5.5E Monsters of the Multiverse: the death of eldritch blast?


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Remathilis

Legend
You aren't supposed to use Eldritch Blast when the Monster has Fireball in it's stat block.
Here is a better video that tells you what they were thinking:


Except none of them have fireball in their statblock either. The closest is the Warlock of the Fiend, who throws a 10 ft radius mini-fireball that does 3d10 fire and 2d10 necrotic. That, three scimitar attacks (which do 1d6 slash and 4d6 fire) a round, and hellish rebuke 3/day are his only attack abilities.

Compare to his Volo version: feeblemind, finger of death, flame strike, scorching ray, stinking cloud, wall of fire, burning hands, hellish rebuke EB, firebolt, shocking grasp. He has OPTIONS. He has AOE, control spells, melee and ranged attack spells, and can nullify a character for good measure. He's a good boss monster, a great BBEG and giving him a few minions makes him a terrible force to behold.

So he's gone from having a variety of abilities to shape and control the battlefield to "mini-fireball at range, melee attack if confronted, rebuke if hit". He's a three-trick pony and once you've seen his tricks, there isn't a lot else to do with him.

I've watched all of the videos on MPMM and frankly, I'm still underwhelmed. This to me is a step back to 4e's "monster does 1-3 things max" style of design, and they aren't even giving me minions to compensate. Could stat blocks have used some trimming and abilities moved from spellcasting to actions? Yes. Did they have to utterly gut caster-monster options? Not like they did.
 

I don't think maths are on your side on this. Or if you disagree, I'd really like to see what you actually mean.
There are both some builds and some playstyles where EB is inessential. Mostly pact of the blade builds, or Celestial/Greenflame blade (+2d8 to weapon damage is seriously good and even +d8 Sacred flame isn't that bad) before level 11. Also low combat games where you normally go into combats with both spells ready, and don't get to use EB except in the mop-up.

Now Hex is something I find utterly inessential and that is a lot less fun than a "real" spell.

And I'm looking forward to more variety in the warlock mainline cantrips.
 

4Essentials Hexblade was a very effective Gish and was able to do Pact blades of each different type of Pact - even more than one for some types, like we had both an Excalibur-esque Pact Blade for Hexblades with Archfey Pacts of the Lady of the White Well, and an Icy Rapier Pact Blade for Hexblades that made their Archfey Pact with the Prince of Frost.

Hexblade in 5e is locked into the Gloom Pact / Shadowfell Pact "Frostmourne-Hungers" flavour by explicitely tying all Hexblades to the Shadowfell, and that was because it was an inelegant solution to Pact of the Blade being underpowered and not doing what people wanted it to do. I could see a 5.5e Warlock having Hexblade-type options built into Pact of the Blade, but each of the other three Pact Boons would have to be made much more robust as well to be comparable.

@Crimson Longinus changes all of the Pact Boons into Invocations instead. In this way, the Hexblade can be an Invocation too. And a Warlock of any Patron can choose the Hexblade, including a Fey Hexblade that has a more King Arthur vibe (who got his sword Excalibur from the Fey lady of the lake).
I mean, despite how 5E has handled the "fluff' for Hexblades, there is still nothing stopping you from flavoring your Hexblade from being any of the 4E warlock Hexblade pact options.
 
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Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
The problem with EB is generally that it's pretty much the only good option.

I'm currently playing a bladelock and EB is still my best option.
It’s the best option for a damaging cantrip, sure. I just don’t think a damaging cantrip is always the best option for your action. It’s good to have to fall back on when you don’t have something better to do with your turn. If your DM is sticking to the guidelines, you should reliably be able to cast one leveled spell per encounter and most encounters should last about 3 rounds, which means you’ll probably be eldritch blasting about 2/3 of the time. Is it worth using your first several invocations to buff your go-to at-will attack? Maybe. It’s certainly a viable option. I just think the idea that building around EB spam is some kind of first order optimal strategy for warlocks is overstating its utility.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
There are both some builds and some playstyles where EB is inessential. Mostly pact of the blade builds, or Celestial/Greenflame blade (+2d8 to weapon damage is seriously good and even +d8 Sacred flame isn't that bad) before level 11. Also low combat games where you normally go into combats with both spells ready, and don't get to use EB except in the mop-up.

Now Hex is something I find utterly inessential and that is a lot less fun than a "real" spell.

And I'm looking forward to more variety in the warlock mainline cantrips.
Hex I tend to assume to be part of the “cookie cutter EB spam” build. If we’re just talking about using EB at all, I think it’s certainly the case that most (though not all) warlock builds should do that.
 

Come to think of it I missed my normal non-EB spammable attack. Silent Image from Misty Visions. With e.g. illusionary fog clouds it's entirely possible to have far more of an effect on fights than you would just by doing hit point damage.

I mean, despite how 5E has handled the "fluff' for Hexblades, there is still nothing stopping you from flavoring your Hexblade from being any of the 4E warlock pact options.
Did you mean to write 4e pact options there? Although the Vestige Pact would be an interesting one to bring back.
 


