15
\$\begingroup\$

What is the most effective way to use a level 20 character's (with two or more levels in fighter for Action Surge ability) in order to maximize single target damage done in one round?

Rules/Restrictions:

  • Any race is allowed.
  • If there is a circumstantial bonus, such as Assassinate or Haste, please show each step in damage calculation
  • No magic items, charms, blessings, or epic boons.
  • No, the "damage done" can't be to yourself.
  • Vulnerability Damage caused by another player's action should not be considered.
  • Rogues may consider themselves to be targeting a Surprised creature.
  • You do not have advantage by default. If you can generate some advantage for yourself, then you may do so.
  • Consider your target to have AC20; Saving Throws Str +5, Dex +6, Con+5, Int +1, Wis +9, Cha +10; Skill Checks str(+5), dex(0), con(+5), int(+1), wis(+3), cha(+4); medium size... not dissimilar to a Death Knight.
  • You may have one non-combat round of setup.

(Again. Yes, I know this is alpha damage / nova damage and isn't sustainable.)

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk Feb 25 '18 at 7:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @PeterCordes done and done. \$\endgroup\$ – goodguy5 Jan 7 at 12:40

14 Answers 14

17
\$\begingroup\$

Since the question states most effective way to deal max damage, I inferred that expected damage, which includes hit chance, critical hit chance, and saving throws, is the best metric (I have another answer for assuming perfect rolls, but that would be another question), so...

Expected damage is 564. Maximum is 648. Here's how:

The Character

Chloe is a level 20 Goblin {ASs: 9, 18, 10, 20, 8, 14} with these classes...

  • Wizard 17 ---------- [for Spells, Empowered Evocation, Alert feat and 3 ASI]
  • Fighter 2 ----------- [for Action Surge]
  • Warlock 1 ---------- [for Hexblade's Curse]

The Preparation

  1. Chloe casts wish replicating the effect of hallow with Energy Vulnerability on force damage within 60 feet of the target.

The Round

  1. Chloe uses Hexblade's Curse.
  2. Chloe casts magic missle (level 8 spell slot).
  3. Chloe uses Action Surge.
  4. Chloe casts magic missle (level 7 spell slot).

The Calculation

  • All force damage is doubled from hallow's Energy Vulnerability...
    • The target never enters the area
    • Chance target goes first: 15.125% (using optional rule for ties to avoid DM fiat)
    • Chance to save: +10 vs 19 DC = 60%
    • totals to 1 - (0.15125*0.6) = 90.925% chance
  • Each dart from the first magic missle deals...
    • 1d4 + 1 + 5 (Empowered Evocation) + 6 (Hexblade's Curse) force damage
    • 10 darts, doubled 90.925% of the time = 19.90925 multiplier
    • Expected: (2.5 + 12)*19.0925 = 276.84125 [Max: 320]
  • Each dart from the second magic missle deals...
    • 1d4 + 1 + 5 (Empowered Evocation) + 6 (Hexblade's Curse) force damage
  • 9 darts, doubled 90.925% of the time = 17.18325 multiplier
    • Expected: (2.5 + 12)*17.18325 = 249.157125 [Max: 288]
  • Fury of the Small deals...
    • 1 use per short rest, doubled 90.925% of the time = 1.90925% multiplier
    • Expected: 20*1.90925 = 38.185 [Max: 40]

Total expected: 564.183375 [Max: 648]

Note: This assumes that the target chooses to make the Charisma save against hallow; it doesn't have to. If not, the expected damage increases to 591


Rulings

How does Empowered Evocation work with Magic Missile?

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Voromir I used a spreadsheet with all 20 results for the target and for Chloe. Then on all ties it's 50-50 \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron Mar 1 '18 at 18:06
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Voromir there is a formula for it, but it gets really complicated since there is the tie chance so that's the easiest way \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron Mar 1 '18 at 18:12
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Is this allowed RAW? Pretty sure there's a rule against casting two non-cantrip spells in the same turn. \$\endgroup\$ – Nathan Sep 11 '18 at 18:01
  • 7
    \$\begingroup\$ @Nathan it is allowed. That rule only applies to bonus action spells. Chloe is casting 2 action spells here. See this question for more details. \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron Sep 11 '18 at 18:06
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @Pyrotechnical 1 damage roll applies for every missle meaning EE works. See the Rulings section in the footer. \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron Jan 10 at 17:22
13
\$\begingroup\$

249 expected, or 433 max damage

We are using a Scourge Aasimar Shadow Magic Sorcerer 18/Fighter 2, with a Charisma score of 20

The round before, activate Radiant Consumption. On your turn, move to within 5 feet of the target, use a bonus action to summon your Hound of Ill Omen next to the target, cast Disintegrate, action surge -> cast Meteor Swarm.

