+ Log in or register to post
Results 1 to 10 of 11
Tuesday, 22nd September, 2015, 09:27 PM #1
Beyond Bodily Brutality: the Basics of Building Battleminds (By Dedekine)Originally posted by Dedekine:
Beyond Bodily Brutality: the Basics of Building Battleminds
A skilful fighter can make his weapons do tricks that the uninitiated would have thought impossible. A battlemind is simply a fighter who chooses the fabric of reality as his weapon. Space will warp, time will dilate, and the very flesh of the battlemind will reform in the pursuit of victory. Psions are intellectual, ardents emotional, but a battlemind is the master of brutality: physical and psychic violence in a single perfect whole.
Mechanically, the battlemind fills a space between the fighter and the knight. You'll have a much smaller pool of powers than most classes, but with great diversity in terms of what those powers can accomplish. Making the most of the class means choosing powers that fit your desired tactical aims. The bad news is that this can and probably will result in "dead levels" where you'll decide to stick with the powers you've got rather than choosing a new augmentable at-will, and the class definitely encourages a "spamming" playstyle which will see heavy usage of just one or two powers. If you're prepared to accept this, however, you'll find you have an effective character with a distinctive play style, that stands out both from other defenders and even from different battlemind builds.
Reasons to play a battlemind
One Turn Isn't Enough: From level seven on, no other class in the game is as good as the battlemind when it comes to guaranteeing the use of your immediate actions. Effectively, this gives you round-long multiattacks, setting the battlemind up as quite a reliable source of damage.
No More Punching Bag: With at-will access to damage resistance and counter-attacks, the battlemind is a great defender for dealing with DMs who respect your mark a little too assiduously.
Switch It Up: Good control vs good damage is normally an either/or proposition. While it's true for the battlemind as well, the augmentation system makes it possible to switch between the roles as needed. Whichever role you're needed in, you can fill for as long as needed.
Sitting Still Is Hard: While the battlemind can't kite, it is still one of the most mobile defender classes. If you want to be dashing around the battlefield as you're taking care of business, this might be the class for you.
Reasons not to play a battlemind
Sticky Like Nothing: Battleminds have a big gaping hole where their opportunity attack should be, making it easy for enemies to simply walk away. Patching this gap requires some investment, and it's unlikely the problem will go away before paragon.
Walls Shouldn't Move: The flip side to mobility: it's difficult for battleminds to be the solid anchor of a front line. It can be done, but it requires a lot more work than with a weaponmaster, knight, or warden.
This handbook and hybrids: This handbook is written assuming you are not using a hybrid battlemind. While I hope that players with hybrids will find this guide useful, it's very difficult to give any meaningful guidance for only half a character: ardent|battleminds are a very different beast from battlemind|swordmages. People wanting to pursue hybrids should consult the Miscibility Table(x) maintained by Mommy_was_an_Orc.
Like many other classes, battleminds benefit from planning ahead in their builds. You might want to read the section on Battlemind Strategies if this is your first time playing one.
The following colour-coding is used in this handbook:
Red: A bad choice.
Purple: A bad option unless specific circumstances are met (in which case it might be fantastic).
Black: A reasonable choice, useful without being the best.
Blue: A good choice.
Sky Blue: Head and shoulders above the alternatives.
Gold: No other choice possible, usually reserved for feat taxes and the like.
Abbreviations used in this guide
AC: Armor Class
DSCS: Dark Sun Campaign Setting
EPG: Eberron'Player Guide
FRPG: Forgotten Realms Player Guide
HotFK: Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms
HotFL: Heroes of the Fallen Lands
HotFW: Heroes of the Feywild
HoS: Heroes of Shadow
MBA: melee basic attack
MME: Mordenkainen's Magical Emporium
MP: Martial Power
MP2: Martial Power 2
NAD: Non-Armor Class Defense
NCS: Neverwinter Campaign Setting
RAW: rules as written
PHB: Player's Handbook
PHB2: Player's Handbook 2
PHB3: Player's Handbook 3
PHBR Player's Handbook Races: Dragonborn
PHBR:T Player's Handbook Races: Tiefling
PrP: Primal Power
PsP: Psionic Power
THP: temporary hit points
Tuesday, 22nd September, 2015, 09:29 PM #2Basic class features and proficiencies
Hit points and surges: Defender standard already puts you top of the heap, and then Constitution-primary seals the deal.
Weapon proficiencies: Scale, heavy shield, and military melee isn't as good as it gets but it's more than enough. Simple ranged is unfortunate, but then you can't use ranged weapons effectively at all anyway.
Skills: Only three, and a very boring list.
Defending-related class features
The battlemind has three key features related to marking:
Battlemind's Demand: Out of the box, you get an encounter-long generic mark on up to two targets at once, handed out in burst 3. Handing out marks is something the battlemind does very well.
Blurred Step: In principle, this means that you'll end up adjacent to the enemy even after he shifts. In practice, at higher levels special move actions of enemies will make it harder to keep up unless you invest in a few very specific upgrades. In addition, the fact that you don't actually prevent the enemy moving means it can be difficult to manage more than one enemy using Blurred Step.
Mind Spike: Hard to rate fairly. It has a subtle effect, discouraging DMs from using their most damaging attacks (unless, of course, you're using MM1 monsters, where Mind Spike is basically irrelevant). Where Mind Spike really suffers compared to most other mark punishment is that improving it requires investment that does not benefit any other aspect of your character.
While this might not seem a very optimistic overview, the battlemind has in his power list many options to supplement and even outright replace all of these features. Much of the defender capability of the class rests on power selection, rather than the class features.
Psionic Study Options
Battle Resilience: Damage resistance is always nice, and this is the only option with a Wisdom rider. However, the fact that free actions resolve as reactions mean that you might never actually benefit from this resistance. To boot, the feat support isn't amazing, and this doesn't bring anything quite so obvious to the table as the other three options.
Persistent Harrier: A free attack is never bad, and more importantly this lets you get stuck in among enemies as quickly as possible. However, what really sets this option apart is the fact that it has no secondary stat rider, and that it's required to open up the incredible value Harrying Step feat.
Speed of Thought: Early positioning is valuable, and this is only option for Psionic Study which still works in a surprise round. There is some argument as to whether Speed of Thought will provoke opportunity attacks (for reference, I believe it does), so check with your DM before you get a nasty surprise.
Wild Focus: An early mark and disrupting the enemy's positioning: great stuff. Of the four options, however, this is the one that suffers most from surprise rounds, as it is guaranteed to be lost. If you want to specialise in forced movement, though, the feat support means this is probably your top option.
Strength: Feat prerequisites mean you will almost certainly want some points in here. (Starting 10-14 post-racial.)
Constitution: Your primary ability score. What else is there to say? (Starting 18-20 post-racial.)
Dexterity: While it's listed as a secondary stat for the Harrier, in reality nothing except one paragon path has a Dexterity rider. However, Dexterity is always useful, and the number of powers without riders mean that it is possible to build a Dex-secondary build. (Starting 10-14 post-racial, or 14-16 post-racial for a secondary.)
Intelligence: Your designated dump stat. (Starting 8-10 post-racial.)
Wisdom: This is the secondary that as a rule deals with damage resistance and most Aspect powers. (Starting 10-16 post-racial.)
Charisma: This is the secondary stat that deals with forced movement and attack roll debuffs. (Starting 10-16 post-racial.)
Tuesday, 22nd September, 2015, 09:30 PM #3Races
Races from the Monster Manual are not included in this guide; if a race from Dragon is not mentioned, it should be assumed it is not a good choice. Battleminds aren't really dependent on their secondary stats, which means there are very few absolutely terrible choices. In this guide, the best rating is reserved for races that help shore up a shortcoming in the class (generally, either a way to deal with status effects or a way to help with opportunity attacks).
Boost to Primary and Secondary Stats
Dragonborn (+2 Con/Str, +2 Cha: PHB/HoFK): With your healing surges, Draconic Heritage is a major boost to durability, and dragonbreath has good defender feat support. You need to multiclass to get it, though, as dragonborn have poor psionic support, and dragonborn feat support that isn't related to dragonbreath is thin on the ground. Dragonfear would be a nicer option, but most battleminds will find it impossible to hit with it.
Dwarf (+2 Con, +2Wis/Str: PHB/HoFL/NCS): Dwarves make fantastic front-liners, and battleminds are no exception. The resistance to forced movement is fantastic for a defender that needs to stay adjacent, and the savings of minor action Second Wind is huge for a class that wants to use it every encounter. It doesn't really matter what subrace you choose.
Half-elf (+2 Con, +2 Cha/Wis: PHB/HoFK): Your choice of secondaries, and half-elves have the single best solution to the battlemind's problems with OAs in Dilettante.
Mul (+2 Con, +2 Wis/Str: DSCS): Incredible Toughness is a great tool for shedding some dangerous status effects, though Mul Vitality is practically wasted on you. Your choice of human and dwarf feats is just icing.
Satyr (+2 Cha, +2 Con/Dex: HotFW): Lure of Enchantment is some nice added movement to any power, and Light of Heart and Pleasant Recovery are nice if not gamebreaking. The feat support has nothing very attractive, however.
Tiefling (+2 Con/Int, +2 Cha: PHB/HoFK): Tieflings have flat-out some of the best feat support in the game (including access to pre-nerf Melee Training and an initiative improver for Charisma-secondary batleminds), Infernal Wrath is a free Catch-22, and it's got stats everywhere you might want them.
Wilden (+2 Con/Dex, +2 Wis: PHB3): The feat support is not fantastic, but Nature's Sentinel is probably the best racial battlemind feat, and the aspects are situationally useful.
Boost to Primary Stat
Genasi (+2 Con/Str, +2 Int: FRPG/Dragon 397): Other than the Con boost, genasi don't really bring a lot to a battlemind. The elemental manifestation you probably want to look at is Earthsoul, since Earthshock is a decent minor action attack that can exhibit some nice defender-appropriate control.
Goliath (+2 Con/Wis, +2 Str: PHB2/Dragon 397): Stone's Endurance makes for a very tough defender, +Str helps with feat prerequisites, and the +1 to Will slots into your class bonus NAD.
Halfling (+2 Con/Cha, +2 Dex: PHB/HoFL): With military rapiers and picks receiving a huge boost as the go-to Small weapon, a halfling defender is now a much more practical option. Where halflings really shine is on the defensive, so if your DM respects marks unfailingly, give halflings a thought.
Half-Orc (+2 Con/Str, +2 Dex: PHB2/HoFK): Furious Assault is a nice damage increase, and points in Dex never hurt.
Humans (+2 to any: PHB/HoFL): Feat taxes mean that extra feat is great, and the extra power helps offset the limited selection you get with psionic augmentation classes.
Minotaur (+2 Con/Wis, +2 Str: PHB3): The racial support and features are geared around melee basic attacks, which is not the battlemind's forte. However, Minotaurs do have the best heroic-tier solution for the OA problems in Opportunity Gore, so give them careful thought if you know your campaign won't run until high levels.
Revenant (+2 Con/Cha, +2 Dex: Dragon 376/397): There's tricks you can do with Revenants who just cannot die, and then on top of that your choice of racial feat support.
Warforged (+2 Con, +2 Str/Int: EPG/Dragon 397): Like the Goliath, a Str/Con tough guy. The feat support for Warforged is a little worse, but Warforged Resolve is better than Stone's Endurance, especially with Immutability.
Boost to Secondary Stat Only
Changeling (+2 Cha, +2 Dex/Int: EPG): Famously some the worst feat support in the game, and it brings nothing of use to a battlemind.
Deva (+2 Wis, +2 Int/Cha: PHB2/Dragon 397): Both secondaries, and Memories of a Thousand Lifetimes is very handy.
Drow (+2 Cha/Wis, +2 Dex: FRPG/HoFK): Cloud of Darkness is your best option, but the need to stick close to your allies will make this harder to use. It can work with some effort, but there are other, easier choices.
Eldarin (+2 Cha/Dex, +2 Int: PHB/HoFL/NCS): The bump to Int isn't fantastic, but Feywild Advance is the best upgrade for Blurred Step that doesn't revolve around a particular choice of psionic study or paragon path. Either of the Moon or Sun Elf subraces will give you access to skill bonuses a little more synergistic with your class, and Sun Elf Wizard Implement Proficiency will give you implement proficiencies (including a weapliment!) if you need them for multiclass/theme/Dilettante reasons.
Elf (+2 Wis, +2 Dex/Int: PHB/HoFL/NCS): Elven Accuracy is the only real reason to choose an Elf, but it is a good reason. The problem with the subraces, though, is they take Elven Accuracy away from you. If you're a Wis-secondary battlemind with Perception trained, the Wood Elf Sense Threat is worth considering, but by and large you will want to stick with Elven Accuracy.
Githzerai (+2 Wis, +2 Dex/Int: PHB3): Every single racial feature is perfect for a defender, and there's some solid racial feats to boot.
Gnome (+2 Dex/Cha, +2 Int: PHB2/Dragon 397): Gnomes have something better to be doing (presumably).
Hamadryad (+2 Wis, +2 Cha/Int: HotFW): Tree Mind is very nice for a defender, and Oaken Vitality on a Con-primary class is a good way to say goodbye to most Endurance checks. Hamadryad Aspects is also good, with Wooden Form giving you yet another source of resistance. A very reasonable choice.