Hex I tend to assume to be part of the “cookie cutter EB spam” build. If we’re just talking about using EB at all, I think it’s certainly the case that most (though not all) warlock builds should do that.
The obvious non-Hex eldritch blast build is Pact of the Chain with an upgraded sprite. Those poison/sleep arrows may only do 1hp but both poison and sleep are excellent uses of your bonus action.

The less obvious one is a Misty Visions illusionist build. Misty Visions is excellent - Silent Image at will is amazing in the social pillar and very effective in the combat one. But both Silent Image and Hex are concentration spells so you shouldn't run both.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Sure. But Warlocks have less spells than there are rounds in typical combat. So you want an attack cantrip. And Eldritch Blas is so good, it makes other attack cantrips look like jokes. And as agonising blast is such a good investment, you take it too. That's all you really need.
Sure, EB is the best attack cantrip for most warlock builds, and agonizing blast is well worth picking up. That’s a far cry from warlocks having only a few cookie cutter builds. That’s literally two choices from the build, you might as well say wizards are cookie cutter because everyone takes fireball and counterspell.
Though Hex is super good with it too.
Eh. Hex is ok. In the early game warlocks don’t have a lot of better options, and it can be solid on the rote EB spam build. But once you get like 3rd level spells there are usually better things to be using your limited spell slots on.
 

Eh. Hex is ok. In the early game warlocks don’t have a lot of better options, and it can be solid on the rote EB spam build. But once you get like 3rd level spells there are usually better things to be using your limited spell slots on.
Once you get third level spells the main reason to use Hex is because you can save the spell slot by casting it then having a short rest as it lasts 8 hours. But a commitment to this is pretty much a commitment to not use any other concentration spells or you just lose the hex. (Of course warlocks have spare spells known so you can leave both options open).
 

Vaalingrade

Legend
It’s the best option for a damaging cantrip, sure. I just don’t think a damaging cantrip is always the best option for your action. It’s good to have to fall back on when you don’t have something better to do with your turn.
Like every turn.

I swiftly learned that Witch Bolt s a sucker's game, as was every other damage option that wasn't an invocation buffed EB.

I then just used my spells for outside combat stuff as all the combat options were a sad joke of a 'once per encounter' ability compared to punting fools 10ft with my sonic cannon every round in combat.
 

Like every turn.

I swiftly learned that Witch Bolt s a sucker's game, as was every other damage option that wasn't an invocation buffed EB.

I then just used my spells for outside combat stuff as all the combat options were a sad joke of a 'once per encounter' ability compared to punting fools 10ft with my sonic cannon every round in combat.
Witch Bolt is a sucker's game for a warlock. You know what isn't? Fireball or Hunger of Hadar. Or if you're only throwing first level spells around Arms of Hadar. I've seen all those spells end fights and destroy packs of foes in a way that Eldritch Blast simply doesn't because Eldritch Blast is single target.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Like every turn.

I swiftly learned that Witch Bolt s a sucker's game, as was every other damage option that wasn't an invocation buffed EB.

I then just used my spells for outside combat stuff as all the combat options were a sad joke of a 'once per encounter' ability compared to punting fools 10ft with my sonic cannon every round in combat.
Well, Witch Bolt is just a terrible spell in general. No doubt the warlock’s spell selection at first level sucks, but it gets much better at later levels.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Witch Bolt is a sucker's game for a warlock. You know what isn't? Fireball or Hunger of Hadar. Or if you're only throwing first level spells around Arms of Hadar. I've seen all those spells end fights and destroy packs of foes in a way that Eldritch Blast simply doesn't because Eldritch Blast is single target.
This person gets it!
 

I would like them to move more towards the undead patron where there is a form the warlock can take. I figure sloth should be the warlock's guiding principle:

  • Why spend years practicing with a sword, when you can make a deal with a demon and get a fiend form that lets you use your charisma modifier in place of your strength modifier?
  • Not everyone is born graceful but make a deal with an archfey and you can get fey form and use your charisma modifier for your dex modifier.
  • Undead are tough, and if you make a deal, you can get temp hit points and advantage on saves to maintain concentration (plus be scary) with undead form.
  • If you were smart, you wouldn't make any deals with GOO's, but since you did, aberrant form gives you a couple of extra languages and telepathy.
  • Your new angel buddy is a pal, now you can assume celestial form, and you use your charisma modifier for your wisdom one (great benefit for passive perception) and they throw in some kind of cool angel healing touch to make the party's cleric jealous.

Invocations can make you more like your patrons, with things like wings, spikes growing out your body, brain-sucking tentacles coming out your mouth, or even a necrotic touch.
 

Completely removing short rests from the game would sound like a historic defeat of both game design and the playtesting process to me.
Sure. Popularity polls aren't a good way of making decisions, people don't want what they think they want. And the vast majority of current 5e players didn't take part in the playtest in any case.
 



HammerMan

Legend
The problem with EB is generally that it's pretty much the only good option.

I'm currently playing a bladelock and EB is still my best option.
i mean the melee cantrips aren't bad... green flame blade hits multi targets, and booming blade can have some nice lock down... and even if it isn't as cool mechanicly I love the idea of shards of force shaped like my melee weapon for sword burst.
 

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