4E Saddle Up! - A guide to mounts and mounted combat (by RuinsFate)
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  1. #1

    Saddle Up! - A guide to mounts and mounted combat (by RuinsFate)

    Originally posted by RuinsFate:

    Saddle Up! - A Guide to Mounts.
    Currently defunct - I will not be updating this guide for the foreseeable future. If you do read this, or have any questions about the mounted combat rules, as presented here or in the Rules Compendium, feel free to send me a PM here on the forums and I will try to answer as best I can.

    This guide is intended to be a compilation of information concerning Mounts, their support and relevant information for their use. It is for players who want a mount for their characters, to aid in selection and 'kitting it out', and for DMs who want to include them in their campaign, or perhaps just have the BBEG ride in on a suitably scary beast, to provide them with a quick reference of where to find the various rules governing mounts, and to aid them in getting their players mounted up. I will not be rating mounts on a colour scale, as they are not easily compared due to a disparity in levels (more on this later, for the DM) and abilties, but I will offer comments and advice on the power and usability of it's abilties and features and on their use and synergy with options for their rider. Throughout this guide, I will be making mention of elements of the rules that are lacking, or may impede fun for you, as a player, or for your players, as a DM. I will offer advice and suggestions on house-ruling or getting around these elements, but feel free to take it with a grain of salt, or make suggestions of your own. This guide is meant as a resource for optimizers looking for mechanical benefits, DMs looking to use mounted combat, and just the player who wants to ride a dragon. (And for which I hope you'll forgive some of my rambling, if it doesn't relate to you specificly.)

    Table of Contents:

    • 1: Introduction
    • 2: Rules and Notes - Mounted Combat, it's rules and some advice on using them.
    • 3: Mounts - The beasties in question, and the real reason for this guide.
    • 4: Mount items - Mount slot items, rituals and other items that have effects on a mount.
    • 5: Character Based Supprt - Feats and other character features that affect a mount or mounted combat. If you are an Arcane class looking to ride your familiar, or a Beastmaster Ranger looking to use your beast companion, the rules for these cases are to be found here.

    Reference Material:

    This guide uses information primarily from PHB 1,2,3,† DMG 1 and 2, AV, MM 1,2,3, DSCG/C, FRPG, ECG and Dragon/Dungeon Magazine.

  2. #2
    Originally posted by RuinsFate:

    Rules and Notes

    Important: I am now expecting major changes (improvements?) to the Mounted Combat rules when the Rules Compendium comes out later this year. Obviously, we'll all have to wait and see until this actually comes out, but it's nice to know something's coming.

    Before we go anywhere, let's start with the basics:

    Mounted Combat
    , Heroic Tear Feat, PHB1, PG 199. This is the key to the whole shebang. It is important to note that your character does not need this feat to ride a mount. You are a heroic character, it is generally assumed you can ride a horse, or wolf, or lizard, or velociraptor for you Eberronian Halflings. However, this feat grants you two key benefits.††††††††††††††††††††
    • You gain access to the special ability(ies) of your mount. These are powers in the mount's monster stat block with the "Mount" keyword, usually with a requirement of 'When mounted by a friendly rider of at least x level'. These range from extra attacks to better movement to defence bonuses and a few other effects. I will outline these powers in the Mounts Section.
    • While riding your mount, it can make any Athletics, Acrobatics, Endurance or Stealth check using your modifier if it is better than it's own. Useful to those with training or a degree of optimization into these skills.

    The "Mount" keyword: Monster Manual, pg 282; "Mount [Keyword]: Not all monsters that can be ridden asmounts have the mount keyword. This keyword is applied only to creatures with special mount rules, such as an ability gained when ridden or an ability granted to the rider. These
    rules and benefits only apply if the rider has the Mounted Combat feat." This means that you are not limited to what I have listed in the mounts section. Theoretically, any creature you want to ride, you can. Those I have provided and evaluated are merely those with the Mount keyword, ie, those that are designed to be used as mounts and have powers or abilities that require or benefit a rider. If none of them fit your campaign, concept or setting perfectly, feel free to make your own, refluff one of the existing ones, or just add a 'mount' power to an existing creature.

    The Mounted Combat (and Flight) Rules. These can be found on pages 46-48 of the DMG, however these were majorly changed in the May 2010 errata (Click link to open a copy). Any DM planning on using Mounts in their campaign should read over these, especially the errataed Flight rules, as they're vastly superior and a lot more fun and easier for you and your players. There are a few of note for players as well, I'm providing these here as a reference for players to know the limitations and capabilties of a mount:

    Key Rules Players should know when using a Mount

    All rules are taken from the May 2010 Errata versions. Major disparities with the DMG will be noted.

    Saddles: Ignore this rule, it was errataed out.

    Size: Ignore the 'no smaller than large' part, also errataed out.

    Space: The rider and mount both occupy the mountís space. However, the origin squares of the riderís powers and other effects do not change to the mountís size. Whenever the rider uses an effect that has an origin square (such as a melee, a ranged, an area, or a close power), the rider first picks where that square is located in the mountís space, and the effect uses that origin square. For example, if a Medium rider uses a close burst attack power, the rider chooses a single square within the mountís space, and the burst emanates from that square. This rule means that if the burst targets each creature within it, rather than each enemy, it can hit the mount. (Please note that when using Blast powers, you can choose an edge square of your mount, and thus never have to include it the effect. Also - this rule interacts a little oddly with effects that state 'within x squares of you', for example the Bard's Virtue class features. Because you share the mount's space, which is larger than your's, the range of these effects increases. This rule also does not specify whether you count as adjacent to your mount when on it. Personally, I say you do, as it makes sense logically and mechanically, but this is open to DM interpretation. Where it is relevant, I will be assuming that you do count.) Also: Damon_Tor put rather nicely in the Rules Q&A forum:
    Quoted for elegance
    "Two creatures or objects are adjacent if one of them occupies a square adjacent to a square occupied by the other" -PHB p. 273

    If a mount and his rider occupy squares A, B, C, and D:


    The rider occupies square A which is adjacent to B.† The mount occupies square B.† Thus, they are adjacent.

    RAW aside, how much more "adjacent" can you get than sitting on top of something?

    Targeting the Mount and Rider: Even though the mount and rider occupy the same space, they are still separate creatures and are targeted separately. For example, an attack that targets only one creature can target either the mount or the rider, not both. In contrast, area and burst attacks can affect both mount and rider, since the two are in the same space.

    Mount Benefits: Many mounts offer special attacks or benefits they can use or grant to their riders. These abilities range from flat bonuses, such as an AC bonus to the rider, to special attacks that the mount can use. The Monster Manual details the benefits that many creatures grant if the rider meets a minimum level and has the Mounted Combat feat. If the rider doesnít meet a mountís prerequisites, he or she can ride it but doesnít gain the mountís special benefits.

    Provoking Opportunity Attacks: If the mountís movement provokes an opportunity attack, the attacker chooses to target either the mount or the rider, since the two of them move together. However, if the mount or the rider provokes an opportunity attack by using a ranged or an area power, the attacker must target whichever one of them provoked the opportunity attack.

    Forced Movement: If the mount is pulled, pushed, or slid, the rider moves with it. If the rider is pulled, pushed, or slid and the mount isnít, the rider can have the two of them move together. Otherwise, the rider is dismounted and falls prone in the destination space of the forced movement.

    Teleportation: If either the mount or the rider is teleported, the other does not teleport with it. If the mount is teleported without the rider, the rider is dismounted and falls prone. (There is an item, the Saddle of the Nightmare, that allows you to teleport with your mount. Please see it's section below for details.)

    Mounting and Dismounting:

    • Mount (Move Action): The rider mounts a creature adjacent to it and enters its space.
    • Dismount (Move Action): The rider dismounts, moving from the mountís space to a square adjacent to it.

    (DMG lists these as Standard actions)

    Initiative: The mount and rider act on the riderís initiative count, even if the mount had a different initiative before the rider mounted it. The two continue to act on the same initiative count after the rider dismounts. A monster and its mount have separate turns, whereas an adventurer and his or her mount have a single turn.

    Actions: An adventurer and his or her mount have one combined set of actions: a standard action, a move action, and a minor action. The player chooses how the two creatures use the actions on the adventurerís turn. The adventurer and the mount also share a single immediate action each round and a single opportunity action each turn. If the adventurer dismounts, the two still share one set of actions on that turn, but have separate sets of actions thereafter.

    Mount Attacks: (Replaces the poorly-named Attacking Mounts passage) The mount takes a Ė2 penalty to attack rolls unless the rider has the Mounted Combat feat. (The errataed version of this rule makes no mention of the previous ability to use standard actions to use the mount's attacks instead of your own. Given that the -2 penalty still applies, it can be assumed that this is still allowed, and I will be rating mounts on the assumption of being able to do so.)

    Charging: When the rider charges, the rider and mount move up to the mountís speed and then the rider makes the charge attack. When the mount charges, it follows the normal rules for a charge. (The DMG specifies that either the rider or the mount may make the charge attack.)

    Squeezing: When the mount squeezes, the rider is also considered to be squeezing. (And takes the relevant penalties.)

    Falling Prone: If the mount falls prone, the rider is dismounted and falls prone in an unoccupied space of the riderís choice adjacent to the now-prone mount. However, if the mount is flying when it falls prone, it instead falls and the rider isnít dismounted unless the mount lands and falls prone itself. A rider who is knocked prone can immediately make a saving throw. On a roll lower than 10, the rider is dismounted and falls prone in an unoccupied space of the riderís choice adjacent to the mount. On a roll of 10 or higher, the rider is neither dismounted nor knocked prone. A rider who voluntarily drops prone falls prone in an unoccupied space of the riderís choice adjacent to the mount.

    Mounts and Items: (AV pg 122) A creature serving as your companion or mount has a single magic item slot that you can activate using your own actions (and not the creature's). A companion that doubles as a mount can use a mount slot item in place of a companion item, and vice versa. (This does not allow a mount to use companion items, these are specific to the ranger beast companion. The same goes for familiar slot items. Also, Barding items, while listed seperately in the CB and the Compendium, still use up this one item slot. I have seen it played where they don't, citing AV pg 14, which describes barding as 'Armor for your mount', however this is a slight bend in the rules when using magical barding.)

    Is your, or one of your party members' mounts your ally? This is important for effects that rely on adjacent allies, allies in burst powers, etc. The answer is yes, yes they are. See here(x) for confirmation from Greg Bilsland. Even without that though, it is logical that a mount willingly serving you is your ally.

