D&D 5E Which characters are the DPR (damage per round) leaders at your table(s)?

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Paladin. Then about 5 blank spaces. Then a pretty close tie between the rest of the classes except sorcerer/wizard/bard who are at the bottom of the pile.

Spirit guardians is like an ongoing relentless fireball. I don't know how a wizard could match it in damage.
Spirit Guardians takes being in it for three rounds to bypass a fireball. Considering most combats only last 3-4 rounds, foes can move to exit the AoE, and they can break concentration on the casters, Fireball will often do better in practical terms.

And that's not even considering the opportunity cost of it being a Concentration spell. The fireball caster may have already up a Concentration spell and be gaining other benefits, while the Spirit Guardians caster can not.
 

log in or register to remove this ad

Sabathius42

Bree-Yark
Spirit Guardians takes being in it for three rounds to bypass a fireball. Considering most combats only last 3-4 rounds, foes can move to exit the AoE, and they can break concentration on the casters, Fireball will often do better in practical terms.

And that's not even considering the opportunity cost of it being a Concentration spell. The fireball caster may have already up a Concentration spell and be gaining other benefits, while the Spirit Guardians caster can not.
Id you want to get into the weeds, fireball does an average of 28 damage once versus Spirit Guardians 13/round. In two rounds you are close to equal and in 3 the SG has outpaced the fireball.

You can also look at damage type....fire vs. radiant and the relative merits of which one is "better" from a monster selection stance.

You can also have SG not hit friendlies in it's area, even if they move into it after it's cast.

Even if enemies run away or avoid the SG are you are still exerting battlefield control in a way instant spells do not.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Id you want to get into the weeds, fireball does an average of 28 damage once versus Spirit Guardians 13/round. In two rounds you are close to equal and in 3 the SG has outpaced the fireball.
I'll be glad to get into the weeds.

So we agree you need to be in Spirit Guardians three rounds to outpace fireball damage.

Since you didn't address any of the points I made about how long you are in Spirit Guardians, I assume you aren't debating them. That (a) combat is over/creatures dead before they get 3 rounds of exposure - considering combats average 3-4 rounds very likely, (b) creatures can leave the area before 3 rounds of exposure, and (c) Concentration can be broke, ending it. Heck, Concentration can be broken by a creature outside the AoE having an action before any damage is given if the initiative falls out the wrong way since it's only given at the start of a creature's turn. Remember the you need to be close to the foes for them to be in the aura, so you are opening yourself up to attack and the possibility of losing Concentration.

With these in play, it's pretty obvious that getting all of the targets for three rounds is unlikely, and therefore Fireball does more damage on average.

You can also look at damage type....fire vs. radiant and the relative merits of which one is "better" from a monster selection stance.
Sure, I agree with you on this. Casters have a selection of spells, I assume you'll chose a correct one and not use fireball vs. a fire elemental or demon.

You can also have SG not hit friendlies in it's area, even if they move into it after it's cast.
This is a big bonus for Spirit Guardians. Friendlies you designate at time of casting (so you'd need summons or whatever already in play, but that's minor thing.)

On the other side, where you cast it is limited by the caster - if you can't (or don't want to) get to an area you will have limited targets.

Both have times when they can target more foes, this is basically a wash.

Even if enemies run away or avoid the SG are you are still exerting battlefield control in a way instant spells do not.
If we want to look at other aspects besides damage, then requiring Concentration is a huge opportunity cost. It means that you don't have up another Concentration spell so you are accomplishing even more each round than just fireball damage. It means you can't cast it several times overlapping, while if the opportunity presented itself you can cast Fireball three times.

Spirit Guardians is a great spell. It's a staple of the general cleric list. But the idea that a wizard can't match it in damage -- your claim I was answering -- has been shown not to be the case over the course of encounters. Both have times when they will do better if we tailor a situation to them, and that's good for the game.
 

Sabathius42

Bree-Yark
I'll be glad to get into the weeds.

So we agree you need to be in Spirit Guardians three rounds to outpace fireball damage.

Since you didn't address any of the points I made about how long you are in Spirit Guardians, I assume you aren't debating them. That (a) combat is over/creatures dead before they get 3 rounds of exposure - considering combats average 3-4 rounds very likely, (b) creatures can leave the area before 3 rounds of exposure, and (c) Concentration can be broke, ending it. Heck, Concentration can be broken by a creature outside the AoE having an action before any damage is given if the initiative falls out the wrong way since it's only given at the start of a creature's turn. Remember the you need to be close to the foes for them to be in the aura, so you are opening yourself up to attack and the possibility of losing Concentration.

