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D&D 5E Does the Artificer Suck?

Zardnaar

Legend
I'm not convinced the bladesinger is much better than a well built sorcerer for melee.

Dragon sorcerer with racial weapons or something later ke a Githyanki or Mountain Dwarf.
 

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AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
I'm not convinced the bladesinger is much better than a well built sorcerer for melee.

Dragon sorcerer with racial weapons or something later ke a Githyanki or Mountain Dwarf.
Translation:

"I'm not convinced that a subclass is better than a rare and niche race-class combination."

There are plenty of things that Bladesingers can do that Sorcerers can't (Extra Attack with Cantrips, anyone?), and a niche combination isn't really a valid comparison against a subclass. That would be like saying "I'm not convinced Life Clerics are good healers, because Aasimar Paladins can use healing touch/lay on hands to heal, too", IMO.

Besides, this is off topic, as this isn't a Bladesinger thread. It's an Artificer one.
 

ECMO3

Adventurer
Again, you could just skip it or MI and just let an actual tank keep you safe. You've got crazy speed, grab Mobile and fight like you were designed to fight, which is a skirmisher that tags enemies and then forces them to either chase and get hurt, or sit and stew and let your allies womp them.
Yeah one point, often when the play is MI and haste we haste someone else. I forgot to mention that above. Typically a striker (Rogue, Barbarian, Fighter) will get the haste. Mirror Image to keep the BS relatively safe without concentration and haste to drive up the parties offensive output. Those guys just do more damage on a single attack.

I agree on shadowblade, I often stop even preparing it after 7th level or so. Like I said above it is nice at lower levels when you need a magic weapon and it is the bomb on a multiclassed bladesinger Rogue, but on a straight bladesinger it is meh.

I don't agree about being a skirmisher or on mobile. In general you want the enemy to swing at you,, not someone else.

The party as a whole has limited hit points, usually a lot less than the enemies it faces assuming similar numbers and CR/level. Every time he swings at the bladesinger the party as a whole statistically takes less damage than if he swung at someone else. Even if you buy the argument that the wizard is more vulnerable to non-attack damage (and I don't buy it completely), those effects are going to hit skirmishers often because they are usually ranged or AOE spells, breaths etc and unless you can dash you can't kite away from them easily. So if I am standing back, good chance I take those anyway, while if I am standing next to another tank and the enemy is swinging his weapon the party would usually rather the enemy attack me instead of him. If I move away that is not possible. Maybe the enemy focuses on the other tank anyway, but if that is the case there is not much use in backing away anyway.

If/when I do kite in and out of the battle, I don't want the mobile feat and I think it is a waste. If I really need to avoid AOOs I can misty step, but that is rare usually AOOs are a non-issue in bladesong. If I have bladesong running (and especially if I have bladesong and blur up), I actually want the enemy to make an opportunity attack against me so he does not have a reaction to use later in the round and others don't suffer from them. Opportunity attacks are almost always melee attacks so they are usually of little threat to a bladesinger. Again I can't force him and maybe he holds his reaction if he can't hit me effectively, but again in that case mobile is not really any different.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I'm not convinced the bladesinger is much better than a well built sorcerer for melee.

Dragon sorcerer with racial weapons or something later ke a Githyanki or Mountain Dwarf.
Same. Quickened spell is roughly equivalent IMO to Bladesinger’s Extra Attack, since it allows for action spell as a bonus action and then action booming blade, and that’s before getting into all the other cool stuff different sorcerers have.
 

ECMO3

Adventurer
I'm not convinced the bladesinger is much better than a well built sorcerer for melee.

Dragon sorcerer with racial weapons or something later ke a Githyanki or Mountain Dwarf.
In terms of melee attacks, a bladesinger is better because of the unique bladesinger extra attack, which is the best extra attack in the game other than the fighter extra attack that gives you a 3rd and 4th attack, and it is even better than that between levels 6 and 10.

As a matter of fact if you want to play an armored melee caster I would say a mountain dwarf or Gith bladesinger who never uses bladesong is better in melee than a sorcerer. You are giving up a lot and that is not optimized, but the bladesinger extra attack is that good compared to what you can do in melee with another wizard/sorcerer.

A mountain dwarf with a 14 Dexterity and half plate with a 18 strength and a greatsword will be doing a lot more damage in melee if he is a bladesinger than he would if he was a sorcerer. Not saying he is a better overall, but I do think he would be better in melee than a sorcerer.
 
