A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2
You can get A Monster for Every Season: Summer 2 now at Gumroad
Results 1 to 25 of 25
  1. - Top - End - #1
    Halfling in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2020

    Default Highest Unarmored Defense

    Hi me again saw this online and was wondering what peoples take on this is here is mine:
    Rules:
    NO magic ITEMS
    Choose any stat maxed idrc
    Try to go to level 20 with this

    Stats:
    20 dex
    20 wis
    20 int

    Class Monk level 1 / Wizard level (min 5) level 17 (Bladersinger) / Fighter level 2 (Two-Weapon Fighting)


    Monk - Unarmored Defense Max dex + wiz + 10 = 20 AC
    Wizard (Bladersinger) - max int Bladesong +5 to AC = 25
    Add haste +2 = 27
    Add Shield spell +5 = 32
    Be a warforged +1 =33
    Dual Wielder (Feat) - +1 AC while using two weapons = 34
    Last edited by MercCpt; 2021-12-02 at 07:23 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    SamuraiGuy

    Join Date
    Sep 2017
    Location
    St. Louis, Mo
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Highest Unarmored Defense

    Swords Bard 3+ for Defensive Flourish.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Highest Unarmored Defense

    Do artificer infusions count as magic items?
    What about shields if you choose barbarian?
    Spoiler: I am the
    Show




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

    Join Date
    Dec 2020

    Default Re: Highest Unarmored Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by Khrysaes View Post
    Do artificer infusions count as magic items?
    What about shields if you choose barbarian?
    I thought about Barbarian too but Bladesong doesn’t work with shields
    Last edited by Saelethil; 2021-12-02 at 06:55 PM. Reason: Spelling

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    EvilClericGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Somewhere
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Highest Unarmored Defense

    Warforged barbarian (Beast) 20:

    20 Dex
    24 Con

    Base: 10+5+7= 22
    Warforged: +1= 23
    Shield: +2= 25
    Magic Initiate (cleric), Shield of Faith: +2= 27
    Tail reaction, lucky roll: +8= 35 33

    Edit: Nevermind, SoF requires concentration, doesn't work with Rage.
    Last edited by JackPhoenix; 2021-12-02 at 07:14 PM.
    It's Eberron, not ebberon.
    It's not high magic, it's wide magic.
    And it's definitely not steampunk. The only time steam gets involved is when the fire and water elementals get loose.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Devil

    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    Greece
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Highest Unarmored Defense

    With these stats,

    Monk 1 for Unarmored (20)
    Bladesinger 2 for Bladesong (+5)
    Twilight Cleric 17 (twilight shroud +2 cover)
    Shield spell (+5)
    Shield of Faith (+2)
    Dual Wield (+1)
    Warforged (+1)

    36

    Hopefully no conflicts.
    Last edited by Gtdead; 2021-12-02 at 07:16 PM.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Halfling in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2020

    Default Re: Highest Unarmored Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by Gtdead View Post
    With these stats,

    Monk 1 for Unarmored (20)
    Bladesinger 2 for Bladesong (+5)
    Twilight Cleric 17 (twilight shroud +2 cover)
    Shield spell (+5)
    Shield of Faith (+2)
    Dual Wield (+1)
    Warforged (+1)

    36

    Hopefully no conflicts.
    That actually works forgot about warforged!

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    EvilClericGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Somewhere
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Highest Unarmored Defense

    Defensive Duelist is better than Shield for pure numeric value, even if its only for one hit.
    It's Eberron, not ebberon.
    It's not high magic, it's wide magic.
    And it's definitely not steampunk. The only time steam gets involved is when the fire and water elementals get loose.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Highest Unarmored Defense

    Okay, then only using class features, spells, and feats
    Warforged: +1
    Monk 1: 10 +dex+wis =20
    Bladesinger 2: bladesong +5
    Artificer battlesmith 14: +2 bracers of defense infusion, +1 ring of protection infusion, +1 cloak of protection, +2 spell infused item to defender to cast warding bond on you, +2 haste, +5 shield
    Feat +1 dual wielding
    40. It has infusions as magic item but they are a class feature.
    I have 3 levels left.
    Swords bard 3 for defensive flourish or battlemaster 3 for the ac maneuver? I do t know which is more.
    Last edited by Khrysaes; 2021-12-02 at 08:28 PM.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    Greywander's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2017

    Default Re: Highest Unarmored Defense

    Warforged or simic hybrid for +1 AC.

    Start with either barbarian or monk, with the relevant stats maxed out at 20. This gives you a base AC of 20, plus the 1 from your race, for a total of 21.

    Now, at this point, it's worth asking if we're talking sustained AC, or instantaneous AC? Are we reliant on using certain tricks that may not always apply? Or are we looking for the minimum AC we can consistently walk around with? Because there are a lot of different factors that we could consider. 3/4 cover adds +5 AC; should we count that? Kensei monk can use Agile Parry for +2 AC, but requires making an unarmed strike with the Attack action; should we count that? What about the Swords bard's Defensive Flourish, which also requires a weapon attack as part of the Attack action? What about Bladesong, which has a limited number of uses? What about Defensive Duelist, which only applies to a single attack, but can be used at-will?

