5E: Best and Worst Classes


4th Edition

1 to 50 of 79 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Grand Lodge

So, now that 5E has been out for some time and we've all probably had a reasonable opportunity to test out the classes, it's time for our favorite TTRPG past-time:

NIT PICKING!

OK, seriously though, I'm curious to get people's opinions on the individual classes and see how 5E's class list compares to the PF class list. Obviously, in PF, the generally agreed upon order (core) is something like:

Wizard >>>>>>>> Cleric/Druid > Sorcerer > Barbarian/Bard/Paladin/Ranger > Fighter/Monk/Rogue (Slashed out classes that are comparable in strength, although the lists might vary a bit. One person might says Barbarian above Bard and another not, for instance.)

So looking at 5E, here's how I've pegged it:

TIER 1 (Godlike):

Spoiler:
Wizard: Duh. Some of the power has been reigned in by including the Concentration mechanic and save-every-round, but it's still far and away the show stopper. Throw in some of the most powerful school-dependent abilities in the current game, and you've got a class that's still king of the hill.

Druid: Wildshape is in some ways less ridiculous than Pathfinder, and in some ways way more. With rolled stats, they're damn good - with point buy, they're freaking unstoppable. In some ways even better than a Wizard since they get a lot more buff spells and less save-every-round options.

TIER 2 (Powerful):

Spoiler:
Bard: Once again, the Bard is the queen of versatility. And still stepping on the poor rogue's toes a bit, but the rogue gets a little bit more to keep them from languishing like they did in 3.PF. But the Valor Bard is a capable combatant, and the Lore bard is a pretty awesome spellcaster. And as always, makes everyone around her better.

Cleric: This is a high Tier 2, approaching Tier 1 with the correct Domain choices. Not quite as breakable as Druids or Wizards, but always powerful, and occasionally ungodly so.

Sorcerer: I wasn't really sold on the Sorcerer at first, but upon further consideration, this gets a big boost from now being the only class that does metamagic. I would honestly probably put the Dragon Blooded here and the Wild Mage at Tier 3, but it'd be a high Tier 3, so it averages out. What keeps it from hitting Tier 1 is that the new spellcasting rules steps on its schtick a little and its list is more limited than the wizard's.

TIER 3 (Good):

Spoiler:
Fighter: Fighters got a lot of love from WotC this version. With enchantments like "Keen" and feats like Improved Critical gone, only fighters can expand their range. Fighters are the undisputed masters of maneuvers and get more attacks than any class aside from monk - and thanks to the new movement/action rules, no more Full Attack issue. Eldritch Knight is now an archetype that ties into it, which gives it another boost. The big complaints about fighters have always been that they are only good for hitting things and that they're not even the best option to do so. Well, WotC improved the Fighter in that regard --- unfortunately, just not both things at the same time.

Monk: Never thought I'd see the day. But Monks are now a solid, viable class with Dex-based everything and some really cool, effective archetypes. No class benefited more from the new movement rules than the Monk, either.

Paladin: The Paladin has been changed greatly from 3.PF. It's lost some of its attack ability (which was approaching absurd in PF, anyway) but retained most of its defensive capability. Unfortunately, the replacements for Detect/Smite Evil are much weaker and far more situational in addition to being limited. However, allies will still be grateful to have you around when you're adding your Charisma bonus to their saves.

Rogue: Nope, that's not a typo. New critical, poison, and stealth rules finally make it a viable option. Honestly with the Bard still stepping on its toes a bit, it won't quite reach Tier 2, but for once it can actually do something the Bard can't - and that is damage, damage, damage. Assassin auto-crit with a Shortbow at Level 3 = 6d6 + Dex damage. Roll up a Lightfoot halfling and fell ECL-CR foes in one hit.

Warlock: Hands down the best blaster. You can blast to your hearts content from 300 feet away at Level 2. Unfortunately, the limited spell list holds it back a bit. It can be a low Tier-2 or mid Tier-3 depending on the Pact chosen, but it ultimately sits comfortably here.

TIER 4 (Mediocre or Pointless):

Spoiler:
Barbarian: Oh, how the mighty have fallen. There are some good options here, but not enough to justify it at all. It just needs to be said --- Rage sucks. It doesn't last nearly long enough and the benefits aren't nearly good enough for the penalties you incur using it. A few minutes +proficiency bonus to damage and advantage on STR checks is nothing compared to the constant +2 damage a fighter can get or a Druid getting her advantage by transforming into a large creature for HOURS. (That's hours, not minutes.) It seems like it gets crappier versions of things other classes do, but with the added suckage of imposing a penalty to use it. (Reckless attack, unarmored defense.) Just a waste.

