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D&D 5E What are the Most Useless Combinations in D&D 5e?

AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
So, as we all know, there are some options in D&D that are just suboptimal to others. Tridents are just more expensive martial spears that don't work with Polearm Master, Padded Armor is just slightly cheaper Leather Armor that gives you disadvantage on stealth for some reason, Ringmail Armor is the worst Heavy Armor in the game, and it's almost always better to just attack twice across two turns than to cast True Strike.

This thread isn't about those suboptimal choices. It's about the absolutely useless ones. The combinations that everyone in the game can point to and laugh at because they do absolutely nothing. Here's my three examples:

First, Mithral Breastplate Armor. Breastplate is actually a quite useful type of Medium Armor. It gives the same AC bonus as Scalemail, but doesn't have the disadvantage on Stealth Checks that Scalemail has. It doesn't give as high of an AC boost as Halfplate, but for people that want to wear non-mithral magical armor without having constant disadvantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks, this type of armor is quite useful to people willing to give up that +1 boost to AC. However, what happens if you want to spend the extra money to make your Breastplate out of Mithral?

Absolutely nothing. Breastplate armor doesn't require a Strength Score to avoid a reduced speed, and it also doesn't impose disadvantage on Stealth checks. That means if you for whatever reason decide to make your Breastplate out of Mithral, absolutely nothing changes about it. (Well, it starts counting as a magic item, but that almost definitely won't come up in-game.)

Second, the Immovable Ice Cube. In order to do this combo, you need to be a Graviturgist Wizard. Then, use the Shape Water cantrip to create an ice cube. You can then cast Immovable Object (the second level dunamancy spell) on the ice cube, and have a floating ice cube. You can even upcast the spell to make the ice cube float there permanently. Normally when you create an Immovable Object with the dunamancy spell, you want to create a platform to stand on to reach a higher space, or make a barrier in front of a door. However, ice melts, and fairly quickly at that, too. And when an Ice Cube melts, it ceases to be an object, and the Immovable Object spell stops to affect it, and the water just falls from the air and eventually evaporates. So if you want to use an ice cube to barricade a door, once it melts, it's a pretty ineffective barricade. Additionally, ice is slippery, so if you want to use it as a small platform to stand on, you have to make a DC 10 Acrobatics check or fall prone.

There's not really any reason why you would do this, but I just thought it was a pretty funny way to use the Immovable Object spell in a way that would be next to useless.

Third, the Returning Net. While the Mithral Breast Plate doesn't give you any real benefit that non-Mithral Breastplate doesn't already have and the Immovable Ice Cube is only useful very temporarily, this combo is even worse, due to it not functioning at all. Seriously, if you want to prank your players, homebrew up a Returning Net as a joke uncommon magic weapon, and see the looks on their faces as they realize that it does absolutely nothing of use. If you want to be a player and do this combo (for whatever reason), you need to be at least a level 2 Artificer, with the Returning Weapon Infusion. This infusion is actually quite useful in most circumstances; it works on any Thrown weapon, allows it to automatically return to your hand after you throw it, and gives it a +1 bonus to attack rolls with it. Put this on a Dagger, Handaxe, Dart, or Spear, and you won't be sorry. However, if you put this on a net, you certainly will be sorry.

This is because, importantly, you can only throw one net each turn. And if you do so and have Extra Attack, you can literally only make on attack this action, not letting you make multiple attacks on your turn as you normally would. This can be situationally useful, but is almost always a bad choice for a weapon. You know what makes it even worse of a choice? The Returning Weapon Infusion.

Because when you throw your Net on a creature, instead of trapping them under it as it normally would . . . your net just flies back to your hand. The creature is just hit by the net, not taking any damage, and it flies back to your hand . . . without literally any condition being imposed on the creature. So, not only are you wasting your Extra Attack feature if you have it, but you're also doing absolutely nothing when you throw it. You very briefly cover the target in your net (if you hit), but the net immediately flies back to your hand, not restraining them or doing anything whatsoever to your target. This is an absolutely useless combo, because it wastes your actions, infusion slots, and does absolutely nothing when you use the combo.

What are your ideas for completely useless combos in D&D 5e? Any thoughts on how to actually make use of the ones I listed here? I'm excited to hear your thoughts below!
 

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I have yet to ever hear anybody say anything positive at all about the spell Find Trap. To the point that I'm even considering of removing it from the magic spell list in general as I fear my bud's Ranger may take it upon our first descent into a dungeon. And then he's gonna give me the confused/weird look on why/how its useless and I'll have to break his heart even more while he gets confused even more.
 

