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PhoenixInferno

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Swordmage Handbook
« on: September 18, 2008, 06:59:31 AM »
INTRO

Ratings Scheme: I choose to use a modification to the rating system developed by Blade2718 in his 3.5 Druid's Handbook - Green means "go" and Red means "stop".  Italic + Underline means grand theft optimization and avoid this "tarp".

CLASS FEATURES
Swordbond - Eh...rebuild your weapon if its destroyed (are there Sunder effects in 4E?) and retrieve your weapon for a distance.  I guess its nice if your DM likes to screw you over all the time.  I'd rate this a trap, except that you get it for free.

Swordmage Warding - gain +1 AC, or +3 when you have one hand free.  Nice.

Swordmage Aegis - the decision point for the Swordmage.  Since this is already publicly available, I will reprint them here:

Aegis of Assault Swordmage Feature
[spoiler]You create an arcane link between you and a foe, allowing you to instantly respond to its attacks with a counter assault.
At-Will ? Arcane, Teleportation
Minor Action Close burst 2
Target: One creature in burst
Effect: You mark the target. The target remains marked until you use this power against another target. If you mark other creatures using other powers, the target isstill marked. A creature can be subject to only one mark at a time. A new mark supersedes a mark that was already in place.

If your marked target makes an attack that doesn’t include you as a target, it takes a –2 penalty to attack rolls. If that attack hits and the marked target is within 10 squares of you, you can use an immediate reaction to teleport to a square adjacent to the target and make a melee basic attack against it. If no unoccupied space exists adjacent to the target, you can’t use this immediate reaction.[/spoiler]

Aegis of Shielding Swordmage Feature[spoiler]
You create an arcane link between you and an enemy, allowing you to blunt its attacks against your allies.
At-Will ? Arcane
Minor Action Close burst 2
Target: One creature in burst
Effect:You mark the target. The target remains marked until you use this power against another target. If you mark other creatures using other powers, the target is still marked. A creature can be subject to only one mark at a time. A new mark supersedes a mark that was already in place.

If your marked target makes an attack that doesn’t include you as a  target, it takes a –2 penalty to attack rolls. If that attack hits and the marked target is within 10 squares of you, you can use an immediate interrupt to reduce the damage dealt by that attack to any one creature by an amount equal to 5 + your Constitution modifier.

At 11th level, reduce the damage dealt by 10 + your Constitution modifier. At 21st level, reduce the damage dealt by 15 + your Constitution modifier[/spoiler]

Aegis of Ensnarement Swordmage Feature
Teleport the offender into a space adjacent to you and punish them with status effects.

They have their merits - Aegis of Assault gives you some Striker capability, but Aegis of Shielding makes you a bit more of a Defender, and Aegis of Ensnarement is has elements of Control.  The choice is somewhat play-style dependent, although it does restrict your choice of Paragon Path somewhat.
« Last Edit: August 29, 2009, 07:45:17 AM by PhoenixInferno »

PhoenixInferno

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Re: Swordmage Handbook
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2008, 06:59:46 AM »
RACES

Deva (PHB II) - INT and WIS bonus are good for your main attack and a nice boost to your typically weak Will defense.  Racial power is awesome, and a boosted WIS makes Wandering Swordmage pretty viable.  Immortal Warding (Arcane Power) lets them keep their warding up while unconscious, so even if you drop, you can stay protected.

Dragonborn - an extra area effect attack, and some attack bonuses.  No INT boost, but a STR boost for Assault Swordmages.

Drow (FRPG) - no boost to primary or secondary statistics, but you COULD do worse.

Dwarf - minor action Second Wind is nice, and a CON boost for Shielding Swordmages.

Eladrin - +2 DEX and +2 INT are nice benefits, and the feat Intelligent Swordmage makes the lost STR boost seem negligable.  Eladrin Soldier boosts your damage, and the Moon Elf/Sun Elf feats are sort of cool too.  Eladrin Swordmage Advance (Arcane Power) gives you a free Melee Basic Attack when you use your Fey Step power - sweet!

Elf - no stat boosts to any primary or secondary stat, but Elven Accuracy, Elven Precision and Wild Elf Luck are just so frickin' awesome.

