always be your highest NAD, so not needed as badly.
Epic Will: Another Epic NAD feat, goes to Will (your lowest one normally) is a huge blessing. Will want this at some point in the tier.
Indomitable Will: The only real reason to take this is to gain the bonuses to your dazed, dominated, or stunned saves. Otherwise, GSW or Robust Defenses are both better.
Opportune Reflexes: Wasted feat just to get a bonus to saves vs ongoing damage when compared to GSW and Robust Defenses.
Robust Defenses:. If you didn't take GSW in Paragon and don't plan on taking it, then you'll want this one. Otherwise, a complete waste.
Unyielding Fortitude: Only real reason you'll want to take this is for the death save bonus, which Shadar-Kai Undying builds normally do.

In process of updating

Multiclassing


Artificer
Feats
Student of Artifice: Wasted skill training, but the healing infusion power is nice and you qualify for it from the get go.

Avenger
Feats
Disciple of Divine Wrath: Gives you the Oath of Enmity, but only for two turns. Granted, this is a very nice ability, but the Wis req makes it harder to take.

Barbarian
Feats
Berserker's Fury: Although Barbarians don't mesh too well with Swordmage's, it is very easy for any type of SM to take this, plus the bonus to damage is 1 encounter/day.

Bard
Feats
Bardic Dilletante: Free skill from the Bard's list plus Majestic Word 1/day isn't too bad. CHA req is the big downside to this.
Bardic Ritualist: Already trained in the skill given so all you're getting is Ritual Casting for the INT and CHA req. better just to get the RIT caster feat instead.

Cleric
Feats
Initiate of the Faith: Due to the stat req, Having Healing Word 1/day isn't really worth it. Plus Clerics tend to rely more on both your dump stats.

Druid
Feats
Initiate of the Old Faith: Gives you an at-will power as an encounter power and allows you to Wild Shape whenever you want.

Fighter
Feats
Student of the Sword: Free skill from fighters list and bonus to one attack per encounter with your chosen weapon. Plus very easy to get into due to Str req.
Battle Awareness: Gives you a 1/encounter Combat Challenge ability plus any skill from Fighters list. Pretty decent.

Invoker
Feats
Acolyte of Divine Secrets Just gives you the standard skill training plus an Invoker at-will as an encounter power. Meh.

Paladin
Feats
Soldier of the Faith: CHA req really hurts this class, but the class itself isn't too good to begin with. (prior to Divine Power)

Ranger
Feats
Warrior of the Wild: Very nice feature in Hunters Quarry, plus you can use either Dex or Str to take this. Very nice.
Two-Blade Warrior: Not really a good feat due to Swordmages not really known as dual-wielding scythes of destruction. This is better if you plan on taking multi-attack powers from ranger.

Rogue
Feats
Ruthless Efficiency: Not easy to take, but not difficult either. Giving the Stealth skill is nice though.
Sly Dodge: Stay away since it goes completely off a dump stat.
Sneak of Shadows: Not that hard to take, although it uses Dex. The sneak attack feature is nice to have though.

Shaman
Feats
Spirit Talker: Req in a dump stat, and the other features aren't really a must have.

Sorcerer
Feats
Arcane Prodigy: Gives you a skill you're already trained in and extra damage 1/encounter. Not good for CHA req
Soul of Sorcery: Resist 5 against an element of your choice. Pretty good, if it tiered and didn't have the CHA req. The STR req is fine though.

Warden
Feats
Defender of the Wild: Snaremages will find this very useful due to the fact both classes like to keep their enemies next to them. Plus has easy to manage req to take this.

Warlock
Feats
Student of Malediction: CON and CHA req make this hard to take, but the Warlock's Curse feature is nice.
Pact Initiate: This can actually be a very nice and powerful combo if you choose the right pact, but the CHA req REALLY sucks for this.

Warlord
Feats
Student of Battle: The CHA req makes this a little more difficult to take, and there are better choices if you want to MC Warlord.
[/color="black"]Tactical Leader:[/color] Easy enough to take, due to the INT req as well, but it's bonus is kinda wasted due to the consistancy that you can use it.
Battle Instructor: Just has the STR req, so easy enough to take. Plus 1/day allows you to heal an ally is always nice.

Wizard
Feats
Arcane Initiate: Easiest class to MC into, plus gives you an at-will power to be used as an encounter power.
Learned Spellcaster: Free training in Nature or Religion plus Ritual Spellcaster feat is always nice. However, the WIS req makes it harder to take.


