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  1. - Top - End - #1
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    DruidGuy

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    Default Ways to abuse Armor of Agathys

    Hello playground!
    I was recently trying to build a character around the spell Armor of Agathys for a friend. It didn't go as planned (he won't play in that party) but i really got curious on whether there are any ways to maximise the benefits of that specific spell.
    As far as I'm concerned, Armor of Agathys is accessible only by warlocks or bards through magical secrets. I initially thought it would be best to mix warlock with a class that has some kind of early defensive steroids to keep the temporary hp up longer and i could only come up with either barbarian (cause of rage resistances) or any heavy amor proficient class paired with the heavy armor master feat (possibly taken by a human variant at level 1).
    Between the two choices, the barbarian rage makes the armor of agathys last longer but it prohibits any spellcasting attempt. Since the casting class should be prioritised (for maxing the temp hp pool and of course the damage dealt back to the attackers) being unable to cast is very limiting especially with cantrips like booming blade in the game.
    On the other hand, the damage reduction from heavy armor master feat seems ok for early levels but kinda worthless later when magic damage (or just higher amounts of "mundane" damage) is common.
    So my question is this: Is there any other way (either feat or different multiclassing) to better utilise the armor of agathys spell? Is it possible to reach rage damage reduction potential while still being able to cast?
    Last edited by Felvion; 2016-01-08 at 10:46 AM.

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    GreenSorcererElf

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    Default Re: Ways to abuse Armor of Agathys

    level 1 Warlock + level 5+ wizard is a very specific exploit:

    Abjuration Wizards can create an arcane ward that absorbs damage but you are still hit), so it provides an extra layer of damage absorption on top of the temp hit points. The arcane ward is refilled by casting abjuration spells...like armor of agathys.

    So, the specific exploit is to cast it at your highest level. Over and over again. A level 6 slot spell with a high intelligence creates 30 temp HP, 30 Ice damage to all melee attackers, and an arcane ward that has some where in the neighborhood of 15-ish hp. Recasting Armor of Agathys refills the ward (at level spell slot) by 12 HP, and gives you 30 more temp HP.

    BUT: it is basically the only thing that the build can do, and if you are playing melee, it gets very MAD.
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    Default Re: Ways to abuse Armor of Agathys

    One of the few times blade ward is useful. I could attack you, or I could stand here, make myself damage resistant, and you take no-save cold damage if you hit me. It extends the life of the armor even further.

    If you really want to abuse it, you're not quite as MAD, as you don't want a ton of dex. You're trying to get hit.

    A few levels of Barbarian: AoA isn't concentration, so you can cast it, then rage for damage resistance. You can also reckless attack to encourage people to go after the big frost-covered shirtless guy.
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    Goblin

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    Default Re: Ways to abuse Armor of Agathys

    I once had a thought along these lines but I felt the character was too one trick pony but my thought was to not take any actual damage with moon totem abjur fiend by taking another form I'd add another layer of protection and lowers ac a bit even with barbs unarmored. Layers on abjur ward fiend temp aoa while only taking half while raging and refresh with mage armor at will canceling it every time to continue using unarmored and doing while reckless thing though It would mad and not get some of the higher level features of classes. It might go 3 totem 6 moon 5 or 6 fiend 5 or 6 abjur Idk like I said one trick pony low dmg low level abilities

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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: Ways to abuse Armor of Agathys

    Quote Originally Posted by Felvion View Post
    As far as I'm concerned, Armor of Agathys is accessible only by warlocks or bards through magical secrets.
    If feats are being used, any class could take Magic Initiate to gain access to the spell, as well.

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    GreenSorcererElf

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    Default Re: Ways to abuse Armor of Agathys

    Quote Originally Posted by Alejandro View Post
    If feats are being used, any class could take Magic Initiate to gain access to the spell, as well.
    -ish.

    The trick with Armor of Agathys is that it only becomes good at a higher level. 5 cold damage at level 1 that is only protected by 5 temp hp is not great. Magic initiate only allows casting at level 1 of the spell, not a higher level even if you have higher level spell slots.

    To get the most out of it, you need to gain the spell through a warlock level and have higher level spell-casting, probably a level 3 spell slot minimum. So either you grab pure warlock or you grab warlock + (Bard/Sorcerer/Wizard/Cleric) for the multiclassing spell levels (which warlock does NOT contribute to). Dabbling in another class gets MAD (it already is decently MAD).

