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Key ability

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A key ability is an ability for which the ability's score or modifier is used frequently by a class. For example, Strength is a key ability for fighters because it determines the accuracy (attack rolls) of most fighter powers, and how hard they hit (damage rolls).

Classes typically list 3 to 4 key abilities, though depending on a player's specific focus and direction some of those abilities may become more or less important than advertised. For example, warlock lists Constitution as a key ability, but warlocks who do not take any powers that rely on Constitution will not depend on that ability score nearly as much as those who choose many such powers.

Class Role Power Source Key Abilities Source
Ardent Leader Psionic Charisma, Constitution, Wisdom Player's Handbook 3
Artificer Leader Arcane Intelligence, Constitution, Wisdom Eberron Player's Guide
Assassin Striker Shadow Dexterity, Charisma, Constitution Dragon Magazine 379
Assassin (Executioner) Striker Martial Dexterity, Charisma Heroes of Shadow
Avenger Striker Divine Wisdom, Dexterity, Intelligence Player's Handbook 2
Barbarian Striker Primal Strength, Constitution, Charisma Player's Handbook 2
Barbarian (Berserker) Defender and Striker Martial Strength, Dexterity Heroes of the Feywild
Bard Leader Arcane Charisma, Intelligence, Constitution Player's Handbook 2
Bard (Skald) Leader Arcane Charisma, Intelligence Heroes of the Feywild
Battlemind Defender Psionic Constitution, Wisdom, Charisma Player's Handbook 3
Cleric (Templar) Leader Divine Strength or Wisdom; Charisma Multiple Sources
Cleric (Warpriest) Leader Divine Wisdom, Constitution Heroes of the Fallen Lands
Druid Controller Primal Wisdom, Dexterity, Constitution Player's Handbook 2
Druid (Protector) Controller Primal Wisdom, Constitution, Dexterity Heroes of the Feywild
Druid (Sentinel) Leader Primal Wisdom, Constitution Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms
Fighter (Knight) Defender Martial Strength, Constitution Heroes of the Fallen Lands
Fighter (Slayer) Striker Martial Strength, Dexterity Heroes of the Fallen Lands
Fighter (Weaponmaster) Defender Martial Strength; Dexterity, Wisdom, or Constitution Multiple Sources
Hybrid Ardent Leader Psionic Charisma, Constitution, Wisdom Player's Handbook 3
Hybrid Artificer Leader Arcane Intelligence, Constitution, Wisdom Player's Handbook 3
Hybrid Assassin Striker Shadow Dexterity, Charisma, Constitution Dragon Magazine 385
Hybrid Assassin (Executioner) Striker Martial Dexterity, Charisma Dragon Magazine 400
Hybrid Avenger Striker Divine Wisdom, Dexterity, Intelligence Player's Handbook 3
Hybrid Barbarian Striker Primal Strength, Constitution, Charisma Player's Handbook 3
Hybrid Bard Leader Arcane Charisma, Intelligence, Constitution Player's Handbook 3
Hybrid Battlemind Defender Psionic Constitution, Wisdom, Charisma Player's Handbook 3
Hybrid Cleric Leader Divine Wisdom, Strength, Charisma Player's Handbook 3
Hybrid Druid Controller Primal Wisdom, Dexterity, Constitution Player's Handbook 3
Hybrid Druid (Sentinel) Leader Primal Wisdom, Constitution Dragon Magazine 402
Hybrid Fighter Defender Martial Strength, Dexterity, Wisdom, Constitution Player's Handbook 3
Hybrid Invoker Controller Divine Wisdom, Constitution, Intelligence Player's Handbook 3
Hybrid Monk Striker Psionic Dexterity, Strength, Wisdom Player's Handbook 3
Hybrid Paladin Defender Divine Strength, Charisma, Wisdom Player's Handbook 3
Hybrid Paladin (Blackguard) Striker Divine Strength, Charisma Dragon Magazine 402
Hybrid Paladin (Cavalier) Defender Divine Strength, Charisma Dragon Magazine 402
