The Demiurge Molecule: A Sorcerer's (and Elementalist's) Handbook (by DuelistDelSol)
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  1. #1

    The Demiurge Molecule: A Sorcerer's (and Elementalist's) Handbook (by DuelistDelSol)

    Originally posted by DuelistDelSol:

    The Demiurge Molecule: A Sorcerer's (and Elementalist's) Handbook

    Sought through internal pyre and wind / not ready to remember where to begin
    For another day is yet to come / before the night takes us home
    Arcane perfection / sweeps away darkness of the old ways
    Arcane illumination / welcomes the birth of another molecule
    - Dimmu Borgir  

    So... yeah. I couldn't resist. I am a huge sucker for the implement classes in 4th edition, and since we just got a new class related to them in the Elementalist, I didn't want to just make an Elementalist handbook (cuz that would be too easy!), especially since the current existing Sorcerer handbook by Reg06 has been discontinued by him due to his leaving the game. This handbook will encompass the basics and beyond of the Sorcerer, while also giving a little bit of love to the new Elementalist sub-class and general Sorcerer utilities introduced in Heroes of Elemental Chaos.

    The first section of this guide will cover the original Sorcerer class introduced in Player's Handbook 2. Further on down the line, a post will cover what the Elementalist, the Essentials version of the Sorcerer that was introduced in Heroes of Elemental Chaos, has to offer.

    Part One: What Are You?
    While the Warlock works with deities and figures beyond her mortal control, and the Wizard delves into book-learnin' to get his message across, you don't fuss around with anything like that. No - everything you do comes from inside your very heart, soul, and blood, born from the pure essence of dragons, the changing tides of time and space, the ever-punishing and unfeeling lightning that strikes the ground, and the stars above all those clouds. Indeed, you are the Sorcerer: arcane incarnate, all magic entombed in flesh and blood, and let nothing stand in your wake.

    But that's all fluffy stuff. Pretty darn awesome, sure, but y'all are here for the meat and bones of the class's abilities.

    The Sorcerer is the half-brother relative of the Warlock in being an Arcane Striker, but as the Warlock tends more towards the Ranger in how they operate, you're a mutation of the Wizard: the best of what you do happens in wide swaths of the battlefield, mostly with AOE attacks (Area of Effect). Your Striker features are also quite unique amongst the base handbook classes, whereby you use a secondary ability, either Strength or Dexterity, as a damage bonus to all of your arcane spells. This is very unlike the minor-action-consuming Warlock's Curse and Hunter's Quarry, or the conditionality of the Rogue, Barbarian, or Avenger, or the more limited scope of the Monk. On top of this, you also get variable, stacking resistances that you also pierce in other monsters, providing a rather unique secondary vector for dealing the damage you're expected to deal.

    Popular opinion has stated that the Sorcerer really doesn't fit the bill as a Striker, since Strikers should be eliminating pogs from the board as a top priority, not just inflict mass hitpoint debuffs. In that vein, they're kind of right - you do not have the capability to be a strong single target Striker. However, you work quite well alongside other, more focused Strikers, helping to weaken the threat of multiple mobs usually much more voraciously than Controllers can, hitpoint wise, allowing enemies to be knocked down in quick succession and resources to be allocated more efficiently. You're basically the equivalent of an Arcane Monk, in this regard, and you should treat your optimization, playstyle, and strategies as such.

    Just like before, you'll be seeing color-codes in the guide indicating how highly certain powers, features, and other aspects rank amongst other options. They are presented as follows:

    Gold (near mandatory or jaw-droppingly good)
    Light Blue (very good, or at least worth serious consideration)
    Blue (good, though probably not excellent)
    Black (middle-of-the-road, but not bad)
    Purple (mediocre, or build specific)
    Red (terrible or otherwise not recommended)

    Green (no rating, shows emphasis)

    And as for your Striker traits: 
    Striker Traits
    • Alpha Striking: Until mid-Paragon, you're kind of bad at this - you only have one attack that calls off of your Minor Action, and your static modifiers won't matter enough at that point to give you a proper Alpha. However, right at 15th level is when you start getting powers that give you access to Free Action and Minor Action attacks with very easy application, so you grow into it over time.
    • Damage/Round (DPR): All of your damage relies on you doing one thing and one thing only: attacking. Well, you have to it, but as mentioned before, your damage feature just happens. There's no Cursing, there's no conditionality, it's just rolled into all of your Arcane attacks. Coupled with a lot of your defensive utilities and powers, it's going to be very hard to stop you from doing at least something awesome each and every round.
    • Debilitating Effects: Being an Arcane class, you have at least a passing expertise here, but this is in no way, shape, or form your main focus. The Dexterity-based disciplines are a little better here, with the Storm Soul favoring feats like Mark of Storm to get slides going on their favorite powers and the Wild Sorcerer gaining some sweet bonuses from teleporting, on top of the Prismatic line of dailies, but again, you're a damage dealer.
    • Survivability: Unlike the Warlock, you have no real interest in Constitution - even Storm Sorcerers don't need too much. You're also stuck in Cloth, which makes the very early Heroics rather scary for you in terms of defenses. It's easily fixable, of course, and Skirmisher-type Sorcerers (especially those that're Strength-based) will last longer on the field with how good Dragon Soul utilities are in keeping themselves up and the dissuading effects that Cosmic Sorcerers carry around with them.
    • Targeting Capacity: You have melee powers, you have close bursts, close blasts, AOEs, and multitarget Ranged powers - most of which are completely friendly. If you don't have something to target and damage on your turn, something is incredibly wrong with you.


  2. #2
    Originally posted by DuelistDelSol:

    Part Two: Class Characteristics

    The kind of engine you run on is actually quite a bit less complicated than many others, but the features have their own little set of interesting caveats that make the class what it is.

    Stats and Proficiencies

    Hit Points: 12 + Constitution score.
    At the standard for your role. Unlike your Warlock half-brother, however, you do not have the option to go with Constitution as a secondary - very rarely as a tertiary - so you're more fragile than he might be. Still not bad, though.

    Healing Surges: 6 + Constitution modifier.
    Again, you're not going to be as hardy as most other Strikers, but of those that wade in close to do their attacks, they do have a lot of neat tactics to dissuade attacks, so what you'll have from this is fine enough.

    Proficiencies: Cloth. Simple Weapons. Staff, Dagger implements.
    Alright, so not having Leather is kind of a downer, but there's something very interesting here: you automatically gain Dagger implements. Gaining access to weapliments right off the bat gives the class some major legs, especially as a lot of them carry sweet Striker-oriented bonuses (the Jagged Dagger is a particular favorite). The staff, of course, is never a bad choice, and the Staff of Ruin will love you so much.

    Defensive Bonuses: +2 Will.
    As a Charisma-primary class and with how masterwork Cloth works, you might have a higher Will than even your AC with this bonus. Rest assured almost nothing will twist your already uncontrollable mind.

    Class Features

    Spell Source: Well, it's the one and only feature that Sorcerers get; but this determines what ability score is set to their AC and damage bonuses, your resistances, and what other miscellaneous bonuses you get. As the base Sorcerer, you have the choice of four Sources:


    • Draconic Soul: Gain a scaling bonus to damage rolls on arcane powers based on your Strength modifier. Sweet!
    • Draconic Resilience: Use your Strength modifier instead of your Dexterity or Intelligence modifiers to determine your AC. Pretty much necessary considering the previous feature, and helps to keep your defenses in check.
    • Dragon Soul: Your resistance factor - you choose amongst six damage types, and gain Resist 5/10/15 to that damage type permanently. You also pierce the resistances of all monsters that carry those same resistances when you use those types of powers.
    • Scales of the Dragon: One of the most well-known tropes of the dragon archetype is just how friggin' tough they are. Well, with you being imbued with the essence of dragonkind, you're gonna inherit a fragment of that power. This is a great little defensive boost, exactly when you need it, and exactly where you need it.


    • Chaos
      As you don't need to have another ability score tied to your AC, you gain two unique features instead of one. Here, you enter into one of the most important parts of the Wild Sorcerer - how utterly random they are. The first time you make an attack roll on each of your turns, you gain two different benefits whether the result was even or odd. The latter benefit is excellent, but the former benefit is rather lame, considering how much more common Dexterity is as a secondary ability score of each of the Charisma-based races.
    • Chaos Power: You add your Dexterity modifier (+0/+2/+4) to damage rolls with arcane powers. Awesome.
    • Unfettered Power: The second unique feature you possess. When you score a critical hit, you make it known with some incredibly cool control... and if you set yourself up right, even botching your roll can give you decent repositioning.
    • Wild Soul: Your resistance feature. One of the most random parts of the Wild Sorcerer build, and honestly its weakest feature due to how completely uncontrollable it is without any sort of help from feats and a couple items. It's still quite cool, and definitely thematic, but you need to pay some lip service to this feature to make it worthwhile.

    STORM MAGIC (Arcane Power)

    • Storm Power: Add a scaling bonus to your arcane power damage rolls based on your Dexterity modifier. Radical.
    • Storm Soul: Your defensive feature. Notice I said defensive, not resistance. Good reason for that: not only does it give you Resist 5/10/15 to Lightning and Thunder damage, but as an immediate interrupt to an attack hitting you, you gain a better version of the stellar 2nd level Wizard utility Shield - by dropping your resistance for the rest of the encounter, you gain a +4 bonus to all your defenses for that round. So in case your already nice resistances are useless for the encounter, you have a new way to apply it that will always work!
    • Storm's Embrace: While this feature will make you incredibly mobile, you can normally plant yourself in the back row and come out just fine - the flight speed is pretty nice on certain occasions, especially when you jack up your Dexterity modifier, but the enemy will barely feel the push. Gets better if you can roll multiple natural 20s in one attack, as you can jettison yourself a long ways away and position yourself anywhere on the board. Remember that when you fly, you do not need to land until the end of your turn (at which point you would fall should you still be in the air). Be cautioned that flight, just like normal movement, provokes opportunity attacks.

    COSMIC MAGIC (Arcane Power)

    • Cosmic Persistence: Strength modifier replaces your INT or DEX modifiers for your AC bonus in light armor! Again, necessary due to the Strength focus of this build.
    • Cosmic Power: You gain a Strength mod + 0/2/4 bonus to damage rolls with all arcane powers. Totally bodacious.
    • Soul of the Cosmic Cycle: A gigantic feature in terms of complexity, but not all that hard to understand. From the choice of three "Phases" (the Sun, the Moon, and the Stars), of which you make at the end of a short or extended rest, you gain a certain benefit. All of them are basically Strength- and melee-based, so even with your favored at-will being an Area burst, this build will want you in the front lines. All three benefits are quite cool, and all service to give you your static resistance (that, again, you pierce the equivalent). If you don't like the phase you're in at present, you can move forward in the chain from Sun to the Moon to the Stars and back to the Sun in that cycle every time you use a daily power; however, you're forced to do so whenever you become bloodied. While this seems like a downer considering you may not want to be in the phase you're now in, keep in mind that they're all very useful in their own ways.

  3. #3
    Originally posted by DuelistDelSol:

    Part Three: Ability Scores, Races, and Skills

    Starting Ability Scores

    (Keep in mind that these are guidelines for scores before your racial bonus kicks in. Unlike most other classes, your secondary ability score is incredibly important, to the point where a Charisma score of 18 pre-racial is actually ill advised if you gain a bonus to Charisma through your racial features. An alternative spread of 16/16 is much more highly recommended, though 17/15 has some stock if your campaign takes place at a period of time where you'd end up with even scores with ability score boosts.)

    (10-16) For Dragon and Cosmic Sorcerers, this determines your secondary damage stat, a few of your riders, and your AC; for Cosmic'sorcs, it also powers up two of their three phases. For both of these Souls, there is absolutely no question in putting, at a bare minimum, a pre-racial 14 in this stat (preferred 16). It does way too much for you to do otherwise. Wild'sorcs and Storm'sorcs can pretty much leave this stat alone.

    (10-13) Nothing you do requires this stat, but it's still your HP stat and could determine your Fortitude. However, Elementalists have their AC and damage bonus ride off of this stat, and for them this is amazingly important.

    (11-16) For Wild and Storm Sorcerers, this does just as much for you as Strength does for your cousins... and more, since it determines initiative, qualification for Light Blade feats, and gaining Dual Implement Spellcaster, which Strength'sorcs should strive for as well. Pretty much a universally important stat for all involved.

    INTELLIGENCE: (10-13) Nothing you do, except for Arcana, requires this stat. Ignore it, but don't necessarily dump it.

    (8) Absolutely nothing you do requires Wisdom. It isn't even a corner case "take it because Perception is awesome", because that has its own fix as well.

    (16-18) This, however, does everything. Attack bonuses, damage bonuses, Will defense, social skills... this stat makes you the Striker you are, and while I wouldn't necessarily recommend knocking in a pre-racial 18, due to how important your secondary is, you absolutely need some way to make this score end up at 18 at first level.

    Racial Options

    I'll be sorting out races by their ability scores, whether they gain bonuses to both primary and secondary stats (i.e. CHA/STR or CHA/DEX), only their primary (CHA without STR or DEX), and only their secondary (STR or DEX, without CHA). The ratings will be massively different for Essentials Sorcerers, and they will be covered in another section.

    Primary and Secondary
    Dragonborn (CHA + Con, Str, Dex): ... now, remember. I don't rate things Gold to indicate the one option you must take; it's a reflection of a wow-factor, of something that truly stands out amongst its peers. The Dragonborn does this. Thanks to the infinite wisdom of WOTC, the Dragonborn is the first race to have three secondary stats, the third being Dexterity (though this requires you to be a Kapak Draconian, but that's not exactly a major loss). The one race in the entire game that makes the perfect Sorcerer... even if you're going with Essentials. You will not be bad if you don't pick this race, but take absolute careful consideration first, because this race has become the alpha race for all Sorcerers - Dragon Sorcerers especially.

    Drow (DEX + Cha, Wis): With a perfect alignment in terms of skills and perfect ability score bonuses, on top of some neat feats, this race works quite well as any Sorcerer. However, the racial powers weren't exactly meant for DEX-based Sorcerers - Darkfire will only work against one enemy, and meanwhile Cloud of Darkness is a danger to everyone inside that cloud. They honestly fit better in the hands of a STR-based Sorcerer, which only serves to make these guys pretty darn versatile.

    Goblin (DEX + Wis, Cha): I really do love how they wrote this race up. Goblin Tactics was left completely intact, and gives Skirmishers a wonderful out-of-turn repositioning option to set up future Close attacks. They also get phenomenal skill bonuses, a little bit of a bump to their Reflex, and to top it off, some honestly decent feats. A surprisingly potent pick.

    Halfling (DEX + Cha, Con): You may be small, but that means nothing to you. You gain bonuses in both of your damage scores, have incredible defensive features and options, and have bonuses to skills you'll be pretty darn good at as a DEX-based Sorcerer. Excellent.

    Pixie (CHA + Dex, Int): For it to be as highly rated as it is, it has to do something within the realm of the 4e spectrum that's unique amongst all the other DEX/CHA races. And one simple little trait does that: Pixies are Tiny flyers. Close bursts become much more powerful when you can hover a square over your origin target, and other monsters will have a much harder time targetting you for opportunity attacks with your flight speed. Remember something very important as well: just because you have an elevation limit does NOT mean you can never fly above that height - it just means you drop to that level at the end of your turn should you be higher up. Fantastic.

    Revenant (DEX + Cha, Con): However, that doesn't quite matter in the face of what may be the best DEX-based Sorcerer race in the entire game. Not only do you get a bonus to both your primary and your secondary, but you have complete freedom of choice as to what race you'd like to borrow feats from, and your own feats and racial features are monstrously good at keeping you upright. Heck, even your racial power is awesome with your role choice. A thousand times yes.

    Vryloka (CHA + Str, Dex): Hey, look - it's a CHA/STR race! Hard to come across them these days. Their racial ability is top notch, giving you variable options to use once per encounter when an enemy is bloodied or killed by you. Throw in Necrotic resistance and a Speed of 7, and you've got a winner. Thank you so much, Heroes of Shadow, for giving us another CHA/STR race!

    Changeling (CHA + Dex, Int): As if your Will wasn't high enough already, you'll have it boosted to the stratosphere with this race. Even your racial powers work well with you, since your Bluff will be enormous and there's not a lot of call on your Minor actions. Your feats may not be amazing, but who cares?

    Hengeyokai (DEX + Wis, Cha): There is absolutely no denying that they make excellent DEX Sorcerers on their ability scores and skill bonuses alone. However, they have no support whatsoever. Getting a boost to Reflex is certainly welcome, and the unique flavor is something to consider.

    Kenku (DEX + Int, Cha): Now that they've been made official thanks to the Dungeon Survival Guide... they're still dark blue. They were given no substantial support past some meager leveled racial utilities, and none of their abilities are different than their MM print states. Regardless, they are still wonderfully thematic Storm Sorcerers, and thankfully their ability scores still match up.

    Satyr (CHA + Dex, Con): Lure of Enchantment gives you some welcome control on a lot of your otherwise lacking powers, and the scores match up nicely. However, remember where you came from... and the lack of support it gave you.

    Shade (CHA + Dex, Int): Unfortunately, while the ability scores mesh well, their features are largely redundant... and sometimes even damaging. For seekers of power, they sure got the short end of the stick. They do have one thing that helps them out, though: automatic Stealth training. That's definitely a boon.

    Primary Only
    Half-Elf (CON + Wis, Cha): While not being able to bump Strength or Dexterity is a little sad (though they do make phenomenal Elementalists, but we'll get to them later), being able to choose from a wide array of Arcane At-Wills to borrow as Encounter powers, and potentially later as true At-Wills, is quite fascinating. Of particular note are Swordmage and Wizard At-Wills: the former giving you two pretty good options in Greenflame Blade and Sword Burst, and the latter giving you pretty much any replacement you would want for a rather lacking set of Sorcerer At-Will powers. Adept Dilettante will be required for those classes, of course, since you don't run on Intelligence at all. Then again, no one said you couldn't nab Echoing Dirge or a Skald At-Will (though make sure you have a basic attack and the Skald Multiclass to accompany it).

    Hobgoblin (CON + Int, Cha): While the lack of secondaries is a little disappointing, one feat makes it all worthwhile: Warcaster Tactics, a feat that finally gives some semblance of a solution for those really pesky Close spells you like to sling around in regards to allies getting all up in your grill.

    Tiefling (CHA + Con, Int): With what you're given as skill bonuses, you do favor a DEX bent, but your feats beckon a more Fiery outlook on life, favoring Dragon and Cosmic Souls. Really, it comes down to just what you want to do with your feats, because you have a ton of them - and having that INT bonus will give you some leeway in qualifying for the best ones in other classes.

    Eladrin (INT + Cha, Dex): Unfortunately, you cannot gain Charisma and Dexterity at the same time, but you can manage as pretty much any Sorcerer. Keep in mind, however, that going Cosmic utterly rocks for you, since gaining an at-will immediate reaction teleport (Phase of the Stars) works very well with a lot of items you like to use.

    Gnome (INT + Cha, Dex): While not as good as the Halfling in being a DEX-based Sorcerer, you still have a few features that you like to exploit as a Sorcerer, putting you on equal footing with them as STR-Sorcerers.

