5E [GUIDE] Battle On: The Fighter Guide

Asgorath

Explorer
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?
An opportunity attack uses your reaction:

You can make an opportunity attack when a hostile creature that you can see moves out of your reach. To make the opportunity attack, you use your reaction to make one melee attack against the provoking creature. The attack occurs right before the creature leaves your reach.
Riposte is another way to get an attack with your reaction. There can be many situations where the mere threat of a Sentinel-based opportunity attack will cause the enemy to not move away, and so having other ways of getting those extra reaction attacks is good, which is why Riposte is so valuable.
 

niklinna

Explorer
An opportunity attack uses your reaction:

....

Riposte is another way to get an attack with your reaction. There can be many situations where the mere threat of a Sentinel-based opportunity attack will cause the enemy to not move away, and so having other ways of getting those extra reaction attacks is good, which is why Riposte is so valuable.
Ah, so this isn't about using Riposte's extra reaction attack to gain the benefit of Sentinel (dropping enemy move to 0)? That's how I'd interpreted Gladius's review. It looks like the point is, instead, that whether the enemy tries to leave (Sentinel) or stays (Riposte), you will likely get a an extra attack against it on each of its turns.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
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).
You've got good ability scores and going fighter which grants ASIs, so you really do have a choice without falling behind what the system expects to throw at you. That said, if everyone has good ability scores the DM may up their challenge.

Another option besides +1 CON / +1 DEX ASI is two "half feats" that raise each by 1 and give you something else. You didn't mention what sources you are using, XGtE gives racial feats. A dwarf could take Dwarven Fortitude for +1 CON and the ability to spend a HD whenever you take the Dodge action (doesn't scale well) and Squat Nimbleness for +1 STR or DEX, +5ft move (nice), proficiency in Acrobatics or Athletics as well as Advantage when using either to escape a grapple. In addition to all the others in the PHB. Though to be honest neither of this is critical, you might want to max STR or get defining feats first.

Great Weapon Master really shines when you have lots of other +X to hit. If you have a cleric who likes to use Bless you're golden. If you're in a magic weapon rich campaign you're also doing well. Basically, the +5/-10 has a mathematical balance point based on what you need to roll to hit and your base damage where it's worse or better, and the farther from that you are it gets a lot worse/better. So if you expect a lot of modifiers, it's great. You have precision shot already, which is a BEAUTIFUL lead in to GWM. Enough that even though in the generic I favor Polearm Mastery a bit more, I think GWM would be better for you.

Though if you go for GWM, I would raise STR to 20 at the next opportunity - the bonus to hit helps a lot.

Sentinel really varies a lot on DM for how often it comes into play. At my table, it never seems to live up to potential of GWM/PM but that's not a universal truth.
 

niklinna

Explorer
Another option besides +1 CON / +1 DEX ASI is two "half feats" that raise each by 1 and give you something else. You didn't mention what sources you are using, XGtE gives racial feats. A dwarf could take Dwarven Fortitude for +1 CON and the ability to spend a HD whenever you take the Dodge action (doesn't scale well) and Squat Nimbleness for +1 STR or DEX, +5ft move (nice), proficiency in Acrobatics or Athletics as well as Advantage when using either to escape a grapple. In addition to all the others in the PHB. Though to be honest neither of this is critical, you might want to max STR or get defining feats first.
Ah, I'd written those off because this very guide rates them so low. :) I will keep them in mind, though.

Great Weapon Master really shines when you have lots of other +X to hit. If you have a cleric who likes to use Bless you're golden.
We do have a cleric and a paladin in our revolving roster of characters. And a bard who could take Bless via Magical Secrets, not that she doesn't have better options than boosting me.

Basically, the +5/-10 has a mathematical balance point based on what you need to roll to hit and your base damage where it's worse or better, and the farther from that you are it gets a lot worse/better. So if you expect a lot of modifiers, it's great. You have precision shot already, which is a BEAUTIFUL lead in to GWM. Enough that even though in the generic I favor Polearm Mastery a bit more, I think GWM would be better for you.
The point about Precision Attack is well noted. That plus Great Weapon Master is a fearsome double whammy. Thanks for highlghting that!

Though if you go for GWM, I would raise STR to 20 at the next opportunity - the bonus to hit helps a lot.
That seems like a better setup, to start with, than Great Weapon Master + Poleam Master. It'll really pile on the damage, and as they say, the best status effect is dead. I do think I'll go with GWM first and then the STR bump, as you recommend, since STR is already 18. That'll take some time too so I can worry about level 8+ later.

Sentinel really varies a lot on DM for how often it comes into play. At my table, it never seems to live up to potential of GWM/PM but that's not a universal truth.
Also noted. And to think I was considering going sword & board with duelist instead....

Thanks so much for your advice!
 
