Dungeons and Dragons (5th Edition) Class Tier List – 2019

dnd4vr

Adventurer
I thought about swords, but I am debating because of the shield proficiency in valor...

Also, I find it very wrong still that Rogue have no subclasses with Extra Attack, yet Bard has two of them now.
 

Mort

Community Supporter
I'm sure it is more a preference of play-style. I don't mind support characters, but not when that is their primary function. Bardic inspiration is pretty much all about others and supporting them. No thanks. I like a lot of other things about bards such as Jack of all Trades and Expertise, spells and magical secrets. Remove all the stuff about inspiration and song/music, add other features instead, and the class would be great. I'd much rather see bards as weaker but more universal in their skills--think not as good at fighting as fighters, access to ALL spells, but not that many of them, versatile with skills but maybe not as good as the "skill monkey" rogue. Better yet, remove rogue as the skill monkey and give THAT to bards.
Well yes, if you don't like support classes you won't like the bard - seeing as that's its primary function.

That's very different from the class, or its features, being weak!
 
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dnd4vr

Adventurer
One of my players has been playing a bard for going on three years, and Bardic Inspiration has saved the party's ass on many occasions. However, I will state that Valor bard is kind of suck. That's why there's the College of Swords now!
Also, can you provide an example of how it saved the party's ass once?
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad hair day
My experience is the same as @Zardnaar . Bards, particularly lore bards, are an amazing support class.

Very surprised you see bardic inspiration as useless. Every time I've seen a bard in play (both in AL and in the home game I DM) it's been extraordinarily useful.
I'm with you. I can't imaging how he doesn't like Bardic Inspiration - it's just about one of the only non-concentration buff in 5e. They have a great spell list, especially around crowd control. Plus hands down fantastic in social situation, and a skill monkey between expertise and jack of all trades.
 

dnd4vr

Adventurer
Well yes, if you don't like support classes you won't like the bard - seeing as that's it's primary function.

That's very different from the class, or its features, being weak!
True, perhaps I was too general in my initial statement. I don't think Bards themselves are weak, only that bardic inspiration and some of their other features are. But, experiences differ and I am okay with that. I certainly wouldn't recommend the Bard as is for many players. Twice in our group people have started with a bard, only to change their class within a couple sessions finding the class lackluster and boring.

Which is why I am considering playing one. I am hoping to find some glimmer of light others have missed.
 

Zardnaar

Hero
Lore bard makes a decent blaster as well it's just got at support. Each bard dice on a lore bard is similar in effect to a shield spell.

With feats they can pick up Eldritch blast and steal hunters query and fireball level 6.

They can also be damn good at healing stealing healing spirit.

Valor bards a bit pants even with high rolled scores.
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad hair day
I thought about swords, but I am debating because of the shield proficiency in valor...

Also, I find it very wrong still that Rogue have no subclasses with Extra Attack, yet Bard has two of them now.
Umm, because they have different methods of doing damage? Different methods to get to the same result is a good thing, otherwise the classes all feel the same.

Bards that use weapons keep up damage over increasing levels with an extra attack.

Rogues keep up damage over increasing levels with more sneak attack. Adding extra attack - which makes sneak attack a lot more reliable - would make them over-damage their design point and would need to reduce SA to bring them back in line.
 

dnd4vr

Adventurer
Umm, because they have different methods of doing damage? Different methods to get to the same result is a good thing, otherwise the classes all feel the same.

Bards that use weapons keep up damage over increasing levels with an extra attack.

Rogues keep up damage over increasing levels with more sneak attack. Adding extra attack - which makes sneak attack a lot more reliable - would make them over-damage their design point and would need to reduce SA to bring them back in line.
Because Extra Attack would be blatantly overpowered on a Rogue.
Yeah, I've already gone over all this in another thread so you don't need to keep telling me how awesome it would make SA and rogues. I disagree and we can leave it at that.
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad hair day
Also, can you provide an example of how it saved the party's ass once?
Not the person you were asking, but from my own experiences:

One campaign that I played in the bard regularly made the GWM paladin turn misses into hits with the -5/+10. Bardic Inspiration was given to the rogue before disarming traps, or any other critical skill check people had to make. (Plus guidance from the cleric.) Especially things like when everyone was trying to sneak or climb, giving it to the people most likely fail allowed the whole group to succeed.

Currently playing a glamour bard at 8th. Their subclass Bardic Inspiration gives out a temp HPs to a bunch of people plus lets them use their reaction to OA-free take a move action. Getting hurt characters out of melee, getting melee characters into the right spots, and splitting up the party when there's AoEs going off. Likely saved the party once when attacked by a dragon and let everyone scatter first round before it's breath weapon caught the whole party.

I also toss one out every round to someone in my party (not using my bonus action for anything else usually) when fighting casters so they can use it to juice a failing save. (Or make the hit, or whatever.) They all come back on a short rest, better to use them. (Before 5th when they only came back on a long rest I was less carefree with giving them out.)
 

Parmandur

Legend
Yeah, I've already gone over all this in another thread so you don't need to keep telling me how awesome it would make SA and rogues. I disagree and we can leave it at that.
The math is against this idea, hugely. A Rogue with a single SA keeps up with Extra Attack in damage, maybe surpasses it. A Rogue with both SA and extra attack would make all other combat characters obsolete. You can disagree with that, butnyou would be wrong.
 

dnd4vr

Adventurer
Not the person you were asking, but from my own experiences:

One campaign that I played in the bard regularly made the GWM paladin turn misses into hits with the -5/+10. Bardic Inspiration was given to the rogue before disarming traps, or any other critical skill check people had to make. (Plus guidance from the cleric.) Especially things like when everyone was trying to sneak or climb, giving it to the people most likely fail allowed the whole group to succeed.