Kalashtar (+2 Cha, +2 Wis/Int: EPG/Dragon 397): Both secondaries is good, and Speed of Thought kalashtars get a fantastic feat in Battlemind Duulora Initiation.
(+2 Wis, +2 Str: PHB2): The Str bonus is useful, but a Con-primary defender is going to have a bit of a problem getting to bloodied the usual way, and the feat support just isn't geared towards battleminds.
Pixie (+2 Cha, +2 Dex/Int: HotFW): Pixies don't offer quite as much to battleminds as other defenders: the "in the attacker's space" trick to hinder shifting realy provides the same benefit as Blurred Step. However, the fly speed is a huge boost in terms of evading OAs, which is a big deal for Lightning Rush. Tentatively, I think they're a good but not overwhelming race, but post in the thread if you've had play experience with a pixie battlemind.
(+2 Wis, +2 Dex: PHB2): Pretty much the same story as Longtooth Shifters, but you trade the Str bonus for a more defensive shifting.
(+2 Wis/Int, +2 Dex: Dragon 372/397): Teleport, insubstantial to take the edge off attacks, and decent defensive boosts. A solid choice.
Shade (+2 Cha, +2 Dex/Int: HoS): The lost healing surge will bother you less than anyone, but One with Shadow is pretty much useless. There's a few good racial utilities (Shadow Monsters and Shadow Jump), but what battleminds really want is a good level 2 utility, and Fleeting Shade, while not bad, just isn't something you really want. Hard to recommend.
(+2 Cha/Wis, +2 Int: PHB3): Your choice of secondaries, and Shard Swarm is a decent power with some useful feat support.
(+2 Wis/Str, +2 Dex: DSCS): The racial power is useless to battleminds. For insult to injury, it is the current champion of least feat support.
Vyrloka (+2 Cha, +2 Str/Dex: HoS): Lifeblood is good and it should trigger for you reasonably often. Sadly, the level 2 racial utility is not a great substitute even for the battlemind's poor options -- in fact, none of them really stand out. Still, you get necrotic resistance and boost to very handy stats.
Tuesday, 22nd September, 2015, 09:31 PM #4Feats
In general, as a battlemind you will want to prioritize feats in roughly the following order (a more detailed discussion can be found in the Strategy section below):
1) Improving accuracy. Missing is not fun, and augmentable at-wills only rarely have useful effects should you miss.
2) Boosting stickiness. Making sure enemies stay adjacent to you is vital. Included in this category is improved marking (as it encourages enemies to come to you) and initiative (as going first means having marks and positioning set up before the enemy can react).
3) Improving defences. You should draw a lot of attacks, and you want to make them miss.
4) Improving the effects of your powers.
5) Improving your mark punishment.
I've chosen to group class and general feats together, and organize them by the above priorities, subdivided by tier. Given the number of feats available at this point, I've only rated the feats I feel are worthy of mention, either by being worth taking or being bad in a particularly mentionable way.
Expertise: There are now several feats that provide a scaling +1/2/3 to hit. You need one of them, but which one is a matter of your build. Your default choice should probably be Master-at-Arms (HoFL), but other obvious choices are Bludgeon Expertise (HoFL, for the bonus to forced movement) or Heavy Blade Expertise (HoFL, as Lightning Rush means that you will take a lot of opportunity attacks). Small characters will want to look at Pick Expertise (MME) for the damage bonus. In general, any of the Expertise feats introduced in Essentials are worth considering if they match up with the weapon you've chosen to specialize in. As of December 2011, the pre-Essentials Expertise feats also scale at 11/21. You generally will still want to stick with the post-Essentials feats for the added benefits, but the pre-Essential feats do have niche uses: Versatile Expertise (PHB3) if you need to use an implement as well as a weapon, and Weapon Expertise (PHB) unlocks the Weapon Master feat.
Deadly Draw (PHB3): Battleminds are often forced movement specialists, and given that you'll often be aiming to bring enemies adjacent to you, this might see a lot of use.
Impending Victory (PHB3): Since most of your powers are at-wills, this is a great accuracy boost.
Weapon Proficiency (PHB): If you can upgrade your proficiency bonus by getting a superior weapon, do it!
Battlewise (PsP): Wisdom instead of Dexterity for initiative will help Wisdom-secondary battleminds a lot.
Blurred Speed (PsP): With the exception of harrier battleminds, every battlemind needs this if you don't want to be confounded by something as simple as difficult terrain.
Disciple of Freedom (HotFL): Status effects that limit your ability to move are the death of your stickiness. Most battleminds should be able to pick this up, so do.
Harrying Step (PsP): The best upgrade to Blurred Step available, this ensures that as long as you have line of sight to a square adjacent to the target when it's finished its shift, you will be adjacent. It also means that you can ignore immobilized, restrained, and grabbed while defending, which are all normally defender-bane.
Heavy Armor Agility (HotFL): You definitely qualify for this. You won't need it if you go after scale specialization, but plate wearers may find this helps them get into the scrum.
Improved Initiative (PHB): Going sooner is good. Retrain to Superior Initiative in epic.
Improved Speed of Thought (PHB3): If you're looking to get past the front lines of the enemy, these extra two squares will make a big difference, especially in heroic.
Kinetic Reel (DSCS): Increase the odds that your Wild Focus victim ends up adjacent to you. However, that's not as big a deal as just getting the mark out, so make sure you are prepared to spend the feat on a once-per-encounter benefit. Pick up Telekinetic Savant, first.
Mark of Passage (EPG): One of the rare ways to add a square of movement to Blurred Step. Sadly, the problem is that you really should be taking the Mark of Warding or Storm instead.
Mark of Warding (EPG): Improve all your marks? Yes. The defensive boost is just icing.
Melee Training (Constitution) (PHB2): Regardless of your solution to OA problems, you will need this for the Heroic Tier at least.
Psionic Reflexes (PsP): Let's be blunt, you need all the help with OAs you can get.
Pursuing Step (PHB3): Either this is free CA, or the enemy will decide not to shift.
Quick Reactions (PsP): Charisma instead of Dexterity for initiative will help a lot. Sadly restricted to Speed of Thought battleminds.
Demand's Reach (PHB3): Marking from farther away makes your life a lot easier.
Harrier's Control (PsP): The point of this feat is getting a mark out as quickly as possible, and it gives you the best of Wild Focus and Persistent Harrier.
Heavy Blade Opportunity (PHB): The stat pre-requisites are a bear and you might not be able to go after this. However, if you can, it's a great solution to the OA problem.
Roll with It (PHB3): Forced movement is a big problem for your stickiness, and this at least gives you a chance to shift into something closer to a useful position.
Devouring Demand (PHB3): Now mark up to three enemies.
Inexorable Speed (PsP): Zip right through the frontlines of the enemy without fear. Less appealing if speed of thought already doesn't provoke OAs.
Long Step (PHB3): The only general feat which will add distance to your Blurred Step.
Superior Initiative (PHB): Going sooner is good.
Surprise Mark (Dragon 387): Getting a mark out first thing in an encounter is great.
Armor Proficiency (Plate) (PHB): You do have to bump Strength to get this, but between having plate armour and qualifying for weapon feats that's not too much of a price. Aiming to get it in paragon will make it hurt less.
Hafted Defense (PHB3): If you've foregone your shield to wield a polearm, make sure to pick this up and make up some of your defences.
Improved Defenses (HotFL): It's a math fix, you need it, unless you decide to collect all three Superior defences instead.
Resilient Demand (PsP): Especially in the later levels, you'll be using Battlemind's Demand a lot. Why not get a defensive boost while you're at it?
Resilient Focus (HotFL): The best saving throw boost in the game at the moment.
Superior Fortitude (HotFL): You'll easily qualify, and resistance to ongoing damage is nice. However, since you should get this after Superior Will, and you'll want to keep your Reflex up, this is getting to the point of a lot of investment in NAD feats.
Superior Reflexes (HotFL): The benefit is not that great, and you'll have hard time qualifying for this. Stick with Improved Defenses unless you're going to get Superior Fortitude and Will, in which case get Great Reflexes or this if you qualify.
Superior Will (HotFL): The boost to Will is okay but probably marginal, since you should have or get Improved Defenses. The key here is that extra saving throw, which you should regard as near mandatory.
Armor Specialization (Plate) (PHB): If you've picked up plate proficiency, there's no question but that you qualify for this. Don't skip this unless you're never taking attacks.
Armor Specialization (Scale) (PHB): If you have the Dexterity for this (which is sadly a bit unlikely), you should grab it without question.
Blurring Speed (PsP): After speed of thought, you are likely to be surrounded by enemies and away from your allies. Concealment is going to help you make it through.
Shield Master (PHB3): The fact that your class NAD bonus is to Will means you won't have the one sky-high NAD that, say, fighters will get. If that bothers you, pick this up.
Battlemind Menace (PsP): The utility of this obviously depends on how frequently Blurred Step gets triggered, but the answer is likely to be a fair deal.
Epic Fortitude / Reflexes / Will (PHB2): Your Reflex will definitely need the help, and depending on the amount of attacks you've been taking, you might want to take your Fortitude or Will over the top as well.
Invigorating Demand: You will be using your battlemind's demand quite a lot in regular play, so this is likely to be a steady source of THP for you.
Strength Through Challenge (Dragon 387): You might already have enough resistance by epic that this feat adds little, but its condition should essentially always be met by a battlemind.
Alertness (PHB/HotFL): Not being surprised means being able to use your psionic study in every encounter.
Beguiling Torment (PsP): Normally nothing to shout about, but Intellect Snap is an at-will unaugmented dazing power with a lot of potential to build around, and this is another tool for doing so.
Mark of Storm (EPG): Being able to add a shift to powers can lead to a lot of fun shenanigans, and with Thundering Force battleminds have an easy time of this.
Telekinetic Savant (DSCS): This feat is the best reason to take the Wild Focus option: you want to be a forced movement specialist.
Weapon Focus (PHB): More damage on your powers makes them better. Given the relatively low [W] of battlemind at-wills, you're better off going with this first before superior weapon proficiency.
Weapon Proficiency (PHB): Superior weapons are generally good damage upgrades.
World Serpent's Grasp (HotFK): Battleminds would really like to be able to slow targets easily, which is probably why they're terrible at it. However, if you're willing to invest in the multiclassing required to slow easily, this feat is a must-have.
Hammer Rhythm (PHB): Relatively easy to qualify for, this loads a decent amount of miss damage onto almost every attack you'll make.
Harried Recovery (PsP): Exactly what the trigger becomes is a little unclear. The most reasonable interpretation (you use it the first time an enemy attacks you after the recovery) leads to a reasonable chance that you'll already have used your immediate when it is triggered and hence lose the use of the power.
Psionic Rush (PsP): Battleminds can easily burn through a lot of power points, so anything that slows the burn rate down is helpful.
Psychic Lock (PHB): You haven't got a huge number of options for psychic keyword powers, but certainly enough to make full use of this great defender feat.
Thundering Force (DSCS): Being able to add damage types is never a bad thing. Where this power is going to grab a lot of attention is when you can combine it with the Mark of Storms.
Mark Punishment Feats
Bolstering Spike (PsP): Mark punishment that makes it less likely for a monster to attack you is a bit silly. Still, some DMs like to trigger mark punishment and then have the monsters "realize" they should focus on the defender, and this feat lets you get ready for the inevitable grief.
Lure of Iron (PHB3): This can be used to prevent the later parts of multi-hit or multi-target powers, especially with boosted forced movement.
Punishing Spike (PHB3): Just too situational to be a credible source of threat.
Steel Rebuke (PHB3): Spreading the Mind Spike hate is a good idea, even though you'll find you have positioning woes.
Fearsome Spike (PsP): Getting an end-of-next-turn mark from Mind Spike is closing the barn door after the cows are gone, though Rapid Mind Spike makes it better in that regard. The other problem is that enemies are commonly going to try to spread out, making this less likely to apply.
Prescient Retaliation (Dragon 387): Making Mind Spike an interrupt goes a long way towards making it more effective, especially when paired with Lure of Iron.
Rapid Mind Spike (Dragon 387): Being able to use your Mind Spike once per round without expending your immediate is a big deal, especially when battleminds have so many competing calls on their immediates.
Vengeance Spike (PHB3): This is unlikely to add major deterrence to your Mind Spike, but it will help the enemy go down faster.
Ascendant Lineage (PHB2): Makes Memories of a Thousand Lifetimes reliable.
Auspicious Lineage (PHB2): An improvement to Memories of a Thousand Lifetimes. Given that it's a fairly small improvement, though, pick up Ascendant Lineage first.
Battle Intuition (Dragon 374): A good initiative improvement for Wis-secondary battleminds.
Immortal Skill/Resilience/Prowess (Dragon 374): A huge boost to Memories of a Thousand Lifetimes, but it requires a big feat investment spread over three tiers to reach full functionality.
Radiant Recovery (Dragon 374): Constitution modifier THP with every radiant attack. You need to work to get a decent number of such, but it can be done.
Transcendant Lineage (PHB2): Epic tier, but it gives you the best of your racial and Elven Accuracy.
Daunting Breath (PHBR): More marks is always good. Note that if you've multiclassed warden, Primal Breath has no skill-training restrictions and doesn't require you to hit.