Scourge Aasimar Contribution:

Radiant Consumption:

  • At the end of each turn, you and each creature within 10ft of you take radiant damage equal to half your level: 10

  • Once on each of your turns, you can deal extra radiant damage to one target when you deal damage to it with an attack or a spell. The extra radiant damage equals your level: 20

Damage so far: 30

Fighter Contribution:

Action Surge

Damage so far: 30

Sorcerer Contribution:

Hound of Ill Omen:

  • Uses the statistics of a Dire Wolf
  • While the hound is within 5 feet of the target, the target has disadvantage on saving throws against any spell you cast.
  • On the hound's turn (it rolls initiative separately) it attacks.
    • The hound has +5 to hit and deals 2d6+3 damage. It has advantage if an ally is within 5 feet of the target (which you are).
    • Vs an AC of 20 the hound has a 49% chance of hitting with advantage, and deals 10 expected damage (max of 15, or 27 max on crit)

Damage so far: 40 (57 max), and target has disadvantage on its saving throws vs spells you cast.

Disintegrate:

  • 10d6+40 force damage, +3d6 for each level slot above 6th spent. Dex save negates
  • Cast using an 8th level slot, for 16d6+40 damage
    • Average damage is 16 * 3.5 + 40 = 96
    • Saving throw DC = 8 + proficiency + Cha mod = 8 + 6 + 5 = 19
    • Chance of making the ST = 40% (Target has +6 bonus).
    • Chance of making the ST with disadvantage = .4 * .4 = 16%
    • Expected damage = average damage * P(failing saving throw) = 96 * .84 = 80.64 (136 max)

Damage so far: 120.64 (193 max)

Meteor Swarm:

  • 20d6 Fire, 20d6 Bludgeoning, Dex save for half
    • Average damage is 40 * 3.5 = 140
    • Saving throw DC = 8 + proficiency + Cha mod = 8 + 6 + 5 = 19
    • Chance of making the ST = 40% (Target has +6 bonus).
    • Chance of making the ST with disadvantage = .4 * .4 = 16%
    • Expected damage = average damage * P(failing saving throw) + average damage/2 * P(making saving throw) = 140 * .84 + 70 * .16 = 117.6 + 11.2 = 128.4 (240 max)

Damage so far: 249 (433 max)

PS: You could get slightly higher damage using the Empowered Metamagic, but that complicates the calculations significantly. After some exhausting-looking calculations in chat and in a question, Empower will add ~12 expected damage to Meteor Swarm, and ~10 to Disintegrate, for ~22 more expected total.

PS2: The original specified target was a Death Knight, AC20, +6 to Dex saving throws.

PS3: If you are trying to find max damage (with all perfect rolls) you could swap Disintegrate for Scorching Ray, which brings the total up to 456 but only if every ray crits.

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk Feb 25 '18 at 7:06
10
\$\begingroup\$

Expected damage is 332.3745. Maximum: 817; Here's how:

The Character

Chris is a level 20 Goblin who has these classes...

  • Sorcerer (Shadow Magic) 17 -------- [Disintegrate (PHB 233), Hound of Ill Omen (XGtE 51), and 4 ASI]
  • Fighter 2 ------------------------------ [for Action Surge (PHB 72)]
  • Warlock 1 ----------------------------- [for Hexblade's Curse (XGtE 55)]

The Preparation

  • Chris uses wish to replicate the effect of planar ally receiving a Solar (MM 18) offering to fend off an evil cosmic threat in exchange for aid.
  • Chris summons his Hound of Ill Omen
  • The Solar uses Flying Sword.

Chris's Damage

  • Hexblade's Curse [bonus action]
  • Disintegrate (8th Level slot) [action]
    • Failed save: +6 vs DC 19 = (1-(8/20)^2) = 84%
    • Damage: 16d6 + 40 + 6 = 85.68 [Max: 142]
  • Disintegrate (7th Level slot) [Action Surge]
    • Failed save: +6 vs DC 19 = (1-(8/20)^2) = 84%
    • Damage: 13d6 + 40 + 6 = 76.86 [Max: 124]
  • Fury of the Small
    • Either Disintegrate save is failed: (1-(8/20)^4) = 97.44%
    • Damage: 19.488 [Max: 20]

Hound's Damage

  • Bite [action]
    • To hit: +5 (advantage from Pack Tactics) =(1-(15/20)^2) = 43.75%
    • To crit: (advantage from Pack Tactics) = (1-(19/20)^2) = 9.75%
    • Damage: 2d6 + 3 = 4.375 [Max: 15]
    • Crit: 2d6 = 0.6825 [Max: 12]
    • Chance to Prone: +5 vs DC 13 = 43.75% * (7/20) = 15.3125%

