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  1. - Top - End - #211
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Prose's Guide to Xanathar's Guide to Everything

    Quote Originally Posted by krugaan View Post
    What does undying get, again?
    Not much. It is by far the weakest of the patrons.

    At level one they get a cantrip it makes no sense for them to ever cast, Spare the Dying.

    They get a version of sanctuary that only works if directly targeted by undead.

    At 6, if they makes a death save 1/long rest they gain 1d8+X hp.

    At 10 they do not need to eat, drink or breath anymore but they still need to rest, and they slow their aging to 1/10th. So essentially they get nothing because by level 10 you are not going to care about food and water.

    At 14 they get a once per rest heal of 1d8 + warlock level, and can re-attach severed body parts, which is also kind of pointless considering unless your DM throws it in there as a RP point to screw you, you are not losing a body part anyway and a greater restoration spell fixes that anyway which clerics got 5 levels before.

    If you are in a MAJORLY undead centered campaign and did not mind being the weakest person in the group it could work thematically, otherwise it is just wasted book space or an NPC villain option.

  2. - Top - End - #212
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    Default Re: Prose's Guide to Xanathar's Guide to Everything

    Quote Originally Posted by Dudewithknives View Post
    Not much. It is by far the weakest of the patrons.

    At level one they get a cantrip it makes no sense for them to ever cast, Spare the Dying.

    They get a version of sanctuary that only works if directly targeted by undead.

    At 6, if they makes a death save 1/long rest they gain 1d8+X hp.

    At 10 they do not need to eat, drink or breath anymore but they still need to rest, and they slow their aging to 1/10th. So essentially they get nothing because by level 10 you are not going to care about food and water.

    At 14 they get a once per rest heal of 1d8 + warlock level, and can re-attach severed body parts, which is also kind of pointless considering unless your DM throws it in there as a RP point to screw you, you are not losing a body part anyway and a greater restoration spell fixes that anyway which clerics got 5 levels before.

    If you are in a MAJORLY undead centered campaign and did not mind being the weakest person in the group it could work thematically, otherwise it is just wasted book space or an NPC villain option.
    That sounds a little better than naanomi's description, but still, really really bad.

    It's pretty funny how most of the pact is invalidated by one celestial pact ability you get at level 1.
    Last edited by krugaan; 2017-12-07 at 02:46 PM.
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  3. - Top - End - #213
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    Default Re: Prose's Guide to Xanathar's Guide to Everything

    Quote Originally Posted by krugaan View Post
    That sounds a little better than naanomi's description, but still, really really bad.

    It's pretty funny how most of the pact is invalidated by one celestial pact ability you get at level 1.
    If a Warlock could make a great Necromancer and pet class it would be ok, but they don't.

  4. - Top - End - #214
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    Default Re: Prose's Guide to Xanathar's Guide to Everything

    Quote Originally Posted by Dudewithknives View Post
    If a Warlock could make a great Necromancer and pet class it would be ok, but they don't.
    Chain warlocks desperately need to be able to charm / bind / dominate creatures appropriate to their patron. Right now they get ... a pet.
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  5. - Top - End - #215
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    Default Re: Prose's Guide to Xanathar's Guide to Everything

    That's the point: Pact Boons aren't supposed to be particularly strong strong. It's a single-level non-scaling feature that shares the 3rd level feature budget with gaining access to 2nd level spells.
    Last edited by rbstr; 2017-12-07 at 03:59 PM.

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    Default Re: Prose's Guide to Xanathar's Guide to Everything

    Quote Originally Posted by Naanomi View Post
    Somehow I'm surprised to see Fiend called out as being better than other options, without Undying called out as being worse
    Haha, you're not wrong. I'd honestly forgotten that patron existed it's so rare to see it Certainly, it is the worst!

  7. - Top - End - #217
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProseBeforeHos View Post
    Slayer's Prey: Underwhelming compared to say, planar warrior even with the extra range this has. Long story short - it's still "decent" because it's free, so you can combine it with hunters mark, or use it when you're out of spell slots. If it didn't refresh on a short rest it would be red but thankfully it does.
    As I interpret the text, you can actually use the ability at-will; there is nothing that says "You regain the use of this ability when you finish a rest" or anything similar. Rather, it says "This benefit lasts until you finish a short or long rest. It ends early if you designate a different creature". I.e. "until you finish a short or long rest" is just the duration of the effect.
    Last edited by Platypusbill; 2017-12-13 at 07:39 AM.

  8. - Top - End - #218
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    Default Re: Prose's Guide to Xanathar's Guide to Everything

    Quote Originally Posted by krugaan View Post
    Chain warlocks desperately need to be able to charm / bind / dominate creatures appropriate to their patron. Right now they get ... a pet.
    Thereís nothing stopping them from doing so, except the DM at hand

    Certainly the find familiar spell can call other creatures, and there is some guidance that stock MM/Volos creatures such as a Gazer could qualify.

    Itís probably something best written into the story; do a special service for your patron, get a special reward, or some such

  9. - Top - End - #219
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    Default Re: Prose's Guide to Xanathar's Guide to Everything

    I noticed you focused on the defensive part of Unbreakable Majesty, but it's worth pointing out that it has a pretty powerful offensive component. Disadvantage on spell saves is nothing to sneeze at. High Charisma foes that insist on attacking a Glamour bard are opening themselves up for reprisal.

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    Default Re: Prose's Guide to Xanathar's Guide to Everything

    Something to remember for Hexblade/Blade Pact is that to maximise how good it is, you need several invocations. Thirsting Blade, Lifedrinker, Improved Pact Weapon, Eldritch Smite, all combat abilities that mean you will be taking fewer of the other invocations. I am currently playing a Fiend Warlock, and going Hexblade would probably have meant that I wouldn't be doing the cool stuff I am, such as Disguise Self at will and Silent Image at will.

    So yes, if you want to max out your Hexblade potential you will definitely be losing out in terms of non-combat stuff you can do.

  11. - Top - End - #221
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spiritchaser View Post
    Thereís nothing stopping them from doing so, except the DM at hand

    Certainly the find familiar spell can call other creatures, and there is some guidance that stock MM/Volos creatures such as a Gazer could qualify.

    Itís probably something best written into the story; do a special service for your patron, get a special reward, or some such
    I didn't mean permanently, like a pet ... that would be strong as hell.

    But instead of free hold monster, they should also get to charm / dominate them if they like, instead.
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  12. - Top - End - #222
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    Quote Originally Posted by Avonar View Post
    Something to remember for Hexblade/Blade Pact is that to maximise how good it is, you need several invocations. Thirsting Blade, Lifedrinker, Improved Pact Weapon, Eldritch Smite.
    Eh. Unless you're going for a ranged weapon build, Improved Pact Weapon can be swapped out as soon as you get an actual magic weapon, assuming you haven't picked one up by the time you would even be taking it. And eldritch smite, while not at all bad, is hardly compulsory. Bladelocks have good enough spells, and few enough slots to work with, that a smiting mechanic is hardly obligatory in a single classed build. And even in multiclassed builds, the fact that eldritch smite only works with warlock slots still keeps it from being a 'must have'.

    I'd personally consider 'relentless hex' a higher priority than eldritch smite, but maybe that's just me.


    So, in general, i think bladelocks really only have a couple obligatory invocation slots at a time, since you should hopefully have found at least a +1 weapon by the time you're level 12. that's not too bad.

    Really, the only problems with hexblade are that hex warrior - which is really nothing other than a bladelock fix - should have been part of pact blade itself, not part of another patron, and that hexblade's curse should scale with warlock level, not character level. Beyond that, it's fine, and doesn't need to be tuned down.

    Some other aspects of warlock could afford to be tuned up, though.
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  13. - Top - End - #223
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    Default Re: Prose's Guide to Xanathar's Guide to Everything

    Quote Originally Posted by Platypusbill View Post
    As I interpret the text, you can actually use the ability at-will; there is nothing that says "You regain the use of this ability when you finish a rest" or anything similar. Rather, it says "This benefit lasts until you finish a short or long rest. It ends early if you designate a different creature". I.e. "until you finish a short or long rest" is just the duration of the effect.
    Good catch, you're right I misread it. I'm going to do a big update to this guide soontm and I will up the rating accordingly.