Draconic Guardian (Dragon 388): A huge multi-mark, if you can actually hit with Dragonfear.
Glorious Victory (PHBR): You need to have multi-classed martial to get this, but with your Con, this is an amazing feat.
Hurl Breath (PHBR, Dragon 365): Battleminds are weak in the ranged attack options, and this is one possible solution.
Infectious Wrath (Dragon 388): A nice leader-style punishment for attacking you.
Primal Breath (PrP): You need to multiclass warden, but this is the best way to make dragonbreath a marking tool.
Dwarven Durability A huge increase in your durability, but you might find that it represents overkill. Definitely take this if you've got a way to spread your healing surges out around the party.
Dwarven Weapon Training (PHB): A major damage upgrade, especially nice for a class already predisposed to like hammers.
Forgeborn Heritage (Dragon 383): Reistances are never terrible, but the real reason to look at this bloodline is the Wrathful Resurgence feat, which will give you a good chunk of THP with your oh-so-dwarfily-convenient second wind.
Stonefoot Reprisal (MP): Anything that lets you stay adjacent is good, and you're likely to have been multiclassing fighter regardless.
Stoneheart Warrior (MP): Dwarves are considered good just for being able to use their second winds as a minor action; why wouldn't you want it as a free action? Requires multiclassing martial.
Eladrin Soldier (PHB): Greatspear isn't a fantastic weapon for battleminds, but this is the best feat to pick them up if you want them. Also, if you're using a long sword or spear, this is superior to Weapon Focus in the heroic tier.
Eladrin's Challenge (MP2; requires fighter): Being able to improve your mark penalty is a big thing.
Fey Escape (Dragon 373): Anything that limits your mobility as a battlemind is bad, so using Fey Step to break free is a good option.
Feywild Advance (PsP): With no Int investment, this boils down to "ignore difficult terrain and break immobilized with Blurred Step," which is pretty good. It's better yet if you can justify getting an Int modifier of +2 or higher.
Elven Precision (PHB): If you don't want to miss, try to bend the odds in that direction.
Feral Advance (PsP): If you take a race without a boost to Wis and want to focus on Dex as your secondary, don't choose Speed of Thought.
Wild Elf Luck (FRPG): Another feat to increase the accuracy of your Elven Accuracy reroll. This is less reliable than Elven Precision, so get it second.
Collapse Into Nothing (Earthsoul; Dragon 391): Taking enemies out of play means they're not doing damage to anyone.
Shocking Flame (FRPG): Go to the section on Brutal Barrage optimisation; replace every instance of "Lightning Weapon" with "have Shocking Flame." This is a powerful feat for damage optimisation.
Githzerai Blade Master (Dragon 378): Superior weapon proficiencies and improved weapon focus makes for great feat economy, and the latter aspect in particular is nice for a class with small [W].
Iron Trap (PsP): If you're prepared to burn your immediate to not get hit, the monster attacking you probably is (and should be) marked already.
Marked Fortunes (Dragon 378): Essentially, you can now mark with your second wind.
Tempered Iron Mind (Dragon 378): You'll get more and better use out of Iron Mind when it no longer uses your immediate action.
Zerth Instincts (PsP): Three of the four psionic study options are ruined by surprise, and here's a feat that means you can't be surprised, with a benefit for non-surprise encounters. What's not to like?
Enlightened Spirit (Dragon 389): Likely you are the "tough guy" in skill challenges, so getting two skills keying off your primary is both flavourful and potentially useful.
Goliath Greatweapon Prowess (PHB2): This doesn't grant you any proficiencies, but given the low [W] of battlemind powers an enhanced feat bonus to damage is almost as effective and slightly more consistent.
Unyielding Stone: THP means a benefit from Stone's Endurance that can't be eliminated by the DM not attacking you for a turn.
Lost in the Crowd (PHB): Almost everything is larger than you, and you hope to be surrounded by enemies, so why not boost your defences?
Nimble Dodge (MP2): Requirese multiclassing martial, but it's a huge upgrade on Second Chance.
Adept Dilettante (Dragon 385): In principle, this feat really opens up your dilettante options. In reality, however, there aren't that many powers that can be used as a melee basic attack, and fewer in classes that you would ideally like to be multiclassing.
Defending Dabbler (Dragon 385): Given what you use Dilettante for, this essentially gives you a marking MBA.
Versatile Master (PHB2): This feat is the single most compelling mechanical reason to choose half-elf as your race.
Action Recovery (PHB): Use an action point to try to shed status effects as well as taking your additional action.
Action Surge (PHB): You don't want to miss with your action point attacks.
Human Ingenuity (PsP): Any way to recover power points is welcome.
Persistent Threat (Dragon 383): This lets you keep at least some of your defender functions while dazed.
Battlemind Duulora Initiation (Dragon 385): This makes it possible to start fights with enemies marked, which is what any defender would want.
Dual Mind Reserves (Dragon 385): Any way to recover power points is welcome.
Opportunity Gore (Dragon 369): It wasn't for the poor accuracy scaling of Goring Charge, this would be the perfect solution to your OA problems. It's still quite reasonable at lower levels.
Vicious Ferocity (PHB3): It takes this paragon feat to make Ferocity useful to a battlemind.
Sturdy Toughness (Dragon 391): Expands the range of status effects you can cancel to cover forced movement and prone.
Unstoppable Fury (Dragon 391): Battleminds hate being immobilized, and this is a cure for that.
Death's Grasp (Dragon 389): Compared to Steel Rebuke, the good news is that it's heroic tier and keys off your primary; the bad news is that it burns power points and is necrotic. Only consider this feat if you're using Mind Spike a lot, enemies tend to cluster, and you've got a lot of power points going spare. Which could happen.
Fierce Vitality (Dragon 376): With this feat, the one extra turn of actions from Unnatural Vitality becomes at least two and potentially a lot more.
Ghostly Vitality (Dragon 376): A full turn of actions when you're supposed to be unconscious, and half damage on top of that? Okay, if you insist. Combine with Fierce Vitality to not really care about being healed.
Marked for Death (Dragon 376): Battleminds are reasonably good at multi-marking, so this is an okay way to spread some damage around.
Daunting Swarm (Dragon 387): Nothing wrong with another multi-marking power.
Psionic Rejuvenation (PHB3): Any way to recover power points is welcome.
Hellfire Teleport (PHBR:T): You've got quite a few options in terms of how to teleport, so do damage at the same time.
Imperious Majesty (Dragon 381): An initiative boost for Cha-secondary battleminds.
Psychic Corruption of Malbolge (PHBR:T): Battleminds have quite a few options for psychic attacks, and this is a major damage upgrade for them.
Secrets of Belial (PHBR:T): There are some levels where battlemind utility powers are a little underwhelming, so snag something better from somewhere else.
Wrath of the Crimson Legion: It requires multiclassing paladin and committing to keeping your Cha on par with your Con, but this is one of the few routes available to get an effective MBA.
Immutability (EPG): For the price of a single feat, your Warforged Resolve can deal with any save ends effect.
Psiforged Resolve (Dragon 389): Regaining power points instead of HP is a huge boon for the battlemind, though unfortunately you need to be bloodied.
Warforged Tactics (EPG): Basically, either you're getting +1 to hit, or you're doing your job really well.
Burden of Guardianship (PHB3): Get THP out of your racial power.
Improved Aspect of Nature (PHB3): If you're going to go with a wilden, you should make the most of its racial power.
Nature's Sentinel (PsP): The added multi-marking benefit for Aspect of the Hunter alone would make this worthwhile, but this is essentially three feats that you can switch between during an extended rest.
Deva Heritage (Dragon 374): There's only one reason to choose this bloodline, and that's if you were going to go with radiant damage exploitation, in order to get access to the deva feat Radiant Recovery.
Elan Heritage (PsP): Nothing here for you at all.
Foulborn Heritage (PsP): The entry feat gives you an okay Catch-22 power, and you get nice feat choices with Spike of Madness (an improved Lure of Iron) and Terrible Aspect (a free burst mark at 0 power points). The associated paragon path is a reasonable choice for defenders as well.
Tuesday, 22nd September, 2015, 09:33 PM #5Heroic Tier Battlemind Disciplines
Level 1 At-Will Disciplines
Bull's Strength (PHB3): Forced movement, with augments for increased reach or a burst version of the power. A bit generic, but nothing to complain about, and a critical power in most Polearm Momentum builds.
Concussive Spike (DSCS): The problem with forced movement is that you want to stay adjacent to the creatures you've marked, but you also want to be doing damage to your marks. Concussive Spike is the solution, which pushes enemies other than the target away, moving the stuff you're not actively marking out of position. The Augment 1 is useful for cases when you can't get the important targets all into a blast zone, but Augment 2 isn't worth it. The fact that it's a blast gives you a tiny amount of reach as well.
Conductive Defense (PsP): Lightning damage punishment for attacking your allies, independent of marking makes this a top-tier choice. The Augment 2 is a bit lacking until you have the power points to be spamming it, but Augment 1 throws movement control into the mix. It targets Reflex to boot!
Demon Dance (PHB3): Penalising OA rolls is pretty situational to be tying up one of your three at-will slots. However, this power does have the psychic keyword, and if you build around that then in paragon this power can be respectable.
Iron Fist (PHB3): Resistance to all damage as an effect is great. The Augment 2 is a good upgrade, but the Augment 1 is very situational. It requires a good Wis modifier, though, and the scaling means that it'll won't be as impressive come mid to late paragon.
Renewed Focus (PsP): Marked and slowed (and with the Augment 2, immobilized) are lousy status effects, but the question is whether they're a bother enough to you to justify losing an at-will to dealing with them.
Twisted Eye (PHB3): Make no mistake, the selling point here is the Augment 1, which gives you a solid opportunity attack. Most battleminds should consider taking this at level 1, and then retraining it once other OA options have opened up to them. Even if you're going another route for your OA, however, at at-will blind option makes this a remarkable choice.
Vicious Cobra Strike (PsP): Multi-marking, but at the expense of damage: RAW, no matter how many enemies you target, the unaugmented and augment 1 powers don't have a damage roll and so lose out on most damage modifiers. However, the Augment 2 is stellar: burst damage, multi-marking, -2 to hit on top of the mark, plus a psychic keyword to pile on another -2 with Psychic Lock. Note that blind will shut down the Augment 2 entirely, though. The only reason this doesn't get a higher rating is that by the time you can spam 2 power points per turn, you'll normally have a lot of competing calls for those power points.
Whirling Defense (PHB3): The other level 1 marking at-will, the better damage for the unaugmented and augment 1 versions is the only selling point, being able to target less creatures and with a strictly worse Augment 2. You might consider taking it at low levels, but once you can use the Augment 2 consistently, retrain this to Vicious Cobra Strike.
World-Slipping Advance (PsP): This is pretty uninspiring as a repositioning power.
Level 1 Daily Disciplines
Accelerating Strike (PsP): Average damage, insignificant on-hit rider, and a boost to speed isn't that special.
Allies to Enemies (PHB3): With poor damage and no lasting effect at all, the only way this can get impressive is with forced mark violation shenanigans, and even then you'd probably be better off doing something else.
Aspect of Bitter Ice (PsP): Burst attack and a boost to stickiness makes this a reasonable choice.
Aspect of Elevated Harmony (PHB3): It's average damage and very Wisdom dependent, but being able to get THP and do extra damage with the Aspect augment is a decent deal. Being able to spend a healing surge is a good bonus, because you'll likely have more than you can reasonably spend.
Corona of Floating Force (DSCS): If your DM loves making your life difficult with terrain, this power might be a godsend. Otherwise, it's not much above encounter power territory.
Living Fortress (PsP): The most single-target damage you're going to get at level 1, plus a solid defensive boost.
(PHB3): This power will make life difficult for a ranged enemies or lurkers, meaning that he needs to devote the beginning of every turn to trying to get away from you. A big boost to stickiness isn't to be dismissed, even if you're only saving it for when Blurred Step can't cut it.
Steel Unity Strike (PHB3): One of the OA stance powers, useful only if you don't plan to invest in OAs in other ways or if you're fighting a lot of a certain type of skirmisher (see Battlemind Strategies). If you are treading that path, though, this is
one of the best stance powers: solid workmanlike damage equivalent to an epic-tier MBA.
Stolen Grace: This power is about accuracy (attack vs Reflex and a boost to your OA accuracy) and mobility (denied to your enemy and a boost to your defences against OAs). It won't age well, but it's a solid choice in the early levels.
Level 2 Utility Disciplines
Concussive Response (DSCS): A damage upgrade on your unaugmented at-wills for a couple of rounds, which can generally use them.
(PsP): Unexciting but solid battlefield rearrangement. As a ranged power, it will elicit OAs, so the best use for this is to move yourself into melee range while getting an ally out of trouble.
(PsP): Being targeted by a close or area attack isn't something that will come up every encounter, and rarer still one that you can evade. This power really falls apart come level 7, when you have much more valuable things to be doing with your interrupts.
(PHB3): "Until the end of this turn, ignore difficult terrain but halve your movement"? If this was a minor action, it might be viable, but otherwise you're only going to see use of this if your DM loves water on his maps.
Oaken Resilience (PsP): A small, non-scaling amount of resistance with a daily can be useful in early heroic, but largely insignificant beyond then. Retrain it with something else.
