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5E [GUIDE] Dealing Death: Handbook of the True Assassin

Yunru

First Post
The Monk works wonderful for melee assassins. Extra Attack, extra mobility, and Stunning Strike. If you get your Sneak Attack on your first attack, Martial Arts gives you a BAA with full modifier. Otherwise you can still use twf to get another attempt.
 

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zaratan

First Post
I'm the only one that missed one of the best multiclass options for a melee nova? sorcerer. Quick booming blade or twin it. If you have warcaster feat, could attack, quick dissonant wisppers and than use or reaction the make a triggared booming blade.

EK 11/ Assas 3/ pali 2 / sorc 4, or even EK 11/ assas 3/ pali 2/ sorc 3/ warlock 1 (to get hex and dissonant whisppers)

if UA material is allowed, than:

mystic 6 / assassin 3/ battlemaster 3 / pali 2 / favored soul 6 (extra attack)
half-orc


3d12 +10d10 +12d8 +6
3d12 +10d10 +10d8 +6
3d12 +10d10 +10d8 +6
3d12 +10d10 +8d8 +6
3d12 +10d10 +8d8 +6
3d12 +10d10 +14d8 +6
+4d8 if the target moves




18d12 +58d8 +60d10 +36 (+4d8 if move)
131,94 + 304,5 + 378 + 36 = 850,44
+12 to hit


the problem with those builds is that they really lack ability/feats, and will have a hard time with many encounters day.
 

SirRitter

First Post
Excuse the ignorance, yet in the wording of superiority dice it says that once a dice is used, it requires a short rest to regain them. How can one achieve them on all attacks?
 

Didsonant whispers does not move the enemy while he is surprised. It has no reaction then. If it has a reaction, they are not surprised.

Again. Damage potential is high... but some of it results from a misunderstanding of rules.
 

Horwath

Hero
With the UA articles I would include deepstalker ranger into the mix for 6 levels

Rogue assasin 11, 6d6 SA, reliable talent

Ranger 6, deepstalker,spell less variant; adv on initiative, negating darkvision when hiding, 2 manuevars, 4 superiority dices, extra attack on 1st turn. Extra attack feature. 2 Favored enemies.

Figter 3, battlemaster, action surge, 3 manuevars, 4 superiority dices,


Now you have, sneak attack for 6d6(12d6 on a crit), 2 fighting styles, adv on initiative(no need for alert feat, or take it to be 95% 1st on initiative), 2 attacks per action, 3 on 1st turn. 8 superiority dices with 5 manuevars know. Hiding from opponents darkvision(so no need for stalker feat).

with action surge that is 6 attacks on 1st turn that are critical.
 



Rub

First Post
I read this a while ago and started thinking of how to create the Ultimate Assassin. How about a Lightfoot Halfling taking 6 levels of the UA Underdark Scout Ranger, then 3 levels Assassin Rogue and finally 11 levels Battle Master Fighter?
STR 8
DEX 16 (Increasing to 20)
CON 14
INT 8
WIS 14
CHA 14

Add 2 feats (Sharpshooter & Crossbow Master) and +4 to CHA through ability score improvements. If rolling stats instead, could add the Alert Feat instead of a bump to DEX.

Racial bonuses include the ability to reroll 1's on a d20, move through spaces of larger creatures and hide behind them.

Through the Underdark Scout, you'd have Advantage on Initiative, Archery Fighting Style, +4 to damage on Favored and Greater Favored enemies, +10 bonus to speed and an Extra Attack on 1st round of attacks, Dark vision and the ability to hide from creatures with darkvision, plus a few spells & other Ranger stuff.

Through Assassin you get 2d6 Sneak Attack + Advantage on attack rolls & critical hits on surprised opponents on 1st round through Assassinate.

Finally, Battle Master gives you another Fighting Style (+1 to AC via Defense), Second Wind, Action Surge, 7 Manuvers (Precision & Menacing Attacks are a must) with 5d10 superiority dice,

So, if you roll a higher initiative (with advantage) and surprise an opponent, you should be able to attack them with a crossbow 5 times (3 attacks via Battle Master, 1 via Underdark Scout -1st round only- and 1 via Action Surge). Using Sharpshooter (and Precision Attack if needed) you should land all 5 attacks. Assuming you landed all 5 without the need for Precision Attack, your damage would be:

5d6 (Crossbow) + 25 (DEX) + 20 (Favored Enemy) + 50 (Sharpshooter) + 5d10 (Menacing Attack) + 2d6 (Sneak Attack).

That should add to an average of 146 points of damage.

You can add an additional 5d6 + 5d10 + 2d6 if the enemy is surprised or an average additional 51 points of damage.

Thoughts?
 

epaulino26

Villager
I read this a while ago and started thinking of how to create the Ultimate Assassin. How about a Lightfoot Halfling taking 6 levels of the UA Underdark Scout Ranger, then 3 levels Assassin Rogue and finally 11 levels Battle Master Fighter?
STR 8
DEX 16 (Increasing to 20)
CON 14
INT 8
WIS 14
CHA 14

Add 2 feats (Sharpshooter & Crossbow Master) and +4 to CHA through ability score improvements. If rolling stats instead, could add the Alert Feat instead of a bump to DEX.

