Talk:Magic Missile Stormer (3.5e Optimized Character Build)

From D&D Wiki

Jump to: navigation, search

Featured Article Nomination[edit]

Yes check.svg.png — This article became a featured article! --Green Dragon (talk) 14:53, 9 May 2012 (MDT)

I nominate this article to be featured mainly due to the mental image I get of a massive amount of "Magic Missile" being used. Other things, this build is very well written and easy to understand, meets all criteria, and even gives an alternate build. Humorous, yes...but useful. -- Irykyl 12:37, 20 April 2012 (MDT)

  • Support — This looks good to me. --Green Dragon (talk) 01:05, 8 May 2012 (MDT)
  • Comment — This will become a featured article soon without reasons of opposition. --Green Dragon (talk) 22:50, 8 May 2012 (MDT)
  • Support — I support this, but i think the build would benefit from Chain Spell to hit surrounding targets. --Ganre (talk) 07:11, 9 May 2012 (MDT)
Chain Spells are pointless. Normal spells grant you bonuses based off your caster level, these require higher spell slots. Not only is that the exact wrong thing for this build to do, but it also really hinders spellcasting. --Green Dragon (talk) 11:49, 9 May 2012 (MDT)
I am a little late to the party, but I do believe he meant this. Jwguy (talk) 00:09, 14 June 2012 (MDT)
  • Support — I can't vouch for the mechanics (it's been a while) but the writing is clear and lively, and the formatting is good. Marasmusine (talk) 13:02, 9 May 2012 (MDT)
  • Support — Not sure if mine counts but he put a lot of work into it and it is fairly easy to understand especially with the breakdowns. Tivanir (talk) 13:13, 9 May 2012 (MDT)


Magic Missile Minigun does not relate to the SRD too well. With SRD:Storm of Throws maybe a more appropriate name would be "Magic Missile Stormer"? --Green Dragon (talk) 17:33, 9 May 2012 (MDT)

I changed it. --Green Dragon (talk) 10:34, 17 May 2012 (MDT)
Aww, I liked the alliteration. Marasmusine (talk) 12:17, 17 May 2012 (MDT)

Other Counters[edit]

If I recall my spell knowledge correctly, there are two 1st level spells that can block Magic Missiles, Shield and Nightshield. Was this overlooked in possible counters to this build for the GM or is it assumed that, due to such a low level, they are easily dispellable using some of the lower level spell slots? --DrayGon777 7:35 PM, 6 June 2012 (EDT)

P.S. This is my first time adding to/editting a wiki so feel free to modify my question in order to follow proper formatting.

"... [A]nd with your overpowering missile class feature not even a shield spell or a brooch of shielding is a surefire defense against you". I imagine most DMs would modify this class feature for other spells, e.g. homebrewed, which counter magic missiles (at least I would). --Green Dragon (talk) 19:11, 6 June 2012 (MDT)

Breaks the 4th wall and sits on the 5th wall drinking a cup of tea[edit]

"These creatures resisted nearly all physical attacks because of their incredibly thick armored hides and resisted nearly all magic attacks thanks to their impressive Fortitude, Reflex, and Will saving throws." — I get this is an optimization article but does one really have to throw the idea of being in-character out the window completely by explaining the fluff with the game mechanics of Dungeons and Dragons 3.5th edition? --D&D Equestria Developer - Lady Chaomii (talk) 04:36, 13 June 2012 (MDT)

Meh, go ahead and change it. Honestly I've been "reading D&D" so long that I never noticed it. JazzMan 06:52, 13 June 2012 (MDT)

Optimization Critique[edit]

This build is pretty awful.

  • There's a 4th level spell that completely shuts down this build. See SRD:Lesser Globe of Invulnerability.
  • At level 1, 3 feats are taken that are completely useless. The other feat is mostly useless.
  • Easy Metamagic comes from a Dragon Magazine, which is often not considered "legitimate" in an optimized build (at least by most D&D communities).
  • 6th level is the first time one of the metamagic feats can even be applied. Up until then, you are a completely sub-par warmage. After that, you are a mostly sub-par warmage.
  • Arcane Thesis (which allows crazy things if the build is done well) comes at 18th level.
  • Other spells basically shut down this build, like SRD:Spell Resistance (Spell) or even the spell resistance monster ability, which a ton of monsters seem to have at high levels (the only point this build would have even been viable). I guess you listed that, but it's pretty significant given that this build is only supposed to work at high levels.
  • What about illusions, invisible opponents and the like? You can't actually cast magic missile at the darkness.
  • SRD:Antimagic_Field.
  • SRD:Spell Turning
  • SRD:Shapechange + SRD:Iron Golem
  • SRD:Spell Immunity