    Mounts and Levelling: Mounts are creatures. They have stat blocks given. This means that due to having a set level, your mount will become obselete over time. That loyal Warhorse might have been the scourge of the battlefield in the heroic tier, but it's suddenly a lot less impressive when it's eaten out from under you by an Elder Red Dragon in one turn. If you're only using them for a few key encounters, then finding ones of appropriate level is easy enough, but if they're the main-stay of your campaign, you've likely chosen one that will be a keeper for various role- or roll-play reasons. For this reason, discuss with your DM allowing the mount to level, there are rules and utilities provided to level creatures.

    Mounts and Encumberance: Encumberance is almost a dirty word to some players. However, it needs to be mentioned. Encumberance limits are only given for those mounts listed in the AV. For any other mount, it will need to be calculated along the usual strength load rules. The problem is that the limits given are fairly low. Your Dragonborn Paladin might want to charge into battle on a mighty Warhorse, but at it's 262lb weight limit, trying to carry you, your plate armor, weaponry, gear, etc, it will be slowed. If you are tracking the encumberance rules, be sure to work out the weight limit of your prospective mount, and how much of it you will use up. It may be worth looking for a stronger beast. However, as heavy load is defined as 'the maximum weight you can lift off the ground' I would perhaps recommend that this be treated as the mount's normal load. This is assuming you haven't chucked the encumberance rules into a corner, of course.

    Mounts and Healing: As creatures, mounts are subject to the 'one healing surge per tier' rule. This means that healing them between battles is difficult without means of surgeless healing or regeneration. Having your mount die can be an important part of a story, but having it happen every second or third encounter will get wearisome quickly. This is the element of mount usage that will likely require the most house-ruling, as there is no quick and easy way around it within in the rules. The Fortify Beast martial practice can give your mounts THP, and technically Comrade's Succor can grant them surges, but they will still be limited by their daily maximum of 1/2/3. The Bridle of Flame item (listed below) is the only reliable way to heal a mount using healing surges. There are several ways to fix this - granting mounts additional surges, healing them between battle (either by DM fiat, or perhaps use of the Heal skill?), treating them as non-targets, or just part of their rider in battle, etc. I will leave the solution that works for you completely up to you, your group and your DM, but be sure to think of something to make it work in your campaign.† It will be much more enjoyable to roleplay out your Loyal Steed if you're not having to pop down to the market for a new one each day.

    Movement (Teleportation) Powers while mounted: By RAW, powers that involve or bestow movement may move you and not your mount, primarily teleportation. Good examples are the Eladrin's Fey Step, or the Swordmage's Aegis of Assault, and many character attack/utility powers involve teleportation. To my knowledge, there is no way within the rules to share these effects, so if you use such a power, you'll move off your mount. Even the Saddle of the Nightmare is no help as it is a one-way teleport share. Proof of this can be found in Najid, an Eladrin NPC from Dungeon 169's Oasis of the Golden Phoenix. Notice that his version of Fey Step has been altered to allow his mount to go with him? This limitation really weakens a lot of player powers. The obvious solution is to allow such powers to work both ways, provided the players want to take the mount with them. (How many times have we seen an action hero(ine) leap from the back of his mount into furious combat? You know you want to do something that cool with your character.)

    Mounts and Action Points: Obviously, if you spend an action point, you can do what you want with the action gained. But what happens when your mount has an action point? Some mounts are elite and have an action point because of it. It's fine for monster's mounts, as the mount takes it's own turn, but for player mounts, this gets a bit vague. Allowing a player to use his mount's AP effectively gives them an AP every encounter, as they can just stagger it's use. This does go against the intention of one AP per milestone. It may be best from a balance perspective to not allow the use of a mount's AP for players. Up to you, as the DM.

    Mounts and Conditions: For the most part, conditions affecting a player's mount resolve obviously. Ongoing damage, weakened, slowed, etc all affect a mount as they're supposed to. One problem comes up when dazed and dominated are being thrown around. What happens when a mount is dazed, but the player riding it isn't, and vice versa? Due to the shared pool of actions involved, this is an iffy case. If a player is dazed, he can only use one action on his turn, which includes allocating them to his mount. However, his mount is free to use opportunity and immediate actions as it isn't dazed - this is especially important to mounts with immediate action powers. The other problem comes up if the mount is dazed. Obviously, it loses it's immediate and opportunity, but an impeded player can still use a move action on it, and then a standard to make it move again, or use one of it's attacks. This will require some thought on the DM's part as to how to handle this situation.

    Dominate also brings up a problem when applied unevenly. A dominated rider can still command his mount, but does the mount regard the player as an ally or enemy at that point? A dominated mount obviously can be ordered to attack it's rider, and the player riding it loses the ability to command it on his turn as he is no longer friendly to it. It's almost more a role-playing question of loyalties and the intelligence of the mount in question.

    As a side-effect of this, certain conditions lessen slightly in threat. If a rider is immobilised or restrained, his mount can still move for him. If the rider is taking a penalty to attacks, or is blinded, he can use his mounts attacks instead. Blinded becomes interesting from a role-playing perspective. A blinded mount may be unwilling to move at all, or have to be moved slower with it's rider guiding it. Again, this requires legwork from the DM.

    So, you killed a bunch of Dragon-riding Githyanki Bandits and want to use their mounts?: By RAW, the answer is pretty much 'Too bad'. The use of 'willing' and 'friendly' in the mounted combat rules, powers and feats pretty much forbids it. But that's no fun!

    The Nature skill allows you to calm an animal or train it, as per the PHB, pg 186:

    • Handle Animal: Make a Nature check to calm down a natural beast, teach a natural beast some tricks, or otherwise handle a natural beast. Handling a natural beast is usually part of a skill challenge that requires a number of successes.

    Obviously, there might be other skills involved, for example, Intimidate to bring the critter inline, Arcana for a magical beast (Or the relevant Monster Knowledge skill for it's creature type), perhaps even Diplomacy if it's a somewhat intelligent creature.

    One suggestion, given to me by Alcestis, is to use a modified version of the Artifact Concordance chart to determine how friendly a mount is to you. With just a little imagination and improvised conversion, this could work out really well for you.


    The vehicle rules given in AV1 are, like the mounted combat rules, not completely up-to-scratch. For those wanting to use vehicles, such as wagons, in their campaign, I would ask that you read page 9(x) and especially page 11(x) for posts from those with ideas and experience using vehicles in actual play (Especially those by helphelpe on pg 11, who's advice I will be working into the guide).

  3. #3
    Originally posted by RuinsFate:


    Perhaps you've gone through the CB and seen the Mounts section in the shop? Well, that's not the half of it, my friend! There are many creatures that have Mount powers and thusly are valid mounts for you, but are not listed in the CB, as it currently only sources those listed in the Adventurer's Vault. I will list those first, then provide a second section, organised by source material, of other creatures. (I considered putting them all in alphabetically, but breaking it up makes it a bit easier to read.) Please also note that the CB's listing of these creatures stat blocks is woefully inadequately formatted in places. I will provide the compendium link where I can for the relevant critter, for proper referencing of their capabilties. Also listed is the creatures lvl, and if it has the Soldier role, which is relevant for the Barding items (See under Mount Items). If a creatures stat block has been errataed from what is in the printed books, I endeavour to list the differences, if they relate to it's use as a mount.

    A word to DMs: Some mounts are very, VERY powerful in their capabilities, especially when added to everything else a player can do, for example some of those from the Draconomicons. Make sure you know what your players are asking for when they say 'I want THAT one for a mount!'

    Flight capabilities: It may seem there there is little difference between a mount that can fly and one that can fly (hover). The reason I prefer flight with hover over those that lack it is because of what happens when you're stunned. A hovering mount will still fly. A non-hovering mount will fall. Quickly. If engaging in high altitude flight, a reasonable duration stun - two turns, or a couple of failed saves - will result in you being removed from combat, and quite possibly in your rather messy terminal-velocity-finding death. Of course, this assumes you're using the updated flight rules also from the May 2010 errata (And you should, they're far superior). If you're using the old rules, hover is even better, as without it, you can't shift, and you have to move at least 2 squares every single turn to stay flying (This was removed in the may errata).

    Listed in the CB (MM1 or AV1 as source material)

    Presented in the order listed in the CB.

    Blade Spider: (MM, lvl 10) Tremorsense 10 and Spider Climb 6 give this creature some versatility, and it's Mount ability "Combined Attack" grants an encounter power (errataed from at-will in the MM) for a free action attack when you make a melee attack to cause 10 ongoing poison dmg (save ends). "Double Attack" at-will, and it's MBA causes weakened and ongoing 5 poison dmg (save ends both). Useful for the poison themed character, or those regularly exploring the underdark.

    Camel: (AV, lvl 1) It's a camel. WYSIWYG. No mount action, but it's a lvl 1 mount, and very easy on the wallet at 75gp.

    Celestial Charger: (MM, lvl 10 Soldier) The archetypal Paladin's mount. Speed 8, and it's Zephyr Footing ability allows to ignore difficult terrain and move across any solid or liquid surface. Very useful. It's Mount Action "Celestial Charge" causes it's rider to deal an extra 2d6 radiant dmg on charge attacks. It's listed as an Encounter power in the compendium (at-will in the MM), but worded as a passive effect, so you may want to discuss the usage of this one with your DM. VERY powerful if it is passive, as all the usual comments for charge and radiant support apply here. +5 to saves vs fear is a nice addon. Lawful Good alignment, so be nice to it!

    Dire Boar: (MM, lvl 6) Quite the mount for a charger character. Speed 8, for starters. It's "Rabid Charger" trait allows it to make it's Gore attack in addition to your charge attack, which is then boosted by it's "Furious Charge" trait - Gore, when charging, does an extra 5 dmg, pushes 2 squares and knocks prone. Gore itself also deals extra dmg to a prone target.

    Dire Shark: (AV, lvl 14) Obviously your mileage (no pun intended) with this mount will vary by how much underwater or seaborne combat you see. Swim speed 11, and it's Huge (yes, 3x3). It's passive trait "Waterborn" gives it an untyped +2 to attack when in water against creatures lacking a swim speed, which it also grants to it's rider with "Deft Swimmer" along with a +2 untyped AC against OAs. Very campaign dependant.

