D&D 5E Shield vs Protection from Evil and Good on a 1-level Warlock Dip

ECMO3

Hero
Wrathful Smite? For a Warlock whose only gets two spell slots at a time, that spell seems a waste (it only works on 1 hit).

It will only be a 1-level dip in Warlock, so only 1 Warlock spell slot. However, I will also have slots from Arcane Trickster that I can use to cast it and this is ideal for a Rogue.

Wrathful Smite is really OP for a 1st level spell and is up there with shield as one of the most pwoerful 1st level spells in the game. The key here is it is a bonus action to use and if the enemy fails his initial save he enemy must use an action to make a Wisdom ability check to break the frightened condition.

This is way powerful, first sucking up an action to try to break it, then being an ability check means the enemy gets no proficiency bonus, gets disadvantage on the check because he is frigthened and can't use legendaries to break it (although he could use legendaries on the first save).

This is the only spell I know of that is this way. Almost every other spell is a save to break the effect, usually a save that happens without spending an action. The reason it does not get more notice is it is a Paladin spell.

Hex seems much better, both for the offensive & utility use of the spell.

Hex's main advantage because of the duration, other than that it is inferior, although I will also have Hex as well, just later in game.

The frightened condition is extremely powerful, not just because of the disadvantage it poses, but also because of the restriction to movement. If it is a melee-only enemy (as most are) and you land it, you can just back away and use missile weapons with impunity until the enemy manages to make his wisdom check with disadvantage. If it is an enemy with ranged attacks, those attacks are at disadvantage until he decides to use his action to break the frightened (and then he still probably won't succeed)

In the games I've seen the Warlock is far better off getting non-combat utility spells than combat spells like shield, wrathful smite, witch bolt and the like.

Hexblade is the only Warlock (and I believe the only non-Paladin) that can get Wrathful Smite. You can't even get it through a Feat.

I've seen that a Warlock uses leveled slots too quickly to expend them in most fights. Spamming Eldritch Blast may not be very spectacular, but it gets the job done so you can do the really interesting stuff between combats.

I won't have Eldritch Blast at all. The cantrips I will have as Warlock are Booming Blade and Magic Stone. As Rogue I will have Green Flame Blade, Mage Hand and Friends.

Magic Stone is better than Eldritch Blast on this build because I can't get sneak attack with Eldritch Blast.

I also question why the one level dip into Warlock instead of just doing Eldritch Adept

The Hexblade Warlock dip give me martial weapon proficiency and access to Wrathful Smite. Those are not available through Eldritch Adept.

, and why the fighter level instead of just a martial feat?
Figther for the superior technique Fighting style with Quick Toss. This will let me use a bonus action to make a sneak attack and follow it up with a spell on an action. I can take this at level 6 getting it earlier than I would get a 2nd feat.

I also plan on taking the martial adept feat at Rogue 8 which will give me a 2nd battlemaster dice and let me do this twice a day. I will also get disarming attack which has a lot of uses with mage hand legerdemain (disarm opponent, then mage hand his weapon away as a bonus action) and then a 3rd maneuver, probably the Feinting attack for when I need to both move and get advantage for a sneak attack, but I probably won't be using that much.
 
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The Fey Touched can be used on Dissonant Whispers. The 3d6 psychic damage is OK but on a failed Wis save, they use their reaction to flee. This means you can trigger AoOs and get a problematic enemy out of your face.
 

ECMO3

Hero
I will caution about the use of Hex on a rogue: it's a concentration spell. If you're in the thick of it as a rogue, your AC is likely to not be that great, so you'll be faced with losing the spell fairly often. And additionally, 1D6 of extra damage is decent at low levels but it doesn't scale particularly well.

I agree about losing concetration, but it is a bonus action to cast and is extra damage until you do lose concentration.

I have played with Hex on a Rogue before and it is situationally very good because of the disadvantage. However the Rogue's bonus action tends to get cluttered and often even if you have it up and an enemy dies you sometimes can't move it to a new enemy because you ahve something else you want to use a bonus for.
 

ECMO3

Hero
The Fey Touched can be used on Dissonant Whispers. The 3d6 psychic damage is OK but on a failed Wis save, they use their reaction to flee. This means you can trigger AoOs and get a problematic enemy out of your face.
I love DW, but it is an action to cast, which makes it kind of situational for what is primarily a Rogue.

That is something to think about though since a failed save will mean a reaction attack and follow-up sneak attack if another ally is in contact. Another option if I am engaged in melee with no allies is steady aim, DW, sneak attack .... although then I am stuck there if he makes the save.

That said, I could get WS and Hex at 2nd level and then DW later with Fey Touched.

I will have to think about that .... thanks!
 
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jgsugden

Legend
I am going to get Hex through the Fey touched Feat at level 4 Rogue (level 5 total).

