I try to create a lvl 4 character with a lot of AC. I'm not sure if it's ''legal''

So here it is:

  • Studded leather armor : 12 AC

  • Dex mod : +3

  • Shield + 2 AC

  • Fighter Defensive style : +1 Ac

  • Feat Defensive Duelist : +2 AC (In reaction with Finesse weapon)

  • Also use Shield spell sometimes if possible? : +5 AC

Is there anything that prevents all of these to work at the same time?

  • \$\begingroup\$ So what AC do you got in the end? \$\endgroup\$
    – enkryptor
    Apr 16, 2020 at 20:19
  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you just asking to check if you're right? \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Apr 16, 2020 at 20:39
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Possibly just for curiosity: how do you have access to the shield spell? (It's perfectly possible, just asking for completeness) \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil
    Apr 16, 2020 at 21:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ If you're running a fighter, buying a breastplate should get you another point of AC at the cost of 400gp. You also wouldn't need quite as much dex. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ben Barden
    Apr 16, 2020 at 22:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ This build gets you AC 18, with either +2 or +5 for a temporary AC 20 or AC 23. Instead you could use plate armor, a shield, and Defensive style to have AC 21 all the time and have a free hand for either Defensive Duelist or Shield. \$\endgroup\$
    – ValhallaGH
    Apr 16, 2020 at 22:42

3 Answers 3


Shield has a somatic component and you only have one reaction per round

Everything else works though. Just to run though the list; wearing studded armour sets your AC to 12 + your Dexterity modifier of 3. In one hand you hold a shield which adds +2 and in the other you hold a finesse weapon with which Defensive duelist can add a bonus equal to your proficiency (ie. +2) as a reaction for a given attack. However, both your hands are occupied meaning you have none left to provide the somatic component (S) of shield. Also, you have used your reaction with Defensive duelist, which means you haven't got it available to also cast shield.

You can of course solve the first issue by picking up the Warcaster feat using its second benefit:

  • You can perform the somatic components of spells even when you have weapons or a shield in one or both hands.

At which point you will have to choose between using shield and Defensive duelist. Note that the bonus to AC from shield will be higher until you reach 13th level, but does cost one of your precious spell slots. Shield does however work until the start of your next turn, and not just on the singular attack.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you very much! It's appreciate! I think I will skip the Shield spell. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 17, 2020 at 0:18
  • \$\begingroup\$ At a point, I was looking to let my weapon in the body of my ennemis, cast a spell with my free hand and use the eldritch knight bound weapon to teleport right after that. \$\endgroup\$ Apr 17, 2020 at 0:24
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MarilynManOrc RAW you arent able to leave weapons in enemies... but you could use a free action to drop it right after a successful attack and fluff the weapon being stuck. \$\endgroup\$
    – rpgstar
    Apr 17, 2020 at 8:20
  • \$\begingroup\$ @rpgstar If you're casting shield on an enemy's turn, which is the normal case, you can't drop your weapon at that point. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mark Wells
    Apr 17, 2020 at 11:51
  • \$\begingroup\$ @MarkWells yes. They'd have to drop the weapon on their turn. \$\endgroup\$
    – rpgstar
    Apr 18, 2020 at 16:48

Not that I know of. Just remember that the defensive duelist feat requires your reaction, so you would only be able to use it once per round of combat.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ I'll show sportsman ship and at least point out that shield also requires your reaction to cast. \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil
    Apr 16, 2020 at 21:57

There's a few variables that come into effect here, first one being what class are you?

If you're fighter or paladin (or ranger as well) and have prof with medium armor I'd recommend getting some medium armor instead and picking up medium armor mastery so your base ac with armor is now 14 (scale mail) +3 since you now add your dex mod to a max of +3 to your ac and you no longer suffer dis with it.

Now you have a consistent ac of 20

14 (scale mail)
+3 (Dex mod)
+1 (from your fighting style)
+2 (Shield)
for a consistent 20 ac, 25 if you cast your shield spell as well whereas before you only had a consistent ac of 18 and had to choose between using your reaction for 20 or 23 ac.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I could go into more detail and show the new percentages and likelihood of getting his but I don't want to bog you down with math. this combo will give you the best ac without using heavy armor until you have 20 dex, at which point the half-plate medium armor would provide the same ac as studded leather with max dex. \$\endgroup\$
    – user63215
    Apr 17, 2020 at 7:37
  • \$\begingroup\$ This isn't an answer to the question, exactly. \$\endgroup\$
    – Mark Wells
    Apr 17, 2020 at 11:52

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .