5E The New Tiers Ranked

FrogReaver

Adventurer
I also rate classes more level 1-10 not 11+ as a lot of games don't go that high.

Screwing around with cantrips us also fairly sub optimal as if you are in melee dual wield. Doubling your chance to land a sneak attack is better than an extra dice or two that you gave to wait until higher level to deal much more damage than just the extra dice if dual wielding. And it's situational as well.

I assume you like running in casting booming blade, bonus action get outta dodge?

What if you miss went not just take the extra swing? Or tank the hit and use your half damage thing to reduce it and gave someone heal you later?

If the fighter takes the hit it's more damage that someone had to heal.

The rogue mobility is good but often it's used incorrectly or one poor Sid takes all if it as the rogue is running around achieving sod all instead of dealing more damage asap and splitting damage.
All this seems to apply to badly played rogues.

Anyways, I'm not impressed by expertise until late tier 2. A +2 or +3 bonus on a few skills just isn't enough to make the rogue particularly good out of combat. What makes me rate rogues high for out of combat is cunning action. The ability to get extra movement or hide while moving all while scouting ahead actually allows the rogue to retreat when things go bad.

It's that combination of higher stealth and ability to retreat that they bring to the table that no one else does.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
I also rate classes more level 1-10 not 11+ as a lot of games don't go that high.

Screwing around with cantrips us also fairly sub optimal as if you are in melee dual wield. Doubling your chance to land a sneak attack is better than an extra dice or two that you gave to wait until higher level to deal much more damage than just the extra dice if dual wielding. And it's situational as well.

I assume you like running in casting booming blade, bonus action get outta dodge?

What if you miss went not just take the extra swing? Or tank the hit and use your half damage thing to reduce it and gave someone heal you later?

If the fighter takes the hit it's more damage that someone had to heal.

The rogue mobility is good but often it's used incorrectly or one poor Sid takes all if it as the rogue is running around achieving sod all instead of dealing more damage asap and splitting damage.
It really sounds like you’ve only played with reckless and non-tactical rogues. 🤷‍♂️
 

Zardnaar

Hero
It really sounds like you’ve only played with reckless and non-tactical rogues. 🤷‍♂️
Most rogue players seem to be crap at being a rogue.
I like the Scag cantrips on rogues that are doing other things that matter with their bonus action.

Things like using a healers kit as thief with healer feat, mastermind granting advantage.

Tactics in 5E IMHO is more party composition. Screwing around with booming blade I regard as sub optimal.

Rogues aren't bad but by the time expertise matters that much even when compared with guidance classes like Bard are getting level 5 and 6 spells so they can use enhance ability bfor example and get advantage on whatever they like.

By then you can drop a level 3+ spell every combat and be good at skills and buff healing and .......

Sure they're best at skills but so are other classes and they're close enough IMHO that the rogues edge in them is mitigated by everything else.
 

doctorbadwolf

Heretic of The Seventh Circle
All this seems to apply to badly played rogues.

Anyways, I'm not impressed by expertise until late tier 2. A +2 or +3 bonus on a few skills just isn't enough to make the rogue particularly good out of combat. What makes me rate rogues high for out of combat is cunning action. The ability to get extra movement or hide while moving all while scouting ahead actually allows the rogue to retreat when things go bad.

It's that combination of higher stealth and ability to retreat that they bring to the table that no one else does.
Eh, that bonus makes the difference pretty often. Especially when combined with the fact that they only need Dex and Con, and thus can put the rest of their stats however they want in order to support skill use.

Also, it’s literally just as much a difference as being proficient vs not, so saying it doesn’t matter is kinda odd.

That said, Cunning Action is a big deal in and out of combat, and helps the rogue turn skills into more of a combat resource than they can reliably be for other characters.

But yes most of Zard’s points are basically just “I’ve mostly seen bad rogues, so rogues are bad”.

He also doesn’t seem to have ever seen someone successfully exploit Booming Blade reliably.

An Arcane Trickster can deal enough damage on a hit with magical help that it’s worth it to slightly risk missing a tiny bit more often.
 

FrogReaver

Adventurer
Eh, that bonus makes the difference pretty often. Especially when combined with the fact that they only need Dex and Con, and thus can put the rest of their stats however they want in order to support skill use.

Also, it’s literally just as much a difference as being proficient vs not, so saying it doesn’t matter is kinda odd.

That said, Cunning Action is a big deal in and out of combat, and helps the rogue turn skills into more of a combat resource than they can reliably be for other characters.

But yes most of Zard’s points are basically just “I’ve mostly seen bad rogues, so rogues are bad”.

He also doesn’t seem to have ever seen someone successfully exploit Booming Blade reliably.