    Definitely a one-trick pony, but a cool-ish one.

    I actually have a dwarf lock/wizard waiting in the wings to use this together. Fairly MAD but interesting looking.
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    Default Re: Ways to abuse Armor of Agathys

    Quote Originally Posted by Felvion View Post
    On the other hand, the damage reduction from heavy armor master feat seems ok for early levels but kinda worthless later when magic damage (or just higher amounts of "mundane" damage) is common.
    So my question is this: Is there any other way (either feat or different multiclassing) to better utilise the armor of agathys spell? Is it possible to reach rage damage reduction potential while still being able to cast?
    Life Cleric 1/Warlock 1/Wizard X.
    Variant human: Heavy Armor Mastery
    Cast Contingency: "when I take damage" => Armor of Agathys V
    Cast Armor of Agathys V, then cast Stoneskin (or Blade Ward) for damage resistance.

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    Default Re: Ways to abuse Armor of Agathys

    I've occasionally boosted the damage from Armor of Agathys using Elemental Bane. Cast as a 5th level spell, it can affect two targets (Con save for each). Armor of Agathys will potentially do an extra 2d6 of damage to each, with no cold resistance allowed.

    For a warlock, I'm not sure it's worth the extra spell slot.
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    Default Re: Ways to abuse Armor of Agathys

    How about warlock/druid of the moon multiclass?

    Druid gets you hitpoints like you wouldn't believe and warlock gives temp hitpoints on top of those. And you can keep concentrating on the spell while you claw your way through the enemy. Remember, you can now finally put the Polar, into the Polarbear.
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    Default Re: Ways to abuse Armor of Agathys

    I present you: Volibear, the Polar polarbear

    druid of the moon circle 6/ Warlock of the Fey 10

    Step 1: cast armour of Agathys at 5th level (that's 25 temp hp and 25 dmg)
    Step 2: wildshape as a bonus action (42 hp, making a hp pool before your own of 67 hp)
    Step 3: chill the **** out of everyone!
    Step 4: ???
    Step 5: Be way cooler then Fonzie.
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    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Ways to abuse Armor of Agathys

    Thanks everyone for the input so far.
    I still think the best way to utilise the spell is to cast it, go in melee and make sure everyone misses their attacks on you or at least minimize their damage. So, it seems i'm just looking for early level defensive steroids. Resistance helps a lot but i feel stoneskin may be an overkill for a 4 level spell. Blade ward could be very useful in certain situations but i'm not sure it would be much better than simply taking the dodge action.
    I'm afb for a while and probably will stay that way for the next ~12hrs. Any ideas would be more than welcome!

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    Default Re: Ways to abuse Armor of Agathys

    Quote Originally Posted by Felvion View Post
    Thanks everyone for the input so far.
    I still think the best way to utilise the spell is to cast it, go in melee and make sure everyone misses their attacks on you or at least minimize their damage. So, it seems i'm just looking for early level defensive steroids. Resistance helps a lot but i feel stoneskin may be an overkill for a 4 level spell. Blade ward could be very useful in certain situations but i'm not sure it would be much better than simply taking the dodge action.
    I'm afb for a while and probably will stay that way for the next ~12hrs. Any ideas would be more than welcome!
    The difference here is that Blade Ward will double the amount of damage the enemy takes from Armor of Agathys cold damage, and Dodge will not.

    The best early defense steroid is to use missile weapons and partial cover, but that's not really relevant to AoA unfortunately...
    Last edited by MaxWilson; 2016-01-08 at 06:27 PM.

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    Default Re: Ways to abuse Armor of Agathys

    Quote Originally Posted by gfishfunk View Post
    Magic initiate only allows casting at level 1 of the spell, not a higher level even if you have higher level spell slots.
    Magic Initiate does work with your spell slots. The PHB Errata clarifies that the 1st level casting limitation only applies to the free cast from the feat.

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    Magic Initiate (p. 168). The featís limit on casting the 1st-level spell applies only to the casting given by the feat.


