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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

    Join Date
    Sep 2017

    d20 The Everyman's Guide to Taking Up Arms: A Guide to Fighters

    I noticed that most of the guides to Fighters on this forum focus on the Eldritch Knight, so I figured I'd make my own, all-encompassing guide:

    The Everyman's Guide to Taking Up Arms

    A Guide to Fighters



    Note: None of the images in this thread belong to me. All images in this thread have been taken from Google Image Search because all the cool guides have pictures.

    Fighters have a long history with D&D. They've been in D&D since the very beginning, and haven't changed very much from edition to edition. Your modus operandi is has always been simple: you dish out damage as hard and as fast as you can, and you take in as much punishment as you can. In 5e, your purpose hasn't changed all that much, but you've still got some choices to make along the way.


    What the Colors Mean:
    (I.e. How to Use this Guide)

    Green: A very good option. It's very good at what it does, or provides a lot of useful options. You should take this option.
    Blue: A good option. Can't go wrong with this.
    Black: A decent option. There are likely better options, but this isn't a bad choice at all.
    Red: Not a very good option. Best to avoid.

    Teal: A situational option. In some specific cases it's good, but most of the time you'll not use it.


    Table of Contents:
    1. Class Features
    2. Ability Scores and Races
    3. Martial Archetypes
    4. Eldritch Knight Spells
    5. Battlemaster Maneuvers, Arcane Shots, and Feats
    6. Backgrounds and Multiclassing





    Class Features:

    Hit Dice: d10. That's the second-best hit dice in the game. Only a Barbarian has more HP.
    Armor Proficiency: Everything. And shields!
    Weapon Proficiency: You can use any weapon that you come across.
    Tool Proficiency: Nothing whatsoever.
    Saving Throws: Strength saves don't come up very often, but you'll want to pass them when they do. Constitution saves are common enough that you'll be very grateful you have this, and it helps with an Eldritch Knight's Concentration checks to boot.
    Skills:
    • Acrobatics: Jack be nimble, Jack be quick, Jack pulls off moves that are frickin' sick.
    • Animal Handling: Good if you have a mount. Not so good elsewhere.
    • Athletics: You want to climb? Jump? Swim? Then this is for you.
    • History: Leave the lore to the wizard nerds. You just want to hit stuff.
    • Insight: Yes, please, just try and lie to the heavily armored person with a greatsword.
    • Intimidation: It's certainly thematic, but unfortunately, it keys off of your dump stat. If you can convince your DM to have it play off of STR then this is wonderful.
    • Perception: You definitely want to be able to see threats coming.
    • Survival: This is great if you're in the wilderness a lot, kind of "meh" everywhere else.
    Fighting Styles:
    • Archery: +2 to hit? On all ranged attacks? Yes, please.
    • Defense: +1 AC is never a bad choice.
    • Dueling: A decent damage increase for one-handed weapons. It also leaves a hand free for shields or spells.
    • Great Weapon Fighting: I will happily take a free damage dice re-roller, thank you very much. This takes both hands and somewhat limits your weapon selection, though.
    • Protection: This requires a very specific scenario to trigger, which doesn't come up often enough to justify choosing this.
    • Two-Weapon Fighting: Essentially an Extra Attack if you're using two weapons simultaneously. Problem is, it limits your weapon selection to Light weapons (which aren't the heaviest hitters on the best of days) and all but requires you to take a feat to become truly effective.
    Second Wind: It'll never restore you to full health, but it'll keep you up and going for another turn.
    Action Surge: One of the best class abilities in the game, period. Taking an extra action is ludicrously powerful.
    Ability Score Improvement (ASI): You get more of these than any other class, so be prepared to have some very high stats (or a bucketload of feats, DM permitting) by the end of the campaign.
    Extra Attack: This is what makes Fighters the best damage dealers in the game. You get twice as many of these than any other class.
    Indomitable: Re-rolling a failed save is extremely useful, especially as this stacks with Advantage.


    Last edited by mjp1050; 2020-05-15 at 12:02 AM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

    Join Date
    Sep 2017

    Default Ability Scores and Races


    Strength: This determines how hard you hit. If you're not boosting this, then you're boosting DEX.
    Dexterity: You can shoot things better. And get AC. And have high initiative. This is the stat to make your primary, if you haven't chosen STR.
    Constitution: Turns out, having more hit points is considered good. This should be your secondary stat.
    Intelligence: You're not the smart guy; your job is to walk up to big, scary stuff and hit it. Eldritch Knights may want to make this their secondary stat, and some Arcane Shot options for the Arcane Archer use INT.
    Wisdom: Nothing keys off of this, but some of the most useful skill checks are Wisdom and WIS saves are somewhat common, so you'll want to consider boosting it slightly.
    Charisma: Nothing in the Fighter's arsenal uses this. Unless you're a Purple Dragon Knight, in which case you should invest a few points into it.


    Fighters have a lot of versatility in how they're built. Either STR or DEX can be your primary stat, though CON should always be your secondary. Eldritch Knights and Arcane Archers will want to boost INT, making it a tertiary stat. The examples below use 27 point buy, before racial stat increases.

    STR Build:
    STR 15, DEX 12, CON 15, INT 8, WIS 11, CHA 10
    This build is for melee characters and/or tanks. You'll be walking straight into the thick of battle, so you'll want your AC and HP to be as high as possible. Get your CON as high as you can and use Heavy Armor.

    DEX Build:
    STR 12, DEX 15, CON 14, INT 9, WIS 12, CHA 10
    The inverse of the above build. This is for ranged characters, like Arcane Archers and anyone else who uses a bow or crossbow, though it's entirely possible to use a DEX-based melee build.

    INT Build:
    STR 15, DEX 10, CON 14, INT 14, WIS 10, CHA 8
    Eldritch Knights (and possibly Arcane Archers) will want to boost their INT, to get decent attack rolls and spell save DCs. The DEX and STR scores are interchangeable here, depending on which one you want your primary stat to be.


    Races:

    Most races have something that a Fighter can use, given the universal applicability of hitting things with pointy implements. Note that because Eldritch Knights have a secondary stat that no other Fighter Archetype has, the ratings for them differ slightly from the rest.

    Player's Handbook
    • Hill Dwarf: +2 CON, +1 WIS. Poison resistance and bonus hit points on top of that.
    • Mountain Dwarf: +2 CON, +2 STR. Those stat increases alone would make this a great choice, but you also get the Dwarven benefits of Darkvision and Poison resistance.
    • High Elf: +2 DEX, +1 INT. The Elf package is solid, though an extra cantrip makes for a good Eldritch Knight.
    • Wood Elf: +2 DEX, +1 WIS. Speedier and stealthier than the average Elf. A slight improvement over the High Elf.
    • Dark Elf: +2 DEX, +1 CHA. Sunlight Sensitivity's a big red flag. You make multiple attacks per turn, you don't want disadvantage on all of them.
    • Lightfoot Halfling: +2 DEX, +1 CHA. Halflings get brownie points for Lucky alone.
    • Stout Halfling: +2 DEX, +1 CON. Great for a DEX build, with bonus poison resistance.
    • Human: +1 to all stats. The epitome of boring practicality. Nothing mind-blowing, but not bad either.
    • Variant Human: +1 to two stats. Note that this subrace is allowed only at a DM's discretion, so be sure to ask before choosing it. If your DM does allow it, a free feat is seriously powerful.
    • Dragonborn: +2 STR, +1 CHA. Resistance to one damage type of your choice is nice, even if the breath weapon is a little lacking.
    • Forest Gnome:+2 INT, +1 DEX. A free cantrip makes for a good Eldritch Knight, but mediocre elsewhere.
    • Rock Gnome: +2 INT, +1 CON. Wind-up toys don't do a whole lot for you, though you could make a decent Eldritch Knight out of it.
    • Half-Elf: +2 CHA, +1 to two stats. The best parts of an Elf mixed with the versatility of a Human. CHA goes to waste, though.
    • Half-Orc: +2 STR, +1 CON. On top of those perfect stats, you also get a boost to your crits and a get-out-of-death-free card.
    • Tiefling: +2 CHA, +1 INT. Fire Resistance's the only thing you want here. And if you want that, go Dragonborn and at least get a STR bonus.


    Dungeon Master's Guide
    • Eladrin: +2 DEX, +1 INT. It's a High Elf with a 2nd-level spell instead of a cantrip. Great for an Eldritch Knight, as usual.
    • Aasimar: +2 WIS, +1 CHA. Nothing for you here, unfortunately.


    Elemental Evil
    • Aarakocra: +2 DEX, +1 WIS. There's a significant trade-off here. You get free flight, but to do so, you can't wear medium or heavy armor.
    • Deep Gnome: +2 INT, +1 DEX. Like all Gnomes, it makes for a good Eldritch Knight, but doesn't add much else to a Fighter. Are you seeing a pattern here?
    • Air Genasi: +2 CON, +1 DEX. Bonus levitation's just icing on the cake.
    • Earth Genasi: +2 CON, +1 STR. Perfect stats, with some situational ribbons on top of that.
    • Fire Genasi: +2 CON, +1 INT. Bonus CON is always useful, and Fire Resistance is sometimes useful. Makes for a good Eldritch Knight, though.
    • Water Genasi: +2 CON, +1 WIS. Being able to breathe and swim underwater is nice.
    • Goliath: +2 STR, +1 CON. You're really strong and hard to kill. Perfect.


    Volo's Guide to Monsters
    • Protector Aasimar: +2 CHA, +1 WIS. The stats aren't useful, but you shouldn't rule out the combination of bonus flight and bonus damage.
    • Scourge Aasimar: +2 CHA, +1 CON. See above, but this time you get a useful stat increased and you glow instead of fly.
    • Fallen Aasimar: +2 CHA, +1 STR. I'm reminded of a Dragonborn when I read the stat block, if Dragonborn were scary and dealt Necrotic damage.
    • Firbolg: +2 WIS, +1 STR. Free invisibility with a STR increase makes for an interesting combo.
    • Goliath: +2 STR, +1 CON. I already covered this in the Elemental Evil entry. Same rating.
    • Kenku: +2 DEX, +1 WIS. The DEX is nice, but that's about all it has going for it.
    • Lizardfolk: +2 CON, +1 WIS. You have a lot of very interesting, varied options for dealing damage here. If that weren't enough, the Natural Armor's on par with light armor.
    • Tabaxi: +2 DEX, +1 CHA. You won't lack for mobility, that's for sure. The DEX is nice, too.
    • Triton: +1 STR, +1 CON, +1 CHA. Great stats, Cold Resistance, and you can breathe underwater. Eldritch Knights benefit from the extra spells, too.
    • Bugbear: +2 STR, +1 DEX. Great stats, bonus damage, and uniquely, reach.
    • Hobgoblin: +2 CON, +1 INT. A free bonus to attack rolls/saving throws/ability checks is interesting, if dependent on your party. Eldritch Knights can squeeze a little more out of this race.
    • Goblin: +2 DEX, +1 CON. Surprisingly good archers, with some bonus damage on top.
    • Kobold: +2 DEX, -2 STR. If you can guarantee that an ally will be next to you during combat, this is a great choice for ranged Fighters. If you can't, then prepare for a lot of rolls at disadvantage.
    • Orc: +2 STR, +1 CON, -2 INT. Not for Eldritch Knights, obviously, though the bonus movement is useful for everyone with a melee build. If you have access to Eberron: Rising From the Last War or Explorer's Guide to Wildemont, use that version of the Orc instead. It's a straight upgrade, and Wizards hasn't changed the Volo's version, for some reason.
    • Yuan-ti Pureblood: +2 CHA, +1 INT. This race is just not built for fighting. Advantage on saves is nice, but not enough to save it in my opinion.


