MinMax – Fighter

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Min/maxing is the approach to playing a game like Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) by looking at the most damage or actions you can do (max) with taking the least losses (min). However, the term minmax also comes from the statistical term to minimize your loss in the worst case scenario (maximum). In other words, maximize your minimal gain.

Many gamers now see this as stripping away the fun of the game down to numbers in order to compare, contrast, and quantify everything. For some groups, it will be their focus to have the most efficient characters, whose character and role-play are not as important.

I think most games like to be aware of the games mechanics and the scope in which they are playing within. It’s good to know that the rules you are playing with are balanced and that you have an equal playing level with your friends. So, for many gamers, minmaxing is also a way to ensure that you are kept in the game with equal ability to compete or contribute.

It is good to understand your limits and capabilities within a games mechanics. Minmaxing can be done in moderation so that you can examine your mechanical choices and then focus on your role play, knowing that your minmax statistics are balanced.

With all this said, I’d like to examine the minmax of each class and compare the following:

  • Damage per round-Min (DPR-Min): Minimum damage possible in 6 seconds
  • Damage per round-Max (DPR-Max):
    Maximum damage possible in 6 seconds
  • Skill Proficiencies-Min (SP-Min): Least number of skills that can be attained
  • Skill Proficiencies-Max (SP-Max): Most number of skills that can be attained
  • Choices of Transgression (CoT): Most number of options that can be chosen from to make an attack in a round of combat. Ignores abi, equipment, and items.
  • Number of Passive Abilities (PA): Most number of benefits that can be kept active without having to take an action.Ignores abi.
  • Performance Rating (PR): Overall judgment

Assumptions

  • All statistics will be examined at level 5. This feels like the most common level to play at in D&D and is by level 5 that characters have had the most change done to them: their subclass choice, an ability score improvement (abi), and established fundamental abilities.
  • All statistics will use +3 modifier for ability scores.
  • All statistics will include=(Average),Min-Max
  • Sources will only include Player’s Handbook and Xanathar’s Guide to Everything. No racial bonuses will be included.
  • Skill Proficiences:
    • Armor includes 4 major choices: Light, Medium, Heavy, Shields
    • Weapons breakdown into simple (15) and martial (24) which can total to 39

Damage per round-Min (DPR-Min)

Subclass: Battle-Master
Abi Choice: Non-combat feat

Action: Whip 1d4(3)+Strength(3)=(6),4-7
Second Attack: Above*2=(12),8-14

Notes: Avoided light weapon choices to ensure no bonus action for light-hand attacks.

Damage per round-Max (DPR-Max)

Option 1 – Great Weapon
Subclass: Champion
Abi Choice: Great Weapon Master
Fight Style: Great Weapon Fighter (+10% to average)

Action: Great sword attack 2d6(9)+Strength(3)+Great Weapon Master(10)=(22),15-25
Second Attack: Above*2=(44),30-50
Action Surge: Above*2=(88),60-100

Notes: Critical on 19 doubles the chance of a hit (5% to 10%) while great weapon fighting greatly reduces the chance of hitting (-25%).

Option 2 – Warlock Hex
Subclass: Champion
Abi Choice: Magic Initiate (Choose Warlock for the level 1 Hex spell)
Fight Style: Great Weapon Fighter (+10% to average)

Action: Great sword attack 2d6(9)+Strength(3)+Hex 1d6(4)=(16),6-21
Second Attack: Above*2=(32),12-42
Action Surge: Above*2=(64),24-84

Notes: This option includes a cantrip choice and has a much more reliable chance of landing a hit than the great weapon master.

Option 3 – Two Weapon Criticals
Subclass: Champion
Abi Choice: Lucky
Fight Style: Two weapon fighting

Action: Short sword 1d6(4)+Strength(3)=(7),4-7
+ Second attack=Short sword 1d6(4)+Strength(3)=(7),4-7
+ Off-hand attack=Short sword 1d6(4)+Strength(3)=(7),4-7
+ Total Action DPR=(21),12-21
Action Surge: Above*2=(42),24-21
*Total Action DPR with max critical strikes=(42),24-42
*Total Action Surge with max critical strikes=(84),48-84

Notes: Choosing lucky increases your chances of getting a critical strike, but it is not by much. Being able to re-roll a 1 means that you can re-roll approximately ~5% of the time. The chances of rolling a critical on each roll is 10% (champions having a critical on a 19 or 20).

Skill Proficiencies-Min (SP-Min)

Subclass: Eldritch Knight
Abi: Non-skilled related
Skills: Background(2)+Armor(4)+Weapons(39)+Core Skills(2)=47

Skill Proficiencies-Max (SP-Max)

Subclass: Battle Master/Arcane Archer/Cavalier/Samurai
Abi: Skilled
Skills: Background(2)+Armor(4)+Weapons(39)+Core Skills(2)+Skilled(3)+(Bonus Proficiency)=51

Notes: Champion’s “Remarkable Athlete” at level 7 could argubaly better this skill set, while the utility of Eldritch Knight spell choices could also balance the difference.

Choices of Transgression (CoT)

Subclass: Eldritch Knight
Choices: Weapons(3)+Cantrips(2)+Spells Known(4)=9

Notes: Weapons(3)=Melee Range, Long Range, Other

Number of Passive Abilities (PA)

Core: Fighting Style=1
Subclass:

  • Battle Master (Student of War)
  • Eldritch Knight (Weapon Bond)

Max = 2

Performance Rating (PR)

Damage delta=Maximum (88),60-100 – Minimum (12),8-14
=(76),52-86
Skills=51
Choices of Transgression=9
Passive Abilities=2

Performance Rating=(To be determined as new data accumulates)

The Fighter feels like a solid start to look at what the bench mark could be for damage comparisons. The champion figher is one of the only two choices in D&D to improve your critical strike chance, which significantly increases your damage output over time. This seems to come at a cost of low passive abilities and skills. The fighter is perfect for the player who wants a small scope of choices to work from, which will likely be to attack with whatever their weapon is.

It will be interesting to see how the fighter compares to the skills a bard can accumulate, the choices that a wizard can make, and the passives of a monk.

Got any suggestions to modify the choices above? Let us know!

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