5E Which Class is "The Best" - Your chance to VOTE!

Which Class is "The Best"?

  • Barbarian

    Votes: 7 5.6%
  • Bard

    Votes: 38 30.2%
  • Cleric

    Votes: 19 15.1%
  • Druid

    Votes: 15 11.9%
  • Fighter

    Votes: 19 15.1%
  • Monk

    Votes: 7 5.6%
  • Paladin

    Votes: 32 25.4%
  • Ranger

    Votes: 5 4.0%
  • Rogue

    Votes: 16 12.7%
  • Sorcerer

    Votes: 8 6.3%
  • Warlock

    Votes: 17 13.5%
  • Wizard

    Votes: 36 28.6%
  • Other (Artificer, etc.)

    Votes: 4 3.2%
  • None (They are ALL cool and great, right?!)

    Votes: 15 11.9%

  • Total voters
    126
Clearly my next group needs to be a bard, wizard, paladin, fighter, and cleric. I bet it works. ;-)
Well, 3 full casters, 3 strong support, 2 strong melee (one or two others not bad, depending), two probably quite good social... ? /Might/ have an issue with exploration, depending on which way the, well, Bard goes.

You could also have your next group be a Druid, Sorcerer, Barbarian, Monk, and Ranger. I bet that would work, too. ;)
Two full casters, one melee badass, three second-string melee, plenty of scouting & wilderness competence... Sorcerer has the high CHA but has always seemed kinda conflicted in the social pillar...

My group could be fighter, fighter, fighter, fighter, fighter and I bet it would work. That's a round hole that'll look awfully square when I'm done. ;-)
You can make anything work. ("You beat down the last of the 6 goblins and find 12 healing potions... and 3 scrolls of lesser restoration... and" "Oh, crap, the next fight's gonna be a doosie!")
 

Ashrym

Adventurer
You can make anything work. ("You beat down the last of the 6 goblins and find 12 healing potions... and 3 scrolls of lesser restoration... and" "Oh, crap, the next fight's gonna be a doosie!")
"Oh look! Something I can do once per hour with second wind!"
"What are these strange writings on this papyrus?" *Tears up scrolls for latrine gear during the short rest recovering action surge. ;)

Luck going against me on a status effect is more of an issue than the physical damage. I'd be inclined to actually learn medicine in such a group just in case. Slow treatment beats no treatment.
 

Undrave

Adventurer
Well, 3 full casters, 3 strong support, 2 strong melee (one or two others not bad, depending), two probably quite good social... ? /Might/ have an issue with exploration, depending on which way the, well, Bard goes.
But Tony, remember the Fighter threads, you can just pick up the right background and use skills and feats to shore up your Exploration deficiencies.

Tho, to be fair, 'Exploration' is the least developped pillar to the point of being a cryptid >.>
 

Ashrym

Adventurer
But Tony, remember the Fighter threads, you can just pick up the right background and use skills and feats to shore up your Exploration deficiencies.

Tho, to be fair, 'Exploration' is the least developped pillar to the point of being a cryptid >.>
I do pick up backgrounds and feats to give options in other pillars, lol.

To also be fair though, my expectation isn't to compete with or measure against other classes. It's to be good enough in the bounded accuracy system to hit moderate static DC's and with the understanding rolls aren't always needed. The difference is in my expectation bar when I'm really playing a fighter to fight.

5e is great for me with fighters. They fight well. My background gives me my general archetype because I focus more on the concept than the mechanics and the fighter makes a solid template to build from and then I go from there. I have fun building them and playing them that way, so from my perspective it's a thumbs up.

The rune knight in the latest Unearthed Arcana slipped in some skill benefits so I'm looking forward to trying that out.
 

Zardnaar

Hero
Only thing bard is bad at is direct damage and the lore bard can pick up hex/hunters quarry, fireball, Eldritch blast by level 5 with feat and destructive wave and another spell at 10.

They won't deal as much damage as a warlock but they're not to far off and have picked the best damage dealing spells from 3 or 4 classes.

But they get all their other spells and abilities in top of that. A fiendpact warlock can't heal, steal level 17 paladin spells, play with bard dice etc.

Lore bard can also focus healing as well on top of all the other bard stuff.
 

Esker

Explorer
Only thing bard is bad at is direct damage and the lore bard can pick up hex/hunters quarry, fireball, Eldritch blast by level 5 with feat and destructive wave and another spell at 10.

