I'm doing a melee sorcerer, but I'm afraid of losing my concentration in combat because in the higher levels, the damage is too big, and the concentration save is too difficult.

My campaign doesn't allow feats or multiclassing. Only ASI are permitted.

Str (+2) / Dex (+2) / Con (+5) / Int (0) / Wis (-1) / Cha (+2)

AC: 16 - without haste, with haste - 18

prof- (+5)

Sorcerous Origin: Draconic

I don't expect to have advantage on Concentration saves and can only expect damage resistance only if it's my element.

Specifically, I'm concerned about the Concentration save that would be necessary to face creatures like: Purple Worm, Tiamat, Tarrasque, Balor, Astral Dreadnought, Kraken, etc...

What are the chances that I will lose concentration on haste given my AC?

Is it better improve constitution against saving throw or dexterity against attack roll to maintain concentration?

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    \$\begingroup\$ i have an magic iten \$\endgroup\$ Sep 22 '20 at 21:00
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    \$\begingroup\$ Title and body don't quite match atm. Are you asking for how to calculate your chance of succeeding a concentration save with the stated build, or how to build to optimize against losing concentration? \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil
    Sep 23 '20 at 0:26
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ There are now two questions here, and I'm not sure which you would like answered here (the other can be another question, though). I wrote out a script to help with the first question but don't want to post anything that you aren't looking for. \$\endgroup\$
    – Upper_Case
    Sep 23 '20 at 0:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ @JoãoGrando You are asking 3 separate questions. 1) "How successful can you be at concentration checks as a level 15 sorcerer?" 2) "What concentration save is required to save from creature X?" 3) "Is it better improve constitution against saving throw or dexterity against attack roll to maintain concentration?" These are all valid question but you need to focus the post to make it clearer what kind of answer you are looking for. Based on the answer you selected you are actually asking "How to improve my concentration checks?" Please edit your question to clarify. \$\endgroup\$
    – linksassin
    Sep 23 '20 at 7:50
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Someone_Evil I actually think the original statistical was original question and the current answer is a frame challenge. \$\endgroup\$
    – NautArch
    Sep 23 '20 at 13:52

Your AC is quite bad, so the spells you concentrate on should be spells that will make you harder to hurt.

In particular, stoneskin will reduce incoming damage and greater invisibility will give attackers disadvantage. You might also consider polymorph; being a t-rex will hurt your concentration save but the extra pool of hit points is still good.

It's also worth mentioning blink and mirror image, which are not concentration spells but do allow you to avoid a bunch of attacks.

It's probably a bad idea to use haste because you will lose a turn when your concentration breaks. The haste spell is meant to be used by a caster who is very very confident they won't lose their concentration.

It might be worth taking a step back and thinking about your overall goal. Why do you want to be a melee sorceror? If your party lacks a tank, you might do better casting animate objects and using the animated objects as your tank. Or use wall of force to hinder attacking forces. Or use polymorph on one of your allies to make a tank that doesn't have to worry about losing concentration.

A character with an AC as low as yours should never be on the front lines unless you had a very good way (other than AC) to avoid damage.

A draconic sorceror, in particular, has the Dragon Wings ability and can fly above the battlefield. If you wanted, your character could be immune to melee attacks because they'd always be flying. It seems a bit of a shame to give that up.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Haste has a double whammy making it particularly bad for self-application: the caster loses an action to cast it on the first turn (which also locks them out of casting as a bonus action) and then a whole turn later when it wears off. \$\endgroup\$
    – Rykara
    Sep 22 '20 at 23:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ Not sure what Mearls based that answer on, but saving throws are part of game statistics which are replaced by the new form when affected by polymorph and I don't see anything to indicate those proficiencies are retained (they are for Wild Shape IIRC, but that's different transformation rules). \$\endgroup\$
    – Someone_Evil
    Sep 23 '20 at 0:56
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Someone_Evil: Mearls' tweets are basically never based on what the rules actually say, given that on several occasions he's tweeted something that's explicitly contradicted in the rules (not even ambiguous/unaddressed in the rules). On at least one occasion, this contradiction was noticed/pointed out by the person who asked him the question once they checked the rules themselves. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Sep 23 '20 at 8:10
  • \$\begingroup\$ All right, I've edited it. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dan B
    Sep 23 '20 at 13:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ I agree with V2Blast: don't thrust too much whatever Mearls and Myers and all the "Yes you can!" play-style gang have to say. Sage Advice should answered by rules lawyers a la "RAW is RAW is RAW" type of DMs, not by "Rule of Cool Rules" DMs. So IMHO "Sage" Advice too often feels more like "'My Own Opinion" Advice, not "word of god". Especially Mearl's answers. Basically, just use not a pinch but a shovelfull of salt when reading anything on Sage Advice. \$\endgroup\$
    – Pat
    Sep 23 '20 at 23:17

