Harry Callahan, Elf Seeker|Ranger/Sylvan Archer/Destined Scion
"So, do you feel lucky, punk?" --Harry Callahan
In short, the goal is to build the best Controller possible without significant mechanical or thematic deviation from the Seeker class. This is Practical Optimization, of course, so it goes without saying (or does it?!) that the ultimate goal of the build is to be fun to play. The result is something like a less accurate and less damaging Hunter that, in exchange, brings some major control that the former lacks. The goal is not actually to build an accurate representation of Dirty Harry- I named the build what I did because a)I love Harry Callahan, and b)it implies a sort of counterpart relationship to Auspex7's John McClane build, which is partially where the idea came from.
Before the Hunter was published, I was trying to build a Seeker that would effectively fill the controller role in a party. The Seeker has one big, glaring problem: it is a Controller with weak power selection. More than any other role, Controllers rely on powers more than features to be successful, and so this is crippling. Seekers have some good Daily powers and some good Utilities, but there are quite a few levels at which there aren't any good choices. The Encounter powers are almost universally bad. The most serious encounter control power in epic tier is an AoE daze. The Seeker has multiple paragon tier encounter powers that do nothing but damage. There are only 38 encounter attack powers available to the Seeker; the tiny power selection makes every poorly designed power that much more disappointing. (The Fighter, by contrast, has almost as many poor encounter powers, but he has 141 to choose from.)
The answer to this problem is to hybrid the Seeker, so that it has a wider selection of powers. The Ranger offers powers with a surprising amount of control, and meshes most naturally with the Seeker. The Cleric comes close, but the cost of maintaining a weapon and an implement and the lack of an at-will that offers control make it an inferior choice.
As the thread title suggests, you're a Seeker|Ranger. Because you have dual primary ability scores, you (sadly) can't be human, so you're an Elf, which is almost as awesome. Before we get to the interesting parts of the build, here's a breakdown of the build's fundamentals across all levels of play:
AC:44 Fort:37 Ref:43 Will:45 HP: 185 Surges: 8 +36 to hit, not including Eagle Eye Goggles(+3) +24 damage, not including Bracers of Archery(+6) or Primal Eye(+9)
You'll want to patch that Fortitude with a Belt of Vim if you can get one. If you can't, fit in Epic Fortitude somewhere, and if you can't do that... just try to use Stealth defensively on turns when you can't "hide" with Feywild Jaunt/Land's Passage. You should be doing that either way, though.
Variations: If you want a little more Striker without losing much control, you can change the race to Drow and the PP to Darkstrider. Becoming Hidden shouldn't be too difficult for you, relatively speaking, but if it is, you can drop Hidden Sniper and Superior Will for MC Rogue and Acolyte Power to grab Hide in Plain Sight.
Level 11: Weapon Focus (Crossbow) Level 12: Psychic Lock Level 14: Improved Defenses Level 16: Hidden Sniper (or Vicious Advantage if concealment is not easily attainable- I use Armor of Dark Deeds) Level 18: Hybrid Talent: True Seeker's Bond Level 20: Superior Will
Feat Variations: There is some wiggle room with the feat progression. The easiest feat to drop is probably Long Step, or Psychic Lock if you can't get a Mindiron Weapon. After that... you could maybe drop Epic Fortitude, or Grounding Shot, or Primal Eye.
Feats I wish I could fit: Epic Fortitude, Grounding Shot, MC Psion (for orb proficiency, to help force failed saves), MC Rogue + Acolyte Power (Hide in Plain Sight)
As a controller, your powers are your life's blood, so we're going to talk about them at length! Hurray!
With Hobbling Strike and World Serpent's Grasp, this will let you slow and prone a single target in heroic, provided you hit that target both times. Since only one hit is required to slow, sticking a slow on a single enemy is something you can do very reliably. Before you pick up Hobbling Strike, you might want to take Grasping Spirits as your other At-Will, so that you can slow at-will in early heroic.
Your RBA power, this will allow you to deliver a solid hit penalty that also applies to enemies adjacent to your target. Provided you're able to grab the Mindiron enchantment, Psychic Lock will increase the penalty to the target to -4. You will have many powers that grant RBAs, starting with Inevitable Shot and Guardian Arrow at L1. This power is meant to be used with those, and is extraordinarily accurate and damaging thanks to Primal Eye and the Eagle Eye Goggles, which you should also try to pick up.