    Human (Any one score): Not being able to have bonuses in both your primary and secondary is kind of a big penalty in and of itself, which is why I don't rate this Light Blue. However, they come amazingly close, as having access to three at-wills at level 1 means they can take a melee power, a blast/burst power, and an RBA power to have a solution to every enemy configuration. Their feats are also pretty darn spiffy, as well.

    Kobold (CON + Dex, Cha): Dragon's Indomitability is a hilarious little feat paired up with Superior Will, you've got Darkvision, and your racial utility, while a shadow of its former self, still has some clout with Skirmisher-types, especially if they need to clear a path for a future burst or blast. They're also obviously excellent candidates for Elementalists, but you don't need me to tell you that.

    Shardmind (INT + Cha, Wis): A rather weird set of skill bonuses (especially since one of your features cancels out Endurance checks for most conditions), but being able to pick a third to gain a bonus in is quite awesome. You also have a nice racial buffer against Psychic damage, a good racial power that works well with the ranged blaster that you are, and all told, you can work quite nicely as either brand of Sorcerer.

    Hamadryad (WIS + Int, Cha): Being from Heroes of the Feywild, your support outside of what you get at face value is pretty much nil, but what you do have to show for yourself is no laughing matter.

    Kalashtar (CHA + Int, Wis): A fantastic racial ability offsets a lot of the lack of support this race has to offer for Sorcerers. They work great, but do it for the flavor, not for the features.

    Secondary Only
    Genasi (INT + Str, Con): The rating assumes that you're somehow not allowed to play Revenants (which all told is quite a common occurance), as the main value of this pick is in its incredible racial utility options - something a "Dead Genasi" can just nick from them. Otherwise, while there's a feat or two that may entice you, I'd be reborn instead.

    Half-Orc (DEX + Str, Con): The choice of two secondaries, both of which are incredibly important to Strength-based Sorcerers and yet still not wasteful for Dexterity-based Sorcerers, and a racial power with vigorous feat support. Shame they have no Charisma bonus - these guys ain't half bad otherwise, what with being bloodied giving them even more defensive prowess on top of having great skill bonuses.

    Dwarf (CON + Str, Wis): They make pretty resilient STR Sorcerers, but gaining proficiencies with other weapons does nothing for you. Having a minor-action Second Wind once per encounter rocks, though, especially since you're still one of the most fragile classes around. Decent.

    Elf (DEX + Int, Wis): Elven Accuracy can be made to work with the AOEs you favor, and in that regard they're quite solid. Unfortunately, most of what else you can do can be replicated by other races - Eladrin can get proficiency in the Shortbow if they want to go the Moonbow Dedicate route as well, and your Speed doesn't matter as much for Wild'sorcs and Storm'sorcs.

    Minotaur (STR + Con, Wis): Your racial power works pretty nicely regardless of what flavor of Sorcerer you favor, Ferocity will add a pretty awesome punch if you choose Ensorceled Blade as one of your At-Wills, and pretty much everything else about the Minotaur wants to keep them on their feet. Honestly, I wouldn't be too dissuaded from playing a Minotaur Sorcerer myself. If nothing else, it produces a sweet image.

    Mul (CON + Str, Wis): Now that Constitution is a viable secondary for the class in its Essentials option, there's a little more to this than previously imagined. Your racial will carry the day if needed, and the option to take Human feats is worth noting.

    Shadar-Kai (DEX + Int, Wis): All it needs is a Charisma-score boost and it would instantly jump to Light Blue due to how great its features and racial powers are. Really not a bad choice for DEX-based Sorcerers in any regard.

    Shifter (WIS + Dex, Str): Another race with the choice of two secondaries. However, the Longtooth Shifter (STR) has a much better bonus, with Regeneration and bonuses to damage that works for everything, while the Razorclaw's (DEX) really doesn't mesh with what Wild'sorcs or Storm'sorcs want.

    Thri-Kreen (DEX + Str, Wis): Yes, they get a choice of two secondaries... but that's it. Natural Jumper's kind of a neat feature, and the racial power's OK, but there's nothing else here to sway you. Low end of Black, unfortunately.

    Warforged (CON + Str, Int): It's a lot of little things about the Warforged that come together that makes it the "decent" race it is amongst Sorcerers. You gain a bonus to Will, a really cool healing racial power, and a fantastic death saving-throw feature. It's tenuously Black, but it's not bad.

    Bladeling (WIS + Str, Dex): Hey, you're playable now. Hooray? You'd make an alright Monk, and a great Brawler Fighter, but you aren't either of those now, are you? Least the stats are pretty friendly.

    Githzerai (WIS + Dex, Int): Meh... work with them a little bit and they can be competent Sorcerers, but there are better choices out there.

    Goliath (STR + Con, Wis): The +1 to Will is pretty decent, as it'll make up for the loss in Charisma, but nothing else the Goliath has to offer really does much for Sorcerers - Stone's Endurance is a pretty decent exception, though.

    Snirvneblin (WIS + Str, Con): You're the Gnome, with a Strength bonus instead of a Dexterity bonus, and no chance to bump your Charisma. Your skill bonuses and fervent focus on Dungeoneering don't help matters, either. Interesting little racial utility, though...

    Wilden (WIS + Con, Dex): To be quite honest, there's little reason to play a Wilden Sorcerer, as one of its best features (variable bonuses to NAD) is better done by Humans. It would be red if it were not for some rather interesting racial powers, of which you can switch between every day.

    Skill Checklist

    Base Skills

    Arcana (INT): Well... you have to take it. Too bad you're lame with it. It's an important knowledge skill, so be glad you have it, but...

    Athletics (STR): Now we're talking. Since you'll be galavanting around in Cloth, you'll have full use of this skill, and helps give some mobility options for Dragon and Cosmic Sorcerers. Wild and Storm Sorcerers can disregard it, though.

    Bluff, Diplomacy, Intimidate (CHA): All rated simultaneously due to how you're both good at all three skills, and how rather overlapping they are in the face of things. They all pertain to social skills, and which one(s) you want to favor largely depend on the skills your teammates have trained and what kind of situations you expect to be in.

    Dungeoneering (WIS): Wait what?

    Endurance (CON): Important for some things, diseases being one of these big things, but your CON score won't be the greatest and really, unless you're stuck in Athas, there's little reason to use it, especially if you're not in the front lines.

    History (INT): Your INT score will be too low to care about this skill. Let the Wizard or Invoker give it a shot first.

    Insight (WIS): You're too arrogant to care about what other people are thinking.

    Nature (WIS): Leave it to the Ranger.

    Other Skills
    Acrobatics (DEX): Wild and Storm Sorcerers (especially Eladrin) might want to snatch this up, as it's a skill you'll be quite good at and gives you a little bit of extra padding in terms of mobility.

    Heal (WIS): No.

    Perception (WIS): The most important skill in the entire game... and yet you suck at it. Again, let others train in it - this is not your area of expertise by any stretch of the imagination.

    Religion (INT): This is getting repetitive.

    Stealth, Thievery (DEX): Now we're getting somewhere - most DEX-based Sorcerers will have outside bonuses to these skills, making you quite awesome at them. If you have to be the sneakmonkey, you'll find no guilt in training (either of) these. It's not like you have a big calling on your feats.

    Streetwise (CHA): It largely depends on the campaign and your DM, but you are good at this, and the associated skill powers aren't that bad. Worth consideration.

  4. #4
    Originally posted by DuelistDelSol:

    Part Four: Heroic Tier Spells

    Level 1 At-Will Spells
    Acid Orb (PHB2)
    A rather boring power to start with, basically amounting to an acid-damage Eldritch Blast. It does have a Range of 20, however, which does give it some major legs, and it's always a good idea to have a Ranged Basic Attack in your pocket.

    Arcing Fire (PH Heroes: Series 1)
    To gain the benefit of the secondary attack, you have to take a penalty to the original attack roll (since the target needs cover from an enemy). Pointless.

    Blazing Starfall (AP)
    A low damage die it might have, it's still one of the most important spells in the Sorcerer's list. Why is it so important? Well, it's an At-Will Area Burst, the only one on this list, meaning you get to spread all of your static modifier love across nine squares of the board. By Paragon, you can admixture the Thunder damage type onto this power, expanding the burst size with Resounding Thunder and thus making this a very strong At-Will for everyone. For Cosmics, the rider doesn't carry guaranteed damage, but it's still a decent punishment (especially on an at-will) for creatures who leave the zone. Requires good placement or forced movement to take advantage of it, however.

    Burning Spray (PHB2)
    The second of only two AOEs in the PHB2 Sorcerer's At-Will list. More damaging than the former, and carrying a very sweet rider for Dragon Sorcerers, it's unfortunately a little difficult to aim since it's an unfriendly Blast. It's still extremely good for Melee Sorcerers, however. Dragon Sorcerers do gain a pretty nice anti-melee shield, which meshes wonderfully with their main strategy (defensive buffs).

    Chaos Bolt (PHB2)
    The only real saving grace about this power is that it targets Will. Otherwise, it's just a generic Psychic damage power. If you walk the Wild Magic path, however, you gain a beautiful rider: until you roll an odd number on the attack roll, you can recast a lesser version of this spell at another enemy five squares away from each successive target. You won't get this every time, but if you can get lucky, prepare for what's oddly enough your best multitarget spell.

    Dragonfrost (PHB2)
    Sweet, you add a push to a decently damaging cold-damage Ranged Basic Attack. Other than that, it's nothing special, unless you build specifically around this power (Dragonborns especially).

    Energy Strobe (D381)
    While it is a Ranged Basic Attack, it does overlap with, and is worse than, Acid Orb, and the d6 roll incorporated in this power does almost nothing for you.

    Ensorcelled Blade (D390)
    Now this is interesting: it's a weapon power! You can only use this with Daggers, but it has the Arcane keyword, so you get your damage bonuses all the same; plus, it gives you a marvelous defense feature against the target. Done against a target that's isolated on the board with you, this will put them in a lose-lose situation that's fun to exploit. It's also a replacement for your Melee Basic Attack, making this a great power to consider for Dagger Sorcerers, even if STR-based.

    Lightning Strike (AP)
    The secondary benefit of this power isn't all that bad, especially when you can smack a minion a large distance away while still damaging the target you want to actually inflict substantial damage on, but it's nothing more than that. Storm Sorcerers can transfer the damage from their Storm Soul the same way. Wasteful if your secondary is a minion, and the secondary will still never come up in solo situations, but it's a nicer way to divide your damage between two distant targets than the original power. However, there comes a point to where the damage just does not scale well enough to consider keeping past Heroic or so...

    Storm Walk (PHB2)
    Just having a shift incorporated into a Ranged power doesn't make this worthy of anything. There's very obscure and obtuse strategies you can exploit with this, but certainly none that really apply this early.

    Level 1 Encounter Spells
    Bedeviling Burst (PHB2)
    Considering the large reach of the burst, having it be a Close Burst isn't too bad, even given the focus for Dexterity-based Sorcerers, and either way, they get a very large push on one or two targets. The damage is a tad low, but certainly not bad. For Wild Sorcerers, there's incredible repositioning potential, though the keyword here is "potential".

    Explosive Pyre (PHB2)
    The ability to potentially damage up to nine (and depending on the positioning of enemies, perhaps even more) creatures with 1 attack roll, and have all the damage incorporate your modifiers, is insanely good. There has been no errata on this power as of yet, so enemies will double up on the damage if they both start in the area and move within the area.

    Familiar Fires (D386) [Familiar]
    All this has over Thunder Slam below is that this does Fire damage over Thunder damage. Still great damage for a level 1 Encounter single-target power, but almost redundant. If you have an Arcane Familiar adjacent to the target, however, you can give yourself a horrifyingly good boost to the attack roll, making this one of the Familiar Sorcerer build's best spells.

    Frostbind (PHB2)
    Being single-target really hurts this, and you need the right set of allies around you to have the penalty to Reflex against one person mean anything. The damage is pretty nice, though.

    Mists of Disarray (AP)
    It's an Area Burst against Will, which is definitely welcome, but the damage is just barely higher than your lone Area Burst at-will, and the mass push is kind of lame. That is, unless you're a Wild Magic
    user: catch a lot of enemies in the burst, and it's almost guaranteed that you'll be able to eject a few of them into great positions. What's weird, though, is that you may actually want to keep them in some sort of formation - perhaps even not move them at all - so that you can bomb them all again. Depends, though.

    Pinning Bolt (AP)
    Excellent control - prone+slow is a pretty darn good combination, but you're a Striker first. And the damage on this single-target power isn't anything worthwhile.

    Ray of the Moon (AP)
    After thinking it over, I can't really say much positively about this power. The damage is low, the damage type not overwhelming, and the control element is lackluster and really needs careful planning to fully exploit. Not excited about this one. Only worthwhile for Cosmic Sorcerers, since the penalty will always have some sort of effect, even at this low of an amount.

    Tearing Claws (AP)
    A legitimate friendly close burst that does alright damage and pushes to get everyone either out of your way or repositioned. Not as strong for Cosmic Sorcerers, since this will negate a lot of their aura benefits should they decide to push. Dragon Sorcerers, however, can allow themselves some excellent repositioning, since you'll have plenty of space to move around.

    Teleporting Strike (D390)
    Ugh. It's Ensorcelled Blade, but the secondary effect requires another hit to function. It's a good secondary hit, and the teleportation beforehand can almost guarantee combat advantage, but it's too many things that have to come together to work.

    Tempest Breath (PHB2)
    A bit of a buff to damage over Burning Spray, and, in my honest opinion, a better defensive buff, especially with the Concealment rider for Dragon Sorcerers: everyone hit by this power cannot gain combat advantage, which ever since MM3 came out is much more important than it used to be. I have no problem with this power.

    Thunder Slam (PHB2)
    It's the damage of Familiar Fires and the control of Tearing Claws in one decent single-target package. Rather blasé, but it's workable, even though you do have some strong AOEs in this list.

    Thundering Roar (AP)
    Weirdly enough, this power has the Fear keyword, which certainly isn't a common trait for Sorcerer powers. It echoes too much of Tempest Breath, however, with a sort-of-but-not-quite-the-same effect but no Soul rider. Also, having that Fear keyword both makes it better and worse, as it meshes with some strategies, but a few monsters will be immune to the effect of this power.

    Wave of Light (D386) [Familiar]
    Yet another 2d6 Close blast 3, but with an effect that can give you a little bit of Leader influence over some of your weapon-based allies. For Familiar users, their rider is an underrated quality in my opinion - using your Familiar as the origin square instead of yourself gives you much more freedom as to what gets targeted and what doesn't (important considering the unfriendly nature of this power). Anything that gives you a bigger influence over the board is excellent.

    Whirlwind (AP)
    The damage is actually quite solid for an Area Burst, and the effect is cool, but hard to plan for. Proning charging enemies not far enough away doesn't do all that much, and it's very hard to have other people take advantage of it, unless everyone else goes after you. Storm Sorcerers can center the burst on an ally, giving you incredible freedom as to where to drop an AOE, but weirdly enough, the effect being what it is may matter less, unless there's a lot of Artillery surrounding the target. Take careful consideration and fire when the timing is best.

    Level 1 Daily Spells
    Blinding Bolt (AP)
    It's awful damage for a level 1 daily, and it being single target doesn't help at all, but it's a full-round blind, with a pretty good aftereffect attached. The miss is very lackluster, however, and I can't really recommend it on those grounds.

    Chaotic Strike (D386) [Familiar]
    Some massive AOE damage, with a very large push attached. The even/odd roll attached to this power is rather meaningless, but don't worry about that. It does need good positioning to work (it's an unfriendly CB1), and you do have to wade in the front lines, but it's definitely awesome. The Familiar rider is largely unnecessary, and requires your Familiar be in the exact right place for enough of your enemies to be affected.

    Chromatic Orb (PHB2)
    The first of several "Chromatic" powers that the Sorcerer possesses. They all favor DEX-based Sorcerers, but most of the best effects don't care about your DEX modifier, and even a tiny modifier will oftentimes work. We start off quite well with a piledriver of a damage roll, and the effect works whether you hit or miss, like the other "Chromatic" powers.

    Cosmos Call (AP)
    A rather poor echo of the previous power, but it does have the advantage of targeting Will and not containing riders that might injure your party. Unfortunately, unlike the previous power, you only get rather bad damage on a miss, so that kinda sucks. Cosmic Sorcerers can pick their benefit, which is a much better effect, though you're probably going to choose between ongoing Radiant (save ends) or dazed (save ends).

    Dazzling Ray (PHB2)
    Yessir, that's a 6d6. You want good single-target powers, you take this one: not only does it do wonderful damage, but it even targets Will! And if that weren't enough, Wild Sorcerers can throw in a massive attack penalty against attack rolls the target makes against you. Keep in mind, it is single-target, and for all other Sorcerers it does jack-all else. But it's still quite notable as a power that's equivalent to the highest ends of 3[W] damage.

    Dragonfang Bolt (PHB2)
    Kinda hard to rate this power - it's guaranteed damage against two targets in range, which is great, but all hitting does is give you whatever triggers on a hit, and ongoing 5 poison damage. It's a bit trite, but there's no denying how useful this power is.

    Grounding Rebuke (D374)
    Something you do lack as a Striker is out-of-turn attacks. As everyone except Cosmic Sorcerers has almost no call on their immediate actions, this is excellent extra damage to contribute to your DPR, on top of giving you some great defensive and control ability. Not a bad choice at all.

    Howling Tempest (AP)
    Glorious. It's an Area Burst that does Thunder damage, automatically qualifying it for some great feats; and while the primary effect is lame, the amount of sliding you will do with this power and its resulting autodamage zone is mind-boggling.

    Ice Javelins (AP)
    The damage is nothing spectacular, but it is guaranteed(ish), and against three targets within 10 squares of you, giving you excellent field of presence with this power. Not a bad choice.

    Lightning Breath (PHB2)
    Again, you really don't have a lot of use for your Minor Actions, so you'll have this up for quite awhile. It gives you a bit of protection against multiattackers, and the start-up damage is quite good, especially for a blast. Dragon Sorcerers amplify the effect greatly; plant yourself in the middle of the field and annoy your enemies, and you can get this to really add up over time.

    Shocking Magnetism (AP)
    The one thing that's missing from this power is something that would equate to an encounter-long pull effect (at least until you dismissed the effect). Otherwise, the start-up is very solid, but the effect needs supreme preparation to make sure it not only doesn't damage your allies, but damages enough of your enemies to be usable.

    Level 3 Encounter Powers

    Acid Claw (AP)
    A decent pseudo-AOE for Dragon Sorcerers, but really lackluster for anyone else, especially Storm and Wild Sorcerers. Double-tapping into your Strength modifier certainly won't go amiss, though.

    Dancing Lightning (PHB2)
    Pretty much the same power as Acid Claw, but with a better damage type and a better splash effect that isn't conditional. A better choice overall unless you have a very high Strength modifier.

    Essence Prism (AP)
    This rating assumes you're a Wild Sorcerer, who can tap into the conditional, yet rather useful power. Decent range, but shame it does nothing else.

    Flame Entanglement (D386) [Familiar]
    Almost completely overlaps with Familiar Fires; the effect is mediocre and the Dragon Sorcerer rider may never come into use.

