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

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    Default Tier 3 Hexblade choices; feedback wanted

    Dear playground,

    I'm entering the mythical land, as a player for the first time, of tier three play.

    And choices!

    So many of them. I look for advice from people who have played, especially if it's Tomb of Annihilation.

    Top of my list is Mystic Arcanum choices and the level 12 feat.

    My DM mostly tries to go by RAW with occasional knee jerk reaction, ie 5 ft AoE only means once square (on Roll20) and you can only be damaged by Create Bonfire, SG, Real of Fire, etc once per round (originally a small nerf of Healing Spirit which then extended to a ton of other effects).

    My current character is a half-drow (from Halruaa) hexblade pact of the blade level (just dinged) 11.

    I use Shar instead of the Raven Queen and the character losses memory whenever he doesn't remove beings/memories from the collective consciousness for an extended period of time. The specifics of his pact are, of course, forgotten by him.

    Stats: 10/14/16/10/8/18.
    Feats: Great Weapon Master, Elven Accuracy
    Variant Half-elf: Drow Magic
    Invocations: Improved Pact Weapon, Thirsting Blade, Agonizing Blast, Repelling Blast, Devil's Sight

    I'm considering Eldritch Smite (due to now having three spell slots and a melee heavy party) and changing Repelling Blast to Otherworldly Step. Jumping over friend and foe while slicing enemies to pieces seem extremely flavorful. Repelling Blast seems less attractive due to the party. Just noticed that I'm not getting an extra invocation, so I'm a little torn... Probably not getting my Super Mario upgrade before next level.

    Party, all level 11 as well:

    Battlemaster. CBE, SS, halfling racial feats.
    Revised ranger, beastmaster. PAM, Sentinel, Res:Con
    Sorcadin, fallen Aasimar. Warcaster, Cha bump (subtle and quicken; subtle seems to be to use Counterspell against undead spell casters). He's a shadow Sorc so he can often do the darkness for us.

    As for my first Mystic Arcanum, I'm mostly looking at Mass Suggestion, Eyebite, Scatter and True Seeing.

    I currently have the drow racials once per day and:

    Armour of Agathys

    Hypnotic Pattern
    Fly
    Counterspell

    Dimension Door
    Banishment
    Shadow of Moil
    Summon Greater Demon (yet to use it, but it seemed nice to be able to summon a spell battery)

    Banishing Smite
    Synaptic State

    I consider adding Hold Monster. If I were to take PAM then maybe get hex instead of Banishing Smite.

    We're in the gears of hate level in Tomb of Annihilation, so Far Step is not attractive at the moment. I don't know if I'd otherwise like having it. Maybe? Does my Mystic Arcanum count towards my spells known? I forgot.

    As for feats, I'm a little torn.
    PAM: At level 9, I didn't use my bonus action much, nor my reaction. Already with Master of Hexes I see my reaction being taken often and I could see something similar happen with the level 14 ability. At the same time PAM is very nice with Lifedrinker (+ 2x cha damage)

    Res:Con. Survivability and better concentration. Not been an issue yet... Mostly I've used Armour of Agathys, Synaptic State, some fly and Hypnotic Pattern

    +2 cha. DCs , attack and damage.

    Thoughts?
    Rule of Cool and Rules as Fun. My favourite D&D session had 3 dice rolls. I'm currently curious to any system that has a higher amount of choices in combat than 5e from the beginning of the game; especially for non-spellcasters. Please PM any recommendations.

  2. - Top - End - #2
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    NecromancerGirl

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    Default Re: Tier 3 Hexblade choices; feedback wanted

    I took Mental Prison as my Mystic Arcanum. Was deciding between that, and Soul Cage, but i think my campaign don't have enough humanoids for Soul Cage to be useful. Eyebite was also considered.

    MA dont take up your spells known, because they don't even use your pact magic spell slots.

    Personally, i don't find PAM very attractive once EB can fire 3 bolts. At level 12 i took +2 CHA which made it 20.

    For Invocations, I highly recommend Tomb of Levistus and Trickster's Escape. Especially the Tomb, that thing can help you survive stuff like a failed save on a Meteor Swarm (actually happened to me), or falling from orbit and taking maximum fall damage. My party have people who are avid veteran players who probably know all the classes inside out, and yet they are still amazed at the amount of damage the Tomb can absorb. Its ridiculous.
    Last edited by Jerrykhor; 2019-09-23 at 02:57 AM.

  3. - Top - End - #3
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Tier 3 Hexblade choices; feedback wanted

    Quote Originally Posted by Skylivedk View Post
    Stats: 10/14/16/10/8/18.
    Feats: Great Weapon Master, Elven Accuracy
    Variant Half-elf: Drow Magic
    Invocations: Improved Pact Weapon, Thirsting Blade, Agonizing Blast, Repelling Blast, Devil's Sight

    I'm considering Eldritch Smite (due to now having three spell slots and a melee heavy party) and changing Repelling Blast to Otherworldly Step.
    I wouldn’t take OS unless your DM allows it to function as “always on.” Taking a turn to cast it in combat is not a horribly worthwhile investment. Eldritch Smite at 11 is fine. I’m assuming you generally use round 1 for SoM, to get Advantage? ES with EA should be fun.

