log in or register to remove this ad

 

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

TheBigHouse

Explorer
I was assuming dual wielder taken as the human feat. Trying to maximize melee damage. TWF with the Int buff to damage and Haste is a very potent combination. To follow up on my last reply, we're building different characters for different roles again :p


Lol true. I guess that's why we like this game so much :)
 

log in or register to remove this ad


Great discussion... just going to jump in on one point. Song of defense applies to any type of damage. So if you're in a situation you know shield isn't going to be enough (crits or really high stat attackers), looking at a damage type outside the five absorb elements protects against (say poison or psychic), Song of Defense can be your savior. As far as burning spell slots for it, I think Song of Defense comes into it's own at high level, for life saving moments, when mid level spell slots aren't as critical.

Overall, I think you're making good points. Bladesinger isn't necessarily the default best option for frontliner/tank. But I think Bladesinger is capable of a higher DPR than many of these multiclassing options. I appreciate it for it's striker potential... taking some of the utility focus off my wizard, and allowing me to shift into a half utility / half damage role. This is very party dependent... In my party we have a Bard who takes over some of the utility/support role during combat.

This is all true.

On a slightly different note, however, I will argue that HP attrition including almost everything relating to Song of Defense is best dealt with by keeping everybody topped up at all times at full HP from a dedicated healer + temp HP from Inspired Leader. When 5E first came out I would have argued the opposite--that having a healer was largely redundant because of Hit Die healing on short rests--but that was before discovering the synergies between Extended Spell (Metamagic), Aura of Vitality, and Disciple of Life (1st level Life Cleric feature) that give you 240 HP of healing per 3rd level spell slot (plus a sorcery point) as well as allowing essentially free pop-up healing during combat.

Anyway, when your 10th level party healer can heal 240 HP with a 3rd level slot, the ability to spend a 5th level slot to avoid 25 HP of damage looks a lot less impressive as a 10th level ability. So there's a bit of a question here whether we're evaluating abilities in a vacuum or in the context of a likely party.

BTW, just in case it is relevant to evaluating the likelihood that you'll actually have such a partymate:

The superhealer build (Sorc 3/Life Cleric 1/Lore Bard 6, possibly followed by Warlock 5 for 2/short rest Aura of Vitality) may look counterintuitive but it's surprisingly viable as an actual character. You'll take Mobile to allow you to wear plate without penalty, which synergizes well with the Booming Blade you get from Sorcerer to make you surprisingly gishy; your other metamagic goes not to Quicken per usual (you don't have enough sorcery points to exploit Quicken effectively) but to Careful so you can cast Careful Webs that don't affect the party but hinder monsters, without anyone having to blow a bunch of spell points on Free Movement for everybody. During combat you can blast away with Agonizing Repelling Eldritch Blast (potentially knocking enemies off cliffs or into your Webs) and/or hand out Inspiration or support the party Sharpshooter with Bless. It winds up being a surprisingly gishy character and almost entirely SAD as well--entirely in keeping with the best traditions of clerics.

Apologies for the tangent, but I feel that it is relevant to evaluating Song of Defense.
 

Does that make sense?

How should we present this subtle difference? Should we add a note to enchanter that says "check out the neat stuff you can do with a melee enchanter" and then put a section in multiclassing? Should we make Enchanter sky blue to reflect how good that build is, or should we leave it dark blue for the traditional role, and then make the multiclassing build sky blue?

I think it's fine to leave your guide as-is. Anyone who's interested will be able to read the whole thread including our recent discussion here. Besides, melee wizard tanks are a specific enough thing that they're almost their own thing, not something that can fit in a footnote about a specific wizard specialty.
 
Last edited:


NADRIGOL

Explorer
The superhealer build

My counterpoints are
1) None of the players in my party would want to play such a character... By no means a representative sample, but still...
2) This is healing over time. That character can't save my relatively frail wizard from a sudden blast of damage. I would by all means expect RA based damage reduction to cover a much smaller number of hit points than out of combat heals from a dedicated healer. But as long as my bladesinger can stay alive, he is doing all the damage he needs to, and the lack of a dedicated healer in my party means higher damage output, and shorter combat. Perfect for getting back to healing during rests quicker.

