Stunning Thunder-glaive Immo-bola-zer

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Stunning Thunder-glaive Immo-bola-zer

Most important of all, none of what follows is original to me. This build is a synergy of at least four different ideas. All the original ideas are pretty clever. The build below just synergizes ideas.
Credits

First, I got the specific necessities of the Thunder-glaive from runreallyfast’s very clever [thread=1174711]"Thunderglaive" - swordmage|wizard controller[/thread]. Here’s the basic combo of stats/feats/implements you need for the main “Thunder-glaive” trick:
Thunderglaive
runreallyfast;18306756 wrote:
STR 13 CON 10 DEX 15 INT 18 WIS 15 CHA 8 (for Deva or Eladrin at level 2 Wizard|Swordmage)
STR 13 CON 10 DEX 15 INT 16 WIS 15 CHA 8 (for Human at level 1 Wizard|Swordmage)
Feats: Battle Awareness (heal), Polearm Momentum
At Will: Thunderwave
Weapon & Implement: Glaive (a heavy weapon and a polearm)
As you use your implement glaive on thunderwave, you will wisely knock your opponents back two (or more) squares, triggering polearm momentum, and leaving them prone.

Note: I use Student of the Sword instead of Battle Awareness because the mark that Student of the Sword grants (with a hit OR miss) is more controller-ish than the melee basic attack that Battle Awareness grants (which will probably suck). Here are the feats.
Student of the Sword Multiclass Fighter feat
Prerequisite: Str 13. Benefit: You gain training in one skill from the fighter’s class skill list. Choose either one-handed melee weapons or two-handed melee weapons. Once per encounter as a free action, you can add a +1 bonus to the next attack roll you make with a weapon of that category. Whether the attack hits or misses, you mark the target until the end of your next turn. (PHB)

Polearm Momentum feat
Heroic Tier. Prerequisite: Dex 15, Wis 15, fighter. Benefit: Whenever you use a polearm or a spear attack to push or slide a target 2 or more squares, you can also knock that target prone at the end of the forced movement. (Martial Power)

So to use the “Thunder-glaive” with the build I have here, I need to get the Implement Proficiency (Heavy Blades) feat as well.


Second, I got the formula for the Immo-bola-zer from ChristopherGroves on mdonais’s super fun [thread=18971726]Help Mike’s Netizard[/thread]. Here’s the formula:
Arcane Options for the net/bola/whip trick

ChristopherGroves;18971726 wrote:
ARCANE OPTIONS
Assuming you want to do Wizard (the controller with the biggest bursts) it would be
Hybrid Wizard + Hybrid class what uses a holy symbol + Windrise Ports + martial MC + Bola/Net(/whip) Training (+ Disrupting Bola/Net/Whip)

This is how this trick works
Hybrid characters can use the implements of either of their hybrid classes for any of their powers (of either hybrid class) with the implement keyword. So a Disrupting Weapon (from Dragon Magazine 364) is a flail, hammer, or mace that can be used as a holy symbol. Holy symbols can be used as implements by three divine classes: Clerics (leaders), Avengers (strikers), or Paladins (defenders). This means a Hybrid Wizard|Cleric can use a Disrupting Weapon as an implement for any wizard AND cleric powers with the implement keyword. The Windrise Ports character background from Dragon 376 has this regional benefit: “You can take class-specific multiclass feats for two classes other than your own, rather than one. You also gain one additional language of your choice.” There’s some disagreement as to the actual meaning of “class-specific multiclass feats,” but Dragon issue 373, page 12 should settle any disagreement:

Weapon Mastery feats have appeared before in “We Who Are About to Die . . .” (Dragon 368, page 56) and “Playing Shadar-Kai” (Dragon 372, page 5). Those articles rightly described the initial training feats for weapon mastery as multiclass feats. They failed to make clear that those multiclass feats—Bola Training, Net Training, Spiked Chain Training, and Whip Training—are class-specific multiclass feats.

The Bola Training multiclass feat comes from Dragon 368:

Prerequisite: Dex 13, any martial class. Benefit: You gain proficiency with the bola. When you hit a target with your bola, you can forgo dealing damage to immobilize the target until the end of your next turn. On a critical hit, the target is also knocked prone.

A bola is also categorized as a “flail” so it can be used as a Disrupting Weapon. The basic technique is to maximize the area of a wizard at-will burst (like Scorching Burst or Chilling Cloud) with feats like Enlarge Spell (Arcane Power), Arcane Admixture (Arcane Power, add the Thunder keyword to the power), and Resounding Thunder (PHB). Then cast that wizard power through the Disrupting Bola. Everthing that gets hit gets immobilized.



Third, the Earthroot Staff / Phrenic Crown / Cunning Blade stun-locking combo has been around so long it’s difficult to attribute it, but I will credit the greatly-revered-but-no-longer-with-us lordduskblade for finally giving us a complete build for it in his [thread=1127932]Orbizard[/thread].
The math is this
If you have a +6 Cunning Glaive (heavy blade and -4 to saving throws, from Adventurer’s Vault), an epic tier Phrenic Crown (-3 to saving throws with powers that target will, from Adventurer’s Vault), and a +6 Earthroot Staff (-6 to saving throws with powers that impose immobilized, petrified, restrained or slowed conditions, from Adventurer’s Vault), you can impose a -13 penalty to saving throws for a whole lot of wizard daily attacks. Solo monsters get a +5 to saving throws, so you throw in a 1/encounter Orb of Imposition for an additional save penalty equal to your Wisdom mod and you can lock down anything. Of course, this is all at 30th level. But starting at 8th level, with this build you can have a +2 Cunning Glaive (-2 penalty), heroic Phrenic Crown (-1 penalty), a +2 Earthroot Staff (-2 penalty), and a 15 Wisdom (-2 penalty), which all equals -7 penalty. At level 18, you can have a +4 Cunning Glaive (-3 penalty), paragon Phrenic Crown (-2 penalty), a +4 Earthroot Staff (-4 penalty), and an 18 Wisdom (-4 penalty), which all equals -13. The main point is that the stunning capacities of this build progress at a rate that keeps the game challenging, but eventually gives you a way to stunlock a bad guy if you have no other options left. Plus, none of this uses an orb with a bonus and daily power (like Orb of Ultimate Imposition or Orb of Fickle Fate from Adventurer’s Vault), so the penalty bonuses are renewable each encounter and it keeps your costs down (because, with this build, you want to max out your Glaive, Bola, Earthroot Staff, and Phrenic Crown - that’s a LOT of gold).


Fourth, the idea to use the Disembodied Hand familiar from Dragon 374 to get drawing and stowing as free actions came from Kurald_Galain’s [thread= 1116781]Guide to the Utility Belt Wizard: Batman 4E-style[/thread]. Switching from a glaive to use the Thunder-glaive combo to a bola to use the Immo-bola-zer combo, back to an Earthroot Staff and Cunning Glaive and then an orb to stun an enemy. . . all that uses an awful lot of drawing and stowing items. The Disembodied Hand keeps the items coming and going when you need them to.

