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  1. - Top - End - #331
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    Quote Originally Posted by AgenderArcee View Post
    Oh hmm, would that be just the first one every turn or only the first one after the spell is cast? That would make things difficult if it's the latter.

    EDIT: Oh rip Crawford seems to have ruled that Elemental Affinity doesn't apply to Elemental Weapon RAI, with allowance that a DM can rule it as applying to one roll (though he doesn't clarify whether that means one roll per round or one roll per casting). Although Mearls said he thinks it should apply for every hit, though Crawford outranks him.

    The +3 is from casting Elemental Weapon at 7th level, which adds +3 to attack and damage rolls!
    Mearl's answer was for old versions of the PHB before the wording was changed. Presumably Mearls would also say that it only works for one roll, at most, now.

    I think Mearls "outranks" Jeremy from a creative design standpoint (Mearls is head designer, Jeremy is developer) but Jeremy is the guy whose job it is to answer Tweets--it makes sense when Mearls wants Jeremy to check the rulebooks for him.

    Also, Elemental Weapon gives +3 to hit, not to damage. You're already getting +3d4 damage, you don't get +3 damage on top of that. +13 should be +10.
    Last edited by MaxWilson; 2020-01-05 at 07:59 PM.
    Purple text = personal judgment which I don't expect you necessarily to share. YMMV.

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    This is the Most Important Video You've Never Seen About 5E Design. 5E designers Mike Mearls and Rodney Thompson tell you how game design was done, how classes were balanced against each other, etc.

  2. - Top - End - #332
    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
    Mearl's answer was for old versions of the PHB before the wording was changed. Presumably Mearls would also say that it only works for one roll, at most, now.

    I think Mearls "outranks" Jeremy from a creative design standpoint (Mearls is head designer, Jeremy is developer) but Jeremy is the guy whose job it is to answer Tweets--it makes sense when Mearls wants Jeremy to check the rulebooks for him.

    Also, Elemental Weapon gives +3 to hit, not to damage. You're already getting +3d4 damage, you don't get +3 damage on top of that. +13 should be +10.
    Aw dang you're right, I must have gotten it mixed up with the idea of "being a +3 weapon." It's true that the 3d4 is already pretty darn good haha.

    I believe you should still be able to benefit from Elemental Affinity when using Green-Flame Blade, though.

    In fact, interestingly, it seems that casting GFB as an action (before Quickening a second one) actually does slightly more total damage than the two normal weapon attacks now, but only if you're able to get the bonus damage on the secondary target (calculations done assuming 29 Str and 20 Cha):

    Elemental Weapon two attacks:
    2d6+9+10+3d4 = 27-43, avg. 34.25
    *2 = 54-86, avg. 68.5

    vs.

    Green Flame blade w/ Elemental Affinity
    2d6+9+10+3d4+3d8+5 = 38-72, avg. 53.125
    +3d8+5 on another target = 11-29, avg. 18.875
    Total: 49-101, avg. 72

    It's small but it does make a difference that with Elemental Adept all 1s become 2s on all those d4s (avg. 2.5->2.75) and d8s (avg. 4.5->4.625).
    Last edited by AgenderArcee; 2020-01-05 at 08:51 PM.

  3. - Top - End - #333
    Orc in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    Quote Originally Posted by AgenderArcee View Post
    Elemental Weapon two attacks:
    2d6+9+10+3d4 = 27-43, avg. 34.25
    *2 = 54-86, avg. 68.5

    vs.

    Green Flame blade w/ Elemental Affinity
    2d6+9+10+3d4+3d8+5 = 38-72, avg. 53.125
    +3d8+5 on another target = 11-29, avg. 18.875
    Total: 49-101, avg. 72
    Your second calculation includes the +5 CHA modifier from GFB twice, which is not how it works RAW. So the average of the second option drops by 5, to a total of 67.




    I think going for Elemental Weapon is a bold choice, one that I contemplated a lot lately too. So I have some food for thought, if you entertain it:




    Your metamagic choices seem wasted, as Careful Spell is generally very weak and Quickened might be contrary to the build idea.

    Careful Spell: Remember that a Paladin 6+ has a 10ft radius aura, that grants you & your allies saving throw bonuses equal to your CHA modifier (+5); so even if you cast Fireball closeby, your allies are most likely to make the DEX saving throw, and if you're casting it long range then your allies are likely not inside the blast zone anyway. And generally, it's possible to cast a spell in such a way to avoid allies getting hit by targeting the air above the battlefield; and remember that some allies might actually have great DEX saving throws or specific abilities to avoid damage.

    Quicken is useful for blasting heavy amounts of damage in one round [some here call it "nova", but I'm old-school and call it "burst"; in the past "nova" referred to aoe attacks in the vicinity], but your main shtick seems to be using Elemental Weapon to the fullest extent possible, so you should make sure you do that, not spend your precious sorcery points on things you don't necessarily need. Instead, I recommend you take a look at some nice weapons, like a Double-Bladed Scimitar (instead of a Great-sword), as it allows you to do a Bonus Attack action with it:

    Quote Originally Posted by Double-Bladed Scimitar
    Martial Weapon, Melee Weapon
    2d4 slashing – Special, Two-Handed

    Special: If you attack with a double-bladed scimitar as part of the Attack action on your turn, you can use a bonus action immediately after to make a melee attack with it. This attack deals 1d4 slashing damage on a hit, instead of 2d4.

    Two-Handed: This weapon requires two hands to use. This property is relevant only when you attack with the weapon, not when you simply hold it.
    And Elemental Weapon improves the Bonus Action attack as well, so we're looking at a free 1d4 (slashing) +3d4 (fire) +9 (STR mod) +10 (GWM) = 29.75 avg damage hit on a bonus action.
    You have to use the Attack action in a turn that you use this – so you can't use GFB or something like it – you have to stick with option 1. But I think this is a very efficient use of your bonus action and makes use of your Elemental Weapon for a third attack in one round.

    You can still keep Quickened Spell as metamagic, so you can use Elemental Weapon for two attacks and cast a quickened Fireball.
    But how about we replace at least Careful Spell with Twinned Spell? Maybe you have an ally that would like to get a free Elemental Weapon too? I'm sure someone in your party would make great use of it – the second effect doesn't even have to be Fire type, but can be Acid or Lightning, and still profit from the Elemental Adept feat.
    Or instead take Elemental Spell (if you play with the UA CFV), so Chain Lightning and other spells can be cast with Fire damage.