The problem with one trick ponies. It wouldn't be so bad if the trick was actually good. The SR limitation (with no SR penetrating feats) really destroys this build. -- 11:44, 13 June 2012 (MDT)

This build is actually optimized.
Get away from the lesser globe of invulnerability (or at least out of arrow ranges). You don't have to be aggressive, instead be assertive.
No feats are useless. You can start using them eventually, and they make magic missile that much more powerful. If the feat does not affect magic missile then, yes, it would be pointless but, rather, it does affect magic missile. The question is not "When do I get to use them?" but rather "Which feats will increase the potential of my magic missiles and how many feats do I get?" (since that is what is being optimized).
Optimized character builds come in all sorts of varieties. You can make one just from your own things even. The bottom categories determine which category they go into, and this is considered WotC since the discontinuation of Dragon and Dungeon with online content. So, in the real world, they actually are affiliated with WotC with their material (and WotC had a reason for picking them). Ergo they are "Wizards".
SR is this build's counter. Of course, you can counter SR with your die roll. Hope to roll well when SR is in question!
Fortunately, you are still a magic caster. If you need other spells to deal with illusions, invisible opponents and the like then cast them. You are a spontaneous caster.
All casters dislike antimagic field, and like them, do what you can. The relation of this build to particularities like antimagic field, spell turning, and spell immunity must be treated like how another caster treats them. If they could not be dealt with by casters, then you are actually saying that D&D has a balance hole. Just cast some spells to deal with things if it is not working with magic missiles.
Why did you pick the Iron Golem?
In conclusion, the relation of this build to particularities is still normal but it is optimized for damage from casting. --Green Dragon (talk) 16:49, 13 June 2012 (MDT)
The poster doesn't understand the point of the article, which is to take a theme and to push it to its limits. He seems to be expecting some kind of can-overcome-anything build. Marasmusine (talk) 17:53, 13 June 2012 (MDT)
I think you are reading the wrong article, anonymus IP, go read PunPun. It will help you win D&D. Also, just because it uses MM, doesn't mean he doesn't keep a dispell handy, or a Forcecage. A Non-optimized wizards is still a Tier 2 class. --Ganre (talk) 20:47, 13 June 2012 (MDT)
He does have a single point though: at first level the build has Combat Casting. This is nice if you are casting defensively or are grappled, but Skill Focus (Concentration) works while you are taking damage, or on unstable terrain, or a variety of other conditions, plus it still adds when casting defensively or while grappled. You only give up +1 bonus, but that's a small price to pay for the increased usefulness, especially for characters who aren't known for their constitution. (This message is sponsored by Spellcasters for the Total Destruction of Combat Casting and does not necessarily indicated the opinions of this station.) JazzMan 07:27, 14 June 2012 (MDT)
Nope, I just expected some playability. If it is going to be flavorful, it should at least be playable. This build is not playable. It doesn't come online until around 15th-16th level and it suffers from a quite significant weakness (spell resistance). The main point is that a basic warmage will outperform this character up until level 15 or so and at that point, his trick isn't even relevant. An optimized build should really outperform the pieces it was built out of (otherwise it is unoptomized). Maybe this community lives in bizzaro world where "optimized" means "performs worse than the class it is made from". -- 13:02, 14 June 2012 (MDT)
"Get away from the lesser globe of invulnerability (or at least out of arrow ranges). You don't have to be aggressive, instead be assertive". You did actually read the spell right? An enemy spellcaster (or monster) casts this. They are now immune to your entire trick. Enemy spellcasters will have this capability long before your trick even starts having any merit.
