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  1. - Top - End - #61
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Does this fix the warlock Bladepact?

    Quote Originally Posted by Amechra View Post
    And yet, in a Hexblade-free world, off-handing a Shadow Blade handily keeps up with Eldritch Blast + Agonizing Blast + Hex damage until Tier 3 with minimal optimization, without even taking Improved Pact Weapon into account. Come on, I spent, like, two hours doing the math there.

    (And before you go "but we aren't in a Hexblade-free world", that's because we're in one of the bad timelines. I can dream of a better world than this one, dang it!)
    Two problems with that; (1) you're intentionally making your pact weapon a light finesse weapon which sucks when you're out of slots, and (2) you've only got a minute of shadow blade per slot. You also aren't attacking with that pact weapon on any turn when you've lost shadow blade. You will lose concentration on shadow blade.

    Shadowblade and then specifically picking a pact weapon to offhand it is probably more complicated than just picking a greatsword and taking blade invocations.


    So, I don't think it is a simple a build and setup task as eb+ab (and sometimes remembering hex).


    FWIW, using hex and a greatsword also lets you switch between melee and ranged modes in the same encounter as soon as a target with hex dies, if you wish. With shadow blade.... you can throw it, I guess, then expend a bonus action next turn to call it back.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dork_Forge View Post
    I realised after and corrected the reply to you with an accurate version, still beating out EB/AB.

    I'm not sure why you consider a chunk of damage a poor use of concentration,
    See above. No slots or broken concentration leaves you with a poor weapon; and one you had better have spent blade invocations on or you're back to EB spam, anyway.

    Losing shadowblade is a much bigger deal than losing hex (or something like faerie fire). And, before you suggest war caster or resilient:con or a fighter dip for it; the EB/AB spammer doesn't need those, nor is a greatsword wielding bladelock in such dire straits when concentration is broken.

    If you do rely on feats, you could toss PAM/GWM in the equation and use a glaive as your pact weapon and have an all day every day use for a bonus action that gains lifedrinker. As with SB, you could use concentration for a source of advantage (Shadow of Moil; Darkness, etc).

    Not relying on dual wielding also keeps your bonus action free for other, more interesting things - like crown of stars at 13th or misty step or hex applications (or hexblade curse applications), or relentless or maddening hex.


    Anyway, SB is using concentration for around 4.5-9 more points of damage with one swing, with a lackluster pact weapon at all other times. That's with a 5th level slot, and you could instead use that slot and that concentration to cast something like Phantasmal Killer or Negative Energy Flood or Shadow of Moil (which synergizes well with GWM) or Danse Macabre.

    SB drops off in terms of damage advantage once lifedrinker is on the table, anyway; 18+mod + 1d6+mod+mod vs 4d6+modx4; with two doses of hex each time. 36.5 + hex vs 34 + hex.

    If you think a best case damage increase of 2.5 per round is worth the concentration slot and bonus action - ok? You're gonna lose that concentration, though, and thats going to suck, especially if you're out of slots.


    Edit: Only... it's only a 2.5 damage increase if you gain the two weapon fighting style somehow. Without it, you're managing 31.5 with a level 5 SB and a lifedrinker pact blade offhand (32.5 if improved pact weapon). You're managing 34 with a greatsword pact weapon, 36 if improved pact weapon.

    Shadow Blade is a great spell, but not for blade warlocks.
    Last edited by cutlery; 2020-09-24 at 07:21 AM.

  2. - Top - End - #62
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    Default Re: Does this fix the warlock Bladepact?

    I see shadow blade mentioned as a good fish choice for Warlocks. I canít help but feel like it is actually pretty bad: with only two spells per short rest, itís essentially consuming all their spell slots, and it isnít a pact weapon so canít be used twice in a round. (I can see itís appeal for an Eldritch Knight, though.)

    I propose the following:

    Black Blade
    Prerequisite: Pact of the Blade
    You learn the Shadow Blade spell, which does not count against the number of pact magic spells you know. You may cast it normally by expending a spell slot, or at its base level without expending a spell slot.

    You may also take Shadow Blade as a Mystic Arcanum. If you do, when you cast it from that feature or when using a pact magic spell slot, it is upcast to the level of mystic arcanum you learned it as.

    (So taking it as the 7th level or higher mystic arcanum spell makes it get 5d8 when cast as a mystic arcanum or from a pact magic spell slot.)

  3. - Top - End - #63
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    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Does this fix the warlock Bladepact?

    Quote Originally Posted by cutlery View Post
    Two problems with that; (1) you're intentionally making your pact weapon a light finesse weapon which sucks when you're out of slots, and (2) you've only got a minute of shadow blade per slot. You also aren't attacking with that pact weapon on any turn when you've lost shadow blade. You will lose concentration on shadow blade.
    If you're out of slots between combats you can just swap your short sword/scimitar into a Rapier. What are you talking about you won't be attacking with your pact weapon if you lose concentration? Recasting Shadow Blade is a bonus action, there's nothing stopping you getting your normal two pact weapon attacks.