Ranger: For the first few levels, Beast Master is so weak it may as well be Tier 5 - but once it picks up, it's okay. The Hunter starts slightly stronger but doesn't get much better. The spell list is 'meh', the abilities are 'meh', it's just all around a giant meh. The Ranger gets NOTHING over the other martial classes fight wise, and nothing over the other spellcasting classes magic wise. I've been trying to find a reason to use it beyond flavor's sake, and I just can't. Favored Enemy has possibly the WORST revision I have ever seen --- it makes the Paladin's Smite Evil replacement look positively overpowered.

Obviously, there's a lot more 5E to play and the list might change over time. But I'm very curious for the others how your experience stacks up. How would you rate the classes in the PHB? Favorite/least favorite and so on?

Sovereign Court

Would you call ranger completely ineffective, or just weak compared to everything else?

Liberty's Edge

It's harder to say as the difference between the tiers is less. The power curve has been flattened.

I would recommend playing though to get a gauge for power. It's easy to overlook some of the benefits of the classes. How things handle at the table is often very different.

For example, the wizard is good, but super weak at low levels and at high levels the fighter deals superior damage. And the limiting of high level spells and lack of automatic spell scaling really cuts down on their power.
Plus the moon druid is the most broken thing in the game, and should really occupy a tier of its own.

The hunter ranger is also actually quite good in play. Mostly due to spells like hunter's quarry, which is pretty much a must-have spell.

Grand Lodge

Lorathorn wrote:
Would you call ranger completely ineffective, or just weak compared to everything else?

One great thing I have to give 5E; almost nothing is completely ineffective. But the Beast Master is damn near. Ranger, over all, I would say is just comparatively weak.

Sovereign Court

What are the problems with Beast Master? I have been borrowing a PHB on and off. Soon I shall own one. I just wish they'd release a pdf already.


EntrerisShadow wrote:

So, now that 5E has been out for some time and we've all probably had a reasonable opportunity to test out the classes, it's time for our favorite TTRPG past-time:

NIT PICKING!

OK, seriously though, I'm curious to get people's opinions on the individual classes and see how 5E's class list compares to the PF class list. Obviously, in PF, the generally agreed upon order (core) is something like:

Wizard >>>>>>>> Cleric/Druid > Sorcerer > Barbarian/Bard/Paladin/Ranger > Fighter/Monk/Rogue (Slashed out classes that are comparable in strength, although the lists might vary a bit. One person might says Barbarian above Bard and another not, for instance.)

So looking at 5E, here's how I've pegged it:

TIER 1 (Godlike):

** spoiler omitted **

TIER 2 (Powerful):

** spoiler omitted **...

On what exactly do you base this (rediculuse) list? The only thing I might agree with is the beast master ranger and I'm not sold. On that either, we are still checking it around the table.

Warder

Liberty's Edge

Lorathorn wrote:
What are the problems with Beast Master? I have been borrowing a PHB on and off. Soon I shall own one. I just wish they'd release a pdf already.

The ranger in general is more overland utility than combat, so when only evaluating the combat effectiveness of the ranger it falls behind.

The beast master further suffers from having all its features focus on a super squishy pet that starts at Challenge 1/4 and doesn't really increase beyond that, and takes 8 hours to replace

However, in defense of the beast master, the pet should have pretty good AC and attacks, since it's basically getting proficiency twice.


Also, the Beast Master's pet's action uses up the ranger's action. That is just plain stupid. I mean, I know pets are a big problem, but this is almost as bad as Trailblazer's pet "fix" (which is, your pet is the GM's NPC). I could understand if they had made it use a bonus action, but even that has issues (like, what if you have TWF?).

Pets should have their own attack action. Call it a "pet action" and classify it as the same type of action as the rogue's cunning action--it's just extra. It brings their damage up to par, doesn't interefere with classic ranger TWF, and just makes sense since the pet is it's own entity. So what if one spec out of ~30 screws with action economy.

Admittedly that gives rangers two "damage dealer" options, but why they didn't make Beast Master the damage option in the first place, I can't imagine.

Grand Lodge

Blackwarder wrote:
EntrerisShadow wrote:

So, now that 5E has been out for some time and we've all probably had a reasonable opportunity to test out the classes, it's time for our favorite TTRPG past-time:

NIT PICKING!

OK, seriously though, I'm curious to get people's opinions on the individual classes and see how 5E's class list compares to the PF class list. Obviously, in PF, the generally agreed upon order (core) is something like:

Wizard >>>>>>>> Cleric/Druid > Sorcerer > Barbarian/Bard/Paladin/Ranger > Fighter/Monk/Rogue (Slashed out classes that are comparable in strength, although the lists might vary a bit. One person might says Barbarian above Bard and another not, for instance.)

So looking at 5E, here's how I've pegged it:

TIER 1 (Godlike):

** spoiler omitted **

TIER 2 (Powerful):

** spoiler omitted **...

On what exactly do you base this (rediculuse) list? The only thing I might agree with is the beast master ranger and I'm not sold. On that either, we are still checking it around the table.

