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    ElfWarriorGuy

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    Default swordmage - tips for combination

    Please, give me some tips, which combination of feats is better for my swordmage?

    My character is Eladrin Swordmage, shielding variant, starting Array is Str=12, Con=12, Dex=12, Int=20, Wis=12, Cha=8.

    I want invest (in future) in two feats in character build to improve my non AC defences. I know about feat Greater Swordmage Warding and I want thouse two additional feats to improve my NADīs over GSW. My question is, which variant is better?

    First variant: 1) Improved defences (HotFL) and 2) Resilient Focus (HotFL)
    Plus: I invest only in Con and Int and my warding will by higher and Iīll have +2 to all saving throws.
    Minus: Will defence will be lower.

    Second variant: 1) Superior Fortitude (HotFL) and 2) Superior Will (HotFL)
    Plus: Will defence will be higher (by +2 and I know, there are some nasty effects from targeting will defence). Perception will be higher (because of investment at Wisdom).
    Minus: I must invest some points (1 or 2) to Wisdom and my swordmage warding will by decreased (-1).

    What do You think? Any advice, tips?
    Last edited by Signir; 2012-11-06 at 02:18 PM. Reason: gramatic

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    Default Re: swordmage - tips for feat combination (non AC defences)

    You might also want to use a background to get your hit points from INT, since you optimized so heavily for it.

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    Default Re: swordmage - tips for feat combination (non AC defences)

    I think that stat spread is not a good idea for a swordmage. Shielding Swordmages in particular are less concerned with missing than other defenders... That will help your F/R/W out and help you qualify for some of those better defensive feats as well. And it will help your mark.

    YMMV. Not sure if reassigning stats is really an option in your game.

    -O

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    Default Re: swordmage - tips for feat combination (non AC defences)

    Quote Originally Posted by Adoendithas View Post
    You might also want to use a background to get your hit points from INT, since you optimized so heavily for it.
    I know, what you mean (auspicious birth), but my swordmage is trained in perception and have background with +2 to perception. I have arcane mutterings as utility power and my character is prety good in fight and skill challenges.
    (As Theme I give him Order Adept, but Iīm looking at Elemental Initiative...).


    Quote Originally Posted by obryn View Post
    I think that stat spread is not a good idea for a swordmage. Shielding Swordmages in particular are less concerned with missing than other defenders... That will help your F/R/W out and help you qualify for some of those better defensive feats as well. And it will help your mark.

    YMMV. Not sure if reassigning stats is really an option in your game.

    -O
    My plan is make eladrin fencer - shielding swordmage, but with good chance of hit (because of effect from transposing lunge and dimensional vortex). Good AC and Reflex is good for me (actualy Iīm on 4 level and my defences are good except fortitude and dimensional vortex is awsome with boost to hit with preracial 18 in Int).

    But question was: Improved defences+Resilient focus OR Superior fortitude+Superior will - for shielding swordmage?
    Last edited by Signir; 2012-09-26 at 09:58 AM. Reason: gramatic

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    Default Re: swordmage - tips for feat combination (non AC defences)

    Keep in mind that if you go for Greater Swordmage Warding, the bonus it gives to all 4 defenses is a feat bonus, and it wont stack with either of your 2 options.

    Other than that I would go for improved defenses and resilient focus.
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    Default Re: swordmage - tips for feat combination (non AC defences)

    Superior Fort + Will.

    Daze will be your bane. Get rid of it as often as possible.

    Resilient Focus is an amazing feat. But at low levels? It's skippable. I'd pick it up in late heroic or early paragon tier somewhere. For a defender, I actually like taking all 3 superior feats. It's better defenses and I think Superior Will is a must, anyway. And Fort is great, too, since you'll often find yourself with ongoing damage. Reflexes? Meh. But at least you auto-qualify.