Genasi (FRPG) - also introduced in the Forgotten Realms Player's Guide, this race gives +2 STR, +2 INT - perfect stat boosts for a Swordmage, and Assault Swordmages in particular.  Elemental Assault (FRPG) gives you an untyped damage bonus when you make an Assault attack.

Githyanki (MM) - +2 CON, +2 INT - a good pairing for a Shielding Swordmage.  Telekinetic Leap is a useful mobility power, although its a Ranged power, so be careful.

Gnome (PHB II) - INT and CHA boost, and solid racial power.

Goliath (PHB II) - Temporary Resist 5/10/15 all as a racial power and STR and CON boosts, make Goliaths a rock-solid (get it? :)) choice

Half-Elf - a CON boost, and you can grab another class' at-will as an encounter power.  Pretty cool.

Half-Orc - The racial power saves Half-Orcs from being a trap.  Swordmages are weak in the damage department, and getting a once/encounter boost is pretty useful.

Halfling - no boost to primary or secondary statistics, but you COULD do worse.

Humans - +2 to any stat, an extra at-will and an extra feat - can't go too wrong with Humans.  Risky Aegis (Arcane Power) entices your marks to attack you by giving them Combat Advantage against you, but you gain attack/damage bonuses too.

Shifter - Longtooth isn't a terrible choice for the regeneration, but Razorclaw is not very useful to you at all.

Tiefling - +2 INT is nice, but that +2 CHA doesn't really help you.  Infernal Rebuke and Hellfire Blood add attack bonus attack and damage to Fire attacks.

FEATS
HEROIC TIER[spoiler]
Astral Fire - wants you to invest in DEX and CHA, and CHA is a big, fat dump stat for you.

Burning Blizzard - you have a good number of Cold powers, but not that many Acid powers.  Still could be useful to up your damage.

Closing Advantage (Arcane Power) - +'s to attack bonus is always useful.

Combat Casting (Arcane Power) - an old friend makes its way back to us.  If you like the Ranged/Area options a Swordmage has, you should take this so you don't eat OAs.

Escalating Assault (FRPG) - only gives you the attack bonus with the basic melee attack that Aegis of Assault grants - doesn't say anything about what happens when you use a power to replace the Assault attack (I'll change the rating if I find out you can use the bonus with those replacement powers)

Eladrin Swordmage Advance - Eladrin get lots of goodies in general, and this lets them make a free attack.  It is unclear whether it allows you to attack everyone you wind up adjacent to, or only one - talk to your DM to see if Eladrin Swordmage Advance is right for you.

Elemental Blade Attunement[/u][/i] - Genasi are advised to not take this feat - its a feat bonus, so you might as well just take Weapon Focus.

Focused Expertise - +1 to ALL attacks with any single weapon, whether you use it as a Weapon or an Implement.

Grasping Ensnarement - Slows an enemy you use your Aegis on.

Implement Expertise (Light Blades or Heavy Blades) - +1 attack rolls!  Should be obvious why that is good. Admiral Ackbar save you, should you take this feat, now that we have Focused Expertise.

Immortal Warding - Devas can keep their Warding up while unconscious, unlike the rest of us mere mortals.  I'd underline it, but not everyone wants to play a Deva.

Improved Swordbond - Improved Swordbond lets you retrieve your sword of choice from 20 squares away.  Whoop-de-freaking-do.

Improved Swordmage Warding - Required for Devas, but still pretty useful for everyone else, but if you drop, you lose even more of your AC.

Intelligent Swordmage (FRPG) - use INT instead of STR for your basic melee attacks.  Just take it.

Raging Storm - like Burning Blizzard

Retributive Shield (FRPG) - The bonus from Retributive Shield only lasts until the end of your next turn, but you can apply it to any power.

Student of Sword Magic (FRPG) - Gain a Spellbook - be like a Wizard!

Toughness - almost always a good pick

Weapon Expertise (Light Blades or Heavy Blades) - +1 attack rolls!  Should be pretty obvious why that is good. Admiral Ackbar save you, should you take this feat, now that we have Focused Expertise.

