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Leaders Roundtable (Part IV): Lords of Battle

leader ivWelcome to the final meeting of the Leaders Roundtable – a four-part blog series examining the wide array of powers which make the Leader classes unique to D&D 4E!  In the first three parts of the series - Inspiring Greatness, Tending the Wounded, and A Sanctuary Safe & Strong, we have looked at the basic attributes of Leaders, their ability to heal their allies, and to make their fellow adventurers stronger and more capable of surviving the attacks of terrible monsters and villains.

But there is one final facet of the Leader role that needs to be analyzed in this final installment of the series, a set of powers which gives the role its name – Tactical Leadership.  In the old Roman Republic, an honorary title was given to a commander who inspired his troops in the service of the empire – dux bellorum – which meant “leader of battles”.  Later that phrase evolved to the become the title of duke, the highest rank of peerage falling just below that of the king, signifying that to lead in battle was considered a noble cause for one’s country.

Assessment Parameters – Each of the Leader powers being compared here are taken at their basic level, and are unmodified by any Feats.  Only powers from the Heroic Tier are being considered, and Skill Powers are not a factor in this comparison, because with the proper training or background, they are technically available to allow Leaders.  Each collection of powers for the Leader classes will be rated on a 1 to 5 scale, with a 0 rating assigned when a Leader class has no powers of that particular type.  The rating of the powers against each other is highly subjective, and the scores are certainly debatable, which I highly encourage in the comments following this final blog.

Tactical Leadership Powers

Leaders have a number of powers used to control the pace and flow of tactical combat in D&D 4E, and to give their comrades an edge over their enemies.  These tactical leadership powers tend to fall into three categories: Tactical Inspiration increases the accuracy or damage of allied attacks – sometimes granting bonuses to both; Tactical Positioning allows leaders to control the placement of allies as well as enemies in a combat; and Tactical Assault grants the leader the ability to cause their fellow adventurers to attack outside their turn, often with bonuses to both attack and damage.

Tactical Inspiration

[Leaders can inspire their comrades to do attack with greater accuracy, or to strike harder for greater effect, by granting bonuses to attack and damage rolls, combat advantage, or by reducing the defenses of the enemy.]