With these in play, it's pretty obvious that getting all of the targets for three rounds is unlikely, and therefore Fireball does more damage on average.


Sure, I agree with you on this. Casters have a selection of spells, I assume you'll chose a correct one and not use fireball vs. a fire elemental or demon.


This is a big bonus for Spirit Guardians. Friendlies you designate at time of casting (so you'd need summons or whatever already in play, but that's minor thing.)

On the other side, where you cast it is limited by the caster - if you can't (or don't want to) get to an area you will have limited targets.

Both have times when they can target more foes, this is basically a wash.


If we want to look at other aspects besides damage, then requiring Concentration is a huge opportunity cost. It means that you don't have up another Concentration spell so you are accomplishing even more each round than just fireball damage. It means you can't cast it several times overlapping, while if the opportunity presented itself you can cast Fireball three times.

Spirit Guardians is a great spell. It's a staple of the general cleric list. But the idea that a wizard can't match it in damage -- your claim I was answering -- has been shown not to be the case over the course of encounters. Both have times when they will do better if we tailor a situation to them, and that's good for the game.
Fireball vs Spirit Guardians is clearly not apples to apples, however looking at the spells from a zoomed out view....I haven't heard anyone saying 5e fireball is an OP spell, but I have seen a lot of talk about SG being overtuned. While this doesn't necessarily mean SG is always better from a strictly DPS standpoint (which is your stance) it's frequently AS GOOD from my experience.

The standard situation in my games is a cleric with a spiritual weapon, spirit guardians, and whatever cantrip/spell they want to cast that turn. Wizards at my table can't hang with that DPR.
 

In one group a Gloomstalker ranger / rogue / whatever, because that's the only character with any semblance of optimization (the rest were fun dumb builds meant for a one shot that turned into a surprising years-long campaign that the gloom ranger now joined).

For every other table: I don't have any idea, nor so I care.
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Fireball vs Spirit Guardians is clearly not apples to apples, however looking at the spells from a zoomed out view....I haven't heard anyone saying 5e fireball is an OP spell, but I have seen a lot of talk about SG being overtuned. While this doesn't necessarily mean SG is always better from a strictly DPS standpoint (which is your stance) it's frequently AS GOOD from my experience.

The standard situation in my games is a cleric with a spiritual weapon, spirit guardians, and whatever cantrip/spell they want to cast that turn. Wizards at my table can't hang with that DPR.
Fireball has often been considered OP in 5e. Here's some links:

But either way, you are trying to compare multiple already cast spells plus another casting now to a single casting of Fireball. If you need to layer on all of those other spells to exceed it, then it is clear that your statement that Spirit Guardians blowing the the damage that Fireball does by itself is false. If you are talking casting Spirit Guardians and then another round of casting, at the very least you would need to compare it to two actions of the wizard, such as two Fireballs. And if you were being honest you'd compare to a wizard also with a concentration damage spell up.

But really, stop trying to move the goalposts. I've shown that in any practical matter that your statement that fireball can't keep up with spirit guardian damage is false because of all the difficulties in applying the damage to all of the targets for long enough with SG.

If you want to say a cleric with those spells up is very cool, I'll agree with you. My Order Cleric in our Ancient Greek themed game will often use that combination.
 

Fireball vs Spirit Guardians is clearly not apples to apples, however looking at the spells from a zoomed out view....I haven't heard anyone saying 5e fireball is an OP spell, but I have seen a lot of talk about SG being overtuned. While this doesn't necessarily mean SG is always better from a strictly DPS standpoint (which is your stance) it's frequently AS GOOD from my experience.

The standard situation in my games is a cleric with a spiritual weapon, spirit guardians, and whatever cantrip/spell they want to cast that turn. Wizards at my table can't hang with that DPR.

Ok, I say it. Fireball as 8d6 damage spell is one of the best you can get.

Frontloaded damage is often better than damage over time, also somehow range for weapon users is always the ultimate argument, while you never hear that when speaking about fireball or spirit guardians.

An evoker can also make fireball friendly, which alone makes the evokers ability very powerful (also a thing you don't here a lot).

