The Basics of Dual Wielding in D&D 5e

The Basics of Dual Wielding in D&D 5e

Dual wielding two one-handed weapons is, I swear, one of the most frequently-used fighting styles in D&D 5e. And why wouldn’t it be? Slashing two swords or laying down the hammer with two warhammers looks frickin’ awesome! After all, looking cool in combat is how you win Dungeons and Dragons.

Exhibit A: Me in WotLK trying to justify dual wielding > 2h frost tanking because it looked cool.

In practice, dual wielding is a bit wonky, especially for newer players who are, from my experience, much more likely to build a dual wielding character. They don’t have as much experience with the system and typically don’t fully understand the downsides and restrictions that come with being a dual wielder.

For the record, the point of this post isn’t to dissuade someone from playing a dual wielder. But there are some very real restrictions and limitations that we need to be cognizant of when we play and invest in this type of character because we’re going to need to make some costly investments to make this work!

dual wielding fighter slicing up goblins on top of a rock
See? Dual wielding is slick as hell. Credit: WotC.

The Mechanics of Two-Weapon Fighting

I keep calling it dual wielding, but the correct term for the mechanic in D&D 5e is Two-Weapon Fighting. However, from my experience, everyone just calls it dual wielding.

The gist of Two-Weapon Fighting is this, you can use a bonus action to attack with a light one-handed melee weapon. You can only make this bonus action attack after you take the Attack action with a light one-handed melee weapon in your main hand.

The caveat of this bonus action attack made with your off-hand weapon is that it DOESN’T include your ability modifier to its damage. Besides this, it’s the same as any other weapon attack.

The Player’s Handbook (PHB) has the rules for Two-Weapon Fighting on page 195 if you wish to do a bit more reading on the subject!

Who Can Dual Wield?

Literally, any character can dual wield provided that they are following the conditions that Two-Weapon Fighting outlines.

Whether or not your wizard will want to dual wield two daggers is another conversation. It’s awfully difficult to cast spells without a free hand for your component pouch or focus.

Is Dual Wielding Worthwhile?

Now here’s the crux of the issue. Is it worthwhile to use two light weapons such as shortswords as opposed to say a two-handed greatsword or even a longsword and shield combination? That’s up to you and how much stock you put into character optimization and what your goals are for your character build.

I will say that dual wielding does have a few niches in the game. The largest niche is melee combatants before they gain their Extra Attack class feature at level 5.

Early Game Melee Combatants

Prior to gaining Extra Attack these characters generally have only a single Weapon Attack with their action. They also generally don’t have a whole lot of features, spells, or other such things to use as a bonus action. If they have an unused bonus action, then they aren’t milking their action economy for its true potential.

Dual wielding is one way for these frontline melee combatants to gain both a second attack on their turn and grant them a regular bonus action in combat. Sure, a single hit won’t deal as much damage as a greatsword, but a dual wielder gets two attempts to hit their target on their turn as opposed to just one.

Two-Weapon Fighting does limit the weapon choices you have, and by partaking in this fighting style you are effectively missing out on +2 AC by opting to not use a shield. The early game is by far the easiest time to lose a character so you’re taking on a huge risk by forgoing this AC to dual wield, but that’s your call to make.

If damage output is your top priority then this is a potential path you can take for the early game.

drizzt do'urden and a clusterfuck
Arguably one of the most iconic Forgotten Realms characters dual-wields so it’s clearly fine to do so. Credit: WotC.


Dual wielding can be a huge boon for rogues. They never gain the Extra Attack feature unless they spend five levels multiclassing to obtain it. Being able to wield two shortswords, daggers, or another one-handed light melee weapon can give them a bit of insurance for landing their Sneak Attack.

Though, that’s assuming that it’s a better call to wield a second weapon rather than use Fast Hands or Cunning Action. It’s a nice option to have though, but rogues aren’t hurting for uses for their bonus action by any means.

Improving Your Two-Weapon Fighting

Fret not! There are ways of making Two-Weapon Fighting much more powerful, but they require a bit of an investment. When you level you occasionally gain ability score increases (ASIs). Well, alongside cranking up either your Strength or Dexterity ability scores, you can also take feats to improve your overall combat capabilities.

