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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    thoroughlyS's Avatar

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    Default How do you feel about the Eldritch Knight?

    When 5e was released, the Eldritch Knight was viewed favorably alongside the Battle Master, and considered a successful implementation of a gish. Nowadays, I feel that more people say that it underperforms. What are your opinions of it?

    I for one think that its spell selection means that you will usually opt for defensive spells over offensive ones because the offensive spells you have access to rarely do more than your Attack action, so why burn the spell slot? That said, I don't find them lacking in power or contribution to the party.
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    Default Re: How do you feel about the Eldritch Knight?

    Quote Originally Posted by thoroughlyS View Post
    When 5e was released, the Eldritch Knight was viewed favorably alongside the Battle Master, and considered a successful implementation of a gish. Nowadays, I feel that more people say that it underperforms. What are your opinions of it?

    I for one think that its spell selection means that you will usually opt for defensive spells over offensive ones because the offensive spells you have access to rarely do more than your Attack action, so why burn the spell slot? That said, I don't find them lacking in power or contribution to the party.
    I've never seen anyone say that the Eldritch Knight underperform in itself, but some people think the "magic" part of the "magic knight" trope isn't enough.

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    Default Re: How do you feel about the Eldritch Knight?

    Funny enough, I decided to pose this question after seeing this post on the discussion about 5.5e/6e... It kind of reminded me that I've seen that opinion before.
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    GreenSorcererElf

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    Default Re: How do you feel about the Eldritch Knight?

    Eldritch Knight is super good.

    However. Its magic is supposed to be a combination of blasting and defense (evidenced by the school restrictions to evocation and abjuration), and it really only delivers on defense.

    The subclass is very good with a focus on defense and cherry picking some other standout spells like Shadow Blade and Find Familiar; it doesn't need anything else to shine.

    But if you specifically wanted a fighter who can use blasting spells, it's not going to work well. Fixating on that might lead one to the mistaken conclusion that the subclass underperforms.

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    Default Re: How do you feel about the Eldritch Knight?

    Yeah "not magic enough" is my basic complaint.

    and I don't care about defense. I guess I'll play Hexblade whenever I get around it but man it will take some refluffing to to get rid of the fluff it has, just ugh.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    GreenSorcererElf

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    Default Re: How do you feel about the Eldritch Knight?

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Raziere View Post
    Yeah "not magic enough" is my basic complaint.

    and I don't care about defense. I guess I'll play Hexblade whenever I get around it but man it will take some refluffing to to get rid of the fluff it has, just ugh.
    Well, if by "magic" you mean "blasting spells" then I don't think the Hexblade is really going to deliver either. You're still usually best off using your magical abilities to enhance your weapon attacks. Although it does certainly do it better than the EK.

    Action economy sort of creates tension in any class that has a strong Attack action and also wants to use that action to do something else, such as casting a blasting spell. Ideally that just means you figure out if you're going to hit enough targets with your blast to make it more valuable than an Attack and then Bob's your uncle. But splitting up ability scores, feats, magic weapons, invocations, spell slots, and just the general rule of thumb that it's better to kill one enemy on your turn than to injure 4 makes this a complicated decision.

    If what you're looking for is more like someone who wears heavy armor but can do a lot of blasting and isn't reliant on weapon attacks that much, maybe consider some of the Cleric options. Tempest, for instance. Or Arcana, if you specifically want to be arcane themed. Check out Ludic's build.
    Last edited by Evaar; 2021-01-21 at 05:50 PM.

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    Default Re: How do you feel about the Eldritch Knight?

    EK is very good at what it does: dealing damage with little magic support.

    12 EK/8 War Magic Wizard is still super strong base build.

    He can use Shadow Blade + Shield for great DPR.

    With new Blind Fighting, he can use Darkness + GWM combo, though it has it's downsides.

    It's very solid Fighter with very good damage outpu + defensive bonuses.