Weapons


Weapon types
PHB
Coming Soon

AV
Coming Soon

Weapon Enchantments

PHB1&2
coming soon

AV
coming soon

Armor


Armor Types
PHB
Cloth: Only reason to take this armor type is if you really like a specific magical enchantment that is only for cloth armor. You also have Feyweave and Starweave in this group that just increase your AC by an additional 1 or 2, respectively.
Leather: Best used with those Swordmages that decide to take Improved Swordmage Warding early in their career. You also have Feyleather and Starleather that increase your AC by 1 or 2, respectively.
Hide: If you decide not to take ISW, then you'll defeinately want to have Hide armor instead. You also have Darkhide and Elderhide that increase your AC by 1 or 2, respectively.
Chainmail: This is a Heavy armor, so counterproductive to you having a high INT mod. Regardless on if you want others to look at you funny, don't take this at all! There's Forgemail and Spiritmail in this group as well, they increase your AC by 3 and 6, respectively.
Scale: If you do decide to take a Heavy armor proficiency, which is fully insane for you, then this would be the best choice. This will have a higher armor bonus (by 1) as a leather wearing Swordmage up to level 8, if you started with an 18 after racials and bump INT at the two opportunities you have. Even at the end of your career, if you started with an 18 in INT and got a +2 bonus to INT for your Epic Destiny, this will have the same AC as the leather wearing Swordmage next to you. When compared to Hide wearings, your AC will be 1 lower however. Also remember that it takes another feat just to qualify for Scale prof, another reason to stay away. There's also Wyrmscale and Elderscale in this group that increase your AC by 3 and 6, respectively.
Plate: Although the same argument can be said for Plate wearers to Hide as Scale to Leather, Plate has a slightly more stingy req and needs two feats to qualify to take this prof. Definately not worth it. There's also Warplate and Godplate in this category, they increase your AC by 3 and 6, respectively.

AV
Cloth
Githweave: Only use this if you really think you need that +1 to your Will defense
Mindweave: If you really wanted that +2 to Will, you would take Iron Will instead of this, although with GSW you would still lose out on a +1.
Efreetweave: Same as Githweave.
Mindpattern: This is an absolute trap to wear. There are too many feats that can make up for this, and you'll be losing out on a +2 to your AC.

Leather
Drowmesh: If you're a leather wearer, and can't quite get Feyleather, than this is a good option since it gives you a +1 bonus to your Reflex defense.
Snakeskin: Can qualify to get this at the same time as Feyleather, so your choice here is +2 REF or +1 AC. Just remember, there are vastly more things that target AC over REF.
Anathema: Just like Drowmesh, this gives you a bump in Reflex when you're between Armor styles, plus it has Feyleathers +1 AC built into it.
Swordwing: Exact same as Snakeskin.

Hide
Earthhide: Another Masterwork Armor useful just prior to getting the next higher tiered armor. This gives a +1 bonus to your Fort defense.
Feyhide: You basically trade off +1 to AC for +2 to Fort, which just might help against some attacks.
Stalkerhide: This is just like the Earthhide from earlier, but comes with Darkhides +1 to AC.
Voidhide: Same AC as Stalkerhide with an additional +1 to Fort.
For those nuts that really want to go Heavy armor then I'll give you the only sensible one there is.
Scale
Drakescale: Just gives you an additional +1 to AC, but starts out with +2 magical Scale.
Wyvernscale: Just like Drakescale, but comes in the +3 and higher versions of Scale and increases AC one higher than Drakescale.
Stormscale: This one has the same stats as Wyvernscale for AC, but gives a +2 bonus to your Fortitude defense. It comes in +4 or higher magical Scale.
Nagascale: In your +5 and higher scale you benefit from the same AC as Wyrmscale and get a +1 bonus to Fort.
Titanscale: This has the same AC bonus as Nagascale, but gives a +2 to fort instead of the +1. It can only be found from +6 magical Scale armors.

Armor Enchantments

PHB1&2
coming soon

AV
coming soon
You spelled "Manual" incorrectly in your thread title.
hehe, thanks for pointing that out. fixed
I personally would rate Fist of Force as a dark blue, even for non-assault swordmages. The big thing there is that the push and prone status is an effect. As long as you have a Strength modifier (and most swordmages now will have at least enough for Greater Swordmage Warding), you can push 1 square and knock the target prone. This means that the target can effectively attack you the next round unless it has a reach weapon, since it's too far for a normal attack and too close to charge.

I recognize the downside - it's an Implement attack vs. Fortitude - but the damage is ok, and it's also a force attack, which helps with Solid Sound. It's certainly not light blue, but it is better than average.
Normally, I'm all for having multiple handbooks, because multiple opinions is always a good thing. However, your borrowing from Lord_Ventor's manual puts me a bit on edge, as it creates a manual that doesn't offer a second opinion, but merely reprints something that has already been said in a new location (and capitalizes on some else's hard work as well - I hope that you asked him permission). Please try to incorporate only your own ideas, because if we want to see Lord_Ventor's, then we really should just look at his handbook instead.

If you had some particular thing that you wanted to add, you could have just posted it in his topic. If you're trying to express your own ideas, then go for it, but be careful when using someone else's work to fulfill the same purpose.
I share YD's concerns. Multiple handbooks are fine, and encouraged, because they offer a second (or third, etc.) opinion and point-of-view, and that's never a bad thing. However, simply copy-pasting whole sections from someone else's guide is generally considered a poor idea.

If you feel you have new insights to offer into the workings of the swordmage class, then by all means, please share them. But if all you're going to do is reprint Ventnor's work with very little to distinguish your version from what has gone before, then you might rethink the necessity of it.

In particular, I can only see a few instances of your having made any changes/additions to the powers section, which is clearly taken from Lord_Ventnor's thread.

