D&D 5E Single class Hexblade - missing something?


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Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
Do you mean eldritch smite? And I don't see how you get both effects for 1 slot.
Other than that it is worth noticing, that technically using warlock spell slots in place of spell slots for divine smite is not allowed, since the multiclass blurb about magic and pact magic only speaks about using one in place of the other to cast spells (not special abilities).

I think that to "double smite" in one hit, you would have to spend 2 slots. The Eldritch smite specifically requires a warlock slot. However, the paladin class only says "you expend a spell slot" - it doesn't say where that spell slot comes from.

edit: Also - that is, yet again, a multi-class fix to the problem...
 

I think that to "double smite" in one hit, you would have to spend 2 slots. The Eldritch smite specifically requires a warlock slot. However, the paladin class only says "you expend a spell slot" - it doesn't say where that spell slot comes from.

edit: Also - that is, yet again, a multi-class fix to the problem...

There is no problem.

I play a lot of Hexblades, but my campaign meta is that Short rests are 5 minutes long (max 2 per long rest) and we tend to get 6 or so encounters (or more) in during most adventuring days.

6 Slots per day. 1 Reserved for Hex for most of the day till Shadows of Moil comes online. 3 Hexblades Curses per day as well for when you really want something dead.

Half Elf with GWM and Elven Accuracy (our meta has a bonus feat at 1st level).

I have some Sorcerer levels in there most times for some additional petrol in the tank for Shield Spells and the like.

Trick is to play it like a Fighter (most of your invocations will be tied up in Thirsting blade, Eldritch Smite, and maybe Improved Pact weapon and Agonizing blast for your ranged option).
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
There is no problem.

ok...

Half Elf with GWM and Elven Accuracy (our meta has a bonus feat at 1st level).

That's nice, more feats. But strange that this is an elven only solution.

I have some Sorcerer levels in there most times for some additional petrol in the tank for Shield Spells and the like.

aaaaaaaand there we have it. "there is no problem with a single class hexblade! just multiclass!"

That's what I've been trying to say! "you run out of gas fast.". Even you take a few levels of sorcerer for a bit of additional petrol l (and more cantrips, let's not forget that).

Trick is to play it like a Fighter (most of your invocations will be tied up in Thirsting blade, Eldritch Smite, and maybe Improved Pact weapon and Agonizing blast for your ranged option).

Again, leaving you with very few out of combat magical utility.
 

aaaaaaaand there we have it. "there is no problem with a single class hexblade! just multiclass!"
Well no.

Compare a 5th level GWM Cha 18 Hexblade (Improved pact weapon, Eldritch smite, Thirsting blade) with a 5th level GWM Battlemaster (Str 18). assuming 2 short rests/ tong rest

The Fighter has 3 x Action surges and 12 x d8 sup dice. His AC is likely 1 point higher (half plate v full plate) and he has more HP (d10's and a higher Con score, and 3 x second winds).

The Hexblade gets +1 to hit and damage, deals an extra +1d6 damage with every attack from Hex, has 5 slots (3rd level) left over for smites (an extra 20 x d8 damage right there), and has 3 x Hexblades curses to work with putting him on par with the Action surges.

The Hexblade does considerably more damage over the adventuring day than the Fighter, beating the Fighter as his own game. He isnt as durable (although he gets some healing from his Hexblades curse) and he can sacrifice some of that higher offensive power for spells (Fly, misty step, Counter spell, Armor of Agathys etc).
 

Barbarian is better without raging (HP is much better) and much better when raging
Fighter: You have an extra feat, a fighting style, action surge, better armor, maybe battlemaster maneuvers
Paladin: You have better armor and a fighting style, and your defensive aura. You probably have a slot or two left for a spell or a smite
Ranger: Not so great, but again you might have a spell or two left
College of sword bard: you definitely have spells left and you are essentially a mini-battle master

The hexblade can "step up" to that level of fighting with the use of magic. Without... mediocre.


Lastly - how was the specter?
The specter is what you are forgetting (that and the significantly increased critical hits) - it's about the best combat pet available to any class. It's resistant to most damage, giving it respectable survivability, it's attacks do good damage (3d6) and reduce maximum hp. And it can walk through walls. And it doesn't use the warlock's action economy to attack. Give your single class hexblade a flat +10 DPR when trying to whiteroom it.
 

