4E Death Before Dishonor: A Knight's Guide (By lorduskblade)
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  1. #1

    Death Before Dishonor: A Knight's Guide (By lorduskblade)

    Death Before Dishonor: A Knight's Guide



    "We knights are blessed in that we do not run from it; we seek it." -Tristan, King Arthur

    So, I hear some of you boys have been yapping about honor! Well, let me tell you that you don't know the meaning of the word! Honor is about living your life in service of others! Honor is about being ready to lay your life on the line for what you believe in without batting an eyelash! Honor is about standing fast while everyone else runs for cover! Does that sound like something you want to do with your life? ...Hm, I see the gleam in your eyes - you seem to be into this sort of thing. Then come along, and we'll see what we can do with you...

    Selling Points: Why You Would Want To Play A Knight

    There are many different flavors of Defenders out there, so the Knight has to bring something new and exciting to establish itself as a viable option. Here are a few things that I think make Knights worth playing:

    Knights can handle multiple opponents - One thing that distinguishes Knights from most other Defenders is their ability to punish as an Opportunity Action (once per turn) instead of as an Immediate Action (once per round). This combines with their ability to affect everyone adjacent to them with their Defender aura to make them the Defender that is best able to handle crowds by default.

    Knights don't have to mark - Another distinguishing feature about Knights is that your Defender mechanic does not rely on marking your opponent, which is typically tied to some sort of action expenditure. As long as you're in position, you're ready to defend, which means you're ready to work faster than other Defenders.

    Knights are flexible - A perk about the Knight's chassis is that it's entirely centric on your Melee Basic Attack, which can conceivably key off of any ability score. As such, any Knight build that has a strong Melee Basic Attack will work and work well.

    This Handbook will use the following system for ratings:

    Red - Garbage, or completely overshadowed by another option.
    Purple - Situationally useful, but overall pretty meh.
    Black - OK. You could do worse than pick this.
    Blue - Good stuff. You probably want this.
    Sky Blue - You want this. Period.
    Gold - Why haven't you taken this yet? A defining choice for a build, or even the whole class.

    This Handbook covers the following sources:

    AP - Arcane Power
    AV - Adventurer's Vault
    AV 2 - Adventurer's Vault 2
    D XXX - Dragon Magazine, issue XXX
    DMA 2009 - Dragon Magazine Annual 2009
    DP - Divine Power
    DSCS - Dark Sun Campaign Setting
    FRPG - Forgotten Realms Player's Guide
    HoS - Heroes of Shadow
    HotFK - Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms
    HotFL - Heroes of the Fallen Lands
    MM - Monster Manual
    MM 2 - Monster Manual 2
    MOTP - Manual of the Planes
    MP - Martial Power
    MP 2 - Martial Power 2
    PHB - Player's Handbook
    PHB 2 - Player's Handbook 2
    PHB 3 - Player's Handbook 3
    PHR: DB - Player's Handbook Races: Dragonborn
    PHR: TF - Player's Handbook Races: Tieflings
    PHH 1 - Player's Handbook Heroes: Series 1
    PHH 2 - Player's Handbook Heroes: Series 2
    PrP - Primal Power
    PsP - Psionic Power
    SAC - Seekers of the Ashen Crown Adventure Module

    Glossary

    AP - Action point.

    BBEG - Big bad evil guy.

    Burst/Nova/Spike Damage - Generally understood to mean the highest amount of damage a character can inflict in the space of a single round. Usually, calculations for this allow 1 round of setup before the actual damage.

    CA - Combat advantage.

    DPR - Damage per round, which is generally meant to mean the character's expected damage value using At-Will powers against a standard enemy of the same level (eloquently described by Adslahnit as the Official CharOp Inanimate Block of TofuTM).

    E-class - Refers to the class design for Martial characters introduced in the Essentials product line, which usually focuses on basic attacks and has limited options for Encounter or Daily resources.

    ED - Epic destiny.

    HP - Hit points.

    LX - Level X.

    MAD - Multiple attribute dependency, which is defined as needing 3 or more ability scores for a given build.

    MBA - Melee basic attack.

    MC - Multiclass or multiclassing.

    NAD - Non-AC defense.

    OA - Opportunity attack.

    PP - Paragon path.

    RBA - Ranged basic attack.

    SAD - Single attribute dependency, which is defined as a build that really only needs 1 ability score.

    THP - Temporary hit points.


    References

    The Anointed Knight, by l33:
    The Fighter's Handbook, by me:


    Props to:

    Everyone posting
    Last edited by Veep; Tuesday, 22nd September, 2015 at 10:34 PM.

  2. #2
    Power Source and Role: The Honor You Defend

    The Knight is a build of the Fighter class, and as such shares its power source and role, that being a Martial Defender. A Knight shares the Martial tendency of being more aggressively oriented than other members of its role, with your method of defense usually being to threaten your opponents with retribution. Thsi is how a Knight stacks up regarding the criteria commonly expect of a Defender:

    Battlefield Control - A Knight usually exerts a strong degree of control over his immediate area, thanks to a combination of his strong basic attacks with the effects he has with his Stances. If you can somehow expand the area you threaten or get into the teeth of your enemy's ranks quickly and thus catch them in a cluster, you have to the potential to be better at this.

    Damage - A Knight has features and abilities to enhance his ability to deal out the pain, and he has access to one of the better sets of damage support in the Fighter. If you invest heavily in it or dedicate resources toward establishing a catch-22 that always results in an attack opportunity, you can be awesome at this.

    Mobility - This is probably the area a Knight will have to work on the most by default: odds are you'll be suiting up in speed-reducing heavy armor, and while you do have access to powers that will help you move around, it's not exactly the most prevalent element of the Knight's arsenal.

    Stickiness - This is truly a Knight's forte: he can punish virtually any sort of action an enemy takes that does not involve attacking him, and he can do it against multiple enemies at a time. Add on the fact that they can pick up some tricks to actively yank people to them and you can see why this is their specialty.

    Survivability - Having Constitution as a universal secondary ability combines with access to the heaviest armor and having little reason to not carry a shield around combine to make you a pretty tough customer to bring down.

    Secondary Role Effectiveness

    Controller - Defenders can be fairly solid at limiting their opponent's options pretty much by design, and the Knight is no exception. You also have the option of heavily investing in action denial to make yourself a little better at this.

    Leader - This is not something you're all that great at; the Leader role has some very specific requirements with regards to what you need to be capable of, and you are sparingly capable of fulfilling them at best.

    Striker - While you can certainly put up some respectable damage values, the other requirements of the Striker role tend to be harder for you to fulfill. That said, you can make an acceptable substitute for one if need be.


    Baseline Mechanics: Foundation of Honor

    Your class design is distinctive to the other Martial classes in the Essentials product line in that you don't have all that many powers, but you do get a bunch of different class features. As such, your identity is pretty well-defined as a tough, sticky Defender.

    As far as the features themselves, you'll find there's a pretty nice bag of features to be had here, especially regarding your proficiencies and your punishment mechanic.

    Game Mechanics

    Hit Points - 15 + Con score at level 1, and 6 at each level thereafter. Pretty standard fare for a Defender.

    Healing Surges - 9 + Con modifier. A pretty normal value for a Defender.

    Defenses - A +2 bonus to only Fortitude means your strong defense gets stronger, but the weaker ones get left hanging.

    Proficiencies

    Armor - Plate and shields is as good as it gets.

    Weapons - Again, it doesn't get any better than military melee and military ranged weapons right out of the gate.



    Class Features


    Punishment Features

    L1 - Battle Guardian (HotFL) - Your punishment mechanic is as good as it gets. Not only does it trigger off of virtually any sort of course chosen by your opponent, it also triggers as an opportunity action (which is not the same as an opportunity attack, which is a defined power), which means it can potentially punish multiple enemies in a single round. Add on the fact that it benefits from your MBA goodies and that it even has some miss damage and you can see why I consider it the best default Defender mechanic.

    L1 - Feywild Guardian (D 395) - An Eladrin-specific option, this trades in the smidgen of miss damage Battle Guardian typically carries in favor of a teleport to reposition. That's not a bad deal at all.


    L1 - Defender Aura
    - You have a rather unique way to encourage attacks against you: rather than imposing the marked condition, you impose an equivalent static penalty against anyone adjacent to you. This makes your ability to defend more sensitive to positioning, which is something that you and your allies can potentially exploit.

    L1 - Power Strike - While it's not exactly the flashiest thing in the world, extra damage is neat to have, and applying it after you score a hit is a nice perk.

    L1 - Shield Feature

    Shield Finesse (HotFL) - Not having your skills affected by your shield is solid enough.

    Spinning Deflection (D 391) - Essentially, this is Hafted Defense for free on Staff users, as well as compatibility with the Knight's shield-dependent abilities. That said, the Staff's stats are terrible, and you're still losing AC out of this deal.


    L1 - Weapon Talent - A no-strings-attached +1 to attack rolls sounds good to me.

    L4 - Combat Readiness - A straight-up bonus to initiative that improves later on (Greater Combat Readiness at L9) is fantastic for a Defender, who gains a lot of benefit from going as early as possible.

    L5 - Weapon Mastery - A straight damage bonus that grows with levels (Paragon Weapon Mastery at L15 and Epic Weapon Mastery at L25) is a pretty cool thing to have.

    L7 - Weapon Specialization

    Bladed Step (HotFL) - Free combat advantage and a minor shifting effect. It's not bad, but not quite at the caliber of the option available to the Hammer.

    Bludgeoning Staff (D 391) - A decent forced movement effect on Power Strike. Solid enough.

    Staggering Hammer
    (HotFL) - Immobilization and combat advantage as an additional rider for Power Strike is a very powerful thing to have.


    L8 - Shield Block - An immediate interrupt power (so you can use it in conjunction with your mark punishment if need be) that can reduce incoming damage for you or an ally. Pretty cool to get for free.

    L19 - Devoted Knight - A minor benefit to adjacent allies when you second wind. It's all right, I guess.

    L23 - Relentless Knight - The ability to spend two surges at a time when you use your second wind is a welcome enhancement to your ability to heal.

    L29 - Spirit of War - Oh wow. An extra save at the beginning of your turn just because you can? This is one heck of a capstone feature, especially for a Defender.


    Skills: The Tools of Honor

    You get shafted more than most when it comes to skills: only 3 skills, and the list isn't exactly large. However, it does house most of your needs, so you probably are not complaining that much.

    Class Skills

    Athletics - The majority of Knights will have Strength as their highest ability score, and this skill is plenty useful for moving around.

    Diplomacy - It can be a useful pickup if nobody in the party has it, but in most cases you would be the second fiddle at this sort of thing.

    Endurance - It's kind of hard to bill yourself as a tough guy if you can't keep yourself from catching filth fever or choking to death in a swamp. Plus, you should be giving Constitution plenty of love anyway.

    Heal - Your tertiary stats are very much up in the air, so if you have the Wisdom to make this something other than a waste, you won't be too bad off by taking it.

    Intimidate - A skill that aligns well with the Knight thematically, it also opens up a handful of feats and powers that can be pretty useful to you, and that's the reason why it gets a favorable rating.


    Recommended Non-Class Skills

    Insight - The ability to divine enemy intentions can be of some use, as can the skill powers associated with it.

    Perception - One of the most useful skills in the game, though it would usually key off of a tertiary stat.

  3. #3
    Ability Scores: The Demands of Honor
    A very interesting feature of the Knight's dependence on basic attacks is that given the advent of the Melee Training feat, you could potentially key most of your attack rolls off of any of the six ability scores. However, one thing is constant, and that is that Constitution will usually be good on a Knight (13-18 before racial adjustments), since healing surges are pretty important to a Defender and you have some secondary effects that like this ability score.

    A Knight is based off of Strength by default, and that will be the best option for the majority of the members of the class (16-18 before racial adjustments). That said, if you can find a way to gain some sort of benefit from using another ability score that compensates the resources you'd spend to make the ability score switch, go ahead and do it.

    Of course, regardless of the build, you should also pay a bit of lip service to Wisdom or Charisma for Will defense, as well as Dexterity for initiative (at least a 10-14 before racial adjustments). Apart from that, all bets are off.

    Races: Born to Honor

    As I mentioned above, the ability to make your basic attacks essentially key off of any ability score means that it's pretty hard to be outright terrible at the business of being a Knight. That said, there are definitely races that have an advantage at this sort of thing.

    Races - Player's Handbook

    Dragonborn - The Strength bonus is appreciated by most Knights, and Charisma can help your Will defense. It also provides a sweet bonus to hit when bloodied and a reason to keep your Con high (more surge value). While Dragon Breath isn't quite as amazing for you as it is for a classical Fighter, it's not bad either. A good choice.

    Dwarf - Unsurprisingly, Dwarves make amazing Knights. They have both the primary and the secondary for the classic build, have an always-on way to resist the Knight's typical weakness (forced movement), and to boot can second wind as a minor. A dominant racial choice.

    Eladrin - While the stats don't match up well with the default Knight (Dexterity is a tertiary at best, and Intelligence doesn't even show up on your radar because of its redundancy with the former), you can force a square peg in a round hole by taking Swordmage Multiclass for Intelligent Blademaster, and it has some racial support in its favor, which does count for something.

    Elf - Dexterity and Wisdom are OK secondaries to have, and a do-over on one attack plus higher-than-average base speed make this a surprisingly good choice for this sort of thing.

    Half-Elf - While it doesn't match up all that great with the classical way to build a Knight, that's OK, because it has the ability to poach an At-Will from another class that can be used as a basic attack and use that instead, opening up plenty of avenues to be awesome at Defending.

    Halfling - Being short sucks for your weapon options, but the secondaries are all right, and your speed is the same as most other characters, and you can make an opponent reroll a hit against you. Pretty solid.

    Human - While you only get one bump, you get it wherever you want it, and extra defenses, feats, and skills are very good to have (Heroic Effort isn't half bad, either). A classical choice, and a good one at that.

    Tiefling - Another not-exactly-typical candidate, the reason why it's ranked this highly is because it has the ability to get a full MBA keying off of Charisma (Paladin Multiclass and the Wrath of the Crimson Legion feat), and it has a nice array of racial tricks to make this all worth your while.


    Races - Player's Handbook 2

    Deva - Intelligence and Wisdom are bad ability scores to have, though Memory of a Thousand Lifetimes makes it at least a little better.

    Gnome - Intelligence and Charisma do little for you by default, and you're Small and slow as insult to injury. About as bad as you can get for this class.

    Goliath - Strength and Constitution are your ideal stats for most builds, and the ability to conjure up some resist all is awesome, too. A great choice.

    Half-Orc - Strength and Dexterity help out a lot, and THP once you hit Bloodied and a bit of extra damage once per encounter have their uses as well. An excellent candidate.

    Shifter, Longtooth - Strength and Wisdom work out all right, and the ability to regenerate when you're banged up is amazing. An awesome race.

    Shifter, Razorclaw - Dexterity and Wisdom are respectable secondaries, and extra defense while bloodied is all right, too.


    Races - Player's Handbook 3

    Githzerai - Some decent ability scores, and a bonus to initiative and some solid feat support helps here, too.

    Minotaur - Gets the money pair of ability scores, grabs an extra surge, and has some "how dare you drop me" retribution. Sounds good to me.

