The rogue features in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything do exactly what they need. They give a few more options for the rogue, but nothing more.
The rogue features in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything don’t give a giant power boost. They only gain one optional feature, which is just okay. Not powerful, not bad, but just okay depending on the situation. The two new subclasses are interesting, but nothing that will re-write the rogue or be laughed at as wholly pathetic. In short, Tasha’s did a good job with the rogue.
It is rare for Tasha’s to do so well with a class, so lets look at why the rogue is well done and what new options are given to you.
Rogue Optional Class Features
There are not multiple optional rogue features in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything. There is only one!
As a bonus action if you don’t move, you gain advantage on your next attack. Since rogues only get one attack a turn this might seem like a great addition, but why would you use this? Sneak attack is easy to gain and moving in/out is how most rogues play. They might get mobility, be a swashbuckler, or always be on the move some other way. You want to move, and if you need advantage you can just hide as a bonus action.
The only time this is useful is if you don’t have stealth as a rogue, or are in a wide open area. With that in mind, it presents options for very niche’ situations. Otherwise, there are much better alternatives.
There are two archetypes presented in the rogue features in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything. These two are not the best and are not the worst. These archetypes are however, not like the cleric archetypes in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything. Those subclasses are all god tier powerful because every cleric subclass is almost god tier. For rogues, your best archetypes are not above all others. They are all just pretty good, and these archetypes join that standard.
Whispers of the Dead:
Whenever you take a short or long rest, you can gain a proficiency for a skill that you don’t have. If you change this proficiency you obviously lose the previously gained one. This ability is nice at first, but as you level and gain reliable talent you are able to adjust to be an expert of almost anything whenever the group needs it. This can happen before 11 mind you, but it just becomes even more powerful. A pretty good secondary trait for level 3.
Wails from the Grave:
After you sneak attack, you can make an enemy within 30ft suffer half the sneak attack dice (rounded up) necrotic damage. You can use this your proficiency bonus per long rest.
Here is an example: At level 3 you can use this ability 2x per long rest. You hit a creature with sneak attack and use wail of the dead. The second enemy takes 1d6 necrotic damage.
This is your core ability and it is interesting. Not the best in the world, but more damage is always nice.
Tokens of the Departed:
When a creature dies within 30 ft, as a reaction you can make it’s soul into a trinket, and carry a maximum amount of trinkets equal to your proficiency bonus. You can do three things with your trinkets.
- While on your person, you have advantage on death and constitution saving throws.
- When you sneak attack, you can destroy a trinket to make wails from the grave happen for free.
- As an action, destroy a trinket and ask the trinket’s soul one question.
These are pretty interesting abilities, and not a bad level 9 feature.
As a bonus action once per long rest (or use of a soul trinket) you can become spectral for 10 minutes. When spectral, you gain a fly speed of 10 ft, can hover, and all attack rolls against you have disadvantage. This does not affect your attack rolls.
This is a broken ability. Possibly the best level 13 ability that a rogue can get. You now can be a main tank for many fights, and with uncanny dodge you might tank better than a paladin or warrior.
This has 2 abilities in one feature.
- When you use your Wails from the Grave, you can deal the necrotic damage to both the first and the second creature.
- At the end of a long rest, a soul trinket appears in your hand if you don’t have any soul trinkets.
This lets you get more soul trinkets and greatly increases your wails from the grave damage. A pretty good ability, but nothing too special for level 17.
You now have a pool of psionic energy dice that equals twice your proficiency bonus per long rest. The dice start out as 1d6, but go up by a d2 at levels 5, 11, and 17. These are the core of this class, and you can initially use these psionic energy dice two ways.
- If you fail a skill or tool check, you can use your psionic energy di, add it to the total, and maybe succeed. You only expend the psionic energy di if you succeed.
- You can telepathically communicate up to a mile with creatures equal to your proficiency bonus. This lasts for hours equal to your psionic energy di roll. You get one free use per long rest, and then you have to use psionic energy dice for any further uses.
The fact that these don’t add to damage and instead encourage tool/skill use and give a free telepathy ability really works well with a rogue. You can deal a lot of damage, but you are not just a damage machine. You are a skill monkey that also infiltrates places. Too many times rogue infiltrate too far on their own and die. The second ability mostly negates that, and is very rougy.
When you attack, you can manifest a finesse/thrown property psionic blade that deals 1d6 damage. This only lasts for one attack (hit or miss) and if you use a bonus action to attack with a second blade it deals 1d4 damage.
You now can always be armed and have a great way to throw weapons that won’t be limited. This is also, not two weapon fighting. That means your offhand bonus action blade that deals 1d4 damage also adds your ability modifier. This is possibly the best offhand you can have for a rogue, and is pretty nice overall.
You now can use two abilities in conjunction with your psychic blades.
- If you make an attack roll and miss you can use a psionic energy di to change that miss into a hit. The psionic energy di is only expended if you hit.
- As a bonus action you conjure a psionic energy blade, throw it, and roll a psionic energy di into an unoccupied space. You may throw this blade up to 10 ft x your psionic energy di roll. For example, if you rolled a 4 you can teleport up to 40 ft.
These both are pretty amazing abilities. One way to make sure you get a sneak attack in incase you missed both attacks in one round, and another to escape. Rogues are meant to be slippery damage dealing monsters. These abilities both help with that.
Once per long rest (or if you expend a psionic energy di) you can as an action go invisible for one hour. The invisibility ends if you attack or cause an enemy to make a saving throw.
Free invisibility is always nice, but it taking an action isn’t great. In addition to this, when you compare this ability to other level 13 abilities it isn’t too great. Not terrible, but definitely not great or thematic with your psionic abilities.
When you deal sneak attack damage you can force a creature to make a wisdom saving throw. The dc is just like a spell dc, but use dexterity as your ability modifier (8+prof+dex mod). If the creature fails this saving throw, they are stunned for up to 1 minute. The creature can make this saving throw at the end of it’s turn each round, and you can use this once per long rest. If you wish, you can expend 3 psionic energy dice to use it again.
This is an insane ability. It might not work on everyone, but if you use it on a beast or any low wisdom creature then it is almost game over. This may not be useful on everything, but it can be a game changer. Instant boss killer if your DM doesn’t take this into consideration.
A pretty good ability, and a great way to round out soulknife.
The rogue features in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything are interesting. You don’t gain many optional features. In fact, you only gain one that is of mediocre quality. The archetypes are also interesting. You gain a few new ways to play the rouge that were not there before.
The first is about using the souls of the dead to augment your roguish abilities, while the second is about using psionic abilities. Both are good and have strong points. While the Soulknife has more versatility, the Phantom has an amazing 13th level ability that is so powerful it makes up for almost anything else. That ability lets you become a tank, and changes the game/group dynamic so much that anything can happen.
This is a great addition to the rogue class, and one of the few balanced additions in Tasha’s that adds options without making the class take a power jog forward. Instead, it is just a buffet of balanced options to help how you want to play a rogue.
I hope that this has helped you understand the rogue a bit better in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything.
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