***Disclaimer*** Hey everyone! Sorry for the delay in a recent post. It’s been hectic with my final semester of school going on and in case you haven’t seen from pop-ups, I started a new store! So, if you want to support me check it out and if you see something you want buy it. Or if money might be tight, just do this quick 6 question survey to help me know what you guys like.
***Intro*** Okay, now that that is said, let’s take about the age-old question that comes with spell casters, “should I choose warcaster or resilient for my feat?” I myself have pondered the question for hours just recently and decided to take a look at what makes each of them so strong. This is great for you guys as now you get to hear about all my findings from my research and data! Now let’s find out which is best for you.
What is Warcaster and Resilient (con)?
Before we go into the actual data, we need to first talk about what each feat is and why it is important for this conversation.
The general gist of Warcaster is that when making a con saving throw for concentration save, you will have advantage. Additionally, you can perform somatic components of spells while both hands are occupied, and if you can make an opportunity attack you can use a spell instead of a weapon.
Meanwhile, Resilient gives you a +1 to your con stat, potentially raising it to an even number, and also gives your proficiency in the save.
Both have great uses as advantage means you probably won’t be rolling a 1 as it becomes a 1 in 400 chance, however gaining proficiency means you gain anywhere from a +2 to a +6 to your save. Meaning even if you roll a 1, you might still reach the DC. Therefore, the common assumption is Warcaster is great for those who will be upfront, while resilience is good for those in the back. While this may be true, it is not always the case.
Warcaster Or Resilient For Concentration Saves
Allow me to show you what I mean by comparing the two for overall saves. To do this I took them with the same con of a 14 and ran them against the average damage per hit. To do this I calculated average DPR monsters will do to you at each level for a party of 4. Then took the average amount of multi-attacks monsters have and created an average per hit. The results were fascinating with warcaster beating resilient until level 10, immediately after that though, resilient takes first place from levels 11-20. This shows that for constitution saving throws warcaster is better for early game but resilience is better late game.
But this is assuming a constitution of 14, what about if your character has a low or high con, which is better? Well, for warcaster or resilient, the two stay the same for anything 14 or above. Surprisingly though, if you have a 12 or lower, than resilient is better levels 9 and higher rather than levels 11 or higher. This is probably due to the fact that as you get higher in levels, the DC starts going close or above a DC 20. Therefore, even if you have advantage, you might not beat the DC due to no bonuses to the roll. To conclude, if you have a low con, resilient is the better option and if you have a high con, then both are equally good but if your level is above 10, choose resilient.
Warcaster or Resilient For Gish Builds: Set-up
The next question for which is better comes to those that are gish builds. How much more important is warcaster for gish builds than resilient. For those of you who are unaware, gish builds are characters that attempt to be a caster and a front line character, for instance, a bladesinger.
In these characters, the warcaster’s second ability becomes an important part in analyzing which is better. Now, it is much harder to analyze this part mathematically as opportunity attacks and your spells change a lot of how the combat functions and have many different choices. So, rather than try to create a complex formula for that, I decided to take the simplistic route. If you are playing a gish build, I assume you want to do less support and do more damage. Therefore, I calculated how much more damage you would do by gaining an opportunity attack with spells.
To do this, I assumed using a melee 1d8+3 weapon. Since you are a spellcaster looking to beef up concentration, you probably maxed out spellcasting first, so damage from your weapon won’t increase. Afterward, I looked at all melee damage spells. At level 1, there is only one that fits these criteria, inflict wounds. A powerful spell that will fit many dpr needs.
Once, assumptions were taken care of, I decided to calculate how much more the DPR is assuming you could get it off once per battle with about 24 battles per level minus level 1 & 2. For damage per level I calculated how much flame blade would deal per level upon cast using the assumption of 24 battles and 4 rounds per battle, with multiattack at 6th level and to cast it with a 4th level slot at its highest.
Now I am aware that inflict wounds is a level 1 while flame blade is level 2, but the damage is close to each other, and good choices for gish builds. So, I believe those two are the most comparable for calculating the dpr gain from warcaster. If you can get off an opportunity attack once every combat, then taking into account the average miss chance, you will see an increase in damage anywhere from 29-23% per level. If flameblade is the usual spell you use for DPR.
Therefore, when taking a look at the DPR increase to the concentration buff, a gish build should most likely always choose warcaster for the opportunity attacks. However, I should also note, the average dpr of late game completely negates warcasters advantage rolling usually. So, in my opinion, if you are choosing warcaster, the concentration effect will only be useful up till level 16 after that resilient beats all of warcasters benefits.
But, that analysis is only viable for spell melee fighters. What about casters who are front line but prefer casting concentration spells and damage spells over weapons. If you are one of those, then chances are you will not get an opportunity attack every combat, since you usually attack with more range based attacks. As such, the dpr increase will be roughly half of the previous assumptions. With this dpr cut, warcaster will be a good choice for up to level 14. After that the DPR gain to concentration saves become significantly disperse.
Now, there are a lot of potential occasions that could be also talked about, such as rulings on wielding a weapon and a shield. But, seeing how this article is specifically on the concentration comparison for the two feats and at what level does the other outrank the other, I attached a link for a useful thread on it. Moreover, I know that math can get very confusing, so in general, remember, before level 10, warcaster, after level 10 resilient. And if you are looking to build a new gish character, be sure to check out my forge cleric, bladesinger, or war wizard guides. I promise they will be extremely useful in finding out where each subclass shines and how they are gish. As always I hope you have a fantastic day and an easy decision on which to choose, Warcaster or resilient(con)!