    Shadowblade and then specifically picking a pact weapon to offhand it is probably more complicated than just picking a greatsword and taking blade invocations.
    And worse damage.

    So, I don't think it is a simple a build and setup task as eb+ab (and sometimes remembering hex).
    As simple? No, but higher optimisation ceiling and more damage so...

    FWIW, using hex and a greatsword also lets you switch between melee and ranged modes in the same encounter as soon as a target with hex dies, if you wish. With shadow blade.... you can throw it, I guess, then expend a bonus action next turn to call it back.
    What is your point here? Switching to EB as the grestsword user?


    See above. No slots or broken concentration leaves you with a poor weapon; and one you had better have spent blade invocations on or you're back to EB spam, anyway.
    A +1 weapon is not a poor weapon, I listed a bunch of invocations to support the pact weapon as well, why wouldn't you be taking them? You realise no slots and/or a broken concentration loses Hex and makes you EB damage plummet too right?

    Losing shadowblade is a much bigger deal than losing hex (or something like faerie fire). And, before you suggest war caster or resilient:con or a fighter dip for it; the EB/AB spammer doesn't need those, nor is a greatsword wielding bladelock in such dire straits when concentration is broken.
    I wasn't going to suggest those things,but why is it such a terrible thing to lose concentration on Shadow Blade? You're acting like it's Haste or something, there's no dire straits here.

    If you do rely on feats, you could toss PAM/GWM in the equation and use a glaive as your pact weapon and have an all day every day use for a bonus action that gains lifedrinker. As with SB, you could use concentration for a source of advantage (Shadow of Moil; Darkness, etc).
    And be stuck with Strength as your primary, require feats on a normal ASI chassis.

    Not relying on dual wielding also keeps your bonus action free for other, more interesting things - like crown of stars at 13th or misty step or hex applications (or hexblade curse applications), or relentless or maddening hex.
    Misty Step is not a consistent use, if you need to teleport out, you can just not bonus attack that round and teleport out. Crown of Stars is a ranged attack so doesn't gel with running into melee and maddening hex is only useful if you're fighitng clustered together groups and dump damage on your turn to use Hex instead of Shadow Blade.

    Anyway, SB is using concentration for around 4.5-9 more points of damage with one swing, with a lackluster pact weapon at all other times. That's with a 5th level slot, and you could instead use that slot and that concentration to cast something like Phantasmal Killer or Negative Energy Flood or Shadow of Moil (which synergizes well with GWM) or Danse Macabre.
    So you mean a bunch of action spells that have nothing to do with being a Bladelock? You're changing the argument now, the point was that Bladelocks can not only keep up with EB/AB spam, but exceed them.

    SB drops off in terms of damage advantage once lifedrinker is on the table, anyway; 18+mod + 1d6+mod+mod vs 4d6+modx4; with two doses of hex each time. 36.5 + hex vs 34 + hex.
    No, it doesn't drop off, Life Drinker applies to your two main attacks just fine, Shadow Blade is still gravy. The only way you'd get more out of Life Drinker is with something like PAM which you'd lose damage on the bonus attack and reduce your damage types, potentially lose some advantage and get smaller crit opportunities.

    If you think a best case damage increase of 2.5 per round is worth the concentration slot and bonus action - ok? You're gonna lose that concentration, though, and thats going to suck, especially if you're out of slots.
    Why on earth do you keep saying about running out of slots? Tier 3 is 3 slots per short rest, if concentration is actually a concern then yes you certainly can take Warcaster or Res:con. Losing Concentration is not guaranteed especially since a tier 3 Warlock has a lot of options available for temp hp.

    Edit: Only... it's only a 2.5 damage increase if you gain the two weapon fighting style somehow. Without it, you're managing 31.5 with a level 5 SB and a lifedrinker pact blade offhand (32.5 if improved pact weapon). You're managing 34 with a greatsword pact weapon, 36 if improved pact weapon.
    I've gone through the maths quite clearly, with no assumption of a fighting style whatsoever. I even covered multiclass options (inc. fighting styles) that increase damage further in my reply to Amechra.

    Shadow Blade is a great spell, but not for blade warlocks.
    THe numbers appear to disagree

    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    I see shadow blade mentioned as a good fish choice for Warlocks. I canít help but feel like it is actually pretty bad: with only two spells per short rest, itís essentially consuming all their spell slots, and it isnít a pact weapon so canít be used twice in a round. (I can see itís appeal for an Eldritch Knight, though.)

    I propose the following:

    Black Blade
    Prerequisite: Pact of the Blade
    You learn the Shadow Blade spell, which does not count against the number of pact magic spells you know. You may cast it normally by expending a spell slot, or at its base level without expending a spell slot.