    For at-will, sustainable AC, your best bet is probably to go barbarian 1/ wizard 18. Add a shield for another +2 AC, and use Spell Mastery for at-will Shield for another +5 in exchange for our reaction. This gets us up to 28 AC, which isn't bad. If magic items were permitted, you could get another +3 AC from a magic shield, for a total of 31.

    A while back, I was working on a guide for maximizing your defenses, and in that guide I came up with three tiers for AC. Mook tier assumes you're fighting something like a goblin, with a +4 to their attacks (14 in stats with +2 proficiency), so anything more than 24 AC stops giving you any benefit. Next was boss tier, which assumes a +11 to their attacks (20 in stats with +6 proficiency), so you'd want 31 AC or higher to minimize the chance of being hit. Last is god tier, which assumes a +19 to their attacks (30 in stats with +9 proficiency), and thus you'd want 39 AC or more. 24 AC against mooks, 31 AC against bosses, and 39 AC against gods; those are your three target numbers depending on what you're fighting. Against those, 28 AC is... not bad, but it fails to meet boss tier AC, whereas adding the shield +3 just barely meets boss tier AC.

    If we're not worried so much about at-will AC, so expending resources are an option, then it's better to drop the shield and go Bladesinger, trading the +2 AC of the shield for +5 AC from Bladesong. We can also dip into cleric for Shield of Faith, giving us another +2 AC. And we still have at-will Shield for +5. This gets us up to 33 AC. But we can actually do better if we drop some levels in wizard, which means leaving behind at-will Shield, but we can replace it with Defensive Duelist for +6 against one attack. The nice thing about Defensive Duelist is that we only need to use it if we get hit, so as long as we only get hit once per round, it can block us from being hit at all.

    If we're already dipping into monk, we can go three levels in to get Agile Parry from the Kensei, which gets us another +2. We can also dip into Swords bard for +1d6 AC from Defensive Flourish (which we can activate at the same time as Agile Parry), or +3.5 AC average. If we take bard to 5th level, we get our inspiration dice back on a short rest, and they increase to d8s (average +4.5 AC). At this point, we've got 21 base AC from warforged/simic hybrid with Unarmored Defense, +5 from Bladesong, +2 from Shield of Faith, +2 from Agile Parry, +4.5 from Defensive Flourish, +6 from Defensive Duelist. Total is 40.5 AC. That's god tier AC, but only against a single attack (34.5 AC without Defensive Duelist), and with some variability (as low as 31 AC before Defensive Duelist).

    I'm sure you can do better than that, but that should be enough to get started in looking at your options.

    Of course, then there's the option of pushing your stats to 30. The tomes can do it, but there's also an optional rule for 20th level where you can spend epic boons on ASIs with a max of 30. If you do so, then you'll have a naked AC of 30, going up to 40 with Bladesong active. It's pretty ridiculous. The way you can double up on your stat bonuses to AC via Unarmored Defense, and to saving throws via Aura of Protection, both make defenses quickly outstrip offenses if you push stats to 30. At that level, you are nearly impervious to any saving throw effect, even from someone else with all stats at 30, and attacks don't fair much better. This was a thought experiment I did a while back, where we assumed characters with all classes at 20 and all stats at 30; how would they be able to defeat one another? And the answer was that it definitely wouldn't be easy.

    For magic items, there are also the dragon masks, which add your CHA modifier to your AC as well, allowing you to triple up (or quadruple up, with Bladesong). Ridiculous. Wonderfully broken, don't ever try to do this in a real game. But it's fun to think about. 40 naked (aside from the mask) AC, going up to 50 with Bladesong, possibly higher if you're using other things like at-will Shield or Defensive Duelist or Agile Parry.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    EvilClericGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Somewhere
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Highest Unarmored Defense

    Consider Shapechange shennanigans. A cambion, while only having +4 from Dex, allows you to add Cha bonus to AC... and with Shapechange, you can use your own mental ability values. There almost certainly are other forms that can help.
    It's Eberron, not ebberon.
    It's not high magic, it's wide magic.
    And it's definitely not steampunk. The only time steam gets involved is when the fire and water elementals get loose.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    EvilClericGuy

    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Highest Unarmored Defense

    If you're specifically looking to boost peak AC and don't care about limited-use stuff, you can throw in the Bait and Switch manoeuvre (via Battle Master, Martial Adept, or the Superior Technique fighting style): you can use it to add a superiority die to your AC until the start of your next turn, provided you have a nearby ally to enable it.
    Last edited by Gurgeh; 2021-12-03 at 04:33 AM.

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Halfling in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2020

    Default Re: Highest Unarmored Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by Greywander View Post
    Warforged or simic hybrid for +1 AC.