    Shardmind - Mental stats aren't your usual thing, and that's pretty much all this race does. Not the greatest idea.

    Wilden - Good secondaries, and the racial power of at least one aspect is definitely up your alley. A fairly good choice overall.


    Races - Other Rulebooks

    Bladeling (MOTP) - Decent secondaries, but being utterly unsupported brings it down a notch.

    Changeling (EPG) - OK ability scores, and an OK racial ability. Could be worse.

    Drow (FRPG) - The secondaries are solid, and Cloud of Darkness can make for quite a racial power for you. A surprisingly good choice.

    Genasi (FRPG) - Having Strength makes up for Intelligence's limited use, and the racial powers can be a potential gold mine. A great choice.

    Kalashtar (EPG) - Hooray for a Knight with a purely mental focus! ...Or not.

    Mul (DSCS) - Given that they have Dwarf stats and can take Dwarf feat support, their being great at this sort of thing is only natural.

    Revenant (HoS) - Given the fact that they can hop on the Half-Elf trick-snatching bandwagon as well as bring their own toughness-related support to the table, this is definitely a great choice for a Knight.

    Shade (HoS) - Decent ability bonuses and a free trained skill (not that you're likely to get a lot of mileage from it), but losing a surge for no good reason hurts.

    Thri-Kreen (DSCS) - Strength and Dexterity work out just fine, as does the ability to quick-swap and a minor action encounter attack. A very good choice.

    Vryloka (HoS) - The dip in surge value while bloodied hurts its stock, but this is still a pretty good racial choice.

    Warforged (EPG) - Excuse the pun, but this race was quite literally made to do this. Great ability scores, great racial features, great racial power. Good stuff all around.


    Races - Dragon Magazine

    Gnoll (D 367) - A nice and aggressive brand of Knight, it gets meaner when bloodied and promotes charging, which is nice to have.

    Shadar-Kai (D 372) - Though the teleport is nice, the ability scores are kinda marginal, and not much else really wows me here.


    Races - Monster Manuals

    Bugbear (MM) - Strength, Dexterity, and oversized on top. Great if you can get away with it.

    Bullywug (MM 2) - The ability scores are OK, but that's about where it ends, though Stench could be useful against the rare enemy that does spend surges.

    Doppelganger (MM) - Basically a changeling, with worse ability score options. A hard sell.

    Duergar (MM 2) - Hey, look, it's the Dwarf, minus most of the stuff that makes him awesome! Average at best.

    Githyanki (MM) - +2 to Constitution and initiative is good, but the rest is not all that.

    Goblin (MM) - Being small blows, and the racial power isn't really that great. I wouldn't.

    Hobgoblin (MM) - Constitution and Charisma are solid, and the racial utility is pretty darn good. A surprisingly good choice.

    Kenku (MM 2) - The cooperation abilities make this an at least respectable choice.

    Kobold (MM) - I don't feel shifting as a minor action is as exploitable on a Knight as it is on other classes, and being Small sucks, though at least it has good secondaries. Could be better, but it could also certainly be worse.

    Orc (MM) - The best ability scores, and some self-healing. Not bad at all.

  4. #4
    Knight Stances: The Way of Honor

    As mentioned before, the Essentials model for Martial Classes is distinctive because of its reliance on the basic attack. To supplement it, you get a choice between a handful of At-Will Stances, each with a different effect. You get to pick two from this list at L1, and another at L7 and L17, so don't sweat it if you didn't have room for a Stance you liked at the beginning of your career: you'll have another go. That said, this section essentially boils down to what Stance you want to use to complement Defend the Line, because that is the one power no Knight should ever be without.

    Battle Wrath (HotFL) - A straight extra damage stance. It can be useful to make your attacks a bit more threatening in an effort to force foes to pay more attention to you, which is actually a good way to defend early on in your career.

    Cleaving Assault (HotFL) - The ability to soften up one opponent while you swing away at another can be quite useful on a Defender, especially one as suited to holding multiple opponents down as you are.

    Defend the Line (HotFL) - Quite simply the cornerstone of the class. The ability to slow on every attack (especially on OA's and on punishment attacks) is amazing for a Defender who needs to keep people close in order to affect them, and there's even support to make this a more powerful effect. It may not always be the Stance you want while you're attacking on your turn, but it should always be the one you end your turn in, so you can continue to contain multiple foes.

    Glimmering Blade (D 395) - An Eladrin-only option, the ability to teleport around your opponent is ripe with the potential to use and abuse, so this is a pretty nice choice.

    Hammer Hands (HotFL) - At first blush, this Stance would seem to have quite a bit of optimization potential, but the fact that the push occurs outside of the attack puts a significant dent into how much you can trick this out. Still solid, but not close to what it could have been if the push was part of the attack. That said, this does fulfill an important function on a Knight, and that is the ability to potentially cluster enemies closer together (and hopefully in your Aura).

    Measured Cut (HotFL) - The ability to shift after an attack is made can be great for jockeying for an advantageous position over an enemy.

    Poised Assault (HotFL) - A no-strings-attached bonus to hit is a pretty good idea to have around, since a lot of what you do (including your ability to enforce your Defender Aura) is contingent on your attacks actually connecting.

    Fighter At-Will Powers

    While a typical Knight has nothing to do with these powers, a Human member of the class can choose to take one of these instead of the Heroic Effort power. For their benefit, we will mention them and how they apply to a Knight:

    Fighter At-Wills


    Free Hand:

    Grappling Strike (MP 2) - A free hand is hard to come by on the classical sword-and-shield style of a Knight, and your ability score setup and feat support isn't quite built to supplement this style the way it needs to be. I'm not really seeing it.

    Slash and Pummel (MP 2) - Essentially an MBA, without the cool stuff applied to it, that requires you to cut into your damage for a secondary attack that won't break even. No.

    Shield:

    Resolute Shield (D 382) - Resist all sounds good at first blush, but it's only against that target, which cuts into its appeal somewhat.

    Shield Feint (D 385) - An At-Will +3 to hit on your next attack can certainly help swing things your way for a while, making this a pretty good choice.

    Tide of Iron (PHB) - While you do have a Stance that replicates this effect, it does not do so as part of the attack, which is the important part for some effects that support pushes. As such, I can definitely see people taking this.

    Two-Handed Weapon:

    Wicked Strike (D 379) - Trades in accuracy for some damage, and to boot requires a two-hander, which goes against your Shield focus. Not what I'd pick.

    Two Weapons:

    Dual Strike (MP) - The main issue to overcome is that this requires wielding two weapons, and some of your features want a shield. While a compromise can certainly be reached on that regard, multi-targeting isn't quite as awesome on a Knight as it is on a Fighter.

    Any Weapon:

    Brash Strike (MP) - The bonus to hit is sweet. Granting CA kind of isn't, so look for something to fix that up. Apart from that, this At-Will looks like a good choice (at least early on).

    Cleave (PHB) - You have a Stance that mimics this effect fairly well, but this power has plenty of feat support to keep it relevant.

    Crushing Surge (MP) - THP on an At-Will basis is pretty respectable.

    Footwork Lure (MP) - Looks plain at first glance, but it can be pretty good if supported properly.

    Knockdown Assault (PHH 1) - While it is true that the damage is kind of sad, the ability to knock prone at will opens up other cool stuff, especially when you can use it on a charge.

    Reaping Strike (PHB) - An MBA (minus the perks) with a little miss damage. Profoundly underwhelming.

    Sure Strike (PHB) - Losing damage and MBA support is not worth a small accuracy bump (which, incidentally, can be replicated by said support). Pass.

    Threatening Rush (MP) - Marks interact poorly with your Defender Aura, so this doesn't work well with you.

    Vicious Offensive (DSCS) - As above, marks and your Aura don't mix.

    Weapon Master's Strike (D 382) - Since you already punish shifts as an opportunity action, the only noteworthy effects here are the Axe and Heavy Blade, which are OK, though this At-Will suffers from not scaling in Epic.

  5. #5
    Utility Powers: Stewards of Honor

    Level 2, Utility

    At this level, we have a winner in Glowering Threat and its ability to strongly discourage a group of targets from focusing on anyone other than you, though you can make an argument for Pass Forward and its sweet repositioning ability.

    Level 2 Utility List

    Battle Fury Stance (D 382) - Your stances already do this, only better. Not for you.

    Battle Leader (HotFL) - A mass shift 1 that requires Diplomacy. Not bad.

    Boundless Endurance (PHB) - It's a Stance, so it conflicts with your other powers, though the regeneration will be very respectable for the average Knight.

    Close the Gap (PHH 2) - Kind of hard for you to use, since you don't have a mark.

    Create Opening (MP) - Marking someone and allowing an ally to shift his speed is decidedly NOT worth drawing a free attack on you.

    Crowd Fighting (HotFL) - A bit of damage for a secondary target when an enemy misses you (requires Streetwise, which will cost you a feat). Meh.

    Defensive Stance (MP) - It's a Daily Stance that requires you to slow yourself. This is so against what you do it's not even funny.

    Eldritch Tactics (D 395) - An Eladrin-specific option. The ability to swap positions with an ally who managed to get in over his head is most certainly useful.

    Forceful Drag (MP 2) - You don't grab people too often by default, especially because the style is hard to reconcile with a Shield. Nah.

    Full Extension (MP 2) - A bit of extra reach is nice for when your mobility fails you, but it's not the strongest benefit out there.

    Get Over Here (PHB) - You give up your move action to allow an ally to reposition. While moving him to any other adjacent square is not much of a move, it's not a terrible power either.

    Glowering Threat (HotFL) - If you wanted to help hold down the frontline, this is your power, as it imposes a huge penalty to hit that can stack and work in tandem with a mark or your Defender aura.

    Mighty Leap (MP 2) - A decent jump-buffing Utility. Your Athletics check has to be fairly absurd for it to consistently beat your base speed, though, let alone beat it by enough to be worht taking..

    Minor Resurgence (HotFL) - A handful of THP as a minor. Not bad, but not all that awesome.

    No Opening (PHB) - Canceling one instance of CA against one enemy per encounter is a rather marginal benefit, even for a Utility power at a level this low.

    Pass Forward (MP) - A sweet repositioning power, it can help you effectively guarantee you will be in a flanking position, or at the very least you'll make it easy for your ally to step into one, which makes it nice to have. That said, I would be looking to take this at L6 for most Knights.

    Push Forward (HotFL) - A decent shift that lands you adjacent to someone. Not bad.

    Quick Escape (MP 2) - While action economy on a grab is kind of marginal, a saving throw against effects that can inconvenience you pretty badly in immobilized and restrained is pretty darned valuable. Actually a pretty decent power.

    Shielded Sides (MP) - A strong short-duration buff that's there every fight. Pretty cool.

    Shielding Shove (D 385) - Repositioning for an ally is nice, though you likely won't get all that much use out of the mark.

    Shrewd Repositioning (MP) - It burns up your Immediate Action, and only offers a marginal shift in response. While you can potentially use this to reposition or disengage from an enemy you want to leave to another, there are better powers for these purposes on this list.

    Sidestep Maneuver (DSCS) - You get some minor repositioning and an attack buff out of an Opportunity Action you weren't going to use anyway. I'm of the opinion it won't be triggered all that much anyway (enemies typically try to avoid you).

    Single Out (HotFL) - 2 turns of CA as a minor, no questions asked. This makes for a nice setup to charging in headfirst, and it's there for you every encounter. A rock-solid alternative.

    Snagging Grip (MP 2) - Forcing an ally to move with you if you get move away and knocking it prone if you hit the floor is pretty nice on a Knight.

    Sudden Sprint (HotFL) - A move equal to your Dexterity modifier as a minor action can be a useful engaging power if you devote some points to that ability score.

    Unstoppable (PHB) - While this power does offer a solid amount of THP, it only does so once per day, which isn't exactly mind-blowing.

    Who's Next? (D 379) - A decent upgrade to your move action when you drop an enemy, it can be useful despite its conditionality.


    Level 6, Utility

    Given that marking conflicts with your ability to enforce your Defender Aura, I'd have to say that Ignore Weakness takes this level, though a mass mark Utility power seems appealing for when you can't reach targets with Melee powers, though that case is admittedly less common than the one combated by the power mentioned earlier.

    Level 6 Utility List

    Agile Approach (MP) - A small shift that gets you closer to a target is pretty respectable.

    Battle Awareness (PHB) - A big bonus to initiative once per day. It can see use if you really, really want to go first (though you have good initiative pretty much by default).

    Bewitching Glare (D 395) - An Eladrin-specific option. The ability to inconvenience your foe at range, then yank him to you if he misses is a pretty good thing on a Knight.

    Bodyguard's Stance (D 382) - A Stance that helps shave off damage from an ally. The fact of the matter is that this conflicts with other Stances you have without presenting a power truly good enough to merit supplanting them.

    Daring Shot (PHH 1) - A mass mark messes with your ability to enforce, which is a bad thing.

    Dauntless Endurance (HotFL) - Reroll a saving throw. That's a pretty good thing to have every encounter.

    Defensive Training (PHB) - +2 to NADs as a Daily Stance? Meh.

    Get Up! (HotFL) - This is actually a pretty useful power, since healing an ally as a minor probably doesn't impede you in any way, and it's about as close to being a Leader as you'll get. Note that it requires you be trained in Heal.

    Helping Hands (HotFL) - Granting an ally a save is some OK off-Leader potential.

    Ignore Weakness (HotFL) - Now this is what I'm talking about! Shaking off an effect before it becomes relevant is pretty darned amazing if you ask me.

    Intimidating Reminder (D 385) - All it does is -2 to Fortitude while occupying your Stance slot. No.

    Kirre's Roar (DSCS) - Resist all equal to your Dexterity, and a mass mark with some range. This can probably see some sort of niche use somehwere.

    Knight's Challenge (HotFL) - Though it can help provide a decent estimate of what a creature's Will is, it's not the most powerful course of action out there by a long shot.

    Line Breaker (HotFL) - If you really need to punch through the enemy's line, this provides a big bonus to all defenses against OA's.

    Line in the Sand (D 379) - It sounds nice at first blush (free CA!), but the zone doesn't travel with you. That's not worth being a Daily if you ask me.

    Makeshift Shield (MP 2) - A bit of extra defenses if you someow manage to keep a free hand. Er... no thanks.

    Rapid Advance (HotFL) - A decent mobility booster, it can basically result in doubling your speed as early as late Heroic, and be even more from then. Good stuff.

    Ready to Retaliate (MP 2) - Mark anyone who attacks you, as a Stance. Not made with your context in mind.

    Rejoin the Fray (MP 2) - A shift on a heal, or stand up + shift if you were prone. That's pretty decent.

    Rock Steady (MP) - While it eats up your Stance slot and it is a Daily, being immune to prone keeps it from being totally useless (though it's still not recommended).

    Settling the Score (MP) - A solid bonus to hit all encounter long when an enemy hits you. It can see some use.

    Strong Focus (MP) - Your Wisdom will at best be average, and it's not like this power is all that useful even if your Wisdom is great. Avoid.

    Unbalancing Dodge (MP 2) - A pretty solid penalty to attacks and defenses on an enemy that misses you. Another power that can see good use.

