Three-Step Role Handbook

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How to Use this Handbook


This handbook is designed to allow easy assumption of roles using a maximum of 3 character options. Perhaps no one in the party wants to be of a particular role. Or you wish to optimize for utility given that your optimization skills tend to be higher than the rest of the group - and optimizing for a pure role gets you into trouble. Finally, maybe you're a member of the role, but your specific class is missing a big thing the role is known for and you want to make up for it somehow.This handbook in general is also intended to be used with my theme guide - you want to assume a Defender role? Well, do this, this, and that, and then pick a theme from the guide. The roles are:
Defender: Either provide immediate action attacks that resemble marks in behavior or they have adjacent range attacks that apply status effects that complicate the monster's next turn.
Striker: Do extra damage or do consistently more damage
Leader: Enable, buff, or heal without using up your immediate actions
Controller: Apply control effects from a distance

I used the standard Gold/Sky Blue/Dark Blue/Black/Purple/Red color scheme.

In general, most choices here represent ones that were Gold/Sky Blue/Dark Blue in their own handbooks. So even if I rate a particular element poorly, the fact I'm mentioning it means it is likely still fantastic to a degree. The faster it gets practical, the higher rated it will be - an option that primarily kicks in at 16th will be rated lower than one that kicks in at 11th - simply because in most games, it is more likely to get played.

 

Finally, I want to emphasize - that a role can be assumed this way isn't generally going to lead to top-tier status in the role. At best, it will be limited, possibly with some spectacular, table eye-popping, yet limited results. This could change if your character is actually already a member of the role.

Defender Steps

 

 

  • Immediate Actions that punished an attacker for not attacking the PC
  • and/or the options have a significant melee range control, but no extra damage

  •  
MC Paladin(Soldier of Faith), Feat: Sanction option - Call of Challenge, Draconic Challenge, Wrath of the Crimson Legion, etc..., Paragon Path: Champion of Order
 
Paladin has it all - strong entry feat(Soldier of Faith), decent secondary entry feat(Squire of Righteousness - think of it as a no-action +7 to +19 extra damage that has some potential protective effects), options for multi-marking, and a Paragon Path that represents truly lockdown single target control. With Divine Mastery in Epic, it is possible to expand Champion of Order's killer E11 to two targets. As a solid finish move, has the option of Weakening Challenge to make Epic Defender a lot easier - that does require Soldier of Faith as the entry choice.
Fighter has an incredible entry feat(Battle Awareness) and a couple of really strong Str-based Power choices. But it lacks a Paragon Path with strong Defender characteristics in the 11-15 range. Gladiator Champion can be very strong at 16th. Most of the rating is due to Battle Awareness and access to Lashing Flail to go with Flail Expertise for proning on an MBA. Fighter has much better Striker options. A simple option might be a Pursuit Avenger with Battle Awareness+Flail Expertise+Overwhelming Strike(+obvious Power of Skill)
Cleric has a solid entrance feat if your DM lets you have the Scale/+2 to AC from swapping out Healer's Lore to Battle Cleric's Lore. Tactical Warpriest has a very strong F16 that allows a mark with a punishment option, but it isn't really good at the Defender side of things until then.
Swordmage has a couple of relatively bad entry feats, but Dimensional Vortex and Thundering Vortex are useful. Similar to Fighter, has better options for Striker.
Warden has decent entry feat and Guardian's Pounce is a very good power swap. Horned Champion isn't a bad Paragon Path if you can force OAs.

 

Striker Steps

 

  • have significant multi-attack capabilities - being able to attack at least one opponent 6-9 times is where Sky Blue is.
  • personal bonuses to hit, damage and/or rerolls
  • involve skirmisher or lurker style-movement
  • Don't forget to optimize damage. When Everyone is Super: Miniguide is very helpful for class-independent damage boosting
  • Because most of these options involve having a nova and/or re-using powers with Epic feat options, Ghost of the Past is an extremely helpful Theme for the U10 - which grants an additional AP for yet another Nova per day.

 

Quick Examples:
MC Sorcerer(Arcane Prodigy), Novice Power(Flame Spiral), Paragon Path: Demonskin Adept. 
MC Fighter(Cyclone Warrior or Battle Awareness), Novice Power(Rain of Blows), Paragon Path: Shock Trooper
 

 

Sorcerer doesn't have a great entry feat, although Arcane Prodigy is not horrible. The real benefits are the ability to power swap for Flame Spiral and the paragon path choice of Demonskin Adept. Two triple-taps(minimum) are really a great entry.