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AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
Same. Quickened spell is roughly equivalent IMO to Bladesinger’s Extra Attack, since it allows for action spell as a bonus action and then action booming blade, and that’s before getting into all the other cool stuff different sorcerers have.
But it costs a bonus action, and takes Sorcery Points. A Bladesinger's Extra Attack is just at-will, and they still can use a bonus action to command a Flaming Sphere or some other spell (Blade of Disaster, if they're high enough level).
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Yeah one point, often when the play is MI and haste we haste someone else. I forgot to mention that above. Typically a striker (Rogue, Barbarian, Fighter) will get the haste. Mirror Image to keep the BS relatively safe without concentration and haste to drive up the parties offensive output. Those guys just do more damage on a single attack.
Hell yeah. If the DM doesn’t need Rogue-Haste, hasting the Rogue is pretty killer. Especially if the rogue is a swashbuckler or has mobile, so they’re less likely to need their reaction for Uncanny Dodge.
I agree on shadowblade, I often stop even preparing it after 7th level or so. Like I said above it is nice at lower levels when you need a magic weapon and it is the bomb on a multiclassed bladesinger Rogue, but on a straight bladesinger it is meh.
In a rolled stats game, I did a Cobalt Soul Monk/Bladesinger. Very good. Shadowblade was usually more worth the cost than haste because each attack wasn’t that big so 1 more wasn’t as big a deal as it would have been for the Barbarian.
I don't agree about being a skirmisher or on mobile. In general you want the enemy to swing at you,, not someone else.
Unless there is a beefy tank, in which case it’s their job to soak up hits and survive to take a short rest. In general I want enemies to want to hit me, and be punished for even trying, and have hard choices between me and the other PCs.
The party as a whole has limited hit points, usually a lot less than the enemies it faces assuming similar numbers and CR/level. Every time he swings at the bladesinger the party as a whole statistically takes less damage than if he swung at someone else. Even if you buy the argument that the wizard is more vulnerable to non-attack damage (and I don't buy it completely), those effects are going to hit skirmishers often because they are usually ranged or AOE spells, breaths etc and unless you can dash you can't kite away from them easily. So if I am standing back, good chance I take those anyway, while if I am standing next to another tank and the enemy is swinging his weapon the party would usually rather the enemy attack me instead of him. If I move away that is not possible. Maybe the enemy focuses on the other tank anyway, but if that is the case there is not much use in backing away anyway.
Unless backing off forces the enemy to attack the Barbarian who won’t really care, attack the fighter and get smacked by the sentinel Barbarian, or try to chase you and risk sentinel OA from the Barbarian and get boomed by your booming blade.

The mobility of the BS opens up rather a lot of very strong group tactics.
If/when I do kite in and out of the battle, I don't want the mobile feat and I think it is a waste. If I really need to avoid AOOs I can misty step, but that is rare usually AOOs are a non-issue in bladesong. If I have bladesong running (and especially if I have bladesong and blur up), I actually want the enemy to make an opportunity attack against me so he does not have a reaction to use later in the round and others don't suffer from them. Opportunity attacks are almost always melee attacks so they are usually of little threat to a bladesinger. Again I can't force him and maybe he holds his reaction if he can't hit me effectively, but again in that case mobile is not really any different.
Again, this only works if you’re running enemies with a fairly low hit chance against even a basic heavy armor fighter with no shield. As much as I like 5e, the monster design and CR are terribly designed, and even the best guidelines out there are barely usable. When making an encounter, I use the Deadly threshold as the floor, unless it’s a “trash mob” fight to make the group feel badass, or a string of fights with no time to rest or even throw heals between fights. When making enemies, I use AC and to hit numbers based on creatures with the same effective proficiency bonus as the PCs, as a baseline to see if my encounter will be challenging or not as is.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
But it costs a bonus action, and takes Sorcery Points. A Bladesinger's Extra Attack is just at-will, and they still can use a bonus action to command a Flaming Sphere or some other spell (Blade of Disaster, if they're high enough level).
None of that really challenges what I said.
 


doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
It kind of does. Sure, they have options, but I don't find them "roughly equivalent", because one has to spend resources to Gish, and the other does.
Neither have to spend resources to gish, actually. One has resources that enhance their gish game, especially when MCd with a few levels of warlock or Paladin, which is a very strong gish build, and the other is more of a steady atwill stream of gishness.

Doing full leveled spell plus booming blade is more powerful than what the BS does at will. Which makes sense, because it’s limited. Just like the fighter can nova better than the rogue by spending resources. They’re roughly equivalent in power, and both are very fun and quite strong if built well. 🤷‍♂️
 

ECMO3

Adventurer
Hell yeah. If the DM doesn’t need Rogue-Haste, hasting the Rogue is pretty killer. Especially if the rogue is a swashbuckler or has mobile, so they’re less likely to need their reaction for Uncanny Dodge.

In a rolled stats game, I did a Cobalt Soul Monk/Bladesinger. Very good. Shadowblade was usually more worth the cost than haste because each attack wasn’t that big so 1 more wasn’t as big a deal as it would have been for the Barbarian.
Agree with these, but IME there is a huge difference between playing a single class Bladesinger and a mutliclass. I love Rogue-bladesingers. That actually may be my favorite class. I had a character I intended to play as a Mercy Monk/Bladesinger but she got killed with a crit at level 1/1 against a wererat when we had no silver weapons. She was not into either subclass yet.

