Exploiting Racial and Class Powers: Elven Accuracy

by Ameron (Derek Myers) on May 4, 2011

Nothing sucks more than missing with an attack roll. The more powerful the attack and the more dangerous the opponent, the more missing stings. In most cases you miss, and the game continues – unless you’re an Elf. Elven Accuracy lets you reroll one attack every encounter. Not bad, especially if you hit with the second roll. But why settle for just a do over when you can turn that miss into something truly awesome.

The way to get the most out of Elven Accuracy is to make sure that when you’re rerolling a missed attack you significantly increase your likelihood of hitting and scoring a crit. The fact that you have a reroll up your sleeve increases your chances of critting by giving you a second kick at the can, but why not continue stacking the deck in your favour. After all that’s what this series of articles is all about.

There are three important things to look for when maximizing the benefits of your Elven Accuracy. Choose powers, feats and items that let you:

  • Reroll an attack.
  • Make more than one attack roll.
  • Score a crit on 19-20.

Reroll an attack

Any time a power or item lets you reroll an attack you’re improving your odds of success. Even if you miss on the second roll you can still use Elven Accuracy to try a third time. With up to three attempts to hit you’re going to connect more often than anyone else in the party (except maybe other Elves).

Make more than one attack roll

As we just discussed if you’re rolling more dice you’re more likely to get a better result. Powers that let you make two attack rolls and take the better result are rare. And in the unlikely event that you miss with both rolls you can always use your Elven Accuracy to reroll both attack rolls, that’s just the way it works. So in this situation you’re rolling four times. If you can’t hit with at least one of them then you need new dice.

Because this kind of synergy is so devastating due to its almost guarantee of success, a good tactic is to either use it early in the fight or save Elven Accuracy until you have a chance to use it in this specific circumstance.

Score a crit on 19-20

Scoring a crit is great. Scoring a crit more often is even better. A well-timed crit can change the outcome of battle. If your Elven Accuracy lets you reroll at attack then think of how much more likely you are to score a crit if you can do so on a roll of 19-20. If you’ve taken steps to improve you damage output when you score a crit then those rerolls become that much more important. I’ve seen (on multiple occasions) players running Elf characters use Elven Accuracy to reroll an attack that was already a hit, just to try for that crit on a 19-20. They figure that since they’ve optimized their Elven Accuracy so much anyway that the worst thing that will happen is just another normal hit.

Class Selection

The Avenger may not roll extra damage dice like most other strikers, but they do get to roll twice when attacking their Oath of Enmity (if they meet specific requirements). Rolling more often should result in a great likelihood of connecting. Add Elven Accuracy to this class feature and you’re rolling four attack rolls. Really good chance of hitting now and a better than normal chance of scoring a crit on one of those four rolls.

There isn’t a clear-cut class that makes Elven Accuracy better. However, there are some very desirable feats with class prerequisites, so you might want to look over the feats before nailing down a class. There are also a lot of weapons and implements that crit on 19-20 or allow rerolls so it’s not a bad idea to look them over either before you settle on your class. Although the Avenger meets one of the three desirable features mentioned above, no class provides an abundance of all of them. However, if the class you choose does have a power that grants one or more of these effects you need to take it.

Classes I’ve seen in play that really work well exploiting the three conditions above, aside from the aforementionied Avenger, are the crossbow-wielding Rogue and the archer Ranger. Sorcerer isn’t a bad choice either. Considering that your build is going to emphasize on damage output, any striker is probably a decent choice.

Feat Selection

Remember the three things that will help maximize your Elven Accuracy and overall output. You’re looking for feats that let you reroll an attack, make more than one attack roll or score a crit on 19-20. Of course anything that makes the second attack roll better is a good choice too.

Wild Elf Luck (Heroic Tier)

You get a +1d4 bonus to your Elven Accuracy reroll. Every Elf should take this at level 1 or level 2. After all, you’re going to use your Elven Accuracy every encounter so you might as well ensure that the reroll will be successful.

Elven Precision (Heroic Tier)

After Wild Elf Luck, this should be your next feat. It provides a +2 bonus to your Elven Accuracy reroll. That’s 1d20+2+1d4 if you’ve taken both feats.

Elven Arcane Precision (Heroic Tier)

Arcane spellcasters that use a lot of blasts, bursts and area of effect attacks should consider taking this feat. Elven Accuracy lets you reroll attacks from a single arcane power against every target.