(PHB3): THP (especially when it gives you something to do with your minor) is never a bad thing. It might lose some of its lustre in the late game, but it will never be terrible.
Telepathic Challenge (PHB3): A large multi-mark is always an important tool in the defender's arsenal.
Wild Savagery (DSCS): Proning on OAs would be great... if you didn't need to be bloodied to start the stance, if the stance wasn't a daily, if the associated attack didn't need a good MBA.
Level 2 Skill Powers
(PHB3; requires Endurance): One of your best options for a Catch-22 before you hit level 7.
(PHB3; requires Endurance): This is a substantial number of THP, and you can give it to the entire party.
(PHB3; requires Intimidate): Mark-making and -breaking in a single free action. Nice.
Level 3 At-Will Disciplines
Cast the Net
(PsP): Most of the time, there's no reason to prefer this over Lodestone Lure. The one exception is that this power has
with the level 6 utility Winged Weapon, which means you can snag a monster from 10 squares away.
(PsP): The unaugmented and Augment 1 are disappointing, but Augment 2 makes it easier to stay adjacent to multiple marked enemies: a marked enemy either triggers your mark punishment, or targets you, which lets you skip on to the next enemy in the initiative order. It's situational, but it has its place.
(PsP): The damage isn't great, but it doesn't need to be. This is an accurate (vs Will), potentially ranged attack (of which you have few) that locks an enemy adjacent to you. In certain respects, it's even better than immobilized, since no monster will have a trait or power that ignores Lodestone Lure's condition. To boot, the augments will let you deal with flying creatures, which will wreck your day otherwise. This is a great tool for any battlemind, but the synergy with Heavy Blade Opportunity needs to mentioned.
(PHB3): The unaugmented and Augment 2 versions are a bit limited in effect. Invisible doesn't offer any protection against close attacks or area attacks, so what this discourages is ranged attacks (which you were already doing just by virtue of being adjacent), and penalizes anyone not trying to attack from Melee 1. The augment 1 is a major improvement. It can be a bit finicky, but especially in heroic the power isn't too bad.
(PHB3): The unaugmented version is strictly worse than Conductive Defense (resist lightning is nowhere near common enough to be a consideration), and the augments help deal with a very uncommon contingency -- and at this level it's up against Lodestone Lure, which deals with a very common one. The Augment 2 will help your party set up nova rounds against insubstantial creatures, though, so if you're playing in a campaign where insubstantial is guaranteed to come up a lot (probably an undead-centric game), then you might want to give this a look.
Momentum Swing (PsP): Some decent positioning in this power. If you have a
decent MBA, the Augment 2 makes this power appealing.
Shade Strike (Dragon 391): A decent defensive boost for yourself or (with Augment 2) the whole party, lasting the whole encounter as long as you stay adjacent (which of course you already wanted to do).
(PHB3); Nobody is going to complain about combat advantage, though the people who really want it can likely get it without your help. The augment 1 is a solid debuff, and the Augment 2 ups your stickiness, which makes this a decent versatile power to round out your selection.
Visions of Terror (PHB3): If you're into forced movement, then you'll usually want to pick this up instead of Bull's Strength. A little less damage, but a lot more movement, and not just of the target (Augment 2), though Bull's Strength Augment 2 is still more friendly to Polearm Momentum builds.
Wrenching Claw (DSCS): Like Cast the Net, you'll usually prefer Lodestone Lure. You get more damage, and a slide rather than the pull, but less reach and no lockdown. The exception is when you want to use Polearm Momentum, in which case the slide combined with the reach makes it your top choice in the heroic tier.
Level 5 Daily Disciplines
Aspect of Living Stone (PHB3): Burst 1, proning, and an Aspect augment that grants resistance. Even without a good Wis modifier to make use of the extra damage, this is a reasonable power.
Aspect of Unspeakable Horror
(PsP): The initial damage is probably better than 2[W], and the Aspect augment is fantastic: extra attack debuffs are just what you should be doing.
Beckoning Strike (PHB3): The second of the OA stance powers, so again only useful in that context. Unfortunately, it's not that good: the forced movement happens after the damage is done, and the damage is nothing special.
Empathic Feedback (PsP): An incredible Catch-22 power, it does almost as work by threatening the DM with it as actually using it. Obviously, if the problem you usually face is that the DM would rather deal with your Mind Spike than attack you, this power
loses its lustre.
(PsP): On one hand, a ranged power with decent damage. On the other hand, it doesn't leave you adjacent to the guy you just marked, and it depends on having two enemies within melee reach of each other, which makes it a bit situational.
Inconstant Location (PsP): Essentially, two extra move actions per turn, which is nothing to sneeze at. They're also teleports, which will help in encounters with terrain requiring you to make Athletics or Acrobatics checks (given that you'll be terrible at either).
(PHB3): Fantastic amounts of free-action forced movement will help make sure that enemies start in the best possible position for you to contain them.
Predator to Prey (PHB3): Mediocre single target damage, the reach penalty is going to affect comparatively few creatures, and the forced movement, while nice, is probably not going to be much more useful than the non-target-specific movement you'd get from Nightmare Vortex.
(DSCS): What you want out of dailies are consistent effects you can plan around, and random benefits - especially ones as weak as a speed bonus or avoiding OAs - ruin that.
Level 6 Utility Disciplines
(PsP): Half damage off an attack without using your immediate is alright, but the power is daily and the light is worse than a sunrod. It gets more reasonable if you're dealing with darkness a lot.
(Dragon 391): Any utility that lets you get adjacent to a marked target is good, and the invisibility means you'll have combat advantage at the least. The only problem is that this is pretty much stricty inferior to Psionic Ambush.
(PsP): Being immune to movement-restricting status effects for an entire encounter is fantastic, as it makes it much harder for your DM to make Blurred Step or any of your other mobility-centred defender features irrelevant.
(PHB3): You can run but you can't hide: get a marked target from up to 10 squares away and get combat advantage against it.
(PsP): A free action shift sounds so nice, but it only triggers on your turn, which limits it quite a bit. If you've got a lot of shift-distance enhancement, then this might be more attractive.
(PHB3): How often are you dealing with hidden, cover, and concealment? If the answer is "a lot," then this is for you. Otherwise, too situational to consider.
Stag's Leap (PHB3): Again, how often does jumping come up for you?
(DSCS): At low levels, you'll get only a tiny number of THP a few times per battle. At high levels, you'll get a useless amount of THP a lot. As a daily? This is rubbish.
Warning Premonition (PsP): The most important part of this power was being able to cancel surprise, which you can now do permanently by taking Alertness.
(PHB3): This lets you solve your problems with ranged attacks by using any melee attack instead. It might be only one attack per encounter, but it's one that lets you work at full efficiency.
Level 7 At-Will Disciplines
Special Note: In almost all cases, you are making a simple binary decision at this level. If your mark is being respected and you're taking a lot of attacks, you're choosing Forceful Reversal. Otherwise, you're taking Lightning Rush. These two powers are just so far above not only the other powers at this level, but other battlemind powers, that you only should be looking to take other powers once you already have one of the two. To reflect the fact that essentially every battlemind should have one of the two, they've both been rated gold. Should you take both? The cost is a big chunk of versatility, as you'll have (excepting humans and a few rare builds with good MBAs) only a single at-will thing to do with your standard action. The obvious upside is being able to set up a very good Catch-22, but in most groups, you will find that you will be triggering one power much more often than the other. If that's the case, you might find yourself benefiting more from only having one at-will linked to your immediate action.
Body Double (PsP): A nifty little power that basically increases your stickiness by simple virtue of being in more than one place. You can't double up on OAs or anything, but clever placement will make it very difficult to get away from it. The augments give you free positioning on top of that.
Ego Crush (PHB3): With MM3 monsters, banning combat advantage can be a major damage, so this isn't as weak an effect as it might seem, and the augment 2 is great damage, far outstripping the other Augment 1 OA power (Twisted Eye). Still, the accuracy power of Twisted Eye probably makes it the better OA substitute power.
Flowing Weapon (PsP): You want to be adjacent. This doesn't give enough reach to be a substitute for ranged attacks, and the Augment 2 is the only way to pull an enemy in -- and it's strictly worse than Lodestone Lure.
(DSCS): This is the Catch-22 power that every defender dreams of. An at-will counter-attack means that as long as you can keep the enemy adjacent, he is going to take damage no matter what he chooses to do. The fact that you get your normal standard action on the Augment 1 means this is easy on the power points, which opens up your options.
Ghost in the Steel
(PHB3): Another quirky and fun power. The unaugmented version is more disincentive to attack allies, which is (after all) your job and the Augment 1 lets you borrow any status effects the monster has and apply it to itself. The augment 2 is a bit of a waste, since all the monster has to do is make sure that it can only target one creature and the rider is wasted.
Give Chase (PsP): As discussed below, making sure that your target can't lose you during Blurred Step is actually quite important. This power helps you deal with the occasional monster that has very long shifts, and both the unaugmented and Augment 1 are compatible with Blurred Speed. The utility of this power basically boils down to whether your build can and should tie up a single at-will to deal with occasional long-shifting opponents, and most of the time the answer is that you won't be able to spare the power slot.
(PHB3): Unaugmented, this powers lets you attack an enemy (marked or not) for targeting an ally (and possibly, depending on how your group deals with an undeniable mess of rules ambiguity, double-punishing with an OA). The Augment 2 redirects the attack and gives you your standard -- and because none of this requires that you have marked the target, it is incredibly intimidating: the DM does not have any way of guessing which target within range you will choose to target. This is an amazing power, rightfully considered one of the best in the battlemind's repertoire. There are factors to consider though: Lightning Rush is very power point-intensive, it is unclear as to how the Augment 2 interacts with close and area attacks, you will end up on the receiving end of a lot of attacks, and the power makes it difficult to hold a line. Making the most of Lightning Rush will constrain your other options (most notably, your on-turn actions need to be power point-conserving, and because you move and not shift as part of the power, you need good defenses against OAs) but it is well worth it.
Psionic Speed (PHB3): Multi-attacking and multi-marking? Nothing to dislike here at all.
(PHB3): Prone is decent stickiness, can set up allies for more damage, and this is an attack against a NAD. Unfortunately, the damage is poor, and it's hard not to look at this power and think that Lodestone Lure does almost everything better. You really only want this if you have a high Wisdom, or if your party dynamics dictate that prone is just that good a thing to have.
(PsP): Mark a target and then move away from it? Take Body Double and be in both places at once, without needing to dump your ally beside an enemy.
Level 9 Daily Disciplines
Aspect of Disembodiment (PHB3): The power needs a good Wis modifier, but with that it's decent damage attacking against a NAD, a solid attack debuff, and a handy Aspect augment.
Baleful Teleport (PsP): Attack against NAD, dazed, and forced movement makes this a serviceable power.
Cascade of Rippling Force (DSCS): The best damage you'll get at this level, with a handy stance power attached to it.
Inexorable Death Stance
(PHB3): The worst of the OA stance powers. The rider does nothing for stickiness, and in fact will usually do nothing at all.
(PHB3): Essentially, a daily that recovers an encounter power. The damage is pathetic and the dazed effect isn't stellar, but being able to use Lightning Rush can be worthwhile.
Iron Tomb (PHB3): Stunned is an amazing status effect. Unfortunately, the damage immunity will prevent you from focus firing the victim (or even including him in AoE attacks), so this power will see use basically exclusively to remove a roadblock long enough to clear out the worst of the rest of an encounter -- which is pretty useful.
Lion's Charge (PsP): How often are you going to be able to charge into a position where you can hit three targets? The damage isn't much better than what you could do with Psionic Speed.
(PsP): In a decent-sized zone, you get a punishment against every enemy that attacks anyone but you, in a way that stacks with Mind Spike. The need to keep within the zone can be limiting and requires good party co-ordination, so if your party is low on control or you can't rely on your teammates (eg in LFR), you might want to look elsewhere.
Strength of my Enemy
(PsP): There is a 50% chance (greater on solos and elites) that this power will do nothing except Con modifier damage. You need to expect more from a daily.
(PHB3): An uninspiring amount of forced movement. With the advent of Corona of Rippling Force, which does as much single-target damage but has an encounter-long effect, there's no real reason to choose this.
Level 10 Utility Disciplines
(PHB3): A decent resistance and teleport as a move action for one encounter.
(PHB3): You should always have something better to be doing with your immediates.
Hands of the Titan (DSCS): You need a good Charisma modifier, but two turns of extra damage is extra damage, especially when it makes it this much easier to hit vulnerabilities.
(PsP): The best way to get the brutal property is to choose a weapon with the brutal property.
(PHB3): A decent Catch-22 power, you can keep it hanging around to threaten the DM. While Forceful Reversal has made it less appealing, it's still a decent option for those who've chosen other at-wills.
Shadow Ally (PHB3): The conjuration rules require that the shadow remain within five squares of you. That diminishes the value of this quite a lot. Basically it offers the enemy a choice between wasting an attack or swinging your increased defences, but between multi-target attacks (though it is immune to area effects) and minions who exist to waste their attacks on this sort of thing, not many fights will see huge call for this.
(PsP): A very cool power that is, sadly, just way too situational.
(PsP): A fairly versatile power for dealing with common lurker gimmicks, either hidden or combat advantage. If the fact that it's daily bothers you, look at Uncanny Senses instead.