Fifth, I initially posted this build without a paragon path because I wasn’t quite sure which would be best suited for it. Then, I swear, on my own I settled on Spellstorm Mage from PHBI independent of any other source. But when I was looking up mdonais’s [thread=18971726]Help Mike’s Netizard[/thread] thread again to look up the discussion about the Windrise Ports background, I noticed in post #10, he recommends Spellstorm Mage for the same basic reasons why I finally settled on it. So, here’s a nod to Mike for recognizing the strengths in Spellstorm Mage before I did.

Lastly, the idea to embrace the mitigation of stun-locking as an optimization of fun came from Xzylvador’s [thread=1185555]The Frozen Summoner[/thread]. It’s not really fun to win the game in a single round. Keeping some chance of failure in the game keeps it exciting.


Okay, you probably get the picture of what this build is by now, so I hereby present to you:

Stunning Thunder-glaive Immo-bola-zer, level 30
Human Wizard|Cleric / Fighter MC / Bola MC / Spellstorm Mage / Demigod
Background: Windrise Ports
FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 15, Con 12, Dex 18, Int 26, Wis 22, Cha 10.

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 13, Con 10, Dex 15, Int 16, Wis 15, Cha 8.

Lvl/bump
4/INT & WIS
8/INT & WIS
11/ALL
14/ INT & WIS
18/ INT & WIS
21/ALL, +2 to INT & WIS
24/INT & WIS
28/INT & DEX

Defenses will be pretty sub-par throughout this character’s life.

Skills are irrelevant to the main point of this build

FEATS
Human Bonus: Implement Proficiency (Heavy Blades)
Level 1: Student of the Sword (Fighter Multiclass)
Level 2: Polearm Momentum
Level 4: Enlarge Spell
Level 6: Bola Training
Level 8: Arcane Familiar (Disembodied Hand)
Level 9: Retrain Enlarge Spell for Hybrid Talent: Orb of Imposition
Level 10: Enlarge Spell
Level 11: Arcane Admixture (Scorching Burst, Thunder)
Level 12: Resounding Thunder
Level 14: Arcane Reach
Level 16: Focused Expertise (Glaive)
Level 18: Focused Expertise (Bola)
Level 20: Paragon Defenses
Level 21: Spell Accuracy
Level 22: Arcane Mastery
Level 24: Quickened Spellcasting
Level 26: Mobile Warrior
Level 28: Epic Fortitude
Level 30: Epic Will

POWERS
Hybrid Cleric at-will 1: Gaze of Defiance
Hybrid Wizard at-will 1: Scorching Burst
Human Bonus at-will 1: Thunderwave
Hybrid daily 1: Flaming Sphere (retrain to Font of Tears or Moment of Glory at 5th level)
Hybrid daily 5: Grasp of the Grave
Hybrid daily 9: Face of Death
Hybrid daily 15: Ivory Rampart (replaces Font of Tears or Moment of Glory)
Hybrid daily 19: Evard’s Black Tentacles (replaces Grasp of the Grave)
Paragon daily 20: Maelstrom of Chaos
Hybrid daily 25: Prismatic Spray (retrain to Soulshock Field at 29th level)
Hybrid daily 29: Legion’s Hold (replaces Ivory Rampart)
Hybrid encounter 1: Grasping Shadows
Hybrid encounter 3: Astral Flare or Hymn of Resurgence
Hybrid encounter 7: Winter’s Wrath
Paragon encounter 11: Storm Cage
Hybrid encounter 13: Orbmaster’s Umbral Assault (relpaces Grasping Shadows)
Hybrid encounter 17: Sever the Source (replaces Astral Flare or Hymn of Resurgence)
Hybrid encounter 23: Acid Storm (replaces Winter's Wrath)
Hybrid encounter 27: Orbmaster's Umbral Assault (keep - don't replace)
Hybrid utility 2: Shield
Hybrid utility 6: Cure Serious Wounds
Hybrid utility 10: Blur
Paragon utility 12: Sudden Storm
Hybrid utility 16: Displacement
Hybrid utility 22: Wall of Force
Epic destiny utility 26: Divine Regeneration

NECESSARY ITEMS (all maxed out, if possible)
Disrupting Bola, Cunning Glaive, Phrenic Crown, Earthroot Staff

-----------------------------------------------------

As you can see, I still need a bit of work on this still. Please lend any helpful advice you have.

Most importantly, what should I do about defenses? This build is pretty MAD and I don’t have room for leather armor proficiency early on (I suppose I could take it later). But I fear this build’s defenses will be pretty sub-par throughout its life.

Any other helpful suggestions about what could make this build better?
TACTICS (forthcoming)
reserved
I find it symptomatic that all three of the core (ab)uses in this build derives from a single basic mechanic; that is, being able to use weapons as implements.
Level 9: Retrain Enlarge Spell for Hybrid Talent: Orb of Imposition ?????
Level 10: Enlarge Spell ?????
DPR King Candidates 3.0
How much damage should I shoot for?
You're fired : 1 Kills Per 5 Rounds = .2 KPR Fair Striker : 2 Kills Per 5 Rounds = .4 KPR Highly Optimized : 3 Kills Per 5 Rounds = .6 KPR Nerfbat please : 4 Kills Per 5 Rounds = .8 KPR It's OVER 9000!!!!!: 5 Kills Per 5 Rounds = 1+ KPR
DPR? KPR? KP4R? Bless you
DPR = Damage Per round ~= Chance to hit * damage on a hit KPR = Kills Per Round. 1 Kill = 8*Level+24 damage = DPR/(8*level+24) KPNR = Kills Per N Rounds. How many standards can you kill in N rounds?
I thought Windrise Port allowed you to take two multiclass feats that are specific to a CLASS.

It does not let you take a weapon-based multiclass feat as far as I know.
My Sorc Guide Link: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19649162/Joes_Sorcerer_Guide_AP_update_51509 My Genesi Wizard Blaster Link: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/25082729/Miniguide_to_Genesi_LightningThunder_Blaster_Wizard_%2806-2010%29
I find it symptomatic that all three of the core (ab)uses in this build derives from a single basic mechanic; that is, being able to use weapons as implements.

Spot on. I'm not quite sure how I feel about defending that basic mechanic. . . but it makes for some very nifty combinations. Plus, some game designers (like mdonais [thread=18971726]Help Mike’s Netizard[/thread]) apparently like the mechanic.
Level 9: Retrain Enlarge Spell for Hybrid Talent: Orb of Imposition ?????
Level 10: Enlarge Spell ?????

Not quite sure what your question is, so I'll clarify all parts included in your message.

From the Compendium:
Enlarge Spell
Heroic Tier
Prerequisite: Wis 13, wizard
Benefit: Before using an arcane attack power, you can choose to take a -2 penalty to each die of damage rolled with the power to increase the size of its blast or its burst by 1.
You can’t use this feat on a power that doesn’t roll dice for damage.
First published in Arcane Power.

Also, from the Compendium:
Hybrid Talent
Heroic Tier
Prerequisite: Hybrid character
Benefit: You gain a hybrid talent option from one of your hybrid class entries. You can’t choose an option that you already have.
First published in Dragon Magazine 375.