    I’d still hold on to RB, as it’s an absolutely fantastic source of battlefield control. I’d rather have that then spending an action casting Jump or holding on to an “Oh S***” button like Tomb of Levistus, but that’s just me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Skylivedk View Post
    As for feats, I'm a little torn.
    PAM: At level 9, I didn't use my bonus action much, nor my reaction. Already with Master of Hexes I see my reaction being taken often and I could see something similar happen with the level 14 ability. At the same time PAM is very nice with Lifedrinker (+ 2x cha damage)

    Res:Con. Survivability and better concentration. Not been an issue yet... Mostly I've used Armour of Agathys, Synaptic State, some fly and Hypnotic Pattern
    MoH is only going to use your Reaction a lot if your encounters general entail single BBEGs and you’re getting lots of SRs. If not using Concentration (like with SoM), you might want to consider day-long Hex castings.

    Since you aren’t regularly using Concentration, I’d probably go with PAM on this build, but getting the +2 Cha isn’t bad either. If, however, you think you will be using Concentration more as you progress, I’d get Resilient (Con) or Warcaster.

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    Pixie in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Tier 3 Hexblade choices; feedback wanted

    I suggest Resilient: Con or War Caster, unless you're not getting hit. Losing SoM, HP or Banishment is debilitating. If you don't often find yourself attacked while concentrating though, or are rarely concentrating, go for GWM/PAM, whatever your playstyle is. Or just grab that Cha increase, it's never bad.

    I also think you should drop Banishing Smite. Go for some utility like Invisibility, or more defense like Mirror Image or Blink. Banishing Smite doesn't do much for you, especially if you go for Eldritch Smite. Dimension Door isn't a very attractive option in my opinion when compared to Thunder Step, but you might want it for the extra distance.

    As far as Eldritch Smite is concerned, you might want to take it instead of Improved Pact Weapon, since that's pointless once you have a magic weapon (unless you don't have and aren't about to get a magical weapon that fits you).

    Freedom of Movement or Tomb of Levistus can both be great in the right conditions too, although they are definitely more situational. Alternatively, Eldritch Sight is strong out of combat utility, and from what you've listed nobody in the party can pull Detect Magic off well. Otherworldly Leap isn't worth it. Jump only lasts for one minute, and besides there are far stronger things you can consider if given a round to buff, while using it in combat is generally a waste.

    Regarding Mystic Arcanum, if I recall correctly ToA doesn't have much in the way of humanoid enemies, so Soul Cage is out... Mass Suggestion is extremely strong if you're creative and it doesn't cause conflict with the DM, otherwise I'd say Mental Prison. Eyebite is worth it somewhat too, but it's kinda lacking in power comparatively in my opinion.

  5. - Top - End - #5
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    ElfRangerGuy

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    Default Re: Tier 3 Hexblade choices; feedback wanted

    Thanks everybody! I'll go through them one by one.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerrykhor View Post
    I took Mental Prison as my Mystic Arcanum. Was deciding between that, and Soul Cage, but i think my campaign don't have enough humanoids for Soul Cage to be useful. Eyebite was also considered.

    MA dont take up your spells known, because they don't even use your pact magic spell slots.
    Thanks.
    1) I considered Mental Prison as well, but wasn't really sure a single target disable taking my concentration slot was worth it. Especially since I have Hypnotic Pattern, Banishment and could pick Hold Monster; meaning I can already target all the mental saves. With Eyebite, I could see the versatility having value. And sleep is a strong strong condition to impose!

    Do/did you use Mental Prison often?

    2) I knew they didn't take a pact slot, but the phrasing of Mystic Arcanum wasn't crystal clear to me.

    Personally, i don't find PAM very attractive once EB can fire 3 bolts. At level 12 i took +2 CHA which made it 20.

    For Invocations, I highly recommend Tomb of Levistus and Trickster's Escape. Especially the Tomb, that thing can help you survive stuff like a failed save on a Meteor Swarm (actually happened to me), or falling from orbit and taking maximum fall damage. My party have people who are avid veteran players who probably know all the classes inside out, and yet they are still amazed at the amount of damage the Tomb can absorb. Its ridiculous.
    I did consider Tomb as well. It definitely has something going for it. Only downside is that I'm usually the last two standing anyway, due to Armour of Agathys. Also, my two party members are pretty reckless. One because of a certain possession and the other due to being a very big tin can.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rsp29a View Post
    I wouldn’t take OS unless your DM allows it to function as “always on.” Taking a turn to cast it in combat is not a horribly worthwhile investment. Eldritch Smite at 11 is fine. I’m assuming you generally use round 1 for SoM, to get Advantage? ES with EA should be fun.
    I think he would allow it to be always on. He was pretty liberal with Guidance before our cleric turned into a Slaad snack. I've barely used SoM so far. The Shadow Sorcerer darkness has done much of the same, but for two and allowed me to murder cloud quite freely. Occasionally freezing enemies to death if they got annoyed with my GWM strikes and critical hits.


    I’d still hold on to RB, as it’s an absolutely fantastic source of battlefield control. I’d rather have that then spending an action casting Jump or holding on to an “Oh S***” button like Tomb of Levistus, but that’s just me.
    And if you enter combat with 5-9 rounds left of jump, how would your analysis look? I've actually considered changing RB to the one that pulls the mobs ten feet since 3/4 members enjoy being close enough to poke with pointy sticks. Jump was mostly considered because of the lack of space of many hallways. Being able to jump across an ally and an enemy to land behind has a certain appeal to it. And of course some out of combat utility as well...