(PsP): An encounter version of Ubiquitous Vision dealing solely with the perception side of things. The decision as to which you should take is basically personal preference.
Tuesday, 22nd September, 2015, 09:34 PM #6Paragon Tier Battlemind Disciplines
As a rule, you will never use the Augment 4 of paragon tier powers. There is just too much for you to be doing with your power points to spend such a large fraction on a single attack. As such, unless stated otherwise the Augment 4 is not considered in the rating of the power. Luckily, there are a good number of paragon powers with decent unaugmented and Augment 1 versions.
Level 13 At-Will Disciplines
Brutal Barrage (PHB3): Don't be fooled, Brutal Barrage can be one of the best powers the battlemind has. However, it's all or nothing. The power by itself, ignoring feats, items, and so on, is underwhelming: limited damage, and an unreliable prone makes it worse for stickiness than Lodestone Lure. The optimisations that make it work are not ones that are necessary (or sometimes even good) for a battlemind who doesn't have Brutal Barrage, but if you're prepared to build around it, this is the power that will let you put out striker-level damage. Your options to make it work include:
Brutal Barrage Optimisation
Note that not all of these tricks are compatible with each other.
Hammer Rhythm: This gives Brutal Barrage a minimum damage of 3 (or 4 for Augment 1) times Con modifier damage.
Crit-fishing: Get an expanded crit range with a weapon mastery feat or Resurgent Wilder paragon path (the latter means you will crit about half the time with Brutal Barrage), pick up a high-crit weapon and other appropriate items (and possibly Two-Weapon Fighting+Two-Weapon Opening) and go to town.
Son of Mercy: This paragon path will let you add Wisdom modifier damage to each hit with Brutal Barrage (though only against your Lawbreaker's Doom target).
Soaring Blade: The level 16 feature of this monk paragon path (requires Acrobatics training) lets you add Constitution modifier any attack with a heavy blade, and gives even more damage on a crit.
Elemental vulnerability: Since each hit with Brutal Barrage will trigger the vulnerability damage, this will scale damage quickly. Obvious choices are a Lightning weapon+Lyrandar Wind-rider, a Frost weapon+Lasting Frost(+Wintertouched), or a Radiant weapon+Morninglord (+Deva Heritage+Radiant Recovery to get THP every time you hit).
Slowing: If you can slow on a hit, many options open up. You can use World Serpent's Grasp+Headsman's Chop+Gauntlets of Brutality to prone and then add 10 damage to the post-proning hits (+Strength modifier if you're a dragonborn with Draconic Arrogance); Zephyr Blade to add Charisma modifier damage on each (post-slow) hit; or Crippling Crush+hammer to add Constitution modifier damage on each (post-slow) hit. Getting the slow on hit is harder: your options in this regard boil down to Son of Mercy (but only against your Lawbreaker's Doom target), Mark of Storms+Lightning Weapon+multiclass Fighter+Hindering Shield, or Net Training.
Proning: If you want to skip slowing, you can still get extra proning damage with multiclass Fighter+Polearm Momentum+Mark of Storm+Lightning glaive or halberd+something to boost your slide by at least one square+Headman's Chop+Gauntlets of Brutality (or again, Draconic Arrogance).
Spark Slippers: no longer work as of the June 2011 errata.
Dizzying Strike (PHB3): The Augment 1 can be used to rescue allies who are part of a multi-hit attack, and enemy repositioning is never horrible. This is also you first at-will slide (as opposed to push or pull) with no other conditions (Wrenching Claw requires the target end adjacent). On the other hand, you're trading the reach and multi-attacking on Bull's Strength for that slide, and this power becomes obsolete at 17, when you will almost certainly prefer to take one of Ruinous Grasp or Entangling Weapon.
Intellect Snap (PsP): The damage isn't great, but this is about the control implicit in an at-will daze. Even better, the Augment 1 can be used to shed dazed and marked, both of which are serious impediments to you - and it attacks Will to boot! One of the best possible powers for use with Heavy Blade Opportunity -- though the fighter feat Dizzying Mace (-Constitution modifier to hit when on a target you daze) suggests another weapon choice.
Kinetic Fist (DSCS): You need good Charisma, but you can pile on extra damage to marked targets, and punish enemies (with no action) who attack you. If you can spare the power points, combine this with Augment 2 Lightning Rush to really pile on the punishment.
Kinetic Shield (PsP): If it didn't take the Augment 4 to keep your standard action, this power would be amazing. As it is, the only way to sustainably use it would have you doing no damage with either your standards or your immediates.
Luring Steel (PHB3): Since this relies on Battlemind's Demand, it's not an extra mark, it just saves you a minor action, which makes it worse than Whirling Defense. The extra punishment is an effect, which is decent, though it keys off Charisma instead of Constitution, unlike Conductive Defense. If you have good Charisma, then it's not terrible.
Overwhelming Lunge (PHB3): This is just flat-out terrible.
Parting Shot (PsP): The Augment 1 is strictly worse than the Augment 1 of Psionic Speed. While they have slightly different niches, with Parting Shot being more mobility while Psionic Speed is multi-attacks/marking, Parting Shot only stands out at Augment 4, which would almost never use.
Unwavering Concentration (PsP): +2 to your defences is a good thing. You can spam the Augment 1 for a long time, and by the time you need to fall back on the unaugmented version you'll know which defence is most likely to be targeted. The Wis modifier can be ignored, since you won't use the Augment 4.
Web of Betrayal (PHB3): The unaugmented and Augment 1 versions are terribly weak, but the Augment 4 is really nice: whether it ends up acting defensively or offensively, the enemy is damned. You'll only be able to use this once or twice an encounter, but if you're prepared to blow that much of your power points on a single attack, give this a look.
Level 15 Daily Disciplines
Aspect of Enlightening Flame (PHB3): You need a very good Wis modifier to make the Aspect augment work. The rest of the power is workable, though not compelling.
Aspect of the Desert Storm (DSCS): A lot of multi-target damage, some good status effects, and a lot of battlefield rearrangement. The only finicky bit is trying to get good positioning to begin.
Aspect of the Raging Storm (PsP): The initial and ongoing damage isn't anything to brag about, but at least there's a solid element of control with the Aspect augment. Again, Wisdom dependent.
Crushing Wave Strike (PsP): Mostly this power is about the pushing and proning, as the initial attack is nothing special and the damage on the secondary is small. However, if you're specialising in forced movement or in Brutal Barrage, those choices might carry over to improve on this.
Intellect Sunder (PHB3): Forcing a monster to attack you? Decent defending at the best of times, but combine this with Forceful Reversal to make your DM gnash his teeth.
Mind Blade (PHB3): Unconscious is the strongest status effect in the game, and dazed (save ends) as a consolation prize makes this a fantastic anti-solo power. Ideally play initiative games to make sure the party can pile on the hurt before the monster's first saving throw.
Paralyzing Fear Strike (PHB3): It's an OA stance power, but it's one of the best. Scaling damage and immobilization on the OA is just what you want.
Precognitive Eye (PsP): Mostly this power is about accuracy: a huge accuracy boost to the initial attack, and then an accuracy-boosting stance. The extra mark and the free shifts are just extra, which is good, because they're not that great.
Sonic Burst (PsP): A huge speed, a lot of damage in burst 1... too bad it comes with one of the least valuable status effects.
Level 16 Utility Disciplines
Extend the Mind's Eye (PHB3): Another Insight and Perception bonus power, the selling point of this one is that it applies to the next check you make, rather than being round-limited.
Inertial Barrier (PsP): A zone with resistance, difficult terrain, and forced movement. It's not overwhelming, but also not bad.
Instant Move (PsP): A free move action once per encounter? Fantastic. The limitation is insignificant.
Mind of Endurance (PHB3): Minor action healing surge without your leader, and regeneration when you most need healing.
Resolute Recovery (PsP): A move, remove a status effect, THP: this power does a lot. The problem is that it's a daily, and it's not going to be easy to find a situation where you need everything this power does, which means you'll always waste some part of it.
Savage Intent (DSCS): You're a defender that needs to be adjacent to marked targets to do your job; this is a power that helps you be adjacent to everyone you've got marked. Spend an entire turn sidling up to probably everyone you've got marked and asking, "Do you feel lucky?"
Shield of the Iron Mind (PHB3): Attacks against Will and stuff you really want to save against tend to go hand in hand and be whole-encounter deals, and here's a power that deals with exactly that scenario. The zone doesn't even need to be sustained, so stunned/dazed/unconscious won't mess with it! The only downside is that it is fairly situational.
Sudden Rush (PHB3): The difference between this and the level 6 Psionic Ambush is the unlimited range on Sudden Rush and the combat advantage granted by Psionic Ambush. Of the two, you'd probably prefer Psionic Ambush, because it's not likely that a target you've managed to mark is going to get much more than 10 squares from you.
Teleport Trigger (PsP): Four free-action teleports to share among your party. That's a huge boost to mobility, and it can never hurt to have.
Level 17 At-Will Disciplines
Battle Vortex (PHB3): If the Augment 1 added to the unaugmented version, this would be something. As it is, the problem is that your party will have to position itself very carefully for the conditions of these two augments to represent meaningful control.
Cloud of Dancing Blades (PsP): A flat-out upgrade on Whirling Defense, with a Mind Spike upgrade keying off your primary unaugmented and multi-marking with the Augment 1. A great choice for a go-to at-will.
Dancing Strike (PsP): A Charisma-dependent power to boost Blurred Step, and it's the biggest boost you can get outside taking Persistent Harrier or Unbound Nomad. Unlike Cloud of Dancing Blades, though, it only grants one extra mark, which makes it harder to justify the loss of an at-will slot -- especially since Entangling Weapon is more versatile and fills a similar niche.
Dazzling Assault (PHB3): You need the augment 4 to keep your standard, and it's an immediate power to replace Blurred Step, one of your stronger class features. Pass.
Entangling Weapon (PHB3): The meat of this is the Augment 1, which means that a) enemies can't shift next to allies, and b) the effective range of your Blurred Step increases by at least one -- and probably more, because it's a lot easier to boost the amount of your forced movement than it is to boost your own personal slides.
Festering Wound (PHB3): It's a minor DPR upgrade, but you get this right before epic, when everyone else's at-wills get an extra [W] and yours don't. That extra 1d6 will help compensate. If that was all this had to offer, it wouldn't be that impressive, but with Psychic Lock this starts to stand out more.
Gravity Well (PsP): A nice, uncomplicated power that is about making the enemy stay next to you and doing it well. The Augment 1 in particular is extremely solid, though it (as always) requires you have a good OA.
Open the Way (PsP): The short story is that this power fills pretty much the same niche as Lodestone Lure, except that it has no control. The one thing it really offers is the ability to break immobilization and it works on swarms and other creatures immune to forced movement. If your DM is throwing these together at you non-stop (more than twice a day or Mental Triumph solves things), and you never have to fight fliers, then the opportunity cost of Open the Way might be acceptable.
Ruinous Grasp (DSCS): A good tool for keeping multiple marked enemies adjacent to you and in the right place, with a defensive boost in the Augment 1.
Step of the Pursuer (PHB3): Here's an interesting upgrade on your OA: get Blurred Step as well. The problem is that the shift is very limited in range, with a more than decent chance you won't be able to end adjacent to the target. The Augment 1 is very situational, and in any encounter where it would be seeing good use, you'd get better mileage out of Mental Triumph.
Level 19 Daily Disciplines
Aspect of Squamous Horror (PsP): Decent burst damage and forced movement. Unfortunately, the Aspect augment is pretty much the exact opposite of what you as a battlemind normally want to do.
Aspect of Stolen Identity (PHB3): The great part of this power is the Aspect augment, which is not only hilarious, but with MM3-style monsters, damaging and very likely to load on a status effect.
Dimensional Ambush (PsP): The damage is good but not great, the mark doesn't last long, and there's not much forced movement. There's a teleport, but given that you just marked the target, why would you want to move away? With the right feats or items this can make a decent battlefield rearrangement power, but it will never be a star.
Focus Bind (PsP): The most damaging single-target daily at this level, but the Effect... You're giving your enemy a free mark and free movement. Unless your DM is religious about "marks mean I must attack the defender," don't even consider this.
Indomitable Prescence (DSCS): The Hit gives you a decent anti-solo or -elite effect, and the zone helps with your Catch-22.
Mind Wrack (PHB3): Good single-target damage against a NAD. This power has huge synergy with Brutal Barrage, which can push up the ongoing damage by bounds and leaps every time you use it.
Relentless Strike (PHB3): Another very good OA stance power. Dazed is a great status effect, though it won't prevent a charge attack.
Temporal Regression (PsP): A defender not in play is a defender who is not defending.
Vengeful Mind (PHB3): The best single-target damage on this level outside Focus Bind, with a no-save accuracy boosting mark punishment effect.
Tuesday, 22nd September, 2015, 09:35 PM #7Epic Tier Battlemind Disciplines
As in the paragon tier, the ratings here are assuming you will never use the Augment 6 options.
Level 22 Utility Disciplines
Deaden Blow (PsP): Half damage is a good way to punish someone attacking you. The good news is that this will help if more than one monster attacks you. The bad news is that once you've used it, it will tend to encourage monsters to attack your allies instead.
Fearless Mindset (PsP): If you go up against a lot of fear attacks, then maybe this is for you.