Brutal Accuracy (Heroic Tier)

Elven Rangers (like we’ve never seen one of those before) add 1d6 + Wis modifier extra damage to their quarry if they hit with Elven Accuracy.

Martial Accuracy (Paragon Tier)

If you’re playing a martial character than this feat is a must have. It lets you roll Elven Accuracy twice and take the better result. So if a power lets you roll two attacks and take the better result this feat would allow you to reroll both attack twice if you missed the first time around.

Hawkeye Warrior (Epic Tier)

This is another required feat for martial characters. Gain +1 to attacks until the end of the encounter against the creature targeted by your Elven Accuracy.

Magical Item Selection

Remember to look for magic items with these properties.

  • Reroll an attack.
  • Make more than one attack roll.
  • Score a crit on 19-20.

Roll More Often

  • One of the most common consumables at my gaming table (even more so than healing potions) is the Potion of Clarity. This consumable lets you reroll one attack before the end of the encounter, taking the second result. Whether you’re an Elf or not this is a useful potion to have in your inventory.
  • Elven archers (such as Rogues or Rangers) should have a quiver full of Dual Arrows. When you use one of these you roll twice and use either result. It can get expensive in the long run, but if you’re playing a striker you need to hit hard and hit often. Rolling twice means greater accuracy and a greater likelihood of rolling a crit. Using Elven Accuracy on an attack made with a Dual Arrow would in essence let you make that attack roll four times.
  • Black Cave Pearl, Dread Nightshade and Mind Dust are consumables that all let you roll twice and take the better result on your next attack using a power with the keywords charm, poison and psychic respectively.
  • Cascading Strikes Ki Focus, Couters of Second Chances and Stone of Avandraall have daily powers that lets you reroll an attack roll. You have to keep the new result.
  • A Tenacious Weapon may be a better choice. As an encounter power, before you make an attack active the power and on your next attack you get to roll twice and take the better result.
  • In a party with multiple Elves someone (not necessarily the Elven PC) should consider taking a Targeting Weapon. Its daily power lets all allies roll twice against the targeted enemy and take the better result with all attacks until the end of the attackers next turn. Combined with action points, Dual Arrows, and Elven Accuracy this is a recipe for extinction.

Crit More Often

All of these weapons and implements allow you to crit on a 19-20 with every attack. If you’re building a character around crits then you need to make it your mission in life to get one of these items.

  • Battle Staff
  • Jagged Weapon
  • Keen Bite Wand
  • Melegaunt’s Darkblade
  • Rod of the Star Spawn
  • Unforgettable Cudgel

If you’re more of a gambler then perhaps you’d prefer to get a weapon that yields a higher output on a crit (like a Vicious weapon), rather than one that crits on 19-20. If that’s the case then you should stock up on Keen Oil. Apply this consumable as a minor action and you crit on 19-20 until the end of your next turn. A good use of 200 gp, especially at higher levels.

The Verdict

Elven Accuracy may seem like just a reroll at first, but as we’ve explored that reroll can lead to devastating consequences for your enemies. Elven strikers are expected to hit often and their racial power makes that a reality. By talking a few specific feats and a couple of carefully chosen magical items, we truly see the output potential of any Elf, especially Elven strikers.

An Elven Avenger, multiclassed into Ranger (or any other martial class) with the Martial Accuracy feat, could get as many as eight rolls with a melee attack against his Oath of Enmity on his turn. Two rolls for his Avenger class power, two rerolls because of the Keen Oil on the weapon (or from activating a magic weapon’s reroll daily power), and then four more rolls  from Elven Accuracy (rolling twice on each initial attack rolls because of the Martial Accuracy feat). This would only stack up like this when you use a melee martial power or a basic attack.

What are some of the ways you’ve exploited Elven Accuracy? Are there particular powers, items or feats that we didn’t discuss that you think need to be added to the discussion?

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{ 13 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Liam Gallagher May 4, 2011 at 10:10 am

Exellent article. I play a elven ranger/rogue hybrid and a feat that I have found invaluable is Two Fisted Shooter, which lets you hold a hand crossbow as san offhand weapon, reload for free, and when ever you score a crit with the main weapon you get a free basic attack.

Since the character is built to take advantage of elven accuracy and increase the odds of critting the turns where he hits hard he really hits hard. Instead of doing max damage, he does max damage and gets a whole other attack which has another chance to crit.

