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    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default AL: Arcane caster / front liner

    Alright i have been trying to find a way to make this work in my head where i get my cake and eat it to. in my head this isnt happening but i know it can be done but i need to be checked on where my expectations should vs where they are.

    Goal: Wizard (or sorc) who can do well or ok in the frontline.

    Problem #1: My plan seems very MAD no matter how i do it. knowing this i do understand ASI's are important and getting my Spellcasting Ability to max is key. the issues i run into are with the other ones.
    - where should my second most important stats be at by level 20? my current answer is 16 (but feats are a no go at that point).
    - Straight wizard my second most important stats are Con and Dex. if i throw in Monk Wis vs Dex becomes the question. if i throw in fighter this changes nothing.
    - Sorcerer is in the same boat. Con and Dex. if i throw in fighter this changes nothing, but now i have less spell options.
    - Wisdom i keep trying to make high no matter what. i like seeing things. (i hate hate failing perception checks)

    Problem #2: I feel the need to multi class. Monk so i can use my hands or fighter so i get more ASI's than i normally would. issue with these is i get less spells. i dont mind this for the wizard build as much but the sorcerer one i do.
    - also which do i pick fighter or monk?

    Problem #3: Feats for ASI's suck. it just does. war caster, elemental adept, and tough. would i love these yes. can i get all of them no way in hell from what i see.

    Edit: Problem #4: MUST be a wizard or sorcerer for the spellcasting class, and MUST be fully PHB+XGTE.

    those are my 3 issues. what will probably rein me in to fix these issues is my expectations for my ability scores. i come from 3.5 and pathfinder. raising those and gaining feats you need no issue.
    now feats are treated as second best...
    ASI's are treated as second best...
    Depending on the class one is treated as second best...
    Depending on the concept one is treated as second best...

    I JUST NEED TO BE ABLE TO HOLD MY OWN IN A FIST FIGHT AND CAST MY SPELLS TO NUKE THE ENEMY... WHY IS THAT SO HARD :(
    Last edited by lord4571; 2019-09-22 at 05:29 PM.
    mother always said "STAND BEHIND BRAUM" walks... BOOM!!! "ally has been slain" uooh thats gotta sting.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Titan in the Playground
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    Default Re: AL: Arcane caster / front liner

    Easy and fun front-liner wizard:

    Stats Desired: Int 16ish, Wis 13ish, Con 14ish
    Race: Human (Mobile feat for heavy armor)
    Levels: Wizard 1, then Forge Cleric 1, then Enchanter X.
    AC: 19 by 2nd level, +5 when Shielding.

    If you want to wade right into melee, cast Blur and then wade right into melee, using your Hypnotic Gaze and/or Instinctive Charm to disable/damage enemies.

    Obviously you can choose other wizard specialties if you would rather be a blaster or something.
    Last edited by MaxWilson; 2019-09-22 at 05:03 PM. Reason: AC 19 not 18: Forgot to include +1 AC from Forge cleric's magic armor

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    Default Re: AL: Arcane caster / front liner

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
    Easy and fun front-liner wizard:

    Stats Desired: Int 16ish, Wis 13ish, Con 14ish
    Race: Human (Mobile feat for heavy armor)
    Levels: Wizard 1, then Forge Cleric 1, then Enchanter X.
    AC: 18 by 2nd level, +5 when Shielding.

    If you want to wade right into melee, cast Blur and then wade right into melee, using your Hypnotic Gaze and/or Instinctive Charm to disable/damage enemies.

    Obviously you can choose other wizard specialties if you would rather be a blaster or something.
    Ok, this is good, forge cleric always a good option.
    Or, if you want pure wizard go warforged blade dancer. Add Int to AC while blade dancing, and you get prof in some martial weapons and light armor. A warforged with light armor proficiency gets 12+dex+proficiency bonus AC, and you can still add your Int to it while blade dancing. It's not perfect, but envoy warforged even gets you a + to int to start the game if you want. Plus a built in tool.
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    Pixie in the Playground
     
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    Default Re: AL: Arcane caster / front liner

    Warforged is not allowed in AL, and bladedancer if it is even allowed is elf only.

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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: AL: Arcane caster / front liner

    How about arcane domain cleric. You get good armor, hit die, and you just need to focus on wisdom.