Solar's Damage

  • Searing Burst [legendary action after Chris's turn]
    • Failed save: +6 vs 23 DC = 16/20 = 80%
    • Damage: 8d6 = 22.4 [Max: 48]
  • Flying Sword [bonus action]
    • To hit: +15 (plus Prone chance from Hound) = (15/20)x84.6875% + (1-(5/20)^2)x15.3125% = 77.871%
    • To crit: (plus Prone chance from Hound) = (1/20)x84.6875% + (1-(19/20)^2)x15.3125% = 5.727%
    • Damage: 4d6 + 6d8 + 8 = 38.157 [Max: 80]
    • Crit: 4d6 +6d8 = 2.806 [Max: 72]
  • flies to retrieve Greatsword [movement]
  • Multiattack [action]
  • Greatsword [from Multiattack]
    • To hit: +15 (plus Prone chance from Hound) = (15/20)x84.6875% + (1-(5/20)^2)x15.3125% = 77.871%
    • To crit: (plus Prone chance from Hound) = (1/20)x84.6875% + (1-(19/20)^2)x15.3125% = 5.727%
    • Damage: 4d6 + 6d8 + 8 = 38.157 [Max: 80]
    • Crit: 4d6 +6d8 = 2.806 [Max: 72]
  • Greatsword [from Multiattack]
    • To hit: +15 (plus Prone chance from Hound) = (15/20)x84.6875% + (1-(5/20)^2)x15.3125% = 77.871%
    • To crit: (plus Prone chance from Hound) = (1/20)x84.6875% + (1-(19/20)^2)x15.3125% = 5.727%
    • Damage: 4d6 + 6d8 + 8 = 38.157 [Max: 80]
    • Crit: 4d6 +6d8 = 2.806 [Max: 72]

Total: 332.3745. [Max: 817]

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk Mar 1 '18 at 1:59
7
\$\begingroup\$

Average: 308.866 — Max: 470

  • Race: Protector Aasimar
  • Class Levels: Fighter (Battle Master) 3/Rogue (Assassin) 17
  • Feats: Crossbow Expert, Sharpshooter
  • Equipment: 2 Hand Crossbow, 3 doses of Purple Worm Poison (nonmagical) on 3 crossbow bolts.
  • Relevant ability scores: Dex +5
  • Fighting Style: Archery.

Step by step:

Previous turn

  • Radiant Soul: Your transformation lasts for 1 minute or until you end it as a bonus action. During it, you have a flying speed of 30 feet, and once on each of your turns, you can deal extra radiant damage to one target when you deal damage to it with an attack or a spell. The extra radiant damage equals your level (20).

PS: Why not Scourge Aasimar? Well, being an assassin and radiating bright light doesn't seem to be very functional since the character relies on surprise her foes.

This turn

  • Attack the surprised target with a poisoned bolt from the hand crossbow using Sharpshooter. Thanks to Assassinate, is a critical hit and thanks to Death Strike, it doubles the damage.

1d6(H.Crossbow) + 10(Sharpshooter) + 5(Dex) = 1d6+15

Chance to hit with Precision Strike: 1 - Chance to Miss: 1 - 35% * 35% = 87.75%

Critical: 2d6+15 -> Avg: 22 / Max: 27 -> Times 2 (Death Strike: chance is 65%)

Partial Total (multiplied by 87.75% and chance of death strike): Avg: 31.853 / Max: 54

  • Bonus Action: Attack the surprised target with a poisoned bolt from the other hand crossbow using Sharpshooter. Assassinate and Death Strike still applies.

1d6(H.Crossbow) + 10(Sharpshooter) + 5(Dex) = 1d6+15

Chance to hit with Precision Strike: 1 - Chance to Miss: 1 - 35% * 35% = 87.75%

Critical: 2d6+15 -> Avg: 22 / Max: 27 -> Times 2 (Death Strike: chance is 65%)

Chance to hit with Precision Strike: 1 - Chance to Miss: 1 - 35% * 35% = 87.75%

Partial Total (multiplied by 87.75% and chance of death strike): Avg: 63.706 / Max: 108

  • Action Surge: Attack the surprised target with a poisoned bolt from either hand crossbow using Sharpshooter. Assassinate and Death Strike still applies.

