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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Default An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    Quote Originally Posted by Telesphoros View Post
    I like a bunch of your builds to be honest. The Wood Elf Samurai generalist, the Vengeance Paladin, this one, etc...

    I only wish you'd put them all together somewhere I could find them easily lol ;)
    Ask and ye shall receive!

    Herein are collected some builds that were made in response to advice threads and the like. Since these were responses to specific questions, I have tried to summarize the context for each. All of them are good from level 1-20 and can perform in all 3 pillars of play.

    Hopefully these help provide people with some ideas for fun and viable builds. Enjoy!

    Build 1: Celestial Generalist
    This is a jack of all trades build highlighting the versatility of the Celestial Warlock.

    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by Mjolnirbear View Post
    The value in a lock isn't his casting. It's his versatility.

    The party is Sorcerer, Paladin, Fighter, Warlock. As warlock, you can:
    * be a primary healer via celestial patron
    * be a melee damage via hexblade
    * be a ritual caster via Tome
    * be a diplomat, spy, impersonator, or thief
    * serve as secondary or primary controller (eldritch blast invocations and utility spells)
    * be the magic detector, or other weird things a warlock does best
    * be the best archer ever

    And most of those roles aren't exclusive. Weirdly, a warlock should be viewed like the bard; hardly required, but able to complement just about any party role needed.
    Just to emphasize your point further...

    I see your most, and raise you all!

    Celestial Generalist

    VHuman Celestial Tomelock 12
    20 Cha / 16 Dex / 16 Con
    Moderately Armored (+1 Dex) / +4 Cha (ASIs) / War Caster

    Cantrips: Booming Blade, Green-Flame Blade, Eldritch Blast, Mage Hand, Shillelagh, Shape Water, Guidance, Light, Sacred Flame (Yes, they know 9 Cantrips; 4 base, 2 Celestial, 3 Tome).

    Spells: Cure Wounds, Greater Restoration, Revivify, Hellish Rebuke, Synaptic Static, Thunder Step, Hypnotic Pattern, Counterspell, Armor of Agathys, Hex, Misty Step, Mass Suggestion

    Invocations: Agonizing Blast, Repelling Blast, Book of Ancient Secrets, Eldritch Sight, Mask of Many Faces, Maddening Hex



    Let's go down the checklist!

    HEALER? You've got Healing Light (which is like 13 Healing Words a day, or a lesser number of bonus action burst heals), the various status-removal spells, and Revivify. That's pretty much all the important bases. You also can take advantage of your short-rest recharge healing to make the party's breaks more efficient.

    DIPLOMAT/SPY/IMPERSONATOR? You have 20 Charisma, the proper proficiencies, Guidance, and Disguise Self at-will (which doesn't even use your Concentration, so you're totally using it in dungeon situations too to surprise or confuse people). Oh, and Mass Suggestion.

    THIEF? You can teleport, impersonate easily, have 16 Dex + proficiency in the proper skills, and are the magic detector (I find this comes up a lot when doing second story work). There are also some fun thievery tricks you can do with Shape Water and Mage Hand.

    MAGIC DETECTOR? Yep, you've got Eldritch Sight.

    RITUAL CASTER? Yep, you've got access to every class's rituals from Book of Ancient Secrets.

    ARCHER? You've got a 24-hour Hex and an Eldritch Blast that does 3d10+3d6+15, plus a 30 foot knockback (with no size limit, unlike most knockbacks), and Maddening Hex for a guaranteed-hit 5 damage AoE on top of that. You can just dish out that 47 damage all day. And have fun playing pinball (knock enemy into another enemy, then use the Maddening Hex AoE).

    MELEE? You have the AC of a dex fighter, a bonus action heal better than Second Wind, Armor of Agathys, Shillelagh, and Green-Flame Blade that gets buffed by Radiant Soul and your 24-hour Hex. Oh, and War Caster, so if they try to move past you, they get a Booming Blade OA for 6d8+5 (or perhaps something spending an actual spell slot). You also get 16 temp hp every short rest from Celestial Resilience (and your teammates get some too). And if somehow they get through all of that and you need to get out of dodge, you can use Thunder Step to damage them, get out, and rescue a teammate while you're at it!

    Someone attacking you in melee could take 25 damage per melee hit from AoA, then take 6d10+5 (38) from Hellish Rebuke, then get whacked by Green-Flame Blade for 3d8+1d6+10 (27) and another 3d8+5 (18.5) to the person standing next to them. Oh, and you have a familiar, so you can make that attack with Advantage.

    CONTROLLER? You've got Synaptic Static, Hypnotic Pattern, Mass Suggestion, and 30 foot knockback on your Eldritch Blast. Oh, and moving past you in melee provokes nasty War Caster OAs.

    Build 2: Ride of the Valkyries Paladin
    This build is a core-only, straight class Paladin that boasts excellent mobility and solid DPR (both burst and sustained) at all levels, while avoiding any delay to your support progression / maxing Charisma.

    This build was originally posted to help a poster asking for a single-class Paladin build. And one of the nicest things about not being a Sorlockadin is that you get Find Greater Steed. It also was in a campaign where magic items were on the table, which really helps us open up ASI choices for Paladins (since they don't need to max both Str and Cha). Though, if you find yourself in a game where getting magic items is off the table, you can still do a build like this (see the "notes" section near the end of the build for advice on how).

    Here's the 2HF version:
    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant
    Quote Originally Posted by Aleister VII
    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant
    Example Build: Ride of the Valkyries


    Here's one that's strong at all levels. Basically your goal is to become an ultramobile living ballistic missile which is nearly indestructible and has tons of party support.

    Vengeance Paladin 20
    VHuman / Cha 20, Belt of Giant Strength, PAM, Great Weapon Master, Mounted Combatant, Inspiring Leader (Order in which you get the feats is optional, though I'd take PAM first).

    High level strategy:
    You use "Find Greater Steed" to ride a pegasus. At the start of your adventuring day you give a heroic speech about how much divine vengeance will rain down upon your foes today (which gives everyone and their familiar +25 hp / short rest), and cast Death Ward, which affects you and your pegasus. In battle, you cast Haste, which gets shared to it. Your pegasus now moves around the battlefield at 540 feet per round using the move action, dash action, and hasted bonus action.

    This means that you will be in range when you want to be in range, and will be out of range of most of the nasty spells that you don't want to be affected by. When you feel ready after having surveyed your opponents on the battlefield, you do a flyby, cast Vow of Enmity if they're not already smaller than your mount, and then dive bomb them from orbit, doing approximately this much damage with your full nova combo. (It's about 200DPR with a big giant's belt and a nonmagical weapon against a 20 AC target. That's not "200 damage assuming hits" it's "200 DPR vs AC 20").

    Your Pegasus has some surprisingly good durability, with a respectable 84 hit points, Death Ward (and the ability to bring them back up to full instantly using Lay on Hands if they get to that gate), Haste (which gets +2 AC and advantage on reflex saves), good saves (thanks to your aura plus decent base values), Advantage on Reflex saves, and Evasion. Even if people can get in range of your hit and run tactics they've got their work cut out for them to chew through both you and your mount. If they actually have the movement speed to get close to you, they even have to make a save to avoid becoming Frightened. Even if they do kill your mount, you have a hasted fly speed on your own which lasts an hour without concentration.

    On top of all of this, you have access to things like Misty Step, Banishment, Scrying, Hold Monster, and Dimension Door with a full 20 casting stat. Lich king wants to use Forcecage? No problem, you've got Misty Step, the highest Charisma save around, and can move about 200 feet without your mount. You're still coming for them.

    Lower level strategy:
    At level 1 you're a martial with Polearm Master. What more do you want? You even have the versatility to use a quarterstaff-and-shield instead of a glaive if you like (though for the later levels of this build we'll be using a glaive).

    By level 3, you've got Hunter's Mark, Vow of Enmity, 2-3 attacks in a round, GWF, and smites. You hit like a truck. You also have stuff like Bless and Lay of Hands which does a lot to help out your party (and also make it even harder to ignore you in favor of going after squishies). Command is nice too.

    By level 6, you're a monster. You've got either Mounted Combatant or Great Weapon Master (which synergizes well with your ability easily grant Advantage) and Find Steed, which very importantly gives you a mount that can act independently from you. This means that not only does it boost your mobility substantially (a pretty big deal given how effective kiting is against many of 5e's martials), but it can knock your enemies prone and attack, granting a substantial DPR boost (unintelligent mounts can't do this). Most importantly of all, you've got That Aura.

