Improve Your Defenses With Energy Resistance (Heroic)

by Ameron (Derek Myers) on March 17, 2010

More often than not, the PC who poses the greatest threat on the battlefield isn’t the heavily armored Fighter swinging a greatsword but the dagger-wielding Rogue in leather armor. Strikers are designed to inflict a lot of damage. The trade off is that these classes sacrifice high defenses. In general, strikers are soft. This becomes painfully apparent when the guy with the lowest defenses is singled out and starts taking attacks from everyone not marked by a defender (and even a few of them too).

As I’ve progressed through the heroic and paragon tiers I’ve noticed that many of the monsters are dealing more than just straight up damage. Attacks now include energy types and in a lot of cases ongoing damage. So it’s not enough that I just took 12 points of damage but it turns out it’s fire and I’ve got 5 ongoing fire damage (save ends) as well.

As a player who favours the striker classes more than any other, I’m getting sick of being the party’s punching bag. And that’s when I realized that the key to my survival wasn’t necessarily higher defenses (although that certainly helps). The secret to surviving is energy resistances. It doesn’t matter if you get hit if you’re able to shrug off most of the damage and pretty much ignore the nasty ongoing side effect.

Upon making this realization I started acquiring items with energy resistances. By the time my Sorcerer was level 7 or 8 he had items and powers that provided at least resist 5 to six different energy types. Suddenly he was able to go the whole combat without getting bloodied. He still took a lot of hits, but with all of those energy resistances most attacks did minimal damage, if any.

From then on I made sure that every PC I played had a few items that provided resist 5 to one or more energy type.

I’ve found that sifting through hundreds of items in the D&D Compendium trying to find exactly what I wanted was extremely time consuming and a lot of work. So I compiled a list of all items in the D&D Compendium that grant one or more energy resistances. The list allows power-gamers (like me) to quickly and easily find an item that provides resistance to the energy type of your choice. Although my list is sorted by energy type, you can still easily find items by slot.

This list includes any item that grants a resistance all the time or that has a power that is good for an entire encounter. I’ve intentionally left off items that only provide resistances until he end of your next turn.

This is just the list of items in the heroic tier. Within the next week we’ll provide lists for items in the paragon and epic tier. If you know of an item that I’ve missed, please leave a comment below and I’ll update the list.

If you find this list useful, you may also want to check out the list we compiled in Brave Warrior, Heal Thyself. It includes items that allow PCs to expend a healing surge and regain hit points during combat.

Energy Resist Items (Heroic Tier)