You'll keep this Immediate Interrupt throughout your entire career, and you'll use it deal extra damage and undo enemy turns. At level 30, if the target is not already subject to Psychic Lock, this power applies -13 to the triggering attack.
One of the reasons we took the Sylvan Archer PP, this is another Disruptive Strike that, in exchange for dealing more damage and targetting Reflex, applies only to ranged attacks and has a fixed penalty.
You will keep this power throughout your entire career also, mostly because there aren't any better Seeker encounter powers that aren't obsoleted by Ranger powers. This is the power for which you reserve your Elven Accuracy reroll. It won't be useful in every encounter, but if at any point Team Monster has a frontliner trying to keep you from reaching a vulnerable, potent target (read: Soldier keeping your Striker from engaging the enemy Controller) this can win the encounter, provided you land both shots. Boom, the Soldier is dazed and far away from the party, and the Controller is dazed and adjacent to your Fighter. You win. If you can, invest in Dice of Auspicious Fortune for the sake of this power.
Your fourth encounter power will change relatively frequently. Heroic: Before you get Disruptive Strike, you'll have Fox's Cunning when hybrid power selection allows it, and Possessing Spirit's during the levels when you must have a Seeker E1 power. (3-6) Paragon:Swarming Spirits is one of your first encounters with real, hard control. Enjoy it. You replace it at L17 with the excellent Entrapping Arrows, which gives you AoE movement denial and an out-of-turn attack that you can use in the same round as your Immediates. If you want more burst damage and you don't need Entrapping Arrows' control, Pounding Barrage will give it to you. Epic: If you find that encounters are going long enough for you to wish you had another use of Disruptive Strike, (unlikely) Interrupting Volley at L27 is your pick. If you picked up Pounding Barrage in paragon and were pleased with it, retrain to Manticore's Volley. Otherwise, stick with Entrapping Arrows, unless you have found that your DM doesn't often put melee enemies on the map before they can engage, in which case you can take the enlargeable Roaring Missile instead.
Your heroic tier Dailies don't offer that much hard control. They probably won't trivialize an encounter, but they can definitely swing one in Team Hero's favor, if applied with discretion. Your pickings at L1 are still slim, though. Guardian Arrow is soft control, but it's potent soft control. Biting Swarm means you can use it to spread attack penalties if the target disobeys, and if the target does obey, you're effectively shunting monster damage away from what would otherwise be a priority target. If you have a Knight, you have a sweet Catch-22. If you don't like it, though, Swarming Bats is a decent alternate choice to provide some AoE and battlefield control. Ensnaring Shot is awesome movement denial AND a free lunch, and Thousand Arrow Awareness is moveable soft area denial which, if it is ignored, still lets you spread attack penalties.
Here is where you pick up most of your hard control. You have to wait for L15, but Confounding Arrows is so good that you'll keep it forever. Remember that you can miss one of your three shots and still get the stun, and if your first two hit you can hit a second target with the third shot if an extra daze(save ends) would be helpful. At L19 you get Captivating Missile, which is a dominate that is an RBA, which means it gets the accuracy bonus from Eagle Eye Goggles and you can use it on granted attacks from Entrapping Arrows or Inevitable Shot. At the end of the tier you also pick up Named Arrow from your PP, which is another stun- if you know the target's name. This is campaign dependent, obviously, but I think it's pretty likely that you'll know or be able to find out the name of a large number of the enemies you'd like to use this against. If you go all day fighting mindless, nameless monsters, it's still a daze.