    The Tortle Package
    • Tortle: +2 STR, +1 WIS. Tortle's are a gimmicky race: the main draw is the fact that you have a flat 17 AC and can retreat into your shell to boost it to 21. If you don't want to worry about armor, then it's ok.


    Mordenkainen's Tome of Foes
    • Eladrin: +2 DEX, +1 CHA. You can teleport. And it does bonus fun things based on your mood, though the DC is based off of your dump stat.
    • Sea Elf: +2 DEX, +1 CON. You get water-breathing and a swim speed on top of some great stats.
    • Shadar-Kai: +2 DEX, +1 CON. Of the two teleporting Elf subraces in this book, this is the better option for Fighters, as it includes damage resistance and nice stats.
    • Duergar: +2 CON, +1 STR. Sunlight Sensitivity's awful for a Fighter. Which is a shame, because the rest of the race is so good.
    • Githyanki: +2 STR, +1 INT. Not a bad fighter on its own, and made much better by an Eldritch Knight.
    • Githzerai: +2 WIS, +1 INT. By contrast, this is a bad fighter on its own. Nothing here helps a fighter.
    • Deep Gnome: +2 INT, +1 DEX. I already covered this in the Elemental Evil entry. Same rating.
    • Baalzebul Tiefling: +2 CHA, +1 INT. Basically a reprint of the PHB tiefling, with your spells shuffled around.
    • Dispater Tiefling: +2 CHA, +1 DEX. Generally tieflings don't make for good Fighters, but this is one of the better tiefling options out there, given that your spells are all utility.
    • Fierna Tiefling: +2 CHA, +1 WIS. The stats just aren't in the right place.
    • Glasya Tiefling: +2 CHA, +1 DEX. The spell selection is actually good: Disguise Self and Invisibility are great utilities for Fighters.
    • Levistus Tiefling: +2 CHA, +1 CON. The highlight here is Armor of Agathys, which is decent a low levels, but falls off very quickly.
    • Mammon Tiefling: +2 CHA, +1 INT. You get Mage Hand for free, but that's about it. Probably better than the PHB Tiefling, but that's not saying much.
    • Mephistopheles Tiefling: +2 CHA, +1 INT. Flame Blade's an interesting spell, but you only get it for 10 minutes a day. Not worth it.
    • Zariel Tiefling: +2 CHA, +1 STR. Searing Smite and Branding Smite are nice on a Fighter.


    Storm Coast Adventurer's Guide
    • Ghostwise Halflings: +2 DEX, +1 WIS. The Halfling base package is strong. Which is good, because this subrace doesn't add anything worth mentioning.
    • Deep Gnome: +2 INT, +1 DEX. Boy, this just keeps getting reprinted, doesn't it? Same rating as always
    • Variant Half-Elf: +2 CHA, + 1 to two stats. Just in case the Half-Elf wasn't versatile enough, now you have even more options!
    • Variant Tiefling: +2 DEX, +1 INT. Unlike the Aarakocra, you don't have to trade armor for flight. Eldritch Knights get even more mileage out of the spells, too.


    Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica
    • Centaur: +2 STR, +1 WIS. For those who wish to trample all their enemies, this is the race for you. Centaurs are leagues (read: 10ft) faster than most other races.
    • Goblin: +2 DEX, +1 CON. Already covered, still make great archers. See the Volo's Guide to Monsters entry.
    • Loxodon: +2 CON, +1 WIS: You'd think an elephant would be better at fighting, but there's really not a lot here. The boost to saving throws is useful, at least, and the trunk gives some utility.
    • Minotaur: +2 STR, +1 CON. I stand corrected. For those who wish to trample all their enemies, this is the race for you.
    • Simic Hybrid: +2 CON, +1 to one stat. This is a very versatile race. You've got options for damage, grappling, defense, or mobility.
    • Vedalken: +2 INT, +1 WIS. There's not much here that benefits Fighters, though admittedly advantage on saving throws is nice.


    Acquisitions Incorporated
    • Verdan: +2 CON, +1 CHA. Well, here's an oddball of a race. The only fighter-y things that stand out are is the CON bonus and the short-rest healing. Note that you start out as Small and only advance to Medium at 5th level, so you shouldn't start out with heavy weapons.


    Eberron: Rising From the Last War
    • Changeling: +2 CHA, +1 to one stat. Sort of a mini Half-Elf that changes shape. You get two languages, two skills, and shapechanging, so your versatility is pretty much unparalleled.
    • Bugbear: +2 STR, +1 DEX. I already covered this in Volo's Guide to Monsters. Same rating.
    • Goblin: +2 DEX, +1 CON. See above.
    • Hobgoblin: +2 CON, +1 INT. Ditto.
    • Kalashtar: +2 WIS, +1 CHA. I'm on the fence about this one. Strictly speaking, there's nothing here that directly benefits Fighters except for the advantage on WIS saves (and resistance to Psychic damage, but that's a very rare damage type anyways), but this is an interesting enough race that I hesitate to rate it red.
    • Orc: +2 STR, +1 CON. Well, this is just straight up better than the entry in Volo's. You keep what made the Orc great, lose the penalty to INT, and gain some bonus proficiencies on the side.
    • Beasthide Shifter: +2 CON, +1 STR. What is it with Eberron and shapechanging? This is the second race with shapeshifting as its main gimmick. Regardless, gaining +1 to AC while shifted is decent, though it's only for a minute (read: one encounter per rest) and the temp HP doesn't scale with level.
    • Longtooth Shifter: +2 STR, +1 DEX. You gain some great unarmed strikes while shifted, and that's about it, though the stat increases are nice.
    • Swiftstride Shifter: +2 DEX, +1 CHA. Ignoring opportunity attacks is always useful, and the speed increase is the cherry on top.
    • Wildhunt Shifter: +2 WIS, +1 DEX. There's something to be said for negating advantage against you. Especially while you get advantage on Wisdom checks.
    • Warforged: +2 CON, +1 to one stat. You know how Half-Elfs always get ragged on for being versatile enough to fulfill any role? Well, this is a robotic Half Elf that doesn't need to breath, is immune to disease, gains +1 AC....
    • Mark of Detection Half-Elf: +2 WIS, +1 to one stat. This is worse for you than the PHB Half-Elf. You lose most of the versatility of the Half-Elf and it's replaced by spells that you can't use unless you're an Eldritch Knight. Even then, an Eldritch Knight doesn't want those spells - Eldritch Knights know 13 spells at most and swap them out during leveling so you want to be sure that the spells you do know are actually useful, not situational like these are.
    • Mark of Finding Half-Orc/Human: +2 WIS, +1 CON. Hunter's Mark and a bonus to Perception checks is much more useful. In terms of spells: same as above, except Faerie Fire is actually a decent spell that you can use.
    • Mark of Handling Human: +2 WIS, +1 to one stat. It's not intrinsically bad, but I'd rather take the regular Human's +1 to all stats.
    • Mark of Healing Halfling: +2 DEX, +1 WIS. Not bad for a regular Fighter, given that it's still a Halfling buried underneath all the spells, but this has the potential to completely change an
    • Eldritch Knight's playstyle through the healing spells.
    • Mark of Hospitality Halfling: +2 DEX, +1 CHA. It's still a Halfling with some situational bonuses, but this is certainly one of the weaker Dragonmarks.
    • Mark of Making Human: +2 INT, +1 to one stat. You get a concentration-free Magic Weapon for an hour each day. Better for an Eldritch Knight, even though that spell list is completely worthless. You already have most of 'em and they're all rated red anyways.
    • Mark of Passage Human: +2 DEX, +1 to one stat. 35ft move speed and a free daily Misty Step, on top of perfect stat increases.
    • Mark of Scribing Gnome: +2 INT, +1 CHA. Doesn't break the Gnome streak of being a decent choice for an Eldritch Knight but bad for any other subclass. That spell list is far too specific to be of any use, though.
    • Mark of Sentinel Human: +2 CON, +1 WIS. Free Shield, a bonus to Perception checks, a better tanking ability... the only reason this isn't Green is because you don't get a boost to your primary stat (though I will rate it Green for Eldritch Knights because that it one heck of a spell list that you wouldn't otherwise have access to).
    • Mark of Shadow Elf: +2 DEX, +1 CHA. Minor Illusion Invisibility, and a bonus to stealth checks are useful if you want to go the sneaky route.
    • Mark of Storm Half-Elf: +2 CHA, +1 DEX. Resistance to Lightning damage is useful, but that's pretty much all you get that's worth anything.
    • Mark of Warding Dwarf: +2 CON, +1 INT. There's honestly not much here for a Fighter. Mage Armor is useful for a high-DEX character, I suppose.


