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    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Spell list - Ranking

    Rank the different class spell lists from best to worst. Here is mine:

    1. Wizard - Has pretty much all the best spells at all lvls
    2. Sorcerer - Shares many of the best spells with the wizard at most lvls with the exception of 5-8th lvl. Where 7-8th lvl is particularly lackluster.

    3. Bard - Poor cantrips, 1st and 2nd lvl spells. Gets better from 3rd lvl and upwards
    4. Warlock - Poor 1st and 2nd lvl spells. Gets better from 3rd lvl and upwards
    5. Druid - Good low lvl spells. Decent mid-lvl and poor at 7-8th lvl
    6. Cleric - Has few good spells and many bad spells in general. Most of the best spells are at low lvl.

    7. Paladin - Half caster that shares many of the cleric spells. Also have some strong unique Paladin spells.
    8. Ranger - Half caster that shares many of the druid spells. Dosnt have many unique spells.
    Last edited by Swosh; 2019-10-11 at 02:16 AM.

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    Default Re: Spell list - Ranking

    Bards have a far better selection of first level spells then sorcerers do. Bard gets dissonant whispers, Faery fire, Healing word, bane, and Tasha's hideous laughter. The only thing they lack is shield and absorb elements.

    - Dissonant whispers makes every offensive 1st level sorcerer spell look like garbage.
    - Sorcerers has no good 1st level CC to compete with hideous laughter.
    - Sorcerers have no healing spells vs. the bonus action wonder, healing word.
    - Faerie fire and Bane are amazing aoe debuffs. What does sorcerer have to compete? Fog cloud?

    Sorcerers have better defensive spells with absorb elements and shield. But Bards will very much outshine sorcerers early on (until level 3 magic typically).

    Taking away from this, sorcerer's early spell list may be much more watered-down from a wizards then you first realized. They removed a lot of powerful spells and the list is expected to be used with metamagic and not on their own.

    Also, bards are completely backwards of what you said. They start out strong but they are missing many powerful spells from level 3 onwards with the expectation that the player will gain them from bardic secrets. I mean, they don't even get counterspell at level 3 remember.
    Last edited by sophontteks; 2019-10-11 at 02:53 AM.

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    Default Re: Spell list - Ranking

    Don't clerics have some quite unique spells that are absolutely mandatory for higher level play?
    Especially on the buffing, anti-undead, healing and resurrecting side?

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    Default Re: Spell list - Ranking

    While I agree that the Wizard-list is probably the strongest in a vacuum, for this kind of a comparison you should break the lists down by what they do and what they don't and go from there. Wizard power is especially in minionmancy though their list also has the best blasting and some of the best control. Druid kinda competes with Conjure Woodland Beings and such, but for buffing, aside from Polymorph, something like Bard has much better options than the Wizard.
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    Default Re: Spell list - Ranking

    Quote Originally Posted by Swosh View Post
    Rank the different class spell lists from best to worst. Here is mine:

    1. Wizard - Has pretty much all the best spells at all lvls
    2. Sorcerer - Shares many of the best spells with the wizard at most lvls with the exception of 5-8th lvl. Where 7-8th lvl is particularly lackluster.

    3. Bard - Poor cantrips, 1st and 2nd lvl spells. Gets better from 3rd lvl and upwards
    4. Warlock - Poor 1st and 2nd lvl spells. Gets better from 3rd lvl and upwards
    5. Druid - Good low lvl spells. Decent mid-lvl and poor at 7-8th lvl
    6. Cleric - Has few good spells and many bad spells in general. Most of the best spells are at low lvl.

    7. Paladin - Half caster that shares many of the cleric spells. Also have some strong unique Paladin spells.
    8. Ranger - Half caster that shares many of the druid spells. Dosnt have many unique spells.
    Disagree about Sorcerer sharing the good spells. Wizard list is far superior, right from level 1 with big name spells like Find Familiar. Not to mention ritual casting in general.

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    Halfling in the Playground
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    Default Re: Spell list - Ranking

    Quote Originally Posted by sophontteks View Post
    Bards have a far better selection of first level spells then sorcerers do. Bard gets dissonant whispers, Faery fire, Healing word, bane, and Tasha's hideous laughter. The only thing they lack is shield and absorb elements.

