[RPG] Building Doctor Strange as a SorcLock for Adventurers League


I'm building a character for organized play. The design goal is to create a versatile support caster that's more of a Swiss Army knife than a straight blaster. The build concept is a variant human Sorcerer (Bronze Draconic) 17/Warlock (GOO/Tome) 3 that has a more utility-focused spell list.

Combat capability will be primarily Eldritch Blasts, with a handful of spells like Shocking Grasp, Chill Touch, and Chromatic Sphere for their utility and damage type versatility. Only reason I went with Draconic over Wild Mage is because Wild Surge frequency is completely controlled by DM fiat, which makes it a bigger gamble in a gameplay environment of using one character at many different tables. Until there are AL DM guidelines for Wild Surge frequency, the more thematically appropriate subclass just isn't as mechanically sound for organized play.

I have most of the build done, except for three things. Two of the questions are A vs B, while the third is more of a yes/no question. I'm more concerned with low level viability, as every AL character starts at 1.

  1. What order should I take the classes? SWWWS+ or WWWS+? Doing the warlock levels first makes sense in terms of theme and dip optimization. However starting with a single level of sorcerer before the dip gives a higher starting AC. Would it be worthwhile to use Spell Sniper to pick up Eldritch Blast if I started with the sorcerer level? I'm open to other feat suggestions. The only limit on the first level feat is that it needs to be useful from CL 1-6, as I won't get an ability increase until CL 7.

  2. Vicious Mockery vs Dissonant Whispers? Which would be the better choice as a source of psychic damage? I know that it isn't a common vulnerability, but it's the only type that a raging 3rd level bear totem barbarian isn't resistant to. Plus it's useful with Telepathy/Detect Thoughts to discreetly counter Feign Death.

  3. Is there any way of adding a source of radiant damage to my spell list other than using the tome boon to pick up Sacred Flame or waiting until Sorc 11 to learn Sunbeam?

I'm aware that I lose an ability score increase by not taking a fourth level in Warlock. The main tradeoff of not taking Warlock 4 is eventually getting 9th level spells, albeit at CL 20. My planned invocations for Warlock 2 are Agonizing Blast and Fiendish Vigor, replacing FV with Book of Ancient Secrets at Warlock 3.

Best Answer

I love the concept, Dr. Strange was one of my first super heroes to read a comic about. Would love to know how you intend to do the Eye of Agamotto.

  1. I would suggest Warlock for first level; then dive into Sorcerer for a level for the AC boost. Then back to Warlock for another 2 levels. Finally, finish up with Sorcerer. So it winds up being WSWWS+. That first level will scream by pretty quick (one, maybe two sessions). You do delay 2nd level spell slots along with invocations by one level this way, so that's something to consider. Of the choices presented for order of classes, I'd say go with WWWS+. Using a feat to get eldritch blast when you know you'll get it for free in a level feels like a wasted feat usage to me. Plus it leaves that first level feat free for magic initiate (see answer to 3).

  2. Dissonant Whispers I think is the better choice damage wise. It starts at 3d6 and will scale to 11d6 if you cast it using a 9th level sorcerer spell slot. I personally would say that outweighs the disadvantage that Vicious Mockery forces on a failed save. Plus, you can get this at first level, as Vicious Mockery can't be taken until 3rd level using your tome. Another option would be to get both spells, as the cantrip may have more opportunities for usage, being at-will versus limited by spell slots.

  3. Take Magic Initiate as your first level feat and choose cleric as the class to get the cantrips, and first level spell from. Take sacred flame this way, gaining your radiant damage at first level. Also, you could pick shield of faith as your first level spell to be similar thematically to the shield discs Dr. Strange summons for protection. Another benefit of Shield of Faith is that it has no increase for higher spell slots, and the 1st level spell gained by MI will always be cast as if from a 1st level slot.