Stance or sustain powers that let you attack off your turn or improve the chance of oppertunity attacks are useful too, they might not deal the 5[W] like the big daily, but if you can drum up 7 extra attacks throughout the combat you’re in the black.

I really like this series of articles. They’re about optimizing a mechanical element of your character but for a good thematic reason. Building your character in this way makes your choice of race a stronger consideration and gives the character a clearer racial identity.

2 Alton May 4, 2011 at 10:15 am

Although you didn’t touch on paragon paths and such, the Daggermaster would be an excellent addition to all this with the crit range for a dagger 18-20.

I don’t know if I would play an elf anymore with all the cool races out there. I find they were the standard race in 3.5. Got tired of that. Elven accuracy is a cool power though and love it when one of my party members use it while we are in battle.
Alton´s last blog post ..D&ampD Encounters- March of the Phantom Brigade Level 3 Pregens

3 JR May 4, 2011 at 10:32 am

Thanks for this! I don’t think the impact of a re-roll gets brought up enough. If you would ordinarily hit on a 11 or better (50% odds) and you get to re-roll a given attack, then you have a 75% chance of hitting, or the equivalent of a +5 to hit. If you can *choose* when to use this, its impact is even bigger.

4 Lahrs May 4, 2011 at 12:28 pm

As a DM who is FINALLY going to get to play thanks to our new LFR program, I decided to go ranged with an elven ranger, as for some reason, we always seem to lack ranged attacks in our group.

I have always believed that Elven Accuracy is one of the better racial powers as it essentially gives you a free extra attack. Everyone “loses a turn” to a miss, so a reroll allows you to correct that problem.

I do not believe I would use two feats on Wild Elf Luck and Elven Precision, instead, I would take the superior Wild Elf Luck for the re-rolls and Bow Expertise to help prevent the need for the re-roll to begin with. Still, a re-roll is bound to happen each encounter so an extra d6+ with Brutal Accuracy is an excellent addition.

I haven’t seen a high enough level Elf make a build around Elven Accuracy, or at least take enough feats to really buff it up, so I have no cool exploits to discuss, but even the two feats, Wild Elf Luck and Brutal Accuracy combined with a reroll are exploit enough.

5 Chronosome May 4, 2011 at 2:33 pm

Great breakdown, here — thank you. But…

RE: “And in the unlikely event that you miss with both rolls you can always use your Elven Accuracy to reroll both attack rolls, that’s just the way it works.”

That’s wrong, though, isn’t it? The latest wording on Elven Accuracy is:
“Trigger: You make an attack roll and dislike the result.
Effect: Reroll the attack roll. Use the second roll, even if it’s lower.”

Seems they changed it from just “attack” to “attack roll”, to have it so only one die is rerolled. If I’m reading correctly, that is.
Chronosome´s last blog post ..chronosome- @LichKingMetal Huh indeed! And it’s directed by Kenneth Branagh Methinks I’ll see this one…

6 dsowa May 4, 2011 at 5:25 pm

Not to be all rule-lawery but as we all know bonuses of the same type don’t stack so I don’t think you can apply both Wild Elf Luck and Elven Precision to the same role. You can get either a constant +2 or a random 1-4 but not both.

7 captainspud May 5, 2011 at 12:04 am

@chronosome – That’s correct, it only re-rolls one of the dice, not both.

@dsowa – Wild Elf Accuracy and Elven Precision are both untyped bonuses. Just because a bonus comes from a feat doesn’t make it a Feat Bonus. It’s only a [source] bonus if it explicitly says so– eg, the accuracy feats saying “+1 feat bonus to attack rolls”.
captainspud´s last blog post ..For Cogrie- pt1

8 Ameron May 5, 2011 at 11:26 am

@Liam Gallagher
Seeing this build in action I can attest to its lethality. The errata that limits PCs to only 1 free attack per round actually hurt this build, build is still devastating.

@Alton
Oh, I’m very familiar with the Daggermaster paragon path, and if you’re building a character around crits then this is certainly the way to go. I had a Sorcerer who used a dagger implement that was critting on 18-20 for months before the errata gimped him (and rightly so, that build was just silly powerful). But getting back to the discussion at hand, Elven Accuracy on a character that crits on 18-20 is just awesome.

@JR
The fact that the trigger is a free action and it’s the player’s choice is what really appeals to me. As I mentioned above I’ve seen players reroll attacks that already hit just to go for that all-important crit on the reroll. It doesn’t work that often, but I’ve seen it work in some pretty critical moments with great effect. If the trigger was reroll when you miss, then this truly heroic (greedy) approach wouldn’t work.