  • Ardent: Ardent Outrage (E/Mantle of Elation), Ardent Eruption (E/Mantle of Impulsiveness), Karmic Bond (A1/Aug 1), Part the Fog (A1), Part the Fog (A1/Aug 1/Aug2), Battleborn Acuity (D1), Lingering Fury (D1), Psionic Charge (EU2), Cloud Mind (A3/Aug 1), Impatient Strike (A3), Impatient Strike (A3/Aug 1/Aug 2), Unnerving Shove (A3/Aug 2), Empowered Arsenal (D5), Fate Exchange (D5), Meteoric Charge (D5), Painful Revelations (DU6), Clarifying Impact (A7), Clarifying Impact (A7/Aug 1/Aug 2), Fatal Attraction (A7/Aug 2), Forward-Thinking Cut (A7), Mindlink Strike (A7/Aug 1), Feast of Despair (D9), Passage of Swords (D9), Incite Bravery (EU10)
  • Artificer: Aggravating Force (A1), Magic Weapon (A1), Burning Weapons (E1), Scouring Weapon (E1), Spike Wire (E1), Icebound Sigil (D1), Lightning Sphere (E3), Phantasmal Henchman (E3), Corrosive Sigil (D5), Icy Weapons (E7), Brittle-Skin Missile (D9), Sigil of Luck (DU10)
  • Bard: Guiding Strike (A1), Blunder (E1), Elemental Shot (E1), Focused Sound (E1), Inspiring Refrain (E1), Prophesied Strike (E1), Arrow of Warning (D1), Echoing Roar (D1), Sigil of Rivalry (D1), Satire of Fortune (D1), Slayer’s Song (D1), Verse of Triumph (D1), Concerted Effort (DU2), Song of Courage (DU2), Charger’s Call (E3), Cruel Fate (E3), Cunning Ferocity (E3), Entangling Opening (E3), Rally of the Spectral Host (E3), Recitation of Foreknowledge (E3), Rhyme of the Blood-Seeking Blade (E3), Arrow of Ill-Omen (D5), Rhyme of Fire (D5), Glimpse of the Future (DU6), At Your Expense (E7), Drums of the Wild Hunt (E7), Insightful Shot (E7), Rewrite the Future (E7), Timely Distraction (E7), Unluck (E7), Rain of Starlight (D9), Symphony of Misfortune (D9), Chant of Accuracy (DU10), Idyll of Calm (DU10), Word of Life (DU10)
  • Templar (Cleric): Astral Seal (A1), Blessing of Wrath (A1), Burden of Earth (A1), Death’s Shadow (A1), Lance of Faith (A1), Righteous Brand (A1), Silvery Arrow (A1), Gaze of Defiance (A1), Bane (E1), Divine Glow (E1), Exacting Utterance (E1), Inevitable Doom (E1), Prophetic Guidance (E1), Thundering Steed (E1), Vengeful Flare (E1), War Priest’s Strike (E1), Wrathful Thunder (E1), Cascade of Light (D1), Font of Tears (D1), Levy of Judgment (D1), Blackened Soul (DU2), Bless (DU2), Resurgent Strength (DU2), Blazing Beacon (E3), Daunting Light (E3), Death Surge (E3), Destined Duel (E3), Focus of Cascading Power (E3), Hammer of the Gods (E3), Hymn of Resurgence (E3), Lost Love (E3), Augment of War (D5), Halo of Consequences (D5), Hold Foe (D5), Spiritual Weapon (D5), Sundered Fortune (D5), Weapon of the Gods (D5), Blades of Holy Fire (DU6), Divine Favor (DU6), Gravesite (DU6), Mark of Victory (DU6), Denunciation (E7), Forgemaster’s Flame (E7), Divine Surge (D9), Vengeful Ghosts (D9), Battle Surge (DU10)
  • Rune Priest: Rune of Protection (Class Feature), Word of Binding (A1/RoD), Word of Exchange (A1/RoD), Word of Exchange (A1/RoP), Word of Diminishment (A1/RoD), Divine Rune of Thunder (E1/RoD/RoP), Executioner’s Call (E1/RoD), Flames of Purity (E1/RoD), Icon of Victory (DU2), Word of Alliance (E3/RoD), Cage of Light (D5), Rune of Arrow’s Flight (D5), Rune of the Final Act (D5), Rune of Death’s Verge (D9)
  • Sentinel (Druid): Druid of Spring/Wolf Companion’s Aura (Class Feature), Faerie Fire (D1), Lightning Arc (D1), Shillelagh (D1), Vexing Overgrowth (D1), Wind Prison (D1), Bear’s Strength (DU2), Destructive Harvest (D5), Hunger of the Land (D5), Leaf Wall (DU6), Eagle’s Splendor (DU6), Owl’s Wisdom (DU6), Serpent’s Cunning (DU6), Sudden Overgrowth (D9), Pain of Perseverance (D9), Summon Great Eagle (D9), Winter Storm (DU10)