    Just says that the free cast you get from the feat is only 1st level. If you're a regular spellcaster with slots to spare you can use them to cast the spell (the feat explicitly states "you learn the spell", which implies all the regular features included with learning a spell), but that free cast only works at its lowest level.

    tl;dr, 4 level investment to learn any two cantrips and 1st level spell in the game is okay if you're not a spellcaster, great if you already are.
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    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Ways to abuse Armor of Agathys

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
    The difference here is that Blade Ward will double the amount of damage the enemy takes from Armor of Agathys cold damage, and Dodge will not.

    Am I missing something here? AFAIC Blade Ward just gives you resistance to piercing/slashing/bludgeoning damage. How does that doubles the damage the enemy takes?

    Just saw that you have to be hit to deal the damage back. Can't believe i've overlooked this, i thought you only had to be targeted by a melee attack...
    Turns out i have to look out for damage reducting features... All this time i thought that avoiding to get hit was equally good...
    Last edited by Felvion; 2016-01-08 at 07:37 PM.

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Ways to abuse Armor of Agathys

    Bane or Reduce, I guess.

    Plus all the things that give you resistance.

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    Default Re: Ways to abuse Armor of Agathys

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosvii7 View Post
    Magic Initiate does work with your spell slots. The PHB Errata clarifies that the 1st level casting limitation only applies to the free cast from the feat.

    Spoiler: PHB Errata
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    Magic Initiate (p. 168). The featís limit on casting the 1st-level spell applies only to the casting given by the feat.


    Just says that the free cast you get from the feat is only 1st level. If you're a regular spellcaster with slots to spare you can use them to cast the spell (the feat explicitly states "you learn the spell", which implies all the regular features included with learning a spell), but that free cast only works at its lowest level.

    tl;dr, 4 level investment to learn any two cantrips and 1st level spell in the game is okay if you're not a spellcaster, great if you already are.
    I thought that too when I first read the errata, but then the devs, in their confusing way, clarified that the clarification was saying the opposite of what I thought it said.

    Quote Originally Posted by https://dnd.wizards.com/articles/features/sageadvice_feats
    If you have spell slots, can you use them to cast the 1st-level spell you learn with the Magic Initiate feat? Yes, but only if the class you pick for the feat is one of your classes. For example, if you pick sorcerer and you are a sorcerer, the Spellcasting feature for that class tells you that you can use your spell slots to cast the sorcerer spells you know, so you can use your spell slots to cast the 1st-level sorcerer spell you learn from Magic Initiate. Similarly, if you are a wizard and pick that class for the feat, you learn a 1st-level wizard spell, which you could add to your spellbook and subsequently prepare.

    In short, you must follow your characterís normal spellcasting rules, which determine whether you can expend spell slots on the 1st-level spell you learn from Magic Initiate.
    So, if I'm a 9th level Sorcerer who picks up Magic Initiate (Hex), I have no class feature that lets me use my spell slots to cast Hex even though I've "learned" it, since it's not on the Sorcerer spell list. My Sorcerer Spellcasting feature from PHB 101 is only intended to let me cast sorcerer spells using those spell slots (though it's not worded very clearly).

    In short, the errata changed nothing, it still works the same way as I always did--but feel free to rule differently at your own table! I've left Magic Initiate alone so far but if one of my players brought up the issue I wouldn't mind letting him use regular spell slots to cast with; I haven't houseruled it just because each houserule carries a complexity cost, which I don't want to pay without a player asking for it...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Felvion View Post

    Am I missing something here? AFAIC Blade Ward just gives you resistance to piercing/slashing/bludgeoning damage. How does that doubles the damage the enemy takes?

    Just saw that you have to be hit to deal the damage back. Can't believe i've overlooked this, i thought you only had to be targeted by a melee attack...
    Turns out i have to look out for damage reducting features... All this time i thought that avoiding to get hit was equally good...
    Yep. Hence the upthread suggestion of Heavy Armor Master. If you can find a way to stack on Uncanny Dodge, that couldn't hurt either.
    Last edited by MaxWilson; 2016-01-08 at 08:29 PM.

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    HalflingRangerGuy

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    Default Re: Ways to abuse Armor of Agathys

    Quote Originally Posted by gfishfunk View Post
    Recasting Armor of Agathys refills the ward (at level spell slot) by 12 HP, and gives you 30 more temp HP.
    Technically, resets to 30 temporary HP.