A multiclass bladesinger makes an awesome kite-gish. They have more powerful attacks, in the case of the Monk extraordinary movement, and they have bonus actions (usually lethal bonus actions) to use every turn and in tier 3 Monk has stunning attack (assuming 6 levels in bladesinger). They also lack the spell slots of a single class wizard though. If they push bladesinger to level 6 they can get the unique special attack and that is not behind where the Rogue would be with 4 more levels (2 more dice) of SA. Most of the time they don't do 11th level in wizard, because going beyond 6 they are not boosting their striking a lot. A single class bladesinger gets SOD at 10th and contingency at 11th boosting defense and the ability to tank even further.

A single class bladesinger is completely different. With the exception of extra attack and song of victory everything they get is focused on defense and SOD makes it really difficult to damage them. When the get it they already have AE, shield, blur, counterspell, dispel magic, protection from good and evil, upcast false life a sky-high AC, and are 1 level away from contingency. Now in addition to finding something that can get around all of those and land decent damage that sticks, you have to take away his reaction too or do it multiple times a turn.

Unless there is a beefy tank, in which case it’s their job to soak up hits and survive to take a short rest. In general I want enemies to want to hit me, and be punished for even trying, and have hard choices between me and the other PCs.

Unless backing off forces the enemy to attack the Barbarian who won’t really care, attack the fighter and get smacked by the sentinel Barbarian, or try to chase you and risk sentinel OA from the Barbarian and get boomed by your booming blade.

The mobility of the BS opens up rather a lot of very strong group tactics.
Being Beefy is overated. Hps are far less effective than resistance or AC in countering attacks. You just need to look at monsters for evidence of this. As you noted a "normal" 5e encounter is pathetically easy. However a "normal" monster of a given CR has about 2-8 times as many hps as a Barbarian of the same level. Despite having WAY more hps they are sorely overmatched by the party in a fight. Finally you only get back half your hit dice with a long rest, so if you are using hit dice every short rest your party is going to be at a disadvantage for several days. This also works both ways, the bladesinger can use hit dice on short rests too to recover from the one or two times they were hit, or more likely the AOEs or traps they were victim to. Finally on beef; don't forget false life. Most of the spells you use in a fight with a bladesinger are between 1st and 3rd level, even at high levels. Fales life is not usually used at low levels but at 7th level plus you often have upcast false life running before the fight. At 11th level you usually have it running before the fight and you have it on tap under a contingency. 5th-level false life + 5th level false life contingency is about 50hps. That is a lot of "beef" especially when combined with AC and damage redcuction.

Sentinel is a somewhat common 1st-level feat for our bladesingers, probably not as common as some others, but it is used. Bladesingers get that feat more often than other classes at my tables (and it works well with mirror image while fighting alone since an attack on an image causes an AO). Fighters sometimes get it too. It does use the bladesingers reaction, so it is usually used at/near the end of the enemies turns. Also it is rare we have both a melee Fighter and a Barbarian in the same party. Typically we play with 4 or 5 players.

In the games I play it is the bladesinger's job to soak up attacks and while the Fighters, Barbarians and Clerics can take it, we usually try to make it easier for the enemy to attack the bladesinger.

As far as the Barbarian not caring, they do because the party as a whole has a limited number of hps. If the party misses the 40-hp bladesinger the party has more hps than if they hit the 100-hp Barbarian, even if he is in rage and takes half damage.

In general, I just don't get why you would want the enemy attacking anyone other than the bladesinger when the amount they will deal is less when it is harder to hit. Now if we are a few rounds into the fight and the bladesinger got hit a couple times with a breath weapon and a lucky crit, yeah sure she needs to get out of there (and she usually can easily if not incpacitated), but the same is true for the fighter who got hit with all that, could not cast AE to reduce the breath damage and had a couple normal hits to boot.

Again, this only works if you’re running enemies with a fairly low hit chance against even a basic heavy armor fighter with no shield. As much as I like 5e, the monster design and CR are terribly designed, and even the best guidelines out there are barely usable. When making an encounter, I use the Deadly threshold as the floor, unless it’s a “trash mob” fight to make the group feel badass, or a string of fights with no time to rest or even throw heals between fights. When making enemies, I use AC and to hit numbers based on creatures with the same effective proficiency bonus as the PCs, as a baseline to see if my encounter will be challenging or not as is.
Not really. If you have 5 8th-level characters fighting one "deadly" enemy at 8th level that should be a CR 13 foe. That is a nominal +8 and they do have a higher proficiency bonus than the characters. In such a case the chance of landing an attack vs bladesong and blur on a bladesinger with a 20dex is less than 10%. That assumes no other AC raising magic (which by 8th level you probably have). That is with 1 enemy, put more enemies in a "deadly" encounter and you are getting even lower chance to hit on an OA. That is not worth a feat IMO.

In tier 3 they are more likely to hit, but by then you have ~30hp on tap with false and you have SOD and enough slots you can burn something like misty step for mobility with little regard.
 
