The fighter features in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything are not good. To be specific, they are not very good for the class, and something that is highly disappointing.
The fighter features in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything detract from the overall fighter. At first, it seems like the extra fighting options are good, but the optional features and suggestions at the end of the fighter section are terrible. The subclasses are okay but are heavily discouraged by what this book brings.
This is the first time from a player’s perspective that Tasha’s is terrible for your class. Why you might ask? Well, we will dive into it.
Fighter Optional Class Features
There are 3 optional features. Two of them are questionable at best, and one is just beneficial. The only purely beneficial fighter features in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything is martial versatility.
You can replace your fighting style or maneuvers that you know. This is a mixed bag. While it does let the player not get locked into a previous character decision, changing a fighting style is almost like changing the core of your personality. Maneuvers are fine, but fighting styles are a bit much. I don’t see this being used much, and if a player needed to change their fighting style that is probably something very big story wise that they and the DM would already talk about.
Fighting Style Options:
There are a few different fighting styles to chose from and this is a small explanation of what they do.
- Blind fighting: You don’t need to worry about not being able to see for 10 ft.
- Interception: You can as a reaction reduce the damage from an attack that hits your ally.
- Superior Technique: You gain a maneuver and a superiority di.
- Thrown Weapon Fighting: When you hit with a thrown weapon you deal +2 damage.
- Unarmed Fighting: If you have no shield or weapon your unarmed strikes deal damage equal to an 11th-16th level monk. If you have a shield or weapon you deal damage equal to a 5-10th level monk.
When reading these styles you might have some strong opinions. Blind fighting, okay. Interception, okay. Superior technique is something we will get into later and thrown weapon fighting is okay. Unarmed fighting makes you a more damaging monk. Which is confusing, but it is what it is.
This is a section where you gain a few new maneuvers to chose from. Here is a small explanation of what they do.
- Ambush: Increase your initiative score by a superiority di.
- Bait and Switch: Switch spaces with a close living creature and add ac to you or that creature.
- Brace: You get an attack of opportunity if someone comes to your attack range.
- Commanding Presence: When you make a non deception charisma check you can add your superiority di.
- Grappling Strike: After you attack you can then grapple the creature.
- Quick Toss: As a bonus action you can throw a weapon and add the superiority di to damage.
- Tactical Assessment: History, investigate, or insight gets your superiority di added to it.
While these are good, the massive, and I mean MASSIVE focus on maneuvers almost forces a fighter to pick the feat martial adept, the fighting style superior technique, or a battle master subclass. If you really want to get the most out of fighter, pick all 3. Now you have the most powerful, versatile, and amazing subclass in the game.
Tasha’s as you can see delves far too much into battle master making it the ultimate subclass. We aren’t even done with what they add for battle master, but they aren’t really giving you more choices. WoTC are practically telling you that you should pick the battle master subclass if you want to play fighter. That, is not at all what we want, and takes away all choice if you want to play a good fighter.
The subclasses should be for flavor, rp, playstyle and more. That doesn’t exist with Tashas. There is only the battle master.
As stated, the fighter features in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything lean heavily towards battle master. It would be almost hilarious how lopsided it is if it weren’t so sad. Some subclasses have a purely best class that they contend with. The druid has of course the circle of the moon. Tasha’s druid has subclasses that content with this class providing options of equal power or different enough playstyles to justify the subclasses’ existence.
I wish I could say the same here.
The truth is that even if these new martial archetypes were able to contend with battle master they are unable to now with all the features thrown the battle master’s way. No subclass has the versatility, power packed into a short rest, or customization that the battle master does. It is sad, but we will still cover the subclasses presented in Tasha’s.
You gain psionic energy dice based on twice your proficiency bonus. These last per long rest, and are a poor substitute for superiority dice. Your di is the same a superiority di (1d6 that grows as you level) and you can use them in a much more limited fashion.
- You can reduce the damage to anyone within 30 ft of you (including you) as a reaction. This reduces the damage by your psionic energy di + your intelligence modifier. A bit better than parry, but parry can be used much more.
- When you hit a target within 30 ft of you you can add your psionic energy di + your intelligence modifier as force damage.
- You can move an object once per short rest.
