Defenders that actually defend

Ro'Dal

First Post
I played a fighter up to 14th level. At that point almost every encounter or daily power either was an Area attack or a Healing power (except for the Dreadnought paragon power). Like others said Come and Get It is really that good. It provides a means to relocate a huge area of enemies to be adjacent, maximizing your damage and protecting allies. Additionally I was an Earth Genasi for the encounter racial power of Earthshock, which was a minor action prone attack. They had to either stand then shift and "lose" their turn or had to stay adjacent and take a swing. I was also a battlerager for those tiny bits of extra HP (We found the errata halfway through).

I was Multiclassed Cleric for Godsight (True sight for 5 squares), which helps immensely against things that cast darkness...stupid Close burst 1 enemies that you can see stuff :) Finally I was paragoned in Dreadnought so that I could escape most save end conditions so I could maintain my stickiness. Looking at divine power I guess you could also take the paragon feat Saving Grace to help others make saving throws as free actions...assuming "Save automatically" is the same as "Succeeding"

Finally I was coupled with a bard who increased my crit chance with a couple of powers. Which was good because I used Reckless weapon and Reckless Attack feat for using crit sploding as my damage. Also Agile Opportunist feat from PHBII let me get a free attack every time that the bard healed me (because he was sliding me). All in all we worked quite well. I kept them pinned down for typically 3 rounds and had a great chance to "explode" on my criticals because of how many rolls I made thanks to the AoEs.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Herschel

Adventurer
The defenders all do their thing in different ways. I love my Assault Swordmages, but they play far differently than a fighter. Where the fighter is more the classic "hold the line" character, I have a couple of swordmages that are the "fireman/coast guard diver" type with high mobility. The other day we faced a BBEG necromancer on a balcony flanked wide by a couple of artillery units and some big nasties at ground level. Double-move, Armathor's Step with an Action Point put me in the necromancer's face drawing his attacks while the party took care of the grunts down front. Other times, he'll mark one enemy and charge another, getting off multiple attacks. Other times he'll use Lightning Lure to pull a baddie, especially one with an aura, away from an allied character. Other times I may have a baddie marked and my ally may get surrounded I can Dimensional Warp and put myself in his place (which worked incredibly well against a pal engulfed by a Gelatinous Cube. Dimensional Warp, my ally gets attacked by a lesser enemy, free teleport out and an attack on the scrub)
 

Iron Sky

Procedurally Generated
Heh, this isn't exactly relevant to this thread, but I happened to be skimming it when I listened to my voicemail. My buddy is joining a new campaign and everyone made characters separately, then just brought them to their first session.

Turns out they ended up with a 12-person party including:
4 Paladins
2 Fighters
1 Swordmage
1 Warden

- and not one Leader.

Every encounter would end up being a marking competition that devolved into a bunch of 1v1s all over the place.
 

Obryn

Hero
I can tell you, from my side of the screen, my party's Defenders cause me a boatload of trouble.

I have two of them, and working together, they can tactically devastate many groups of enemies.

(1) The Shielding Swordmage's Aegis is, IMO, the very meanest thing a character can do at-will to an opponent that doesn't require an attack roll. And when he runs off and fights something else, it basically means a mostly-useless monster or a flurry of OA's.

(2) The Fighter is lockdown-man. He basically becomes the center of every combat - all the action happens right around him. He's pretty far from useless, IME, and does a wonderful job keeping our ranged folks safe.

-O
 

Saeviomagy

Adventurer
Heh, this isn't exactly relevant to this thread, but I happened to be skimming it when I listened to my voicemail. My buddy is joining a new campaign and everyone made characters separately, then just brought them to their first session.

Turns out they ended up with a 12-person party including:
4 Paladins
2 Fighters
1 Swordmage
1 Warden

- and not one Leader.

Every encounter would end up being a marking competition that devolved into a bunch of 1v1s all over the place.

That could be a really interesting or really boring group, depending on how tactically minded everyone is: The effectiveness of the group will almost entirely depend on how well they spread/focus damage and how well they can take advantage of retaliations.
 

interwyrm

First Post
That could be a really interesting or really boring group, depending on how tactically minded everyone is: The effectiveness of the group will almost entirely depend on how well they spread/focus damage and how well they can take advantage of retaliations.

I've always wanted to try a group composed primarily of mark and run assault swordmages.
 

