5E The highest sustained DPR build I could make
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  1. #1

    The highest sustained DPR build I could make

    This will probably be a long post, hopefully I can condense it and just get to the important parts though. A couple things to mention first though:


    • Personally, I am not interested in dpr builds at level 20. That's why this character is level 12. I feel like the game is less about damage at level 20, and it's just a less often played tier of the game.
    • This character does not utilize feats to increase damage output, but it goes without saying that those are very valid options.
    • When considering the damage output of this character, none of the stats really matter except the dexterity.
    • This character is intended to scale harder than other classes, and benefit more from magical effects like haste and magical weapons.


    Onto the build.
    Level 12 Monklock - Proficiency +4
    7 Kensei Monk, 5 Hexblade Warlock Multiclass
    | 10 STR | 20 DEX | 10 CON | 10 INT | 20 WIS | 10 CHA | 7 Ki Points | 2 Spell Slots |
    Invocations: Thirsting Blade, Improved Pact Weapon, Sign of Ill Omen

    The biggest sources of damage for this build are: Multiattack, Flurry of blows, Hex, Thirsting Blade, High Dex Mod, and surprisingly the proficiency bonus. As far as my thought process when building this character, I really wanted to incorporate the hex spell. It's a classic for dealing damage. This character focuses on simply having more attacks than anything else though, because more landed attacks is more guaranteed damage. With hex and baleful curse places on the same target, every landed attack is another dex bonus, proficiency bonus, and 1d6 necrotic damage on top of the attack itself. I feel like this damage is significant, and can scale much harder than Rogue's sneak attack. I will compare this build to rogue a lot throughout this. But Rogues don't really benefit greatly at level 12 by having more attacks. Multiple attacks for rogues, or having two weapons, is really more about ensuring sneak attack lands. A level 12 rogue with two weapon fighting has two attacks, but the difference in damage between one attack landing and both attacks landing is the difference of 1d8 weapon +5 dex of damage.

    So what kind of damage outputs can this class output?
    To start, we will have rapier as a kensei weapon and pact of the blade weapon in the mainhand, and a free offhand. With every attack action, Monklock gets 2 rapier attacks, and an extra that can be either another weapon attack or an unarmed strike. The only reason this distinction matters is with the kensei's Agile Parry feature for +2 ac. Flurry of blows for 1 ki point gives 2 unarmed strikes as a bonus action. Hex deals 1d6 necrotic for every landed attack. Baleful Curse adds proficiency bonus to damage rolls. For now, I am assuming this only applies to each attack, not each source of damage. I am doing this because I don't think it would add to the attack landed, as well as the hex damage, but I could be wrong. Finally, since the rapier is a +1 pact weapon, each rapier hit does an extra point of damage.

    (Assuming Every Attack Hits)
    So far this damage in terms of number and dice looks like this:
    Attack Action Flurry of Blows Hex Dex Mod Proficiency Pact Weapon
    3d8 M Slash +2d6 M Bludg. +5d6 Necrotic +25 M Slash/Bludg. +20 +3
    A big part of the damage is simply the amount of times that the dex mod and proficiency bonuses are added to the damage. That's a minimum of 58 damage from all of these sources. Minimum. I believe the average would come out to 85 damage. Someone correct me if I am wrong.

    In comparison:
    Level 12 Rogue |2 Rapiers | +5 Dex | Sneak Attack | (Don't add an extra dex mod to the crit damage, just double sneak attack and an extra d8)

    Assassin Autocrit 3d8 +12d6 +10 Minimum 25 damage Average 65 damage
    No autocrit 2d8 +6d6 +10 Minimum 18 damage Average 40 damage

    Now, there is a noticeable difference in these damage outputs, but certainly not utterly absurd in my opinion. But I mentioned earlier that this class is designed to scal harder than other classes with certain damage boosts applied to them. Let's start with haste. What we're interested is the extra attack action. This does not boost the level 12 Rogues damage by much, it just gives another swing of a rapier for 1d8+5, it doesn't let them proc sneak attack any more often. But if you remember from before, each attack action gives the Monklock 3 more attacks. 1 default, another from thirsting blade, and another from extra attack. It looks like this:

    Monklock
    Action Haste Flurry of Blows Hex Dex Proficiency Pact Weapon Minimum Average
    3d8 +3d8 +2d6 +8d6 +40 +32 +6 94 111

    Rogue
    Action Haste Sneak Attack Dex Minimum Average
    Assassin 3d8 +1d8 +12d6 +15 31 75
    No Crit 2d8 +1d8 +6d6 +15 24 47

    As you can see, the haste action just lets Monklock absolutely outpace the Rogue in terms of damage. Now let's look at this Monklock with a Flametongue. Just to be nice, we will give one to the rogue as well. Hopefully the autocrit bring it back to comparable with Monklock.


