Author Topic: Swordmage Handbook  (Read 49031 times)

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PhoenixInferno

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Re: Swordmage Handbook
« Reply #40 on: November 09, 2008, 10:04:07 AM »
Added the powers from Dragon 367, evaluated more feats, fixed a few errors and revised my opinion on Lightning Lure based on discussions above.

PhoenixInferno

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Re: Swordmage Handbook
« Reply #41 on: November 13, 2008, 09:19:48 AM »
Added some thoughts on Multiclassing.

Dan2

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Re: Swordmage Handbook
« Reply #42 on: November 13, 2008, 09:35:38 AM »
Correct me if I'm wrong, but is Wandering Swordmage rated a "black" because of his two "utter crap" powers/abilities?
Because it appears that some of his other abilities are just wicked.

I haven't looked closely into it, but I'll try and find a copy to discuss it with you if you'll share your reasoning :)

PhoenixInferno

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Re: Swordmage Handbook
« Reply #43 on: November 13, 2008, 10:33:35 AM »
WIS dependence - its hard to keep 3 stats high.  Widening the Aegis burst is also cool, but it doesn't become truly incredible until Epic tier when you get Total Aegis - how often are there going to be no two enemies you can't get in a burst 2?  If you're following my advice, you can start nailing 3 in Paragon tier (because of Shielding Fire!).  Teleportation action is nice.  Four Corners Attack is nice because if you attack vs Will you can Daze, and Swordmage attacks vs Will are rare.  I'm not sure I like Arcane Tanglestep - I mean, if I teleport myself out of combat, then I'm kinda out of combat for a round (unless I charge back in and then I'm not using powers...).  If I teleport myself into or around the main melee then I'm flanked and might have locked myself in to a bad situation?  I'm sure its not always that rough a decision, but why subject yourself to that kind of choice, y'know?  And while Heritage of Blades is nice, there are other good stances coming up (Shackled Warding, Quicksilver Blade).

I like it, I just don't feel like I can recommend it over Coronal Guard.

Dan2

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Re: Swordmage Handbook
« Reply #44 on: November 14, 2008, 10:11:09 PM »
WIS dependence - its hard to keep 3 stats high.  Widening the Aegis burst is also cool, but it doesn't become truly incredible until Epic tier when you get Total Aegis - how often are there going to be no two enemies you can't get in a burst 2?  If you're following my advice, you can start nailing 3 in Paragon tier (because of Shielding Fire!).

First of all, I'd argue that you don't need a fantastic Wisdom to make this Paragon Path work well.
Most of the powers aren't going to have significant enough effects to warrant a big increase in Wisdom, and the Aegis Insight (or Arcane Tanglestep) benefits tremendously from even a small increase in Wisdom.

Increasing the size of the Aegis burst, even by one, is a big improvement.
In your pbp, Red Hand of Doom, think about how many times the wizard has been at least 3 squares away from the fighter (most of the match).
The Swordmage's Aegis doesn't try to keep enemies near him, but tries to keep him near the enemies.  Increasing the size of it lets him be, arguably, wherever he wants to be.
It's especially useful if the group that the party is fighting doesn't start together.  It means that the swordmage can tag the foes that much more quickly.

Teleportation action is nice.  Four Corners Attack is nice because if you attack vs Will you can Daze, and Swordmage attacks vs Will are rare.  I'm not sure I like Arcane Tanglestep - I mean, if I teleport myself out of combat, then I'm kinda out of combat for a round (unless I charge back in and then I'm not using powers...).  If I teleport myself into or around the main melee then I'm flanked and might have locked myself in to a bad situation?  I'm sure its not always that rough a decision, but why subject yourself to that kind of choice, y'know?  And while Heritage of Blades is nice, there are other good stances coming up (Shackled Warding, Quicksilver Blade).

