Z is for Ral Zarek

AtoZ2019ZRal Zarek is a blue and red-aligned planeswalker native to the city plane of Ravnica and a high ranking guildmage devoted to the Izzet League. While he has ascended, he’s managed to hide this fact from Niv-Mizzet, an impressive task in and of itself. Indeed, Ral has never looked to the ancient dragon as a role model or mentor, but as a nuisance at best and a likely adversary at worst.

“I see countless worlds. What makes them think I can’t find them in just one?”

Brilliant, unpredictable, and daring, Ral Zarek was always testing boundaries (and nerves) as a young mage of Ravnica. His bright, fearless skill made him a natural at harnessing the chaotic power of lightning and storms.

As a storm mage, Ral Zarek is as impulsive and brilliant as the lightning he summons. Ral faced a difficult path despite his talents, growing up in a small district where he was ridiculed for his skills as a storm mage. He set his sights on the one place where he knew he could find others like him—the esteemed Izzet League of mages on the plane of Ravnica. After years of hard work, Ral was able to leave his district and achieve his dream of becoming an Izzet guildmage. But Ral is determined to fit in there as a talented mage, not as a Planeswalker anomaly, and holds his planeswalking abilities a close secret. In a strange twist of fate, he discovered another with the same secret: his old rival and Ravnica’s Living Guildpact, Jace Beleren. The two former rivals from the Implicit Maze find themselves in an unlikely alliance, concealing their identities from the watchful eye of the Izzet Leagues guildmaster, the dracogenius Niv-Mizzet.

Zarel, Ral - glassIn Dungeons & Dragons

Ral’s abilities in his cards range from tapping creatures (preventing them from attacking) to deal damage and “forking” spells (casting twice in the same round). Even if he claims command on lightning and thunder, being part of the Izzet is very likely he’s either a sorcerer or an artificer. And since there is already a Storm Sorcerer, and because his equipment looks very artificer-y, we decided to run our chances creating a new subclass for the most recent version of the Artificer for 5e, including one of the options available to the Sorcerer: Metamagic.

BLASTSEEKER
Artificer Specialty

  • Tools of the Trade:
    • Proficiencies. When you select this archetype at 3rd level, you gain proficiency with smith’s tools, glassblower’s tools and brewer’s supplies, assuming you don’t already have them. You also gain those tools for free—the result of tinkering you’ve done as you’ve prepared for this specialization.
      In addition, you gain the ability to use rods, staffs, and wands as spellcasting focuses for your artificer spells. You also gain a nonmagical, metallic rod for free, which you’ve carved in your spare time.
    • Crafting. If you craft a magic item in the rod category, it takes you a quarter of the normal time, and it costs you half as much of the usual gold.
  • Additional Spells: Also starting at 3rd level, you add the following spells to your known spell list.
    1. Burning Hands, Thunderwave
    2. Aganazzar’s Scorcher, Scorching Ray
    3. Fireball, Lightning Bolt
    4. Ice Storm, Wall of Fire
    5. Cone of Cold, Destructive Wave
  • Arcane Accumulator: Finally, also from 3rd level, you finish the prototype of your very own Arcane Accumulator. Blastseekers wield and control arcane effects with these tools, devised to harness and manipulate elemental energy. Using your Accumulator (which you can attach to your armor), your access to this energy is represented by a number of blast points.
    • You have as many points as you have artificer levels.
    • You can spend these points to fuel various features. You start knowing three such features: Overload, Jump-start and Replicate. You learn more as you gain levels in this class.
      • Overload: If you’re expending the last blast point available, you can choose to overload your Accumulator. If you do, you gain a number of blast points up to half your level, but after a long rest, it doesn’t recharge fully: for every point you gained, the maximum blast points you recharge is reduced by two. For example, if a 5th-level artificer decides to overload his Accumulator, he can do it for 1 or 2 blast points. After a long rest, in the first case, he recharges only up to 3 blast points (5 – two times 1); in the second case, only up to 1 (5 – two times 2).
      • Jump-Start: You can use an action and expend 1 blast point per spell level to cast a diminished version of the last spell you cast in your previous round. This spell’s damage dealt, duration, range and area are halved and its origin is the same as the original.
      • Replicate: When you roll damage for a spell, you can spend 1 blast point to deal 1d8 damage of the same type to another creature not affected by that spell and that is at 5 feet from the target. At 6th level, you can spend 2 blast points to affect two different creatures. At 11th level, you can spend 3 blast points to affect three different creatures. At 16th level, you can spend 4 blast points to affect four different creatures.
    • When you spend a blast point, it is unavailable until you finish a long rest, at the end of which you draw all of your expended points into your accumulator.
    • Some of these features require your target to make a saving throw to resist the feature’s effects. The saving throw DC is the same as for your spells (DC = 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier).
  • Gizmometry: Starting at 6th level, you can use your Accumulator as a ranged weapon. You can use an action and expend 1 blast point to make an attack of arcane energy that deals 2d8 force damage on a hit.
    • Additionally, you get one new feature for your Accumulator.
      • Storms and Electricity: When you roll damage for a spell that targets only one creature, you can spend 2 blast points to change half the damage to lightning damage and the other half to thunder damage. The target must succeed on a Constitution saving throw or be stunned until the end of your next turn.
      • Pyrology: When you roll damage for a spell that deals fire damage, you can spend 2 blast points to ignore the target’s resistance to fire, or you can spend 4 blast points to treat the target’s immunity to fire as resistance to fire.
      • Metallurgy: As a bonus action on your turn, you can expend one spell slot and gain a number of sorcery points equal to the slot’s level.
      • Alchemy (Empowered Spell): When you roll damage for a spell, you can spend 1 blast point to reroll a number of the damage dice up to your Intelligence modifier (minimum of one). You must use the new rolls.
      • Orientation (Distant Spell): When you cast a spell that has a range of 5 feet or greater, you can spend 1 blast point to double the range of the spell. When you cast a spell that has a range of touch, you can spend 1 blast point to make the range of the spell 30 feet.
      • Mimeography (Twinned Spell): When you cast a spell that targets only one creature and doesn’t have a range of self, you can spend a number of blast points equal to the spell’s level to target a second creature in range with the same spell (1 blast point if the spell is a cantrip). To be eligible, a spell must be incapable of targeting more than one creature at the spell’s current level. For example, magic missile and scorching ray aren’t eligible, but ray of frost and chromatic orb are.
      • Continuism (Quickened Spell): When you cast a spell that has a casting time of 1 action, you can spend 3 blast points to cast the spell as a bonus action instead.
      • Arcane Geometry: When you roll a saving throw to resist or reduce the effects of a spell, you can spend a number of blast points equal to the spell’s level to get advantage on such a roll.
      • Gravitational Inversion: When you cast a spell that targets yourself, you can spend 1 blast point to gain a flight speed of 10 feet for the duration of that spell up to 1 minute.
      • Plasma-Dermatology: When you roll damage for a spell, you can spend 2 blast points to change half the damage to a different type of damage (your choice from acid, cold, fire, lightning or thunder)
  • Flectomancy: Starting at 14th level, when you roll a saving throw to resist the effects of a spell you know, you can absorb some of the arcane energy used in that spell to recharge your Accumulator. As a reaction, make an Arcana check with the same DC as the spell. If succesful, you gain as many blast points as the spell level. If you do, you can’t activate any features for your Accumulator until the end of your next turn.
    • Additionally, you get one new feature for your Accumulator.

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Have you tried the Artificer yet? Do you have any opinions about it? Tell us in the comments!

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