People often don't get their math straight when comparing spells or other aspects. Often, people only look at some numbers and think, just because you get a somewhat higher number, you are doing better, disregarding a lot of aspects of the game.
I do think spirit guardians is a very good spell. And if you upcast it, it scales better than fireball.
 

Sabathius42

Bree-Yark
Fireball has often been considered OP in 5e. Here's some links:

But either way, you are trying to compare multiple already cast spells plus another casting now to a single casting of Fireball. If you need to layer on all of those other spells to exceed it, then it is clear that your statement that Spirit Guardians blowing the the damage that Fireball does by itself is false. If you are talking casting Spirit Guardians and then another round of casting, at the very least you would need to compare it to two actions of the wizard, such as two Fireballs. And if you were being honest you'd compare to a wizard also with a concentration damage spell up.

But really, stop trying to move the goalposts. I've shown that in any practical matter that your statement that fireball can't keep up with spirit guardian damage is false because of all the difficulties in applying the damage to all of the targets for long enough with SG.

If you want to say a cleric with those spells up is very cool, I'll agree with you. My Order Cleric in our Ancient Greek themed game will often use that combination.
Two separate conversations.

1. Is fireball "better" than spirit guardians for DPR purposes?
2. Are wizards better than clerics on the DPR ladder?

The whole fireball discussion (#1) came about by someone refuting my statement that Spirit Guardians puts clerics over wizards/sorcerers on the DPR tier list (#2), which is the experience at my table.

As for #1 the math says (yes I can do math) that in one round fireball is better (28 to 13), in two rounds it's a tie (28 to 27) and in three or more rounds SG would be increasingly better (28 to 40+)

As for #2 I still argue that clerics can out damage wizards/sorcerers because of stacking SG+SW+another spell/weapon, however the very concept of who is better is at best a discussion with no true answer because of the variations of all the classes, subclasses, feats, etc....
 

Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
Two separate conversations.

1. Is fireball "better" than spirit guardians for DPR purposes?
2. Are wizards better than clerics on the DPR ladder?

The whole fireball discussion (#1) came about by someone refuting my statement that Spirit Guardians puts clerics over wizards/sorcerers on the DPR tier list (#2), which is the experience at my table.

As for #1 the math says (yes I can do math) that in one round fireball is better (28 to 13), in two rounds it's a tie (28 to 27) and in three or more rounds SG would be increasingly better (28 to 40+)

As for #2 I still argue that clerics can out damage wizards/sorcerers because of stacking SG+SW+another spell/weapon, however the very concept of who is better is at best a discussion with no true answer because of the variations of all the classes, subclasses, feats, etc....
Sir, I have brought up points several times and you have refused to engage with any of them. You are also moving the goalposts from Spirit Guardians vs. Fireball to whole classes. At this point I see no point in continuing this discussion.
 

Dausuul

Legend
My current party consists of a shadow sorcerer, scribe wizard, forge cleric, and undead-pact warlock (me).

My warlock is by far the heaviest hitter; I built him to be a long-range blaster and optimized hard. The wizard is also pretty optimized, but with a focus on battlefield control instead of damage. The cleric and sorcerer are still getting the hang of their classes.
 

This is my personal, anecdotal experience:

I ran a 1-20 campaign with a vengeance paladin, beastmaster ranger, arcane trickster rogue, lore bard, and shadow sorcerer. The paladin was easily the DPR king. That player would burn smites like they were going out of style. I tend to run deadly fights with enemies coming in waves. Once the paladin was over 10th level it was difficult to exhaust all his spell slots. The sorcerer also had excellent DPR. The lore bard peaked in Tier 2 and Tier 3. The players of the ranger and rogue had suboptimal builds despite my best efforts to help them.

I am currently running a campaign with an evoker wizard, cavalier fighter, and swashbuckler rogue at 8th level. They're about evenly matched. The fighter is much more effective than I was expecting -- the heroic badass you want a fighter to be. The wizard was the weakest in Tier 1 but now wrecks face. The rogue's player has little interest in direct damage and is more of a lateral thinker who tries off the wall tactics to flip the situation on its head. Good times.

Also running a campaign with an evoker wizard, vengeance paladin, and genie warlock at 8th level. I've house ruled that the paladin only gets one smite per turn. That seems to be having the desired effect. The paladin is formidable but doesn't overshadow the rest of the party. The wizard's player is more fluent in the rules than the warlock's player, and that results in his character having higher DPR.
 

