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 5th edition Warrior mage builds
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sleyvas
Skilled Spell Strategist

USA
11694 Posts

Posted - 31 Aug 2014 :  22:00:03  Show Profile Send sleyvas a Private Message  Reply with Quote  Delete Topic
Ok, so I've had the PH for all of a week. I'm itching to talk builds a bit, to see if I've got the ideas down, and to see if people have some better ideas. My primary interest: building a warrior mage.

At present, all the options I'm thinking about involve the wizard class instead of the warlock or sorcerer. This is quite simply because its what I know, not because of any inherent superiority.

1st build: the pure wizard.... take mountain dwarf as your race and wizard as your class, put plenty of points into str and con (14 in each, such that it becomes 16) and a 14 in int, then put a 12 in dex, 10 in wis, and 8 in char. You fight with axes and wear medium armor without dipping a single level into another class. You have decent HP due to your con. You are primarily a mage though and should use mage tactics (i.e. fighting from the rear and hurling cantrips). You don't suffer any on your spellcasting, but your melee combat is minor. Put all ability gains into int until it becomes a 20.

2nd build: the ranger or paladin wizard or bard wizard or cleric wizard.... pick whatever race suits you. Then take 2 levels in ranger or paladin or a level in bard. This gets you your armor and decent weapons, plus access to a few low level spells such as cure wounds. You then advance as wizard. You don't suffer any on your spellcasting, but your melee combat is minor. The chief gain is the ability to wear armor of either medium or heavy type... or light if you went bard).

3rd build: well, it looks like unlike in previous editions, if you really want to become a "physical" attack person, you're going to have to wait a while before focusing on the wizard class. It looks like it would almost be like dual-classing in 2nd edition. My thoughts here revolve around the fighter with eldritch knight archetype then switching to wizard. You can do the 3 levels in then switching to wizard, but that's not much better than the previous options. So, let's play with the other options.

taking human variant and 5 lvls of fighter. The gain here is the extra attack. You then can put 15 levels into wizard, getting up to 8th lvl spells at 20th lvl. The human variant gained feat can be spent on the warcaster feat, allowing you to be whatever style of fighter you want (i.e. two weapon, weapon and shield, or heavy weapon). For the 4th lvl you may want to focus on another feat that improves your combat potential (for instance heavy armor master, dual wielder, polearm master,

taking human variant and 7 levels of fighter (eldritch knight). The gain here is if you're very interested in building up feats and using your cantrips while in melee (or a cantrip and a hurled weapon). My initial thoughts here would be for the dual wielder with low dex/high str/high dmg weapons. Wear the heaviest armor you can, take warcaster, dual wielder, and heavy armor master. Optionally, for the more defensive warrior mage, take warcaster, shield master, and heavy armor master (to effectively gain evasion... worth considering taking resilient later for dexterity if you take this option). Another option would be for the low-str/high-dex person to use warcaster, dual wielder, and defensive duelist with rapiers..... or warcaster, shield master, defensive duelist

taking human variant and 8 of fighter (eldritch knight). You've really invested a LOT into your combat skills over your wizardry skills at this point. However, its not a whole lot different than the previous. The gain here is that you gain either an extra ability improvement OR a feat. Down this line, I like either the high dex defensive personality in medium armor (i.e. warcaster, shield master, defensive duelist, and resilient <dexterity>)..... or the more attack oriented high str/heavy armor (i.e. warcaster, dual wielder OR polearm master, heavy armor master, and possibly mage slayer)... noting that you get a higher AC and dmg reduction on the more attack oriented option, but the prior option gives more ability to "dodge" attacks completely. The disadvantage here is that you only go 12 levels into mage, so you never get above 6th lvl spells until they release a set of rules for beyond level 20 (which we all know will come). However, even after buying all the feats, it does give 3 more ability score increases (to increase int as you become more dependent upon it). While you're leveling in wizard, you're still hurling a firebolt (for 2d10, later 3d10) each round along with some kind of either melee or ranged attack as well.

All that being said, the straight wizard is doing as much if not more damage than you are. However, the straight wizard doesn't have your hit points, nor your armor, nor the defensive feats you've programmed into here. Of course, this is all hypothetical, which is why I'm laying this all out. Without actual play time to see how much this affects things, I'm not sure how much the various bonuses affect things in game. Hopefully, my new pathfinder group can be encouraged to try their hand at the new rules once the DMG and MM come out. What have other people seen with these rules so far that they'd propose as better options here?

Alavairthae, may your skill prevail

Phillip aka Sleyvas

Diffan
Great Reader

USA
4429 Posts

Posted - 31 Aug 2014 :  22:30:22  Show Profile Send Diffan a Private Message  Reply with Quote
During the playtest I've found that more attacks and action surge every battle seem to out weigh the damage potential of higher spells. I'd go Eldritch Knight to get at least 2 attacks and then the rest Wizard to shore up utility and buffing (love haste). For feats, Im honestly not sure. Of course you wanna max Str and Int to 20 each.
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blindhamster
Acolyte

8 Posts

Posted - 17 Feb 2015 :  11:57:07  Show Profile Send blindhamster a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Currently playing a High Elf Paladin Wizard.

