5E [GUIDE] Battle On: The Fighter Guide

Phion

Explorer
After some thought, I've downgraded Samurai to dark blue. It's an effective subclass, no doubt (especially past Lv. 10), but Battle Masters and Eldritch Knights both have their ways of getting advantage on a lot of their attacks (even if not with the 100% reliability of Fighting Spirit), and besides that have a lot more nifty tricks up their sleeve. So, can't rate Samurai quite on their level.

Also downgraded Arcane Archer to black. Only 2 uses per short rest just doesn't seem adequate beyond the earliest levels, and Ever-Ready Shot probably should've come around Lv. 10 instead of 15.
And on that note I now have no arguments with your list. I would say archer should be red but that would be my immature side coming through wishing it had been a different archetype for fighter (monster hunter)
 

ThaFlowzer

Visitor
Hello everyone!

I was reading this thread and decided to create an account so I could ask you guys some questions.

I'm playing a lvl 6 fighter BM Mountain Dwarf with Resilient (WIS), Shield Master and Martial Adept with the following (rolled) stats:

STR 20
DEX 9
CON 18
INT 7
WIS 10
CHA 14

Because of how the group works, the story fares and my fear of late game fighter I was thinking about multiclassing into a bard.
In the main post I didn't see anything about the new Xanathar's bard colleges like College of the Sword (not going further then lvl 5) or new spells.
I was wondering if you guys could give me some advice about maybe dipping some levels into bard and if so, at what fighter level that would be useful.

EDIT:
Our group consists of a lore bard, rogue, div. wizard/cleric and a paladin.
Now that I've looked a bit into the bard spells I'm not sure they add much. We already have a lore bard in the group and there are not enough spells for me to create something he can't do better.
Is putting a few levels into warlock, for hex or more, a useful option? The more I look at the group composition, the more I get the feeling we need more damage, not support.
Thanks in advance!
 
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Hello everyone!

I was reading this thread and decided to create an account so I could ask you guys some questions.

I'm playing a lvl 6 fighter BM Mountain Dwarf with Resilient (WIS), Shield Master and Martial Adept with the following (rolled) stats:

STR 20
DEX 9
CON 18
INT 7
WIS 10
CHA 14

Because of how the group works, the story fares and my fear of late game fighter I was thinking about multiclassing into a bard.
In the main post I didn't see anything about the new Xanathar's bard colleges like College of the Sword (not going further then lvl 5) or new spells.
I was wondering if you guys could give me some advice about maybe dipping some levels into bard and if so, at what fighter level that would be useful.

EDIT:
Our group consists of a lore bard, rogue, div. wizard/cleric and a paladin.
Now that I've looked a bit into the bard spells I'm not sure they add much. We already have a lore bard in the group and there are not enough spells for me to create something he can't do better.
Is putting a few levels into warlock, for hex or more, a useful option? The more I look at the group composition, the more I get the feeling we need more damage, not support.
Thanks in advance!
You'll not win any most damaging party awards but you will be fine on damage. A rogue, paladin and fighter all should do solid damage. You will probably do the lowest yourself but with shield master you will bring everyones damage up.

If I were you I would consider multiclassing sorcerer. Why sorcerer? You get the shield spell and absorb elements and blur for defensive options. You can cast spells as a bonus action so your whole turn isn't just used casting a spell. You can twin cast spells like haste and target the rogue and the paladin which will be very strong. (rogues can get twice as much sneak attack with smart use of haste, reaction attacks...). Paladins generally naturally do solid damage per hit. Action surge lets you cast 2 spells at once or cast and attack. You also can get shadowblade which is a little better than Hex IMO.

Basically unless you heavily invest in your attacks to get them doing a bunch of damage then you are probably better off multiclassing.

Another consideration is to multiclass into barbarian. You have really good stats for that. You could have 21 armor without wearing any armor but a shield. you could have rage for damage resistance and extra damage etc. When you are raging you get advantage on athletics checks which helps you prone enemies with shield master.
 

ThaFlowzer

Visitor
You can cast spells as a bonus action so your whole turn isn't just used casting a spell. You can twin cast spells like haste and target the rogue and the paladin which will be very strong. (rogues can get twice as much sneak attack with smart use of haste, reaction attacks...). Paladins generally naturally do solid damage per hit.
I like that casting is only using a bonus action. But I fear that I will run out of spells very fast as they don't restore on a short rest.

Action surge lets you cast 2 spells at once or cast and attack.
So do you suggest going 3 levels into sorcerer and 17 in fighter? Would you suggest the same for warlock?

You also can get shadowblade which is a little better than Hex IMO.
I already have a +1 dmg & to hit longsword right now so the damage increase is nonexistent. Psychic damage is nice, but I would lose all the utility of hex, would be required to go at least 5 levels into sorcerer and thus lose an action surge.