Teleportation Action is really nice.  The swordmage, despite claiming to be a defender, has a surprising mobility aspect to him.
I haven't played one personally, but it seems to me like this "defender" doesn't stand still and keep enemies nearby, so much as he teleports around and gets in the way of all of the enemies.  Teleportation Action is like a free setup movement.

Based on my interpretation of the swordmage's purpose, Arcane Tanglestep looks like a great power that gets exponentially better on two conditions:
1) There is another defender in the party (fairly likely)
2) There are map hazards
With Arcane Tanglestep, you take a nuisance foe and stick him next to a fighter or on the other side of a chasm.
Then, when another enemy attacks your allies, you can just teleport back into the thick of it.  It seems like a step up from the traditional Aegis effects.

I don't really know what to say about Heritage of Blades.  It looks like free damage each turn, and when you consider that hitting something is never really easy, free damage really adds up.

I like it, I just don't feel like I can recommend it over Coronal Guard.

Coronal Guard is good, but I think that Wandering Swordmage is pretty much the equivalent for Aegis of Assault Swordmages.

PhoenixInferno

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Re: Swordmage Handbook
« Reply #45 on: November 16, 2008, 08:56:56 AM »
1) I wasn't actively trying to pin you down - if I wanted to, I would have ;)
2)  Teleportation requires you that the space you occupy be one that you can normally, without squeezing.  So no pits.  Terrain hazards possibly.

On balance, I've always felt that the Swordmage is slightly different from other defenders in that you don't want to be adjacent to your marked target - but you do want to be adjacent to something, since most of your powers are melee.  So you can't REALLY be "anywhere you want". Maybe LFR tends to place most of its encounters indoors, but I've never felt that I wanted to mark something that I couldn't reach, and that I could get anywhere I wanted to.

Heritage of Blades is good, but so is Shackled Warding, y'know?  And you can only keep one stance up at a time.

I mean, you're not wrong.  I find it strange that there are 3 PPs designed for Assault Swordmages (Umbriri, Anarch of Shyr, Wandering Swordmage to a certain extent), and 1 for Shielding Swordmages.

Dan2

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Re: Swordmage Handbook
« Reply #46 on: November 17, 2008, 12:27:02 AM »
1) I wasn't actively trying to pin you down - if I wanted to, I would have ;)
I'm sorry, but I don't understand this... :(

2)  Teleportation requires you that the space you occupy be one that you can normally, without squeezing.  So no pits.  Terrain hazards possibly.

Ah, I didn't make myself clear.  I apologize.
You don't teleport into a pit, you teleport (with the opponent) to the other side of a pit/chasm.

On balance, I've always felt that the Swordmage is slightly different from other defenders in that you don't want to be adjacent to your marked target - but you do want to be adjacent to something, since most of your powers are melee.  So you can't REALLY be "anywhere you want". Maybe LFR tends to place most of its encounters indoors, but I've never felt that I wanted to mark something that I couldn't reach, and that I could get anywhere I wanted to.

You right in that it's effectiveness will vary with terrain and immediate surroundings.  I had foolishly assumed a large area to fight in.
Considering that, I suppose that some markdown for inconsistency.

Heritage of Blades is good, but so is Shackled Warding, y'know?  And you can only keep one stance up at a time.

I mean, you're not wrong.  I find it strange that there are 3 PPs designed for Assault Swordmages (Umbriri, Anarch of Shyr, Wandering Swordmage to a certain extent), and 1 for Shielding Swordmages.

Yeah...  Shackled Warding is good, but I'd prefer (especially for an offensive Swordmage) Heritage of Blades and Giant's Might.

PhoenixInferno

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Re: Swordmage Handbook
« Reply #47 on: April 18, 2009, 08:38:27 AM »
At some point, I'll add in Arcane Power stuff, and some day soon I'll update with the White Lotus stuff from April 2009's Dragon issue.