    At this point your non-smite DPR is something very scary and your critfishing smite DPR makes things disappear in a puff of holy vengeance. Add to that the fact that you're pretty durable against almost all forms of attack, and do a lot to support your party to boot, and you're in really good shape.

    By level 9, you start sharing Haste to your steed, which makes them more durable, significantly faster, and more offensively deadly than they already are... not to mention buffing yourself while you're at it so that you're getting 4-5 polearm attacks a round, with advantage and all of your riders and possibly GWM. You also get Relentless Avenger, which synergizes neatly with PAM.

    By level 13 you get a damage boost on all your attacks and Find Greater Steed, which is a big deal for reasons given in high level strategy. Also, unlike those multiclassing chumps, you've got 4 feats/ASIs by this point. You also should probably have found a strength item by this point barring an unusually low magic campaign (and you easily have the Charisma to just find one to buy using the XGtE magic item economy rules, if your game uses that).

    ___

    Variants:
    - Inspiring Leader and GWM are replaceable, especially if you have certain magic items.
    Now this sounds amazing, I haven't considered find greater steed o.o
    It's among the Paladin's best spells, because of the "spells are shared between you and your mount" thing, as well as the advantages of independently acting mounts, combined with the Paladin's ability to actually keep their mount surprisingly safe when built well.

    Valkyrie's mount, for example, can reliably tank multiple Meteor Swarms to the face. Which is good, because Meteor Swarm is one of the things that has the range to actually hit it (1 mile).

    How many Meteor Swarms does the Valkyrie's mount take to the face, you ask? Well, let's see. Thanks to Mounted Combatant it takes only half damage from Ref save effects, or no damage if it makes the save. It also has a +11 to Reflex saves, 84 hit points, and an extra death gate (because of Death Ward).

    Even if you failed every save, it takes three meteor swarms to take out your pegasus (two to break 84 hp at half damage, and a third to get over the Death Ward gate to reduce it to zero hit points). But you don't fail every save. So let's say you are up against a DC 19 Meteor Swarm... your pegasus has about a 65% chance to make that save and take zero damage. This drops the DPR of meteor swarm down to about 24, which means it takes an average of four meteor swarms to break the Death Ward... and then you need to land another one on top of that (with a 35% chance of doing so) to take out the mount, let alone the actual Paladin. If, at any point in this process, the Paladin decides to use Lay on Hands, it can go right back up to full health. Honestly the mount might as well just read "functionally immune to reflex-based AoEs."

    The Valkyrie's pegasus actually has pretty good saves across the board when sitting in the aura, at +9 strength, +9 Dexterity (11 when sharing Haste), +8 Constitution, +5 Intelligence, +9 Wisdom, and +8 Charisma. That's better than the majority of level 20 characters. It's also got a decent AC at 20 (or 22 when sharing haste) since you put barding on it.

    The fact that your mount shares spells that target only you also means that when you Misty Step, it can also Misty Step. When you Tree Stride (as an ancients paladin) it also charges straight out of a tree with you.
    Notes:
    - Thanks to the new errata (which was made after this post) you can PAM with shield and spear, which I find a lot more thematically compelling than quarterstaff and shield. Definitely worth considering a spear and shield version of this build.
    - In any game using the XGtE or DMG guidelines for crafting or buying magic items (or AL, for that matter), replacing your Strength score by mid-levels is generally not too hard to come by due to the abundance of Strength-replacing magic items at every level of rarity. However, if getting Gauntlets of Ogre Strength or Belt of Giant Strength by tier 3 is off the table for whatever reason, then you can still do this build with good stat rolls, or start dropping feats (starting with GWM) in favor of Strength bonuses. Make sure to keep Polearm Master as your level 1 VHuman feat, though!
    - If you're using XGtE, take note of the Holy Weapon spell.
    - Damage is calculated assuming RAW GWF, rather than the Twitter version. If you're using the Twitter version instead, consider a different fighting style.

    Build 2b: Shield and Spear Valkyrie

    VHuman / Cha 20, Belt of Giant Strength, PAM, Mounted Combatant, Inspiring Leader, War Caster
    Fighting Style: Dueling

    Build 3: Wood Elf Magic Commando
    This one was made to what might at first seem like a rather odd request: A Fighter that can buff/support, do some sort of spellcasting, sneak, and smash heads that isn’t an Eldritch Knight.

    Turns out that’s actually more doable than one might expect!

    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant
    You can have your straight-classed fighter, your spellcasting non-Eldritch Knight, your party support, and your sneaking, all while still being pretty good.


    Wood Elf Battlemaster Fighter 20
    17 Dex, 14 Con, 15 or 16 Wis, whatever else.
    Elven Accuracy (18 dex)
    20 Dex
    Wood Elf Magic (Guidance as your cantrip)
    Alert
    Ritual Caster (Wizard)
    Shield Master
    Resilient (Wisdom) (16 Wis)

    Fighting Style: Duelist

    You wield a rapier and shield, have +10 to initiative, and a +11 to stealth. You also can cast Pass Without Trace to give the whole party +10 to stealth for an hour (giving yourself +21 stealth). And can cast Guidance to get +1d4 on any skill checks where you're not under strict time pressure and aren't concentrating on something else.

    In other words, you functionally have either a +11+1d4 to stealth or +21 (depending on which spell you're concentrating on at the time), and a +10 or +10+1d4 to initiative.

    You also have an hour-long, Concentration free Longstrider if you want to boost your mobility, which is already a bit above average for a fighter (thanks to being a Wood Elf).

    You also have all of the rituals of a level 20 Wizard, which means that you can just have a Phantom Steed around all of the time, make the whole party breathe underwater all day every day, can detect magic when you need to, have a familiar that can use the Help action, etc. And you've got the full benefits of being a level 20 Battlemaster.

    Your goal is to get surprise, win initiative, knock your enemy prone, and throw out 8-16 triple-advantage attacks before your enemy can even act (by contrast, the more typical 8 Dex Fighter hasn't even done anything by the time you got these attacks out). Dragon breath can't so much as scratch you thanks to your Dex, Indomitable, and Shield Master. Ambushers can't surprise you. You're decently hard to kite. You scale very well with magic items and teammate buffs. You're tougher to hit than great weapon masters. And you've got all of a Wizard's out of combat rituals.

    Enjoy.

    Edit: Note that the build works well straight from low levels. From 1-3 you're basically the same as any non-VHuman sword and board fighter. At 4 you can leverage Elven Accuracy to boost your Dex while also letting you follow up Battlemaster trips and such with triple-advantage. From there you can take everything else in whatever order you feel like.
    Variants:
    - Shield Master is of variable usefulness depending on party composition and which of the several rulings your group favors (thanks to JC changing his mind frequently on how it works). Alternative feat choices include Lucky (which stacks with Indomitable for making saves, and also can be used to negate crits against you) or Defensive Duelist (best taken at high levels when you have a high proficiency bonus).

    Build 4: Arcana Cleric Frontliner
    This one was built to showcase how Arcana Clerics can make sticky and versatile frontliners who can do an awful lot to actively lock down or counter foes… whether we’re talking about melee brutes, mook swarms, spellcasters, whatever. It's very similar to a build we used in a campaign that ran from low to high levels, to great effect.


    One fun way of fluffing Shillelagh and Spirit Guardians

    Azorius VHuman Arcana Cleric 1-20
    Stat Priorities: Wis > Con > Dex 14, other stats to taste
    ASIs: War Caster, Magic Initiate (Shillelagh/Thorn Whip/Absorb Elements), Max Wis, Resilient (Constitution), Lucky
    Cantrips: Booming Blade, Green-Flame Blade, Word of Radiance, Toll the Dead, Guidance, Mending, Light
    Gear to look for: Basically you want anything that raises your defenses, like AC/saves. Also, getting a Strength-boosting item is a popular alternative to taking Shillelagh, since they're relatively easy to come by in many campaigns (including AL, apparently) and also open up shove/grapple options.

    Warcaster, Res (Con), Lucky, and Max Wis are great for any Cleric. With VHuman we throw in Magic Initiate to make us SAD, give us Thorn Whip for hazard combos, and Absorb Elements for eating the occasional dragon breath or the like.

