D&D 5E Devotion Paladin build advice for Descent into Avernus

WASDHammer

Explorer
I'm starting a DiTA campaign at level 5 that will take us through level 13. I decided to play a Devotion Paladin but am debating three different builds and am having trouble deciding which is the best version. For context, the other party members consist of a Barbarian, Arcane Trickster Rogue, Order Domain Cleric, and Gloomstalker Ranger.

Please, without spoilers, any thoughts on which of the following options would be best:

Option 1: Straight Devotion Paladin
  • Pros: Highest HP (but not by much), Level 4 Paladin Spells, Immunity to Charm & Frightened, Improved Divine Smite
  • Cons: No ranged attacks (I assume I will be facing many flying demons/devils), Limited spell slots for smites, MAD build
Option 2: Paladin 12/Hexblade 1 (I have a good backstory why this would make sense)
  • Pros: Ranged cantrip (EB), Booming Blade (useful with Warcaster feat), SAD build, short rest hex/shield, Hexblade curse fits well with Sacred Weapon (despite full turn to activate), Improved Divine Smite
  • Cons: No level 4 paladin spells, no level 4 spell slots, gets level 3 spells a full level after straight paladin (e.g. Revivify, Spirit Shroud)
Option 3: Sorcadin (Paladin 6/Divine Soul 7)
  • Pros: Ranged cantrip (Mind Sliver & Sacred Flame), Booming Blade (useful with Warcaster feat), Absorb Elements spell, Awesome sorcerer and cleric spells up to level 4 (Spiritual Weapon, Spirit Guardians), plus utility spells like Counterspell & Fly, Most spell slots (including 2 level 5 slots)
  • Cons: For such a short campaign, comes online MUCH later (level 3 spells TWO levels after straight Paladin at level 11), lowest HPs, no immunity to frightened or charmed, No Improved Divine Smite
I was initially all in on the Sorcadin, but now I am worried that for the vast majority of the campaign, will be sitting with level 2 spells, albeit with much more smite juice. On the other hand, losing frightened/charm immunities feels like a pretty big loss. In any case, could use some advice for those that have played mid-tier campaigns, which will feel the best or least underpowered if everyone else is going straight builds.

Thanks!
 
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ECMO3

Hero
I'm starting a DiTA campaign at level 5 that will take us through level 13. I decided to play a Devotion Paladin but am debating three different builds and am having trouble deciding which is the best version. For context, the other party members consist of a Barbarian, Arcane Trickster Rogue, Order Domain Cleric, and Gloomstalker Ranger.

Please, without spoilers, any thoughts on which of the following options would be best:

Option 1: Straight Devotion Paladin
  • Pros: Highest HP (but not by much), Level 4 Paladin Spells, Immunity to Charm & Frightened, Improved Divine Smite
  • Cons: No ranged attacks (I assume I will be facing many flying demons/devils), Limited spell slots for smites, MAD build
Option 2: Paladin 12/Hexblade 1 (I have a good backstory why this would make sense)
  • Pros: Ranged cantrip (EB), Booming Blade (useful with Warcaster feat), SAD build, short rest hex/shield, Hexblade curse fits well with Sacred Weapon (despite full turn to activate), Improved Divine Smite
  • Cons: No level 4 paladin spells, no level 4 spell slots, gets level 3 spells a full level after straight paladin (e.g. Revivify, Spirit Shroud)
Option 3: Sorcadin (Paladin 6/Divine Soul 7)
  • Pros: Ranged cantrip (Mind Sliver & Sacred Flame), Booming Blade (useful with Warcaster feat), Absorb Elements spell, Awesome sorcerer and cleric spells up to level 4 (Spiritual Weapon, Spirit Guardians), plus utility spells like Counterspell & Fly, Most spell slots (including 2 level 5 slots)
  • Cons: For such a short campaign, comes online MUCH later (level 3 spells TWO levels after straight Paladin at level 11), lowest HPs, no immunity to frightened or charmed, No Improved Divine Smite
I was initially all in on the Sorcadin, but now I am worried that for the vast majority of the campaign, will be sitting with level 2 spells, albeit with much more smite juice. On the other hand, losing frightened/charm immunities feels like a pretty big loss. In any case, could use some advice for those that have played mid-tier campaigns, which will feel the best or least underpowered if everyone else is going straight builds.

Thanks!
I would go with option 3.

I am not sure you will get much traction out of booming blade, since you can't use it with extra attack. It will still be situationally useful. Ranged cantrips are great, but I would go with ones with longer range than mind sliver and SF.

Since you already have a cleric I would consider Aberrant Mind Sorcerer so you can pick up Armor of Agathys (then when you upcast it you will effectively have more hps than a single class paladin). Considering it takes up your action, Spirit Guardians is not going to be that good by the time you can get it as a multiclass, especially since you will probably be getting hit and making con saves a lot.

