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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default How does a bladelock stand up in game play.

    I'm not looking for white room status. So I'm asking the people that played or playing bladelocks. I tried on way back when hex blade warlock was a fresh UA. But he died pretty quickly after going 1on1 with a frost giant.

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    Troll in the Playground
     
    MindFlayer

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    Default Re: How does a bladelock stand up in game play.

    Works out fine in my experience (which includes experience both with melee and archery-focused Hexblade Bladelocks).

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    Grod_The_Giant's Avatar

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    Default Re: How does a bladelock stand up in game play.

    Quote Originally Posted by Throne12 View Post
    I'm not looking for white room status. So I'm asking the people that played or playing bladelocks. I tried on way back when hex blade warlock was a fresh UA. But he died pretty quickly after going 1on1 with a frost giant.
    To be fair, most melee characters will die pretty quickly going one-one-one with a frost giant.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
     
    JakOfAllTirades's Avatar

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    Default Re: How does a bladelock stand up in game play.

    Currently playing a single-classed half-elf FeyLock with Pact of the Blade, and thoroughly enjoying it. I played a similar character prior to the release of Xanathar's and found it rather frustrating due to the lack of Invocations for BladeLocks. Post-Xanathar, this character concept has a lot more choices, and it's much easier to play. I love the Improved Pact Weapon; my Pact Blade related abilities work equally well with a longbow or rapier. I'm at 12th level now, DEX and CHA maxed out, with Sharpshooter and Elven Accuracy, so I can cast Greater Invisibility and crit-fish with triple advantage and roll 14d8+21 damage using Eldritch Smite.
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  5. - Top - End - #5
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Dec 2017

    Default Re: How does a bladelock stand up in game play.

    Quote Originally Posted by Throne12 View Post
    I'm not looking for white room status. So I'm asking the people that played or playing bladelocks. I tried on way back when hex blade warlock was a fresh UA. But he died pretty quickly after going 1on1 with a frost giant.
    I think anyone dies pretty quick going 1:1 against a frost giant depending on level and other factors.

    However, I have a hexblade melee warlock character which is level 10, 9 hexblade warlock/1 shadow sorcerer. I enjoy playing him and he can be very effective in combat. Variant human, polearm master, GWM, resilient con. Boosts cha with the next ASI.

    However, if you want to make a hexblade do more damage with weapons than with eldritch blast then you need bonus action attacks and enhanced damage ... i.e. Xbow Expert+Sharpshooter or Polearm Master+GWM. With improved pact weapon and thirsting blade, the hexblade warlock can do a lot of damage with these builds. This is in part due to using their own spells to be able to generate advantage on the attack rolls to overcome the penalty from Sharpshooter/GWM. At lower levels this is Darkness+Devils sight and from 7th level warlock it is Shadows of Moil.

    In practice, against lower AC targets, this character can do a huge amount of damage in one round. Against higher AC targets, I may have to drop GWM but with advantage on most attacks this may not be needed, and even if it is, the character is still doing consistent damage from 3 attacks/round.

    On the utility front, he has 2 5th level slots, 2 first level slots, a variety of spells and cantrips and a ring of spell storing to help out with the first level spells like Shield. I find he works pretty well.

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    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: How does a bladelock stand up in game play.

    By using half their movement, same as anyone else.
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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    Kobold

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    Default Re: How does a bladelock stand up in game play.

    I knew I was going to die when I 1v1 a frost giant

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    Tanarii's Avatar

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    Default Re: How does a bladelock stand up in game play.

    IMX it depends what you're trying to do with them. Pact of the Blade is, like the other pacts, a pretty minor benefit in and of itself. It gives you the ability to store a weapon out of sight, and (effectively) martial weapon proficiency. The latter's primary benefit comes into play with opening up all found magic weapons for use.

    Like the other Pacts, also opens up some fairly powerful invocations.

    Is worth keeping in mind that Pact isn't what defines a warlock subclass, Patron is. The Pact just adds a bit of customization. If you're approaching Pact of the Blade expecting it to turn you into a stand-in-melee GISH, you'll be disappointed.

    Hexblade is a different matter of course. (And IMO one of the most OP things to make it into XtGE.)

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    Xihirli's Avatar

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    Default Re: How does a bladelock stand up in game play.

    I was in a game with bladelocks a few times and it worked fine. Of course, we were using the variant flanking rules and I made a Paladin.
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    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Flumph

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    Default Re: How does a bladelock stand up in game play.

    I played one as a one-shot character (temporarily joined a group for a session, so it was a one shot for me, but not them.) Half elf Hexblade, for maximum cheese.

