Exploiting Racial and Class Features: Fey Step

by Ameron (Derek Myers) on April 20, 2011

Knowing you can teleport once per encounter as a move action is like having a get out of jail free card in your back pocket. No matter how bad things get, if you’re conscious on your turn you can get yourself out of a bad situation. It doesn’t matter if you’re prone, bound, marked, surrounded or immobilized – Fey Step will give you options other characters in the exact same situation just won’t have.

There are also amazing, non-combat and role-playing implications that accompany the ability to teleport. Regardless of your class, your Fey Step will often give you access to areas that other characters can’t get to as easily, if at all. All you need it a glimpse of where you want to end up and if it’s within your range you’re there instantaneously. This makes it exceptionally difficult to keep Eladrins anywhere against their will.

Fey Step may not have any offensive implication like other racial powers (take the Dragonborn’s Breath Weapon for example), but you can just as easily build a competent and interesting character around this power. Improving your Fey Step has the added bonus (in most cases) of improving any other teleportation your character makes. With that in mind there are a few classes that provide access to a lot of great teleportation powers and really let you exploit Fey Step.

Best in Class

For purposes of this article we’re looking for powers that let you teleport. Choices that improve your Fey Step powers won’t help powers that let you teleport other creatures or powers that require you to end adjacent to a creature or ally. We’re looking for powers that will let you teleport more often and a lot farther.

There are three classes that stand out because of their abundance of teleporting powers. The key to all of these classes is to choose powers that let you teleport. If you’re going to spend feats and choose items to make your Fey Step better than you might as well pick powers that can piggy-back on those choices.

The Assassin

The Shadow Step class power is an at-will (which is nice), but you have to start and end adjacent to a creature. Extending the distance (which is normally just 3 squares, 4 at paragon, and 5 at epic) does give you more options in combat, but is still somewhat limiting. If you’re ok with that, and want to continue on with your build then you should consider these powers that let you teleport.

  • Shadow Adept (Encounter 6 Utility)
  • Slayer’s Escape (Encounter 6 Utility)
  • Vanish (Encounter 6 Utility)
  • Walk Through Shadow (Encounter 10 Utility)
  • Well of Shades (Encounter 13)

The Sorcerer

Without an at-will teleport, the Sorcerer is going to find a lot of their choices to improve Fey Step limiting. However, since most of the Sorcerer’s teleport powers are reactions designed to get them out of trouble, increasing the distance be a few extra square may be worth it in the long run. After all, a lot of monsters target strikers that keep pounding them round after round like many Sorcerers often do. Consider these powers with teleportation if you’re creating an Eladrin Sorcerer specializing in Fey Step.

  • Spatial Trip (Encounter 2 Utility)
  • Slaad’s Gambit (Daily 5)
  • Swift Escape (Encounter 6 Utility)
  • Narrow Escape (Encounter 10 Utility)
  • Poisonous Evasion (Encounter 17)

The Warlock (Fey Pact)

This is the money build. If you want to gt the most bang or your buck, you need to be a Fey Pact warlock.

The Misty Step boon lets you teleport 3 squares for free every time a cursed opponent drops. This is incredibly useful at low levels. However, the real payoff with this build comes at level 10 when you can finally get Ethereal Sidestep as an at-will utility power. It lets you teleport only 1 square, but you can use it every round. If only there was a way to increase the distance of your teleportation powers? Oh, there is – read on to find out all about it.

These powers should be mandatory if you’re going with this build.

  • Ethereal Stride (Encounter 2 Utility)
  • Otherwind Stride (Encounter 3)
  • Shadowslip (Encounter 6 Utility)
  • Warlock’s Leap (Daily 10 Utility)
  • Diabolic Escape (Encounter 16 Utility)
  • Infuriating Elusiveness (Encounter 16 Utility)

Paragon Paths

Until last week there was only one paragon path that worked well with a Fey Step (teleporting) build. However, with the recently release of Heroes of Shadow a new contender has joined the fray.

Shiere Knight

This is an Eladrin-specific paragon path. It’s not a bad choice as it gives you new teleporting powers; however, the best feature comes at level 16 when you get the power Cloaked in Magic. It provides +2 to all defenses until the start of your next turn every time you teleport. If you’re teleporting every round then it doesn’t really matter what the other powers are.

Shadow Dancer

To qualify you need an at-will or encounter teleport power and you need to be trained in Stealth. Well as an Eladrin you have Fey Step and your free skill training can be in any class so why not choose Stealth. Now you’ve qualified regardless of class.