    Start with either barbarian or monk, with the relevant stats maxed out at 20. This gives you a base AC of 20, plus the 1 from your race, for a total of 21.

    Now, at this point, it's worth asking if we're talking sustained AC, or instantaneous AC? Are we reliant on using certain tricks that may not always apply? Or are we looking for the minimum AC we can consistently walk around with? Because there are a lot of different factors that we could consider. 3/4 cover adds +5 AC; should we count that? Kensei monk can use Agile Parry for +2 AC, but requires making an unarmed strike with the Attack action; should we count that? What about the Swords bard's Defensive Flourish, which also requires a weapon attack as part of the Attack action? What about Bladesong, which has a limited number of uses? What about Defensive Duelist, which only applies to a single attack, but can be used at-will?

    For at-will, sustainable AC, your best bet is probably to go barbarian 1/ wizard 18. Add a shield for another +2 AC, and use Spell Mastery for at-will Shield for another +5 in exchange for our reaction. This gets us up to 28 AC, which isn't bad. If magic items were permitted, you could get another +3 AC from a magic shield, for a total of 31.

    A while back, I was working on a guide for maximizing your defenses, and in that guide I came up with three tiers for AC. Mook tier assumes you're fighting something like a goblin, with a +4 to their attacks (14 in stats with +2 proficiency), so anything more than 24 AC stops giving you any benefit. Next was boss tier, which assumes a +11 to their attacks (20 in stats with +6 proficiency), so you'd want 31 AC or higher to minimize the chance of being hit. Last is god tier, which assumes a +19 to their attacks (30 in stats with +9 proficiency), and thus you'd want 39 AC or more. 24 AC against mooks, 31 AC against bosses, and 39 AC against gods; those are your three target numbers depending on what you're fighting. Against those, 28 AC is... not bad, but it fails to meet boss tier AC, whereas adding the shield +3 just barely meets boss tier AC.

    If we're not worried so much about at-will AC, so expending resources are an option, then it's better to drop the shield and go Bladesinger, trading the +2 AC of the shield for +5 AC from Bladesong. We can also dip into cleric for Shield of Faith, giving us another +2 AC. And we still have at-will Shield for +5. This gets us up to 33 AC. But we can actually do better if we drop some levels in wizard, which means leaving behind at-will Shield, but we can replace it with Defensive Duelist for +6 against one attack. The nice thing about Defensive Duelist is that we only need to use it if we get hit, so as long as we only get hit once per round, it can block us from being hit at all.

    If we're already dipping into monk, we can go three levels in to get Agile Parry from the Kensei, which gets us another +2. We can also dip into Swords bard for +1d6 AC from Defensive Flourish (which we can activate at the same time as Agile Parry), or +3.5 AC average. If we take bard to 5th level, we get our inspiration dice back on a short rest, and they increase to d8s (average +4.5 AC). At this point, we've got 21 base AC from warforged/simic hybrid with Unarmored Defense, +5 from Bladesong, +2 from Shield of Faith, +2 from Agile Parry, +4.5 from Defensive Flourish, +6 from Defensive Duelist. Total is 40.5 AC. That's god tier AC, but only against a single attack (34.5 AC without Defensive Duelist), and with some variability (as low as 31 AC before Defensive Duelist).

    I'm sure you can do better than that, but that should be enough to get started in looking at your options.

    Of course, then there's the option of pushing your stats to 30. The tomes can do it, but there's also an optional rule for 20th level where you can spend epic boons on ASIs with a max of 30. If you do so, then you'll have a naked AC of 30, going up to 40 with Bladesong active. It's pretty ridiculous. The way you can double up on your stat bonuses to AC via Unarmored Defense, and to saving throws via Aura of Protection, both make defenses quickly outstrip offenses if you push stats to 30. At that level, you are nearly impervious to any saving throw effect, even from someone else with all stats at 30, and attacks don't fair much better. This was a thought experiment I did a while back, where we assumed characters with all classes at 20 and all stats at 30; how would they be able to defeat one another? And the answer was that it definitely wouldn't be easy.

    For magic items, there are also the dragon masks, which add your CHA modifier to your AC as well, allowing you to triple up (or quadruple up, with Bladesong). Ridiculous. Wonderfully broken, don't ever try to do this in a real game. But it's fun to think about. 40 naked (aside from the mask) AC, going up to 50 with Bladesong, possibly higher if you're using other things like at-will Shield or Defensive Duelist or Agile Parry.
    I want to upvote this or pin it or something because holly molly info is amazing! Thank you so much for this!!

