Note: Although high-DEX characters utilizing Weapon Finesse tend to get the most out of Expose Weakness, nearly any melee build can derive some benefit from it, even by just reducing the target's AC and landing a hit that would have otherwise missed.
Type of Feat: Epic
Prerequisites: 21st level, Evasion, Epic Prowess.
Feats Required: Evasion, Epic Prowess.
However, Expose Weakness does not work exactly as advertised:
According to kc2345: “Expose Weakness works nothing like its feat description. Instead, it's a 6s cooldown that modifies your next normal attack. You lose no attacks whatsoever by engaging it.
There are 2 possibilities:
1) If the roll hits, a debuff of DexMod DMG/round and a stacking -3 AC penalty for 5 rounds are applied to the target in addition to the normal attack damage.
2) If the roll misses due to AC/conceal/epic dodge, no debuff is applied, but the user will do full weapon damage as if he/she/it had scored a normal hit.
It's hence beneficial to use whenever available, and is invaluable vs concealed (Swift) enemies. Any class that can get it . . . should do so.”
Type of Feat: Class
Prerequisite: Cleric level 1 (with the Water Domain), Monk level 2, Rogue level 2, Scout level 5, Ranger level 9, Shadowdancer level 2, or Whirling Dervish level 2; Swashbuckler level 10 and Thug level 13 (RoT Custom Class Mods).
Specifics: Whenever a Reflex save is allowed for half damage, the character instead takes no damage if he succeeds at the save.
Feats Required: None
Type of Feat: Epic
Prerequisite: 21st level.
Specifics: The character's skill at combat grows and he gains a +1 bonus to all attacks.
Feats Required: None
Note: Only feats gained during the character levelling process count as prerequisites. Feats granted by items or spells cannot meet the requirements.
Prerequisite Feat Analysis:
Evasion is an automatically granted class feat only available to Cleric (with Water Domain), Monk, Rogue, Ranger, Scout, Swashbuckler (RoT Custom class Mod), Thug (RoT Custom Class Mod), Shadowdancer, and Whirling Dervish.
Epic Prowess is one of the easiest epic feats to get: the only requirement is to be an epic-level character of 21st level or above and eligible to take an epic feat. So get it!
Evasion granting classes:
Cleric 1 – Requirements: Must chose Water Domain
Monk 2 – Requirements: Alignment Restriction: Any lawful
Rogue 2 – Requirements: None
Ranger 9 – Requirements: None
Scout 5 – Requirements: None
Swashbuckler 10 – Requirements: None (RoT Custom Class Mod)
Thug 13 – Requirements: None (RoT Custom Class Mod)
Shadowdancer 2 – Requirements: Class: may not have any Child of Night levels; Feats: Dodge, Mobility; Skills: Move Silently 8 ranks, Hide 10 ranks, Tumble 5 ranks.
Whirling Dervish 2 – Requirements: Base Attack Bonus: +5; Feats: Dodge, Mobility; Skills: Hide 8 ranks, Move Silently 8 ranks, Tumble 8 ranks.
Analysis: Which Class Choice to Get Expose Weakness?
The only real limiting factor in qualifying for Expose Weakness is choosing a class that gets Evasion. Cleric 1, Monk 2 and Rogue 2 are easy limited-level base class dips, with Rogue 2 having no requirements at all.
Even Scout 5 isn’t too much of a base class dip sacrifice since you also get a bonus feat, +2d6 Sneak Attack, Uncanny Dodge, and +1 Dodge AC (among other things).
Although Ranger 9, Swashbuckler 10 (RoT custom modded) and Thug 13 (RoT custom modded) are no-requirement, high-BAB base classes, the level commitments tend to push them out of the dip category and into the primary class role. However, if you intend to focus a melee build on one of these classes you may as well go for Expose Weakness.
Regarding the prestige classes (PrCs), Shadowdancer 2 is likely the favorite due to it being the most commonly chosen PrC for Hide in Plain Sight (HiPS) at level 1. In addition to Evasion at level 2, you also get Uncanny Dodge and Darkvision, so this 2-level dip is good for more than just getting Evasion. And with HiPS also being governed by a 6 second cooldown, using it over and over again to deliver Expose Weakness hits just never gets old!
Even so, Whirling Dervish 2 nets Dash, Improved Evasion and three skill focus bonus feats for nearly identical feat and skill requirements as Shadowdancer (so you may be inclined to get both as a total 4-level dip, since Evasion is the only duplicate benefit through level 2).
As always, constructive criticism of articles in this series is welcome, especially since this series’ intended audience is new-to-RoT players seeking general character-building advice. Please notify me of errors or omissions and I will make the appropriate edits.