With the Red Box, there are two new rogue at-will attacks and three exciting at-will utilities. I’m not entirely clear on how one gets the utilities since they don’t have a level requirement. In the red box, you get one automatically and get one of the other ones based on the general path you go down when making choices, so it’s unclear if non essentials builds will be able to grab them. Which is a shame for them maybe, because they are pretty neat!
- Bump and Run:This at-will is a lot of fun to use and seems reasonably powerful. Aside from normal damage, it allows you to push 1 on a hit. But it also has an effect (happens on a hit or a miss!) that allows you to move half your speed, making it a tempting option even on a miss for those halfling artful dodger rogues who are nigh impossible to hit with an opportunity attack. A good at-will that delivers always useful mobility!
- Defensive Strike: This at-will doesn’t really excite me, but with an effect that gives a +1 power bonus to all defenses I can’t criticize it too much. Still, I can’t see using this too much over, say, piercing strike, which usually nets a +2-3 bonus to hit since it targets reflex. Then again, there aren’t a ton of rogue powers I would routinely choose over piercing strike anyway!
- Nimble Positioning: Both the rogue builds from the Red Box get this power, which is great, because it’s awesome. A very simple power, this allows you to shift 2 if you are adjacent to an enemy to another square adjacent to an enemy. Perfect for setting up flanks if your ally is anywhere adjacent to the enemy.
- Athletic Advance: This allows you to move up to Strength +1 squares, ignore difficult terrain, and gain a +5 bonus to athletics checks as part of the move. In the red box, sadly, this generally means moving 1-2 squares because most rogue builds aren’t going to have super high strength, making this of dubious quality. At higher levels with a Str/Dex rogue, I could see this being another handy at-will for a rogue’s arsenal and also one of this things players will always be trying to somehow sneak into a skill challenge! “I activate Athletic Advance again to make ANOTHER Athletics check with a +5 bonus!”
- Acrobatic Maneuver: Similar to Athletic Advance, this allows the rogue to move Strength +1 squares, gain a +4 bonus to all defenses for the move, and enter enemy spaces for the move. Entering enemy spaces is fun, and since this is basically free for those rogues who choose this build, this is definitely a power I can see coming up from time to time and being fun to use. On the other hand, exposing yourself to an OA sucks even with a +4 bonus and tends not to be something players look forward to, so that will limit its use to when it’s really needed or can help with a crucial flank, I suspect.