    Explorer's Guide to Wildemont
    • Pallid Elf: +2 DEX, +1 WIS. One of the more lackluster Elven subraces, I think. Advantage on Insight is useful, but that's about it. That being said, none of the racial spells require an attack roll or saving throw, so an Eldritch Knight just gets free spells.
    • Sea Elf: +2 DEX, +1 CON. Already covered in the MToF sections. Same rating.
    • Lotusden Halfling: +2 DEX, +1 WIS. Normally I'd dismiss its racial abilities as ribbons, but they synergize with each other quite nicely, so you can squeeze some decent area denial out of this little halfling.
    • Aarakocra: +2 DEX, +1 WIS. Oh hey, an official printing! The trade-off between armor and flight still applies. Same rating as the Elemental Evil version.
    • Protector Aasimar: +2 CHA, +1 WIS. Already covered in Volo's. Same rating, it's just decent.
    • Scourge Aasimar:+2 CHA, +1 CON. See above.
    • Fallen Aasimar: +2 CHA, +1 STR. Ditto.
    • Draconblood Dragonborn: +2 INT, +1 CHA. Finally, a Dragonborn with Darkvision! At the cost of your damage resistance, which was the Dragonborn's saving grace. There's no reason to pick this over the base version.
    • Ravenite Dragonborn: +2 STR, +1 CON. On the opposite end of the scale (heh), we have this. Darkvision, better stats than the PHB Dragonborn, and a bonus attack. This package more than makes up for the lack of elemental resistance.
    • Firbolg: +2 WIS, +1 STR. Reprint from Volo's, Firbolgs still make for an interesting fighter, with their free invisibility. But now we run into the issue I have with campaign books: a lot of stuff gets reprinted. None of the following races are new to 5e, and I've already covered all of them above.
    • Air Genasi: +2 CON, +1 DEX. Reprint from Elemental Evil. Bonus levitation is really great for ranged characters, as now no one can reach you.
    • Earth Genasi: +2 CON, +1 STR. Reprint from Elemental Evil. Perfect stats, with some situational ribbons on top of that.
    • Fire Genasi: +2 CON, +1 INT. Reprint from Elemental Evil. Bonus CON is always useful, and Fire Resistance is sometimes useful. Makes for a good Eldritch Knight, though.
    • Water Genasi: +2 CON, +1 WIS. Reprint from Elemental Evil. Being able to breathe and swim underwater is nice, if not a must have.
    • Bugbear: +2 STR, +1 DEX. Reprint from Volo's. This is the only race that grants reach, and that makes for some interesting builds.
    • Hobgoblin: +2 CON, +1 INT. Reprint from Volo's. A free bonus to attack rolls/saving throws/ability checks is interesting, if dependent on your party. Eldritch Knights can squeeze a little more out of this race.
    • Goblin: +2 DEX, +1 CON. Reprint from Volo's. And GGtR, and E:RFtLW. This gets reprinted a lot, come to think of it. Still makes for a good ranged fighter.
    • Goliath: +2 STR, +1 CON. Reprint from Elemental Evil. With a name like that, how could it not make for a good Fighter?
    • Kenku: +2 DEX, +1 WIS. Reprint from Volo's. The DEX is nice, but that's about all it has going for it. It's better on a CHA-based class.
    • Orc: +2 STR, +1 CON. Well, at least they're reprinting the Eberron version instead of Volo's. It's pretty darn good this time around. Still a reprint, though: see the E:RFtLW post.
    • Tabaxi: +2 DEX, +1 CHA. Reprint from Volo's. You're still as fast as ever.
    • Tortle: +2 INT, +1 CHA. Reprint from the Tortle Package, unsurprisingly. A flat 17 AC with the option to boost it is decent, at the cost of forfeiting armor.



    Last edited by mjp1050; 2020-04-15 at 06:10 PM. Reason: Added Wildemount races

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

    Join Date
    Sep 2017

    Default Martial Archetypes


    Martial Archetypes

    Things start to get interesting at 3rd level, as this is where you choose your specialization that you'll have for the rest of the game. Will you be an archer who specializes in trick arrows? A master of the sword who can trip up opponents? Perhaps you'll dabble in magics and augment your physical prowess with spells. Fighters get the choice of all of that, and a few more options besides.

    Champion
    Champions are the physical powerhouses of Fighters, and the de facto face of the combat pillar of 5e. It's also considered the simplest subclass in the game, since most of the Champion's abilities are passive boosts. Note that this simplicity makes the optimization ceiling pretty low, though.
    • (3rd level) Improved Critical: Dealing crits more frequently is how you deal more damage.
    • (7th level) Remarkable Athlete: You're no Bard, but half of your skills and Initiative get a boost.
    • (10th level) Additional Fighting Style: None of the fighting styles mesh all that well, so you'll most likely pick up Defense if you haven't taken an offensive option yet, or vice versa.
    • (15th level) Superior Critical: Proportionally, this is a smaller boost than Improved Critical, but 15% of your attacks auto-hitting isn't anything to sneeze at. Especially as you have three attacks by this point.
    • (18th level) Survivor: It's not an extraordinary amount of healing, but it's automatic and continuous, and will keep you up for a few more rounds.


    Battle Master
    Battle Masters are the Fighters with the deepest bag of tricks available to them. They get access to a lot of maneuvers that will trip up your opponents and boost your effectiveness.
    • (3rd level) Combat Superiority: You want buffs? Debuffs? More damage? More defense? Take your pick, and it recovers on a short rest!
    • (3rd level) Student of War: An extra proficiency is never a bad thing.
    • (7th level) Know Your Enemy: You get to play 20 questions with the Monster Manual, except it's only one question, it takes time to set up, and you'll likely learn the answer to your question while in combat anyways.
    • (10th/18th level) Improved Combat Superiority: Bigger dice is good.
    • (15th level) Relentless: Guarantees that you'll have at least one Maneuver Dice during combat.


    Eldritch Knight
    Eldritch Knights are about the closest one can get to a true gish in 5e. Remember that you are a Fighter first and spellcaster second, so you can still go toe-to-toe with an angry giant but if you try to out-magic Modenkainen you'll be disappointed.
    • (3rd level) Spellcasting: You're no wizard, but you get a solid selection of spells nonetheless. Try to avoid spells that deal damage, since those more than anything just don't hold up at the levels you get them.
    • (3rd level) Weapon Bond: You can't be disarmed. Also sets you up for some MjŲlnir shenanigans.
    • (7th level) War Magic: Cantrip + attack = powerful combo, especially with the SCAG cantrips.
    • (10th level) Eldritch Strike: Forcing Disadvantage is gooood. You don't even spend any resources to do so.
    • (15th level) Arcane Charge: Teleporting in battle gives you a nice boost to your mobility.
    • (18th level) Improved War Magic: Spell + attack = powerful combo, though you'll have to ask yourself if casting that spell is worth two attacks.


    Purple Dragon Knight (Banneret)
    Moreso than other archetypes, the Banneret is a team player, as most of your abilities are focused on boosting your team rather than yourself.
    • (3rd level) Rallying Cry:You can heal your allies a very small amount of HP. Note, though, that this does not work on fallen allies, because if they're already unconscious then they cannot hear you.
    • (7th level) Royal Envoy: Level 7 is a little late to gain a new proficiency, but you get Expertise in Persuasion to go along with it.
    • (10th/17th level) Inspiring Surge: At 10th level, giving your allies another attack is always useful. That being said, being able to use it once more per rest is a completely underwhelming 17th-level capstone.
    • (15th level) Bulwark: On paper, giving your allies a free re-roll of a saving throw is really good. In practice, it requires you to fail your saving throw, too, so there's no guarantee that you'll be able to use it at all.


    Arcane Archer
    Arcane Archers are exactly what they sound like: they shoot magical arrows.
    • (3rd level) Arcane Archer Lore: More proficiencies are never bad, and a free cantrip is fun.
    • (3rd/18th level) Arcane Shot: Yer a wizard, Hawkeye! At 18th level, all the possible effects are basically doubled. Problem is, you only ever get two uses per short rest.
    • (7th level) Magic Arrow: On its own, this is only useful against specific monsters. Except, it comes bundled with...
    • (7th level) Curving Shot: If you miss with a magic arrow, you can try and hit someone else. That's seriously powerful, considering you can make any arrow you fire magical.
    • (15th level) Ever-Ready Shot: Resource recovery is always good.


    Cavalier
    Cavaliers are the knights in shining armor of Fighters. You're more effective while you're mounted, and you make darn well sure that the bad guys are focused on you and not your teammates.
    • (3rd level) Bonus Proficiencies: An extra skill or an extra language never goes amiss.
    • (3rd level) Born to the Saddle: You're able to use a mount more efficiently. Neat-o.
    • (3rd level) Unwavering Mask: You force the target to attack you, and only you, else they're disadvantaged. That's certainly useful.
    • (7th level) Warding Maneuver: A extra d8 of AC is nothing to sneeze at, especially as you can extend this out to other people.
    • (10th level) Hold the Line: Sheesh, that's half the Sentinel feat, right there. You just love being the center of attention, don't you?
    • (15th level) Ferocious Charger: At this point, you've got three attacks. So, on a failed save, all attacks against it have advantage until it stands up.
    • (18th level) Vigilant Defender: Opportunity Attacks for days.


    Samurai
    Samurai are a cross between an aristocrat and a Fighter. It's much more effective than it sounds.
    • (3rd level) Bonus Proficiencies: I do like me some proficiencies.
    • (3rd level) Fighting Spirit: This is blue for the free advantage alone. The temp HP is just icing on the cake.
    • (7th level) Elegant Courier: You know how I keep saying that more skill proficiencies are good? Proficiency in an entire saving throw is bonkers.
    • (10th level) Tireless Spirit: Resource recovery. You know the drill by now.
    • (15th level) Rapid Strike: When you have advantage, you can just use both dice to attack anyways. Even limited to once per turn, that's powerful.
    • (18th level) Strength Before Death: Well, this is overpowered as all heck. When you die, you don't die, and instead get an extra turn. You wanna Second Wind during that time and potentially stay up even longer? Action Surge for even more shenanigans? Go for it.


    Echo Knight
    The newcomer from Wildemount, Echo Knights harness the power of quantum physics to summon copies of themselves onto the battlefield.
    • (3rd level) Manifest Echo: You can teleport between you and your echo's locations, and have it make attacks - even opportunity attacks - in your stead. The echo also only takes a bonus action to create, which is good, because it's so fragile you'll be frequently resummoning it after it dies for the hundredth time. Did I mention that this is an infinite resource and you'll never run out?
    • (3rd level) Unleash Incarnation: Extra attacks are never unwelcome, even if this one can only come from your echo.
    • (7th level) Echo Avatar: Unfortunately, the echo can only do three things, two of which don't really lend themselves to being 1000 ft away. Teleporting to your echo's location, on the other hand...that has potential to be abused.
    • (10th level) Shadow Martyr: Well, that's one less attack roll that's hitting your party. Note that the attack does not need to be within 30ft of you; the echo only checks its distance from you at the end of your turn.
    • (15th level) Reclaim Potential: This strikes me as a weaker version of the Champion's Survivor feature. It'll give more healing than Survivor on average, but you can use it 5 times at most and it gives temp HP rather than actual healing.
    • (18th level) Legion of One: Twice the echo, twice the fun. Also lets you recharge your Unleash Incarnation uses.


    Last edited by mjp1050; 2020-05-14 at 11:48 PM. Reason: Clarified some ratings and language

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

    Join Date
    Sep 2017

    Default Eldritch Knight Spells


    Spells for the Eldritch Knight

    There really isn't any other way to say it: your spell progression is awful. You want to choose spells that will be useful at higher levels, because you simply don't have the luxury of using them at low levels. In particular, you want to avoid damage spells, as they'll very quickly become obsolete. Also note that you only know two cantrips until 10th level, so choose cantrips that will be widely applicable. Furthermore - even though cantrips scale with level - you should avoid cantrips that deal damage, as your attacks will always deal more damage than the cantrip will.

