So what are the general opinions on the Bladesinging sub class? Is it better than an Eldritch Knight, or Bard, college of Swords? I like the notion of an elven Wizard sword master. But obviously you can't throw a wizard into the middle of melee fight and expect him to survive for long... Obviously Bladesinging, Eldritch Knight, and College of Swords are very different in focus, I am aware of that, But they're all meant to fill the "Warrior Wizard" class. So my question is who occupies the "Warrior Wizard class best."?
Personally, I love Bladesingers! They make an excellent support fighter for real brawler and can make full use of concentration spells while still putting out reliable damage. Bladesong does detract from the normal stamina of a Wizard; something I normally consider a major Wizarding advantage over a Sorceror, Eldritch knight, Hexblade or Bard, but the trade off is acceptable to me, mainly due to the buffs being consistently useful in my games, but your mileage may vary.
I find that a Bladesinger with Warcaster makes for a great pacesetter in combat, able to throw out a battlefield control spell like Dust Devil to block a group of minions off while still weighing in against the big bad that is rampaging, without the wizard constantly saying 'I fire another arrow' time after time or else desperately trying to hide. Bards can learn plenty of spells like this, but can't use a focus to cast many, due to most instruments being two handed and these spells requiring somatic components, my DM is a big stickler about this. The Eldritch knight meanwhile works in almost the opposite way, they excell at fighting the big bad while they happen to be slowing the enemy.
In my opinion, the Bladesinger fills a different role in a group than either CoS Bard or EK, the Bladesinger is a Wizard first and foremost, with cantrips that work best at short range. They can control a combat encounter without sacrificing their damage output as much as other wizards while still retaining the ability to throw out high level spells, at the cost of durability. Both the Bard and Fighter have different roles, the Bard is a close in support that rivals War clerics while the Fighter is an excellent frontliner that can put out despicable damage each turn with spells like Green Flame Blade.
I went in to that thinking that I would say Bladesinger, but the Eldritch knight is a better fighter, but neither of the other two are weak or less good. They fill a different niche, and in the case of the Bladesinger, it's one that has few others vying to fill. I hope my answer helps.
wouldn't all three do the same "despicable damage" with Green Flame Blade? perhaps you are referring to the EK's tendency to be in melee range where perhaps the others may be standing off a bit, is that it?
Actually, I was thinking of action surge in conjunction with using green flame blade twice, plus at level seven you can weapon attack when you cast a cantrip. This can mean 8d8 damage in one turn, as early as level seven. Even only using it once per long rest, that is pretty ferocious. Even without action surge, 4d8 is nothing small, especially when you still have a reaction to use and extra attacks for magic resistant nasties. All three classes can dish out some serious damage, but the EK can get more attacks off, especially later on when war magic and improved war magic come into play.
The Bard, I just noticed, can only learn Green Flame Blade at level ten, unless I forgot something. So the knight is in a league of it's own for sheer damage in this matchup.
I still think all three classes are excellent in game and story wise, but the Bladesinger is less damaging before those higher level spells, less competent in close range and squished, given that using a shield means no more bladesong. To say nothing of hit point totals. The Bladesinger and College of Swords are both good battlemages, but the Fighter can take the heavy armour, the shield, and still do more damage in close.
I love to screw over my dm with them. They are so op, reaching just an insane ac, and with stupid crazy spells like magic weapon and all the other combat spells, including light Armor. Wizards used to be kinda balanced with baby ac and health, but with bladesinging, you have untouchable status, as well as crazy damage with all the combat spells. Combine this with a storm sorcerer multiclass and you have reached a status of can’t touch this beyond human comprehension. And Misty Step exists, so at that point it’s just bullying.
Or, you could be a p***y and still stay in the back, cowering and casting spells, using the extra ac to never get hit, instead of playing more aggressively.
I would like it if they tweaked a few things for the Bladesinger.
Allow the Bladesinger to wear Elven chain. This is a lore issue for me, I doubt it would even help their armor class, probably lower it, but Lore wise and the history of the class with elves it just feels right.
Bring back their weapon of choice from 2nd edition. Let them pick one weapon and use their INT for attacks and damage with that weapon, let them use a longsword as a versatile weapon two-handed, just no heavy weapons. This doesn't make any sense in its current state, they can't put a second hand on their longsword, but they can use a whole other weapon in their off-hand no problem. Last time I checked, two 3lb weapons in each hand weighs more than one 3lb weapon in two-hands. (For video game people, you can imagine a Bladesinger attacking in a similar fashion to Geralt from the witcher.)
Rework Song of Victory to when casting a spell, make a bonus action melee attack, that looks better for a 14th level ability.
I guess I just miss my 2nd edition Bladesinger, their current implementation is a shell of its original self.
I find them frustratingly reliable, as their versatility makes them adaptable to many situations, as opposed to other Arcane Traditions.
A Bladesinger doesn't have to be in melee combat, for example...they CAN, and their features only add to their martial skill...the AC bonus is OBSCENE, "Extra Attack" is nice, and the Intelligence damage modifier is welcome in late game...
But I find that Bladesinging makes them very effective spellcasters, too...the bonus to Constitution saving throws ensures that their "concentration" spells last for a good while...and I LOVE the flavor of "Song of Defense"...I picture reality just bending and shattering around a fatal impact, and the bladesinger just shrugging off the damage.
...and you'll need that eventually, because most people will agree, if a bladesinger gets hit by a natural twenty, it's going to HURT. "Song of Defense" is the best way to reduce that damage.
Add that you can only use "Bladesong" twice per short rest, and it's a temporary feature. That isn't so bad; just take a breather between battles to rest or meditate...or whatever an elf does. : )
To me, they offer the wizard equivalent to a monk...they are mystical, spiritual warriors who treat magic as their martial arts.
In our CoS campaign, my bladesinger consistently out tanks our party's two fighters. Primarily, because of bladesong and the shield spell. Her AC is 20-25 for most battles. And the endure elements spell has her shrugging off a lot of big spell damage. While their ACs are 16 or 18, their 15-20 more HP don't really matter. As they are getting hit multiple times a round. As a result, they often fall unconscious in battle; but she does not. Plus she has the added bonus of having full access to spells. I won't get into which fighter/mage class is better, but I would highly recommend playing a bladesinger.
* Don't forget to put a descent score into your CON. Maybe pick the resilient feat or the toughness feat at level 8? This might help you survive those inevitable critical hits.