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    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: AL: Arcane caster / front liner

    Quote Originally Posted by Garfunion View Post
    How about arcane domain cleric. You get good armor, hit die, and you just need to focus on wisdom.
    while your getting the arcane part, you missed the wizard and sorc requirement. trust i looked. for the spells i want it has to be one of the two. even warlock doesnt cover it.
    mother always said "STAND BEHIND BRAUM" walks... BOOM!!! "ally has been slain" uooh thats gotta sting.

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    Default Re: AL: Arcane caster / front liner

    How big a sticking point is XGTE? You wonít get Absorb Elements, but with Voloís I think this Hobgoblin Iron Wizard build is otherwise AL legal.

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    Default Re: AL: Arcane caster / front liner

    Deep gnome abj wizard.
    Take the deep gnome racial feat from XGtE and you will be fine.
    Don't forget to take alarm and cast it every morning as a ritual for the free ward activation.

    Played one in AL up to level 4.
    Very tanky and good frontline.

    Fun to use with dragon breath when you get level 2 spells.

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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: AL: Arcane caster / front liner

    Quote Originally Posted by lord4571 View Post
    while your getting the arcane part, you missed the wizard and sorc requirement. trust i looked. for the spells i want it has to be one of the two. even warlock doesnt cover it.
    Out of curiosity, what spells do you want to focus on.

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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: AL: Arcane caster / front liner

    My favorite so far is a College of Swords Bard + 1 level of Hexblade and a Amulet of Health. Absolutely bad @$$. Full caster who has a pick of excellent spells and has no problem standing in the front rank.

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    Default Re: AL: Arcane caster / front liner

    With PHB + XGTE: you miss out on Booming blade.

    A fairly good start is Warlock (Hexblade) this gives you medium armour + shield with a dex of 14 you'll have AC 18 at level 1
    Now take Sorcerer (Divine soul) this is also XTGE and gives you access to cleric as well as sorcerer spells.
    yes your down a caster level, but you no longer need mage armour, and you can use shields, plus your weapon (if one handed) can use CHA as it's attack stat.

    You have access to Armour of Agathys and hex from warlock, plus all the good sorcerer and cleric spells.

    Problems:
    You only get to attack once with a weapon. (no twin booming blade, or Green flame blade)
    Low hit points, compared to real fighter types.

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    Goblin

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    Default Re: AL: Arcane caster / front liner

    5e doesn't really cover a non-monk fist fighter. There is a lot of flexibility in 5e but not all concepts are covered and by trying to do too much you become not very good at anything.

    It seems to me you need to adjust your concept somewhat. Limiting yourself to AL builds, you could look at the Eldritch Knight, paladin, ranger, bladelock builds, maybe a cleric/abjuration wizard.

    Especially with AL, you won't be able to do everything, you're going to have to pick a couple elements you want within the game system and do those. This is a team game where everyone has strengths and weaknesses.

    So if you pick a couple elements you want, I think people can give you a better idea of what your options are.

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    Pixie in the Playground
     
    Goblin

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    Default Re: AL: Arcane caster / front liner

    Eldritch Knight has the solid fighter chasis, but is a 1/3 caster.

    Paladin/sorcerer(sorcadin) has a great many strengths but can burn through resources fast. Depending on lvl split, you trade HP/support abilities for more spell slots.

    Some dip warlock for CHA to hit and dmg, making you less MAD.

    What niches are most important to you? What do you want to be doing? And keep in mind that with a MC build it can take a while to come online.

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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: AL: Arcane caster / front liner

    Quote Originally Posted by Verble View Post
    Warforged is not allowed in AL, and bladedancer if it is even allowed is elf only.
    Warforged will be official in November.

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    DwarfClericGuy

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    Default Re: AL: Arcane caster / front liner

    Quote Originally Posted by Damon_Tor View Post
    Warforged will be official in November.
    Assuming it is not pushed back...
    I play AL games only nowdays.

    Preferences: Role play over optimization; Dwarf over Gnome over Variant Human; War games over FRPG; Zorro over Batman over everyone else.

    The nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and fighting by fools.

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    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: AL: Arcane caster / front liner

    Quote Originally Posted by Verble View Post
    Eldritch Knight has the solid fighter chasis, but is a 1/3 caster.

