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Here is a link to my level 7 Warblade, Vesuvio Monteverdi. He is a mobile DEX fighter, happy to use a rapier. He is a swashbuckler in spirit, focused on Ironheart, Tiger Claw, and Diamond Mind Maneuvers.

(Obviously I am nerfing him a bunch with no big weapon, low STR, or power attack. That's a campaign/party balance thing. I am completely fine with it as he is a terrifically fun character to play.)

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1qzUks8Z9oDlZNM_ULfav1_x50Ui7iKN2YPPUM1Sh5x0/pubhtml#

The original plan was to just take Warblade through all 20 levels.

Inspiration hit! What if I dipped two levels of swordsage at levels 9 and 10!

Here is a preliminary breakdown:

The negatives:
1. Lose out on double warblade stances capstone at 20.
2. d8 hp.
3. Slows down warblade one (or two) levels, (access, maneuvers, stances).
4. Slows down BAB one level.

The small pros:
1. +1 init.
2. Extra stance.
3. Good will and reflex.
4. Weapon focus rapiers.

The big pros:
1. Can have all three concentration save counters ready in addition to regular warblade maneuvers.
2. Get access to my favorite stances, Island of Blades and Assassin's Stance.

Big question:

Is the temporary power boost of all those save counters worth the snubbing of a full warblade?

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Moment of perfect mind is the important one. Action before thought and mind over matter are... decidedly less so. Reflex saves are usually the least dire (by a fair margin), and while Fortitude saves matter a good deal, they are also a good save for you and use the same ability score (Constitution). Your Concentration check may well be higher than your Fortitude save, but not by nearly as much as for your Will save. So I’d say that having action before thought and mind over matter would be nice, but not amazingly valuable.

And while island of blades and assassin’s stance are very nice, it’s not as though the warblade lacks for strong stances.

As for the other pros,

  1. Initiative is, of course, critical, but +1 isn’t a huge bump. Minor.
  2. Extra stances are minor in the extreme; you can only use one at a time for the most part, and you’ll already have that. Not worth much.
  3. At 20th, these represent fairly small improvements in these saves. It’s certainly nice but it’s not the be-all, end-all by 20th level when you have +6 base, possibly +2-ish from ability scores (enhancement bonuses to ability scores start to become quite affordable even for dump stats), and +5 from a cloak of resistance. Another +3 is a decent wodge but not incredible.
  4. +1 attack bonus is just not remotely important at that level. Actually, it’s completely obviated by the fact that the single-classed warblade approach nets you +1 BAB more.

So personally, I think the benefits of this multiclassing are somewhat less than you imagine. And dual stance is really, really good. I think the value of multiclassing into swordsage is quite enough to justify itself at any level but 20th, where it means giving up dual stance.

If you really want to multiclass, I would instead go whole-hog on it, angling for master of the nine, using the Carmendine Monk feat to swap Wisdom to AC for Intelligence to AC, possibly dipping swashbuckler or factotum for more Int-SADness, or cleric to ease the feat requirements for master of the nine.

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