Fighter has a great entry feat for additional bonus damage on a nova(Cyclone Warrior) and/or an immediate which can be really easy to trigger in a party with a Defender. Add in a power swap of Rain of Blows and the paragon path choice of Shock Trooper - again, two triple taps set the standard.

Ranger gets a decent entry feat(Warrior of Wild) for some extra damage. It has access to some very nice powers(Pounding Barrage, a variety of minor action Str-based attacks) and Blade Dancer has a lot of synergy with a Defender looking to amp their Striker off-role. But it doesn't have the Paragon Path that hands out a 2nd triple-tap unless looking at Blade Dancer from that same Defender standpoint - a Fighter could as example, do AP: Two Melee Basics+Trip Up, Rain of Blows, and then a minor action Ranger attack for 7 attacks. Then when the creature(if alive) swings back, you hit them again 2 more times. Ought to cause problems even for Elites at 11th.

Avenger has a crazy good entry feat for those with melee novas and an okay Wisdom score. Symbol of Victory for an extra AP per day on a critical hit will help with the ability to keep making novas. Pick up Divine Mastery to trigger it twice. If only Avengers had a Paragon Path that even Avengers would want to take. Morninglord isn't a bad choice here if in the right campaign.

Rogue has a good entry feat in Sneak of Shadows for free bonus damage once per encounter. Low Slash is a great minor action attack for a power swap and Path of the Blade or Tumbling Strike can both be excellent choices in Paragon. The problem area lies mainly in Paragon Paths, which generally have single-tap options.

Monk would seem to be on first glance not that great. But...the entry feat is quite good for Flurry of Blows and Quicksilver Motion as a utility swap is amazing for getting to your target. There are some move action attack powers with good effects in the paragon tier(with possible ETV if the DM can't see that Young Green Dragons have identical language and a useless feature if not treated the same way). Form Mastery means getting to use that move action attack power twice. Finally, Monk has a paragon path designed for Elemental Damage in Soaring Blade. Point of emphasis here - the real power of a Monk as a choice is how it behaves in a non-Tofu DM situation - a Fighter who can free action move, then move action attack, and then decide to where to do Rain of Blows has some distinct advantages.

Assassin has two solid entry feats and an E13/E17 with some expectation of ETV. Downside is that there aren't any good Paragon Paths and the people able to use the E13/17s are already generally Strikers.

Swordmage has a relatively lousy entry feat, but Borrowed Confidence is an excellent crit-fishing tactic and Eladrin Swordmage Advance works well with it. Malec-Keth Janissary can then elemental type damage your weapon. This is more for Strikers who already want to be here, but the right kind of Eladrin could make it work. Doesn't work easily until 16th, though.

 
 

 

Leader Steps

 

 

 
  • Enabling allies with a bonus to hit, free attack, movement, or healing
  • Enabling allies with a bonus to hit or save as an immediate or no action option. 
  • Improving ally initiative

Quick Examples:

MC Warlord(Resourceful Leader), Acolyte Power(Rousing Words), Paragon Path(Freedom Fighter)
MC Shaman(Spirit Talker), Feat: Mending Spirit, Paragon Path: Soul Igniter

 

 

Warlord has some fantastic entry level feats and power choices. Resourceful Leader+Bravura Leader alone are almost the equivalent of Resourceful Presence. Tactical Orders, Hail of Steel, Reorient the Axis, Powerful Warning, Death from Two Sides, and Rousing Words are all great choices for the right build. Paragon Path choices are more limited, but Freedom Fighter is a solid one, giving +2 to init - combine with Wood Elf - can easily be +4 to the party's initiative. Commando Captain and Captain of Fortune are both interesting.

Shaman has a good entry feat, an encounter heal via feat(Mending Spirit), and a good Paragon Path in the form of Soul Igniter.

Invoker is really about the easy to get to Paragon Path of Flame of Hope. Just have a 13 Wis, a multi-target attack, and a strong secondary Int and you should be set. Demand Justice is a great Leader/Control debuff. The entry feat isn't bad, given that Hand of Radiance will give the +Int to hit 3 different targets.

