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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Warlock Hexblade at lvl5, HEX is still a good option?

    Hi all,
    I'm planning my lvl5 Hexblade Warlock.

    I would like to have your opinion on HEX spell. At the moment is my go to spell and sums up with my Hexblade Curse.
    There's any other option that can be better than hex (dmg wise) for a lvl5?

    thanks

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    Kobold

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    Default Re: Warlock Hexblade at lvl5, HEX is still a good option?

    As you level up you will have more and more competition for your concentration, but I think hex is still valuable.

    Since all of your warlock slots are max level, you will always be upcasting Hex for the longer duration. If you can maintain concentration you can keep Hex going across multiple combats and even while taking a short rest and refilling your spell slots.

    While the damage buff of Hex can become less impressive over time, the debuff to ability checks will always be useful. Hex the giant's strength before your barbarian grapples, or a tough leader's Dex in an ambush before they roll initiative. Depending on your gm you could even use it in social situations to debuff a merchant's Charisma while haggling.

    Hex is a strong tool to have in your kit, I would hang on to it throughout your career

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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Warlock Hexblade at lvl5, HEX is still a good option?

    Quote Originally Posted by Quoz View Post
    As you level up you will have more and more competition for your concentration, but I think hex is still valuable.

    Since all of your warlock slots are max level, you will always be upcasting Hex for the longer duration. If you can maintain concentration you can keep Hex going across multiple combats and even while taking a short rest and refilling your spell slots.

    While the damage buff of Hex can become less impressive over time, the debuff to ability checks will always be useful. Hex the giant's strength before your barbarian grapples, or a tough leader's Dex in an ambush before they roll initiative. Depending on your gm you could even use it in social situations to debuff a merchant's Charisma while haggling.

    Hex is a strong tool to have in your kit, I would hang on to it throughout your career
    You described perfectly the way I use HEX, especially on grapple. At the moment I still find hard to use darkness for space reason and our Bard is using really well Fairy Fire which already gives me advantage.

    Obviously I think I'll use more Shadow of Moil instead of hex later on.

    I've also read about a good combo: Hex, Hexblade Curse and Bestow curse. As far as I know bestow curse is concentration so how can I keep also HEX?

    thanks for the help

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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Warlock Hexblade at lvl5, HEX is still a good option?

    Regarding the combo my bad just noticed that Bestow Curse at higher lvl can be without concentration ad anyway is not in the hexblade spells list sorry

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Warlock Hexblade at lvl5, HEX is still a good option?

    Itís not easy to up damage in 5e, so adding 1d6 to each attack is a nice bump. Itís not the be-all-end-all of a build, or necessary for success, but it is nice.

    So it really comes down to how often you use your Concentration on other spells. Iím playing a Hexblade, Pact of the Blade, now and use Hex all the time still at level 9. Iíve found itís nice to have it cast in the first combat of the day, and then maintain it all day. My slots are then used on non-Concentration spells like AoA, Dimension Door or Synaptic Static.

    Iíve used Shadow of Moil and itís nice, but I usually opt against it as it requires a setup round versus Hexís Bonus Action to switch to a new target (which doesnít tip the enemies off to you being a caster). So far Iíve preferred Hex+attacking+keeping slots for AoEs (and/or pre-cast AoA) over SoM.

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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Warlock Hexblade at lvl5, HEX is still a good option?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rsp29a View Post
    Itís not easy to up damage in 5e, so adding 1d6 to each attack is a nice bump. Itís not the be-all-end-all of a build, or necessary for success, but it is nice.

    So it really comes down to how often you use your Concentration on other spells. Iím playing a Hexblade, Pact of the Blade, now and use Hex all the time still at level 9. Iíve found itís nice to have it cast in the first combat of the day, and then maintain it all day. My slots are then used on non-Concentration spells like AoA, Dimension Door or Synaptic Static.

    Iíve used Shadow of Moil and itís nice, but I usually opt against it as it requires a setup round versus Hexís Bonus Action to switch to a new target (which doesnít tip the enemies off to you being a caster). So far Iíve preferred Hex+attacking+keeping slots for AoEs (and/or pre-cast AoA) over SoM.
    Yes up till now Hex is my go to. I pre-cast (before battle) when I can Mirror Image over AoA cause at the moment is giving me more defence.

    I know that concentration on Hex goes to 8hrs and I know that I can keep concentrating while short resting (but not if I sleep) but I use a lot of utility spells like invisibility (out of combat and for scouting) so not sure I'll be able to keep Hex concentration for 8hrs.

    AOE spells? I tend to rarely use spells to attack during combat. But I will definitely use Hold Person more from now on. Any other viable option?
    And at lvl 5 I will take fly (ranged weapon + 60ft of movement is not bad)

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    Default Re: Warlock Hexblade at lvl5, HEX is still a good option?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alek View Post
    Regarding the combo my bad just noticed that Bestow Curse at higher lvl can be without concentration ad anyway is not in the hexblade spells list sorry
    Bestow Curse isn't on any Warlock's spell list; there's invocation that allows a Warlock to cast it once a day, with the use of a spell slot. It's a lousy invocation; you're burning an invocation slot, a spell slot, and a long rest to cast a spell once per day. A touch spell. With a saving throw. Requires an Action.

    Compare with Hex: Bonus Action. 90' range. No save. No invocation required. Cast multiple times per day. Totally worth it.
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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: Warlock Hexblade at lvl5, HEX is still a good option?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alek View Post
    You described perfectly the way I use HEX, especially on grapple. At the moment I still find hard to use darkness for space reason and our Bard is using really well Fairy Fire which already gives me advantage.

    Obviously I think I'll use more Shadow of Moil instead of hex later on.

