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View Full Version : (3.5, TOB) Good Warblade1 Stances



AtwasAwamps
2010-07-06, 02:08 PM
Iím playing a bard 9/Warblade 1 for an upcoming game and Iím having a bit of trouble picking out stances at the moment. The build is DFI oriented, with Snowflake Wardance and so on. Iíve used my maneuvers entirely for Iron Heart to shore up my defences with Wall of Blades and Iron Heart Surge (with Steel Wind fulfilling prerequisities). I just have no idea what stance would be good to use. Punishing Stance seems dangerous, but would go with my Iron Heart themeÖBolstering Voice would be great if it wasnít for the fact that itís a morale bonus to will saves and wonít necessarily help the partyÖIím really just at a loss. Of the first stances, what are the most useful for a melee bard, in your opinion?

Snake-Aes
2010-07-06, 02:13 PM
Punishing Stance is +1d6 to all your attacks, so that's a great start.
Also remember your initiator level is 5(4 from bard, 1 from warblade), so if you meet maneuver pre-requisites, you can pick maneuvers of third level.

Dusk Eclipse
2010-07-06, 02:15 PM
I am partial to Hunter's sense, scent is quite useful in my experience, plus IIRC it doesn't has any pre-requisites.

AtwasAwamps
2010-07-06, 02:15 PM
Punishing Stance is +1d6 to all your attacks, so that's a great start.
Also remember your initiator level is 5(4 from bard, 1 from warblade), so if you meet maneuver pre-requisites, you can pick maneuvers of third level.

Yep, hence IHS on the list, but I need to fulfill maneuver prereqs as well and I believe Wall of Blades requires one other IH maneuver. Wait...stances count for that, don't they?

::wanders off thoughtfully::

Snake-Aes
2010-07-06, 02:16 PM
Ah yes, blood in the water is excellent if you'll see yourself critting a lot. The bonus has no cap and takes 1 minute to fade. If you can full attack for two or three rounds with good critting weapons, there's no better offensive stance.

Yes, stances count as pre-requisite maneuvers.

lsfreak
2010-07-06, 02:20 PM
Ask your DM is at your first level you can take 3rd level stances, or if it's just 1st level. It's one of the only things in ToB that is potentially ambiguous.

I'd go Bolstering Voice. You don't get anything from the bonus versus fear, but extra Will saves are always good. If you're allowed a 3rd level, I like Pearl of Black Doubt.

Keep in mind that White Raven goes hand-in-hand with bard, what with the buffing effects both things have. Also, Song of the White Raven feat.

Keld Denar
2010-07-06, 02:23 PM
Blood in the Water would better for a non-DFI Bardblade. Since bonus dice never multiply, you'd be better off getting the static +X hit/+X dmg bonus from regular IC and then multiply it by 2 whenever possible. I'd go with the utility of Hunter's Sense, or the extra dakka that comes with Punishing Stance. Because there is NEVER enough dakka. Evar.

Also, Bard9? Ewwww, lost BAB. I know you get Inspire Greatness at that level, but then you start running into action economy issues. You'd be better off spending your first round of combat throwing up Inspire Courage and then going to town, rather than spending your first round on IC, and your 2nd on IG, and THEN getting into combat. If you are actually using Song of the White Raven to start IC as a swift action, then you are doing it wrong, since this conflicts with your ability to cast Inspirational Boost, one of the pillars of optimized IC.

Just some musings from an experienced Bardblade.

Snake-Aes
2010-07-06, 02:30 PM
Blood in the Water would better for a non-DFI Bardblade. Since bonus dice never multiply, you'd be better off getting the static +X hit/+X dmg bonus from regular IC and then multiply it by 2 whenever possible. I'd go with the utility of Hunter's Sense, or the extra dakka that comes with Punishing Stance. Because there is NEVER enough dakka. Evar.

Uhh I'm not sure I understand what you are trying to say here.
You said dice are bad for dfi, but then ask for more dakka. WhuH?
(what's dfi, btw?)

AtwasAwamps
2010-07-06, 02:32 PM
Blood in the Water would better for a non-DFI Bardblade. Since bonus dice never multiply, you'd be better off getting the static +X hit/+X dmg bonus from regular IC and then multiply it by 2 whenever possible. I'd go with the utility of Hunter's Sense, or the extra dakka that comes with Punishing Stance. Because there is NEVER enough dakka. Evar.