    Cantrips
    Acid Splash: Technically this is an AoE, but the damage is lackluster and it requires a DEX saving throw. You're better off just attacking with a bow.
    Blade Ward: Gaining resistance against weapons is nice, but it takes your action to cast.
    Booming Blade (SCAG): Oh so very yes. Attacking is a component of casting the spell? You want this.
    Chill Touch: A nice ranged cantrip with a decent damage type and a situational side effect.
    Control Flames (EE, XGtE): It's a useful cantrip, but probably not worth the opportunity cost of taking.
    Create Bonfire(C) (EE, XGtE): A 5" cube of continual damage is useful, though it does take your concentration.
    Dancing Lights(C): This doesn't do anything for you. It's not worth one of your two known cantrips.
    Fire Bolt: Most ranged cantrips aren't worth your time, given that you'll likely do more damage by attacking with a ranged weapon. Fire Bolt, while a good cantrip for any other class, is no exception.
    Friends(C): This would be useful if the target didn't become instantly hostile at the conclusion. Also, it's a cantrip that requires concentration.
    Frostbite (EE, XGtE): You're not taking this for the damage; you're taking it to inflict disadvantage on your target's next attack.
    Green-Flame Blade (SCAG): Attacking and cantripping simultaneously is always good. Combos well with your War Magic.
    Gust (EE, XGtE): Far too situational for you.
    Infestation (XGtE): No. Random movement doesn't help you at all.
    Light: Not very combat oriented, but it's a useful utility to have if you lack Darkvision.
    Lightning Lure (SCAG): Never let anyone escape your reach.
    Mage Hand: Useful utility, though it's competing for your slots.
    Mending: Far too situational to take up a slot.
    Message: If you're in a stealth-based party? Sure.
    Minor Illusion: Creating illusions is quite versatile. The only limit is your imagination.
    Mold Earth (EE, XGtE): There's some utility in here, and I doubt you'll ever lack for dirt or stone.
    Poison Spray: The range is abysmal, and it requires a save. Just attack.
    Prestidigitation: This is such a fun and versatile spell. Problem is, you only get two cantrips.
    Ray of Frost: Decreasing someone's speed is useful.
    Shape Water (EE, XGtE): It's Minor Illusion, but with liquids! You can also Cryonis your way across water.
    Shocking Grasp: Forcing a target to lose their reaction is powerful - for starters, no opportunity attacks. The damage isn't too bad, either.
    Sword Burst (SCAG): Good if you're surrounded by enemies, though it does require a saving throw.
    Thunderclap (EE, XGtE): See above.
    Toll the Dead (XGtE): d12 damage is on par with/higher than your weapons. Not bad.
    True Strike(C): You'd think this would combo well with War Magic...but there's literally no scenario in which casting this is better than just attacking.


    1st Level Spells
    (3rd level Eldritch Knight)

    Abjuration/Evocation:
    Absorb Elements (EE, XGtE): Resistance to an elemental damage type, and a boost to your next melee attack - all as a reaction!
    Alarm: No. Just have your party keep a watch order.
    Burning Hands: Not bad for a first level AoE. You generally don't want damage spells, as your spell progression is so slow that they'll quickly become obsolete, but this one's worth it.
    Chromatic Orb: Being able to choose your damage type is useful.
    Earth Tremor (EE, XGtE)*: Knocking people prone is always useful. See also: Grease.
    Mage Armor: At early levels, this is more effective than Medium Armor if you have good DEX. You'll want to swap this out as soon as you can, though.
    Magic Missile: You're not able to get as much mileage out of this as a full caster, but being able to auto-hit is undeniably nice.
    Protection from Evil and Good(C): If you expect to be coming up against one of the listed creature types frequently, go ahead.
    Shield: As if being a Fighter wasn't tanky enough.
    Snare (XGtE): Great for laying ambushes, but you'll need time to set it up.
    Thunderwave: Pushing people away from you is useful, and the damage isn't half-bad.
    Witch Bolt(C): The range is short, the damage is lackluster and it takes your action to maintain.
    *The EE and XGtE printings are worded differently, so I need to clarify that the range is Self, and it has a radius of 10ft. The EE wording makes this much more clear.

    Other Schools:
    Catapult (EE, XGtE): Why are you not firing a bow at this point?
    Cause Fear(C) (XGtE): It's not worth your single non-abjuration/evocation spell.
    Charm Person: Charming people is useful, but you have so few spells known.
    Color Spray: This really doesn't scale well with your limited spell progression.
    Comprehend Languages: As a ritual, this is handy. But you have no Ritual Casting abilities and even less spells to waste.
    Detect Magic(C): See above.
    Disguise Self: I learned the hard way that if you're a Centaur, this is almost completely useless. That being said, bipedal races can still get a lot of mileage out of this spell.
    Expeditious Retreat(C): Everyone can use some more mobility, especially as a bonus action.
    False Life: It's useful when you first get it, but it tapers off in effectiveness fairly quickly.
    Feather Fall: You either really need it or you really don't need it.
    Find Familiar: A solid choice, given how many shenanigans you can pull with familiars.
    Fog Cloud(C): On-demand cover is useful.
    Grease: Knocking people prone is always useful. See also: Earth Tremor.
    Ice Knife (EE, XGtE): Definitely not a bad spell when you first get it, though the damage doesn't scale well at higher levels.
    Identify: See, if you could cast it as a Ritual, it would be worth taking. As it stands, it's not worth your only non-A/E.
    Illusory Script: See above.
    Jump: Waaaaay too specific to be worth your only non-A/E.
    Longstrider: Not worth it. Especially since you have the option of Expeditious Retreat.
    Ray of Sickness: This is barely better than a cantrip. After 5th level, it's worse.
    Silent Image: This isn't worth it. Minor Illusion's good enough to cover anything illusion-related.
    Sleep: You first get this at 3rd level, and it will only continue to be ineffective as you level.
    Tashaís Hideous Laughter(C): Knocking people prone is always good, and this has potential to keep them down for multiple turns.
    Tenserís Floating Disk: Without Ritual Casting, this is a dud. You're not an STR 8 wizard, you just don't need this.
    Unseen Servant: There's so much utility here. It might just be worth your only non-A/E.


    2nd Level Spells
    (7th level Eldritch Knight)

    Abjuration/Evocation:
    Aganazzar's Scorcher (EE, XGtE): Burning Hands is better, and you get it at a level where it's still relevant.
    Arcane Lock: If you're trying to fortify something, sure.
    Continual Flame: Yeesh, 50gp? No thanks. Just cast Light when you need light.
    Darkness: A useful way to balance the battlefield, given that everyone's equally disadvantaged by this.
    Gust of Wind: If you don't want people to reach you, this provides decent battlefield control.
    Melfís Acid Arrow: 6d4 damage at level 7? You have better options than this.
    Scorching Ray: The damage isn't actually bad, and you can spread it across a single target or three.
    Shatter: You're a Fighter, you're likely carrying around a big honkin' weapon anyways. Just use that to destroy an object.
    Snilloc's Snowball Swarm (EE, XGtE): The mental image of throwing a bunch of enchanted snowballs is hilarious, but the damage isn't up to snuff.
    Warding Wind(C) (EE, XGtE): Ranged weapon attacks have disadvantage to hit you, everything around you is difficult terrain, plus a few bonus effects on top. Nifty.

    Other Schools
    Alter Self(C): Your choice of water breathing, Disguise Self for real, or better unarmed strikes. It takes concentration, though.
    Blindness/Deafness: Keep someone blinded while the party takes them down. Though they get to remake the save at the end of their turn.
    Blur(C): It's a little dependent on the creature you're fighting, but forcing disadvantage is always good.
    Cloud of Daggers(C): 5ft cubes of damage that you can't move are situational at best, and the opportunity cost of this is too high.
    Crown of Madness(C): What's up with the movement-before-action restriction? That limits its usefulness.
    Darkvision: If you don't have Darkvision, sure.
    Detect Thoughts(C): Great for interrogations, though you should prioritize more widely-applicable spells.
    Dragon's Breath(C) (XGtE): It's Burning Hands for one minute, and you get to choose the damage type!
    Dust Devil(C) (EE, XGtE): Some mild battlefield control. It's also
    Earthbind(C) (EE, XGtE): Only useful against flying enemies, which makes it too situational to justify taking.
    Enlarge/Reduce(C): You can buff your allies or debuff your enemies. Versatility is good, considering you have such limited spellcasting.
    Flaming Sphere(C): Ramming a ball of fire into people as a bonus action is fun, though the damage is nothing special.
    Gentle Repose: Far too situational to be of any regular use.
    Hold Person(C): The Paralyzed condition is even more useful than Prone.
    Invisibility(C): Invisibility is always useful.
    Knock: If no one in your party has Thieves' Tools, then sure. But generally it's not worth the opportunity cost.
    Levitate(C): Great for archers, and heavy lifting.
    Locate Object(C): Too situational to take your 8th level spell.
    Magic Mouth: This doesn't benefit a Fighter in any way.
    Magic Weapon(C): If you don't have a magical weapon yet, go for it. That being said, losing your magical weapon when you lose Concentration is harsh, especially for melee Fighters.
    Maximillian's Earthen Grasp(C) (EE, XGtE): You want either this or Hold Person. Both can take a person out of the fight, though this targets STR instead of WIS and you can move it if you're so inclined.
    Mind Spike(C) (XGtE): Could be good against invisible creatures, but to cast this spell you have to see them in the first place.
    Mirror Image: Diverting attacks away from you is incredibly good. Not requiring Concentration is even better.
    Misty Step: Teleportation is always handy to have around.
    Nystulís Magic Aura: Too situational to waste a slot on.
    Phantasmal Force(C): There's a lot of potential in this spell, especially since so many creatures have low INT.
    Pyrotechnics (EE, XGtE): Your choice of a buff or debuff. Versatility's good for your limited spell selection
    Ray of Enfeeblement: A solid debuff against big strong creatures, though it allows a save each turn.
    Rope Trick: If you live in fear of being interrupted during your short rests, fear no more.
    See Invisibility: Like Feather Fall, you either need this spell or you don't.
    Shadow Blade(C) (XGtE): Weapon Bond? Pshaw. This is better, and deals bonus damage, though it does come at the cost of being a Concentration spell that encourages you to get into melee. It's also a bonus action cast, so if you lose concentration, you can cast it again and attack on the same turn.
    Skywrite(C) (EE, XGtE): A fun if overly dramatic spell, but far to specific too spend your slots on.
    Spider Climb(C): Too specific to be of any use.
    Suggestion(C): This is a nice spell, but you're not the face of your party. You should leave this to a dedicated spellcaster.
    Web(C): It's got some restrictions on exactly where you can cast it, but this is a solid AoE that traps your enemies in difficult terrain.


