What exactly are you doing with an imedete action at will? Why would you not want to turn EVERY TURNS attack against a foe?
Because I can instead take and ED that helps a lot more than giving me an immediate every round at 30?
Yes that is true, I just fell in love with the idea. You can get it twice per encounter before that with the 21 feature but I completly see where you are comming from. But in a lvl 30 one shot I'd sure play that character.
Hell, in the first couple of rounds enemies make a ton of range and burst/blast attacks anyways. Have you played high paragon/epic at all?
Yes I have, and while you are right on all acount it is still something I would like to see in play. Perhaps it isn't optimal but it would be fun.
What is a Skald supposed to use his off-hand for? I was thinking implement at first, but he gets nothing out of that until a magic one is available, by which time he's probably using his weapon as implement. A shield? A two-handed weapon?
Why should melee Bards always use light blades? Is it just for the Nimble Blade feat (which few meet the Dex15 req for anyway) and the Deft Blade feat (which doesn't become available until paragon) or am I missing something here? Why not just spend a feat on proficiency on a big damaging two-hand weapon like a greatsword or fullblade?
What to put in your off hand?
You have several options:
1) shield - your proficient in light only though so it's +1 ac and ref
2) nothing - you don't need something there
3) weild an off hand melée weapon and get your hands on two weapon feats, and if you can use light blades as impliments even dual impliment spellcaster.
Instant proficiency, high proficieny bonus, easily made into an impliment.
Why one handed low damage weapons?
Deceptive duelist only works with one handed weapons.
Hey Litigation, you got the wrong quote about the Battle Song Expertise feat;
Benefit: You gain a +1 feat bonus to attack rolls
This should make it unusable to Bards that don't use musical instruments or songblades.
My Bard is using a longsword as weaplement through Swordmage MCing and had to go with White Lotus for the feat expertise instead.
That is not the current/final version of Battle Song. It was a preview that was, justifiably, hammered as being dumb.
Also, how come you don't even mention the Master of Arms feat from HoFK for all weapon-based Bards? It's a +1 untyped attack bonus!
I wasn't, but I made a really embarassing mistake. Sorry, a bit too tired, I guess.
I believe the u16 heroic interjection is significantly better for Valor bards, who can give themselves an extra AP, and thus an extra round of +CON/+CON for their allies.
I'm looking into playing a LFR Tiefling Valbard, MC Paladin with Wrath of the Crimson Legion to be a functional backup defender alongside a dedicated defender or durable strikers.
Because of the MC, I am proficient in holy symbols and qualify for Devout Protector Expertise for +1 with one-handed weapons, +1 with holy symbols, and the party gains +1 Shield AC. This seemed stronger than Battlesong Expertise giving +1 push/pull/slide on attacks and being limited to songblades, and still leaves my off-hand open for a shield as opposed to a wand or other implement in off-hand.
I'm not too sure where to go with Holy Symbols if I went this direction, though. Symbol of Hope would help with the general lack of Saving Throw granting bards have available outside of the Mark of Healing. The Symbol of Victory later on looks great for the extra action points, but it banks on others being close enough if/when they they score a critical hit. Any others I should take a look at?
Are you going with weapon powers or implement powers? (or ranged weapon powers for that matter) The issue I have with Holy Symbols on a Bard is that in general you will end up needing multiple weapons/implements to keep up with your powers. I usually MC Swordmage (or AIP if you somehow don't have Int 13, even then you are better of MC assassin/monk/anything else to get Ki focuses). However, you could just equip an unenchanted holy symbol (or one with properties you like that don't require you hitting with that symbol) for the Devout Protector bonuses.
If you were planning on a Fake-Skald, Tiefling isn't a bad choice at all, Con/Cha with Wrath of the Crimson Legion for the Cha-based MBA.
He is playing a Valor Bard, so he'll be in melee. He needs the MBA to threaten OAs, especially as he plans on being a sometime-defender.