    Quote Originally Posted by Avonar View Post
    Something to remember for Hexblade/Blade Pact is that to maximise how good it is, you need several invocations. Thirsting Blade, Lifedrinker, Improved Pact Weapon, Eldritch Smite.
    As Malisteen pointed out that's not really true. The "incantation tax" is fairly light only thirsting blade and lifedrinker are really required and so few games go to level 12 anyway.

    Improved pact weapon is purely optional (and even if you take it you will swap it out eventually), you can build a perfectly good bladelock without ever taking smite (though I think eventually it becomes worth it).

    The bigger issue is... is any of this worth not just building a blasterlock? They do comparable damage but at range, and don't have to worry about having a weapon in their hand impeding their casting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ProseBeforeHos View Post
    Good catch, you're right I misread it. I'm going to do a big update to this guide soontm and I will up the rating accordingly.



    As Malisteen pointed out that's not really true. The "incantation tax" is fairly light only thirsting blade and lifedrinker are really required and so few games go to level 12 anyway.

    Improved pact weapon is purely optional (and even if you take it you will swap it out eventually), you can build a perfectly good bladelock without ever taking smite (though I think eventually it becomes worth it).

    The bigger issue is... is any of this worth not just building a blasterlock? They do comparable damage but at range, and don't have to worry about having a weapon in their hand impeding their casting.
    Do you want to hit things with a weapon often while still being a warlock? Well if so EB is not going to work as your primary attack. If you are just a numbers person you can get better numbers using blade but you have to work for it and invest and it will be more dangerous. It is all about style and what you want to do an EB only using warlock will not scratch various kinds of itches and if you have that itch well you need to find something that scratches that.
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    Default Re: Prose's Guide to Xanathar's Guide to Everything

    I think Toll the Dead and Shadow Blade should mention having phenomenal potential with Eldritch Knights.

    EK can't get Shadow Blade until level 7, but when they do... WOW. 3d8 + 7 per hit if using a 3rd level spell slot with max Dexterity and the Duelist fighting style. All that and you can still carry a shield.

    (I'm mulling over creating an AL point build EK with Shield Mastery and Shadow Blade for the next campaign I'll participate in. Paragon means I don't have to necessarily max out STR for it to be viable).

    Toll the Dead has major synergy with Eldritch Strike.
    Last edited by Nargrakhan; 2017-12-20 at 10:59 AM.

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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nargrakhan View Post
    I think Toll the Dead and Shadow Blade should mention having phenomenal potential with Eldritch Knights.

    EK can't get Shadow Blade until level 7, but when they do... WOW. 3d8 + 7 per hit if using a 3rd level spell slot with max Dexterity and the Duelist fighting style. All that and you can still carry a shield.

    (I'm mulling over creating an AL point build EK with Shield Mastery and Shadow Blade for the next campaign I'll participate in. Paragon means I don't have to necessarily max out STR for it to be viable).

    Toll the Dead has major synergy with Eldritch Strike.
    And since fighters get so many ASIs, the MADness for Toll the Dead isn't quite as bad. I have an AL level 17 EK that has max Int and 5 feats, and I'm considering taking a 6th when I get there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nargrakhan View Post
    I think Toll the Dead and Shadow Blade should mention having phenomenal potential with Eldritch Knights.

    EK can't get Shadow Blade until level 7, but when they do... WOW. 3d8 + 7 per hit if using a 3rd level spell slot with max Dexterity and the Duelist fighting style. All that and you can still carry a shield.
    Sure, but you're competing with Haste. That said, Shadow Blade is a bonus action to summon, and doesn't make you lose your turn of you lose concentration. As a result, Shadow Blade might be overall the more beneficial spell for eldritch knights (as opposed to arcane tricksters who will get more mileage out of Haste due to the Ready action and Sneak Attack).

