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D&D 5E Most Interesting Dervish Build?

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
So, the basic idea I had was a Wood Elf Fighter/Monk with a Double-Bladed Scimitar, but the Monk steadfastly refuses to use...weird weapons...for some reason. The Monk, of all classes. Okay.

So, a couple of scimitars or even a longsword can work with reflavoring. It's not like I was gonna use the off-hand attack from the Double-Bladed Scimitar. Still, this whole thing is more fun if your DM is cool, and not a jerk, and lets you use a Double-Bladed Scimitar.

Anyway, the idea is to take 3-4 levels of monk, and the rest of your levels in fighter with some source of +damage per attack features or spells, eventually combining more than 2 attacks per attack action, flurry of blows, and action surge, with those per attack damage buffs. If we can get Haste on there, even better.

So, what sounds more fun?

Monk:
  • Kensei - Level 3 gets you longsword and longbow, and an AC boost when you do slightly less damage with the attack action (by using an unarmed strike rather than a longsword attack), which doesn't feel like much for a melee focused character.
  • Drunken Master gives you Disengage and +10 speed for free every time you Flurry. That's awesome for a dervish.
  • Mercy gives a mini smite to really just dish out as much damage as possible in a single round, and it's never wasted, and you can heal a little. Not bad at all.
  • Open Hand makes every flurry unarmed strike really count.
  • Cobalt Soul gives a reaction attack when a creature you've analysed attacks you, so a reliable usage of a reaction attack without spending a feat.
  • Others just sort of give the build more options and depth. Sun Soul and Dragon give your unarmed attacks a different utility, and Shadow gives you all sorts of utility.

Fighter:
  • Eldritch Knight - Spells. Not sure how great the available spells are overall, but even just the defensive ones are really nice to have for a softer melee combatant.
  • Battle Master - Maximum benefit from the attacks that land. Riposte is another way to get a reaction attack reliably.
  • Champion - Pairs well with lots of attacks, not much else to see here
  • I'm probably missing some fun in some other subclass I never think about.
  • Fighting Styles
    • Unarmed is an obvious pick
Other Classes? What about mixing in some Bladesinger Wizard? Quicker access to haste than a EK, and if you get 6 levels you've got an attack action that includes Booming Blade or whatever, and you've got spells like Shadow Blade. Is there any reason that Ranger would be better than fighter? I think at that point, you'd want closer to an even mix with Monk, and you'd lose a lot of the "make tons of attacks" thing. At least until you can cast that one Ranger spell where you stab every-damn-body on the field of battle.


So, any thoughts? Any obvious things I'm missing? I'm not looking to hyper-optimise my DPR and Nova potential here, just the fun fiction of being a blur of deadly whirling blades.

I mean, this is a whole thing that my Swordmage, which is a variant Monk basically anyway, can just do this with esoteric techniques that do things similar to Steel Wind Strike.
 

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doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Swords Bard for Dervish surely?
I’m not sure it would add enough to the build, tbh. The speed boosts are good, but the spell list isn’t great for it compared to the Wizard list. Still, lots of buffs I guess.

On the other hand, it just feels off from the rest of the desired build.

A sword bard is a valid dervish, it just isn’t what I’m talking about or aiming for in the OP.
 

I cannot think of any way of getting more scimitar attacks than Attack action + 1 for bonus action, Potential additional for Haste, and of course Action Surge when you kick that in.
Therefore, for ultimate angry-buzzsaw emulation, you should probably stick with Fighter, for the most attacks in Extra Attack and Action Surge.
Elf with Elven Accuracy feat and Champion is a good chance of getting crits if you can gain Advantage easily. Battlemaster allows the occasional additional attack as a reaction plus mobility maneuvers.

If you're OK some attacks being unarmed rather than weapons, Monk can give more at lower levels. - But as you have noted, a significant trade-off.
 

Inchoroi

Adventurer
Might I also suggest, just for the purposes of a ridiculous amount of attacks, the Echo Knight fighter. Its a little strange, but bear with me: The Echo Knight gets an extra attack as a resource, like 3-5 times a long rest, but it doesn't require a bonus action. So, potentially, you can get Attack Action + Bonus Action Offhand Attack + Unleash Incarnation (had to look up the feature name) and then use action surge and get another Attack Action + Unleash Incarnation. Couple that with just a single level dip of Barbarian and flavor the rage as the "dervish dance" and get resistance to weapon damage and +2 to damage for all your attacks.

EDIT: Minor correction; you'd only get the +2 damage if you used Strength for the scimitars, but the idea still has merit, I think.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I cannot think of any way of getting more scimitar attacks than Attack action + 1 for bonus action, Potential additional for Haste, and of course Action Surge when you kick that in.
Therefore, for ultimate angry-buzzsaw emulation, you should probably stick with Fighter, for the most attacks in Extra Attack and Action Surge.
Elf with Elven Accuracy feat and Champion is a good chance of getting crits if you can gain Advantage easily. Battlemaster allows the occasional additional attack as a reaction plus mobility maneuvers.

If you're OK some attacks being unarmed rather than weapons, Monk can give more at lower levels. - But as you have noted, a significant trade-off.
Oh I’m definitely okay with unarmed strikes. Especially if it also gets me speed, Unarmored defense, etc. A three class build would only work for a game where we start at high level, but I also wonder if monk/Bladesinger could work...you don’t get more than 2 Attack Action attacks, but you get Haste sooner and more often, and stuff like shadowblade. Obv a Dex/Wis/Int build only works with rolled stats and good luck, though.
Might I also suggest, just for the purposes of a ridiculous amount of attacks, the Echo Knight fighter. Its a little strange, but bear with me: The Echo Knight gets an extra attack as a resource, like 3-5 times a long rest, but it doesn't require a bonus action. So, potentially, you can get Attack Action + Bonus Action Offhand Attack + Unleash Incarnation (had to look up the feature name) and then use action surge and get another Attack Action + Unleash Incarnation. Couple that with just a single level dip of Barbarian and flavor the rage as the "dervish dance" and get resistance to weapon damage and +2 to damage for all your attacks.

EDIT: Minor correction; you'd only get the +2 damage if you used Strength for the scimitars, but the idea still has merit, I think.
That is insane in a really fun way. Definitely worth consideration, especially combined with shadow monk...
 

vincegetorix

Jewel of the North
Maybe a mix of monk and hunter ranger, for Against the Horde, Whirlwind attack and dual-weapon FS.
Zephyr's Strike, Expeditous Retreat and Steel Wind Strike can be very flavorful. Or go Horizon Walker for the pop-up teleport +attack and access to Haste.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Maybe a mix of monk and hunter ranger, for Against the Horde, Whirlwind attack and dual-weapon FS.
Zephyr's Strike, Expeditous Retreat and Steel Wind Strike can be very flavorful. Or go Horizon Walker for the pop-up teleport +attack and access to Haste.
I knew I was missing something Ranger related! Hmmm....
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
Another way to go might be, assuming good enough stats, monk/bladesinger, flavor the secondary damage of GFB as another attack, and then do that plus another attack from level 6, but you can’t pair GFB and flurry until level 6 Wizard...
 

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