As Alcestis mentioned it's a Valor Bard that will be in melee a good portion of time. I know MCing into Swordmage would give me light/heavy blade implement access, but since it doesn't prevent OAs like Staff Expertise does then the only benefit is not needing to invest in both an implement and a weapon. While that is certainly nice, it's pretty feat intensive to get MC Paladin, Wrath, and MC Swordmage. I also need 13STR for Scale proficiency, so unless I dipped into my CON score (not a bad idea, really) I couldn't spare the points for 13 INT as well. Though, a 16/14/14 array would help shore up my weak reflex and qualify for Swordmage...
Symbol of Victory. YOU want the AP more than anyone else. Unless I missed something. Also, you can grab, for 15 Wis instead, MC cleric for BCL.
No, I don't think you missed anything zelink. A free action point is always great; I wish I didn't have to wait to level 16 to use two of them in one encounter.
I don't think I could go the MC cleric route. Wrath requires paladin, and 15 wis would be a pretty steep stat investment that would be redundant on my will defense. For Prescient bards I think it would be excellent since they aren't as likely to have 13 STR and they use WIS as a secondary anyway.
Yeah that's definitely awesome for mid-Paragon. The nerf to Flaming weapons stinks, but what can you do (other than hope your DM plays by pre-needless-nerf).
I have a Bard that is multiclassed to a swordmage so i can use my sword as my implement. i was going ot us the following feat:
Battle Song Expertise, Prereq: Bard.
You gain a +1 feat bonus to attack rolls you make with any weapon with which you have proficiency and with a wand or another item designated as a bard implement. This bonus increases to +2 at 11th level and +3 at 21st level.
You also gain a +1 feat bonus to the number of squares that you can pull, push, or slide creatures with your bard attacks and bard paragon path attacks.
The builder is not seeing my sword as the implement for this feat and i am not getting the feat bonus to implement based attacks. The builder is correctly using my sword for implement attacks and i am getting the enhancement bonus.
Is that because it should not work or because the builder is fail?
The wording in the feat suggests that the WEAPON must have a property that lets you use it as a bard implement (i.e. songblade or instrument)
No, the builder doesn't much like it, but you get a bonus to attack rolls with:
A. Any weapon you have proficiency (for implement or weapon attacks)
B. A wand
C. any item designated as a bard implement.
Is there a good reason for bards to use anything but a ki focus? The handbook doesn't mention them, but there's plenty about investing in a way to use your weapon as an implement. Seems to me taking Elemental Initiate for ki focus proficiency bypasses all that.
One good reason is that MCing Swordmage is very easy for most Bards and you get a free skill out of it. You can use light/heavy blade enchantments instead of ki focus ones. A Farbond Spellblade, for instance, lets you poach the occasional ranged power if you were so inclined.
On the other hand, nearly all of the best powers are implement powers and a bard could spend their entire career using solely their implement of choice. Without melee training or some equivalent, it's not like a bard will threaten much with their MBA.
My point is that it's all about investing resources that could've gone elsewhere. The best heroic bard powers according to the handbook are a mix of ranged weapon and implement powers. But heroic is exactly the part of your career where you don't want to invest a feat into MC Swordmage, or another way to get à weapliment.
You could fix this with a Songblade or bow, but that means sacrificing your weapon enchantment. While you may just as well only 'sacrifice' your theme choice (and it's a good one even outside of the ki focus prof), don't lose a feat and your implement enchantment, AND gain access to Accurate ki focus for your implement attacks. Ki foci seem full of win here.
EI is decent, but Spellscarred, Order Adept, Knight Hospitaler, Ironwrought, and more are above it.
There are even some very interesting ki foci out there for bards. Everyone loves Cascading Strikes for a daily reroll and Rain of Hammers for a daily minor action Staggering Note. Shadow Master is for stealth builds, Abduction grants free slides for Skalds, and melee tieflings love Blazing Arc (Hellfire Blood, Stirring Song of Baator).
Since the Flaming Weapon nerf, is there anything that applies the Fire keyword to implement attacks? I overlooked Blazing Arc ki focus for melee; I might swap out Guardian for EI to pick it up on my Tiefling valbard mc paladin. I'd lose a little defender action but would get Hellfire Blood on OAs and Guiding Strike. Hm...
