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D&D 5E rogue-bladesinger?


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I never said she was a melee fighter. Often I don't even attack and just take the dodge action.

How on earth is that contributing to a fight?

You have 2 ranged attackers. Play a hard hitting tank to stop the enemy from getting to them by presenting yourself as a target worth attacking.
 

auburn2

Explorer
It's a very expensive success, to burn through two second level spell slots, an X per long rest resource, and possibly a couple of first level slots to do what a guy in full plate with a shield can do whilst catching up on the Football scores on their mobile phone...
You are talking about a wizard casting two second-level spells in a battle to become nearly unhitable by most foes. That is hardly expensive. The fighter can not come close to that, and even without that expense of spell slots she is will ahead of the fighter.

The guy in plate armor really can't really do what I am talking about, and we have such players in our game. Unless he has a shield and takes defense fighting style the guy in plate is much easier to hit than a bladesinger in bladesong even without casting any second level spells.

Plate guy has an 18 AC, wizard has a 23. Lowly Goblins are going to hit plate guy nearly four times as often as a bladesinger. like I said that is without using any 2nd level spells and it is without taking the dodge action. If they both take the dodge action plate guy is 10 time more likely to get hit by goblins. He does not have 10 times as many hit points, or 4 times as many hit points as the wizard.

Surround a 2nd level 18 AC fighter in plate (which is hard to come by this early) with 8 Goblins and he is going to get bloodied and will usually get killed in 3 rounds unless he takes dodge action. If he takes dodge his class brings nothing at all to the table and he is still behind the bladesinger doing likewise. Surround a bladesinger with the same 8 goblins and there is a 50-50 chance she wont get hit at all and will usually survive the fight.

Now if we are talking 1v8 Goblins, where you don't have a party killing the enemy. It looks grim for both but the fighter is more likely to survive than the wizard is as you have to attack to actually to have any chance to win such a fight. The wizard would not even try that though, she would open with sleep or grease or flee ...... plate man would flee too if he was smart, but going Nova in round 1 with some lucky rolls might win it for him.

Key here is the bladesinger is not in the front to kill Goblins. She is not a melee "fighter" like the fighter is. That is the difference.
 
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auburn2

Explorer
That's like saying "giant meteorite about to crash into the earth aside, it's a good day to be a dinosaur".
Hit points are a limited use resource too so whether I lose 50hp with my fighter being fireballed. or I lose 25hp and a 1st level slot with my wizard being fireballed, both used limited use resources. I would argue the Wizard used fewer as she now has resistance for the rest of the round and probably has more hp remaining than the fighter.

If a 10th-level bladesinger never casts a single spell she can trade her spell slots directly for 205hp worth of damage over 15 rounds of combat. It is effectively more than that though, because 1 level slots like absorb elements or shield and 2nd level spells like blur and can "save" more than the 5hp or 10hp they are worth by trading directly at later rounds.
 
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You are talking about a wizard casting two second-level spells in a battle to become nearly unhitable by most foes. That is hardly expensive.
That is really expensive for what you're actually achieving.
Remember the standard adventuring day is going to be 6 different fights. Unless the DM is massively coddling the full-casters by giving them short days they are going to be down to cantrips a significant amount of the time.
Using 2 second-level spells, a bladesong, and shield whenever it looks like you might get hit makes you nearly unhittable - For that fight. After the 2nd or 3rd fight however, you're likely to be running dry, and you haven't even cast any spells to actually help the party achieve something. Start using offensive or utility spells and you're going to be begging for a long rest when you're only half-way through the day.

The fighter can not come close to that, and even without that expense of spell slots she is will ahead of the fighter.

The guy in plate armor really can't really do what I am talking about, and we have such players in our game. Unless he has a shield and takes defense fighting style the guy in plate is much easier to hit than a bladesinger in bladesong even without casting any second level spells.

Plate guy has an 18 AC, wizard has a 23. Lowly Goblins are going to hit plate guy nearly four times as often as a bladesinger. like I said that is without using any 2nd level spells and it is without taking the dodge action. If they both take the dodge action plate guy is 10 time more likely to get hit by goblins. He does not have 10 times as many hit points, or 4 times as many hit points as the wizard.
What is Wizard's AC when they don't have Bladesong, or spell slots available? Plate guy's is still 18.
 

auburn2

Explorer
That is really expensive for what you're actually achieving.
Remember the standard adventuring day is going to be 6 different fights. Unless the DM is massively coddling the full-casters by giving them short days they are going to be down to cantrips a significant amount of the time.
Using 2 second-level spells, a bladesong, and shield whenever it looks like you might get hit makes you nearly unhittable - For that fight. After the 2nd or 3rd fight however, you're likely to be running dry, and you haven't even cast any spells to actually help the party achieve something. Start using offensive or utility spells and you're going to be begging for a long rest when you're only half-way through the day.

