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I'm trying to increase my melee damage as currently I'm focused on support and don't really have anything to do after I cast my support and debuff spells. I'm looking for ways to boost my melee damage output.

The Character

A level 8 College of Tragedy bard with 1 level of Hexblade warlock.

http://dnd5e.wikidot.com/bard:tragedy

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    \$\begingroup\$ Please clarify your specific problem or provide additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it's hard to tell exactly what you're asking. \$\endgroup\$
    – Community Bot
    Nov 20, 2022 at 19:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ How often are you able to cast all the support and debuff spells you want and still have more fighting to do? What other spells have you picked? From polymorph to hypnotic pattern to hold person to command and faerie fire, there are plenty of control and debuff spells on the bard list to last for an entire combat. \$\endgroup\$ Nov 23, 2022 at 20:56

1 Answer 1

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You already have access to the Hex spell and to Hexblade's Curse from your level of Hexblade warlock, so I assume you are already using those to boost the damage your rapier deals. If not, that is an easy win. As for feats, there is not that much, but here are a few options:

  • Lucky. you can increase the effective damage you deal with your rapier with Lucky, by increasing the chance of a hit or critical up to 3 times a day. It also has many other valuable uses, like giving you a second shot on clearly bungled saving throws.

  • Martial Adept. You will get superiority dice, and two maneuvers, which you can use to increase either your hit chance for more effective damage, or to just plainly boost your damage, for example with Menacing Attack, or Trip Attack.

  • Savage Attacker lets you reroll your damage die, but it's rather meh in effective improvement on a d8. Better pick up Martial Adept or Piercer (Tasha's Cauldron of Everything) which does the same for your piercing rapier, but throws in a +1 to Dexterity for free, which is better in case you have not maximized it yet. It also adds an extra die on criticals.

  • Sentinel is great -- it is not directly increasing your chance to hit or damage, but it offers a lot more opportunity attacks, and with those additional attacks, additional damage. It also helps control the battlefield by stopping opponent movement.

  • Fighting Initiate (Tasha's Cauldron of Everything): pick dueling fighting style, for +2 to damage. This is better than the expected increase you get from rerolling with Savage Attacker or Piercer (which yields an expected improvment of about a point if you reroll rolls under average).

  • Magic Initiate (or Magical Secrets on Bard 10) can provide you access to Green Flame Blade or Booming Blade. (Credit to @Ruse).

In addition, you could pick up other spell options with Magical Secrets that allow you to increase your rapier damage, for example on Bard 10 the various higher level smite spells from the Paladin or Warlock lists, and on Bard 14, you could pick up Tenser’s Transformation (Xanathar’s Guide to Everything) from the Wizard list.

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