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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default To build a caster killer...

    The breakdown:

    I want to build a character that is built specifically to take out casters.
    NPC general casters not PC power builds.

    One of the things that has brought this on is that the DM I am playing with changed what the Mage Slayer feat does.

    The first part of the feat where you get to make an AoO against someone who casts within 5 feet of you now goes off BEFORE the spell takes effect, instead of after it is over.
    Also, if the attack hit the caster has to make a concentration check or the spell fails.

    This came about after another campaign where someone had the feat and in the entire campaign it never once activated because every caster in 5 feet either cast a movement spell first like Misty Step and left the range, or they cast a spell that stopped the ability to see them like blindness/darkness, or they stopped their reaction with like shocking grasp.

    This way, with the feat's attack happening first it is like shield/counterspell in that it happens before the trigger is resolved, because why should casters be the only people who can interrupt.

    ON TOPIC though: what build to use it with.

    Stealth would probably be very important
    Rogues get the most bang out of getting an AoO
    Monks of the Shadow get movement and other nifty things like silence
    Paladins get massive resistances.


    So how would you make a caster killer?
    All published material is fine
    Stats are going to be rolled but we have not done that yet
    free feat at level 1 which will be Mage Slayer the revised edition above
    no multi classing in this game. Just straight 1 class, games should hit about 15ish. Might even hit 20 due to throwing in an extra module at the end
    Last edited by Dudewithknives; 2017-12-08 at 11:04 AM.

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    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: To build a caster killer...

    Straight Shadow Monk gives you killer movement, bonus action teleport for 30ft, Mage Slayer, evasion, amazing saves, and stunning fist can shut down almost any NPC mage in existence (as long as someone else keeps the enemy tanks off of him). Also, if you want to make it even better, the Ki option for darkness breaks the mages line of sight, making it harder to cast and the Ki option for Silence speaks for itself. The only issue you have with this is that many Monks are MAD and need the ASIs instead of feats, but if you take a VHuman with Mage Slayer at level 1 you are pretty much golden.


    Other possible choices, Mage Slayer on a Strength based Rogue Barbarian grappler can be pretty amazing to. You grapple the mage, then the next turn restrain them. If they can't move their arms, most DMs will say that they can't cast spells with Somatic components. If they try, you get the reaction attack with advantage to shank them with sneak attack damage.
    Last edited by nickl_2000; 2017-12-07 at 09:29 AM.
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  3. - Top - End - #3
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: To build a caster killer...

    Quote Originally Posted by nickl_2000 View Post
    Straight Shadow Monk gives you killer movement, bonus action teleport for 30ft, Mage Slayer, evasion, amazing saves, and stunning fist can shut down almost any NPC mage in existence (as long as someone else keeps the enemy tanks off of him). Also, if you want to make it even better, the Ki option for darkness breaks the mages line of sight, making it harder to cast and the Ki option for Silence speaks for itself. The only issue you have with this is that many Monks are MAD and need the ASIs instead of feats, but if you take a VHuman with Mage Slayer at level 1 you are pretty much golden.


    Other possible choices, Mage Slayer on a Strength based Rogue Barbarian grappler can be pretty amazing to. You grapple the mage, then the next turn restrain them. If they can't move their arms, most DMs will say that they can't cast spells with Somatic components. If they try, you get the reaction attack with advantage to shank them with sneak attack damage.
    We get a free feat at level 1 in this game so the Mage Slayer feat will not stop me from getting my ASI later.

    I was just wondering if the monk cool stuff would outweigh the stealth expertise and much better AoO damage of a rogue, either Swashbuckler so i don't have to have as much set up for sneak attack of as AT for my own tiny buffing.

  4. - Top - End - #4
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    Imp

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    Default Re: To build a caster killer...

    If it's single-class only, then you really just want an Ancients Paladin. Bonus to Saves, Resistance to magic damage, awesome AC, massive nova damage for taking out the problematic magi in one fell swoop. Mobility (not the Feat, although the Feat is definitely an option) is nice and all, but you can usually just tank any OA's you take on the way to your target.