Weapon Focus - increase your damage with all attacks when you use a weapon from a weapon group, including when you use your weapon as an Implement power![/spoiler]

PARAGON TIER[spoiler]
Arcane Reach - you have a Close burst at-will, and lots of other Close bursts - put them to work!

Distant Swordbond (FRPG) - like Improved Swordbond, but from 1 mile away - not the best way to blow a feat, but at least its a whole freaking mile.  If for some godforsaken reason you took Improved Swordbond, ditch it ASAP when you hit Paragon tier so you can take Distant Swordbond - its not a prerequisite.

Double Aegis (FRPG) - mark 2 enemies!

Great Fortitude - Swordmages depend on STR or CON, so it is unlikely your Fortitude defense needs significant improvement, but improving your defenses is never a terrible idea.

Heavy Blade Opportunity - Intelligent Blademater sort of makes this unecessary, but still - your at-wills are far more interesting than your basic melee attack.  You probably have the required DEX already because you're going to take Arcane Reach - RIGHT?

Iron Will - your probably kept your WIS and CHA low, even Wandering Swordmages.  Boosting your Will defense should be a fairly high priority.

Lightning Reflexes - Swordmages depend on INT heavily, so it is unlikely your Reflex defense needs significant improvement, but improving your defenses is never a terrible idea.

Solid Sound - you have at-will powers with the Force and Thunder keywords, so there's opportunity to give yourself +2 to all your defenses.[/spoiler]

EPIC TIER[spoiler]
Irresistible Flame - reduce fire resistance by 20.  Pretty hefty number.

Total Aegis (FRPG) - upgrade Double Aegis to Total Aegis when you reach Epic!  Double Aegis is not a requirement for Total Aegis![/spoiler]

Armor/Weapon Proficiencies - If you burn two feats for Heavy Shield Proficiency and Shield Specialization, you can get the same bonus to AC as your Swordmage Warding.  Spiked Shields (Adventurer's Vault) are considered light blades.  Hide Armor proficiency is also useful.  For weapons, you probably want to invest in proficiency with Heavy Blades.  The Khopesh (Adventurer's Vault) looks like a good candidate for Shielding Swordmages, the Fullblade (Adventurer's Vault) a goodie for Assault Swordmages.  Can't go wrong with the Bastard Sword or Greatsword, either.

Post PHB II + Arcane Power, I don't consider any any weapon proficiency to be really worthwhile, now that there are lots of good feats to take.

« Last Edit: August 29, 2009, 10:33:36 AM by PhoenixInferno »

PhoenixInferno

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Re: Swordmage Handbook
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2008, 06:59:54 AM »
POWERS

Heroic Tier[spoiler]Booming Blade (AW 1)
This is the at-will power that really makes you “sticky” as a Defender, giving your enemies incentive to stay near you.

Frigid Blade (AW 1) (Dragon 367)
When your CON gets high enough, you can stop enemies in their tracks!

Greenflame Blade (AW 1)
This power is nice for its automatic minion slaying.

Lightning Lure (AW 1)
If the enemy isn’t next to you, you can’t do your job of drawing attacks.  It’s a ranged attack, so it provokes, which makes it rather useless in the author’s opinion Useful for relocating enemies, and for Shielding Swordmages, it sure beats lobbing thrown weapons.

Sword Burst (AW 1)
An at-will Close burst?  For Defenders?  Sweet!  This power is great, and combined with Booming Blade, all your at-wills trigger Solid Sound in the Paragon tier!

Chilling Blade (E1)
Not a bad power, since it deals automatic damage.

Flame Cyclone (E1)
A useful Close burst attack that does a good amount of damage for its level.

Foesnare (E1)
Immobilize helps keeps enemies focused on you, and since you can use it on a charge, I can’t really think of a reason to not take this.

Lightning Clash (E1)
The secondary attack doesn’t specify whether it is still a Weapon attack, so a Weapon attack vs Reflex is very nice.

Burning Blade (D1)
Nothing really special, although adding extra damage to your attacks is always fun.

Dimensional  Thunder (D1) (Dragon 367)
Weapon attack vs Fortitude, short range teleport, moderate damage and lands ongoing damage on adjacent enemies.  Does a lot of stuff - solid pick.