    Dire Wolf: (MM, lvl 5) Here doggy! It's unimaginatively named "Combat Advantage" trait gives the Dire Wolf CA against a target that has one or more of the wolf's allies next to it. You count. The Dire Wolf knocks prone when hitting with CA, giving you an at-will prone if you're willing to spend your standard actions on your mount's attacks, but there are other mounts capable of this. It's "Pack Hunter" Mount action is of little use to a melee character who will most likely be flanking anyway, but for a ranged character, or someone using a Reach weapon, this is a better version of Distant Advantage - no limit on attack type and only requires one ally adjacent, not two in flanking. For Beastmaster Archer rangers, your pet counts. If you're hurting a a bit for feats, but want Distant Advantage, 1000gp for a Dire Wolf may prove very useful.

    Elephant: (AV, lvl 8) Huge, an MBA with reach 2 and an at-will proning attack (Stamp) make this mount a solid choice for area-denial on the battlefield. "Trampling Charge" allows you to charge through one Medium or smaller opponent and make a Stamp attack against it in addition to the attack you make at the end of the charge.

    Giant Ant: (AV, lvl 4) MBA knocks prone, and shift 2 squares instead of one while mounted. Useful for characters that need to easily reposition themselves, or are using Reach weapons.

    Giant Lizard, Draft: (AV, lvl 4) Just use the Riding version instead, it's better in every way. That said, this is one of the cheaper mounts, and suited to certain terrain types for theme reasons.

    Giant Lizard, Riding: (AV, lvl 6) Speed 9 (swamp walk) and climb 4 are useful movement types, but the real benefit of this mount is "Combined Attack" which allows the lizard to make a Claw attack against a target you make a melee attack against once per encounter. (Errataed from at-will in the AV)

    Griffon: (MM, lvl 7) Fly 10, overland flight 15, and that's just the beginning. "Rabid Charger" allows the griffon to make two claw attacks in addition to your attack when charging, and is at-will, which are made at a +4 bonus instead of a +1 if flying thanks to "Thunder Charge" (Does not apply to your charge attack). If the mount becomes bloodied, it becomes even more powerful, gaining fear immunity, +2 untyped to attacks, -2 to all defences, and an extra move action per turn (!). Whether it is allowed this extra move action while ridden due to shared action rules is up to your DM. A very good choice for a charger character looking for a flying mount.

    Hippogriff: (MM, lvl 5) Fly 10, overland flight 15 are good, but mind the speed 4 if grounded. At-will charge to prone while flying and "Flyby Attack" could come in useful, but "Aerial Agility" is probably it's best feature, an untyped +1 to all it's rider's defences while flying. If this is the only feature of this creature you like, the Wyvern at lvl 10 is probably a much better option.

    Hippogriff Dreadmount: (MM, lvl 5 Soldier) As with the Hippogriff, mind the ground speed of 4. A good choice for a Defender, especially the Paladin who doesn't need his Immediates as much, with "Wing Slam", an at-will interrupt to knock prone someone who shifts or moves away from you. "Sturdy Mount" reduces all forced movements from attacks by 1, and allows it to immediately make saves against either you or it being knocked prone. Great for stickiness and staying in the battle.

    Manticore: (MM lvl 10) It's Elite, and thus has an Action Point. Please see the rules section above regarding this. Fly 8, overland 10, decent. It's mount power is no benefit to you directly, but grants the manticore +2 to attack with it's range and area attacks. "Spike", it's ranged at-will does allow it to shift 3 after the attack, hit or miss, taking you with it, so it could be handy for sudden repositioning. It also has an at-will to perfom one melee and one ranged attack, with a shift of 1 square in between them. Overall, not really that useful to players, but being Chaotic Evil and the different mechanics for monster mounts make it a nice choice for a BBEG.

    Nightmare: (MM, lvl 13) Evil! That aside, this mount has several useful features. Speed 10, Teleport 10, +2 AC vs OAs, Darkvision and resist 20 fire. "Hell's Ride" grants you resist 20 fire as well. It's MBA causes ongoing 5 fire (save ends) and "Hooves of Hell" (recharge 5,6) lets you set up a 10 square area of any shape that causes 10 fire auto-damage to any creature entering it. I'm sure you can find a use for it.

    Rage Drake: (MM, lvl 5) "Raking Charge" is another vaguearity. Is it a passive benefit, or is it a standard action to charge and make two attacks? Given the wording on the Griffon, I believe to be the latter, which is somewhat less useful. "Raging Mount" is useful for melee, +2 untyped bonus to attack and damage, but you only get it while the drake is bloodied. "Bloodied Rage" increases the power of the mount's attacks while bloodied, but you're more likely to be making your own with the bonuses given, as the drake's attacks are nothing too special.

    Rhinoceros: (AV, lvl 7 Soldier) It's mount action allows it tack it's MBA on to your charges, which is nice, but the Dire Boar does it better thanks to additional traits and being speed 8 to the Rhino's speed 6.

    Riding Horse: (MM, lvl 1) A horse. As with the camel, no mount action, but lvl 1 and cheap.

    Riding Shark: (AV, lvl 8) A lower level version of the Dire Shark which is large instead of huge. Otherwise, all the same comments apply.

    Rimefire Griffon: (MM, lvl 20) Someone has expensive taste! Fly 10, Overland 15, and speed 5 (As opposed to the speed 4 of the hippogriffs) are decent. Resist 10 cold, 10 fire, which it also gives you with it's mount power. It's blast attack is decent, but only usable after hitting twice with it's bite attack, which means you're not gonna be able to use it often, unless you make a lot of OAs with the bite, or something similar. Flyby Attack can be useful, but overall, this mount asks a bit more of you than it gives in return. Best only as a source of resistance. Not worth it you have to sink the GP into it.

    Sea Horse: (AV, lvl 5) If having to use an underwater mount, this is probably going to be the charger's choice. Swim 10 and a reach 2 MBA are nice, and it has the same "Waterborn" quality as the riding/dire shark, but it's "Aquatic Charge" rider power is better from an offensive standpoint. The same +2 to attack against non-swimmers, and your charge attack deals an extra 1d10 dmg. Still campaign dependant, and some may feel threatened in their manhood at the idea of riding one.

    Skeletal Horse: (AV, lvl 11) Speed 10 and being undead, it gets resist 20 necrotic, which it grants to it's rider through "Shadow Symbiosis", and poison immunity, which it doesn't. Very useful, and probably readily available in an undead-heavy campaign.

    Trihorn Behemoth: (AV, lvl 12 Soldier) Being huge is probably the only thing going for this mount. Speed 6 leaves a bit to be desired, and it's mount action "Protective Crest" grants a +1 shield bonus to AC and Reflex. There are mounts with better defense bonuses, better movement modes and generally better options. Avoid this one.

    Warhorse: (MM, lvl 3) Speed 8, and "Trample" allows it to use a standard action to move through enemies and make a Reflex-targeting prone attack against them. +5 dmg bonus to your charge attacks is decent enough. You can do better for boosting charge capabilities, but it's a good option for it's price. If you do want a warhorse for role-play or theme reasons, consider the Magebred Destrier instead (Listed below, EPG section).

    Wyvern: (MM, lvl 10) Of all the mounts in the CB, this one is probably the best option for a ranged character. Fly 8 (hover) lets you happily sit out of range and fire away, although do be wary of the speed 4 if you end up grounded. 2 Reach 2 attacks, one of which is an MBA, the other allowing a secondary attack for ongoing 10 poison, but the best effect is "Aerial Agility +2" granting it's rider an untyped +2 to all defences while flying. Definately a solid option, although if you're of the level where it's an option, give serious consideration to the Behir Stormsteed listed below (MM2 section) instead. Do also consider the Snaketongue Wyvern from the DMG2, which is a better version of the Wyvern.

    Unlisted, sorted by source material

    Monster Manual 2

    Behir Stormsteed: (MM2, lvl 24 Soldier) (Not listed as a mount in the MM, errated to correct this) Oh my. Probably the best mount option for a Storm Sorceror or other Lightning themed character, if not one of the best mounts in the game. Speed 8, Fly 8 (Hover), Huge, Resist 15 Lightning, and an enormously powerful mount action. "Ride The Lightning" grants it's rider an untyped +2 to attack with Lightning powers, and 'The behir stormsteed can use its bite or lightning breath once per turn as a minor action.' Bite is a Reach 2 MBA that does additional Lightning damage, plus 5 auto Lightning damage to all creatures within 3 squares (Not party-friendly, but the Behir will be unaffected, and thanks to the rules on rider and mount spaces, you can make yourself be unaffected as well). Lightning Breath is a 2 target, reflex-targeting recharge 4,5,6 attack that slows on a hit and does not provoke OAs due to it's close burst 3 range (limited range, but effective none-the-less). Minor action attacks are a boon to any character, especially those using a Ring of Free Time. A mount worthy of the Epic Tier.

    Nyfellar Mammoth: (MM2, lvl 17) Huge, Resist 10 cold, speed 8 (ice walk) and an at-will prone attack (That does cold damage for you Frostcheese users) are a good start, "Icebound Footing" reduces forced movement by 2 and lets the mammoth save vs being knocked prone (Does not benefit you like the Hippogriff Dreadmount). "Tusk Toss" is interesting, a recharge 4,5,6 reach 2 attack that slides 5 squares and causes falling damage from the slide. "Blizzard Trample"s recharge conditions make it a little infrequent to use, but resisted cold damage is still cold damage, even if it's zero. "Bitterwind Charge" interacts badly with the new version of the mount charge rules, which do not allow a mount to make an attack on a charge you initiate. If taken as allowing to make an attack on a charge in addition to your's, then it's useful, especially when it allows the use of "Tusk Toss" and "Blizzard Trample" - the latter of which technically allows you to charge 8, then move another 8 through enemies, Stamping each one, and as worded, you make a melee basic as a free action after each stamp, which does not have to target the same enemy! A powerful and somewhat abusable effect with a bit of an iffy wording, so you may want to work out with your DM how this should be used.

    Rime Hound: (MM2, lvl 17) (Evil alignment) Huge, Elite (AP), Speed 8 (ice walk), Resist 20 cold, and a Reach 2 MBA that does Cold damage, and extra against a prone target. "Ice Spikes", it's mount action, lets you counter-attack when an enemy misses either of you with a melee attack, but does use up your immediate action. Possibly useful to a catch-22 designed defender. "Frost Storm" has controller-esque applications, but the party unfriendly nature of the difficult terrain created (The Rime Hound's ice walk allows it to ignore it) will limit it's usefulness, especially considering a burst 3 from a Huge creature creates a roughly 9x9 block of it. "Takedown" also interacts badly with the updated charging rules. Drag is probably the most useful feature here, minor action shift and drag an adjacent prone enemy 1 square (Requires a prone enemy adjacent). A bit specialised in it's use, but the cold resist, size and Cold keyword on it's attacks might make it of use to a cold themed or Frostcheese using Defender.

