What is the highest Armor Class achievable for a Sorcerer with the Sorcerous Origin of Draconic Bloodline?
Player's Handbook Chapter 6 variant rules included. (Multiclassing, Feats, etc.)
If it's a melee attack you can make use of Defensive Duelist, otherwise you can cast Shield instead. Both are reactions so you can only utilize one per round.
also considering DMG items with and without feats
Now that the Dungeon Master's Guide is out, it's worth revisiting this question.
Without any magic items:
Without any Magic items but with optional feats:
With Magic items but without optional feats:
With Magic items and optional feats:
It's much quicker (level wise) to achieve a +2 dexterity modifier to AC than a +5, or to skip dexterity entirely in favor of expended feats.
With a Shield and Glass staff, you'll have to move the staff to your shield hand to cast somatic component spells.
From one of the designers, Mearls Crawford:
Q: Any advice on handling Clerics/druids with shields and spell casting? They seem disadvantaged without a hand free for S/M comps.
A: Just stow that weapon in the shield hand for a moment and you're good - the rule isn't there to restrict, but to clarify. -M
(source) Shield Guardian: there are rules for an amulet 1000gp and time, but there aren't cost and time given for construction. I'd opt for a required recipe for discovery, and a time 45 Days, and cost of 57500 GP (based on splitting the difference between a Clay and Flesh golem in Manuals)
21 without magic. Higher with it
That's pretty much the universal answer to this question (with the barbarian being the potential exception). There are several ways to go about about this.
Pretty much the go to here is to MC something that gets you heavy armor and shields. Life or War cleric is the go to. You get access to Plate right away (as soon as you can afford it) and you can have an AC of 20 no problem. Another option is a class that gives medium and shields (Pally, Fighter, Ranger) and take a feat. Lastly you can go something that gives you light armor and shields, and have a Dex of 20.
Adding a MC to Ranger, Paladin or Fighter will let you boost this an additional 1 thanks the Defense Fighting style. This gets you to 21.
This will get you to 20. To get to 21, you'll need a magic set of plate. +1 armor is currently the highest level magic item published and it is listed as rare. Obviously the DMG will likely have higher level armor which will obviously push this higher. If I recall correctly it is rumored to cap out at +3 which would make the max possible AC 23 (It's unknown at this time if magic shields will stack with magic armor, the only magic shield published is not a +x item).
Additional items may push it further. Orvir notes several that have been published: Bracers of Defense, Staff of Defense and the Ring of protection. That could push you as high as 26 and a temporary bonus such as the shield spell he mentions could push you to 31 for a round.
However, if you don't want to MC, you can take the feat tree to get it (lightly, moderately, heavily), but at that point your ability scores will be kind of lousy, you'd likely be better of MCing.
A shield counts as armor so it won't work with the Draconic Sorcy's class feature, the max you can get there is 18 (unless you have a magic ability increase beyond the 20 cap for Dex, something we don't know exists at this point).
39 Without Tomes or the ever risky Deck of Many Things
Half-Elf WLK 1/SOR 19
Racial +2 CHA, +1 DEX, +1 CON
STR 8 DEX 13(20) CON 13(14) INT 12 WIS 12 CHA 14(20)
5th : +2 DEX
9th : +2 DEX
13th : +2 DEX
17th : +2 CHA
20th : +2 CHA
WLK patron The Hexblade (Gives prof shields/medium armor)
Go Draconic recomended but robe makes it unnecessary
All Legendary except the shield which is very rare
Robe of the Archmagi (15 AC + DEX)
Shield +3 (+5 AC)
Black Dragon Mask (+5 AC from CHA)
Staff of Power (+2 AC)
AC : 32
Shield Spell +5 Haste +2
Total AC 39
Can still hit 32 with Cloak, Ioun Stone and Ring of Protection and a +2 Shield
Or go Half-plate +2 with Medium Armor Master for 34 (you'll have a free feat for this build, no need for dex higher than 16)
Not using anything but the PHB and the DMG, maximising levels in sorcerer. There was no limit on level so going to assume lvl 20 without any boons. Also assuming no access to Manuals or Tomes of [whatever] or Wishes as then you are into a whole different ball game.