Frost Backlash (D1)
Acting out of your turn is so fun!  An attack vs Reflex, it also does more damage than Burning Blade vs a single target.  One draw back is that since you only have 1 immediate action, you have to choose between using this and your Aegis.

Whirling Blade (D1)
It sort of has Reliable since you can try again against a different target until you hit, but otherwise, I consider this power to be worthless.

Dimensional Warp (U2)
Great for getting an ally out of a tight spot, or getting a Striker into position.

Eldritch Speed (U2)
For when you really need to go first.

Elemental Aegis (U2) (Dragon 367)
Instead of reducing damage dealt, you grant an elemental resistance.  Fortunately, it recovers as an encounter power.  Otherwise, it would be complete garbage.

Fear No Elements (U2)
Gain an elemental resistance.  Its keyed off of CON, so its intended to be used with Shielding Swordmages.  If you like this, then make sure you replace it once you can take Elemental Resistance (U16).

Mythal Recovery (U2)
Attempt a save.  If you have a Cleric, then let him do it.  If you don't, then you might want to consider it.

Blastback Swipe (E3)
The first in a line of many powers that you can use with Aegis of Assault.  Very nice for when you can get it.

Corrosive Ruin (E3)
Not as good as Flame Cyclone, although it targets a different defense (Fort instead of Ref), which makes it sort of useful, but...

Incendiary Sword (E3) (Dragon 367)
An attack vs Will?  WOW!

Sloth Strike (E3)
Slows target on successful hit, so pretty cool.

Transposing Lunge (E3)
The first in a line of powers that you can use with Aegis of Shielding.  It teleports the target to a new spot on hit.  This is useful because since Aegis of Shielding is an Interrupt, you can stop an attack against your ally.

Deep Freeze (D5)
A weapon attack vs Fort - seems like this is a recurring theme with Swordmages, eh?  Damage is a bit low, but it has an interesting secondary effect.

Elemental Foible (D5)
Much less damage than normal, but it forces vulnerable 5 to an element - for the duration of the encounter!  You do lots of Elemental damage, and now you'll do more.

Lingering Lightning (D5)
Much less damage than normal, but inflicts ongoing lightning damage (save ends).  AND its a Ranged attack.

Shielding Fire (D5) (Dragon 367)
Deploy your Aegis on a 2nd creature?  Its like getting Double Aegis 5 levels early!

Armathor's Step (U6)
Tactical range teleport, and grants a +2 attack bonus under certain conditions, and an encounter power.  <Borat voice>Niice - I like!</Borat voice>

Dimensional Warding (U6)
Stops people from teleporting away from you, or teleporting to you.

Fate Spurned Foe (U6)
Impose a penalty to saves vs all effects that you inflict for the remainder of the encounter.  Seems pretty useful to me!

Silvesteel Veil (U6)
Extend your Warding to allies within Close Burst 1.  Not bad.

Variable Defense (U6) (Dragon 367)
Elemental resistance that you can change.

Electrified Lash (E7)
Simple damage in a burst.  Simple.

Flamewall Strike (E7)
Create a Wall 3.  Not as good as a Wizard's Wall of Fire, but not bad.  An area attack, though, so it provokes.

Isolating Slam (E7)
Damage to the main target and knock away enemies adjacent to it - good way to clear out lots of minions, or any mass of enemies.

Spikes of Agony (E7)
Decent damage on hit, but does damage when the target moves - and can be used with Aegis of Assault.

Sleet Strike (E7) (Dragon 367)
Forces your opponent to move - and not shift - away from you, which typically provokes opportunity attacks.  Sweet.

Beacon Blade (D9)
Low damage, but inflicts blinding and prevents the enemy from using invisibility or hiding.  Not sold on this - if it didn't inflict blind (save ends), it would definitely be a trap.

Be Gone (D9)
Force an enemy to teleport away from you.  Reliable to boot.

Glamor Blade (D9)
Very interesting power  with all kinds of potential abuse - but its so poorly worded, its hard to figure out exactly what you can/can't do.  I don't feel like I can assign a rating to this power without knowing more.

Icy Sweep (D9) (Dragon 367)
INT vs AC, but 2W+_CON_?  Very odd, and Be Gone is almost always better.