    I've also read about a good combo: Hex, Hexblade Curse and Bestow curse. As far as I know bestow curse is concentration so how can I keep also HEX?

    thanks for the help
    If you are a 9th level warlock and use a 5th level spell slot to cast bestow curse, it doesn't require concentration and the duration is 8 hours. However, it still requires a touch attack with a wisdom saving throw to inflict the curse.

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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Warlock Hexblade at lvl5, HEX is still a good option?

    Thanks for the info guys seems we all agree there's nothing better than HEX (dmg wise) for a lvl5.
    All the smite spells and elemental weapon seems to fall behind compared to HEX.

    At lvl 8 maybe I can take PAM in order to have 1 more attack with bonus. Especially since Eldritch Blast at lvl11 it will have 3 attacks.

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Warlock Hexblade at lvl5, HEX is still a good option?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alek View Post
    Thanks for the info guys seems we all agree there's nothing better than HEX (dmg wise) for a lvl5.
    All the smite spells and elemental weapon seems to fall behind compared to HEX.

    At lvl 8 maybe I can take PAM in order to have 1 more attack with bonus. Especially since Eldritch Blast at lvl11 it will have 3 attacks.
    Iíd stay away from PAM if using Hex: your BA will be used to cast and transfer Hex more often than not, making PAMís best feature, the BA Attack, unusable.

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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Warlock Hexblade at lvl5, HEX is still a good option?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rsp29a View Post
    Iíd stay away from PAM if using Hex: your BA will be used to cast and transfer Hex more often than not, making PAMís best feature, the BA Attack, unusable.
    I use 1-2 BA then all is good for PAM

    1st round BA HEX + attack
    2nd round BA Hex Curse + Attack
    3nd on all BA is attack

    PAM + GWM are a great combination for an Hexblade

    Sum that up with a Glaive with reach and PAM triggers your reaction when someone enters your reach
    Last edited by Alek; 2019-09-07 at 09:37 AM.

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Warlock Hexblade at lvl5, HEX is still a good option?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alek View Post
    I use 1-2 BA then all is good for PAM

    1st round BA HEX + attack
    2nd round BA Hex Curse + Attack
    3nd on all BA is attack

    PAM + GWM are a great combination for an Hexblade

    Sum that up with a Glaive with reach and PAM triggers your reaction when someone enters your reach
    Your games may be different, but Iíve heard it said, and for my tables itís probably about true, that most combats last an average of 3 rounds.

    Also, most combats arenít against 1 BBEG, so by round three, youíre probably needing to spend your BA to move Hex to a new target.

    All in all, youíll probably not be using that BA to attack. However, since youíre only 5th right now, you have time to figure it out. Iíd suggest spending these next few levels to track how many rounds of combat you would have your BA available to attack if you had PAM (as in literally keep a tally on pen and paper for accuracy). If you find youíre mostly moving Hex or applying Hexblades Curse each round, go another way with your ASI at 8. If youíre finding youíre often not using your BA most rounds, then PAM may be a viable option.

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    Default Re: Warlock Hexblade at lvl5, HEX is still a good option?

    At higher level, bandishing smite might be worth your concentration. up to you, really.

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    Default Re: Warlock Hexblade at lvl5, HEX is still a good option?

    Quote Originally Posted by Keravath View Post
    If you are a 9th level warlock and use a 5th level spell slot to cast bestow curse, it doesn't require concentration and the duration is 8 hours. However, it still requires a touch attack with a wisdom saving throw to inflict the curse.
    Which can be "ranged" if you happen to be a chain warlock, and cast through your invisible familiar. So, it can be used, and by warlocks, as a super-hex... more damage, or better disadvantage, but lacks the flexibility of Hex.

    Also, unrelated, the "hex" invocations (maddening hex & Relentless hex) also will work off of Bestow Curse if acquired in this way.
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    Pixie in the Playground
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    Default Re: Warlock Hexblade at lvl5, HEX is still a good option?

    Quote Originally Posted by Vogie View Post
    Which can be "ranged" if you happen to be a chain warlock, and cast through your invisible familiar. So, it can be used, and by warlocks, as a super-hex... more damage, or better disadvantage, but lacks the flexibility of Hex.

    Also, unrelated, the "hex" invocations (maddening hex & Relentless hex) also will work off of Bestow Curse if acquired in this way.
    That's a nice option with the familiar yes. I use Bestow Curse a lot on other campaign but rarely for dmg.

    Quote Originally Posted by micahaphone View Post
    At higher level, bandishing smite might be worth your concentration. up to you, really.
    I've checked also that smite spell still not a big fan of "on your next hit" I tend to be more consistent in dmg to keep aggro on me

    Quote Originally Posted by Rsp29a View Post
    Your games may be different, but Iíve heard it said, and for my tables itís probably about true, that most combats last an average of 3 rounds.

    Also, most combats arenít against 1 BBEG, so by round three, youíre probably needing to spend your BA to move Hex to a new target.

    All in all, youíll probably not be using that BA to attack. However, since youíre only 5th right now, you have time to figure it out. Iíd suggest spending these next few levels to track how many rounds of combat you would have your BA available to attack if you had PAM (as in literally keep a tally on pen and paper for accuracy). If you find youíre mostly moving Hex or applying Hexblades Curse each round, go another way with your ASI at 8. If youíre finding youíre often not using your BA most rounds, then PAM may be a viable option.
    With 3 rounds I barely reach the boss lol
    Rarely I've played a campaign with short battles. But anyway usually my first round is for HEX from the second on my BA is wasted. I use Hex Curse just on big bosses (and you never know when another big boss may enter the fight right? eheh).
    Around that 11lvl you'll fall behind with your weapon compared to Eldritch Blast so a lot of Hexblade use this combo. But yes I have a enough time before that lvl.

