5E Highest Possible 5E AC
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  1. #1

    Highest Possible 5E AC

    Hey guys, I was just wondering what the highest possible AC for 5E was. (I am excluding use of tomes/manuals, because you could then get an infinite AC). The highest I have been able to come up with is this:
    Barkskin cast on target- 16
    Barbarian with DEX 20 and CON 20- +10
    Shield- +2
    So 28
    Then Ioun Stone of Protection- +1
    Three-quarters cover- +5
    So an outstanding total of 34! (WHEE)
    But really, that's not that great. What do you guys think?

  2. #2
    barkskin doesn't work like that. RAW, it's a final check in the AC formula, and if the AC is less than 16, it becomes 16. However, Mearls tweeted that he would consider a shield bonus applying as well. So probably poorly written spell that doesn't reflect how they intended it. Either way, class features like the barbarian or monk's AC doesn't stack


    Highest AC is probably magic plate and shield with someone casting shield of faith and haste on you, and then use maneuvers to increase AC by your superiority dice

    *Edit* So:

    always on AC: +3 plate + +3 shield = AC 26
    Situational temp AC with duration: 26 + haste (+2) + shield of faith (+2) = AC 30
    One time boost: AC 30 +1d12 superiority dice = AC 42 potentially

    Off of the top of my head. I admit I could be missing something

    *Edit II* Oh yeah, add in something like ring of protection or ioun stone as well. So a couple extra
    Last edited by Sacrosanct; Saturday, 9th January, 2016 at 05:32 PM.

  3. #3
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    The scariest monster in the game, Tiamat, a freakin' god, has an attack bonus of +19. She needs a 15 or higher to hit 34. She will miss 70% of the time against that PC.
    Sounds pretty great to me. Especially since you could arguably get that AC around level 12.

    But add a magic shield and it gets a little higher still...
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  4. #4
    Shield spell should stack with all. As should shield of faith spell. Grants +5 for round or +2 for 1 min concentration respectively.

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    Don't forget to be a Warforged (+1 ac) fighter with the defensive fighting style (+1ac while wearing armor).

  6. #6
    OK this ended up being quite long:

    The important rule is: "Some spells and class features give you a different way to calculate your AC. If you have multiple features that give you different ways to calculate your AC, you choose which one to use."

    DEX focused Barbarian or using +3 Plate or Half Plate armour.

    Barbarian at level 20 gets Primal Might (+4 STR and CON, raises the cap to 24), so can have 24 CON.
    So Unarmored Defence with DEX 20 (+5), CON 24 (+7) = 10+5+7 = AC:22 base
    OR
    +3 Magical Plate armour and Defense fighting Style = AC: 18, +1 Defense Fighting Style, +3 Plate) = AC:22
    OR
    +3 Magical Half Plate armour, Medium Armour Mastery Feat, DEX 16 or more = AC: 15, +1 from Defense Fighting Style, +3 from DEX with Medium Armor Mastery Feat, +3 magical Half Plate) = AC:22

    (+3 magic armor is a legendary item that does not require attunement)

    Using a +3 magical shield
    +2 from shield,
    +3 from it being a Magic Shield +3. (+3 shield is a very rare item does not require attunement)
    = AC: 27.

    The +3 Shield doesn't require attunement.

    Then:
    Ioun Stone of Protection- +1 AC (Rare item that requires attunement)
    Cloak of Protection +1 AC (Uncommon item that requires attunement)
    Ring of Protection +1 AC (Rare item that requires attunement)
    = +3 AC
    = AC:30 (AC 35 in 3/4 cover)

    If you replace one of the items with a Defender (Legendary item that requires attunment) and use it's full bonus then it goes to +3, +1, +1
    = AC: 32 (AC: 37 in 3/4 cover)

    Contrary to initial assumptions, there are no enchantment bonus or similar anti-stacking mechanic. I believe the semi-official tweets confirm it's ok to stack AC from magic items if the DM lets you get hold of them.

    Then someone casts Shield of Faith on them for +2 more AC. And SOMEONE ELSE casts Haste on them (they're both concentration spells) for another +2 AC

    = AC:36, (AC:41 in 3/4 Cover) with shield of Faith and haste.
    (See using Defensive Duelist below...)