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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Agree with these, but IME there is a huge difference between playing a single class Bladesinger and a mutliclass. I love Rogue-bladesingers. That actually may be my favorite class. I had a character I intended to play as a Mercy Monk/Bladesinger but she got killed with a crit at level 1/1 against a wererat when we had no silver weapons. She was not into either subclass yet.

A multiclass bladesinger makes an awesome kite-gish. They have more powerful attacks, in the case of the Monk extraordinary movement, and they have bonus actions (usually lethal bonus actions) to use every turn and in tier 3 Monk has stunning attack (assuming 6 levels in bladesinger). They also lack the spell slots of a single class wizard though. If they push bladesinger to level 6 they can get the unique special attack and that is not behind where the Rogue would be with 4 more levels (2 more dice) of SA. Most of the time they don't do 11th level in wizard, because going beyond 6 they are not boosting their striking a lot. A single class bladesinger gets SOD at 10th and contingency at 11th boosting defense and the ability to tank even further.

A single class bladesinger is completely different. With the exception of extra attack and song of victory everything they get is focused on defense and SOD makes it really difficult to damage them. When the get it they already have AE, shield, blur, counterspell, dispel magic, protection from good and evil, upcast false life a sky-high AC, and are 1 level away from contingency. Now in addition to finding something that can get around all of those and land decent damage that sticks, you have to take away his reaction too or do it multiple times a turn.
Most classes/builds have very effective stuff at high level. That isn't unique to the BS by any means. The Barbarian is next to unkillable. The monk can just decide to end conditions on themself and can't be poisoned or take poison damage and has proficiency in all saves. Rogues...well, I always MC high level rogues TBH. The subclass capstones are great, but I just don't care about most of the features between 11 and 20, so any levels past 12 are just for more SA damage.

But it's also not like it's have to throw multiple AoEs at the front line per round. Or an AoE with a con save and a Heat Metal, and a series of high AC attacks preceded by dispel magic. Etc. The Bladesinger only has one reaction, and can only have so many buffs ready. Eventually, it becomes about HP, unless the DM is going easy.
Being Beefy is overated.
It isn't.
Hps are far less effective than resistance or AC in countering attacks.
Resistance+HP+decent AC is far more effective than resistance + low HP + "broken" AC.

The fighter is the only tank class that falls behind defensively, actually. Indomitable should just be a PC version of legendary resistence, and Fighters should get half-proficiency on all saves that they aren't proficient in. Extra feats can help, but only so much. It's not like there is an abjuration focused version of Feytouched and Shadowtouched. But Barbarians and Paladins can wreck face all day right in the dragon's face. Especially if the wizard is being the guard against magic like they're designed to be, and countering spells that would turn the barbarian against the team.
You just need to look at monsters for evidence of this. As you noted a "normal" 5e encounter is pathetically easy. However a "normal" monster of a given CR has about 2-8 times as many hps as a Barbarian of the same level. Despite having WAY more hps they are sorely overmatched by the party in a fight.
You've misread that entirely. What is going on there is that monsters are assumed to be getting focus-fired by a team of very effective PCs, and thus have the HP to last a couple rounds of that, and also tend to have lower AC and saves than PCs.

Like...you get that "low AC is bad and will get you killed" does not mean that AC is more important than HP, right? It just means that the game will punish you if you don't wear armor or otherwise get your AC to 15+ pretty early and upgrade it from there at some point. I've had low HP high AC "tanks" in my games (games I ran and those I played in) and moderate AC high HP tanks, and high AC moderate HP with self healing, and other combos, and the high AC low HP tanks are by far the least effective.
Finally you only get back half your hit dice with a long rest, so if you are using hit dice every short rest your party is going to be at a disadvantage for several days. This also works both ways, the bladesinger can use hit dice on short rests too to recover from the one or two times they were hit, or more likely the AOEs or traps they were victim to. Finally on beef; don't forget false life. Most of the spells you use in a fight with a bladesinger are between 1st and 3rd level, even at high levels. Fales life is not usually used at low levels but at 7th level plus you often have upcast false life running before the fight. At 11th level you usually have it running before the fight and you have it on tap under a contingency. 5th-level false life + 5th level false life contingency is about 50hps. That is a lot of "beef" especially when combined with AC and damage redcuction.
That is enough HP and defense to survive being a skirmisher, sure.
In general, I just don't get why you would want the enemy attacking anyone other than the bladesinger when the amount they will deal is less when it is harder to hit. Now if we are a few rounds into the fight and the bladesinger got hit a couple times with a breath weapon and a lucky crit, yeah sure she needs to get out of there (and she usually can easily if not incpacitated), but the same is true for the fighter who got hit with all that, could not cast AE to reduce the breath damage and had a couple normal hits to boot.
Except that fighter has a bonus action heal, good AC and very good HP, so they actually don't care that much that they took, say, twice as much damage as the damage that took the BS completely out of the front line.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Not really. If you have 5 8th-level characters fighting one "deadly" enemy at 8th level that should be a CR 13 foe. That is a nominal +8 and they do have a higher proficiency bonus than the characters. In such a case the chance of landing an attack vs bladesong and blur on a bladesinger with a 20dex is less than 10%. That assumes no other AC raising magic (which by 8th level you probably have). That is with 1 enemy, put more enemies in a "deadly" encounter and you are getting even lower chance to hit on an OA. That is not worth a feat IMO.
Not necessarily. AC and hit bonus aren't the only factors that can change CR, and again, CR is next to useless anyway. There are CR 9 critters with +10 to hit, as well. Like, without any homebrew. But then you get stuff like the Winter Eladrin that is CR 10 but has a +4 to hit. That guy is simply vastly easier to beat than his CR suggests. I can bump his bonus to +8, and he's still not remotely a challenge without multiple allies.