Sorcerer Demonskin Adept shows up again. AP for +3 to hit for your entire party. Dominant Winds isn't a bad Leader option. Unfortunately, nothing else happens.
Bard gains a reasonable entry feat and Mantle of Unity is amazing. Daring Blade is an interesting Paragon Path, but mostly for very specific Martial characters.

Cleric doesn't have a great Leader entry feat, but Cloak of Courage is an amazing utility power. The major issue is that most of the truly spectacular powers(Cloak of Courage, Valorous Charge) come in the later parts of the game. And the Paragon Paths oddly enough usually boost non-Leaders. Morninglord isn't bad, but it kicks in later as well.

 

Controller Steps

 

  • Options has control or adds control to an existing power
  • Options makes it easier to land control or keep control working
  • Generally the trickiest area as control is typically based on powers, Wizards have bad paragon path options, yet in Epic Wizards have the strongest option for re-using a Daily power.
  • Get proficiency with Wands, have an Int-score, and poach as many Wizard powers as you can

MC Cleric(Any), Novice Power(Cause Fear or Deadly Lure), Paragon Path: Messenger of Peace
MC Invoker(Acolyte of Divine Secrets, Hand of Radiance), Novice Power(Thunder of Justice), Paragon Path: Flame of Hope

 

Cleric initial entry feat isn't that great, though if your DM allows Healing Lore to be turned into Battle Cleric's Lore, well, that can help. Where Cleric gets good is in Messenger of Peace. Assuming you have one strong control power from your class, Cause Fear or Deadly Lure can both be nasty options in the right build. U12 is incredible - have a stunned until EoNT? Well, continue it as a minor every encounter.

Invoker is again about Flame of Hope allowing anyone with a strong secondary in Int and a 13-14 Wisdom to hit with Thunder of Judgment. However, to a large degree, that's all it is. Not a lot of strong control here unless you enter in with control available to you from your class.

Wizard is really about the incredible control options available. Dark Gathering or Prismatic Burst are great e13 choices and there are a host of daily powers that could justify something particularly in Epic with the ability to convert APs into recharging your Daily powers. Planeshifter is a decent Paragon Path option - the E11 is an incredible encounter power and an extra move action on an AP is always helpful, but the rest of the path is very subjective in value.

Druid has a couple of interesting entry feats and Charm Beast is an easy power swap. Eagle's Splendor and Serpent's Cunning could make doing this worthwhile, but that's basically the end of it. In Epic, Primal Resurgence can make things interesting, because one ought to be able to make two uses of an Epic Druid Daily power - Writhing Henge could make that happen. Or going Pack Lord, getting Primal Resurgence and Primal Summoning Expertise - that's 3 uses of Druid Daily Summoning powers where you can get Standard Action attacks out of a minor action, plus an additional extra attack on an AP. That could be attack everything in a close burst 10 with Writing Henge 4 times in an AP round. Unfortunately, sucks to be you until Epic. Still, dominate as an encounter that dazes on a miss is an interesting fast choice and if you're already there for one of the two U6s, could be worthwhile.

Psion is quite tricky. Dreamwalker can be an awesome Paragon Path, but you need a way of augmenting powers to keep bringing the 'die when sneezed on' Dreamform back in combat. Battlemind or Ardent are likely the easiest ways to make it work simply due to the power point issues.

Regaining Powers Steps

 

One of the most sure ways to mimic a role is to be able to do a nova with your assumed role options. For that, you need Action Points. Better yet, once you get an Action Point, it can often be used to help recharge options, especially in Epic. Recharging powers helps, too. Props to Mellored/SongandSilence

 

Gain an Action Point...
Symbol of Victory: Holy Symbol 9+  Daily: On a crit
Ghost of the Past: U10  Daily: Use the U10 out of combat, gain an AP
Avenging Spirit:
 Feat: Paragon Human, fighter or warlord: Ally  is reduced to 0
Battle Field Archer: PP 12 Encounter: Kill an enemy
Pathfinder: PP 12 Daily: Ally spends an  AP
Heroic Interjection: Bard 16 Daily: Ally spends  one, and gains one
Adroit Explorer: PP Human 16: Start with 2 each day
Infernal Strategist: PP 20 Daily: Hit (relaible)
Vistani Foresight: Feat: Epic, Vistani Heritage: Start with 2  each day
Fatesinger: ED 21: Spend an AP to make an ally attack, if he hits, regain the AP
Act of Desperation: Fighter 22 Daily: Minor, Ally is dying, use  that turn
Harper  of Legend: ED 24: Start with 2 each day
Violet Solitaire: Wonderous  26 Daily: On a crit