Leaping Flames (D9) (Dragon 367)
Ongoing fire damage that jumps from target to target.  Interesting.

Lightning Strider (D9) (Dragon 367)
Humanoid lightning bolt!  But it does X[W]+_STR_ damage - what's up with that?

Arcane Awareness (U10)
Prevent Combat Advantage until your next turn.  Very interesting power - encounter power too.

Dimensional Dodge (U10)
Teleport to an enemy that uses a Ranged attack against you - they're usually squishy, so now you can lay into them.  Uses an Immediate action, though, so be careful.

Impenetrable Warding (U10)
Apply your Swordmage Warding bonus to all defenses.  Not all that useful, especially with Solid Sound coming so soon.[/spoiler]

Paragon Tier
[spoiler]Acid Burst Blade (E13)
It does equivalent damage as Spikes of Agony, but instead of doing damage to the primary target, it does automatic damage to adjacent enemies.  Can also be used with Aegis of Assault.  As a Defender, I think Spikes of Agony is better at forcing your mark to reconsider his decisions, but automatic damage is still very nice, so no demerits.

Dimensional Slash (E13)
Deal damage and move the target to another place - like away from your allies.  Designed for Shielding Swordmages, since the teleport range is determined by CON mod.

Seed of Fire (E13)
Relatively low damage to a single target, push them away and then do a area damage in a good sized burst - and if you're a Shielding Swordmage, you limit the damage to only enemies!  Sweet!

Acid for Blood (D15)
Damage to a single target and ongoing acid damage to it.

Inferno's Sword (D15)
Damage to in an area and ongoing fire damage.  Sound familiar?

Free the Storm Within (D15)
Damage to enemies adjacent to you when they start their turn (sort of like ongoing damage).  Sound familiar?

Bolstering Warding (U16)
Automatically end an effect at the end of your turn.  The wording of the power is unclear whether you have to be currently affected by a condition.  Still, sort of useful.

Elemental Protection (U16)
Gain resist 10+CON mod to an elemental damage type.

Ironskin (U16)
Gain resist 5 all.

Sudden Escape (U16)
Get out of a sticky situation.

Ice Cage (E17)
Weapon attack vs Fort, very low damage for a power of this level - but it weakens the target, and deals damage when they attack.  Great for Shielding Swordmages, and helps you reduce damage dealt to your party.

Spidersilk Slash (E17)
Immobilize with a weapon-based Close burst.

Swordshock (E17)
Good damage to a single target, but no secondary effects.  Doesn't compare to other powers of its level.

Bane Blade (D19)
Good damage to a single target, and add more damage against a creature type.

Hell's Own Blade (D19)
Moderate fire damage to multiple enemies, no real effects.  Unlike other Ranged powers, the author doesn't think this one is too bad.

Lightning Rod (D19)
Nice effect if it hits (moderate lightning damage, and repeated lightning damage to other enemies), but if it misses, it does nothing.  And its an attack vs AC, not a Defense, so its more likely to miss.[/spoiler]

Epic Tier[spoiler]Eyes of the Mage (U22)
Bonus to Perception checks, ignore cover and concealment - and end that effect to force an enemy to reroll with a penalty.  Nice

Giant's Might (U22)
Enlarge yourself!  +2 attack, +5 damage and increase your reach.  Nice.

Shackled Warding (U22)
Movable zone that prevents inbound and outbound teleportation and slows enemies within it.  VERY nice.

Acid Fountain (E23)
Its like Flame Cyclone, except more damage.  Yawn.

Meteor Strike (E23)
Doesn't do as much damage to a target as other encounter powers of this level, but it does damage to multiple targets - still pretty nice.  Useable with Aegis of Assault.

Thunder Riposte (E23)
Weapon vs Reflex, Dazes enemies AND KNOCKS THEM PRONE - shut enemies in the Close Blast 3 down for a round.  'Nuff said.

Bounding Lightning (D25)
Hit 3 targets with 3[W], 2[W] and 1[W] damage respectively.  Ranged attack.  Yawn.

Icy Shackles (D25)
Reliable 4[W] damage, ongoing cold damage and bonus damage when they try to move.  Nice.

Quicksilver Blade (D25)
Enter a stance and make an extra basic melee attack as a minor action.