Adult Brass Dragon has +11 to hit, at CR 13.

I rarely see a Bladesinger with 20 Dex at level 8, either. Generally they want their Int high as well, and decent Con because they are in melee and advantage on concentration only goes so far, so their dex doesn't get that high until at least 12, assuming there isn't a feat they really want in those first 3 ASI levels.


In tier 3 they are more likely to hit, but by then you have ~30hp on tap with false and you have SOD and enough slots you can burn something like misty step for mobility with little regard.
You don't have 30 THP on tap from false life, you have it once a day using your 6th level slot. 5th level False Life will be close, but those slots are still rather precious, so more likely you're casting it at 4th, maybe using contingency to have it as a backup for if you get hit (gotta be careful to not waste contigency with a trigger that is too likely to come up when you don't actually need the contingent spell). That is far from "on tap".

Song of Defense is really good. It also burns a spell slot, and low level slots are not especially helpful using it at high levels. I'd say at level 12, you'd have to burn a level 3 slot for it to be worth the reaction. You have 3 of those, and some of your best spells are 3rd level.

Every level above 2nd has a summon that is a better use of concentration than blur, by the way.

As for Sentinel + Mirror Image, that's your reaction, which you cannot now use defensively, and can't use if you've already used one of your many reaction abilities for defense. If you're the tank, you're getting attacked a lot. Sentinel is a good feat, don't get me wrong. But you also want that coveted 21+ AC by this level, so taking a feat at all isn't exactly a no brainer. Of course, as a skirmisher, you can deal with "only" AC 19 or 20 by this level, and a suite of good defensive abilities, and the mobility to stay away from attackers. And use your concentration to cast Dragon's Breath on your familiar or summon a fey or burn something bigger and summon something really scary with a 4+ slot.

I think there is a trick with summoned pixies that polymorph eachother into big beefy critters? Good stuff, in a fight against mobs that just hit for basic normal damage. Keep your back line much safer for longer than a single Bladesinger trying to tank could hope to do.
 

ECMO3

Adventurer
Most classes/builds have very effective stuff at high level. That isn't unique to the BS by any means. The Barbarian is next to unkillable. The monk can just decide to end conditions on themself and can't be poisoned or take poison damage and has proficiency in all saves. Rogues...well, I always MC high level rogues TBH. The subclass capstones are great, but I just don't care about most of the features between 11 and 20, so any levels past 12 are just for more SA damage.
When you consider spells bladesingers can get a lot of this at high level. It is just tied to spells and not class abilities.

But it's also not like it's have to throw multiple AoEs at the front line per round. Or an AoE with a con save and a Heat Metal, and a series of high AC attacks preceded by dispel magic. Etc. The Bladesinger only has one reaction, and can only have so many buffs ready. Eventually, it becomes about HP, unless the DM is going easy.
Yes but shield and absorb elements work on every attack for the entire turn, not just the attack that caused it. If I use shield on the first attack that hits I have the same +5 for the whole turn. Same with Absorb elements, If one dragon hits me with a breath weapon, I have the same resistance against the one that hits me later in the turn.

You can break this with combinations and Song of defense does not work more than once (which is why it is not used as much).

But even so the math is in my favor here. A 6th-level spell slot is worth 30hps. At 12th level the difference in hps between a bladesinger and a fighter is 26hps. So if we are both standing next to each other and both of us are breathed on by the same green dragon and I use SOD, I have more hps left after that than he does. Same thing if both of us are critted. I use SOD and I have more hps left than he would. Not only do I have more hps right now, I can do the same thing if the dragon breathes on us again next turn.

Yes other enemies on the battlefield have attack routines they can go through and those may overwhelm me since I used my reaction, but if so they are likely to overwhelm him too.

That is without even considering extra hps from false life or contingency.

Resistance+HP+decent AC is far more effective than resistance + low HP + "broken" AC.
No it isn't. In play the only class that can keep up a Barbarian in Rage and unless it is a Bear totem you can start throwing up the same corner cases to bypass resistance there too.

Especially if the wizard is being the guard against magic like they're designed to be, and countering spells that would turn the barbarian against the team.
Well there should be a wizard doing that, but it should not be the bladesinger.


....and also tend to have lower AC and saves than PCs.
Exactly. They have a bag of hps with low AC and they get slaughtered.