    For something a little different; "Set a Thief to catch a Thief" is sound advice, so create a caster to beat a caster. Specifically, create a Lore Bard. Take Counterspell at 6th and shut down every spell you see. A spellcaster without spells is frequently rather ineffective, especially if they're wasting actions trying to get a spell off. Add Silence and Darkness to your spell known and you're all set to stroll up and hit him to death with a stick.
    Last edited by JellyPooga; 2017-12-07 at 09:37 AM.
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    ClericGuy

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    Default Re: To build a caster killer...

    Definately monk, maybe with a dip in rogue to expertise athletics: cast silence and wrestle-stun the caster within it, he's dead.
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  6. - Top - End - #6
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    DwarfClericGuy

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    Default Re: To build a caster killer...

    Abjurerer Wizard is honestly the best anti-caster there is.

    You get proficiency bonuses to counterspells and dispel magic checks. You have resistance to all damage spells and advantage on all saving throws against spells. And you have way more hit points than any other caster.

    You can be a High Elf, improve your Dex, and use a finesse weapon to facilitate Booming Blade/Green Flame Blade hi-jinx. You can even take Mage Slayer and War Caster and end up using those cantrips to interrupt other spells being cast, I believe.
    Last edited by UrielAwakened; 2017-12-07 at 09:46 AM.

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    MonkGirl

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    Default Re: To build a caster killer...

    The new Monster Slayer ranger subclass has lots of anti-caster goodies

    Donít underestimate a good Assassin in just taking someone down in one hit from long range or with a mundane disguise either...

  8. - Top - End - #8
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    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: To build a caster killer...

    Quote Originally Posted by Dudewithknives View Post
    We get a free feat at level 1 in this game so the Mage Slayer feat will not stop me from getting my ASI later.

    I was just wondering if the monk cool stuff would outweigh the stealth expertise and much better AoO damage of a rogue, either Swashbuckler so i don't have to have as much set up for sneak attack of as AT for my own tiny buffing.
    As a straight up Shadow Monk at level 3 you can spent 2 ASI to cast Pass without a Trace, Darkness, Silence, and Darkvision. Silence and Pass without a Trace more than make up for lack of expertise in stealth. That being said, there is absolutely no reason why you can't be a Shadow Monk who dips 1 level into Rogue to get Expertise and 1d6 sneak attack. However, you will need to make sure you carry a finesse weapon as you can't sneak attack with unarmed strike.

    If you get a free feat at level 1 that makes it even better, play a Taxabi if you want immediate prof in stealth and perception as well as even better movement around the battlefield with the Feline Agility options. Plus I believe that the Cat's Claws are considered an unarmed strike, so you can choose between damage types. If you don't like the Kunku is pretty much perfect from a stat perspective. Or you play as a Stout Halfing to resist more damage types and get that sweet, sweet lucky skill.
    Last edited by nickl_2000; 2017-12-07 at 09:44 AM.
    To all the long suffering DMs putting up with our insane plans, crazy ideas, and "unique" solution we would like to say we are sorry. We "would" like to but we won't, since the truth is that we aren't sorry. We will continue to break your plans and make you make up rules at every possible opportunity.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: To build a caster killer...

    Quote Originally Posted by Naanomi View Post
    The new Monster Slayer ranger subclass has lots of anti-caster goodies

    Donít underestimate a good Assassin in just taking someone down in one hit from long range or with a mundane disguise either...
    The Mage Slayer feat has to be used within 5 feet of the caster. This almost has to be a melee build, or crossbow expert.

    I looked at Monster Slayer, it is also something I am considering.

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    Default Re: To build a caster killer...

    I want to say Hexblade Warlock.

    For some reason being a Super-Gish with limited yet powerful spell slots who specialises in killing other casters feels so much witcher.

    Step 1: Take Eldritch Blast and Booming Blade, for a Ranged and melee option. Also get Armor of Agathys and Hex.

