The Mind's Eye: a Psion Handbook


First Post
Originally posted by svendj:

The Mind's Eye: a Psion Handbook


“If a god can reshape the world and I can enthrall a god, what does that make me?”

Although the Psion class (and the psionic power source) hasn't seen almost any updates since the Psionic Power book came out in 2010, there’s been plenty of new general content since then. This handbook will draw heavily upon the work done by Belial for I Can Kill You With My Brain(x), mostly adding new material that came out since that handbook was last updated. So most of what you will read here draws upon the excellent work done by him, and of course the feedback from the community (that's you!).


Post 1 - Why you would play a Psion
Post 2 - Power source and role, Class features, Ability scores, Skills(x)
Post 3 - Racial options(x)
Post 4 - At-will attack powers(x)
Post 5 - Daily attack powers(x)
Post 6 - Utility powers(x)
Post 7 - Feats(x)
Post 8 - Themes, backgrounds(x)
Post 9 - Paragon paths, epic destinies(x)
Post 10 - Multiclass, hybrid(x)
Post 11 - Items: implements(x)
Post 12 - items: the rest(x)
Post 13 - Playing a Psion(x)
Post 14 - sample builds(x)
Post 15 - Famous Psions(x)

Know Thyself: Why You Would Play A Psion

Where Wizards use magic gained from years of study and Invokers draw upon powers granted to them by their gods, you shape and influence reality with nothing but the power that lurks between your ears. Whether you’re a telepath who takes control of the minds of others and turns them into a personal puppetshow, a telekineticist that puts Luke Skywalker’s silly Force tricks to shame, or a shaper that can make anything he envisions in his mind’s eye a reality, you have powers that are feared by any but the most powerful beings in the universe.

Like the Wizard and Invoker, you’re a controller. You shape the battlefield to your liking, preventing your enemies from killing you and your friends. Your support isn’t as great as that of the other two major controller classes, but there are a few compelling reasons to play a Psion over them:

Psions are versatile - as a psionic class, you have a myriad of powers at your disposal, which all have different effects depending on the amount of power points you spend. From level 3 onward, you have three vastly different at-will powers that have two augments each, giving you essentially nine powers with different effects. That’s versatility other controllers can only dream of.

Psions can do one thing very, very well - sure, you can build your Psion in such a way that he’ll always have the right trick up his sleeve. But since you’re an at-will class, you can also focus on optimizing around one specific power and spamming that all the live long day during your entire career. For example, Dishearten, which you get at level 1, is a power that a lot of builds still have at level 30.

Hard control is your forte - how you want to control your enemies is up to you, but one thing is for sure when a Psion sits down at the table: the enemies are gonna have a bad time. Whether it’s through movement control (slow, immobilize), action denial (daze, stun, dominate), attack penalties, or positioning through forced movement, you do the controller thing, and do it well.

Credit for this handbook goes out to:

Armisael, who encouraged me to do this.
LordDuskblade for the handbook format we all know and love.
Belial for writing a Psion handbook that I’ve used a great many times in the past, and that I will be building upon.
RuinsFate for writing a Wizard handbook(x) that I will be using as a template for a good controller handbook.
Anyone who posts to make this handbook the best that it can be. Special shout-out to Mommy_was_an_Orc for lots of insightful feedback!

This handbook will use the following system for ratings:

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

Green - no rating, mostly roleplay or campaign dependant stuff.

This handbook uses the following sources
[sblock]AP - Arcane Power
AV - Adventurer's Vault
AV2 - Adventurer's Vault 2
DRXXX - Dragon Magazine, issue XXX
DiP - Divine Power
DSCS - Dark Sun Campaign Setting
DUXXX - Dungeon Magazine, issue XXX
EPG - Eberron Player's Guide
FRPG - Forgotten Realms Player's Guide
HotFL - Heroes of Fallen Lands
HotFK - Heroes of Forgotten Kingdoms
HotFW - Heroes of the Feywild
HotEC - Heroes of the Elemental Chaos
HoS - Heroes of Shadow
MME - Mordenkainen's Magnificent Emporium
MOTP - Manual of the Planes
MP - Martial Power
MP2- Martial Power 2
NWCS - Neverwinter Campaign Setting
PHB - Player's Handbook
PHB2 - Player's Handbook 2
PHB3 - Player's Handbook 3
PHH1 - Player's Handbook Heroes: Series 1
PHR:D - Player's Handbook Races: Dragonborn
PHR:T - Player's Handbook Races: Tiefling
PrP - Primal Power
PsP - Psionic Power[/sblock]

Originally posted by svendj:

Powers of the Mind: Power Source and Role
You’re a controller, and your power source is psionic. There’s a general opinion among players (almost a consensus, even) that psionics are boring, complicated and have no role in D&D. For a more detailed discussion on those points and why I think they're not necessarily true, I’ll refer you to the Playing a Psion(x) section of this handbook.

If you compare the Psion to other controllers, the class is somewhere in the middle of the pack when it comes to power level. Wizards just are the best controllers in D&D. But what would you expect, with access to over 400 different powers (the Psion has 159), Arcane support and more builds than you can wrap your head around. The Invoker comes next, with Divine (thus radiant) support and encounter and daily powers that just blow everything away.

After that, the Druid and Psion are on about equal footing. Where the Druid switches between single-target control in melee and multi-target control at range, the Psion does what the Wizard and Invoker do, but just a little worse.

That said, thanks to the psionic augmentation feature there’s nothing you can’t do if you choose your powers right. For example, some controllers can excel at one thing like single target lockdown, but at the cost of sacrificing effectiveness at debuffing or positioning. That won’t happen to you: you can pick one power that debuffs, one that rearranges the battlefield and one that shuts down a single target. Or debilitates everything in a larger area. Or plants a zone. Or puts extra allies on the battlefield. Just be aware that you won’t be as good at most of them as the Wizard or Invoker (except for AoE attack debuffing, no-one beats you at that).

Secondary Role Effectiveness
[sblock]Striker: don’t bother. Although you can become a bad blaster as a Tiefling Firestarter or a bad Elementalist by optimizing ranged basic powers like Mind Thrust, the psionic power source is not well enough supported to really get those plans off the ground. The only exception is the radiant blaster build, which works by combining the Brilliant Thought power with the Morninglord paragon path.

Defender: yes. With your cloth armor and simple weapon proficiency, you should definitely try holding off the enemy in one-on-one combat. Some Psion powers like Memory Hole and Kinetic Buffer are interesting for defenders though, but those are best left to hybrid builds.

Leader: you can get great leader powers if you want (Mind Thrust, Forced Opportunity, Psychic Brand), and your repositioning capabilities are pretty good, especially if you're a Telekineticist with Forceful Push. By investing in things like skill powers and a leader multiclass (Shaman FTW), you can even make a passable secondary healer. You can go this route if you have another good controller in your party and lack a defense-debuffing, attack-granting leader.[/sblock]

What Makes Your Brain Go: Class Features
Class Traits

Hit points and healing surges: you’re a controller and you know it. With a piddly amount of HP and no reason to invest in Con, you’d better stay out of melee. Fortunately, that’s fine by you.
Defense bonus: +2 to Will is very nice for a class that should only get attacked at range and whose primary stat is already tied to their Reflex. With either Wis or Cha as your secondary stat, enemies should not hit you that easily. And it fits the flavor for a telepath to boot.
Weapon and armor proficiencies: you can wear normal clothes and use a knife to slice your bread, that’s about it. Although having access to the Staff as a melee weapon as well as an implement helps you out a little.
Implement proficiencies: just the Orb and the Staff isn’t a lot, but fortunately they’re well supported.

Build Options

There are three different Psion builds available: the Telepath, the Telekineticist, and the Shaper. There’s no make-or-break choice among them, but Telekinetic and Shaper Focus offer some really good utility.

Discipline Focus
[sblock]Telepathy Focus: Distract generates automatic combat advantage as a minor action once per encounter, and Send Thoughts lets you send a limited telepathic message once per encounter. Both powers are pretty meh. They can be boosted with feats, but it’s not really worth the trouble.

Telekinesis Focus: this is more interesting. Forceful Push gives you free action forced movement once per encounter, and Far Hand is an encounter power Mage Hand. Both powers can be significantly improved by taking their respective feats. Forceful Push then also slows, which is great for a free action range 10 forced movement power. Far Hand can then be sustained as a free action, which is useful if you have your hands full for some reason but still want easy access to a certain item.

Shaper Focus: now we're talking. Minor Creation lets you conjure up a nonmagical item each encounter, which is awesome for roleplaying purposes ("here’s the note from your captain that says you should let us in"), although officially it can only create a weapon or an item listed under Adventuring Gear.
The standout power though is Shaped Consciousness, which grants you access to the Dream Form from the Dreamwalker paragon path 10 levels earlier. Sure, it’s a minor action encounter power instead of a free at-will, but it blocks enemy movement and lets you look and cast in melee while you’re hiding behind a pillar or door. It even absorbs one hit per encounter, and a paragon feat boosts your defenses a little while you’re near it. That is an awful lot of utility for a single class feature.[/sblock]

Ritual Casting: all builds gain access to this. Although not very interesting at low levels, at higher levels there are some really interesting rituals that you can cast for cheap that will get you out of or around otherwise nasty circumstances. You can even cast a Sending or Tenser’s Floating Disk for free once per day, which offer utility that you should not underestimate.

A Beautiful Mind: Ability Scores
Intelligence is your primary stat. The Psion’s power selection is good enough that you’ll be functional with this at 18 pre-racial, but a lot of powers become silly-good if you have a good Wisdom
or Charisma. So be aware of that when you pick your stats.

Ability Scores
[sblock]Strength: your designated dumpstat. There’s simply nothing for you here. Don’t think about going into melee, don’t bother getting Hide armor. If you absolutely, positively have to have a melee basic attack, multiclass Swordmage and get Intelligent Blademaster.
Recommended starting score: 8, pre-racial bonuses.

Constitution: it never hurts to have a good Constitution, especially for some semblance of Fortitude since Strength is your dumpstat. Also important for your summons' HP if you take those powers, although they're not very good. Other than that, don’t bother putting in points that could otherwise have gone into your Wisdom or Charisma.
Recommended starting score: 10-13, pre-racial bonuses.

Dexterity: although your Reflex is taken care of by your Intelligence, and you don’t need Dexterity for any feats or class skills, it’s still nice to have some Dexterity when you roll initiative. Especially since you’re a controller, because the outcome of your turns will pretty much dictate the flow of combat. Tieflings and Wis-Psions can tie their initiative to their Charisma and Wisdom, respectively, so for them it's another dump stat. Gnome, Wood Elf and Shade Psions who specialize in Stealth should make this their tertiary stat instead of Wisdom or Constitution.
Recommended starting score: 8 for Tieflings and Wis-Psions, 12-14 for Gnomes, Wood Elves and Shades, 10-12 for everyone else, pre-racial bonuses.

Intelligence: although it’s tempting to crank this one up all the way to 18, doing so limits your power selection to powers that don’t have important Wisdom or Charisma riders. And I’ll tell you right now: there are plenty of those that you don’t want to miss out on. So unless you value accuracy over everything else, just put this at 16. Conveniently, this also gives you a great Arcana, which is nice for your rituals and possibly Sage of Ages.
Recommended starting score: 16-18, pre-racial bonuses.

Wisdom: powers with a Wisdom rider are linked to telekinetically-flavored powers. The more interesting of those powers don’t show up until late heroic and paragon, so if your game doesn’t go there, you can safely dump this. Be aware though that three of your class skills key off it, among them one of the most important skills in the game, and that you need 13 Wis for a Druid multiclass. See the multiclass section(x) for why you'd want to do that. Also remember that you need 15 Wisdom for Psion Implement Expertise at epic.
Recommended starting score: 12-16, pre-racial bonuses.

Charisma: the Charisma powers are flavorwise linked to telepathy. Unlike the Wisdom powers, the Charisma powers are some of the best in the Psion’s arsenal, and you have access to them right away. Two powers at level 1 that massively debuff attacks and defenses, and the Psion’s equivalent of Shield at level 2 (although why this doesn't have a Wisdom, thus telekinetic rider I can only guess). Simply put, if you want to use the best powers the Psion has to offer, boost this and be happy with it. Charisma is also tied to three of your class skills, which are all social skills. Lastly, be aware that you need 15 Charisma for Psion Implement Expertise at epic.
Recommended starting score: 12-16, pre-racial bonuses.[/sblock]

Using Your Brain: Skills
You’re trained in 4 skills. Although your skill selection is somewhat limited, they’re all among the best skills in the game.

Class Skills
[sblock]Arcana (Int): this will automatically be high due to the fact that it keys off your main stat. It’s also does a lot of work in skill challenges, lets you cast rituals and grants you access to skill powers like Warp in the Weave and Insightful Warning. Also good for the Sage of Ages epic destiny. Simply put, you want to be trained in this.

Perception (Wis): avoiding surprises and noticing clues are two very, very important things to ensure the continued lifespan of an adventurer. The utility powers are nothing to write home about though. Even more important for Wood Elves
to boost their initiative through the roof.

Insight (Wis): good for getting to the bottom of a social situation, but the real value lies in the skill powers. Insightful Riposte at 16 is considered to be one of the best utility powers for a reason.

Dungeoneering (Wis): train this if you're planning on taking Stay Back
as your level 2 utility power. If not, then it's only useful if you’re going to be underground a lot or will face off against aberrant hordes.

Diplomacy (Cha): just generally useful for nonhostile situations. Lets you be the party’s face if you lack a Bard. Indomitable Ally is a good but risky power for keeping your leader on his feet.

Bluff (Cha): very useful for when you need to lie your way out of a difficult spot. Also has hilarious uses with Send Thoughts if you want to be a ventriloquist or convince an enemy he’s hearing voices. Not much for combat though.

Intimidate (Cha): Everybody Move gives you an out if you somehow got yourself stuck in melee, and Snap Out Of It lets you minor in leader. Beyond that, you need to do some of your best roleplaying when a scrawny guy or girl like you tries to threaten that nasty hobgoblin. Like Bluff, this skill is best used in conjunction with Send Thoughts.

History (Int): this will automatically be high due to the fact that it keys off your main stat. But since Strategist’s Epiphany was nerfed to only affect you, there’s no real reason to train this skill.[/sblock]

Non-Class Skills Of Note
[sblock]Religion (Int): this will automatically be high due to the fact that it keys off your main stat. There's just nothing like outsmarting a Cleric in a religious argument.

Heal (Wis): being a trained healer gives you some leader potential if you're into that, mostly in the form of skill powers.

Stealth (Dex): this rating is for Gnomes, Wood Elves and Shades only (although Shades are naturally trained in it). Starting a combat hidden if you have any cover or concealment is insanely good for a controller, so you could do worse by investing in Stealth. Even more important if you're a Gnome and want to use Unseen Dread consistently.

Acrobatics (Dex): being trained in either Acrobatics or Athletics is never bad, since you're going to face a physical challenge at some point. On top of that, Acrobatics offers some sweet utility powers like Timely Dodge.[/sblock]

Originally posted by svendj:

Brainiacs: Racial Options
The races are listed such that those who get a bonus to the primary and either secondary stat (Int/Wis or Int/Cha) are listed first, then the races that only get a bonus to Int, and lastly the races that don’t get an Int-bonus but for some reason rate black or higher. Races that rate purple or worse won't be mentioned in the handbook, unless they're a trap race.

The races will be listed from best to worst, with Int/Cha races generally rated higher than Int/Wis races. Since there are so many Int/Wis and Int/Cha races, having good stats won't automatically earn a skyblue or even blue rating. The race really needs to bring something extra to the table to earn those.

Primary and Secondary
(CHA+Con/Int): the attack bonus against bloodied enemies and racial power are nice, but it’s the mindblowing feat support that sells the race. Cha for initiative, access to every other class' utility powers and dominating stunned enemies is what you're after. And on top of that, decent racial utility powers for a controller. I'm not rating any race gold, but it’s certainly the top pick for Cha-Psions.
More on Tieflings in Lord_Ventor's Infernal Wrath: the Tiefling's Handbook(x).

(CHA+Int/Wis): getting (pseudo) Superior Will for free is a very powerful racial ability. The feat support is limited, but also surprisingly strong for a controller. Bastion of Mental Clarity won’t come into play often, but when it does you’ll be very glad you have it. Also an uncommon +2 bonus to a skill of your choice. In my opinion one of the strongest Psion races.

(WIS+Cha/Int): one of the two Int/Wis races of choice. Good racial features, and Soul of the World is an amazing epic destiny that opens up a wide range of possibilities. In the feat department you have Battle Intuition for an enormous initiative boost.

(CHA+Dex/Int): it’s the ability to fly and to take shelter in your ally’s square that really sells this race. Think for a minute, what is it that a Psion really doesn’t want to do? Answer: be anywhere near his enemies. So you fly to a rooftop, perch there and start messing with people’s minds while they can't reach you. Gets worse
at paragon when you start facing more flying enemies who have no problem reaching you. A minor action encounter utility power that turns you invisible is also welcome for a controller.
More on Pixies in Mellored's Crivens! A Pictie's Guide(x).

(WIS+Dex/Int): the other Int/Wis race of choice. Very good racial features for a controller. It’s unfortunate that most of the racial support is geared towards melee and classes that regularly get attacked. If Githzerai were more controller centered, they would get the skyblue rating like the Deva. Although Shared Danger Sense is a sexy, sexy feat.

(INT+Wis/Cha): the quintessential Psion race, according to the PHB3. Also the only Int-race that gives you the choice of either Wis or Cha as your secondary stat. It has a few interesting feats that increase your striker and leader traits and an ok psionic paragon path, but nothing that really improves your controller capabilities. Still, the stats are perfect, and that is enough for a blue rating. The skill bonuses are also excellent: Arcana, Endurance and a skill of your choice.

(INT+Cha/Dex): Stealth is the name of the game with this race. Reactive Stealth lets you start combats hidden, Unseen Dread gives you forced movement on top of other effects, and Shadow Skulk lets you stay hidden if you miss. Shaped Consciousness and Dreamwalker also help you to stay out of sight while you make attacks through the eyes of your conjurations. A racial bonus to Stealth helps, and more Arcana is always good. Niche, but very powerful if you can get it to work consistently. Be aware that with only 5 speed, you’d better remain hidden because enemies will have no problem chasing you.
If you don't invest in Stealth, the rating becomes black.

(INT+Cha/Dex): aside from good stats, a racial bonus to Will and a great racial power, there’s not much to recommend Eladrin over one of other Int/Cha races. You could get Wand proficiency as a Sun Elf, if you’re into that. And a bonus to Arcana is always useful.

(WIS+Cha/Int): you could certainly do worse than this. Tree Mind and Hamadryad Aspects are solid abilities for a controller, as are some of the racial utility powers. It’s not as well supported as most of the other Int/Wis races, but no-one will fault you for playing a Dryad.

(CHA+Dex/Int): here we get near the bottom of the barrel when it comes to Int/Cha races. If only Shades didn’t get one less healing surge. Being reduced to 5+Con mod surges doesn’t bode well for a controller’s lifespan. But if you can live with that, the race becomes pretty interesting. No other race can hide as well or as easily as this one, they’re even able to use allies for cover. Shaped Consciousness and Dreamwalker let you stay out of sight while your conjuration does your attacking for you, so it's easier to hide again. You're naturally trained in Stealth and receive a bonus to it and Arcana, so that guarantees you'll at least be decent at hiding. In the power department, Shadow Monsters is a nice utility for stacking attack penalties.
If you promise me you’ll be very careful and invest in Stealth, you have my blessing to play a Shade. If you don't invest in Stealth, the rating becomes purple. Also, be aware that Gnomes and Wood Elves do it better.

(CHA+Dex/Int): as cool as this race is to roleplay, there’s not much to recommend Changelings otherwise. They have a few feats specifically for Psions and psionic characters, but they’re not worth investing in. You take this race purely for RP reasons.[/sblock]

Primary only
(one ability score of your choice): although they don’t get a secondary ability score, Humans are very close to gold. +1 to all NADs, a bonus feat and another class skill training are all very good incentives to play the race, as are some of the excellent feats. But the real treasure for a power-starved class like you is the bonus level 1 at-will power. The powers at this level are already some of the best Psion powers available, so getting one for free is extremely good. Although you can’t augment it, most powers are good enough unaugmented to still be effective. And remember, you can always retrain the power when you pick up a power with similar effect at higher levels.
If for some reason you feel you’ll never use the extra at-will power, you have Heroic Effort as the excellent alternative.

(DEX+Int/Wis): when you think of Elves, the first image that springs to mind is the classic archer hidden in a tree. But what if I told you that they also make excellent stealthy Psions? Provided you’re a Wood Elf, you can use your Perception (which you have as a class skill and get a racial bonus to) for initiative, and you have the option of starting combat hidden if you have any cover or concealment. The Communion utility power gives you some leader capabilities, and 7 speed is always useful for a class that doesn’t want enemies near it.
If you're not a Wood Elf, the rating becomes black.

(INT+Con/Str): although it’s an Int-primary race, Genasi don’t bring much extras to the table. The racial feats are plentiful but mostly useless to you. So really the only question is what manifestation to pick. There are four that have something useful for the Psion: Stormsoul can boost the damage of your lightning and thunder powers with Promise of Storm and gives a Fort bonus; Cindersoul protects you from nasty hits with Firedeath and gives a Fort bonus; Voidsoul gets you out of harm’s way with Void Assumption, has the excellent Scion of Abscence paragon path and gives a Will bonus; Embersoul gets you out of danger with Ashfall Evasion and gives a Ref bonus.
More on Genasi in zelink511's The Elemental Man (or Woman): A Genasi Handbook(x).

Shadar-kai (DEX+Int/Wis): the racial bonus to Fort and the defensive encounter power are nice. There are also a few very good control effects you can add to your powers during one or two turns with the feats from Dragon 391, but it's a rather large investment.

(CON+Str/Int): what, you thought Shardminds were your only option for playing psychic constructs? What sells the Warforged as a Psion race is the racial bonus to Will, the defensive encounter power, and most of all the Psiforged Resolve feat which lets you regain a power point when you’re bloodied. Most of the racial support is aimed at melee classes, but you could do worse.

Hobgoblin (CON+Int/Cha): Hobgoblins became a playable race late in the game (DR419). The racial power is absolutely incredible, one of the best defense powers in the game. Unfortunately, there's not much else here for you. The secondary stat is pretty useless, and if you want a racial initiative bonus you should play a Githzerai. The rest of the race is built around using shields in a phalanx formation with allies, and perhaps being mounted. But that's not what a Psion should be doing.

(INT+CON): since this is a Monster Manual race, it won’t be allowed at every table. Additionally, its racial features are almost the same as the Githzerai’s but without the boost to your secondary stat. If you want to play a planar traveler, just go with Githzerai instead.[/sblock]

Secondary only
[sblock]Dragonborn (CHA+Str/Con): the reason this non-Int race is blue is the Rod of the Dragonborn, an item that converts all damage done by it to the same type your Dragon Breath deals. You take thunder with Thundering Breath, and use Resounding Thunder to increase the size of all your bursts and blasts. Lyrandar Wind-Rider gives you better accuracy and damage. Also, as a Kapak Draconian (DR421) you get combat advantage against slowed, immobilized and weakened targets, which are conditions you can easily inflict.