    The only problem is that you'll have to give up some Int to get both Fort and Will. Bummer, but it happens.
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    Default Re: swordmage - tips for feat combination (non AC defences)

    I know that GSW wont stack with Improved defences or with Superior Fortitude/Will. I want to have very good NADīs (I plan in epic to have Epic Fort/Ref/Will too, I know - 6 feats about defences seems too much, but my Eladrin is a fencer and he want be the best - White lotus riposte and Kingīs Shield coming soon).

    Iīm not going to invest points from Int to Wis anyway, every poit is going to Int and additional point will be going to Con (if I choose way Improved Defences + Resilient Focus) OR to Con at heroic and at the start paragon I can choose Superior Fortitude and at Paragon to Wis and at the start epic I can choose Superior Will.

    Iīm questioning about Improved Defences + Resilient Focus feats OR Superior Fortitude + Superior Will because Iīm feat starved and I want another feats for Arcane admixture, Thunderīs Rumble, Solid Sound and maybe Resounding Thunder combo.
    Last edited by Signir; 2012-09-27 at 02:12 AM. Reason: gramatic

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    Default Re: swordmage - tips for feat combination (non AC defences)

    Then why dont u skip GSW and get all 3 superior defenses? Sure your AC will fall by 1 (2 in epic), but you will have amazing NADs and all 3 extra benefits.
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    Default Re: swordmage - tips for feat combination (non AC defences)

    Quote Originally Posted by Silma View Post
    Then why dont u skip GSW and get all 3 superior defenses? Sure your AC will fall by 1 (2 in epic), but you will have amazing NADs and all 3 extra benefits.
    But itīs trade between +2 to Reflex and +1/+2 to AC. And we knowīs, that AC is more targeted defence. GSW wins over the Superior reflexes. Reflex defence isnīt problem for my build, I have this defence prety high because of Int score and neck slot items.
    Last edited by Signir; 2012-09-27 at 01:52 PM. Reason: gramatic forever

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    Default Re: swordmage - tips for feat combination (non AC defences)

    AC is more targeted in the heroic tier, yes. If you are talking about paragon and up? AC is targeted less and less and the NADs become all the more important.

    As a defender, I do everything I can to raise up my defenses sky-high. It's not uncommon for me to use up 7 or 8 feats for defense by level 30. As a different role, I don't go so heavy on defense, but for a defender, I think it's worth it.

    To this end, I realize that damage isn't a part of what I'll be doing. I'll still try to ramp it up some, but it's not uncommon for me to be doing mediocre damage. As a swordmage, it's all the more frustrating because of the implement/weapon thing.

    If you'd like for us to look over your build, why not throw up a level 30 version of it?

    Finally, note that there's a level 14/24 head item that lets you make saves vs. daze and stun (14) and also dominate (24) at the start of your turn. For a feat starved character, you might consider that in place of Superior Will. (The name eludes me, even though my wizard currently uses the darn thing.)
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    Default Re: swordmage - tips for feat combination (non AC defences)

    Yeah, frankly swordmages are among the worst - if not the absolute worst - damage-dealers in the game. They get some reprieve from AoE powers like Sword Burst and can do mild damage to several enemies, but they need to pull all sorts of tricks to get there.

    IMO, a shielding swordmage's best bet is to amplify their Aegis and defenses (all defenses, not just AC), then take a few teleportation powers to stay far away from the target of their Aegis. I would never, ever spend the points to buy a 20 Int in character generation for a swordmage of any kind.

    -O

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    Default Re: swordmage - tips for feat combination (non AC defences)

    OK, here are two versions level 30 Eladrin Swordmage:

    Version 1 - Improved defences (HotFL) and Resilient Focus (HotFL)

    Spoiler
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    Signir, level 30
    Eladrin, Swordmage, Coronal Guard, Demigod
    Build: Shielding Swordmage
    Swordmage Aegis: Aegis of Shielding
    Arcane Admixture Damage Type: Arcane Admixture Thunder
    Divine Spark: Divine Spark Intelligence
    Divine Spark: Divine Spark Constitution
    Eladrin Subrace: Standard Eladrin Racial Traits
    Arcane Admixture Power: Sword Burst
    Background: Refused Admittance (+2 to Perception)

    FINAL ABILITY SCORES
    Str 14, Con 22, Dex 14, Int 30, Wis 14, Cha 10.

