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    confused D&D 4e - Fighter vs Paladin

    Hi,

    I was comparing a Fighter to a Paladin in de PHB of Fourth Edition, and I couldn't help but conclude that a Paladin is much stronger. They're both Defenders, which makes them good to compare, so that's not that hard.

    Not only do Paladins have a stronger mark ability (Divine Challenge opposed to the Fighters' Combat Challenge), but they also have more armor proficiency, more healing surges per day, more favourable bonuses to defences and either Divine Mettle or Divine Strength, which easily compares to the Fighters' Combat Superiority and Fighter Weapon Talent features combined. So am I missing something here? Paladin powers also don't seem to be any weaker than Figher powers, so are they just stronger?

    Thanks in advance!
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    Default Re: D&D 4e - Fighter vs Paladin

    The Paladin's mark is actually not stronger than Combat Challenge; even adjusted for the necessity of a to-hit roll and immediate action, the damage Divine Challenge does is merely comparable if the Paladin is Cha-based, and far less if the Paladin is Str-based.

    Fighter Weapon Talent is also probably significantly stronger than you think it is. +1 to attack rolls is a fairly significant boost, and having it all the time, as opposed to limited chances, makes it much better.

    Combat Superiority is huge; being able to stop enemy movement is actually pretty incredible, and the +Wis to hit on opportunity attacks is a significant-to-major boost, depending on your Wis stat. Defenders are supposed to encourage enemies to not attack the Defender's allies; the marking mechanic does this for both, but Superiority actually prevents melee enemies from attacking distant allies outright, something the Paladin cannot match.

    The higher surge number isn't all that significant; it's mostly just to help power Lay on Hands to give the Paladin its Leader secondary role. The better armor proficiencies also isn't terribly great in the long run.



    Generally-speaking, due to the horrible damage a Str-based Paladin's Divine Challenge deals, the weaker damage a Cha-based Paladin's powers generally do, and the fact that there aren't really any options for different Paladin builds, the class is often thought to be the weakest in the PHB. Divine Power fixes this a great deal, but the general consensus is that you're more-or-less exactly wrong; Fighters outpower Paladins. This is at least partially due to Fighters being pure Defenders and Paladins attempting, and failing, to be hybrid Defender/Leaders.

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    Default Re: D&D 4e - Fighter vs Paladin

    With so much more support for fighters now (Martial Powers 1+2, Countless Dragon articles, Dark Sun Arena Fighter, etc.), it's hard for me to even remember what they are like in just the PHB. Still, the paladin is not always the superior defender, and both have a place as a main party defender.

    You've already talked about the strengths of paladins, so here are some fighter advantages:

    -Combat Challenge, unlike Divine Challenge, is triggered by an adjacent marked creature shifting. Fighters gain tremendous control if your DM reluctant to trigger combat challenge.
    -They mark anything they attack, including multiple targets per turn via multi-target attacks, action point attacks, and opportunity attacks.
    -The can mark as part of a standard action, which helps against the daze condition, which happens quite a bit.


    Each defender has the ability to be potent and effective. 4e classes tend to be pretty balanced, and fighters and paladins who are built to do so can be fantastic defender. So can wardens, swordmages, and, since the fix to blurred step, battleminds.
    Last edited by Jaidu; 2010-09-12 at 01:41 PM.

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    Default Re: D&D 4e - Fighter vs Paladin

    Quote Originally Posted by Grim_Wicked View Post
    I was comparing a Fighter to a Paladin in de PHB of Fourth Edition, and I couldn't help but conclude that a Paladin is much stronger.
    Your conclusion is incorrect.

    (1) Paladin mark requires a minor action to activate, Fighter mark does not. Among others, this means that a dazed fighter can still mark.
    (2) Unless you use the Divine Power book, the Paladin mark tends to do little enough damage that enemies can simply ignore it.
    (3) Fighters have the excellent ability to stop enemies from moving on an OA; there are few things as "sticky" as this.
    (4) The best fighter powers do tend to be better than paladin powers, e.g. Rain of Steel, and Come And Get It. The result is that fighters do nearly as much damage as most strikers.
    (5) Paladins are split between weapon powers and implement powers, as well as strength powers and charisma powers. Note that a paladin focusing on Str has a weak mark, whereas focusing on Cha gives him a weak basic attack.
    (6) A to-hit bonus is better than a damage bonus, and a permanent bonus is better than a once-per-encounter bonus; thus Fighter Weapon Talent is much better than Divine Strength.
    (7) Fighters are more versatile, in that (depending on their build) they can use bows, or a reach weapon, or dual-wield.
    (8) Getting +1 to armor class from wielding full plate is nice but ultimately not that big a deal.
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    Default Re: D&D 4e - Fighter vs Paladin

    Quote Originally Posted by Jaidu View Post
    -They mark anything they attack, including multiple targets per turn via multi-target attacks, action point attacks, and opportunity attacks.
    What? Is that true? A fighter does really mark everything that he clobbers when doing an opportunity attack?
    Whoa...

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    Default Re: D&D 4e - Fighter vs Paladin

    Quote Originally Posted by DeltaEmil View Post
    What? Is that true? A fighter does really mark everything that he clobbers when doing an opportunity attack?
    Whoa...
    Yes.

    I've had the following happen to me: a monster wins initiative and moves to the party wizard to whack him. But to do so, he had to walk past me, so I get an OA. I hit, so he stops moving now and can no longer reach the wizard. Then he decides to attack the rogue instead - which triggers my combat challenge, giving another attack. That's two solid hits on the monster and I hadn't even had my turn yet.
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    Default Re: D&D 4e - Fighter vs Paladin

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    Yes.

    I've had the following happen to me: a monster wins initiative and moves to the party wizard to whack him. But to do so, he had to walk past me, so I get an OA. I hit, so he stops moving now and can no longer reach the wizard. Then he decides to attack the rogue instead - which triggers my combat challenge, giving another attack. That's two solid hits on the monster and I hadn't even had my turn yet.
    I don't think that example works. You can only take one opportunity action per opponent's turn, so you'd only get the first AoO by RAW (p. 290 PHB). Unless that's been errata'd.
    Last edited by ghost_warlock; 2010-09-12 at 03:10 PM.

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    Default Re: D&D 4e - Fighter vs Paladin

    While I mostly have come to agree with Kurald's assessment of the PHB Paladin/Fighter dichotomy, there are some things that I have to put up:

    1.) In later levels, I've noticed a lot more "Like hell you will!" powers available to the Paladin than to the Fighter. Whereas the Fighter can put out damage and spread his marks around, the Paladin can heal and buff his allies or step in and block a shot better. If damage isn't your concern, a well-built Paladin (even in the PHB) does look a bit better than the Fighter.
    2.) Even though the Fighter can mark multiple opponents, he can still only use his Immediate Reaction attack once per round. This includes the anti-shift attack, which doesn't stop the shift, unlike his hyper-OA.
    3.) Against teleporting enemies (or enemies that otherwise manage high mobility), the Fighter lacks stickiness as much as the Paladin does. The latter makes up for his lack of stickiness by hitting the mark anyway, the former just grumbles.
    4.) One of the nastiest PHB Defender Paragon Path powers is for the Paladin. Yes, a Fighter or Paladin will need to stick around the target for the rest of the fight, but they essentially shut down the target for as long as they do so, every encounter. It's also inherently highly accurate.

    tl;dr: The PHB Paladin has some areas that he does better than the PHB Fighter, but it's more defensive and generally doesn't come much into play until Paragon or later.
    Quote Originally Posted by ghost_warlock View Post
    I don't think that example works. You can only take one opportunity action per opponent's turn, so you'd only get the first AoO by RAW (p. 290 PHB). Unless that's been errata'd.
    Combat Challenge's retribution attack is an Immediate action rather than an OA. This means you can use it only once per round, but you can use it in the same turn as an OA.
    Last edited by Mando Knight; 2010-09-12 at 03:16 PM.