Immortal Endurance (PHB3): A lot of no-strings-attached THP never hurt anyone.
Indomitable Maneuver (PHB3): A 12 square movement that ignores enemies is a good solution to not having ranged attacks.
Mental Haven (PsP): An augmentable psionic class power that recovers encounter powers? Really? And it takes you off the board to boot, and thus prevents you from doing your job.
Perfect Eye (PHB3): You're a melee class. Normally, you are working with range 1 or 2; this power just doesn't do much for you.
Psychic Feast (DSCS): Goodly number of THP on a per-encounter basis... as long as you can meet that pesky trigger. Still, since you're always trying to kill things, it's hardly a burden.
Tactical Supremacy (PHB3): You can do worse than free CA for an encounter, but it's not game-changing.
Wings of Elevated Thought (PsP): Flight will shine in terrain-heavy fights, and it is as always pretty cool.
Level 23 At-Will Disciplines
Armor of Blades (PHB3): This would be an amazing replacement for Mind Spike, if it didn't take the Augment 6 to keep your standard. Still, it is such a good replacement (interrupt instead of reaction, attack redirection, keys off your weapon) that it's possible to find a place for it, especially if you have a good Charisma and can make use of the Augment 2.
Blade Tremor (DSCS): It's easy enough to arrange that this power will always knock at least one enemy prone. The augment 2 is always a straight damage upgrade, but the improved effect is pretty situational. Before you take this, though, look at Might of the Ogre instead.
Crushing Vortex (PsP): At this point, you can spam the Augment 2, which isn't too bad. The extra damage on the unaugmented version is situational enough that you probably won't be able to trigger it very often.
Double Vision (PsP): At epic, this is just too weak an effect and too little damage.
Iron Presence (PsP): The Augment 2 is identical to the Augment 2 of Whirling Defense. The unaugmented version saves you a power point, as opposed to how Whirling Defense gives you another free mark. But this is one of the rare cases where the Augment 6 is worthwhile, since it's a good-sized burst attack that hands out encounter-long marks.
Might of the Ogre (PHB3): You need a good OA to make this work, but with that in place, this power is fantastic. Extra damage, extra accuracy, an attack debuff, and stickiness in one elegant little package -- and you can do it in a burst!
Press of Battle (PHB3): Another stickiness power, and not a terrible one, but look at Might of the Ogre instead.
Reality Shuffle (PsP): It's a reach attack that doesn't help you get any closer.
Spring Assault (PHB3): CA isn't worth burning an at-will slot on, and the Augment 2 is just horrible.
Veil of the Mind's Eye (PHB3): The augment 2 is solid ally protection. The unaugmented version is a little more iffy, since it relies both on your allies being a good distance away and you having good stickiness, but it's still functional.
Level 25 Daily Disciplines
Aspect of Luminous Thought (PHB3): It might be auto-damage, but it's not good auto-damage. A defensive boost with the Aspect augment is okay but not amazing (especially if you've gone with the Topaz Crusader epic destiny), and even with a good Wisdom modifier that extra damage isn't going to do much at this level.
Blazing Offensive (PsP): That's a lot of movement and a lot of ongoing damage on up to three creatures. It's fire damage, which is bad for resistances, so don't use it in fights against fire-resistant creatures.
Corona of the Sunsphere (DSCS): Good single target damage, and the stance power is extra punishment that stacks with Mind Spike. Sadly, as an OA it's pretty bad in epic.
Deadly Haste Strike (PHB3): Another OA stance power, but no control and the dependence on having a good MBA means it's worse than the paragon tier options, though still better than the heroic tier options.
Psychic Hammer (PHB3): Domination is a creative way to negate an enemy's attacks, and the free shift helps with the creature's limited actions. Be wary of using this on solos in particular, though, which will at this level probably be able to easily negate the effect.
Stolen Vigor (PsP): Decent single-target damage, weakened, healing for you, and importantly a way to cripple saving throws against the effect.
Sublime Fury (PsP): Accuracy penalties are injurious. Insulting is given free MBAs to a class that has terrible MBAs.
Temporal Reiteration (PsP): It sounds cool, but it doesn't do much in the way of damage or anything else, really.
Vitality Theft (PHB3): Good damage, targets Will, and enough power points for three extra Lighting Rushes. Not flashy but you shouldn't complain.
Level 27 At-Will Disciplines
Brandished Promise (PsP): Multi-marking is very important, but not like this. Stick with Iron Presence, or take Psionic Storm.
Brilliant Recovery (PHB3): A minor-action attack when you miss is good for your DPR at the best of times. This power has amazing synergy with Brutal Barrage: even at 75% accuracy with Brutal Barrage, you will be able to use Brilliant Recovery on 70% of your turns. Brilliant Recovery is also invaluable in strategies based around deliberately missing(x) with your standard. Keep in mind you can always turn your move into a minor for a second use of Brilliant Recovery.
Cage of Cowardrice (PHB3): If you've been using Twisted Eye to make your OAs up to this point, now is when you finally get to ask: is a damage upgrade worth replacing a useful debuff with a probably superfluous one?
Elusive Ghost (PsP): It's a bit of mobility, and it's easy enough to boost teleport range. Bit lacking for epic, though.
Imprisoned Mind (PsP): For most battleminds, it's not enemies shifting they need help with, it's enemies that simply move. A power that prevents the former and thereby encourages the latter is not really ideal.
Mind of Mirrors (PHB3): Unaugmented is a huge accuracy penalty; Augment 2 is a vicious power that tries to force the enemy into friendly fire. While I'm not a fan of using Augment 6 on general principle, no-save-ends dominate can be worth blowing your power points on. This is good stuff.
Obsidian Shield (PsP): An at-will blast is never to be sneered at, especially one that can be used for multi-marking. On the other hand, the reduced damage is a bit offensive for level 27.
Psionic Storm (PHB3): An improved version of Cloud of Dancing Blades. Big burst damage on the Augment 2, and the Mind Spike upgrade is now an effect. The latter in particular means that even battleminds without a good Wis modifier should consider upgrading Cloud of Dancing Blades to this.
Level 29 Daily Disciplines
Aspect of Annihilation (PHB3): Big name, piddly damage. The usefulness of this basically comes down to party optimization: how many save ends effects your party puts out vs their ability to cripple saving throws.
Darting Grace Strike (PsP): Attack three targets against reflex, and then get a defensive boost. The stance attack power is CA and some mobility, neither of which is terrible.
Fatal Barrage (PHB3): Again, this is a party optimization power. If you can drown a solo in save ends effects, this power will shine.
Focused Rampage (DSCS): This power is reasonable just for the damage and the THP. The stance, however, is either fantastic (if you have an attack-granting leader or at-wills that are significantly superior to your usual OA solution), or pointless (if by level 29 your party has dealt with the fact that you have substandard MBAs).
Killing Winds Assault
(PsP): The mobility boost is solid, as is the damage. A defender turning invisible for a turn isn't the best thing in the world for the party, but it helps when you're taking a lot of grief.
Many Doors Curse
(PsP): A power that keeps an enemy adjacent to you is never bad. Combine this with damaging zones for lots of fun.
(PHB3): The last OA stance power. The stance itself is
very sticky, and the power would be fantastic... if it was party friendly. As it is, a huge unfriendly close burst attack will not earn you many friends in a melee-oriented party.
(PHB3): Unabashed straight damage. Don't be too tempted by the power point condition, as that extra damage loses its value if the fight is almost over anyway.
Omniscient Strike (PsP): Accurate, can prevent damage, and gets you power points back, all of which makes this a great power to bust out once you've run out of power points to use, say, Forceful Reversal.
Tuesday, 22nd September, 2015, 09:36 PM #8Themes
As a general rule, no theme can actually hurt your character, and the benefits that come from themes tend to be overshadowed by what your class provides. In view of this, I only rate the themes here from a very battlemind-centric viewpoint according to three tiers. A theme that shores up weaknesses in the base class (this basically means: a good level 2 utility, a boost to either Fortitude or Will, more power points, a melee basic attack, a ranged attack, or improved stickiness) is rated blue. Themes that require significant investment to use are purple. Everything is simply rated black. If you would like to see the themes evaluated in more detail, I suggest looking at one(x)
several(x) Theme handbooks.
Note that psionic augmentation classes can't make use of theme encounter attack powers, as the power swap rules will not allow you to choose them.
Alchemist (Dragon 399): A theme that basically makes alchemical items viable. Good for versatility.
Animal Master (Dragon 399): The powers of this theme are effectively at best dailies. Even with scaling defences, your beast will die easily and you can't make use of the theme without putting the beast at risk. Even when your beast is alive, it won't do very much. If you're taking this theme, you're doing it because you think it's cool, not because it's useful.
Athasian Minstrel (DSCS): A surprisingly good choice for battleminds, as the free encounter power and the Unwelcome Guest paragon path are quite good for movement denial.
Bregan D'aerthe Spy (NCS; drow): Levitation is cool, as is not having your defences chipped away by combat advantage. Not sure why you'd want to play a drow battlemind, but if you do this is a solid choice.
Callidyrr Dragon (Dragon 405; human or halfling): Eesh. The only thing worth mentioning here is the free Mounted Combat feat. The level 2 utility is good, but you're better off with the Guardian theme.
Chevalier (Dragon 399): The theme is geared around mounts and around charging. The former is a game mechanic with scaling problems, and the latter is something battleminds have problems with. Still, the level 1 feature power gives a charge attack some non-damage threat, and there is a bonus to saving throws.
Dead Rat Deserter (NCS; human, half-elf, or halfling): The starting feature wants good Stealth, and the level 10 feature wants good Strength or Dexterity. The rare Dex-secondary battlemind might make good use of it, but most battleminds will look elsewhere.
Devil's Pawn (NCS): As long as your allies can ignore the weak fire damage, the starting power is a great complement to your mark. The level 5 feature is campaign specific, and fire resistance is maybe a little overrated for a level 10 feature but hardly a bad thing.
Dune Trader (DSCS): Not terrible, but nothing here that screams great synergy with battleminds.
Elemental Priest (DSCS): The encounter power and all the utilities provide good passive defensive bonuses that can simplify your life and that of your allies, though the fact that it is an implement path requires some investment to deal with.
Escaped Slave (DSCS): It's not bad, but the theme as a whole really wants to consume your immediates, which you need for other things.
Explorer (Dragon 399): The bonus to Fortitude is important, and the feature power and the level 2 utility are reasonable boosts to mobility (though the other riders are situational).
Fatedancer (Dragon 401): Do you use Fortune Cards? If so, you might want to look at this. Otherwise, never.
Fey Beast Tamer (HotFW): By far and away the best animal companion theme, and that's not meant as faint praise. The beast companions don't offer great synergies with the battlemind in particular, though.
Gladiator (DSCS): The encounter power is great, though the utilities are a bit lacking. Mostly, however, this makes available the Gladiator Champion paragon path.
Gloomwrought Emissary (Dragon 400): Basically the theme wants a Charisma-boosting character who'll be getting a lot of combat advantage. Battleminds aren't maybe the ideal match, but especially paired with a rogue or other CA-seeker, you can make solid use of this theme
Guardian (Dragon 399): The feature power is a mini-Lightning Rush which requires a good MBA. At level 7, you either take Forceful Reversal and use Guardian's Counter when you don't get attacked, or you take Lightning Rush, which obsoletes Guardian's Counter but synegizes well with the level 10 feature (assuming your DM lets you choose another player as your bonded charge). The utilities are also very good.
Guttersnipe (Dragon 399): A slowing pseudo-charge attack against a NAD as the first power is a pretty good deal (especially given that your real charge probably sucks), and the level 2 utility gives you an early Catch-22. The level 10 utility gives you an important tool for shedding movement-restricting status effects as well.
Harper Agent (NCS): No-action accuracy boosting and saving throw rerolls are things anyone would want, even with the item dependency. The level 2 utility is a reasonable defender choice as well.
Heir of Delzoun (NCS; dwarf): Resist poison is nice, but you don't really need more healing surges.
Horselands Nomad (Dragon 404): Do you like mounts? You might like this. The ability to subsitute Nature for Arcana checks is also a bonus for Wis-secondary battleminds.
Hospitaler (Dragon 399): Assuming you've got a decent secondary score, then this theme basically lets you act as a bit of a shielding swordmage.
Iliyanbruen Guardian (NCS; eladrin): The name aside, there isn't much here that any defender would beg for. However, the combo of the starting feature and the level 2 utility Evasive Step does give you some ability to defend your party against close or area attacks.
Iron Wolf Warrior (Dragon 400): The theme centres around charging and basic attacks. Pity you can't do that very well. If you're starting in a Paragon game where you've already solved the MBA problem, this might be worth looking at, but in Heroic other themes will be of greater benefit.
Mercenary (Dragon 399): The selling feature is the flat-out damage bonus in Takedown Strike, and that is nothing to sneer at. The theme offers little beyond that, though.
Neverwinter Noble (NCS; human): The level 10 feature is campaign specific, but the other features give you some nice leader functions. The real draw is the level 2 utility: a marking aura that isn't actually a mark -- which means it stacks.
Noble (Dragon 399): Functional but nothing stand-out.
Noble Adept (DSCS): The feature power is not bad, but the selling point is really the extra power point.