    Thank you all for sharing your experience

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    Default Re: Warlock Hexblade at lvl5, HEX is still a good option?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alek View Post
    I use 1-2 BA then all is good for PAM

    1st round BA HEX + attack
    2nd round BA Hex Curse + Attack
    3nd on all BA is attack

    PAM + GWM are a great combination for an Hexblade

    Sum that up with a Glaive with reach and PAM triggers your reaction when someone enters your reach
    If you have GWM, something like darkness will boost your damage more than hex (it might also trigger more reactions from PAM since it will allow you to move around better -no OA's). And it will also make you harder to take down.

    On the other hand, hex can allow you to use more spell slots for other things. For example, say you have 4 encounters ahead of you (within the next 8 hours) with one short rest after the second encounter. If using hex and assuming you have the concentration to make it stick, that means you have 3 spell slots to use however else you like during that day (while if you used something like darkness for every encounter you would have no slots to use with anything else; plus darkness would eat you first action during every/most encounters; darkness lasts for 10 minutes, so sometimes it might be possible to go through more than one encounters with 1 casting of it). One before the short rest, and two more after the short rest. You could use the first two with armor of agathys and you could save the last one for something like counterspell/dispel magic/invisibility/etc just in case you need it for the last two encounters (or you could use the last slot for another armor of agathys after the 3rd and before the 4th encounter).

    In short, something like darkness puts more pressure on your spell slots and action economy, while hex puts more pressure on feats (cause you really need good concentration to profit from it) and generally on your defenses (assuming a melee build always). I think you need to take into account the number and more importantly, the difficulty of the encounters, that your DM tends to use, and then make a decision.

    ps: Runing a hex all day long poses a problem when you need to use utility spells out of combat (warlocks are good at that because of being able to upcast spells like fly and invisibility). That reduces a lot either your versatility or what you gain out of hex (if you drop it and have to recast it that is). You could go around that by sacrificing mice or chicken or whatever, if you don't mind cheesing it up (in which case, if you start the day like that, hex gives you one extra slot).

    pps: The other problem with running a hex all day long, is that you might want to use your concentration differently, but in this case, during combat. Generally, whenever you are dropping concentration on hex, that takes away value from it (because one of the reasons that you are using hex is that it lasts long). That does not mean that you should not drop concentration on it in order to cast something else (like hypnotic pattern; if you have a good shot at a hypnotic pattern, go for it, it's a far better spell). But when you do that, it takes away value from hex. And if you end up doing that often enough, then it's time to consider not using hex with your concentration, and instead go with spells that allow a bigger benefit but for a shorter duration (while hex allows a small benefit for a long duration).
    Last edited by Corran; 2019-09-08 at 10:25 AM.
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    Default Re: Warlock Hexblade at lvl5, HEX is still a good option?

    Personally, I don't use hex much.

    My hexblade has PAM+GWM since this is pretty much the only way to get a melee warlock to outdamage agonizing blast. Anything else and agonizing blast does more damage. In order to make GWM work optimally, you need advantage on as many attacks as possible. As a result, I used darkness+devils sight to get advantage before level 7 and shadow of moil for advantage after level 7. Generally, it works very well but leaves no room for hex. If you don't have PAM or GWM then the damage boost from hex can be useful but in most cases you are probably better off using it with agonizing blast than with warlock weapon attacks.

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    Default Re: Warlock Hexblade at lvl5, HEX is still a good option?

    Bestow curse is a grear invocation if you are focusing on hex-based invocations already.

    Its really nasty when you are casting it through an invisible familiar with virtually no chance of getting caught (delivering touch spells doesnt break their invisibility.) And once they are cursed another invocation allows you to continually damage them every round as a bonus action.

    Its actually a bit broken. Your dealing damage every 6 seconds in a situation where the target and those around the target don't know the source of the damage. Within minutes the damage is fatal so the clock is very short. Not to mention the sheer flexibility of bestow curse, as its one of the few spells where the player can choose what the curse actually does.
    Last edited by sophontteks; 2019-09-09 at 11:12 AM.

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    Default Re: Warlock Hexblade at lvl5, HEX is still a good option?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alek View Post
    Thanks for the info guys seems we all agree there's nothing better than HEX (dmg wise) for a lvl5.
    All the smite spells and elemental weapon seems to fall behind compared to HEX.

    At lvl 8 maybe I can take PAM in order to have 1 more attack with bonus. Especially since Eldritch Blast at lvl11 it will have 3 attacks.
    Assuming you have +4 Cha, and the IPW and Thirsting Blade invocations, Elemental Weapon yields more damage than Hex for ACs of 17 and higher, this is without considering the BA that Hex requires and EW doesn't.

    At higher levels Danse Macabre will very likely yield more damage than EW, Hex or SoM. The drawback is you need 5 corpses and 5 Bows... a friend of mine carried his in a Bag of Holding.

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    Default Re: Warlock Hexblade at lvl5, HEX is still a good option?

    Quote Originally Posted by Keravath View Post
    Personally, I don't use hex much.

    My hexblade has PAM+GWM since this is pretty much the only way to get a melee warlock to outdamage agonizing blast. Anything else and agonizing blast does more damage. In order to make GWM work optimally, you need advantage on as many attacks as possible. As a result, I used darkness+devils sight to get advantage before level 7 and shadow of moil for advantage after level 7. Generally, it works very well but leaves no room for hex. If you don't have PAM or GWM then the damage boost from hex can be useful but in most cases you are probably better off using it with agonizing blast than with warlock weapon attacks.
    Iíve found using a flame tongue works well, if you can get your hands on one, as the best way to up damage and make use of the +1 from IPW.

    Darkness/SoM with GWM & PAM, out damage Hex on a sword and board at the third round of attacks (assuming 1st round action is casting), though this is very white room, and has the cost of 2 ASIs, and 3 invocations (assuming IPW, DS and TB).

    If youíre assuming pre-combat prep round, then the S&B can use AoA to up damage output and durability.

