I am really happy with how this monster (a dwarf) turned out. I think it plays like a strangler should. I was really fascinated by the Garrote feats in Dragon 373, so I went ahead and created a "boss" monster with that weapon as its theme. The Iron Strangler can be used as the leader or otherwise intimidating figure in a band of thieves.
My two concerns about the design:
1) Its damage output might be too high for a level 1 elite. My players are quite skilled, so I aimed for something more challenging, without being overkill. The Iron Strangler has the Combat Advantage attribute, granting him an extra 1d6 vs. targets it has CA against. This would normally be counter-intuitive for a soldier-type monster. In this case, I felt it was appropriate given that Iron Strangler is in-line with thieves and rogues.
2) Out in the wide open, the Iron Strangler is about as effective as a pylon. To compensate, I am considering giving it throwing hammers.
Input appreciated.The Iron Strangler
Medium Natural Humanoid; Level 1 Elite Soldier
Initiative +3 Senses Perception +1;
HP 72; Bloodied 36
AC 19; Fortitude 18, Reflex 15, Will 13
Action Point 1
[INDENT]When you use a garrote to successfully grab a target, the target takes a -2 penalty to escape the grab. Each turn you successfully maintain a grab with a garrote, you have combat advantage against the target you’re grabbing.[/INDENT]
Choking Grab (standard; at-will) * Weapon
[INDENT]You slip your garrote over your enemy’s neck, and draw the cord tight.
Requirement: The Iron Strangler must be wielding a garrote.
+5 vs. Reflex; 1d4 damage, and the target is dazed until the end of your next turn and grabbed.[/INDENT]
Shiv (standard; at-will) * Weapon
[INDENT]You brutally shiv a dagger into your opponent's soft side.
+5 vs. AC; 1d4 + 2 damage[/INDENT]
Strangle ‘n Shiv (encounter; recharges when first bloodied) * Weapon
[INDENT]You tightly secure your garrotte around your opponent’s neck and stab viciously into his side while they are off-balance.
The Iron Strangler makes a Choking Grasp attack and a Shiv attack.
Special: If both attacks are successful, the target takes ongoing 5 damage.[/INDENT]
Body Shield (immediate reaction, when the Iron Strangler is grabbing a creature and is hit with an attack; recharge 5,6) * Weapon
[INDENT]Your choking hold with the garrote allows you to manipulate your victim into harm’s way.
The Iron Strangler takes half damage from the attack. The creature being grabbed takes half damage from the attack. Any effect from the triggering attack that would affect the Iron Strangler instead affects the creature being grabbed.[/INDENT]
[INDENT]The Iron Strangler deals an extra 1d6 on melee attacks against any target it has combat advantage against.[/INDENT]
Alignment: Evil; Languages: Common, Dwarven
Skills: Perception +1, Stealth +2
Str 18 (+4); Dex 14 (+2); Wis 13 (+1)
Con 10 (+0); Int 10 (+0); Cha 8 (-1)
Items: garrote +1; blinding bomb