    You only need warlock 1 / abjuration wizard 2 to start with a 5 hp ward that can be boosted as far as you can. Going above Int13 or wizard 2 will make the initial ward stronger but that's it.

    Bard 9 or wizard 9 give you 5th slots, but warlock 9 is more fun since they can cast AoA before every short rest to set the AoA to 25 hp and boost the ward by 10 hp. After 2 short rests, you could have a 25 hp ward over your 25 hp AoA if no one attacked you during the day.

    Starting 16 10 14 13 10 14 is doable for a half-elf, that leaves 2 feats after capping Str20.
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    Default Re: Ways to abuse Armor of Agathys

    Oh, I forgot to mention: the BEST way for a Warlock 2/Necromancer X to exploit Armor of Agathys is to Magic Jar into the body of a weretiger or werebear and then cast Armor of Agathys. Now you get hit a lot, but you don't take any damage from non-magical/non-silver weapons, while the enemy takes huge amounts of damage on every hit.

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    EvilClericGuy

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    Default Re: Ways to abuse Armor of Agathys

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaosvii7 View Post
    Magic Initiate does work with your spell slots. The PHB Errata clarifies that the 1st level casting limitation only applies to the free cast from the feat.

    Spoiler: PHB Errata
    Show
    Magic Initiate (p. 168). The featís limit on casting the 1st-level spell applies only to the casting given by the feat.


    Just says that the free cast you get from the feat is only 1st level. If you're a regular spellcaster with slots to spare you can use them to cast the spell (the feat explicitly states "you learn the spell", which implies all the regular features included with learning a spell), but that free cast only works at its lowest level.

    tl;dr, 4 level investment to learn any two cantrips and 1st level spell in the game is okay if you're not a spellcaster, great if you already are.
    You can cast the MI spell from the regular slots only if you take MI for your class...so you'll still need at least one level of Warlock, making Magic Initiate redundant
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    Default Re: Ways to abuse Armor of Agathys

    Quote Originally Posted by Socratov View Post
    I present you: Volibear, the Polar polarbear

    druid of the moon circle 6/ Warlock of the Fey 10

    Step 1: cast armour of Agathys at 5th level (that's 25 temp hp and 25 dmg)
    Step 2: wildshape as a bonus action (42 hp, making a hp pool before your own of 67 hp)
    Step 3: chill the **** out of everyone!
    Step 4: ???
    Step 5: Be way cooler then Fonzie.
    But that doesn't really help AoA.... you still have the same 25 THP before the spell stops working.

    Quote Originally Posted by Felvion View Post
    [S]
    Just saw that you have to be hit to deal the damage back. Can't believe i've overlooked this, i thought you only had to be targeted by a melee attack...
    Turns out i have to look out for damage reducting features... All this time i thought that avoiding to get hit was equally good...
    Yeppers..... high AC is kind of counter productive. Heavy Armor Master is decent, but I think it is too much of an investment. Uncanny dodge would be great... but not sure if the levels of Rogue are worth it since no spellcasting levels.... Barb Rage is even better, but again, no spellcasting levels means AoA is really weak. The only useful combo I have found is Abjuration Wizard, and sometimes Blade Ward.

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
    I thought that too when I first read the errata, but then the devs, in their confusing way, clarified that the clarification was saying the opposite of what I thought it said.

    So, if I'm a 9th level Sorcerer who picks up Magic Initiate (Hex), I have no class feature that lets me use my spell slots to cast Hex even though I've "learned" it, since it's not on the Sorcerer spell list. My Sorcerer Spellcasting feature from PHB 101 is only intended to let me cast sorcerer spells using those spell slots (though it's not worded very clearly).
    Nicely explained.
    The errata only clarifies a restriction, it does not give a permission. A sorcerer has no permission to use their slots for cleric spells, so if they grab a cleric spell via MI, they have no permission to use their slots for it. If they take a level of cleric, then they can use any slot for the spell.


    Quote Originally Posted by bid View Post
    Technically, resets to 30 temporary HP.

    You only need warlock 1 / abjuration wizard 2 to start with a 5 hp ward that can be boosted as far as you can. Going above Int13 or wizard 2 will make the initial ward stronger but that's it.