    Paladin/sorcerer(sorcadin) has a great many strengths but can burn through resources fast. Depending on lvl split, you trade HP/support abilities for more spell slots.

    Some dip warlock for CHA to hit and dmg, making you less MAD.

    What niches are most important to you? What do you want to be doing? And keep in mind that with a MC build it can take a while to come online.
    Well couple revelations that has made this easier (not by all means solved).

    #1: when i did the post at first i was going off of the knowledge PHB+1. The plus one was orignally EE players guide (for the spells) long and behold when i open XGTE. i see those same spells. (Whooo)!

    #2: Less MAD is the key. Sorc-lock (Dragonic Hex-blade) is looking good right now, but Wiz-lock (Hexblade-War Magic)

    #3: Since i saw the question: Spells important to concept FIRE and ICE (why they havent made a cryo mage path i never understand)

    #4: regarding to using my fist, Thats a want but before this post i knew it wasnt going to really be possible. so weapons or fist (just to clear that confusion in case it was there.

    #5: Spells are higher priority vs Weapon combat. (i want to get atleast to 8th level spells but no lower than 6th-7th.

    So currently its down to
    Sorc-lock
    Wiz-lock
    Sorc-fighter
    Wiz-fighter
    Wiz-monk
    Last edited by lord4571; 2019-09-22 at 07:35 PM.
    mother always said "STAND BEHIND BRAUM" walks... BOOM!!! "ally has been slain" uooh thats gotta sting.

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    Default Re: AL: Arcane caster / front liner

    Quote Originally Posted by lord4571 View Post
    Well couple revelations that has made this easier (not by all means solved).

    #1: when i did the post at first i was going off of the knowledge PHB+1. The plus one was orignally EE players guide (for the spells) long and behold when i open XGTE. i see those same spells. (Whooo)!

    #2: Less MAD is the key. Sorc-lock (Dragonic Hex-blade) is looking good right now, but Wiz-lock (Hexblade-War Magic)

    #3: Since i saw the question: Spells important to concept FIRE and ICE (why they havent made a cryo mage path i never understand)

    #4: regarding to using my fist, Thats a want but before this post i knew it wasnt going to really be possible. so weapons or fist (just to clear that confusion in case it was there.

    So currently its down to
    Sorc-lock
    Wiz-lock
    Sorc-fighter
    Wiz-fighter
    Wiz-monk
    So going with the Sorc-lock I posted earlier, I play one as an 'armoured arcane monk' They are a variant human with the crossbow mastery feat - this allows you to cast range spells with in the threat range of an opponent.

    I use Eldritch blast, with both Repelling Blast and Agonising Blast. I wear scale mail for the AC and have a dex of 14.
    I cast 'Shield of Faith' to up my AC, and run in close using EB as an 'arcane energy punch' and forcing them to move back.
    At 5th level I get to do two 'arcane energy punches' as well as arcane ray (normal EB), plus I get to Quicken another EB for 4 "attacks" a round. If i know i'm going to get hit I cast "Armor of Agythis" as well, or "Hex" instead of "shield of faith" depending upon single or multiple targets.

    it's fun.

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    OldWizardGuy

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    Default Re: AL: Arcane caster / front liner

    Quote Originally Posted by Damon_Tor View Post
    Warforged will be official in November.
    Only in Eberron games.

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    Default Re: AL: Arcane caster / front liner

    Quote Originally Posted by Damon_Tor View Post
    Warforged will be official in November.
    And you'll still be limited to PHB+1, which means no XGtE/SCAG at the same time, and it likely won't be available in FR-only AL games, just like GGtR stuff isn't.
    It's Eberron, not ebberon.
    It's not high magic, it's wide magic.
    And it's definitely not steampunk. The only time steam gets involved is when the fire and water elementals get loose.

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    NecromancerGuy

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    Default Re: AL: Arcane caster / front liner

    Cleric/Hexblade 1-3 + Sorc/Wizard 17-19

    It's really hard to screw that up.

    Alternately Sorcadins are a thing.

    "Ice" spells are... not ever going to be a focus. This edition isn't good at supporting "not-fire" elementalists. Still, there are a few decent icelike spells.