Sorcerer(draconic) level 18/cleric(war) 1/fighter 1
AC 21(plate +3) +5(shield +3) +1(fighting style: defence) +1(Cloak of Protection) +1(Ring of Protection) +5(Shield spell) +2(Shield of Faith spell) +2(Haste spell cast by activating a Glyph of Warding with the spell embedded in it to "maintain" concentration to allow concentration on Shield of Faith) +3 Defender sword on full defence = 41
Adding in the defensive duelist feat (PHB p.165) then this adds +6 when the AC is vs a melee attack for AC41, AC46 vs one melee attack per round
Adding in a friendly 20th level Bard of the College of Valour who grants a die of Combat Inspiration (PHB p.55) and the sorcerer rolls a maximum +12 for AC53, AC58 vs melee.
If you allow XGTE and have 6 levels in Cleric (so only 12 levels in sorcerer) you can be of the Forge Domain and gain Blessing of the Forge (XGTE p.19) +1 for AC54, 60 vs melee.
If you allow XGTE and add 3 levels of Monk(Way of the Kensai) (so only 9 levels in sorcerer) then the character gains Path of the Kensai (XGTE p.34) which states:
If you make an unarmed strike as part of the Attack action on your turn and are holding a kensei weapon, you can use it to defend yourself if it is a melee weapon. You gain a +2 bonus to AC until the start of your next turn, while the weapon is in your hand and you aren't incapacitated
There is no armour or shield requirement on this ability, so if the character is holding a kensai weapon and makes an unarmed attack then they gain +2 for AC56, AC62 vs a melee weapon
If you do allow infinite numbers of Manuals or Tomes of [whatever] then assuming an ability cap of 30/+9, then you will a Sorcerer 19/Barbarian 1 for an AC of:
AC: 10(no armour) +9(dexterity 30) +9(constitution 30) +5(+3 Shield) +1(Cloak of Protection) +1(Ring of Protection) +5(Shield spell) +2(Shield of Faith spell) +2(Haste spell cast by activating a Glyph of Warding with the spell embedded in it to "maintain" concentration to allow concentration on Shield of Faith) +3 Defender sword on full defence = AC45
Adding in the defensive duelist feat (PHB p.165) then this adds +6 when the AC is vs a melee attack for AC45, AC51 vs one melee attack per round
Adding in that friendly 20th level Bard of the College of Valour who grants a die of Combat Inspiration (PHB p.55) and the sorcerer rolls a maximum +12 for AC57, AC63 vs melee.
If you allow XGTE and add 3 levels of Monk(Way of the Kensai) (so only 16 levels in sorcerer, and you need to keep the barbarian level for the use of the +3 shield) then the character gains Path of the Kensai (XGTE p.34). If the character is holding a kensai weapon and makes an unarmed attack then they gain +2 for AC59, AC65 vs a melee weapon
That is much higher than I thought I would be able to get!
Also very silly.
1Sorcerer/2 Paladin/4 Warlock/6 Paladin/7 Sorcerer
Human Varient 8 Str/16 Dex/14 Con/8 Int/10 Wis/16 Cha
Arcane Focus/Holy Shield : AC: 13 + Dex : 16 + 2 shield = 18 AC @ Level 1
Feat: Polearm Mastery
1: Sorcerer Origin: Draconic (Gold/Fire) / Draconic Resilience
3: Smites/Dueling Combat Style
4: The Fiend
5: Agonizing Blast/Devil's Sight
6: Tome: Shillelagh, Thorn Whip, Guidance
8: Oath of Vengence
9: +2 Cha
10: Extra Attack
11: Aura of Protection
12: Relentless Avenger (Half movement on OA that does not provoke OA)
13: Cha +2
14: Font of Magic
15: Metamagic (Quickened Spell) (Twinned Spell)
16: Elemental Adept(Fire)
18: Elemental Affinity
20: +2 Dex
Spell slots @ 20: Four 1st/Three 2nd/Three 3rd/Three 4th/Two 5th/One 6th + Two 2nd level/per short rest
Spells of note: Paladin Smite Spells, Darkness, Hex, Armor of Agathys (lots of temp HP no concentration), Misty Step, Shield
Items obtainable in AL play:
If you want to max for AC specifically, get rid of two feats and grab +2 dex twice.
Max of 34 AC.
in 5e you can't get more than 30 AC!!!!!
besides all you need is to get your dex to 30 and leather armor +3, shield +3
dex 30: 10
leather+3 = 12+3=15
shield+3 = 2+3 = 5
no magic needed, just an epic boon to remove 20 stat cap. then wish until your dex is 30.
this works for everyone as long as you can get someone to cast wish for your dex in the end.