I'm not saying this guide shouldn't exist. Just that it should be predominantly your own thoughts and opinions. Borrowing from someone else's material and using it as a jumping-off point for your own, distinct point of view is one thing; reprinting another person's work wholesale is a whole 'nother kettle of fish.

Like YD, I hope you asked Ventnor's permission before doing so -- and perhaps you should acknowledge said permission if it was given. Because right now it looks a little too much like plagiarism.
ideoultracounterquasicryptopropseudocontraneoantidisestablishmentarianisticalismesque reminiscent of the idea of the highest degree of being against something that is almost but not quite secretly in favor of pretended or spurious opposition to the revival or modification of a movement characterized by relation to the movement or ideology that opposes the ending of the status of an group of individuals regarded as an entity as granted by enacted legislation
I agree with YD as well. If you intent was to simply use Lord_Ventor's material as a placeholder until you replace it with your own material, I suggest that instead you simply leave it blank and encourage people to refer to that handbook while you're working on yours.

If it makes it easier, use Lord_Ventor's work as a template in a word processing document of your own. But it's not good to copy/paste from his handbook into yours.
So this will make 3 Swordmage handbooks,glad to see that it's getting alot of suppurt. Let's just hope they don't just get built up and die like some handbooks do. I've been meaning to update mine but have a new job that all my spare time goes into sleeping x.x.
I do completely understand the concerns on everyone's minds concerning the borrowing of Lord Ventnor's Manual, I went into this fully intending to replace all of his opinions with my own and have been just using that reference, up to now, to help speed along this manual. However, real life issues came up which made it impossible to get all of the bits from his work out of mine. I do fully intend to still get them out, since I now have the time I originally thought I had, and will take the material out that is his.

I was not trying to plagiarize anybodies work, especially in a new manual, as all that ends up doing is wasting space here on the forums, as well as giving the guilty party an incredibly bad name here.

I do apologize if this has ruffled anybodies feathers at all and will rectify the issue immediately.
I do completely understand the concerns on everyone's minds concerning the borrowing of Lord Ventnor's Manual, I went into this fully intending to replace all of his opinions with my own and have been just using that reference, up to now, to help speed along this manual. However, real life issues came up which made it impossible to get all of the bits from his work out of mine. I do fully intend to still get them out, since I now have the time I originally thought I had, and will take the material out that is his.

I was not trying to plagiarize anybodies work, especially in a new manual, as all that ends up doing is wasting space here on the forums, as well as giving the guilty party an incredibly bad name here.

I do apologize if this has ruffled anybodies feathers at all and will rectify the issue immediately.

That done, I'm looking forward to seeing this guide complete. Thanks!
I do completely understand the concerns on everyone's minds concerning the borrowing of Lord Ventnor's Manual, I went into this fully intending to replace all of his opinions with my own and have been just using that reference, up to now, to help speed along this manual. However, real life issues came up which made it impossible to get all of the bits from his work out of mine. I do fully intend to still get them out, since I now have the time I originally thought I had, and will take the material out that is his.

I'm glad that you understand; that's often most of the battle.

I was not trying to plagiarize anybodies work, especially in a new manual, as all that ends up doing is wasting space here on the forums, as well as giving the guilty party an incredibly bad name here.

No one here is accusing you of intentionally doing so. It's clear that it wasn't intentional from your qualifier in the first post.

I do apologize if this has ruffled anybodies feathers at all and will rectify the issue immediately.

You still need to remove the content that is Lord_Ventor's. Leave the sections blank until you have made more progress.
Agreed that no one is outright accusing you of intentional plagiarism. If my earlier post seemed that way, then I apologize.

I have to admit, either I missed the part where you mentioned your intent was to use Ventnor's work as a reference to build your own work upon, or I misinterpreted it. In either case, thats my fault, not yours. Taken in light of your intent, then, my comments may have come off too harshly. Sorry about that.

Perhaps a better approach would have been to take inspiration from Ventnor's thread and others as a skeleton and style guide upon which to build your own handbook, but not to post anything until you had your own thoughts worked out on the basics of what you want to include. And as YD said, leaving a section blank until the content is ready is okay. To me, such placeholders and empty spoiler boxes with "coming soon" act more as a means of drawing me back to a thread to see what's new, rather than putting me off.

I look forward to seeing this thread develop. A greater diversity of opinions is always welcome.
ideoultracounterquasicryptopropseudocontraneoantidisestablishmentarianisticalismesque reminiscent of the idea of the highest degree of being against something that is almost but not quite secretly in favor of pretended or spurious opposition to the revival or modification of a movement characterized by relation to the movement or ideology that opposes the ending of the status of an group of individuals regarded as an entity as granted by enacted legislation
@Knightsfyre, no need to apologize. I was in the wrong regarding that issue and take full responsibility for it. Instead of just canceling, or flat out trying to delete then retype (which ended up taking longer anyway), I should have done as you mentioned and used it as the skeleton for this. I guess you can say "blame it on this being my first guide.", which I have actually learned alot from, which should vastly help if I ever do make another one.

