Shadow Blade Sor20 or Pal2/Sor18
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  1. #1
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    Shadow Blade Sor20 or Pal2/Sor18

    I recently got back into dnd and found this cool Shadow Blade spell. I have been playing around with it and it seems to make a great melee Sorcerer or Pal2/Sorx build.

    I have read all about Eldritch Knight builds and builds that try to use extra attacks such as Pal 5 or 6 splash. But extra attacks don't really scale well with Shadow Blade since many magic martial weapons outclass most Shadow Blade uses (I could be shown wrong but several threats seem to show that EK Shadow Blade builds don't have much steam.

    Shadow Blade does not play well with Hexblade's either as most of their extras require a Pact Blade to be used.

    Rogues can get some use from it but are mostly limited to 1 or 2 attacks.

    The Sorcerer seems to have the most synergy with Shadow Blade because of Twin Booming Blades and Quickened Green Flame Blades. Meaning with just 3 sorcery points you can do 3 of these buffed up cantrips. On top of this you are a fully fledged caster with sick sick high level spells.

    From a pure sorcerer perspective you can really abuse this when paired with twinned Booming Blade and quickened Green Flame Blade. At level 20 you can get 27d8 damage (24 from straight attacks and 3 from Green Flame Blade's second target). This damage will be split some between 2 melee enemies who are close to each other, but you could use Lightning Lure to pull one of both of them close.

    This build starts to do its thing as early as level 3 when you have access to all the cantrips needed, Shadow Blade, Shield, Absorb Elements, Mage Armor, and Mirror Image (although you only know 4 spells at this level so you have to chose 1 of these to not have). As a one turn wonder you could do 7d8 plus 12 damage split between 2 close targets, with 2 Booming Blades and 1 Quickened GFB. Granted you will be out of Sorcery points. Otherwise you could just have a nice BB or GFB attack.

    At lvl 20 each sorcery point gives you a twinned booming blade for 8d8 +5 damage (not including the moving damage if they move) or 2 gets you an 8d8 +5 GFB. If you pair this with 2 lvls of paladin you get smites for an extra 15d8 and access to armor. Pal2/sorcx is probably the most pure power option. But you must consider that this build can eat through both spell slots and sorcery points very quickly even at max lvl the pally combo gives you 1 less lvl 7 spell slot and 2 fewer sorcery point and if taken earlier than level 17 will slow down spell progression (imo spell progression is something important) So you could at least make an argument for pure sorcerer, the lvl 20 cap stone is something as well. As sorcery points are gold in the build and even make you consider converting spells into sorcery points as well and you could easily blow 3 sorcery points every turn.

    Also in terms of total damage a lvl 4 spell turned into a smite is 5d8 but that same spell slot turned into sorcery points (4) is 4 extra twinned BB for 32d8 +20 or 2 quickened GFB for 22d8 +20 damage. But paly2 does give you the option of much stronger bursting.


    This build unless splashed pal2 early will have a low AC and low hitpoints. Spells such as Shield, Mirror Image and Absorb Elements will help.

    All in all the damage although nice is lower than other pure burst, but what makes it very sick is that you could do 2 BB then haste lets say a Meteor Storm or other high lvl spell and laugh.


    I will be playing this character in my wife's new campaign since she said I had to play a halfling wild sorcerer with all the luck feats. Although a Draconic origin would be best probably this does have good synergy considering the fact that many of the Wild Magic Surges do bad things to people close to me, and halflings will benefit from Shadow Blade just as well and anyone else.

    Exclaimer this build is not AL legal sadly due to Shadow Blade being from XAGE and BB/GFB being from SCAG.
    Last edited by Lillika; Thursday, 19th April, 2018 at 12:07 AM.

  2. #2
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    Your damage calculations is the most optimistic cast. The second part of booming blade only triggers if they move, which often isn't true.

    Now, you can't have more SP then your level, and breaking down a spell slot to SP takes a bonus action. So you will need to skip the quickened GFB every once in a while to do that. However, since that's 2/3 of your SP budget, at lower levels it will probably be skipped fairly often.

    A 1st level slot only gives you 1 SP. If you go Pal 2, it can Divine Smite for +2d8, but with the added bonus of it is never wasted - it only applies on hits (and crits). That's more economical than twin until 11th, and always more economical than quicken.