    STARTING ABILITY SCORES
    Str 12, Con 12, Dex 10, Int 18, Wis 12, Cha 8.


    AC: 51 Fort: 46 Reflex: 50 Will: 46
    HP: 211 Surges: 14 Surge Value: 52

    TRAINED SKILLS
    Perception +24, Arcana +36, Endurance +28, History +32, Athletics +22

    UNTRAINED SKILLS
    Acrobatics +17, Bluff +15, Diplomacy +15, Dungeoneering +17, Heal +17, Insight +17, Intimidate +15, Nature +17, Religion +25, Stealth +22, Streetwise +15, Thievery +17

    FEATS
    Level 1: Intelligent Blademaster
    Level 2: War Wizard's Expertise
    Level 4: Improved Defenses
    Level 6: White Lotus Riposte
    Level 8: Rose King's Shield
    Level 10: Resilient Focus
    Level 11: Double Aegis (retrained to Total Aegis at Level 21)
    Level 12: Arcane Admixture
    Level 14: Greater Swordmage Warding
    Level 16: Resounding Thunder
    Level 18: Thunder's Rumble
    Level 20: Solid Sound
    Level 21: Rapid Aegis Reaction
    Level 22: Fey Shift
    Level 24: Epic Will
    Level 26: Epic Reflexes
    Level 28: Epic Fortitude
    Level 30: Swordmage Implement Expertise

    POWERS
    Swordmage at-will 1: Sword Burst
    Swordmage at-will 1: Booming Blade
    Swordmage encounter 1: Sword of Sigils
    Swordmage daily 1: Dimensional Thunder
    Swordmage utility 2: Arcane Mutterings
    Swordmage encounter 3: Dimensional Vortex
    Swordmage daily 5: Swordmage Shielding Fire
    Swordmage utility 6: Armathor's Step
    Swordmage encounter 7: Transposing Lunge
    Swordmage daily 9: Troll Rampage
    Swordmage utility 10: True Seeing
    Swordmage encounter 13: Silverlight Strike (replaces Sword of Sigils)
    Swordmage daily 15: Reaper's Challenge (replaces Dimensional Thunder)
    Swordmage utility 16: Impenetrable Warding
    Swordmage encounter 17: Thundering Vortex (replaces Silverlight Strike)
    Swordmage daily 19: Death's Resurgence (replaces Swordmage Shielding Fire)
    Swordmage utility 22: Oni's Gift
    Swordmage encounter 23: Thunder Riposte (replaces Thundering Vortex)
    Swordmage daily 25: Quicksilver Blade (replaces Troll Rampage)
    Swordmage encounter 27: Circle of Devastation (replaces Transposing Lunge)
    Swordmage daily 29: Transdimensional Invasion (replaces Death's Resurgence)

    ITEMS
    Flowform Starleather Armor +6, Longsword of Defense +6, Iron Armbands of Power (epic tier), Fey Warrior's Boots (epic tier), Foe Caller Gauntlets (epic tier), Eye of Awareness (epic tier), Periapt of Cascading Health +6, Belt of the Witch King (paragon tier), Eager Hero's Tattoo (epic tier), Nullifying Ring (epic tier), Greater Ring of Invisibility (epic tier)


    Version 2 - Superior Fortitude (HotFL) and Superior Will (HotFL)

    Spoiler
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    Another Signir, level 30
    Eladrin, Swordmage, Coronal Guard, Demigod
    Build: Shielding Swordmage
    Swordmage Aegis: Aegis of Shielding
    Arcane Admixture Damage Type: Arcane Admixture Thunder
    Divine Spark: Divine Spark Intelligence
    Divine Spark: Divine Spark Constitution
    Eladrin Subrace: Standard Eladrin Racial Traits
    Arcane Admixture Power: Sword Burst
    Background: Refused Admittance (+2 to Perception)

    FINAL ABILITY SCORES
    Str 14, Con 20, Dex 14, Int 30, Wis 16, Cha 10.

