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D&D 5E Dwarven Battlerager Build

the_move

First Post
I really like the tavern brawler feat at level 4 it opens up some nice options if you are creative. If you rip a nice branch off of a tree you can call it an improvised quarter staff then you can attack with a d8 and grapple as a bonus action while still keeping your strength progressing nicely This also opens up the polearm master as an option later on to improve your stick-swinging skills. Or maybe your barbarian plays too much dead rising and likes to make his own weapons. Nails in a solid piece of wood could be classified as a morning star. If your party has members that don't have darkvision you could use a lit torch as an improvised club and the extra fire damage gives you a psuedo d6 damage die. Also this feat is great for when you are stuck in situations without your usual gear.



On a sidenote, you get your 18 Str score (+4 mod) at lvl 4, too. You would have +6 athletics at lvl 4 and +8 at lvl 9. Even without increasing Str to 20 at lvl 8 you are only 1 point behind and as I said, your advantage on Str checks while raging will help the most with grappling and proning.
 
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GrumpyGamer

First Post
I posted this in another thread where people were discussing grappling characters, but it seems a better fit for this thread. I am a big fan of the stunning attack monks have so I really like the pin condition which is why I include it here:

From the Sword Coast guide you may want to look at the Battlerager barbarian. This is a much more simplified path than druid and does not require a friendly DM to unlock its full potential.

Build Outline:
Start Mountain Dwarf for +2 Con, +2 Strength (With a 17 in Strength)
At level 3 select Path of the Battlerager and buy some Spiked Armor
* Use the Battlerager armor to take a bonus attack when grappling to do damage (Think Big Spiky Hug)

At level 4 take the Tavern Brawler Feat (+1 to Strength (18 Strength))
* You can now attack with improvised weapons (leg of chair/broken bottle/etc.) and grapple them with a bonus action in the same round.

At level 8 pick the Grappler Feat
* You have advantage on grapple checks.
* You can still use your bonus attack with the Battlerager armor to do damage while pinning them, otherwise pin takes your action.

You can switch the feats, taking Grappler at level 4 and Tavern Brawler switched depending on how much you like the Pin Condition (it is pretty awesome). Grappler has better synergy with Battlerager than Tavern Brawler.

Read more: http://www.enworld.org/forum/showth...r-Build-a-Grappler-for-AL/page2#ixzz453uDLjVH
 

the_move

First Post
The Grappler feat is very poor and risky, since the restraint condition is applied to both, you and the creature, negating all advantage/advantage relations between you and your target. Not only that, but attacks made by other creatures against you have advantage, while yours have disadvantage. Further you have disadvantage on Dex save as well, and your move is brought down to 0, so you can not drag your target. All this is leaving you much more vulnerable in a fight especially against multiple enemies and does not put you in a better position than your target.

Instead of restraining your target (and yourself) just shove it to make it fall prone. A proned and grappled target can not stand up while being grappled, prone applies the advantage/disadvantage abilities only to the target, while leaving you unaffected. And that's the true selling point. You are not restraint yourself, leaving you in a much better position.

To just quote the Grappler's manual on the feat:

Grappler / Grappler
The hands-down most disappointing entry in the PHB, Grappler is the ultimate trap ability. Its first ability is a worse version of the shove-to-prone combat option grapplers already have. Why invest in a feat for advantage when you can do it with basic combat actions? The second ability is what earns Grappler its green status. A restrained target suffers from disadvantage to all Dexterity saving throws, which works nicely with grapplers who use Dexterity-based spell damage. Or grapplers who have allies using that magic. This is a niche way to grapple but a fun one, so I leave it out there as an option for grapplers looking for new ways to enjoy the combat style. As for the last bullet point, it's a leftover of an earlier edition. As the PHB Errata clarifies, " Ignore the third benefit; it refers to a nonexistent rule". All told, this is the feat that should have made us tick and instead it's one of the first you'll ignore.