It will take a while to get high level spells, but you will have high level slots very quickly. At sorcerer 2 you will be getting 3rd level slots. So you want spells that are low level but upcast well. AOA is great in this regard and it works even when stunned by a Vrock! When you are out of melee range, catapult upcasts really well too when used with a vial of holy water. Line up 2 (or if you can 3) devils or demons in a line and catapult the holy water, if the first one makes his save it goes on to the 2nd. When it hits it does the upcast catapult damage plus an extra 2d6 radiant.

I would also go with Fey Touched to get Misty Step; with Hex if you are a Dueling or Heavy weapon guy or Hunters Mark if you are a sword and board guy. Misty Step is super useful in this campaign. It is not strictly necessary, but if you don't have it you are going to be spending a lot of time out of melee range and a lot of time taking AOOs when you move.
 
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Does the player playing the Gloomstalker realise that his main ability wont be useful at all for most of the campaign (thanks to Devilsight)?

Straight Paladin for mine. Sorcadin only really gives you more slots (and more spells) but it also delays thinks like +Cha to saves and Improved divine smite (which comes online at the same time you start to notice those extra slots, and works all day, every day).
 


Lyxen

Great Old One
Does the player playing the Gloomstalker realise that his main ability wont be useful at all for most of the campaign (thanks to Devilsight)?

As an aside, the gloomstalker ability works against devils:
  • While in darkness, you are invisible to any creature that relies on darkvision to see you in that darkness.
  • Devil's Sight. Magical darkness doesn't impede the devil's darkvision.
Since Devil's sight relies on darkvision, Umbral Sight works. The Gloomstalker in my campaign makes use of this when there is darkness around - which admittedly is not that often.
 

WASDHammer

Explorer
I vote for straight Paladin. With blindsight for fighting style, just....because.
One other option could go Paladin 12/Sorcerer 1 to get Absorb elements, Shield, plus some cantrips. I would still receive all the benefits of a full paladin, except the 4th level paladin spells (Death Ward & Find Greater Steed), but would still have the same number of spell slots. Does that one level delay make that big a difference over the course of a campaign? If the Paladin was a full caster I guess I could see it, but don't Paladins feel like underwhelming casters anyways?
 

ECMO3

Hero
One other option could go Paladin 12/Sorcerer 1 to get Absorb elements, Shield, plus some cantrips. I would still receive all the benefits of a full paladin, except the 4th level paladin spells (Death Ward & Find Greater Steed), but would still have the same number of spell slots. Does that one level delay make that big a difference over the course of a campaign? If the Paladin was a full caster I guess I could see it, but don't Paladins feel like underwhelming casters anyways?
The other thing is with a 1-level dip, is you get the sorcerer subclass as well.

FWIW I finished this campaign 3 weeks ago. I don't think Find Greater Steed is going to be very useful in DIA (by the time you are high enough level to cast it), and if you do use it you will miss out on a lot of the cool of that campaign. Without giving away spoilers, there are generally better and certainly more flavorful "mounts" available than you will get with the spell.

Overall I do not think the 1-level of sorcerer is going to hurt at all in this campaign. I think it would only be good.

I'm not a fan of a Hexblade multiclass but if you are going with a 1-level dip, I would consider a level 1 undead warlock. That would rock as a Paladin.
 
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ECMO3

Hero
As an aside, the gloomstalker ability works against devils:
  • While in darkness, you are invisible to any creature that relies on darkvision to see you in that darkness.
  • Devil's Sight. Magical darkness doesn't impede the devil's darkvision.
Since Devil's sight relies on darkvision, Umbral Sight works. The Gloomstalker in my campaign makes use of this when there is darkness around - which admittedly is not that often.
Yeah, but unless you are throwing around darkness, there is not much in the campaign after you would get the subclass. There is a lot early, but not a lot late IME.
 

Overall, I recommend the Hexblade 1 build. Yes, you're delaying things, but by way less than other stuff--and the delay will almost certainly be compensated for by the SADness and ability to work at range.
 

Lyxen

Great Old One
Yeah, but unless you are throwing around darkness, there is not much in the campaign after you would get the subclass. There is a lot early, but not a lot late IME.
Which is exactly why I added "which admittedly is not that often"... :)
 

Burnside

Space Jam Confirmed
I’m playing this now as an Oath of the Watchers Paladin.

Just wanted to mention that if you choose the Blessed Warrior fighting style from Tasha’s, you can pick up Toll the Dead and Guidance without having to level dip your Devotion Paladin.

Toll the Dead stays useful as a ranged attack option as long as you have a decent Cha, and Guidance increases your out of combat utility.
 

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