    3rd Level Spells
    (13th level Eldritch Knight)

    Abjuration/Evocation:
    Counterspell: Problem is, this works against spellcasters and only spellcasters. Against anything else it's useless.
    Dispel Magic: I've noticed that static spell effects come up a lot more often than spells being cast, so I feel obligated to rate this higher than Counterspell.
    Fireball: I've already said that you shouldn't take pure damage spells, given that you'll always fall behind literally any other caster, but Fireball manages to stay relevant because it deals above-average damage anyways. Your attacks will do more damage, of course, but it remains a decent AoE if you need it.
    Glyph of Warding: The only advantage to having your spell progression delayed is that spell components are always relatively cheaper. 200gp is nothing to you. Explosive Runes isn't relevant anymore, but you can get creative with Spell Glyph. Note that it takes an hour to cast, so you'll not be using this in combat.
    Leomundís Tiny Hut: The perfect way to spend a long rest without fear of being interrupted.
    Lightning Bolt: See Fireball. Though you'll have to be a bit more precise in your enemies' positioning.
    Melf's Minute Meteors(C) (EE, XGtE): An inverse War Magic, if you will. You can spend your action to attack and your bonus action to deal damage on par with cantrips.
    Magic Circle: It'll protect you from some nasty enemy types. And nothing else. If you find yourself constantly fighting one of said enemy types, then this is ok.
    Nondetection: Far too situational to be worth your time.
    Protection from Energy(C): The problem here is that it's a Concentration spell that gives resistance; so when you get hit, you still have to make the Concentration save. That being said, it's not a bad spell if you know ahead of time what you'll be facing, as you have proficiency in CON saves anyways.
    Remove Curse: If you managed to make it to Level 13 without needing this, then you don't need it.
    Sending: The only long-distance communication spell you'll ever need. Assuming you're concise, because your lack of spell slots to cast it with makes meaningful conversations impossible.
    Wall of Sand(C) (EE, XGtE): Keeping a wall between the enemy and you is never unwelcome, and this one makes uber-difficult terrain.
    Wall of Water(C) (EE, XGtE): Mechanically, it's quite similar to Wall of Sand, but worse at battlefield control in just about every way. It's got some interesting interactions with cold spells, but you don't get access to many of those in the first place.

    Other Schools:
    Animate Dead: One of the few ways to get proper minions in 5e. Note that whatever you're facing at 14th level will one-shot them, but they could still make useful meatshields. Figuratively speaking.
    Bestow Curse(C): The example effects are useful, and that you can create your own effect makes this incredible.
    Blink: The problem is it's unpredictable, so you can't plan around it. That being said, you can still BLAMF your way around the battlefield and be invulnerable when it's not your turn.
    Catnap (XGtE): More of a critique of the spell itself, but if you can't spare an hour for a short rest, then you probably can't spare 10 minutes, either.
    Clairvoyance(C): No thank you. This adds nothing to a Fighter's repertoire.
    Enemies Abound(C) (XGtE): A nifty little spell for some fun battlefield control. Turning your enemies against each other is fun.
    Erupting Earth (EE, XGtE): The damage is garbage, but a 20ft cube of difficult terrain is worth considering.
    Fear(C): Offers some wonderful battlefield control, and it's always fun to scare people.
    Feign Death: Yeah, no. This isn't worth your only non-A/E.
    Flame Arrows(C) (EE, XGtE): A straight boost to any ranged Fighter's damage output. Melee fighters can pass on this, for obvious reasons.
    Fly(C): It's exactly what it sounds like. It's also exactly as good as you think it is.
    Gaseous Form(C): Useful for scouting, flying, retreating
    Haste(C): An extra action is very powerful indeed, and the bonus additions are just the cherry on top. This spell is almost mandatory for a Fighter.
    Hypnotic Pattern(C): It's got a long range and a wide area of effect. This'll take a fair few enemies out of the fight.
    Life Transference (XGtE): This actually isn't terrible, given that Fighters tend to have more hitpoints than the rest of your party. Also, you'll be taking only 18 damage on average, so your Second Wind can cover most of the cost.
    Major Image(C): Strictly speaking, this doesn't add much to your ability to fight. However, given that it's still an illusion that you can move, animate, and hear, you can get pretty creative with this.
    Phantom Steed: A summonable horse. It's actually a little faster than a regular horse, but that's the only advantage it has over one. I don't think this is worth your only non-A/E.
    Sleet Storm(C): The area on this is massive, and it's all heavily obscured difficult terrain, so they're unlikely to get out of it. There's also a possibility of the victims falling prone and/or losing concentration on whatever spell they're casting. This is a good spell.
    Slow(C): Sort of an anti-Haste. Everything affected gets a penalty to AC, DEX saves, even their spells cast, and lose an action or bonus action. Not bad at all.
    Stinking Cloud(C): A 20ft radius of save-or-lose-your-action is never bad.
    Summon Lesser Demons(C) (XGtE):This simply isn't worth anything. At 14th level, an few extra CR 1/2s won't shift the balance at all.
    Thunderstep (XGtE): A very dramatic teleport. The damage is lackluster, but being able to take other people with you is useful.
    Tidal Wave (EE, XGtE): The damage is lacking, but knocking people prone is always useful. The area is somewhat limited, though.
    Tiny Servant (XGtE): This spell is fun, but it doesn't add anything to you.
    Tongues: Nope. Not worth the opportunity cost.
    Vampiric Touch(C): By the time you reach this level, you can attack for more damage and Second Wind yourself for heals. It's simply obsolete.
    Water Breathing: Much like Feather Fall, you won't need this very often, but when you do, there's no alternative.


    4th Level Spells
    (19th level Eldritch Knight)

    Abjuration/Evocation:
    Banishment(C): This is about as close as you can get to a "save or die" in 5e. It's temporary, but knocking someone completely out of the fight is still incredibly useful.
    Fire Shield: You gain resistance to a common damage type, and automatically deal damage out to anyone who attacks you. Even better, it lacks Concentration, freeing up your other spells. This is great.
    Ice Storm: For comparison, the wizard is casting Meteor Swarm at this point. Damage spells are a no-go at this level.
    Mordenkainenís Private Sanctum: You can secure an area for a day or so. It's not worthless, but also probably not worth spending your capstone on.
    Otilukeís Resilient Sphere(C): In terms of removing enemies from fights, it's no Banishment, but it'll still get the job done. I can think of a few cases where you'd want to cast this on an ally or yourself, too.
    Sickening Radience(C) (XGtE): I don't think I've ever seen a spell that gives levels of Exhaustion. Even if it's only temporary, that's a seriously powerful effect.
    Stoneskin(C): Once again, we run into the problem of a Concentration spell granting only resistance, meaning that when you take damage you'll still have to make the Concentration save. Also, most everything at this level deals magical damage anyways.
    Storm Sphere(C) (XGtE): Difficult terrain is useful, and dealing extra damage as a bonus action isn't bad. The combination of the two is what sells this.
    Vitriolic Sphere (XGtE): You're still using your highest level spell slot for a spell that will deal less damage than your attacks.
    Wall of Fire(C): There's some decent battlefield control in here.

    Other Schools:
    Arcane Eye(C): It's a useful scouting tool, but it's nowhere near capstone-levels of usefulness.
    Blight: A damage spell? 13 levels behind everyone else? No thank you.
    Charm Monster (XGtE): This isn't a bad spell, but it's not very useful in a fight, so the opportunity cost is too high to recommend.
    Confusion(C): Making your enemies act erratically is a useful tool.
    Conjure Minor Elementals(C): This runs into the same problem as Summon Lesser Demons. You're at 20th level; you're facing down the likes of Tiamat and the Tarrasque at this point. An eensy-weensy little CR2 won't be of any help at all.
    Control Water(C): Normally battlefield control is something that I would recommend, but this relies upon you having access to a large body of water when you fight. On top of that, the effects just aren't that good for 20th level.
    Dimension Door: This isn't a bad spell for you, but your limited spell slots do diminish the appeal somewhat.
    Elemental Bane(C) (XGtE): This isn't very useful for you, as you can't dish out much elemental damage. That being said, if the rest of your party can deal elemental damage, take it.
    Evardís Black Tentacles(C): The damage is puny but turning an area into difficult terrain and potential restraints is useful.
    Fabricate: This is a good spell...as long as it's not your capstone. As it stands, don't take it. There's definitely some utility here but the opportunity cost is just so high for a Fighter.
    Greater Invisibility(C): Heck yes. Nothing can see you, so everything has disadvantage to hit you.
    Hallucinatory Terrain: Pass. It's not worth your capstone.
    Leomundís Secret Chest: If you got this far without it, you don't need it.
    Locate Creature(C): See above.
    Mordenkainenís Faithful Hound: This actually isn't too bad, given what it does. The alarm function is worthless - you're at 20th level, please tell me you've figured out how to keep watch - and the damage is small but over 8 hours it just might add up to something.
    Phantasmal Killer(C): Unsurprisingly, the damage is pitiful; and while the Frightened condition is useful, it's not worth the opportunity cost.
    Polymorph(C): One of the few spells that's actually advantageous to get later on; you can transform your target into a beast of CR20 or below. In theory, you could buff yourself or your allies by turning them into a CR20 beast, but I can't find a beast above CR 8. Alternately, you could just turn Tiamat into a gnat.
    Stone Shape: Far too limited in its use to be your choice for a capstone.
    Summon Greater Demon(C) (XGtE): Once again, you get this far too late for it to be of any use.
    Watery Sphere(C) (XGtE): There's a heck of a lot of battlefield control in this package.

    Last edited by mjp1050; 2019-11-24 at 01:51 AM. Reason: Updated Mage Armor

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    SwashbucklerGuy

    Join Date
    Sep 2017

    Default Arcane Shots, Maneuvers, and Feats


    Banishing Arrow: Banishing a foe for a turn is quite useful.
    Beguiling Arrow: Charmed effects aren't necessarily the greatest in 5e, and this isn't an exception, unfortunately.
    Bursting Arrow: An AoE arrow! 'Nuff said.
    Enfeebling Arrow: The damage dealt by the target is halved. That's pretty potent.
    Grasping Arrow: This deals damage over time, and it's very effective.
    Piercing Arrow: Note that this doesn't require an attack roll, and dealing damage in a line is never a guarantee.
    Seeking Arrow: An arrow that auto hits? Nifty. Also, this can target invisible creatures.
    Shadow Arrow: Blinding your enemies gives them disadvantage and you advantage on attack rolls. This is considered good.


    Maneuvers
    Battle Masters only

    Commander's Strike: In lieu of you making an attack, someone else can make an attack. Good if you have Rogue or a Paladin in your party, but if not, it's a 1-to-1 tradeoff.
    Disarming Attack: A lot of enemies don't carry weapons, but this is extremely effective against those that do, like giants.
    Distracting Strike: Giving your allies advantage on the next attack roll is always useful, though it's only for one turn. Also, bonus damage.
    Evasive Footwork: Sort of a specialized Shield spell with variable results. It's for when you really don't want those Opportunity Attacks to hit you.
    Feinting Attack: It's Distracting Strike, but you give yourself advantage instead.
    Goading Attack: You make the target less effective at hitting things other than you. Which is great for the rest of your party, though you're pigeonholing yourself into being a tank.
    Lunging Attack: I'm not a fan of this one, given that you expend the dice without knowing whether or not your attack will hit. Also, there should never be a reason you can't move forward 5 feet and/or chuck something damaging at your target.
    Maneuvering Attack: Get your allies out of a tight spot. Also, extra damage.
    Menacing Attack: Being frightened means that the creature has disadvantage on attack rolls. It also can't move closer to you, so ranged Fighters will have a field day with this.
    Parry: Straight damage reduction, though it eats your reaction.
    Precision Attack: A better chance to hit is always welcome.
    Pushing Attack: Pushing people about is useful only if you have somewhere to push them to. Problem is, Fighters don't get the power to influence the latter part of that sentence.
    Rally: Temp HP is ok. Nothing special, and it doesn't scale particularly well.
    Riposte: The problem with this is that you spend the dice regardless of whether you hit or not. That being said, you still get to make an extra attack, so I suppose it balances out.
    Sweeping Attack: It has a very situational trigger and deals lackluster damage.
    Trip Attack: Now this is gold. If you read the Spells section, you know how much I love knocking people prone. That's because it's really good, even limited to creatures of size Large or less.