Thundering Heart (D25)
Reliable 1[W] but push the target and do damage to enemies in a burst 2 from the target's new position.  Interesting.

Maelstrom Blade (E27)
3[W] damage, close burst - and useable with Aegis of Assault.

Circle of Devastation (E27)
2[W] damage, close burst, push 3 squares, and useable with Aegis of Shielding.

Dimensional Charge (E27)
Teleport up to 10 squares, and land an attack on an enemy.

Astral Thunder Blade (D29)
Stun enemies!

Obliterating Blaze (D29)
Turn your target into a grenade!

Vorpal Doom (D29)
Reliable, plentiful damage, and widen your critical range.[/spoiler]
« Last Edit: November 09, 2008, 09:48:45 AM by PhoenixInferno »

PhoenixInferno

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Re: Swordmage Handbook
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2008, 07:00:06 AM »
MULTICLASSING

Cleric - add some healing power to your bag of tricks, gives you incentive to take Wandering Swordmage.  If you decide you want that healing power, then you should take powers that don't require WIS.

Fighter - +1 attack bonus is pretty useful, and you mark a target.  Fighter opens up Kensei, Pit Fighter and Swordmaster, although Swordmaster is only interesting for thematic reasons.

Paladin - Champion of Order!  The CHA requirement is bothersome, but there's real payoff. 

Ranger - Two-Weapon Fighting isn't great for Swordmages, and neither is Archery, but they have a very wide range of useful utility powers, and Hunter's Quarry helps raise your low-ish damage output.

Rogue - Gaining Thievery as a trained skill is nice, and Sneak Attack also improves your damage output, but you can only use it once per encounter.

Spellscarred (FRPG) - Interesting powers, although none of them REALLY stand out.

Warlock - Lots of ranged powers, but none of the Paragon Paths are really useful to you.  If you did Paragon Multiclassing, you might gain some serious ranged power, but you don't get Warlock's Curse.

Warlord - None of the Paragon Paths are that useful, but like the Cleric, it never hurts to add some healing power.

Wizard - Useful Paragon Paths, and area of effect powers.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2008, 09:12:09 AM by PhoenixInferno »

PhoenixInferno

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Re: Swordmage Handbook
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2008, 07:00:22 AM »
PARAGON PATHS

Anarch of Shyr
Blade Flurry Action - make an extra basic melee attack when you spend an action point.  Cool, but not amazing.
Improved Aegis of Assault - +2 attack when you use your Aegis of Assault.  Also, nice.
Lightning Clutch (E11)- deploy another mark with a melee attack.  In Paragon Tier, you can have up to 3 marks.  The trouble is that Shielding Swordmages can deploy 2 in the Heroic Tier.
Stance of Chaos (U12) - Trade attack bonus for damage.
Extended Aegis - use your immediate reaction within 20 squares instead of 10.  10 squares is pretty darn far, is the extra range worth it?  Not in the author's opinion.
Shyran Cataclysm (D20) - big damage in a close blast.

Coronal Guard
Swordshield Action - improve your defenses when you spend an action point.  Defense boosts are always welcome.
Improved Silver Shield - gain temporary HP equal when you use your aegis.  Sweet!
Countering Thunderclap (E11) - low damage interrupt that can stop attacks.
Dragon Scales (U12) - +2 AC.
Improved Swordmage Armor - +1 AC.
Avaunt Foe (D20) - weapon attack vs defense, deposit the target 5 squares away.

Umbriri
Shadowy Action - gain and grant concealment to yourself and adjacent allies
Shadow Defense - gain resist 5 + 1/2 level necrotic
Assassin Shadow (E11) - create a shadow duplicate of yourself temporarily.  Triplicate yourself with Glamor Blade!
Concealing Umbra (E12) - grant yourself or an ally invisibility.
Shadow Shroud - gain combat advantage against targets you have concealment against
Shadowed Psyche (D20) - Dominate a target you have combat advantage against - reliable to boot.  It only lasts until start of the target's following turn, so you need to time that correctly.