@Lahrs
I’ve seen a lot of Elf Rangers during my time playing LFR, but very few seem to take feats and items that will enhance their Elven Accuracy. I think it’s an under appreciated way to make a good character great. Your take on feat selection seems to combine the best of both approaches.

@Chronosome
You make an interesting point. I’ve always played that if your attack already allowed you to make two attack rolls and take the better result, using Elven accuracy would let you reroll both attack rolls. We’ve always worked Elven Accuracy the same way as the Avengers reroll class feature, which does clearly say you reroll both attack rolls. But they are different so that doesn’t mean that we’re doing it correctly for Elven Accuracy. I think so few powers let you roll twice that I’m a lot more inclined to just let it work this way and say yes to the player running the Elf character. It may not be correct but it’s worked well at my gaming tables.

@dsowa
I play with the most litigious rules lawyers I know. I don’t profess to be an expert in all things D&D so if I make a mistake I want the readers to call me on it. If I’m doing it wrong at my game table then your feedback will help me make it right.

That being said, I’m confident that these bonuses would stack since they don’t specifically say that they are feat bonuses. Captainspud pretty much said what I was going to in his response.

@captainspud
Thanks for jumping in.

So this is now two comments that agree that Elven Accuracy only lets you reroll one attack roll even if the attack would normally let you roll two attacks and take the better result. I guess I’ve been playing it wrong all this time. Anyone else have any thoughts on this particular scenario? Again, I direct you to the Avenger for a much more detailed description of a very similar (but agreeably different) power.

9 dsowa May 5, 2011 at 5:09 pm

Alright I know I am butting up against Wheaton’s Law by bringing this up again, but its a total pet peeve of mine so here we go. Please ignore me if you are not interested.

Here is the text on bonuses straight from the horses mouth:
Bonus:
A number added to a die roll. If a bonus has a type (such as a power or a feat bonus), the bonus is not cumulative with bonuses of the same type; only the highest bonus applies. Bonuses that have no type are called untyped bonuses. Such bonuses are cumulative. However, untyped bonuses from the same named game element (such as a power or a feat) are not cumulative; only the highest applies.

So my reading of this is that both Wild Elf Luck and Elven Precision both add untyped bonuses from the “feat” game element and therefore only one can apply at a time. I suppose you could argue that you should roll the D4 and then if it comes up a 1 change it to a 2. Others might argue that because one is a random bonus and one is fixed they come from different “game elements” but I wouldn’t.

regards,
dsowa

10 Rabbit is wise May 5, 2011 at 6:54 pm

If at the FLGS and someone told me that I couldnt use Wild elf luck and elven precision to stack the bonus’s then I’d be bummed. The game is designed to make cool characters, and with so many other things that could potentially break the game(Eladrin Warlocks come to mind lol) complaining about adding a +2 and +1d4 together on a power that was designed to allow players to hit something they just missed, seems like a major violation of Wheatons law… besides even my FLGS adds house rules to our weekly encounters game, I’ve never played a game without houserules, and if someone complained about my additional plus 2 once per encounter, that would trigger my pet peeve big time… roll initiative

11 captainspud May 5, 2011 at 7:45 pm

@dsowa – “Same-named game element” means two copies of the same feat, or two copies of the same power. It doesn’t mean “any two feats”.

For example, take the Warding Defense feat:

******************
Whenever you use the total defense action while wielding a shield, allies adjacent to you gain a +2 bonus to AC and Reflex until the start of your next turn or until they are no longer adjacent to you.
******************

If two adjacent allies popped Total Defense and had that feat, you’d only get the benefit from one of them.
captainspud´s last blog post ..For Cogrie- pt1

12 dsowa May 6, 2011 at 10:17 am

As much as I hate being wrong I must admit I was wrong on this topic. And from the large number of threads out there that discuss this topic I am not alone. So just to make sure future people who read this thread get the right answer ameron and @captainspud are totally correct. Wild Elf Luck and Elven Precision do stack and I was being an idiot.

13 izak August 20, 2012 at 6:48 pm

A nice character theme that would work nicely with exploiting re-rolls is the Ironwrought with it’s Inevitable Strike power.

I like the idea of re-rolling one of the Inevitable Strike rolls to force the extra damage.

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