Follower of the Way
No, it's not. Not at level 17+. You have four ASIs at that level. Int would be maxed out by level 8. Dex by level 16. At max level, you even have a free feat to play with (or get more Con.) If you qualify, Elven Accuracy is even better.Assuming maximum dex on the Wizard (which is a big assumption)
Uh...where is this +28 coming from, exactly? You get +5 from stats, giving +20 only at level 20. We aren't assuming any bonuses, and a +2 magic weapon would absolutely be a bonus. If the Fighter is getting a +2 magic weapon, the Wizard should absolutely be getting a +2 magic focus (presumably the arcane grimoire), which means we'd need to start accounting for accuracy to properly reflect the differences.Not "at most". Using only class abilities and no feats "at most" the tanky fighter will put out 44 damage (4d8+28) average if all hit. The wizard with 4d10 is doing 22 or half of that.
Is that actually relevant to the criticism? You're the one who brought up toll the dead in the first place. I was perfectly happy sticking with fire bolt, since it actually can crit (unlike a saving-throw-based spell.)How many creatures CR 15 or higher have weak wisdom saves?
It's still much, much, much too high. Your claim was less than 40%. It's not, and my numbers conclusively prove that. It's easily two-thirds, even if you AREN'T specialized in damage-dealing. If you are, the gap disappears almost completely; imagine if I had instead looked at Evoker or War Mage!64%, even if it is true, is less than 100%
A Wizard doing two thirds to four fifths of the baseline damage of the Fighter, while having miles and miles better non-combat ability, is not acceptable. Period. Add onto that a Bladesinger that actually outclasses the Fighter at net defensive ability, and what exactly is the Fighter supposed to be bringing? The one thing it's good at, it's only very slightly better than the guy who can rewrite reality once a day!
So it's totally fine to start splitting hairs about CRs and which saves are commonly good, but not fine to split hairs about other things? Your double standard is showing.People started talking about spell mastery, which is 18th level and you are splitting hairs here.
While the bonus action thing is fair, you can start Bladesong first and then bring the blade in after. The Concentration thing is simply wrong, however. Bladesong gives +Int to Concentration saves. You can potentially have some of the best in the business, especially with Custom Lineage (which is better than almost all other options for Wizards.) And that's before factoring in the protective bonuses from Song of Defense (which I had not mentioned because that requires, effectively, casting spells--but which, by its wording, does let you reduce the DC of Concentration saves, because it reduces the damage before it's actually dealt to you, albeit at the cost of your reaction.)A Bladesinger concentrating on Shadowblade with no temp hps will not last two rounds in melee against most difficult foes she will face and her shadowblade often won't last one round due to crappy concentration saves. Also Shadow Blade and Bladesong are both a Bonus Action.
So...who's splitting hairs then?To reiterate the original claim I disagreed with was that a Wizard can be 95% of the tankability of a fighter while doing as much damage. That is not true. 80% overall I agree with. 130% of the tankability while doing substantially less damage I agree with. Doing as much damage while being much less tankable I also agree with.
The Wizard contributes almost as much through offense as the Fighter does at baseline. If we add in non-baseline (that is, consumable resources), the Wizard instantly blows the Fighter out of the water without needing to spend more than a quarter of their daily resources. E.g., two level 5 spells, which you can get back with Arcane Recovery. Per the DMG, that's two bouts of 8d10 against a single target, or 8d6 against multiple targets. Going with the latter, so long as you properly damage at least two targets each time (or target at least four, given half damage on a miss), that's 32d6 = 112 damage. From two spells. That you can then immediately regain with Arcane Recovery.
Even if we take the extremely generous tack of assuming the Fighter is guaranteed to hit with every attack made under Action Surge, that's only 2×(base attack damage)×(number of attacks per Attack)×(number of rests per day) bonus damage. Few groups get more than 2 short rests per day, for a total of 3 recharges of Action Surge (one from long rest, two from short rests.) 2×(1d8+5)×(4)×(3) = 24*9.5 = 228. So the Wizard, with just two spells, gets (almost exactly) half of all the bonus damage a Fighter can inflict IF every single one of those 24 additional attacks lands. Probably the best choice is synaptic static, given its excellent damage type and that it's an Int save (which even your vaunted Red Dragon would struggle to make--as would most non-gem dragons, actually.)
So...yeah. With four spells like the above (full damage on two targets, half damage on four, or full damage on one and half damage on two), the Wizard almost perfectly matches the Fighter class's main claim to fame, Action Surge, when every attack is guaranteed to hit, which isn't even remotely likely. That's four 5th-level spells--which, sure, isn't a trivial expense. But they've still got (in total) just as many 6th+7th level spells, another 5th still in the tank, and several 3rd and 4th level spells, all of which can be put to whatever use the Wizard sees fit.
There's no need to roll. You can do it with point-buy. That's what I was using. Start with 14 Dex, 15 Int and get +2 Dex and +1 Int from your racial bonuses (which means Eladrin, High Elf, Mark of Passage Human, or certain Tiefling variants, if your DM is a stickler about that; otherwise, whatever tickles your fancy, though High Elf is quite nice for the bonus cantrip. If your DM is flexible and lets Half-Elf juggle their +2 around, even better, since then you can get the cantrip and a point of Con.)How easy it is depends entirely on how you roll.