    Also, losing Concentration screws the GWM&PAM build over a lot more than the S&BHex build, as does not getting a SR every 2 combats.

    Thatís a lot of versatility, AC and probably spell save and durability to give up for a damage. It works (and is fun if you like combat and damage over versatility) for added damage but sacrifices a lot to get there (though, assuming +Cha at 12, with Lifedrinker, the damage output is better and the loss of a setup round felt less, and the 3rd slot helps mitigate Concentration loss or a lack of SRs in the adventuring day).

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    Default Re: Warlock Hexblade at lvl5, HEX is still a good option?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rsp29a View Post
    Iíve found using a flame tongue works well, if you can get your hands on one, as the best way to up damage and make use of the +1 from IPW.

    Darkness/SoM with GWM & PAM, out damage Hex on a sword and board at the third round of attacks (assuming 1st round action is casting), though this is very white room, and has the cost of 2 ASIs, and 3 invocations (assuming IPW, DS and TB).

    If youíre assuming pre-combat prep round, then the S&B can use AoA to up damage output and durability.

    Also, losing Concentration screws the GWM&PAM build over a lot more than the S&BHex build, as does not getting a SR every 2 combats.

    Thatís a lot of versatility, AC and probably spell save and durability to give up for a damage. It works (and is fun if you like combat and damage over versatility) for added damage but sacrifices a lot to get there (though, assuming +Cha at 12, with Lifedrinker, the damage output is better and the loss of a setup round felt less, and the 3rd slot helps mitigate Concentration loss or a lack of SRs in the adventuring day).
    GWM is still a considerable boost, if you assume advantage and PAM (or sentinel; haven't put much though in it; maybe there is something here to justify a melee warlock, ie GWM, sentinel, resilient, shadow of moil) in play. Definitely worth it over a +2 to charisma. The loss of the AC from a shield, while not good, is mitigated somewhat by adopting a hit and run approach (among other things, we want to trigger some reaction attacks from PAM) and by the fact that we don't really plan on using the shield spell (which plays better the higher your AC is).

    The major issues for me are the following:
    1) This is really hard on your spell slots.

    2) You need a round to buff, which eats considerably into your dpr.

    3) You don't gain all that much by going into melee.
    You will end up dealing about the same damage as your ranged counterpart (and with one round delay), with the difference that it is harder for you to direct it where you want (cause you are a melee character), and I see no major upside to this. Not many slots to really profit from armor of agathys or smite, looking to avoid getting hit (cause of mediocre concentration mostly) so being up front does not add much of a tanking benefit. The only real benefit I see is the mobility, but that on its own is not great (the ranged counterpart can even smite from ranged; and smite very hard with eldritch smite but especially with banishing smite -that's how you take the enemy spellcaster out of the fight). It's just for style, but I see very little as actual benefits go (the one I see is using armor of hexes against a very strong enemy that you cursed. It's not amazing and it's very risky, but it has the potential to be very somewhat -I always forget it takes a reaction- profitable if you are lucky).

    ps: Elemental weapon at least solves #1 and #2, so I think I would optimize a melee hexblade around it. In which case, I'd say that PAM and sentinel (need to be fighting next to an ally) are the best attacking feats (GWM only starts adding for enemy AC lower than 13; 13 if we take crits into account, though the extra damage is marginal; calculated at level 12 without taking the curse into account; though the curse plays well with sentinel and PAM and it does not play well with GWM). Resilient for con saves, and charisma boosts after that (I'd say that vhuman is best, due to how many ASI's and feats we would profit from). Leaves enough slots for armor of agathys (works well with sentinel) and possibly for a couple of smites once we get our 3rd slot or for some out of combat utility (fly, invisibility, etc) or combat contingencies (counterspell, synaptic static, hypnotic pattern, etc). Still more damage than a hexed EB I think for a hexblade. Warlocks really profit from spells with increased duration (1 hour, though 10 minutes could be just as good if you are dungeon crawling in a fast pace).

    pps: At level 12, assuming a CON mod of +3 and resilient con, it takes on average 7 hits for us to lose concentration. And being in melee and with an AC of 19, it is a risk. Hit points are better protected by armor of agathys, though concentration is a minor issue when considering that we count on elemental weapons for going through multiple encounters. That gets a lot better at level 13 though, when our proficiency bonus increases by one, at which point it will take 14 hits on average for our concentration to be broken (assuming I didn't make any silly mistakes).
    Last edited by Corran; 2019-09-09 at 09:57 PM.
    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
    I hereby bestow upon you a magic sword, the Sword of Corran, which will henceforth be the only thing that can permanently destroy my withered undead hand and nose.

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    Default Re: Warlock Hexblade at lvl5, HEX is still a good option?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rukelnikov View Post
    Assuming you have +4 Cha, and the IPW and Thirsting Blade invocations, Elemental Weapon yields more damage than Hex for ACs of 17 and higher, this is without considering the BA that Hex requires and EW doesn't.

    At higher levels Danse Macabre will very likely yield more damage than EW, Hex or SoM. The drawback is you need 5 corpses and 5 Bows... a friend of mine carried his in a Bag of Holding.
    I will remove IPW as I don't need at the moment a +1 weapon and I rarely used the ranged property. I will switch it now at lvl5 for Eldritch Smite. I'm using mainly Glaive or Halberd for reach. Danse Macabre is a lovely thematic spell but unfortunately my Belzu is an Assimar so no undead or zombies for him LOL.
    Not sure about elemental weapon simply because is better to have a bonus action spell like Hex not to lose an attack round and also at the moment (can't cast lvl5 spells) is just 1xd4. Also true that elemental weapon has the extra dice for EVERY hit while Hex just to the cursed target. I'll check this spell better and maybe choose it when I can cast lvl5.
    Quote Originally Posted by Keravath View Post
    Personally, I don't use hex much.