One such feat is the Dual Wielder feat which, expectedly, improves your Two-Weapon Fighting considerably.

You can also either choose a class that gives you the Two-Weapon Fighting, Fighting Style or multiclass into one of them to improve your damage output with your offhand weapon.

Fighting Style: Two-Weapon Fighting

This Fighting Style is pretty straightforward. If you take it, the offhand weapon that you’d use your bonus action to make an attack with can now include your ability modifier in its damage. This is a significant power boost for any character that’s angling to stick with dual wielding throughout their adventures.

The drawback to this Fighting Style is that only two classes can actually take it. The fighter and the ranger are the only two classes in the PHB that have access to this specific Fighting Style. The fighter gets theirs at level 1 while the ranger gets it at level 2.

My Swashbuckler Rogue build included a one-level dip into fighter for the Duelist Fighting Style, but you can certainly make a case for doing so for the Two-Weapon Fighting Fighting Style if your rogue is going to be brandishing two one-handed weapons.

The blood hunter is a homebrew class but has gotten a lot more love than most other homebrews. It’s worth mentioning that it also is a class that can take this specific Fighting Style.

The Dual Wielder Feat

You master fighting with two weapons, gaining the following benefits:

  • You gain a +1 bonus too AC while you are wielding a separate melee weapon in each hand.
  • You can use two-weapon fighting even when the one-handed melee weapons you are wielding aren’t light.
  • You can draw or stow two one-handed weapons when you would normally be able to draw or stow only one.

PHB pg 165

Feats are fun, but they’re not always worth the price of admission. It’s tough sometimes to justify spending one of your ASIs on a feat rather than giving yourself a +1 to the modifier of one or even two of your ability scores.

ThinkDM did the math on this one, it’s essentially always better to just ignore this feat and stick to pumping your ASIs into your Strength or Dexterity if you’re after damage. Not to mention the fact that you get other bonuses besides straight-up damage for increasing your ability modifier.

With that said and done, it’s not a completely terrible feat. You’ll gain some flavor and quality of life features by taking the Dual Wielder feat. It’s just more optimal to crank up your Strength or Dexterity to 20 before grabbing this one.


Dual wielding looks cool and is fun in terms of its flavor. The mechanics of it can be a bit rough in practice and sub-optimal, but at the end of the day, it’s not detrimental to your party to play a dual wielder instead of a more optimal choice such as a great weapon fighter or a sword and board fighter.

All in all, Two-Weapon Fighting isn’t all that complex in D&D 5e. There’s certainly room for improvement in my opinion as it does feel a bit clunky, but it’s extremely accessible for any character to use and it’s pretty clear-cut in terms of its mechanics.

Basically, you just have to make sure you’re wielding two one-handed weapons with the light property unless you have the Dual Wielder feat. If you make an Attack action with your main hand weapon, then you can make one with your offhand as a bonus action. However, you do not include your ability score modifier in the attack’s damage unless you have the Two-Weapon Fighting Fighting Style.

Keep all of that in mind and get to hacking, stabbing, and bashing your way through hoards of enemies at top speed!

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  1. Alexandros says:

    Love the analysis but you lost me somewhere in the end.

    You mention at the conclusion of this article “… at the end of the day it’s not detrimental to your party to play a dual wielder as opposed to a great weapon fighter or a sword and board fighter.”

    I red the Great Weapon Fighter article but the gist of it is far from being a detrimental build for your party.

    I respect your opinion and your research and I really want to clarify that my position is not to judge you or your article but understand your opinion on why the Great Weapon Fighter and Sword & Board fighter builds are detrimental to a party’s composition as I wasn’t able to derive this from the linked article former and I can not see the point for the later.

    1. James Griffith says:

      Sorry that was probably poor wording on my part! I’ll clean that up later.

      My intention was to say that the 2H and 1H & Shield fighting styles are regarded as better choices compared to dual wielding. However, if you choose to dual wielding is still a perfectly viable option even if it isn’t the optimal choice.

