[RPG] How to Rogues maintain combat advantage


I get that if you are hidden from an opponent, you gain combat advantage against them.

I get that if you make a point of it, and you're not getting surprised by the opposition, you should be able to start the combat hidden from your opponent, gaining combat advantage in the first round.

What I don't get is that on the CharOp boards it seems like they assume Rogues get to sneak attack almost all the time, which requires combat advantage. Are they going over the top? Or are there techniques that Rogues can use to maintain combat advantage through most rounds of a fight?

Best Answer

A rogue should be getting combat advantage nearly every round.

There are two main ways.

  1. Flanking - as @Sohum noted a melee rogue is likely to be in the middle of combat. The defender is his very close friend! The defender should be assisting the rogue and actively placing himself in optimal positions each round to enable flanking.
  2. Stealth - used more by ranged rogues, but melee rogues need to be aware of how trivial it is to become hidden in a lot of situations. Make sure you understand the Rules of Hidden Club. After every move you can make a stealth check for free to become hidden if you have total concealment or superior cover to an enemy. Even if you move more than two squares you still have a good chance to beat the passive perception of many monsters.

If you have a character that makes enemies prone on a regular basis, be sure to give them a lot of thumbs up and perhaps an extra share of treasure on occasion! Prone grants combat advantage and it makes a great combo. The defender knocks 'em down, and you ensure they stay down.

Aside from the main ways each rogue needs to gain at least a couple extra ways to gain combat advantage for when the main two aren't available.

  • Rogue powers, many Utility powers give out CA or make it much easier to obtain. Some of my favorites for 2nd and 6th level.
    • Adaptable Flanker (get CA against anyone you and an ally are adjacent to)
    • Sneak in the Attack (give your CA to an ally to use)
    • Chameleon - stay hidden without cover
    • Swift Parry - get hit, get combat advantage and a bonus attack
  • Look for ways to apply status effects that grant Combat advantage as a side effect (blind, stun, daze, prone)
  • Ready - wait for someone to move and give you a better opportunity and then stab 'em with CA