What is Wizard's AC when they don't have Bladesong, or spell slots available? Plate guy's is still 18.
Plate guys AC is 18 if he is still alive, if fights completely ran a mid-level single-class bladesinger out of spell slots he probably isn't though and if they ran a high level bladesinger out he definitely isn't.

With point buy, awizard's AC is generally 16 at low levels without bladesong or shield. It is higher at higher levels and can equal 18 straight up if you build her that way. Rolling a character (as I did in the example above) can make this more effective and higher. The main difference is the Wizard chooses which fights she needs better AC. Bladesong scales with proficiency so if you are assuming 6 fights a day she is in bladesong for a third of them at 2nd level, half of them at 5th level and two-thirds at 9th level. So at 9th level, before using any slots or optimizing feats, she has a better AC than a fighter in plate in most fights for the day and those most are going to be the tougher fights to boot.

It depends on what level you are how big an investment it is. A 4th-level wizard gets 4 2nd-level slots a day. Using two of them in one fight is a big expense for such a character, but not out of line if it is the "big fight" for that day. You are talking about going nova on someone here - burning two 2nd level slots in 2 rounds. Would you say casting a web and a blindness in the same fight against a boss and his minions at level 4 is huge?

That is not an every fight tactic at low level where there are limited slots. The guy you would do that for though is someone who can 1-shot you pretty easy with a crit AND who gets multiple such attacks AND who you need to also be on offense for. If you don't need offense you save one of the slots and just dodge and if he doesn't get multiple attacks you don't really worry that much about a critical with disadvantage go with the odds you won't take it.

Limited slots are a concern with a bladesinger. I am not underplaying that. If you are talking about a single class character it is generally managable though.
 
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auburn2

Explorer
How on earth is that contributing to a fight?

You have 2 ranged attackers. Play a hard hitting tank to stop the enemy from getting to them by presenting yourself as a target worth attacking.
You are keeping them off your other characters. That is the whole point of the bladesinger and it undeniably works. You present yourself to be attacked and the enemy attacks you while others damage the enemy. You also block chokepoints. There is no denying it works extremely effectively.

What does not work is a bladesinger is trying to be a fighter and killing enemies with weapons. Being a wizard from the back works, but not as well as another wizard. The bladesinger shines in a few areas comapared to just about all others - Blocking/controlling chokepoints, tying up enemies at the front to keep the enemy off others and casting AOE spells, especially cone or line based spells that originate with you. The reason the bladesinger is better at the last is he can do it from the front with minimal concern for his safety or party members getting in the way.

You pick your tactics for a specific fight. If you need to plug a hole and be nearly unhittable you do that. If you need to be in the front and be really hard to hit but using big AOE spells to kill large numbers while not catching your party you can do that. If you need to go nova as a wizard in round 1 you do that. If you need to fight the dragon toe-to-toe, up in his face and use help action so your fighter or can land his 50-damage melee attack you can do that. If you need to go use help against a spider so your poisioned Rogue can still get sneak attack. All of those are viable with a bladesinger.

You can play a "hard hitting" tank instead if you want. That can be effective too. It is less versatile in my opinion. You will kill more enemies doing that though so if your DM only awards xp to "the killing blow" then it is undeniably a better choice than a bladesinger.
 
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You are keeping them off your other characters.
No you're not!

Why on earth would monsters attack a PC that is not attacking, is dodging and poses no threat?

If I was DMing I would just have the monsters walk past you and threaten and kill the ranged PCs and casters. If you hit one with your AoO, then maybe some of the rest of them would start swinging at you that round as well (no shield now because you AoO).

A far better option would be a Raging Barbarian with a Greatsword and GWM. On his turn, he recklessly attacks, kills an enemy, and then cleaves into a second killing it as well. Two less enemies to worry about now (and two less actions coming back your way). Also, the monsters kind of now WANT to attack him (they have advantage to do so, and he's just too big a threat, and he just killed Bob and Harry) and if they hit, he soaks it with rage.

Now the ranged PCs are OK to act and they monsters are trying to take down the big scary barbarian, they do their thing without being surrounded by monsters, killing a few monsters themselves.