  2. Greg Kirk says:


    From a min-max perspective,a 2 weapon fighter is really sub-optimal. Two weapon fighting doesn’t scale. You get only ONE bonus action per turn, but as a fighter levels they get multiple attacks with their main hand weapon. attack action. That means the effect of the bigger die of the main hand scales, while the off hand does not. This is particularly so for the burst damage effect of Acton surge, (twice as many main hand attacks). Burst damage is really important in the game, being able to burst down a specific opponent in a fight can make the difference between victory and defeat.

    Average of a d6 is 3.5, average of a d8 is 4.5 and of d12 is 6.5. Assuming a STR of 16 (+3 mod) at 1st level 2 weapon fighting is marginally better than with a 2 handed weapon (10 dmg/rnd vs 9.5). But at 2nd level with action surge the 2-handed weapon fighter averages 19 burst dmg, while the two weapon fighter is at 16.5. It just gets worse from there.

    At 5th level when you get extra attack the great weapon fighter is averaging 19 on a normal round, 38 with action surge, while the two weapon fighter is average 16, 29 with action surge.

    At 11th level the fighter with a two handed weapon using action surge inflicts greater average damage in a single round than a dual wielding 20th level fighter can while also using action surge.

    The two weapon fighter if marginally better on sustained damage, and marginally worse on action surge damage than weapon & shield, but you’re giving up +2AC for what is effectively a wash.

    Basically, dual wielding fighters are crippled. I’d be happy to share my spreadsheet with the numbers if you are interested.


    Now for rogues it a different matter. The Rogues damage scales primarily from the sneak attack bonus. Sneak attack is once per turn, so with 2 attacks they have two chances to get in their sneak attack damage. This can be a big deal. For argument’s sake lets assume a 6th level rogue with a DEX of 18 (+4), proficiency of +3, for a plus 7 to hit. Target AC of 18 gives us a 55% chance to hit, ergo a 55% chance to get your sneak attack damage. Now add the off hand weapon.

    The probability of missing is 45% for each attach, but the probability of missing BOTH attacks (and not getting your sneak attack damage that round) is only 20.43% That’s a significant boost to your average damage output. The 2nd attack increases the chance you get your sneak attack bonus damage from 55% to almost 80%. Obviously the math is going to vary depending on your chance to hit But assume the chance to hit is 40%, using two weapon attacks you chance to land your sneak attack is still going to be 64%, significantly better than with a single weapon.

    I can’t think of a case where a rogue would be better off not using two weapon fighting. If they hit with their first attack they can use cunning action as their bonus action for something else, if not they have a 2nd chance for their sneak attack to land.

    1. James Griffith says:

      Great analysis, and thanks for linking your spreadsheet!

      The most interesting takeaway for me was the insight on is how a sword & board fighter doesn’t miss out on much damage compared to a dual wielder (without the feat).

    1. Greg Kirk says:

      In the initial sheet, I didn’t take into account ASIs or feats, but when you look at that, at least until both hit 20 STR, it actually gets a bit worse not better/

      Taking the feat doesn’t really improve things, here’s why:. The two-weapon fighter taking the feat gains an average of 1 more damage due to the increased die size. The weapon and shield or great weapon fighter also gains +1 from the ASI increasing his/her strength, but they also gain +1 to hit which means a 5% greater chance to it also, so a 5% increase in in average damage output too. The two weapon fighter should catch up with the other options strength wise at 12th level or so.

  3. Svyatouslav Buzin says:

    Sorry, but your information is useless because it is true only if you have 100% chance to hit. Below comparison of two builds TH (variant human with great weapon fighting style and GWP fit) and TW (variant human with two weapon fighting style and dual wielder fit) at 5 lvl and 11 lvl against creature with 60% to hit. TH with great sword 2d6 and reroll 1 or 2. TW with 1d8 weapon.

