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5E Why everyone think that Battlemaster is better than Samurai?


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flametitan

Explorer
In the Banneret/PDK discussion: I was going to play one, but group friction caused me to leave right as we hit 3rd level, so I didn't get to test my hypothesis.

I get the feeling it'll be subpar if you play it like a support class, but would still be effective if played as a fighter (mostly because as others have said, the fighter chassis is pretty solid). Rallying Cry sucks as a means of in combat healing, but I find at that point second wind itself starts to drop off in in-combat usefulness. Instead, where it shines is as a supplement/replacement for the Bard's Song of Rest, as in exchange for not affecting as many people, after 4th level it'll be on average better, and after 6th level it'll be *guaranteed* better than Song of Rest. Best of all, the fact that they're different abilities means you aren't competing with usefulness with the bard as far as bonus short rest healing.

Now, does that make it an exciting archetype defining feature? Not really, but it's something I want to play around with more.
 

AtomicPope

Explorer
Battlemaster is the better subclass of fighter, possibly the best, because it works well at any level and lends itself to multiclassing. There are so many interesting combos for a multiclassing battlemaster. A friend played a battlemaster/paladin and he was a DPR monster. Another friend played a monk/battlemaster who was like a rough-and-tumble Daredevil character. I played a straight battlemaster Archer who would switch to melee weapons easily because the maneuvers I chose worked with both. As a human variant with Sharpshooter I was blasting baddies with my bow. I was easily doing 40 hit points a round. On a critical hit I'd add a maneuver and do over 50 damage.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
Because precision attack is better than advantage, and that's only one of the options that the Battle Master has. Samurai archer with Elven Accuracy and Sharpshooter is pretty good, especially once they get 3 attacks per round, and even better with Rapid Strike. Up till then, though, I'd rather have Battle Master.
Only in certain circumstances is precision better than advantage, and, honestly, you're unlikely to encounter those circumstances in normal play.

The break point where +d8 beats reroll d20 is (iirc) above 15. IE, only when you need a 16 or better on the die. Given that a BM is attacking with proficiency and good stat, it will be very rate that you'd actually need to do this, meaning advantage is better.

However, the utility of being able to use the +d8 after seeing the d20 roll significantly increases it's use efficiency, but that also increases observer bias in estimating its overall effectiveness. Advantage is almost always going to be more effective.
 

ad_hoc

Hero
In the Banneret/PDK discussion: I was going to play one, but group friction caused me to leave right as we hit 3rd level, so I didn't get to test my hypothesis.

I get the feeling it'll be subpar if you play it like a support class, but would still be effective if played as a fighter (mostly because as others have said, the fighter chassis is pretty solid). Rallying Cry sucks as a means of in combat healing, but I find at that point second wind itself starts to drop off in in-combat usefulness. Instead, where it shines is as a supplement/replacement for the Bard's Song of Rest, as in exchange for not affecting as many people, after 4th level it'll be on average better, and after 6th level it'll be *guaranteed* better than Song of Rest. Best of all, the fact that they're different abilities means you aren't competing with usefulness with the bard as far as bonus short rest healing.

Now, does that make it an exciting archetype defining feature? Not really, but it's something I want to play around with more.

The difference is that Song of Rest is little more than a ribbon.

In contrast, Rallying Cry is their defining feature. Instead of Superiority Dice or spells they get, that.
 

Valetudo

Explorer
In actual play, of the three core the ek seems the strongest(although its a slow starter), but the bm has higher dpr. I have seen the champ go on rampages. I havent seen any of the new subclasses in play but they seem solid. Cavaler looks really tanky as it should. Samurai looks ok but honestly you could grab any fighter subclass and call it a samurai, paladin and ranger works as well. Not sure about the arcane archer, but it still looks better than the purple dragon.
 

AmerginLiath

Explorer
I'm not sure if BM is better than Samurai, but I do think BM makes a better Samurai than Samurai does.

I’m curious what the reasoning behind this thought is, given how the designers have commented on their inspiration for the Samurai class. It’s meant to be the classic film samurai, the Kurosawa figure who breaks out in duels and key fights and (as seen at high levels) holds cinematic last stands. It draws cross-culturally from the American Western and indeed could just as easily be used for a classic gunslinger character (Eastwood instead of Mifune).

As I’ve noted before, I like the Samurai class, but I also grew up watching and rewatching Kurosawa films (and its cross-pollinated cousins in Spaghetti Westerns) but can pretty much count how many anime I’ve seen on one hand, so my sense of Japanese pop culture inspiration might be very different from others on this board.
 

BookBarbarian

Expert Long Rester
I’m curious what the reasoning behind this thought is, given how the designers have commented on their inspiration for the Samurai class. It’s meant to be the classic film samurai, the Kurosawa figure who breaks out in duels and key fights and (as seen at high levels) holds cinematic last stands. It draws cross-culturally from the American Western and indeed could just as easily be used for a classic gunslinger character (Eastwood instead of Mifune).

As I’ve noted before, I like the Samurai class, but I also grew up watching and rewatching Kurosawa films (and its cross-pollinated cousins in Spaghetti Westerns) but can pretty much count how many anime I’ve seen on one hand, so my sense of Japanese pop culture inspiration might be very different from others on this board.

I also love Chanbara films. Did you see the Mifune documentary I Netflix? I thought it was pretty good.