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Conandar

Explorer
In your guide you seem to be of the opinion that the feat Crossbow Expert is only for crossbow users. Errata has made it clear that, while it is true that the 1st and 3rd features of that feat require a crossbow, the second feature is applicable to any ranged attack, whether it is made with a crossbow, a short bow, a long bow, or even a ranged attack spell.
 

Gladius Legis

Adventurer
In your guide you seem to be of the opinion that the feat Crossbow Expert is only for crossbow users. Errata has made it clear that, while it is true that the 1st and 3rd features of that feat require a crossbow, the second feature is applicable to any ranged attack, whether it is made with a crossbow, a short bow, a long bow, or even a ranged attack spell.
While that is true, the feat still isn't worth taking on the whole if you're not a crossbow user.
 

Oliver Xu

Visitor
"Hoo boy, how the mighty have fallen. Thanks, Jeremy Crawford."

No cursing, even if the profanity filter won’t touch it.
 
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m'draxias

Visitor
I really like the guide! The only thing that struck me as odd was the blue rating for Know Your Enemy. I've always considered it to be fluffy and weak. I only play my BM Fighter in a once to twice a year gaming group, and I've never had the opportunity to use it over 12 hours of play.

I'm just imagining getting the group to delay attacking for a minute so I can declare that one creature has a lower AC and higher HP than me. Seems amazingly underwhelming.
 

Gladius Legis

Adventurer
I've seen Know Your Enemy used quite a bit. *shrugs* But maybe that's because I play in campaigns that aren't just straight-up murder hobo runs.

It can be quite useful in the interaction pillar. Size up any new NPC who looks harmless but then determine they could be a highly capable fighter or assassin, for example.

Even in your "delay attacking" scenario, I can see the info from Know Your Enemy being useful as far as planning just how much of my and the party's resources we'll care to use to beat the enemy. If I determine that we can coast on just basic attacks, that's an Action Surge and Superiority Dice saved for a more meaningful battle.
 
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delph

Explorer
I'v read many guides, comparsions and no one is close to my idea.:

I have Halfling Fighter 2 / Rogue 1
I plan to go BM way with - no one can touch me.
Halfling lucky - much less giving advantage on me when roll 1

STR 10 / DEX 17 / CON 15 / WIS 13 / INT 12 / CHA 8
Rapier + Shield (+1)
Armor: In construction - I have breast plate or studded leather or mage armor (when sorcere gives me)
think about half plate (maybe later MAM to get +1 AC and dismiss DEX disadvantege) and we have forge cleric who can add +1 AC. And defense fighting style.
Because using Mage armor have same AC when I'll have DEX+5 (no shorter than lvl 6) and doesn't give +1 from defensive style

on fighter lvl 3 wil be BM an manouvers - for sure riposte, precision attack and maybe disarming (we play mostly agains people) or Commanders strike (have PALADIN with smites and Rogue/Ranger with poison arraows :D)

4th lvl - second chance - DEX bonus +4, 1 chance to reroll hit on me in battle (reroll 1 crit, to lower chance to hit me.

6th lvl - thinking about defensive duelant - If I cant use riposte, I can boost my AC. Or MaM to get flat +1 AC (total: 15 + 3(dex) + 1(forge bless) + 1(feat) +1 (defensive FS) +3(shield) = 24 AC good enough)
--here come in play second chance - really good chance to miss me and if they have hit (crit), I can tell "reroll" and have big chance they miss now.

8th lvl - vice versa 6

12th lvl - sentinel (or go earlier to help party? Heavy Cleric and Paladin can help defend Sorcerer and Rogue/Ranger archer) - or shield master (avoid dex save spells - be better not only attacks against AC againts me)

Than I wanna continue with Rogue to be swashbuckler (to 4. lvl to get 1 ASi, better sneak,... or to 8 to get second ASI and bigger sneak. I think I buy Adamantine rapier, so bigger pool of dices are powerfull)
not sure what else.. martial arts feat give me more ripostes, or anything else (and can do almost any maneuver if situation call for it)
 
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Gladius Legis

Adventurer
The new UA: Class Features Variants article is out, and Fighters (especially Battle Masters) got a lot of stuff. Snap judgments on these:

Fighting Styles

Superior Technique: It's basically the Martial Adept feat, but you just have to give up a Fighting Style for it as opposed to an entire ASI/feat selection. Which isn't nearly as costly a tradeoff and can actually be pretty handy, especially with some of the new maneuvers available in the same document.

Blind Fighting: EXTREMELY BROKEN as currently written. Spellcaster with Darkness or Fog Cloud (including yourself if an Eldritch Knight) + this = All the advantage you could ever want. Now factor GWM/SS in the mix. This one needs to be nerfed, if not omitted entirely in an official release.

Interception: More consistent than Protection, and better on the action economy, as you only use your reaction if your ally actually gets hit. But Protection can make an attack flat-out miss, so hard to say which is better. In any case, not so hot if you already use your reaction a lot for other things like Sentinel, Riposte, Brace, and such.