"No feats are useless. You can start using them eventually...". While I agree that the feats benefit the build in the end, I don't think it is reasonable to call a build that spends 3/4 of a campaign underperforming "optimized". The pay now, get dividends later is a stupid way to build a character. Can you really justify forcing a character to wait until 6th level (1/4 of a 1-20 campaign) just to use his feat selections? There's nothing optimized about underperforming.
"this is considered WotC" - except that Dragon Magazines are written and published by a 3rd party (Paizo Publishing).
"Why did you pick the Iron Golem" - because it is immune to spells. Kinda a cheesy example. A force dragon might have been more appropriate. Either way, I was just illustrating the weaknesses of a one trick pony. -- 13:02, 14 June 2012 (MDT)
The back of Dragon Compendium specifically states "Official Wizards licensed product." Do you call that 3rd party? No.
Well, if you feel that the warmage aspect of this will outperform it's magic missile aspects then by all means use that (this is still a warmage). The choices with magic missile are optimized though (ergo optimization.)
Or just use higher level spells with lesser globe of invulnerability (who cares - read to get the point not by word...).
The Iron Golem is, once again, a particularity. Defend that against a straight wizard please. --Green Dragon (talk) 16:35, 14 June 2012 (MDT)
IP, you are getting way more upset about this than makes any logical sense. Take a look at the other optimizations around here, they all have glaring weaknesses. The system's kinda built that way. Most of the classes aren't useful until high levels; the exercise is in building the character all at once, not organically growing them from level 1. Warmage might be "better" than MMS, but MMC casts magic missile better than a warmage could ever dream. That's the entire point of the class, so by definition, it succeeds. JazzMan 09:20, 15 June 2012 (MDT)
There is no "winner" (well, maybe Pun-Pun). There are things which optimize aspects of builds, but having no "winners" means that optimizations must optimize something. This build optimizes magic missile, but is still (after everything) a magic caster. --Green Dragon (talk) 15:09, 15 June 2012 (MDT)
I ran into an edit conflict and it looks like my previous post got clobbered :(. Luckily I kept it in notepad, so I've added a bit to it and reposted it. Hopefully it actually sticks around this time :).
Jazzz, there's a difference between having weaknesses and being unplayable. Having said that, I haven't actually looked at the rest of the builds. Maybe you guys should call this a "flavor optimization" or something like that. If it can't compete against higher level monsters, I don't see how you can call it optimized.
You are also missing the point that this isn't even good against high level opponents. Let's just list some from the SRD...
  • CR 15 without SR - SRD:Mummy Lord
  • CR 16 without SR - None
  • CR 17 without SR - SRD:Aboleth Mage, SRD:Frost Giant Jarl (Marilith kinda has a low SR for its CR so it might go here)
  • CR 18 without SR - None
  • CR 19 without SR - None
  • CR 20 without SR - None
  • CR 21 without SR - None
Do you see a trend here? Spell resistance is a very common thing at higher levels. With the loss of a caster level from the PrC and no spell penetration feats, this character is going to get stomped on.
"The back of Dragon Compendium specifically states..." - The feat in question is not from the Dragon Compendium. It's from Dragon Magazine Issue #325. That's third party (written and published by Paizo, licensed by WotC). It is not written by WotC. Calling Dragon Magazine content official means that Pathfinder is an official update to 3.5e (also written and published by Paizo). It's not. Oh, also, Force Missile Mage is from a magazine as well. I'm not sure if that one is in the Compendium.
A friend of mine said that there is some silly rule here about banning people that try to put up links, so I'll have to describe how to find a good discussion of whether the Dragon Compendium is 3rd party. Google "DRAGON Compendium technically 3rd party?". The first hit will be a forum discussion about it. The key point to note is: "Nah. That just makes it official. So, it's official third party. Confusing labeling, I'll admit.". It's the same deal with several other products (like Pathfinder).
