Update: Well, seeing as this build is 18 months old, the metagame's majorly shifted (for instance, themes are a thing now), and I've actually played it for about 17 levels now in LFR, I think it's time for an update. I'll be giving this topic a work-over to be more guide-ish and less theorycruft.
So, do you want to duel? At dawn, perhaps? I love dueling at dawn! --Mia, Fire Emblem 9
Why would you want to play Mia? First and foremost, because you like rolling d20s. Lots and lots of d20s. Mia takes Oath of Enmity and milks it for all it's worth, such that if you ever make it to the end of the game, you can expect to make 20 attack rolls on your first round of combat and rarely have to see a second one. Secondly, style. Mia is one of the most supremely mobile skirmishers in the game, which combined with the Avenger's dodginess, the dramatic critical focus, and the single-sword "dual wielding", makes for unique and very entertaining character thematics. Third, damage. Mia is a more-than-satisfactory striker, an ideal enabling target, and kills even more effectively in practice than on paper, thanks to the ease with which she moves from target to target to carry over damage which would normally be wasted, and the great advantages she derives from party coordination (read: +9 to damage from Unity bonuses). Fourth, and certainly not least, durability. Avengers are on the tougher side for strikers by default, and this build squeezes in damage resistance, attack penalties, and condition removal or avoidance for nearly every common status effect. At 16+, you're literally more hurt by prone than stunned.
Of course, it'd be misleading to say this build was all sunshine and gore-spattered roses. There are some drawbacks, two foremost among them. Firstly, Mia has a very long taxi distance due to the exorbitant feat cost of Paragon Multiclassing. I've attempted to minimize this problem with my level-by-level retrain sequence, and for LFR players it is of course not an issue to begin with as they can retrain every level, but if you're ending your campaign in heroic, this thread probably isn't going to be of major interest to you. People starting at 11 or 21, however? You're in luck! Mia's paragon and epic advantages are severely front-loaded. Second, in her quest for more attacks and damage, Mia strains the rules pretty much every way I can find to strain them, so your DM may frown on this build. This really shouldn't happen, since it's not as if it's more powerful than the other top-of-the-line strikers, but yeah, it is a practical concern.
This character makes use of the highly exploitable wording in the Paragon Multiclassing rules to create an Avenger who also has the Scout's Dual Weapon Attack, allowing us to play a "twin striking" Avenger without the need for odd stat combinations or being a half-elf. Thematically, the build lends itself quite nicely to the Fire Emblem character Mia. (Or Zihark, "The Blade of Unity", with the appropriate censure.)
Class: Avenger Theme: Ironwrought Paragon Path: Paragon Multiclass Ranger Epic Destiny: Martial Archetype Avenger's Censure: Censure of Pursuit or Unity. (Preference will depend on party composition and level range.) Race: Elf or Githzerai. (Half-Elf, Human, and Kreen variants also bring certain advantages to the table.) Deity: Ioun, Bane, Corellon, or equivalent god with the Skill domain. Background: Auspicious Birth (Wisdom to HP) Starting Stats: 13/11/16+2/8/16+2/10
Heroic Tier: The Myrmidon
This character will be perfectly playable but not that exceptional throughout the Heroic tier. We do have Overwhelming Strike and Power of Skill though, so we can always use standard charge-opping tricks, and we end up with a good number of off-action powers, which are nice and useful. In heroic tier, the Censure of Pursuit is generally superior to the Censure of Unity, thanks to the feat Invigorating Pursuit. Level-by-level:Show
