Beast Master Ranger: Redeemed?
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  1. #1
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    Beast Master Ranger: Redeemed?

    My guide to the Beast Master Ranger. Is it redeemed?
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    Last edited by Treantmonklvl20; Sunday, 28th April, 2019 at 03:48 AM.
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    I mean, if you're dependent on an external source of healing to keep your pet alive, and only do well with an optimised build, I would say no, it's not redeemed :P

    Blank attachment btw.

  3. #3
    The beast tends to die in battles against enemies with strong AoEs and reach longer than 5 feet, both of which become far more prevalent starting around 5th level. At that point, positioning yourself between beast with 10-foot reach and enemy to threaten OAs if the enemy goes after your beast ceases to be an effective tactic in many fights.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yunru View Post
    I mean, if you're dependent on an external source of healing to keep your pet alive, and only do well with an optimised build, I would say no, it's not redeemed :P
    I don't think that's quite fair. Don't most classes depend on external sources of healing? It's a party game. As to "only do well with an optimized build", the optimized build is out-damaging the generic eldritch blast + agonizing blast + hex warlock by 50% or so throughout most of its career. Do you want to say that the eldritch blast warlock is a bad class because it requires further optimization to reach those same levels of DPR?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Esker View Post
    I don't think that's quite fair. Don't most classes depend on external sources of healing? It's a party game.
    Not to the extent of the Beastmaster's companion. PCs can at least use hit dice to get up to full health with a short rest/
    As to "only do well with an optimized build", the optimized build is out-damaging the generic eldritch blast + agonizing blast + hex warlock by 50% or so throughout most of its career. Do you want to say that the eldritch blast warlock is a bad class because it requires further optimization to reach those same levels of DPR?
    Yes, an optimised build is out-damaging an unoptimised build, things are as they should be. But it doesn't outdamage an optimised build. Nor does an unoptimised beastmaster out-damage an unoptimised... anything else?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yunru View Post
    Not to the extent of the Beastmaster's companion. PCs can at least use hit dice to get up to full health with a short rest
    Hmm... Is there a sage advice confirming that the beast doesn't gain hit dice alongside the ranger? I guess RAW it doesn't say that it does, so it probably doesn't. Seems like an easy tweak to say that they should get a d6 for each ranger level and (no CON mod added) once you start calculating their HP maximum as 4x ranger level. But fair enough as written.

    Yes, an optimised build is out-damaging an unoptimised build, things are as they should be. But it doesn't outdamage an optimised build. Nor does an unoptimised beastmaster out-damage an unoptimised... anything else?
    We don't actually have numbers for an unoptimized beastmaster build, so it's an open question whether it actually falls short of the baseline. I suspect it doesn't. Hence my question: if true and the unoptimized beastmaster is doing damage merely at the warlock baseline, should the single classed warlock that takes agonizing blast and uses hex be considered equally lousy because (by definition) they need further optimization to outshine the baseline?

    It's also not like the warlock baseline has done nothing to optimize for DPR: they're taking agonizing blast and concentrating on hex regularly, both of which have opportunity costs associated with them. The use of hunter's mark for @Treantmonklvl20's build should then similarly not be construed as an aggressive optimization relative to baseline.

    Keep in mind that Treantmonk's claim is not that the beastmaster outshines other classes, just that it can hold its own better than people think.

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    I don't think the ranger is a weak class. I also think that it has serious problems with the wording.
    Both phb rangers can attack by not using the attack action which invalidates two weapon fighting which is sad.
    To the optimized beast master:
    If you take a wolf you don't need the find familiar. Your wolf can trip and set every melee fighter up for a lot of damage, not only you.
    If you insist on an owl, you could start with:
    16 Str
    14 Dex
    13 Con
    10 Int
    13 Wis
    8 Cha
    At level 1 you take ritual caster (wizard) and at level 4 you take resilient con.
    I think ritual caster is so strong that you will free up a lot of slots by casting alarm, find familiar and later leomunds hut without spending a slot or needing to know it as a prescious ranger spell.
    I also think not having resilient constitution if you are in melee and rely on hunter's mark is a great risk.

    Edit: the wolf is by ni means optimal. But the beast master is playable. But still the level 11 feature is rather bad. At this level you'd rather attack twice yourself than let a beast attack if you don't have an optimized pet.
    Last edited by UngeheuerLich; Saturday, 27th April, 2019 at 10:32 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Gladius Legis View Post
    The beast tends to die in battles against enemies with strong AoEs and reach longer than 5 feet, both of which become far more prevalent starting around 5th level. At that point, positioning yourself between beast with 10-foot reach and enemy to threaten OAs if the enemy goes after your beast ceases to be an effective tactic in many fights.
    I agree that the tactics need to change against creatures with a higher reach, but for the reasons I bring up in the video, I don't think the Beast is a likely target for enemies. Of course, if it is, you should get it out of harm's way if possible and just strike twice with your Ranger instead. Have the beast deliver the help action to an archer or something with your bonus action. Any damage that beast took is damage the party did not take.

  9. #9
    Nice job, @Treantmonklvl20, you've definitely put lipstick on the pig!
    Laugh Treantmonklvl20 laughed with this post

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    A Clever set of ideas, well argued.

    I'm a bit confused by the Action economy with the Help action. The advantage goes to the next attacker rather than the ranger?

    You may have put it explicitly and my attention drifted in your hour long impassioned defence (Good job by the way!) But it goes:

    Tier 1 L1+2, ranger attacks. L3+4 beast attacks.
    Tier 5 beast attacks, ranger attacks.

    So the owl familiar doesn't become hugely relevant until level 5 (advantage cancelling the great weapon master attack).

    Would Ritual Caster than be a stronger choice?

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