Two different play styles, but I guess I'm still a believer that the game mechanics favor preventing damage over healing damage. I am still a Wizard. If both dragons are able to attack me at once, there are high level battlefield control spells being misused.
 

My counterpoints are
1) None of the players in my party would want to play such a character... By no means a representative sample, but still...
2) This is healing over time. That character can't save my relatively frail wizard from a sudden blast of damage. I would by all means expect RA based damage reduction to cover a much smaller number of hit points than out of combat heals from a dedicated healer. But as long as my bladesinger can stay alive, he is doing all the damage he needs to, and the lack of a dedicated healer in my party means higher damage output, and shorter combat. Perfect for getting back to healing during rests quicker.

Two different play styles, but I guess I'm still a believer that the game mechanics favor preventing damage over healing damage. I am still a Wizard. If both dragons are able to attack me at once, there are high level battlefield control spells being misused.

I have to admit, I also favor damage prevention in practice, but for an entirely different reason: my PCs don't like getting stabbed/roasted/eaten because it hurts. The fact that you could theoretically survive ten times as many stabbings by healing the damage after the fact is not a convincing reason to let this guy stab me right now.

Therefore, I tend to overuse active defenses like Shield, even when the theoretically optimal decision is to just soak the damage and heal it afterward.

But, I don't like active defenses enough to prioritize Song of Defense over things like Malleable Illusion, Portent, and Undead Thralls. I'll let me biases and irrational preferences influence my short-term decisions, but not my long-term decisions.

Anyway, good discussion, all. I really enjoy this thread.
 

Ovarwa

Explorer
The thing about BS vs Abjurer is that every single Abjurer feature is useful, either providing defenses or making him better at (aspects of) a wizard's traditional role. A BS designed to hang back and cast spells doesn't use half of his features..... An Abjurer who dips a level (probably at start) into cleric or fighter again does not waste features. Dipping even further into a martial class makes things even worse. Archer Ranger or Fighter 11/Wizard(X) 9? Maybe X == Abjurer rather than BS. In your face great weapon wielder? That's a STR build, of which quite a few are interesting for wizards.... Nothing wrong with BS! Wizardly defenses are good. BS adds solid defense, and does allow for a fragile, wizardly gish-in-a-box, 1-20. But Abjurer temp hp 'field' is a unique feature that is easily replenished and that helps against bad concentration saves; this is the wizard I'd rather have at my back for the big showdown with the evil spellcaster, a likely encounter type!
 

As a sorcerer player, I found this guide a very interesting read, and I enjoyed the damage graphs toward the end. I have three comments, which I will order from complainingest to questioningest.

1) I think you do a disservice to cone of cold to call it mid-sized. Its volume is more than twice that of fireball, and its being a cone makes it easier to target than the larger spheres, especially indoors.

2) It's not clear if the damage averages of those spells which require an attack roll factor in the chance to crit. I think that that is an important consideration, effectively making their chance to hit 5% higher by default and more if the caster can get advantage from darkness/paralyze/hold/invisibility.

3) So, empowered evocation got nerfed to only apply to the first damage roll, but has there been any clarification of overchannel? In the case of a spell which deals damage on more than one turn, such as storm sphere, does overchannel apply turn after turn? Or has there been no erratum on it?

Thanks for the great guide.
 

Pinwheel

First Post
I kind of wanted to touch base about Hypnotic Pattern -- It gets rave reviews as an excellent CC option, and it is a good one, but it seems very swingy to me. If everyone in the encounter fails it's ridiculously strong, and you can basically just pick your targets and strike like mad. If one or more foes passes, however, the enemies will just use their actions to shake their allies awake. A 3rd level spell slot for one turn of CC seems kind of rough to me.

Just was wondering if I was missing anything or if you guys have any advice!
 

NADRIGOL

Explorer
I kind of wanted to touch base about Hypnotic Pattern -- It gets rave reviews as an excellent CC option, and it is a good one, but it seems very swingy to me. If everyone in the encounter fails it's ridiculously strong, and you can basically just pick your targets and strike like mad. If one or more foes passes, however, the enemies will just use their actions to shake their allies awake. A 3rd level spell slot for one turn of CC seems kind of rough to me.

Just was wondering if I was missing anything or if you guys have any advice!

Wasting actions seems worthwhile regardless. And if less than half of them save, it would take more than one round to wake everyone up. The positioning of who saves and who doesn't also presents opportunities for additional CC to keep enemies charmed, OA's on enemies running to their allies, and anything you can use the charmed enemies as bait for. Given the number of rounds a typical combat sequence may last, even one round of charmed enemies is not insubstantial.

While a wall spell that can split enemies into subgroups may be more powerful, this spell could present similar opportunities, and has a chance to be far more powerful (at the expense of possibly being far worse).

Just my thoughts... I've actually used the spell before in game.
 

I kind of wanted to touch base about Hypnotic Pattern -- It gets rave reviews as an excellent CC option, and it is a good one, but it seems very swingy to me. If everyone in the encounter fails it's ridiculously strong, and you can basically just pick your targets and strike like mad. If one or more foes passes, however, the enemies will just use their actions to shake their allies awake. A 3rd level spell slot for one turn of CC seems kind of rough to me.

Just was wondering if I was missing anything or if you guys have any advice!

It depends upon a number of factors, but the one you highlight here is: how much does your DM metagame combat? As a DM, I do not metagame to the extent of mentally choosing the waking sequence so that monster #1 not only realizes that he can wake his buddies up, but also knows which monster comes next in initiative order and wakes him so they can all chain-wake each other in optimal order.

(Also, I use a Speed Factor initiative system so even if I wanted to metagame this way it would be difficult.)

So the thing you might be missing is: your DM's apparent style is not universal. And even with his style, you're still costing them a round of combat, and PCs can get opportunity attacks and/or interdict enemies with grapple/etc. to prevent them from waking each other. Hypnotic Pattern is still an excellent spell, with the one major weakness of not working against targets immune to charm, which means sometimes you waste the spell on something like a ghoul that turns out to be immune.
 

famousringo

First Post
Wasting actions seems worthwhile regardless. And if less than half of them save, it would take more than one round to wake everyone up. The positioning of who saves and who doesn't also presents opportunities for additional CC to keep enemies charmed, OA's on enemies running to their allies, and anything you can use the charmed enemies as bait for. Given the number of rounds a typical combat sequence may last, even one round of charmed enemies is not insubstantial.

While a wall spell that can split enemies into subgroups may be more powerful, this spell could present similar opportunities, and has a chance to be far more powerful (at the expense of possibly being far worse).

Just my thoughts... I've actually used the spell before in game.

Yeah, if you hit half of an enemy force with Hypnotic Pattern, and the bad guys take their turn immediately after and wake everybody up, you've basically traded your turn for the turn of the entire enemy team. That's a good deal.

I'd spend a 3rd level slot for a 1 round Time Stop that lets my allies act.
 

jgsugden

Legend
I've revisited the guide recently and have a few more comments.

When we evaluate the color of spells, the efficacy is only one consideration. The 2nd most powerful spell in the game might sound like something that should be gold to us - but it might actually deserve to be red. Why? Let's say both were 9th level spells (of which we only get to cast one) and we'd always elect to use the most powerful over the second most powerful. Why prepare the second 9th level spell when we'll never use it? Why bother selecting to learn it? This is an argument as to why the presence of a gold 9th level spell (wish) makes every other 9th level spell green at best - maybe purple.

So, when we apply color to a spell, I think we need to consider:
* Whether it needs to be prepared while adventuring to be useful (rituals, simulacrum, clone, etc... do not);
* In what situations we would prepare it
** Are there levels where utility phases out - like sleep phases out,
** Would we work it in or out based upon situational benefits - wall of force is great unless you're fighting underwater where people can swim around it, and
** Would we always prepare it - like shield?;
* How often will I use slots on it when prepared; and
* How powerful it is.

To me, any spell that I'm always going to have prepared once I learn it and will cast using multiple spell slots over an adventuring day; or that I've often use without having to regularly prepare are gold - even if they're not amazeballs (technical term) in power levels. Other spells might also be gold based upon a totality of circumstances. This assessment would upgrade a lot of rituals to gold.

There are 40 light blue and gold non-ritual spells on your list. A few of those spells (contingency, clone, simulacrum) are not ones we prepare daily, but most are. A 20th level wizard with a 22 Int and Spell Mastery included has 28 spells they can prepare. Opportunity cost says that a lot of those sky blues and golds are not going to make your often prepared list - we'd be able to prepare only about 2/3 of the available ones at any given time. Some of those are spells we'll conditionally prepare, but they're awesome at the levels we'd prepare them or in the situations we'd use them. So, if we say that we're cycling between these spells that number of sky blue and gold make sense... but only if every other spell is purple or lower. The more dark blue and green options we have - which by definition are the minimum tiers where we'd consider them as a selected option - the less sky blue and gold we can have if they need to be prepared during adventuring to be useful.

To me, based upon the description of the categories, this is how I'd rank spells:

Gold: Rituals I will use often, spells I will cast while not adventuring that are very useful (clone, simulacrum, etc..), and spells I need to prepare on adventures that I will always prepare once available, although they may get 'phased out' after a while. There should be very, very few of these if they require preparation while adventuring to use them.
Sky Blue: Rituals I will use once or twice a level, spell that I will cast while not adventuring that are fairly useful, and spells I need to prepare on adventures that many character builds will prepare most of the time. Based upon the limited number of preparable spells, there is really only enough room for 4 or 5 sky blue or gold spells that require active preparation to be useful in level 1, 2 or 3 per level for levels 2 to 5 and no more than 6 total for levels 6 to 9. Across 9 levels - excluding rituals and spells we don't need to prepare while adventuring for them to be useful, there should be no more than about 20 spells that are sky blue or gold. Having more violates the definition of the colors.
Blue: Rituals and spells I do not need to prepare while adventuring that are of limited use fit here. So do spells that certain builds will love, but others would rarely, if ever, prepare; spells that phase out quickly; spells that have alternatives that provide similar benefits at a lower level; etc... There should be a handful of these spells at each level - but not if we have a gold option at a higher level spell.
Green: Any other ritual or spell that I do not need to prepare while adventuring should fit here unless totally useless. Spells with conditional use or a very short useful life cycle that must be prepared go here as well. This is the highest tier where any number of spells could fit.
Purple: Totally useless non-adventuring spells and rituals fit here (basically, a seemingly useless ritual is better than a seemingly useless non-ritual). So do prepared spells that have very narrow bands of use.
Red: Junk.

Also, a discussion of non-wizard spells available via dip into another class would be good in a multi-class area. A one level dip into cleric gets you first level cleric spells - and that means access to cure wounds that you can cast using high level slots. That deserves mention. First level spells that ramp up well can be very worthwhile - and having the capability to use up a huge number of slots to heal the party up is sometimes worth it.
 

NADRIGOL

Explorer
Really liked this post... It's something I've been thinking about a lot as I write my Bladesinger guide. Here are a couple thoughts I had reading it.

Your ratings gleam most of their weighting from a "how many spells can I prepare" and "what will I prepare most often" frame of mind. I think this is the most relevant based on the Wizard playstyle, but I can see how a "How many spells are in my spellbook", "How many spells can I copy from scroll drops etc..." frame of mind could also be valuable (and I would put forward that this is how the guides spells are currently rated).

Along the previous points implications... I think a problem encountered rating spells is that a lot of the currently sky blue spells are at least slightly situational. Therefore there are arguments to be made that all ~40 of them would spend equal time on your prepared list based on hunches regarding the upcoming adventure. I think where these two frames of mind can be reconciled is by giving out a few more gold ratings to the spells that always make the list... but the sky blue ratings are harder to judge... because of my next point.