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2019

    Default Re: Highest Unarmored Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by MercCpt View Post
    Hi me again saw this online and was wondering what peoples take on this is here is mine:
    Rules:
    NO magic ITEMS
    Choose any stat maxed idrc
    Try to go to level 20 with this

    Stats:
    20 dex
    20 wis
    20 int

    Class Monk level 1 / Wizard level (min 5) level 17 (Bladersinger) / Fighter level 2 (Two-Weapon Fighting)


    Monk - Unarmored Defense Max dex + wiz + 10 = 20 AC
    Wizard (Bladersinger) - max int Bladesong +5 to AC = 25
    Add haste +2 = 27
    Add Shield spell +5 = 32
    Be a warforged +1 =33
    Dual Wielder (Feat) - +1 AC while using two weapons = 34
    i mean if we're doing temporary bonuses...

    monk 1: 20ac
    wizard 2: +5 bladesong, shield +5
    bard 5: defensive flourish +8 (4.5 average)
    battlemaster 3: bait and switch +8 (4.5 average)
    cleric 1: shield of faith +2
    duel wielder: +1 while two weapon fighting
    soooo: 49 assuming max rolls for the die rolls and 42 average AC and its only lvl 12, so there are still 8 more levels to play with.

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Highest Unarmored Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by kazaryu View Post
    i mean if we're doing temporary bonuses...

    monk 1: 20ac
    wizard 2: +5 bladesong, shield +5
    bard 5: defensive flourish +8 (4.5 average)
    battlemaster 3: bait and switch +8 (4.5 average)
    cleric 1: shield of faith +2
    duel wielder: +1 while two weapon fighting
    soooo: 49 assuming max rolls for the die rolls and 42 average AC and its only lvl 12, so there are still 8 more levels to play with.

    You forgot warforged or simic hybrid racial +1.

    why bard 5? The increase in dice? Short rest use? or both?
    Last edited by Khrysaes; 2021-12-04 at 06:27 AM.
    Spoiler: I am the
    Show




  16. - Top - End - #16
    Colossus in the Playground
     
    JNAProductions's Avatar

    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Location
    Avatar By Astral Seal!

    Default Re: Highest Unarmored Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by kazaryu View Post
    i mean if we're doing temporary bonuses...

    monk 1: 20ac
    wizard 2: +5 bladesong, shield +5
    bard 5: defensive flourish +8 (4.5 average)
    battlemaster 3: bait and switch +8 (4.5 average)
    cleric 1: shield of faith +2
    duel wielder: +1 while two weapon fighting
    soooo: 49 assuming max rolls for the die rolls and 42 average AC and its only lvl 12, so there are still 8 more levels to play with.

    We can also ditch Cleric 1 by taking Magic Initiate instead.

    So...

    Racial: +1 AC
    Monk 1: 20 from Unarmored Defense
    Bladesinger 2: +5 from Bladesong
    Defensive Duelist: +6 from a Reaction
    Dual Wielder: +1 when wielding two weapons
    Magic Initiate: +2 from Shield Of Faith
    Battlemaster 3: +1d8 from Bait And Switch
    Swords Bard 5: +1d8 from Defensive Flourish
    Total: 35+2d8, average of 44, max of 51

    We can add 5 levels to Bard to get 1d10 Flourishes, or 7 to Battlemaster to get 1d10 Bait And Switch. But, since I don't think items you craft yourself are against the spirit of the challenge, let's look at what we can do with 9 levels of Artificer!
    Not much, actually. Sad that is.

    Also, for the build presented above, you have three feats and only one ASI-so you'd need to be Custom Lineage or VHuman AND take an extra level of Fighter or something to get the feats needed.
    I have a LOT of Homebrew!

    Spoiler: Former Avatars
    Show
    Spoiler: Avatar (Not In Use) By Linkele
    Show

    Spoiler: Individual Avatar Pics
    Show

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2019

    Default Re: Highest Unarmored Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by JNAProductions View Post
    We can also ditch Cleric 1 by taking Magic Initiate instead.

    So...

    Racial: +1 AC
    Monk 1: 20 from Unarmored Defense
    Bladesinger 2: +5 from Bladesong
    Defensive Duelist: +6 from a Reaction
    Dual Wielder: +1 when wielding two weapons
    Magic Initiate: +2 from Shield Of Faith
    Battlemaster 3: +1d8 from Bait And Switch
    Swords Bard 5: +1d8 from Defensive Flourish
    Total: 35+2d8, average of 44, max of 51

    We can add 5 levels to Bard to get 1d10 Flourishes, or 7 to Battlemaster to get 1d10 Bait And Switch. But, since I don't think items you craft yourself are against the spirit of the challenge, let's look at what we can do with 9 levels of Artificer!
    Not much, actually. Sad that is.

