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    MachineWraith's Avatar

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    Default I Need a Defender

    But not just any old defender. I need a defender who focuses on keeping enemies attention focused on him, while buffing his allies to make 'em better. Obviously, he'd need to be able to survive the attention the baddies pay him.

    I've got a new guy joining a campaign I'm playing, and that's the role he wants to play. Unfortunately, my 4th Edition experience is very limited, and I don't know what classes can do those things.

    Party composition is thus:
    Titan, Warforged Barbarian 3, Striker/Controller (me)
    Kayan, Human Avenger 3, Striker/Leader?
    Shasta, Shifter Ranger 3, Striker
    Tarloc, Shardmind Seeker 3, Controller/Ranged Striker
    Ulkilnd, Dwarf Warlord 3, Leader
    Bostonne, Human Fighter 3, Defender

    The party already has a fighter, so I'd like to avoid fighter as a class, if at all possible. Thus far, the warlord has been our healer, so we probably don't need to double up on healing. My barbarian focuses on repositioning enemies through pushes, pulls, and shifting himself, so that's mostly covered. Our Seeker is a debuffer, and does his job pretty well. Our fighter...well, let's just say our fighter could use some work, so this new guy is probably going to be doing most of the defending.

    Any suggestions?
    Last edited by MachineWraith; 2011-03-19 at 12:53 AM.
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    GnomePirate

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    Default Re: I Need a Defender

    Avengers are Striker/Defenders.
    Wardens are Defender/Controllers


    The group could use a Controller.

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    Kobold

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    Default Re: I Need a Defender

    A paladin would be your best bet since your party is relatively low on leader abilities as you have two defenders already and three strikers. What you could really use is a controller/leader but obviously that is out. A paladin with high cha can make a lot of enemies concentrate on him (especially with a lot of sanctioning powers) and can also help your allies spend healing surges in combat.

    How is a warden a controller ranged striker? They lack ranged attacks and they are primarily a defender.

    EDIT: A druid can be made to be a strong defender like character. It can bring a lot of melee control including at will melee immobilize on a mba.
    Last edited by MeeposFire; 2011-03-18 at 10:32 PM.

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    GnomePirate

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    Default Re: I Need a Defender

    A Shaman can pull leader and controller.

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    MachineWraith's Avatar

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    Default Re: I Need a Defender

    Like I said, not a lot of experience, and I only have a couple books in front of me at the moment. The Seeker just seems to debuff and deal ranged damage, so I put down the roles I have seen him doing. He doesn't have the HP or the defenses to tank hits at all.

    The Avenger is a melee striker, but the other abilities I've seen him use do things like letting allies reroll, so I thought that would put him more as a leader type.

    Maybe I'm getting my role names mixed up.

    It seems like Paladin is a popular suggestion. I've found the Paladin, but where can I find the Cavalier?
    Last edited by MachineWraith; 2011-03-19 at 12:53 AM.
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    Default Re: I Need a Defender

    Quote Originally Posted by MachineWraith View Post
    But not just any old defender. I need a defender who focuses on keeping enemies attention focused on him, while buffing said allies to make 'em better.
    You could just go with an Illusionist to distract the enemies.

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    Kobold

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    Default Re: I Need a Defender

    Are you sure we are talking about a warden? Wardens have the highest hit points in the game and no ranged powers (though they have close powers). They also have great defenses.

    EDIT: Cavalier is from Heroes of the forgotten kingdom. It is a type of paladin.
    Last edited by MeeposFire; 2011-03-18 at 10:41 PM.

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    Default Re: I Need a Defender

    Quote Originally Posted by MachineWraith View Post
    But not just any old defender. I need a defender who focuses on keeping enemies attention focused on him, while buffing said allies to make 'em better. Obviously, he'd need to be able to survive the attention the baddies pay him.
    What you just described there IS every defender class.

    Quote Originally Posted by MachineWraith View Post
    Party composition is thus:
    Titan, Warforged Barbarian 3, Striker/Controller (me)
    Kayan, Human Avenger 3, Striker/Leader?
    Shasta, Shifter Ranger 3, Striker
    Tarloc, Shardmind Warden 3, Controller/Ranged Striker
    Ulkilnd, Dwarf Warlord 3, Leader
    Bostonne, Human Fighter 3, Defender
    Frak me that's gonna be a large group, also melee focus much? All of those classes are/can be melee based (Warden is NOT controller/ranged striker it is defender/leader or defender/controller depending on build. either you have the class wrong or the role, you may be thinking of druid).
    If you haven't made a mistake in the above list, you need a pure controller and someone who can attack at range, so any of the controller classes really.
    If you have then a defender wouldn't go amiss but you'd want a backup healer, so a defender that can heal (paladin), take a multiclass into a leader class or play a leader that can defend (cleric, bard, ardent) to protect the strikers
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    ClericGuy

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    Default Re: I Need a Defender

    Based on what you've said you were looking for in the new character, I think I'd go with a Shielding Swordmage.

