Build of the Week – The Ultimate Tank

Well, Gamer Nation, I’m back with a few builds today. I’ll be hitting you first with the Ultimate Tank Build, and then a couple of smaller builds as requested by someone one the d20 Radio boards.

The Ultimate Tank is a character designed to be able to take hits and keep on going, coming back from the brink of death time and again to continue fighting in both hit points and the condition track. This build also contains strong ties to the Defender role in Dungeons and Dragons 4E with it’s later ability to “mark” a number of targets, giving them a penalty to hit any target other than you.

The Ultimate Tank

Species – Gamorrean. The +2 species bonus to Fortitude Defense and the free Improved Damage Threshold traits almost make this species a no brainer. The Primitive trait doesn’t hurt them so bad, since they’ll be using melee weapons in the first place and no class gets Advanced Melee Weapons as a starting feat.

Starting Ability Scores

Strength – 14 (+2)

Dexterity – 12 (+1)

Constitution – 14 (+2)

Intelligence – 10 (+0)

Wisdom – 11 (+0)

Charisima – 10 (+0)

Trained Skills




Level Progression

Level 1 – Soldier 1

Starting Feats – Armor Proficiency (light, medium), Weapon Proficiency (simple weapons), Improved Damage Threshold

Level 1 Feat – Extra Second Wind: One of the key things for this build is the ability to keep coming back for seconds in battle, and the ability to catch multiple second winds per day allows you do this.

Level 1 Soldier Talent – Armored Defense: Wearing armor is going to help you to shake off serious blows, but it’s never fun being easier to hit just because you choose to wear armor. This talent lets you add either your heroic level or armor bonus to Reflex Defense, whichever is higher.

Level 2 – Soldier 2

Level 2 Soldier Bonus Feat – Armor Proficiency (heavy): Heavy armor gives you both the biggest bonus to Reflex Defense at lower level as well as helping to increase your Fortitude Defense and Damage Threshold, which is going to help you stay up when you do take hits.

Level 3 – Soldier 3

Level 3 Feat – Weapon Proficiency (advanced melee weapons): Advanced melee weapons are generally a better choice for a melee character, and even though Gamorreans do have access to the Primitive Warrior feat from the Rebellion Era Campaign Guide, the Advanced Melee Weapons Proficiency fulfills a requirement to get into the Gladiator prestige class.

Level 3 Soldier Talent – Improved Armored Defense: This talent lets you add half your armor bonus on top of your heroic level, making wearing armor an even better option for you.

Level 4 – Soldier 4

Ability Score Increases – +1 Dexterity, +1 Constitution

Level 4 Soldier Bonus Feat – Flurry (KOTOR 33): This talent lets you take a penalty to your Reflex Defense in order to get a bonus to your attack roll, which can help to overcome opponents with higher than average defenses without hurting your higher than average defense too much. This also fills a requirement for the Elite Trooper Prestige class.

Level 5 – Soldier 5

Level 5 Soldier Talent – Second Skin: This talent lets you increase both the Reflex and Fortitude Defense bonuses on your worn armor by 1, which is a no brainer for a character who like his armor.

Level 6 – Soldier 6

Level 6 Feat – Recovering Surge (RECG 30): This talent lets you also move +1 step up the Condition Track when you catch a second wind.

Level 6 Soldier Bonus Feat – Martial Arts I: This feat not only gives you another attack option should you need it, but also gives you a +1 to your Reflex Defense as well as fulfill the last feat prerequisite for your prestige class choices.

Level 7 – Soldier 7

Level 7 Soldier Talent – Tough as Nails: This talent acts as the Extra Second Wind talent, letting you take another second wind throughout the course of the day.

Level 8 – Soldier 7/Gladiator 1

Ability Score Increases: +1 Dexterity, +1 Constitution

Level 1 Gladiator Talent – Unstoppable (KOTOR 45): This talent lets you, once per encounter, simply decide that you are going to move one step less down the Condition Track. This is a great ability, especially considering that you don’t need to spend an action or a Force Point.

Level 9 – Soldier 7/Gladiator 2

Level 9 Feat – Fast Surge (RECG 29): This feat lets you catch a second wind as a Free Action, which may not seem so great at first until you realize that you can take a Free Action even when it isn’t your turn. So if you’re surrounded and about to go down, you can suddenly get yourself back in the fight and not worry about going down on the next enemies attack.