    Build itself is pretty simple, and works well at all levels. But as is often the case with caster builds, just posting the build doesn't really tell you why it's so effective. The trick is knowing what to do with it, because these guys get a lot of tools. They know over a hundred spells and I don't have the time to go over every single one of them and all their interactions and combos and situational uses and such. I mean, I could dedicate an entire thread to discussing some of these single spells. But I'll try to at least give an idea of the sort of things you're bringing to the table here.

    So here are just a few examples of what they can do:

    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant
    1) Booming Blade is a lot more dangerous than usual from these guys, because Potent Spellcasting adds your Wisdom on both the melee attack and the rider, and because Warcaster means that walking outside of the Cleric's threatened area to go punch someone else triggers the rider and then another Booming Blade and then another rider too. This works out to a significant chunk of damage at any level, especially considering it's not all of your action economy (you've still got your Concentration, your bonus action, and possibly minions).

    While it doesn't "force" an enemy to stay still, it punishes them severely for not doing so. If they opt to walk over to someone with a couple less points of AC, the benefit of this is offset by living for less rounds and therefore being able to take fewer harmful actions. And staying still has considerable disadvantages of its own (like getting stuck in hazards, having Disadvantage on ranged attack rolls, being unable to adjust line of effect, etc).

    In short, this Cleric has a damned fine OA and that is a very useful thing for a tank to have.

    2) Spellbreaker is antimagic gold, and there's an awful lot of things you can do with it.

    For example, casting Regenerate provides an hour long, Concentrationless buff that gradually heals over 600 hp throughout its long duration, helping to keep ally hp topped off between combats and picking up allies off the 0hp gate at the start of their turn without so much as a bonus action cost. But with Spellbreaker, it also removes a spell effect you don't like every round, again with no action cost from you. It’s like an hour long “every turn get a mini Healing Word / Dispel Magic at the start of your turn.”

    For another example, Mass Healing Word is kinda like a bonus action Dispel Magic that targets your whole party and, as a bonus, also heals people a bit and picks them up off the 0hp gate.

    For another example, Heal is an effective burst heal that also removes a variety of negative effects.

    3) If you want even more antimagic, you can pick up Counterspell from the Azorius background from GGtR.

    4) Warding Bond is a great 1 hour, Concentrationless buff that gives an ally +1 to AC and all saves (so, basically like a ring of protection. Or to put it another way, imagine if Shield of Faith exchanged 1 point of its AC bonus for +1 to all saves, then lasted 6 times as long and didn't take Concentration), and that's before it even does its primary job: Damage splitting. Also, unlike some other damage split mechanics in 5e, the damage you take on your end can be mitigated by your own resistance (such as from Absorb Elements).

    It's not the only good Concentrationless buff you have either. Freedom of Movement prevents all kinds of things for an hour, and Death Ward is an 8 hour one that gives the target an extra death gate. Sanctuary is a ranged bonus action that requires enemies to make a Wisdom save to target a creature at all and only costs a level 1 spell slot (and can interfere with action choices less than you might expect if you're attentive to action order and the like; you can use it at the end of your turn right after hitting someone, and simply maintaining spells you already cast like Spirit Guardians doesn’t end it). There's even stuff like, say, an upcast Continual Flame giving protection against magical darkness with an unlimited duration (since Darkness can't darken areas illuminated by a spell of 3rd level or higher, period). These things add up.

    5) Minions! You can create and maintain a bunch of animated dead on your days off, who can then do things like spam grapples at people or just stand in front of allies to grant them cover against ranged attacks or block the movement of melee attackers, while firing ranged attacks of their own. They can also do things like administer potions to teammates, per the DMG rules. Don't forget that you can give general commands so that you don't have to use a bonus action every turn.

    More situationally, you can also use things like Planar Ally and Planar Binding to contract bigger fish.

    6) Spirit Guardians lasts 10 minutes, which is long enough for numerous encounters in a dungeoneering situation (meaning that it'll often already be up when a fight starts). SG not only creates a large zone of hurt that leaves your actions free on every round after you cast it, it also halves the speed of everything in that area without a save (and stacks with Difficult Terrain and the like). For melee foes, this can straight up prevent them from being able to reach your party. For ranged ones, it limits their firing lines (such as for firing around cover) and ability to kite.

    7) Your lack of reliance on your Action to be threatening (thanks to powerful Concentration effects, bonus action tools like Spiritual Weapon, punishing reactions, and minions), you can totally do stuff like use the Dodge action if you need to, and still keep your DPR relevant. I've seen these guys just jump into a crowd of enemies with a Spirit Guardians they cast 3 encounters ago and use Dodge until they all melt (mook swarms tend to have a pretty hard time hitting a decent AC with Disadvantage). This is but one of many examples of how these guys are versatile and adaptable with their action economy.

    As I put it in another thread:

    Spoiler
    Show
    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by KorvinStarmast View Post
    Our sixth level cleric waded into a pack of gnolls using Dodge action and Spirit Guardians. It was amazing how often that disadvantage thing caused a miss. Two rounds later, the remaining gnolls were trying their best to flee. (Needless to say, our other party members were also attacking, but that aura of angry spirits was very effective).
    He had to make one con save, and made it easily.
    Mathematically, a half-decent AC and Disadvantage makes it almost impossible for low-attack bonus enemies to hit you, which makes Spirit Guardians + Dodge a very effective way of taking out swarms.

    For example, here's a gnoll's chance of hitting with Disadvantage at various ACs:

    AC 19: 6.25% (1 in 16 attacks hit)
    AC 21: 2.25% (1 in ~44.44 attacks hit)
    AC 23: 0.25% (1 in 400 attacks hit)


    8) You have tons of CC spells. For example, you can use Banishment to lock a dangerous target out of the fight while you clean up everyone else. Not to mention that Divine Word is like an AoE, bonus action, instantaneous Banishment against celestials, elementals, fey, and fiends (regardless of their hp) and also debilitates mooks or wounded foes with no save. Hold X is basically a death sentence if it lands (because of the autocrits). Command is a rare no-Concentration CC at low levels that can affect multiple targets if upcast. Arcane Abjuration and Turn Undead are effectively extra Concentrationless CC spell slots, too (up to 3/short rest).

    9) Big Damn Wizard Spells. This part only comes online at level 17+ so I won't spend too much time on it, but you get a 6th, 7th, 8th, and 9th level Wizard spell known, and there are some golden choices on the Wizard list for your purposes, like Contingency or Foresight.

    10) Your AoE damage isn't bad at all. Spirit Guardians just sort of passively melts things, but if that's not enough you've got options like Potent Spellcasting boosted Green-Flame Blade or Word of Radiance, or spells. Sure, stuff like Flame Strike and Fire Storm might not be the best AoEs around, but it's still enough to kill off swarms when stacked with Spirit Guardians and it's a heckuva lot more AoE potential than most martials get.

    11) As long as you're up, actually taking allies out of the fight is hard. Even if enemies can get at your allies through all of your CC and pressure and buffs and such, allies at 0hp just pop right back up and many status effects just get cleansed. Even an ally who actually dies will get popped back up by Revivify while things like SG/SW/minions keep ticking away.

    12) A high perception score at the front of the party's marching order helps to protect against Surprise, traps, and the like. Also has access to a variety of divinations and "information wars" abilities.

    13) An important thing to understand is that you're never really doing just one of these things at a time. Your action economy is great. Just be careful to budget your resources properly for however many encounters a day you expect to fight (you should have enough for 6-8 encounter days if you're doing it right).
    Variants/Notes:
    • Shillelagh's benefit can be replaced by either getting a strength-replacing item (Gauntlets or Belt) or by simply rolling well enough on your stats. Toll the Dead can also provide decent OAs even without Magic Initiate (though not on the level of Booming Blade's up to 8d8+15, which can further scale with magic weapons). Alert is a useful alternate feat. Observant is top shelf if you have an odd Wisdom score.
    • Some other good choices for your Wizard cantrip are Minor Illusion (always great), Shape Water (see link), Ray of Frost (an AC-targeting ranged cantrip is something Clerics usually don't have, and this one makes it even harder for enemies to move through your Spirit Guardians), and Create Bonfire (with the right party composition, this can be brutal resourceless damage with Potent Spellcasting). For this particular build, generally you should switch out Green-Flame Blade, not Booming Blade.
    • Party combos: This particular build is ideal for parties that don't have a whole lot of (or any) other frontliners, because one of the things this build is really good at is punishing enemies for trying to move past you. If your allies are already within arm's reach, monsters don't have to run through the No Man's Land that is you. Allies who knock enemies back, make them flee, or drop hazards also combo well.