When I read this paragon path the other day it was as if Wizards of the Coast knew that I wanted a better option for characters with a teleport build. If you focus on your Fey Step and go with this paragon path you won’t be disappointed.

For starters when you spend an action point, teleport 5 squares for free. Every time you teleport you gain combat advantage for the next attack. And the powers all involve teleporting too. I know this was just released this week, but be sure to check out Shadow Dancer.

Choosing the Best Feats

There may not be that many feats that will make you a better teleporter, but the few listed below should be strongly considered as soon as they become available.

Exultant Shadow Step (Heroic)

This one’s only for Warlocks, but when you crit a creature you’ve already cursed, you can teleport 4 squares as a free action. Teleporting for free is good.

Mark of Passage [Dragonmark] (Heroic)

This feat lets you teleport 1 extra square. However, if you’re playing in Eberron be mindful that Eladrins don’t generally carry the Mark of Passage, Humans do. If your Eladrin manifests the Mark of Passage it can have significant ramification to your campaign (unless you keep it a secret). Dragonmarks may or may not exist in other camping settings depending on what your DM allows, so check with him before taking this feat.

Improved Misty Step (Heroic)

When a Warlock with the Fey Pact uses Misty Step he gets an extra 2 squares to the teleportif he has this feat. This won’t stack with the Mark of Passage feat, it will supersede it for Misty Step teleportation only. This is a good choice if the DM does not allow you to take a dragonmark.

Moon Elf Resilience (Heroic)

Spend a healing surge for free when you use Fey Step once you’re bloodied. You can’t have any allies within 5 squares of you, but for a teleporter, that should be easy enough.

Fey Step Trailblazer (Paragon)

Now that you’re paragon tier it’s time to show your allies just how cool teleporting is. This feat lets you bring one ally along for the ride when you use Fey Step.

Feywild Flanker (Paragon)

You have to be a Warlord to qualify for this feat, but considering the up side, it might actually be worth taking a multi-class feat. After teleporting, one adjacent enemy grants you combat advantage until the end of your next turn.

Fey Tactics (Paragon)

If you’ve already decided to multi-class into Warlord then you might as well take this feat too. When you use Fey Step you can also teleport one ally within 5 squares of your starting position your Fey Step distance. They do not have to end up beside you or anywhere near you.

Find the Right Tools for the Job

There are a lot of magic items that will let you teleport farther or more often. Below are the best of the best. Remember that similar bonuses don’t stack, so multiple bonuses of the same type (like item bonuses or enhancement bonuses) won’t help you. However, untyped bonuses do stack and most of the powers that let you teleport farther are untyped so mix and match and stack them up.

Note: In some cases bonuses provided by magic items specifically say that it’s an item bonus. In many of the examples listed below no source is listed for these bonuses. Considering how many items make a point of actually spelling out that it provides an “item bonus” I’ve always ruled and played that if it doesn’t say “item bonus” then it’s untyped and stacks. Since teleporting modifiers are conditional character builder won’t actually confirm whether or not these bonuses do indeed stack. However, I’ve equipped other characters with multiple items that improve initiative and don’t specifically say “item bonus” which character builder does stack (and displays on the legal character sheet). In either case this may be wrong (and if it is than many of the items listed below will not stack), but this is how numerous DMs I’ve played with have ruled as well as many DMs I’ve met while playing LFR.

Breaching Armor (Body)

This armor’s daily power lest you teleport up to 3 squares through a solid object without line of sight to your destination. It’s not something that you’ll likely need very often, but a good ability to have in your teleporting arsenal.

Eladrin Armor (Body)

Wearing this armor adds 1 to your teleporting distance (untyped bonus).

Boots of Jaunting (Feet)

As a minor action you can activate the daily power and teleport 1 square. Not normally a great power, but with all of the bonuses you get, that 1 square can easily become a much farther movement. Having this teleport in reserve as a minor action might mean the difference between life and death.

Eladrin Boots (Feet)

These boots increase your teleporting distance by 2, another untyped bonus. It also has a daily power that lets Eladrins teleport up to 10 squares as a move action.

Feystep Lacings (Feet)

The +1 bonus to Reflex is nice, but a teleporter with the right feats and accompanying items can really maximize this item’s power. They have 5 charges per day. You can expend some or all of the charges to teleport a distacne equal to the number of charges you’ve used. If other items and powers let you extend your teleporting then this means upto 5 more teleports every day.

