5E Cavalier Build Help

Hey Everybody,

I just got my copy of Xanathar's guide yesterday and I am loving a lot of what I see. In particular, I love the flavor and theme of the Cavalier. I was wondering what feats would best serve it?

If a standard point buy is used, I assume the Cavalier will end up with 2 to 3 feats depending on race since he will want to get both Strength and Constitution to 20 for additional uses of his class abilities.

Sadly, there seems to be anti-synergy with Polearms since your mark has to be within 5' of you. Also, the mark gives additional attacks which would be better than PAM's haft attack. Does some anti-synergy and overlap make PAM not worth it?

It seems the same goes for Sentinel in the overlap department. Of course for damage, GWM is a must, but what about Charger, Mobile, Martial Adept, Heavy Armor Master?

If the campaign allowed for a lot of open combat where mounts are usable, would mounted combatant be worth it or would the deflection feature provide enough help?

Thanks for any input in advance!
 
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mellored

Explorer
Since you will be taking more than your share of attacks, a shield is a strong option. Probably defensive style, heavy armor mastery, and shield master. Take prodigy (athletics), or a level of rogue later (when proficiency is bigger) and you will beat most checks.

Sentinel is redundant. Something like the healer feat would be better.
Charger is just a bad feat. Martial Adept is a pretty weak feat.
Mobile won't help you if you ride a horse.
Mounted is somewhat redundant, since you'll be knocking creatures prone for advantage, and can protect your horse. Though it does help against fireballs and ranged attacks, depending on how big that is, it could still be worthwhile.

Also, remember that mullti-attack = multi-mark.
 
Since you will be taking more than your share of attacks, a shield is a strong option. Probably defensive style, heavy armor mastery, and shield master. Take prodigy (athletics), or a level of rogue later (when proficiency is bigger) and you will beat most checks.

Sentinel is redundant. Something like the healer feat would be better.
Charger is just a bad feat. Martial Adept is a pretty weak feat.
Mobile won't help you if you ride a horse.
Mounted is somewhat redundant, since you'll be knocking creatures prone for advantage, and can protect your horse. Though it does help against fireballs and ranged attacks, depending on how big that is, it could still be worthwhile.

Also, remember that mullti-attack = multi-mark.
Wow, thanks for the input. So going for damage is potentially suicidal as a cavalier due to all the marking one may do.

I looked at the eventual charge for advantage on future attacks and figured gaining advantage would be great for GWM.

Is going 2-handed weapons completely foolish, or is it more of an issue of not allowing yourself to do your job as well as you could?
 

ppaladin123

Visitor
Is Sentinel really redundant? Unwavering Mark and Sentinel both provide disadvantage to those who attack allies within 5ft but sentinel lets you respond with a reaction attack while unwavering mark lets you attack with advantage as a bonus action on your next turn if they actually hit and did damage. So you could use both back to back.

Then Hold the line...5 foot movement provokes an opportunity attack (more general than sentinel) but sentinel specifically states that it works even if the target uses the disengage action (which hold the line does not). So they seem to work together.

You could argue that sentinel's added value is low but it doesn't seem to simply copy of the effects of these two features.
 

mellored

Explorer
2-handed is not suicidal, but it seems better to play to it's strengths. Though which is better depends on the party. If you want GWM, then take mounted combat for advantage. Also HAM is still a good option.

You probably won't make it to level 15, so i wouldn't worry about it until you get there.
 
Is Sentinel really redundant? Unwavering Mark and Sentinel both provide disadvantage to those who attack allies within 5ft but sentinel lets you respond with a reaction attack while unwavering mark lets you attack with advantage as a bonus action on your next turn if they actually hit and did damage. So you could use both back to back.

Then Hold the line...5 foot movement provokes an opportunity attack (more general than sentinel) but sentinel specifically states that it works even if the target uses the disengage action (which hold the line does not). So they seem to work together.

You could argue that sentinel's added value is low but it doesn't seem to simply copy of the effects of these two features.
Huh, good points. It looks like the only overlapping feature would be the setting movement to 0. Also, it looks like the class was almost designed for sentinel as its reaction attack goes hand in hand with the lvl 18 feature.

If Human, the order of feats might look something like this:
Lvl 1: Shield Master/Sentinel
Lvl 4: STR 18
Lvl 6: Sentinel/Shield Master
Lvl 8: Prodigy (expertise Atheletics)

Afterwards increasing Con to 18, Str to 20, Heavy armor Master, and Resilient (Wis).

If another race, Prodigy would be removed. How does all that sound?
 

Gladius Legis

Adventurer
Is Sentinel really redundant? Unwavering Mark and Sentinel both provide disadvantage to those who attack allies within 5ft but sentinel lets you respond with a reaction attack while unwavering mark lets you attack with advantage as a bonus action on your next turn if they actually hit and did damage. So you could use both back to back.

Then Hold the line...5 foot movement provokes an opportunity attack (more general than sentinel) but sentinel specifically states that it works even if the target uses the disengage action (which hold the line does not). So they seem to work together.

You could argue that sentinel's added value is low but it doesn't seem to simply copy of the effects of these two features.
Correct. Sentinel is pretty darn nice for a Cavalier. Sentinel's punishment is also at-will while the Cavalier's Unwavering Mark is limited to STR mod/day.
 

mellored

Explorer
Is Sentinel really redundant? Unwavering Mark and Sentinel both provide disadvantage to those who attack allies within 5ft but sentinel lets you respond with a reaction attack while unwavering mark lets you attack with advantage as a bonus action on your next turn if they actually hit and did damage. So you could use both back to back.
True. But that only matters if the enemy provokes.
If the mark keeps enemies standing there attacking you. Sentinel adds absolutely nothing. No more than immobilizing someone twice is helpful.

