5E Why Green Flame Blade is Over Rated- And You Are Doing it Wrong.

Criminy. It's a tool in the toolbox. One of my PCs with it rarely uses it much anymore but it came in handy when battling trolls recently.


Ok, imagine you had the choice between two abilities. The abilities are essentially the same, but the first ability does double the damage of the second ability. This is an example of poor game design because players will generally make the easy decision to pick the first, more damaging, ability. Granted, that choice gets messier in a game like D&D because the available upgrades are not perfectly fungible, but it is still possible to identify when an upgrade suffers from this design flaw.
Show me one. Otherwise I believe your hyperbole is only managing to cloud the waters. If 5e has similar abilities, where one is generally twice as effective as the other(s), that's news to me. I'm curious where you are coming from here.

One example is the greataxe compared to the greatsword or maul. Outside of certain corner cases (half orcs, etc.), the latter weapons are simply better. Setting the greataxe at 1d12 damage instead of 2d6 damage was simply a bad design choice. (Then again, even that straightforward example can be messy since someone can say "greatswords are expensive" or "mauls can't cut ropes.")
Now who doesn't understand "basic game design precepts"? Or maths, evidently. Swinginess is not "bad design". It serving a different purpose. Scratches a different itch. And provides a different set of pros-and-cons over a more bell curvy option. There have been a lot of threads over the years here, on how the math plays out between the greatsword and greataxe. The best ones, IMO, focus on how it applies to play at the table, rather than just cherry-picked, white-room theory-crafted scenarios designed to reinforce a narrative. There's a search feature near the top of the page. I encourage you to take a look.


Show me one. ...... Swinginess is not "bad design".
I'm not sure you read my post carefully as your response doesn't appear to be tailored to points I made.

The first paragraph was a hypothetical to illustrate a basic game design concept to another poster. The second was a concrete example of a failure in that design which described two weapons that should be essentially fungible and balanced but actually have different DPS.

As for your snippy, passive-aggressive laden comment about the well-worn discussions on great axes, feel free to go start your own thread on the topic. I'd rather stab myself in the eye than engage with that nonsense.
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Given that you have to avoid horrifying multi-class multi-attack cheese, how would you do it then?

Imbue Weapon

Evocation cantrip
Casting Time: 1 bonus action
Range: Self
Components: V, S, M (a weapon)
Duration: 1 round
You imbue a weapon you are holding with a brief flicker of elemental power. When you cast this spell, select a damage type: fire, ice, lightning, or acid. The next time you hit a target with the imbued weapon before the spell ends, the attack inflicts an extra 1d4 damage of the chosen type. The spell ends once you successfully hit a target with the imbued weapon or at the end of your turn.
This spell’s damage increases by 1d4 when you reach 5th level (2d4), 11th level (3d4), and 17th level (4d4).

There. It uses a bonus action to prevent it stacking with other weapon-boosting abilities. It also only provides its benefit to a single attack, so it does not multiply the benefit with multiple attacks. Change the damage to whatever you feel is balanced, add a rider if you're feeling saucy, and you're good to go.


Your also missing warcaster. You only make a single attack as an OA. Though again that works better with booming blade.
You cannot use GFB with War Caster since GFB targets more than the original creature which provoked the opportunity attack from you.

My Sorcerer is Fire-based and has GFB and likes to stack the CHA-mod on the off-loaded damage if there's someone else standing nearby. 2d8+8 is better than 2d8+4 :)


I really love rolling d12s. In fact, I want to like poison spray more just so I could use this die more. If I could exchange it for 2d6, I would like greatswords more.

And I think you are right, it is defensible. I think it speaks to all or none of big axe swings (1 or 12 possible).
Accountants take Greatswords, Artists take Greataxes. ;)

And both wouldn't hesistate to take Fighter's Great Weapon Fighting style if they're serious about reaching that 12 damage per hit.


I'm interested to see your homebrew take on the melee cantrips.
I actually haven't thought about them - our campaign is a bunch of new players, a few older edition-refugees grogs like myself, and a few different DMs so we're keeping it standard for now. We have a couple tiny house rules, nothing special, and no home brew as of yet.

Really good take on the cantrip, BTW. I like it when people who critique the game can back it up with solid ideas.


I've made them d12 cantrips in my games. After all, if you're going to be casting the best melee cantrip, it should do more damage than the best ranged cantrip.
Do keep in mind that the melee cantrips already have a few advantages over ranged ones: they don't suffer disadvantage when in melee, they can be augmented by abilities that effect your weapon attacks (for example, sneak attack or divine smite), they can be augmented by the properties of your weapon if your weapon is magical or poisoned, they run off of your weapon attack mod instead of spell attack mod, and they come with a rider (which ranged cantrips often do, but not the hard hitting ones).


My only thing with gfb & booming blade is we only get fire or thunder so I have to build options for different damage types

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My Sorcerer is Fire-based and has GFB and likes to stack the CHA-mod on the off-loaded damage if there's someone else standing nearby. 2d8+8 is better than 2d8+4 :)
So I realize this is an old thread, but there's something very important about what makes Green-Flame blade good for sorcerers that nobody has mentioned yet: it's a cantrip, which means that you can quicken it for 1 sorcery point. So basically, it gives sorcerers a low-cost double attack that hits two opponents. At 18 Charisma and 16 Dex, it hits for 2d8+7 / 1d8+8 per attack, and twice that is a total of 6d8+30, or an average of 57 damage, which well out-does even the 33 damage [3*(2d6+4)] that a fighter does with extra attacks, and is on par with the damage Fireball does to each target (8d6+4=32). Yes, it doesn't do as much damage as casting a powerful spell, but it's far cheaper and more effective against a smaller number of opponents, plus it can be chained from an easy-to-hit target to a hard-to-hit one.
A bladesinger wizard can also make fantastic use of this spell for a couple reasons. I feel a lot of people overlook the fact that you must have a hand free to cast spells that have somatic or material components, therefore making dual wielding not viable. And as advantage is very easy to get through find familiar or flanking bonuses (which you can manipulate with lightning lure or similar) the damage of green flame blade will exceed the extra attack of other classes. This is because at level five you get an extra d8 of damage to both the target of the melee and the spell. This causes your damage on the melee target to be slightly below extra attack as you only get one use of the damage mod, but you're also essentially hitting an entire extra enemy. The only time it isn't good for bladesinger s that I can think of is if you get to wizard 6/ fighter 2 and use action surge to attack 4 times in a single round, but that can only happen once per rest.

P.s. forgot to mention this but green flame blade has a required material component so (despite the fact that the material is your weapon) you technically can not use it while dual wielding


Booming Blade + Shadow Blade + Twin Spell (or Quicken) = Sorcerer multiattack.

Greenflame Blade is a fine situational spell, but Booming Blade is better for many builds. It can be used with War Magic Feat.


GFB isn't useless it's just good on classes you you may not expect like arcane clerics.

Sorcerers and Bladesingers are a bit more obvious.