Warder

Was it really necessary to be condescending about it? I said this is just how I pegged it so far and it would likely change with input. I based it on the experiences of players at my table and comparing similar class abilities. If you have a different opinion, I would be open to hearing it without calling it ridiculous.

Grand Lodge

Although on further reflection, like Jester Dave mentioned, Circle of Moon and Circle of Land Druids are miles apart. CoM Druid is Tier Broken.


Not to revive that particular debate, but what do you mean by "Wildshape is in some ways less ridiculous than Pathfinder, and in some ways way more. With rolled stats, they're damn good - with point buy, they're freaking unstoppable."

Why does rolling stats make them less good than point buy? Or vice versa? What are you assuming about the resulting stats?

Grand Lodge

Rolled stats are typically more allocated around the mean than point buy. You could roll 18 18 18 5 4 7, but more likely you're going to get something closer to 9 13 13 14 12 13, so no dumping your physical stats into the toilet to get stupid high mental stats. That's not to say it couldn't happen, of course, but a player can't just rely on it when planning their characters.

Pathfinder reigned this in by just making them flat bonuses to stats, but on the other hand 3.PF wild shape offered very little restriction beyond size categories. 5E cut out the fly speed before level 8, and shortened the time you're able to wild shape and made casting spells in that form a high level class feature. On the other hand, with Circle of the Moon you get multi attack nearly out of the gate.


EntrerisShadow wrote:

Rolled stats are typically more allocated around the mean than point buy. You could roll 18 18 18 5 4 7, but more likely you're going to get something closer to 9 13 13 14 12 13, so no dumping your physical stats into the toilet to get stupid high mental stats. That's not to say it couldn't happen, of course, but a player can't just rely on it when planning their characters.

Pathfinder reigned this in by just making them flat bonuses to stats, but on the other hand 3.PF wild shape offered very little restriction beyond size categories. 5E cut out the fly speed before level 8, and shortened the time you're able to wild shape and made casting spells in that form a high level class feature. On the other hand, with Circle of the Moon you get multi attack nearly out of the gate.

Ah, got it. Thanks.

Not the value, but the ability to dump.

Losing fly speed and shortened times annoy me. The shorter times particularly usually have little effect on combat use, but kill out-of-combat utility.

Liberty's Edge

Hudax wrote:

Also, the Beast Master's pet's action uses up the ranger's action. That is just plain stupid. I mean, I know pets are a big problem, but this is almost as bad as Trailblazer's pet "fix" (which is, your pet is the GM's NPC). I could understand if they had made it use a bonus action, but even that has issues (like, what if you have TWF?).

Pets should have their own attack action. Call it a "pet action" and classify it as the same type of action as the rogue's cunning action--it's just extra. It brings their damage up to par, doesn't interefere with classic ranger TWF, and just makes sense since the pet is it's own entity. So what if one spec out of ~30 screws with action economy.

Admittedly that gives rangers two "damage dealer" options, but why they didn't make Beast Master the damage option in the first place, I can't imagine.

Having two attack options instead of one is fairly broken, potentially doubling your damage. A bow does 1d8+4 at level 3 while a wolf does a comparable 2d4+4.

Having multiple creatures all going independently is a big problem in Pathfinder and part of what makes summoning so broken.

Having your squishy mid-AC pet gain hit points like a dump stat wizard is more problematic though.


Moon Druid is maybe broken at level 2 and maybe level 20. There power drops off a lot around level 5+.


2 people marked this as a favorite.

Player in our group has got his beast ranger to 8th. He seems happy with his PC. Of course that based on really playing not just looking at numbers, that's not what 5th is about


If you're not looking at numbers as you play, it's hard to tell whether someone is happy because their character is effective or because their dice are rolling rather high. Or for that matter, that they're easy to please and are happy even though their character's contribution is very limited.


Jester David wrote:

Having two attack options instead of one is fairly broken, potentially doubling your damage. A bow does 1d8+4 at level 3 while a wolf does a comparable 2d4+4.

Having multiple creatures all going independently is a big problem in Pathfinder and part of what makes summoning so broken.

Having your squishy mid-AC pet gain hit points like a dump stat wizard is more problematic though.

Doubling your damage is pretty much what damage oriented archetypes do. Barbarian Frenzy: get an extra attack. Warrior Maneuvers: get maneuvers that add attacks plus 1d8. Hunter: get an extra attack or extra 1d8.

thenovalord wrote:
Player in our group has got his beast ranger to 8th. He seems happy with his PC. Of course that based on really playing not just looking at numbers, that's not what 5th is about

It's generally safe to not look at the numbers in 5e because in terms of damage everyone who chooses an obviously damage-oriented spec is really really close. It's one thing I love about 5e. But even without thinking about math, it's apparent Beast Master is broken. Sacrifice my attack to let my pet attack? No freaking way. I don't need math to know that's really bad.