At-Will 1: Overwhelming Strike At-Will 1: Bond of Pursuit Encounter 1: Raging Tempest Daily 1: Temple of Light Feat 1: Valenar Weapon Training or Githzerai Blade Master Feat 2: Power of Skill Utility 2: Loyal Sanction Encounter 3: Fury's Advance Feat 4: Two-Blade Warrior Stat 4: +1 WIS, +1 DEX Daily 5: Menacing Presence Utility 6: Agile Recovery Feat 6: Invigorating Pursuit Encounter 7: Relentless Stride Feat 8: Acolyte Power (Invigorating Stride, replacing Agile Recovery) Stat 8: +1 WIS, +1 DEX Daily 9: Living Death Strike Utility 10: Wings of Vengeance or Weapon Unity Stance Feat 10: Adept Power (Skirmishing Stance, replacing Menacing Presence)
Vanguard Falchion (if Elf or Half-Elf), Vanguard Fullblade (if Githzerai) Horned Helmet Battle Harness Boots of Adept Charging Iron Armbands of Power Insight of the Vault Elven Chain Shirt
Paragon Tier: The Swordmaster At level 11, Paragon Multiclassing Ranger allows us to trade one of our at-wills for a Ranger at-will, with no level restriction on what we trade out or what we receive. We can therefore choose to take Dual Weapon Attack, the Scout's striker damage feature. Note that from here on out, it's all about the Censure of Unity, as the +2 per adjacent ally starts really stacking up the bonuses when applied 3x per round while Invigorating Pursuit fails to scale by tier. Level by level breakdown:Show
Retrain 11: Novice Power (Finishing Cut, replacing Relentless Stride.) Novice Power replaces Invigorating Pursuit. At-Will 11: Dual Weapon Attack, replacing Bond of Pursuit. Encounter 11: Fox's Cunning Feat 11: Heavy Blade Expertise Retrain 12: Oak Skin, replacing Invigorating Stride. Utility 12: Invigorating Stride Feat 12: Painful Oath Encounter 13: Answer With Steel, replacing Finishing Cut. Feat 14: Superior Will Stat 14: +1 WIS, +1 DEX Daily 15: N/A (or Blade Cascade, if you have a leader who can give +STAT to attack, replacing Skirmishing Stance) Feat 16: Deadly Draw Utility 16: Bulwark of Defiance Encounter 17: Soulforge Hammering, replacing Raging Tempest. Feat 18: Arbiter of Justice Stat 18: +1 WIS, +1 DEX Daily 19: Leprous Wound, replacing Temple of Light. Feat 20: Unarmored Agility Daily 20: Cruel Cage of Steel
Harmony Scimitar or Bastard Sword (Off-hand) Reaper's Khopesh (Main hand) Siberys Shard of Radiance (level 13) Symbol of Victory (level 7) Ring of Giant's Strength Backlash Tattoo Power Jewel Stone of Earth Planestriders Ring of the Radiant Storm Queen's Staff (to be worn on your back for the set bonus) Five Stars Five Strikes
Epic Tier: The Trueblade (in progress) At level 21, we gain three marvelously synergistic abilities: the Rogue's Tumbling Strike, the Avenger's Hand of Divine Guidance, and the recharge of a martial encounter power every time we crit. This, combined with our other off-action attacks, puts us in an effectively permanent nova state. Level by level breakdown:Show
Retrain 21: Vengeful Declaration, replacing Unarmored Agility Encounter 21: Tumbling Strike Feat 21: Hand of Divine Guidance Retrain 22: Eyes of the Deep Delver, replacing Oak Skin. Feat 22: Enmity Shared Utility 22: Resume The Hunt Encounter 23: N/A Feat 24: Power Attack Stat 24: +1 WIS, +1 DEX Utility 26: Martial Supremacy Feat 26: Feat 28: Stat 28: +1 WIS, +1 DEX Feat 30:
Level 1. 38% SMHP at-will, kills a standard out the gate.Show
Notes: At level 1, we have one trick, but it's a nice one: The level 1 power Raging Tempest has two damage rolls and can be used on a charge, so we're going to take Githzerai Blade Master, use Raging Tempest with Inevitable Strike, and pray for a critical.
