Here is my homebrew subclass for the 2019 UA Artificer class:


Tools of the Trade

By the time you adopt this specialty at 3rd level, you’re deeply familiar with employing its tools.

Proficiencies: You gain proficiency with smith's tools and cobbler's tools. You also gain a set of alchemist’s supplies and an herbalism kit for free—the result of tinkering you’ve done as you’ve prepared for this specialization.

Crafting: If you craft a magic item in the armor category, it takes you a quarter of the normal time, and it costs you half as much of the usual gold.

Subclass Spells

Starting at 3rd level, you always have certain spells prepared after you reach particular levels in this class, as shown in the Alchemist Spells table. These spells count as artificer spells for you, but they don’t count against the number of artificer spells you prepare.

3rd level: Shield of Faith, Armor of Agathys
5th level: Warding Bond, Barkskin
9th level: Tiny Hut, Crusader's Mantle
13th level: Stoneskin, Fire Shield
17th level: Antilife Shell, Circle of Power

Heavily Armored

After a long rest, you can touch one set of heavy armor and imbue it with magic over the course of 10 minutes. This magic lasts until you take another long rest. You are proficient in heavy armor that has been imbued in this way. Only you can wear the armor that has been imbued in this way by you.

You have a number of Armorer Points (AP) equal to your Artificer level. When you imbue the armor with magic, you can spend AP to give the armor enhancements listed below, these enhancements cease to operate after the armor's magic wears off. AP is also used for features you will gain at higher levels. You regain any expended Armorer Points when you take a long rest.

  • Projectile Protection
    Cost: 5 AP
    You have resistance to piercing damage from ranged weapon attacks while wearing this armor.

  • Flight
    Cost: 18 AP
    You gain a flying speed of 30 feet while wearing this armor.

  • Mobility
    Cost: 3 AP
    You ignore difficult terrain while wearing this armor.

  • Speed
    Cost: 2-20 AP
    Your walking speed increases by 5 feet for every 2 AP you spend on this Enhancement.

  • Aqua Affinity
    Cost: 2 AP
    You gain a swimming speed equal to your walking speed.

  • Flamethrower
    Cost: 17 AP
    You can cast Firebolt as a bonus action while wearing this armor.

  • Electrified
    Cost: 2 AP
    Whenever a creature starts their turn grappling you or being grappled by you, they take 1d4 lightning damage.

  • Night Vision
    Cost: 4 AP
    You gain darkvision out to a range of 30 feet. You can't discern color in darkness, only shades of gray.

  • Sonar
    Cost: 8 AP
    While underwater, you have blindsight out to a range of 120 feet.

  • Precise Targeting
    Cost: 3 AP
    You gain a +1 bonus to ranged weapon attack rolls.

  • Redirect Energy
    Cost: 7 AP
    When you take lightning, force, or radiant damage, you can use your reaction to force all other creatures within 30 feet of you to make a Dexterity saving throw; they take 2d10 thunder damage on a failed save, or half as much on a success.

  • Respiration
    Cost: 3 AP
    While you are wearing this armor, you can breathe underwater.

  • Tin Foil
    Cost: 12 AP
    While you are wearing this armor, your mind cannot be dominated, charmed, or read by a spell of 5th level or lower.

  • Lantern
    Cost: 2 AP
    You shed bright light in a 30-foot radius and dim light for an additional 60 feet while wearing this armor.

  • Strong
    Cost: 3 AP
    Your carrying capacity is tripled when wearing this armor.

  • Scintillating Blade Cost: 9 AP
    When you do slashing or piercing damage to a creature or object with a melee weapon, they take an additional 1d4 damage if they are a creature, or 8d4 damage if they are an object.

Master of Armor

When you reach 6th level in this class, you can spend 10 AP to increase your AC by 3 for the next hour. Once you use this feature, you cannot use it again until you complete a long rest.

Supreme Master of Armor

At level 14, you gain proficiency in martial weapons. Whenever you take damage, you can spend AP to reduce the damage you take by 1d6 per AP spent.

I'm hoping to make a versatile tank subclass.

Is this homebrew Armorer Artificer subclass balanced compared to the 2019 UA Artificer subclasses?