    Keep also an eye out for spell scrolls: Even if you cannot cast 3rd-level Paladin spells normally, you can still use spell scrolls with spells from your spell list. Using a spell scroll for a spell of higher level requires a CHA ability check against a DC of 10 + spell-level, for example Find Greater Steed would be a DC 14. You can use your metamagic with those scrolls as well, so you could twin a Revivify spell scroll.




    The War Caster feat is pretty weak for your build:
    1) You are using a two-handed weapon and therefore always have a free hand to cast spells with Somatic and Material components.
    2) You don't have good spells to waste on enemies during an opportunity attack, just hit them with your powerful Elemental Weapon. [Green-Flame Blade isn't allowed for such an OA spell anyway.]
    3) Advantage on concentration saves is not necessary, even if you don't have CON proficiency. You have +5 on all saving throws thanks to your Paladin 6+ aura, and if you can raise your CON score by 2 and maybe drop STR by 2 (especially with the Belt of Giant Strength), then you'd already have +8 on all CON saving throws, failing concentration checks only with 5% chance. Now add one measly spell or item (e.g. Bless or Ring of Protection +1) and you have at least +9, which means you don't fail DC 10 concentration checks.
    [Provided you don't take 21+ damage per hit. If you get hit by something like this, use your Reaction for Shield or Absorb Elements and you should be fine.]

    The third point is valid for the Resilient (CON) feat as well.

    And now, with the need for those feats gone, you can finally make this build with a Dragonborn.





    p.s.: Your one-shot build with Belt of Storm Giant Strength has STR 8, which is not sufficient to multiclass in/out of Paladin; only natural stats are allowed for determining multiclass options.
    Last edited by Theaitetos; 2020-01-06 at 05:33 AM.

  4. - Top - End - #334
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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    Quote Originally Posted by Theaitetos View Post
    If you take the Aasimar, then you can drop Cure Wounds altogether imo, as you then have a strong racial touch-range healing ability (Healing Hands 1hp per level /long rest). I was mainly concerned about self-healing, since the build is a front-line tank with low hp.

    Well, it depends on whether Radiant Consumption's light is considered non-magical or not: If it's non-magical, then it won't illuminate the Darkness (but would definitely work in an anti-magic field). If it's not non-magical, then it illuminates the Darkness.

    I say it's non-magical and therefore illuminate the Darkness, and I think Jeremy Crawford agrees:
    https://www.sageadvice.eu/2017/04/21...arkness-spell/
    https://twitter.com/JeremyECrawford/...14071571341314

    So yeah, make those Drow finally see the light again!
    It was recently noted to me that Scourge Aasimar will force Concentration Checks every damn round. This kind of takes it out of the running, unless you have a Paladin or some other way to increase your CON saves to 9+. I'll note it as a variant option for the build, but it's way more dependent on party composition than a straight V.Human.
    Also, Radiant Consumption forces death saves when you're unconscious, depending on your DM. RAW, it definitely will. Reasonably, it shouldn't.

    Quote Originally Posted by Theaitetos View Post
    I think at this point the build is pretty optimized for its own purposes. I noticed in my evaluations that it starts getting too dependent on the individual party composition. For example:

    If you have a backliner with Warding Bond (cleric, paladin, ranger), then the hitpoint concern of Fire Shield is not that big. And in case someone goes with a Levistus Tiefling build variant, then Armor of Agathys gets empowered by Warding Bond as well.
    Spoiler: More on the intricacies of Fire Shield
    Show
    I like Fire Shield for its versatility in either giving fire or cold resistance, and even better since it requires no concentration!
    However, my main concern with Fire Shield is that you are unlikely to be hit by melee attacks in the first place due to high AC. You do have a pretty good AC (heavy armor + shield), that you can raise even higher with the Shield spell; and if you are Hasted (see below), then this could easily rise above 27 AC, so Fire Shield's on-hit effect would hardly ever be used. Now, the weird triggering mechanics of the Shield spell make it count as you being hit (so Fire Shield would trigger its damage) even if you negate the damage, but this would work only on the first hit directly when you cast Shield, not on any subsequent hits while Shield is still in effect.
    I agree things are starting to getting situational. I'm happy with where the build is now, so thank you for all your suggestions :)
    Anyway, I agree Fire Shield is not optimal (unless you have some sort of resistance).

    Quote Originally Posted by Theaitetos View Post
    If you have someone else in the party who can cast Bless, then you're free to use your concentration for something like twinned Haste or twinned Greater Invisibility – the former is better for hard-hitters (e.g. GWM) and the latter is better for many-hitters & sneak attacks (e.g. Fighters & Rogues) – whatever the party needs most. In that case I would take Shadow Blade from levels 5 to 6 (Cleric 2/Sorcerer 3+) instead of Web, because this spell scales much better than any other of our spells from the 2nd- to 3rd-level spell-slot: 2d8→3d8 psychic damage per hit; that's much stronger than our Rapier (1d8 non-magical piercing) and we can use it for several hits the entire minute. Once we hit level 7 and can make proper use of our 3rd-level spell-slot, we simply replace Shadow Blade with Fireball, Web, Haste, ….

    If you feel like your AC is high enough as is, you can replace the Shield spell with another buff. It's usually safer to keep Shield ready, but sometimes you have good magic items early (Ring of Protection, Shield +1, …) or late in the game (Ioun Stones, Staff of Power, …), or regular buffs in your party (e.g. Haste, Shield of Faith).
    I slotted in Greater Invisibility instead of Vitriolic sphere for a few reasons:
    1) I feel like we already have stuff in the place of Vitriolic Sphere that we don't need another blast. Fireball will suffice and it even does more damage when maximized.
    2) Greater Invisibility is quite good to Twin on ourselves and another person, since we're the tank anyway! I've explained this further in the original post.
    3) Haste is risky on us, since we're the tank and we're going to take a few hits. We'd have to be pretty careful with it, so I opted for G. Invisibility which capitalizes on our tankiness and makes up for our sub-optimal attack bonus.