    MoH is only going to use your Reaction a lot if your encounters general entail single BBEGs and you’re getting lots of SRs. If not using Concentration (like with SoM), you might want to consider day-long Hex castings.

    Since you aren’t regularly using Concentration, I’d probably go with PAM on this build, but getting the +2 Cha isn’t bad either. If, however, you think you will be using Concentration more as you progress, I’d get Resilient (Con) or Warcaster.
    I'm not quite sure what to drop for Hex. It definitely has its charm though; esp with PAM. Now, where to get a bag of rats... I don't see the point of Warcaster on this build. The value of advantage ought to be less than proficiency bonus and since I'm GWM, somatic and material components are a non-issue. The better AoO seems to be expensively bought.

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaos Jackal View Post
    I suggest Resilient: Con or War Caster, unless you're not getting hit. Losing SoM, HP or Banishment is debilitating. If you don't often find yourself attacked while concentrating though, or are rarely concentrating, go for GWM/PAM, whatever your playstyle is. Or just grab that Cha increase, it's never bad.
    Have you tested all three? As mentioned above, I can't see how Warcaster could be better than Res:Con anymore. I already have GWM, so it's down to Res, Cha or PAM. At level nine I was fairly sure of PAM. Now, I'm less certain. Against the overs that are dangerous to me (big hitters), MoH seems to take priority. Against everything else... Well, I've three spell slots which is either a lot of AoE, lots of temp hp or both.

    I also think you should drop Banishing Smite. Go for some utility like Invisibility, or more defense like Mirror Image or Blink. Banishing Smite doesn't do much for you, especially if you go for Eldritch Smite. Dimension Door isn't a very attractive option in my opinion when compared to Thunder Step, but you might want it for the extra distance.
    Agreed. I saw it recommended by treeantmonk, but I haven't used Banishing Smite at all yet and with a Smite I can activate after hitting, it seems even less valuable. I have had Mirror Image and removed it. Blink doesn't strike me as beating MoH often enough (skin edge cases, no?). I also had Thunder Step. Changed for Dimension Door for the better Action Economy and distance, plus the lack of sight requirement.

    As far as Eldritch Smite is concerned, you might want to take it instead of Improved Pact Weapon, since that's pointless once you have a magic weapon (unless you don't have and aren't about to get a magical weapon that fits you).
    I have a two handed sword that's +1. Due to the lack of space in ToA and my tin can party member, I've kept Improved Pact Weapon so I could use a Glaive instead. I could see that be transformed into a longbow to shoot 'n smite a lich drown from the ceiling as well.

    Freedom of Movement or Tomb of Levistus can both be great in the right conditions too, although they are definitely more situational. Alternatively, Eldritch Sight is strong out of combat utility, and from what you've listed nobody in the party can pull Detect Magic off well. Otherworldly Leap isn't worth it. Jump only lasts for one minute, and besides there are far stronger things you can consider if given a round to buff, while using it in combat is generally a waste.

    Regarding Mystic Arcanum, if I recall correctly ToA doesn't have much in the way of humanoid enemies, so Soul Cage is out... Mass Suggestion is extremely strong if you're creative and it doesn't cause conflict with the DM, otherwise I'd say Mental Prison. Eyebite is worth it somewhat too, but it's kinda lacking in power comparatively in my opinion.
    Thanks and agreed! Sight has some great out of combat applications that might make it worth it. Freedom of movement seems very very rare to have. As for jump, I'd only take it if I could presume to be able to cast it every 30 seconds and hence have it with no buff time in combat. Otherwise, a clear no.

    It sounds like Mental Prison is popular here.
    Last edited by Skylivedk; 2019-09-23 at 01:07 PM.
    Rule of Cool and Rules as Fun. My favourite D&D session had 3 dice rolls. I'm currently curious to any system that has a higher amount of choices in combat than 5e from the beginning of the game; especially for non-spellcasters. Please PM any recommendations.

  6. - Top - End - #6
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Tier 3 Hexblade choices; feedback wanted

    Quote Originally Posted by Skylivedk View Post
    Have you tested all three? As mentioned above, I can't see how Warcaster could be better than Res:Con anymore. I already have GWM, so it's down to Res, Cha or PAM. At level nine I was fairly sure of PAM. Now, I'm less certain. Against the overs that are dangerous to me (big hitters), MoH seems to take priority. Against everything else... Well, I've three spell slots which is either a lot of AoE, lots of temp hp or both.
    Well, personally I prefer Resilient to War Caster, but given that you have an even Con, either works well. Ultimately, it's not much of a difference. Really, either works if you're worried about concentration.

    PAM is a good effect for more than just the bonus action hit, but that bonus action hit itself is pretty big. It gets the Hexblade's Curse increase and you can also Power Attack with it (and Eldritch Smite, if you want)... there's a lot of synergy there. It also gets Lifedrinker next level, so it has some serious potential. With all those advantage sources you can almost make crit fishing a primary choice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Skylivedk View Post
    Agreed. I saw it recommended by treeantmonk, but I haven't used Banishing Smite at all yet and with a Smite I can activate after hitting, it seems even less valuable. I have had Mirror Image and removed it. Blink doesn't strike me as beating MoH often enough (skin edge cases, no?). I also had Thunder Step. Changed for Dimension Door for the better Action Economy and distance, plus the lack of sight requirement.
    Yeah, I have great respect for Treantmonk, but if he did suggest that I'll have to disagree. It breaks concentration, is rather redundant with Eldritch Smite, and as for the rider, while it does look pretty cool... it's not that big, really. Sure, there might be cases where sending someone to another dimension might make for a clutch move, but in a way it's comparable to Power Word: Kill later on, as in, below 50 HP the guy probably dies in a round anyway at these levels. Even so, again, it's concentration. I'd never suggest a smite spell to anyone, solely because of that.