Item Magic Level Item Slot Energy Amount Source
Armor of Resistance +1 2 Armor: Any acid 5 AV
Armor of Resistance +2 7 Armor: Any acid 5 AV
Chaos Weave Armor +1 4 Armor: Any acid 5 AV
Chaos Weave Armor +2 9 Armor: Any acid 5 AV
Demonscale +2 9 Armor: Scale acid 5 AV2
Demonskin Tattoo   3 Wondrous Item acid 5 AV2
Keicha’s Amulet +2 9 Neck acid 5 AV2
Kruthik Potion   10 Potion acid 5 AV
Potion of Resistance   4 Potion acid 5 AV
Soulfang of Resistance   5 Soulfang acid 10 DM378
Symbol of the Dragon +2 8 Implement (Holy Symbol) acid 5 DM365
Armor of Resistance +1 2 Armor: Any cold 5 AV
Armor of Resistance +2 7 Armor: Any cold 5 AV
Chaos Weave Armor +1 4 Armor: Any cold 5 AV
Chaos Weave Armor +2 9 Armor: Any cold 5 AV
Cloak of Survival +2 9 Neck cold 5 PHB
Demonscale +2 9 Armor: Scale cold 5 AV2
Demonskin Tattoo   3 Wondrous Item cold 5 AV2
Frostwolf Pelt +1 4 Neck cold 5 AV2
Frostwolf Pelt +2 9 Neck cold 5 AV2
Frozen Armor +1 4 Armor: Scale, Plate cold 5 AV2
Frozen Armor +2 9 Armor: Scale, Plate cold 5 AV2
Inner Warmth Armor +2 9 Armor: Hide cold 5 PHB2
Keicha’s Amulet +2 9 Neck cold 5 AV2
Potion of Resistance   4 Potion cold 5 AV
Raven Cloak +2 9 Neck cold 5 DM381
Soulfang of Resistance   5 Soulfang cold 10 DM378
Symbol of the Dragon +2 8 Implement (Holy Symbol) cold 5 DM365
Armor of Resistance +1 2 Armor: Any fire 5 AV
Armor of Resistance +2 7 Armor: Any fire 5 AV
Black Iron Armor +1 4 Armor: Scale, Plate fire 5 PHB
Black Iron Armor +2 9 Armor: Scale, Plate fire 5 PHB
Chaos Weave Armor +1 4 Armor: Any fire 5 AV
Chaos Weave Armor +2 9 Armor: Any fire 5 AV
Cloak of Survival +2 9 Neck fire 5 PHB
Demonscale +2 9 Armor: Scale fire 5 AV2
Demonskin Tattoo   3 Wondrous Item fire 5 AV2
Fire Beetle Potion   6 Potion fire 5 AV
Flamedrinker Shield   6 Arms fire 5 AV
Forgemaster’s Gloves   6 Hands fire 5 DM380
Keicha’s Amulet +2 9 Neck fire 5 AV2
Pelaurum Armor +1 4 Armor: Chain, Scale, Plate fire 5 AV
Pelaurum Armor +2 9 Armor: Chain, Scale, Plate fire 5 AV
Potion of Resistance   4 Potion fire 5 AV
Soulfang of Resistance   5 Soulfang fire 10 DM378
Staff of Draconic Power +1 5 Implement (Staff) fire 10 DM365
Staff of Draconic Power +2 10 Implement (Staff) fire 10 DM365
Symbol of the Dragon +2 8 Implement (Holy Symbol) fire 5 DM365
Armor of Resistance +1 2 Armor: Any force 5 AV
Armor of Resistance +2 7 Armor: Any force 5 AV
Brooch of Shielding +1 3 Neck force 10 AV
Brooch of Shielding +2 8 Neck force 10 AV
Scintillating Armor +2 8 Scintillating Armor force 5 MotP
Armor of Resistance +1 2 Armor: Any lightning 5 AV
Armor of Resistance +2 7 Armor: Any lightning 5 AV
Chaos Weave Armor +1 4 Armor: Any lightning 5 AV
Chaos Weave Armor +2 9 Armor: Any lightning 5 AV
Demonscale +2 9 Armor: Scale lightning 5 AV2
Demonskin Tattoo   3 Wondrous Item lightning 5 AV2
Keicha’s Amulet +2 9 Neck lightning 5 AV2
Potion of Resistance   4 Potion lightning 5 AV
Potion of Stormshield   8 Potion lightning 15 AV
Scintillating Armor +2 8 Scintillating Armor lightning 5 MotP
Shockweave Armor +1 5 Armor: Cloth, Leather lightning 5 AV2
Shockweave Armor +2 10 Armor: Cloth, Leather lightning 5 AV2
Soulfang of Resistance   5 Soulfang lightning 10 DM378
Storm Shield   8 Arms lightning 5 AV
Symbol of the Dragon +2 8 Implement (Holy Symbol) lightning 5 DM365
Armor of Resistance +1 2 Armor: Any necrotic 5 AV
Armor of Resistance +2 7 Armor: Any necrotic 5 AV
Black Iron Armor +1 4 Armor: Scale, Plate necrotic 5 PHB
Black Iron Armor +2 9 Armor: Scale, Plate necrotic 5 PHB
Deathcut Armor +1 5 Armor: Leather, Hide necrotic 5 PHB
Deathcut Armor +2 10 Armor: Leather, Hide necrotic 5 PHB
Gravespawn Potion   5 Potion necrotic 5 AV
Inner Warmth Armor +2 9 Armor: Hide necrotic 5 PHB2
Laughing Death Armor +2 9 Armor: Cloth, Leather, Hide necrotic 5 AV
Lifegiving Armor +1 3 Armor: Plate necrotic 5 AV
Lifegiving Armor +2 8 Armor: Plate necrotic 5 AV
Potion of Lifeshield   7 Potion necrotic 15 AV
Potion of Resistance   4 Potion necrotic 5 AV
Raven Cloak +2 9 Neck necrotic 5 DM381
Skull Mask   5 Head necrotic 5 AV
Soulfang of Resistance   5 Soulfang necrotic 10 DM378
Amulet of Health +1 3 Neck poison 5 PHB
Amulet of Health +2 8 Neck poison 5 PHB
Armor of Resistance +1 2 Armor: Any poison 5 AV
Armor of Resistance +2 7 Armor: Any poison 5 AV
Deathcut Armor +1 5 Armor: Leather, Hide poison 5 PHB
Deathcut Armor +2 10 Armor: Leather, Hide poison 5 PHB
Gravespawn Potion   5 Potion poison 5 AV
Keicha’s Amulet +2 9 Neck poison 5 AV2
Periapt of Proof against Poison +1 4 Neck poison 5 AV2
Periapt of Proof against Poison +2 9 Neck poison 5 AV2
Potion of Resistance   4 Potion poison 5 AV
Serpentine Armor +1 4 Armor: Scale poison 5 AV2
Serpentine Armor +2 9 Armor: Scale poison 5 AV2
Snakefang Armor +2 8 Armor: Leather, Hide poison 5 AV2
Soulfang of Resistance   5 Soulfang poison 10 DM378
Spiderweb Robes +2 8 Armor: Cloth poison 5 AV2
Viper Belt   4 Waist poison 5 AV
Armor of Resistance +1 2 Armor: Any psychic 5 AV
Armor of Resistance +2 7 Armor: Any psychic 5 AV
Nightmare Ward Armor +1 3 Armor: Leather, Hide psychic 5 AV2
Nightmare Ward Armor +2 8 Armor: Leather, Hide psychic 5 AV2
Potion of Resistance   4 Potion psychic 5 AV
Scintillating Armor +2 8 Scintillating Armor psychic 5 MotP
Soulfang of Resistance   5 Soulfang psychic 10 DM378
Pelaurum Armor +1 4 Armor: Chain, Scale, Plate radiant 5 AV
Pelaurum Armor +2 9 Armor: Chain, Scale, Plate radiant 5 AV
Scintillating Armor +2 8 Scintillating Armor radiant 5 MotP
Whiteflame Armor +1 3 Armor: Chain, Scale, Plate radiant 5 AV
Whiteflame Armor +2 8 Armor: Chain, Scale, Plate radiant 5 AV
Armor of Resistance +1 2 Armor: Any thunder 5 AV
Armor of Resistance +2 7 Armor: Any thunder 5 AV
Chaos Weave Armor +1 4 Armor: Any thunder 5 AV
Chaos Weave Armor +2 9 Armor: Any thunder 5 AV
Demonskin Tattoo   3 Wondrous Item thunder 5 AV2
Potion of Resistance   4 Potion thunder 5 AV
Potion of Stormshield   8 Potion thunder 15 AV
Soulfang of Resistance   5 Soulfang thunder 10 DM378
Storm Shield   8 Arms thunder 5 AV
Symbol of the Dragon +2 8 Implement (Holy Symbol) thunder 5 DM365

