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  1. - Top - End - #1
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Planetar

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    Default Melee burst damage ambusher build

    Hi,

    I'm looking for ways to create a martial character with the following concept.

    1. Lvl 11 (build to 12-14 is ok, beyond isn't very likely we'll ever get there)
    2. good at sneaking - I'd really like expertise in stealth, though not a 100% must have.
    3. a powerful main attack, possibly with reach. (Polearm master/Heavy Weapon master)
    4. Able to attack many times with main weapon, do heavy melee damage (Note: I'm not sure how i feel about assassin, due to the very limited circumstances one can get auto-crits. It would help to the expertice)
    5. Armor will probably be limited to 16-18, not able to use heavy armor.
    6. No arcane magic classes. Divine magic and psi is ok
    7. No paladin class
    Last edited by Nibenay; 2019-09-22 at 05:33 AM. Reason: Incorrect title

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Nobody in the Playground Moderator
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    Default Re: Melee burst damage ambusher build

    Ok so from what I'm reading I think you should be a Redemption Paladin/Illusionist Wizard that wears Plate and relies on punch things for damage


    haha jk of course


    Honestly I think you just described a Gloom Stalker/Assassin. You'd want at least 5 levels of Ranger for second attack. I'd be tempted to go Ranger 5, Rogue 5, Fighter 2 as Action Surge is just amazing for a Gloom Stalker Assassin since you'd get 6 attacks first turn.

    This build is much more awesomer at ranged but can work in melee too. I'd use a Rapier and/or Whip. Grab the Alert feat and your Initiative will be like 137 or something lol it's really not THAT hard to at least benefit from half of the Assassin's 3rd level feature and when you can get auto crits on all 3-6 attacks it's just amazing.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Beholder

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    Default Re: Melee burst damage ambusher build

    Bugbear Assassin (x)/battlemaster(x) (i'm afb atm so cannot figure out the best combo of levels)

    get the drop on your foes with auto crits on the surprise round +2d6 damage from bugbear racial (also doubled on crit to 4d6) plus insane sneak attack + maneuver damage, bugbears also get 10ft reach on melee attacks on their turn so you can stab people from further away

    after that use your strenght to grapple enemies, battle master maneuver to knock them prone and proceed hacking away at them with sneak attack every round
    Last edited by Foff; 2019-09-22 at 07:37 AM.

  4. - Top - End - #4
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Melee burst damage ambusher build

    I'll be the one to say it.

    Dex VHuman (Alert) Death cleric 11.

    CD slaps down a flat 27/Use and we can precast Sweapon for 2 pokes R1.

    We can easily push over 100 R1 with this at +8 initiative and 1d4+7(ish) stealth. Cleric has a jank 3-4 attacks/round.

    This is before we go into cleric shenanigans which we can precast the hell out of everydamnthing thanks to our full divination suite where damage becomes absolutely bonkers on ambushes. (Glyph of warding is dumb).

    We can optimize this for a smidge more damage off-the-cuff but at the cost of a looot of utility.

    If you really want extra good sneaking playing this with prodigy-expertise, wood elf + wood elf magic, or a ravnican background can buff it further.
    Last edited by Nhorianscum; 2019-09-22 at 10:08 AM.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Nobody in the Playground Moderator
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    Default Re: Melee burst damage ambusher build

    I almost mentioned Death Cleric but you need 2 levels of Fighter for Action Surge so you could use Touch of Death twice in same round. Really you're gonna need Action Surge for best ambushing no matter what.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Melee burst damage ambusher build

    Quote Originally Posted by CTurbo View Post
    I almost mentioned Death Cleric but you need 2 levels of Fighter for Action Surge so you could use Touch of Death twice in same round. Really you're gonna need Action Surge for best ambushing no matter what.
    We can ToD through SW (and inflict wounds) can we not?
    Last edited by Nhorianscum; 2019-09-22 at 10:41 AM.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Nobody in the Playground Moderator
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    Default Re: Melee burst damage ambusher build

    Quote Originally Posted by Nhorianscum View Post
    We can ToD through SW can we not?
    I don't think so as it specifies "melee weapon attack" but I'm not the best to ask about RAW/RAI

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    RangerGuy

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    Default Re: Melee burst damage ambusher build

    Ranger 3 (gloomstalker) monk 5 rogue 3 (assassin)

    2 normal attacks, gloomstalker attack, 2 monk attacks.