    - Dissonant whispers makes every offensive 1st level sorcerer spell look like garbage.
    - Sorcerers has no good 1st level CC to compete with hideous laughter.
    - Sorcerers have no healing spells vs. the bonus action wonder, healing word.
    - Faerie fire and Bane are amazing aoe debuffs. What does sorcerer have to compete? Fog cloud?

    Sorcerers have better defensive spells with absorb elements and shield. But Bards will very much outshine sorcerers early on (until level 3 magic typically).

    Taking away from this, sorcerer's early spell list may be much more watered-down from a wizards then you first realized. They removed a lot of powerful spells and the list is expected to be used with metamagic and not on their own.

    Also, bards are completely backwards of what you said. They start out strong but they are missing many powerful spells from level 3 onwards with the expectation that the player will gain them from bardic secrets. I mean, they don't even get counterspell at level 3 remember.


    First lvl Bard vs Sorcerer:
    Yes, its true Bard is better at lvl 1 than Sorcerers but concidering how good Shield and Absorb Elements is i would easily say that the Sorcerers lvl 1 spells is better than the lvl 1 Bard spells. Shield and Absorb Elements will remain good your entire career, even at high lvl play, whilst the lvl 1 Bard spells wont.

    As for spells the Sorcerer cast at first lvl, i think your forgetting just how effective Sleep can be.


    Second lvl Bard vs Sorcerer:
    At 2nd lvl Bards simply dont stand a chance, the Sorcerer gets access to spells like Web, Levitate, Misty Step and Mirror Image that complely outshines anything the Bard has to offer.

    Yes, its true Bards dont have Counterspell, but they do have Hypnotic Pattern, Fear, Plant Growth and Leomunds Tiny Hut which is way better than what they had to offer from their 1st and 2nd lvl spells.

    If you compare the Sorcerer and the Bard by spell level the Sorcerer comes ahead at all levels except for lvl 7-8 where the Sorcerer is really
    lacking and the Bard has access to Forcecage and Mind Blank.
    Last edited by Swosh; 2019-10-11 at 04:23 AM.

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    Default Re: Spell list - Ranking

    Quote Originally Posted by LudicSavant View Post
    Disagree about Sorcerer sharing the good spells. Wizard list is far superior, right from level 1 with big name spells like Find Familiar. Not to mention ritual casting in general.
    I said shares MANY good spells, not all. It is kinda obvious the Wizard is nr 1, i never said anything else.

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    Default Re: Spell list - Ranking

    Quote Originally Posted by Swosh View Post
    First lvl Bard vs Sorcerer:
    Yes, its true Bard is better at lvl 1 than Sorcerers but concidering how good Shield and Absorb Elements is i would easily say that the Sorcerers lvl 1 spells is better than the lvl 1 Bard spells. Shield and Absorb Elements will remain good your entire career, even at high lvl play, whilst the lvl 1 Bard spells wont.
    Healing Word will never be obsolete. Neither will Tasha's Hideous Laughter. Or Dissonant Whispers (especially if you have someone able to take advantage of the OA the victim provokes) or Bane.

    As for spells the Sorcerer cast at first lvl, i think your forgetting just how effective Sleep can be.
    Which the bard also has, so it's hardly a point in the sorcerer's favor.

    Second lvl Bard vs Sorcerer:
    At 2nd lvl Bards simply dont stand a chance, the Sorcerer gets access to spells like Web, Levitate, Misty Step and Mirror Image that complely outshines anything the Bard has to offer.
    Bard gets Heat Metal and Enhance Ability. Though those good spells on sorcerer's list are much less useful with the sorcerer's extremely limited number of spell known.

    If you compare the Sorcerer and the Bard by spell level the Sorcerer comes ahead at all levels except for lvl 7-8 where the Sorcerer is really lacking and the Bard has access to Forcecage and Mind Blank.
    And level 1. One great and one decent defensive spell doesn't make up for the utility a bard can provide to the whole group.
    It's Eberron, not ebberon.
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    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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    Default Re: Spell list - Ranking

    Looking solely at the list, Wizard probably edges Bard out by a small fraction, but in practice, the Bard list is never used in isolation like any other list is; Magical Secrets might be a limited Class feature, but it functionally extends the Bard list into all the others. It doesn't just add a couple of spells to the list (like a Warlock Patron or Paladin Oath), or even an entire list to choose from (like Divine Soul Sorcerer), it adds all spells to the Bard List. Bard spellcasting cannot and should not be divorced from Magical Secrets because unlike any other feature I can think of, it isn't dependant on a subclass choice or other ability; it's a core Bard class feature.

