Author Topic: Booming Blade + disengage as a bonus action  (Read 3098 times)

Offline NumberKruncher

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 192
  • Baruk Khazâd! Khazâd ai-mênu!
    • View Profile
Booming Blade + disengage as a bonus action
« on: January 04, 2017, 05:22:24 PM »
I love rogues, I love magic, and I absolutely love this combo.

I'm wondering how I can best optimize it though. Am I better off using a swashbuckler, and getting the Booming Blade cantrip through race (high elf or half elf variant), or through the arcane trickster archetype?

The swashbuckler seems to require a bit more of an investment (either by burning a feat or using a small number of races), but has some nice perks, like adding charisma to initiative and getting sneak attack damage almost every round, as opposed to the arcane trickster, who can be of any race and will get access to more spells.

I'm leaning towards swashbuckler, because to maximize booming Blade, there shouldn't be any valid targets near my opponent. With the swashbuckler, I'll still be getting sneak attack damage when I attack and I'm the only character near my target.

The arcane trickster seems to be a bit more versatile though.

Hmmm, help me decide!
Dwarf FTW.

Offline TenaciousJ

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 600
  • AVENGE WAGON
    • View Profile
Re: Booming Blade + disengage as a bonus action
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2017, 06:59:45 PM »
Disengaging makes the the Swashbuckler's Fancy Footwork redundant.

If you're trying to optimize a rogue, build for range.  A ranged build can use Hide more effectively to set up advantage, and thus Sneak Attack, every single turn while remaining at relative safety.  The Swashbuckler on the surface appears attractive because it's easier to get melee Sneak Attacks, but it does nothing for the fact that melee Sneak Attacks are strategically sub-optimal.

The Swashbuckler has Fancy Footwork because it's made for two-weapon fighting.  You can't two-weapon fight with Booming Blade.  If you are two-weapon fighting, it's still not likely to get you to safety unless enemies are very slow because you lost your bonus action that would have been used to Dash.  It's a very niche ability for a rogue because a rogue just does not get enough attacks to get a lot of use from it.  That's why I rate Mobile so much better for monks than for rogues.  They attack more innately, and if they have to flurry, they still move really fast.

If you must have rogue levels, I can expand on them a bit in another post.

If you're trying to optimize Booming Blade, sorcerer 3 is going to be a lynchpin of the build IMO.  With Twinned Spell and Quickened Spell, a sorcerer could Booming Blade up to 3 times in a single turn if he has 2 targets within range to do so.  Find room for Mobile in the build, and you'll have your Swashbuckler effect.

Rogue is hard to fit into that kind of build because it won't be very usable without lots of spell slots and/or lots of sorcery points.  Paladin actually does the job better than rogue IMO, because paladin grants more spell slots than any rogue could, and paladin grants Divine Smite at level 2, which scales with spell slots rather than class levels.  Paladin 2 and 6 are solid cut off points that would allow you to take sorcerer levels the rest of the way to fuel the tricks.

Paladin 2+/sorcerer 3+ with Mobile would achieve what you want more reliably IMO, and the big bursts work multiple times per turn at the cost of resources.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2017, 07:04:21 PM by TenaciousJ »
Make Eberron Great Again! #MEGA

Offline Delicate Swarm

  • Lurker
  • *
  • Posts: 33
  • Get some!
    • View Profile
Re: Booming Blade + disengage as a bonus action
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2017, 01:11:26 AM »
Rogue 2/Bladesinger 18 With Mobile feat.

Okay so not a proper rogue but Arcane Tricksters don't get Wish.  Hit them with Booming Blade, run around a corner and bonus action hide.

Athletics expertise, two attacks, and Enlarge make this one of the best Grapplers in the game. 






Offline NumberKruncher

  • Full Member
  • **
  • Posts: 192
  • Baruk Khazâd! Khazâd ai-mênu!
    • View Profile
Re: Booming Blade + disengage as a bonus action
« Reply #3 on: January 05, 2017, 06:49:54 AM »
Disengaging makes the the Swashbuckler's Fancy Footwork redundant.