    Also, I will never not take Shield, since AC in 5e has increasing returns, Shield actually becomes more powerful the higher your AC is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Theaitetos View Post
    Due to the high AC covering our defense against attacks, it might be good to look for some ways to increase defense against energy type spells based on saving throws¹. As an Aasimar you're resistant to radiant & necrotic, and Storm sorcerers 6+ get free resistance to lightning & thunder, but at least fire is frequently encountered (Fireball, …) and your DEX saves won't ever improve beyond +2. You do have Absorb Elements, but in the long term we should look for ways to reduce that vulnerability (a Frostbrand Rapier would be very nice!), or we might have to reconsider Fire Shield. And let's not forget the threat of force & psychic damage, that often go against INT saves, and which penetrate Absorb Elements; Shield protects against Magic Missile only, not against all force damage spells. It's definitely a good idea to look for a Plate Armor of xxx Resistance, where the resistance type should best suit our needs; and if these other types of damage show up only rarely in your campaign, take resistance against bludgeoning – this damage type often shows up outside of normal attacks, usually in water & earth spells or as falling/crushing damage.

    Fortunately, with Spell Versatility we can always change 1 spell per long rest to accommodate our party's needs; e.g. Investiture of Flame/Ice when you're likely to face enemies with fire/cold attacks, as you maintain the fire/cold immunities & resistances as part of the spell even when you change it's damage type with Elemental Spell. But those spells are for character levels 13+…
    Thanks for the suggestions! Unfortunately I usually don't get much of a say in which magic items I get, but it's definitely good to look out for more defensive items.

    Quote Originally Posted by Theaitetos View Post
    And don't forget you can use Twinned on your cleric spells as well: Healing Word, Sanctuary, Shield of Faith, Guiding Bolt, … are great spells and especially Guiding Bolt is an excellent twin candidate: 2 x 4d6 radiant damage + advantage on attack roll, even a little stronger than Chromatic Orb. Always adjust the cleric spells to your needs, especially since some of these spells can't keep up with higher levels (e.g. Booming Blade cantrip beats Guiding Bolt 1-spell, past character level 11). You're also a cleric ritual caster concerning these 1st-level spells, but you need to prepare them; so preparing Detect Magic, Detect Poison and Disease, Purify Food and Drink, Ceremony for ritual casting can come in handy under circumstances.

    Speaking of cleric spells, if you want to drop some excess gold into single-use items, buy a scroll of Spirit Guardians (spell scrolls are still considered "uncommon" until spell-level 3, not "rare"), or any other spell scroll your party wants to have (twinned) available; for example, iirc, a twinned Revivify spell scroll is cheaper than buying the Raise Dead religious service twice in town.
    Oh yes. We can twin so many good spells. I've listed them all in the original post.
    By the way, I'm thinking maybe Shield of Faith would be better than Sanctuary, because it's DC independent, and our WIS DC is... not good.

    Quote Originally Posted by AgenderArcee View Post
    -snip-
    Isn't Elemental Weapon a 3rd level spell? You would only be able to get it at Paladin 9, not 6.
    Last edited by bendking; 2020-01-06 at 06:27 AM.

  5. - Top - End - #335
    Orc in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    Quote Originally Posted by bendking View Post
    It was recently noted to me that Scourge Aasimar will force Concentration Checks every damn round. This kind of takes it out of the running, unless you have a Paladin or some other way to increase your CON saves to 9+. I'll note it as a variant option for the build, but it's way more dependent on party composition than a straight V.Human.
    Also, Radiant Consumption forces death saves when you're unconscious, depending on your DM. RAW, it definitely will. Reasonably, it shouldn't.
    Damn, you're right. That sucks horribly.

    Quote Originally Posted by bendking View Post
    By the way, I'm thinking maybe Shield of Faith would be better than Sanctuary, because it's DC independent, and our WIS DC is... not good.
    It's not that bad. Ever since the DCs are calculated independent from class, they have risen substantially for multi-class characters, e.g. with WIS 14 and CHA 18, your spell save DC is just 2 points lower on cleric than sorcerer spells.

    More importantly, Sanctuary works on all kinds of spells and attacks, while Shield of Faith just raises AC by +2. And prohibitively: Shield of Faith is a concentration spell.

    Quote Originally Posted by bendking View Post
    Isn't Elemental Weapon a 3rd level spell? You would only be able to get it at Paladin 9, not 6.
    I didn't even notice that.

    Then this build requires Ravenica's Izzet Engineer background to work; not even spell scrolls can help since he wants to upcast it to 7th-level.
    Last edited by Theaitetos; 2020-01-06 at 07:00 AM.

  6. - Top - End - #336
    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    Ah shoot, I can't believe I got my full casters and half-casters mixed up there. You're right, Elemental Weapon would only be available with Izzet background or Mark of Making human! That puts a damper on things. (Btw, no big deal but I'm not a he!)

    Quote Originally Posted by Theaitetos View Post
    Your second calculation includes the +5 CHA modifier from GFB twice, which is not how it works RAW. So the average of the second option drops by 5, to a total of 67.
    The first +5 Cha modifier comes from Elemental Affinity, the second comes from GFB itself. "The second creature takes fire damage equal to your spellcasting ability modifier," with 3d8 added by 17th level.

    Quote Originally Posted by Theaitetos View Post
    Your metamagic choices seem wasted, as Careful Spell is generally very weak and Quickened might be contrary to the build idea.

    Careful Spell: Remember that a Paladin 6+ has a 10ft radius aura, that grants you & your allies saving throw bonuses equal to your CHA modifier (+5); so even if you cast Fireball closeby, your allies are most likely to make the DEX saving throw, and if you're casting it long range then your allies are likely not inside the blast zone anyway. And generally, it's possible to cast a spell in such a way to avoid allies getting hit by targeting the air above the battlefield; and remember that some allies might actually have great DEX saving throws or specific abilities to avoid damage.

    Quicken is useful for blasting heavy amounts of damage in one round [some here call it "nova", but I'm old-school and call it "burst"; in the past "nova" referred to aoe attacks in the vicinity], but your main shtick seems to be using Elemental Weapon to the fullest extent possible, so you should make sure you do that, not spend your precious sorcery points on things you don't necessarily need.
    Fair points, fair points! I've never actually played a Sorcadin so I don't have a strong intuitive sense of the resource management involved, but it's true that without breaking down spell slots you only have enough sorcery points to Quicken seven times per long rest, which isn't a ton.