    So my number one choice for the best spell list is Bard, because it has all spells, past, present and future on it.

    If you do want to look at the list in isolation, I still rate it very highly, perhaps even better than Wizard. Yes it lacks somewhat in utility and a lot in blasting compared to the Wizard, but it also has a few choice spells (as mentioned by other posters previously) that never go out of fashion. The versatility of that "cover all the bases"/"give a little help to your friends" style is a very attractive feature of an otherwise limited appearing list. Not to be underestimated.
    I apologise if I come across daft. I'm a bit like that. I also like a good argument, so please don't take offence if I'm somewhat...forthright.

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    Default Re: Spell list - Ranking

    Quote Originally Posted by Swosh View Post
    Rank the different class spell lists from best to worst. Here is mine:

    1. Wizard - Has pretty much all the best spells at all lvls
    2. Sorcerer - Shares many of the best spells with the wizard at most lvls with the exception of 5-8th lvl. Where 7-8th lvl is particularly lackluster.

    3. Bard - Poor cantrips, 1st and 2nd lvl spells. Gets better from 3rd lvl and upwards
    4. Warlock - Poor 1st and 2nd lvl spells. Gets better from 3rd lvl and upwards
    5. Druid - Good low lvl spells. Decent mid-lvl and poor at 7-8th lvl
    6. Cleric - Has few good spells and many bad spells in general. Most of the best spells are at low lvl.

    7. Paladin - Half caster that shares many of the cleric spells. Also have some strong unique Paladin spells.
    8. Ranger - Half caster that shares many of the druid spells. Dosnt have many unique spells.
    You're probably restricting this list to PHB only; some of the best sorcerer exclusive spells (or spells that benefit the sorcerer more) are 5-8. Arcane Fusion (greater) and Arcane Spellsurge namely.

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    Ogre in the Playground
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    Default Re: Spell list - Ranking

    Quote Originally Posted by Asmotherion View Post
    You're probably restricting this list to PHB only; some of the best sorcerer exclusive spells (or spells that benefit the sorcerer more) are 5-8. Arcane Fusion (greater) and Arcane Spellsurge namely.
    5e, not 3.5e.
    Last edited by NNescio; 2019-10-11 at 05:33 AM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NNescio View Post
    5e, not 3.5e.

    Rightttt. Sory i spend a lot of time on the 3.5 forum recently and didn't double chec were i was posting :/

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    Default Re: Spell list - Ranking

    Quote Originally Posted by JellyPooga View Post
    Looking solely at the list, Wizard probably edges Bard out by a small fraction, but in practice, the Bard list is never used in isolation like any other list is; Magical Secrets might be a limited Class feature, but it functionally extends the Bard list into all the others. It doesn't just add a couple of spells to the list (like a Warlock Patron or Paladin Oath), or even an entire list to choose from (like Divine Soul Sorcerer), it adds all spells to the Bard List. Bard spellcasting cannot and should not be divorced from Magical Secrets because unlike any other feature I can think of, it isn't dependant on a subclass choice or other ability; it's a core Bard class feature.

    So my number one choice for the best spell list is Bard, because it has all spells, past, present and future on it.

    If you do want to look at the list in isolation, I still rate it very highly, perhaps even better than Wizard. Yes it lacks somewhat in utility and a lot in blasting compared to the Wizard, but it also has a few choice spells (as mentioned by other posters previously) that never go out of fashion. The versatility of that "cover all the bases"/"give a little help to your friends" style is a very attractive feature of an otherwise limited appearing list. Not to be underestimated.
    I dunno, even with Magical Secrets, Bard has trouble picking just all the superkey spells off the Wizard list. Like even Lore Bard spending a feat on Find Familiar can only pick two of Counterspell, Dispel Magic & Animate Dead, let alone Fly, Misty/Thundering Steps, etc. Level 5 is likewise stacked and they'll never get all the top downtime spells. They can pick a decent set of combat spells making them discount Wizards with really good Dispel and Telekinesis checks (though levels late), but even giving 10 best spells to Bard, they'll still lag behind (though they can pick stuff like Conjure Woodland Beings, and would be well-advised to do so).
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    Default Re: Spell list - Ranking

