New Unearthed Arcana: Revised Artificer
  • New Unearthed Arcana: Revised Artificer


    WotC just released the revised Artificer UA. Now featuring a new, pet-less archetype: The Archivist!




    In February, we presented a revised version of a new character class: the artificer, a master of magical invention. Today we return to that class, now with even more content! Here’s what’s been added:
    • New subclasses—the Archivist and the Battle Smith
    • A revised spell list, including spells from Xanathar’s Guide to Everything
    • New infusions—Enhanced Wand, Repeating Shot, and Repulsion Shield
    • A revision to multiclassing—round up when determining spell slots

    Comments 116 Comments
    1. gyor's Avatar
      gyor -
      They should apply what they learned designing the battlesmith to fixing the beastmaster.
    1. Leatherhead's Avatar
      Leatherhead -
      Lets see what the changes are here:

      New Spells, mostly from XGtE.

      Cantrips:
      A thunder damage option, more control options, and options are always nice. Especially on a class that can get access to all of their cantrips.
      The notable synergy here is Magic Stone. It guarantees that an Artificer has access to a magic weapon without having to burn an Infusion for it. Is that interaction intentional? That's debatable considering that they don't have access to Shillelagh, despite pulling from the Druid Cantrip list. In fact, they should just add Shillelagh to the list. It will also help smooth out the gap between level 1 and level 3 where Battle Smiths are going to be whiffing their attacks. Yes, it's a bit of a kludge (hah), but Arcane Armament is just kinda bad for requiring additional character build resources in the first place.

      Level 1
      Absorb Elements is nice. But it begs the question: “Why not Shield as a general pick?”
      Catapult is just plain fun. It also has practical synergies: Want to poor some Alchemist Fire on someone that's on the other side of the room? No Problem, this gives you extended range on your flask throwing!
      Faerie Fire, Feather Fall, Snare: All good stuff.

      Level 2
      Pyrotechnics and Skywright.
      Better to have them than not I suppose.

      Level 3
      Catnap? That's out of nowhere.
      Flame Arrows and Tiny Servant however, are both on point.
      There is also a noticeable lack of Remove Curse. How are they supposed to deal with Cursed Items?

      Level 4
      Elemental Bane seems a bit too damage focused to just be up for any Artificer to grab.
      Vitriolic Sphere, on the other hand, is simply lackluster. It's no Fireball, an it's later to boot. Is a half-caster really going using a 4th level spell for minion clearing?

      Level 5
      Skill Empowerment. Expertise on demand. The only problem is that the Artificer is a half-caster. So they don't get this until endgame, but whatchagoinado?
      Transmute Rock. Another Fun spell.

      I want to take a moment here to talk about Arcane Armament. It's unfortunately the same: it's still just Extra Attack with extra hoops to jump through. Which means you have to burn one of your Ifusion slots (or stick with pebbles) if you want to use your own class feature. Having to double-dip like that leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

      Also, Artificers still have two capstones. Break one of them up and let people use some of that before the end of the game.


      Now for the Subclasses!

      Alchemist is the same. Ok...

      Archivist! Now, everyone can play with your invisible friend! Totally a psionic class that didn't make it into the psionic playtest. They make scrolls, and maps, and possibly books. Are we sure this isn't a wizard in disguise?

      The spells are all mindful, nothing too outstanding.

      They don't get a physical pet, which is unique for artificers. Instead they pull the same trick that Shepard Druids do, and have a non-tangible holographic entity act as the anchor for a (somewhat) mobile zone of magical hi-jinx.

      Information Overload has basically a point blank range mind blast, which would make it hard to use, especially considering that the Mind-Thing isn't extraordinarily mobile.

      Mind Network is great, for talking to your party. Unfortunately, the psionic damage bonus is crimped by the limited range of Information Overload, and Dissonant Whispers is the only spell you have that will work with it for the bulk of your characters adventuring days.

      Pure Information gives Mind Overload more bite, but not more range, it's glaring weakness.
      It also lets you teleport across the entire multiverse, providing you are teleporting to one of your infused items. Which is rad.

      Artillerist: More of the same. Also slow, but at least it has more range than the Mind-Thing.

      Battle Smith! It sounds like a Cleric subclass, but it's actually a steampunk Ranger. By “smithing”, they mean you can make armor, but only magical armor! Which means no early potential source of plate.

      Battle Ready. They do the Hexblade thing. Some people will insist this is the worse thing ever. In reality, they only have a fraction of the Hexblades true power, and almost none of it's cross-class synergy. Though on the plus side, you can totally ignore the ability and just focus on cantrips and your pet.

