Yeah, that makes sense. I imagine it's made to motivate people to use only the equivalent of the "level" they can cast (level 1, or 2 ki points, at level 3, to 6 ki points for level 5 spell equivalent at level 17).
Part of the nature of the WotFE disciplines is they're set apart from everything else, discouraging the player from trying to chain them into damage combos. So although a level 18 WotFE monk can cast as many fifth-level spells as a level 11 warlock every short rest, all the disciplines require an action, many use concentration, and many require saving throws, making them cast much like a wizard who focuses on control and utility with occasional damage spikes. I wonder if the developers deliberately nerfed the combo potential of the subclass to account for magical combat disciplines that were immune to counterspell.
The archer builds are easily beat down with Foresight and True seeing (now all attacks are at disadvantage against AC 27 (shield spell and no magic items). that's assuming the Bladesinger doesn't just rip away his bow with telekinesis.
Of the martial classes the raging barbarian is the hardest one to deal with.....I guess a simple fly spell to stay our of range....
So while you're casting Foresight and True Seeing, you're being peppered with arrows, that the archer gets advantage (cancelling out the disadvantage) on because they were hidden before attacking you, and you use up two of your four 1st-level slots on shield and then the archer succeeds on their check against your telekinesis... oh, and a third slot on shield because of all the arrows still coming your way.
You're assuming optimal conditions for yourself while assuming the worst case scenario for your opponents and that they aren't using any tactics to thwart your abilities.
Actually, I was assuming he had shield as part of his Spell Mastery. Sorry if this is rehashing something, but that's part of the reason why Bladesingers are so good. Unlimited +5 on AC (well, limited by reactions).
@Lordshadowthorn: Yeah, relying on shield demands that you keep your reaction open. That's one of the most frustrating things for me about shield, it really limits your options for cool reaction stuff, and you're helpless if you already got an opp attack triggered.
Well, I was playing around with more nova ideas (the old-fashioned way, I haven't taken time to learn the damage calculator mentioned earlier), and I came up with a fascinating high-level build that I'll call Dragon Punch Sorcerer.
It's very simple to build: 2 Fighter/17 Draconic Sorcerer. Choose the brass draconic ancestry, and make sure to learn hold person, scorching ray, bestow curse, hold monster, and time stop, as well as the heighten metamagic option. Max out CHA, and you should have room for two feats: Elemental Adept (fire), and Crossbow Expert.
*Note*: I originally thought I could get this to work in one turn, but Action Surge can only be used once per short rest. I had to revise it to have several turns to set up...*sigh* there has to be a way to make this more efficient!
It's the combo that's tricky. We'll break it down into steps.
1. First turn, cast heightened bestow curse at level 5 so it doesn't require concentration, and choose the 1d8 extra necrotic damage.
2. Next turn, cast time stop. You now have 1d4 + 1 turns (2 minimum) to do whatever you want that doesn't affect a creature or object that isn't you or yours.
3. On your first time-stopped turn, ready heightened hold person or monster (depending on your adversary) to activate when you arrive within a range that is easily traversible without using concentration spells, and do whatever else you have time for with your second action, such as quaffing a potion that you had in your pocket or laying a quick trap.
4. Make sure to move within walking range on your final time-stopped turn. That will trigger your reaction, with which you will inflict paralysis on your target and end the time stop spell so the rest of the world can resume.
5. On turn 3 in the world (turn 5-8 for you), walk up within 5 feet of your paralyzed target and use your Action Surge to cast scorching ray twice point-blank, once at level 8 and again at level 7.
So in 3 turns of world time, you will crit two high-level spell attacks on a cursed target, with a leisurely break in between, netting you 68d6 + 34d8 + 10 = 401 average damage at level 19. That's 3.5 times as powerful as Fist of Unbroken Air, not including everything you could do with your time stop.
For a time-stop-free version, just cast heightened hold person/monster instead, making sure you're in range. You won't get the chance to heal or set up a trap, but you can add 8d6 to the attack by casting a level 8 and 9 scorching ray instead for a total average of 429.
The build assumes, as I've read, that you can cast 2 action-cost spells with Action Surge if no bonus-action spells are used, as well as a spell readied previously as a reaction.