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    I dunno, even with Magical Secrets, Bard has trouble picking just all the superkey spells off the Wizard list. Like even Lore Bard spending a feat on Find Familiar can only pick two of Counterspell, Dispel Magic & Animate Dead, let alone Fly, Misty/Thundering Steps, etc. Level 5 is likewise stacked and they'll never get all the top downtime spells. They can pick a decent set of combat spells making them discount Wizards with really good Dispel and Telekinesis checks (though levels late), but even giving 10 best spells to Bard, they'll still lag behind (though they can pick stuff like Conjure Woodland Beings, and would be well-advised to do so).
    Bards have dispel magic on their list, and I would be surprised to learn that many Lore Bards pick up animate dead.

    Bards get spells out of the wizard spell lists (Find Greater Steed, Revivify, Cruzader's Mantle, Conjure Animals, Conjure Woodland beings and Mass Heal are all top picks, for instance.), which restricts how many spells they can get from the Wizard. I'd say the only mandatory picks from the Wizard list are not even wizard exclusive (Counterspell and Wish). Once you consider that, you can easily make a Bard that picks NO wizard-exclusive spell and is still very competitive with a wizard for best spells. I grant that a case can be made that all the best 14th level magical secrets are wizard exclusive (like simulacrum and contingency),though there are still some very good picks from the Cleric and Druid lists.

    They don't get Find Familiar, but then they can be better scouts than most familiars, and have Unseen Servant, which can do a lot that a Familiar can (better at some things, like giving healing potions to your fallen allies, worse at other, as they have no Help action for combat).
    Last edited by diplomancer; 2019-10-11 at 07:14 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JackPhoenix View Post
    Healing Word will never be obsolete. Neither will Tasha's Hideous Laughter. Or Dissonant Whispers (especially if you have someone able to take advantage of the OA the victim provokes) or Bane.
    Sure, healing word and parhaps sometimes Dissonant Whispers can be used on occations on higher lvls, Tasha's Hideous Laughter not so much.
    However you are comparing the best first lvl spells Shield and Absorb Elements against spells that are mediocre at best.
    I would easily trade all those spells for just either of them and the Sorcerer gets you both.

    Quote Originally Posted by JackPhoenix View Post
    Bard gets Heat Metal and Enhance Ability. Though those good spells on sorcerer's list are much less useful with the sorcerer's extremely limited number of spell known.
    I wasnt talking about the spells known here thats a different topic, this is only about the spell list. Sorcerer gets very good 2nd lvl spells.
    Heat Metal is good but, circumstansial. Enchance ability Sorcerer also have, aswell as Enlarge/Reduce that Bard dosnt have.

    Quote Originally Posted by JackPhoenix View Post
    And level 1. One great and one decent defensive spell doesn't make up for the utility a bard can provide to the whole group.
    Shield and Absorb Elements is hardly great or decent they are insane good, easily worth the trade.

    Im acctually suprised that you even think Bard has a better spell list than the Sorcerer, personally i find Warlock and Bard a lot harder to judge.

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    Default Re: Spell list - Ranking

    Quote Originally Posted by Swosh View Post
    Rank the different class spell lists from best to worst. Here is mine:

    1. Wizard - Has pretty much all the best spells at all lvls
    2. Sorcerer - Shares many of the best spells with the wizard at most lvls with the exception of 5-8th lvl. Where 7-8th lvl is particularly lackluster.

    3. Bard - Poor cantrips, 1st and 2nd lvl spells. Gets better from 3rd lvl and upwards
    4. Warlock - Poor 1st and 2nd lvl spells. Gets better from 3rd lvl and upwards
    5. Druid - Good low lvl spells. Decent mid-lvl and poor at 7-8th lvl
    6. Cleric - Has few good spells and many bad spells in general. Most of the best spells are at low lvl.

    7. Paladin - Half caster that shares many of the cleric spells. Also have some strong unique Paladin spells.
    8. Ranger - Half caster that shares many of the druid spells. Dosnt have many unique spells.
    I agree with this list for the most part. I would probably move druid and cleric above bard and warlock but I can see the arguments for keeping it like this.