1d6(H.Crossbow) + 10(Sharpshooter) + 5(Dex) = 1d6+15

Critical: 2d6+15 -> Avg: 22 / Max: 27 -> Times 2 (Death Strike: chance is 65%)

Partial Total (multiplied by 87.75% and chance of death strike): Avg: 95.559 / Max: 162

  • Radiant Soul: Any attack hits, extra damage from Radiant Soul equal to character level (20)

Chance is 1 - Chances to Miss all 3 = 1 - 35% ^ 6 = 99.82%

Partial Total (multiplied by 99.82%): Avg: 115.523 / Max: 182

  • Sneak Attack: Any attack hits, extra damage is 18d6 x 2

Chance is 1 - Chances to Miss all 3 = 1 - 35% ^ 6 = 99.82%

Partial Total (multiplied by 99.82%): Avg: 241.296 / Max: 398

  • Purple Worm Poisons

Each attack hits 65% of the time: Half damage on 35% chance save

12d6* 65% * 65% + 12d6 * 65% * 50% * 35% = 22.5225 * 3 = Avg: 67.57 / Max: 72

Total: Avg: 308.866 — Max: 470

PS: Still working on improvements.

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk Feb 25 '18 at 7:07
7
+250
\$\begingroup\$

Average 396, Max 1030

High Elf Eldritch Knight 12/Whispers Bard 5/Paladin 2/Hexblade Warlock 1, with Dexterity 20 and the Elven Accuracy, Lucky, Martial Adept and Savage Attacker feats.

Prep round: Bonus action: cast a 5th level Shadow Blade. Action: Apply purple worm poison to our blade.

Go Time: Bonus action: Apply Hexblade's Curse to our foe.

Action, Surge: We are going to make 6 weapon attacks. That is what is happening here.

To-hit: Assume dim light (given we can assume surprise, this seems fair)*. Now we have super elf-advantage on all of our attacks, giving us a to-hit of 94% and a crit chance of 27%. On any attacks we would miss, we apply Lucky, giving us a 60% chance of turning a hit into a miss, for a total to-hit chance of around 97%. (Given there is a 0.05% chance of missing three or more times, I will assume I will need at most two uses of it here.) We will also apply Lucky once our number of attacks left is equal to our number of Lucky uses left, for more crit chances.

On hit: Our sword does 4d8+13 (Dex 20, Hexblade's Curse, Dueling Fighting Style) damage, and we can pour all our high-level spell slots into Divine Smites. We have 4 4th-level or higher (5d8) and 2 3rd-level (4d8) slots to burn through. Finally, on one of our attacks (our first crit) we can use Bardic Inspiration to do an extra 3d6 damage. Thus, if all 6 attacks hit, we are dealing 52d8 + 3d6 + 78 damage as a baseline. This is average 270, but also slightly optimistic.

Critting: Our first crit, if it lands, will deal an extra 9d8 + 3d6 damage; we can also use Savage Attacker to reroll the 8d8 from our weapon, for a total average damage increase of 55. Our second, third and fourth crits, without Savage Attacker or Inspiration, do 41 on average. Subsequent crits will average 36 due to the lower level spell slots. This ends up giving us a total of 86 average damage.

Missing: Missing is interesting, because in order to maximise our crit damage, we have to save our high-level spell slots for later hits in case they crit. This means a miss is usually (and for the purposes of this model, always) one of our biggest attacks, losing us 53 damage. Of course, between a static miss chance of 97%, and a Precision Attack d6 that can save us from a miss with probability 81%, this is not a big difference. The chance of us missing once is 4%; the chance of us missing twice is negligible. That works out to about 2 lost damage.

Max: The maximum is just the maximum of 6 crits, which comes out to the max of 104d8 + 6d6 + 78, or 946.

Trip Attack: If all 6 attacks hit without needing our Precision Attack, we make our last attack a Trip Attack, dealing an extra 1d6 damage. This adds 3 to our average, and 12 to our max.

Poison: One of our attacks will hit. Then the purple worm poison kicks in, dealing 12d6 damage on a failed save or half on a success. If we use our third dose of Lucky here, our foe succeeds 12% of the time, so our poison does Average 39, max 72

Totals:

Average damage: 396

Max damage: 1030

*If we must have bright light, we can swap our Warlock level for an extra level of Paladin for Vow of Emnity, which gets us the advantage but not the other perks.

\$\endgroup\$
5
\$\begingroup\$

212.5 points of damage on average (or 644 maximum)

Okay, I'll bite. A Paladin/Fighter (18/2) with Str 20, Cha 20, and Great Weapon fighting style can make 4 attacks and deal 644 points of damage in a single turn:

  1. On the prior turn, activate Sacred Weapon (+Cha to hit) and cast Holy Weapon (+2d8 damage to every attack).
  2. Attack and extra attack, pumping a divine smite at 4th level into both attacks.
  3. Action surge to do all that again, except one divine smite at 3rd level (having run out of 4th-level slots).
  4. Use a bonus action to dismiss Holy Weapon and deal 4d8 more points of damage (16.38 average against a Death Knight).