    Flame Spiral (PHB2)
    The amount of discussion put into the wording on the Effect line of this incredibly robust power has been the focus of these boards quite a few times. I've always seen the effect as only giving one instance (as the effect depends on the enemy being in certain locations on the board, not necessarily whether it runs circles around you), but most DMs and players see it differently. If your DM agrees with the assertion that the damage happens upon each time an enemy moves into different squares surrounding you, boost this to Gold. Either way, this is a terrific friendly Close Burst, and one of the Sorcerer's best powers.

    Ice Dragon's Teeth (PHB2)
    A true ranged AOE, and being generally forced to target clumps of enemies far away from the main group means the slowing effect matters much more. Quite a nice choice.

    Lightning Cuts (D390)
    Incredibly simple, but awe-inspiring. Strikers ride on the basis of being able to use attacks that do not take up their Standard Action, and this Minor Action Weapon-vs-Reflex attack is one of the best in the business for Dagger Sorcerers. Far and away the strongest of the D390 lot.

    Poisonous Exhalation (PHB2)
    A pretty nice Close blast damage-wise, but the effect is a little wonky - Fortitude is actually not all that often targeted. If you're a Dragon Sorcerer and you tend to do so, however, enjoy the tremendous debuff this can bring.

    Searing Sands (AP)
    Honestly, this is a power only Cosmic Sorcerers should ever consider (and they have better options for Close attacks). This clashes horribly with Tempest Breath for Dragon Sorcerers without the rather nice Leadery benefit that that power contained.

    Spectral Claw (PHB2)
    Moreso a power to have in your toolbox than anything else. For Wild Sorcerers, however, if you're somehow able to control if your d20 is considered even or odd, you can yank melee opponents out of formation and lock them down for awhile, which will help in contrast with the awful damage.

    Stormy Emotions (DSG)
    Our one dose of true Sorcerer support since D390. And what do we get? An unfriendly CB2 without a Charisma modifier attached to the damage roll that pushes and knocks prone. The dualtype cold and lightning sounds interesting, but it's nothing you can't really exploit or accomplish that you couldn't do by Admixturing onto Flame Spiral - which, by the way, beats this power up and takes its lunch twice over.

    Swirling Stars (AP)
    Pretty much Ice Dragon's Teeth with no control. However, you can bump up the rating of this power by either being a Cosmic Sorcerer (in which targetting becomes much easier), taking Resounding Thunder at Paragon, or both.

    Teleport Bash (D381)
    The fact that the teleport is so random really does not help this power, especially as the damage is so incredibly low. And unless I'm mistaken, the rider on this power doesn't even function, as there is no such thing as a "Chaos Sorcerer". Woops. It's easy to interpret the rider as applying to Wild Sorcerers, and I doubt any DM is going to be that strictly attached to RAW in this fashion, but that still doesn't salvage this power.

    Thundering Gust (AP)
    The lowest damaging Close blast in the list, but it contains an amazing effect for Storm and Wild Sorcerers that must wander in closely. The Storm rider, however, is kind of weird: why you'd rather be able to fly than inflict a mass slide is beyond me. I guess the option's there...

    Level 5 Daily Powers
    Acidic Implantation (PHB2)
    This power has the potential to do some incredibly good damage to the primary target of the power (and spread out some rather nice damage all around), since you double-tap static modifiers on two successful hits, but you need some prime positioning for the best results. As the hit line determines whether the target is relocated or not, and the secondary attack completely depends on where the target is at the end of the primary's resolution, you need the board set up to where both possiblities will both spread the damage satisfactorally and not be an inconvenience to your allies.

    Blinding Blade (D390)
    Blinded (save ends) is nothing to shake a stick at, but considering the size of Dagger dice, the damage is unabashedly mediocre, and the Miss benefit not much better.

    Corruption Orb (AP)
    While I suppose it's nice to have guaranteed ongoing damage this early, your Warlock cousins were doing this 4 levels ago, with better damage dice and a marginally better damage type.

    Everywhere and Nowhere (D390)
    You really do need a better way than this power to keep yourself invisible after the initial effect wears off, but with that in play, the autodamage from this power could add up over time.

    Glacial Armor (AP)
    After doing some pretty good AOE damage, you enwrap yourself in some excellent defensive bonuses, both static and repelling. Fits exactly in line with how Dragon Sorcerers operate, and the damage type meshes well with Cosmic Sorcerers. Certainly not terrible for any Sorcerer, mind you - the shield will help deter stragglers for the more Ranged oriented of you.

    Moon and the Stars (AP)
    A two-target power already puts this at a pretty nice echelon, and being able to choose between two damage types whether you hit or miss (and two pretty darn good benefits if you hit) makes this very much worth consideration.

    Palest Flames (PHB2)
    Completely awful on its own, but with a lot of party members wielding Frost weapons and the like, this could turn into utter hilarity. It's not exactly the best to prepare or hope for such an instance outside of one-shots, though.

    Pinning Darts (D386) [Familiar]
    The amount of damage dealt is pretty nice, and the effect is solid... but not on a single target daily. At least it's guaranteed immobilization. Ignore the Familiar rider - why you're wasting Standard Actions just for the chance to do At-Will Immobilization for a limited and random duration is beyond me.

    Reeling Torment (PHB2)
    This power has a lot more going for it than one might think at first glance. It's a Charm power, with the Psychic damage type, and against Will; on top of which, it's guaranteed Control, and the damage isn't half bad. Stuff some other conditions onto the enemy, and you can give it nightmares until it saves against this.

    Serpentine Blast (PHB2)
    The damage, at face value, is the best in terms of damage to one target, but the power does nothing else; the targetting benefit brought up in the attack line is duplicated by a couple of implement expertise feat benefits, and so this power really is nothing special. In that regard, it pales in comparison to Dazzling Ray and the like.

    Slaad's Gambit (AP)
    Well, hey, look at that: an Immediate Interrupt daily that does guaranteed damage and plants you at a safer point on the board, preventing damage that was done to you and giving you much more freedom as to where to launch future attacks. I'm sold.

    Sun's Illumination (AP)
    While this power deals no damage at all on a miss, it produces a very strong movable and sustainable zone that forces enemies within to grant combat advantage. The skill bonuses are minor and probably will never come up in the heat of combat, but the secondary benefit will accentuate a Leader role you oftentimes don't exhibit. Plus, it's AOE radiant damage, and that's definitely notable.

    Thunder Leap (PHB2)
    A pair of thunder-typed Close bursts that incorporate all of your static modifiers and allows you to deal damage in two large swaths of the board is incredible, and only gets better in Paragon when Resounding Thunder comes into play.

    Level 7 Encounter Powers
    Blazing Bolts (AP)
    There's pretty much no reason for Dexterity-based Sorcerers to ever use this power, as the double-tap of ability modifiers and the splash damage will mean absolutely nothing to you. For Strength-based Sorcerers, however, you'll be able to add your Strength modifier twice on your primary targets, and the splash damage will be at least somewhat significant. A decent choice.

    Chaos Ray (AP)
    A bit of a premature rating - it's not clear whether the target or the caster gets to choose where the target goes. Even if you could choose, it's marginal repositioning on a single-target power that doesn't do all that much damage.

    Chaos Storm (PHB2)
    I would highly recommend, if you don't have Blazing Starfall, to make this your target for Arcane Admixture (Thunder) at Paragon, since the secondary effect becomes much better for Wild Sorcerers at that point. This is definitely a spell for Wild Sorcerers to toy with, as they also have a couple feats that revolve around teleporting enemies. Others may appreciate it being a Lightning AOE, but otherwise can pass.

    Crushing Sphere (PHB2)
    A rather boring force AOE that debuffs attack rolls. Hard to get excited about it.

    Dweomer Dagger (D390)
    In the same vein, the debuff instilled on a Dagger-based single-target weapon power isn't enough in the face of some truly awful damage. It's a marginally better debuff, sure, but there are better options here.

    Horror Blast (D386) [Familiar]
    Quite a big carpet of friendly AOE damage, with a nice push attached to it. The Familiar rider is kind of weird and requires sublime positioning to get it off right, but has the potential to be very powerful. Regardless, still one of the strongest powers in this particular list.

    One Blow, One Echo (D381)
    Rarely will the word "one" ever get you excited as a Sorcerer. You don't want to roll 1s on d20s, you don't want to have single-target Melee 1 powers, and you really don't want a power that does marginal damage to one target and a bit of delayed damage to someone who may not be there by the time your turn comes around again.

    Rimestorm (PHB2)
    Another friendly Close AOE power, this time a Blast 3; and instead of a push + possible prone, it's a guaranteed prone if you hit. The Dragon Magic rider may or may not come up, but Dragon Sorcerers do often target Fortitude, and perhaps your other teammates do as well. Great for Skirmisher-types.

    Shout (PHB2)
    Skyrim references notwithstanding (that gets more ridiculous if you hybrided Barbarian and took Dragonfoe Ragespell as your Paragon Path), this is a giant thunder AOE (close blast 6 at Paragon if you're keeping score) with some decent damage attached, but an effect that is one of the most conditional status effects in the entire game. Still holds its own, though.

    Spark Form (AP)
    This is the kind of power you find on Monk dailies, and they're some of the strongest in their own class's selections. The base damage is wretched, but you work in Cloth, meaning you won't have a Speed penalty and can thus deliver damage all across the board with veritible ease. It's a shame you need to enter the creature's space and can't just be adjacent akin to said Monk dailies, but this is still incredible for all types of Sorcerers.

    Thunder Bomb (AP)
    A direct improvement to Ice Dragon's Teeth to the point of the latter's obsoletion; not only is it a thunder AOE, but it's an AOE slow with immobilization in the origin square. Unless you're really holding out on a Cold theme or can otherwise pierce Cold resistance, take this power in place of it - you won't regret it.

    Thunder Wyrm's Jaws (AP)
    Ranged and single-target, sure, but it actually does carry some decent damage dice and a rather nice benefit for Cosmic and Dragon Sorcerers, giving you a semi-reliable source of temporary hitpoints every encounter. Completely ignore this power if you're Dexterity-based, though: the temporary hitpoints will be way too small to justify this pick-up.

    Level 9 Daily Powers
    Adamantine Echo (PHB2)
    While it's not particularly impressive in the front end, it's a large area of guaranteed ongoing damage (and once again, it's AOE thunder damage, and you know what that entails), and it provides a sweet defensive benefits to you for those tough days on the road. However, something must be said for Dragon Sorcerers: the AC bonus - which lasts all encounter - is based on your Strength modifier. Being able to jack up your AC to past Defender levels is a gorgeous benefit, replicated only by one of your best level 22 Utility powers, and as such I can find no qualms in rating this Gold for them.

    Bounding Bolt (AP)
    Don't let the massive wall of text lull you into a false sense of impression: all it does is pass along ongoing lightning damage should the primary (and secondary if it applies) targets fail their saving throws against the first bout of ongoing lightning damage. The base damage is guaranteed, to be fair, but it's not quite enough to put it too high up in the ratings.

    Contagious Curse (PHB2)
    In a very odd echo of some Warlock powers, you potentially deal a bit of damage and then subject it to inflicting a substantial amount of autodamage that incorporates all of your modifiers to everyone adjacent to the target, and where he starts is entirely up to you, as the slide is an effect. Wild Sorcerers can wreck the field senseless, however, as the amount of coverage literally triples if you get an even roll.

    Flanking Familiar (D386)

    An incredibly boring name, but it does what it says on the tin: after doing some decent damage and adding an enormous bonus to your Familiar's defenses, your Familiar can now flank with your allies, as long as you have minor actions to sustain this effect. Combat Advantage really is not hard to obtain anymore, however, so the utility of this power has kind of passed us by.

    Force Daggers (D390)
    Were they that afraid to make AOE Weaponized Sorcerer dailies that did more than 2d4 damage at the outset? Really, the only things that save this power from being complete garbage are it being friendly and having an option for adding extra damage should you only target one creature. And unfortunately, that's the end of the Weapon powers for Sorcerers - massive potential gone largely to waste, save for a great At-Will and a fantastic Level 3 Encounter power.

    Howling Hurricane (AP)
    I just cannot say no. Especially for Storm Sorcerers, and especially at Paragon, this is a glorious mix of Control and Damage that even helps with relocating allies as well as enemies. It's very mobile (six squares as a move action), sustainable, and all around fantastic.

    Ice Stalagmites (AP)
    This power would be a lot stronger if the Effect actually happened on a miss as well, since it won't apply if the target never vacated a square. Otherwise, though, it's a triple-target daily with three opportunities for some substantial autodamage, and gives monsters something else to do besides beat up on your allies.

    Prime the Fire (PHB2)
    There is no question that if you want a good fire-based Sorcerer, you pick this power - period. The base damage is alright, but the effect is fantastic, giving dice-rolled autodamage should the target attack before your round comes up again. Also, keep in mind this autodamage will always happen, even on a miss.

    Season's Malaise (AP)
    This is a power you would want to crack while you're at the top of the initiative order in front of a long line of allies, so that your allies take full benefit of the kind of action denial this power puts forth. Otherwise, the damage isn't anything spectacular, nor is the ongoing damage.

    Staggering Blast (PHB2)
    Basically amounts to a single-target immobilization (or single-target prone) with some decent damage attached, the former of which takes up your immediate action. It's competent soft control, but it's nothing amazing. (Also, do you notice how many freaking powers they have that has the word "reeling" in the flavor text?)

    Winds of Change (AP)
    The coverage this friendly AOE instills is enormous, the damage is perfect, and the effect, both on the hit and on the Effect line is great for what this power does. If you're a close-power specialist, give this some serious consideration - it's probably the best power on this list overall.

  5. #5
    Originally posted by DuelistDelSol:

    Part Five: Paragon Tier Spells

    Level 13 Encounter Powers
    Chains of Fire (PHB2)
    The requirement that must be fulfilled to inflict the secondary damage isn't exactly hard to do, for the most part: target one melee enemy and one ranged enemy that's very far away, lock them up to where the ranged enemy was (having the ranged enemy be in between the melee enemy and your group of teammates), and go from there. It's an incredibly roundabout way to stick additional damage onto this power, but it's exploitable, especially by Wild Sorcerers, and certainly strong considering its dual-target nature.

    Chaos Poison Blast (D386) [Familiar]
    So many "ifs" on this power, and they're mostly contained in the Familiar rider, which is the only reason this power would be worth any consideration. 5% chance of blindness isn't worth the bad damage amount and type.

    Cyclone Pull (AP)
    This would have been a beautiful power to have been made a Minor Action attack, but that's not the case. Still, there's stock in being able to draw together a bunch of enemies and lock them in place for a future burst.

    Dazzling Starlight (AP)
    Take Season's Malaise and crumple it up into an Encounter-power paper ball of an effect. Cosmic Sorcerers do get a fully-fledged daze out of it... a third of the time... while everyone else gets a decent fragment of that status effect. Being single target does make it a bit iffy as to how useful it'll be, though it'll work quite marvelously with certain solos. Worth consideration.

    Downbeat of Wings (AP)
    The control inherent in this power is rather underwhelming for everyone except Dragon Sorcerers, since oftentimes they'll just be able to stand back up and attack - you've either delivered new targets for your target to munch on, or you just mildly inconvenienced him. However, done right, Dragon Sorcerers can use their new giant shift (and perhaps another move action) to lock themselves next to the target and threaten with an OA or some other form of punishment.

    Jaws of the Earth (PHB2)
    Fantastic to use against Large or larger creatures, since it'll greatly open mobility for your allies. Still, there's a problem of this level containing so many single-target powers...

    Mind Hammer (PHB2)
    A copy of too many powers, thus becoming a rather tepid substitute. Just a tad better for Wild Sorcerers, who can actually do something else with the prone condition.

    Moon Cage (AP)
    Restrained is a terrific condition, but the damage is horrendous, and the Cosmic rider requires you to be in a certain phase just to double-tap on your Strength modifier for damage. Not impressed at all.

    Primordial Storm (AP)
    A hint of saving grace from a rather empty level overall - Storm Sorcerers get a bit more freedom in where they plop down this thunder AND lightning AOE, and Wild Sorcerers either add to the extra damage or add some welcome Control to this power. I will say, though - this is the first level where Wild Sorcerers do have to contend with two different effects on a multitarget attack, so you need to keep track of exactly what happens to each target each time you roll.

    Thunder and Strike (D381)
    The secondary effect might be a little tricky to set up, though it's definitely workable if you've got a substantial Strength modifier (DEX Sorcerers need not apply), and the secondary attack will both help spread damage around and also give you some excellent control in the form of dazing the secondary target. A surprisingly good choice.

    Thunder Breath (PHB2)
    Honestly, though, all things considered, Dragon Sorcerers may just want to stick with this. A Close blast 3 power that dazes (and slows for Dragon'sorcs) while also being expandable at Paragon is extremely good. The damage is yet another dud, but it'll work.

    Level 15 Daily Spells

    Day and Night (AP)
    One of the best replacements for Dazzling Ray, it's a single-target spell that attacks the target twice, incorporating static modifiers both times and even giving you some great control as a nice side gift. The miss damage is ludicrously awful, but you take what you can get from something like this.

    Frost Eddies (PHB2)
    The damage is quite nice, but the effect is way too hard to plan for, not just because the enemy can just keep moving around to keep Team Monster's mobility intact. It at least doesn't affect your allies, and it does open up feats like Terrain Advantage for your AOEs.

    Gale Burst (AP)
    Very hard to aim (it's an unfriendly Close burst 3), but it's an enormous field of sliding based on your Dexterity modifier (keep that in mind, Strength'sorcs) and slowing, which'll apply to either tradition. Once more, it's expandable at Paragon, and that can be exploited quite readily.

    Hostility Charm (PHB2)
    Well... that's different. While you start out with a decent punch of damage, on a hit you force the target to charge the nearest enemy. If the field is oriented correctly, this can add some silly damage from your allies as it provokes opportunity attacks from them when passing by. The Wild Magic rider is certainly neat, but not the star attraction here.

    Lightning Daggers (AP)
    As I mentioned before, one of the biggest principles of the Striker is being able to make attacks outside of your Standard Action. So, how does a fully repeatable Free Action 1/round attack that incorporates all of your modifiers ever sound? I thought so. One of the most ridiculous dailies in the entire game, and you're lucky as hell you have it.

    Opportunistic Familiar (D386) [Familiar]
    Your Familiar now becomes a Controller Summon? That's kind of odd. Being able to make Opportunity Attacks with it that are keyworded to where you have all of your modifiers coming into play makes this absolutely stellar for that type of build, however. Obviously, if you don't have a Familiar, why even bother?

    Prismatic Lightning (AP)
    Wow, what a change from our E13s, huh? Now we have an Area Burst 2 power that can attack either of three defenses, giving you great damage and some awesome control or damage options within. Depending on how the board's laid out, this has the potential to inflict some devastating punishment on a humongous area of the board, but we're not done yet.

    Scintillating Starburst (PHB2)
    Blinded (save ends) is, once again, pretty cool, but the damage is alright at best and missing will make you cry. Ah well.

