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    Default 4e defenders, Who's Who among tanks

    How would you rank the current defenders, purely based on their ability to do the job of main tank.

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    Default Re: 4e defenders, Who's Who among tanks

    I've yet to see it in play, but based on a read of the class specs and a few anecdotes, I feel like the Warden might be the tankiest tank. So many hit points!
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    Default Re: 4e defenders, Who's Who among tanks

    Quote Originally Posted by pirateshow View Post
    I've yet to see it in play, but based on a read of the class specs and a few anecdotes, I feel like the Warden might be the tankiest tank. So many hit points!
    Warden is a Defender with controller aspects.

    Fighter is Mr Clingy, the "pure" Defender.

    Paladins (especially Chaladins?) have some leader aspects.

    Swordmage has some minor striking going on? Not sure about the last bit, but the whole teleportation business is quite good.

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    Default Re: 4e defenders, Who's Who among tanks

    Currently, I'd give it to the Fighter. In order to be a good Defender, you have to be able to make them regret not attacking you, and the Fighter currently has the highest damage potential of the Defender classes.

    The Warden has some very, very good tricks, but his HP is a balance to his lower AC. He has a ranged attack, which is useful for setting up things, and his Dailies are quite useful.

    Shielding Swordmages are excellent, particularly if you have another Defender or if your DM likes to ignore Marks and head straight for the squishies. They also get a lot of burst/area powers that help them clear minions if the party lacks a controller.

    Paladins are the strongest defense wise, but they give up some damage output for that, and they don't have the stickyness of the Fighters Combat Superiority. However, they are very good at surviving on their own, so the party without a Leader would do well with one, or the party with a Leader that needs to focus on healing the strikers.

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    Default Re: 4e defenders, Who's Who among tanks

    I have little experience with wardens so far, so I won't comment on that.

    The fighter is the best defender, because of his combat superiority ability. At will, he can tell enemies that no, they are not going to move there, and it doesn't get much more defender'ish than that.

    Shielding swordmage is also very good in defending, as in "you can attack my friends, but it won't do anything". Assault swordmages feal more striker'ish.

    Paladins are strikers with some leader ability. Their so-called defense is all-too-easily ignored.
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    Default Re: 4e defenders, Who's Who among tanks

    Fighters are very much at the top of the game. They have the perfect balance of offense, defense, and control.

    Wardens seem to me to be second best. They have interesting control mechanics, a good marking ability, and decent control, but they aren't as good at punishing broken marks as fighters.

    Swordmage is the only one I haven't seen in play, but they look like they can either be very controlly or very strikey. While they only start being able to mark 1 creature, with feats the can mark 2 at paragon, and all with in 2 squares at epic (bigger range if the took wandering swordmage PP and have decent wis). Positioning matters way less for them to benefit from their mark which leaves them to mark 1 enemy and engage with another. Power choice also matters a LOT for them.

    Paladins are a sub par defender and a sub par leader. That said, they are an amazing 5th wheel in a party that has the basics covered. I consider their mark by far the least impressive, mostly because of the conditionalness of it and the slow scaling (especially if you take the STR build). It's only redeeming quality is that it always hits.
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    Default Re: 4e defenders, Who's Who among tanks

    Quote Originally Posted by ColdSepp View Post
    Currently, I'd give it to the Fighter. In order to be a good Defender, you have to be able to make them regret not attacking you, and the Fighter currently has the highest damage potential of the Defender classes.
    This is a misconception. You don't need damage output to make the enemy regret not attacking you, as there are lots of ways other than hitting the enemy really hard to make yourself an inviting target despite durability. The various defenders go about this in different ways:

    * If you don't attack me, I really hurt you.
    * If you don't attack me, I hurt you and heal them up.
    * If you don't attack me, you don't hurt them, and I get to teleport stuff.

    etc.

    None of these is inherently better or worse than the others. There's also ways other than the Fighter's method of being "sticky". The Swordmage, for instance, has ways of making sure enemies can't get very far before being yanked back again. And like the marking effects, none of these are inherently better or worse than the others.

