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 How would you build a Death Knight

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Garthanos
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PostSubject: How would you build a Death Knight   Sat Feb 01, 2014 6:51 pm

Swordmages + reflavor reflavor reflavor?
That would work within limits but perhaps more satisfyingly one could construct an
alternative with plate armor. And give it three types?

Blood- defender?
Frost - striker?
Unholy - controller?

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Born To Be Kings and Heros -- From the Ashes Phoenix
“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” - Lazarus Long via Robert Heinlein.

One suspects Lugh Long-hand Samildánach (a wright/carpenter, a sailor, a smith/bronze craftsman, a healer, a champion, a harpist, a poet/historian, a sorcerer, cupbearer) would agree.
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PostSubject: Re: How would you build a Death Knight   Sun Feb 02, 2014 12:23 am

Revenant. There's definitely Revanant in there somewhere.
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PostSubject: Re: How would you build a Death Knight   Sun Feb 02, 2014 12:45 am

Very good ... the story of the Revenant certainly fits exquisitely doesn't it.

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Born To Be Kings and Heros -- From the Ashes Phoenix
“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” - Lazarus Long via Robert Heinlein.

One suspects Lugh Long-hand Samildánach (a wright/carpenter, a sailor, a smith/bronze craftsman, a healer, a champion, a harpist, a poet/historian, a sorcerer, cupbearer) would agree.
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PostSubject: Re: How would you build a Death Knight   Sun Feb 02, 2014 2:51 am

Just refluff it. I mainly recommended revenant because it's one of the only playable undead races.
Through now that I think of it, Vryloka might work even better.
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PostSubject: Re: How would you build a Death Knight   Sun Feb 02, 2014 4:26 am

Blackguard paladan with Revenant race and the reaver theme from BoVD.


Last edited by thanson02 on Sun Feb 02, 2014 9:53 pm; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: How would you build a Death Knight   Sun Feb 02, 2014 4:38 am

I think Vryloka is a better pick for a race. They're still undead, but gain ability score boosts to the two abilities most important for Blackguards.
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PostSubject: Re: How would you build a Death Knight   Sun Feb 02, 2014 2:43 pm

Well what kind of Death Knight are you trying to create? Is there a specific source that I can look at what you are trying to achieve?

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PostSubject: Re: How would you build a Death Knight   Sun Feb 02, 2014 6:31 pm

The World of Warcraft Death Knight

Heres a source

http://wowpedia.org/Death_knight

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Born To Be Kings and Heros -- From the Ashes Phoenix
“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” - Lazarus Long via Robert Heinlein.

One suspects Lugh Long-hand Samildánach (a wright/carpenter, a sailor, a smith/bronze craftsman, a healer, a champion, a harpist, a poet/historian, a sorcerer, cupbearer) would agree.
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PostSubject: Re: How would you build a Death Knight   Sun Feb 02, 2014 9:26 pm

Ah. I never played WoW so I wasn't sure what you were going for.

These would be tricky to build based upon this part of the description:

"Like warriors, they deal large amounts of physical damage and are capable of withstanding large amounts of damage to protect their allies. Death knights spread infections and diseases among their enemies, and use dark magics to heal themselves in battle."

The first part where they deal large amounts of physical damage would seem that they should be a Striker class. But the second part of them being capable of withstanding large amounts of damage to protect allies puts them solidly in the Defender camp. And using dark magics to heal themselves would seem a bit Leader-ish.

Their "feel" to me leans towards either the Arcane or the Divine Power Source. Divine powers also tend to have damaging attack that include Necrotic damage. I think the Blackguard seems the most appropriate, flavor-wise. Plus, they are Strikers that can wear armor that usually only Defenders wear (e.g. plate armor, heavy shield). If you use the Vryloka race to get the Undead feel to it I think you'd be fairly close.

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PostSubject: Re: How would you build a Death Knight   Sun Feb 02, 2014 9:46 pm

They have variations within the Class and can operate as striker or defender depending on build, but alternatively they are a class with a companion rather like the beastmaster ranger with an undead. In my original post I mentioned 3 variations in the Class. Which I identify with broad roles though the control conveyed by campanions and some of the ice magics is not extreme and may all just be part of defenderish element.

Blackguard certainly has some possibilities.

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Born To Be Kings and Heros -- From the Ashes Phoenix
“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” - Lazarus Long via Robert Heinlein.

One suspects Lugh Long-hand Samildánach (a wright/carpenter, a sailor, a smith/bronze craftsman, a healer, a champion, a harpist, a poet/historian, a sorcerer, cupbearer) would agree.
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PostSubject: Re: How would you build a Death Knight   Sun Feb 02, 2014 10:36 pm

Yeah, since I never played WoW it is hard for me to give an opinion on all of the intricacies that the class would need to provide to be a realistic conversion to 4E. Seeing those lines that I had copied from the wiki was what led me to my conclusions.

