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D&D 5E Aberrant Mind's Psionic Sorcery is officially the most powerful feature.

Hohige

Explorer
It's the strongest mage killer combo ever.

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The Aberrant Mind restrains the enemy caster as an action and cast a psionic quickend spell as bonus action (Impossible to counterspell). The enemy can't move and can't cast spells (Subtle Counterspell).
It's charisma check with Magical Guidance vs Mage's STR. lol.
Easy.
 
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Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
It's the strongest mage killer combo ever.

View attachment 128782

The Aberrant Mind restrains the enemy caster as an action and cast a psionic quickend spell as bonus action (Impossible to counterspell). The enemy can't move and can't cast spells (Subtle Counterspell).
It's charisma check with Magical Guidance vs Mage's STR. lol.
Easy.
Let's assume you've hidden -- you cast a 5th level spell subtly and use telekinesis at a range of 60 feet. This is because you cannot both use subtle and distant at the same time. So, you do, but you have a +3 to CHA and let's say the other guy has a -1 to STR, giving you a 4 point difference. That's still only a 66% chance of success. Let's say you do it, though, and the target is restrained. You're now done, because you can't case a quickened psionic spell because using a bonus action to cast limits you to only casting a cantrip otherwise. You've cast a 5th level spell, so that's out. Still well and good. The enemy may not try to cast a spell, which you can subtly counterspell with a 3rd level slot. Provided the spell isn't a higher level than 3rd, you succeed. If it is higher than 3rd, your +3 CHA will hurt a bit as you'll need an 11 minimum on the die (for a 4th level spell), which is only a 50% chance. So, first round done, you're down a 5th slot and a 3rd slot, 2 sorcery points for subtle, and perhaps another for a use of magic guidance. Let's say not, so 2 down. You've done no damage.

So, next turn, you maintain concentration on telekinesis and reup the restraint as an action. Another 66% chance, which means you're likely to have used magical guidance at this point because you have about a 50/50 chance of having failed (slightly better). So, now you're down 3 sorcery points. You then cast a quickened psionic spell, let's say Mind Thrust, at 2nd level. That's 2 sorcery points for Mind Thrust and 2 for quickened spell. You can do this because you just maintained Telekinesis instead of casting it. You've done some damage, finally! Unfortunately, it's likely the wizard has saved, as INT is his prime stat and he's proficient, so against your DC 15 he has +8 or +9 to save. Still, it's half of 3d8, so marks on the board! You're now down 7 sorcery points. The mage goes, and casts a spell, which you subtly counter, for another 3rd level slot and a sorcery point. That's 8 -- running low.

Next turn, you try mostly the same thing -- concentrate on telekinesis and throw a spell. This mind thrust succeeds! The wizard fails their check, but they're okay because they still have hitpoints left. They choose to keep an action for next turn. You're now tapped on sorcery points, having spent another 2 on that quickened mind thrust. Now, when the wizard casts and you counterspell, you cannot use subtle, so you reveal yourself in casting. The wizard is down three countered spell slots, and you're tapped on sorcery points, down 3 3rd level slots and 1 5th. You've done 4.5d8 damage to the wizard, which hasn't brought him below half. You're going to have to start upcasting counterspells and it's likely that the wizard won't be restrained next round as you can't magical guidance yourself. You'll have to cast normally next round to use your bonus action to convert a slot for points. And the wizard can counter that casting unless you're converting and then casting psionically, which is a great way to burn your points and be stuck in the same loop. Regardless, the wizard can see you now and can cast whatever they want (restrained doesn't prevent spellcasting) and counter your counters because you don't have the sorcery points to make them subtle as often. The wizard now has an edge in available slots -- they've spent less than you have, especially since you now will be bonus action converting more slots into sorcery points.