    At 5 lvl STR+4, 11lvl STR+5
    1hits 2hits 3hits avr dmg
    TH 48% 36% 0 14.4
    TW 28.8% 43.2% 21.6% 17.1

    1hits 2hits 3hits 4hits avr dmg
    TH 28.8% 43.2% 21.6% 0 23.4
    TW 15.36% 34.56% 34.56% 12.96% 25.2

    Where n hits mens how many attacks hit the creature, avr dmg – average damage per round. I dont consider critical hits (just 5% probability) and dont use -5 to hit +10 to dmg because small chance to hit (35%). In the raw dmg they are close. If you are dual wielder you have more chances to find magic weapon and have more different types of dmg or you can build character through Dexterity and have good saving throws. But if you are pole arm master you have more flexibility in feats with the same dmg.

    Two weapon fighting is not useless and if fighter is not your main class (ranger, paladin, rouge etc.) it will be more useful coz you have one extra attack.

    1. Um… Wow, your wording is harsh. The “information is useless”? Really?
      And for the record, the writer never said two weapon fighting is useless.

  4. D&DVeteran1995 says:

    I have to say this is a well thought out article, but I must disagree with some points made. Dual Wielding isn’t for flavor, for some characters it’s a potential way to DOUBLE damage output. Of course some classes will favor this over others– some variations of Rangers, Fighters, even Barbarians will enjoy the benefits of attacking with 2 weapons. Barbarians may even get more out of this with their Reckless Attack Feature, at level 2, being able to attack at advantage with every melee attack for the round (3 attacks if dual wielding at level 3 with Frenzy going with berserker), at the cost of being attacked at advantage– however this doesn’t really matter when most enemies will be using attacks that the Rage gives resistance to. Fighters eventually get Action Surge, and fighters/Rangers gain fancy bonuses if they choose dual fighting styles.

    Flavor is irrelevant in some of this. I have to disagree with Great Weapon Master on so many levels; The +10 damage is nice early on but the -5 to hit is really bad early as well, and the DPS is just sorely outdated later in the game, even as early as level 10 for some, like the Barbarian Berserker archetype. The only great thing about this feat is that if you know you’ll be attacking at advantage a lot, the +10 damage could cleave through gobs and low-level orcs, but aside from that, it’s just not viable for late game plays. As survival in the early game matters more than meme strats later on.

    Dual Wielder gives you +1 AC for free which also works around Unarmored Defense for those classes, and allows you to draw both weapons out at the start of combat at the cost of one. In essence though, let’s just say we have 2 level 5 with 18 strength as both are a kind of melee warrior class, be it fighter, barbarian, ranger, etc and using a martial melee weapon (we aren’t using class specialties here, just raw stats); We will use averages and assume 2 out of 3 hits for 2d8 + 8. This is on average 6+6+8(ABmod) for a total of 20 damage. You make 2 attacks with a greatsword with great weapon master, we will assume that statistically only 1 hits because level 5 and -5 to hit HURTS early on, that greatsword on average gets 3 on a d6 for 6+4+10 for 20.

    It’s sort of an ebb and flow of things– the great weapon master will eventually get to respectable levels of dps, but -5 to hit doesn’t really start to diminish until like level 13+ where the proficiency mod to attack takes the sting off from choosing this on your attacks. I also usually don’t play with the optional feats. It just feels like some are obviously better.

    I also have to say 5e really just nerfs melee/ranged. Spellcasters are grossly overpowered and I normally have to homebrew the fact that you should naturally be able to attack twice in 6 seconds with a one handed weapon and get an extra attack for using an off-hand weapon and this shouldn’t eat a bonus action.

    The extra attacks every 5 levels are fine as there has to be some form of progression for classes that don’t use magic. Every time I run 5e though the biggest complaints I get is that non-magic classes just feel so powerless in the beginning. A wizard immediately doing 1d10 for free every round just completely eliminates the need for melee users. It gets tiresome to see my table having this “If you aren’t using magic you’re a rogue and that’s only for trap removal” thing.

    1. James Griffith says:

      I appreciate the comment, but most of this information is completely incorrect.

      First of all, offhand weapon attacks do not add your ability score to the damage so it’s not truly doubling your damage unless you’re playing a class that can take the two-weapon fighting style feature. Not every martial class can take this mind you, only Rangers and Fighters can.

      That’s not how the Path of the Berserker’s Frenzy feature works. It allows you to make a single melee weapon attack as a Bonus action on your turn while you are raging. You cannot have 2 bonus actions on a turn so you cannot have 3 weapon attacks while dual wielding as a barbarian at level 3.

