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View Full Version : [4E DnD] Optimzation of a Slayer



TalonDemonKing
2011-02-04, 09:45 AM
Doesn't have to be a slayer, but I'm looking to optimze a Melee Type for DnD 4e. The goal is to be-able to wreck face, but not be wrecked in return.

Here are the conditions:
1) Male Hu or Tief using Two-handed sword (Thinking Fullblade)
2) Level 11 Start; with one magic item below below level, at level, and above level, with 5000g to start
3) 22 point buy
4) I'd like more information on how to progress the class
5) While not required, I was using the Silent hunter background, which I'm rather fond of.

I was trying to do it myself, but I honestly suck at optimzing. My build ended up with Improved Innitiative, A power that allows me to trade passive perception for inniative, and another ability that gives me +10 inniative per day; as well as some feats that give me combat advantage against people who haven't acted yet, +4 speed on my first turn, and Ambush Tactics (1d6). I was using a blade that dealt more damage to undamaged targets. Using berserker's charge, it was some sort of insane 1d12 + str mod + 2 + 2 + 3d6 against targets that I get the drop on. It's a strong opener for fighting, sure; but I was looking for something a little bit more sustained. In addition, combat advantage really doesn't do anything for a slayer. Perhaps something that could burst down bloodied opponents?

Anyways, hopefully you can help me out here Playgrounders; 4e and optimization are both out of my league.

true_shinken
2011-02-04, 09:48 AM
I heard Fortune Cards are pretty good for Slayers. :smallamused:

TalonDemonKing
2011-02-04, 09:55 AM
Fortune Cards?

Edit: Ah; those. I was thinking an actual item. Unfortunatly I don't think our group will allow fortune cards :\

Kurald Galain
2011-02-04, 10:00 AM
Doesn't have to be a slayer, but I'm looking to optimze a Melee Type for DnD 4e. The goal is to be-able to wreck face, but not be wrecked in return.
4.4 classes are intended to be easy to optimize. Simply max out your strength, take expertise and the biggest weapon you can find, and you're good to go. Good feats include exotic weapon, power of skill, and a multiclass feat of your choice. Improved defenses is decent if a bit overrated.

More importantly, what is your paragon path? There are some good ones in the PHB1 and Martial Power, it depends on what you want with your character. Hitting stuff and not getting hit back, well, that's pretty much what every melee class does generically.

The new human power (heroic effort) is much better than the tiefling's. Unless you have a specific tiefling-only combo in mind, human is better for this class. If you do go tiefling, be sure to pick up the Secrets Of Belial feat.

You don't need to worry so much about initiative, and certainly not using your (wisdom-based) perception. All those first-turn-only feats aren't all that great either. Like you said, look for something a bit more sustained. Weapon focus is decent, as are any and all damage-boosting items you can find. If you can find a way of doing cold damage (e.g. a frost weapon), then a standard combo is Wintertouched and Lasting Frost.

1d12+3d6+4+str is pretty normal for paragon tier, and both a ranger and barbarian can top that easily. A rogue at that level can get something like 4d8+15 without issue, every turn.

true_shinken
2011-02-04, 10:13 AM
I imagine Pit Fighter would be a pretty awesome paragon path for a Slayer.

TalonDemonKing
2011-02-04, 11:44 AM
I haven't decided on a paragon path; I just know I want to hit stuff in the face with a two handed sword.

Hard.

And maybe be sneaky in the free time.

I'll be sure to look into the Pit Slayer prestige class!

Fallbot
2011-02-04, 12:15 PM
The slayer handbook (http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/26107297/Kill_Em_All:_A_Slayers_Guide) is probably worth checking out. I'd offer some actual advice, but I'm fairly horrible at optimization myself.

TheEmerged
2011-02-04, 12:24 PM
This will probably get ninja'd to heck and back but...

/* cracks knuckles


You're a scale-wearing class,meaning you get a speed penalty but not a check penalty.
You already indicated that you're going with Fullblade, which I believe still requires a feat.
Str is your primary, Dex can affect a number of your powers, and your indication that you're interested in survival means Con will be up there too.
You did NOT say you were going Essential only, so I'm presuming everything in the online character generator is allowed.
I'm going to second the following point by Kurald: you're overvaluing Initiative in general and the "before anybody attacks" feats in particular.


So, feat check.
1st> Weapon Proficiency Fullblade. You already indicated you want to go this way, may as well grab it from the start. If you're not wed to the fullblade, you might want to look at the Execution Axe (also from the Adventurer's Vault 1). Fullblade has a net +1 proficiency, Execution Axe has Brutal 2 (your damage will be 3-12 instead of 1-12). I'd go with the Fullblade too.
Human Bonus Feat> Heavy Blade Expertise. This is another point that Kurald is right about. +1 to attack per tier is not a matter of if, but when to take it for almost all builds. The +2 bonus to defenses against opportunity attacks is just gravy.

Heavy Armor Agility> This removes the speed penalty for your armor -- a +1 speed for you. How much do you want that extra point of movement?

Saving for now, likely coming back.

---------------------

Stances: as always, your mileage/usage may differ. The only one that's actually bad is Unfettered Fury. The problem with Mobile Blade is that it's a move not a shift. Personally I'd recommend some combination of Poised Asault, Duelist Assault, and Berserker's Charge to start and pick the other one up at 7th level.

Kurald Galain
2011-02-04, 12:25 PM
I haven't decided on a paragon path; I just know I want to hit stuff in the face with a two handed sword.

Hard.
Perhaps the Barbarian class is also worth considering.

TalonDemonKing
2011-02-04, 12:40 PM
Played the barbarian class; and I was utterly devastated by what they did to it. I can't bring myself to play it again.

That being said; anything in the online character generator is fair game.

Now as far as heavy blade weapon expertise, I think there is another feat that grants +1 to melee attack rolls per tier (And allows for sheath/draw as a minor action), but do they stack?

Kurald Galain
2011-02-04, 12:48 PM
Now as far as heavy blade weapon expertise, I think there is another feat that grants +1 to melee attack rolls per tier (And allows for sheath/draw as a minor action), but do they stack?

That would be Weaponmaster, and no they don't stack.

kyoryu
2011-02-04, 01:20 PM
That would be Weaponmaster, and no they don't stack.

Master at Arms?

Mando Knight
2011-02-04, 01:38 PM
Heavy Armor Agility> This removes the speed penalty for your armor -- a +1 speed for you. How much do you want that extra point of movement?
Use retraining to swap this one (a Heroic feat) out for Scale Armor Specialization. Does the same thing, but gives you +1 AC to boot.

...though both benefits are only in play if you're wearing Scale armor.

KingFlameHawk
2011-02-04, 01:43 PM
Race:
Go with Human with the heroic effort ability

Class:
I wouldn't go with Slayer, I would become a straight Great Weapon Fighter, with allow you to dish out the damage and take it better then a Slayer.

Two handed weapon talent.

Equipment:
I would go with
level 12 Dwarven Armor (Scale) for extra healing ability
level 11 Magic Fullblade
level 5 Gauntlets of Ogre power

Stats:
Start with
Str 16
Con 14 + 2 for human
Dex 14
Int 10 or 8
Wis 12
Cha 8 or 10

Increase Str and Con at level 4, Str and Dex at 8

Paragon path:
Pit fighter

Feats:
1. Weapon Proficiency Fullblade
2. Heavy Blade Expertise
3. Berserker's Fury (Multiclass Barbarian), I know you said you don't like the class but it's multiclass feat is one of the best in the game
4. Heavy Blade Focus
5. Power Attack
6. Action Surge (Human)
7. Human Perseverance (Human)
8. Armor Specialization (Scale)

Jaidu
2011-02-04, 01:50 PM
Bracers of Mighty Striking are a great magic item for Slayers, since you only use basic attacks. Master's Blade enchantment is also very good, since it gives an attack bonus when you are in a stance, and you will pretty much always be in a stance.

MeeposFire
2011-02-04, 07:28 PM
I imagine Pit Fighter would be a pretty awesome paragon path for a Slayer.

Nope damage bonus does not work with basic attacks (need to be fighter powers) and requires wisdom while slayers boost str and dex.

Best slayers usually involve taking kensai as a PP and using charge attacks as you have seen.

Here is a good guide to slayers

http://community.wizards.com/go/thread/view/75882/26107297/Kill_Em_All:_A_Slayers_Guide?pg=1

Here is one example build from the guide

This build's goal is to bring its enemies down with powerful charging blows, which has the side effect of making it a very mobile character as he zips about laying enemies low.

Race: Half-Orc.
Multiclass: Barbarian.
Paragon Path: Kensei.
Epic Destiny: Reincarnate Champion.
Past Life Race 1: Gnoll.
Past Life Race 2: Longtooth Shifter.

