Building a Better Battlemind – Dungeons and Dragons 4th Edition

battlemind

So normally you would have had an update from Ness on video games, but one of our readers has been struggling to find a warrior type Battlemind that can really pile up the damage, as well as keeping the enemies busy and hurting, so we decided to push this article forward. We are talking about the Battlemind class, for 4th Edition D&D.   The above picture was taken from WOTC.

Today, I want to share with you what I’ve come up with (with my own personal spin on it) and discuss why I chose the feats/powers/items that I did.  Something to keep in mind, is that I’ve never looked at the Battlemind class before, other than a cursory glance, so if some things don’t mesh well, help me out by letting me know and let’s see how we can improve upon it.  One more thing to note, is that I tried to create this character with a little haste, in hopes of getting Jørgen utilizing the build sooner as opposed to later.

First, for ability score assignment:  Constitution first, Wisdom second, Charisma third.

Paragon Path:  Son of Mercy

Gives you Lawbreaker’s Doom power, immobilizing action (for use with crippling crush), among others.

Background:  Cipher:  Bonus to initiative or if you don’t have the highest initiative, you get a free action to move speed.  Good for positioning.  At level 10, you can use a second action point during an encounter.  Action points utilizing immobilizing action for extra damage with crippling crush and a second and third round of brutal barrage is a wonderful use of 2 action points.

Let’s go over some of the Feats I chose and why:

  • Superior Weapon Proficiency: Mordenkrad, 2d6, brutal 1 – because it is an awesome weapon and brutal 1, means the minimum damage you can do with this weapon is 4. *
  • Weapon Focus: Hammer (for extra +2 damage in paragon tier)
  • Toughness:  +10 HP to keep you in the fight.  With all the people you’ll be marking, they’ll be coming for you.  Need to have some reserves.
  • World’s Serpent Grasp:  Whenever you hit a slowed or immobilized target you knock it prone.  I like this one in particular because it keeps your enemies from moving.  Now they have to stand up and even if they can move, it won’t be far.
  • Defender of the Wild:  multi-class Warden:  Gives you a skill and allows you to mark ALL adjacent enemies once per encounter.  Couple with red death and battlemind’s demand, you’ll be marking a bunch.
  • Crippling Crush:  Deal CON damage (our highest attribute) to targets you slow or immobilize.
  • Sudden Roots:  Enemy hit with opportunity attack is slowed.  Works well with crippling crush.
  • Power Attack:  +4 damage, -2 to attack. *
  • Master at Arms:  +2 to attack. *
  • Heavy Armor Agility:  ignore speed penalty for heavy armor.  Keeps you mobile.

Items:

  • Armor:  Deathburst Scale Armor – Good armor to activate when surrounded, as anyone who hits you takes 2d8 + 6 damage.  Works well with Mind Spike, as you can activate it and if they were already marked by one of your many means of doing so (warden ability, battlemind’s demand), then if they attack someone else to avoid the 2d8+6, they will take the same damage they deal to your ally (if they hit) with mind spike.  WIN WIN.
  • Hands:  Strikebacks:  Bonus to opportunity attacks is always good, couple with sudden roots for slowing and then doing an additional 6 damage with crippling crush, this just makes it easier to hit.  Plus, if someone hits you, once per ENCOUNTER, you can make an MBA against them.  I like items that are encounter based, as having the versatility of using them in every encounter, over daily, is huge.
  • Arms:  Iron Armbands of Power:  Extra damage for each melee hit?  sign me up.  Works great with brutal barrage as well.
  • Feet:  Battlestrider Greaves:  Gives you more mobility when wearing heavy armor.
  • Neck Slot:  Amulet of Life:  Another encounter power that allows you to use an additional surge when you spend one.  Bringing a bloodied battlemind back up to full, is a good thing.  Especially with all the attacks coming your way.
  • Waist:  Ironskin belt:  Good way to reduce damage when surrounded.
  • Head:  Vortex Mask:  Pulling enemies closer so you can smack them with your hammer.  Plus, you can pull them twice as far if they are marked and no attack roll is needed.
  • Weapon:  Battering Mordenkrad:  Make a MBA attack against all enemies in a close blast 3?  Beautiful.   Only thing I don’t like is the lack of a critical bonus.  (is that a typo?) *
  • Tattoo:  Demonskin Tattoo:  Great for resisting damage until the end of the encounter, with many to choose from.  Just one more way to keep you in the fight.

