5E Cavalier Build Help

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
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?
Let me flip this around. Do you want to spread your attacks and mark as many opponents as you can, or do you want to focus fire and drop them as quick as possible. These are mutually exclusive.

If the former, then you won't be getting the same millage out of damaging feats and two handed weapons because you aren't going for action-denial-through-death. Not that these feats are bad, but they are all weaker and it then becomes if others that haven't been weakened give you more utility.

If you're going for the latter - well, there might be better subclasses for damage potential where you can focus on their features.

So, your Unwavering Mark gives them a good reason to attack you (if they are within 5'), so good defenses are a positive - unlike other tanks, you don't risk making yourself too uninviting a target that it's worth the OA to just bypass you. Here is another reason while shield gives benefits over two handed weapons. Feats and features to improve your defenses / reduce damage are useful.

Sentinel is also useful, locking them down to keep one within 5' if it tries to leave. A reach weapon is actually a detriment to this. This is another shot against PAM. (Though the rules-legal (but many consider it cheesy) combo of a staff one-handed, shield, and PAM would avoid it - giving you a better defenses, only a 5' reach, and a reliable bonus action attack since your mark bonus action is at most STR times per day.) This is completely influenced by campaigns that only last until 10-12th and wanting to get it early enough to be useful. If you are planning to go higher then Hold the Line fits in well, if not exactly the same.

With CON useful for HPs and protecting your mount only, I wouldn't delay all feats for CON 20. Some will give you more utility earlier than that.
 
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Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
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.
Barbarian you'd need to advance enough to have enough rages to cover much of the day. So it might be a Barbarian witha few cavalier levels.

Wish Fighter (Cavalier) / Barbarian (Ancestral Guardian) had more synergy, but they have too much overlap in marking mechanics.
 
Let me flip this around. Do you want to spread your attacks and mark as many opponents as you can, or do you want to focus fire and drop them as quick as possible. These are mutually exclusive.

If the former, then you won't be getting the same millage out of damaging feats and two handed weapons because you aren't going for action-denial-through-death. Not that these feats are bad, but they are all weaker and it then becomes if others that haven't been weakened give you more utility.

If you're going for the latter - well, there might be better subclasses for damage potential where you can focus on their features.

So, your Unwavering Mark gives them a good reason to attack you (if they are within 5'), so good defenses are a positive - unlike other tanks, you don't risk making yourself too uninviting a target that it's worth the OA to just bypass you. Here is another reason while shield gives benefits over two handed weapons. Feats and features to improve your defenses / reduce damage are useful.

Sentinel is also useful, locking them down to keep one within 5' if it tries to leave. A reach weapon is actually a detriment to this. This is another shot against PAM. (Though the rules-legal (but many consider it cheesy) combo of a staff one-handed, shield, and PAM would avoid it - giving you a better defenses, only a 5' reach, and a reliable bonus action attack since your mark bonus action is at most STR times per day.) This is completely influenced by campaigns that only last until 10-12th and wanting to get it early enough to be useful. If you are planning to go higher then Hold the Line fits in well, if not exactly the same.

With CON useful for HPs and protecting your mount only, I wouldn't delay all feats for CON 20. Some will give you more utility earlier than that.
Thanks for the input. In the campaign I am finally playing the cavalier, I went the new UA Warforged and thus picked dueling for extra damage since I will essentially have the equivalent of +4 armor eventually. I rolled stats and started with an 18 in both STR and CON (rolled extremely well).

I have a mechanical warhorse akin to the Find Steed spell (telepathic communication, spell sharing, but 10 minute "cast" time). I am about to hit level 4 and thinking of pumping STR to increase to hit, damage, and uses of marking feature.

I plan on more of the mark everything I can route. I use a magical long sword but have a lance if I get to use mounted combat. I plan on holding off until possibly lvl 6 to get the mounted combatant feat to see how regularly I get to ride my horse in fights.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Thanks for the input. In the campaign I am finally playing the cavalier, I went the new UA Warforged and thus picked dueling for extra damage since I will essentially have the equivalent of +4 armor eventually. I rolled stats and started with an 18 in both STR and CON (rolled extremely well).

I have a mechanical warhorse akin to the Find Steed spell (telepathic communication, spell sharing, but 10 minute "cast" time). I am about to hit level 4 and thinking of pumping STR to increase to hit, damage, and uses of marking feature.

