So, I think it's fair to say that a consensus has developed on here that Battleminds kind of suck, mainly because of their lack of 'stickiness'. For people who don't know what that is, it basically means that monsters can ignore their marks without fear of punishment. Battleminds are in desperate need of errata, which people generally agree means fixing Blurred Step
or Mind Spike
. Right now, using Lightning Rush
is the only way for Battleminds to really function (it allows you to run over to a bad guy and whack them if they disrespect your mark), which is a shame, since I really like one of their other level 7 at-wills - Ghost in the Steel
. Hence the title of this thread (and if you haven't watched Ghost in the Shell
, it's only ten bucks on Amazon, and well worth your time).Core idea
: Ghost in the Steel allows us to force a monster to attack itself with an at-will power, and one power point. By mid paragon and epic, this cost is insignificant. Now, most people have looked at that, gone, "Oh, it's sort of situational - maybe if the monster has a good at-will or something". Yes, but these people are forgetting, you've just made the monster make an attack that doesn't include you
. That's bad for him - it's time to load him up with defender punishments for failing to attack you. =)
And if it doesn't make you laugh making a monster trigger your defender abilities by it whacking itself, I'm sorry to tell you: you don't have a sense of humour. =)
The only key is to pick defender abilities that trigger on any attack not including you as a target, not "attacks against allies" - as we'll see, this limits our choices somewhat.
So, what options do we have? Mind Spike doesn't work, because it only triggers on attacks on allies - and is an immediate action, which can't be done on your turn. So:
1) Paladins' Divine Challenge
happens as a free action. Doesn't work with hybrids (they're a reaction), which is unfortunate. But with an MC feat, we can do it once per encounter at least.
2) The Avernian Knight's Hellish Mark
ability deals 5+Con damage to a target whenever they ignore your mark.
Avernian Knights require you to be a fighter and a warlock, so that'll take our second and third multiclass slots. (Ain't being an Adept Dilettante half-elf from Windrise Ports great nowadays?)
So at 16th, we're looking at hitting a monster with Ghost in the Steel, having it hit itself, and then triggering a Divine Challenge for 14 radiant damage + a Hellish Mark for another 11 fire damage. Oh, which also slows the enemy for their whole turn which makes the Bitter Challenge
more powerful than it normally is, and makes us a lot stickier as a defender. Sample Stat Spread (at 16th):
Str 16, Con 22, Cha 20Feats
Our first few feats are spoken foir
1 MC Paladin (Soldier of Faith)
2 MC Warlock (Pact Initiate: Infernal Pact)
4 Adept Dilettante: Fighter. (Choice of dilettante power discussed below.)
After this, there's a lot of different ways you can take this character. I'll group them roughly by category. Ones marked with asterisks are must-have feats. I'm not including the usual suspects, like Expertise, Weapon Focus or Versatile Master
. You can fill in the gaps with your own favorites.Debilitating Challenge
- Boosting the Divine Challenge effect*Bitter Challenge
- Slows them until the end of our next turn.
Vicious Advantage - Gain CA against slowed opponentsMighty Challenge
- +Str to damageContagious Challenge
- We just hit a monster under our DC, so why not get a free sanction out of it too?Forceful Challenge
- Free Slide 1 after we hit them, if we want it.
MC Utility Feat Swap - Take Vengeful Vigilance
so we can DC all combat long.Improving our Mark
- While we're triggering our punishment a bit early, we still have the ability to punish a bit if they ignore our marks. Thus, let's discourage this, and increase our stickyness.*Group Defense
- One of the best defender feats in the game, because it's +1 to allies' defense even if they include us in the attack
- It's already a psychic attack! So let's slap another -2 to hit onto them. Technically, it applies even if they respect the mark, so it doesn't belong in this section, but hey.Mark of Warding
- Increase the penalty for ignoring marks by another -1, and we get +1 to AC whenever we boost our AC using a power.All told, enemies will have a -6 to hit our allies, and -2 to hit us.Boosting our OAs
- It's possible we'll end up making a lot of OAs with this build (we'll still have lightning rush
after all, and it can trigger to grant an OA). There's two ways to go with this, Shield & Axe or Shield & Spear.
Shield & Axe:
*Effortless Dilettante: Brash Strike. +2 to hit, with +Con to hit, and 1[W]+Con+Con for damage? Sounds good to me for an OA.*Harlequin Style
: +5 (+6 with Mark of Warding) to defenses against a person we Brash Strike?? Whether we hit or miss? Yes! This is ridiculously good. It ironically makes Brash Strike the best tanking power in the game. Combine with Uncanny Dodge if you have the Wisdom for it to negate the CA we give up.Savage Axe
: Another +Con to OAs.
We'll use this choice for the analysis below.