    Pick Invisibility or some utility like Dispel Magic or whatever. Hell, even Hold Monster (which I dislike very much). But Banishing Smite won't do much for you, as you say.

    Regarding DD, I'm not sure what you mean by action economy, since both it and Thunder Step are standard actions. Both can take another person, and I find that 90ft are usually enough and the scaling damage is a nice perk, but if you're worried about friendly fire or, as you stated, you believe that the greater distance and no vision requirement come up often, go ahead. The primary function of either is repositioning, and both do that well. You do mention a lack of space, and I don't expect much in a temple full of narrow corridors and traps, so not sure how these change things for you, but you know better in that regard.

    Quote Originally Posted by Skylivedk View Post
    I have a two handed sword that's +1. Due to the lack of space in ToA and my tin can party member, I've kept Improved Pact Weapon so I could use a Glaive instead. I could see that be transformed into a longbow to shoot 'n smite a lich drown from the ceiling as well.
    Again, you know better. Does reach help you that much? Then hold on to the glaive and pick PAM to make it even better. It does feel rather like an invocation tax to me though.

    For the bow part, you have the best bow in the game, Eldritch Blast. If the lich ends up more than 120ft away, well, I guess a bow is worth it. Though the prone part is a plus, but ultimately, how often will that come up?

    Quote Originally Posted by Skylivedk View Post
    Thanks and agreed! Sight has some great out of combat applications that might make it worth it. Freedom of movement seems very very rare to have. As for jump, I'd only take it if I could presume to be able to cast it every 30 seconds and hence have it with no buff time in combat. Otherwise, a clear no.

    It sounds like Mental Prison is popular here.
    Have to admit I like Mental Prison for the Int save. Really though, Mass Suggestion is probably the best spell a warlock has for 6th-level. Just check with your DM. Both it and Mental Prison have the charm immunity problem, so if you wanna go for one of the two I'd take Mass Suggestion outside of DM issues. No concentration for it as well. It's great even against one target.

    Eyebite isn't bad, it just feels to me that its utility isn't as great as it seems. If you wanna make every enemy fall asleep over 4 turns, why not just drop Hypnotic Pattern on them? If you wanna fear them, why not just cast Fear? And screw the sickened repeat saves. And if you just wanna use it as a single-target debuff, then just pick Mental Prison instead.

    That being said, I'll repeat. Charm immunity. If you worry that might be an issue, then Eyebite might be worth it. But only then.
    Last edited by Chaos Jackal; 2019-09-23 at 02:48 PM.

  7. - Top - End - #7
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Tier 3 Hexblade choices; feedback wanted

    If it were me, I would:
    a. Swap Counterspell for Dispel Magic. If you're unwilling to do that, I'd swap Banishing Smite for Cone of Cold (it's always important to have an AoE somewhere in your quiver. You may not always need it... but when you do, you NEED it).
    b. Not swap out RBlast for AStep. Eldritch Blast is your friend. If need be, go ahead and swap RB out for Grasp of Hadar (field control is key). I would also happily swap it for Lance of Lethargy. Tomb of Levistus is a get out of jail free card. As mentioned, it helps you survive something that you're unable to cope with... and can be used per any rest. Honourable mention goes to Eldritch Smite, Eldritch Sight. Any one of these is MUCH better than AStep.
    c. It's a no brainer. The ASI at level 12 should go to +2 Charisma. That increase in to hit (melee and EB), Damage, Spell DC, etc. is far more effective than PAM or any other feat. Experiment with your next ASI.
    d. Mystic Arcanum at level 6 would go to either Scatter or Mind Prison. If you're likely to be in need of an AoE, then Circle of Death is a pretty big effect. Sure it targets a Con Save, but 8d6 (for half) necrotic damage over 120' diameter circle is huge. You just need to keep your team mates out of the way.
    e. The next spell learned... I would personally allocate to the spell Dream. It can serve as a communication device (in 3rd tier play, your adventures widen and become at least continent wide. The ability to discuss and communicate is huge.) or it can be used as a means messing with an enemy (damage and removal of long rest restoration). Best, it gives you something to do with unused spell slots left before resting (i.e. your party is largely combat focused, this gives you an extra tool outside of that).

    p.s. Feel free to take this with a grain of salt... as I haven't played Tomb of Annihilation. I know it's jungles and undead, but that's about it.

  8. - Top - End - #8
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    ElfRangerGuy

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    Default Re: Tier 3 Hexblade choices; feedback wanted

    Quote Originally Posted by Chaos Jackal View Post
    Well, personally I prefer Resilient to War Caster, but given that you have an even Con, either works well. Ultimately, it's not much of a difference. Really, either works if you're worried about concentration.
    Agreed, but
    A) Res: Con also protects me against other things than losing my concentration (ie a lich's negative burst) and leaves me more open to con bumps from magic etc
    B) down the road, I'll have more sources for advantage for checks and saves than I'll have proficiency stacks

    PAM is a good effect for more than just the bonus action hit, but that bonus action hit itself is pretty big. It gets the Hexblade's Curse increase and you can also Power Attack with it (and Eldritch Smite, if you want)... there's a lot of synergy there. It also gets Lifedrinker next level, so it has some serious potential. With all those advantage sources you can almost make crit fishing a primary choice.
    Trust me, and my inner Gish loves that perspective of having 3-5 attacks per round with static modifiers going from 19-27.