While these seem cool, you get a small amount of dice per day, and if a battle master gets 1 short rest they have many more maneuvers to use than you do. 2 short rests or a battle master with any feat or fighting style makes this sub par version of maneuvers sadly.
You now are able to use your psionic powers in different ways!
- For one turn you can fly twice your speed.
- You could knock the target prone.
Since the second option is quite literally a maneuver this isn’t too impressive. It isn’t making a great case to be better than a battle master, and only adding 2 options isn’t that great comparatively to other class features.
Resistance to psychic damage is nice. You get that with the guarded mind feature, and are able to end a frightened or charmed state on you if you expend a psionic energy di. Spending a psionic energy di to end a state isn’t great but it is something.
Bulwark of Force:
Once per long rest unless you expend a psionic energy di you can grant some of your allies half cover for 1 minute. As a 15th level ability, this is sad. Very, very sad.
Once per long rest unless you expend a psionic energy di you can cast the telekinesis spell. As a level 18 ability, this is pretty terrible.
In short, anything you can do the battle master can do better. And your features are not that great. Especially after level 7.
You gain proficiency with smith’s tools, and you learn to speak, read, and write Giant. A cool feature to have! It isn’t game breaking, but a good secondary feature for level 3.
You know runes to enhance your gear. You can do a lot of things with these runes, but in short they provide a minor bonus that is always active a greater activation bonus. This activation bonus is only useable once per short/long rest, and you can do a lot with these runes.
The runes don’t just mimic battle master abilities like some psionic energy abilities do. Instead, all provide an rp bonus as the minor bonus and sometimes create completely new effects. If you are interested in RP more than combat, the rune knight might be an option for you since it provides a little bit of both.
You can essentially rage by becoming larger, stronger, and add more damage once per turn. You don’t gain any resistances, but you grow in size and have a very cool buff to use in combat.
As a reaction you can make an enemy re-roll an attack roll. This can be used as much as your proficiency bonus per long rest which is a very nice addition to your class. Not a bad feature at all for level 7!
You now grow a few inches and increase the damage on your giant’s might ability.
Master of Runes:
You now can use your runic features twice. This doubles the amount of abilities that you can use which is freaking awesome! Definitely a game changing level, but it comes so late. I wish that it came at level 10, but if you are able to reach level 15 then your rune knight will become a force to even content with! Possibly even equal to a battle master if not better. You just have to get to level 15.
This just adds more damage and size to your giant’s might. This also adds reach to you while in your giant’s might which is an alright level 18 feature. Not nearly as good as your level 15 feature, but it is still okay.
Battle Master Builds
If you thought that they valued subclasses equally, this part of the fighter features in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything proves you wrong.
They have 12 recommended builds for players to use with battle master.
Never before have I seen such blatant favoritism towards any subclass in DnD 5e. No other subclass has gotten this treatment, or even come close to it. They are practically telling you ‘there are many different ways to play battle master, and here is how you do it!’
WoTC doesn’t seem to realize or care that there are other subclasses. To them, fighter means battle master and any fighter is a battle master. Otherwise you aren’t really playing a fighter. That is what this section makes abundantly clear.
I was applauded by the fighter features in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything. Almost everything is geared towards pushing you to play a battle master. While battle master is versatile, there are other subclasses. At least, there should be other subclasses. The end section to fighter, where they give recommended builds on how to play a battle master in a variety of ways is blatant favoritism. I never thought I would see such disregard towards other subclasses, but it is what it is.
Some fighting styles were okay. The psionic warrior is a joke as long as the battle master exists and the features past level 3 in the psionic warrior don’t add that much. Rune Knight is a pretty neat class. It is able to content with battlemaster past level 15, but only a minority of players will play to that point. If you are going to play to or past level 15, then rune knight might be a good option.
In short, I am extremely disappointed as a player in Tasha’s. This pushes everyone towards battle master. The psionic warrior is a joke, and rune knight is cool but only great post level 15. There were other questionable decisions, but all in all this is the only class that I have pure disdain for what WoTC did.
I hope that this has helped you understand the fighter a bit better in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything.
This has been Wizo, keep rolling, and HAVE FUN PLAYING BATTLE MASTER!
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