Grand Lodge

thejeff wrote:
EntrerisShadow wrote:

Rolled stats are typically more allocated around the mean than point buy. You could roll 18 18 18 5 4 7, but more likely you're going to get something closer to 9 13 13 14 12 13, so no dumping your physical stats into the toilet to get stupid high mental stats. That's not to say it couldn't happen, of course, but a player can't just rely on it when planning their characters.

Pathfinder reigned this in by just making them flat bonuses to stats, but on the other hand 3.PF wild shape offered very little restriction beyond size categories. 5E cut out the fly speed before level 8, and shortened the time you're able to wild shape and made casting spells in that form a high level class feature. On the other hand, with Circle of the Moon you get multi attack nearly out of the gate.

Ah, got it. Thanks.

Not the value, but the ability to dump.

Losing fly speed and shortened times annoy me. The shorter times particularly usually have little effect on combat use, but kill out-of-combat utility.

Personally I find it necessary. A big problem with Druids was that their wildshape basically let them take on every role in the party. You can wildshape into a combat beast and make the fighter look like an exhausted school-aged child, or wildshape into a small animal with flight and make the Rogue's stealth abilities look like a clamoring one-man band.

It neede to be reigned in on one or the other, and for my personal preference, I'm glad they focused it on combat.


EntrerisShadow wrote:
thejeff wrote:
EntrerisShadow wrote:

Rolled stats are typically more allocated around the mean than point buy. You could roll 18 18 18 5 4 7, but more likely you're going to get something closer to 9 13 13 14 12 13, so no dumping your physical stats into the toilet to get stupid high mental stats. That's not to say it couldn't happen, of course, but a player can't just rely on it when planning their characters.

Pathfinder reigned this in by just making them flat bonuses to stats, but on the other hand 3.PF wild shape offered very little restriction beyond size categories. 5E cut out the fly speed before level 8, and shortened the time you're able to wild shape and made casting spells in that form a high level class feature. On the other hand, with Circle of the Moon you get multi attack nearly out of the gate.

Ah, got it. Thanks.

Not the value, but the ability to dump.

Losing fly speed and shortened times annoy me. The shorter times particularly usually have little effect on combat use, but kill out-of-combat utility.

Personally I find it necessary. A big problem with Druids was that their wildshape basically let them take on every role in the party. You can wildshape into a combat beast and make the fighter look like an exhausted school-aged child, or wildshape into a small animal with flight and make the Rogue's stealth abilities look like a clamoring one-man band.

It neede to be reigned in on one or the other, and for my personal preference, I'm glad they focused it on combat.

And a spellcaster to boot.

Partly why I've always wanted a straight martial shifter class. So you could have a character do most of that without being so dominant.


1 person marked this as a favorite.

I've been playing in a game at level 12-14 or so. The one thing that stood out is that initially I had the same lackluster view of the Ranger, until I actually saw it in action - it easily put out the top damage of the party. Volley made it better than the casters at AoE, while Hunter's Mark + Sharpshooter let it shred single-target enemies. The Hunter build, at least, definitely seems to eventually come into its own.

Lorathorn wrote:
What are the problems with Beast Master? I have been borrowing a PHB on and off. Soon I shall own one. I just wish they'd release a pdf already.

I think the big weakness is that you give up some nice features to get it, and at least early on, you don't get much out of it. Early on, the companion is an extra threat, but no extra actions or damage.

At level 7, it starts to pay off - the pet can Help you each round, giving you (or someone else) Advantage on your first attack.

At level 11, you can instead switch focus to having your companion attack - it gets two attacks and you get one, putting you on par with Fighters for attacks per round, and likely with similar accuracy and damage. However, the companion doesn't have feats or other special benefits, and can't share spells until level 15.

It also doesn't heal great on its own, so while it gives you a 'bonus tank', it also eats up healing if you want to keep it healthy.

Now, you can get potential utility from having a companion that can fly or sneak or do other useful stuff. But usually not as much as, say, a Wizard with a Familiar (or a Druid with Wild Shape) doing similar things.

So while I wouldn't say it is a completely useless build, it does seem to suffer when compared to other options.


EntrerisShadow wrote:
Although on further reflection, like Jester Dave mentioned, Circle of Moon and Circle of Land Druids are miles apart. CoM Druid is Tier Broken.

You know, I had thought this was the case as well - but again, in actual play experience, it hasn't been that bad. In our game we had a CoL druid, but they haven't been available as much recently. So our Fighter had a chance to retire his character, and decided to try out a CoM Druid, thinking it would be the best thing.