Fedifensor

Explorer
I have two of them, and working together, they can tactically devastate many groups of enemies.

(1) The Shielding Swordmage's Aegis is, IMO, the very meanest thing a character can do at-will to an opponent that doesn't require an attack roll. And when he runs off and fights something else, it basically means a mostly-useless monster or a flurry of OA's.

(2) The Fighter is lockdown-man. He basically becomes the center of every combat - all the action happens right around him. He's pretty far from useless, IME, and does a wonderful job keeping our ranged folks safe.
I prefer parties with two defenders. Fighters function well as multi-target defenders, particularly if they have close blast or close burst powers like Dragon Breath, Come And Get It, etc. Shielding swordmages are great single-target defenders, because they defend by reducing damage instead of by inflicting damage. When you combine the two types of defenders, you can handle anything from a horde of lower-level creatures to a single tough solo.

With my shielding swordmage, I've marked foes and lured them past several of my allies, having them draw OAs in the process. I've also marked foes and then just went on Total Defense, giving them the choice of attacking my sky-high defenses, or attacking my allies at a penalty to hit. If they take the latter option, I'll often use powers like Transposing Lunge to negate their attack AND do damage. If a foe can get past these countermeasures and hit my ally, I still end up reducing their damage by a large amount. In short, the shielding mark forces a lose/lose situation on the foe. It's only downside is that you can only mark a single foe at a time (partially fixed with Paragon and Epic feats).
 

Kwalish Kid

Explorer
4. Shift, shift, shift. Most monsters cannot prevent you from shifting away and charging another target. Also, if your armor is so good that things are ignoring you, you can feel safe to provoke AoOs. Get where you are needed (which is almost never a long way away from the party).
Good point indeed. This is about the only way to play an assault swordmage. Opponents that don't move to attack you will end up getting taken out of the fight early because you can usually teleport into a flanking position and hit them for more damage. It makes assault swordmages into a sort of pseudo-striker, at least on opponents that don't catch on to their dilemma. The swordmage powers that work on a charge are there for a reason.

Playing an assault swordmage, I will mark opponents near the strikers and controller and then run away to engage opponents farther away. If the striker or controller gets hit, then I pop back and do some damage. If the striker or controller doesn't get hit, it's often because of the mark. In this way, the swordmage engages mutliple opponents at once. Plus there are lots of swordmage powers that can boost the defenses of allies; so even without the help of a mark, running to a new opponent does not leave allies totally helpless.

Whether or not a swordmage or a fighter should mark an opponent often depends on whether that opponent is likely to attack or to move. If the opponent is likely to attack, then the swordmage should take it. If the opponent is likely to move, then the fighter should take it.

If it looks like the swordmage might be in trouble far from the party, then the fighter should leave the swordmage's mark alone, so the swordmage can teleport closer to a leader.
 

Swordmages definitely have one thing in common - they better do not engage the target they mark. It doesn't really matter if they use their mark to get an extra attack or reduce the enemies damage, or teleport the target to them - it's likely that either the enemy doesn't deal (much) damage or the party gets an extra attack out of it. Either he follows the Swordmage, possibly provoking opportunity attacks, or he ignores him and gets hit by the Swordmage - or deals limited damage.

4E Defenders typically either minimize the damage the party takes, or they deal extra damage to their enemies if they fail at that. I think that's the important difference to "Aggro" mechanics like in some computer games. Their is no threat rating the "Tank" gets to modify to be favored as target. The Defender generates a real threat.
 

cattoy

First Post
I can tell you, from my side of the screen, my party's Defenders cause me a boatload of trouble.

I have two of them, and working together, they can tactically devastate many groups of enemies.

(1) The Shielding Swordmage's Aegis is, IMO, the very meanest thing a character can do at-will to an opponent that doesn't require an attack roll. And when he runs off and fights something else, it basically means a mostly-useless monster or a flurry of OA's.

(2) The Fighter is lockdown-man. He basically becomes the center of every combat - all the action happens right around him. He's pretty far from useless, IME, and does a wonderful job keeping our ranged folks safe.

-O

ENVY!!!

My barbarian got dropped twice in the last game. Our two defenders can't get their act together. One is, granted, the DM's kid and doesn't have enough attention span to remember to mark anything. The other is older than dirt and can't be troubled to read the PHB enough to understand how fighters work.
 

Remove ads

AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Remove ads

Upcoming Releases

Top