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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Ultimate Optimizer's Multiclassing Guide

    PetenutButter's Ultimate Optimizer's Multiclassing Guide

    This is a Multiclassing guide as a tool for beginners and seasoned players alike. Many single classed guides exist, which can go into more detail on each combination, but no guide has consolidated the bottom line up front, quick reference data until now. The aim is to exam the strengths, weaknesses, and viability of each multiclass combination from an optimization point of view, and to point out key breakpoints in classes.
    Spoiler: Guidelines
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    In order to make broad judgements on class combinations some assumptions must be made. For this guide I am considering only published, in book, AL legal content. I am also assuming standard 27 point buy. Many of the negative ratings have MADness as a big factor, so take that with a grain of salt when rolling stats. It is best to reference the individual breakdown for your desired multiclass for more details. This is of course subjective, and I will update it, as needed.

    If you feel I've egregiously offended your favorite multiclass, please leave a comment and justification, and I will recolor if the community supports it. The aim is not to have this be one guy's opinion, but a community resource. Please keep in mind the colors are based on the classes in general, not specific builds, although popular builds can affect ratings.

    Spoiler: General Multiclassing Tips
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    Most multiclasses fall into one of 3 categories. The first is to make a character better at their core competency. The second is to add versatility. The third is as a requirement to make your desired build work. Most multiclasses are a combination of 2 or 3 of these aims, but the second, to add versatility alone is generally weaker as it comes at the sacrifice of power.

    A caster with multiple classes will have versatility but sacrifice higher level spells, and may end up feeling weaker once initiative is rolled. From a purely damage standpoint spells of level 3 or higher are pretty much a cap on damage, and scale according to slots. A multiclass caster who picks up other non-warlock caster levels may not suffer on damage as long as they have at least 5 levels in their core class, as slots will continue to progress.

    ASIs are extremely strong, and generally add more to a character than most class features. It may not seem like much but adding +1 to hit and damage, or +1 to save DC has a large impact on a character throughout the course of an adventuring day. Feats as well such as GWM, SS, PAM, SM, etc greatly effect a character's prowess in combat. For these reasons it is highly discouraged to take 3 levels in a multiclass, or to leave a class one level before earning an ASI. This is more acceptable on a higher level character who already has their core stat at 20 and desired feats.

    Since most classes get a huge swing at level 5, a common tip is to take 5 levels in a class before multiclassing, so as to pick up either extra attack or third level spells as soon as possible. There are some notable exceptions to this rule, such as gish builds starting fighter or paladin for a level or two, aiming to use SCAG cantrips instead of extra attack. Otherwise it is probably best to avoid delaying extra attack/3rd level spells by any more than 1 level.

    Spoiler: Chart
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    x Barbarian Bard Cleric Druid Fighter Monk Paladin Ranger Rogue Sorcerer Warlock Wizard
    Barbarian x Barb/Bard Barb/Cleric Barb/Druid Barb/Fighter Barb/Monk Barb/Paladin Barb/Ranger Barb/Rogue Barb/Sorc Barb/Warlock Barb/Wizard
    Bard Bard/Barb x Bard/Cleric Bard/Druid Bard/Fighter Bard/Monk Bard/Paladin Bard/Ranger Bard/Rogue Bard/Sorc Bard/Warlock Bard/Wizard
    Cleric Cleric/Barb Cleric/Bard x Cleric/Druid Cleric/Fighter Cleric/Monk Cleric/Paladin Cleric/Ranger Cleric/Rogue Cleric/Sorc Cleric/Warlock Cleric/Wizard
    Druid Druid/Barb Druid/Bard Druid/Cleric x Druid/Fighter Druid/Monk Druid/Paladin Druid/Ranger Druid/Rogue Druid/Sorc Druid/Warlock Druid/Wizard
    Fighter Fighter/Barb Fighter/Bard Fighter/Cleric Fighter/Druid x Fighter/Monk Fighter/Paladin Fighter/Ranger Fighter/Rogue Fighter/Sorc Fighter/Warlock Fighter/Wizard
    Monk Monk/Barb Monk/Bard Monk/Cleric Monk/Druid Monk/Fighter x Monk/Paladin Monk/Ranger Monk/Rogue Monk/Sorc Monk/Warlock Monk/Wizard
    Paladin Paladin/Barb Paladin/Bard Paladin/Cleric Paladin/Druid Paladin/Fighter Paladin/Monk x Paladin/Ranger Paladin/Rogue Paladin/Sorc Paladin/Warlock Paladin/Wizard
    Ranger Ranger/Barb Ranger/Bard Ranger/Cleric Ranger/Druid Ranger/Fighter Ranger/Monk Ranger/Paladin x Ranger/Rogue Ranger/Sorc Ranger/Warlock Ranger/Wizard
    Rogue Rogue/Barb Rogue/Bard Rogue/Cleric Rogue/Druid Rogue/Fighter Rogue/Monk Rogue/Paladin Rogue/Ranger x Rogue/Sorc Rogue/Warlock Rogue/Wizard
    Sorcerer Sorc/Barb Sorc/Bard Sorc/Cleric Sorc/Druid Sorc/Fighter Sorc/Monk Sorc/Paladin Sorc/Ranger Sorc/Rogue x Sorc/Warlock Sorc/Wizard
    Warlock Warlock/Barb Warlock/Bard Warlock/Cleric Warlock/Druid Warlock/Fighter Warlock/Monk Warlock/Paladin Warlock/Ranger Warlock/Rogue Warlock/Sorc x Warlock/Wizard
    Wizard Wizard/Barb Wizard/Bard Wizard/Cleric Wizard/Druid Wizard/Fighter Wizard/Monk Wizard/Paladin Wizard/Ranger Wizard/Rogue Wizard/Sorc Wizard/Warlock x

    Spoiler: Multiclass Colors
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    Gold You really can't go wrong here. These two just compliment each other so well.
    Sky blue There are a lot of good class combinations here that can make for some solid builds.
    Blue There is some clear synergy here, but not as much as Gold or Sky Blue. May take some optimization to ensure the multiclass adds to the build.
    Black This is decent, but doesn't really make the class better at its core strengths or may be MAD
    Purple You are forgoing too much in your core class, compared to what you can gain. Possible for some niche builds, but probably best avoided. Likely MAD.
    Red The lack of synergy here is just offensive. It's MAD. I'd avoid it altogether.

    Spoiler: X/y or Y/x
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    Most multiclassing involves dips or at the very least one class of greater level than the other. For this reason I have separated the multiclasses into dipping or adding to your core class. For the purpose of this guide a Fighter/Rogue represents a character with more levels in fighter than rogue, and Rogue/Fighter a character with more rogue levels than fighter. This is not at all dependent on the timing of the levels taken, for instance a wizard that takes his first level in fighter (then proceeds in wizard x) will be considered a Wizard/Fighter. This distinction is important as a character with 18 levels in wizard and 2 in fighter, behaves very differently than the inverse of Fighter 18/Wizard 2.

    Additionally these definitions are fluid, and not necessarily based on a level 20 build since most characters have to be played from 1-x. For example a Cleric/Ranger that takes his first 5 levels in ranger, and the rest in cleric is by the standards of this guide a Ranger/Cleric up until level 11 (when his cleric levels pass up ranger thereby making him a Cleric/Ranger).

    Spoiler: Barbarian
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    Barbarian is a fine class to keep as your core class within decent upgrades throughout its career and a fantastic capstone. To get the most of the class's features you are restricted to medium or less armor and str attacks. Dex based barbarians are still somewhat viable though, being able to benefit from the resistances while raging (but not the damage bonus). The inability to cast or concentrate on spells while raging, puts a big damper on multiclassing with any casters. As with any melee, it's best to avoid doubling up on abilities that don't stack, such as extra attack from other classes. Finally the requirements of a decent str, dex, and con make any multiclass needing a casting stat MAD.

    Key breakpoints are: levels 1-4 for dips, 5 (extra attack), 6 path feature, and then any level with an ASI.
    Spoiler: Barbarian/Bard
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    Barbarian/Bard

    You might call this a Skald, as their pure fury is a performance. A barbarian taking bard levels might have been inspired by his own ferocity in battle to take his deeds to song or story. It is not a stretch, as a great deal of emotion is required to rage, and can be channeled into other forms.

    A barbarian who dips bard gains jack of all trades for a decent boost to skills and ability checks. He can also toss out bardic inspiration while raging, but would likely get no more than a couple a day, due to the MADness. Other than those marginal benefits, he cannot cast while raging, losing most of the benefit of MCing into a caster class, as a core barbarian should spend most fights in his rage. This combination is used for niche grappler builds who want advantage on grapple, expertise on athletics, and cutting words, keeping it from being purple. With the release of Xanathar's guide, taking a swords bard as a dip 3-5 can potentially add a lot more use to a barbarian. The MADness of needing charisma, still keeps this from being better.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Half Elf
    Barbarian 5+/Swords Bard 5
    16, 14, 14, 8, 10, 14

    This build is straight forward, utilizing rage, extra attack, reckless attack with blade flourishes. The barbarian's enhanced crit chance (9.5%) via at will advantage pairs well with blade flourishes, while the potential AC boost does a good job of negating the drawback of reckless attack. Remember if you critically hit with a blade flourish that die is doubled as well, adding 2d6/8 to your AC. Alternatively a barbarian expecting to see only level 8 might take lore bard, to give themselves a reaction use in cutting words. Spells can be used between fights, or when not raging, which limits their usefulness.

    Spoiler: Barbarian/Cleric
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    Barbarian/Cleric

    You might call this a Fanatic, a barbarian who takes his faith to the next level or finds new faith might begin to take levels in cleric. Perhaps a barbarian feels they are favored by their god or in some way bound to their diety. This pairs excellently with the Path of the Zealot.

    A barbarian who dips cleric gains some useful domain abilities that can be used while raging, and some out of combat healing when not raging. The domain abilities are varied and mostly useful, keeping this from being purple. Long term non-concentration buffs like Aid are surprisingly useful, especially since rage resistance effectively doubles their hit point effects.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Human V.
    16, 14, 14, 8, 13, 8
    Barbarian 5/Cleric x

    There are a number of ways to max this useful. The Storm Herald barbarian is relatively weak, but if he managed to couple it with 6 levels of Tempest cleric he can have a near at will push every bonus action. Any barbarian can take 1 or 2 levels in War cleric to make a couple extra attacks and have that +10 to hit channel divinity. A single level in Forge cleric can give the barbarian a magic weapon or armor.

    Spoiler: Barbarian/Druid
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    Barbarian/Druid

    You might call this a Wild Avenger, a barbarian more attuned to nature than his peers. Many barbarians, especially totem barbarians are already akin to nature, so stepping over into druid can be a natural transition.

    A barbarian who dips druid gains some out of combat healing or utilty, and wildshape. Moon druid wildshape may be tempting at lower level, but a core barbarian quickly outpaces the capabilities of a CR 1 creature. The MADness, added armor restriction, and little real benefits make this better left alone. The circles of dreams and shepherd add some new abilities to this potential multiclass, but still fall a little short. The shepherd totems have too much redundancy with existing barbarian features, and the dreams healing is based on druid level, which is probably never going to be that high. If you are desperate for a healing word type ability that you can use while raging, it's an alright choice, as long as you don't give up too much AC by losing metal armor.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Mountain Dwarf
    Barbarian Battlerager 6+/Druid 2
    16, 14, 16, 9, 13, 8

    The battlerager's spiked armor specifically says it need not be metal, so it's a easy way to get 14 AC medium armor and keep with the non-metal armor rule. If you buy barding and have an ally willing to help you could have a spiked armored bear, which is worth it's weight in cool points, and bears weigh a lot. (Claw, Bite, Spike!) The level 6 Battlerager ability gives you temporary hit points equal to con modifier that is potentially increased by wild shape. That along with rage helps keep the bear's low health at that level viable. You could also make it a hill dwarf and go heavier into the casting side of druid, but the deeper you go into druid, the higher the value of spells vs rage, creating greater competition for best action.

    Spoiler: Barbarian/Fighter
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    Barbarian/Fighter

    You might call this barbarian a War Rager, a barbarian who has taken the time to train in the more regimented ways of the fighter can be a more disciplined barbarian, who perhaps has spent some time with other fighters or among civilization, calming his unbridled fury.

    A barbarian who dips fighter picks up some great benefits: A fighting style, action surge, and either increased crit (synergizing excellently with reckless attack), or maneuvers. Best avoiding Eldritch Knight, as spells cannot be cast not buffs maintained whilst raging. 1-4 levels of this adds a lot to the core barbarian.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Half Orc
    Barbarian 5+/Fighter 4
    17, 14, 16, 8, 10, 8

    This is commonly combined with champion for the obvious potential to get plenty of crits. Orcish Fury feat goes well with crit fishing builds, and gets that strength to 18. Battle Master is also a great choice for Great Weapon Master builds, using precision attack to ensure those -5/+10 attacks hit.

    Spoiler: Barbarian/Monk
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    Barbarian/Monk

    You might call this a Brawler, a barbarian who takes prefers to engage his foes with bare hands. The discipline required to take on the way of the monk life, might be in conflict with the barbarian nature, but not all monk orders are the same. Perhaps this barbarian spent some time in a monastery, or perhaps they learn to tap an inner disciplined rage.

    A barbarian who dips monk gains little on the surface. Unarmored defenses don't stack, and many monk abilities don't function if the barbarian is in armor or wielding a non-monk weapon. Ki abilities still work, granting a bonus action dodge, disengage, or flurry (likely 1+str damage). But the limited use, and the maximum MADness (4 13s) make this better left to the herioc and niche builds.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Tortle
    Barbarian 5+/Monk 4
    17, 13, 14, 9, 14, 8

    This build uses the Tortle's racial armor class of 17 to completely get around all the weaknesses of this multiclass combination. Going with a strength build allows the brawler to recklessly attack and add their rage damage to each attack. The racial unarmed strikes of 1d4 keep the full damage of a monk of 4 or lower while still using a greatsword/maul. Flurry of blows and ki dodge, both work well with rage. A 5th level in monk might even be worth it for stunning strike, despite the overlap on extra attack. Kensei works well with this build if wanting to stick with a longsword/battleaxe.

    Spoiler: Barbarian/Paladin
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    Barbarian/Paladin

    You might call these The Wrathful. Nothing compares to righteous wrath of barbarian/paladin. They have both unbound fury and total devotion to their case. A barbarian who takes levels in paladin might have good reason to take on a new cause with a religious fervor. Vengeance paladins fit this well thematically as the oath aligns well with barbarians furious nature. This would be an obvious dip choice for Zealot barbarians.

    A barbarian who dips paladin picks up a fighting style and smite at level 2, which can both help a core barbarian. While smite can be used while raging for some fantastic nova damage, the limited slots encourage such a character to pick up a third full caster class. The MADness and conflicts of progression prevent this from being blue. The options opened up by making caster classes a not so awful choice keeps it from being purple.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Half Elf
    Barbarian 5+/Paladin 2/cha caster x
    16, 14, 14, 8, 10, 14

    This tri-classed build seems the best way to gain the full benefit of the smite feature. Warlock might be the most mechanically beneficial. If blade pact is taken, this build can paladin smite and eldritch smite on a crit and deal potentially +20d8 or more, all while holding the full benefits of rage resistance.

    Spoiler: Barbarian/Ranger
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    Barbarian/Ranger

    You might call this a Warden, a wild warrir who has taken his attunement to nature a step further. The warden is the scout that subs as a ferocious quick striking warrior whenever necessary. A barbarian's already wild nature, especially totem barbarians, lends itself to easy multiclassing into ranger.

    A barbarian who dips ranger picks up another skill, a fighting style at level 2, and subclass ability at level 3. This isn't a bad option but the big draw for damage increase is hunter's mark, which doesn't work while raging. Fortunately, the Xanathar subclasses Horizon Walker and Monster Slayer both offer bonus action uses that work while raging. Between those and the fighting style it makes this multiclass blue.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Human V.
    Barbarian 5+/Ranger 4
    16, 14, 14, 9, 13, 8

    This class breakdown won't change. The 5th level in ranger is a complete waste. Pretty much anything else is viable. If you don't have a feat or barbarian subclass that makes usage of your bonus action, monster slayer and horizon walker are both great choices adding to your overall damage output more than increasing barbarian levels would. If you do have a good usage of your bonus action, taking Gloomstalker or Hunter (for preferably hordebreaker) are great options fore more attacks.

    Spoiler: Barbarian/Rogue
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    Barbarian/Rogue

    You might call this a Thug, a warrior that can sneak into your house, smash your things and then wake you up by breaking your legs.

    A barbarian who dips rogue picks up expertise (likely athletics), cunning action, and possibly an archetype. Stealth abilities can work well with a barbarian with a high enough con not wearing any armor. This dip is fantastic for tank barbarians who use a shield, as a rapier can benefit from both rage damage and sneak attack as long as the barbarian attacks with str. The expertise can see a lot of use with either shield master or grapple builds. This rating drops significantly if the barbarian is a 2hander type barb, but can still be viable as a way to farm crits with assassin, and barbarian's increased critical damage. There are better options though, as relying on surprise with a spell-less melee is rarely worth the multiclass.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Human V.
    Barbarian 5/Rogue x
    16, 14, 16, 8, 10, 8

    This build is a basic setup for raging sneak attacking. Start with shield master and take expertise in athletics. Knock foes prone,
    with advantage and expertise to ensure sneak attack with the rapier. Resistance plus the eventual uncanny dodge, can have this barbarian being one of the hardest to kill forces out there. Alternate builds include grappling or a more dex focused build which would be best paired with a darkvision race.

    Spoiler: Barbarian/Sorc
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    Barbarian/Sorc

    You might call this a Fire Blood, or another name based on the sorcerous heritage, a barbarian that discovers latent innate magical powers in their blood might begin to take sorcerer levels.

    A barbarian who dips sorcerer doesn't have much to gain. There are a couple longer duration, non-concentration spells that can be used with rage, such as false life, but that would be better obtained through warlock. The mage armor/scales are pretty useless as a barbarian would be better off just boosting con to 16. Shield spell and melee cantrips are a poor choice on a character that should be raging. There is really very little reason to dip this class over any other. The MADness drives it to red.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Half Elf
    Barbarian 5/Paladin 2/Sorcerer x
    16, 14, 14, 8, 10, 14

    This only way to really make this viable is in conjunction with a paladin's divine smite giving you something to do with those spell slots while raging. Draconic Sorcerer offers more of the much needed hp, so is likely the best option.

    Spoiler: Barbarian/Warlock
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    Barbarian/Warlock

    You might call this a Rage Blade, a barbarian who for some reason, either noble or selfish, has sought out a power to make a pact with, usually to further strengthen their martial abilities.

    A barbarian who dips warlock gains a few boosts that could be worth the investment. Invocations, such as devil's sight and false life at will can be useful. Temporary hit points such as those from false life, Armor of Agathys, and Fiend Patron, see extra mileage as its twice as effective if you have resistance to the damage you are sustaining. But the MADness and lack of scaling on the abilities from a dip, prevents this from being blue. It works much better as a Warlock/Barbarian.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Half Elf
    Barbarian 5/Blade Pact Warlock x
    16, 14, 14, 8, 10, 14

    This is a basic barbarian warlock build. It uses invocations such as improved pact weapon, and eventually eldritch smite to boost damage output while raging. Armor of Agathys is a fine choice of a spell, although with primarily barbarian levels, it won't last long,
    even with rage resistance. Hexblade is a less powerful option on this build, compared to other martials as reckless attacking requires a strength attack.

    Spoiler: Barbarian/Wizard
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    Barbarian/Wizard

    You might call this a Rage Mage, a barbarian who has taken on the finer study of magic. It's an uncommon deviation for a barbarian, perhaps they've received a boon or item that permanently raised their intelligence, or perhaps they have always had a knack for learning magic, that only later could be explored to fruition.

    A barbarian who dips wizard doesn't have much to gain. There are a couple longer duration, non-concentration spells that can be used with rage, such as longstrider and false life, but there are better gained elsewhere. The various level 2 abilities can be neat, but the only one that is really worth it is the War Wizard. Even that struggles due to the MADness. Look elsewhere if you are a barbarian. If you want to play a warrior/wizard, use fighter.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Human V.
    Barbarian 5+/War Wizard 2
    16, 14, 14, 13, 9, 8

    This one isn't bad, uses the two levels in war wizard for a permanent reaction to give +2 AC, or +4 to a save. Since rage prevents spell casting the abiltiy to gain a small shield spell that is usable while raging is a good addition. It can use its spellbook to cast a decent variety of rituals out of combat, including the gaining of an owl familiar to aid one attack a round.

    Spoiler: Bard
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    The bard class is an extremely versatile core class that only requires a good cha to operate well. The class is capable of operating as a skill monkey, a front-line fighter, an archer, a controller, a blaster or a healer all without the need to even multiclass. Multiclasses tend to be focused on either accentuating a decided roll or shoring up weaknesses. As a full caster, any MC suffers the loss of spells known and possibly spell slots. Many Bard multiclasses tend to take advantage of the magical secrets, providing earlier access to ranger/paladin spells in combination with other spell casting classes.

    Key breakpoints are: 2 (jack of all trades, which works for skills and initiative), 3(cutting words+skills+blade flourishes), 4 (ASI) for dips, 5 (inspiration short rest recharge), and 6(college feature), and 10, 14(magical secrets).
    Spoiler: Bard/Barbarian
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    Bard/Barbarian

    You might call this a Skald, as their pure fury is a performance. A bard taking barbarian levels is in touch with his or her inner fury, able to channel that into a powerful rage. Heavy metal bards apply here.

    A bard that dips barbarian, probably takes their first level in barbarian for the free proficiencies and extra hit points. With the Swords bard from Xanathar's guide this becomes a viable option, despite the MADness. The MADness and loss of spells while raging make this black.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Half Elf
    Barbarian 1/Bard 6
    16, 14, 14, 8, 10, 14

    This build starts in barbarian for con saves and extra hit points, and then ventures into bard for the next 6 or more levels for extra attack. Getting extra attack two levels later than the standard is a bit of a delay, but he repays it with blade flourishes that recharge on a short rest and work while raging. This build would then likely continue into barbarian to 4, to gain reckless attack, a subclass, and another much needed ASI, perhaps in cha. It's viable for both TWF and dueling Sword and board builds, but TWF would make the delayed extra attack less painful.

    Spoiler: Bard/Cleric
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    Bard/Cleric

    You might call this an Evangelist, a one who uses their sway and charisma to spread their religion. A bard might take levels in cleric if they are chosen by their god, or gain a newfound faith.