Hybrid classes do not have all the features that their non-hybrid counterparts do. For instance, my hybrid wizard|cleric in this build does not have the Implement Mastery class feature. However, that feature is available through the Hybrid Talent feat. If I take the Hybrid Talent feat, I can select the Orb of Imposition Implement Mastery class feature that a wizard has.

I want this character to have Orb of Imposition at level 9 when he gets the wizard Face of Death daily power.

From the Compendium:
Face of Death
You create a vision of the reaper of souls before your foes’ eyes, and they freeze in terror of their impending death.
Daily Arcane, Fear, Illusion, Implement
Standard Action Area burst 1 within 10 squares
Target: Each creature in burst
Attack: Intelligence vs. Will
Hit: The target is immobilized (save ends).
First Failed Saving Throw: The target is helpless (save ends).
Aftereffect: The target is slowed (save ends).
Miss: The target is immobilized (save ends).
Aftereffect: The target is slowed (save ends).
First published in Arcane Power.

Face of Death is basically an upgrade to Sleep. It combos nicely with save penalty items (like the Cunning Glaive, Earthroot Staff, and Phrenic Crown) and with the Orb of Imposition.

Retraining is a basic game mechanic to allow players to switch out feats, powers, and skills. From the PHBI, p. 28:

Every time you gain a level, you can retrain your
character: change one feat, power, or skill selection
you made previously. You can make only one change
at each level. When your class table tells you to replace
a power you know with a different power of a higher
level, that doesn’t count as retraining—you can still
retrain an additional feat, power, or skill as normal.

In the selection you queried, I use retraining at level 9 to replace the feat Enlarge Spell with the feat Hybrid Talent (and I select Orb of Imposition as the class feature I gain). Then at level 10, I take the feat Enlarge Spell again.

Hope that clears it up.
I thought Windrise Port allowed you to take two multiclass feats that are specific to a CLASS.

It does not let you take a weapon-based multiclass feat as far as I know.

I also was not quite sure about the exact ruling until just today. I found this in Dragon issue 373, page 12:

Weapon Mastery feats have appeared before in “We Who Are About to Die . . .” (Dragon 368, page 56) and “Playing Shadar-Kai” (Dragon 372, page 5). Those articles rightly described the initial training feats for weapon mastery as multiclass feats. They failed to make clear that those multiclass feats—Bola Training, Net Training, Spiked Chain Training, and Whip Training—are class-specific multiclass feats.

(bold added by me)

I found this specific clarification referred to in this thread: [thread=1216035]Kerrus' Whiplement caster[/thread] (which has a debate on this particular topic in posts #10 through #20). Plus, one of the game designers, mdonais, uses the Windrise Ports bachground in this way in his similar build that uses a net instead of a bola loacted here: [thread=1210434]Help Mike's Netizard[/thread]

I hope that answers your concern.
Sure does, as improbable as it seems.

So if a 'weapon training multiclass' that has nothing to do with any class counts as a 'class-specific multiclass', then WHAT THE HECK is a NON-class specific multiclass!?!

Seriously... why introduce such a worthless term as 'class-specific multiclass'?
My Sorc Guide Link: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/19649162/Joes_Sorcerer_Guide_AP_update_51509 My Genesi Wizard Blaster Link: http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/25082729/Miniguide_to_Genesi_LightningThunder_Blaster_Wizard_%2806-2010%29
Sure does, as improbable as it seems.

So if a 'weapon training multiclass' that has nothing to do with any class counts as a 'class-specific multiclass', then WHAT THE HECK is a NON-class specific multiclass!?!

Seriously... why introduce such a worthless term as 'class-specific multiclass'?

Non-class specific multi-class feats would be the feats that let you trade powers from you primary class(es) for those of your multi-class(es).
Sure does, as improbable as it seems.

So if a 'weapon training multiclass' that has nothing to do with any class counts as a 'class-specific multiclass', then WHAT THE HECK is a NON-class specific multiclass!?!

Seriously... why introduce such a worthless term as 'class-specific multiclass'?

A non class-specific MC feat is for example "Novice Power", as it still lets swap an encounter power even if you retrain your class-specific MC feat into another class-specific MC feat.

Btw, regarding the "using weapons as implements"-debate, there's one thing in this build that I don't understand:
If you have a +6 Cunning Glaive (heavy blade and -4 to saving throws, from Adventurer’s Vault), an epic tier Phrenic Crown (-3 to saving throws with powers that target will, from Adventurer’s Vault), and a +6 Earthroot Staff (-6 to saving throws with powers that impose immobilized, petrified, restrained or slowed conditions, from Adventurer’s Vault), you can impose a -13 penalty to saving throws for a whole lot of wizard daily attacks.

Just how do you attack with both the Glaive and the Staff at the same time? Even if you had chosen the Dual Implement feat this wouldn't be possible, or what did I miss?

Another thing regarding the discussion (which has mostly been about if you can use a weapon's power with an implement attack or not) is that it has, AFAIK, completely missed to deal with the mundane effects of weapons when used as implements. Is it, for example, reasonable and balanced that a Sorcerer can use a non-melee push 1 power with a Glaive-as-implement and through PM and a pair of Rushing Cleats push 2 all targets and make them prone? What does the mundane weapon's polearm group have anything to do with powers that very well may be targeting enemies even outside of its physical reach (as this build's Enlarged, Resounding, Thunderous Scorching Burst does)?

I might buy that the mundane weapon-as-implement features (such as Polearm) could work with a melee touch power such as a Reaper's Touch at-will, but seriously, with something potentially happening 10 squares away and not being melee? Mundane weapon features should be treated exactly as their proficiency bonus IMO, ie they do not apply to implement attacks. But according to RAW, this doesn't seem to be the case.
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A non class-specific MC feat is for example "Novice Power", as it still lets swap an encounter power even if you retrain your class-specific MC feat into another class-specific MC feat.

Btw, regarding the "using weapons as implements"-debate, there's one thing in this build that I don't understand:
Just how do you attack with both the Glaive and the Staff at the same time? Even if you had chosen the Dual Implement feat this wouldn't be possible, or what did I miss?

The basic mechanic is that you attack with the Glaive but NOT with the Staff. But if you hold the staff in your off-hand, you still benefit from the staff's properties (but not it's bonuses to attack or damage). In this way, the staff's properties are harnessed the same way that the Phrenic Crown's properties are. In terms of RAW, check out the FAQ for PHB1, specifically #3 here at http://wizards.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/wizards.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=1396
you would still benefit from any property that the implement has

It refers to holding an implement while you hold a shield in the same hand. I assume the same mechanical benefit would still occur if you held the implement without a shield.

Another thing regarding the discussion (which has mostly been about if you can use a weapon's power with an implement attack or not) is that it has, AFAIK, completely missed to deal with the mundane effects of weapons when used as implements. Is it, for example, reasonable and balanced that a Sorcerer can use a non-melee push 1 power with a Glaive-as-implement and through PM and a pair of Rushing Cleats push 2 all targets and make them prone? What does the mundane weapon's polearm group have anything to do with powers that very well may be targeting enemies even outside of its physical reach (as this build's Enlarged, Resounding, Thunderous Scorching Burst does)?

