Introduction So you've chosen to be a Hybrid. In doing so, you've chosen to be just about two of anything. Maybe a little better, worse, explosively good, or not work at all. This guide examines the base values of each class, how they've changed by becoming hybrids, and whether or not they mix well with others. This guide is primarily concentrating on the basics - I'm not looking to comment on how to build a better feycharger, but to simply point out where builds that will be enjoyable to play that have a range of optimization levels can be found.
GOLDindicates what is essentially a must-have option, a rare gem indeed. Sky Blueoptions should be strongly considered, as these are optimal choices. Blue options are very good; they're generally useful and often optimal depending on build. Blackis average. Solid option, but you could probably do better (you're pretty safe sticking with these for thematic reasons, though). Purple indicates a below average choice, but for certain character builds (or to preserve thematic consistency) it's still viable. Still, you shouldn't choose too many of these. Red is pretty much junk. Take it at your own risk, but remember that you were warned.
Sources PHB = Players Handbook PHB2 = Players Handbook 2 PHB3 = Players Handbook 3 PrP = Primal Power (may also be referred to as PP, though I'll try to be consistent) MP = Martial Power AV = Adventurer's Vault AV2 = Adventurer's Vault 2 D### = Dragon issue ### PHH = Players Handbook Heroes minis set
Common Abbreviations MBA = melee basic attack RBA = ranged basic attack OA = opportunity attack NAD = non-AC defenses (Fortitude, Reflex, and Will)
Weapon/Implement: Weapon users don’t usually mix with well Implements and vice-versa. A class with a Weapon that can be used as an Implement has a huge advantage. Swordmages in particular, but weapons that have the option of being used as an implement for the class are good too. There are a number of good combo feats - Staff Expertise, White Lotus Expertise(Arcane/BA only), Devout Protector Expertise, Mighty Crusader Expertise, War Wizard's Expertise(for Light/Heavy Blades/Arcane/BA only), Ki Focus Expertise and Versatile Expertise. Each of them have their flaws - Staff isn't a great weapon, Devout/Mighty require two items, Ki Focus doesn't have great choices, White/War are limited to Arcane, and Versatile doesn't give anything extra. Slotless Implement:Easy to mix, gives strong options to other classes. Still requires an extra item if mixing with weapon class unless Ki Focus. But Ki Focus choices are not that great Weapon: Nothing wrong, but stick to two weapon-using classes. Handheld Implement: Nothing wrong, but stick to two-implement using classes.
Attributes Note: Recommended starting values are post-racial bonuses.
Primaries:Keep these two your highest. Strongly consider a race that boosts at least one of them, if not both. Recommended starting value: 16-18.
Secondaries:: If you can make one of your primary stats a secondary stat for the other class, that’s what usually makes a secondary stat dark blue. Watch out for secondary stats that either have had a big downgrade due to the nature of the hybrid or are completely outside both classes. Recommended starting value: 10-18.
Tertiaries Usually a trap, but there are a couple of classes that have the same tertiary stats. Could be worth a 12-13. Recommended starting value: 10-13.
Sample Ability Spreads
Note: All examples are 1st level, pre-racial mods. Abilities are presented in order of array values:
Balanced: 16, 16, 12, 12, 10, 8. This array qualifies you for potential 18s in both classes.
Single primary stat: 18, 14, 11, 10, 10, 8. This is for a hybrid that has just one primary stat, hopefully with strong defensive values such as Dex, Int, or Con.
Unbalanced: 16, 14, 14, 13, 10, 8. For the class that has a strong primary stat for one class and a weak primary for the other and multiple important secondaries. i.e. you end up with 1 encounter and 1 daily from your weak primary class.
Weirdly unbalanced: 17, 15, 13, 10, 10, 8. For the class that has a strong primary stat for one class, a weak primary for the other and an important tertiary. i.e. you end up with 1 encounter and 1 daily from your weak primary class.
Races PHB Races
Dragonborn: One of two race that does Str/Cha. Con/Cha isn't bad either. Accesses not just all the Str primary classes, but can mix them with the Cha primary classes. Dwarf: Dwarves are okay. While there are a number of good Wisdom classes, Con is really just Warlock(and not all of Warlock) and it doesn’t really appreciate Wisdom at all. Battlemind is a newer exception, but for the most part, Battlemind is a weak marking hybrid - it marks easily, but it needs another Defender class to take advantage of the mark. Str adds some options, but Str/Con is the standard "I'm sacrificing a defense" move. Feat support is very strong, though.
Eladrin: Major upgrade from having Int/Cha as an option. Lots of good class choices open up there(and simply not needing to put Dex with Int on Int-based classes is a major upgrade) Elf: Dex/Wis opens up a lot of good Archer + Wis class options. Only downside is that an Archer needs a bow and likely requires two weapons and/or implements. Dex/Int opens up some interesting choices if you're in love with Elven Accuracy. Half Elf: Dilettante strangely enough isn’t as good as it usually is - many Striker-critical class features won’t work with it as they would normally. But they boost Cha and it can still be used to supplement whatever the primary role of the PC is going to be. Con/Wis has some additional choices, but nothing spectacular. Halfling: Dex/Cha wouldn’t be especially bad except that they’ll likely end up being a Striker/Striker of some sort. Dex/Con allows for Battlemind/Striker, which is decent. Human: 3 at-wills. Only downside is that they want their primary to be in the same stat. Tiefling: Strong pair of stats. Many classes use both Int and/or Cha in some way. Cha/Con doesn't open up a lot of additional options, but it is hard to ignore all the crazy feat support that Tieflings have gotten access to.
PHB2 Races: Deva: See Tiefling. Int/Wis is a slight upgrade on Int/Cha.
Gnome: Same stats as the Tiefling. But Small and not the same feat support.