Nova sequence: Minor action, designate Oath target. Move action, move to a position from which you can hopefully charge into flank. Standard action, charge using Raging Tempest, triggering Inevitable Strike. Attack (Raging Tempest): +4 (WIS) +3 (Prof.) +1 (Charging), rolling 4x due to Inevitable Strike. LVL+7 gives accuracy of 91% for each roll pair here, with a 19.5% crit chance. Damage on a hit is 1d12 +1d8 (Inevitable Strike) +4 (WIS) +2 (feat) +1d6 lightning +2 (feat) +1d6 thunder on the next successful hit. Damage on a crit is 34+1d12+6 thunder on the next successful hit. Total damage is 33.2 damage, or 103% SMHP. Yes, that's right! The Avenger joins the illustrious club of classes which can one-shot a standard at level 1 if they roll well. Enjoy!
At-will DPR: Basic turn is spam Overwhelming Strike, shift 1 back, slide 0, and hope the enemy runs off so we get a nice damage bonus against them next round. Attack (Overwhelming Strike): +4 (WIS) +3 (Prof.) LVL+6 gives accuracy of 87.8%, with a 9.75% crit chance. Damage on a hit is 1d12 +4 (WIS) +2 (feat). Damage on a crit is 18+1d12. DPR is (.7805)(12.5)+(.0975)(24.5)= 12.15 DPR, or 38% SMHP. You're a three-round striker, so congratulations, Mr. Baseline. If you are Unity, you will prefer to spam Leading Strike and gang up with an ally, since the damage bonus to your ally, the +1 Censure damage, and combat advantage makes you two-round striker equivalent.
Level 6. 40% SMHP at-will, beats down a standard by round 2.Show
Notes: This is for the Githzerai version. Since it is optimized for the tier and level it is at, it uses Invigorating Pursuit, Multiclasses Bravo rather than Ranger, and has Two-Handed Weapon Expertise. By my reading, the encounter power Raging Tempest has two damage rolls. I am ignoring several questions about resolving criticals here for ease of use. Specifically, I am ignoring that Inevitable Strike and Five Stars Five Strikes both allow multiple criticals with one power, and that extra dice may add on to multi-instance powers repeatedly. If you take a more generous reading then a crit on Raging Tempest or Fury's Advance can be incredibly lethal, but it's probably going to be overshoot against anything but solos, so it's simply too much of a mathematical headache to deal with here.
Relevant gear: +2 Vanguard Fullblade, Horned Helmet, Iron Armbands of Power, Boots of Adept Charging, Insight of the Vault
Nova sequence: Round 1: Minor Action, Designate Prey. Minor Action, Oath of Enmity. Standard action: Charge using Raging Tempest, triggering Inevitable Strike. Attack (Raging Tempest): +4 (WIS) +3 (Half-level) +3 (Prof.) +2 (Enh.) +2 (Prey) +1 (Charging) +1 (Feat), rolling 4x due to Inevitable Strike. LVL+10 gives accuracy of 97.8% for each roll pair here, with a 19.5% crit chance. Damage on a hit is 1d12+1d8 (vanguard) +1d8 (Inevitable Strike) +1d6 (horned helm) +4 (WIS) +2 (feat) +2 (prey) +2 (Invigorating Pursuit) +2 (item) +1 (THE) +1d6 lightning +2 (feat) +2 (prey) +2 (Invigorating Pursuit) +2 item +1 (THE) +1d6 thunder (on next attack). Damage on a crit is 64+1d12 (high crit) +2d8 (critical dice). Average is 55.6 damage, including critical and miss possibilities. On a crit, you kill a standard if you roll slightly above minimum extra damage. Round 2: Minor Action, Fury's Advance, push but decline to shift after target. Move Action, Shift back 1 square. Standard Action: Charge using Overwhelming Strike. Attack (Fury's Advance): +4 (WIS) +3 (Half-level) +3 (Prof.) +2 (Enh.) +2 (Prey) +1 (feat). LVL+9 gives accuracy of 98.75% here, with a 9.75% crit chance. Damage on a hit with Fury's Advance is 1d12 +2 (feat) +2 (item) +2 (prey) +2 (Invigorating Pursuit). Damage on a crit is 22+1d12 (high crit) +2d8 (critical dice). Attack (Overwhelming Strike): +4 (WIS) +3 (Half-level) +3 (Prof.) +2 (Enh.) +2 (Prey). LVL+10 gives accuracy of 97.8% here, with a 9.75% crit chance. Damage on a hit with Overwhelming Strike is 1d12+1d8 (vanguard) +1d6 (horned helm) +4 (WIS) +2 (feat) +2 (item) +2 (prey) +2 (Invigorating Pursuit) +1 (THE). Damage on a crit is 40+1d12 (high crit) +2d8 (critical dice). Two-round total is 100.9 damage, or 140% SMHP. As yet, you're not that impressive at nova damage, but there is a a 40% chance of at least one beefy crit in there, and with 4 damage rolls in those two turns you'll make very good use of any damage bonuses you receive, so hope for buffs or granted attacks by your leader.