I've had low HP high AC "tanks" in my games (games I ran and those I played in) and moderate AC high HP tanks, and high AC moderate HP with self healing, and other combos, and the high AC low HP tanks are by far the least effective.
Not high AC, very high AC. You need to make the chance of hitting less than 10% in tier 2. That is going to take about an effective AC of 23+ while regularly imposing disadvantage.

I think the characters you played either did not have the ability to resist common damage effects or your definitition of high AC is not the same as mine.


That is enough HP and defense to survive being a skirmisher, sure.
It is more hps than an equal level Barbarian has. This is main issue I have with this line of thinking. You are throwing everything behind hps and ignoring the fact the bladesinger can give herself hit points regularly, can trade spell slots for hps and takes less damage to boot.

Except that fighter has a bonus action heal, good AC and very good HP, so they actually don't care that much that they took, say, twice as much damage as the damage that took the BS completely out of the front line.
The bladesinger has effectively a reaction heal he can use many times a day and for far more hps .... in addition to spells to keep from getting hit.

Again "high AC" depends on your definition of high. A Bladesinger's AC is better than any fighter other than an Eldritch Knight and comparable to an EK with more spell slots to spend.

ECMO3 said:
I rarely see a Bladesinger with 20 Dex at level 8, either. Generally they want their Int high as well, and decent Con because they are in melee and advantage on concentration only goes so far, so their dex doesn't get that high until at least 12, assuming there isn't a feat they really want in those first 3 ASI levels.
The optimal way to play a bladesinger is to have a 20 Dex at level 8. I have seen and played 18 Dex/18 Int as well though. It depends on what scores you started out with, what race you are playing and what feats you took at first level (if any).

On point buy I never play with more than a 10 constitution on a bladesinger. It is not worth it IMO, wisdom should be your 3rd stat and charisma your 4th. You need wisdom for saves and perception far more than you need constittution for hps and concentration. Hps just are not usually a problem on a bladesinger and a high constitution typically does not provide enough of them to matter. Concentration is not usually a big deal because you are not getting hit enough to need to roll it often (and in bladesing you add intelligence).

You don't have 30 THP on tap from false life, you have it once a day using your 6th level slot. 5th level False Life will be close, but those slots are still rather precious.
5th level false life is nominally 26.5hps. At 6th level it would be 31.5. When I said "~30" meant "about 30".'

Once I have 5th-level slots I use it to replenish every time I ran out of temp hps and am still in a high threat area. The slots are not that precious and I don't cast most other 4th or 5th level spells often. Maybe wall of force, or greater invisibility but usually those are sused for false life. If I run out of 5th level slots I will use a 4th level, but usually I won't need to. Yeah if you are tied to the idea of your wizard using bigby or something then maybe they are precious, but I don't play a bladesinger that way.

I don't use 6th level spells for false life, because they are used for contingency and in case I need it for song of defense (which is rare). Also they can't be replenished through Arcane Recovery like the others.

The thing is there is math at play here. You keep talking about hps and then you ignore how many the bladesinger can actually "create" out of spell slots. Each 5th level false life is 26.5hps (assuming you are at 0 temp when cast). That is equivalent of spending about 4 hit dice for the fighter in a short rest. At 12th level I can do this 3 times, then I can do 3 more 4th level slots for 21.5 each.

You keep talking about how important it is to have a lot of hps - I can pull out 144 temp hps on my 4th and 5th level slots alone. That is more than all the hit dice a fighter or Barbarian has and I still have 11 more spells (4/3/3/0/0/1) available for shield, PGE, misty step, blur, counterspell and contingency while also having 2 more slots from arcane recovery.

(gotta be careful to not waste contigency with a trigger that is too likely to come up when you don't actually need the contingent spell). That is far from "on tap".
Usually the trigger is a single word I say "presto" (which is a free action) or a condition "incapacitated with 0 temp hps".


Song of Defense is really good. It also burns a spell slot, and low level slots are not especially helpful using it at high levels. I'd say at level 12, you'd have to burn a level 3 slot for it to be worth the reaction. You have 3 of those, and some of your best spells are 3rd level.
Yes and no. If you don't want to make a con save there is often value reducing damage all the way to 0, but you are right, they are not used that often. To be honest SOD is not used often at all, it is for the out of the blue damage that you really need to cut right now, either because it will take you dangerously low or make you lose concentration.

Even if it is a lot of damage, but it is late in the turn, you still might not do it and just wait until your turn to do something else (false life, potion of healing, leave combat ........)

The thing with SOD is it works against everything (assuming you are in bladesong) so it fills in the gaps where your spells don't.


Every level above 2nd has a summon that is a better use of concentration than blur, by the way.
Not when it comes to keeping from getting hit they don't. The only summon spell I have ever had in my book on a bladesinger is find familiar.

Let other characters summon allies if they want, that is not my role.

