Here we go again. The fourth incarnation of the monk/martial artist to hit my computer since the launch of 4e. The Martialist gives us three fairly distinct builds, two based on strength, one based on dexterity. There is a lot of fluff, a lot of powers, a lot of PP's and even epic destinies. In general, just a lot of everything. It is clear that the author is passionated about martial arts, and has made a labor of love. Each part of the body is a different weapon (or rather implement), with different powers tied to each part, although some powers can be used with any part of the body. This should help create very varied Martialist, which is good. It also means we get a lot of powers (around 6 per level, instead of the usual 3-4). Most of the crunch looks fairly solid on top of that, although with the usual encounter powers that have (save ends) conditions (Am I really the only person that believe it is no coincidence that the official encounter powers do not have (save ends) conditions?) and a few powers that are just too powerful (One Strike, One Kill, 6[w] + stun (save ends) with -5 penalty to save).
But the single biggest problem with the class is that these guys will be in for a world of hurt. With leather and low hit points, and few surges, they will constantly be under pressure - unless they take the chain proficiency - which kinda makes for a silly character IMO. That will help, coupled with the "armor of my being" class feature and bonus feats to AC. But I doubt that was the intend of the class. It's basically the same problem that the barbarian had during playtest, but at least he had hit points, good movement, the ability to gain temporary hit points to protect himself. The Martialist has neither of those, and not many powers that give shifting abilities. My (educated) guess is that all but the dexbased build will get raped quickly. On the other hand, the dexbased martial artist has the potential to get great AC, 5 better than a rogue of the same level. All in all, some will probably like it alot, but despite that the good ideas, the plethora of options and my initial intrigue (which is why I bought it), the Martialist just doesn't do it for me. It might for you though.
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