    More will probably be posted in the future, if people are interested. I have about a bajillion builds and have only ever posted a few of them. I'd also be happy to answer questions about why I made any given build choices or the like.

    Let me know your thoughts!

    Edit: See the second post for additional builds!
    Last edited by LudicSavant; 2019-06-10 at 11:28 AM. Reason: added some extra notes / variants

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    RangerGuy

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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    Thanks for posting these! Last session there were 3 deaths, so I'm in the market for a new character ;)

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    BlueKnightGuy

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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    I'm running the Celestial build right now, or rather it's about to start but that's what I'm going with. Considering taking a few (1-3) levels of Sorcerer, mostly for extra spells slots for things like Shield.

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    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    Please do more of these! They're fantastic

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    Pyramid Pug's Avatar

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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    I am soooo bookmarking this thread 🤩

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    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    Quote Originally Posted by Keeganwilson View Post
    Please do more of these! They're fantastic
    Anything in particular people would be interested in seeing?

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    Pixie in the Playground
     
    AssassinGuy

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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    Anything you think is fun! I'm a big fan of clerics personally

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    SamuraiGuy

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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    Can someone break down the damage calculation of the paladin because I don't understand where some of the dices are coming from?

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    Ogre in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    Quote Originally Posted by Winddragco View Post
    Can someone break down the damage calculation of the paladin because I don't understand where some of the dices are coming from?
    Belt of Giant Strength provides a high strength bonus. PAM+Haste+Extra Attack provides 4 attacks. Smite + Improved Smite adds dice to everything. GWF raises the average of all damage dice (with RAW version, rather than twitter version). GWM matters occasionally (but is mostly there for your sustained damage, not your burst). Advantage from the Channel Divinity setup or the mounted bonus or other possible sources. Should be ~150-200 depending on what grade of Giant's Belt you're using. Can do more if you can get a reaction attack (from either PAM or Soul of Vengeance or OA), magic weapon, ally buffs, or have your steed attacking.

    It's not the highest nova DPR in the world, but it's very good for a straight-class Paladin, and Paladins bring lots of other goodies to the table besides just their DPR (such as a very fast and durable steed, or a 30 foot +5 saves aura).

    You also have solid sustained DPR too. Your easy access to Advantage, GWM, 3 attacks (plus possible reaction attack), and long-lasting buffs like Hunter's Mark or Holy Weapon mean that you can instead opt to stretch out your resources while dealing solid damage and only smiting opportunistically (such as on crits).
    Last edited by LudicSavant; 2019-03-27 at 03:51 PM. Reason: Additional notes

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Orc in the Playground
     
    ElfRangerGuy

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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    I've done the Commando build before, but I did it a bit differently. Half-Elf Champion, as opposed to Wood Elf Battlemaster, with focus on Charisma and face skills more than scouting, but still a crit-fishing Dex Fighter that can go all day at heart.

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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Griffon

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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    Got anything for Land Druids (pref. VHuman)?

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    Halfling in the Playground
     
    DrowGirl

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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    These are really nice and entertaining to read, thank you!

    Care to help me with a build?
    I'm thinking about a tank with the options for good damage and decent control. I'm about to start a new campaign/long adventure and while teorically the other three charactes are going to be a Cleric tank, a Rogue glass cannon (not sure) and a Wizard controller, they are all somewhat newbie-ish. So I'd like something to plug possibile holes.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    Quote Originally Posted by Cygnia View Post
    Got anything for Land Druids (pref. VHuman)?
    So let's build a Land Druid! This post sort of turned into a whole mini-guide, so buckle in.

    When one starts building a Land, a few questions tend to pop up:
    1) I actually care about my AC if I'm not going to be a Moon bear all the time. How do I get my AC up? Is the non-metal armor thing a problem?
    2) Which Land should I pick?
    3) What the heck am I gonna do with my bonus actions?
    4) What am I doing to be relevant when I'm not burning spell slots?

    Armor Solutions
    So, there have been numerous long and divisive threads about whether a Druid can opt to break the non-metal armor taboo.

    If you or your DM is on the "don't break the taboo" side of the fence, don't panic, there are solutions. Note page 143 of the DMG, where one of the minor properties that can be assigned to armor is "strange material." Point this out to your DM and see if you can find armor made of bone, chitin, scales, ironwood, or any of the various precedents for non-metallic medium/heavy armor set by multiple editions of D&D lore.

    A relevant Sage Advice can be found here, and it specifically calls out the possibility of finding things like non-metal chain mail, as well as the fact that finding such things is not out of line with their balance expectations for the Druid. So I'd generally recommend that route.

    There is also the option of being a Mysteriously Medium Elephantman (from Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica) and getting a Constitution-based AC calc as well as a bunch of good Druid features. Or of beng a Goblin who needs AC less because of their ability to hide as a bonus action. Lizardfolk can be an option too, but only really if you've rolled high on stats (otherwise, you won't have the Dexterity for their natural armor to really make a difference).

    Which Land?
    Okay, so let's take a look at the unique spells we get for each list.
    Arctic: Slow, Cone of Cold
    Coast: Mirror Image, Misty Step
    Desert: Blur, Create Food and Water, Silence
    Forest: Divination, Spider Climb
    Grassland: Divination, Haste, Invisibility, Dream
    Mountain: Lightning Bolt, Passwall, Spider Climb
    Swamp: Darkness, Melf's Acid Arrow, Stinking Cloud
    Underdark: Cloudkill, Gaseous Form, Greater Invisibility, Spider Climb, Stinking Cloud, Web

    The easiest one to rule out is probably Swamp. Melf's Acid Arrow is mathematically garbage, Darkness is competing with other excellent Concentration options (including ones that do fairly similar things like Fog Cloud or Sleet Storm), and so is Stinking Cloud. It doesn't have a great listing of non-unique options to always have prepared, either.

    Forest also has a pretty unexciting list of unique spells. Divination is nice, but Grassland has that and Haste. Spider Climb is on multiple Land lists, too, and competes for your Concentration.

    Mountain gets Lightning Bolt. Yeah, it's not Fireball, but Druids don't get that. Your non-Concentration blasting choices would otherwise be limited to Tidal Wave or Erupting Earth. Or nothing, if you were core-only. But I rather like Tidal Wave. As for its non-unique spells, it's got Wall of Stone and Spike Growth.

    Desert. The main point of interest here is Silence. It can help shut down casters, provided your party can also keep them from moving out of the area. It can also help you out in the Exploration pillar. And it's a ritual. Blur faces stiff Concentration competition, while Create Food and Water is largely unnecessary for a person who can cast Goodberry. Like Mountain, it also gets Wall of Stone.

    Arctic will grab you Slow, which is a pretty solid CC. And while Cone of Cold isn't exactly the best blast in D&D, Druids seriously don't have a lot of competition in the no-Concentration AoE blast department. It also has one of the best selections of non-unique options to always have prepared, like Freedom of Movement, Sleet Storm, Spike Growth, and Hold Person.

    Underdark has the most unique spells, but they're basically all Concentration, and the Druid has an excellent selection of Concentration spells already (it's easily the category of spells where they need the least help). Greater Invisibility is probably the main highlight. Just how good it is will depend largely on your party composition.

    Grassland will hand out Haste, Invisibility, and Divination. Pass Without Trace and Freedom of Movement are nice things to always have prepared.

    Coast leaps out at me as granting two good non-Concentration spells which have little competition for their role on the Druid spell list. For non-uniques, Freedom of Movement and Conjure Elemental are nice to have prepared.

    Misty Step in particular is fantastic to have, especially since (unlike a Moon Druid) you generally want to avoid melees and grapples and the like. And Land Druids should always keep an eye out for bonus actions.

    Bonus Actions
    - Healing Spirit and, more situationally, Healing Word. One of the things to notice about Healing Spirit is that it upcasts quite well. You know that Lore Bard/Life Cleric Aura of Vitality combo that people were saying made for an insane healer in PHB-only? Well Life Cleric 1/Druid X can match or exceed that healing with a Healing Spirit cast with the same third level slot.
    - Racial features. One fun option is the Goblin Hazard/Whip Druid who remains unseen throughout the fight (by bonus action Hiding at the end of every turn) while maintaining various hazards or summons and pulling people into them with Advantage Thorn Whips (occasionally appending Fury of the Small). These are the ninja guardians of nature. Another option is the Shifter from Wayfinder's Guide to Eberron.

