Rowena "The Fang" Build Challenge

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Postby Cailin » February 3rd, 2012, 12:33 am

Make her into a killing machine!!
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Re: Rowena "The Fang" Build Challenge

Postby Thoth » February 3rd, 2012, 2:49 am

(file added after completing build and information post below)
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Re: Rowena "The Fang" Build Challenge

Postby Thoth » February 3rd, 2012, 9:38 am

Rowena "The Fang", level 24
Half-Orc, Fighter (Knight), Stalwart Knight, Indomitable Champion
Knight Option: Shield Finesse
Knight Weapon Specialization Option: Staggering Hammer
Level 12 Stalwart Knight Greater Weapon Specialization Option: Bludgeoning Counterstrike
Epic Heroism Option: Strength
Epic Heroism Option: Constitution
Airspur (Airspur Benefit)
Theme: Mercenary

ABILITIES / DEFENSES / HP
STR 28, CON 22, DEX 16, INT 10, WIS 16, CHA 12
AC: 41 Fort: 45 Ref: 43 Will: 43
HP: 210 Surges: 15 Surge Value: 52

TRAINED SKILLS
Athletics +24, Endurance +23, Diplomacy +20, Intimidate +24

POWERS
Mercenary Attack: Takedown Strike
Half-Orc Racial Power: Furious Assault
Fighter Attack: Battle Guardian
Multiple Class Utility: Defender Aura
Fighter Utility: Cleaving Assault
Fighter Utility: Defend the Line
Multiple Class Attack: Power Strike (x4)
Fighter Utility: Measured Cut
Fighter Utility: Poised Assault
Bludgeoning Counterstrike Power: Bludgeoning Counterstrike
Fighter Utility 2: Glowering Threat
Fighter Utility 6: Dauntless Endurance
Fighter Utility 8: Shield Block
Fighter Utility 10: Iron Defiance
Fighter Utility 16: Bolstering Stride
Fighter Utility 22: Knight's Valor

FEATS
Shield Finesse
Level 1: Weapon Proficiency (Craghammer)
Level 2: Bludgeon Expertise
Level 4: Weapon Focus (Hammer)
Level 6: Toughness
Level 8: Resilient Focus
Level 10: World Serpent's Grasp
Level 11: Superior Fortitude
Level 12: Superior Reflexes
Level 14: Superior Will
Level 16: Hammer Shock
Level 18: Encouraging Shield
Level 20: Student of Battle
Level 21: Overwhelming Impact
Level 22: Epic Reflexes
Level 24: Epic Will

ITEMS
Bolstering Legion Plate Armor +5 x1
Voidcrystal Craghammer +5 x1
Possum Amulet +5 x1
Circlet of Indomitability (paragon tier) x1
Boots of Quickness (paragon tier) x1
Belt of Vim (paragon tier) x1
Ring of Personal Gravity x1
Ring of Fury x1
Bracers of Mighty Striking (paragon tier) x1
Heavy Shield x1
Potion of Heroism (epic tier)
Potion of Recovery
Iron Hand Unbreakable Form

Offense

Rowena's Melee Basic Attacks are +32 vs. AC for 2d10+23 (brutal 2). Hammer Shock adds the Rattling* keyword to all MBAs. World Serpent's Grasp allows you prone a slowed or immobilized enemy on hit. Overwhelming Impact allows you to choose to daze a target instead of slowing them with an attack.
*Rattling: enemy damaged by the attack takes a -2 penalty to all attacks until the end of your next turn. Creatures that are immune to Fear are not subject to this effect

With the features Staggering Hammer and Tactical Focus, as well as the feat Bludgeon Expertise, your Power Strikes are a massive factor to how sticky you are. In addition to the extra 2[w] damage (remember that these d10s are Brutal 2) to your attack, you can slide the target 2, and immobilize the target until the end of your next turn or until you are no longer adjacent to it (whichever comes first). In addition, you gain combat advantage against the target until the end of your next turn.