Goliath: Nothing horribly wrong here except Con really only fits Warlock or Battlemind, which greatly limits some of the options and stats figure in the same defense. Which is usually not as valuable for a hybrid.
Half-Orc: A solid choice. Ranger goes with everything, Monk is strong, and Rogue isn’t bad. Would be Dark Blue except that Dex doesn’t really go that well with Str in the context of less class features. Dex/Con isn't a major upgrade to that either. Still, if you're going for a Str/Dex hybrid, there isn't a huge number of places to go.
Longtooth Shifter: Str/Wis has a lot of classes with at least partial support for that pair.
Razorclaw Shifter: Same stat bonuses as the Elf, without the other little perks.
PHB3 Races: Githzerai: Similar to Elf or Deva, not quite as good as a Deva.
Minotaur: See Goliath and Longtooth Shifter. Slightly weaker support, but Str/Wis is a very good set of stats.
Shardmind:See Deva and Tiefling. Not as good support.
Wilden: Stat bonuses of the Dwarf or Elf. Not as good support.
In general, Controllers work best with Leader or Striker as their other half. They've usually been too dinged on defensive values to be any good at doing Defender and by picking Controller, they're often exchanging somewhat significant class features for additional power choice. As Wizard is usually going to be one of the choices and has so many great powers, this usually results in a net negative(though in the case of the Invoker|Wizard, a small net negative)
Druids: Summary:Sentinel is almost strictly better by RAW unless you're here for a beastform MBA. Most of the best powers are non-beast form and Were-themes are an option if you have to have a beast form. RAI, hybrid Sentinel likely shouldn't have Druid encounter choices that actual Sentinels have, and some players or DMs may not be comfortable with that. If you're in one of those games, Druids shoot up to Blue. Stats: Wisdom mostly. Class Features: Wild shape is okay, but being action-limited in Wild Shape can be really dangerous - that you can't use any of the attack powers of the other class is really bad. The best hybrid builds seem to ignore Wild Shape. Implement: Decent implement/weapon choice, but as Quarterstaff has limited melee uses, not as good as it could have been. At-Wills: Magic Stones represents a top-tier controller at-will. Hybrid Feat benefits: There are a couple of interesting options here, but with Hide Armor Expertise nerfed, not so great. Interesting Builds: Given Druids relatively solid hit points/surges for a controller, they make a very strong mix with almost any Dex/Wis or Int/Wis build. They're not a bad Con/Wis option either. Options of Note: WereX themes allow a Druid hybrid to use Beastform Powers and Weapon/Implement powers at the same time. This also opens up Charge options via Stampede(+boots) and Enraged Boar Form.
Invokers: Summary: Good control, one main stat for the most part, very strong at-will option. Stats: All Wisdom unless you take the Int-Divine Channel option via Hybrid feat. Class Features:You get the best feature in the form of the Covenant. Hit points, surges are limited. Good basic armor. Implement: Decent implement/weapon choice, but as Quarterstaff has limited melee uses, not as good as it could have been. At-Wills:Two really great choices of at-wills(Divine Bolts and Hand of Radiance), but you wouldn't take both. Better choices exist elsewhere, which really makes Invoker Hybrid a strong early choice. Hybrid Feat benefits: Divine Channeling is excellent for Int-based characters. Interesting Builds: Invoker|Cleric - one slotless implement. Invoker|Wizard. Mix of control. Invoker|Shaman - Con/Wis, but works with human. Can pick up the spirit with the hybrid feat with no real loss. No implement issues.
Ranger(Hunter) Summary:Don't be a Hunter. Be a regular Human Ranger or Half-Elf with the Dilettante feat for a Ranger at-will who happens to have Archery Mastery.
Wizards: Summary:Easy mixing with other classes, especially Int, Wis, Con, or Cha. Lots of solid racial choices(Tiefling, Gnome, Changeling, Deva, Human, Genasi, Eladrin). Stats: Int + whatever you want your implement to be. Class Features:You get the best parts of Wizard and most of it is replaceable by feats. Implement: Decent implement/weapon choice. At-Wills:Wizard has a few too many good at-wills. You'll likely end up sacrificing somewhere by hybriding. Still, not a horrible place to be. Makes a strong case for Human. Hybrid Feat benefits: Arcane Implement Mastery is great. But you can easily get by without it. Good to have choices regardless. Interesting Builds: Pretty much anything with Int, Wis, Con, or Cha as a primary stat.
