Hit Points - 15 + Con score at 1st level; 6 at each level thereafter. You get a large amount of HP,which is good 'cause you're a defender and you're going to get smacked around.
Healing Surges - 8 + Con modifier. A decent amount per day,but for a defender you could be doing better.
Proficiencies - You have proficiency with the weapons you'll be using most,unless you're planning on picking up a Superior weapon. Ranged options,well..you're stock chunking rocks and toothpicks at people.
Swordmage Warding - This does a great job at keeping your AC high,even if you're using a 2-hander you'll be happy to have this. Swordbond - You get to call your weapon from far away,or reform it if it gets destroyed. Umm,cool but that's about it.
Aegis of Assualt - You get to jump around the map and smack the guy trying to hit your friend. Aegis of Shielding - You reduce the damage your ally is about to take to the face. A side note is that it makes you really tough if you take this path. Aegis of Ensnarement - After someone hits an ally you teleport them to hit for a major beat down. Makes you very sticky as your mark can't get away.
Dragonborn - +2 to Str and Cha,umm Dragonborn are good but they do not make good swordmages. But They can make passable Asaulters.
Dwarf - Dwarves are great,Second Wind,Stand Your Ground and a Con bump means they can make a pass at Shielding/Esnaring but definitely not a top,or even second tier pick.
Eladrin - Eladrin make great Swordmages,their Int bonus is a duh,and the Dex makes it easier to get HBO.
Elf - If you're going for Wandering Swordmage Elves make a decent second tier pick but otherwise they simply eren't cut out for this style of fighting.
Half-Elf - The Con bump is useful,but Cha is useless to you. However Versitile Mastery makes Half-Elf a solid choice for anyone,and any class.
Halfling - Halfings aren't prime defender material period,and much less so as a Swordmage.
Human - A very nice choice. +1 to all defenses is made of win, a bonus feat and skill helps, and the racial feats kick all kinds of hiney. The bonus at-will is actually useful to you, and it also makes Paragon MC look pretty attractive. All in all, solid, and maybe Sky Blue.
Tiefling - IMHO not bad, IF AND ONLY IF YOU PICK UP A FLAMING WEAPON AND THE HELLFIRE BLOOD FEAT. Otherwise, it's pretty mediocre. Nuff said.
Bladeling (MOTP) - Weak racial bonuses, but a very nice racial power makes up for most of it.
[color=Blue"]Bugbear[/color] (MM) - Same thing as the Hal-Orc only a IMHO a weaker racial,but over-sized helps keep them from being suck.
Doppelganger (MM) -Umm,just no I'm afraid.
Drow (FRPG) - The racial feats keep them from being red,that's all folks.
Genasi (FRPG) - Regardless of your build Gensai make damn good swordmages,but especially assulting. Githyanki (MM) - These guys are GREAT Shielding/Ensnaring Swordmages,the intiative bonus is gravy.
Githzerai (MM) - Just not that good for you I'm afraid.
Goblin (MM) - Slightly weaker than the Halfling, it has the same racial stat allotments, which are not spectacular for Barbarians, and he's also Small...
Hobgoblin (MM) - These guys are about the same as Half-Elves, sans the beauty that is Dilettante. Ah, well.
Kobold (MM) - It would be entertaining to see a Defender shifting around the battle-filed like a madman while bringing the pain,but not hte best pick.
Orc (MM) - Str and Con,charging boost,self healing. Sounds like assaulting to me.
