This handbook is an organizational theme handbook plus my viewpoint on the general effectiveness of themes. The idea is to direct players to themes that serve specific goals. I looked at each theme and placed them into the following five categories: Defender: Either provide immediate action attacks that resemble marks in behavior or they have adjacent range attacks that apply status effects that complicate the monster's next turn. Striker: Do extra damage or do consistently more damage Leader: Enable, buff, or heal without using up your immediate actions Controller: Apply control effects from a distance Non-standard: Doesn't really fit any of the above categories
I used the standard Gold/Sky Blue/Dark Blue/Black/Purple/Red color scheme.
Powers that were available as either alternate Utility or Encounter powers I only took into consideration if there was some fantastic element about them. Usually, any given class is going to have some better choices unless they're at a minimum Sky Blue or Gold(see Iron Wolf Warrior encounter attack powers or Sidhe Lord's Utility 2)
How should you pick themes on this basis? There are three basic ways: If you want to enhance your general overall power, look at the themes rated Gold, Sky Blue, or possibly Dark Blue. Anything I've rated Gold or Sky Blue is likely going to be very useful, even if that's not your role. If you want to enhance a particular role that your character does, look at the themes in that role. If you're a Defender who feels that they need to be a better Defender, pick a Defender theme. I'd recommend looking at anything Black or better. Be careful - if you're already really good at your role, you might want to consider something outside your role. If no one ever attacks a nearby ally, picking up a theme that relies on a nearby ally getting attacked isn't going to be Sky Blue even if I rated it such. If you want to enhance your utility, look at the non-Standard themes - they often don't directly enhance a specific role, but rather give options, either in or out of combat. Also, each theme lists whether or not weapon attacks are melee, close burst, or ranged, and whether or not the theme uses an implement.
I want to emphasize here - I think Color is generally more important than Role. A Sky Blue theme outside your role in many cases might make you more important to your party than a Dark Blue theme in your role.
Immediate Actions that punished an attacker for not attacking the theme's owner
and/or the theme's power had a significant melee range control, but no extra damage
Bloodsworn:Decent Encounter power for bloodied builds, decent option for 2nd wind builds(which is a bit in opposition to each other), but I think this compares very poorly for the most part against Ironwrought Earth Forger Very solid weapon close burst attack power, particularly with the level 5 feature. Decent level 10. Elemental Initiate Solid off-action melee weapon power, access to Ki Focus, new skill, and bonus to Will. Great for high-defense melee types. +1 Rain of Hammers Ki Focus gives out almost free daily minor action attack and does a bit of damage for dropping opponents - if you're not using it for a specific Ki Focus, this is gravy. Ghost Strike Ki Focus, a common item, is good, too - if you have CA against a melee opponent, you ignore Insubstantial! Gloomwrought Emissary: Attack power uses your weapon power and weakens a target, which is very nice. The rest of it isn't that great, but the Utility 6+the Attack power can give a build a lot of staying power. Guardian: Guardian's Counter is amazing, allowing a lot of flexibility. This can often do crazy damage as you swap in for the actual Defender, who then gets to trigger their mark and you get off a basic attack. Many melee characters will love this. Knight Hospitaler: Shield of Devotion can turn a dropped ally into a conscious one, scales, and provides a bonus to attack rolls. And it is an immediate action? And eventually, you can use this twice a combat? Awesome. Many non-Defenders will love this. Melee-Magthere Champion There's a lot to like here. Slow on OAs, focus fire disruption, and free action smack as a level 10. The utility 2 is a solid Leader effect which goes well with mass attackers - particularly as a stance. And the level 10 is in essence a Daily Attack power masquerading as a utility that can be triggered by Lurking Spider. Misshapen Dread Carapace is an awesome Daily Utility option assuming the DM doesn't decide to take 'up to' as potentially meaning 0. And the extra 1 square of forced movement for melee attacks is helpful, too. But the rest of Misshapen isn't especially all that great, particularly in the context of a grappling attack with a +2/4/6 attack that prevents Dread Carapace from working. Sentinel Marshal: Very strong encounter power, solid bonus to skills, level 10 ability is very situational. Kicks up to Sky Blue for Fighter hybrids who don't want to use Fighter powers, but rather the powers from the other class. Red for LFR as it is setting specific. Trapsmith: Attack doesn't advance fast enough. Still, the possibility of proning or dazing as a reaction is useful.