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Which version of the artificer are you basing these off of? What are your design goals with this subclass? Do you think it's balanced? What sections are you most concerned with? \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Nov 16, 2019 at 0:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ The latest version, media.wizards.com/2019/dnd/downloads/UA-Artificer2-2019.pdf, I'm hoping to make a versatile tank subclass. \$\endgroup\$
    – qazwsx
    Nov 16, 2019 at 0:19
  • 6
    \$\begingroup\$ There is an official (better balanced after playtest feedback?) version coming with the new eberron book. You may want to wait until that's released to have a better starting point. \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Nov 16, 2019 at 1:34
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ As NautArch says, the final version of the base artificer class will appear in Eberron: Rising from the Last War when it releases in 4 days, and the Wayfinder's Guide to Eberron will be updated to match. The base class has also been changed based on playtest feedback, so if you intend to use the final version of the class, you should keep in mind the current version of this subclass may not work with the final version of the base class. You may want to wait until the final artificer release and adjust your homebrew accordingly before requesting feedback, but that's up to you. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Nov 16, 2019 at 2:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ Note that an Unearthed Arcana article released earlier this year (2020) included an Artificer archetype (for the official release of Artificer class in E:RfrTW) called "Armorer", which seems to roughly be the same as what you're after in terms of the broad theme of power armour. If you haven't seen it already, I suggest checking it out and seeing if you like it enough to use it in place of your homebrew. \$\endgroup\$
    – NathanS
    Jun 27, 2020 at 9:53

2 Answers 2


No. A few things to note that stand out

  1. crafting bonuses at lv. 3. Being able to gain the equivalent of a current lv 10 ability for artificers at lv 3, even if only for one kind of object is overpowered. Being able to gain powerful armor so early in the game seems cool, and is, but it is way too powerful at such a low level.

  2. too flexible. With all these available options at lv 5 and increasing, this gains too much flexibility for a subclass. Consider that one of the main properties of the warlock is the eldritch invocation, and that you have a similar amount of special abilities as invocations for the entire class, as one of the class's main features, and you can see that for a sublcass, this is way too good.

  3. Lackluster higher abilities. I get that heavily armored is supposed to be it's main thing, and it's scaling is most of the subclass, but the higher abilities are so underwhelming that they almost might as well not exist. The sixth level thing is confusing, and better suited as part of the original ability, and martial weapon proficiency at lv 14? I don't want to harp too much, but that is way too late to be gaining proficiencies in weapon types. At that point your character should know what weapons they want to be using, not gaining proficiencies in all martial weapons.

  4. Inbalances in the main feature. The main feature, as mentioned previously, is obviously the Heavily Armored ability. At level 17 you can use the majority of your subclass' ability into casting a cantrip as a bonus action, while at the same time at lv 12 you have protection from most mind manipulation, and at just lv 8 you can essentially be the ultimate underwater explorer. These are quite large differences, and the problem is that in the quest for diversity in options while retaining balance, most of these abilities come across as bland, and not particularly diverse at all.

  5. Confusion with the main ability. The AP points don't make much sense to me. You start out by saying you spend them to enchant the armor, but then all the later abilities require using them (and not a small amount of them), but only at later points in time. You need to clarify if you need to save points, or if you can unenchant things later or what. Also, either way, the limit on how many you have versus how many you spend on later abilities makes them quite limited, when you generally just want to have cool enchanted armor

  6. It's not all bad. I do like where you are going with this though, regardless of what I have just pointed out, and I don't want to feel like all I'm doing is shutting you down here. I'm not. I really like the idea. I really like the basis behind the main ability. I love the idea of an armor-enchanter. It just still needs work

All and all, I really like where these ideas are coming from, but it needs a lot of work. By trying to create diversity while retaining balance you seem to have achieved neither. So here's my advice.

  1. Move the armor creation ability back. It's just too powerful for a lv 3 character to have

  2. Move up martial weapon proficiency. At lv 14, people either have martial weapon proficiency, or they don't. And if they don't they've already built around that, so essentially the proficiency at this point is pointless.

  3. Consolidate the armor enchantments. Instead of having so many different enchantments that don't get any job done that they are supposed to, make a few packages that get better as you level up. Like this:

Mind Protector (Requires 10 AP): You gain immunity against mind controlling effects created by spells of level 3 or lower. For every extra 2 AP spent on this enchantment, the spell level it protects against increases by 1.

Have a few sets like this, and you can have diversity, utility, and balance all in one, without being too much or too little of any.

  1. Change the other AP abilities. The other AP abilities are just confusing with how AP works. Instead make them into enchantment sets of their own, or build them into every set, as I describe next

  2. After this, you might need some more abilities. Not to worry. A good way to do this could be to have the abilities of each enchantment set get an enhancement. Perhaps have an ability added to each, that lets you de-level them in exchange for a temporary boost. Something like that. Or, create new abilities that just give all of your enchanted armor some bonuses. That would work as well

I really hope that all of this helps you. I can't wait to see how you change this for it's next version, and I hope that this helps gives you a feel for what needs changing in that next version.



Leaving aside the flexibility that it gives relative to the other Artificer subclasses, it’s not even balanced within itself. Your Flamethrower ability gives you the ability to cast a cantrip for 17 AP, while becoming immune to magical mind-control effects costs just 12.

  • \$\begingroup\$ By 17th level firebolt as a bonus action is 22 damage per round for free \$\endgroup\$
    – qazwsx
    Nov 16, 2019 at 21:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ @qazwsx I missed that it was a bonus action, but the point generally remains. \$\endgroup\$
    – nick012000
    Nov 17, 2019 at 2:07

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