    Skeletal Steed: (MM2, lvl 3) Another undead mount, and a fairly good one considering it's low level. Speed 8, immune to disease and poison, but lacks the necrotic resistance of most undead. "Death Shriek" is extremely useful - a minor action, recharge 5,6, party friendly will-targetting burst that inflicts a -2 to attack rolls (Save ends). "Mobile Melee Attack" gets a lot more useful with it's rider action "Mount of the Dead" - it's rider can make a melee basic attack as a free action during the move. This is not limited to the same target or timing as the mount's own attack, or you can skip both attacks in order to use a melee attack power. Very handy when you need to reposition during a battle, but still need to get an effect onto an enemy or want to do some damage. Even more so for a Fighter, as it allows you to 'Mark on the Run' as it were.

    Monster Manual 3

    Bone Crown Behemoth: (MM3, lvl 6 Soldier) Marks with it's at-will, prones on OAs, attacks shifting as an interrupt and adds a push to your charges. Interesting, if situational, tactical abilities probably best used by a frontliner and/or defender - especially the Paladin who doesn't use his Immediate actions as much.

    Skinwing Behemoth: (MM3, lvl 7) Strafe, Flyby Attack and Grasping Talons all stack, meaning you can do a Flyby MBA and have your mount grab the poor thing you just hit. Good way to get someone else off their mount, or just off the ground for a nice long drop. Don't get caught grounded though, Speed 2 (Clumsy) is a huge penalty.

    Spirehorn Behemoth: (MM3, lvl 9 Elite) Action Point! Beastmaster is nice, an untyped AC/Ref bonus, and it's Huge. If your DM is willing to let you use an Elite mount, this beasty completely obsoletes the Trihorn Behemoth. It's Trample attack is also fairly powerful, and probably worth using.

    Howler Doom Mastiff: (MM3, lvl 13) Guarding and Piercing Spines provide very nice defensive boosts, and Terrifying Howl grants permanent CA as long as you can stay adjacent to the enemy. A very good choice for a melee combatant looking for survivability and CA - Perhaps your Rogue would like a spiky little doggy of his own?

    Lolth's Reaver: (MM3, lvl 25) For being so high level, I'm somewhat underwhelmed by this one. (And that's not just because I'm arachnaphobic). Web Saddle is situationally useful, as is the ability to jump 8 squares without provoking OAs, resulting in a blast that prones (save ends), but somehow, it feels like it needs more to truly qualify as an Epic Tier Mount. There are other mounts with better defensive and movement capabilities, either as passive benefits, at-will or recharge powers as opposed to the Encounter power here. Useful to mess up the frontline, or a bit of control, but you can probably do better than this by this level.

    Eberron Campaign Guide

    Carver: (EPG, lvl 6) Speed 8 and an MBA that causes ongoing 3 damage (Save ends). "Vicious Steed" allows the carver to make an attack when you miss with an OA. Too situational to be really useful, and nothing else about the mount is really worth recommending. Skip this one, unless you're building one of those weird blind auto-miss characters that have been popping up lately.

    Clawfoot: (EPG, lvl 3) "Medium Steed" allows a medium character to ride this medium sized critter, intended for small characters. Given that being large or huge is almost always a benefit of a mount, this is of dubious value. "Clawfoot Charge" allows both you and the Clawfoot to make MBAs on a charge. There are better ones for chargers, but it's nice for it's low level.

    Dragonhawk: (EPG, lvl 8) Fly 12, Overland 15, an MBA that slides 1 square, and it grants it's rider +2 perception and the ability to roll twice for initiative, using the better result. A decent choice, but be very wary of the speed 3 if grounded.

    Fastieth: (EPG, lvl 2) Another "Medium Steed", however this one comes bundled with speed 10, and the ability to shift 4 squares as a move action once per encounter. Good for repositioning, or a caster wanting to stay at maximum range, but of little benefit otherwise.

    Glidewing: (EPG, lvl 7) Fly 10, overland 15, with an encounter free action power to gain hover until the end of it's next turn. "Aerial Agility" +1 to all defences for the rider while flying, which is useful. "Diving Smash" again interacts badly with the new charge rules. Reasonable, but a Wyvern is a better deal.

    Magebred Destrier: (EPG, lvl 5) A better Warhorse. It's "Trample" can now target any defense (!), the bonus to your charge attack damage increases to +6, and once per encounter, grant it THP equal to your surge value when you spend a surge. A decent compromise between damage boosts and durability.

    Valenar Riding Horse: (EPG, lvl 2) A better horse. Encounter power to shift 2 squares as a move action, and a minor action to grant the horse +4 speed until the end of it's next turn. If you're just after a horse, for whatever reason, these will do nicely.


    DCD: Draconomicon: Chromatic Dragons
    DMD: Draconomicon: Metallic Dragons

    Adult Pact Dragon: (DCD, lvl 13) (Evil alignment) Fly 10 (Hover), Overland 14 give this mount excellent mobility, made even better with it's "Astral Jaunt", a recharge 6 minor action teleport 10 that takes you along with it. A reach 2 MBA is useful, and because it IS a dragon, it comes with a breath weapon (Recharge 5,6, Blast 5, reflex-targeting, fire damage and ongoing 5 fire save ends), and Bloodied Breath giving a nice out-of-turn attack. Your character took a Backlash tattoo? Well, then this is for you! "Pledged Rider" could save either you or it from dropping to zero, and "Agressive Charger" is another extra attack on a charge, although note that the extra attack differs from it's normal MBA, and lacks the Reach 2. What it DOES benefit from is the "Skirmish" feature, a 2d6 damage bonus to it's melee attacks if you move more than 4 squares away from where you started - easy to do on a charge or if you use "Astral Jaunt". Resist 10 fire, 10 psychic and darkvision is just icing. A very powerful frontliner, although obviously fire resistance may cause problems.

    Cobalt Dragon-bred Drakkensteed: (DMD, lvl 26) Fly 10, Overland 15, Resist 15 cold (Granted to it's rider with "Draconic Resistance"), darkvision and 2 Cold damaging MBAs are a good start, with "Flyby Attack" adding mobility. Unlike the vanilla Drakkensteed, it's "Fearsome Roar" is not party friendly (although it's rider and deafened creatures† are immune), but the range does increase to burst 4. Unlike the Drakkensteed, however, this one comes with a "Breath Weapon" in the form of an encounter power blast 6 (!) Reflex-targetting Cold damage attack. "Gift of the Dragon" allows you to use either this "Breath Weapon" or "Fearsome Roar" as a free action when you spend an AP. Probably best used by a Cold-themed character (Frostcheese) and ignore it's party-unfriendly dazing capabilties.

    Drakkensteed: (DMD, lvl 16) One of the more controller-y mounts out there, and a decent one at that. Fly 10, overland 15, with "Flyby Attack" making it very mobile, but the best part is "Fearsome Roar", an encouter power burst-3, party-friendly save-ends daze, which recharges and is used as a free action when you spend an action point while riding it. Excellent control potential for adding to your arsenal, particularly if combined with save penalties, fear effect support or decent AP benefits from a paragon path. The Skull Mask works well, imposing a -2 to save vs fear effects.

    Grave-born Drakkensteed: (DMD, lvl 21) Another controller-y mount, which, while slightly slower than the vanilla Drakkensteed at Fly 8, overland 14, and inflicting weakened instead of dazed, comes with a few other benefits. It's encounter power is a blast 4, inflicts weakend (save ends) and does a reasonable amount of necrotic damage, and once again is used as a free action when you spend an AP. The same comments from the Drakkensteed apply here. Being undead, it has poison and disease immunity, darkvision, and resist 15 necrotic, and "Grave Resistance" grants you resist 15 necrotic and poison. It's MBA causes ongoing 10 necrotic (save ends), and it has an at-will ranged attack that makes the target take a -2 penalty to attacks made against it or it's rider.

    Liondrake: (DMD, lvl 12) This one falls somewhere between a charger and a controller's mount, with "Fierce Steed" granting both it and you a +4 untyped to all defences while charging, and "Battle Leap", a standard action to shift 4 squares and use it's MBAs, both of which are Reach 2, but where it really shines is "Terrifying Roar" a recharge 5,6 party friendly burst 5 (!) thunder damaging attack that inflicts a save ends daze, which is again, a Fear effect. Has the potential to trivialise encounters with lucky rolls on it's recharge. Fly 10 (clumsy) is decent, but do mind the -4 to it's attacks and defences while flying (Which negates the "Fierce Steed" bonus for it, but not you as the rider).

    Vulture Drake: (DMD, lvl 9) Another clumsy flier (Speed 8 this time). "Bite" MBA for ongoing 5 necrotic (save ends) and a standard action to charge from flying and make two "Claw" attacks, proning if both hit. "Death Shriek" is interesting, an encounter blast 5 will-targeting attack for thunder damage, ongoing 5 necrotic and a -2 to attacks and defences (Save ends both). Powerful, but it's immediate reaction nature, and uncontrollable trigger (when first damaged) limit it's usefulness. "Death Scent" does not benefit the rider's attacks. Has resist 10 necrotic, which it gives it's rider, along with a +4 untyped bonus to saves vs fear effects. It's drawbacks (difficult to use, commonness of necrotic resistance) outweigh it's useful features to me. Avoid.

    War Shark: (DMD, lvl 14) I shouldn't list this, but it's here for completeness's sake. It's a Dire Shark, renamed, go read it's entry above.

    DMG 2

    Snaketongue Wyvern: (DMG2, lvl 10) For those of you who like the Wyvern, this creature is a decent little upgrade. "Claws", it's proning MBA no longer requires it to be flying, "Slither Away" gives it +2 speed and +2 to all defences while it's bloodied, and "Venom Enhancement" is a party-friendly save and defences penalty to any enemy taking ongoing poison damage. Extra goodies and losing nothing in the process? Sign me up.

    Forgotten Realms Campaign Guide

    Veserab: (FRCG, lvl 5) One of the lower level flying mounts in the game, with Fly 8, and as usual, mind the low ground speed. "Dark Wings" grants it's rider resist 5 poison and immunity to "Noxious Breath", a blast 4 encounter power that causes poison damage and a -2 to defences until the end of the veserab's next turn. What is most useful about the power is the zone it creates - 4x4 area of LoS blocking fumes that deal 5 poison damage to any creature entering or ending it's turn in the zone, which lasts until the end of the encounter. You and the Veserab are immune, and it can be useful for control or area-denial, but it's very party-unfriendly.

    Dark Sun Campaign Guide and Creature Catalogue

    Compendium links to follow when it is updated with DS content.