Oghma's Faithful (NCS): The skill reroll at level 5 is nice, but the other features are lacklustre.
Ordained Priest (Dragon 399): Not an unreasonable way to add a leader subrole to your character.
Order Adept (Dragon 399): The level 1 feature power will be useless to you without investment in implements, but the real selling point here is access to the range of wizard utilities at level 5 and the bonus to Will at level 10.
Outlaw (Dragon 399): As with the Mercenary theme, the reason to choose this is the level 1 feature, which lets you apply dazed with any at-will attack once per encounter. The rest of the theme is middling.
Pack Outcast (NCS; human or shifter): Normally a very strong theme, but it doesn't synergize fantastically with battleminds. You lose your shield bonus when you switch to wolf form, and auto-CA to adajcent enemies is going to encourage them to leave, which you very much would prefer to prevent.
Primal Guardian (DSCS): Very defender-oriented, with a feature power that offers both marking and ranged punishment. The level 2 utility is at least as good as any other option you have, and Storm of Debris, the level 5 daily, is also worth a look -- decent burst damage, plus encounter-long auto-damage and -marking.
Samurai (Dragon 404): The level 1 overlaps a bit with Speed of Thought, so non-SoT battleminds can take it to get a bit of that functionality, and SoT battleminds can take it for the added benefits and to get an insane amount of movement at the beginning of an encounter. Not a bad path all round, but it really appeals for Brutal Barrage critfishing.
Sarifal Feywarden (Dragon 405; non-drow fey): Sarifal's Blessing is a nice damage increase to Conductive Defense, but the blue rating really comes from the Fortitude bonus at 10.
Scholar (Dragon 399): If your DM makes heavy use of languages in the campaign, then and only then would you want to look at this.
Scion of Shadow (NCS; human, shadar-kai, or shade): Nothing here worthy of note.
Seer (Dragon 399): Cast Fortune is an incredibly useful power for figuring out whether Augments or encounter powers will be useful, and rolling Perception twice with the level 10 feature is always handy.
Sidhe Lord (HotFW; half-elf or fey): Not bad at all. At level 10 you effectively have an encounter teleport, and the House Guard can suck up a hit you don't want to take.
Spellscarred Harbinger (NCS): At level 5, you get a daily version of the Outlaw's level 1 encounter power. Really? But if you can look beyond this, an encounter teleport and saving throw reroll are good stuff. On top of that the level 2 utility is a very solid choice.
Seeker of Illefarn (Dragon 402; eladrin, elf, or half-elf): The mini-Elven Accuracy is the best part of the theme, but it's an all-round workable choice.
Sohei (Dragon 404): A minor action attack (and a good one at that), with saving throw bonuses for the status effects you really hate. Bonuses to Insight and Perception are a nice touch.
Son of Alagondar (Dragon 402): A nice starting feature package, and a defensive boost in the level 10 feature. You also have the ability to hit a variety of defences, so the level 2 utility could see some use.
Student of Evard (Dragon 400): You don't have shadow powers, and you probably won't be making the skill checks you'd get bonuses on. You do, however, have the hitpoints to make use of the level 1 power.
Templar (DSCS): If you're prepared to invest in the implement power, it can be useful for stickiness. The level 2 utility is okay as well, though maybe not enough to sell the theme by itself.
Tuathan (HotFW; human or half-elf): Faerie Fortune is a great utility, and the theme offers a slew of handy if not stand-out features.
Unseelie Agent (HotFW): The feature power is almost useless (especially if you're playing with Inherent Bonuses), the level 5 feature gives you a language that no-one else speaks, and the level 10 feature is a bonus with a roleplaying penalty.
Uthgardt Barbarian (NCS; human): The starting feature is a nice bit of protection for your allies, and you'll grow to appreciate it yourself when you pick up Lightning Rush. Not much else on offer here, though.
Veiled Alliance (DSCS): If you're prepared to invest in an implement, then the feature power (especially augmented for the shift) is actually a very nice choice solution to your ranged attack woes.
Wasteland Nomad (DSCS): Some battlemind builds will naturally find that they tend to spend most of their time away from the rest of the party. For those cases, the solo-oriented features of this theme will shine.
Wilder (DSCS): To be frank, outside Brutal Barrage, battleminds are not a good class for crit-fishing, which is what this theme is all about. On top of that, it's an implement class, so you'll need to solve the expertise problem. However, this class does unlock the Resurgent Wilder paragon path with its 18-20 crit range.
Wizard's Apprentice (Dragon 399): An implement path, with nothing overwhelming to recommend if you're not going to invest in being able to use the feature power.
Yakuza (Dragon 404): It needs good Charisma, but the level 2 utility is a top-rank pick. This is a solid choice, but just not quite enough to make blue.
When choosing a paragon path, remember that choosing a non-psionic paragon path will lose you 2 power points. That's a fairly steep price, and needs to be approached with caution.
Battlemind Paragon Paths
Blackstone Guardian (PsP): This path is a solid combination of movement denial (through Blackstone Chains, Blackstone Curse, and the great Augment with the level 20 aspect power) and damage resistance. Being Wisdom secondary isn't necessary, though the action point feature will suffer otherwise. As of June 2011, Monolithic Vision grants a slide, letting you use Mind Spike to interrupt multi-hit attacks (or all attacks, once you get to Epic and get Prescient Retaliation), and your ability to lockdown makes it realistic to rely on Mind Spike.
Eternal Blade (PHB3): You need a good OA to make the most of this, which can be a pain. However, Eternal Vigilance is a decent power that becomes amazing when you get Guided Aggression, and Blade Guide and Eternal Warrior are very handy.
Incandescent Champion (PsP): Take this if your party is going Radiant Mafia and someone else in the party has taken Morninglord to get radiant damage without tying up your weapon choice, power points, and powers that you can use. However, if you're going to set up a radiant combination all by your lonesome, do not take this and take Morninglord yourself.
Iron Guardian (PHB3): Iron Control's forced movement resistance is great stuff, though Impenetrable Iron is unlikely to come up often and Iron Defense is a bit of a trap. The powers are reasonable, though if you want the most out of Aspect of the Iron Guardian make sure you have Stone Squire or (later) Might of the Ogre.
Quicksilver Demon (PsP): It's a path all about mobility. On its own, it seems a bit contradictory -- why huge bonuses against OAs if you're going to get a long shift? Why be able to break slow with a move that won't let you move more than if you were slowed? -- but the missing element is Lightning Rush. What this paragon path does extremely well is make sure that you can move as much as needed on when you Lightning Rush, and that you're as unlikely to be hit when moving into position as possible.
Son of Mercy (Dragon 370): The attack powers are useless to you, the level 16 feature is hard to trigger, and the utility is pretty situational. For battleminds, the selling point is Lawbreaker's Doom. By itself, it's pretty good for some extra damage and single-target lockdown; however, what makes it show up in battlemind builds is the fact that the bonus damage from Lawbreaker's Doom is compatible with Brutal Barrage.
Steel Ego (PHB3): This path is all about getting the most out of Mind Spike, which is frankly a bit of an uphill battle. Stinging Rebuke is the best part of the path. The other powers are also good, with a decent Catch-22 in Forceful Contempt and a good damage power in Fear and Loathing (you should have a good OA, though). Mind Smash essentially gives you Steel Rebuke for free (and they will stack), though it's Charisma only and has all the same problems.
Storm Disciple (PsP): This path just really doesn't have anything on offer, unless you're trying for Mark of Storm tricks.
Talaric Ironjack (PsP): This is a very utilitarian defender path. You will likely be using unaugmented powers a lot, so Defensive Aura is great, and Superior Action is free healing and accuracy on action points. The level 16 feature is a bit less impressive, but battlefield rearrangement, especially so easily triggered, is always handy. The attack powers are good damage,and the utility is more healing. No battlemind is going to be the worse for having taken this path.
Unbound Nomad (PsP): This path has three selling points: the forced movement resistance of Nomad's Prerogative, the incredible power that is Cunning Abduction, and the Blurred Step upgrade of Nomad's Journey. The latter requires having a Dex modifier of at least +2, but you can get away with that without suffering too much. Unfortunately, the rest of the path is a bit hit or miss, with random elements to the other powers and the situational usefulness of Banishing Action.
Wielder of the Way (DSCS): The features aren't really stellar, but the powers are fairly good: the augmented level 11 attack can rack up a lot of damage off OAs in the right party, and the other two powers have some nasty status effects.
Zephyr Blade (PHB3): Reliable use of Beguiling Advantage requires good Charisma and some tricks to be pulled off (your first at-will slowing power is Gravity Well at 17), but it can be done, which means a big boost to your damage output. The mobility boost of Speed of the Wind is also nice, and getting insubstantial and phasing is handy for managing damage. The attack powers are also solid.
Other Paragon Paths
Dark Walker (HoS; requires good or lawful good alignment): The level 11 feature might help with your OA problem, but it will be DM-dependent as to whether it is is deterrent enough. The level 11 power gives you a ranged alternative to Mind Spike, and the other powers will give you a decent leader sub-role.
Evermeet Warlock (FRPG; requires warlock): You'll need a consistent source of teleports (but luckily Warlocks have one of the best such powers in Ethereal Sidestep), but with it Feywild Wake is a big deal; a big bonus to defences against your target of the moment, and it makes it much harder to get an OA on you when you use Lightning Rush.
Gladiator Champion (DSCS; requires Gladiator theme): Halo of Destruction is a bit of a write-off, but otherwise it's all about damage, accuracy, and movement denial.
Impure Scion (PsP; requires Foulborn Heritage): Power points, some help with marking, some help with senses, some help with initiative, and a bonus to Will that can lead to a boost to accuracy. The powers aren't great, but at least they key off Constitution. Entirely functional.
Lyrandar Wind-Rider (EPG; requires Mark of Storm): Obviously, the huge selling point of the path is Storm Adept, which gives you an accuracy boost and huge damage increase as long as you have Thundering Force or a Lightning Weapon. The other features are flight-oriented, which isn't bad, and the powers are solid as long as yo solve the aggravating implement issue. For various reasons, this is a great path to choose if you're trying to specialise in Brutal Barrage.
Morninglord (FRPG; requires divine class, worshipping Amauntor): Burning Radiance, the level 16 feature of this path, is the core of exploitation of the radiant damage type. Obviously, you should only be looking at this path if you're going this way, and since so little of it is of use to you the best way to make use of it is to persuade someone else in the party to take it instead.
Resurgent Wilder (DSCS; requires Wilder theme): It's an implement-using paragon path, the action point feature essentially obsoletes itself, and basically if you can't roll critical hits this entire path is useless. However, it does give you an 18-20 crit range on your at-will psionic attacks.
Rrathmal (PHB3; requires githzerai): A way to shed bad status effects, an initiative boost, and a fairly reliable critical hit per encounter make this all great. The utility is very situational: basically, only good when Blurred Step won't keep you in contact and when your OA would be punishment enough (and of course, useless with Harrying Step). The daily attack won't ever hit, but you don't care, because the bit where "all allies auto-hit" is an effect. Definitely give this a look.
Unwelcome Guest (DSCS; requires Athasian Minstrel theme): Mostly notable for the action point feature and the encounter and utility power, all of which are good for keeping enemies close to you.
Battlemind Epic Destinies
Ceaseless Guardian (Dragon 387): A very strong defender destiny under most circumstances, it suffers by comparison to Topaz Crusader. It trades away the huge defensive boosts of Topaz Crusader for great healing support and a daily initiative boost.
Champion of Prophecy (EPG): A decent dual-stat boost destiny with a daily power recovering option. Unfortunately, it's been surpassed by newer options like Destined Scion and Indomitable Champion.
Cosmic Soul (PsP): When the capstone feature is for a class of powers you don't have, the destiny is not for you.
Darklord Soul (Dragon 372): Flavourful, maybe, but not useful.
Demigod (PHB): Your only encounter attack power is your paragon path power, which makes the capstone pretty useless. Luckily, you now have much better options in Destined Scion and Indomitable Champion.
Demiurge (PsP): A boost to Charisma along with Constitution, and Deification of the Self and Demiurge Resistance have some good defensive aspects, particularly synergistic in saving throws. The core of this destiny is the two action points per milestone, though, so great for a build with an impressive AP nova.
Destined Scion (HotFK): Dual stat boosts, gains to accuracy, and a functional do-not-die power make this the more offensive of the two top-tier generic destinies.
Dispossessed Champion (EPG): No stat boosts and leader-oriented powers and features. This does not synergize with your core competencies.
Eighth Seal (PsP): Topaz Crusader has the exact same flavour with much better features.
Eternal Seeker (PHB): You can't really get the full mileage out of this destiny due to its lack of support for augmentable at-wills, but being able to pick up utilities and dailies from any class means this might still have a place in some builds.
Godmind (PHB3): Lay Bare the Mind is depressingly inadequate, as is Startling Insight and, well, the rest of the destiny, really.
Guardian of the Void (HoS): A stat bump means this does okay, but frankly it's outclassed by Topaz Crusader plus the Death's Disciple feat.
Harbinger of Doom (PHB2): Master of Ill Fortune is pretty good, but for the most part a better solution to this destiny is to be found in buying new dice.
Heir of Siberys (Dragon 388): Once again, a capstone based around encounter attack powers makes this a less than ideal choice.