Another consideration is to multiclass into barbarian. You have really good stats for that. You could have 21 armor without wearing any armor but a shield. you could have rage for damage resistance and extra damage etc. When you are raging you get advantage on athletics checks which helps you prone enemies with shield master.
I don't see how I would get 21 armor, it's 10+DEX+CON+2(shield) = 15/16 (I don't know if you substract one for my dex score).
lvl 2 Danger sense looks pretty good IMO, just one level just gives me 2 rages per day but I lose my last extra attack. It might be worth it if I don't get kited and ignored.

What level would you suggest are good levels to multiclass? 7th is out of the question because I don't really have a good reason storywise to do it now.
 

Old Lancer

Visitor
I'm new to D&D and brand new to this site. I've run into a bit of a conundrum, and this seems like a very good place to ask about it. I've got a level three human variant samurai with the Great Weapon fighting style and Polearm Master feat with stats from a point buy as follows:

STR 16
DEX 12
CON 16
INT 8
WIS 13
CHA 8

More by (a large amount of) blind luck than anything else, this matches your build example for a polearm master almost exactly, except for the subclass difference. As you noted at several points throughout your guide, Samurai get WIS save proficiency automatically at level seven which means they don't need to take the Resilient feat for wisdom, which is great, but without the +1 to wisdom it will be at an odd number forever unless I spend or split an ASI on it and another stat, but both of those options seem like a waste, which brings me to my question.

Would it be a good idea to still take Resilient, and boost up wisdom, but as my 6th level feat instead to preempt Elegant Courtier and then use the bonus saving throw proficiency to get charisma (or intelligence I suppose, but I think CHA will be more useful) proficiency as well, or is that one point and extra save not worth the feat?

If it is worth it, how should I adjust my ASI/feat plan to account for it?

EDIT: Now that I think about it, this could also be used to get proficiency in DEX saves if that extra point goes to DEX instead of WIS.
 
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mellored

Explorer
I'm new to D&D and brand new to this site. I've run into a bit of a conundrum, and this seems like a very good place to ask about it. I've got a level three human variant samurai with the Great Weapon fighting style and Polearm Master feat with stats from a point buy as follows:

STR 16
DEX 12
CON 16
INT 8
WIS 13
CHA 8
IMO:
Level 4: Heavy Armor Master (+17 Str)
Level 6: +1 Wis/ +1 Str (14 Wis, 18 Str).

Resilent (Dex) also works. Or any other +1 feat.
 
I'm new to D&D and brand new to this site. I've run into a bit of a conundrum, and this seems like a very good place to ask about it. I've got a level three human variant samurai with the Great Weapon fighting style and Polearm Master feat with stats from a point buy as follows:

STR 16
DEX 12
CON 16
INT 8
WIS 13
CHA 8

More by (a large amount of) blind luck than anything else, this matches your build example for a polearm master almost exactly, except for the subclass difference. As you noted at several points throughout your guide, Samurai get WIS save proficiency automatically at level seven which means they don't need to take the Resilient feat for wisdom, which is great, but without the +1 to wisdom it will be at an odd number forever unless I spend or split an ASI on it and another stat, but both of those options seem like a waste, which brings me to my question.

Would it be a good idea to still take Resilient, and boost up wisdom, but as my 6th level feat instead to preempt Elegant Courtier and then use the bonus saving throw proficiency to get charisma (or intelligence I suppose, but I think CHA will be more useful) proficiency as well, or is that one point and extra save not worth the feat?

If it is worth it, how should I adjust my ASI/feat plan to account for it?

EDIT: Now that I think about it, this could also be used to get proficiency in DEX saves if that extra point goes to DEX instead of WIS.
I made a Variant Human Samurai for my character. He's stats is:

STR 15 +1 (Heavy Armor Master)
DEX 10
CON 13 +1 (Variant Human)
INT 10
WIS 13 +1 (Variant Human)
CHA 12

At level 4, you can use your ASI bonus to take Polearm Master feat. As you mention, Samurais have Elegant Courtier, so you don't have worried about take resilient. Furthermore, resilient DEX is only that good for DEX characters, because they can achieve +11 on save throw. Until level 8, you won't be too worried about your 14 CON, because Heavy Armor Master will mitigate part of damage that you'll take.

In my games, I realized that Defense Fighting Style is better than Great Weapon Fighting, even better with Plate and Heavy Armor Master feat. You'll be a crazy resilient when you use your Fighting Spirit and Second Wind.

Great Weapon Fighting only add +1 on average damage with 2d6 weapons. Now, comparing with -3 on B/P/S damage and with 19 AC. This combination is better than Great Weapon Fighting all day.
 

Old Lancer

Visitor
IMO:
Level 4: Heavy Armor Master (+17 Str)
Level 6: +1 Wis/ +1 Str (14 Wis, 18 Str).

Resilent (Dex) also works. Or any other +1 feat.
I hadn't thought about boosting up another stat with a feat, that's actually a decent idea. Heavy Armor Master isn't a perfect choice though, as my group will mostly be fighting the cult of an evil god, and I would like to take Sentinel as my level four feat, which means the -3 damage will have lost a bit of it's bite by the time I get it, along with not being useful against more-common-than-usual magic and magic weapon attacks.