    Step 2: Agonising Blast and replace the second Invocation with Improved Pact Weapon as soon as possible.

    Step 3: Eldritch Smite. By the level you get it, it's a rider on top of Booming Blade and Hex/Elemental Weapon+Hexblade's Curse.

    You may notice you don't get a second attack; it's fine. Your nova damage is great as long as you use Booming Blade to attack, and if you really want you can invest in PAM or other shennenigans; You still have a second attack with Eldritch Blast, and if you want to be a crossbow user, you can invest in Crossbow Expert, which also negates your dissadvantage in melee with Eldritch Blast.
    Last edited by Asmotherion; 2017-12-07 at 09:48 AM.

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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: To build a caster killer...

    Use a rakshasa they have good magic resistance and give it the Staff of the Magi. Or some other race with magic resistance . Also magic users can be good against other magic users if they have counter spells.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: To build a caster killer...

    Quote Originally Posted by nickl_2000 View Post
    As a straight up Shadow Monk at level 3 you can spent 2 ASI to cast Pass without a Trace, Darkness, Silence, and Darkvision. Silence and Pass without a Trace more than make up for lack of expertise in stealth. That being said, there is absolutely no reason why you can't be a Shadow Monk who dips 1 level into Rogue to get Expertise and 1d6 sneak attack. However, you will need to make sure you carry a finesse weapon as you can't sneak attack with unarmed strike.

    If you get a free feat at level 1 that makes it even better, play a Taxabi if you want immediate prof in stealth and perception as well as even better movement around the battlefield with the Feline Agility options. Plus I believe that the Cat's Claws are considered an unarmed strike, so you can choose between damage types. If you don't like the Kunku is pretty much perfect from a stat perspective. Or you play as a Stout Halfing to resist more damage types and get that sweet, sweet lucky skill.
    There is no multi classing in this campaign, just 1 class, level 1 to probably 15ish.
    Last edited by Dudewithknives; 2017-12-07 at 09:46 AM.

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    DruidGuy

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    Default Re: To build a caster killer...

    Quote Originally Posted by Dudewithknives View Post
    There is no multi classing in this campaign, just 1 class, level 1 to probably 15ish.
    Well I either missed that or you edited it to add it. Either way, I still say straight monk, but I'm partial to melee classes. I'm sure the other options would be awesome as well.
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    LeonBH's Avatar

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    Default Re: To build a caster killer...

    Let me offer up the Battlemaster Fighter. When the caster casts a spell beside you, hit them with a Disarming Attack. Make them drop their spellcasting focus on a failed Str save, and causing the spell to fail.

    Alternatively, use Maneuvering Attack so that one of your allies can run up to the caster as a reaction after they've cast Misty Step.

    You could also use Lunging Attack to extend your reach by 5ft. If your DM lets you combo that with Mage Slayer, you can hit any caster casting a spell within 10ft of you.
    Last edited by LeonBH; 2017-12-07 at 09:51 AM.

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    Imp

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    Default Re: To build a caster killer...

    Quote Originally Posted by UrielAwakened View Post
    Abjurerer Wizard is honestly the best anti-caster there is.

    You get proficiency bonuses to counterspells and dispel magic checks. You have resistance to all damage spells and advantage on all saving throws against spells. And you have way more hit points than any other caster.

    You can be a High Elf, improve your Dex, and use a finesse weapon to facilitate Booming Blade/Green Flame Blade hi-jinx. You can even take Mage Slayer and War Caster and end up using those cantrips to interrupt other spells being cast, I believe.
    The problem I have with Abjurer as an anti-caster is that everything...comes on a little late for my taste. Yeah, they add proficiency to Counterspell; but only once they hit level 10. Bonus on Saves? Level 14. Bard gets half-prof at level 2. Paladin gets Bonus on Saves at 6. A multiclass Paladin/Bard functionally gets both features before the Abjurer even gets one! Yeah, the Abjurer features are slightly better, but you pay the price in the delay actually getting them. Playing from level 1-15, you're not going to feel like much of a mage-slayer until the game is almost over, if you go Abjurer.
    I apologise if I come across daft. I'm a bit like that. I also like a good argument, so please don't take offence if I'm somewhat...forthright.