    My hexblade has PAM+GWM since this is pretty much the only way to get a melee warlock to outdamage agonizing blast. Anything else and agonizing blast does more damage. In order to make GWM work optimally, you need advantage on as many attacks as possible. As a result, I used darkness+devils sight to get advantage before level 7 and shadow of moil for advantage after level 7. Generally, it works very well but leaves no room for hex. If you don't have PAM or GWM then the damage boost from hex can be useful but in most cases you are probably better off using it with agonizing blast than with warlock weapon attacks.
    Yes usually this is the best build for an Hexblade exactly for the reasons you were saying. At lvl11 EB ha 3 full attacks, in order to at least be close to that dmg PAM is a most (3 attack) and GWF will be great too yes. I love Darkness but I've used it more out of combat or to cover retreat or as crowd control. I'll try to use it more but is not easy in order not to penalise your party. I have room for 1 feat if I want to get CHA to +5 so I'll choose one between PAM or GWF. PAM will be always viable for extra attack while GWF without advantage is not easy to use.

    Thanks guys all good advices

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    Default Re: Warlock Hexblade at lvl5, HEX is still a good option?

    I went sword and board hexblade to level 3, now that I have pact of the blade, Iím using a Maul. Iíll hit 4, for elven advantage, 5 for thirsting blade. Six dip fighter for for 2 weapon fighting.

    Replace hex @ 7 for sneak attack rogue-10 swashbuckler, start nuking Eldritch Smite on crits. Iíd say level 7, make the swap & go for nukes.

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    Default Re: Warlock Hexblade at lvl5, HEX is still a good option?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rukelnikov View Post
    At higher levels Danse Macabre will very likely yield more damage than EW, Hex or SoM. The drawback is you need 5 corpses and 5 Bows... a friend of mine carried his in a Bag of Holding.
    Spoiler: danse macabre
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    EW with PAM, sentinel and lifedrinker does not fall that far behind, making some broad assumptions about how often you can count on that reaction (from either PAM or sentinel) and about hit chance. But if falls behind, and moreover the dance macabre build does not really have to rely on feats like sentinel and PAM or wait for lifedrinker. Damage wise, and speaking completely theoretically, I don't see any way beating danse macabre. And the awesome thing about it is that it lasts for one hour, so in most cases you could theoretically count on that one casting to go from short rest to short rest, leaving you more spell slots to spare for other stuff. In fact, we could use it on a hexblade as well, and still take stuff like sentinel and lifedrinker if we really wanted to, just for the sake of comparing with the EW hexblade PAM, sentinel build. That will further increase the dpr difference somewhat, also making less important the accuracy of our assumption regarding how often our reaction attacks proc. And it still leaves us with one more feat, which we could use to boos our charisma to 20 (I've been using 18 charisma at lvl 12 for comparisons, cause I included resilient con for every build), or perhaps in better ways. In short, yeah, the dpr potential of danse macabre is very good, and the duration really solves a lot of problems regarding our spellcasting.

    And while in theory it seems the perfect warlock spell to me, I have second thoughts about how effective it really is in actual play. That's because of how fragile the minions are, especially at these levels. And especially if the plan is to go with danse macabre through multiple encounters (for me, that adds a LOT of value to this spell). How have you seen it hold up? I am asking cause I haven't used it (or undead minions at these levels). I am thinking that spending a feat n inspiring leader would really help with that spell. Cause our minions have great attack bonus and good damage, though their hp really need some boosting. And if we are planning on going through multiple encounters with this spell, then inspiring leader would really help with keeping that added dpr high, cause our minions would be better at surviving. Plus, the added hp play well with if you ever want to send them in melee (cause if the DM allows dual wielding short swords, then the dpr raises considerably). Though I would still not do that unless really necessary, or unless I was pretty certain that I would be getting a short rest before the next fight. So we could have resilient con and inspiring leader by level 9, and even one more feat or charisma boost if we start at vhuman. In case we are going hexblade and pact of the blade, we could still grab something like sentinel at level 12, ie at the same time we would be getting lifedrinker. Thoughts?

    I was thinking of what archetype would work best if we aimed at a warlock planning to spam danse macabre from level 9 and onwards. So I was looking at the archetypes, though without paying much attention to any concentration spells on their bonus list. Goo loses a lot of value if we are not planning to combine evard's with repelling EB's, fiend has lost a lot of value for me ever since synaptic static came online and ever since hexblade became a thing, and we wont really rely on wall of fire and repelling EB's since we plan on using danse macabre (I guess fiend still gets command, which is a good use of our slots). I never really saw any mechanical value in the undying patron (though I do like the fluff). And I am a little unfamiliar with the celestial patron (do you see anything that synergizes with danse macabre there?). That leaves me with two choices. Archfey and hexblade. What archetype is your friend using?

    Completelly disregarding fluff, I think archefey is good cause really, it has good features (spell slot free escape from melee with pseudo misty step, and the charm works well when we have trouble being in melee; I consider these things pretty good for a ranged warlock who has limited slots so it wouldn't be ideal to rely on actual misty step or far step to get out of trouble). They also get plant growth, which is a good no-concentration spell.

    And the hexblade is basically good cause it deals with the getting in melee problem of the ranged warlock in a completely different way. Ie it gives us a good AC (and some melee potential through hex warrior and we can boost that if we go as far as to grab pact of the blade). Though I was thinking, that if the plan is to have these 5 fragile skeletons adding dpr to the side by staying back and shooting arrows, and we plan on keeping safe as many of them as we can cause we want to run them through more than 1 encounter ideally, then it would be a good thing to be in melee (AC 18 or 19 depending stealth, con mod of +3), cause throwing another body in melee means a little less danger for our dpr machines. Hence why I am thinking that the hexblade might actually be the best archtype for making the most out of danse macabre. Of course, the group composition plays a part, for example danse macabre (and a melee hexblade for that matter) would do poorly in a ranged heavy group, so I am not assuming such a unfavorable scenario in the first place. Plus, being a melee warlock who economizes spell slots (so, hexblade running danse macabre fits), allows us to use armor of agathys more frequently, which is another thing that also adds to our dpr. Or save that slot for synaptic static. Or for counterspell (cause blasting can bring our dpr low if it catches enough skeletons in it). Level 11 is helpful cause it's adding one more slot.

