I am trying to find out how to best do what I want with this character, playing in Adventure League games.

Multi Classing Decision

I am about to hit level 5 in our campaign. After doing some research online I have found out that you can use your two death pact spells for smite and on top of that, the Darkness/Devil sight build + Sentinel Feat looks attractive. Beyond that, there is a cool RP setup in combining Paladin and Warlock tied to the Fey/Archfey. My big problem with Feat Selection is that I was looking at Mage slayer, Sentinel and Shield mastery, and having Protection fighting style, but with only one reaction per turn the synergy of stacked feats won't work.

Build Objective

I want to be someone who stops creatures, knocks them prone, buffs my team and debuffs the enemy to establish Advantage and/or Disadvantage.

  • Combat goals

    I want to be able to keep the enemy away from my healer and casters. I have a new player to DND who has joined us and he's a fighter (my little Squire for RP purposes) who uses Battlemaster / greatweapon fighting. He will be using stuff like Trip attack. So I want to be able to help protect him in the front line and keep the enemies on me, while making it easier for him to hit or be not hit? I would like to be able to do some dmg but mainly like with Mage slayer bash casters, or sentinel keep them on me away from my team.

Character Details

Stats: 16 str, 12 dex, 19 con(amulet of health 16 w/o), 8 int, 10 wis, 14 cha

What is the best leveling up plan, and when should I choose a feat or an ASI.

Build Plan Draft

Lvl 1-Paladin.

2-Paladin Pick Protection to Apply Disadvantage to attack rolls vs my friend.

  1. Paladin - Oath of Ancients. Its how I'm doing my RP, worship the nature and get his power later.
  2. Paladin First ability or feat. What is the better choice: adding Strength or taking the Mage slayer or Shield mastery feat?
  3. Paladin 2nd attack
  4. Paladin Aura
  5. Warlock Archfey for RP and Fey Presence
  6. Warlock Take Agonizing Blast and Eldritch Spear to power up my Eld blast.
  7. Warlock Take Pact of boon for RP.

10 Warlock Ability score improvement 2 or feat? Here I would take Sentinel for darkness.

  1. Warlock Get devil sight +3rd level spell slot.

Here it gets Skewed: I can go Lock or pally

  1. Pally Gain resistance Aura to spells
  2. Pally 3rd Ability/feat
  3. Pally gain 2 3rd level spell slots for smite!
  4. Pally Aura of courage meh still nice
  5. Pally improved Smite (amazing)
  6. Pally Ability score improvement 4
  7. Warlock Misty escape meh its ok.
  8. Warlock 4th level spell slot + one with shadow (i love this one)
  9. Warlock 5th and final Ability mod/feat.

Would love some peoples inputs if I should go another route please!

Beyond that, I've discussed with a friend that I should change Fighting Style from Protection to Dueling for +2 dmg, and to help with overburdening my reaction.


closed as primarily opinion-based by Oblivious Sage, SPavel, Miniman, Derek Stucki, Joel Harmon Dec 23 '16 at 4:29

Many good questions generate some degree of opinion based on expert experience, but answers to this question will tend to be almost entirely based on opinions, rather than facts, references, or specific expertise. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • \$\begingroup\$ How OK is your DM with refluffing Warlock stuff? \$\endgroup\$ – Shalvenay Dec 23 '16 at 0:24
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Were doing Adventure league so he can't change rules, but is allowing me to make my Eld blast in shapes or swords for RP. \$\endgroup\$ – Nathaniel Porter Dec 23 '16 at 0:25
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Comments aren't for discussion, they are for improving questions and answers. @MikeQ If you have an answer to the question, you should post it as an answer. Comments are transient and will be deleted. \$\endgroup\$ – LegendaryDude Dec 23 '16 at 1:42
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I think this question could get reopened if you fold your previous comment into the question itself. That is, the question should stand on its own without having to delve comments for relevant information. Also, there isn't much of a clear goal on this build; what's the relative priority of knocking down, buffing, and debuffing? Lastly, and most importantly, welcome and have fun! \$\endgroup\$ – Joel Harmon Dec 23 '16 at 4:32
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I have edited in Nathaniel's block comment on his front line concept with his squire. Suggest we reopen. \$\endgroup\$ – KorvinStarmast Dec 23 '16 at 17:06

There's more than one way to build a caster-tank, especially with a multiclass. From your description, it sounds like your goal is to be a defensive frontliner who locks down enemies, and uses magic as a secondary tactic. Paladin is an intuitive choice for that, whereas Warlock will augment your character and help you get around the Paladin's limitations. Here are some general thoughts and suggestions:

Class Levels

  • Your build relies on a strong close-combat presence. To keep up with the single-class characters, you want to take most of your class levels in consecutive 4-level increments. Your first 10 level picks are fine, although I would take Paladin as your 11th and 12th level, and Warlock as your 13th, so that you get the ability score increase (or feat) sooner.
  • Multiclassing caster classes means you will have tradeoffs. By level 20, you won't have access to the best Paladin or Warlock spells, but that's okay if you pick your spells carefully. In general, Paladin spells focus on buffs, especially buffing your own damage output. Warlock spells are more diverse, such as various debuffs. As a tank, you will probably use Paladin spells more often.

Class Features

  • This build benefits from a shield, so I recommend Protection for fighting style. If you're concerned about spending reactions, then go with Defense. As you level up, most of your damage potential will come from Divine Smite and spellcasting.
  • For your Pact Boon, the benefits of Pact of the Blade may be redundant with what you get from Paladin, and there are other ways to get magical weapons. Instead I suggest the Pact of the Tome, to give you more versatile spellcasting, mainly as a backup.
  • Although the Archfey fits your nature theme, the features granted by the Fiend patron may help you more as a tank, both for offense and defense.
  • Eldritch Spear is very situational. How often will you need a 300 foot range? Maybe instead take an invocation that provides utility rather than combat, since most of your combat capability comes from Paladin features and Warlock spells.

Character Advancement and Feats

  • Your first ability score increase should be Strength, to boost your melee capabilities. Your Constitution, heavy armor, and divine spells take care of most of your defense.
  • At a later level, once you start relying on Warlock debuffs and arcane damage, you may want to increase your Charisma score.
  • Both Sentinel and Shield Master are great options for a "lockdown" build. Sentinel keeps the enemies close to you, and Shield Master lets you knock them prone. Take both before considering Mage Slayer, which is also good but situational.
  • Although you should reserve spell slots for Divine Smite, you may want to consider the War Caster feat, possibly at a mid-to-high level. Useful buff spells like Bless and Haste require concentration, which is always a concern as a frontline caster. And once you have some Warlock levels, since you're up close anyway, this lets you throw a damage or debuff spell in place of an opportunity attack.

Your choice of Oath of the Ancients was a smart decision; your squire and other allies will love your Aura of Warding later on. Overall, your leveling plan is solid. Have fun!

  • \$\begingroup\$ Protection fighting style is weak, exactly because it competes for the reaction with the much more potent Sentinel. Shield Master's primary purpose is proning, and there is no stronger option for your bonus action against most enemies. \$\endgroup\$ – András May 18 '17 at 14:42

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.