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D&D 5E Blur vs Shadowblade for a Bladesinger/Rogue multiclass

ECMO3

Adventurer
On a straight bladesinger this would be a no-brainer; blur is the call.

But I am playing level 3 bladesinger, level 2 Rogue. As far as concentration spells, the character also has Hex through a feat.

At 4th level wizard I am going to take mirror image (because it is not concentration) and either blur or shadowblade

When I look at shadowblade I am not sure it stacks up that great. My base is 1d8 Rapier+1d6SA+1d8Booming Blade. If I add Hex I can add a d6 to that (2d6+2d8). If I get shadow blade now it is 2d8+1d6SA+1d8BB or 3d8+1d6 only 1 DPR more than I could get running hex instead at the cost of a 2nd level slot. Hex also lasts an hour. I will also note that have a silver rapier but no magic weapons. Faced with a creature I need magic to hit I would lose my weapon and SA damage. Likely I would fall back on other cantrips if I needed magic to hit. Shadowblade would give me a better option for those creatures.

Blur would give me another good disadvantage spell to use against enemies PEG does not work for.

Thoughts?
 

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Dragongrief

Explorer
So first, check with your DM about whether they use the most recent printing of the "blade" cantrips, as that will likely affect your decision. The most recent requires a weapon with a coin cost as a component.

After that, I would say which is better depends how heavily you go into rogue. If you lean more into it, I would recommend SB. It works with SA, can be thrown, and gives you advantage when not in bright light (very nice to guarantee being eligible for SA).

If you focus more on wizard, I would probably lean blur, since you are likely to draw more fire throwing larger spells.
 

AtomicPope

Adventurer
From my experience, which is limited, Shadow Blade is better for a Bard than Wizard or Sorcerer because they lack silent close combat options. If you want to sneak up on something and kill it quickly then Shadow Blade is quite good. Wizards don't have a problem with damage spells. Not to mention, they are not a Dex class so their Stealth isn't that good. When you multiclass you have different needs. If you want to be sneaky then you'll want something other than Booming Blade. However, I will say this about Hex: you can "hex" your target's Wisdom checks (perception). As a multiclass Rogue, it benefits you to use Hex because it helps you with Stealth. Something to think about.
 


ph0rk

Friendship is Magic, and Magic is Heresy.
Shadow blade becomes quite nice when dim light is plentiful, for the easy access to advantage. When it isn't, I'd be tempted to use blur instead, unless I had cunning action disengage and enough frontliners to feel like I could get out of harm's way.

SB is also a bonus action to cast, rather than an action, so you can swing it the same round that you cast it.
 

NotAYakk

Legend
Blur is defensive, concentration, minute-long dodge action.
Shadow blade is an offensive, concentration, minute-long +1d8 damage and advantage in dim light.

Blur is solid if you can get yourself into a position to "tank". Then the cost of the action is mitigated, as your primary utility is soaking attacks by foes.

Otherwise, the best status condition is dead, and the best defence is having no foes alive to attack you.

Using an action to make yourself harder to hit is almost always a losing game, unless you can somehow force your foes to burn their actions attacking you, and you want that to happen, and your allies in turn have great offence to make up for you not contributing.

Also, Haste is coming in another 2 BS levels. At BS 5/Rogue 3 (3 more levels), you can haste+attack (1d8+2d6+dex) round 1. Then each round after, attack, and ready an off-turn attack for 2d8+4d6+2dex damage (31). At BS 6/Rogue 2 (also 3 more levels), SB + BB + EA is 5d8+1d6+dex (30), while Hex + BB + EA is 3d8+3d6+dex (28).

BS 6/Rogue 3 with haste is 4d8+4d6+3dex (44), with SB is (Assuming AT) 7d8+2d6+2dex (46.5), with Hex 3d8+4d6+2dex (35.5).

In short, SB's main advantage over Hex is the advantage you get in dim light and that it scales better with higher level slots.

Both Hex and SB require additional attacks to be really good.
 
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ECMO3

Adventurer
At BS 6/Rogue 2 (also 3 more levels), SB + BB + EA is 5d8+1d6+dex (30), while Hex + BB + EA is 3d8+3d6+dex (28).
Yes it is 2 DPR more, but it is a 2nd level slot that lasts a minute, vs a first level slot that lasts an hour and imposes disadvantage on an ability. Of course hex also uses up your bonus action as enemies go down.

The advantage on attack rolls is what I need to figure out. If I am in dim light enough that will boost damage substantially, if not it seems meh.


BS 6/Rogue 3 with haste is 4d8+4d6+3dex (44), with SB is (Assuming AT) 7d8+2d6+2dex (46.5), with Hex 3d8+4d6+2dex (35.5).
I am not really following your numbers, Keep in mind all of these are concentration, so you can only use 1 of them. Haste is 4d8+2d6+3dex, I think and shadowblade is 5d8+2d6+2dex.
 