As for Sentinel + Mirror Image, that's your reaction, which you cannot now use defensively,
That is why I said it is only typically used late in the turn. If the guy going right before you targets an image you hit him. If the guy going right after you does you dont. And if the guy going right after you makes you cast shield, you cant.

If you're the tank, you're getting attacked a lot. Sentinel is a good feat, don't get me wrong. But you also want that coveted 21+ AC by this level, so taking a feat at all isn't exactly a no brainer.
I think I said it was a 1st-level feat, if I didn't that is what I meant. With a VH or Custom it is on the short list of feats to take at first level. It is never taken after first level on my table on a bladesinger. Other half feats sometimes are taken later if you start with a 17 dex or a 17 intelligence.


Of course, as a skirmisher, you can deal with "only" AC 19 or 20 by this level, and a suite of good defensive abilities, and the mobility to stay away from attackers
Sure, but you would be better at it if you multiclassed into something that could do more damage. If you are staying single classed it does not make a lot of sense to me.

. And use your concentration to cast Dragon's Breath on your familiar or summon a fey or burn something bigger and summon something really scary with a 4+ slot.
When I have a familiar, my familiar is usually in his pocket plane during combat or far away from the fight hiding. While the damage boost is great he will die at most tables if he tries to fight or even to help. I could upcast false life on him I suppose, but that is a lot to use.

My familiar died in my game yesterday. We (8th level) were guarding a building and I had my familiar there to help with the scouting and alerting us if enemies got close. He got caught in an AOE in turn 1. Typically the DM is going to try and attack the familiar if they can.

The best use I have ever made of my familiar in combat is when I was swallowed by a shambling mound. I called him from his pocket plane on my next turn and on the turn after that I used my action to look through his eyes and my bonus to misty step out of there (you need to see the area you misty step to).

I think there is a trick with summoned pixies that polymorph eachother into big beefy critters? Good stuff, in a fight against mobs that just hit for basic normal damage. Keep your back line much safer for longer than a single Bladesinger trying to tank could hope to do.
Call woodland beings? I think they polymorph party members. If they polymorph themselves they can only be maximum CR 1/4 which are not going to last long at all in a fight.

Polymorphing party members can be useful but they are not casting spells any more.
 
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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
When you consider spells bladesingers can get a lot of this at high level. It is just tied to spells and not class abilities.


Yes but shield and absorb elements work on every attack for the entire turn, not just the attack that caused it. If I use shield on the first attack that hits I have the same +5 for the whole turn. Same with Absorb elements, If one dragon hits me with a breath weapon, I have the same resistance against the one that hits me later in the turn.

You can break this with combinations and Song of defense does not work more than once (which is why it is not used as much).

But even so the math is in my favor here. A 6th-level spell slot is worth 30hps. At 12th level the difference in hps between a bladesinger and a fighter is 26hps. So if we are both standing next to each other and both of us are breathed on by the same green dragon and I use SOD, I have more hps left after that than he does. Same thing if both of us are critted. I use SOD and I have more hps left than he would. Not only do I have more hps right now, I can do the same thing if the dragon breathes on us again next turn.

Yes other enemies on the battlefield have attack routines they can go through and those may overwhelm me since I used my reaction, but if so they are likely to overwhelm him too.

That is without even considering extra hps from false life or contingency.


No it isn't. In play the only class that can keep up a Barbarian in Rage and unless it is a Bear totem you can start throwing up the same corner cases to bypass resistance there too.


Well there should be a wizard doing that, but it should not be the bladesinger.



Exactly. They have a bag of hps with low AC and they get slaughtered.



Not high AC, very high AC. You need to make the chance of hitting less than 10% in tier 2. That is going to take about an effective AC of 23+ while regularly imposing disadvantage.

I think the characters you played either did not have the ability to resist common damage effects or your definitition of high AC is not the same as mine.



It is more hps than an equal level Barbarian has. This is main issue I have with this line of thinking. You are throwing everything behind hps and ignoring the fact the bladesinger can give herself hit points regularly, can trade spell slots for hps and takes less damage to boot.


The bladesinger has effectively a reaction heal he can use many times a day and for far more hps .... in addition to spells to keep from getting hit.

Again "high AC" depends on your definition of high. A Bladesinger's AC is better than any fighter other than an Eldritch Knight and comparable to an EK with more spell slots to spend.

Not necessarily. AC and hit bonus aren't the only factors that can change CR, and again, CR is next to useless anyway. There are CR 9 critters with +10 to hit, as well. Like, without any homebrew. But then you get stuff like the Winter Eladrin that is CR 10 but has a +4 to hit. That guy is simply vastly easier to beat than his CR suggests. I can bump his bonus to +8, and he's still not remotely a challenge without multiple allies.

Adult Brass Dragon has +11 to hit, at CR 13.

I rarely see a Bladesinger with 20 Dex at level 8, either. Generally they want their Int high as well, and decent Con because they are in melee and advantage on concentration only goes so far, so their dex doesn't get that high until at least 12, assuming there isn't a feat they really want in those first 3 ASI levels.