Alcestis pointed that one out too, will definitely pick it up once mid paragon rolls around. So much for earlier in the game though!
I'm tampering with the idea of an Hybrid Monk/Bard, to be somekind of Monk playing Shizen, like Shinto Monks of Japan.
Could this hybridation work?, i allready begun to work on it in the CB, but i have more experience with Big strikers genre(Blackguard and co), so with someone more of a lightweight, im a bit at a loss.
Let's see... Dex/Cha, which implies you're going to play a Desert Wind Monk (which the Builder isn't going to let you take as a hybrid, by the way. If that's a dealbreaker for you, forget about this hybrid right now). So Blistering Flourish ensures you'll at least do decent damage.
They're both implement-using classes, and you get to use a wide range of implements (ki foci, wands, all simple melee & ranged, all military ranged and a bunch of military melee weapons). So it's safe to say you can fight in melee as well as at range. This is good, because it opens up a lot of good Bard powers (Rhyme of the Blood-Seeking Blade, for example).
Your CON, INT and WIS are going to suck, so don't bother with a Bardic Virtue. The best Hybrid Talent would be either Bard Armor Proficiency or Unarmored Defense (first one gives you hide armor + light shield prof for +4 AC, second gives you +2 AC and opens up Unarmored Agility for another +2 AC). Either way, your AC is going to be fine.
Since your CON sucks, War Chanter as a paragon path is out, unfortunately. What paragon path you should take depends on your playstyle, I think. If you're primarily a striker, find a good striker PP (maybe multiclass for one, or Voice of Thunder if you can focus on thunder damage. The encounter power is pretty good for a striker). If you're primarily a leader, the Bard has some nice PPs available.
My gut says this is a striker that minors in leader powers to boost itself (Echoing Weapon is awesome for a striker to have) and the party. The combination is far from powerful, but I wouldn't say it sucks.
Considering your example of a "big" striker is a Blackguard, you will be fine.
Sorry if this is Necro but I have a couple of questions based on the bard and this seemed the best place to post them.
I'm pretty new to DnD in general (something that I should be forthcoming about) but I like the idea of the bard, especially the Skald. However, the general consensis seems to be that they are underpowered. I like the idea of playing a class that inspires others with MBA's and I especially want to play as a CHA main class.
Err... What I mean ot ask is this: how do I make a Skald (real or fake)"worth it". Is it loading up on feats that allow MBAs away from my standard action? And if so, which ones are best to take?
Is an At-will like Eldritch Strike worth scalping through hybrids, or would being a bard/warlock diminish my leadership abilities too much?
The group is making characters for late heroic (level 8) but will be playing for a while.
I'm sorry if my ideas are all over the place, but any assistance would be greatly appreciated.
Bard|Warlock is pretty much the ideal way to play a skald-like character. Their problem is simply that they have sucky powers, but being a Bardlock completely fixes that and even opens up good leaderly options on the Warlock side.
You can also pull Eldritch Strike in through Half Elf Dilettante -> Versatile Master, since you'll hit Paragon to make it a true At-Will fairly soon. Half Elf is also conveniently Cha/Con, perfect for Valorous Bards if you'd rather not Hybrid.
On the other hand, a Bardlock can be a War Chanter who gets to add Curse dice to his MBA (and Curse is 1/turn for off-action goodness). Chalock also gets sexy off action attacks for a close in fighter (Delban's Deadly Attention, Touch of Command) Only problem is a Valorous Fake Skald Bardlock War Chanter (that's a mouthful) would require quite a few feats to make it run (Skald Training, Hybrid Talent for a Virtue, Scale to fix your AC, taxes, etc.).
That sound awesome, actually. My only issue is that I'm nervous I'll have to spend my first few turns charging up my powers (minor to activate my skald aura, minor to activate song of serendipity, minor to curse, etc). But I think I can deal with it as this is exactly the kind of bard I've been itching to play. What warlock pact would you suggest, fey pact?
That said, it looks like my starting feats would be
1 Hybrid Talent (Valorous virtue)
2 Skald training
4 arcane implement proficiency
6 chainmail Proficiency
8 White lotus dueling expertise
I'm gonna snag white lotus riposte so I can take master riposte in paragon.