Psion Summary:Easy mixing with other classes, especially Int, Wis, or Cha. Lots of solid racial choices(Tiefling, Gnome, Changeling, Deva, Human, Genasi, Eladrin) - due to it being a lot newer than Wizard, not quite as good. Why it isn't black is due to its ability to have 3 total at-wills, not 2 like everyone else. Stats:Int + Wis or Cha. Lots of options. Class Features: You get the best parts of Psion and there's really no strong reason to spend a feat on the hybrid option. Implement:Decent implement/weapon choice, but as Quarterstaff has limited melee uses, not as good as it could have been. At-Wills: Lots of solid choices and Augment 1s look very suspiciously like at-wills once you get to high enough level. Strong case here for Human - you'll want to sacrifice Dishearten or Mind Thrust at paragon/epic, but this allows the character to retain the basic benefit - simple at-will debuff or RBA. Hybrid Feat benefits: Nothing to see here. Interesting Builds: Psion|Avenger - surprisingly interesting due to the ability for a human to take an 18 in Int and a 16 in Wis. One of the few multi-stat Human builds. Avenger brings Holy Symbol into play and can grant a 19 AC at 1st level by spending the obvious feats. Many obvious Wizard|X combos work for Psion as well. Warning: You are going to want a good Cha or Wis score or your riders will suffer greatly
Seeker Summary:Do Ranged Control until you miss, then blow things up with Inevitable Shot, then do your other class. And the Hybrid Feat benefit. Stats:Dex is not especially great here, but Str/Wis can have a lot of options, particularly if you multiclass into Assassin for the ability to ki-focus all your weapon choices. Other Wis|X stats can work reasonably well - just pick powers without riders based on stats. As you kind of want to miss as fast as possible, having only a 16 Wis is okay. Class Features: Inevitable Shot(Hybrid) basically determines how this hybrid behaves. i.e. you want to trigger this class feature, possibly reactivate it with an action point, then move on to your other class. Weapon:Bow At-Wills: Decent, but not spectacular at-wills. It is important to pick a Seeker power that works as a Ranged Basic attack. Half-Elves can now pick a Ranger at-will as their dilettante, then take the Archery Mastery feat to replace it with an RBA upgrade option. Rapid Shot could be a lot of fun with Eagle Eye Goggles. Hybrid Feat benefits: Very strong. Str to AC and +1 to hit with thrown weapons? Makes a lot of interesting Ranged options work for primarily melee types. Interesting Builds: Builds that use weapons that have Wis as a secondary stat. Str Ranger|Seeker - no need for Chainmail proficiency, solid opening move, +1 to hit with thrown weapons(note this is not when specifically throwing them, it is based on the property...). Artificer|Seeker - at first, doesn't seem quite natural, but there's a lot of useful bow alignment. Warlord|Seeker. +1 to hit with all your ranged attack powers and Str to AC can really make this work.
Warlock(Binder) Summary:Be a Star Pact + Nova Striker. Blow things up, then turn invisible. What's not to like? Completely cornercase - gain the big benefit of being a permastealth build(be invisible some of the time) without needing to commit significant resources to being invisible all the time. Stats: Cha/Dex works well with many things. Cha/Int. As you're generally trying to avoid Binder encounter powers, this is really a Cha-only in terms of need class. Class Features: Keep most of the somewhat decent features, but nothing crazy good Implement: Standard implement fare. At-Wills/Encounters:Interesting question is how do at-wills work? Does the build really get no at-wills from the Binder(or maybe the Warlock) side? Does Pact choice limit Encounters from Binder side? Is there access to Warlock? Who knows. Hybrid Feat benefits:Shadow Walk is solid, though available for poaching via MC'ing into Assassin. Interesting Builds: Binder|Rogue. Binder|Ranger. Binder|Barbarian. Binder|Sorcerer. Note the trend? Striker with Dex, possibly Cha.
Cavalier Summary:Wouldn't ever take it over Paladin. But it isn't bad. Stats: Str+Cha on its own. Lots of options. Given the lack of Lay on Hands, Wis isn't that valuable for the Cha builds. Class Features:Good access to Divine sanction. Basically a seriously downgraded Paladin - Divine Challenge usually a better option. Implement/Weapon: Has a lot of flexibility with either Holy Symbol or all martial weapons and Devout Protector Expertise is made for them. At-Wills: Decent at-wills, but many builds will be trying to figure out how to avoid ever using them. Hybrid Feat benefits:Plate and Heavy Shield Interesting Builds: Cavalier|Cha Ranged Striker(Warlock or Sorcerer) - can easily function with Str/Cha, Dex/Cha, or Int/Cha for those. Warning: Really loses a lot compared to Paladin in specifically Epic due to the inability to get Weakening Challenge. Not going to Epic is a big plus for Cavalier.
Fighter Summary:Fighter isn't really a true hybrid. It desperately needs to pick choices that give it marks outside of using Fighter powers for attacks - if it can do that, it turns Blue Stats: Mixes well with all stats Class Features: Something of a hit or miss. Your mark is structured around using your fighter powers and Fighters don't have a lot of minor action or interrupt attacks. Weapon: Decent weapon choice, but often doesn't work well with many implements At-Wills:With hybrid, not the strongest selection. Hybrid Feat benefits: Solid Armor choice or Tempest Style both have their place. The problem for Fighters focused on being a Defender is that they have to figure out some way to get a decent AC of 17+ or some way of replacing all the hit points they're going to lose. Interesting Builds: Fighter|Seeker. Deft Hurler Style. Fighter|Runepriest. Two wrongs make a right. Mark them - they ignore you and you get to swat them. They attack you and you get bonus damage. Multiclass into another Defender class for additional mark capabilities. Key Compendium Searches: Mark and Primary Stat of other class. Mark and other class. Useful Options: Daring Blade, Battle Chaplain, Warpriest, Avernian Knight, Huntmaster, Blade Bravo, multiclass Defender feats(especially Warden), Kirre's Roar as a power choice. Sentinel Marshal, the theme, gives an encounter long mark. Warning:Must have alternate ways of marking for when you don't use Fighter attack powers in a round.
Paladin Summary:One of the better Defender options due to Holy Symbol and their armor. If only they had an at-will option that didn't use a melee weapon... Stats: Str+Wis or Cha on its own. Lots of options. Given the lack of Lay on Hands, Wis isn't that valuable for the Cha builds. Class Features:With the Essentials update amazing. Double mark for Defender|Paladins, free action damage at-will and soft control for Ranged Attacker|Paladins, and functional mark for off-defender Melee Attacker|Paladins. Implement/Weapon: Has a lot of flexibility with either Holy Symbol or all martial weapons, and Devout Protector Expertise is made for them. At-Wills: Decent at-wills, but many builds will be trying to figure out how to avoid ever using them. Hybrid Feat benefits:Plate and Heavy Shield Interesting Builds: Paladin|Cha Ranged Striker(Warlock or Sorcerer) - can easily function with Str/Cha, Dex/Cha, or Int/Cha for those.