Hordemaster (DSCS): While it's geared towards of a leader function, it isn't a terrible choice. Dual stat boost, battlefield mobility, attack enabling and healing, along with my favourite immortality feature.
Indomitable Champion (HotFL): The more defensively oriented of the two top-tier generic destinies. This unfortunately puts it in the shadow of Topaz Crusader, but the dual stat boost keeps Indomitable Champion in contention.
Invincible Mind (PHB3): No stat boost, but the +2 to weapon attack rolls balances that out, and the initiative boost is helpful as well. What really brings this into consideration is the level 24 feature, which means a constant supply of power points for your immediate at-wills, which in turn means you can freely burn power points on Augment 4 and 6 powers.
Keeper of the Everflow (HoS): A nice front-loaded destiny, Enlightened Rebirth lets you choose your resistances, or defence boosts, or saving throw bonuses, or (perhaps most important for charop) the ability to make most of your at-wills do radiant damage. The immortality feature comes at level 24, which is also useful, though sadly the destiny loses some steam (though the flavour-only capstone feature is nifty).
Keybearer (Dragon 372): There's just nothing here that will do much for a battlemind.
Marshal of Letherna (HoS): Eh. You'd think the level 24 feature would help with stickiness, but what it will really do is make your OA even more vital. The utility screws over your allies as much as it does you, and there's really nothing else to say.
Master of Moments (PsP): The destiny is about nova potential. Other classes love the full turn of actions out of the action point, which is great for everyone, but Brutal Barrage plus Brilliant Recovery means that battleminds can get a huge amount out of the extra minor every turn from Bountiful Seconds.
Mind Lord of the Order (DSCS): Note that when they say "any psionic class," they mean "psion."
Planeshaper (Dragon 372): A boost to your dump stat and a cornerstone feature about encounter attack powers. No go.
Prince of Hell (Dragon 372): Hellfire Master is no good to you, and Infernal Form doesn't boost Con.
Prison of the Winds (Dragon 371): A Constitution-centric destiny, which puts it right up your alley. Forced movement, proning, mobility bonus: this path is quite workable.
Punisher of the Gods (Dragon 372): This really needs a big damage dealer to work, and the striker tricks that battleminds can build aren't really compatible with this.
Radiant One (Dragon 366): Good for Intelligence-oriented characters or build capitalizing on fire or radiant vulnerability, neither of which are your forte.
Reborn Champion (Dragon 365): Really showing its age now, I think.
Shiradi Champion (HotFW): Take Topaz Crusader instead. Might see some use if you really want an immortality or take-me-off-the-board features, or if there's a lot of other Shiradi Champions in the party.
Storm Sovereign (Dragon 372): A boost to your primary, flight, elemental resistance, attack redirection onto enemies: all good.
Topaz Crusader (PsP): Boost to Con and huge boosts to your defences, including outright immunity to a variety of nasty status effects. The capstone feature can give you power points back, and even if you never use the aberrant-specific features, this path is one of the top choices for a battlemind.
Twilight Tribune (HoS): No boost to Constitution and powers and features that encourage enemies to attack your allies suggest looking elsewhere.
Unyielding Sentinel (Dragon 388): Stat boosts in the right places, best of two on saving throws, and a daily that negates a bunch of the worst tricks enemies can play. Unfortunately, the capstone is a bit weak.
Wild Hunter (HotFW): You don't rely on Strength or Dexterity and you don't have encounter attack powers.
Other Epic Destinies
Paragon paths or epic destinies worth multi-classing for are mentioned in the sections above, and class-specific racial feats are in the racial feat section. Here I'll discuss feats from other classes worth multiclassing for, broken down by the relevant application.
Opportunity/melee basic attacks
While Melee Training can provide us with reasonable accuracy on melee basic attacks, the ideal is some measure of control: mostly, this means slowing, immobilizing, or forced movement. A top tier choice in this respect is to multiclass fighter, which gives you basic damage upgrades to your OAs using Focused Superiority or Savage Axe, as well as more sophisticated options like Swift Spear+Polearm Momentum or Lashing Flail+Hindering Shield. In addition, the fighter multiclass feats are useful in their own right (particularly Battle Awareness, though Wrathful Warrior is also good), and a number of other useful combat feats become available. The other top choice is warden, to pick up Sudden Roots. Warden opens up much fewer feats (basically just Crippling Crush and Warden's Endurance), but compared to the fighter, going warden will have your OA effective sooner and with fewer expended feats.
Paladin is a great multiclass option if you want to improve your marking. Solider of Faith gives you a free Divine Challenge per encounter, which if managed correctly will last the entire encounter -- and since it doesn't use an immediate action to punish, it will stack with Mind Spike! On top of that, you get access to some great defensive (Virtuous Recovery, Hero's Poise), leader-ish (Weakening Challenge, Just Sacrifice) and offensive (Paladin's Truth) feats.
There are only two feats that add a square to a shift distance, and one of them is the rogue's Risky Shift. Unfortunately, rogue has little else to offer battlemind's; the Sneak Attack from Sneak of Shadows is a nice damage upgrade, but nothing in the feat list will help with your melee basic attacks.
While your in-class solutions for defence ought to be good enough not to require multiclassing, if your DM is too assiduous in respecting your mark you might want to consider multiclassing psion. Predictive Defense gives you a similar benefit to Talaric Ironjack. Combine this with Precise Mind, which gives you a bonus to hit with unaugmented at-wills after you hit with an Augment 2 -- and if you're using Lighting Rush, you expect to be using both Augment 2s and unaugmented powers every round.
Tuesday, 22nd September, 2015, 09:37 PM #9Battlemind Strategies
I highly recommend reading AlphaTheGreat's Ultimate Defenders(x) thread for a more thorough overview of the general principles of defending, but to quickly summarize: the defender's role is to put enemies between the devil and the deep blue sea. The enemy can choose one of three options: to attack an ally, to attack the defender, or to avoid the defender's trap altogether. It is the job of the defender to make sure that whatever the enemy chooses, it is a bad choice. This means trying to strike a balance between the counters to the three options: that is, to improve the defender's stickiness (forcing the enemy to abide by the rules of the trap), his mark punishment (punishing a decision to attack an ally), and defences (punishing a decision to attack the defender).
In this section I'm going to try to sketch out how the battlemind deals with those three tasks and ways in which performance can be improved. In prioritizing the aspects to perform, keep in mind that the critical element in making build decisions is to make focus on penalizing whichever of the three choices your DM is most likely to pick. It is no guarantee that what your DM chooses is the choice he should make from an optional perspective, so make your decisions based on your play experience.
If you cannot keep your enemy within the range of your mark punishment, then he has no unpleasant choice to be making. Because an enemy can shift and then charge, this means that keeping them next to you requires being able in the same round to punish or prevent shifts and walking/running/charging. For battleminds, this boils down to Blurred Step and opportunity attacks.
Blurred Step in principle allows you follow enemies through shifts. However, to make this work, the number of squares in Blurred Step's shift needs to be roughly equivalent to the number of squares the enemy shifts (slightly less if you are good with positioning), and monsters tend to get longer range movement at higher levels. Unfortunately, there are very few ways to increase the shift distance of Blurred Step: Blurred Speed and Long Step, multi-classing Rogue for Risky Shift, being eladrin, taking the Unbound Nomad paragon path, your choice of two light armors, and Harrying Step. Of all these, only Harrying Step provides unbounded range, and it requires only your choice of study and a single feat, which is why the Persistent Harrier option is rated so highly in this guide.
Opportunity attacks are a domain in which battleminds are absolutely horrible. Without investment, you quite literally provide no reason at all for monsters to not simply walk away from you. Within the class, the tools provided are at-wills with Augments that allow the power to be used as an OA (Twisted Eye, Ego Crush, and Cage of Cowardrice), and daily powers that put you in a stance that gives an opportunity attack. The latter are generally a terrible option: you can only have three such powers (four if you choose from a very small number of paragon paths), and many of the available powers are actually quite poor. The OA augment powers are much more viable, particularly Twisted Eye, though they will be a major drain on your power points, especially in Heroic. Another possibility is to spend feats. Heavy Blade Opportunity is a good solution, though unfortunately not until paragon, and it requires a lot of otherwise unnecessary stat investment. The state of Melee Training means the damage is too low to be a real discouragement, but combined with OA or MBA enhancement feats from other classes like Sudden Roots (warden) or Hindering Shield+Lashing Flail (fighter) provides a measure of control.
(Note that OA stance powers aren't very good as a substitute for opportunity attacks, they still have a niche. Because they are not opportunity attacks (which as of the Rules Compendium is a very specific thing, and not just shorthand for "attacking off an opportunity action), but instead opportunity actions triggered on movement which grant an attack, there are a number of monsters (usually skirmishers) with powers (usually named something like "Mobile" or "Flyby") that don't trigger opportunity attacks, but will still trigger the OA stance powers. It's not a complete panacea -- teleporting doesn't provoke any sort of opportunity action, the OA stance powers won't trigger on ranged attacks, and there are a few monsters that avoid provoking "opportunity action attacks," but there's still a space of about 60 or 70 monsters that the OA stances will help you deal with.)
Finally, one way to bypass all of these concerns is to use powers to provide your stickiness instead. Lodestone Lure, for example, renders all of the above moot by simply requiring the enemy to stay adjacent. More subtly, since the issue is not keeping the enemy adjacent, but keeping the enemy within the range of your mark punishment, powers that effectively extend the range of your punishment -- most notably Lightning Rush -- also render you more sticky. Once again, however, this solution tends to be power point intensive.
The class feature for mark punishment is Mind Spike. It has good points: auto-damage which is typed but that only a single creature in the game (the Godforged Colossus) resists, and it works in a way to discourage the selection of the target's most damaging powers. Unfortunately, Mind Spike is very difficult to improve upon. The feats that benefit it do not help you in any other way, and the majority of those feats are terrible. There are only really three good three feats to bolster Mind Spike: Lure of Iron (adds forced movement), Prescient Retaliation (make it an interrupt) and Rapid Mind Spike (make it a free action once per round). Of those three, only Lure of Iron is available before epic. Frankly, the best policy is not to invest any feats in Mind Spike. Either it works for you as is, or you need to look at improving mark punishment through powers instead. While this includes supplemental powers such as Conductive Defense, what the power approach really means is the use of Lightning Rush not to supplement Mind Spike but to replace it.
The rule of thumb for defences for a defender is that you should aim to have your AC be at level+18 and your best NAD about level+16. Keeping your AC that high is going to require investing in either Armor Specialization (scale) or Armor Proficiency (Plate), so make sure you will end up with either a Strength or Dexterity of 15 at some point (probably paragon). For your NADs, battleminds tend to have two well-rounded NADs rather than one very good one, so hitting that peak of 16 may prove to be difficult. However, with just Improved Defences you should have two NADs near level+14; investing in Superior Will or Fortitude plus some other item that boosts the relevant defence should put you in a good spot. In addition to all this, the battlemind has a good selection of powers, paragon paths, and epic destinies that provide defence boosts or damage resistance. If you find that you are attracting enough attacks that even with your target defences met you're taking a lot of damage, you have lots of tools to improve your situation.
However, the ideal improvement on the defensive side is actually offensive, where the marked target will take damage regardless of whether he attacks an ally or the defender. Forceful Reversal makes this one of the battlemind's strengths: no other defender has an in-class option for at-will counter-attacking. If you find yourself in a situation where the target defences don't seem to be enough, the first thing you should look towards is Forceful Reversal.
Tuesday, 22nd September, 2015, 09:38 PM #10Sample Builds
Polearm Momentum builds, using the feat of the same name to keep enemies prone, are popular with battleminds. If you're thinking of going this route, in addition to looking at the builds below you should consult Wazat1's Polearm Momentum handbook(x).
Achilles(x): A build by langeweile demonstrating how Brutal Barrage can be utilized to make a damage-heavy battlemind.
Push It: A forced-movement specialist from Dielzen.
Psilent Guardian: A unique battlemind put together by mellored that relies on teleporting and stealth to make the DM miserable.
Ronin(x): Another build by langeweile, this time using polearms to make a mobile forced-movement specialist.
The Thunder Titan(x): Rathyr demonstrates why Thundering Force makes Wild Focus a good option.
Wild Mindreaver: A critfishing Brutal Barrage build by PaulO.
While this guide concerns itself primarily with pure battleminds, there are a number of good hybrid battlemind builds:
The Inescapeable Fisherman(x): A swordmage|battlemind by SongNSilence that focusses on stickiness, using Brutal Barrage with Heavy Blade Opportunity as a proning tool.
The Invisible Stalker(x): Another swordmage|battlemind, this time by Mommy_was_an_Orc, making heavy use of Blurred Step.
Ioun Grey Stone Marker(x): Mommy_was_an_Orc combined battlemind with fighter to get the best of the battlemind's marking skills with the fighter's superior mark punishment.
The Man of Steel(x): a battlemind|warden hybrid by BaronSengir that makes incredibly good use of Intellect Snap.
By bganon in forum Older D&D Editions (4E, 3.x, 2E, 1E, OD&D), D&D Variants, and OSR GamingReplies: 21Last Post: Tuesday, 21st December, 2010, 03:09 PM
By Sir Elton in forum Roleplaying Games General DiscussionReplies: 9Last Post: Friday, 9th June, 2006, 06:23 AM