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D&D 5E Does the Artificer Suck?

Zardnaar

Legend
I have an artificer in my game I run. It's a Battle Smith currently level 6. I've seen it played since level 1.

Anyway it's not really impressing me. It's a half caster that's a bit meh at dealing damage compared with Paladins and Rangers.

It looks like it may get better latter around level 10 or so but that's to late imho.

And the other subclasses look worse than the battlesmith.

Rangers copped a lot if flak for sucking but this class seems worse.

Thoughts?
 

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It seems that your only measure of suck is DPR, which is fine, for a specific type of gamer.

But that will always result in certain build types being judged as awful. The Artificer can do lots of support in combat, are immeasurably valuable in exploration (a steel defender & homunculus exploration team can do a lot), and are fine in social situations.

You may not get what you want if you want only a combat build.
 


They don't suck, but as the only support oriented half-caster, they play different than other classes. They are not as good at dealing damage as Paladins and Rangers, it's true, because they are not intended to be so, not even the more martial oriented Battle Smith. But they can handle a lot of utility those classes can't, and they are the only class that provides their own magic items. Depending on the campaign those strengths may be negligible or incredibly important.

I would say my issue with them is not that they should have higher damage output or such, but rather that they are a little too magic oriented for the number of spell slots they have and spells they can prepare.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Had one at our table and it worked out pretty good. Bonus action damage or buffing, and action for melee (for battlesmith or armorer), cantrip (which advances just like any caster), spell, or activate a magic item. You're also a buffer to help others in your party without the need to sacrifice actions in combat.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
I have an artificer in my game I run. It's a Battle Smith currently level 6. I've seen it played since level 1.

Anyway it's not really impressing me. It's a half caster that's a bit meh at dealing damage compared with Paladins and Rangers.

It looks like it may get better latter around level 10 or so but that's to late imho.

And the other subclasses look worse than the battlesmith.

Rangers copped a lot if flak for sucking but this class seems worse.

Thoughts?
the level 10 part is the artificer's biggest problem. Being a half caster instead of 2/3 or full caster means that your leveled spells will generally be equaled or exceeded by your cantrips (which is really bad for a caster). The artilerist is very good in the role of "I cast(or continue concentrating on) web and pulse my temphp turret" but for damage it doesn't really open up as a meaningful choice till 15 when it can pull out a second cannon. Stick a warlock monk & other short rest classes in a group with to say "lets take a short rest" over & over again to remind the artilerist looking at their leveled cantip equivalent spells that they personally are really only benefitting from it by getting to expend another spell slot to recover the turret that just melted while the warlock recovered his nova capability.

In general it has some strong points, but as a whole the experience of playing one is largely going to be shining a spotlight on how too many areas it should either excel or at least stand respectably with others are hindered by the same fears of letting casters be good at being casters even more so than other casters as 1/2 casters
 

It has got good flavor, but for damage, utility or buffing there are better alternatives. As the fifth character in a party that has those other roles filled, it probably is fine, if a bit underwhelming.

It probably needs to be a full caster to fill the utility role better at lower levels, but it might start stepping on other classes toes at that point and the game wasn't really calling out for more full casters.
 



Asisreo

Archdevil's Advocate
Something "sucking" is subjective. If you think it sucks, then it sucks to you (it also sucks to me too, but that doesn't prove anything).

If you can't get into the flow of a class, you'll start seeing how a player that's bad at playing the class or the game in general will suffer hard with it, which is why I think getting into the thought process of the class helps tremendously.

Paladins suck for certain players. The players who wonder "How come I'm always the one getting attacked?" Or "Why do my spells all seem lackluster or mostly the same?"

Clerics suck for certain players. The players who wonder "Why are their so many spells to prepare?" Or "Why does the DM always end my concentration when I'm using Spirit Guardians?"

What sucks for you is what sucks for you. Artificers have a place in the party and they do it well enough to justify playing it if your character vision aligns with the class features.
 

6ENow!