    +dex and wis to initiative
    Should have reasonable armor
    Pretty stealthy - invisible to things using dark vision in fact.
    Hunters mark and whatever else for spells. Zephyr strike is nice.
    78% of DM's started their first campaign in a tavern. If you're one of the 22% that didn't, copy and paste this into your signature.

    Developing 5e Campaign based on Terry Pratchett Discworld - PM me if interested.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Melee burst damage ambusher build

    Quote Originally Posted by CTurbo View Post
    I don't think so as it specifies "melee weapon attack" but I'm not the best to ask about RAW/RAI
    There's a lot of debate over the whole mele spell attack vs mele weapon attack but in this case I've yet to see this not-fly as ToD does not mandate a Weapon or Spell attack roll. Only "a" mele attack roll.

  10. - Top - End - #10
    Nobody in the Playground Moderator
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    Default Re: Melee burst damage ambusher build

    Apparently Spiritual Weapon can trigger it as well from what I'm reading

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Melee burst damage ambusher build

    Quote Originally Posted by CTurbo View Post
    Apparently Spiritual Weapon can trigger it as well from what I'm reading
    On the note of fightering (assuming we can SW+ToD)

    I'd advocate Fi2 if it didn't cost us 20-25ish damage off upcasting + ToD scaling for a return of 33 damage average off a 4th level Inflict wounds. 8-13 damage ain't worth dropping 6th level casting for.

    Edit (I'd suggest Tempest cleric or Twilight Druid but those are more about calling in airstrikes from the Orbital-Space-Laser god)
    Last edited by Nhorianscum; 2019-09-22 at 11:14 AM.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Planetar

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    Default Re: Melee burst damage ambusher build

    I see several have come to the same conclusion as myself, that gloomstalker/assassin would be a reasonable choice. There are two issues though, the first one is that I'm not that fan of assassin requiring surprise to work well. The second and more important one is that we made a high level drow group and our first session was a few days after my original post. Amusingly enough one of my best friends appeared with a gloomstalker/assassin drow :D Fits very thematically for the group, but I'm not that interested in making another copy of that, even though it's a different race and setting in my case.

    Also one thing I omitted is that it's a very spesific custom race. I did not include this in my OP, as I made a post on this forum some 3-4 weeks ago. I asked pretty much the same question as now, but the entire thread turned into a race discussion (while very interesting..), I also wanted to hear which combinations are good for a very offensive martial classes. Those interested can read this thread

    Please do not turn this into a race discussion thread, as it's not completely set in stone anyways. Just assume the following race abilities:
    No armor
    possibility to make a d4 finesse attack as bonus action
    advantage on stealth.
    No arcane magic


    I'm not sure how well death cleric fits for this race and theme, but I'll definitively have a look into it! Thanks for the suggestion.

    My original idea was:
    Barbarian for tankiness (there will probably be no armor for me)
    Rogue (scout) for sneak attack and expertise, also it adds a bit of ranger-ness which fits thematically again.
    Battlemaster for counter attack, action surge and more ASIs
    Last edited by Nibenay; 2019-09-27 at 03:05 AM. Reason: Errors

  13. - Top - End - #13
    Nobody in the Playground Moderator
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    Default Re: Melee burst damage ambusher build

    Bugbear Gloom Stalker 3/Champion 7/War Cleric 1

    Take GWF/Defense, the GWM feat and use a Greataxe, Greatsword, or Maul. Cast bless on yourself and make 7 attacks on your first turn from 10ft away using the -5/+10 for each for some sillly amount of damage.

    Or take away the War Cleric level, and add one more level of Ranger or Fighter for the PAM feat. Now you still get 7 attacks on your first turn but you can do them from 15ft away.

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Planetar

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    Default Re: Melee burst damage ambusher build

    I wasn't aware of the war cleric's bonus action ability to make additional attacks! One learns something every day. While I don't think it's particularly useful for this race, I'll for sure keep that one in mind.