I made a Variant Human Samurai for my character. He's stats is:

STR 15 +1 (Heavy Armor Master)
DEX 10
CON 13 +1 (Variant Human)
INT 10
WIS 13 +1 (Variant Human)
CHA 12

At level 4, you can use your ASI bonus to take Polearm Master feat. As you mention, Samurais have Elegant Courtier, so you don't have worried about take resilient. Furthermore, resilient DEX is only that good for DEX characters, because they can achieve +11 on save throw. Until level 8, you won't be too worried about your 14 CON, because Heavy Armor Master will mitigate part of damage that you'll take.

In my games, I realized that Defense Fighting Style is better than Great Weapon Fighting, even better with Plate and Heavy Armor Master feat. You'll be a crazy resilient when you use your Fighting Spirit and Second Wind.

Great Weapon Fighting only add +1 on average damage with 2d6 weapons. Now, comparing with -3 on B/P/S damage and with 19 AC. This combination is better than Great Weapon Fighting all day.
That's great? I don't really know why you quoted me, that had nothing to do with my question. I can't exactly change my stats or build now.
 
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Yunru

Visitor
I hate to say it, but you underestimate how good the Elven Accuracy, Crossbow Expert, Sharpshooter Samurai is. The nova numbers break 200 in all but the most extreme cases.

EDIT: Hell, forget Crossbow Expert.
By level 6, you can be dealing between 60-88 damage (before accuracy) in your nova round. 3 times a day.

Edit 2: Here's the accuracy modifiers, given +4 to hit (+2 Archery, +3 Proficiency, +4 Modifier, -5 Sharpshooter):
AC : Mult
6: 0.999875
7: 0.999
8: 0.996625
9: 0.992
10: 0.984375
11: 0.973
12: 0.957125
13: 0.936
14: 0.908875
15: 0.875
16: 0.833625
17: 0.784
18: 0.725375
19: 0.657
20: 0.578125
21: 0.488
22: 0.385875
23: 0.271
24: 0.142625

So to put that in a neat little table, here's a 18 Dex, Archery fighting style, Sharpshooter Samurai Elf with Elven Accuracy (rounded to 2dp).
AC6789101112131415161718192021222324
Avg Damage66.4966.4366.2865.9765.4664.7063.6562.2460.4458.1955.4452.1448.2443.6938.4532.4525.6618.029.48

Edit last: Had my number of attacks wrong somehow. Doh!
 
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Yunru

Visitor
With just a single level of Hexblade, you can go all CHA on your Sword 'n' Board and Hand Crossbow builds, be the party face too! Take that Paladin!
 
Do you usually start close enough to enemies to move to them and attack on turn 1?

Do enemies already target you instead of your allies most the time?
We usually start at close combat. What's make me want pick sentinel was when I saw a fighter making a flying enemy don't fly away because opportunity attack.
 
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I'm looking to go cavalier, I'm human variant 17 STR, great weapon fighter, Polearm Master, looking to take Sentinel at Lv 4. Is that build redundant with the Cavalier's abilities?
Obviously, I'll be looking to Max STR and take GWM.
 

niklinna

Explorer
V. Feats

Sentinel: Reminiscent of the 4e Fighter’s two main defender abilities, this one can make you very hard to escape. It’s especially deadly (and mandatory) in the hands of the melee Battle Master, who should’ve picked the Riposte maneuver as soon as it was available, all but guaranteeing an extra reaction attack against an enemy. If the Marking rule (DMG p. 271) is in effect, this becomes even better, and at Lv. 11 you get to mark more enemies than any other class. This also has fantastic synergy with Polearm Master, letting you stop enemies at reach with OAs. (Obviously, ranged Fighters ignore this one).
Sentinel is based on opportunity attacks and says nothing about "extra reaction attacks", and Riposte does not say the riposte attack is an opportunity attack.

Is an extra reaction attack the same thing as an opportunity attack?
 

niklinna

Explorer
I'm creating my first fighter, a mountain dwarf great weapon battle master, beginning at level 3. I chose menacing attack, precision attack, and riposte for maneuvers, and have rolled up this set of abilities (racial mods applied):

STR 18, DEX 13, CON 17
INT 11, WIS 12, CHA 10

Since I was lucky to get a starting STR of 18, I might go for feats early on. I'm currently debating between Polearm Master and Great Weapon Master, maybe will do both to level 6, but Sentinel is also attractive due to unstable party composition. I'm playing in a campaign where we have two separate parties that often swap characters in and out based on player availability, so there's no fixed party composition to base choices on. Casters and skirmishers are overrpresented; we have a regular cleric in one group, and a barbarian and a paladin who sometimes show up.

On the other hand, again with STR already 18, I might bump DEX and CON early to even scores for better initiative, hit points, and CON saves. So that might be worth doing at level 4-6 before taking a feat. What do you think? While I generally prefer having more active options over passive benefits, these are considerable passive benefits for one ASI!

I have also noticed that the sample builds go for DEX 12 and WIS 13, so there's that to consider now. Even so, the DM hasn't thrown much in the way of WIS saves at us, so I think I can safely delay taking the feat Resilient (WIS).
 

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