Fizban’s Treasure of Dragons introduced a new ranger subclass: The Drakewarden. It originally appeared in an Unearthed Arcana article, and has seen some changes since the playtest version.
The Drakewarden is pretty great. The drake is nice and durable, it does decent but not spectacular damage, and it gains the ability to fly on its own eventually so it’s low-maintenance other than spending a Bonus Action to command it. Altogether it’s a very solid subclass. It’s roughly equivalent to the Beast Master with the Tasha’s updates, so I included a section detailing the differences.
For people consider a mounted combat built with the drakewarden, prepare to be disappointed. While you can ride the drake very effectively, it’s intelligent and therefore counts as a uncontrolled mount. It also takes its turn right after yours, which makes positioning yourself to attack a nightmare. We were so close.
Something I feel should be included here-you can choose to either let the drake act on its typical initiative, which is always immediately after you, and act independently, or you can change it’s initiative to be the same as yours, in which case it only gets Dash, Disengage and Dodge actions but it can still move when you want it too.
I’m not seeing that anywhere in the rules text. Can you elaborate? My best guess is that you’re referring to the rules for controlled mounts, which does allows the mount to act during your turn. But since the drake is intelligent, it’s uncontrolled so it doesn’t get to share your turn.
Considering that a pegasus (“intelligent” mount) can choose to be a controlled mount (https://twitter.com/JeremyECrawford/status/970111071955464198) I think it’s safe to assume you can use your drake as a controlled mount, but that does then also of course limit your actions.
the link for the beast master vs drakewarden just leads to http://beast-master-vs-drakewarden/
Shoot, you’re right. Thanks! It should be fixed now.
i think the PHB Ranger’s companion acts after your turn but the tashas one act during it
(you could cause an attack of opportunity from your foe then Bonus action ask your pet to move away an come back to charge him an then use your action to attack with advantage, all in the same turn)
also the drakes attacks doesn’t become magical just get a bonus elemental damage so half of the attack still gets resisted
You’re right on both points. I’ll add some text to highlight the differences in how turns work, and I’ll correct the Magic Fang assessment.
I guess you could theoretically stick with a ranged build if you want to mount your dragon, since positioning usually isn’t as relevant with the range on a longbow. That then begs the questions of what you’d even do with all that move speed if you’re just gonna sit in the back, but perhaps that slower playstyle is enough to offset the baffling oversight of the mount being uncontrolled?
A ranged build is basically your only option. Using your mount’s move speed (especially since they’ll likely Dash most turns for lack of a better option) to keep out of movement range while still within bow range is basically a “chore” that you’ll need to perform every turn to keep at an optimal distance. If enemies need to Dash to reach you in one turn, you’re right where you want to be because you’re at a range where they likely can’t attack you in melee but you’re still bait for them to waste a full turn moving. If they do close to melee, your mount can Disengage.
Is there any potential benifits for a Lance build? Especially since the “dragonlance” is now an item in fizbans.
Ignoring the hurdle of making a strength based ranger of course.
No, unfortunately. Your best bet for any mounted combat build is still to go for a horse or something. Intelligent mounts are really difficult for melee mounted combat builds.
Interestingly enough you can get around the mount move issue by preparing your attack action. If you know you’re going to have your mount move to a specific place, you could likely just declare a prepared attack.
“I’m going to command my drake to charge at the tallest orc. When we get within range, my attack action with trigger”
Wouldn’t that solve most issues?
Side note, if you MC into rogue, your Steady Aim should always work if your drake mount is the one moving on the next turn, right?
Readying your action does work, but it means that you only get one weapon attack and you spend your Reaction to do so.
Steam Aim would definitely work. I don’t think that’s RAI, but RAW it definitely works.