    Unbreakable (PHB) - A bit of damage reduction against an incoming attack. It starts out very well, though it does tend to lose a bit more steam with increasing level.

    Veteran's Gambit (HotFL) - A bit of extra defenses for a turn against an enemy after he hits you. It's OK, I guess, but I would have liked to have gotten a shot to avoid the triggering attack instead.

    Vigiliant Protector (MP) - It's a Stance that requires you to tank AC for the benefit of your nearby allies. Meh.


    Level 10, Utility

    At this level, we have a pretty solid list of powers. My personal favorite is Clearheaded to keep you up and running at top efficiency, though there are other powers that could make an argument for a spot here.

    Level 10 Utility List

    Another Day (DSCS) - Some Immediate Action repositioning when you get hit. It can help get you somehwere advantageous, so it's all right.

    Arcane Instincts (D 395) - An Eladrin-specific option. Laying on some resistance to an elemental burst that just tagged the whole party is pretty solid to have.

    Battlefield Healing (HotFL) - Healing is awesome. Healing at the expense of your attack... not so much.

    Body Shield (MP 2) - Grabbing shenanigans are decidedly not what you're built to do.

    Clearheaded (HotFL) - The ability to wriggle free of these dangerous conditions before they significantly affect your turn is nothing short of amazing for you, or any character, really.

    Defensive Advance (HotFL) - The ability to engage with a bonus to defenses is very nice to have for a Knight.

    Defensive Resurgence (MP) - A healing surge as a minor is sweet, and an AC bonus is some pretty decent icing on top of it.

    Fearsome Threat (HotFL) - CA unless they come for you. Can be a decent way to get yourself some CA.

    Fighter's Grit (MP 2) - The ability to ignore some conditons for a while can be a good way to keep you up and running.

    Fist of Lightning (MP 2) - Don't fight unarmed.

    Grappler's Stance (MP 2) - Grabbing people isn't what you do, especially at the expense of your Stances.

    Grim Presence (HotFL) - Conditional targeting, and a mass push is all you get to show for it. Meh.

    Hold Your Ground (HotFL) - Negating forced movement proning is pretty darn good for what you do.

    Hunker Down (MP) - Slowing yourself = bad, especially as a Stance.

    Into the Fray (PHB) - A minor action move is neat for engaging purposes.

    Iron Defiance (HotFL) - Shaving off half of an attacks' damage can be pretty useful.

    Last Ditch Evasion (PHB) - Don't stun yourself. Seriously, don't.

    Martial Redoubt (D 382) - Granting CA to give allies cover, and compromising your Stances? Not the best deal out there.

    Menacing Stance (MP) - Marking doesn't work too well with your aura, so this doesn't work out for you.

    Mighty Surge (D 379) - A healing power with a buff is certainly sweet to have. Getting the buff every time you heal is icing on the cake.

    Phalanx Leader (PHH 2) - +2 to hit for you, +2 to AC and Reflex for an adjacent ally. Not bad.

    Shield Deflection (D 385) - The ability to deflect a missed attack against you toward someone else could potentially be cool.

    Shooter's Nemesis (MP) - Healing in response to getting hit with a ranged attack is sort of conditional, but healing outside your turn is hardly bad at all.

    Stalwart Guard (PHB) - Handing around a small AC bonus in exchange for your Stance slot is a bit too conditional to be a good choice if you ask me.

    Steely Persuasion (MP 2) - A minor bonus to a skill check. Nah.

    Strength from Pain (MP) - A hefty bonus to damage when you dip below half HP, though it doesn't stack with many of your stances. Not all that great.

    Temporary Relief (HotFL) - Negating ongoing damage and saving against it in, all in one fell swoop. That's pretty neat to have.


    Level 16, Utility

    This level is written rather oddly on a Knight, so you're going to have to take Bolstering Stride regardless here.

    Bolstering Stride (MP) - A decent engagement power, it gives you a bit of extra speed and some THP.

    Level 22, Utility

    The bad news is that your Utility power choice is locked in. The good news is that Knight's Valor was something you probably were going to end up taking anyway.

    Knight's Valor (HotFL) - Healing, and a bonus to attacks and saves as a minor? And it's available every encounter? Sure, I'll get in on that.

  6. #6
    Skill Powers: The Talents Of Honor

    Skill powers here have been categorized into whether the skill is a class skill for your not. Within these categories, they have been split up into levels. You'll mostly be looking at Skill powers for your most lackluster Utility level (L16), but there's good stuff at plenty of different levels here.

    Class Skills

    Athletics Powers


    Level 2:

    Bounding Leap (PHB 3) - A power that subs your move action for a jump that carries a bonus. Unless you optimize your Athletics check or roll very well, this is only worth it later on in your career when you can reliably clear an Athletics check equal to your speed + 1 (DC 30 for speed 5, DC 35 for speed 6, and a whopping DC 40 for speed 7). At least it’s useful out of combat...

    Scrambling Climb (PHB 3) - It's a great movement Utility if you have to climb up stuff a lot. The question is, will you? Not in most campaigns.

    Level 6:

    Mighty Sprint (PHB 3) - Speed +4 is nice. Ignoring difficult terrain is also nice. An Athletics bonus for whatever stunt you may want to pull off along the way is just gravy. This is a pretty solid pick.

    Sudden Leap (PHB 3) - Essentially, this is flanking without provoking OA's, no matter how big your opponent is, once per encounter. I think it's rather unnecessary, given the existence of Pass Forward.

    Level 10:

    Incredible Stride (PHB 3) - A +4 speed bonus as a Stance is a nice and meaty mobility buff, but its being a Stance kind of sucks.


    Diplomacy Powers


    Level 2:

    Master Diplomat (D 389) - Rerolling Diplomacy checks ftw.

    Soothing Words (PHB 3) - Essentially, you get a little extra bang for your buck on your healing surges while you rest. Pretty decent when you pick it up, but bear in mind that it likely has an expiration date somewhere in Paragon Tier.

    Level 6:

    Haggle (PHB 3) - Redundant with the above mentioned power.

    Stirring Speech (PHB 3) - Given that you can probably keep your allies' noses clean for one encounter, this is +1 to hit and +1 to saves, just before that BBEG. Very flavorful, and pretty effective, too.

    Level 10:

    Befriend (PHB 3) - In skill challenges, this is a hefty boost to have. Otherwise, it's a bit marginal.

    Cry for Mercy (PHB 3) - A very nice power. +4 to all defenses and no OA's on movement for a Bloodied ally every encounter is sweet.

    Noble Sacrifice (PHB 3) - This is a nice way of helping allies out when they're in a jam.

    Level 16:

    Indomitable Ally (PHB 3) - Buying one more turn for your ally sounds good to me.


    Endurance Powers


    Level 2:


    Endure Pain (PHB 3)
    - A whole turn's worth of resistance when you are hit. Too bad it's a Daily...

    Grit and Spittle (D 385) - Though it burns up a healing surge (you have a few to spare, though), granting yourself mass saves is great to have on a Knight.

    Invigorating Presence (PHB 3) - A second wind with some mass THP attached once per day. Starts out strong, but it loses steam later on.

    Level 6:

    Third Wind (PHB 3) - A very solid self-healing ability. Not a bad pick.

    Walk it Off (PHB 3) - Having a chance to negate ongoing damage before it happens is nice, but rarely will you see ongoing damage that is lethal enough to be a serious concern.

    Level 10:

    Reactive Surge (PHB 3) - Healing in response to getting Bloodied every Encounter? Downright amazing for you.

    Level 16:

    Diehard (PHB 3) - Being dazed sure beats being dead.


    Heal Powers


    Level 2:

    Healer’s Gift (PHB 3) - Burn a Utility slot for a very marginal improvement over First Aid? No. Gods, no.

    Level 6:

    Delay Poison (PHB 3) - Certainly better in campaigns where poisons are more prevalent and lethal and/or an enemy attacks only using poison damage, but usually ongoing 5-10 damage won't kill you.

    Physician's Care (PHB 3) - Healing is nice, but not as a standard action.

    Swift Recovery (PHB 3) - This is a pretty solid power. The range does it no favors, but it can see use.

    Level 10:

    Time Out (PHB 3) - This is sweet if you have a Dwarf or Warden ally, and can be better if you have both; otherwise, the times it comes up are few and far between (very hit-or-miss, this one).

    Level 16:

    Miraculous Treatment (PHB 3) - Again, healing is awesome, but not if it sacrifices your ability to attack.


    Intimidate Powers


    Level 2:

    Ominous Threat (PHB 3) - While getting marks off your allies is nice, you probably don't have much use for the mark tiself.

    Level 6:


    Demoralize Foe (PHB 3)
    - A free debuff when you hit is always nice for messing with your opponent.

    Everybody Move (PHB 3) - A mass push 1. It can be useful for rearranging the battlefield or allowing allies to escape situations they really don't want to be in.

    Try the Stick (PHB 3) - Subbing Intimidate for Diplomacy is probably not the most useful thing you can do with a Utility power slot, considering you can train them both.

    Level 10:

    Snap Out of It (PHB 3) - Flavor gold, and a decent way to aid your Leader in keeping everyone grounded.


    Recommended Non-Class Skills

    I’m only going to talk about the powers whose parent skills are recommended, so that limits it somewhat.

    Insight Powers


    Level 2:

    Anticipate Maneuver (PHB 3) - You need to roll, but Combat Advantage as a Minor Action is pretty solid.

    Level 6:

    Empathic Read (PHB 3) - A great way for you to save the party face from himself.

    Insightful Counter (PHB 3) - A decent way to prevent something ugly from happening to you in Melee.

    Prescient Maneuver (PHB 3) - Chasing people when they try to get away sounds good to me.

    Level 10:

    Insightful Comment (PHB 3) - Though of limited use in combat, if you like skill challenges a lot, this is a 1-turn mega-buff for everyone, which is awesome.

    Prescient Defense (PHB 3) - A solid defense bump when you need it the most. Pretty nice to have.

    Level 16:

    Insightful Riposte (PHB 3) - Now this is a nice power! +3 will turn quite a few misses into hits, and that's always a good thing, especially when you get it every encounter.


    Perception Powers


    Level 2:

    Far Sight (PHB 3) - Most of you won't be attacking at Range enough for this to be truly useful, and some of the ones that will be get this on the house.

    Level 6:

    Guided Shot (PHB 3) - Essentially an after-you-roll attack buff vs. the great majority of enemies for an ally. Solid enough.

    Trapfinding (PHB 3) - Chances are you won't have Thievery.

    Warning of Peril (PHB 3) - Your Passive Perception officially covers a huge area. A solid scouting aid outside of combat, though marginal in it.

    Level 10:

    Focused Sight (PHB 3) - Far Sight's big brother, it also works on Melee powers and superior cover/concealment. Serviceable, as it lasts two turns.

    Perfect Sight (PHB 3) - A touch of blindsight. It could be rather useful.

    Spot Weakness (PHB 3) - A healthy damage buff for one attack per encounter. It can be neat.

    Uncanny Instincts (PHB 3) - Your Perception shouldn't be higher than your initiative.

  7. #7
    Recommended Feats: Establishing Your Honor

    The emphasis here is on 'recommended' feats: I won't be talking about feats that are rated lower than Black, because they're likely just not a good idea for your character or an outright trap. Overall, you have certain priorities when it comes to feats, which are described as follows:

    1. Accuracy bonuses. Most of your ability to defend basically consists of reprisal attacks; making sure those hits land is of the utmost priority.

    2. Damage bonuses. The more threatening your reprisal attacks are, the more effectively you will function.

    3. Defense bonuses. Given your focus on Strength and Constitution for the traditional build, chances are that you will have to make shoring up your Reflex and Will a focus.

    4. Power recovery. As an E-class, you don't get a whole lot of limited-use resources: the ability to reuse them can be absolutely critical for you.

    5. Miscellaneous. After you have cover the four basics mentioned above, you're pretty much free to invest your feats where you see fit. I like to keep initiative nice and high on a Knight so I can get to a favorable position as quickly as possible.

    Class Feats


    Heroic Tier:


    Encouraging Shield
    (D 385)
    - This feat can help reinforce your Will defense, which is nice.

    Martial Cross-Training (D 398) - If your Knight is Strength-based, there's little reason to not have this feat.

    Good Powers to take with Martial Cross-Training

    Anvil of Doom (L13, Encounter) (PHB) - A stun for Hammer users. Need I say more?

    Bash and Pummel (L13, Encounter) (MP 2) - A double-tap attack that dazes. Sounds good to me.

    Come and Get It (L7, Encounter) (PHB) - The ability to yank people into your aura and then hit them all is every bit as awesome as it sounds.

    Cruel Reaper (L27, Encounter) (PHB) - Not one, but TWO close burst attacks. That's got some merit to it.

    Rain of Blows (L3, Encounter) (PHB) - If you're looking to pack some extra punch, this is a fine way to do it.

    Trip Up (L7, Encounter) (MP) - This can be quite a nasty chaser effect on an attack; it provides plenty of extra damage by being an additional attack, and it can impose a status effect.

    Warrior's Urging (L23, Encounter) (PHB) - Come and Get It's big brother, and as such an excellent pick.


    Martial Freedom (MP) - The ability to save out of these conditions efficiently will help you do your job.

    Polearm Momentum (MP) - If you can find a way to manufacture a push or a slide on your MBA (sadly, Hammer Hands doesn't work here), this feat will give you some major returns.

    Savage Axe (D 378) - Adds some noteworthy extra punch to an Axe user's OA's.

    Stout Shield (D 378) - I rather doubt that your Fortitude will need raising, but here's a feat to do it if you think otherwise.

    Swift Spear (D 378) - A way to suck your opponent in with an OA is ripe with potential on a Knight.

    Paragon Tier:

    Deft Blade (MP 2) - The ability to target Reflex instead of AC is a major perk for a Light Blade user.

    Grit (MP) - THP as a side dish to every heal you get sounds good to me.

    Hammer Shock (MP 2) - A penalty to hit on every Hammer attack is prime role reinforcement if you ask me. A great choice.

    Hindering Shield (D 385) - If you find a way to apply forced movement on your attacks, this will help you become a more flexible character by freeing up your Stance slot.

    Impaling Spear (MP 2) - The ability to take shots at your opponent's Reflex is certainly a good thing.

    Lashing Flail (MP 2) - A slide on every hit is a sweet ability for a Knight to have.

    Plunging Blade (D 378) - Rather conditional, but a 19-20 crit range is good stuff to have.

    Striking Resurgence (MP 2) - The ability to second wind without missing a beat on offense is one heck of a perk to have. Note that it's worthless to Dwarves, since it requires using second wind as a standard.

    Ubiquitous Shield (D 385) - Negate most of CA's bonuses against you, all the time, no questions asked. Sounds good to me.

    Epic Tier:

    Epic Recovery (MP) - The ability to use second wind more than once sounds good to me, especially for the Dwarves in the audience.

    Knock-Back Swing (MP) - The ability to push on an OA regardless of its result is nice to have.

    Martial Mastery (MP) - You don't get many chances to use powers other than your basic attack. Getting more of them is amazingly useful to you.

    Martial Resolve (MP) - A nice way to help yourself out of certain conditions. If you have Martial Freedom, you're probably going to retrain it into this. This is also extra sweet if you can get multiple saves per turn, such as by being an Unyielding Sentinel.