Level 10 – Soldier 7/Gladiator 2/Elite Trooper 1

Level 1 Elite Trooper Talent – Mandalorian Glory (KOTOR 38): This talent gives you a +5 bonus on your next attack roll when you drop an opponent, which isn’t bad. This also opens up your next Elite Trooper talent.

Level 11 – Soldier 7/Gladiator 2/Elite Trooper 2

Level 12 – Soldier 7/Gladiator 3/Elite trooper 2

Ability Score Increases: +1 Strength, +1 Constitution

Level 12 Feat – Unstoppable Combatant (RECG 30); This feat lets you catch multiple second winds per encounter should you need to, which can really help to save your bacon (couldn’t help the pun, sorry), should a fight really start turning against you.

Level 3 Gladiator Talent – Personal Vendetta (KOTOR 45): This talent lets you take a swift action to apply a -2 penalty to the attack rolls of all enemies within 12 squares should they choose to attack someone other than you, letting you “mark” all of those opponents to put it in 4th Edition terms.

Level 13 – Soldier 7/Gladiator 4/Elite Trooper 2

Level 14 – Soldier 7/Gladiator 4/Elite Trooper 3

Level 3 Elite Trooper Talent – Armored Mandalorian (KOTOR 38): This talent lets you add your armor’s equipment bonus to Fortitude Defense to your Damage Reduction, up to your normal Damage Reduction score as provided by your Elite Trooper class feature, effectively doubling your DR.

Level 15 – Soldier 7/Gladiator 4/Elite Trooper 4

Level 15 Feat – Quick Comeback (RECG 35): This feat allows you to take a single swift action after an attack has moved you down the Condition Track to move +1 step up. This is a fantastic ability, especially since as longa as you’re only moving one step down the track with each attack, as long as you have that single swift action open to you (which a melee character probably is going to), it’s like you didn’t move down at all.

Level 16 – Soldier 7/Gladiator 4/Elite Trooper 5

Ability Score Increases: +1 Strength, +1 Constitution

Level 5 Elite Trooper Talent – Strength in Numbers (CWCG 40): This talent gives you an additional +2 bonus to your DR when you start your turn within 10 squares of an ally. This is great, especially if you can work with another melee character.

Level 17 – Soldier 7/Gladiator 4/Elite Trooper 6

Level 18 – Soldier 7/Gladiator 4/Elite Trooper 7

Level 18 Feat – Increased Resistance (RECG 34): This feat is a little more situational, giving you a +2 to your Fortitude Defense until the end of your next turn when an attack or ability that specifically targets Fortitude Defense fails to overcome it. Unfortunately, this doesn’t work when an attack hits but fails to move you down the Condition Track, but works really well against certain Force Powers and enemies that like to use poison.

Level 7 Elite Trooper Talent – Indomitable: This talent lets you move +5 steps up the Condition Track once per day, which really helps when the chips are all down.

Level 19 – Soldier 7/Gladiator 4/Elite Trooper 8

Level 20 – Soldier 7/Gladiator 4/Elite Trooper 9

Ability Score Increases: +1 Strength, +1 Constitution

Level 9 Elite Trooper Talent – Juggernaut: This talent lets you still move your full speed in medium or heavy armor.

Equipment Selections: Make sure you get yourself the best suit of heavy armor you can afford at the earliest possible moment. As soon as you can afford it, look at both the Fortified Armor and Superior Fortified Armor traits to increase the armors equipment bonus to Fortitude Defense as well as increasing your Damage Threshold. For example, if you pick up a suit of heavy beskar’gam, and give it the Superior Fortified Armor trait, at level 20 you’ll have a Reflex Defense of 41. a Fortitude Defense of 47, and a Will Defense of 30. You’ll also have a DR of 8, which increases to 10 when you start within 10 squares of an ally.

Other than that, as soon as you pick up the Proficiency feat, pick yourself up an arg’garok which your species choice lets you treat this weapon as an advanced melee weapon instead of an exotic weapon.

One important thing to note is that while this character can stand toe to toe with the biggest and baddest melee monsters out there, they do suffer from a decidedly average Will Defense, so keep that in mind when dealing with Force Users and other creatures and characters that can target your Will Defense with some of their attacks.


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s