@YD, another thing I have noticed was that many of the powers and feats will probably be similar, which sorta makes this guide a bit of an unneeded resource due to the powers and feats not changing, but the perspectives on those being somewhat different. If I have missed anything at all, still, could you please point it out. I would be very grateful for it, though I will also still be looking at both guides as well, just in case I have missed anything.

My biggest goal with this guide was to try to make it a more generalized one focusing on Swordmages in general, as the others, appearing to me, seemed more focused on Shieldmages than the other two builds. I also wanted to try to add some additional material that I haven't seen on a guide yet, that being the different MC feats, different Epic Destinies, as well as the new Hybrid choices.

Since AV2 is going to be coming out in a few weeks, I'll probably wait to finish that section until then, but until then, thanks for looking at this, and please respond with anything missed or things you think might need changing. I tried to give the reasons why I gave the color for everything, and might have missed a few things others see, Like Oni's Gift for instance. Which, until I thought about Assaultmages, thought was completely useless.
Actually Bane Blade is better than Quarry, since it is not restricted to 1/round.

I also can't see what is that bad about Acid fountain. You should be able to hit a few enemies without hitting an ally once per encounter. Especially if you are one of the builds that have arcane reach.

Finally, while I think Waves of Languor are quite good, they are not sky blue IMO. Why? Because most SM don't build around on inflicting save penalties on ongoing effects (so most enemies will make their saves before going unconscious, and if not they wont be it for a long time). If a SM build does, than it is of course. Still probably better for (orb)wizards then for SM.
JMHO.
You have [b]Student of the Sword[/b] and [b]Battle Acumen[/b] reversed. The latter feat is so much better as it makes you stickier than usual, something you as a Defender can really use. Much better than a +1 to hit once per encounter.

Also your last daily lvl 29 power Vorpal Doom is at least [b]blue[/b]. Laying a massive smackdown on a single enemy to draw attention to your character is something Defenders should be doing,handing out a better crit range for all your powers until the end of the encounter is simply icing on the cake.
Actually Bane Blade is better than Quarry, since it is not restricted to 1/round.

I also can't see what is that bad about Acid fountain. You should be able to hit a few enemies without hitting an ally once per encounter. Especially if you are one of the builds that have arcane reach.

Finally, while I think Waves of Languor are quite good, they are not sky blue IMO. Why? Because most SM don't build around on inflicting save penalties on ongoing effects (so most enemies will make their saves before going unconscious, and if not they wont be it for a long time). If a SM build does, than it is of course. Still probably better for (orb)wizards then for SM.
JMHO.

I agree completely on Bane Blade,however not so much about Acid Fountain,however as you said if you're an Arcane Reach build then it is much better for you.

Waves of Languor+phrenic long sword+phrenic helm=win. It's the same situation as Acid Fountain,you have to build yourself around it. And smacking things with that with a -6 save penalty attached to it is something that is worth doing.
Magister is Sky Blue. For most other classes, Magister's Flow gives a boost to a random NAD and is hard to control effectively. With a Swordmage, however, it's not hard to envision getting +4 to AC more or less permanently; there is no other paragon class that can touch the Magister's defensive boost.
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I have to say I disagree with you on Dragon's Teeth completely. While not [b]skyblue[/b] it's much better than what you have rated. Save ends effects at this level aren't all that hot,but this one really is good because it makes enemies to stay away from your allies or suffer for it.

And why do most Swordmages not like getting surrounded? Swordburst is,or at least should be,in every Swordmages arsenal so that is not a problem. Swordmages are Defenders first and foremost so they need to attract as much attention as possible.

All in all I'd say this power is [b]blue[/b].
Actually Bane Blade is better than Quarry, since it is not restricted to 1/round.

I also can't see what is that bad about Acid fountain. You should be able to hit a few enemies without hitting an ally once per encounter. Especially if you are one of the builds that have arcane reach.

Finally, while I think Waves of Languor are quite good, they are not sky blue IMO. Why? Because most SM don't build around on inflicting save penalties on ongoing effects (so most enemies will make their saves before going unconscious, and if not they wont be it for a long time). If a SM build does, than it is of course. Still probably better for (orb)wizards then for SM.
JMHO.

Concerning Bane Blade, its lack of creature types it can potentially effect is the real weakness of the power. Granted, if you're facing those specific creature types it does affect, then it can help out a bit. However, based on the other powers that are at that level, as well as what each type of Swordmage normally wants to try to do, there are better options still.

Acid Fountain is due to two seaparate issues, one can be gotten around (targeting all creatures in the blast) but for a lvl 23 power only dealing damage with absolutely no other effects combined with it is why its rating so bad.

Waves of Languor isn't based off the secondary effect, but based off what is required to hit as well as the slow and weakened effect regardless of hit or miss, both of which will have both yourslef and your teammates thankful for the reduced damage due to weakness. The unconscious bit if they fail the first saving throw is really just an added bonus.
I have to say I disagree with you on Dragon's Teeth completely. While not [b]skyblue[/b] it's much better than what you have rated. Save ends effects at this level aren't all that hot,but this one really is good because it makes enemies to stay away from your allies or suffer for it.