It's a neat trick, but it's unsustainable and so really only useful in limited cases. If you want to switch to a neat enchantment spell against the wizard, perhaps a suggestion or a charm or a dominate (which is your other 5th level slot), you certainly can, but the wizard is immediately free of telekinesis when you drop concentration, which means you've largely wasted a 5th level slot to begin with. And, if you dominate the wizard, cool but it's likely to get advantage on a proficient saving throw against your poor DC (again, DC 15).

Even if you game out a situation where you get your perfect setup and things largely go your way, this isn't overwhelming at all -- you burn a huge amount of resources for about 20 damage. At the end of that, you're not hidden, completely empty on sorcery points, and down more slots than the other guy. You're now in the action economy crunch -- you have more things you have to do to maintain effectiveness than the other guy. Even if you swap to straight blasting at this point, it's a race where you're out of your tricks and the other guy hasn't even brought his subclass abilities to bear yet. Heck, if the other guy is a Diviner, this sinks almost from the get-go.
 

Hohige

Explorer
Let's assume you've hidden -- you cast a 5th level spell subtly and use telekinesis at a range of 60 feet. This is because you cannot both use subtle and distant at the same time. So, you do, but you have a +3 to CHA and let's say the other guy has a -1 to STR, giving you a 4 point difference. That's still only a 66% chance of success. Let's say you do it, though, and the target is restrained. You're now done, because you can't case a quickened psionic spell because using a bonus action to cast limits you to only casting a cantrip otherwise. You've cast a 5th level spell, so that's out. Still well and good. The enemy may not try to cast a spell, which you can subtly counterspell with a 3rd level slot. Provided the spell isn't a higher level than 3rd, you succeed. If it is higher than 3rd, your +3 CHA will hurt a bit as you'll need an 11 minimum on the die (for a 4th level spell), which is only a 50% chance. So, first round done, you're down a 5th slot and a 3rd slot, 2 sorcery points for subtle, and perhaps another for a use of magic guidance. Let's say not, so 2 down. You've done no damage.

So, next turn, you maintain concentration on telekinesis and reup the restraint as an action. Another 66% chance, which means you're likely to have used magical guidance at this point because you have about a 50/50 chance of having failed (slightly better). So, now you're down 3 sorcery points. You then cast a quickened psionic spell, let's say Mind Thrust, at 2nd level. That's 2 sorcery points for Mind Thrust and 2 for quickened spell. You can do this because you just maintained Telekinesis instead of casting it. You've done some damage, finally! Unfortunately, it's likely the wizard has saved, as INT is his prime stat and he's proficient, so against your DC 15 he has +8 or +9 to save. Still, it's half of 3d8, so marks on the board! You're now down 7 sorcery points. The mage goes, and casts a spell, which you subtly counter, for another 3rd level slot and a sorcery point. That's 8 -- running low.

Next turn, you try mostly the same thing -- concentrate on telekinesis and throw a spell. This mind thrust succeeds! The wizard fails their check, but they're okay because they still have hitpoints left. They choose to keep an action for next turn. You're now tapped on sorcery points, having spent another 2 on that quickened mind thrust. Now, when the wizard casts and you counterspell, you cannot use subtle, so you reveal yourself in casting. The wizard is down three countered spell slots, and you're tapped on sorcery points, down 3 3rd level slots and 1 5th. You've done 4.5d8 damage to the wizard, which hasn't brought him below half. You're going to have to start upcasting counterspells and it's likely that the wizard won't be restrained next round as you can't magical guidance yourself. You'll have to cast normally next round to use your bonus action to convert a slot for points. And the wizard can counter that casting unless you're converting and then casting psionically, which is a great way to burn your points and be stuck in the same loop. Regardless, the wizard can see you now and can cast whatever they want (restrained doesn't prevent spellcasting) and counter your counters because you don't have the sorcery points to make them subtle as often. The wizard now has an edge in available slots -- they've spent less than you have, especially since you now will be bonus action converting more slots into sorcery points.