Goal being to go Paladin 5 Wizard 15

I rolled very well for stats thanks to the DMs generous 4d6 reroll 1s take the three highest.
18 15 12 18 10 16

at level 3 - Paladin 2/ wizard 1 (where i am now)
I've got level 1 wizard and level 1 paladin spells, can use smite if i need to and have better than wizard hp (25)

at level 7 - paladin 5/wizard 2
I've got level 2 paladin spells, level 1 wizard spells, smite, oath bonuses, a familiar, a steed, better than wizard hp, level 2 spell slots and 2 attacks and an arcane ward for some free bonus hp if needed when using abjuration spells

at level 10 - paladin 5/wizard 5
I've got level 2 paladin spells, level 3 wizard spells, smite, oath bonuses, a familiar, a steed, still better than wizard hp, level 4 spell slots (im doing more smite damage than a straight paladin) and 2 attacks

at level 15 - paladin 5/wizard 10
I've got all the above, but my arcane ward now works to protect allies, i can cast level 5 wizard spells and have level 6 slots, difference between my hp and pure wizard hp is marginal now though

at level 20 - paladin 5/wizard 15
all the above, but ive got prof bonus on countering enemy spells, resistance to magic damage, level 8 wizard spells and level 9 slots

Edited by - blindhamster on 17 Feb 2015 11:58:07
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blindhamster
Acolyte

8 Posts

Posted - 17 Feb 2015 :  12:11:04  Show Profile Send blindhamster a Private Message  Reply with Quote
the big issue with eldritch knight, is its too fighter focused, and not enough magic focused.

i initially planned to be an eldritch knight/wizard.
trouble here is, if you're going to do that, you really want to have at least 7 levels in eldritch knight for war magic (as war magic results in better damage than two weapon attacks at high levels)
which means only 13 levels in wizard.
2 attacks a round or use a cantrip and a single spell
level 7 wizard spells
level 2 eldritch knight spells (arguably meaningless due to it being the same spell list as wizard)
level 8 slots.

so it ends up 'worse' than the paladin wizard in terms of spellcasting, it also has much worse burst damage than a paladin/wizard (smite is pretty crucial to good melee burst damage, and thanks to the better spell progression of wizard levels, it has a lot of slots for smiting)

However those things aren't really the 'big' deal with the class... its major issue is that its progression really stinks.

at level 3 eldritch knight
it has level 1 wizard spells and only basic level 1 slots (so its a worse caster than the paladin wizard here), it has slightly better hp than the paladin wizard though, and action surge probably makes up for smite at this level.

at level 7 its either on something like fighter 5/wizard 2 here, or fighter 7
so its either on level 1 wizard spells and level 1 eldritch knight spells, or its on level 2 eldritch knight spells and nothing else. Still a worse caster (significantly so in fact as it has fewer slots to work with as swell as a smaller spell list). Has the same or slightly better hp than the palazard
it has 2 attacks the same as the palazard
it either has the same ward ability or war magic - but at this level, warmagic isnt as good as just attacking twice.

level 10 - ek 7 wizard 3
it has level 2 wizard spells and level 2 eldritch knigth spells, still 2 attacks, its otherwise basically a combination of the stuff noted for 3 levels earlier - it just has all the above now.
worse caster by a lot now, a full level lower in terms of wizard spells, hasnt really gained much to make up for that, and its also a level lower in terms of slots it can use.

level 15 - EK 7 wizard 8
level 4 wizard spells and level 2 ek spells, level 5 slots. so everything is still a full level behind the palazard, and it still doesnt really have anything to show for it.

Nothings changed my level 20, really... Unlike the palazard it doesnt have resistance to magic damage though...



And if you go more EK than 7, your wizard casting is hurt EVEN MORE, to the point you may as well have gone pure Eldritch Knight. I really wanted to do an EK/Wizard initially as i figured i could make a bladesinger type character, in the end though... I decided paladin/wizard just does it better.

Note with my 'build' that i went high str purely because i rolled an 18 and want to use longswords (for eventual moonblade possibility) had i been a true optimiser, i could have started with 20 dex, and relied on mage armour, for Full Plate AC at level 1... using a rapier for the exact same damage.
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blindhamster
Acolyte

8 Posts

Posted - 17 Feb 2015 :  12:14:43  Show Profile Send blindhamster a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Paladin 2/Valor Bard 18 could be very cool with half elf or dragonborn as race though.

2 levels in paladin gives you access to the excellent burst damage of a full paladin thanks to multiclass slot rules.
valor bard means you dont need to have 5 levels in paladin to get 2 attacks
you can go around in heavy armour if desired
it gets level 9 spells and is only a level behind a pure bard in getting them (something neither of the builds above do)

however... the bard spell list kind of stinks, so you're going to rely on magical secrets to pick up 6 decent spells, and you dont get those till pretty late on.

Paladin 3 (oath of devotion)/Bard 17 would also be fun and probably better at low levels - now 2 levels behind on getting level 9 spells though
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