And why do most Swordmages not like getting surrounded? Swordburst is,or at least should be,in every Swordmages arsenal so that is not a problem. Swordmages are Defenders first and foremost so they need to attract as much attention as possible.

All in all I'd say this power is [b]blue[/b].

Swordmages normally work off their mobility, if you are surrounded, its really hard to keep that mobility going. However, I did originally misread Dragon's Teeth and do agree that it should be rated higher.

You have Student of the Sword and Battle Acumen reversed. The latter feat is so much better as it makes you stickier than usual, something you as a Defender can really use. Much better than a +1 to hit once per encounter.

Also your last daily lvl 29 power Vorpal Doom is at least blue. Laying a massive smackdown on a single enemy to draw attention to your character is something Defenders should be doing,handing out a better crit range for all your powers until the end of the encounter is simply icing on the cake.

Having the fighters CC ability is good and everything, but needing the WIS req and only getting it for 1 attack as well is why I rate it lower than Student of the Sword. Also, there is absolutely no guarantee that your CC will even trigger. Now, if it gave CS, then yes, you would be absolutely right. Most Swordmages are going to MC Fighter for the feats that fighters have anyway, so there's the other reason for the higher rating on Student of the Sword. Just to let you know though, both are still very close in my book, but I had to go with which I thought was the better choice for all reasons of MCing.

Vorpal Blade is a very nice power, but having a crit range increased 1/day based power is kinda a waste. Swordmages aren't there to be the massive damage dealers like some other classes, and their powers reflect this. So taking a daily to increase your crit range in order to deal slightly more damage isn't as good as other powers out their. Also, it only effects your melee attacks, which can end up being a huge deterrant if the majority of your attacks are bursts and blasts.
Magister is Sky Blue. For most other classes, Magister's Flow gives a boost to a random NAD and is hard to control effectively. With a Swordmage, however, it's not hard to envision getting +4 to AC more or less permanently; there is no other paragon class that can touch the Magister's defensive boost.

True, Magister is a very nice Epic Destiny, but due to Swordmages needing to take a feat in order to gain access to constant ritual casting, its whole destiny is not as ideal for Swordmages as it is for other classes. That was the main reason for the blue rating. I will grant you this though, it is on the verge of those two colors, but I try to look at the whole destiny, even the lvl 30 feature, rather than stop at some point. Heck, due to the wording on Magic's Flow, Wandering Swordmages would actually love this ability. +4 to all defenses whenever they use Four Corner's Attack. This is due to Magic's Flow not specifying primary attack, so conceivably, you could also imply that it works off of secondary attacks as well.
Swordmages normally work off their mobility, if you are surrounded, its really hard to keep that mobility going. However, I did originally misread Dragon's Teeth and do agree that it should be rated higher.

Having the fighters CC ability is good and everything, but needing the WIS req and only getting it for 1 attack as well is why I rate it lower than Student of the Sword. Also, there is absolutely no guarantee that your CC will even trigger. Now, if it gave CS, then yes, you would be absolutely right. Most Swordmages are going to MC Fighter for the feats that fighters have anyway, so there's the other reason for the higher rating on Student of the Sword. Just to let you know though, both are still very close in my book, but I had to go with which I thought was the better choice for all reasons of MCing.

Vorpal Blade is a very nice power, but having a crit range increased 1/day based power is kinda a waste. Swordmages aren't there to be the massive damage dealers like some other classes, and their powers reflect this. So taking a daily to increase your crit range in order to deal slightly more damage isn't as good as other powers out their. Also, it only effects your melee attacks, which can end up being a huge deterrant if the majority of your attacks are bursts and blasts.

One of the best stat spreads for a Swordmage is the 16/14/14/13/10/8. This allows for pumping of Int and your secondary stat almost exclusively and also puts you within range of pretty much every helpful feat which would include BAttle Acumein. A +1 to hit once per encounter is nice,but being better at your job as a Defender is something that should happen. You're job is to be sticky,and Battle Acumein should trigger quite often.

And there are very few Swordmage builds that are blast/burst only,true if you focus yourself on that then Vorpal Doom isn't as good,but since most Swordmage attacks have the weapon keyword the 19-20 will ome into play. Also,dealing a large amount of damage is never a bad thing. Sure if your a Defender your primary role isn't damage,but it's still a secondary priority.

A Defender that can't dish out hurt will just be ignored on the battlefield even with the -2,or any other effects you may have.
Concerning Bane Blade, its lack of creature types it can potentially effect is the real weakness of the power. Granted, if you're facing those specific creature types it does affect, then it can help out a bit. However, based on the other powers that are at that level, as well as what each type of Swordmage normally wants to try to do, there are better options still.

What creature types it can't affect? As far as I understand it, you only have to choose one (in doubt the type of the BBEG). And 2d6 on each attack for an whole encounter is IMO quite strong, especially if you have a build, that usually has more than one attack per turn (WL Master Riposte, Quicksilverblade, ...) or a lot of area attacks.


Acid Fountain is due to two separate issues, one can be gotten around (targeting all creatures in the blast) but for a lvl 23 power only dealing damage with absolutely no other effects combined with it is why its rating so bad.