I think that to "double smite" in one hit, you would have to spend 2 slots. The Eldritch smite specifically requires a warlock slot. However, the paladin class only says "you expend a spell slot" - it doesn't say where that spell slot comes from.

edit: Also - that is, yet again, a multi-class fix to the problem...

Yes it would be a multiclass fix. But the expand a spell slot is a paladin ability and in the first Printing it actually stated that it needs to be a paladin spell slot (and was only changed, because paladin slot was no game term), so you might actually have insight in what was the intent ath that time at least.

My reading isn't actually mine, but a note from Jeremy Crawford. And after reading the multiclass rules this is a legit reading. Multiclass rules don't actually assume everything stacks and make exceptions (blacklist) but they explicietely state what does work (whitelist) and using pact magic to fuel special abilities is not on the list. And this reading fixes many problematic optimized builds.

I do however think, for consistency's sake warlock spell should be renamed pact magic slot (in every invocation actually... although you could argue that for those 1/day invocations it should be scrapped altogether) , because that is how his spellcasting ability is called.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
Well no.

Compare a 5th level GWM Cha 18 Hexblade (Improved pact weapon, Eldritch smite, Thirsting blade) with a 5th level GWM Battlemaster (Str 18). assuming 2 short rests/ tong rest

The Fighter has 3 x Action surges and 12 x d8 sup dice. His AC is likely 1 point higher (half plate v full plate) and he has more HP (d10's and a higher Con score, and 3 x second winds).

The Hexblade gets +1 to hit and damage, deals an extra +1d6 damage with every attack from Hex, has 5 slots (3rd level) left over for smites (an extra 20 x d8 damage right there), and has 3 x Hexblades curses to work with putting him on par with the Action surges.

The Hexblade does considerably more damage over the adventuring day than the Fighter, beating the Fighter as his own game. He isnt as durable (although he gets some healing from his Hexblades curse) and he can sacrifice some of that higher offensive power for spells (Fly, misty step, Counter spell, Armor of Agathys etc).

hmmmmm....

First you didn't consider the fighting style, which will boos the fighter's damage (or AC).

Second there is no way hex will last the whole day. The hexblade will get hit and fail a concentration check sooner or later. Others has stated that it is not the best spell for a hexblade and I tend to agree.

the battlemaster maneuvers have utility on top of the damage. So does smite, but you get this advantage 12 times over 5.
 

NotAYakk

Legend
Get told 'No' and 'I'f you ever try that again, you wont be invited back'.
It is also a great way to tell if your DM is a naughty word naughty word, good point.

If your DM responds with something like that, they are an entitled control prick, and you should avoid them like the toxic mess they are.

What kind of person would talk to someone they are playing a friendly game of D&D like that and expect it is acceptable?

They may be charismatic, but when someone starts abusing power with ultimatims like that over something trivial, you should walk away.

Bad D&D is worse than no D&D, and investing time in a game with a toxic DM is a recipie for either accepting more abuse down the lane, or dissapointment.
 
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It's not made explicit, but the general principle of the multiclassing rules in PHB p164 is that similar features obtained from different classes do not stack. Obviously smite is not mentioned because there was no way for a warlock to get that ability at the time the PHB was published.
 

Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
The specter is what you are forgetting (that and the significantly increased critical hits) - it's about the best combat pet available to any class. It's resistant to most damage, giving it respectable survivability, it's attacks do good damage (3d6) and reduce maximum hp. And it can walk through walls. And it doesn't use the warlock's action economy to attack. Give your single class hexblade a flat +10 DPR when trying to whiteroom it.

Good to know.

Multiclassing does delay the acquisition of higher level features (a mutliclass hexblade definitely takes longer to "come online" than single class). Is the wait for the specter enough to fully make up for the benefit of multi-classing?

As far as the critical hits, that is available very quickly to the multi-class character, so I am not sure it "counts".
 

Good to know.

Multiclassing does delay the acquisition of higher level features (a mutliclass hexblade definitely takes longer to "come online" than single class). Is the wait for the specter enough to fully make up for the benefit of multi-classing?

As far as the critical hits, that is available very quickly to the multi-class character, so I am not sure it "counts".
The specter's* hp increase with hexblade level, so any multiclassing at all weakens the specter.



*I hate that spelling.
 



TwoSix

Unserious gamer
hmmmmm....

First you didn't consider the fighting style, which will boos the fighter's damage (or AC).