Ability Scores:
L1 Str 18, Con 12, Dex 18, Int 10, Wis 8, Cha 12
L4 Str 19, Con 12, Dex 19, Int 10, Wis 8, Cha 12
L8 Str 20, Con 12, Dex 20, Int 10, Wis 8, Cha 12
L11 Str 21, Con 13, Dex 21, Int 11, Wis 9, Cha 13
L14 Str 22, Con 13, Dex 22, Int 11, Wis 9, Cha 13
L18 Str 23, Con 13, Dex 23, Int 11, Wis 9, Cha 13
L21 Str 24, Con 14, Dex 24, Int 12, Wis 10, Cha 14
L24 Str 27, Con 14, Dex 25, Int 12, Wis 10, Cha 14
L28 Str 28, Con 14, Dex 26, Int 12, Wis 10, Cha 14

Feats:
L1 Weapon Proficiency (Gouge)
L2 Spear Expertise
L4 Weapon Focus (Spears)
L6 Surprising Charge
L8 Powerful Charge
L10 Skill Power
L11 Impaling Spear
L11 Reserve Maneuver (Rain of Blows) (replaces Powerful Charge)
L12 Armor Specialization (Scale)
L14 Improved Defenses
L16 Berserker's Fury (Acrobatics)
L16 Powerful Charge (replaces Skill Power)
L18 Deadly Axe
L20 Toughness
L21 Long Step
L21 Spear Mastery (replaces Powerful Charge)
L22 Brutal Charge
L22 Fierce Charge (replaces Toughness)
L24 Martial Mastery
L26 Epic Resurgence
L28 Epic Will
L30 Powerful Charge

Slayer Stances:
L1 Battle Wrath
L1 Berserker's Charge
L7 Poised Assault
L17 Duelist's Assault

Encounter Powers:
L11 Masterstroke
L11 Rain of Blows (replaces Masterstroke)

Daily Powers:
L20 Weaponsoul Dance

Utility Powers:
L2 Single Out
L6 Ignore Weakness
L10 Clearheaded
L10 Reactive Surge (replaced at L16)
L12 Ultimate Parry
L16 Reactive Surge
L22 Slayer's Defiance
L26 Swift Reincarnation

Skills:
L1 Athletics
L1 Endurance
L1 Intimidate
L16 Acrobatics

This guy would deal nasty damage since it gets three attacks using its encounter power and can do it again when he uses an action point. The slayers damage bonus really comes into its own with multi attacks.

If that does not strike your fancy I made an arcane slayer build that was vicious on a charge if you like.

Kurald Galain
2011-02-04, 08:24 PM
Master at Arms?
Oh yeah. Weaponmaster is the attack power that lets you swap weapons, I think.



Str 16
Con 14 + 2 for human
I would strongly suggest putting that +2 in strength, it does much more for you than con.


Use retraining to swap this one (a Heroic feat) out for Scale Armor Specialization. Does the same thing, but gives you +1 AC to boot.
Yes, but I don't think +1 speed and +1 AC is that good a feat, still. At least, it's not bad, but there are better options, certainly at paragon. You don't generally need a speed boost on most characters (you can always move + charge if you need the distance).

Mando Knight
2011-02-04, 09:10 PM
Yes, but I don't think +1 speed and +1 AC is that good a feat, still. At least, it's not bad, but there are better options, certainly at paragon. You don't generally need a speed boost on most characters (you can always move + charge if you need the distance).

Regardless, if you are getting Heavy Armor Agility to remove the speed penalty on Scale, you should upgrade to Scale Specialization when possible, as it's a strictly better feat if you meet the prerequisites.

MeeposFire
2011-02-05, 01:03 AM
Regardless, if you are getting Heavy Armor Agility to remove the speed penalty on Scale, you should upgrade to Scale Specialization when possible, as it's a strictly better feat if you meet the prerequisites.

You are a slayer you automatically fill the prerequisites unless you purposely avoid your striker feature (scale spec is based on dex and your secondary stat is dex).

Shatteredtower
2011-02-05, 02:08 AM
Now as far as heavy blade weapon expertise, I think there is another feat that grants +1 to melee attack rolls per tier (And allows for sheath/draw as a minor action), but do they stack?

If you do take this feat, Master at Arms, trade it for another weapon feat by 5th level, when it otherwise overlaps a class ability.

Then again, I like to go for the Dex-primary slayer with bow or sling.

MeeposFire
2011-02-05, 02:23 AM
If you do take this feat, Master at Arms, trade it for another weapon feat by 5th level, when it otherwise overlaps a class ability.