Also, I'm thinking about grabbing some polearm feats in paragon so I can knock enemies prone with my eldritch strike. Grizzled Sergeant background for a glaive, polearm momentum, polearm gamble and spear push. My only thoughts: are such plans too greedy?
By the way, thanks for the replies.
Sorry, I mistyped last time, I meant Chain, not Scale. If you do take a 16/16/12/12/10/8 array, you can take Hybrid Talent for armor proficiency in Heroic, retrain it out for Chainmail prof once you hit Paragon and get the +1 to all, and then immediately retake Hybrid Talent as your L11 feat for Virtue of Valor to qualify for War Chanter. It's a bit cheesy, but it should keep you alive and gets you a second stat at 13 in Paragon to qualify for MC feats. Scale comes later if you feel the need for more AC (and no check penalty). You'll be depending on Chain + Light Shield for a while though. If you have to stay in Leather for a bit, Armor of Dark Majesty offers a nice +2 defense bonus agaisnt Cursed enemies.
Polearm Momentum tricks are sexy, but that's a really heavy drain on stats and feats. Chain prof wants 13 Str 13 Con, Polearm Momentum demands 15 Dex, 15 Wis and Fighter MC. Polearm Gamble and Spear Push both need STR 15. That's three tertiary stats that all have to hit 15 eventually, which means something like a 16/13/13/13/13/9 array (13/15/13/9/13/18 postracial for a Con/Cha race like Half Elf or Tiefling), and even then you only hit all those 15s in Epic without sacrificing your secondary (and that Con bonus to attacks is what makes War Chanter's AP feature so amazing). If you want to do that, you'll want to plan out the build to make sure you can make it happen and that you aren't cutting vital feats like Improved Defenses.
WLMR is pretty awesome with this, since you get another tap and hand out Skald goodies in the process. You'll still probably want off-action MBA enablers like Battle Awareness or similar for rounds where you didn't MBA. AIP is good, but if you don't care too much about your weapon enchant you can use a Songblade to put that off for a while in favor of more pressing matters like Expertise or your defenses. Take Battle Song Expertise over White Lotus Dueling Expertise if you aren't using it to get an Orb or Staff as an implement, since implement proficiencies mean that all your implements count as bard implements now (yay errata!), so BSE affects all your attacks, just like WLDE.
As for Pacts, most of them are open to you, especially if you drop 16s into both Con and Cha. If you take Twofold Pact in Paragon, you gain the At-Will, Boon and riders of the second pact, but you'll only ever get the riders and feats on the first pact. Regardless, take a look at the Warlock handbook. Note that many Pact riders depend on Intelligence to make them good.
Fey Pact: Solid control effects. The At Will sucks, the Boon is decent but since it's unreliable you won't miss it. Needs Int to make most of the riders good.
Dark Pact: More damage oriented. The At will blows, the Boon is useful but doesn't scale well past Heroic. Again, you're not here for the Boon.
Sorceror King Pact: Runs on Cha, and most powers are both Melee touch and Range 5. Very Lead-Strikery Pact, great feats (Mindbite Scorn!). I'm not familiiar enough with it to tell you how much lacking the Boon hurts it, or even if you get Fell Might with it if you don't Twofold into it.
Cha/Con Based (some powers in both)
Infernal Pact: Again damage oriented. The Boon's good but it's THP, which you're already getting from War Chanter (admittedly, the Boon gives a lot more THP), but the At Will is good if your Con is a co-primary (it's not a basic attack, so no Skald goodies though).
Star Pact : The At Will is again no great shakes (but it is Radiant). The Boon is great, a cumulative one shot accuracy booster. It's Con/Cha like Infernal (though not as much, leans toward Cha), and the powers lean towards control over DPR. Again, many riders depend on a solid Int mod.
Elemental Pact: This needs a class feature that you can't get via RAW as a Hybrid Warlock. Don't think you can even select it.