I might buy that the mundane weapon-as-implement features (such as Polearm) could work with a melee touch power such as a Reaper's Touch at-will, but seriously, with something potentially happening 10 squares away and not being melee? Mundane weapon features should be treated exactly as their proficiency bonus IMO, ie they do not apply to implement attacks. But according to RAW, this doesn't seem to be the case.

I remember when you made this point in runreallyfast’s [thread=1174711]“Thunderglaive”[/thread] thread (post #20). I thought it was a compelling point when you brought it up, and my initial response was to back you up and see what others thought. But the more I thought about it, I found myself siding on a fairly strict RAW interpretation. My basic reasoning is this: other implements are differentiated from each other in their particular “orb-ness” or “wand-ness” so it make sense to me that what differentiates weapons-as-implements is the particular “weapon-ness,” if that makes sense. As I’ve referenced above, at least one designer (mdonais) has no issue with using weapon qualities when weapons are used as implements.

But I totally see your point, and I would like to invite more discussion from other players and DMs on this very issue: should a weapon’s particularly weapon-like qualities (and by extension, feats that buff those qualities) be able to be applied to non-weapon attacks made through that weapon?
The basic mechanic is that you attack with the Glaive but NOT with the Staff. But if you hold the staff in your off-hand, you still benefit from the staff's properties (but not it's bonuses to attack or damage). In this way, the staff's properties are harnessed the same way that the Phrenic Crown's properties are. In terms of RAW, check out the FAQ for PHB1, specifically #3 here at http://wizards.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/wizards.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=1396

Yeah - it's fine (as currently ruled). In fact you could also use the Orb of Imposition on the spell effect as well (after switching it in with the hand as a free action) as the wording is "You can designate one creature you have cast a wizard spell upon that has an effect that lasts until the subject succeeds on a saving throw." i.e. you don't actually need to use the orb as an implement (or even be wielding it at the time of casting) to cast the spell. You only need to be wielding the orb when you apply the orb effect.
The Immo-bola-izer is a very powerful trick though. It gives you the power of the fisherman without the need for polearms and (salve-powered) difficult terrain.

One could build a rather nice Swordmage|Avenger with huge AC (stacking Swordmage Warding with Armor of Faith) that uses a bolas with (enlarged?) Swordburst to immobilize all adjacent enemies. Use a Disembodied Hand to switch between offensive mode (bolas) and defensive mode (longsword?) as a free action.

You could even use the Mark of Storm with your already admixtured Swordburst to precisely position enemies (outside of their melee reach for example).
The basic mechanic is that you attack with the Glaive but NOT with the Staff. But if you hold the staff in your off-hand, you still benefit from the staff's properties (but not it's bonuses to attack or damage). In this way, the staff's properties are harnessed the same way that the Phrenic Crown's properties are. In terms of RAW, check out the FAQ for PHB1, specifically #3 here at http://wizards.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/wizards.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=1396

It refers to holding an implement while you hold a shield in the same hand. I assume the same mechanical benefit would still occur if you held the implement without a shield.

Ah, I see. Thank you. And even though I suspect the FAQ may be way too old (July 2008? Hello WotC? ) to be applied to this case, it's still official. I had somehow confused this as I read that many people thought the main "problem" with the Dual Implement feat was that it only added the secondary implement's damage, not properties or powers. Anyhow, I don't see it as broken, perhaps overpowered without requiring a feat or special powers (as the weapon dual-wielders need in order to add both their weapon's properties). But it's still RAW.

I remember when you made this point in runreallyfast’s [thread=1174711]“Thunderglaive”[/thread] thread (post #20).

Whoa! I only had a vague memory of me ever mentioning it before, while you knew exactly when and where! You've clearly done your research. (And thank you, it was kinda interesting to see that my point then was very similar to now, even though I've made builds incorporating (more or less) this cheese since then.)
I thought it was a compelling point when you brought it up, and my initial response was to back you up and see what others thought. But the more I thought about it, I found myself siding on a fairly strict RAW interpretation. My basic reasoning is this: other implements are differentiated from each other in their particular “orb-ness” or “wand-ness” so it make sense to me that what differentiates weapons-as-implements is the particular “weapon-ness,” if that makes sense. As I’ve referenced above, at least one designer (mdonais) has no issue with using weapon qualities when weapons are used as implements.

Well, I also think it's RAW (at least currently) and I guess it should be mentioned again that I have myself (ab)used the "PM+Glaive-as-implement+sliding arcane power"-combo (in my [THREAD=1215967]Cool Stormtrooper[/THREAD] build, for example). But I've always considered it a bit over-the-top, perhaps even more than the Bloodclaw+Reckless combo. Your way of seeing it gave me some new perspectives, though.

But, the comparison to other implements, such as the “orb-ness” of an orb feels a bit off to me. I mean, a non-magical orb has no properties (other than being an orb implement) and "confers no benefit", as the PHB1 describes it, while mundane weapons certainly both have properties and confer significant benefits. The mundane orb is like a weapon that says: "Military, Heavy Blade" and nothing else. It doesn't add any damage, nor does it have any proficiency bonus or any other enhancing properties. It can be combined with several feats and it can be used with several powers, but it still won't have any real mechanical effect (except perhaps in extreme corner cases or as an improvised weapon), just as the mundane orb. So in terms of mechanical effects, a mundane orb actually has very little "orb-ness", IMO.

But I totally see your point, and I would like to invite more discussion from other players and DMs on this very issue: should a weapon’s particularly weapon-like qualities (and by extension, feats that buff those qualities) be able to be applied to non-weapon attacks made through that weapon?

Hmm... I feel that I'm in a somewhat unusual position (for me, at least) talking about some kind of "real world reason" when I actually think those types of arguments should have basically nothing to do with the game mechanics. The thing that really matters IMO is reason within the system, ie balance. So there's the question, is it balanced? I don't really know yet, but I'm currently leaning heavily towards "no", despite all the fun I myself have had with nifty weapons-as-implements builds. Anyhow, for the time being, this discussion is mainly good for making house rules (unless we make a thread in the errata forum).

I hope I didn't completely derail the thread now...

And btw, I love the build! (Piling nifty cheese on nifty cheese is something I love, the more exotic the cheese the better! So your build is my current shining no 1!)
Test your PC builds' combat prowess and pit them against other builds at the Core Coliseum - the online D&D arena.
Yeah - it's fine (as currently ruled). In fact you could also use the Orb of Imposition on the spell effect as well (after switching it in with the hand as a free action) as the wording is "You can designate one creature you have cast a wizard spell upon that has an effect that lasts until the subject succeeds on a saving throw." i.e. you don't actually need to use the orb as an implement (or even be wielding it at the time of casting) to cast the spell. You only need to be wielding the orb when you apply the orb effect.

You and I think alike in this regard. I'm in the process of typing up the tactics for this build, so look for the Disembodied Hand fast swapping in the "Stunning" tactic when I get it posted above in a few days.
The Immo-bola-izer is a very powerful trick though. It gives you the power of the fisherman without the need for polearms and (salve-powered) difficult terrain.

One could build a rather nice Swordmage|Avenger with huge AC (stacking Swordmage Warding with Armor of Faith) that uses a bolas with (enlarged?) Swordburst to immobilize all adjacent enemies. Use a Disembodied Hand to switch between offensive mode (bolas) and defensive mode (longsword?) as a free action.