Chevalier: Nothing horrible wrong with it, Valiant Charge stacks with a Charge and bonuses to saves never hurt. Just doens't stand out. Also has some metagaming issues where not attacking a stunned foe or coup de grace are dishonorable. That won't stop a lot of players, but given the better choices, why pick Chevalier unless you want that fluff text? Sub-zero builds might be able to take advantage of the bonus to saves. Sentinel Marshal is nearly strictly better for many builds. Gladiator(DS) You're taking this because you specifically want to be a Gladiator Champion, an excellent Defender paragon path and Disrupting Advance is a good melee weapon power. No level 5/10 abilities is where it goes wrong as all Dark Sun themes do. LFR Janissary Relatively weak encounter power is the feature of the class - just do your standard charge package. Other stuff extremely situational. Primal Guardian(DS) A couple of decent power swaps and the melee weapon attack power is okay. Dark Sun = no 5/10 abiltiies. LFR Bregan D'Aerhte Close to worthless compared to any of the auto-CA themes. This is only Purple because some lockdown builds might be able to exploit Uncertain Loyalties. There's some value in the Utilities, but I wouldn't take it unless you're in love with the fluff.
Firecrafter Minor action shift, do damage with aura feature. Power bonus to attack after second winding. Weak Dark Blue. Infernal Prince +1 to hit with Fire Attacks is easy to exploit and so is the damage. Limited to Fire, though, and that's what really makes it Dark Blue vs. Sky Blue. Attack power works with any attack to damage one opponent and apply some light control. Red for LFR. Iron Wolf Warrior A combination of very solid features, melee weapon attack, and amazing no action encounter power swaps. Ironwrought Powerful attack power that works with any melee weapon attack, then get a +1 power bonus until EoNT. And resist when bloodied? Wow. Only downside, if it could be called that, is that it doesn't give any non-combat benefits. Mercenary Takedown Strike is very solid, working against adjacent enemies as is the bonus to defenses when bloodied. Outlaw Very good with Charge and Shift 1 builds, as the target often can't then attack you the next round due to being dazed. This is a weak Dark Blue. You likely want Son of Alagondar over this from a pure mechanical standpoint. Reaver Good solid Theme with potential for distributed damage with its melee weapon attack power. Well, except for the BoVD issue in many campaigns, particularly LFR Sarifal Feywarden(any fey race but Drow) Sarifal's Blessing is a very powerful feature for nova attacks and/or close bursts via aura. This gets very strong Sky Blue for such builds. Skulker of Vhaeraun Drow-only and you need to do some poison optimization, but if you can pierce poison resist, say via MC'ing into Assassin, taking the feat Venom Hand Master and picking up a Spiderkissed Weapon or Mordant Weapon, you can do some serious damage with a nova. Only issue is that you might need to end up with a thrown weapon, such as Cahulaks in order to go Spiderkissed and do Twin Strike. Still, +12 damage per shot in your Nova round can leave a mark. Sohei Sohei Flurry is a minor action melee weapon attack. Other options aren't bad and some of the swaps are very solid. Son of Alagondar Strong Dark Blue theme - very solid features for a stealthy type with a touch of Leader thrown in - almost a strict upgrade over Outlaw in many respects. Werebear/Werewolf/Wererat This is almost all about the interaction between the level 10 feature and Claw Gloves. A nearly free +1d10 damage for CA is stupid awesome. The level 2 utility that allows encounter long regeneration + a little extra isn't bad either. Wererat is Purple if you're a Melee Striker, only Sky Blue if you started out Small in the first place or someone who makes implement-based attacks or uses light off-hand weapons, such as some Ranger Hybrids or Monks. But Rat-Blooded gives a climb speed and that+defensive bonus is what I think makes it the best for those choices. The MBA is bad, because it is +3/6/9, but those are the numbers for when you attack an NAD, not AC. Not to mention, no magical benefits from weapon/implement choice. If you're medium-sized, speed is harder to come by, so that's why I would take Werewolf slightly over Werebear. Wilder(DS) The reason you're here is for the expanded crit range of implement-based Psychic Surge, Enhanced Psychic Surge the feat, or Resurgent Wilder and you intend to thoroughly optimize them. Otherwise, avoid - though that's not a choice in LFR
Cultist Attack power is reasonably effective and works with any attack, though doesn't scale very well. Better if you can ensure two attack rolls or something similar. BoVD, so Red for LFR Guttersnipe Solid theme with some unusual elements. Running Slash gives some Skirmisher qualities with a melee weapon. Samurai Iaijutsu good for avoiding box of doom. And if you're a high init build, 18-20 crits with melee weapon attacks on round 1 can be fantastic - think Avenger or Ranger here. Spellscarred Harbinger All about the Invisibilty per encounter... Stormraider Striker Could be useful for a character who wants to charge an opponent, has boots that allow one to shift back a square, and then charge again. Boosts initiative and potentially damage if you're a very high initiative melee type, and easier access to flanking. Nothing great in the utility section though the Utility 6 is potentially decent.