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PostSubject: Re: How would you build a Death Knight   Mon Feb 03, 2014 8:41 am

I think to get a proper Death Knight I will need something like a Master of the Undead theme (akin to Fey Beast Master).

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Born To Be Kings and Heros -- From the Ashes Phoenix
“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” - Lazarus Long via Robert Heinlein.

One suspects Lugh Long-hand Samildánach (a wright/carpenter, a sailor, a smith/bronze craftsman, a healer, a champion, a harpist, a poet/historian, a sorcerer, cupbearer) would agree.
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PostSubject: Re: How would you build a Death Knight   Tue Feb 04, 2014 8:06 am

I'd start with a hybrid cleric/blackguard with battle cleric's lore (scale armor, shield bonus to Reflex). With a Strength cleric build your primary and secondary abilities line up perfectly and the prereqs for upgrading to plate are in easy reach. Several of the cleric dailies and utilities let you summon things that can easily be refluffed as undead and the undeath domain feat will let one of the ranged at-wills deal necrotic damage. There's also a magic weapon property that lets you pull a shade minion from anyone you defeat and then detonate it for necrotic damage... Put that on a fullblade and you should be good to go.

ETA: Here's a quick summary from the Character Builder. Though its not listed in the quick summary, I went with Vigilante as a theme for the ability to mark targets with your melee and ranged attacks and I'd refluff the Weapon of Astral Flame as a spectral soldier. As you advance, look to get yourself a Shade Weapon for the ability to pluck the souls from your enemies and use them against your opponents.

level 1
Vryloka, Blackguard|Cleric
Hybrid Blackguard: Hybrid Blackguard Reflex
Hybrid Cleric: Battle Cleric's Lore
Background: God Hater (+2 to Intimidate)

FINAL ABILITY SCORES
Str 18, Con 13, Dex 8, Int 14, Wis 10, Cha 16.

STARTING ABILITY SCORES
Str 16, Con 13, Dex 8, Int 14, Wis 10, Cha 14.


AC: 19 Fort: 14 Reflex: 13 Will: 14
HP: 26 Surges: 9 Surge Value: 6

TRAINED SKILLS
Religion +9, Intimidate +10, Athletics +9

UNTRAINED SKILLS
Acrobatics -1, Arcana +2, Bluff +3, Diplomacy +3, Dungeoneering, Endurance +1, Heal, History +2, Insight, Nature, Perception +2, Stealth +1, Streetwise +3, Thievery -1

FEATS
Level 1: Power of Undeath

POWERS
Hybrid at-will 1: Lance of Faith
Hybrid encounter 1: Dread Smite
Hybrid daily 1: Weapon of Astral Flame

ITEMS
Scale Armor, Greatsword
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PostSubject: Re: How would you build a Death Knight   Tue Feb 04, 2014 3:37 pm

With your build are you missing an at-will... or stance or something?

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“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” - Lazarus Long via Robert Heinlein.

One suspects Lugh Long-hand Samildánach (a wright/carpenter, a sailor, a smith/bronze craftsman, a healer, a champion, a harpist, a poet/historian, a sorcerer, cupbearer) would agree.
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PostSubject: Re: How would you build a Death Knight   Tue Feb 04, 2014 6:56 pm

One of the advantages for designing a Death Knight you aren't going to be playing low level the concept is likely at least paragon. In Wow terms you are level 58 out of 90 in the game by the time you get out control of evil.

The class/character downright needs a fast/instant slide em to me power to feel like itself... and a broad blood wave attack which does very little damage but might mark a lot of enemies

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Born To Be Kings and Heros -- From the Ashes Phoenix
“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” - Lazarus Long via Robert Heinlein.

One suspects Lugh Long-hand Samildánach (a wright/carpenter, a sailor, a smith/bronze craftsman, a healer, a champion, a harpist, a poet/historian, a sorcerer, cupbearer) would agree.
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PostSubject: Re: How would you build a Death Knight   Tue Feb 04, 2014 7:15 pm

Having ritual caster so he can personally enchant his weapon could also fit but he really only needs his own weaponry so that seems like over kill... perhaps a ritual for summoning a mount would also be appropriate.

The ability to create an ice path and walk on water ... rather like improvised use of a cold at-will, would be good.

I am comfortable tranforming Fey Beast Tamer in to a Ghoul Master theme.

Needs a longer ranged necrotic attack. (but how potent is less important probably than the blood wave and the yank em to me)

Life draining powers also a plus.

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Born To Be Kings and Heros -- From the Ashes Phoenix
“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” - Lazarus Long via Robert Heinlein.

One suspects Lugh Long-hand Samildánach (a wright/carpenter, a sailor, a smith/bronze craftsman, a healer, a champion, a harpist, a poet/historian, a sorcerer, cupbearer) would agree.
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PostSubject: Re: How would you build a Death Knight   Wed Feb 05, 2014 8:10 am

Garthanos wrote:
With your build are you missing an at-will... or stance or something?
Nah, the Offline Builder just doesn't bother showing any power you don't actually select in the quick summery. Your Vice determines your at-will from the Blackguard so its not listed as a choice. Likewise, the theme power is determined by your theme so isn't listed either.