    Mobile Warrior (MP) - A great feat to help a Knight move around to where he wants to be.

    Overwhelming Impact (MP 2) - ...Whoa. At-Will dazing when combined with Defend the Line is quite simply a must-have for any Hammer Knight.

    Slashing Storm (MP 2) - Autodamage all around you whenever you hit with a Melee attack. Sounds nice to me, though it depends how much Wisdom you can muster.

    Unstoppable Charge (MP) - If you favor charging, this feat will allow you to do it on your terms (aka without ending your turn).


    General Feats


    Heroic Tier:

    Axe Expertise (HotFL) - A scaling bonus to attack rolls is excellent, and the ability to give that unreliable d10 or d12 a do-over roll can work out for you as well.

    Blindfighting Warrior (HotFK) - Negating penalties for being unable to see is definitely something that come in handy every once in a while.

    Bludgeon Expertise (HotFL) - An awesome bonus to hit, as well as some extra forced movement as a free prize.

    Deadly Draw (PHB 3) - If you have anything to yank people to you, this will make it more awesome by giving you CA as well.

    Great Fortitude/Iron Will/Lightning Reflexes (PHB) - NAD-boosters that scale with tier. Nice to have if you can afford them, especially for a Defender.

    Hammering Iron (PHB 3) - A nice way to get some forced movement on your attacks, even if it just for your OA's.

    Heavy Blade Expertise (HotFL) - Great attack bonus scaling, and a bonus to OA's as some icing.

    Headsman's Chop (PHB 3) - This probably will require some party support, but this is a big amount of extra damage, so it's worth investing a bit to get it.

    Improved Defenses (HotFL) - A nice feat to buff all 3 of your NADs simultaneously.

    Improved Initiative (PHB) - Though you do get a feature that mimics this feat, Dexterity tends to be average at best for you, so you need all the initiative boosts you can grab.

    Light Blade Expertise (HotFL) - An amazing accuracy boost, along with some extra thump if you have CA. Nice to have.

    Master at Arms (HotFL) - An accuracy bonus with any weapon, and the ability to save an action when swapping them. Sweet.

    Nimble Blade (PHB) - Extra accuracy when you have CA is pretty handy.

    Resilient Focus (HotFL) - A no-questions-asked +2 to saving throws sounds pretty good to me.

    Silvery Glow (D 386) - While it makes you worship a specific Deity and is worthless without Permafrost, this actually provides a little extra damage over Weapon Focus, which is excellent to have.

    Spear Expertise (HotFL) - A much-appreciated accuracy boost, as well as a pinch of extra charging damage. Good to have.

    Spring Step (PHB 3) - Getting knocked prone can be annoying. This feat makes it so that at least you're not totally wasting your move action getting up, plus it helps you get up from an unexpected dirtnap with a sense of decorum.

    Superior Fortitude (HotFL) - A scaling bonus to Fortitude, and it throws in some resist all against ongoing damage as a bonus. That's pretty sweet.

    Superior Reflexes (HotFL) - Gets you free combat advantage on the first turn of every fight, as well as a scaling bonus to Reflex. A bit easier to afford for some Fighters than others, but sweet on all of them.

    Superior Will (HotFL) - A big bonus to Will, and a better chance to shake off dazing and stunning. This one if tempting even if you're patching your NADs with Improved Defenses.

    Swift Recovery (HotFL) - A bonus to your surge value can help keep you in more fights.

    Toughness (PHB) - More HP is nice to have as a Defender.

    Vicious Advantage (PHB 3) - Producing these conditions is easy as pie for you, so this is essentially free Combat Advantage, just because. Sounds good to me.

    Weapon Focus (PHB) - Putting more thump behind each attack helps make your reprisals more threatening.

    Weapon Proficiency (PHB) - Upgrading your weapon certainly doesn't hurt.

    Wintertouched (PHB) - Not worth much unless you have Lasting Frost, but together they give you some pretty neat benefits.

    World Serpent's Grasp (HotFK) - This combines with Defend the Line to enable you to knock any target you have already slowed down, which can greatly enhance your stickiness.

    Paragon Tier:

    Agile Opportunist (PHB 2) - It requires some party coordination, but this can be a good investment of a feat for a Fighter.

    Armor Specialization (PHB) - A nice bonus to AC.

    Critical Targeting (D 387) - A neat encounter-long bonus to damage on a crit. Pretty cool.

    Danger Sense (PHB) - Combined with Improved Initiative, this can go a long way toward assuring that you go first or close to it in a given combat, which is nice.

    Deadly Axe (PHB) - Probably only worth it in Epic Tier, but a healthy boost to crit damage can't be all that bad.

    Defensive Advantage (PHB) - If you can meet the pre-requisites, +2 AC is very good benefit to have.

    Hammer Rhythm (PHB) - A nice bit of miss damage for Hammer users.

    Lasting Frost (PHB) - Eternal Combat Advantage (and what amounts to +5 damage) with Wintertouched and any way to apply cold damage on your attacks (a Frost Weapon, for example). A pretty nice option.

    Repel Charge (PHB 3) - A nasty reprisal feat, should you ever get charged.

    Reserve Maneuver (PHB 2) - A great feat for E-classes, this gives you access to some of the best powers your class has to offer.

    Good Powers to take with Reserve Maneuver

    Come and Get It (L7, Encounter) (PHB) - The ability to yank people into your aura and then hit them all is every bit as awesome as it sounds.

    Rain of Blows (L3, Encounter) (PHB) - If you're looking to pack some extra punch, this is a fine way to do it.

    Trip Up (L7, Encounter) (MP) - This can be quite a nasty chaser effect on an attack; it provides plenty of extra damage by being an additional attack, and it can impose a status effect.


    Spear Push (PHB) - Gives you a little more 'oomph' on your push effects for the price of a feat.

    Unfailing Courage (D 377) - Healing when you spend an AP sounds like a good deal to me.

    Epic Tier:


    Axe/Bludgeon/Flail/Heavy Blade/Light Blade/Pick/Spear Mastery
    (PHB)
    - Improved criticals do a lot for you offensively, so you should be making plans to pick this up.

    Blind-Fight (PHB) - If invisible enemies are giving you trouble, this feat can help.

    Cleaving Axe (PHB 3) - If you get kills with any sort of regularity, this can be a pretty good feat for you.

    Epic Fortitude/Reflexes/Will (PHB 2) - These feats help out a lot as a Defender in making up for any holes in your defenses, so I would make the room for at least one of them.

    Epic Resurgence (PHB) - A nice power-recovery feat to get another crack at using Encounter powers.

    Long Step (PHB 3) - Though it's not the first thing that comes to mind when building a Fighter, extra mobility can be nice, and this can help any Fighter that has a charging focus.

    Rapid Regeneration (PHB 3) - If you can find ways to regenerate consistently, this feat can offer a boost for that sort of ability.

    Superior Initiative (PHB 3) - Another feat that goes a long way in ensuring you go first, and another prime retraining target for a Knight.

    Triumphant Attack (PHB) - An encounter-long debuff on a critical is excellent on a Defender. You should try and make room for this feat.


    Racial Feats

    Dragonborn


    Heroic Tier:

    Bolstering Breath (PHR: DB) - Making your Dragon Breath ally-friendly and handing out a bonus to hit can be useful for a Knight, who spends his time in the thick of it.

    Dragonborn Frenzy (PHB) - +2 to damage while bloodied is pretty applicable to you.

    Hurl Breath (PHR: DB) - Makes your Dragon Breath a better combat opener.

    Paragon Tier:


    Corrosive Breath (PHR: DB)
    - An AC debuff for your racial power is a sweet thing to have.

    Draconic Arrogance (MP) - Autodamage based off your main stat when you push or knock prone? That can be nice.

    Dragonbreath Warrior (MP) - A solid boost to your next attack for using your racial power.

    Frost Breath (PHR: DB) - Mass slowing on your Dragon Breath. Decent.

    Thundering Breath (PHR: DB) - A nice push effect, and you have dual element damage (making it harder to resist). Solid enough.

    Toxic Breath (PHR: DB) - Weakening one target of your racial power is solid, but its true value is setup for another feat.

    Epic Tier:

    Concussive Breath (PHR: DB) - Mass dazing on your Dragon Breath? Sexy.

    Dissolving Breath (PHR: DB) - A penalty to all defenses from your racial power is sweet setup material.

    Draconic Restoration (PHR: DB) - Recovering your Dragon Breath when you spend you second wind is spiffy.

    Draconic Triumph (PHR: DB) - More Dragon Breath on a kill is decent if you invested in it enough.

    Dragon Warrior (MP) - Recovering your Dragon Breath when first bloodied can be solid.

    Freezing Breath (PHR: DB) - Mass IMMOBILIZE, you say? Beautiful.


    Dwarf


    Heroic Tier:

    Dodge Giants (PHB) - A bonus to AC and Reflex when you face larger opponents, which will be a lot later on.

    Dwarven Weapon Training (PHB) - Proficiency and a front-loaded damage bonus is awesome for overall utility and feat economy purposes. A must for Dwarves.

    Resilience of Stone (MP 2) - Using your second wind as an immediate interrupt goes a long way toward keeping you up on your feet.

    Shield the Fallen (FRPG) - A good feat to help protect banged-up allies.

    Paragon Tier:

    Dwarven Durability (PHB) - A sweet feat for Dwarves, this features a boosted surge value in addition to extra healing surges.

    Dwarven Recovery (MP 2) - A very hefty bonus to saves when you second wind. This can come in handy.

    Stonefoot Reprisal (MP) - An OA when someone attempts forced movement against you is a very useful thing to have, since that's basically the worst-case scenario for you.


    Eladrin


    Heroic Tier:

    Eladrin Soldier (PHB) - A great way to get the ball rolling if you favor Spears, which just happens to be one of the better weapon types for Knight.

    Fey Blades (MP) - A nice damage bonus for Eladrin who are dual-wielding.

    Paragon Tier:

    Fey Charge (MP) - This once-feared feat is still a pretty nice charge mobility upgrade for Eladrin.


    Elf


    Epic Tier:

    Hawkeye Warrior (MP) - A bonus to hit for using a good power is nice to have.


    Genasi


    Heroic Tier:

    Earthshock Master (D 367) - A decent boost to your racial power.

    Extra Manifestation (FRPG) - If you need additional versatility on your racial power, this is where you turn.

    Firepulse Master (D 367) - Making Firepulse Reliable fixes its scaling issues somewhat, and extra damage on an attack is never bad.

    Master of Rumbling Earth (MP) - A bonus to hit helps Earthshock connect, and the damage is icing.

    Primordial Surge (D 367) - THP's for using a good racial power? I'm in.

    Paragon Tier:

    Shocking Flame (FRPG) - A sizable damage bonus for Fire and Stormsoul Genasi. A very good pick for any character in possession of those elemental manifestations, and it's probably the reason you picked the race in the first place.

    Epic Tier:

    Double Manifestation (FRPG) - The best of two manifestation worlds. Sweet.


    Githzerai


    Heroic Tier:

    Githzerai Blade Master (D 378) - Gives you a healthy damage bonus with weapons you probably want to use. A pretty awesome feat for a Knight.

    Paragon Tier:

    Githzerai Mobility (D 378) - A solid bonus against OA's allows you to move pretty much unimpeded.

    Iron Hands (PHB 3) - Extra damage for using your racial power? Sure.

    Tempered Iron Mind (D 378) - Being able to trigger this regardless of the attack's result allows you to get the attendant bonuses when you need them is nice.

    Epic Tier:

    Adamantine Body (PHB 3) - More defense on your racial power is pretty solid.


    Goliath


    Heroic Tier:

    Markings of the Blessed (PHB 2) - A rerolled save once per encounter can be solid.

    Markings of the Victor (PHB 2) - Rerolling your entry attack sounds like a good deal.

    Paragon Tier:

    Avalanche Reaver (MP 2) - Having a push on every charge you make can be made useful.

    Unyielding Stone (PHB 2) - THP's and resist all is a good combination to have.

    Epic Tier:

    Ancient Stone (PHB 2) - A follow-up turn of resistance is very good to have.


    Half-Elf


    Heroic Tier:

    Adept Dilettante (D 385) - If the power you like doesn't key off the ability score you want, translate it to one that is more palatable to you (probably Constitution or Charisma).

    Paragon Tier:

    Versatile Master (PHB 2) - Turn your change-of-pace ability into a legitimate round-by-round option, which can be a fantastic upgrade for a Knight thanks to his basic attack dependency.


    Half-Orc


    Heroic Tier:

    Anger Unleashed (PHB 2) - A hefty attack bonus when you get bloodied can be nice to have.

    Savage Assault (PHB 2) - A debuff on your racial power is a decent boost.

    Thirst for Battle (PHB 2) - A nice alternative to Improved Initiative. You're still gonna want to retrain this into Superior Initiative, though.

    Paragon Tier:

    Strength from Pain (PHB 2) - A sizable damage bonus when you get beat up.

    Unrelenting Assault (PHB 2) - Having some damage on a miss as a consolation prize is solid.

    Epic Tier:

    Ferocious Critical (PHB 2) - A very healthy bonus to hit and damage when you score a critical. A very good feat overall, but kind of hard to get unless you make multiple attack rolls.


    Halfling


    Heroic Tier:

    Lost in the Crowd (PHB) - An AC bonus for attracting attention? Sure.

    Nimble Dodge (MP 2) - A huge power upgrade for your racial ability.

    Rigged Chance (D 381) - It's nice to get a do-over should your racial power fail to keep you from getting hit.

    Paragon Tier:

    Underfoot (PHB) - Moving about between your enemy's spaces is pretty neat to have.


    Human


    Heroic Tier:


    Action Surge (PHB)
    - A bonus to attacks when you blow an AP, which is cool.

    Stubborn Survivor (FRPG) - A bonus to saves when you're out of AP's. Pretty nice.

    Paragon Tier:

    Action Recovery (PHB) - A nice feat to clean yourselves out of bad status effects.

    Persistent Threat (D 383) - Allows you to still threaten an area while suffering from a condition that would otherwise prevent that from happening.

    Epic Tier:


    Timely Revival
    (MP)
    - A good way to keep yourself up and running, and making your second wind easier to use.


    Minotaur


    Heroic Tier:

    Bloodied Ferocity (PHB 3) - A free attack when you get bloodied? Heck yes.

    Opportunity Gore (D 369) - While Goring Charge isn't quite as good as normal OA as far as raw numbers are concerned, knocking prone on an OA is good to have.

    Vigilant Recovery (D 385) - Not allowing someone you whacked to benefit from CA is pretty cool, especially after a burst like Come and Get It, which tends to leave you in compromising positions.

    Paragon Tier:

    Beast Within (PHB 3) - A nice bonus to hit and damage while bloodied.

    Epic Tier:

    Uncanny Scent (PHB 3) - Straight-up better than Blind-Fight for you, so it's a fairly good pickup.


    Shifter


    Heroic Tier:

    Sturdy Shifter (EPG) - Some nice THP when you shift. Sweet.

    Paragon Tier:

    Beasthide Shifting (PHB 2) - A neat bit of resistance while you're shifting.

    Cliffwalk Shifting (PHB 2) - A decent movement utility on your shifting power.