Ability Scores: Eldritch Might
Strength - For Assualting Swordmages this is your secondary stat,and boosts Fort def. (Recommended Starting Score: 12-14, before racial adjustments)
Constitution - Adds HP and healing surges, which are always good to have. Shielding builds need this,and Ensnaring have many riders on this stat. (Recommended Starting Score: 12-14, before racial adjustments)
[b]Dexterity - Boosts the same defense as Int,which sucks. But it boosts initiative,and is needed for HBO,and weapon mastery feats for Light/Heavy Blades. (Recommended Starting Score: 12-14, before racial adjustments)
Intelligence - Your main stat regardless of your build. This is your main attack stat,your AC stat,and boosts your most important skills. Boost this every chance you get. (Recommended Starting Score: 16-18, before racial adjustments)
Wisdom - Helps out your Will defense, which is bound to be pretty low, and also helps you wield Polearms more effectively. Wandering Swordmages need this as a secondary stat. (Recommended Starting Score: 10-14, before racial adjustments,or 8-10 if it's a dump stat)
Charisma - A dump stat for you plain and simple. Skip this entirely and save those points. (Recommended Starting Score: 8-10, before racial adjustments)
The choice you make here determines what your aegis is,what it does,and what paths you can take down the road. The choice also changes your play style dramatically and irrivocably,so choose wisely. Spoiler:Show
Assaulting Swordmages are all about preventing damage to party members by dealing it out. Getting that extra attack in ican often be the edge one needs to drop that BBE.
Shielding Swordmages are more about standing in the thick of things and keeping the damage from the hardest hitter to a managble amount. They are more about damage control than dealing out damage in huge heaps.
Ensnaring Swordmages are about taking the BBE and keeping him next to you. They also have many riders that deal extra damage to either their aegis target,or everyone else but the aegis target. They are a balance between the raw damage of the Assaulting and the damage negation of the Shielding.
Aegis of Assualt (FRPG) Pros: Potentially more attacks means more damage,easier time getting feats. Cons: The Aegis attack is risky,you might just swing and miss and not to anything but be a fan that round.
Aegis of Shielding (FRPG) Pros: More HP,better surges,Aegis is easily used every round. Cons:Tend to be MAD,focused more on defense than damage
Aegis of Ensnaring (AP) Pros:Makes you very sticky,as if you mark something if it swings at something else it's coming back to you. Cons:The attack has to be resolved,which means you're friends might be dead before you bring the enemy to your side.
Axes - Nice,but you can't use any of them for your implement powers so they are just not for you. The one gem is the Kopesh,which is also a Heavy Blade.
Flails - Normally an interesting and perfectly viable weapon group but once again they cannot be used as your implement so a pass. The exception is if you pick up Spiked Chain Mastery so you can treat it as a Light Blade,that opens up a whole world of goodies for you.
Hammers - These weapons are normally all Hulk smash! But seeing as once again you can't use them as implements you're really just out of luck here.
Heavy Blades - High proficiency bonus,and generally high damage dice mean that you'll be doing fine swinging one of these around. For One-handed look at a Bastard Sword,or even the tried and true Longsword. For two-handers,the Fullblade is the creme-de-la-creme.
Light Blades - While the damage dice is lower,the high proficiency bonus helps land those blows and if you're using a dagger Daggermaster is all the rage these days it would seem.
Maces - Weaker than hammers,and you still can't use them. Pass.
Picks - Not a heavy,or light blade and they real sort of suck so let's move along.
[COLOR="Blue]Polearms[/color] - Normally you would skip these but since they are all dual-weapon types you can get some mileage out of them. The only one would be the Glaive,which gives you reach,and helps make you sticky.
Spears - Once again a sub-par weapon group that you cannot use as an implement. Some people can use this well just not you.
Staffs - With the advent of Arcane Implement Proficiency you can pick up a Staff and wield it just fine with your powers. However the damage dice is not at all great,but shielding/ensnaring going 2-handed could get some extra oomph with a certain build.
Archetypes: Arcane Warriors
Multiclassing: Mundane & Intellectual Studies
Avenger (PHB 2) - The MC feat itself is the main sell here. Many of your attacks are melee range so this really helps out for those big dailies.
Bard (PHB 2) - If you see someone doing this talk them out of it ASAP.
Fighter (PHB) - This is an awesome option, as the Paragon Paths here are more suited to pure damage than yours. And the defensive ones can fit certain bilds,Iron Vanguard anyone.