Also, Bard9? Ewwww, lost BAB. I know you get Inspire Greatness at that level, but then you start running into action economy issues. You'd be better off spending your first round of combat throwing up Inspire Courage and then going to town, rather than spending your first round on IC, and your 2nd on IG, and THEN getting into combat. If you are actually using Song of the White Raven to start IC as a swift action, then you are doing it wrong, since this conflicts with your ability to cast Inspirational Boost, one of the pillars of optimized IC.

Just some musings from an experienced Bardblade.


Excellent points and I will take that into account. I am the only person in the group using ToB and it's a low-op group, so I'm being very careful about my power level and deliberately making a few bad choices. This was originally straight bard, but I chose to lose a caster level (I know, I know) to up the melee survivability of the character with some more defensive abilities. I suppose punishing stance might work...hrmm.


Uhh I'm not sure I understand what you are trying to say here.
You said dice are bad for dfi, but then ask for more dakka. WhuH?
(what's dfi, btw?)


DFI = Dragonfire Inspiration, a feat which allows me to use a new type of Bard Song that trades IC bonuses for +1d6 of fire damage per bonus. Hence Blood in the Water being slightly less useful due to the fact that it won't double that damage and I may not have IC up consistently.

Optimator
2010-07-06, 02:46 PM
Well, a White Raven stance would be your best bet if you wanted to take Song of the White Raven.

AtwasAwamps
2010-07-06, 02:52 PM
Well, a White Raven stance would be your best bet if you wanted to take Song of the White Raven.

Honestly, I don't really want to take Song of the White Raven. It helps action economy, sure, but it cuts out the ability to use swift inspiration, and I don't like losing that.

Fouredged Sword
2010-07-06, 03:08 PM
If you want to hit in combat, you can do a lot worse than blood in the water and a keen falchion or scimitar. A kuni will do if you need a light weapon. Two keen kunis are useful due to the first level tiger strike you need for the prereq allows you to make a two weapon strike as a standard action, without needing two weapon fighting.

You don't need the damage, ether in your weapon or from the manuver. You got that in spades from DFI. What you are going for is the cumulative +1 to hit that stacks up with each crit. A few crits in and you make up for the low bab. Want to tank? Take combat expertise and turn that +1 to hit into armor each time you get it. Extra to hit bonuses can be turned into a lot of fun stuff with the right feat. You don't really even need TWF. Soak that minus to hit and just use it to fish for that extra critical hit.

Keld Denar
2010-07-06, 03:13 PM
The NICE thing about SotWR is that it continues to progress your IC. The swift action part is a trap, as I described above, but stacking your levels together is pure gold if you want your 12th, 16th, and 20th level IC bumps.

If your group is low op, then it might be worth it to forgo Insp Boost then. My DM balked when I first used it (HOW MANY DICE? WTF?). If you do forgo Insp Boost, then definitely go with Song of the White Raven and drop IC and IG (on your meatshield) in the same round. Or throw up IC and cast a spell like Haste, Slow, Fear, Glitterdust, etc.

Greenish
2010-07-06, 03:17 PM
The NICE thing about SotWR is that it continues to progress your IC. The swift action part is a trap, as I described above, but stacking your levels together is pure gold if you want your 12th, 16th, and 20th level IC bumps.You can use another stance so it won't be a swift action. Well, the feat says that when in WR stance, you can activate it as a swift action, soÖ

Optimator
2010-07-06, 11:24 PM
If your DM is generous you could ask to activate inspirational boost and a swift song with your swift and move action. My DM allows us to trade-down actions like in Star Wars, so I often forget that it isn't RAW. YMMV but if you can get it allowed SotWR can be pretty good.

Ranger Mattos
2010-07-06, 11:43 PM
Also remember your initiator level is 5(4 from bard, 1 from warblade), so if you meet maneuver pre-requisites, you can pick maneuvers of third level.

Not neccesarily related to topic, but what is the scaling for maneuver levels? By this I mean, at what initiator level do you gain 2nd level maneuvers, 3rd level maneuvers, etc.?

Lycanthromancer
2010-07-06, 11:50 PM
Not neccesarily related to topic, but what is the scaling for maneuver levels? By this I mean, at what initiator level do you gain 2nd level maneuvers, 3rd level maneuvers, etc.?Maneuver and stance levels are learned at the same rate as spells are. 1st level maneuvers are learned at Initiator Level 1, 2nd level maneuvers are at 3rd IL, 3rd level maneuvers at 5th, etc, only non-initiator classes count towards your 'caster level' at a rate of 1/2, so 2 levels of bard count as 1 level of crusader for learning maneuvers, for instance, when you take your next crusader level (they also count as swordsage and warblade levels, for that matter). Same with 1 level in bard and 1 in marshal.