NotAYakk

Legend
Yes it is 2 DPR more, but it is a 2nd level slot that lasts a minute, vs a first level slot that lasts an hour and imposes disadvantage on an ability. Of course hex also uses up your bonus action as enemies go down.

The advantage on attack rolls is what I need to figure out. If I am in dim light enough that will boost damage substantially, if not it seems meh.



I am not really following your numbers, Keep in mind all of these are concentration, so you can only use 1 of them. Haste is 4d8+2d6+3dex, I think and shadowblade is 5d8+2d6+2dex.
Haste lets you sneak attack twice.

You use your hasted action to take the attack action and hit someone (under some readings you get to BB this). This qualifies for SA.

You then ready an attack on a trigger that goes right after your turn.

Then, you attack on the trigger. SA is per-turn, not per-round, so this off-turn attack can gain SA dice.
 

For me it's Shadowblade every time on any character that intends to do melee. I don't even know how it is a competition when you already have a Mirror Image and they both cost an action. Unless your table tends to have prebuffing rounds right before combat the action economy really doesn't work for "oh just you wait until round 3 when I finally start fighting".

Shadowblade is a bonus action to cast and gives you a weapon that is basically made for sneak attacking anytime dim light or darkness can be found, which have never been in short supply in any of my campaigns (unless someone else had an item or spell that created bright light as part of their standard operating procedure). Even if your table is not allowing Shadowblade with Booming Blade, an easy source of advantage is a must have for any Rogue's toolkit, and if your table also rules that Booming Blade is loud their may be situations where you can't use that anyway. Shadowblade is also a throwable weapon resummoned by a bonus action, making it a way to sneak attack when you can't quite get to the enemy or don't want to. It turns your sneak attacks into the rarely resisted psychic damage and ensures you still have a weapon, and a magic weapon at that, that one time when the whole group has to bust out of prison without their gear. It also upcasts nicely to third level, and should you choose to take the Rogue Arcane Trickster you will likely spend a level or two with 3rd level slots but no 3rd level spells. Shadowblade is generally is more conducive to interesting and dynamic action than a passive "enemies get disadvantage against you" of Blur.

Also, so far as Blur goes, you have to keep in mind the group dynamics. If the group lacks a tank or generally strong front line they might love having your Mr. Unhittable up front wasting enemy attacks. If the group has a reasonably solid front line with solid ACs without your belt and suspenders and second set of suspenders approach to defense then they might quickly tire of you spending two full rounds doing no damage so that you can be the guy with Mirror Image, Bladesong, AND Blur all going when you already have Shield and bonus action disengaging to fall back upon. That goes double if the DM tends to play enemies as giving up on Mr. Unhittable and moving on to easier targets rather than all trying in vain to hit you round after round. It doesn't mean you shouldn't learn Blur, at some point (you are, after all, a Wizard so you can hypothetically learn every spell), but it doesn't seem like something to prioritize when you already have the most defensive options of anyone in the party and this one explicitly conflicts with some of your offensive options.

As for this talk of Haste, it's great for a character like this if someone else casts it on you, especially if your table is down with the whole held action sneak attack thing. For this character casting it on themself, however, it means spending another round where you, a high DPR character, are self buffing instead of doing damage, risking losing a whole additional round if you lose concentration, and forgoing the other alternative uses of your concentration. I'm not going to say it never makes sense or shouldn't be in your toolkit (the whole point of being a Wizard is to have a big toolkit), but it is a situational choice.
 

ECMO3

Adventurer
Haste lets you sneak attack twice.

You use your hasted action to take the attack action and hit someone (under some readings you get to BB this). This qualifies for SA.

You then ready an attack on a trigger that goes right after your turn.

Then, you attack on the trigger. SA is per-turn, not per-round, so this off-turn attack can gain SA dice.
At the cost of an attack and a cantrip. I can get haste at 5th level, at 6th I get bladsinger extra attack which allows both a cantrip and an attack on an action.

So if I went to 3rd level in Rogue, I would give up 3d8+8 (21.5) using the attack action to get an opportunity at 2d8+2d6+4 (20) as a ready action and it would use my reaction so I could not use it for shield or absorb elements.
 

ECMO3

Adventurer
quickly tire of you spending two full rounds doing no damage so that you can be the guy with Mirror Image, Bladesong, AND Blur all going when you already have Shield and bonus action disengaging to fall back upon.
I would not do that. Mirror image would either be precast before opening the door, or cast in battle after the first turn as a result of losing concentration or getting low on hps or something else.

The only time I would cast it after initiative but before attacking is if I was using Hex for concentration, which is often already up when a battle starts and is a bonus action cast if it is not.
 

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