D&D Animal Companion

Broken or Killer D&D Animal Companion Combo

How Character Introductions Can Make Your D&D Game Epic
D&D Ideas -- Artifacts

Time to build a better D&D animal companion in 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons. You decide if this is a killer or broken D&D combo. Below you will find the video and transcription.

Broken or Killer D&D Animal Companion Combo

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Ted: “You know Dave, I gotta say that I love the ranger and that sweet animal companion.”

Dave: “Ted, are you kidding me The 5th edition Dungeons and Dragons ranger has the worst companion in the game.”

Ted: “Come on man, the ranger at 15th level has the ability to share spells with their beast companion.“

Dave: “Other classes and 5e D&D do it sooner and they do it better.”

Ted: “How is that even possible?”

Dave: “Let’s discuss dungeons and dragons Killer Combos for your Beast Companions.”

Dave: “Welcome to Nerdarchy for nerds by nerds. I’m Nerdarchist Dave and as usual, I’m hanging out with this nerd.”

Ted: “Nerdarchist Ted.”

Dave: “Hey, is this your first time hanging out in Ted’s basement? It’s a place where we like to discuss news, views, and homebrews for 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons. Sometimes we talk about other role-playing games.”

D&D Animal Companion
Classic image of a displacer beast from the 1st edition Advanced Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual. [Art by David A. Trampier]
Ted: “If you don’t want to miss a single video, don’t forget to crit hit that subscribe button and attune to that notification bell.”

Dave: “Alright, so in this edition of killer Combos, overpowered combinations for dungeons and dragons, whatever you want to call it, however, you want to look at it. We’re going to be looking at it specifically bard, but we’re going to probably drill down and go with the lore bard. Well, you could probably finagle this with some other versions.”

Ted: “Alright Now the idea here is that you want to be able to have a, a companion that you’re making better, right?”

Dave: “Exactly right. The problem with the beats companion for the ranger is it’s not very good to start with and then you have to be a really high level to make it better, but not only that, you don’t actually have access to all the things you really need to make it better, so we actually found a better way of doing it.”

Ted: “Let’s dive down into this process.”

Dave: “The reason why we need to go with Bard is because we want to access those sweet, sweet, magical secrets.”

Ted: “Magical secrets are going to allow us to take spells from other class lists and you know for, for what we’re doing here, it’s going to be a very particular type of bard that this would work for. But what you wind up doing is you wind up making a character that is just going to have an unrivaled animal companion.”

Dave: “All right So you could build this off of two spells if you want it to, but we’re like, hey, there are some other things we can do. So primarily the spell that we need, it’s find steed, but not just find any steed, we what find greater steed.”

Ted: “So find greater steed is going to allow us to choose a more powerful option. So by the time that you’re getting access to this, you, you, you’re choosing something that is going to be far superior to whatever the ranger is going to be able to have an animal companion. And because it’s a steed, it will, it’s not acting as, as a portion of your turn. It’s going to act on your turn and get its full allotment of abilities.”

Dave: “Now you’re not going to be able to get find greater steed until 10th level as a bard, but that’s a couple of levels sooner than the paladin and get it. So that’s cool. And it’s at 14th level that we’re going to complete our to spell combo and then we’re going to talk about the other things we’re going to add in there. So first of all, let’s mention the steeds that you can get with fine grater steed.”

Ted: “All right, so we have several options. You’ve got, you know, a Pegasus, you’ve got to Griffin, you’ve got a dire wolf. But the things that we’re dialing down on are going to be the rhinoceros and a saber-tooth tiger.”


Dave: “Absolutely. And the reason why is what we’re building off to his Tenser’s Transformation because the cool thing about find greater steed is when you cast the spell on your, that’s target’s just you. You can also put it on your mount as well.”

Teds: “As long as you are mounted when you cast that spell.”