    Essentially, this is forming into a build that plans to solve most of the combat issues through damage. Danse macabre adds damage, armor of agathys is an option since we will be in melee, synaptic static is another option for when we can target an area with many enemies in it. And it's very decent damage. All we really need aside for the charisma boosts (that I personally wouldn't mind delaying somewhat) is resilient and probably inspiring leader. And we still have some good utility for out of combat through spells and invocations presumably. Then we would be looking what we could be doing with mystic Arcanum, though I digress since I was more interested in talking about danse macabre in the first place.

    Any thoughts?
    Last edited by Corran; 2019-09-10 at 10:14 PM.
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    Default Re: Warlock Hexblade at lvl5, HEX is still a good option?

    Quote Originally Posted by Corran View Post
    GWM is still a considerable boost, if you assume advantage and PAM (or sentinel; haven't put much though in it; maybe there is something here to justify a melee warlock, ie GWM, sentinel, resilient, shadow of moil) in play. Definitely worth it over a +2 to charisma. The loss of the AC from a shield, while not good, is mitigated somewhat by adopting a hit and run approach (among other things, we want to trigger some reaction attacks from PAM) and by the fact that we don't really plan on using the shield spell (which plays better the higher your AC is).
    The issue is Advantage is not a given. Between no Con Save proficiency and only 2 slots per SR until 11, itís very tough to count on it. If your table does one encounter work days, itís probably do able, but youíll lose at least one round on casting Darkness/SoM and probably a second one as well: 17 AC will take a lot of hits as a melee character.

    If going Hex, you can use that GWM feat on Resilient or Warcaster instead, and each casting potentially last multiple encounters, if not the whole day, making it more efficient, even when needing a recast.

    My issue with the build is it requires sacrificing everything you get from being a Warlock to be a fighter. If Iím playing a Warlock, I want those spell slots available for things other than casting SoM/Darkness just to validate my prior choices of ASI. Likewise with invocations: you essentially need DS, TB and IPW for the build, and still want AB, because not every combat is always 100% melee friendly. And the feats themselves come at the cost of maxing Cha, which decreases spell DCs for anytime youíd like to actually cast something else (and added damage from level 12 on).

    Itís a lot more efficient just to make a Battlemaster, if going GWM/PAM. Iíd rather fluff the BM as getting their abilities from a Patron than sacrificing everything a Warlock gets to try and make it an effective clone of a fighter, but thatís just my take on it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Corran View Post
    3) You don't gain all that much by going into melee.
    ... It's just for style, but I see very little as actual benefits go (the one I see is using armor of hexes against a very strong enemy that you cursed. It's not amazing and it's very risky, but it has the potential to be very somewhat -I always forget it takes a reaction- profitable if you are lucky).
    AFB, but I donít think AoH uses a Reaction. Itís a nice boost for the Bladelock. Though even with 50% misses, youíd still want an AC on the higher side.

    Magic weapons make melee better for the Bladelock, particularly Flametongues and Frostbrands, anything that does extra damage that doesnít already have a +1.

    Quote Originally Posted by Corran View Post
    ps: Elemental weapon at least solves #1 and #2, so I think I would optimize a melee hexblade around it. In which case, I'd say that PAM and sentinel (need to be fighting next to an ally) are the best attacking feats
    EW doesnít work for a Bladelock: it only affects nonmagical weapons and the Pact Weapon is magical. Hex is slightly better damage with a longer duration and better Action economy (BA vs Action), but minus the +1. And it works on your Pact Weapon, which is the only way a Warlock gets two attacks.

    Quote Originally Posted by Corran View Post
    pps: At level 12, assuming a CON mod of +3 and resilient con, it takes on average 7 hits for us to lose concentration. And being in melee and with an AC of 19, it is a risk. Hit points are better protected by armor of agathys, though concentration is a minor issue when considering that we count on elemental weapons for going through multiple encounters. That gets a lot better at level 13 though, when our proficiency bonus increases by one, at which point it will take 14 hits on average for our concentration to be broken (assuming I didn't make any silly mistakes).
    Are those numbers assuming only going against DC 10? Iíve found the higher DCs come up often enough after level 6 or so. Playing SKT now and Giants certainly hit for more than 20.

    Getting a Ring if Spell Storing is almost a must for a Warlock to help mitigate the spell slot issue. If you can fill one with Shield, they go a long way towards helping survival.

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    Default Re: Warlock Hexblade at lvl5, HEX is still a good option?

    Spoiler: Rsp29a
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rsp29a View Post
    The issue is Advantage is not a given. Between no Con Save proficiency and only 2 slots per SR until 11, itís very tough to count on it. If your table does one encounter work days, itís probably do able, but youíll lose at least one round on casting Darkness/SoM and probably a second one as well: 17 AC will take a lot of hits as a melee character.

    If going Hex, you can use that GWM feat on Resilient or Warcaster instead, and each casting potentially last multiple encounters, if not the whole day, making it more efficient, even when needing a recast.

    My issue with the build is it requires sacrificing everything you get from being a Warlock to be a fighter. If Iím playing a Warlock, I want those spell slots available for things other than casting SoM/Darkness just to validate my prior choices of ASI. Likewise with invocations: you essentially need DS, TB and IPW for the build, and still want AB, because not every combat is always 100% melee friendly. And the feats themselves come at the cost of maxing Cha, which decreases spell DCs for anytime youíd like to actually cast something else (and added damage from level 12 on).