    Erdlu: (DSCG, lvl 1) The Athasian analogue for a horse, although it's closer to the Eberronian dinosaurs, with Medium Steed. Escape Sprint could come in handy, if the Run action itself wasn't terribad. But still, it's the campaign's relevant lvl 1 probably-always-available creature of burden, and beggars can't be choosers.

    Inix Adult: (DSCC, lvl 9) A grab attack and the ability to knock away enemies in a (sadly rather small) blast could be useful, but overall I would say avoid this one. It's mount action is a free action counterattack, but the trigger is horribly situational - most players will avoid being hit with, or even triggering OAs with their ranged/area powers. Pass.

    Kank Soldier: (DSCC, lvl 4 Soldier) The ability to grab, grant ongoing damage and a possible immobilise is nice, if nothing spectacular given that it takes two standard actions to do so. Speed 8 and a couple of resistances make for a reasonably mobile and durable low level mount, so you could do worse.

    Mekillot: (DSCC, lvl 10 Soldier) Again, nothing too spectacular, as it's only really useful feature is the ability to charge through enemies and prone them, then grant you an MBA at the end of it. 1/encounter only to boot. It is Huge though.

    War Crodlu: (DSCC, lvl 5) First off, I have to say I find Crodlu to be immensely fun to say out loud. Crodlu? Crodlu! Crodlu Crodlu Crodlu. Try it. Setting that aside, the War Crodlu is a respectable choice for a low level mount, with a 1/encounter mba tagged onto a charge, but the real gem is Pounce - a standard action to move, then make two attacks, 1 for 2d6+3, the other for 1d8+4, which totals to reasonably high single target damage for an at-will ability.

    Created Mounts:

    By this I mean mounts created via rituals, or summoned from/by wondrous items, such as Figurines.

    Figurines of Wondrous Power

    As handy as it might seem to have a mount (perhaps a back-up) in your back pocket, remember that these (Unless specified otherwise) consume a daily item use. Also, they do not conform to the normal Mounted Combat Rules:

    Wondrous Figurine Rules

    When you activate a figurine, the conjured creature appears in a space adjacent to you, provided the space is large enough to contain the creature without squeezing. The creature obeys only you, responding to commands spoken in any language. The creature remains for up to 8 hours or until you use a minor action to dismiss it. The conjured creature acts on the same initiative count as you. Every action it takes costs you a minor action (which you use to issue commands), and a conjured creature cannot exceed its normal allotment of actions (a standard, a move, and a minor action) during its turn. If you spend no minor actions on your turn to command the creature, it remains where it is without taking any actions on its turn.
    A conjured creature has hit points, defenses, and attacks as indicated in its statistics block. It has no healing surges and cannot be healed, though it can still benefit from temporary hit points. When reduced to 0 hit points or fewer, the conjured creature disappears and cannot be conjured again until after youíve taken an extended rest. Conjured creatures lack basic attacks and therefore cannot make opportunity attacks.
    Mount: If the conjured creature has the mount keyword, you can ride the creature and are considered to have the Mounted Combat feat while mounted on it. While mounted, you can command the creature using free actions, though the mount is still limited to its normal allotment of actions. You can choose to be mounted on the creature when it appears.

    -'Can not be healed' Apparently even not by surgeless healing.

    -'lack basic attacks and therefore cannot make opportunity attacks'

    -'The conjured creature acts on the same initiative count as you.' 'While mounted, you can command the creature using free actions, though the mount is still limited to its normal allotment of actions.' Commanding a figurine mount with free actions means, for example, you can move twice per turn, then attack (figurine's move, standard downgraded to move, then your standard to attack), or attack twice by using your standard to attack, then it's to use one of it's attacks. This gives figurines a slight edge over a normal mount in tactical capabilities, however this is offset by their once-a-day nature and relative fragility. Most wondrous figurines have defences roughly equal to a 1st or 2nd lvl PC, and HP that would embarass either. That temp HP on summon ability that figurines have is there for a reason.

    This does create a little confusion when it comes to using your move action - RAW, as you do not share actions, technically you can't use it to move the mount. You can give a free action command to make it move, but if it's out of actions, you can't use your move on it. The same confusion comes up with charging - you need to move as part of a charge, so if your figurine is out of actions, you can't charge, because you don't share that standard action of yours.

    However! Since the Marble Elephant has "Trample", which is to do with the rider charging, we can assume it is intended that you CAN charge on a figurine mount using your standard. This infers that you can also move it during your move, which allows you to make up to 3 move actions in one turn (Your's, and two free actions to use it's move and standard).

    Bronze Griffon: (Dragon 384) Higher level than, and similar to the normal Griffon, lacking it's Overland flight, but still, fly 10 isn't bad. "Aggressive Charger" only grants 1 attack to the Griffon's two, and it's version of "Blood Frenzy" doesn't grant the extra move action, but has an easier trigger of either you or it being bloodied, and grants a better bonus of +2 to speed, fly speed, and attack rolls.† Probably the most combat capable of all the wondrous figurines.

    Ebony Fly: (AV, pg 181) Fly 10, Overland 15, and as usual, mind the ground speed of 4. Comes with "Aerial Agility" for that +1 to your defenses.

    Jade Sea Snake: (Dragon 381) Swim 10, and one of the few swimmers with a ground speed (Albeit only 6). Huge, and can carry up to 6 characters (Which has interesting implications in combat - multiple move actions, burst/blast/area attacks against it will likely affect the entire party, and the ability for an opponent to pick whoever in the party he wants to attack in melee if he's adjacent) More meant as a form of transport, as emphasised by it's movement-based, and utterly useful rider power "Deft Slither" - neither you nor it (and thusly any of the 6 of you on it) do not provoke OAs for moving while swimming.

    Marble Elephant: (AV, pg 182) A higher level Elephant, however, it loses the Reach 2 MBA of it's living counterpart.

    Obsidian Steed: (AV, pg 182)
    This one falls somewhere between a Riding Horse and a full-on Warhorse, as it has a +5 to charge damage, but no "Trample".

    Opal Carp: (Dragon 381) Ignore the "Small Rider" section, the rules errata invalidates this, as Large is no longer a requirement. Swim 8, grants it's rider underwater breathing and a better version of Goblin Tactics with "Opal Glamer" - concealment against all ranged and area attacks, and if you are missed by any attack, you get to shift one square a free action. Possibly one of the best mounts to make a quick getaway on.

    Pearl Sea Horse: (AV, pg 183) The mount it summons is a higher level version of the Sea Horse, so see it's entry for details. Comes with the ability to breathe underwater for it's rider.

    Tourmaline Turtle: (Dragon 384) Technically more a vehicle than a mount. Speed 1, swim 4 , aura 5 of underwater breathing for allies and protection from the environment while mounted on it. It does have a Reach 2 attack, and it is Gargantuan but really, WHY are you taking this into combat? It's meant for planar travel only, regardless of whatever it's fluff text says about considerable power in battle.

    Other created or item-based mounts

    Adamanine Horse of Xarn: (DMG2) (Artifact) I do not have a copy of DMG2 to hand currently to be able to fully review all it's capabilities, but the mount itself can be summed up neatly as 'A better warhorse', same "Trample" capabilties, and a bigger damage boost to charging, at +10.

    Bridle of Conjuration: (AV, pg 169)†A useful little item indeed. Summons a Riding Horse (See above), for 12 hours or until it is killed. A handy way to have a back-up mount available, but it does come with the downside of the mount not attacking for any reason. (Not that a Riding Horse's attacks are anything to write home about!) Depending on setting, it may suit your campaign to have it summon a more thematicly appropriate animal, for example the Giant Lizard, Draft.

    Figurine of Tantron: (Dragon 368) (Encounter useable, Artifact) This one breaks the Wondrous Figurine rules, but it is an artifact after all. "Stamp" bears the icon of an MBA, so assumedly it can be used as one (and knocks prone too). "Trampling Charge" functions the same as a vanilla Elephant's. Please note that the stat block in the compendium is for Tantron's Pleased level of concordance. The actual article shows it's actual capabilities - when at satisfied or above, it can stay in it's mount form permanently, has the Warlock's Shadow Walk, and "Multiply Tantron's Overland speed by 5". Given that it does not have an overland speed listed, one must assumedly use it's base speed, resulting in 8x5=40, or 20 miles per hour, making it one of the fastest mounts in the game for long-range travel.

    Phantom Steed: (Ritual, PHB pg 310) The mounts this ritual summons are not combat capable, but with a sufficiently high arcana check, are capable of some phenomenal speed, with extra movement forms to boot. Any Ritual Caster with a decent Arcana check should keep this one around in a mounted combat campaign, or just for quick A-to-B travel.

    Mount Quick Reference:

    Just looking for a mechanical benefit, or want a quicker way to find what you're after? I've provided several listings here that will aid in selection.

    Mounts that grant resistance to a rider

    Cobalt Dragon-bred Drakkensteed (DMD) - 15 Cold
    Grave-born Drakkensteed (DMD) - 15 Necrotic, 15 Poison
    Nightmare (MM) - 20 Fire
    Rimefire Griffon (MM) - 10 Cold, 10 Fire
    Skeletal Horse (AV) - 20 Necrotic
    Verserab (FRCG) - 5 poison
    Vulture Drake (DMD) - 10 Necrotic

    Mounts that increase charging

    Adamantine Horse of Xarn (DMG2) - (Artifact) +10 damage
    Adult Pact Dragon (DCD) - Extra attack
    Bone Crown Behemoth (MM3) - +1 push
    Bronze Griffon: (D384) - (Figurine) Extra attack
    Celestial Charger (MM) - +2d6 Radiant damage (special, see entry)
    Clawfoot (ECG) - Extra attack
    Dire Boar (MM) - Extra attack
    Elephant (AV) - Extra attack (special, see entry)
    Figurine of Tantron (D368) - (Figurine, Artifact) Extra attack (special, see entry)
    Griffon (MM) - 2 extra attacks
    Liondrake (DMD) - +4 to defences vs OAs
    Magebred Destrier (ECG) - +6 damage
    Mekillot (DSCC) - Extra attack
    Nyfellar Mammoth (MM2) - Extra attack (special, see entry)
    Obsidian Steed (AV) - (Figurine) +5 damage
    Pearl Sea Horse (AV) - (Figurine) +1d10 damage
    Rage Drake (MM) - Extra attacks (debatable, see entry)
    Rhinoceros (AV) - Extra attack
    Sea Horse (AV) - +1d10 damage
    War Crodlu (DSCC) - Extra attack
    Warhorse (MM) - +5 damage

    Mounts with a defence bonus to their rider

    Adult Pact Dragon (DCD) - can redirect damage
    Dire Shark (AV) - +2 AC vs OAs
    Ebony Fly (AV) - (Figurine) +1 to all while flying
    Glidewing (ECG) - +1 to all while flying
    Hippogriff (MM) - +1 to all while flying
    Howler Doom Mastiff (MM3) - +2 bonus to AC, retributive damage on being missed
    Jade Sea Snake (D381) - (Figurine) You do not provoke OAs for moving while swimming
    Liondrake (DMD) - +4 vs OAs while charging
    Opal Carp (D381) - (Figurine) Concealment against ranged and area attacks
    Riding Shark (AV) - +2 AC vs OAs
    Snaketongue Wyvern (DMG2) - +2 to all while flying
    Spirehorn Behemoth (MM3) - +1 bonus to AC and Reflex
    Trihorn Behemoth (AV) - +1 shield bonus to AC and Reflex
    War Shark (DMD) - +2 AC vs OAs
    Wyvern (MM) - +2 to all while flying

    Almost all possible mounts from printed books have been evaluated. To do: Adventure modules and Dungeon/Dragon articles

  4. #4
    Originally posted by RuinsFate:

    Mount Items

    -My apologies if the text colours are off in this post. It's an error in the code inserted by the forums. It doesn't show up in Firefox but does in IE, and possibly other browsers as well. Unfortunately, it is beyond my html-capabilties to fix it.