    Also, for the build presented above, you have three feats and only one ASI-so you'd need to be Custom Lineage or VHuman AND take an extra level of Fighter or something to get the feats needed.
    nah you don't need to worry about the feats lol. you have 8-9 extra levels ro dump w/e you want. could easily put an extra 3 into fighter to get 2 feats and all that.

    and sure you *could* ditch the cleric level..but you don't really need the level for anyting else. and being able to cast the spell using spell slots is way better than just being able to do it 1/day. obviously if you needed that level for another MC that would be a different story. but the biggest benefit you could find would be artificer i think, and you need a minimum of 10 levels for that. you *could* do that by sacrificing both the cleric level and a bard level but then you lose 2 (max) ac on defensive flourish or 1 (average ac) in order to gain only 1 ac. i mean...its more consistent AC...but still. not really a net gain...so i can't really think what else you'd want to spend the level on.

    although, tbf you'd probably end up dumping those extra levels into bard anyway so you end up at bard 13 which would get you a magical secret that you could use for shield of faith. so realistically you could drop that level and go an extra level in bard bringing it up to bard 14/wizard2/monk1/fighter3. which would make your inspiration die a d10, and also let you roll a d6 in place of it for defensive flourish. doing so would put you at a relatively persistant AC of

    10+5 (wis)+5 (dex) +1 (race)+1(duel wielder)+6 (defensive duelist)+1d6(defensive flourish)= 31.5(34)

    and a peak of
    28 +2 (shield of faith) +5 (bladesong)+ 1d8 (bait and switch)+1d10(defensive flourish) = 45 (53)

    and i mean...you'd still be a 14th level caster which is not too shabby. your melee dpr would be pretty decent too between the fighter levels and the bard flourishes.
    Spoiler
    Show
    ignoreing that the build is built on ignoring expected ability score ranged

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    NinjaGirl

    Join Date
    May 2018

    Default Re: Highest Unarmored Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by JackPhoenix View Post
    Warforged barbarian (Beast) 20:

    20 Dex
    24 Con

    Base: 10+5+7= 22
    Warforged: +1= 23
    Shield: +2= 25
    Magic Initiate (cleric), Shield of Faith: +2= 27
    Tail reaction, lucky roll: +8= 35 33

    Edit: Nevermind, SoF requires concentration, doesn't work with Rage.
    No one said you had to use rage just because you're a barbarian. Granted it's not optimal in actual use, but you can still count it for this sort of optimization. That said, the shield spell would be a larger bonus, though you could pick up both by taking one of the other feats that lets you pick up spells.

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Firbolg in the Playground
     
    EvilClericGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Somewhere
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Highest Unarmored Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by Lunali View Post
    No one said you had to use rage just because you're a barbarian. Granted it's not optimal in actual use, but you can still count it for this sort of optimization. That said, the shield spell would be a larger bonus, though you could pick up both by taking one of the other feats that lets you pick up spells.
    You need to be raging to use the tail. And the tail was the whole point + (up to) 8 is more than +5 from Shield or +6 from Defensive Duelist.
    It's Eberron, not ebberon.
    It's not high magic, it's wide magic.
    And it's definitely not steampunk. The only time steam gets involved is when the fire and water elementals get loose.

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2021

    Default Re: Highest Unarmored Defense

    The highest unarmed AC possible is 72 – assuming that highest unarmored defense is here measured as the highest AC against a single attack, that specifically forbidding magic items implies that use of non-magic items (for material components) is allowed, that the build is performing this without access to help from any external parties, and that the stats are maxed through good rolls with a permissive DM leaving space for feats. The build starts with the standard stuff others have developed:

    Monk 1/Swords bard 3/Battle master fighter 3/Bladesinger 13

    Monk gives unarmored defense, for 20 base AC with 20 dex and wisdom.

    Swords bard gives defensive flourish, for +6 AC when rolled optimally. Why not a further two levels for a further two to the roll? Well, it turns out the levels are slightly better used elsewhere.

    Battle master gives two further boosts. One can potentially stack both Bait and Switch’s max +8 AC with another +8 AC from Evasive footwork.

    Bladesinger 13 gives us Bladesong. +5 AC, nice. +5 AC more from Shield? Awesome. This is, however, retreading ground others have paved earlier in this thread. The unrealized potential in bladesinger that makes us take it to lvl 13 is in the higher-level spells, which allows setting up and combining several great sources of AC-bonuses. Glyph of Warding is the star player here, letting us stack concentration effects – and there’s quite a few of them. Tasha’s Otherwordly Guise is where your own concentration goes, for +2 AC. Then you get a further +2 AC from a glyph’ed Haste. Another glyph, upcast to have Blade Barrier trigger in a 15 ft wide circle centered on you can net you +5 AC from three-quarter cover (this is compliant with the conditions we specified, but one could go with Fitzban's Platinum shield if one doesn't feel like being surrounded by razor's, but do feel like having half-cover).

    This is quite good, but let’s add another neat spell on top of that. Instead of going warforged, let’s go Mark of Sentinel Human for access to +2 AC from a glyph’ed Shield of Faith.

    Mark of Sentinel also adds Warding Bond to our spell list, for +1 AC. How? Because we've gone 13 levels into wizard to get access to Simulacrum. This lets you create a duplicate of yourself that boosts your AC while sucking up the damage you're taking. (And could take on concentration-effects, if Glyph didn't have that covered.)

