Best Heroic leader to help new players?

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The groups I play with are pretty low-op in general; we're all students, and many don't have the time to pore over rulebooks, guides, forums, etc. I make some small suggestions where I can (hey, try taking an expertise feat, you'll hit more often!) but don't want to push anyone away by making the game feel too mechanical, or like it's got too long of a learning curve to be worthwhile. 

Unfortunately, our DM is also fairly new to the game, and can tend towards accidental character deaths through scenarios that aren't always thought through all the way - most recently, he had to fudge some saves when he realized that the 6d10 fall damage from his tower's collapsing floor was a *bit* much for level 1 characters. This carries over, quite frequently, to combat encounters. 

Some of this, like the above scenario, can be (or have been) resolved through communication. No biggie. Basic party/combat tactics, however, seem to be taking longer to develop. Even little things, like focus fire, seem to be easily forgotten when someone realizes something "neat" their character can do, whether or not it actually helps the encounter. 

We're about to start a new campaign (starting at 1, I'm sure, and likely staying in the heroic tier) and what I'd like to do is play a leader that can help the party develop a better tactical approach through buffs or enabling to reward good decisions, and also just keeps the party up in general. Where I'm stuck right now is figuring out the best build to do it. Here are some of the options I'm considering:

Dragonborn Valor Bard

Guiding Strike offers a small incientive to attack the same target, and Virtue of Valor offers THP as a reward. Stirring Shout is a daily focus fire boon for the BBEG, and even encourages multi-attacking to stay up. Also, Shout of Triumph can assist with flanks, and is a bit of an oh**** button (maybe your Sorcerer should stay back a little farther? Your ac is 14). Alternatively, Blunder wouldn't be bad, either. Probably go with Dragonborn for the +1 arcane damage, minion killing minor, and +4 surge modifier, though I'm open to better ideas. Half-Elf could Dilettante ES for an MBA/encounter.

Deva Shaman| (Artificer or Cleric)

Spirit Infusion can help make any character with a basic attack effective, and lets me call the targets a bit. Artificer would add Magic Weapon and Punishing Eye to increase damage output, but adds weapon/implement problems. Punishing Eye and Spirit Infusion do go nicely together, though.

Cleric increases personal survivability through BCL (we have yet to have a competent defender) and brings both Prophetic Guidance and Moment of Glory. Possibly Brand of the Sun as well for saves. Deva for Battle Intuition.

Githzerai Artificer|Cleric

Magic Weapon for buffs most of the time, and Brand of the Sun for saves. Or a Wis-based MBA... hmm. Can use a Farbond Fullblade for decent damage and a ranged option on MW. Prophetic Guidance and Shocking Feedback/Phantasmal Henchman for encounters, and Moment of Glory/Punishing Eye make for good daily options. 

Runepriest|Cleric

Word of Exchange for a strong at-will, and Brand of the Sun for when saves are needed. Probably Hybrid Talent: Rune Mastery. Serene Blade + BCL makes this likely the toughest of the group. Rune of the Undeniable Dawn or Moment of Glory are both strong daily options. 

Warlord (|?) 

Considered/considering several options here, including Killswitch. Would probably be a given if we were going to Paragon. The main problem I have with it is that it seems like most of the builds take a few levels to get going. Still, an off-action encounter, enabling at-will, and +2 initiative are hard to complain about.


So what am I missing? Thoughts? 

(Also, is it just me, or did my font size change halfway down the page? Not sure why that's happening) 
TacLord is strong out of the box with CS, Warlord's Favor, and Lead the Attack plus party init boost at level 1.  One of the best things is really helps new players see the value of focus fire and using action points in the right spots.  Since the advice can be done in character helps massage most issues.
Ha, didn't even think about the RP aspect of it - that's a nifty approach Int+ bonuses are awesome, too.
Killswitch.

Especially for a group with new players.  Great boosts so they hit often, or off-turn attacks to make them feel awesome.

I remember my first opportunity attack.  It felt awesome!  I got to attack the bad guy - and it wasn't even MY TURN!  If you have a character that grants more attacks, it might make the other (newer) players feel a little bit more awesome.

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Killswitch is good from level 1 on up. Awesome at making everybody else awesome (and who doesn't like being made awesome?)

There is no perfect answer at level 1, because almost anything functions then. It's the later tiers that separate the strong builds from the weak. It's not that Killswitch is weak until paragon... that's just when things start to get super-awesome (+ CHA to init, etc.) 
I like Killswitch quite a bit (and should/will probably go with it), I just hate having Crossbow Caster and Weapon Proficiency as feat taxes for low level play :P

Hmm... suppose if I took Elemental Initiate, I could use a Chieftain's Greatspear on a Hobgoblin. Edit: Or not, those defenses are ugly, haha.
The TacLord is better than Killswitch until about level 4 due to the stronger buffs out of the gate - they really are that good.  The lack of a strong Tac daily at 5 hurts and Killswitch's ability to use Reorient the Axis (U6) on turn 1 and also be in position to attack puts it ahead to stay.
I like Killswitch quite a bit (and should/will probably go with it), I just hate having Crossbow Caster and Weapon Proficiency as feat taxes for low level play :P



Go with a blade and be Human MC Swordmage.
I like Killswitch quite a bit (and should/will probably go with it), I just hate having Crossbow Caster and Weapon Proficiency as feat taxes for low level play :P



Go with a blade and be Human MC Swordmage.