    Spitfire Furnace (PHB2)
    Throwing 4d10 damage on nine squares of the board wasn't good enough, so let's give Dragon Sorcerers a great autodamaging aura and give Cosmic Sorcerers in the Phase of the Sun two of those auras! Still a decent option for Wild Sorcerers if just for the damage, but for Storm Sorcerers, the Lightning powers at this level are way too good to ignore.

    Level 17 Encounter Spells

    Acid Shackles (AP)
    Put on a little bit of soft control onto a pretty nice AOE power. Wild Sorcerers, however, can throw damage all over the place with this power, either amplifying the punishment on the soft control, or adding some very welcome autodamage if they threw an odd attack roll (potentially outside the original burst's area). Very cool.

    Azure Talons (AP)
    On that same token of thought, we have some great soft control in a buster of a Close burst, doling out autodamage should an enemy stay within 2 squares of you. Dragon Sorcerers, of course, get the long end of the straw in jacking up the autodamage by their Strength modifier. If you can lock them down in that sphere, this will do some incredible damage, so keep that in mind.

    Breath of Winter (PHB2)
    We left a lot of these 2d6/2d8 close blasts back in Heroic Tier, and we have a Close blast dazed at 13th Level. Don't bother with this.

    Dragon Tail Meditation (PHB2)
    On the other hand, we have an incredibly flavorful attack that works off of your Immediate Action (this time a Reaction to an enemy moving into a flanking position next to you) that deals some awesome off-turn damage, and for Dragon Sorcerers provides incredible action denial in a long-distance push. Highly worthwhile for anyone, though.

    Poisonous Evasion (PHB2)
    Depending on your expertise with positioning, however (Storm Sorcerers being slightly more adept at this than most others), this may be the superior Immediate Action power to take at this level, as it comes with a trigger that's about as common as Dragon Tail Meditation's, but does mountains of damage and whisks you away instead of the original target. The two are about at an equal kiel with Dragon Sorcerers, so decide between them if you're missing an Immediate - you'll be great with either.

    Rippling Strike (D381)
    Completely unimpressed with the amount of damage this power tries to give out - the extra 1d8 in case the target is isolated is extra damage and thus does not incorporate your modifiers. Cosmic Sorcerers don't get much in the way of justification, as it just spreads more mediocre damage around should an unguaranteed condition befall you.

    Rolls of Thunder (D386) [Familiar]
    A double-target vs. Will encounter power that deals this much damage is honestly quite stellar for you Ranged-oriented folks, and the Familiar rider gives it just a little bit of push towards proper Control. Nothing incredibly special, but certainly solid.

    Searing Radiance (AP)
    Radiant-typed it might be, all it does is damage against one target at a level where static modifiers now mean much more than just dice. Cosmic Sorcerers, however, can give themselves some much-needed healing if they're in what may be their favorite phase.

    Stalking Frost (AP)
    The power's reach is quite massive, but unfriendly, giving us a rather ungraceful reminder of Gale Burst. Fortunately, this is an encounter power, not a Daily power, and the soft control it inflicts is easily exploited - slows will work well here.

    Thunder Summons (PHB2)
    This power does everything right: it attacks three targets, deals respectable damage, helps to clump enemies together for future bursts, and gives an amazing rider for Wild Sorcerers in which they can add more options for where they teleport whichever they hit should they roll an even attack roll. Very highly recommended.

    Thunderstroke (AP)
    It's an AOE Thunder power - you know the drill. While the damage outside of the origin square won't be anything special, in comes the Storm Sorcerer rider to save the day with a mass Prone, making it much better for them.

    Level 19 Daily Spells
    Aspect of the Dragon (AP)
    Beautiful. A humongous area of friendly Fire damage that's repeatable(!) the first time you get bloodied. Incredibly flavorful as well, especially with the Dragon Sorcerer rider on this power. Cosmic and Dragon Sorcerers should have absolutely no problems picking this up: this is marvelous.

    Baleful Eye of the Basilisk (PHB2)
    Stunned (save ends) and no diced damage is something you find on Controller lists, not on a Striker list. Undoubtedly good, but a bit wonky in your perspective.

    Blackfire Serpent (PHB2)
    This faces some incredible competition with Aspect of the Dragon: you summon a snake to breathe hellfire all over your foes once per turn as long as you can sustain him while you sit back and mess with another group of foes. He's a conjuration, so he won't be tassled with, and he occupies his own square, so he's a decent roadblock as well. Keep him up as long as possible (don't wander more than 10 squares away from him or be stunned, etc) and you'll do some amazing damage with the little guy. Dexterity'sorcs lose a lot of the punch of this Conjuration, since it can't move it around nearly as much as they'd like, but it's still one of the best ways to get some off-Standard damage going for them.

    Crashing Winds (AP)
    A gigantic area of rather solid Thunder damage that then gives a guaranteed slide and a rather interesting buffer rider for Storm Sorcerers? Man, this level just knows how to treat Sorcerers right. (Though Strength'sorcs probably shouldn't wander here...)

    Primordial Slime (AP)
    It's Baleful Eye of the Basilisk... except you have to wait for the ongoing damage to trigger. Wild Sorcerers do get a small benefit, but this is not a power for you. Nice try, though.

    Prismatic Explosion (PHB2)
    It's about time we saw this power again - really wish they'd added a Close blast 2 version of this at level 9 or some such. Ah well, can't ask for everything. In any case, this does some high damage, hit or miss, and throws around incredibly good Dexterity-based status effects like they were candy. Considering most Strength'sorcs are going to want a decent Dexterity anyway for certain feats, even a +2 modifier will give you enough fuel for some of these riders, and for them this is very highly recommended alongside the other awesome options here. Just be incredibly careful how you aim this, please...

    Radiant Wings (AP)
    The damage isn't all that hot, nor is the range, but the Cosmic Sorcerer's autodamage on top of sustainable flight (going off of your Minor Action) adds leaps and bounds to both your mobility and your targetting ability. Considering what other options you have here, though, it's a tough sell.

    Spiritual Venom (D386) [Familiar]
    You must have a Familiar to use this power, and the damage just does not compare anymore. We already have AOEs that deal more damage, even on a miss, and have much more interesting effects. I just cannot recommend this.

    Split Strike (PHB2)
    Take Dazzling Ray all the way back from 1st Level, split it in twain, then transmogrify it to deal Lightning damage and add control to both sides of the odd/even equation for Wild Sorcerers. I can get behind that if your encounters don't tend to consist of clumping enemies.

  6. #6
    Originally posted by DuelistDelSol:

    Part Six: Epic Tier Spells

    Level 23 Encounter Spells
    Black Breath (PHB2)
    Pretty decent AOE for most Sorcerers, but Dragon Sorcerers get an interesting form of Control, in which each target hit by this power has no line of effect to anything more than 3 squares away. Leader-type monsters do not like this one bit, Ranged enemies will have to wander in close if they want to do anything... it takes a selective position and some thinking skills to pull all the meat out of these bones, but it's got its uses.

    Chaos Orbs (PHB2)
    You know what else I can get behind? Two-target dazing. Damage ain't all that spectacular, but really, there's not much room to complain.

    Inferno Ring (D386)

    It takes one successful attack roll to do damage akin to Thunder Leap, a level 9 daily, if you have your Familiar out and in Active mode. Otherwise, it's a rather nice pseudo-AOE, but doesn't have anywhere near enough punch.

    Iron Chains (PHB2)
    The damage is wretched (though your static modifiers will still help a little bit), but AOE restrained with one attack roll is quite nice to behold, especially if you can launch further AOEs afterwards to take care of the combat advantage and immobilization.

    Plates of Ice (PHB2)
    Weakened's alright, but the damage really isn't anymore. Not even the pseudo-AOE the Wild Sorcerer can dish out is anything special, especially since it's unfriendly.

    Rumbling Storm Bolt (AP)
    OK, this really isn't funny anymore. It's a long-distance slide, sure, and it's two targets that take the damage, but I'd put much higher stock in Chaos Orbs than this power. This has its fringe cases of usefulness, since it can attack the second target around a corner, but that's incredibly situational.

    Shuffling Thunder (D381)
    Alright, now that's a little better. Roll good on that d6, and you can spread some proper damage all around you and your target. Just make sure you don't stick yourself in a nasty position to be gutted by future attacks later. Also, once again, we run into the problem of having a "Chaos Sorcerer" rider when, technically, "Chaos Sorcerers" do not exist (should have been "Wild Magic").

    Storm Arc (AP)
    You know it's getting bad when you can't even get excited about a proper AOE. It's at least a great damage type for Storm Sorcerers, who get what basically amounts to their critical hit benefit and the ability to hover. But other than that, there's little here for anyone.

    Sun and Stars (AP)
    There is absolutely no comparison: if you don't have a Familiar, you're taking this power or the one immediately below. Here, it's a Ranged 20 double-strike against one target that incorporates your modifiers each time (Day and Night, anyone? Even the names sort of match) that even gives Cosmic'sorcs the ability to choose between the two phases depicted in the name. Splendid.

    Wildrift Burst (AP)
    A great Close burst (though still unfriendly) that teleports everyone hit by this power a silly distance. However, something must be said for Wild Sorcerers: this not only fuels one of their best feats, but the targets are also either dazed or teleported even further. If you can find some way to guarantee the daze, go ahead and call it Gold for you Wild Sorcerers. The havoc you can inflict with this is nothing short of world-ending.

    Wyrmblight (AP)
    AOE Fire and Poison damage. That's literally all this power is. Would be nice to have at least something attached to it...

    Level 25 Daily Spells
    Acid Typhoon (AP)
    Guaranteed damage in this wide of coverage, on top of a massive swath of ongoing damage, makes this surprisingly good for just straight damage dealing, even considering the rather meek damage die attached to it. Of course, Storm Sorcerers get a nice leg up in being able to cut out the origin square if necessary.

    Chaotic Spray (D386)
    If you want a power that'll give you excellent damage close by, you don't take this.

    Cloak of Winter Storm (AP)
    You take this instead. This completely friendly zone doesn't care one bit about attack rolls: all it wants you to do is to throw enemies inside it so that it can rip them to pieces with a damage roll that adds your normal bonuses, sans "When you hit" bonuses. And just to make it hurt more, enemies that take that damage are slowed until their turns end. Ouch.

    Draconic Incarnation (PHB2)
    Would you look at that, we did get something attached to Wyrmblight! Throw in 3d6 more damage (with a modular damage type), damage on a miss, and a stupendous benefit for Dragon Sorcerers to pull other creatures into future blasts and Close bursts, and you've got a winner.

    Force Storm (PHB2)
    You must, absolutely must, have a gigantic amount of enemies clumped inside the area for this power to do any significant damage. Way too hard to plan for, and thus not recommended.

    Fury of Dragotha (AP)
    A decent-yet-kinda-lacking Close blast for everyone except Dragon Sorcerers. What do they get? An aura of autodamage, of course! However, it affects all creatures that start adjacent to you, so you won't exactly be popular with other Melee folk. Not a waste, but not my first choice.

    Leaping Lightning (AP)
    Find some way, any way possible, to debuff his chance to succeed on saving throws. The opportunity to add extra attacks in the round in this fashion (and you will get one guaranteed instance, since it happens every tick of the ongoing damage) is too fruitful to lose.

    Words of Chaos (PHB2)
    Until it saves, you can have this utterly mess up the target as it's locked down near your Defender, but it really does little for Ranged enemies, who won't really mind just attacking another member of your party. That is, unless you're a Wild Sorcerer, in which you tell them exactly where they can shove their attack.

    Wrathful Vapors (AP)
    It comes down to this: attack Fortitude if they're adjacent to your allies, and attack Reflex otherwise. That's some insane autodamage you're handing out on the Reflex attack, Dex'sorcs. The damage roll on the Reflex attack is substantial enough by now that even Strength-based Sorcerers can join in on the fun, though the slide for the Fortitude attack won't be all that spectacular.

    Level 27 Encounter Spells
    Chaos Infusion (AP)
    This is the exact toolbox spell that Wild Sorcerers need. They (and everyone else) can throw around damage like crazy, and Wild Sorcerers in particular can now reap the benefits of some of their favorite powers and jack up their usefulness by degrees.

    Lightning Backlash (D386) [Familiar]
    Honestly, a bit hard to rate. This does have the potential to do absolutely silly amounts of damage, but it does echo Inferno Ring somewhat, and your familiar going kablewy may be a bit too much of a penalty. Weigh your options, see if you can handle your Familiar being absent in this fashion.

    Lightning Eruption (PHB2)
    A very solid pseudo-AOE that won't dare harm your allies. The damage on the secondary attack might be just a tad too low, though, and enemies really don't tend to clump up this tight this late in the game.

    Moonstruck (AP)
    About average in terms of damage, but AOE immobilized could be something to consider. Cosmic Sorcerers in the phase of the Moon, however, get an incredible upgrade.

    Mother Claw (AP)
    What's that? Another Immediate Reaction for Dragon Sorcerers that's flavorful, mechanically powerful, and now that you're past level 22, extremely easy to trigger? Why sure! I'm not objecting one bit, honestly.

    Overpowering Lightning (AP)
    Kaboom! You're stunned. And take some piddly damage as a consolation prize. Meh?

    Poison Ward (PHB2)
    Unfortunately, there's not a lot of ways you can coerce the enemy to satisfy the power's conditions for you - you have to pretty much put yourself in as bait. If you can do that, though, the secondary damage is not extra damage, but a straight damage roll, so it'll deliver more modifier goodies just for you.

    Sorcerous Echo (D381)
    This is the best of a rather blah set of powers in the D381 article... and I'm still not impressed. Sure, the autodamage at that wide a range is decent, but enemies can just run outside the "zone" and be just fine.

    Thunder Pulse (PHB2)
    I'll take a small hit to my dice to throw in a Close burst 4 (it's an AOE thunder power) friendly push-and-prone, sure.

    Thunderous Might (AP)
    And if you didn't want a blast, how about a Burst? Unfriendly, though, but it can become an Area burst 2 mass Slide, which is never bad. The Storm Sorcerer benefit is sort of awkward, though, especially since Combat Advantage isn't tough to grab anymore.

    Wildfire Curse (PHB2)
    It's Chaos Bolt all the way back at level 1, except you don't need to be a Wild Sorcerer, you don't need to roll even numbers... you just have to hit. Over and over and over again. Just be incredibly careful, though - this power does not discriminate, and if it runs out of enemies before you run out of hits, you're going to be roasting your allies as well. For best results, draw a path to where you'll hit the most targets as possible while having the last target be completely isolated from Team Player.

    Level 29 Daily Spells
    Cosmic Vengeance (AP)
    The old guide listed this as one of the worst dailies in game. I tend to disagree. Now, for most Sorcerers, you really don't need to take more than a passing glance at this power, but being able to punish all attacks against you with autodamage equal to both your Charisma and Strength modifiers is just worthwhile enough for this to be considered for Cosmic Sorcerers. You really do need to build around this, however. Be an annoying prick on the battlefield: provoke opportunity attacks, sequester yourself just in reach of your Leader but away from everyone else, and throw bursts and blasts everywhere. You want to make yourself as attractive a target as possible so that the autodamage can work at full speed. You want every single ounce of damage you can pour out, being a Sorcerer - here's a tricky, but workable, way to get it.

    Doom of Chaos (AP)
    Another power that needs some setup to function properly, but can hold its own much more so than Cosmic Vengeance could. After hitting them for some truly awful single-target damage, you then inflict Vulnerable Psychic on them until the ongoing psychic damage (which will add up to deal 20 damage each tick) ends, at which point you can choose between five other damage types to have the target become Vulnerable 10 to. Solid, but needs a little bit of party cohesion to really make it work. Wild Sorcerers, of course, have it best, especially if they can trip it to where they gain both benefits at once. Mass permanent Vulnerability is always welcome.

    Endless Acid (PHB2)
    Does this power have the potential to do utterly horrifying amounts of damage over time? Sure. But should they roll three successful saving throws in a row, you end up dealing 1d6+mods+30 damage, which seems nice, but that 30 is very delayed. You have better choices here.

    Entropic Whirlwind (PHB2)
    The Close combateers get a glorious capstone in this beautiful little power: a Close burst 5, completely friendly, that subjects every single target that gets hit to a teleport AND an autodamage save-ends option should they get teleported again... which can be continuously triggered by the effect line once per round. You provide an 11x11 field of area denial, a wide enough zone to where enemies will find it incredibly hard to start formations. For this reason, it's honestly worthwhile for every single tradition of Sorcerer, and one of the best dailies in the Sorcerer's list.

    Hellish Firestorm (AP)
    With the existence of the final Prismatic daily here, this really is not worth it. It's expandable, yes, and it covers a wide area of the ground, but just wait to see what you get.

    Mind Tide (AP)
    The only Dominate on the Sorcerer's list, with a nice little touch of dazed (save ends) as an aftereffect. I can get behind this.

    Necrotic Storm (D386) [Familiar]
    The highest single-target damaging power for Sorcerers in the entire game, with a great control rider, but to force a rerolled save you have to detonate your Familiar. I'm not quite enthused about that, but there is some definite stock in being able to potentially extend the Stun for perhaps one round longer.

    Prismatic Storm (PHB2)
    "The sky rains down a rainbow of destruction." Well, let's see... it's a Burst 3 within 20, with an apocalyptic variance of status effects (all of them save-ends and all of them based on your Dexterity modifier), with some great damage to hand out as well. I absolutely love this daily, both for finishing off a great train of flavorful dailies and having some tremendously good effects to coincide, but something must be said for making absolutely sure that you do not target your allies with this power. Even missing will annihilate them.

    Wyrm Form (AP)
    We're not done with the great flavorful capstones yet, however: we've now got a Polymorph power! As long as you're not bloodied and can keep yourself this way, you become a freaking dragon, jumping two sizes, gaining a fly speed, and having all of your Arcane powers stay intact while also gaining an MBA (that's regretably not an implement power, but what can you do), a pretty nice Breath power, and an Immediate Reaction power that throws even more damage around for enemies that even dare to flank you (and since you're Huge, this will not be a hard task to accomplish). A stunningly beautiful daily for all involved, especially Dragon Sorcerers, who get a bonus to attack rolls with all of these powers.

  7. #7
    Originally posted by DuelistDelSol:

    Part Seven: Utility Powers

    These are, obviously, usable by both normal Sorcerers and the Elementalist subclass. Of course, those that rely on a certain Soul to work (as there are no utilities with Elemental Soul riders), or that augment powers that work differently with odd or even numbers, are completely useless to Elementalists, and must be considered as such. However, most of these ratings will remain intact.

    Level 2 Utility Powers

    Dragonflame Mantle (PHB2)
    It's an interrupt, so if the attack roll and your defense matched before you popped this, this will prevent the hit from occuring; and if it was a melee attack, it and future hits in the round deal some excellent damage that does incorporate your Soul's modifier (it does have the Arcane keyword). A great start to a nice train of defensive boosts designed for Dragon Sorcerers, though anyone can use it pretty well.

    Focused Chaos (PHB2)
    Rated for Wild Sorcerers, and for them this is absolutely perfect. To have a back option for leaning an effect your way without the random factor potentially harming your allies or doing nothing for you is something that you should add to your little toolbox of abilities.

