Content of the article: "Poisoner (TCoE) and by extension, all poisons, are terrible"
the poisoner feat lets you create DC 14 save or suck, 2d8 poison damage and Poisoned for 1 round
it's several of them for 50 GP, which isnt particularly relevant, other than it's a continued gold cost measured in the several gold per use, even with 3x duplication via ranged weapons, in comparison to 1gp to the 20 crossbow bolts
it lets you apply poisons as a bonus action, which is mandatory to use poisons at all as a mechanic, and it lets you ignore poison resistance, which doesnt matter at all, because 90% of the poison defended monsters are immune, and like 10% are resistance, so this dont matter too much
there are dozens of math posts both here and giant in the playground forums, about the commonality of constitution saves, this, details that, the short version that the average creature at every single CR is more susceptible to attack rolls than con saves, between 1 and 8 sides more susceptible, since theyre still around 50% fail rate (the lower the fail rate, the more impactful on probability 1 side difference is) which means that even on the close end, creatures average being 10% more susceptible, and thus 10% more damage taken on average, from attacks
since both attacks, and poisoner, are binary damage (half damage), they can be compared directly in damage dice, with attacks receiving a minimum 10% more damage boost, and scaling up to be more damage boost at higher levels (ignoring both the poison immunities, and poisoned immunities, and the benefits of the poisoned conditions, as im vaguely considering them to cancel out)
and since both poisoner and XBE are feats, and yes, i understand that XBE limits you to a d6 weapon, where poisoner can be slapped on a longbow, or a heavy crossbow, but with the excessive restrictions on how much you can use poisoner due to financial needs and prep time, i will ignore the limitation differential
XBE: get +1 attack, triggers on hits, deals 1d6+mod (3.5+3-3.5+5) times 1.1, or 7 to 9 damage
Poisoner: per attack that hits, trigger 2d8 damage, or 9 average, does not trigger on hits
Poisoner is barely better on the low end, for high cost
with a level 11 fighter (around 30% more damage going to attacks, without accounting that poisoner doesnt scale, which actually brings this closer to poisoner proccing a full half as often as an attack hits, or doubled damage) who has to be using ranged weapons to do this because melee poison only gets one proc of damage per dose/application
you're getting like 8.5 damage average on the XBE, and 1d8 per vial of poison (halving because very low damage actualization rate) or per poisoned hit, so 8.5*2/3 for hit rate, and 3d8 or 13.5*hit rate
and whatever you're fighting is likely to be immune which makes it even worse even when its getting to become good
this is ranty and responses analyzing about how poisoner is broken or balanced, or better explaining why its bad are welcome, i am upset that wotc consistently has made bad support for poison, why does it exist if they are determined to consistently make it terrible
- Contact poisons and use on weapons
- How do I make Poisoner (UA) actually work in a campaign with nothing but poison immune enemies?
- You should try Necrotic Grip exotic gautlets. They are broken in good and bad ways.
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