    Quote Originally Posted by sophontteks View Post
    Bards have a far better selection of first level spells then sorcerers do. Bard gets dissonant whispers, Faery fire, Healing word, bane, and Tasha's hideous laughter. The only thing they lack is shield and absorb elements.
    Missing shield and absorb elements is a huge hole in their spell list though. After level 5 or so, I would take shield and absorb elements over any of the spells on the bard list. For sorcerers and wizards, I'm likely only preparing mage armor, shield and absorb elements for my 1st level spells after about level 5 or 7. At second level, they are missing misty step and mirror image, the two best 2nd level spells on the wizard and sorcerer list at higher levels. Faerie fire, bane and Tasha's all require concentration and so will compete with suggestion, hypnotic pattern, fear, polymorph, and animate objects as you level up.

    Except for valor bard, bards are the squishiest class. They have one more hit point per level than sorcerers and wizards but missing shield, absorb elements, misty step and mirror image means they get hit much more often. Bards are also missing any good damage spells, and don't get any of the wall spells until they get forcecage at level 13. Bards are still fun and effective, especially in a smaller party, but I don't think their spell list is as powerful as wizards or sorcerers, and maybe even druids and clerics until high levels.
    Last edited by Bobthewizard; 2019-10-11 at 08:09 AM.

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    Default Re: Spell list - Ranking

    I’ agree that wizard should come first, but a detailed discussion about roles would be needed to order the others, and with bard you get magical secrets, that might make it “better” than wizard even though strictly speaking, the wizard “list” might be a bit better.

    And then there’s sorcerer. That should come in way behind all other long rest full casters. I really don’t see how it can be considered to be even close to the wizard.

    Edit: just in case it isn’t clear: I feel that the sorcerer list is limited enough that it badly and unnecessarily:

    Restricts concepts that should fit well with sorcerers (example: there’s no reason why a shadow sorcerer can’t have vampiric touch, and sorcerer is one of the few classes that could reasonably use it)

    Restricts mechanics and play styles that sorcerers should reasonably be able to choose (example: CC sorcerers are a thing, but they don’t get wall of force, force cage, or any Dex save AoE CC until reverse gravity)

    Restricts class features (example: many spells that would play well with some seldom used metamagics are not on the sorcerer list. Nondetection, glibness or foresight would be great with double duration!)

    Individually one can imagine reasoning for a few of these (glibness plus subtle counterspell makes a sorcerer into a king of mage duels... which would be strong) but removing so many strong options is wrong as well... and some of the missing spells just make no sense at all. Sigh.
    Last edited by Spiritchaser; 2019-10-11 at 08:39 AM.

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    Default Re: Spell list - Ranking

    Wizard followed by druid, followed closely by bard? That sounds about right.

    Between sorcerers and warlocks, I think that sorcerers are stronger in the first half but warlocks slowly get better as they start getting their arcanums. I don't know how to rate the cleric. I'd put them about on par with sorcerers and warlocks. Worse spells generally, with a few exceptions, but the utility from being able to change spells everyday has to count for something.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Swosh View Post
    First lvl Bard vs Sorcerer:
    Yes, its true Bard is better at lvl 1 than Sorcerers but concidering how good Shield and Absorb Elements is i would easily say that the Sorcerers lvl 1 spells is better than the lvl 1 Bard spells. Shield and Absorb Elements will remain good your entire career, even at high lvl play, whilst the lvl 1 Bard spells wont.

    As for spells the Sorcerer cast at first lvl, i think your forgetting just how effective Sleep can be.


    Second lvl Bard vs Sorcerer:
    At 2nd lvl Bards simply dont stand a chance, the Sorcerer gets access to spells like Web, Levitate, Misty Step and Mirror Image that complely outshines anything the Bard has to offer.

    Yes, its true Bards dont have Counterspell, but they do have Hypnotic Pattern, Fear, Plant Growth and Leomunds Tiny Hut which is way better than what they had to offer from their 1st and 2nd lvl spells.

    If you compare the Sorcerer and the Bard by spell level the Sorcerer comes ahead at all levels except for lvl 7-8 where the Sorcerer is really
    lacking and the Bard has access to Forcecage and Mind Blank.
    Shield is not enough to say sorcerers have better first level spells. Sorcerers have terrible first level spells to the point where early sorcerers struggle to be useful early game. Bards may be squishy but they can carry entire fights with a single casting of any of the listed spells, and their usefulness lasts well into midgame.