    Assuming a TWF build at level 11: 9D8+15 psychic, 1D6+5 (other hand), for a total of 64 average damage, +1 if you took Dual Wielder. That ain't bad at all. You could also have the Warcaster feat and use Booming Blade on opportunity attacks (you'll need it to cast spells with your hands full anyway).
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    Quote Originally Posted by MeeposFire View Post
    Do you want to hit things with a weapon often while still being a warlock? Well if so EB is not going to work as your primary attack. If you are just a numbers person you can get better numbers using blade but you have to work for it and invest and it will be more dangerous. It is all about style and what you want to do an EB only using warlock will not scratch various kinds of itches and if you have that itch well you need to find something that scratches that.
    This is pretty much why I am excited to play Hexblades. I already have a character idea in mind for a modern game involving guns but I also want to experiment since it will be my first time playing a warlock so I am going to build a backup character in another friends game and see how it goes with ranged weapons.

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    Default Re: Prose's Guide to Xanathar's Guide to Everything

    Quote Originally Posted by Nargrakhan View Post
    I think Toll the Dead and Shadow Blade should mention having phenomenal potential with Eldritch Knights.

    EK can't get Shadow Blade until level 7
    8th level actually, since it's an illusion spell so they'd need to use their 'special slot' on it.

    For that reason I'd say it's good for an EK, amazing for an arcane trickster.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ProseBeforeHos View Post
    8th level actually, since it's an illusion spell so they'd need to use their 'special slot' on it.

    For that reason I'd say it's good for an EK, amazing for an arcane trickster.
    But since an EK can swap their level 3 special slot for it, they can still get it a 7.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rogerdodger557 View Post
    But since an EK can swap their level 3 special slot for it, they can still get it a 7.
    By RAW you cannot, it has to be 8th/14th or 20th lvl 'special slot' (I admit as a DM I would allow my player to do so).

    Again, it's not that it's bad on EK it's just a little weaker since unlike the trickster you have to burn a 'special' pick.

  22. - Top - End - #232
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    I do think this guide is underrating Oath & Aura of Conquest.

    Yeah, fear already stops enemies from moving closer to the source of their fear, but that's not all that helpful on a tank. Preventing enemies from moving away, though, that's a big deal. Under the aura's effects, frightened enemies can't scatter and regroup. They can't leave the paladin to go engage other party members. They can't get out of line of sight to be able to make saves on the fear spell, which the subclass grants at ninth level. They can't stand up from prone. They can't go get their weapons if you command them to "throw" them away. If the paladin is using a reach weapon, they might not be able to attack /anyone/ unless they have reach or ranged attacks themselves, and even if the paladin is going sword & board, non-ranged mooks are stuck throwing attacks at disadvantage against probably the best AC in the party. And if you're willing to take a bit of pain yourself, your party blaster can drop a persistent damage aoe on your head, and the enemies trapped in your aura will just have to suffer in there with you. Again, especially if you tagged them with fear, which doesn't even allow follow up saves if they fail the first one if they can't get away from you.

    From level 7 on (or more realistically 8 on, given the strong incentive for a second level hexblade dip), they're among the stickier tanks in the game, at least against fear-vulnerable targets. Yeah that's not everyone, and probably doesn't include the BBEG, but what other tank locks down crowds like a conquest paladin? And before that they've got solid oath spells (armor of Agathys at level 3, Spiritual Weapon at level 5) and strong channel divinities.

    They trade some damage dealing or mitigating potential for crowd control, but that still seems like a solid deal to make for any paladin who wants to focus on tanking. IMO, both the subclass as a whole and the aura in particular rate at least a solid dark blue.
    Last edited by Malisteen; 2017-12-22 at 02:25 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProseBeforeHos View Post
    8th level actually, since it's an illusion spell so they'd need to use their 'special slot' on it.

    For that reason I'd say it's good for an EK, amazing for an arcane trickster.

    Quote Originally Posted by ProseBeforeHos View Post
    By RAW you cannot, it has to be 8th/14th or 20th lvl 'special slot' (I admit as a DM I would allow my player to do so).
    It can be learned at level 7. You're using an old version of the PHB. See errata:

    http://media.wizards.com/2017/dnd/do.../PH-Errata.pdf

    Spells Known of 1st-Level and Higher (p. 75). The final sentence ends as follows: "Ö unless youíre replacing the spell you gained at 3rd, 8th, 14th, or 20th level from any school of magic" (6th printing).