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    Default Re: To build a caster killer...

    Quote Originally Posted by JellyPooga View Post
    The problem I have with Abjurer as an anti-caster is that everything...comes on a little late for my taste. Yeah, they add proficiency to Counterspell; but only once they hit level 10. Bonus on Saves? Level 14. Bard gets half-prof at level 2. Paladin gets Bonus on Saves at 6. A multiclass Paladin/Bard functionally gets both features before the Abjurer even gets one! Yeah, the Abjurer features are slightly better, but you pay the price in the delay actually getting them. Playing from level 1-15, you're not going to feel like much of a mage-slayer until the game is almost over, if you go Abjurer.
    The Abjurer Wizard also cannot Counterspell an antimage build Sorcerer at the earlier levels.

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    Kobold

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    Default Re: To build a caster killer...

    This is going to be a bit Unorthodox but Arcane Archer. Pick up crossbow expert. When he go to cast a spell attack with using a arcane shoot. I'm thinking use the Banishing shoot.

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    RangerGuy

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    Default Re: To build a caster killer...

    I second the ancients paladin, and as an unusual race choice consider forest gnome for adv on magic saves (int Wis and Cha only).

    I had a gnomish OotA paly/fey warlock that was designed this way, could misty step up behind the casters to try to use the mage slayer feat, if they got hit could misty escape back out, smite goodness, etc...was a ton of fun.

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    DwarfClericGuy

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    Default Re: To build a caster killer...

    Quote Originally Posted by JellyPooga View Post
    The problem I have with Abjurer as an anti-caster is that everything...comes on a little late for my taste. Yeah, they add proficiency to Counterspell; but only once they hit level 10. Bonus on Saves? Level 14. Bard gets half-prof at level 2. Paladin gets Bonus on Saves at 6. A multiclass Paladin/Bard functionally gets both features before the Abjurer even gets one! Yeah, the Abjurer features are slightly better, but you pay the price in the delay actually getting them. Playing from level 1-15, you're not going to feel like much of a mage-slayer until the game is almost over, if you go Abjurer.
    That's a good point.

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    MonkGirl

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    Default Re: To build a caster killer...

    Yuanti pureblood is a race to consider...

    Also, Lore Bards make good counterspellers... the best in fact once they get Peerless Skill

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    HalflingPirate

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    Default Re: To build a caster killer...

    Well, how I'd build a wizard fighter really depends on what the campaign is like.

    If you're building a character to be able to take on a caster in solo combat, then monk or ancients paladin is probably your best bet, though rogues are also decent. Make sure to take both mage slayer and sentinel, since sentinel will keep them within 5 feet of you while mage slayer gives you advantage on your saves vs magic. I'd actually recommend not using the reaction attacks granted by mage slayer, since keeping that caster in melee range is much more important, and one round of no-sentinel-attack can often let your enemy fly 60ft up into the air.

    If you're building a character to take down a caster as part of a team, then I'd recommend a lore bard, shadow sorcerer, or abjuration wizard as the best choice. Silence, Counterspell, dispel magic, and darkness are all awesome tools for use against casters. Lore bard 6/fighter 2 can cast silence then use an action surge to grapple the wizard inside it (expertise athletics) for the rest of the party to have an easy time dogpiling on them. A shadow sorcerer can use their cheaper darkness spell to deny the enemy wizard line of sight to their allies, preventing many spells from functioning, as well as keeping counterspell and dispel magic in their back pocket. An abjuration wizard can counterspell and dispel magic better than anyone (save the 15th level bard with glibness), and at some point gains straight up resistance to spells. They can also take options like silence and fog cloud for verbal component and line of sight denial respectively.
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  22. - Top - End - #22
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: To build a caster killer...

