So, I never really liked any of the Defender-Style classes... but I was reading into the Warden a little bit and got kind of wrapped up in it thematically. I kind of want to have a build laying around in case my friends ever start a game and need to pick up a Defender (which, let's face it... they will. All my friends want to play Striker).
Basically, I want him to be a Longtooth Shifter Warden with the Wildblood class feature. I want to play up the fact that he has a Lycanthropic heritage and that's where he draws all of his primal influence. I also wanted to Multiclass him into Barbarian so he can gain that Rage-like ability (which plays into the fact that he has animal blood within him). I also would prefer he use a Polearm/Spear, because A. I'd never experimented with a Polearm Build before and B. I can't see him using a shield, character-wise.
Also, despite the fact that I know "Bloodwrath Guardian" isn't considered a top-tier Paragon Path, I love the flavor for the character and would like to use it above all others.
Here's a rough skeleton of the character as he stands:
>> Grimtooth, Shifter Warden <<
For the most part, I just need help selecting feats... because I'm not quite sure what the best Polearm/Spear feats are that make the best combinations. If I can get a decent idea of what kind of feats to grab and in what order (up to level 30), I should be fine.
So in short:
1. Polearm/Spear Build
2. Needs a Barbarian Multiclass
3. Needs to be a Shifter (use of shifter Racial feats would rock, too)
4. Bloodwrath Guardian PP
Can anyone help me work with that or give some suggestion?
Well, first of all: get Spear Expertise ASAP if you like to hit.
As a warden with reach, you can get a lot more mileage out of Swaying Branches than regular wardens. Most marked enemies will shift away from you to attack one of your nearby allies. With this feat, you can slide them away from your buddy as an interrupt, negating their attack entirely.
At some point, you'll want to take Improved Defenses to boost your NADs.
Wildblood Retribution still allows you to attack even if you've used your standard for second wind. Wielding a polearm means you can probably reach them too.
Polearm Gamble lets you smack everyone who dares to approach you.
Armor Specialization (Hide) ups your defense.
For more tips, read the Warden handbook on this forum.
EDIT: also, why 14 Dex?
I figured 14 Dex for +2 to Iniative, and if I ever wanted to work my way up to Spear Mastery one day I'd need a higher value.
The Polearm build is fairly simple, but you're gonna be hard pressed to fit in a number of the feats you want. You're missing Spear Expertise for one, so I would dump Toughness to paragon and get Spear Expertise in mid-heroic. Polearm Flanker is good for you but not your allies, so Vicious Advantage might be more your style. You'll want to try to fit in Weapon Focus somewhere also.
For at-wills, I recommend Warden's Lunge and Weight of Earth.
For ability scores, I recommend the following post-racial: Str 18, Con 13, Dex 11, Int 10, Wis 18, Cha 8. Don't worry about Dex, your Reflex defense is gonna suck regardless and the monsters are going to beat you at initiative anyway, so no point in spending the points there when they could go into Wis and boost your Will and AC.
Spear expertise isn't particularly helpful, you're not really a charger. Might as well go with Polearm Expertise instead. I mean, it's not a huge benefit, but there's good odds the monsters will be charging you more than you will be charging them.
Nearly all the wardens I've played have been rather immobile once they get in position. You might charge on the opening round to close the distance, but that's really mostly it.
I have only seen wildbloods in play and agree with Alphaant.
You can build any warden to be fairly mobile if you want to, but it sounds like many people don't bother. Its part of why I think its the most interesting defender to play.
Well, I don't bother because I don't need to move. Because the enemies can't move, so repositioning more than a normal shift usually isn't necessary.
Are you 100% set on Muliclass Barbarian? Because Fighters have a pretty solid monopoly on the good polearm feats. Polearm Gamble gives you modified Threatening Reach, and Polearm Momentum is fantastic control, even if it does have a steep ability requirement.
My opinion is that you take heavy blade oppertunist and polearm gamble. You can have this by lvl 11 and it's nasty! Just have a really good at will!
Okay, so I've been convinced to Multiclass Fighter. This is because of the Polearm Feats, and because Eternal Defender seems like an awesome Defender/Warden Path (Shields + Polearms, Reach, etc.)
Basically I just need to have a better handle on what feats I should take. This list is of course the feats I'm interested in using, but they may or may not be in the order in which I want to take them.