    Monklock with Flametongue and Haste
    Action Haste Flurry of Blows Hex Flametongue Dex Proficiency Pact Weapon Minimum Average
    3d8 +3d8 +2d6 +8d6 +12d6 +40 +32 +6 106 172


    Rogue with Flametongue and Haste
    Action Haste Sneak Attack Flametongue Dex Minimum Average
    Assassin 3d8 +1d8 +12d6 +8d6 +15 39 103
    No Crit 2d8 +1d8 +6d6 +6d6 +15 30 70

    That's basically it, I really just wanted to showcase the damage breakdowns. There are a few things to consider as well. My rationale is for haste is that DnD is usually a game about an adventuring party, therefore it's not usual for at least one party to know haste and cast it on Monklock. Of course, Monklock is not god. Obvious weaknesses are enemies that have darkness at will, dispel magic at will, or counterspell. Enemies with high ac can be a bit annoying, because missing means less damage, but faerie fire could potentially make up for this.

    I admit, having all 8 attacks land is not really a good way to measure the average damage. That's more for the possible damage. However, I can see that measuring the damage assuming around 5-6 of the attacks landing might be a better average. This also does not take into account any utility or tankiness of the Monklock vs other characters.

    A few last things I want to say about Assassin vs Monklock: The assassin does lots of damage, this is true. However, they deal a lot of damage once. I don't think it's likely that an assassin will find more than one opportunity to get an autocrit off on a surprised enemy once an all out fight breaks out against the bbeg or something. Monk can do this as long as they have flurry of blows, which at this level is 7 times. That's a lot of times. Also, if Monklock actually manages to land bestow curse for the 1d8, that could be even more damage.

    Some other thoughts: Crits are probably more effective, or add more damage, to rogues. A single attack critting for monk adds more but not as much as rogue. Assassins may find it harder to find more sneak attacks in battle since they need advantage or a nearby ally. As compared to a swashbuckler at least, who gets it as long as they are in a duel essentially.

    Okay that is actually the end of the post. Let me know what you think: Of Monklock, of damage, of multiclassing martial classes in 5e, balance, etc. Let me know if I missed or overlooked anything, or have incorrect mins/averages. I certainly hope not - I really don't want to redo them. Also, I would appreciate advice on formatting posts. This is my first one on a forum, so I tried to make it as digestible as possible. So yea, what do you guys think?

  2. #2
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    I am sorry to say that, but:
    - thirsting blade and extra attack don't stack by the multiclass rules.
    - extra attack action granted by haste is explicitely only a single attack. So you have 3 attacks less than you calculated with.

    That said, it is still a good damage build. Especially when bearing in mind that an assassin won't get his alphastrike when he does not win initiative.
    Last edited by UngeheuerLich; Tuesday, 4th June, 2019 at 11:44 AM.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cadmius Clairmonte View Post
    To start, we will have rapier as a kensei weapon and pact of the blade weapon in the mainhand, and a free offhand. ... <snip> The only reason this distinction matters is with the kensei's Agile Parry feature for +2 ac. Flurry of blows for 1 ki point gives 2 unarmed strikes as a bonus action.<snip>
    I'm not sure, but I think you are implying that you're only reason for having a free hand is to make unarmed attacks?

    this assumption is incorrect,
    the Monks martial arts allows them to make unarmed attacks even if both hands are holding something. i.e., a kick, the hilt of a weapon, an elbow, etc...

    Quote Originally Posted by Monk Martial arts
    Ľ When you use the Attack action with an unarmed strike or a monk weapon on your turn, you can make one unarmed strike as a bonus action. For example, if you take the Attack action and attack with a quarterstaff, you can also make an unarmed strike as a bonus action, assuming you haven't already taken a bonus action this turn.
    Quote Originally Posted by Basic rules, Making an attack, also in PHB errata
    Instead of using a weapon to make a melee weapon attack, you can use an Unarmed Strike: A punch, kick, headbutt, or similar forceful blow (none of which count as weapons).

  4. #4
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    Myrmidon (Lvl 10)



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    I think your DPR would look similar for the Rogue if you build him as, dare I say it, an Asslock. Wheeeeeee! Asslock «. Best mutliclass name ever. Seriously though. Stack the hexing and whatnot on top of the assassin's nova potential and it's easily as good, especially when you factor in the couple of things from above that you need to fix. Plus mask of many faces and rogue sneakiness go together like beer and pretzels. I applaud any attempt to do something cool with the monk though. Love me some monks. I need to find more threads to suggest the Asslock build too... let me go look.
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  5. #5
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    Easy peasy to multiclass as assmonklock


    Hexblade 5/monk4/assassin3
    Standard array
    15+1 dex +4 due to stat incrrases
    14 con
    13 wis
    13+1 cha


    That will allow for hex OR haste. Note that you can't selfcast both due to concebtration requirement. (Another error in the calculation above).