    Quote Originally Posted by Potato_Priest View Post
    Well, how I'd build a wizard fighter really depends on what the campaign is like.

    If you're building a character to be able to take on a caster in solo combat, then monk or ancients paladin is probably your best bet, though rogues are also decent. Make sure to take both mage slayer and sentinel, since sentinel will keep them within 5 feet of you while mage slayer gives you advantage on your saves vs magic. I'd actually recommend not using the reaction attacks granted by mage slayer, since keeping that caster in melee range is much more important, and one round of no-sentinel-attack can often let your enemy fly 60ft up into the air.

    If you're building a character to take down a caster as part of a team, then I'd recommend a lore bard, shadow sorcerer, or abjuration wizard as the best choice. Silence, Counterspell, dispel magic, and darkness are all awesome tools for use against casters. Lore bard 6/fighter 2 can cast silence then use an action surge to grapple the wizard inside it (expertise athletics) for the rest of the party to have an easy time dogpiling on them. A shadow sorcerer can use their cheaper darkness spell to deny the enemy wizard line of sight to their allies, preventing many spells from functioning, as well as keeping counterspell and dispel magic in their back pocket. An abjuration wizard can counterspell and dispel magic better than anyone (save the 15th level bard with glibness), and at some point gains straight up resistance to spells. They can also take options like silence and fog cloud for verbal component and line of sight denial respectively.
    It is for a published module of 5e.
    4 person group
    I know we will have a wizard and a barbarian not sure on the 3rd one and me.
    Our stats might actually not be point buy, so assume we have at minimum point buy scores but could be much better, we might roll for them.

    I want to make a melee person who is good vs anyone but is even better vs a caster.

    I forgot to add one thing to the Mage Slayer feat i will edit in a second:
    If I hit them as they are casting the spell they have to make a concentration check or the spell fails.

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    Default Re: To build a caster killer...

    Yuan-ti Pureblood would be a strong contender, but most DMs I've talked with won't allow it. Same as Winged Tiefling and Aarakocra.

    Ancients Pally is probably the best bet for an anti-caster. Make it a Gnome for the mental saves Advantage could work in your favor.

    Aasimar with the Angelic Protection racial feat from D&D Beyond (available on DM's Guild, too), also gives Advantage on saves versus magical effects.
    Combined with an Ancients Pally's lvl 7 Aura.. THAT would be a seriously scary sight for a Caster to behold.

    Excuse me while I go and draft this character idea..

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: To build a caster killer...

    Iíd make a caster to beat a caster

    Warlock: (high level only) with glibness you will automatically succeed on any counterspell check.

    Abjurer: You lack the raw unbeatable power of glibness, but more slots, and always on proficiency.

    Bard: Jack of all trades AND glibness at high levels.

    Sorcerer: take quicken and subtle. You can cast non dispellable spells, and steal a march on the action economy if you need to. Yes you need to watch quicken if you expect to counter a counterspell, but this wonít need to happen much.

    What, you donít want a caster?
    Yuan Ti ancients paladin

    Well itís kind of not a caster
    Last edited by Spiritchaser; 2017-12-07 at 02:01 PM.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: To build a caster killer...

    I am thinking I am leaning toward a Swashbuckler.
    High elf, variant human, maybe a tiefling.

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: To build a caster killer...

    About what level are we talking about?

    Most casters (I'm assuming) won't live more than one or two rounds against a dedicated melee.

    I don't think damage is the problem, I think it's more closing, preventing escape, and/or preventing casting.
    Argue in good faith.

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    Default Re: To build a caster killer...

    Quote Originally Posted by krugaan View Post
    About what level are we talking about?

    Most casters (I'm assuming) won't live more than one or two rounds against a dedicated melee.

    I don't think damage is the problem, I think it's more closing, preventing escape, and/or preventing casting.
    Starts at level 1, going to probably 15 ish maybe 20


    My level 4 feat will probably be Sentinel

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    Default Re: To build a caster killer...