Vestige Pact: Requires substantial investment in Con to hit with anything (but you were going to do that anyway, right?). It's a wierd pact, again fairly Lead-Strikery. The At Will is good and the boon depends on what Vestige you're aligned with (told you it was wierd). Probably best Twofolded into, since a lot of the fun with Vestige Pact is abusing the various Vestiges, which you can't do without the Boon and At-Will.
The Pacts that seem most appropriate to a melee range Cha/Con character are Infernal, Sorceror King (especially if your DM rules you get Fell Might), and Vestige (as a second choice for Twofold Pact). Dark and Fey mainly have "and do X equal to your Int mod" riders and are are mostly ranged powers. Elemental just doesn't work at all with Hybrid. However, your starting Pact doesn't matter that much except for feat qualifications, since most riders add your Intelligence modifier to something, so if your Intelligence sucks all you're getting is feats. The exception is Sorceror King if you get Fell Might, since it has some high level powers that give your allies attacks and then add your Warlock's Curse dice to their damage (and of course, your Int mod to their attacks. . .)
Does anyone have an example of a reasonably optimized valorous bard build?
Helf, dilettante Magic Weapon, Theme: Yakuza, Background: Akanul,
Powers: Staggering Note and Jinx Shot, Shout of Triumph, Stirring Shout, Life's Losing Hand, Blunder, Song of Discord, Revitilizing Incantation, Echoing Weapon, Arrow of Warning, Mantle of Unity,
PP War Chanter, Earthquake Strike (drop Shout of Triumph), Whispers of the Dream King (drop Stirring Shout), Haste, Hail of Steel (Drop Blunder),
ED Warmaster. I don't feel like looking at Epic Powers, you take Valorous Charge at 27 though.
Feats: Improved Defenses, Resourceful Leader, Battle Song Expertise, Novice Power, Versatile Master, Combat Virtuoso, Blade Initiate, Superior Implement (Accurate Dagger), Superior Will, Bardic Wayfarer, Majestic Rescue, Multiclass Mastery (I forget which Daily and Utility you take with this, something to grant saves at level 2?), Quickened Spellcasting, MC Cleric, stuff?.
Items: Accurate Radiant Dagger, Radiant Shard, Benefactor's Armor, Raven Cloak, Vistani Buzuq, Helm of Able Defense, Ring of Retreat, Belt of the Witch King, Planestrider Boots, Demonskin Tattoo, Symbol of Victory, various utility items like salve of power.
I'd hope so ^__^ But what I meant was that these types of threads usually get linked here and there, but not this often!
(I was pleasantly surprised, if you couldn't tell yet)
Yeah, that thread is awesome.
Most of the builds linked in the "complete list of character build links" are weird or gimmicky and although many of them are pretty cool, they don't give a very good idea of the baseline builds for a class.
Yeah, that thread does a poor job of presenting basic class op. The handbooks generally do a decent job however.
To be fair, your "good and simple" goal is rather limiting in terms of making better optimized characters.
But Heroic IS SO BORING. I would feel bad for ganking Lit's thread but he hasn't been here in a LONG time.
Obviously a lot of folks disagree with you. It is annoying though that, when I offer advice how to proceed in paragon, the best answer is often "start from scratch and instead build it this way".
I have never found that. What builds need to be entirely scrapped going into Paragon?
Yeah I know, that's too bad. The trick is still decent if you use a Flaming Dagger for a mix of melee and ranged attacks though. Nothing stellar, but still ok.
Echoing Weapon has the Thunder keyword.
Though that is actually almost enough powers not to suck. I still wouldn't play it as a Valor Bard though. Tiefling Cunning Bard with Stirring Song would be way better.
I would like to suggest a reconsideration of the red rating for fast friends, I think that a purple rating is more appropriate due to the well supported charm keyword, the ability to use it to force defender mark punishment and inhibit OAS (if the party lacks a way to prohibit to begin with which is controller class dependant).
The problem is the "until you or one of your allies attacks the target." so it's basically as invulnerable to your Defender as the Defender is to it since any good DM will just Delay through if they can't just ignore the condition by attacking a different target anyway.
Red is a bit harsh though, since it does block Bursters.
I am looking at why Staggering Note is so valuable so that it doesn't have to be an opinion listed.