    The difference comes in the end product, of how everything goes together. It appears that the general consensus is that the Fighter just happens to come out the best in this regard.


    tl;dr: Having high damage isn't what makes the Fighter a better defender than the others. What makes the Fighter a better defender is that its damage is high enough and the other defenders' own methods are low enough that it just so happens to come out on top.


    *Note: I don't know the Warden well enough to comment on it.
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    Default Re: 4e defenders, Who's Who among tanks

    I have played a Paladin, Fighter, and Swordmage, and was just giving my impressions. Damage (and Combat Superiority) are what makes the Fighter better then his competitors. The paladin can't make it cost enough for an enemy to avoid him, and the Warden cannot stop a Marked target getting by him. Wardens do have their own set of tricks that make them a very good defender without stealing anything from the Fighter.

    The Aegis of Shielding Swordmage I ranked second because it will stop all or most of the damage if the target chooses to avoid him.

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    Default Re: 4e defenders, Who's Who among tanks

    Okay, based on my experience on the heroic tier. Cavaet: my experience with Warden & Paladin are not from "true" in-play situations, but theory-running them through encounters (I've been using Dungeon Delve for these tests).

    1> Fighters. Across the board, they just win as tanks. A couple of the other choices can top the fighter in singular areas, but unless you're running the same battle every time the fighter eventually comes out best.

    2> Swordmages (especially Shield ones). The only one that really compares to the fighter in my experience. The ability to mark one opponent (at range) while attacking a different one comes in pretty handy. Shield mages also get the nifty advantage of actually reducing the damage done to party members by marked targets. They suffer a bit from MAD though.

    3> Warden. The ability to mark everyone near them can be huge -- but if they run into anything that doesn't attack AC, they're <expletive>'d. They also, IMO, have a poor feat selection. A few of their powers however are game-changers -- my opinion of them could improve.

    4> Paladin. It's not that there's anything mechanical, as such. It's more like someone tried to combine a defender & a leader and came up with something less than either of the parts.
    Last edited by TheEmerged; 2009-03-31 at 03:41 PM.
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    Default Re: 4e defenders, Who's Who among tanks

    Fighters rack up points for being big sticky roadblocks with the ability to punish you when you ignore them or try to slip past them. No argument here, they do this better than any other class - and this seems to be what you expect out of something with the title of "Defender".

    Swordmages (shielding) on the other hand keep the party just as safe as a fighter, but they do it in unconventional (read: fun) ways. I once 'tanked' the BBEG by using our warlock as a human (er, half elven) shield. Letting her take 3-5 damage, mitigated by my shielding, was a lot more palatable than getting slammed for 10-12 damage myself...especially considering I was bloodied and she was at near full health with Armor of Agathyus up. So, I was running away from the BBEG, and he was running away from our new tanking warlock. I had also hit him with Elemental Foible (Cold) early in the fight...so hilarity ensued.

    Which brings me to my second favorite thing about swordmages: mobility! Being just a step faster than the guys with heavy armor can be a life saver; our BBEG was clanking around in scale while no one in the party had anything heavier than Hide armor. The races that make the best swordmages happen to have racial powers than make them even more mobile - eladrin, githyanki, windsoul genasi.

    Assault Swordmages are another story; they're not really doing their job as defender...they're more like dissuade-rs at best. To even DO what their class build says they can/should do, they have to take 2 feats - one to get a superior weapon and another for Melee Training so you can actually HIT the guy who provoked your Aegis. These guys are kind of like striker gish wanna-bes an their effectiveness is determined solely on how the DM feels like playing an encounter. So, it's a grab-bag; you only get to do your striker thing IF your allies are getting hurt. These guys need some love and I'm really looking forward to Arcane Power to see if they become worth-while.

    Wardens and Paladins I don't have any real experience with...so I can't say that Swordmages and Fighters outperform them at Defending. But, my inclination is to go with what everyone else has said and put Fighters/Swordmages in the #1 and #2 spots for the role.

    Edit: I'm biased, but I've got to go with Swordmages at #1. At least, if someone said to me "Hey want to play? Oh BTW we need a defender" Swordmage would be my first choice. Fighters may be sticky...but I don't know of any fighter who's killed 7 minions with an At-Will. They were very well positioned goblin cutters...but I'm still proud of it.
    Last edited by Nefarion Xid; 2009-03-31 at 04:58 PM.