Dave: “Yes, absolutely. So the idea of you, kind of battle raging while you are riding your rhinoceros or you’re a saber-tooth tiger is awesome. Now, the reason why we excluded some of the other choices is because a dire wolf pack tactics not going to be very useful because you’re going to get advantage to make attacks anyway when you use Tenser’s Transformation. Griffon gets multi-attack, not going to be very useful because we’re going to extra attack as it is. Rhinoceros, they have that charge attack where they do extra damage and then they can attack again. The saber tooth tiger, they get a pounce attack where they could pounce. If they knock you down, they can attack as a bonus action, but that wouldn’t preclude them from using that extra attack to get a second attack.”

Ted: “Correct.”

Dave: “The more attached you can make, the better because one of the things you get to do with cancer’s transformation is adding 2d12 of force damage per attack. That’s a big deal.”

Ted: “So with the, you know, spell being active on both of you, both the rhinoceros and the saber-tooth tiger wind up having the potential to being able to hit three times. They do a significant amount of damage. The Rhino, it’s going to have a charge ability is what allows it to do extra damage. So it’s almost like hitting three times saber tooth tiger has the potential for the pounce, so that could get hit three times. So that’s an additional four or six d12 points of force damage. Incredible.”

Dave: “Everyone’s going to be proficient with our strength and con saves. You’re going to get 50 temporary hit points. So this means you’re your beast companion and even take a hit as well. They’re all really good and it only took 14 levels to make this build. And you’re gonna get some cool stuff before you get there. But we also have some more ideas where you can add on to this.”

Ted: “So several spells will be, you know, in effect with this that, you know, we’re not going to dive into heavily. But you know, we’ll, we’ll make a mention so that you can be like, all right, these are the checklists. So we looked at, you know, all of the magical secrets that lore bard gets and we tried to say, okay, let’s knock off the or check off these lists to be able to figure out what we would choose if we were going to do this as a full character build.”

Dave: “So magical secrets, six-level is when you first get them as a lore bard going to start up the things we want for later from the wizard lists, we’re going to grab mirror image. This spell doesn’t last a long time, but it lasts a combat and as long as your cast that before you cast the Tenser’s Transformation, it will be an effect because it’s not a concentration spell. So that’s awesome. And then the other spell is.”


Ted: “From our Cleric list, we’re going to choose aid, which is another, you know, long-lasting spell and doesn’t have concentration. It doesn’t give you temporary hit points. So it will stack with Tenser’s Transformation because it just increases your maximum.”

Dave: “Yes. So, both of those are going to be a great combination. When you cast mirror image on yourself, as long as you’re mounted when you do it, the mount gets it automatically. As for aid you would just include your mount in one of the three people that you can give that to.”

Ted: “So next we move to our 10th level magical secrets here. We’re going to go again off of the cleric list and we’re going to take death ward. Super helpful for this particular combination. And you know, then we’re, you know, this is where we officially choose the, didn’t know the find greater steed off of the Paladin Paladins list.”

Dave: “Yeah. One of the reasons why we like death ward is cause it’s a twofer when you cast and you cast it on yourself if you’re mounted your mount is going to get it as well. So it’s one of those things where if it would have dropped you or your mount, you know you get to ignore them, not ignore that effect, but you’ll, you’ll still be up with one hit point and your still the fight.”

Ted: “Talking about still being in a fight, ever wonder what would happen if five monsters moved into a castle and made it their lair ?”

Dave: “Wonder no more at Ted. We all live in a castle is a webcomic. We’re going to explore just that.”

Ted: “You can head on down to the description and find the link over to dot com and that particular webcomic.”

Dave: “So 14th level. We’re going to finish off our magical secrets. It kind of like the keystone to this build which is you’re going to get the Tenser’s Transformation, but we’re also going to take something else which is going to be a lot of fun to wreak havoc upon our enemies”

Ted: “And that’s going to be crown of stars.”


Dave: “That is going to be crown of stars. The cool thing about crown of stars is it lasts a long time and once you have it up as a bonus action, you get the send off these little mini fireballs to damage your enemies as a bonus action. So, you know, so now we’re attacking, you know, twice around with that extra force damage and as a bonus action, we can send off these little explosions at our enemies.”

Ted: “You’ve got, you know, this killer Combo as know you’re riding your rhinoceros or saber tooth tiger into the fray, you know, fighting however you decide, you know, we won’t be casting spells because you’re, you’ve been Tenser Transformed, but you know, you’ll be whacking them with, you know, whatever it is and you got doing an incredible amount of damage. Meanwhile, you’ve got all these different images of you, you know, riding this thing. It’s incredible. But I think there’s still a little more we got going on here.”