    Shield of Flames (Essentials: HoEC)
    Any opportunity to spread some more damage around, especially without requiring a trigger to function, is certainly worthwhile, though it's a shame this won't do anything against Ranged enemies.

    Sorcerous Sirocco (AP)
    This is the kind of power you keep in your back pocket in case you and an ally nearby need to reach a ledge to get the Magic Plot MacGuffin. Really not something to pull out in the middle of combat, since it takes your Standard Action. Useless at 16th level.

    Spatial Trip (AP)
    A three-square teleport is incredibly important to have in your toolbox for Skirmisher Sorcerers. You love the kind of freedom in being able to determine exactly where you want your unfriendly AOEs to originate, and this will help you accomplish that task. Even Ranged Dagger Sorcerers might find this appealing, since a shift may not always allay you from triggering OAs.

    Spirit Guidance (D386)
    While requiring your Familiar to be in Active mode might be a little bit gruesome, as long as you're able to use friendly AOEs over your Familiar, you can take advantage of this quite readily.

    Stretch Spell (PHB2)
    Get a Distant Superior Implement.

    Unseen Aid (PHB2)
    It's a much lamer version of the Shaman class feature "Speak with Spirits", and they get it for free. You don't need to bother yourself with this.

    Whirling Wind (Essentials: HoEC)
    Incredibly weird wording: creatures in the zone must spend extra movement allowances to move closer to you... but it's a Close burst 1. You basically have to get out of the original square for this power to have any use, in which case the enemy can just go tangent to the zone and march forward towards you again. Shifting to a square could be quite beneficial, though, giving you a little source of defense, but honestly, Dragonflame Mantle's the better option here if Melee enemies dominate the scene.

    Absorb Storm (AP)
    A pretty nice bonus to attack rolls and a decent damage shield, but it requires that one of three different damage types are inflicted on you, and you only gain resistance to that type and one-turn attack roll bonuses with that one damage type. Stupidly hard to predict, and is campaign-dependant.

    Deep Shroud (AP)
    Intended mostly for Sorcerers who act all the way from range, since the area of heavy obscuration will interfere with your allies as well if you wander in too close. It is a very robust defensive boost for you, though, and definitely worth it.

    Elemental Shift (PHB2)
    Less situational than Absorb Storm, and even gives a small boost to an ally nearby, sharing your new resistance with him. Really cool for Wild Sorcerers, since it doesn't force them to reroll their new resistance - they just pick it.

    Gambling Siphon (D385)
    A welcome boost to damage rolls, though guessing wrong will give you a rather meek effect for a daily. If you're teamed up with an Avenger, however, pick 11-20 and you'll have the best chance to get the +5 bonus.

    Good Timing (D385)
    Rerolls are incredibly important for Strikers, since damage is what they do, and missing means they did nothing on that round. The secondary effect will do little against you if you can find a way to get Psychic resistance, and for those this power is better.

    Rock Armor (Essentials: HoEC)
    One of the very few stances you gain, this gives you substantial resistance that stacks with your innate elemental resistances, but also slows you; the resistance may not matter too much for Ranged Sorcerers and the slowing is a bane for Skirmisher Sorcerers. It's got its strengths, but know what you're doing.

    Wall of Water (Essentials: HoEC)
    Something also incredibly rare for Sorcerers: a wall power! This one provides all targets superior cover against attacks that cross through its spaces for line of sight, helping to divide the battlefield in two for awhile, and any creature that crosses the threshold gains Vulnerable Cold until its next turn rolls around, which will fuel your teammate's Wintertouched feats. It's sustainable, too, which is quite nice, and the side benefit of adding squares to it should there be a small area of watery terrain nearby is a nice bonus. Pretty interesting little utility to consider.

    Level 6 Utility Powers

    Fire Stride (Essentials: HoEC)
    The amount of mobility this power entails is extraordinary, far surpassing what most Warlocks get, but the Requirement is insanely weird - it's terrain specific, something you almost never see in powers such as this, and almost impossible to set up. On top of which, you'll probably not have more than two points of transit. If you're fighting in a forest fire, I guess I could see this being useful, but really, I don't think that's going to happen. Be reasonable.

    Chaos Wager (D385)
    Once again, better if you have an Avenger in the party, but still, this is a humongous boost to damage rolls, and even just against one target, this is very worthwhile, especially on an encounter basis.

    Fate's Chaos (AP)
    Strength Sorcerers have two amazing utilities beckoning their name, both of them Encounter powers. This one is more offensive, and tied more closely with Cosmic Sorcerers than Dragon Sorcerers: once per encounter, if you spend an action point and miss with an attack, you can reroll that attack with a humongous bonus. It's basically the Human Action Surge feat put into a power and potentially much more helpful.

    Lightning Shift (AP)
    A pretty sweet little shift to get you out of a bad position and into better places. Solid.

    Raise Stone (Essentials: HoEC)
    Now, while the power says it cannot harm creatures (so you can't squish enemies into the ceiling or destroy someone's house with them inside), and that creatures can shift 1 square to avoid being raised or lowered, it has absolutely no problem with you shunting an immobilized or prone enemy 20 feet into the air, since they can't make the shift to avoid it. While meant as flavorful, the fact that this acts on a Minor Action and lasts all encounter makes this a wonderful supplement to immobilization effects, and is a surprisingly neat pick, notwithstanding the really sweet RP and out-of-combat potential this power has.

    Sudden Scales (PHB2)
    This power, completely disregarding the Dragon Magic rider, is amazing - you have the potential to completely nullify an attack once per encounter. That chance skyrockets with the rider, making it 3+STR instead of a static 4... but just wait until Epic Tier.

    Swift Escape (PHB2)
    This does much the same thing for Dexterity-based Sorcerers (actually, anyone, but this is more meant for Wild Sorcerers, especially with the strong rider they have), but being targeted by area and close attacks isn't the most common thing in the world.

    Water to Ice (Essentials: HoEC)
    You can pass rivers and other waterborne hazards that're seven squares across with at least relative ease, but the combat potential of this power requires a lot of specific terrain and the encounter setup to come together properly. As it is, it's more of a roleplaying power than anything, since water terrain is much, much less common to find so much of on the battlefield than stone, mud, or dirt.

    Wind Rider (Essentials: HoEC)
    The penalties put upon you for use of this power in combat (granting combat advantage, an altitude limit, and the Sustain calling your Standard Action) is too much to use then, but once more, you have something quite amazing for out of combat: At-Will(-ish) flight.

    Arcane Empowerment (PHB2)
    Shame it's a daily and only lasts one turn, but expanding the size of your AOEs is one of the biggest ways to get the job done in terms of DPR.

    Chaotic Defense (AP)
    Crack this open at the beginning of a tough battle and gain benefits equal to a pretty strong Stance... without taking up your Stance "slot". The benefit you get on a 4 is beautiful, especially for Skirmisher Sorcerers, but it can work for pretty much everyone.

    Energetic Flight (PHB2)
    You're a Ranged Striker. You also have Close bursts and blasts. Take advantage of that with some sweet positioning options.

    Extinguishing Rain (AP)
    The primary benefit is rather situational, but the attack you have to make might never come up at all during your career, since so few monsters have fire-based zones.

    Protective Familiar (D386) [Familiar]
    The price to pay to salvage an ally from being dominated or some other sort of harrowing condition, especially if the attack doesn't actually damage your ally normally, is well worth it. It's situational, sure, but you'll definitely be glad you have it if you're a Familiar-user that can keep his Familiar at least somewhat close by.

    Subtlety of the Green Wyrm (AP)
    If you're that desperate to force an enemy to surrender, I suppose this'll work. You might be the face of the party, so this is something to consider in that regard, but it's kind of campaign dependant.

    Level 10 Utility Powers

    Control Flame (Essentials: HoEC)
    Really, there's not much more I can say about these HOEC utilities. Pretty much all of them are amazingly useless in combat, since there really isn't a clearly defined consequence for creatures being in fires, nor are raging fires that often of an occurance in most settings. And once again, it's got its RP potential. So rate this accordingly, because I cannot.

    Earth Passage (Essentials: HoEC)
    Gain a weak form of phasing in certain environments. The very limited tremorsense may or may not be useful to you. Not a fan.

    Elemental Warding (Essentials: HoEC)
    An encounter-long field of protection against an element of your choice is extraordinary, but allies must plant themselves inside the three squares you delegate for them to gain any substantial benefit. Best to use on Ranged allies, who can man sniper-esque positions and can find themselves at least somewhat protected from harsher elemental attacks.

    Fog Form (AP)
    Another reactive Encounter power to aid in your defensive prowess. Quite simple, but can shave off a great amount of damage if you're caught in a crowd.

    Maiden's Waking (D382)
    Correct me if I'm wrong, but this will still allow you to roll saves against said conditions, so it should work against save-ends daze and stun. You can pretty much cancel one-turn stuns and dazes with this for sure, though, and that's an extremely good benefit. If that's not the case though, I'd avoid this, even though it would give you one more turn to throw something out before you suffer.

    Narrow Escape (PHB2)
    Obviously this doesn't cancel out the original attack, but it will keep you out of future danger, possibly preventing multiattacks. You probably don't need the extra Dexterity modifier on the teleport, so for Strength Sorcerers this is a perfectly viable pick. Dexterity-based Sorcerers won't mind the extra length, though.

    Spirit's Eclipse (AP)
    Your Will is already going to be incredibly high, but this will throw in anywhere from a +5 to a +10 bonus to defenses against Will attacks (since you're now also invisible). See what kind of monsters you've been facing and what your DM favors, and add this to your list if you feel it's necessary.

    Chaos Link (PHB2)
    You have to put yourself in relative danger for this to work well, since you both need to be in the area of what should probably be a very injurous burst, on top of having a prime target close by you, but it has the potential to wreak havoc.

    Devour Magic (PHB2)
    Not only does there need to be a Conjuration or Zone on the field, but you also have to succeed on an (admittedly accurate) attack roll and be part of either of two Magic disciplines to get a decent rider? No thanks.

    Dragon's Resolve (AP)
    Add a little punch to the Dragonborn Racial Trait, or give it to yourself if you don't have it, and gain a fantastic bonus to saving throws in the process.

    Elemental Shield (Essentials: HoEC)
    Considering the wide array of damage types this helps prevent, and the trigger is either on you or allies close by, this could actually be something you might want to keep hold of. If nothing else, it'll prevent a tremendous amount of damage in certain environments.

    Invert Resistance (PHB2)
    If, for a few crucial moments, you need a mass cancellization of resistances all around you, this could work in a pinch, but most players today have some way to pierce resistances, and as such this won't come into play much.

    Shielding the Bound Spirit (D386)

    Your Familiar now becomes a Shaman Spirit companion, with a huge bonus to defenses and a moderate amount of Resist All. Definitely workable, though necessary or not is the big question here.

    Sorcerous Pulse (AP)
    Very rarely do Sorcerers specialize in one damage type across all of their powers. For those that do, this is insanely awesome, but for everyone else, apply the original rating.

    Storm of Energy (AP)
    You have a few dailies that'll deliver guaranteed ongoing damage. For those kinds of powers, being able to add a huge amount to that DOT is outstanding. However, you need a devoted setup, not only amongst your own powers, but on other people's powers, to make this work.

    Weave Luck (D385)
    So, whenever you miss, you either still subject the enemy to decent control, or get a little boost to attack rolls to try again next time? I kinda like that, actually.

    Level 16 Utility Powers

    Dominant Winds (AP)
    A bit lame for Strength'sorcs, but Dexterity'sorcs can not only give themselves some sweet mobility, but can even give it to their allies as well! An amazingly strong utility that echoes some of the best kind of mobility-granting Leader powers.

    Chaos Sanctuary (PHB2)
    You have a ton of potent Close attacks that don't discriminate between your allies and enemies. Even a modifier of +2, which is what most Strength'sorcs will have at this point, is enough to justify picking this up. DEX-based Skirmisher Sorcerers will find this incredibly cool, though keep in mind it doesn't work for Area powers.

    Damage Gambit (D385)
    Much more valuable when using physical dice rather than random number generators; you want to make sure most of your dice rolled low before you take the chance, since your gigantic static modifier will often obfuscate what you really rolled. You'll be pretty much safe if you rolled on the dice itself a number at half the average or less. Taking this power and using it smartly will give you some monstrous bonuses to damage rolls, so this is something to definitely think about.

    Draconic Majesty (PHB2)
    This utility is best delegated to the Strength-based Skirmisher builds, of which are numerous, considering the disciplines they favor. You subject each enemy surrounding you to a massive penalty to attack rolls against everything they attack, further exemplifying a weird sub-Leader role that manifests itself in this level.

    Icy Integument (Essentials: HoEC)
    Some respectable damage and control in punishing melee attacks done against you, on top of a pretty good defensive boost. It won't do too much against enemies with Reach, though, and they start showing up around late Paragon.

    Tornado Leap (Essentials: HoEC)
    One turn of hovering flight is pretty nice, but this is at the same level as At-Will flight, and is worse for Dexterity-based Sorcerers. This has some stock for Strength-based Sorcerers, but they still have Draconic Majesty to mess with.

    Avatars of Chaos (AP)
    Complex to be sure, but carries with it some amazing benefits. You remove yourself from the board and add in four figures in close burst 10. Each one is designated as a specific damage type amongst four options (fire/force/lightning/psychic, giving attack roll bonuses to their respective damage type-aligned attacks), and whenever you start your turn, you select one of the four figures and consider yourself as occupying that space. Almost all of your abilities, including moving and making attacks, stay completely intact, and you attack from the image you currently occupy in the round. They're all basically minions as well, but do not affect your total hitpoints, even if they're damaged. Ultimately, this is an incredibly unique way to make the Sorcerer into a chessmaster - literally being in four places at once does wonders for targeting and self-defense, since status effects almost don't matter and your hitpoint total will never be affected until you return. I have to say, it would have been nice if Sorcerers had more powers like this, both chock-full of flavor and excellent in combat. *looks wistfully at Heroes of Elemental Chaos...*

    Breath of Potency (AP)
    Alright, fine, you close-bursting fiends. You want a gigantic bonus to defenses with a trigger you can satisfy each and every turn? Here you go. Now go and enjoy near invulnerability.

    Chaos Link (PHB2)
    Pretty much an exact copy of Chaos Echoes, except you can only target enemies with this power (as if you were going to do otherwise) and you do not have to be hit. Much more useful in this regard, and can be a source of some great off-turn damage and potential status effects if you're not afraid to wander in close.

    Comrade's Mantle (PHB2)
    A lamer version of Mass Resistance, a power Wizards get much earlier than this. Still handy, since it allows you to pick from every single damage type, but the amount is rather small.

    Elemental Translation (Essentials: HoEC)
    While the side benefits provide some pretty sweet terrain control, what's actually the most interesting thing about this power is the very first effect: you push each creature in the blast adjacent to the blast. There is no attack roll associated with this power - you just push enemies along. Bunch up enemies to be part of future bursts, perhaps...? If you just want that out of the power, pick Air: the effect will probably do nothing anyway. (Something that is notable though is the Fire benefit - mass Fire Vulnerability could be something to be excited about, though you might have to coax enemies back into that blast, or target enemies immune to forced movement.)

    Rise, My Pet (D386) [Familiar]
    Takes a lot of the penalty out of detonating your Familiar for certain effects once per day, and allows you to be just a little bit more reckless in where he wanders off to to put forward your best effects. You may never have to use this Daily, but hope to whatever deity you fall under that you indeed don't ever need to.

    Thunder Buffer (AP)
    A bonus to AC equal to most Paragon-level stances, and a pretty darn nice anti-melee force field once per round is decent for Skirmishers, but they have some much better options here. You don't always want to toss enemies away if you care about bonuses to defenses.

    Level 22 Utility Powers

    Dragon Fear (PHB2)
    Huh. It's an immobilize that's not an immobilize, instead completely denying any movement towards you for the round. This is completely reactionary, doesn't require any sort of setup, and helps prevent Leader-type enemies from telling enemies to move towards you as well. A worthy choice.

    Savior Spirit (D386) [Familiar]
    For Dexterity Sorcerers, they have a much better power in Dominant Winds back at level 16. For Strength based Sorcerers, why don't you have Platinum Scales? It's certainly useful, especially if you must relocate your familiar this turn, but this actually copies a level 2 At-Will utility Wizards can get. If you can snatch that up, please do so.

    Storm Body (AP)
    I prefer Crown of Flames for spreading damage around, but I won't deny this is quite fascinating for those that need that extra jolt of mobility. Once wonders whether you need it now, since you're about to get Foot slot items that let you teleport, fly, shift, etc.

    Wind Shape (PHB2)
    Yet another instance of encounter-usage one-turn Hovering, which is handy for the right type of Sorcerer, but compared to your other options at this level, honestly fall quite flat.

    Crown of Flames (AP)
    There are reasons people love feats like Hammer Rhythm - having your primary stat tied to damage on a Miss on some of your favorite powers is a sight to behold. It is Fire damage, so do keep that in mind, but now you have a vector of guaranteed damage practically every round, which is something Strikers adore. Highly consider picking this up, especially if you're a Dexterity-based Sorcerer.

    Elemental Rift (Essentials: HoEC)
    Rarely do we get a power from this book that's truely amazing. First of all, the power is completely friendly, so put it over your allies if you have to. Meanwhile, you've got a veritiable vortex that enemies are pulled to, on top of being slowed, and if at any point they end their turn in the zone, they're removed from play (save ends). It's sustainable as well! Yes, you're meant to rain destruction upon multiple enemies at once; I get that. But there are times where that just isn't the case and the opposing force is too big to handle. That's when you crack this open until the problem has resolved itself somewhat, at which point you stop sustaining the zone and default to good ol' blasting. The best utility in this book for Sorcerers, bar none.

    Flight of Dragons (AP)
    Best to start this before the combat begins proper (or at the very first turn if everyone's a long ways away), and to have nothing else have a call on your Minor Action - this is marvelous mobility enabling for your entire party, especially for your Ranged and Area-using allies. The Resistances Dragon Sorcerers get are pretty nice, but not the main attraction here.

    Fool's Luck (D385)
    What most sells this power is that it can be used for pretty much anything a d20 could be used for: namely attack, skill, and general ability checks. Shame it can't be used for saving throws, though there is a very neat side benefit in rolling a natural 20. A good capstone to the generally good line of D385 powers.

    Platinum Scales (PHB2)
    Yep. Gold. We're cutting corners here and going to the basic fundamentals of what people like about the Sorcerer: once per day, when you get hit, you can increase all of your defenses by an amount equal to your Strength modifier, which for Dragonborn and Vryloka could be somewhere in the 7-8 range by this point. This goes way past Plate for AC, gives you enormous defenses to call on for your NADs, and it lasts all encounter. You are nearly completely invulnerable with this up, making this the best Strength-based utility in the entire power list for Sorcerers.

    Suppress Element (Essentials: HoEC)
    Is anyone else getting Pokemon flashbacks here? (Rain Dance, Sunny Day, etc.) In any case, this can seriously wreak havoc on very particular monsters that show up from time to time, but you really have to prepare for it and hope that your DM doesn't stop delivering tasty little morsels for your aura to gobble up.