    Since you say there's some higher level potential, you need a couple things in my opinion:
    • Speed/chase
    • Anti-magic defense
    • A quick end to the fight (debatable)

    As a preface, I've always been more of a martial or gish, so I won't really go into caster builds, even though I'm sure there are potent options. (Arcana cleric?) Any gish with access to silence could be a good choice. Dip rogue or something for expertise in athletics, silence, grapple, pummel them.

    This gives you room for preference, since there's probably a ton of ways to build this. My personal vote would go to shadow monk/rogue, with only a little rogue - maybe even just one level, maybe 3. You want lots of ki points to make the most of things like stunning blow and casts of darkness. You get a bonus action teleport to gap close/chase if the casters are jumping about, behind a backline, or fleeing. Or if you just want advantage. Extra 1d6 damage once per turn and on some AoO is a nice bonus, but no need to depend on it. Mage slayer for advantage vs their spells and the extra attack when they cast spells. Between stunning blow and flurry of blows and your chasing power, you're pretty terrifying to mages imo.

    if your preferred method is to kill them asap, focus on rogue, with only enough levels for the monks extra attack and stunning blow. You can't go wrong with an extra attack on any rogue, and stunning blow for that advantage when you're solo is invaluable for getting sneak attacks.

    Maybe if you wanna be tankier, a BEARbarian could work. Plenty of resistances, you'll shred the mages if you manage to get in close. If there's a frontline you could have trouble, as well as if they have things like misty step handy.

    An archer could be very effective - between archery fighting style and sharpshooter you don't have to worry about range or damage. Honestly Champion could be a good choice.
    Last edited by Hypersmith; 2017-12-07 at 06:51 PM.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: To build a caster killer...

    Quote Originally Posted by Dudewithknives View Post
    Starts at level 1, going to probably 15 ish maybe 20


    My level 4 feat will probably be Sentinel
    I think Warcaster or Mage Slayer would be better? Offturn Booming blade sneak attacks would be pretty devastating to any caster, assuming you can close the distance in the first place. You might need to dip in hexblade (cough)...

    Sentinel activates when they *enter* your space, no? Not sure why casters would want that.
    Argue in good faith.

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    Default Re: To build a caster killer...

    Quote Originally Posted by Hypersmith View Post
    Since you say there's some higher level potential, you need a couple things in my opinion:
    • Speed/chase
    • Anti-magic defense
    • A quick end to the fight (debatable)

    As a preface, I've always been more of a martial or gish, so I won't really go into caster builds, even though I'm sure there are potent options. (Arcana cleric?) Any gish with access to silence could be a good choice. Dip rogue or something for expertise in athletics, silence, grapple, pummel them.

    This gives you room for preference, since there's probably a ton of ways to build this. My personal vote would go to shadow monk/rogue, with only a little rogue - maybe even just one level, maybe 3. You want lots of ki points to make the most of things like stunning blow and casts of darkness. You get a bonus action teleport to gap close/chase if the casters are jumping about, behind a backline, or fleeing. Or if you just want advantage. Extra 1d6 damage once per turn and on some AoO is a nice bonus, but no need to depend on it. Mage slayer for advantage vs their spells and the extra attack when they cast spells. Between stunning blow and flurry of blows and your chasing power, you're pretty terrifying to mages imo.

    if your preferred method is to kill them asap, focus on rogue, with only enough levels for the monks extra attack and stunning blow. You can't go wrong with an extra attack on any rogue, and stunning blow for that advantage when you're solo is invaluable for getting sneak attacks.

    Maybe if you wanna be tankier, a BEARbarian could work. Plenty of resistances, you'll shred the mages if you manage to get in close. If there's a frontline you could have trouble, as well as if they have things like misty step handy.

    An archer could be very effective - between archery fighting style and sharpshooter you don't have to worry about range or damage. Honestly Champion could be a good choice.
    I don't think you even need rogue ... just be human and get prodigy for the athletics expertise.
    Argue in good faith.

    And try to remember that these are people.

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