      Great Weapon Fighting is fantastic. I’m not sure where you’re pulling the level 13+ break-even point out of. In fact, a martial character with 16 STR will see plenty of mileage out of the -5/+10 portion of the feat. I made a calculator for this if you’d like to see for yourself:

      This is also disregarding that GWM gives 2h martial characters a way to make an extra weapon attack as a bonus action.

      If you don’t play with feats (that’s your choice, but keep in mind it’s one of the ways that martial characters can compete with spellcasters with feats like GWM, Crossbow Expert, Sharpshooter) the PCs will also not be able to dual wield weapons without the light property. So change the math you did from 2d8 (no 1h weapon gives this) to 1d6 per hit. Your example for a dual wielder is now: 3.5 + 3.5 + 8 = 15
      2h would get: 7+4+10 = 21
      The avg of 1d6 is 3.5 not 3 for the record.

      But I do agree, there is a huge discrepancy between the power levels of the feats in 5e.

      Admittedly I haven’t played 4e and only played a little of AD&D/2e, but it seems par for the course that magic users are considerably more powerful. It’s always been an issue. I’d say hopefully 6e closes the gap further, but I’m not holding my breath :P!

      It takes time for the spellcasters to ramp up. That early game bracket is where I find the martial classes to be more consistent than their spellcaster counterparts. Once the casters get better spells and more slots they’ll eventually completely outdo them, of course, but it’s certainly not at level 1.

      I mean, even using the examples you gave me your martial characters will outdo a wizard’s fire bolt.

      Level 1 numbers assuming a +3 modifier
      Wizard: 1d10 = 5.5 avg damage
      2H Fighter: 2d6+3 = 10 avg damage
      DW Fighter: 1d6+1d6+3 = 10 avg damage

      Also am I misunderstanding something or are you saying that you homebrew offhand attacks to not need a bonus action?

      I hope this clears things up!

  5. Mr Vaughan Cockell says:

    I’m afraid you have made a fundamental, but very common error in your presentation of two-weapon fighting. Your separation of attacks/weapons into “main hand” and “off hand”.

    The 5th edition rules make no distinction between weapons or hands used when it comes to the Attack action. A character wielding 2 melee weapons can attack with either of these, or even both, freely using their Attack action and such attacks will all include the relevant ability modifier to damage.

    It is only the bonus action attack, whichever specific weapon is used with it, that suffers the loss of the ability modifier to damage. That attack is effectively “paired” with one of the attacks from your Attack action.

    While this distinction is pretty academic when characters start the game, once they gain the Extra Attack feature the difference becomes more significant, particularly with Fighter’s who can get to 3,and even 4 attacks per Attack action.

  6. Jack Turner says:

    Jack Turner ,as a war priest I took a great axe (D12) + abt mod +prof mod till 4 th level ,then chose duel wield as my first feat and took duel axe (D8)+abl mod + prof mod * D8+prof mod . War priest with the extra attack per your wisdom mod x 4 , gives me 4 attacks if I chose . If I am reading everything correctly

    1. James Griffith says:

      No, dual wielding is actually not great for a War Domain Cleric. War Priest lets you make an extra attack with a bonus action a number of times equal to your Wisdom modifier (per long rest).

      You can only have one bonus action per turn so by dual wielding you’re effectively negating War Priest. I’d either go with Battleaxe & Shield or stick with the Greataxe!

  7. Thinking about making a Dual Wielding Sword Bard, since Blade Flourish doesn’t use the bonus action to activate, if I understood it correctly. It also receives the Two weapon fighting style, so, that’s neat!

    1. James Griffith says:

      Yep that’s correct!

      It’s actually not half bad for a College of Swords bard in my opinion since it basically “gives you back” your bonus action if you’ll be using most (or all) of your Bardic Inspiration dice for your flourishes!