    The downside is:
    A) the competition for the bonus action can become quite fierce. Baleful Curse (especially after 14), Hex (if chosen) and GWM procs.
    B) same groes for the reaction, albeit slightly less.
    C) ... Can't lie. Parts of me still want it.

    Yeah, I have great respect for Treantmonk, but if he did suggest that I'll have to disagree. It breaks concentration, is rather redundant with Eldritch Smite, and as for the rider, while it does look pretty cool... it's not that big, really. Sure, there might be cases where sending someone to another dimension might make for a clutch move, but in a way it's comparable to Power Word: Kill later on, as in, below 50 HP the guy probably dies in a round anyway at these levels. Even so, again, it's concentration. I'd never suggest a smite spell to anyone, solely because of that.
    agreed. I was willing to proven wrong. I've not used it once for two levels of almost strict combat. Out.

    Pick Invisibility or some utility like Dispel Magic or whatever. Hell, even Hold Monster (which I dislike very much). But Banishing Smite won't do much for you, as you say.
    I'm closer to hold monster. Dispel Magic is great, but it's also an at-will by a the Babau demon which you can call forth with summon Greater Demon. Maybe a reckless approach to solving the issue...

    Regarding DD, I'm not sure what you mean by action economy, since both it and Thunder Step are standard actions. Both can take another person, and I find that 90ft are usually enough and the scaling damage is a nice perk, but if you're worried about friendly fire or, as you stated, you believe that the greater distance and no vision requirement come up often, go ahead. The primary function of either is repositioning, and both do that well. You do mention a lack of space, and I don't expect much in a temple full of narrow corridors and traps, so not sure how these change things for you, but you know better in that regard.
    Re: action economy I was honestly shocked to look it up and see that you were right. My table has played it wrong for years. Literally, years. Many campaigns. Crazy. I can't spoil too much, but let me say that the Tomb itself doesn't make me tilt in I've direction or another. As for the damage, I think it would have friendly fire at least half the times I've wanted to use it in clutch situations so far, and the sound would also have been a less welcomed side effect.


    Again, you know better. Does reach help you that much? Then hold on to the glaive and pick PAM to make it even better. It does feel rather like an invocation tax to me though.

    For the bow part, you have the best bow in the game, Eldritch Blast. If the lich ends up more than 120ft away, well, I guess a bow is worth it. Though the prone part is a plus, but ultimately, how often will that come up?
    Proning a flying creature without a hover speed grounds it. Otherwise, completely agree. The bow is strictly inferior.

    Besides the flavour (I reflavoured the Glaive to be half-moons on chains, a bit like Mastah Killah in the old Wu-Tang PlayStation game//Ninja Gaiden), the Glaive has been tremendous for the narrow hallways, choke points etc. I'd prefer not having ipw, but I think I'd be losing rounds in a third of my fights without it.


    Have to admit I like Mental Prison for the Int save. Really though, Mass Suggestion is probably the best spell a warlock has for 6th-level. Just check with your DM. Both it and Mental Prison have the charm immunity problem, so if you wanna go for one of the two I'd take Mass Suggestion outside of DM issues. No concentration for it as well. It's great even against one target.
    I'm warming up to both. I think Mental Prison would be better right away, but Mass Suggestion would be better if we were to survive.

    Eyebite isn't bad, it just feels to me that its utility isn't as great as it seems. If you wanna make every enemy fall asleep over 4 turns, why not just drop Hypnotic Pattern on them? If you wanna fear them, why not just cast Fear? And screw the sickened repeat saves. And if you just wanna use it as a single-target debuff, then just pick Mental Prison instead.

    That being said, I'll repeat. Charm immunity. If you worry that might be an issue, then Eyebite might be worth it. But only then.
    For the here and now, charm immunity is definitely an issue. I don't have Fear, so there's that (took Hypnotic Pattern). Taking Hold Person and Mass Suggestion might end up doing both. Sleep has some advantages against Barbarians and since other niche cases, but yeah, I'm leaning closer to mass suggestion now.

    Quote Originally Posted by GorogIrongut View Post
    If it were me, I would:
    a. Swap Counterspell for Dispel Magic. If you're unwilling to do that, I'd swap Banishing Smite for Cone of Cold (it's always important to have an AoE somewhere in your quiver. You may not always need it... but when you do, you NEED it).
    I have Synaptic State. Sorcadin has Fireball. Revised Ranger has Furball. Swapping Counterspell out right before meeting a lich... Somehow that doesn't jive with me. We have already defeated one lich mostly due to doubling our Counterspells(before the Wizard died and became a Sorcadin). Dispel Magic I have through my Babau. Cone of Cold is not great against undead, and in general I struggle to see it get space when you have Synaptic State. Maybe after we're out of the Tomb.