Eepop

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Re: Swordmage Handbook
« Reply #48 on: April 20, 2009, 04:51:48 PM »
There may also be some merit in evaluating the PHB2 classes for purposes of multiclassing and paragon paths.

PhoenixInferno

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Re: Swordmage Handbook
« Reply #49 on: April 22, 2009, 09:08:08 AM »
Yes, totally forgot about that book.  Lots of cool stuff, although a lot of is generally applicable, and not truly specific to the Art of Swordmage-ry.

PhoenixInferno

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Re: Swordmage Handbook
« Reply #50 on: May 02, 2009, 11:48:38 AM »
Arcane Power stuff starting to filter in - started with Heroic tier feats and racial feats.

anomalousman

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Re: Swordmage Handbook
« Reply #51 on: May 05, 2009, 05:29:46 AM »
I'll post up my AP-revised Githyanki swordmage in the next day or so.  Having sword burst as a close burst 2 with extra damage really does change the high level play a lot.

awaken DM golem

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Re: Swordmage Handbook
« Reply #52 on: May 07, 2009, 11:13:18 PM »
Arcane Power has an epic path, that for the 30th level ability,
gives an Encounter power, as the At-Will.
Take that DPR types.
Even a Lich or an Azer Beastlord can't do that.
Of course it's not Demigod level trickery, but it'll work out to a butt load of damage.

 :)

awaken DM golem

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Re: Swordmage Handbook
« Reply #53 on: May 08, 2009, 09:16:20 PM »
Arcane Sword

funny , it looks an awful lot like ... Mage Sword
 :blush

Blade2718

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Re: Swordmage Handbook
« Reply #54 on: May 17, 2009, 03:34:29 AM »
I would consider downgrading Gnomes because of small size and small weapons.  Even if DPR isn't the defender's main job, it should still be a consideration.

Paragon Defenses and the epic-tier defense feats are also useful, but I get the feeling you just haven't had the time to add them yet.

PhoenixInferno

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Re: Swordmage Handbook
« Reply #55 on: May 19, 2009, 02:51:53 AM »
I would consider downgrading Gnomes because of small size and small weapons.  Even if DPR isn't the defender's main job, it should still be a consideration.
Invisibility is a great way to get into position.  Most Swordmage powers don't exceed 2[W] or 3[W] until Epic (although I haven't done an exhaustive survey, so feel free to tell me I'm wrong on this count), so the weapon-size argument is not very compelling.  The speed penalty hurts, although the SM has ways around that.

Quote
Paragon Defenses and the epic-tier defense feats are also useful, but I get the feeling you just haven't had the time to add them yet.
Indeed - those are very generally useful.  I much prefer Paragon Defenses/Robust Defenses over Greater Swordmage Warding (or was it Improved?  I forget), even though the paragon-tier warding feat does boost your AC as well.  Devas, however should take the warding boost.

CantripN

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Re: Swordmage Handbook
« Reply #56 on: July 03, 2011, 03:56:50 PM »
I'd like to add Sword of Assault as a REALLY nice PP. True, Wandering Swordmage is NICE, but this lets you use At-Wills for your Aegis, which means stuff like Deadly Immobilization, Dual Implement Spellcaster, White Lotus Hindrance/Riposte/Evasion kick in. Sadly, this means Escalating Assault is off-limits to you, but it's still darned nice, if only for the bonus damage and effects.

Another race to consider is Shadar-Kai, which is, in my opinion, the best Assault Swordmage, because of Shadowed Aegis - allowing one to ALWAYS be INSUBSTANTIAL, and DREAD OF SAKKORS, which means all your Aegis, and most others, are Push 2 + Slow (Push 3 with Rushing Cleats. Add a Baldric of Assault, and you can move your enemies wherever you want).

Add Antipathy Gloves and White Lotus Hindrance, and they just can't get to you, either, unless you want them to.

An Hestavar Dueling Blade Dagger held in the off-hand can add more damage with Dual Implement Spellcaster, and adds +2 attack with Aegis attacks.