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    Default Re: 4e defenders, Who's Who among tanks

    Quote Originally Posted by Kurald Galain View Post
    I have little experience with wardens so far, so I won't comment on that.

    The fighter is the best defender, because of his combat superiority ability. At will, he can tell enemies that no, they are not going to move there, and it doesn't get much more defender'ish than that.

    Shielding swordmage is also very good in defending, as in "you can attack my friends, but it won't do anything". Assault swordmages feal more striker'ish.

    Paladins are strikers with some leader ability. Their so-called defense is all-too-easily ignored.
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    Default Re: 4e defenders, Who's Who among tanks

    One thing that makes Fighters and Wardens both stand out as defenders is their mark. Fighters can auto-mark anything they attack in a round. This includes area attacks such as the dragonborn breath attack, Come and Get It, Thicket of Blades, and others. In fact it can be worth the Wizard Multiclass feat to grab Thunderwave. That is a great method for marking opponents. And if you don't think a -2 to hit your allies alone is a great reason to mark someone, then you haven't been into many high level games, because attack penalties are KING among debuffs. Even better than AC bonuses, because it affects all attacks. Of course this makes the fighter one heck of a whipping boy, but that's his job anyhow.

    Likewise, the Warden has a great mark - mark all adjacent enemies with a free action? My god. That is incredible. Much better than the Shielding Swordmage even, because although you get the damage prevention shtick, you are still only marking one (or two) enemies per turn until epic level, and that is not enough battlefield control. Likewise the Paladin's Divine Challenge, which is barely a deterrent. Plus both Swordmage and Pally marks use up a minor action, and that is bunk compared to Fighter and Warden marks.

    If you want a crazy sticky defender build, go with a fighter using a reach weapon then Polearm Master paragon. I recommend an Eladrin fighter using a greatspear if you want great hit and damage. (Don't think so? Fey Step into a group of enemies, use Come and Get It to draw them in, then action point and pop Thicket of Blades. Instant Cuisinart. Throw in Rain of Steel or Unyielding Avalanche for extra laughs!) The 12th level Polearm Master stance allows the fighter to make opportunity attacks within their weapon's reach. That is wild, wild stuff. You don't even need a great Wisdom modifier to make it good - the two handed weapon +1 is enough if you have your Strength up. Oh and for maximum battlefield control, make Footwork Lure one of you main at-wills. Seriously. It can change the entire course of a battle.
    Last edited by Jack_Banzai; 2009-04-02 at 02:55 PM.

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    Default Re: 4e defenders, Who's Who among tanks

    Everyone's talking about how the Warden and Fighter are much better about total combat control... but what about encounters with Solos or Elites? If there aren't many enemies that the Paladin has to keep off of his allies, his single-target mark sticks. Coupled with the Champion of Order's Encounter power Certain Justice, a decently optimized Paladin can easily shut down the largest monster in the room until he feels like doing otherwise. Since Daze turns off Opportunity Attacks and grants Combat Advantage, Rogues love it, especially when the foe somehow positions itself so it can't be flanked.

    In a corridor and decent Charisma, Terrifying Smite (an otherwise less-useful power) can also be used to shut down a nasty target: on a hit, the target's pushed and can't approach the Paladin... or his nearby buddies. And Blinding Smite and Stunning Smite are also decent shut-down attacks that are Weapon vs Will.

    A paladin's strength isn't in making all of the enemies in the area "stick" to him, it's in shutting down the biggest, baddest mo-fo in the room so his allies can deal with everything else.
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    Default Re: 4e defenders, Who's Who among tanks

    I would argue that it depends on the Solo/Elite. Fighting a Solo/Elite Controller is much different than fighting a Solo/Elite Brute.

    Given your example of the Paladin manhandling a Solo/Elite, you are not emphasizing the Defender but rather the Controller capability of the Paladin.
    Last edited by Jack_Banzai; 2009-04-02 at 05:28 PM.