Half-Elf (CON+Wis/Cha): the race gets this rating for one thing, and one thing only: Dilettante. Having an extra encounter power which you can turn into an at-will at paragon is great for a power-starved class like you. You’ll probably poach Wizard powers to pick up an effect that you don’t have in your arsenal yet. Options for those who want to lead are Direct the Strike (or Commander’s Strike if you’re feeling a little suicidal) and Magic Weapon, which you’ll use with a staff and thus requires some suicidal tendencies. Other options include Hand of Radiance (Wis), Magic Stones (Wis), Sacred Flame (Wis), Astral Seal (Cha) and Staggering Note (Cha).
Access to Human feats completes the picture, and makes Half-Elves almost a blue race.

There's another Half-Elf trick that's a bit iffier but gets you two extra power points per combat. Take a Vampire at-will, then take the Adept Dilettante feat so you count as a Vampire. This makes you eligible for the Psionic Vampire feat, which gets you a free healing surge when you hit with an augmented power and lets you spend a surge as a minor action to gain two power points.

Revenant (DEX+Con/Cha): you play a Revenant for access to another race’s support and the amazing (read: broken) stuff you can do with it at 0 HP. Mellored explained this better than I ever could in The Ghost With The Most: A Revenant Handbook(x).

Mul (CON+Str/Wis): an option for a more durable Psion. An additional healing surge and the Incredible Toughness power ensure you’ll keep going longer than any other Psion. You also get a couple of nice racial feats, and of course access to feats of Humans (or Dwarves, but there’s nothing there for you).

Dwarf (CON+Str/Wis): another option for a more durable Psion. Shield Dwarves get free light shield proficiency which you can put to good use, and a minor action Second Wind is never wasted. Speed 5 is a problem though. Only play this if you’re really worried about your durability, but in that case I’d rather play a Mul.[/sblock]

Originally posted by svendj:

The Mind At Work: At-will Powers
Here we get to the bread and butter of playing a Psion. From level 3 on, you will have three augmentable at-will powers at your disposal with which you’ll have to do your job. Since they offer a wide range of effects, you’ll have to pick your powers carefully so that you’ll be as versatile as possible. For example, if you have no forced movement powers in your arsenal when the bad guys stay out of the Fighter’s reach, you’re not doing your job. To make it easier to figure out what power you should pick, I’ve identified four different control effects that you can inflict. These are listed below, along with an abbreviation which I will add if the power has that type of effect.

AD - Action Denial (worst to best: slowed, prone, dazed, immobilized, restrained, removed from play, stunned, dominated)
AP - Attack Penalties (penalty to attack rolls, concealment, invisibility, blinded)
FM - Forced Movement (worst to best: pull, push, slide, teleport)
- Soft Control (enemy takes damage when it takes a certain action)

My advice is to pick your powers in such a way that you have at least one of each effect, preferably with a mix between single target effects and area effects. Soft Control is the exception here (that’s why it’s colored red) because it’s the worst kind of control and almost every power sucks. You should also try to pick powers that each target a different defense; in case you're unsure about what power to take, let that be your tiebreaker. At the start of every section there's a sample power selection for different types of Psions.

I mention it when a power is a Wis- or Cha-power, and I rate them as if you've invested in the stat. I will also note when a power does Psychic damage (good with Psychic Lock) or targets Will (good with Life Singer and Divine Oracle).

One final note: heroic and paragon powers get better over time because you gain more power points, and thus can augment them more often. So if a heroic or paragon power has an awesome augment 2/4, the rating reflects this. I will also mention at every level how many power points you (can) have.

Level 1
[sblock]Basic power points: 2.
Total with bonus: 3 (Escaped Thrall or Noble Adept theme)

At this level you get two great powers for Attack Penalties and Forced Movement. The only Action Denial you get here is slow. If you're a Cha-Psion, seriously consider taking Mind Thrust instead of a controller power for the nutty leader-like augment 2.

Sample power selection
Cha-Psion: Dishearten, Mind Thrust
The rest: Dimensional Scramble, Mind Lock

(AP): PHB3. The rating of this area burst 1 grows with your Cha-modifier and your available power points. From level 7 onwards, you can use this at least three times per encounter, which means you start shutting down entire combats if you can keep enemies clustered together. If you have only 1 power point left, the augment 1 is nice to give your party some freedom of movement. Be careful though, because it hits your partymembers too. If you're a Cha-Psion, don't be surprised if you find it hard to find a suitable replacement for this at later levels. Less awesome but still good if your Cha is low.
Cha, Psychic, Will

Dimensional Scramble (FM): PsP. A power that’s deceptively good. There will be a time every combat when allies and enemies are clumped together and you can’t use friendly fire powers like Dishearten. That’s when you use the augment 1 or 2 on this and rearrange the battlefield to your liking. If your partymembers already are in optimal position, remember that you can teleport vertically as well! If enemies fail their save, they take an additional 1d10 falling damage and fall prone if they’re not trained in Acrobatics. This power works especially well with with Dreamwalker's level 16 feature to teleport unwilling enemies who are next to your conjuration right into the party's clutches. Or 12 squares up into the air for giggles.

Mind Lock (AD): PsP. Slow one or more creatures, and prevent them from shifting. Nice in the first round to keep distant enemies at bay, good later to keep them next to your defender. Quickly overshadowed by Force Hammer at level 3 though.
Psychic, Will

Mind Thrust: PsP. One of the two ranged basic attack powers at this level. Although it doesn’t offer any control, the augment 2 paints a big, bright bulls-eye on one enemy’s back. A great option if you have another good controller in your party, you lack a leader (or have one that grants mulitple attacks per round) or if you want to teach your party how to focus fire.
Cha, Psychic, Will

Static Mote (AD): PsP. Auto-slow in an area burst 1 is pretty good! Especially early in the fight when enemies are still at the other side of the map. Too bad it’s very easy for enemies to escape the damage by taking a run or double move action. The damage becomes more reliable in smaller rooms, but also more dangerous since it hits you and your allies. Works with Mark of Storm.

Memory Hole (AD): PHB3. Simply make yourself invisible to one or more enemies. An important power for Gnomes, Wood Elves and Shades who invest in Stealth and want to stay hidden, but very mediocre for everyone else.
Psychic, Will

Kinetic Trawl (FM): PHB3. One of the two ranged basic attack powers at this level, and not the good one. Forced movement is fine in principle, but there’s only a single type of enemy you should be pulling towards you (Controllers who are hiding in the back rank). Better for Shapers and Dreamwalkers who can send their conjuration off to the other side of the map to pull enemies away from the squishies.

Force Punch (FM): PHB3. only useful as a last resort power when you somehow find yourself surrounded by enemies. Better for Shapers and Dreamwalkers who send their conjurations into melee to push and prone enemies.

Force Shard (SC): PsP. You can sort-of block a square with this, but the penalty for moving through the force shard (Cha-mod force damage) won’t deter anything but minions. It’s been nerfed to only deal damage once per turn, so no abusing this with forced movement. If you want to do normal damage with Force Shard, you have to spend another minor action. If you really want zone control, wait until level 3 for Burning Flux.

Level 3
[sblock]Basic power points: 4.
Total with bonus: 5 (Escaped Thrall or Noble Adept theme)

Cha-Psions get a single target control power which they might just keep until level 23. There are also some interesting Action Denial powers (one of which is a strict upgrade from level 1), and a zone which can damage multiple times per turn.

Sample power selection
Cha-Psion: Betrayal, Dishearten, Mind Thrust
The rest: Force Hammer, Dishearten, Dimensional Scramble

(FM, AD): PHB3. Unaugmented this does nice damage, but unless the monster you’re charming has a melee basic attack with an awesome control effect (unlikely), it doesn’t help you control the battlefield. That changes when you use the augment 2. Forced movement and dazing is a powerful combination, and there’s a good chance the monster will do a lot more damage than you. Strong single target control which gets better at higher levels. Can also be used to trigger your defender's mark for even more damage, although the attack is made with a -2 penalty.
Cha, Will

Psychic Anomaly (FM, AD): PsP. A possible replacement for Dimensional Scramble. You pick a crowded area, plop down a potential flanking partner for your allies and start rearranging the battlefield to your liking. Too bad you need to spend two power points each time you want to daze an enemy, because forced movement and daze is a powerful combination. Also works better with damaging zones than Dimensional Scramble, because you can slide enemies in and out of the zone for autodamage.
Psychic, Will

Force Hammer (AD): PHB3. Did you take Mind Lock at level 1 and don't see another good power at this level? Then retrain Mind Lock away for another level 1 power and take Force Hammer instead if you want the slow/no shift effect. Unless you want psychic damage for Psychic Lock or attacks vs. Will for Life Singer or Divine Oracle, but those don’t come online until paragon.

Fuse Form (SC): PsP. The unaugmented version basically does nothing at all. The augment 1 version is interesting in that it gets the Fear keyword (Starfire Womb, Hellfire Blood, Stygian Adept). It’s the augment 2 version that saves this power though. If you can catch two or more enemies in a burst 1, they’re staying there while your party finishes off the monsters on the other side of the map. Gets much better at higher levels when you have the power points to sustain the augment 2 over multiple rounds, although it gets competition from Thunder Tether at level 13. Too bad the damage is pitiful.

Burning Flux (SC): PHB3. Better than Force Shard from level 1 because it blocks a wider area, but non-minions can still just walk through it and ignore the pitiful damage. The augment 1 gives enemies a better reason for moving through the zone because it blocks line of sight. The augment 2 enlarges the totally obscured zone so artillery won't have a choice but to walk through it in confined areas.

Kinetic Trip (AD): PsP. The more flexible targeting of the augment 2 is nice, but not enough reason to pick this over Force Hammer.

Crushing Turmoil (AP): PsP. Unless you or a partymember has some really nasty save ends effects that you want to keep going round after round, just ignore this in favor of Dishearten.

Id Insinuation: PHB3. A leader power, but for some reason it only lowers the target’s Fortitude. You might be interested in this if you have a party full of implement attackers who target Fort and are short a leader, otherwise you can safely skip this. It doesn’t help that the power itself targets Will.
Cha, Psychic, Will[/sblock]

Level 7
[sblock]Basic power points: 6.
Total with bonus: 7 (Escaped Thrall or Noble Adept theme)

At this level you get your sixth power point so you can use augment 2 powers for as long as most combats (should) last. Wis-Psions get access to some good powers, one of which is the best Forced Movement Psion power, so they can finally match their Cha-counterparts. Also a good immobilizing Action Denial power for everyone, so it's not necessarily a dead level for Cha-Psions.

Sample power selection
Cha-Psion: Force Grasp, Betrayal, Dishearten
Wis-Psion: Dread Spiral, Force Hammer, Dishearten
The rest: Force Grasp, Psychic Anomaly, Dishearten

Force Grasp (AD): PHB3. The next one in the line of force-based slow/prone/immobilize powers. Immobilize gives you some hard action denial, against two targets within 10 no less, and it doesn’t even require a secondary stat. A great pick for every Psion. Replace Force Hammer or Mind Lock with this if you have either power.

Dread Spiral (FM): PHB3. A good forced movement power for Wis-Psions, who should replace Kinetic Trawl or Force Punch with it if they have either power. The unaugmented and augment 1 version are ok because it's a forced movement attack vs Fort, which means that you can easily pull the flimsy caster or artillery from the back row next to the defender. The augment 2 version amps the forced movement way up. Additionally, there's no better power yet for abusing damaging zones. Useless
for Cha-Psions.

Kinetic Buffer (FM): PsP. This is the power all you Shapers have been waiting for. Put your conjuration down in the middle of melee and start throwing enemies around the battlefield. The defense bonus insures that your conjuration stays intact long enough to do it again next turn. The same goes for Dreamwalkers of course. You replace Force Punch with this if you have it. If you’re neither Shaper nor Dreamwalker, you’ll only use this as a last resort when you find yourself surrounded, which should be almost never.

Cranial Disturbance (AD): PHB3. The rating is for Wis-Psions who want some single target control, but it has fierce competition from Force Grasp. You replace Force Hammer with this if you have it, but be aware that Cranial Disturbance is not strictly better. Too bad the extra damage from the augment 1 and 2 hits all creatures instead of just enemies, because chances are your allies are next to a target you’d like to prone or daze. The power is red
for Cha-Psions, who will stick with Betrayal instead.

Ego Whip (AP): PsP. A nice debuff power for defenses as well as attacks, and even saving throws if you augment it. Too bad it’s only against one target and the damage is pitiful, so your partymembers better make good use of the defense penalty. Better if you or your partymembers deal in a lot of save ends effects or if you have a way to make use of the Fear keyword (Starfire Womb, Hellfire Blood, Stygian Adept). Red
for Cha-Psions, who will stick with Dishearten and Mind Thrust for these types of effects.
Psychic, Will

Mind Break: PHB3. A ranged basic attack that only does damage and applies psychic vulnerability. It allows you to pursue the path of a striker, or leader if your partymembers also do psychic damage. For those roles I’d rate this blue, but since you’re supposed to be a controller black is the best I can do. Gets better if you have an RBA-granting leader, since you can apply Psychic vulnerability out-of-turn and immediately use it on your own turn.
Cha, Psychic, Will

Ectoplasmic Servant (AD, SC): PsP. A possible replacement for Static Mote if you’re into auto-slowing, but at this level you can do so much better. It only damages enemies, so it has that going for it. Also has some soft control, but since the damage is only once per turn it’s useless for zone pingpong. Only take this if your whole party has World Serpent´s Grasp or other ways to take advantage of slowed enemies.

Matter Dissipation (SC): PsP. Like most soft control powers, the low damage simply won’t deter any non-minion from staying in the zone. It’s really a testament to how bad Insidious Doubt is that this is still rated above it.

Insidious Doubt (SC): DR390. Yikes, this is a bad power. Only one target, soft control for some of the least used action types, and worst of all no augment 2. You could try to double-tap psychic vulnerability with this, but really, why would you even bother.
Cha, Psychic, Will[/sblock]

Level 13
[sblock]Basic power points: 7.
Total with bonus: 10 (Escaped Thrall or Noble Adept theme, psionic paragon path)

You’re now getting to the point where you have to make some serious considerations if a new power is better than any other power you already have access to. Augment 4 is a high price to pay, especially if you didn’t take a psionic paragon path. So be very sure if the power you’re taking is worth losing a power that only takes 2 power points to augment.
This level is all about Action Denial through movement control. It also offers a nice Forced Movement power for Cha-Psions, a concealment/blinding power for Stealth builds and the only Psion power in the game that deals radiant damage.

Sample power selection
Cha-Psion: Thunder Tether, Betrayal, Dishearten
Wis-Psion: Thunder Tether, Dread Spiral, Dishearten
The rest: Thunder Tether, Dimensional Scramble, Dishearten

Thunder Tether (AD, SC): PHB3. Now this is control! The augment 1 corrals two monsters in a 5x5 zone where they won’t bother (or run from) your party for a round. Leaving the zone is impossible, so it even gets around stuff like teleportation that immobilize and slow can’t deal with. The augment 4 is soft control, but depending on how you good your Wis is, this can do a lot of damage when you combine it with forced movement. Every instance of forced movement deals thunder damage, so you can abuse this with non-standard action forced movement powers like Forceful Push and Hand of Caution. Also synergizes very well with Mark of Storm. You can replace Force Grasp with this to make room for another level 3-7 power.

Kinetic Wave (FM, SC): PsP. Thunderwave is good. A Thunderwave that leaves behind a 3x3x3 or 5x5x5 zone of difficult terrain is better. Unless you’re fighting in a wide-open space, this does a good job of getting the monsters off your party’s back. Be mindful that it’s party-unfriendly and that you have to approach melee to use it. Better for Shapers and Dreamwalkers who use it from their conjuration’s square.

Inexplicable Attraction (FM, SC): PsP. This power is good in that it actually has a useful effect when you’re out of power points. Although the slide is limited to a square adjacent to another creature, sliding one or two targets 3-5 squares can save you from an ambush or draw unwilling casters and artillery next to the striker and defender. The augment 4 has a little soft control baked in, but as usual the damage is far too low to be an effective deterrent. Also interesting is that this is a Wis-power that deals psychic damage for Psychic Lock.
Wis, Psychic, Will

Void Shard (AD, FM): PsP. An almost strict upgrade of Static Mote. All the separate effects of this power aren’t very impressive, but they combine to make quite a decent action denial power. So if you like auto-slow and large area action denial, Void Shard will serve you well.

Brilliant Thought (AP): PsP. The unaugmented and augment 1 version are only good against artillery that don’t have burst powers, so in other words extremely limited. The black rating comes from the fact that the augment 4 lets you attack all targets in an area burst 1 twice, and if you manage to hit an enemy twice it's blinded. It’s also the only Psion power that deals radiant damage, giving you an entry pass into the Radiant Mafia. If you attack at least two targets with radiant vulnerability twice per round, your damage output starts to approach striker levels. Finally, I'll mention the usefulness for Gnomes, Wood Elves and Shades who are built around Stealth and want concealment to remain invisible.

Dual Hallucination (AD): PHB3. This power deals psychic damage to two targets at large range, but unfortunately only the augment 4 has any control effect. It’s a good replacement for Mind Thrust if you have a party full of Deft Blade users and implement users who attack Reflex, an alternative to Inexplicable Attraction for Psychic Lock users who love the range and the multitargetting, or an upgrade from Cranial Disturbance for ranged dazing.
Cha, Psychic, Will

Telepathic Wail (AD): DSH. When I heard about a new Psion power coming out, I kinda hoped it would do more than deafen your targets. The unaugmented version has a very niche use for Shapers and Dreamwalkers who want to make a Stealth check out of sight after their conjuration has deafened everyone for a -10 Perception penalty. The usefulness of the augment 1 and 2 completely depend on the enemies you’re facing. Good if you plan to fight Mindflayers and other psychic scum, otherwise completely useless.
Psychic, Will

Mind Wipe (AP): PHB3. Mind Wipe is a fine power in it’s own right. It just has one little problem: aside from doing a little more damage, it’s completely overshadowed by the level 1 power Dishearten. And that earns you a red rating, especially as a level 13 power.
Cha, Psychic, Will

Concussion Burst (AD): PHB3. Terrible damage, and prone is a very underwhelming status effect at this level. Not to mention that the level 3 power Force Hammer does the same, is more versatile and actually has a damage roll. At this level you can afford the 2 power points necessary for Force Hammer to prone, so pick up a power that actually does something instead.[/sblock]

Level 17
[sblock]Basic power points: 9.
Total with bonus: 12 (Escaped Thrall or Noble Adept theme, psionic paragon path)

Psions who go for control can safely skip this level, since every single control power is just bad. If you’re looking for a third at-will power with a slightly different effect however, there are two very good leader powers here for you to take. Especially Forced Opportunity can completely change your playstyle and will make your Warlord green with envy. You can also get an at-will zone abuse power if you're optimized for Forced Movement.

Sample power selection
Cha-Psion: Forced Opportunity, Thunder Tether, Dishearten
Wis-Psion: Shield Crack, Thunder Tether, Dread Spiral
The rest: Forced Opportunity, Thunder Tether, Dimensional Scramble

Forced Opportunity: PHB3. Wait, what? Since when do Psions grant free attacks to allies? Well, they do now, and they do it splendidly. This power instantly turns you into a Lazylord by letting one ally attack with a big bonus (unaugmented) or letting the party murder one creature outright (augment 4). You know what they say about control: dead is the best status effect, and this power goes a long way towards making that happen. In some fights, this is the only power you’ll be using. The rating is obviously lower if you don't have many good opportunity attackers in your party.
Cha, Will

Shield Crack: PHB3. It took a while, but finally Wis-Psions get their own Mind Thrust. No control effect, but an area burst 1 that lowers AC is pretty good. Especially since it targets Reflex, usually not the highest defense of those annoying soldiers. The augment 1 makes it partyfriendly, which is pretty rare for a Psion! The augment 2 also lowers Reflex, which means this power becomes more accurate the next time you use it against the same targets. Does lightning damage, so works with Mark of Storm. Purple
for Cha-Psions with Mind Thrust.

Cerulean Cage
(SC): PsP. Great, so you can deal a few extra damage to a target if it leaves its square? That will deter absolutely no-one. The augment 4 is the reason you take this though. It's the only at-will power in the Psion's arsenal for zone abuse, which you achieve by sliding the target in and out of the damaging zone multiple times (with Dread Spiral for example). Doing multiple instances of your Int mod damage will get a monster bloodied quickly, especially if you apply vulnerability to force damage. That's pretty hard to find, but Concussive Detonation at level 27 will do it.

Telekinetic Haze (AP, FM): PsP. Compares infavorably to the level 7 power Kinetic Buffer. The augmented version on that one is larger, cheaper to use and combines the forced movement with the defense bonus so you won’t have to choose between the two. The only ones who want this power are Gnomes, Wood Elves and Shades who try to remain hidden and let their Shaper/Dreamwalker conjurations do their attacking for them.

Psychic Brand: PHB3. Another leader power which makes it impossible for enemies to stay invisible and applies vulnerability with the augment 4. Not necessarily a bad power, but not a controller power either. If you want a damaging leader power, take Forced Opportunity instead.
Cha, Psychic, Will

Thought Guardian (AP, AD): PsP. Let’s make this clear right now: the unaugmented and augment 1 version should never be used in favor of Dishearten. The augment 4 is usable in the first round if you win initiative and place the conjuration right behind the monsters, but that’s about it. Since you run the risk of the monsters avoiding the opportunity attacks by teleporting or just using ranged attacks, this power doesn’t deserve a higher rating.

Manifested Horror (SC): PsP. Another bad soft control power. This would actually look interesting on a defender for a nice Catch-22, but since you’re a controller and your enemies will have HP to spare, dealing Int mod damage won’t influence their actions much. Has the Fear keyword for Starfire Womb, Hellfire Blood and Stygian Adept, but you should go with Ego Whip instead if you’re into that.
Psychic, Will

Crystalline Bonds (AD): PHB3. Seriously, no damage? With a level 17 close blast 3 immobilize? Although there’s only one other at-will that immobilizes (Force Grasp at 7), it completely overshadows Crystalline Bonds with its more flexible targeting and damage.

Level 23
[sblock]Basic power points: 13.
Total with bonus: 16 (Escaped Thrall or Noble Adept theme, psionic paragon path)

Three great control effects here (dominate, removed from play and area blindness). The rest of the powers suffer from the psionic power syndrome: they're just not good enough compared to lower level powers. Although Phantom Burden is an option for Psions who tend to run out of power points before the fight is over, since it's the only power with a good control effect that doesn't cost 6 power points.

Sample power selection
Cha-Psion: Sudden Control, Thunder Tether, Dishearten
Wis-Psion: Mindfire Explosion, Shield Crack, Thunder Tether
The rest: Mindfire Explosion, Forced Opportunity, Thunder Tether

Sudden Control (FM, AD): PHB3. You can finally do what telepaths do best: take complete control over another’s mind. The unaugmented version is an upgraded Betrayal (bigger slide, target can attack itself, melee or ranged (OA!) basic attack, bonus to attack and damage rolls), and the augment 6 lets you outright dominate the target. On its turn you make the target charge another enemy or run off a cliff, taking as many opportunity attacks from your allies on the way as possible. And next turn, you get to do it again. There’s a reason you waited so long for this ability.
Cha, Psychic, Will

Mindfire Explosion (AP): PsP. The unaugmented and augment 2 versions will annoy bunched-up artillery, but not much else (Gnomes, Wood Elves and Shades like it for hiding though). The augment 6 blinds in a large area burst, which can just shut down combat for a few rounds. Great for Wis-Pions who want their share of attack penalties. If you like 'em blind, replace Brilliant Thought with this. A bit overshadowed by Psionic Veil at 27 though.

