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    Pixie in the Playground
     
    ElfRangerGuy

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    Default What's so Good about Divine Smite?

    It seems to me that the paladin's divine smite is weaker than spells of the same level.

    For example, a divine smite that expends a level 5 spell slot will do 7d8(improved divine smite + 6d8) extra damage for an average of 32.5, but a level 5 fireball will do 10d6(average of 35 damage,) as well as being ranged and AoE. And by the time the paladin gets 5th level slots, a wizard of the same level will have access to 9th level spells such as meteor swarm, and it looks to me that other classes are a better nova than the paladin.

    Is there something that I am missing?
    Last edited by zminseo; 2018-10-22 at 12:12 PM.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: What's so Good about Divine Smite?

    Don't forget to add your weapon's damage. And your Strength (or Dexterity) modifier.

    Multiple attacks per turn = multiple smites per turn.

    Potential for critical hits doubling the damage dice.

    Multiclassing into a spellcasting class that gets more spells, or regains spells on a short rest. More spells = more smites.
    Last edited by Tiadoppler; 2018-10-21 at 09:25 PM.
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    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: What's so Good about Divine Smite?

    Quote Originally Posted by zminseo View Post
    It seems to me that the paladin's divine smite is weaker than spells of the same level.

    For example, a divine smite that expends a level 5 spell slot will do 7d8(improved divine smite + 6d8) extra damage for an average of 12.5, but a level 5 fireball will do 10d6(average of 35 damage,) as well as being ranged and AoE.
    Divine Smite is not categorically better than spell slots, but it is a strong tool and worth using your spell slots on in a variety of situations. The reason Divine Smite is good is because...

    1) It's activated on-hit, which means that the spell slot cannot be "wasted" or "missed." It means you can also decide to use it after seeing that a hit is a crit. So, for example, a 5d8 Divine Smite actually contributes more DPR than a 5d8 ability that is declared before hitting (since that 5d8's average output would be multiplied by its <100% chance of hitting/critting, while you just get 5d8 or 10d8 at the moment you decide to use Divine Smite).

    2) You can append a Divine Smite to any hit, and it doesn't take any action. This allows you to go nova for large amounts of burst damage when necessary.

    3) You are acting as though the damage of your Action is "7d8," but it's actually "the damage of your Attack Action PLUS 7d8." And that's if none of your attacks are crits. A Paladin's Attack action can do much more than 35 damage. Also, 7d8 is an average of 31.5, not 12.5

    Quote Originally Posted by zminseo View Post
    and it looks to me that other classes are a better nova than the paladin.
    If you're talking about comparing entire classes, then we wouldn't be talking about just Divine Smite, as the Paladin has a lot more class abilities than that. And some of those class abilities are arguably more important than Divine Smite (dat aura).
    Last edited by LudicSavant; 2018-10-21 at 09:33 PM. Reason: added response to second quote

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    HalflingPirate

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    Default Re: What's so Good about Divine Smite?

    I'm AFB, so I'm shooting from the hip here.

    It all has to do with the Paladin's role in the party. If you were to give Divine Smite to a Wizard or a Sorcerer, it would be underwhelming because yes, they have a lot of better things to do with their spell slots.

    However, a Paladin is a tank first. Therefore, they're going to be in the fray, probably with a shield and sword in hand, reducing their chances to cast spells. They're also only half caster; they don't have many spells to toss around, and their spell list is pretty limited in damage except for other Smite spells that usually deal less damage but have other rider effects.

    It also has a huge advantage over spells in that you only use it after a guaranteed hit. No chance for an opponent to make a save to have it fizzle. If you do it on a crit, for example, you're dealing some serious nova damage.

    I've never played a Paladin but I've had one in every 5e group I've played with, and outside of occasionally dropping Bless or Spiritual weapon, most player exclusively save their Spell Slots for smiting. It's very powerful.

    EDIT: Wow, Ninja'd twice.
    Last edited by KOLE; 2018-10-21 at 09:28 PM.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
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    Default Re: What's so Good about Divine Smite?