  • Shaman: Stalker Spirit (Class Feature), Stalker’s Strike (A1), Watcher Spirit (Class Feature), Claws of the Eagle (A1), Haunting Spirits (A1), Watcher’s Strike (A1), Ironbreaker Claws (E1/Stalker Spirit), Scorching Sands (E1), Spirits of the Mountain Mist (E1), Stormhawk’s Fury (E1), Twin Panthers (E1), Spirit Cascade (D1), Spirit of Grief’s Shadow (D1), Spray of Quills (D1), Spirit Zephyr (DU2), Spirits of Battle (DU2), Call to the Savage Elder (E3), Capturing Jaws (E3/Protector Spirit), Rimefore Spirit (E3), Spirit of the Slavering Bloodlust (E3), Shrieking Wind Spirits (D5), Vengeful Blood Spirits (D5), War Chieftain’s Blessing (D5), Light of the Crimson Sun (EU6), Primal Investiture (DU6), Spirit of Dawn (DU6), Spirit of Vengeance (DU6), Blood-Red Mist (E7), Bear Hug (E7), Call of the Blood Dancer (E7), Flashing Spirit (E7), Memories of Wind and Rain (E7), Spirit of Weakness (E7/Stalker Spirit), Thunderstorm Spirit (E7), Clever Trickster Spirit (D9), Explosive Sacrifice (D9), Mountain’s Might (D9), Raging Storm Spirit (D9), Spirit of Autumn’s Reaping (D9)
  • Marshall (Warlord): Resourceful Presence (Class Feature), Tactical Presence (Class Feature), Brash Assault (A1), Commander’s Strike (A1), Furious Smash (A1), Inevitable Wave (A1), Intuitive Strike (A1), Paints the Bulls-eye (A1), Hammer and Anvil (E1), Hammer Formation (E1), Overwhelming Force Trap (E1), Pin Cushion (E1), Provocative Order (E1), Race the Arrow (E1/Skirmishing Presence), Seize the Upper Hand (E1), Tactician’s Invitation (E1), Warlord’s Favor (E1), Calculated Assault (D1), Concentrated Attack (D1), Lead by Example (D1), Lead the Attack (D1), Leader’s Instincts (D1), Relentless Wounding (D1), Adaptive Stratagem (EU2), Cunning Adjustment (EU2), Heroic Effort (DU2), Inspired Belligerence (EU2), Martial Cascade (EU2), Motivated Recovery (DU2), Reckless Opportunity (EU2), Bloody Ending (E3), Devastating Offensive (E3/Resourceful/Tactical Presence), Dicey Predicament (E3), Inspire Resilience (E3), Martial Doom (E3), No Gambit Is Wasted (E3/Insightful Presence), Set the Trap (E3), Warlord’s Strike (E3), Bait the Hook (D5), Brave Warriors (D5), Exemplar of Action (D5), Situational Advantage (D5), Back-to-Back (DU6), Dragon’s Tenacity (EU6), Forward Observer (AU6), Guide the Charge (EU6), Tactical Supervision (EU6), Tempting Target (DU6), Join the Crowd (E7/Insightful Presence), On my Mark (E7), Provoke Overextension (E7/Bravura Presence), Sacrificial Lure (E7), Sunder Armor (E7), Surprise Attack (E7), Tactician’s Favor (E7), War of Attrition (E7), Withering Courage (E7/Bravura/Inspiring Presence), Blood Designation (D9), Caging Glaive (D9), Eviscerating Shot (D9), Stay on Target (D9), Teachable Moment (D9), Instant Planning (DU10), Unintended Feint (DU10)
  • Warpriest (Cleric): Healing Word (Storm Domain), Death’s Shadow (A1/Death Domain), Blessing of Wrath (A1/Storm Domain), Inevitable Doom (E1/Death Domain), Thundering Steel (E1/Storm Domain), Cascade of Light (D1), Font of Tears (D1), Levy of Judgment (D1), Blackened Soul (DU2), Bless (DU2), Resurgent Strength (DU2), Death Surge (E3/Death Domain), Augment of War (D5), Halo of Consequences (D5), Hold Foe (D5), Spiritual Weapon (D5), Sundered Fortune (D5), Weapon of the Gods (D5), Blades of Holy Fire (DU6), Divine Favor (DU6), Gravesite (DU6), Mark of Victory (DU6), Divine Surge (D9), Vengeful Ghosts (D9), Any attack vs. Fort (L10 Earth Domain Feature), Battle Surge (DU10)