The encounter is now effectively over.

A dodging blade-singer attracts no heat from monsters. Instead of dodging and casting shield, try tossing a sleep spell in which at low level likely kills 2-3 things then and there, or from 5th onwards level toss in fireballs, or hypnotic patterns to shut down or kill dozens of enemies.

That is an effective use of resources (and your action). Twirling around in place and using your action to dodge and your reaction to blow a slot to simply not get hit is a waste of what you're actually good at as a wizard.
 

auburn2

Explorer
No you're not!

Why on earth would monsters attack a PC that is not attacking, is dodging and poses no threat?
Because she is a caster for one and does pose a threat, and/or he can't get around her easily. This is like asking why would he attack anyone in the front when you can go around him and get to squishy characters in the rear. If it is a choke point they can't get around her unless they use the optional rules. If they use the optional rules they can try overun, if they have decent strength they have a good chance of winning. Tumble is not really an option for most enemies as the bladesinger has advantage on acrobatics.

Dodge does not eliminate an AO and if you don't attack the bladesinger the bladesinger uses no spells slots at all AND still gets an OA. And if she has sentinel feat she not only gets an AO you but pins you there when you try to walk past her. Or if she has war caster makes you take weapon damage and extra cantrip damage (assuming she doesn't just hit you with a full blown spell).

If you really want to get around her, the best way is to attack until she throws a shield and then move around. Alternatively you can disengage or have one enemy move and draw a reaction then other enemies go around her without it.

It is the same as getting around any character in the frontpositioning themselves between the enemy and the characters they are protecting. The players in the back can move too and so can the bladesinger (with a10' bonus to boot). You move around bladesinger, she gets an AO, then allies back up, then she moves around you and gets in front of you again ..... If you don't dash and you don't attack the character next to you, said character can simply follow you and is in position to make another AO next turn while the rear area memebers keep backing up and keep shooting.

Yeah sure those other things are options too, but why waste a 3rd-level spell on fireball or hypnotic pattern to end a fight in one round when you could make it a 3-round fight and probably lose no spells at all or only a 1st level slot if you get unlucky? Also I will note hypnotic pattern is pretty difficult to use against large numbers unless you are in the front of the party or win initiative. If you are casting that from that back you are generally either going to catch other party members in it or cast it off to the side so it does not get a lot of enemies. Hypnotic pattern is one of the offensive spells my bladesinger uses often.

Your point about the Barbarian is a good one, but that is not her job, not her role.
 
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Because he is a caster and does pose a threat, and/or he can't get around him. This is like asking why would he attack a fighter.
If the fighter was just dodging, I'd have my monsters ignore him as well!

For all the good that does the party. Instead of dodging, he should be fighting!
If you don't attack the bladesinger the bladesinger uses no spells at all AND gets an OA. And if she has sentinel feat you cant' move.

We've already covered this. Not that it matters, and how many Blade singers have Sentinel in their build (a feat that AGAIN would be so much better on a Barbarian!)

If you really want to get around her, the best way is to attack until she throws a shield and then move away.
Nah, I'd simply have monster 1 move past you and start wailing on the two ranged PCs in the party to shut them down.

You can make an AoO if you want to, but then you cant shield, and being up the front of a party of ranged PCs, you're likely surrounded by several other monsters (on a d6HD class), and the ranged PCs still get threatened and attacked.

The remaining monsters can then walk past you, or simply wail on you, likely a combination of both.

To make a 'sticky' PC in 5E, you want to draw attacks (compel enemies to attack you by presenting as a dangerous target, and a hittable one), not skyrocket your AC so high, while otherwise doing nothing but dodging so the DM and the monsters never bother to even try to hit you.

5E combats are over in around 3-4 rounds, and the best thing you can do is take an enemy out of the fight asap to reduce the enemies overall action economy as opposed to your own parties action economy. Focusing on a single enemy at a time to drop that enemy ASAP, reduces return attacks from those enemies, and lowers resource expenditure elsewhere (HP attrition, healing spells, HD).

Blade singers are not melee combatants. They're wizards with a decent defensive ability, and the ability to engage in melee in a absolute pinch. Running one into melee all the time is a liability for the rest of the party.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
The only issue I've had playing my AT/Bladesinger is that it has really serious bonus action demand.
I've also found a lot of demand for reactions, or rather, my desire to get attacks as a reaction fights with the build's defense relying a lot on reducing incoming damage or negating attacks with reactions.
 

auburn2

Explorer
If the fighter was just dodging, I'd have my monsters ignore him as well!