      Oh yes, speaking of the pet, which is the reason people are going to play this class.
      Iron Defender. Rangers everywhere are crying. It has generically good stats and scales smartly with your level. It can be repaired and resurrected (!) easily, at the level that you get it no less. But most importantly, and I quote: “It can move and use its reaction on its own, but the only action it takes on its turn is the Dodge action, unless you take a bonus action on your turn to command it to take one of the actions in its stat block or the Dash, Disengage, or Help action ”. It's the next best option if you absolutely can't let the pet attack without spending the player's action.

      Also, they get Arcane Jolt, which lets them heal your party when they bite something. Which is really good on the action economy.

      As for spells, the Battle Smith gets a bunch of Smites, and some auras, but nobody cares. Because Rex the Robodog is the star of this show.

      Now for Infusions!

      Enhanced Wand is the new casters equivalent of Enhanced Weapon, with the added bonus of ignoring half-cover because spell attacks aren't all that common if you aren't a Warlock. Though it is a bit weird. Why does it ignore half-cover, but do nothing against 3/4ths cover? Couldn't it just reduce less than full cover by one step?

      Repeating Shot makes Crossbow Artificers viable. It also makes low-tech Gun Artificers Viable, if you happen to use guns.

      Repulsion Shield is amazing. It automatically pushes anyone who hits you, regardless of their size or saving throws!

      Other than that, it's mostly the same as before.
    1. Paul Farquhar's Avatar
      Paul Farquhar -
      If you want to talk about druid cantrips, wouldn't Produce Flame be a good fit?
    1. DEFCON 1's Avatar
      DEFCON 1 -
      Yeah, it was Mearls who went off on thinking the Bonus action mechanic was not serving its proper purpose, but then later on determined it was probably just using it for Two Weapon Fighting that was causing issues.

      If anyone doesn't like having your off-hand attack take your Bonus action, I'm pretty sure he said there shouldn't be any issue with wrapping the off-hand attack into the Attack action (If you use your Attack action to make a weapon attack with your main hand, you may make a second attack using your off-hand weapon.)
    1. trentonjoe's Avatar
      trentonjoe -
      I like how they made a third level spell a first level:

      Arcane Weapon
      1st-level transmutation
      Casting Time: 1 bonus action
      Range: Self
      Components: V, S
      Duration: Concentration, up to 1 hour

      You channel arcane energy into one simple or martial weapon you’re holding, and choose one damage type: acid, cold, fire, lightning, poison, or thunder. Until the spell ends, you deal an extra 1d6 damage of the chosen type to any target you hit with the weapon. If the weapon isn’t magical, it becomes a magic weapon for the spell’s duration. As a bonus action, you can change the damage type, choosing from the options above.

      At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 3rd level or higher, you can maintain your concentration on the spell for up to 8 hours.


      Which is VERY similar to Elemental Weapon
    1. CapnZapp -
      Quote Originally Posted by Leatherhead View Post
      TWF itself is known to be a problem. In fact, TWF is such a huge problem that it caused the Devs to doubt the entire Bonus Action mechanic itself.
      Bonus Actions work just fine.
    1. Paul Farquhar's Avatar
      Paul Farquhar -
      How do you pounce defensively? My cat would like to know.
    1. DEFCON 1's Avatar
      DEFCON 1 -
      Quote Originally Posted by trentonjoe View Post
      I like how they made a third level spell a first level:

      Arcane Weapon
      1st-level transmutation
      Casting Time: 1 bonus action
      Range: Self
      Components: V, S
      Duration: Concentration, up to 1 hour

      You channel arcane energy into one simple or martial weapon you’re holding, and choose one damage type: acid, cold, fire, lightning, poison, or thunder. Until the spell ends, you deal an extra 1d6 damage of the chosen type to any target you hit with the weapon. If the weapon isn’t magical, it becomes a magic weapon for the spell’s duration. As a bonus action, you can change the damage type, choosing from the options above.

      At Higher Levels. When you cast this spell using a spell slot of 3rd level or higher, you can maintain your concentration on the spell for up to 8 hours.


