D&D 5E sleep vs tasha's laughter

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
As much damage as sleep? Unlikely. Average is 14.5 if I hit with SA that is only if I hit. It creeps up to 18 if I have hex running. Average on a crit is 25, which is still less than sleep with a 2nd level slot and I would need a natural 20 for that.
To me this shows how weak sleep is. You're spending a limited slot resource and the opportunity cost of another spell, for Sleep which is only slightly better at dropping them then your at-will attack, may not affect them at all if your DM doesn't let you know the exact HPs remaining, the foe has an easier time getting them back up, and may not target whom you want it to (since it's lowest HP first).

Basically in the exact case where a foe has 1-6 more HPs then your attack would do it's more useful that at higher resource cost, and any other time I could use it (the vast majority unless your DM tells you exactly how many HPs the foe has) it is either inferior (an attack would kill without using a slot) or completely useless (foe has more HPs than the roll).
 

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Neither spell is good at 6th level. THL will often just waste a spell slot, and since multiattacking is now online, you're looking at best at a single round's worth of action denial. Sleep will only work on minions or nearly-dead higher-level monsters.
 

auburn2

Adventurer
To me this shows how weak sleep is. You're spending a limited slot resource and the opportunity cost of another spell, for Sleep which is only slightly better at dropping them then your at-will attack, may not affect them at all if your DM doesn't let you know the exact HPs remaining, the foe has an easier time getting them back up, and may not target whom you want it to (since it's lowest HP first).

Basically in the exact case where a foe has 1-6 more HPs then your attack would do it's more useful that at higher resource cost, and any other time I could use it (the vast majority unless your DM tells you exactly how many HPs the foe has) it is either inferior (an attack would kill without using a slot) or completely useless (foe has more HPs than the roll).
This is not true at level 4/2. Sleep is much, much better at dropping them than SA. At higher levels of Rogue it will eventually be true, but that is not until you hit 9th level in Rogue

With advantage and a 16 Dex against a 15AC foe SA is averaging 8.5 DPR for a 4/2 Rogue/wizard (13.8 on a hit, including crits, but it only hits 60% of the time) if you assume advantage every turn that gets bumped to 11 points DPR. Sleep using a 1st level slot is 22.5 average, over double SA with advantage and nearly triple SA without advantage. Note for this discussion I used my Rogue who weilds a short sword. A rapier or crossbow will bump this slightly to 9 DPR, not enough to change the overall point.

I agree it is not that powerful, and I probably won't use it much, but it is much better at dropping a foe than SA is. The main downside is it is a wasted slot on a bad roll or if you guess hps wrong.
 

Arvok

Explorer
I know this horse is dead but there are a couple more advantages of sleep:

You don't need to see your target, so if a bad guy runs behind cover because he's nearly dead you can still take him out.

You don't need to hit your target to sleep him. I've been in plenty of situations where the party (either the one I'm DMing of the one I'm playing) is facing a foe we can't reliably hit (high AC, disadvantage because of environmental situations, et al.) and being able to hit him with sleep after he's worn down can be highly effective.

It's a little niche, but there aren't that many 1st level spells that are reliably big bang for your buck at higher at higher levels.
 

Mark1733

Explorer
Silent image is good - especially when used creatively.

Color spray is not great: The mage has to essentially be in melee to use it and it's a 15' cone so ,realistically, you're not going to get that many targets. Sleep, on the other hand, has a 90' range and a 20' radius from there. Plus victims of sleep are not a threat at all, allowing serious focus on enemies. Color Spray reduces the threat (decently, sure) but does not eliminate it.
Silent image a pit trap or green slime on the floor behind you as you run away. Hide behind a wall, a boulder, or an illusory door with a padlock on it..."they didn't go in there." A lurking monster set to ambush...but not stealthy...draw there attention away--a displacer beast, a cave fisher, etc. Make a chest yawn and lick itself like a mimic.
 

Mort

Legend
Supporter
Silent image a pit trap or green slime on the floor behind you as you run away. Hide behind a wall, a boulder, or an illusory door with a padlock on it..."they didn't go in there." A lurking monster set to ambush...but not stealthy...draw there attention away--a displacer beast, a cave fisher, etc. Make a chest yawn and lick itself like a mimic.

Sure, BUT

How "good" silent image is depends A LOT on the DM. In some campaigns it will be amazing, in some it will be bottom tier. And which it is, depends as much or more on the DM as the player.
 

ECMO3

Hero
I know this horse is dead but there are a couple more advantages of sleep:

You don't need to see your target, so if a bad guy runs behind cover because he's nearly dead you can still take him out.

You don't need to hit your target to sleep him. I've been in plenty of situations where the party (either the one I'm DMing of the one I'm playing) is facing a foe we can't reliably hit (high AC, disadvantage because of environmental situations, et al.) and being able to hit him with sleep after he's worn down can be highly effective.

It's a little niche, but there aren't that many 1st level spells that are reliably big bang for your buck at higher at higher levels.
I 've seen a mage put a wounded beholder to sleep and then he plummeted to his death as he was hovering over a deep crevasse.

We needed his center eye so the mage subsequently had to burn a 3rd level spell to fly down and pry it out of his corpse.

The big advantage to sleep is there is no save, so magic resistance or legendary resistance are irrelevant. The disadvantage is you have to nearly kill whatever you are going to use it on to work AND none of your allies can be lower and in the AOE.
 


Mark1733

Explorer
Sure, BUT

How "good" silent image is depends A LOT on the DM. In some campaigns it will be amazing, in some it will be bottom tier. And which it is, depends as much or more on the DM as the player.
Agreed, but hopefully a player knows their DM well enough to know how such things will play out. But, while it doesn't really scale up, silent image (similar to THL) never really changes to become "less effective" over time. If an illusion worked on a low level creature with a low intelligence, it should work as effectively as a high-level creature with the same low intelligence. That means the hill giant probably could walk right past the illusory boulder next to the mountain side hiding 9 characters (in the 15-ft cube limit)...unless he chooses to pick it up to throw at something. Now, THL could take out the hill giant for up to a minute possibly, but let's say it's a group of hill giants. Again, it really depends on creativity and imagination and understanding how your DM will roll with it.
 

Mort

Legend
Supporter
Agreed, but hopefully a player knows their DM well enough to know how such things will play out. But, while it doesn't really scale up, silent image (similar to THL) never really changes to become "less effective" over time. If an illusion worked on a low level creature with a low intelligence, it should work as effectively as a high-level creature with the same low intelligence. That means the hill giant probably could walk right past the illusory boulder next to the mountain side hiding 9 characters (in the 15-ft cube limit)...unless he chooses to pick it up to throw at something. Now, THL could take out the hill giant for up to a minute possibly, but let's say it's a group of hill giants. Again, it really depends on creativity and imagination and understanding how your DM will roll with it.

True, to until the DM starts using monsters with truesight and the like - ultimate screwage against PCs that like illusions.
 

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