Sometimes all you want to do is deal a ton of damage in a single devastating attack. Crit fishing is a fantastic way to take down your enemies and make your DM throw away his plans. In this guide, we will discuss what Crit Fishing is, what races and classes are best for crit fishing, and if it is any good in 5e DnD.
What is Crit Fishing in 5e DnD?
Crit fishing is trying to get as many critical hits per combat turn as possible. However, there are a couple of factors in DnD that make a target more prone to getting hit with a critical hit, and there are a couple of ways to increase the odds of your character hitting a crit too.
Tip: make sure you also check out the Ranged Spell attack roll.
You would want to deal a critical hit to your target because your effect will do a lot more damage. All dice you have to roll are doubled when you deal with a critical hit. Only the attack modifier stays the same.
A Crit Fishing built tries to increase the odds of dealing a crit as much as possible while also increasing the overall damage output of that crit. You will need to make confident choices, starting with your race and class, to get crits reliably and deal a good amount of damage with them too.
Best races for Crit Fishing
In DnD, a couple of races get racial perks that increase the damage your critical hit will do. While you don’t have to pick one of these races on an excellent Crit Fishing build, these are the best picks.
The Bugbear is a great pick when you want to Crit Fish. The reason for that is they get a 2d6 extra damage against surprised enemies. If you pick up assassins’ levels, you will get many benefits from this perk. Keeping in mind the effect of a crit in 5e, 2d6 becomes twice as powerful!
The Bugbear is also a ton of fun to play with and one of the most exciting classes for a monk in 5e Dnd.
Another good race to get more crits are the elves and their subvariants. The reason for that is that they get elven accuracy. If you have played with, e.g., a wood elf in 5e, you know how extraordinary this feat is.
The feat is not just a ton of fun on a regular character but also extremely useful for a crit fishing build. This race is the must-make pick if you are going for a Dex-based crit fisher.
3. Half-Orc or Orc
Third and last on our list of Races that make good crit fishers are the orcs and half-orcs. These two are great for when you want to make an STR-based build. Thanks to the fact that you get bonus damage for your crits based on the weapon-to-die size, you can deal a ton of damage with your melee attacks when you land a crit.
Best Classes for Crit fishing 5e
While races influence the effectiveness and power of your crit fisher, classes are a lot more critical. There are a couple of classes that will make a good crit fisher built that deals a ton of damage and can reliably deal a critical hit.
The paladin is probably the best class you can pick for a crit fishing build. You get a ton of extra damage when you deal a crit, and it is always very survivable even when you spend all your efforts on damage output. Theirs smites powerful, but other spells do not help as much as a paladin. However, I suggest you start with a paladin if you are new to DnD and want to build a crit fisher, as they are pretty forgiving.
If you pick a Dex based built like the elf, then the Hexblade (sub)class is a good option. You get a lot of chances to fish for crits, and you add a significant amount of damage to your crit. You can start multiclassing at levels 1, 5, 9, or 11. Overall this might be the most versatile class on the list for a crit fisher.
Next is the assassin—these deal crits when you can surprise your target. So a Bugbear assassin is very potent thanks to the extra damage they do on a surprise round. You can do a ton of damage and multiclass quite a bit.
Assassins are a lot of fun, but you need to be able to surprise your target. If you do not, your damage output is much less. So how good this class is depends on what encounters your DM throws your way.
This class might be surprising, but there is an excellent way to make this work well. If you play as swords and sorcery sorcerers, you can use spells like hold person or hold monster; this makes them an automatic target to crit on with a melee weapon.
The same concept goes for a Blade Singer wizard. Pick some of the best spells for a bladesinger, like a shadow sword, and use hold person. That way, you will deal with massive crits and still have many other options to fight your enemies.
How to maximize your damage and chance of getting a crit in 5e
If you are not relying on 100% crit strategies like casting hold person and hold person, you need to pick the suitable class and race to make sure you crit often enough.
The best overall pick is a race with access to elven accuracy, and this feat is perfect to combine with something that extends the range of your crits, like a hexblade curse or conquest paladin capstone.
These are just a few suggestions. Many builts can be used as a crit fisher and work decently. However, none are overpowered—more on that in the chapter below.
Tip: you can not combine the reckless attack that barbarians like the Goliath get with Elven accuracy. These do not stack, so combi is impossible if you follow the regular dnd rules.
Is Crit Fishing good in 5e DnD?
While crit fishing in 5e is an amusing concept, it is not as strong as in 3. x dnd or Pathfinder. You can deal plenty of damage and reliable crits in 5e, but this one is pretty average and sometimes downright bad if you look at all other options for powerful builts.
If you do the math, you will see that when all things considered, the whole concept is pretty underwhelming. Critical hits in 5e are not powerful enough to dedicate to building an entire character around them, even if you can dish them out with an almost 100% rate.
If you want to make one, then an elf with elven accuracy and Hexblade is the best crit fisher in Dnd 5e. They are strong, survivable, and versatile enough to not just rely on crits to deal damage and help the rest of the party in battle.