Given the parameters you provided (death knight: AC 20, undead creature), this comes out to 212.5 points of damage on average.

The maximum amount of damage you can do with this combo is 644.

enter image description here

\$\endgroup\$
4
\$\begingroup\$

189 damage dealt on average (or 301 max).

Without factoring in magic items or artifacts, including Unearthed Arcana, and using a 20th-level straight Fighter build specifically, and not assuming you gain surprise for the attack, the answer appears to be using a 20-Dex Sharpshooter (Martial Archetype) with the fighting style Archery, a longbow, and the feats Sharpshooter (yes, confusing), Silver-Tongued, Elven Accuracy, Lucky, and Martial Adept (Menacing Attack and Pushing Attack). You didn't provide skill values for the opponent, so for simplicity I'll assume any non-combat skill checks are successful.

Your bonus action is Steady Aim, which adds +12 damage to every hit on your turn. Your first attack will be Menacing Attack at a +13, which if it hits (if you have an Inspiration, your odds of missing are right around 1%) will give your opponent disadvantage on all ability checks against you for the rest of the turn. You'll replace your second attack with Silver-Tongued's action, giving you advantage on all attacks for the rest of the turn. Every subsequent attack will be made at +8 (13-5 for the Sharpshooter feat) with up to four dice (advantage + elven accuracy + lucky), giving you approximately 87% chance to hit and... well, we'll say 14% chance to crit, although that's not quite right because you'll sometimes have a fourth die.

Your damage for the 'back six' hits is 1d8+5+10+12 which averages to 27.95 each with miss and crit chances factored in, or 167.7; we add to this the initial, assumed hit at 1d8+5+12= ~21.5 for a grand total of 189 damage dealt on average (or 301 max).

Of course, if they're standing on the edge of a long drop, you can use Pushing Attack on the final shot and add 20d6 to that.

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ Comments are not for extended discussion; this conversation has been moved to chat. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk Feb 25 '18 at 7:07
2
\$\begingroup\$

Max Damage : 847

(+240 if you switch out Hold Monster for 7th level Scorching ray. I wanted to give a reason for my critical hits.)

Expected Damage : 373

For the sake of Max Damage

  • all attacks hit
  • all saves fail
  • all damage dice maxed

Goblin with 20 CHA
FTR 2/WLK 1/SOR 17 (Shadow Magic)

ASI +2 CHA
ASI +2 CHA
Crossbow Expert
ASI +1 CHA/+1 CON

FTR 2 gives Action Surge
WLK 1 gives Hex, Eldritch Blast, Patron : Hex Blade
SOR 17 gives Spells, Hound of Ill Omen

Character Round 1

Action: Wish for a Simulacrum of yourself
Bonus : Summon Hound of Ill Omen

Hound of Ill Omen Round 2 (+5 to hit vs AC 20)

Moves within 5 feet
Action : Bite 2d6+3 avg 10 max with crit 27

Max 27

Character Round 2 (+9 to hit AC 20 with advantage)

Move within 5 feet
Bonus : Hex Blade's Curse
Action: Hold Monster DC 19 vs +9 WIS (DK has disadvantage from Hound)
Surge : Scorching Ray 8th Level (9 rays) ((18d6)*2)+54 = max 270
Free : Fury of the Small = max 20

Max 290

Simulacrum Round 2 (+9 to hit AC 20 with advantage)

Move to within 5 feet
Bonus : Hex Blade's Curse
Action : Scorching Ray 7th Level (8 rays) ((16d6)*2)+48 = max 240
Surge : Scorching Ray 8th Level (9 rays) ((18d6)*2)+54 = max 270
Free : Fury of the Small = max 20

Max 530

Expected Damage

  • All decimals dropped

While the Simulacrum has advantage there is 75% chance to hit.
9 rays ((((18d6 =63)2)+54).75) = 135(.7) = 94
9 rays ((((18d6 =63)+54).5) = 58(.3) = 17
8 rays ((((16d6 =56)2)+48).75) = 120(.7) = 84
8 rays ((((16d6 =56)+48).5) = 52(.3) = 15
Fury of the Small +19

Expected 229

While the Character has advantage there is 75% chance to hit.
9 rays ((((18d6 =63)2)+54).75) = 135(.7) = 94
9 rays ((((18d6 =63)+54).5) = 58(.3) = 17
Furry of the Small +19

