Hello all! So I have not ever played an artificer. To be honest since their release, I have found them interesting but also intimidating. I am going to mention some of the overall benefits of just being an Artificer and then I will break down the individual sub-class or specialist. So you not only choose your specialist path but you also get infusions which the closest comparison I can give would be a Warlock's Invocations. All Artificers no matter the specialist path get:
- Depending on your specialist path you get spells designed for that path that do not count against the number of spells you prepare.
- Flash of Genius: when you or another creature within 30 ft of you make an ability check or saving throw, you can use your reaction to add +4 to the roll.
- Magic Item Adept: You are able to attune to 4 magic items.
-Infuse Item: once per long rest, you can touch and infuse up to 6 items with your artificer infusions.
-Magic Item Savant: Able to attune to 5 items.
-The Right Tool for the Job: Either with thieves tools or artisan's tools in hand, you are able to magically create one set of artisan's tools in an hours time.
-Spell Storing Item: Once per long rest you can store 1st and 2nd level spells into an item. The spells have to be an one action spell. The spell will last for 8 uses or until you use the ability again.
- Magic Item Master - Now can have 6 attuned items.
-Soul of Artifice: You gain +1 to all saves per magic item you are attuned to. And, if you are reduced to 0 Hp, you can use your reaction to end one artificer infusion which will allow you to have 1 hp instead.
The above benefits are just the benefits of being an Artificer, now I will break down what each specialist path will provide.
-Experimental Elixir: Once per long rest you can magically produce up to 3 elixirs, each elixir must have it's own empty flask which you must touch to produce. You roll randomly from a table to determine the elixir created.
-Alchemical Savant: when you cast a spell using alchemist's supplies as your spell focus you gain +4 bonus to one damage roll of the spell. (There are some restrictions to which spells apply)
- Tool Expertise: you double your proficiency bonus for a tool set you have.
-Restorative Reagents: when a creature drinks an elixir you make it gains temp HP. Also, you can not cast Lessor Restoration without expending a spell slot if you use alchemist supplies as spell focus. You can do this equal to your intelligence modifier per long rest.
-Chemical Mastery: you gain resistance to acid and poison damage. You are immune to being poisoned. Also, now once per long rest you are able to cast Greater Restoration & Heal using alchemist spell focus.
-Tools of the Trade: you gain proficiency with heavy armor and smith's tools.
-Arcane Armor: you make armor a conduit for your magic. As an action you can turn your suit of armor into arcane armor which will allow the following: [1. there is no strength requirement for this armor no matter how heavy; 2. the armor can now act as your spell focus; 3. the armor cannot be removed from your body against your will; 4. If you end up missing a limb... well the armor will act as the missing limb; and 5. you can doff and don this armor as 1 action.
-Armor Model: you can customize your arcane armor with either Guardian or Infiltrator benefits. Each model includes a special weapon. When you attack with that weapon, you can add your Intelligence modifier, instead of Strength or Dexterity, to the attack and damage rolls.
You can change the armor’s model whenever you finish a short or long rest, provided you have smith’s tools in hand.
-Perfected Armor: you gain additional benefits based on the armor model you select.
-Tool proficiency: you gain proficiency with woodcarver's tools.
-Eldritch Cannon: once per rest you can take an action to create a tiny or small eldritch cannon. A cannon once created can be used as a bonus action and has so many uses of the following abilities [Flamethrower / Force Ballista / Protector].
-Arcane Firearm: once per rest you can turn a wand, rod, or staff into your arcane focus. When casting with this focus you can roll 1d8 extra damage.
-Explosive Cannon: your eldritch cannon damage increases by 1d8. As an action you if you are within 60ft of the cannon you can command the cannon to detonate.
-Fortified Position: you and allies that are within 10ft of the cannon have half coverage.
Battle Smith benefits:
-Tool Proficiency: you gain proficiency with smith's tools.
-Battle Ready: you gain proficiency with martial weapons. When you attack with your weapon you can add your intelligence modifier instead of strength or dexterity.
-Steel Defender: you create a steel defender that obeys your commands.
-Arcane Jolt: once per turn when you hit a target with your magic weapon or steel defender you can choose to either deal extra force damage or to restore health to a creature that is within 30ft of your target.
-Improved Defender: the extra damage or heal from you arcane jolt is now 4d6. Your steel defender's AC increases +2. And whenever your steel defender uses it's deflect, the attacker takes 1d4+4 force damage.
Now I know this was just a rough run down of the benefits, but I definitely have intentions of playing an artificer soon. Not sure which type as they all definitely have unique qualities. I feel that the Alchemist is more of a stay in the back as a caster; the Artillerist is a utility character; the Armorer would be a tank; and the Battle Smith would be a protecting the party tank more than damage tank. What are your thoughts?