  8. He meant to say it’s not particularly/especially detrimental… it is however probably statistically worse.

    His case is that two weapon fighting is approximately equal. He definitely didn’t mean it’s better

  9. TheGrayOne says:

    Hallo, I am fairly new to DnD and I’m making my first character, would dual wielding be a good think for a Monk/Rogue character? I’m starting with 3 levels on monk and two on rogue, I will also later add a few levels of fighter, reason for this being I have set the Nocturne as my race (homebrew you can find online), but I will be using the blind fighting style to help with my character’s effectiveness, so at the end I will probably finish the campaign with something like Monk “Shadow or Cobalt Soul” 7, Rogue “Assassin” 7, Fighter “Scout” 5 & Wizard 1.

    You can imagine what type of character I’m going for with this, also her main weapons will be ninjato (using the shortsword stats).
    Any opinions?

    1. James Griffith says:

      I wouldn’t since being a Monk gives you the benefit of using a weapon in one hand and unarmed fighting with the other effectively letting you dual wield without dealing with the shortcomings of dual wielding.

      Is there a reason you’re dipping into so many classes? You’re going to miss out on a lot of ASIs. You’re also overlapping some features. Both Monk & Rogue 7 give Evasion and both Monk & Fighter 5 give Extra Attack. You can’t gain the same features more than once,

      For example, having Extra Attack twice doesn’t mean you now get three attacks. You still only get the two attacks per action.

      Also, Scout is a Rogue archetype in Xanathar’s not a Fighter one.

  10. gnashequilibrium says:

    Good discussion, though as was mentioned in another comment, the College of Swords Bard can also take the two-weapon fighting style. My Bard of Swords / Hexblade Warlock took two-weapon fighting and with blade flourishes and the hex and hexblade’s curse dmg on each atk he does a fair bit of damage. I also took the Dual Wielder feat, in part because his atk/dmg modifier (now charisma) is already maxed at 20, in part to add the AC +1, but mostly so he could dual wield the Rapier of Life Stealing he acquired with a mirror image rapier pact blade.

  11. One aspect of duel wielding everyone is forgetting is “options” especially if one takes the feat and style , with both feat and style your fighter/ranger/whatever can incorperate both varying weapon types {{ bludgeoning paired with slashing or either with piercing }} allowing for the fighter to easily adjust his attack to better match his foe {{ IE the fighter encounters skeletons with vulnerability to bludgeoning , and say another enemy with a weakness to piercing }} allowing him to use the more optimal weapon without ever needing to waste time “switching out” his weapon

    or pairing a weapon like a short sword or long sword or rapier with a whip , allowing him to be able to lash out to 10 feet to support an ally while still keeping a more potent weapon for enemies who are closer and more of a personal threat

    1. James Griffith says:

      Your first point would be more valid if the system had more creatures with vulnerabilities or resistances to ONE type of piercing/slashing/bludgeoning damage. As is, it’s a super niche use case.

      Honestly if you can DW longswords sacrificing a longsword’s damage (1d8 vs. 1d4) for an extra 5ft. Reach of a whip just feels bad. If you’re going for a Sentinel Reach sort of build, polearm master just does it better.

      I think this is one of the failings with 5e. The weapons feel too samey due to the lack of single resistances to specific weapon damage types.

      The fantasy of your idea feels cool. Being a weapon master with an answer to every situation in your arsenal is awesome. It just sucks that it doesn’t translate well to the gameplay.

  12. IlstrawberrySeed says:

    In Tasha’s cauldron there is a feat that lets you take a fighter’s fighting style, with a prerequisite of a proficiency in a martial weapon. This would let your rouge get that sweet luck while having dual wielding, at the cost of 2 ASI’s to get the dual wielding feat and the fighter’s dual wielding fighting style via a feat. I am playing a character in a campaign with only three characters, so to balance out the CR we get feet’s every even level and at first level.

    Using that, I took thrown weapon fighting (Tasha’s cauldron fighter fighting style) with the feat so that I could sell my entertainer background better, tumbling while playing a harmonica and juggling. Theoretically, if you dual weapon fought, could you throw weapons for either attack? If this is the case, you could take the thrown weapon fighting(Tasha), archery, sharpshooter and Elvin accuracy (Zanithar).