For all the good that does the party. Instead of dodging, he should be fighting!


We've already covered this. Not that it matters, and how many Blade singers have Sentinel in their build (a feat that AGAIN would be so much better on a Barbarian!)


Nah, I'd simply have monster 1 move past you and start wailing on the two ranged PCs in the party to shut them down.

You can make an AoO if you want to, but then you cant shield, and being up the front of a party of ranged PCs, you're likely surrounded by several other monsters (on a d6HD class), and the ranged PCs still get threatened and attacked.

The remaining monsters can then walk past you, or simply wail on you, likely a combination of both.

To make a 'sticky' PC in 5E, you want to draw attacks (compel enemies to attack you by presenting as a dangerous target, and a hittable one), not skyrocket your AC so high, while otherwise doing nothing but dodging so the DM and the monsters never bother to even try to hit you.

5E combats are over in around 3-4 rounds, and the best thing you can do is take an enemy out of the fight asap to reduce the enemies overall action economy as opposed to your own parties action economy. Focusing on a single enemy at a time to drop that enemy ASAP, reduces return attacks from those enemies, and lowers resource expenditure elsewhere (HP attrition, healing spells, HD).

Blade singers are not melee combatants. They're wizards with a decent defensive ability, and the ability to engage in melee in a absolute pinch. Running one into melee all the time is a liability for the rest of the party.
One of the two bladesingers I play has Sentinel, and uses a whip primarily so it covers a broad area. Why wouldn't you take it if your whole goal in your character build is to control the battlefield? It makes perfect sense as a build and works really well. The second one does not have it but she is in a more martial oriented party and spends less time blocking and such.

The bladesinger does not have "decent" defensive abilities, they superb defensive abilities.

Enemies can wail on me all they want, that is the whole idea, have them wail on me and not the other casters or Thief in the back. They can't "just go around me" any more than they can just go around any other character. Whether they can do it at all is entirely terrain dependant, but I do have more movement than most characters.

If you ignore a bladesinger there is nothing at all keeping her from wailing on you or casting spells at you. The only way to keep her from doing that is to focus on her and attack her and make her focus on defense (because she does not have a lot of hps).

One other thing Ido is take dodge and just walk past enemies to get into their rear or if I already have blur just dash past them. Let them take AOs that will invariably miss while I go to get their squishy characters. As DM are going to simply ignore that when I run past the bodyguards and am face-to-face with the ice witch and in her grill?

We are way down a rabbit hole now. The original claim was bladesingers should not be in melee because they don't have enough hit points. That is simply just false and their limited hit points will go further in melee than any other character except a Barbarian and even further than a Barbarian if they devote all their resources to defense.
 
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One of the two bladesingers I play has Sentinel, and uses a whip primarily so it covers a broad area.
Ill just wear the AoO.

Stopping movement if you hit is nice, but you've effectively now used your action to Dodge, and your reaction to deal 1d4+Dex slashing.

I would honestly just ignore that PC. There are so many better things you can do with your action and reaction as a Wizard.

The bladesinger does not have "decent" defensive abilities, they superb defensive abilities.

Enemies can wail on me all they want,

Why would they?

PC 1 (Bladesinger 5, Elf, Elven accuracy, Bladedancing, AC 18 + shield) and PC 2 (Barbarian, raging, GWM, reckless attack, AC 15) are in melee with an 2 Orogs and 4 Orcs.

The Bladesinger uses his action to Dodge. He now has an AC of 18, enemies are at disadvantage to hit him, and he has shield up his sleeve.

The Barbarian uses his action to Attack twice, recklessly, with GWM toggled 'on' killing an Orog, and triggering a bonus action cleave, killing an Orc. He now has an AC of 15, and the remaining Orcs have advantage to hit him.

You're the monsters. Who do you attack? Who has drawn the attacks better here? Who do you not want to be drawing an AoO from the (1d12+15 damage barbarian, or the Blade dancer)? Who do you likely ignore? Who achieved more this round in negating incoming damage from the monsters, and who wasted an action doing effectively nothing?
 

auburn2

Explorer
Ill just wear the AoO.

Stopping movement if you hit is nice, but you've effectively now used your action to Dodge, and your reaction to deal 1d4+Dex slashing.

I would honestly just ignore that PC. There are so many better things you can do with your action and reaction as a Wizard.



Why would they?

