Maximum Damage Update

Thanks to @rilaisseth for this art piece!

Now that we’ve hit 100 episodes and most everyone is at level 17, we figured it was time for an update of one of our favorite stats: Max Damages (check out our previous entries here and here). As usual, this is the maximum damage each character can deal to a single target in a single turn, assuming they roll the highest number on every die and crit whenever possible. Using spells or effects cast in a previous turn is allowed, but we’re not taking environmental hazards (like lava or acid) or conditions (like storms) into account. We also assume that the target has no special vulnerabilities, and if there is a save, the target fails. For the sake of everyone’s sanity, we’re not allowing spells like Conjure Animals, because that gets game-breaking and complicated rather quickly. Otherwise, we follow Critical Role’s homebrewed spellcasting rules, which allows two spells to be cast in a turn, as long as one is 2nd level or lower (this doesn’t prevent the casting of a high level spell in a previous round to be used as a bonus action with another high level spell cast as an action). We’re including both Taryon and Scanlan here, but it’s possible that both characters have things that we don’t know about, especially since we’re not even close to confirming Scanlan’s full level 17 spell list (he potentially has access to every 9th level spell in the game right now, which is a little bit terrifying).

So, without further ado and in no particular order:

Grog: 435, Updated to 455

  • Strength 26 (+8 to damage)
  • Frenzied rage (bonus action extra attack, +3 to damage)
  • Action Surge (2 extra attacks)
  • Enlarged (1d4 additional damage)
  • Great Weapon Master (+10 to damage)
  • 2-handed Bloodaxe (1d12 + 2 slashing + 1d6 necrotic, 5 attacks)
  • Brutal Critical (2 additional damage dice)

Taking those levels of fighter boosts Grog much higher than previous lists, and he was still pretty high. That action surge gives him a total of 5 attacks per round, and Great Weapon Master combined with the strength bonus from the Titanstone Knuckles makes him incredibly dangerous. Note: we’re not including Retaliation strikes because they don’t take place during his turn, just like we don’t include Attacks of Opportunity for anyone in the group. (Thanks to @JamesParkes for catching a couple of typos!)

Pike: 253

  • Spiritual Weapon cast in previous round at 6th level (bonus action to use, 3d8+5 damage)
  • Inflict Wounds at 8th level (10d10 necrotic)

Clerics aren’t really intended to do a ton of damage, but Pike’s also hurt by still being a level behind everyone else. Inflict Wounds is a nasty spell, and if she were level 17, she could use it at 9th level, giving her another 1d10 damage and opening up that 8th level slot for Spiritual Weapon (which only ups damage every other spell level).

Vex’ahlia: 424, Updated to 444

  • Dexterity 20 (+5 to damage)
  • Bracers of Archery (+2 to damage)
  • Hidden on first attack, so Sneak Attack (2d6 additional damage)
  • Hunter’s Mark cast in previous round (1d6 damage usable by both herself and Trinket)
  • Bramble Shot (5d8+3 piercing + 1d4 lightning, 2 per day)
  • Blazing Bowstring (1d10 fire, 2 per day)
  • Trinket Bite (2d6 piercing)
  • Updated: Sharpshooter (+10 damage to each attack, thanks, sigma-umbra!)

Vex has gotten some upgrades since the last time we did this, most notably the ability to have Trinket attack once as a bonus action, Trinket's ability to use her Hunter’s Mark, and a second Bramble Shot from Fenthras. She doesn’t quite catch Grog, but those changes combined with her standard 2 attacks boost her up above most of the rest of the party. Edit: sigma-umbra points out that we left out Sharpshooter, which she just picked up at level 17 with her level 4 rogue ASI. This adds 20 points to her total, which just pushed her past our raging goliath above, until we caught a few typos in his total.

Vax’ildan: 302

  • Dexterity 20 (+5 to damage)
  • Hasted (extra attack)
  • Hunter’s Mark and Vow of Enmity cast in previous round (1d6 additional damage, auto-sneak attack)
  • Throws Whisper and teleports for first attack, moves away for third attack.
  • Off-hand attack as bonus action (must use different dagger from 1st attack)
  • Whisper (1d4+3 piercing + 1d8 psychic, used 2x)
  • Sneak Attack on first hit (7d6 additional damage)
  • Dagger of Venom (1d4+1 piercing, 2d10 poison on failed save- poison damage not doubled on crit)
  • Divine Smite on first two attacks (2d10 radiant on each hit, melee only)
  • Sharpshooter (+10 to damage, ranged only, requires him to move away for second Whisper attack)