Not a whole lot happens here. At L25 you finally lose Ensnaring Shot for Wave of Sleep. Wave of Sleep is an AoE daze that turns into unconsciousness at the first failed save. You don't have any good way to guarantee failed saves, though, so it's not amazing. The real reason you're training out of Ensnaring Shot is that at this point, you can already make it very difficult for enemies to close with your party without using a Daily slot to do it. You lose it pretty shortly afterwards though in order to pick up your capstone, which can go one of two ways, depending on your preference. Baleful Shot is really just another stun for you, though it is a little more reliable than your other two. It comes with an attack penalty for every other critter in the encounter when you stick it, which is nice, and it still dazes on a miss. Try not to miss. (That's a joke folks, haha! I'll be here all week, try the mahi mahi.) Five-Missile Dance is so much damage that it's worth passing up a stun- you don't want to stun the solo, after all, since the (save ends) won't stick, and 2[W]+mods five times is enough to kill something that isn't a solo, and death is the ultimate action denial. You're accurate enough that you can count on a lot of hits, misses still deal half damage, and you can even get a push, a prone, and an immobilize (save ends) as icing.
Invigorating Stride: - 1/enc easy-access mobility and healing, a gimme. This power kicks off your trend of defensive utilities, which serve to reduce your burden on the party and preserve your ability to exercise control.
Natural Terrain Understanding: - 1/enc, probably at the beginning, unless you have a Taclord with you (which is ideal); direct control of the grid is invaluable. An exceptional choice for you in that it is not primarily a defensive power.
Feywild Jaunt: - 1/enc, you're un-targetable during Team Monster's turns and you get a free teleport out of the deal. It's a trade-off, though, since you can't use Disruptive Strike or its ilk while you're Jaunting. Being un-targetable means that Team Monster can't do something to screw with your ability to do whatever needs to be done next round.
Elf-Eyed Archery: - 1/enc, you can get around the Quarry limitations, which is important for making sure you can use Twin Strike to slow+prone any target you need to. This comes with your PP and seems lackluster, but is still a useful tool to have.
Land's Passage: - 1/enc, you and maybe an ally are simply not available for Team Monster to target- and unlike Feywild Jaunt, this only activates when and if you're attacked, which means that it's guaranteed to waste your enemy's actions. Jaunt, by contrast, will usually just force enemies to attack your allies instead. Be very mindful of initiative order when you bring an ally with you- they'll have to delay after you to get their normal turn, and that might not be desirable.
Encaging Spirits: - Your class feature is only a Daily since you're hybrid, but it's a nice panic button for if you get stuck in melee. Note that enemies you use this on are automatically primed for World Serpent's Grasp proning.
Howling Winds: - 1/day, for a whole encounter, you are fantastic at forced movement, which you're normally bad at. This is basically a patch slot- you are bad at forced movement, and sometimes you will really wish you weren't. Ideally this won't happen more than once per day- try not to use this power unless not using it will seriously inconvenience you and your party.
Basic stuff. Excellent party scout, with 43 Passive Perception. Stealth is high enough to use it defensively (try to get an item bonus somewhere), and Nature and Dungeoneering gives you lots of knowledge check intel, which is often useful for choosing how to handle an encounter from the outset.
I don't think that item rarity is a big deal. It mostly highlights a situation that already existed, which is that enchantment availability is more under DM control than are other elements of your character's build. Item independence, therefore, is a good goal for any build, perhaps more so now that the item rarity rules have led some DMs to further restrict how their players are equipped.