Racial bonuses include the ability to reroll 1's on a d20, move through spaces of larger creatures and hide behind them.

Through the Underdark Scout, you'd have Advantage on Initiative, Archery Fighting Style, +4 to damage on Favored and Greater Favored enemies, +10 bonus to speed and an Extra Attack on 1st round of attacks, Dark vision and the ability to hide from creatures with darkvision, plus a few spells & other Ranger stuff.

Through Assassin you get 2d6 Sneak Attack + Advantage on attack rolls & critical hits on surprised opponents on 1st round through Assassinate.

Finally, Battle Master gives you another Fighting Style (+1 to AC via Defense), Second Wind, Action Surge, 7 Manuvers (Precision & Menacing Attacks are a must) with 5d10 superiority dice,

So, if you roll a higher initiative (with advantage) and surprise an opponent, you should be able to attack them with a crossbow 5 times (3 attacks via Battle Master, 1 via Underdark Scout -1st round only- and 1 via Action Surge). Using Sharpshooter (and Precision Attack if needed) you should land all 5 attacks. Assuming you landed all 5 without the need for Precision Attack, your damage would be:

5d6 (Crossbow) + 25 (DEX) + 20 (Favored Enemy) + 50 (Sharpshooter) + 5d10 (Menacing Attack) + 2d6 (Sneak Attack).

That should add to an average of 146 points of damage.

You can add an additional 5d6 + 5d10 + 2d6 if the enemy is surprised or an average additional 51 points of damage.

Thoughts?

You can through more attacks a level 11 fighter gives you 3 attacks. Action surge that's 3 more. Ranger underdark feature 1 more. If you've been hiding you can use hunters mark and stay hidden then on the next round do all your above attacks then use the bonus action to attack with the crossbow again for a total of 8 attacks


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phoenix1990642

First Post
Apologies for the necro.
Does the hexblade from unearthed arcana fit well as an assassin? just looking at the first level ability of the hexblade cursed target crit rolls are now on 19-20 for 1 minute. Add in 2 weapon fighting with duel short swords. bonus damage equal to your cha modifer. when cursed target dies get warlock level + cha modifer back in hit points. Then 6th level ability is shadow hound As a
bonus action, you can command it to magically slip into the shadow of a creature you can see within 60 feet of you. While the shadow hound is merged in this manner, the target can’t gain the benefits of half cover or three-quarters cover against your attack rolls, and you know the distance and direction to the target even if it is hidden. The hound can’t be seen by anyone but you and those with true sight, and it is unaffected by light. just food for thought for a new campaign I am hoping to join up with. Fighter 2, rogue 3, warlock x?
 

Yunru

First Post
Do you allow Racial Feats from the UA? If so be an (Half-)Elf and take Elven Accuracy. It'll stack with your Assassinate and Hexblade curse abilities to ensure those hits hit.

And heavens forbid anyone try to stop you if you manage to pick up a Vorpal weapon (or two).
 


droid6689

First Post
I'm using the Sharpshooter UA 12/ Assassin 8
Nets you 3 attacks, 4d6 sneak attack, 6 ASIs
Steady Aim class ability is a nice buff that you can stack onto sharpshooter for another 8 damage per hit. On a action surge round that's an extra 48 damage. 20 dex plus shapshooter and steady aim makes for 138 damage even before dice rolls or crits

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SubDude

Explorer
Feat question for my Battlemaster / Assassin (completely re-written):

We rolled stats and DM had us all cheat to boot, (rolled three sets and picked best one) so my DEX is 19. I'm also an elf, so it seems like a no-brainer to take the Elven Accuracy feat from XGE at my next opportunity. First it caps my DEX, plus I'd get "triple advantage" on any opponent who goes after me on turn one. Already having the Alert feat, I'd be a +10 on initiative, so getting the triple advantage on my Assassin turn (assuming no surprise) gives me a significantly higher chance of a critical hit or five.

Too much? Curious as to an opinion or two.
 
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MooreVol

Villager
Any chance for an update on the material in Xanathar's?

I was wondering how you think Rogue 7/Ranger:Gloomstalker 11/Fighter 2 (with one more level somewhere for a ASI or Fighter archetype - Brute would be solid if you use UA) would compare with Fighter 11/Rogue 8 or another of your builds....

Gloomstalker gets you an extra attack in that first round of combat the earliest and the bonus to initiative is nice too, but it is a little MAD. Plus Darkvision (v. nice if you're human for the level 1 feat) and basically improved invisibility in darkness. I mean, that's pretty sweet too. Ranger also gives some spell-casting which can be useful.

My next character was going to be a Fighter (EK) 11/Rogue 9 Assassin... but now I'm thinking more like Rogue (A) 7/Ranger (GS) 11/Fighter 3 (Brute) though that does give fewer ASI....

I dunno. What're everyone else's thoughts?
 