    The last great enabling spell is Contingency. For us, the best use of this 6th level spell is to replicate a 1st level effect. A contingent Shield frees up your reaction.

    Where should we spend it? Well, let's finish this off with the feats we're taking. Defensive Duelist nets us +6 AC. At this point nothing in the game can hit us unless critting. But let’s add Dual-Wielder on top off all this for a further +1 AC. And to finish this off perversely, let's take Magic Initiate for Ceremony's +2 AC. Yeah, that duplicate you made? You're getting married to it. Somewhat egotistical, but with the assumption that the character inhabits a world where no one else exists that is willing to help in any way, a wizard will make do.

    So, with this wild combination of multiclassing, spell-stacking and transgressions against the institution of marriage, let's tally it all up. Our Basline 10 + ability score-based class-features 15 + roll-based class features 22 + spells 19 + feats 7 gives us 73 AC.

    Of course, our defenses are hardly optimized for other effects – except our AC against multiple attacks, which is still absurdly high. And the resistance to all damage. Saves are largely neglected. We’re not making use of positioning – we have three-quarter cover, but full cover is better. That doesn’t let you make use of your insane AC though – neither does being out of range. The point is not to fully avoid taking damage. It's to stand directly in front of your enemies, laughing as their pitiful attempts to strike you utterly fail.

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Barbarian in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2019

    Default Re: Highest Unarmored Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by OptimizedAC View Post
    The highest unarmed AC possible is 72 – assuming that highest unarmored defense is here measured as the highest AC against a single attack, that specifically forbidding magic items implies that use of non-magic items (for material components) is allowed, that the build is performing this without access to help from any external parties, and that the stats are maxed through good rolls with a permissive DM leaving space for feats. The build starts with the standard stuff others have developed:

    Monk 1/Swords bard 3/Battle master fighter 3/Bladesinger 13

    Monk gives unarmored defense, for 20 base AC with 20 dex and wisdom.

    Swords bard gives defensive flourish, for +6 AC when rolled optimally. Why not a further two levels for a further two to the roll? Well, it turns out the levels are slightly better used elsewhere.

    Battle master gives two further boosts. One can potentially stack both Bait and Switch’s max +8 AC with another +8 AC from Evasive footwork.

    Bladesinger 13 gives us Bladesong. +5 AC, nice. +5 AC more from Shield? Awesome. This is, however, retreading ground others have paved earlier in this thread. The unrealized potential in bladesinger that makes us take it to lvl 13 is in the higher-level spells, which allows setting up and combining several great sources of AC-bonuses. Glyph of Warding is the star player here, letting us stack concentration effects – and there’s quite a few of them. Tasha’s Otherwordly Guise is where your own concentration goes, for +2 AC. Then you get a further +2 AC from a glyph’ed Haste. Another glyph, upcast to have Blade Barrier trigger in a 15 ft wide circle centered on you can net you +5 AC from three-quarter cover (this is compliant with the conditions we specified, but one could go with Fitzban's Platinum shield if one doesn't feel like being surrounded by razor's, but do feel like having half-cover).

    This is quite good, but let’s add another neat spell on top of that. Instead of going warforged, let’s go Mark of Sentinel Human for access to +2 AC from a glyph’ed Shield of Faith.

    Mark of Sentinel also adds Warding Bond to our spell list, for +1 AC. How? Because we've gone 13 levels into wizard to get access to Simulacrum. This lets you create a duplicate of yourself that boosts your AC while sucking up the damage you're taking. (And could take on concentration-effects, if Glyph didn't have that covered.)

    The last great enabling spell is Contingency. For us, the best use of this 6th level spell is to replicate a 1st level effect. A contingent Shield frees up your reaction.

    Where should we spend it? Well, let's finish this off with the feats we're taking. Defensive Duelist nets us +6 AC. At this point nothing in the game can hit us unless critting. But let’s add Dual-Wielder on top off all this for a further +1 AC. And to finish this off perversely, let's take Magic Initiate for Ceremony's +2 AC. Yeah, that duplicate you made? You're getting married to it. Somewhat egotistical, but with the assumption that the character inhabits a world where no one else exists that is willing to help in any way, a wizard will make do.

    So, with this wild combination of multiclassing, spell-stacking and transgressions against the institution of marriage, let's tally it all up. Our Basline 10 + ability score-based class-features 15 + roll-based class features 22 + spells 19 + feats 7 gives us 73 AC.

