A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    PirateCaptain

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    Default A Higher Level Hybrid Swordmage

    So, it's been found by my group that Swordmage has one of the strongest Hybrids in the game, but I was wondering if it keeps that oomph when you get up into Paragon Tier.

    Take Double Aegis. Do both of my Aegis targets have to get dropped before I can re-mark? Or does just one have to bite the dust before I can use the power again?

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    Troll in the Playground
     
    Yakk's Avatar

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    Default Re: A Higher Level Hybrid Swordmage

    Technically, just one needs to drop. Or even if one of them is overwritten by someone else's mark.

    Note that the inability to move marks around is not a serious limitation. It is really easy to run short of minor actions as a hybrid.

    I rarely hybrid for the purpose of oomph: I hybrid to generate a more complicated character, and to justify the use of cheese to myself. :) (A more complicated character with a more complicated build is fun to me)

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: A Higher Level Hybrid Swordmage

    Yeah, that's what I'm aiming for with this guy. He's built to be an ideal fifth-wheel.

    Warforged Artificer/Swordmage. Subs in for both Leader and Defender, the two "necessary roles". Damage prevention is also a blast for me.

    That, and I'm playing an Archer Ranger atm. Some more complication is just what I need, and I believe in playing drastically different roles.

    Oh, and thanks for the info, Yakk. Your posts are always really helpful dude, I appreciate that a lot.

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    Default Re: A Higher Level Hybrid Swordmage

    If you go ensnaring or assault, you can do away with needing a 'secondary stat' as a swordmage. This opens up some good hybrid options.

    To get your AC up to defender level, you need:
    1> To use a 1-handed sword
    2> Pick up Hybrid Talent (Warding)
    3> Pick up Greater Swordmage Warding at paragon (+1 feat bonus to all defences) (req. 13 str/con)
    4> Optionally, pick up Improved Swordmage Warding (+1 untyped AC boost) (req. 13 dex), or hide armor proficiency (req. 13 str/con)

    I have in the past skipped #4 -- feats are too precious to sacrifice on 1 point of AC on a secondary defender (I usually have better things to buy!).

    If you go "no secondary stat", if you can get wis/cha up you can pick up "Superior Will" -- the extra save against daze/stun at start of turn is rather nice.

    Assault swordmages who dump strength need to either pick up intelligent blademaster feat (the better version of melee training), or find a way to turn some other power into a basic melee attack (I don't think there is a way with artificer).

    Your MC should be picked carefully. The "optimal" purpose of MC is split between three things:
    1> Access to that classes feats.
    2> Access to that classes paragon paths (and epic destinies to a lesser extent)
    3> MC feats themselves are sometimes significantly above-par, especially if you value skill training.

    Ie, if you have 13 wisdom and strength, MC fighter gets you a once/encounter free basic melee attack if someone neglects you (shifts while adjacent, or makes an attack that doesn't include you).

    There are a number of other things you can do with MC fighter, such as Glaive/Polearm Momentum/Thunder keyword power/Mark of Thunder/Rushing Cleats letting you push/slide 2 and knock prone on a hit. Get that push up even further and things go nuts. A popular technique is resounding thunder arcane admixture sword burst, creating a burst 2 "1d6+blah" attack that slides targets 2 squares and knocks folks prone (target enemies).

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    PirateCaptain

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    Default Re: A Higher Level Hybrid Swordmage

    That'd be a really cool alternate build for this guy...

    Thanks man, I'll keep it in mind. Right now I'm gonna have a secondary: Con. But, the campaign starts in summer, so I'm still in the toying phase.

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    Default Re: A Higher Level Hybrid Swordmage

    Sure, that also works. If you do so, I'd go shielding swordmage then.

    Con is needed for various thunder feats.

    At level 11, you have 7 feats (8 if human).

    Expertise of some kind is needed. Note that essentials expertise feats don't work with swordmages very well (as you need one for the weapon, one for the implement, and no implement expertise (heavy blade) exists.)

    Light blade is a definite option. You don't use your [W] that much, so going Rapier instead of Longsword gives you access to light blade feats.

    For optimization purposes, you typically over-optimize a single at-will, then save encounter powers for situational and/or boosts.

    So here is a set of 8 feats that does interesting things by paragon:
    Expertise (weapon of choice)
    Arcane Admixture (thunder) on Sword Burst
    Resounding Thunder (thunder powers gain 1 radius 13 con)
    Battle Awareness (fighter MC, encounter interrupt power 13 str 13 wis)
    Polearm Momentum (fighter, 15 dex 15 wis, push prone if you do 2 squares of forced movement)
    Mark of Storm (slide 1 when you hit with thunder power)
    Hybrid Talent (Swordmage Warding)
    Greater Swordmage Warding (13 str 13 con, +1 feat bonus to all defences)

    A human can pull the above off by level 11 I believe. Starting stats needed if you bump nothing:
    Str 12
    Con 12
    Dex 14
    Wis 14

    A naive array that gets this (with 11 being con)
    16;14;14;12;11;8
    But we can be more efficient by spending our stat-ups on a 14:
    16(+2);14;13;13;12;8

    Level 1:
    12 Str
    13 Con
    13 Dex
    18 Int
    14 Wis
    8 Cha

    Level 4: +1 Int, +1 Con
    Level 8: +1 Int, +1 Dex
    Level 11: +1 all

    Level 11 stats:
    13 Str
    15 Con
    15 Dex
    21 Int
    15 Wis
    9 Cha

    Equipment:
    Glaive (Polearm, Heavy blade) of whatever kind (I like challenge-seeking)
    Rushing Cleats (increase your slides by 1 square)
    Armor and Neck to taste.

    ... and sadly, it still doesn't work. You run out of retrains to do everything you want at level 11 (that is the first level you can MC fighter, and you want Greater Swordmage Warding, MC Fighter, Polearm Momentum, Arcane Admixture and Resounding Thunder all at that level).

    So level 10:
    Expertise (weapon of choice)
    Hybrid Talent (Swordmage Warding)
    Hafted Defence (+1 AC/Reflex with Glaive)
    Mark of Storm (slide 1 when you hit with thunder power)
    Improved Swordmage Warding (+1 AC in Leather)
    2 other feats of choice.

    Level 11:
    Arcane Admixture (thunder) on Sword Burst
    Retrain (other feat) to Resounding Thunder (thunder powers gain 1 radius 13 con)

    Your swordburst is now burst 2, and slides the target 2 squares.

    Level 12:
    Battle Awareness (fighter MC, encounter interrupt power 13 str 13 wis)
    Retrain (other feat) to Polearm Momentum (fighter, 15 dex 15 wis, push prone if you do 2 squares of forced movement)

    You now knock prone on a hit with your burst-2 swordburst.

    Level 13:
    Retrain (Improved Swordmage Warding) to (Greater Swordmage Warding)

    Level 14:
    ???
    Last edited by Yakk; 2011-03-24 at 01:39 PM.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: A Higher Level Hybrid Swordmage

    I...I love this.

    I love this so much. Here's the ONLY issue I'm hung up on right now though.

    I helped our Warlord build his character. Insightful PoleLord, and I'm a big fan of "Pick an at-will and make it beefy" strategy as well. We went with Opening Shove. Slide two, knock prone and grant MBA, seemed like a good deal.

    Anyway, I don't want to steal his thunder, but this just might work better than my Psychic Lock idea if he switches characters... Either way, you just put together two of my favorite builds. I like this a lot, Yakk!

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