    However - the problems are:

    1. It's boring to play becasue again - you do pretty much two things: summon Shadow Blade, cast maybe one more defensive spell and that's it. You don't have enough slots to have fun with magic.
    2. It's not magic enough. It's just a little bit magic to boost base Fighter chasis.
    3. His features are ok, but nothing spectacular.

    I think people just generally find EK boring and not magic enough.

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    Default Re: How do you feel about the Eldritch Knight?

    The problem is that, because of the way monster's HPs scale in 5e, EKs get their blasting spells too late for them to be a great option, unless the DM loves running battles with lots of minions (which most don't, because it tends to bog down the game).

    They do make excellent defensive fighters.
    Last edited by diplomancer; 2021-01-21 at 06:07 PM.

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    Default Re: How do you feel about the Eldritch Knight?

    It could be just differences in editions, in 3.X an Eldritch Knight was more caster than fighter. Whereas in 5e it was reincarnated as more fighter than caster.

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    Default Re: How do you feel about the Eldritch Knight?

    Houserule suggestion: The Eldritch Knight player chooses any two spell schools, instead of being limited to Abj/Evo.

    This opens up the Transmutation EK who uses Alter Self and Polymorph, or the Illusionist EK who uses Blur and Mirror Image, or the Necromancer EK who uses Blindness, Bestow Curse, and Contagion.

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    Default Re: How do you feel about the Eldritch Knight?

    I feel that some of the restrictions could be got round without too many balance reprecussions by letting some resources be traded. Expend an action surge to recover a spell slot (half PB rounded up?), expend a second wind for another 1st level spell slot... This would give more spells at least.

    Hmm... might still be a bit much I guess.

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    Default Re: How do you feel about the Eldritch Knight?

    Yes it's a good Fighter subclass... but:
    There are just so many ways of making a gish character that has more magic in it. Paladins, Rangers, some Bard and Warlock subclasses, and numerous multiclasses.
    For an EK, yes, by level 13 you get 3 attacks per round and 3rd level spells. If that's what you're after, it's a heck of a long time to wait for something that feels/ is superior in some way to other options.

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    Default Re: How do you feel about the Eldritch Knight?

    Iíve just started playing a level 4 variant human blind fighting-fog cloud-great weapon master-sentinel build modeled on Zabuza from Naruto. Kind of sucks that I can only do my thing twice a day, but I plan to go war wizard after level 5.

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    Default Re: How do you feel about the Eldritch Knight?

    Coolest fighter subclass. Mechanically it falls behind a bit in terms of damage compared to a typical battlemaster, but the utility you can get from your spells is worth the small damage cost in my opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by Evaar View Post
    Eldritch Knight is super good.

    However. Its magic is supposed to be a combination of blasting and defense (evidenced by the school restrictions to evocation and abjuration), and it really only delivers on defense.

    The subclass is very good with a focus on defense and cherry picking some other standout spells like Shadow Blade and Find Familiar; it doesn't need anything else to shine.

    But if you specifically wanted a fighter who can use blasting spells, it's not going to work well. Fixating on that might lead one to the mistaken conclusion that the subclass underperforms.
    This is true. I get the feeling a lot of people pick eldritch knight expecting to play a fighter/wizard gestalt. Maybe there's a theoretically better middle ground that feels more like a paladin with int casting (which I would be interested in as well), but if so there's a theoretically pickier player that will still complain that they can't attack 3 times and cast Chain Lightning in one turn at level 11.
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    Default Re: How do you feel about the Eldritch Knight?

    Quote Originally Posted by Katzekerl View Post
    Iíve just started playing a level 4 variant human blind fighting-fog cloud-great weapon master-sentinel build modeled on Zabuza from Naruto. Kind of sucks that I can only do my thing twice a day, but I plan to go war wizard after level 5.
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    NecromancerGirl

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    Default Re: How do you feel about the Eldritch Knight?