    Quote Originally Posted by Theaitetos View Post
    Instead, I recommend you take a look at some nice weapons, like a Double-Bladed Scimitar (instead of a Great-sword), as it allows you to do a Bonus Attack action with it:

    And Elemental Weapon improves the Bonus Action attack as well, so we're looking at a free 1d4 (slashing) +3d4 (fire) +9 (STR mod) +10 (GWM) = 29.75 avg damage hit on a bonus action.
    You have to use the Attack action in a turn that you use this – so you can't use GFB or something like it – you have to stick with option 1. But I think this is a very efficient use of your bonus action and makes use of your Elemental Weapon for a third attack in one round.
    Double-bladed scimitar isn't heavy, so I don't think it would work with GWM? However, this does raise the point that PAM + GWM with a glaive or halberd would fit this concept well. You can then save your Quickens for burst damage, or at least have a good backup once they run out.


    Quote Originally Posted by Theaitetos View Post
    You can still keep Quickened Spell as metamagic, so you can use Elemental Weapon for two attacks and cast a quickened Fireball.
    But how about we replace at least Careful Spell with Twinned Spell? Maybe you have an ally that would like to get a free Elemental Weapon too? I'm sure someone in your party would make great use of it – the second effect doesn't even have to be Fire type, but can be Acid or Lightning, and still profit from the Elemental Adept feat.
    Or instead take Elemental Spell (if you play with the UA CFV), so Chain Lightning and other spells can be cast with Fire damage.
    True, I forgot Elemental Weapon can be Twinned!

    Quote Originally Posted by Theaitetos View Post
    Keep also an eye out for spell scrolls: Even if you cannot cast 3rd-level Paladin spells normally, you can still use spell scrolls with spells from your spell list. Using a spell scroll for a spell of higher level requires a CHA ability check against a DC of 10 + spell-level, for example Find Greater Steed would be a DC 14. You can use your metamagic with those scrolls as well, so you could twin a Revivify spell scroll.
    I appreciate you pointing this out lol. I still feel like it messes up the build to not have natural access to it. I suppose the Izzet background would work too, as you said, or Mark of Making from Eberron.

    Quote Originally Posted by Theaitetos View Post
    The War Caster feat is pretty weak for your build:
    1) You are using a two-handed weapon and therefore always have a free hand to cast spells with Somatic and Material components.
    2) You don't have good spells to waste on enemies during an opportunity attack, just hit them with your powerful Elemental Weapon. [Green-Flame Blade isn't allowed for such an OA spell anyway.]
    3) Advantage on concentration saves is not necessary, even if you don't have CON proficiency. You have +5 on all saving throws thanks to your Paladin 6+ aura, and if you can raise your CON score by 2 and maybe drop STR by 2 (especially with the Belt of Giant Strength), then you'd already have +8 on all CON saving throws, failing concentration checks only with 5% chance. Now add one measly spell or item (e.g. Bless or Ring of Protection +1) and you have at least +9, which means you don't fail DC 10 concentration checks.
    [Provided you don't take 21+ damage per hit. If you get hit by something like this, use your Reaction for Shield or Absorb Elements and you should be fine.]

    The third point is valid for the Resilient (CON) feat as well.

    And now, with the need for those feats gone, you can finally make this build with a Dragonborn.
    Good points, I may have been a little overcautious with this. I think having only one 7th level slot just made me determined to minimize the possibility of losing Concentration.

    Quote Originally Posted by Theaitetos View Post
    p.s.: Your one-shot build with Belt of Storm Giant Strength has STR 8, which is not sufficient to multiclass in/out of Paladin; only natural stats are allowed for determining multiclass options.
    Ahh thanks, I wasn't sure about that. I even calculated the stat spread required for starting at 13 Str (13/8/16/10/10/16) but I wasn't sure it worked that way and didn't want to take up unnecessary space.

    It occurs to me that Forge Cleric does get Elemental Weapon, plus at level 14 you get 2d8 fire damage per hit... I'll be sad to lose the wings, but I wonder how a Palacleric build focused around this spell would work?
    Last edited by AgenderArcee; 2020-01-06 at 11:22 AM.

  7. - Top - End - #337
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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    Quote Originally Posted by AgenderArcee View Post
    The first +5 Cha modifier comes from Elemental Affinity, the second comes from GFB itself. "The second creature takes fire damage equal to your spellcasting ability modifier," with 3d8 added by 17th level.
    Ah, I see, you're right. Mea culpa.

    Quote Originally Posted by AgenderArcee View Post
    Double-bladed scimitar isn't heavy, so I don't think it would work with GWM? However, this does raise the point that PAM + GWM with a glaive or halberd would fit this concept well. You can then save your Quickens for burst damage, or at least have a good backup once they run out.
    True, that wouldn't work. However, are you sure GWM is worth it? Have you calculated the AC breaking point (with or without the Belt of Giant Strength)?

    Quote Originally Posted by AgenderArcee View Post
    It occurs to me that Forge Cleric does get Elemental Weapon, plus at level 14 you get 2d8 fire damage per hit... I'll be sad to lose the wings, but I wonder how a Palacleric build focused around this spell would work?
    Hmmm? What character exactly are you trying to create? Is it just about Dragonborn & Fire & Big Sword? What about flying? What about divine smite?

    A Forge Cleric might indeed be what you seek: You can still be the big bad fire dragon greatsword knight in heavy armor. You can even get immunity to fire damage and resistance to slashing & piercing & bludgeoning at cleric level 17. You'd still have Fire Storm (7th level spell) and Flame Strike (5th level spell) as blasting fire spells, though no others; Wall of Fire (4th), Heat Metal (2nd), and Searing Smite (1st) are concentration spells conflicting with Elemental Weapon. No flight.

    You could also try a Hexblade Warlock 5 / Draconic Sorcerer 15 build. You lose 9th level spells and you would be seriously delayed in upcasting Elemental Weapon to the 7th spell slot: Instead of level 13, you'd have to wait to level 18 to upcast it to level 7. However, getting it & casting it normally is possible at level 5, as is usual for a 3rd-level spell. That way you can get your wings at level 19.