If you're trying to optimize a rogue, build for range.  A ranged build can use Hide more effectively to set up advantage, and thus Sneak Attack, every single turn while remaining at relative safety.  The Swashbuckler on the surface appears attractive because it's easier to get melee Sneak Attacks, but it does nothing for the fact that melee Sneak Attacks are strategically sub-optimal.

The Swashbuckler has Fancy Footwork because it's made for two-weapon fighting.  You can't two-weapon fight with Booming Blade.  If you are two-weapon fighting, it's still not likely to get you to safety unless enemies are very slow because you lost your bonus action that would have been used to Dash.  It's a very niche ability for a rogue because a rogue just does not get enough attacks to get a lot of use from it.  That's why I rate Mobile so much better for monks than for rogues.  They attack more innately, and if they have to flurry, they still move really fast.

If you must have rogue levels, I can expand on them a bit in another post.

If you're trying to optimize Booming Blade, sorcerer 3 is going to be a lynchpin of the build IMO.  With Twinned Spell and Quickened Spell, a sorcerer could Booming Blade up to 3 times in a single turn if he has 2 targets within range to do so.  Find room for Mobile in the build, and you'll have your Swashbuckler effect.

Rogue is hard to fit into that kind of build because it won't be very usable without lots of spell slots and/or lots of sorcery points.  Paladin actually does the job better than rogue IMO, because paladin grants more spell slots than any rogue could, and paladin grants Divine Smite at level 2, which scales with spell slots rather than class levels.  Paladin 2 and 6 are solid cut off points that would allow you to take sorcerer levels the rest of the way to fuel the tricks.

Paladin 2+/sorcerer 3+ with Mobile would achieve what you want more reliably IMO, and the big bursts work multiple times per turn at the cost of resources.
Interesting, and thank you.

Paladin 2/Sorcerer X has long been high on my wish list.

I guess I looked at rogue because I wanted the enemy to choose to either stand in place (and do nothing), or move to attack and take the booming blade damage.

With paladin levels, green flame blade seems more attractive, although you run into some problems with the wording since the flames jump to additional targets.
Dwarf FTW.

Offline TenaciousJ

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 600
  • AVENGE WAGON
    • View Profile
Re: Booming Blade + disengage as a bonus action
« Reply #4 on: January 05, 2017, 08:22:04 AM »
Quote
I wanted the enemy to choose to either stand in place (and do nothing), or move to attack and take the booming blade damage.

That's why you take Mobile, or go up to paladin 6 for Find Steed.  Either way allows you to apply Booming Blade and move out of reach without provoking since a mount has its own action with which to use Disengage.  The enemy has to make the choice you want to force upon him, and you're resilient enough between armor, shield, and the Shield spell to withstand being in melee range if the creature chooses to take the extra Booming Blade damage.  Twinned Spell and Quickened Spell make sure you can get multiple targets when the scenario calls for it.  Apply Divine Smite as needed for bursts of damage.

Sorcerers get a lot of cantrips to start with compared to other casters.  You have room to get Booming Blade, Green-Flame Blade, a ranged cantrip, and a utility cantrip at level 1.

Rogue 2/Bladesinger 18 With Mobile feat.

Okay so not a proper rogue but Arcane Tricksters don't get Wish.  Hit them with Booming Blade, run around a corner and bonus action hide.

Athletics expertise, two attacks, and Enlarge make this one of the best Grapplers in the game. 

If you're playing a 20th level wizard, just cast Bigby's Hand to grapple for you without delaying spellcasting progression, keeping yourself out of melee range and leaving your action available for more useful things.  Lore bard does that even better because of Cutting Words and Peerless Skill.  It might be dubious RAW, but Bigby's Hand says you make the check even though you use the hand's strength score, so Athletics proficiency and expertise might add to the check, again favoring the bard.
Make Eberron Great Again! #MEGA