    STARTING ABILITY SCORES
    Str 12, Con 12, Dex 10, Int 18, Wis 12, Cha 8.


    AC: 51 Fort: 46 Reflex: 49 Will: 48
    HP: 209 Surges: 13 Surge Value: 52

    TRAINED SKILLS
    Perception +25, Arcana +36, Endurance +27, History +32, Athletics +22

    UNTRAINED SKILLS
    Acrobatics +17, Bluff +15, Diplomacy +15, Dungeoneering +18, Heal +18, Insight +18, Intimidate +15, Nature +18, Religion +25, Stealth +22, Streetwise +15, Thievery +17

    FEATS
    Level 1: Intelligent Blademaster
    Level 2: War Wizard's Expertise
    Level 4: Great Fortitude (retrained to Superior Fortitude at Level 11)
    Level 6: White Lotus Riposte
    Level 8: Rose King's Shield
    Level 10: Iron Will (retrained to Superior Will at Level 18)
    Level 11: Double Aegis (retrained to Total Aegis at Level 21)
    Level 12: Arcane Admixture
    Level 14: Greater Swordmage Warding
    Level 16: Resounding Thunder
    Level 18: Thunder's Rumble
    Level 20: Solid Sound
    Level 21: Rapid Aegis Reaction
    Level 22: Fey Shift
    Level 24: Epic Will
    Level 26: Epic Reflexes
    Level 28: Epic Fortitude
    Level 30: Swordmage Implement Expertise

    POWERS
    Swordmage at-will 1: Sword Burst
    Swordmage at-will 1: Booming Blade
    Swordmage encounter 1: Sword of Sigils
    Swordmage daily 1: Dimensional Thunder
    Swordmage utility 2: Arcane Mutterings
    Swordmage encounter 3: Dimensional Vortex
    Swordmage daily 5: Swordmage Shielding Fire
    Swordmage utility 6: Armathor's Step
    Swordmage encounter 7: Transposing Lunge
    Swordmage daily 9: Troll Rampage
    Swordmage utility 10: True Seeing
    Swordmage encounter 13: Silverlight Strike (replaces Sword of Sigils)
    Swordmage daily 15: Reaper's Challenge (replaces Dimensional Thunder)
    Swordmage utility 16: Impenetrable Warding
    Swordmage encounter 17: Thundering Vortex (replaces Silverlight Strike)
    Swordmage daily 19: Death's Resurgence (replaces Swordmage Shielding Fire)
    Swordmage utility 22: Oni's Gift
    Swordmage encounter 23: Thunder Riposte (replaces Thundering Vortex)
    Swordmage daily 25: Quicksilver Blade (replaces Troll Rampage)
    Swordmage encounter 27: Circle of Devastation (replaces Transposing Lunge)
    Swordmage daily 29: Transdimensional Invasion (replaces Death's Resurgence)

    ITEMS
    Flowform Starleather Armor +6, Longsword of Defense +6, Iron Armbands of Power (epic tier), Fey Warrior's Boots (epic tier), Foe Caller Gauntlets (epic tier), Eye of Awareness (epic tier), Periapt of Cascading Health +6, Belt of the Witch King (paragon tier), Eager Hero's Tattoo (epic tier), Nullifying Ring (epic tier), Greater Ring of Invisibility (epic tier)


    Any suggestions which version is better and how make one of this this builds (i know, that this is very common shielding build) better?