It's a neat trick, but it's unsustainable and so really only useful in limited cases. If you want to switch to a neat enchantment spell against the wizard, perhaps a suggestion or a charm or a dominate (which is your other 5th level slot), you certainly can, but the wizard is immediately free of telekinesis when you drop concentration, which means you've largely wasted a 5th level slot to begin with. And, if you dominate the wizard, cool but it's likely to get advantage on a proficient saving throw against your poor DC (again, DC 15).

Even if you game out a situation where you get your perfect setup and things largely go your way, this isn't overwhelming at all -- you burn a huge amount of resources for about 20 damage. At the end of that, you're not hidden, completely empty on sorcery points, and down more slots than the other guy. You're now in the action economy crunch -- you have more things you have to do to maintain effectiveness than the other guy. Even if you swap to straight blasting at this point, it's a race where you're out of your tricks and the other guy hasn't even brought his subclass abilities to bear yet. Heck, if the other guy is a Diviner, this sinks almost from the get-go.
Before the battle: 6 Sorcery Point for Psionic Distant Telekinesis while Stealth, bonus action: Convert Slot for Sorcery Point.
So, It can burst the wizard pretty easily.
The battle starts after it.


You made a fundamental mistake.
Subtle and Distant works. This is called Distant Psionic Spell.
So, It's 120 '.

Also, Quicken and Subtle Spell works. It's called Quicken Psionic Spell.
This is the power of the Psionic Sorcery Feature.


It can use his action each turn to restrain his enemy at 120ft and still quicken a psionic spell without reveal himself.


To defeat The Wizard. Just spam distant Psionic Snaptic Static at 240ft.
When It comes 120ft(If survives). Restrain him and Its over.
Subtle Earth Eruption, Heightein Psionic Dominate person, its a lot options.
Its easy.
 
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Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
Before the battle: 6 Sorcery Point for Psionic Distant Telekinesis while Stealth, bonus action: Convert Slot for Sorcery Point.
So, It can burst the wizard pretty easily.
The battle starts after it.


You made a fundamental mistake.
Subtle and Distant works. This is called Distant Psionic Spell.
So, It's 120 '.

Also, Quicken and Subtle Spell works. It's called Quicken Psionic Spell.
This is the power of the Psionic Sorcery Feature.


It can use his action each turn to restrain his enemy at 120ft and still quicken a psionic spell without reveal himself.


To defeat The Wizard. Just spam distant Psionic Snaptic Static at 240ft.
When It comes 120ft(If survives). Restrain him and Its over.
Subtle Earth Eruption, Heightein Psionic Dominate person, its a lot options.
Its easy.
Ah, so you're giving up being able to counterspell? Range for counterspell is 60ft, so you can either reveal yourself and distant it or stay hidden and forgo it.

And, your opening means your down one more spell slot for about the same position, perhaps up to full sorcery points. However, you now will be spending more points for many spells due to the need to distant them, which removes your ability to quicjen then, so you can either let telekinesis go or move closer, which may not be an option while remaining hidden.

In other words, I put together a best case above, your idea of distant telekenisis is actually worse -- you have fewer options and are forced to go loud faster, which makes the telekinesis opening a complete waste of resources.
 


BacchusNL

Explorer
A D&D stream in which players try to bring optimized characters in front of a tough-as-nails by-the-book DM and have to convince them that the characters should be allowed would be $$$
Yeah for sure, I would watch that :p. But there is optimising and then there is breaking the game by disregarding basic rules.
Watching a Hexblade-Paladin-Sorceror tearing stuff up can be fun. Watching him argue with the DM wether or not his lvl 6 spell slots should break the paladin smite hard-cap; not so much.
 

Shadowedeyes

Explorer
So, long time lurker, but I wanted to mention on the Psionic Spell and upcasting discussion, that unless it actually states you can use additional points to cast it in a higher level "slot", then you probably can't given precedence from the monk. Both Way of Elements and Way of the Sun Soul have it actually mentioned in the text for the ability that you can do this.
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
So, long time lurker, but I wanted to mention on the Psionic Spell and upcasting discussion, that unless it actually states you can use additional points to cast it in a higher level "slot", then you probably can't given precedence from the monk. Both Way of Elements and Way of the Sun Soul have it actually mentioned in the text for the ability that you can do this.
Right. @Hohige's claim of specific beats general fails because there is no specific language allowing him to do what he claims.
 