HunterOfJello
2010-07-07, 12:38 AM
Punishing Stance can be great at low levels. Using a Greatsword to do 3d6+3 per swing is great at lvl 1.

If you have party members who charge often, Leading the Charge can be a great Stance that scales well. Most people avoid it.

Bolstering Voice is crap.

Blood in the Water can be great if you're a kukri dual-wielder.

Hunterís Sense is one of the best stances in the game.

Stonefoot Stance is usually dismissed, but can be efficient in a few builds. If you're a whisper gnome who uses a tripping build, then this stance can be great. (Even though Stone Dragon is one of the weakest schools and made worse by the 'always touching the ground' requirement.)

~

I prefer to pick a stance that I will always stay in so that I can grab a Marital Discipline Weapon at a low level and get the +3 to attack. (Great fun for Power Attack builds)

Math_Mage
2010-07-07, 12:57 AM
Not neccesarily related to topic, but what is the scaling for maneuver levels? By this I mean, at what initiator level do you gain 2nd level maneuvers, 3rd level maneuvers, etc.?

Initiator level = (non-martial class levels)/2 + martial class levels
Maneuver level = (IL+1)/2, rounding down.
Ex: IL = (Bard 8)/2 + Warblade 1 = 5
Maneuver level = 6/2 = 3

Wings of Peace
2010-07-07, 02:10 AM
Just to point out, with that much bard your first level of Warblade should have IL 5 I believe, qualifying you for stances of up to 3rd level.

AtwasAwamps
2010-07-07, 08:31 AM
Just to point out, with that much bard your first level of Warblade should have IL 5 I believe, qualifying you for stances of up to 3rd level.

By RAW, you "start play" as a warblade with a 1st level stance. Otherwise I'd be trying to figure out a way to get Pearl of Black Doubt and just end up as this horrible high-AC bard of doom. I'll talk to my DM about it, but it says "1st level stance" so I'm sticking with 1st level stances. I'm aware of how high my IL is, hence Iron Heart Surge being on the list.

Fouredged Sword
2010-07-07, 08:50 AM
I say again that Blood in the water is about as good as it gets for a warblade stance that will be good throughout the game. Grab that keen scimitar and have a nice day with combat expertise to make your def go up. I wouldn't go punishing stance due to the fact that a bard is fragile enough, and the other stances really are more suited to other things.

If you went swordsage rather than warblade there would be more options, like the flanking from any angle one, but are not on the warblade list.

AtwasAwamps
2010-07-07, 08:53 AM
I say again that Blood in the water is about as good as it gets for a warblade stance that will be good throughout the game. Grab that keen scimitar and have a nice day with combat expertise to make your def go up. I wouldn't go punishing stance due to the fact that a bard is fragile enough, and the other stances really are more suited to other things.

If you went swordsage rather than warblade there would be more options, like the flanking from any angle one, but are not on the warblade list.

I chose Warblade to shore up my defenses with Iron Heart Surge and Wall of Blades, both of which are not available to Swordsages. I will not be able to choose my magic equipment on this character, as it will be rolled for, and currently pretty much all my feats are spoken for and squeezing in combat expertise might not happen. Still, this is something to consider and I'll keep it in mind.

Draz74
2010-07-07, 11:15 AM
Another vote here for Hunter's Sense.

Saph
2010-07-07, 11:25 AM
Hunter's Sense is indeed very good. The main issue with it is that it requires a Tiger Claw maneuver as a prerequisite.

Still, you could just take Rabid Wolf Strike. That would give you:

Maneuver: Wall of Blades (pre-req for Iron Heart Surge)
Maneuver: Iron Heart Surge
Maneuver: Rabid Wolf Strike (pre-req for Hunter's Sense)
Stance: Hunter's Sense

Keld Denar
2010-07-07, 11:44 AM
Wall of Blades requires 1 IH manevuer too though.

Snake-Aes
2010-07-07, 11:50 AM
Wall of Blades requires 1 IH manevuer too though.

It doesn't.

Keld Denar
2010-07-07, 11:56 AM
Huh, I'm batting around .200 these days...gah. Maybe its time to pull a Griffey and retire.