# Does a Barbarian need to start out adjacent to his ultimate target to use Pressing Strike?

1. Suppose a Barbarian (with a reach 1 weapon) isn't adjacent to any enemy, but there is one 1 or 2 squares away. Can he use Pressing Strike to shift adjacent to that enemy and attack all in one action?
2. Suppose a Barbarian is adjacent to enemy A, but really wants to attack enemy B who isn't adjacent. Can he use Pressing Strike to shift away from A and get to B?

Or is Pressing Strike only usable to circle around/barge past the enemy you want to attack? Basically, when are you required to declare the ultimate target? What if the target shifts or teleports away as an immediate action while you're in the process of shifting -- can you pick a different target or does the action end?

Pressing Strike
At-Will Standard Action
Melee Weapon
Target: One Creature
Keywords: Primal, Weapon
Effect: Before the attack, you shift 2 squares. You can move through an
enemy's space during the shift but you can't end there.
Attack: Strength vs. AC
Hit: 1[W] + Str modifier damage, and you push the target 1 square. If you are
raging, the attack deals 1d6 extra damage.

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It seems that Pressing Strike has been errata'ed such that the Target line is blow the Effect line in the power write-up. Which is a very relevant change. – Simon Withers Nov 12 '12 at 17:28

Based on what you posted the following is true:

You must start the attack in range for the attack

However the online compendium has a different version. It reads

Pressing Strike
At-Will Standard Action
Melee Weapon
Keywords: Primal, Weapon
Effect: Before the attack, you shift 2 squares. You can move through an
enemy's space during the shift but you can't end there.
Target: One Creature
Attack: Strength vs. AC
Hit: 1[W] + Str modifier damage, and you push the target 1 square. If you are
raging, the attack deals 1d6 extra damage.


The different order here changes the ruling quite dramatically.

Now both of your scenarios are possible as you must only be in range after you have shifted as the target must be a valid target by the time you have shifted away.

As far as the case of the immediate action, it still depends on the trigger. If the trigger is the movement adjacent then you are free to pick a different target (you've not yet made the decision as far as the power is concerned). However, if it's an immediate interrupt on the targetting of the mob then the action is lost.

All this said, Howling strike with a charge is often a better option than pressing strike, unless you can use pressing strike to set up flanking. Flanking is better than charging, unless you are well optimized for the charge (horned helm and vanguard weapon come to mind). The bonus damage for either is the same so you should be aiming for the biggest to-hit bonus.

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Are you sure about that change? While you read attack, miss, and effect in order, I don't ever recall seeing a power with a target line after an effect line, and so question application of read powers in or order to the targeting decision. – Simon Withers Nov 9 '12 at 2:33
Hrmmm... I've been looking for Swordmage powers that would misbehave with your interpretation (teleportation seemed a likely avenue to find something that didn't work right) and found Whirling Threat that in order reads "Effect: before the attack, you teleport squares. Target: ..." which, by the ordering of the effect and target lines, provides strong support to your interpretation. Though this does somewhat nerf Blink Assault (both from Arcane Power, p60 and p61) – Simon Withers Nov 9 '12 at 3:56
@waxeagle The online compendium has moved the 'Target' line after the 'Effect' line for this power, suggesting you can indeed use the shift to move witin range of your desired target. – Ananisapta Nov 9 '12 at 12:27
@SimonWithers yep, since the Target line is before the Effect line on Blink Assault, it only works if the swordmage starts out adjacent to his opponent, and it only allows him/her to move to a different side of the opponent. The swordmage will be adjacent to his opponent most of the time anyway, so it's still somewhat useful...it just doesn't work for engaging a new opponent. – Snowbody Nov 9 '12 at 15:03