Shadowedeyes

Explorer
Yah, I know people already have pointed out the issue, I just wanted to bring up that we have seen a cast with points ability before that did have that specific wording, since I didn't see anyone else point it out, unless I missed it.
 

Crit

Explorer
Hi! I made an account because I wanted to explain a feature, pertaining to that spell-slot sorcery-point upcasting thing like @Shadowedeyes did.

"When you cast any spell of 1st level or higher from your Psionic Spells feature, you can cast it by expending a spell slot as normal or by spending a number
of sorcery points equal to the spell’s level. If you cast the spell using sorcery points, it requires no verbal or somatic components, and it requires no
material components, unless they are consumed."
This is the rule as written in Tasha's.

"The spell's level" means the level of the spell itself, as they are when you get them. For example- "detect thoughts" is a second level spell, and always is. You can cast it with a higher spell slot, yes, but it's still a level two spell. It's only listed in its base form in the Aberrant Mind's spell list, so you can ONLY cast it at lvl 2 for 2 sorcery points because that's what AM's spell list gives you. Lvl 3 Detect Thoughts is NOT in your psionic spell list, so you can't use sorcery points for it. If you want to do something different than that, then you'd have to use spell slots. In other words- no lvl 8 spells for 8 points.

This is still a really good feature, but it's not overpowered. I like that you can save 2 sorcery points by using Psionic Sorcery instead of a 5th spell slot, it's cool. It's like I get a lvl 1 slot back just from casting a lvl 5.

To clarify for others, any spell cast with Psionic Sorcery automatically has no verbal or somatic components. For all intents and purposes, you cast a spell at discount AND get a free meta magic effect without actually using Subtle Spell. That's where @Hohige is coming from in that regard. It's also cool and helpful, but it doesn't revolutionize stealth casting or whatever.

I think Aberrant Mind has potential to be the Sorcerer subclass that can use meta magic and cast spells the most, through saving sorcery points on frequently cast spells in the Psionic Sorcery table. With that said, it's not THAT much more, especially to the point that you blow 8 points in 3 turns. The subclass's strength is efficient and sustainable casting- you could be an active caster throughout a whole adventuring day and still have resources by the end. Of course, you could also try and spend all of your points as fast as you can, but that's kind of wasting the class' main advantage.

An Aberrant Mind sorcerer, especially with Metamagic Adept, has a huge magic tool belt with which to work from. In theory, you'd have the most access to reaction spells like Shield and Absorb Elements amongst all casters across an adventure, or just use meta magic 15% more than others. It's sustainable, not invincible. I adore the subclass, but it's not appropriate to treat it like something it's not.

Personally, I made an Aberrant Mind Githyanki character with Shadow touched, and the amount of semi-free spells you can get is extremely fun. You really always have something to use between long rests, and this is where this subclass shines. (It's also fun because all of the spells have a similar enough theme for a telekinetic, but whatever).

@Hohige , I think your Aberrant Mind build would probably be more successful if you didn't waste time and resources on hiding. It has tactical advantage 1 on 1 (compared to a regular sorcerer build) with its effective extra meta magic and low-level spell slots, so get out of the semi-effective scouting shadows and just empower whichever low damage rolls you get.
 

BacchusNL

Explorer
@Crit Welcome dude, and well-written for sure! I'm actually coming around more and more on the Aberrant mind.
Having a sort-of free subtle metamagic (and getting only 2 metamagic choices for such a long time always felt limited as a sorc, I think) in your kit that also allows swapping one recource for another is very handy.

I'm still hoping for some errata that adds expanded spell lists to the other Sorc Subclasses aswell, somewhere down the line, btw. I understand that they didn't want to go into that for Tasha's (because that would mean re-visiting Xanathar's and all other material aswell, and they wanted to keep Tasha's self-contained to PHB+Tasha's), but it would be such an easy fix, I think.
 