The Game Is Over
I actually find Artificers, like much of the later material WotC is adding, OP and unbalanced to earlier material.

We don't allow them in our games anymore.
 

I have an artificer in my game I run. It's a Battle Smith currently level 6. I've seen it played since level 1.

Anyway it's not really impressing me. It's a half caster that's a bit meh at dealing damage compared with Paladins and Rangers.

It looks like it may get better latter around level 10 or so but that's to late imho.

And the other subclasses look worse than the battlesmith.

Rangers copped a lot if flak for sucking but this class seems worse.

Thoughts?
What sort of facets of the game do you think it lacks at?
Damage dealing is always going to be a given, it being a support class rather than Paladin or Ranger -type combatant.

What sort of game do you run? Combat heavy? Mix of all three pillars?
What are your adventuring days like? Full 8-encounters between long rests, or a bit more truncated usually?
What other characters do you have in the party, and where do you think they are outshining the artificer? Is there anything that the Artificer is the best at, or is everything that they do already covered by another class?
 

I kinda view the Battle Smith artificer as a Combatish Medic. But the Artificer is a supporter that crafts things and helps in its own way. It's not meant to cleave thru smucks like the Barbarian, Paladin, or the Fighter.
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
I kinda view the Battle Smith artificer as a Combatish Medic. But the Artificer is a supporter that crafts things and helps in its own way. It's not meant to cleave thru smucks like the Barbarian, Paladin, or the Fighter.
That could be the case, but with the half caster artificer's number of infused items growing even slower than full caster warlock's invocations it really draws attention to the overly conservative pace of what magic items you are getting access to & when you are gaining access to them. It doesn't matter that they get +2 infusions known every 4 levels after 2 because they only have +1 infused item every 4 levels from 2nd on. If having an artificer meant everyone in the party was certain to look like a christmas tree with every slot filled by some kind of magic item but instead it means a couple extra minor magic items in the party & those minor magic items still require attunement. Even though they do get the ability to create nifty magic items like gauntlets of ogre power & belt of hill giant strength they don't get those till 10th & 14th when anyone who really benefits from them probably no longer needs them because they already have equal or better attribs or the game ended long ago How many level 14 characters are going to get excited about a cloak of the bat or ring of the ram?
 

Zardnaar

Legend
What sort of facets of the game do you think it lacks at?
Damage dealing is always going to be a given, it being a support class rather than Paladin or Ranger -type combatant.

What sort of game do you run? Combat heavy? Mix of all three pillars?
What are your adventuring days like? Full 8-encounters between long rests, or a bit more truncated usually?
What other characters do you have in the party, and where do you think they are outshining the artificer? Is there anything that the Artificer is the best at, or is everything that they do already covered by another class?

Number of fights vary large amount is 6/long rest, sometimes 1/long rest.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
What sort of facets of the game do you think it lacks at?
Damage dealing is always going to be a given, it being a support class rather than Paladin or Ranger -type combatant.

What sort of game do you run? Combat heavy? Mix of all three pillars?
What are your adventuring days like? Full 8-encounters between long rests, or a bit more truncated usually?
What other characters do you have in the party, and where do you think they are outshining the artificer? Is there anything that the Artificer is the best at, or is everything that they do already covered by another class?

If your playing support there's better classes eg various bards and clerics and they seem better at damage as well.
 

ccs

41st lv DM
If your playing support there's better classes eg various bards and clerics and they seem better at damage as well.

That might seem true, but does making a bard or cleric - vs an artificer- fit how the player envisions thier character?
 

tetrasodium

Legend
Supporter
That might seem true, but does making a bard or cleric - vs an artificer- fit how the player envisions thier character?
all the more reason why the artificer so obviously missing the mark in so many areas it focuses on. If it were a case of them just being bad at some secondary or tertiary aspect it would be one thing, but when their bread & butter areas wind up feeling hamstrung in too many ways lest they possibly inch within sight of a horizon where linear fighter quadratic wizard exists it just draws attention to the inversion.
 

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