      Which is VERY similar to Elemental Weapon
      They obviously believe a +1d6 damage magic weapon in the hands of the artificer themself is not as powerful as a +1 to-hit / +1d4 damage magic weapon in the hands of another PC. Especially considering the artificer is more likely to lose concentration on it when they are the ones in melee taking the hits.
    1. DEFCON 1's Avatar
      DEFCON 1 -
      Quote Originally Posted by CapnZapp View Post
      Since the Beast Master is a worse beast master than everyone else, hardly a difficult feat to achieve.
      Yeah, but what if your DM doesn't allow feats?

    1. Azzy's Avatar
      Azzy -
      Quote Originally Posted by Paul Farquhar View Post
      How do you pounce defensively? My cat would like to know.
      Use cat logic and it makes sense.
    1. gyor's Avatar
      gyor -
      All the subclasses look fun, having a hard time picking a favourite. Maybe Archivist.
    1. MonkeezOnFire's Avatar
      MonkeezOnFire -
      My only critique would be that level 7 is strangely empty. No new feature, increase to spellcasting is minor gaining an additional 2nd level slot. You learn an additional infusion, but the number of active infusions remains the same and the level requirement on the better infusions seems to be 8th level so it's not a real power increase. They could probably fit a feature in at the base class as currently there are no base class features between 5th and 10th level.
    1. Ancalagon's Avatar
      Ancalagon -
      Now with tiny servant, and the ability to "flavor/describe" your spells, I look forward to the iron defender acting like a mothership, deploying swarms of tiny servants.
    1. Sword of Spirit's Avatar
      Sword of Spirit -
      Quote Originally Posted by DEFCON 1 View Post
      They obviously believe a +1d6 damage magic weapon in the hands of the artificer themself is not as powerful as a +1 to-hit / +1d4 damage magic weapon in the hands of another PC. Especially considering the artificer is more likely to lose concentration on it when they are the ones in melee taking the hits.
      Seems like they may have forgotten that bard (or magic initiate, if artificer is allowed like it should be) can snag this for non-artificers.
    1. Kobold Avenger's Avatar
      Kobold Avenger -
      I feel there still needs to be a sub-class along the likes of Dr. Frankenstein or Dr. Moreau, or maybe one that's based off of Dr. Jekyll instead.
    1. Stalker0 -
      Overall the class looks pretty good to me. I’ll admit it does feel like 3 pet classes, they all are good but I don’t really see a pet less artificer here like the article mentioned
    1. Yaarel -
      Quote Originally Posted by Kurotowa View Post
      I expect there will be a lot of room for personalized style in the flavor text for your PC's pet. A High Elf's artistic melding of metal and wood won't be the same as a Rock Gnome's gear powered mechanism will differ from a Mountain Dwarf's animated stone construct.
      Fair enough. I would expect the artifice of an Elf to look more ‘organic’ and less ‘architectural’.

      Still, I would want some feature that made it clearly artifice − maybe elemental, like skin appearing as sculpted stone, eyes gemmy, hair gold thread or fiery.
    1. Yaarel -
      I worry about Artificer being a half-caster, and being subpar at the highest tier.

      Any thoughts about how, say, a level 17 Artificer compares to other classes?
    1. Kurotowa's Avatar
      Kurotowa -
      Quote Originally Posted by Paul Farquhar View Post
      Send the AM into the dungeon whilst the party wait in a safe location outside. It can kill anything that isn't immune to psionics at no risk to the party (slowly and boringly). Whist it can't pass through objects, it has no size, so there is nothing to prevent it passing through keyholes or under doors. It has a range of 300 feet, which is large enough for most dungeons.
      On the one hand, yes there's a powerful trick there. Displace your senses, send the AM out, zap things safely. OTOH, there are limits. First, I'd hotly debate the "can slip through gaps of any shape or size" ruling. The ban on being able to pass through objects seems there specifically to prevent those shenanigans. The text says it manifests as a Tiny creature and that's what I'd stick to. Also, the AM is limited to 30ft of movement a round. Anything but the slowest creatures can Move-Dash to get away from it.

      Quote Originally Posted by trentonjoe View Post
      I like how they made a third level spell a first level:

      Which is VERY similar to Elemental Weapon
      The better comparisons are Hex and Hunter's Mark, both of which are first level spells. They're all variations on a specific effect.
    1. Kobold Avenger's Avatar
      Kobold Avenger -
      Quote Originally Posted by Leatherhead View Post
      Archivist! Now, everyone can play with your invisible friend! Totally a psionic class that didn't make it into the psionic playtest.
      I definitely think it's a psionic subclass, as the revised Psion was being discussed they were certainly ideas discussed for psionic subclasses in other classes, like Soulknives in Monk and Psychic Warrior in Fighter.
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