Space Vortex (FM, AD): PHB3. The teleport is useful, but the low damage is unacceptable. The augment 6 provides incredible control though: nice damage and the enemy is removed from play for a round, no questions asked. This power drops to red
for Cha-Psions who take the dominate effect instead. If you’re a Cha-Psion, you only pick this up if you really need the teleport effect or you like Betrayal better. Though I have to say, dominate is so strong that even Wis-Psions should probably still take Sudden Control over this.

Phantom Burden (AD, SC): PsP. One of the few powers with an augment 6 that’s actually worse than the augment 2. Applying slow and difficult terrain in an area burst 2 will keep most monsters off you for at least one round, whereas making them fall prone after they’ve moved next to you will only give them a -2 penalty to attack. If the augment 6 did something cool too, this power would earn a higher rating.

Daggers of Pain (SC): PHB3. The unaugmented and augment 2 version are just worse versions of Mind Break (which doesn’t even have a control effect to begin with). If you want to trick out this power, it’s hard but possible to build around the augment 6. The Praetor Legate level 16 feature lets you slide all targets adjacent to you one square at the start of their turn (which can be increased with Controlling Advantage for example). You can also ready Dread Spiral or a similar forced movement power for when the enemy starts its turn. More on the possibilities with Praetor Legate here(x).
Cha, Psychic, Will

Prismatic Swarms (AP, FM): PsP. Adding a slide to an unaugmented Dishearten is nice, but not being a psychic power (thus not triggering Psychic Lock) is what kills the rating on this. Maybe purple
for Wis-Psions, but they should still take Mindfire Explosion over it if they’re interested in applying attack penalties.

Mind Trap (AD, AP, SC): PsP. If you want to prevent enemies from taking out-of-turn actions, you're much better off just dazing them. Dual Hallucination already gave you a multitarget daze that deals psychic damage at level 13, and is more versatile to boot, so you should just stick to that.
Cha, Psychic, Will

Cruel Crush (AD): PHB3. Single target proning at level 23, blegh. The range is good, but that’s about it. The augment 6 is like a single target slow + attack penalty, which isn’t nearly enough to even consider taking this power. Stick to Force Hammer for your proning needs.[/sblock]

Level 27
[sblock]Basic power points: 15.
Total with bonus: 18 (Escaped Thrall or Noble Adept theme, psionic paragon path). 20 if you took the Topaz Crusader epic destiny.

And we finish with some Action Denial and Attack Penalties in the form of area stun and invisibility/blindness. Apart from those powers, there’s not much else to consider. But that doesn’t really matter, since you have your full selection of at-will powers by now.

Sample power selection
Cha-Psion: Psionic Veil, Sudden Control, Forced Opportunity
Wis-Psion: Concussive Detonation, Thunder Tether, Dimensional Scramble
The rest: Concussive Detonation, Mindfire Explosion, Forced Opportunity

Concussive Detonation (AD): PHB3. Close blast 3 slow, force vulnerability or stun. That’s a nice set of effects to apply in a blast, especially the stun. The best part is: once you get a bunch of enemies in the blast, you can keep hitting them with the stun for as long as you have power points; I mean, they’re not going anywhere. If you are still carrying around Mind Blast from level 9, you can finally exchange it for something else now.

Psionic Veil (AP): PHB3. If you position yourself (or your Shaper/Dreamwalker conjuration) and your partymembers correctly, you won’t even have to use the augment 6 on this. You being invisible or them being blinded has practically the same effect (-5 attack penalty for melee and ranged attacks, -7 with Psychic Lock), so you can save a lot of power points that way. If you took or wanted to take Mindfire Explosion at level 23, you can now take this instead. Again, good for Gnomes, Wood Elves and Shades who want to stay hidden.
Psychic, Will

Kinetic Detonation (FM): PsP. A large or even VERY large burst that pushes enemies out of it has its uses. You probably don’t want to use a precious at-will slot for a power that does only that, but if you do, Kinetic Detonation is there for the taking. It’s an alternative to Kinetic Wave for Psions who are tired of wading into melee to use a good forced movement area power.

Decerebrate (AD): PsP. The unaugmented version does nothing but be a ranged basic attack. The augment 2 has very weird targeting (one creature in an area burst 1?), but taking a move action away from a creature is nice as a form of semi-daze. The augment 6 dazes three enemies with psychic damage, which is a nice upgrade from Dual Hallucination’s two targets at the cost of two more power points. Not much more to tell about this decent but wholly unimpressive power.
Psychic, Will

Intrusive Spear: PHB3. I guess the designers were out of inspiration, since this power does exactly the same thing no matter how many times you augment it. And that thing (making targets grant combat advantage) isn’t even good. Stick to Mind Thrust or Shield Crack if you want to make a target easier to hit.

Claws of Force (AD): PHB3. This power was good as the level 7 Force Grasp, but 20 levels later I really expect better than single target slow/restrain and some weird form of movement denial. It’s even worse than Force Grasp due to the limited targeting and the huge amount of power points you have to spend for hard movement denial.

Reality Meltdown (SC): PsP. Theoretically, if you can keep enemies bunched up next to each other, you can deal Int+Int/1d6+Int/2d6+Int fire damage to each enemy once per round by moving the molten orb into their squares. But if the enemies are already in that set-up, why not just use a nice area burst or close blast that actually does something useful?

Hail of Crystals (SC): PsP. A “damned if you do, damned if you don’t” power. Except that the zone is too small and that nobody cares about the piddly damage to be deterred either way. Could be used to clear up minions, but do you really need this turd of a power for that?

Originally posted by svendj:

Triumph of Thought: Daily Powers
As a controller you need to pick your daily powers with care. Ideally they multitarget (burst or blast, the bigger the better) and provide sustainable or save ends action denial. In other words, they make fights easier for your party by disabling multiple enemies for one or more rounds.

Level 1
[sblock]Only two powers with any decent control at this level, so if you want to do your job right the choice ain’t hard. If you’re looking for a bit more damage instead, you have some mediocre options.

Living Missile: PsP. Look at the control on this one! Immobilize or slow for action denial, slide 10 for massive forced movement and prone as icing on a sweet, sweet cake. You can easily take one or two melee targets out of the fight so long as the primary target doesn’t save. This power is absolutely worth getting save penalties like Crushing Turmoil or Ego Whip for so you can also sustain this on elites and solo’s. Don’t forget that you can also slide the enemy into dangerous terrain instead of into his buddy. This power gets bonus points for great top-down design.

Hand of Caution: PHB3. Annoying the hell out of one enemy by pushing him around is a lot of fun. Unfortunately that's the only control this power offers.

Summon Thought Servant: PsP. Summon a speedy ally that can attack and put dying allies back on their feet, or at least stabilize them. Too bad it costs you a power point to really make this summon do something worthwhile, which isn't something you can easily afford at this level. Also has no control effect besides putting another guy on the battlefield.

Mental Trauma: PHB3. Damage and vulnerability at level 1 can quickly get rid of one enemy. But unless it’s a solo or dangerous elite and your partymembers also do psychic damage, there are better powers out there.

Psychic Dissolution: PsP. The power effectively gives your defender and other allies adjacent to the target concealment against it. Interesting but not worthy of a daily power.

Telepathic Projection: PsP. On each of your turns, the target is hit with an unaugmented Betrayal as long as it doesn’t make its save. Depending on the target’s damage and reach, this could be fun. Unfortunately you don't get a secondary effect at all if the target makes its first save. The miss effect is also annoying, if not outright dangerous to your partymembers. The control this power offers depends entirely on the effects of the target's MBA, so practically none.

Telekinetic Anchor: PHB3. This unfriendly area burst 1 offers some soft control, but not enough to raise any eyebrows.

Ravening Thought: PHB3. This would’ve been much more elegant as an area burst 1. It still wouldn’t be good, but it would be elegant.[/sblock]

Level 5
[sblock]Fortunately you get a much better selection here than at level 1. Almost every flavor of control is present: prone, grab, immobilize, slow, daze and forced movement are all available, and every effect has a good power.

Force Spheres: PsP. Although knocking enemies prone isn’t the most amazing of control effects, it’s far from the worst. Now imagine getting that ability as a minor action, four times per encounter, at range 20 with good damage attached. We'll also throw in a free untyped +2 bonus to all defenses. Too bad it's a do-nothing standard action to activate. You want to use this round one but that's the round you should throw your best control effect at 'em. And a single target prone shouldn't be that effect.

Summon Ebony Stinger: PsP. A summon that grabs, now that’s interesting! You always augment it of course, since escape checks against its Fortitude are laughably easy otherwise. Try to grab weak-looking targets (preferably ranged attackers) who don’t have Athletics trained to ensure the grab is sustained. An opportunity attack that inflicts ongoing damage is a nice bonus.

Inflicted Mindscape: PsP. A friendly area burst 1 save ends immobilize is a great thing to have, especially when it leaves a slowing zone behind. Be aware that the zone slows until the end of the enemy’s next turn instead of yours, so the enemy doesn’t start its next turn slowed when it saves against the immobilize.

Hypnotic Pulse: PHB3. BAM, you’re dazed! Fortunately this is enemies only. Too bad the miss effect doesn’t do half damage.

Crisis of Identity: PHB3. Unaugmented Betrayal with damage stapled onto it. If you make the target attack itself, this power does some very nice damage.

Telekinetic Maul: PHB3. If you really can’t wait until level 7 to get your hands on Dread Spiral, I guess there’s always this. You do get to use the coolest dice though, three of them no less.

Thunderous Exit: PsP. An interesting escape power in a huge area. Unfortunately it's unfriendly, so you're bound to include some allies in the attack. Better for Shapers/Dreamwalkers who can use their conjuration to pick the most ideal spot for the burst.

Shredding Ribbons: PHB3. An unfriendly zone that does negligible damage once per turn, and you need a minor action to sustain it? No thank you.[/sblock]

Level 9
[sblock]Like level 1, there is only one good choice at this level. You might look back to level 5 if you don’t like Mind Blast, but I have no idea why you wouldn’t.

Mind Blast: PHB3. No damage, but stunned save ends (dazed until end of next turn on a miss) in a close blast 5 is ridiculously powerful. This allows you to simply shut down one encounter per day, no questions asked. No other power at this level even comes close. Unfriendly, so wait until your allies have left the blast area before you unleash it. Even better for Shapers and Dreamwalkers.

Clear the Slate: PHB3. Instead of stunning enemies from up close, you can slide them from a distance. Not quite the same effect, but Wis-Psions could get some serious mileage out of this by laying down an augment 4 Cerulean Cage and action point with this to add around 30 extra damage to each target hit. Or before level 17, just throw them off a cliff.

Inflict Pain: PsP. The guy who named this power should take another long look at what “pain” constitutes at level 9, because 2d6+Int and ongoing 5 damage isn’t it. Sure, it’s an area burst 2 that slows, but nothing to go wild over.

Sensory Onslaught: PHB3. A single target debuff with attack penalties is nice against annoying solos. If you face a lot of those, you might consider taking this.

Summon Phantasmal Killer: PsP. Putting another body on the field is usually pretty good, but if that body unsummons itself once its target is gone, not so good. The control is decent enough to keep this above red though: -2 attack penalty save ends and psychic damage (so Psychic Lock) shuts one enemy down pretty effectively.

Echoing Boom: PsP. This gives you something to with your minor and immediate action. Not much, mind you, but adding a Mark of Storm effect to one attack per round is still something.

Malicious Lightning: PsP. So much has to go right for this power to reach its potential (which is just dealing some extra damage), and it’s simply not worth the effort. You might try it with Mark of Storm, but I wouldn’t bother. A little better if your defender locks down enemies around him.

Mind Cannon: PHB3. A weird not-area-burst attack that pushes one target one square and deafens it? No. Thank. You.[/sblock]

Level 15
[sblock]Most Psions upgrade Living Missile or their level 5 power to Living Barrage here and call it a day. If you’re going for forced movement optimization you could take Imprison, but after that the well runs dry.

Living Barrage: PsP. Seriously, the amount of fun you can have with this power is almost criminal. Area burst 1 immobilize is already good, but then throwing everyone around the battlefield for multiple rounds leaves you in total control. If your party times their initiative right (between the enemies and you), the immobilized/slowed/prone foes will never get a chance to attack in melee. Oh, and for Dreamwalkers this is just ridonkulous.

Imprison: PHB3. Like the level 9 power Clear the Slate, but this trades one square of forced movement for immobilized save ends. Trading up, I’d say. Like Clear the Slate, this is also good with Cerulean Cage.

Dominate: PHB3. Dominate is still a rare ability at this point of the game, and making it save ends is sweet. Too bad it’s single target, and that the miss effect doesn’t also dominate, but it's rare enough to still earn a good rating.

Psychofeedback: PHB3. You daze two targets at range, which is useful at the start of combat. They also give you temp HP if they don’t attack you, which is a nice bonus I guess. Would be better if it did anything besides damage on a miss.

Summon Thought Warrior: PsP. This power lets you act as a proxy defender, which is nice if you absoposilutely need one. If you stick this to an annoying artillery or skirmisher, it's gonna have a hard time getting away from it. Still costs you your standard action to keep up the mark though.

Forced Serenity: PsP. This power masquerades as a soft control power (don’t attack or take 10 damage!), but seriously, what are they going to do, not attack until they save? You use this power when you face a group of multi-atttackers or creatures who use bursts and blasts. When your DM is partial to dragons, you could do worse than this.

Thoughts of Unmaking: PsP. A lot of ongoing damage that could get out of hand quickly if you and your allies manage to bloody the target. It’s should be most effective against targets with a lot of HP like elites and solos, but unfortunately they get bonuses to saving throws, making them actually the worst targets. Since standard monsters die too quickly, this power is something you should skip unless you deal in saving throw penalties.

Crushing Bludgeon: PHB3. A single target implement attack vs. AC. That slows. But wait, it deals 4d10 damage! 4d10!!!
Luckily there’s no rating lower than red, because this waste of space would’ve gotten it.[/sblock]

Level 19
[sblock]No stand-outs at this level, but it’s not so bad that you have to look back to earlier levels for a good choice. Another decent summon(s), mass restrain, forced movement and removing enemies from play makes for a nice set of powers.

Summon Mind Weirds: PsP. This puts three Phantasmal Killers on the battlefield, which is quite the wall of fur (scales? ectoplasm? whatever). Too bad they unsummon after their prey dies, but getting three standard actions for the price of one and a bunch of opportunity attacks is good enough. The augment 1 is a pretty useless bonus, although you can afford the power point by now.

Flowing Terrain: PsP. You bind a bunch of enemies to the ground, literally. This friendly close blast 5 sets up a much safer battlefield for your allies to fight on.

Shred Reality: PHB3. Your allies should grit their teeth when you use this because they’re going to get hit by it, but the effect is worthwhile: you rearrange a huge area to your own liking, and remove the most dangerous target from play for a round. As always, don’t forget you can teleport vertically for 1d10 falling damage and prone.

Force Cube: PsP. This obviously top-down designed power lets you take one enemy out of play for a round, hit or not. His buddies can start hammering the Cube to free him, so it’s perfectly possible you never get to make the secondary attack. But hey, in that case it deals some extra damage and it has absorbed a couple of attacks which otherwise would’ve gone to your party, so that’s also good.

Psychic Leech: PHB3. A double-hitter that lets you gain a power point and some temp HP. This would’ve been good at lower levels, but at this stage one power point won’t make much of a difference.

Cerebral Phantasm: PsP. Some forced movement and something to do with your immediate action as long as the target doesn’t save. Nothing truly bad about this power, but there are just so many superior options available at this point.

Psychic Crush: PHB3. If you want to daze in an area burst 1, just pick up the level 5 power Hypnotic Pulse. The ongoing damage isn’t worth the unreliability.

Crisis of Breath: PHB3. Single target ongoing damage, that’s all. No control and no area effect relegates this power to the realms of red.[/sblock]

Level 25
[sblock]Not a bad level! You finally get a large controlling zone, another dominate (save ends this time), another good summon, and a power that quickly becomes one-shot-one-kill if you have a hard-hitting striker in your party.

Far Realm’s Embrace: PHB3. This is the face of true control. It’s a wordy power, so lemme summarize it for you: 7x7x7 burst which deals psychic damage+ongoing, restrains, and leaves behind a sustainable zone that deals damage, immobilizes and pulls targets as an opportunity attack. Unless you’re fighting a group of teleporters, it’s unimaginable that this doesn’t simply win you the encounter.

Thrall: PHB3. If you hit with this, the target can look forward to spending at least a couple of turns under your control. So make it do running charges across the map to its allies, drawing as many opportunity attacks as you can. A good power power to add to what by now can be a robust arsenal of dominate powers.

Summon Emerald Terror: PsP. You summon a large dude that gives everyone adjacent to it a -2 to hit and has a sweet attack. Repeatable Kinetic Bursts which prone are awesome, and could very well be worth spending your standard action on over the course of multiple rounds. The augment has the strange effect that it makes the Emerald Terror give out saving throw penalties when it hits with a melee attack, which is useful if you’re into that sort of thing.

Mind Switch: PHB3. Stun save ends is always handy to have around in a fight, even if you get repeatable stun two levels later. This power mostly suffers from the fact that you also get access to Thrall, since dominate >> stun.

Recall Agony: PsP. Getting an immediate attack as a Psion is already good, since you rarely have use for your immediate action. If you want this power depends entirely on your party. If you have a couple of wimpy strikers or blasters, the ongoing damage won’t be impressive. However, if you have a Barbarian that regularly uncorks daily powers that deal over 200 damage on one hit, this becomes a quick death sentence for all but the toughest solos. You should know when you want this.

Forest of Exclusion: PHB3. Another emergency red-button power that keeps enemies off you and gets better when you’re a Shaper/Dreamwalker. I suppose the zone is meant to keep enemies from approaching you, but the penalty for entering it is negligible. Although combat advantage is always nice to have.

Thought Hammer: PHB3. Although prone is a lame status effect, being able to shoot three flyers out of the sky can come in handy occasionally. Plus, d12s!

Telekinetic Bombard: PHB3. This power is unimpressive by itself. When you take into account the fact that Summon Emerald Terror does the same but with many more benefits attached, there is no reason to take this power.[/sblock]

Level 29
[sblock]No standouts at this level, and you could be forgiven for looking back to earlier levels for a better choice. That said, you do get a ginormous zone here, which should be your signature move as a controller.

Ravenous Singularity: PsP. It seems only fitting that as your capstone daily power, you get the ability to summon a friggin’ black hole onto the battlefield. The area of effect is HUGE (11x11x11), and although it doesn’t deal damage it’s difficult to escape since it immobilizes or slows. If you have any saving throw penalties in your arsenal, now would be the time to apply them: any creature that fails its save against the immobilize/slow is eaten by the black hole, removing it from play. Unfriendly and a little unreliable, but still the top pick at this level.

Hurl into Heaven: PsP. Hit or miss, you pick up your enemies for a turn, leave them restrained in mid-air, and smash them back to the ground at the start of your next turn. Nice to clear up a cluttered battlefield for a turn. This power is a little confusing against flying enemies, but you should consult your DM when that becomes relevant.

Soul Break: PHB3. Another single target save ends dominate power. This is actually much worse than the level 25 Thrall power, since you don’t want to give enemies a choice of taking damage or becoming stunned (guess what they’ll pick?). So if you don't have Thrall yet, pick that power over this one. If you do, and you want another dominate power, you could do far worse than this one.

Clasp of the Psion: PHB3. This power is decent enough on its own, and one of the few reasons to get some force powers in your arsenal since you can keep enemies immobilized for a good long time. Too bad it’s overshadowed by Ravenous Singularity.

Microcosm: PHB3. I appreciate the flavor behind this power. That said, this should just stun the target and get it over with. Applying three different save ends effects, of which only one is relevant, is just annoying and unnecessary.

Consuming Psychosis: PsP. This power could be decent in theory, but unless your partymembers GTFO, they run the risk of taking a free attack to the face at the start of the targets’ turns. Not exactly what I call good control.

Tear the World: PHB3. Damage+ongoing in an unfriendly close blast 5, with some forced movement when they save. That just doesn’t get my engine started.

Summon Thought Champion: PsP. This large summon turns you into a lazylord by spending your standard action to use one of your allies’ at-wills. Unfortunately you don't get added benefits like curse damage or cold vulnerability, so they won't be quite as effective as they are for your allies, making this a trap choice. [/sblock]

Originally posted by svendj:

Quick Thinking: Utility Powers
The list of utility powers at each level will include all class utility powers and the skill powers that are rated at least black. Skill powers are sorted by class skills and non-class skills. The best powers will generally let you hit more often, prevent getting hit and increase your mobility.

Don't forget you can also take utility powers from your theme and race. Those are beyond the scope of this handbook, but check the Theme and Race sections for some general advice.

Level 2
[sblock]Cha-Psions take Intellect Fortress, Wis-Psions go for Transport Self. If you're trained in Dungeoneering, also consider Stay Back. Otherwise you have access to powers that increase your mobility or let you hide easily, and skill powers that can shore up all sorts of shortcomings.

Intellect Fortress
: PHB3. This is a good reason to be a Cha-Psion. Having 18 Cha makes this the equivalent of the acclaimed Wizard power Shield, but for all your defenses. Once your Cha rises further, this simply lets you negate any attack that's not a crit once per fight. Take this and love it.

Transport Self: PHB3. This gives Wis-Psions a Fey Step, which is a very underrated power. You'll mostly use it to teleport to safety, presumably out of a grab or to higher ground so enemies can’t easily reach you.

Mind Shroud: PsP. Although it slows you, this gives you an effective +5 bonus to all your defenses for a round. Very good to have if you expect to get attacked in melee often. Essential for Stealth builds who can use this to hide in plain sight. Even those who aren't built for Stealth can still try to hide, because hey, free combat advantage!

Telekinetic Lift: PHB3. The rating assumes you use this on a portable platform of some sort (like a shield) to create a glider that you or an ally can use to fly around on for one encounter per day. If you don’t use it that way, the power only has niche and roleplaying purposes.

Borrow Training: PsP. Even if your ability score for the skill sucks, a +5 bonus is huge. Use this to succeed on physical checks like Athletics, Acrobatics and Thievery, or for those skill challenges during combat that require training in a very specific skill.

Dimensional Stowaway: PsP. The power is cool, but a little out of place on a Psion. Your only power that’s really good with this is Transport Self of the same level, and then only if you’re a Wis-Psion. Better if you’re an Eladrin,
Shadar-kai, Shardmind or Wilden.

Buoyancy of Thought: PsP. Being knocked prone can be incredibly annoying. But if you’re really concerned about that just take the level 2 Acrobatics utility Agile Recovery or wear Acrobat Boots. Preventing falling damage can come in handy once in a blue moon, but it’s no reason to take this power.

Skill Empowerment: PHB3. As a daily power this is very underwhelming. I guess if you’re concerned about that one very important skill check that seems to come around once every adventure, then you can take this.

Skill powers

Class skills:

Stay Back:DSH. Dungeoneering. With something as simple as a Sunrod (4 gp), you can give all enemies within a 20-square radius a -2 attack penalty for a round. Not bad for a minor action! A Floating Lantern (level 3 common item) makes this even easier, although the radius is "only" 10 squares. Just suspend your disbelieve for a second when you're using a torch to scare off Fire Elementals in bright daylight.