Heroic, Class ~ Warden/Fighter
1. Weapon Proficiency: Greatspear
2. Sudden Roots (I hear opinions on this shift, but generally considered good)
4. Weapon Expertise: Polearm/Spear (not quite sure which is better at the moment... leaning toward Pole)
6. Multiclass Warrior: Battle Awareness (Seems the strongest MC choice for Wardens)
8. Wildblood Cunning
10. Halfted Defense (Need the AC Bump)
Paragon, Paragon Path ~ Bloodwrath Guardian (Fits the Flavor of the Character, Werewolf)
11. Polearm Gamble
12. Armor Specialization (Hide)
14. Wildblood Speed (From what I understand, this also an 'Iffy' but generally good Feat)
16. Polearm Momentum
18. Improved Defenses/Toughness (Not Sure)
20. Longtooth Spirit Shifter
Epic, Epic Destiny ~ Eternal Defender
21. Rapid Wild Defense (Retrain Hafted Defense: Sturdy Shifter)
22. Second Skin (Retrain Armor Specialization: Hide into Beasthide Shifter)
24. Strength Through Challenge
26. Swaying Branches
28. Epic Recovery
30. Primal Resurgence
So, basically my plan is capitalize on the Control & Reach of the Polearm, and the crazy Damage Resistance and Health Regeneration of the Shifter Racials. By Epic I can retrain out of Hafted Defense because I'll be wiedling a Heavy Shield, most likely.
There are some feats I'm worried about not having. Improved/Superior Initiative is one of them, as is Swift Spear/Forceful Opportunist, Polearm Flanker and possibly Hindering Shield/Deadly Draw. I tried not to focus too much on Combat Advantadge style feats, as I obviously won't be the one attemping to deal damage... rather, trying to break up enemy ranks.
Does this build seem feasible? Are there any glaring holes I should worry about? What can I do to make this any better?
Also, thank you to everyone who managed to give me feedback and advice so far. You guys have been a great help.
Ill gift you a free bump. I am also interested in this, specifically how you would allocate the stats to be able to hit, plus qualify for feats.
Would hybrid be decent? I havent played around with either class as a hybrid, so i dont know what they would be missing. I know you are set for a shifter, but id like to point out that dwarves have 'dat second eind, and human would open an additional feat, and this buid DOES look feat starved...
Question: how are you wielding a heavy shield and a polearm? Eternal Defender let's you wield a larger weapon, but not a greatspear and a shield.
This is pretty similar to a warden build I've been playing with. I would suggest taking polearm momentum earlier and also picking up the Swift Spear feat. Then all your OP attacks from polearm gamble will slide the enemy and knock them prone with Polearm Momentum. Assuming you have rushing cleats, a staggering weapon or some other slide enhancer.
Wary Fighter is also a good fighter feat. You use your wisdom instad of dex for initiative and you get +2 to insight and perception.
Overall I'd drop some of the Shifter and wildblood feats. Longtooth Spirit Shifter and Beasthide Shifting are very small boosts by the time you get them. Also Beasthide Shifting doesn't stack with Strength through Challenge.
Wildblood Cunning you probably don't need either. If you want more mobility there are encounter powers and utilities that will work (Windborne Step, Guardian's Pounce, etc).
No, the weapon being larger just gives you a larger damage die.
A large greatspear does a d12 of damage whereas a medium greatspear does a d10.
Cobolo, if you were to (roughly) insert those aforementioned feats in the build... could you give me your opinion on where they should come in and which should be swapped out? Like a mock-list, if it's not too much trouble?
I'm a little new to this, haha.
For Epic Destinies, Unyielding Sentinel or Ceaseless Guardian would let you boost another stat so you could pump strength and wisdom every time. You wouldn't qualify for Armor Spec (Hide) in paragon, but you could pick up second skin at level 21 or later.
Edit: Totally missed that this doesn't give enough CON to get Epic Recovery. I'd just take Wary Fighter instead, but if you want to move two points of wisdom to constitution you can still get it. It will just cost you -1 AC and Will.
You're better off not having the Con mod to get the armor feats and just having more points in Wis.
As a Longtooth Shifter I'd suggest Str 18 | Con 13 | Dex 14 | Int 10/8 | Wis 16 | Cha 10/8. This gives you enough Con to get AS:H in Epic, and you can grab PM in Paragon. If you want PM in Heroic, drop the Con to 11 and bump Dex to 15. Take Born Under a Bad Sign / Auspiscious Birth to get HP tied to Str and you will be fine with a Con of 11/13.
Danko, thank you for the Auspicious Birth hint. I can totally work that into his story, too.
Cobolo, that list looks great! And very close to the original idea. I appreciate it!
One more question for you, though. How absolutely vital are the "Epic ___" Feats? I mean, I know as a Defender those defenses are pretty important... but I don't know, from a character/flavor perspective the feats are pretty bland and uninspired. Would it be a huge detriment in using something else?
Happy to help.
For a defender, pretty important to keep up with team monster. The math fix feats (improved defense, weapon expertise, epic will/fort/reflex) are all bland as rice cakes, but they outperform everything.
That said this warden's reflex is probably so low that he's going to get hit even with epic reflex, so if you really want one more epic feat thats the one to skip.
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