That said, I wanted to take a moment to list some of the magic equipment Callahan would like, in decreasing order of importance: Spoiler:Show
Mindiron Superior Crossbow - This allows Callahan to stack attack penalties on his attacks, expanding his abilities as a Controller and his general utility for the party he's in. Leather Armor of Dark Deeds - This is a wonderful defensive tool when combined with the Hidden Sniper feat. Once you make an attack with CA (possibly by targeting a dazed or blind enemy, or by attacking with concealment gained from some other means) you will gain concealment and CA until you spend a round without attacking. Eagle Eye Goggles - A lot of your powers grant you basic ranged attacks, and you can inflict -4 attack with them, or the occasional dominate (save ends). You want those RBAs to hit, and this is a huge bonus at later levels. At those later levels, however, your attacks hit on a 5 without these- if you find yourself being dominated by monsters instead, you may find that a Circlet of Arkhosia is a better use of the head slot. If so, you can drop Superior Will for another feat slot. Belt of Vim/Diamond Cincture - Your Fortitude sucks, patch it with one of these. If you can't get them, it costs you a feat slot in the form of Epic Fortitude. Pass on either of those options and melee monsters will just be that much more difficult to deal with. Bracers of Archery - You want your item bonus to damage. Damage is how you make up for the control you don't have compared to a Wizard, so you better have the basics down. Stone of Wind - Slotless, use this to land your daily (save ends) stuns. Dice of Auspicious Fortune - See Stone of Wind. Backlash Tattoo - You have crippling RBAs, another out-of-turn use for a very reasonable price is wonderful. Note that the target of this attack is unrestricted. Magical Ammunition - Over-using magical ammunition (or other consumables) can screw up your expected wealth, but it can provide some valuable options. Double Arrows can help land something you really need to land. Firestorm Arrows can help you sweep minions. Surprise Bullets can get you CA when you couldn't otherwise, Dispelling Bolts can save the day, the list goes on. Power Jewel - This is a very cheap item that will let you reuse Disruptive Strike in encounters that go long. Definitely worth having a couple just in case. Boots of Eagerness - Excellent for the first half of your career, when you can't shift as a minor and you don't have better boot enchantments to compete for the slot. Boots of the Fencing Master are also a good choice. Forceful Bow - If for some reason Mindiron+Psychic Lock is not an option for you (you can't access the enchantment, or your DM is enraged by damage type/keyword conversions) then the Forceful Bow is what you want. There's no crit damage, sadly, but adding an optional push onto every single one of your attacks is fantastic. With some push boosters like Gauntlets of the Ram and Avalanche Boots, you can negate attacks with your interrupts or shove enemies back into zones. Swiftshot Crossbow - This is my weapon of choice in heroic tier. It lets you procrastinate on taking Speed Loader, effectively front-loading your feat progression. The Minor Action RBA as a Daily power is fantastic too.
OR, How to play 'Dirty' Harry
This is the area in which I am least confident. My opportunities to play-test Callahan have been limited, and as such I'd welcome any anecdotes from those who take the time to do so. Still, I have played a fair amount myself (mostly heroic tier) and I have read a lot here about upper-tier combat. Hopefully my insights here are still useful.
You don't have difficulty managing actions during your turn. You can shift 2 as a minor action, and you don't really need your minor actions for anything else- you can feel free to use both your Move and your Minor to shift in and out of cover, or use a few Minors to drink a Potion of Clarity, or spare a Minor on a Perception check.
The trouble is between turns. You have Disruptive Strike, Shaft Splitter, Feywild Jaunt, and Land's Passage, none of which can be used in the same round. So, here's what you do:
Between rolling initiative and T1, you need to find out as much as possible about your enemy. Never forget your knowledge checks- you've got great Nature and Dungeoneering, find a friend with Arcana. If you lost initiative, make a note to make friends with a Taclord (who has Arcana trained!), and make careful note of how the enemy moves, who they target, what kind of powers they have, and so on.
Now, if you lost initiative, you're just deciding between Disruptive Strike, Shaft Splitter, and Land's Passage. Hopefully you will have learned by now who is a priority target and/or whose attacks are the least desirable, and you will use one of your offensive powers on them. The exception to that rule is if you are being attacked in melee by a low-priority target or you need to save an ally from the effect of an area power and the enemy's roll was too high for you to turn it into a miss, in which case you use Land's Passage to avoid the attack and reposition.
If you won initiative, and you likely did, things are trickier. If you learned a lot from your knowledge checks and you're confident that Team Monster doesn't have a Controller AND you won't get focus-fired, you don't use Feywild Jaunt. Then, you just follow the decision-making process that I explained in the 'lost initiative' paragraph to decide between your three Immediates.
If you won initiative and you aren't confident that Team Monster doesn't have a Controller or other means of focus-firing you, or you're the least bit suspicious about what might come out of that trap door behind you, Feywild Jaunt on your turn. The ability to safely watch Team Monster's T1 and do reconnaissance and THEN choose your position is great. The recon, by the way, should help you figure out whose attacks you most need to use your Disruptive Strikes on, as well as picking targets for your other control powers. Land's Passage can do the same thing but is a little riskier, as you can be bluffed into thinking you're safe and using your immediate for that round on a Disruptive Strike. Then you're caught without access to your get-out-of-jail-free card, and you go from proactive attack to reactive defense, which makes you a worse Controller.