What's more, Spellscarred Invigoration can heal you for a LOT of HP, seeing as it's easy to Mark a lot of guys for the entire encounter with your powers, and it's easy to avoid their attacks (at least in Melee).

Since you have Student of the Plague, might as well get Acolyte Power (Plague of Rooted Majesty) to reduce forced movement by 1, be Immune to Prone, and a Climb speed - you Teleport a LOT, so why care about your Speed being -2?

Novice Power (Iron Tooth of Bloodlust) or the lower level Venemous Bloodfang also allow for a TON of Free Healing, if you have a Vampiric Weapon - and since you're a Shadar-Kai, grab Deathly Disruption to all but ignore Resistance. This, combined with Spellscarred Invigoration and Insubstantial can mean you're all but un-killable, and barely ever spend surges.

Example:
Quote
====== Created Using Wizards of the Coast D&D Character Builder ======
Reaper, level 18
Shadar-kai, Swordmage, Sword of Assault
Build: Assault Swordmage
Swordmage Aegis Option: Aegis of Assault
Student of the Plague Option: Sight of the Unseen
Spellscarred, Harper
The Five Wraiths (Acrobatics class skill)
 
FINAL ABILITY SCORES
STR 11, CON 20, DEX 13, INT 24, WIS 14, CHA 9
 
STARTING ABILITY SCORES
STR 10, CON 15, DEX 10, INT 17, WIS 13, CHA 8
 
 
AC: 34 Fort: 29 Ref: 30 Will: 27
HP: 137 Surges: 13 Surge Value: 34
 
TRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics +17, Arcana +21, Endurance +19, History +21
 
UNTRAINED SKILLS
Athletics +9, Bluff +8, Diplomacy +8, Dungeoneering +11, Heal +11, Insight +11, Intimidate +10, Nature +11, Perception +11, Religion +16, Stealth +12, Streetwise +8, Thievery +10
 
POWERS
Basic Attack: Melee Basic Attack
Basic Attack: Ranged Basic Attack
Shadar-kai Racial Power: Shadow Jaunt
Swordmage Feature: Aegis of Assault
Swordmage Attack 1: Booming Blade
Swordmage Attack 1: Sword Burst
Swordmage Attack 1: Lashing Asp
Spellscarred Utility 2: Plague of Rooted Majesty
Swordmage Utility 6: Armathor's Step
Swordmage Attack 7: Echoes of Sword Magic
Swordmage Attack 9: Glamor Blade
Swordmage Utility 10: Quickling Stride
Sword of Assault Attack 11: Spell Strike
Sword of Assault Utility 12: Aegis Reserve
Swordmage Attack 13: Seed of Fire
Swordmage Attack 15: Reaper's Challenge
Swordmage Utility 16: Aegis of Lost Souls
Spellscarred Attack 17: Iron Tooth of Bloodlust
 
FEATS
Level 1: Heavy Blade Expertise
Level 2: White Lotus Hindrance
Level 4: Student of the Plague
Level 6: Novice Power
Level 8: Spellscarred Invigoration
Level 10: Dread of Sakkors
Level 11: Shadowed Aegis
Level 12: Dual Implement Spellcaster
Level 14: Deadly Immobilization
Level 16: Acolyte Power
Level 18: Deathly Disruption
 
ITEMS
Vampiric Longsword +4 x1
Iron Armbands of Power (paragon tier) x1
Amulet of Protection +4 x1
Hestavar Dueling Blade Dagger +4 x1
Rushing Cleats (heroic tier) x1
Antipathy Gloves (heroic tier) x1
Circlet of Arkhosia (paragon tier) x1
Baldric of Assault (paragon tier) x1
Demonskin Tattoo (heroic tier) x1
Feytouched Feyleather Armor +4 x1
====== End ======
« Last Edit: July 03, 2011, 04:11:55 PM by CantripN »
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