An Arcane Trickster can deal enough damage on a hit with magical help that it’s worth it to slightly risk missing a tiny bit more often.
1. I'd say the same thing about proficiency when the bonus is +2 or +3. Mechanically it just doesn't matter very much - but it does matter for character conception quite a bit.

2. I personally am not impressed with the booming blade tactic.

I think my biggest issue with his ratings is honestly how he is using guidance. While it works that way in his games it never has in mine.

That said, I think the rogue is excellent at the exploration pillar - but so are wizards, so are bards, so are druids, so are warlocks. I don't rate rogues higher than those classes when it comes to exploration potential.

From level 5+ I don't rate rogues better at combat that full casters.

So I'm not sure he has rogue rated incorrectly, even though I disagree with his reasons for doing so.
 

Zardnaar

Hero
1. I'd say the same thing about proficiency when the bonus is +2 or +3. Mechanically it just doesn't matter very much - but it does matter for character conception quite a bit.

2. I personally am not impressed with the booming blade tactic.

I think my biggest issue with his ratings is honestly how he is using guidance. While it works that way in his games it never has in mine.

That said, I think the rogue is excellent at the exploration pillar - but so are wizards, so are bards, so are druids, so are warlocks. I don't rate rogues higher than those classes when it comes to exploration potential.

From level 5+ I don't rate rogues better at combat that full casters.

So I'm not sure he has rogue rated incorrectly, even though I disagree with his reasons for doing so.
I might be slightly off but not that far.

I have seen good rogues played usually by my wife as she loves skill based classes right back to 3.0 where she played Bards and Rogues a lot.

Rogue only gets 1 more ASI, than most classes and guidance is an average of +2.5 on everything.

I had a skill monkey celestial Warlock with guidance. It had -1 on Dex based skills relative to rogue and traded that for guidance.

Dealt more damage, could heal, cast spells rogue not needed.
 

FrogReaver

Adventurer
I might be slightly off but not that far.

I have seen good rogues played usually by my wife as she loves skill based classes right back to 3.0 where she played Bards and Rogues a lot.

Rogue only gets 1 more ASI, than most classes and guidance is an average of +2.5 on everything.

I had a skill monkey celestial Warlock with guidance. It had -1 on Dex based skills relative to rogue and traded that for guidance.

Dealt more damage, could heal, cast spells rogue not needed.
I guess in fairness, you've put rogues in the same category as some bards, some sorcerers, some clerics etc.

I kind of think you are weighting many of the subclass differences much more than you should be. I tend to mentally differentiate them much more than they actually are in play. For example - a wizard regardless of subclass pretty much plays about the same as any other wizard. I don't see the few additional features their subclasses give them till way later potentially making a major difference.
 
The 3.5 Tiers predated the 3 Pillars concept, but were very much about versatility. The Tier rankings were largely independent of campaign emphasis. A Tier 1 class would dominate in a combat-heavy campaign, or an intrigue campaign, or a combat-heavy campaign that, 9 levels in, turned to intrigue for a couple of levels.

Assuming a fixed pillar ratio definitely changes the meaning of Tier.

And, while the Tier-squared approach of Tiers by level and sub-class is amazingly thorough, it's complicated and obscures what really should be straightforward rankings.

The first two 3.5 Tiers prettymuch were by casting method: higher day-to-day versatility of prepped casting edging out the higher round-to-round versatility of spontaneous. Third Tier was, IMHO, more where class designs should have been aimed: good versatility, but not always dominant - a party of different Tier 3 classes could potentially all participate meaningfully, most of the time, not just swing a spotlight around. Tier 4 were too-narrow(suitable for spotlight-balance), but not deficient, 5 deficient, and 6 reserved for mechanically-borked class designs - again, to simplify.

Since 5e neo-Vancian combines the versatility of prepped & spontaneous casting, it virtually re-defines Tier 1, while leaving it to the same classic classes. Tier 2 obviously belongs to the remaining (spontaneous or 'known') full casters. Tier 3 to fractional casters. And, unless you count unfortunate non-casting sub-classes, thats about it.
Relative to 3.5 a rising tide that's floated all boats - and miraculously raised some sunken ones, too - relative to 4e, the triumphant return of Class Tiers.
 

Zardnaar

Hero
The 3.5 Tiers predated the 3 Pillars concept, but were very much about versatility. The Tier rankings were largely independent of campaign emphasis. A Tier 1 class would dominate in a combat-heavy campaign, or an intrigue campaign, or a combat-heavy campaign that, 9 levels in, turned to intrigue for a couple of levels.

Assuming a fixed pillar ratio definitely changes the meaning of Tier.