Animal Master Take Fey Beast Tamer Dead Rat Deserter(human, half-elf, or halfling) Might be useful in the right campaign that has a lot of exploration where being a rat lets you get away with a lot. Has a bite which is likely at a very poor to-hit roll given it is usually +4 in Paragon/+6 in Epic and targets AC of all things. Demon Spawn Essentially a kind of variable resistance and an upgrade to a melee attack that is best used by single target strikers. Unfriendly OA option could be useful in weird circumstances, but likely not. Explorer Could be useful in the right campaign, particularly ones that demand lots of Endurance checks for the group and timed travel. Pack Outcast With update, not worth it unless you have some oddball adjacent effects. Has a bite based on your primary weapon, but not explicitly defined as being in the same group as your melee weapon... Uthgardt Barbarian Thunder Stomp has some nice aspects if you want to bypass the soldier and go after the controller in the back where the soldier is too close and the controller farther than your charge speed away. Wasteland Nomad(DS) The weapon attack power is barely better than an at-will if you have CA. You could spend a feat to make it worth something, but why? Illegal for LFR.
Enabling allies with a bonus to hit, free attack, movement, or healing, on the owner of theme's turn
Enabling allies with a bonus to hit or save as an immediate or no action option.
Noble Adept(DS) For a Dark Sun theme, still has a lot of kick to it due to the free psionic power point and ability to add either 1 or 1d4+1 to any roll. Similar to Harper Agent in many ways.LFR Disgraced Noble(BoVD) Effective setting up for MBA specialist. Bonus to saves doesn't hurt either. LFR Halaster's Clone:The starting feature is flat out awful as it is basically fluff in most games. From levels 1-4 this is pure Red. Alter Time as the level 5 is really, really strong - it isn't Reorient the Axis, but it is reasonably close. If you're an initiative-based build(and with the level 10 feature, you ought to be), you have your group form up in a group, you go first and don't move anywhere - then they all move their speed. The U2 might have interesting applications, but the loss of a healing surge makes it extraordinarily expensive mechanically - not wanting to ever lose an action might compensate the player even if the PC loses out. Note that you lack specific Halaster information for LFR Iliyanbruen Guardian Very good mobility at the start of combats. Limited to Eladrin. Neverwinter Noble Good for taking the focus fire target of Team Monster and making them regret their choice. Solid level 5 feature and the level 10 is very campaign dependent. Noble Useful for starting up things. Level 5 feature is crazy good at 5th, but is almost worthless by Paragon.
Ordained Priest Nothing horrible. Attack power choices are solid, one implement, one melee weapon, nothing to write home about though either.