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    Default Re: 4e defenders, Who's Who among tanks

    Quote Originally Posted by Enlong View Post
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    Default Re: 4e defenders, Who's Who among tanks

    I think the swordmage is slowly winning my vote for top defender. If the goal of a defender is about dissuading your opponent from hitting others and punishing them when they do I had previously always considered the fighter to be numero uno.

    However, I have played through about 12 encounters with a level 5 swordmage and oh my god!

    Lets first talk about something very important to me when we discuss defenders: AC (solo and bosses aside) most of the things that you are 'defending' against are good ol' run of the mill bad guys who wail on your AC. Swordmages have this category locked up.

    Lets take a look at Defender ACs at level one:

    Fighter - Armor&Shield = 18 or 19 with feat from heavy shield or plater
    Fighter - Tempest = Dex 18 + Hide + TWF or Double Sword = 18 (17w/chain)
    Paladin - 20 Straight Up with horrible checks and movement

    Warden - If you totally sacrifice your Str for a 20 Con you can get 20 AC with a +5 from Con +2 from Heavy Shield and +3 from hide however, most wardens should be rolling out with a 16 or 18 CON depending on how much they value to-hit ratios making the average ACs 18 and 19.

    Now if you build your Swordmage for the sole purpose of defending the only real stat you are going to need is Int and a little CON for shielding. So at Level 1:

    Swordmage: Int 20 +5 / Swordmage Warding +3 / Leather +2 / Improved Warding +1

    AC 21 at level 1 is just sickening and unlike the armored fighters your AC will scale because you will be increasing INT every chance you get.

    Level 8 AC = Half L +4 / Int 22 + 6 / Warding +4 / Magic Leather +4 = 28

    Now if that was not bad enough the powers that are there to protect yourself and others can become pretty amazing.

    Aegis Shield
    Dimensional Vortex (this is just broken IMO too powerful)
    Host of Shields
    Silversteel Veil

    The only problem I have had is increasing the amount of marked targets. Powers that can be added to help with this are:

    Sword of Sigils
    Swordmage Shielding Fire
    Swordmage's Decree
    Echoes of Sword Magic
    and various magic items that are out there

    Once you are at a point where you feel you can keep things marked and they only attack you, pick up the White Lotus Riposte feat:
    Every time an opponent attack you that you hit with at-will power they take your Int Modifier damage... really?!?

    On TOP OF THAT: if you really want to hang in there and NEVER go down, you can pick up:

    Rose King's Shield: Once per turn when you hit with Booming Blade you gain 5 THP, if you move 3 or more squares that turn it becomes 10 THP.

    Rose King's Shield + White Lotus Riposte on a marked target is pretty dang funny. You hit getting 5 or 10 THP, each time it attack you it takes 5 or 6 damage depending on whether you are level 8 yet and if it moves away to attack someone else you Aegis shield them. ALSO it takes 1d6 plus CON damage from Booming Blade effect when it moves away.

    That is how I see a defender. Has a high defense for when it takes all the blows. Dissuades everything around it from attacking others and begins to gain a significant advantage when it is the focused target.

    OH BTW: Paragon level creates more sick feat possibilities

    Arcane Admixture Thunder with Close Burst
    Resounding Thunder At-Will CB2 attack that triggers White Lotus Riposte damage is sick

    AND Greater Swordmage Warding is ANOTHER +1 to ALL defenses that stacks with improved swordmage warding. (+5 AC from your swordmage warding class feature)

    Double Aegis allows you to Aegis two at a time. At epic level you Mark EVERYTHING in CB2 or CB3 if you get the swordmage Item set that extends Aegis to CB3 (Heroic level item set)


    As much as I love the fighter and its flexibility. If you are talking about a defender as a party protector, tank, and damage mitigation; I believe the swordmage is becoming my choice here.

