I apologize if this is a stupid question, please treat me as though I don't know what I'm talking about and I will not understand any vague/unexplained references to mechanics.
I do not understand why everyone is not using this one handed weapon, the Waraxe. I want to make a rogue character and I have been reading a lot of the best "builds" for this class, and everyone talks about doing the most damage, but they're using D4s and D6s for damage...wouldn't it be better to add a proficiency feat so you can use the waraxe and upgrade your damage to D12? Is there any way that would allow me to do Sneak Attack with a Waraxe? I know there is some feat that allows heavy blade usage for the sneak attack, but it does not specify Axes...
Please explain to me why this does not work...I am assuming there is some inherent problem with it, since I've not seen anyone talking about it.
Most Rogue abilities, feats and powers only work with Light or specifically Rogue weapons (rapier). In a nutshell, you would be using basic attacks and no Sneak Attack with a Waraxe. Severely gimped build.
Also worth noting that the vast majority of damage, particularly at later levels, comes, not from dice, but from static bonuses. Your dice make very little difference, when your static bonuses are in the 20s.
Once you get past a certain level, the [W] damage becomes almost irrelevant - when static modifiers like ability modifiers, magic weapon enhancements, feat bonuses, etc., can easily get up to +10 and +20 the difference between a d4 dagger and a d12 waraxe is almost negligible.
Rogues are expected to get most of their damage from their Sneak Attack (they should have combat advantage pretty much every turn), and most of their powers only work with light blades and other rogue weapons. The only way for a rogue to get their sneak attack damage with an axe is the Tunnel Stalker feat, which requires you to be a dwarf and reduces your sneak attack damage by one die.
There isn't a hell of a lot of the feat support for axes that really benefits the rogue, either.
That's why you don't see people using a Waraxe. Mostly you see daggers because Rogues get +1 to hit with daggers, and +1 to hit outweights the difference between a d4 and a d6 or d8.
Thank you guys for the help, I understand the problem now. So, even though most damage comes from modifiers, the damage dice do matter still at least somewhat, and the earlier the level, the more it matters, correct? Since you have fewer modifiers? So would it make sense to get the Versatile Duelist feat and equip a heavy blade to do D10 damage and still be able to use all my rogue powers? If I need the extra feat slot later I can always retrain it when I have more modifiers and I dont need the extra damage dice. Does this make sense or is it really not worth it?
If you have access to a +3/d10 heavy blade without spending a proficiency feat, then it's not terrible, but it's not great either. Compared with a dagger, you're spending a feat to take -1 hit and gain +3 average damage per [W]. In a vacuum, that's worthwhile (at low levels--at higher levels -1 hit is not worth +3 damage), but consider you could also spend that feat on, say, Backstabber, and gain +2 average damage without losing -1 to hit. Or you could spend it on Light Blade Expertise, and gain +1 hit/+1 damage. Even at low levels, at least one of +2 damage or +1 hit/+1 damage is going to be better than -1 hit/+3 damage in terms of pure DPR, so unless you have multiple 2[W] or 3[W] powers, it's a questionable choice.
Now, Rogues do have access to some early powers with 2-3[W], but they also have powers that do awesome things like daze the enemy, or attack with a minor action and thus allow two attacks in a single turn (and even at low levels, 1[W]+riders + 1[W]+riders > 3[W]+riders). So you're generally better off taking those powers, and spending your feats on increasing your damage in ways other than messing with your weapon.
Now, consider that you almost certainly have to spend a second feat in order to use a Bastard Sword in the first place. With the two feats that you're spending on Proficiency + Versatile Duelist, you can take Backstabber AND Light Blade Expertise. And then Weapon Focus, Nimble Blade, Slaying Action, Two Weapon Fighting, Wintertouched+Lasting Frost+Frost Weapon, etc. Or, if you're having trouble getting consistent CA (and therefore undervaluing Sneak Attack), spend a feat on something like Cunning Stalker to help you get consistent CA.
If you want to use a waraxe for your rogue, are you planning on making a combat expertise brute? Because maybe you could go hybrid barbarian/rogue. Barbarian has a lot of waraxe support. If you want to play pure rogue, I would suggest you go for light weapons for all the reasons above (other replies).
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