    You may also take Shadow Blade as a Mystic Arcanum. If you do, when you cast it from that feature or when using a pact magic spell slot, it is upcast to the level of mystic arcanum you learned it as.

    (So taking it as the 7th level or higher mystic arcanum spell makes it get 5d8 when cast as a mystic arcanum or from a pact magic spell slot.)
    I like this.
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  4. - Top - End - #64
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    Default Re: Does this fix the warlock Bladepact?

    Quote Originally Posted by Asisreo1 View Post
    Allow me to introduce Pact of the Chain.

    The pact boon that grants the warlock magic resistance at level 3 for the majority of their time.
    Nope. The only time a pseudo dragon grants magic resistance as a familiar is the variant familiar from the MM, which is an NPC under DM control. You will not find the text in PHB Chain that has it provide that magic resistance as a familiar. (I'll check SAC to see if they spelled this out finally after a lot of tweets on the topic) But it would be kind of cool.
    EDIT: detailed reasoning is here and also here.
    The Sprite is the superior scout since it can not only go invisible but can also read people's emotions while invisible (it can also help see for you while invisible, casting spells like silent image or hex).
    It's a great scout.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    Pact of the Blade boon is not broken, so it doesn't need a fix.
    Fixing the Hexblade is something thats needed though. Its OP.
    Hexblade exists because Pact of Blade lacked ... something. (Armor Class, among other things). Hex blade didn't resolve that, and I agree with its impact as OP/bad fix.
    Quote Originally Posted by Segev View Post
    I'm not going to go so far as to say it does nothing. But it could use just a little tweaking, in my opinion.
    Yes, PoTB could use a small tweak.
    Quote Originally Posted by cutlery View Post
    Pact of the blade isn't broken when EB/AB is in the warlock's back pocket.

    Pact of the blade without that fallback is very lackluster.
    Yes. I think it could use a summons. Some shadowy creature like the Shadow Sorcerer gets at level 6. Oh, wait, did they do that already for Hexblade ...
    Quote Originally Posted by jas61292 View Post
    This 100%.

    Honestly, if I was tasked with "fixing" pact of the blade, the only thing I would ever consider doing would be removing it all together.
    If we want to gish, play a Paladin.
    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    I'd really only be okay with this if we get a Generic gish class like the Magus in exchange, because Hexblade isn't generic enough to refluff on its own and its the closest thing to what I'd consider an ideal gish.
    Or, we can stop searching for the perfect gish since there is already blade singer, and removing the racial restrictions (I mean, WTF was that all about?) and there we go.
    Last edited by KorvinStarmast; 2020-09-24 at 01:35 PM.
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  5. - Top - End - #65
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Does this fix the warlock Bladepact?

    Quote Originally Posted by KorvinStarmast View Post

    Yes. I think it could use a summons. Some shadowy creature like the Shadow Sorcerer gets at level 6. Oh, wait, did they do that already for Hexblade ...
    Technically, you only get to play that trick after killing a humanoid yourself (person you slay). If you won't be killing any persons for the adventuring day (or you fail to get the killing blow) it's a pretty lackluster subclass feature. Heck, even if you manage to use it, it isn't that exciting.

    Well, its nice compared to the shadow sorcerers shadow hound, I guess.

    Quote Originally Posted by KorvinStarmast View Post
    If we want to gish, play a Paladin.
    Or, we can stop searching for the perfect gish since there is already blade singer, and removing the racial restrictions (I mean, WTF was that all about?) and there we go.
    Paladins ain't gishes, they're paladins - aka smitemachines.

    Warlockery is weird, I'll give it that; it keeps coming down to whether or not foresight is worth it (and worth getting on-time at level 17) vs multiclassing into some other two-attack martial.

    Ek to 7 with warcaster and shadow blade+BB/GFB + war magic is pretty nice damage that scales well (and nets you a non-bond-specific extra attack) with the ability to freely change to other bonded weapons when you don't feel like using the slot; although every time you take a warlock level you're faced with the knowledge you could have taken wizard levels instead to get higher level slots for SB more quickly. OTOH, you can more freely select from patrons if you add some fighter first and come to peace with the MADness.

    Both Hex warrior and blade pact are clunky in a game where you aren't otherwise tied to specific weapons.


    Quote Originally Posted by Dork_Forge View Post


    THe numbers appear to disagree

    Quote Originally Posted by Dork_Forge View Post
    No, it doesn't drop off, Life Drinker applies to your two main attacks just fine, Shadow Blade is still gravy
    At 12; without hex, assuming 100% accuracy and max dex:

    SB is 4d8 + 5; offhand shortsword is 1d6+5 - only +5 for lifedrinker, as you won't get your cha unless you have a fighting style.