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Swordgleam March 17, 2010 at 3:36 pm

Resistances are great for synergizing. Playing a tiefling rogue in a party with a fire wizard who likes burst attacks? Priceless.

2 Rook March 17, 2010 at 8:57 pm

Nice post. Your list is quite helpful and I plan on putting it to good use very soon. We have a dragonborn that is rather indiscriminate with his breath weapon. Yikes! Can you say friendly fire? (or acid, in this case)
.-= Rook´s last blog ..A Creature Featured: The Talyn Warrior =-.

3 Liam March 18, 2010 at 1:12 am

Nice table. Just make sure you don’t start an arms race between the DM and the players.

4 Less_than_vince March 21, 2010 at 9:11 am

The problem is not the defense or the resistance. If you get it, your defender and your controler arent doing their job!!!!!

5 Philo Pharynx March 23, 2010 at 10:36 pm

@swordgleam – make him take the bolstering breath feat from the new dragonborn book. Then you’ll want him to breathe on you.

6 Ameron March 24, 2010 at 9:06 am

@Swordgleam
Give a player an edge (like energy resistance) and watch how they find creative ways to use it. I’ve seen this tactic used before and it still amazes me how effective it is.

@Rook
Acid is one of those energy types that doesn’t come into play very often, but when it does no one is ready for it. Grab a suit of Chaos Weave armor or Keicha’a Amulet and you’re set. Tell the Dragonborn to use his breath weapon whenever he feels like it (which sounds like his SOP anyway).

@Liam
I’m a big believer that if the PCs have items that give them an edge (like a resist fire item) that the DM shouldn’t penalize the PC for his forethought. In fact in these cases I try to use fire against the PC in at least one or two encounters every level. PCs love to feel like they’re pulling one over on the DM. “Ha, I laugh at the red dragon’s fire breath since I’ve got resist 10 fire.”

@Less_than_vince
I tend to play in games that are striker heavy. I agree that in well-balanced parties the defenders should help draw fire, but even a good defender can benefit from a lot of these resist items.

@Philo Pharynx
Good suggestion.

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