At-will DPR: Basic Turn is Charge Overwhelming Strike, shift backwards 2 squares via Boots of Adept Charging and Overwhelming Strike, but decline to slide your enemy. Attack (Overwhelming Strike): +4 (WIS) +3 (Half-level) +3 (Prof.) +2 (Enh.) +1 (Charging) +1 (feat). LVL+8 for an accuracy rate of 93.75% vs. Oath on charges. Crit Chance vs. Oath is 9.75%. Base Damage (Overwhelming Strike): 1d12 +1d8 (Vanguard) +1d6 (Horned Helmet) +4 (WIS) +2 (Item) +2 (Feat) +2 (Enh.) +2 (Invigorating Pursuit) +1 (THE) = 27.5 Crit Damage (Overwhelming Strike): 43 +1d12 (High Crit) +2d8 (Enh.) = 58.5 .84(27.5)+.0975(58.5) = 28.81 DPR, or 40.0% SMHP. You're a three-round striker at this point, plain and simple.
Note: This calculation uses admittedly generous equipment assumptions to get Lasting Frost running at level 12. A more realistic approach would probably have only heroic cold shards, or even take Painful Oath instead of Lasting Frost until the gear was affordable.
Relevant gear: +3 Harmony Scimitar, +3 Jagged Scimitar, Frozen Whetstone (Level 7) x2/enc, Siberys Shard of Merciless Cold x2, Gloves of Ice, Iron Armbands of Power (Level 6)
Base Attack: +5 (WIS/DEX), +6 (Half-level), +3 (Enh.), +2 (Feat), +2 (Prof). LVL+6 for an accuracy rate of 88% vs. Oath (rising to 91% on charges). Crit Chance vs. Oath is 9.75% (Main Hand), 19% (Off-Hand). Base Damage for Overwhelming Strike and Dual Weapon Attack: 1d8 +5 (WIS/DEX), +5 (Lasting Frost), +2 (Item), +3 (Enh.), +3 (Feat), +2 (Whetstone), +3 (Shard), +2 (Gloves) = 34.5 Crit Damage (Main Hand): 38 (Base) +2d8 (High Crit) +3d6 + an off-hand MBA = 56.5 + an off-hand MBA. Crit Damage (Off-hand): 35 (Base) +2d8 (High Crit) + 10 Ongoing Damage (Save Ends) = 47 + 10 Ongoing. We will approximate the value of the 10 ongoing simply, as 10+.45*.8*10 = 13.6 damage for a total of 60.6.