    EDIT: preracial 18 to Int mean (for defences) difference between +2 to Frotitude (for 16 preracial to Int) and +1 to AC and +1 Reflex (for 18 preracial to Int). Preracial 18 to Int doesnt mean lesser defences, for swordmage...
    Last edited by Signir; 2012-09-30 at 11:40 AM.

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    Default Re: swordmage - tips for feat combination (non AC defences)

    Int 16 pre-racial. Period.

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    Default Re: swordmage - tips for feat combination (non AC defences)

    Quote Originally Posted by vasharanpaladin View Post
    Int 16 pre-racial. Period.
    This is not answer for both my questions (Any suggestions which version is better and how make one of this this builds better?). On top of that, this answer is without explanation.

    (and itīs only reason - theory, because preracial 16 to Int for Shielding Swordmage means (for defences) only +2 to Fortitude and -1 to AC and -1 to Reflex - this is not bad for preracial 18 to Int, deal between -2 to Fort and +1 to AC and Reflex).

    Please, have anybody idea (with explanation - like tcrudisi did) about Improved defences + resilient focus compared to Superior Fortitude + Superior Will, or any ideas about two builds, which I posted here?
    Last edited by Signir; 2012-10-01 at 01:12 AM. Reason: gramatic

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    Default Re: swordmage - tips for feat combination (non AC defences)

    Minor nitpick with version 2: You do not have Improved Defenses. You do not have Superior Reflexes. Yet, you took Epic Reflexes. In this scenario, Superior Reflexes is superior to Epic Reflexes. They both grant +4 Reflex, but Superior grants automatic combat advantage on your first turn.

    Solid Sound is nice, but I'd rather have a more permanent bonus. In other words, I'd rather take a different defensive feat.

    I'm still a bit torn on which build I like better. See: I value defenses a lot on a defender. But there's something that I believe that every character should have by epic level: Resilient Focus. It's that important. Saves are the best thing you can do on any character, period. It's why Superior Will is valued so highly.

    To that end, I lean towards version 2, but replacing a feat (Solid Sound?) with Resilient Focus. I also strongly advise ditching the Greater Ring of Invisibility and replacing it with a Ring of Sympathy (level 15). Then, convince your party that they all want one. Buy one for each of them if you have to. Once you've seen it in action, you'll realize that no level 30 ring even compares. I rank it as the most powerful ring in the game ... if you can get the entire party to have it.

    Anecdotal evidence: My group has played characters from level 1 and we are now level 26. There's usually 6 of us (though 10 total, some don't show up often) and only 1 of us doesn't have the ring. He's the only one that ever suffers from any save ends conditions. And he's always complaining about it. Combined with Resilient Focus and each of us having a Horreb Ritual Cube (or other item bonus to saves), the DM can't get (save ends) conditions to stick onto us. I also use a Necklace of Fate just to be extra sure -- though it is a bit of overkill. I've not used it in the last 5 levels. In other words: Resilient Focus + Ring of Sympathy for everyone. Trust me on this.

    I'm also not a big fan of Rose King's Shield. Perhaps this is what you can retrain at mid-paragon when saving throws become extremely important. Yes, the temps are nice - but ya know what? You can't do everything on your own. Trust in your leader to keep you up. You've got solid defenses; 10 temp hp a round when you use your at-will of choice is nice, but +2 to all saves is nicer.

    So, I guess I'm throwing out support for a combination of the two. It just feels like there are feats that you can replace to make it work.