    Or you could give up on the Elemental Weapon spell and instead get this item:

    Quote Originally Posted by Flame Tongue Double-Bladed Scimitar
    Martial Melee Weapon (Attunement)
    2d4 slashing – Special, Two-Handed

    You can use a bonus action to speak this magic sword's command word, causing flames to erupt from the blade. These flames shed bright light in a 40-foot radius and dim light for an additional 40 feet. While the sword is ablaze, it deals an extra 2d6 fire damage to any target it hits. The flames last until you use a bonus action to speak the command word again or until you drop or sheathe the sword.

    Special: If you attack with a double-bladed scimitar as part of the Attack action on your turn, you can use a bonus action immediately after to make a melee attack with it. This attack deals 1d4 slashing damage on a hit, instead of 2d4.

    Two-Handed: This weapon requires two hands to use. This property is relevant only when you attack with the weapon, not when you simply hold it.
    Or a Flame Tongue Great-Sword to go with GWM. Then you'd be freed from the necessity to chase Elemental Weapon in spell lists and could focus more on everything else you want.

    If you want to get flight, there are some options: Winged Tieflings have 30ft flight right from the very beginning at level 1 (no heavy armor). Aaracokra can fly at 50ft (only light armor). Sorcerers often get flight (Draconic & Divine at 14, Storm at 18). Barbarians (Totem Warrior Eagle) can "fly" on their own turns. The Protector Aasimar gets 1minute of flight once a day. There are items that grant flying for short amounts of time every day (require attunement).

    Heavy Armor is difficult to achieve (unless you spend an ASI), as it requires either starting with a Fighter¹ or Paladin¹, a multiclass dip into specific Cleric domains (Forge, Life, Nature, Order, Tempest¹, War¹), or a level 3 Bladelock (Eldritch Armor invocation).
    ¹: includes Martial weapon proficiency

    I'd say Bladelock is the easiest way of getting a lot of things done, and if you don't get a Belt of Giant Strength, then you don't have to invest too much into STR as the Hexblade¹ Bladelock can use CHA as weapon ability. If you do get a belt, any Bladelock will do.

  8. - Top - End - #338
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    Quote Originally Posted by Theaitetos View Post
    True, that wouldn't work. However, are you sure GWM is worth it? Have you calculated the AC breaking point (with or without the Belt of Giant Strength)?
    What exactly do you mean by "breaking point"? Like the point where it becomes unlikely to hit? With the Belt it'd be +13 with the -5, which doesn't seem too bad to me. Without, it'd only be +9, so might be best reserved for Channel Divinity.

    Quote Originally Posted by Theaitetos View Post
    Hmmm? What character exactly are you trying to create? Is it just about Dragonborn & Fire & Big Sword? What about flying? What about divine smite?

    A Forge Cleric might indeed be what you seek: You can still be the big bad fire dragon greatsword knight in heavy armor. You can even get immunity to fire damage and resistance to slashing & piercing & bludgeoning at cleric level 17. You'd still have Fire Storm (7th level spell) and Flame Strike (5th level spell) as blasting fire spells, though no others; Wall of Fire (4th), Heat Metal (2nd), and Searing Smite (1st) are concentration spells conflicting with Elemental Weapon. No flight.
    Oh I was just spitballing lol, maybe splitting this into two separate character ideas. Another possible variation could be Draconic Sorcerer 6/Forge Cleric 14, sacrificing Paladin features to focus on Green-Flame Blade and fire magic. You'd lose a lot of melee capability against fire immune enemies, of course, but it'd be a good fit for the gimmick at least. :P

    Quote Originally Posted by Theaitetos View Post
    You could also try a Hexblade Warlock 5 / Draconic Sorcerer 15 build. You lose 9th level spells and you would be seriously delayed in upcasting Elemental Weapon to the 7th spell slot: Instead of level 13, you'd have to wait to level 18 to upcast it to level 7. However, getting it & casting it normally is possible at level 5, as is usual for a 3rd-level spell. That way you can get your wings at level 19.
    Huh, I didn't know Hexblade got Elemental Weapon! That is a potentially interesting idea, although honestly I'm a little tired of Hexblade lol. That aside, it occurs to me that you could squeeze in a level of Fighter there with Sorcerer 14/Hexblade 5/Fighter 1 and get a little extra bang for your buck in the form of a Fighting Style, heavy armor and Second Wind.

    Quote Originally Posted by Theaitetos View Post
    Or you could give up on the Elemental Weapon spell and instead get this item:

    Or a Flame Tongue Great-Sword to go with GWM. Then you'd be freed from the necessity to chase Elemental Weapon in spell lists and could focus more on everything else you want.
    True! I think a Sorcadin with a Flame Tongue Greatsword is more what I'm looking for. I like the idea of getting the flight from dragon wings, haha. Of course, at this point it doesn't stand out as a Build so much, but then the realization that Elemental Affinity doesn't really work with Elemental Weapon already kind of put a damper on things. Oh well! It's still nice to have Quickened Elemental Affinity GFB for some extra burst damage.
    Last edited by AgenderArcee; 2020-01-06 at 04:20 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AgenderArcee View Post
    What exactly do you mean by "breaking point"? Like the point where it becomes unlikely to hit? With the Belt it'd be +13 with the -5, which doesn't seem too bad to me. Without, it'd only be +9, so might be best reserved for Channel Divinity.
    There's a formula to calculate at which AC point it's better to use GWM or not:
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showt...-10-Like-a-Pro


    Quote Originally Posted by AgenderArcee View Post
    Huh, I didn't know Hexblade got Elemental Weapon! That is a potentially interesting idea, although honestly I'm a little tired of Hexblade lol. That aside, it occurs to me that you could squeeze in a level of Fighter there with Sorcerer 14/Hexblade 5/Fighter 1 and get a little extra bang for your buck in the form of a Fighting Style, heavy armor and Second Wind.
    Bladelocks can wear any armor with the Eldritch Armor invocation, no need for proficiencies anymore. And this single Fighter level would cost you your precious 8th-level spells as a Sorcerer, so definitely not worth it.