    b. Not swap out RBlast for AStep. Eldritch Blast is your friend. If need be, go ahead and swap RB out for Grasp of Hadar (field control is key). I would also happily swap it for Lance of Lethargy. Tomb of Levistus is a get out of jail free card. As mentioned, it helps you survive something that you're unable to cope with... and can be used per any rest. Honourable mention goes to Eldritch Smite, Eldritch Sight. Any one of these is MUCH better than AStep.
    Grasp and Lance are good options. I think it'll be E. Smite this time. I thought I could go for two this time, but nope; level 11 they delay your invocation to 12. I could drop IPW for ES, but with the current party composition, I don't see the value of pushing things back much. Especially because a curse causes a team member to storm the front more or less constantly...
    c. It's a no brainer. The ASI at level 12 should go to +2 Charisma. That increase in to hit (melee and EB), Damage, Spell DC, etc. is far more effective than PAM or any other feat. Experiment with your next ASI.
    This was my initial reaction. In line your confidence in your recommendation. Especially since the no-brainer has been last on the list from the other posters.
    d. Mystic Arcanum at level 6 would go to either Scatter or Mind Prison. If you're likely to be in need of an AoE, then Circle of Death is a pretty big effect. Sure it targets a Con Save, but 8d6 (for half) necrotic damage over 120' diameter circle is huge. You just need to keep your team mates out of the way.
    Another for for Mental Prison. I can't use Circle of Death for most of our encounters in the tomb and survival is high on the list of priorities.

    e. The next spell learned... I would personally allocate to the spell Dream. It can serve as a communication device (in 3rd tier play, your adventures widen and become at least continent wide. The ability to discuss and communicate is huge.) or it can be used as a means messing with an enemy (damage and removal of long rest restoration). Best, it gives you something to do with unused spell slots left before resting (i.e. your party is largely combat focused, this gives you an extra tool outside of that).

    p.s. Feel free to take this with a grain of salt... as I haven't played Tomb of Annihilation. I know it's jungles and undead, but that's about it.
    Dream isn't on the Warlock list. For level seven spells, I was looking at:
    Forcecage
    Plane Shift
    Crown of Stars (gains value without PAM; is great with Baleful Curse)
    Rule of Cool and Rules as Fun. My favourite D&D session had 3 dice rolls. I'm currently curious to any system that has a higher amount of choices in combat than 5e from the beginning of the game; especially for non-spellcasters. Please PM any recommendations.

  9. - Top - End - #9
    Pixie in the Playground
     
    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Tier 3 Hexblade choices; feedback wanted

    Quote Originally Posted by Skylivedk View Post
    Agreed, but
    A) Res: Con also protects me against other things than losing my concentration (ie a lich's negative burst) and leaves me more open to con bumps from magic etc
    B) down the road, I'll have more sources for advantage for checks and saves than I'll have proficiency stacks
    Yeah, as I said, I prefer Resilient too.

    Quote Originally Posted by Skylivedk View Post
    Trust me, and my inner Gish loves that perspective of having 3-5 attacks per round with static modifiers going from 19-27.

    The downside is:
    A) the competition for the bonus action can become quite fierce. Baleful Curse (especially after 14), Hex (if chosen) and GWM procs.
    B) same groes for the reaction, albeit slightly less.
    C) ... Can't lie. Parts of me still want it.
    Bonus action competition between Hex and Hexblade's Curse plus this can indeed be annoying. Eh, you can never go wrong with an ASI. It just doesn't seem you're using control spells (because of Hex/SoM) or EB that much, I doubt the dungeon has many opportunities for charisma checks (which can also be done by the sorcadin if needed) and the average +1 hit/+1 damage to weapon attacks compared to even one eventual hit of 1d4+8+GWM... If your save DC comes up more often than I have understood, of course, then I've probably underestimated the ASI's value.

    Quote Originally Posted by Skylivedk View Post
    I'm closer to hold monster. Dispel Magic is great, but it's also an at-will by a the Babau demon which you can call forth with summon Greater Demon. Maybe a reckless approach to solving the issue...
    Just remember that Hold Monster won't work on undead, which you're probably facing many of.

    Quote Originally Posted by Skylivedk View Post
    I can't spoil too much, but let me say that the Tomb itself doesn't make me tilt in I've direction or another. As for the damage, I think it would have friendly fire at least half the times I've wanted to use it in clutch situations so far, and the sound would also have been a less welcomed side effect.
    Fair points. As I said, you know better there.

    Also, warlocks indeed have access to Dream, though how a remarkably niche spell that can for the most part be replicated by Sending and which also requires people to sleep is gonna be useful in a tomb of undead doom is beyond me.
    Last edited by Chaos Jackal; 2019-09-24 at 02:00 AM.

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    ElfRangerGuy

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    Default Re: Tier 3 Hexblade choices; feedback wanted

    ... I keep learning, it's great. I was looking for dream for level 6+ 🙄. Thanks! Extremely thematic spell as well. I think it'll be post tomb though
    Rule of Cool and Rules as Fun. My favourite D&D session had 3 dice rolls. I'm currently curious to any system that has a higher amount of choices in combat than 5e from the beginning of the game; especially for non-spellcasters. Please PM any recommendations.