    - Misty Step (Coast Druid)
    - Heat Metal uses a bonus action to maintain its effect. It's situational, but against certain enemies it's quite crippling.
    - Flaming Sphere is yet another 2nd level spell option, though the damage is rather underwhelming unless you're able to land it multiple times per turn. Unfortunately, pushing someone into the sphere doesn't damage them by RAW. Which seems weird to me, but I don't write the rules. It's also competing with some Concentration options that don't take actions to maintain at all.
    - Grasping Vine can pull someone around the map, but takes Concentration (which you'll often want for creating hazards you want to pull people into in the first place).
    -Activate Shillelagh or Magic Stone or Flame Blade. Buuut we're often better off just throwing out a cantrip rather than what is basically a normal attack. Flame Blade is extra bad because it takes your Concentration. Magic Stone at least lets you hand out stuff to mooks who have little better to do with their actions. If you really want to have a half-decent melee attack with Shillelagh, my recommendation would be to try to pick up one of the SCAGtrips from somewhere (like Variant Half-Elf).

    Resourceless Output
    A Land Druid should not hoard their spell slots; the entire point is that you get more of them than other Druids. That said, I think my favorite option for resourceless combat contribution is Create Bonfire + Thorn Whip.

    Create Bonfire is an AoE hazard (yes, a 5-foot cube can potentially hit multiple creatures), and can potentially deal its damage multiple times per round by knocking enemies through the area. It uses Concentration, but that doesn't matter nearly as much if you're not using spell slots anyways. You can also march it along at the front of the party, so that it's up right when a combat starts (and might even block off enemies who win initiative when you open a doorway or something). And it can provide a ranged light source while you're at it. It's worth noting that there's no risk of your allies taking damage from getting thrown into the fire, either, because you can just drop Concentration at any time, even when it's not your turn. Especially valuable if you have a good grappler or the like in your party.

    Thorn Whip combos with this, dealing some damage and allowing you to pull enemies into hazards (like your Create Bonfire) or otherwise troublesome positions. If you can get a height advantage over your enemy, you can also use it to make them fall (and when a creature falls, they land prone). The fact that's it's magical piercing damage also means that basically nothing resists it.

    If you're going the Goblin route, you even get to make the attack roll with Advantage (having hidden on a previous turn) and then use your bonus action at the end of your turn to Hide again!

    While this works well enough with just you, try teaming up with (for example) a Warlock with Repelling Blast and a grappler frontliner and watch those bonfire dice really stack up!

    Also note that having a teammate pressuring an enemy is one of the reasons why Thorn Whip's 10 feet of movement is often enough; an enemy will often try to circle out of the Bonfire but still be in range of your frontliner, so that they don't have to eat an OA. That keeps them within 10 feet of the bonfire, or gets your team an OA. Win/win.




    Now that I've answered the four questions I posed, here are some actual builds:

    Build 5: The Lifeguard (Coastal Life Druid)
    Note: Healing Spirit is a controversial spell widely regarded as overpowered. So much so, in fact, that Jeremy Crawford himself recommended a houserule for it. As such, this build will be assuming you're using that nerf, just because I expect that the spell will be accepted at more tables that way. If you're using the RAW version, you don't need to change anything; the build is just even better.

    Disclaimer out of the way, here's a build that will provide lots and lots of healing.


    VHuman Life Cleric 1 / Land Druid (Coast) X
    Starting stats: WIS>CON>at least 14 Dex OR 15 Str
    ASIs: Resilient (+1 Constitution), Max Wis, Lucky, Warcaster, Prodigy (Perception)
    Cantrips: Thorn Whip, Create Bonfire, Guidance, Shape Water, Fire Bolt (Rakdos)
    GGtR Guild Affiliation: Rakdos

    This build focuses on pumping out massive amounts of healing (in and out of combat) while keeping you safe and using potent CCs (including potent non-Concentration CCs) while you're at it. And it can make people trigger the OAs of all of their summons and allies. And like all Druids, has the versatility of knowing their full spell list.

    Armor
    The Life Cleric dip means we're free to choose between either the Medium Armor or Heavy Armor route (and both are fine). Medium Armor means we can invest more in Dexterity for better initiative, Dex saves (which are more important than Str saves), and have a smoother progression (e.g. better AC with default / starting armors) at the cost of 1 less AC in the long run.

    Healing
    The main strategy here is to take advantage of the Life Cleric dip's synergy with the Druid spell list to give you some of the best healing in the game. The first component of this is Goodberry; at the end of an adventuring day, you basically can convert all of your leftover spell slots into a giant pile of potions for the next day. Every single slot spent on Goodberry in this way gives you a whopping 40 hp worth of potions (or 50 with a level 2 slot, 60 with level 3, etc due to how the Life Domain ability works), and doesn't cut into your spell slots for the following day. It just lasts 24 hours, so you can make all of these right before you Long Rest and have 'em in the morning. Hand them out to the party (especially minions and pets!) and now everyone can pick everyone up off the death gate.

    The second component of this is Healing Spirit. Each tick with give you 1d6+4 healing, it can potentially tick on multiple allies multiple times per round (though it doesn't need to to be worth it), and it only takes a bonus action to cast it or move it around... and as a Land Druid you don't have a whole lot else to do with your bonus action. Also notable is that Healing Spirit upcasts very well. For example, with a third level slot it will heal 2d6+5 per tick, essentially making it a (mostly) superior version of the old Life Domain + Aura of Vitality combo that Lore Bards were doing in core. And that trick was already great.

    Later on you get things like Heal to be able to just burst people back up to full. And you have options like Command and Plant Growth for powerful CC that doesn't mess with your Healing Spirit Concentration (and Land's Stride means that you can walk through that Plant Growth!). Abilities like Land's Stride, Nature's Sanctuary, Misty Step, and Mirror Image (combined with your reliable Concentration feats) means that disrupting you can be quite difficult for the enemy.

    Altogether this can really cut into enemy DPR and make your party very hard to put down or keep down. You might initially think that 2d6+5 just sounds like a normal attack, but remember that healing auto-hits, while attacks don't, and that this is just a bonus action, and that it can tick multiple times per round. To get a proper sense of how good this healing is, you should be comparing your output to enemy DPR (counting miss chance and such) rather than just their potential damage-on-hit. Add onto that the fact that the party will be topped off on HP at the start of every new encounter and you're a force multiplier for your party's survivability.

    Rakdos and Cleric spells
    But wait, healing isn't your only good trick that not every Land Druid can do. I'm not going to reiterate a whole spell guide for Druids here though, and just stick to what Rakdos and Cleric can add for you. Our Rakdos affiliation means that not only can we summon a ton of creatures with spells like Conjure Animals, but after we make them swarm the enemy, we can cast Dissonant Whispers on them in order to make them trigger tons of OAs, dealing considerable damage. It also means that we can hit back with Hellish Rebuke if they think attacking the back line caster is a good idea. Or cast Haste. Or Fire Wall as another thing we can Thorn Whip people through. It also means that we get an actually decent ranged damage cantrip, which Druids usually don't have.

    Cleric, on the other hand, mostly adds Bless (an excellent use of Concentration), Command (a rare non-Concentration CC which can be upcast as an AoE, very handy), Sanctuary (another bonus action! And no Concentration! We need those for Land Druids!), and Guiding Bolt (handy at low levels). That's about it for the notable adds.

    If you would rather not be affiiated with Rakdos, see "variants" below.

    Feats
    Resilient is there mainly to make your Concentration better. Lucky does that and also a bunch of other things. Warcaster is also mainly there to make your Concentration better. Prodigy will make you spot everything. The order of feats can be changed up as you like, except that Resilient and Max Wis should be first, and Prodigy provides more benefits the higher your Proficiency is. If you rolled for stats and thus don't need to spend as many ASIs maxing Wisdom, see "variants" for further options.

    Cantrips
    We use Thorn Whip and Create Bonfire in the way described above in "Resourceless Output." Guidance is spammed liberally out of combat. Shape Water is to be used creatively. Fire Bolt gives us a long range option.