Shield & Spear:
Effortless Dilettante: Tide of Iron (Push 1 on OA)
Spear Push (+1 to push) or Rushing Cleats (or the new Avalanche Boots)
Polearm Momentum (Prone on Push 2)
Repel Charge (being charged provokes OAs)
This requires you to significantly redo your stats, though it will ruin the day of anyone that provokes an OA from you.Items
:Symbol of the Champion's Code
- Adds +Enchancement to DC damage, and as a daily can force a monster to respect your mark. Or:Symbol of Branding
- As a daily, adds +5 to your DC damage for the encounter.Bradaman's Weapon
- You can DC two targets instead of one, all day long.Powers:
*Ghost in the Steel
*Lightning Rush (Taken at 13th)
Call of Challenge
- DS all nearby enemies for a round. Or:Vengeful Vigilance
- Gain the ability to DC for an entire combat, not just one monster per encounter.Tactics:
With this character, our order of business is to Divine Challenge an opponent, walk up to him, and make him hit himself for +25 damage or so. He's then slowed, and if he does something stupid to provoke an OA (like moving or attacking an ally within 5 - via Lightning Rush
) we nail him with a Brash Strike for +2 to hit / 1[W]+Con+Con+Con damage, and we ironically get +5 to all defenses, or +6 to all defenses if we have Mark of Warding. Since the bad guy is slowed, he can never get out of the radius of our Lightning Rush, and since he'll be at a big penalty to hit allies (from Group Defense / Mark of Warding / Psychic Lock), he'll probably just go after us instead. We've got enough PPs to do this all day long.
Woot - we've got a sticky Battlemind. And one that does a fair bit of damage!DPR Analysis:
At 16th level. We'll assume basic gear - +4 bradamon's battleaxe, +4 bloodiron scale (+2 to AC when we hit), +3 Cloak of Displacement (+2 to AC and Ref until hit), Crowd Killer large shield (we gain CA when flanked), +4 iron bands of power. You can pick whatever magic items you like, they don't matter especially.
We'll use average monsters for 16th level, who hit for 18 damage, are +21 to hit vs AC and are AC 30 themselves.
We're +22 to hit, for 1d10+14 to damage, with a AC 33 base. If we hit, this goes up to AC35 against the target due to Bloodiron Armor. If we haven't been hit in an encounter we're at +2 to AC and Ref. If we Brash Strike, we get +5 to all defenses but grant CA to the target. With Psychic Lock, monsters get another -2 to hit. All told, we get AC 42
all day long, if we want it. =) Brash Strike is our tanking power! We could boost this further (AC 44
all day long!) with Plate Armor and Plate Spec, if we so desired. But normally we're going to be using Ghost in the Steel, which results in a AC between 35 and 39, depending.DPR if they respect the mark
We're +22 to hit, so we'll hit 65% of the time. The monster hits itself for 18 damage and we inflict +25 punishment damage to him, for daring to attack himself. This is a DPR of .65 * (18+25) = 28. If we use a longsword for another +1 to hit, we'll do 30DPR. I guess we could swap out our longsword and axe each round with Fast Hands, since we can have thievery trained. But we don't care about DPR, so we won't.
The monster is also slowed.DPR if they disrespect the mark
As above, but if we miss, or if they choose to (slowly) move away and attack an ally, or if they attack an adjacent ally, or if they shift and make a ranged attack, we'll do additional damage.
There's a 35% chance they haven't triggered Divine Challenge = .35% * 14 = 5DPR
Hellish Mark triggers on every attack = 11DPR
These always get added to one of these three cases:
Case 1) If they attack an adjacent ally - Mind Spike will trigger for 9 DPR.
Case 2) If they shift/charge an ally - Lightning Rush will deal (.6 * 25 + .05 * 48) 17DPR
Case 3) If they provoke a 1d10+26 Brash Strike OA and trigger Lightning Rush both = 17DPR + (.7 * 31.5 + 0.05 * 50) 25 DPR = 42 DPR and we gain +5 to all defenses.
If we have CA (which we can get by flanking or being flanked), the above numbers will go up by about 10%.
So, best case scenario we have CA and they disrespect the mark every round, we deal 93 DPR
. Not bad at 16th level.Conclusion:
It's fun to make monsters hit themselves. It's even funnier to punish them for doing so. Heck, we can even make them hit their friends (using the level 2 augment on Ghost in the Steel). We also haven't gotten into more feats, powers, items, etc., but who cares? We get to make monsters hit themselves! There's other routes we could have taken (Morninglord + Solar Enemy + Holy Dilettante for radiant mafia tricks), but this approach is fine as it is.Inspiration:
Watch to the end of this (Not Safe For Work) video:www.comedycentral.com/videos/index.jhtml...
Why are you hitting yourself?
Why are you hitting yourself?