Second there is no way hex will last the whole day. The hexblade will get hit and fail a concentration check sooner or later. Others has stated that it is not the best spell for a hexblade and I tend to agree.

the battlemaster maneuvers have utility on top of the damage. So does smite, but you get this advantage 12 times over 5.
Honestly, to me this is what balance looks like. When they spend their resources, their offenses are roughly equivalent. (We can quibble about how exactly those resources are spent, but we're talking about a delta of at worst 10% or so in either direction.) The fighter is tougher, but the hexblade can exchange offense for greater defense or utility as needed.

That's balanced enough for me.
 


Ancalagon

Dusty Dragon
Got it here:

"When the specter appears it gains temporary hp equal to half your warlock level."

"It gains a special attack bonus equal to your charisma modifier"

aaah - I see how I got my wires crossed.

You'll note that this will result in your spectre (if you take say, a few fighter levels) only having 1-2 hp less. I think having it at level 8-9 instead of 6 (ie 2-3 levels without it) is a bigger factor.

I agree with you that it's a good pet incidentally. However, it's not a given that you have it - you have to land the killing blow, the foe has to be a humanoid... Also, there can be some serious RP consequences for doing it...
 

For my 2 cents. I've used a Hexblade Human from 1st to 13th so far. My observations. I agree about Hex. It can be good but Hexblade's curse is often better. No concentration and regain hit points. Later maybe get a specter when you kill the foe. The specter you can get is weak but can be useful to get advantage, be a ghostly meat shield or to set up OAs. I took the Mage Armor invocation early on and Shield and don't wory too much about AC. Between Shield and Hellish Rebuke you have a couple of options if someone hits you. Don't get hung up on wading into melee. You aren't the barbarian. I took Greenflame Blade and hardly use Thirsting blade, I'll probably replace it. A second attack is great in principal but in practice not that important. It's great to have the option but usually, if I go melee, I look for advantage and use Eldritch Smite with GFB. With GFB and knocking the enemy prone, it's often worth a slot. Early on when you only have 2, get your mileage out of Invisibility. It isn't long before you can make yourself and several others invisible. Agonizing Blast is legit gold. At higher levels, I found Conjure Fey useful too. I often do a giant crocodile. Much more so than the demon or devil summons. Takes concentration but it's big hits hard and has enough HP to help against many foes. I know some of these tactics are not recommended in the guides but in my experience they work. Also, especially if you like to make stuff, don't discount the ability to make your Hexblade any weapon with an invocation.
 

aaah - I see how I got my wires crossed.

You'll note that this will result in your spectre (if you take say, a few fighter levels) only having 1-2 hp less. I think having it at level 8-9 instead of 6 (ie 2-3 levels without it) is a bigger factor.

I agree with you that it's a good pet incidentally. However, it's not a given that you have it - you have to land the killing blow, the foe has to be a humanoid... Also, there can be some serious RP consequences for doing it...
Agree that with the bonuses, the spectre is still weak. I've used it a couple of times. Consider the poltergeist if your DM allows. I pushed a foe with it into the druid's Wall of Thorns. The specter actually got a kill. Usually though it's fodder. It takes a hit, gives advantage or scouts.
 

after reading the multiclass rules this is a legit reading.
I agree that reading is sound, but it is not the only interpretation a DM is going to make.

Some DMs are going to be perfectly fine allowing Warlock Pact Magic slots to be used to fuel class abilities powered by spell slots, to eliminate bookkeeping hassles.
Especially, if the player in question is not prone to abuse rulings.

Allowing Eldritch Smite and Divine Smite stacking might also be thematically appropriate. A Paladin / Celestial Warlock with say Heracles as his warlock patron...is playing to character by inquiring about combining the two.

In a High Powered game, having the burst damage Pally/Lock combo do more burst damage, isn't going to break the game, especially if the DM is using Max HP on monsters, and/or the PCs routinely have to contend with creatures much more powerful then they are.

Second there is no way hex will last the whole day
While there is no guarantee that a single casting of Hex will suffice, given Dispel Magic like effects, a Hexblade can easily mix up their tactics to prioritize damage avoidance.

I've had Adventuring Days where I have not taken any damage, through a combination of luck, tactics, and not to be repetitive, luck again.

I've also had Adventuring Days where a poor roll has resulted in a single point of damage from a half buried caltrop, takes down a Pass w/o Trace spell.
 
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