    Feats

    Before I begin, I should note that in 5e, feats are an optional rule. So ask your DM if you can use feats in lieu of an ASI.

    If your DM says yes, then you've suddenly become exposed to a very large degree of customization. Fighters get more ASIs than any other class, which means that you can go crazy with feats. However, ASIs are still a limited resource, since you're giving up a limited A word of warning, though: each feat is specialized in some way. For example, if you take Heavy Armor Mastery, then you're committing yourself to wearing Heavy Armor, lest the feat be wasted. Likewise, you should consider feats like Polearm Master and Sharpshooter to be mutually exclusive, because if you're using one, then you're not using the other.

    PHB
    Alert: This is always a useful feat to have. You want that high Initiative bonus.
    Athlete: This makes you a little more mobile, and still increases your primary stat by 1.
    Actor: It's not necessary for a Fighter build, but nor is it detrimental to have. Deception is a useful skill to have and you have ASIs to spare.
    Charger: This is good to hit those enemies that are just out of reach.
    Crossbow Expert: This feat is the main reason to take a crossbow.
    Defensive Dualist: In essence, this is a Shield spell that doesn't consume resources. It's more useful if you're a DEX Fighter, of course.
    Dual Wielder: Greatly expands your weapon options for dual-wielding, and grants a bonus to AC besides.
    Dungeon Delver: If your DM constantly sends you into dungeons, sure.
    Durable: It's a half-feat that boosts your CON and short-rest healing. Not bad at all.
    Elemental Adept: Could be useful on an Eldritch Knight, though your spells shouldn't be your main source of damage.
    Grappler: You should take this feat only if you're going out of your way to make a grappling build. Most Fighters don't have a need for this. For those that do, this is a great boon to your grappling abilities.
    Great Weapon Master: The first of the "-5 +10" feats. You'll likely have much more than a +5 to hit, which offsets the penalty. Also, you can potentially make an extra attack.
    Healer: Nothing in the Fighter's portfolio really screams "healer," but surprisingly, you're actually the best class to take this, as you have Action Surge and feats to spare anyways.
    Heavily Armored: You already have this. This feat is completely redundant for you.
    Heavy Armor Master: Even heavy hitters like dragons still do nonmagical damage with their claws. A straight damage reduction is always welcome.
    Inspiring Leader: You grant you and your party some temp HP. It scales with level, too. It's not necessary, but it certainly doesn't hurt.
    Keen Mind: A half-feat that gives some boosts to your memory and navigational skills.
    Lightly Armored: Again, you already have this.
    Linguist: Three languages is nothing to sneeze at, though the cipher is situational at best.
    Lucky: Rerolling a d20 no-questions-asked is pretty powerful. Rerolling someone else's d20 is gold.
    Mage Slayer: Works as advertised. Killing mages just got easier.
    Magic Initiate: This is worth taking, even if you aren't an Eldritch Knight. So many 1st-level spells boost a Fighter's effectiveness, and the SCAG cantrips are particularly effective.
    Martial Adept: This is just a straight boost to any Battle Master, but anyone can benefit from a maneuver or two.
    Medium Armor Master: AC increases are hard to come by, and this can put you on par with plate armor. Also, now you can stealth properly.
    Mobile: The combination of auto-disengage and the movement speed boost is very attractive to any melee Fighter who enjoys hitting multiple targets in one turn.
    Moderately Armored: Once again, you already have this.
    Mounted Combatant: Not bad for protecting your mount.
    Observant: Investigation and Perception are two of the most frequently used ability checks in 5e, so boosting them is quite a boon to your danger-detecting abilities.
    Polearm Master: This feat turns Opportunity Attacks on their head, and makes 'em trigger whenever someone approaches you. It's a very effective boost to your prowess with long stick thingies.
    Resilient: In particular, I'd recommend Dexterity and Wisdom, to avoid being exploded and mind-controlled, respectively.
    Ritual Caster: Not a bad thing to have, but Eldritch Knights get more out of it for obvious reasons.
    Savage Attacker: This really feels like it should be a Fighting Style rather than a feat. It's not the most powerful of abilities, but it's useful to have.
    Sentinel: Heck yes. More Opportunity Attacks and more shenanigans with Opportunity Attacks.
    Sharpshooter: The second of the "-5 +10" feats, and even better than the first. Ignoring cover and disadvantage is really good.
    Shield Master: A nice array of options for your shield.
    Skilled: Simple, but effective. More skills are nice.
    Skulker: Archers can get a lot of mileage out of this. Just hide and fire away, and all your attacks will have advantage.
    Spell Sniper: Only an Eldritch Knight would be able to get much use out of this, but you shouldn't, because your attacks will always outdamage your spells.
    Tavern Brawler: As far as I know, this is the only way to gain proficiency in Improvised Weapons.
    Tough: More HP is always useful. I'd recommend boosting your CON score first though, so you have a decent CON save.
    War Caster: Keeping concentration on spells is useful for Eldritch Knights.
    Weapon Master: This gives you absolutely nothing whatsoever.

    Xanathar's Guide to Everything
    Note that each of these feats is available only to a particular race. This guide assumes that you meet the prerequisites for each feat before rating it.
    Bountiful Luck: You know how I said the Lucky feat was powerful? This is more of it, and it never runs out.
    Dragon Fear: A fear effect is a lot more useful than your breath weapon. Though it does key off of your CHA mod.
    Dragon Hide: You have access to armor that's better than this. Though you do get a boost to your unarmed strikes.
    Drow High Magic: At-will Detect Magic is a useful utility to have, and Levitate and Dispel Magic aren't bad to have either. Too bad it keys off of your dump stat.
    Dwarven Fortitude: An interesting variation on in-combat healing, but one that I think you should pass on. You already have Second Wind, and you don't forfeit your attacks to use that.
    Elven Accuracy: You'd think that gaining advantage on advantage is powerful enough, but it's a half-feat to boot. Only viable for DEX fighters, though.
    Fade Away: Free invisibility is useful.
    Fey Teleportation: A language and a teleport. Nice.
    Flames of Phlegethos: This really doesn't do anything for you.
    Infernal Constitution: An additional two resistances and advantage on poison saving throws is pretty powerful, especially as you already have fire resistance.
    Orcish Fury: More damage is good.
    Prodigy: A skill, a language, a tool, and Expertise. Not bad.
    Second Chance: Negating an enemy's attack is always fun.
    Squat Nimbleness: More mobility and proficiencies as a half-feat. Also, now you're really hard to grapple.
    Wood Elf Magic: This falls under the "I have feats to spare" category. Both of these spells are useful, but Fey Teleportation is a half-feat, so why isn't this?

    Eberron: Rising From the Last War
    Revenant Blade: What this does is it turns a double-bladed scimitar into a finesse weapon, so you can use your DEX with it. Spending a feat just to make using a very specific weapon more attractive is a waste, though the blow is softened by the +1 DEX or STR. Don't take this unless you're absolutely sure that you want to use a double-blades scimitar for the rest of your career.
    Aberrant Dragonmark: If you want the spell, just take Magic Initiate. It's much better; you're not limited to the Sorcerer's spell list. That being said, if you're using the optional rule, this just might be worth it.

    Last edited by mjp1050; 2020-05-14 at 11:59 PM. Reason: Updated the Eberron feats

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    Default Backgrounds and Multiclassing


    Considering how important backgrounds are to character creation, they don't provide that large of a mechanical benefit. Regardless of what background you choose, you're gaining two skills, some trinkets and gold, and a language or tool proficiency. You also have the option to create your own if the presented options don't satisfy you. The best advice I can give here is to take a background that grants skills that don't key off of your dump stat(s). If you're an Eldritch Knight and have access to GGtR, then you should take one of those backgrounds, because they grant you bonus spells.


    Multiclassing:

    Almost every class can benefit from taking a level or three into Fighter. The Fighting Styles and Action Surge are the main draws, but Battlemasters and Champions are also prime targets for their maneuvers and extended critical range, respectively. But what classes can a Fighter benefit from?

    Artificer: First impressions of the Artificer: It's decent, and the real reason you're multiclassing into it is for the Infusions: creating magical items for free is useful. Also, a 3-level dip into Battle Smith will make an Eldritch Knight's attacks key off of INT, which is nifty.
    Barbarian: There's a fair bit of overlap here, as Barbarians and Fighters fulfill a similar role. That being said, the first two levels are full of goodies like Rage and Reckless Attack, so it's hardly a wasted effort.
    Bard: Taking a few Bard levels goes a long way in making the Fighter more versatile out of combat. Lore Bards in particular can offer up a lot.
    Cleric: Clerics choose their domains at 1st level, so what you get out of them is dependent on the domain that you choose to go into. I'd recommend War, Tempest or Forge, as all are focused on melee.
    Druid: Nothing here really helps out a Fighter. Wildshape could be useful if you want to go scout ahead in the form of a gnat or something, but the Find Familiar spell will work just as well.
    Monk: I initially rated this Red, but boy oh boy were a lot of people were eager to tell me exactly how wrong I was about that. A 2 level dip gives you a twice-per-rest bonus action Dodge/Disengage/Dash, and 3 levels into Kensai gives you a boost to your ranged attacks.
    Paladin: What you're really getting from a Paladin is the ability to Divine Smite. Nothing else compares to that.
    Ranger: Natural Explorer's too situational to factor into this, but Rangers get access to some really great spells for Fighters.
    Rogue: Everything that you gain from a Rogue compliments a Fighter's existing abilities quite nicely.
    Sorcerer: There's not really a whole lot going for the Sorcerer here. Spells and Metamagic are good, I guess.
    Warlock: Surprisingly viable. Pact of the Blade in particular has some useful invocations, and Hexblade is its usual overpowered self.
    Wizard: Picking up some low-level spells is neat, though the Arcane Traditions of Abjuration, Bladesinger, or War Magic are the only really useful options for Fighters. Also, if you are an Eldritch Knight, your spells suddenly just got much better.

    Last edited by mjp1050; 2019-11-24 at 01:52 AM. Reason: Edited Monk. Again.

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    Last edited by mjp1050; 2019-11-24 at 01:52 AM.