    But, if you absolutely MUST force me to pick one of the two because none of the other feats are negotiable, then I pick version 1 for levels 1-15 and version 2 for levels 16-30. Seriously. :p
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    Default Re: swordmage - tips for feat combination (non AC defences)

    Quote Originally Posted by tcrudisi View Post
    Minor nitpick with version 2: You do not have Improved Defenses. You do not have Superior Reflexes. Yet, you took Epic Reflexes. In this scenario, Superior Reflexes is superior to Epic Reflexes. They both grant +4 Reflex, but Superior grants automatic combat advantage on your first turn.
    Thank You very much, your explanation make sense to me. I took version two and replace solid sound with Resilient focus.
    But with reflexes is one issue - Superior Reflexes is feat bonus and dont stuck with GSW, but Epic Reflexes is untypized bonus, so stuck with GSW. so I trade automatic advantage on first turn for +2 to Reflex.
    I think (you give me very good advice) about trade (in build version 2) between Rose King Shield and Superior Reflexes - 5/10 THP or +2 to Reflex with advantage on first turn....
    Last edited by Signir; 2012-10-01 at 06:40 AM.

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    Default Re: swordmage - tips for feat combination (non AC defences)

    Oops. I didn't notice GSW there. Yeah, you're right: Epic Reflexes it is. And, even considering it's only +2 reflexes and auto-CA, I'd still take it over Rose. However, I'd probably go with the Rose for the first few levels. 5 temp hp is pretty good early on. It quickly loses it's luster, though, especially when you get more and more encounter and daily powers, meaning you use your at-wills less and less. (Yes, 2 of your enc powers will be immediate actions, but you'll get others that won't be.)
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    Default Re: swordmage - tips for feat combination (non AC defences)

    And what about theme? Is Order Adept better then Elemental Initiative?

    Bonus to Will is same.
    Order Adept theme has bonus to Arcana (+4), this bonus help with "Arcane mutterings" utility power and with knowledge checks.
    Elemetal Initiative theme has training in Nature or Religion (this help with skill challenges) and with ki focuses (+ some benefits to unarmed - this isnt important for shielding swordmage).
    Swap utility in level 6 for Elemental Initiative theme is amazing ("Restoring Touch") - its encounter and healing AND and one of these effects - poison, dazing or stunning.
    Wizards (with Order Adept theme) have many good utilities too.
    Guarranted encounter powers are hardly comparable - Elemental Initiatives power "Disciplined counter" is scaling better, but its immediate, and swordmages need their immediate for their job (and, this is a point, if you took Elemental Initiative theme, you must choose "Versatile expertise" feat to having scaling bonus to hit with "Disciplined Counter" power and you dont have "War Wizardīs Expertise" feat)...

    What do you think?
    Last edited by Signir; 2012-10-01 at 12:07 PM.

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    Default Re: swordmage - tips for feat combination (non AC defences)

    The Elemental Initiate level 6 utility swap would be amazing... if it wasn't a standard action and melee 1. While as an Order Adept (and trained in Heal) you can grab Herbal Healing from Wizard 2, for a minor action second wind + saving throw as an encounter power. If you aren't trained in heal, Guardian Blades, or Mystical Debris + Terrain Advantage for your CA feat are good runner's up.

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    Default Re: swordmage - tips for feat combination (non AC defences)

    Quote Originally Posted by Signir View Post
    And what about theme? Is Order Adept better then Elemental Initiative?
    I don't see much of a benefit to Elemental Initiate. An extra trained knowledge skill is redundant so it wouldn't help you in an SC much; the healing utility is pretty bad because (unlike most healing spells) it costs a standard action. And you probably want to keep your immediate action for defending.

    So Order Adept, hands down.
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    Default Re: swordmage - tips for feat combination (non AC defences)

    Thank you guys for ideas and opinions. This makes my build better. :o)

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    Default Re: swordmage - tips for feat combination (non AC defences)

    Hi again,

    I have another question. Now about Theme for my swordmage.

    I have "Rose Kingīs shield" feat, I have "Eagerīs Heroe tatoo" and at paragon I choose "Coronal guard" paragon path. With this I have THP all day.

    Is the "Order Adept" theme (which I have) better than new theme from dragon magazine 414 - "The society of sensation" - wich is based on THP?

    What do You think?
    Last edited by Signir; 2012-11-07 at 04:27 PM.

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