Expected 130

Hound of Ill Omen gets advantage by waiting for Hold Monster to be Cast with a readied action
Bite (((4d6+3).49) = 8(.7) = 5
Bite (((2d6+3).51) = 5(.3) = 1

expected 6

If Hold Monster Fails you should be able to Hellish Rebuke Once
6th Level Hellish Rebuke failed((7D10 = 38).3 =11).6) = 6
6th Level Hellish Rebuke saved ((7D10 = 19).3 =11).4) = 2

expected 8

\$\endgroup\$
2
\$\begingroup\$

Average 443 damage, maximum 1438 damage

Protector Aasimar Paladin 2/Warlock 11/Fighter 3/Ranger 3/Sorcerer 1 (now with less multiclassing (but only slightly))

AS Requirements: Str 20 Cha 20, Wis 13, Dex 13

Required Choices: pact of the blade (warlock pact boon), Tenser's transformation as 11th level Mystic Arcanum (warlock feature), Battle Master (fighter archetype), Disarming Attack (or any other Battle Master talent that adds your superiority die to damage), hunter's mark (ranger spell), Hunter (ranger archetype), colossus slayer (ranger feature), wild magic (sorcerer bloodline), Dual Wielder (Feat), Two-Weapon Fighting (fighting style)

Required Equipment 2 lances, warhorse mount (i realized you can have this because its technically not magical)

Setup: Radiant Burst, Hunter's mark the target and cast Tenser's transformation on yourself. Because Tenser's transformation is technically a wizard spell, roll on the Wild Magic table and get a 93-94, increasing your size to Large.

The Round of Truth: This is surprisingly similar to the other setup. First, make 3 lance attacks (one normal, one TWF, one Tenser's), burning all of your 2nd level spell slots to Divine Smite and all of your warlock slots to Eldritch Smite, and adding all your superiority dice to damage, giving you, per attack:

18 (2d12+5) base + 13 (2d12) Tenser's + 3.5 (1d6) Hunter's Mark + 4.5 (1d8) Colossus Slayer + 27 (6d8) Eldritch Smite + 13.5 (3d8) Divine Smite + 4.5 (superiority die) = 84 damage per attack * 3 attacks + 20 from Radiant Burst = 272 damage, before even Action Surging.

Then you Action Surge, using 3 1st-level slots to Divine Smite (and unfortunately, you're out of slots to Eldritch Smite and superiority dice) but you can still deal:

18 (2d12+5) base + 13 (2d12) Tenser's + 3.5 (1d6) Hunter's Mark + 4.5 (1d8) Colossus Slayer + 9 (2d8) Divine Smite * 3 attacks = another 147 damage.

Add on the 23 damage your horse averages in a turn, the grand total is 272 + 147 + 23 = an average of 443 damage per turn.

Of course I'm not done. I have to calculate what the maximum damage with crits. Here it is in all its glory:

(53+48+12+16+96+48+16)*3+20+(53+48+12+16+36)*3+56 = 1438 maximum damage with crits!

\$\endgroup\$
1
\$\begingroup\$

Average 329, Max 628

Goblin Radiant Sorcerer 17/Fighter 2/Hexblade Warlock 1, with 20 Charisma and the Lucky feat, aided by our plucky Owl familiar, Trilby.

Setup round: use our action to cast Heightened Empowered Delayed Blast Fireball, bonus action to apply Hexblade's Curse to our foe. Trilby takes the Help action, giving my next attack against our foe advantage.

Go time:

Action: Cast Heightened Empowered Meteor Swarm, dealing 40d6+6 damage, with up to 5 rerolls, and a 94% save failure chance (with disadvantage from Heightening and Lucky - 14% chance of using Lucky up)... average 153, max 246

Free: Trigger Delayed Blast Fireball on ourself and our enemy. That's 13d6+6, with up to 5 rerolls, and an 94% chance of them failing the save, gives average 58 max 84. Also hits us, at which point we cast a 6th level Absorb Elements to gain fire resistance.

Action Surge: Cast an 8th level Inflict Wounds on our foe, hitting on a 9+. With Lucky and advantage from Trilby, this is pretty likely (94%). We also have a 27% crit chance, which is pretty great. So we deal 1.21*(10d10 + 6d6) + .94*6 damage, which is average 98, max 278

Fury of the Small: We use this any one time we deal damage to do an extra 20 damage.

Total Average: 329

Total Max: 628

\$\endgroup\$
1
\$\begingroup\$

Average 997.5,Max 1785 Race/Classes/Stats: Very lenient, pick most any race, get to 20. Fighter-2, Cleric-1 (Arcana Domain), Druid-17 (Circle of Twilight from Unearthed Arcana).