Rogues are good at single-target attacks, but they’re balanced out by their other skills to get away and move around the battlefield. The increased damage from Divine Smite is great, but is limited by his limited spell slots, and without level 2 spells to burn, it’s more efficient for him to use Hunter’s Mark in a previous round than to use that third spell slot for a third Divine Smite. Expect his damage to shoot through the roof once he gets a fifth level of paladin (extra attack plus level 2 spell slots), but he’s still a big threat here. Note: RAW, Vax cannot use both Divine Smite and Sharpshooter at the same time. Matt has consistently allowed him to use both when he uses Whisper’s teleport ability, so we allow it for the first Whisper strike, but not the Dagger of Venom attack. If Matt allows both for all attacks, Vax’s max damage jumps to 312, as you add Sharpshooter to the Dagger of Venom attack.

Keyleth: 244

  • Shapechange to Beholder in previous round
  • 3 Eye Ray attacks (roll to choose, no duplicates)
    • Enervation Ray (8d8 necrotic, failed save)
    • Disintegration Ray (10d8 force, failed save)
    • Death Ray (10d10 necrotic, failed save)

Keyleth is once again hurt by the fact that druids tend to be more focused on utility and area-of-effect spells, but Shapechange is awesome. Note here that we’re limiting the spell to creatures that we can confirm that Keyleth has seen. Yes, theoretically she could become a dragon turtle, but we can’t confirm she’s seen one, so we assume she hasn’t. It should also be noted that Keyleth still holds the record for most damage done in a single turn at 660, because Ice Storm is a thing that exists, and an army of skeletons don’t stand up well to bludgeoning.

Percy: 662 (Are you really surprised at this point?)

  • Dexterity 22 (+6 to damage)
  • Hex cast in a previous round (1d6 necrotic)
  • Bad News (2d12 piercing, used 2x)
  • Animus (1d10+1 piercing + 1d6 psychic, used 4x)
  • Violent Shot (1 additional weapon die per grit point spent)
  • Regenerates one grit point every crit
  • Lightning Reload (Can reload any weapon as a bonus action, used to reload Bad News)
  • Action Surge (3 extra attacks for a total of 6, only once per turn)
  • Cabal’s Ruin (1d6 lightning per charge expended, total of 9 charges)
  • Sharpshooter (+10 to damage)

Matt designed his gunslinger archetype to be high-risk, high-reward, and as usual, it shows here. Percy gets a total of 6 attacks with an action surge (he can only use one per turn), and doesn’t have to burn one of those on a reload unless he reloads more than once. So, he gets to shoot Bad News twice and Animus four times, every shot with Sharpshooter and Hex damage. He burns his 3 grit points on the first shot with Bad News (that’s 3 additional d12s on that shot), and since we require crits, he regens a grit point every shot to use on the next shot (so one more additional d12, and 4d10s). Cabal’s Ruin is just fuel on the fire.

Taryon: 172

  • Prismatic Spray cast from Helm of Brilliance OR Ring of the Ram (3 charges, 6d10 force)
    • If Prismatic Spray, roll an 8, then 1-5 on the two rays (10d6 damage for each ray, failed save)
  • Doty Multi-attack (1d8+6 Fist, 2d6+6 Headbutt)

Artificers are really built for a support role, not damage. Tary is also a full 2 levels behind most of the party, and most of his attacks don’t require attack rolls, which means no doubling of any dice. Note here that we’re making some educated guesses regarding Doty’s attack damages, and we don’t know what his new shooting arm can do, but odds are it won’t affect things too much. Unfortunately for Tary, extra levels don't really help him here, as his most damaging class ability does less than both of the above options, even at level 17.

Scanlan: 352

  • Bigby’s Hand cast in a previous round at 9th level (12d8 force, used as a bonus action)
  • Bigby's Hand recast at at 8th level (10d8 force)
  • Clenched fist attack for both.

Bards are typically another example of a support class, with most of their spells designed as utilities, buffs, or debuffs. However, Sam has been known to make some very interesting choices with Magical Secrets spells that make Scanlan more dangerous than your typical bard. This will likely continue to be true, assuming Sam hasn’t made any drastic changes to Scanlan’s spell list since the last time we saw him. The most important (and most iconic) of these Magical Secrets spells is Bigby’s Hand. Much like Pike’s Spiritual Weapon, Bigby’s Hand can stick around and attack as a bonus action every turn, allowing Scanlan to cast any spells during his turn that he wants, and with those high level spell slots at level 17, he gets a lot of dice. He'd have to waste the concentration on the 9th level spell slot to pull this off, but hey, we're all about the one-turn damage for this.