    With a fighter subclass that lets you take cantrips, you could take magic stone, cast magic stone with attacks (I forgot the feat name), then throw them, 6 at a time with fighter class. I don’t know if this would be the best damage output for a level twenty, as if you took the forgot feat, you could cast booming blade, then cast green flame blade on each successive attack allowing you to seal booming blade damage 5 times, and green flame blade damage 4 times.

    Additionally, you have the weapon damage, potential poison damage, and anything else if it is a magic item. If you had an artificer make it a returning weapon, you may be able to, through a variety of ways, be able to 6 BB, 6 W, and 5 GFB damages as a level 20 fighter if Booming Blade and Green Flame Blade can have the included attack be thrown. I know this doesn’t include any actual stats, and I’m sorry for that. I plan on adding the stats in a reply when I have the time. (I say after righting this for 40 minutes.

    1. IlstrawberrySeed says:

      A Lvl 20 with no bonuses, due to a curse wich lowers all proficiency and mods to 0, (fighter) could deal 3d8 per attack for booming blade, and the same, on 2 creatures, for green flame blade. Assuming you use all five attacks as I stated above, you could deal a total of 39 d8, split at a 2/1 ratio between two or more creatures.

      If you add in a bonus action’s attack, you add 1 or 3 d8 based on the specifics of the forgotten feat. Assuming you are using a 2d6 heavy non magical weapon, you would deal, assuming you target the same 2 creatures, an average of 182.5 damage a turn, if you had a 100% chance of hitting. If you took 3 levels of bard of swords, assuming you used bardic inspiration each turn (wow your really charismatic and lucky the curse didn’t effect this), you would deal slightly more damage, but more spread out, as you loose an extra attack in order to hit an additional person during one attack, as the 2d6 gets split between foes, but the booming blade and maybe the green flame blade caries on to the second target, dealing 3-6/0-3 d8 to the second target, making total (average) damage go to 196/205 average damage based on green flame carrying on with slashing.

      Additionally, you would get 2d6+ 1/3d8 (11.5/20.5) extra damage if you start the turn with a bardic inspiration die from a fellow or from out of combat. That is only helpful in two cases, if your DM interprets “You can use only one Blade Flourish option per turn.” to mean that you can use it multiple times, but only one option. Or, you dual wield great swords or clubs, which takes some gaming itself. Going to level 14 with Bard of swords is not effective for this, as with everything else possible, you could deal either 8d6 + 18/24d8, (109/136) with TH a great sword/club and the interpretation mentioned earlier, or 8d6 + 18/30d8, (109/163) with dual wielding great sword/clubs and a bardic inspiration die from a friend at the start of each turn.

      I looked into it, and the thrown stuff will not help with green flame blade, though if you make the initial attack as a melee attack, and you have 6/4.8d8 extra damage to thrown/ranged weapons, then you could think about booming blade-ing you thrown weapon, but the weapon damage wouldn’t be as great. I know this only touches on one of the aspects I mentioned, but that is all I have time for.

      1. IlstrawberrySeed says:

        Turns out the numbers are simple for the thrown stuff. Using magic stone, will indeed let you have a tremendous amount of ammo on a rocky beach, but using a trident, spear, javelin or hand axe with the artificer enhancement would be just as good, can be silvered, and can be used as melee weapons, used for booming/green flame blade, and all around more effective unless you need to overcome resistance or invincibility to non magic damage. This does not take into account familiar throwing these or emptying a bag of holding full over enemies, or something else similar.

        1. IlstrawberrySeed says:

          When replying I did think fighters got 5 attacks, 6 with a bonus attack. However, a sword and board guy isn’t as good as a dual weirder with animated shield, as you get the AC of a sword and board but with extra damage. However, many would argue that you need to give the animated shield to the two hand fighter to remove the second to last weakness of 2H fighting. The other being easier disarmament.

          That being said, a recent discovery of mine changes this for the 1/3 caster fighter archetype. Shadowblade, cast even at 2nd level, has more damage than any mundane weapon. It is not heavy, so 2H is not optimal, since you can grab a shield. However, you can dual wield them using the glyph of warding, if you have a way to access them without moving them such as a geeni warlock or someone with the demiplane spell. Given that technically, using glyph of warding, a different spell caster could set it up for you, you don’t need to use your archetype for it.