Arcane Mutterings
: PHB3. Arcana. If you dumped your Charisma, this gives you an out if you're faced with a sudden social check.

Strategist's Epiphany: PHB3. History. If you don't have another way to boost your initiative, use this for that one combat where you really need to go first.

Non-class skills:

Agily Recovery: PHB3. Acrobatics. This power alone is worth getting training in Acrobatics for. Although not as good on you as it is on melee characters, using your minor action to stand up from prone is super for your action economy.

City Rat: PHB3. Streetwise. If you get training in Streetwise somehow, your score should be very good. Hiding then becomes much easier, giving you a round of reprieve and/or free combat advantage which is kind of hard to come by otherwise.

Failed Diplomacy: DSH. Streetwise. A party-wide +2 power bonus to initiative is nice, but when it comes with free combat advantage during the first round it's certainly worth considering. Don't take this if you have a Warlord with Combat Leader in your party.

Iron Resurgence: DSH. Heal. It's not cheap on the healing surges, but if you want to act as the party's back-up healer, this is an okay way to do it.[/sblock]

Level 6
[sblock]Your class powers at this level are pretty bad, so you'll probably look to level 2 or take a skill power like Insightful Warning, Guided Shot or Timely Dodge.

Mental Void: PsP. Like Shield and Intellect Fortress, but only for your Will. Which isn’t bad, because that’s one of the defenses that’s most likely to get attacked if you stay at range. Getting a round of combat advantage out of it against the target is gravy.

Intellect Prism: PsP. This lets you be a Shaper or Dreamwalker for one encounter per day. The fact that the Prism has +4 to all defenses and hp equal to your surge value actually makes it pretty good. When it’s destroyed you’re dazed for turn, but by that time you should be well out of reach of the enemy. Obviously red for Shapers and Dreamwalkers.

Shared Recovery: PsP. Getting 10 free temp HP each fight is certainly good. Too bad the conditions (an ally within 5 regains HP or makes a save) are not the most reliable of circumstances, especially in the first rounds of combat when you’re most likely to need the temps.

Explosive Force: PsP. A free action encounter power that gives you combat advantage is very good in theory, since you have a hard time getting it as a ranged caster. It’s too bad there are so many hoops you need to jump through to obtain it (hit with an unaugmented force power, there must be enemies next to the target). I wouldn’t bother.

Telekinetic Screen: PHB3. Reducing the damage from a critical hit might just save your life. It just shouldn’t come into play more than once per day, and even then it might not be enough to save you.

Steadfast Stanchion: PHB3. Letting you and your party ignore forced movement for as long as you don’t move is pretty nice, but it’s not remotely worth a standard action.

Mind Shadow: PHB3. So let me get this straight: you can’t use this to sneak past some guards because you’ll be their nearest enemy, and the invisibility fades the moment you hit with an attack? And this is a daily power? Do yourself a favor and skip this.

Skill powers

Class skills:

Insightful Warning: PHB3. Arcana. You not only prevent yourself from getting hit by an annoying burst or blast, with a little luck you can do the same for one or two allies. Preventing hits is a crucial skill to have in your arsenal as a fragile controller.

Guided Shot: PHB3. Perception. If your ally misses an important attack by one or two points, use this to hopefully make it a hit. Very nice if you want to minor in leading.

Warp in the Weave: DR385. Arcana. Although outright preventing a hit is awesome, it’s not like you have healing surges to spare. Use it to avoid a dragon’s breath attack, not the first area attack that comes your way.

Prescient Maneuver: PHB3. Insight. Chances are that an enemies have to cover quite a lot of ground to attack you. Use this to stay just out of their reach.

Everybody Move: PHB3. Intimidate. An emergency button in case you’re surrounded. It automatically hits, so it can get you out of some sticky situations. Better for Shapers and Dreamwalkers who can use it to somewhat rearrange the battlefield.

Non-class skills:

Timely Dodge: DSH. Acrobatics. Cancelling any melee attack made against you once per encounter is extremely good for a fragile controller like you. If you’re trained in Acrobatics, don’t look any further.

Shrouding Gloom: PHB3. Stealth. Builds that want to hide can make good use out of this to prevent attacks and get free combat advantage. Not for everyone, but good for those that can use it.

Natural Terrain Understanding: DR385. Nature. A small Reorient the Axis, coupled with an AC bonus once per encounter is a very decent use of your minor action. For those of you who want some leader capabilities.

Swift Recovery: PHB3. Heal. Although this requires you to get into melee, raising an unconscious ally as a minor action can be critical to the outcome of a battle. If combats go awry, you’ll be glad to have it. Better for Shapers and Dreamwalkers who can just send their conjuration in to do the job for them.[/sblock]

Level 10
[sblock]Plenty of decent options at this level, but nothing that’s head and shoulders above the rest. Dimensional Shortcut is very close to skyblue though, and Trace Teleport is worth considering if you have an Eladrin or other teleporter in your party.

Dimensional Shortcut: PsP. Wow, Reorient the Axis and then some! Laugh as you teleport your party right next to the badguy who was hiding behind his wall of minions. Cheer as you ace the skill challenge where you must climb a tower or a cliff. Feel relieved when you get your party to safety in a fight gone bad. A truly awesome power that is only held back by the fact that it’s a daily.

Mind over Flesh: PHB3. A free saving throw against the most annoying conditions in the game is always welcome. Even better is that the conditions themselves don’t have to be save ends. In combination with Superior Will (which you should have by now), you’ll never be dazed or stunned again.

Force Barricade: PsP. A bit small and fragile for a wall, but it’s still a wall. It’s also the only wall you’re ever going to get as a Psion, so take that into account when considering this power.

Sky Hook: PHB3. Turns you into a Pixie for one encounter per day. Crucial difference is that the altitude limit puts you just out of reach of most medium creatures. Good if you don’t yet have a way to fly.

Intellect Leech: PHB3. A Stirring Shout just for you and for allies who do psychic damage. The amount of temporary hit points you can harvest with this is pretty good if you’re a Cha-Psion, and might save you a healing surge or two.

Trace Teleport: PsP. Without teleporters in your party, this is only occasionally useful when an enemy tries to circumvent the defender by teleporting adjacent to you. With other teleporters in your party however, this becomes a virtually free move action every encounter. Take this power accordingly.

Force Bubble: PHB3. This can come in handy occasionally when it’s clear on turn 1 that you’re facing elemental-themed artillery. As you can imagine, that scenario is rare enough that taking this power is optimistic at best.

Energy Mitigation: PsP. While not a bad power, this is a little overshadowed by the level 6 power Warp in the Weave. This doesn't cost you a surge though.

Skill powers

Class skills:

Prescient Defense: PHB3. Insight. Preventing hits is certainly worth a utility power. Although it won’t prevent a lot of them, it’ll protect you once every one or two encounters.

Stall Tactics: PHB3. Bluff. This essentially increases the party’s initiative by 10, except against enemies that you can’t see. Very good to end a fight before it can properly begin.

Snap Out of It: PHB3. Intimidate. Having a dazed defender or a dominated striker can make combats turn ugly quick. If your leader isn’t the type who deals in saving throws, you can help out by taking this. Better for Shapers and Dreamwalkers who can let their conjuration step into melee for them.

Non-class skills:

Navigate Crowds: PHB3. Streetwise. Shifting your speed once per encounter is a very handy trick to have in your back pocket. While no teleport, it does allow you to get out of some pretty sticky situations.[/sblock]

Level 16
[sblock]Again lots of cool powers here, but you need a very good reason not to be trained in Insight and just take Insightful Riposte at this level.

Precognitive Step: PHB3. A reroll, or preroll in this case, is invaluable for any character, even it’s only once per day. The fact that you can still use it if you make a crappy roll makes this awesome. Insightful Riposte is a lot better though.

Mind Blank: PsP. Making yourself and your allies invisible to all enemies in a close burst 3 is pretty sweet, but unfortunately that means you’ve got to enter melee. Not so for the Shapers and Dreamwalkers among you, though. Place this on your conjuration, move it next to your melee allies and watch your DM groan in frustration. Just keep in mind that the zone is probably gone when your conjuration gets hit.

Psychic Chirurgery: PHB3. As a free action, this is very flexible. Good to use on yourself at the start of your turn to ignore any condition for two turns, or on an ally who was at the wrong at end of a stun or just a lot of ongoing damage. Even better for Shapers and Dreamwalkers who, once again, can send their conjuration into battle to do the dirty work for them.

Dream Traveler: PsP. You become a ghost for one encounter, but you’re weakened. Fortunately, that’s a fine trade for a fragile controller, who is there for status effects first and damage second.

Subjective Reality: PsP. Ignoring anything but blocking terrain once per encounter is one of those abilities that’s deceptively powerful. From water and bushes to lightning pillars and lava-pits, this will get you through them without any trouble. Don’t forget to wave to your allies and enemies who are left on the other side.

Kinetic Grasp: PsP. As an encounter power this is pretty sweet. Forced movement and prone are common enough that you’ll get a use out of this in most encounters. Fits better on a leader than on a controller, but that’s your secondary role anyway.

Freedom of Movement: PHB3. Party is slowed, trapped in a quagmire or ambushed by a bunch of Gelatinous Cubes? Not a problem once you use this power. If your wisdom is good you can also use this to get your partymembers to where they’re supposed to be. Another leader power, and a bit of a situational one, but when this is useful you’ll be superglad you have it.

Telekinetic Boost: PHB3. It’s a fun power for Wis-Psions, but the range on it just sucks. If your allies are within 5 squares of you, there aren’t a lot of places you can slide them to that they couldn’t have reached themselves. Although using this as a springboard can both be useful and hilarious in the right circumstances.

Skill powers

Class skills:

Insightful Riposte: PHB3. Insight. You couldn’t ask for a better utility power. Turning one miss into a hit each encounter is enough reason for any character, but especially a controller, to train Insight.

Indomitable Ally: PHB3. Diplomacy. It won’t be often that you’ll have an ally within 5 squares dropping to zero HP unless you are ambushed. Still a pretty good power to keep your allies going for another turn.

Elemental Countermeasures: PHB3. Arcana. Your Arcana should be pretty good by now, so why not use it to become more resistant to elemental damage?

Non-class skills:

Diehard: PHB3. Endurance. Super risky because most monsters won’t hold back on a PC that’s still standing, but this will keep you going long enough for the leader to bring you back up to positive numbers. Use at your own peril.

Nightshade Draught: DR385. Nature. Like Diehard, this also keeps you going if you drop below zero but at the cost of a few death saves. Use at your own peril.[/sblock]

Level 22
[sblock]Wis-Psions look no further than Forceful Repositioning. The rest has a nice choice of leader-like powers that protect you and your party.

Forceful Repositioning: PsP. If there’s one reason to choose Wisdom over Charisma, this is it. Giving yourself and your party a free move action each encounter is just awesome. Using this on turn 1 ensures everyone gets into position, so they can use their move action as another minor for that nova sequence.

Warding Shield: PHB3. If your Wisdom is high enough, you can really ruin a dragon’s day with this. This, combined with Warp in the Weave and Energy Mitigation, should properly protect you from blasts and bursts.

Summon Fleeting Thoughts: PsP. A leader-like summon that protects you and three allies and lets all of you fly through the air on your move action. There’s just a lot of utility in this, even if it’s only for one encounter per day.

Interdicting Thoughts: PsP. Entering melee is dangerous, but might be worth it for this. Skyblue for Shapers and Dreamwalkers who just center this on their conjuration every encounter and stay safely in the back themselves.

Through the Walls: PHB3. Giving your party phasing once per day can just trivialize some encounters, both in and out of combat. Walking through walls certainly won’t be useful in every encounter, but when it works it’ll be sweet.

Mind over Earth: PHB3. Flight for one encounter per day is nice, but you’re better off just investing in a pair of Zephyr Boots at this point.

Rejuvenate the Mind: PHB3. You shouldn’t use your second wind much as a controller, and getting 2 power points back once per day is not very impressive at this point.[/sblock]

Originally posted by svendj:

Flexing Your Brain - Feats
First off: only the feats that are black or better will be listed here, since there are Just. So. Many. of them. Exceptions are Psion/psionic feats and trap feats, which are feats that look good on paper but need to be avoided for a certain reason.

Now, what feats to take. The feats can be divided up into five easy categories. Those are listed below in order of approximate importance.

[sblock]1. Accuracy. Hitting is king in terms of character optimization. Most of your powers literally do nothing when you miss, which in turn means enemies are free to rampage across the map to attack you and your allies. You don’t want that to happen, at all, so boosting your accuracy is something you should do whenever possible.
Must-haves: Expertise (Orb or Staff being most common), Superior Implement Training: Accurate, multiclass Druid + Acolyte Power for Serpent's Cunning.

2. Initiative. Going first is of paramount importance to a controller. Most strikers won’t kill monsters in one turn, and leader buffs are good but not critical in the first turn of the battle. Control is a different animal: if you manage to immobilize melee monsters before they’ve taken a turn, they can’t reach the party, won’t do damage and thus skip a turn. Next turn, you can do it again, keeping them ‘stunlocked’. But that won’t be as effective if the enemies are already in the party’s midst.
On top of that, with high initiative you will also be able to fire off a power and then run for cover. You are fragile (see next point), so you need to GTFO before team monster has a chance to reach you. That’s why initiative is so important to you.
Must-haves: Improved Initiative (retrain to Superior in Epic), Danger Sense, Battlewise for Wis-Psions, Battle Intuition (Deva), Imperious Majesty (Tiefling).

3. Defenses. You’re fragile, make no mistake about that. Although your primary stat feeds into your AC and most of your powers are ranged, if team monster ambushes your party or just wins initiative, you could easily be down or even dead in one round of focused fire. Upgrading your defenses helps to prevent this.
Must-haves: Unarmored Agility or Armor Proficiency: Leather, Improved Defenses (becomes mandatory at paragon), Superior Will.

4. Versatility/effects. There are several feats that increase the control aspects of your powers, like adding forced movement or attack penalties to every hit. Everything that makes you a better controller is worth investing in. Not every Psion will qualify for every feat, but take ‘em if you can use ‘em.
Must-haves: Psychic Lock, Skill Power, Anchoring Push (Telekinetic Psions), Royal Command of Asmodeus (Tieflings), Secrets of Belial (Tiefling)

5. Damage. Face it, you’ll never do a lot of damage. But since every party member has to contribute to taking down the enemy, it won’t hurt to at least put a little effort into increasing your damage output.
Must-haves: none, but Implement Focus is decent. If you can get and use them, you can instead take Psychic Focus, Jagged Force, Silvery Glow or Battle Psion. If you specialize in a certain damage type like psychic, instead of taking a Superior Accurate Implement you can take one that's energized and still has the attack bonus against a common defense. Examples: Crystal Orb, Inexorable Ki Focus.[/sblock]

There’s also such a thing as ‘feat taxes’, which means that for whatever reason (usually to keep up with ever-increasing monster strength) you have to take these feats at the earliest opportunity if you want to play as optimized as possible. You won’t be much less effective if you postpone taking them for a couple of levels (some feats become more important at higher tiers, for example), but at some point you need to take them or risk being ineffective in combat. These feats are easy to recognize: they’re the only feats that are rated skyblue
and gold
in the handbook.

One more thing: feats often offer some type of numbered bonus, like a +1 feat bonus to an attack or damage roll. Remember that bonuses of the same type don’t stack, so it’s useless for example to take multiple feat bonuses to attack rolls.

Heroic tier feats

Class feats
[sblock]Autohypnosis: PsP. Gaining an additional surge is a solid benefit for you, but if you want more surges you can take Durable for double the benefit. Using Arcana for Endurance checks is nice, but not worth the feat. I would only take this if you regularly have to make Endurance checks (Dark Sun) or if you already have Durable and still need more healing surges.

Beguiling Torment: PsP. Daze + slide is a powerful combination to prevent enemies from attacking or charging (just slide them 1 square away from the defender). But paying 1 power point and a feat for it? What makes matters even worse is that most of your at-will powers only daze if you augment them, which ensures you’ll run out of power points very quickly. Maybe at late paragon or epic if you have power points to spare.

Bloodied Concentration: PsP. First things first: with your paltry HP and number of surges, you should always avoid getting bloodied. Even then, only getting a bonus to augmented at-will powers is not worth a feat at all. Maybe if you’re a Dragonborn to stack with Dragonborn Fury, but that’s mostly just a bad niche.

Controlling Advantage: PHB3. Stuff that increases your forced movement can get pretty powerful pretty quickly. Combine this with a superior Forceful implement for example, and you can see how powers like Dread Spiral become very good even when unaugmented. The hard part is getting the needed combat advantage. Distract, Vicious Advantage and Distant Advantage can help you out here.

Discipline Adept: PHB3. Depends on your Discipline Focus of course, but especially Telekineticists and Shapers benefit from this. This becomes mandatory
for Telekineticists when they’re going for Anchoring Push at paragon. Shapers who take the Dreamwalker paragon path can safely give retrain this.

Diverse Focus (Elan Bloodline): PsP. Gaining access to Shaped Consciousness or Forceful Push is nice, but as a daily power it’s hardly worth the cost of a feat. Not to mention that you also need to have the Elan Heritage feat to even qualify for this.

Double Scrutiny: PsP. You like an untyped +3 bonus to two class skills, but paying a feat for them is pretty harsh. Still, the bonus is quite substantial, so it’s not out of the question if you want to be a living trap- and lie-detector.

Exchange Power: PHB3. Only an option if you have a psionic ally in your party. But even then the situation where you want to give a power point away is rare enough that you’d hardly use the power if you got it for free. You certainly don’t want to spend a feat on it.

Mindlink: PsP. Take this if you face a lot of invisible enemies. Otherwise, the effect is just too weak to be worth a feat.

Orbiting Object: PHB3. There are plenty of situations where having an extra hand can be useful. Saving yourself a minor action to draw a consumable or a back-up implement can become quite valuable at that point in your career when you have more stuff than you know what to do with.

Power Cascade: PsP. The damage is far too low and the conditions too uncommon to waste a feat on this.

Precise Mind: PHB3. I can imagine taking this feat before level 7, when you have only 2-4 power points, to increase your accuracy somewhat. But even then the duration is too short, and the effect too overshadowed by other feats, to consider spending one of your precious feat slots on it.

Psionic Initiative: PsP. If you always have one power point to spare, you could take this over Improved Initiative. A +6 bonus to initiative is just ridiculous, and will most certainly help you assert early control over the battlefield. Don’t forget to retrain this in Epic to Superior Initiative.

Psionic Skill: PsP. Not bad for a Sage of Ages if you want to make sure you get the full benefit of Trick of Knowledge, or Stealth builds who really want to succeed at becoming hidden.

Psionic Toughness: PsP. Getting additional HP when you use your second wind is a nice benefit, but not enough to top Toughness. Which already is a questionable pick.

Vicious Intrusion: PsP. Not worth it at heroic tier because you can only target one creature, and not worth it at higher tiers because 3 extra damage won’t make a dent by then.

Vision of Madness (Foulborn Bloodline): PsP. If you attack 2-3 targets per turn in bursts and blasts, the chance you’ll score a critical hit at least once per fight is decent. Tacking a daze or a little extra damage onto the crit is not bad, but the fact that you can’t control who gets it makes this very niche. Needing Foulborn Heritage as a prerequisite makes things even worse.[/sblock]

General feats
[sblock]Aberrant Mark of Madness: EPG. Not for every Psion, but if you specialize in attacks versus Will and pick multitarget dailies (as you should), this one feat could mean a +2 to all your attacks for as many combats as you have daily attack powers. Illegal for LFR.

Armor Proficiency: Leather. Take either this or Unarmored Agility to boost your AC to an appropriate level. Which one you’ll pick probably depends on the armor you find. Cloth has a slight lead because masterwork armors (Githweave etc.) boost your Will instead of your Reflex. Attacks against Will usually have more annoying effects, and your Ref is already tied to your main stat anyway.

Battlewise: HoFK. The rating assumes Wisdom is your secondary stat. Initiative is very important for a controller, and since Dexterity is one of your dump stats this feat is a no-brainer. Deva take Battle Intuition instead.

Beguiling Enchantment: PHB3. This rating assumes you use Betrayal or Sudden Control often. Those two powers don’t work with Psychic Lock, but you can at least use them to make yourself harder to hit.

Coordinated Explosion: PHB2. This doesn’t work well since the majority of your powers are unfriendly, but there are some good friendly ones (Dimensional Scramble, Kinetic Burst, Shield Crack and Psionic Veil for example). If you find yourself regularly using these powers, pick up this feat for some added accuracy.

Disciple of Inspiration: HoFL, HoFK. Since all you do is use at-will powers, you will find yourself missing with them sometimes. Getting an accuracy boost for two turns is a nice consolation price.

Distant Advantage: PHB2, HoFK. Combat advantage is harder for you to come by than for your allies in melee. This will help you out. Be aware that it’s useless if you’re built to prevent enemies from approaching your allies.

Durable: PHB, HoFL, HoFK. Boring, but it might be necessary if you regularly find yourself a surge or two short during your adventures. Invest in defensive feats first, but don't hesitate to take this if you still need the extra durability.

Elemental Companion: HoEC. You take this for the Storm Talon companion, but there are some hoops you need to jump through to make it work. First, you must have already taken the Born of the Elements feat. Second, you must be using mostly lightning and thunder attacks (Static Mote, Thunder Tether and Shield Crack are all decent to good powers, or multiclass Swordmage to use a Lightning Weapon as your implement to make all your attacks do lightning damage). Third, your defenses must be up to snuff, otherwise enemies just murder the Storm Talon. But if you meet all these requirements, you get a +2 attack bonus against every enemy adjacent to your companion, which is certainly worth the trouble. Works well with Mark of Storm too.

Expertise. Take one of these feats for a good to huge bonus to your accuracy. Which one you want depends on your build, but Staff is best for most Psions.

[sblock]Staff Expertise: HoFL, HoFK. Never provoke an opportunity attack again. Wielding a staff is also a good way to crank up your damage somewhat with Siberys Shard of the Mage, and to boost your AC with Hafted Defense and Staff Fighting. The best of the expertise feats in my opinion.

Orb Expertise: HoFL. Wis-Psions can consider an orb over a staff if they want to specialize in forced movement. Also see Controlling Advantage in the Heroic Tier Class Feats section.

Rod Expertise: HoFK. If you’re worried about your defenses, you can take this (along with a way to become proficient with rods) and put a Rhythm Blade in your offhand for a +2 shield bonus to AC and Reflex. But you’re better off with a Staff if you want to boost your AC.

Tome Expertise: HoEC. If you regularly have conjurations next to your targets, this becomes a serious consideration. The best part is that you don't need to be proficient with Tomes to get the combat advantage, so that saves you a multiclass feat. Ways to use this include Shaper Focus, Dreamwalker, multiclassing Shaman for a Spirit Companion, and Fey Cantrip for Mage Hand.

Versatile Expertise: PHB3. If you want to attack with a weapon and an implement for some reason, this is the go-to expertise feat for Psions. The only build I can think of is a hybrid Avenger|Psion, and for that build Mighty Crusader Expertise is better. But the feat is there for those who want it.[/sblock]

Fey Cantrip: HotF. Doesn’t do much by itself, but gives you access to a conjuration (Mage Hand) for easy combat advantage with Tome Expertise, and lets Stealth builds use Chameleon’s Mask to substitute Stealth with Arcana once per encounter.