You have 4 stances you can choose from. Cleaving Assault, Measured Cut, and Poised Assault are all very straightforward... but the money stance is Defend the Line. While in DtL, you slow your target on hit. Now look up at the previous 2 paragraphs and start thinking about what this means. By using Overwhelming Impact, you can Daze on hit with your MBAs, and with World Serpent's Grasp, you can prone the target on hit as long as they were slow or immobilized before you hit them (so as long as you keep hitting, you can keep knocking baddies prone). Prone + Daze + Immobilize is about as locked down as a baddie can get.

Takedown Strike is a simple, no action add on to an attack that lets you start the dazed / prone / immobilized party without needing a turn to 'wind up' with slowing the target first. As a bonus, it also adds 9 damage. Because it is a 'no action' add on, it can be paired with Power Strike.

Bludgeoning Counterstrike gives an attack roll buff as a reaction if you are missed in melee.

Defense (personal)

With healthy defenses, Rowena should be set pretty well to avoid some hits. In addition to a strong array of defenses, Rowena also has a fair amount of various resistances and other self-sustaining tricks in her bag.

Thanks to Superior Fortitude, Rowena has resist 9 to all ongoing damage. While bloodied, she has resist 5 to all damage. Stalwart Action gives you Resist 10 to all damage when spending your action point.

Resilient Focus gives a flat +2 to all saves. When paired with Superior Will this should help shake off nasty effects. Dauntless Endurance (no action) lets you reroll a failed save once per fight.

Iron Defiance and Shield Block are Interrupts which can drastically cut damage intake.

Bolstering Stride and Knight's Valor make up your 'self healing' abilities. Bolstering Stride gives you a small speed boost and a decent amount of temporary hit points. Knight's Valor is almost like an extra second wind, but instead of gaining a bonus to defenses, it gives a power bonus to saves and attack rolls.

Relentless Knight gives you a massive second wind. Note the daily power on your Bolstering Armor as well - your second wind is a really big deal.

Iron Hand Unbreakable Form lets you take a move action with reduced speed, but gain 20 temp hp on a hit (or 10 as a consolation prize if you miss).

Rowena has a few tricks that are keyed off of being bloodied (or even knocked to zero). in addition to her damage resistance when bloodied, Rowena gains +1 to all defenses. The Ring of Fury gives her two free basic attacks when first bloodied each encounter, which should not only give you a very respectable amount of damage, but allows you to get full use out of Overwhelming Impact, Defend the Line, and World Serpent's Grasp all as a free, out-of-turn action.

The Possum Amulet allows you to survive a lethal hit, and with your self-healing abilities, you can be right back in the fight.

The Potion of Heroism and Potion of Recovery are obvious in their applications, and both provide serious benefits.

Defense (party)

Defender Aura and Battle Guardian along with Defend The Line are the foundation the Knight is built on. Enemies adjacent to you take a -2 penalty to attacks that don't target you, and you get to whack them if they move away, shift away, or attack anyone but you. With Defend the Line, Power Strike, and the other attack feats noted above, if you Power Strike an enemy that violates your aura, you can slow or daze them, immobilize them, slide them 2, and prone them if they were already slow when you hit. As long as you can hit, enemies simply cannot get away from you unless you choose to allow it.

Glowering Threat deserves special mention - the -5 penalty it applies stacks with your defender aura, so if an enemy is adjacent to you while you are glowering, they'll be at -7 to hit anyone other than you... or -9 if you hit them within the last round thanks to Hammer Shock.

The daily power on the Voidcrystal Craghammer exists solely to deal with jerk solos. Send that jackhole to another plane of existence for a round while you and the party heal up or clear out chaff, then pull him right back into the world, adjacent to you and ready to once again assume his role as the guest of honor at your hammer party.