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    Default Re: D&D 4e - Fighter vs Paladin

    Quote Originally Posted by ghost_warlock View Post
    I don't think that example works. You can only take one opportunity action per opponent's turn, so you'd only get the first AoO by RAW (p. 290 PHB). Unless that's been errata'd.
    Only the first attack, the one that stops the movement is an Opportunity Attack. The other was a Combat Challenge attack - which is very different. It's an immediate interrupt, but they are different in that the combat challenge attack is not an opportunity attack.
    Last edited by tcrudisi; 2010-09-12 at 03:21 PM.
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    Default Re: D&D 4e - Fighter vs Paladin

    Fighter is probably the best class overall.

    But since Divine Power came out, the Paladin is a competent defender as well.

    Plus, True Nemesis is an amazingly money Daily.

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    Default Re: D&D 4e - Fighter vs Paladin

    Quote Originally Posted by tcrudisi View Post
    Only the first attack, the one that stops the movement is an Opportunity Attack.
    Wait a minute! Opportunity attack does not stop movement (unless the OA bring the target to 0 hp or somehow immobilizes the foe etc).

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    Default Re: D&D 4e - Fighter vs Paladin

    Quote Originally Posted by RebelRogue View Post
    Wait a minute! Opportunity attack does not stop movement (unless the OA bring the target to 0 hp or somehow immobilizes the foe etc).
    They do if a Fighter with Combat Superiority makes them. That's one of his class features.
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    Default Re: D&D 4e - Fighter vs Paladin

    Quote Originally Posted by Urpriest View Post
    They do if a Fighter with Combat Superiority makes them. That's one of his class features.
    Wow, I've never noticed before

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    Default Re: D&D 4e - Fighter vs Paladin

    A PHB-only Paladin is not a very strong defender by any measure I can see. While he has the advantage in he doesn't need immediate actions to enforce his mark punishment, he lacks things like multi-marking and must choose between a strong basic attack and a strong challenge (as has been said earlier).

    With Divine Power, however, the paladin becomes a much stronger defender, though I think the Fighter still has the edge, at least partially because of the pure versatility of the Fighter (there is a rather large amount of viable fighter builds in 4E).

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    Default Re: D&D 4e - Fighter vs Paladin

    Quote Originally Posted by NecroRebel View Post
    This is at least partially due to Fighters being pure Defenders and Paladins attempting, and failing, to be hybrid Defender/Leaders.
    Fighters are very, very far from being "pure defenders". In fact, they're about as far as it gets. Fighters are secondary Strikers with so much firepower that they can keep up with many primary Strikers in the DPR department.

    If you want a "pure defender", the Shielding Swordmage is probably the closest you're going to get.
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    Default Re: D&D 4e - Fighter vs Paladin

    Another reason why Fighters are stronger is because of support. They have teh second most number of Class Acts articles, the first being wizards. They have two martial powers to back them up. In fact some of the stickiest fighter options are in Dragon, eg pinning challenge, the son of mercy PP.

    I am currently playing a Polearm Fighter. My average damage is 11 at level 13 but I can set up a 5x5 square zone of immobilize and prone and ongoing damage. That's an addenda to people who sqay that figheters are sub strikers. They can also be subcontroller.

    Final note: for all defenders, feyslaughter weapon.
    Last edited by cupkeyk; 2010-09-12 at 11:11 PM.
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    Default Re: D&D 4e - Fighter vs Paladin

    Quote Originally Posted by cupkeyk View Post
    I am currently playing a Polearm Fighter. My average damage is at level 13 but I can set up a 5x5 square zone of immobilize and prone and ongoing damage
    How did you get that, by the by? Also, you left it blank what your average damage was at level 13.
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    Default Re: D&D 4e - Fighter vs Paladin

    Quote Originally Posted by Coidzor View Post
    How did you get that, by the by? Also, you left it blank what your average damage was at level 13.
    its eleven. I neglected to add the damage because I only realized my numlock was off when i was typing the level.