ECMO3

Hero
Spirit Guardians takes being in it for three rounds to bypass a fireball. Considering most combats only last 3-4 rounds, foes can move to exit the AoE, and they can break concentration on the casters, Fireball will often do better in practical terms.

And that's not even considering the opportunity cost of it being a Concentration spell. The fireball caster may have already up a Concentration spell and be gaining other benefits, while the Spirit Guardians caster can not.
The problem with fireball is it is situational and typically hard to place for maximum effect unless you are an evocation wizard. The area is huge and unless you win initiative your party members will usually get mixed up with the enemy before your turn comes around. I think the ease of use pretty much evens out the point made about SG.

As I've got more experience I find I prefer lightning bolt to fireball as a 3rd level blasting spell. While Fireball can get a lot more enemies under ideal circumstances, that rarely exists in play and really makes fireball very situational. Also when fighting a lone BBEG with a high CR (1 dragon/purple worm/vampire etc) Lightning Bolt is going to do just as much damage but be a lot easier to use employ.
 

Sabathius42

Bree-Yark
Sir, I have brought up points several times and you have refused to engage with any of them. You are also moving the goalposts from Spirit Guardians vs. Fireball to whole classes. At this point I see no point in continuing this discussion.
Sure thing. I'll just refer you back to your post #101 which started our side discussion and you can read for yourself whether or not I was talking about classes in general or specifically about the merits of SG vs Fireball in the post of mine you replied to.
 


Blue

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal
The problem with fireball is it is situational and typically hard to place for maximum effect unless you are an evocation wizard. The area is huge and unless you win initiative your party members will usually get mixed up with the enemy before your turn comes around. I think the ease of use pretty much evens out the point made about SG.

As I've got more experience I find I prefer lightning bolt to fireball as a 3rd level blasting spell. While Fireball can get a lot more enemies under ideal circumstances, that rarely exists in play and really makes fireball very situational. Also when fighting a lone BBEG with a high CR (1 dragon/purple worm/vampire etc) Lightning Bolt is going to do just as much damage but be a lot easier to use employ.
Sure. I am using Fireball simply because that was the example that couldn't keep up with damage of Spirit Guardians. Fireball has limitations on targeting because it can get allies. Spirit Guardians has limitations on targeting because it has no range and has a smaller area of effect.

Personally I'm with you on Lightning Bolt - in practical terms it's useful more times. If I'm playing a wizard who wants AoE damage, I learn fireball first because with very limited slots per day to cast it I can usually find enough times that it (or other 3rd level spell) is useful at which point it's more targets. But I make sure by higher levels I have Lightning Bolt for more frequent tactical usage when I have more 3rd+ level slots to use, as well as an alternate damage type.
 

jgsugden

Legend
...In actual play, the greatest single target damage dealer was an Eldritch Knight / Gloom Stalker Great Weapon master / Paladin. In the first round of a big combat he would attack 10 (or 11) times, with each attack at +13 for 2d6 (reroll 1or 2) + 9 (Strength) + 3 weapon + 10 (great weapon master) ... and he'd smite on top of it. He got the drop on an Ancient Dragon and 'soloed it' before it acted (Surprise round and first round before dragon goes, dragon prone for advantage, 30 damager per hit and the PC was going to get about 17 to 19 attacks before it went...
....Christ in heaven. And they thought 2E multiclassing was bad! I thought Samurai was painful burst but it's a joke next to that.
That is three classes: Fighter, Ranger, Paladin. The PC was an Underdark based PC who fell into the service of a God late in their career. I thought of it as a bit of a Vax rip off the way that they added the Paladin and suddenly 'finding the Gods'.

If you want to talk multiclassing, let me introduce you to Myska Urge, my Glasya Tiefling Archer. She began as a bodyguard to a low level beurocrat sent to the Underdark - but her charge was murdered and she was banished for her failure. She joined an adventuring group and introduced them to her views on religion - that labeling Asmodeus as evil and condemning him for his place in society overlooked that he served an essential function and was doing whatever he had to in order to serve that function - Fighting the Blood War. She joined his clergy, and then within the clergy became an assassin in their service (which became a major plot point for the campaign).

Gloom Stalker Ranger 5, Cleric of Order 1, Divine Soul Sorcerer 5, Fighter Battlemaster 4, Rogue Assassin 3, Divine Soul for 2 more levels. 5 Classes.

In some ways an abomination of multiclassing, that was a pretty organic development. She was also extremely efficient.
 



An Advertisement

Advertisement4

Top