    Don't worry: I didn't know until a player of mine corrected me. Change didn't happen till the 6th printing.

    Anyone who didn't let their EK player change a spell at level 7 since 2016, owe that player a beer.

    ***EDIT***
    Changed errata link to the 2017 version... 2016 version had it, but isn't the latest version.
    Last edited by Nargrakhan; 2017-12-22 at 07:43 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nargrakhan View Post
    It can be learned at level 7. You're using an old version of the PHB. See errata:

    http://media.wizards.com/2017/dnd/do.../PH-Errata.pdf

    Spells Known of 1st-Level and Higher (p. 75). The final sentence ends as follows: "Ö unless youíre replacing the spell you gained at 3rd, 8th, 14th, or 20th level from any school of magic" (6th printing).

    Don't worry. I didn't know until a player of mine corrected me. Change didn't happen till the 6th printing.

    ***EDIT***
    Changed errata link to the 2017 version... 2016 version had it, but isn't the latest version.
    Good catch, and a good change from WOTC. I think most non-sadist DM's would have ruled it that way anyway.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dudewithknives View Post
    Not much. It is by far the weakest of the patrons.

    At level one they get a cantrip it makes no sense for them to ever cast, Spare the Dying.

    They get a version of sanctuary that only works if directly targeted by undead.

    At 6, if they makes a death save 1/long rest they gain 1d8+X hp.

    At 10 they do not need to eat, drink or breath anymore but they still need to rest, and they slow their aging to 1/10th. So essentially they get nothing because by level 10 you are not going to care about food and water.

    At 14 they get a once per rest heal of 1d8 + warlock level, and can re-attach severed body parts, which is also kind of pointless considering unless your DM throws it in there as a RP point to screw you, you are not losing a body part anyway and a greater restoration spell fixes that anyway which clerics got 5 levels before.

    If you are in a MAJORLY undead centered campaign and did not mind being the weakest person in the group it could work thematically, otherwise it is just wasted book space or an NPC villain option.
    While the features of Undying are somewhat underwhelming, their bonus spells are arguably quite good. If nothing else, getting access to Death Ward that recharges on a Short Rest is remarkably useful; got a spare slot you didn't use before resting? D.Ward yourself or an ally.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ProseBeforeHos View Post
    Psychic Scream: Haha, head explosion as a core mechanic? What is this, SotDL? Funky SFX aside, this is a good spell, the damage is garbage, but an intelligence based stun, long range and large number of effected enemies (with 0 concentration) will end most encounters you use it on. What a shame wish exists and makes all other level 9 spells redundant.
    I don't understand how you can say Wish makes all other level 9 spells redundant. It can only replicate 8th level or lower spells without you suffering a massive debuff and having a chance to never be able to cast Wish again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Naanomi View Post
    Since the weapon counts as your focus, most spells you donít even need a free hand right? Only those with expensive material componants, or somatic componants without material ones?
    This correct point seems to have gone a bit unnoticed: the hand holding a spellcasting focus can also be used for a spell's somatic components, so a dual-wielding College of Swords Bard or Warlock with Improved Pact Weapon need not perform sheath-and-drop/draw shenanigans unless casting a spell that requires an unusual (expensive) component. This is especially useful for the casting of reaction spells by those character-types, during which they cannot sheath and arguably cannot even drop.

    As I see it, an advantage of these Swords and Hexbladelock gish-types is their ability to use two-weapon-fighting to get a foothold on the bonus action economy that often eludes casters, however slight (and yes, cantrip scaling does make up for a lot of it). As far as design history goes, Hex Warrior was rewritten (between the UAs and XGE) to allow the use of Charisma with two weapons at once, and the first "Kits of Old" UA College of Swords received only Two-Weapon Fighting as a fighting style. Of course, the point about the Hexbladelock begging for a fighting style becomes even more apt in this case, to the point that it should maybe even be linked up with how the Patron seems built for multiclassing.