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    Default Re: AL: Arcane caster / front liner

    Sorc synergizes with a lot of things, due to the large number of CHA casters, so you might find something there.

    I'm going to advocate for a cleric 1 / wizard X. I'd suggest either Abjuration or War Magic, either one can hold their own defensively pretty well. Cleric, in addition to medium or heavy armor and shields, also gets you some useful defensive spells like Shield of Faith (for more AC) and Bless (for better saving throws), as well as spells like Healing Word and Sanctuary. WIS 14 should be sufficient, just don't expect your offensive cleric spells to be as potent as your wizard spells, so use cleric spells mostly for support.

    Since you can't get access to Booming Blade, eschew weapons and rely on cantrips instead: Thunderclap for a melee AoE, Chill Touch or Fire Bolt for a ranged attack, and Toll the Dead or Acid Splash for a ranged save or single target melee.

    Turtle up with medium or heavy armor and a shield. Leave your other hand free and use a component pouch (which works for both cleric and wizard spells).

    Be a gnome for advantage on mental saves against magic. Get Resilient (CON), as that's the other major save you'll want to be good. Consider starting as a cleric for CHA save proficiency, as your high INT will cover a lack of proficiency, while you'll probably want to dump CHA, but still want to have a decent CHA save.

    One last note: Evoker wizards can be really strong in melee. Eventually, their Thunderclap will add their INT mod to damage, and deal half damage even on a successful save. Frostbite is also a good cantrip for Evokers, as it also adds INT mod to damage, and deals half damage on a successful save. They're lighter on defense than War wizards and Abjurers, though, but a dip in cleric still gets you armor and shields.

    Your most important feats are probably Resilient (CON) and Warcaster, and maybe Elemental Adept, Spell Sniper, or Shield Master. Lucky is always nice, if you can budget it in, and Alert can be good, too. Toughness is nice, but a boost to CON also boosts your CON saves and healing during a short rest. But there are a lot of feats that are generally more useful than a boost in CON.

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    WolfInSheepsClothing

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    Default Re: AL: Arcane caster / front liner

    Weird that nobody has mentioned an Abjuration wizard yet. (EDIT: I started writing those post before Greywander posted) You'll want level 1 to be a class with armor and shield proficiency, probably forge cleric to keep your spell slot progression from falling behind, but then you can just take wizard levels from that point on.

    The thing about the Abjuration school is that its feature effectively gives you hitpoints superior to a d10 hitdice class... except those hitpoints heal themselves whenever you cast an abjuration spell, including reactions like shield and counterspell. And damage to those extra hitpoints doesn't trigger a concentration save. And at level 6 you can use those extra hitpoints to protect your allies too.
    Last edited by Damon_Tor; 2019-09-23 at 10:10 AM.

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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: AL: Arcane caster / front liner

    Quote Originally Posted by Damon_Tor View Post
    Warforged will be official in November.
    Only in the Eberron AL track. It is being kept separate.

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    GnomeWizardGuy

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    Default Re: AL: Arcane caster / front liner

    I think the easiest way to do this is a Sorcadin. Start with a half-elf Paladin for 2 levels, then go sorcerer for the rest. A 2/18 Sorcadin is a great mix that is mostly arcane caster but can stand in the front row, swinging a greatsword while throwing fireballs.

    You are basically single stat (CHA) with a bit of required STR (13). If you have an AL character with gauntlets of ogre power, you can easily trade them down to your baby Sorcadin as soon as you get an uncommon and 20 days downtime. At some point you will trade for a belt of giant str.

    You trade an attunement slot for SADness. You are a smiting machine and will likely buff yourself + a buddy and be able to toss out quickened spells when you feel like showing off.