    A bard who dips cleric has a variety of features available to benefit from depending on domain. It is MAD requiring a 13 wis, but benefits are varied and numerous. A heavy armor domain can negate the bard's need for dex reducing its MADness, and without the cost of lost spell slots. Any domain combined with the proper magical secrets can be quite powerful. Several domains grant skills, augmenting the skill monkey. The common life cleric 1/lore bard 6+ is now more or less obsolete with the introduction of Healing Spirit spell. The optimization required, and slight MADness keep it from being gold.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Half Elf
    Bard 6+/Cleric 2
    9, 14, 16, 8, 13, 16

    This build or a strength variant for heavy armor is the basic setup for a variety of Evangelists. A Lore/Knowledge combination can be the ultimate skill monkey. With the right spells stolen, tempest cleric could put out some serious damage. For a swords bard, Forge or War domains coudl be quite potent.

    Spoiler: Bard/Druid
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    Bard/Druid

    You might call this a Windspeaker, or a similar name, one whose magic has taken on the natural song in all things. A bard whose attuned to nature or aligned with a druid circle might begin to take druid levels. While a druid who has learned to meld his magic with song might begin to take bard levels. Many Harpers are Windspeakers.

    A bard who dips druid has little to gain, other than different spells and potentially some other team supporting effects from the circles of Dreams and Shepherd, all at the cost of progression, metal armor, and a 13 wis. Wild shape will be largely combat ineffective, even a Moon Druid's, as it scales poorly. The only thing keeping this from being red, is the niche uses that it might see. Generally best avoided.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Half Elf
    Bard 6+/Druid 2
    8, 16, 14, 9, 13, 16

    This build is dipping druid for a touch of nature magic. The best use here is probably for a support focused bard to pick up the spirit totem from the circle of the shepherd. Overall the bard will probably get more mileage out of a cleric dip, but doing both wouldn't be horrible, provided you're ok with being behind on spells known.

    Spoiler: Bard/Fighter
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    Bard/Fighter

    You might call this a Wardrummer, or another named based on the particuler performance skills. A wardrummer is a bard who has taken the time to get in depth martial training, gaining the ability to make better use of their weapons and perhaps wear heavier armor.

    A bard who dips fighter has a lot to gain. The fighter level is best taken as the first level for the character to grant proficiency in con saves and heavy armor, which are both fantastic for any bard. Fighter 2 can be taken immediately or after several bard levels, for action surge. Valor or Swords Bards may be interested in fighter 3-4 for archetype and ASI. Eldritch Knight is a way for a bard to get shield spell, without taking sorcerer levels or using a magical secret, while the other archetypes augment the bard's fighting prowess.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Mountain Dwarf
    Champion 4/Swords Bard 6+
    17, 8, 14, 8, 10, 15

    This wardrummer starts with his first level in fighter for con saves and heavy armor, and then takes bard until extra attack. The champion ability combines well with blade flourish giving them increased crit chance on those extra flourish dice, and potentially doubling that AC boost. First ASI in str and cha makes up for the low starting cha. TWF or dueling style are both available in conjunction with defense fighting style from fighter. He has plenty of buffs for both himself and his team, and he can wade into the front with a couple wardrums strapped to him for added coolness.

    Spoiler: Bard/Monk
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    Bard/Monk

    You might call this a Death Dancer or something similar. Some monks have mastered their body to make it so their fluid movements in combat are a musical ballet. Perhaps their attacks have a rhythmic timing. If they are fond of weapons, they might be mistaken for a Bladesinger.

    A bard who dips monk is MAD and confused. I am rating this red until someone gives a viable reason to combine these classes. There is no inherit synergy, and many monk features require no armor. The MADness is what really breaks it. Anything this combination does could probably be better accomplished with different classes.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Drow
    Swords Bard 6+/Monk 4
    8, 17, 12, 8, 15, 14

    This build could work with a Kensei or Drunken Master. Basic build combines the best martial features from swords bard and those of the monk. It's passable.

    Spoiler: Bard/Paladin
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    Bard/Paladin

    You might call this a Battle Hymnist, a bard who has taken up fervent cause that uses his song and stories to inspire his companions. A bard might find a new cause after a traumatic event, or have reason to seek vengeance. Whatever the reason, this bard makes an oath that forever alters her perception of the world.

    A bard who dips just two levels of paladin gets a fantastic boost to his melee damage output potential via smite. Taking Paladin first for a heavy armor str build reduces any MADness of the MC and helps make it a solid front liner. Smite with any cha based full caster is a recipe for gold, and bard is no different.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Human V.
    Paladin 2-4/Swords Bard 6+
    16, 8, 14, 8, 10, 16

    This is your basic paladin 2 bard x build with blade flourishes, plenty of smites and buffs to go around. A great build all around.
    Alternatively, bards without extra attack would want to take paladin all the way to 6 for +cha to saves. If going S&B mixing in a level of hexblade at some point makes the character SAD.

    Spoiler: Bard/Ranger
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    Bard/Ranger

    You might call this a Songbow, a bard whose music and arrows become one, with arrows that strike like perfect notes. A bard might find himself taking ranger levels if he has spent time surviving outdoors alone or perhaps among other rangers.

    A bard who dips ranger gains a skill, some different spells, a fighting style, and potentially a level 3 subclass ability. Best left for valor or swords bards, or caster bards wanting 5 levels in another class for extra attack. There are worse ways too boost combat efficiency, but MADness of cha, wis, and dex make it hard for the character to excel at anything. Archery fighting style is appealing for archer bards, but best picked up through fighter.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Half Elf
    Swords Bard 10+/Hunter 3+
    8, 16, 14, 8, 13, 16

    This is your basic bardic archer using swift quiver to shoot out a number of attacks. Taking on hunter instead of fighter for archery style is a little MAD, but the extra attack potential with horde breaker can be quite potent.

    Spoiler: Bard/Rogue
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    Bard/Rogue

    You might call this an Infiltrator or Mole. None are quite so adept at getting on the inside of an organization and mucking about when no one is looking. A bard just has to take some time to focus on his more mundane capabilities to start taking levels in rogue.

    A bard who dips rogue gains a skill, thieves' tools, and cunning action. A third level grants an archetype. This is best suited for ore martially focus bards. This combination is a solid way to make an ultimate skill monkey, with plenty of skills and expertise. Sneak attack works with your ranged and finesse weapons. You may find the overlap excessive though, lacking a powerful choice for all your expertise.
    Spoiler: E.g.s
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    Human V.
    Swords Bard 6/Rogue 1+
    8, 16, 14, 8, 10, 16

    This swords bard gets the full benefits of his extra attack and blade flourishes on top sneak attack dice. Best suited for two-weapon fighting, this one can put out a fair bit of damage, and has the defense boosted by the flourishes. Arcane Trickster would make for a good addition, getting shield spell for great usage out of those low level bard slots.

    Spoiler: Bard/Sorcerer
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    Bard/Sorcerer

    You might call this the Natural. This bard's talents likely all came to him all to easily. He never had to try, as his sorcerous blood gave him an edge, often unbeknownst to him. Any bard can have that smirk, but none like the natural do it so well. Be careful around this one, as their subtle magic, makes you never quite sure if you can trust yourself. A bard who learns to tap his or her latent sorcerous blood can start taking levels in sorcerer.

    A bard who dips sorcerer gains shield spell at first level for added defense, permanent mage armor via draconic scales, and then metamagic at 3rd level. Metamagic is a great way for any full spell caster to boost versatility, and many bards seek out sorcerer just for the ability to make their spells subtle. Since bards are cha based as well the SADness makes this even more appealing. Taking more than few levels in sorcerer costs the bard high level spells, but too few levels in sorcerer will likely feel short on sorcery points to power the metamagic. Those limitations are the only thing keeping this from being gold.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Half Elf
    Lore Bard 6+/Sorcerer 4+
    8, 16, 16, 8, 10, 16

    This one simple. Take any 3rd level or lower spell in the game, and apply any metamagic to it. The possibilities are endless. For the sorcerous origin, draconic is a good choice for the extra AC and hit points, but shadow might serve a more subtle bard well.

    Spoiler: Bard/Warlock
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    Bard/Warlock

    You might call this a Chained Singer. A bard who was not content with the mere mortal bardic prowess, but sought out a pact with a more powerful being. The nature of the pact may vary greatly, depending on the patron, but none can sing like a devil like a bard/warlock. Not every bard wins that fiddle of gold.

    A bard who dips warlock gains the full blasting capability of warlock in just two levels. Eldritch blast with agonizing and possibly repelling blast, immediately fixes the bard's innate lack of powerful at will blasting. Both are cha based, making this SAD. The warlock slots are great for some short rest recovery, at the cost of higher level bard spells and slots. With the addition of hexblade, this becomes even better, potentially gaining substantial AC from shield and medium armor, access to the shield spell, and cha to attack and damage with 1handed weapons, all in just 1 level. Archer bards would require 3 levels, but the SADness is more than worth it.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Half Elf
    Swords Bard 6/Hexblade 4+
    8, 16, 16, 8, 8, 17

    This is your basic hexblade archer or blaster. Take elven accuracy and combine it with devil's sight for some devastating damage output. Sharpshooter is a bonus that won't be missed with tri-vantage.

    Spoiler: Bard/Wizard
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    Bard/Wizard

    You might call this the Lore Keeper, a bard who has expanded their breadth of magical knowledge into the world of wizardy. This would require the bard to spend or have spent some time with wizards or at least a spell book.

    A bard who dips wizard can access some neat wizard features, and some increased spell selection, but at the significant cost of their spells known progression. As it stands a bard can potentially "steal" wizard spells at levels 6, 10, 14, and 18, which greatly devalues this multiclass. The MADness drives it into the negatives, meaning this is best left for niche builds.
    Spoiler
    Show
    Half Elf
    Swords Bard 6+/War Wizard 2+
    8, 16, 14, 13, 9, 16

    This swords bard paid the MAD price of 13 int for the dip into war wizard, giving a free permanent +2 AC or +4 to a save as a reaction. With another 8 wizard levels he could get a near permanent +2 AC, as any full caster should spend as much time in combat as possible concentrating on a spell.
    Last edited by PeteNutButter; 2018-04-08 at 09:39 PM.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

    Join Date
    Nov 2015
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    Male

    Default Re: Ultimate Optimizer's Multiclassing Guide

    Spoiler: Cleric
    Show
    The cleric is a fantastic base class, than presents a variety of powerful options including strong buffs, powerful domain features, and the best healing spells. With the right domain selection a cleric can perform as a tank, a healer, a controller, or even a blaster. The versatility provided by full spells known makes the cleric able to easily switch or split rolls when preparing spells.

    Key breakpoints for dips are levels 1 and 2 providing the only feat-less access to heavy armor after level 1, and giving some strong domain features.
    Spoiler: Cleric/Barbarian
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    Cleric/Barbarian

    You might call this a Fanatic, a cleric who is finished with the niceties of civilized society, and demands immediate results or conversions.

    A cleric who dips barbarian sacrifices his full spell casting progression for augmenting his relatively weak melee abilities. A cleric who wants to act as a front-liner could be interested in taking this as far as level 5 for extra attack, but in doing so greatly limits their options in combat. A raging cleric, is likely just a bad barbarian, since the bulk of his cleric features are in his spells which can't be cast while raging. A cleric looking for extra attack is best looking elsewhere.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Human V.
    16, 14, 14, 8, 13, 8
    Storm Rager 5/Tempest Cleric 6+

    The Storm Herald barbarian is relatively weak, but if he managed to couple it with 6 levels of Tempest cleric he can have a near at will push every bonus action. By 8th level in cleric he is also adding an extra 1d8 thunder damage per round. It is conflicted, with rage and spells, but can serve as a good front-liner.

    Spoiler: Cleric/Bard
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    Cleric/Bard

    You might call this an Evangelist, one who uses their sway and charisma to spread their religion. A cleric might take levels in bard to bolster his ability to perform for his flock.

    A cleric who dips bard gains jack of all trades, possible cutting words, or could even take it as far as a level 6 college feature. Bard can augment the cleric's often supportive role. The MADness keeps this from being any better than blue.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Half Elf
    Knowledge Cleric 5+/Lore Bard 4
    8, 14, 14, 10, 16, 14

    This is your ultimate support skill monkey build with plenty of skills and expertise to go around, backed up by some solid healing and buffing capabilities, and cutting words to help keep your allies alive.


    Spoiler: Cleric/Druid
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    Cleric/Druid

    You might call this a shaman. A cleric whose religious path has put them in tune with nature allowing them access to a different sort of magic. This transition is an easy shift if it is a nature cleric as their god is already bringing them closer to nature.

    A cleric who dips druid gains access to some different spells and wildshape for bit of versatility, at the cost of metal armor restriction and delayed cleric spells. The common tactic here is for a life cleric to pick up druid for goodberry spell and now healing spirit, for great low level and out of combat healing. Shillelagh spell is nice for a melee cleric, but could also be achieved through nature domain. Produce flame is a solid attack roll cantrip, which clerics lack. The metal armor restriction will be costly on a cleric, who likely won't have higher than a 16 dex for most (if not all) of their career, with their ASIs going to wisdom. The SADness keeps it blue.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Human V.
    Life Cleric 5+/Shepherd Druid 3
    8, 16, 16(resilient con), 8, 16, 8

    This is your ultimate healer, able to cast goodberry and healing spirit for obscene amounts of healing, both in and out of combat. Any druid circle could do this well. Dreams is tempting for more healing, but I find it's handful of d6s aren't worth as much as the buffs granted by the spirit totems from the shepherd druid.

    Spoiler: Cleric/Fighter
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    Cleric/Fighter

    You might call this a War Priest or Battle Cleric. A cleric who takes some time to focus on their more martial cabalities or perhaps began their life as a simple fighter, and later picked up the mantle of faith.

    A cleric who dips fighter is best served taking the fighter level first for con save proficiency. Heavy armor could also help if the intent is to take a domain which doesn't normally give it. Defense style is great for added tankiness. Second level of fighter grants action surge, which is great on any build. If a cleric really wanted to act as a front-liner 5-6 levels of fighter gives extra attack and another ASI, at the cost of some heavy casting loss.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Human V.
    Fighter 1/Forge Cleric 6+
    16, 10, 14, 8, 16, 8

    This cleric starts with first level in fighter to shore up defenses and allow access to martial weapons. This is great for any cleric as it gives con save proficiency, but is of extra value to those that lack heavy armor and martial weapons. At some point in this character's career they will want to pick up a second fighter level for action surge. I chose Forge domain for the example build as it is has a damage boost to and potentially 2 more AC than any other cleric with its level 6 feature and +1 armor/shield it makes. A single level of fighter adds another point of AC with the defense fighting style, making this character's sitting AC 23 without any real magic items.

    Spoiler: Cleric/Monk
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    Cleric/Monk

    You might call this a Sacred Fist. A cleric and monk whose prayer and meditation have melded into a worship that brings zen. A cleric might begin taking monk levels if they spend time in a monastery or even spend too long meditating. A monk might take cleric levels if their meditation leads them to a higher power.

    A cleric who dips monk could maybe end up with an increase in AC, along with some movement speed benefits and slightly better melee capability. The more levels in cleric, the less viable the melee becomes, as spells steadily outweigh them. If the cleric takes monk all the way to 5 for extra attack this becomes significantly more viable. There is no reason this couldn't work, although the inverse, Monk/Cleric may perform better.
    Spoiler: E..
    Show
    Wood Elf
    Monk 5/Cleric 5+
    8, 17, 15, 8, 16, 8

    Five levels in monk isn't much of a dip, but there really isn't much reason to go into monk if you aren't going to get at least 5 levels for extra attack. Even if you maxed dex and wis, you'd still only have the same AC as nonmagical plate and shield. With 5 levels you get stunning strike and extra attack, effectively functioning as a full monk, but backed up by the rest of your levels as full cleric. Nature cleric is a good bet, allowing you to use shillelagh to boost wisdom before dex, giving it to both your weapon attacks and stun/spell DCs.

    Spoiler: Cleric/Paladin
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    Cleric/Paladin

    You might call this The Devoted. Clerics and paladins who have blurred the lines between their deity and their devotion. A commoner might not be able to tell the difference between a cleric and paladin, the devoted make that even more difficult. Any paladin that serves a deity can naturally transition into cleric levels and any cleric can take up an oath to become a paladin.

    A cleric who dips paladin gains a fantastic boost to his melee damage potential with smite and a fighting style at paladin 2. The cost is a little MADness and slightly delayed spell progression. The build may find itself extra MAD, if it wants to pick up extra attack and + cha to saves at paladin 5 and 6. The MADness and overlap between spell lists keeps it from being rated higher.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Human V. (PAM)
    Paladin 2/Death Cleric 6+
    16, 8, 14, 8, 14, 13

    This build can hit really hard and potentially NOVA harder than a paladin/sorcerer. With PAM he puts out two attacks that deal 1d6/4+4+5d8+17 for an average combined damage of 93 damage. By level 11 he can pick up extra attack from paladin along with another channel divinity to make it an average total of 143. That's decent NOVA damage. After paladin 6, continuing in cleric gets the 3 channel divinities up to a total of 99 damage per short rest.

    Spoiler: Cleric/Ranger
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    Cleric/Ranger

    You might call this a Spirit Guide or perhaps an Undead Slayer, capable of guiding others both in the wild and in spiritual matters. Clerics might begin taking ranger levels when tasked to hunt down those who have offended their god and church, or perhaps they merely took the time to become familiarized with the wild.

    A cleric who dips ranger is aiming to enhance his weapon attacks, gaining a fighting style, different spells, and some good hunter abilities. If a cleric intends to get extra attack, ranger is probably the smoothest route to it. The first level in ranger is a bit weak, but the rest are good up until level 5. Since its a 1/2 caster, you lose less than fighter, and the stats are not MAD, except possibly the dex. Goodberry is fantastic when paired with life cleric. Absorb Elements is good for anyone as a great defense boost for things like enemy spells and breath weapons.
    Spoiler: E.g.
    Show
    Human V.
    Ranger 5/Cleric 5+
    8, 16, 14, 10, 16, 8

    This is the simplest build out there and can be taken in a variety of orders with a variety of subclasses, but ultimately 5 levels of ranger is desired. It's not worth the dip if you don't get extra attack, and it isn't worth taking to level 6. Can go nature cleric or MI for shillelagh to become SAD. Can start with only 13 dex and use strength build to utilize heavy armor, saving a couple stat points, or go with a classic archer build. Can work with ranger 5 first or cleric 5 first. For this example build, I'd start with the Sharpshooter feat and tack on war cleric to turn misses into hits.

    Spoiler: Cleric/Rogue
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    Cleric/Rogue

    You might call this a Divine Trickster, a cleric whose talents are not limited to the churchly norms. Such a cleric may have had a rough past or picked up rogue skills in the aid of his god.

    A cleric who dips rogue gains, a skill, thieves' tools, and cunning action at level two. Sneak attack can help, as well as the proficiency with better finesse weapons. There is some obvious synergy here with domains such as trickery, and could even lend itself well for a ranged war cleric using Sharpshooter feat to pull off big hitting sneak attacks. So long as it was intended from the start, the dex requirement shouldn't be MAD.
    Spoiler: E.g.
    Show
    Ghostwise Halfling
    Arcane Trickster 3/Trickery Cleric 8+
    8, 16, 14, 12, 16, 8

    Trickery Cleric suffers a lot as a base class with its reliance on dex for medium armor, but no martial weapon proficiency. It's level 8 divine strike encourages martial attacks over cantrips, but the best melee finesse weapon they get by default is a measly dagger. Just one level of rogue fixes all that and comes with a respectable damage boost at low level. Arcane Trickster is a solid option to augment the cleric as it keeps some slot progression, gets the Shield spell without needing a 13 int or cha, and picks up Booming Blade. The Channel Divinity gives advantage to attacks to help ensure sneak attack can always land.
    While being still mostly a cleric, this character can put out a respectable 4d8+2d6+4 at will damage with a booming blade sneak attack, along with another 3d8 if the target moves, which is easier to trigger with bonus action disengage.

    Spoiler: Cleric/Sorcerer
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    Cleric/Sorcerer

    You might call this a God Touched. These vary wildly with the many different sorcerous origins. The Divine Soul/Cleric being a natural and obvious transition from a prophet like figure to a practitioner of the faith, although if a cleric find themselves as a Divine Soul of a different god, things could become very interesting. A cleric might also find trouble with their sorcerous heritage. Perhaps a shadow sorcerer seeks the comfort of a god of light to get away from their dark nature [inspired by above picture]. Perhaps a draconic sorcerer seeks out and worships a dragon god.

    A cleric who dips sorcerer gains shield spell at first level for added defense, potentially permanent mage armor via draconic scales, and then metamagic at 3rd level. Metamagic is a great way for any full spell caster to boost versatility. The ability to pick up the melee cantrips of BB/GFB is just icing on the cake for an often melee class that doesn't get extra attack. Although it is a bit MAD with the cha requirement, the pay off is well worth the boon. Tempest Cleric/Storm Sorcerers are common, as well as any cleric with just 3-4 levels in sorcerer for metamagic. Like any sorcerer dip a balance between sorcery point pool and lost core progression should be maintained. This cleric dip is slightly devalued with the release of the Divine Soul Sorcerer, as the single class can now do some of the same things without loss of progression.
    Spoiler: E.g.
    Show
    Scourge Aasimar
    Light Cleric 8+/Draconic Sorcerer 6
    8, 14, 14, 9, 14, 16

    This character can do almost everything a full fledged sorcerer or cleric can do. It can sling fireballs, heal, twin buffs, and gets to add its cha modifier to it's fire damage effects. It's primary role will be support and blasting, but when it comes to at will damage it's Firebolts (or Green Flame Blades if melee inclined) add both wisdom modifier and charisma modifier to damage. Tack on the Aasimar racial damage and it's pretty healthy damage.

    Spoiler: Cleric/Warlock
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    Cleric/Warlock

    You might call this a Conspirator. No matter how similar their goals might be, there is always the potential for conflict between a cleric's god and a warlock's patron, putting the character in a place where they must deceive or outright betray one. A cleric/warlock must constantly be on his toes looking for that moment, and trying to stay one step ahead of the forces tugging on his strings from multiple directions. There are many reasons a cleric might turn to a patron for power, and doing so need not necessarily be a step away from their god. Perhaps the cleric believes they have their god's blessing in taking a patron for power or even to overcome the patron if alignments are opposing. For many, this multiclass means the character will permanently be under "Relationship Status: It's Complicated."

    A cleric who dips warlock gains access to some neat invocations, as well as possibly a scouting pet, or a tome for other class's rituals, or a minor boost in melee capability. Eldritch blast is a solid cantrip, but won't work so well on character without a higher cha, which is hard to obtain with the MADness. Melee cantrips would likely better serve you. Using warlock slots to cast healing spells on short rest recovery can be nice, but the split progression of warlock puts you further behind than any other casting class. Depending on how often you can short rest, you will very likely end up with less slots overall. You will also not be up-casting spirit guardians or spiritual weapon at a comparable level to other full caster MCs. Warlock is good at adding some diversity, but ultimately lags behind many of the more attractive choices.
    Spoiler: E.g.
    Show
    Half Elf
    Hexblade 5/Death Cleric 6+
    8, 14, 14, 9, 14, 17

    This melee focused gish is designed to nova with eldritch smite and it's two channel divinities. Nothing too complicated here. Just a whole lot of damage potential all assigned to cha stat, along with elven accuracy for some high crit chance. Hexblade gives shield spell for the cleric slots. Can work with GWM or SS for really good damage all around.