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    Default Re: 4e defenders, Who's Who among tanks

    i'll agree that fighters have an edge on most other defenders, because of their innate +1 to hit. and the most options (two martial power books)

    other than that, each other defender has its areas of expertise

    Wardens love to be surrounded, and can make moving difficult for enemies. They do not need to focus on AC because the have HP
    Swordmages are great at staying on a target, they can chase around enemies instead of keeping the enemy on them. They also have good AC
    Paladins are my least favorite, but they are the most leadery (i used it as a word so no leadery is a word). At low levels they have high AC and they have a ranged mark.
    I haven't played with a battlemind yet.
    Last edited by Bagelz; 2010-06-30 at 11:29 AM.

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    Default Re: 4e defenders, Who's Who among tanks

    See, this is why thread necromancy is a bad thing. Some things have changed here. The paladin is a lot better off than it was before; it's still not as sticky as the fighter but can dish out respectable damage now and has plenty of ways to mark multiple targets with the right power selections.

    I haven't had a chance to playtest the Battlemind yet.
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    Default Re: 4e defenders, Who's Who among tanks

    Wardens are probably the best 4E defenders but Fighters and Pallys are good too.

    Wardens have the best defense, tricks, and control.
    Fighters are the most "pure defender" and are and are the most flexible.
    Paladins can do a bit of healing and On Pain of Death may be the best defender power in the game, they also have lots of powers that revolve around sacrificing healing surges.
    Swordmages look cool but are meh.

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    Default Re: 4e defenders, Who's Who among tanks

    Battlemind
    Fighter
    Rest

    So far, the Battlemind has proven to be really nice, since he CAN dish out the damage as well as other stuff. I wonder why he wasn´t already meantioned, or are there any limitations on what we were discussing as defender types here?

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    Default Re: 4e defenders, Who's Who among tanks

    From what I've seen, there's really no one that stands out as superior. Depending on the party-mix, some Defenders may be better fits with their party, but each has it's strengths.

    Wardens: The durability of a Warden cannot be underestimated. I've seen Fighters go down to heavy fire, but rarely has the Warden ever dropped. Font of Life + a lot of hitpoints means that the Warden is always defending.

    Battleminds: I've been underwhelmed with the Pregen Battlemind I was running for D&D Encounters, but they've also got a lot of resilience. I love the Psionic Augmentation system. Also, Speed of Thought is very good at closing off chokepoints. Now if only I could fight a battle with a chokepoint ...

    Fighters: Yes, they are sticky, yes they have really good damage potential ... but fighters are probably for me, the least tankish of the Defenders. They are not as hardy as their fellows, with the exception of the Battlerager build.

    Swordmages: Once you get use to the fact that they play very different from their fellows, you see their strengths. Playing as a traditional defender, and you will be underwhelmed.

    Paladins: They needed a massive upgrade, but Divine Power delivered. What's really nice about Paladins is that Divine Challenge/Sanction response is action-free. Many a Dazed Defender has sworn as they've been unable to punish their foes.

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    Default Re: 4e defenders, Who's Who among tanks

    Quote Originally Posted by Angelmaker View Post
    Battlemind
    Fighter
    Rest

    So far, the Battlemind has proven to be really nice, since he CAN dish out the damage as well as other stuff. I wonder why he wasn´t already meantioned, or are there any limitations on what we were discussing as defender types here?
    1.) Dead thread. Deeeaaad thread.
    2.) Battleminds weren't around a year ago, which is when the thread died.
    3.) Battleminds are nothing compared to Swordmages, Fighters, and Paladins in terms of stopping power. Battleminds can't limit their enemies' effort to assault others unless they stick up close, but the Fighter can cut down an enemy's escape even when he tries to shift away, Paladins deal auto-damage from any range, and Swordmages can cut down the opponent's offense by teleporting back into melee range or simply disabling a good chunk of the damage. Damage isn't the priority here, keeping the enemies off your allies or else is. Often that means dealing damage, but sometimes not (shielding Swordmage). Battlemind, ironically for an Int-dump class, is a thinking man's class. You've got to know when to strike with which attack in order to maximize your tanking, whereas Fighters and Paladins just focus on marking and smashing, and Swordmages mark, run, and cut down someone else.
    Last edited by Mando Knight; 2010-06-30 at 11:57 AM.
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    Default Re: 4e defenders, Who's Who among tanks

    Quote Originally Posted by Mando Knight View Post
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