    Tiefling


    Heroic Tier:

    Hellfire Blood (PHB) - A nice bonus to hit for favoring fire.

    Imperious Majesty (D 381) - A big initiative bump if you focus on Charisma, and a prohibitive disincentive against anyone not focusing on you early.

    Tail Slide (PHR: TF) - A decent way to move allies about while you move.

    Paragon Tier:


    Hellfire of Mephistopheles
    (PHR: TF) - Your bread-and-butter strategy is fire, so having a way to punch through resistance is certainly a smart idea.

    Secrets of Belial (PHR: TF) - Swapping out for any Utility power you want is great (I recommend Eagle's Splendor for an all-day +1 to hit, just because).


    Epic Tier:

    Renewed Wrath (PHR: TF) - Getting to reuse your racial power is pretty solid.


    Warforged


    Heroic Tier:

    Warforged Tactics (EPG) - A very nice bonus to hit when you have an ally cooperating with you.

    Paragon Tier:

    Improved Immutability (EPG) - While swapping out a Utility power for it hurts, flat-out ending a save effect as an Immediate Action once per day is not something to be taken lightly.



    Dragonmark Feats (EPG)

    Dragonmark feats are different from other Heroic Tier feats in that you: (a) can only have one of them at a time, and (b) they usually come with an associated race, which I will be noting. Note that the feat doesn't actually force you to be of that race, so if your DM agrees, you can take this feat while being a member of another race.

    Mark of Storm (Half-Elf) - If you're willing to meet the lightning power requisites, the ability to slide on every attack can come in very handy for a Knight, and the Paragon Path is good stuff for you as well.

  8. #8
    Paragon Paths: Bastions of Honor

    Since the Knight gets to partake in the Fighter's Paragon Path list, he will have a pretty good selection of Paragon Paths available to him that will help him do his job. If you don't find anything you like there, there are a few racial paths that will help you as well. If you are interested in the Paragon Paths from other classes, you can find them in the Multiclass section.

    Knight Paragon Paths

    Arena Champion (D 368) - While I do think it's cool that the powers directly use your MBA and as such don't require you to give up your usual benefits, there are a couple of things that are rather inapplicable to you or just not that powerful. It's still a respectable option, though.

    Avenging Slayer (MP) - Some of the features and powers require marks (which you don't have), and some of the ones that don't are rather unconventional, anyway. Not what I'd pick.

    Draeven Marauder (D 365) - Improved criticals and mobility combine for a good overall chassis on a Knight, especially when gaining that improved critical feature could have been problematic for most Knights. A pretty good pick.

    Dreadnought (MP) - Makes you significantly tougher to impede, which is definitely a good thing.

    Dread Reaper (MP) - I'm of the opinion that two-handers won't do much for you, which basically takes this entire path out of contention.

    Doomguard Marauder (MOTP) - It has a sweet extra-damage AP feature, healing on a crit, and a boost to hit when you miss, which are all good, solid boosts, and the powers can see some good use as well. A surprisingly solid pick.

    Eldritch Knight (Eladrin - D 395) - A remarkably solid Paragon Path (note that it requires training in Arcana), this gives you the ability to bring allies along when you teleport (and if you took the alternate features, that should be pretty much all the time), it gives you access to a Wizard power (awesome if you're running off Intelligence), and adds a hefty teleport to your Power Strike. Not bad at all.

    Gladiator Champion (DSCS) - Outright disallowing shifts is enough to make this Path good all by itself, and to boot it has a couple of other nice goodies too. One of the prime picks.

    Glorious Myrmidon (MP 2) - A couple of neat mobility upgrades, which can be of some use for a Knight.

    Iron Vanguard (PHB) - Damage when pushing and proning is easy to achieve for you, and the rest of the goodies work well with your default package. A pretty good pick.

    Ironstar Mauler (MP 2) - The bonus to hit works well, but a lot of the other things require you to have access to things that you can't get very easily, being an Essentials class. The bonus to hit does count for something, though.

    Kensei (PHB) - A straight-up bonus to hit and damage will work well for virtually anyone.

    Knight Protector (MP) - The features and powers are certainly useful for a pure Defender-type, especially the Immediate Actions, since they expand your capabilities more than they do for most other Defenders. Good stuff.

    Kulkor Arms Master (MP 2) - Figuring out how to knock enemies prone is the challenge, but if you can, this Paragon Path will add a lot of damage potential for you. Pretty good.

    Pit Fighter (PHB) - While I do like the AP feature, and +1 AC is always good, the powers are just all right, and the proverbial "money feature" is useless to you. Nah.

    Polearm Master (MP) - The money feature at L16 requires an enemy to be marked, which is something you can't produce reliably, plus you have to forsake your shield. Nah.

    Purple Dragon Knight (FRPG) - It gives you a collection of OK benefits, but nothing that really stands out. Plus, I don't expect you to hit the broad side of a barn with the Daily. Average.

    Rakehell Duelist (MP 2) - This Path has an emphasis on dual-wielding, which is something that is not you'll typically be into. I wouldn't.

    Rampaging Brute (MP 2) - This Path is build around charging, which is something a Knight can do, but most won't focus on.

    Scale-Breaker (D 369) - Apart from a pretty good setup Daily power, this Path is just too conditional on facing dragons to truly be a good universal choice.

    Shield Adept (MP) - While this Path does favor the Shield-using style, I find that the features are kind of underwhelming, and the only power you can really use effectively is the Daily. Meh.

    Shock Trooper (MP) - While this Paragon Path does have some quality goodies, they don't match up with the typical Knight in the ability scores they want or in the weapon style they require. Not for you.

    Snapping Testudo (D 385) - One shield works well for you. Two... not so much. It's still workable with the right Shield enchantment, though it's still not very impressive.

    Stalwart Knight (HotFL) - This is the default Knight path, and it offers a surprisingly nice amount of goodies, including an additional use of Power Strike (which is sweet, especially for Hammer users), a nice speed bonus to help you engage, and resist 5 all when bloodied to keep you upright. All in all, a pretty good Path.

    Steel Vanguard Master (MP 2) - Another PP that favors two-handers. Skip this.

    Swordmaster (PHB) - While you do miss out on one feature (not that you need it), the ability to recover your Encounter power on a critical can be pretty sweet to have.

    Warhound of Bane (MP 2) - The powers are all right, and the features are solid, but unexceptional. A rather plain choice overall.


    Racial Paragon Paths

    Here, I'll be marking the race that corresponds to the Path along with the source. We'll only be concerning ourselves with the recommended Paragon Paths here, that is to say, those rated Black or higher. If it's not on the list and it's in my sources, it's not a good idea.

    Adroit Explorer (Human - PHB 2) - Picking a choice power from the Fighter list is great, and the rest of the features are quite good as well. A prime pick.

    Dwarven Defender (Dwarf - MP) - Forced movement arguably affects the Knight more than most flavors of Defender (who can have lingering mark penalties). This Paragon Path can deal with that issue quite handily, and it has a sweet Utility power as well.

    Eartheart Defender (Dwarf - FRPG) - While rather one-dimensional, this Path does provide some good value when you get banged up, and any competent Defender will probably get banged up by sheer exposure to attacks. Solid.

    Goliath Juggernaut (Goliath - D 386) - A sweet paragon Path, it packs a set of nice durability-oriented goodies that a Knight can take advantage of.

    Inner Dragon (Dragonborn - MP) - While this Paragon Path is all about the Dragon Breath power (not something I recommend you devote your entire build to), it can have some nice tools you can put to decent use.

    Mithral Arm (Dragonborn - PHB 2) - Having a power from the base list works well, and the rest of the package is appealing as well.

    Storvakal (Githzerai - D 378) - The features can help keep you up and running at top efficiency, and the powers are respectable. Solid enough.

    Warforged Juggernaut (Warforged - EPG) - The combination of charge-oriented goodies with durability boosters make this Path quite appealing for Knights.

    Wildfire Genasi (Genasi - FRPG) - While the powers are unfortunately rather inaccurate, they work well if they do hit, and a constant feature to punish attacks against you isn't half bad, either.


    Dragonmarked Paragon Paths (EPG)

    Again, we will only concern ourselves with Paths that would make you a better character overall. I also note the expected (note: not required) race for the Path, as well as the Dragonmark Feat you have to take to gain access.

    Lyrandar Wind-Rider (Half-Elf - Mark of Storm)
    - Adding your prized secondary (or primary, depending on your build) to damage as well as a +1 to hit is an excellent add-on to the base Mark of Storm Knight package.


    Epic Destinies: Foundations of Honor

    Knight Epic Destinies

    As is the norm, we'll only talk about Epic Destinies worth having (Black or higher) here.

    Adamantine Soldier (MP) - Gives you plenty of love for being in heavy armor, which is right up your alley.

    Ceaseless Guardian (D 387) - The ability to take opportunity actions even while dazed and stunned is a great boon to a Defender.

    Champion of Prophecy (EPG) - Very similar to Demigod, but with an increased emphasis on milestones. That extra swinginess makes it a bit less awesome, but it's still effective.

    Chosen (DP) - Built the same way as Demigod, but with a larger array of Utility powers to choose from.

    Darklord (D 372) - While the Grim Reaper fluff is cool, I don't feel there's enough meat on the features to make it a top pick.

    Demigod (PHB) - The classic Epic Destiny in 4e. Bonuses to two attributes are a godsend for most Fighter builds, and the durability enhancers only strengthen the case.

    Destined Scion (HotFK) - Another off-shoot from the Demigod tree, a straight-up attack and save bonus along with the two ability score bonuses make it a strong choice.

    Eternal Defender (MP) - Despite its name, this is one of the most aggressively inclined Epic Destinies available to you. Reach, bigger weapons, and more strength make a good case, and the power sweetens the deal. A good pick.

    Free Soul (D 376) - A racial Epic Destiny geared to fight off status effects can be pretty nice on a Knight, and you can wring some use out of the racial choice it requires (Revenant).

    Harbinger of Doom (PHB 2) - While no feature here is actively bad, none of them really provides enough "wow" factor to elevate this Epic Destiny above the competition.

    Heir of Siberys (D 388) - A branch off the Demigod ED tree, this one offers a variety of effects to choose from as a Utility power. A Knight will probably find Finding, Healing, or Scribing to be the most appealing powers.

    Hordemaster (DSCS) - An interesting spin on the classic Demigod Epic Destiny, this one has some nice Leader-y flavor and powers you could use to good effect.

    Indomitable Champion (HotFL) - Essentially an expansion of the Demigod chassis, this ED offers some hefty extra HP and a bonus to NAD's, in addition to some neat defensive abilities and the traditional double stat boost.

    Invincible Vanguard (MP 2) - A couple of solid features for a charger, should you be inclined toward that combat style.

    Keeper of the Everflow (HoS) - A quality ED, it gives an ability score bump along with a variety of effects you can mix-and-match to fit the situation (and there's a good straight standby effect you can rock, too).

    Legendary Sovereign (MP 2) - Apart from Sword of Kings (the L30 ED feature), this choice is rather unexceptional. That said, Sword of Kings can allow for some pretty crazy spam.

    Marshal of Letherna (HoS) - Er... wow. You get the ability bump of your choice, and every square within 2 of you is difficult terrain? Where do I sign up?

    Planeshaper (D 372) - The ability score bonus may be wasted on you, but the ability to double up on a prized Encounter power or send someone for an extraplanar loop on a critical certainly is not, plus the capstone allows for all sorts of wacky stuff. A surprisingly good pick.

    Prison of the Winds (D 371) - While the attribute bonuses go to secondary ability scores, a bonus to speed, revival, flight, and being insubstantial while bloodied, so it does just about everything else right.

    Raven Knight (D 380) - While the ability scores aren't perfect (close to it, though), literally everything else is amazing for what you want to do in combat.

    Reborn Champion (D 365) - While it has plenty of cool stuff, it's missing that one feature it needs to establish itself as a top-tier option. Still a worthy pick, though.

    Storm Sovereign (D 372) - A collection of solid, but unexceptional benefits.

    Unyielding Sentinel (D 388) - Rolling all your saves twice is a sweet benefit, and it gives you ability score bumps the traditional Knight will appreciate. While the big Utility power is a Stance and therefore conflicts with some of your stuff, this is still a rock-solid ED choice.


    Multiclassing: How Others Attain Honor

    This will be a collection of goodies you can steal from other classes. As usual, only things that would be considered Black and above for a Knight make the cut.

    Any Arcane Class

    While not a defined multiclass in and of itself, this category will encompass the additional options made available to you for choosing a multiclass feat from an arcane class.

    Feats

    Quickened Spellcasting (Epic Tier - AP) - While the traditional Knight will not have use for this, a Half-Elf with the right Dilettante power can use it for some nice extra punch once per enoer.

    White Lotus Master Riposte (Paragon Tier - D 374) - A reprisal attack when you get hit can help will do wonders for your damage output if you're a Half-Elf with the proper Dilettante.

    White Lotus Riposte (Heroic Tier - D 374) - A bit of autodamage when you get hit, if you're a Half-Elf with the right Dilettante.


    Paragon Paths

    Academy Master (D 374) - A very nice Paragon Path for Half-Elves who branched out into the Arcane arts.


    Any Divine Class

    While not a defined multiclass in and of itself, this category will cover the additional options made available to you for choosing a multiclass feat from any divine class.

    Paragon Paths

    Morninglord (FRPG) - If you like Radiant weapons, this Paragon Path can offer you a very hefty dose of extra damage, which is (of course) very nice to have.


    Barbarian

    This multiclass tree offers a solid entry benefit, and a gem in the later levels for those who like to charge.

    Entry Feats

    Berserker's Fury (PHB 2) - +2 damage for a whole encounter can be pretty decent.


    Feats

    Overpowering Charge (Epic Tier - PrP) - Every charge knocks prone with this bad boy. A very good use of a feat.


    Cleric

    This choice will actually have a couple of things you'll want to have, apart from the MC feat itself.

    Entry Feats

    Initiate of the Faith (PHB) - While Religion is not all that hot as far as skill training is concerned, an emergency healing power is useful to anyone.


    Feats

    Radiant Advantage (Epic Tier - DP) - While it does come in late in your career, it can be tremendously useful to you and your party, if you are properly equipped.


    Paragon Paths

    Anointed Champion (DP) - This Paragon Path is an excellent expansion upon the Knight's default capabilities, allowing to grant temporary HP out like candy. That said, it is a path for a more unconventional sort of Knight.


    Paladin

    While the average Knight sees this as a bit of a stretch, there is a gem hidden in here for any Tieflings in the audience.

    Entry Feats

    Soldier of Faith (PHB) - Marking kind of messes with your Defender aura, but an encounter-long one that requires to action to enforce and can be maintained at range can be useful should you ever encounter an enemy that you find difficult to engage.

    Soldier of Virtue (DP) - The ability score requirement is rather high for the average Knight, but having a use of Virtue's Touch is pretty sweet.


    Feats

    Wrath of the Crimson Legion (Heroic Tier - D 381) - An absolutely amazing feat for Tiefling Knights (in fact, I consider it one of the key pieces that makes the entire concept worthwhile). You get a full-strength MBA based on Charisma, which is a very good thing. While the mass-sanction Utility power may be of limited use to you if enemies are close by, its range 5 lets you influence what will likely amount to be the entire encounter before you actually get adjacent. A quality choice.