And, while the Tier-squared approach of Tiers by level and sub-class is amazingly thorough, it's complicated and obscures what really should be straightforward rankings.

The first two 3.5 Tiers prettymuch were by casting method: higher day-to-day versatility of prepped casting edging out the higher round-to-round versatility of spontaneous. Third Tier was, IMHO, more where class designs should have been aimed: good versatility, but not always dominant - a party of different Tier 3 classes could potentially all participate meaningfully, most of the time, not just swing a spotlight around. Tier 4 were too-narrow(suitable for spotlight-balance), but not deficient, 5 deficient, and 6 reserved for mechanically-borked class designs - again, to simplify.

Since 5e neo-Vancian combines the versatility of prepped & spontaneous casting, it virtually re-defines Tier 1, while leaving it to the same classic classes. Tier 2 obviously belongs to the remaining (spontaneous or 'known') full casters. Tier 3 to fractional casters. And, unless you count unfortunate non-casting sub-classes, thats about it.
Relative to 3.5 a rising tide that's floated all boats - and miraculously raised some sunken ones, too - relative to 4e, the triumphant return of Class Tiers.
4E you could definitely do class tiers. PHB classes got more support, had morebuilds?
 

Zardnaar

Hero
I guess in fairness, you've put rogues in the same category as some bards, some sorcerers, some clerics etc.

I kind of think you are weighting many of the subclass differences much more than you should be. I tend to mentally differentiate them much more than they actually are in play. For example - a wizard regardless of subclass pretty much plays about the same as any other wizard. I don't see the few additional features their subclasses give them till way later potentially making a major difference.
Yeah I might tweak it slightly. It's not su much the different rogues are better or wrise than others they just Gary. Off the top of my head.

Arcane tricksters, better latter on can get Scag cantrips built in

Thieves. Excel with healer feat

Assassin's generally under powered, great with handcrossbows.

Mastermind
Due to advantage granting can make use is the scac cantrips. One rogue that might not want to dual wield.

Swashbuckler
Does what rogues should do but switches on late.

So 5 rogues all excelling at something different what's the best one?
 
4E you could definitely do class tiers. PHB classes got more support, had morebuilds?
You could only play one build at a time. The innate versatility of classes in play were very close - comparable numbers of skills, powers, feats, wealth/level resources, same retraining options - prettymuch all Tier 3. The wizard, with the option to prep an alternative to each daily or utility, and a few free known (but not free to cast) rituals was surely "high" in that Tier. Essentials started back in the direction of Tiers, giving Mages more prep options, and curtailing the versatility of other classes, especially martial, (and arguably producing some dysfunctional sub-classes, while 'orphaning' the RunePriest & Seeker) but to nowhere near the extent 5e.
 

Zardnaar

Hero
You could only play one build at a time. The innate versatility of classes in play were very close - comparable numbers of skills, powers, feats, wealth/level resources, same retraining options - prettymuch all Tier 3. The wizard, with the option to prep an alternative to each daily or utility, and a few free known (but not free to cast) rituals was surely "high" in that Tier. Essentials started back in the direction of Tiers, giving Mages more prep options, and curtailing the versatility of other classes, especially martial, (and arguably producing some dysfunctional sub-classes, while 'orphaning' the RunePriest & Seeker) but to nowhere near the extent 5e.
Probably be more accurate to tier list 4E builds.

5E most classes are decent but they're ery much prepacked so you can't mix and match the best abilities via feats and powers.

I think they overestimate how good fish type stuff is in 5E context hence power creep with bladesinger and Hexblades.

My OP was also a while ago. A tier 2 class is still really good but done archetypes are better than others so wizards in general might be tier two but the better archetypes are tier 1.

Some things are YMMV like how many rituals a ritual caster will have access to.
 
Probably be more accurate to tier list 4E builds.
Tiers were never about specific (optimized) builds.
But, in the same sense it could be reasonable to break down 5e Tiers by sub-class, maybe, as, until Essentials, 'builds' (mainly, alternate class features & power enhancements) were as close as it came.
But it'd make little difference, it's not like any pre-E build got radically different resources or swapping options.

5E most classes are decent but they're ery much prepacked so you can't mix and match the best abilities via feats.
Especially if you're wise enough to not opt into feats - and MCing, which also didn't figure much into 3.5 Tiers.
But, that also had nothing to do with Class Tiers: wizards weren't bumped from Tier 1 because they MCd poorly, nor were Fighters let out of Tier 5 because they made a great 2-level dip in some builds.

5e really did expand casting as a primary mechanic, and that pushed classes up the Tier structure. That and BA reducing the significance of class skills unless Expertise came into it.
 
Last edited:

Advertisement

Top