    The campaign was ship-based, started with us escaping a jungle island and later our boat came under attack by an aboleth. I was level 8 or so by then, I had Shadow of Moil. In the jungle versus various dragonborn and guard drakes I didn't get hurt much while killing a guard drake fairly solo while protecting a wizard. Rest of the party dealt with a couple more and the dragonborn. Later on the boat, I simply let loose on the tentacled thing. Did as much if not more damage than anyone else numbers-wise by virtue of getting hit by tentacles hurt the monster if it ever did hit me. Even got the killing blow in the end. As a warlock on a team full of clerics and paladins, all long-rest classes, I held my own pretty well.

    If it wasn't for the fact that the DM made each tentacle have it's own HP separate from the main aboleth, we'd have killed it faster (I was up top slicing at its tentacles for a while, doing nothing much but tanking tentacles, and then slicing tentacles). Eventually I just jumped down and mauled the body, killing it pretty quickly while the other melee targets dealt with a blood hunter going nuts. Got hurt from the "bite" though, which I think was really it's "tail". Hurt but didn't die.

    I can't take all the credit, though. Aboleth mind controlled a wizard to cast silence on the magic users, and the melee had a blood hunter werewolf thing going nuts because he kept failing his saves from both the aboleth and his own weird mechanics (I don't like blood hunter), so the paladin had his hands full.

    Its workable, but I only did a couple of fights. Still a warlock with invocations (and I didn't get Eldritch Smite yet due to few slots) so I could read draconic on the dragonborn ship we stole and could detect magic at will figuring out the way the boat worked, so it worked even out of combat with good utility. It had potential for a full fledged campaign if I didn't have to leave so soon.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: How does a bladelock stand up in game play.

    The hexblade at my table usually does just fine as long as he runs darkness. As long as thats up hes a bit tougher than most melee because of disadvantage to hit him. He is subject to a kind of cascading defence failure, where, should he lose concentration to anything that does get through, he could be going down quite quickly...

    If hes staying back and plinking away with EB, hes ok with hex.

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    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: How does a bladelock stand up in game play.

    Quote Originally Posted by Throne12 View Post
    I'm not looking for white room status. So I'm asking the people that played or playing bladelocks. I tried on way back when hex blade warlock was a fresh UA. But he died pretty quickly after going 1on1 with a frost giant.
    Blade pact is really combat focused especially on hexblade and the defining features don't really kick in till tier 3. It's good for a high level one shot but I'd rather play anything else in a full campain.

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    Pixie in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: How does a bladelock stand up in game play.

    The Pact of the Blade on its own is pretty much the weakest pact. The benefits are a magic weapon, which is nice when you get it but will be redundant within 5 levels, and having a much easier time concealing, protecting and generally getting your weapon around, which is neat but nothing amazing. No extra attack also means that you'll either be using SCAG cantrips, which aren't always good picks, or get an Invocation tax in Thirsting Blade.

    The Invocations it opens up redeem it somewhat. Eldritch Smite is good nova, particularly on a Hexblade's 19-20 crit range (even though it's gonna be hard on your slots sometimes), Lifedrinker is a strong damage buff as well.

    If not for the Hexblade though, it would still be very mediocre, mainly due to MAD issues and lackluster defenses. The Hexblade itself is a front-loaded archetype, the defining features of which pretty much give the stuff Pact of the Blade never had (namely Cha to hit, medium armor and shields).

    The Hexblade is a strong dip and, if going straight warlock, a good archetype. But outside of it, the Pact of the Blade isn't great. It can work decently enough, but that's about it.

    Playing a Hexblade myself, it can really dish out the damage. Being the only spellcaster in the group (not counting a fighter 7/paladin 2) unfortunately means that I often find myself torn between control like Hypnotic Pattern or Banishment to help the party and personal offensive or defensive buffs like Shadow of Moil and Armor of Agathys to deal with the BBEG or a swarm of enemies surrounding me though. Overall this stretches me a lot in regards to spell slots and survivability.

    However, having supported other hexblade players as a bard or a wizard, I can say that they are extremely effective once they're allowed to focus on buffing and hitting stuff. With another caster in the group (who does more than blasting) a Hexblade is excellent.

    Are you a Hexblade? A bladelock can be very much worth it. Are you not? You might have a few problems.
    Last edited by Chaos Jackal; 2019-09-23 at 03:52 AM.

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    Halfling in the Playground
     
    Imp

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    Default Re: How does a bladelock stand up in game play.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaos Jackal View Post
    Are you a Hexblade? A bladelock can be very much worth it. Are you not? You might have a few problems.
    I've played single class fiendblade in both STR and DEX based versions. The GWM build did more damage on his turn but the DEX build had more room for feats, lasted longer in combat, and used reflective damage spells more often. She was also one of my favorite combat characters.

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