I plan on more of the mark everything I can route. I use a magical long sword but have a lance if I get to use mounted combat. I plan on holding off until possibly lvl 6 to get the mounted combatant feat to see how regularly I get to ride my horse in fights.
Well, with those rolled ability scores you are about 2-3 feat/ASI ahead of expectations for point buy - might as well revel in it. Especially with fighter bonus ASI.

Any idea how far you expect you campaign to go? That will give you an idea how much time you have, and if you want to focus on getting feats early so you have the capabilities for most of your play vs. the math advantage of higher STR. I haven't seen a campaign go all the way to 20 yet, highest for me fizzled out mid-teens. If you're playing a hardcover they seem to go to 10-12.
 
Well, with those rolled ability scores you are about 2-3 feat/ASI ahead of expectations for point buy - might as well revel in it. Especially with fighter bonus ASI.

Any idea how far you expect you campaign to go? That will give you an idea how much time you have, and if you want to focus on getting feats early so you have the capabilities for most of your play vs. the math advantage of higher STR. I haven't seen a campaign go all the way to 20 yet, highest for me fizzled out mid-teens. If you're playing a hardcover they seem to go to 10-12.
I am not entirely sure. I do not think the DM necessarily know as well. His last campaign (which this is a sequel to of sorts), went to 20. So this could go to 20, it also could only go to 12. I think it is dependent upon how we as players go about things.

The party is following:

Dwarf Gunslinger
Half-elf Warlock (DM homebrew patron)
Elf Inquisitor Rogue
Gnome Cleric (DM homebrew domain)
Aasimar Bloodhunter (though she may have died last session, I was absent)
Warforged Cavailer Fighter (me)

The bloodhunter was melee and the rogue is melee half the time.

The long sword sounds like it will get stronger as I level up so it will serve as my primary weapon.

I am thinking Sentinel at level 4 to be a stickier tank. Lvl 6 would either be +2 Strength or Mounted Combatant (if I get to fight on my horse a lot) past that seems to far away to consider planning at this point (The character could die).

DM also has some homebrew about special abilities of skills you are proficient in. Perception gives me a special mark mechanic (which DM ruled it stacks with Cavalier mark) which gives me 1 free OoA agaisnt the marked target. This could potentially allow me to Reaction attack an enemy attacking my ally, OoA them if they move away, and then hit them with my BA attack from my cavalier mark.
 

MrMix1212

Visitor
Started my first campaign. Went centaur- fighter- just hit 3 and chose Cav. Came here for some info but now I'm feeling a little overwhelmed. I play WoW. They told me they needed a tank so that's the goal. Any advice would be appreciated
 

BacchusNL

Villager
I've also been working on a potential Cavalier build, though I would definatly take him in a more offensive direction. Auto-advantage vs anything smaller then your mount is jsut to good not to abuse with GWM. So i was thinking the following build-path:
Human (Mounted combatant)
Level 1-6 Fighter (2 attacks, Pole-Arm Master and GWM)
1-4 Pala (smites, hunters mark, 2 str)
7-11 Fighter (3 attacks, 2 str)
5-9 Paladin (2nd/3rd level spells and smites, 2 cha)
 
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Like so many moments in Dnd the effectiveness comes down to your dm.

-RAI sentinel seems to mean you get an attack before the attack roll on an adjacent friendly, RAW the attack is after.

-If your dm rules your sentinel attack is to "protect" friendlies and goes before enemy attack roll this is even better that the RAW version, you have now marked and given disadvantage on attacks at your friendly. This is the version I will be pushing for when I play my cavalier in an upcoming campaign.

-Discuss with your dm and that will tell you if the feats are worth it. Also keep in mind what levels your campaign is on if it starts at lvl 1 that means probably half the game will be without the hold the line feature.

-Also as hold the line is written it seems they at least get one square (5ft) of movement even with a successful oa.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
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?
You could take Mobile, dual wield, mark up to 3 targets in a round, and use positioning to make it hard or dangerous for them to follow you, so they have to choose whether to suffer OAs or make attacks at disadvantage.

Also, a Stout Halfling would be able to have a dog mount that can actually fit anywhere the humans can, and thus get more out of the mounted combat stuff.
 

Hawk Diesel

Explorer
I'm surprised that no one has mentioned the possibilities of a Bugbear Glaive wielder with Magic Initiate (Booming Blade/Green-Flame Blade), Spell Sniper, Warcaster, and Great Weapon Master.
 

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