They won't deal as much damage as a warlock but they're not to far off and have picked the best damage dealing spells from 3 or 4 classes.

But they get all their other spells and abilities in top of that. A fiendpact warlock can't heal, steal level 17 paladin spells, play with bard dice etc.

Lore bard can also focus healing as well on top of all the other bard stuff.
I think the bard is great, as I stated, but I think you're overrating them on some dimensions. Yes, they can get damage spells with Magical Secrets, but they're still not well suited to using them. No metamagic, no sculpt spells, no arcane recovery, no extra mod to damage rolls, etc. Spirit Guardians is a nice option for a valor bard that can afford to get close and get hit, but since it's concentration it inhibits the bard's main combat strength which is casting big concentration spells that control or debuff.

The other big weakness is survivability. Only the valor bard will have a decent AC, and the bard list lacks self-defense staples like Shield, Mirror Image, and Misty Step. You could pick up some of those with Magical Secrets, but it's not much fun to spend those precious picks (not to mention the spell slots, of which you have fewer than other squishy classes like wizards and sorcerers) just keeping yourself alive.

The bard is clearly top tier at the social pillar, and can be strong in exploration if they pick expertise in those skills (though that will come at the expense of their social skills; the wizard has better spells there; and the rogue gets expertise earlier and has ability scores better suited for exploration). In combat, the bard can be an incredible asset if they focus on support/CC/debuffs and can keep themselves alive. They can't be a true front-liner without multiclassing, and they don't make good blasters either.

In essence, they have just as much of a niche as any other class. It's a mistake, I think, to think of them as trying to be good at everything.
 

Zardnaar

Hero
I think the bard is great, as I stated, but I think you're overrating them on some dimensions. Yes, they can get damage spells with Magical Secrets, but they're still not well suited to using them. No metamagic, no sculpt spells, no arcane recovery, no extra mod to damage rolls, etc. Spirit Guardians is a nice option for a valor bard that can afford to get close and get hit, but since it's concentration it inhibits the bard's main combat strength which is casting big concentration spells that control or debuff.

The other big weakness is survivability. Only the valor bard will have a decent AC, and the bard list lacks self-defense staples like Shield, Mirror Image, and Misty Step. You could pick up some of those with Magical Secrets, but it's not much fun to spend those precious picks (not to mention the spell slots, of which you have fewer than other squishy classes like wizards and sorcerers) just keeping yourself alive.

The bard is clearly top tier at the social pillar, and can be strong in exploration if they pick expertise in those skills (though that will come at the expense of their social skills; the wizard has better spells there; and the rogue gets expertise earlier and has ability scores better suited for exploration). In combat, the bard can be an incredible asset if they focus on support/CC/debuffs and can keep themselves alive. They can't be a true front-liner without multiclassing, and they don't make good blasters either.

In essence, they have just as much of a niche as any other class. It's a mistake, I think, to think of them as trying to be good at everything.
ACs better than a wizard and bigger hit dice. A lore bard should be played as such and be no where near the front lines.

Mountain Dwarf lore bard picks up gfb and spiritual guardians better beatstick than valor bard lol.
 

Esker

Explorer
ACs better than a wizard and bigger hit dice. A lore bard should be played as such and be no where near the front lines.
But wizards can have Mage Armor on all the time, giving them higher base AC than bards, plus they have spells like Shield, Mirror Image, Misty Step, Fire Shield, Contingency, etc. Despite the lower hit dice, I think wizards have an easier time surviving than most bards do (the valor bard being the notable exception, since medium armor and shields is worth 4 points of AC over the light armored subclasses, and 2 over the swords bard, who has to hit to use defensive flourish). Any anyway, my argument was that bards' squishiness is a weakness, not that wizards' isn't.

Mountain Dwarf lore bard picks up gfb and spiritual guardians better beatstick than valor bard lol.
Being a Mountain Dwarf only buys you a 17 AC as a lore bard, and that only after you can afford half-plate. And you can only use Cutting Words on one attack per round. I don't want to be a front-liner with defenses like that.

I also never said Valor Bard made a good beatstick. In fact I said exactly the opposite: no bard should try to focus on damage dealing; at least not without multiclassing. The primary virtue of the Valor bard is AC, which is useful for everyone, whether or not you focus on attacking.
 

Zardnaar

Hero
AC 17s not that bad.