Callidyrr Dragoon(human or halfling) Just not very good at all unless you want to spend a feat on something it gives you. Dune Trader(DS) Has some similarities to Warlord with the power swaps and Quick Formation isn't a bad weapon attack power. You might like Sly Gambit enough to disrgard the lack of level 5/10 abilities. LFR Chaosmade Decent skills at 5th, but ranged non-implement encounter power is wacky, even with an eventual 2 uses per encounter. Ranged use = OAs, so unlikely that a melee character is really going to want this. Warp the World is a good utility 10. Elemental Priest(DS) Spirit of Athas is a very solid implement attack power against one enemy. Desperate enough for the Leader Paragon Path Rainbringer to give up your level 5/10 abilities? LFR Seer Purple here reflects just how situational Cast Fortune acts at the table. I've been at tables where no player wanted to have it cast on them, simply because they didn't like the metagamey feel. "A 1, huh, I jump 2 squares as part of my movement." If you can get your party to go along with you, much better, maybe even Dark Blue. Templar(DS) Decent implement attack power, some good power swaps(Fettering Glare, Imperious Gaze)LFR
Theme power has control or adds control to an existing power
Theme power makes it easier to land control or keep control working
Blackstaff Apprentice This is a strong Dark Blue, potentially a weak Sky Blue in the right party. Magic Missile as a power is useful for free and a minor action attack is strong. Extra cantrips are good. The level 10 Feature is also very good as you basically get Dispel Magic as an alternate encounter power to potentially use multiple times a combat. Wizard with spellbook only, so very restricted, though a Swordmage could spend a feat to get a spellbook and a feat to MC into Wizard and a feat to do a power swap. Useful for regular Wizards in particular. Note that some fluff aspects have been changed forLFR Ooze Adept Minor action control power, get to roll twice for a skill, and some decent acid resistance. Nothing spectacular, but solid. Order Adept Very strong Controller option - Argent Rain does some leveling, solid bonus to a defense, and access to Wizard utility powers. If only it worked properly in OCB, it might compete for Sky Blue given some of the very powerful Wizard Utilities out there. Primordial Adept A bit of a damage booster and solid implement attack powers. Sorcere Adept Was gold, now just Dark Blue. The level 9 Daily is quite nasty - until you have a Stun power, though, this is just Purple
Infernal Slave Hellfire touch seems not so great at first, but you can get resistance items that protect against fire/necrotic relatively easily. At which point, it is +damage and a relatively big slide. That 2nd part is where the value is. And it works with any attack. This could range from Blue to Sky Blue if you have powers that damage when entering a square or starting a turn in a particular square. Say Sorcerers with Flame Spiral. Still, be really careful with this theme - when the road ahead starts having road signs indicating TPK, this one pushes the gas pedal. BoVD, so Red for LFR. Moteborn Flame Zephyr is basically a Fire version of Freezing Burst that doesn't use an implement, so no bonus to damage. On the other hand, it is a damage boost that moves around reasonably quickly. This could easily be Purple in a campaign where the expectation is more than 3 combats a day. Vile Scholar Dark Speech is solid implement controller power. Level 5 option doesn't make a lot of sense, but assuming it is just +2 power bonus to knowledge checks, that's quite a good skill booster. BoVD, so Red for LFR. Wizard's Apprentice Implement-based Color Orb is black. The level 5 ability is crazy good at 5th, almost worthless at Paragon. Order Adept, due to its +1 to Will and +4 to Arcana instead of +3, is almost strictly superior to Wizard's Apprentice once you hit Paragon. Windlord Big slide via weapon attack power with lots of potential movement for you.
Athasian Minstrel(DS) Decent weapon attack power with some control, but that's all it really gets. Power swaps might not be bad for certain classes, such as Avengers. LFR Cormyrian Battle Mage Not horrible if you're not a Staff Wizard or Sorcerer. Still though, not a strong path - no base attack power, just a utility that competes with Staff Expertise. Renegade Red Wizard I think this is one of the themes that seems better than it actually is. You lose your 2nd school of magic, the 1st level ability is marginal - how often do Mages become Hidden, particularly at 1st level, and the 10th level ability is very situational and campaign dependent. No base attack power. Veiled Alliance(DS) Decent implement attack power, but as usual, nothing else due to being Dark Sun. LFR Watershaper Doesn't use implement for attack power, so this makes the attack power very lackluster Widow of Arach-Tinilith Ridiculous restrictions. And for what? This one isn't particularly good, just some poor quality stuff. There might be some way to take advantage of the immobilize/slow feature of the spiderling. Or put your familiar into active mode as far away as possible for the +1 to all defenses and hope it doesn't die in an area attack.