    That's 18+5 + 3.5+5, or 31.5. Lifedrinker doesn't apply to the shadowblade attack.

    at 12, with a greatsword and a str of 20 (or hexblade and greatsword pact weapon and cha of 20):

    2d6+10 *2, or 34.

    Using no slot, and keeping concentration free, so you could still apply hex, and haven't even used a bonus action yet, so you could apply hex that round.

    If you force yourself to only use dex, It's okay. But a rapier is still 29 damage, and you have concentration free for hex; so if you compare with equal use of resources, that's 36 damage for a pact rapier with hex at level 12; and you aren't stuck using your bonus action to keep up in round 2.
    Last edited by cutlery; 2020-09-24 at 01:54 PM.

  6. - Top - End - #66
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    Default Re: Does this fix the warlock Bladepact?

    Quote Originally Posted by cutlery View Post
    Well, its nice compared to the shadow sorcerers shadow hound, I guess.
    Personally, I love that shadow hound. One of my favorite things about playing a shadow sorcerer.
    Paladins ain't gishes, they're paladins - aka smitemachines.
    With respect, warrior, caster, gish and we already have a thread where the semantic hair splitting about the term "gish" has been beaten into the ground. You don't have to agree with me, for sure, but the game already has a gish: Paladin. It has another version of a gish called Eldritch Knight.
    Warlockery is weird, I'll give it that;
    We have an accord.
    Ek to 7 with warcaster and shadow blade+BB/GFB +
    I think Shadow Blade is a lot better on an Arcane Trickster who can get in, SA, and disengage. Rinse and repeat.
    That's my two cents on Shadow Blade.
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  7. - Top - End - #67
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Does this fix the warlock Bladepact?

    Quote Originally Posted by KorvinStarmast View Post
    I think Shadow Blade is a lot better on an Arcane Trickster who can get in, SA, and disengage. Rinse and repeat.
    That's my two cents on Shadow Blade.
    Hell, the AT can get in and Booming Blade with SB and apply SA, then cunning action to disengage.


    A bladesinger 6/AT x can do some pretty fun things with shadow blade, too. The greater hit consistency they get with two attacks almost keeps pace, but it comes a bit ahead with a decently upcast shadow blade.
    Last edited by cutlery; 2020-09-24 at 01:52 PM.

  8. - Top - End - #68
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    Default Re: Does this fix the warlock Bladepact?

    Quote Originally Posted by cutlery View Post
    A bladesinger 6/AT x can do some pretty fun things with shadow blade, too. The greater hit consistency they get with two attacks almost keeps pace, but it comes a bit ahead with a decently upcast shadow blade.
    All the more reason to drop the racial restriction on Bladesinger.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malifice View Post
    (paraphrased) Rulings are not 'House Rules.' Rulings are a DM doing what DMs are supposed to do.
    Quote Originally Posted by greenstone View Post
    Agency means that they {players} control their character's actions; you control the world's reactions to the character's actions.
    Gosh, 2D8HP, you are so very correct
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  9. - Top - End - #69
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    Default Re: Does this fix the warlock Bladepact?

    Quote Originally Posted by KorvinStarmast View Post
    All the more reason to drop the racial restriction on Bladesinger.
    I suspect they will in Tasha's, but with how damned many elves and half elves there are it isn't such a great restriction.

    Holdover stuff from the 2e splatbook era Complete Book of Elves, when elves basically got everything.

  10. - Top - End - #70
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    Default Re: Does this fix the warlock Bladepact?

    Quote Originally Posted by cutlery View Post
    At 12; without hex, assuming 100% accuracy and max dex:

    SB is 4d8 + 5; offhand shortsword is 1d6+5 - only +5 for lifedrinker, as you won't get your cha unless you have a fighting style.

    That's 18+5 + 3.5+5, or 31.5

    at 12, with a greatsword and a str of 20 (or hexblade and greatsword pact weapon and cha of 20):

    2d6+10 *2, or 34.

    Using no slot, and keeping concentration free, so you could still apply hex, and haven't even used a bonus action yet, so you could apply hex that round.

    If you force yourself to only use dex, It's okay. But a rapier is still 29 damage, and you have concentration free for hex; so if you compare with equal use of resources, that's 36 damage for a pact rapier with hex at level 12; and you aren't stuck using your bonus action to keep up in round 2.
    What, why are you attacking with SB as the action? Main action should be two Thirsting blade attacks with an improved short short/scimitar and then bonus with the Shadow Blade:

    Quote Originally Posted by me from a few posts ago

    Melee Bladelock (Improved short sword, life drinker, shadowblade offhand): (1d6+5+4+1)*2+4d8=45
    Which is a darn sight better than what you are suggesting.
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    Default Re: Does this fix the warlock Bladepact?