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    Default Re: The Everyman's Guide to Taking Up Arms: A Guide to Fighters

    I'm curious why you rate the bard as a better multiclass than the druid and wizard.

    In the versatility department, druids are highly competitive with bard thanks to wildshape, (which you get a level ahead of expertise) and they have a similar spell list. Shillelagh/magic stone are also a great cantrips for fighters with a poor casting stat, since they are free magic weapons to use on resistant enemies.

    The wizard I agree is marginally worse than the bard for non eldrich knights, but not by a lot. Their spell list is better, and some of the subclass features (war wizard and abjuration in particular) work nicely with a fighter chassis.

    I guess I'm just not seeing the bard's strong synergy with the fighter here.

    I also object to the Grappler feat being rated as blue. It does almost nothing, since an option available by default (grappling a target then subsequently shoving them prone) grants you both advantage on attacks against the creature, and imposes all the same penalties as restraining them. Tavern brawler is a much bette feat for grapplers, as it improves strength and allows one to grapple with a bonus action.
    Last edited by Potato_Priest; 2019-11-11 at 10:21 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by No brains View Post
    See, I remember the days of roleplaying before organisms could even see, let alone use see as a metaphor for comprehension. We could barely comprehend that we could comprehend things. Imagining we were something else was a huge leap forward and really passed the time in between absorbing nutrients.

    Biggest play I ever made: "I want to eat something over there." Anticipated the trope of "being able to move" that you see in all stories these days.

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    SwashbucklerGuy

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    Default Re: The Everyman's Guide to Taking Up Arms: A Guide to Fighters

    Quote Originally Posted by Potato_Priest View Post
    I'm curious why you rate the bard as a better multiclass than the druid and wizard.

    In the versatility department, druids are highly competitive with bard thanks to wildshape, (which you get a level ahead of expertise) and they have a similar spell list. Shillelagh/magic stone are also a great cantrips for fighters with a poor casting stat, since they are free magic weapons to use on resistant enemies.

    The wizard I agree is marginally worse than the bard for non eldrich knights, but not by a lot. Their spell list is better, and some of the subclass features (war wizard and abjuration in particular) work nicely with a fighter chassis.

    I guess I'm just not seeing the bard's strong synergy with the fighter here.

    I also object to the Grappler feat being rated as blue. It does almost nothing, since an option available by default (grappling a target then subsequently shoving them prone) grants you both advantage on attacks against the creature, and imposes all the same penalties as restraining them. Tavern brawler is a much bette feat for grapplers, as it improves strength and allows one to grapple with a bonus action.
    Looks like I meant for Grappler to be a Teal option; thanks for pointing that out.

    After looking over the Arcane Traditions again, I think you're right about wizards being a decent dip. War Magic and Abjuration are much better than I gave them credit for. Updated the ratings.

    I'm a little unclear on where you're coming from on druids, though. You're right about the spell list being decent, but that's really all the druid has going for it, and it's competing with the other class's spell lists. Wildshape just isn't good for a fighter, because all of your combat stats are replaced by one of a CR 1/4 (CR 1 if Moon Druid, which is still worse than a regular Fighter). So yes, you do gain some versatility...but the options are all worse than your regular Fighter build. But bards also give out a decent spell list and Jack of All Trades, which is far more universally useful than being able to transform into a small creature.

    Unless I'm missing something (and I'll fully admit to never having played a druid, so I might be), then level-per-level, a dip into Bard will always outclass a dip into Druid.

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    Default Re: The Everyman's Guide to Taking Up Arms: A Guide to Fighters

    For the Druid you can wildshape into a form that might be useful for scouting. Like a spider, or some other appropriate insect/vermin, maybe a rat. Something that wouldnít be out of place and youíll make a wonderful scout. Itís not for combat but rather improving your exploration pillar so making the fighter more versatile.
    I still say bard is better because it improves both exploration and social pillars, but Druid dip isnít bad.

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    GreenSorcererElf

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    Default Re: The Everyman's Guide to Taking Up Arms: A Guide to Fighters

    Looks like the Dragonborn analysis got cut short.

    Mage Armor should be at least teal. You rate the Defensive fighting style well, Mage Armor offers a +1 AC over any non-magical options for Dex fighters. If nothing else, itís the best armor a level 3 Dex EK is likely to have available. That will probably continue to be the case for a while.

    Shadow Blade should be blue or green. With the Fighterís high number of attacks (both from Extra Attack and Action Surge) being able to increase the damage dice of a weapon is a big deal - especially when itís upcast to scale it up further. Consider that it should last an entire combat, add up the dice it will bring to that fight, and compare that level of damage to any other spell. Not even accounting for the advantage opportunities it gives.
    Last edited by Evaar; 2019-11-12 at 12:31 AM.

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    Default Re: The Everyman's Guide to Taking Up Arms: A Guide to Fighters

    Quote Originally Posted by Evaar View Post
    Looks like the Dragonborn analysis got cut short.

    Mage Armor should be at least teal. You rate the Defensive fighting style well, Mage Armor offers a +1 AC over any non-magical options for Dex fighters. If nothing else, itís the best armor a level 3 Dex EK is likely to have available. That will probably continue to be the case for a while.

    Shadow Blade should be blue or green. With the Fighterís high number of attacks (both from Extra Attack and Action Surge) being able to increase the damage dice of a weapon is a big deal - especially when itís upcast to scale it up further. Consider that it should last an entire combat, add up the dice it will bring to that fight, and compare that level of damage to any other spell. Not even accounting for the advantage opportunities it gives.
    Shadowblade is awesome thatís why wizard/sorcerer multis are so good because you can upcast this for an ungodly amount of damage with higher level spell slots.

    Also I feel find familiar should be green for an Eldritch Knight. Familiar can scout, bring a sense that no other member of your party has (looking at you bat), also provide advantage to one attack per round.

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    Default Re: The Everyman's Guide to Taking Up Arms: A Guide to Fighters

    Quote Originally Posted by Gignere View Post
    For the Druid you can wildshape into a form that might be useful for scouting. Like a spider, or some other appropriate insect/vermin, maybe a rat. Something that wouldnít be out of place and youíll make a wonderful scout. Itís not for combat but rather improving your exploration pillar so making the fighter more versatile.
    I still say bard is better because it improves both exploration and social pillars, but Druid dip isnít bad.
    Good point. I'll boost the Druid multiclass up to Teal; good if you want to be a scout, not so good otherwise.


    Quote Originally Posted by Evaar View Post
    Looks like the Dragonborn analysis got cut short.
    So it did. Fixed.


    Quote Originally Posted by Evaar View Post
    Mage Armor should be at least teal. You rate the Defensive fighting style well, Mage Armor offers a +1 AC over any non-magical options for Dex fighters. If nothing else, itís the best armor a level 3 Dex EK is likely to have available. That will probably continue to be the case for a while.
    I rated Mage Armor red for a few reasons. At third level, an Eldritch Knight only has two spell slots, so it's not economical to spend a spell slot on Mage Armor when you already have proficiency in Medium Armor. Scale Mail's only 50gp, so I don't think it's unreasonable for a fighter to have access to that at 3rd level.


    Quote Originally Posted by Evaar View Post
    Shadow Blade should be blue or green. With the Fighterís high number of attacks (both from Extra Attack and Action Surge) being able to increase the damage dice of a weapon is a big deal - especially when itís upcast to scale it up further. Consider that it should last an entire combat, add up the dice it will bring to that fight, and compare that level of damage to any other spell. Not even accounting for the advantage opportunities it gives.
    When I was rating this spell, I overlooked that it was a bonus action to cast, so you can lose concentration but still recast it and attack on the same turn. I don't think a Green rating is justified, given it's a Concentration spell that encourages you to get into melee, but I'll bump it up to Blue. Never mind, this is worth a Green spell.

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    Default Re: The Everyman's Guide to Taking Up Arms: A Guide to Fighters

    Aquatic Elf should probably be green, particularly for water campaigns. Not much better in terms of a Dex build fighter (and you have Air Genasi in green). I'd argue Aquatic Elf is better

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    Default Re: The Everyman's Guide to Taking Up Arms: A Guide to Fighters

    I think you are underrating blind. Not only is it no concentrate but up casting it can hit more than one target so perfect to use when the EK can hit a couple of targets make them save at disadvantage and note if you keep hitting them I think they keep saving at disadvantage AFB though. Keeping 2 - 3 enemies blinded while you are concentrating on Shadowblade/Haste or whatever.
    Last edited by Gignere; 2019-11-12 at 08:49 AM.

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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: The Everyman's Guide to Taking Up Arms: A Guide to Fighters

    Thank you for writing this guide. Quick nitpick: you color some things purple but dont have purple in your key explaining what it means.

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    Default Re: The Everyman's Guide to Taking Up Arms: A Guide to Fighters

    Recommended revision on your Variant Human.
    a. Dismissing DM's who allow feats seems to me to be bad form
    b. The power accrued really depends on the feat.
    c. you forgot to mention the added proficiency
    suggested revision ...
    Variant Human: +1 to two stats and an added proficiency. (Extra proficiency is always nice).
    If your DM allows feats, a free feat can be powerful.


    Resilient: In particular, I'd recommend Dexterity.
    Dex isn't a bad choice, given the frequency of Dex saves, but Wisdom is nothing to sneeze at.
    Suggest you add Wisdom as an equally useful Resilient choice for a Fighter.
    Why?
    You don't want to be controlled / taken out of the battle by mind control, which gets to be a bigger problem at higher levels. (And also high CR Dragon fear effects ...)
    Cleric: Clerics choose their domains at 1st level, so what you get out of them is dependent on the domain that you choose to go into. I'd recommend War or Tempest, as both are focused on melee.
    Suggest you add Forge to that list. +1 Armor can't hurt.
    Last edited by KorvinStarmast; 2019-11-12 at 10:00 AM.
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    Self-deception tends to have a low target number

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    Default Re: The Everyman's Guide to Taking Up Arms: A Guide to Fighters

    Medium Armor Master probably should be teal -- stealth-loving fighter that isn't going for max-Dex is a situational build (good, but situational).

    Otherwise, looks pretty good. It will be interesting to see what parts of the recent UA become canon, as that will have a huge impact on Battlemasters.

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    Default Re: The Everyman's Guide to Taking Up Arms: A Guide to Fighters

    Nice guide! I feel like it should be pointed out that Commander's Strike is much better if your party has a rogue (sneak attack is once per turn, not once per round) or a smite-happy paladin.

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    Default Re: The Everyman's Guide to Taking Up Arms: A Guide to Fighters

    A very nice guide overall good work! Opinion on a few things:

    Healer: I feel should bump up a rank because it's a superb feat in general, with so many ASIs to spare and Action Surge on hand, Fighter is actually one of the best candidates for it

    Inspiring Leader: I'm not thrilled about the description or the rank, it could cause confusion for healing instead of temp hp for the day and it should be noted that you can also give yourself temp hp this way every rest.

