D&D 5E Are Paladins Merely Mediocre Multiclass Fighter/Clerics?


log in or register to remove this ad

CreamCloud0

One day, I hope to actually play DnD.
Maybe this is "established wisdom" now, but it wasn't back when the PHB came out. I remember many threads about how great paladins were. I'm just curious why they're now considered mediocre.
i don't really know anything about those claims but something to consider is the change in availability of materials for the other classes, when there was a much more limited array of options for us to pick from the paladin very well may have been one of the superior options, i mean, consider the PHB ranger, that was a complete mess back then but now look at it, it may just be the other classes have caught up rather than the paladin falling behind.
 

Maybe this is "established wisdom" now, but it wasn't back when the PHB came out. I remember many threads about how great paladins were. I'm just curious why they're now considered mediocre.

Paladins were and are great. In general, I'd say that having seen both in play quite a lot that Paladins remain one of the best classes. Paladins might be the best single-target damage class, especially before 2024 restricts them to one smite a turn. Even with ranged smite that might significantly limit their damage output rate. I do recall Paladins getting a lot of hype.

I don't really remember anyone saying Paladins are better than Wizards. It's harder to tell from just the PHB because of the amount of system mastery and play experience required to accurately evaluate all those spells, but I think Wizard was clearly ahead pretty quickly. It just turned out that the Wizard's list is head and shoulders above everyone else, and primary spellcasters still get an excessive amount of spell slots compared to everyone else. Paladin is good at hitting things. Wizard is good at basically everything else.

If anything, I remember Bard being the class that everyone said would dominate play. I think their spell list turned out to be worse than people expected in actual play, although Hypnotic Pattern is great.
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
Wizards as a class always grows in power with time as it's main strength is versatility. More and more wizard spells will be created and wizard players will get better with time. Ranger and Bard are similar.

Paladin is still the 2nd best class. It's great at a lot and good at a lot before you even specialize. It's exploration weakness can be handled by allies. It's ranged weakness can be lessened if they get to high levels. However it's imagery has not been expanded a lot so Paladins haven't gained much with time.
 

ECMO3

Hero
Paladin is still the 2nd best class. It's great at a lot and good at a lot before you even specialize. It's exploration weakness can be handled by allies. It's ranged weakness can be lessened if they get to high levels. However it's imagery has not been expanded a lot so Paladins haven't gained much with time.

As a class, if you are looking at levels 1-20, I don't think Paladin in general is close to any full caster.* They can compete with a Bard if the game is focused heavily on the combat pillar with little of the exploration or social pillars, but they are still behind the other full casters even in this one pillar, which is their strongest.

If the game is equally split between all three pillars and you assume single-class optimized characters using all official rules with point buy over levels 1-20 I would place the Paladin as 7th most powerful class overall, behind Wizard, Sorcerer, Cleric, Bard, Druid and Ranger in that order.

That doesn't mean they are not fun to play. Fighters are probably 9th in that discussion and Monks are probably 12th and they are both really fun to play.

*note: I am not counting Warlock as a full caster in this discussion
 

Minigiant

Legend
Supporter
As a class, if you are looking at levels 1-20, I don't think Paladin in general is close to any full caster.* They can compete with a Bard if the game is focused heavily on the combat pillar with little of the exploration or social pillars, but they are still behind the other full casters even in this one pillar, which is their strongest.

If the game is equally split between all three pillars and you assume single-class optimized characters using all official rules with point buy over levels 1-20 I would place the Paladin as 7th most powerful class overall, behind Wizard, Sorcerer, Cleric, Bard, Druid and Ranger in that order.

That doesn't mean they are not fun to play. Fighters are probably 9th in that discussion and Monks are probably 12th and they are both really fun to play.

*note: I am not counting Warlock as a full caster in this discussion
The pillars are rarely equal.

That's where the Paladin's power comes from,. Paladins are powerful at tables with lower exploration and can let party members handle mot of exploration if its important.