    Quote Originally Posted by cutlery View Post
    I suspect they will in Tasha's, but with how damned many elves and half elves there are it isn't such a great restriction.
    That would be nice. I'd love to do a vHuman Bladesinger.
    Holdover stuff from the 2e splatbook era Complete Book of Elves, when elves basically got everything.
    Aye. "Let's play an elf game ....."
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malifice View Post
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    Default Re: Does this fix the warlock Bladepact?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dork_Forge View Post
    What, why are you attacking with SB as the action? Main action should be two Thirsting blade attacks with an improved short short/scimitar and then bonus with the Shadow Blade:



    Which is a darn sight better than what you are suggesting.
    Not on round one it isnít, and if you lose concentration you are mostly shut down.

    Round one planning to use hex is actually useful, and has at least the chance of remaining useful for the next fight without spending another slot.

    I mean, if we are going for a one round nova, just smite with both slots and skip shadow blade entirely.

    Oh, and the accuracy increase via advantage from shadow of Moil will handily beat both, and scales with high ac enemies particularly well; at least until 17 when foresight on the table.
    Last edited by cutlery; 2020-09-24 at 02:54 PM.

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    Default Re: Does this fix the warlock Bladepact?

    Quote Originally Posted by cutlery View Post
    Not on round one it isnít, and if you lose concentration you are mostly shut down.

    Round one planning to use hex is actually useful, and has at least the chance of remaining useful for the next fight without spending another slot.

    I mean, if we are going for a one round nova, just smite with both slots and skip shadow blade entirely.
    So you're only looking at the first round of damage now?

    You can't smite twice in one turn, Shadow Blade is better value.

    Why would you be mostly shut down by just losing concentration? Are you going to claim that the EB build is shut down by losing the 3d6 from Hex?
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    Default Re: Does this fix the warlock Bladepact?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dork_Forge View Post
    So you're only looking at the first round of damage now?

    You can't smite twice in one turn, Shadow Blade is better value.

    Why would you be mostly shut down by just losing concentration? Are you going to claim that the EB build is shut down by losing the 3d6 from Hex?
    No, I said if.

    And no, EB is not shut down by losing hex, more is it as likely to lose it because it doesnít need to be in melee.

    Further, on the happy occasion where it maintains concentration to the end of the fight, it has hex to reuse later.

    Losing conc as an EB blaster is a potential loss of 10.5 damage at 11th; its a loss of 18 with SB offhand attacks.

    And, again, you have to be in melee range to use them.


    But, more numbers (whoops, did that with prof bonus of 6; dropping it to 4 at level 12):

    scimitar (or shortsword), +5 in attack stat and cha, two attacks
    4d8 Shadowblade in offhand, assuming advantage from shadow blade

    against AC 19: 29 dpr, after round one;
    Round one: 15 DPR (can't cast shadowblade and swing it in the same turn)


    greatsword (2d6+5 +5) plus hex,

    against AC 19: 23 dpr.
    Round one: also 23 dpr


    It takes Three rounds for shadowblade offhand to catch up, and this is assuming dim light and advantage on shadow blade attacks (it takes much longer without that).


    When concentration is inevitably broken;
    15 DPR with pact one-hander against the same AC;
    19 DPR with pact greatsword against the same AC

    EB spam drops to 17 DPR with broken concentration; EB with hex is also 23 DPR, from round one.

    In the case of both the greatsword and eldritch blast, you have free bonus actions; one of which might be to apply hexblade's curse in round 2; this is something a hexblade using shadowblade can use, too, but it will take many more rounds to catch up.

    If you are certain you won't lose concentration, shadow blade looks pretty good. But if we bring feats into the equation GWM is on the table, and you become starved for bonus actions.
    Last edited by cutlery; 2020-09-24 at 04:18 PM.

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    Default Re: Does this fix the warlock Bladepact?

    Quote Originally Posted by cutlery View Post
    No, I said if.

    And no, EB is not shut down by losing hex, more is it as likely to lose it because it doesnít need to be in melee.

    Further, on the happy occasion where it maintains concentration to the end of the fight, it has hex to reuse later.

    Losing conc as an EB blaster is a potential loss of 10.5 damage at 11th; its a loss of 18 with SB offhand attacks.

    And, again, you have to be in melee range to use them.
    Yes, you said "and if you lose concentration you are mostly shut down" not if it's the first round, but whatever.

    Being at ranged is a good way to keep concentration, so is having a decent Con, maybe picking up Warcaster the +2 Cha at 12 (-2 damage per round but eh). Going into combat with temp hp is also a great way, like the 12 temp hp from each rest a Celestial gets, the 5-8 temp hp from False Life, Armor of Agathys etc. Since concentration checks are half damage it's not that difficult to maintain concentration if you have some form of damage mitigation and a positive Con.

    I'm not sure you ever answered this, but what is the plan when something gets within 5ft of the EBlock?