You could even use the Mark of Storm with your already admixtured Swordburst to precisely position enemies (outside of their melee reach for example).

THAT sounds freaking COOL. I will put together that build next if you don't beat me to it. You'll get the credit for the idea if I get to it first (but it will be a while yet before I get to it). Let me know if you build it first.

Also, Swordburst brings up the concern with weapons-as-implements. If you use a glaive, could Swordburst already be a close burst 2 since a glaive is a "reach" item? If so, would adding Resounding Thunder and Enlarged Spell eventually make it an at-will close burst 4?!! Holy crap!
Using weapons as implements is one thing. Applying reach is quite another, and strictly not covered. As written, I'd say it doesn't work, because there's no text that even remotely implies it does.
Oh Content, where art thou?
THAT sounds freaking COOL. I will put together that build next if you don't beat me to it. You'll get the credit for the idea if I get to it first (but it will be a while yet before I get to it). Let me know if you build it first.

And please let me know if I can put it up with the other [THREAD=1215967]Stormtroopers[/THREAD]!

Also, Swordburst brings up the concern with weapons-as-implements. If you use a glaive, could Swordburst already be a close burst 2 since a glaive is a "reach" item? If so, would adding Resounding Thunder and Enlarged Spell eventually make it an at-will close burst 4?!! Holy crap!

It's like Kerrus says, but it's actually covered by the rules. Your weapon(/implement) cannot increase the size/reach of powers with a specified size/reach, the power would instead need the "weapon" tag (which only comes with powers that have both the Weapon and Melee keywords, the range then naturally being dependent on the weapon's and wielder's range). It doesn't even work for powers that uses the weapon (there's even an epic Fighter feat that enables you to turn your Fighter burst 1 attacks into burst 2 if you wield a reach weapon).
Test your PC builds' combat prowess and pit them against other builds at the Core Coliseum - the online D&D arena.
The only issue with it is that the bolas training requires a martial class which neither swordmage or avenger qualifies. So you'd have to use Windrise Ports to get Warlord/Bolas, Fighter/Bolas or Rogue/Bolas and hence not be able to MC wizard for enlarge spell.

Still - a close burst 2 swordburst (with thunder combo) is pretty cool with sliding and immobilizing. And when your AC is stupid high (you can get to AC 35 at level 11) you can afford to have them immobilized and adjacent.
Well, I also think it's RAW (at least currently) and I guess it should be mentioned again that I have myself (ab)used the "PM+Glaive-as-implement+sliding arcane power"-combo (in my [THREAD=1215967]Cool Stormtrooper[/THREAD] build, for example). But I've always considered it a bit over-the-top, perhaps even more than the Bloodclaw+Reckless combo. Your way of seeing it gave me some new perspectives, though.

Wow, talk about doing my homework - I REALLY need to read through that Stormtrooper thread. Looks like a lot of fun. And, you're absolutely right about this sort of cheese being overpowered. I don't know if I would feel comfortable allowing the layers of cheese in this thread in a game I DM. BUT. . . I find myself playing an entirely different tune when I present stuff to my DM (is that hypocritical? The answer is, yes, it is).

But, the comparison to other implements, such as the “orb-ness” of an orb feels a bit off to me. I mean, a non-magical orb has no properties (other than being an orb implement) and "confers no benefit", as the PHB1 describes it, while mundane weapons certainly both have properties and confer significant benefits. The mundane orb is like a weapon that says: "Military, Heavy Blade" and nothing else. It doesn't add any damage, nor does it have any proficiency bonus or any other enhancing properties. It can be combined with several feats and it can be used with several powers, but it still won't have any real mechanical effect (except perhaps in extreme corner cases or as an improvised weapon), just as the mundane orb. So in terms of mechanical effects, a mundane orb actually has very little "orb-ness", IMO.

Excellent point. I need to mull this one over a bit before formulating a complete response. As I mentioned above in response to Akhorahil, I don't think that using weapons as implements is completely defensible. . . however, these builds are just so much fun.

I hope I didn't completely derail the thread now...

Not at all. I think that this kind of conversation SHOULD result from builds here on the optimization board. One of the meta-gaming functions of an optimized build should be to serve as a kind of lens to look at what certain mechanics do and whether such mechanics should be house-ruled, nerfed, left alone, or whatnot.

And btw, I love the build! (Piling nifty cheese on nifty cheese is something I love, the more exotic the cheese the better! So your build is my current shining no 1!)

Thanks!
Using weapons as implements is one thing. Applying reach is quite another, and strictly not covered. As written, I'd say it doesn't work, because there's no text that even remotely implies it does.

You're absolutely right. When I posted about the "Reach" quality of weapons-as-implements, I had not looked over the RAW yet.
And please let me know if I can put it up with the other [THREAD=1215967]Stormtroopers[/THREAD]!

It's like Kerrus says, but it's actually covered by the rules. Your weapon(/implement) cannot increase the size/reach of powers with a specified size/reach, the power would instead need the "weapon" tag (which only comes with powers that have both the Weapon and Melee keywords, the range then naturally being dependent on the weapon's and wielder's range). It doesn't even work for powers that uses the weapon (there's even an epic Fighter feat that enables you to turn your Fighter burst 1 attacks into burst 2 if you wield a reach weapon).

Upho, I like the way you reason through the rules. I had not read through the RAW about that particular issue when I posted, and I appreciate your clarification. It makes sense.

And, absolutely, feel free to link this to the other Stormtroopers. Thanks for the boost in confidence!

And, I promise, I'm going to flesh out more detailed tactics soon.
The only issue with it is that the bolas training requires a martial class which neither swordmage or avenger qualifies. So you'd have to use Windrise Ports to get Warlord/Bolas, Fighter/Bolas or Rogue/Bolas and hence not be able to MC wizard for enlarge spell.

Still - a close burst 2 swordburst (with thunder combo) is pretty cool with sliding and immobilizing. And when your AC is stupid high (you can get to AC 35 at level 11) you can afford to have them immobilized and adjacent.

Good point. I suppose the most you could do is one more size larger with Arcane Admixture: Thunder (any arcane class) and Resounding Thunder (any Thunder power), but that's two feats for one more size larger AOE. I'm going to have to work my way through that build to see if that would be worth the expenditure.

35 AC at level 11?!! That IS stupid high. . . Maybe a whip would be better than a bola for such a build. . .?

From the compendium:
Whip Training [Multiclass Whip]
Prerequisite: Dex 13, any martial class
Benefit: You gain proficiency with the whip. When you hit a target with your whip, that target takes a -2 penalty to attack rolls against a target of your choice until the end of your next turn.
First published in Dragon Magazine 368.

This stacks with any marks the swordmage imposes, so the whip to impose an additional -2 to hit to all the bad guys in your burst 2. . . that's pretty tempting. . .

Man, I want to do that build! Have you posted it yet?
I've done a build up to level 11 (hence the AC 35). But it's yet to actually take any multiclasses yet. I share the opinion with another poster on these boards that a build should mature by level 16 at the latest and hence I'm still tweaking it a little. I'm actually thinking of trading off a bit of that AC to ensure the build works earlier.