Crit

Explorer
@Crit Welcome dude, and well-written for sure! I'm actually coming around more and more on the Aberrant mind.
Having a sort-of free subtle metamagic (and getting only 2 metamagic choices for such a long time always felt limited as a sorc, I think) in your kit that also allows swapping one recource for another is very handy.

I'm still hoping for some errata that adds expanded spell lists to the other Sorc Subclasses aswell, somewhere down the line, btw. I understand that they didn't want to go into that for Tasha's (because that would mean re-visiting Xanathar's and all other material aswell, and they wanted to keep Tasha's self-contained to PHB+Tasha's), but it would be such an easy fix, I think.
I agree!

In general, I think a lot of Aberrant Mind's features seem like things that should be standard for the other existing Sorc subclasses (giving spells known, mainly). It would be a big change, but it feels necessary. Think about Shadow Sorcerer- Right now, they don't have Summon Shadow, while Clockwork summons Constructs and Aberrant summons Aberrations. There's so many cases of spells that seem like they should be given by default, even if it has to be done retroactively.

15 spells known in total is really difficult to work with, in terms of fleshing out a character's magic- it should just be a base count, like it is for Aberrant and Clockwork, rather than a total, as it is for non-Tasha's sorcerers. I think it's possible for this change to come, as some things line up too well to ignore. And also if they don't do it, Tasha's sorcerers will be blatantly more powerful and difficult not to choose.

I think that Metamagic Adept does wonders for Sorcerer and other spell casting classes, as it gives more options no matter who it goes to. I put it in high regards alongside Eldritch Adept and Fighting Adept, feat alternatives to now-not-needed multi-classing, but that's a topic for another time.
 

Hohige

Explorer
The divine soul sorcerer remains competitive... Look. One Shot K.O build


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Spirit Shroud Spell

V.Human (+1 Dex+1 Cha) Divine Soul Sorcerer level 10
Starting Stats
: For 8 / Dex 15 / Con 15 / Int 8 / Wis 8 / 15 cha
ASIs: Skill Expert (+1CON, stealth expertise), Metamagic Adept (Extra 2 metamagic option and extra 2 sorcery point), +2 CHA
Final Stats: For 8 / Dex 16 / Con 16 / Int 8 / Wis 8 / 18 cha

Metamagic option: Quicken, Empower, Unerring, Extended, Subtle

Cantrips Known:

Spells Known:
Shield, Dimension Door, Mage Armor (Extended), Counterspell, Inflict Wounds, Earth Eruption, Aid (Extended), Scorching Ray, Spiritual Weapon, Mind Spike, Spirit Shroud, Greater Invisibility.


Magical Guidance You can tap into your inner wellspring of magic to try to conjure success from failure. When you make an ability check that fails, you can spend 1 sorcery point to reroll the d20, and you must use the new roll, potentially turning the failure into a success.




Highlights

The Blaster


With the power of Spirit Shroud Spell. The Divine Soul Sorcerer transforms into the biggest Blaster in the game.

Damage: Adding 2d8 with average dice 5.5 (Empower metamagic) to each attack. d6 has an average of 4.25 (Empower spell)

Accuracy: With Unerring Spell, you become the most accurate character in the game. You reroll whenever you fail an attack (2sp). Favored by the gods adds + 2d4 to the roll attack. This is incredibly powerful.

NOVA: Quicken Scorching Ray level 5. 6 rays. Damage for each radius 2d6 (8.5) + 2d8 (11) = average19.5 damage. If the attack fails, use Unerring Spell. Total damage of 117 without considering the critical chance. Firebolt as action for 24.5 damage. Damage in a single turn, 141.5.

DPT (Damage per turn): Action for Scorching Ray level 2 for 59 average damage. Bonus action for Spiritual Weapon damage 26. Avg 85 damage per turn. This is currently the best NOVA and DPS in the game.