Great Fortitude: PHB, HoFL, HoFK. You should automatically qualify for both Superior Reflexes and Will, but probably not for Fortitude. If you already took the other two feats, no reason not to take this one. Otherwise, stick with Improved Defenses.

Hafted Defense: PHB3. Getting a +1 shield bonus to AC and Ref is pretty good for staff users. It also opens up Rhythm Blade Wrist Razors for another +1 bonus to both defenses.

Impending Victory: PHB3. Additional accuracy is always good, too bad about the bloodied clause though. Once creatures become bloodied, controlling them becomes less important than just killing them. The latter is not what you’re good at. Still, an untyped accuracy boost for most of your powers is not something you should skip lightly.

Implement Focus: HoFL, HoFK. At some point you’ll want to invest in a damage bonus. This is the most vanilla one, but take Psychic Focus, Jagged Force, Silvery Glow, Battle Psion or Superior Implement training instead if you qualify.

Improved Defenses: HoFL, HoFK. You could postpone this until paragon if you really want some other feats first, but from that point on there’s no excuse for not grabbing a large feat bonus to three different defenses.

Improved Initiative: PHB, HoFL, HoFK. Like I said in the intro, going first is really important for a controller like you. You need to prioritize this feat or risk being ineffective in your role.

Mark of Storm: EPG. You can use this to add forced movement to Static Mote, Thunder Tether, Shield Crack and some dailies, which is pretty good. It helps that all three at-will powers are decent to good. If you find a way to use a Lightning Weapon as an implement (multiclass Swordmage is easiest), you can add the forced movement to all your powers. Lastly, combining all this with a Storm Talon Elemental Companion gives you a huge attack bonus. Illegal for LFR.

Resilient Focus: HoFL, HoFK. A +2 feat bonus to all your saving throws is never bad. Think about this right after you’ve paid all your feat taxes.

Silvery Glow: DR386. A substantial damage bonus to all your cold and radiant powers. One problem: you have only one at-will power that does radiant damage, and none that do cold. But multiclassing to Swordmage and wielding a Frost/Radiant weapon gets around this. Requires worshipping Sehanine, which means you can't take the next feat.

Skill Power: PHB3. There are a lot of good skill powers you can take, especially if you pick up some non-class skills like Arcobatics or Streetwise through your multiclass or background. Pick this up when you have room, you won't regret adding another utility power to your arsenal.

Speaker of Hestavar: DR387. If you specialize in forced movement to get enemies next to your allies, this feat gives them free combat advantage against your targets for a round. If you can repeat this round after round with powers like Dread Spiral and Psychic Anomaly, this feat can become a cornerstone to your build. You have to worship Erathis for it, but he seems like a good guy for a Psion to say the occasional prayer to.

Staff Fighting: DR368. Like Hafted Defense, this gives staff users another +1 to AC in exchange for a feat, untyped this time.

Superior Implement Training: PHB3. You will mostly just want to train for an Accurate implement, but there’s some stuff like a Crystal or Petrified Orb that’s worth considering.

Superior Fortitude/Reflexes/Will: HoFL, HoFK. You probably won’t qualify for Fortitude, so let that one slide. Reflexes is nice because your first turn in an encounter is often the most important one, so getting combat advantage against everything is good. Will is where it’s at though. Rolling a save against two of the worst conditions in the game can mean the difference between a wasted turn and an awesome one.

Terrain Advantage: HoFK. If you find yourself regularly creating difficult terrain with powers like Kinetic Wave, Interdicting Thoughts and Phantom Burden, you might as well get combat advantage out of it.

Unarmored Agility: PHB3. Take either this or Armor Proficiency: Leather to boost your AC to an appropriate level. Which one you’ll pick probably depends on the armor you find. Cloth has a slight lead because masterwork armors (Githweave etc.) boost your Will instead of your Reflex. Attacks against Will usually have more annoying effects, and your Ref is already tied to your main stat anyway.

Vicious Advantage: PHB3. You get good slowing powers from level 1 on, so it’s very worthwhile to invest in this to get easy combat advantage. One of the easiest ways for a Psion to get it consistently too. Combine it with World Serpent's Grasp to give your melee allies combat advantage as well.

Vistani Heritage: DR380. A great minor action control power in exchange for a feat, and it opens up Vistani Foresight in epic.

World Serpent’s Grasp: HoFK. If you specialize in slow and immobilize, this will serve you well in both assisting your melee allies and keeping enemies off you. You have enough good slowing and proning bursts that the added control from this is really worth considering.[/sblock]

Racial feats
[sblock]Io’s Roar: PsP. This rating assumes you’re trying to set up some kind of a nova. This is one of the easiest ways to achieve it every encounter. If you follow it up with an augmented Dishearten, not only will every target take 5 extra damage, they also won’t be able to hit you in retaliation. Combine it with Powerful Breath and Hurl Breath for easier targeting.[/sblock]
[sblock]Battle Intuition:
DR374. Using your Wisdom instead of Dexterity for initiative, and getting a free +2 feat bonus to initiative as well? Deva Psions should pick this up as soon as they're able to instantly skyrocket their initiative. Don't take this feat if your Wisdom score is low though.[/sblock]
[sblock]Haunted Darkness: PsP. 3 extra damage with unaugmented at-will powers during two turns is quite a lot, especially if you specialize in area burst (Dishearten, Dimensional Scramble). Too bad that by the time you get room for this, you won’t be making many unaugmented attacks. You could consider taking this before level 7 if you want to increase your damage output, but your control will suffer for it. Better for hybrids who don’t have a lot of power points. [/sblock]
[sblock]Ubiquitous Step: PsP. Fey Step is one of the better racial powers, and getting an additional use out of it is awesome. It offers some possibilities for extra attacks with Eladrin Swordmage Advance, but those are better left to Battleminds and hybrid Swordmages.[/sblock]
[sblock]Get in Your Head: DR389. Adding a teleport to your Fade Away power is a crucial upgrade for Stealth builds, since the movement allows you to immediately make a Stealth check and become hidden again. Too bad it costs a power point, but it’s a decent addition to the Stealth package.

Unseen Dread: PsP. Adding slide 2 to every single attack power is awesome, and certainly worth investing in Stealth for. If you can find ways to consistently become hidden before making an attack, this becomes build-defining.[/sblock]
[sblock]Helpful Hint: PsP. Letting an ally reroll a critical saving throw is good, especially as a free action. Don’t prioritize this, but when you have room you should certainly consider it.[/sblock]
[sblock]Courageous Mind: DR388. An untyped bonus to initiative and a saving throw bonus are another very good reason to go Human. With this, Battlewise, Improved/Superior Initiative and Danger Sense, you will practically always go first.

Human Ingenuity: PsP. An additional power point is a big deal, especially before level 7. If you add this to the extra power point from the Escaped Thrall theme, you get an additional augment 2 every time you use an action point. This gets even better when you have more action points to spend, for example as a Sidhe Lord or with Vistani Foresight.

Skill Swap: DR282. At higher levels you'll have more uses for an additional skill power than for an extra unaugmentable level 1 at-will power. Don't take this before Skill Power, and seriously think about taking Heroic Effort instead. After all, the best skill power you can take (Insightful Riposte) is just a worse version of it.

Stubborn Survivor: FRPG. An untyped +2 bonus to all your saving throws is very good. The only requirement is not having an action point, which is easy to achieve. Pick up Resilient Focus first, but keep this in mind to become the king of saving throws.[/sblock]
[sblock]Dual Mind Strength: DR385. This rating of course assumes that at least two of your three at-wills do psychic damage. Damage is not your priority, but it always helps if you contribute to ending combats a little quicker.

Psion Hashalaq Initiation: DR385. Rolling Forceful Push and Distract into one power is quite good. Especially at higher tiers where you can target multiple creatures this power starts to shine.[/sblock]
[sblock]Bred for Battle: DSCS. A racial bonus to initiative is very nice to stack with a feat bonus from Improved Initiative, and an attack and speed bonus in round 1 is very good as well.

Humanity's Heir: DSCS. A small bonus to a NAD and a skill is nice, especially since it's a racial bonus.[/sblock]
[sblock]Teeny Target: HoF. A +2 defense bonus against all melee and ranged attacks is certainly worth investing in. If you have a lot of melee allies though, you might find yourself in places you'd rather avoid. You also become a very attractive target for blasts and bursts, but fortunately you can mitigate that by choosing the right utility powers.[/sblock]
[sblock]The feats below come from Dragon 391 (except for Darkening Mind), and add effects to all your attacks while you're insubstantial from Shadow Jaunt. It's a rather large investment, but if you've got some feats to spare there are worse things you could be doing with them.

Darkening Mind: DR389. If you're taking any of the feats below, you need this first to make Shadow Jaunt last another turn.

Doom of Jiksidur. Adding prone to all your attacks for two turns is very good action denial.

Dread of Sakkors. Adding a push 2 and slow to all your attacks for two turns is great against melee enemies. When combined with Doom of Jiksidur, they are toast.

Drowning of Nhalloth. If you're up against ranged foes on the other hand, this is a good way to slide them closer to your buddies and give them an attack penalty while you're at it. Combine with Psychic Lock and Dishearten for the full lockdown.[/sblock]
[sblock]Jagged Force: PsP. This rating of course assumes that at least two of your three at-wills do force damage. Damage is not your priority, but it always helps if you contribute to ending combats a little quicker.

Psychic Focus: PHB3. This rating of course assumes that at least two of your three at-wills do psychic damage. Damage is not your priority, but it always helps if you contribute to ending combats a little quicker.

Shard Link: PsP. This rating assumes that you can get consistent combat advantage somehow (most likely though Vicious Advantage). Giving out free combat advantage to your allies is a nice benefit to tack onto your attacks, especially if your allies have trouble getting it themselves. It also encourages focused fire, which is always a good thing.[/sblock]
[sblock]Gaze of Ruin: DR387. Applying an automatic damage or defense penalty as a minor action as not a bad way to spend a feat. You can upgrade it with Lasting Decay, Ruin of Flesh and Sweeping Gaze.

Imperious Majesty: DR381. One of the primary reasons to play a Tiefling Psion. Using your Charisma instead of your Dexterity for initiative gives you an enormous boost, which keeps on growing during your career. Pick this up as soon as you're able.

Mantle of Misfortune: DR383. It's a bit iffy, but if the power works with your Dream Walker or Shaped Consciousness conjuration it's an awesome way to apply another attack penalty for a round. The slide on a miss is nice. This opens up the Broken Mirror paragon path, which is quite good for Psions.

Mindfire Disciple: DR388. Too bad none of your at-will powers bestow save ends effects, otherwise this would’ve gotten a much higher rating. Still, if you focus on psychic attacks, a free slide and vulnerability is nice. Use with Summon Phantasmal Killer and Summon Mind Weirds for repeatable psychic save ends effects.

Psychic Corruption of Malbolge: PHRT. Adding vulnerability to your augmented attacks is a good way to increase your damage output. Although it’s not much, it’s still better to what most other races get.

Hellfire Blood: PHB. This is useless until you start using a Hellfire Staff to turn all your powers into fire powers. Then this suddenly becomes a very attractive feat.

Warlock's Wrath: DR381. Although it requires the rather unattractive Warlock multiclass, this turns your racial power into a giant flaming shield for a round. Combined with Intellect Fortress, you should be pretty safe from enemies for at least half each combat.[/sblock]
[sblock]Psiforged Resolve: DR389. Regaining power points is always good. What’s less good is that you’ll have to be bloodied for this to work. Better for Ardents and Battleminds, but still functional for Psions if you’re careful.[/sblock]

Multiclass feats
[sblock]See the multiclass section(x) of the handbook.[/sblock]

Paragon tier feats

Class feats
[sblock]Anchoring Push: PsP. This turns Forceful Push from nice forced movement into hard action denial. As a free action, no less! Use it at the start of a monster’s turn to be certain it can’t reach you or your allies. Discipline Adept becomes mandatory if you take this.

Battle Psion: PsP. This requires some careful power choices and reckless power point expenditure to be better than Implement Focus, but it’s almost never worse.

Body and Mind: PsP. An untyped bonus to all your defenses is nothing to sneeze at, and not unworthy of a feat. It also increases your conjuration’s defenses so you hopefully keep the defense bonus a little longer.

Body Fuel (Elan Bloodline): PsP. A free power point with your second wind is a nice bonus. It’s not a lot, but it might just be the difference between an augment 1 and an augment 4. Too bad it requires the Elan Heritage feat. Better for Kalashtar and Shardminds who can combine it with their paragon racial feat for another power point when they second wind, and of course for dwarves.

Confusing Distraction: PsP. Denying opportunity attacks is a big increase in Distract’s versatility. As a minor action auto-hit effect against two or three targets, this feat can save your party a lot of damage.

Corrosive Thoughts: PsP. Inflicting a very small psychic vulnerability when an enemy fails a save against your Psion powers is simply not worth a feat, especially because the only save ends effects you have are on daily powers.

Critical Reserve: PHB3. The good thing is, you have lots of area burst powers so scoring a critical hit is easier for you than for others. But only triggering once per encounter when you use an unaugmented power (which probably means you’re out of power points) kills this. A little more interesting once you reach epic and take Psion Implement Expertise, or have the Life Singer or Divine Oracle paragon path.

Desperate Renewal: PHB3. Regaining power points is always a good thing. However, if you have to spend a standard action while bloodied to do so, the cost becomes very steep. Only consider this if you’re a dwarf.

Dominating Mind: PHB3. Save penalties are good, especially when they are for conditions like dominate and stun. If you pick your dailies right, this feat makes them that much more powerful.

Empty Vessel: PsP. A decent attack and defense bonus for a round once per encounter is nice to have, but it'll be towards the end of the fight that you'll get it. Not the best timing, so I can't really recommend it.

Power Surge: PsP. Although Psions don’t have a lot of amazing daily powers, most are still worth more than 2-4-6 power points. You should only take this if you’ve optimized around one of your augmented paragon or epic at-will powers, like Brilliant Thought, Forced Opportunity or Sudden Control. Then it becomes a legitimate option to exchange one of your dailies for more power points.

Predictive Defense: PHB3. This is more at home on an Ardent or a Battlemind than on a Psion, but if you find yourself in melee a lot this can really save your bacon.

Prescient Dodge: PsP. This is more of a defender feat than a controller feat. You don’t want to spend your time using unaugmented powers just so you can get a defense bonus. Only take this if you optimize around unaugmented at-wills for some reason. Maybe you’re a hybrid?

Psionic Rush: PsP. Power point economy is nice. This gets better when you have more action points to spend, for example as a Sidhe Lord or with Vistani Foresight.

Psionic Staff Focus: PsP. Completely unnecessary thanks to Staff Expertise.

Psychic Wail: PsP. Free combat advantage when you kill something with psychic damage is not something that you need to spend a feat on.

Puppeteer: PsP. I can’t imagine a scenario where it’s profitable (read: worth a feat) to slide a target 1 square if they miss a save against one of your Psion attack powers. If you do, kudos. If not, then skip this feat accordingly.

Targeting Force: PHB3. If you really, really love Force Grasp, this is a pretty good way to increase your accuracy. This also works well with the minor action attacks of Living Missile and Living Barrage.

Threefold Fortitude/Reflex/Will: PsP. Just take Improved Defenses or Great Fortitude/Superior Reflex/Superior Will.[/sblock]

General feats
[sblock]Danger Sense: PHB. If you want more initiative optimization besides Improved Initiative, this is the go-to feat. Rolling twice for initiative really helps even out the variance of that single important roll.

Inescapable Force: PHB. You have a lot of force powers in your arsenal, and no enemy is as annoying as an insubstantial one. Additionally, there’s nothing like the strikers asking you to take out the enemies.

Psychic Lock: PHB. This is the feat most of you have been waiting for since level 1. Applying a -2 attack penalty to every psychic attack you make, on top of other control effects, is awesome. Even more fun when you combine this with Dishearten. More fun you, that is. Not for your DM, because his monsters won’t be hitting anything ever again. If you're not into psychic attacks, an Orb of Psychic Conversion quickly takes care of that. As close to gold as a non-expertise feat is going to get.

Reserve Maneuver: PHB2. While this is a staple for most classes who dislike their paragon path encounter power, remember that you don’t have any class encounter powers to swap for, making this feat useless.

Solid Sound: PHB. From level 13 on you'll be using Thunder Tether regularly, and you have enough force powers to make this trigger every turn. Pay attention to what defenses are attacked, and you’ll make it a lot harder for enemies to hit you.

Resounding Thunder: PHB. If you manage to add the thunder keyword to your bursts and blasts (Malec-Keth Jannisary, Rod of the Dragonborn), bigger Disheartens and dailies can be yours! Also increases the size of your Thunder Tether cage.[/sblock]

Racial feats
[sblock]Draconic Arrogance: MP. Requires a good Strength score and a fighter multiclass, two things that are not found on most Psions. But since you’re a Dragonborn, you’re not like most Psions anyway, and this becomes a good way to deal some extra damage. A real build-around-me feat, but rewarding if you invest the resources.

Dragon's Terror: DR388. A minor action close burst 5 dazing attack is nothing to sneeze at, especially when it has so many other good effects as well. Dragonfear was already decent, this feat makes it really good. If you want to stay safely behind the frontline, send your Shaped Consciousness or Dreamwalker conjuration to do your dirty work for you.

Toxic Breath: PHRD. Assuming you can hit with your Dragon Breath, weakened (save ends) is a very nasty condition to tack onto your Breath. Best used with Powerful Breath and Hurl Breath.[/sblock]
[sblock]Shadowborn: DR367. An initiative and damage bonus if you start in dim light or darkness is always nice. Get an Enshrouding Candle to ensure the bonus.[/sblock]
[sblock]Dwarven Durability: PHB. You presumably play a Dwarf for the added durability, so take this feat eventually to increase your longevity some more.[/sblock]
[sblock]Feywild Protection: PHB. Extra defenses for using a good racial power isn’t bad, especially if you can get it for another round with Ubiquitous Step.[/sblock]
[sblock]Shared Danger Sense: PHB3. Giving all your allies a +2 racial bonus to their initiative checks is sexy. It stacks with their feat, item and power bonuses, making your party that much better.[/sblock]
[sblock]Versatile Master: PHB2. An additional at-will power is invaluable to you, since your power selection has always been limited. This is the reason why you chose to be a Half-Elf.[/sblock]
[sblock]Dual Mind Reserves: DR385. A free power point with your second wind is a nice bonus. It’s not a lot, but it might just be the difference between an augment 1 and an augment 4.[/sblock]
[sblock]Psionic Rejuvenation: PHB3. A free power point with your second wind is a nice bonus. It’s not a lot, but it might just be the difference between an augment 1 and an augment 4.[/sblock]
[sblock]Dispater’s Iron Discipline: PHRT. You take this feat in combination with Superior Will. The feat bonus to Will is lost, but the saving throw bonus more than makes up for it. You’ll never be dazed or stunned during your turn again.

Glasya’s Charming Words: PHRT. If Betrayal is your favorite at-will power and you have the Life Singer or Divine Oracle paragon path, this seriously upgrades the critical hit effect.

Secrets of Belial: PHRT. Swap a utility power for any other class’ power, that ought to be good. Best choice by a mile is the Druid’s level 6 power Serpent’s Cunning, which gives you a +1 bonus to all attack rolls, free skill training and a bonus to all Int-based checks for the rest of the day.[/sblock]

Epic tier feats

Class feats
[sblock]Aggressive Construction: PsP. Dealing a few extra damage when you use a daily summon power is not really worth a feat. Better with Mind Weirds if you cluster them around one enemy or use multiple summon powers during a turn.

Boundless Enthusiasm: PsP. Scoring a critical hit is not the most reliable of triggers, but the benefit is big enough to consider this. Take Psion Implement Expertise first, and use as many burst and blast powers as you can to increase the odds of getting the power points back. Even better with the Resurgent Wilder, Life Singer or Divine Oracle paragon path.

Far Realm’s Blessing (Foulborn Bloodline): PsP. Becoming bloodied shouldn’t be a goal for you in a given encounter, but getting back a power point is a decent incentive. Too bad a single power point is much less impressive at this stage. Needing the Foulborn Heritage feat is also a steep rerequisite.

Gift of the Eternal (Elan Bloodline): PsP. Although regaining one power point isn’t much of a benefit at this point, you won’t have to jump through hoops to get it. Requiring Elan Heritage for it reduces the rating on this to black.

Lingering Force: PsP. An untyped defense bonus for using your Telekinesis powers is a nice benefit. This feat becomes better if you took Discipline Adept. And since you’re a Telekineticist, you have probably already taken it for Anchoring Push.

Psionic Discorporation (Elan Bloodline): PsP. Being insubstantial while below 0 hp is not worth a feat, especially since most epic destinies have some sort of anti-death power. The attack bonus while no longer dying shouldn’t come into play if you’re careful. And it also requires the useless Elan Heritage feat. But what about Revenants, you say? Well, they take Ghostly Vitality anyway, so they don’t need this feat.

Psion Implement Expertise: PsP. Scoring critical hits is fun, but if you’re not built for damage you don’t get anything special out of it. If you benefit from it though, for example with one of the next two feats or Boundless Enthusiasm, it becomes better.

Psychic Bastion: PHB3. Scoring a critical hit with a psionic psychic power is not the most reliable of triggers, but the benefit is big enough to consider this. Take Psion Implement Expertise first, and use as many burst and blast powers as you can to increase the odds of getting the bonus. Even better with the Resurgent Wilder, Life Singer or Divine Oracle paragon path.

Resilient Shield: PHB3. Scoring a critical hit with a psionic force power is not the most reliable of triggers, but the benefit is big enough to consider this. Take Psion Implement Expertise first, and use as many burst and blast powers as you can to increase the odds of getting the bonus. Even better with the Resurgent Wilder paragon path.

Stalk the Senseless: PsP. Dazing and stunning creatures is now a part of your arsenal of at-wills, so this acutally works on a regular basis. However, being invisible to a stunned creature is about as useful as a pair of glasses on a Beholder. Being invisible from dazed creatures is a little more useful, but I don’t think it’s really worth a feat.[/sblock]

General feats
[sblock]Epic Fortitude/Reflex/Will: PHB2. Still scared about getting hit? The untyped defense bonuses these feats offer should definitely put an end to that. Take Fortitude to patch up your weakest defense, and consider the other two to become truly unhittable.

Fey Shift: HoF. Teleport 2 as an additional movement mode is pretty awesome, even if it requires the Fey Bond feat or a fey origin. If you also have Staff Expertise, you won’t provoke opportunity attacks ever again.

Superior Initiative: PHB3. Retrain Improved Initiative to this as soon as you can. That is all.

Vistani Foresight: DR380, Vistani Bloodline. An additional action point and an untyped initiative bonus? Where do I sign?[/sblock]

Racial feats
[sblock]Debilitating Breath: PHRD. Assuming you can hit with your Dragon Breath, weakened is a nasty condition to tack onto your Breath. Best used with Powerful Breath and Hurl Breath.