The key to playing Callahan effectively is to know when to use what. You have a lot of tools at your disposal. Here is a list of obvious cues and the power(s) with which you should answer them:
Melee enemies trying to engage the party should not be allowed to do so. Entrapping Arrows can keep a bunch of them locked down, and is recoverable with Martial Mastery. You're limited to one free action attack per turn, but unless monsters find ways to all move on the same turn, you'll be able to punish each one in the zone that attempts to move. Ensnaring Shot works much the same way but lasts longer, and you can always slow and prone a single enemy with Twin Strike. NOTE: Locking a melee monster down outside of melee does no good if they are the only targets, since your melee allies will likely engage them anyways in that case. Ranged enemies are tricky, as we don't have much forced movement. Feyjump Shot is a wonderful exception to that rule, letting us teleport a ranged monster into a melee thug's position AND removing the melee monster AND dazing both, making it difficult for them to escape or re-engage, respectively. Prime targets for swapping positions with Feyjump are Aura-based monsters, especially Leaders. Don't use on melee lurkers or skirmishers unless you don't have another choice. Remember that Feyjump Shot can still force a teleport 3 if there isn't a second target in a good position to switch. Captivating Missile can also pull ranged enemies into melee. Melee monsters trying to avoid engagement, which is to say Lurkers and Skirmishers, are often capable of moving and attacking with a single standard action, and so dazes and prones are not as effective. Slow, too, loses its potency when their movement powers are independent of their speed. Hard control like immobilize, restrain, stun, and dominate are the answer here. Shut them down with your big guns and let your party finish them off quickly. Melee monsters who have engaged are, for the most part, not bothered by having their movement shut down. Forced movement or attack penalties are your best options here. For the former you're leaning on Feyjump Shot, Space-Shifting Bolts or, if the situation is very dire, Captivating Missile, but you've also got Disruptive Strike and Swarming Spirits to force misses. If you can get them out of melee, they become Melee monsters trying to engage the party, and should be treated accordingly. Note that immobilizing, dazing, and proning enemies in melee can still be valuable, as you can prevent them from focus firing, and force their attacks onto unattractive targets like a Defender. Others: Biting Swarm. If there are circumstances that render your attempt at action denial inert, (such as monsters that teleport liberally, or very close quarters, or having expended key powers) you have control options that don't care about context. -4 to hit is -4 to hit, and stun (save ends) is stun (save ends). Your big to-hit penalty is at-will and always potent, and you can stun or dominate five times per day thanks to Primal Resurgence. Similarly, Disruptive Strike and Shaft Splitter are both great reactive action denial.
You can shift 2 twice per turn. If you find a piece of superior cover, use it defensively by becoming hidden at the start of your turn, shifting out of cover, attacking, and then shifting again and Stealthing to re-hide. Try not to break LoS when you plan on using off-turn attacks, however- this means that this is a tactic for after the first few rounds of an encounter. Being able to shift twice per turn, not to mention your pseudo-teleport powers, also means you can extricate yourself from melee easily. Don't be afraid to get close to a fight in order to quarry something that you need to prone with Twin Strike. Oh, and if it ever comes down to it, you can kite like... something built explicitly to kite.
Special Thanks To:
Clint Eastwood, whose badassery frustrates my ability to describe it every time I try- may he forgive me for naming an Elven build after him, even though not all Elves are wussy things. Auspex7, whose John McLane build shows off the format I poached- he's the CharOpper I try to emulate most, and he provided excellent feedback while I put this together, some of it here in this thread. Lordduskblade, whose Ranger expertise helped me broaden my perspective on how this build could work. The rest of the ##4eCO IRC crowd, who endured my whining about the Seeker and then my excitement about the Seeker|Shaman and then the Seeker|Cleric, and who helped me look over at least four iterations of the build.
The rest of the ##4eCO IRC crowd, who endured my whining about the Seeker and then my excitement about the Seeker|Shaman and then the Seeker|Cleric, and who helped me look over at least four iterations of the build
Was it only 4, it seemed like 30....
j/k...glad to see you finally "get off the couch" and post this thing.