Powers:

  • Mental Triumph:  Can’t be slowed, immobilized or restrained until end of the encounter.  How great is this ability?
  • Iron Warding:  Completely negate all damage of an attack?  Great for criticals or boss fights.  You are still subject to status effects, but hopefully you used mental triumph and those status effects were negated too!
  • Lawbreaker’s Doom:  Until end of encounter you when you hit an enemy you just marked, you deal extra damage equal to WIS (second highest attribute) and target is slowed (which triggers crippling crush) AND when the target is reduced to 0, you regain the use of this power.  Awesome power.
  • Heroic Effort:  For when you really need to land a hit with lawbreakers Doom or Brutal Barrage.  +4 to hit.
  • Brutal Barrage:  Is a key to this class.  Con damage + iron armbands of power damage + lawbreaker’s doom damage + crippling crush damage + battle resilience (if active) and weapon focus, you are looking at about 25 damage for each attack.  If all attacks hit, and you augmented this for 1, you are looking at 100 damage, just from this one power.  THIS IS AN AT WILL POWER.
  • Aspect of Bitter Ice:  immobilizes or slows them, sometimes both with augment.  Works in conjunction with the Crippling Crush feat.
  • Oaken Resilience: Resist 3 to all damage until end of encounter.  With all the marking and whatnot, this could add up quickly as a benefit.
  • Blurred Step:  When an adjacent enemy that is marked, shifts, you can shift one square and is usable once per turn (and at will).  Keeps your enemies close.
  • Nightmare Vortex:  Great for putting the enemies right where you need them, putting them into flanked positions for your allies to wreak havoc on.  Plus, keeps working until the end of the encounter.
  • Baleful Teleport:  Teleports the creature and dazes them, save ends.  Plus does serious damage.
  • Red Death:  Close Burst 1: marks all targets and they are subject to your lawbreakers doom.
  • Lodestone Lure:  Keeps your enemies close by forcing them to only move adjacent to you.
  • Lightning Rush:  Great way to take the attack off an ally, do some damage and still get a standard action on your next turn with an augment 2.

Something to keep in mind is that I didn’t have access to the Psionics power book, so I could have definitely missed something useful there, like extra power points or something to that effect.

Ok, now after all that, lets do some sort of summary:

  • Lots of slowing and immobilizing to score the 6 extra damage with each attack from crippling crush.
  • An overabundance of healing and resist powers/items/feats to keep the hurt down on you, while you get pounded on, as you will be marking a LOT of creatures.
  • A bunch of melee based bonuses so that powers like brutal barrage can be used to its full potential.

For a copy of the character I created, you can find it here: Battlemind lvl14. *

I’d love to hear how this works out and a big thanks to Jørgen Burud who requested this, all the way from Norway!

Hope this helps.

Thanks,

Jinx

About jinx_the_bard

Longtime Dungeon Master, tabletop and video gamer. Been playing D&D and Shadowrun on and off most recently. Ran a post apocalyptic, paragon, 4th edition D&D campaign for a couple years. Running a 5th edition campaign now called “The Fall of Astia”. Enjoy Borderlands 1, 2 and even the Pre-sequel (which I tend to play with fellow author Ness), Fallout 3 and 4, Bioshock and Skyrim. (Games this good never get boring) I also indulge in Magic The Gathering, mostly in the Legacy and Modern formats. Please feel free to contact me at dungeonmaster.bm@gmail.com for any questions, thoughts or things you’d like to see featured on our site.

Comments

  1. jinx_the_bard says:

    Speaking with Jørgen on the side, we’ve made some additional changes, which are denoted with at “*” throughout the document. The attached .pdf will need to be updated to reflect the changes and will be done in the next couple of days.

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