Freezing Breath: PHRD. Although not as powerful as weakened, immobilized is still a great condition to tack onto a minor action attack. Best used with Powerful Breath and Hurl Breath.[/sblock]
[sblock]Vanishing Act: PHB2. Adding a teleport to your Fade Away power is a crucial upgrade for Stealth builds, since the movement allows you to immediately make a Stealth check and become hidden again.[/sblock]
[sblock]Royal Command of Asmodeus: PHRT. This turns Mind Blast and Concussive Detonation into a close blast 5 and close blast 3 dominate, respectively. Use some forced movement effects first (Forceful Push) to put multiple enemies together, and follow up with this to practically end the combat. The awesome thing with Concussive Detonation is that you can keep dominated foes in a close blast 3 so you can hit them again next turn.[/sblock]

Originally posted by svendj:

Memories of the Past: Themes and Backgrounds
Let’s get one thing straight about themes: Escaped Thrall and Noble Adept are head and shoulders above the rest because they give you a free power point, which translates into half an encounter power. Especially during heroic tier, this gives you a lot more staying power. So those two themes are recommended above all other ones.

If you don’t want the extra power point for some reason (like when you’re playing paragon or epic and that one power point doesn’t matter much), there are plenty of themes that offer other options for your character. Themes that are purple or worse are not included, unless they're crucial to a certain build. Especially stealth-builds should check out what the other themes have to offer them.

A great comprehensive collection of all themes can be found in Mommy_was_an_Orc's Variation on Theme's: a Theme Handbook(x).

[sblock]Noble Adept: DSCS. The absolute best theme for you. You get an extra power point, an awesome encounter power, some nice utilities and even a couple of daily powers that are competitive with your own (although that says more about the general quality of Psion dailies than the ones of this theme). Illegal for LFR though, since it’s a Dark Sun theme.

Escaped Thrall: DSH. Although this grants a small power bonus to Will, Noble Adept offers much, much more. It has one advantage over Noble Adept though: the ability for Dreamwalkers to conjure their dream form as a minor action with the level 2 utility power. So take this if you're a Dreamwalker or otherwise can't take Noble Adept for some reason (like LFR).

Bloodsworn: DSH. An encounter reroll for at-will powers while you’re bloodied and a power bonus to initiative at level 10 make this a fine theme for Psions.

Cipher: DR414. A theme that gives you a power bonus to initiative as its starting feature is very nice for the lower levels, where your initiative is still crap. The level 5 and 10 features are decent, as are the powers, but when your initiative is high enough this quickly
drops in quality and becomes retraining material.

Fey Beast Tamer: HoF. The extra body can protect you from charging foes, but the real value of this theme is the level 5 feature that grants you combat advantage against all targets adjacent to your companion. As for what companion to take, the Young Owlbear is head and shoulders above the rest because the aura actually works for you too.

Halaster’s Clone: DR409. The movement powers this theme offers can help you and your party get into position quickly. If you’re optimizing around initiative, the huge power bonus at level 10 clinches it.

Harper: NCS. Adding 1d6 to one attack roll each combat is pretty good, as is rerolling a missed saving throw.

Order Adept: DR399. The encounter power is pretty bleh, but the level 5 and 10 features are sweet. The best Wizard utility powers to pick are Shield, Moonstride and Mystical Debris for easy combat advantage with the Terrain Advantage feat. Don't take them over Intellect Fortress though if you're a Cha-Psion. Rather wait until level 6 to select the utility power, since that level offers very little for you.

Underdark Outcast: DSH. Since you’ll probably stand far from your allies in melee, you can easily meet the requirement for the encounter power. That means a +2 bonus to attacks and defenses for a full two turns for a minor action, which is awesome. The level 10 utility power is also a very good defensive interrupt against close and area attacks.

Beguiler: DR420. Having a minor action slide 3 at your disposal is easily underrated. A timely slide can put another target in your area bursts, for example. The level 10 utility power is a nice defense one, and getting a bonus to Arcana checks is always good.

Bregan D’aerthe Spy: NCS, Drow only. The levitation power gets you out of the reach of most foes during heroic, and not granting a +2 to enemy attack rolls while being flanked can mean the difference between life and death sometimes.

Devil’s Pawn: NCS. Giving everything in a close burst 2 a penalty to attacks and defenses is risky unless you’re a Shaper or Dreamwalker. In that case you just let your conjuration move into melee and burst into flame for you.

Infernal Slave: BoVD. The encounter power is decent for the large slide it tacks onto your attack. Especially good if you’ve optimized around the Cerulean Cage at-will power for a lot of zone autodamage. Illegal for LFR.

Knight Hospitaler: DR399. If you want to help keep your teammates on their feet, Shield of Devotion goes a long way. Either your Wisdom or Charisma will be pretty high, so you restore a decent amount of hit points. It also gives you something to do with your immediate action.

Ooze Master: DR413, Drow only. You take this for the minor action area burst 1 slow attack. At level 10, it even makes the targets of this and Ectoplasmic Servant grant combat advantage.

Scholar: DR399. As a Int/Wis class your knowledge skills should be up to snuff, so you should be able to use Use Vulnerability succesfully. Whether you want to is another question, though. The defense and damage bonus is nice, but I always get extremely annoyed when combat slows down to a crawl because someone wants to make a knowledge check and the DM starts dwelling on a monster’s preferred food and habitat.

Seeker of Illefarn: DR402, Eladrin, Elves, and Half-elves only. Rerolling any 1’s during combat is a good thing to have in your back pocket. Add to that the U6 for a +2 power bonus to attack rolls, and you have a decent theme.

Sentinel Marshal: DR407. Immobilizing one enemy per fight with any attack you make is great control. Marking them is also good if you make sure they can’t reach you. Just be careful they don't come after you or start firing ranged attacks.

Spellscarred Harbinger: NCS. Becoming invisible as a minor action is a useful thing to have, especially for Gnomes, Wood-Elves and Shades. Otherwise, rerolling a saving throw isn’t a bad alternative.

Trapsmith: DSH. Don’t take this any sooner than level 11. Once you’ve reached this level, you have a good defensive encounter immediate action attack that dazes anyone that moves next to you, thereby ending their turn. It’s not the most accurate attack, but it’s useful enough.

Windlord: HoEC. I’m really tempted to give this a blue rating since I have such great experiences with the encounter power (granted, on a Swordmage). Fly your speed+1, make an attack and slide the target all with one standard action. The level 10 utility power is also nice if you have no other way to change your movement mode.

Wizard’s Apprentice: DR399. Color Orb is pretty good early in your career, and getting a free level 6 common item at level 5 is great. The Noble theme also nets you a free item, but I consider this theme to be much better for Psions. Consider retraining it later in your career though.

Elemental Initiate: HoEC. The encounter power (which actually works for you even when you have an empty hand) and the power bonus to Will are nice, but you take this theme for the ki focus proficiency if you don't want to waste a feat or your multiclass on it. Gnomes, Wood Elves and Shades want a Shadow Master Ki Focus to seriously increase their damage. Other builds that have their hands full with cheap items like Defensive Staff and Rhythm Blade might want to use a ki focus as their main implement because it’s slotless. And lastly, there are a couple of superior ki foci that combine the right attack and damage bonuses: Serene for psychic attacks against Will, and Inexorable for force attacks against Fortitude. Although Crystal Orb carries the same properties as a Serene Ki Focus, the Ki Focus Expertise feat can be better for some psychic builds than Orb Expertise.

Haunted Blade: DR416. I feel weird listing this one, since the theme is centered around using weapon attacks. On the other hand, the level 5 feature of rolling twice for Intimidate is nice, but level 10 is where it's at. From then on, you can use your Charisma instead of your Dexterity for determining initiative. Halaster's Clone is usually better when you want to raise our initiative since the powers on that one actually do something, but there are situations when you don't want a power bonus (when a Warlord already gives it, for example). Then this theme can be nice.

Infernal Prince: DR406. If you’ve taken the Firestarter
paragon path, there’s no reason to retrain your theme to this for an additional bonus to your attack rolls. Be aware that the theme is illegal for LFR though.

Sidhe Lord: HoF, fey or Half-elf only. If you multiclass Invoker for the Flame of Hope paragon path, the level 2 utility power of this theme becomes a crucial part of your party’s success, especially if you have a way to spend more than one action point per encounter. Everyone else should avoid this theme.

Wilder: DSCS. If you’re looking for critical hit optimization, Resurgent Wilder is one of the best paragon paths available. Illegal for LFR though.[/sblock]

Most backgrounds just grant you access or a bonus to specific skills, so if you’re looking for an easy way to get a skill that’s not in your list of class skills, this is the way to do it. I’m not going to list them, since they’re pretty numerous. Gnomes and Wood Elves get their Stealth training here.
There are a few backgrounds that every Psion should consider though.

[sblock]Auspicious Birth (DR366), Born Under a Bad Sign (DR366), Thay (FRPG). These backgrounds all let you substitute your Intelligence for Constitution to determine your starting hit points. You don’t have a lot of hit points and not much other reason to invest in Constitution, so this can easily raise your hit points by 5-10. For some perspective, that’s the amount the Toughness feat adds.

Dalelands (FRPG), Officer Who Came Out of Retirement (DR366), Trained from Birth for a Specific Prophecy (DR366), Vilhon Wilds (FRPG). Initiative is always important, and these backgrounds give yours a small boost.

Adventurer’s Scion (DR371), Monster Hunter (DR366). If you’re into monster knowledge checks, these two backgrounds will help you out with them.[/sblock]

Originally posted by svendj:

Culmination of the Mind: Paragon Paths and Epic Destinies
The most important thing to remember about choosing your paragon path is that only the psionic paragon paths offer you 2 additional power points. This means that other paragon paths have to offer something truly amazing to compete with them. And even then, not multiclassing to Druid for a paragon path means you lose out on power swapping for Serpent's Cunning, which you want if at all possible. But there are some paragon paths out there that can compete.

Psion paragon paths

[sblock]Dreamwalker: PHB3. This is the go-to paragon path for Psions of almost every stripe. At first glance a conjuration that’s a simulacrum of you might not seem very powerful, but it opens up an unimaginable amount of tactical options. Let’s go over them one by one:

Dream form tactics
[sblock]1. Throughout this guide I keep referencing powers, feats etc. that suddenly become very good if you’re a Dreamwalker. That’s because most of those, like Kinetic Buffer for example, require that you stand near enemies. Usually that’s extremely dangerous, so those good powers go to waste. But because you can use powers through your dream form as if you were in the dream form’s square, that danger disappears and a new avenue of power selection opens up for you.

2. When you use an area burst, the level 16 feature lets you target one creature outside the burst but next to your dream form. To truly grasp how this changes things for you, do a quick browse through all the Psion area burst powers. Good powers like Dishearten, Living Barrage and Mindfire Explosion let you control an additional target elsewhere on the map; the augment 2 on Fuse Form absolutely freezes two enemies in place; and Dimensional Scramble lets you teleport a target outside the burst all over the map, or even up into the air.

3. Your dream form occupies its square so it blocks the way for enemies (but not for your allies). This lets you control tight corridors a little better.

4. Like I said, the dream form lets you see, hear and use powers as if you were in its square. If you’re built for Stealth, it makes hiding and staying hidden infinitely easier if there’s any blocking terrain on the map whatsoever.

5. Your dream form is a flanking partner for your allies, and it even lets you flank with them. This gives you combat advantage where it might otherwise be hard to come by, and the best part is: it doesn’t even provoke opportunity attacks if you use powers from your dream form’s square!

6. Although the dream form can be attacked to make it disappear, it has your defenses. If you invested a little in keeping them up, you can actually do some work as a pseudo-defender by drawing attacks to your dream form that would otherwise have gone to your allies.

7. Manifest Dream Form has an annoying trigger (spending a power point to augment a psionic power) which means you can't use your level 16 feature on your first attack each fight. But fortunately you can start a fight with your dream form already in play, since it lasts until you fall unconscious or dismiss it. If your DM somehow doesn't allow this, look for the level 2 utility power of the Escaped Thrall theme for a minor action augmentable power that you can use Manifest Dream Form on as well.[/sblock]
The powers are okay but don’t offer much control, except for the amazing instinctive effect of the daily power that lets you use two at-will powers each turn.

Time Bender: PHB3. This path has a lot of interesting features, just nothing that makes you go WOW! The level 11 feature lets you preroll one d20 roll in combat, so even if you preroll something like a 1 you can use it to replace a hit (or a saving throw!) from an enemy. An attack bonus when you use an action point is always good, as is the free teleport. The extra move action at level 16 can be used to set up some kind of nova sequence where you need multiple minor or move powers, or just to get across the map a little quicker. The powers are all good too, just nothing mindblowing. A nice collection of goodies that together are a very good paragon path for you.

Alienist: PsP. The features are pretty random, but if you’re just looking for some good powers to add to your arsenal, you could do far worse than this. The encounter power shuts down a group of enemies, the utility grants you the rare ability to regain power points, and the daily power is one of the best summons in the Psion’s entire arsenal because it’s the only one with an instinctive attack. Still, a paragon path that makes you not want to use your action point loses rating just for that.

Uncarnate: PHB3. Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters! Uncarnate will make you the undisputed champion of taking out insubstantial creatures. It also gives you a couple of ways to turn insubstantial yourself, which is a good way to dissuade enemies from ever attacking you.

Master Summoner: PsP. Let’s get one thing out of the way first: most Psion summons are bad and you generally shouldn’t take them. If that doesn’t deter you, this path gives your summons some much-needed durability and some additional movement modes. What saves this path from a purple rating is the daily power, which summons a Huge creature with threatening reach 3! It costs a standard action to summon, but believe me, you’ll get your action’s worth of damage out of it. Or everything just stops moving, which is also totally fine by you.

Thrallherd: PsP. This is an evil, evil paragon path. If you’ve always wanted to be a mindflayer, this is the way to do it. Mechanically, Thrallherd grants you what is basically a bad summon that doesn’t go away at the end of a fight. So it’s useful just for putting an extra body on the field, and you get a few free attacks out of it when you use an action point or the daily power. It becomes a little stronger if you use it as a bodyguard, especially after level 16 when it raises your defenses by 2. It’s automatically proficient with whatever weapon you give it, so letting it wield a fullblade, execution axe or mordenkrad increases its usefulness. The thrall has one other very interesting property: it can hold one magic item for you, and can use the item’s powers. This is a small list of useful items to give the thrall:

Items for the thrall
[sblock]Antipathy Gloves: turn the thrall into a patch of difficult terrain.

Armor of Sacrifice: let the thrall take over your and your allies’ status effects.

Cold/Flaming/Githyanki Silver/Lightning/Radiant weapon: benefit from vulnerabilities that you and your allies impose.[/sblock]
Cerulean Adept: PHB3. Though not horrible, this path has mediocrity written all over it. The doubled crit rate with augmented powers at level 16 is the only reason you take this path, but only if you’re into critical hit optimization. A little better if you regularly face off against aberrant creatures.

Firestarter: PsP. The idea behind this paragon path (be a Fire Blaster) is fun, but the execution is really poor. The features and powers are almost completely worthless. The only way this paragon path is viable is if you are a Tiefling and regularly use force powers, so you can take the Hellfire Blood feat and the Infernal Prince theme for increased accuracy and Fiery Blood for a damage boost.

Anathema: PsP. The features of this path are absolutely useless, and the powers are not far behind (an attack that makes the target insubstantial, really?!). Avoid.[/sblock]

Psionic paragon paths of note

[sblock]Mind General: DSCS, Noble Adept theme. If you want to get some more leader capabilities, this could be the paragon path you’re looking for. It lets you move allies around the battlefield and increase their defenses, and the encounter power even lets you grant melee basic attacks. The level 16 feature increases one ally’s NADs and lowers another’s, but you can circumvent this disadvantage by having a Fey Beast for example whose defenses you can decrease. Illegal for LFR because of the prerequisite.

Catalyst: PsP, Ardent. Another leader-like paragon path that lets you grant a lot of free attacks if that’s what you’re looking for. The encounter power combines very nicely with Forced Opportunity to let three allies make two out of turn attacks, and granting an attack when you use an action point is also good. Nothing particularly atttractive beyond level 11 though.

Incandescent Champion: PsP. The only reason you take this paragon path is if one of your partymembers is a Morninglord and you want to join in on the radiant fun. Spending a power point to let all your powers deal 1d6+10 extra damage is sweet. But aside from that and the utility power, the rest of this path is useless.[/sblock]

Multiclass paragon paths of note

[sblock]Divine Oracle: PHB, Cleric. Rolling twice on any attack against Will is one of the craziest features available. In addition to that, your party can’t be surprised anymore, you get Danger Sense for free, and you get an encounter power that will make your Barbarian friend very, very happy.

Malec-Keth Jannisary: MotP, Swordmage. Elemental damage isn’t the Psion’s strong point, but the level 16 feature of this path changes all that. This path allows you to start using Resounding Thunder to increase the size of all your bursts and blasts. You can also become a half-decent blaster this way. The best part is that the extra damage type doesn’t replace any other types your attacks have, so Psychic Lock still works.

Entrancing Mystic: AP, Warlock. If you’re into mind control powers like Betrayal, Sudden Control and dominating dailies, this is the path you’re looking for. The huge saving throw penalty ensures dominated enemies stay dominated, and the attack bonus raises your chances of hitting them in the first place. Powers are meh, but I’ve seen worse.

Flame of Hope: PHB2, Invoker. The action point feature of this path is utterly amazing. Granting all allies an attack bonus equal to your Intelligence modifier should ensure they only miss on a 1 that round. The perfect time for your strikers to pull out all the stops and apply the best status effect: dead. The rest of the path is okay, but not really amazing.

Life Singer: AP, Bard. Like Divine Oracle, you can take this path to increase your accuracy if you attack Will a lot. The features are a bit worse, but the powers are awesome for a controller, provided your Charisma is any good.

Pack Lord: PP, Druid. Chances are you've multiclassed to Druid anyway to powerswap for Serpent's Cunning, so this paragon path is open to you anyway. And if your dailies are summons, this becomes quite a good paragon path. Mostly due to the level 11 feature that gives you a +1 bonus to attacks and defenses if you have a summon out. The encounter power and utility power increase the number of attacks you can make, so that's also decent. The rest of the features and the daily summon power leave much to be desired, but at least they combine nicely with each other. And while you're powerswapping anyway, might as well trade in a Psion daily for another Druid summon to make the path even better. I'd advice a Giant Toad (1) or a Crocodile (9).

Traveler’s Harlequin: DR382, trained in Bluff, more than one class, worships the Traveler. If you want more than one multiclass, this is the way to get it. There are some tricks you can do with this, and it also grants you any level 19 or 20 daily power you qualify for. The rest of the path is also decent enough.

Morninglord: FRPG, any divine, must worship Amaunator. This paragon path is for radiant blaster Psions only. Yes, those exist thanks to the level 13 power Brilliant Thought. The augment 4 is a double attack in itself, so you immediately benefit from the level 16 vulnerability feature. It also sets up the vulnerability for your partymembers nicely. The rest of the path is useful, apart from the Militant Dawn feature because you probably won't have Channel Divinity.[/sblock]

Racial paragon paths of note

[sblock]Scion of Absence: DR380, Voidsoul Genasi. This paragon path is all about protecting yourself by removing yourself from play, reducing damage and getting a bonus to saving throws. The encounter power is also superb control. Too bad you gain no power points from it though.[/sblock]
[sblock]Fey Beguiler: DR384. You take this path for the features. Gaining a level 10 or lower Wizard utility is very good, and rolling twice for Stealth ensures you’ll never fail a roll again. No extra power points though, so that hurts the rating a little.[/sblock]
[sblock]Adroit Explorer: PHB2. Normally a good option for all humans, but not so much or psionic characters since they have no encounter powers. Becomes a good option if you’re a hybrid
[sblock]Shard Disciple: PHB3. If you really, really like your Shardswarm racial power, this paragon path may be just what you’re looking for. It’s even a psionic paragon path, so you won’t fall behind in power points by taking it.[/sblock]
[sblock]Broken Mirror: DR383, Mantle of Misfortune feat. Mantle of Misfortune is a very reliable way to apply attack penalties for a minor action, and getting another use out of it is pretty nice. The powers also work well with your class since at-will powers are all you use.[/sblock][/sblock]

With over 100 epic destinies to choose from, it’s kind of shocking that only twelve of them are really any good. Look for epic destinies that boost your main stats, but don’t count out the others because they’re listed here for a reason.

Psionic epic destinies

[sblock]Demiurge: PsP. More Int, more Cha, more action points and nigh-invincibility against save ends effects makes for a nice, clean package that most Psions should consider. No death features, but that’s far from required for an epic destiny to be good.

Mind Lord of the Order: DSCS. Some nice goodies here. +2 Int and Wis at 21, another use of an augment 6 powers at 30, a very interesting but dangerous mechanic that ensures you’ll never skip a turn due to being reduced to zero HP again at 24, and an incredible daily utility at 26 that will make your party leader green with envy. A definite pick if Wisdom is your secondary stat and you’re not a deva.

Master of Moments: PsP. If you have a lot of minor action powers that you need to activate, look no further. Getting a standard, move and minor when you use an action point and having teleport 5 at level 30 is also not a bad deal. And lo and behold, the Freeze in Time utility power finally gives you more control from your epic destiny! Believe it or not, that’s actually rare, even if you only get it as a daily power.

Topaz Crusader: PsP. Don’t like debilitating status effects? Then take this epic destiny and be forever rid of dazed, dominated, immobilized and restrained. You also get awesome defense bonuses and 2 additional power points, which are useful if they put you over the 18 point threshold at level 27 or even 23 so you can use your augment 6 powers three times per encounter. The Cha-bonus is nice, although you’d rather have more Int. Oh, and a daily 11x11 zone that gives all allies regeneration 18 and +2 to attack rolls is nothing to sneeze at either.
If you face aberrants on a daily basis, this epic destiny gets a little more awesome.

Godmind: PHB3. Not a bad destiny by any means, but most features come up just short. The thing that’s most obviously missing is a death feature. Vulnerable 5 psychic is not enough at this level, even if you can deliver it as a minor action. Rolling twice for attack rolls, saving throws and skill checks is awesome, but having to use your second wind in order to get it is not. And 4 extra power points at level 30 are only amazing if it puts you over the 18 point threshold so you can use your augment 6 powers three times per encounter. This destiny becomes better if you can use your second wind as a minor action (dwarf, Herbal Healing utility power) and/or if you have less than 18 power points at level 30
and no good way to get up to 18 over the course of an encounter.
Anyway, what saves this epic destiny is the level 26 utility power that lets you either regain all your power points or all your daily powers! That’s downright insane, especially if you’ve powerswapped with a Wizard power.

Eight Seal: PsP. This is purple because if you’re fighting aberrant creatures on a daily basis, the mileage you’ll get out of this epic destiny is great. If not, then you’re only in it for the Superior Will feature and the utility power, which is basically the ultimate leader power but suffers from costing a standard action to activate.

Cosmic Soul: PsP. Don’t go for this. Although truesight 5, +5 initiative and “ranged: sight” for all your powers is interesting, there are just so many better destinies you could take. Especially the death utility is boring, because it lets others take a turn instead of you. If that was what you wanted, you would’ve played a leader, right?[/sblock]

Other epic destinies of note

[sblock]Avangion: DSCS, arcane class. Though the features of this epic destiny are more leader- and striker-related, they're great nonetheless. A stat boost to your two main stats, a good bonus to death saves and not aging anymore start you off good. Then at 24 you get a fly speed equal to your speed (saves you money for Zephyr Boots) and all your attacks do radiant damage in addition to their normal types. Psychic and radiant is the best possible combo for you if you have/are a Morninglord. The level 26 utility and 30 feature are things your allies will thank you for.