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    Default Re: I Need a Defender

    As I looked through that list, I saw two defenders already: Warden and Fighter. What I did not see were many ranged attackers or a controller. A second leader would also be a good option.

    If you are really sure you want to do a defender who can keep all the bad guys on him while buffing allies some, go Charisma-based Paladin.

    If you want to shore up this groups weakness (based on what you said you already have), then go either Wizard (ranged controller) or Bard (Leader, secondary controller, ranged character, very good at moving allies around, which is important with that many melee's). Those would be my top two choices, anyway. Also of note: pretty much any other controller or Warlord.

    I'll also give a +1 to the person who said that Wardens have the highest hit points in the game, very good defenses, and no ranged powers.
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    Default Re: I Need a Defender

    Yeah I would think that shielding swordmage is best too.

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    Kobold

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    Default Re: I Need a Defender

    Oddly you can make a ranged paladin though at wills are a little difficult. A warlock|paladin would do the job very well. Just make sure your first feat is hybrid talent for paladin armor prof. Then you can mark at a distance and attack at a distance. You can even make a nasty catch 22. Multiclass in fighter and the avernian knight paragon path is yours to take which is even better for you.

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    Default Re: I Need a Defender

    I genuinely don't know where I got Warden from. He just responded to a text of mine, and apparently he's a Seeker.

    I feel foolish
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    Default Re: I Need a Defender

    Actually, scratch what I said earlier, you need a ranged character who can backup heal, so any of the leader classes with ranged abilities (all except warlord AFAIK), or a controller multiclassed into a leader (you don't need another striker).
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    Default Re: I Need a Defender

    Quote Originally Posted by Drglenn View Post
    Actually, scratch what I said earlier, you need a ranged character who can backup heal, so any of the leader classes with ranged abilities (all except warlord AFAIK), or a controller multiclassed into a leader (you don't need another striker).
    The Skirmishing Warlord build from Martial Power 2 is based on ranged attacks. It works nicely.

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    Default Re: I Need a Defender

    Quote Originally Posted by dariathalon View Post
    Based on what you've said you were looking for in the new character, I think I'd go with a Shielding Swordmage.
    I strongly recommend against swordmages for new players. They function weirdly as a tank: when most people think defender, they think of someone who stands in the front line and draws the attention of the bad guys. The swordmage? He gets close enough to mark a target, then quickly runs away. Swordmages want their mark to be violated, so they get as far away from their marked target as they can. It's difficult to play optimally for a new player.
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    GnomePirate

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    Default Re: I Need a Defender

    The problem with Paladin is it has to be the only MAD class in 4e.

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    Default Re: I Need a Defender

    Quote Originally Posted by Cartigan View Post
    The problem with Paladin is it has to be the only MAD class in 4e.
    Not if you Have Divine Power...
    Quote Originally Posted by Artanis View Post
    Somebody that pisses off a Warlock is going to go down fast. But with a Warlock, death will be a mercy because the Warlock is a secondary controller, and en route to killing you he'll first cripple you, then blind you, then set you on fire, then steal your girlfriend.
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    NinjaGuy

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    Default Re: I Need a Defender

    If you have a seeker you could use their PH3 to do a Battlemind. They are pretty good, imo.

    Human Battleminds are good, extra at-will makes it as if you have six encounter powers.

    Though if you don';t like Psionics:
    Swordmage(I think its defender dont own book)
    Warden
    Knight
    Paladin
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    Default Re: I Need a Defender

    Quote Originally Posted by tcrudisi View Post
    Swordmages want their mark to be violated
    Actually, this is true for any Defender. Otherwise, they only function as weak Strikers with unparalleled endurance. The Swordmage is only more obvious about this because to make up for its ridiculous skirmishing potential, their power damage progresses much more slowly than the others.
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    PirateCaptain

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    Default Re: I Need a Defender

    Throwing in my vote for Paladin.

    While Shielding Swordmage would do the best job of preventing damage in this party, I noticed you only have one leader.

    Man do I feel bad for that Dwarf. Five, now six people to heal. Ouchies.

    A Paladin built around healing fits the best here, IMO. Your party is also huge, that might want to get addressed eventually, though I know it's not the point of this thread.

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    Default Re: I Need a Defender

    I know the party is abnormally large. We suffer from a dearth of DMs in my area, with myself and the DM of this campaign being the only people I know willing to run a game. So when a game pops up, everybody wants in.

    Now that you mention it, I have noticed that our Warlord tends to run dry of abilities every single encounter, and we never leave an encounter with everybody at full. I suppose more healing might actually be nice.

    Paladin, you say?
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    Default Re: I Need a Defender

    Quote Originally Posted by Mando Knight View Post
    Actually, this is true for any Defender. Otherwise, they only function as weak Strikers with unparalleled endurance. The Swordmage is only more obvious about this because to make up for its ridiculous skirmishing potential, their power damage progresses much more slowly than the others.
    I disagree. My level 16 Paladin has a very strong mark punishment (16 radiant damage automatically), yet even if I get to do my divine challenge damage once a round + hit a monster, that puts my average damage at around 40 -- still well shy of a competent striker at that level. I serve my best purpose by keeping all the monsters attention. My defenses (and this is true for a Fighter), are plenty high enough and I have enough surges that I want to be the primary focus of the monsters. I do not want my marks violated, since if they are, the party quickly runs out of healing surges and I find myself with dead party members.