Your AC is bad. Disadvantage is your best friend

You seem to have a very low ac which seems to at least be saved by the fact that Draconic Sorcerer's have a built in Mage armor but you don't have access to use shields to pump it up higher. If you really want to do a melee sorcerer you are going to need spells that make it hard to hit you. Or at least make it so enemies don't want to hit you.

Spell Option: Blink

Blink is a pretty good spell to think about cause of the effect of possibly transporting you into the ethereal plane until the start of your next turn. But the downside is it's a literal roll of the d20 if you get this effect again at the end of your turn. But upside is you don't have to worry about concentration.

Spell Option: Mirror Image

Mirror Image creates three illusory duplicates of yourself with an AC of 10+ your dex and when enemy makes an attack at you you roll a d20 to see if the creature attacks you or your duplicates.

Downside they still have a chance to hit you if you have bad luck. And two with your dex and the level you are playing it just means you have three body bags that disappear with one attack. However this is also not concentration so you can stack it with haste and blink if you choose.

Spell Option: Polymorph

Polymorph is a way to use your concentration slot which you will be able to accomplish being a pseudo-tank by choosing to become a very Hearty beast with a high con mod which can allow you to keep concentration and tank health in your morph form like a druid and their wild shape ability.

Like you can become a huge T-rex and have its multi-attack if you are trying to be up close and personal damage dealer other than touch spells. And you also have the benefit of not being stunned which losing concentration with Haste does.

Spell Option: Blindness

Blindness would be a good spell to throw at enemies as you are able to make them attack with disadvantage with no cost to concentration.

But it's a Con Save and at your level you have a 15 spell save dc which means you are not going to be as effective as think it is as most higher end creatures tend to have either blindsense which negates blindness or relatively high Con saving throws.

Resistances to elements

Of course elemental damage is the more explosive and heavy hitting there is in DnD typically (ie Fireball, Fire Dragon's breath, Magic Missile if built out like crazy). Most enemies and spellcasters has a pension for Fire Damage so go for a Fire Ancestry dragon and to help cover other elemental damage types. Absorb Elements is great as its basically an elemental equivalent to the shield spell you also have the benefit of adding a d6 of that damage type to your next attack.

Haste Is Honestly Not Optimal On You

Haste is an amazing spell but something to keep in mind it's also a double edged sword for when you drop concentration the target in question is stunned. It is your character but you should understand the risk on casting it yourself even if you do have an effective +10 to concentration checks which can happen alot when you are in melee with martial prowess enemies.

The best I can see you using it is you doing hit and run tactics using the extra action of haste to Disengage and use your wings to fly away.

Is Sorcerer Gish Bad?

No I don't think it is bad but you have bad specs for it. Dex or Strength needs some attention in this matter, preferably Dex to have better AC.

Also melee damage needs that consistent source of damage from the ability score and another bonuses to make them more effective so using cantrips like Green Flame Blade or Booming Blade which stack on 2d8s on a attack you make on someone would be very helpful. Plus with sorcerrory points you can make those attacks as a bonus action via Quickened Spell metamagic to cast a one action spells as a bonus action which can allow you to either cast then strike or strike twice.

Also Green Flame Blade would meld well with the choice of Fire Dragon Ancestry cause you would be able to use your Elemental Affinity class ability add your Charisma modifier to the damage of the spell which makes you basically have the dueling fighting style with this combo.

But going for hit and run tactics it might be better to have Shocking grasp so you can escape without the need of a disengage action plus its a 3d8 cantrip at your level.

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    \$\begingroup\$ A purple worm has +14 to hit, disadvantage is actually close to irrelevant. \$\endgroup\$
    – SeriousBri
    Sep 23 '20 at 7:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @SeriousBri And that is fair hence why I mention other spells like blink or mirror image to either avoid conflict or have something else eat the hit. But in general disadvantage on the enemy not only helps you but helps the party. Also minions of say a lich or devil would have middling attack bonuses so disadvantage would be more effective on them. But you are right disadvantage when you have a bad AC can only do so much but it at least gives you a more fighting chance and very small chance of crits. \$\endgroup\$ Sep 24 '20 at 1:16

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