critical role is the most watched Dungeons & Dragons live broadcast, bringing thousands of new fans to the world of J&D thanks to the fantastic world building and the players. Matthew Mercer, the Dungeon Master, is an amazing DM and storyteller, so much so that he’s contributed official D&D content, including the Wildemount Explorer’s Guide. Another contribution he made to the game was the Blood Hunter class. Although not officially essential J&D content, the class is a favorite of many who watch the show and those who like to mix their melee and magic.
The Blood Hunter is a melee caster combination and combines a combat style with a hemocraft. This new feature allows players to use their own HP to inflict curses and rites to cause dangerous effects on their targets. When building this character, players can take the Strength path and lean into the brute ideal, or they can take the Dexterity path and focus on finesse weapons. The best choices for the class depend on which direction a player chooses to go. Either way, the Blood Hunter can be a huge damage dealer and wield powerful debuffs.
Blood Hunter Ability Scores: Strength or Dexterity
Players base a Bloodhunter’s base stat on whether they wish to build Strength or Dexterity. Whichever option you choose, make it the character’s highest stat. If brute force and fighting with large weapons sounds good to you, follow the path of strength. When players want to fight with finesse weapons, be agile and fast, have a high initiative bonus, and increase their Armor Class (AC), they should focus on dexterity. The next highest stat should be Constitution. A player’s CON stat affects their HP, and since a Blood Hunter uses their HP to fuel their magic, this needs to be high.
It will also be important to increase the Intelligence score, which powers the Blood Hunter’s hemocraft. To make the Crimson Rite more powerful and easier to land, increasing Intelligence before Constitution can help. It’s a tightrope walk as using rites harms the character, and having a bigger HP pool is definitely helpful.
Best Races For Bloodhunters
Again, the best run for a Bloodhunter depends on what base stat a player chooses. If you go for strength, large brutal breeds are best. Races like Orcs, Goliaths, and Mountain Dwarves are great for a Force boost. Another excellent but less popular choice is the Githyanki. Githyanki gets a +2 in Strength and a +1 in Intelligence. This can be a powerful combination for a Blood Hunter who wants to play Great Weapon Fighting while successfully completing their rites.
When leaning towards Dexterity for a two-weapon combat or archery build, picking a High Elf or Stout Halfling will be a good idea. Each gets the +2 in DEX and the +1 in CON. And of course, there’s always the Human Variant option which allows a player to start with a free exploit, which can be especially beneficial for a Blood Hunter when choosing Tough.
Best Bloodhunter Commands
When focusing on strength, the Order of the Lycan is a top choice. Transformation in Order of the Lycan is extremely powerful and greatly increases damage dealt. Additionally, the synthesis feature at level 18 is worth the wait, allowing a player to transform as much as they want.
Order of the Mutant can also be a good choice for Dexterity builds. It has several DEX-based mutagens, and one provides the ability to stun targets, which is particularly useful.
The Order of the Unholy Soul is great for both builds, essentially allowing for multiple classes in Warlock, with the strongest choice being Hexblade. This subclass allows players to cast Warlock spells in addition to Blood Curses. Additionally, each time a player targets a creature with a blood curse, the next attack deals more damage. Profane Soul is incredibly powerful and introduces a lot of creative options.
Best Achievements For Bloodhunters
A Blood Hunter should always choose Tough. Raising your maximum HP by two times when you pick up the feat is very powerful, and an additional two HP with each level up keeps the Blood Hunter strong. Great Weapon Master and Polearm Master are the Bloodhunter’s best feats if players take the route of strength. Great Weapon Master grants bonus damage and is a classic pick among strength-based characters. Polearm Master gives the Blood Hunter an extended attack with the back of his weapon and, even better, gives the ability to attack when targets come into the player’s range.
If players focus on dexterity and especially archery, Sharpshooter and Mobile are must-haves. Again, you’ll take bonus damage from Sharpshoot, which works similarly to Great Weapon Master. Moving quickly across the battlefield with the Mobile ability can help the Blood Hunter hit multiple targets in a few rounds.
Best Blood Hunter Rites and Blood Curses
When choosing Blood Hunter Rites, Rite of the Oracle should be the first choice. Monsters rarely resist psychic damage, which sets the Rite apart from others. The next highly recommended rite is the roar. Thunder damage is also resisted less frequently and some creatures, such as earth elementals, are vulnerable to it.
Blood Curse of Bloated Agony, Blood Curse of the Howl, Blood Curse of the Marked, and Blood Curse of the Eyeless stand out among the curses. Puffy Agony grants disadvantage on Strength and Dexterity checks and deals an additional 1d8 necrotic damage. Eyeless can miss an attack, which can be fantastic in crucial moments. Howl causes the Frightened state and can even stun the target. Finally, Marked inflicts an additional Hemocraft dice of Rite damage.
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