The Homerunner

The Homerunner

It ain't like football. You can't make up no trick plays.”

Battlemaster / Graviturgist

A guide by Lilith


Concept

The star of the show is Crusher. Once per turn when you hit a creature with an attack that deals bludgeoning damage, you can move it 5ft to an unoccupied space, provided the target is no more than one size larger than you.

An unoccupied space includes upward in the air, and when you combine it with features that push enemies away from you, whacky things happen. And if you can apply the push during another turn, it also works as a reaction. 

Hit with an attack -> Crusher move up 5ft -> Push enemy 10/15ft away from you, which means launching upward -> Enemy fall, take fall damage, and go prone.

Core assumptions about the mechanics involved:

  • Order of operation: If two or more things happen at the same time on a character or monster's turn, the person at the game table-whether player or DM-who controls that creature decides the order in which those things happen. 

XGE p77

  • Falling is instant: The rule for falling assumes that a creature immediately drops the entire distance when it falls.

*This is a limitation that we bypass due to the 2 pushes being simultaneous.

XGE p77

  • Diagonal movement: count every square as 5 feet, even if you're moving diagonally. 

PHB p192

* If your table wants to introduce a lot of realism and demand you do Pythagoras math instead, treat the total distance pushed as a little bit more than 10ft total, and the combo still works about the same.

  • Falling onto a Creature: If a creature falls into the space of a second creature and neither of them is Tiny, the second creature must succeed on a DC 15 Dexterity saving throw or be impacted by the falling creature, and any damage resulting from the fall is divided evenly between them. The impacted creature is also knocked prone, unless it is two or more sizes larger than the falling creature.

TCoE p170

*This is not a necessity but it definitely gives you a lot more punch. You can roughly aim where your target will land, potentially giving you a 2 for 1 prone. It’s also a way to indirectly prone an enemy with high STR save, or is Huge size.

Variants

There are several ways to apply this interaction. You just need to have an attack that can deal bludgeoning damage and a feature that lets you push the enemy when you hit with an attack. Notably, there’s the Pushing Attack maneuvers, the Open Hand pushing technique, and the Repelling blast from an Earth Genie Warlock. Swarmkeeper Ranger’s drag is an interesting addition, but it’s mostly to add to the punch of the move (and the comedic effect of yeeting someone 50ft) because it only moves the target Horizontally. 

Build

Race: ANY

We don’t care much about race, but one with +2 to a stat is preferable since we can both get the key component being Crusher feat and 18 on STR with an ASI. That’s all it takes, we ain’t hungry for Feats.

Custom Lineage is insane, you get to use the combo straight from level 1 with Superior Technique FS. 

For this build I’ll probably go Simic for the Grappling Appendages, since we’ll be proning people and being able to spam GWM Maul once you grapple prone them is pretty good. If you still wanna do grappling without a race with extra arm, a regular ol Warhammer also works. 

Ability Scores:

Str 17 / Dex 8 / Con 16 / Int 14 / Wis 10 / Cha 8

Crusher will later boost STR to 18, Int 14 for being Wizard later, 

1: Fighter 1

+Second winds

+FS: Superior Technique: Pushing Attack

Armor: All armor, shields

Weapons: Simple/martial weapons

Saving Throws: Strength, Constitution

Skills: Pick 2

Figthing Style: Defense is good, Great Weapon fighting is a trap, TWF is good since we can swap it out at 4, but not quite our concept. I’ll go with Superior technique for more pushes cause it’s fun, if you had Crusher Feat early, your combo is already online. 

2: Fighter 2

+Action Surge

3: Battlemaster 3

+Martial Archetype: Battlemaster

+Student of War

+Maneuvers: Pushing Attack, Menacing Attack, Precision Attack, Grappling Strike

If you don’t use Superior Technique FS, Grappling Strike is an easy skip

4: BM 4

+Crusher

Don’t forget to hold a big Maul and reskin it as a giant baseball bat. You can now slap people up to 20ft into the air if they fail the STR saving throw. You can also do it so that the target falls on top of another foe. Chaos ensues.

5: BM 5

+Extra Attack

You can now launch someone up, get close to them, and grapple, preferably with Simic Hands. Menacing is a handy control tool, and it will invalidate any melee enemy you launch away, or simply pushed 5ft out of reach with Crusher. 

6: BM 6

+Great Weapon Master

You now do big boi damage yay. Go slap the prone dude, it’s free real estate. 

7: BM 6 / Wizard 1

Spells

0: +Booming Blade, +Mage hand, +Mold earth

1: +Absorb Elements, +Longstrider, +Shield, +unseen servant, +find familiar, +alarm

Now that we’ve been batting people away, let’s enhance our field performance, with magic! Familiar is amazing and helps with our action economy, but you can also simply have it employ Help fly bys for free advantage.

Longstrider is to help you reach base more efficiently, but you’ll mostly save slot for Shield/ae for now. 

8: BM 6 / Graviturgist 2

+Adjust density

Spells

0: Booming Blade, Mage hand, Mold earth

1: Absorb Elements, Longstrider, Shield, unseen servant, find familiar, alarm, +Magic missile, +Detect magic.