A spiritual weapon upcasted to level 4 + Spirit Shroud, deals 4d8+4 damage as bonus action.


Stealth Casting

Stealth check: +3 Dex, Double Proficiency +8 for +11 Stealth check. That is enough to win most passive perception.

He can Subtle metamagic without leaving the Hidden condition.
Mental spells like Subtle Empowered Mind Spike can defeat easily an enemy with Impunity.
Subtle Earth Eruption is fun to defeat the enemy with explosions without reveal himself. It also works amazingly with Empower Spell and Upcasted (d12).
You can cast Subtle Spirit Shroud to ambush your enemy with an fatal blow.


Go into Melee:

Upcasting Empowered Inflict Wounds + Unerring Spell + Favored by the gods is always deals a lot of damage with high precision. +Quicken Booming Blade is fun.

The counterspell

Your spells cannot be contraspelled and you can easily subtle counterspell.
Subtle Dispel removes any magical protection from them.

The beating is guaranteed.

Damage resistance immunity?

Don't worry, Subtle Earth Eruption solves this.
 
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Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
The divine soul sorcerer remains competitive... Look. One Shot K.O build


View attachment 129062
Spirit Shroud Spell

V.Human (+1 Dex+1 Cha) Divine Soul Sorcerer level 10
Starting Stats
: For 8 / Dex 15 / Con 15 / Int 8 / Wis 8 / 15 cha
ASIs: Skill Expert (+1CON, stealth expertise), Metamagic Adept (Extra 2 metamagic option and extra 2 sorcery point), +2 CHA
Final Stats: For 8 / Dex 16 / Con 16 / Int 8 / Wis 8 / 18 cha

Metamagic option: Quicken, Empower, Unerring, Extended, Subtle

Cantrips Known:

Spells Known:
Shield, Dimension Door, Mage Armor (Extended), Counterspell, Inflict Wounds, Earth Eruption, Aid (Extended), Scorching Ray, Spiritual Weapon, Mind Spike, Spirit Shroud, Greater Invisibility.


Magical Guidance You can tap into your inner wellspring of magic to try to conjure success from failure. When you make an ability check that fails, you can spend 1 sorcery point to reroll the d20, and you must use the new roll, potentially turning the failure into a success.




Highlights

The Blaster


With the power of Spirit Shroud Spell. The Divine Soul Sorcerer transforms into the biggest Blaster in the game.

Damage: Adding 2d8 with average dice 5.5 (Empower metamagic) to each attack. d6 has an average of 4.25 (Empower spell)

Accuracy: With Unerring Spell, you become the most accurate character in the game. You reroll whenever you fail an attack (2sp). Favored by the gods adds + 2d4 to the roll attack. This is incredibly powerful.

NOVA: Quicken Scorching Ray level 5. 6 rays. Damage for each radius 2d6 (8.5) + 2d8 (11) = average19.5 damage. If the attack fails, use Unerring Spell. Total damage of 117 without considering the critical chance. Firebolt as action for 24.5 damage. Damage in a single turn, 141.5.

DPT (Damage per turn): Action for Scorching Ray level 2 for 59 average damage. Bonus action for Spiritual Weapon damage 26. Avg 85 damage per turn. This is currently the best NOVA and DPS in the game.

A spiritual weapon upcasted to level 4 + Spirit Shroud, deals 4d8+4 damage as bonus action.


Stealth Casting

Stealth check: +3 Dex, Double Proficiency +8 for +11 Stealth check. That is enough to win most passive perception.

He can Subtle metamagic without leaving the Hidden condition.
Mental spells like Subtle Empowered Mind Spike can defeat easily an enemy with Impunity.
Subtle Earth Eruption is fun to defeat the enemy with explosions without reveal himself. It also works amazingly with Empower Spell and Upcasted (d12).
You can cast Subtle Spirit Shroud to ambush your enemy with an fatal blow.