    For *spike* AC:
    Level 17 Hunter Ranger DEX 20, Medium Armour Master and Defensive Duelist Feats and the Multi Attack Defense Hunter feature. Edit: Yes "Defense" fighting style *is* in the Ranger list, I got confused with Protection that isn't."
    AC: 22 with +1 Defensive Fighting Style, +3 Magic Half Plate, +3 DEX (Medium Armour Master). (Does not require attunement)
    AC: 27 with +3 Shield (Does not require attunement)

    +1 AC from Cloak of Protection (Requires Attunement)
    +1 AC from Ring of Protection (Requires Attunement)
    +3 AC from Defender (Requires Attunement)
    = AC: 32 (AC: 36 in 3/4 cover)

    +2 AC from Shield of Faith = AC: 34 (AC 40 in 3/4 Cover)
    +2 AC from Haste
    = AC: 36 (AC 40 in 3/4 Cover)

    Defensive Duelist (When you are wielding a finesse weapon with which you are proficient and another creature hits you with an a melee attack, you can use your reaction to add your proficiency bonus to your AC for that attack, potentially causing the Attack to miss you. Then as a Reaction after (somehow) being hit by a melee, can increase AC against that single hit by Proficiency bonus: so +6 at levels 17+ putting it at:
    = AC: 42 (47 in 3/4 Cover.)
    (Shield spell also uses your reaction and grants +5 but lasts until the end of your turn and it's just melee. +6 AC due to proficiency.)

    And if somehow you had been hit in the turn (and didn't use your reaction to stop it...)
    Multi Attack defense (When a creature hits you with an attack you gain a +4 bonus to AC against all subsequent attacks made by that creature for the rest of the turn.)
    So AC: 46 (AC 51 in 3/4 Cover)

    So AC 51... against a single hit, whilst in 3/4 cover, after being hit by an earlier attack in that turn and using your reaction...

    I Had a look at the Battlemaster using Superiority Dice, I think you can add +D12 to your AC using Evasive Footwork but the phrasing is (When you move, you can expand one superiority dice, rolling the dice and adding the number rolled to your AC until you stop moving)
    Which could be (Defense fighting style, +3 plate armor, +3 shield, Defender, ring and cloak, shield of faith and cloak etc)
    = AC: 36 + D12

    AC: 41+D12 if you're in 3/4 Cover (as you move...) and use your reaction to activate "Defensive Duelist" upon actually being hit....

    The Tarrasque (and apparently so does Tiamat) has +19 vs AC attack...

    That's using the core PHB and DMG.

    I've missed out: Using Manual of Bodily Health and Manual of Quickness of Action, Epic Boons or Artifacts.

    (EDIT, yeah apparently add +1 AC for being war forged >>. Thanks CCS...)
    (EDIT, I confused Defense fighting style (+1 AC whilst wearing armour) with Protection Fighting style)
    Last edited by Illithidbix; Tuesday, 12th January, 2016 at 01:13 AM.
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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Illithidbix View Post
    OK this ended up being quite long:

    The important rule is: "Some spells and class features give you a different way to calculate your AC. If you have multiple features that give you different ways to calculate your AC, you choose which one to use."

    DEX focused Barbarian or using +3 Plate or Half Plate armour.

    Barbarian at level 20 gets Primal Might (+4 STR and CON, raises the cap to 24), so can have 24 CON.
    So Unarmored Defence with DEX 20 (+5), CON 24 (+7) = 10+5+7 = AC:22 base
    OR
    +3 Magical Plate armour and Protection fighting Style = AC: 18, +1 Protection Fighting Style, +3 Plate) = AC:22
    OR
    +3 Magical Half Plate armour, Medium Armour Mastery Feat, DEX 16 or more = AC: 15, +1 from Protection Fighting Style, +3 from DEX with Medium Armor Mastery Feat, +3 magical Half Plate) = AC:22

    (+3 magic armor does not require attunement)

    Using a +3 magical shield
    +2 from shield,
    +3 from it being a Magic Shield +3. (+3 shield does not require attunement)
    = AC: 27.

    The +3 Shield doesn't require attunement.
    Then Ioun Stone of Protection- +1 AC (Requires attunement)
    Cloak of Protection +1 AC (Requires attunement)
    Ring of Protection +1 AC (Requires attunement)
    = +3 AC
    = AC:30 (AC 35 in 3/4 cover)

    If you replace one of the items with a Defender (Requires attunment) and use it's full bonus then it goes to +3, +1, +1
    = AC: 32 (AC: 37 in 3/4 cover)

    Contrary to initial assumptions, there are no enchantment bonus or similar anti-stacking mechanic. I believe the semi-official tweets confirm it's ok to stack AC from magic items if the DM lets you get hold of them.