    Bard 9 or wizard 9 give you 5th slots, but warlock 9 is more fun since they can cast AoA before every short rest to set the AoA to 25 hp and boost the ward by 10 hp. After 2 short rests, you could have a 25 hp ward over your 25 hp AoA if no one attacked you during the day.

    Starting 16 10 14 13 10 14 is doable for a half-elf, that leaves 2 feats after capping Str20.
    I am confused, so to be clear.... casting abjuration spells lets you *regain* ward hit points. If you cast it as a wiz1 with int 3, your ward is 5hp. You cannot 'regain' points to push that any higher than 5.


    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
    Oh, I forgot to mention: the BEST way for a Warlock 2/Necromancer X to exploit Armor of Agathys is to Magic Jar into the body of a weretiger or werebear and then cast Armor of Agathys. Now you get hit a lot, but you don't take any damage from non-magical/non-silver weapons, while the enemy takes huge amounts of damage on every hit.
    Wow...never even considered that.... heh...something to look forward to trying.

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    HalflingRangerGuy

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    Default Re: Ways to abuse Armor of Agathys

    Quote Originally Posted by coredump View Post
    I am confused, so to be clear.... casting abjuration spells lets you *regain* ward hit points. If you cast it as a wiz1 with int 3, your ward is 5hp. You cannot 'regain' points to push that any higher than 5.
    Oh, right. Brain fart.

    So you'd need 5ish levels of wizard to cap at 12ish ward hp.
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    Default Re: Ways to abuse Armor of Agathys

    I think an alternate abuse of Armor of Agathys would be Fighter EK or Arcane Trickster, and a Lore Bard. Str or Dex,and Cha.

    Heavy armor mastery to reduce B/S/P by 3, EK 7+ to Blade Ward to resist them, and still get in a swing.

    Or go Arcane trickster 5+ for additional spell casting and Uncanny Dodge to Resist.

    Then LB 6+ for magical secrets to get Armor of Agathys and Cutting Words (which you can subtract an inspiration from a damage roll Cha mod times per short rest)

    Use the EK/AT for mostly utility spells, Bard for damage/saves

    *Edit: Almost forgot, also take Protection from Elements as other magical secret. Concentration resist 1 type elemental damage
    Last edited by JackOfAllBuilds; 2016-01-09 at 10:30 AM.
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    Default Re: Ways to abuse Armor of Agathys

    Quote Originally Posted by JackOfAllBuilds View Post
    I think an alternate abuse of Armor of Agathys would be Fighter EK or Arcane Trickster, and a Lore Bard. Str or Dex,and Cha.

    Heavy armor mastery to reduce B/S/P by 3, EK 7+ to Blade Ward to resist them, and still get in a swing.

    Or go Arcane trickster 5+ for additional spell casting and Uncanny Dodge to Resist.

    Then LB 6+ for magical secrets to get Armor of Agathys and Cutting Words (which you can subtract an inspiration from a damage roll Cha mod times per short rest)

    Use the EK/AT for mostly utility spells, Bard for damage/saves

    *Edit: Almost forgot, also take Protection from Elements as other magical secret. Concentration resist 1 type elemental damage
    I think to keep the AoA damage, and THP, high enough to be an issue.... you really need a full caster. I just don't think something like EK or AT will be useful.
    But I do like the idea of Bard....full caster, steal AoA, use cutting words as a form of 'resistance'..... interesting....

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    Default Re: Ways to abuse Armor of Agathys

    Quote Originally Posted by JackOfAllBuilds View Post
    *Edit: Almost forgot, also take Protection from Elements as other magical secret. Concentration resist 1 type elemental damage
    Absorb Elements does almost exactly the same job, is only first level, and doesn't require concentration. It's even available to EKs for "free" since it's Abjuration.
    Last edited by MaxWilson; 2016-01-09 at 01:02 PM.

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    Default Re: Ways to abuse Armor of Agathys

    Quote Originally Posted by JackPhoenix View Post
    You can cast the MI spell from the regular slots only if you take MI for your class...so you'll still need at least one level of Warlock, making Magic Initiate redundant
    Slightly redundant, you essentially get an extra "cast this spell 1\day" invocation and don't have to learn the spell as one of your spell known.

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    Default Re: Ways to abuse Armor of Agathys

    Take 1 level of Fighter(2 if you want Action Surge) or 2 levels of Paladin, several levels of warlock, and at remaining levels take Sorcerer.