Go into Melee:

Upcasting Empowered Inflict Wounds + Unerring Spell + Favored by the gods is always deals a lot of damage with high precision. +Quicken Booming Blade is fun.

The counterspell

Your spells cannot be contraspelled and you can easily subtle counterspell.
Subtle Dispel removes any magical protection from them.

The beating is guaranteed.

Damage resistance immunity?

Don't worry, Subtle Earth Eruption solves this.
Better, but you've cast Spirit Shroud in a 5th level slot to get +2d6 and now upcasting scorching ray to 5th taps your high level slots for a single go. But, okay, let's look at it. Spirit Shroud's extra damage only occurs within 10' of you. You can't distant that because it's range self. So, your target is within 10' for this combo. You at least paid attention to your CHA score this time, so your ATT isn't terrible for the level, but, depending on the target AC, the value of this combo is varying due to the fact that you're making 6 separate attack rolls -- you're likely to miss a few.

On the Empower, it's actually a touch of an interesting question. Empower is the only metamagic that doesn't need to be used when the spell is cast, but instead trips on when the spell rolls damage. The interaction with Scorching Ray and Spirit Shroud is fun, then. I'd be generous and say that 1 point allows you to reroll any damage rolls within a single use of Scorching Ray, but it could easily be that it would be per attack, as that's when Scorching Ray rolls damage. Still, let's go with 1 point for Empowering Scorching Ray. Spirit Shroud, on the other hand, would cost 1 point per hit to empower it, because it does clearly have separate triggers that are being invoked. You can't just Empower it at casting for 1 point and then get the effect over the duration -- that's pretty clear. Also, it wouldn't make sense on a per round basis because it can trip over multiple turns depending on opportunity attacks and other fun. So, it would need to be paid for per use. That's 7 sorcery points if all the rays hit, which is unlikely, so add in a few uses of Unerring Accuracy and you're pretty much tapped in one go.

Sure, you could use Favored by the Gods, but I'd save that for defensive reasons -- you might save a reroll cost, but the counter is going to murder you. And that's because, defensively, you're wide open, with poor saves and a terrible armor class. If your opponent is a wizard, you're also hosed by the first level spell shield, which will cripple your alpha strike output (which also has to be within 10', again). You're going to be running low after your alpha, and the counter can target a poor save or just your poor AC. You have a good chance making the concertation check to not lose Spirit Shroud, but it's a risk, and then you'd be out your force mulitplier and down to some limited options for attack.

The Stealth route is pretty passive and poor as well, as it relies on the idea that the target just stays there for the punishment. That's a silly plan -- just moving out of your spell range makes you inept, and mind spike isn't that awesome of an attack vector. Also, you can't use it with Spirit Shroud because both are concentration.

Again, this is mostly a mess of assuming the target is inept, the situation is optimal for you, exclusively focuses on PVP, and misses a lot of key rules interactions. There's a reason your builds don't already top optimization lists -- they don't work the way you think they do. I mean, the empowered upcast scorching ray? You could have done basically this before with hex on a sorlock or with magic initiate to grab hex. 1d6 less, but that's not the big selling point, really, and it would work very well with range (Hex doesn't require you to be within 10' like Spirit Shroud and it's also not a 5th level cast for 2d6, or 3rd for 1d6). And, yet, it's not a major leader in tactics or builds. Because it's overly expensive and there are more effective options, and also because most builds have to adventure instead of fight single stupid PC opponents in optimum conditions.
 

Hohige

Explorer
If your opponent is a wizard, you're also hosed by the first level spell shield, which will cripple your alpha strike output (which also has to be within 10', again). You're going to be running low after your alpha, and the counter can target a poor save or just your poor AC. You have a good chance making the concertation check to not lose Spirit Shroud, but it's a risk, and then you'd be out your force mulitplier and down to some limited options for attack.
Well, Wizard's Shield x Sorcerer's counterspell.
The wizard is dead.
 