tactical inspireIt was not hard to see a clear winner in this particular category – the Marshall (Warlord) class has a massive selection of powers at their disposal for increasing accuracy and damage output of their allies in so many different ways.  Shamans and Templars are quite potent in this category of powers, and it was hard to assign any Leader class a poor score, given that they all have some decent abilities.  However, it should be noted that the Artificer and the Sentinel (Druid) were pretty lackluster in their choices, and have a fairly small selection of powers here – and the Sentinel is further hampered by the lack of any at will power to inspire their allies, which is why it ended up with the lowest score of the Leaders.

Tactical Inspiration Scores:
Ardent: 3
Artificer: 2.5
Bard: 3.5
Templar (Cleric): 4
Rune Priest: 3
Sentinel (Druid): 2
Shaman: 4.5
Marshall (Warlord): 5
Warpriest (Cleric): 3.5

Tactical Positioning

[Leaders can allow their comrades-in-arms to move freely in the midst of combat, or can swap the position of teammates to create tactical advantages.  Leaders can even get a prone hero back on his feet with no effort at all.  Against enemies, Leaders can force their movement in the fray, knock them prone, slow them, and otherwise hamper their advantageous placement in the course of battle.]

  • Ardent: Ardent Alacrity (E/ Mantle of Clarity), Ire Strike (A1/Aug 2), Adrenaline Strike (D1), Battle Flow (D1), Dimensional Swap (EU2), Cloud Mind (A3), Distracting Strike (A3/Aug 1), Unsteadying Rebuke (A3/Aug 1), Decelerating Dash (D5), Fate Exchange (D5), Evade Attack (EU6), Rapid Calculation (DU6), Shared Momentum (EU6), Accelerated Maneuvers (A7), Accelerated Maneuvers (A7/Aug 1/Aug 2), Spur the Battle (D9), From the Brink (DU10), Vital Summons (EU10)
  • Artificer: Arcane Anchor (EU1), Arcane Springboard (DU2), Force Infusion (E3), Warweaver’s Tether (D5), Phantom Structure (DU6), Slick Concoction (EU10)
  • Bard: Virtue of Cunning (Class Feature), Cutting Words (A1), Staggering Note (A1), Blunder (E1), Prophetic Action (E1), Shout of Triumph (E1), Thunder’s Calling (E1), Victim of the Feywild (E1), Sprightly Rhythm (D1), Verse of Triumph (D1), Moment of Escape (EU2), Impelling Force (E3), Unicorn’s Charge (E3), Compulsion (D5), Satire of Bravery (D5), Tune of Ice and Wind (D5), Allegro (DU6), Dramatic Shift (EU6), Echoing Steps (DU6), Song of Speed (EU6), Chillsong Stroke (E7), Drums of the Wild Hunt (E7), Scorpion’s Claw Strike (E7), Song of Duplicitous Allure (E7), Forceful Conduit (D9), Hymn of the Daring Rescue (D9), Thunder Blade (D9)
  • Templar (Cleric): Turn Undead (Class Feature), Cause Fear (E1), Moment of Glory (D1), Command (E3), Hammering Wind (E3), Split the Sky (E3), Inspire Fervor (D5), Awe Strike (E7), Blessing of Dust (E7), Wrathful Lightning (E7), Dismissal (D9), Astral Refuge (DU10), Knights of Unyielding Valor (DU10), Recall Ally (EU10), Wall of Shields (DU10)
  • Rune Priest: Word of Binding (A1), Anvil of Battle (E1/RoP), Divine Rune of Thunder (E1/RoP), Rune of Iron’s Rebuke (D1), Beacon of Vengeance (E3/RoP), Cage of Light (D5), Gathering the Storm Intonation (E7/RoP), Symbol of Cowardice (E7/RoD), Unconquered Redoubt (D9), Rune of the Astral Winds (AU10)