Swordmage Summary:Easy mixing with other classes, except for Dex-based. Lots of solid racial choices(Tiefling, Gnome, Changeling, Deva, Human, Genasi, Eladrin). Just wow. Stats: Int. Lots of options. Class Features:You get the best parts of Swordmage Implement/Weapon:Weapon as implement plus Int. Still though, options are limited for really making things happen due to Versatile Mastery or sticking to either weapon or implement options. At-Wills:Swordburst is a strong choice no matter what the build. Hybrid Feat benefits:Swordmage Warding is very nice. Note that unless you really can't stand Wisdom, Avenger has a similar benefit without the empty hand restriction. Interesting Builds: Pretty much any build that doesn't have Int as a dump stat. And even some of those. Swordmage|Barbarian as an example. Note that Swordmage|Avenger lets you swing a big Fullblade for the same AC.
Warden Summary:Its main benefit is cornercase builds, Dex or Int Defender|Defender or high Defense/hp strikers. The big problem is that their mark is only valuable if they spend resources to improve stickiness. And at that point, they benefit more from multi-marking than single-target marking. Stats: Str + Con or Wis. Class Features:Assuming you spend the Hybrid feat, you get almost everything of value. Font of Life is an unfortunate sacrifice here, but it isn't as if Wardens could interrupt everyone they marked in the first place... Weapon:Decent weapon options At-Wills:Nothing to see here really. Most characters will be figuring out how to avoid ever using them. Hybrid Feat benefits:Hide+Shield+Con or Wis to AC. Really strong for a lot of builds. Interesting Builds: Lots of Str/Wis or Str/Con melee builds. Some Str/Dex or Str/Int builds, particularly Defender|Defender. A Str/Dex Fighter|Warden who picks up Font of Life kind of solves both hybrid problems as an example. Warning: Mark is only valuable if they spend resources to improve stickiness. If you're playing a Warden hybrid, you're either gaining some other ability to easily mark targets or you're dipping Warden for something else.
Battlemind Summary: Con makes it complex to add to another Defender except Paladin. Mixing with some other kind of class ends up with a tough not-defender. Stats: Something of a dead zone. Con/Cha and Con/Wis don't have a lot of direct support for Defenders. Class Features:Blurred Step is a huge improvement pre-update. If it weren't for the stat issues, this would be Gold. Example: Opponent shifts away from Fighter|Battlemind. Smacks with Fighter CC, free action shifts towards opponent after Shift and you still get the OA if that's why the creature was shifting away from you... Weapon:Would have been a decent weapon choice, but due to Con/Cha or Con/Wis, most of the options involve bad choices. At-Wills:Two at-wills(eventually) make this blue. Hybrid Feat benefits: The usual blue for Scale+Heavy Shield Interesting Builds: Paladin|Battlemind. Decent armor right off the bat without needing the hybrid feat. Blurred Step+Paladin Mark gives solid OA+mark potential. Fighter|Battlemind - very strong as long as you don't mind the lack of Battlemind riders or are willing to go Daring Blade.
Ardent Summary:Lots to potentially like in terms of powers, but stats, melee weapon focus, and hybrid feat benefits make this one hard to mix. Stats:Con/Cha is pretty much required. Secondary stats are very important to Ardent and you can't ignore them. Cha is nice, but Con doesn't have a lot of support. Cha/Wis has almost no support at all due to most other hybrid Cha/Wis classes ignoring Wisdom, even if their non-hybrid version doesn't do that. Class Features:Standard Leader qualities. Weapon:A bit problematic. Con/Cha means your 2nd class is probably using an implement or ranged weapon of some kind. And Ardent doesn't exactly give you the best armor choices. At-Wills: Solid at-wills and eventually gets 2. Ire Strike is very flexible, even if you don't have the correct stats. Hybrid Feat benefits:Nothing to see here. Too situational and/or why are you spending your hybrid feat on Chainmail when you have Con as a secondary stat? Interesting Builds: Ardent|Paladin. Ardent|Bard. Ardent|Battlemind, just as PHB3 says. Ardent|Psion where you mainly ignore Ardent and are human could be useful, too. Warning: Most Ardent hybrids will want a Con score
Artificer Summary:Strong, but has weapon/implement and stat issues. Its main strength is that it works very well with classes that share the same stats. Stats:Int+Wis or Con. Secondary stats are reasonably strong here and that's not helpful. Class Features: Standard Leader qualities. The ability to distribute healing surges is awesome, but that's all you get... Weapon/Implement:Normally would rate a blue, but here it limits choice - go ranged weapon and there isn't a great Wis or Con class to pair up with. Go melee and then lose flanks. Go implement and lose Magic Weapon. Go weapon and implement and need to support. The Moonbow Dedicate feat is a very decent way to resolve this, but then you lose Superior Implement options. At-Wills: Very nice. This would be sky blue except weapon/implement issues. Hybrid Feat benefits: Both are quite good. Issue will be not spending the feat on the other side. Interesting Builds: Artificer|Int-classes. Warning: Most Artificer Hybrids will want Wis or Con
Bard Summary: Strong except for at-wills - combine with a class that has the at-will(s) you want. Stats:Cha. Int or Con can be nice, but not required. Mixes with almost everything due to this. Class Features: Extra skill and Skill Versatility add a lot. Majestic Word is very, very good. Weapon/Implement: Works very well with others. At-Wills:Decent at-wills, but a little bit behind the times. I'd strongly advise looking at either Human, Half-Elf, and/or a Psionic class for additional at-will options. Hybrid Feat benefits: Bardic Virtue is a solid use of a feat. I'd only go for Cunning, though as otherwise, there are likely armor issues. Interesting Builds: Bard|Ranger. Very, very strong - Bard has sky blue immediate interrupt ranged weapon powers, Ranger has Twin Strike. Lots of skills, healing, and damage. Strikers in general tend to work well, Defenders go for mobility(saving the heal for themselves so they can heal and slide 1)
Cleric Summary:Big upgrade via Cleric's new option of Battle Lore. Edging close to Gold if you want an upgrade on your primary class and just poach the Cleric options. Stats: Str or Wis. Much easier to start with a 20 Str or Wis now due to phenomenal AC. Class Features:Strong healer enabler. +2 to hit has potential ability to be exploited as well. Implement/Weapon: the usual benefits from Holy Symbol At-Wills:A touch on the stale side. Heroes of Forgotten Lands improves things somewhat, but they're still situational. Hybrid Feat benefits:Very situational. Interesting Builds: Cleric|Invoker is one of the most natural builds - you can be human for the extra Invoker at-will...and pick up a solid AC. Cleric|Fighter to use two-handed weapons. Melee Cleric|Ranger for a 'heal thyself' Str/Wis build that regularly gets +2 to hit and great AC.