I agree it is great. I would take Hex at 2nd level but then that leaves me kind of out on a limb at 5th level, having to take an enchantment or divination spell I won't use much.

Having Hex from Fey Touched instead of Warlock gives me two advantages: First it gives me a free cast and Hex is something you will always find a use for at some point. Second Arcane Trickster already needs to pick mostly enchantment spells for their spell selections, so the good enchantments will already be on my Rogue spell list. Bless would be ok, but the action economy to use it is not great on a Rogue, especially when it would be competing with Hex.
Very solid reasoning. One additional factor to consider, though, is how long you'll have your options available to you. I see a lot of builds that "come on line" right when the adventure ends - and the PC gets mothballed. You wouldn't be in that bad of a boat under your plan, but you would be waiting a bit for the hex.

If the game follows the suggested recommendations for advancement and you play through the end of a level 10 PC (to the point you're ready to advance to level 11 rather than just hitting 10), you'll spend ~5% of the time at level 1 and 2 (each), ~7% at level 3 and between 11 and 12% of your time at levels 4 through 10. That is based upon experience granted per creature, recommended adventure design, etc... all combined together. It is obviously not going ot be exact, but it is what you get if you follow the guidelines.

If you get Hex at 2nd level, you'll have it for 95% of the adventure. If you get it at 5th, you'll miss out on having it for an additional 25% of the adventure (but will have it for the remaining 70%).

Of course, waiting on hex means getting other things earlier.

2 other spells to consider: Armor of Agathys (a little healing and a little damage all in the same spell - and at higher level slots it gets strong - I've dealt 160 damage with one 8th level casting of it - all on the BBEG of the campaign - and it gets cast before entering combat, so it has no action cost in combat) and Unseen Servant (a lone scout can sometimes do a lot more if the can spawn a expendable ally - and if you are focused on Wrathful Smite as your combat concentration spell, you can afford to think more utility based on your rogue).
 

ECMO3

Hero
Very solid reasoning. One additional factor to consider, though, is how long you'll have your options available to you. I see a lot of builds that "come on line" right when the adventure ends - and the PC gets mothballed. You wouldn't be in that bad of a boat under your plan, but you would be waiting a bit for the hex.

If the game follows the suggested recommendations for advancement and you play through the end of a level 10 PC (to the point you're ready to advance to level 11 rather than just hitting 10), you'll spend ~5% of the time at level 1 and 2 (each), ~7% at level 3 and between 11 and 12% of your time at levels 4 through 10. That is based upon experience granted per creature, recommended adventure design, etc... all combined together. It is obviously not going ot be exact, but it is what you get if you follow the guidelines.

If you get Hex at 2nd level, you'll have it for 95% of the adventure. If you get it at 5th, you'll miss out on having it for an additional 25% of the adventure (but will have it for the remaining 70%).

Of course, waiting on hex means getting other things earlier.

2 other spells to consider: Armor of Agathys (a little healing and a little damage all in the same spell - and at higher level slots it gets strong - I've dealt 160 damage with one 8th level casting of it - all on the BBEG of the campaign - and it gets cast before entering combat, so it has no action cost in combat) and Unseen Servant (a lone scout can sometimes do a lot more if the can spawn a expendable ally - and if you are focused on Wrathful Smite as your combat concentration spell, you can afford to think more utility based on your rogue).

It is something to consider for getting Hex early. I really like the idea of DW through Fey Touched too. AOA is not that good since I will only have 2nd level slots, and only those starting at level 9.

Unseen sevant can be useful, but I can use my mage hand legerdemain for most of what I could do with it.
 

In 5e the answer to "Shield or other 1st level spell" is basically always "Shield". Every argument for why Shield is less optimal on X build basically just argues it down to only being the best pick by a little rather than a lot. The only reason to not choose Shield is that you are bored of it and want a different challenge.

This build will probably not get the maximal use out of Shield. Shield is still the best 1st level spell pick for it.

Once again, I completely understand if you just want to try something different, and there's lots of interesting 1st level spells to choose from. But ultimately it has to come down to wanting a change of pace, because rationally, on balance Shield is going to come out on top on more or less any build that can access it and has first level spell slots.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
Shield, especially if you are arcane trickster since you'll get additional slots that way.

I'm assuming the plan is medium armor, shield and whatever 1 handed rogue weapon you want? If so, shield may be problematic without warcaster (some DM's waive the free hand requirement).
 

ECMO3

Hero
Shield, especially if you are arcane trickster since you'll get additional slots that way.

I'm assuming the plan is medium armor, shield and whatever 1 handed rogue weapon you want? If so, shield may be problematic without warcaster (some DM's waive the free hand requirement).

No I will be in studded leather without a shield most of the campaign (maybe breastplate late in game)

With a 6 Strength medium armor and a shield and the standard Rogue kit is going to be a challenge. The DM also does not waive the free hand for sematic requirement.
 

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