PC 1 (Bladesinger 5, Elf, Elven accuracy, Bladedancing, AC 18 + shield) and PC 2 (Barbarian, raging, GWM, reckless attack, AC 15) are in melee with an 2 Orogs and 4 Orcs.

The Bladesinger uses his action to Dodge. He now has an AC of 18, enemies are at disadvantage to hit him, and he has shield up his sleeve.

The Barbarian uses his action to Attack twice, recklessly, with GWM toggled 'on' killing an Orog, and triggering a bonus action cleave, killing an Orc. He now has an AC of 15, and the remaining Orcs have advantage to hit him.

You're the monsters. Who do you attack? Who has drawn the attacks better here? Who do you not want to be drawing an AoO from the (1d12+15 damage barbarian, or the Blade dancer)? Who do you likely ignore? Who achieved more this round in negating incoming damage from the monsters, and who wasted an action doing effectively nothing?

Moving on a few notes-the damage is not the point of sentinel. The entire feat is based on stopping someone who is moving. The bladesinger likely has a 19AC or a 20 if she pushed dex to 18 with an ASI or half feat. Elven accuracy is a waste for a bladesinger. Sentinel, War Caster, an ASI or one of many other half feats are better IMO.

I will point out I said a long, long way above up at the top that a Barbarian is the only character that can come close to matching a bladesinger and he can. You did not play him right for that though. Reckless attack is not the best play here for the Orcs. I would also go for the Orcs first. He has to be able to kill twice as many enemy for the math to work out on that, if their AC was higher it would be a better play. He is going to hit the Orcs most of the time without reckless attack. Going without reckless attack means a few more misses and a longer fight, but it also means a lot more misses for them, especially in the first round when they do most of the damage. That said:

The Barbarian wins initiative, is in rage and reckless attack. He can't use cleave in round 1 because he went into rage, and kills 1 Orog. 1 Orog and 4 living Orcs do 20 hp damage in round 1, that assumes 1 Orc misses (Orog 21, 3 Orcs 20 = 41, halfed to 20). Round 2 he kills the other Orog and an Orc. Remaining orcs all hit and do another 15hp. Third round he knocks off 2 more orcs and the last orc hits for 5 points of damage, meaning he is left with exactly 0hp plus whatever he has from constitution bonuses. So at the end of 4 rounds the Barbarian is nearly dead, but the enemy is totally dead. In this example both the Barbarian and the orcs missed once, which is reasonable as they all had advantage every swing.

Rolling into disadvantage against a 24AC effective bladesinger - on average the bladesinger will get hit 1 time in 5 rounds of combat and use 2-3 first level slots. So she is down 11hp and 2-3 spells after 5 rounds fighting that entire group. That is of course assuming the entire rest of the party does not manage to kill a single enemy in 5 rounds .... and the bladesinger does not bother to try to go on offense (and she would do this only if she was confident her party could kill them)

In discussing this lets remember the whole point of your argument and the whole reason she is using dodge is that it is a "waste" for the bladesinger to use a single 2nd level spell slot and be in blur for this fight. I mean she gets 3+ per day but it is a waste for her to use one in a fight that will put a Barbarian on deaths door in 4 rounds? If she can't afford to waste the slot and needed to be full defense she will do this like I said. But she could just as easily use blur, have the same defense and still get an action which she could use for spells or attacks and if she was fighting on her own or fighting an enemy that the party could not take down she would.

I have a third option for you though. The Barbarian and the Bladesinger walk into the room together and see a group of Orogs and Orcs. The bladesinger charges in making a lot of noise, waving her sword and gets in close to the enemy on the first turn. The Barbarian slinks up slowly goes into rage and lets loose on an Orog on the edge without getting too close to the others, he kills that Orog and backs off, putting the bladesinger between himself and the others. If he can he uses his extra movement and gets completely out of range, but let's assume he can't. Now the other Orog decides to go for the Barbarian since he is the bigger threat (even though it is round 1 and it is not obvious yet IMO). Bladesinger hits him with booming blade OA for 18 points of damage and a loud thunder crack ... he pushes through and hits barbarian for 10. Orcs see this and stay on the bladesinger, lets assume bad luck and one hit slips past for 10 damage (she already used her reaction). Now Barbarian takes out this Orog in one shot and takes down 2 more orcs, and again positions himself so the others can't get to him easily. They go for him anyway as it is clear he is doing the killing. Bladesinger kills one with an OA, the other hits the Barbarian for 5. Orc dies next turn.