Bregan D'aerthe Very useful in Heroic for ranged attackers. Starts to lose value in Paragon where more things can fly and there's a larger expectation that PCs might be able to fly. Once the Brooms of Flying appear? Not so good. Drow-only Devil's Pawn Hellfire and Brimstone is a very strong minor action do a little damage debuff power, particularly for melee types that use close burst powers. Escaped Thrall:Would be almost strictly worse than Noble Adept. If you have access to Noble Adept, this drops to Purple Fey Beast Tamer Companion allows either CA or blocking, depending on how you want to use it. Even a damage boost, too. Very solid. Harper Agent +1d6 to a roll or reroll a failed save? Pretty good, but nothing pushing it to Sky Blue, particularly as it only happens once per encounter. Purple Dragon Decent stance. The alignment prereq is restrictive. Works really well if you don't use stances, but do use MBAs a lot. Particularly charge happy builds that want to bounce back one square after a charge without using up their feet slot. Sensate Has very strong toughness and skill features. Missing the encounter power is why it lacks a Sky Blue rating. Well except for Breathers for whom it is almost Gold, particularly if their party either lacks a good leader or you personally can't consistently expect a good Leader to show up, such as LFR.Good to look for options that involve taking small amounts of damage in exchange for a big payoff. Such as Ravenous Blessing. Sidhe Lord Sidhe Lord's rating is all about the Utility 2, having a crazy good Action Point capability(ex: Flame of Hope, Warchanter), and hopefully being able to use more than one action point in a combat. Have that and a willing party, and it is arguably Gold. Underdark Outcast:This seems to be a relatively easy to trigger strong encounter power. Move, minor, do your thing. Only trick is in a confined space or combat scenario. If you can consistently get space, it goes up to Sky Blue.
Cipher Interesting theme. In some ways, this is an ideal theme for someone who wants to lose(by just a touch) initative. On the other hand, the theme doesn't really give much past the level 1 and you don't get an encounter. Could be extremely interesting for the right Battlemind builds - move Cha+3, move speed again or move speed then pull Cha and mark before the 1st opponent has time to go. Elderboy Really nice level 1 feature, even if it isn't an attack - good for super-high damage striker builds who expect to get crushed. Shift Blame is awesome for Knights - interrupt to force the opponent to attack someone else, then OA them to push them away from their target. Beg Lolth's Favor is very good, also. Fate Dancer Cards are decent and having 2 is better. Nothing broken though and difficult at tables without Fate Cards Masked Lord: Free magic armor and a small item bonus to saves. Fluff option for the level 5, which might be valuable or not valuable at all depending on campaign. Not bad at all, but there are likely better options to pick from. Must have campaign documentation forLFR Scholar Nothing wrong here, lots of useful out of combat options. Need to be careful with the encounter attack power, though. Seeker of Illefarn(eladrin, elf, or half-elf) The reroll on a 1 is actually very solid(note post 17 where I break down how this really works), almost the benefit of a +1 to hit for all your attacks until it triggers for the encounter. +2 to all defenses for 1st round and no surprise? That's very good as well. The lack of an actual encounter power of any kind is what prevents it from being Dark Blue. Tuathan Bonus to death saves, ability to remove concealment/cover at the cost of 2nd Wind, and Heroic Recovery aren't horrible. It might even be better than that for a sub-zero build, but Chevalier/Hordelands Nomad are competitive there even for those builds. The thing that saves it from Purple death? The level 2 and to a lesser extent the level 10 utilities. I'd really only go here if you expect to use the utilities and/or are a sub-zero build. Xaositect The features aren't that good and the encounter is likely worthless unless you can apply save penalties. Probably ought to be Purple, but...that said, the level 6 and 10 utilties are fantastic. Yakuza Very strong, very situational theme. Needing to reliably bloody an enemy while having a strong intimidate while having your DM agree on what the definition of 'Surrender' means is where this theme goes south. Good for Cha-types who want to make OAs and have CA a lot.