The last part is of course correct (and another downside is IMO that it only deals one type of damage). But red seems nevertheless a bit harsh for my taste, although I can see your point.

Waves of Languor isn't based off the secondary effect, but based off what is required to hit as well as the slow and weakened effect regardless of hit or miss, both of which will have both yourslef and your teammates thankful for the reduced damage due to weakness. The unconscious bit if they fail the first saving throw is really just an added bonus.

Well, targeting will is great, but on the other side it's still an implement attack that does not that much damage. Still a good power, but there are strong competitors in that level (Quicksilver Blade, Invincible Rampage), and IMO it is not clearly better than this two.

Just another thought: Maybe you could also include Student of Caiphon under "Other Paragon Paths". With weapons that add the radiant keyword, it is a very strong path, and the only way for a SM to go for 18-20 crits (which would also make the Punisher of the Gods EP better for such builds).
One of the best stat spreads for a Swordmage is the 16/14/14/13/10/8. This allows for pumping of Int and your secondary stat almost exclusively and also puts you within range of pretty much every helpful feat which would include BAttle Acumein. A +1 to hit once per encounter is nice,but being better at your job as a Defender is something that should happen. You're job is to be sticky,and Battle Acumein should trigger quite often.

And there are very few Swordmage builds that are blast/burst only,true if you focus yourself on that then Vorpal Doom isn't as good,but since most Swordmage attacks have the weapon keyword the 19-20 will ome into play. Also,dealing a large amount of damage is never a bad thing. Sure if your a Defender your primary role isn't damage,but it's still a secondary priority.

A Defender that can't dish out hurt will just be ignored on the battlefield even with the -2,or any other effects you may have.

Question for you, are you sure that you're not mixing Battle Acumen, the paragon MC feat that gives you Combat Superiority, with Battle Awareness, regular MC feat that gives you a watered down version of Combat Challenge? If you are, then I can completely understand where you're coming from, as having the CS feature would actually be far more valuable than a simple +1 to hit 1/encounter. The only thing though is that I didn't put any of the Paragon MC only feats in there at all. This is due to the fact that it might confuse people and have them possibly try to take those particular feats to MC into the particular class.

If you weren't mixing them up, then I really don't see where you're coming from. Swordmages, in general, aren't meant to actually be sticky, although Snaremages turn out to be the stickiest ones of the bunch. Shieldmages, in particular, don't really want their marks on them, and should try to keep them at bay. Assaultmages can work either way, although they should prefer to keep their marks a little off themselves, so that they get the punishment from their Aegis going off. Snaremages, well they don't need to care either way if their mark sticks to them or not, since it will be coming back anyway. The one thing all three versions rely on, however, is their immediate actions to either punish, shield, or relocate their marks. Battle Awareness uses up that immediate action just to make an attack against an adjacent enemy that either shifts or attacks another ally. This is exactly like a fighters combat challenge feature. Neither of them stop the foe, or gain any bonus' from other stats, unless a feat is giving those bonuses. So a Swordmage ends up losing their Immediate action for a MBA that isn't gonna force that foe to really think twice to what they were originally gonna do, and gives those marked targets a "free" shot on your allies now.

Also, on the topic of Stat spreads, an even better one would be 16/14/13/13/12/8. This allows for more choices in Race, while still guaranteeing a bonus to Will, and for STR based Swordmages, a high chance of getting Heavy Blade Mastery at 24, the earliest for any INT/STR or DEX based race. Though as I have mentioned in the handbook, I personally don't value crits as much for Swordmages, though they are nice. I believe that feats can be better used elsewhere. You're equipment can always help you out with the crit ranges.
What creature types it can't affect? As far as I understand it, you only have to choose one (in doubt the type of the BBEG). And 2d6 on each attack for an whole encounter is IMO quite strong, especially if you have a build, that usually has more than one attack per turn (WL Master Riposte, Quicksilverblade, ...) or a lot of area attacks.




The last part is of course correct (and another downside is IMO that it only deals one type of damage). But red seems nevertheless a bit harsh for my taste, although I can see your point.



Well, targeting will is great, but on the other side it's still an implement attack that does not that much damage. Still a good power, but there are strong competitors in that level (Quicksilver Blade, Invincible Rampage), and IMO it is not clearly better than this two.

Just another thought: Maybe you could also include Student of Caiphon under "Other Paragon Paths". With weapons that add the radiant keyword, it is a very strong path, and the only way for a SM to go for 18-20 crits (which would also make the Punisher of the Gods EP better for such builds).

Bane Blade only specifies animate, beast, humanoid, and magical beast within its power text. That leaves out a few creature types that would turn this power into a load of junk IMO.

Acid Fountain got the red because it only deals damage, has the potential to target allies, if you don't notice the target line since most of the burst/blast powers for swordmages target enemies only, and deals a type of damage that many creature can resist while at the same time doesn't have many options for players to ignore those resistances.