Because when you throw your Net on a creature, instead of trapping them under it as it normally would . . . your net just flies back to your hand. The creature is just hit by the net, not taking any damage, and it flies back to your hand . . . without literally any condition being imposed on the creature.
Wait, seriously? I don't get how a Net and a Boomerang, in the eyes of WoTC are the same thing somehow?
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
This is because, importantly, you can only throw one net each turn. And if you do so and have Extra Attack, you can literally only make on attack this action, not letting you make multiple attacks on your turn as you normally would. This can be situationally useful, but is almost always a bad choice for a weapon. You know what makes it even worse of a choice? The Returning Weapon Infusion.

Because when you throw your Net on a creature, instead of trapping them under it as it normally would . . . your net just flies back to your hand. The creature is just hit by the net, not taking any damage, and it flies back to your hand . . . without literally any condition being imposed on the creature. So, not only are you wasting your Extra Attack feature if you have it, but you're also doing absolutely nothing when you throw it. You very briefly cover the target in your net (if you hit), but the net immediately flies back to your hand, not restraining them or doing anything whatsoever to your target. This is an absolutely useless combo, because it wastes your actions, infusion slots, and does absolutely nothing when you use the combo.
I'm going to go Crawford on you here. When you hit a large or smaller creature it is restrained(caught in the net) until freed. Returning brings the net back to you, but doesn't say it frees the creature, so it doesn't. You have a creature in a net in your hand. Seems pretty good to me.
 

You have a creature in a net in your hand. Seems pretty good to me.
DM: So your net, via your Nat 20, has managed to snag and capture the Red Greatwyrm Dragon somehow.
PC: Cool, I proceed to wack it's minions with my weapon.
DM: Cool, roll your attack roll for your Trident.
PC: Oh I didn't specify WHICH weapon I was about to use.
DM is totally confused.
PC: How much damage would swinging a Dragon in a Net do?
DM: Uh........lets see, i'm gonna say it's an improvised Weapon.
PC: Yeah that seems fair. rolls for attack and makes it.

DM: Okay so you hit the Kobold for 1D4 damage plus your STR mod of +2.
 


Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
DM: So your net, via your Nat 20, has managed to snag and capture the Red Greatwyrm Dragon somehow.
PC: Cool, I proceed to wack it's minions with my weapon.
DM: Cool, roll your attack roll for your Trident.
PC: Oh I didn't specify WHICH weapon I was about to use.
DM is totally confused.
PC: How much damage would swinging a Dragon in a Net do?
DM: Uh........lets see, i'm gonna say it's an improvised Weapon.
PC: Yeah that seems fair. rolls for attack and makes it.

DM: Okay so you hit the Kobold for 1D4 damage plus your STR mod of +2.
Ooh! A flaming net! :unsure:
 



AcererakTriple6

Autistic DM (he/him)
I was thinking it would be perfect for a bounty hunter.
Well, except for the fact that the normal range of a net is only 5 feet, so unless you're throwing the net at long range, you're not moving the creature at all, you're just holding the net. (As a DM, I would probably then rule that the DC to escape the net is equal to your own Athletics check, making a contest every round. Not RAW, but pretty cool.)
 

Zubatcarteira

Now you're infected by the Musical Doodle
I have yet to ever hear anybody say anything positive at all about the spell Find Trap. To the point that I'm even considering of removing it from the magic spell list in general as I fear my bud's Ranger may take it upon our first descent into a dungeon. And then he's gonna give me the confused/weird look on why/how its useless and I'll have to break his heart even more while he gets confused even more.
Behold.
 



Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Well, except for the fact that the normal range of a net is only 5 feet, so unless you're throwing the net at long range, you're not moving the creature at all, you're just holding the net. (As a DM, I would probably then rule that the DC to escape the net is equal to your own Athletics check, making a contest every round. Not RAW, but pretty cool.)
I may make this item at some point and add some range to it. As a magic item I can see it being a 20 or 30 foot thrown item.
 

Fortunately, to the best of my knowledge, 5e very rarely has truly, totally useless options.

But I'd still rank the Battlerager and (pre-Tasha's) Beast Master as very nearly that. Frenzy is equivalent to merely dual-wielding, but comes with a nasty penalty every time you use it, and Intimidating Presence is shockingly weak, especially since it eats your action every round just to maintain it. Beast Master's faults are well-known at this point, enough that Tasha's basically rebuilt its core functionality (which probably should've been our first sign that a revised/anniversary/etc. edition was coming).
 





Mithril breastplate can be worn under clothing, though! (presumably in an inconspicuous manner, 'cause anyone can wear a cloak over platemail). It's niche but it means there's technically a benefit.
 

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