I currently have three fighters that primarily focus in the Kensai enhancement tree: Hamllin (Level 17), Charlock (Level 16) and Stoorage (Level 14). The Kensai tree was really based around multiclassing fighters and monks and a lot of its abilities are based around that synergy. Unfortunately, I don’t really like to multiclass so I inherently loose out on some of that functionality but I still really like this tree. It has a number of unique abilities that I like to use.
The first ability I like to use is Power Surge. Power Surge is one of the core enhancements and is actually an action boost. It is a powerful action boost in that it gives you a +8 Psionic bonus to strength for 60 seconds. I always tend to use this ability just before a large battle or at the beginning of a boss fight. This particular boost tends to stack with the majority of other types of bonuses that I have, although the Warforged Titan cookie also gives a Psionic bonus to strength so it won’t stack with that.
Charlock preparing for the end battle with Power Surge counting down.
Another active ability that is just fun to play around with is Shattering Strike. Shattering Strike can give you up to +3 W damage (if taken three times) and it can reduce an enemies fortification by 15% if the enemy fails a fortitude save. This is a fun little compliment to attacks such as sunder.
Deadly Strike is another action boost ability that is fun to play around with. One thing to note here, to use this particular ability you need to also pick up the attack action boost because Deadly Strike expends one of these when it is activated. Deadly Strike is an attack that is already considered a critical threat if it lands. And if you happen to roll a 20 (vorpal), then that is an automatic 500 damage for the attack.
Hamllin is another one of my Kensai fighters.
Perhaps the funnest ability for the Kensai, at least to me, is the ability called A Good Death. When this attack is initiated it increases your critical multiplier by +1 and if the enemy is below 20% health it will deal out 500 damage. This is an excellent ability to “close” out a battle, especially with an annoying boss.
There are also a number of inactive abilities within this tree that enhance your weapon attacks and damage. I begin to wonder though how the future fighter enhancement pass is going to effect this tree. I imagine there will be more of a focus to providing more melee power to many of these enhancements, similar to what was done with the paladin enhancement pass. I just wonder how the changes will affect the monk and fighter synergy that this tree is purposefully supporting. I don’t mind the tree providing abilities that really only benefit characters that have a monk splash but I would find it much more useful if those same abilities can be useful to characters that don’t have a monk splash. The main ability I’m thinking here is One with The Blade which basically allows you to be centered with your focus weapons, of course if you don’t have any monk levels if has no benefit to you. This is an interesting ability as well because it is a tier 5 ability. It just seems like a lost high level ability for a pure fighter.
In any case, we’ll see what happens whenever the pass does occur. Right now though, I do have fun with the tree and its abilities as they are now. We’ll see what the future holds for the Kensai tree :)!! Thanks for reading everybody and happy hunting!!