    Edit: Wait did you consider losing a bonus attack as shut down? It's just lowered damage, that isn't being shut down.
    Last edited by Dork_Forge; 2020-09-24 at 04:22 PM.
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  16. - Top - End - #76
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    Default Re: Does this fix the warlock Bladepact?

    I'd call dropping to melee with just your pact shortsword as feeling pretty shut down. You have pretty much entirely built around that offhand attack, spent a precious slot on it, used a precious known spell, and spent a round setting it up.

    You might even lose concentration before you even get to use it; unless you swing with it in round one (a dpr loss, unless you have dim light advantage).

    Quote Originally Posted by Dork_Forge View Post
    I'm not sure you ever answered this, but what is the plan when something gets within 5ft of the EBlock?
    Misty step 10', move another 30', followed by repelling blast EB bolts if escape is 100% required; because they aren't starved for bonus actions. Melee if they'd rather save the spell slot; for a full blaster tomelock I'll usually cast shillelagh with my first spare bonus action; add in a scagtrip if necessary.

    If it's a bladelock, you're probably using grasp of hadar to pull your target to you instead of the reverse. A bladelock can EB blast just as well as any other warlock, after all.

    Shadow blade just doesn't seem like a good use of a spell slot for the few damage you get out of it. I suppose if you can't think of anything better to case, but I wouldn't even learn the spell on a warlock.
    Last edited by cutlery; 2020-09-24 at 04:25 PM.

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    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: Does this fix the warlock Bladepact?

    Quote Originally Posted by cutlery View Post
    I'd call dropping to melee with just your pact shortsword as feeling pretty shut down. You have pretty much entirely built around that offhand attack, spent a precious slot on it, used a precious known spell, and spent a round setting it up.
    What are you talking about? You're built around your pact weapon, the only thing you did for SB was choose it as a spell known and cast it.

    Since when is a spell known on a Warlock precious? You have 12 at 12th and Pact magic makes worthwhile choices slim pickings, personally I wouldn't have a hard time fitting it in at all.

    You might even lose concentration before you even get to use it; unless you swing with it in round one (a dpr loss, unless you have dim light advantage).
    True:

    If you get hit

    If you fail the save

    If you didn't have a stack of temp hp or other countermeasure

    You're pushing it like losing concentration is likely, it really isn't especially in a party where there's multiple targets to choose from not just you.


    Misty step 10', move another 30', followed by repelling blast EB bolts if escape is 100% required; because they aren't starved for bonus actions. Melee if they'd rather save the spell slot; for a full blaster tomelock I'll usually cast shillelagh with my first spare bonus action; add in a scagtrip if necessary.
    So SB is poor decision making but burning a 5th level slot on a non scaling 2nd level spell is a wise choice? So dropping down to two attacks with a +1 short sword with Cha added on top is being shut down, but reverting to using a basic Shilellagh isn't being shut down?

    If it's a bladelock, you're probably using grasp of hadar to pull your target to you instead of the reverse. A bladelock can EB blast just as well as any other warlock, after all.
    The entire point of this is that you don't need Eldritch Blast you can take it sure, but as the numbers have proved time and again, you certainly don't need it to remain competitive.


    Shadow blade just doesn't seem like a good use of a spell slot for the few damage you get out of it. I suppose if you can't think of anything better to case, but I wouldn't even learn the spell on a warlock.
    And you have a heavy bias to just sitting back and spamming EB, so I'm not surprised you wouldn't learn it. A 4d8 bonus action attack with a built in advantage condition is good, no matter how you slice it, it's good. Throw in Elven Accuracy as the build I suggested to you does and you're looking at a decent chance of crits too.

    This is all with a straight 'lock too, as my other post shows, the optimisation ceiling for Bladelocks is far higher than this, so if it's keeping up with EB now (and it is) then it will just push further ahead.

    Eldritch Blast isn't the be all, end all of Warlocks.
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    Default Re: Does this fix the warlock Bladepact?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dork_Forge View Post
    If you didn't have a stack of temp hp or other countermeasure
    Just to interject, don't assume this is the case - sage advice indicates temp HP doesn't change how concentration works for you at all and you'd still have to roll regardless. DM mileage may vary though.
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  19. - Top - End - #79
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Does this fix the warlock Bladepact?

    Quote Originally Posted by Amnestic View Post
    Just to interject, don't assume this is the case - sage advice indicates temp HP doesn't change how concentration works for you at all and you'd still have to roll regardless. DM mileage may vary though.
    Yep; hit is hit, temp hp or not, you ought to roll for concentration.

  20. - Top - End - #80
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    Default Re: Does this fix the warlock Bladepact?

    Quote Originally Posted by Amnestic View Post
    Just to interject, don't assume this is the case - sage advice indicates temp HP doesn't change how concentration works for you at all and you'd still have to roll regardless. DM mileage may vary though.
    Thank you for pointing that out, I had no idea it worked like that, it's... well pretty stupid. It undermines the point of temp hp and pushes Tenser's Transformation into being a pretty crappy spell.