    Are there any ways to increase main attack regularily? I'm thinking in your "action" that goes beyond "extra attack" feature?

  15. - Top - End - #15
    Nobody in the Playground Moderator
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    Default Re: Melee burst damage ambusher build

    Quote Originally Posted by Nibenay View Post
    I wasn't aware of the war cleric's bonus action ability to make additional attacks! One learns something every day. While I don't think it's particularly useful for this race, I'll for sure keep that one in mind.

    Are there any ways to increase main attack regularily? I'm thinking in your "action" that goes beyond "extra attack" feature?

    What do you mean increase main attack regularly? Like adding damage per hit? Like Sneak Attack?

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Planetar

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    Default Re: Melee burst damage ambusher build

    Quote Originally Posted by CTurbo View Post
    What do you mean increase main attack regularly? Like adding damage per hit? Like Sneak Attack?
    I meant like the gloomstalker gains 1 additional attack during the first round. It's only first round but nevertheless. The war cleric uses up the bonus action, which I have several other options for already. For example haste gives you an addtional main attack, but it's not something one can depend upon being cast on oneself :)

    So I'm not referring to additional damage of any kind, simply to increase number_of_attacks, preferably without using bonus action or reaction. Are there really any options except pure fighter lvl 11+ or having haste cast on oneself? I hope I was more clear now :)
    Last edited by CTurbo; 2019-09-28 at 08:20 AM.

  17. - Top - End - #17
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: Melee burst damage ambusher build

    Quote Originally Posted by Nibenay View Post
    I meant like the gloomstalker gains 1 additional attack during the first round. It's only first round but nevertheless. The war cleric uses up the bonus action, which I have several other options for already. For example haste gives you an addtional main attack, but it's not something one can depend upon being cast on oneself :)

    So I'm not referring to additional damage of any kind, simply to increase number_of_attacks, preferably without using bonus action or reaction. Are there really any options except pure fighter lvl 11+ or having haste cast on oneself? I hope I was more clear now :)


    Oh I see. Nah I don't think so other than the ones mentioned.
    If you just want a lot of attacks with a big **** off weapon at 11 fighter is hard to beat.

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

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    Default Re: Melee burst damage ambusher build

    Quote Originally Posted by Nhorianscum View Post
    If you just want a lot of attacks with a big **** off weapon at 11 fighter is hard to beat.
    It does seem that's the only good option. Now the idea was to use a glaive to get 2 attacks during action, and get a bonus claw/bite+sneak attack as bonus action (with rage dmg on top). War priest is really interesting in general, as it would allow a big badass attack as bonus action, but I feel it's a bit wasted when i can already get a d4+2d6 attack during the bonus attack anyways (or simply extra attack with polearm master).

    Fun fact: one of the players who is also GM in his own 5e, insists the race in mention is quite weak :)

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

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    Default Re: Melee burst damage ambusher build

    I believe the standard build is something like Gloomstalker 6, Rogue 2 , Fighter 2 to start.

    Gloomstalker gives you some nice attacks, some good sources of advantage in the dark and for that burst damage an extra attack on the first round of combat. Fighter gives action surge to change that single extra attack to two extra attacks (plus 2 more normal ones). Rogue gives expertise and sneak attack then cunning action. Weapon can be bow with sharpshooter to ensure that there is solid damage - the reason bow rather than other big weapon is that archery fighting style can ensure that you hit enough with a -5 penalty.
    Last edited by MrStabby; 2019-09-29 at 07:10 AM.

  20. - Top - End - #20
    Dwarf in the Playground
     
    Yakmala's Avatar

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    Default Re: Melee burst damage ambusher build

    Quote Originally Posted by CTurbo View Post
    Bugbear Gloom Stalker 3/Champion 7/War Cleric 1
    Consider going with Battle Master over Champion.

    If you are going to make 7 attacks in a single turn, why not have the first one be a Trip attack using your Battle Master Maneuvers? If successful, you have Advantage on the next 6 attacks, helping to ensure those -5/+10 GWM hits land.

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