Hohige

Explorer
- they don't work the way you think they do. I mean, the empowered upcast scorching ray? You could have done basically this before with hex on a sorlock or with magic initiate to grab hex. 1d6 less, but that's not the big selling point, really, and it would work very well with range (Hex doesn't require you to be within 10' like Spirit Shroud and it's also not a 5th level cast for 2d6, or 3rd for 1d6). And, yet, it's not a major leader in tactics or builds. Because it's overly expensive and there are more effective options, and also because most builds have to adventure instead of fight single stupid PC opponents in optimum conditions.
Hex vs Spirit Shroud.
1d6 vs 2d8 (For 3d8 level 7th or 4d8).
average 4.25 vs average 11.
Yes It's 10ft, a amazing place to subtle counterspell.
 
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Hohige

Explorer
The Stealth route is pretty passive and poor as well, as it relies on the idea that the target just stays there for the punishment. That's a silly plan -- just moving out of your spell range makes you inept, and mind spike isn't that awesome of an attack vector. Also, you can't use it with Spirit Shroud because both are concentration.
Subtle Mind Spike is sweet, you remain hidden without any evidence of spellcasting or visual effect. The target just die.
It's like Naruto's Sharingan. It can be casted on social encounters.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
Hex vs Spirit Shroud.
1d6 vs 2d8 (For 3d8 level 7th).
average 4.25 vs average 11.
Yes It's 10ft, a amazing place to subtle counterspell.
Right, it's a slight improvement at the cost of 4 spell levels (1st to 5th). If the concept had merit, it would be useful at the lower end as well. You don't see this happen.
Well, Wizard's Shield x Sorcerer's counterspell.
The wizard is dead.
Again, you assume your opponent is inept -- you've managed to get within 10' without anything happening prior to that -- ie, you start in your alpha strike position against an opponent that's too inept to respond. Swap the wizard for another sorcerer and your plan is already doomed -- subtle counterspell ruins your plans entirely -- you can't afford to subtly cast all of your spells AND generate the necessary empowers. Subtle Spirit Shroud is 2, Subtle Scorching Ray is 2, and you still need 7 if you hit everything and more if you miss any. This leaves plenty of room for the Sorcerer to just cast shield, because you can't afford to respond with another 2 and a 3rd level slot after your 2 fifth level slots and get there.

If you give the other PC the same 1 round prep you've imagined for yourself, then odds radically change.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
Subtle Mind Spike is sweet, you remain hidden without any evidence of spellcasting or visual effect. The target just die.
It's like Naruto's Sharingan. It can be casted on social encounters.
No, the target knows they took damage. They're not going to just stand there and keep taking it. Just running away thwarts your dastardly plan, and, in social engagements, knowing there's a hidden assassin using mind magic is going to get bad quickly for anyone that could be considered suspicious -- like a sorcerer that's just come visiting. Your awareness of any broader context is lacking.
 

Hohige

Explorer
Again, you assume your opponent is inept -- you've managed to get within 10' without anything happening prior to that -- ie, you start in your alpha strike position against an opponent that's too inept to respond. Swap the wizard for another sorcerer and your plan is already doomed -- subtle counterspell ruins your plans entirely -- you can't afford to subtly cast all of your spells AND generate the necessary empowers. Subtle Spirit Shroud is 2, Subtle Scorching Ray is 2, and you still need 7 if you hit everything and more if you miss any. This leaves plenty of room for the Sorcerer to just cast shield, because you can't afford to respond with another 2 and a 3rd level slot after your 2 fifth level slots and get there.

If you give the other PC the same 1 round prep you've imagined for yourself, then odds radically change.
Sorcerer vs Sorcerer is a fair battle.
What a wizard can do against it?
Subtle is 1 sorcery point only.

Subtle Spiritual Shroud, regain his sorcery points converting level 1 spell slot.
Empower and Unerring spell can be used if the damage rolls is bad or misses an attack.
They are very efficient resources, only used when the dice rolls is bad or its attack has failed.

Against at maximum 13 AC Wizard. It's dead.
 
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