    Good to know for when I play at other tables, however I won't be running it that way for my players.


    Quote Originally Posted by cutlery View Post
    Yep; hit is hit, temp hp or not, you ought to roll for concentration.
    If you knew that then why didn't you say it in our back and forth instead of waiting for Amnestic?
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  21. - Top - End - #81
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Does this fix the warlock Bladepact?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dork_Forge View Post
    If you knew that then why didn't you say it in our back and forth instead of waiting for Amnestic?
    Because it's rather obvious.

    Anyway; using a spell slot, filling both hands, and using every rounds bonus action to eke out an extra 3-4 damage a round over 9 rounds (even with dim light advantage) is a much worse option than just waiting for a hit and using that slot for a 6d8 smite when you really need the damage; which incidentally averages as the same amount of damage - 27, and you choose where and when to apply it.

    You clearly disagree. That's fine, but you may have found the class that gains the absolute least from using shadowblade in the game.

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    Default Re: Does this fix the warlock Bladepact?

    Quote Originally Posted by cutlery View Post
    You clearly disagree. That's fine, but you may have found the class that gains the absolute least from using shadowblade in the game.
    The thing about taking Shadow Blade on a Warlock is that they have much less of an opportunity cost when it comes to upcasting it.

    Most classes using Shadow Blade are going to be burning lower-level spell slots on it, because the upcasting tends to be inefficient. Arcane Tricksters and Eldritch Knights are going to be stuck with a 2d8 weapon until Tier 4, while Bladesingers have plenty of spells known and have way better things to be spending their Concentration/Spell Slots on.

    Whenever a Warlock casts it, they get a weapon equivalent to the one that a Bladesinger would get if they spent their highest level spell slot on casting it (well, up until level 13, where the Wizard could choose to cast it out of their single 7th level spell slot). At the same time, there are a surprisingly small number of spells that scale well on the Warlock list, so the fact that Shadow Blade grows with you as you level up is appreciated.

    ---

    Shadow Blade also has some advantages that I think you're glossing over:

    1) Hex is cool and all... but it only applies to one enemy at a time. If you're in a situation where you have to divide your attention between multiple enemies, Hex is way less useful.
    2) If you're in the kind of game where there are multiple fights per rest, or where fights tend to be longer, Shadow Blade is way more efficient than Eldritch Smite. Burning a spell slot on being able to deal 2d8-4d8 damage per bonus action for a 5-6 round fight is going to go further than dealing 6d8 damage once.
    3) If you've set yourself up to crit fish, it's a meaty weapon that brings its own pretty-easy-to-achieve advantage condition. That's nothing to sneeze at.
    4) Your opportunity attacks will hurt more. If you do the whole War Caster + Booming Blade thing, you'll pack a pretty big punch.
    5) It gives you a distinct playstyle from a classic Warlock without horribly nerfing your damage. You know, for if you want a change of pace.

    As for Concentration... I'm currently toying with a Bladelock build centered around off-handing Shadow Blade. The current plan is to start off with a single level of Draconic Sorcerer (to free up an Invocation slot, grab Con proficiency, and pick up a couple of spell slots to cast Shield from) before swapping over to Fiendlock. Will it be super-optimal? Probably not... but if I wanted that, I'd be a Hexadin.
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  23. - Top - End - #83
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Does this fix the warlock Bladepact?

    Quote Originally Posted by Amechra View Post
    The thing about taking Shadow Blade on a Warlock is that they have much less of an opportunity cost when it comes to upcasting it.
    While that is true, they also gain less from it than nearly anyone else - compare with Far Step or Blink, slot for slot.

    A Bladesinger (at 9th) gets quite a bit from it - they get to go from 1d6 or 1d8+dex to 4d8+dex with two attacks (and are also free to take an offhand stab if they happen to have nothing else to spend a BA on; for ~3.5).

    A rogue similarly gets the extra d8s, and may gain markedly from the advantage in dim light.

    An Ek can attack 3 times for 4d8+mod, or twice with a dose of war magic cantrips, depending on level (this latter choice not in the first round).

    The warlock might also have a decent chance of starting the encounter already concentrating on hex; and as discussed, hex is more flexible with ranged attacks when required. If pure damage is required, you can deliver about as much as an SB offhand with a smite (granted, invocation cost) with no impact to action economy, and that damage is guaranteed once you choose to use it. Back to hex, you can switch from melee and ranged and back in the same fight, re-applying it as targets expire; and hex can also be modified to allow very cool things with bonus actions.

    Is shadow blade better than not spending a slot? In terms of damage output, sure; if you keep it for all nine rounds and use your BA to swing it each time (the damage edge decreases when not in dim light, also).