    Mount Items fall into two categories: Mount Slot Items, and Barding. NB: The CB's implementation of mounts and their items is poor at best, so you will need to do a little bit more good-old-fashioned penmanship on your character sheet with them. There are also several pieces of gear for your character that have effects on your mount.

    Barding: (pg 14, Adventurer's Vault)

    As listed above in the rules section, barding still uses up your mount's one magic item slot.

    Barding comes in two varieties, Light and Heavy. Light Barding grants an uptyped +1 AC to your mount and Heavy Barding grants a +2, but also causes your mount to take a -2 armor check penalty and a -1 to speed. If your mount has the Soldier role (which I have highlighted in the mounts section), both AC bonuses are reduced by one, making Light Barding of no benefit, and Heavy Barding making you trade 1 speed for 1 AC, which may not be worth it, depending on your mounts starting speed, and how much tactical value you place on movement. If not, I would highly recommend the use of at least the Heroic tier Impenetrable Barding on Light Barding for it's resist 5 all, which will come with no such penalty. Barding can not be magically enhanced, +1/+2 AC is all you get.

    Mount Slot Items, sorted by level:

    Impenetrable Barding: (AV pg 123, lvl 1,11,21) Applied as Magical Barding, which means using this can still grant your mount an AC bonus. The property listed has been errated to a flat Resist 5 per tier to all damage while ridden which is still respectable. I would highly recommend all mount users spend at least the 360gp for the Heroic version, if you have no need of the other mount slot of items.

    Mirrored Caparison: (AV pg 124, lvl 2) A +1 item bonus to NADs for 520gp is decent, if slightly out-shone in effect as a passive property by the Martyr's Saddle. Unfortunately doesn't scale with level, +1 is all you get. It's At-Will power allows you to make an area attack that includes the mount as a target not include the mount, which can save it a lot of damage, but it does use up your immediate action. It can be used on friendly area attacks, for those riding Huge mounts that might be in people's way. Dependant on how much you need your immediate.

    Horsehoes of Speed: (AV pg 123, lvl 3) +1 speed to all your mount's movement speeds. Useful, and a very cheap item at higher levels where a lot of mounts have multiple modes of movement. A solid choice, although how you get horseshoes on a Dire Riding Shark is beyond me.

    Saddle of Strength: (AV pg 124, lvl 3) +50% carrying capacity for your mount. Only for use if you're following the encumberance rules, and even then it's largely a waste of the item slot. Pass.

    Ghost Bridle: (AV pg 123, lvl 4) Your mount (not you) gains resist 10 necrotic and a daily power to grant both of you phasing until the end of your next turn. Phasing has it's uses, but really dependant on how much your DM uses the Undead. A Skeletal Horse may be a better option at that point anyway.

    Bridle of Rapid Action: (AV pg 123, lvl 5) The power on this thing may as well have been a property, as there is little to no reason NOT to use it every encounter. Effectively roll twice for initiative and take the better result. There are initiative related feats that aren't that good.

    Martyr's Saddle: (AV pg 124, lvl 6) +1 item bonus to all your mount's defences. Useful, but again, doesn't scale. At-will interrupt to take 1/2 the dmg your mount would take from an attack is a good, if action-costly way to increase it's survivability, but marred by the fact that 'nothing can prevent or reduce the damage a rider takes in this way', which includes having resistance to damage. Best used only for it's passive bonus, or in a dire situation.

    Steadfast Saddle: (AV pg 124, lvl 8) Encounter interrupt to negate one pull, push or slide that affects your mount. Too situational for my liking, and there are other powers out there that can do the same thing better, although this will require the ability to target an ally.

    Zephyr Horsehoes: (AV pg 124, lvl 9) Your mount ignores difficult terrain and can cross liquid as if it were solid (Lava etc still causes damage). Useful enough, but there are a few mounts that can do this anyway, and many at later levels that can fly. More valuable if, for example, your campaign is limited to non-flying mounts.

    Saddle of the Nightmare: (AV pg 124, lvl 15) As worded, the only way to effectively use a mount capable of teleporting. Whenever your mount teleports, willingly or otherwise, you can go with it. Does not apply in reverse, so if you teleport or are forced to, you'll leave your mount behind. Uninteresting, but neccessary by rules. Ask your DM nicely if you can work around this one.

    Saddle of the Shark: (AV pg 124, lvl 15) Your mount gains a swim speed equal to it's land speed and both of you gain the ability to breathe underwater (And you can speak normally underwater to boot). Extremely campaign dependant and there are other ways to gain water-breathing. A naturally waterborne mount may be a better option.

    Bridle of Flame: (AV2 pg 110, lvl 16) Whenever you spend a healing surge to regain HP, your mount also regains HP as if it had spent one. Considering that mounts, as creatures, lack a decent numer of healing surges, this item is the only way to heal them that doesn't involve surge-less healing or regeneration. Unfortunate, but true. The daily power on this item grants the mount resist 20 fire, which is useful, and a 2d6 fire dmg aura (Do note that this aura targets creatures and is therefore party unfriendly). As a nice side effect, this item is part of the 'Arms of Unbreakable Honor' set, which includes the divine weapliment 'Bradaman's Weapon'. Using these two (or the Unbroken Lance mentioned further down) grants the 2pc bonus, a bonus to speed while charging equal to the number of items from this set you possess, whether you are on the mount or not. A good choice for a Defender's mount.

    Skystrider Horsehoes: (AV pg 124, lvl 18) Remember why you bought your character the Zephyr Boots or Airstriders? Exactly the same deal, the mount gains a flight speed (but not hover) equal to it's land speed, several levels below the aforementioned two items. A good choice, but don't forget that many mounts can already fly at this level.

    Items that affect your mount or mounted combat
    While technically, any item that effects or relies on adjacent allies can include your mount, the sheer plethora of items this involves precludes them being listed here. Instead I'm focusing on items that directly relate to mounted combat.

    Dragonrider Armor: (Dragon 365, lvl 11,16,21,26) Gain the resistance of any dragon you're mounted on, and once per day negate any fall. Useful, but very situational, and the scale-only restriction limits it fairly heavily.

    Lancing Gloves: (AV pg 136, lvl 7) +2 damage to melee attacks while mounted that stacks with everything due to it's wording. An excellent choice, especially when picked up cheap at higher levels.

    Riding Boots: (AV 2 pg 58, lvl 4) +1 item bonus to speed that stacks with Horseshoes of Speed. Cheap low level item, so not a bad choice if you don't have a decent need of your boots slot, or don't mind changing boots every time you dismount.

    Unbroken Lance: (AV 2 pg 111, Spear, lvl 12,17,22,27) The property for this one makes you knock any enemy you hit with a charge attack while mounted prone, and the daily (shift 3, then charge) could have tactical uses. Useful, but if you're optimising for charging, you probably have a better weapon in mind. It is also part of the 'Arms of Unbroken Honor' set, for that speed bonus to charges.

    Rituals relating to Mounts

    Familiar Mount: (Dragon 382) Please see the character based support section for this.

    Fortify Beast: (Martial Power 2, Martial Practice) Give 6 natural beast mounts THP equal to your surge value that last until your next extended rest for the cost of one surge. A good way to up your mounts durability, especially if you're only using them for a few encounters, but a campaign with a lot of mounted combat should still look at other ways to heal mounts.

    Steed Summons: (EPG) Spend one hour with your mount, and at any time in the future, you can summon it once as a minor action. If used, you'll have to re-do the ritual, and only applies to one mount at a time. More fluffy than anything else, but I'm sure you'd find a nicely thematic and cinematic moment to use it. A good way to summon a back up mount if your main one dies.

    Handle Steed: (Martial Power 2, Martial Practice) Temporary use of a non-hostile mount, and treated as 3 levels higher for the purposes of gaining Mounted Combat mount action powers/bonuses. Again, more fluffy than anything else, but could be useful to get a specific mount bonus earlier for a build.

  5. #5
    Originally posted by RuinsFate:

    Character based support

    In this section, I will go over the various feat options a character can take for mounted combat, along with going over how to use your Familiar as a mount for Arcane classes, and how to ride your Beast Companion, as a Ranger.


    First and foremost, is the Mounted Combat Feat. It's why you're here, reading this guide. For those in Eberron, or just being allowed to take Dragonmark Feats, there is also the Mark of Handling.

    Mark of Handing (Dragonmark, EPG): You can use a creatureís mount powers as if you had the Mounted Combat feat.
    While you are mounted on a natural beast, the mount gains a +2 feat bonus to speed and a +1 feat bonus to AC.
    If you have a beast companion, your beast companion gains a +2 feat bonus to speed and a +1 feat bonus to AC.
    You can master and perform the Animal Messenger and Steed Summons rituals as if you had the Ritual Caster feat.

    Thanks to rules of exceptions, this wording only grants you your mount's rider powers/actions, not the ability for it to use your skill checks, or remove the -2 penalty for using it's attacks. However, I'm sure most DMs would allow you to gain the full benefit of the Mounted Combat feat, as taking this feat does preclude you from taking other, more combat or role specific dragonmark feats. The bonuses to speed and AC stack with mount items, making this feat strictly superior to Mounted Combat if it is allowed to count. Steed Summons is a nice freebie.