Paladin (PHB) - There's nothing here for you really to capitalize on.
Ranger (PHB) - A handful of you may want to dual-wield, so there's a lot of damage in this MC option.
Sorcerer (PHB 2) - The sole reason this is Blue[/b] is for the feat Sorcerous Vision which will be explained later.
Warden (PHB 2) - Mostly for Assualting,but every build can enjoy free action marking once per encounter.
Warlock (PHB) -If you choose Con based powers Shielding/Ensnaring can get a few things from here but otherwise not really your cup of tea.
Warlord (PHB) - Healing and buffing comes from this MC,which really isn't something you are. However you can pick up a few gems here and there,especially Assaulting.
Wizard(PHB) - Seeing as Intellegence is your main stat the synergy is obvious,and you can pick up some nice crowd control powers here as well.
Burning Blade A great way for anyone with a decent Str score to pump their damage up for the rest of the encounter.
Frost BacklashThis is the biggest beatdown you can get for awhile and it's a solid power to boot as you might even kill them before they can do anything to you.
Whirling BladeA decent ranged power only becasue the chances of you miss 4 times in a row is highly unlikely.
Dance of the SwordClose Burst 2 vs Will,definitely a winning combo. Add on enemies hit by the attack cannot make OA's or shift and you've got a viable option.
Dragon's TeethClose Blast 5 that only targets enemies?! Holy cow,and on top of that anyone with a decent Str mod will ensure that enemies will be crowding around them so not to take the ongoing damage.
Lashing AspAt first glance this doesn't seem too hot but hte more you look at it the better it gets. It's a stance so it lasts the whole encounter,and on top of that anything standing next to your target takes damage. Oh and it it's your Aegis target it takes the extra damage as well. A solid pick.
Sweeping FrostbladeA close burst 1 that immobilizes is definitely something you want to look into.
Dimensional ThunderOffers a great movement,and then anything around you takes ongoing thunder damage. Not bad.
Armathor's Step Get a attack bonus for doing something you should be doing anyway. Oh and it's encounter power so take this and like it.
Dimensional WardingAt this lvl it's not that great but at higher lvls many enemies are teleporting around so this could be a retrain target later. Ensnaring builds won't like this as by RAW you can't teleport your aegis target to you anymore.
Fate Spurned FoeNow this is a solid debuffing power,however your save ends effects aren't all that great. However this can still be useful to you.
Silver Steel Veil The bonus is untyped so it will stack,but it's too small to be that useful,now that's not to say the power doesn't have a good uses.
Quickling StrideHoly freaking balls! 12 squares as a move action are you serious? And it's an encounter power,so enjoy your insane mobility.
Swordmage's DecreeThey most be kidding..I can mark a 3x3 area for the rest of the encounter? Bar none this is one of the best powers available to any class. Take this and enjoy it.
Unicorn's Touch A minor action save,or heal is hot especially concidering you can target yourself or an ally. A top tier pick for this lvl.
Zephyr of the Barren SandsFlying your speed has it's uses in and out of combat,but Quickling Stride is likely better.
Variable DefenseWith a decent Con score you can make sure you're not taking much elemental damage at all during this encounter.
Beacon Blade The damage is not great,but blinding (save ends) is definitely worth it for any character. And considering they can't hid3e afterwards it's definitely something to look at.
Be GoneThe damage is a bit low,but teleporting something is always good,especially with teleporting extending effects added on,or just push it off a cliff. Oh and it's reliable so you're going to make it Be Gone.
Glamor BladeWhy would you want to split HP with something? This power is simply not worth it as in most cases it will only make you drop faster. If you want CA that bad get a REAL party member.
Arcane DeflectionA bit of an odd bird in the fact that it is a stance,but it deals damage to an enemy before it takes place. However being able to deflect attacks away from an ally is certainly a good thing. Ensnaring builds will likely be using this more often than others as their aegis moves something instead of an immediate effect so they do not lose that much.
