D&D 5E Zard's S Tier Archetypes

Ok? It’s still the same concept, 3e just had a much greater power delta. You could easily just change the tier names to S and A-E instead of 1-6.

You can break anything up into tiers, 5e would just have a very narrow delta, with the difference between tiers being very small.
The point of breaking things into tiers is the criteria. That's why the 3rd edition tiers had defitions.

What criteria is being used here? If the power delta is very small than coming up with meaningful defintions to break things into tiers is correspondingly harder.

And if all we mean is better than other options than the concept of tiers isn't doing any work. It's just ranking.

I'm not quite sure what we're talking about here. If all we mean is that overall some subclasses are better than others then that seems inevitable that it would be so.

Is that the point here, to just discuss which subclasses are the best for each class?

Why not just say that in the first place then? That doesn't require any jargon.
 

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If you are ranking classes and subclasses I'd argue that you can't assume the 6-8 encounters (or the more accurate 3-18). Especially, as so many games don't keep to that schedule

So the question becomes 'What subclasses are best when your DM lets you spam 5 minute workdays?'

Nah mate, sorry. If we're evaluating classes and subclasses we do so in the context of a roughly 6 encounter (2 short rest) adventuring day median.
 

So the question becomes 'What subclasses are best when your DM lets you spam 5 minute workdays?'

Nah mate, sorry. If we're evaluating classes and subclasses we do so in the context of a roughly 6 encounter (2 short rest) adventuring day median.
I would refer you back to substantive part of my post you didn't bother to quote.

Address it or don't as you please, but if you don't, I don't see what the point is of replying at all.

(Also I'd ask, out of basic politeness that if attempt to paraphrase the main argument of a post you make some type of effort to do accurately and not to misrepresent it.)
 



Zardnaar

Legend
I doubt some who uses rolled stats and allows paladins to avoid MAD has a clear grasp on relative strengths.

Need to invent a tier higher than S and put all paladins in it.

I assumed default array or close to it eg point buy or maybe 16/16/14 instead of 16/14/14 as best stats.
 



TwoSix

Unserious gamer
I'd probably be looking for these criteria to define an S tier for subclasses.

1) We should be using this to compare differences between subclasses, not classes. If a hypothetical one class is more powerful than every other class, that doesn't mean all of its subclasses should be S tier. S tier should be the subclasses that are obviously stronger within the group of the parent class' subclasses.

2) A class with a bunch of good subclasses should have them as A tier, not S tier. S tier should be subclasses that stand above all of the other subclasses; if that kind of differentiation isn't apparent, don't make any subclasses S tier.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
I'd probably be looking for these criteria to define an S tier for subclasses.

1) We should be using this to compare differences between subclasses, not classes. If a hypothetical one class is more powerful than every other class, that doesn't mean all of its subclasses should be S tier. S tier should be the subclasses that are obviously stronger within the group of the parent class' subclasses.

2) A class with a bunch of good subclasses should have them as A tier, not S tier. S tier should be subclasses that stand above all of the other subclasses; if that kind of differentiation isn't apparent, don't make any subclasses S tier.

I kind of rated them by archetypes and then compiled the S ones up top.

Tasha's changes things with optional rules. A few clerics become A tier for example since they all get a kinda potent cantrip.
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
Everyone knows what S tier means.
Yeah, I've been on these boards since they began, I was on the WOTC boards since they began, I've been on several other RPG boards since they began, and S-Tier is not standard for any of those RPG boards. Just about no known optimizers I know of use that language for D&D rankings. It's apparently from anime and video games, which...this isn't. The most standard for D&D is color coding. Most D&D optimizers know the color coding, and all the guides use color coding, including here. We have an optimization forum here, and none of those guides use S-Tier.
 

J-H

Hero
Yeah, "S" as top doesn't make sense. Numerical ranking is a lot easier to understand, which is how you ended up with a couple of arguable "Tier 0" in the 3.5 rankings.

Anyway, 5e's power band is narrower and my experience is that no one class really dominates over another to the point suggested by optimizers, especially when you bring in 3D movement, terrain challenges, and a variety of non-arena opponents.

Subclass choice, similarly, varies by campaign:
Beast barbarian is best for Dark Sun, where weapons are unreliable; Zealot is great for fighting vampires and undead; Totem is good against humanoid enemies (advantage-granting, flight, and/or tanking everything).
Arcane Trickster is good for sneaky campaigns, but Swashbuckler is better in a stand-up fight, while Thief is pretty good in a low-level or gritty campaign, thanks to its mobility and the synergy with the Healer feat. Assassin is situational and works best in a social campaign or one where the party gets to take the initiative.
There are some subclasses that are never going to rise to the top... but I would just call those tier 3 vs. the tier 1-2 subclasses.
 


TwoSix

Unserious gamer
If you don't read manga or watch anime, you probably have no idea what S tier is. Of the 12 people I D&D with, I am one of two that would know what S tier is.
Or if you play a video game that has a "shifting meta" (MOBAs, fighting games, some MMOs, etc.), then you've probably seen it.

I fall into @Charlaquin's camp of "How have you missed that?", but it's interesting to see the diversity of interests that people here have (or don't have) outside of RPGs.
 

dave2008

Legend
Or if you play a video game that has a "shifting meta" (MOBAs, fighting games, some MMOs, etc.), then you've probably seen it.

I fall into @Charlaquin's camp of "How have you missed that?", but it's interesting to see the diversity of interests that people here have (or don't have) outside of RPGs.
I don't play video games (well not since about the 80s are least), so I didn't realize they had migrated to that platform.
 