Currently playing a glamour bard at 8th. Their subclass Bardic Inspiration gives out a temp HPs to a bunch of people plus lets them use their reaction to OA-free take a move action. Getting hurt characters out of melee, getting melee characters into the right spots, and splitting up the party when there's AoEs going off. Likely saved the party once when attacked by a dragon and let everyone scatter first round before it's breath weapon caught the whole party.

I also toss one out every round to someone in my party (not using my bonus action for anything else usually) when fighting casters so they can use it to juice a failing save. (Or make the hit, or whatever.) They all come back on a short rest, better to use them. (Before 5th when they only came back on a long rest I was less carefree with giving them out.)
Thanks, giving examples of actual play is helpful. Still, nothing you've said really seems like it would make a big difference in the long run. The dragon example is perhaps the most compelling, but unless you have tons of inspiration to dole out, it seems more luck than anything that a character happens to have it at the right time.

Also, we don't tend to max out ability scores so the bards we've had are sitting on CHA of 14 or 16 at best, and once with only a 13. Since bardic inspiration is tied to CHA modifier, maybe the bigger issue is I just haven't seen it in use enough to make it seem worthwhile?
 

dnd4vr

Adventurer
The math is against this idea, hugely. A Rogue with a single SA keeps up with Extra Attack in damage, maybe surpasses it. A Rogue with both SA and extra attack would make all other combat characters obsolete. You can disagree with that, butnyou would be wrong.
As I said, been there, done that. And it doesn't make other combat characters obsolete at all--that is very limited thinking if you believe so. If it was a concern, there are always ways to balance it out as discussed in the other thread. At any rate, I am not about to hash it all out all over again so please stop telling me I am wrong. Thank you.
 

Gladius Legis

Explorer
As I said, been there, done that. And it doesn't make other combat characters obsolete at all--that is very limited thinking if you believe so. If it was a concern, there are always ways to balance it out as discussed in the other thread. At any rate, I am not about to hash it all out all over again so please stop telling me I am wrong. Thank you.
But you are wrong. We've been there, done that, too. Acknowledge it.
 

Parmandur

Legend
As I said, been there, done that. And it doesn't make other combat characters obsolete at all--that is very limited thinking if you believe so. If it was a concern, there are always ways to balance it out as discussed in the other thread. At any rate, I am not about to hash it all out all over again so please stop telling me I am wrong. Thank you.
Well, you are wrong, in terms of math. You are welcome to your preferences, but math is objective. WotC will never design an Exta Attack Rogue, because it is out of whack with the math of the game.
 

Parmandur

Legend
Thanks, giving examples of actual play is helpful. Still, nothing you've said really seems like it would make a big difference in the long run. The dragon example is perhaps the most compelling, but unless you have tons of inspiration to dole out, it seems more luck than anything that a character happens to have it at the right time.

Also, we don't tend to max out ability scores so the bards we've had are sitting on CHA of 14 or 16 at best, and once with only a 13. Since bardic inspiration is tied to CHA modifier, maybe the bigger issue is I just haven't seen it in use enough to make it seem worthwhile?
It might not seem like it would make a big difference to you, but it does.
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad hair day
Thanks, giving examples of actual play is helpful. Still, nothing you've said really seems like it would make a big difference in the long run. The dragon example is perhaps the most compelling, but unless you have tons of inspiration to dole out, it seems more luck than anything that a character happens to have it at the right time.
That particular ability (Mantle of Inspiration) isn't one that you use ahead of time, it's on the bard's turn and they use a bonus action, and up to CHR people (which can include you) get tHP plus can use their reaction to move without triggering OAs. So the only luck was that my good DEX bard beat the dragon on initiative. Which was luck, a bad roll and I wouldn't have been able to do that.

Lore bards are even moreso - their subclass bardic inspiration they get to use as a reaction to reduce an attack roll, an ability check, or damage from a foe. No need to give out anything ahead of time. The ability check is rare but surprisingly useful, especially when you make them fall while climbing or mess up a grapple check. Not as good in situations where the bard doing it is obvious though like a social situation.

Also, we don't tend to max out ability scores so the bards we've had are sitting on CHA of 14 or 16 at best, and once with only a 13. Since bardic inspiration is tied to CHA modifier, maybe the bigger issue is I just haven't seen it in use enough to make it seem worthwhile?
That could be related. My current bard was was created with point buy and as a lightfoot halfling for +2 DEX and +1 CHR I started with a 16 CHR (15+1) and DEX (14+2). Would have been the same with standard array. At 4th I went to 18 CHR, and then at 5th bard's Font of Inspiration returns them at short rests instead of long, so I have 4 per short rest. I could have raised it to 20 at 8th but I went for a feat instead. Still, 4 per rest gives me plenty to toss out. I roughly spend one on someone making a challenging skill, one Mantle of Inspiration per combat, and one for an opportunity use or if it's more encounter before we get a short rest.

Also, when you first get it it's just a d6. So a d6 two or three times per day isn't very interesting. It's not until 5th and a higher CHR that it really shines.
 

Mort

Community Supporter
I'm with you. I can't imaging how he doesn't like Bardic Inspiration - it's just about one of the only non-concentration buff in 5e. They have a great spell list, especially around crowd control. Plus hands down fantastic in social situation, and a skill monkey between expertise and jack of all trades.
As a DM I've grown to loathe hypnotic pattern!

Frankly, I can't believe group hasn't yet figured out the synergy of having the cleric cast bane and then have the bard get the hypnotic pattern off.
 

Blue

Orcus on a bad hair day
Folks, let's keep this civil. If you don't agree with a argument, show why and back it up. Perhaps in a different thread if it's off topic for this one about rating classes for tiers. No need to attack someone just because you don't agree with what they say.
 

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