5E Feedback wanted: Human Hex Blade - Polearm Master and Shield
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  1. #1

    Feedback wanted: Human Hex Blade - Polearm Master and Shield

    What are the thoughts on the efficiency of a bladelock going with the following?

    STR 12
    DEX 14
    CON 14
    INT 10
    WIS 08
    CHA 16

    HP: 10

    Scale + shield for AC 18

    Feat: Polearm Mastery
    Quarterstaff: +5 to hit 1d6+3 / BNS action +5 to hit 1d6+3

    Spells:
    Booming Blade
    Eldritch Blast
    Armor of Agathys
    Hex


    Anything I should consider long term? It will be a melee character obviously... perhaps after 5th level picking up a few levels of sorcerer, then back to hexblade?
    Last edited by Valdier; Wednesday, 6th December, 2017 at 10:05 PM. Reason: clarification

  2. #2
    The biggest problem is Polearms are 2 handed weapons, you can't use a shield with them.

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by beowulf316 View Post
    The biggest problem is Polearms are 2 handed weapons, you can't use a shield with them.
    You can use quarterstaff with Polearm Master.

    As for the build, it's quite decent weapon setup.
    Last edited by strateg; Thursday, 7th December, 2017 at 08:30 PM.

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by beowulf316 View Post
    The biggest problem is Polearms are 2 handed weapons, you can't use a shield with them.
    As noted by Strateg, Quarterstaffs are polearms and 1 handed (Versatile)

    It doesn't seem as though Warlocks have a lot of variety in their builds, Invocation paths seem pretty "mandated" by level and pact stuff. Obviously life drinker and thirsting blade later, devil sight and darkness are almost warlock mandates. Anything else I should look out for, or consider as options?

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Valdier View Post
    Anything else I should look out for, or consider as options?
    A few thoughts / questions:

    1. The BA atk granted by PAM is d4 (presumably most polearms don't have iron-shod butts like a quarterstaff which uses d6) although your DM may let you house rule it if you're using a quarterstaff and both ends are the same anyway
    2. Given that you'll be using Cha for atks & dmg bonuses, is there a particular reason you went with Str 12 ? Is it just for escaping Grapples ? Because you could have 16 Con instead of 14 for an extra 1 hp per level and +1 on Concentration checks.
    3. Are you planning on picking up Warcaster at some point ? If not, what are your intentions with Booming Blade ? As an OA it's great, but your normal attacks will be better so I'm not sure you'll get much use out of it. Would you be better off with something else like Lightning Lure to pull things into range (or into chasms ...), or Mage Hand to open doors / chests at a distance ?
    4. Also without Warcaster you can't cast spells with S components if both hands are full (incl Eldritch Blast), and until you get Hexblade at L3 you can't cast spells requiring M components either (Hex is both S&M). Consider a Ruby of the War Mage (XGTOE) until L3 ? The other option is drop the shield, use the quarterstaff two-handed for the dmg die upgrade, and just let go with one hand to cast spells, but of course you lose 2 AC.


    Edit: Oh btw, long time lurker but first time posting, Hi EN World boards !! :-)
    Last edited by Darryl Wright; Friday, 8th December, 2017 at 12:27 AM.

  6. #6
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    First, Booming Blade does not trigger the back-end attack of Polearm Masry. For that you need to take the Attack action. Booming Blade is the Cast a Spell action, which happens to allow you to make a melee attack, but you still haven't taken the Attack action.

    Casting or retargetting Hex uses a bonus action, just like attacking with the back end via Polearm Mastery. So the round you cast it and time your opponent dies, you will be denies that back-end attack.

    Really, I'm not sure that Polearm Mastery brings much to the table over just using Booming Blade, and it's only adding anything when your bonus action isn't busy doing something else. All in all, not much return on investment.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Valdier View Post
    It doesn't seem as though Warlocks have a lot of variety in their builds, Invocation paths seem pretty "mandated" by level and pact stuff. Obviously life drinker and thirsting blade later, devil sight and darkness are almost warlock mandates. Anything else I should look out for, or consider as options?
    Yes. You should be wary of falling into the trap of thinking of things as being mandated by class/path.
    Instead make choices based upon the character you envision, not just stats/rules (combat) advantages.
    If you can do that you'll find that there's all kinds of variety in the 5e Warlock.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Valdier View Post
    Anything else I should look out for, or consider as options?
    It depends on what type of game you are going to play. If it combat focused u should consider Improved Pact Weapon and Eldritch Smite invocations. Otherwise there is a lot of interesting options like Mask Of Many Faces or something like that.

  9. #9
    Thank you everyone for the feedback, especially on booming blade. I might change that out for mage hand simply because it's such a useful non-combat functionality.

    For polearm mastery it's more for the fun of it and because it feels like a fun build (could definitely do more damage per hit with other builds). I will be adding Warcaster at 4th level and don't expect to be casting many spells in combat (armor of agathys and melee mostly until then). My primary use of spells is pre-combat or utility.

    As for STR being a 12, we use the standard array for allocation, not point buying, otherwise, I agree
    Last edited by Valdier; Friday, 8th December, 2017 at 11:52 PM.

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    You'll need warcaster...it also lets you use booming blade for opportunity attacks (and depending on interpretation, eldritch blast).

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