I much prefer taking shielding swordmage aegis. In my opinion it's the stickiest ability out there. My DM hates it. Alot.

I'm toying around with totally dumping wisdom and losing out on the avenger powers or dumping constitution and going for an ensnarement swordmage.

Shielding Version @ level 16

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Stacy, level 16
Human, Swordmage|Avenger, Paragon Hybrid
Swordmage Aegis (Hybrid): Aegis of Shielding
Hybrid Avenger: Hybrid Avenger Fortitude
Hybrid Talent: Armor of Faith
Paragon Hybrid Talent: Swordmage Warding
Arcane Admixture Damage Type: Arcane Admixture Thunder
Arcane Admixture Power: Sword Burst
Background: Windrise Ports (Windrise Ports Benefit)

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 14, Con 15, Dex 13, Int 22, Wis 17, Cha 9.

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 13, Con 13, Dex 12, Int 16, Wis 14, Cha 8.


AC: 41 Fort: 28 Reflex: 31 Will: 29
HP: 119 Surges: 9 Surge Value: 29

TRAINED SKILLS
Endurance +14, Arcana +19, Religion +19, History +19, Heal +16

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +8, Bluff +7, Diplomacy +7, Dungeoneering +11, Insight +11, Intimidate +7, Nature +11, Perception +11, Stealth +8, Streetwise +7, Thievery +8, Athletics +9

FEATS
Human: Mark of Storm
Level 1: Hybrid Talent
Level 2: Armor Proficiency (Leather)
Level 4: Improved Armor of Faith
Level 6: Armor Proficiency (Hide)
Level 8: Focused Expertise (Longsword) (retrained to Arcane Familiar at Level 11)
Level 10: Student of Battle
Level 11: Bola Training
Level 12: Greater Swordmage Warding
Level 14: Arcane Admixture
Level 16: Resounding Thunder

POWERS
Bonus At-Will Power: Booming Blade
Hybrid Avenger at-will 1: Bond of Censure
Hybrid Swordmage at-will 1: Sword Burst
Paragon Hybrid: Impenetrable Warding
Paragon Hybrid: Dazing Rebuke
Hybrid encounter 1: Angelic Alacrity
Hybrid daily 1: Wings of Light
Hybrid utility 2: Enduring Spirit
Hybrid encounter 3: Transposing Lunge
Hybrid daily 5: Swordmage Shielding Fire
Hybrid utility 6: Swordmage's Decree
Hybrid encounter 7: Thunderclap Strike
Hybrid daily 9: Blade Bolt
Hybrid utility 10: River of Life
Hybrid encounter 13: Ensnaring Bolts (replaces Angelic Alacrity)
Hybrid daily 15: Eldritch Chains (replaces Wings of Light)
Hybrid utility 16: Aegis of Lost Souls

ITEMS
Belt of Vim (heroic tier), Adventurer's Kit, Iron Armbands of Power (heroic tier), Circlet of Indomitability (heroic tier), Boots of Quickness (heroic tier), Mage's Cutting Wheel +1, Summoned Darkhide Armor +4, Disrupting Bola +3, Amulet of Mental Resolve +4, Strikebacks (heroic tier), Strongheart Tattoo (heroic tier), Handy Haversack (heroic tier)
====== Copy to Clipboard and Press the Import Button on the Summary Tab ======
Mundane Weapon Properties and feats affecting spells that do not have the weapon keyword is abusing poorly written rules.

A weapon/implement's magical property affecting a spell is RAI.
Mundane Weapon Properties and feats affecting spells that do not have the weapon keyword is abusing poorly written rules.

A weapon/implement's magical property affecting a spell is RAI.

I sincerely hope that WotC releases an errata that says the Weapon keyword is needed for mundane properties. But regarding RAI and rules abuse, I don't think any of us can really do more than speculate, especially since for example Mike Donais obviously sees no problem with using the Bola trick in the build above.
Test your PC builds' combat prowess and pit them against other builds at the Core Coliseum - the online D&D arena.
Mundane Weapon Properties and feats affecting spells that do not have the weapon keyword is abusing poorly written rules.

A weapon/implement's magical property affecting a spell is RAI.

Hmm - unfortunately I think I agree with you. Damn.
The basic mechanic is that you attack with the Glaive but NOT with the Staff. But if you hold the staff in your off-hand, you still benefit from the staff's properties (but not it's bonuses to attack or damage). In this way, the staff's properties are harnessed the same way that the Phrenic Crown's properties are. In terms of RAW, check out the FAQ for PHB1, specifically #3 here at http://wizards.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/wizards.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=1396

It refers to holding an implement while you hold a shield in the same hand. I assume the same mechanical benefit would still occur if you held the implement without a shield.

Correct me if I am wrong, but is not a glaive a two-handed weapon? Thus there is no off hand for the staff to be held in (until after the attack is completed), and thus you cannot wield the staff in the off hand during the attack...
Correct me if I am wrong, but is not a glaive a two-handed weapon? Thus there is no off hand for the staff to be held in (until after the attack is completed), and thus you cannot wield the staff in the off hand during the attack...

This is essentially the staff debate revisited. A glaive is a two-handed weapon, but is not necessarily a two-handed implement.
This is essentially the staff debate revisited. A glaive is a two-handed weapon, but is not necessarily a two-handed implement.

That is simply ludicrous. I can see the firm foundation for a one-handed staff implement, because the books specifically declare that a staff implement (though not weapon) is wielded in one hand. Specific overrides general, and when used as an implement the staff needs one hand to wield.

However, in no manner does the wielding requirements for weapons get addressed with a specific rule for wielding in one hand when weapons are used as implements. Unless there was an explicit text stating that all implements are one handed (there is not*), or that heavy blade or polearm implements are one handed (there is not*), then they retain the wielding requirements of the weapon itself.

This is where the basis of 4E comes into play...specific overrides general. There is a specific rule stating that a staff implement can be wielded in one hand; this overrides the general requirement that a staff be wielded with two hands.

The glaive has no specific rule to override its general requirement; thus to wield it you will need two hands.



*if I am wrong on either count, please correct me and I will rescind my argument.
I've done a build up to level 11 (hence the AC 35). But it's yet to actually take any multiclasses yet. I share the opinion with another poster on these boards that a build should mature by level 16 at the latest and hence I'm still tweaking it a little. I'm actually thinking of trading off a bit of that AC to ensure the build works earlier.

I much prefer taking shielding swordmage aegis. In my opinion it's the stickiest ability out there. My DM hates it. Alot.

I'm toying around with totally dumping wisdom and losing out on the avenger powers or dumping constitution and going for an ensnarement swordmage.

Shielding Version @ level 16

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
level 16
Githyanki, Swordmage|Avenger, Paragon Hybrid
Swordmage Aegis (Hybrid): Swordmage Aegis
Hybrid Avenger: Hybrid Avenger Will
Hybrid Talent: Armor of Faith
Paragon Hybrid Talent: Swordmage Warding
Swordmage Aegis: Aegis of Shielding
Arcane Admixture Damage Type: Arcane Admixture Thunder
Arcane Admixture Power: Sword Burst
Background: Windrise Ports (Windrise Ports Benefit)

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 13, Con 18, Dex 13, Int 24, Wis 11, Cha 9.