Basic turn is Standard Overwhelming Strike, Free Action Dual Weapon Attack. (Charge with Overwhelming Strike if possible, but that's not counted here for the sake of simplicity and rigor.) Level 12 DPR: 0.78*(34.5+0.69*(34.5)+0.19*(60.6))+0.0975*(56.5+0.69*(34.5+0.69*(34.5)+0.19*(60.6))+0.19*(60.6+0.69*(34.5)+0.19*(47))+0.1225*(0.69*(34.5)+0.19*(60.6))) = 66.82 DPR
Encounter Burst is Standard Action Overwhelming Strike, Free Action Dual Weapon Attack, Minor Action Hunter's Thorn Trap, Move Action Fury's Advance. You will use your Jagged Scimitar for this final attack if the enemy is not yet subject to ongoing damage, your harmony blade if it is. Encounter Burst damage: 66.82 + .18(0.78*(39.5) +0.0975*(61.5 + 0.069*(34.5) +0.19*(47))) +.82(0.69*(39.5) +0.19*(60.6)) = 105.43
Finally, if we have an available action point and the above bloodies the enemy, we can follow up with a Jagged Scimitar Finishing Strike. AP Encounter Burst Damage: 105.43 +.66(0.69*(48)+0.19*(84.6))+.34(0.69*(48)+0.19*(71)) = 153.75
Before we can calculate DPR, we need to answer a question: just how reliable is our ability to use Tumbling Strike every round? We regain Tumbling Strike every time we score a critical hit, and never expend martial powers when we miss with them. We have a 19% crit chance vs. Oath. Finding the true values takes some serious number-crunching, but if we ignore out-of-turn actions, action points, etc., we discover that we will recharge, using a worst-case approximation, 4.68 times in 6 turns (and have a 25% chance of recharging twice or more on any single turn, which is nice because it means our next round's damage is often front-loading itself). Given that this is a lower bound, that we start with all of our encounter powers, have a backup minor attack to smooth out the wrinkles, and carry items which recharge encounter powers just to be on the extremely safe side, the odds of us being unable to meet or exceed the goal of using Tumbling Strike at least once per turn in a 6-round encounter are <<1%. i therefore believe it is a fair approximation to incorporate tumbling strike into our dpr if we do so carefully Relevant Equipment: Harmony Scimitar +5, Siberys Shard of Merciless Cold (Level 23), Ring of Giants, Gloves of Ice (Level 21), Frozen Whetstone (Level 17) 1/enc, Iron Armbands of Power (Level 26), Insight of the Vault. (Due to the wording of Harmony Blade, we will wield it off-handed and make ALL attacks using our off-hand weapon. This allows Harmony Blade to effect itself recursively, giving us an appreciable increase in turns on which we crit more than once and cheapening both our strategy and our equipment loadout.)
Basic turn is Minor Tumbling Strike (+Move Tumbling Strike if we miss or crit), Standard Overwhelming Strike, Free Dual Weapon Attack (+Move Tumbling Strike if we crit and did not previously Move Tumbling Strike). For the purposes of calculation, the paranthesized use of Tumbling Strike does not add to our DPR if we recharged Tumbling Strike once (instead being a factor in next turn's DPR that we're just front-loading by a turn), but does count if we recharged Tumbling Strike twice or more. We will neglect the possibility of DWA triggering on a crit-granted MBA following Tumbling Strike, which raises DWA's chance of triggering on a given turn by approximately 2%, in order to have a consistent expression for critical damage.
As we approach Level 30, we run into three difficult constraints: even with a ring of free time you can only have so many minor actions a turn, there are only so many extra damage feats available to us, and most importantly, we're ramming past the point of diminishing returns for single-target damage because standard enemies simply don't have enough HP to withstand our attacks. (That last constraint was getting to be a problem at 24 as well, but I glossed over it.) Fortunately, there is an answer: Main-handing a Reaper's Khopesh, in conjunction with Vengeful Declaration, will allow us to reoath, complete our Tumbling Strike shift +1, and then MBA+DWA a new target without using any limited actions, effectively turning our ability to overshoot from a liability to a benefit. Of course, with this more complicated strategy comes a more complicated DPR model, because there are more conditions and we're not going to do the same thing every turn.
Fortunately, we can again approximate via conservative assumptions. Here, we will be assuming that we're dumb (or at least, not metagamers) and incapable of making any mid-turn deviations from the plan, or any observations about the results of our attacks other than "is our oath target bloodied"? We will assume that no second enemy is ever within two squares of us, but that there's always one within the oath's range (which, conveniently, is also how far we can move after killing a target), and also assume that enemies are bloodied half the time, which is realistically incorrect (they will be bloodied more than half the time) but makes an appropriate low approximation and allows us to divide our DPR calculation neatly into two halves. We will use the Elf, though the Githzerai has the advantage of getting +4 Feat to Khopesh damage, and finally, we will ignore our Level 30 Crit-triggered MBA feature under the assumption that the DM is ruling per RAW that we can only use it or DWA in a turn, not both.