This really came together well. I'm about to go pick up my daughter from school, but I wanted to stop in real quick to say, "awesome job with this!", and to bump this up to the top so people don't miss out on it.
I'll write a pretty full review/commentary soon-- either in the next couple of hours, or by tomorrow morning, at the latest.
Your write-up is awesome, by the way. The commentary before the build snapshot does a fantastic job of explaining the "why" behind the build. I comment on your knack for spitting out awesome one-liners a lot in IRC, but this really shows that it's a result of a talent for cutting away the fat, and clearly seeing the bottom line. This does a great job of clearly and concisely explaining what the build looks to do, how it does it, and how effective it is at its role as a result.
Wow. Right after I clicked 'submit', my wife called and said she was going take care of the stuff I was about to leave to do. Wheee @ free time.
Here's the review...
1. Name "Harry Callahan" is a great guy to name a build after-- especially as this relates to McLane. The only snag is that some folks may not realize who it is. "Dirty Harry" probably gets more recognition from the layman. Of course, this is all moot if the build doesn't fly, so let's talk about the build now.
2. Defenses: AC drifts between L+14 and L+13 for most of the build's career. Personally, I'm 'OK' with AC being L+14 for a ranged build. L+13 makes me a little "eeehhhhhhhhh". I'm not sure where you could really pull from to bring that up, though. You've done a great job with the feat progression. Honestly... I suspect that making it a point to prioritize weapon and armor slots above all others probably keeps you in the L+14 range all the time. This is an example of a build where I would actually recommend "Magic Armor +X", simply for ease of upgrading and maintaining current max AC value. Fort is L+9 for the whole ride, which isn't spectacular, but really... every build has a weak NAD, and Fort is the best choice for this guy's soft spot. Reflex is dead on target at L+12 for the career, and Will is above target, which is ideal for this build.
Looking at Defensive features of the build, the picture goes from "OK" to "pretty f**king awesome". ALL of the Heroic tier Utility powers provide defensive value, and Natural Terrain Understanding + good initiative = you often won't even have to check to see if your AC is being hit, because your front line is between you and Team Monster's melee, anyway. If you get swarmed... Feywild Jaunt fixes everything.
3. Initiative op: It's awesome when you don't have to work for it, isn't it? Controllers obviously want strong Init, and this gets Init covered easily, and early in its career.
I agree 100% with your notes.
One thing I wanted to point out: if you hit with both Twin Strike attacks, and use Quarry on the first hit, your target is slowed by the time the second shot hits-- so Hobbling Strike + World Serpent's Grasp will Slow + Prone on the same Twin Strike.
Related fun fact, which everybody knows, but few people will probably think about while glancing over the build: The guys you're most likely to want to Slow + Prone are the guys who start closest to you (read as: melee)... so having to Quarry the closest guy is juuuuust fine for this build.
5. Encs & Daily powers:
Great picks, great explanations. Nothing to add at all.
6. FUN FACTOR:
Honestly... who wouldn't like to make 2 attacks, and Slow + Prone when both hit? Who wouldn't enjoy the crap out of Feywild Jaunt?
This build does some really cool, fun stuff. It looks like a blast to play, and it is potent enough to hold its own at any table.
Nice job. I had just started thinking today about how to make a level 11 Seeker / Ranger who was worth it and saw your article on the front page. This is a really nice build. Many of the things you've chosen are rated poorly for Rangers but if your are specializing in control they make a great picks. I've decided to change it slightly but it is a nice find. The biggest change is the paragon path
The Ocular Adept paragon path is more valuable for crossbow users than longbow/greatbow users since the load free property of the spirit eye saves you from having to take the Speed Loader feat. The action point benefit is also nice, a free RBA is always good. Also the encounter power is nothing to be scoffed at 2[W]+Wis damage against 2 creatures + a random effect. Plus a fly six squares a move action is a great getaway tactic. Githzerai doesn't provide any particular benefit over elf, I just felt it fit the flavor better for the psionic feel of the paragon path. There is one additional benefit this paragon path provides for a hybrid ranger / seeker. Ocular Adept counts as both a ranger and a seeker paragon path letting the encounter power be a valid trigger for both hybrid hunters quarry and hybrid inevitable shot.