In most Chanbara films I find the Samurai that is dedicated to technique most compelling. Masters of the sword. Kyūzō in Seven Samurai is a great example. Battlemaster just suits it better IMHO.

For the derivative westerns, I'd still go Battlemaster in most cases. I don't see much for The Man with No Name that would lean me toward Samurai over Battlemaster. Tuco is a Rogue. Angel eyes is a an expert marksman, so precision attack seems to fit well here too.

I see these guys as Weaponmasters and BM just seems to fit.

I guess I could use the Samurai Fighter subclass for someone like Kikuchiyo, but I think I'd stat him as a Barbarian.

In fact that may be my problem with Samurai as written. It's mechanically a little Barbarian in my fighter and I find I'd rather swing all the way to Barbarian if I'm going that route already.
 


Bardbarian

First Post
Samurai is an amazing class however most of the guides rate subclasses by pure offensive potential, which battlemaster is slightly better at offense. Samurai is designed to be harder to stop and therefore rates slightly lower in offense yet is better at defense. As a result the guides make it seem like one is better than the other yet both are extremely strong. I played a samurai to level 20 and people are often surprised that it is as strong as it is. The free feat by not having to take Resilient Wisdom is quite nice and allowed me to take resilient in another stat and the level 18 feature when triggered usually ends fights. The downside of occasionally missing bonus action attacks from GWM feat is also balanced nicely by the ability to gain THP and advantage whenever you need it. They are just two sublclasses that feel different and are among the 3 strongest sublclasses in my opinion.

As far as BM is concerned, I like it for multiclassing and dips but I chose to skip it because in a long game it doesn't really get any abilities that feel new as it levels. going from a d8 to a d10 and finally to a d12 isn't as exciting as getting a new ability that changes the gameplay. A BM usually has all the maneuvers it really wants at level 3 so the ones they gain later don't really excite me. They get more and more niche as you level. They are mechanically sound, just frontloaded.
 
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Istbor

Dances with Gnolls
I think the Samurai is fun and cool. I just have a hard time adding Samurai in with my typically Western European Medieval fantasy settings. I would like to try out new or more diverse things, but I know the European stuff better, and it is easier to fall back on that foundation of knowledge.

I do have an order of guards that are all secretly the Samurai class. They players haven't had to fight them, or see them in action yet however.
 

Bardbarian

First Post
Samurai is kind of a misnomer. I would refer to them as the inexorable fighter. They are inevitable in their nature. Samurai was just a thematic element added but they play as the fighter that will not drop. Resistance to mind affecting magics that are the bane of the martial archetypes, temp HP 3 or more time a day in addition to the ability to strike back from near death. They are the fighter that never gives up, never surrenders.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
Only in certain circumstances is precision better than advantage, and, honestly, you're unlikely to encounter those circumstances in normal play.

The break point where +d8 beats reroll d20 is (iirc) above 15. IE, only when you need a 16 or better on the die. Given that a BM is attacking with proficiency and good stat, it will be very rate that you'd actually need to do this, meaning advantage is better.

However, the utility of being able to use the +d8 after seeing the d20 roll significantly increases it's use efficiency, but that also increases observer bias in estimating its overall effectiveness. Advantage is almost always going to be more effective.

And yet, precision attack is still better than the Samaruai's advantage because you can use it after seeing the die but with the Samaraui ability you must use it before seeing any rolls.
 

Ovinomancer

No flips for you!
And yet, precision attack is still better than the Samaruai's advantage because you can use it after seeing the die but with the Samaraui ability you must use it before seeing any rolls.
Yes, as i said, it's better in the efficiency of use, but not in improving any one given roll.
 


BookBarbarian

Expert Long Rester
While as previously mentioned, any of the current Fighter Subclasses could represent a Samurai, I've always considered the Champion to be a closer fit than the BM.

Certainly. Certain Barbarians could be used too, and Oath of the Crown Paladin works well for a Samurai in a magical world.

BM is probably my favorite as I associate Samurai with dedication to mastery with their weapons and techniques.
 

AmerginLiath

Explorer
I think the Samurai is fun and cool. I just have a hard time adding Samurai in with my typically Western European Medieval fantasy settings. I would like to try out new or more diverse things, but I know the European stuff better, and it is easier to fall back on that foundation of knowledge.

I do have an order of guards that are all secretly the Samurai class. They players haven't had to fight them, or see them in action yet however.

I think that a lot of folks are caught in the name, when it’s just a mark of what genre the mechanics emulate — not any sort of historical or cultural ties. I’ve argued that, with the influence of American Westerns on Japanese Samurai films, the class works just as well in emulating a gunslinger or other cowboy-duelist hero. A paladin doesn’t need to be a feudal French knight, a monk doesn’t need to a vowed ascetic, a barbarian doesn’t need to be from some border tribe, an assassin doesn’t need to kill for money. Classes and subclasses are named generally as signifiers of where the idea of the abilities stem from (usually from different pop culture or literature sources), not a straight-jacket of identity that a member of that class needs to play towards.
 

delph

Explorer
Samurai is really good after 17th level - he can take 2 Action surges, have 3 attacks and if he is played good he will have OA too (and if he have good companion who gives him Haste, woha), add GWM and made 7 attacks per round with advance and + 10 dmg per hit. Next turn do it again... you can deal huge dmg. (yes here are better nova settings, but)
 



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