Mage armor and shield is more mid levels. Seen a lot if wizards blowing through those spells despite having ample hit points and hit dice available. Running out if spells ASAP then cantrip spam or wanting a long rest seems fairly common.
 

Esker

Explorer
AC 17s not that bad.
It's not that bad if you get it at low levels, but you probably aren't going to be able to afford half-plate until tier 2. Even the less tanky clerics are likely to be at 19 at that point.

Also, as a Mountain Dwarf you're behind in your casting stat. If you're a Lore Bard with a subpar casting stat, what are you doing?

Mage armor and shield is more mid levels. Seen a lot if wizards blowing through those spells despite having ample hit points and hit dice available. Running out if spells ASAP then cantrip spam or wanting a long rest seems fairly common.
I think you can afford to have mage armor up all the time by level 3. Shield you hope you don't need that often, since you're hanging back; but when you do get swarmed, you really really want it. Better IMO to have 1-2 uses per day of Shield in your back pocket to block most attacks in a round than to have a bunch of uses of cutting words to block one attack per round in a bunch of different rounds, due to the way that things must have gone wrong for you if you're getting targeted.
 

Zardnaar

Hero
It's not that bad if you get it at low levels, but you probably aren't going to be able to afford half-plate until tier 2. Even the less tanky clerics are likely to be at 19 at that point.



I think you can afford to have mage armor up all the time by level 3. Shield you hope you don't need that often, since you're hanging back; but when you do get swarmed, you really really want it. Better IMO to have 1-2 uses per day of Shield in your back pocket to block most attacks in a round than to have a bunch of uses of cutting words to block one attack per round in a bunch of different rounds, due to the way that things must have gone wrong for you if you're getting targeted.
Well I don't think the valor bard us that good but the lore bard us better than a wizard early own.

Spells run out fast, bards also have dice which refresh later.

So bard level 1-4, wiz 5, bard 6.

They're both good at combat except bard direct damage and direct damage isn't that good for a wizard in 5E anyway.
 

Esker

Explorer
Well I don't think the valor bard us that good but the lore bard us better than a wizard early own.
I think the bard is better than the wizard at levels 1-2, yes. By level 3, lore bards are still better than wizards at some things, mainly due to their skills; for survivability I think it's roughly a wash: cutting words is still reasonably effective at that level, and the d8 hit points are nice to have. Wizards are the better casters though, due to arcane recovery and better control and utility spells (rituals that don't have to be prepped, and getting web/levitate/flaming sphere, for example). And bardic inspiration isn't all that great until level 5 when you can actually use it reasonably often due to the short rest refresh. And they get Hypnotic Pattern too... So I think I'd say level 5 brings the bard up compared to the wizard.

I'd go
Levels 1-2: Bard
Levels 3-4: Wizard
Level 5: Tie
Level 6: Maybe a slight edge to the lore bard overall, but I definitely think wizards are more survivable by now

They're both good at combat except bard direct damage and direct damage isn't that good for a wizard in 5E anyway.
I agree with this. Bards focus more on buffs and debuffs, wizards more on battlefield control. Both are excellent support classes in combat.
 

Zardnaar

Hero
I think the bard is better than the wizard at levels 1-2, yes. By level 3, lore bards are still better than wizards at some things, mainly due to their skills; for survivability I think it's roughly a wash: cutting words is still reasonably effective at that level, and the d8 hit points are nice to have. Wizards are the better casters though, due to arcane recovery and better control and utility spells (rituals that don't have to be prepped, and getting web/levitate/flaming sphere, for example). And bardic inspiration isn't all that great until level 5 when you can actually use it reasonably often due to the short rest refresh. And they get Hypnotic Pattern too... So I think I'd say level 5 brings the bard up compared to the wizard.

I'd go
Levels 1-2: Bard
Levels 3-4: Wizard
Level 5: Tie
Level 6: Maybe a slight edge to the lore bard overall, but I definitely think wizards are more survivable by now



I agree with this. Bards focus more on buffs and debuffs, wizards more on battlefield control. Both are excellent support classes in combat.
I think the rogue and wizard are the two easiest classes to dump.

Wizard can easily be replaced with Bard, Sorcerer, Warlock, Light clerics and it's mostly academic as to what one is better.

Alot of people assume wizards get every ritual they want. That takes time though and money and access to somewhere to find the best rituals so it's a YMMV thing IMHO.

And these other classes that are close or above the wizard early in can also heal and have more resources (Bards, Light Clerics).
 

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