After reading around as a new player, I've discovered how powerful the Find Familiar spell can be for creative players—albeit it's possible I've misunderstood the leeway Find Familiar affords.
For example, one thing I read is that certain familiar forms like the Owl, Bat, or Weasel can detect hidden enemies for you. It can also be used to scout ahead and prevent ambushes.
I then compared this to the feat Alert (PHB 165):
Always on the lookout for danger, you gain the following benefits:
- You gain a +5 bonus to initiative.
- You can't be surprised while you are conscious.
- Other creatures don't gain advantage on attack rolls against you as a result of being hidden from you.
Alert also "prevents" ambushes, at least the surprise element, although it's inferior in that your team presumably still isn't well positioned.
Alert also prevents the advantage from being hidden. Although again, one might argue it's inferior in that actually being aware preemptively of a hidden target's presence would be better.
Barring the +5 initiative, this makes it seem like Find Familiar is a reasonable if not better substitute for the Alert feat's benefits.
My problem that needs solving: character build.
My first non-tutorial campaign begins in 2-4 weeks.
The Party: 4 PCs that include my Fighter(EK), Bard(Lore), Rogue(Thief) & undecided non-tank.
My plan is to play a XGTE EK; with my free level 1 Wizard spell as Find Familiar. I am the only tank in my party and plan on walking at the front line; is Alert necessary?
The initiative bonus seems so good I may still take it and leave FF scouting to others, but I would lose the great flavor of FF. If half of Alert's bonuses are redundant, I might be inclined to forego the Initiative benefit.
I'm very MAD and trying to squeeze resources including spell slots. Feats: WarC, Mag In(Hex), Resilient(Wisdom).
In what ways are the last 2 bullets from Alert not obviated by Find Familiar (or in what ways have I misjudged Find Familiar)?