    Other mount-related feats:

    Beast Rider: (Dragon 384) This is the feat that allows a Ranger to ride their beast companion. Obviously, it requires the Beast Mastery class feature. Because your beast companion is now serving as a mount, you may use mount slot items on it, but not at the same time as a companion slot item. Note that unless your beast companion is larger than you, this feat is required to get around the size restrictions in the rules. Technically, by the nature of 'this says you can, otherwise you can't', you still need it for a Large companion, but technically, the rules which say you can mount/ride any adjacent, willing creature allow you to ride your beast companion. At least, I assume your pet Gryphon would be willing? No? Really? Been hitting the dessert tray a bit too much lately and it doesn't wanna carry the extra weight?

    Swift Rider: (Dragon 385, Paragon, Elf, Mounted Combat required) +1 feat to your speed and +2 feat to speed for your mount. Again, stacks with mount speed increasing items, and a nice bonus for yourself to boot. Not a bad choice, but does not stack with Mark of Handling's speed bonus.

    Valenar Rider Training: (Dragon 385, Elf required) Proficiency with all simple and military spears, +2/3/4 damage bonus with them and shortbows while riding a mount. Reasonable, thematic, but there are better choices for weapons, as most characters will be going for a superior bow or spear. The best feature of this feat is the ability to use Elven Accuracy to reroll attacks your mount makes, but you're more likely to be using it on yourself. Unless going for a very specific idea using a mounts attacks, probably not worth the feat slot.

    Spirited Rider: [Arena Fighting] (Dragon Annual 2009, any martial class, Wis 13, Mounted Combat required) Only of benefit to fighters and warlords. You may use Cleave when charging on a mount, and you may use Commander's Strike to order your mount to attack, and push 1 if it hits with that attack. Using an MBA on a charge is always a bonus, and cleave isn't a bad choice - it'sa good way to pop a minion. With regards to the Warlord part, the first part about allowing your mount to make the attack is not needed. Commander's Strike specifies 'One creature' as it's target, with 'An ally' in it's attack line. Mounts are considered your ally. RAW, it implies that it isn't allowed, but RAI, it's unneccessary. Push 1 on a hit could have some use with a mount that prones as part of it's attacks, but there are better ways to do this, usually using your own attacks. Situational at best for a warlord, and you're usually better suited granted the MBA to one of your melee types in the party.

    Holy Steed: (Dragon 388, Paladin, Paragon, Mounted Combat feat) Untyped +2 to all defences and +your cha mod to it's damage rolls for your mount while you're on it? Yes please. A solid choice for a mounted Paladin. I highly recommend this for those defending from horseback.

    Rangers: How to ride your beast companion:

    All this (technically) requires is the Beast Rider feat mentioned above, and that your Beast companion be of larger size than you. But you want to ride your Bird of Prey? Want to take advantage of it's flight? The Beast Growth ritual found in Arcane Power solves this problem - it increases the raptor to medium, and it's str is treated as 8 higher for encumberance purposes. The effects only last for 8 hours in a given day, so regular use will start to add up on the material costs. A very cool option though, if you have a way around the cost. However, if you're really after a flying-mount-and-beast-companion-swiss-army-knife, then the Vadalis Griffonmaster Paragon Path (Found in EPG) is the way to go, if it's available to you (entry requirement of the Mark of Handling feat).

    Vadalis Griffonmaster

    The Griffon granted by this path is one of the few 'mounts' to actually scale with level, and be properly implemented in the CB. Fly speed of 8 and low-light vision are decent, but it's a pity it can't hover, which would make it truely amazing for an archer-beastmaster.

    The Paragon path itself has several decent features, the best of which is probably it's AP feature, allowing the griffon to take a standard or a move action after the attack (I'm a little confused as to why it is worded this way - a standard action can be downgraded to a move action regardless, and preventing minor actions seems a little pointless.). The bonus damage if the beast attacks is just icing. A utility power to surgelessly heal your Griffon is very, very useful, it's a pity it's daily. The rituals are also a nice bonus, although perhaps slightly under-par for a lvl 16 feature.

    Technically, you still require the Beast Rider feat to ride the griffon, but your DM may and should be willing to overrule this.

    Arcane Casters: How to ride your Familiar:

    All this requires is the Familiar Mount ritual (Which you must cast yourself), and a little imagination as to how it works for some familiars. How exactly DO you get a saddle on a Tiny Gelatinous Cube? Note that this ritual does not actually turn your familiar into a mount, and thusly does not allow your familiar to use mount slot items (This has been ruled on by CustServ, refer to this post(x), so make of it what you will. If your familiar is to be your mount throughout the campaign, then perhaps discuss ignoring this ruling with your DM).

    However, there are a couple of solid Familiar Slot Items, the Familiar's Baldric (+1/2/3 to all it's defences) or the Lucky Charm (Familiar) which allows it to shift 1 square as a free action whenever an attack misses you or it. You will shift with if you're mounted on it at the time. Many familiars also have useful senses and the ability to fly with hover. I would recommend Krika's The Pet Store(x) to aid in choosing one.

    Your Familiar Mount and 'Death': According to the ritual, if your mount takes the requisite amount of damage, it goes back to it's normal size and passive. If you then want to use it as a mount again, you'll have to re-cast the ritual at the end of combat (Or during it for you Magister types). Perhaps keep a Figurine of Power around for emergencies? If your familiar is destroyed, your 'mount' is gone too. Your DM may be willing to come up with a work-around for this one, if you have one of the ways to rez your familiar (Rise my Pet, sorc utility, Familiar Keeper PP), perhaps allowing it to come back in it's large, mountable form, but that's up to them, and does go against the RAW of the ritual.

    If you are going to go down this road, then several of the Familiar feats become of more use:-

    Familiar Feats that affect it's use as a mount

    Active Familiar interacts a little funny with the mount rules. Technically allows you to move twice with one move action - you spend your's to command your 'mount' to move, and then, by spending a move action, you move it up to it's speed again. Slightly abusive, so your DM may disallow this reading of it.
    Persistent Spirit keeps your 'mount' around one round longer should it get killed.
    Quick Familiar allows you to move your 'mount' and thusly yourself with a minor action.
    Shardbound Familiar (Eberron) A good way to keep your 'mount' alive and well.
    Shardbound Familiar (Khyber) Best for Melee or Gish familiar riders, as the "bloody an enemy adjacent to your familair" will be easy to qualify for.
    Shared Speed ... doesn't really change, but it's a speed bonus. (Feat bonus, so doesn't stack with Mark of Handling)
    Space-Bending Spirit: I would rate this better than black, but the rules on mounts and teleporting interfere with it. Also, it is only 2 square range.
    Spellseer Familiar's bonus to arcane attack rolls will always apply.
    Vigorous Familiar gives it Mark of Handling's speed bonus, but is artificer only, and really, if you're already using the Mark of Handling and a familiar mount, your DM should be willing to let that feat apply to it rather than tax you with this one.

    A word on Wizard + Sorceror Familiar powers

    Thanks to the ruling on familiars and saddles, you can not use Familiar Harrier to have a 10-square teleporting mount, unless your DM is willing to allow the over-ruling of the saddle. Discuss this one with your DM.

    Wizards and sorcerors have several powers that have benefits for having an active familiar, or enemies being adjacent to it,† or it being in the area of a burst, etc. Remember that your familiar is in active mode while it is serving as your mount. I've rated the familiar powers below on the assumption that you're using your familiar as a mount. They will differ in use if not, obviously.


    Conduit of Ice (Encounter 1): Proning any enemy in the zone is useful, especially if you need to move away, but you have to hit with the inital attack. Not brilliant, but could be handy in a pinch.
    Harrier (Utility 2):
    Useless, unless your DM allows you to go with your familiar, in which case, enjoy having a movement speed of teleport 10 (And thusly never provoking an OA by moving).
    Melting Pool (Encounter 3): Not brilliant to start with, and not helped any for mounted combat as you'll have to be within that 3 square limit as well.
    Familiar's Call (Utility 6): This would be absolutely brilliant if allowed you to remount your familiar, but the revert to passive mode kills that. If your DM allows you to ignore that part, you just gained a solid way to remount in combat.
    Repelling Sphere (Encounter 7): The burst will be enlarged by your familiar mount, and it's party-friendly. A good pick.
    Familiar Shape (Utility 10): Really only for role-play purposes, but I'm sure you could think of a fun use for it. If not, you can at least make yourself a large mount and carry home wounded party members.
    Circle of Protection (Utility 10): A good defensive/offensive utility, although you'll probably have to fiddle with it's placement if you want the familiar bonus to the attack roll - a burst 1 is 3x3, a large mount is 2x2, see the conflict?
    Arcane Chastisement (Encounter 13): Remember, you're adjacent to your familiar while on it and gain the defensive benefit. Possibly best used by a Swordmage MCed or Hybridised into Wizard.
    Thunderous Transformation (Encounter 17): A solid piece of battlefield control, however, being on your familiar weakens the rider effect - you're extremely unlikely to get the 20 squares benefit due to it's range 10, and you're limited to dumping the enemy within 3 squares of your familiar (And thusly, you).
    Dire Familiar Incantation (Utility 22): A very cool power, and thanks to the size rule change, you can still ride your familiar while it's a medium creature. The flanking benefit is wasted a bit, since you yourself would grant it anyway for being in that space, but the additional control on attacks is nice.
    Crushing Necrotism (Encounter 23): A little short-ranged, and necrotic damage is commonly resisted, but the rider could come in handy for keeping enemies away from you and your familiar.
    Mind-Numbing Presence (Encounter 27): Dazing is good, last time I checked, and you'll shift with your familiar if the trigger goes off.