Thrown Weapon Fighting: Dart, dagger and javelin throwers can finally rejoice. For that matter, any STR-Fighter who still wants to be effective if forced into a ranged battle will welcome this.

Unarmed Fighting: Obviously niche, but very good in its niche. Grapplers as straight Fighters are more viable than ever now.

General Features

Maneuver Versatility: Replacing a maneuver every long rest is pretty darn nice, again especially with some of the new maneuvers in the same doc.

New Maneuvers

Ambush: Boost to Stealth or Initiative. Good one, for sure.

Bait and Switch: Pretty neat, though probably a bit on the situational side of things. Effective at remedying a situation that more times than not can be avoided with good tactics.

Brace: Very welcome new addition. Polearm Masters won't care, but everyone else will.

Restraining Strike: A good pickup for Fighters who still want to be able to bonus-action grapple every once in a while but not enough to want to invest in Tavern Brawler. Useless if you do get Tavern Brawler as that feat does pretty much the same thing at-will.

Silver Tongue: Superiority Dice use for the interaction pillar, yay. Thanks to Maneuver Versatility, you can wait to prepare this for a day that you expect to do a lot more talking than fighting.

Snipe: Bonus-action ranged weapon attack. Including with a free draw of a thrown weapon for such an attack if needed. Which basically brings all ranged Fighters up closer to the Crossbow Expert hand crossbow Fighter, which is simply too effective compared to melee. Yay ...

Studious Eye: Another use of SD on something outside the combat pillar, which is welcome.
 
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Feldspar

Explorer
A Half-Orc Champion would seem to have nice synergy between their improved critical rate and the extra crit damage die from the Savage Attacks racial. It might deserve a small mention in the Champion section. Also, Relentless Endurance + Survivor go well together. I understand that lack of on-demand burst remains a weakness, but might this pairing be good enough to rate Average instead of Substandard?


Also, it seems to me (and maybe this is conventional wisdom and already factored in) that a Champion with Superior Critical always hits when they roll an 18 or 19, just like anyone does with a 20.

PHB:194 "If the d20 roll for an attack is a 20, the attack hits regardless of any modifiers or the target's AC. This is called a critical hit, which is explained later in the chapter."

The key for me is that they say "This is called a critical hit", not "This is also a critical hit" or some other wording. It implies that the automatic hitting, just like the double damage, is an inherent component of the thing called a critical hit, which happens when you roll a 20. With a Champion it just happens on more numbers.

Does that change the math any? Especially with regards to possibly using the -5/+10 from Great Weapon Master more aggressively? My 5e experience is, ughhh, theoretical, so I'm not really familiar with how AC vs attack mods scale. I just flipped through the MM and ancient dragons had an AC of 22 which would already be hit by an 18 (roll) - 5 (GWM) + 5 (proficiency) + 4 (stat @18). If the feeling is "I can't ever imagine missing on an 18 (at level 15+), even using GWM" then it might all be irrelevant. Do people often suffer negative attack modifiers (as opposed to Disadvantage)?
 

Gladius Legis

Adventurer
A Half-Orc Champion would seem to have nice synergy between their improved critical rate and the extra crit damage die from the Savage Attacks racial. It might deserve a small mention in the Champion section. Also, Relentless Endurance + Survivor go well together. I understand that lack of on-demand burst remains a weakness, but might this pairing be good enough to rate Average instead of Substandard?
I don't think it is. Even with a greataxe, the Half-Orc is looking at a DPR boost of only 0.65 points (0.1*6.5) above the standard Champion. And even at Lv. 15, that's just 0.975 (0.15*6.5).


Also, it seems to me (and maybe this is conventional wisdom and already factored in) that a Champion with Superior Critical always hits when they roll an 18 or 19, just like anyone does with a 20.
It does work like that, according to both Mearls and Crawford.

But it pretty much never happens, to the point it really isn't even worth mentioning.
 

delph

Explorer
Maneuvewers question:
If I use Feinting attack, I'll get advance on the next attack and add superiority dice to damage in that attack. But can I add another maneuver which adds superiority dice to dmg and has two superiority dices to dmg in one attack then?

If I have critical hit (rolled 20), and choose sweeping attack - will I have 2 superiority dices for dmg on second target?
 

Gladius Legis

Adventurer
Maneuvewers question:
If I use Feinting attack, I'll get advance on the next attack and add superiority dice to damage in that attack. But can I add another maneuver which adds superiority dice to dmg and has two superiority dices to dmg in one attack then?

If I have critical hit (rolled 20), and choose sweeping attack - will I have 2 superiority dices for dmg on second target?
No.

"You can only use one maneuver per attack." Combat Superiority - Maneuvers p. 73
 

delph

Explorer
No.

"You can only use one maneuver per attack." Combat Superiority - Maneuvers p. 73
As I understood it - I use Feinting attack maneuver in the first attack. But benefit from this maneuver is showed in second attack which is a new attack with the possibility to use another maneuver.
 

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