Draconic Incarnation
: DR388, arcane class
. Two main stat boosts at level 21, two daily arcane powers of your choice at 30, and the ability to turn into a friggin’ dragon! If you want cool while still having a good epic destiny, this is definitely what you should go for.

Planeshaper: DR372. +2 Int is lovely, and the level 24 feature that lets you banish a creature if you crit it gives you a very good reason to take Psion Implement Expertise. The other level 21 feature that lets you use one encounter power twice totally depends on the power of your utilities or paragon path attack power, but can be nice. I’m a little hesitant regarding the utility power that lets you banish yourself and any willing allies as a standard action, since it’s easy for enemies to either beat on the remaining players or ready their attacks on your return. And the level 30 feature is just crazy, I’m really not looking forward to the Planeshaper Wizard player reaching level 30 in my campaign.

Soul of the World: DR385, Deva only. So let me get this straight. You can now take tiefling feats as well as deva feats, get Heroic Effort, get an Int and Wis-bonus, and swap your dailies for Wizard dailies? If you’re a deva, you don’t even look at other epic destinies.

Destined Scion: HoFK. Boring, but effective. Boosts to your two main stats, an attack and saving throw bonus, an anti-death daily power and a nice level 30 daily power. The gold standard if you don’t like to bother with overly complicated epic destinies.

Indomitable Champion: HoFL. The more defense-oriented version of Destined Scion. Where Destined Scion focuses on making your attacks hit, this makes sure you are a hard target to take down. The anti-death power is better since it triggers immediately upon you dropping to zero HP instead of waiting until your initiative rolls around again, but that’s not enough to raise to the highest level.

Archmage: PHB, Wizard only. This assumes you’ve multiclassed into Wizard to get some higher quality daily powers, since this epic destiny is all about using your dailies more often. Wizard dailies are about as good as control powers get, but using Far Realm’s Embrace (23), Thrall (23) or Living Barrage (15) multiple times per day is also something you can look forward to.

Heir to the Empire: PHRT, Tiefling only. Like Royal Command of Asmodeus? Then this is the epic destiny for you! Increasing your main stats is always good, but the level 26 utility is what it's all about. Whenever something dies, you can resurrect it once per encounter as an interrupt to make it serve you until it dies again (or saves against dominate). What could be more fun, I ask you?

Reincarnate Champion: PP, primal class. Not a tiefling? You are now. Go look at the feat list and then pick your jaw up off the floor when you see the possibilities that have now opened up to you. If you’re Wis secondary, Deva isn’t a bad second race to choose at level 24. Otherwise the Human’s Heroic Effort is never bad.
Qualifying for this epic destiny shouldn’t be hard, provided you went with a Druid multiclass for Serpent’s Cunning. Deva take Soul of the World instead.

Sage of Ages: AP, arcane class. The level 24 feature is like being an Avenger, that’s how much it increases your accuracy. And since your Arcana should already be pretty decent, the level 26 utility power makes you pretty invincible, as does the level 30 feature.

Hordemaster: DSCS. The stat bump is nice, but there are more than enough epic destinies that do the same. No, you take this one if you want to be practically unkillable. And the flavor on this one is beyond fun (although maybe a bit impractical for a plane-traveling adventurer). Did you die? Then someone from your entourage will pick up where you left off. And so on, into infinity. At the very least, this allows you to be a lot more reckless in and out of combat. Don't forget to have some fun with the level 30 feature and Blood Fury weapons, by the way.

Thief of Legend: DR388. This is mostly for stealth builds, but it's so much fun I couldn't resist including it in the list for everyone to enjoy. Vanish from sight. Never die. Go anywhere. Steal everything.[/sblock]

Originally posted by svendj:

Another Point of View: Multiclassing and Hybrids

Multiclassing can be very profitable for you (and for any character, really). Since your power and paragon path selection is limited, you can get some really nice options this way that ‘pure’ Psions never do. These are your most important reasons for multiclassing:

What to multiclass for
[sblock]Powers: Serpent’s Cunning (Druid), daily attack powers (Wizard), Hide in Plain Sight (Rogue). The level 6 power Serpent's Cunning is by far the best utility power you can have. For the rest of the day, you get a +1 power bonus to all your attack rolls, a +2 power bonus to all Intelligence-based skill checks, and why not, training in a skill of your choice. Unless you’re a tiefling and have access to Secrets of Belial, this costs you two feats (multiclass Druid and Acolyte Power) and a utility power of level 6 or higher, but it’s definitely worth it.
If you want better dailies, you can't go wrong with a powerswap from a Wizard either.
If you're playing a Stealth build, Hide in Plain Sight is just about the best utility power there is.

Paragon paths: Divine Oracle (Cleric), Malec-Keth Jannisary (Swordmage), Entrancing Mystic (Warlock), Flame of Hope (Invoker), Life Singer (Bard). As you can read in the paragon path and epic destiny section, these paths rival psionic paragon paths, and that’s saying something.

Epic destinies: Avangion (arcane), Draconic Incarnation (arcane), Archmage (Wizard), Reincarnate Champion (primal), Sage of Ages (arcane). These epic destinies are all very much worth spending your multiclass on. More on them in the paragon path and epic destiny section.

Additional power points: Awakened Potential, Vampirism
(Vampire), Adept Dilettante
(Half-Elf). There are three ways to get more power points through multiclassing. Awakened Potential gives you an extra daily power point (two at level 21). Vampirism qualifies you for the Psionic Vampire feat which lets you spend a surge for two power points, but comes at the cost of reducing your surge total to two. Half-Elves can qualify for Psionic Vampire by taking Adept Dilettante as their multiclass, leaving their surges intact.

Weapons as implements (Swordmage). If for some reason you wish to use light/heavy blades as your implement, this is your multiclass. A reason might be that you desperately want to do cold damage, so you take a Frost Blade as your implement. Multiclass Sorcerer gives you the same benefit, but it doesn't bring much else to the table.[/sblock]
Besides these reasons, if you see a utility or daily power you really like, powerswapping is always an option. However, I do not recommend powerswapping your at-wills for other augmentable at-will or encounter attack powers. You either lose an augmentable at-will and some power points, or trade for a Battlemind or Ardent at-will that you can only use once per encounter. Maybe you could trade one at-will power for a Wizard encounter power since they’re so awesome, but if that’s what you want you should just play a hybrid in my opinion.

Adept Dilettante
[sblock]Requires Half-Elf and a Vampire at-will power as your dilettante. By taking Adept Dilettante, you count as a Vampire and can take the Psionic Vampire feat. This gives you a healing surge when you hit with an augmented attack, and lets you spend a surge as a minor action to gain two power points until the end of your turn. Quite excellent, and certainly worth investing in if you want more power points.[/sblock]
Awakened Potential
[sblock]More power points is always a good idea, if you don’t have anything else you want to multiclass for.[/sblock]
[sblock]For the amazing Life singer paragon path. An extra heal per day, an additional skill and proficiency with wands is a nice bonus.[/sblock]
[sblock]For the excellent Divine Oracle paragon path. Also important for aspiring radiant blasters so they can take the Morninglord paragon path (but for Wis-Psions Invoker is probably better). Proficiency with holy symbols is great (Symbol of Victory!), and a daily heal is better than Healer’s Lore. If your DM allows it, you can swap it for Battle Cleric’s Lore though, which gives you a free +2 shield bonus to AC (and scale armor proficiency, but you probably don’t need that, being Int-primary and all). [/sblock]
[sblock]So you can powerswap for Serpent’s Cunning, which is without a doubt the best utility power you could ever ask for. Apart from that, Nature training and totem proficiency are useful, and you get to choose between Wild Shape and a Beast Form at-will power that you can use once per encounter, Nature’s Growth which you can use once a day and a daily heal. I’d pick that last one.[/sblock]
[sblock]For the amazing Flame of Hope paragon path, or possibly for Morninglord if you want to be a radiant blaster. If your Wisdom is high enough you can actually use your bonus at-will power, which in case of Hand of Radiance is pretty good with Morninglord. Lastly, training in Religion and rod proficiency is a nice bonus.[/sblock]
[sblock]For Stealth builds only. But what a great multiclass this is for them! Twilight Adept gives you automatic Stealth training and grants you access to the Cunning Sneak benefit once per encounter for easier hiding. The class is also chock full with utility powers like Hide in Plain Sight that help you hide even without any cover or concealment whatsoever.[/sblock]
[sblock]Either for an encounter heal with Mending Spirit, or for a conjuration so you can use Tome Expertise for easy combat advantage. Nature training and totem proficiency is cool, and if your Wisdom is high enough you also get an additional encounter power out of it. Don’t forget to either start every combat with your spirit already in play or to take the Sudden Call feat, because otherwise you have to waste a standard action to summon your companion to the battlefield.[/sblock]
[sblock]For the Malec-Keth Jannisary paragon path, which you use to add an elemental keyword to all your powers at level 16. Being able to use light and heavy blades as implements can also be what you’re after. You take Blade Initiate because having 13 Con is difficult, and a daily encounter long AC bonus if you’re holding a sword is preferable over Swordbond, even if the other multiclass feat comes with Endurance or Athletics training. [/sblock]
[sblock]This feat qualifies you for the, frankly quite excellent, Psionic Vampire feat. It gives you an additional healing surge if you hit with an augmented power, and lets you spend a surge as a minor action to gain two power points until the end of your turn. But the cost is high: Vampirism reduces your surge total to only two and burdens you with radiant vulnerability, so the risk is generally not worth it (although regeneration equal to your Charisma when you're bloodied is nice). Only take this if you absolutely have to have more power points.[/sblock]
[sblock]For the Entrancing Mystic paragon path, which is fun if you’re into charm powers. You also get a skill training, rod and wand proficiency and a bonus encounter power out of it. Qualifying for Warlock’s Curse is unlikely since you need 13 Con for that. [/sblock]
[sblock]For a cool arcane Epic Destiny, wand and tome proficiency and a nice encounter attack (Wizard) or daily utility (Witch) power. But you really take this multiclass for the daily powerswaps, because Wizard dailies are just bonkers.[/sblock]


When you build a hybrid for power reasons, you need to make sure the sum is greater than the parts. To get you started, here’s a link to Mommy_was_an_Orc’s Hybrid handbook(x). It outlines some of the basics behind building a good hybrid.

Things to watch out for
[sblock]Weapons and implements: if one class uses weapon powers and the other uses implements, you run all sorts of risks. A mix of melee and ranged attacks means you provoke easily. If the implement isn’t slotless (holy symbol or ki focus), you can’t hold a two-handed weapon or a shield. You’re also generally stuck with Versatile Expertise as your expertise feat, which doesn’t bring any extras to the table.

You can get around this by either picking a hybrid class that can use weapons as implements (Swordmage, Sorcerer, Monk) or using a staff as your weapon. That last one is a pretty horrible weapon, but at least you won’t provoke opportunity attacks anymore thanks to Staff Expertise (which also increases your melee range!).

Attributes: if you pick a hybrid that uses Intelligence as a dumpstat, you run the risk of needing too many stats to actually function. That’s doubly true if that hybrid doesn’t use Wisdom or Charisma as a primary stat, which means you lose out on important riders for your Psion powers.

Also beware of hybrid classes that use Dexterity as their main stat. This will tank your Fortitude and Will defenses, making you much more vulnerable.[/sblock]

Beside these basics, you have to remember that you’re a psionic class. If you’re hybriding with a nonpsionic class, that means a loss of Psion at-will powers and power points. The psionic-nonpsionic hybrid rules are a mess and don’t interact well with the online character builder, but I’ll attempt to explain them here.

Hybrid power point rules
[sblock]At level 1, you get only one Psion at-will no matter what. You can then choose to either get 2 power points or a level 1 encounter power from your hybrid class.

At level 3, you get what you didn’t choose at level 1. If you chose an encounter power at level 1, you can now upgrade your single Psion at-will power to a level 3 power. If you chose power points at level 1, you’re stuck with your level 1 power until level 13 (not that that’s bad, since level 1 Psion at-wills are excellent). A bug in the online character builder does allow you to switch your level 1 Psion power for a level 3 power while also choosing a level 3 encounter power from your hybrid class.

At level 7, you can choose either a second Psion at-will power or an additional encounter power from your hybrid class.

From level 13 onwards, you can mix and match with Psion at-will powers and nonpsionic encounter powers. The only rule is that you need to have at least one Psion at-will power and one nonpsionic encounter power.

The number of power points you get depends on the number and tier of your Psion at-will powers. You get 2 power points for every heroic Psion at-will you have, 4 for every paragon, and 6 for every epic. Since the most Psion at-wills you’ll ever have is 2, that means only 2-4 power points in heroic, 2-8 power points in paragon, and 2-12 power points in epic. Getting a psionic theme and paragon path is even more important in these cases, since the additional power points are invaluable if you regularly want to augment your powers.[/sblock]

Right, so now that we’ve got that out of the way, what interesting hybrid builds can you make with the Psion? To know that, you need to know the advantages and disadvantages of the Psion as a hybrid.

The Psion as a hybrid

  • No important class features. Some hybrid classes need you to spend your Hybrid Talent on essential class features. Not this one.
  • One more at-will power. Most classes have only two at-wills. A Psion hybrid has three, which gives you a greater chance of having just the right power for the situation. It does come at the cost of an encounter power though.
  • Intelligence primary means a good bonus to AC.
  • Not dependant on a secondary score. Some powers get a lot better with good Wis or Cha, but it’s not like you can’t function without either stat.
  • You can get the benefits from two different classes (see the multiclass section). For example: Druid for Serpent's Cunning, Invoker for Flame of Hope (especially nice if you multiclass with a leader), Wizard for the awesome daily powers and Arcane Mastery in epic, which also combos nicely with the Demiurge epic destiny so you can spend multiple action points and Flame of Hope for the action point benefit.


  • Psionic class. Overall, you have fewer powers at your disposal, which in most cases is exactly the reason you want to play a hybrid. You also have fewer power points, which means you will quickly be resorting to unaugmented at-will powers. Sure, you can hybrid with an Ardent or a Battlemind to circumvent this, but that’s a bad idea for reasons described below.
  • Cloth armor only. Unless you hybrid with a Wizard, this means you will probably spend your Hybrid Talent on Hybrid Armor Proficiency (or something similar in case of hybrid Swordmage or Avenger). If your DM allows it, you can circumvent the armor problem by taking Divine Healer as your multiclass feat and getting Battle Cleric's Lore for scale armor proficiency and a +2 shield bonus.
  • Controller hit points. With only 2 additional hit points per level, you really don’t want to hybrid with a melee class, let alone a defender.
  • Almost exclusively ranged powers, which again means you don’t hybrid well with melee classes. There are a couple of good at-will close bursts and and blasts at paragon tier though, so not all is lost.
  • No slotless implements, which means you may be juggling weapons and implements around.


Okay, so preferably no melee or defender hybrids, and no classes that are Dex-primary. Here’s a list of builds that I think work well as a Psion hybrid.

Psion hybrids
Psion as a Leader

Thoughtswitch(x), a Psion|Lazylord. This build strives to be a leader instead of a controller by combining the awesomeness of Forced Opportunity with the many perks of the Lazylord. You grant two free move actions, boost attack rolls, damage and initiative, and double the amount of attacks made by the party. All in round 1, every encounter. If that somehow isn’t enough, you still have your Psion dailies as back-up to exert control over the encounter. Comes fully online at level 17.

You can also go with a Psion|Shaman. Shamans are Wis-primary and Int-secondary, so the stats overlap nicely with the Psion's. The spirit companion also gives you access to easy combat advantage with Tome Expertise. You can put that to good use with the Controlling Advantage and Cyclone Spirit feats, meaning you add two squares to all forced movement effects if the target is next to your spirit (add Orb Expertise and a Forceful Implement for two more squares, and Unseen Dread to add the slide to all your powers). In the power department you get access to the excellent Spirit Infusion power, which is devastating thanks to your high Intelligence. For the rest of the build you can choose to use only lazy Shaman powers or to actively use both hybrids. Comes online at level 1.

If neither of those catch your interest, there's also Psion|Cleric and Psion|Bard. The stats line up for the most part (especially Blunder is great on a Psion), and both classes have an amazing paragon path for attacks against Will. This also opens up multiclass Druid for Serpent's Cunning for another +1 to Intelligence attacks, so you'll never miss again. Both come online at level 1.

Psion with Polearm Momentum

The Untouchable Mindblade(x), a Psion|Swordmage. This build breaks the rules I just outlined above by hybriding with a melee defender, but it compensates for that by laying the smack down with Polearm Momentum. The feat is really excellent in a Psion’s hands since you have so many forced movement powers, and hybriding with Swordmage is the best way to gain implement proficiency with a Polearm. The build has its shortcomings (mostly in the defense department), but seeing Psychic Anomaly and Kinetic Buffer in action with Polearm Momentum is worth it. Comes online at level 4.
Could also work as a Psion|Wizard or Psion|Artificer. The latter version uses a Farbond Glaive for the artificer attacks.
If you think/can convince your DM that you can use an Alfsair Spear for your attacks, you can build this as a Psion|Shaman as well (also see Psion as a Leader above).

Psion with Immediate Action Attacks

Psion|Artificer or Psion|Swordmage. One thing a Psion has a dearth of is immediate action attack powers. Both the Artificer and the Swordmage have a couple of really, really nice immediate encounter powers and are both Intelligence primary.
Swordmage gives you not only Dimensional Vortex and Surprising Transposition, it solves the weapon/implement problem by itself and has a very nice Hybrid Talent that actually lets you act as an off-defender if you want.
Artificer requires a hoop to jump through because the immediate action powers are all ranged weapon powers. The easiest way to solve this is by getting ki focus proficiency (Elemental Initiate theme works best). After that, you're a hybrid that not only has Int primary and Wis secondary for both classes, you also have great leader powers that set up your allies (Slick Concoction) or just destroy encounters (Punishing Eye).
Both come online at level 1.

Psion with a Mix of Melee and Ranged Powers

Psion|Avenger(x). Yes, another melee hybrid. But Avenger is one of the few melee classes that actually has great synergy with a Psion. Avengers also wear cloth, have a great Hybrid Talent for boosting AC, have access to Unarmored Agility to pump AC to ridiculous heights, have holy symbol (slotless implement) proficiency, and are Int-secondary. You can switch between melee and range with easy, and if you wear Shimmering Armor your ranged attacks won’t even provoke. Comes online at level 1.
Psion with Consistent Power Point Recovery

Psion|Warlock. You hybrid with a Warlock because want an easy way to regain your power points, which the Psionic Scorn feat (DSCS) lets you do. Take the Sorcerer-King pact, spend your Hybrid Talent feat on getting your pact boon and spend another feat on Psionic Scorn. Now every time a target Cursed by you drops to zero HP, you regain a power point. With only 2 power points during levels 1-6, you're going to need it. But if you apply your Curse judiciously (Twofold Curse helps immensely here), you can be spamming augmented Disheartens and Betrayals all day long. Betrayal actually helps you trigger Psionic Scorn faster, so Entrancing Mystic is a good paragon path for you. Comes online at level 2, 1 if you're Human.

Psion|Controller Hybrids

Psion|Wizard (Int/Cha) or Psion|Invoker (Int/Wis). Nothing too special here, but the dailies of both classes are serious improvements of the ones on the Psion’s power list. Give Psion at-wills priority over the other class’ encounter powers so you have enough power points, and just profit from the other’s daily powers. Saves you a multiclass feat too if you’re interested in either class’ paragon paths or epic destinies. Be aware that a full-class Wizard or Invoker works just as well as (if not better than) these hybrids. Comes online at level 1.[/sblock]

Originally posted by svendj:

Instruments of Intellect: Implements
There is a bevvy of implements in this game that you can use. Psions start out with Staffs and Orbs, and with the right race, theme or multiclass you can expand your implement selection quite a bit. But the main question is: do you want to? That’s why I compare all the different implements here and what they bring to the table.

In short

The absolute best implement for you is an Accurate or Crystal Orb of Unfailing Concentration. If you're a Tiefling, an Accurate Hellfire Staff competes with it. You also want to pick up a couple of magic orbs and, if you're proficient with them, holy symbols that don't require you to attack with them.

Rods are interesting for Dragonborn, radiant blasters and epic critfishers.

Wands let you expand your power selection with arcane at-will and encounter powers, but require the Arcane Initiate feat or a theme that gives you an arcane power.

Holy Symbols and Ki Foci are useful if you've got your hands full otherwise. There is a great holy symbol for radiant blasters and a mandatory ki focus for hidden builds. They also come in superior versions that can actually be better than an accurate implement, depending on which defense you like to target.

Light and heavy blades can add elemental keywords to your attacks, which in turn opens up stuff like frost and radiant cheese.

[sblock]Staffs are generally the best implement for ranged casters, mainly due to the Staff Expertise feat which ensures you’ll never provoke an opportunity attack again for making ranged attacks. However, Shimmering Armor does the same for you.
The staff also opens up Hafted Defense and Staff Fighting feats. Each of those grants you an additional point of AC, although they require you to hold the staff in two hands. Hafted Defense also opens up Rhythm Blade Wrist Razors for your arm slot for an additional +1 AC and Ref.
Lastly, the staff is your implement of choice if you want to boost your damage. Staff of Ruin and Siberys, Shard of the Mage both offer pretty impressive damage boosts.

Superior staff implements
[sblock]Accurate Staff: generally the best type of superior implement.

Guardian Staff: this is another way to gain a shield bonus to AC and Ref, which opens up Rhythm Blade. But unless you’re also doing mainly force damage, you’re better off with the Staff Fighting feat.

Mindwarp Staff: the extra distance can come in handy once in a while to put you out of range of possible attackers, but that’s not remotely worth it compared to other superior implements. The only reason for considering a Mindwarp Staff is if you’re going for a psychic blaster build (a Mindwarp Staff of Ruin does quite a lot of extra damage). Too bad there’s no such thing as a psychic blaster.

Quickbeam Staff: if you’re into forced movement, grab an orb instead. You only have one at-will power that benefits from Energized (thunder), but it’s a good one (Thunder Tether) so if you’re just spamming that power you might consider this.[/sblock]

Magic staffs of note
[sblock]Aversion Staff (level 2+, PHB3): your at-will powers cause of bunch of effects that last until the end of your next turn (Dishearten!). This staff gives you an +2 item defense bonus on top of that.

Defensive Staff (level 2+, AV): an easy way for staff users to get an item defense bonus. Common.

Earthroot Staff (level 3+, AV, HoFL): some of your best dailies at every tier immobilize or restrain (Living Missile & Barrage, Far Realm’s Embrace, Ravenous Singularity). A -2 penalty to the first saving throw is very good, since all of those powers have nasty secondary effects on immobilized and restrained targets. Oh, and restraining on a crit is also awesome. But generally orbs are better for denying enemies a saving throw.

Staff of Ruin (level 3+, AV): item bonuses to your damage rolls are hard to come by (or any bonuses, for that matter). If you want some help in that department, this is the staff you’ve been looking for.

Staff of Spectral Hands (level 3+, AV): if you’ve invested in getting Mage Hand for combat advantage through Tome Expertise, you might as well get it against multiple targets with this staff.

Staff of the War Mage (level 3+, PHB): increasing the burst or blast size of your daily or at-will powers is just awesome (Mind Blast and Far Realm’s Embrace especially). The power of the Staff of Psicraft is loads better, but having the effect on a level 3+ item means you can upgrade it more quickly.