Wandering Swordmage
Aegis Insight - increase the radius of your aegis' burst by your WIS modifier
People's History - boost your History checks.  Um...OK.
Teleportation Action - teleport up 5 squares when you use an action point
Four Corners Attack (E11) - do some damage, and a secondary effect depending on which defense you attack
Arcane Tanglestep (U12) - teleport yourself and an enemy up to 5+WIS squares away.
Learn from Experience - gain a bonus against an enemy that critical'ed you.  Sort of a consolation prize...
Heritage of Blades (D20) - allies within 2 gain +1 AC and Reflex, spend a minor action to automatically deal 2d6+WIS damage to an enemy wthin 5.  Crazy!

Other Paragon Paths
Champion of Order - Certain Justice is INCREDIBLE, In Defense of Order + None Shall Pass makes your Divine Challenge good too.
Battle Mage - gain a self-healing power, which any Swordmage could appreciate, +4 attack rolls
Kensei - +1 attack/+4 damage with a weapon
Wizard of the Spiral Tower - sure, Corellon's Blade isn't that useful for a Swordmage-base, but The One Sword is SUCH an awesome power.
« Last Edit: November 13, 2008, 09:19:28 AM by PhoenixInferno »

PhoenixInferno

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Re: Swordmage Handbook
« Reply #5 on: September 18, 2008, 07:00:42 AM »
EQUIPMENT OF NOTE
« Last Edit: November 13, 2008, 08:25:12 AM by PhoenixInferno »

PhoenixInferno

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Re: Swordmage Handbook
« Reply #6 on: September 18, 2008, 07:54:48 AM »
A work in progress, but critique away!  Please don't talk about the higher level powers until I get to rating them, however.

Ieniemienie

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Re: Swordmage Handbook
« Reply #7 on: September 18, 2008, 06:18:32 PM »
looks good, as always  :)
'DnD is not a game; it is a membership in a tribe that I joined long ago.'

Stupidity should be painful!

Nox_Noctis

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Re: Swordmage Handbook
« Reply #8 on: September 19, 2008, 01:51:22 AM »
You haven't written for either of these yet, but regarding the feats Improved Swordbond and Distant Swordbond, it should be noted that even though Distant Swordbond is really just a better version of Improved Swordbond (at a higher tier), it does not have Improved Swordbond as a prerequisite. We might expect them to errata that in, but for now there's no point in keeping Improved Swordbond (if you do choose it) once you get to paragon tier and can take Distant Swordbond and retrain Improved Swordbond.
[spoiler]
[/spoiler]

highbulp

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Re: Swordmage Handbook
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2008, 02:29:29 AM »
You forgot Mythal Recovery (Utility 2). Not too shabby--an extra save attempt once per encounter (nice if someone tries to lock you down).


I was also thinking about a potential weapon for the Eladrin Swordmage I'm building. I was planning on longsword (a standard, and Eladrin Soldier is nice), though I realized that a glaive is also available (as a heavy blade), opening up the possibility for Polearm Gamble at Paragon. The Warding ability is basically a free Shield, so choosing a 2-handed weapon is the same trade-off as with a Paladin. The problem with Polearm Gamble being that you don't have the Fighter's ability to halt someone (or do anything to slow them down if they attack you), so it isn't a particularly nice trick. There are also plenty of other fun feats out there (in general)

Spending a feat on a double-sword from AV could also be neat (I've always liked the image of double-swords), and the defensive property means you don't lose as much from not having full Warding. But that's only if you want to take advantage of also using a light blade--it doesn't seem like you get many OAs or combat advantage that often to make the feat investment worth-while.

I looked at whether you could go with something other than a light/heavy blade. Assuming you're willing to give up Warding and the Swordbond, the problem becomes that you need a blade for an implement. Of course you could just not take any implement powers (there are plenty of weapon powers), but then why play a Swordmage? :p You also don't have proficiency in anything. The one idea I had would be to maybe use something like Dwarf Weapon Training to get proficiency with Axes and Hammers (as well as a damage bonus). A Dwarven Shielding Swordmage wouldn't be a terrible combination, and you could take advantage of any fun axe/hammer abilities (hello Hammer Rhythm). If you go with a one-handed weapon, you could wield a light blade in your offhand and use that as an implement (and get the +1 from Warding), though that gets more expensive (but no more so than being a Paladin, say). Spend another feat on a parrying dagger and you can make up more of the AC loss.