    You will probably have a better time just going monk 5, warlock 4 and rogue 3 so you have hex and stunning strike. Even with that low wisdom you should be able to stun with a bit of persistance and follow up with advantage.
    If you can get along with dex 18, kensai 6 helps a lot. Or you go monk 6, warlock 2 and rogue 4 and have everything you need.

    As warlock you probably use shield spell and hex with your two slots. You probably have armor of shadows so you don't need high wisdom.
    Rogue 4 for dex increase.
    Monk 6 for deft strike and magical attacks.

    Warlock 3 instead of monk 6 allows for improved pact weapon which is a small damage increase and a bit more to hit. I can't decide if it is better than deft strike. Probably not because if you happen to find a magic weapon that invocation becomes useless.
    Last edited by UngeheuerLich; Tuesday, 4th June, 2019 at 02:58 PM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fenris-77 View Post
    I think your DPR would look similar for the Rogue if you build him as, dare I say it, an Asslock. Wheeeeeee! Asslock «. Best mutliclass name ever.
    That could also be the name of your signature martial arts move! Maybe it counts as a grapple.
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  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cadmius Clairmonte View Post
    But if you remember from before, each attack action gives the Monklock 3 more attacks. 1 default, another from thirsting blade, and another from extra attack. It looks like this:
    Quote Originally Posted by UngeheuerLich View Post
    I am sorry to say that, but:
    - thirsting blade and extra attack don't stack by the multiclass rules.
    - extra attack action granted by haste is explicitely only a single attack. So you have 3 attacks less than you calculated with.
    Yea, not to rain on your parade, but there are several problems with this build. The problem that @UngeheuerLich listed above (Extra Attack/Thirsting Blade/Haste stacking) is the main one. Any tier 3 build that's getting more than 4 attacks per round needs to make really sure they've checked their work. It would usually take Fighter 11 to pull that off.

    The other problems with your build is that your stats are invalid, assuming point buy, and that you can't take a warlock multiclass with a 10 Cha. Granted, you can certainly get a 20 Dex by level 12, but you're wasting one of the best features of Hexblade by doing so, and your AC and spell attacks suffer by the stat split.

    I don't want to dissuade you from building cool characters, and the concept is certainly an effective and fun one. But stuff like "best sustained DPR build" or "best nova DPR" are pretty much already solved problems, and the threshold to find something competitive with those builds is very high.
    Last edited by TwoSix; Tuesday, 4th June, 2019 at 03:19 PM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoSix View Post
    Yea, not to rain on your parade, but there are several problems with this build. The problem listed above (Extra Attack/Thirsting Blade/Haste stacking) is the main one. Any tier 3 build that's getting more than 4 attacks per round needs to make really sure they've checked their work. It would usually take Fighter 11 to pull that off.

    The other problems with your build is that your stats are invalid, assuming point buy, and that you can't take a warlock multiclass with a 10 Cha. Granted, you can certainly get a 20 Dex by level 12, but you're wasting one of the best features of Hexblade by doing so, and your AC and spell attacks suffer by the stat split.

    I don't want to dissuade you from building cool characters, and the concept is certainly an effective and fun one. But stuff like "best sustained DPR build" or "best nova DPR" are pretty much already solved problems, and the threshold to find something competitive with those builds is very high.
    I think it would have helped if you adressed the OP after my quote so it he notices it and it does not sound as if you are adressing me.

    If there is no space in the name, it is easy. I am not sure how to use the following mention with the name of the op correctly.
    @TwoSix
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by UngeheuerLich View Post
    I think it would have helped if you adressed the OP after my quote so it he notices it and it does not sound as if you are adressing me.

    If there is no space in the name, it is easy. I am not sure how to use the following mention with the name of the op correctly.
    @TwoSix
    I edited to improve the clarity of the point.
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  10. #10
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    Myrmidon (Lvl 10)



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    I think I prefer Monkasslock to Assmonklock, although Assmonklock does keep the spotlight squarely on the Asslock portion, which I have to applaud. I'm warming up to an Assassin/Warlock/Druid multiclass that I'm going to call the Assloid. So many possibilities. I also think we should start calling the Rogue 3 dip for Assassin the Ass dip.

    OK, I'm done.

    Seriously though, I am going to stress test the Asslock just to see what it feels like.

    Now I'm done. *whew*
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