Ok, small changes here. This build loves making RBAs so I wanted to make it easier for him to do so and pump them up. Primal Eye is a no brainer, adding 5 damage to his many RBAs. Then I took Inevitable Volley to double the potency of Inevitable Shot. Inescapable shot isn't strictly necessary but I wanted to make sure that there was nothing stopping me from taking advantage of Inevitable Volley's full potential.
Honestly I'm torn on the power selection and if Thousand Arrow Awareness works on forced movement. My goal is to maximize the number of ranged basic attacks this character gets out of turn. Guardian Arrow and Thousand Arrow Awareness both provide this but I'm wondering if Spitting Cobra Stance might be a better candidate. The only reason I took Thousand Arrow Awareness rather than Spitting Cobra Stance is because I want to be at range 10 or 20 whenever possible. I would love suggestions for powers I could choose that would help me maximize opportunities for RBAs.
Personally, I'm 'OK' with AC being L+14 for a ranged build. L+13 makes me a little "eeehhhhhhhhh". I'm not sure where you could really pull from to bring that up, though. You've done a great job with the feat progression. [...] Fort is L+9 for the whole ride, which isn't spectacular, but really... every build has a weak NAD, and Fort is the best choice for this guy's soft spot.
Confession time... I wrote the L30 snapshot when the Feat Progression still included Epic Fortitude. Actual L30 Fort should only be 37 BUT! Ideally I would be rocking a Belt of Vim, and the feats I dropped for Epic Fortitude and Grounding Shot were Hybrid Talent and Long Step, which drastically increase my ability to use Stealth defensively. Keep in mind that I'll be trying to maintain concealment with Hidden Sniper and Armor of Dark Deeds (or whatever other concealment-granting item I can get my hands on).
One thing I wanted to point out: if you hit with both Twin Strike attacks, and use Quarry on the first hit, your target is slowed by the time the second shot hits-- so Hobbling Strike + World Serpent's Grasp will Slow + Prone on the same Twin Strike.
I thought I had mentioned this in my discussion of Twin Strike, but it looks like I only alluded to it. I'll make that more explicit, thanks.
Looking at Defensive features of the build, the picture goes from "OK" to "pretty f**king awesome".
They make me extremely happy. I'm a little worried about the interaction between Land's Passage, Feywild Jaunt, and my Disruptive Strike-ish powers. Do you think that a normal encounter will go long enough for them all to be useful? Do you think that it's reasonable to expect to be able to predict when you won't need to use one of the two I'm-not-here utilities, and thus when you can afford to wait and try to land a Disruptive Strike?
@FlashedArling: That looks like a perfectly workable variation. Enjoy the Gith initiative bonus! I'm not sure why you're taking Begin the Hunt over Invigorating Stride though. Even if you never need the shift, using your second wind as a move action is beautiful all on its own.
@MC, Awesome, and Dielzen: Thanks, thanks, and... thanks?
Feywild Jaunt, Disruptive Shot x 2 (kinda), and the other escape power = you only need 4 rounds for them to all be useful. My inclination is to say that you want to be using Feywild Jaunt on Turn 1 so you don't get slapped with a debilitating control effect during the T1 & T2 volley, and then cycle the 2 Immediate attacks, going with your escape as your 4th 'trick'.
To elaborate a little... Feywild Jaunt protects you from every enemy on the grid, and gives you the ability to observe what each bad guy does. If you used one of the Disruptive attacks first, you've blown your 'out' for the round, and are still subject to control effects. The free round of observation also helps you identify the targets you really want to interrupt with the 2 attacks.
I think you're more than good to go having all 4 on the same build.
I'm probably going to be quoting you directly when I write up the playstyle notes, which will include sample turns.
I was envisioning an opening turn in which I avoided being targetted by moving out of the penalty box and Stealthing on T1, then Disrupting any monster who tries to inflict those control effects on my allies. Jaunt would come on T2 or T3, after my interferenence had attracted Team Monster's attention.
I don't have much experience playing ranged characters, though; if I'm still dependent on terrain to gain the total cover/concealment I need to stealth, should I plan on consistently being able to attempt to become hidden?