The Bolstering armor gives you a way to let everyone on the party who can see you heal when you second wind. That's a pretty large amount of healing. Relentless Knight (see above) makes your second wind even more appealing. Devoted Knight helps protect adjacent allies for a turn when you use second wind or total defense.

The Ring of Personal Gravity has a nice property of reducing forced moves used on you by 1, but the nasty trick is in the power. You can immobilize or slow both yourself and all enemies adjacent to you. Enemies don't get a save against this effect ever. The only way to shed this effect is if you choose to turn off the ring. Remember that you can prone immobilized or slowed enemies on hit? remember that you can daze enemies instead of slowing them (which you can do with all your MBAs thanks to Defend the Line)? Yes, it's as mean as it sounds - barring teleports or a decent amount of forced movement, you can keep an enemy constantly dazed, immobilized, and prone.

General Notes

The basic gist of things is that Rowena is built to jam herself in the face of any monster, lock it down hard, and stay vertical for hours and hours.

Most of the character options and items were chosen to be as invisible as possible while still being fairly optimized choices. There are a lot of passive bonuses for which the math is just built in, and very few conditional bonuses or effects other than the ones I note above (such as becoming bloodied, etc.). I hope that I did an adequate job of explaining the complex tricks such as the Ring of Personal Gravity or the utterly terrible things you can do with Power Strike.

+32 to hit isn't going to wow the CharOp number crunchers, but there is something you can do about that. As long as you keep your target dazed (so they can't take OAs), you can walk 2 squares away, and charge right back each turn for the +1 to hit from the charge and +2 to hit from CA thanks to the daze (or if you used Power Strike within the last round). A net total of +35 is pretty darned good at L24 - considering default monster AC values (Level+14, for an expected 38 at L24), that leaves Rowena hitting even-level targets on a 3 with CA + charge, or on a 6 standing.

I'm pretty sure that the Fight On feat isn't actually legal if you gain Inspiring Word through the Student of Battle (Multiclass Warlord) feat. One of the listed requirements for Fight on is "inspiring word encounter power", and as Student of Battle only gives you the power as a daily (note: the CB-generated cards are in error - you only get one daily use of Inspiring Word, not 3 as the check boxes would seem to indicate), it would lack the 'encounter' flag. As such, I dropped Fight On from the build, but I did keep Student of Battle because Leader MC feats are generally quite good, and it adds an interesting bit of flavor to Rowena as a leader in Thunderstrike's fighting corps.

Items were purchased according to the default rules: 1 item each at levels 25, 24, and 23, gold equal to the purchase price for a level 23 item, and any mundane equipment free of charge. No rare items. She has 8,000 gold left, which could be used for a cheap hand slot item.

I left alignment and basic physical details blank, as there wasn't enough in the mentions of her to know those things for sure. I did track down a very cool model and art for her, though (just needs a weapon swap):

Gray Maiden

Image

Image
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Re: Rowena "The Fang" Build Challenge

Postby Cailin » February 3rd, 2012, 10:43 am

WOW Thoth! So so so impressed. I hope I play her half as well as you built her! And that picture? Spot on. Awesome.
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Re: Rowena "The Fang" Build Challenge

Postby Thoth » February 3rd, 2012, 11:38 am

Glad you like her! I hope you have a lot of fun running her. Maybe if we're lucky, we'll get a new illustration of her smacking around a certain tall, frosty, Devil with her hammer?

Gah, I just realized I totally forgot about the Half-Orc stuff. Half-Orc Resilience is another kicker when first bloodied, giving you 15 temp hp. Swift Charge give you +2 speed when charging - the better to catch anyone if they (somehow) manage to escape your grasp.

Also, 210 HP is kind of ridiculous.
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Re: Rowena "The Fang" Build Challenge

Postby Cailin » February 3rd, 2012, 12:26 pm

Thoth wrote:Also, 210 HP is kind of ridiculous.