Thus far, it has been decent. But the biggest strength is that it is basically a super-tank (since it gets a ton of virtual hp). But damage hasn't been insane, nor AC, and it has to make hard choices about when to drop out of Wild Shape for casting.

Meanwhile, our CoL druid pretty much always had something useful to do, and got some very nice spells from their Land feature.

The Moon Druid certainly hasn't been bad, but hasn't outshined our former druid, or really stood out as broken compared to the rest of the party.


Just a few things iirc......

Beast has a pool of hit points not being lost by a pc,
It can get in the way, and make nice thing for the halfling to hide behind
it is clearly faster than any pc even when carrying stuff
Another set of eyes, nostrils!


4 people marked this as a favorite.

Maybe it's a peculiarity of 5e, but these theoretical mathematical assessments of character classes seem to hold very little water in actual table play.

For instance, I often see Ranger described as weak in theory, but in actual play is a devastating damage dealer. The opposite seems to be true with warlock, described as devastating in theory, but not so much at the table (but still useful). Another good example is how Great Weapon Fighting synergizes with a doubled chance for critical hits for the "underwhelming" Champion fighter.

I really haven't seen any bad or underpowered classes at the table, which makes me think 5e's long, extensive playtest was a lot more useful at establishing the games balance than just crunching the numbers.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

I play as a dwarf Life cleric tank in a party with a hunter ranger archer, a rogue, a diviner blaster wizard, and a fighter/wizard/rogue old school multi-classer. We're all really useful. I'm not a big damage dealer, but I keep everyone else up and running. The F/W/R might be re-building due to some dis-satisfaction, but overall everyone is doing great.

In our other group, I play a parkour rogue, with a warlock, sorcerer, and fighter.

Grand Lodge

5E is definitely a lot closer in the balance portion. If pathfinder tiers were different stories in a skyscraper, 5E would be like comparing shelves in the same bookcase.


TheRavyn wrote:

Maybe it's a peculiarity of 5e, but these theoretical mathematical assessments of character classes seem to hold very little water in actual table play.

For instance, I often see Ranger described as weak in theory, but in actual play is a devastating damage dealer. The opposite seems to be true with warlock, described as devastating in theory, but not so much at the table (but still useful). Another good example is how Great Weapon Fighting synergizes with a doubled chance for critical hits for the "underwhelming" Champion fighter.

I really haven't seen any bad or underpowered classes at the table, which makes me think 5e's long, extensive playtest was a lot more useful at establishing the games balance than just crunching the numbers.

What 5e has done is very deliberately establish damage archetypes and utility archetypes. It's pretty obvious which is which when you read through them. The damage dealers all do approximately 2X damage, while the utility specs do X damage plus cool stuff.

I have few problems with "rangers" as a class... the problem for me is the "beast master" archetype. It's important to be specific about that. Talking about "classes" doesn't mean much when each "class" is actually two or three different things (or more).

Hunters are excellent damage dealers. Pets are great utility. The problem is, it doesn't make any sense that just because a ranger gains a pet (both of whom would be perfectly capable of their own actions if each were alone) he or the pet suddenly loses the ability to function in combat. That's nonsense, and the design should have taken that into account.

What the design tries to do is make Beast master the utility option and Hunter the damage option, but the inherent utility of the pet does not outweigh the severe dissociation of the ranger or pet losing capability by being partnered together. What they should have done was the opposite. Make BM the damage option, give it fewer or less powerful abilities to offset the pet's inherent utility, and make Hunter the utility option, focusing on skills and such.

As it stands, it's too much work to reinvent the Hunter, but it's really easy to just say the BM's pet gets its own action. And having the ranger class be the only one with two damage options is a small price to pay to gain a functional, non-broken pet option (and by that I mean each part does not lose its inherent functionality when joined together).


You really believe the Beastmaster Ranger is non-functional in combat? Is that based on actual play experience, or just how it looks when reading through the PHB?

I mean, I agree that it isn't as high damage as the Hunter. But it doesn't seem broken beyond use, and does start to come into its own as you level up. (While, meanwhile, the extra presence on the battlefield is handy in its own right at lower levels.)

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Our hunter saved our bacon a ton tonight! Yay spike growth!!! So did our eldritch knight (yay action surge!), our blaster diviner (yay portents!), and our arcane trickster (yay sneak attack criticals!).

I mostly healed $#!+.


Agree with the list and I don't even see the point of having a dedicated Ranger class as opposed to Outlander Eldritch Knight or Outlander Champion.


Actually, with the Barbarian's advantage on Strength checks, I suddenly see him as the wild attacker, taking full advantage of the trip and push attacks (plus any other special moves allowed by the DM). Want to pick up an enemy and throw him down on the ground? A raging barbarian can probably do it.

In our latest game, a raging barbarian actually helped us escape a burning building. (The doorposts had collapsed).

