The Unhittable Spell-monk (5e Optimized Character Build)
From D&D Wiki
An armored figure steps into the temple where he heard that cultists were attempting to summon a powerful demon. Wielding a shield in each hand, he doesn't bother with drawing a weapon, simply kicking the guards while a burst of swinging swords magically appear around him, knocking the cultists to the ground, his rouge friend sneak attacking the prone foes. The armored individual strides through the hallways, easily taking out anyone who tries to oppose him. Eventually, he finds the main chamber where the demon is being summoned. The cultists inside swarm him, but he knocks their blows aside with his shields, shoving them prone and stunning them with his kicks so that his friend can attack with advantage. The wizard repeatedly casts shield to ensure that no one takes a single hit. When the enemy mage casts fireball, the person just raises his shields, deflecting the blast.
Disclaimer: I count monk martial arts as weapons, so divine smite works. If your DM vetoes that, just strap daggers to your feet. Or, just use fighter instead of paladin. If there's any rule that says that you can't use two shields, please forgive my ignorance and leave an edit. edit:while you can technically dual wield shields, you only benifit from one
How it Works:
This optimized character build is meant to mix the spellcasting ability of a sorcerer with the martial abilities of the paladin–all with almost impossibly high armor class. Adding in a level or two–or three, or four or five...–of monk allows the player to make unarmed attacks with their feet while still dual wielding shields. The war caster and shield master feats allow the player to cast spells while having high armor class, and making use of the two shields you have to shove enemies and block most aoe attacks from opponents.
Creating This Character:
Variant human. This allows you to grab the shield master feat at first level, greatly increasing your survivability.
with this build, you will be multiclassing a bit. luckily, you won't need too many high ability scores–no need for constitution, because you'll barely ever get hit, and no need for strength, because you will be using charisma spells and your unarmed attacks will use dexterity, so you won't have to throw your ability scores around too much. starting with a paladin, you will get armor proficiencies and the healing ability. At first level, you will only use one of your shields, as well as a trash weapon. as soon as you level up, you will ditch your weapon, maybe sell it, and get a level in the monk class. this will allow you to make unarmed attacks, dealing 1d4 bludgeoning damage instead of just 1 bludgeoning. Then, you will take more levels in the paladin class, a few sorcerer levels to get metamagic and extra spell slots for smiting, and go monk the rest of the way to level twenty.
Building This Character:
Using the standard array, put the 15 on dexterity, and use one ability score increase on it. Then, put the 14 on charisma for your spells, and put the 13 on wisdom for stunning with the monk, and use the other ability score on it to make them equal. the way you arrange your other scores is up to you. in the end, we have: 16 dex. 14 cha. 14 wis. 12 con., int., or str. 10 con., int., or str. 8 con., int., or str. Using point buy, just pick the same stats as in the standard array. there's really no point in doing anything else. maybe fiddle with the stats a bit, getting rid of the 8 or boosting the charisma or wisdom, but make sure dexterity is the dominant attribute, followed by charisma and wisdom. When rolling for ability scores, make dexterity your highest attribute, followed by charisma and wisdom.
Level by Level
1: Start as a paladin. use the starting wealth by class, get two shields and mess around to get the highest armor class possible. For instance, if you manage somehow to get +4 dexterity and you can afford studded leather, don't get a chain shirt, but if you have low dexterity and can somehow afford half plate, get that instead. don't worry about stealth. Grab whatever trash weapon you can afford, preferably something cheap but with ok damage like a quarterstaff. Make sure not to get too attached to it–you'll ditch it at the next level.
The paladin class will give you healing, and smiting at second level. you could go to fighter, and get the protection fighting style earlier, however.
2: Multiclass over to monk. This will give you unarmed strikes, allowing you to ditch your quarterstaff and get the high armor class offered by your two shields.
3: Go back to paladin to get your divine smite, and get the protection fighting style. Or, if you went to fighter on the previous step, either stay with monk or get action surge from fighter.
4-6 (or 4-5): Go back to monk to get ki, chose the way of the open hand to boost your unarmed strikes, and in place of the ASI take the war caster feat. If you skipped the paladin/fighter level in the previous step, you get to do this one level early, but you lose action surge or divine smite, fighting style, and spellcasting. Its fine to skip the fighter level, but you probably shouldn't skip the paladin level.
6-9 (or 5-8): Multiclass over to sorcerer to get sorcery points and metamagic. This will allow you to cast spells as a bonus action with quickened spell. Pick the wild magic sorcerer (your sorcerous origin doesn't really mater, but the draconic sorcerer's extra armor is kinda wasted).
9 (or 8)+: Keep going in monk, or if you want to, sorcerer. The choice is yours.
Paladin: the following spells are the best to have prepared on a daily basis from you paladin list. Before sorcerer: Before you take levels in the sorcerer class, you will have to rely on your paladin spells for extra damage. Chose spells that cause extra damage, as well as raising armor class for your squishy allies, and temporary hit points are always good. After sorcerer: once you have taken a level in the sorcerer class, you will be able to rely on your cantrips and sorcerer spells to deal damage. chose spells that give temporary hit points, heal, increase AC, and basically anything that doesn't do damage. some suggestions: bless, shield of faith, heroism, command. Sorcerer: the following spells are the spells to chose from the sorcerer spell list. For the sorcerer, I don't have any suggestions for spells. basically, just play it like you would any other sorcerer, skipping spells like false life or shield, as you can use your paladin spell slots to cast those. If you skipped paladin and used fighter, just make a normal sorcerer.
Whenever you can, get the shield master and war caster feat. Shield master lets you shove creatures as a bonus action, potentially knocking them prone. war caster allows you to easily maintain concentration spells, as well as casting spells while your hands are occupied. since you have some levels in sorcerer, you will be able to cast your spells without losing any armor class.
Other Party Members:
helpful party members to have along include a wizard with shield (edit: shield only targets yourself, so picking it as a sorcerer and trailing along a pointy hat boi for the dps might still be good), so that you never take a hit, and a rouge, because you are going to leave a lot of stunned or prone enemies for the rouge to sneak attack.
you want to be at the head of your party, meaning you are targeted the most. you can use your protection fighting style to defend your party. You won't be able to deal much damage, so focus on low cost aoe spells like thunderwave or sword burst that weaken enemies for the rest of your party to finish off. Generally, your role will be to act as a tank for your party, blocking any attacks and knocking down enemies that that get too close.
Pros and Cons:
pros: you are able to get most of the monks abilities, as well as high armor class and some spells. you can easily knock opponents prone, you can move incredibly fast, and you can easily fill the tank role for your party. cons: you have low damage, you don't have many spell slots, and you require other party members to finish off enemies.