Many players want to do one thing and one thing only, defeat all enemies in the shortest amount of time.  The main question they tend to have is “what is the best class to do this?” I will be going over the classes the offer the best in terms of max damage.

Let’s Define The Rules

So a few things to get out of the way. There will be no Unearthed Arcana (sorry brute fighter). Second, I will be basing my classes and build components on how much they can do in a turn not the whole combat.

The Monk’s Fists Of Fury

As expected monks can do a lot of damage. The great thing is that they can use strength or dexterity for their weapons. While all monks can do, damage the Kensei monk outshines the rest and what they can do in a turn. Kensei monks can take any martial or simple weapon and make it a monk weapon for which they can use a martial arts die as damage instead of the weapons original. Monks also get the extra attack ability along with flurry of blows to increase their damage.

Kensei monks gain the following abilities to help increase the damage

  • you can add extra 1d4 of the image to your ranged attacks
  • the weapon counts as magical which will help you penetrate resistances and immunities
  • when you hit with your weapon you can do with extra martial arts die of damage
  • you can enchant your with +1, +2, or +3 to attack and damage

So let’s see how much damage we can do in a turn. Assuming we have strength of 18, we are level 11; we spent three Ki points to enchant our weapon and 1 point for extra damage. Let’s also say we are wielding a long sword. Lastly, we will assume we hit with all of our attacks.

With this are damage is 1d10+7 + 1d8 + 1d10+7 + 1d8+4 + 1d8+4

As you can see that is quite a bit of dice your rolling with your gaming ranging from 27-66 in a single turn.

Divine Damage

The humble paladin may not have many tools to increase damage but the one tool it has can make up for it, Divine Smite. This divine smite has two flavors. The first is where you spend spell slots to gain damage per hit. Second is improved divine smite where all attacks do an extra d8 damage.

As before here are the assumptions, I will be using to calculate damage. Therefore, strength will be 18. I will be using a great sword was the weapon of choice. I will be using level 11 class features and like always, we will assume all attacks hit. Finally, we will be using two level 3-spell slots for divine smite and assume we are not hitting undead.

With those out of the way we have 2d6+4 +1d8 + 4d8 + 2d6+4 +1d8 + 4d8

I hope you have enough d8’s. That determines our damage range to be 22-112.


It’s A fighter, It’s What They Do

Fighters are generally good at fighting and because of that can do some damage. While most of their archetypes have some type of bonus to combat, almost none of them have high impact damage. However, the one exception to that is the Eldritch Knight.

As a side note the champion can do, some damage with its increased crit chance however there is no bonus damage.

Some of you may be thinking that since the Eldritch Knight gets wizard spells but only go to level 4 spells they cannot be the strongest archetype for damage. The reason I think this is such a powerful damage archetype and will show you down below is that the Eldritch Knight gains access to one particular spell, Shadow Blade.

Shadow Blade creates a weapon that deals 2d8 psychic damage that increases when you use a level 3 or 4 spell slot. The best part is that counts as a weapon not a spell attack.

So here’s with fighters get to increase their damage

  • the fighting style two weapon fighting to add damage to the offhand attack
  • action surge, the ability to use another attack action your turn
  • extra attack, where you attack multiple times during the attack action

So let’s calculate much damage we can do. As before assume we have an 18 strength, we have Shadow Blade in the main hand and a long sword in the other. Let us also assume we are level 11 just like the monk is a good middle ground for a build and that we hit all our attacks.

Our damage comes out to be 2d8+4 + 2d8+4 + 2d8+4 + 2d8+4 + 2d8+4 + 2d8+4 +1d8+4

That is many dice to roll. The three attacks in one attack action combined with the action surge ability and using a bonus action to swing the long sword gives you a damage range of 41-132. Even without the action surge, your damage range is 23-72.


The Magic Class Of Fireball

So all mages are strong since they get high damage spells. However, this is the strongest class in terms of damage so there needs to be a class feature to go with said fireball. Which leaves only one class the Wizard with one archetype the evocation mage.

I know war mage has extra damage but evocation gives you a better version.

Here is what the Evocation mage gives you.

  • Add your intelligence to damage
  • Overchannel where you max out damage from spells level 1 – 5

So assuming we are using a level 11 wizard with an intelligence of 18. We will use chain lightning and assume that they failed the save.

That gives us 10d8+4 with a range of 14-84

Nevertheless, let’s see if at level 14 if we overchannel a lower level spell using the same assumptions as before except using fireball

No damage variance here that gives you 64 damage

The Power

These classes can do the most damage in a single turn. I find it interesting that most of the class’s min damage is around the same. Fighters action surge can put them ahead of the group and paladins smite can really rack up the damage.

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