Squishiest. Defender. Ever.

The Mesmer embodies a lot of the things I’ve been trying to say about defenders for a long time now — they’re about potential damage rather than simply blocking hits. To me, the Mesmer is a much better expression of the “arcane defender” the Swordmage should have been — regardless of how much fun teleporting attacks can be.

Here’s the Heroic Mesmer class for reference:
Essentials Dungeons & Dragons GW Mesmer Class (v0.1)

The Mesmer uses twelve-sided dice for damage. I hope you’re all okay with that. I’m really tired of seeing parades of dee-fours, dee-sixes, and dee-eights in spellcaster powers, so the Mesmer uses dee-twelves. I think it’s appropriate.

Now, the Mesmer has two main modes to keep in mind: dampening melee attacks and punishing ranged attacks. You might look at this and think the Mesmer has everything you might ever want from a character ever. Then reality hits like a ton of bricks.

Mesmers have a wizard’s hit points. Ten plus four per level is hard to live with — and with the amount of punishment you’ll be handing out, it’s going to be very hard to live with only that much. Then there’s the fact that a Mesmer’s Domination Magic only works when defending allies — you can’t use Empathy on attacks against yourself.

Despite having Charisma (Will) as a primary ability, and Intelligence (AC, Reflex) as a secondary ability, the Mesmer has very little to protect them from attacks in the first place. Compounding that is the fact they can only equip cloth armor to start.

Slippery Mind is inspired by both the Third Edition rogue feature of the same name, and the Fourth Edition warden’s Font of Life feature. Immediate and Opportunity actions are so important to the Mesmer, they try to keep them at all times.

Mesmers get some goodies at higher levels, like Cry of Frustration that allows them to mark all enemies within 5 squares whenever they use Second Wind or Total Defense. And believe me, you’ll want to use them for the +2 defenses they grant. Plus, who wouldn’t want to draw the maximum possible attention to one’s self?

Shatter Hex, based on the Guild Wars skill of the same name, grants an ally a saving throw against an ongoing condition, with the chance to blow up said condition in the face of nearby enemies. Imagine an ettercap’s surprise when the stunned warrior suddenly stops being stunned. (Also, Intelligence modifier damage. Huzzah!)

I think Mind Wrack is one of my favorite Heroic capstone features — adding the psychic keyword to powers with the force keyword. It makes the damage these powers deal that much harder to resist — force resistance is already pretty rare, as is psychic resistance, but “psychic force” damage? That’s some scariness right there.