    Quote Originally Posted by AgenderArcee View Post
    True! I think a Sorcadin with a Flame Tongue Greatsword is more what I'm looking for. I like the idea of getting the flight from dragon wings, haha. Of course, at this point it doesn't stand out as a Build so much, but then the realization that Elemental Affinity doesn't really work with Elemental Weapon already kind of put a damper on things. Oh well! It's still nice to have Quickened Elemental Affinity GFB for some extra burst damage.
    Remember that in builds without Elemental Weapon you will have concentration available for another spell, e.g. Smites, Enlarge, Divine Favor, Haste, Flame Shield, …, thereby increasing your dpr.
    Last edited by Theaitetos; 2020-01-07 at 01:23 AM.

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    MindFlayer

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    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant View Post
    How about a Dex-based Eldritch Knight 12 / War Mage 8 focusing on using Shadow Blade? Can also use Mage Armor to get plate-like AC while still being stealthy and having a great initiative. Bonus points for being able to magically summon all of your arms and armor and have 26 AC in a ball gown.

    Arcane Deflection + Indomitable + Lucky all stack to give you great save coverage. Warding Wind is a good spell on the Abjuration/Evocation list which protects you and everyone behind you from ranged attacks (and some other things). War Caster will help keep your Concentration up, and SB / WC / Booming Blade OAs will make you stickier than the average Fighter. Shadow Blade gives you fantastic damage scaling as a Fighter and this build has enough spell slots to be casting it every encounter (by around mid-levels).
    I have been tracking all your EK builds you have posted at various threads

    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/shows...3&postcount=23
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/shows...2&postcount=19
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/shows...73&postcount=4
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/shows...3&postcount=17
    http://www.giantitp.com/forums/shows...4&postcount=13

    You should probably use the 2nd link and create a full blown EK guide ala Nuclear Wizard style

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    Quote Originally Posted by Orc_Lord View Post
    It's worth mentioning EK will never be as broken as Nuclear Wizard. Like, never. Wizard is the most broken class in the game bar none.
    EK mainly is a super duper tank, I dare say the tankiest of them all (other than the Wizard himself, of course). Other than that, he has really solid damage, doubly so when you start upcasting Shadow Blade, but he will still lag in damage behind pure DPR builds like Crossbow Expert - Sharpshooter and the like for most of the game.
    Last edited by bendking; 2020-01-08 at 12:42 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bendking View Post
    I'll note it as a variant option for the build, but it's way more dependent on party composition than a straight V.Human.
    I have three other variants to add – Kalashtar (Eberron), Triton & Yuan-Ti (Volo). They're weaker than Variant Human because of the delay in feats/ASIs ofc, but might be useful anyway. They all add one resistance type and round out our stats:

    Triton (STR-build): STR 14+1 / DEX 9 / CON 13+1 / INT 8 / WIS 13 / CHA 15+1
    The STR build can be done with a Triton (STR+1, CON+1, CHA+1), that is usually a paladin race, but works well here. That way there's no loss to CON, we get amphibious breathing & swimming, resistance to Cold damage, and three free spells: Fog Cloud, Gust of Wind, Wall of Water. We already have Fog Cloud as Domain spell, but it's good to get 1 cast per day for free. For some absolutely ridiculous reason the Tritons don't have Darkvision though…

    Yuan-Ti (DEX-build): STR 8 / DEX 14 / CON 14 / INT 9+1 / WIS 13 / CHA 14+2
    The Yuan-Ti (CHA+2, INT+1) give us the powerful Magic Resistance buff to all of our saving throws against magic. They also round up INT 10, add absolute Poison immunity, grant us Darkvision (yay!), and add a few spells (Poison Spray, Animal Friendship on snakes, Suggestion) based on CHA - which makes Suggestion a very nice & welcome addition to our out-of-combat skill set!

    Kalashtar (DEX-build): STR 8 / DEX 14 / CON 14 / INT 8 / WIS 12+2 / CHA 15+1
    The Kalashtar (WIS+2, CHA+1) grant us advantage on all of our WIS saves, which is super sweet & not even limited to magic. They also grant resistance to Psychic damage, which strongly mitigates our low INT saves, as INT-save-spells always deal Psychic damage. The immunity to dream is pretty useless, but they have one of the strongest Telepathy abilities next to an Elder Brain: Two-way telepathy established with one creature via a simple action, smashing all language-barriers to pieces, at an incredible 10ft per level range (i.e. longer than Familiar communication past level 10) – and unlimited creature one-way communication at this range! It's limited to sight, but still an extremely powerful addition to our social skill set and making us the perfect party face.




    Now there's a variant for resistance against every damage type to add to our innate resistance/immunity against Lightning & Thunder, except weapons (Pierce/Slash/Bludge), Acid & Force damage:
    • Fire: Levistus Tiefling (can add Cold & Poison resistance with Infernal Constitution feat)
    • Cold: Triton
    • Poison: Yuan-Ti
    • Radiant: Aasimar
    • Necrotic: Aasimar
    • Psychic: Kalashtar

    That makes it very versatile build, suitable for any campaign.
    Last edited by Theaitetos; 2020-01-08 at 07:40 PM.

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    MindFlayer

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    Quote Originally Posted by bendking View Post
    It's worth mentioning EK will never be as broken as Nuclear Wizard. Like, never. Wizard is the most broken class in the game bar none
    I don't disagree, however the premise of the nuclear wizard, aka adding +INT per magic missile has been blocked by the errata, it's now added once. Having said that, yes wizards are strong, no doubt.
    Last edited by Orc_Lord; 2020-01-09 at 10:50 AM.

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    Those EK builds sound very cool, I especially like the unexpected Death Domain idea. This character's arcane study could only take them so far, and, frustrated by the limits imposed on them, they turn to the seductive lure of the Dark Side.....

    Quote Originally Posted by Orc_Lord View Post
    I don't disagree, however the premise of the nuclear wizard, aka adding +INT per magic missile has been blocked by the errata, it's now added once. Having said that, yes wizard's are strong, no doubt.
    Oh really? What errata was that? I thought the trick behind Nuclear Wizard was that you make the same damage roll for all beams of Magic Missile, and therefore the Int is added to all of them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Theaitetos View Post
    I have three other variants to add – Kalashtar (Eberron), Triton & Yuan-Ti (Volo). They're weaker than Variant Human because of the delay in feats/ASIs ofc, but might be useful anyway. They all add one resistance type and round out our stats:
    I added these to the post, thanks :)

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    Quote Originally Posted by AgenderArcee View Post
    Oh really? What errata was that? I thought the trick behind Nuclear Wizard was that you make the same damage roll for all beams of Magic Missile, and therefore the Int is added to all of them.
    Not sure on the date, but the latest errata under Wizard, Empowered evocation says:
    Empowered Evocation (p. 117). “The damage roll” has been changed to “one damage roll.”
    See here: https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=h...FPH-Errata.pdf

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    Quote Originally Posted by Orc_Lord View Post
    Not sure on the date, but the latest errata under Wizard, Empowered evocation says:


    See here: https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=h...FPH-Errata.pdf
    That's the horrid brilliance of Nuclear Wizard, only one damage roll is made with Magic Missile. This is in LudicSavant's post on the topic here.