Runepriest Summary: Sky blue if mixing with a Str/Con Defender. Serene Runepriest is sky blue also for the mixing of AC via Wis and temp hit points. The Rune of Destruction +1 to hit for all your allies against your marked target is very, very, very nice. Str/Wis otherwise isn't nearly as strong as you're often not going to want to be adjacent to an ally. Stats:Str/Con or Str/Wis have lots of melee support and work with the class features. Class Features:Standard Leader qualities+striker-style damage buff+Scale and Light Shield. What's not to like? Weapon:Not much to see here. This should receive an upgrade from the other side in any case. At-Wills: Solid at-wills Hybrid Feat benefits: Focus Fire with Con Destruction Interesting Builds: Runepriest|Fighter - they attack you, you should turn into a striker the next round. They don't attack you, you again turn into a striker by getting to attack them.
Sentinels(Druids): Summary:At worst, this is Druid Dailies/Utilities+Animal Companion. There are at least a couple of options where the character could reasonably be assumed to boost their overall attack almost all the time. The major issue for them is whether or not RAI, they can use Attack Druid Encounter powers. RAW, no problem. DM runs a RAW-only game, ignore regular Druids. Stats: Wisdom mostly. Class Features:Standard Leader qualities+bonus to hit or damage with specific options. Animal Companion is solid too. Implement/Weapon:Decent implement/weapon choice. At-Wills:Very solid, particularly Magic Stone Hybrid Feat benefits:Likely spending this on an AC, though Con for AC could be very workable for some dip-based builds Interesting Builds: Sentinel|Cleric - one slotless implement and a fix for the AC problem. Ranger|Sentinel. Striker+Control+Leader. Con Warlock with 20 Con/16 Wis for a base of 17 AC.
Shaman Summary: While it might seem a bit weaker than other choices, Spirit Companion is amazing for supporting your Defender when you're a hybrid - unlike a typical Shaman, you're not as dependent on where it is. A party of 5 hybrid Shamans would be really funny to watch in action - capable of doing other things, yet also able to wall people off. Stats: Wis is important, other stats less so due to the lack of the Spirit Boon. Class Features:Standard Leader qualities. Implement:Decent, nothing to see here. Totems don't have a lot of support, so you're likely using the other one. At-Wills: Again, would like some additional choices. Nothing really pops out as amazing. Hybrid Feat benefits:Very nice hybrid feat benefit with the Spirit Companion, but if you're not taking that hybrid feat, you shouldn't be in Shaman. Taking the hybrid feat, though, means dinging AC badly if you're trying to mix in Defender. Interesting Builds: Shaman|Controller is very, very strong - you're generally sacrificing a touch of controller by hybriding, yet by gaining the Spirit Companion, you usually end up with a lot more control. Shaman|Ranger with an Alfsair Spear would sacrifice a bit of damage, but would add control. A party composed of at least 2 Shamans can really cause havoc.
Warlord Summary:Wow. Uber-flexible addition to almost anything. Stats:Int, Wis, Cha, or Str+any of those. Or heck, just Str. Phenomenal. Class Features: Standard Leader qualities+Combat Leader. Weapon:Generally not a big deal. At-Wills: Solid at-wills. Can go human for a selection in combo with their other class. Hybrid Feat benefits: Not much to see here - given most parties use Commanding Presence around 3 times per encounter, only getting to use it once isn't quite so hot and feat supporting something that you can use once per encounter is expensive. Something else is probably more valuable. Interesting Builds: All over the place. It really does work with anything.
Strikers usually have a half-striker mechanic going on - they lose a significant chunk of striker damage even if they always use powers from the striker side. As different strikers gain either offensive or defensive benefits(and lose both choices from hybriding), I'm generally looking at the loss of offensive capability as a simple way of measuring the difference.
An example of this is Rogue - Str Rogues normally gain +Str to sneak attack damage which happens once per round. They have a +1 to hit that they lose. They lose the automatic CA of going first(which has both offensive and defensive benefits - Rogues who go first don't generally want to move into melee). This is where Assassin really gets dinged as Cha Assassins normally gain +Cha damage to all their attacks. On the other side is Monk, which loses almost nothing, and Ranger which loses a +1 to hit in a somewhat limited situation.
Assassin Summary:If it weren't for ki focuses, it would be red. Oh, wait, that got dinged...the best Assassin options are usually available by hybriding two other classes and then MC'ing into Assassin. Stats:Dex in general is bad because it usually only works with other Strikers and Striker|Striker isn't a great choice. Class Features:Only gets the usual half-striker capabilities, but gets dinged on hit points and healing surges. If heal were on the skill list, I'd bump it to Purple on irony. Implement/Weapon:Ki Focus is now one of the best options. A little too poachable by MC Assassin and Monk Feats and Elemental Initiate Theme. At-Wills: Not much to see here. Hybrid Feat benefits:Spending the hybrid feat on any of the choices are good ones. But that just represents just how far behind you are. Interesting Builds: Assassin|Bard. Assassin|Paladin. You won't regret playing these choices as much as all the other ones.