Classes explained: As per the rules we grab 2 fighter minimum, which gets us action surge. Cleric Level 1 gets us into the arcana domain, detect magic and Magic missile are always prepared for us. We max out druid levels otherwise, picking the circle of twilight from Unearthed Arcana. Their feature Harvester's Scythe is vital to maximizing our damage. We get a pool of d10's equal to our druid level. Up to half of our maximum may be spent at a time when we roll for damage on a spell, rolling those additional dice and adding them to the damage as bonus necrotic. Yes, we plan on stacking the bonus damage from multiple magic missile darts as with some of the other methods.

Prep round: :)

Go Time- Action: Use 9th level spell slot to cast Magic Missile, creating 3+8 darts, for a total of 11. Roll for damage, add 8d10 to the roll. (17/2=8.5 rounding down for 8 bonus dice maximum) Damage calculation:

D1= 11(1d4+1)+11(8d10), D1avg= 11(2.5+1)+11(8x5.5)= 522.5, D1max= 11(4+1)+11(8x10)= 935

Action Surge: Use 8th level spell slot to cast Magic Missile, creating 3+7 darts, for a total of 10. Roll for damage, add 8d10 to the roll. (17/2=8.5 rounding down for 8 bonus dice maximum) Damage calculation:

D2= 10(1d4+1)+10(8d10), D2avg= 10(2.5+1)+10(8x5.5)= 475, D2max= 10(4+1)+10(8x10)= 850

Totals

Maximum Damage= D1max+D2max = 935+850= 1785

Average Damage= D1avg+D2avg = 522.5+475= 997.5

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ Interesting Answer. I suppose Unearthed Arcana wasn't explicitly banned, but I chose not to use it for my answers since it is playtest material. If you are allowed Unearthed Arcana, a higher value can be reached with other techniques. ( @goodguy5 any thoughts?) \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron Apr 29 '18 at 0:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ I agree. Interesting answer, but UA isn't technically "released" and wouldn't apply. No need to delete or anything. \$\endgroup\$ – goodguy5 May 3 '18 at 1:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ Your pool of d10s is only 17d10 from being a 17th lvl druid. It recharges on a long rest. There's no way you can spend 8 * 21 d10s in a single round, because that's about 10x more than you have in your pool. You spend d10s on a damage roll, not on a whole spell, so they don't get multiplied across multiple damage rolls for a single spell. (I think you could spend them on an AoE, though, and have multiple targets affected by the same damage roll all take the necrotic damage.) \$\endgroup\$ – Peter Cordes Jan 5 at 21:10
1
\$\begingroup\$

Thought I'd try a stab at this. I know there is a lot of multi-classing, but the goal was to create the biggest expected one turn hit.

Expected damage is 584.29. Maximum: 1044; here’s how:

The Character

Goblin (13, 20, 14, 8, 13, 13) + alert feat (Level 11 Spellcaster)

Fighter 5: Battle Master (Action Surge, Multi-attack, Superiority Dice, Dueling, ASI)

Bard 4: College of Whispers (Jack of All Trades, Psychic Blades, ASI)

Sorcerer 4: Divine Soul (For Spells, Quicken/Empowered, 4 Sorcery Points, Favored by the Gods, ASI)

Rogue 3: Assassin (Assassinate, Sneak Attack)

Cleric 2: Grave Domain (Channel Divinity: Path to the Grave)

Paladin 2 (Smite)

The Preparation

Action: Create Bonfire

Movement: Walk in to Bonfire and choose to fail save

Reaction: Absorb Elements: level 6

Bonus Action: Shadow Blade: level 5 (C)

The Round

Action Surge: Channel Divinity: Path to the Grave

Bonus Action: Green Flame Blade

Action: Multi-attack

The Calculation

Quickened, Empowered Green Flame Blade w/ Shadow Blade w/ Empowered Absorb Elements, Smite, Psychic Blades, Sneak Attack, Superiority Die, Fury of the Small (Autocrit, Vulnerable, 4 Sorcery Points)

4d8 + 1d8 + 2d6 + 2d6 + 7 psychic + 3d8 + 6d6 Fire + 5d8 Radiant + 20

(26d8 + 20d6 + 27 + (2.8058 + 2.3763 average damage from empowering)) x2

438.3642 Avg (710 max) (59.6116 from GFB)

Attack w/ Shadow Blade, Superiority Die, Smite (Autocrit) x2 Attacks

4d8 + 1d8 + 7 psychic + 5d8 Radiant

(20d8 + 7) x2

97 Avg (167 Max) PerAttack

Chance to 1st Hit (Advantage + Favored by the Gods): 97.15%

Chance to 2nd Hit (Advantage + Favored by the Gods if unused): 95.046%

Chance to 3rd Hit (Advantage + Favored by the Gods if unused): 93.279%

Chance at least 1 hits: 99.94%

Chance at least 2 hit: 99.67%

Chance all 3 hit: 86.13%

Initiative + 13 (dex +5, alert +5, Jack of All Trades +3)