          Additionally, you could use 2 7th level castings via glyph, allowing you to deal 5d8 with each attack, so sacrificing the sheild for 5d8 damage is worth it, unless you have a way to use your bonus action more effectively, such as attacking with your main hand. Some tables may not let you use this, either because the spell is xanithars guide, or because they don’t think it would work with wish, but I think a sword being thrown is a worthy enough trap for glyph.

          Since teleportation isn’t considered movement, you could also use a monk of the way of shadow teleport once each round to keep up with the group to carry your glyphs, if I interpreted that correctly.

          1. IlstrawberrySeed says:

            Turns out I was miss remembering. It is a subclass feature (wizard-bladesinging) not a feat. Additionally, fighters only get 4 attacks not 5. Taking the bard 3 and wizard 6 leaves you with fighter 11, giving 3 attacks. (Four if you home brew the extra attack multiclassing).

            Savants-tactician (homebrew- laserllama on GM binder) targeting you with attack order is more potent than most people.

  13. Barehands says:

    I like your calculations… I’m currently in a situation where I’m helping my son out with his fighter though, so I’m going to spin it a little. As a Dm I know that over the next 2 years in my slow grow campaign if he survives he will attain enough lvls to max out his strength. He’s currently at 17 str at 2nd level. By 11th level he’s going to be 20 str have the 2 weapon fighting ability and the duel wielder feat so he’s instantly +1 ac up which is meh… but let’s assume at 11th level he’s wielding 2x +1 longswords his standard rotation including his bonus offhand attack is 42.5 damage as opposed to 37.5 with somebody wielding a 2 handed sword.

    His action surge is going to be 52.5 off 5 attacks (3 standard one action surge one bonus oh) as opposed to 50 damage with a 4 2 handed sword attacks. Your math stands up, but there are variables. So the question to me is does the +1 ac and slight extra damage justify not increasing other stats further or taking other feats. For me, I think so, for a round the table effect I know my son loves rolling lots of dice (which 13 year old doesn’t) and I also know that at the end of icespire keep which will be a culmination of Lost mines and icespire keep, the party will walk away around 6 to 7th level.

    His loot from the small dragon hoard I’m putting in there is going to be a pair of longswords that improve depending on the level of the wielder, one a frost brand the other a flame tongue both +1 it will be the first major magical items he will receives and with the duel wield build will set him up for Storm kings thunder.

  14. Please correct me if I am wrong, but you stated:

    “The drawback to this Fighting Style is that only two classes can actually take it. The fighter and the ranger are the only two classes in the PHB that have access to this specific Fighting Style. The fighter gets theirs at level 1 while the ranger gets it at level 2.”

    This is not true, any class can dual weild simply by taking the feat “Fighting Initate” which states:

    “Your martial training has helped you develop a particular style of fighting. As a result, you learn one Fighting Style option of your choice from the fighter class. If you already have a style, the one you choose must be different.” (take the Two-weapon Fighting) It does have the “Prerequisite: Proficiency with a martial weapon”, but that’s easily met.

    And then take “Dual Wielder” to be able to wield any one-handed weapon even if it’s not “light” in both hands.

  15. Variant Human Fighter:
    -Duel Wielder Feat
    -Pump Strength to at least 16
    -Two Weapon Fighting Style
    -Two Great Swords (or Great axes) with feathered enchantment (takes away heavy property without taking away damage)

    1st Level: Damage output potential of 4d6 (2d12) + 6
    2nd Level (Action surge included): Damage output potential of 6d6 (3d12) + 9
    5th Level (Extra Attack + Action Surge Included, Strength at 18): Damage output potential of 10d6 (5d12) + 20
    11th Level (2 Extra Attack+Action Surge, Strength at 20) Potential of 14d6 (7d12) + 35
    20th Level (3 Extra Attack+ Action Surge, Strength at 20) Potential of 18d6 (9d12) + 45
    All this is without subclasses or any extra feats/ features fighters get. Feathered weapon is extremely important, so if DM doesn’t allow it’s not as viable