    Spoiler: Cleric/Wizard
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    Cleric/Wizard

    You might call this a Mystic Theurge, a master of both prayer and study. This classic multiclass is the scholarly cleric that took up wizardry or the faithful wizard who took favor from his god. This is an easy transition provided the character is intelligent enough for it, all a cleric needs is a spellbook or another wizard to train them.

    A cleric who dips wizard has a few neat tricks to obtain via the level 2 wizard abilities, some helpful reactions such as shield, and absorb elements, as well as some non-concentration buffs that wouldn't compete with your cleric buffs such as longstrider or false life. Most of the level 2 and 6 abilities can compliment a cleric's casting well. The ability to pick up the melee cantrips of BB/GFB is great for an often melee class that doesn't get extra attack. It's MAD and requires a planned build but there are several combinations which create power.
    Spoiler: E.g.
    Show
    Human
    Forge Cleric 8/War Wizard 2
    16, 9, 14, 13, 16, 9

    This build is a MADness struggle, but it isn't without it's perks. Booming Blade with a decent str score and the divine strike damage give it at decent at will melee capability backed up by what is likely an AC of 22+ with at will +2 AC on reaction. Wizard spells augment the character's defensive reactions further with the option to cast shield, absorb elements, or even feather fall. Rituals add more out of combat utility. It all makes for a very durable and useful cleric.

    Spoiler: Druid
    Show
    Druid is an excellent base class with plenty of versatility contained in itself with wildshape, a strong spell list, and an arguably overpowered capstone. The druid can perform as a tank, a healer, a controller, or even a blaster. The versatility provided by full spells known makes the druid able to easily switch or split rolls when preparing spells. The druid spell list has more offense options than the cleric list, at the cost of some defensive and healing spells.

    Of all classes the druid probably lends itself the least to multiclassing due to the arbitrary no metal armor restriction. This is subject to DM interpretation, so many of these ratings will improve if your DM allows the use of metal armor. Druid 1 picks up shillelagh and some nice spells like good berry. A moon druid 2 dip is ok, but becomes obsolete as levels increase. Shepherd druid 2 is a good dip for many support inclined characters.
    Spoiler: Druid/Barbarian
    Show
    Druid/Barbarian

    You might call this a Wild Avenger, a druid taking a more wild and aggressive turn. Nature is harsh and brutal. No druid is far from home when taking levels in barbarian. It is simply letting their inner beast out.

    A druid who dips barbarian is likely a moon druid looking to make the most out of his wildshape, gaining rage for both increased defense and offense while in animal/elemental forms. Reckless attack at 2 and bear totem both work well with wildshape, but at the cost of greatly delaying increased forms. There is some action economy issues if not already in wildshape, as both it and rage take a bonus action for moon druids. The raging wildshape will ultimately be passed in damage and utility by concentrating on powerful spells. This is still rated blue for its low level power.
    Spoiler: E.g.
    Show
    Lizardfolk
    Moon Druid 2+/Barbarian 1
    13, 14, 14, 10, 16, 8

    This is the basic barbarian 1 dip for moon druid. Take it at level 1 for the added hp and never go back. Progressing moon druid forms is the key here. This lizardman can turn into a bear and rage dealing added damage and being resistant to enemy physical damage. He may be able to add his own proficiency bonus to his bite attack (DM dependent) and may also be able to make a bite attack as a bonus action 1/short rest. Unarmored defense can be a decent boost in AC for many forms as well.

    Spoiler: Druid/Bard
    Show
    Druid/Bard

    You might call this a Windspeaker, or a similar name, one whose magic has taken on the natural song in all things. A bard whose attuned to nature or aligned with a druid circle might begin to take druid levels. While a druid who has learned to meld his magic with song might begin to take bard levels. Many Harpers are Windspeakers.

    A druid who dips bard gains some different spells, some inspiration dice, and jack of all trades. There is very little obvious synergy here, and it is MAD. Since druids lack the spellcasting shenanigans of wizards and clerics, there is no appeal here in combining anything with magical secrets.

    Spoiler: Druid/Cleric
    Show
    Druid/Cleric

    You might call this a shaman. A cleric whose religious path has put them in tune with nature allowing them access to a different sort of magic. A cleric spending time with druids might begin taking druid levels. While a druid who has strengthened their faith might start taking cleric levels. This transition is an easy shift if it is a nature cleric as their god is already bringing them closer to nature.

    A druid who dips cleric has a lot of good spells to gain such as bless and access to great domain features within one or two levels. The cost isnít steep as spell slots continue to progress, and it is SAD. For a druid that doesnít expect to see his capstone, this could be a very good multiclass choice. A single level of Life Cleric can be a massive boost for spells like Goodberry and Healing spirit. This multiclass received a boost with Healing Spirit pushing it into Sky Blue or even Gold for Life Clerics.
    Spoiler: E.g.
    Show
    Human V.
    Dream Druid 3+/Life Cleric 1
    10, 16, 14, 8 16, 8

    Life Cleric with Healing Spirit and Goodberry is such a strong combination that some consider it an exploit. It's just a strong combination for healing, which is often considered underpowered in it's own right. This character does it best and has the back up healing power in their kit to keep everyone alive for a long long time.

    Spoiler: Druid/Fighter
    Show
    Druid/Fighter

    You might call this a Forest Protector, a druid whose taken some time to focus on martial capabilities.

    A druid who dips fighter gains a fighting style, action surge and potentially an archetype feature. The fighting style will most likely be defensive for +1 AC. Action surge is fantastic on anyone, especially full casters as being able to shell out another spell in the same round is potent. Iíd probably avoid the archetypes as they would mostly be an attempt to augment wildshape, but in doing so would put wildshape further behind. Keep it at fighter 2 and itís a solid choice.
    Spoiler: E.g.
    Show
    Human V.
    Land Druid 5+/Fighter 2
    8, 16, 14, 10, 16, 8

    This druid can cast two spells a round once per short rest it. Noting fancy, but it gets the job done. The fighter levels add defense fighting style, second wind and the action surge. If taken at the first two levels the druid might be able to wear heavy armor, which works well if your DM is the type to let you wear metal or hand out things like ironwood. Most times, it'll probably never get used though.

    Spoiler: Druid/Monk
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    Driud/Monk

    You might call this a Green Fist, a druid whose more attuned to the powers within their own body. A druid might be driven to monk levels through deep meditation or time with other monks. A monk might begin to take druid levels if spending an inordinate of time in the wild and or with other druids.

    A druid who dips monk might gain some AC, as well as various monk features. This could be a solid 1 level dip for any druid looking to gain a few AC, or perhaps a lot more depending on how much your DM allows your features to affect your wildshapes. RAW is a bit unclear so ask your DM on what does and doesnít work in wildshape forms.
    Spoiler: E.g.
    Show
    Human V.
    Moon Druid 2+/Monk 1
    8, 16, 14, 10, 16, 8

    This is a basic moon druid with a monk dip. Your monk AC is probably better than the natural armor of most animals, which can be a nice boost, but it'll be hard to ever really have a respectable AC with most forms. If your druid can make unarmed strikes in form you might even be able to use martial arts. This is similar to a barbarian dip for it's rage and AC, but scales a little better for AC. By druid level 8 it should make all your forms have an AC of 15 + their dex, that's 20 AC on an air elemental. That's not too bad. After druid 10, I'd probably start taking more monk levels. The other monk features are easy to justify in elemental forms. "Of course my Air Elemental can catch arrows!"

    Spoiler: Druid/Paladin
    Show
    Druid/Paladin

    You might call this a Green Knight, a paladin who is truly in touch with nature's magic. This might be a common multiclass among ancients paladins but paladins of any oath might also be druids. A druid greatly wronged by another might take an oath of vengeance or a druid who wants to bring the world back to a natural order might take an oath of conquest.

    A druid who dips paladin gains a fighting style, some nice spells, and smite. This is very MAD, but it could be viable as smite does work in wildshape, giving moon druids something to do with their slots once they are already in form. The build loses efficiency greatly at levels where wildshape isnít an effective combat choice, and may find that it will be outpaced by standard fighter types.
    Spoiler: E.g.
    Show
    Tortle
    Paladin 2/Moon Druid 2+
    14, 10, 14, 8, 16, 13

    This moon druid can smite while in form or out. It's racial 17 AC is a great fix for the MADness and allowing the dumping of dex. Potential proficiency in claw attacks might also work in wildshape (DM dependent). Paladin spells, such as bless, are even worth concentration, at least at lower levels. Smite scales with the increased slot pace of the full caster cleric. This build could spend a lot of its time in form and use every slot.

    Spoiler: Druid/Ranger
    Show
    Druid/Ranger

    You might call this a Conservator, a wild guardian able to defend the wilds and control them. This multiclass is a natural transition from either direction.

    A druid who dips ranger gains a fighting style, some more spells, potentially a subclass ability, and even extra attack. Of all the ways a druid aims to get extra attack, ranger is probably the best fit as it wis based and half/caster. Probably best combined with a caster druid, as moon druidís lose too much progression of wildshape to make it worth it. It is solid option for a druid who is aiming to attack, likely with a ranged weapon.
    Spoiler: E.g.
    Show
    Human V. (SS)
    Shepherd Druid 6+/Gloom Stalker 5
    8, 16, 14, 10, 16, 8

    This druid loses out on some progression in exchange for a class feature granted darkvision that should work with every animal form, extra attack and a solid free extra attack at the start of every fight. This character should make an excellent scout with the darkvision and an excellent infiltrator with disguise self granted by the gloomstalker's expanded spell list. In a fight she can conjure up a small army of beefy animals and either wade in with a shilellagh or stand back and shoot.

    Spoiler: Druid/Rogue
    Show
    Druid/Rogue

    You might call this an Outlander, a druid that has taken some time to develop his mundane talents such as stealth and subterfuge.

    A druid who dips rogue gains some skills, expertise, sneak attack, cunning action, and possibly an archetype. The exploration and scouting ability of a druid with stealth expertise and wildshape is top tier. Sneak attack wouldnít work in wild shape, as natural attacks are not finesse, but cunning action always has value. The archetypes are tempting, but probably best avoided as theyíll delay spell progression too much.
    Spoiler: E.g.
    Show
    Ghostwise Halfling
    Dream Druid 5+/Scout 3
    8, 16, 14, 10, 16, 10

    This nasty little druid is primarily a caster/support druid with the neat little trick of being able to hold concentration while wildshaped and hidden. He casts a spell like Call Lightning. Then on subsequent rounds he can use his action to call another lightning bolt and hide using cunning action. If required he can even spend a round wildshaping into something tiny so he can hide in something like grass. He can also spend his Balm of the Summer court healing dice while still hiding and/or wildshaped. The third rogue level for scout is a little unnecessary, but helps a lot with flavor giving the druid free expertise in nature and survival, along with the handy escape ability, great on any caster. Unfortunately, much of this can be replicated by simply taking the goblin race on your druid.

    Spoiler: Druid/Sorcerer
    Show
    Druid/Sorcerer

    You might call this a Wild Soul, a druid whose blood contains magic. Like any sorcerer, a druid might not know of his natural sorcerous blood until later, causing him to start taking sorcerer levels. A sorcerer on the other hand must become attuned to the natural magic and or spend some time among druids to take druid levels.

    A druid who dips sorcerer gains access to some good spells, likely scales for more AC, and metamagic. Attaching metamagic onto any full caster is a strong addition. Druids especially can benefit from metamagic as many of their spells such as call lightning can be activated after they are cast, for continual damage. This pairs very well with a quickened spell for a continuous stream of blasting or control. Extending a conjure spell, or twinning a blight, etc. There are plenty of good options. It isnít RAW, but many DMs could be convinced that subtle spell allows for casting in wildshape, in which case this would probably be sky blue. The cha cost is a bit MAD, but the benefits can be worth it from an offensive stand point. Depending on your DM's interpretation of careful spell (one-time or ongoing) many of the druid's control spells can be quite potent with it.
    Spoiler: E.g.
    Show
    Protector Aasimar
    Land Druid (Mountain) 5+/Draconic Sorcerer (Lightning) 6
    8, 12, 14, 8, 16, 16

    This druid took sorcerer all the way to level 6 for some metamagic. He can activate his racial feature, fly up above the battle and quicken call lightning for extra damage equal to class level. On round two he can call lightning and quicken a lightning bolt or a cantrip. The damage output is solid. Can be done very similarly with a tempest cleric, but only the druid can turn into a flying bear (and keep calling down lightning) once he runs out of sorcery points.

    Spoiler: Druid/Warlock
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    Druid/Warlock

    You might call this a Keeper, a druid who has taken up a warlock pact. This is most common among fey pact druids, but can be seen with any patron type.

    A druid who dips warlock gains access to some different spells, cool invocations, and potentially a pact. The spells can be a good addition to a warlockís list. Upcasting Armor of Agathys with druid slots works great with wildshape as many forms hit points are low at various levels, and they all have relatively low AC. The invocations can be good, but eldritch blast wonít have the cha to make it viable. The lack of stacking of spell slots hurts when considering upcasting druid spells. Overall not a horrible dip, but the MADness keeps it from truly excelling.
    Spoiler: E.g.
    Show
    Half-Elf
    Moon Druid 10/Celestial Chainlock 3
    8, 14, 14, 10, 16, 14

    This Moon Druid can use it's familiar to talk while in wildshape, via telepathy with it. The moon druid healing is pretty weak at 1d8 per spell level, but with the gift of the ever-living ones invocation, he can heal for 8 per spell level, 16 hp per warlock slot. That's not bad healing as a bonus action in a pinch, especially when it's put on something like an earth elemental with resistance to physical damage. He gets more bonus action healing attached to the celestial which can be used on self for 6 per d6 or an ally for the d6, while wildshaped.

    Spoiler: Druid/Wizard
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    Druid/Wizard

    You might call this a Recluse, someone caught up in study of the arcane and the natural. It is natural for an intellectual to take an interest in the arcane or the natural magic, whichever is new to them.

    A druid who dips wizard gains access to some different spells, and cool subclass features. There isnít a whole lot of synergy here. The wizard abilities tend to work better on wizards than with druid spells and the MADness probably makes it less than good. The stacking spell slots keeps it from being totally terrible.
    Spoiler: E.g.
    Show
    Human V.
    Moon druid 2+/War Wizard 2
    9, 14, 14, 13, 16, 8

    Another moon druid dip. Not at strong as the other AC boosters, but the reaction for +2 AC or +4 to a save comes without a drawback if you are already wildshaped. The moon druid's reliance on little base stats opens up potential combinations for combining this with a third or even a fourth class.

    Spoiler: Fighter
    Show
    The fighter class is a great class that is unique as the only class giving more than 2 attacks with the attack action. The fighter typically acts as a melee or ranged damage dealer, or a tank. They have some battlefield control options via grapple and shove, possibly aided by feats and subclass features. They are also one of two classes (the other being rogue) that grant extra ASIs, notably at levels 6 and 14. Fighters are the easiest class to multiclass into, with a variable requirement of str or dex, and provide an ability at level 2 that is valuable on any character: action surge. Depending on the aims of the fighter it is common to multiclass after picking up the third attack (level 11), due to the long wait between 3 and 4 attacks. Fighters are also one of two classes that only require 1 stat to operate, either str or dex, making no MC really that MAD.

    Key breakpoints are: 1(at first level gives con saves and heavy armor + FS), 2 (action surge), 3-4 (archetype-ASI) for dips, and 5-6 (extra attack-ASI), 11-12 (another attack-ASI).
    Spoiler: Fighter/Barbarian
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    Fighter/Barbarian

    You might call this barbarian a War Rager. A fighter who becomes in touch with thier inner fury can begin taking levels in barbarian.

    A fighter who dips barbarian gains rage, reckless attack, and potentially an archetype at the cost of wearing heavy armor. Rage is a fantastic boon, giving resistance to physical(or nearly all) damage and a damage boost. The downside is easily planned for with a 14 dex. Reckless attack is a great option as well that grants advantage at will for GWM fighters. Dex fighters are probably best avoiding this, although they still benefit from the resistances, they cannot use reckless attack or the rage damage bonus. It would also make it MAD. Excellent 4 level dip, to avoid doubling up on extra attack.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Human V.
    Battlemaster Fighter 6+/Bearbarian 3
    16, 14, 16, 8, 10, 8

    Start with GWM, max str by level 6. Always have advantage, always swing for the fences, use precision strike as needed. This build is so common it's probably been done a thousand times, and for good reason. It hits hard and can take a beating. Look to get resilient wisdom at some point, unless you like murdering your friends.

    Spoiler: Fighter/Bard
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    Fighter/Bard

    You might call this a Wardrummer, or another named based on the particuler performance skills. A wardrummer is a fighter who has taken up the music of the bards and learned their magic.

    A fighter who dips bard gains a skill, some spells, and jack of all trades. Swords Bard grants blade flourishes which are good for any fighter, and Whispers grants some sneak attack type damage. Lore bard 3 grants cutting words, but without boosting cha, the uses per day on all of these will be few. This is a solid choice.
    Spoiler: E.g.
    Show
    Human V.
    Champion 6+/Swords Bard 5
    8, 16, 14, 8, 10, 16

    This fighter can start with dual wielder and the defense style, picking up TWF style with bard levels. Champion makes for improved crit chance on the blade flourish. If defensive flourish crits the AC bonus gets pretty high. Always exactly 5 levels in bard for short rest recovery of flourishes, without doubling up on extra attack. Backed up by a variety of solid buffs.

    Spoiler: Fighter/Cleric
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    Fighter/Cleric

    You might call this a War Priest or Battle Cleric, a fighter who takes some time to get in touch with their faith and god.

    A fighter who dips cleric gains some great spells, and cool domain features. The buff spells of cleric go well with the fighters con save proficiency, as well as the ability to heal yourself and fallen allies with healing word. There are little downsides as the wisdom cost isnít steep, and comes with the added benefit of boosting an important save, and common skill, perception.
    Spoiler: E.g.
    Show
    Human V. (HAM)
    Cavalier 6+/Forge Cleric 6+
    16, 10, 16, 8, 14, 10

    This war priest can have a 23 sitting AC without any magic items, give enemies disadvantage to attack anyone else, and cast shield of faith to further boost his AC. This is a real tank with both aggro control and the ability to take hits.

    Spoiler: Fighter/Druid
    Show
    Fighter/Druid

    You might call this a Forest Protector, a druid whose taken time to focus on martial capabilities.

    A fighter who dips druid gains some spells, and wildshape. The spells could be useful, but come at the steep cost of metal armor. As a primary fighter AC is an important stat. Perhaps dex based Eldritch Knights that dumped int in favor of wisdom could be viable, using their EK spells to keep Mage Armor going. That is pretty niche though. Wildshape wonít be strong enough to be a viable combat option. Whatever you are trying to gain here could probably be better achieved through a cleric or ranger dip.
    Spoiler: E.g.
    Show
    Human V. (SS)
    Arcane Archer 6+/Shepherd Druid 2
    8, 16, 16, 8, 14, 10

    This Forest Protector gets to use a little more magic than a normal arcane archer and is boosted further by the Spirit Totems. Hawk Spirit is a little clunky requiring an action to set up. Once set up though, the reaction to advantage on a ranged attack is a solid effect for a SS Archer.

    Spoiler: Fighter/Monk
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    Fighter/Monk

    You might call this a Pugilist. A pugilist doesn't have quite the same style and finesse of a monk, but is backed up by martial training.

    A fighter who dips monk gains many features that may or may not work depending on the fighterís desired loadout. There are several features that do work, but it loses some viability due to the dead abilities. If the fighter intends to operate as a normal monk, then they probably better off as a Monk/Fighter.
    Spoiler: E.g.
    Show
    Lizardfolk
    Cavalier 6+/Kensei 4
    8, 15, 17, 8, 16, 8

    This pugilist is a bit more savage then a standard humanoid, mixing a bite into his attacks every round for the free +2 AC. Armor and a shield are optional,
    probably best worn until mid to higher levels to keep AC high, making tanking easier. Ki is best used on dodging giving foes disadvantage to attack you while cavalier gives them disadvantage on everyone else.

    Spoiler: Fighter/Paladin
    Show
    Fighter/Paladin

    You might call this a Crusader, a fighter who has taken up a paladin's oath or a paladin who takes time to focus on their martial training.

    A fighter who dips paladin gains some spells, smite, another fighting style, as well as potentially oath features. The fighting style comes out to another AC or about + 2 damage. Smite might be attractive, but would lack slots to really back it up. This becomes more viable on an Eldritch Knight, who could potentially have enough slots to put it to good use. Using an action surge for 6 attacks and smiting on them all is some powerful nova but it would take nearly all the slots in one round. The devotion and vengeance oath features can be a good help to land GWM hits. The option to keep bless going, with con save proficiency would be a good help to the team. Unfortunately the amazing Aura of Protection is hidden behind paladin 5, which would cause doubling up on extra attack. There are worse options for a fighter, but it isnít the best.
    Spoiler: E.g.
    Show
    Human V. (GWM)
    Eldritch Knight 7+/Vengeance Paladin 4
    16, 10, 16, 8, 10, 13

    Eldritch Knight gives Shield, but the rest of the slots are there just to feed a few paladin smites and maybe some blesses. Vengeance paladin gives advantage on 1 foe per short rest to help make up for GWM. Wait for crits to smite if possible.

    Spoiler: Fighter/Ranger
    Show
    Fighter/Ranger

    You might call this a Striker, a woodland warrior who has specialized in striking with harsh and aggressive action.

    A fighter who dips ranger gains some spells, another fighting style, and subclass feature. The spells are good on a class that doesnít always have something to concentrate on. Hunterís Mark particularly goes well with fighters, as they get more out of it with their extra attacks. The level 3 subclass abilities are great, and a big help to fighters. Overall 4 levels is a solid addition to a fighter, but may be a little MAD for str fighters with its dex and wis requirement.
    Spoiler: E.g.
    Show
    Human V. (SS)
    Arcane Archer 6+/Gloom Stalker 4
    8, 16, 14, 10, 16, 8

    This is your basic Green Arrow build, excellent archer that hits hard and fast at the start of the fight and can keep shooting well into the fight. It's DM dependent whether action surge gives the gloom stalker attack a second time, but if it does that's 6 attacks on round one or 8 by fighter 11. Throw on 3 rogue levels for assassin and you have advantage on all of them if you go first or the often sought after auto-crits on surprise. Added cool points when you shoot a Grasping Arrow that is also an Ensnaring Strike.

    Spoiler: Fighter/Rogue
    Show
    Fighter/Rogue

    You might call this a Guerrilla, a trained warrior capable of fighting in the fray or using stealth to get around.

    A fighter who dips rogue gains some skills, expertise, cunning action, and possibly an archetype feature. Expertise is often taken on fighters in athletics for aid in grappling and shoving, pairing especially well with Shield Master feat. Str fighters can still use finesse weapons to achieve sneak attack. Cunning action is useful on anyone, aiding in reaching foes or kiting foes.
    Spoiler: E.g.
    Show
    Human V. (SM)
    BM Fighter 6/Swashbuckler 3+
    16, 13, 16, 8, 10, 10

    Champion might be tempting for big crits on sneak attacks, but nothing beats Riposte on rogues. Combine with sentinel and a good AC for regular reaction attacks that utilize sneak attack 2 times per round. Rapier and shield works with either dex or str build. Str build is better at using shield master and usually a little more AC, dex retains ability to stealth and perform other roguish actions.

    Spoiler: Fighter/Sorcerer
    Show
    Fighter/Sorcerer

    You might call this a Blade Mage, a warrior whose natural magic fuels their martial capacity.

    A fighter who dips sorcerer gains some spells, potentially scales, and metamagic. The scales act as permanent mage armor, giving a good AC bonus to dex fighters (eventually). Shield spell is quite possibly the best 1st level spell in the game. Quickening a spell, and following it with an attack action can be quite potent. Eldritch Knights could make good use of this, but unfortunately would need to dump int to keep from being MAD.
    Spoiler: E.g.
    Show
    Human V. (SS)
    Arcane Archer 6/Shadow Sorcerer 5
    8, 16, 14, 8, 10, 16

    Shoot two arrows, quicken a fireball, fluff the fireball as on one of the arrows. Profit. Shadow Sorcerer allows the usage of darkness for advantage on all your shots at the cost of a couple sorcery points.

    Spoiler: Fighter/Warlock
    Show
    Fighter/Warlock

    You might call this a Maledictor, a warrior whose martial capacity has been augmented by a pact with a stronger entity.

    A fighter who dips warlock gains some spells, cool invocations, and possibly a pact. The spells are helpful on a fighter without anything to concentrate on. Hex scales well with a fighterís many attacks. Eldritch blast may or may not be as much damage as a ranged weapon, depending on how high the fighter can keep their cha. Devilís Sight and darkness is always a popular option on martial builds, but comes with the cost of possibly hurting the rest of the party.
    Spoiler: E.g.
    Show
    Human V. (SS)
    EK 7/Hexblade 5
    8, 16, 14, 8, 10, 16

    This archer can shoot an eldritch blast and back it up with a single shot from a bow. Pairs well with rogue levels also to keep that single attack scaling.
    Hexblade makes it all cha SAD.

    Spoiler: Fighter/Wizard
    Show
    Fighter/Wizard

    You might call this a Spellsword, a warrior whose martial process is augmented by research of magic.

    A fighter who dips wizard gains spells and cool subclass features. This a common fighter/caster multiclass as it pairs well with the Int based Eldritch Knight. Abjuration is popular but probably better as a Wizard/Fighter since it scales with wizard levels. Many of the other schools offer good options for a fighter. Divination is always good. Enchantmentís level 6 ability is great on a melee. Two levels of bladesinger could be good on a dex fighter. War Wizard is a stellar choice on a martial character, for a permanent effective reaction.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Human V. (GWM)
    Eldritch Knight 7+/War Wizard 2
    16, 8, 16, 14, 10, 8

    This EK dipped two in WW for a solid reaction that doesn't cost the usage of shield every round.
    Last edited by PeteNutButter; 2018-04-16 at 04:14 PM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

    Join Date
    Nov 2015
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    Male

    Default Re: Ultimate Optimizer's Multiclassing Guide

    Spoiler: Monk
    Show
    The monk is a solid core class that can perform as melee or short ranged damage dealer, or a tank (at later levels) with plenty of survivability boosts, and a single resource that recharges on a short rest. Despite their versatility in play, they are the least versatile class in character creation. Most monks tend to run around naked, punching and kicking things. There is little variation. Their capstone is relatively weak encouraging some multiclassing once the Monk has reached a desired breakpoint.
    Spoiler: Non-Monky Monks?
    Show
    For those interested in playing a monk wearing armor or using a non-monk weapon, the following abilities still work in armor: All ki abilities, including flurry, deflect missles, all subclass features, and stunning strikes. The biggest losses are, no scaling damage dice, making unarmed strike stuck at 1 or 1d4 with tavern brawler, Tabaxi and Lizardfolk get a 1d4 and 1d6 respectively for their unarmed damage; loss of movement speed buffs; loss of ability to use dex with unarmed strikes and monk weapons; loss of regular single bonus action attack. It is quite possible to build a viable build as a Non-Monky Monk. With the now AL legal Tortle, a monk can be based entirely on str and maintain a respectable 17 AC, which opens up more multiclass options.

    Monks are the class most dependent on ASIs as their AC is exclusively dependent on their ASIs. A fighter can get away with taking feats for their first couple ASIs, but a monk that doesnít boost dex or wisdom by level 8 will still be sitting at a 16 AC. For this reason many monk multiclasses will be in numbers divisible by 4. Furthermore, monks need a good wisdom, dex and con to operate well, making MADness an extra challenge for them.
    Key breakpoints: 1(AC), 4(ASI, avoid doubling extra attack), any ASI level, 11(subclass feature), and 14 (saves).
    Spoiler: Monk/Barbarian
    Show
    Monk/Barbarian

    You might call this a Brawler, a barbarian who takes prefers to engage his foes with bare hands. The discipline required to take on the way of the monk life, might be in conflict with the barbarian nature, but not all monk orders are the same. Perhaps this barbarian spent some time in a monastery, or perhaps they learn to tap an inner disciplined rage.

    A monk who dips barbarian gains access to rage, and a different non-stacking AC. The rage is great for damage resistance, but the damage bonus likely wonít apply while using dex. For a non-monky build taking 1-4 levels of barbarian and the rest monk could result in a very tanky character with resistance to damage and bonus action dodging. It comes at the cost of a little MADness and several dead levels/class features. Tortle solves all these problems though, making this MC str based.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Tortle
    Barb 2/Kensei 5+
    17, 13, 14, 9, 14, 8

    Rage plus flurry plus reckless attack is a whole lot of damage. Only the Tortle can pull this off and still have a decent AC. I've played this character, and it is surprisingly very very powerful.

    Spoiler: Monk/Bard
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    Monk/Bard

    You might call this a Death Dancer or something similar. Some monks have mastered their body to make it so their fluid movements in combat are a musical ballet. Perhaps their attacks have a rhythmic timing. If they are fond of weapons, they might be mistaken for a Bladesinger.

    A monk who dips bard gains access to some skills, spells and jack of all trades. If a monk wants spells they are best left to picking a wisdom based class. If they want skills, they can get rogue. There is little reason to attempt this MAD build. Probably best avoided.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Half-Elf
    Kensei 5+/Swords Bard 5
    8, 16, 13, 8, 16, 14

    This monk can throw on blade flourishes that recharge on short rest to boost her AC, which stacks with Kensei AC boost. Dueling style helps the Kensei's weapon. Buff spells can make up for other weaknesses.

    Spoiler: Monk/Cleric
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    Monk/Cleric

    You might call this a Sacred Fist. A cleric and monk whose prayer and meditation have melded into a worship that brings zen. A cleric might begin taking monk levels if they spend time in a monastery or even spend too long meditating. A monk might take cleric levels if their meditation leads them to a higher power.

    A monk who dips cleric gains access to some spells, and cool domain features. The spells go great on a monk who typically lacks anything to concentrate on, but already has a high wisdom. This is a great combination that has little drawbacks. As long as the monk picks up extra attack, itís hard to go wrong here.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Human V. (Mobile)
    Ele Monk 6+/Grave Cleric 2
    8, 16, 14, 10, 16, 8

    This monk is a bit of a one trick pony using it's channel divinity to mark a foe with vulnerability (ready action if necessary to prevent allies from using it up) and following it up with a full flurry with fangs of the fire snake for a hard hitting nova round once per short rest. (1d6/8+1d10+4)*4*1.5 is 81 if it all hits. Sacred Fist works with any subclassses and can be very effective [and less gimmicky].

    Spoiler: Monk/Druid
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    Monk/Druid

    You might call this a Green Fist, a druid whose more attuned to the powers within their own body. A druid might be driven to monk levels through deep meditation or time with other monks. A monk might begin to take druid levels if spending an inordinate of time in the wild and or with other druids.

    A monk who dips driud gains access to some spells and wildshape. Wildshape wonít be very useful in combat as a dip, but still useful for stealth or exploration. The spells are a great addition to the monk who already has a high wisdom, and nothing to concentrate on. The lack of metal armor is no love lost here, and your team will be happy to have one more person that can heal. Shillelagh can help encourage wis boosts over dex, but wouldnít work on unnamed strikes. It can be slightly outpaced by the cleric option, but is still overall quite strong.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Human V. (Mobile)
    Sun Soul 6+/Moon Druid 5
    10, 16, 14, 8, 16, 8

    This Green Fist transforms into a flying snake or similar creature and blasts away using it's sun soul blasting abilities while flying above the battlefield.

    Spoiler: Monk/Fighter
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    Monk/Fighter

    You might call this a Pugilist. A pugilist doesn't have quite the same style and finesse of a monk, but is backed up by martial training.

    A monk who dips fighter gains a fighting style, action surge and possibly an archetype. The fighting style is pretty limited for a traditional monk, making duelist the go to option. Action surge while great on any class loses a little value on monks, as half their damage can come from the bonus action. Each subclass can have it's appeal for a monk. A great dip, best taking exactly 4 levels of it, so as not to lose an ASI or double up on extra attack.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Human V. (DW)
    Kensei 5+/EK 4
    8, 16, 14, 8, 16, 10

    Kensei have the most AC potential of any monk, Dual Wielder feat adds just one AC. Add on the ability to cast shield as a reaction 3/day and you are really hard to hit. Pair with another full caster for more uses as necessary.

    Spoiler: Monk/Paladin
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    Monk/Paladin

    You might call this a Redeemer, or something similar based on the subclasses chosen. The Redeemer is paragon of discipline and capable of staring down evil without flinching, a result of discipline meeting cause.

    A monk who dips paladin, gains a fighting style, smite, and possibly an oath. The fighting style is probably duelist on a traditional monk. Smite is tempting with monkís many attacks, but it wouldnít have the slots to back it up with only a dip in paladin. The intense MADness of 4 stats needing 13, none of which being con, make this probably best avoided.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Human
    Open Hand 5+/Redemption 4
    13, 16, 10, 9, 16, 13

    This is the only way to really build the redemption paladin as it was in UA form. Smites work with monk attacks (weapons and punches) encouraging a third class dip for full casting progression. As smite slots build up, opens up a lot of NOVA potential. Very MAD and pays heavily in con.

    Spoiler: Monk/Ranger
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    Monk/Ranger

    You might call this a Lone Wolf. A martial artist who spends his time meditating alone in the wild.

    A monk who dips ranger gains a fighting style, some spells, and likely a hunter ability. The fighting stye is probably duelist on a traditional monk. Hunterís Mark is a fantastic damage boost on a class with 3-4 attacks a round. The hunter or gloomstalker ability is just more damage. This is a great choice for a 4 level dip, grabbing the precious ASI and avoiding doubling up on extra attack. It is completely void of MADness. Avoid Horizon Walker or Monster Slayer as there is too much bonus action competition.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Water Genasi
    Kensei 5+/Hunter 4
    8, 15, 17, 8, 16, 8

    This Kensei uses a longsword made of ice (Shape Water) to slice through it's foes. Horde Breaker scales well with the level 11 Kensei feature to make any weapon a +3 weapon. Hunter's Mark works great with the monk's many attacks.

    Spoiler: Monk/Rogue
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    Monk/Rogue

    You might call this a Ninja, a master of stealth and martial arts. This is a common path for Shadow Monks.

    A monk who dips rogue gains some skills, expertise, cunning action, and possibly an archetype. The cunning action can appear like an overlap for the monk, but the ki savings are well worth it. As for archetypes, assassin could be fun to crit with all of a monkís attacks. Arcane Trickster is a good way for a monk to get Shield spell without a 13 int/cha. Swashbuckler is a poor man's mobile. Scout is a bit similar. Could make a solid dip, provided it doesn't go too behind on ASIs.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Human V.
    Shadow 8+/Swashbuckler 5
    8, 16, 14, 8, 16, 10

    Shadow monk enables the ninja to operate as a full master of stealth, while swashbuckler offers great advantages in combat for allowing sneak attack on the back lines of the enemy without ally support.

    Spoiler: Monk/Sorcerer
    Show
    Monk/Sorcerer

    You might call this a Shadow Hand or perhaps another name based on subclass choices. This monk has innate magical blood that augments his martial prowess.

    A monk who dips sorcerer gains some spells, and possibly scales. The scales could temporarily make up for the lack of points to have a high wis, but the benefits probably wonít outweigh the MADness. The typical appeal of the sorcerer gish is the action economy of quickened, but the bonus action of the monk is already full of options. GFB/BB are pretty useless on a monk, as they cannot flurry or use martial arts without taking the attack action. These classes have little to add to each other. Shadow Monks gain some synergy with shadow sorcerer. Probably best left for niche builds.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Human V.
    Shadow Monk 6+/Shadow Sorc 4
    8, 16, 12, 8, 16, 13

    This Shadow Hand can make darkness that he can see through, and then teleport around in. Not a bad combination, but he can only see through the darkness he makes using his sorcery points, which is very limiting and makes the ki point darkness still fairly useless.

    Spoiler: Monk/Warlock
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    Monk/Warlock

    You might call this a Hex Hand, a martial artist whose taken on a pact for increased power.

    A monk who dips warlock gains some spells, cool invocations, and possibly a pact. It is MAD, but Armor of Shadowís could temporarily help mitigate the lower AC. This is a common choice for the shadow monk to gain Devilís Sight, as they can cast darkness but lack the ability to see in magical darkness. This is more of a way to fix the issues with the Shadow Monk than it is a real synergy, as the warlock can both cast and see in magical darkness without multiclassing. Casting Darkness comes with its own issues as you may essentially turn off your teammates as well, especially as a melee.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Human V.
    Shadow Monk 6+/Hexblade 4
    8, 16, 12, 8, 16, 13

    This monk uses the above darkness trick, but the real boon here is the hexblade's curse. It requires a bonus action to set up, but anything that adds damage is scales fantastically with the 4 attacks a round the monk can make. Along with hex (another bonus action) the damage can be quite potent.

    Spoiler: Monk/Wizard
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    Monk/Wizard

    You might call this an Enlightened Fist, a martial artist who has taken on the study of arcane magic.

    A monk who dips wizard gains access to some spells as well as some cool subclass features. Bladesinger is one of the few ways a monk can add to AC, but the MADness makes it unlikely to be worth it. War wizard is a great dip on any martial that doesn't have a regular reaction, but otherwise there is little synergy with this combination, and it is MAD. Probably best avoided.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Human
    Kensei 5+/War Wizard 4
    9, 16, 14, 13, 16, 9

    Kensei has the most potential for AC, WW adds to that as a reaction. Some good synergy at the cost of heavy MADness. With two levels in, the third level grants Alter Self which is a good way to make unarmed strikes +1 to hit and damage for an hour, something not easily replicated.

    Spoiler: Paladin
    Show
    The paladin is one of the strongest base classes with a kit that provides several condition immunities to the paladin and nearby allies, as well as saving throw boosts, half casting ability, and smite. Paladins can serve as melee damage and tanks, often both. Smite is one of the few abilities in the game that actually becomes directly stronger with multiclassing, allowing more smite slots of higher levels faster when combined with a full caster.

    Key breakpoints are: 2 (Smite +FS), 3-4 (oath-ASI), 5-6 (extra attack- Aura of Protection), 9 (3rd level spells), 11-12 (Improved Divine Smite-ASI).
    Spoiler: Paladin/Barbarian
    Show
    Paladin/Barbarian

    You might call these The Wrathful. Nothing compares to righteous wrath of barbarian/paladin. They have both unbound fury and total devotion to their case. A barbarian who takes levels in paladin might have good reason to take on a new cause with a religious fervor. Vengeance paladins fit this well thematically as the oath aligns well with barbarians furious nature.

    A paladin who dips barbarian gains rage, reckless attack, and potentially an archetype. Rage is great for any melee, although it prevents the paladin from concentrating on spells. It does allow smiting while raging though, all at the cost of heavy armor. The MADness of needed a decent dex for AC, prevents this from being optimal. The more paladin levels the worse this gets, as spells get better and better, making rage a less attractive option.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Tortle
    Ancients Paladin 8+/Zealot 4
    17, 8, 14, 8, 11, 15

    Tortle allows this build to dump dex and fix it's MADness. Rage is a very strong ability and lots of paladins use most of their slots to smite anyways. Reckless attack sets up more crit smites. This build will pick up PAM especially post paladin 11, adding rage damage and 1d8 IDS is just too much to miss out on a bonus action attack.

    Spoiler: Paladin/Bard
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    Paladin/Bard

    You might call this a Battle Hymnist, a bard who has taken up fervent cause that uses his song and stories to inspire his companions. A bard might find a new cause after a traumatic event, or have reason to seek vengeance. Whatever the reason, this bard makes an oath that forever alters her perception of the world.

    A paladin who dips bard gains some skills, jack of all trades, and full casting slots based on cha. Jack of all trades can be a good boost to a character that typically wonít have a high initiative. The spells are the real gravy here. Smite scaling gets much more viable when attached to a full caster. Boosting cha would add both to all saving throws and spell save DC. Swords bard is a fantastic boost overall.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Triton
    Paladin 6+/Swords Bard 5
    16, 8, 16, 8, 8, 16

    Lots of synergy here. Plenty of slots to smite with and short rest recharge blade flourishes. If you can mix in a level of hexblade the whole thing becomes SAD for cha.

    Spoiler: Paladin/Cleric
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    Paladin/Cleric

    You might call this The Devoted. Clerics and paladins who have blurred the lines between their deity and their devotion. Any paladin that serves a deity can naturally transition into cleric levels and any cleric can take up an oath to become a paladin.

    A paladin who dips cleric gains some more spells, and cool domain features. There are several domain features that could go well with the paladinís kit. A paladin of 9th level or higher could benefit from a single level in life cleric to go with aura of vitality. Tempest cleric could go well with thunderous smite. There are some solid options here, but the MADness is tight on a class that needs both high attack stat and high cha.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Half Elf
    Paladin 9+/Tempest Cleric 6+
    16, 9, 14, 8, 13, 16

    Elemental weapon + knock back effect is just fun. Channel divinities can be used on paladin effect (vengeance?) or to maximize damage.

    Spoiler: Paladin/Druid
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    Paladin/Druid

    You might call this a Green Knight, a paladin who is truly in touch with nature's magic. This might be a common multiclass among ancients paladins but paladins of any oath might also be druids. A druid greatly wronged by another might take an oath of vengeance or a druid who wants to bring the world back to a natural order might take an oath of conquest.

    A paladin who dips druid gains some spells and wildshape. Wildshape is only useful out of combat as it will scale poorly. The spells can be a nice boost, but the MADness limits their usefulness. It all comes at the high cost of prohibiting metal armor. As a melee class, paladins are in great need of AC. Whatever you are trying to do, is probably better achieved in cleric, ranger, or just Oath of the Ancients. Iíd avoid this.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Tortle
    Ancients 7+/Druid x
    16, 9, 14, 8, 14, 14

    Druid multiclass that is MAD and can't wear metal armor? Tortle power fixes that. Spell slots power smites, and subclass can be any of the caster focused ones, including shepherd, dreams or land. Each has its strengths.

    Spoiler: Paladin/Fighter
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    Paladin/Fighter

    You might call this a Crusader, a fighter who has taken up a paladin's oath or a paladin who takes time to focus on their martial training.

    A paladin who dips fighter gains another fighting style, action surge, and potentially an archetype. The fighting style is likely either +1 AC, or ~+2 damage. Action surge is just another resource to go with the existing nova potential of the class. Each subclass offers great potential to the paladin, with the exception of arcane archer, as bows are a poor choice of weapon for paladins who get melee only smites.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Human V. (Mounted Combatant)
    Paladin 6+/Champion 4
    13, 16, 14, 8, 10, 16

    Using Mounted Combat to get advantage on most foes with a lance, this crusader can crit 19% of the time and slap smites on top of them. Scales better with a third full caster class to help catch up lost spell slots.

    Spoiler: Paladin/Monk
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    Paladin/Monk

    You might call this a Redeemer, or something similar based on the subclasses chosen. The Redeemer is paragon of discipline and capable of staring down evil without flinching, a result of discipline meeting cause.

    A paladin who dips monk gains a lot of features that may or may not work with his current loadout. This is as MAD as it gets requiring 4 13s, none of which are con. Flurry of blows is attractive as a way to get two more smites out. Unfortunately Improved Divine Smite would not work with unarmed strikes. This is probably best avoided.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Human
    Paladin 6+/Kensei 4
    16, 13, 14, 9, 13, 14

    This is might be able to operate if it picked up a mage armor effect from sorcerer or another source. Otherwise it should wear armor. It's MAD but can achieve decent AC with armor.

    Spoiler: Paladin/Ranger
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    Paladin/Ranger

    You might call this a Guardian, a warrior bound by their oath but capable of nature magic and fighting both in melee and ranged.

    A paladin who dips ranger gains another fighting style, some different spells, and potentially a subclass ability. The spells donít add much as a paladin of the right oath can get some ranger spells anyways. The fighting style is either +1 AC or ~+2 damage. The hunter ability is a nice damage boost, but unfortunately comes at the high cost of max MADness , 4 13s required, none of which are con. Probably best avoided.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Human
    Paladin 6+/Hunter 4
    16, 13, 14, 9, 13, 14

    Very MAD and hard to justify, but another AoE attack is helpful and can add smite damage.

    Spoiler: Paladin/Rogue
    Show
    Paladin/Rogue

    You might call this an Inquisitor, a holy warrior capable of stalking it's prey.

    A paladin who dips rogue gains some skills, expertise, cunning action, and potentially an archetype. Expertise in athletics is a common choice for those that love to grapple or shove, and pairs especially well with the Shield Master feat. Going for assassin can get some nasty surprise round smite crits, but is very difficult to pull off as melee. Swashbuckler could be great choice, adding your high cha to initiative.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Human V. (SM)
    Paladin 6+/AT 5+
    16, 13, 14, 8, 9, 14

    Shield Master with expertise in athletics, advantage + sneak attack all the time. Shield spell with warcaster feat, good utility. Smites on crits. Solid build.

    Spoiler: Paladin/Sorcerer
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    Paladin/Sorcerer

    You might call this a Spell Smiter, a holy warrior whose heritage imparts them with magical power.

    A paladin who dips sorcerer gains some spells, full cha-based casting, and metamagic. This and its inverse, Sorcerer/Paladin are among the best multiclasses currently in 5e. The full casting provides extra slots to smite with, and the metamagic provides action economy heaven. Quickening a spell and backing it up with the attack action is very powerful. The SCAG cantrips allow you to quicken GFB/BB and attach a smite to that as needed as well. A sixth level draconic sorc has one of the best bonus action attacks in the game with a quickened GFB adding both str/dex and cha to damage. Taking 6 levels of paladin first is common, but taking 11-12 levels is also very viable. It is very powerful offensively, but also quite hard to kill with its boosts to saving throws, heavy armor and shield spell.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Human V.
    Paladin 6/Sorc 3+
    16, 10, 14, 8, 8, 16

    This is such a common multiclass. Something to do with any action, durable, and capable of NOVA. This is one of the best characters you can build and will vastly outperform most single class characters.

    Spoiler: Paladin/Warlock
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    Paladin/Warlock

    You might call this a Betrayer, or something similar based on it's subclasses. Anyone who has both an oath and a patron risks compromising one for the other and must balance them accordingly with their own free will. Some combinations may be natural, but most spawn internal conflict within a character. In these situations it is a matter of when the Betrayer will betray his patron or forgo his oath.

    A paladin who dips warlock gains some spells, with slots that recover on a short rest, invocations, and potentially a pact. This is a good alternative to the Paladin/Sorcerer dump-the-bucket approach, instead getting some good recovery on short rests. Over the course of a day it may end up with more smites than a Paladin/Sorcerer. Hexblade, even just 1 level, makes this among the best combinations in the game making the entire build SAD for cha, allowing cha max first for a massive boost to saves.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Human V.
    Paladin 6+/Hexblade 1+
    15, 8, 16, 8, 8, 16

    Take Hexblade 1 at second level and max cha. Swings and smites and spells and saves are all off one stat. Curse increases crit chance for more powerful smites. Very potent build.

    Spoiler: Paladin/Wizard
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    Paladin/Wizard

    You might call this an Eldritch Smiter, a devoted warrior who has taken the time to study the secrets of the arcane.

    A paladin who dips wizard gains some spells and subclass features. There is almost no reason to do this over sorcerer. It is practically the same class, except wizard doesnít give quicken, and is MAD. Avoid this if you are optimizing.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Human
    16, 9, 14, 13, 9, 16
    Paladin 6+/War Wizard 2

    War wizard is probably the only thing remotely worth dipping. If it weren't for the MADness this would be a solid dip that gives a great reaction every round, slightly more spell slots than straight paladin to feed smiting, and a bunch of good spells. Sorcerer will likely be better in any situation.

    Spoiler: Ranger
    Show
    The ranger is commonly regarded as one of the weakest base classes in 5e, evidenced by its several UA do-overs. Until there is any published in-book content, this guide will continue to focus on the phb ranger. The ranger has a lot of weak or dead levels that encourage multiclassing, along with a capstone that is so terrible it was practically ret-conned to first level with the latest UA ranger. All that being said the first 5 levels of ranger are quite good, good enough to keep most high level rangers from feeling gimped. Rangers require dex and wis 13s to MC making MADness a bit of an issue, but they can get away with a relatively lower wisdom compared to other classes as many of their spells are not save based. Str rangers may find themselves extra MAD.

    Key breakpoints are: 2(FS + Hunterís Mark), 3-4 (Subclass ability-ASI) for dips, and 5(extra attack), 9(3rd level spells), 11-12(Subclass boost-ASI).
    Spoiler: Ranger/Barbarian
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    Ranger/Barbarian

    You might call this a Warden, a wild warrior who has taken his attunement to nature a step further. The warden is the scout that subs as a ferocious quick striking warrior whenever necessary.

    A ranger who dips barbarian gains rage, possibly an AC increase with enough con, reckless attack, and potentially an archetype feature. It is best combined with a str ranger to get the most of the abilities. Rage is quite useful for melee, but unfortunately doesnít work with Hunterís Mark. Itís a little bit less average damage than Hunterís Mark, with the added benefits of resistance, and not needing to swap it between targets. The limit of medium armor isnít an issue. It is a good option for rangers looking to be tankier a couple times a day.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Half Orc
    Horizon Walker 5+/Zealot 4
    17, 14, 14, 9, 13, 8

    This str ranger can deal lots of damage with dice, along with reckless attack for a decent chance at big crits. Orcish Fury rounds off the str and adds another crit booster. Hunter would be another good choice for a GWM for another attack.

    Spoiler: Ranger/Bard
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    Ranger/Bard

    You might call this a Songbow, a magical archer whose music and arrows become one, with arrows that strike like perfect notes.

    A ranger who dips bard gains some skills, jack of all trades, and spells. There is little obvious synergy to go on here. It is MAD. Best left for niche builds.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Human V. (SS)
    Gloom Stalker 5/Whisper Bard 5+
    8, 16, 12, 8, 13, 16

    This skulking Songarrow sees other humanoids as his play things, more at home with animals. What he can't get done with subterfuge, he solves with lots of arrows and psychic blades for rogue scaling sneak attack damage 3+ times per short rest. He has plenty of spells to buff himself and allies, as well the ability to steal high level ranger spells before a straight ranger would ever get them.

    Spoiler: Ranger/Cleric
    Show
    Ranger/Cleric

    You might call this a Spirit Guide or perhaps an Undead Slayer, capable of guiding others both in the wild and in spiritual matters. Clerics might begin taking ranger levels when tasked to hunt down those who have offended their god and church, or perhaps they merely took the time to become familiarized with the wild.

    A ranger who dips cleric gains some more spells, possibly heavy armor proficiency, and cool domain features. There are plenty of uses for this combination, and little is really lost by taking cleric over more ranger. A strong build starts ranger 5 and proceeds cleric from there.
    Spoiler: E.g.
    Show
    Human V.
    Ranger 5/Cleric 5+
    8, 16, 14, 10, 16, 8

    This is the simplest build out there and can be taken in a variety of orders with a variety of subclasses, but ultimately 5 levels of ranger is desired. It's not worth the dip if you don't get extra attack, and it isn't worth taking to level 6. Can go nature cleric or MI for shillelagh to become SAD. Can start with only 13 dex and use strength build to utilize heavy armor, saving a couple stat points, or go with a classic archer build. Can work with ranger 5 first or cleric 5 first. For this example build, I'd start with the Sharpshooter feat and tack on war cleric to turn misses into hits.

    Spoiler: Ranger/Druid
    Show
    Ranger/Druid

    You might call this a Conservator, a wild guardian able to defend the wilds and control them. This multiclass is a natural transition from either direction.

    A ranger who dips druid gains more spells, and wildshape. Wildshape wonít scale enough to be useful in combat, and there is significant overlap between the spell lists. The lack of metal armor could cost some AC. A Ranger/Cleric likely does most of what this could do better, but this is still viable due to the SADness.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Human V. (Mounted Combatant)
    Horizon Walker 5/ Shepherd 5+
    16, 14, 14, 8, 13, 8

    This ranger wanted to be a beastmaster, until he figured out it was total mud. So instead he can summon armies of loyal beasties that will be thoroughly buffed. Lance and Board is the go to battle loadout, mount swapping between a regular horse and powerful summons.

    Spoiler: Ranger/Fighter
    Show
    Ranger/Fighter

    You might call this a Striker, a woodland warrior who has specialized in striking with harsh and aggressive action.

    A ranger who dips fighter gains another fighting style, action surge, and potentially an archetype. The fighting style is likely +1 AC or ~+2 damage. Action surge is good on anything. Battle Master is a good way to round out the kit. Champion is viable. Eldritch Knight gives shield spell without an int/cha requirement. Arcane Archer is also a strong obvious choice. A strong 4 level dip.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Human V. (SS)
    Gloomstalker 5+/Battlemaster 4
    10, 16, 14, 8, 16, 8

    Gloomstalker + Action surge + Precision Strike on SS arrows. 'Nuff said.

    Spoiler: Ranger/Monk
    Show
    Ranger/Monk

    You might call this a Lone Wolf. A martial artist who spends his time meditating alone in the wild.

    A ranger who dips monk could potentially increase AC, and gains monk features. There is good synergy here, although probably better left as the inverse, Monk/Ranger, as higher ranger levels donít help as much.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Human V. (Mobile)
    Gloomstalker 5/Kensei 4+
    10, 16, 14, 8, 16, 8

    Maxing dex, gives a decent AC further boosted by Kensei +2. Kensei allows dex usage of more weapons that a normal rapier ranger couldn't manage with finesse. Monk is the only class that doubling up on extra attack isn't so bad, as stunning strike is a powerful enough feature on its own to avoid a dead level.

    Spoiler: Ranger/Paladin
    Show
    Ranger/Paladin

    You might call this a Guardian, a warrior bound by their oath but capable of nature magic and fighting both in melee and ranged.

    A ranger who dips paladin gains another fighting style, smite, and potentially an oath. Smite is attractive but probably not worth the MADness, requiring 4 13s, none of which are con. Best left to niche builds.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Human
    Monster Slayer 5+/Redemption 4
    16, 13, 14, 9, 14, 13

    Start Paladin 1 for heavy armor to reduce MADness a little. With the very busy bonus action of the ranger, especially Monster Slayer, a paladin oath with a reactionary CD seems like a good fit. Smites are more useful on a ranger than a non-caster, scaling the same as a normal paladin. Some solid NOVA potential, like a normal paladin.

    Spoiler: Ranger/Rogue
    Show
    Ranger/Rogue

    You might call this a Stalker, a stealthy scout, guide, and combatant comfortable both in the wilds and in an urban environment.

    A ranger who dips rogue gains some skills, expertise, cunning action, and potentially an archetype. Cunning action is great on a ranger, aiding in kiting, and potentially repositioning in order to trigger horde breaker. Assassin is a common picks for rangers who tend to skulk about already. Arcane Trickster could provide a shield spell without an int/cha requirement. There are plenty of good options here, that easily combine with ranger.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Wood Elf
    Gloom Stalker 5/Assassin 3+
    8, 17, 14, 8, 16, 8

    Advantage on all those attacks that you make on round one if you win initiative, which gloom stalker helps with. Throw on elven accuracy and you're golden. Lots of synergy here. Scout would also work well with an archer intent on kiting, which would mesh well with the elf movement speed.

    Spoiler: Ranger/Sorcerer
    Show
    Ranger/Sorcerer

    You might call this a Wild Blood, a ranger whose heritage gives them innate magic.

    A ranger who dips sorcerer gains some spells, possibly scales, and metamagic. It is MAD. Many ranger spells are already bonus actions, gaining little benefit from quicken spell. The scales are a nice AC boost for a dex ranger, but not worth the MADness. Probably best left to niche builds.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Half Elf
    Hunter 5+/Draconic 4+
    8, 16, 14, 10, 14, 14

    Horde Breaker and Quickened GFB make for some serious melee AoE. Would work best if could manage a str build, but MAD stats make it difficult.

    Spoiler: Ranger/Warlock
    Show
    Ranger/Warlock

    You might call this a Witcher, a monster hunter whose taken on a pact with another power for unnatural powers.

    A ranger who dips warlock gains some spells, cool invocations, and possibly a pact. There is some redundancy between Hunterís Mark and Hex. Armor of Shadows can be an AC boost to dex rangers, and Devilís Sight is great, especially those human and Halfling types that lack normal darkvision. The pact could add some versatility, but ultimately it's pretty MAD.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Half Elf
    Ranger 5+/Hexblade 5
    8, 14, 14, 9, 14, 17

    The strategy here is to be a cha archer. A low level hexblade dip of 1 level for cha to hit and damage on a hand crossbow allows this to come online early. The extra slots compared to a fighter can be helpful for more spells/eldritch smites, boosted by elven accuracy.

    Spoiler: Ranger/Wizard
    Show
    Ranger/Wizard

    You might call this a Seeker, a scout warrior and study of arcane secrets.

    A ranger who dips wizard gains some spells and subclass features. There is little obvious synergy here. It is MAD. Best left to niche builds.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Human
    Ranger 5+/War Wizard 2
    9, 16, 14, 13, 16, 9

    War wizard dip, great on any martial. Probably one of the best things you can manage here.
    Last edited by PeteNutButter; 2018-04-16 at 04:17 PM.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    PaladinGuy

    Join Date
    Nov 2015
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    Male

    Default Re: Ultimate Optimizer's Multiclassing Guide

    Spoiler: Rogue
    Show
    The rogue is a excellent core class that looks forward to a solid linear damage increase to sneak attack every other level. Aside from the damage increases the class gets pretty steady useful abilities with few weak or dead levels. The rogue is not at all limited to the stereotypical sneaky type, and more commonly behaves in combat like a swashbuckler(with or without the subclass) via touch and go attacks utilizing cunning action to force foes to attack their tankier allies or provoke OAs getting to them. They are typically solid damage dealers that double as skill monkeys. Rogues only require dex for multiclassing making them easy to fit into a variety of builds and not so subject to usual MADness constraints. GFB and BB are direct upgrades to a rogue's damage output, except TWF, so multiclassing that picks up those cantrips is a good investment. Sneak attack works once per turn, not round, so if rogue can get a reaction attack off on a separate turn it is well worth the multiclass investment. Despite losing 3d6 SA dice, the math favors 5 levels in another martial class for extra attackm, compared to a single (non-cantrip) attack.

    Key breakpoints: 1 (expertise, 1d6 SA), 2 (Cunning Action), 3-4 (subclass, ASI), 5(Uncanny Dodge), 7 (Evasion), etc. The linear progression of rogue makes pretty much any desired point a good break point.
    Spoiler: Rogue/Barbarian
    Show
    Rogue/Barbarian

    You might call this a Thug, a warrior that can sneak into your house, smash your things and then wake you up by breaking your legs.

    A rogue who dips barbarian is likely wielding a rapier and utilizing it with str. This is another common tactic for a rapier shield master build with just 1-5 levels in barbarian. Since most barbarians already have the dex required for their medium armor, this is a solid pick for anyone who might use a finesse weapon. Reckless attack is fantastic when paired with sneak attack for at will sneak attack. Both it and rage require the use of str when attacking though.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Human V. (SM)
    Barb 2+/Rogue 5+
    16, 14, 16, 8, 10, 8

    Strength with rapier and shield, shove with expertise. If that fails just reckless attack to ensure SA is always on. Resistance to damage and uncanny dodge makes one attack a round quartered. Subclasses are mostly to taste, as bonus action is busy. Barb 5 for extra attack is a good idea at some point.

    Spoiler: Rogue/Bard
    Show
    Rogue/Bard

    You might call this an Infiltrator or Mole. None are quite so adept at getting on the inside of an organization and mucking about when no one is looking. A bard just has to take some time to focus on his more mundane capabilities to start taking levels in rogue.

    A rogue who dips bard gains spells and skill boosts. This is one of the best ways to be an ultimate skill monkey with lore bard and loads of expertise. The cost is a bit of combat inefficiency, as both spells and sneak attack lag behind. Swords or whispers bard can be worth it for combat efficiency, but requires heavy investment (5) to get short rest recharge uses.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Half Elf
    Swashbuckler 5+/Whispers 5
    8, 16, 14, 8, 10, 16

    This Infiltrator has all the benefits of 5 levels in a full casting class and can act like a full rogue on sneak attack cha/short rest. Best used with TWF as a swashbuckler or with BB as a AT instead.

    Spoiler: Rogue/Cleric
    Show
    Rogue/Cleric

    You might call this a Divine Trickster, a cleric whose talents are not limited to the churchly norms. Such a cleric may have had a rough past or picked up rogue skills in the aid of his god.

    A rogue who dips cleric gains some spells, and solid domain features. A common mix here is trickery domain, but several domains could lend themselves well to rogue levels. This is an easy dip for a rogue to gain guidance for further boosting skills and initiative when available. The wisdom requirement is easily planned for and adds a good bonus to a common save and perception. Since most rogues lack something to concentrate on, and try to avoid being hit at all, it is great for them to pick up something like bless for the team.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Duergar
    Assassin 5+/Grave Cleric 2+
    16, 14, 14, 8, 14, 8

    This trickster can go invisible once a day and sneak up on a big bad, mark them with CD while hiding and invisible and then surprise them with a vulnerable crit. Surprise is never good to plan around, but it'd be fun when it worked. Medium armor and a shield, give the rogue staying power in a fight when needed.

    Spoiler: Rogue/Druid
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    Rogue/Druid

    You might call this an Outlander, a druid that has taken some time to develop his mundane talents such as stealth and subterfuge.

    A rogue who dips druid gains some spells as well as wildshape for some great out of combat exploration. There are plenty of good spells to boost the stereotypical rogue. Darkvision spell for the human and halfling rogues. Ducking in and out of a fog cloud is a great way to always have concealment and something to hide in. When in need, healing word is always good if to pick up your teammates, especially if the primary healer is down. The metal armor restriction is not as big of a deal on a light armor wearer. The wisdom requirement is easily planned for and adds a good bonus to a common save and perception.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Wood Elf
    Scout 5+/Shepherd 3+
    8, 16, 14, 10, 16, 8

    Scout makes for an excellent nature themed character. Shepherd druid is one of the best druid subclasses for a dip, while Pass Without Trace is one of the best spells in the game for stealthy types.

    Spoiler: Rogue/Fighter
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    Rogue/Fighter

    You might call this a Guerrilla, a trained warrior capable of fighting in the fray or using stealth to get around.

    A rogue who dips fighter gains a fighting style, proficiencies, action surge, and potentially an archetype feature. The fighting style gives either +1 AC or ~+2 damage, and archery style is fantastic paired with Sharpshooter feat. While action surge is good on any class it is practically required on an assassin. Between a breastplate and a shield a rogue with 16 dex gains 3 AC, 4 AC with the fighting style. Battle Master is one of the best ways to achieve an attack as a reaction via riposte, triggering another shot at sneak attack (new turn, same round). This could double the characters overall damage per round when it connects. Great combo, especially if rogue levels are kept higher for sneak attack dice.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Human V. (Sentinel)
    BM 6/Rogue 1+
    8, 16, 16, 8, 14, 8

    Between Sentinel and Riposte make you have a good chance at a reaction sneak attack every round. Fighter 6 gives another ASI to max out dex. Shield master is another good choice, but works better with some str. This is a very strong character.

    Spoiler: Rogue/Monk
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    Rogue/Monk

    You might call this a Ninja, a master of stealth and martial arts. This is a common path for Shadow Monks.

    A rogue who dips monk gains all the monk features, which could be an increase in AC and damage output with just 1 level. The Shadow Monk works well with rogue. Keep in mind that although monk allows dex on unarmed strikes and monk weapons they must still be finesse to get sneak attack, so stick to a short sword. There are no clear breakpoints in the build, but it would help to pick up extra attack and stunning strikes.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Wood Elf
    Scout 5+/Kensei 5+
    8, 17, 14, 10, 16, 8

    This Ninja specializes in using a bow. Scout enables withdraw as a reaction when necessary, freeing up the bonus action for Kensei damage boost every round.

    Spoiler: Rogue/Paladin
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    Rogue/Paladin

    You might call this an Inquisitor, a holy warrior capable of stalking it's prey.

    A rogue who dips paladin gains a fighting style, proficiencies, smite, and potentially oath features. The fighting style gives either +1 AC or ~+2 damage, but smite while useful will have limited slots even on an Arcane Trickster. It is tempting on an assassin to smite surprised foes, but due to the MADness and unsustainability with limited slots it'd probably under perform.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Half Elf
    Swashbuckler 9+/Vengeance 6
    13, 16, 14, 8, 9, 16

    This Inquisitor picks up the very strong Panache in Swashbuckler and goes for extra attack in paladin, staying for the cha boost to saves. Vengeance CD gives advantage on all attacks, encouraging the TWF option. Smites are limited, but with advantage on one foe per short rest there is a good NOVA potential to crit with smites and sneak attack dice.

    Spoiler: Rogue/Ranger
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    Rogue/Ranger

    You might call this a Stalker, a stealthy scout, guide, and combatant comfortable both in the wilds and in an urban environment.

    A rogue who dips ranger gains some proficiencies, a skill, a fighting style, spells, and potentially a third level hunter feature. These classes have a lot of thematic and mechanical synergy. Between a breastplate and a shield a rogue with 16 dex gains 3 AC, 4 AC with the fighting style. Taking ranger up to 5 at some is a good way to ensure you land sneak attack, but at the cost of sneak attack progression.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Human V. (SS)
    Asssassin 5+/Gloom Stalker 5
    8, 16, 14, 8, 16, 10

    This Stalker has all the perks of assassin, and the boost to initiative from ranger goes excellently with advantage if you go first, not to mention the insane burst capabilities if surprise is managed. This is such a great combination, it'll probably end up a very common seen character, perhaps with two or more fighter levels thrown on for action surge.

    Spoiler: Rogue/Sorcerer
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    Rogue/Sorcerer

    You might call this a Kleptomancer, a master of innate magic and subterfuge.

    A rogue who dips sorcerer can gain permanent mage armor, some good spells, and metamagic. GFB and booming blade are great and once combined with quicken can increase damage even more. A quickened GFB/BB can be followed up with a ready action, to trigger sneak attack on another turn. Once haste is achieved, it works even better with that. Shadow sorcerer is also a fine option to enhance stealth abilities and ensure sneak attack.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Half Elf
    Swashbuckler 5+/Draconic 4+
    8, 16, 14, 8, 10, 16

    This Kleptomancer has all the magical tools to aid his stealth and battle capabilities including things like Shadow Blade, Invisibility, and BB. Draconic sorcerer gives 1 more AC compared to studded leather. With quickened BB he can ready another BB for another turn and double sneak attack damage at every round he has the sorcery points for it. A 5th sorc level grants haste, making this even better, but would be best if paired with Warcaster and first level in sorc for con save proficiency.

    Spoiler: Rogue/Warlock
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    Rogue/Warlock

    You might call this a Fatestealer, a rogue that wasn't content with his mundane powers and sought out a pact with another creature.

    A rogue who dips warlock gains some spells, cool invocations, and possibly a pact. GFB and BB are great. Devil's Sight is a good way to fix a human or halfling rogue's lack of darkvision. Armor of Shadows is +1 AC. Hex if precast, and ready to switch is great when surprising foes to give them disadvantage on initiative, which is of course a boon for assassins. Pick up an Imp familiar with pact of the chain to scout wherever you can't, or a psuedodragon to milk for poison to use with a thief's fast hands. Hexblade offers even more of an AC bonus with free med armor/shield proficiency.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Human V. (CBE)
    AT 5+/Hexblade 3+
    8, 14, 16, 8, 10, 16

    This Fatestealer dipped Hexblade for the ability to focus on cha over dex. Hand Crossbow is all that's needed to work with cha after just 1 level in hexblade. Devil's Sight + Darkness is always strong, and would work even better if Half Elf for Elven Accuracy, but as a human it comes online sooner taking SS at level 4 or 5. AT slots can be used for Shield to save the higher level warlock slots for better things as needed.

    Spoiler: Rogue/Wizard
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    Rogue/Wizard

    You might call this a Spell Thief, a master of stealth and arcane study.

    A rogue who dips wizard gains some spells and cool subclass features. This is an obvious and common choice for Arcane Tricksters looking to get a little more spellcasting. Bladesinger is a good choice for a dip, as the AC bonus fits nicely with a rogue's traditional kit. Many other schools are viable as well. GFB and BB are great as always. Many spells can add to stealth such as [Greater] Invisibility.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    High Elf
    AT 5+/Bladesinger 2+
    8, 17, 15, 16, 8, 8

    Dump stats are dumped hard for this spell thief to ensure con and dex can be boosted with first ASI, as this melee rogue needs the hp to withstand the occasional hit that can get through it's high AC. While bladesinging with mage armor it's a 20 AC with shield spell available to boost to 25. Solid way to boost survivability, mobility, and utility on an arcane trickster.

    Spoiler: Sorcerer
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    The sorcerer is by itself generally weaker than the wizard. They know less spells than a wizard can prepare and can typically cast less over the course of the day as a wizard can recover spells on short rest. Metamagic is the only thing a sorcerer has to keep pace, and it alone has its limitations. Quicken seems strong, until you read the fine print that you can't cast another level spell when casting a spell as a bonus action. Other metamagics have strict limitations. Yet combining with the right classes a sorcerer can take those limitations and run with them. You don't need another leveled spell if you're casting an Agonizing Eldritch Blast, or attacking with smites. The ability to quicken a spell and still take the attack action makes sorcerer a very potent choice for a gish type character.

    Key breakpoints are: 3 (metamagic), 4 (ASI), 5 (3rd level spells), 6 (origin feature), spell level of choice.
    Spoiler: Sorcerer/Barbarian
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    Sorcerer/Barbarian

    You might call this a Fire Blood, or another name based on the sorcerous heritage, a barbarian that discovers latent innate magical powers in their blood might begin to take sorcerer levels.

    A sorcerer who dips barbarian is probably not optimizing. Unless there is some other way to make use of it, rage is just an ability that turns off your class as a primary squishy caster. With a high enough con, it could add a couple points of AC, which would be pretty pointless by the time your con is that high. Stay away from this.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Half Elf
    Draconic 5+/Paladin 2/Barb 1
    16, 14, 14, 8, 10, 14

    Really the only way to make any good use of this is to throw on paladin so the raging character has something to do with its spell slots. It's still pretty awful. Without going so far as to pick up extra attack, he'd do more damage just using BB (which of course can't be done while raging).

    Spoiler: Sorcerer/Bard
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    Sorcerer/Bard

    You might call this the Natural. This bard's talents likely all came to him all to easily. He never had to try, as his sorcerous blood gave him an edge, often unbeknownst to him. Any bard can have that smirk, but none like the natural do it so well. Be careful around this one, as their subtle magic, makes you never quite sure if you can trust yourself.

    A sorcerer who dips bard gains a skill, jack of all trades, and subclass features. The aren't a lot of obvious synergies here, but as both are full casters that are cha based, it definitely wouldn't be gimping, provided at least 5 levels in sorcerer is taken first.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Human V. (Warcaster)
    Divine Soul 9+/Lore 3
    8, 16, 14, 8, 10 ,16

    This Natural is fond of using spells like Web, Control Water, and Telekinesis. Cutting words can be used not for the saving throws on those spells, but on the ability checks opponents make to get out of them. Telekinesis gets double benefit from Cutting Words and Jack of All Trades, as its an ability check you can't normally gain proficiency in. No one can force throw people quite like a bard. Any bard might steal telekinesis to do this, but only the Natural can throw someone around using cutting words to debuff their roll and quicken another spell.

    Spoiler: Sorcerer/Cleric
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    Sorcerer/Cleric

    You might call this a God Touched. These vary wildly with the many different sorcerous origins. The Divine Soul/Cleric being a natural and obvious transition from a prophet like figure to a practitioner of the faith, although if a cleric find themselves as a Divine Soul of a different god, things could become very interesting. A cleric might also find trouble with their sorcerous heritage. Perhaps a shadow sorcerer seeks the comfort of a god of light to get away from their dark nature [inspired by above picture]. Perhaps a draconic sorcerer seeks out and worships a dragon god.

    A sorcerer who dips cleric gains access to some great spells as well as powerful domain features, and either medium or heavy armor proficiency. Certain domains, such as the popular tempest domain features are better combined with sorcerer spells. It's a good way to become harder to kill without delaying spell slot progression. If just looking for the spells, its probably better off being a Divine Soul, but even the Divine Soul can gain benefit from a one level dip in Life Cleric.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Half Elf
    Draconic 6+/Tempest 2+
    16, 9, 14, 8, 13, 16

    Maximizing lightning bolts is some strong early game AoE damage. Take tempest to 5 and use Call Lightning. Every round after you cast it you can call a lightning bolt and quicken another spell. Potent and consistent damage, while sitting on a 20 AC in non-magic items.

    Spoiler: Sorcerer/Druid
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    Sorcerer/Druid

    You might call this a Wild Soul, a druid whose blood contains magic. Like any sorcerer, a druid might not know of his natural sorcerous blood until later, causing him to start taking sorcerer levels. A sorcerer on the other hand must become attuned to the natural magic and or spend some time among druids to take druid levels.

    A sorcerer who dips druid gains access to some different spells as well as wildshape. This is similar to the Sorcerer/Cleric, but lacking in some of the better buff spells or domain features to work with sorcerer spells. It's still viable, but dipping cleric is generally superior.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Half Elf
    Black Draconic 7+/Swamp Druid 3+
    8, 16, 14, 9, 13, 16

    Short rest spell recovery 1/day is nice on a sorcerer. Healing word access turns this caster into a viable emergency healer, with the expanded spell list shoring up many weaknesses in the sorcerer list. Access to Melf's Acid Arrow (one of the few decent acid spells) is not bad for a black dragon sorcerer, especially when paired with Twin Spell. Elemental Adept Feat gets the most value on d4 damage dice, boosting the average damage from 2.5 to 2.75 per die so would be a good pick at some point. Higher level slots use Vitriolic Sphere. Unlike the common fire draconic sorcerers, this one won't find many enemies immune to his element of choice.

    Spoiler: Sorcerer/Fighter
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    Sorcerer/Fighter

    You might call this a Blade Mage, a warrior whose natural magic fuels their martial capacity.

    A sorcerer who dips fighter is gaining access to action surge at second level. The ability to cast potentially 3 spells a turn is potent. This is a solid dip for a sorcerer who wants to nova. Since sorcerers are already proficient in con saves, taking first level in fighter isn't as beneficial, granting only the heavy armor for increased AC. Taking it as far as level 5 for extra attack can make the sorcerer a viable martial.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Human V. (Warcaster)
    Draconic 6+/Fighter 2
    8, 16, 14, 8, 10, 16

    This Blade Mage uses shadow blade along with GFB and quickened GFB to push out as many attacks as possible. Warcaster gets another shot at a reaction GFB if enemies manage to provoke. Each GFB adds both dex and cha to damage.

    Spoiler: Sorcerer/Monk
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    Sorcerer/Monk

    You might call this a Shadow Hand or perhaps another name based on subclass choices. This monk has innate magical blood that augments his martial prowess.

    A sorcerer who dips Monk is MAD and has little to gain. There is little to nothing to gain here that couldn't be achieved better elsewhere. Best avoided.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Half Elf
    Draconic 6+/Elements 5
    8, 16, 12, 8, 16, 15

    There is some potential to stun a foe with a stunning strike and follow it up with a quickened spell that is either a str or dex save, as stunned foes automatically fail those. Monk spells can be quickened such as the burning hands, but not monk abilities.

    Spoiler: Sorcerer/Paladin
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    Sorcerer/Paladin

    You might call this a Spell Smiter, a holy warrior whose heritage imparts them with magical power.

    A sorcerer who dips paladin gains a fighting style and smite, as well as potentially extra atack and aura of protection. This is among best multiclasses in 5e currently. With just two levels of paladin the sorcerer becomes melee capable with the ability to quicken spells and follow it up with a smite, or GFB/BB smite. This combination is popular with 2 or 6 levels of paladin, but can really work in any spread. It is in action economy heaven as a gish that can hold it's own and has lots of slots for smiting. It is also very tanky with ability to quicken cure wounds on itself, and ability to cast shield spell. It's hard to screw this up.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Human V. (Resilient Con)
    Paladin 2/Sorcerer 5+
    16, 8, 16, 8, 8, 16

    One level behind on spell slots compared to a full caster and two levels behind on spells known. This is a master class gish that lacks the saving throw boost of its paladin 6 cousin, but returns dividends in higher level spells and smiting harder and faster. A normal level 11 paladin would add 1d8 to all his attacks, this Spell Smiter just quickens Hold Monster and hits it with a GFB (adding str and cha) for a huge automatic crit smite.

    Spoiler: Sorcerer/Ranger
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    Sorcerer/Ranger

    You might call this a Wild Blood, a ranger whose heritage gives them innate magic.

    A sorcerer who dips ranger gains a skill, some proficiencies, spells, and a fighting style. Due to the MADness there is very little reason to go this route on a primary sorcerer. Best left to niche builds.

    Spoiler: Sorcerer/Rogue
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    Sorcerer/Rogue

    You might call this a Kleptomancer, a master of innate magic and subterfuge.

    A sorcerer who dips rogue gains some skills, expertise, and cunning action. If the party lacks any skill monkey's this could be viable to help get you there. It could certainly help you become a party face with your high cha, but would probably be better if you got the skills elsewhere, such as bard to continue casting. It isn't MAD, so it doesn't gimp the build at all.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Halfling
    Shadow Sorc 5+/Rogue 2
    8, 16, 14, 8, 12, 16

    Magical darkness that you can see through? One way to make that even better is cunning action to hide. Hiding behind objects or creatures in combat, is even more effective.

    Spoiler: Sorcerer/Warlock
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    Sorcerer/Warlock

    You might call this a Flame Weaver, an arcane magic user who wasn't content with his natural magical blood and sought a patron for even more power.

    A sorcerer who dips warlock gains a fantastic at will cantrip, as well as some cool invocations and potentially a pact. This is one of the best dips for a sorcerer, as in just two levels he can get the full blasting power of the warlock without losing much. Extra benefits come in the form of using the warlock slots to refill sorcery points, and plus up sorcerer slots. Given a long enough short rest spam, a sorcerer could have an excess of spell slots to start the day via converting warlock slots to points and then those points to sorcerer spells. Pact of the Tome could add a good deal of versatilty to the limited spell list of the sorceer. Great dip for typically 2-4 levels. It is hard to screw up as long as it takes Agonizing Blast.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Human V.
    Sorcerer 3+/Warlock 2
    8, 14, 16, 8, 10, 16

    This can be done with any combination of subclasses. This build can whip out two eldritch blasts a round via quicken, or an eldritch blast and scorching ray,greatly outpacing a standard warlock's damage output. Likely one of the strongest/most common builds in the game.

    Spoiler: Sorcerer/Wizard
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    Sorcerer/Wizard

    You might call this an Ultimate Magus, a true master of arcane magic through both blood and study.

    A sorcerer who dips wizard gains some subclass features that could potentially aid in casting. Since the sorcerer list is pretty similar there isn't all that much to gain there, but the spells prepared and rituals can help make up for some sorcerers lack in versatility. This is best left for niche builds.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Tiefling
    Sorcerer 5+/Diviner 2
    8, 14, 15, 13, 8, 16

    If you're the kind of sorcerer who really likes to make foes fail saves, a two level dip in diviner for Portent can really make that easier.

    Spoiler: Warlock
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    The warlock is a versatile class that can serve a variety of roles depending on the pact and patron taken. Blade locks can serve as melee damage or tanks, or even potentially ranged martial damage if a magic ranged weapon is available. Tome or chain locks more commonly act as blasters or controls. Their limited spell slots, leave them just casting Eldritch Blast with the majority of their actions. The plinking power of Eldritch Blast is unmatched as a cantrip with the Agonizing Blast invocation and often Hex. Throw in Repelling Blast invocation and you have some substantial battlefield control. Warlock multiclasses often include first level in a martial class for medium or heavy armor, especially for blade locks (but maybe not hexblades), or just a 2 level dip for the blasting power. The lack of stacking spell slots with other full casters can be a serious gimp to a build with mixed amounts of warlock and another caster, coffee lock not withstanding.

    Key breakpoints are: 1(Hexblade), 2(Agonizing Blast, another invocation), 3-4 (pact-ASI), 5(extra attack for blade, 3rd level spells)
    Spoiler: Warlock/Barbarian
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    Warlock/Barbarian

    You might call this a Rage Blade, a barbarian who for some reason, either noble or selfish, has sought out a power to make a pact with, usually to further strengthen their martial abilities.
    A warlock who dips barbarian does so likely at first level for con saves and more hit points. While it is a bit counter-intuitive to combine barbarian with a caster, the warlock comes equipped with some long duration spells that lack concentration, which can go really well with a barbarian's rage.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Human V. (PAM)
    Barbarian 1/Fiend Bladelock 5+
    16, 14, 14, 8, 9, 13

    Armor of Agathys is made even better once combined with resistance to damage, effectively doubling how long it holds up. Fire Shield comes online much later, but also can be cast before raging. These thorns type effects make the barbarian's reckless attack seem like a win-win. Fiend refills THP when AoA runs out. Great against mooks, and melee foes, but might struggle at range.

    Spoiler: Warlock/Bard
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    Warlock/Bard

    You might call this a Chained Singer. A bard who was not content with the mere mortal bardic prowess, but sought out a pact with a more powerful being. The nature of the pact may vary greatly, depending on the patron, but none can sing like a devil like a bard/warlock. Not every bard wins that fiddle of gold.

    A warlock who dips bard gains some skills, jack-of-all trades, inspiration, and some spells. The cha dependence works really well here, but there isn't a whole lot of obvious synergy. The bard's features are good, but don't really compliment a primary warlock. The lack of slot stacking will likely just put you behind. This is much better as a Bard/Warlock. The SADness keeps it from being purple.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Human V. (Warcaster)
    Hexblade 5+/Swords 3-5
    8, 14, 16, 8, 10, 16

    Swords bard gives this something to do for a primarily melee blade lock. Dueling or TWF style boost the damage output of the blade lock, and flourishes are strong, when cha is being maxed first. Having full caster slots allows more frequent shield spells without using high level warlock slots.

    Spoiler: Warlock/Cleric
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    Warlock/Cleric

    You might call this a Conspirator. No matter how similar their goals might be, there is always the potential for conflict between a cleric's god and a warlock's patron, putting the character in a place where they must deceive or outright betray one. A cleric/warlock must constantly be on his toes looking for that moment, and trying to stay one step ahead of the forces tugging on his strings from multiple directions. There are many reasons a cleric might turn to a patron for power, and doing so need not necessarily be a step away from their god. Perhaps the cleric believes they have their god's blessing in taking a patron for power or even to overcome the patron if alignments are opposing. For many, this multiclass means the character will permanently be under "Relationship Status: It's Complicated."

    A warlock who dips cleric gains some different spells as well as cool domain features. Both medium and heavy armor are upgrades for the warlock. Just level 1 cleric spells add some versatility to the warlock, and there can be some interesting combinations with domain powers. For example life domain increases the amount a warlock can heal himself with the Vampiric Touch spell. Unfortunately all cleric spells will key off wisdom, even when cast with warlock slots. There is a lot of strength for a 1-2 level dip here, despite the inherit MADness.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Half-Elf
    15, 9, 14, 8, 14, 16
    Life Cleric 1+/Celestial 5+

    Heavy armor, great bonus action healing for early game as well as a boost. Life cleric even works with Vampiric Touch. Healing spells on short rest, will be greatly appreciated by the party. This dip takes your healing to the next level as a Celestial lock.

    Spoiler: Warlock/Druid
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    Warlock/Druid

    You might call this a Keeper, a druid who has taken up a warlock pact. This is most common among fey pact druids, but can be seen with any patron type.

    A warlock who dips druid gains access to some different spells and wildshape. Wildshape would be useful for stealth/exploration only, but the spells can add some versatilty to a warlock's kit. Medium armor would be nice, if it didn't come with the no metal restriction. Armor of Shadow's is the way to go for AC. This isn't horrible, but it has the curse of not being as good as the cleric dip. It is also MAD.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Half-Elf
    Celestial 5+/Shepherd 2+
    8, 16, 14, 9, 13, 16

    Two seperate pools of bonus action healing dice, neither you nor your DM will keep this straight... Goodberries on short rest slots, means you'll be swimming in them.

    Spoiler: Warlock/Fighter
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    Warlock/Fighter

    You might call this a Maledictor, a warrior whose martial capacity has been augmented by a pact with a stronger entity.

    A warlock who dips fighter likely does so at first level for con saves and heavy armor. This is a very common tactic for [non-hexblade] bladelocks who want to use str based weapons, so they can dump dex, making them less MAD. The proficiencies alone are invaluable, especially the con save to maintain concentration on things like hex and darkness.
    Spoiler: E.g.
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    Human V.
    15, 10, 14, 8, 10, 16
    Fighter 1/Fiend Blade 5+

    Even for a hexblade the fighter dip might still be worth it for the con saves and heavy armor, but the other patrons get more from it.

    Spoiler: Warlock/Monk
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    Warlock/Monk

    You might call this a Hex Hand, a martial artist whose taken on a pact for increased power.

    A warlock who dips monk gains monk features at the cost of heavy MADness. Best left to niche builds.

    Spoiler: Warlock/Paladin
    Show
    Warlock/Paladin

    You might call this a Betrayer, or something similar based on it's subclasses. Anyone who has both an oath and a patron risks compromising one for the other and must balance them accordingly with their own free will. Some combinations may be natural, but most spawn internal conflict within a character. In these situations it is a matter of when the Betrayer will betray his patron or forgo his oath.

    A warlock who dips paladin gains heavy armor at first level, a fighting style and smite at second. Just two levels in paladin is an amazing add on to a warlock. Like fighter, it actually decreases MADness for a bladelock, negating the need for dex. It lacks the con saves of fighter, but makes up for it with smite. Using warlock slots to smite is very potent for a character that can manage a lot of short rests. This is definitely a very strong option, probably best kept to just a couple levels, but also viable with 6 levels of paladin.
    Spoiler: E.g.
    Show
    Human V.
    Paladin 2/Hexblade 5+
    15, 8, 16, 8, 8, 16

    This build lost some power with the release of Xanathar's, but it still has heavy armor and smites. Damage NOVA potential is quite high, especially with double smiting on crits. SAD and versatile. Can't go wrong.

    Spoiler: Warlock/Ranger
    Show
    Warlock/Ranger

    You might call this a Witcher, a monster hunter whose taken on a pact with another power for unnatural powers.

    A warlock who dips ranger gains a fighting style, some different spells, and potentially a hunter ability. Ranger is probably the least attractive martial dip for a warlock. MADness aside, Hunter's Mark and Hex are redundant, and there is no obvious synergy. This is possible for niche builds, but paladin and fighter are better options for a warlock.
    Spoiler: E.g.
    Show
    Half-Elf
    Hexblade 5+/Ranger 3
    8, 14, 14, 9, 14, 17

    Any of the ranger's martial boosts can prove valuable to a Hexblade, while Hexblade cha SADness makes up for the madness. This isn't bad.

    Spoiler: Warlock/Rogue
    Show
    Warlock/Rogue

    You might call this a Fatestealer, a rogue that wasn't content with his mundane powers and sought out a pact with another creature.

    A warlock who dips rogue gains a skill, expertise, cunning action, and potentially an archetype. Sneak attack can work with a blade lock. Devil's Sight could be great on any sneaky type, especially an assassin. Cunning Action is good on anyone. Overall this could add to the build. There are worse options.
    Spoiler: E.g.
    Show
    Half-Elf
    Warlock 5+/Rogue 2
    8, 14, 14, 10, 10, 17

    There is at least one reason to go with this build. Cunning Action hide in self-generated darkness. Pair with blade lock, hexblade for SADness and you get the benefit of the sneak attack as well.

    Spoiler: Warlock/Sorcerer
    Show
    Warlock/Sorcerer

    You might call this a Flame Weaver, an arcane magic user who wasn't content with his natural magical blood and sought a patron for even more power.

    A warlock who dips sorcerer gains metamagic. Metamagic plus Eldritch blast is some of the best nearly at will damage, capable of firing out twice what a normal warlock could in a round costing only two sorcery points. A warlock dipping sorcerer would need more sorcerer levels than the inverse, in order to have a fairly good sorcery point pool, but otherwise can operate quite well. The ability to convert warlock spells into sorcery points works better/faster on this build than the opposite. Keep boosting cha with agonizing blast, and you can't go wrong.
    Spoiler: E.g.
    Show
    Human V.
    Warlock 5+/Sorcerer 4+
    8, 14, 16, 8, 10, 16

    Coffeelock. Expect it to be nerfed/banned in a lot of home games if abused. Regardless the SADness and output makes this very heavy on potential. Works with any subclasses. Hard to go wrong.

    Spoiler: Warlock/Wizard
    Show
    Warlock/Wizard

    You might call this an Egoist, or something similar, an arcane caster so obsessed with power that they look for its secrets anywhere.

    A warlock who dips wizard gains little in comparison to other options. There are some good subclass features that could be appealing, but overall most of what could be achieved with this is done better by a Warlock/Sorcerer. This is best left for niche builds.
    Spoiler: E.g.
    Show
    Tiefling
    Hexblade 5+/War Wizard 2+
    8, 14, 14, 13, 8, 17

    With its limited slots, the war wizard downside is not so harsh on a bladelock. A solid way to give a good defense boost, with hexblade SADness offsetting the MADness of the MC.

    Spoiler: Wizard
    Show
    The wizard as always is a powerhouse of magical might. The class typically serves as a controller, blaster, or the guy that everyone else has to protect. His kit comes on a fragile chassis that is greatly toughened by a single level dip at first level in a martial class. Other aims for wizard multiclasses are either adding a little versatility to the spell list or gish builds. Wizard progression is linear, and continuous providing little opportunities or incentives to multiclass at any given level.

    Key breakpoints are: 2(subclass feature), 4 (ASI), 5(3rd level spells), any spell level of choice, 17(9th level spells), and 18(spell mastery).
    Spoiler: Wizard/Barbarian
    Show
    Wizard/Barbarian

    You might call this a Rage Mage, a wizard who can tap into his inner fury.

    A wizard who dips barbarian gains little benefit in comparison to other choices. Rage is like an off switch for the entire wizard class. This is best avoided.

    Spoiler: Wizard/Bard
    Show
    Wizard/Bard

    You might call this the Lore Keeper, a bard who has expanded their breadth of magical knowledge into the world of wizardy. This would require the bard to spend or have spent some time with wizards or at least a spell book.

    A wizard who dips bard gains some skills, and jack of all trades. The spell slot progression keeps this from being terrible, but there is no obvious reason to leave wizard. It is MAD.
    Spoiler: E.g.
    Show
    Half-Elf
    Wizard 5+/Lore Bard 2+
    8, 14, 15, 16, 8, 14

    Any wizard might be jealous of the bard's skill potential. Jack of All trades is a great boost for both initiative and various skills. The drawback on wizard progression is impactful though.

    Spoiler: Wizard/Cleric
    Show
    Wizard/Cleric

    You might call this a Mystic Theurge, a master of both prayer and study. This classic multiclass is the scholarly cleric that took up wizardry or the faithful wizard who took favor from his god.

    A wizard who dips cleric gains some different spells, and cool domain features. There are several domains that augment all casting in ways a pure wizard can't achieve. Heavy armor is a great boon to the wizard, and this is the best way to get it without getting behind on slots.
    Spoiler: E.g.
    Show
    Human V.
    Invoker 5+/Tempest 2
    8, 14, 14, 16, 13, 9

    This wizard can use it's channel divinity to maximize it's lightning bolts once per short rest. Solid damage at level 7+. Heavy/medium armor and healing makes him much hardier than a typical wizard.

    Spoiler: Wizard/Druid
    Show
    Wizard/Druid

    You might call this a Recluse, someone caught up in study of the arcane and the natural. It is natural for an intellectual to take an interest in the arcane or the natural magic, whichever is new to them.

    A wizard who dips druid gains some different spells and wildshape. Wildshape is pretty useless in combat due to its poor scaling. There is little reason to do this, and probably best left to niche builds.
    Spoiler: E.g.
    Show
    Human V.
    Conjurer 14/Shepherd Druid 6
    8, 14, 14, 16, 13, 9

    This high level build is the master summoner, his conjured beasts getting bonuses from both his wizard feature and his druid feature.

    Spoiler: Wizard/Fighter
    Show
    Wizard/Fighter

    You might call this a Spellsword, a warrior whose martial process is augmented by research of magic.

    A wizard who dips fighter likely does so at first level for heavy armor and con save proficiency. Action surge can come later, likely after level 5 wizard, to enable extra nova ability. It one of the best dips for a wizard, and probably best left at 2 levels, possibly 6 if the wizard wants to be more melee focused.
    Spoiler: E.g.
    Show
    Human V. (PAM)
    Fighter 1/Abjurer 2+
    16, 8, 14, 16, 10, 8

    PAM with haste allows this gish to make a BB/GFB attack along with two attacks from PAM. Abjurer ward along with heavy armor makes this a very hardy character. Dueling style + staff and shield is a strong combo for any martial, and makes up for the lack of extra attack, even at level 1. Very strong build that is still mostly a wizard.

    Spoiler: Wizard/Monk
    Show
    Wizard/Monk

    You might call this an Enlightened Fist, a martial artist who has taken on the study of arcane magic.

    A wizard who dips monk has little to gain, at the cost of heavy MADness. I'd avoid this altogether.

    Spoiler: Wizard/Paladin
    Show
    Wizard/Paladin

    You might call this an Eldritch Smiter, a devoted warrior who has taken the time to study the secrets of the arcane.

    A wizard who dips paladin picks up heavy armor at first level, and smite at second level. This would be good if there were any reason to do this over Sorcerer/Paladin. As it stands it does almost the same without the option to quicken, and at the extra cost of MAD. Itís a cheap imitation, best avoided.
    Spoiler: E.g.
    Show
    Half-Elf
    Paladin 2/Abjurer 5+
    16, 8, 14, 15, 8, 14

    There are a few good spells that make this work. By level 13 Tenser's Transformation will be a welcome spell. Smites and full caster is always powerful nova potential.

    Spoiler: Wizard/Ranger
    Show
    Wizard/Ranger

    You might call this a Seeker, a scout warrior and study of arcane secrets.

    A wizard who dips ranger picks up some skills, different spells, and proficiencies for weapon options. Itís MAD, and doesnít lend itself to anything well. Best left for niche builds.

    Spoiler: Wizard/Rogue
    Show
    Wizard/Rogue

    You might call this a Spell Thief, a master of stealth and arcane study.

    A wizard who dips rogue gains some skills, expertise, cunning action, and possibly an archetype. This is a common combination with wizard and arcane trickster. Bladesinger is good choice for rogues, who lack typically use light armor already. Could also be viable with assassin, in conjunction with spells capable of critting such as scorching ray.

    Spoiler: Wizard/Sorcerer
    Show
    Wizard/Sorcerer

    You might call this an Ultimate Magus, a true master of arcane magic through both blood and study.

    A wizard who dips sorcerer is picks up metamagic at 3rd level. This is viable at serious cost of progression. Metamagic can be great in combination with wizard spells, but it is MAD, and very tough to choose when to take those levels of sorcerer.
    Spoiler: E.g.
    Show
    Half-Elf
    Wizard 5+/Sorcerer 3+
    8, 14, 15, 16, 8, 14

    Metamagic is the major appeal here. Lots of potential.

    Spoiler: Wizard/Warlock
    Show
    Wizard/Warlock

    You might call this an Egoist, or something similar, an arcane caster so obsessed with power that they look for its secrets anywhere.

    A wizard who dips warlock gains some different spells, short rest slots, possibly invocations and a pact. There are some interesting combinations here but most are too MAD to be seriously competent. A good example of a niche build is a necromancer that picks up 5 levels in warlock in order to use short rest slots to cast more animate dead's per day. It is gimmicky and requires an excess number of short rest to even compete with the slots generated by taking more levels in wizard. This is probably best left for niche builds.
    Last edited by PeteNutButter; 2018-02-07 at 09:59 AM.

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    Default Re: Ultimate Optimizer's Multiclassing Guide

    I haven't had time just yet to fully examine your analysis, but, I would like to say bravo. Thank you for providing what could be an excellent tool for our community.

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    Default Re: Ultimate Optimizer's Multiclassing Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by CaptAl View Post
    I haven't had time just yet to fully examine your analysis, but, I would like to say bravo. Thank you for providing what could be an excellent tool for our community.
    I will second this.

    At first glance, everything looks great and all the breakpoints make sense.

    Well done!

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    Default Re: Ultimate Optimizer's Multiclassing Guide

    This is truly an amazing guide, and now that it's here, it's actually more of a question why no one has ever thought of creating this before. It's truly helpful.

    However, of course, it's impossible for one person to look through all 144 possibilities in here. Whenever we think up ideas, we should comment them in this thread so PeteNutButter can evaluate them, and if considered viable, edit them into the original posts.

    For instance, you rated Wizard/Warlock as Black and Purple, and while I generally agree with that rating, you might add that depending on how generous the DM is, Necromancers may benefit from going Warlock 5 for lots and lots more uses of Animate Dead. These sorts of minor but still fun gimmicks could be listed in each column, to offer some build ideas.
    Spoiler: Avatar
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    ^ Fantastic avatar made by Professor Gnoll. Yaya Tokaz, from the manga "Kukul and Nagi". ^
    Spoiler: Quotes
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malifice View Post
    Only on a DnD forum would discussing the methods for jamming a T-Rex into a 10x10x10 box be a thing.
    Extended Signature: Homebrew Stuff
    Unlimited Blade Works: The Guide to the Ultimate Paladin/Sorcerer Multiclass

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    Default Re: Ultimate Optimizer's Multiclassing Guide

    The Eldritch Knight cross-classes with the Pladain 2 better than the champion, as you can nova for an average of around 150 damage at top level, even though it comes online at level 5 and really hits the ground hard at level 7. Level 13, however, is when it truly starts to shine, as one can smite 6 times in a round via action surge. While not nearly as sustainable as the 4 attacks a single-classed fighter would get, you can easily surpass the damage of certain 9th-level spells (power word kill) on single target.

    Edit: Eldritch knight 12 and Ancients Paladin 8 grants epic magic resistance, the same first-turn burst damage and slightly more spell slots, but you'll only ever learn up to 2nd level spells.
    Last edited by SillyPopeNachos; 2016-10-10 at 06:37 PM. Reason: Further Considerations

    Quote Originally Posted by JumboWheat01 View Post
    Is it soap? Please say it's soap.
    "So help me, Evil Overlord, if you don't surrender, I will give you a bath!"
    "Gods no! Anything but that! I surrender! I surrender!"

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    Default Re: Ultimate Optimizer's Multiclassing Guide

    Youíve done a great job with this, but as a monk fanatic, let me add some arguments for some unlikely monk multiclass options.

    Monk 12/Bladesinger Wizard 8
    Example Build: Wood Elf Str 8 Dex 16 Con 12 Int 14 Wis 16 Cha 8

    Multiclassing to wizard is basically the best option for a gish, the wizard spell list offers more spells to self-buff from than any other class. The important thing to remember is that all of these buffing spells like Shield, Mirror Image, Haste, Fire Shield, Greater Invisibility, etc. are not dependant on your spellcasting ability score, so you donít have to increase it with ASI's and you can just pump up Dex and Wis as you would normally do on a monk.

    Bladesinger gives you some nice combat perks, adding your Int to AC, concentration checks, and increasing your already fast monk speed. And if you play the AL mod DDEX1-6 ďThe Scroll ThiefĒ, you can end up with the Headband of Intellect for an Int of 19. I did this with my Monk/Wizard and his current AC while Bladesinging is 20, will be eventually 24 with max Dex and Wis, add on +5 to that with Shield or whatever. You get the picture, heís crazy good.

    Shadow Monk 12/Fiend-Chain Warlock 8
    Example Build: Half-Elf (Drow) Str 8 Dex 16 Con 13 Int 8 Wis 16 Cha 14

    As you noted, this has a nice synergy with shadow monk so you can actually see through your Darkness with Devilís Sight. Go Pact of the Chain and get an Imp familiar with Devilís Sight as well and he can carry around a little pebble that you cast Darkness on to have mobile Darkness that you place and move strategically wherever you want. Darkness isnít as big a problem for the rest of the party as some might think.

    You can keep Darkness off your spellcasterís targets and put it on foes that you and your melee attackers are targeting (or just keep it on yourself when you move in and out). Because the Blinded condition from Darkness give an attacker disadvantage on attacks but their blinded targets give their attackers advantage to hit them, it all cancels out anyway. But of course your Monk/Warlock shrouded in Darkness with Devilís Sight will get advantage on attacks, be able to move away without creating AoO, canít be targeted by most spells, and attackers will have disadvantage to attack him. A very nice situation for your gish.

    As with the Monk/Wizard, your buffing spells donít benefit from pumping up your spellcasting ability so you can just pump Dex and Wis as normal. Resilient Con is a nice feat for this build to maintain concentration on their Darkness, etc. Going Half-Drow gives you an extra way to cast Darkness without having to spend ki or a spell slot.

    Monk 8/Paladin 4/Draconic Sorcerer 8
    Example Build: Human Str 13 Dex 16 Con 14 Int 9 Wis 14 Cha 13
    Start 1st level as Sorcerer for Con saves for concentration, go to monk at 2nd level.

    As you said, a monk/paladin build is MAD as hell but with the good old regular human getting +1 in every ability score, you can make a viable monk/paladin/sorcerer. You pump Dex and Wis as usual, no need to pump your spellcasting ability as you are just using your sorcerer spell slots for buffs and divine smites. As we know, we can twin Booming Blade or quicken Green-Flame Blade for some metamagic fun. You can smite with your monk, or smite AND stun. Just have fun as a Holy Warrior with radiant fists of fury!

    So these are just 3 gish builds for monk that one can have fun with. Even though monk is MAD, you donít have to be crazy to try out some fun monk/spellcaster combos!
    Last edited by Fflewddur Fflam; 2016-10-01 at 12:56 AM.

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    Default Re: Ultimate Optimizer's Multiclassing Guide

    This is great. I would also add options for a third multiclass. Maybe just forbspecific builds.

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    PaladinGuy

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    Default Re: Ultimate Optimizer's Multiclassing Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by Gastronomie View Post
    This is truly an amazing guide, and now that it's here, it's actually more of a question why no one has ever thought of creating this before. It's truly helpful.

    However, of course, it's impossible for one person to look through all 144 possibilities in here. Whenever we think up ideas, we should comment them in this thread so PeteNutButter can evaluate them, and if considered viable, edit them into the original posts.

    For instance, you rated Wizard/Warlock as Black and Purple, and while I generally agree with that rating, you might add that depending on how generous the DM is, Necromancers may benefit from going Warlock 5 for lots and lots more uses of Animate Dead. These sorts of minor but still fun gimmicks could be listed in each column, to offer some build ideas.
    Thanks everyone for all the positive feedback. I'd love to add more build ideas into each individual entry. So please keep them coming!
    Spoiler: EK/Paladin?
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by SillyPopeNachos View Post
    The Eldritch Knight cross-classes with the Pladain 2 better than the champion, as you can nova for an average of around 150 damage at top level, even though it comes online at level 5 and really hits the ground hard at level 7. Level 13, however, is when it truly starts to shine, as one can smite 6 times in a round via action surge. While not nearly as sustainable as the 4 attacks a single-classed fighter would get, you can easily surpass the damage of certain 9th-level spells (power word kill) on single target.
    I can edit the wording to include that, but I'm not sure it justifies changing any colors. It seems like a niche build that would probably come on line pretty late. It can't do anything a paladin/fighter does better/more frequently until level 13 when he can have both smite and 3 attacks. I see EK/Paladin as significantly more viable when combined with some full caster to round out the spell slots. What does the community think?

    Spoiler: Monk Ideas
    Show

    Quote Originally Posted by Fflewddur Fflam View Post
    Youíve done a great job with this, but as a monk fanatic, let me add some arguments for some unlikely monk multiclass options.

    Monk 12/Bladesinger Wizard 8
    Example Build: Wood Elf Str 8 Dex 16 Con 12 Int 14 Wis 16 Cha 8

    Multiclassing to wizard is basically the best option for a gish, the wizard spell list offers more spells to self-buff from than any other class. The important thing to remember is that all of these buffing spells like Shield, Mirror Image, Haste, Fire Shield, Greater Invisibility, etc. are not dependant on your spellcasting ability score, so you donít have to increase it with ASI's and you can just pump up Dex and Wis as you would normally do on a monk.

    Bladesinger gives you some nice combat perks, adding your Int to AC, concentration checks, and increasing your already fast monk speed. And if you play the AL mod DDEX1-6 ďThe Scroll ThiefĒ, you can end up with the Headband of Intellect for an Int of 19. I did this with my Monk/Wizard and his current AC while Bladesinging is 20, will be eventually 24 with max Dex and Wis, add on +5 to that with Shield or whatever. You get the picture, heís crazy good.

    Shadow Monk 12/Fiend-Chain Warlock 8
    Example Build: Half-Elf (Drow) Str 8 Dex 16 Con 13 Int 8 Wis 16 Cha 14

    As you noted, this has a nice synergy with shadow monk so you can actually see through your Darkness with Devilís Sight. Go Pact of the Chain and get an Imp familiar with Devilís Sight as well and he can carry around a little pebble that you cast Darkness on to have mobile Darkness that you place and move strategically wherever you want. Darkness isnít as big a problem for the rest of the party as some might think.

    You can keep Darkness off your spellcasterís targets and put it on foes that you and your melee attackers are targeting (or just keep it on yourself when you move in and out). Because the Blinded condition from Darkness give an attacker disadvantage on attacks but their blinded targets give their attackers advantage to hit them, it all cancels out anyway. But of course your Monk/Warlock shrouded in Darkness with Devilís Sight will get advantage on attacks, be able to move away without creating AoO, canít be targeted by most spells, and attackers will have disadvantage to attack him. A very nice situation for your gish.

    As with the Monk/Wizard, your buffing spells donít benefit from pumping up your spellcasting ability so you can just pump Dex and Wis as normal. Resilient Con is a nice feat for this build to maintain concentration on their Darkness, etc. Going Half-Drow gives you an extra way to cast Darkness without having to spend ki or a spell slot.

    Monk 8/Paladin 4/Draconic Sorcerer 8
    Example Build: Human Str 13 Dex 16 Con 14 Int 9 Wis 14 Cha 13
    Start 1st level as Sorcerer for Con saves for concentration, go to monk at 2nd level.

    As you said, a monk/paladin build is MAD as hell but with the good old regular human getting +1 in every ability score, you can make a viable monk/paladin/sorcerer. You pump Dex and Wis as usual, no need to pump your spellcasting ability as you are just using your sorcerer spell slots for buffs and divine smites. As we know, we can twin Booming Blade or quicken Green-Flame Blade for some metamagic fun. You can smite with your monk, or smite AND stun. Just have fun as a Holy Warrior with radiant fists of fury!

    So these are just 3 gish builds for monk that one can have fun with. Even though monk is MAD, you donít have to be crazy to try out some fun monk/spellcaster combos!
    Thank you for your input, and I'd love to incorporate these all into the comments. I'll freely admit that certain classes haven't seen much play in my groups, making most of my decisions based purely on theory crafting, monk being one of them. But let's dissect your creative, fun, and MAD monk ideas.

    Monk/Wizard: I greatly refute that wizard is the best class for a gish. IMO it will always be sorcerer with access to pretty much all the same spells, but the ability to swing and still buff in the same round with quicken, or twin things like haste. Bladesinger is a good way to add AC to anything, but is it worth the MADness? The loss of con really hurts a d8 hit die class that tends to be in melee, and +2 AC isn't anything to write home about. You are also doubling up on extra attack. The headband of int can't be considered as any build could be viable if a character had a bunch of 19s. What you end up with is an AC that is comparable to any other front liner, when bladesinging, and a still low AC when not. As long as this character is boosting dex his AC is the same as a standard wizard with mage armor on. I'm sure the build operates just fine, especially with an item giving a free 19, but it is definitely niche.

    Monk/Warlock: For starters I'd probably never leave monk just two levels shy of Diamond Soul. You mention wanting to pick up resilient con, why not just take diamond soul and get all saves? Admittedly it does come rather late. As mentioned in the guide the Monk, doesn't do the darkness/Devil's Sight combo any better than any other class. It still takes an action to work, still doesn't always work, and still can alienate the team. The fact that advantage and disadvantage cancel out is moot point if your DM adjudicates that you can't attack what you can't see. Your party should essentially be picking a 5' square they think the foe is in based likely on perception, and attempt to attack there. A foe who does any movement should be very hard to pinpoint in the fray of battle with total blindness. In the meantime you'll have less AC and hit points than a standard monk, and until you pickup warlock, no benefit. The imp thing is a good idea. This does work, I just don't think its optimal.

    Monk/Pal/Sorc: This one seems to just be a sorcerer/paladin that threw monk in because the player liked monk. I mean the competition for bonus action gets pretty heavy with all the monk's existing options and now quicken spells. Quickened and twinned GFB/BB are great on a sorcerer paladin as ways to get a bonus action attack, and a way to imitate extra attack on separate foes. On a monk the, quickening a GFB will often deal less damage than using flurry. The only thing I see this build offering is a bit more mobility, and stunning strikes with a low DC. AC and hit points are lower than a paladin/sorcerer. It lacks the amazing saves of aura of protection, and has some very difficult progression between the 3 classes. It could be viable, but definitely a niche build.

    Unless the community disagrees with me, I don't think these call for any changing colors. But please keep the ideas flowing.
    Last edited by PeteNutButter; 2016-10-01 at 08:53 AM.

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    Default Re: Ultimate Optimizer's Multiclassing Guide

    Rogue 3/Barbarian 17 can be very effective with a two handed weapon, relying on Assassin crits with Inproved Critical (half orc helps) and the Great Axe for some devastating surprise rounds on a scout that can hold their own if caught

    EDIT: also don't neglect to mention Archery style as a benefit for a 1 level fighter dip for a Rogue/Fighter trying to be an assassin/sniper

    Also, some exploration of 3+ class build might be good later, as they tend to be 'dip repeatedly for good stuff'. I've played both a Rogue 6/Cleric 1/Bard 10/Warlock 3 and a Warlock 11/Sorcerer 4/Fighter 2/Rogue 3 (not leveled in that order of course) that were fun and functional, and a player at my table is doing a (admittedly MAD) monk/rogue/Warlock that is operating great
    Last edited by Naanomi; 2016-10-01 at 09:32 AM.

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    Default Re: Ultimate Optimizer's Multiclassing Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by Naanomi View Post
    Rogue 3/Barbarian 17 can be very effective with a two handed weapon, relying on Assassin crits with Inproved Critical (half orc helps) and the Great Axe for some devastating surprise rounds on a scout that can hold their own if caught

    EDIT: also don't neglect to mention Archery style as a benefit for a 1 level fighter dip for a Rogue/Fighter trying to be an assassin/sniper

    Also, some exploration of 3+ class build might be good later, as they tend to be 'dip repeatedly for good stuff'. I've played both a Rogue 6/Cleric 1/Bard 10/Warlock 3 and a Warlock 11/Sorcerer 4/Fighter 2/Rogue 3 (not leveled in that order of course) that were fun and functional, and a player at my table is doing a (admittedly MAD) monk/rogue/Warlock that is operating great
    I updated the Barb/Rogue section to mention this, although I think it's overall a little hard/rare to pull off surprise on melee, especially lacking spells. It is also outpaced by fighter, despite the increased criticals of barbarian, the extra attack is more valuable. I had designed a build around that idea here: http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showt...ick-Nova-Build

    I updated the Rogue/Fighter section as well, regarding the archery style.

    I'd like to include 3 classes, actually mentioned one or two during the guide, but I'm not sure the best way to go about it. If I add colored breakpoints, it might demonstrate that many classes offer great benefits within the first 4 levels.

    Thanks for the input!
    Last edited by PeteNutButter; 2016-10-01 at 11:42 AM.

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    Default Re: Ultimate Optimizer's Multiclassing Guide

    Haven't read through yet (just finished opening all spoiler boxes), but damn - that was a lot of work.

    BTW - The chart demonstrates well how the Cha-based classes are like an Indian buffet - each item mixes well with each other item.

    I wish the same were true for the other abilities. Everytime I try to think up a new build, it always gets drawn towards the Cha classes like some kind of gravity well...

    Edit: You wrote a paragraph for each of the 132 possible class combinations?

    Last edited by odigity; 2016-10-01 at 01:29 PM.

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    Default Re: Ultimate Optimizer's Multiclassing Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by Naanomi View Post
    a player at my table is doing a (admittedly MAD) monk/rogue/Warlock that is operating great
    I am running this build too. Monk 6/Warlock (2-5)/Rogue (9-12). Works really well. Hex, Sneak attack, invocations, and most of the Monk goodies.

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    Default Re: Ultimate Optimizer's Multiclassing Guide

    Thank you!

    I'm not a multiclasser, so the frequent questions on multiclassing in my guides have always been a bit tedious, and I've been aware of the fact that my bias can limit my helpfulness in those situations.

    But now we have a real multiclassing guide! A completely thorough and well written one, at that! I'm so happy!

    Edit: And making each bit of info a collapsible box was a good idea for this guide. It makes it much easier to find what you want.
    Last edited by EvilAnagram; 2016-10-01 at 03:01 PM.

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    Default Re: Ultimate Optimizer's Multiclassing Guide

    My vision: scouting ahead of the party is the half orc assassin/Barbarian. He is wearing no armor, has reasonable Dex (16) and expertise in stealth, traveling at normal speeds (wolf totem). He may be coming from a weird angle due to his unmatched climbing abilities. He spots his foes.

    When he is 55 feet away (elk totem), he rages and charges with his great axe. He gets three attacks (GWM would almost guarantee the third, but Tiger totem ensures it) with advantage, each dealing 6d12+9 damage, plus potentially magic weapon and poison boosts (as an assassin he knows how to apply poison), and if the math works out to do so another +10 with GWM.

    If foes survive, he may still be getting some surprise attacks for a second similar round if they lose initiative (he has advantage and a good bonus to the roll); and he can 55 speed/cunning action-dash back to the party or stick it out with general barbarian-ness while they catch up. Potential for grappling a foe if the survivors think about escaping

    Pointbuy: 17/15/16/9/9/9
    Totem: elk, wolf, tiger
    Stealth, perception, athletics, (+3 of choice) (expertise in stealth and athletics), thief tools
    ASI: +1 Dex/Str, +2 Str, GWM, Alert

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    Default Re: Ultimate Optimizer's Multiclassing Guide

    Cool beans!
    Actually I was thinking of writing up something very similar. But I gotta admit, you did it better. ;)

    What I'd yet edit into the combos: a line for "Qualification", i.e. how easy or hard it is to meet the ability requirements.
    So you know, university Physics D&D 3.5 Optimization is essentially three seven years of this discussion among like-minded enthusiasts. Done with supercomputers, access to the textsplatbook collections of five continents and thirty languages with thousands of classes, prestige classes, feats and spells.
    On four hours sleep a night.
    With no sex.
    You're not going to find the loophole these guys missed.

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    Default Re: Ultimate Optimizer's Multiclassing Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by PeteNutButter View Post
    Thanks everyone for all the positive feedback. I'd love to add more build ideas into each individual entry. So please keep them coming!
    Spoiler: EK/Paladin?
    Show


    I can edit the wording to include that, but I'm not sure it justifies changing any colors. It seems like a niche build that would probably come on line pretty late. It can't do anything a paladin/fighter does better/more frequently until level 13 when he can have both smite and 3 attacks. I see EK/Paladin as significantly more viable when combined with some full caster to round out the spell slots. What does the community think?

    Spoiler: Monk Ideas
    Show



    Thank you for your input, and I'd love to incorporate these all into the comments. I'll freely admit that certain classes haven't seen much play in my groups, making most of my decisions based purely on theory crafting, monk being one of them. But let's dissect your creative, fun, and MAD monk ideas.

    Monk/Wizard: I greatly refute that wizard is the best class for a gish. IMO it will always be sorcerer with access to pretty much all the same spells, but the ability to swing and still buff in the same round with quicken, or twin things like haste. Bladesinger is a good way to add AC to anything, but is it worth the MADness? The loss of con really hurts a d8 hit die class that tends to be in melee, and +2 AC isn't anything to write home about. You are also doubling up on extra attack. The headband of int can't be considered as any build could be viable if a character had a bunch of 19s. What you end up with is an AC that is comparable to any other front liner, when bladesinging, and a still low AC when not. As long as this character is boosting dex his AC is the same as a standard wizard with mage armor on. I'm sure the build operates just fine, especially with an item giving a free 19, but it is definitely niche.

    Monk/Warlock: For starters I'd probably never leave monk just two levels shy of Diamond Soul. You mention wanting to pick up resilient con, why not just take diamond soul and get all saves? Admittedly it does come rather late. As mentioned in the guide the Monk, doesn't do the darkness/Devil's Sight combo any better than any other class. It still takes an action to work, still doesn't always work, and still can alienate the team. The fact that advantage and disadvantage cancel out is moot point if your DM adjudicates that you can't attack what you can't see. Your party should essentially be picking a 5' square they think the foe is in based likely on perception, and attempt to attack there. A foe who does any movement should be very hard to pinpoint in the fray of battle with total blindness. In the meantime you'll have less AC and hit points than a standard monk, and until you pickup warlock, no benefit. The imp thing is a good idea. This does work, I just don't think its optimal.

    Monk/Pal/Sorc: This one seems to just be a sorcerer/paladin that threw monk in because the player liked monk. I mean the competition for bonus action gets pretty heavy with all the monk's existing options and now quicken spells. Quickened and twinned GFB/BB are great on a sorcerer paladin as ways to get a bonus action attack, and a way to imitate extra attack on separate foes. On a monk the, quickening a GFB will often deal less damage than using flurry. The only thing I see this build offering is a bit more mobility, and stunning strikes with a low DC. AC and hit points are lower than a paladin/sorcerer. It lacks the amazing saves of aura of protection, and has some very difficult progression between the 3 classes. It could be viable, but definitely a niche build.

    Unless the community disagrees with me, I don't think these call for any changing colors. But please keep the ideas flowing.
    So, just to refute some of your refutations!

    Monk/Wizard.
    The sorcerer certainly doesn't get nearly all the spells a wizard gets, not even close, and wizard can make a far better gish because of this (especially with a wizard subclass designed for gishing, Bladesinging). Sorcerers don't get Fireshield which is probably the best buff for a gish ever (in no small part because it doesn't require concentration). Doubling up on Extra Attack is unavoidable with Bladesinger because you need to get to at least 7th level to get those great 4th level spells like Fireshield.
    Having +2 AC is never something to sneeze at in 5e, either. If this were the case, no one would ever use shields.

    Monk/Warlock
    You talk about not wanting a monk to be two levels shy of Diamond Soul, and I get that but most likely you are never ever getting to level 14 monk in a multiclass build. Why? Because, first of all, you are not going all 14 levels of monk before you take your other multiclass levels of warlock (or whatever) and because of this, you literally would have to hit level 20 to get to level 14 monk. I've never met anyone with a level 20 character in 5e, certainly none of the officially released adventures or material supports it, so we are talking about a hypothetical level that would be great to get to, but we simply aren't going to get to.

    I've got a single class Open Hand Monk that I would love to get to level 17 for Quivering Palm, don't know if I will ever be able to get him there, though. That's the problem you always have to consider, "sure I would like to get this high level feature, but will I ever realistically get there? Probably not." THAT'S why I recommend putting Resilient Con on a character such as this monk/warlock, because it's something that can benefit the character through much of his adventuring life, not waiting for a 14th level monk ability that he's never going to see because he's never going to get to 20th level to pick it up.

    Also, if you have a DM that equates Darkness or the Invisible condition with being "hidden" then you have a bad DM who doesn't understand the rules. It does not equate with being hidden and you have to take the Hide action while invisible or in darkness to actually be hidden. A good spell and strategy like using Darkness cannot be dismissed because of a DM that doesn't understand the rules.

    On my monk/paladin/sorcerer build, I plead guilty as charged. I just wanted to make a monk that could do divine smites. So sue me!
    Last edited by Fflewddur Fflam; 2016-10-01 at 03:42 PM.

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    Default Re: Ultimate Optimizer's Multiclassing Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by PeteNutButter View Post
    The fighter class is a great class that is unique as the only class giving more than 2 attacks with the attack action. The fighter typically acts as a melee or ranged damage dealer, or a tank. They have some battlefield control options via grapple and shove, possibly aided by feats and maneuvers. They are also the only class that grants extra ASIs, notably at levels 6 and 14.
    Rogues also get an extra ASI at 10, which is why Rogue 12 / Fighter 8 still yields 7 ASIs, just like pure Fighter.

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    Default Re: Ultimate Optimizer's Multiclassing Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by odigity View Post
    Rogues also get an extra ASI at 10, which is why Rogue 12 / Fighter 8 still yields 7 ASIs, just like pure Fighter.
    You're right. I've edited it.

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    Default Re: Ultimate Optimizer's Multiclassing Guide

    Great great guide! Trully, congrats for the effort you put into this!

    Now, I will try to contribute, hopefully.

    First off, I think you have the ratings of fighter/warlock and warlock/fighter backwards. From what I was able to understand from the X/y & Y/x section, warlock/fighter refers to a character with more warlock levels, and fighter/warlock refers to a character with more fighter levels, right? Eh well, if that is the case and I didnt get it all wrong, I think that a fighter dip on a warlock is of more value than a warlock dip on a fighter, meaning that the warlock/fighter should have a better rating than the fighter/warlock. And ofc I am refering to a bladelock (or at least a warlock built for melee).

    Secondly, I am a bit puzzled over the gold rating. To me, this rating should be applied only when a certain multiclass combo outperforms the single class (which is very hard to judge), or when a dip is essential because the class is lackluster for the role we want to fill. So, for example, a sorcerer/warlock should not be gold, as we cannot objectively say that this combo outperforms the pure sorcerer (yes, it has better at will damage, but delayed spell progression; yes, some people think it's all the money, others dont value it so much because they want to get better spells faster). Alternatively, the warlock/fighter should be gold, assuming it refers to a warlock who wants to be used in melee (and this is not a gimmicky build, as pact of the blade was clearly made for this, ie building a warlock for melee is a valid and even suggested by the mechanics approach). And because the warlock class is a bit lackluster on its own to be used on melee, the fighter dip is pretty much very much needed, and we can certainly say that it is perhaps the most efficient way to go about it (certainly better than going pure warlock), so that is why the warlock/fighter should be gold IMO.
    So........ gold ratings should be applied IMO, only to multiclass combinations that outperform the singleclass, NOT in one or two aspects, but on the whole. Meaning, when the single class is not enough on its own to support a function (NOT gimmick) that it is supposed and suggested to have (ie, a legitimate suggested option; going melee with a warlock is such an option; building the strongest possible at will is not for a sorcerer, that is us putting effort to produce sth we want).

    Hence, besides the warlock/fighter, and perhaps the trickery cleric/rogue, I wouldnt think that there are many gold options. Many skyblue or even blue options might even be better than the two gold options I suggest above, but that does not matter, as the gold option should only point out when a dip is essentially necessary and strictly better than the single class in regard to a ''recommended'' approach (and not a gimmick) of the class/combat role you intended to play.
    (I was tempted to suggest a gold rating for strogue/fighter and other multiclass assassin builds, but that would lead us to a more gimmicky territory and it is not the same as with the warlock/fighter or the trickery cleric/rogue, where in those two last cases the class/archetype features cannot sufficiently support the character.)

    ------------------------------------------

    Also, the wizard/cleric (pick a domain that grants you heavy armor prof) has some extra value for enchenters, I would think, for the ability to use Sanctuary/Hypnotic Gaze/Instinctive Charm + Blur, all while clad in heavy armor (athletics proficiency through background). Perhaps this should be skyblue instead of blue? Meaning that since we are mainly a wizard (as one level of cleric would be enough for this), then we should point out that the enchanter is the one who can make the most of this specific multiclass combination?
    ps: Haven't really thought this through, it is just one of the many ideas I have shamelessly stolen from this forum and saved it in my dnd folder to potentially use it in the future
    Last edited by Corran; 2016-10-01 at 11:49 PM.
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    Default Re: Ultimate Optimizer's Multiclassing Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by Corran View Post
    Great great guide! Trully, congrats for the effort you put into this!

    Now, I will try to contribute, hopefully.

    First off, I think you have the ratings of fighter/warlock and warlock/fighter backwards. From what I was able to understand from the X/y & Y/x section, warlock/fighter refers to a character with more warlock levels, and fighter/warlock refers to a character with more fighter levels, right? Eh well, if that is the case and I didnt get it all wrong, I think that a fighter dip on a warlock is of more value than a warlock dip on a fighter, meaning that the warlock/fighter should have a better rating than the fighter/warlock. And ofc I am refering to a bladelock (or at least a warlock built for melee).
    I'm not sure what the issue is here. I currently have Warlock/Fighter at gold, and Fighter/Warlock blue. I totally agree in that a bladelock practically needs to start fighter (or paladin).
    Quote Originally Posted by Corran View Post
    Secondly, I am a bit puzzled over the gold rating. To me, this rating should be applied only when a certain multiclass combo outperforms the single class (which is very hard to judge)...
    You are suggesting changing the definition of gold. While that makes some good sense, I think you said it yourself as to why I shouldn't. Its just too hard to judge in most cases. It is easy for the community to agree that certain combinations are strong, but much harder to get a real consensus on whether they are stronger than the base class.

    Another issue I have with this is there is no class that requires a multiclass, just some subclasses. I can edit the comments under specific entries, even add key colors when combined with subclasses (such as Trickery/Rogue), but it'd be misleading to rate all cleric/rogue gold because trickery clerics are basically just bad without some help. (I'd argue they are still the worst domain, with or without MC, but that's beside the point.) It would also be confusing to those new or in a hurry, as gold ratings would end up exclusively on what are generally weaker subclasses.

    Quote Originally Posted by Corran View Post
    Also, the wizard/cleric (pick a domain that grants you heavy armor prof) has some extra value for enchanters, I would think, for the ability to use Sanctuary/Hypnotic Gaze/Instinctive Charm + Blur, all while clad in heavy armor (athletics proficiency through background). Perhaps this should be skyblue instead of blue? Meaning that since we are mainly a wizard (as one level of cleric would be enough for this), then we should point out that the enchanter is the one who can make the most of this specific multiclass combination?
    ps: Haven't really thought this through, it is just one of the many ideas I have shamelessly stolen from this forum and saved it in my dnd folder to potentially use it in the future
    That is a very good combination, and you may be right. I personally find it more attractive taking first level in cleric than taking first level in fighter, as spell slots progress with cleric. I can point out that combination for sure. I am also a fan of necromancer utilizing the very effective inflict wounds to trigger his level 2 ability. Alas it is currently Sky Blue on the chart.

    EDIT: I just realized some of the later classes apparently got copied over without the colors inside all their breakdown boxes. That was most likely a source of confusion here. I've remedied the issue.
    Last edited by PeteNutButter; 2016-10-02 at 12:58 AM.

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    Default Re: Ultimate Optimizer's Multiclassing Guide

    Very nice, thank you for the effort!

    As has been mentioned, it's a bit difficult that subclasses aren't included, because some combinations work and some don't, depending on subclasses. Including sub classes would lead to a lot more work, and an unreadable table, so I understand why it's not done. Still, somebody who uses this tool to do a quick scan on possible combinations (and doesn't read all the text, just the table), might loos nice combinations.

    Oh well, don't know if anything can be done about that.

    Some words on multiclass combinations:
    - monk / wizard: the combination Quivering palm (way of the open hand 17) portent (diviner 2) is great; save or die, except for the save. Level 19 earliest though.
    - monk / warlock: I think there is more synergy than you describe. A warlock 3 dip gives cantrips (including a good ranged attack, which monk doesn't have), two invocations; for example the mentioned devils sight (for the shadow monk), but also for examle mask of many faces (disguise self at will can really help with scouting). And 2 level 2 spells which recharge at a short rest, like a reaction attack (which most monks don't have); or extra damage (hex), or extra defense and damage (Armor of Agatys); and there's the pact boon and the patron, which can give for example telepathy and an invisible familiar (for a scout type) or temporary hitpoints for a regular frontliner.
    - fighter / bard: lore bard 6 (ok, don't know if this still count as 'dip') can give powerful melee spells, like spirit guardians, the third level paladin smite, Armor of Agatys, or for a mounted combat build: find steed for a horsy.

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    Default Re: Ultimate Optimizer's Multiclassing Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by Waazraath View Post
    Very nice, thank you for the effort!

    As has been mentioned, it's a bit difficult that subclasses aren't included, because some combinations work and some don't, depending on subclasses. Including sub classes would lead to a lot more work, and an unreadable table, so I understand why it's not done. Still, somebody who uses this tool to do a quick scan on possible combinations (and doesn't read all the text, just the table), might loos nice combinations.

    Oh well, don't know if anything can be done about that.

    Some words on multiclass combinations:
    - monk / wizard: the combination Quivering palm (way of the open hand 17) portent (diviner 2) is great; save or die, except for the save. Level 19 earliest though.
    - monk / warlock: I think there is more synergy than you describe. A warlock 3 dip gives cantrips (including a good ranged attack, which monk doesn't have), two invocations; for example the mentioned devils sight (for the shadow monk), but also for examle mask of many faces (disguise self at will can really help with scouting). And 2 level 2 spells which recharge at a short rest, like a reaction attack (which most monks don't have); or extra damage (hex), or extra defense and damage (Armor of Agatys); and there's the pact boon and the patron, which can give for example telepathy and an invisible familiar (for a scout type) or temporary hitpoints for a regular frontliner.
    - fighter / bard: lore bard 6 (ok, don't know if this still count as 'dip') can give powerful melee spells, like spirit guardians, the third level paladin smite, Armor of Agatys, or for a mounted combat build: find steed for a horsy.
    Including subclasses in the chart would definitely be too difficult to work. I don't think its a big deal for most classes, as they behave pretty similarly. Warlock and cleric seem the most different based on subclass, changing roles and proficiencies.

    The quivering palm with diviner is a really cool trick. It's a hella long way to go for starting with a 13 int, probably better if someone else in the party picked it up if you don't have a wizard/he's a different school. At that level you could probably hire a hireling or a dozen... What a busted encounter that would be... a dozen diviners. DMs please don't do that to your players.

    I hear a lot of success stories with the warlock rogue. I think it is quite viable, as are potentially any two classes together. I try and keep the ratings based on the obvious in class synergy. Those things you mentioned aren't really monk strengths, just adding versatility. The ranged attack would be nice, as most monks lack a good one, but since it's cha based it'll never be more than passable without sacrificing key monk stats. Monk's answer to ranged attacks are usually javelins, sun soul, or just run up and punch them with fast movement speed.

    Fighter/Bard is a cool way to pick up a couple nice spells, but most of those could be picked up in the class the spells originally came from. Cleric for example has more obvious synergy, and comes with other goodies. I do like the find steed choice though, since otherwise you'd have to double up on extra attack with paladin 5.

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    Default Re: Ultimate Optimizer's Multiclassing Guide

    Right now i'm playing a Druid of the Moon 8 / SS monk X and it works quite well, the transformation allow you to concentrate on WIS and use your animal form DEX to attack, i normally use it with a Flying Snake (19 DEX) giving me a good AC, i do have a poor HP in my animal form but the Flying Snake is a tiny creature, so you can easily get full cover and you do have a nice speed, so you will normally have enough movement to move from one cover to the other (and if you happen to be in melee, you still have Flyby), also you will get some extra spells from the Druid and having in mind that you concentrated more into WIS, your spells will have a good DC.

    Note: You can also use the Conjure Animals before transforming to have a flock of flying snakes (8 summons + you) -They do have a pretty decent damage for their CR, and you could combine it with Stunning Strike to make them do some serious damage.

    Note2: I have been playing this mainly as a themed character (Monk from the Monastery of the Golden Flying Snake -Based around Quetzalcoatl-
    Last edited by Maxilian; 2016-10-13 at 10:00 AM.

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    Default Re: Ultimate Optimizer's Multiclassing Guide

    Rules as written wearing metal armor does NOT strip away druid's abilities. The tendency to not use them is there only as a sort of reminder that most druids find it distasteful; It's just one type of ribbon features - it has no mechanical weight or value. None of the class features rules that wearing metal armor would suddenly make them non-functional. As such, Fighter/Druid combination isn't as bad as you might think.
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    Default Re: Ultimate Optimizer's Multiclassing Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by Arkhios View Post
    Rules as written wearing metal armor does NOT strip away druid's abilities. The tendency to not use them is there only as a sort of reminder that most druids find it distasteful; It's just one type of ribbon features - it has no mechanical weight or value. None of the class features rules that wearing metal armor would suddenly make them non-functional. As such, Fighter/Druid combination isn't as bad as you might think.
    The rules text is in the Druid class armor proficiencies section:

    "(druids will not wear armor or use shields made of metal)"

    So if that's not a rule, what is it? A naive prediction? :)

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    Default Re: Ultimate Optimizer's Multiclassing Guide

    Quote Originally Posted by odigity View Post
    The rules text is in the Druid class armor proficiencies section:

    "(druids will not wear armor or use shields made of metal)"

    So if that's not a rule, what is it? A naive prediction? :)
    This issue has been addressed in Sage Advice by Jeremy Crawford, 3/21/2016:

    Quote Originally Posted by Sage Advice
    "What happens if a druid wears metal armor? The druid explodes.

    Well, not actually. Druids have a taboo against wearing metal armor and wielding a metal shield. The taboo has been part of the classís story since the class first appeared in Eldritch Wizardry (1976) and the original Playerís Handbook (1978). The idea is that druids prefer to be protected by animal skins, wood, and other natural materials that arenít the worked metal that is associated with civilization. Druids donít lack the ability to wear metal armor. They choose not to wear it. This choice is part of their identity as a mystical order. Think of it in these terms: a vegetarian can eat meat, but the vegetarian chooses not to.

    A druid typically wears leather, studded leather, or hide armor, and if a druid comes across scale mail made of a material other than metal, the druid might wear it. If you feel strongly about your druid breaking the taboo and donning metal, talk to your DM. Each class has story elements mixed with its game features; the two types of design go hand-in-hand in D&D, and the story parts are stronger in some classes than in others. Druids and paladins have an especially strong dose of story in their design. If you want to depart from your classís story, your DM has the final say on how far you can go and still be considered a member of the class. As long as you abide by your characterís proficiencies, youíre not going to break anything in the game system, but you might undermine the story and the world being created in your campaign."
    While druids have a taboo against wearing metal armor and shields, they don't break apart if they do. They know how to wear metal armor and shields. Whether they do is only a matter of choice.

    EDIT: PS. Druids who follow Mielikki in Forgotten Realms are allowed to wear metal armors according to Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting:
    Quote Originally Posted by FRCS, page 23
    Mielikki, who is famous for the number of druid/rangers who worship her, has more lenient spiritual oaths than most deities that druids worship in the Realms. Druids of Mielikki can use any of the standard armor or weapons that rangers normally use (all simple and martial weapons, all light and medium armor, and all shields) without violating their spiritual oaths.
    Note that this is from 3.5, and thus this doesn't mean that worshiping Mielikki in 5e game would grant them more proficiencies (unless your DM said so). Note also, that deities are dependent of the campaign you play in. In a homebrew campaign there just might be someone similar to Mielikki. And even if your campaign didn't require a worship of a deity, there could be a similar philosophy that didn't see it as a problem.
    Last edited by Arkhios; 2016-10-13 at 05:40 PM.
    My 5th Edition D&D Homebrew:
    Note: Blue text written in italics implies lighthearted sarcasm. Don't take it seriously.


    sarcasm
    /ˈsɑːkaz(ə)m/
    noun
    the use of irony to mock or convey contempt.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Zombie

    Join Date
    Feb 2012

    Default Re: Ultimate Optimizer's Multiclassing Guide

    How much damage does Exploding do? Maybe my Druid can survive it, long rest in the armor, and go adventuring the next day in top shape...

    (joke)

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