"Well, if you feel that the warmage aspect of this will outperform it's magic missile aspects then by all means use that..." - I'm saying that it is performing worse than a warmage that picks relevant feats until at least level 6. The feats are picked in a terrible order anyways. Arcane thesis should be at level 6. That shouldn't even need to be debated.
So here are some feat selections that are way better than what are suggested here and still make a "magic missile" build:
1 - Twin Spell, Invisible Spell, Lingering Spell, Retributive Spell
3 - Energy Substitution (Lightning)
6 - Arcane Thesis (Magic Missile)
9 - Born of the Three Thunders
12 - Energy Admixture (Lightning)
15 - Repeat Spell
18 - Whatever. Rapid metamagic maybe.
At 1st level you can actually use 3 of the feats (retributive and invisible being a bit more useful). Your 3rd level feat can also be used (albeit not that great... for now). Arcane Thesis allows CRAZY things at level 6. You will have access to 3rd level spell slots. You can Thesis up a magic missile to be: Invisible (-1), Energy Substituted (-1), Lingering (+0), Twinned (+4)! Yes, this is legal by the rules (read the PH2 errata if you don't believe me. It's quite clear). You will also have one of these stored as a retributive spell. Since you get a +2 caster level bonus from Thesis, you have 8d4+8 lightning damage for a 3rd level spell slot, which is actually somewhat competitive (unlike the build posted here).
At 9th level, you'll be able to lower the spell slot to a 2nd level spell (freeing up useful higher level spells) and add a stun + knockdown effect (plus half the damage is sonic).
At 12th level your damage is doubled if you put it in a 5th level slot.
At 15th level, you'll be doing more damage than the build here since you double your damage again.
I'll note that this is just a sample of something more optimized. It still sucks against high level opponents, but at least it shines at mid levels (somewhat).
"The Iron Golem is, once again, a particularity. Defend that against a straight wizard please." - As I said above, it was just an illustration. But... Since you asked, obviously I'll show ways a wizard can beat the snot out of an Iron Golem.
This is just SRD spells. I'm sure a little creativity (like the last bullet) could allow for many other ways to trivialize the fight.
Anyways, this build is just really awful and I don't understand why your community featured it. There are many other half-decent articles on here that really could have been featured instead. -- 07:52, 18 June 2012 (MDT)-- 10:46, 15 June 2012 (MDT)
If you would take a moment to read the criteria for featured articles before getting all bent out of shape about the optimization, you would notice that (1) featured articles are not mutually exclusive. Featuring MMS does not mean we aren't featuring any of the "other half-decent articles". And (2) optimization is not actually one of the criteria we judge in determining FA status (a process open to any user, by the way). When it comes down to it, the article sets out to do what it claims to do, is well written, is properly formatted, and is generally a good example of what a good article should be. It does what it's supposed to do; your arguments are like saying sports cars are stupid because they can't haul as much as a truck.
It also has not been mentioned, but there's nothing stopping you from creating your own version of magic missile stormer. Call it Magic Missile Stormer, Variant (3.5e Optimized Character Build) if you like. Continuing to denigrate a sub-par optimization with the fervor with which you are doing so is starting to border on trolling. There's really nothing to get so uptight about. JazzMan 14:56, 18 June 2012 (MDT)
I think the most telling part of IP edit's reply is the phrase "your community". Typically, after you start editing and commenting, it becomes "our community". If you are just coming to "our sandbox" to kick around, you are here for the wrong reason, I think you'll miss out on what we really have here: an active community for DND, and a reasonably flame free area to share our work. So, create an account, add content, and get to know us! --Ganre (talk) 19:28, 18 June 2012 (MDT)