    Since I already pointed out that bards have one of the strongest first level spell lists, I can't agree that third level is better in comparison. Sorcerers have better 3rd level spells then bards.
    Last edited by sophontteks; 2019-10-11 at 09:10 AM.

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    Default Re: Spell list - Ranking

    Quote Originally Posted by sophontteks View Post
    Shield is not enough to say sorcerers have better first level spells. Sorcerers have terrible first level spells to the point where early sorcerers struggle to be useful early game. Bards may be squishy but they can carry entire fights with a single casting of any of the listed spells, and their usefulness lasts well into midgame.

    Since I already pointed out that bards have one of the strongest first level spell lists, I can't agree that third level is better in comparison. Sorcerers have better 3rd level spells then bards.
    Wizards, sorcerers and bards all have access to sleep at 1st level, which until level 4 or so, is going to be a better offensive spell than dissonant whisper's, Tasha's or faerie fire. So missing those doesn't hurt a sorcerer too much. I use almost all of my spell slots on sleep until level 3 or 4. Sleep scales terribly, so those first level bard spells are better than sleep at higher levels. But by level 4, sorcerers and wizards will be using web and levitate. I don't think the offensive ability of wizards, sorcerers and bards are all that different at low to mid levels.

    I can see the argument that at levels 3 and 4, when sleep is starting to lose its usefulness and you only have a few 2nd level slots, that the bard spell list is a little better for all but the biggest fights, but once you get to level 5 or 6, a sorcerer will use 3rd level spells for big fights, 2nd for smaller ones, and 1st and 2nd level spells for defense and movement.

    Since I think the offensive difference is minimal at best, then the glaring hole of defense and movement spells in the bard list becomes more important to me.

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    Default Re: Spell list - Ranking

    I think dissonant whispers is about as good as shield at higher levels. Giving attacks of opportunity for your Paladin and Rogue buddies is a lot of scaling damage, as is doing it yourself with your animated objects. You can even combine all of those opportunity attacks together, stacking it with your Paladin's buddy Crusader's Mantle.

    Best protection for a full caster is not getting attacked in the first place anyway. At higher levels (starting around late tier 2, I'd imagine), for a full caster, Absorb Elements is better than Shield, unless you are making a caster that tends to stay close to the front lines.
    Last edited by diplomancer; 2019-10-11 at 10:18 AM.

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    Default Re: Spell list - Ranking

    Quote Originally Posted by Eldariel View Post
    I dunno, even with Magical Secrets, Bard has trouble picking just all the superkey spells off the Wizard list. Like even Lore Bard spending a feat on Find Familiar can only pick two of Counterspell, Dispel Magic & Animate Dead, let alone Fly, Misty/Thundering Steps, etc. Level 5 is likewise stacked and they'll never get all the top downtime spells. They can pick a decent set of combat spells making them discount Wizards with really good Dispel and Telekinesis checks (though levels late), but even giving 10 best spells to Bard, they'll still lag behind (though they can pick stuff like Conjure Woodland Beings, and would be well-advised to do so).
    I think you may be looking at the Wizard list and attributing the versatility of the Wizard Class to the list itself. If the Wizard had to choose limited spells known, like the Bard, he wouldn't be enjoying the "top downtime" spells any more than the Bard would using Magicsl Secrets (albeit there could be an argument that if the Wizard had the same number of spell known as a Bard, the Bard would be more versatile and more likely to be able to pick those spells due to Magical Secrets granting additional spells known, but that is another discussion and well within the realms of hypothesis/homebrew).

    Before anyone goes accusing me of hypocritical thinking, I'll remind you that the Wizard isn't the only one to use the Wizard list, so the versatility of the Wizard (Class) doesn't apply in the same way that Magical Secrets applies to Bards, who are the only ones who have access to the entirety of their list, giving Bard the only truly exclusive spells in the game (few thought they may be).o
    I apologise if I come across daft. I'm a bit like that. I also like a good argument, so please don't take offence if I'm somewhat...forthright.

    Please be aware; when it comes to 5ed D&D, I own Core (1st printing) and SCAG only. All my opinions and rulings are based solely on those, unless otherwise stated. I reserve the right of ignorance of errata or any other source.

