It pays to do your homework when building a character. I’ve played some tough characters in my day, but the Battlerager Fighter I played in a recent LFR game was the toughest melee character I’ve ever played. This is one of the character builds I presented in the Characters Who Deal the Most Damage article from last month and after seeing him in action I don’t know why you’d want to play any other kind of Fighter.
Before I began researching class/weapon combinations that deal the most damage, I had no idea how a Battlerager Fighter even worked. So for those who haven’t read the Martial Powers book, here are the pertinent details.
The Battlerager Vigor class feature grants you temporary hit points equal to you Con modifier whenever you’re hit by a melee or close attack. If you take the Dwarf Stoneblood feat, which I of course did since I was playing a Dwarf, then this number is further increased by half of you Con modifier. So if you’ve got an 18 Con then you’re looking at 6 temporary hit points every time you’re hit in melee.
Things really started getting crazy when the attacks were only doing 6 points of damage. So if I already had 6 temp hp and I was hit for 6 damage then my temp hp are reduced to 0 and I don’t take any real damage. But hold on, I just got hit so I regain 6 temporary hit points after the attack is resolved. So I’m back where I started at 6 temp hp. In effect I’ve got Resist 6 to melee and close attacks. If the monsters aren’t hitting that hard, then I have little to fear.
And if you think the ability to mitigate damage is crazy let me tell you about the offensive capabilities of this build. By taking the Dwarven Weapon Training feat he gains proficiency and +2 damage with all axes and hammers. So I armed him with the Execution Axe – in this case an Execution Axe +1, Vicious. So a crit, even with a 1[W] is still going to do 12+1d12 (high crit)+1d12 (Vicious)+appropriate modifiers. Oh, and did I mention that the Execution Axe has a brutal 2 property, so you get to re-roll those annoying 1s and 2s. Using his At-will power Brash Strike gives him an extra +2 to attack and lets him add his Str and Con to damage, as well as the usual damage modifiers. Needless to say, his opponents fell rather quickly.
I only needed to expend one healing surge per combat encounter and that was when I used my Second Wind. Between the never-ending temporary hit points, the use of a really powerful weapon and the incredibly high minimum damage associated with Brash Strike, this build has become my new favourite. I’ve never been that fond of playing Dwarves, but after seeing all the feats and powers suited to this race I look at them with new found respect.
So other than highlighting the sheer power of this build I think this is a great example of why it pays to do some homework when you’re building characters. The Character Builder allows you to make various builds easily and quickly. Take some time to review all of your options before settling on what you think are the best combinations.