    Swordmage

    Another option for those looking to make an unconventional Knight, this offers a full Intelligence-based Melee Basic Attack.

    Entry Feats

    Blade Initiate (FRPG) - A daily AC bump for an encounter (likely only +1, since you're wielding a shield most if not all the time) is a pretty solid thing to have on an entry feat.


    Feats

    Intelligent Blademaster (Heroic Tier - FRPG) - More than likely the reason you're here, as this makes Intelligence-based Knights very effective. To boot, it even works on thrown weapon basic attacks.


    Warlock

    A pretty off-the-wall option, this one actually is only here because of some interesting synergy with an unorthodox build of Knight.

    Entry Feats

    Pact Initiate (PHB) - You're unlikely to get much mileage out of this, but hey, you get it for free.

    Student of Malediction (AP) - A touch of easily applicable extra damage is actually useful.


    Paragon Paths

    Evermeet Warlock (FRPG) - A sweet combo with the Eladrin Knight options, this makes catch-22 defending easy to set up and execute.

    Long Night Scion (D 374) - The ability to slow and damage opponents when you teleport away from them can make for some good fun with an Eladrin Knight.


    Warden

    Though the Multiclass feat likely doesn't do a whole lot for you, it does open access to a couple of feats that work beautifully with what you want to do.

    Entry Feats

    Defender of the Wild (PHB 2) - This feat has marginal application to you at best (basically only worth it to mark people you won't be engaging en route to the ones you will be), but it lets you take some other feats that are worth the price of admission.


    Feats

    Crippling Crush (Heroic Tier - PrP) - This adds a hefty amount of damage to what was already likely to be your favorite Stance, which is an excellent expansion of your capabilities.

    Sudden Roots (Heroic Tier - PHB 2) - This can be a nice feat to free up your Stance slot if you think your enemies are going to bolt. Note that it doesn't work with Battle Guardian (an opportunity attack is a specific thing).

  9. #9
    Equipment: The Tools of Honor
    Here, we'll be talking about the weapons and armor that would serve you the best. Magic equipment is discussed in the following section.

    Weapon Groups: Enforcers of Honor

    Axes - While the weapons do pack a wallop, they're rather scarce in the Defender support department. That said, you can probably find something you like here, and qualifying for Weapon Mastery should be nominally easy for you.

    Recommended Axes

    Khopesh (AV) - While the stats aren't all that pretty, this weapon at least gets to partake in Heavy Blade support while still being an Axe.

    Waraxe (AV) - A one-handed d12 weapon will bring plenty of threat to your attacks.


    Bows - Most Knights won't have the Dexterity for this, and even the ones that do are better off focusing on Melee (it's not like you can maintain a mark at range like a Fighter can).

    Crossbows - The same thing that applies to the Bow is relevant here.

    Flails - While Weapon Mastery looks like a bit of a stretch, they do have quality Defender support, so they make pretty good weapons for Knights.

    Recommended Flails

    Alhulak (DSCS) - It has Longsword numbers, which is good when combined with Flail support.

    Flail (PHB) - Warhammer stats, and access to that rock-solid Flail support.

    Net (D 368) - If you're willing to put up with the weaker stats, this weapon packs its own slow, so it can help out a Knight who wants to branch out into other Stances.

    Triple-Headed Flail (AV) - The best one-handed Flail around, and it's a pretty good weapon for you.


    Hammers - Arguably the best sort of weapon for a Knight, it has quality Defender support along with matching up perfectly with where the Knight wants his ability score points.

    Recommended Hammers

    Craghammer (AV) - A d10 with brutal 2 makes for some good, reliable damage.

    Throwing Hammer (PHB) - A thrown option, should you need it.

    Warhammer (PHB) - If spending a feat for a weapon is out of the question, this weapon is your best default option.


    Heavy Blades - Another well-supported weapon group for a Knight, this weapon group also offers the gift of enhanced accuracy to the Knight.

    Recommended Heavy Blades

    Bastard Sword (PHB) - Pretty much the best stats you can get on a one-handed weapon.

    Longsword (PHB) - Some great default weapon stats for a Knight.


    Light Blades - While they don't carry as much default support as some other weapon groups, their weapon-specific feats easily make up for this by making these weapons exceedingly accurate.

    Recommended Light Blades

    Dagger (PHB) - If you must throw something at your opponent, though your damage will suffer.

    Rapier (PHB) - Pretty much the best weapon in the group, especially now that it doesn't cost a feat.

    Short Sword (PHB) - If you must have an off-hand weapon, this is a decent option.


    Maces - Basically Hammers... minus all the support that make Hammers awesome and dealing less damage. Yuck.

    Picks - These weapons do have a smidgen of support for a Knight, though the stats certainly aren't the best.

    Recommended Picks

    War Pick (PHB) - Respectable stats, and has a bit of support available.


    Polearms - I'm not a fan of this weapon group, since a Knight usually has to endeavor to engage his opponents (so Polearm Gamble will be hard to trigger), and because it separates you from your shield.

    Spears - While the stats on these weapons are kind of so-so, they do have some solid support at their back, and being throwable helps their stock as well.

    Recommended Spears

    Javelin (PHB) - While it is rather flimsy in Melee, it presents a rock-solid Ranged option.

    Tratnyr (AV) - Long range and solid damage in Melee. A fairly good weapon.

    Trident (AV) - The range isn't great, but it can be thrown, and it does get Spear support.


    Staffs - Despite some support on its behalf (for a change), the stats on this weapon are bad enough to keep most Knights away, especially when you throw in the fact that you forsake a Shield in order to wield it.

    Armor: Protectors of Honor

    Cloth - Why you would do this to yourself is beyond me.

    Leather - If you must wear light armor, wear Hide.

    Hide - While the typical Knight will scoff at the idea of walking around in Hide, some niche builds can actually muster the same AC with it as they would with Plate, and that's worth noting.

    Chain - Like all the other heavy armors... only weaker. Avoid.

    Scale - Those few who are concerned about their movement rate and armor check penalties can use this instead of Plate, though I don't really endorse that idea.

    Plate - You get the best armor in the game for free; why not use it?

    Shields - You have a class feature or two tied to these, plus you get Shield Finesse for free so they don't impede you much at all. With that in mind, I can't really think of a good reason to not have one.

    Magic Equipment: Deliverers of Honor

    As is the norm for sections in this Handbook, if the piece of magic equipment isn't rated Black or higher, I won't be talking about it (especially important because this game has a colossal amount of equipment available).

    Armor

    I'm taking a leaf from the designers' book with regards to level distribution: the + sign indicates a progression every 5 levels, there's another version of the armor with an additional +1 enhancement bonus.

    Level 2+

    Dwarven Armor (Chain, Scale, Plate) (PHB) - Healing as a free action that doesn't spend a surge, and a bonus to Endurance checks as a bonus? OK!


    Screaming Armor (Hide, Scale, Plate) (AV) - A free bonus to Intimidate, and a nifty debuffing power (with range, no less). A nice choice
.

    Level 3+

    Defensive Armor (Any) (PHB 3) - This property features a solid Daily defense-booster, which becomes meatier with power points (it's better if you have access to those).

    Level 4+

    Verve Armor (Scale, Plate) (AV) - This armor basically says, "I get up from being down," once per day.

    Level 5+

    Agile Armor (Chain, Scale, Plate) (AV) - Not really worth it until Paragon Tier (and even then only for higher-Dexterity folks), but good enough during Epic that it’s worth mentioning.


    Supporting Armor (Scale, Plate) (AV 2) - Helps you keep your wits about you, which is always good.


    Level 8+


    Bloodiron Armor (Scale, Plate) (AV) - While you're usually not packing the array of mass-targeting powers that would make this armor work, your ability to dole out multiple punishment attacks can help you spread out the benefit and thus derive some use of this item.

    Level 15+

    Trollskin Armor (Hide, Scale) (PHB) - Regen is always a nice thing to have in your back pocket, but its steep cost puts a ceiling on how awesome it can be (plus, it's not in Plate).



    Weapons

    I'm taking a leaf from the designers' book with regards to level distribution: the + sign indicates a progression every 5 levels, there's another version of the armor with an additional +1 enhancement bonus.

    Level 2+

    Farbond Spellblade (Heavy Blade, Light Blade) (AV 2) - A great way for Heavy Blade and Light Blade users to get a genuine Ranged option. A darned awesome property for a backup weapon.

    Vicious (Any) (PHB) - Pretty basic, but d12 crit dice are nice to have.

    Level 3+

    Blood Fury Weapon (Axe, Heavy Blade) (AV 2) - A couple of sweet benefits when you're Bloodied. A solid weapon to have for the power.

    Carnage (Axe, Heavy Blade, Mace) (DSCS) - If you're in the gambling mood, this weapon can provide a very respectable damage bonus (which you can get more reliably if the weapon die is smaller or if you have multiple dice).

    Cunning (Any Melee) (AV) - If you like (save ends) effects, this is the weapon for you.

 That said, as a Knight, you probably won't have many of them.

    Frost (Any) (PHB) - Combines with Wintertouched and Lasting Frost for eternal combat advantage and +5 damage. Better than ever, thanks to other items helping it beat cold resistance.


    Frost Fury (Axe) (AV 2) - Pretty solid extra damage, and it has cold damage attached to it.

    Inescapable (Any) (AV) - Buffs your attack bonus after a miss. Solid.

    Luckblade (Heavy Blade, Light Blade) (AV) - Rerolls, which are great to have around.


    Quick (Any) (AV) - Free basic attacks are fun, especially for an Essentials class.



    Vanguard (Any Melee) (AV) - A bonus to damage while charging can be sweet for a Knight who partakes in that combat style.

    Level 4+

    Avalanche Hammer (Hammer) (AV 2) - Some sweet extra damage when you charge. Some prime reinforcement for what is arguably the best weapon choice for you.

    Battlecrazed (Axe, Heavy Blade) (AV) - Some hefty extra damage while you’re bloodied, and its power makes you “bloodied” for 2 turns. Can be solid.

    Master's Blade (Heavy Blade, Light Blade) (AV 2) - An amazing property for Knights, since you're in a Stance all the time, and the ability to assume two Stances at a time as a Daily is also sweet. Highly recommended.

    Level 5+

    Flaming (Any) (PHB) - This weapon is OK by itself, but it's great for Tieflings, thanks to Hellfire Blood and the rest of their fire-based racial goodies.


    Lightning (Any) (PHB) - Makes Mark of Storm users very happy.

    Level 8+

    Dread (Any) (AV) - Slaps out defensive penalties like it's nobody's business.
 Great for setting your allies up for something ridiculous.

    Level 9+

    Feyslaughter (Any) (AV) - Helps you deal with one of the few enemies who can evade your grasp by default (teleporters).

    Level 12+


    Jagged
    (Axe, Heavy Blade, Light Blade) (AV)
    - Improved critical hits, a whole tier early. Pretty nice.

    Level 13+

    Bloodiron (Any) (AV) - Your criticals are so nice, they damage twice.

    Farslayer (Any Melee) (AV) - I don't know about you, but engaging enemies from 5 squares away sounds like a good thing to have to me.

    Thundergod (Any Melee) (AV) - +2d6 damage on charges at Epic is a nice upgrade from Vanguard.

    Withering (Any Melee) (AV) - Slapping on defensive penalties by the truckload is nice to have.

    Level 14+

    Battlemaster's (Any) (AV) - An extra go with an Encounter power for an Item Daily? That's always a good deal, especially for a Knight, who doesn't get many full-fledged Encounter powers in the first place.

    Voidcrystal (Any Melee) (AV) - I'm usually not a big fan of weapons that only offer a Daily power over a plain old magic weapon, but this is good enough a Daily to merit being picked.

    Level 15+

    Battle Spirit (Axe, Flail, Hammer, Heavy Blade, Mace, Spear) (AV 2) - This weapon allows you to make attacks against any target you can reach without having to worry about going around people, which can be useful for you. That said, engaging the frontline is usually what you do the best.

    Chill Wind (Heavy Blade) (D 386) - It's expensive, but the properties it provides are a straight upgrade over the already awesome Frost Weapon. Excellent.

    Radiant (Any) (AV) - Despite the rather high cost on this enchantment, it frees up some gold (and item slots) by providing a handy bonus to damage.

    Reaper’s Axe (Axe) (AV 2) - A free attack and shift when you drop an opponent. Solid.


    Arms

    Since there is no set-in-stone progression symbol for items that don't follow the standard "every 5 levels" progression, I'm going to be labeling the levels at which each version of every item in this section is available.

    Level 2

    Bracers of Mighty Striking (L2/12/22) (PHB) - Pretty much the same as Iron Armbands of Power for you, except they cost a lot less and are Common. Amazingly good.

    Level 4

    Counterstrike Guards (L4/14) (AV) - A decent item, it grants you more attacks as a reaction to your oppponent attacking you. The upgraded version 
is light-years better, as it allows you to do it every encounter.

    Level 6

    Iron Armbands of Power (L6/16/26) (AV) - A very handy item bonus to damage, but it really comes into play if you picked a Melee power with Reserve Maneuver or picked a non-basic attack At-Will, and as such isn't the dominant choice for a Knight.

    Level 10

    Bloodsoaked Bracers (L10/20/30) (AV) - If you're OK with your damage being a huge spike instead of a steady flow, this is the item for you. Be warned, though; it doesn’t stack very well with other sources of damage, and it burns up a Magic Item Daily to do its job.

    Level 19

    Trollhide Braces (L19/29) (AV) - Regeneration is always a solid defensive choice.


    Feet

    Since there is no set-in-stone progression symbol for items that don't follow the standard "every 5 levels" progression, I'm going to be labeling the levels at which each version of every item in this section is available.

    Level 2

    Acrobat Boots (AV) - Cheap, and they let you stand up as a minor action (a very useful property).

    Boots of Adept Charging (AV) - Dirt cheap, and they give you some extra mobility after a charge.

    Level 7

    Boots of the Fencing Master (AV) - Rewards you for moving around. What's not to like?

    Rushing Cleats (AV) - This helps Mark of Storm users get their push or slide shenanigans up and running.

    Level 8

    Boots of Quickness (L8/18/28) (AV) - A decent boost to your Reflex defense.



    Level 9

    Boots of Eagerness (AV) - Pretty cheap, and they pack a nice action advantage power.


    Level 10

    Boots of the Mighty Charge (D 381) - Using your prized Encounter power on a charge once per day can be awesome.

    Level 11

    Steady Boots of the Ram (AV 2) - Some nice mobility properties, and it's part of a pretty good item set.

    Level 12

    Battlestrider Greaves (PHB) - Given that positioning is more important for you than it is for most other Defenders, a boost to speed is a nice help.

    Level 16

    Survivor’s Boots (AV 2) - Yeah, they require you to be bloodied, but after that, you can pretty much do whatever you want in combat. That's gotta be worth something.

    Level 22

    Boots of Speed (AV) - +2 to speed and a decent power.



    Level 24

    Boots of Caiphon (AV 2) - They sap your HP, but it’s probably less damage than you would take for eating an OA, especially at these levels, and you ARE moving with a minor action...

