I'm interested in making a character that specializes in polearms and is more Striker oriented. I'm have a bit of trouble with where to start looking. If a class already has this built-in that would be perfect!

In the PHB it says that the stat associated with Polearms is Wisdom. I've looked at the Paladin, Fighter, and Warlord and none of them have Wisdom as a recommended stat and none really look to be a Striker either.

I'm really interested in finding a good already existing class to build from and some feats to improve my damage and attack with polearms.

I was leaning towards a Glaive for the 2d4 as a higher minimum damage has a higher value for me personally; if that helps any.

  • \$\begingroup\$ "In PHB1 it says that the associated stat is wisdom with Polearms." What d'you mean? Where does it say that? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 24, 2014 at 5:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ @JonathanHobbs It's a table in the Fighter class section, page 77 (PHB original printing, pre-errata). \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 24, 2014 at 6:00
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Ethereal The "associated stat" is just a tip for what stat is important for later feats that improve that weapon group. It's not required for any other reason than that. Also, glaive is improved by some feats that have Wisdom requirements, but also by some feats that have Dexterity requirements (since it's a Heavy Blade too). Strength is also important for every weapon and isn't in that table at all, so keep that in mind too. So: look at the feats you want, not that table of associated stats. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 24, 2014 at 6:05
  • \$\begingroup\$ Should possibly be [optimization]? \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jul 24, 2014 at 6:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ Is your campaign using essentials and/or Dragon Magazine? What kind of secondary role are you expecting? Do you want to keep it simple or make it fancy? \$\endgroup\$
    – Sheepy
    Commented Jul 24, 2014 at 6:40

2 Answers 2


Polearms are good for control, not damage, unless you are a Dragonborn with high Strength, or a level 16 Iron Vanguard

As I have written elsewhere, there are 3 good reasons to use reach weapons, and a bad one.
Damage is not really one of them. Polearm Gamble is great if your DM loves you or absolutely lacks any tactical sense, but if this is not the case you will never use it.


Paladin is one of the worst classes for a Polearm build, as Brian Ballsun-Stanton explained on the same link, they lose a lot by not being adjacent.

Fighters also need to be adjacent for their punishment, but at least they get easy access to the great Polearm Momentum feat and lots of pushing and sliding powers.

Wardens can pull off some great tricks with a Polearm and a Fighter multiclass, but they need to hybrid for a pushing at-will power.

Barbarians with a Fighter multiclass and the Savage Reach or Aggressive Lunge power are probably the class that benefits most from polearms and does a decent damage besides. Consider the Novice Power feat to take Rain of Blows with a Greatspear.

Only a special build of Slayers are good polearm wielders. From Paragon, you can create a revenant half-elf with Eldritch Strike as an at-will power. They are crippled from levels 1-10, but after that they are devastating.

Leaders generally benefit a lot from polearms. As they are not so resilient, want to stay away from the bad guys, but still want to be able to hit with melee powers. Warlords, Aritificers and Ardents are all great, but none of them excels at striking.


As accuracy is more important for average damage than the base damage of the weapon, you should go for the Greatspear. Spears also have good feat support, so unless you intend to use the weapon as an implement or need the Heavy Blade Opportunity, you should pick Greatspear over Glaive.


Polearm Momentum is great for control, and with Draconic Arrogance or Iron Vanguard it even adds damage. You might need a Fighter multiclass for this.

Impaling Spear improves your accuracy quite a bit if you use Melee Basic Attacks.

Surprising Charge is probably better with a Gouge, but a Greatspear is also good.

Spear Push is good to get the push 2 needed for Polearm Momentum.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I have to agree here, pole arms are fantastic for controlling and defending, I never found much that helps them do more damage. My original disgusting push fighter build used pole arms before I found out that a hammer and shield were slightly better (and it also turned out later that flail was even better than that, but that is hardly here nor there for this question.) \$\endgroup\$
    – trogdor
    Commented Dec 28, 2015 at 4:49

Given your party composition, a dragonborn bravura warlord may fit you quite well.

While a greatspear charge slayer can get to preposterous damage, it's rather boring as all you do every round is charge.

As a bravura warlord, your primary weapon is your party's rogue, which means that you can take advantage of all of his optimisation on top of your own.

Brash assault provides:

Effect: The target can make a melee basic attack against you as a free action and has combat advantage for the attack. If the target makes this attack, an ally of your choice within 5 squares of the target can make a basic attack against the target as a free action and has combat advantage for the attack

Which, when combined with the defense boosting harlequin style feat means that you attack and then set up the rogue to stab the enemy in the back. Bravura warlords have tons of options and can take advantage of reach weapons quite well, while still having plenty of tactical and heavy-damage options in the thick of combat. Alternatively, putting the charge chassis on a warlord can provide striker levels of damage with Inevitable Wave while providing interesting leadery-control the rest of the time.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Gouge is not a polearm. \$\endgroup\$
    – András
    Commented Jul 25, 2014 at 12:16

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