  11. - Top - End - #11
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Tier 3 Hexblade choices; feedback wanted

    a. I suggested you drop counterspell because a subtle sorceror is a terribly evil person to use counterspell. No one else can counter their counter. It's like an upgrade from the player's previous wizard character (for dispelling purposes). Thus I considered you having it to be slightly redundant. Especially as you only have 3 spell slots to use for all of your non MA casting. But you know your situation better than I do. Combine that with the fact that Dispel Magic is a similar but equally useful spell, and I figured you'd be covering all of your anti magic bases.


    b. E Smite can be useful but is weaker than a paladin's smite (which is why I didn't put it at the top of my Invocation list). The ability to prone creatures is an overall win though. Sounds like you know what you want.
    IPW is a suitable invocation swap (if you have the right magic weapons) so you should be able to swap the two at your level up for 11. When you hit level 12, Lifedrinker is the obvious invocation to take. Just remember that, as far as I'm aware, your pact weapon stops being a spellcasting focus if your drop IPW.

    c. I considered the +2 Cha to be a no brainer for multiple reasons. But the biggest one is that at higher levels your DC Save will become more and more useful with your Save or Suck spells. Or when you're trying to counter enemy Save or Suck spells. High level magic can be so... definitive. Any edge you can get with that, I would argue, is mandatory.
    +2 Cha helps you with:
    Your melee attacks and damage. Your Eldritch blasting to hit and damage. Social skill checks. Casting:
    Hypnotic Pattern, Counterspell, Dimension Door it doesn't help but if you use Thunder Step it does, Banishment, Summon Greater Demon, Synaptic State, Dream, Mind Prison or Mass Suggestion.

    I'd be almost tempted by Resilient:Con, if you didn't have an even constitution. I'd probably do that one after the +2 Cha.

    e. As you now know, Dream is on the Warlock spell list. Have fun with it.

    As for level 7 spells, I'm a fan of Plane Shift (which can replace Banishment), Forcecage and Finger of Death. I've always had a special place in my heart for Finger of Death as it's the only spell I know of that allows you unlimited zombie creation. So as long as it wouldn't bother party members... you could start building an undead horde to the glory of your patron.




    p.s. I'm kind of reconsidering my MA suggestion of Mind Prison. I could imagine all kinds of shenanigans you could get up to using Soul Cage, that would be very in line with your patron Shar and his task of removing beings/memories from the collective conscious. It might be less optimal than Mind Prison, but it could be more in line with your character fluff.

  12. - Top - End - #12
    Barbarian in the Playground
     
    ElfRangerGuy

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    Default Re: Tier 3 Hexblade choices; feedback wanted

    Quote Originally Posted by GorogIrongut View Post
    a. I suggested you drop counterspell because a subtle sorceror is a terribly evil person to use counterspell. No one else can counter their counter. It's like an upgrade from the player's previous wizard character (for dispelling purposes). Thus I considered you having it to be slightly redundant. Especially as you only have 3 spell slots to use for all of your non MA casting. But you know your situation better than I do. Combine that with the fact that Dispel Magic is a similar but equally useful spell, and I figured you'd be covering all of your anti magic bases.
    Hm, good point. And you find it too risky to just have Summon Greater Demon for the Dispel Magic? Of course it being concentration is annoying as well. I'll ask. Would you pick Dispel Magic over any of the others? I can add 1 spell and change 1, so removing Banishing Smite is one spell (which could become Dispel Magic)

    b. E Smite can be useful but is weaker than a paladin's smite (which is why I didn't put it at the top of my Invocation list). The ability to prone creatures is an overall win though. Sounds like you know what you want.
    IPW is a suitable invocation swap (if you have the right magic weapons) so you should be able to swap the two at your level up for 11. When you hit level 12, Lifedrinker is the obvious invocation to take. Just remember that, as far as I'm aware, your pact weapon stops being a spellcasting focus if your drop IPW.
    Agreed on E Smite not being all that; which is the reason as to why I didn't have it before now. It's mostly the ability to pick enemies out of the sky that I enjoy - and the occasional crit burst which should come about more often against the most hated enemies (since they get tagged with Baleful Curse). Lifedrinker is naturally on my list ;) I normally would have dropped IPW long ago if it weren't for the crammed logistics of the Tomb (especially since I've picked up a +1 Greatsword and don't really need the weapon to be a focus). The logistics are the primary reason why I considered having Jump at Will as well.

    c. I considered the +2 Cha to be a no brainer for multiple reasons. But the biggest one is that at higher levels your DC Save will become more and more useful with your Save or Suck spells. Or when you're trying to counter enemy Save or Suck spells. High level magic can be so... definitive. Any edge you can get with that, I would argue, is mandatory.
    +2 Cha helps you with:
    Your melee attacks and damage. Your Eldritch blasting to hit and damage. Social skill checks. Casting:
    Hypnotic Pattern, Counterspell, Dimension Door it doesn't help but if you use Thunder Step it does, Banishment, Summon Greater Demon, Synaptic State, Dream, Mind Prison or Mass Suggestion.

    I'd be almost tempted by Resilient:Con, if you didn't have an even constitution. I'd probably do that one after the +2 Cha.
    Yeah, despite my martial presence I'm also less and less prone to go for PAM (the ranger also has PAM). I still have a level left, so a fair test to me is also to see if I actually use concentration spells all that often. If I don't -> CHA bump. Might as well use level 11 to measure: how many wasted BAs and Reactions do I have and how often would Res:Con make a difference.


