• The VOIDRUNNER'S CODEX is coming! Explore new worlds, fight oppressive empires, fend off fearsome aliens, and wield deadly psionics with this comprehensive boxed set expansion for 5E and A5E!

D&D 5E New cantrip: Mage strike.

Ganymede81

First Post
I feel that being into melee as wizard should be more rewarding then being 100ft away.

Remember that non-Wizards (and Bladesingers) get access to this cantrip, too.

Something like this is pure joy to an Arcane Trickster or pretty much any High Elf.


Personally, I like the idea of a cantrip that enhances a melee attack, but I do not like how this spell does it. Why compound the mistake of the SCAG cantrips by having this stack with Sneak Attack and Divine Strike but not with multiple attacks?
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Another concern I have with this is that melee classes have to work hard, as in gain multiple levels of a single class, in order to up their melee damage by getting that second attack. 5th level is considered a big step for melee classes because of it. With your spell, all any class would need is this cantrip and they can keep up with every melee class.
Not quite. This cantrip never lets you add your ability bonus multiple times. The big deal with Extra Attack is that it also adds you add +10 or +20 to your total damage, instead of being at the mercy of the dice.

A cantrip for 4d12+5 is nothing compared to an attack routine for 8d6+20, or even 4d8+28 (for duelists). Even at level 5, your 1d8+1d12+5 is barely comparable to the 2d8+14 that the tank is dealing, and you probably don't have the armor or HP to support staying on the front line for very long. Granted, if it's going to be a backup weapon in any case, it could still serve that role with d8s instead of d12s.
 

Awesome Adam

First Post
It's superior to Booming, Greenflame Blade, and Shillelagh, which to me is a problem.

It's Shillelagh, without using a bonus action, plus superior bonus damage to Booming & Greenflame Blades.

That's like 2.5 Cantrips strong (Shillelagh + Greenflame + Larger Damage die)

There would be no reason to take Shillelagh or Booming Blade over it, and it would outshine Greenflame Blade against single targets as well.

The existance of this spell, even with d4's for bonus damage, craps all over Shillelagh.

If I were to tinker with it, I would allow the Spell Casting mod to hit, but not to damage, and allow d6's to damage, to keep it on par with other similar cantrips.
 

cbwjm

Seb-wejem
Shilleagh is a different kind of spell though. It has a minute duration which means you can use it with other options. This spell locks you into using it if you want that magical hit. Also, shillelagh and this spell aren't generally options since they aren't on the same spell list. If a druid did pick up this cantrip via a feat then they would likely be taking a decent accuracy hit as their intelligence or charisma is likely a few points less than there wisdom.

GFB while it can affect a single target has the added bonus of also dealing damage to a second, so I don't see a bigger damage die than GFB as being that much of an issue though I'm still undecided on the die size but, when combined with the other bonuses the spell grants I think I would likely drop the die size to d8s or d10s.

Sent from my SM-G925I using EN World mobile app
 

Horwath

Legend
It's superior to Booming, Greenflame Blade, and Shillelagh, which to me is a problem.

It's Shillelagh, without using a bonus action, plus superior bonus damage to Booming & Greenflame Blades.

That's like 2.5 Cantrips strong (Shillelagh + Greenflame + Larger Damage die)

There would be no reason to take Shillelagh or Booming Blade over it, and it would outshine Greenflame Blade against single targets as well.

The existance of this spell, even with d4's for bonus damage, craps all over Shillelagh.

If I were to tinker with it, I would allow the Spell Casting mod to hit, but not to damage, and allow d6's to damage, to keep it on par with other similar cantrips.

Shillelagh has a duration, you must cast it only once and can be used if you have extra attack feature twice per round. Also it has benefits on AoO what this cantrip does not(except via feat),

It should outshine GFB against single targets as it is designed as single target spell, at 5th level this cantrip gets +1d12 damage while GFB vs 2 targets gains total of +2d8,

Booming blade is also circumstance spell that also at 5th level deals extra +3d8 damage if triggered.