Relevant Equipment: +6 Harmony Blade, +6 Reaper's Axe, Frozen Whetstone (Level 27) 2/enc., Gloves of Ice (Level 21), Siberys Shard of Merciless Cold (Level 23) x2, Ring of Giants, Iron Armbands of Power (Level 26), Insight of the Vault, Crimson Determination (Level 24), Horned Helm (Level 26)
Base Attack: +15 (Half-level), +8 (WIS/DEX), +6 (Enh.), +3 (Feat), +2 (Prof), +2 (CA), +2 (Prime Shot), -2 (Power Attack). LVL+6 for an accuracy rate of 88% vs. Oath, 94% without Power Attack. Crit Chance vs. Oath is 19%. Base Attack (Khopesh): +15 (Half-level), +8 (WIS/DEX), +6 (Enh.), +3 (Feat), +2 (Prof), +2 (Prime Shot). LVL+6 for an accuracy rate of 88% vs. Oath. Crit Chance vs. Oath is 19%. Base Attack (Charging): +15 (Half-level), +8 (WIS/DEX), +6 (Enh.), +3 (Feat), +2 (Prof), +2 (CA), +2 (Prime Shot), -2 (Power Attack). LVL+7 for an accuracy rate of 91% vs. Oath, 96% without Power Attack. Crit Chance vs. Oath is 19%.
Basic turn vs. bloodied oath is standard action Overwhelming Strike, Minor action Tumbling Strike. If they die, we declare a new oath, shift 8, and Overwhelming Strike+Dual Weapon Attack the new oath (move action Tumbling Stike if available). We will eschew Power Attack in favor of higher hit chances on the first two actions and Khopesh Overwhelming Strike. In practice, we can do even better by starting with Tumbling Strike against enemies who we know are closer to dead thus allowing us to also use our Standard against the new target, and by other methods such as picking a new oath target who is bloodied or a minion in hopes of immediately getting to repeat the process. Overwhelming Strike: .75(64)+.19(205.6) = 87.06 Tumbling Strike: .75(68.5)+.19(213.6) = 91.96 Our chance of killing a bloodied level 30 standard with these first two actions is .94*.94+.06*.19*2+.06*.94*.94+.06*.75*.94+.06*.06*.19, or 95%. Overwhelming Strike+Dual Weapon Attack: .95(.69(50)+.19(115) +.88(.69(59.5)+.19(197.6))) = 119.24 Second, DPR-applicable Tumbling Strike: .31(.69(68.5)+.19(213.6)) = 27.23 Painful Oath: (.996+.84)*8 = 14.69 Slashing Storm: 8 DPR starting with bloodied oath: 87.06+91.96+119.24+27.23+14.69+8 = 348.18
Basic turn vs. unbloodied oath is minor action Tumbling strike (move action Tumbling Strike if crit or miss), charge Overwhelming Strike + Dual Weapon Attack. In practice, we will often kill our oath in this sequence and be able to reach another target by shifting 3 for an MBA or MBA+DWA, but this will not be incorporated.
The Hunter cannot Paragon MC his own class, so he cannot obtain Dual Weapon Attack. (A Thief could grab it though, albeit at the cost of some dead feats. He's probably the guy who benefits the most from doing so aside from the Avenger.)
There are some other cool things attainable via the Paragon MC trick, such as essentials at-will stances, Flurry of Blows, and Divine Challenge, but none of them offer the same level of return as Dual Weapon Attack.
Yes, Dual Weapon Attack is a class feature, and yes, it is intended to be the Scout's core damage mechanic, and yes, you aren't supposed to be able to take it except by being a Scout. It is also, however, an "At-Will Power from our second class", and Paragon Multi-classing allows us to trade an at-will we have for an at-will the Ranger has with no restriction that the power we receive bear a level. That's the trick here, and why I say this build is largely theoretical. While it is technically completely legal, good luck finding any DM who'll let you actually do it.