5E Bladesinger vs. Valor Bard vs. Bladelock
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  1. #1

    Bladesinger vs. Valor Bard vs. Bladelock

    All Full casting classes with a little melee, so they should be roughly equal. Bard has a lot of support on his spell list, so he should probably be tankiest (as he is with his proficiencies). Bladesinger should probably be the lightest, since he has the most flexibility in his spell list. That leaves Blade pact as a middle ground. Let's see how they all measure up.

    Bonus Proficiencies: The proficiencies they get outside of their normal class, that help them be better at melee.
    Valor: Medium Armor, Shields, Martial Weapons
    Blade: All martial Melee weapons
    Bladesinger: A single one-handed melee Martial Weapon, Light Armor

    Melee Bonuses: Things that actually make them better at melee, damage wise.
    Valor: Extra attack (6th), Battlemagic (14th)
    Blade: Extra attack (5th, Costs an invocation), +Cha to damage (12th, Costs an invocation)
    Bladesinger: Extra Attack(6th), +int to damage (14th)

    Defense: Melee needs some damage mitigation
    Valor: Only bonus is Medium armor and shields
    Blade: Free mage armor (Costs invocation)
    BladeSinger: Bladesong-+Int to AC, +int to Concentration checks, advantage on acrobatics (2nd), Song of Defense (10th)

    Spell lists: Important part of a full caster with melee, the "Full caster" part.
    Bard: A lot of support and control, notably no access to Shield or the SCAG Booming Blade. However, bard has Magical secrets, so those are accessible. At 10th level... Edit: Notable though is their Healing spells, giving them increased survive-ability.
    Warlock: Blasty, a lot of damage spells, Also no shield, but can use Booming Blade, and Hex. Also a couple of defense spells like Armor of Agathys.
    Wizard: Flexible, pretty much has access to everything, including Shield and Booming Blade. Int bonus to Con saves will help keep up spells like a self Haste as well.


    So, Bladesinger seems to come out pretty well above the other two, IMO, with valor bard coming in second thanks to his armor and shield use. Blade comes in last, since all of his choices remove other choices he could have made with his invocations, but Blade and Bard are arguable, depending on ones goals with the character. Bard makes the better Tank, while Blade will be getting better damage. However, that is only assuming that Blade makes the Invocation choices listed above, otherwise they are stuck with a single attack, light armor (max AC of 12+dex=17), and no +cha to damage.

    Anyone want to help discuss this, whether I missed anything, or what simple changes might even the playing field?
    Also, I would love for a number-cruncher to run these three, maybe one set assuming feats and one without. DPR, some light optimization, that kind of stuff. Or maybe I will try out my first shot at that sort of thing in the morning, we will see.

    EDIT: Added the magical secrets bit to the Bard spell list, I forgot about it before.
    EDITED: again, to add more things I forgot.
    Last edited by Lanliss; Thursday, 27th April, 2017 at 05:09 AM.
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  2. #2
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    The Bladesinger bonus to AC when bladesong is active is +INT.

  3. #3
    Well the valor bard has healing spells as well which can boost his survivability.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by rczarnec View Post
    The Bladesinger bonus to AC when bladesong is active is +INT.
    Ah, you are right. I was just skimming, so I only saw the +1 part at the end.

  5. #5
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    I believe you got it well-covered. The bladesinger is the only one I've not played myself, and I get the impression that she would be the best of the bunch, followed by the valor bard. Unfortunately for the bladelock, she's no better than a beastmaster ranger (I mean: good enough to pull her own weight, but unless that's exactly the character concept you want, you'd better go somewhere else).

  6. #6
    All of them are no melee experts like fighters or barbarians.
    You should rathet look at what else they bring to the table.
    Bard will increase his allies performance a lot. A warlock is still a warlock and if you are willing to look outside the box you may find quite a few things that make it a unique experience. A lot of fun lies in invocations that are not directly combat related. Also Hex is not the only spell usefull in a melee. Actually with concentration you may well be advised casting armor of agathys instead. A bladesinger though excellent in melee usually should make use of his spells in important combats and use melee prowess in self defense or when his spells run out or if he wants to save them up for later.
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  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by UngeheuerLich View Post
    All of them are no melee experts like fighters or barbarians.
    You should rathet look at what else they bring to the table.
    Bard will increase his allies performance a lot. A warlock is still a warlock and if you are willing to look outside the box you may find quite a few things that make it a unique experience. A lot of fun lies in invocations that are not directly combat related. Also Hex is not the only spell usefull in a melee. Actually with concentration you may well be advised casting armor of agathys instead. A bladesinger though excellent in melee usually should make use of his spells in important combats and use melee prowess in self defense or when his spells run out or if he wants to save them up for later.
    I am not trying to make them the fighter or Barbarian, that is why I am comparing them to each other instead of those two. As is, it seems like there is one that turns out better than the other two, pretty reliably, and one that is worse if you don't make the right choices (Though those choices are made pretty obvious for the player, since they are the only Blade Pact invocations).

  8. #8
    assuming bladesinger is an elf, racial weapons add quite a bit...

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Lanliss View Post
    I am not trying to make them the fighter or Barbarian, that is why I am comparing them to each other instead of those two. As is, it seems like there is one that turns out better than the other two, pretty reliably, and one that is worse if you don't make the right choices (Though those choices are made pretty obvious for the player, since they are the only Blade Pact invocations).
    I disagree. No one is better. They are just different. They are doing completely different things. One is a leader. Obe is a blaster and one is either a trickster or a tank or a mind controller with melee as a backup.
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  10. #10
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    As with any comparison of classes, it's hard to know in a vacuum. A lot will depend on the type of campaign, play style, and what you want to achieve all of which are assumed here. One thing not being addressed here is whether or not they are fun to play which in my mind is the most important factor and is defined differently by each of us if only minutely.
    Last edited by CydKnight; Thursday, 27th April, 2017 at 01:58 PM. Reason: typo
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