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 12, Con 12, Dex 12, Int 18, Wis 10, Cha 8.


AC: 41 Fort: 24 Reflex: 27 Will: 23
HP: 122 Surges: 11 Surge Value: 30

TRAINED SKILLS
History +22, Arcana +20, Religion +20, Endurance +17

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +9, Bluff +7, Diplomacy +7, Dungeoneering +8, Heal +8, Insight +8, Intimidate +7, Nature +8, Perception +8, Stealth +9, Streetwise +7, Thievery +9, Athletics +9

FEATS
Level 1: Mark of Storm
Level 2: Hybrid Talent
Level 4: Armor Proficiency (Leather)
Level 6: Improved Armor of Faith
Level 8: Arcane Familiar
Level 10: White Lotus Riposte (retrained to Student of Battle at Level 11)
Level 11: Greater Swordmage Warding
Level 12: Bola Training
Level 14: Arcane Admixture
Level 16: Resounding Thunder

POWERS
Hybrid Swordmage at-will 1: Sword Burst

ITEMS
Summoned Feyleather Armor +4, Disrupting Bola +3, Warsoul Longsword +1, Belt of Vim (heroic tier), Circlet of Indomitability (heroic tier), Boots of Quickness (heroic tier)
====== Copy to Clipboard and Press the Import Button on the Summary Tab ======

You build looks super fun. What would you think about a whip instead of a bola?

Also, I agree that builds need to mature by mid-paragon at the latest. The build I have here has benchmarks at level 2 (when the Thunder-glaive starts being useful) and level 8 (when both stunning and the Immo-bola-zer start being useful). Everything after that is gravy in terms of size of AOE, accuracy of implements, and so forth.

But back to your build, I think going shielding swordmage makes more sense. The build feels more defender-ish than striker-ish, if that makes sense.
Mundane Weapon Properties and feats affecting spells that do not have the weapon keyword is abusing poorly written rules.

A weapon/implement's magical property affecting a spell is RAI.

Since, I use a variation of a trick that Mike Donais uses, I'll see if I can get him to reply on this thread to get his input in this discussion.
That is simply ludicrous. I can see the firm foundation for a one-handed staff implement, because the books specifically declare that a staff implement (though not weapon) is wielded in one hand. Specific overrides general, and when used as an implement the staff needs one hand to wield.

However, in no manner does the wielding requirements for weapons get addressed with a specific rule for wielding in one hand when weapons are used as implements. Unless there was an explicit text stating that all implements are one handed (there is not*), or that heavy blade or polearm implements are one handed (there is not*), then they retain the wielding requirements of the weapon itself.

This is where the basis of 4E comes into play...specific overrides general. There is a specific rule stating that a staff implement can be wielded in one hand; this overrides the general requirement that a staff be wielded with two hands.

The glaive has no specific rule to override its general requirement; thus to wield it you will need two hands.



*if I am wrong on either count, please correct me and I will rescind my argument.

Well, I don't have time right now to dig through the compendium, rule books, and magazines, so I'll post a more in depth response later. But for now, I'll just post two points:

1. Where in the RAW do "the books specifically declare that a staff implement (though not weapon) is wielded in one hand"?

2. If your take on glaive-as-two-handed-implement accords to RAW, then the only difficulty this poses for my Stunning Thunder-glaive Immo-bola-zer is one of wealth and some simple feat replacement. Instead of Focused Expertise (Glaive), I'll take Implement Expertise (Heavy Blades). And instead of having a Cunning Glaive, I'll take a Controlling Glaive (which has an encounter power that synergizes nicely with Thunder-glaive, anyway). And for the Stunning component of the build, I'd use a third implement - any one-handed heavy blade.
Shielding Immo-bola-izer (level 16)

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Stacy, level 16
Human, Swordmage|Avenger, Paragon Hybrid
Swordmage Aegis (Hybrid): Aegis of Shielding
Hybrid Avenger: Hybrid Avenger Fortitude
Hybrid Talent: Armor of Faith
Paragon Hybrid Talent: Swordmage Warding
Arcane Admixture Damage Type: Arcane Admixture Thunder
Arcane Admixture Power: Sword Burst
Background: Windrise Ports (Windrise Ports Benefit)

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 14, Con 15, Dex 13, Int 22, Wis 17, Cha 9.

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 13, Con 13, Dex 12, Int 16, Wis 14, Cha 8.


AC: 41 Fort: 28 Reflex: 31 Will: 29
HP: 119 Surges: 9 Surge Value: 29

TRAINED SKILLS
Endurance +14, Arcana +19, Religion +19, History +19, Heal +16

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +8, Bluff +7, Diplomacy +7, Dungeoneering +11, Insight +11, Intimidate +7, Nature +11, Perception +11, Stealth +8, Streetwise +7, Thievery +8, Athletics +9

FEATS
Human: Mark of Storm
Level 1: Hybrid Talent
Level 2: Armor Proficiency (Leather)
Level 4: Improved Armor of Faith
Level 6: Armor Proficiency (Hide)
Level 8: Focused Expertise (Longsword) (retrained to Arcane Familiar at Level 11)
Level 10: Student of Battle
Level 11: Bola Training
Level 12: Greater Swordmage Warding
Level 14: Arcane Admixture
Level 16: Resounding Thunder

POWERS
Bonus At-Will Power: Lightning Lure
Hybrid Avenger at-will 1: Bond of Censure
Hybrid Swordmage at-will 1: Sword Burst
Paragon Hybrid: Impenetrable Warding
Paragon Hybrid: Dazing Rebuke
Hybrid encounter 1: Angelic Alacrity
Hybrid daily 1: Wings of Light
Hybrid utility 2: Enduring Spirit
Hybrid encounter 3: Transposing Lunge
Hybrid daily 5: Swordmage Shielding Fire
Hybrid utility 6: Swordmage's Decree
Hybrid encounter 7: Thunderclap Strike
Hybrid daily 9: Blade Bolt
Hybrid utility 10: River of Life
Hybrid encounter 13: Ensnaring Bolts (replaces Angelic Alacrity)
Hybrid daily 15: Eldritch Chains (replaces Wings of Light)
Hybrid utility 16: Aegis of Lost Souls

ITEMS
Belt of Vim (heroic tier), Adventurer's Kit, Iron Armbands of Power (heroic tier), Circlet of Indomitability (heroic tier), Boots of Quickness (heroic tier), Mage's Cutting Wheel +1, Summoned Darkhide Armor +4, Disrupting Bola +3, Amulet of Mental Resolve +4, Strikebacks (heroic tier), Strongheart Tattoo (heroic tier), Handy Haversack (heroic tier)
====== Copy to Clipboard and Press the Import Button on the Summary Tab ======


This character relies on being a high-AC defender in heroic with extra stickiness caused by having lots of powers which mark the enemy with an aegis which reduces their damage by 6 (increases to 12 points at level 11).