Blade BoltA weak power,with a weak effect,that again targets Fort. It could potentially be useful but there are much better options at this level.
Forceful DismissalWhile it does target Fort,it deals good damage,and has a massive push effect,and even a little on a miss.
Hellspike AssualtThe damage leaves alot to be desired but the teleport can get you around to the BBE to smack him and lay the hurt for real.
Troll RampageI you hit with this power you gain regen that will activate whenever you are bloodied for the rest of the encounter. If not you regain a healthy amount of HP,and deal half damage. Also this power can be used on a charge and Ensnarers get a bonus to the charge.
Leaping FlamesA massive range implement powerthat deals laughable damage but the fire that it makes could potentially make for some interesting.
Icey SweepYou add Con to damage instead of Int and you can slide the target an impressive number of squares if you it.
Lightening StrideThe hits of this power are not that damaging however the movement makes this power worthwhile as it allows you to move through enemy ranks while laying down the hurt.
Acid Burst BladeThe damage is so-so,but the damage you dish out to adjacent enemies is very solid since there is no roll. And if you're assaulting you can use it in place of a basic melee when your aegis is triggered.
Dimensional SlashYou lay the beat down and then tkae you and your target over to a nice quiet corner to beat the crap out of him. Solid choice.
Fire SeedThe damage initially is pidly,but you turn the target into an area burst 2 bomb after pushing him into the midst of a group of enemies and watch go boom. But be careful your allies aren't within the area. Shielding builds don't have this little problem.
Binding LightA radiant power that immobilizes every around the target is pretty nice,follow up with a burst or blast for devastating effect. Assaulting's get another aegis trigger power here.
Ensnaring BoltsA close blast 5 for low damage. However it only targets enemies,and you pull them Con mod squares and slow them if you're Ensnaring.
Fist of ForceIt targets Fort but it's a solid punch (pun intended),and you push the target Str mod squares. Assaulting swordmages add their Str as well.
Hypnotic SwordplayLow damage stun effect,but if you're Ensnaring you add Con to damage as well .Targets Will so should hit fairly often.
Silverlight StrikeIt's low damage but making ALL allies invisible to the enemy is simply gold. Shielding builds
cna add a bit more damage. Likely the best power for any build at this level though.
Acid For Blood A rather unspectacular power for this level but you could do worse.
Inferno's SwordSame as above,only that the range of this power saves it from being as bad as the former.
Free The StormAn excellent sticky power as it is a great incentive for enemies to stay put and fight.
Assualt of Firey CutsThe primary attack targets Fort for low damage,the other is an area burst 3 that targets Reflex for pidly damage. Not really a viable option especially concdierng you hit yourself with this power.
Burning MantleThe damage leaves a bit to be desired but it is reliable and burns all enemies who start their turns adjacent take 5 fire. Another Assualting power here.
Death's BladeThe damage is so-so,but the effects are nothing short of awesome. They tkae ongoing damage,can't heal,recharge powers,and no action points. Save Ends all but it's definitely worth it.
Eldritch ChainsThis is a solid implement power for any swordmage,or really any defender. Nail them with this and if you have initiative they can't get away from you,and it's Close Blast 3! Tack on some effects that deal damage (Rain of Blows anyone?) and you'll be churning out the damage.
Hunter's PursuitA 3W beatstick that,if you connect,everytime you hit them they are immobilized until the end of your next turn. Ensnaring builds can knock the mprone instead of immobilizing them.
Bane BladeThis power is wonderful,great damage and pick a creature type and your attacks deal 2d6 until the end of the encounter against that type. Great for Elite's Solo's
Hells Own BladeThe initial attack is pitiful but the secondary burst 2 boom is solid damage.
Lightening RodA decent hit,and ongoing 10 is nothing to scoff at,and each time it takes the damage all enemies adjacent to the target take 10. Not a bad pick.
Forceful Rebuke This power is a solid, close burst that will push things away from you,great for crowd control.