    Variants:
    - Some other good races for this include Loxodon, Shifter, Hill Dwarf, and Aarakocra. Stats should be adjusted accordingly. For example, if you're a Hill Dwarf with Point Buy, dump Strength, start with 17 Con, and bump it to 18 when you get Resilient.
    - The Observant feat is excellent and synergistic with some of the above races. Great choice if you have an odd Wisdom score.
    - Alert is always a goodie.
    - The Defensive Duelist feat will give you an at-will +6 AC reaction at high levels. It could be worth considering for the level 19 ASI. You just have to hold a weapon, not actually attack anyone with it.
    - Prodigy can of course just be augmenting whatever skill you like.
    - Magic Initiate could give you a better damage cantrip at higher levels, like Toll the Dead. And grab you a familiar or the like while you're at it.
    - If you drop the Rakdos affiliation, replace "Fire Bolt" with something like "Frostbite" or "Mold Earth."

    Build 6: Goblin Hazard Druid

    Goblin Land Druid 20
    Starting stats (Point Buy): 17 Dex / 16 Con / 15 Wis
    ASIs: +1 Wis/Dex (18/16), +2 Wis (18), +2 Wis (20), +2 Dex (20), Lucky
    Land type: Either Coast, Underdark, Grassland, or Arctic.
    Guild Affiliation options: Rakdos has some good adds if you're gonna take one (Dissonant Whispers + summons is a thing). Orzhov is an option for Spirit Guardians (which also has synergy with Thorn Whip).

    This solves the "Land Druids don't have a lot of bonus actions" problem by being a Goblin. Being a Goblin means you spend all your time stealthed, You break stealth to do whatever your Action is (with Advantage if it's an attack, like Thorn Whip or Fire Bolt with Rakdos), then use your bonus action at the end of your turn to return to stealth. Being a Goblin also means you can tack on some extra damage in a pinch with Fury of the Small.

    You basically set down Concentration effects (often hazards such as Sleet Storm or Spike Growth or Create Bonfire, or summons such as Conjure Animals) and harass people with Thorn Whip or other non-Concentration spells. And just do pretty much all the standard Land Druid things while spending most of your time stealthed. Take advantage of Land's Stride to help kite people.

    This guy teams up well with things like grapplers or Repelling Blast Warlocks.
    Last edited by LudicSavant; 2019-04-28 at 08:44 AM. Reason: Found a typo

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    Love the Arcana Cleric frontliner.
    The interactions with booming blade, thorn whip and sacred guardians make this guy such a cool tanky support I absolutely love.

    Really good in those tightly packed encounters.
    "What most us tend to forget is that statistically speaking, 50% of people out there have below average intelligence."

    Advanced Sorcerer Guide


  16. - Top - End - #16
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    Quote Originally Posted by Maan View Post
    These are really nice and entertaining to read, thank you!

    Care to help me with a build?
    I'm thinking about a tank with the options for good damage and decent control.
    How about a Dex-based Eldritch Knight 12 / War Mage 8 focusing on using Shadow Blade? Can also use Mage Armor to get plate-like AC while still being stealthy and having a great initiative. Bonus points for being able to magically summon all of your arms and armor and have 26 AC in a ball gown.

    Arcane Deflection + Indomitable + Lucky all stack to give you great save coverage. Warding Wind is a good spell on the Abjuration/Evocation list which protects you and everyone behind you from ranged attacks (and some other things). War Caster will help keep your Concentration up, and SB / WC / Booming Blade OAs will make you stickier than the average Fighter. Shadow Blade gives you fantastic damage scaling as a Fighter and this build has enough spell slots to be casting it every encounter (by around mid-levels).

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    DrowGirl

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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant View Post
    How about a Dex-based Eldritch Knight 12 / War Mage 8 focusing on using Shadow Blade? Can also use Mage Armor to get plate-like AC while still being stealthy and having a great initiative. Bonus points for being able to magically summon all of your arms and armor and have 26 AC in a ball gown.

    Arcane Deflection + Indomitable + Lucky all stack to give you great save coverage. Warding Wind is a good spell on the Abjuration/Evocation list which protects you and everyone behind you from ranged attacks (and some other things). War Caster will help keep your Concentration up, and SB / WC / Booming Blade OAs will make you stickier than the average Fighter. Shadow Blade gives you fantastic damage scaling as a Fighter and this build has enough spell slots to be casting it every encounter (by around mid-levels).
    Whoopsie, forgot to mention: we'll be starting with level 5 characters, at least; maybe 6 or 7.
    So I would need something viable from that level onward.

  18. - Top - End - #18
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Griffon

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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    Ď would like to add something.

    S.A.D. HELLSONG, the bard from hell
    Songs for your party, Hell for the DM

    The build is simple Flying tiefling Hexblade Warlock 1 (or 3), Lore Bard X
    Stats: Char > Dex > Con > whatever (note that flying tiefling is a option for any tiefling, with or without "feral" stats replacement
    Feats: Char, Warcaster, ritual caster. Optional: Lucky, Spell sniper, Inspiring leader
    Spells Warlock: Eldritch blast, booming blade or green flame blade, shield, hex or armor of agathys,
    Bard, Vicious mockery, friends, feather fall, healing word, hypnotic pattern, invisibility, heat metal, silence, counterspell, conjure animals

    Build summary
    This build has a lot of room for customization and maintain his strengths as debuffer.
    With vicious mockery (action), hypnotic pattern (con, action), heat metal (conc, bonus action), silence (conc), cutting words (reaction) and counterspell (reaction) you can lock down virtually anything you may face. BBEG Heavy warrior? Heat metal on his armor, cutting words and kite him flying. BBEG Caster? Silence, hex (disavantanje on dex checks) and grapple him, or counterspell as needed, or use cutting words to make his "disintegrates" "failtegrates"

    Also, you can fill any other role.
    Tank. 18 AC with breastplate, shield and +2 dex. With "shield" spell and cutting words you can reach AC23 easily, without magic items. Armor of agathys gives you extra HP that scales greatly with a full caster spare spell slots.
    Melee Warcaster, booming blade, hexblade curse (crit on 19+) and charisma to melee, you can dish some good damage without investing any resources. Spell sniper allows to use a whip, for the same damage and safer reach (move to 10, booming blade the enemy, and move back. Now the enemy stays still, or triggers the BB extra damage). And with warcaster and magical secrets, you can get paladin smite spells for crits.
    Range Eldritch blast with agonizing blast from a safe flying distance, thanks to spell sniper.
    Healing With your talent to negate enemy hits, you don't need so much healing, but healing word for emergencies is enough. Song of rest gives extra restoration. And you still have 6 more magical secrets for healing spirits if you really need them
    Skillmonkey You are a bard. You have 3 skills, 3 more from lore bard, and 2 from background, and expertise. I suggest Criminal background, for extra tools proficiency.
    Spellcaster You are a full spelcaster, with a free 1st level slot per short rest. You can even use any spell from any other class. Nobody else can do it better than you. But thanks to ritual caster, you can cast even more utility spells
    Blasting You can learn fireball just for fun... Because you have fire resistance and proficiency on dex saves, so casting fireball just on you to burn all those enemy melee suckers is a viable tactic.
    Scouting You can cast invisibility and fly You have proficiency in perception (or at least, you should). You can cast find familiar from ritual caster. All the bases covered here.
    Minion-mancy Geas, animate objets, summon X, find familiar, summon grater steed... all of them are at your reach.


    For extra fun, invest all you money in an Axe-guitar, so you can use your music instrument as spell focus and rock as hell.

  19. - Top - End - #19
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    Quote Originally Posted by Maan View Post
    Whoopsie, forgot to mention: we'll be starting with level 5 characters, at least; maybe 6 or 7.
    So I would need something viable from that level onward.
    The Eldritch Knight build is viable from 1-20.

    Basically Fighters have a swell time from 1-12. It jumps off into Wizard at 12 because at that point the Fighter progression slows down a bit; you'd have to wait all the way to level 20 to get another extra attack and that XGtE War Magic school has a lot to offer both in the short and long run.

    There is one common mistake I see with EK that gives some people a negative experience with them: They somehow get it into their head that they should be using spells like "Scorching Ray" that rely on their second-rate Intelligence scores. Don't do this! Look for spells that don't rely on your Intelligence score, and ones that augment your martial abilities rather than replacing them.

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    DrowGirl

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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant View Post
    The Eldritch Knight build is viable from 1-20.

    Basically Fighters have a swell time from 1-12. It jumps off into Wizard at 12 because at that point the Fighter progression slows down a bit; you'd have to wait all the way to level 20 to get another extra attack and that XGtE War Magic school has a lot to offer both in the short and long run.
    Thanks for the clarification, wasn't sure where you thought one should multiclass into Wizard.
    Arcane Deflection + Tactical Wit no doubt are tempting...