Alchemist Alchemist doesn't really have enough alchemical item support to be better than Purple Black-Hearted Knave Bluff features are solid - a Bluff Specialist can take advantage of the features. Attack at least is a 2w. Not horrible. Brazen Ambassador Very DM dependent - if your DM never throws at-level creatures at you, well, because you're optimized, then the encounter power doesn't do anything. And it is usually difficult to tell the actual creature level in a combat unless it shifted tier. The level 5 capability is campaign specific. And the level 10 makes the encounter power more consistent. Blazing Reprisal, the utility 10, is decent, and so is Cinderspeech utility 2. Maybe worth a look if you can expect your DM to send at-level creatures who only use melee or ranged attacks or you're in a very heavy social game and have a good arcana score, but poor social skills. Deep Delver: We're here for the level 10 power or if you want to be the world's best at the skill of Dungeoneering. Haunted Blade We're here for the level 10 feature. Good if you want to dump Dex, have a good Cha, and you're not a Tiefling...before that a pile of Red Heir of Delzoun(dwarf) Okay features. Resist to poison, extra healing surge. Nothing special and more importantly, boring. Hordelands Nomad Might be useful for a Nature character who wants to make Arcana checks. Bonus to saves doesn't hurt, particularly for sub-zero builds. House Priestess Ridiculously overspecific prerequisites. The level 10 is very solid and Devious Strike is good for setting up a Nova. But needing to be a divine drow, let alone a female divine drow means even the Drizz't wannabes aren't taking this theme. If you're into playing female divine drows with strong fluff text that you might worship Lolth, it could be Dark Blue Mariner Very ship specific to the point of silliness. The level 5 feature isn't horrible. The level 6 is decent. A theme waiting for a re-write. Oghma's Faithful I think Scholar is almost strictly better than this choice from a pure playability standpoint. That said, not horrible out of combat. Oracle of the Evil Eye Mainly about the Darkvision for characters that already have Low-Light. Urge of Destiny is not horrible if you know you're going to be with a multi-attacker. Gaze of the Evil Eye might not be completely horrible for an aura-based Defender. Secret Apostate Nothing particularly interesting here. Some weird situational benefits are what make it not red. Scion of Shadow Mainly that you can potentially control your healing surge value - an extra +4 never hurts, particularly if you're a Shade. Blindsight as a Daily for 2 rounds isn't strictly useless either. Student of Evard Better than it seems. Take Shadow powers and make sure to have resist Necrotic for your upgrade an attack against an adjacent foe and it is decent. Still Purple though. Treasure Hunter:Really? Treasure Sense? Stick & Move is a good set up utility for a Charge+Charge attack, though. And Pay Attention is a very strong leader power if you don't have a Warlord in the party. Underdark Envoy: Insidious Commentary allows a little extra damage with a bad attack roll and no scaling. Practiced Herald is a relatively solid leader power if you have a party of 4-6, though. Unseelie Agent Useful at levels where you don't yet have a weapon of that level. Wild Hunt Rider Just what I wanted. No need to worry about Partial Concealment. As if that shows up a lot...
These are the themes that are so strong or useful, that you should consider them either because they're that good or because you have elements that might be easy to optimize. Every Half-Elf or Fey Warchanter 16+ should be looking at Sidhe Lord's utility 2 and drooling over it as an example. Every Fire Blaster Wizard who uses Fire should consider Infernal Prince. Etc...
