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My DM decided to let any spellcaster cast a cantrip that takes an Action to cast as a Bonus Action or full Action. For now, I have just been using ray of frost twice a turn or using two minor illusions for a sound and visual. How can I get the most out of this rule?

I have told him that this is a terrible idea and will only widen the martial/caster gap but he doesn't really care. I like Min-maxing but I feel like I need to show him why this a terrible idea. I CAN cast this with levelled spells (eg: Using Ray of Frost and then casting Fireball)

I am currently playing a level 2 necromancy wizard. My cantrips are Ray of Frost, Sending (Im playing a warforged without a mouth) and Minor Illusion.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Y'know, I was just thinking that caster cantrips weren't strong enough /s \$\endgroup\$
    – goodguy5
    Feb 11 at 17:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ Warforged Wizard, we're level 2 ATM but he said well level pretty quickly \$\endgroup\$
    – Ayebrow
    Feb 11 at 17:15
  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you looking exclusively for builds that take advantage of casting multiple cantrips or can a build solely abuse the ability to bonus-action-cast all cantrips? \$\endgroup\$ Feb 11 at 17:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ Either, but at the moment I'm just level 2 so I dont have access to many spells \$\endgroup\$
    – Ayebrow
    Feb 11 at 17:22
  • \$\begingroup\$ Is multiclassing allowed? \$\endgroup\$ Feb 11 at 17:27

3 Answers 3

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Eldritch blast with Hexblade's Curse and Agonizing Blast.

And it's not even close. A warlock that can cast eldritch blast twice in one turn is the strongest character. At 5th level with the Agonizing Blast invocation, that is four attacks dealing 1d10+CHA each per turn. At 11th level it becomes six attacks, and at 17th it becomes eight. But wait there's more! Picking up the Hexblade patron grants access to Hexblade's Curse, which allows you to add your proficiency bonus to the damage too. A 17th level warlock can deal 1d10+11 damage per hit (with 20 Charisma), for eight total attacks in one turn.

In this answer I outline the alarming power of being able to cast eldritch blast twice in a turn. Without Hexblade's Curse, the average damage against an AC 18 target works out to 82 damage per turn; whereas adding Hexblade's Curse on top of it adds another 40 or so per turn. Granted, this is in the context of a 20th level character, but it scales down as expected. The number of attacks, the strong damage die, and the ability to add charisma and proficiency bonus to each hit makes eldritch blast far and away the strongest application of this rule.

But you're a wizard! If multiclassing is allowed, all you need is two levels of Hexblade Warlock to unlock Agonizing Blast, and your eldritch blast beams scale with your total character level, not just your levels in warlock.

"All casters get a very rare magic item for free" is pretty unbalanced.

This rule is actually already a magic item in the game, the very rare Illusionist's Bracers:

While wearing the bracers, whenever you cast a cantrip, you can use a bonus action on the same turn to cast that cantrip a second time.

As a very rare item, its value is somewhere between 5,000 and 50,000 gp, but I've used this item before: it is one of the most powerful magic items in the entire game. I would put this on the 50,000 gp end of that spectrum. So your DM has essentially given every caster one of the most powerful items in the entire game, for free, without attunement restrictions.

To be clear, this is not "your fun is wrong", if every one is having fun. But be advised, this does make all casters way stronger than all martials. Cantrip damage scales up for casters to match the increase in damage output of martials that get extra attack. If I were in this game playing a fighter, barbarian, or monk, I would ask to switch classes, because there is no point in me doing anything anymore because the casters are going to be overwhelmingly powerful in comparison.

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    \$\begingroup\$ they're a wizard \$\endgroup\$
    – goodguy5
    Feb 11 at 17:25
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Ayebrow It is more flexible, but eldritch blast is so alarmingly powerful that you would never do anything else. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 11 at 17:30
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    \$\begingroup\$ In a 20th level oneshot I played a sorcerer with a warlock dip that did absolutely nothing but quicken eldritch blast. Absolutely ludicrous amounts of damage. The only time I needed to do something else was when trying to do massive single-attack damage to break concentration, since a single EB attack was not doing it vs. multiple ancient dragons. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 11 at 18:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ this would also keep Hex relevant all the way to Tier 4, and you would definitely want foresight for your 9th level Arcanum \$\endgroup\$
    – Tiger Guy
    Feb 11 at 18:37
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    \$\begingroup\$ I can vouch for this. I played in a campaign as a Warlock. The party found the illusionist bracers; but all we knew was the name, not the functionality. I piped in, "My warlock specialized in deception (he's a fortune teller by trade), so I imagine something to do with illusions would be helpful." The party agreed and I strapped them on. I became a walking cannon. The campaign ended shortly afterwards because of the imbalance. \$\endgroup\$
    – MivaScott
    Feb 11 at 19:00
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You might also want to consider focusing less on upfront DPR and focus on painful set-up combos that can quickly get out of hand, especially with multiclassing:

Mind Sliver (CA) + Ray of Sickness (1st)

Mind Sliver is an INT save. Most monsters have terrible INT saves. If they fail, the next saving throw suffers a d4 penalty.

Follow it up with a Ray of Sickness to force a CON save minus 1d4 or suffer disadvantage on attacks until the end of your next turn.

In fact, you can repeat this with any spell that requires a save.

At level 2, it's not that bad. But imagine similar tactics when it's a Plane Shift spell or Banishment.

Even at this level, if someone has Wrathful Smite, the poisoned condition from Ray of Sickness would grant disadvantage on the WIS check (NOT save) to shake off the frightened conditioned imposed by the Wrathful Smite. And the victim would have to use its turn to try to make the check.

Granted, this is a combo that isn't unique to your current situation. But normally, it would take you 2 rounds to set this up, maybe even a bit longer. Now, the set up takes just 1 round.

Again, it might not impressive at 2nd level (though I'd argue that it is), but it represents but a taste of what could happen at later levels.

NB: What Good Guys Can Do . . .

. . . so, too, can the bad guys. Maybe the GM is setting you guys up fo some horrible tactics from NPCs and villains and needs this sort of shenanigans in place to make it happen.

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    \$\begingroup\$ Good answer - while you are around, please take the tour :) \$\endgroup\$
    – Akixkisu
    Feb 11 at 18:56
  • \$\begingroup\$ Sidenote: I built a multiclassing monster of a character to be able to do a lot of what I'm suggesting here. It took 9 levels to "come online" the way I wanted it to. It would have been just 3 levels had I had this house rule in my campaign. Comparing the avg DPR between 3rd and 9th levels . . . ? >phew!< Maybe the GM wants the challenge? \$\endgroup\$
    – physix
    Feb 11 at 18:58
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Assuming that you want to stay a Wizard (because otherwise, it's "be a warlock and spam eldritch blast all day").

Probably Toll the Dead (but depends on target)

For every attack after the enemy takes any damage, it's 1d12 (1d8 to a fresh target). And it's a Wisdom Save.

Some targets are going to have certain resistances and save proficiencies, so you'll want to play to that a bit, but some other good options are:

  • Poison Spray - also 1d12, but poison (often resisted) and Constitution Save (many monsters have good saves)
  • Fire Bolt - 1d10. Good ol' fire bolt; reliable attack with fire damage. Good vs lower-AC targets.
  • Anything with 1d8 damage, take your pick.
  • an AoE cantrip like acid splash, or thunderclap. They're not super strong, but can occasionally be the right choice.
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    \$\begingroup\$ This is probably the best non-EB answer, though fire bolt might see more damage than toll the dead if you were able to get advantage on fire bolt. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 11 at 18:00

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