    All of these recommended changes really just amount to changes to commentary, rather than rating (particularly in the College of Swords portion, and of course ratings you can judge for yourself), but if there was one related rating I would change, it's the rating on Improved Pact Weapon. It's design history includes, first, the addition of the spellcasting-focus benefit, and then an often-overlooked qualification on the +1 bonus in XGE (that is, a magical pact weapon still gets +1 from the invocation as long as its magical properties don't already include such a bonus, improving an odd class of magical weapons). If we take for granted the utility of the spellcasting-focus feature towards opening up two-weapon-fighting to Bladelocks in a way that doesn't (much) interfere with spellcasting, then that invocation does that for any Bladelock, regardless of Patron, increasing their general viability at least a little. Combine that with the way Improved Pact Weapon has been redesigned to work with a similarly often-overlooked feature of Bladelocks, namely the flexibility to complement spellcasting with applications of magical effects from some weapons, and I think maybe the ranking should go up a bit.

    Edit: My prior evaluations contained a significant oversight: as Naanomi had correct in the quote above, having a weapon in each hand prevents casting a spell with a somatic but no material component even if one is a spellcasting focus. This well-understood, Crawford-sourced interaction was one that had escaped my attention. Having realized that, I still felt that I could say something along the lines of "Maximizing this convenience is restrictive to spell selection, but I for one find it refreshingly interesting to have more of a reason to pay attention to spell components," but then it occurred to me that I should actually take a look at the Bard and Warlock spell lists for their components. 40% of the Hexblade's expanded spells cannot be cast while holding both a focus and anything else, just like 42% of Warlock spells and 36% of Bard spells. The applicability of my reaction point was similarly undermined: even widening the search as via Magical Secrets, there is only one reaction spell that fits the bill (Feather Fall on the Bard). I have to say that I find the idea that a dual-wielding Hexbladelock cannot cast Shield without shenanigans or a feat to be very frustrating.
    Last edited by fatestick; 2018-01-02 at 03:29 AM.

  28. - Top - End - #238
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    2D8HP's Avatar

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    Default Re: Prose's Guide to Xanathar's Guide to Everything

    Thanks @ProseBeforeHos, for your great guide!

    Hoping to try a Wood Elf Gloom Stalker/Scout now!

    Grim specter of noogie hangs like shroud over us all


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  29. - Top - End - #239
    Orc in the Playground
     
    NinjaGuy

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    Default Re: Prose's Guide to Xanathar's Guide to Everything

    Man I'm late to this thread.

    Anyways, Mantle of Inspiration and Unicorn Spirit should both be sky blue imho.

    Mantle of Inspiration doesn't need a heal to be excellent. You give your entire party a reposition. It's not JUST disengage. It's a disengage and a movement action for the ENTIRE PARTY. At the cost of a bardic inspiration? That's absolutely nuts. Like that should be sky blue without the healing. With healing its absurdly cost effective. Never have your wizard caught in melee again. Never have your beatstick NOT in melee. It's just really strong.

    Unicorn Spirit is also amazing, but not for the reasons you think. It casts as a bonus action, for one. It's not a spell. And it doesn't require concentration. A typical druid combat involves casting a powerful concentration spell first turn. Now the turn you do that, you also drop a Unicorn Spirit. Going forward, you do whatever your typical combat routine is. Only now you can spend a level 1 spell slot to healing word as a bonus action and also nova heal. At level 10 your 1st level healing words heal 1d4+15 to one party member and 10 to everyone else. When was the last time a 1st level spell cast as a bonus action restored 50 hp? This is the ultimate boss fight healing ability, because it doesn't hinder your primary combat strategy but also allows you to drop insane healing bursts using a 1st level spell slot and a bonus action.

  30. - Top - End - #240
    Orc in the Playground
    Join Date
    Feb 2018

    Default Re: Prose's Guide to Xanathar's Guide to Everything

    Quote Originally Posted by ProseBeforeHos View Post
    New Spells

    Shadow of Moil
    : It's not quite as good as greater invisibility, but it's still good enough to be usable. Warlocks (especially Hexblades) who want a powerful defensive concentration spell, but who don't have access to greater invis. could do worse.
    Why is it worse than greater invisibility? Contrarily to greater invisibility, it still works against True Sight / See Invisible, and does a free 2d8 damage when hit.

    Just use regular invisibility when trying to be sneaky.
    Last edited by Merudo; 2018-03-02 at 02:14 AM.

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