  • Sentinel (Druid): Chill Wind (A1), Dynamic Assault (A1), Thorn Whip (A1), Earth Roots (D1), Faerie Fire (D1), Summon Fierce Boar (D1), Summon Giant Toad (D1), Summon Pack Wolf (D1), Wind Prison (D1), Hunger of the Land (D5), Vine Serpents (D5), Wall of Thorns (D5), Sudden Overgrowth (D9), Death’s Bounty (D9), Entangle (D9), Summon Crocodile (D9), Roots of Rescue (EU10)
  • Shaman: World Speaker’s Command (World Speaker Spirit Class Feature), Voice of Battle (A1), Wrath of Winter (A1), Bramble Ally (E1), Stormhawk’s Fury (E1), Blessing of the Seven Winds (D1), Massive Companion (D1) Spirit of Grief’s Shadow (D1), Stone Root Spirit (D1), Wrath of the Spirit World (D1), Assistance of the Strong Spirit (AU2), Engaging Pursuit (EU2), Spirit Call (EU2), Spirit of the Great Cat (DU2), Stormhawk Vigilance (DU2), Capturing Jaws (E3), Lightning Panther Spirit (E3), Steadfast Mountain Guardian (E3), Earthrage Spirit (D5), Remembrance of Hate (D5), Shrieking Wind Spirits (D5), Spirit of the Hawk’s Wind (D5), Winds of the Scorching Desert (D5), Herder of Hulculmak (EU6), Spur of the Pack (DU6), Bear Hug (E7), Call to the Howling Storm (E7), Emerald Lure (E7), Guardian Eagle Flock (E7), Hammer of the Grasping Tides (E7), Memories of Wind and Rain (E7), Clever Trickster Spirit (D9), Mountain’s Might (D9), Spirit of Earth Arisen (D9), Primal Slide (EU10)
  • Marshall (Warlord): Battlefront Shift (Class Feature), Bravura Presence (Class Feature), Skirmishing Presence (Class Feature), Opening Shove (A1), Wolf Pack Tactics (A1), Coordinated Offensive (E1), Leaf on the Wind (E1), Luring Focus (E1), Nimble Footwork (E1), Tactician’s Invitation (E1), Vengeance is Mine (E1), Create a Target (D1), Destructive Surprise (D1), Expert Timing (D1), Fearless Rescue (D1), Lead by Example (D1), Orchestrated Offensive (D1), Pin the Foe (D1), White Raven Onslaught (D1), Covering Maneuver (EU2), Cunning Adjustment (EU2), Flash of Insight (EU2), Knight’s Move (E1), Repositioning Command (DU2), Battering Command (E3), Deadly Distraction (E3), Devastating Offensive (E3), Flattening Charge (E3), Follow Me In (E3), Hold the Line (E3), Road to Victory (E3), Set the Trap (E3), Shielding Retaliation (E3), Staggering Shot (E3), Steel Monsoon (E3), Create Opportunity (D5), Directed Attack (D5), Rousing Call (D5), Staggering Spin (D5), Villain’s Nightmare (D5), Anchor the Line (EU6), Get Down (EU6), Guide the Charge (EU6), Polearm Vault (EU6), Quick Step (DU6), Reorient the Axis (EU6), Stand Fast (EU6), Fierce Reply (E7), Join the Crowd (E7), Martial Excitation (E7), On my Mark (E7/Skirmishing Presence), Sudden Motivation (E7), Surround Foe (E7), Wild Runner Style (E7), Awakened Wrath (D9), Caging Glaive (D9), Coordinated Assault (D9), Knock Them Down (D9), Ready the Charge (D9), Tactical Withdrawal (D9), Covering Fire (EU10), Instant Planning (DU10), Strider Stance (DU10), Tactical Orders (EU10), Tactical Shift (DU10)
  • Warpriest (Cleric): Burden of Earth (A1/Earth Domain), Granite Shield (E3/Earth Domain), Healing Word (Earth Domain Feature), Blessing of Dust (E7/Earth Domain), Hammering Wind (E3/Storm Domain), Wrathful Lightning (E7/Storm Domain), Inspire Fervor (D5), Dismissal (D9), Astral Refuge (DU10), Knights of Unyielding Valor (DU10), Recall Ally (EU10), Wall of Shields (DU10)