Adjust density is such an amazing feature. You can use it whenever you want and it lasts as long as your concentration. This means out of combat you can give you or anyone a strength boost, or have a passive speed increase. In combat, you can start the round with 10 extra speed, or have advantage on your grapple check. Ending concentration is free and you can do it at literally any time, so you don’t have to worry much about the effect backfiring on you or benefiting the enemy. Longstrider gives you a bit more speed and can counter the effect of increasing your own density. You can also use it to keep an enemy stuck in effects like Web or Black tentacles.

If you want to lock down someone, you can Action Surge Adjust Density to give them disadvantage on STR checks and saves for the whole fight, launch them in the air, and Grapple them.

9: BM 6 / Graviturgist 3

Spells

0: Booming Blade, Mage hand, Mold earth

1: Absorb Elements, Longstrider, Shield, unseen servant, find familiar, alarm, Magic missile, Detect magic.

2: +Immovable Object, +Misty Step

Immovable Object is a stupid spell. It doesn’t involve any attack roll or saving throw and you can target worn object, so bloop, touch a dude’s clothes and they can’t move. Touch the clothes of a dude who’s prone and they go “help I’ve fallen and can’t get up”. Touch a dude who fell on top of another dude for comedic effect. Did I mention how it’s non concentration? Do note the 10lb weight limit, so realistically you'll be targeting Regular clothes, Shield, Leather armor, or focus/weapons (with the exception of Heavy xbow)

Now there’s some ambiguity on what you actually need to do to be able to touch someone’s gear while casting this spell, so do clear it with your DM, maybe negotiate it to be landing an unarmed strike or something. 

Anyways, you can now yeet someone prone and then Action Surge Immovable object them. Base secured!

10: BM 6 / Graviturgist 4

+ASI: Sentinel / Warcaster

Spells

0: Booming Blade, Mage hand, Mold earth

1: Absorb Elements, Longstrider, Shield, unseen servant, find familiar, alarm, Magic missile, Detect magic.

2: Immovable Object, Misty Step, +Enlarge/Reduce, +Wristpocket

Just pick anything you dig tbh. Wristpocket is cute because you can hide whatever thing you want, including your oversized Baseball Bat. You don’t actually need to use an action to retrieve it, just end concentration and it will appear neatly at your feet. Enlarge/Reduce lets you do the pushing shenanigan on Huge sized creatures, but creatures of that size tend to have very high STR anyways, so you end up just casting reduce on dungeon doors.  

Sentinel is nice cause it lets you proc Crusher an extra time, and if you feel like it you can add a Pushing Attack in as well. Send a foe back after their first attack and they might not have enough speed to continue, or send them where they don’t want to be. 

Now since it’s not your turn, you don’t get to decide the Order of Operation, but you might be able to pitch to your DM on it. If you can, an opportunity attack that leaves the enemy Prone and at 0 speed is really cool. 

Warcaster is an interesting pick but doesn’t give you reliable triggers. Once you have Gravity Well, getting an opportunity attack alone with Boomer Blade will allow you to push the enemy 10ft up and away from where they want to go, landing them prone and sad. 

11: BM 6 / Graviturgist 5

Spells

0: Booming Blade, Mage hand, Mold earth, +Message

1: Absorb Elements, Longstrider, Shield, unseen servant, find familiar, alarm, Magic missile, Detect magic.

2: Immovable Object, Misty Step, Enlarge/Reduce, Wristpocket

3: +Thunder Step, +Phantom Steed

Phantom Steed lets you be anywhere and punch anyone anywhere, it also completely negates the -10ft speed you get from increasing your own density. 

Thunderstep is very handy. You can get a buddy out of dodge, and reposition both to a better spot. Damage doesn’t matter. 

12: BM 6 / Gravitugist 6

+Gravity Well

Spells

0: Booming Blade, Mage hand, Mold earth, Message

1: Absorb Elements, Longstrider, Shield, unseen servant, find familiar, alarm, Magic missile, Detect magic.

2: Immovable Object, Misty Step, Enlarge/Reduce, Wristpocket

3: Thunder Step, Phantom Steed, Counterspell, Haste

Gravity Well is the funny feature of the day. You can quickly reposition your allies with any spell that includes them as target (Even Message), You can also more finely control the direction you’re yoinking someone with a casting of Booming blade: Crusher move enemy to right above your head, Gravity Well move enemy to launching direction, then Pushing Attack. Booming Blade alone is also sufficient for 10ft push to the air and making the enemy prone, and you can immediately follow up with Grappling Strike. You can also push 10ft up with a Warcaster attack, as mentioned 2 levels earlier. 

13: BM 7 / Gravitugist 6

+2 more Maneuvers: Disarming Attack, Brace

+Know your enemy

+1 more Superiority Dice

Pick any maneuver you like. Disarm is a rare and unique effect you can apply, brace lets you push someone during their turn, possibly invalidating movement of a melee enemy and wasting their turn. 

Know your enemy is situationally handy as it lets you know who you should target with your Push. But generally it’s still weak.

14: BM 8 / Graviturgist 6

ASI: Max STR

What to do from here

Generally, the build’s already figured out by 8th level, or 7 if you had a Feat early and dip 2 Wizards right after extra attack. I added Graviturgist up to 6 for some fun factors, mainly Immovable Object and Gravity Well, and BM 7 to get more superiority dice so the build is better at what it does, and an ASI at 8 is right next to it. But you can choose between going the rest in Fighter or the rest in WIzard ever since 8, since there are plenty good spells that doesn’t key off your casting stat. 

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