Battle Staff (level 4+, EPG): useless for regular Psions, but a very interesting alternative for Avenger hybrids who want to double their crit rate in heroic.

Hellfire Staff (level 4+, PHRT): turning all your powers into fire powers is very attractive for Tieflings, who can suddenly profit from Hellfire Blood. Like the race wasn’t good enough yet. The critical hit effect lets you regain your racial, theme or paragon path power for what it’s worth.

Staff of Forceful Rebuking (level +4, PHB3): if you’re a staff user that still wants some increased pushes and pulls, look no further than this. Doesn’t work with slides, unfortunately.

Staff of Psicraft (level 5+, PHB3): increasing the burst or blast size of your daily or at-will powers is just awesome (Mind Blast and Far Realm’s Embrace especially). Trading two power points for the ability to do it again is a great deal, especially at higher levels. This thing even gives you an item bonus to Arcana. Good stuff, though a bit expensive.

Staff of the Renewing Source (level 5+, PHB3): once per day, you can regain 2 power points per tier when you hit with an augmented attack. Good to have available when you’re about to run out. Bit expensive though.

Cunning Staff (level 8+, AV): an untyped penalty to the first saving throw against an attack delivered by this staff, scaling by tier (2/3/4). Wow. This is better than what most orbs offer in the save penalty department, and that's saying something.[/sblock]

[sblock]The main draw of the orb as an implement is twofold: Orb Expertise increases your forced movement effects, and the Orb of Unfailing Concentration is the ultimate implement for you. If you’re into save ends effects, there are some alternative orbs you can consider. There are also a number of orbs like the Orb of Nimble Thoughts that have a cool effect, but that you don’t have to actually use as your attack implement.

Superior orb implements
[sblock]Accurate Orb: generally the best type of superior implement.

Crystal Orb: if you’re attacking almost exclusively against Will, then this is actually a better than an Accurate Orb because most attacks against Will also do psychic damage.

Greenstone Orb: I can’t imagine anyone wanting to spam Ectoplasmic Servant. If you do that for some reason, then this is the orb for you. Otherwise, ignore it.

Petrified Orb: if you really, really like forced movement, moving your targets another square in addition to Orb Expertise is not bad. If you use it with Dread Spiral you even get a damage bonus.[/sblock]

Magic orbs of note
[sblock]There are a lot of orbs that have cool properties and powers that don't require you to attack with it. Pick one up if you come across it, you won't regret having one on hand. Those orbs are labeled no attack.

Orb of Forceful Magic (level 3+, MME, common): remember when I said that orbs are for those who like forced movement? Well, this is yet another way to increase your pulls, pushes and slides by one square.

Orb of Frustrated Recovery (level 3+, PHB3, no attack): this orb can make a target fail its saving throw against ongoing damage once per day. This is interesting with a couple of level 25 dailies that carry other nasty effects with them in addition to ongoing damage. You can just keep the level 3 version of this on hand, since the power doesn’t require you to hit with it.

Orb of Inevitable Continuance (level 3+, PHB): normally, all the effects of your at-will powers last just one turn. Having something like a dominate from Sudden Control last a turn longer is awesome.

Orb of Mental Constitution (level 3+, PHB3, no attack): effectively gives you skill training in Endurance, and makes an enemy target your Will instead of Fort or AC once per encounter. If you properly invested in your secondary stat, your Will should at least be higher than your Fort, so it might save you one hit per encounter. If you augment the power, the attack will almost certainly fail. You only need a level 3 version of this orb.

Orb of Nimble Thoughts (level 3+, PHB3, no attack): an initiative boost and an encounter power that lets you shift a number of squares close to your speed are both great benefits. Even though you don’t need to use it as an implement, it pays to upgrade this orb since the initiative bonus equals the orb’s enhancement.

Orb of Psychic Conversion (level 3+, PHB3): if you want to use Psychic Lock but you specialize in non-psychic powers, this is the orb for you.

Orb of Unlucky Exchanges (level 3+, AV): the daily power on this orb gives one enemy a taste if its own medicine. Are you facing one of those annoying controllers that give you or your allies daze, slow and ongoing damage? This orb will transfer all that right back to them.

Orb of Fickle Fate (level 4+, AV, no attack): your daily powers will have some sort of save ends effect, whether that’s immobilize, stun or dominate. Giving a target a -2/-4/-6 penalty to the saving throw will make the fight that much easier. A low level version of this orb is good enough, but the save penalty increases by tier.

Orb of Psionic Recovery (level 4+, PHB3): if you have another psionic character in your party, this is a nice way to recover some power points. You don’t even have to use the orb to get the benefit of the power, although the higher level versions let you regain more power points. If none of your partymembers use psionics, ignore this.

Orb of the Peerless Artist (level 4+, PHB3): if you use a lot of unfriendly bursts and blasts, your melee allies will thank you for using this orb. Unnecessary
if your party is tactically savvy.

Orb of Life Conversion (level 5+, PHB3): this is an incredibly useful, albeit a risky item. Spending a surge instead of 2/4/6 power points once per encounter is awesome, and worth the Durable feat. You can also invest in an Iron Ring of the Dwarf Lords (level 14, PHB) and Keoghtom’s Ointment (level 12, PHB) for a few extra surges. The orb itself is expensive though.

Orb of Unfailing Concentration (level 5+, PHB3): the ultimate orb for you. The encounter power lets you regain power points if you miss with an augmented power, but it doesn’t specify that you need to miss every target with it. So if you miss even once, you get an extra fully augmented attack every combat. The orb is expensive, but definitely worth it.
Note: if your DM rules that you have to miss every target with the attack to regain your power points, the rating drops to blue.

Orb of Impenetrable Escape (level 6+, AV): a cheap orb that forces an enemy to reroll a save a once per day is pretty nice if you want to keep your accuracy as high as possible. If you attack Will a lot, use the orb below this one instead.

Orb of Mental Dominion (level 6+, AV): a cheap orb that lowers the chances an enemy saves against your effect of an attack against Will. The awesome part is that this affects ALL the saving throws, not just the first, so you increase the odds of a target remaining dominated for a good long time.

Orb of Inescapable Consequences (level 8+, AV): if you really want enemies to feel the effects of your daily powers, take this orb and enjoy watching them suffer whether you hit them or not. You can keep a low level version of this on hand if you don't care about damage but want to use another implement as your main attack implement.

Orb of Karmic Resonance (level 13+, AV): another orb that makes one enemy fail his saving throws once per day. You don’t have to actually use this orb to attack for the effect. The alternate benefit of ending one effect on you or an ally can sometimes be important too.

Orb of Temporal Dissonance (level 13+, DR365, no attack): Spur to Action on an orb. You don’t need to wield this orb to use its power. Have this and an Orb of Nimble Thoughts in your hands when combat starts, then drop them and draw your real implements.

Orb of Translocation Interference (level 13+, MotP, no attack): messing with enemy teleports can have hilarious results. You can even teleport the enemy into the air if they don’t have a fly speed for the double win: if they fail their save, they take falling damage; if they make it, they stay right where they are. The fact that it’s a free action encounter power and that you don’t need to use this orb to attack puts it over the top.

Stone of Good Luck (level 14+, MME): an orb with a daily Heroic Effort power built in. The other power is nice to ensure you make your next saving throw.

Orb of Revenant Magic (level 17+, AV, no attack): there are plenty of Psion daily attacks whose miss effects are rather worse than their hits (Dominate is an easy example). If you worry about missing with them, carry this orb with you for power recovery once per day. You don’t even need to use the power through the orb, so that’s nice for epic players who picked this up in paragon.

Orb of Unintended Solitude (level 18+, AV): a daily banishment effect if you hit with a forced movement power is sweet.

Orb of the Usurper (level 23+, AV): if you’re not a Tiefling Dominator, this orb gives you one awesome critical hit per day.[/sblock]

[sblock]Rods are only for a select few builds due to some specific enchantments. Dragonborn can use one to become elemental blasters and use Resounding Thunder, critfishers can use one for the expanded crit range, and radiant blasters can get automatic combat advantage and increased damage. The rest of the rods are either bad or carry bonuses for Warlocks. If you’re a Warlock hybrid, allow me to direct you to the relevant handbook(x).

Apart from that, Rod Expertise offers you a free shield bonus to AC and Ref, which in turn opens up a Rhythm Blade. You can get proficiency through the Artificer, Invoker and Warlock multiclass and the Primordial Adept theme.

Superior rod implements
[sblock]Accurate Rod: generally the best type of superior implement.

Ashen Rod: you have a few fire powers but almost all of them are really, really bad. Mindfire Explosion is decent but it doesn’t target Ref, so you can safely skip this rod.

Deathbone Rod: you have no powers that do necrotic damage.

Defiant Rod: Energized (radiant) is interesting for radiant blasters (Morninglord + Brilliant Thought), but the shield bonus is pretty awkward with the Expertise feat. Does work well on a Torch of Misery though.[/sblock]

Magic rods of note
[sblock]Rod of the Dragonborn (level 4+, AV): obviously this only works for Dragonborn. It’s one of the few ways you can turn a Psion into an elemental blaster. This item is best combined with Thundering Breath and Resounding Thunder to increase the size of all your bursts and blasts.

Torch of Misery (level 10+, AV2): radiant blasters (Brilliant Thought + Morninglord) can pick up a Defiant version of this for increased damage and combat advantage on subsequent attacks. Not the worst implement, especially if you’re already multiclassing as an Invoker for the paragon path. Very expensive though.

Rod of the Star Spawn (level 22+, AV): if you somehow can’t qualify for Psion Implement Expertise, or if you’re really short on feats but still want to optimize critical hits, this rod grants you an expanded crit range in early epic. And getting to spend a healing surge on a crit is just gravy.[/sblock]

[sblock]The main draw of using a wand is expanding your power selection.
Little known fact: you can craft a wand that can cast at-will or encounter powers (attack and utility powers) that you know of any class capable of using wands (PHB, page 242). So basically any Artificer, Bard, Warlock and Wizard power. Since most Psions don’t know any, it’s up to your wand-using partymembers or your DM to arrange for you to get such a wand. Beware that you can only use at-will powers in a wand once per encounter, and encounter powers once per day.
Another little known fact: you need to be able to use at least one arcane power in order to use magic wand powers. So that means you either have to take the Arcane Initiate multiclass feat or a theme that gives you an arcane attack power, like Order Adept. But that’s a small investment for a Wand of Magic Weapon, Wand of Blunder or Wand of Shield, isn’t it? Higher level wands can also contain higher level powers. Wand of Dark Gathering or Wand of Prismatic Burst anyone?

If you’re not going that route, the Master’s Wands let you use arcane at-will powers with a little bonus on top of it. Other wands offer a small item bonus to damage if you attack with a certain keyword, but Staff of Ruin is just better than those. Wand Expertise is nothing special (ignore cover), but if you’re a hybrid Bard then Battle Song Expertise is useful if you’re also making weapon attacks. You can get proficiency through the Artificer, Bard, Warlock and Wizard multiclass and by being an Sun Elf (Eladrin).

Superior wand implements
[sblock]Accurate Wand: generally the best type of superior implement.

Cinder Wand: if you want Empowered Crit, you’re better off using an Unspeakable Tome, Wrathful Symbol or Mighty Ki Focus.

Dragontooth Wand: if you mainly attack Reflex, this is a strict improvement over an Accurate implement due to the +1 damage bonus.

Rowan Wand: Distance and Energized (lightning) make for a very poor combination, especially for a Psion.[/sblock]

Magic wands of note
[sblock]See above, there are a bunch of wands that let you cast arcane powers if you have an arcane power. No other magic wands of note.[/sblock]

[sblock]If you take a Druid multiclass for Serpent’s Cunning, you also gain totem proficiency. Unfortunately there’s absolutely no reason for you to use one. Most magic totems only work with primal powers, the superior versions are crap and the Expertise feat has a very marginal benefit (ignore cover). There are a couple of ok magic totems that offer a bit of healing for those who don't feel like branching out into other implements like Holy Symbols.

Superior totem implements
[sblock]Accurate Totem: generally the best type of superior implement.

Farseeing Totem: a small range and damage bonus is not very interesting.

Icicle Totem: Empowered Crit and Energized (cold) are interesting for cold blasters, but those are Wizards, not Psions.

Storm Totem: it makes Thunder Tether do more damage, but unfortunately it boosts the wrong attack roll.[/sblock]

Magic totems of note
[sblock]Pure Spirit Totem
(level 5+, PHB2, no attack)
: a little minor action surgeless healing can be good to have in your backpocket when one of your allies drops at an inconvenient time. No need to get a higher level version of this totem, since you don't need to attack with it.

Totem of Nature’s Balm
(level 10+, AV2): ignore this totem’s power, you take this for the critical hit effect if you’re into crit optimization. Letting an ally spend a surge when you crit is sweet. Symbol of the Holy Nimbus is better, but you won’t always be proficient with holy symbols. Expensive implement though.[/sblock]

Holy Symbol
[sblock]What makes holy symbols attractive is that they’re a slotless implement. The Holy Symbol Expertise feat ensures enemies can’t get combat advantage against you anymore, and the Mighty Crusader Expertise feat stops opportunity attacks for using ranged attacks (you need to wield a two-handed melee weapon, but that’s what staffs are for). There are also some very useful holy symbols like the Symbol of Victory that you can only use if you’re proficient with them. Some don't even require you to attack with them, so just getting one and tucking it into your otherwise unused holy symbols slot is enough. You can get proficiency through the Avenger, Cleric, Invoker, Paladin (or Blackguard) and Vampire multiclass.

Superior holy symbols
[sblock]Accurate Holy Symbol: generally the best type of superior implement.

Astral Symbol: one of the only two Energized (radiant) superior implements, and a little better than a Defiant Rod since the extra distance can sometimes make a difference. For radiant blasters only, obviously (Morninglord + Brilliant Thought).

Warding Symbol: if you’re only attacking Fortitude, the shield bonus is a nice extra. Opens up Rhythm Blade for even more defense.

Wrathful Symbol: the attack bonus versus Will is very relevant for most Psions, and Empowered Crit is actually a pretty good benefit. Lots of good powers that attack Will are also area bursts, so there’s a decent chance you’ll crit once per encounter. Doing 1d10 per tier extra damage is a cool bonus. [/sblock]

Magic holy symbols of note
[sblock]Symbol of Scorned Fate (level 5+, DR388, no attack): ignore the effects of one failed saving throw every encounter, no questions asked. You only need a level 5 version to make use of it, and the fact that it’s slotless makes it awesome.

Symbol of Power (level 7+, PHB): this holy symbol is one of the best items you could be wielding when you’re using dailies with save ends effects. An untyped, unconditional -2 penalty to the first saving throw against effects caused by powers using this symbol is sweet. It compares favorably to save penalties granted by orbs, and that’s saying something.

Symbol of Vigor (level 7+, AV2, common): if you’re at maximum hit points, you get an untyped +1 attack bonus. You’re a ranged controller, so if you play it right you should get the bonus for at least two rounds.

Candle of Invocation (level 8+, MME, no attack): not terribly good for combat purposes, but giving an ally a power bonus to a crucial skill check once per encounter is a good and rare effect.

Symbol of Victory (level 9+, PHB, no attack): whenever someone scores a critical hit, you can use the daily power on this to give that person an action point. Since you’ll be attacking as many creatures as you can, chances are that that person is you. You only have to hold this for the effect, so the level 9 version is enough. Its value increases even more because it doesn’t require you to have a hand free.

Symbol of Divine Light (level 17+, AV2): radiant blasters (Brilliant Thought + Morninglord) really take off with this symbol, getting a +5 item bonus to damage against all targets who already have radiant vulnerability.

Symbol of Sacrifice (level 18+, AV): if you have some leader aspirations and good defenses, you can use this symbol to grant saving throws in exchange for a couple of hit points every time you hit with an attack.[/sblock]

Ki focus
[sblock]The ki focus is a bit of an oddball implement. Like the holy symbol, it is slotless so you can use one while having your hands full. Unlike the holy symbol, you can also use its enhancement bonus on weapon attacks you make with a weapon you’re holding. If you’re making weapon attacks for some reason (most likely because you’re a hybrid), this could the implement you want. Ki Focus Expertise lets you deal 1 extra damage per tier against bloodied foes, nothing for you to get exited about. They're also mandatory for hidden builds, who get a huge damage boost here. You can get proficiency through the Assassin, Monk and Vampire multiclass and the Elemental Initiate theme.

Superior ki focus implements
[sblock]Accurate Ki Focus: generally the best type of superior implement.

Fluid Ki Focus: extra mobility and defenses are nice for melee types, but not very useful for you.

Inexorable Ki Focus: Unstoppable and Energized (force) are a good combination for you. If you’re into force attacks against Fort, consider this ki focus.

Iron Ki Focus: if you care more about damage and forced movement than about accuracy, I suppose you could consider this. But you should use a Petrified Orb in that case, since Orb Expertise also adds another square of forced movement.

Mighty Ki Focus: if you like spamming Thunder Tether, the combination of Unerring and Empowered Crit is a nice one. Hitting two enemies each turn gives you a higher crit chance, and 1d10 extra damage per tier is nothing to sneeze at.

Mountain Ki Focus: Forceful and Shielding is an interesting combination of properties. They’re both useful to you, so if you like defenses more than accuracy you should consider this. Opens up Rhythm Blade for an additional +1 shield bonus.

Serene Ki Focus: Undeniable and Energized (psychic) is a great combination for Psions. But a Crystal Orb has the same properties and doesn’t require investing in proficiency, so chances are slim you’ll be using this. Only consider this if your hands are already full.

Transcendent Ki Focus: gaining concealment when you hit with Dimensional Scramble is nice, but that’s about the only benefit this gives you. Pass.[/sblock]

Magic ki foci of note
[sblock]Cascading Strikes Ki Focus (level 3+, PsP): a daily reroll on your main implement is always useful.

Rain of Hammers Ki Focus (level 3+, DR382): making a daily minor action at-will attack against an enemy you already hit this turn is very attractive, especially if that attack is a burst or blast so you can get more targets in it. Since it’s an item power that grants you the attack, you can’t augment it unfortunately.

Shadow Master Ki Focus (level +3, HoS): very good for hidden builds (Gnomes, Wood Elves, Shades), who can seriously amp up their damage with this thing. 4+enhancement extra damage is a lot! Too bad it’s necrotic, which is often resisted.

Mountainfall Ki Focus (level 9+, PsP): if Force Grasp is your favorite power, it never hurts to do a little extra damage whenever you hit immobilized targets with your attacks.[/sblock]

Light and heavy blades
[sblock]If you want to do elemental or radiant damage with your attacks, you need to get yourself a magic dagger (no other blades because they don't come in superior implement versions). Elemental damage can add a lot of goodies to your attacks, mostly extra damage through vulnerability. A Siberys Shard increases your damage even more. The expertise feats are worthless because they only boost weapon attacks made with the blades, so you need Versatile Expertise here. You can get proficiency through the Sorcerer and Swordmage multiclass.

Superior dagger implements
[sblock]Accurate Dagger: generally the best type of superior implement. This is the reason you use daggers over other types of blades.

Incendiary Dagger: you have a few fire powers but almost all of them are really, really bad. Mindfire Explosion is decent but it doesn’t target Ref, so you can safely skip this dagger.

Lancing Dagger: if you’re into spamming Shield Crack, a regular damage bonus with Empowered Crit on top is something to consider.

Resonating Dagger: you have no forced movement attacks that also deal thunder damage, so skip this. [/sblock]

Magic blades of note
[sblock]Frost Weapon (level 3+, PHB): this changes all your damage to cold damage. Combine it with Siberys, Shard of Merciless Cold, Gloves of Ice, Icy Heart and Lasting Frost, and go to town.

Sunblade (level 4+, AV): this changes all your damage to radiant damage. If you have a Morninglord in the party, consider this to seriously amp up your damage. In that case you should also get a Siberys, Shard of Radiance. If you play at paragon, get a Radiant Weapon instead.

Lightning Weapon (level 5+, PHB): This changes all your damage to lightning damage. Expensive, but it works wonders in combination with Mark of Storm. Adding a slide 1 to all your powers is very, very good.

Radiant Weapon (level 15+, AV): this changes all your damage to radiant damage. If you have a Morninglord in the party, consider this to seriously amp up your damage. In that case you should also get a Siberys, Shard of Radiance.[/sblock]

Originally posted by svendj:

Post 12 - items: the rest

Notes to self
gain power points:
- cognizance crystal
- orb of stored energy
- manifester weapon
- chosen of tectuktitlay
- ring of mental power


Originally posted by svendj:

Master of Puppets: Playing a Psion
Psionic classes are oft-maligned as being boring to play, being too complicated and having no role in the sword & sorcery world of D&D. Now, the third point is something I can’t change - if you feel like this, then you’ll either have to refluff or play a different class. But the first and second points are things that I will try to change your mind about.

The complaint that the class is boring to play has everything to do with power selection. I will come to that in my next point.

Now, about complexity. The controller role is already quite a difficult role to play effectively - you need to identify the most dangerous target(s), possibly before it has even had a chance to act, and use the right countermeasure to deny it its actions. If you fail, that might result in a very bad round for your party. Without intimate knowledge of the Monster Manual, you’ll just have to hope that you’re correct in your assessment more often than not. But when the hulking ape that you’ve just immobilized suddenly starts to shoot eye-rays at you, you feel pretty silly.

Now add psionic powers to that: at-will powers that do different things depending on the amount of power points you spend on them. Most powers have comparable but bigger effects when you augment them (for example, slow turns into immobilize), so that removes some of the complexity. But you’re still faced with nine different ways to use your powers (three powers that can each be augmented with one or two power points). And that’s not counting daily powers and powers from your race, theme, paragon path and epic destiny!

So you see why playing a psionic controller effectively can be a bit of a challenge. Fortunately, there are two ways to mitigate this.

  • Power selection. Not all psion powers are as difficult (or as good) as others. So if you’re just starting out, you can’t go wrong by selecting powers that you (or this handbook ;) ) think are good and focusing on those powers first. In other words: when in doubt, spam Dishearten.
  • Retraining. When you feel comfortable with the class and the power point system, you can start to diversify your power selection. That’s where the retrain rules come in. Unless you’re very comfortable with your current at-will powers, there’s nothing wrong with swapping one power for another every time you gain a level. You might be surprised by how a power that’s mediocre on paper might turn out to have some less-obvious, but awesome uses! This also combats the boring aspect: since you have such an enormous selection of powers (for example, the level 7 powers aren’t necessarily better than those from level 1 and 3), you actually have to spend a lot of time playing a Psion to become bored with the class.

Note: this goes a little against the general rule of power optimization, which states that you should pick the best powers available at every level. But since there are only a few real stand-outs among the Psion’s powers and a lot of other good stuff, there’s certainly something that can be said for sacrificing a little optimization for more fun.

Originally posted by svendj:

Sample Builds

Notes to self
- Tiefling Psion
- Radiant blaster
- Gnome, Wood Elf, Shade stealth build


Originally posted by svendj:

Famous Psions


You didn't really expect anyone else, did you?


As long as we're doing X-Men, Marvel Girl (Jean Grey) is one of the more famous superheroes who use telekinetics.


HA! Bet you didn't see that one coming, didya? Green Lantern comes pretty close to what a Shaper Psion does: he channels his willpower to create constructs out of thin air, which he uses to wreck havoc on his enemies. Might give you a good idea for a new character?[/sblock]

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