That's why people said Paladins were strong early. Paladins are clear and truthful about what they are good at, bad at, what your should expect from them, and where they lean on their allies.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Yup, all this talk about Paladins being great at nova'ing and generally it going to turn very sour later this year unless WotC listened to feedback and didn't make Smite into a Bonus Action, as they did in the 2024 version. And that wasn't the only questionable change 2024 made.

One way to nerf the class. Smiting on 3 attacks or more can be a bit OP.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
my point is to do this amount of damage you have to be bad because it is bad, its actively not good, nor worth it to do in almost every scenario

Melee is kinda not good, its just a lot of risk for not that much of a dpr gain, keeping your distance is kinda always better, especially easy on rogue which just actively has a feature to do this, the best part of the class.

Also note, Wizards arent really squishy like at all, health low but the actual gain in terms of defensive mechanics means they probably can take and negate the most attacks, not even going into control spells.

Melee better on a rogue.

1. No -2 to hit via shooting through allies or other cover.

2. Uncanny dodge. Reduces damage your party is taking. Less healing overall.

3. You have hit dice. Use then.

4. Go ranged if you have to or are low on hitpoints or out of hit dice.

5. Dual wielding. Pseudo advantage/extra damage potential.
 

One way to nerf the class. Smiting on 3 attacks or more can be a bit OP.
It's ridiculous nerf that takes the class from "at the powerful end", but not even OP, because it's basically got one trick (it's certainly not up at full caster levels of full-spectrum power), to "mediocre", whilst particularly removing the one thing its famous for, and further makes incompatible with anything at all that uses Bonus Actions, which is like, a significant fraction of the mechanics in the game. Further, it means they can never Smite outside their own turn - a really boneheaded mistake WotC made with Rogues in early 2024, got shouted at for, and had to fix because it was such a stupid thing to do. So you can get a great Crit on OA or whatever and can't do anything with it.

It's just completely unnecessary, especially in the context of literally all Full Casters being improved by margins from the small to the huge - hopefully some of that will get dialled back, but if they went live with the most recent packet, Full Casters would, universally (I think Clerics, I've paid least attention to them - but definitely all the others) gain power significantly, ridiculously so with Wizards and the insane "Memorize Spell" (i.e. "Dominate all non-combat situations and free up all memorization slots for combat spells"). It's just bad joke level of balancing. If this was a videogame they'd literally never hear the end of it - and indeed if they make the 3D VTT, they will never hear the end of it.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
It's ridiculous nerf that takes the class from "at the powerful end", but not even OP, because it's basically got one trick (it's certainly not up at full caster levels of full-spectrum power), to "mediocre", whilst particularly removing the one thing its famous for, and further makes incompatible with anything at all that uses Bonus Actions, which is like, a significant fraction of the mechanics in the game. Further, it means they can never Smite outside their own turn - a really boneheaded mistake WotC made with Rogues in early 2024, got shouted at for, and had to fix because it was such a stupid thing to do. So you can get a great Crit on OA or whatever and can't do anything with it.

It's just completely unnecessary, especially in the context of literally all Full Casters being improved by margins from the small to the huge - hopefully some of that will get dialled back, but if they went live with the most recent packet, Full Casters would, universally (I think Clerics, I've paid least attention to them - but definitely all the others) gain power significantly, ridiculously so with Wizards and the insane "Memorize Spell" (i.e. "Dominate all non-combat situations and free up all memorization slots for combat spells"). It's just bad joke level of balancing. If this was a videogame they'd literally never hear the end of it - and indeed if they make the 3D VTT, they will never hear the end of it.

They could easily errata smite to only work once per turn. I've seennplayers with paladins blow all their spells and then demand long rests in 1-2 encounters. Or be semi useless for rest of the day.


In sy event I'll wait and see what the final result is. If it's that big a deal one can stick with 5E.
 

Remove ads

AD6_gamerati_skyscraper

Remove ads

Upcoming Releases

Top