Invincible Rampage and Quicksilver Blade are both very good options at 25, however, Invincible Rampage is more situational than WoL, since if you don't become bloodied you don't get the regen and it requires a hit. True, having a way to heal yourself makes the leaders job a bit easier, but so does causing weakness. Quicksilver Blade also forces straight Swordmages into taking Intelligent Blademaster (which you should anyway, but not required) since they can't use any of their at-wills as MBA's. Having a power that targets all enemies in a close burst 2 that also guarantees those enemies are gonna be weakened and slowed for a turn is any defenders dream, IMO. When you hit 25, ask yourself this question:

Would I rather have a power that lets me have regen if I'm already considerably hurt, have a power that gives me 1 extra attack but also forces me to use a feat to make that attack usually count and costs me a minor action that can be used to mark something, or guarantees me to weaken (hopefully) many, but most likely a couple, enemies at once with the chance to knock them unconscious? That answer alone can normally let you know exactly which type of defender you truly wish yourself to be. Either a defender that can sustain themselves for a bit longer to try to help out the team, one that wants to end up being slightly more strikerish, or one that wants to minimize what a group of enemies can do to the group while giving your teammates a short breather.

As far as Student of Caiphon, I didn't put it in there because it's a Warlock PP (to my understanding, haven't really looked at it other than a glance), though a very nice one at that. So from my standpoint, if I ended up doing that, then I would wind up doing the same thing for every other class that has decent, or even great, PP's. If you notice, all the PP's I have under other, are ones that actually don't require any MCing to qualify for, though some do require taking a Dragonmark from the Eberron Setting.
Bane Blade only specifies animate, beast, humanoid, and magical beast within its power text. That leaves out a few creature types that would turn this power into a load of junk IMO.

I'm pretty sure you don't understand what types are. There are no other creature types.

Invincible Rampage and Quicksilver Blade are both very good options at 25, however, Invincible Rampage is more situational than WoL, since if you don't become bloodied you don't get the regen and it requires a hit. Quicksilver Blade also forces straight Swordmages into taking Intelligent Blademaster (which you should anyway, but not required) since they can't use any of their at-wills as MBA's.

Forces straight swordmages into taking Intelligent Blademaster? Leaving aside assault swordmages, which apparently don't count, how many classes get to use their at-wills as melee basic attacks? I'm thinking druid... and I'm done. There are reasons to downgrade Quicksilver Blade (requires minor actions which conflict with marking, stance in a class that already has good defensive stances), but downgrading because it only allows melee basic attacks is not a good reason.
Leaving aside assault swordmages, which apparently don't count, how many classes get to use their at-wills as melee basic attacks? I'm thinking druid... and I'm done.

Sorcerers, Wizards, Invokers, Paladins, Avengers, Barbarians when charging... just off of the top of my head.
I'm pretty sure you don't understand what types are. There are no other creature types.

Not having an actual copy of either of the monster manuals can be a setback at times. Checking on the compendium, you're right. I was thinking things like Undead, Elemental, Aberrant, etc. were considered types, not just keywords. So yes, I was completely misinformed and will fix this error.

Forces straight swordmages into taking Intelligent Blademaster? Leaving aside assault swordmages, which apparently don't count, how many classes get to use their at-wills as melee basic attacks? I'm thinking druid... and I'm done. There are reasons to downgrade Quicksilver Blade (requires minor actions which conflict with marking, stance in a class that already has good defensive stances), but downgrading because it only allows melee basic attacks is not a good reason.

I do count Assaultmages in there as well. You don't actually need a high STR score to be an Assaultmage. If you are thinking Sword of Assault paragon path, then yes, I am not counting them. That's because it's a paragon path, that not every Assaultmage is going to take. Also, I didn't originally state it was rated lower due to it using up a minor action or it being a stance, because in the original rating, I stated both those facts. I also stated that Assaultmages find it's better for them as well, this is because it fits with their striker secondary role as well as them usually having a higher STR score. I personally can't stand powers that force the majority of their users into taking specific feats in order to make a decent use out of the power. A large number of Swordmages will probably only have a 14 in STR, anywhere from 8 to 14 points lower than their INT score, which becomes 4 to 7 points lower on the attack itself. Just for a bit more info, yes, I absolutely hate all the expertise feats, but also understand the reasons for them to be there. I just wish that WotC had come up with a different form of fixing the problem within the game without making it a feat tax.
No, first of all PMC is almost always a bad idea. Especially with the Hybrid option out there,not saying you can't be effective if you do it,just generally you're better off just picking a PP instead.

