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D&D 5E Booming Blade and Green-Flame Blade Nerfed in TCoE


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Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/They)
Quite frankly, I think this new wording is just the “correct” way to word what the spells were trying to do. For all the talk of “natural language,” in 5e, if you read carefully it is clear that the game has very precise and technical logic to the way it words things. The blade cantrips, along with a number of other things in SCAG, didn’t properly follow this internal logic, which is part of why I think WotC dislikes the book so much. Its actual use of natural language leads to a lot of weird rules interactions with the rest of the game (like the old Twin Spell Booming Blade problem.)

This new wording makes the spells work the way the old wording seemed to be trying to work, but in a way that doesn’t cause these rules interaction amiguities. I am very strongly in favor of such a change.

The one thing I would critique about this revised wording is the parenthetical 5-foot radius. It is unnecessary to specify, given that the text of the spells says you make an attack against a target within 5 feet, and neither spell actually affects a 5-foot radius area. This was probably meant to emphasize that you can’t affect a creature 10 feet away with the spells if you use them with a reach weapon, but I think it could cause more confusion than it clears up.

The 5-foot range limitation seems to me to be emulating the 5-foot range of the spells under their original wording, and personally, I don’t think that’s a worthwhile limitation to preserve if the spells are getting errata’d anyway. I will probably be house ruling it to say you attack a creature within the reach of the weapon used to make the attack.

The only side-effect of this errata I don’t care for is the fact that it prevents these spells from being used as reactions with War Caster. That’s pretty annoying, as I don’t think there’s really anything about them that would make them overpowered to use that way. I suspect this is not an intentional nerf, but an unfortunate side-effect of clarifying the wording. I will seriously consider house-rule these spells to be eligible for War Caster despite the range of Self.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/They)
Booming Blade, in the new format, can still be used with Warcaster.
A range of Self is not synonymous with a Target of self.

As has been pointed out on many different sites, the Lightning Bolt spell has a range of self, yet, you do not target yourself with the Lightning Bolt spell.
Oh, good catch! You’re absolutely right, Booming Blade does explicitly target one creature within the spell’s radius (and no other creatures), so it should still qualify for War Caster with no issue. Green Flame Blade of course affects multiple targets and has never worked with War Caster (though the wording only explicitly says it “targets” one of the creatures, so there is an argument to be made that it would actually work). Thank you for pointing this out.
 

Gadget

Adventurer
Personally, I agree with @Charlaquin & @Thunderous Mojo, it does seem that the new spells can be used with Warcaster, & the new wording does seem to be more straightforward and in line with the intent of the spell (other than the baffling 5' radius line). These spell were only 'nerfed' for some out there combinations that were rather niche, with the possible exception of a reach weapon.
 


Ashrym

Hero
I find the bladesinger option to replace an attack with a cantrip more interesting. Booming blade and greenflame blade have some slightly different interactions but bladesingers are casting cantrips as part of the attack action instead of the casting a spell action with the errata.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Publisher
The first sign something isn't working as intended, or broken, is when everyone and their grandma's dog thinks it's awesome and uses it exponentially more than every other power, and optimizers have it in every build.

I don't like the term nerf because it has a negative connotation. I prefer the term "fixed". Because that's what it did.
 

Al2O3

Explorer
Personally, I agree with @Charlaquin & @Thunderous Mojo, it does seem that the new spells can be used with Warcaster, & the new wording does seem to be more straightforward and in line with the intent of the spell (other than the baffling 5' radius line). These spell were only 'nerfed' for some out there combinations that were rather niche, with the possible exception of a reach weapon.
Both GFB and BB work with warcaster. However, for GFB it only works if the optional damage to a second target is not used.

 


tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Eh, I'd still allow GFB to chain to a second creature if it's in range. All I care about is the initial target, if the spell later chains (such as with chain lightning) then I say go for it, warcast that spell.
I would too, doing otherwise is one of the problems with 5e has when it comes to magic where too often anyplace it could really shine needs to be walled off or designed against.
 

ph0rk

Friendship is Magic, and Magic is Heresy.
I would too, doing otherwise is one of the problems with 5e has when it comes to magic where too often anyplace it could really shine needs to be walled off or designed against.