    Though the really funny thing about Nuclear Wizard is that its whole deal is completely canceled out if an enemy has a Brooch of Shielding.
    Last edited by AgenderArcee; 2020-01-09 at 12:21 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Orc_Lord View Post
    Not sure on the date, but the latest errata under Wizard, Empowered evocation says:


    See here:
    It's the end of The Nuclear Magic Missale Wizard/Fighter/Hexblade Warlock

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    Quote Originally Posted by AgenderArcee View Post
    That's the horrid brilliance of Nuclear Wizard, only one damage roll is made with Magic Missile. This is in LudicSavant's post on the topic here.
    I have no interest in rules lawyering. I mostly DM, as a DM I believe MM gets +INT once, no matter how you want to interpret the wording. While we are on the subject, I feel the same about Sorlocks having "8 short rests" and casters with the spell "healing spirit".

    Essentially it comes down to this. Is a single players fun impairing all other players fun by making them obsolete, uncomfortable (ooc), or feel threatened (ooc)? If the answer is yes, then I take a look and make a determination.

    Rules wise I try to be as RAW as possible, however, I also recognize that the whole point of role-playing is my players having fun. If I decided to play a D&D God Game, then I would assemble a Nuclear Wizard, Sorlock, Druid and some Barbarian/Fighter BM super team and they could go to town.

    I guess what I am trying to say is it comes down to balance. Not everyone has to do the same amount of damage, or be just as useful in every situation, however when one player can single handledly overshoot everyone else it becomes a problem for the rest of the players, which becomes a problem for me to adjudicate.

    ...this is all an IMHO. My fun does not have to be your fun. But my table, is my table.
    Last edited by Orc_Lord; 2020-01-09 at 01:18 PM.

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    GreenSorcererElf

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    Quote Originally Posted by Orc_Lord View Post
    I have no interest in rules lawyering. I mostly DM, as a DM I believe MM gets +INT once, no matter how you want to interpret the wording.
    That's all fine, and you're probably justified in house-ruling the Nuclear Wizard out of existence. But that's houserule, not errata. RAW, it's one roll so it works.

    https://twitter.com/JeremyECrawford/...02859609251840

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    Quote Originally Posted by Evaar View Post
    That's all fine, and you're probably justified in house-ruling the Nuclear Wizard out of existence. But that's houserule, not errata. RAW, it's one roll so it works.

    https://twitter.com/JeremyECrawford/...02859609251840
    Twitter statements, even from JC, are not waterproof as RAW or RAI. It's their own rulings at best, until/unless that same ruling ends up in errata.

    Rule ≠ Ruling.

    The rule referenced mentions Fireball and Flamestrike, both of which determine a target (=area) once. Magic Missile determines target for each missile separately, multiple times.
    Last edited by Arkhios; 2020-01-09 at 01:44 PM.

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    Mike Meals

    "empowered evocation applies only once per target"




    Also, that rule mentioned is about AOE like fireball, not targeting spell like Magic Missales. Each dart, each roll.

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    That's legit! I agree that as a DM I would probably rule like that if the player was overshadowing the rest of the party.

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    Alright, let's back up.

    Magic Missile being one damage roll for all darts wasn't in question until someone said there was an errata that changed it. The errata was posted and it, in fact, does not change anything about how Magic Missile works. Then the individual made a post about how they run things at their table, which isn't really relevant, so I pointed out that it wasn't relevant and that the rule about Magic Missile being one damage roll stands.

    Now people are saying Crawford's clarification of RAW doesn't apply to Magic Missile, even though he is specifically addressing Magic Missile, because the rule he cites mentions Fireball and Flame Strike.

    So here's the rule:
    If a spell or other effect deals damage to more than one target at the same time, roll the damage once for all of them. For example, when a wizard casts fireball or a cleric casts flame strike, the spell's damage is rolled once for all creatures caught in the blast.
    Note how it doesn't say "it deals damage in an area." It says "deals damage to more than one target at the same time." Magic Missile explicitly meets that definition, as the spell states "The darts all strike simultaneously, and you can direct them to hit one creature or several." The rule gives two example spells, but just because you can point out ways those spells are different from Magic Missile doesn't change the rule - similarly, the rule also doesn't only apply to spells that deal fire damage, even though both of the example spells deal fire damage.

    So intuitively you might think it shouldn't be that way, and you don't want to rule it that way. You might even say there's some ambiguity, because Nuclear Wizard focuses all the missiles on one target so technically it's not striking more than one target, so in that specific scenario it doesn't work, even though Crawford has explicitly said it does. That's fine, it's your game, your table. But in threads like this one, it's really only relevant to discuss RAW and, where RAW is ambiguous, to go for the most authoritative ruling we can get. Because it's kind of impossible and pointless to make and share builds assuming a bunch of house rules. Unless you're the Sorcerer King, I suppose.

    By RAW, Nuclear Wizard works.

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    Did LudicSavant ever post a full write-up of the SoulKnife build?

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    I thought it'd be fun to build Iron Man as a full Artificer. Magic items used are only those he'd be able to infuse himself, and obviously they're hoarded pretty selfishly, but then Tony Stark never seems to share his suits with Hawkeye or Black Widow or anyone else who could use them, lol.

    Building Iron Man


    (Source)

    Variant Human Artificer (Artillerist) 20
    Starting feat: Heavily Armored (+1 Str)
    Vhuman stat increases: +1 Int, +1 Cha
    Starting stats: 15/8/10/16/8/16
    ASIs: Int 18, Int 20, Spell Sniper (Eldritch Blast), Cha 18, Cha 20

    Skill proficiencies: Athletics, Persuasion (custom variant Noble background), and two of Arcana, Perception and Investigation.