    They look okay on first glance, and while its true that they aren't in dire need of help, there are some design issues.

    1. War Magic is invalidated by the time you hit level 11 Fighter. This is probably the worst offender. Having a feature that is invalidated after a certain level is poor design. Also, probably not intended, but most EK use their War Magic for the blade cantrips anyway. But its due to another poor design as you will see...

    2. Restrictive spell list that doesn't make sense. 1st level Abjuration has 6 spells, but only 2 are worth considering (Shield, Absorb Elements). Only 1 in 2nd level (Arcane Lock) that most won't bother. Evocation is for doing damage, something that Fighters aren't lack of. Except most Evocation spells deal weak damage in an area, which the Wizard/Sorc/Cleric can deal out easily. So its kind of meh. Your best bet is still to hit things with your weapon.

    3. Warcaster is mandatory if you are not going to wield 2 handed weapons. A small issue if your DM don't really enforce spellcasting rules, but unlike Clerics or Paladins, EK dont have the option of using their shield/weapon as a spellcasting Focus. Still, by RAW its dumb.

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    Default Re: How do you feel about the Eldritch Knight?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerrykhor View Post
    1. War Magic is invalidated by the time you hit level 11 Fighter. This is probably the worst offender. Having a feature that is invalidated after a certain level is poor design. Also, probably not intended, but most EK use their War Magic for the blade cantrips anyway. But its due to another poor design as you will see...

    2. Restrictive spell list that doesn't make sense. 1st level Abjuration has 6 spells, but only 2 are worth considering (Shield, Absorb Elements). Only 1 in 2nd level (Arcane Lock) that most won't bother. Evocation is for doing damage, something that Fighters aren't lack of. Except most Evocation spells deal weak damage in an area, which the Wizard/Sorc/Cleric can deal out easily. So its kind of meh. Your best bet is still to hit things with your weapon.

    3. Warcaster is mandatory if you are not going to wield 2 handed weapons. A small issue if your DM don't really enforce spellcasting rules, but unlike Clerics or Paladins, EK dont have the option of using their shield/weapon as a spellcasting Focus. Still, by RAW its dumb.
    This is a good summary.

    Thankfully, at least two of those are easy fixes: Swap or remove spell school restrictions and add Bonded Weapon as a spell focus. War magic seems to have seen a better implementation in the new Bladesinger Extra Attack but I know many consider that too much of a step forward in power.

    I would add that personally I would have preferred EK to be more short rest focused to better match the rest of the fighter chassis.

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    DwarfBarbarianGuy

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    Default Re: How do you feel about the Eldritch Knight?

    Not magic enough, yes... but. Maybe you were expecting too much? I consider it a self-buffing fighter.

    I played one through L10, and I used fewer and fewer spells, as time went by. All the way up at level 10, I only new seven spells of first and second level. My go-to spells were Shield, Prot E&G and Misty Step. The others I hardly ever used. I started out thinking some AoE would be nice, but by the time I got my second attack, I could do more damage with my sword than I could to three guys in a Burning Hands.

    So yeah, not very magical. As I said, you may be disappointed if you were expecting more, but I kinda feel like if you want to be a magic-using fighter, you should expect more magic than a couple of buff spells. At least I felt like I had an adequate number of spell slots.

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    BlueWizardGirl

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    Default Re: How do you feel about the Eldritch Knight?

    Quote Originally Posted by thoroughlyS View Post
    Funny enough, I decided to pose this question after seeing this post on the discussion about 5.5e/6e... It kind of reminded me that I've seen that opinion before.
    Oh, now I am all embarrassed.