5th level false life is nominally 26.5hps. At 6th level it would be 31.5. When I said "~30" meant "about 30".'

Once I have 5th-level slots I use it to replenish every time I ran out of temp hps and am still in a high threat area. The slots are not that precious and I don't cast most other 4th or 5th level spells often. Maybe wall of force, or greater invisibility but usually those are specifically reserved for false life. If I run out of 5th level slots I will use a 4th level, but usually I won't need to. Yeah if you are tied to the idea of your wizard using bigby or something then maybe they are precious, but I don't play a bladesinger that way.

I don't use 6th level spells for false life, because they are used for contingency and in case I need it for song of defense (which is rare). Also they can't be replenished through Arcane Recovery like the others.

The thing is there is math at play here. You keep talking about hps and then you ignore how many the bladesinger can actually "create" out of thin air. Each 5th level false life is 26.5hps (assuming you are at 0 temp when cast). That is 5 equivalent of spending about 4 hit dice for the fighter in a short rest. At 12th level I can do this 3 times, then I can do 3 more 4th level slots for 21.5 each.

You keep talking about how important it is to have a lot of hps - I can pull out 144 temp hps on my 4th and 5th level slots alone. That is more than all the hit dice a fighter or Barbarian has and I still have 11 more spells (4/3/3/0/0/1) available for shield, PGE, misty step, blur, counterspell and contingency while also having 2 more slots from arcane recovery.


Usually the trigger is a single word I say (which is a free action) or a condition (incapacitated with 0 temp hps).



Yes and no. If you don't want to make a con save there is often value reducing damage all the way to 0, but they are not used that ofen. To be honest SOD is not used often at all, they are for the out of the blue damage that you really need to cut right now, either because it will take you dangerously low or make you lose concentration.

Even if it is a lot of damage, but it is late in the turn, you still might not do it do to the cost of the slot.

The thing with SOD is it works against everything (assuming you are in bladesong) so it fills in the gaps where your spells don't,



Not when it comes to keeping from getting hit they don't. The only summon spell I have ever had in my book on a bladesinger is find familiar.

Let other characters summon allies if they want, that is not my role.


That is why I said it is only typically used late in the turn. If the guy going right before you targets an image you hit him. If the guy going right after you does you dont. And if the guy going right after you makes you cast shield, you cant.


I think I said it was a 1st-level feat, if I didn't that is what I meant. With a VH or Custom it is on the short list of feats to take at first level. It is never taken after first level on my table on a bladesinger. Other half feats sometimes are taken later if you start with a 17 dex or a 17 intelligence.



Sure, but you would be better at it if you multiclassed into something that could do more damage. If you are staying single classed it does not make a lot of sense to me.


When I have a familiar, my familiar is usually in his pocket plane during combat or far away from the fight hiding. While the damage boost is great he will die at most tables if he tries to fight or even to help. I could upcast false life on him I suppose, but that is a lot to use.

My familiar died in my game yesterday. We (8th level) were guarding a building and I had my familiar there to help with the scouting and alerting us if enemies got close. He got caught in an AOE in turn 1. Typically the DM is going to try and attack the familiar if they can.

The best use I have ever made of my familiar in combat is when I was swallowed by a shambling mound. I called him from his pocket plane on my next turn and on the turn after that I used my action to look through his eyes and my bonus to misty step out of there (you need to see the area you misty step to).


Call woodland beings? I think they polymorph party members. If they polymorph themselves they can only be maximum CR 1/4 which are not going to last long at all in a fight.

Polymorphing party members can be useful but they are not casting spells any more.
I stopped reading pretty early on. You play a very different game. In my game, you need AC and HP, and defensive class abilities to tank, and the Bladesinger doesn’t cut it.

Im not interested in running in circles with you on this any longer. You aren’t going to convince me, I’m not going to convince you. The end. 🤷‍♂️
 

I could see a multiclass dragon sorcerer 3, bladesinger 6 with constitution saving throw proficiency and twin spell and probably quicken spell.

A twinned haste can be used on the rogue and themself. Dragon scales give good armor and concentration during bladesong is easy.
Of course you gave up some spell levels and stat increases, but it should still be solid (you can go sorc 4 if stats are an issue), spell levels are not an issue if melee wizarding is what you want.

Edit:and since this is an artificer thread, I just thought about the combination artificer3/bladesinger6.
Does battlesmith int for attacks actually help the bladesinger? I need to read the rules, but could even the armorer work?

Edit: I am shocked, that you can evoke the bladesong without actually having a blade in hand...
 
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FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
Getting back to the artificer, I've reevaluated Artillerist and I'd rank him as a very good artificer and character in general.

I really want to like armourer, but I'm just not seeing it for him.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Getting back to the artificer, I've reevaluated Artillerist and I'd rank him as a very good artificer and character in general.

I really want to like armourer, but I'm just not seeing it for him.

We tested an armorer and they get good at level 9/10.

Two extra infusions essentially and sharpshooter with ots special weapon.
 

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