I went with Vice of Fury on build since its the generally less evil of the two builds (if you even bother to follow the alignment guides for Cavaliers and Blackguards).
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PostSubject: Re: How would you build a Death Knight   Wed Feb 05, 2014 4:29 pm

Blackguards are terrible in 4e - they are 'strikers' with no striker powers.
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PostSubject: Re: How would you build a Death Knight   Wed Feb 05, 2014 11:24 pm

Fardiz wrote:
Blackguards are terrible in 4e - they are 'strikers' with no striker powers.
The Fury Blackguard is what you're looking for if you want more of a pure striker.

Both start with inflicting Cha-mod extra damage to any target that grants combat advantage to them. Fury ups this by +2 or +4 if you or someone (friend or foe) adjacent to you is bloodied. The shared at-will for both types gives you an additional damage bonus equal to twice the number of enemies adjacent to you and, unlike many strikers, you've got the Defender-level defenses, hit points and surges to make getting into the faces of more than one opponent viable.

Just for argument's sake I built a quick Vryloka Fury Blackguard at 18th level (the same level as the current high-level game I'm in atm) just to compare damage output. The defenses are on par with our Defender (AC 37, Fort 33, Reflex 30, Will 33; 150 hp, 14 surges) and with combat advantage his Vengeance Strike at-will would deal at least 1d10+26 damage (+2 for each additional enemy adjacent to him [+8 max] and +4 if there's someone bloodied adjacent to him). Four times per encounter his attack can deal an extra 13 cold and necrotic damage whether it hits or misses (better than the [2W] power strike offers at that level) and deals ongoing 10 cold and necrotic damage (save ends) if it hits. He also have two additional encounter powers that give me damage boosts and sufficient dailies that provide encounter-long damage bonuses that he could pop one during each of the expected four encounters per day.

I could probably tweak a bit more damage out of it (dragonshards, the gauntlets that do extra damage to bloodied targets, and so forth), but this was sufficient for my purposes since those numbers are within spitting distance of most of the other E-class strikers I've seen in our campaigns. I'm not saying its as good as an optimized ranger build (what is?), but for most tables he'd be as good a striker as any to have in your party because (in my experience) most tables are nowhere near as optimized as the builds you'd find on CharOps.
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PostSubject: Re: How would you build a Death Knight   Thu Feb 06, 2014 6:53 am

A level 18 standard (using shadow giant as the example) has 185 hp. In your perfect situation, you deal 1d10+26+8+4+13 (average 56.5) on the first round and then 10 more on subsequent rounds. So with your perfect setup it's taking you 3 rounds to kill a standard (if you hit every turn, which is less than likely and manage to roll average damage and the monster doesn't save - it is often likely to take 4 rounds given that you only have a margin of error of 4 damage after round 3 and are reasonably likely to miss at least once). That is passable dpr but hardly in the realms of what would normally be expected. If you don't get completely surrounded by enemies you deal 1d10+26+13 (average 44.5) and then 10 more on subsequent rounds. This drops you into the 4-5 round per standard kill.

Like most e-strikers the blackguard has a passable (but well short of stellar) DPR. The main issues are that it has no nova (you can't kill a priority standard in one turn even with daily resources) and unlike the other e-strikers cannot draw on its parent class for help in this regard (the main example of this is the slayer using rain of blows).

The only sensible way to play a blackguard is as a charger (where you'll be approximately 20 points above classless at this level) or multiclassing fighter for rain of blows and battle awareness. 

Strikers either need to charge or have several attacks a round (or both). The blackguard more naturally swings to the former.
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PostSubject: Re: How would you build a Death Knight   Thu Feb 06, 2014 7:13 am

The blackguard is a trade-off. You exchange some DPR for defender level defenses, hp and surges. It just depends of style of play. It's never going to DPR like a range, nova like a rouge, or blast like a sorcerer. Unlike other strikers, you just don't have to worry about sticking one in the middle of a swarm of baddies. Most other strikers are in trouble in a situation where several enemies are going to attack them in the same round, while the blackguard is actually better in that situation.
And as always, it depends on flavor and style. What do you want to play and how do you want to play it? Blackguards are cool, they give you another option.
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PostSubject: Re: How would you build a Death Knight   Thu Feb 06, 2014 9:01 am

Come and Get It seems like something the BlackGuard would like.

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“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.” - Lazarus Long via Robert Heinlein.

One suspects Lugh Long-hand Samildánach (a wright/carpenter, a sailor, a smith/bronze craftsman, a healer, a champion, a harpist, a poet/historian, a sorcerer, cupbearer) would agree.
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