Marksman's VisionThis is a great power,a solid hit and you ignore pretty much any negative short of no line of sight to target. A solid power pick.
Planar ShockA massive teleport option,and stunned save ends makes this power gold. And even if you miss you still send them flying either to the other defender or away from your buddies.
Ward of ScalesNow this is a nice power here. Blast the guy for hitting your buddy and give the ally resistance to all damage equal to your Con mod. Oh and you can sustain that resistance with a minor. O.o
Whirling ThreatA great power,insane mobility and a burst at that. Oh and once per turn get a free mark vs and adjacent enemy for the rest of the encounter.
Eyes of The Mage By this level you should have items to compensate for wha this power does. However the reroll is marginally useful.
Giant's MightNow this is a great power,increasing reach,a bonus to attack rolls,and a massive bonus to damage rolls. A solid choice for any level.
Shackled WardingA large burst that ensures teleporting will not happen on your watch,the slow effect also ensure that you will be able to keep those fast buggers in place for a beat-down. At this level this power is very useful as many enemies can teleport.
Borrowed AscensionGain a nice,and sustainable fly speed. A great mobility power.
BoundlessA powerful ability that immediately ends some of the worse effects and hands out a hefty bonus to saving throws towards those conditions. Nice to have but not a must have pick.
Ghost WalkIf you could sustain this power it would be great,without that fact though it's not as hot. However since it is an encounter it keeps it from being entirely useless.
Oni's GiftInvisibility is a nice effect,and the fact you can keep it up the whole encounter is simply wonderful.
Acid FountainA hard hitting close blast 3,this is definitely a solid power.
Meteor StrikeThis power can lead to some wide spread havoc for your enemies. It deals great damage and you can spread it out over a huge area. Assualting Swordmages can use this on their aegis target for some big booms out of turn.
Thunder Reposte The damage is too low,and while dazing is a nice effect it targets Fort which doesn't help at all. Shielding builds might be able to use this better as they can use an ally for the origin of the blast.
Aegis BoltAegis marking at a distance is always nice,especially when it tacks on 4d8 damage along with it.
Blink AssualtPotentially a great way to set up a flank for a to hit bonus. If you have a Rogue in the party you can set up an easy SA.
Bravado StrikeIf you connect with it you dish out 3W,and can spend a healing surge adding Con mod,and get to make a saving throw. A solid encounter power for a defender.
Freezing SwordburstA decent immobilizing power,as when you smack someone with this it sets off a burst 1 that deals a little damage and slows. Assaulting builds can pick up another swing power here,but honestly it's not that worthwhile.
Lightening Bolt ChargeAnother solid mobility power for geting around the battlefield. Even if you miss you can teleport and make another attack vs a different target. Great for getting pas soldiers,brute and what not to get to the controller behind them.
Radiant ShieldAn out of place power but that does not mean it's useless. In fact this is a solid ranged power,as it deals ok damage,marks and turns all allies in the burst insubstantial until the end of your next turn. Shielding builds can aegis mark all targets instead.
Bounding Lightening Multi-target attacks are always good,and this gives you a rather decent ranged option that can realyl spread some damage around the table.
Icy ShacklesA massive 4W beat down with reliable is always a good pick,gombine with ongoing damage and an incentive for the enemy to not move around much if they haven't saved vs the ongoing yet.
Quicksilver BladeA minor action attack is always a nice thing to have,Melee Training (Int) will beef up the hit big time. However since it is only a basic attack it isn't quite as good as it could be.
Thundering HeartIt targets Fort,but that is almost negated by the fact is another reliable power. The enemy you hit will take pidly damage but after you shove him a good distance he explodes in a burst 2 for a solid wallop.
Darksword BoltA ranged power that is really not all that great,however it does deal ok damage I suppose.
Invincible RampageThis is a great power as it deals good damage,gives a high amount of regen for the rest of the encoutner as long as you are bloodied,lets you spend a healing surge,and you can use it on a charge. And if you're Ensnaring you get a bonus on the charge.