Action Point Limit...
Charm of Abundant Action: Wonderous 28: 1/encounter.
Crown of victory: Head 29: spend 2 per encounter.
Warmaster: ED 30: No limit

 

Regain Powers when AP Spent...
Divine Mastery: Epic Feat: regain Divine Encounter power on AP
Form Mastery: 
Epic Feat: regain Monk Encounter attack power on AP
Martial Mastery: 
Epic Feat: regain Martial Encounter power on AP
Arcane Mastery: Epic Feat: 1/enc, regain Wizard Daily instead of using an AP for an extra action

 

Regain Powers for other reasons...
Mage's Weapon: Weapon 2+ 1/enc, swap arcane encounter attack to regain martial encounter attack
Hellfire Staff: 
Implement 4+ : On critical hit, regain fire or fear power
Power Jewel:
Wondrous 5: 1/day, after milestone, as minor, regain low level encounter attack power
Cloak of Translocation: 
Neck 9+: 1/day, regain encounter teleportation power
Battlemaster's Weapon: 
Weapon 14+: 1/day, regain encounter power
Ring of the Dragonborn Emperor: 
Ring 15: 1/day, on milestone, regain encounter power and use as IR when bloodied
Epic Resurgence: Epic Feat: 1/enc, on critical hit, regain Encounter Attack power
Student of Athanaeum: Epic Feat: 1/day, regain Warlock Daily
Primal Resurgence: Epic Feat: 1/day, regain Primal Daily after being bloodied

Just in case

Demonskin Adept Striker
====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
level 11
Theme: Sarifal Feywarden
 
FINAL ABILITY SCORES
CHA 21
 
STARTING ABILITY SCORES
CHA 16
 
POWERS
Sarifal Feywarden Utility: Sarifal's Blessing
Sorcerer Attack 3: Flame Spiral
Demonskin Adept Attack 11: Demon-Soul Bolts
 
FEATS
Level 1: Arcane Prodigy
Level 2: Expertise
Level 4: Novice Power
Level 6: Fill in the blank(Arcane Admixture if not Warlock on Demonsoul Bolts to make them Fire)
Level 8: Superior Implement Training
Level 10: Cunning Stalker
Level 11: Fiery Blood
 
ITEMS
Staff +2 x1
Siberys Shard of the Mage (heroic tier)
Gloves of Eldritch Admixture (heroic tier) x1(if Warlock)
Spirit Fetch
====== End ======

 

This ought to do 139 hp of damage on average to the primary target with the following Nova: Move up to target, use a minor for Sarifal's Blessing, AP: Flame Spiral, Standard: Demon-Soul Bolts(use Gloves to add +1d8 extra flame damage). There's a lot of obvious optimization that could take place - item bonus, dual-implement caster, etc... and a number of races to make it work - Eladrin, Satyr, Pixie, Gnome, and Hamadryad. That ought to be enough to take down most 11th level Brute Standards and there's likely to be some additional damage thrown around if there are 2 targets. Downside obviously from Sarifal Feywarden is the inability to use both powers on a non-AP combat.

This should be good.

 

EDIT: Dang, you got that up quickly. MWAO: Here's a  for you for getting it up so quickly!

THIS IS SHARDMIND!

--Lord_of_Asdf

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/5.jpg)

 

 

 

Lord_of_Asdf wrote:

This should be good.

 

EDIT: Dang, you got that up quickly. MWAO: Here's a  for you for getting it up so quickly!

 

It should slow down quite a bit - this will incentivize me to get it up quicker...

I notice no quick examples for defenders. Now they will feel left out...

THIS IS SHARDMIND!