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Yesterday, our party's ranger used spike growth to really control a battle, used hunter's mark combined with hoard breaker to take out a bunch of giants, used cure wounds to bring my cleric up from below zero, so I could then heal the rest of the party, and used pass without trace to get the party out of a potentially TPK dungeon. He also used his escape ability to avoid AoOs so he could set up better shots.

The 5th Ed. ranger isn't the great intro/newbie class it is in PF, but a great class that really benefits from a player with great tactical acumen.


I've actually found the barbarian to be a very solid class and don't agree with it being underpowered at all. I don't think any of the combats in the Tyranny of Dragons game I'm in has gone over 10 rounds. The fights always end before rage expires.

IMO, the greatest benefit of the rage is the resistance to physical damage it gives. There have already been 2 fights where the barbarian was the only PC left standing at the end with the others knocked out. Coupled with the classes high health it easily makes it one of the most durable classes in the game.

I'm not sure what the original poster means by penalty to use it. Unless you Frenzy and end the rage with 1 level of exhaustion there really isn't any penalty for raging.

Reckless attack is an option to gain advantage in melee combat, but in turn gives attackers advantage against you for one turn. Using it is optional; it's not something you have to do just because you rage.

I haven't found the unarmored defense to be a hindrance. Remember you can still use a shield with it. The barbarian's AC is comparable to the other front-line fighters.


Blue_Drake wrote:

I've actually found the barbarian to be a very solid class and don't agree with it being underpowered at all. I don't think any of the combats in the Tyranny of Dragons game I'm in has gone over 10 rounds. The fights always end before rage expires.

IMO, the greatest benefit of the rage is the resistance to physical damage it gives. There have already been 2 fights where the barbarian was the only PC left standing at the end with the others knocked out. Coupled with the classes high health it easily makes it one of the most durable classes in the game.

I'm not sure what the original poster means by penalty to use it. Unless you Frenzy and end the rage with 1 level of exhaustion there really isn't any penalty for raging.

Reckless attack is an option to gain advantage in melee combat, but in turn gives attackers advantage against you for one turn. Using it is optional; it's not something you have to do just because you rage.

I haven't found the unarmored defense to be a hindrance. Remember you can still use a shield with it. The barbarian's AC is comparable to the other front-line fighters.

I second the barbarian's ability to take punishment. I'm running 5E for my 7yo son and this weekend his character took a literal pounding, including multiple crits, and was still standing at the end of a fight while the warlock and rogue were down and bleeding about halfway through.

I just need to convince him that using Reckless Attack when he's surrounded isn't the best tactical option. :) (Though his justification was that his friends were hurt and he was trying to get the people that hurt them. So he's got the barbarian mindset down.)


Kalshane wrote:
Blue_Drake wrote:

I've actually found the barbarian to be a very solid class and don't agree with it being underpowered at all. I don't think any of the combats in the Tyranny of Dragons game I'm in has gone over 10 rounds. The fights always end before rage expires.

IMO, the greatest benefit of the rage is the resistance to physical damage it gives. There have already been 2 fights where the barbarian was the only PC left standing at the end with the others knocked out. Coupled with the classes high health it easily makes it one of the most durable classes in the game.

I'm not sure what the original poster means by penalty to use it. Unless you Frenzy and end the rage with 1 level of exhaustion there really isn't any penalty for raging.

Reckless attack is an option to gain advantage in melee combat, but in turn gives attackers advantage against you for one turn. Using it is optional; it's not something you have to do just because you rage.

I haven't found the unarmored defense to be a hindrance. Remember you can still use a shield with it. The barbarian's AC is comparable to the other front-line fighters.

I second the barbarian's ability to take punishment. I'm running 5E for my 7yo son and this weekend his character took a literal pounding, including multiple crits, and was still standing at the end of a fight while the warlock and rogue were down and bleeding about halfway through.

I just need to convince him that using Reckless Attack when he's surrounded isn't the best tactical option. :) (Though his justification was that his friends were hurt and he was trying to get the people that hurt them. So he's got the barbarian mindset down.)

I third this. I was confused as to why OP's assessment of the barbarian's rage didn't even mention the damage resistance, which is (in my opinion) far and away the most useful benefit of raging, at least at lower levels.

I'm DMing a group running through Hoard with a dwarven tank fighter (heavy armor, shield, extra HP from dwarfiness and high con) and a human barbarian and the human barbarian is often standing long after the dwarf has gone down.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

My dwarf cleric has an AC of 20, and I've used Dodge and acted as a wall before, sometimes using spiritual weapon and healing word as my bonus action. Combining it with spiritual guardian makes me a hostile wall. :-P


Heroism is a Barbarian's best friend.

Sovereign Court

So far the worst class to me is the Dwarf, in ODnD I was comparable to the fighter now I get no features or attack progression and just darkvision and a couple of stat boosts what kind of class is that?