Also if we take eldritch blast and firebolt cantrips, they do 1d10 damage at 1st level with only caster mod to attack but in general lower damage die d6 or d8 with casting modifier vs d10 without modifier and 120ft range.
then later this cantrip gains +1d12 vs +1d10 for simple reason that it is melee attack and casters do not like to be in melee alot.
 

77IM

Explorer!!!
Supporter
I like this cantrip a lot. It's what shillelagh should have been. To me shillelagh is weak because it doesn't scale at higher levels; but it's hard to make it scale because any scaling would stack with Extra Attack, Improved Smite, Divine Strike, etc. By phrasing arcane strike as a melee-attack cantrip, it avoids all those problems.

I do agree that there might be a problem stacking this with Sneak Attack. It's unclear to me whether Sneak Attack would apply.

It seems about as strong as the SCAG melee-attack cantrips; using your spellcasting stat is really helpful, but it doesn't get any other benefits until 5th level. And it deals damage about as well as poison spray; poison spray has reach and uses a saving throw (overall slightly more likely to deal damage) but doesn't get any ability mod to damage at 1st level. So, overall, I think this is reasonably well balanced.
 

It seems about as strong as the SCAG melee-attack cantrips; using your spellcasting stat is really helpful, but it doesn't get any other benefits until 5th level. And it deals damage about as well as poison spray; poison spray has reach and uses a saving throw (overall slightly more likely to deal damage) but doesn't get any ability mod to damage at 1st level. So, overall, I think this is reasonably well balanced.

Out of curiosity, why do you say that Poison Spray is "slightly more likely to do damage"? Most monsters that I can think of are less likely to take damage from Poison Spray than from an attack--you can think of a Con save +0 as mathematically equivalent to AC 14, and every +1 of Con is like +1 to AC. E.g. an Int 18 5th level spellcaster has +7 to attacks and DC (8+7) 15 on his spells; vs. an AC 13 Orc, he has a 25% chance to miss. But the orc has a 45% chance to succeed on his Con save (+3 to Con), which is the same as the miss chance if the Orc were actually AC (14+3) 17.

The Orc is a tiny bit of an outlier but not that much. A Goblin is AC 15 and Con save +0 (Poison Spray is slightly better than an attack), a Chuul is AC 16 and Con save +3 (attack is slightly better than Poison Spray), a T-Rex is AC 13 and Con save +4 (attack is much better than Poison Spray), a Displacer Beast is AC 13 with disadvantage and Con save +3 (attack is very slightly better than Poison Spray, about 1%), a Mind Flayer is AC 15 and Con save +1 with advantage (attack is much better than Poison Spray), etc.

Overall it seems that attacks are better than Con saves. Do you disagree, and if so, why?
 


Attack rolls are 3 points better than saves. You need heavy armor or to target an abysmal stat to compensate.

My question was directed to 77IM, why he/she said the opposite, that saves were more likely to deal damage than attacks. Perhaps he/she plays with a lot of goblins? Having you chime in to agree with me, while flattering, doesn't really satisfy my curiosity.
 

Ganymede81

First Post
Here's how I would do it...

Imbue Weapon

Evocation cantrip
Casting Time: 1 bonus action
Range: Self
Components: V, S, M (a weapon)
Duration: 1 round
You imbue a weapon you are holding with a brief flicker of elemental power. When you cast this spell, select a damage type: fire, ice, lightning, or acid. The next time you hit a target with the imbued weapon before the spell ends, the attack inflicts an extra 1d4 damage of the chosen type. The spell ends once you successfully hit a target with the imbued weapon or at the end of your turn.
This spell’s damage increases by 1d4 when you reach 5th level (2d4), 11th level (3d4), and 17th level (4d4).

There. It solves the weird "Why does this stack with Divine Strike and Sneak Attack but not with Extra Attacks?" conundrum, it presents a meaningful choice via competition with other bonus actions, and its damage errs on the side of caution.
 

Remove ads

Top