    Then someone casts Shield of Faith on them for +2 more AC. And SOMEONE ELSE casts Haste on them (they're both concentration spells) for another +2 AC

    = AC:36, (AC:41 in 3/4 Cover) with shield of Faith and haste.
    (See using Defensive Duelist below...)

    For *spike* AC:
    Level 17 Hunter Ranger DEX 20, Medium Armour Master and Defensive Duelist Feats and the Multi Attack Defense Hunter feature... and uh Multiclassing into Fighter or Paladin to get Protection fighting style (missed this isn't in the ranger list
    AC: 22 with +1 Defensive Fighting Style, +3 Magic Half Plate, +3 DEX (Medium Armour Master). (Does not require attunement)
    AC: 27 with +3 Shield (Does not require attunement)

    +1 AC from Cloak of Protection (Requires Attunement)
    +1 AC from Ring of Protection (Requires Attunement)
    +3 AC from Defender (Requires Attunement)
    = AC: 32 (AC: 36 in 3/4 cover)

    +2 AC from Shield of Faith = AC: 34 (AC 40 in 3/4 Cover)
    +2 AC from Haste
    = AC: 36 (AC 40 in 3/4 Cover)

    Defensive Duelist (When you are wielding a finesse weapon with which you are proficient and another creature hits you with an a melee attack, you can use your reaction to add your proficiency bonus to your AC for that attack, potentially causing the Attack to miss you. Then as a Reaction after (somehow) being hit by a melee, can increase AC against that single hit by Proficiency bonus: so +6 at levels 17+ putting it at:
    = AC: 42 (47 in 3/4 Cover.)
    (Shield spell also uses your reaction and grants +5 but lasts until the end of your turn and it's just melee. +6 AC due to proficiency.)

    And if somehow you had been hit in the turn (and didn't use your reaction to stop it...)
    Multi Attack defense (When a creature hits you with an attack you gain a +4 bonus to AC against all subsequent attacks made by that creature for the rest of the turn.)
    So AC: 47 (AC 51 in 3/4 Cover)

    So AC 51... against a single hit, after being hit by an earlier attack in that turn and using your reaction...

    I Had a look at the Battlemaster using Superiority Dice, I think you can add +D12 to your AC using Evasive Footwork but the phrasing is (When you move, you can expand one superiority dice, rolling the dice and adding the number rolled to your AC until you stop moving)
    Which could be (defensive fighting style, +3 plate armor, +3 shield, Defender, ring and cloak, shield of faith and cloak etc)
    = AC: 36 + D12

    AC: 47+D12 if you're in 3/4 Cover (as you move...) and use your reaction to activate "Defensive Duelist" upon actually being hit....

    The Tarrasque (and apparently so does Tiamat) has +19 vs AC attack...

    That's using the core PHB and DMG.

    I've missed out: Using Manual of Bodily Health and Manual of Quickness of Action, Epic Boons or Artifacts.
    (Edit, yeah apparently add +1 AC for being war forged >>. Thanks CCS...)
    Fighting style and 20th level barbarian is not possible.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by PnPgamer View Post
    Fighting style and 20th level barbarian is not possible.
    Where did I stack them?
    It's either be a Level 20 Barbarian with DEX: 20, CON 24

    OR use +3 Plate Armor and Defense Fighting Style

    OR use +3 Half Plate and Defense Fighting Style and Medium Armour Master and DEX: 16

    All give you AC: 22 to start off with.
    Then you pile on everything else.
    Last edited by Illithidbix; Tuesday, 12th January, 2016 at 01:15 AM.
    XP Xeviat gave XP for this post

  9. #9
    If Warforged is OK then Beasthide Shifter should be as well, which might be better for the Dex AC

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Illithidbix View Post
    Where did I stack them?
    It's either be a Level 20 Barbarian with DEX: 20, CON 24

    OR use +3 Plate Armor and Defensive Fighting Style

    OR use +3 Half Plate and Defensive Fighting Style and Medium Armour Master and DEX: 16

    All give you AC: 22 to start off with.
    Then you pile on everything else.
    Sorry my bad

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