+10 attack at level 5 vs Will with the Staggering Note.
The attack bonus was boosted by a combination of elemental initiate theme, superior implement training (accurate ki focus) feat, and ki focus expertise. So at this time I had not checked the math, and I think the power is really good.
Using the Adventure tools monsters with names beginning with A to C as my sample size, I calculated the following:
The median AC for an enemy at level 5 is 20, and the mode is 19.
The median Will for an enemy at level 5 is 17, and the mode is 16.
(level + 14 for ac in the typical case) 19
(level + 12 for nads, 1 point up for one point down typically) 17
So I attack with Staggering Note. 13/20 chance to hit with my attack.
Then my ally attacks with an MBA. I have a few allies attacking ranging from +11 to +15.
This might also be useful in the discussion
If we both land our attacks it will stack the MBA damage with the 5 Cha damage of my attack, and the enemy is moved 2 squares.
Probability of A and B is P(a)*P(b).
The odds that both our attacks hit fall between (13/20)*(11/20) to (13/20)*(15/20) which comes out to 35% to 49%
That is 7/20 or 10/20 chances with an error of 1. So the maximum is 8/20 or 11/20.
This contrasts 11/20 with MBA damage +5 vs 13/20 with bard at-will damage.
Echoing Dirge 13/20+13/20-(13/20)*(13/20) = .87 for the odds of at least one hit worth d8+cha mod
(13/20)*(13/20)=.42 chance to deal out d8+ cha mod to two separate targets
Vicious Mockerty 13/20=.65 odds of dealing d6+cha mod
Your ally has to deal more than .87*4.5 = 4 approx. average damage-per-attack with MBA in this case for Staggering Note to out perform Echoing Dirge in the at least one hit case.
So my allies must deal between 7.2 and 5 average damage to out perform Echoing Dirge in the at least one hit case.
I don't have time to go over the two hit case, but the estimate is going to be that it has to deal over 8-10 damage.
You've discovered that granting attacks is good. Welcome to 2008.
Why are you comparing a Bard power to a Warlock power?
Okay, I keep hearing/reading about -9 to attacks thanks to psychic lock, but I'm not seeing the whole kit of how to do that.
...how do I bard?
Well, off the top of my head: Vicious Mockery with Beguiling Enchantment and Psychic Lock on a target that's marked by someone with Mark of Warding (or some other way to boost the penalty to attack from being marked to -3) would give anywhere from a -2 to a -9 to attack depending on who the target attacked and when (-2 Vicious Mockery, -2 Psychic Lock for the first attack it attempts, -3 if it violates the mark, -2 if it attacks the bard).
Toss in warlock somewhere for Protective Hex as well.
Two questions for a tielfing bard:
1) Is there any way to make a Bard at-will into an MBA?
2) Assuming not, what's the best way to get a cha-based MBA?
Well, Melee Training: Charisma. Half-Elf Dilletante for Eldritch Strike or Virtuous Strike (Cha-based MBA with either a slide or a +2 to saves). Tiefling with MC Paladin for Wrath of the Crimson Legion (gives you pre-nerf melee training and a free burst 5 sanction).
That's all I can think of, off the top of my head.
It's just before 2am, go on I'll claim a seriously obscure pun.
Hey, guys. I am a huge bard fan and I would like to play as a Cunning Bard for a while. Does anyone have an optimized build for it?
The thing is my DM told me to find a better build or he would kill my character next time and made me do a Warlord. So the group aggred with a rework for my character.
If it is for any help, my group has a Paladin, a Cleric, a Druid, a Barbarian and a Wizard. Both druid and wizard are optimized for damage not control.
In the off chance that this guide is still being updated, I'd rate the Elven Chain Shirt (Wondrous Item, level 9/19/29, grants +1/+2/+3 to AC when wearing light or no armor) highly despite being rather spendy. Bonus to AC and doesn't occupy an item slot? Win and win again, unless you chose to wear chainmail.
Ye, totally a bard specific item, please don't recommend implementing it into any other 4 year old class guide.
In order to take melee, ranged, and implement powers without keeping up more than one item is my only option MC Swordmage and Farbond Spellblade?
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