Alright so unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past few months or you just so happen to be one of those people who are, you know, not locked at home relearning how to crochet in this near apocalypse…then you’ve probably at least seen pictures of WotC’s brand new book: Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything. Not only is this book heavily packed with content that’s got all my players messaging me about (yeah, we hopped on that Discord too), but it also made a few of the more popular 2019 UAs official. More specifically, of course I am talking about those nice psionic subclasses we wrote about a while ago, which is why today we’re taking a look at some of the changes made to the Soulknife Rogue. If you’re curious about what this subclass looked like before going official, you can check out my original article over here.
Definitely not biased perspective
Well, for starters, I actually got to play a Soulknife for D&D’s most recent adventure, Icewind Dale, Rime of the Frostmaiden, which means that I can now give an update on my thoughts that I will succintly summarize in three words: f**k, that’s fun!
From experience, I can now say that this is probably the second most fun I’ve had playing a rogue (and I play my fair share of rogues!). Not only does the whole psionic abilities flavor really well and offer cool thematics for you to build on for your character, but they also make for some great utility:
I must admit that when I first read through the UA version of the Soulknife I didn’t quite appreciate how valuable the vanishing properties of our new weapon of choice would be but now I can confidently say: move over Assassin rogue! Why would anyone need to spend weeks working on a persona when you can just make your weapons leave no trace on your marks? Definitely a big game changer for those of you out there who might be considering playing a sneaky assassin/hitman sort of character.
Another great bit of utility I’ve found even more helpful than I anticipated is actually the Soulknife rogue’s ability to communicate with other creatures. Sure, the rogue’s 3rd level Psychic Whispers is great for coordinating party movements as is, but one mustn’t dismiss the specific wording in the text! “Creature” implies that you can talk to just about anything that moves as long as it has a language. It doesn’t even matter if your character can’t speak said language! I know I say this often but… Pact of the Great Old One who? This is such a useful ability that has gotten my party out of trouble on many occasions. Got an angry Yeti yelling at you? Just chat it up!
Whether you are just now looking to play this class or simply looking for a breakdown of the changes to update your sheet with, we can definitely say there’s a lot going on with this first official print of the Soulknife Rogue. Here’s the gist of it:
Psychic Blade, 3rd level
Then: In the 2019 UA version, summoning 1 to 2 blades (our choice) required the usage of our bonus action. While not the worst, this was certainly less than ideal for the heavily B.A reliant rogue class.
Now: Lucky for us, summoning a blade is now part of our action (and bonus action if we so choose). Not only does free up our action economy, but it also allows us to make that stabby stabby thing rogues are known for. As a note, while the 1d6 psychic damage remains unchanged on our main attack, do keep in mind that our off hand is now only a 1d4.
Psionic Powers (Replaces Psionic Enhancements), 3rd level
Then: In the 2019 UA version, we had the choice of increasing our movement speed, giving ourselves some extra temporary hp, or mentally communicating with a single creature within a 30ft rage of us. As well as the ability to switch between these three options on a long rest.
Now: We get psionic dice! Our 1d6 (increases as we level up) now allows us to communicate telepathically with a number of creatures equal to twice our proficiency modifier at the same time! Be the moving walkie talkie set you always wanted to be. Not only that, but the distance of our range also substantially increases to a mile. The only caveat to this ability and that the duration of this connection is limited in hours equal to the number we roll on our psi die. Another potential downgrade is that creatures can now choose to end this communication of their free volition.
Last but not least, while we might not longer be able to increase our movement speed or acquire temporary hit points, Soulknife rogues are now able to roll an added dice when rolling checks they’re proficient in, thanks Psi-Bolstered Knack!
Soul Blades (Replaces Terrifying Blades), 9th level
Then: In the 2019 UA, we could strike fear into our opponents hearts with our blades (or you know, your rogue-y edge) by forcing them to make a wisdom saving throw on a hit.
Now: We get two options; Honing Strike allows us to add our psi die to our attacks once we know we have missed, which, as if this subclass weren’t OP already, wording would indicate only happens if the added die value lands us the hit; that is, if it still misses, we get to keep our die. Talk about broken!
That’s not all, however, this official version of the subclass also gives us the ability to use our bonus action to throw a blade and teleport to the space it occupies. Think about it: tall building? Bamf! Need to clear a room quickly? Bamf! Baddie is getting away? Bamf! The only limitation to this ability is that we can only move up to ten time our roll on the psi die, which I suppose can be a little unpredictable.
Psychic Veil, 13th level
Then: In the 2019 UA, this ability allowed us to become invisible for up to 10 minutes or until we made an attack or forced a saving throw. This ability was available to us a number of times equal to our intelligence modifier and replenish on a long rest.
Now: What kind of stealth mission only takes 10 minutes? Doesn’t matter! This new version of the Soulknife allows for an entire hour’s worth of invisible shenanigans. Not only that, but the wording has been changed to that invisibility only breaks after dealing damage or forcing a saving throw. Prank your little rogue heart away. I suppose the only caveat to this is that we only get a single free use of this before having to spend our psi die to activate this feature.
Rend Mind, 17th level
Then: In the 2019 UA, the damage dealt by this feature was equal to 12d6 psychic damage and half as much on a save and could be used a number of times equal to our intelligence modifier that replenished on a long rest.
Now: While there is still a save to decided whether or not our target is stunned, the damage dealt by this feature is no longer halved and instead equals that of our sneak attack. Another change is the fact that we can now only use this feature once per long rest unless we are ready to part with three of our psi die to do so again.
I don’t know about you folks, but I definitely think we got an upgrade on this one and I personally cannot wait to keep plying the updated version of this subclass. Got any comments about the Soulknife you’re itching to share? Drop a message in the comments below!