Swashorlockadinster: 984 damage in one turn (5e Optimized Character Build)

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Edit: Now noticing this build violates a lot of rules, so this isn't really a "core/WotC" legal build. Oops.

Why has this human entered my lair alone? Deathwish? Accident? Madness? Madness... Stupidity! Only a fool would dare advance after gazing upon my form, yet still it walks. Poor thing.

The Paladin weaves around the dragon's gauntlet of traps and giant icicles and frozen projectiles until they get to striking distance. The dragon takes a deep breath. The paladin raises their shield.


The paladin's warhammer impacts the dragon's skull with a flash of holy light, and then again, and then again, and then again, and once more with a crack of thunder.

The former dragon's lair becomes covered in a spray of brains and skull fragments which were once its owner's, an evil being now vanquished from the material plane.

The paladin chuckles and mumbles something about "true power," then begins the journey back home.

The Build[edit]

Inspired by the Sorlockadin, but seeks even more damage from even more obscure means (at some cost, however). The idea is to just milk the most damage out of one turn as possible with this build.

This build is mostly just fun theorycrafting and not something to really take seriously or try to use in a campaign. It takes even longer to "come online" than the normal Sorlockadin -- you're kind of in the anime training arc until you get action surge at level 15, which is a long way down the road. And yeah using 5 spell slots in one turn isn't the most economical thing to do. Extra attack also really only functions to cast Divine Smite more, and is likely worse than just using a max level Booming Blade if you don't want to use spell slots.


Half-Orc: +1 dexterity, +2 charisma (using Tasha's rules).

Base: 15 dex 15 con 15 cha 8 str 8 int 8 wis Modified: 16 dex 15 con 17 cha 8 str 8 int 8 wis This is the first large diversion. You need 13 dex to multiclass into Rogue, and 13 charisma to multiclass into warlock and sorcerer. But you also want constitution, and you might need some strength to justify starting as a paladin for RP reasons if demanded. You'll have to take it out of constitution, which sucks to do. Committing to high dex for more AC and using medium armor is probably your best bet, and likely won't be too far behind heavy armor if at all. High dex also helps in rolling initiative, which with Rakish Audacity is going to be important in a group.


War caster is the most obvious, since you're gonna have a shield equipped most of the time.

If you have a DM who allows it you could use Spell Sniper to double the range of Booming Blade, which would make the bread and butter combo of Booming Blade -> Hastened Spell -> Booming Blade possible at 10 feet. And you could even use Distant Spell on it as well, bringing the range up to 20 feet (or 60 feet if you can convince your dm that 5 ft = touch).

Other than that just go for dex for AC or utility/survivability feats, it's up to you. Most feats are relatively unimportant to the function of this build.

Starting equipment[edit]

Well... I don't honestly know what to say about this. You start with chain mail, which you can't wear. So try the gold buy route instead. Paladins are one of the wealthiest classes to start with, and you can get a little more based on what background you get. 125 gold average from 5d4 plus 15-25 or so from some backgrounds. I'd honestly suggest getting a component pouch for all the multi-classing you're gonna do. Get a 1d8 one-hander that benefits from dex. Scale mail or chain shirt if you wanna be sneaky for some reason. And a shield. That leaves you with 50 gold to do... whatever.


Levels 1-2: Paladin[edit]

Divine smite is the core of this build's damage. Lay on Hands is a really good healing spell.

I suggest dueling fighting style, as having a shield will aid your survivability early on, and 2H's don't benefit from Rakish Audacity.

Level 3: Hexblade[edit]

You can get the Booming blade and Green-Flame Blade cantrips here if you want, or you can get them with Sorcerer and get something unique to warlock here. It's your choice. Also pick up hex for slightly more damage on the big turn.

Levels 4-7: Storm Sorcerer[edit]

Four levels in Sorcerer gives you just enough to really feel like the core Sorlockadin is "coming online," and I figure it's a good place to stop with the ability modifier or feat you can get. I'd go with some +1 charisma feat or a +1 cha +1 dex modifier here.

Levels 8-11: Swashbuckler[edit]

This is where this build gets kind of... divergent. You're already a dexterity paladin, but now you're a rogue? What? 3rd level is for Rakish Audacity, 4th is for the ability improvement/feat.

Levels 12-13: Paladin[edit]

I like Conquest, Vengeance, and Crown for this build. Vengeance is probably best for damage because of Vow of Enmity, but I'd probably go Crown with a group.

Paladin 5th level gets you another attack, which adds another layer to the one turn kill combo. Like Divine Smite, the second attack is not a bonus action, and has no casting time, so you're free to attack twice, and thus use Divine Smite twice and use a bonus action to use quickened spell for a cantrip for another melee attack to use Divine Smite again.

Optionally go to lvl 14 or 15 with Paladin for the Aura and Sacred Oath you get at Paladin 7th level. Then go Sorcerer to 20.

Levels 14-16: Battlemaster[edit]

I originally wasn't going to include this but action surge on its own is too much to give up, and getting two precision die out of the deal isn't bad either.

Superior technique (precision attack), Action Surge, and Precision Attack again.

Levels 17-20: Storm Sorcerer[edit]

You get +1d10 whenever you deal thunder or lightning damage now. I feel like maybe you could get something out of dipping back into warlock after this, but I think it's safe to play Sorcerer out from here.

The Sacred Combo[edit]

"So how do you wanna do this?"

Your target is an undead or a fiend who doesn't resist any of the spells you cast on it.

To set it up, you put up hex and hexblade's curse before this turn. In separate turns from each other if you have to, since they're both bonus actions.

Start with a normal attack boosted by a precision attack die, then a sneak attack from Rakish Audacity, and then Divine Smite.

Extra attack boosted by a precision attack die into a Divine Smite.

Quickened spell and use Booming Blade (+10 from storm sorcerer), which also leads to a melee attack, which you can use Divine Smite off of as well.

Then you use Action Surge and do a melee attack and Divine Smite, followed by another melee attack and Divine Smite.

This results in (with all attacks hitting):

321 average non-critical damage, 533.5 critical damage.

496 max non-critical damage, 991 max critical damage.

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