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

Best Class: Warlock

Worst Class: Everything else

Just saying.


I like a mix of combat and utility for all classes, and the worse classes to me are the ones that may specialize at combat but have very little utility or vice versa. One thing all classes (players) can do is roleplay, choose equipment, gain magic items, etc. So what I prefer is the mechanical structure for every class to be flexible.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Dale McCoy Jr wrote:

Best Class: Warlock

Worst Class: Everything else

Just saying.

I'm sorry, but what do you like about the warlock? I really, REALLY liked the 3.5 warlock, never played 4th edition, but have been playing a lot of 5th edition lately. One of my friends plays the warlock, but just reading it, it seems really weak. Instead of having a bunch of fire-and-forget abilities, you get a couple cantrips and maybe 2 or 3 spells per short rest? Some of the invocations add some at will abilities, and some add some neat carrier effects to the eldritch blast cantrip, but a lot of them use up one of the 2 or 3 spells you get per short rest.

Maybe your play experience has been different than mine, but we only short rest once or twice per day, and sometimes not at all. Sometimes we get dragged into long, drawn out battles that combine two or three encounters into one big battle. In such a circumstance, a warlock gets reduced to using just cantrips WAY before other magic-users. Even paladins and rangers and eldritch knights and arcane tricksters get more spells per encounter/short rest than a warlock.

So what am I missing? Please tell me what you think is so awesome about the warlock? I want it to be awesome again too!


1 person marked this as a favorite.
Matthew Koelbl wrote:

You really believe the Beastmaster Ranger is non-functional in combat? Is that based on actual play experience, or just how it looks when reading through the PHB?

I mean, I agree that it isn't as high damage as the Hunter. But it doesn't seem broken beyond use, and does start to come into its own as you level up. (While, meanwhile, the extra presence on the battlefield is handy in its own right at lower levels.)

Ive played a beastmaster though the long haul over a few marathon sessions and heres what ive seen:

when you first get it? its useless, utterly pointless, your attacks are coming from a spot that isn't you, and the damage doesn't really change.

when you get your extra attack things get better, both you and your pet can now function!.... sorta. you see while other melee classes have gotten improvements to aid in combat now, for the beast master the pet IS the improvement, and as we have stated your pet is really just your first attack via remote control, so you still haven't really GAINED anything outside a sack of HP.

The help action your beast gets at the seventh level is probably the best feature mechanically, its permanent advantage more or less..... but to achieve it you cant actually USE your pet any more, and while its very GOOD its also very boring and i eventually dropped it as a go to.

finally at level 11, your pet gets another attack and now, for the first time you are genuinely good, you feel.... effective! your pet is more than a re-skinned attack action now and you can actually sit proudly among the other classes...... for about 2-3 levels.

because soon enough The pets HORRID HP pool catches up to him and once that happens you cant really use it anymore, it just becomes increasingly fragile and by level 15 it was not uncommon for a big encounter to oneshot my pet on the first or second turn.

the shared spells is ok in theory but really the beastmaster needs something much better, to keep momentum, and the pet needs more HP, given that the class might be salvageable, but as is, its one to avoid.

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

2 people marked this as a favorite.
SmiloDan wrote:
but what do you like about the warlock?

My character serves the Faerie Queen of Air and Darkness as her knight. I fight outsiders and those serve them. I am Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden in all but name. Name any other class that is that cool.

SmiloDan wrote:
Maybe your play experience has been different than mine, but we only short rest once or twice per day, and sometimes not at all. Sometimes we get dragged into long, drawn out battles that combine two or three encounters into one big battle.

Taking a short rest should not be a tough choice, but pretty much a readily made choice. Sure, clerics and wizards don't get anything from a short rest but just about every other class does. Looking at it through the mindset of 3.5/Pathfinder where you break when those two classes are done really is doing a disservice for the rest of the party in 5e. But immediately following that 2/3 encounter big battles should be followed by a short rest. If the primary casters went nova during that battle, then the GM should be slapped for not giving the party any more encounters that day. Playing a caster has always been about resource management and if those casters are not managing those resources well, then they should get the raw end of the deal. If the party camps out, something should happen and those casters are worthless while the warlock gets his chance to shine.

Also, playing a warlock is not like playing a wizard. You are not the primary arcane caster. You are the arcane blaster that can do some arcane casting as well. Take the invocations that extend your eldritch blast to 300 feet and give you 120 ft darkvision and you don't have to be anywhere near the party to attack.

Things to remember: your cantrips are more powerful than regular cantrips. Specifically, they scale with level. Eldritch blast and similar target more people or deal more damage as you go up in level. This is easy to forget so double check. Second, all your spells are cast at highest level. Wizards don't get that. You always get the upscale.