--Lord_of_Asdf

IMAGE(http://www.nodiatis.com/pub/5.jpg)

 

 

 

The obvious defender options don't really turn on until 16. (There's a warlock one, and a Cleric one that both rely on f16s. But "Son of Mercy" doesn't work due to the Preq. So you're pretty much left with "Champion of Order, and a long lasting encounter mark (Soldier of Faith)".  And that's borderline "Control in 2 steps" instead. )

"Nice assumptions. Completely wrong assumptions, but by jove if being incorrect stopped people from making idiotic statements, we wouldn't have modern internet subculture." Kerrus
Practical gameplay runs by neither RAW or RAI, but rather "A Compromise Between The Gist Of The Rule As I Recall Getting The Impression Of It That One Time I Read It And What Jerry Says He Remembers, Whatever, We'll Look It Up Later If Any Of Us Still Give A Damn." Erachima

I sort of think the emphasis on +striker should be to generate a fat stack of static damage mods first, because that's literally the prerequisite to anything else. I've seen an early paragon Fighter/Shocktroopers pull out an RoB + Shocking Twister nova that only did around 65 damage - barely any more than an optimized striker's normal attack or encounter power.

 

Skirmisher/Lurker movement is also less necessary unless said utilities are directly tied to actual attacks or integrated into mult-attacks (Tumbling Strike, Path of the Blade), or significantly improve action economy or positioning in a chain attack (Quicksilver Motion, Cat and Mouse)

RenZhe wrote:

I sort of think the emphasis on +striker should be to generate a fat stack of static damage mods first, because that's literally the prerequisite to anything else. I've seen an early paragon Fighter/Shocktroopers pull out an RoB + Shocking Twister nova that only did around 65 damage - barely any more than an optimized striker's normal attack or encounter power.

 

Linked to Svendj damage guide.

 

Unoptimized is unoptimized. Most characters should optimize damage - relatively speaking, a character who doesn't optimize damage will still see a huge improvement in overall nova spike from either of those options.

 

RenZhe wrote:
Skirmisher/Lurker movement is also less necessary unless said utilities are directly tied to actual attacks or integrated into mult-attacks (Tumbling Strike, Path of the Blade), or significantly improve action economy or positioning in a chain attack (Quicksilver Motion, Cat and Mouse)

 

Yes. Only powerful, useful options will be listed. If it is marginal, it had better be marginal in a truly dot every i and cross every t kind of way.

kilpatds wrote:

The obvious defender options don't really turn on until 16. (There's a warlock one, and a Cleric one that both rely on f16s. But "Son of Mercy" doesn't work due to the Preq. So you're pretty much left with "Champion of Order, and a long lasting encounter mark (Soldier of Faith)".  And that's borderline "Control in 2 steps" instead. )

 

There are some options other than that one - they're just not quick enough when I'm running out the door(or when I'm watching kids)

What's your take on leaders MCing paladin (Soldier of Virtue) to grab Devout Protector Expertise and Champion's Countenance?

And, you know, Hero's Poise?

crabcrouton wrote:

What's your take on leaders MCing paladin (Soldier of Virtue) to grab Devout Protector Expertise and Champion's Countenance?

 

Those are good choices for going for Defender, but not sure I recommend it really for a leader unless they have some more defenses going than they likely need. The builds that might go there are the ones who are strikefenders looking to solidify the defender side of the build. Especially defenders who have issues in Epic due to large fields of battle.

I think your defender category should include good OA punishment options too.

 

Tiefling Warfiend and Avernian Knight have good defender-ish (no Action punishment) options for a non-base class defender...  Tactical Warpriest (and I think Awakened Visionary?) too.

 

And don't forget the warlord feats with gold powers that can be used as opportunity attacks.  Or that half-elf (fighter only?) feat or warlord feat that lets allies punish in your stead.  Or HBO.  Not to mention half-elf feat that marks at-will.

 

(Course defender bases can make for even more effective defenders (Knight, Hybrid Cavalier with Defender's Aura mixed with White Lotus Riposte, etc).

Did some updating. Just a note about the previous post - in general, these are options that should work regardless of the initial entry class, as long as the stats match up. So a Avernian Knight, while interesting path, isn't that great for the pure Warlock because they don't mark. You can spend a lot of effort to make it work, but that's a problem. Whereas someone who has a Str score and wants to be a Striker? MC Fighter, Novice Power Rain of Blows, Shock Trooper Paragon Path, and don't ignore damage(usually a good move unless you know why not for a specific build) - nothing too complicated.