    The build relies on Polearm Momentum, a longspear, swift spear/forceful opportunist, the polearm master paragon path and pinning challenge. You begin the round with Come and get it, marking all opponents. Then you turn on rain of steel. On the opponents turns if they attack you and hit, use strikeback hand slot item encounter power to pin opponent. If they attack you and miss, use the counterstrike guards encounter power. since they are marked and attacked with a basic attack they are pinned by pinning challenge. If they shift they get attacked, if they exclude you from an attack they get attacked, and thereby pinned. Its very cyclical. At level 25 you can use a stance to rain basic attacks on opponents at the start of everyround. If they provoke OA, move them around so that they fall prone adjacent to you, and pinned as well.

    It was very effective, but very boring. Lurkers and skirmishers usually can't fight back effectively. I get pounded a lot, so i opted for longtooth shifting so I can heal up to half my hitpoints for free after each encounter for surge conservation, but I still end up asking teh party to donate surges to me via comrade's succor. Party mates often finish encounters unscathed.
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    Default Re: D&D 4e - Fighter vs Paladin

    Wow, I am completely misreading the fighter class features. =\
    I can hit people if they shift away from me? Does it stop them from moving? I need to reread this stuff better.

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    Default Re: D&D 4e - Fighter vs Paladin

    Quote Originally Posted by HMS Invincible View Post
    Wow, I am completely misreading the fighter class features. =\
    I can hit people if they shift away from me? Does it stop them from moving? I need to reread this stuff better.
    You can hit people shifting away from you only if they are marked. It doesn't stop the movement at heroic level but at paragon, you are expected to either have pinning challenge, which will render them immobilized and thus stop the movement, or have some other trick like heavy blade opportunist and use a power that can stop them like footwork lure with a glaive and knock them prone.
    Last edited by cupkeyk; 2010-09-13 at 02:34 AM.
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    Default Re: D&D 4e - Fighter vs Paladin

    Thanks for all the explanations. I indeed seem to have misread the Combat Challenge ability; the ability to give a good whack if someone shifts within reach is obviously very strong. It now compares a little to Divine Challenge in my opinion, but I see Divine Challenge still as the stronger one. You regularly have to high stats (say, 15-18), so putting one in Cha and the other in Str, you can have both good melee damage and strong implement powers.
    I think Divine Challenge is more generally usable than Combat Challenge, because you need to respond to what your foes are doing with Combat Challenge. With Divine Challenge, not so much. If you fight foes that don't want to attack your spellcasters for some reason, then the Fighter's abilities are a good deal less useful than the Paladin's.

    But I see now how the Fighter compares to the Paladin, and where the strengths of Fighters are. Thanks a lot! :D
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    Default Re: D&D 4e - Fighter vs Paladin

    Quote Originally Posted by Grim_Wicked View Post
    Thanks for all the explanations. I indeed seem to have misread the Combat Challenge ability; the ability to give a good whack if someone shifts within reach is obviously very strong.
    Not within reach. They have to be adjacent.

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    Default Re: D&D 4e - Fighter vs Paladin

    Quote Originally Posted by RebelRogue View Post
    Not within reach. They have to be adjacent.
    Unless you are a level 16 polearm master then it is within reach.
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    Default Re: D&D 4e - Fighter vs Paladin

    We have both a fighter and a paladin in our campaign currently at level 8.

    The fighter has much more control of enemy movement and does more damage. But there are certain monsters that will get past him anyway, teleports, ranged and area attacks.

    A paladins powers can protect with general defensive bonuses, healing and damage reduction. His powers will always help.

    I like both. The fighter is a bit more offense, the paladin is really useful if you DM likes to aggressively target specific PCs in an encounter.


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