    Familiar Fires (Encounter 1): Reasonably high damage, but getting the attack roll bonus will mean being adjacent to the enemy if you're on your familiar, and thusly provoking an OA (Rule-dependant, see the rules section above)
    Waves of Light (Encounter 1): The ability to fire the attack from your familiar is a bit moot. Radiant damage and an accuracy boost for your melee allies is nothing to sneeze at though.
    Chaotic Strike (Daily 1): Feel like blowing your mount up? Creature in burst means your familiar too.
    Spirit Guidance (Utility 2): Good for those with a lot of blast powers, especially if you're setting up for a nova-AP-turn.
    Flame Entanglement (Encounter 3): Again, you'll probably provoke an OA if you use this to get the Familiar rider, and there are better sources of CA.
    Pinning Darts (Daily 5): Um... what? Immobilisation is nice, but really, you're a striker. A chance to retain the power only if you miss and if you choose to do no damage instead of half really isn't worth it.
    Protective Familiar (Utility 6): And now you're a defender. Any attack worth saving an ally from probably has fairly good odds of you blowing your mount up with this one.
    Horror Blast (Encounter 7): The odds of the enemy still being adjacent to get that rider effect are slim at best.
    Familiar (Daily 9):
    The effect line is awesome, but the u10 below does the same and more. Again with the OA comment on the attack itself, and the flanking bonus is of no benefit. Unless you REALLY have nothing better to do with your d9, skip it.
    Shielding the Bound Spirit (Utility 10): This is an enourmous durability boost for your mount.
    Chaos Poison Blast (Encounter 10): The even roll effect of the rider is the better of the two. Not brilliant, but not requiring adjacency from your familiar helps it's cause.
    Opportunistic Familiar (Daily 15): Interacts a little funny with the rules for a familiar mount's HP. Either it heals it up to the max of 5+1/2lvl, or it adds on top (DM's discretion needed here). Either way, a brilliant power. Move both of you as a minor action with a speed boost, and considering your own OA is probably abyssmal, getting a useable one that keys off your main stat is solid.
    Rise My Pet (Utility 16): I want to rate it well for name alone. However, a once-per-day "Hey, my mount's back" is a solid and useful pick. You will have to recast the ritual to get it back as your mount though.
    Rolls of Thunder (Encounter 17): Nothing special, but again, no adjacency requirements. Push and Prone has it's uses.
    Spiritual Venom (Daily 19): Good damage, but it's of a commonly resisted or outright immunity type, and you'll be provoking an OA for using it.
    Savior Spirit (Utility 22): If your DM is allowing you to teleport with your familiar, it's great, as you could take yourself and an ally out of danger, or get your defender to the front line quicker, then back yourself away. If not, at least you can take yourself along for the ride on the first part, and just not use the second. It does have a bit of competition in this level slot though.
    Inferno Ring (Encounter 23): Auto-damage is good, but be wary of provoking OAs from anything that would be hit by the rider effect. At least it's party-friendly.
    Chaotic Spray (Daily 25): See Chaotic Strike.
    Lightning Backlash (Encounter 27): A middling power without the familiar rider, and horrendous with it. Blowing your mount up to do a piddly 1d10+cha to everything adjacent to you (Which probably got an OA against you for using this power in the first place) is so not worth it.
    Storm (Daily 29):
    Stunned is good, Dazed on a miss is good, necrotic damage is so-so, blowing up your mount for a chance to extend it probably isn't worth it.

    Familiar Paragon Paths

    Familiar Keeper


    Arcane Power Source (I'm assuming this means 'any arcane class'), familiar (As in, Arcane Familiar Feat - did the person writing this one slack off a bit on the typing?). The features of this path are brilliant for mounted use, but the powers are ruined for it.

    Familiar Action: Rezzing your 'mount' for doing something you were probably gonna do anyway is great, especially when it can come back next to you in active mode. Although, again, you'll have to re-cast the ritual.
    Familiar Forms: Have one form for Flight, and one for swimming, or another useful or higher speed movement mode. Could come in handy.
    Familiar Movement: No OAs for movement? Yes please.
    Familiar Surge: A reasonable enough power, but you'll be attacking yourself with it, due to the burst rules.
    Transpose Familiar: How does swapping places with a mount you're on work, when you share it's space? Even ignoring that, it doesn't - you'll end up underneath it. Comedic, but really bad to actually use.
    Will-targetting dominate is good, but you're losing your mount to do it.

    Familiar Bloodsmith

    Familiar Bloodsmith
    Artificer with a familiar. A couple of this path's features are brilliant, but the rest are of limited use at best.

    Only of real use when using a burst power as this will increase it's size, but be wary of including yourself in it.
    Familiar Blood Bond: Your familiar is in active mode while it's your mount, remember?
    Second Familiar: The utility of being able to switch 'mounts' is handy, but you'll have to recast the ritual each time, which moots the minor action clause.
    Bloodbond Rebuke: Used right, this can completely negate an attack against your familiar, and you if it was a blast or burst.
    Rescue Familiar: If you need to use this, you've lost your mount anyway. Handy, but not exceptional.
    Bloodbond Swarm: It's a good power, but you'll likely provoke an OA for using it, and it destroys your familiar (And no, minute copies of your familiar are not rideable). At least it comes back afterwards.

    One thing that can cause confusion is the 'takes damage' part of the ritual. It makes it sound like the Shaman's spirit companion, in that it has to take that much damage in one hit. It has been ruled (Again, by CustServ) that this is not the case. The 5+1/2level becomes your familiar-mount's HP total. I will refer you to this post(x) for more information.

    Familiar: Saddle Squire

    This familiar gives you +2 to Nature, a +1 untyped bonus to speed for your mount and the ability to mount or dismount a creature adjacent to it as a minor action. All of these are nice, especially considering the speed bonus stacks, but I hesitate to recommend it due to it's competition - many other familiars have more useful benefits. If you're JUST using it for the +1 speed for your mount, buy some Riding Boots instead. Not having the extra 1 speed is unlikely to make or break a combat, but the role-play utility of say, the Cat, or the actual combat benefits of the Gallant Hawk, Dragonling, Badger etc are far more likely to see use.

    Skill Power: Practised Rider:

    This level 6 Nature Utility Skill Power from PHB3 allows you to mount or dismount as minor action instead of a move action. Action economy is nice, however you're probably not likely to actually NEED this change, as you'll rarely need to regularly mount or dismount in combat. Would be of more use if (dis)mounting were still a standard action, but that isn't the case. If your class has a bad level for utility powers, or you're drowning in empty feat slots to take Skill Power with, you could pick it up, but there are most likely better options. (I would provide a link to the power, but for some reason skill powers are not in the compendium )

  6. #6
    Originally posted by RuinsFate:

    Tactics and Tips

    So you've got a mount, got your gear and build sorted and are about to charge out into a glorious battle with the forces of evil? That's all good, but there are a few little things to be aware of when fighting in mounted combat.

    The space rules and Melee:

    Sharing your mount's space also gives melee a nice little edge - being able to choose which square you're attacking from gives you the ability to be adjacent to several enemies, pick flanking angles, adjust proximity for features like Prime Shot. Reach weapons also increase in potency - Reach 2 on a Large creature allows you to attack a 6x6 area, or a 7x7 area for a Huge mount.

    A word on bursts and blasts:

    This rule does not allow you to adjust a burst or blast after using it. Once you've picked the origin square, the attack proceeds completely as normal, as if it were just being fired off by your normal medium-sized self. And as stated 'This rule means that if the burst targets each creature within it, rather than each enemy, it can hit the mount.', because you're choosing one of the 4 or 9 squares within your mount to use it. Power selection becomes a little more interesting at this point - creature-targetting bursts, especially high damage ones, will severly impare the durability of your mount.

    Sharing space and effects of 'within x squares of you' powers:

    As I said in the rules section above, because you share the mount's space, which is larger than your's, the range of such effects increases. This is because while you choose an origin space when you actively use a power, these effects are usually passive effects that check range to you when the relevant effect would apply or trigger goes off. The Bard's Virtue class features are good examples, the range check between you and your allies checks to the edge of you and your mount's shared space. Another good example is the Sigil Carver PP's lvl 16 feature, because again, it checks to the edge of the shared space as to whether you are within 5 squares of the triggering enemy, thus the range at which the Swordmage with this path can defend increases.

    Defenders and threatened area:

    As a further benefit of the above rules, particularly the part that says 'The rider and mount both occupy the mountís space.', the area that a defender threatens and controls increases. I'll use the ever-popular Fighter as an example. A fighter on a Large mount can make OAs against anyone in 12 squares around his mount. Combat Superiority will still stop a mount in it's tracks, no matter how big it is. It's rider can still dismount and attack your friends on his turn, but whether he'll want to is another question, and if you're all in flight at the time, well... he's not going anywhere, unless he can fly himself.

    Conditions on you and your mount:

    As part of the rules mentioned above, some conditions change in power and scariness in mounted combat. I'll leave Dazed and Dominated alone, but a few others bear mention.† Your DM may play these out differently, but I'll point out a few cases within the rules.

    Immobilized: You can't move from your space. You CAN still take move actions, and if your mount isn't immobilized, it can still happily drag you around with it.

    Restrained: Technically, your mount can still carry you somewhere else, however, your DM may disallow it due to the nature of restraints - also, it's not really a get-out-of-a-grab-free card. If your mount moves away while you're grabbed, it'll leave you behind. The rules are a bit vague on this point.

    Blinded (or other penalties to attacks): If your mount can still see, or isn't subject to the same attack penalty you are, don't forget that it has attacks. A good example is the Hippogriff Dreadmount. No chance of hitting with your OA? No problem, use "Wing Slam".

    Slowed: If you're slowed, and your mount isn't, the condition can be fairly safely ignored. (Don't forget to save against it or when it ends, of course, some enemies have extra abilities against slowed enemies, or ones suffering from effects they impose, etc)

    Your mount's capabilities and it's bonuses to you:

    Always be aware of what your mount can and can not do. Some flying mounts, for example, have very poor ground speeds, and quite a few can not hover. However, quite a few have proning or pushing attacks, or even ones that inflict crippling conditions (Dazed comes to mind). You never know when one will come in handy - that push to keep an enemy out of reach, the -2 from prone being just enough to make the monster miss, slipping around the Dazed enemy while it can't make it's OAs.

    The CB will not automatically tell you what bonuses your mount is granting you, and some are conditional. The Dire Wolf's CA, the Dire Shark's +2 against non-swimmers, etc. Resistances are probably the best example. Remember these.

    Extra movement capabilities:

    Several mounts have special actions that allow movement combined with attacks, or through enemies - "Trample" and "Flyby Attack" are the most common. The extra tactical capabilities these grant usually make them worth using in a pinch, although having to (most commonly) use a standard action on them may make some wince.

    "Trample" - exact wording varies a bit by creature, but it allows movement through enemies (provoking OAs by doing so), usually involving an attack against them, which commonly knocks prone on a hit. Handy for getting past a blockade or just through an inconveniently located enemy.

    "Flyby attack" - again, exact wording varies, but the most common design is 'fly the mounts speed and it makes one attack at any point during the move. this movement does not provoke OAs when moving away from the target of the attack". This is useful to someone with a squishy mount, or one in bad condition, or just for getting across the battlefield. You can use this action, attack something adjacent to you, and get away from it scott-free.

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