 

Re: Avernian Knight: Vigilante theme. (Str-based powers are still lost)

"Nice assumptions. Completely wrong assumptions, but by jove if being incorrect stopped people from making idiotic statements, we wouldn't have modern internet subculture." Kerrus
Practical gameplay runs by neither RAW or RAI, but rather "A Compromise Between The Gist Of The Rule As I Recall Getting The Impression Of It That One Time I Read It And What Jerry Says He Remembers, Whatever, We'll Look It Up Later If Any Of Us Still Give A Damn." Erachima

I'd bump Ranger a lot higher up the list for Striker.  Ignoring those juicy immediates it gives you is costly - power swap for Disruptive Strike, be a Blade Dancer, you now have one immediate for when an adjacent enemy attacks an ally (DS is slightly less damaging at Epic but often better at preventing hits unless your basics are buffed with forced movement, which as an MC ranger they;re likely not given you're probably using Rapier/Dagger), and another when he then turns round after your next turn and attacks you instead.  That's a nova of DS+2XMBA+Trip Up+ Rain of Blows + Blade Dancer interrupt... 9 attacks ought to basically do for anything that's not an overlevelled solo. 

Harrying your Prey, the Easy Way: A Hunter's Handbook - the first of what will hopefully be many CharOp efforts on my part. The Blinker - teleport everywhere. An Eladrin Knight/Eldritch Knight. CB != rules source.

thespaceinvader wrote:

I'd bump Ranger a lot higher up the list for Striker.  Ignoring those juicy immediates it gives you is costly - power swap for Disruptive Strike, be a Blade Dancer, you now have one immediate for when an adjacent enemy attacks an ally (DS is slightly less damaging at Epic but often better at preventing hits unless your basics are buffed with forced movement, which as an MC ranger they;re likely not given you're probably using Rapier/Dagger), and another when he then turns round after your next turn and attacks you instead.  That's a nova of DS+2XMBA+Trip Up+ Rain of Blows + Blade Dancer interrupt... 9 attacks ought to basically do for anything that's not an overlevelled solo. 

 

Both Rain of Blows+Shocking Twister and Flame Spiral+Demonsoul Bolts give a straightforward way to 6 taps on an AP regardless of the build on the other side. Ranger needs to concern itself about the other side. That's why it is Dark Blue instead of Sky Blue.

 

kilpatds wrote:

Re: Avernian Knight: Vigilante theme. (Str-based powers are still lost)

 

There are a lot of issues with doing that. Need an extra minor, don't gain any benefit from Fighter defender options, not actually a Defender, need to sacrifice theme, etc...the steps should be simple and straightforward.

Well, if you're going with Polearms, Polearm Master (Fighter PP) basically has a mimic of Combat Challenge that has reach, on top of increasing all forced movements by 1. It's pretty good for increasing defending capabilities due to the fact it has a mark punishment with how easy it makes for Polearm Momentum to trigger.

 

Unfortunately, it only works if you're already a defender, because it requires marks to work. But if you've got that covered, it's surprisingly good.

Mommy_was_an_Orc wrote:
kilpatds wrote:

Re: Avernian Knight: Vigilante theme. (Str-based powers are still lost)

 

There are a lot of issues with doing that. Need an extra minor, don't gain any benefit from Fighter defender options, not actually a Defender, need to sacrifice theme, etc...the steps should be simple and straightforward.

I agree with all of that except "not actually a defender".  Well, you can power swap for the Roar utility power while you're there: that's a good fighter defender option. (Grog didn't, but ... it's a good idea if I can find the feat space).  Inferno Oil for the lols (to boost your mark punishment to a point where anyone cares), after talking the DM into letting you apply the oil at the end of a short rest.


The real issue is it only works for starting conlocks. Which is too narrow a focus for this guide. But it's worth mentioning in the comments, so I will.

"Nice assumptions. Completely wrong assumptions, but by jove if being incorrect stopped people from making idiotic statements, we wouldn't have modern internet subculture." Kerrus
Practical gameplay runs by neither RAW or RAI, but rather "A Compromise Between The Gist Of The Rule As I Recall Getting The Impression Of It That One Time I Read It And What Jerry Says He Remembers, Whatever, We'll Look It Up Later If Any Of Us Still Give A Damn." Erachima

Just because this seems to be coming up repeatedly, my assumptions:

This is oriented towards practical 1-30 play with the assumption that most games tend to actually go from around 5th-18th. So being available at 11th is much better than being available at 16th.
I'm trying to assume nothing about the build outside that it is not a member of the role it wants to get. Having useful powers, essential components to the role, or key racial features are all a bonus, but not assumed. Builds that require them to function are therefore less valuable.
The reasons why one would do this is either no one is willing to play the role, one can't assume that the role will show up(LFR), or that one is concerned that the rest of the party is finding him too powerful. i.e. this is large part about party optimization without imposing requirements on the other party members. So adding +fire damage to yourself and 2 other party members is better than establishing radiant vulnerability which requires that the other party members have that capability.
Being easy to implement and/or low cost is a big plus.
Consistency is a big plus. Can the build do this every combat or nearly every combat? If the build can't do the nova due to a lack of an AP, is it still roughly functional at doing what it is supposed to do?
Needing to ask permission is a negative.