Throughout heroic tier she is using a longsword in the main hand with an off-hand mage's cutting wheel for extra defence. At level 11 she starts to utilize an arcane familiar to swap between her "offensive weapon", a +3 disrupting bola, and her "defensive weapon", the cutting wheel. Since we can swap this as a free action we can even swap out the wheel for the bola (and back again) on opportunity attacks. The actual plus of the wheel is irrelevant - we're only using it for the +1 AC (we get free proficiency with "mage's"). Even with the bola in the main hand and the wheel in the offhand we only lose 2 AC (in paragon).

At level 11 we can now immobilize all adjacent enemies with our swordburst. At level 16 this increases to a close burst 2 with slide 1 (you could snag this earlier if you don't mind losing a bit of AC).

The idea is that you pull as many enemies adjacent to you as possible relying on your uber-AC to protect you and keep them there with your swordburst (after level 16 we'll start to add damage and white lotus riposte). You will nominate one enemy for your party to burn down, mark them, then release them from the trap so that the strikers in your party can flank etc, everyone benefiting from nice damage reduction.
Well, I don't have time right now to dig through the compendium, rule books, and magazines, so I'll post a more in depth response later. But for now, I'll just post two points:

1. Where in the RAW do "the books specifically declare that a staff implement (though not weapon) is wielded in one hand"?

You are correct, i is not explicitly stated. I was going from memory, and a brief search reveals the source of that ruling to be Customer Service. It has been assumed by most that staff implements are one handed, but never officially clarified. Thus, they may be two handed as well (as CustServ has ruled that way in the past too).

2. If your take on glaive-as-two-handed-implement accords to RAW, then the only difficulty this poses for my Stunning Thunder-glaive Immo-bola-zer is one of wealth and some simple feat replacement. Instead of Focused Expertise (Glaive), I'll take Implement Expertise (Heavy Blades). And instead of having a Cunning Glaive, I'll take a Controlling Glaive (which has an encounter power that synergizes nicely with Thunder-glaive, anyway). And for the Stunning component of the build, I'd use a third implement - any one-handed heavy blade.

That should work too.
Shielding Immo-bola-izer (level 16)

====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Stacy, level 16
Human, Swordmage|Avenger, Paragon Hybrid
Swordmage Aegis (Hybrid): Aegis of Shielding
Hybrid Avenger: Hybrid Avenger Fortitude
Hybrid Talent: Armor of Faith
Paragon Hybrid Talent: Swordmage Warding
Arcane Admixture Damage Type: Arcane Admixture Thunder
Arcane Admixture Power: Sword Burst
Background: Windrise Ports (Windrise Ports Benefit)

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 14, Con 15, Dex 13, Int 22, Wis 17, Cha 9.

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 13, Con 13, Dex 12, Int 16, Wis 14, Cha 8.


AC: 41 Fort: 28 Reflex: 31 Will: 29
HP: 119 Surges: 9 Surge Value: 29

TRAINED SKILLS
Endurance +14, Arcana +19, Religion +19, History +19, Heal +16

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +8, Bluff +7, Diplomacy +7, Dungeoneering +11, Insight +11, Intimidate +7, Nature +11, Perception +11, Stealth +8, Streetwise +7, Thievery +8, Athletics +9

FEATS
Human: Mark of Storm
Level 1: Hybrid Talent
Level 2: Armor Proficiency (Leather)
Level 4: Improved Armor of Faith
Level 6: Armor Proficiency (Hide)
Level 8: Focused Expertise (Longsword) (retrained to Arcane Familiar at Level 11)
Level 10: Student of Battle
Level 11: Bola Training
Level 12: Greater Swordmage Warding
Level 14: Arcane Admixture
Level 16: Resounding Thunder

POWERS
Bonus At-Will Power: Lightning Lure
Hybrid Avenger at-will 1: Bond of Censure
Hybrid Swordmage at-will 1: Sword Burst
Paragon Hybrid: Impenetrable Warding
Paragon Hybrid: Dazing Rebuke
Hybrid encounter 1: Angelic Alacrity
Hybrid daily 1: Wings of Light
Hybrid utility 2: Enduring Spirit
Hybrid encounter 3: Transposing Lunge
Hybrid daily 5: Swordmage Shielding Fire
Hybrid utility 6: Swordmage's Decree
Hybrid encounter 7: Thunderclap Strike
Hybrid daily 9: Blade Bolt
Hybrid utility 10: River of Life
Hybrid encounter 13: Ensnaring Bolts (replaces Angelic Alacrity)
Hybrid daily 15: Eldritch Chains (replaces Wings of Light)
Hybrid utility 16: Aegis of Lost Souls

ITEMS
Belt of Vim (heroic tier), Adventurer's Kit, Iron Armbands of Power (heroic tier), Circlet of Indomitability (heroic tier), Boots of Quickness (heroic tier), Mage's Cutting Wheel +1, Summoned Darkhide Armor +4, Disrupting Bola +3, Amulet of Mental Resolve +4, Strikebacks (heroic tier), Strongheart Tattoo (heroic tier), Handy Haversack (heroic tier)
====== Copy to Clipboard and Press the Import Button on the Summary Tab ======


This character relies on being a high-AC defender in heroic with extra stickiness caused by having lots of powers which mark the enemy with an aegis which reduces their damage by 6 (increases to 12 points at level 11).

Throughout heroic tier she is using a longsword in the main hand with an off-hand mage's cutting wheel for extra defence. At level 11 she starts to utilize an arcane familiar to swap between her "offensive weapon", a +3 disrupting bola, and her "defensive weapon", the cutting wheel. Since we can swap this as a free action we can even swap out the wheel for the bola (and back again) on opportunity attacks. The actual plus of the wheel is irrelevant - we're only using it for the +1 AC (we get free proficiency with "mage's"). Even with the bola in the main hand and the wheel in the offhand we only lose 2 AC (in paragon).

At level 11 we can now immobilize all adjacent enemies with our swordburst. At level 16 this increases to a close burst 2 with slide 1 (you could snag this earlier if you don't mind losing a bit of AC).

The idea is that you pull as many enemies adjacent to you as possible relying on your uber-AC to protect you and keep them there with your swordburst (after level 16 we'll start to add damage and white lotus riposte). You will nominate one enemy for your party to burn down, mark them, then release them from the trap so that the strikers in your party can flank etc, everyone benefiting from nice damage reduction.

Two things about your build.

First of all, I LOVE the Cutting Wheel. I don't know how that slipped by my radar, but that is a perfect weapon/implement for a shielding swordmage. This build IS fully mature at level 16, but how about the Cutting Wheel proficiency feat at level 18 and switch up your Mage's Cutting Wheel for a Defensive Cutting Wheel (second wind and full defense actions will be SICK).

Second of all, "Stacy"?

Thanks for the comments.  The cutting wheel is just a better damage version of the classic Mage's Parrying Dagger trick.


"Stacy" was just a play on the word "Stasis".  Now there was a MTG card...

As I understand it, Bola negates damage to immobilize, and Enlarge Spell can't be used on a power that doesn't roll dice for damage, so they can't be used together.


As I understand it, Bola negates damage to immobilize, and Enlarge Spell can't be used on a power that doesn't roll dice for damage, so they can't be used together.




Oooh. Good catch. This gives me yet another reason to clean up this post. I created it just pre-transition and have yet to make it more legible. I will edit out the Enlarge Spell part when I clean this up. Thanks!

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