    Ultimate Resistance (AP)
    Just like the previous power, you need the right monsters to be facing you and have them not be able to either change their damage types, attack with multiple damage types, or be able to use untyped attacks for this to pull through all the way. On top of which, depending on your choice of Soul and the monsters you face in response, this may actually not be all that necessary.

  8. #8
    Originally posted by DuelistDelSol:

    Part Eight: Paragon Paths

    At 11th level, your character can select a Paragon Path to follow, gaining new features and new powers to add onto your own abilities. This is a very big opportunity cost, and Sorcerers don't have a lot of Paths to choose from, so it's a choice you cannot take lightly. Thankfully, a lot of the choices fit quite snugly with the Souls they require, so that's something.

    Class Paths

    Arcane Wellspring (PHB2) - Dragon, Wild
    Multitargeting, General DPR
    Overall Rating:
    Light Blue.
    Honestly, there's not one thing about this power that is bad for either Dragon or Wild Sorcerers; it gives them double-target attacks, with or without the AP, and just spreads damage around like a good Sorcerer PP should. While it doesn't exclude Storm and Cosmic Sorcerers from taking this path, almost all of the features and powers require the two PHB2 disciplines to function.

    11th Level Feature (Double Resistance): This is always excellent for Dragon Sorcerers, since by now you know what elements are favored in your campaign and can adjust accordingly, but Wild Sorcerers need to make sure they have feats already in play so that the double roll doesn't just make their Resistance feature slightly less useless. This fuels your powers, though, so it's good all around.
    11th Level Feature (Split Spell Action): While this does overlap with one of the newest Arcane paths, specifically Speaker of the Xaos, it's not restricted to particular elements, and works with all of your Arcane single target powers, making them much more worthwhile to take.
    16th Level Feature (Antagonistic Transposition): Much better for Wild Sorcerers, since they have DPR feats that want you to teleport enemies as a product of attacks. Entropic Whirlwind, one of your level 29 dailies, approaches very close to Gold for all disciplines with this path, due to having what amounts to an At-Will teleport until they save from that power's effect.

    11th Level Encounter Power (Twin Bolt): Most of the time, your resistances just won't work this encounter, and you need a hard hitting power that will do great damage against two targets, instead of pretty good damage against one. Well, here's your power; being double-typed and matching your Resistances is fantastic.
    12th Level Encounter Utility (Sorcerous Wings): Give yourself a couple turns of hoverable flight, and spread even more damage around to those that attempt to make opportunity attacks against you, with your modifiers intact due to the Arcane keyword being present.
    20th Level Daily Power (Sorcerous Metamorphosis): Basically the daily version of Sorcerous Wings, except you're insubstantial and phasing, and you also deal damage to enemies you pass through. A shame it doesn't give you a speed boost, but draw yourself a path to where you can bowl over as many enemies as possible while also provoking opportunity attacks. Considering that monsters may know your abilities by this point, especially if you've cracked out Sorcerous Wings this encounter, they may not bother attacking you on this turn, but that just means you were able to relocate yourself on the battlefield to a more advantageous position and still cranked out respectable damage all over the board.

    Blizzard Mage (AP)
    Strategy: Cold DPR, Control
    Overall Rating:
    Black. The features and powers barely mesh, the former doing absolutely nothing to support the Cold damage type. They front decent control, especially in the AP feature, but nothing else meshes. That Daily is mighty tasty, though...

    11th Level Feature (Icy Action): Everything you target on an Action Point attack is slowed (save ends). Definitely one of the better parts of the feature, since Sorcerers can always use some sort of control on their powers. With the existence of World Serpent's Grasp, this is even better.
    11th Level Feature (Walk Through Winter): You'd be better off getting teleportation options, honestly. Especially if you act at Range, this benefit may never come up.
    16th Level Feature (Chill Winds): Your multitargetting bent can allow you to have this make an impact on your already stellar targeting capability, but it's only ever one square.

    11th Level Encounter Power (Winter's Clutch): Slide+immobilize is great control for Melee enemies, but the damage is mediocre. The leaderlike secondary benefit is very out of place, but can definitely be helpful.
    12th Level Daily Utility (Cloak of Freezing Wind): The random push wants you to be a Wild Sorcerer, but the damage shield itself would prefer you be a Dragon Sorcerer. Skirmishers want to make sure that enemies stay close by so that they can inundate them with blasts and bursts, and Artillery won't be targeted often by Melee attacks. It's very handy, but your enemies may not care about you anyway.
    20th Level Daily Power (Blizzard): After nine levels of frank mediocrity, we capstone with this utterly gorgeous daily. It's a Close burst 10 that's completely friendly, deals enormous damage, prones, gives all of your friends resistance to Cold, and a HUGE autodamage and autoslide aura that procs every time you start your turn. There really is no better Close burst in the game for you, quite honestly, and if you're starting your game at 20th level or higher, you'd be completely justified in taking this path.

    Celestial Scholar (AP) - Cosmic
    Strategy: Phase Versatility
    Overall Rating:
    Blue. This really does help you out with making your Phases as powerful as they can become with the level 11 features, but the powers, save perhaps for the daily, don't really take advantage of this, relying way too much on effects instead of damage.

    11th Level Feature (Celestial Action): Unfortunately, the three types that Cosmic Sorcerers favor most aren't actually very prevalent in the Sorcerer list. You can get a good selection of Cold powers, sure, but Psychic and Radiant are relatively rare types; only getting bonuses to them, and at +2 to both attack and damage, is kind of a letdown. Build around it and it'll work for you, of course.
    11th Level Feature (Cosmic Concordance): Especially with the next feature, this makes your defining feature much, much more flexible, as you're not forced to go up the ladder, but can go right back down if you wish.
    11th Level Feature (Phase Focus): The feature this entire path rides on. You upgrade either of your three Phases - Phase of the Sun throws damage around even more judiciously, Phase of the Stars gives you a Free Action teleport when missed on top of an IR teleport when hit, and the Phase of the Moon... gets autodamage when enemies adjacent to you fail their saving throw. Not entirely sure why, but alright. At least the other two upgrades are fantastic.
    16th Level Feature (Celestial Defense): A welcome boost to all of your defenses, especially now that you can control what Phase you're in for the most part.

    11th Level Encounter Power (Celestial Sigil): This basically serves to give you your Phase benefit on your own turn. Otherwise, the damage is awful, and the original target may not even be affected by the autodamage if you're in the first two phases. The Star Phase's teleport could be decent to whisk yourself over to the target, but that's still not enough to be impressive.
    12th Level Encounter Utility (Celestial Resistance): You're required to both be locked down to your current Phase and absolutely need the small boost to resistances or the emergency shift. It is a proper Soul Resistance, so it will pierce, but it ends as soon as you switch Phases, which is too limiting for the Cosmic Sorcerer.
    20th Level Daily Power (Celestial Seal): Guaranteed save-ends immobilization has its benefits, but the damage is awful, and none of the benefits, all of which tie to your upgraded phase and not your original, are anything noteworthy.

    Demonskin Adept (PHB2)
    Strategy: DPR, Off-Leader
    Overall Rating:
    Light Blue. Boy, is this path powerful; even one of its biggest detriments is easily solved by just throwing a certain cheap Cloth armor enchantment over yourself. While this path definitely has an offensive bent to it, it has a very weird focus in giving Leadery abilities... though it's certainly not bad in that regard.

    11th Level Feature (Demon Fury): If you're willing to put yourself wide open for dangerous situations, it's a boost to attack rolls that your entire team can enjoy.
    11th Level Feature (Variable Resistance): Quite good for Dragon Sorcerers, of course, but it's finally a fix for Wild Sorcerers, who can choose from the entire spectrum of damage types to resist. Of course, it does nothing for Storm and Cosmic Sorcerers. Ah well.
    16th Level Feature (Glimpse of the Abyss): This is a coin that has two very distinct sides - if you don't have immunity to blinds, this is deep Red, as -5 to attack rolls and granting combat advantage is much too strict a penalty. However, if you're wearing a Robe of Eyes, it's a brilliant addition to all of your critical hits.

    11th Level Encounter Power (Demon-Soul Bolts): Why yes, this can potentially be a triple-hitter. I suppose it's also a decent triple-target power, but you're basically emulating a slightly better version of Hand of Radiance once per encounter at that point. Just go with the triple-hitter.
    12th Level Daily Utility (Demonic Wrath): If you're not afraid to hover around bloodied, this is an alright boost to your attacks, I suppose. It's a little meek, but it won't go away when you're healed up; it'll just be surpressed until you're back to bloodied.
    20th Level Daily Power (Swords of the Marilith): The damage and coverage is nowhere near as large as Blizzard's was, but the benefit is slightly better, as you buff ACs instead of adding Cold Resistance. Keep in mind it doesn't move with you, so you'll have to plant yourself on a point where both your enemies and allies want to meet and throw down your Swords there. In that case, though, this adds some much needed off-Standard damage, something you always like, and substantial buffing, something you almost never get.

    Dragonsoul Heir (PHB2) - Dragon
    Strategy: Defense
    Overall Rating:
    Until 20th level, this path does almost nothing for you, as Dragon Sorcerers are just not fragile enough to warrant the small amount of boosts gained here. Nor are the first two powers any special. The daily's fantastic, but that's not a reason to slave through nine levels of nothing.

    11th Level Feature (Draconic Durability): Pray tell me why you need two more healing surges? Are you going through them that quickly?
    11th Level Feature (Draconic Resilience Action): Decent, but it only comes up once every other encounter, and at this level, you'll be getting a whopping 5 temp hitpoints. I guess you can't complain...
    16th Level Feature (Dragon Soul Resistance): This is worth it if you're getting that much use out of your resistance, but DMs may just not send you monsters that fit this type.

    11th Level Encounter Power (Breath of the Dragon Soul): It's quite a big AOE, and if you picked Thunder as your Resistance, you can make this a Close blast 6, but the damage is a little lame. I dunno, maybe I'm not just feeling this path.
    12th Level Daily Utility (Dragon's Revenge): For Skirmisher Dragon'sorcs, which was what this path was made for, it's a pretty nice addition to your normal stock of shields.
    20th Level Daily (Veil of the Dragon): It's bothersome that you have to wait this long, but here it is. You gain yet another shield to use on top of a great Close burst, and, best of all, gives you a punishing Melee Basic Attack. It justifies all the defensive boosts you're given at the outset, as otherwise you have little in the way of reasoning for monsters to just wander away from you besides meek Dagger hits. It still doesn't put the path at a higher echelon, but at least it's not useless now.

    Dragon Guardian (AP) - Dragon
    Strategy: Off-Defender
    Overall Rating:
    This is the defensive gait of the Dragon Sorcerer done right, though you need to make a good effort to shore up any holes you may have in your basic defenses. Regardless, it's a well thought-out Path, and quite advisable for Dragon Sorcerers.

    11th Level Feature (Dragon Breath Action): Suddenly those bland Close blast 5 powers become much more valuable, as when you spend an action point, your Close blasts gain the largest critical hit range obtainable in the entire game.
    11th Level Feature (Guardian's Resistance): Give yourself another element to resist, one that perhaps you've come across much more often in your campaign. However, in five levels this may become less necessary on the offensive side.
    16th Level Feature (Indomitable Breath): All of your close blasts ever ignore all resistances and immunities. While it doesn't completely invalidate your Resistance feature, it'll certainly make it less important for your favorite powers.

    11th Level Encounter Power (Guardian's Breath): Here we come upon one focus of this path besides nullifying resistances - marking. On this, you mark everything you hit with a friendly Close blast 3, providing quite a lethal punishment for ignoring you. Be prepared for some hefty aggro, though, or have some of your damaging shields up to provide a brutal Catch-22.
    12th Level Daily Utility (Shield of Dragon Might): You needed a way to buff your defenses up? Here you go. And in case you guessed wrong twice on the resistances you needed today, how about a third one?
    20th Level Daily Power (Lasting Breath): This potentially triple-typed power can absolutely rip encounters apart, considering the huge punishment attached to the mark, but this time, it's a save-ends mark, and since enemies know exactly what happens when they ignore you, you're going to get major aggro sent your way. Make sure you're ready before sending this out, because the battle's going to swing wildly around until they all save.

    Essence Mage (AP)
    Strategy: General Offense / Defense Mix
    Overall Rating:
    Blue. You do need to find some sort of way to add damage types to your powers, since you need dualtyped powers to fuel the extra damage option, but the action point feature is incredible, and your other powers and features help you out in several other ways. A nice pick.

    11th Level Feature (Energy Essence): It's a great source of extra damage, but it's incredibly picky. The power needs to deal two types of damage; it can't just have two seperate damage keywords. Arcane Admixture is good for this, and is highly recommended to shore up a hole in your power list for this feature.
    11th Level Feature (Essential Action): Spend your action point right when your turn begins and use an Arcane power immediately, so that you get all of your attacks that round incorporating this insane boost.
    16th Level Feature (Essential Resistance): While it's a decent feature at face value, remember that this applies to all forms of Resistance you gain, including your own innate resistances and your 20th Level daily, which is incredibly cool.

    11th Level Encounter Power (Essence of Arcane Blood): It automatically qualifies you for Energy Essence, and you can modulate the damage type amongst all options in case you know the enemy's vulnerabilities ahead of time, but it's still a single target power with mediocre damage and a benefit that, while definitely good in its being guaranteed, just isn't a rare trait anymore. Does combo well with Essential Action, though.
    12th Level Encounter Utility (Essence Form): This is only slightly worse than some of the best Religion and Paladin encounter utility powers, and if you can't hit with an Arcane AOE power this turn, there's little hope for you anyway.
    20th Level Daily Power (Protective Essence): While the burst itself is pretty darn good, what with it being friendly and dealing respectable damage all around, the autodamage upon each "use" of an Arcane power (you don't have to hit with it), plus the huge defensive boost in the Resist 8/9 All makes this quite a solid capstone to an all-around good Paragon Path.

    Lightning Fury (AP) - Storm
    Strategy: Lightning DPR
    Overall Rating:
    Very rare is there a path that just works for a build. Very rare is there a path that has absolutely nothing bad about it. This is one of them - with a brain cell or two, you can avoid every single penalty this path tries to throw at you, and it basically becomes the defining Paragon Path for a Storm Sorcerer. With Mark of Storm and a Lightning Lancing Dagger, there is no other substitute.

    11th Level Feature (Electric Action): The main point of this path is to just spread Lightning damage all around the battlefield like an absolute lunatic, and this is one way to do it. Spend an action point, and bam, up to three creatures around you are hit based on your secondary stat.
    11th Level Feature (Unstoppable Lightning): Lightning Resistance isn't pierced anymore, it's just gone. Furthermore, Lightning immunity, one of the biggest problems that face most damage-focused Sorcerers, gets reduced to half-level Resistance instead. Brilliant!
    16th Level Feature (Lightning Field): This is hilariously easy to exploit. Slide enemies adjacent to you with Lightning powers, wade into the battlefield, be utterly annoying. This is the second way of dealing buttloads of damage all across the field, and it's glorious.

    11th Level Encounter Power (Furious Bolts): Hey, look, it's Chaos Bolt, except every hit makes another attack, it's Lightning damage, and you get a potentially humongous boost to your next attack roll. This is super cool.
    12th Level Daily Utility (Lightning in the Blood): All of your Lightning powers add a full die to their damage rolls for the rest of the encounter. They don't grow a die size, they become one die more (so 2d8 becomes 3d8, 1d10 becomes 2d10, 1d4 becomes 2d4, etc). Sold.
    20th Level Daily Power (Bolt of Power): This power would be rather mediocre if it wasn't for the existence of Maiden's Waking and Superior Will. With those two safeguards in play, spreading the ongoing Lightning damage carries no danger. Missing will ruin your day, but really, when this power is the worst part of the path and it's still awesome, why beg for more?

    Luckbender (D385) - Wild
    Strategy: Wild Soul efficiency, Critical hits
    Overall Rating: Blue. While it doesn't really do enough to fix the Wild Soul resistance feature, it gives it a valiant shot, plus the latter feature does save you a feat five levels early and invalidates Strength completely for you. That's something, I guess.

    11th Level Feature (Chaos Soul): You either get your first resistance, or you can roll for a replacement. You don't roll two and take either result, which is a major downer. It still gives you about an 18% chance of getting the one you want instead of a 10% chance, so that's an improvement. Or something.
    11th Level Feature (Luckbender's Action): So, you have a 50/50 shot at regaining the use of your lowest level Encounter power, huh? You do have some very enticing Encounter powers in your level 1 and 3 lists...
    16th Level Feature (Lucky Number): Oddly thematic, and incredibly good for your damage. Everyone loves an unnatural crit range, especially when you don't need to be at Epic Tier for it.

    11th Level Encounter Power (Fortunate Turn of Events): Either get Sorcerous Blade Channeling or Staff Expertise, depending on your implement of choice and how close you are to the target, so that you don't suddenly provoke opportunity attacks. A nice touch is that it also attacks all enemies around the original target, which makes this a rather decent little pseudo-AOE that rides off of your Immediate action.
    12th Level Daily Utility (Even the Odds): Light Blue only because you can't guarantee you'll get full use out of such a Daily, but the potential to affect practically any d20 roll ever made, and either enable or deny that roll's success or failure, is fantastic.
    20th Level Daily (Just Not Their Day): The damage has the potential to match the damage of the best diced power in the game for Sorcerers (6d10 from level 29's Necrotic Storm), but the Control it fronts forth isn't all that special. Still, it's something competent to pull out in solos.

    Primordial Channeler (AP) - Wild
    Strategy: Wild Soul efficiency, Debuffing
    Overall Rating: Light Blue. It finally gives a purpose to the Wild Soul feature besides resistances that may never come up, and the powers and other features range from decent to pretty darn good. You need to have a way to roll more than once on the table for it to be of any use, though.

    11th Level Feature (Primordial Manifestation): The engine that runs this path. If your Soul is currently giving you Resistance to any of four damage types, you add debuffs to all of your powers. My favorite is the Fire benefit, which hands out ongoing Fire damage to every target hit by your attacks. This doesn't depend on an action point - it just happens. Excellent (though the Thunder benefit sort of blows).
    11th Level Feature (Primordial Action): An action point feature that's better than Lightning Fury's? Heresy!!
    16th Level Feature (Overwhelming Elements): Keep in mind this feature does not depend on what damage types you inflict on the enemies you attack. All of their resistances are debuffed with any attack you throw at them. Could be helpful for your allies if they're having problems with their damage types not going through.

    11th Level Encounter Power (Primordial Rage): Some solid side benefits, but it's only on a single target power, and really needs to be combined with your first feature's current debuff properly for it to work.
    12th Level Daily Utility (Primordial Boon): I like to this of this power as having a can of bugspray on you while going on a road trip. Are you going to be encountering mosquitoes every 5 minutes? Hell no, but if you're going to be, you have something on standby. Here, it's a huge source of elemental resistance that covers four damage types.
    20th Level Daily (Primordial Rift): It's incredibly rare - in fact, I think only the Wild Sorcerer PPs have this trait - to see a Range consisting of a dice roll. With Resounding Thunder, this can become a Close blast 13, and considering its friendly nature and how it hands out no-save Stuns (and whatever the hell your Primordial Manifestation is doing as well), it follows the tradition of most Sorcerer PP level 20 dailies in being potentially devestating. Sure, you'll sadface when it's a close blast 2, but the secondary benefit is worth it, as it adds another Resistance from your Soul table. You can combo this with Primordial Manifestation if you roll right to gain two benefits on all of your powers. I actually feel like this might be my favorite path of all the Sorcerer PPs, just for how cool this path is, both flavor- and mechanicwise.