    Level 25

    Sandals of Avandra (AV) - Expensive, but very powerful and allow for crazy mobility.

    Level 28

    Boots of Teleportation (AV) - Get them if you can afford them. That is all.


    Hands

    Since there is no set-in-stone progression symbol for items that don't follow the standard "every 5 levels" progression, I'm going to be labeling the levels at which each version of every item in this section is available.

    Level 3

    Gloves of Piercing (PHB) - Real cheap, and they should punch through most resistance to your attacks if they're not element-based.

    Level 4

    Gauntlets of Blood (L4/14/24) (AV 2) - A sweet damage bonus against bloodied targets.

    Level 8

    Gauntlets of the Ram (PHB) - More push can be nice for the Knights that favor forced movement.

    Level 10

    Dwarven Throwers (AV) - This allows you to make a basic attack with your main weapon at range once per encounter. Pretty cool.

    Strikebacks (AV) - Hitting back when you get hit is an awesome property for a Knight, and the bonus to hit on OA's isn't half bad either.

    Level 11

    Gloves of Ice (L11/21) (AV 2) - More damage for your cold attacks, or punch through cold resistance. Glorious, especially with Frost Weapons.

    Level 13

    Gloves of Missile Deflection (AV) - Some solid resistance against Ranged attacks.

    Level 18

    Gauntlets of Destruction (PHB) - A superior version of Brutal 1. Sweet.




    Head

    Since there is no set-in-stone progression symbol for items that don't follow the standard "every 5 levels" progression, I'm going to be labeling the levels at which each version of every item in this section is available.

    Level 4

    Casque of Tactics (L4/14/24) (AV) - An initiative bonus is good for anyone.



    Level 6

    Horned Helm (L6/16/26) (PHB) - Extra d6's while charging can be useful for those aggressive Knights who like to charge in.

    Level 8

    Coif of Mindiron (L8/18/28) (AV) - Protects against an increasing array of mental conditions (albeit only against Will) as an ENCOUNTER POWER. Sexy.



    Level 9

    Helm of Battle (L9/19/29) (PHB) - Initiative bonuses for everyone!



    Level 12

    Charger's Headdress (AV 2) - Accuracy bonuses while charging are always appreciated, and it's part of an item set that gives you even more accuracy on a charge.

    Level 14

    Helm of Able Defense (AV 2) - A bonus to Will, and a bump to all defenses until you get hit is pretty good if you ask me.

    Level 15

    Carcanet of Psychic Schism (AV) - Slaps a penalty on you, but it sure beats being incapacitated.

    Level 21

    Coif of Focus (AV) - Comes by later in your career, and burns up a Magic Item Daily, but negating Daze or Stun is awesome.

    Level 22

    Helm of Ghostly Defense (PHB) - Helps you take the sting off your opponent’s hits.

    Level 23

    Eye of Awareness (AV) - A decent bonus to Will defense, and a huge initiative boost on top of that.


    Neck

    I'm taking a leaf from the designers' book with regards to level distribution: the + sign indicates a progression every 5 levels, there's another version of the armor with an additional +1 enhancement bonus.

    Level 2+

    Badge of the Berserker (AV 2) - You don't provoke OA's when charging. Ever. Probably the key piece for a charging Knight.

    Cloak of Resistance (PHB) - Decent resistance for a turn.

    Level 4+

    Cloak of Distortion (AV) - Forces your enemies to get in close enough for you to engage them if they want to hit you with any kind of regularity.



    Level 8+

    Steadfast Amulet (AV) - This prevents daze or stun. 'Nuff said.



    Level 9+

    Amulet of False Life (PHB) - Your healing surge value in THP is a sweet ability, even if it's a Daily.



    Amulet of Vigor (AV 2) - A boost to your healing surge value is a good thing to have, as is the ability to pile on extra healing once per day.

    Level 10+

    Periapt of Cascading Health (D 369) - Ends one effect per encounter, no questions asked. Win.


    Level 13+

    Amulet of Scales (D 365) - Scaling, immediate-application, encounter-long resistance to a keyword (which includes Arcane, Weapon, and the like, by the way) is nice.



    Level 14+

    Flamewrath Cape (AV) - Offers a nice damage boost, as well as disincentive for enemies attacking you. Only for one turn, though.

    Timeless Locket (AV 2) - Turn a Minor into a Standard, and it has a hefty initiative bonus as well? A pretty good choice, even if the standard can't be used to attack.

    Level 15+

    Brooch of Vitality (AV) - More HP is NICE, especially the Epic Tier versions.



    Cloak of Displacement (AV) - A nice bonus to AC and Reflex until you get hit, and a pretty cool power. Worth a look.

    Necklace of Fireballs (AV) - Defense that packs some decent offense.



    Torc of Power Preservation (AV) - It retains Encounter powers when you use them. Need I really say more?

    Level 30

    Scarab of Invulnerability (PHB) - Makes you immune to everything for a round. Sure, it's a Level 30 item, but you will enjoy the short amount of time you'll have it.


    Rings

    Remember, you can have two of these, so look out for Rings that either work well together or work well in doubles.

    Level 13

    Ring of Giants (D 378) - A sweet bonus to critical hit damage.

    Level 14

    Iron Ring of the Dwarf Lords (PHB) - An extra surge is a nice static benefit, and the ability to negate forced movement in a pinch doesn't suck, either.

    Ring of Fury (D 366) - When you're bloodied, you let it be known.



    Level 15

    Ring of the Dragonborn Emperor (AV) - A rather nice damage bonus to close attacks, and it has a sweet way to respond when you get bloodied.

    Level 16

    Ring of Protection (PHB) - Generic defensive item. Useful, though it's about as exciting as watching grass grow.



    Level 18

    Bone Ring of Better Fortune (AV) - Since this halves all necrotic damage, it can potentially be better than a lot of resistance.


    Ring of Ramming (AV) - Hands you a bit more 'oomph' on those push effects. Solid.



    Level 19

    Grace Ring of Prowess (AV 2) - A solid power that lets you rev up for +2 to hit before teeing off.

    Level 20

    Ring of Action Reversal (AV 2) - A hefty bonus to initiative checks, and a sweet benefit should you miss with your prized Encounter power.

    Level 21

    Ring of Heroic Insight (AV) - Allows you to buff yourself pretty well once per day.



    Level 22

    Blink Ring (AV) - Teleportation is nice to have.



    Level 23

    Greater Ring of Invisibility (AV 2) - Invisibility every encounter, and concealment the whole way after a milestone. This can be a great tool for any Defender.

    Level 24

    Golden Ring of Teros (AV 2) - +2 to AC and Fortitude is nice to have, even if it’s conditional.

    Level 26

    Ring of Guarded Will (AV 2) - A nice bump to Will defense.

    Level 27

    Avandra’s Ring (AV 2) - Ignoring difficult terrain is pretty cool. Too bad it shows up so late...

    Ring of the Phoenix (AV) - A pretty sweet revival ability.

    Shadow Band (AV) - You can't really argue against +2 to all defenses as a static property...



    Level 28

    Ring of Elemental Mastery (MOTP) - Allows you to shave some elemental resistance off your opponent, or flat-out ignore it after a milestone. Solid, especially for people looking to exploit elemental synergies.


    Level 29

    Ring of Free Time (L29) (AV 2) - Expensive, but resist all 5 is great, as is an extra minor action every turn to pull off all those Utility powers simultaneously.

    Level 30

    Dauntless Champion’s Ring (AV 2) - For all you non-Demigods out there (you know who you are).

    Nullifying Ring (AV) - A capstone defensive item. Pretty nuts... if you can foot the bill.


    Waist

    Since there is no set-in-stone progression symbol for items that don't follow the standard "every 5 levels" progression, I'm going to be labeling the levels at which each version of every item in this section is available.

    Level 8

    Belt of Lucky Strikes (D 365) - A free attack after you miss is a solid benefit.

    Belt of Vim (L8/18/28) (AV) - Reinforces what will usually be your strongest defense.



    Level 10

    Diamond Cincture (L10/20/30) (AV 2) - It enables you to heal yourself, and also packs a bonus a to Fortitude. Tasty.

    Level 11

    Healer's Sash (L11/21) (AV) - Anything that allows you to heal your allies is at least worth mentioning, even post-errata.


    Totemic Belt (AV) - Buffs for charging are nice to have.

    Level 15

    Belt of Giant Strength (PHB) - A meh offensive Daily buff, but a pretty cool bonus to skills.


    Girdle of the Umber Hulk (L15/25) (AV) - A solid burrow power, and a boost to Fortitude.

    Level 18

    Belt of Mountain Endurance (D 365) - Getting your main ability score as a bonus to your healing surge value is sweet, and having a benefit on an AP is icing. A very good item for you.

    Cord of Foresight (AV) - Frontloading a surge's worth of HP can be pretty solid for you.

    Level 19

    Belt of Breaching (AV 2) - Healing when you score a kill. Sweet.

    Level 23

    Belt of Vitality (AV) - Gets you up when you're down, and boosts Fortitude. Pretty cool.

    Level 25

    Belt of Titan Strength (PHB) - A rock-solid buff for one turn, and strong skill bonuses.



    Level 28

    Sash of Regeneration (AV 2) - Regen while bloodied is nice.


    Miscellaneous


    Since there is no set-in-stone progression symbol for items that don't follow the standard "every 5 levels" progression, I'm going to be labeling the levels at which each version of every item in this section is available.

    Dragonshard Augments:

    Level 2

    Eberron Shard of Lightning (L2/12/22) (EPG) - A great incentive to wield Lightning weapons.

    Khyber Shard of the Fiery Depth (L2/12/22) (EPG) - Incentive for wielding Flaming weapons.

    Siberys Shard of Merciless Cold (L2/12/22) (EPG) - Yet another reason to like Frost weapons.

    Level 3

    Siberys Shard of Radiance (L3/13/23) (EPG) - Another selling point for the Radiant weapon.

    Wondrous Items:

    Level 3

    Demonskin Tattoo (L3/13/23) (AV 2) - While it may not be available every encounter, resistance to variable energy types is good enough to merit mention.

    Level 9

    Backlash Tattoo (AV 2) - A nice reprisal effect when you get bloodied.

    Battle Standard of the Hungry Blade (D 381) - The constant pull effect is well worth the standard action expended in planting it. With this, no one can escape you forever, so long as you are between them and the battle standard.

    Level 10

    Salve of Power (AV) - Post-errata, this trades a surge for another Encounter power, which is a pretty good deal for most characters, even Defenders.

    Level 11

    Dice of Auspicious Fortune (D 381) - Gives you more chances to make the rolls you need to make.

    Level 12

    Foe Stone (AV) - Cheap, and it pinpoints your opponent’s weakest defense at will. Somebody in the party has to have this; why not you?

    Stone of Earth (AV 2) - A no-questions-asked reroll for a Melee attack. Awesome.

    Stone of Flame (AV 2) - Fire lovers want one of these around.

    Stone of Light (AV 2) - If you're into Radiant damage, having a do-over in your back pocket sounds like a good idea to me.

    Stone of Spirit (AV 2) - If you're partaking in Psychic attack support, a reroll is good stuff.

    Stone of Storms (AV 2) - If lightning and thunder are your elements of choice, this is good to have.

    Level 16

    Solitaire (Aquamarine) (AV) - Free attacks after a critical are nice.

    Level 21

    Solitaire (Cerulean) (AV) - Expensive, but getting rid of (save ends) effects this easily should be.

    Level 26

    Solitaire (Violet) (AV) - Free AP’s after a crit are very nice to have, despite the high price tag.

  10. #10
    Sample Builds: Exemplars of Honor

    Central Casting

    The primary goal here is to make use of the resources found in the Heroes of the Fallen Lands book. As such, we will only be considering support from there, and will try to make this character the best he can be.

    Race: Dwarf.
    Paragon Path: Stalwart Knight.
    Epic Destiny: Indomitable Champion.

    Ability Scores:
    L1 – Str 18, Con 15, Dex 14, Int 8, Wis 14, Cha 10
    L4 – Str 19, Con 16, Dex 14, Int 8, Wis 14, Cha 10
    L8 – Str 20, Con 17, Dex 14, Int 8, Wis 14, Cha 10
    L11 – Str 21, Con 18, Dex 15, Int 9, Wis 15, Cha 11
    L14 – Str 22, Con 19, Dex 15, Int 9, Wis 15, Cha 11
    L18 – Str 23, Con 20, Dex 15, Int 9, Wis 15, Cha 11
    L21 – Str 26, Con 23, Dex 16, Int 10, Wis 16, Cha 12
    L24 – Str 27, Con 24, Dex 16, Int 10, Wis 16, Cha 12
    L28 – Str 28, Con 25, Dex 16, Int 10, Wis 16, Cha 12

    Feats:
    L1 – World Serpent's Grasp
    L2 – Master at Arms
    L4 – Weapon Focus (Hammers)
    L6 – Toughness
    L8 – Improved Defenses
    L10 – Improved Initiative
    L11 – Resilient Focus
    L12 – Superior Will
    L14 – Superior Fortitude
    L14 – Superior Reflexes (replaces Improved Defenses)
    L16 – Disciple of Stone
    L18 – Disciple of Strength
    L20 – Disciple of Death
    L21 – Disciple of the Wild
    L22 – Eager Advance
    L24 – Cold Adaptation
    L26 – Armor Finesse
    L28 – Tenacious Resolve
    L30 – Skill Focus (Intimidate)

    Knight Stances:
    L1 – Defend the Line
    L1 – Hammer Hands
    L7 – Poised Assault
    L17 – Battle Wrath

    Utility Powers:
    L2 – Glowering Threat
    L6 – Ignore Weakness
    L8 – Shield Block
    L10 – Clearheaded
    L12 – Bludgeoning Counterstrike
    L16 – Bolstering Stride
    L22 – Knight's Valor
    L26 – Epic Tenacity

    Skills:
    L1 – Athletics
    L1 – Endurance
    L1 – Intimidate

    Magic Items at L30 (Expected GP = 14,625,000):
    L29 (2,625,000 gp): +6 Black Iron Godplate Armor (PHB)
    L29 (2,625,000 gp): Helm of Battle (Epic Tier) (PHB)
    L27 (1,625,000 gp): +6 Elven Cloak (PHB)
    L27 (1,625,000 gp): +6 Vicious Warhammer (PHB)
    L24 (525,000 gp): Gauntlets of Blood (Epic Tier) (AV 2)
    L22 (325,000 gp): Belt of Vigor (Epic Tier) (PHB)
    L22 (325,000 gp): Bracers of Mighty Striking (Epic Tier) (PHB)
    Nonmagical: Heavy Shield (PHB)
    TOTAL: 9,675,000 gp


    Infernal Legionnaire

    A rather unconventional sort of Knight, this one relies on the Wrath of the Crimson Legion feat (via Paladin multiclass) in order to get away with Charisma as a primary, which in turn opens up some nifty things.

    Race: Tiefling.
    Multiclass: Paladin.
    Paragon Path: Stalwart Knight.
    Epic Destiny: Ceaseless Guardian.