RPG Superstar 2012 Top 32

Hmmmm.... I'll check out those cantrips, but clerics get some Divine Channeling (or whatever it's called nowadays) boosts with a short rest, and the Wizard gets Arcane Recovery.


Dale McCoy Jr wrote:
My character serves the Faerie Queen of Air and Darkness as her knight. I fight outsiders and those serve them. I am Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden in all but name. Name any other class that is that cool.

That kinda sounds more like an Oath of the Ancients paladin to me.

I like the warlock pacts to have a bit of a bittersweet feel, like "Sure I get power... but at what cost?"
I do love the fey pact btw

Edit: aha, the Oath of the Ancients is against the fey? I guess I misread it.


Dale McCoy Jr wrote:
If the primary casters went nova during that battle, then the GM should be slapped for not giving the party any more encounters that day.

I can't just "give" the party any encounters if they just stay holed up in their super fort all day.

Conversely, if they're in the caverns, it can be hard for them to find a place to rest. I'm rolling 1d6 per ten diegetic minutes. On a six, something happens. That can be some pretty tense rests for the players, I roll these out in the open. It's a nice feeling of trade-offs and they seldom dare to cast spells as rituals because of these dice.


Playing a fey-pact warlock in my first game. In the course of 24 hours in game, we've already had over a dozen encounters at first level. Mind you, a lot were optional but we're heroes darnit!

I became a fan of warlock when I realized they DO recover their spells after a short rest. After a short rest I basically get everything back. That's huge. An hour and I'm ready to go from full basically. That and everything is cast at full potency which is great.

Especially with that many encounters, out of the rest of the party, magic-wise, I was the only one with anything in reserves due to that part of the rules.

Here's Delsaran for reference. I'm quite happy with him. He basically ended up a musician that probably should have been a bard but well...crap happens.

Since it doesn't show he has minor illusion, eldritch blast, sleep, and faerie fire for spells. I mean he doesn't have much for 1st level spells but any time he's broke one out it's had a drastic impact on the battle at hand.

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

2097 wrote:

I like the warlock pacts to have a bit of a bittersweet feel, like "Sure I get power... but at what cost?"

I do love the fey pact btw

This.


SmiloDan wrote:
Hmmmm.... I'll check out those cantrips, but clerics get some Divine Channeling (or whatever it's called nowadays) boosts with a short rest, and the Wizard gets Arcane Recovery.

One of my favorite things about 5E is that everyone seems to be jealous of what other classes get. I think I've seen players of every single spellcasting class complain about how much better other class's spell lists are. (And that includes a bard who can pick and choose from everywhere.)

I'm running a high-level Fey warlock. We converted our campaign from 3.5 to 5E, in part because we had hit the point in 3.5 where players either died instantly or won fights without every being challenged. My warlock obviously took a big step down in power - I know longer was constantly flying and invisible and dropping maximized empowered chained eldritch blasts on people.

But in return, suddenly, I find each round I am actually making choices. Sure, I only have 3 spell slots per rest. But I also have a couple actions from being a fey warlock - like frightening nearby enemies, or trapping a foe in an illusory world that I entirely control. And of my spells, I have tough choices to make - do I focus on buffing and cast Greater Invis on our Rogue? Do I just try to shut down enemies by Banishing a few to another plane or ensaring them in Confusion? Do I polymorph myself into a T-Rex and wade into the fight? Or do I just hex an enemy and unload Eldritch Blasts into them for damage? Or do I instead use those Eldritch Blasts to knock an enemy away so it has to waste its next turn running back to the fight? Or maybe, before the fight, I summoned up a spirit Mammoth and I'm riding it into battle.

The power level may have gone down, but the fights are more interesting. And I'm sure that is true for other casters, who also have plenty of versatility of their own. Still, the Warlock has felt pretty good at being able to bring big effects to each fight, and worst case, being able to simply deal quite a bit of damage if I run out of all my other tricks. While allso having a host of interesting and flavorful abilities, between the Pact and the Invocations.

President, Jon Brazer Enterprises

2097 wrote:
I can't just "give" the party any encounters if they just stay holed up in their super fort all day.

Nothing can wander in while they are away? no returning from a long quest to find their door kicked in and their place looted? No kobolds can tunnel up into their lair by accident? No one comes banging at their door in the middle of the night looking for someone to take them in and protect them from the horrible monster out there? No flock of owlbears on a hooting rampage pass by? No termites cause the wall to collapse (not monstrous termites, just regular old ordinary, everyday termites)? No floods? No extra planar messengers asking for their help? No cloud dwarves that dug too far down for cloud silver dropping from the sky?

Their super fort is protected from all this?

1 to 50 of 79 << first < prev | 1 | 2 | next > last >>
Community / Forums / Gamer Life / Gaming / D&D / 4th Edition / 5E: Best and Worst Classes All Messageboards

Want to post a reply? Sign in.