Hello fellow nerds, nerdettes, and gamers. This is Kenneth Woody coming at you with another sorcerer guide for fifth edition Dungeons & Dragons. In this guide, we’re going to be taking a look at the possibility of a D&D melee sorcerer build and the pros and cons associated with it. So, grab yourself a drink, and let’s get down to business shall we.
Melee sorcerer features
The main thing you will need with this build is heavy armor proficiency. One of the best places to get that is from the paladin (in this case Oathbreaker paladin). Now that we have that part out of the way, how many levels of paladin will we need? Short answer, seven levels of paladin. Long answer, you only need seven levels of paladin for the Aura of Hate feature from Oathbreaker. Having seven levels of paladin also makes you the equivalent of a 4th-level spellcaster as well as giving you nifty spells like hellish rebuke.
After that, I suggest taking 10-12 levels into sorcerer. The reason being you’ll need the 10 levels of sorcerer minimum in order to get your third metamagic option. If you take 11 levels of sorcerer you’ll gain the ability to cast 6th level spells, like the ever-invaluable globe of invulnerability, as well as disintegrate. At 12th level, sorcerer gives you a valuable Ability Score Improvement. However, with the build, I have in store – especially if you’re going with variant human as your race – you want to be going with this setup. Oathbreaker paladin 7/sorcerer 11/Hexblade warlock 2.
Why not all out sorcerer for the last 12-13 levels?
There are plenty of reasons for both arguments. The reason I have for not going sorcerer 12-13 is simply this: Eldritch Invocations are too good to pass up, especially if you went Draconic Bloodline sorcerer for 10-12 levels. Even though you’ll only have two invocations to pick from that’s really all you’re going to need at the end of the day with this build. The main invocation you’ll want to grab is Devil’s Sight for 120 ft. darkvision, and the ability to see in magical darkness. The next invocation that you’ll want is Grasp of Hadar, which allows every beam of an eldritch blast to pull the target 10 ft. towards you. The unfortunate part about this build is you’ll only have three ASI’s to work with. If you have the luxury to roll for your stats (and you happen to roll high), this build’s limited ASI’s will work out just fine.
With all of that out of the way, let’s dig a bit deeper into the recommended races, and why I chose the paladin 7/sorcerer 11/warlock 2 route.
Starting off with the race choice, overall the best three races for this build are:
- Variant human (for the free Feat, and bonus skill)
- Drow (for free spells)
- Variant tiefling (From Unearthed Arcana: That Old Black Magic)
However, I chose variant human, for the Great Weapon Master feat, which I will get into more detail later on in the video guide on why this feat is a must have for this build.
Function of this sorcerer build
This build is plain and simple a melee fighter, augmenting its arsenal through spell slots. And this is where the 11th-level sorcerer comes in. One of the key spells you’ll want is the haste spell and the reason why is with the Extended Spell metamagic you can have haste up for 2 minutes. Haste also gives you an extra attack action, albeit only with a melee weapon.
The main reason for starting off this character as a paladin is so you have proficiency with heavy armor. But the Divine Smite feature, as well as Oathbreaker’s 7th-level Aura of Hate feature allowing you and nearby allies to add your Charisma modifier to their melee damage, further stacks up with Hex Warrior, which allows you to make your melee weapons key off of your Charisma modifier instead of Strength or Dexterity.
Hexblade’s Curse further empowers all of the damage that you deal as long as the Curse is on the target. How Hexblade’s Curse works is it gives you a better critical window (19-20) and allows you to add your proficiency bonus to your damage rolls, as well as healing you when you kill a target afflicted by Hexblade’s Curse. Either way, with all of this and Great Weapon Master, you have a great axe/greatsword with a +26 modifier to your damage rolls, on top of some very high-level smites.
You might be thinking this build is just a melee damage machine, but that’s where you’re wrong. With utility spells like globe of invulnerability, greater invisibility, dimension door, protection from energy, and stoneskin this build can effectively play the role of a melee support just as well as that of a damage dealer. This build also has many ways to close the distance so to speak. One of these is the ever useful eldritch blast cantrip with Grasp of Hadar as your invocation, as well as sorcerer spells like lightning bolt and disintegrate. This build has no shortage of things to do. However, it excels at raw single target damage (via a +26 modifier with Aura of Hate + Hex Warrior + Great Weapon Master + Hexblade’s Curse), as well as having access to an 8th-level smite (8d8 radiant damage).
Playing this character
A great question, actually. This particular multiclass does lend itself to being a martial damage dealer, mainly due to the seven levels of Oathbreaker Paladin. Aside from that you are still an 11th-level sorcerer, stacking with the 4th-level caster of paladin so at the end of the day you are a 15th-level caster. Either way, you have plenty of options for this build. If you want to do a truckload of damage, melee will be a very strong option mostly due to the way your paladin features, and your warlock Hex Warrior and Hexblade’s Curse features stack with each other. However, the sorcerer spells can be quite tricky to place. So here is a quick recommendation for your 1st-5th level sorcerer spells.
- Shocking grasp
- Blade ward
- Ray of frost
- Sword burst
- Eldritch blast
- True strike
1st level sorcerer, paladin, warlock spells
- Hellish rebuke (paladin)
- Inflict wounds (paladin)
- Shield of faith (paladin)
- Wrathful smite (paladin)
- Protection from evil and good (paladin)
- Shield (sorcerer)
- Absorb elements (sorcerer)
- Armor of Agathys (warlock)
- Hex (warlock)
2nd level sorcerer, paladin, warlock spells
- Hold person (sorcerer, warlock)
- Crown of madness (paladin, sorcerer, warlock)
- Darkness (paladin, sorcerer, warlock)
3rd level sorcerer spells
- Protection from energy
- Lightning bolt
4th level sorcerer spells
- Dimension door
- Greater invisibility
5th level sorcerer spells
- Dominate person
- Hold monster
Best Invocations for this build
We have a few options for 2nd level Warlock. However with this build the main invocations you’ll need are:
- Grasp of Hadar
- Devil’s Sight
From the Nerditor’s desk
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