Planestrider Boots (Feet)

These are level 18 so they won’t be something you can get right away. They let you break up your total distance teleported into two trips, perfect for teleporting around corners, over walls or into other areas you couldn’t see from your starting location. It also has a daily power that allows you to teleport 10 squares as a move action.

Cloak of Translocation (Neck)

I have to say that this item is a must-have for any teleporter. Every time you teleport you gain a +2 bonus to AC and Reflex until the end of your next turn. So if you’re teleporting every round that’s like having these bonuses permanently. But that’s not even the best part, as a daily power you can regain the use of an encounter teleportation power that you have already used. This is a great way to get multiple uses out of feats keyed specifically to your Fey Step.

Fey Step Potion (Potion)

For 200 gp you can quaff this potion and teleport 5 squares. Because this teleportation was granted by an item and not a power you have to be careful to only add benefits to distance teleported that don’t specifically say “granted by a power” (which about half of them do).

Eladrin Ring of Passage (Ring)

Are you an Eladrin? Then you need this ring. For starters it lets you teleport 2 extra squares (untyped bonus). As a daily power you can teleport 6 squares. Oh, and if you’ve hit a milestone then you can use this teleport without line of sight to your final destination. Awesome.

Ring of Retreat (Ring)

You can only wear two rings so this might as well be your other one. It lets you teleport 1 extra squares (untyped bonus). The daily power is less impressive as it teleports you and upto 7 allies to a really far away location. Good for the end of a quest or if you’re about to be eaten by a dragon. Not a lot of other good uses (except for angering the DM).

Rod of the Feywild (Implement)

This rod lets Warlocks teleport an additional number of squares equal to the rod’s enhancement bonus when they use Misty Step (another untyped bonus). As a move action once per encounter you can teleport 3 squares + the rod’s enhancement bonus.

Incisive Dagger (Weapon)

This is the jewel of the teleporter’s collection. Whether you use the dagger as an implement of just hold it in you off-hand you must have this weapon. Add 1 to the distance teleported for every plus of this weapon. By the time you’re paragon that’s +3, epic +5. This is another item that has a daily power that lets you teleport (this time 10 squares) without having line of sight to your destination square.

Addressing your Weaknesses

Now that your Eladrin is a teleporting master you need to beware of those crafty DMs that will try and rob you of your teleporting ability. The nemesis of teleporting is blindness. If you can’t see, you can’t teleport (with very few exceptions). For a character built around teleporting the ability to counter blindness is as important as the rest of the build. Fortunately there are a few simple ways to accomplish this objective.

Since many blinding effects are save ends, any feats that will improve your likelihood of making that save the first time (say by providing a bonus to the roll or allowing you to save before the end of your turn) is worth taking.

Never forget that your allies can also help you when you loose sight of your objective (in this case a destination square). Many leader powers grant saves, often as only a minor action for the leader. When all else fails, ask for help.

There are also a few choice magical items that should be in every teleporters inventory (or on their wish list).

Clearsense Powder (Alchemical Item)

Starting at only 20 gp, this consumable lets you make a save against blindness as a minor action. Money well spent if that save lets you teleport again.

Helm of Vigilant Awareness (Head)

There’s no better way to combat blindness than by using an immediate interrupt to shrug off the effect before it even happens.

Robe of Eyes (Body)

This it mandatory for any character build around teleporting. As long as you’re wearing this robe you cannot be blinded. Period. So long weakness. Oh, and the bonus to perception checks doesn’t hurt either.

Putting It All Together

Right now I’m playing a level 18 Eladrin Warlock. Assuming everything stacks then in most cases this character gets +14 to the distance teleported. So his Fey Step is 19 squares, and his Ethereal Sidestep (an at-will) is 15 squares. Here’s how it breaks down.

  • Mark of Passage (teleport +1)
  • Eladrin Boots (teleport +2)
  • Eladrin Ring of Passage (teleport +2)
  • Ring of Retreat (teleport +1)
  • Rod of the Feywild +4 (teleport +4)
  • Incisive Dagger +4 (teleport +4)

Even if all of these don’t stack (but I’m still convinced that they do) his bonus distance to teleport makes him impossible to nail down. Equipping him with the Robe of Eyes ensures he’s never blinded. I’ve had a blast playing him up from heroic through paragon.