Read more: http://www.enworld.org/forum/showthread.php?468737-The-Grappler-s-Manual-(2-0)-Grappling-in-5th-Edition#ixzz4546xlpFQ

On a sidenote grapple does not grant advantage on grapple checks, but barbarian's rage does. It does grant advantage on attacks made against grappled creatures, but so does the proned condition. A grappled creature does not have disadvantage on it's attacks, but a proned creature has.

Grappler therefore is a total waste unless you want to give the spellcasters in your party an edge, when it comes to certain spells cast. But that comes at a too great risk.
 
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GrumpyGamer

First Post
Grappler therefore is a total waste unless you want to give the spellcasters in your party an edge, when it comes to certain spells cast. But that comes at a too great risk.

Pinned is better than prone. Prone provides disadvantage for all ranged attacks while Pinned provides advantage. Considering how awesome ranged rogues, ranged fighters, and ranged spell casters are this is not something to dismiss out of hand.

Advantage counteracts disadvantage so you don't have disadvantage to attack the target you are pinning. What it does do is take up an attack. This is where the synergy with Battlerager armor comes in. You get to do damage to your target while your entire party gets to do a lot more damage because you have them pinned.

You will never be as useful grappling a creature as a monk would be stunning a creature, but having Pin is close; if I were to rank them, I would say Stun > Pin > Prone.

On the subject of safety you are not likely to grapple unless you are fighting one big target and if it is one big target the pin provides you some safety. You can also rage for additional resistance to physical damage.
 
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the_move

First Post
Pinned is better than prone. Prone provides disadvantage for all ranged attacks while Pinned provides advantage. Considering how awesome ranged rogues, ranged fighters, and ranged spell casters are this is not something to dismiss out of hand.

Advantage counteracts disadvantage so you don't have disadvantage to attack the target you are pinning. What it does do is take up an attack. This is where the synergy with Battlerager armor comes in. You get to do damage to your target while your entire party gets to do a lot more damage because you have them pinned.

You will never be as useful grappling a creature as a monk would be stunning a creature, but having Pin is close; if I were to rank them, I would say Stun > Pin > Prone.

On the subject of safety you are not likely to grapple unless you are fighting one big target and if it is one big target the pin provides you some safety. You can also rage for additional resistance to physical damage.

Again, there is no pinned condition. What you are referring to is the restraint condition.
And yes, advantage counters disadvantage, as I have already stated myself. That means you get nothing out of this situation yourself, apart from having disadvantage on Dex saving throws yourself and having a speed of 0, both being bad. Both you and the target treat your attacks against each other as normal. Your ranged fighting companions might get some mileage out of it if they insist on fighting at range, but so do any other ranged fighting enemies against you.

Even if there is only one villain, who can be grappled, the 5E system is flexible enough, so any rouge, ranger, fighter, or whatever, even when normally leaning towards ranged fighting, can still draw and reliably use a melee weapon. They are not bound to using one weapon always and only, as it had been with the 4th Edition. Even if they picked the archer fighting style, their melee capabilities aren't crippled, and don't forget advantage. So they can also easily take on a proned enemy, while being able to apply most if not all their class features and buff spells (Sneak Attack, Colossus Slayer, Hunter's Mark, Hex, etc.).

Clever spellcasters can use spells like Spike Growth or Cloud of Daggers, which you can drag your grappled target into for additional damage. Spells, which require a saving throw are working as normal, but successful Shocking Grasps are great as the proned target can't use reactions until the caster's next turn, so he can't OA any companions, who hit and run. Flexibility isn't a one-way street, and 5E is made to be flexible even for archers or spellcasters. It's up to any player to make use of it, though.

But Fighting only one big solo target is a rarely the occasion, and even if, it might be a huge or larger target. Then you'll have to go into basic melee anyway, except for using a potion of giant growth before taking on a huge creature. Apart from that most encounters still include henchmen apart from a major villain.

