Due to plot reasons, I'm entering a Curse of Strahd Campaign where I know in advance that my Paladin will eventually be wielding the Sunsword.

The Sunsword is essentially a Sun Blade; a magic longsword with the Versitile and Finesse properties, and if the wielder is proficient with shortswords or longswords they are proficient with it.

The current party comprises of a front-lining Bear Totem Barbarian, a pacifist Cleric of the Life Domain, a Battlemaster Fighter (hand crossbow build), an Assassin Rogue, and a School of Divination Wizard (blasting/battlefield control, depending on the day).

How can I optimise my Paladin for optimal damage with the longsword/rapier over three combat encounters (each with five rounds), so that I can compete with the other min-maxers in my party?


  • Starting ability scores determined by point buy.
  • All PHB races except Dragonborn and Tieflings are permitted.
  • The character must be a 10th level Paladin
  • Feats are permitted.
  • The character must primarily use a longsword or rapier.

Oath of Conquest, v. human

In terms of consistent and reliable damage through encounters, with the option still remaining for nova damage, I think the best bet is Oath of Conquest.

The levers we have to control that are different are actually pretty small across the Oaths. So the ways to increase damage output are increase your modifiers and figure out a way to get more attacks and damage in the action economy.

With this build, I went with V. Human. Took the Sentinel feat and modifiers to STR and CHA.

ASIs all went to strength, giving you 20 STR at level 10, 14 CHA, and 14 CON. 10 DEX, 12 WIS, and 8 INT are the remaining stats.

Standard attack damage modifiers

As the weapon remains static in terms of damage, your modifiers will be:

  • +5 STR
  • +2 Dueling fighting style
  • Aura of Conquest (if fail save and are Frightened, they take 5 damage at start of turn in aura)

Bonus Action option

On top of that, you can also cast spiritual weapon as a non-concentration for additional damage via an attack roll as a bonus action. This provides a static bonus action attack option for damage(although limited by your spell slots and time...and the smaller to hit and damage modifier.) If you hit you can add an additional d8 damage die (scaling up if upcast) +2.

Reaction option

The sentinel feat won't trigger all the time, but when it does you can use your reaction to get an attack for more damage.


All in all, the Conquest Oath gets you a reliable means to generate a bonus action attack, a potential means to trigger a reaction attack, and the Dueling and STR investment increase your damage output.


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