    Variant Human for War Caster, Full Plate + Shield + Defense Fighting Style for 21 AC.

    Go to melee and if they hit you - cast Shield(and bring your AC to 26). Hit triggers AoA(Armor of Agathys) damage, but if attack misses your new AC score - you will prevent damage. Works great with Stoneskin spell and as Sorcerer - you can cast AoA or Stoneskin spells as bonus action.

    You can even swap Favored Soul for Draconic(Cold) Sorcerer and have +CHA modifier to AoA damage. Unfortunately, sorcerers don`t have Fire Shield spell :(
    Last edited by Malknafein; 2016-01-10 at 07:26 AM.

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    Default Re: Ways to abuse Armor of Agathys

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
    Absorb Elements does almost exactly the same job, is only first level, and doesn't require concentration. It's even available to EKs for "free" since it's Abjuration.
    Absorb elements is only a temporary reaction akin to shield. While I agree it would be good to have as a backup, I think concentration resistance is nothing to shake a stick at. And the fighter being proficient in Con saves helps. Endgame of EK 8 LB 12 also ends you at a 14th level caster, which isn't bad, and 6 ASI's

    Also a Dex build EK/LB is viable if you don't want to go heavy armor master
    Dwarven Prayer:
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    Our Lager, Which art in barrels,
    Hallowed be thy drink.
    Thy will be drunk
    I will be drunk,
    At home as in the tavern.
    Give us this day our foamy head,
    And forgive us our spillages
    As we forgive those that spill against us.
    And lead us not into incarceration,
    But deliver us from hang-overs.
    For thine is the beer,
    The bitter and the lager.
    Forever and ever,
    Barmen!

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

    Join Date
    Sep 2011
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    California
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    Male

    Default Re: Ways to abuse Armor of Agathys

    Quote Originally Posted by coredump View Post
    I think to keep the AoA damage, and THP, high enough to be an issue.... you really need a full caster. I just don't think something like EK or AT will be useful.
    But I do like the idea of Bard....full caster, steal AoA, use cutting words as a form of 'resistance'..... interesting....
    I really like the uncanny dodge and cutting words, you can pick which to go with depending on the damage amount. and either works with resistance if you have blade Ward/protection from elements/stoneskin up.
    Last edited by JackOfAllBuilds; 2016-01-10 at 08:50 AM.
    Dwarven Prayer:
    Spoiler
    Show
    Our Lager, Which art in barrels,
    Hallowed be thy drink.
    Thy will be drunk
    I will be drunk,
    At home as in the tavern.
    Give us this day our foamy head,
    And forgive us our spillages
    As we forgive those that spill against us.
    And lead us not into incarceration,
    But deliver us from hang-overs.
    For thine is the beer,
    The bitter and the lager.
    Forever and ever,
    Barmen!

  29. - Top - End - #29
    Orc in the Playground
     
    DruidGuy

    Join Date
    Jan 2014

    Default Re: Ways to abuse Armor of Agathys

    Quote Originally Posted by Malknafein
    Take 1 level of Fighter(2 if you want Action Surge) or 2 levels of Paladin, several levels of warlock, and at remaining levels take Sorcerer
    It's one f the builds i've been thinking of, really appealing and very close to the theme i had in mind. Then i realised that you have to get hit to trigger AoA dmg and i kinda left the high armor idea.
    I have to admit i'm quite confused recently about the armor. First off, it may work against AoA as it makes you hard to hit. Another of my concerns has always been that even though i may try to utilise AoA, the enemies may think differently. Ranged attacks or spell damage can wreck my "shield" of temp HPs. Armor can deal with ranged attacks but not spell damage. Some protection spells would help (they are in almost every spell list including the warlock's), racial resistances could be a thing but maybe dms would like to work around them.
    So, I'm kinda left there hanging. Warlock seems to be the core of this build but the limited spell slots make a second protection spell (after AoA) both costly and probably not worth the action economy. Some sorcerer levels would add slots and deal with action economy but they should come too late (probably after 10 and it would take at least 3 levels to have a respectable effect) to be a core part of the build.
    Quote Originally Posted by Malknafein
    You can even swap Favored Soul for Draconic(Cold) Sorcerer and have +CHA modifier to AoA damage. Unfortunately, sorcerers don`t have Fire Shield spell :(
    I'm glad you mentioned fire shield. The spell is on warlock's fiend patron list and it would stack greatly with AoA in a specific heavy melee situation.