Dausuul

Legend
Ok? It’s still the same concept, 3e just had a much greater power delta. You could easily just change the tier names to S and A-E instead of 1-6.

You can break anything up into tiers, 5e would just have a very narrow delta, with the difference between tiers being very small.
No. It's not the same concept. 3E's tiers laid out a set of criteria for which class belonged where. If you apply those criteria to 5E, a few subclasses end up in tier 4 and everyone else is tier 3.

If you change the criteria, you change the concept.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
Just about no known optimizers I know of use that language for D&D rankings. It's apparently from anime and video games, which...this isn't.
If you don't read manga or watch anime, you probably have no idea what S tier is. Of the 12 people I D&D with, I am one of two that would know what S tier is.
Or if you play a video game that has a "shifting meta" (MOBAs, fighting games, some MMOs, etc.), then you've probably seen it.
I don't play video games (well not since about the 80s are least), so I didn't realize they had migrated to that platform.
I only know about it from watching Magic: The Gathering streamers on Twitch. S tier as a concept has migrated to card ranking/evaluation in that game within the last few years.
Yeah, so ranking by lettered tiers is a pretty common thing in many competitive spheres, be it video games, card games, or tabletop games. Calling the highest tier S instead of A comes from Japan, specifically from concert tickets - seats are organized into lettered categories based on price point, with S being the best and most expensive seats. From there, it migrated to fighting games like Street Fighter, and continued to spread throughout competitive gaming, including card games and tabletop games. It hasn’t yet made its way to physical sports yet as far as I know, but if you’re familiar with just about any competitive gaming, you’ve probably been exposed to tier lists at some point, and there’s a high chance you’ve seen one where S is the highest tier. As I mentioned in another post, it’s also a whole genre of YouTube video, which started with videos analyzing competitive games, especially Super Smash Bros, but at this point is applied to any and every form of media. You can find tier list videos for characters from just about any intellectual property, entries in just about any series, films in just about an genre; I’ve even seen a tier list of political ideologies, thought that was satyrical.

Like, I get that everyone has different experiences and of course there are people who won’t have been exposed to any given concept. But this is not just an anime thing, or even an anime and video games thing (and given the prevalence of video games in pop culture and the crossover between video game players and D&D players, I’d still be surprised to meet many D&D players who hadn’t been exposed to the concept). It has pretty thoroughly saturated pop culture media.
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
Yeah, so ranking by lettered tiers is a pretty common thing in many competitive spheres, be it video games, card games, or tabletop games. Calling the highest tier S instead of A comes from Japan, specifically from concert tickets - seats are organized into lettered categories based on price point, with S being the best and most expensive seats. From there, it migrated to fighting games like Street Fighter, and continued to spread throughout competitive gaming, including card games and tabletop games. It hasn’t yet made its way to physical sports yet as far as I know, but if you’re familiar with just about any competitive gaming, you’ve probably been exposed to tier lists at some point, and there’s a high chance you’ve seen one where S is the highest tier. As I mentioned in another post, it’s also a whole genre of YouTube video, which started with videos analyzing competitive games, especially Super Smash Bros, but at this point is applied to any and every form of media. You can find tier list videos for characters from just about any intellectual property, entries in just about any series, films in just about an genre; I’ve even seen a tier list of political ideologies, thought that was satyrical.

Like, I get that everyone has different experiences and of course there are people who won’t have been exposed to any given concept. But this is not just an anime thing, or even an anime and video games thing (and given the prevalence of video games in pop culture and the crossover between video game players and D&D players, I’d still be surprised to meet many D&D players who hadn’t been exposed to the concept). It has pretty thoroughly saturated pop culture media.
I've seen this view from you on other topics here, where you assume the culture you've been exposed to is more common in this culture than it tends to be. So...I think maybe this is another instance where your assumptions about other people's experiences might be flawed.

I also am heavily in the comic book culture, and the board game culture, and the genre television and film culture, and American sports culture. This tier system is not in any of those. If that much of pop culture is lacking this tier system, then it really isn't "saturated pop culture media." I think it just overlaps with some of your subcultures and you just assumed it was all of pop culture when it was not.

It's not that I have an issue with it, and I find this tier system interesting and want to learn more about it. But, it's your "But everyone knows about this and if you don't then you're out of touch" attitude which looks pretty snobby and itself out of touch. This thing is not as pervasive as you thought. That should be OK with you, rather than an invitation to behave like an elitist.
 

Charlaquin

Goblin Queen (She/Her/Hers)
I've seen this view from you on other topics here, where you assume the culture you've been exposed to is more common in this culture than it tends to be. So...I think maybe this is another instance where your assumptions about other people's experiences might be flawed.

I also am heavily in the comic book culture, and the board game culture, and the genre television and film culture, and American sports culture. This tier system is not in any of those. If that much of pop culture is lacking this tier system, then it really isn't "saturated pop culture media." I think it just overlaps with some of your subcultures and you just assumed it was all of pop culture when it was not.

It's not that I have an issue with it, and I find this tier system interesting and want to learn more about it. But, it's your "But everyone knows about this and if you don't then you're out of touch" attitude which looks pretty snobby and itself out of touch. This thing is not as pervasive as you thought. That should be OK with you, rather than an invitation to behave like an elitist.
Woah, dude. I never called anyone out of touch. It’s 100% ok with me that some people here haven’t heard of letter-ranked tiers. I’m surprised, but I’m not judging anyone. Chill.
 

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