D&D 5E [GUIDE] Arrive on Time - A General Guide to Wizardry

TheBigHouse

Explorer
Arrive on Time - A General Guide to Wizardry
Wizard Guide

Updated 1/7/2021 for Tasha's Cauldron of Everything

I have removed the guide from this post as it is woefully out of date and I don't feel like updating everything twice. Please use the google doc link. I will still reply to any comments left here.
 
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Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
I think i will be able to post links soon, so I will repost this under my account so I can keep it updated.

Naw, the way to do it is have the thread I started changed to be under your handle, per instructions in the lifeboat forum. Otherwise we have to change both indexes to the guides.

Please do not post duplicate threads if you can help it.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
Let me know which you wish to do, [MENTION=6801320]TheBigHouse[/MENTION]. I can either transfer this one to you, or remove this one. I think this is going to happen from time to time; we'll muddle through!
 


Strill

First Post
Is Frostbite really blue? Sure the damage and disadvantage is a great effect for a cantrip, but at the same time it targets CON, which is generally the worst save to target. It also only applies to one attack, so as you level up and enemies get more attacks, it'll make less of a difference.

In a void it's a great spell, since it trades a small amount of damage in exchange for protecting your party, but it seems to me that that CON save really kills it. I can't help but think that it will become more and more irrelevant later on when you start fighting enemies that are literally impossible to affect with it.
 
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TheBigHouse

Explorer
Is Frostbite really blue? Sure the damage and disadvantage is a great effect for a cantrip, but at the same time it targets CON, which is generally the worst save to target. It also only applies to one attack, so as you level up and enemies get more attacks, it'll make less of a difference.

In a void it's a great spell, since it trades a small amount of damage in exchange for protecting your party, but it seems to me that that CON save really kills it. I can't help but think that it will become more and more irrelevant later on when you start fighting enemies that are literally impossible to affect with it.

you are correct, as you level frostbite is a lot less impressive, but the same goes for all of your damage cantrips. There's no eldritch blast here; pretty much all of your damage cantrips are garbage =). I've rated most the damage cantrips blue because you should probably have 1 or 2 of them, but they are all pretty much equally unimpressive.

The fact that frostbite is a con save isn't necessarily a bad thing. There are plenty of low con monsters at higher levels, and even most monsters with high con scores don't have save proficiency.

Take a hydra for example, CR8, 20 con but no proficiency, 15AC. By level 8 you should have a DC of like 16 and an attack bonus of around +8. That means the hydra has to roll 15+ on vs your con save and you have to roll a 7+ to hit with an attack. so despite the hydra's very high con, its still easier to hit CON than AC. What's more, if you have potent cantrip, your expected damage goes up a little bit too.

But, yeah, in general you don't want to be relying on something like frostbite. It, along with your other damage cantrips, are pretty poor spells. They are just there if you can't/don't want to use better spells for some reason. If you are facing a purple worm and relying on cantrips, you are going to have a bad time.

The only exception I would make to this is chill touch, which, when facing enemies with healing and regeneration, is really solid.
 
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Strill

First Post
Take a hydra for example, CR8, 20 con but no proficiency, 15AC. By level 8 you should have a DC of like 16 and an attack bonus of around +8. That means the hydra has to roll 15+ on vs your con save and you have to roll a 7+ to hit with an attack. so despite the hydra's very high con, its still easier to hit CON than AC. What's more, if you have potent cantrip, your expected damage goes up a little bit too.

It's actually not easier to hit. 14 AC is as easy to hit as a +0 save. 15 AC corresponds to a +1 save, but the hydra has +5. That means it's 4 points easier to hit the hydra's AC than its CON save, or more if you have a Wand of the War Mage.

This is kind of my point. CON saves are harder to make than AC.

Chance to hit = (20 - AC + 1 + proficiency + casting mod) / 20
Chance to FAIL a save = (DC - 1 - save proficiency - save mod) / 20

With your example of DC16, +8 to hit, and +5 to save, that comes out to:

Chance to hit AC15: (20 - 15 + 1 + proficiency + casting mod) / 20 = 70%
Chance to fail +5 CON save: (16 - 1 - save proficiency - save mod) / 20 = 50%
 
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TheBigHouse

Explorer
It's actually not easier to hit. 14 AC is as easy to hit as a +0 save. 15 AC corresponds to a +1 save, but the hydra has +5. That means it's 4 points easier to hit the hydra's AC than its CON save, or more if you have a Wand of the War Mage.

This is kind of my point. CON saves are harder to make than AC.

Ah you are right. I totally forgot to add the CON mod into my math, which defeats the whole purpose haha.

But, yea for high CON monsters, you are right. It is easier to hit with an attack, and if you have to use a cantrip vs a hydra, i wouldn't use frostbite. As you said, disadvantage on one attack out of its multi attack is pretty useless anyway.

Part of my ratings assume that you use the right attack at the right time. Hold Person is useless vs the hydra too, but its still a great spell. I agree that frostbite is probably not as good as some of your other cantrip choices in many situations, but it could be helpful vs things like rogues that rely on one big attack rather than a multi attack and creatures with high AC and low con.

I'm reconsidering how I rate these cantrips in general, though thanks to you bringing this up. I might end up lowering frostbite and moving some other things around based on being too situational.

As a side note, I don't think wand of the warmage is worth an attune slot unless you don't have any other options. It only really affects some cantrips and scorching ray.
 
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