I'm in a party of mainly new D&Ders, one of which is playing a Battlemind. One of his attacks, Battlemind's Demand, marks one or two targets in a close blast 3 for the duration of the encounter. All attacks that trigger off the target violating the mark explicitly state that the target has to be adjacent to the Battlemind, (the attacks I'm referring to are Blurred Step and Mind Spike.)

Our question, therefore, is why would you mark a target that is not adjacent to you? Is there a reason beyond just the -2 penalty to rolls?

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ The major point of marking is not necessarily to impose penalties on your enemies, but to encourage them to attack you so they don't take those penalties. As a defender with (presumably) higher AC, healing surges, and mitigation powers, you want the enemy to focus their attacks on you. This way, your fragile melee strikers and leaders can do their job more safely. \$\endgroup\$
    – dpatchery
    Sep 12 '11 at 11:55

It's a tactical question, consider a simple example:

  . . . . .
  . X B # .
  . . # # R
  . . # # Y

Where X is an enemy adjacent to you, B is you, R is your Rogue Friend, and Y is another enemy. # represents difficult terrain. "." represents normal terrain. This assumes Y is at least as strong if not stronger then X. If Y is instead a minion, and X is a solo not much point obviously.

  1. If you mark X, then X will attack you (the alternative being to move by you to get to the Rogue at a penalty, which in this case would almost certainty take either two actions or an OA). Y will assuredly attack the Rogue.

  2. If you mark Y, then X will still attack you (since the alternative is wasting his turn and giving you a free attack), and Y has to choose between trying to hurt the Rogue at a -10% hit chance, and shifting/moving into the difficult terrain to attack the Battlemind instead. Now this is a more difficult choice for Y.

It should be clear that Case 2 is tactically better then Case 1. Many similar cases can come up in game play, this is just an arbitrary example.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Excellent tactical explanation. \$\endgroup\$
    – wax eagle
    Sep 14 '11 at 11:38

Its mostly the penalty. As you can see there aren't many powers that allow you to affect an area not adjacent to you.

However, you are talking about reducing to-hit by 10% this can be a sizable reduction in average damage taken by your party. Also, it allows you to effect an area larger than the standard burst 1-2 area that most defenders can hold sway over.

Finally, the mark is all about inciting aggression, if you are in good position but want something to come to you, you can mark them and make them think twice before trying to hit anyone else.


One thing I haven't seen noted yet is the fact that should you later move into range of the targets marked until end of encounter (or they to you) you will be able to trigger your abilities if they fail to include you in their attacks.

The duration of the mark makes position less important in the short-term. You still get the -2 at range, but you gain access to your more potent mark based abilities if you close with them (or have a ranged one).


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