Oh right, and special mention goes to just wielding a spiked shield in one hand. If I read this right, that means you get the +1 shield bonus AND the +3 Warding bonus to your AC. That's kind of fun. You could also use that in place of the parrying dagger if you want to not use a blade as your primary weapon. A Dwarven Shielding Swordmage wielding a craghammer (AV, +2 1d10 Brutal 2) and a spiked shield wouldn't be in too horrible shape, and seems pretty flavorful IMO.

What do you guys think?

Ieniemienie

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Re: Swordmage Handbook
« Reply #10 on: September 20, 2008, 08:54:26 AM »
A Dwarven Shielding Swordmage wielding a craghammer (AV, +2 1d10 Brutal 2) and a spiked shield wouldn't be in too horrible shape, and seems pretty flavorful IMO.
It would be awesome, but where is the spike dhsield located? I cannot find it int he PHB
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PhoenixInferno

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Re: Swordmage Handbook
« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2008, 08:59:43 AM »
Adventurer's Vault

PhoenixInferno

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Re: Swordmage Handbook
« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2008, 09:12:24 AM »
You forgot Mythal Recovery (Utility 2). Not too shabby--an extra save attempt once per encounter (nice if someone tries to lock you down).
Thanks!
Quote
A Dwarven Shielding Swordmage wielding a craghammer (AV, +2 1d10 Brutal 2) and a spiked shield wouldn't be in too horrible shape, and seems pretty flavorful IMO.

What do you guys think?
I like it!  The Dwarf's +WIS bonus could even be used for Wandering Swordmage.

GawainBS

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Re: Swordmage Handbook
« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2008, 11:35:10 AM »
Hhmmm. I don't read the online parts of 4E, but I don't think you can enhance shields in 4E? So the comment about a +1 light shield in the "Swordmage Shield" part seems a bit off. (If you can enhance them, ignore me.)

Also, as a PP, the Silverstat of Selune might be worth it. Temp HP and a +2 to all saves seem nice enough.

highbulp

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Re: Swordmage Handbook
« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2008, 03:52:48 PM »
Oh yeah, and someone on the other boards pointed out that Arcane Reach only applies to Attack powers, so can't be used with your Aegis. Still seems pretty nice though.

*is helping!*

Daag

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Re: Swordmage Handbook
« Reply #15 on: September 20, 2008, 04:17:35 PM »
I was just curious what you meant by the following:
Quote
but a +1 Light Shield gives you more AC and no check penalty, so what's the point?

There's no such thing as a +1 light shield. For 2 feats to get heavy shield, you can equal the warding bonus. Or you can use a Spiked Shield as it's a light blade, to gain the shield bonus and the +3 swordmage warding.

PhoenixInferno

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Re: Swordmage Handbook
« Reply #16 on: September 20, 2008, 08:00:32 PM »
Ah, I was wrong about shields.  Still thinking 3.X.

ImperiousLeader

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Re: Swordmage Handbook
« Reply #17 on: September 22, 2008, 07:58:12 PM »
I have the beginnings of an idea for Assault Swordmages. A lot of their encounters can be used instead of the basic attack triggered by Aegis of Assault. Combined with Escalating Assault and the Anarch of Shyr, you almost want to make monsters attack your allies. Then you can dish out appropriate retribution with solid bonuses to your attack role. Then I noticed this item, Ring of Vigilant Defense, which boosts the defensive bonus when you use the Total Defense action from +2 to +4. This seems like an interesting way to put your enemies into a lose-lose position.

Taishar

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Re: Swordmage Handbook
« Reply #18 on: September 22, 2008, 08:06:02 PM »
If you're going to go total defense, you can use a defensive weapon as well, which provides another bonus when you total defense or second wind.


Cheers

highbulp

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Re: Swordmage Handbook
« Reply #19 on: September 22, 2008, 09:44:05 PM »
Another amusing thought I had:

A Gnoll Swordmage could benefit from extra Con for Shielding type abilities, and with some of the powers that can be used in place of a charge attack could get a quasi-decent boost to damage. Also, if you just use a Spiked Shield, you'd basically be


 :lol