    Quote Originally Posted by KOLE View Post
    most player exclusively save their Spell Slots for smiting. It's very powerful.
    Yep. I recently had to make a PC-like NPC paladin to help out the party for a few battles (and be a long-term out-of-combat ally). I didn't bother choosing any spells at all. Just "this is how many smite slots they have" :D
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    Default Re: What's so Good about Divine Smite?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tiadoppler View Post
    Yep. I recently had to make a PC-like NPC paladin to help out the party for a few battles (and be a long-term out-of-combat ally). I didn't bother choosing any spells at all. Just "this is how many smite slots they have" :D
    Literally a running inside joke in my last campaign was asking our Pally player how many Smite Slots he had left. Anytime he tried to say Spell slots, we corrected him. The one time he cast spiritual weapon, we were all honestly shocked. One of the characters even said something IC about how all we thought he could was make his spear glow sometimes.
    Quote Originally Posted by Skylivedk View Post
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rerem115 View Post
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    Arcane Tradition of Universalism, a more generalist school for 5e Wizards.
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    NecromancerGirl

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    Default Re: What's so Good about Divine Smite?

    I take it you have not seen a paladin do 150+ damage in a single round, at Level 9.

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    Default Re: What's so Good about Divine Smite?

    Quote Originally Posted by zminseo View Post
    Is there something that I am missing?
    Yes.

    You are missing that smites cannot miss. They are declared on-hit, after a hit is already confirmed, and as such the spell slot cannot be wasted.
    You are missing that smites can have their output per spell slot doubled when combined with critfishing tactics.
    You are missing that smites do not require their own action, and that this means you can use many divine smites in a round.
    You are missing that the average of 7d8 is 31.5, not 12.5, and that said damage would be appended to the damage of your Attack action.
    You are missing that smites cannot have their damage reduced by a successful saving throw, unlike the AoE spells you compared it to.
    You are missing that smite damage maxes out at 4th level spell slots, not 5th.
    You are missing that smites do Radiant damage, which is a particularly beneficial typing.
    You are missing that smite can be used with spell slots gained from multiclassing, which enables Sorcadin builds and the like.
    You are missing that smite is not a spell, and thus cannot be counterspelled, silenced, or anything of the sort.

    Edit: Added suggestions from additional posters!
    Edit2: And another suggestion from an additional poster! Namely that Smite can be used while silenced/etc
    Last edited by LudicSavant; 2018-10-22 at 12:01 PM. Reason: Added another poster's suggestion to the list

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    Default Re: What's so Good about Divine Smite?

    That feeling of plowing through a particularly nasty undead or demon in one swing, unloading a full-power critical hit charged with that smite and ending a potentially lethal fight in a single stroke.

    Nothing quite like cleaving a fiend in twain.

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    Thumbs down Re: What's so Good about Divine Smite?

    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant View Post
    Yes.

    You are missing that smites cannot miss. They are declared on-hit, after a hit is already confirmed, and as such the spell slot cannot be wasted.
    You are missing that smites can have their output per spell slot doubled when combined with critfishing tactics.
    You are missing that smites do not require their own action, and that this means you can use many divine smites in a round.
    You are missing that the average of 7d8 is 31.5, not 12.5, and that said damage would be appended to the damage of your Attack action.
    You are missing that smite damage maxes out at 4th level spell slots, not 5th.
    You are missing that smites do Radiant or Necrotic damage, which is a particularly beneficial typing.
    Add in that it does not have to be paladin spells, many people take multi class it with a full caster.

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    Default Re: What's so Good about Divine Smite?

    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant View Post
    Yes.

    You are missing that smites cannot miss. They are declared on-hit, after a hit is already confirmed, and as such the spell slot cannot be wasted.
    You are missing that smites can have their output per spell slot doubled when combined with critfishing tactics.
    You are missing that smites do not require their own action, and that this means you can use many divine smites in a round.
    You are missing that the average of 7d8 is 31.5, not 12.5, and that said damage would be appended to the damage of your Attack action.
    You are missing that smite damage maxes out at 4th level spell slots, not 5th.
    You are missing that smites do Radiant or Necrotic damage, which is a particularly beneficial typing.
    Also, they can't save vs the smite, where as a Fireball, there's a chance of them reducing (or even potentially avoiding) the damage altogether.

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    Default Re: What's so Good about Divine Smite?

    Aye.
    We have a tiny Gnome Paladin in our party who strangely resembles Bubble from the power puff girls. Player has a naturally high pitched voice to begin with.

    Watching her step in and annihilate some smack talking Nether Demon absolutely never gets old.

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    Default Re: What's so Good about Divine Smite?

    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant View Post
    Yes.

    You are missing that smites cannot miss. They are declared on-hit, after a hit is already confirmed, and as such the spell slot cannot be wasted.
    You are missing that smites can have their output per spell slot doubled when combined with critfishing tactics.
    You are missing that smites do not require their own action, and that this means you can use many divine smites in a round.
    You are missing that the average of 7d8 is 31.5, not 12.5, and that said damage would be appended to the damage of your Attack action.
    You are missing that smite damage maxes out at 4th level spell slots, not 5th.
    You are missing that smites do Radiant or Necrotic damage, which is a particularly beneficial typing.
    Fixed that for you.

    Besides, why are you posting essentially same things twice?
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    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: What's so Good about Divine Smite?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dudewithknives View Post
    Add in that it does not have to be paladin spells, many people take multi class it with a full caster.
    Quote Originally Posted by Finback View Post
    Also, they can't save vs the smite, where as a Fireball, there's a chance of them reducing (or even potentially avoiding) the damage altogether.
    Sure thing! Done.

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    Default Re: What's so Good about Divine Smite?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dudewithknives View Post
    Add in that it does not have to be paladin spells, many people take multi class it with a full caster.
    I'm having some good experiences with a Paladin 2/Moon Druid X. Turning into a brown (or cave) bear can give you multiattack without having to take more Paladin levels, and the Wild Shaping and Divine Smites give you something to do while you have a Concentration spell up. Alas, there's sort of a drought of good multiattack forms until Paladin 2/Druid 9 (cave bears aren't really that much of an upgrade over normal bears, and you have to stick with bear forms for an awfully long time), when you pick up giant scorpion form and can attack stuff with three attacks per round. Admittedly, you could just dual wield as a non-Druid and get about the same number of attacks per round, but Wild Shaping (and Druid spells) is cool and gives you giant HP reserves.

    Do note that the above is being played in a game in which we normally only have one or two combats per long rest/session, and the character is currently only level 6. Also, it shares a party with a Wizard (with a Celestial Warlock dip) with terrible stat rolls that is simultaneously cowardly and suicidally reckless, three new players, a competent Cleric (that hands out Bless spells), and a Bard that took a level in UA Artificer over the 6th level of Lore Bard. Also, the DM is letting me keep the UA Viashino reaction tail attack while in Wild Shape forms with tails, although I almost always (90%+ of the times when I could have used it) forget to use the ability. Those conditions might skew my perceptions of the power level/performance of the build (quite) a bit.

    EDIT: Uh, sorry for sort of going off on a tangent there.

    The point I'm trying to make (I think) is that while Divine Smite might deal less damage per spell slot than normal spells (depending on how good/bad your spell DCs are vs. how good/bad your attack bonuses are), with the aid of Multiattack, Extra Attack, or other similar abilities, it can pump out more damage per round than normal spells can. It's a less efficient but hotter (and faster) burn, in other words/metaphors.
    Last edited by ATHATH; 2018-10-22 at 04:39 AM.
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    Default Re: What's so Good about Divine Smite?

    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant View Post
    Yes.

    You are missing that smites cannot miss. They are declared on-hit, after a hit is already confirmed, and as such the spell slot cannot be wasted.
    You are missing that smites can have their output per spell slot doubled when combined with critfishing tactics.
    You are missing that smites do not require their own action, and that this means you can use many divine smites in a round.
    You are missing that the average of 7d8 is 31.5, not 12.5, and that said damage would be appended to the damage of your Attack action.
    You are missing that smites cannot have their damage reduced by a successful saving throw, unlike the AoE spells you compared it to.
    You are missing that smite damage maxes out at 4th level spell slots, not 5th.
    You are missing that smites do Radiant damage, which is a particularly beneficial typing.
    You are missing that smite can be used with spell slots gained from multiclassing, which enables Sorcadin builds and the like.

    Edit: Added suggestions from additional posters!
    Also, thought it was said already, it bears repeating... The smite dice are doubled on a critical hit as well, allowing for a HUGE amount of damage on a single hit that no creature in the game is immune to.
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    Default Re: What's so Good about Divine Smite?

    Smite isn't casting a spell.

    So you can drop smite on BOTH of your successful attacks.

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    Default Re: What's so Good about Divine Smite?

    Quote Originally Posted by NaughtyTiger View Post
    Smite isn't casting a spell.

    So you can drop smite on BOTH of your successful attacks.
    Also it can be done when you canít normally cast spells like is you are in a silence area or even anti magic zone. You are not casting a spell, you are spending a spell slot.

    A paladin of the ancients in a silence field is a casters worst nightmare.

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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: What's so Good about Divine Smite?

    being able to use smite after the attack roll is huge

    roll a 20? drop a max level smite and watch the carnage

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    Default Re: What's so Good about Divine Smite?

    Quote Originally Posted by zminseo View Post
    It seems to me that the paladin's divine smite is weaker than spells of the same level.

    For example, a divine smite that expends a level 5 spell slot will do 7d8(improved divine smite + 6d8) extra damage for an average of 12.5, but a level 5 fireball will do 10d6(average of 35 damage,) as well as being ranged and AoE. And by the time the paladin gets 5th level slots, a wizard of the same level will have access to 9th level spells such as meteor swarm, and it looks to me that other classes are a better nova than the paladin.

    Is there something that I am missing?
    Fireball is a bad spell to compare to. A better one would be magic missile, since neither smites nor magic missile ever miss, and both have hard-to-resist damage types, and both are (sorta) single target abilities.

    so smite vs. magic missile.

    Level 1
    smite = 2d8 = 9
    mm = 3d4+3 =10.5

    Level 2
    smite = 3d8 = 13.5
    mm = 4d4+4 =14

    Level 3
    smite = 4d8 = 18
    mm = 4d4+4 =17.5

    But wait! That's silly, no one casts magic missile as a third level spell! Well, no, no they don't. But here's the thing: smite includes a weapon attack. So that level 1 smite is actually dealing 2d8+1d8+3+2=18.5 damage.

    Oh, and you can attack+smite up to three times in a turn, or more if you're hasted, which lets you unlaod a ludicrous amount of damage in a single turn. More than any other build in the game, in fact.

    Oh, and you get any bonuses applied to weapon attacks like fighting styles, GWM, improved divine smite, etc.

    Oh, and you can smite on a crit and double the damage.

    In other words, smite is very efficient, both from an action economy standpoint and from a resource standpoint, and also allows for incredible high-power nova turns.
    Last edited by strangebloke; 2018-10-22 at 11:21 AM.
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: What's so Good about Divine Smite?

    Quote Originally Posted by zminseo View Post
    It seems to me that the paladin's divine smite is weaker than spells of the same level.

    For example, a divine smite that expends a level 5 spell slot will do 7d8(improved divine smite + 6d8) extra damage for an average of 12.5, but a level 5 fireball will do 10d6(average of 35 damage,) as well as being ranged and AoE. And by the time the paladin gets 5th level slots, a wizard of the same level will have access to 9th level spells such as meteor swarm, and it looks to me that other classes are a better nova than the paladin.

    Is there something that I am missing?
    Paladins divine smite can Crit, also paladins cast smite spell and have a second attack. so a paladin can technically cast a two level 5 spells per turn and then still cast one level 4 spell. so thats 14d8+ what ever smite you use on you weapon and all those dice can crit and be rolled again. the best you can get from the smite spell is 4d6. so in told you can in one turn cast 3 leveled spells and deal 14d8+4d6+stats+weapon+any other magic+ 1/20 chance of crit. you are not dealing as much damage as a wizard could with 3 spell slots but you are using three spell slots a round witch you not normally able to do. you could also do a dip in paladin and then go the rest wizard from even more dice.

    Edit: you only need two levels in paladin and can go the rest wizard. this means you could divine smite and then 9th level searing smite for 5d8+9d6 damage.
    Last edited by Amdy_vill; 2018-10-22 at 10:25 AM.
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    Default Re: What's so Good about Divine Smite?

    Also after extra attack you need to add 2 weapon attacks worth of damage to the damage of smite rather than one as you get that when you "cast" smite. Meaning a third level smite can deal 4d8 + (2d6 greatsword + 5 strength mod) *2 damage or an average of 42 damage outdamaging fireball at 8d6 or 28 aside from the other listed benefits
    Last edited by clash; 2018-10-22 at 10:44 AM.

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    Default Re: What's so Good about Divine Smite?

    Most points already covered here, but I'll add that you can also smite on an opportunity attack, giving you a very deadly reaction should you need to make it harder for that baddie to make it past you to the squishies.

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    Default Re: What's so Good about Divine Smite?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dudewithknives View Post
    Also it can be done when you canít normally cast spells like is you are in a silence area or even anti magic zone.
    Or just have a weapon and shield in your hands, without any of the workarounds).

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    Default Re: What's so Good about Divine Smite?

    The biggest issue with all this is that to this day the vast majority of groups still have just or maybe 2 encounters a day.

    So when a paladin blows lots of resources to completely destoy the biggest threat on the battlefield in one turn, it is not nearly as big of a deal.

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    Default Re: What's so Good about Divine Smite?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dudewithknives View Post
    The biggest issue with all this is that to this day the vast majority of groups still have just or maybe 2 encounters a day.
    Honestly, without knowing how true that is, we really can't judge how good or bad nova (of any type) really is.

    My own experience is that groups often have either 1) one encounter in a day, or 2) a dungeon, with possibly 8-50 encounters contained, with various capability (and consequences) to leaving or bolt-holing and resting, but rarely 2-7 encounters per day. I don't think that's the norm (we are a little more 'osr dungeon' favoring), but I don't really know what the norm is (or that anyone really does).

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    Default Re: What's so Good about Divine Smite?

    Smiting is great - though I would not underestimate things like
    - protection from evil (forcing enemies to have disadvantage against you),
    - Command (evil barbarian, drop your weapon!. Joink. Mine.)
    - Zone of Truth (cause nobody expects the spanish inquisition),
    - Revivify ('cause, what do you do when the cleric dies?),
    - Banishment (spit up a heavy encounter sure as heck is worth a smite trade-off)
    - Death Ward (DM "you drop straight into the underdark". Me: "I do a superhero landing")
    Last edited by qube; 2018-10-22 at 11:28 AM.
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    Default Re: What's so Good about Divine Smite?

    Quote Originally Posted by qube View Post
    Smiting is great - though I would not underestimate things like
    - protection from evil (forcing enemies to have disadvantage against you),
    - Command (evil barbarian, drop your weapon!. Joink. Mine.)
    - Zone of Truth (cause nobody expects the spanish inquisition),
    - Revivify ('cause, what do you do when the cleric dies?),
    - Banishment (spit up a heavy encounter sure as heck is worth a smite trade-off)
    - Death Ward (DM "you drop straight into the underdark". Me: "I do a superhero landing")
    I fully agree. I play paladins a lot, and I've gotten all kinds of use out of their spells. Command is a personal favorite, as well as Wrathful Smite (wisdom save or be frightened with a wisdom check at disadvantage to clear it? Yes, please!)

  30. - Top - End - #30
    Ettin in the Playground
     
    EvilClericGuy

    Join Date
    Jul 2013
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    Default Re: What's so Good about Divine Smite?

    Quote Originally Posted by qube View Post
    Smiting is great - though I would not underestimate things like
    - protection from evil (forcing enemies to have disadvantage against you),
    - Command (evil barbarian, drop your weapon!. Joink. Mine.)
    - Zone of Truth (cause nobody expects the spanish inquisition),
    - Revivify ('cause, what do you do when the cleric dies?),
    - Banishment (spit up a heavy encounter sure as heck is worth a smite trade-off)
    - Death Ward (DM "you drop straight into the underdark". Me: "I do a superhero landing")
    Don't forget Divine Favor. Not exactly smite nova, but you'll get extra damage for every single attack for the next minute, if you can keep the concentration. 2d8 smite, or up 20d4 (or more, if you get BA attacks, opportunity attacks or even Haste) from 1st level slot... True, most fights won't last that long, but if you get even 4 attacks off, you've done more damage. Also good for finishing hordes of zombies.
    Last edited by JackPhoenix; 2018-10-22 at 04:32 PM.

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