 

So to use the Sorc Strike option - you just need to MC Sorc, take Ghost of the Past(for the +AP option), take Novice Power for Flame Spiral, and take the Demonskin Adept Paragon Path. After that, just add damage options as fast as you can. As a couple of straightforward examples, I can tack that onto Binder or Vampire and probably get complaints from a significant percentage of mid-op tables. Is it going to be as powerful as an actual optimized Sorcerer? No way. But if I tack that onto say a Defender, that Defender is quite likely to cause a whole host of problems for Team Monster when he nukes a standard and then defends.

 

For power recharge-  Ring of the Dragonborn Emperor lets you use an expended power as a IR when you become bloodied. 

For completeness, versatile master should be mentioned as well for recharging purposes on a half-elf

If you're using Sarifal Feywarden with Demonsoul Bolts, you probably still want to use arcane admixture (fire). Using those gloves will only add one instance of fire damage, and the point is to triple-table the vulnerability.

 

I've always though Freedom Fighter was a bit overrated. Can someone explain why it's a top tier PP?

It's not. It's a near-directly inferior Talaric Strategist, and Talaric Strategist itself is only Blue.

 

Escaped Slave itself has solid powers, but its PP is an utter disappointment.

 

It's rated top-tier because mwao gets enamored with mediocrity.

RenZhe wrote:

If you're using Sarifal Feywarden with Demonsoul Bolts, you probably still want to use arcane admixture (fire). Using those gloves will only add one instance of fire damage, and the point is to triple-table the vulnerability.

 

"The next attack you make this turn deals extra damage " - Demonsoul Bolts is an attack power which is an attack. As opposed to "next damage roll" or "you can deal this extra damage only once per turn"

 

The reason you'd want Arcane Admixture(fire) is to be able to recover it on a critical hit as Firegoat does with a Hellfire Staff.

 

RenZhe wrote:
I've always though Freedom Fighter was a bit overrated. Can someone explain why it's a top tier PP?

 

"Limited" and "Solid" aren't typically read as being top-tier...any paragon path that grants a basic attack and has an interrupt that should amount to being 2 attacks(from you and from triggering the Defender's mark), likely negating an attack(because on a hit, you're +4 to defenses) ought to be considered reasonably good on its own. And both of those kick in at 11th for Freedom Fighter. The F11 isn't good, but the U12 and F16 are. The D20 can be extraordinarily exploitable with the right powers(Charm of the Defender or Charm of False Glory, but any 'attack someone else power' will do), but it is of course, a D20. And if you're an Elf with Sense Threat, you'll enhance your +init typically to +4. Which is not +stat, but solid.

 

Warlord is Sky Blue. Resourceful Leader, Bravura Leader, all the crazy good power swaps. Those are Sky Blue. Its paragon paths that are accessible to non-Warlords are not. If you're in the scenario where you don't want to be playing a Leader, but you're concerned that the party either doesn't have a leader, might not have a leader, or you're worried that your character is overshadowing the group, Freedom Fighter is a fine choice if you think the Warlord choices are insufficient on their own. aka Blue. But a character who takes Resourceful Leader, Bravura Leader, and power swaps for Rousing Words ought to do it much of the time.

 

Talaric Strategist on the other hand is actually mediocre because it is basically a strong encounter power(better because it is two basics, worse because it is more difficult to trigger and doesn't redirect the attack) and +2 init and that's it. And as Ardent doesn't have great entry options and limited power swap possibilities, it isn't worth mentioning.

Mommy_was_an_Orc wrote:

 

RenZhe wrote:

If you're using Sarifal Feywarden with Demonsoul Bolts, you probably still want to use arcane admixture (fire). Using those gloves will only add one instance of fire damage, and the point is to triple-table the vulnerability.