    Tough: Fighter's already get Con save prof and will likely have a +2/+3 off the bat, Tough will give most Fighters more mileage on your average adventuring day and would boost HP to Barbarianesque levels.

    Monk: Worth at least black for easy access to bonus action attacks and an unarmored option for certain themes

    Wizard: Divination is always worth a mention because Portent is useful for everyone all the time, Bladesinger for a Dex Fighter is a good option, especially for EKs
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    Default Re: The Everyman's Guide to Taking Up Arms: A Guide to Fighters

    Quote Originally Posted by Zerubbabel View Post
    Aquatic Elf should probably be green, particularly for water campaigns. Not much better in terms of a Dex build fighter (and you have Air Genasi in green). I'd argue Aquatic Elf is better
    I rated Air Genasi as green because it's got great stats and the free Levitation spell turns you into a flying archer.

    I think a better comparison for Sea Elves (Elfs?) is to Tritons, as both are aquatic creatures. I rate Sea Elves as blue because they've got the standard Elf package, but with better stat increases. You're right in that Sea Elves are better in an aquatic campaign, but if they require a specific campaign to shine, I wouldn't rate them as green. Tritons, by comparison, get all the unique features of a Sea Elf and resistance to a common damage type, which makes them more viable for any campaign.

    Quote Originally Posted by Gignere View Post
    I think you are underrating blind. Not only is it no concentrate but up casting it can hit more than one target so perfect to use when the EK can hit a couple of targets make them save at disadvantage and note if you keep hitting them I think they keep saving at disadvantage AFB though. Keeping 2 - 3 enemies blinded while you are concentrating on Shadowblade/Haste or whatever.
    You bring up some very good points. I'll bump the rating up to blue.

    Quote Originally Posted by XmonkTad View Post
    Thank you for writing this guide. Quick nitpick: you color some things purple but dont have purple in your key explaining what it means.
    Those would be typos on my part; the color codes for purple and teal are very similar. Everything that's purple should be teal.
    Where are you seeing purple ratings?

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    Default Re: The Everyman's Guide to Taking Up Arms: A Guide to Fighters

    Kensai is actually really good for an Archer who lacks a use for their bonus action, see my post in the older guide.

    Haste should probably be teal, because it's only great if no one else has it.

    Edit: I also think you're underestimating the Samurai level 10 feature. It basically amounts to "you have 5 extra uses on your first combat."
    Last edited by Yunru; 2019-11-12 at 02:00 PM.

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    Default Re: The Everyman's Guide to Taking Up Arms: A Guide to Fighters

    Very good guide.

    Samurai is probably the best archetype the more I see it. Having at will advantage 3xs a day is strong... throw in action surge and it's really strong.

    But I would make battlemaster green as well.

    Excellent guide

  24. - Top - End - #24
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    Default Re: The Everyman's Guide to Taking Up Arms: A Guide to Fighters

    Quote Originally Posted by mjp1050 View Post
    I rated Mage Armor red for a few reasons. At third level, an Eldritch Knight only has two spell slots, so it's not economical to spend a spell slot on Mage Armor when you already have proficiency in Medium Armor. Scale Mail's only 50gp, so I don't think it's unreasonable for a fighter to have access to that at 3rd level.
    I'll reply once more and leave it at that if you remain unconvinced.

    You rated the Defense fighting style blue on the basis that +1 AC is never a bad choice. That's a permanent and irreplaceable character choice that comes at the cost of higher damage or accuracy. That is more significant than a spell slot per day, even with only two spell slots. So we agree that +1 AC is a valuable asset.

    Scale Mail comes with disadvantage to stealth and a maximum dex bonus of +2. So a dex fighter's AC with scale mail will likely be 16. With Mage Armor, a dex fighter's AC is also likely 16, but with no penalty to stealth - in fact the character is probably quite good at stealth, given the dex focus. Stealth rolls tend to come up a lot, especially at lower levels.

    You can use studded leather or a chain shirt to avoid the stealth penalty, but then you likely get AC 15.

    You can use a breastplate for AC 16 with no stealth penalty, but that's 400g. You might or might not have that at level 3. In most games I've played, I didn't.

    At level 4, you might bump your Dex to 18 and get a +4 bonus. In that case, the breastplate falls behind. At that point, Mage Armor is the only way outside of +1 magic armor to get AC 17 as a dexterity fighter. At some point as a Dex fighter, you will bump your Dex to 18 and 20. If your DM is stingy about magic armor, Mage Armor is your best choice for pure AC.

    Given these possibilities, which I concede are circumstantial but not all that unlikely, I suggest a teal rating for the spell. When used for the correct character build, it provides something of substantial value that can't be easily replicated.
    Last edited by Evaar; 2019-11-12 at 05:04 PM.

  25. - Top - End - #25
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    Default Re: The Everyman's Guide to Taking Up Arms: A Guide to Fighters

    It's often tough to see the upsides of feats because many tables use standard array or point buy.

    But I ran a champion awhile back, really to see if the idea would work. I wanted to play someone using a greatsword and longbow. And I wanted to see how good or bad remarkable athlete was as well.

    I had in the end a 20 strength and 16 dexterity. I used GWM and SS. I took archery style at 1st level. I ended up taking medium armor master and I grabbed GWF at 10th. I also took mounted combatant.

    It was niche build just to test viability...and then years later.... hex blade came along.

    If you roll for stats medium armor master is pure gold. Take it.

    But for point buy, by the time you could reasonably select MAM, you're 12th level.

    Even a dex based TWF is grabbing dex at 4th and 6th and dual wielder at 8th. MAM at 12th. Maybe 14th.

    So very humbly IMO, I'd grab it if you rolled stats. But point buy, not worth it

    Still a fantastic guide

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    Default Re: The Everyman's Guide to Taking Up Arms: A Guide to Fighters

    Good guide, but i feel like you are overrating Champion. They really are pretty crappy.

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    Default Re: The Everyman's Guide to Taking Up Arms: A Guide to Fighters

    Thank you all for your feedback and suggestions! I'll respond as soon as I can.

    Quote Originally Posted by KorvinStarmast View Post
    Recommended revision on your Variant Human.
    I was actually poking fun at DMs who allow Variant Humans (given how above the power curve they are), but point taken. I've edited the description.
    Quote Originally Posted by KorvinStarmast View Post
    Dex isn't a bad choice, given the frequency of Dex saves, but Wisdom is nothing to sneeze at.
    ...
    Suggest you add Forge to that list. +1 Armor can't hurt.
    Noted. Will add those as options.


    Quote Originally Posted by Willie the Duck View Post
    Medium Armor Master probably should be teal -- stealth-loving fighter that isn't going for max-Dex is a situational build (good, but situational).

    Otherwise, looks pretty good. It will be interesting to see what parts of the recent UA become canon, as that will have a huge impact on Battlemasters.
    I'm not looking forward to the new UA becoming canon, mostly because it'll be a lot of work on my end.
    In terms of Medium Armor Master, I wouldn't rate it as teal. I can see an argument for it being blue, but everyone can make use of +1 AC and the removal of a Stealth penalty, so it's not what I would call situational.


    Quote Originally Posted by micahaphone View Post
    Nice guide! I feel like it should be pointed out that Commander's Strike is much better if your party has a rogue (sneak attack is once per turn, not once per round) or a smite-happy paladin.
    Thank you!
    I'll confess that I'm loath to rate an option based on your party composition. You don't have any control over what your party is, after all.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dork_Forge View Post
    A very nice guide overall good work! Opinion on a few things:

    Healer: I feel should bump up a rank because it's a superb feat in general, with so many ASIs to spare and Action Surge on hand, Fighter is actually one of the best candidates for it

    Inspiring Leader: I'm not thrilled about the description or the rank, it could cause confusion for healing instead of temp hp for the day and it should be noted that you can also give yourself temp hp this way every rest.

    Tough: Fighter's already get Con save prof and will likely have a +2/+3 off the bat, Tough will give most Fighters more mileage on your average adventuring day and would boost HP to Barbarianesque levels.

    Monk: Worth at least black for easy access to bonus action attacks and an unarmored option for certain themes

    Wizard: Divination is always worth a mention because Portent is useful for everyone all the time, Bladesinger for a Dex Fighter is a good option, especially for EKs
    Thank you! I keep forgetting that Bladesinger is a thing, tucked away in a desolate corner of SCAG. I'll update Inspiring Leader, but I think Healer should stay where it is. Just because a Fighter's the best choice for the feat doesn't make it a good pick.
    I rated Tough black because an ASI already gets you half the HP of Tough and a bonus to CON saves. I don't think Tough a bad feat to take - hence the black rating - but I do think that boosting your CON score takes priority.
    For Monks, I'm a little curious as to why you'd want Unarmored Defense when you already have proficiency in all armors.

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    Default Re: The Everyman's Guide to Taking Up Arms: A Guide to Fighters

    The Flames of Phlegethos feat may be Red for most archetypes, but it should rate Black for Eldritch Knights considering it offers a +1 INT and boosts damage on fire spells. That's actually pretty useful.
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  29. - Top - End - #29
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    Default Re: The Everyman's Guide to Taking Up Arms: A Guide to Fighters

    Quote Originally Posted by Yunru View Post
    Kensai is actually really good for an Archer who lacks a use for their bonus action, see my post in the older guide.

    Haste should probably be teal, because it's only great if no one else has it.

    Edit: I also think you're underestimating the Samurai level 10 feature. It basically amounts to "you have 5 extra uses on your first combat."
    Dug up the aforementioned post:

    Quote Originally Posted by Yunru View Post
    While I won't disagree with the overall rating for Monks, I feel Kensei in particular should be slightly higher for archers (maybe black?), given that you've very little use for your bonus action and getting +1d4 to your attack damage isn't a bad boost given it's costless (other than the level investment). You also get a minor boost to speed, which is always useful for staying out of your opponent's engagement range (plus your Ki uses also help for escaping tricky situations).

    It still only deals slightly more damage than a Crossbow Expert who took three levels of Rogue instead (~42 DPR vs ~41 DPR), but it uses less feats and has better nova potential. Of course, if you get extra sources of attacks from the likes of Haste the Monk dip pulls ahead to a notable amount. (And on the other hand, if you get extra sources of damage, it starts to lag behind.)

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    Default Re: The Everyman's Guide to Taking Up Arms: A Guide to Fighters

    Quote Originally Posted by mjp1050 View Post
    In terms of Medium Armor Master, I wouldn't rate it as teal. I can see an argument for it being blue, but everyone can make use of +1 AC and the removal of a Stealth penalty, so it's not what I would call situational.
    Not everyone. The only people who even can get all those benefits are 15 DEX fighters who donít plan on just wearing light armor. STR fighters will get Plate for the same AC with no feat investment and no need to put a 15 that could have gone in CON into DEX, DEX fighters will get one less AC and every other benefit from the fear by just wearing studded leather.

    A stealth-focused STR fighter is a niche build, and even then this feat will only serve you better than plate in certain situations.
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