And yes,dunno how I got those two messed up I was thinking Battle Awareness not Acumen. However Battle Awareness is still much better than Student of the Sword by miles. Keeping enemies near you is your job,and Swordmages are ment to Aegis one target and then move to another to get things rolling not Aegis one and then stare at him idly. Sorry for the mix up but aside from the name the arguement still stands in favor of Battle Awareness IMO.
True, keeping your unmarked enemies that you're currently dealing with is always a good thing to do, but not when it uses up the Swordmages Immediate Action, which is needed to use their Aegis abilities. That is the main reason why it's rated lower. Granted, it's only going to come into effect 1 time per encounter, but that one time use of your immediate action can end up hurting your allies. That's because it ends up turning your Aegis mark into nothing more than a general mark, and it won't actually stop the enemy you hit in their tracks. If it used up a free action, like Student of the Sword does, then yes, I would fully agree with you, but as it stands, it uses up an immediate interrupt that won'e actually force any enemy that really wants to go after one of your allies from doing so. So then you should look at what's the better choice, still having the ability to trigger your Aegis power to punish an enemy you marked, or using it to punish an enemy that's trying to get at another ally. This becomes even more compounded when you become Paragon and, usually, take Double Aegis, which would give you an extra option to use your Aegis power against. Even in Heroic tier, with all the powers that mark enemies with your Aegis power, it still gives you a tough choice to make. I guess, in a sense, you can compare it with White Lotus Master Riposte, which you would also need to determine when the best time to use that feat is, although to a lesser extent in the case of Battle Awareness.
True, keeping your unmarked enemies that you're currently dealing with is always a good thing to do, but not when it uses up the Swordmages Immediate Action, which is needed to use their Aegis abilities. That is the main reason why it's rated lower. Granted, it's only going to come into effect 1 time per encounter, but that one time use of your immediate action can end up hurting your allies. That's because it ends up turning your Aegis mark into nothing more than a general mark, and it won't actually stop the enemy you hit in their tracks. If it used up a free action, like Student of the Sword does, then yes, I would fully agree with you, but as it stands, it uses up an immediate interrupt that won'e actually force any enemy that really wants to go after one of your allies from doing so. So then you should look at what's the better choice, still having the ability to trigger your Aegis power to punish an enemy you marked, or using it to punish an enemy that's trying to get at another ally. This becomes even more compounded when you become Paragon and, usually, take Double Aegis, which would give you an extra option to use your Aegis power against. Even in Heroic tier, with all the powers that mark enemies with your Aegis power, it still gives you a tough choice to make. I guess, in a sense, you can compare it with White Lotus Master Riposte, which you would also need to determine when the best time to use that feat is, although to a lesser extent in the case of Battle Awareness.

There are more situations I can think of that I would rather use my immediate action for the round to keep some BBE off one of my squishies than to kick off my aeigs effect. WI agree on the point of the riposte feats in the sense of how it works,but the +1 to hit really isn't all that great. Like I said your job is to defend,the only builds that really have a problem with the ageis thing are shielding who have one of the strongest effects in terms of what they can do. Assaulting are damage focused anyway,and ensnaring are focused on keeping things around as long as possible.
Regarding classes that can use their at-wills as melee basic attacks:

Sorcerers, Wizards, Invokers, Paladins, Avengers, Barbarians when charging... just off of the top of my head.

I know about the "can be used as a melee basic attack when charging" style powers, which don't help for opportunity attacks. I did miss the new at-will in Divine Power for the paladin, so I have to eat crow there.

None of the others get at-will powers which can be used as melee basic attacks (not ranged basic attacks). You can take a feat to make some of those classes' powers usable as melee basic attacks, but that costs the same feat that Intelligent Blademaster costs, which Cecil was objecting to.

The point that I was making there is that one of the three builds of swordmage needs to be able to make good melee basic attacks already, whether that's done through increasing Strength along with Intelligence or by taking Intelligent Blademaster. The other two probably want good melee basic attacks to make their opportunity attacks more threatening, befitting their role as defender. Quicksilver Blade requires your MBAs to be useful for it to be useful, and there's such a low cost to get them useful (and other benefits that come from paying that cost) that I don't think that it's a drawback.
Regarding classes that can use their at-wills as melee basic attacks:



I know about the "can be used as a melee basic attack when charging" style powers, which don't help for opportunity attacks. I did miss the new at-will in Divine Power for the paladin, so I have to eat crow there.

None of the others get at-will powers which can be used as melee basic attacks (not ranged basic attacks). You can take a feat to make some of those classes' powers usable as melee basic attacks, but that costs the same feat that Intelligent Blademaster costs, which Cecil was objecting to.

The point that I was making there is that one of the three builds of swordmage needs to be able to make good melee basic attacks already, whether that's done through increasing Strength along with Intelligence or by taking Intelligent Blademaster. The other two probably want good melee basic attacks to make their opportunity attacks more threatening, befitting their role as defender. Quicksilver Blade requires your MBAs to be useful for it to be useful, and there's such a low cost to get them useful (and other benefits that come from paying that cost) that I don't think that it's a drawback.

I guess you can say that I wasn't exactly objecting to the feat itself, more along the lines that in order for the majority of the Swordmage styles to use that power the feat is mandatory, thus creating a "feat tax" just to make that one power good. Intelligent Blademaster is actually, in itself, a great feat, which does make a Swordmage have better MBA's as stated, but forcing someone to take that feat just for the power is, IMO, a tad over the top.

Back to the point though, I have fixed Quicksilver Blade so it indicates more of my thoughts on it. Although I still believe WoL is a more defender styled power than QB, I can see the usefulness of it for all the styles when compared to each other.
I don't enjoy using this guide because it rates almost every last single spell red unless it's the second coming. I think maybe the author should develop a more refined feel for what deserves a red and what doesn't, as is, it doesn't seem to match with any other color coded guide I've seen, red is reserved for truly horrible spells and abilities.
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