 

 

"The next attack you make this turn deals extra damage " - Demonsoul Bolts is an attack power which is an attack. As opposed to "next damage roll" or "you can deal this extra damage only once per turn"

 

That's contestable, especially since the general Charop consensus to define "attack", as far as I know, has been based on number of separate hit/damage instances. In other words, if Twin Strike validly triggers Blurred Strike Ki focus because it counts as two attacks, so would DSB count as three separate attacks. DSB's effect line also effectively internally-defines the power to make 3 separate attacks:

 

"Effect: Make the attack two more times against the same target or different ones."

 

 

 

 

RenZhe wrote:

 

Mommy_was_an_Orc wrote:

 

RenZhe wrote:

If you're using Sarifal Feywarden with Demonsoul Bolts, you probably still want to use arcane admixture (fire). Using those gloves will only add one instance of fire damage, and the point is to triple-table the vulnerability.

 

 

"The next attack you make this turn deals extra damage " - Demonsoul Bolts is an attack power which is an attack. As opposed to "next damage roll" or "you can deal this extra damage only once per turn"

 

That's contestable, especially since the general Charop consensus to define "attack", as far as I know, has been based on number of separate hit/damage instances. In other words, if Twin Strike validly triggers Blurred Strike Ki focus because it counts as two attacks, so would DSB count as three separate attacks. DSB's effect line also effectively internally-defines the power to make 3 separate attacks.

 

Attack can mean one of three different things(attack power, attack line, attack roll) to R&D - there can be no consensus for every use of the word. Most uses of attack mean attack power or obviously attack roll. Blurred Strike Ki Focus is possibly unique because it specifically calls out different attacks and 4e defines attacks from say Twin Strike as being separate aka different.

Thanks for this guide, have used it a couple times recently to round out some builds.

 

 

Staff of the Magi - lvl 15, daily power, regain arcane encounter power, attack or utility,  that's <= level 15.  (Are there level 15 encounter powers?)   

 

For Psion, the Controlling Advantage feat is a pretty easy way to increase force movement.  Works with Mark of Storms.  

 

 

Freedom Fighter would almost be nice for a Swordmage|Warlock as sole defender who finds he's often too action starved the first couple of rounds to lay his marks down or a non-defender Stormsoul Genasi lacking immediates to tap another instance of Promise of Storm. Of course the AP feature requires someone else have a good basic attack as well.

I often see "use Gloves of Eldritch Admixture" as an answer to getting wanted keywords over Arcane Admixture, but the item requires you be a Warlock. 

 

At least, it is a relevant point to bring up in your example build as the gloves are unuseable for the majority of builds.

Fochizzy wrote:

I often see "use Gloves of Eldritch Admixture" as an answer to getting wanted keywords over Arcane Admixture, but the item requires you be a Warlock. 

 

The item doesn't require you to be a warlock. Once per encounter(essentially), you can use it to add extra damage to an attack, which will then type the power with that damage's keyword.

entropiccanuck wrote:
(Are there level 15 encounter powers?)   

 

All the ones on level 15 items. Not sure any of them have the Arcane keyword though.

Mommy_was_an_Orc wrote:
The item doesn't require you to be a warlock.

 

I'm confused by this too. Are you suggesting that the requirement: warlock (or prerequisite: warlock as it's listed in the physical book) line applies only to the property and not to the power?
 

darkwarlock wrote:

 

Mommy_was_an_Orc wrote:
The item doesn't require you to be a warlock.

 

I'm confused by this too. Are you suggesting that the requirement: warlock (or prerequisite: warlock as it's listed in the physical book) line applies only to the property and not to the power?
 

 

Technically speaking, as of RC, those fields are meaningless because they aren't defined for magic items. The item would need a line that read:

Special: Only useable by warlocks.

Jay_Ibero_911 wrote:

 

darkwarlock wrote:

 

Mommy_was_an_Orc wrote:
The item doesn't require you to be a warlock.

 

I'm confused by this too. Are you suggesting that the requirement: warlock (or prerequisite: warlock as it's listed in the physical book) line applies only to the property and not to the power?
 

 

 

Technically speaking, as of RC, those fields are meaningless because they aren't defined for magic items. The item would need a line that read:

Special: Only useable by warlocks.

 

Seems reasonably clear though - I just missed the requirement line somehow.

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