    Trying to be as complete as possible without writing an essay, Eldritch Knight succeeds in being mechanically strong but fails in its apparent theme. The EK is a fighter first, spell caster second with a spell list focused on Abjuration and Evocation with a little bit from other lists. This creates a few expectations. The main one I am interested in is that combat will be about the EK bolstering defenses or blasting. This isn't really how it ends up working because of the slow scaling of blast spells for the EK, fireball doesn't feel good against encounters for a level 13 party and the EK benefits from fighter attack options making blasting under perform in comparison. The solution for this is to use the any school spells as the main plan instead, but this causes a tension as you end up picking a bunch of spells you don't plan to cast or actively avoid one of the sub classes specially schools. Weird design of war magic, eldritch strike, and improved war magic are also irksome but they are relatively minor issues.
    The duskblade class in 3.5 had a similar issue, but it was mitigated by a couple factors.
    1. A faster spell progression, going to 5th level spells.
    2. An exclusive spell list, in 3.5 they had a few spells that were 6th,7th, and 8th level spells they could cast as 5th level spells.
    With this in mind, I would make EK a full class, with its own spell list. Because this would be for 5e I would use class exclusive spells instead of the 3.5 way of doing. And tinker with war magic, eldritch strike, and improved war magic to increase their power a bit, and make them more in line with a full classes abilities.
    A simpler way that could work as well is making EK only spells for the subclass, or giving them boosts to damage spells.
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    Kobold

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    Default Re: How do you feel about the Eldritch Knight?

    It works pretty well between levels 7 and 10. It kinda sucks during any other level.

    Before that you're not nearly magical enough for you to feel like a magical knight, and after that you're gimped having to pick between using War Magic or your 3rd attack.

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    Default Re: How do you feel about the Eldritch Knight?

    Hmm. Considering the following:

    Weapon Bond also makes your bonded weapon an arcane focus.

    Spellcasting isnít limited by spell school. Possibly swap over to Sorcerer spell list if that makes things too open ended.

    War Magic allows you to sacrifice one attack when taking the attack action to cast a cantrip or two attacks to cast a 1st level spell.

    Improved War Magic improves to sacrificing one attack for cantrip or 1st level spell, two attacks for a 2nd level spell or three attacks for a 3rd level spell.

    Sidenote with the above war magic changes, casting time isnt specified so you can potentially use this to cast a spell using the attack action that would usually take longer or shorter than one action to cast, so may have to reword to exclude reaction spells.
    Last edited by Kane0; 2021-01-22 at 01:15 AM.

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    Default Re: How do you feel about the Eldritch Knight?

    It's one of the best subclasses in 5e, provides you don't make the mistake of dumping Int and only going with defense/utility spells.

    If you want more "castery-ness" (common desire for GISHness) and Multiclassing is on the table, it has a natural break point for that as EK7 --> Wizard.

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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: How do you feel about the Eldritch Knight?

    I think its a good subclass. (not as good as BM but still good)

    You get to sling around a few spells which seems ok to me.
    But if you want more magic, go with some other gish class.

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    Default Re: How do you feel about the Eldritch Knight?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tanarii View Post
    It's one of the best subclasses in 5e, provides you don't make the mistake of dumping Int and only going with defense/utility spells.

    If you want more "castery-ness" (common desire for GISHness) and Multiclassing is on the table, it has a natural break point for that as EK7 --> Wizard.
    I feel like Bladesinger just does it better, because eldritch knight is trying to play at being a fighter/evoker, which isn't a great combination, while bladesinger can meld magic and melee much more effectively (and has the superior method of casting with one hand and attacking with the other; level 6 bladesinger can cantrip and attack OR attack twice, while an eldritch knight has to wait to level 7 and can cast a cantrip as his action and spend a bonus action on a single attack).

    I think one buff the EK needs is to change his level 7 to "when you use the attack action as your action on your turn, you may cast a cantrip as a bonus action." This emphasizes its fighter-y-ness over the Bladesinger's by letting him get his full Extra Attack routine off, while giving him a faster-cast cantrip as a bonus action. Versus the Bladesinger, who can either attack twice OR attack and cast a cantrip, but also retains use of his bonus action for other magical things (like a bonus action spell).

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    Default Re: How do you feel about the Eldritch Knight?