Assassin(Executioner) Summary: Better than expected Stats:Dex in general is bad because it usually only works with other Strikers and Striker|Striker isn't a great choice. If you want to go Essentials|Essentials, that's an upgrade, but Dex/Cha isn't that common. Class Features:Solid use of MBA counts for a lot. Implement/Weapon:Ki Focus is now one of the best options. A little too poachable by MC Assassin Feats At-Wills: Not much to see here. Mostly specialized weapon use when a hybrid will look for a one-handed option Hybrid Feat benefits:Technically hard to justify even if you got both possibilities Interesting Builds: Assassin|Defender. Assassin|MBA specialist.
Avenger Summary: This is what you take to make your weak controller tough or give your Avenger something to do when Oath isn't practical. Stats:Int/Wis or Dex/Wis. Int/Wis works with a lot of the stronger classes. It gets a sky blue because it is one of the few classes that can honestly take a 16 in the primary stat without too many problems, allowing for an 18 in the other one. The race of Human loves this. Class Features: Typical Half-Striker capabilities. Weapon/Implement:Normally it would be blue, but there's just enough support to go implement-only. Bond of Censure in particular is a great 'so I'm down to single targets, what do I want to do now?' for Controllers. At-Wills: Okay at-wills, not especially great. Overwhelming Strike with Power of Skill or Bond of Censure for a controller effect. Hybrid Feat benefits:+3 AC with a hybrid feat. Upgradable to a total of +5 with 1 more feat? No hand requirements? That's very nice, Sky Blue even if you are wearing Cloth on both sides anyway... Interesting Builds: Avenger|Controller. Avenger|Swordmage.
Barbarian Summary: Strong basic features make this work well. Stats:Str and that's basically it, works well with a lot of different classes, especially Defenders who want some Striker capabilities. Most Barbarians won't have their other capabilities as they don't get that for free and they're generally on the weaker side. Class Features: Unusual Half-Striker capabilities. A downside of hybrid Barbarians is that they lose at least one rage per day and many of their capabilities depend on them being in a rage. On the other hand, Rages are generally on the lousy side. Weapon: Blue. They've got some issues with weapons vs. hands. At-Wills:Generally solid at-wills Hybrid Feat benefits:Armored Agility is very nice - a Str/Dex or Str/Int character Interesting Builds: Str/Dex Fighter|Barbarian. Str/Int Barbarian|Warlord. Str/Wis Barbarian|Seeker
Blackguard Summary:One of the better Striker options due to Holy Symbol and their armor. If only they had an at-will option that didn't use a melee weapon... Stats: Str+Wis or Cha on its own. Lots of options. Given the lack of Lay on Hands, Wis isn't that valuable for the Cha builds. Class Features:Functional mark for off-defender Melee Attacker|Blackguards and free damage bonus to everything with a Virtue pick. Implement/Weapon: Has a lot of flexibility with either Holy Symbol or all martial weapons, but potentially being stuck with Versatile Mastery brings this down. At-Wills: Decent at-wills, but many builds will be trying to figure out how to avoid ever using them. Interesting question at the moment is whether or not you can pick Paladin at-wills instead of being limited to just Virtue choices. Hybrid Feat benefits:Plate and Heavy Shield Interesting Builds: Blackguard|Cha Ranged Striker(Warlock or Sorcerer) - can easily function with Str/Cha, Dex/Cha, or Int/Cha for those.
Monk Summary:Add some striker with a dash of controller to your weapon-using build. May have AC issues. Stats: Str/Dex - a Striker who has some options! Or Dex/Wis with implements. Class Features:Lose the defenses, but unlike a lot of the striker classes, does full Monk damage when hitting people with monk powers. Weapon/Implement: Implement that turns weapons into magical is now just blue. At-Wills:Burst 1 at-will that does a lot of damage with the class feature - nice thing to have. Hybrid Feat benefits: Deceptive. Unarmored Defense doesn't have the support that Armor of Faith does. The other options are Red(you don't actually use real unarmed attacks for anything) Interesting Builds: Monk|Warden. Monk|Seeker. Monk|Invoker. Lots of other options work. Monk/Ranger can be surprisingly strong either Str/Dex or Dex/Wis depending on focus. Assuming you spend the hybrid talent feat on AC, essentially you're a Monk who has some other capability. Warning: Monks need either Str or Wis for their hybrid striker feature.
Ranger Summary:Add class features, use Twin Strike. Stats:Str/Dex or Dex/Wis Class Features: They get roughly the same striker class features everyone else does, but then on top of it, get powers that take advantage of it. Weapon:Greatbow or Superior Crossbow is nice, but doesn't combine that well with other options. Ditto for two-weapon fighting with many of the other builds. At-Wills:Twin Strike. Throw and Stab is nice in theory, but I'd really be curious to see someone try to pull that off in game - there are simply going to be situations where there is nothing to throw at and then move up to...Human got a big upgrade with access to an extra-at-will and Archery Mastery to play a bit of controller at the cost of a feat - getting both Twin Strike and Throw and Stab + good MBA option can make this work well. Hybrid Feat benefits: Not much to see here, mostly for specific feats or paragon paths. Interesting Builds: Almost anything works, even things crazy suboptimal in theory.