    Of course, our defenses are hardly optimized for other effects – except our AC against multiple attacks, which is still absurdly high. And the resistance to all damage. Saves are largely neglected. We’re not making use of positioning – we have three-quarter cover, but full cover is better. That doesn’t let you make use of your insane AC though – neither does being out of range. The point is not to fully avoid taking damage. It's to stand directly in front of your enemies, laughing as their pitiful attempts to strike you utterly fail.
    nicely done. a a small note however.

    first: you can't use contingency to cast shield, contingency requires an action casting time. so you're down to 67 (still insane)

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

    Join Date
    Mar 2008

    Default Re: Highest Unarmored Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by OptimizedAC View Post
    The highest unarmed AC possible is 72 – assuming that highest unarmored defense is here measured as the highest AC against a single attack, that specifically forbidding magic items implies that use of non-magic items (for material components) is allowed, that the build is performing this without access to help from any external parties, and that the stats are maxed through good rolls with a permissive DM leaving space for feats. The build starts with the standard stuff others have developed:

    Monk 1/Swords bard 3/Battle master fighter 3/Bladesinger 13

    Monk gives unarmored defense, for 20 base AC with 20 dex and wisdom.

    Swords bard gives defensive flourish, for +6 AC when rolled optimally. Why not a further two levels for a further two to the roll? Well, it turns out the levels are slightly better used elsewhere.

    Battle master gives two further boosts. One can potentially stack both Bait and Switch’s max +8 AC with another +8 AC from Evasive footwork.

    Bladesinger 13 gives us Bladesong. +5 AC, nice. +5 AC more from Shield? Awesome. This is, however, retreading ground others have paved earlier in this thread. The unrealized potential in bladesinger that makes us take it to lvl 13 is in the higher-level spells, which allows setting up and combining several great sources of AC-bonuses. Glyph of Warding is the star player here, letting us stack concentration effects – and there’s quite a few of them. Tasha’s Otherwordly Guise is where your own concentration goes, for +2 AC. Then you get a further +2 AC from a glyph’ed Haste. Another glyph, upcast to have Blade Barrier trigger in a 15 ft wide circle centered on you can net you +5 AC from three-quarter cover (this is compliant with the conditions we specified, but one could go with Fitzban's Platinum shield if one doesn't feel like being surrounded by razor's, but do feel like having half-cover).

    This is quite good, but let’s add another neat spell on top of that. Instead of going warforged, let’s go Mark of Sentinel Human for access to +2 AC from a glyph’ed Shield of Faith.

    Mark of Sentinel also adds Warding Bond to our spell list, for +1 AC. How? Because we've gone 13 levels into wizard to get access to Simulacrum. This lets you create a duplicate of yourself that boosts your AC while sucking up the damage you're taking. (And could take on concentration-effects, if Glyph didn't have that covered.)

    The last great enabling spell is Contingency. For us, the best use of this 6th level spell is to replicate a 1st level effect. A contingent Shield frees up your reaction.

    Where should we spend it? Well, let's finish this off with the feats we're taking. Defensive Duelist nets us +6 AC. At this point nothing in the game can hit us unless critting. But let’s add Dual-Wielder on top off all this for a further +1 AC. And to finish this off perversely, let's take Magic Initiate for Ceremony's +2 AC. Yeah, that duplicate you made? You're getting married to it. Somewhat egotistical, but with the assumption that the character inhabits a world where no one else exists that is willing to help in any way, a wizard will make do.

    So, with this wild combination of multiclassing, spell-stacking and transgressions against the institution of marriage, let's tally it all up. Our Basline 10 + ability score-based class-features 15 + roll-based class features 22 + spells 19 + feats 7 gives us 73 AC.

    Of course, our defenses are hardly optimized for other effects – except our AC against multiple attacks, which is still absurdly high. And the resistance to all damage. Saves are largely neglected. We’re not making use of positioning – we have three-quarter cover, but full cover is better. That doesn’t let you make use of your insane AC though – neither does being out of range. The point is not to fully avoid taking damage. It's to stand directly in front of your enemies, laughing as their pitiful attempts to strike you utterly fail.
    You can't glyph of warding portably without specifying how you're doing it, and most of the available options are challenging: you need a level of Genielock, a bag of holding and no need to breathe, or Demiplane and a way to get home from your Demiplane (e.g. Plane Shift).

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Titan in the Playground
     
    Kane0's Avatar

    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Waterdeep
    Gender
    Male

    Default Re: Highest Unarmored Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by JackPhoenix View Post
    Warforged barbarian (Beast) 20:

    20 Dex
    24 Con

    Base: 10+5+7= 22
    Warforged: +1= 23
    Shield: +2= 25
    Magic Initiate (cleric), Shield of Faith: +2= 27
    Tail reaction, lucky roll: +8= 35 33

    Edit: Nevermind, SoF requires concentration, doesn't work with Rage.
    I know it's not the highest scorer on the board here, but I'd like to give points for simplicity and also point out that you can be a warforged that wants to be a real living being so bad that when he rages he partially becomes one and I find that amusing.

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Halfling in the Playground
    Join Date
    Jan 2020

    Default Re: Highest Unarmored Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by OptimizedAC View Post
    The highest unarmed AC possible is 72 – assuming that highest unarmored defense is here measured as the highest AC against a single attack, that specifically forbidding magic items implies that use of non-magic items (for material components) is allowed, that the build is performing this without access to help from any external parties, and that the stats are maxed through good rolls with a permissive DM leaving space for feats. The build starts with the standard stuff others have developed:

    Monk 1/Swords bard 3/Battle master fighter 3/Bladesinger 13

    Monk gives unarmored defense, for 20 base AC with 20 dex and wisdom.