    *
    In addition this allows you to go PHB+SCAG and get booming blade which is fun. Then your sorcerer is limited to draconic or wild sorc but draconic is good for the front line as it effectively gives you a higher hit-die in AL.
    Last edited by Tharkun; 2019-09-23 at 10:40 AM.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: AL: Arcane caster / front liner

    fighter 1/abjuration wizard X (fighter for armor/shield + defensive, con saves - con saves are very important for a front line wizard/sorc, but resilient con works too)

    cleric 1/abjuration wizard X (cleric for full spell casting, heavy armor/shield and some good party support spells like bless)

    arcana cleric X (not a wizard but can get some wizard cantrips like booming blade - start with magic initiate druid - get into melee with Spirit Guardians - there is a link to the build on the forms - however uses clerical instead of arcane magic)

    paladin X/sorcerer Y - where X is usually 2, 3, 5, 6, 7 depending on how much you want out of the paladin and which oath. Paladin 6 is common for the aura and full melee - could also drop in a level of hexblade to go with charisma on weapon attacks - makes it a bit less MAD.

    bladesinger wizard X or 1 fighter/bladesinger wizard X - (fighter for con saves, weapon proficiencies and con saves ... could also go eldritch knight 3 or battlemaster 3. Bladesinger gets extra attack at 6 but bladesinger is pretty squishy. I've seen them work well in skirmish builds with 2 or 3 rogue/bladesinger X. (3 rougue for swashbuckler can work well but the mobile feat also works well if you want to go with a melee bladesinger). However, most feedback I have heard on bladesingers is that melee is often best avoided and it is a back up plan but it would depend on how you play it.

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    Default Re: AL: Arcane caster / front liner

    I'd say to go with some combination of sorlockadin. Probably Paladin 6/Hexblade 1/Sorc 13. I played one for awhile in Dungeon of the Mad Mage and he was exceedingly tanky, useful out of combat for RP or general utility, and had really good burst. And they're SAD. I always felt like I had an answer to things.

    Takes a bit to come online, but was worth it when it did. I started at level 5, though, as a Sorc 1/Paladin 4, so your experience might differ. You also don't get to do the attack twice, smite, quicken booming blade combo, but there are a multitude of fun spells to quicken.

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    Default Re: AL: Arcane caster / front liner

    Quote Originally Posted by MaxWilson View Post
    Easy and fun front-liner wizard:

    Stats Desired: Int 16ish, Wis 13ish, Con 14ish
    Race: Human (Mobile feat for heavy armor)
    Levels: Wizard 1, then Forge Cleric 1, then Enchanter X.
    AC: 19 by 2nd level, +5 when Shielding.

    If you want to wade right into melee, cast Blur and then wade right into melee, using your Hypnotic Gaze and/or Instinctive Charm to disable/damage enemies.

    Obviously you can choose other wizard specialties if you would rather be a blaster or something.
    I also want to second this. I played a slight variation (Forge Cleric didn't exist yet) but did Enchanter X/Cleric 1 and it was awesome! Getting right up in the face of enemies and nailing them with Hypnotic Gaze was the most fun I've had playing a Wizard, and I've played a few in 5e so far!

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    Default Re: AL: Arcane caster / front liner

    Another fun way to be a frontline caster is a hobgoblin wizard. Take abjuration at lv2 and medium armor proficiency at 4 and then you are a full caster tank. With more hp than a fighter and nearly the same ac.

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    Default Re: AL: Arcane caster / front liner

    Quote Originally Posted by Teaguethebean View Post
    Another fun way to be a frontline caster is a hobgoblin wizard. Take abjuration at lv2 and medium armor proficiency at 4 and then you are a full caster tank. With more hp than a fighter and nearly the same ac.
    Nitpick: Fighter has more effective HP due to bonus action Second Wind, every short rest. Con 14 8th level fighter has 64 HP + ~13 HP of Second Wind = 77 effective HP. Con 14 Int 16 8th level Abjuror has 50 HP + 21 HP of Arcane Ward = 71 effective HP.

    Hobgoblin wizard maxes out around AC 19 (+5 if Shielding), fighter maxes out at AC 21 (+5 if Shielding). Since AC has increasing returns, that extra +2 can sometimes be a big deal.

    I agree that medium-armored hobgoblin wizards are totally fun though. They're not sure as durable as fighters but they are tough and obviously better at spellcasting.
    Last edited by MaxWilson; 2019-09-24 at 01:51 PM.

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    Bugbear in the Playground
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    Default Re: AL: Arcane caster / front liner

    Nitpicking the nitpick: that fighter build is a STR build, the straight iron wizard is DEX.

    I donít want to down sell the value of a good athletics roll, but Iíd argue that the Dex build is better overall.

    Yes you can go Dex and fighter 1, but now youíre down to 1 AC from your fighting style... not at all worthless to be sure but...

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