Though... if you have an ally who forces enemies to provoke (cleric with command "flee"). Then you could get some milage out of it.
Also, hold the line + cloud of daggers seems like a great combo. The enemy can't get out of it while you stand there.

I'm starting to like cavalier.
 
True. But that only matters if the enemy provokes.
If the mark keeps enemies standing there attacking you. Sentinel adds absolutely nothing. No more than immobilizing someone twice is helpful.

Though... if you have an ally who forces enemies to provoke (cleric with command "flee"). Then you could get some milage out of it.
Also, hold the line + cloud of daggers seems like a great combo. The enemy can't get out of it while you stand there.

I'm starting to like cavalier.
It would work with any spell effect that does damage over time in an area. Though way down the line, just think if a cavalier can catch at least 3 enemies stuck in a wall of fire or other similar spell. They are stuck taking fire damage until the spell runs out.
 

mellored

Explorer
It would work with any spell effect that does damage over time in an area. Though way down the line, just think if a cavalier can catch at least 3 enemies stuck in a wall of fire or other similar spell. They are stuck taking fire damage until the spell runs out.
Right.

Though cloud of daggers beats other zone spells in damage (20 damage with no save, vs firewalls 18 damage (including a 40% save rate)) and is available earlier.
It's just small.
 

MyndkryM

Visitor
Is Sentinel really redundant? Unwavering Mark and Sentinel both provide disadvantage to those who attack allies within 5ft but sentinel lets you respond with a reaction attack while unwavering mark lets you attack with advantage as a bonus action on your next turn if they actually hit and did damage. So you could use both back to back.

Then Hold the line...5 foot movement provokes an opportunity attack (more general than sentinel) but sentinel specifically states that it works even if the target uses the disengage action (which hold the line does not). So they seem to work together.

You could argue that sentinel's added value is low but it doesn't seem to simply copy of the effects of these two features.
I think you are reading too much into the Sentinel feat (PHB 169). Sentinel does not provide disadvantage, only Unwavering Mark provides that benefit. You are correct in that it provides you a reaction for use. I rolling a Cavalier for an upcoming campaign so Sentinel is definitely on the list of feats I'm looking at.

I think at your 4th level ASI, if you take a feat you are going to choose either Sentinel or Shield Master for a Reaction option...and it would seem that Sentinel gives you more opportunities to use it. That being said, there seems to be a nice synergy between the Cavalier class features, Shield Master and Mounted Combatant. But I think that would all depend on the type of campaign you find yourself in.

I'm liking Cavalier a lot...it is a definite improvement upon the class that was presented in UA.
 
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Snof

Visitor
My worry with the cavalier, having so many mechanics that makes it sticky, is that it is not tanky enough. Nothing compared to a raging barbarian, a paladins healing, or even some life clerics. If one got the option, then maybe multiclassing barbarian (bear barbarian) may be an option. It synergises well with shield master, which is reccommended (advantage on strength checks and uncanny dodge). It beats heavy armor mastery imo. This, combined with the cavaliers sticky mechanics, makes it a true defender. One major flaw thou is less feats, and later third attack, but it is well worth the tradeoff imo.
 

Snof

Visitor
I also want to add that if you think you get far (level 15 cavalier), then shield master may not be that good since it competes with the ferocious charger.
 

MyndkryM

Visitor
I also want to add that if you think you get far (level 15 cavalier), then shield master may not be that good since it competes with the ferocious charger.
I'm gonna disagree with you on this point.

Shield Master is a bonus action during your attack while Ferocious Charger establishes a condition during your move action, and it's knockdown isn't range limited. So in theory, a 15th lvl Cav could move 10 feet, hit with a javelin, the target has to make a save, move 10 feet, another javelin, move 10 more ft for third attack and still have a bonus shield bash in hand if the target made it's save the first time.

/cheers
 
Lv 3 Cavalier can be quite useful without having to delve into Str so heavily. I'm playing in a game where I'm most useful on my mount but still good off of it, since the will always be situations that prevent me from using my mount.

My setup:
Variant Human (Mounted Combatant feat)
Archery Fighting Style
Str 16
Dex 12
Con 14
Int 14
Wis 10
Cha 8

We also started with 800 spending gold. 200 for splint mail. 10 for a pack, 25 for a ranged weapon, 10 and 15 for melee weapons (one being a lance), 25 for a climbing kit, 50 for a potion of healing, Warhorse: 400gp, hide armor 40gp, bit and bridle 2gp, Feed (20 days) 1 gp, saddlebags 4gp, and a military saddle 20gp. With all of this, I am both useful on and off my mount.
 

gyor

Hero
Consider Protector or Fallen Aasimar, their radiant or necro damage x level during an attack/spell once per turn becomes far more brutal when one has unlimited opportunity attacks (it's once per turn, not round). At level 20 if get your main attack and 3 opportunity attacks in one round, that is 80 extra damage (Radiant or Necrotic).
 

Leah Robin

Visitor
I’m going t be running a Cav. It’s not the best build but I went Shield and Rapier (And then Lance while mounted) and took the dueling fighting style since the Lance counts for that while mounted and it will also be effective off my mount with my sword and shield.
 

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