    Wild Mage (PHB2) - Wild
    Strategy: General DPR
    Overall Rating: Black. I really do hope you like rolling dice, because this Path practically demands that you marry your d20s and d6s. The powers are quite nice, but the features are either dangerous or very underwhelming.

    11th Level Feature (Chaos Action): You roll a d6 whenever you spend an action point to gain one of six random benefits. They're all nice on paper, but depending on how you're positioned (or just if you rolled a 3), they could be incredibly useless.
    11th Level Feature (Wild Surge): You will prize every moment that you roll a 4 or 6 on this table, but the other four "benefits" are all detrimental to you and consist of way too many risks and caveats to be reliable. You want to pull this out when you're absolutely desperate for something to happen besides more 1s.
    16th Level Feature (Critical Surge): Congratulations, you gain a DPR bonus of 0.5 per target.

    11th Level Encounter Power (Tempest Surge): To have to pick the origin square before determining the size, while also having to determine how many squares you can exclude from a potential Burst 4, creates way too many conditionalities to make this power reliable in any sense.
    12th Level Daily Utility (Torrent of Power): This is probably what you signed up for. It's the Vorpal weapon enchantment, except it applies to all of your powers ever. Again, I hope you're a fan of rolling and rerolling dice, because considering how much you roll for some of your powers, you may be here awhile.
    20th Level Daily (Prismatic Bolt): Hey, it's a Prismatic daily again! It's single target, which is regretable, but check out what snuck into the riders: rolling a six gives you a dominated (save ends). Remember that you roll for effects even if you miss, so you might be able to pull a whopper out of your ass.

  9. #9
    Originally posted by DuelistDelSol:

    Other Arcane Paths

    Academy Master (D374) - No Ability Score Devotion
    Strategy: At-Will and Encounter Optimization
    Overall Rating:
    Light Blue. This path honestly doesn't do too much. What it mostly does is buff your At-Wills in terms of damage and efficiency of use. But quite honestly, what else do you want? You're a Striker. Damage is what you do.

    11th Level Feature (Arcane Underpinning): Your Arcana score is going to be woefully low even with this nominal boost, but at least it's something helpful. The secondary accuracy boost, however, is much more welcome.
    11th Level Feature (Educated Action): Since you're more focused on AOEs than you are single-target attacks, depending on how many get caught up in your attacks this may not trigger a reroll on the creature you want to hit, but it won't exactly go to waste (since it waits the entire turn for one missed attack roll to come up).
    16th Level Feature (Fundamental Mastery): The bread and butter of the path, giving you a great boost to At-Will damage. This makes Burning Spray even more valuable than it is, and Blazing Starfall a near must-have.

    11th Level Encounter Power (Learned Boost): A cool boost to damage (though using it on Blazing Starfall will only add 2d4 damage). It also is Reliable, so if you do miss everyone with your attack, you don't waste Learned Boost; thus it won't be useless. Excellent!
    12th Level Encounter Utility (Refined Recall): Most of your Encounter powers tend to be minor echoes of your dailies - you've got plenty of AOEs and multitarget powers nestled in there that you'd rather not see go to waste. Here's a handy way to get them back.
    20th Level Daily Power (Master's Surge): In my Warlock guide, I rated this Gold due to just how insanely good some Warlock powers could become if upgraded to save-ends. However, this is not the same for you - how your ability scores work and what implements you prize make making save-ends effects work for you a hassle. On top of which, your Control just is not at the level of the Warlock. However, you work with AOEs, making adding two dice to the damage much more of a valuable asset. All in all, still a great power.

    Master Preserver (DSCS) - No Ability Score Devotion
    Strategy: Off-Leader
    Overall Rating:
    You're a Striker first and foremost, and these features and powers do rather little to accentuate your role. That being said, there is some very strong Leadership powers and features that do not conflict with what you do, and even tops out with a very solid Daily. A surprisingly good pick.

    11th Level Feature (Blessing of the Land): Oh no, you can't use Arcane Defiling anymore! How... tragic... I guess. And three skill bonuses to skills you still won't be good in. Huh.
    11th Level Feature (Master Preserver's Action): A slightly tweaked version of Academy Master's AP feature, in which you reroll any attack or damage roll you made with the Arcane power you used your Action Point for. Honestly, this is a much better version, as even if you hit everything, you can give yourself a shot at scoring a critical hit, or salvaging those horrible strings of 1s you got on your damage dice.
    16th Level Feature (Surging Vitality): The problem with this is that you just will not be spending Healing Surges that often, especially if you don't wade into the front lines. You don't want to tax your Leader all that much. However, perhaps with this benefit, your Leader might think about prioritizing healing you, especially if they're a Shaman (in which they'll very much appreciate your contribution aiding their secondary heal). Plus, you'll be doing it at least once per encounter with your 11E. Not to mention the accuracy-boosting side benefit of doing so.

    11th Level Encounter Power (Vital Spell): Instead of adding dice, you're just doing 1d10 extra damage, which is slightly better than Academy Master's power for Blazing Starfall, but it's not Reliable, so it can go to waste. However, should you hit, you get a fantastic benefit in being able to grant pretty much anyone on the board that's friendly to you the ability to spend a healing surge, which will either fuel Surging Vitality or just patch someone else up.
    12th Level Encounter Utility (Life Shield): Even as a Striker, there's no real reason to say No to what's basically a stronger version of the Swordmage utility Channeling Shield.
    20th Level Daily (Light of the Lost Sun): A friendly CB5 that attacks Will and even does Radiant damage is splendid enough; however, your allies will enjoy drinking in the fantastic damage-boosting and healing aura that you present.

    Master of Flame (D388) - Intelligence
    Strategy: Fire DPR
    Overall Rating: Black. There's no doubt that there's some powerful elements stored within this path - permanent expansion of Fire powers being one of them. However, there's no escaping the fact that this path just was not meant for you, with the heavy focus towards your Intelligence score. If you have a 14 or so in the stat, the features will come into full view, but the powers won't do anything for you: Reserve Maneuver bait on the 11E at the very least.

    11th Level Feature (Combustive Action): Quite a cool little AP benefit for Skirmisher types, of whom will most likely be Fire-based anyway. It's also a surprisingly substantial amount of damage.
    11th Level Feature (Critical Conflagration): What saves this most is that it's ongoing damage equal to TWICE your Intelligence modifier - merely a 14 INT will add ongoing 4 fire damage to your powers when you crit, which certainly isn't anything like Demonskin Adept's crit feature, but will work for you, especially if you have anything that works off of having ongoing damage (Tieflings?)
    16th Level Feature (Swath of Destruction): This is what you came for, however. All of your Fire bursts and blasts become one size larger, and it just so happens that your two AOE At-Wills have the Fire keyword! Happy days! Oh yea, and your Fire-typed encounters and dailies get this as well.

    11th Level Encounter Power (Fanning the Flames): An Intelligence-based attack that can only attack an enemy at the outset that's taking ongoing Fire damage. No. You have better choices amongst your own powers, so take Reserve Maneuver.
    12th Level Daily Utility (Burning Transformation): A Weapon of Summer is almost required for this power, otherwise your non-Fire powers will not function. If you can wing it, however, you gain a gigantic bonus to damage rolls on Fire attacks, insubstantiality, a minor-action Shift, and even a damage shield! It isn't a damage roll, however, and requires your Intelligence score to not be derpy, but it's workable.
    20th Level Daily Power (Furious Immolation): The zone it leaves behind is quite fierce, but every single attack you make through this power requires Intelligence, and the fact of the matter is, barring very lucky rolls on the dice, you just will not hit anything with this power, or damage it in any decent fashion.

    Speaker of Xaos (Essentials: HoEC) - No Ability Score Devotion
    Strategy: Elemental DPR
    Overall Rating:
    Light Blue.
    You have even more use of these features than your Warlock cousins do, due to your propensity for multitargeting attacks. In that regard, the first 11th level feature will come through for you in flying colors. The rest of the path helps you out in other respects, but man, there's something to be said for a path feature that bests Arcane Wellspring's.

    11th Level Feature (Xaos Action): Very rarely is the Action Point feature one of a path's strongest features. You take what was great about Arcane Wellspring's Action Point feature, and make it part of a fully-usable attack (instead of augmenting an attack already in progress), not limiting it to single-target powers, and even giving you an option to expand your bursts or blasts! Keep in mind this only works for four damage types, so pick your powers wisely, because this is an incredibly powerful feature to build yourself around.
    11th Level Feature (Xaos Lore): Another thing about this path is that, considering the book it came from, it has debuffs for, and buffs against, Elemental creatures. One problem though - how can you guarantee you'll be facing Elemental monsters? It's a pretty darn nice feature, but may never come up in your character's lifetime.
    16th Level Feature (Power of Xaos): Brutal 1! It's only for Cold, Fire, Lightning, and Thunder powers, but it's there, and could help you push your powers past that final edge you need to kill an enemy a turn earlier than you might have.

    11th Level Encounter Power (Elemental Durance): As a free action, you can add a monstrous amount of damage (though it's not an Arcane power) to a power that fits the four damage types mentioned above should it disrespect some easily-triggered soft control. Use that slight push to your advantage.
    12th Level Encounter Power (Repel Elements): Another Elemental-centric part of the path, this time giving you a one-turn aura that prevents Elemental creatures from moving next to you, and giving yourself and your allies bonuses to defenses against certain typed damages or Elemental attacks in general. Once more, will this come up in your campaign?
    20th Level Daily Power (Elemental Chains):In case your power just wasn't devastating enough, and you can afford to drop a Daily to add some control, subject everyone you targeted to either immobilization or restrained + ongoing 15 damage! This fits under the same issues as your Chromatic dailies, where most of the powers you want to use this on just aren't that friendly, and the riders you add will not make your allies happy if they're subjected to it, so be extra cautious when and how you use this.
    Epic Destinies

    Due to... ahem... slightly better organization skills, I will be talking about Epic Destinies this time! I won't go over a ton of them, mainly the ones I think are notable in some fashion, but I will get to as many as I can.

    Archspell (AP)
    Overall Rating: Black. The lack of ability score boosts and too much focus on amping up one power really does hurt this destiny a lot. However, there are some interesting little possibilities once you climb up to 26th Level...

    21st Level Feature (Signature Spell (Archspell)): This fuels pretty much the entire path, but doesn't quite come into play yet. It's a handy boost to a daily you possess, but it's not exactly anything to shout about, and of course, will only come up once a day.
    24th Level Feature (Returning Spell): Should you die, once per day you... pop right back up at half health next go-around. Well, that's boring. Power recovery, of course, is always welcome, especially when it's right when you need it.
    26th Level Encounter Utility (Channel the Signature): Oh, badly worded powers, how I love thee. Especially once you hit 30th Level, just throw out your Signature Spell, then pop this baby for a permanent source of Resist All that'll stack with your native Soul resistances. Woops.
    30th Level Feature (Living Spell): So yea. Prismatic Storm as an Encounter power. Wyrm Form as an Encounter power. Blizzard as an Encounter power. Did you MC Swordmage and grab Quicksilver Blade? What about Warlock dailies? Master's Surge? Lightning Daggers? The possibilities are endless... and hilarious.

    Avangion (DSCS)
    Overall Rating:
    Light Blue.
    You become Arcane Jesus. Really. Oh, also something about adding Radiant damage to everything you ever do ever, but really, that DU26.

    21st Level Feature (Avatar of Preservation): You can't use Arcane Defiling. Oh, what a loss. Instead, have a great bonus to death saving throws (about a +4 or +5 if you're lucky), on top of not aging. I think that's a fair trade, don't you think?
    21th Level Feature (Perfection of Mind): It's kind of a shame you have to pick amongst all the mental skills, since the secondary skill just won't do anything. Strength Sorcerers will already have a good DEX due to wanting feats based off of the stat, so raising INT won't improve their Reflex, and Wisdom clashes with Charisma. Still, it's a Charisma boost, so you can't say no there.
    24th Level Feature (Avangion Transformation): Automatic flight. Automatic low-light vision. Also, you understand every language. Oh, and every single attack you ever wanted to do now does Radiant damage on top of what it already did. Be the arcanist you boasted about becoming.
    26th Level Daily Utility (Wings of Gold): As long as you can dart around the board with a semblance of effort, and as long as you're not getting yourself in trouble, no one in your party is going to die, period. You basically present the Jesus Aura of making saving throws against anything, healing without healing surges on bloodied and dying allies, and on top of which, undead are now vulnerable to everything. I don't even.
    30th Level Feature (Avangion Rising): The worst part of this path. And that's saying something. It's a very strong feature, since you can now tspend surges for other people... but wait, that's right: your bank of healing surges is rather low! Also, it uses your healing surge value instead of theirs, though it does give a little bit of push in adding your Charisma modifier to that as well. Don't fret, though - even if you don't care much about this feature, just look at literally everything you got beforehand.

    Avatar of Io (PH Races: Dragonborn) - Dragonborn
    Overall Rating:
    This destiny relies on you having something to recover your Breath, instead of having it belch out and then be gone for the rest of the encounter. It's got some awesome little perks, but nothing spectacular.

    21st Level Feature (Breath Mastery): What's important here is the fact that your Breath now amps up similarly typed powers that you have. What's even more important is that you need to somehow get this to trigger more than once - otherwise, it's a perk that's akin to some Paragon Path features. The resistances won't matter too much, as you already have a native way to pierce, and otherwise you can just modulate your breath to avoid it.
    21st Level Feature (Draconic Incarnation): A straight boost to CHA and STR, no choice. 99% of Dragonborn Sorcerers are going to be either Dragon Sorcerers or Cosmic Sorcerers anyway, so this is obviously better for them.
    24th Level Feature (Wings of Io): A fly speed of 8 + hover is cool, and might help you choose other utilities and powers. However, a lot of those powers, especially ones Dragon Sorcerers tend to favor, carry awesome side benefits, and so this might go to waste.
    26th Level Encounter Utility (Divine Resistance): Save-ends effects tend to be incredibly nasty at this stage of the game; gaining an Encounter based insurance against that is much welcomed.
    30th Level Feature (Divine Discorporation): Helps fit with the god motif, though having to wait for you to die and then having to wait for you to succeed on a saving throw may put you out of the action too long to save your friends. Also, you pop back at a quarter of your health plus CON modifier, which is a tad low. It's not exactly a bad capstone feature, though it does come kind of late, all things considered.

    Avatar of Storm (Divine Power)
    Overall Rating: Black. This requires a feat called "Storm Sacrifice", which you cannot get at the outset: it's the Domain-centric Channel Divinity feat for the Storm Domain; thus, you need to be worshipping a Storm deity, somehow gain the Channel Divinity class feature, and finally take the feat mentioned. It's a million hoops to go through, but what you get is one of the best benefits for Storm Sorcerers in the entire game.)

    21st Level Feature (Strength of the Storm): While it sounds like this feature is utterly useless to you, gaining a bonus to Strength means you qualify for Sorcerer Implement Expertise with a starting Strength score of 11. It's still disappointing, though...
    21st Level Feature (Stormhand): Your Lightning and Thunder powers now deal both types of damage, and most importantly, it possesses both keywords before attacks are declared. That means all of your Lightning AOEs are now expanded by Resounding Thunder, all of your Thunder powers benefit from Lightning Fury's features, and all of them qualify for the boosts gained via Oncoming Storm.
    24th Level Feature (Thundering Revival): Your Constitution score isn't going to be impressive, but that's still one hell of a way to wake up.
    26th Level Daily Utility (Gather the Storm): An aura of seperate Vulnerabilities to Lightning and Thunder will help you utterly destroy anything that dares end their turns too close to you.
    30th Level Feature (Windstrider): Rather late to be gaining a Fly speed, but I'm not complaining otherwise.

    Destined Scion (Essentials: HoFL)
    Overall Rating:
    Light Blue.
     This and its brother destiny, Indomitable Champion, are very no-nonsense destinies that do very few things, but those few things are everything you want out of an ED. This is the better of the two for you, but you can't go wrong with either of them, quite frankly.

    21st Level Feature (Epic Heroism): This echoes one of the classic features of an old favorite, Demigod - increasing your ability scores by two does wonders for a class that prizes both its primary and secondary stats.
    24th Level Feature (Epic Combatant): A no-frills boost to attack rolls and saving throws? As a Striker?! Yes, please!
    26th Level Utility Power (Epic Recovery): One overlooked part of this power is that you can wait on this one - it doesn't automatically trigger on your death. You still can pop it before you have to roll your death saving throw, of course; whenever you use it, you immediately heal half of your max hitpoints (plus a little topping off if you're a Dragonborn) and can immediately stand up to do your job once more!
    30th Level Utility Power (Undeniable Victory): No ifs, ands, or buts about it: once per day, you didn't miss that target with your power. Niiiice.

    Draconic Incarnation (D388)
    Overall Rating: Light Blue. If this wasn't meant to be a Sorcerer-themed path, I'll eat my shoes. Two seperate instances of you being able to turn into a dragon, some extra Daily powers to throw around when you hit 30, and even a static boost to Charisma!

    21st Level Feature (Ancient Resurgence): I'll give you a hint. Pick Charisma for your primary boost. Then DEX or STR for your secondary. Easy choices, and will give you bonuses on par with Demigod and Destined Scion.
    24th Level Feature (Spirit of the Dragon): So, when you die, you hulk out and become a Large dragon, with all of your powers and equipment intact. As we discussed back with the 29th Level dailies, increasing your size makes Close bursts that much more powerful, since they now cover a larger area of the board. Any auras you might have obtained do the same. Of course, this assumes you have any of these sort of powers left when you flatline, as you've probably thrown everything against the wall if it had to come to this. If you have any sort of power recovery, this matters little, however. No matter what, it's still insanely flavorful, and with it being insubstantial, by the time the combat's over, you should be back in relative shape.
    26th Level Daily Utility (Draconic Form): Yet another way to transform into a dragon, though this time you become HUGE. You also gain access to a devastating and yet completely friendly Cb5 At-Will while this power is running. On top of which, you gain a large fly speed and, surprisingly, a Reach increase as well!
    30th Level Feature (Ancient Arcanist): We round out this destiny with a kicker - you gain access to two 25th Level Arcane powers from any class, including your own. Of prime note are Bards and Warlocks, whom share the same attack score as you do. What you may also find interesting is the Swordmage stance from level 25, Quicksilver Blade: this with Ensorceled Blade gives you a Minor Action Arcane At-Will, which makes your DPR rocket skyward.

    Prince of Hell (D372)
    Overall Rating: Black. You need to be devoted to dealing Fire damage in order to get the most of this path. It does give further justification to having Master of Flame as a Paragon Path, which is always spiffy, but lacks a resurrection feature, which sounds incredibly odd for a path deemed around being a devil and resisting the call of Hell. Oh well.