    Swords bard gives defensive flourish, for +6 AC when rolled optimally. Why not a further two levels for a further two to the roll? Well, it turns out the levels are slightly better used elsewhere.

    Battle master gives two further boosts. One can potentially stack both Bait and Switch’s max +8 AC with another +8 AC from Evasive footwork.

    Bladesinger 13 gives us Bladesong. +5 AC, nice. +5 AC more from Shield? Awesome. This is, however, retreading ground others have paved earlier in this thread. The unrealized potential in bladesinger that makes us take it to lvl 13 is in the higher-level spells, which allows setting up and combining several great sources of AC-bonuses. Glyph of Warding is the star player here, letting us stack concentration effects – and there’s quite a few of them. Tasha’s Otherwordly Guise is where your own concentration goes, for +2 AC. Then you get a further +2 AC from a glyph’ed Haste. Another glyph, upcast to have Blade Barrier trigger in a 15 ft wide circle centered on you can net you +5 AC from three-quarter cover (this is compliant with the conditions we specified, but one could go with Fitzban's Platinum shield if one doesn't feel like being surrounded by razor's, but do feel like having half-cover).

    This is quite good, but let’s add another neat spell on top of that. Instead of going warforged, let’s go Mark of Sentinel Human for access to +2 AC from a glyph’ed Shield of Faith.

    Mark of Sentinel also adds Warding Bond to our spell list, for +1 AC. How? Because we've gone 13 levels into wizard to get access to Simulacrum. This lets you create a duplicate of yourself that boosts your AC while sucking up the damage you're taking. (And could take on concentration-effects, if Glyph didn't have that covered.)

    The last great enabling spell is Contingency. For us, the best use of this 6th level spell is to replicate a 1st level effect. A contingent Shield frees up your reaction.

    Where should we spend it? Well, let's finish this off with the feats we're taking. Defensive Duelist nets us +6 AC. At this point nothing in the game can hit us unless critting. But let’s add Dual-Wielder on top off all this for a further +1 AC. And to finish this off perversely, let's take Magic Initiate for Ceremony's +2 AC. Yeah, that duplicate you made? You're getting married to it. Somewhat egotistical, but with the assumption that the character inhabits a world where no one else exists that is willing to help in any way, a wizard will make do.

    So, with this wild combination of multiclassing, spell-stacking and transgressions against the institution of marriage, let's tally it all up. Our Basline 10 + ability score-based class-features 15 + roll-based class features 22 + spells 19 + feats 7 gives us 73 AC.

    Of course, our defenses are hardly optimized for other effects – except our AC against multiple attacks, which is still absurdly high. And the resistance to all damage. Saves are largely neglected. We’re not making use of positioning – we have three-quarter cover, but full cover is better. That doesn’t let you make use of your insane AC though – neither does being out of range. The point is not to fully avoid taking damage. It's to stand directly in front of your enemies, laughing as their pitiful attempts to strike you utterly fail.
    You mad lad I love it! Thank you for the easy to read and understand layout also thank you for the info 72!! nice!

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
    Dec 2021

    Default Re: Highest Unarmored Defense

    Quote Originally Posted by kazaryu View Post
    nicely done. a a small note however.

    first: you can't use contingency to cast shield, contingency requires an action casting time. so you're down to 67 (still insane)
    Very good point, I stand corrected!

    It did however make me look up interpretations of how Glyph of Warding works. I had assumed that self-targetting spells are incompatible, but the community seems divided. So Shield might still be possible to combine with some reaction, depending on interpretation.

    Quote Originally Posted by quindraco View Post
    You can't glyph of warding portably without specifying how you're doing it, and most of the available options are challenging: you need a level of Genielock, a bag of holding and no need to breathe, or Demiplane and a way to get home from your Demiplane (e.g. Plane Shift).
    Yes, we can't port the glyphs. But we don't care. We're theorycrafting to optimize AC against a single attack, doing everything possible within the restrictions of the challenge to push this number upwards. Including things that doesn't make sense in actual play - like building one's character to have several dozen AC more than needed to protect against the deadliest attack. (If someone wants to actually test this build in play for some reason and wants mobility, they can try arguing with their DM that shifting the glyphs in a Secret Chest doesn't void the glyphs.)

    Quote Originally Posted by MercCpt View Post
    You mad lad I love it! Thank you for the easy to read and understand layout also thank you for the info 72!! nice!
    You're welcome, and thank you - it would have been more readable if I didn't find a way to tweak out 1 more AC most of the way through writing it and messed up on updating the numbers. It's actually 73 AC - 68 accounting for kazaryu's critique.
    Last edited by OptimizedAC; 2021-12-08 at 04:07 AM.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •