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Thread: TWF build input

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    Pixie in the Playground
    Join Date
    Aug 2017

    Default TWF build input

    Getting back into the game after many years and there's a lot I still don't understand, but I'm working on it. I'm in a campaign currently and am playing and enjoying it immensely. I wanted to build a character around TWF and Dual Wield, but unfortunately it doesn't quite sync up with what I have, or will have currently. My question is, does anything synergize with TWF? I'd like to eventually play something that can capitalize on and efficiently use TWF. But everything I read seems to indicate it does not. If not, that's fine, I still like it stylistically and it's not like it cripples a character. I just wondered if anyone has any suggestions? Doesn't matter the play style, whether melee, caster, hybrid, or any combo of those (except ranged, no ranged please). Any and (almost) all ideas welcome. Thanks!

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    Troll in the Playground
     
    Easy_Lee's Avatar

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    Sep 2014

    Default Re: TWF build input

    There are only a handful of options.

    The best I know of (as in the one that benefits the most) is in my sig. Revised Ranger Beast Conclave doesn't get extra attack, so TWF with the style actually doubles its number of attacks. In addition, you're riding a scaling wolf with pack tactics and it's legitimate.

    A rogue / fighter can also benefit. Rogues do well with reaction attacks, something crossbow experts tend not to get. You can take BM fighter and the Riposte maneuver on a multiclass rogue to give yourself lots of reactions. Combine this with the sentinel feat to maximize extra attacks. Any type of rogue works well with this build, but many prefer Swashbuckler.

    Some sort of Ranger / Barbarian multiclass might also benefit, since Rangers don't get great weapon fighting style.
    Last edited by Easy_Lee; 2017-08-12 at 04:33 PM.

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: TWF build input

    Basically I think you want builds that do extra damage on attacks and won't be taking feats that give bonus action attacks.

    Paladin, revised ranger can kind of be ok. Rogue can pull it off to get better chances of landing a sneak attack.

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    BardGuy

    Join Date
    Jun 2015

    Default Re: TWF build input

    Quote Originally Posted by imtodd View Post
    Getting back into the game after many years and there's a lot I still don't understand, but I'm working on it. I'm in a campaign currently and am playing and enjoying it immensely. I wanted to build a character around TWF and Dual Wield, but unfortunately it doesn't quite sync up with what I have, or will have currently. My question is, does anything synergize with TWF? I'd like to eventually play something that can capitalize on and efficiently use TWF. But everything I read seems to indicate it does not. If not, that's fine, I still like it stylistically and it's not like it cripples a character. I just wondered if anyone has any suggestions? Doesn't matter the play style, whether melee, caster, hybrid, or any combo of those (except ranged, no ranged please). Any and (almost) all ideas welcome. Thanks!
    Efficiently using TWF means a couple of things.
    1. Go plain Rogue: usually a DEX build, in spite of already having many good things to do as a bonus action, can only love an extra chance to deal Sneak Attack. Maybe take a Fighter/Ranger dip for the related Fighting Style.

    2. Go any martial class that is usually STR-geared and get Extra Attack and grab Dual Wielder. A plain Battlemaster or Barbarian, but even Paladins will be great for that.

    TWF is great in itself because of allowing you to wield throwable weapons, maximizing your chance of obtaining the best ratio between the threat level you create and the threat level you expose yourself to.

    While DEX-geared martials will easily surpass you on ranged attacks with a bow, they usually suffer much lesser AC for a good while and are disadvantaged at close range, nor do they get any *good* opportunity attacks (which specifically states you make a melee attack, so a bow handler can at best let one hand loose to make a puny punch).

    While STR-heavy-weapon martials will easily surpass you damage-wise, they always need to come within 5-10 feet of their enemies, so even if they manage to attack without provoking OA (thanks to reach) they usually use too much speed to distance themselves back, ending often in a more important "threat level" on selves than they would really like (even those Barbarians who actually want to draw some attacks on them).
    Furthermore, they can at most do one ranged attack per turn as a result (drop one hand from your weapon -Sage Advice told it's required only for the attack-, draw a javelin/dagger per your free object interaction and throw it).

    While S&B martials usually deal a slightly better damage than you (if Duelist) and have 1/2 points better AC (wielding shield on one side, Dual Wielder or not on the other), they suffer the same problem than two-handers: one ranged attack at most, either attack or grapple (although Tavern Brawler can mitigate some of that). Also the problem of mobility, although less critical than for two-handers thanks to the slightly better AC.

    The TWF can easily use throwable weapons in both hands (Light Hammers and Handaxes are not the best damage-wise, but still decent), giving him an effective reach of 20 feet on at least two enemies while still keeping a weapon at the ready for any opportunity attack.

    TWF is also the only one (compared with two-handed or S&B) that can switch "stances" without losing any efficiency (between melee/ranged, grappler/shover/striker etc).

    You also get many options to tailor your playstyle, depending on your class...

    - Defensive Duelist: keep light weapons, use daggers in your off-hand. Great feat to take once you get +3 proficiency at least, unless your character already has a good defensive option that is often available (Shield on a high-level caster, Uncanny Dodge for a Rogue for example). Note that technically you don't need TWF for that benefit, a character with rapier and shield could use it as easily. So it's not a plus of TWF, just a thing that is compatible with it.

    - Dual Wielder: gives you an upgrade in effective reach by swapping light weapons for javelins, or a way to combine several feats, along with a +1 AC.

    - Sharpshooter: although it's counter-intuitive, it's actually a very good feat to get, since only the "big risk big benefit" feature is incompatible. Picking this means your effective reach as a STR martial is now at least 60 feet (120 paired with Dual Wielder).

    - Magic Initiate: although honestly a single level dip is usually much better, if you want to stay pure-class picking Hex from Warlock is the best bet: no save +1d6 on each attack is nice.

    Now for the class features or spells that go the best with TWF, in spite of all costing a bonus action ;)...

    Spells (at least the ones I can think of right now)
    1. Divine Favor (War Cleric 1): 1d4 radiant, works on any and every weapon attacks, 1mn for bonus action: small but self-reliant benefit. Plus you get all the other great things from Cleric.
    2. Hex (Warlock 1): 1d6 necrotic, no save, + disadvantage on checks. Too bad it's necrotic.
    3. Hunter's Mark (Ranger 2): 1d8 physical, no save, advantage on Perception. "weapon damage" means less efficient against physically resistant enemies, unless your weapon is magical.
    4. Enlarge: +1d4 on every melee weapon attack, and advantage on STR checks. ;)

    Class features
    1. Smite (Paladin 2): obvious reasons why this is great paired with TWF. Heavy spell slots cost though.
    2. Rage (Barbarian 1+): obvious too, +2/3/4 on every attack (unless you go the thrown weapon way as your systematic tactic). ;)
    3. Horde Breaker (Hunter Ranger 3): always decent on any character, usually hard to enable on a melee attacker because of movement required to position correctly. Great if you go "thrown way", at least use whips or otherwise get a feat that eases disengage such as Mobile.
    4. Improved Critical (Champion Fighter 3): one of the best ways to improve all your weapon attacks.
    5. Bladesinger: for DEX-based TWF mostly, because of the drastic armor restriction, but gives strong benefits for a TWF gish.

    (6. Hexblade from UA Warlock: the best dip you could ever make, but totally broken so don't expect any DM to accept).

    In addition to that, there are many other features that are usually good to enhance weapon attacks but they are not specifically synergizing with TWF (= they are equally great whatever kind of martial you make), notably Battlemaster's Manoeuvers or Bless spell.

    The way I see it...
    - If you want to be a single class, pick Battlemaster Fighter (lots of feats available for some crazy combination -Magic Initiate feels near mandatory-, Manoeuvers, many attacks), Barbarian (melee brawler with occasional throw) or Arcane Trickster Rogue (expert in Grappling in spite of low STR, always benefit from TWF).
    - If you want to multiclass, Champion 5 should probably be your first goal, with any multiclass coming later, to make an easy and efficient build. Or you could make your own mix&match with casters, depending on whether you want to specialize in one thing or play the "flexible" card to the utmost end. ;)

    Spoiler: A few examples
    Show
    Thrown artillery
    Champion Fighter 6 / Hunter Ranger 4 (/ (War Cleric 1-3): pick Dual Wielder and Sharpshooter, grab Defense and TWF Styles, wield Javelins. ;) Either use Hunter's Mark against a few powerful enemies, or dip Cleric for Divine Favor to take care of lesser threats (better action economy). Optional Sentinel or Polearm master later.
    You can stick in one position to defend people in heavy armor while still killing/grappling/OAing any enemy you wish. You also boast a very respectable AC which you can boost as needed.

    Versatile STR)
    Champion Fighter 3 / Arcane Trickster 5->9 / caster X. Pick Sharpshooter. Single target? Sneak Attack + Booming Blade packs a serious punch in melee. Dispersed targets? Thrown daggers. Clustered targets? AOE spell.
    You also get great defensive options: Uncanny Dodge for single attack, emergency Shield for cluster of attacks.

    Melee Flurry
    Fighter 1+ (TWF Style) / Paladin 2+ (Smite) / caster X / Barbarian 3+.
    Idea here is to grab long-duration buff spells (Longstrider or Armor of Agathys for example) and/or spare slots to fuel Smites on Raging melee attacks for nova, otherwise using Paladin spells for small but decent buffs. Grab Mobile feat because every extra speed help here for Raging. Beyond that, fall back on the previous options suggested.
    A good array could be Devotion Paladin 7 / Bear Barbarian 3 / Champion 3 / Warlock 7: extremely tanky and spiky for the toughest fight (Rage benefits + charm immunity and better saves, short-rest slots for smite), very efficient otherwise against single-target (upcast smite spells, control spells or party buffs).
    Last edited by Citan; 2017-08-13 at 04:53 AM.

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