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    Default Re: Spell list - Ranking

    Quote Originally Posted by diplomancer View Post
    I think dissonant whispers is about as good as shield at higher levels. Giving attacks of opportunity for your Paladin and Rogue buddies is a lot of scaling damage, as is doing it yourself with your animated objects. You can even combine all of those opportunity attacks together, stacking it with your Paladin's buddy Crusader's Mantle.

    Best protection for a full caster is not getting attacked in the first place anyway. At higher levels (starting around late tier 2, I'd imagine), for a full caster, Absorb Elements is better than Shield, unless you are making a caster that tends to stay close to the front lines.
    If I could only take one spell into a combat, I'd rather have dissonant whispers. It's a great spell and I'm going to keep it on my bard for the whole campaign. But in the totality of prepared spells, the crowd control and damage of dissonant whispers is easier for a wizard to replicate than the defense of shield, absorb elements, misty step, mirror image and invisibility is for a bard.

    Quote Originally Posted by JellyPooga View Post
    I think you may be looking at the Wizard list and attributing the versatility of the Wizard Class to the list itself.
    That is a good point. So the question is, if you were making a bard, and the DM said that you could scrap the bard list and use the wizard list for your base spells, would you agree to that. I would in a heartbeat unless my bard was the party's main healer.

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    Default Re: Spell list - Ranking

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobthewizard View Post
    Wizards, sorcerers and bards all have access to sleep at 1st level, which until level 4 or so, is going to be a better offensive spell than dissonant whisper's, Tasha's or faerie fire. So missing those doesn't hurt a sorcerer too much. I use almost all of my spell slots on sleep until level 3 or 4. Sleep scales terribly, so those first level bard spells are better than sleep at higher levels. But by level 4, sorcerers and wizards will be using web and levitate. I don't think the offensive ability of wizards, sorcerers and bards are all that different at low to mid levels.

    I can see the argument that at levels 3 and 4, when sleep is starting to lose its usefulness and you only have a few 2nd level slots, that the bard spell list is a little better for all but the biggest fights, but once you get to level 5 or 6, a sorcerer will use 3rd level spells for big fights, 2nd for smaller ones, and 1st and 2nd level spells for defense and movement.

    Since I think the offensive difference is minimal at best, then the glaring hole of defense and movement spells in the bard list becomes more important to me.
    Sleep falls off much faster then you are giving it credit for. Its good at level 1 and 2, then its basically useless. 20 hp average is not much.

    And, even then, you are still underestimating how brutal it is to hit a high value target with dissonate whispers. A good cast is 2d8 plus a reaction attack from every party member, at a time when every party member probably only makes 1 attack per round. That's potentially better then giving the entire team a free combat round at level 1 and 2
    Last edited by sophontteks; 2019-10-11 at 11:42 AM.

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    Default Re: Spell list - Ranking

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobthewizard View Post
    That is a good point. So the question is, if you were making a bard, and the DM said that you could scrap the bard list and use the wizard list for your base spells, would you agree to that. I would in a heartbeat unless my bard was the party's main healer.
    I would even as the main healer since Healing Spirit is about the only healing spell worth bothering with and you need to Magical Secrets it anyways. You can alwayd Magic Initiate for Healing Word if you'd like that.
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    Default Re: Spell list - Ranking

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobthewizard View Post
    That is a good point. So the question is, if you were making a bard, and the DM said that you could scrap the bard list and use the wizard list for your base spells, would you agree to that. I would in a heartbeat unless my bard was the party's main healer.
    Hmm...that's an interesting question. I would definitely have to think on it; Bard has some very nice spells that Wizard doesn't (Healing Word, Calm Emotions and Enhance Ability come immediately to mind for low-level spells) and assuming Magical Secrets would allow me to pick from the Bard list, I'd have to see just how many of those exist to make the switch worth it or not. I'd definitely be on the fence, tempting though it'd be, especially if we're talking about the entirety of play from levels 1-20 and not just high level play or whatever.
    Last edited by JellyPooga; 2019-10-11 at 11:59 AM.
    I apologise if I come across daft. I'm a bit like that. I also like a good argument, so please don't take offence if I'm somewhat...forthright.

    Please be aware; when it comes to 5ed D&D, I own Core (1st printing) and SCAG only. All my opinions and rulings are based solely on those, unless otherwise stated. I reserve the right of ignorance of errata or any other source.