Rogue Summary: Loses a lot of damage, doesn't necessarily gain a lot, might have issues getting riders. Stats:Str/Dex or Dex/Cha. Dex has issues. On the plus side, both Str and Cha attract a lot of builds. Class Features: Typical Half-Striker capabilities. Rogue Tactics, +1 to hit with certain weapons, and the First Strike capability are a big loss. Especially as they don't get sneak with MBAs, only Rogue powers. Weapon:Light blade, while can be dealt with by feats, is not the best choice for many of the obvious mixtures. It does generally only take up one hand, so implement users aren't as badly off as they are normally. At-Wills: At-wills have Light blade issues. They're good, needing that as a base is not. Hybrid Feat benefits:Rogue Tactics is decent. If you're concentrating on being a Striker, you're going to want to pick this up or else lose all your encounter riders...Rogue Weapon Talent can be handy for certain highly focused builds that could want to use a dagger as an implement(Monks, Sorcerers) Interesting Builds: Tempest Fighter|Rogue. You gain +1 to hit with offhand weapons, +2 to damage - in effect, you're a dagger rogue who gains the benefit of a slightly bigger weapon and has +1 AC. With a feat for Hide Armor, you have a respectable AC of 18. Rogue|Invoker - Invokers like to daze multiple targets, Rogues like dazed targets. Also gives the hybrid Rogue something to do when there's no CA. Rogue|Sorcerer for all the +1 to hit feats you can pick up, along with the melee/ranged quality of a dagger.
Sorcerer Summary: Stats are a problem. Otherwise, would be Blue. Stats:Str/Cha or Dex/Cha. Secondary stats are very important. Class features give a lot, but that makes Sorcerer very unflexible. Class Features:Typical Half-Striker capabilities. But better than average due to the Str to AC option. Weapon/Implement: Dagger and Staves are not the best possible weapon choices. But better than nothing. At-Wills: Solid at-wills, but not exceptional. You'll feel like you want two. Human Cha builds with an AC option are very solid. Hybrid Feat benefits:Okay. Some decent benefits are hiding in the Soul of the Sorcerer option, especially the riders. Interesting Builds: Blackguard(or Paladin)Sorcerer. Bard|Sorcerer. Warning: Hybrid Sorcerers almost always need Str or Dex as secondary stat
Vampire Summary: Lots of nice features, if only there wasn't that only having 2 surges issue and likely not wanting Vampire encounter powers. If you're going Vampire, you're doing this because your game typically has 4-6 encounters per day, not because you have 2-3. Stats: Dex or Cha. You get one at-will from Vampire and it will be either Dex or Cha. Not too bad other than it might limit Daily choice. Class Features: Solid, again, just two surges being the limiting problem and needing to get a Vampire feat to make up for it. Hurts to lose Vampire Reflexes though given only getting Cloth. Implement/Weapon: Ki Focus is now one of the best options. A little too poachable by MC Assassin Feats, but you get Holy Symbol as well? Two off-slot implements and a shield bonus means lots of options for picking items for your hands. At-Wills: At-wills are all decent. Hybrid Feat benefits:Near worthless. You really want Darkvision that badly, be a Drow which is one of the best races for Vampires. Interesting Builds: Paladin(or Blackguard)|Vampire. Martial|Vampires can end up being really tough via the Martial Vampire feat. Warning: Many hybrid Vampires will suck and not in the blood kind of way.
Warlock Summary:Not bad. Has some stat issues and the loss of defensive values and boons hurts. Stats: Cha/Int works well with many things. Con/Int, not so much, Cha/Con can be fun, too. Class Features: Keep most of the striker capabilities, but lose the defensive values. Implement: Standard implement fare. At-Wills: Okay at-wills, not especially great. Especially in the context that the Con/Int side lacks support. Hybrid Feat benefits:Shadow Walk is solid. Prime Shot might be necessary for feat support. Interesting Builds: Warlock|Paladin. Melee + Ranged options. Warlock|Invoker - a bit strange, but Con/Wis isn't too bad if you get some AC via the usual Hexhammer methods while triggering Pact Boons...Warlock|Battlemind - use Warlock's ability to control movement to force things into spots where Battlemind's mark is more useful.
Pick a race that gives you a +2 to both primaries or have a really good reason as to why not - human with its two at-wills is often a really god reason. Not needing a significant to-hit chance is another one. Avenger with its two hit rolls and Seeker with Inexorable Shot for attacks on a miss are good reasons. If having a 20 in your primary stat is important to you as a player, don't combine two classes that need 20s in two different primary stats.
Armor Class. Resolve Armor Class - are you spending your hybrid feat or not on this? Do you have an AC good enough to fill either of your expected roles? A Defender|Controller might not be able to go toe to toe as long as a normal Defender, but if they don't have the AC, they'll fall quickly. Overcome your weaknesses - is there a problem for your class? Does a particular item, feat, multiclass, or paragon path resolve this?
Use Compendium - Compendium can let you do very controlled searches via keywords.
Here's an example - Fighter|Bard. The issue for Fighter is that unless you find some way to mark outside your Fighter attacks, you won't be able to mark, which greatly limits your ability to use Bard melee attacks.
So let's take a look: Dragonborn is the obvious racial choice - it gets us +2 Str and +2 Cha, our two primary stats. But as we'll later see, Half-Elf, Human, Changeling, or Tiefling can be excellent choices as well. Armor Class - our base is 17 with Chain+Light Shield. That's not particularly great for a Defender, but it is probably good enough to avoid spending the Hybrid feat on the upgrade to Scale+Heavy Shield. It could be an issue to resolve.
Weakness - Fighter has that big weakness - if we're in melee using a Bard power, we want the option of marking our target. First, let's pick up the obvious feat - Soldier of Faith - that gives us a mark to use once per combat that will both trigger Divine Challenge and Combat Challenge if someone violates the mark. That's great. Let's do some searches of Compendium: Bard Mark - Daring Blade
That Daring Blade sounds like it is almost perfect - it lets us use Charisma for martial melee attacks(i.e. most Fighter attacks) - that opens up other +2 Charisma races as options and other stats as secondary options. But we do need to wait until Paragon. We can overcome that partially with Melee Training(Charisma). Hybrid Training on the Fighter side might give a nice bonus to hit with the Charisma powers. On the Bard side, might let us use one of the virtues effectively.