  21. - Top - End - #21
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    ElfRangerGuy

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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    Quote Originally Posted by Antarx View Post
    Ď would like to add something.

    S.A.D. HELLSONG, the bard from hell
    Songs for your party, Hell for the DM

    The build is simple Flying tiefling Hexblade Warlock 1 (or 3), Lore Bard X
    Stats: Char > Dex > Con > whatever (note that flying tiefling is a option for any tiefling, with or without "feral" stats replacement
    Feats: Char, Warcaster, ritual caster. Optional: Lucky, Spell sniper, Inspiring leader
    Spells Warlock: Eldritch blast, booming blade or green flame blade, shield, hex or armor of agathys,
    Bard, Vicious mockery, friends, feather fall, healing word, hypnotic pattern, invisibility, heat metal, silence, counterspell, conjure animals

    Build summary
    This build has a lot of room for customization and maintain his strengths as debuffer.
    With vicious mockery (action), hypnotic pattern (con, action), heat metal (conc, bonus action), silence (conc), cutting words (reaction) and counterspell (reaction) you can lock down virtually anything you may face. BBEG Heavy warrior? Heat metal on his armor, cutting words and kite him flying. BBEG Caster? Silence, hex (disavantanje on dex checks) and grapple him, or counterspell as needed, or use cutting words to make his "disintegrates" "failtegrates"

    Also, you can fill any other role.
    Tank. 18 AC with breastplate, shield and +2 dex. With "shield" spell and cutting words you can reach AC23 easily, without magic items. Armor of agathys gives you extra HP that scales greatly with a full caster spare spell slots.
    Melee Warcaster, booming blade, hexblade curse (crit on 19+) and charisma to melee, you can dish some good damage without investing any resources. Spell sniper allows to use a whip, for the same damage and safer reach (move to 10, booming blade the enemy, and move back. Now the enemy stays still, or triggers the BB extra damage). And with warcaster and magical secrets, you can get paladin smite spells for crits.
    Range Eldritch blast with agonizing blast from a safe flying distance, thanks to spell sniper.
    Healing With your talent to negate enemy hits, you don't need so much healing, but healing word for emergencies is enough. Song of rest gives extra restoration. And you still have 6 more magical secrets for healing spirits if you really need them
    Skillmonkey You are a bard. You have 3 skills, 3 more from lore bard, and 2 from background, and expertise. I suggest Criminal background, for extra tools proficiency.
    Spellcaster You are a full spelcaster, with a free 1st level slot per short rest. You can even use any spell from any other class. Nobody else can do it better than you. But thanks to ritual caster, you can cast even more utility spells
    Blasting You can learn fireball just for fun... Because you have fire resistance and proficiency on dex saves, so casting fireball just on you to burn all those enemy melee suckers is a viable tactic.
    Scouting You can cast invisibility and fly You have proficiency in perception (or at least, you should). You can cast find familiar from ritual caster. All the bases covered here.
    Minion-mancy Geas, animate objets, summon X, find familiar, summon grater steed... all of them are at your reach.


    For extra fun, invest all you money in an Axe-guitar, so you can use your music instrument as spell focus and rock as hell.
    I'm currently playing a similar Bard/Hexblade, but I'm using College of Swords, and boy is it fun to play. You can do nearly anything and go anywhere on the battlefield, it's crazy versatile.
    Last edited by Lysimarchos; 2019-03-31 at 04:36 PM.

  22. - Top - End - #22
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Pyramid Pug's Avatar

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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    Sup folks wonderful thread and very informative, especially since I usually play in small parties so I tend to cover as many bases as I can while still having fun.

    This is my current character:

    - Hill Dwarf, Lvl 9 War Cleric.
    - 16 str, 11 dex, 16 con, 13 int, 19 wis, 11 char
    - Warcaster feat
    -For story reasons, uses a specific warhammer and usually a shield (tho the shield isn't mandatory like the warhammer).
    - Currently gearless (we're prisioners on a penal island).
    - Party is a Berserk Barbarian/ Fighter 8/1 and a Thief Rogue 8/1 as well.

    Reading this thread I really enjoyed the thorn whip and Booming Blade shenanigans with spirit guardians (which has been a workhorse of mine since I got it) so I was wondering a few things..

    -What ways are there to get cantrips outside my class without multiclassing? (probably with feats I'd guess)

    - On the next ASL I wanna bump my Wis to 20, ya folks got any suggestions on what half-feat I should get or should I bump Wis and another stat?

    -What other combos with spells/ feats would be interesting to get/try? I don't mean just in combat here as I'm kinda the generalist of the party, so stuff like utility, intel gathering (outside of sneaking which our rogue has covered), and other support stuff you folks can think of.

    -On a related note, is there anything that can help me getting by unnoticed? 'Cause with 11 dex, no prof in stealth and (usually) heavy armor, I've dun goofed more times than not when it would benefit the party to be hidden (once with a shadow dragon, was epic and even got some bonus xp out of it, but yeah, not looking forward to repeat that trick 😂)

  23. - Top - End - #23
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    Quote Originally Posted by Pyramid Pug View Post
    -What ways are there to get cantrips outside my class without multiclassing? (probably with feats I'd guess)
    > Magic Initiate Feat
    > Races: High Elf, SCAG variant half-elf, or Mark of Making Human
    > Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica backgrounds
    > Magic Items

    Edit:
    Quote Originally Posted by Pyramid Pug View Post
    - On the next ASL I wanna bump my Wis to 20, ya folks got any suggestions on what half-feat I should get or should I bump Wis and another stat?
    Here's a list of all of the half-feats organized by the stats they boost: http://www.giantitp.com/forums/showt...ats-They-Boost

    So... given that you already have Wis proficiency your choice is basically just between Observant and +1 Wis / +1 something else (probably Dex).

    Thankfully, Observant is a very good half-feat... at least if your DM remembers to use the passive perception rules.

  24. - Top - End - #24
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    DrowGirl

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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    Just for theorycrafting sake: would it be viable multiclassing your "Woodelf Magic Commando" to Wizard, let's say at level 12?
    Eldritch Knight-ish build, I guess War Wizard or Abjuration could work fine.

  25. - Top - End - #25
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    Quote Originally Posted by Maan View Post
    Just for theorycrafting sake: would it be viable multiclassing your "Woodelf Magic Commando" to Wizard, let's say at level 12?
    Eldritch Knight-ish build, I guess War Wizard or Abjuration could work fine.
    I guess my question would be why you wouldn’t be an EK if you were planning to jump off into Wizard.

  26. - Top - End - #26
    Halfling in the Playground
     
    DrowGirl

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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant View Post
    I guess my question would be why you wouldn’t be an EK if you were planning to jump off into Wizard.
    Maybe I don't find the EK features too appealing, or don't really get them.

    Let's see, a full EK build would get:
    4, 3, 3, 1 spells.
    War Magic: looks nice when you have 2 attacks, effectively replacing one of them with a cantrip (BB it's an easy choice); less so when you have 3 or 4 attacks.
    Improved War Magic makes War Magic look a bit better, though I can't really think of situations where a spell + 1 attack will make a real difference against either a single spell or 3-4 attacks. Especially because I see EK spells mostly as self-support.
    Arcane Charge is nice to have but hardly game changing. Pretty much like Weapon Bond.
    Eldritch Strike is no doubt powerful. Disadvantage can help landing a spell even if you DC isn't optimal.

    On the other hand a, say, BM 12/Wizard 8 would get:
    4, 3, 3, 2 spells. Also, without limitations in school chosen.
    All the BM manouvers, that can give some nice versatility.
    It would be missing Indomitable (x2) and (x3), though this could be remedied by just taking Lucky Feat (you can afford to spare an ASI with a Fighter); Action Surge (x2); a fourth attack; one ASI (not that you have too few of those, TBH).
    On top of that you get Arcane Tradition at level 2 and 6: Arcane Ward, or Portent, or Arcane Deflection + Tactical Wit.

    Thinking about this, a 2 levels dip into War Wizard could actually be pretty nice for a Dex EK...

  27. - Top - End - #27
    Orc in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    Quote Originally Posted by Maan View Post
    Maybe I don't find the EK features too appealing, or don't really get them.