Dave: “Yeah, absolutely. So we haven’t even delved into the bard’s list yet. And there are some spells that we can use there from both lower levels and higher levels. So we can keep kind of like compounding this build. So, so far let’s tally it up. How many spells do we have on us and our mount while we’re in battle?”

Ted: “Right So we’ve got aid, death, ward, Tenser’s Transformation, crown of stars.”

Dave: “Mirror Image.”

Ted: “Mirror image. And you know we have the the the find greater steed which you know, that’s what made the thing, so five, five active spells.”

Dave: “Five active spells and we think we can add at least three more. And the great thing is you just have to mix and match and see. But our durations are everything from a minute to, you know, 24 hours. So you can do it. So there’s a fourth level bard spell it, we can slap on there and then it lasts a little while. So long as you know something’s coming up, you can use it.”

Ted: “And that’s going to be freedom of movement. I mean, you know how great it is to ignore the grappled condition, ignore, you know, a difficult terrain, ignore things that are going to stop you from moving. It’s great.”

Dave: “It’s going to, it’s going to free you up to wreak the havoc on the battlefield. You want to let loose.”

Ted: “So what else do we have going on?”

Dave: “All right, next level spell is going to be a high one. We’re going to go all the way up to the eighth level and that’s mind blank.”

Ted: “Eighth level! We’re starting to, you know, really dive into that higher tier abilities. So what’s mind blank, going to do for us? ”

Dave: “Mind blank is great. It’s going to make you immune to psychic damage. It’s going to make you immune to being charmed. Your thoughts are not going to be able to be read. And again, as long as you’re sitting on your mount when you cast it, which it lasts all day, your mount gets a spell as well. The same thing with freedom of movement.”

Ted: “It even counteracts the effects of wish with, you know, with those particular abilities. So that was pretty potent.”

Dave: “It’s strong, it’s strong. And lastly, we have a ninth level spell.”

Ted: “And here we’re going to look at foresight.”

Dave: “Foresight is amazing.”

Ted: “Well, it is a ninth level spell. So I would expect it to be amazing.”


Dave: “You’re not going to benefit from the advantage to make attacks that you get from Tenser’s Transformation. But that’s okay because all of your ability checks and you’re saving throws, you’re getting advantage on the spell last eight hours. Not only that, your enemies are all at disadvantage to hit you again sitting on your mount when you cast it, the mount also gets it for eight hours. Yeah, you’re just going to be a monstrous killer duo on the battlefield.”

Ted: “So you can put this amazing concoction, you know, into the battlefield and just be like, Yep, I just won.”

Dave: “So what do you think? That’s our idea for a killer Combo to add into the game. Uh, let us know in the comments below. Tell us a killer Combo is you’ve used in the past and if you want us to continue with this series and come up with some more killer combos and overpower combinations for your 5th Edition Dungeons and Dragons game. But before we go, I want to invite you to join Nerdarchy the adventuring party over on patron. Hey, Ted what can they expect over there?”

Ted: “We’re creating 5th edition content every month for both DMs and players like that. You can drop right into your D&D game.”

Dave: “But that’s not all. Every month we have monthly giveaways and our patrons are automatically entered.”

Ted: “But wait, there’s more. Every week we’re doing a live hangout with our patrons and there’s still more than beyond that.”

Dave: “Quest down to the description where you found that link to Patreon, join the Nerdarchy adventuring party, and until next time.

Both: “Stay nerdy!”

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Follow Dave Friant:
My name is Dave Friant I've been gaming off and on for over 27 years. But here is the thing it's always been a part of my life I've kept secret and hidden away. I've always been ashamed of the stigma that gaming and my other nerdy and geeky pursuits summon forth. Recently I decided screw it! This is who I am the world be damned. From now on I'm gonna be a geek, nerd, or however folks want to judge me and just enjoy life. Currently one of my greatest joys is introducing my 13 yr old son to table top RPG's.

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