Have you ever played a Eladrin? Did you take any steps to improve Fey Step? Did you exploit this racial ability to the limit or did you use it as a fringe benefit?

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{ 16 comments… read them below or add one }

1 mildewey April 20, 2011 at 11:16 am

My favorite build ever, and I really mean EVER, is my teleporting eladrin assault swordmage/fighter hybrid. He didn’t do a ton of damage but it was SO MUCH FUN to be EVERYWHERE on the battlefield.

I have this tendancy to go super multi-class so I added in wizard multiclassing (for some heavy controller options) and Arcane Wayfarer (for the Teleport 2 movement mode).

The build wasn’t great until level ~13, but it really took off all the way through epic levels.

Swordmage/Ghostblade is another good teleporting class/paragon path combo to explore if you’re not as keen as I am on multiclassing.

2 Alton April 20, 2011 at 11:42 am

I have never played an Eladrin. I think it would be fun. The fey step annoys me as a DM…haha! (Just when you think you had them…poof!). I like that these articles describe things like this. A lot of players try to maximize things that everyone has, HP, AC etc… but it does not differentiate your character from the pack. I have an 18th level Warden, who is a self healer (Can take about 400-500 hp of damage before going down). My 18th level rogue can shift forever. It is so cool and that is what makes them memorable characters.

3 QuackTape April 20, 2011 at 11:51 am

One of my players has a Shadar Kai Swordmage build who likes to teleport all over the place. With one feat his Shadow Jaunt racial gets a bonus equal to his Int mod (for a total of 8 squares) and he also selects Swordmage powers that let him teleport a lot.

As a defender it does give him a lot of options, and also allows him to do some pretty ridiculous things like teleporting straight up in order to use Lightning Lure to pull an enemy into the air so they can both fall for damage.

As a DM, it definitive keeps things interesting when *bamph* starts getting thrown around the table.

4 4649matt April 20, 2011 at 12:07 pm

Warlock has some teleport enhancing paragon paths that are also a blast:
Evermeet Warlock (FRPG) adds invisibility to escaping teleports and eventually lets you take a friend with you.
Feytouched (PHB) adds damage to teleports (now only 1/round) woohoo!
Long Night Scion (D374) takes that a step further with frosty teleports!
These three will add some spice to teleporting all over the place.

5 Bobbydrake75 April 20, 2011 at 3:40 pm

Don’t forget that there is a warlock feat that allows you to trigger your misty step at both bloodied and when they are reduced to 0 hp!! Double the chances to teleport. Combine that with shared pact and you and your group are a teleporting fiends!!

6 Kilsek April 20, 2011 at 4:18 pm

My revenant avenger, past life eladrin, has a metric ton of teleport-related options between race and class. It’s pretty damn cool when it comes to all that tactical positioning you’re capable of.

7 Jason Dawson April 21, 2011 at 12:10 am

Definitely agree with a couple of the above posters. You really should edit this post with Avenger and most ESPECIALLY Swordmage builds. Had an Eladrin Swordmage in my game that as a GM was damn near impossible to keep from being wherever he was pleased to be.

8 Ameron April 21, 2011 at 1:01 pm

@everyone
Thanks to everyone for sharing character concepts that exploit (maximize) Fey Step. I think moving forward we’ll find that there are plenty of really good ways to build on most of the Racial Powers. Just look at this article – it’s twice as long as our usual posts and it clearly only covers a few of the many possible builds that work within this concept. Keep those comments coming.

@mildewey
I found that with the Swordmage and the Assassin that their teleporting almost always required them to end next to an enemy or ally. Teleporting across the battlefield is awesome, but knowing that I need that anchor bugs me. That’s the big reason I didn’t focus on these classes in more detail. However, a lot of the exploits I discus will certainly apply to these classes. I don’t see many Swordmages in play but everyone who plays one really seems to love it.

@Alton
Although I try not to play a race just for the +2 ability bonus, it does weigh in on my decision. Now that Elandrins can choose Dex or Cha I think we’ll be seeing a lot more Eladrins filling out the Cha-based classes (like Sorcerer, Bard and Warlock). Since these classes have some teleporting powers already the items on my list will likely become more prominent in a lot of games too. So DMs be ready.

@QuackTape
This is the kind of creativity that I love to see. Teleporting up is a fantastic tactic. Give that Swordmage a Ring of Feather Falling or some other way land softly (or to just fly) and it’s an ever better attack.

I think my fascination with the Fey Step can easily be traced back to my love of Nightcrawler. Teleporting is just so cool.