Once again, the Marshall is a powerhouse class for tactical leadership, and has a wide range of powers in this category totactical position choose from, as well as a couple decent class features.  The Shaman and Bard are also strong contenders for shifting a battlefield in favor of the heroes, and can move both allies and enemies with great effect.  On the other end of the spectrum, the Cleric classes are a little weak here, although the Earth Domain of the Warpriest has some fairly decent abilities.  Sadly, the Artificer class has few powers in this category, and their selection is quite lacking.

Tactical Position Scores:
Ardent: 3.5
Artificer: 1
Bard: 4
Templar (Cleric): 2
Rune Priest: 3
Sentinel (Druid): 3
Shaman: 4.5
Marshall (Warlord): 5
Warpriest (Cleric): 2.5

Tactical Assault

[Leaders can grant their allies the ability to strike enemies, forgoing their own attacks in favor of dealing damage through their comrades.  In some cases, Leaders can also cause enemies to attack other enemies instead of the adventurers.]

  • Ardent: Ire Strike (A1), Ire Strike (A1/Aug 1/Aug 2), Implanted Suggestion (D1), Wormhole Plunge (D1), Opportunity Seized (EU6), Courageous Strike (A7/Aug 2), Forward-Thinking Cut (A7/Aug 2), Mindlink Strike (A7), Mindlink Strike (A7/Aug 1/Aug 2), Trailblazing Assault (A7/Aug 2), Unhinging Strike (A7), Unhinging Strike (A7/Aug 1/Aug 2), Passage of Swords (D9), Spatial Anomaly (D9)
  • Bard: Staggering Note (A1), Blunder (E1), Thunder’s Calling (E1), Arrow of Warning (D1), Unicorn’s Charge (E3), Song of Discord (D5), Counterpoint (D9)
  • Templar (Cleric): Divine Castigation (D5), Hallowed Advance (D5), Inspire Fervor (D5)
  • Rune Priest: Anvil of Battle (E1/RoD), Symbol of Wrath Reversed (E3), Word of Befuddlement (E7/RoD), Rune of Boundless Fury (D9)
  • Shaman: Spirit’s Prey (Watcher Spirit Class Feature), Claws of the Eagle (A1), Spirit Infusion (A1), Ironbreaker Claws (E1), Great Watcher Spirit (D1), Infectious Spirit (E3), Sly Fox Spirit (E3), Vengeful Blood Spirits (D5), Spirit of Weakness (E7), Ancient Warlord’s Inspiration (D9), Four-Armed is Forewarned (D9)
  • Marshall (Warlord): Bravura Presence (Class Feature), Brash Assault (A1), Commander’s Strike (A1), Direct the Strike (A1), Opening Shove (A1), Viper’s Strike (A1), Diabolic Stratagem (E1), Hammer and Anvil (E1), Overwhelming Force Trap (E1), Powerful Warning (E1), Provocative Order (E1), Race the Arrow (E1), Vengeance is Mine (E1), Concentrated Attack (D1), Create a Target (D1), Destructive Surprise (D1), Lamb to the Slaughter (D1), Leader’s Instincts (D1), Orchestrated Offensive (D1), Battering Command (E3), Devastating Offensive (E3), Interrupting Strike (E3), Create Opportunity (D5), Directed Attack (D5), Scent of Victory (D5), Staggering Spin (D5), Guileful Switch (EU6), Deadly Returns (E7), Friendly Fire (E7), On my Mark (E7), Provoke Overextension (E7), Surprise Attack (E7), Awakened Wrath (D9), Iron Dragon Charge (D9), Knock Them Down (D9), Ready the Charge (D9), Shift the Field (D9), Stay on Target (D9), Warlord’s Recovery (D9), Rallying Deflection (EU10)
  • Warpriest (Cleric): Divine Castigation (D5), Hallowed Advance (D5), Inspire Fervor (D5)