Elemental Initiate Solid off-action melee weapon power is great for Strikers who expect to be attacked anyway. Guardian: Guardian's Counter is amazing, allowing a lot of flexibility. This can often do crazy damage as you swap in for the actual Defender, who then gets to trigger their mark and you get off a basic attack. Many melee characters will love this. Knight Hospitaler: Shield of Devotion can turn a dropped ally into a conscious one, scales, and provides a bonus to attack rolls. And it is an immediate action? And eventually, you can use this twice a combat? Awesome. Many non-Defenders will love this. Sentinel Marshal: Fighter hybrids who want to use the powers of their other class, this is the theme for you. Halaster's Clone:If you're a Striker concerned about killing your party, the Utility 2 ability to completely ignore Dominate as an interrupt is potentially really valuable. Ditto if you're the kind of player who absolutely hates doing nothing. That Utility is costing you a surge, so if you're the kind of Striker who regularly gets pounded on and has surge issues to begin with, it might not be a good idea. +4 to Initiative is also very good in any case. Infernal Prince +1 to hit with Fire Attacks is easy to exploit and so is the damage. Limited to Fire, though, and that's what really makes it Dark Blue vs. Sky Blue. Attack power works with any attack to damage one opponent and apply some light control. Iron Wolf Warrior A combination of very solid features, melee weapon attack, and amazing no action encounter power swaps. Good for any melee character. Ironwrought Powerful attack power that works with any melee weapon attack, then get a +1 power bonus until EoNT makes it easy for many Defenders and Leaders to land that extra-special attack. Sarifal Feywarden(any fey race but Drow) Sarifal's Blessing is a very powerful feature for nova attacks and/or close bursts via aura. Particularly when you get to Paragon or Epic, this can swamp more typical 'Vulnerability 5' options. Sohei Sohei Flurry is a minor action melee weapon attack. Other options aren't bad and some of the swaps are very solid. Any melee weapon user should consider this. Dead is the ultimate control. Wilder(DS) The reason you're here is for the expanded crit range of implement-based Psychic Surge, Enhanced Psychic Surge the feat, or Resurgent Wilder and you intend to thoroughly optimize them. Otherwise, avoid - though that's not a choice in LFR Noble Adept(DS) For a Dark Sun theme, still has a lot of kick to it due to the free psionic power point and ability to add either 1 or 1d4+1 to any roll. Similar to Harper Agent in many ways.LFR Iliyanbruen Guardian Very good mobility at the start of combats. Limited to Eladrin. Good for those wanting to bring someone along with them - the Striker who'd like his Defender nearby him as an example. Order Adept Very strong Controller option - Argent Rain does some leveling, solid bonus to a defense, and access to Wizard utility powers. If only it worked properly in OCB, it might compete for Sky Blue given some of the very powerful Wizard Utilities out there. Shield, Illusory Wall, etc...are crazy good utility powers for all kinds of characters. Bregan D'aerthe Very useful in Heroic for ranged attackers. Starts to lose value in Paragon where more things can fly and there's a larger expectation that PCs might be able to fly. Once the Brooms of Flying appear? Not so good. Drow-only. Devil's Pawn Hellfire and Brimstone is a very strong minor action do a little damage auto-debuff power, particularly for melee types that use close burst powers. Fey Beast Tamer Companion allows either CA or blocking, depending on how you want to use it. Even a damage boost, too. Very solid. Purple Dragon Decent stance. The alignment prereq is restrictive. Works really well if you don't use stances, but do use MBAs a lot, which is many of the Essential classes or classes exploiting a particular at-will which can be counted as an MBA: Righteous Brand with Power of Skill, Eldritch Strike, etc... Sidhe Lord Sidhe Lord's rating is all about the Utility 2, having a crazy good Action Point capability(ex: Flame of Hope, Warchanter), and hopefully being able to use more than one action point in a combat. Have that and a willing party, and it is arguably Gold. Underdark Outcast If you think you can get space away from your allies, particularly anyone who likes multi-attacking and/or drawing attention to themselves, the encounter power is awesome, kicking this up to Sky Blue
The Purple Dragon theme from the recent Dragon issue is a pretty solid blue for strikers. +1 power bonus on MBAs as a stance is a great boost for certain classes who don't normally spend time in a stance (Hexblades, Eldritch Strike warlocks, Swordmages early on, etc.). It offers some versatility in choosing the benefit you get from the stance.
Yakuza needs some love. That theme is exceedingly nasty when used as part of an attack debuffing engine.
Renegade Red Wizard is rated too low. It's a source of (save ends) penalties, which can be absolutely godlike. Between it, Spell Focus and a Phrenic Crown, you can force Solos to save like they're Standards, for instance.
Seeker of Illefarn needs red. It has a feature that only kicks in once per twenty attack rolls. Way, way too situational, especially given the existence of the Ironwrought and Noble Adept.
Neverwinter Noble is much weaker than Disgraced Noble, by a mile. What Disgraced Noble gives you is enabling, which some Leaders desperately need. Neverwinter Noble can't provide that, or indeed, anything unique. Son of Alagondar is a better Leader theme if you ask me.
Outlaw is rated too high. Compare it to its company and it doesn't stand up.
Seer is getting grossly underrated. In practice, foreknowledge of your rolls is probably stronger than even Sohei. It just needs to be used smartly.
Those are about the only things I can see that are off about the guide at first glance. Here's to hoping it'll end up as good as it promises to be!
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).