As recently discussed on this thread, ratings fluctuate depending on the tradition, build, and playstyle of the particular Wizard (which is a class with many possibilities). Your definition of ratings for spells, being very "prepared list" dependent, is therefore also very build dependent. Therefore I think that while certain aspects of your rating system could probably be incorporated into this guide, I think the current system is very appropriate for a "general guide to wizardry".

All that being said, I think I'm going to borrow some of your rating ideas for the Bladesinger guide I'm writing. I think it will work well since, to my previous point, I'm writing a build specific guide. I'm in the middle of my multiclassing section, and to this guide's author's credit... rating multiclass spells is a horrific undertaking. It requires a lot of study, and reading of other guides, and outside-the-box (pure class X is the box!) thinking. In my current version I'm only bothering to point out spells that have potential to synergize well with the build, not even considering rating the whole spell list. Perhaps a middle ground will be to point out said spells, and rate them in the context of that particular multiclass build considering the existing Wizard spell ratings (Because who cares about the red-blue spells anyways).
 
Last edited:

Ovarwa

Explorer
Hi, Interesting. A lot of this boils down to judging the value of a wizard's spell by 2 criteria: How important is it to have this spell in your spellbook? How important is it to have this spell prepared, if it is in your spellbook? Other casting classes only have one criteria (clerics/druids/paladins because all of their spells are in their spellbook, and everyone else because the spells they have access to are always prepared.) Anyway, Ken
 

Ovarwa

Explorer
I guess there is a third criterion:

How important is it to choose a spell as one of your guaranteed spells known rather than hope that you will be able to find it later?
 

Yunru

First Post
What's the best way for me to imitate a maho shojo?
I'm thinking bladesinger, because Blade Song could very easily be refluffed into a Barrier Jacket.
 

Matau99

Villager
Could you add your thoughts on That Old Black Magic's spells and Modern Magic's technomancer? TOBM seems very good with Conjuration, especially Conjure Lesser Demon--like Conjure Minor Elementals but more. 32 units each with 30 extra HP would be amazing.
 

Polarthief

First Post
Regarding a dip in Cleric, what is everyone's thoughts about the Arcana domain?

I currently have a character level 2, and he's a Cleric 1/Wizard 1. I've been questioning if the expertise from Knowledge is worth it over Arcana, but here's a quick rundown of what you get from both:

Knowledge
- +2 Languages (easily overcome by Comprehend Languages)
- Proficiency+Expertise in Arcana (obvious pick because why the hell wouldn't you) and 1 more: Nature, Religion, or History
- Domain Spells: Command (pretty good), Identify (meh)

Thoughts: The expertise in Arcana and one more knowledge skill is very nice, but that's pretty much all you get from this, assuming you go with only 1 level in dipping Cleric.

Arcana
- Arcana Proficiency (not as good as Expertise in it and 1 more skill)
- +2 Wizard cantrips as Cleric cantrips (pick ones like Mage Hand, Prestidigitation, Control Flames, etc that don't use an attack roll, saving throw, or any of your abilities in any way. This is amazing for utility and gives you a whopping 8 cantrips [3 Cleric, 2 Wizard as Cleric, 3 Wizard] at Level 2! [9 if you run a race that gives free cantrips such as High/Drow Elf, Genasi, etc])
- Domain Spells: Detect Magic (always prepared so you can cast it whenever, saving you a Wizard spell learned), Magic Missile (not the best Level 1 spell ever, but it's nice to have!) [Note: While both spells are considered Cleric spells, neither uses abilities or rolls a d20, so there's no penalty to them being Cleric spells instead of Wizard ones).

Thoughts: The spells are very good (not amazing but significantly more useful than Command and Identify), more cantrips are never a bad thing, and you still get the free proficiency in Arcana!

I mean, that's just my two cents, but I'm curious if anyone else thinks about Arcana vs Knowledge regarding players who run Cleric 1/Wizard X. The expertise in Arcana and one other Knowledge skill is the only thing that keeps me questioning the two, but I love having extra cantrips and (more useful) spells so much.
 
Last edited:

Advertisement2

Advertisement4

Top