    Itís a lot more efficient just to make a Battlemaster, if going GWM/PAM. Iíd rather fluff the BM as getting their abilities from a Patron than sacrificing everything a Warlock gets to try and make it an effective clone of a fighter, but thatís just my take on it.
    Oh, I agree 100% with everything you say here. I was not really advocating a GWM hexblade. Every try at such a build leaves me unsatisfied one way or another.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rsp29a View Post
    AFB, but I donít think AoH uses a Reaction. Itís a nice boost for the Bladelock. Though even with 50% misses, youíd still want an AC on the higher side.
    If that's true (that AoH does not use a reaction), I think that finally I know how I would go about building a hexblade. AFB too, and for the life of me I cannot remember if I had read it that it does or if someone had told me. Because initially I was thinking that it didn't, and this really helped things.

    About AC and AoH, I agree for the most part. Well, I agree and I have a tiny disagreement only in case what you said about it not using a reaction is correct (and I hope it is). If you are in melee then sure, you need AC, cause you can only have AoH on against one target at best case scenario. If it takes a reaction, sure, we shouldn't neglect AC as well (again assuming being in melee). But if it is not using a reaction, then imo it is the perfect tool for handling big bads that target AC, in which case I think it would be ideal for a hexblade to go into melee (probably I would even grab sentinel) and chance it. Still, AC is useful against other threats, but against the hexed target, it would matter a lot less. What I am saying though, is that imo, if AoH is not using a reaction, then it is a great feature for handling those enemies with very high attack bonuses and high damage potential. And it gives the hexblade an identity, combat wise at least. Stay back, and when you see a big threat, go next to it and try to make it waste its attacks (it's risky of course, but it's a solid way to play the archetype).

    In other words, if armor of hexes does not take up a reaction, we could easily take up the role of barbarian (if I am not mistaken we might do even slightly better) against BBEG's. Much better contribution than that of the typical warlock against such enemies.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rsp29a View Post
    Magic weapons make melee better for the Bladelock, particularly Flametongues and Frostbrands, anything that does extra damage that doesnít already have a +1.
    Agreed. Personally, I never give them much thought. Never used or plan on using them, and the rest of the table is on the same page about that.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rsp29a View Post
    EW doesnít work for a Bladelock: it only affects nonmagical weapons and the Pact Weapon is magical. Hex is slightly better damage with a longer duration and better Action economy (BA vs Action), but minus the +1. And it works on your Pact Weapon, which is the only way a Warlock gets two attacks.
    Hmm, if that's true, then it's a complete waste of a spell. I am wondering if the warding of the pact of the blade is such that it would not interfere with EW though. Ie, considered magical for the purposes of damage against creatures resistant to... vs actually saying it's a magic weapon. Or if the warding of EW specifies magic weapons with flat bonuses or sth. I'll look into it later, when I will have the books on hand (cause I really wont to find sth to cling from and claim that it works :p).

    As far as damage comparison goes though, consider that EW gets +2 to attack and +2d4 to damage when you have 5th level slots. But this is not the main point. The main point is that we also have (assuming pact of the blade of course; big assumption, I know, but I took it for granted when discussing a melee build) other things that would profit from more attacks. Things like lifedrinker and the hexblade's curse (which takes away a bonus action once, but it quickly makes up for it and improves our dpr). So I was thinking EW combined with PAM and sentinel. PAM does not play well with hex, so that's why I took it out of the comparison, cause the dpr difference will be greater than the one my napkin math shows since we would be (relatively) often use some bonus action for moving around hex, instead of using them with PAM attacks. And then it's the fact that when I can only bring hex and the curse both online at the second round. To cut me some slack though, because I can see how this can lead to a discussion about concentration, I was thinking of a 12th level build and had the race to be vhuman so that I could squeeze more feats into it (resilient con, PAM, sentinel and a charisma boost to bring it up to 18). Yes, this would be a big level for that build cause I counted on lifedrinker for making some of my previous choices (basically the extra attacks from PAM and sentinel, and that was followed by choosing EW -although I do think that warlocks profit from the long duration concentration spells- you get the idea).

    I am really not sure about hex on melee warlocks. It's a weak boost (2d6 per wound, weighted down by hit chance; maybe 3d6 with sentinel), and the whole point of it is having more spell slots available with which we can do other things. And sure, one of those things for a melee build could be armor of agathys, which is a nice spell and I like it, so I wouldn't easily say no to more uses of that (for the damage on one hand, but also because it boosts our defense and a melee warlock would really need that). But if you think about it, it's really a small benefit for a long period of time. And while if I put it this way, I like it and I think it would be worthwhile, being in melee also means that we will be losing concentration every now and then, so hex might not end up saving as much slots as we would have liked for it to be good. Maybe if we had both warcaster and resilient con, in which case I don't think we would also go with anything like PAM that competes with hex for bonus actions. But then again, am I boosting my concentration that much just for hex? It does not make much sense to me.


    Quote Originally Posted by Rsp29a View Post
    Are those numbers assuming only going against DC 10? Iíve found the higher DCs come up often enough after level 6 or so. Playing SKT now and Giants certainly hit for more than 20.
    Yes, only against DC 10. I should have mentioned that. I could also perhaps go into a little more detail, though I think that otherwise the result conveys accurately enough what we should expect at these levels (always against DC 10 of course).

    You are right about the giants, of course. Any squishy melee build that depends on concentration would struggle there. And what I described in my post is not well equipped to deal with these situations. There might be ways (probably changing up to hex and staying back to throw EB's, or getting into melee and when you lose EW or whatever else you are concentrating on, then you use armor of agathys and maybe blade ward, to profit somewhat from the fact that giants have multiattack), but I didn't really think about it. It's one of these things I would probably think about more if I was happier with my conclusions. I am still very undecided about and even if I would ever want to play a melee hexblade. How would you go about it?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rsp29a View Post
    Getting a Ring if Spell Storing is almost a must for a Warlock to help mitigate the spell slot issue. If you can fill one with Shield, they go a long way towards helping survival.
    Yes, I can see the value in that. It would be very helpful.
    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
    I hereby bestow upon you a magic sword, the Sword of Corran, which will henceforth be the only thing that can permanently destroy my withered undead hand and nose.

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    Default Re: Warlock Hexblade at lvl5, HEX is still a good option?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rsp29a View Post

    EW doesnít work for a Bladelock: it only affects nonmagical weapons and the Pact Weapon is magical.
    Just to clarify EW works with pact weapon as the pact weapon you conjure is NOT MAGICAL is just magical for the purpose of avoiding magical resistance.
    This is RAW

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    Default Re: Warlock Hexblade at lvl5, HEX is still a good option?

    Quote Originally Posted by Alek View Post
    Just to clarify EW works with pact weapon as the pact weapon you conjure is NOT MAGICAL is just magical for the purpose of avoiding magical resistance.
    This is RAW
    Possibly: ďcounts as magical for the purpose...Ē doesnít mean ďnot magical,Ē as for at least one thing it does fit the criteria, but I can see where youíre coming from.

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    Default Re: Warlock Hexblade at lvl5, HEX is still a good option?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rsp29a View Post
    Possibly: ďcounts as magical for the purpose...Ē doesnít mean ďnot magical,Ē as for at least one thing it does fit the criteria, but I can see where youíre coming from.
    Is not my opinion is RAW.
    Pact Weapon you conjure with pact of the blade is not magic.

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    Default Re: Warlock Hexblade at lvl5, HEX is still a good option?

    Quote Originally Posted by Corran View Post
    In other words, if armor of hexes does not take up a reaction, we could easily take up the role of barbarian (if I am not mistaken we might do even slightly better) against BBEG's. Much better contribution than that of the typical warlock against such enemies.
    I imagine 50% of hits being misses, vs 50% HP loss is relatively even, yes, with a very slight bump towards Barbs as they round down (so maybe 50.5% reduction?), and a bigger slight bump to Hexblades for being able to turn crits into misses.

    However, itís still only against one enemy per SR. AC would still matter as turning 6 hits into 3 hits is better than 8 hits into 4 hits. Plus all the other attacks you receive that arenít from the cursed creature.

    Quote Originally Posted by Corran View Post
    Agreed. Personally, I never give them much thought. Never used or plan on using them, and the rest of the table is on the same page about that.
    Interesting. In a non-magic-weapon game, Bladelocks have a role as ďfightersĒ due to overcoming resistances.

    Quote Originally Posted by Corran View Post
    Hmm, if that's true, then it's a complete waste of a spell. I am wondering if the warding of the pact of the blade is such that it would not interfere with EW though. Ie, considered magical for the purposes of damage against creatures resistant to... vs actually saying it's a magic weapon. Or if the warding of EW specifies magic weapons with flat bonuses or sth. I'll look into it later, when I will have the books on hand (cause I really wont to find sth to cling from and claim that it works :p).
    Possibly to the former (as pointed out by Alek it could work), no to the latter (EW states magic weapon, rather than +1 like IPW).

    Quote Originally Posted by Corran View Post
    As far as damage comparison goes though, consider that EW gets +2 to attack and +2d4 to damage when you have 5th level slots...
    EW works well with PAM, though Iíd boost Conc before taking Sentinel (enemies usually have either a ranged attack or a-better-than-5í reach).

    Quote Originally Posted by Corran View Post
    I am really not sure about hex on melee warlocks.... But then again, am I boosting my concentration that much just for hex? It does not make much sense to me.
    I like Hex even for melee Warlocks for the reasons you mentioned. And I like both getting Resilient (Con) and Warcaster: adding Con Sv proficiency is worthwhile in and of itself, and Warcaster all but ensures passing those pesky DC 10 Conc saves, while giving the benefit of casting on an OA.

    Getting both isnít just for Hex, though. The benefit of Hex is its efficiency: overall youíll save slots vs Darkness/GWM or EW, so youíll have them available for Fear (great on a frontline caster who can make full use of the cone), HP, Sickening Radiance, or whatever you prefer. If youíre in a combat where Fear, for example, is your best option, you want to keep Conc on it.

    The beauty of a Bladelock, to me, is itís versatility, which I prefer over trying to maximize its damage output: Iíll take a little less damage for the option of better uses with those spell slots.

    Quote Originally Posted by Corran View Post
    How would you go about it?
    Currently playing a Half Elf 9 Hexblade. Rolled for stats so was able to start with 18 Cha (post racial mod), took Resilient (Con) at 4, and Warcaster at 8. 1st combat, use Hex and go from there. Havenít lost Conc since taking Warcaster, outside of being Incapacitated, and Hex works with either Pact Weapon or EB, which is nice as not every combat is melee-friendly.

    Went S&B for the added AC. Optimized Invocations would TB, IPW, AB, RB, and Misty Visions (currently trying out the effectiveness of Maddening Hex and ToL, but not sold on either. Will switch back to the EB ones when able). Misty Visions, while costing Conc, is too fantastic to pass on.

    Was lucky enough to snag a Flametongue Longsword and a Ring of Spell Storing (for Shield mostly, though other good spells, if available: Misty Step, Healing Word, Sanctuary). Both help melee effectiveness quite a bit, and Iíd say are ideal for this type of build, though not necessary for it. As of yet, no magical armor/shields so still at 19 AC.

    I feel this style of Bladelock keeps damage competitive both in melee and at range, while still allowing the caster side to produce, when needed. Though I admittedly like versatility over maximizing one area, and so I can see how other styles would prefer other builds.

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