Mindsap ManeuverThe effect this imposes is great,especially vs Elites and controllers. Even if you miss you get a one round reprieve of the evil.
Sword Duel This power is a great incentive for an enemy to keep it's sights on you,and it deals great damage.
Waves of LanguorWelcome to the 4E Waves of Fatigue,and though it out of place it is still an amazing power. A close burst 2 that only targets enemies,it's vs Will and they are weakened and slwoed. If they fail their save they fall unconscious. Even on a miss great status effects are slapped on for a turn.
Astral Thunder Blade/color]A decent single target attack,but if you connect you get a second attack that can stun. Even of you miss with it you deal half damage and daze so it's worht the gamble.
[COLOR="Blue"]A 5W fire type smack to the face,and if your target dies before the end of the encounter he explodes in a burst 2 that deals half damage on a miss that only effects enemies.
Vorpal Doom7W is something in striker territory. Package it with reliable and the fact that all attacks,including this one crit on a 19-20 for a solid capstone power.
Constricting StrikeThis power is freaking awesome! A save ends immobilize effect that even then every time you hit them they are immobilized until the end of your next turn. So They cannot get away from you. Ensnaring builds induce the Restrained status,which for anyone is simply a very,very bad thing to be under.
Mirrorblade ArmySummoning an army of minion versions of you is potentially useful,if only they could attack. however this can make a solid wall,especially concidering you can sustain the little copies until they are destroyed.
Silver Lightening Assualt6W damge,that alone justifies taking this power,being able to teleport 20 without needing line of sight to the target is simply amazing,and after you smack them you can choose to teleport back to your old spot.
Sword of Soul RotThe damage is decent,but the effect you impose are absolutely lethal against any creature in the D&D world. It target's Fort but not even that can reduce the power level of this attack.
Good luck on the handbook. Just a few things that I'd like to point out in the first post:
Healing surges are pretty low for a defender - consider knocking them down a rank.
Swordmage Warding really should be sky blue, as it's a major draw to the class. Swordbond should be red, as it's a complete waste of a class feature.
Aegis of Shielding is much better than Aegis of Assault. I'd move Assault down, as it's not that good. Shielding might even be sky blue. I'm not sure where Ensnarement stands, and I don't think that it's been properly explored either.
Dragonborn shouldn't be blue. They gain a bonus to the secondary stat for assault swordmages (the worse kind of swordmage, and they can even ignore str if they want).
Dwarves shouldn't be blue either.
Elves should be purple or red, as they gain bonuses to dump stats.
The human extra feat is pretty big for swordmages. Not sure if that would bump them up to sky blue though.
Tieflings get +int, which is enough to make them blue in my book, especially over dragonborn and dwarves.
Deva should be sky blue, or at least blue. Immortal warding is incredible, and they're the best option for wandering swordmages.
Gnomes get +int, which should make them blueish, but certainly not red. Thier invisibility pwoer is great if you get swarmed.
Half Orcs should certainly be rated lower. Bonus to off-stats, HBO isn't that good for swordmages, and their racial power doesn't really help much since swordmages don't really care about damage.
Actually, as I'm typing this, I've noticed a general trend. I think you've mixed up purple and blue. Purple is second worst, and blue is second best. Please consider fixing, as this is very misleading.
You don't list wizard as a possibility in the multiclassing section. Your at-wills are missing swordburst.
Impenetrable Warding Your warding bonus to all your defenses is untyped,and with Improved Warding that means a rather massive boost to your defenses.
I love this power. You should note that Coronal Guard gets an additional +1 to their warding. That means impenetrable warding will give a coronal guard with improved warding a +5 to all NADs. Very nice.
Also, I just want to point out that the person who came up with this handbook format is actually Dictum Mortem. He invented it over on the 3.5e optimization boards. Lord Duskblade and others have just ported over to this board.