Exploiting Racial and Class Powers: Bloodhunt

by Wimwick (Neil Ellis) on May 18, 2011

Hellfire and damnation. Illegitimate spawn of infernal powers, the coupling of wicked desires. These are the calling cards of the Tiefling, perhaps the least understood and least trusted of all races. To call them friend is to place oneself under suspicion.

The Tiefling draws upon this mistrust, and gains power from their upbringing. The very fires of hell run through their blood and when given the opportunity the Tiefling lets any and all who stand in their path know that no mere mortal stands before them.

Fear and fury are the two primary weapons of any Tiefling. By exploiting these aspects of their makeup a Tiefling transforms from a common enemy to one who simply cannot be ignored on the battlefield.

In looking to exploit the Tiefling’s racial features there is no one power that truly stands out. At first glance Infernal Wrath appears to be a solid choice, however exploiting it isn’t as easy as it appears. Because Infernal Wrath does not require an attack role, many feats and items will not work in conjunction with it.

Taking feats that increase fire damage is all well in good, but Infernal Wrath is an encounter power. Until you reach epic levels there is no way to get multiple uses per combat out of this racial power. So unless you are going to select a character class and build that only does fire damage, spending feats to empower Infernal Wrath become wasted choices. Infernal Wrath simply doesn’t provide enough usages per combat to justify the cost in feats.

What you end up with is a more powerful version of Infernal Wrath as a result of the decision you make with your class choice. You aren’t really exploiting a racial feature or power; it’s just a fringe benefit.

In order to truly maximize the Tiefling the Bloodhunt racial feature needs to be exploited. The reason for this is simple, in every fight, every opponent will become bloodied. Which means in every combat you will use this modifier multiple times.

How do we maximize the ability to do more damage or hit harder against bloodied foes?

A Question of Class

In my mind any class or role can do this job. Each will provide its own set of advantages. Of all four roles the controller or the striker can likely take best advantage. The controller because of the increased amount of burst and blast attacks, they are simply able to hit more combatants and take advantage of any inherent bonuses to hit. The strikers advantage is that they do more damage to a single target and an increased chance to hit means a higher likely hood that they will inflict maximum damage.

I don’t favour any one class from these roles over the other. However, selecting a class that has access to fire powers would provide the ancillary benefit that anything you do to improve your class powers will make Infernal Wrath more effective.

The Paragon Path that I like best for this build actually favours both a Bloodhunt and Infernal Wrath build. The Turathi Highborn gains the following powers:

  • Hellfire Action: When you spend an action point to make an attack, that attack deals 2d6 extra fire damage on a hit.
  • Turathi Frenzy: You gain a bonus to damage rolls against bloodied enemies equal to 1 + your Charisma modifier.

Feats

The very first feat that needs to be selected if you are going to improve on the Bloodhunt racial trait is Diabolic Soul, which is a heroic tier feat. Diabolic Soul provides the following:

When you take a critical hit, you gain a +2 feat bonus to attack rolls against that enemy until the end of the encounter. In addition, you replace infernal wrath with diabolic transformation.

Diabolic Transformation is a daily power that provides the following bonuses:

  • Gain regeneration 2.
  • Increase fire resistance by 5.
  • Gain a +2 bonus to damage rolls.
  • The bonus to attack rolls granted by the Bloodhunt racial trait increases to +2.
  • Once during the encounter you can use Black Wrath of Hell, which adds damage to a successful attack and imposes a penalty to attack roles on the target.

Now someone can correct me if I have this wrong, but the bonus to hit bloodied enemies granted by the Paragon Path will stack with the Diabolic Transformation power. This mean that during one encounter you have a 3 + Charisma modifier bonus to attack roles against bloodied foes.

Of course making this choice removes any additional benefit that feats that improve fire powers will provide.

The following other feats should be considered:

Bloodseeker (Heroic)
You gain a +2 bonus to damage rolls against bloodied enemies marked by you. This feat is only available to defenders, on top of being a great choice it should be mandatory for this build.

Hellfire Arcanist (Heroic)
Gain a +2 feat bonus to damage rolls with fire attacks. This feat is available to Wizards only. Selecting it will augment Hellfire Action and any additional fire powers you may have.

Hellfire of Mephistopheles (Paragon)
Reduce the fire resistance of an enemy that you hit by 5 until the end of the encounter. Fire is the most common resistance; if you decide to enhance the fire damage side of your Tiefling this feat becomes essential. There are others that perform a similar function, but many are class specific.

Rapid Regeneration (Epic)
While you have regeneration, the value of the regeneration increases by an amount equal to your Constitution modifier. With Diabolic Soul this will only happen during one encounter, but by purchasing a potion of regeneration you have the ability to gain this benefit during every encounter. As this feat is not available until epic tier, cost shouldn’t be a big factor.

Tools of the Trade

If you are playing a melee build you may want to consider obtaining a fire weapon. Especially if you decide to enhance your fire powers.

Whetstone of Combustion
Bestow vulnerable 5 fire on the next attack that deals fire damage against your target. This item adds salt to the wound if you have chosen to enhance your fire damage.

Gauntlets of Blood
You gain a +2 bonus to damage rolls against bloodied targets. This item is simply mandatory for this build.

Potion of Regeneration
As mentioned above this will allow a feat like Rapid Regeneration to provide maximum benefit.

There is no one easy way to maximize the racial powers and traits of the Tiefling. The options presented here provide a low cost, from a feat and item perspective, way to gain an advantage over your opponents in every combat.

How have you maximized the Tiefling racial powers? Have you found that you benefited from doing so, or did it just provide some extra role playing flavour to the character?

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{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Tialla May 18, 2011 at 9:46 am

Very useful! Now if I only knew where to get a d26 for Hellfire Action…

2 Wimwick May 18, 2011 at 10:31 am

@ Tialla
Corrected. Thanks for catching that typo and I’m glad you found the article useful.

3 4649matt May 18, 2011 at 10:43 am

Wrath of the Crimson Legion (also from Dr381) doesn’t optimize Bloodhunt, but it opens up enough possibilities that builds revolve around it.
The mass sanction alone is worth a feat for Paladins.
True Charisma melee training makes this feat worthwhile enough to spend feat on a Paladin multiclass to gain access.
Secrets of Belial similarly doesn’t optimize Bloodhunt, but by giving you access to a utility power from any class can easily find use in almost any build.
4649matt´s last blog post ..So you want to be a Shadowrunner

4 j0nny_5 May 18, 2011 at 11:15 am

I had a Hellish Rebuke build tiefling. I found Wizards Wrath (ignore bloodied enemies fire resistance/immunity) to be better than Hellfire of Mephistopheles, and its heroic tier instead of paragon. Would seem to be especially effective in your Bloodhunt build.

5 Wimwick May 18, 2011 at 1:40 pm

@ 4649matt
Great suggestions. One thing I found with the Tiefling is that almost every class has a feat built around Infernal Wrath. Selecting the right one and optimizing it is the trick.

@ j0nny_5
Wizards Wrath is better than Hellfire of Mephistopheles, if you’re a Wizard. In writing this article I struggled with how detailed a build I should provide. What I tried to do was keep things generic with this build and provide a couple of ways that the racial traits could be exploited. Otherwise I’m not optimizing a race, but a class. Thanks for the insights and comments.

6 4649matt May 18, 2011 at 2:22 pm

@Wimwick
Most definitely. Tieflings have such solid feat support across the board that optimizing your racial ability is less about general optimization like it is with other races and more about finding synergy with your class.
There might be some choice bits to find here: The Tieflings Handbook
4649matt´s last blog post ..So you want to be a Shadowrunner

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