    Is it the best use of that slot or of those bonus actions? I don't think so, in the case of the warlock. Not when smite is on the table and not when a variety of encounters are on the table, and not when the adventuring day lasts longer than five minutes.

    It is a small enough increase to DPR I wouldn't even take it with a warlock, given their limited spells known; with a special caveat for non-bladepact warlocks. It's a decent boost to a one-attack-a-round warlock on top of a SCAGtrip. Though, again, I don't know if I'd find room for it in the warlock's limited spells known list for a non-bladelock.

  24. - Top - End - #84
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    Default Re: Does this fix the warlock Bladepact?

    Quote Originally Posted by cutlery View Post
    Because it's rather obvious.

    Anyway; using a spell slot, filling both hands, and using every rounds bonus action to eke out an extra 3-4 damage a round over 9 rounds (even with dim light advantage) is a much worse option than just waiting for a hit and using that slot for a 6d8 smite when you really need the damage; which incidentally averages as the same amount of damage - 27, and you choose where and when to apply it.

    You clearly disagree. That's fine, but you may have found the class that gains the absolute least from using shadowblade in the game.
    Sorry but I find that rather far fetched, you combated every point I've put across where you could see an issue with it. If it were so obvious then why would they publish a Sage Advice article including the answer?

    I completely disagree, the defacto upcasting nature of pact amgic makes it a great candidate for Warlock. Since you're so convinced though, what would your 12th level spell list look like? So few precious spells after all.



    Quote Originally Posted by cutlery View Post
    While that is true, they also gain less from it than nearly anyone else - compare with Far Step or Blink, slot for slot.
    Your comparison is casting Blink at 12th level? A spell that not only doesn't upcast, but takes an action to cast (with a minute duration) and whose defensive purpose you can't even really on, it's entirely random. So you've blown 33% of your resources on a terrible spell for a Warlock, or well most people unless they can afford to precast it.

    Far Step is a nice spell... but entirely irrelevant since it's not a damage spell.

    A Bladesinger (at 9th) gets quite a bit from it - they get to go from 1d6 or 1d8+dex to 4d8+dex with two attacks (and are also free to take an offhand stab if they happen to have nothing else to spend a BA on; for ~3.5).
    A Bladesinger is worse off for melee entirely, Shadow Blade doesn't fix the Warlock having higher accuracy, a focus weapon and far higher reliable damage.

    A rogue similarly gets the extra d8s, and may gain markedly from the advantage in dim light.
    There is no reason why anyone would benefit from this more than anyone else, if the situation is dim light, it's dim light, a Rogues ability to hide as a BA (which I assume you're referring to) is redundant in that case.

    An Ek can attack 3 times for 4d8+mod, or twice with a dose of war magic cantrips, depending on level (this latter choice not in the first round).
    Yes, it works very well on an EK, though that doesn't stop it being good on a Warlock too.

    The warlock might also have a decent chance of starting the encounter already concentrating on hex; and as discussed, hex is more flexible with ranged attacks when required. If pure damage is required, you can deliver about as much as an SB offhand with a smite (granted, invocation cost) with no impact to action economy, and that damage is guaranteed once you choose to use it. Back to hex, you can switch from melee and ranged and back in the same fight, re-applying it as targets expire; and hex can also be modified to allow very cool things with bonus actions.
    The way Hex scales is with duration, since it starts at 1 hour and shoots to 8 hours, this is pretty terrible since you can't maintain concentration over a short rest and you're a short rest dependent class.

    Hex is extremely bonus action heavy, something that you seem to be against Shadow Blade for and necrotic damage, which there seems to be quite a few monsters resistant to it. Is it likely to come up? Depends on what you're playing, for example there's necrotic resistant creatures as a potential enemy in the new adventure.

    I have no idea what you mean by "can be modified to allow very cool things with bonus actions," unless you're referring to facilitating grapples but that seems off.

    Is shadow blade better than not spending a slot? In terms of damage output, sure; if you keep it for all nine rounds and use your BA to swing it each time (the damage edge decreases when not in dim light, also).

    Is it the best use of that slot or of those bonus actions? I don't think so, in the case of the warlock. Not when smite is on the table and not when a variety of encounters are on the table, and not when the adventuring day lasts longer than five minutes.
    5 minute adventuring days are terrible for Warlocks, the longer the day the more short rests you can try to fit in (especially since Cat Nap exists).

    It is a small enough increase to DPR I wouldn't even take it with a warlock, given their limited spells known; with a special caveat for non-bladepact warlocks. It's a decent boost to a one-attack-a-round warlock on top of a SCAGtrip. Though, again, I don't know if I'd find room for it in the warlock's limited spells known list for a non-bladelock.
    Really curious what your spell selection looks like, since even with using SCAGtrips it's just worse on other Warlocks because they likely aren't focusing on Str or Dex to keep up with the curve.
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