"That's the kind of ridiculous I can get behind." - Rowena
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Re: Rowena "The Fang" Build Challenge

Postby imafrog29 » February 4th, 2012, 2:29 pm

So am I correct in assuming the Diamond Cincture is a banned item? Cause it is essentially the Belt of Vim + Healing.
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Re: Rowena "The Fang" Build Challenge

Postby Thoth » February 4th, 2012, 4:37 pm

imafrog29 wrote:So am I correct in assuming the Diamond Cincture is a banned item? Cause it is essentially the Belt of Vim + Healing.


Considered, but discarded in favor of 40k gold spent elsewhere (Cincture is 10/20/30, Vim is 8/18/28). Also, I wanted to avoid yet another power - particularly when using that power changes core stats (like a defense).
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Re: Rowena "The Fang" Build Challenge

Postby Thoth » February 9th, 2012, 10:47 pm

Well played, Cailin. Well played indeed. You did everything exactly right. I couldn't be a more proud 'father' :)

I am a little sad that Meph didn't get the chance to bloody Rowena though, since it causes her to go batshit nuts with buffs and free attacks.
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Re: Rowena "The Fang" Build Challenge

Postby Thor The Crusher » February 10th, 2012, 2:23 am

This build, too good Thoth. It's too op :D
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Re: Rowena "The Fang" Build Challenge

Postby ADashOfRainbow » February 10th, 2012, 8:44 am

Thoth wrote:I am a little sad that Meph didn't get the chance to bloody Rowena though, since it causes her to go batshit nuts with buffs and free attacks.


Way to go Thoth, you gave her such a ridiculous amount of HP that we didn't get to see her blow up XD
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Re: Rowena "The Fang" Build Challenge

Postby Cailin » February 10th, 2012, 12:06 pm

Maybe her name should be changed to Rowena "The Wrecking-Ball". She was a ton of fun to play and you did a great job explaining how she works, Thoth. Ruthless.
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Re: Rowena "The Fang" Build Challenge

Postby Tu'Binh Kimquanan » February 29th, 2012, 7:53 pm

I was laughing to myself as I heard Episode 102 last Saturday while playing Rogue Galaxy - hearing Greg cuss vehemently as Rowena proceeded to beat the **** out of [cut due to spoilers] made me go :twisted: . Seriously, Ro's really selling herself short by being just the head of security on Thunderstrike - I bet she could beat Brandis in a fair fight! (define the word 'fair' :roll: )
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Re: Rowena "The Fang" Build Challenge

Postby Eric Holland » March 1st, 2012, 11:13 am

10 GP on Brandis. Whats chain dazing going to do against bottomless hp?
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Re: Rowena "The Fang" Build Challenge

Postby lincoln » March 1st, 2012, 12:20 pm

Eric Holland wrote:10 GP on Brandis. Whats chain dazing going to do against bottomless hp?

My first thought at this was some poor schmuck trying to sweep up all the sand at the beach :lol:
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Re: Rowena "The Fang" Build Challenge

Postby Cailin » March 1st, 2012, 1:54 pm

The unstoppable force meets the immovable object. Theirs would be a battle to remember.
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Re: Rowena "The Fang" Build Challenge

Postby Thoth » March 1st, 2012, 2:46 pm

Rowena hits harder, is more accurate, and has better defenses through a combination of better raw defenses + damaging the accuracy of her target. Brandis' epic destiny feature that allows him to spend a minor action and a surge while bloodied to regain half his HP (there is no usage limit on this feature) is his only key advantage here. Rowena's monster-crushing status chains are far less useful against PCs, who by epic tier have multiple escape tricks for things like Daze (Brandis lacks Superior Will, but has a couple of other ways out).

Given expected damage outputs on both sides (read: nowhere near high enough on either side to cause a blowout), Rowena would likely run out of self-healing and escapes before Brandis ran out of surges to fuel Wounded Resurgence.
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Re: Rowena "The Fang" Build Challenge

Postby Cailin » March 1st, 2012, 2:52 pm

That's what I said. ;)
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