    I've played it at lower levels...up to..maybe 5-6... was a lot of fun and had great roleplay opportunities.
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    Default Re: How do you feel about the Eldritch Knight?

    Quote Originally Posted by Samayu View Post
    Not magic enough, yes... but. Maybe you were expecting too much?
    People who found EK didn't meet their expectation chose something else to play. They weren't expecting too much, they knew exactly what they wanted and something else (usually paladin, hexblade, or bladesinger) offered it to them.
    FWIW, I think the EK is balanced pretty well against other fighter options (clearly better than the Champion and PDK, and arguably behind battlemaster). Particularly if you simply want to play them as a durable fighter who has some outs to situations that stymie other fighters/leave them dependent on their friends (the iconic force cage as an example).

    I think Jerrykhor does a good job of sumarizing the mechanical disappointments from a rules-coming-together perspective -- class components shouldn't be fighting against each other in this way.

    Quote Originally Posted by Witty Username View Post
    The duskblade class in 3.5 had a similar issue, but it was mitigated by a couple factors.
    1. A faster spell progression, going to 5th level spells.
    2. An exclusive spell list, in 3.5 they had a few spells that were 6th,7th, and 8th level spells they could cast as 5th level spells.
    The duskblade could also channel spells through their blade, dropping an inflict wounds or similar into a sword strike, not unlike a 5e paladin's smites.

    And that, I think, highlights the biggest issue -- I think what a lot of people want out of a gish class is roughly akin to a 1:2 caster like paladin/ranger/artificer (in particular like the paladin, albeit with a different spell list).

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    Default Re: How do you feel about the Eldritch Knight?

    Excellent sub class.
    A very common one in our groups.

    Early game trend you see lots of defense spells like Absorb Elements and Shield.

    They usually take a utility option like Find Familiar or Feather Fall.

    Misty Step lets them recover from holds, prone, and bad position.

    Mid-Late game w/ Eldritch Strike you start seeing Blindness or Hold Person + action surge combos.

    Also once level three spells come on line, an action surge double fireball or Melfís meteors + attack spam seems to plow encounters.

    And itís still a Fighter, which people malign on paper, but in practice seems to reliably kill monsters and take damage well. Even out of spells, itís a threat.

    I still think itís one of the stronger Fighter sub classes.

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    GreenSorcererElf

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    Default Re: How do you feel about the Eldritch Knight?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kane0 View Post
    Hmm. Considering the following:
    (snip)
    Spellcasting isnít limited by spell school. Possibly swap over to Sorcerer spell list if that makes things too open ended.
    Swapping to the Sorcerer list would cost them Find Familiar, which to my mind would represent a substantial nerf to the subclass's options.

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    Default Re: How do you feel about the Eldritch Knight?

    Quote Originally Posted by Evaar View Post
    Swapping to the Sorcerer list would cost them Find Familiar, which to my mind would represent a substantial nerf to the subclass's options.
    One might argue that a fair trade in return for no longer locking in abjuration/evocation and the improved war magic functionality

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    Default Re: How do you feel about the Eldritch Knight?

    Quote Originally Posted by Samayu View Post
    Not magic enough, yes... but. Maybe you were expecting too much? I consider it a self-buffing fighter.
    I feel like it's important not to forget the base class when we discuss how a subclass should/does feel thematically.

    Like, an EK isn't a "gish" or a fighter/wizard; it's a pure-class fighter, just as much as a Samurai or Battlemaster. You're the "best at fighting," and your magical tricks are just part of that defining characteristic.

    If you're looking at a level 9 character, all an EK's spells and subclass abilities put together are supposed to be about as powerful as critting on a 19 (what the Champion gets to that point). From that perspective, I'd say the EK is pretty dang effective in making the class feel "magical," especially when built carefully. It's also benefited quite a bit from new material that's been added since release.

    That said, man, why do they get evocation as one of their schools?

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