I have a 4th option which is how it should really go down if you are smart - Barbarian does the smart thing and hangs back like above, letting the Bladesinger go in first and keeping himself away. Bladesinger goes into blur on round 1 and starts using BB after that. She is doing 15 points per turn and any orcs she hits die if they move (if they survive the attack). Barbarian is coming in from the outside killing 2-3 enemy per round and retreating. The fight is over probably in 3 rounds and if they stay on the bladesinger both heroes probably get out completely unscathed. If they don't stay on the bladesinger the Barbarian probably loses about 10hp.

At the end of the first battle the Barbarian is victorious but nearly dead. At the end of the 3rd the Barbarian is down 15hp, bladesinger is down 10 and has not used a single spell. At the end of the 4th they are both probably at or near full hp and have used 1 second level spell and maybe a 1st level spell too. The beauty in 3rd and 4th option is the Barbarian uses reckless attack and does not pay penalty for it. Even if the bladesinger only manages to suck up 1 round worth of attacks as a group and they all run to the Barbarian after that it is still 20 more hp the party does not lose. Being intelligent in a fight beats being reckless every time (excuse the pun) :p

Finally I will note we did this at 5th level, which is fine. But if we make it 6th level the bladesinger can both attack with a a weapon and take the bladeward cantrip in the same turn, giving resistance to any damage that actually makes it through and she can do that while blur is running and with shield in reserve.
 
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The damage is not the point. To start with the bladesinger likely has a 19AC or a 20 if they pushed dex to 18 with an ASI or half feat. Also Elven accuracy is a waste for a bladesinger. Sentinel, War Caster, an ASI or one of many other half feats are better IMO.
The higher your AC, the less attacks you're going to get. It doesn't help you tank, it stops you from being a tank.

This low level bladesinger now has Dex 18 (ASI or half feat) AND Sentinel?

The Barbarian wins initiative, is in rage and reckless attack. He can't use cleave in round 1 because he went into rage, and kills 1 Orog. 1 Orog and 4 living Orcs do 20 hp damage in round 1, that assumes 1 Orc misses (Orog 21, 3 Orcs 20 = 41, halfed to 20). Round 2 he kills the other Orog and an Orc. Remaining orcs all hit and do another 15hp. Third round he knocks off 2 more orcs and the last orc hits for 5 points of damage, meaning he is left with exactly 0hp plus whatever he has from constitution bonuses. So at the end of 4 rounds the Barbarian is nearly dead, but the enemy is totally dead.
Great, he did his job!

He not only killed a lot of things personally, he tanked every single hit, keeping the party safe.

Rolling into disadvantage against a 24AC effective

You're missing the point. The Bladesinger takes the dodge action and is not attacked. He hasnt stopped a single monster, and the monsters instead attack the other PCs, killing one.

How have you helped the party overcome the encounter? What have you achieved here?

For all the Orcs care, you can keep dancing around taking the dodge action with shield ready all you want while the monsters tear your friends to bits.

In discussing this lets remember the whole point of your argument and the whole reason she is using dodge is that it is a "waste" for the bladesinger to use a single 2nd level spell slot and be in blur for this fight.

The Bladesinger (as a 5th level Wizard) should have dumped a fireball in this encounter (before recovering that spell slot with arcane recovery next short rest). It kills every single Orc, and leaves the Orogs with a handfull of HP to be picked off at will. The encounter is over before it begins.

Sleep also works as it shuts down at 2-3 Orcs.

Instead, he's wandered forward and taken the Dodge action. In return, the Orcs ignore him and wail on the other PCs in the party, focussing their attention on someone they can hit.

I have a third option for you though. The Barbarian and the Bladesinger walk into the room together and see a group of Orogs and Orcs. The bladesinger charges in making a lot of noise, waving her sword and gets in close to the enemy on the first turn. The Barbarian slinks up slowly goes into rage and lets loose on an Orog on the edge without getting too close to the others, he kills that Orog and backs off, putting the bladesinger between himself and the others.

The Elf goes first. He walks in to the room uses bladesong (bonus action) and takes the Dodge action.

The Barbarian goes next. He walks into the room, uses rage (bonus action), recklessly attacks with GWM toggled on and attacks twice, killing two Orcs.
  • Who has achieved more this turn - the Elf or the Barbarian?
  • Who do the Orcs now look to attack - the Elf or the Barbarian?
  • Who is the more enticing target to attack?
Really, the Elf would have been better off simply lobbing in a sleep spell and shutting down 2-3 Orcs for a single 1st level slot. That's a far better use of his action than dodging and far better use of a 1st level spell slot than shield.