tactical assaultIt is no surprise that once again the Marshall dominates the scoring for this category, possessing some amazing powers to grant their allies extra attacks during a combat.  Since the advent of the Dark Sun Campaign Setting, the Shaman has also received some potent tactical assault powers, with Spirit Infusion being a great boon to their arsenal.  On the other end of the scales, the Artificer and Sentinel apparently have no powers to grant their comrades attacks out of turn, and the Cleric classes have a selection of only three daily 5th Level powers to choose from here.

Tactical Assault Scores:
Ardent: 3
Artificer: 0
Bard: 2
Templar (Cleric): 1
Rune Priest: 1.5
Sentinel (Druid): 0
Shaman: 4
Marshall (Warlord): 5
Warpriest (Cleric): 1

Final Assessment

When we take a tally of all the scores for all categories of Tactical Leadership, it is evident that some Leaders have a hard time cutting it as a dux bellorum in the heat of combat:

Ardent: 9.5
Artificer: 3.5
Bard: 9.5
Templar (Cleric): 7
Rune Priest: 7.5
Sentinel (Druid): 5
Shaman: 13
Marshall (Warlord): 15
Warpriest (Cleric): 7

Clearly, the Artificer and Sentinel were simply not designed to act as tactical leaders, or are lacking the content support to even them out with their peers.  The Marshall (Warlord), Shaman, Bard, and Ardent all have solid powers to act as tactical leaders, while the Cleric classes are somewhat average in their power level.

But when we look at total of all scores for the Leaders, across the four Roundtable blogs, there are some serious gaps in the high and low scoring for the classes:

Leader Class Basic Attributes Healing Bolstering Tactical Leadership Final Score
Ardent 9.5 8 16 9.5 43
Artificer 7.5 10.5 11 3.5 32.5
Bard 10 3.5 13.5 9.5 36.5
Templar (Cleric) 8 13 19 7 47
Rune Priest 8.5 6 9.5 7.5 31.5
Sentinel (Druid) 9 7.5 6 5 27.5
Shaman 8 5.5 15 13 41.5
Marshall (Warlord) 8 7 11.5 15 41.5
Warpriest (Cleric) 9 11.5 17 7 44.5

It is fairly clear that the Artificer, Rune Priest, and Sentinel fall short, well short, of the average total scores, with the Bard ranking pretty close to average.  While the Cleric classes – Templar and Warpriest – dominate the final scores, the Ardent, Shaman, and Marshall all demonstrate exceptional abilities, and score well above the average in their assigned role.

The warrior-philosopher Lao Tzu had this to say about the quality of leadership:

The wicked leader is he who the people despise.
The good leader is he who the people revere.
The great leader is he who the people say, ‘We did it ourselves.’

While none of the Leader classes could be called wicked per se, certainly there are good leaders and great leaders among the D&D 4E classes.  For our purposes, a great leader is one who can keep their allies alive in a battle, give them power to fend off the deadliest attacks from enemies, and who can make their comrades bring the fight home with powerful strikes against their foes.  While all Leaders classes can do these things, some struggle to achieve these goals, while others excel at them, and make 4E combats both exciting and memorable for all the heroes at the table.

So until next blog… I wish you Happy Gaming!

About The Author

Michael is an Adept of a Secret Order of Dungeon Masters, and dwells in a hidden realm with his two evil cat-familiars, deep within the Vale of Wolverines, called by some "Michigan". He has been esoterically conjuring D&D Campaigns for nearly a Third of a Century, and has been known to cast ritual blogs concerning Dungeons & Dragons every few days with some regularity. Michael has freelanced for Wizards of the Coast, and writes reviews of D&D and other Role-Playing Game products on EN World News.


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