    Tony Stark is an ordinary if fairly buff man who's often not in the best of health, and often demonstrates poor judgment, so 10 Con and 8 Wis while pumping up Int and Cha seemed fitting. In addition to representing his playboy charm and incredible willpower, eventually getting Cha to max will also help mechanically since Eldritch Blast, taken from the Warlock spell list with Spell Sniper to increase his repulsor capabilities, uses Cha for attack rolls. As an Artillerist, he would hold his Arcane Firearm with one hand while holding the Tiny Eldritch Cannon in the other. Both could be reflavored as gloves/gauntlets, and at level 15 he could take the Wand Sheath Infusion (since after Level 14 the Artificer can ignore racial requirements for magic items) and wear an Eldritch Cannon on each hand, while keeping the Arcane Firearm in the Wand Sheath. The default use of the Eldritch Cannons would be to fire repulsor Force Ballistas as a bonus action, but one could instead be given the Flamethrower or Protector type, depending on encounter expectations.

    Cantrips: Mending, Guidance, Fire Bolt, Shocking Grasp, Eldritch Blast (Spell Sniper)

    Arcane Infusions:
    • Enhanced Arcane Focus (Attunement Slot 1)
    • Enhanced Defense (Plate armor)
    • Replicate Magic Item:
      —Goggles of Night
      —Bag of Holding
      —Sending Stones
      —Wand of Magic Detection
      —Winged Boots (Attunement Slot 2)
      —Dimensional Shackles
      —Amulet of Health (Attunement Slot 3)
      —Wand Sheath (Attunement Slot 4)
      —Cloak of Protection (Attunement Slot 5)
      —Ring of Protection (Attunement Slot 6)

    Infusions can vary, of course, and Belt of Hill Giant Strength can be switched in for one of the Attunement Slots depending on preference. I tried to make it work but the rest seemed more useful, and 15 Strength isn't bad at all. If you really want his Strength to come from an item, you can drop the Cloak or Ring (probably the Cloak, as cool as medieval Iron Man with a cape sounds), or the Wand Sheath if the DM rules that you can mount an Eldritch Cannon on your wrist instead. Depending on party composition, you may want to expend at least a couple of the other Infusions on your teammates - Dimensional Shackles in particular was kind of just put in to fill space lol.

    I was going to have the Spell-Storing Item be Shield before realizing that's on the Artillerist spell list, not the Artificer spell list. No particular remaining option seems very thematic, so just do whatever - I'd recommend Cure Wounds.

    With these items, the character would have 24 AC: 20 from +2 Plate, 1 from Cloak of Protection, 1 from Ring of Protection, and 2 from continuous half-cover due to the Artillerist's level 15 Fortified Position feature. That's in addition to being able to cast Shield for a total of 29 AC, along with 183 HP (taking the average) at Level 20, creating a suitably durable Iron Man. Between Soul of Artifice and Ring of Protection, he would have +8 to all saving throws. His base flying speed is limited to 30 feet, but Expeditious Retreat can be used for a speed boost when needed. Goggles of Night and Wand of Magic Detection serve as advanced sensors, while Sending Stones can be used for arcane radio communication.

    EDIT: I’ve been informed that the Bracers of Defense won’t work while wearing armor! That leaves an Attunement slot open. My personal picks would either be the Belt of Hill Giant Strength, Cloak of Protection (who says medieval Iron Man can’t have a cape?) or Helm of Telepathy.

    Standard resource-less repulsor attack would use an action to fire four Eldritch Blasts (+13 to hit, 1d10 force damage each), then use a bonus action to fire two Force Ballistas (+11 to hit, 3d8 force damage each). However, with the full Artificer/Artillerist spell list at his disposal, he has a huge array of blasting and utility options at his disposal.

    This character is fully playable from levels 1-20, though you can't fly until level 9-10 (Fly spell at level 9, Winged Boots at level 10) and will rely on Fire Bolt as your go-to blasting cantrip until you get access to Eldritch Blast (depending on when you take Spell Sniper; incidentally, Magic Initiate: Warlock is also a solid option for Hex once a day and an extra cantrip, but feels less thematically fitting - Iron Man doesn't make deals to acquire his technology, he makes it himself).

    I think this would be a lot of fun to play, whether you're actually roleplaying as a magical Tony Stark or just want your character to be able to fight like him.
    Last edited by AgenderArcee; 2020-01-13 at 01:47 AM.

  27. - Top - End - #357
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    Kobold

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    Unless you are making extensive use of an on hit extra damage effect (like hex) or have 2 levels of warlock for agonizing blast I do not see it being worth putting all that work into grabbing eldritch blast and increasing your cha to use it. In addition eldritch blast is not an artificer spell so there are things that will not boost it but will boost firebolt.
    Last edited by MeeposFire; 2020-01-12 at 02:22 PM.
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    Oh, I love this Tony Stark!

    It's build with flavor > optimum in mind, so one could tinker around to make it stronger, but it's already quite strong. The only flavor I would add: Take the Homunculus as one of the infusions, as the mechanical heart and a helpful Jarvis really make it better!

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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    Oh yes, it’s definitely built more for flavor than max damage, or else you would probably at least take MI: Warlock for Hex. Two levels of Warlock for Agonizing Blast and multiple uses of Hex would definitely be a huge damage boost, however it is worth noting that the trade-off is losing +6 to all saving throws, which is a very good defensive buff, as well as the ability to avoid unconsciousness by sacrificing an unimportant item like your Goggles of Night. An extra 4d6+20 damage (assuming all hit) is probably worth it, though, depending on your outlook, so if your version of DnD Iron Man is okay making pacts and casting curses, it’s a great alternative way to go!
    Last edited by AgenderArcee; 2020-01-13 at 01:43 AM.

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    GreenSorcererElf

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    Quote Originally Posted by da newt View Post
    Did LudicSavant ever post a full write-up of the SoulKnife build?
    Not quite matching the format of the above, but if you scroll up on page 12 of this thread you can see Orc Lord created a bit of a compendium for all the EK stuff Ludic has written.

    The most expansive post in that collection is this one: http://www.giantitp.com/forums/shows...3&postcount=23

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