Having a high AC doesnt help the party unless the monsters have some reason to want to attack you. If all you're doing is dodging then you can basically be ignored while they murder the other PCs that are actually contributing to the fight.
 
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During WW2 German forces invested considerable resources in turning the occupied Channel Islands into an impregnable fortress.

On June the 6th 1944 Allied forces ignored the Channel Islands completely and landed in Normandy.

In May 1945 the Channel Islands occupying forces surrendered with barely a shot fired.
 

auburn2

Explorer
The higher your AC, the less attacks you're going to get. It doesn't help you tank, it stops you from being a tank.
Let me point out the first and biggest falacy in this whole arguement. - Supposedly the Bladesinger can not be on the front line in melee because she is too weak and does not have enough hps and if she uses spells like blur to bolster her defense she is "wasting" them ..... but if she goes into melee the enemy is not going to bother attacking her anyway, "why would they". Which is it? Are they going to attack her or ignore her? You can't have it both ways.

"The higher the AC the less attacks you are going to get" - so why does a fighter ever get plate? I mean isn't that counter productive. If he gets plate they are going to walk right past him to go get that lower AC character! So fighters never get attacked and if they want to keep the enemy off the guys in back they should be shedding their armor and going in naked to draw their fire. Got it!

Oh while I am at it - people don't wear a sign with their AC on it. They have 2 people advancing one in armor (fighter/barbarian) and one in no armor (bladesinger). But it is not like they know the wizard is sporting an effective 24. So if anything they will attack her first right, after all no armor? Now after they miss her a few times sure, find an easier target if it is viable. If you said that you would be totally believable, but that is fundamentally different than just ignoring her on round 1 like you say they will (while also saying earlier in the thread they will kill her)


This low level bladesinger now has Dex 18 (ASI or half feat) AND Sentinel?
I never said she had an ASI and a Feat. I said her AC would be 19 (13+3Dex+3Int). That is without an ASI If she takes an ASI or half feat it would be 20 (without Sentinel). I said an ASI or Sentinel or a host of other feats are better than Elven Accuracy.

Great, he did his job!

He not only killed a lot of things personally, he tanked every single hit, keeping the party safe.

Barbarian kept the party safe and he can't fight again until he rests, and he can probably only do one more fight like that the entire day. The bladesinger has used very little of her resources. Party is pretty pissed though because he blew all his hp and is nearly done for the day on two CR2 and 4 CR1/2 enemies .... as a 5th level character.

Without major help from the party and them carrying him in the other battles, he probably dies later today.


The Bladesinger (as a 5th level Wizard) should have dumped a fireball in this encounter (before recovering that spell slot with arcane recovery next short rest). It kills every single Orc, and leaves the Orogs with a handfull of HP to be picked off at will. The encounter is over before it begins.

Sleep also works as it shuts down at 2-3 Orcs.

Instead, he's wandered forward and taken the Dodge action. In return, the Orcs ignore him and wail on the other PCs in the party, focussing their attention on someone they can hit.

Why would I "waste" a 3rd level spell slot with a fireball? I have been told it is a "waste" to use a 2nd level spell slot and now you want me to use a 3rd? That is the whole reason I am taking the dodge action, because using blur is a "waste". By the way on average the Fireball does 28 damage and kills 2-3 Orcs, not all of them, and if I was fighting on my own I might do that.

Sleep is completely and utterly useless in this fight. Sleep on average puts 1 Orc to sleep, it puts 3 to sleep if I upcast it at 3rd level AND get above average rolls. It is a complete waste as I use my action and the orcs that are awake wake up the ones that aren't. So one orc falls asleep, a second orc loses an action waking him, the other 4 opponents attack me and I am back where I started just with 1 less spell and one lost round.

Supposedly dodge does "nothing to contribute:" Well Sleep does nothing to contribute, costs a slot and makes me more vulnerable.

I am not bashing sleep. It is an ok spell at 1st level when you are fighting 3 or 4 Goblins or Kobolds, but no much use above that.

Where do you get that it puts 2-3 Orcs out. Orcs have 15 hps. If I rolled all five 8s it would only put 2 asleep.
 