Well, if that's open then twinning GFB is open and then (in the old days) a sorcerer could have twinned and then quickened three GFBs to melt a pair of targets.

I think removing the ability to twin BB (and GFB) is the main reason for this wording, also making them not work with shadow blade.
 

cbwjm

Hero
I think removing shadowblade from the cantrips is also a mistake that I will correct by allowing it to work. I've been having conversations on Reddit about it, I'd allow the cantrips to work with a tree branch used as a club if that's what someone had.

Actually, the longer 5e sticks around, the more I find rules that I just flat out ignore via houserules. I used houserules in every edition, but I'm wondering if 5e is getting more of them or I just think it is because that's the edition I'm playing now.
 

ph0rk

Friendship is Magic, and Magic is Heresy.
I think removing shadowblade from the cantrips is also a mistake that I will correct by allowing it to work. I've been having conversations on Reddit about it, I'd allow the cantrips to work with a tree branch used as a club if that's what someone had.

It's a really strong spell, and a bladesinger with war caster could, conceivably get an opportunity attack that deals 7d8+mod damage, at the cost of no resources.
 


ph0rk

Friendship is Magic, and Magic is Heresy.
I'm fine with that. The players are heroes, I'm happy to let them shine in this situations.

Nothing wrong with letting players shine, but what can a barbarian or battlemaster do that can compare to that? It's a unique interaction with bladesingers and how easily they can upcast shadowblade.

Mind you, shadow blade alone without BB is still an opportunity attack for 4d8+mod.

Come to think of it, this becomes a nice thing for bards to do, too. Full caster shadow blade + a SCAGtrip is a ton of damage.

Are full casters so lacking in cool things that they need this, too?
 

Really all extra attack classes should be dealing the extra cantrip damage on their opportunity attacks.

So, the real issue is that basic opportunity attacks don't scale, not that cantrips are too good as opportunity attacks.

Always better to fix the real problems.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
Well, if that's open then twinning GFB is open and then (in the old days) a sorcerer could have twinned and then quickened three GFBs to melt a pair of targets.

I think removing the ability to twin BB (and GFB) is the main reason for this wording, also making them not work with shadow blade.

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I'm on the fence with how I feel about GFB/BB being twin spelled. TCoE appears to have a lot of new caster focused magic items slated for inclusion.depending on how they affect problems like this or what new doors they open for casters I might be all for letting a sorc twin them & might even mention it if they don't notice... especially if it stops every sorcerer in creation from taking 2 levels in warlock for agonizing eldritch blast & either devils sight or repelling blast.
 
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AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
Well, quite a bit has happened since I last posted in this thread.

So, JC came out with another batch of tweets to further "clarify" what his RAI for the RAW is. Now, War Caster still works with these spells (except if you want to target two people with GFB), you can still use a Pact Weapon for these spells, but the spells unfortunately no longer work with shadow blade or natural weapons for some unknown reason.

I don't think that it is OP to allow a lizardfolk to use their bite with GFB, IMO, that is awesome and should be allowed. I don't think it's OP to allow a sorcerer to use their limited resource pool to twin these spells. I don't think it's OP to let a level 11 Eldritch Knight/level 6 Bladesinger to attack twice and use a bonus action to cast GFB/BB.

(Another side-note, if my player asked me if I would allow Thirsting Blade to work like the new Bladesinger's Extra Attack, I 100% would allow that, but restricting it to only attacking one creature so they can't do Eldritch Blast and an attack.)
 
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cbwjm

Hero
Nothing wrong with letting players shine, but what can a barbarian or battlemaster do that can compare to that? It's a unique interaction with bladesingers and how easily they can upcast shadowblade.

Mind you, shadow blade alone without BB is still an opportunity attack for 4d8+mod.

Come to think of it, this becomes a nice thing for bards to do, too. Full caster shadow blade + a SCAGtrip is a ton of damage.

Are full casters so lacking in cool things that they need this, too?
It's not that they're lacking, it's more a case of why limit it? I don't see a good reason to.
 

ph0rk

Friendship is Magic, and Magic is Heresy.
It's not that they're lacking, it's more a case of why limit it? I don't see a good reason to.

Other than the spell text? That seems like a pretty good reason.

I don't think bladesingers and bards should have access to the same on-tap damage from an opportunity attack that rogues do.
 

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