    21st Level Feature (Infernal Form): Boost your Charisma, and give yourself Darkvision and a humongous Resist Fire amount. Awesome.
    24th Level Feature (Hellfire Master): This was what I was talking about in the summary blurb. It essentially adds the Fire keyword to an Encounter power of your choice, and by proxy allows it to pierce all resistances due to the primary benefit of this feature. However, a problem comes up whereby this isn't taken advantage of natively by the Epic Destiny - you're left to build upon this, so don't just take it for granted. Plan for this ahead of time.
    26th Level Daily Utility (Infernal Allies): While they all act on one Free Action of yours, Legion Devils are minions. All the buffing they get from being your pets is a nominal boost to attack rolls, and otherwise become less and less useful as you climb the ranks, as they never scale. It's especially not worth spending a Standard Action to do this, when you could be doing the damage they'd put out on just doing your normal job.
    30th Level Feature (Brimstone Step): A teleport speed (thus buffable by both speed boosts and teleport boosts) with autodamage attached is exactly what you want, especially as a Skirmisher Sorcerer. A shame you have to wait this long to get it...

    Storm Sovereign (D372)
    Overall Rating: Black. The main thing you'll want from this path is the capstone feature; nothing else really screams "awesome."

    21st Level Feature (Stormborn): Gain a bonus to a score you don't necessarily care about, and basically add half your level to your Storm Resistance. Better if you're not a Storm Sorcerer, though I question why you're taking this destiny if you're not.
    24th Level Feature (Thunder and Lightning): You have to wait to die to get this feature, but it is a very solid revivication feature, giving you a huge aura of autodamage and sliding. A bit unfair that you can't use Dailies, though considering if the encounter took you down this far, you've probably thrown everything you got at Team Monster anyway.
    26th Level Daily Utility (Scion of Chaos): Huh. Here's something funky to pull out of thin air: turn an attack against you into a critical hit against someone else in burst range. The new target must be in the original attack's range and within the burst, but that's still kind of awesome.
    30th Level Feature (Cyclone's Master): Of course, this is the level you pretty much get everything you wanted from this path. A flight speed with hover, and everyone loses their resistances to thunder and lightning (but if you're a Lightning Fury, you pretty much had this anyway). The most important thing, however, is that you can now deal Lightning or Thunder damage with all of your powers. Keep in mind this happens too late for Resounding Thunder to come into play, but being able to deal on-demand Lightning damage is huge for Lightning Furies.

    Sublime Flame (Eberron)
    (You must have also Multiclassed into a Divine class to qualify for this, while also having The Silver Flame as your deity of choice.) 
    Overall Rating: Black. This is another one of those Epic Destinies that's pretty much only notable for its capstone feature. The rest of the features aren't anything to yell about and you don't get ability score boosts, but it's the 30th level feature that really does sell it hardcore.

    21st Level Feature (Chosen of the Flame): Especially with Cosmic Sorcerers, Radiant is actually a pretty decent damage type on your dailies, if not Fire. Two uses of a chosen daily of those types every day is very cool, and you've got good options (Blackfire Serpent hype!)
    24th Level Feature (Argent Vessel): Not super impressed. It's your revivication feature, but it waits until your next turn, and it only affects those around you, both the damage and healing element. Pretty hilarious against undead, though.
    26th Level Daily Utility (Silver Flame's Embrace): In response to being bloodied, you enter what's very rare for Sorcerers: a stance! +2 to defenses and saving throws is a very nice starting point, and then a 50% chance of them being blinded when you get hit with a melee attack is icing on the cake. Not too bad for Skirmishers.
    30th Level Daily Utility (Wrath of Silver Flame): All your Fire powers deal 2d6 extra Radiant damage. All your Radiant powers deal 2d6 extra Fire damage. So why is this so good? To say nothing of the buff it gives to Blackfire Serpent and its ilk... it is one of the best damage boosts to Blazing Starfall you can find. Suddenly you throw on 4d6 damage to that power, giving it a tremendous buff and finally making it a power to fear alongside your innate damage modifiers. Furthermore, your Fire powers are now going to wipe Undead off the map, and your Radiant powers get a little bit of a neat boost with strong support. Admixture Fire onto your favorite Radiant power, and you'll be good to go, with one of the most simple, yet coolest capstones Sorcerers can get.

  10. #10
    Originally posted by DuelistDelSol:

    Essentials: The Elementalist

    As an alternative to the PHB2 Sorcerer, you can create an Elementalist (Essentials: HoEC), which is quite radically different from the base Sorcerer. Instead of Encounter or Daily powers, they have a bank of at-wills dependant on the Element (Air/Water/Fire/Earth) they favor. What this tends to do is give the class more of a "grenade launcher" style, where you are encouraged to waylay bursts and blasts everywhere with little regard to strategy or Controlling. There's still some element of Control amongst the Encounter "attacks" you do get, but we'll get into those later.

    The guide is going to be formatted as a guide independant of the Sorcerer's, though the item and feat list will apply to both of them.

    Elementalist Class Features

    1st Level Feature (Elemental Bolt): Congratulations - you gain the strongest Ranged Basic Attack in the game. Your other features will fuel this puppy up, making this a surprisingly nice single target power to pull out when you only have one enemy left on the board.

    1st Level Feature (Elemental Magic): This is one of the biggest differences between the PHB2 Sorcerer and this class. Your extra damage bonus feature (and your light-armored AC) does not care about your Dexterity or Strength score anymore; instead, it depends entirely on Constitution. This means several things - Half-Elves and Tieflings now become far and away the best races for this class, as the former's utter freedom in picking Warlock At-Wills and the latter's ability to buff Fire powers ridiculously high make them insanely good Elementalists. It also means a lot of the CON-based races get a bit of a boost, especially Dwarves. Dragonborn, of course, are still a brilliant choice. Speaking of that extra damage feature, it is humongous, becoming 0/2/5/8+CON instead of 0/2/4+STR or 0/2/4+DEX. Seeing as how you use At-Wills for everything, it's more of a replacement for those powers' extra damage, but it's still incredibly cool.

    1st Level Feature (Elemental Specialty): This is what makes you an Elementalist, firmly setting you apart from the Sorcerer. The four elemental choices will be described below.

    Air Elementalist
    Attack Power: You gain either Howling Zephyr or Static Charge.

    • Howling Zephyr: An unfriendly CB1 that deals Thunder damage and slides. A tad hard to use effectively, since you need to position yourself in such a way where you don't smack any of your allies while also making yourself a veritible tornado. This power, however, becomes amazing at Paragon when Resounding Thunder comes into play, becoming even better than the Swordmage Sword Burst - and you have to admixture Thunder onto that one to make that work. Positioning issues still exist, but the extra reach makes you a much better Skirmisher.
    • Static Charge: This one, however, is definitely the much more powerful option at Heroic. It's a friendly Cb3 that deals Lightning damage, and every single target of that power feeds your primary stat as damage to another enemy adjacent to it. You can focus-fire on an enemy in the center of the blast if you so desire, dealing extreme damage to him while still dealing respectable damage to everybody else in the blast. If you have access to Dragonmarks, get Mark of Storm to add some extra Control to this power. You certainly won't regret it come Paragon...

    Enhanced Elemental Bolt: Your Bolt now deals Lightning damage and inflicts Vulnerability 3 to your own Elemental attacks. Kind of a pigeonholed benefit, and depending on the board's composition, you may not be able to take advantage of this. It's certainly not bad, but a little bit disappointing.

    Elemental Escalation: Add a target within range, or adjacent to the burst or blast you create, before making attack rolls with a Sorcerer At-Will power. This in itself is damn skippy, as, especially with the bursts and blasts you favor, you can make some interestingly shaped carpets of damage, and essentially will give you more freedom as to where to place bursts.

    • 1st Level: Deal 1d10 extra damage, and... you fly half your speed. That's really not impressive. The extra damage is definitely welcome, don't get me wrong, but you then have to wait 16 levels for something substantial to happen.
    • 17th Level: Deal 2d10 extra damage, and in addition to the flight, inflict a mass slide. Aw yea, that's much better. Reposition everyone you hit into a better position to bomb the hell out of them next turn, perhaps?
    • 27th Level: Deal 3d10 extra damage, and add the blinding effect. At this level, you'll have four uses of this power. A four-use AOE slide+blind is some extreme debuffing the likes of which your parent class really could never match.

    Earth Elementalist
    Attack Power: You gain either Erupting Earth or Seismic Shock.

    • Erupting Earth: Well, look at that. We already have an Area Burst that's better than Blazing Starfall. One thing you'll notice about these powers is that they don't have levels, which is regretable - pretty much all of these powers would be amazing in a Sorcerer's hands, but luckily for you, they're solely yours to keep. While it doesn't deal that much more damage, what it also does is place down a carpet of difficult terrain as an Effect. Terrain Advantage pretty much is required here, since it's an easily applied source of Combat Advantage for you now.
    • Seismic Shock: Another unfriendly CB1 Thunder power that forces everyone hit to grant combat advantage. To get the most of this power, you have to center yourself on a point where your allies are also going to be attacking, and also make sure that they can't really get Combat Advantage any other way. You automatically get it for yourself, of course, but the Leader-like benefit of it doesn't quite work for anyone else, considering how easy CA is to get nowadays. To be fair, it does give you a close range option in case your two other Ranged options aren't optimal.

    Enhanced Elemental Bolt: Your Bolt now deals Acid damage and slows. Hello, Ray of Frost, glad you could join us. In any case, it is nice to gain some competent control with a Ranged power.

    Elemental Escalation: Add a target within range, or adjacent to the burst or blast you create, before making attack rolls with a Sorcerer At-Will power. This in itself is damn skippy, as, especially with the bursts and blasts you favor, you can make some interestingly shaped carpets of damage, and essentially will give you more freedom as to where to place bursts.

    • 1st Level: Deal 1d10 extra damage. And then, in a very odd change of pace, you gain temporary hitpoints. You only need to hit once with the power you selected to make this work, turning you into an off-Defender. Your powers being Controller- and Leader-based to begin with, you seem to be pretty much dipping into all sorts of roles here.
    • 17th Level: Deal 2d10 extra damage, and in addition to the temps, immobilize everything. That'll work.
    • 27th Level: Deal 3d10 extra damage, and you gain an amazing amount of Resist All. Rest assured you'll be incredibly difficult to knock off the board.

    Fire Elementalist
    Attack Power: You gain either Blazing Cloud or Ignition.

    • Blazing Cloud: CB1 Fire, and what basically amounts to automatically equipping a Heavy Shield for a turn. I can get behind this, especially since you're still stuck in Cloth for the most part, and you won't have a good Reflex score without this.
    • Ignition: And to truely make Blazing Starfall obsolete, not only do we have an AOE that deals substantially more damage, but also provides the same area of autodamage. Unfortunately, it doesn't punish anyone that starts their turn inside and then leaves, so you can't make a cage on the board, but it's still a cool source of autodamage should you be able to target correctly.

    Enhanced Elemental Bolt: Your Bolt now deals fire damage, and does 1d6 extra damage. An RBA that does 1d12+1d6+CON+0/2/5/8+CHA will definitely make your Warlord giddy with excitement, and if you're a Tiefling with the right feats, this power becomes incredibly deadly.

    Elemental Escalation: Add a target within range, or adjacent to the burst or blast you create, before making attack rolls with a Sorcerer At-Will power. This in itself is damn skippy, as, especially with the bursts and blasts you favor, you can make some interestingly shaped carpets of damage, and essentially will give you more freedom as to where to place bursts.

    • 1st Level: Deal 1d10 extra damage, and execute a small shift. This is beautiful for any of your Close bursts, since you can very easily reposition yourself, but if you favor long-range AOEs, this is much less important.
    • 17th Level: Deal 2d10 extra damage, and ongoing 10 fire damage. Yea, this is a Striker's path all right: nothing but damage and mobility. That is a lot of ongoing damage to spread around...
    • 27th Level: Deal 3d10 extra damage, and add a Miss effect of half damage to your At-Will. Now you'll really want to be careful where you place your burst before throwing this out there, because even with a -10 to attack rolls on your allies (War Wizard's Expertise + War Wizardry), you'll still deal a large amount of damage to people you really don't want to touch.

    Water Elementalist
    Attack Power: You gain either Deluge or Ice Prison.

    • Deluge: An unfriendly Cb3 that just pushes and doesn't deal typed damage. Very disappointing.
    • Ice Prison: Hey, this power is typed! And it has much better Control! The better of the two powers, far and away. Just wait until you get more At-Wills to get your blast - you won't really regret not having Deluge.

    Enhanced Elemental Bolt: Your Bolt now deals Cold damage, and has an incredibly awesome side effect for you: every creature (not just every enemy) adjacent to the target is slid one square. How your powers work allows you to make misshapen bursts and blasts, so take that into account and slide everyone around as you wish. To emphasize, this does work on allies, making you a decent sub-Leader in that regard.

    Elemental Escalation: Add a target within range, or adjacent to the burst or blast you create, before making attack rolls with a Sorcerer At-Will power. This in itself is damn skippy, as, especially with the bursts and blasts you favor, you can make some interestingly shaped carpets of damage, and essentially will give you more freedom as to where to place bursts.

    • 1st Level: Deal 1d10 extra damage, and gain a nice bonus to all of your defenses. Keep in mind that it and the Fire Elementalist's Blazing Cloud power both give Power bonuses, so they won't stack, but this is still an excellent basic bonus.
    • 17th Level: Deal 2d10 extra damage, and add dazed. Dazed+slowed is a lethal cocktail of effects to apply on a bunch of targets at range, giving you the opportunity to bunch everyone up again and blast them all to smithereens with ease. It works well with pretty much all of your powers, of course, but the obvious opportunity is there.
    • 27th Level: Turns out I was reading the powers wrong when I first made this guide. You add the prone state to the daze and slow conditions, which will prevent charges. This is pretty much the ultimate lockdown, and to do this four times per encounter with all of your targets is ludicrous.

    3rd Level Feature (Escalating Elements): You gain an additional use of your Elemental Escalation power, on top of additional uses at 7th and 13th levels. You'll appreciate being able to apply some of these effects four times in one encounter, especially as most fights don't last more than three or four rounds anyway.

    5th Level Feature (Elemental Soul): Depending on your Element of choice, you finally gain your Resistance feature. Air Elementalists get Resist 10 Lightning, Earth Elementalists gain Resist 10 Acid, Fire Elementalists get (surprise) Resist 10 Fire, and Water Elementalists get Resist 10 Cold. Unfortunately, you do not pierce these resistances on other enemies, which makes absolutely no sense. For a class built entirely around dealing typed damage, this is a massive oversight. Also, my biggest apologies to Tiefling Fire Elementalists, who get pretty much nothing here.

    9th Level Feature (Elemental Versatility): Part of your Elemental Magic feature, you gain another At-Will Sorcerer power of your choice, and this time you have the entire list from both the Elementalist list and the PHB2 list. You can now finally take Ensorceled Blade if you've been lusting after that power for awhile (though keep in mind the secondary effect doesn't work; it just basically gives you an Arcane MBA), and Burning Spray is as good as ever if you want a Fire-based blast. Unfortunately, Blazing Starfall has been demoted, as aside from its doing Radiant damage, it's been outclassed by all of your other Area bursts. None of the other PHB2 powers are worth consideration.

    11th Level Paragon Path (Elemental Savant): Described below.
    Elemental Savant
    Strategy: At-Will Optimization
    Overall Rating:
    Since you don't gain Encounter or Daily powers, this serves to give you some very lackluster features in place of it. The attack roll bonus is welcome, but replicated by similar paths.

    11th Level Feature (Elementalist Action): The damage bonus sounds huge, but half your level isn't that big of an amount. It won't go to waste, of course, and it does add up to fifteen damage at endgame, but man...
    11th Level Feature (Savant Focus): You gain a bonus to attack rolls on one power. One power. It's a power you'll like using, sure, but blech.
    11th Level Feature (Savant Power): In place of an 11th Level Encounter Power, you instead get another Sorcerer At-Will. Having four At-Will attacks before you normally would is certainly handy, but how many At-Wills do you honestly need after that?
    16th Level Feature (Confer Protection): Everyone cluster around you so that everyone gets Resists! And then everyone explodes due to being targeted by AOEs. Pessimism aside, this is still a good feature, as handing out Resistances is something your Sorcerer cousin could only really do with utilities.
    20th Level Feature (Elemental Nature): And in place of a daily power, you instead get a second use of a Utility power that's useless in combat and a small bonus to saving throws against Dazed or Stunned. I like the latter benefit, especially combined with Superior Will, but this has to come at the lack of a proper Daily power? What a disappointment.

    12th Level Daily Utility (Elemental Form): Flavorful? Oh definitely. The side benefits look lovely, and it seems like this is a cool thing to break out. Then you look closer: you cannot take Standard Actions. Um... you're a Striker. Your entire class is built around using Standard Actions to blow the crap out of things. To use this for anything but scouting ahead would be asinine.

    Alternative Paragon Paths
    So, you ask, what alternatives do I have? That's a good question.

    Air Elementalists can happily disregard this path entirely, because as long as they have access to Eberron Dragonmarks, Lyrandar Wind Rider is freaking amazing. A bonus to attack rolls with all of your Lightning and Thunder powers, plus a further bonus to damage rolls on them equal to your Constitution modifier(!) is leagues and bounds better than everything you could have gained from the path above.

    Fire Elementalists can take Master of Flame, if they so desire. Yes, the Intelligence thing is still an issue, but it gives you a very backwards benefit in being able to gain a PHB2 Sorcerer Encounter power when you take Reserve Maneuver. Could be spiffy. They can also Multiclass into Warlock and pick Hellbringer, which is a surprisingly good option for those with attack-caliber Constitution; it does at least contain a daily that rivals Blizzard Mage's.

    Water Elementalists can also Multiclass Warlock, choosing Fey Pact instead of Infernal Pact with Pact Initiate, and take Long Night Scion.

    Everyone can, of course, take Academy Master, Blizzard Mage, Speaker of Xaos, or Demonskin Adept (don't leave home without your Robe of Eyes!) just fine as well. Don't worry, gents; you've got options.

    15th Level Feature (Elemental Soul): You now gain a bonus to saving throws against ongoing damage that matches your original Soul's Resistance type. Well, alright then. Unless the ongoing damage has something else tied into it, you're probably not going to care anyway.

    19th Level Feature (Elemental Versatility): You repeat the process from 9th Level by giving yourself a fourth (or fifth or sixth) Sorcerer At-Will.

    25th Level Feature (Fly, Burrow, Teleport, Swim): Self-explanatory - it gives a benefit of that type to Air, Earth, Fire, and Water Elementalists respectively. Airs get to Fly half their speed as a move action; Earths have Tremorsense 5 and can burrow half their speed as a Move Action, something incredibly rare for Player characters to be able to do; Fires can just teleport everywhere now; and Water Elementalists can now swim and breathe underwater. While the Water Elementalist trait could be construed as a bit weak, none of them are exactly bad, and give you some neat mobility options to round out your career.

    25th Level Feature (Elemental Soul): You finally gain a second Element to resist. Every one of them for some reason has the choice of Thunder as a secondary, but if you don't want that, Airs can pick cold; Earths can pick fire; Fires can pick lightning; and Waters can pick acid. You still can't pierce anything, which I still find stupid.

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