I am starting now a campaign with an half-drow assassin 3/ fighter 2 and I am planning to get at least two level of Warlock in order to be able to use the darkness granted by the race with devil's sight, pact blade and hex. what I am unsure about is if i would also benefit from other levels as an assassin or fighter (then probably battlemaster) or just go warlock from now on...
 

MooreVol

Villager
I am starting now a campaign with an half-drow assassin 3/ fighter 2 and I am planning to get at least two level of Warlock in order to be able to use the darkness granted by the race with devil's sight, pact blade and hex. what I am unsure about is if i would also benefit from other levels as an assassin or fighter (then probably battlemaster) or just go warlock from now on...

I am far from an authority on anything D&D, being a relative newcomer (I played some 2e in high school before getting back into 5e), but seems like as long as you get Rogue 3/Something with extra attack 5 then you'll be alright. Rogue 3/Fighter 2/Warlock 2 would be pretty nice. You could go Fighter 5 or Warlock 5 (if you're Pact of the Blade) then just whatever floats your boat, lotta good options out there.

Gloom Stalker gives you an extra attack in the first rounder and a bonus to Initiative. And spells. It's a minimum 3 level investment, but still may be worthwhile. (I'm, admittedly, a bit enamored with the Gloom Stalker).
Warlock has more spells and some pretty cool patron features. Dark One's Own Luck (Fiend) seems like it would mesh well with an assassin. Misty Escape (Fey) seems like it'd mesh well with any character.
More levels in fighter would be worthwhile for Battlemaster dice, EK spells, or the Brute's +1d4 to every attack. In fact, if it fits your character concept (or not) and you can use UA, the Brute's +1d4 seems like it might outshine the Battlemaster's occasional +1d8.... I dunno. Is a consistent +1d4 better than a set number of +1d8's? Though the BM's dice come with other effects as well... Also the Brute's higher level abilities (particularly Devastating Critical at level 15) seem like they'd work pretty well with an assassin.
More Rogue levels would add more to your sneak attack and all those nifty abilities like Expertise and Evasion and so forth up to about Level 7 or 9 or so.

I guess if I were you, I would get either Fighter or Warlock up to level 5 or 6 at a minimum... and maybe Rogue up to level 7 (doubles your sneak attack and gives you Evasion). Then you're Rogue 7/Fighter 5/Warlock 2..... or Rogue 7/Fighter 2/Warlock 6 and you can go from there....
 

UnknownRogue

First Post
The deadliest and most true to form Assassin is still actually the Rogue Assassin 17/Fighter Battle Master 3. Mechanically this build does the most nova damage and stylistically it’s in a way that’s simple and elegant.

The mechanical exploit everyone seems to miss (and correct me if I’m wrong) is using your action surge to get a second massive sneak attack off your reaction during the surprise round. All it takes is to surprise your enemy with at least 1 other character taking a turn during the surprise round. This will usually be an ally participating in the ambush but could also be another unsurprised/alert enemy (other than your ‘surprised’ target). Now you can use your Action Surge to ‘hold an action’ and trigger your attack on that character’s turn. You’ll get a second massive sneak attack (1 per turn, not round) with a second run of crit and death strike multipliers. The damage output is insane and the action economy streamlined.

Here’s the breakdown-

Main action attack:
short sword 1d6 + sneak atk 9d6+ superiority dice 1d8 + dex mod 5
Max: 73
w/Crit: 2d6+18d6+2d8+5=141
Crit w/death strike: 282

Bonus action attack:
Short sword 1d6 + superiority dice 1d8 + dex mod 5 (two-weapon fighting style bonus)
Max: 19
w/Crit: 2d6+2d8+5 = 33
Crit w/death strike: 66

Action surge ‘reaction attack’:
Same max damage as main attack

So in 1 surprise round using only 3 attacks your max damage potential:
282 + 66 + 282 = 630

Rogues just kill better
 

SubDude

Explorer
The deadliest and most true to form Assassin is still actually the Rogue Assassin 17/Fighter Battle Master 3. Mechanically this build does the most nova damage and stylistically it’s in a way that’s simple and elegant....

Welcome to the forums, have some XP.

Couple of things.

First, no such thing as a "surprise round". A target is surprised or not, and if surprised is only surprised until their turn in the first round. I don't think this matters to your analysis, though. The Action Surge does not rely on the target being surprised, and so the (as you call it*) "Action surge 'reaction attack'" could happen regardless of surprise.

The more salient thing is that the sneak attack damage is limited to once per turn. Using your action surge to get another attack adds only the same as your bonus action attack, or 66.

This drops your total maximum damage to 282+66+66 = 414 - assuming the target fails all three "Death Strike" saving throws.

This is still excellent damage, indeed; but you've used the maximum possible damage here, not the average. The Fighter 4 / Rogue 3 / Paladin 13 in the OP deals an average of 313 damage including taking into account chances of missing. Its maximum to compare here would be 649.

I think one thing missing in all the analyses is the next several rounds. Our assassin with lots of rogue levels will continue to deal big hits, while the paladin-type runs out of spell slots.

----
* What are you trying to say with the phrase: Action surge 'reaction attack'? This wording just puzzles me.
 

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