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DnD4e: Equipping a whirling barbarian

Equipping a whirling barbarian

I'm building a half-orc whirling barbarian and I'd love some help gearing him up. He's level 6. His feats are waraxe proficiency, swift slayer, two-weapon fighting, and axe expertise. I'm allowed a level 7, level 6, and I have 2000 gold that can't be spent on anything higher than level 5. Suggestions?

Assuming you're going to focus on Whirling Slayer attack powers:

Keep in mind that, unlike two-blade Rangers, Whirling Slayers don't actually make attacks with their secondary weapon, and you rarely do more than 1[W] with any single strike. Jack up your attack bonus on the main hand so you hit as often as possible, and put a high-damage weapon in your offhand. This is especially important because your offhand damage does not typically include your Strength Modifier.

Consider using a
+1 enhancement (Level 3 item, 680gp), +1d6 per plus on crit
Power (At-Will): Minor Action. Split the weapon into two
identical weapons, one in your primary hand and one in
your off-hand. You can spend another minor action to
recombine the weapons into one. If you have the Quick
Draw feat, you can split or recombine the weapon as a
free action.
Paired Waraxe. The enhancement applies to any one-handed melee weapon. This maximizes the use of your action economy, though at the cost of limiting you to a +1 weapon in your main hand. Combine this with Iron Armbands of Power (your Level 6 freebie item) to get the most damage out of each weapon. Depending on your ability array, you may want to chuck Swift Slayer in favor of Quick Draw. You can always pick up Swift Slayer at Level 8.

Alternately, stick with a +2 waraxe in your main hand and use a
There's not much point in having an offhand weapon that does something nasty "on hit", because you technically never actually hit with your offhand weapon. It just does damage.
plain-jane +1 waraxe in your offhand. You'll hit more often, and your offhand damage will be the same as above. However, you'll need TWO minor actions to draw your weapons ... and Whirling Slayer powers require you to be wielding two weapons before you can attack. Again: consider dropping Swift Slayer in favor of Quick Draw. You don't have much else to use Minor Actions on, so you won't lose much here ... but sacrificing your Move Action to get your other weapon ready effectively takes you out of combat for the first round. You're truly screwed in a surprise situation.

From there, get the best armor you can squeeze in. You'll have better armor with the Paired Waraxe option, since that is actually cheaper than two +1 weapons. Buying two +1 items for 680gp (total) leaves your Level 7 freebie slot open for +2 armor.

I'm assuming you'll use your Level 6 freebie for Iron Armbands of Power. The bonus here applies to weapon damage rolls ... so the +2 bonus applies to both main hand and offhand weapon damage.

Pick up a pair of Acrobat Boots. Nothing sucks harder than burning your Move Action standing up.

A +1 neck slot item of your choice.

One final note that has nothing to do with gear:

Half-orc seems to be a good racial choice for Whirling Slayers because the racial ability scores line up ... but you spend a lot of time shifting. Difficult Terrain will make you hate life. If you haven't already, consider going with an Elf. Wild Step + Whirling Slayer = gotta Immobilize you to slow you down.

Another possibility is a double axe. Get a +2 and add the bonus to both ends. If you ever get something with a nasty trait, well, it only applies to the main end anyhow, so the fact that you don't hit with the off hand weapon is negligible. Also, you can still use powers that require you to be wielding a weapon in two hands (but not any that actually require a two handed weapon apparently). It does eat up a feat for proficiency, but all you'd have to do is switch that for waraxe. Switching from d12 to d10 is a minor cost, but you no longer need quickdraw.

Good point. He's already using a feat for Weapon Proficiency (Waraxe), so it's not that Weapon Proficiency (Double Axe) is that much of a difference. Double weapons are also typically Defensive, giving you a +1 bonus to AC on top of the other goodness.

Keep in mind, though, that all double weapons got to go a round or two with the Nerf Bat. Make sure you check the Compendium or the most recent errata PDF for specifics.

Right, though really, it wasn't a Nerf Bat so much as a Power Up bat in most cases. Went and looked up the changes again and wow, all weapon properties now apply to the off hand end too? Sign me up! Look for magic weapons with static properties for maximum benefit, activated properties still follow normal usage limits. Stout instead of Defensive is a bit of a downgrade defensively, but now that the primary end counts as a two handed weapon, a double weapon barbarian has access to all barbarian powers that don't require a reach weapon.

Side note: I believe this is the inspiration for the character.

Side side note: I need to take a second look at the gear for my app. I missed the adjustment to starting gold.

Thanks for the tips. I was thinking about the paired waraxe myself but I wasn't sure if there was something better to offer with a +2 modifier. This is my second time playing a whirler (my first really, I didn't understand how to play the build the first time and quickly switched to a rageblood) and I appreciate the help you guys.

Also, for what it's worth, my abilities are STR 19, CON 14, DEX 18, INT 8, WIS 10, CHA 11

I took +2 Horn Tusk Hide (lvl 7), +1 Paired Waraxe (lvl 3), Iron Armbands of Power (lvl 6), Acrobat Boots (lvl 2), Amulet of Physical Resolve (lvl 2), and 5 healing potions. Questions? Comments?

Y'know, I always forget the healing potions... good call!

Alternatively, you can wield dual pom-pons and go with the furious cheerleader style. Think about the possibilities.


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