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    Default Re: Spell list - Ranking

    I did a quick math. On the situation I mentioned (Bard+Paladin+Rogue, level 9, Bard concentrates on Animate Objects, Paladin concentrates on Crusader's Mantle), a successful casting of Dissonant Whispers causes around 90 hit points of reaction attacks damage (which basically means it is damage coming exclusively from the casting of DW, since it would not trigger without it), assuming that Paladin, Rogue and half the animated objects hit.

    Wizards probably need something around an 8th level slot to compete with that single-target damage.

    The Bard is a force multiplier, and nothing shows that better than Dissonant Whispers. If, as a Bard, I was offered to switch dissonant whispers with shield, I'd never take it. If I was offered both Shield AND Absorb Elements, I might take it if I was going for a melee bard.

    Also, about Bards having "bad cantrips". Apart from "eldritch blast with invocations", no combat cantrip is good after tier 2, except for vicious mockery and, slightly worse, frostbite. At tier 1, a bard can overmatch the sorcerer and wizard cantrip damage with a medium crossbow. This might be untrue if your DM has fights with many low HP mooks (and even then an area of effect spell is probably a better idea than a cantrip)
    Last edited by diplomancer; 2019-10-11 at 12:26 PM.

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    Default Re: Spell list - Ranking

    Quote Originally Posted by diplomancer View Post
    I did a quick math. On the situation I mentioned (Bard+Paladin+Rogue, level 9, Bard concentrates on Animate Objects, Paladin concentrates on Crusader's Mantle), a successful casting of Dissonant Whispers causes around 90 hit points of reaction attacks damage (which basically means it is damage coming exclusively from the casting of DW, since it would not trigger without it), assuming that Paladin, Rogue and half the animated objects hit.

    Wizards probably need something around an 8th level slot to compete with that single-target damage.

    The Bard is a force multiplier, and nothing shows that better than Dissonant Whispers. If, as a Bard, I was offered to switch dissonant whispers with shield, I'd never take it. If I was offered both Shield AND Absorb Elements, I might take it if I was going for a melee bard.

    Also, about Bards having "bad cantrips". Apart from "eldritch blast with invocations", no combat cantrip is good after tier 2, except for vicious mockery and, slightly worse, frostbite. At tier 1, a bard can overmatch the sorcerer and wizard cantrip damage with a medium crossbow. This might be untrue if your DM has fights with many low HP mooks (and even then an area of effect spell is probably a better idea than a cantrip)
    Don't High Elf Bards still get to plunder a Wizard Cantrip?

    Guess a High Elf Lore Bard gets what, 9? Magical Secret spells?

    Pretty much what's on your list on on the Bard's.

    I think this conversation should focus on the benifits of Arcane Recovery of spell slots vs the spell like bonus action buffs and reaction debuffs of Bardic Inspiration / Cutting Words.

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    Default Re: Spell list - Ranking

    Quote Originally Posted by JellyPooga View Post
    Hmm...that's an interesting question. I would definitely have to think on it; Bard has some very nice spells that Wizard doesn't (Healing Word, Calm Emotions and Enhance Ability come immediately to mind for low-level spells) and assuming Magical Secrets would allow me to pick from the Bard list, I'd have to see just how many of those exist to make the switch worth it or not. I'd definitely be on the fence, tempting though it'd be, especially if we're talking about the entirety of play from levels 1-20 and not just high level play or whatever.
    Here's another way to look at the hypothetical that might sort this better for someone. If you were playing a sorcerer, would you replace the spell list with the wizard or bard list. For wizard, the answer is clearly yes. I'd love to play a sorcerer with access to the wizard list. But what about the bard list?

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    Default Re: Spell list - Ranking

    Quote Originally Posted by Bobthewizard View Post
    Here's another way to look at the hypothetical that might sort this better for someone. If you were playing a sorcerer, would you replace the spell list with the wizard or bard list. For wizard, the answer is clearly yes. I'd love to play a sorcerer with access to the wizard list. But what about the bard list?
    If I was a sorcerer I would take the sorcerer's spell list for sure.
    But...
    If I was a bard I would take the bard spell list over the sorcerer's.
    Last edited by sophontteks; 2019-10-11 at 10:18 PM.

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