    As for level 7 spells, I'm a fan of Plane Shift (which can replace Banishment), Forcecage and Finger of Death. I've always had a special place in my heart for Finger of Death as it's the only spell I know of that allows you unlimited zombie creation. So as long as it wouldn't bother party members... you could start building an undead horde to the glory of your patron.
    The Paladin is a Paladin of Kelemvor, so I think I'm down to Plane Shift or Forcecage. With no other high level caster, I can see Plane Shift be extremely good. Especially since the campaign will become more sandboxy once we're done with ToA. Hard, hard choice though!


    p.s. I'm kind of reconsidering my MA suggestion of Mind Prison. I could imagine all kinds of shenanigans you could get up to using Soul Cage, that would be very in line with your patron Shar and his task of removing beings/memories from the collective conscious. It might be less optimal than Mind Prison, but it could be more in line with your character fluff.
    Good suggestion! Query Soul and Eyes of the Dead are extremely in character. In a way, so is Mass Suggestion.
    Rule of Cool and Rules as Fun. My favourite D&D session had 3 dice rolls. I'm currently curious to any system that has a higher amount of choices in combat than 5e from the beginning of the game; especially for non-spellcasters. Please PM any recommendations.

  13. - Top - End - #13
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    RedWizardGuy

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    Default Re: Tier 3 Hexblade choices; feedback wanted

    The problem with Soul Cage is that it works only on humanoids. Which I believe is quite an issue in ToA.

    Regarding Eldritch Smite, the only way a paladin's smite can deal more damage is if the paladin is at least lv13 and is fighting undead or fiends, in which case Divine Smite is 7d8. Outside of that, a paladin's maximum smite damage is the same as a warlock's (6d8), except the warlock has that four levels earlier, it deals force damage, it works on all pact weapon attacks and not just melee ones, and it prones. Pretty much superior in every way outside of fewer slots to use it on in shorter adventuring days (and of course taking up an invocation rather than being a base feature).

    If we're getting to lv13 options, Forcecage is one of the most powerful control spells in the game. No save, no concentration, no dispelling outside of Disintegrate, the only downside is that you have to find 1500gp of ruby dust first. But at least the spell doesn't consume the component, so you'll only ever need to pay the price once.

    Plane Shift is a powerful tool... except it's single taget (Banishment hits two enemies by lv9) and requires both an attack and a save, not surprising given it's among the very few true save-or-lose spells in 5e. Of course, it adds utility as well, since you can teleport with it too, but this doesn't seem to be something you'll care about much in your game. Picked solely for combat, a save-or-lose can be powerful, but I can't recommend it; all or nothing spells need to have a pretty good chance of working for me to consider them, and Plane Shift requiring both an attack and a save kind of kills its reliability in my eyes.

    Arcanum spells are once per long rest only, and can never be changed. Under these circumstances, I want the spell to do something basically every time I cast it (which is why, outside charm immunities, Mass Suggestion is so worth it too, with its large number of targets, long duration and lack of a concentration requirement).

  14. - Top - End - #14
    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Tier 3 Hexblade choices; feedback wanted

    One other thought to keep in mind that might be allowed as a MA: upcasting lower level Warlock spells.

    For instance, taking Major Illusion as your 6th level MA allows it to be a permanent illusion that doesn’t require Concentration. Likewise, you could have a 30 tHP/damage AoA.

    Selecting an upcasted spell is probably not RAW, but allowing this is hardly game breaking. Due to, in my opinion, lackluster 6th level choices, something like Major Illusion could be great on a trickster-type Warlock.

    Other than that, Mass Suggestion and True Seeing would be my recommendations for 11th level MA.

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    Corran's Avatar

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    Default Re: Tier 3 Hexblade choices; feedback wanted

    I am thinking that banishing smite would be a useful tool to have against casters (liches included) who don't have tons of hp. In fact, I think that this is the real value of banishing smite*, otherwise it is too situational/random to count on.

    Maybe you are fighting a caster that is very difficult to engage, so in this case banishing smite is giving you the time to bypass whatever obstacle (whether magical or natural terrain) and restart the fight next to the caster (with some readied actions as a nice bonus to it). Or you are facing a surprisingly difficult scenario where taking out the caster could be very important in term of winning the fight (cause aside from hurting you directly, casters can negate -be it with dispel magic or perhaps somehow else, things you or some ally is doing to give the party an edge in the fight -eg forcecage). Seen this way, ie as a unique defensive measure that takes away that one enemy that can really mess up your strategy, has some value. Meaning that banishing smite could be part of an effective team strategy when taking on a very tough encounter (involving at least one powerful caster) or on very elusive casters. I don't think there will be many scenarios where banishing smite would help in these ways, and I have don't know what the final fight of ToA really is, but assuming it has at least one tough caster (and I assume it does), then maybe banishing smite would be useful there (especially if the enemy caster has allies).

    In short, think of it this way. If your best course of action is to try to take out an enemy caster as fast as possible, then banishing smite is probably your best bet.


    *Considering that we have the ability to use it with a ranged weapon, so having good range (which also protects us against counterspell, though good range is no its own useful anyway when dealing with casters), at least two attacks (so that we increase our chance to apply it), another source of damage added on (eldritch smite) so that we increase the chance of it working, and the ability to do all this in one round (having no shield helps a lot with that).
    Last edited by Corran; 2019-09-25 at 08:57 AM.
    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.

  16. - Top - End - #16
    Orc in the Playground
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    Default Re: Tier 3 Hexblade choices; feedback wanted

    My recommendation for Dispel Magic has some use... But I probably wouldn't have made it if I'd known about the Summon Greater Demon shenanigans. It's a lot more finicky to use the Babau and might be more difficult to do quickly, but unlimited dispels are nice. You could probably find a better choice for your spell selection.

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