@4649matt
Thanks for the heads up. I’ll look into these paragon paths. Although they may not work for the build I was trying to make, I can certainly see a lot of potential for other great builds.

@Bobbydrake
I must have overlooked that feat. (Do you remember what it’s called? Anyone?). Certainly a worthy addition to the list. Free teleporting is always helpful. Especially if you’re in a longer battle and keep going above and below your bloodied value and can get multiple uses out of the feat in the same fight.

@Kilsek
It never occurred to me to even look at the Revenant. Excellent suggestion. After all there have to be some revenants that were Eladrins in life. With one feat they regain their Fey Step and suddenly a whole new multitude of options becomes available. Time to open Character Builder and see what I can come up with. Thanks.

@Jason Dawson
Avenger is another class that certainly has access to a lot of cool teleport powers, but most of them require you to teleport next to your Oath of Enmity target. Not in itself a bad thing, but it does limit where you can go in some circumstances.

I think we’ll find that there’s certainly enough material to revisit Fey Step in a follow-up article. Time for me to do more homework and start play testing these new builds. Thanks for the great suggestions.

9 Rabbit is wise April 21, 2011 at 9:18 pm

Thanks to this article i know what my next PC will be. Eladrin Warlock. As a DM I can see this frustrating me to know end, as a player I think it be cool to have a campaign centered on PC’s that teleport. The possibilities make me laugh, envisioning the look on my DM’s face as he tries time and again to attack our teleporting characters… Maybe you should do a post for DM’s on how to kill off PC’s with excessive teleporting powers… Fey step = 19 squares, Sidestep = 15 squares… so awesome

Good job ameron

10 Bobbydrake75 April 22, 2011 at 10:36 am

I think that it is called Bloodied Boon? You have to put the curse back on but with a Rod of corruption in the off-hand you can curse all foes within 5 of the curse foe that becomes bloodied before you know it you are a teleporting machine. A little unclear is if the original creature is re-cursed in that case!!!

11 Mike August 1, 2012 at 1:22 am

I am currently playing a fey warlock, and although I’m not quite at paragon tier, I’m strongly considering the hexer path. Being able to spread curses everywhere should allow for misty steps all over the place.

12 Avalon October 29, 2012 at 5:41 pm

I did have a question, I checked most of the powers abovehand, and they are nice and themed, but if the goal of the build is to teleport all around and the bonsues stack and such., the Heroes of the Fey wild fey shift ability lets you turn your move action into a teleport for 2 squares, as an eladrin you can get that right away so are the other powers needed, particularly ethereal shift, if you can do that?

13 Ameron (Derek Myers) October 30, 2012 at 9:03 am

@Avalon
As Wizards releases new materials new powers will certainly give us additional ways to exploit racial abilities. At the time when we wrote this article Heroes of the Feywild was not out. But as I’m still playing my Eladrin Warlock (Fey Pact) I may have to review new feats and powers from this source. Thanks for the heads up.

14 Benteroni November 10, 2012 at 1:07 am

Hey, I love the setup you have going here. Really maxed everything out, good job! Just a suggestion for an Epic Destiny to top your character off: Shiradi Champion from Heroes of the Feywild. Immune to blind, darkvision, immune to charm, and a couple other features that could be handy for warlocks.
Keep up the awesome builds!

15 Allarion May 24, 2013 at 5:43 pm

I really think you should look at the staff of the traveler (especially for Sorcerers), it lets you turn any shift into a teleport!

This lets all sorts of staff wielders become teleport-capable, from Druids, to beast form rangers (its an effect not and item power, so even just equipped while in beast form) You can basically make “blink-beast” style shapeshifters, talk about flavor. With how much beast form druids and rangers like shifting this can turn into that much crazy teleporting.

But really anyone who takes a multiclass to wield staff implements and doesn’t need their off hand for a shield/2-wep/hand-free, can benefit from getting even a minor optomized at will teleport. Boots of eladrin/Eladrin ring alone make your normal shift 1 into a teleport 5 at-will move, add in any of your powers that add a shit now teleport, and you have tons of fun in store!

16 Paul May 24, 2014 at 6:49 pm

I have a question about Fey Step Trailblazer. The rules are vague in many aspects. Can I teleport a willing creature who is immobilized? Do I have to touch him in some way or just be adjacent to him. Can the Trailblazer be used with Invisible Stride or Step of the Morning Mist?

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