Or just completely avoid using Implement attacks, up until level 7 there aren't any worth taking as a con/int Artificer, and when you have Warlord powers to pick from as well you shouldn't even be considering an implement power. MC Swordmage is still a bit attractive, but only for Intelligent Blademaster, MC Cleric for Holy Symbols and BCL is far more beneficial.

Killswitch as written is more than a little out of date.
"Invokers are probably better round after round but Wizard dailies are devastating. Actually, devastating is too light a word. Wizard daily powers are soul crushing, encounter ending, havoc causing pieces of awesome." -AirPower25 Sear the Flesh, Purify the Soul; Harden the Heart, and Improve the Mind; Born of Blood, but Forged by Fire; The MECH warrior reaches perfection.
Killswitch was, in and of itself, never really up to date. It was written to be modular and easily variable between Con/Int or Int/Wis and melee vs ranged. The Int/Con ranged version was just the one the author happened to be playing in LFR at the time IIRC, the initial post had a "These are the essential pieces" kind of break down and it was like four feats and six powers. There is probably some optimization space for Killswitch that is largely unexplored in terms of a build being posted on the forums, but I imagine hundreds of people have built their own variants. I've played half a dozen.

I think the primary reasons no one posts updates to those builds is 1) Respect for the original creators and 2) the updates are fairly obvious if you read the KS thread and read both current handbooks for Warlords and Artificers. That is a fairly minimal investment of time for a complicated build and then you can build your version and ask for a critique and the forum will catch anything you missed. This will result in you being much happier with your build because you'll understand it the trade-offs it (and you) made. Builds need to be understood before they can be played properly.
Zathris: MC Cleric is pretty attractive. Realistically, how big of a deal is it to not have an MBA on a melee character?

Alcestis: Understood, and I appreciate the background and advice. Since Killswitch seems to be the best option, I'll put the legwork in to build it decently. Nice to have actually relevant handbooks available for a build, might as well take advantage of it.
Depends on what the MBA is used for. Just to make OA's then it will stink to not have a good one but a dice roll is variable so you do have a chace to hit sometimes. If you need it to fire off other things then it is an absolute must, as you well know of course.

My .02cp
Obviously, I'd rather have one than not I'm just not used to pure leader roles, and am wondering how important it is to have that slight bit of stickiness on the party's primary healer. 
Realistically, how big of a deal is it to not have an MBA on a melee character?



Rapidstrike Bracers or Bracers of Mental Might solve.
The former let's your favorite striker make your MBA for you.  
The latter can be used for an MBA, as well, ofc, but its true strength is that it lets you pick Death from Two Sides or Hail of Steel on a Lazylord hybrid. 
Rapidstrike Bracers, Hail of Steel, and Death from Two Sides are all likely outside of our level range. Given that... still worth picking up BoMM for one MBA/encounter?
Do you know for sure, that you wont reach paragon?
A couple of notes about Killswitch:
Weapon of Long Range, specifically a Dagger, is a really useful weapon choice. Range of 20 without penalty, melee and thrown, and Common. No implement powers and you're set.

I wouldn't play Spell Commander as a paragon path choice unless you've got an arcane ally who is willing to work with you tactically. It can be very, very frustrating for a Killswitch when the party refuses to wait for your Magic Weapon attack.
pinkisthenewred: Not for absolute certain... but given time constraints, semester breaks, etc, it seems unlikely. 

Mommy_was_an_Orc: Definitely keeping that in mind as an option, thanks. Knowing the group, if we did hit Paragon, I'd likely have to find another option. 
If you won't reach paragon why not a straight TacLord. Make Attacks/Grant Attacks/Buffs and Movement Granting. Straight forward and simple while being hella fun. Take a MC for an extra heal if needed since Warlord has no real need of a MC and @ level 5 you can grab the Warlord power Stand the Fallen and you should be good for healing through-out Heroic.

Take into consideration that i'm probably one of the few who frequent these boards who has yet to fully read through any of the SwitchBuilds.
have a good MBA is essential for Death From two Sides, but there's other really good options at that level so a MBA is basically meaningless.

I'll second the suggestion for a Dagger of Long Range; up until Paragon where elemental-op really comes into play (+8 damage is a bigger deal than range) it's a great way to be always able to attack

The point of Killswitch has very little to do with Paragon, the buffing ability of Magic Weapon gives you a noticably better Nova, especially for a lower-op party. Either way, Battle Engineer is going to be your PP of choice most likely if you get there.
"Invokers are probably better round after round but Wizard dailies are devastating. Actually, devastating is too light a word. Wizard daily powers are soul crushing, encounter ending, havoc causing pieces of awesome." -AirPower25 Sear the Flesh, Purify the Soul; Harden the Heart, and Improve the Mind; Born of Blood, but Forged by Fire; The MECH warrior reaches perfection.
If you really need the MBA, Intelligent Blademaster is easy to get. Retrain MC Cleric into MC Swordmage, take Intelligent Blademaster. You could do it literally at 13. If you don't get that far, it'll never be an issue.