←Reverted indentation to one colon

The Neothelid, Mummy Lord, Frost Giant Jarl, Aboleth Mage, Ruin Swarm, Mu Spore, etc do not have any SR.
Compared to other damaging paths, this build optimizes its damage. For this reason it can be considered a good article within its area and be a candidate to become a featured article.
Let's compare it to greater shout. Greater shout deals 20d6 damage. That's 50 damage, and can be considered typical. Compared to that this build would deal, not counting the 1 in 7 bonus missile damage, 112 damage (minus a little for the 8-9th level jump). --Green Dragon (talk) 20:43, 18 June 2012 (MDT)
I'll give it a rest, I guess. I took slight offense to the word "optimized" being used. If you just called it a "character build", which it is, I'd probably have just continued lurking here.
Some final points, which are unrelated to the build: just a response to the LE lizard above :). Neothelids totally have SR (PR counts as SR unless you houserule it - Magic/Psionics transparency is the default rule). Greater shout is a bad example since it is pretty weak for its spell level. You also got the 50 damage incorrect - it is 70 (3.5 average times 20 = 70). A better example would be Disintegrate (6th level) or a maximized disintegrate (9th level), which deals 140 average damage or 280 damage, depending on which you use. Just for fun, I can point out that an arcane thesis'd maximized (+2) empowered (+1) disintegrate deals 350 average damage. And that's a benchmark that I personally use for optimizing damage against an opponent.
Ganre, I might make an account, but my friend said that I shouldn't trust the owner of the wiki with my email address or with posting any actual content. I don't know. Maybe I'll sign up for a junk email account and set up an account here through that. I'm just too lazy to do that when I can just write as an IP editor. -- 07:59, 19 June 2012 (MDT)
I did ×2.5 instead of ×3.5. Right, seventy. But this build is actually around 140 damage if you look at its potentials for the same rounds as a more standard spellcaster, so that's higher then them. Compared to your build above disintegrate, even with the touch and save, is 20 × 6 + 20 × 3 = 180 damage which is worse then this build.
I don't transparency spells to points (not standard that I've ever heard of). What do you do if you have a player who uses psionics and spells? They can't be considered the same.
Disintegrate is a very bad example because it is a ranged touch attack, and will have a low chance on top of the others to deal damage (and has a save ).
Keep in mind that (actually) all spell damage is dealt with differently as well because of saves and hits save for things like this build. --Green Dragon (talk) 17:10, 19 June 2012 (MDT)
Take a look at: the rules of the game. -- 20:54, 19 June 2012 (MDT)
I never saw that in the book. I didn't play like that, but I guess you "should" huh. I like making everything the type of special ability it is (personally). --Green Dragon (talk) 21:02, 19 June 2012 (MDT)
Disintegrate is 40d6, not 20d6. Ranged touch attacks almost always land at high levels: touch AC doesn't scale with level for the most part and even gets smaller with size. As a result, most creatures have 15 or less in their touch AC, which is fine for a strongheart halfling wizard with +10 BAB, small size (+1), +4 dex modifier (+1 from race, +3 from gloves of dex). And there are plenty of spells (including low-level swift action ones) that increase attack rolls. The saving throw for disintegrate is a legitimate concern. -- 07:40, 20 June 2012 (MDT)
The attack type is a concern as well. I have had some very tricky encounters getting ranged touch attacks to actually hit. In any case, this build can dish out more damage then the above (with the 40, not 20 sorry) looking at the potentials of the d4, maximize rods, the hit type, rounds, etc. Not that it matters, since your build is just another attempt at an optimization, but you should understand that starting a discussion saying that "this sucks because there are better options and I know the definition of an optimization– here it is" is not recommended. We want to know how you feel about this build, and that is important, but no one is going to take you seriously discussing anything like that. --Green Dragon (talk) 16:33, 20 June 2012 (MDT)


Whilst there's no direct conversion to 4e (that edition is balanced in terms of the number of attacks you can make at once) here are some useful spells that get you close to a 4e Magic Missile Minigunner.

  • Use the revised Magic Missile - page 13 - auto-hits, 3e style.
  • Wizard's Fury (Level 1 Daily) - Dragon Magazine 374 - can cast magic missile as a minor action, once per turn, for the rest of the encounter.
  • Arcane Arrows (Level 13 Encounter) - Dragon Magazine 381 - fires 2 auto-hit magic missiles.
  • Force Volley (Level 17 Encounter) - PHB - fires 3 magic missiles and dazes, but needs attack roll.
  • Arcane Volley (Level 23 Encounter) - Dragon Magazine 381 - fires 3 auto-hit magic missiles.

Hope that helps. Marasmusine (talk) 01:45, 21 August 2012 (MDT)

"You can also not use the optimization in instances..."[edit]

I'm confused, why was the reference to spell immunity removed? Would this not be a good DM counter? JazzMan 15:20, 28 August 2012 (MDT)

Not only does overpowering missile negate such instances, but they also are a caster by nature. It was a wrong interpretation about this article. --Green Dragon (talk) 16:44, 28 August 2012 (MDT)
I see now. I can only really guess at how this thing works, not having access to one of the main building blocks (force missile mage). ~I assume you mean by "they are a caster by nature" that they have other spells to cast? This is true, but when you focus so much on one spell, if you have a way to shut it down, you are dealing with a very sub-optimal character. Moot point here, though, if overpowering missile allows it to pass through spell immunity. JazzMan 19:21, 28 August 2012 (MDT)
I just mentioned that since they do not get that class feature until later (of course you could change the progression too). So at lower levels they are still a caster in such instances, until they get that ability. --Green Dragon (talk) 09:42, 29 August 2012 (MDT)
Oh, this is the "it's not a counter if it counters other casters" argument. I can see both sides there. JazzMan 15:48, 29 August 2012 (MDT)
Home of user-generated,
homebrew pages!