94.75% of going first

(378.7526*0.9994 + 59.6116*0.9715 + 97*0.9967 + 97*0.8613) * 0.9475

584.29 Expected (1044 Max)

Caveat: Assumed damage done if second on initiative is 0, thus true value is somewhat higher. Also if enemy is holding shield disarming strike could be used to lower AC on subsequent attacks.

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ "Movement: Walk in to Bonfire and choose to fail save" - By RAW, you can't choose to fail a saving throw. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jan 12 at 5:36
  • \$\begingroup\$ Also, welcome to RPG.SE! Take the tour if you haven't already. \$\endgroup\$ – V2Blast Jan 12 at 5:39
0
\$\begingroup\$

I will start by giving credit where it is due. I can't comment yet (new account) but most of the setup was thought of by David Coffron, I just found a way to improve his damage with Unearthed Arcana's Lore Mastery wizard. Give him all the love please! If I made an error when modifying his approach please let me know.

Expected damage is 782. Maximum is 1238.

Here's how:

The Character

Chloe is a level 20 Goblin {ASs: 9, 18, 10, 20, 8, 14} with these classes...

Wizard 17 (Lore Mastery subclass) - [for spells, Alchemical Casting, Alert feat and 3 ASIs]
Fighter 2 - [for Action Surge]
Warlock 1 - [for Hexblade's Curse]

The Preparation

Chloe casts wish, replicating the effect of hallow with Energy Vulnerability on force damage within 60 feet of the target.

The Round

Chloe uses Hexblade's Curse.
Chloe casts magic missile (level 8 spell slot). Chloe uses Alchemical Casting on magic missile (level 1 spell slot)
Chloe uses Action Surge.
Chloe casts magic missile (level 7 spell slot). Chloe uses Alchemical Casting on magic missile (level 1 spell slot)

The Calculation

All force damage is doubled from hallow's Energy Vulnerability...

  • The target never enters the area
  • Chance target goes first: 15.125% (using optional rule for ties to avoid DM fiat)
  • Chance to save: +10 vs 19 DC = 60%
  • totals to 1 - (0.15125*0.6) = 90.925% chance

Each dart from the first magic missile deals...

  • 1d4 + 1 + 2d10 (Alchemical Casting) + 6 (Hexblade's Curse) force damage
  • 10 darts, doubled 90.925% of the time = 19.90925 multiplier
  • Expected: (2.5 + 7 + 11(2*5.5))*19.0925 = 391.39625 [Max: 610]

Each dart from the second magic missile deals...

  • 1d4 + 1 + 2d10 (Alchemical Casting) + 6 (Hexblade's Curse) force damage
  • 9 darts, doubled 90.925% of the time = 17.18325 multiplier
  • Expected: (2.5 + 7 + 11)*17.18325 = 352.256625 [Max: 558]

Fury of the Small deals...

  • 1 use per short rest, doubled 90.925% of the time = 1.90925% multiplier
  • Expected: 20*1.90925 = 38.185 [Max: 40]

Total expected: 781.837875 [Max: 1238]

\$\endgroup\$
  • \$\begingroup\$ You only roll damage for magic missle once so Alchemical Casting could only add 11 damage since it makes the spell do added damage rather than adding to the damage roll itself, similar to what Fury of the Small does (much less than the benefit from Empowered Evocation); not to mention Lore Mastery is play test material. \$\endgroup\$ – David Coffron Mar 14 '18 at 14:51
0
\$\begingroup\$

For my own personal baseline:

Level 20 Fighter - Champion
20 Strength
7 ASIs - +2str, Mounted Combat, Lucky, +1str/+1con, Great Weapon Master, Lucky, Blade Mastery
Greatsword attack - +12 to hit (or +7 with GWM), 2d6ish+5 (or +15 w/GWM)

Things doing: 1. walk horse up to target.
2. Attack with advantage.
3. Action Surge
4. Attack with advantage.

5*.64*(2d6+15+.28*2d6) + 3*.78*(2d6+15+.39*2d6)

For an expected 144 in one round. 312 Max

\$\endgroup\$

Your Answer

By clicking "Post Your Answer", you acknowledge that you have read our updated terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy, and that your continued use of the website is subject to these policies.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.