    Quote Originally Posted by Malknafein
    Variant Human for War Caster
    I'm not that sure warcaster is really necessary. First off, it's a build that doesn't focus on casting during combat except from booming blade (if extra attack is not online yet) that doesn't actually require material components. Most of the spells i've been looking for this concept don't require concentration (including AoA itself) although booming opportunity attacks (not sure if it's valid) are too good to pass. Still not sure if they're worth the feat.

    In general, i'm torn between building
    Spoiler: a full caster with not much armor that chooses when he wants to get hit or not and has spell utility for his melee needs
    Show

    1)A v. human wizard that picks magic initiate (assuming we accept other slots can be used for the feat's spell) for AoA and utilises stuff like shield, haste, fire shield, transmuter stone, arcane ward or even bladesong
    2)A dwarf (+2 STR, +2 CON, medium armor, poison resistance, weapon proficiency) warlock with small dip in sorcerer for few extra low level spells like expeditious retreat, shield, misty step, dragon resilience and metamagic
    3)A goliath or mountain dwarf melee lore bard that uses cutting words (and potential racial DR) for his defence and knows magical secrets like Armor of Agathys, booming blade at level 6 (both essential for the melee concept) and fire shield, haste at level 10
    or
    Spoiler: a level 1 martial beast that picks up warlock for levels 2-10* and then returns to the martial class
    Show

    1)Fighter for heavy armor and variant human for heavy armor mastery too keep the temporary HPs a bit more. Fighting style is great at level 1. After the warlock levels, action surge is awesome even as a 10 level ability, the extra ASI rocks, indomitable and the potential of a 3rd attack at 20 (warlock 9/ fighter 11) are the build's cupstones.
    Eldritch knight offers low level slots, spell utility/defense like shield, absorb elements, expeditious retreat and war magic while battlemaster has parry to reduce damage and lots of other thematic tools like goading attack.
    2)Paladin is not hard to multiclass but offers nothing than heavy armor (+heavy armor mastery potential) and weapon proficiency early. The class scales great, maybe too late for the build, but the extra slots and all those paladin stuff are always welcome for a gish
    3)Barbarian... It's been my initial choice for the build but turned out to be the best candidate both for the one that synergises worst or best! The best possible starting HD in game, of course con saves but most important, rage and reckless attack. Rage (and potentially bear rage) practically doubles the Armor of Agathys temp HP pool. Reckless attack is a great tool, especially for this build, as it helps you control the damage income. Rage bonus damage is equivalent to dueling fighting style with scaling potential.
    Barbarian may be the least flashy option cause of the spell limitation while in rage but it's stil manageable since AoA can be cast way before the battle (it lasts for 1 hour) and doesn't require concentration. Also it's the only build that starts better with more non-caster levels early since getting bear (almost) asap seems optimal. Race is open to v.human (for feats like lucky or GWM), goliath (the cold damage from AoA fits the mountain born fluff), h.orc, dwarf and even non-variant human to enable starting stats of 16/14/16/9/9/13.
    Note here that spell limitation may not hurt that much after all. Considering that warlock's spellslots are limited and one of them would be used at the battle start for AoA anyway it's not much one would give up. Maybe it's a way to fix a bladelock's combat needs without intense slot management during combat.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Lizardfolk

    Join Date
    Feb 2014
    Location
    Saint Louis
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Ways to abuse Armor of Agathys

    I feel like Barbarian (bear totem) 3/Warlock (fey-chain or fey-blade) 3/Paladin (ancients) 14 would be a great set up for this.

    AoA isn't a concentration spell.

    Cast AoA and then go into Bearbarian Rage (resistance to everything) and just have a grand old time.

    Paladin would get you a bit of spells (up to 4th level, just one though) and a ton of defensive abilities. Plus you can just dump dex so your AC isn't the greatest. Dueling style + rage damage + extra attack + resistances + Paladin defense... Plus AoA... Damn I like this dude.

    Edit

    Raging Smite of Nature... Nice
    Last edited by SpawnOfMorbo; 2016-01-10 at 01:13 PM.

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