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Let me point out the first and biggest falacy in this whole arguement. - Supposedly the Bladesinger can not be on the front line in melee because she is too weak and does not have enough hps and if she uses spells like blur to bolster her defense she is "wasting" them ..... but if she goes into melee the enemy is not going to bother attacking her anyway, "why would they". Which is it? Are they going to attack her or ignore her? You can't have it both ways.
I'm not having it both ways!

Enemies will ignore the Bladesinger (who is doing NOTHING offensively, and just Dodging and spamming defensive spells) and will instead attack the other PCs (who die).

The encounter is balanced around you actually being present and doing something.

Why would I "waste" a 3rd level spell slot with a fireball? I have been told it is a "waste" to use a 2nd level spell slot and now you want me to use a 3rd? That is the whole reason I am taking the dodge action, because using blur is a "waste".
Blur would be a waste, because all it does is waste an action making you harder to hit.

You cast Blur and enter Bladesong, and the Orcs just ignore you and go for the other PCs that are actually hurting them.

If you used that action for Fireball then all the Orcs die, and the Orogs are seriously crippled (every single monster takes 8d6 damage (28 points) of damage).

By the way on average the Fireball does 28 damage and kills 2-3 Orcs, not all of them, and if I was fighting on my own I might do that.

Wut? It deals 28 damage to every single Orc in the room (well... within the 20' radius sphere) , likely killing the Orcs (even if they make their saves) or at least leaving all but one seriously injured (1 HP left) and seriously injuring the Orogs for easy clean up by your allies this round.

That encounter is effectively over after a fireball (plus the actions of the rest of your party, with a Barbarian/ Fighter easily being able to kill the 1 HP straggler, and likely an Orog on his turn, and the 2 ranged PCs making short work of the remaining Orog.

Im disturbed you claim to play Wizards all the time with two other Bladesingers, and dont know how fireball works.

It is a complete waste as I use my action and the orcs that are awake wake up the ones that aren't. So one orc falls asleep, a second orc loses an action waking him, the other 4 opponents attack me and I am back where I started just with 1 less spell and one lost round.

You say this like this is a bad thing.

If the remaining 1 Orc and 2 Orogs use their actions to wake up their 3 sleeping allies (45 HP, upcast sleep, averaging 5's on the d8's) you've just negated 8 Great-axe attacks (2 from each Orog, and 1 from each Orc) for an entire round, buying a whole extra round of offence for the rest of your party to slaughter them, plus you stopped the Orcs from using their Bonus action Aggressive ability to Dash and swarm the party (of ranged PCs).

In other words, you've done your job as a Wizard.

Supposedly dodge does "nothing to contribute:"

It does nothing to contribute.

If the party Wizard (5th level, knows Fireball, Counterspell, Sleep, Shield, Blur, Mage Armor, Magic Missile, Scorching ray, utility spells) used his action to Dodge (instead of lobbing in a fireball) on an encounter with 4 Orcs and 2 Orogs, then unless he was deliberately conserving resources for a BBEG fight later that day, fireball was too risky due to the Orcs being among the PCs, or running low on Slots because of earlier encounters, he's not doing his job properly.

You're basically playing a Wizard who relies on enemies attacking him (while not posing an actual threat) to be effective.

I'd simply treat that Wizard like the Germans treated the French Maginot line, and ignore it and invade Paris through Belgium.
 

@auburn2

Imagine a hypothetical party of 5th level PCs.

1 - Half Orc Bear Barbarian, GWM feat, Greataxe. Likes to rage for harder encounters, makes liberal use of Reckless and GWM.
2 - Vuman Thief Rogue - Sharpshooter feat Fighting initiate [Archery] - hand crossbow, rapier, daggers, Aim action available from Tashas. Likes to keep his distance, Aim and Sharpshoot.
3 - Dwarf War Cleric - Maul, Resilient [Con] feat, likes to cast Bless early to help the Barb Rogue and Bard land SS/ GWM attacks. Occasionally falls back on Spirit Guardians and Spiritual weapon, and a heal bot. Helps out in melee with his Maul.
4 - Clineage Swords Bard - TWF (Katanas [longswords]), Dual wielder feat, Mobile. Likes to mix use of Bardic inspiration for damage, mobility and helping other PCs land those big hits. Occasionally drops in a Hypnotic pattern when the going gets really tough.
5 - Elf Wizard.

Which Wizard is more useful to this party - a Bladesinger 5 (who spams bladesong and dodges relying on defensive magic) or an Evoker/ Diviner/ War Mage 5 (who hangs back with the Rogue and blows things to smithereens from a distance)?
 


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