    If you 6 combats a day with only 3 rounds of melee attack in each, that 18 rounds, or 54 SP. At 20th you have the slots to spare to both cast Shadow Blade and recharge SPs, but the quickened GFB might be worth it to ditch at earlier levels to only spend one SP per round.

    With that in mind, I'd suggest going for extend early - to make your shadow blades last 2 hours instead of 1, and pick up quicken at 10th when you have the SP max and slots to recharge it to really make use of it.

    One additional worry is that since Shadow Blade is a Concentration spell, you're missing out on all of the good concentration buffs that can help keep you alive like Greater Invisibility. Many of them, when you apply Twin to them, will also have a corresponding increase to your whole party damage output that can offset some fo the individual damage you need to do.

    Also, your damage is not concentrated. Twin specifically requires targetting a second creature. When you start comparing it to other non-concentrated damage the numbers start looking lackluster. It takes 3 SP to do a round, that's what you get from breaking down a 3rd level spell. A 3rd level fireball will do 8d6 damage to say 3 or 4 targets, for a total 24-32d6.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Blue View Post
    Your damage calculations is the most optimistic cast. The second part of booming blade only triggers if they move, which often isn't true.

    Now, you can't have more SP then your level, and breaking down a spell slot to SP takes a bonus action. So you will need to skip the quickened GFB every once in a while to do that. However, since that's 2/3 of your SP budget, at lower levels it will probably be skipped fairly often.

    A 1st level slot only gives you 1 SP. If you go Pal 2, it can Divine Smite for +2d8, but with the added bonus of it is never wasted - it only applies on hits (and crits). That's more economical than twin until 11th, and always more economical than quicken.

    If you 6 combats a day with only 3 rounds of melee attack in each, that 18 rounds, or 54 SP. At 20th you have the slots to spare to both cast Shadow Blade and recharge SPs, but the quickened GFB might be worth it to ditch at earlier levels to only spend one SP per round.

    With that in mind, I'd suggest going for extend early - to make your shadow blades last 2 hours instead of 1, and pick up quicken at 10th when you have the SP max and slots to recharge it to really make use of it.

    One additional worry is that since Shadow Blade is a Concentration spell, you're missing out on all of the good concentration buffs that can help keep you alive like Greater Invisibility. Many of them, when you apply Twin to them, will also have a corresponding increase to your whole party damage output that can offset some fo the individual damage you need to do.

    Also, your damage is not concentrated. Twin specifically requires targetting a second creature. When you start comparing it to other non-concentrated damage the numbers start looking lackluster. It takes 3 SP to do a round, that's what you get from breaking down a 3rd level spell. A 3rd level fireball will do 8d6 damage to say 3 or 4 targets, for a total 24-32d6.
    First my damage calculations assume 0 damage from Booming Blade movement. I'm well aware that Twin is more efficient than Quickening, Quickening allows you to hit the same target twice something that twin does not, and many times you will be quickening a Fireball or something instead. This is not a one trick pony build. And many times you will scrap spells for sorcery points between battles anyways. The main strengths of this build are that it makes really really good use out of Booming Blade and sorcery points, and this does free up your bonus action for actual really good non concentration spells such as Fireball and other spells of a similar nature.

    I think that it is the synergy between Shadow Blade and Booming Blade (and somewhat GFB) and sorcery point usuage. This synergy is so strong that it makes for a fun and sustainable playstyle. If you go paly 2 your nova's will be sick, but you will could be out of sorcery points and spells very quickly, especially if you throw in a shield and absorb elements here and there. My preference would be stay single class and just have fun with it. There is nothing stopping you from taking other concentration spells, but you get a huge bang for your buck with only spending 1 or 2 sorcery points to use a very buffed cantrip again on your turn.

    Also in terms of spells used its a relatively cheap combo get Shadow Blade, Mage Armor, Shield, Absorb Elements and Mirror Image, and some cantrips. All of these are good on their own except maybe Shadow Blade, but it could easily be argued that just Shadow Blade and Blade cantrips are good by themselves. Quickening and Twinning them is just really efficient use of those sorcery points. Nothing is stopping you from picking up other metamagic next and blasting or controlling as well.

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