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The Crit-Fishing Spellbow | D&D 5e Build Guide

Updated: Sep 25, 2023

Original Video:



*This article is an edited version of the script for this video


Race:

Shadar-Kai


Background: Strixhaven: Quandrix Student(if allowed), Haste 13 levels early and Find Familiar 7 levels early


Ability Scores(point buy):

Str: 8

Dex: 13

Con: 15(+1)

Int: 8

Wis: 12

Cha: 15(+2)


Ability Score Priorities:

#1: Cha

#2: Con

#3: Dex


Ideal Equipment:

Half Plate

Thieves Tools

Arcane Focus


Level 1: Warlock 1

-Otherworldly Patron: Hexblade

–Hex Warrior: Will use on bow later, not much use until we can get improved pact weapon

–Hexblade’s Curse: This will make us great against big single targets once we start crit fishing, since it essentially doubles our crit chance

Spells: Eldritch Blast, Hex


Level 2: Warlock 2

-Eldritch Invocations: Agonizing Blast(to keep up with damage till we start using our bow), anything else, will get swapped out at level 5


Level 3: Warlock 3

-Pact Boon: Pact of the Blade

-Eldritch Invocations: Improved Pact Weapon(swapped with Agonizing Blast, will now be referred to as IPW)

-2nd Level Spells: None needed for the Build, Misty Step could be good to stay at range


Level 4: Warlock 4

-ASI or Feat: Sharpshooter


Level 5: Warlock 5

-Eldritch Invocations: Eldritch Smite, Thirsting Blade(you learn one new infusion here and can swap out your other infusion that isnt IPW, if your DM is very nice and has given you a +1 Longbow or better than you can swap IPW instead)

-3rd Level Spells: Haste if you were able to take Quandrix Student background, if not take Hypnotic Pattern. Counterspell


Level 6: Rogue 1

-Sneak Attack, scales at all odd rogue levels

-Thieves Cant

-Expertise: Perception and Stealth, they are great skills overall but in terms of combat they will help you surprise your enemies and avoid being surprised yourself


Level 7: Rogue 2

-Cunning Action


Level 8: Rogue 3

-Roguish Archetype: Arcane Trickster

—Mage Hand Legerdemain: Cool Utility

—Spells: Find Familiar(if you don’t already have it from Strixhaven), Silvery Barbs

-Steady Aim, optional from Tasha’s but improves damage and reliability a lot


Level 9: Rogue 4

-ASI or Feat: Elven Accuracy


Tactics:

-Tactics w/ Haste we will go over at Level 20

-Bonus Action: Steady Aim or if its the first turn cast Hex. Against some kind of boss use Hexblade’s Curse first, then Hex on the 2nd turn.

-Have Familiar hold the Help action to help with 2nd attack

-Action make 2 attacks with “triple” advantage w/ Elven Accuracy smiting on criticals. Potentially try to save Sneak Attack for criticals as well as you can choose when to do it.

-Sharpshooter at 20 AC or lower


DPR w/Haste from Quandrix, Hexblade’s Curse, and Smites available: 84.18


DPR w/Hexblade’s Curse and Smites available: 71.91


DPR w/just Smites: 53.66


DPR w/No Hexblade’s Curse or Smites: 43.39


Level 10: Rogue 5

-Uncanny Dodge


Level 11: Rogue 6

-Expertise: None necessary for the build


Level 12: Rogue 7

-Evasion

-2nd Level Spells: none important to the build


Level 13: Rogue 8

ASI or Feat: Piercer


Level 14: Rogue 9

-Magical Ambush: May come up occasionally with Web or something similar but we won’t get a ton of use out of this


Level 15: Rogue 10

ASI or Feat: +2 Cha


Level 16: Rogue 11

-Reliable Talent: You get even better at the things you’re good at


Level 17: Rogue 12

-ASI or Feat: Lucky


Level 18: Rogue 13

-Versatile Trickster: A slightly better and more reliable Steady Aim. Since it is a cantrip with a 1 minute duration you should be able to just have mage hand up all the time and thus it should be up before combat

-3rd Level Spells: Hypnotic Pattern, Haste(swap from Web if you don’t already have it from Warlock. that case potentially take Phantom Steed, unfortunately we can’t cast it as a ritual. This does also give us more spell slots for Haste if we already had it. I would now conserve Warlock spell slots just for smites)


Level 19: Fighter 1

-Second Wind: Nice small heal

-Fighting Style: Archery


Level 20: Fighter 2

-Action Surge


Final Tactics:

-These tactics work for 18+ or once you have Haste + Sneak Attack

-Turn 1: Cast Haste, Versatile Trickster and Attack with your hasted action with triple advantage applying sneak attack on a hit and a smite if you crit. If level 20 and have Action Surge use that first and hold your hasted action to get Sneak Attack twice.

-Turn 2+: Attack twice with your action using Versatile Trickster on one attack to get guaranteed Sneak Attack. Hold your hasted action and attack again at the start of the next turn applying Sneak Attack again on a hit

-For both of these have your familiar help with your held hasted action


DPR w/Haste, Hexblade’s Curse, and Smites available: 185.76

Sharpshooter at 21 AC or lower


DPR w/Haste and Smites available: 141.78

Sharpshooter at 23 AC or lower


DPR w/Haste and No Smites: 123.81

Sharpshooter at 24 AC or lower


DPR w/No Haste and No Smites: 73.57

Sharpshooter at 25 AC or lower


Errata:

The action we get from Haste cannot be held as the "Ready" action is not one of the options listed on the spell. In this case, you will have to swap the order in which you make these attacks. You will have to do your hasted action first on your turn and then hold your normal action to attack at the start of the next turn. You will still apply Sneak Attack twice but you will not get the extra attack from Thirsting Blade since the attack is not on your turn. This will lower our damage while we have Haste up and I will update those numbers below. If you were able to take the Quandrix background and get Haste at level 5 you may want to consider not taking Thirsting Blade as you probably won't use it nearly as often, it just depends on how many combats you have between short rests as you'll only have Haste once or twice per short rest depending on if you smite or not. If you were not able to take the Quandrix background this change will only apply to you during levels 18-20.


Here are the new damage numbers:


Level 9(18 AC):

With Haste, Hexblade's Curse, and Smites available: 71.91

Sharpshooter at AC 17 or lower


Level 20(20 AC):

Haste, Hexblade's Curse, and Smites available: 147.17

Sharpshooter at AC 18 or lower


Haste and Smites available: 115.24

Sharpshooter at AC 21 or lower


Haste with No Smites: 101.76

Sharpshooter at AC 22 or lower


All other situations not listed here stay the same as they are in the video.


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