@LordShadowthorn: that post is amazing!! I started looking at it, but I'll definitely be looking at it in greater depth this week.
Not that I feel I haven't been posting enough here, but one more: this is a fix to the Dragon Punch Sorcerer.
Build it up the same way, starting with 2 levels of fighter, getting 17 of Draconic sorcerer with brass (fire) ancestry, choosing Heighten metamagic, maxing CHA, and grabbing the Crossbow Expert and Elemental Adept (fire) feats. But you only need the spells hold person & hold monster, bestow curse, and scorching ray.
You can get a great result with 1 turn of setup. Start by casting heightened hold person\monster. If it worked, then use Action Surge and cast bestow curse at level 5. On your next turn (and every turn following), just cast scorching ray at your highest available spell slot until your target dies.
Your level 9 slot will shoot 10 rays for 40d6 + 20d8 + CHA = 235 average, 2.05 times the damage of Fist of Unbroken Air at the same level. On your next turn, your level 8 slot will do 36d6 + 18d8 + CHA = 212 average = 1.93 FoUA. Each slot lower will do average 23 less damage, and since you only spent 3 spell slots to start the machine, you have enough slots to deal 1000 damage in five turns. Your next five will do a good 750 before your cast of hold person/monster ends.
This build would also work amazingly with eldritch blast if you were able to pick that up with a 1-level warlock dip. You could cast a quickened scorching ray each turn, and then you'd be able to get in a crit eldritch blast as well with curse damage for each beam (8d10 + 8d8), using your lower-level spell slots to keep yourself in sorcery points if needed. An extra 80 average each turn for ten turns...you do the math. :)
It might be interesting to compare a multi-class build of 10 levels with one very rare magic item; against a level 10 Evocation Wizard with a Tome of Clear Thought.
The Wizard could could cast a Magic Missile that would do either 56, 63, 70, or 77. It would hit more often than many builds that require an attack roll. That is for a nova strike in one round, the wizard could use his slots for even more such attacks on following rounds.
Also curious as to what kind of damage output a 14th level Evocation Wizard is capable of, without any magic items, just using their Overchannel ability (max damage on any 5th level or lower spell).
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Of course Magic Missile always hits which makes it a more potent choice. A typical attack at level 10 would have a +9 to hit (without magic or class features), which means Magic Missile does about 66% more damage than that accounts for against AC 18. You might say Shield is a level-1 spell that's easy to come by. But of course, I'll say a level-10 Wizard should know Counterspell. There's a few other defences against Magic Missile though...
Yes, I was only looking for the average, but it's important that only one die is rolled as it affects the result dramatically according to the wording of the feature.
For the comparison Brian wanted, a level-10 Draconic Sorcerer might cast quickened Scorching Ray at 5th level and Fire Bolt for 6×2d6+2d10+10=63 (1.14) or a PAM Sorcadin might Smite with two level-3 slots and a 4th for 2d6+1d4+13d8+21=89 (1.47) consideing those rely on hits compared to Magic Missile against AC 18 it might be more like .69 and .88 respectively.
A level-14 Evocation Wizard Overchanneling Scorching Ray at 5th level for 6×(2×6)+5=77 (1.0) of course 7*(1×4+6)=70 (.91)with Magic Missile is better cause it doesn't miss. Corrected for accuracy the rays would do .65 against AC 18
What sort of build would you suggest for someone looking for a powerful single-shot attack as a non-caster? I'm usually good at theorycrafting but I'm new to 5e and it seems likes most things fall back on 'Paladin smites' or something involving the word Warlock.
Well, as far as single-shot attacks go, I think Assassin rogues are at the top. Grab the Sharpshooter feat and a ranged weapon of choice (I'll go with longbow), surprise an enemy, take the -5 for Sharpshooter, use your Stroke of Luck if you need to to guarantee your hit, and you'll get an auto crit and a CON saving throw to deal double damage on everything: 2(2(1d8+10d6)+5+10) =4d8+40d6+30 =188 dmg average. Now that doesn't kick in until 20th level, and it uses up crit potential, but it's probably the most powerful single strike a non-caster can reliably deal on their own.