Hybrid Psion Controller Psionic Intelligence, Charisma, Wisdom Player's Handbook 3
Hybrid Ranger Striker Martial Strength, Dexterity, Wisdom Player's Handbook 3
Hybrid Rogue Striker Martial Dexterity, Strength, Charisma Player's Handbook 3
Hybrid Runepriest Leader Divine Strength, Constitution, Wisdom Player's Handbook 3
Hybrid Seeker Controller Primal Wisdom, Strength, Dexterity Player's Handbook 3
Hybrid Shaman Leader Primal Wisdom, Constitution, Intelligence Player's Handbook 3
Hybrid Sorcerer Striker Arcane Charisma, Dexterity, Strength Player's Handbook 3
Hybrid Swordmage Defender Arcane Intelligence, Strength, Constitution Player's Handbook 3
Hybrid Vampire Striker Shadow Dexterity, Charisma Dragon Magazine 402
Hybrid Warden Defender Primal Strength, Constitution, Wisdom Player's Handbook 3
Hybrid Warlock Striker Arcane Charisma, Constitution, Intelligence Player's Handbook 3
Hybrid Warlock (Binder) Controller Arcane Charisma, Dexterity, Intelligence Dragon Magazine 402
Hybrid Warlord Leader Martial Strength, Intelligence, Charisma Player's Handbook 3
Hybrid Wizard Controller Arcane Intelligence, Wisdom, Dexterity Player's Handbook 3
Invoker Controller Divine Wisdom, Constitution, Intelligence Player's Handbook 2
Monk Striker Psionic Dexterity, Strength, Wisdom Player's Handbook 3
Paladin Defender Divine Strength, Charisma, Wisdom Player's Handbook
Paladin (Blackguard) Striker Divine Strength, Charisma Heroes of Shadow
Paladin (Cavalier) Defender Divine Strength, Charisma Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms
Psion Controller Psionic Intelligence, Charisma, Wisdom Player's Handbook 3
Ranger Striker Martial Strength, Dexterity, Wisdom Player's Handbook
Ranger (Hunter) Controller Martial Dexterity, Wisdom Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms
Ranger (Scout) Striker Martial Dexterity, Wisdom Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms
Rogue (Scoundrel) Striker Martial Dexterity; Strength, Charisma Multiple Sources
Rogue (Thief) Striker Martial Dexterity; Strength or Charisma Heroes of the Fallen Lands
Runepriest Leader Divine Strength, Constitution, Wisdom Player's Handbook 3
Seeker Controller Primal Wisdom, Strength, Dexterity Player's Handbook 3
Shaman Leader Primal Wisdom, Constitution, Intelligence Player's Handbook 2
Sorcerer Striker Arcane Charisma, Dexterity, Strength Player's Handbook 2
Sorcerer (Elementalist) Striker Arcane Charisma, Constitution Heroes of the Elemental Chaos
Swordmage Defender Arcane Intelligence, Strength, Constitution Forgotten Realms Player's Guide
Vampire Striker Shadow Dexterity, Charisma Heroes of Shadow
Warden Defender Primal Strength, Constitution, Wisdom Player's Handbook 2
Warlock Striker Arcane Charisma, Constitution, Intelligence Multiple Sources
Warlock (Binder) Controller Arcane Charisma; Dexterity or Intelligence Heroes of Shadow
Warlock (Hexblade) Striker Arcane Charisma; Dexterity or Constitution Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms
Warlord (Marshal) Leader Martial Strength; Intelligence or Charisma Multiple Sources
Wizard (Arcanist) Controller Arcane Intelligence; Constitution, Dexterity, or Wisdom Multiple Sources
Wizard (Bladesinger) Controller Arcane Intelligence, Dexterity Neverwinter Campaign Setting
Wizard (Mage) Controller Arcane Intelligence; Constitution, Wisdom, or Charisma Heroes of the Fallen Lands
Wizard (Sha’ir) Controller Arcane Intelligence, Constitution Heroes of the Elemental Chaos
Wizard (Witch) Controller Arcane Intelligence, Wisdom Heroes of the Feywild

See alsoEdit

  • Dump stat, an ability score that is of little or no benefit to a build
  • MAD, a disadvantageous need to keep multiple key abilities high

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