Then again, I like to go for the Dex-primary slayer with bow or sling.

Master at arms still has utility since it works with all weapons. The fact it allows you change weapons fast is just icing. Even for 5th level slayers master at arms is useful if you prefer having bonuses to attack for your ranged and melee weapon at the same time for one feat (unless you use javelins and spears in which case you only need spear expertise).

Shatteredtower
2011-02-05, 09:27 AM
Master at arms still has utility since it works with all weapons. The fact it allows you change weapons fast is just icing. Even for 5th level slayers master at arms is useful if you prefer having bonuses to attack for your ranged and melee weapon at the same time for one feat (unless you use javelins and spears in which case you only need spear expertise).

Axe Expertise works just as well for this, but there's a point at which the secondary benefits can be worth taking two feats. A halfling gets great mileage out of combining Heavy Blade Expertise with Bow/Crossbow Expertise, though you'll be sinking a third feat if you want to go with a Dexterity/Constitution build. Elves might want to do the same with greatsword and longbow, or even just the longbow. Others would be satisfied with just Axe Expertise, ignoring total cover with a crossbow deserves consideration when playing a striker.

true_shinken
2011-02-05, 10:29 AM
You are a slayer you automatically fill the prerequisites unless you purposely avoid your striker feature (scale spec is based on dex and your secondary stat is dex).

Hell, you could make Dex your primary ability score with Martial Training.

MeeposFire
2011-02-05, 07:15 PM
Hell, you could make Dex your primary ability score with Martial Training.

You can though it limits your ability to nova by picking fighter powers via reserve maneuver and virtually all (if not all) fighter powers ask for str as their attack ability. Now if you pick a good paragon path with a nice encounter power this may not be an issue, but otherwise you will want str high to poach the awesome low level fighter powers.

Shatteredtower- If you have a few extra feats that you have nothing better to use on sure buy extra expertise feats but you can do better. Heck a slayer using a ranged weapon had better be in a situation that makes melee impossible since you cannot power strike on a ranged attack so you do not want it as your primary style. It is a back up style (or a style you fall back on after you use up all your best melee stuff). So the question is do you think it is worth it to put feats into a back up style? For some sure but in general it is certainly not the standard.

Shatteredtower
2011-02-05, 10:27 PM
Power Strike isn't everything. It's nice, but let's not overemphasise +1d10 here. An elf that can move 12 squares and lay down a consistent 1d10+10 is perfectly fine with using that as a surgical 2d10+7 back-up: fire, rush in, slash, dart out. A little bonus against opportunity attacks and extra damage with the bow is worth much more than just +1 with everything.

MeeposFire
2011-02-05, 10:34 PM
Power Strike isn't everything. It's nice, but let's not overemphasise +1d10 here. An elf that can move 12 squares and lay down a consistent 1d10+10 is perfectly fine with using that as a surgical 2d10+7 back-up: fire, rush in, slash, dart out. A little bonus against opportunity attacks and extra damage with the bow is worth much more than just +1 with everything.

It is not just an extra d10. At higher levels it could be an extra 6d6 (or 3d10 in your case) damage if you use a gouge and status effects such as prone. Bows and the like are good backup weapons but playing as bow centric makes you lose what little nova capability you have. Most players I know would not play a class with no encounter powers. You limit yourself a lot by going bow centric. It is better to play as a hunter if you really want to be an awesome archer.

Urpriest
2011-02-05, 10:52 PM
Hell, you could make Dex your primary ability score with Martial Training.

They nerfed the damage on Melee Training to avoid this specific issue, unfortunately.

Shatteredtower
2011-02-06, 02:08 AM
You limit yourself a lot by going bow centric. It is better to play as a hunter if you really want to be an awesome archer.
The funny thing is you see this adherence to a narrow field of options as less limited.

MeeposFire
2011-02-06, 02:16 AM
The funny thing is you see this adherence to a narrow field of options as less limited.

A bow is a great weapon for a slayer to have. In fact every slayer should have a ranged weapon. When necessary a slayer could kite enemies using its mobile blade stance to move after every shot. However despite all this you are a striker with a job to do and you are doing a subpar job doing it as a ranged primary build. Slayers are melee strikers who get the ability to be effective archers. Call it limited but I call it playing to your strengths.

You lose out on some stances, power strike, power strike boosts, and most of your nova potential to deal decent, but not exceptional, damage at range and nothing else. A lot of people thought about doing ranged slayer builds (including myself) but they have been found lacking.