    The Shielding Swordmage is different (same for the Hospitaler paragon path) in that it's mark actively prevents damage. That reduces the healing surges everyone needs while keeping everyone alive better. This reduces the resources the party is using.

    You can make the argument that monsters that die faster do less damage, and yes, that is true. But that is not the defenders role (except the swordmage). The defender keeps their party alive. If everyone in the party is having to spend 2-3 healing surges each after a combat because the defender's mark is always violated then by combat #3 you will have squishy's without healing surges left.

    This is especially true with the Battlemind, who doesn't want his mark to be violated. If it's not violated, he is able to keep his share of the monsters focused on him and then use Lightning Rush to increase his DPR and wreak havoc on the battlefield. If it is violated, the BM has to choose between Mind Spike or Lightning Rush, but either way his ally (with lower defenses) is getting hit.

    (Note: I'm not as silly as to want to tank everything on the battlefield, just much of it.)
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    Default Re: I Need a Defender

    Quote Originally Posted by MachineWraith View Post
    I know the party is abnormally large. We suffer from a dearth of DMs in my area, with myself and the DM of this campaign being the only people I know willing to run a game. So when a game pops up, everybody wants in.

    Now that you mention it, I have noticed that our Warlord tends to run dry of abilities every single encounter, and we never leave an encounter with everybody at full. I suppose more healing might actually be nice.

    Paladin, you say?
    If you are trying to use a Paladin primarily to shore up your healing disparity, you are better off getting a leader. A Paladin can only heal a few times per day where leaders can heal at least twice per encounter. An Ardent or Runepriest may be a better target.

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    Default Re: I Need a Defender

    Quote Originally Posted by Cartigan View Post
    If you are trying to use a Paladin primarily to shore up your healing disparity, you are better off getting a leader. A Paladin can only heal a few times per day where leaders can heal at least twice per encounter. An Ardent or Runepriest may be a better target.
    It's rare that an encounter ends with everybody at full health. The Paladin functions as an emergency healer and that sounds like what this party needs. Not someone to heal every encounter, just someone who can push the emergency button every few combats when things get a bit hairy. Add in the fact that it can give itself lots of temp hp every encounter at level 2 (Virtue), and you've got someone who is making the healers job easier. If that's not enough, it's easy for a Paladin to take two Shaman MC feats and get 1/enc healing, though I suspect that may be a bit of overkill.

    You don't need to end every encounter at full health, you just need to end every encounter with everyone alive.
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    GnomePirate

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    Default Re: I Need a Defender

    I'm a little late to this party, but it looks like you could use a second leader as much as a defender.
    You didn't mention whether your ranger was archer or melee,
    and your barbarian is a big ol' sack of hit points.
    Your warlord was a great choice for leader with that much melee,
    An ardent also grants a bunch movement for allies in the leader department.

    If you're still set on a defender, I'd like to suggest paladin (focus on str or char, but not both, with wis as secondary for extra layon hands and channel divinity) or a lifeblood warden (wis secondary, focusing on polarm reach by paragon maybe) Either one will supliment the healing needed by your party.

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    Default Re: I Need a Defender

    Quote Originally Posted by Bagelz View Post
    I'm a little late to this party, but it looks like you could use a second leader as much as a defender.
    You didn't mention whether your ranger was archer or melee,
    and your barbarian is a big ol' sack of hit points.
    Your warlord was a great choice for leader with that much melee,
    An ardent also grants a bunch movement for allies in the leader department.

    If you're still set on a defender, I'd like to suggest paladin (focus on str or char, but not both, with wis as secondary for extra layon hands and channel divinity) or a lifeblood warden (wis secondary, focusing on polarm reach by paragon maybe) Either one will supliment the healing needed by your party.
    I'd suggest a Virtue of Sacrifice Cavalier. They are experts at damage mitigation and temp HP boosts, and have more heals than a mere Paladin.

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    Default Re: I Need a Defender

    Well, my friend made this whole thread pointless, and chose a Githzerai Cleric. I really do appreciate everybody who tried to help though. Thanks much!
    "A flamethrower is proof that at some point, some person thought to himself, "Gee, I'd sure like to set those people on fire over there, but I'm way too far away to get the job done."
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    Default Re: I Need a Defender

    Quote Originally Posted by MachineWraith View Post
    Well, my friend made this whole thread pointless, and chose a Githzerai Cleric. I really do appreciate everybody who tried to help though. Thanks much!
    Although not a perfect choice, I'm sure the Dwarf will very much appreciate the backup he's getting as far as healing goes.

    I...I like Dwarves too much guys.

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