Striker|Striker: While there are builds where this works well, many strikers lose either irreplaceable defenses or damage by hybriding. And with some builds, it gets dinged twice. An example of this is the Rogue|Assassin. It might look like they get to build up shrouds, but with each hit, they're losing: +Cha to damage, a +1 to hit, Riders on both sets of powers, the ability to go insubstantial, the ability to teleport from creature to creature, and the bonus to defenses vs OAs.
In combo with the controller-like hit points and surges of Assassin, that lack of defenses is a really big deal...
Monk, Ranger and to a lesser extent Sorcerer and Avenger managed to mostly avoid this fate. Warlock, Rogue, and Assassin, classes that everyone agreed were massively overpowered, got whacked hard with the nerf bat...
Controller|Controller: Not as bad as Striker|Striker. The big issue is mainly that Controllers tend to have a good selection of powers, so they're generally losing a class feature in exchange for larger selection. Which they don't need.
Ranged|Melee:It sounds good in theory to be able to make ranged attacks and melee attacks, but a lot of people overinvest in them without gaining synergy. This can turn particularly nasty when the character can't use one of the powers and therefore sucks. An example of this is the ranged specialist who then hybrids into another class for toughness and some melee options. He's now significantly worse at his original role(ranged specialist) for something that doesn't generally benefit him all that much - he runs out of ranged encounters much faster and once he does, he doesn't have the range of at-wills to use.
The exceptions to this are as follows: The class is that good. Ranger as an example. Who cares if you're stuck with Twin Strike as your only at-will after you run out of ranged encounter powers?
There is some form of unusual synergy that happens that regardless of whether or not one class is ranged or melee, it adds something to the other class. A Paladin as an example, can easily add Divine Challenge and significant AC to a ranged build. Paladin is really only dependent on Charisma. So a Sorcerer|Paladin with Mighty Challenge and Str/Cha can easily overcome the lack of riders. Doing 20 points of Divine Challenge damage in Epic will get your Blazing Starfall noticed.
Things to Avoid 2 primary stats of the same defense. Primary stats are the dump stat of the other class. Especially if one of the classes has a strong secondary, such as Sorcerer, Monk, etc...strong secondary stats can be identified usually because the stat has an influence on every single combat round as opposed to once an encounter. Neither use armor and the primaries aren't Dex or Int or the special defensive stat. Double negative points if the build wants to melee. Both classes want their hands full for different reasons. Paragon Hybrid option. This really is about either doing one of two things: breaking the game or being suboptimal. There's a reason why Half-Elf builds for paragon multiclassing aren't especially popular on CharOp and they gain much of the same kind of things from doing it and even more flexibility. i.e. not very good.
In terms of what I call Interesting Builds, this reflects one(or more) of the following rules in play:
Reasonably competent at both roles, such that the build easily makes a party work. Classic 5th party member. Striker|X and Leader|X work here. Examples: Sorcerer|Warlord or Swordmage|Artificer.
Extremely competent at one of the roles, such that the build can be slotted into the party as that role. It either has to do something unique via synergy or do it better than either of the base classes. Defender|X, especially involving Fighter or Striker as the X work well here. Examples: Battlemind|Fighter or Warden|Barbarian.
Be good at one of the roles, but be more fun than the base class that defines that role. Ranger|not-striker or Leader|X are examples of this. Examples: Archer Ranger|Bard, Monk|Cleric.
There are a few options that make sense for Paragon Hybrid - even the best really do end up resembling top-tier paragon paths without the action point option. The general categories that I think compete best are: +1 to hit with weapons. In combo with Arcane Implement Proficiency, each other, or a class not expecting an additional +1(i.e. controller), this can have very useful results. Rune Master is here simply because Rune of Destruction is that good. It is likely though that someone can afford to pick up Rune Master by combining it with a class that grants Scale in the 1st place. I'm leaving out Ranger and Warlock because they need a feat investment to increase Prime Shot. That could be worth it for the right build. Those classes are: Fighter: Gains +1 to hit with almost any weapon type(aka staff) Seeker: Gains +1 to hit with thrown weapons Rogue: Gains +1 to hit with daggers, crossbows, or slings Rune Master: Grant all allies a +1 to hit with Rune of Destruction active when enemies are adjacent to you.
Significant Armor bonus that doesn't assume you're wearing armor. They stack with each other and can therefore get some really powerful bonuses. Swordmage can actually work with other armored classes and solve some other issues as well - an example of this is the Brawler Fighter|Swordmage. +4 base to AC, Int for AC, eventual 13 Con for Hide Armor, and all the various Swordmage AC boosters. Avenger: Gains unusually large independent AC bonus via additional feats. Monk: Gain significant independent AC bonus via additional feats. Swordmage: Gain unusually large independent AC bonus via additional feats
Shaman: Companion Spirit. The advantage of this class feature is for a Defender(or almost anyone else for that matter) to place the Companion Spirit 3 squares away from a Defender. This then blocks off a huge amount of real estate on the board, making it very difficult for enemies to get past the Defender without taking OAs. You don't want to be a Defender/Shaman as you'll take a big hit on the Defenses, but great for all kinds of mischief.
Corner-case problems: Assassin/Warlock: Cursed Shadow grants Shadow Walk feat. While this appears intended for Assassin/Warlock hybrids, it is actually available elsewhere. Ranger: Throw and Stab. Throw is Ranger, Stab is something else, allowing builds to exploit both striker and their other hybrid class with one standard action.