    Let's see, a full EK build would get:
    4, 3, 3, 1 spells.
    War Magic: looks nice when you have 2 attacks, effectively replacing one of them with a cantrip (BB it's an easy choice); less so when you have 3 or 4 attacks.
    Improved War Magic makes War Magic look a bit better, though I can't really think of situations where a spell + 1 attack will make a real difference against either a single spell or 3-4 attacks. Especially because I see EK spells mostly as self-support.
    Arcane Charge is nice to have but hardly game changing. Pretty much like Weapon Bond.
    Eldritch Strike is no doubt powerful. Disadvantage can help landing a spell even if you DC isn't optimal.

    On the other hand a, say, BM 12/Wizard 8 would get:
    4, 3, 3, 2 spells. Also, without limitations in school chosen.
    All the BM manouvers, that can give some nice versatility.
    It would be missing Indomitable (x2) and (x3), though this could be remedied by just taking Lucky Feat (you can afford to spare an ASI with a Fighter); Action Surge (x2); a fourth attack; one ASI (not that you have too few of those, TBH).
    On top of that you get Arcane Tradition at level 2 and 6: Arcane Ward, or Portent, or Arcane Deflection + Tactical Wit.

    Thinking about this, a 2 levels dip into War Wizard could actually be pretty nice for a Dex EK...
    11/9 is almost always the better split for 5th level spells and fighter is pretty free after 11. That said non-EK fighters prefer sorc/warlock for hard spam on 5th's. War wizard 2/6 is just also good on everything.

    11/9 EK has 4/3/3/3/2/1 which is a little more hefty in terms of power and is a slightly better comparison point.

  28. - Top - End - #28
    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    Petrocorus's Avatar

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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    Good day everyone.

    I am playing the Arcane Cleric with Shillelagh in a ToA campaign by now. My goddess is Mystra.

    I had been working on this build independently on my side (with a Wood Elf basis), until i talked about it to LudicSavant on another thread and he shown me all the work that had already been done on it.

    The DM has been generous and gave us a bonus feat at level 1. So 2 feats for Vuman. We started at level 3. I took the Sailor background.
    I made some changes with the build presented by LudicSavant, though.

    Because the DM has decided to put an emphasis on the "survivalist" part of the campaign, i took Resilient (Con) at level 1 instead of Warcaster because Saves against exhaustion, diseases and unintentional poisoning (like food poisoning) is going to be a thing.

    For the same reason, i took Goodberries instead of Absorb Element with the Magic Initiate feat. I also took Guidance with the feat to free a Cleric cantrip slot for Light. Half of the party is human or aaracokra, and the DM is apparently willing to play hard on the obscurity situations.

    We just reached level 4. I raised my Wis. Stats are now 10 / 14 / 14 / 12 / 18 / 10.

    My skills are Arcana, Athletics, Stealth, History, Perception, Insight.
    My Cleric cantrips are Sacred Flame, Word of Radiance, Light, Mending (taken at lvl 4).
    My Druid cantrips are Guidance and Shillelagh.
    My Wizard cantrips are Green Flame Blade and the second one remains to be defined (the DM allowed it), i'm hesitating between Prestidigitation, Mage Hand and Booming Blade. I didn't take BB outright because i'm not sure to take Warcaster before level 12 and this combo is my main incentive to take BB in addition of 3 other attack cantrip and Shillelagh.

    So far the build is working well, as well as i could expect given the environmental circumstances and my less than stellar rolls. I've made an extensive use of Shillelagh and Spiritual Weapon. GFB and WoR have not been very useful yet as we have faced mostly single big foes.

    I feel like i lack a real nova, but my ongoing damages per turn are neat. I support with Bless and Aid (i like to use it as a poor man's Mass Healing Word). I've been useful to the party in most of situations, including social ones thanks to my Insight.
    Last edited by Petrocorus; 2019-04-06 at 11:17 AM.
    ------- 5E MM Resistances, Immunities, Vulnerabilities, and Damage. - - Petrocorus' Paladin Builds List. - - 3.5 Reference Index

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    Sun Tzu never had tier problems. If he had to deal with D&D, the Art of War would read "Full casters or GTFO".
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  29. - Top - End - #29
    Ogre in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    Quote Originally Posted by Nhorianscum View Post
    11/9 is almost always the better split for 5th level spells and fighter is pretty free after 11. That said non-EK fighters prefer sorc/warlock for hard spam on 5th's. War wizard 2/6 is just also good on everything.

    11/9 EK has 4/3/3/3/2/1 which is a little more hefty in terms of power and is a slightly better comparison point.
    The thing about 11/9 EK is that they have the same spell slots as a 12/8 EK. Both will have 4/3/3/3/2/1, but one will have an extra ASI and the other will be able to learn 5th level spells at 20 and only 20. The reason for this is because the multiclassing rules make the EK divide their levels by 3 and round down (so 11 levels = 3 spellcasting levels, while 12 = 4 spellcasting levels).

    If you are a Battle Master, however, the 11/9 split is probably better, because it actually makes a difference in the spell slots you have access to (4/3/3/3/1 over 4/3/3/2)

    Quote Originally Posted by Maan View Post
    Maybe I don't find the EK features too appealing, or don't really get them.

    Let's see, a full EK build would get:
    4, 3, 3, 1 spells.
    War Magic: looks nice when you have 2 attacks, effectively replacing one of them with a cantrip (BB it's an easy choice); less so when you have 3 or 4 attacks.
    Improved War Magic makes War Magic look a bit better, though I can't really think of situations where a spell + 1 attack will make a real difference against either a single spell or 3-4 attacks. Especially because I see EK spells mostly as self-support.
    Arcane Charge is nice to have but hardly game changing. Pretty much like Weapon Bond.
    Eldritch Strike is no doubt powerful. Disadvantage can help landing a spell even if you DC isn't optimal.

    On the other hand a, say, BM 12/Wizard 8 would get:
    4, 3, 3, 2 spells. Also, without limitations in school chosen.
    All the BM manouvers, that can give some nice versatility.
    It would be missing Indomitable (x2) and (x3), though this could be remedied by just taking Lucky Feat (you can afford to spare an ASI with a Fighter); Action Surge (x2); a fourth attack; one ASI (not that you have too few of those, TBH).
    On top of that you get Arcane Tradition at level 2 and 6: Arcane Ward, or Portent, or Arcane Deflection + Tactical Wit.

    Thinking about this, a 2 levels dip into War Wizard could actually be pretty nice for a Dex EK...
    It seems like it could be viable to me. EK/Wizard will have a smoother progression overall, but BM will get maneuvers and doesn't scale its subclass features much beyond 11. Consider BM 11 / War Wizard 9. At 20 you'll even be able to do a 5th level Shadow Blade / Action Surge nova, albeit only 1/day. Being able to stack maneuvers on top of that is pretty nasty.

    Pure EK 20's advantages would be having an extra Action Surge / rest, 3 Indomitables (which stack with Lucky), 2 extra ASIs compared to be BM11/9, about 18 extra hit points (plus 9 more per Short Rest via Second Wind), and of course a 4th attack at 20. And of course all of the EK's features. War Magic mostly only matters at tier 2. Arcane Charge will let you do a teleport that can't be counterspelled (which I always like). Weapon Bond makes you immune to disarms (also it lets you summon/smuggle items). And they'll still be able to cast quite a few spells, if a bit less than the BM setup in the long run.

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    RangerGuy

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    Default Re: An Eclectic Collection of Fun and Effective Builds

    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant View Post
    Anything in particular people would be interested in seeing?
    I usually play Wizards, Archers (All sorts of Fighters, Rogues, Hunter and Gloom Stalker Rangers, Hexblade, Valor Bard, and a Kensei Monk), and Healer support types (All sorts of Clerics and Druids, Lore Bard, Divine Sorcerer, Celestial Warlock, and even a Redemption Paladin with the Healer feat and Inspiring Leader).

    I think you've covered a lot of healer support types and I will probably take a stab at the Goblin Land Druid soon, that one looks like some fun. Thanks for posting it.

    I've made a Hobgoblin Wizard and a Shadar-kai Fighter (Samurai) at your recommendation, but haven't played them yet so feel free to expand on them if you like. Any other Wizard goodness you like to share, feel free.

    I feel like I could have done a better job with my Valor Bard Archer and it came on line late. I never got a good feel for my Kensei Archer, and I also probably could have improved on my Hexblade Archer in hindsight. The Rogue Assassin was very effective, if kinda plain and feat intensive.

    So any new variations are always welcomed, or anything that looks fun in general to play.
    Last edited by Telesphoros; 2019-04-14 at 06:25 PM.

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