    Ability Scores:
    L1 – Str 13, Con 16, Dex 14, Int 8, Wis 10, Cha 18
    L4 – Str 13, Con 17, Dex 14, Int 8, Wis 10, Cha 19
    L8 – Str 13, Con 18, Dex 14, Int 8, Wis 10, Cha 20
    L11 – Str 14, Con 19, Dex 15, Int 9, Wis 11, Cha 21
    L14 – Str 14, Con 20, Dex 15, Int 9, Wis 11, Cha 22
    L18 – Str 14, Con 21, Dex 15, Int 9, Wis 11, Cha 23
    L21 – Str 15, Con 22, Dex 16, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 26
    L24 – Str 15, Con 23, Dex 16, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 27
    L28 – Str 15, Con 24, Dex 16, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 28

    Feats:
    L1 – Melee Training (Charisma)
    L2 – Soldier of Faith
    L2 – Wrath of the Crimson Legion (replaces Melee Training (Charisma))
    L4 – World Serpent's Grasp
    L6 – Imperious Majesty
    L8 – Master at Arms
    L10 – Improved Defenses
    L11 – Hammer Shock
    L12 – Secrets of Belial
    L14 – Armor Specialization (Plate)
    L16 – Hellfire Blood
    L18 – Superior Reflexes
    L20 – Superior Fortitude
    L20 – Superior Will (replaces Improved Defenses)
    L21 – Epic Reflexes
    L21 – Overwhelming Impact (replaces World Serpent's Grasp)
    L22 – Epic Fortitude
    L24 – Epic Will
    L26 – Irresistible Flame
    L28 – Weapon Focus (Hammers)
    L30 – Superior Initiative

    Knight Stances:
    L1 – Defend the Line
    L1 – Hammer Hands
    L7 – Poised Assault
    L17 – Battle Wrath

    Utility Powers:
    L2 – Glowering Threat
    L6 – Pass Forward
    L8 – Shield Block
    L10 – Clearheaded
    L12 – Bludgeoning Counterstrike
    L14 – Eagle's Splendor (replaces Ultimate Parry)
    L16 – Interposing Shield
    L22 – Knight's Valor
    L26 – Always Ready

    Skills:
    L1 – Athletics
    L1 – Diplomacy
    L1 – Endurance
    L2 – Intimidate

    Magic Items at L30 (Expected GP = 14,625,000):
    L30 (3,125,000 gp): +6 Flaming Warhammer (PHB)
    L29 (2,625,000 gp): Ring of Free Time (AV 2)
    L28 (2,125,000 gp):
    +6 Steadfast Amulet (AV)
    L27 (1,625,000 gp): +6 Dwarven Thrower Warhammer (D 385)
    L27 (1,625,000 gp):
    +6 Dwarven Godplate Armor (PHB)
    L24 (525,000 gp):
    Boots of Caiphon (AV 2)
    L23 (425,000 gp):
    Eye of Awareness (AV)
    L22 (325,000 gp):
    Bracers of Mighty Striking (Epic Tier) (PHB)
    L20 (125,000 gp): Diamond Cincture (Paragon Tier) (AV 2)
    L15 (25,000 gp):
    Ring of the Dragonborn Emperor (AV)
    L12 (13,000 gp):
    Stone of Earth (AV 2)
    L11 (9,000 gp):
    Dice of Auspicious Fortune (D 381)
    L10 (5,000 gp):
    Strikebacks (AV)
    L9 (4,200 gp):
    Backlash Tattoo (AV 2)
    L9 (4,200 gp):
    Battle Standard of the Hungry Blade (D 381)
    Nonmagical:
    Heavy Shield (PHB)
    TOTAL: 12,585,400 gp


    Mage Knight

    Continuing the tradition of unconventional Knights, this one employs a Swordmage multiclass in order to get away with some very unorthodox ability score arrangements.

    Race: Eladrin.
    Multiclass: Swordmage.
    Paragon Path: Eldritch Knight.
    Epic Destiny: Ceaseless Guardian.

    Ability Scores:
    L1 – Str 10, Con 13, Dex 10, Int 20, Wis 8, Cha 15
    L4 – Str 10, Con 14, Dex 10, Int 21, Wis 8, Cha 15
    L8 – Str 10, Con 15, Dex 10, Int 22, Wis 8, Cha 15
    L11 – Str 11, Con 16, Dex 11, Int 23, Wis 9, Cha 16
    L14 – Str 11, Con 17, Dex 11, Int 24, Wis 9, Cha 16
    L18 – Str 11, Con 18, Dex 11, Int 25, Wis 9, Cha 16
    L21 – Str 12, Con 19, Dex 12, Int 28, Wis 10, Cha 17
    L24 – Str 12, Con 20, Dex 12, Int 29, Wis 10, Cha 17
    L28 – Str 12, Con 20, Dex 12, Int 30, Wis 10, Cha 18

    Feats:
    L1 – Melee Training (Intelligence)
    L2 – Blade Initiate
    L2 – Intelligent Blademaster (replaces Melee Training (Intelligence))
    L4 – World Serpent's Grasp
    L6 – Master at Arms
    L8 – Improved Defenses
    L10 – Improved Initiative
    L11 – Hammer Shock
    L12 – Superior Will
    L14 – Superior Fortitude
    L14 – Superior Reflexes (replaces Improved Defenses)
    L16 – Weapon Focus (Hammers)
    L18 – Armor Specialization (Hide)
    L20 – Grit
    L21 – Epic Will
    L21 – Overwhelming Impact (replaces World Serpent's Grasp)
    L22 – Epic Fortitude
    L22 – Superior Initiative (replaces Improved Initiative)
    L24 – Epic Reflexes
    L26 – Striking Resurgence
    L28 – Epic Recovery
    L30 – Fey Charge

    Knight Stances:
    L1 – Defend the Line
    L1 – Glimmering Blade
    L7 – Hammer Hands
    L17 – Poised Assault

    Encounter Powers:
    L11 – Charm of the Defender

    Utility Powers:
    L2 – Glowering Threat
    L6 – Bewitching Glare
    L8 – Shield Block
    L10 – Pass Forward
    L12 – Eldritch Leap
    L16 – Interposing Shield
    L22 – Knight's Valor
    L26 – Always Ready

    Skills:
    L1 – Diplomacy
    L1 – Endurance
    L1 – History
    L1 – Intimidate
    L2 – Arcana

    Magic Items at L30 (Expected GP = 14,625,000):
    L30 (3,125,000 gp): +6 Lifeblood Elderhide Armor (PHB 2)
    L29 (2,625,000 gp):
    +6 Feyslaughter Warhammer (AV)
    L29 (2,625,000 gp): Ring of Free Time (AV 2)
    L28 (2,125,000 gp): +6 Steadfast Amulet (AV)
    L27 (1,625,000 gp): +6 Dwarven Thrower Warhammer (D 385)
    L24 (525,000 gp): Boots of Caiphon (AV 2)
    L23 (425,000 gp): Eye of Awareness (AV)
    L22 (325,000 gp): Bracers of Mighty Striking (Epic Tier) (PHB)
    L20 (125,000 gp): Diamond Cincture (Paragon Tier) (AV 2)
    L15 (25,000 gp): Ring of the Dragonborn Emperor (AV)
    L12 (13,000 gp): Stone of Earth (AV 2)
    L11 (9,000 gp): Dice of Auspicious Fortune (D 381)
    L10 (5,000 gp): Strikebacks (AV)
    L9 (4,200 gp): Backlash Tattoo (AV 2)
    L9 (4,200 gp): Battle Standard of the Hungry Blade (D 381)
    Nonmagical: Heavy Shield (PHB)
    TOTAL: 13,585,400 gp


    Storm Knight

    Another unconventional Knight, this build relies on the synergy the Knight chassis has with the Mark of Storm tree to make a very strong character, particularly on the damage front.

    Race: Half-Elf.
    Dilettante Power: Eldritch Strike.
    Multiclass: Warden.
    Paragon Path: Lyrandar Wind-Rider.
    Epic Destiny: Destined Scion.

    Ability Scores:
    L1 – Str 13, Con 20, Dex 10, Int 8, Wis 10, Cha 15
    L4 – Str 13, Con 21, Dex 10, Int 8, Wis 10, Cha 16
    L8 – Str 14, Con 22, Dex 10, Int 8, Wis 10, Cha 16
    L11 – Str 15, Con 23, Dex 11, Int 9, Wis 11, Cha 17
    L14 – Str 15, Con 24, Dex 11, Int 9, Wis 11, Cha 18
    L18 – Str 16, Con 25, Dex 11, Int 9, Wis 11, Cha 18
    L21 – Str 19, Con 28, Dex 12, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 19
    L24 – Str 19, Con 29, Dex 12, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 20
    L28 – Str 20, Con 30, Dex 12, Int 10, Wis 12, Cha 20

    Feats:
    L1 – Melee Training (Constitution)
    L2 – World Serpent's Grasp
    L4 – Bludgeon Expertise
    L6 – Defender of the Wild
    L8 – Crippling Crush
    L10 – Mark of Storm
    L11 – Hammer Shock
    L11 – Versatile Master (replaces Melee Training (Constitution))
    L12 – Deadly Draw
    L14 – Improved Defenses
    L16 – Hindering Shield
    L18 – Improved Initiative
    L20 – Superior Will
    L21 – Overwhelming Impact
    L21 – Superior Initiative (replaces Improved Initiative)
    L22 – Bludgeon Mastery
    L22 – Armor Specialization (Plate) (replaces World Serpent's Grasp)
    L24 – Epic Reflexes
    L26 – Epic Fortitude
    L28 – Epic Will
    L30 – Wepaon Focus (Hammers)

    Knight Stances:
    L1 – Defend the Line
    L1 – Hammer Hands
    L7 – Poised Assault
    L17 – Battle Wrath

    Encounter Powers:
    L11 – Wind Burst

    Daily Powers:
    L20 – Unruly Cyclone

    Utility Powers:
    L2 – Glowering Threat
    L6 – Pass Forward
    L8 – Shield Block
    L10 – Clearheaded
    L12 – Zephyr Wings
    L16 – Interposing Shield
    L22 – Knight's Valor
    L26 – Always Ready

    Skills:
    L1 – Diplomacy
    L1 – Endurance
    L1 – Intimidate

    Magic Items at L30 (Expected GP = 14,625,000):
    L30 (3,125,000 gp): +6 Lightning Throwing Hammer (PHB)
    L30 (3,125,000 gp):
    +6 Lightning Warhammer (PHB)
    L29 (2,625,000 gp): Ring of Free Time (AV 2)
    L28 (2,125,000 gp): +6 Steadfast Amulet (AV)
    L27 (1,625,000 gp): +6 Dwarven Thrower Warhammer (D 385)
    L24 (525,000 gp): Boots of Caiphon (AV 2)
    L23 (425,000 gp): Eye of Awareness (AV)
    L22 (325,000 gp): Bracers of Mighty Striking (Epic Tier) (PHB)
    L20 (125,000 gp): Diamond Cincture (Paragon Tier) (AV 2)
    L15 (25,000 gp): Ring of the Dragonborn Emperor (AV)
    L12 (13,000 gp): Stone of Earth (AV 2)
    L11 (9,000 gp): Dice of Auspicious Fortune (D 381)
    L10 (5,000 gp): Strikebacks (AV)
    L9 (4,200 gp): Backlash Tattoo (AV 2)
    L9 (4,200 gp): Battle Standard of the Hungry Blade (D 381)
    Nonmagical: Heavy Shield (PHB)
    TOTAL: 14,085,400 gp


    The Crusher

    A nice and straightforward build, this one looks to take advantage of the Fighter's excellent support and the Knight's own native package to make a punishing, sticky Defender.

    Race: Dwarf.
    Multiclass: Warden.
    Paragon Path: Dreadnought.
    Epic Destiny: Destined Scion.

    Ability Scores:
    L1 – Str 18, Con 18, Dex 12, Int 8, Wis 12, Cha 10
    L4 – Str 19, Con 19, Dex 12, Int 8, Wis 12, Cha 10
    L8 – Str 20, Con 20, Dex 12, Int 8, Wis 12, Cha 10
    L11 – Str 21, Con 21, Dex 13, Int 9, Wis 13, Cha 11
    L14 – Str 22, Con 22, Dex 13, Int 9, Wis 13, Cha 11
    L18 – Str 23, Con 23, Dex 13, Int 9, Wis 13, Cha 11
    L21 – Str 26, Con 26, Dex 14, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 12
    L24 – Str 27, Con 27, Dex 14, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 12
    L28 – Str 28, Con 28, Dex 14, Int 10, Wis 14, Cha 12

    Feats:
    L1 – Dwarven Weapon Training
    L2 – World Serpent's Grasp
    L4 – Bludgeon Expertise
    L6 – Defender of the Wild
    L8 – Martial Cross-Training (Come and Get It)
    L10 – Crippling Crush
    L11 – Hammer Shock
    L12 – Armor Specialization (Plate)
    L13 – Martial Cross-Training (Anvil of Doom) (replaces Come and Get It)
    L14 – Reserve Maneuver (Come and Get It)
    L16 – Improved Defenses
    L18 – Ubiquitous Shield
    L20 – Improved Initiative
    L21 – Overwhelming Impact
    L21 – Superior Initiative (replaces Improved Initiative)
    L22 – Bludgeon Mastery
    L24 – Iron Will
    L26 – Lightning Reflexes
    L26 – Superior Fortitude (replaces Improved Defenses)
    L28 – Epic Will
    L30 – Epic Reflexes

    Knight Stances:
    L1 – Defend the Line
    L1 – Hammer Hands
    L7 – Poised Assault
    L17 – Battle Wrath

    Encounter Powers:
    L8 – Come and Get It
    L11 – Inexorable Advance
    L13 – Anvil of Doom (replaces Come and Get It)
    L14 – Come and Get It (replaces Inexorable Advance)

    Daily Powers:
    L20 – Line-Breaker Assault

    Utility Powers:
    L2 – Glowering Threat
    L6 – Ignore Weakness
    L10 – Clearheaded
    L12 – Blood Iron
    L16 – Bolstering Stride
    L22 – Knight's Valor

    Skills:
    L1 – Athletics
    L1 – Endurance
    L1 – Intimidate

    Magic Items (Expected GP = 14,625,000):
    L29 (2,625,000 gp): +6 Feyslaughter Craghammer (AV)
    L29 (2,625,000 gp): Ring of Free Time (AV 2)
    L28 (2,125,000 gp):
    +6 Steadfast Amulet (AV)
    L27 (1,625,000 gp):
    +6 Dwarven Godplate Armor (PHB)
    L27 (1,625,000 gp): +6 Dwarven Thrower Craghammer (D 385)
    L26 (1,125,000 gp):
    Iron Armbands of Power (Epic Tier) (AV)
    L24 (525,000 gp):
    Boots of Caiphon (AV 2)
    L24 (525,000 gp):
    Eye of Awareness (AV)
    L24 (525,000 gp): Golden Ring of Teros (AV 2)
    L20 (125,000 gp):
    Diamond Cincture (Paragon Tier) (AV 2)
    L12 (13,000 gp): Stone of Earth (AV 2)
    L11 (9,000 gp):
    Dice of Auspicious Fortune (D 381)
    L10 (5,000 gp):
    Salve of Power (AV)
    L10 (5,000 gp):
    Strikebacks (AV)
    Total: 13,482,000 gp

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