So instead of your ranged party members picking on your target, they might instead go for any ranged fighting enemies or spellcasters, which you do not have the speed to engage and grapple right away. With that they might keep you from harm, while you are shutting down those melee combatants, which otherwise might threaten your squishies.

You should rage as a barb grappler anyway. The Grappler feat is redundant, as there are better and less situational feats available, granting more significant benefits and don't forget you also need some ASIs. It surely does not belong into an optimized build.
 
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GrumpyGamer

First Post
You should rage as a barb grappler anyway. The Grappler feat is redundant, as there are better and less situational feats available, granting more significant benefits and don't forget you also need some ASIs. It surely does not belong into an optimized build.

The Grappler allows you Pin (give the restrained condition) which is clearly superior in some cases (all cases with ranged attack party members), so it is clearly not redundant. It also fits into the ASI budget by level 12 (at level 12 you will have Strength 20 along with the Grappler and Tavern Brawler feats) so it belongs in the optimized build conversation.

To reiterate shove prone only helps if all people in your party that want to attack a target are melee. This does not match my experience of 5e where many optimized builds use range attacks. I think what I am arguing for is a grappling character that works in more situations; keep in mind that you can still shove prone a combatant even if you have the Grappler feat - the feat is a net add, you don't lose anything. Our argument I believe boils down to party optimization vs character optimization.
 
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the_move

First Post
In all cases ranged attack party members can just draw a melee weapon and go hog wild, too. As I already pointed out this is not 4E. Whether ranged or melee, a rogue may still have one attack (Two, if he is dual wielding). He has advantage on the proned target in melee, and you are close, so he can pull of his Sneak Attack anyway. A Ranger can draw a one-hander and attack in melee to. He can apply Colossus Slayer, and Hunter's Mark. If there is only one target (you were referring to a solo mob) he can't use Horde Breaker anyway.

The only thing, that might not work is using the Sharpshooter feat for a -5 to hit/+10 to damage call. Yet still since you are holding down the mob, you can stall for time, even more so if the mob has disadvantage on his attacks he makes against you. The battle rager resistance is only the regular, unlike the bear totem barb, so having an extra damage mitigation is more than handy. And at AC 16 applying disadvantage is often mitigating more damage than resistances. When combined, even better.

What you miss is, that in the scenario you describe as the best possible situation to restrain an enemy along with yourself (a restrainable solo mob), it does also in no regard hurt your team, if they close in (and out) for the kill as well.

As a matter of fact there are no cases, where Grappler can truely stand out. Also being restraint yourself severely gripples it's usefulness on any case.
 
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GrumpyGamer

First Post
In all cases ranged attack party members can just draw a melee weapon and go hog wild, too. This is not 4E. As a matter of fact there are no cases, where Grappler can truely stand out.

Hog wild with disadvantage to shoot the target you shoved to the ground? In this case you are making it harder for your party to do damage. Ranged attacks and dex based spell saves against your target are where Grappler stands out.
 
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the_move

First Post
Hog wild with disadvantage to shoot the target you shoved to the ground? In this case you are making it harder for your party to do damage. Ranged attacks and dex based spell saves against your target are where Grappler stands out.

Learn to read the sentences in full!

In all cases ranged attack party members can just draw a melee weapon and go hog wild, too...

No disadvantage applied! Quite the opposite, they gain advantage. And instead of using a dex save spell, use Cloud of Dagger, Spike Growth, Shocking Grasp or whatever suits you.
 
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GrumpyGamer

First Post
Learn to read the sentences in full!



No disadvantage applied! Quite the opposite, they gain advantage. And instead of using a dex save spell, use Cloud of Dagger, Spike Growth, Shocking Grasp or whatever suits you.

Reading comprehension for the fail on my part, but the critique still stands. Characters designed around ranged spells (Warlock with EB for example) or ranged attacks (Fighters/Rogues with Sharpshooter for example) are going to do a lot less damage.

You might not want to pin all of the time, but pin has its place.
 

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