The Call of the Maul: A 5e Guide to Mastering the Misunderstood Sledgehammer

maul 5e
Table of Contents

Few weapons inspire more trepidation on the battlefield than the mighty maul. This oversized warhammer leaves crushed armor and shattered bones in its wake. Yet despite its fearsome reputation, the maul remains shrouded in mystery and misconceptions.

But for those willing to embrace its secrets, the maul promises raw might rivaling even magic itself. This extensive guide will unveil everything you need to unlock the maul's devastating potential. From ideal use cases to advanced tactics, you'll gain the knowledge to pulverize foes with this dynamic tool.

So leave finesse to the swashbucklers and spells to the scholars. When brute force is the solution, accept the maul's call. Let's get hammered!

An Iron Fist in a Velvet Glove

At first glance, the maul triggers assumptions. It's heavy, requiring two hands and immense strength to leverage its 10-pound bulk. The lack of finesse seems to limit its appeal. But don't be fooled by first impressions.

Underneath its intimidating exterior, the maul hide's nuance rivaling even graceful blades. Its 2d6 bludgeoning damage devastates bones and armor alike. Against the undead, no weapon brings the purifying force of the maul's holy crunch.

Its versatile head combines a blunt, bone-shattering surface with a puncturing beak or spike, multiplying its tactical options. Even the environment yields to the maul's force, barriers and structures collapsing before its strikes. For pure, unadulterated impact, no weapon compares.

Some classes naturally gravitate toward the maul's brutal potential:

  • Barbarians eschew shields in favor of mobility and damage, making two-handed mauls ideal. Rage synergizes perfectly with the maul's raw force.
  • Paladins and clerics specializing in undead destruction appreciate exploding skeletons courtesy of bludgeoning critical hits.
  • Fighters view shields more favorably but nevertheless can employ mauls to obliterate enemies on the frontlines.
  • And creative rangers surprise foes expecting finesse weapons, instead bringing the pain with these unconventional warhammers.

So don't be fooled by preconceived notions. In capable hands, the maul balances refined technique with unrestrained force.

Empowering Your Inner Berserker

While mauls shine with specific classes, the right supporting skills and feats elevate their devastation to art form. Combining the below abilities with your signature sledgehammer will unlock synergies to pulverize the heartiest foes.

Great Weapon Master deserves first mention. The accuracy tradeoff for bonus damage shines when enemies have massive HP pools but lower AC. Coupled with the maul's 2d6 profile, no other martial class ability better showcases the maul's astronomical damage potential.

The bonus action attack provided by Great Weapon Master when scoring a critical hit or reducing a creature to 0 HP also perfectly complements the maul's high crit range and ability to swiftly fell weaker enemies.

Savage Attacker allows a damage reroll once per turn, helping land crushing critical strikes. Pairing this with Great Weapon Fighting and its ability to reroll 1s and 2s on damage dice enhances your odds of hearing that satisfying crack of monster bone.

For grappling enemies, nothing beats Crusher. Scoring bludgeoning critical hits with your maul allows you to push targets up to 5 feet, setting up beneficial repositioning. You also gain advantage against creatures you bash with bludgeoning attacks until your next turn—a perfect maul synergy.

Toppling foes like tin cans might seem sufficient, but for truly optimal maul mastery, select complementary spells, styles, and skills to complete your combative repertoire:

  • Nature skills help gather rare herbs to coat maul heads for added elemental damage.
  • War Magic provides reliable advantage through spells like True Strike, offsetting accuracy reductions from Great Weapon Master.
  • Careful Spell applies buffs only to allies, preventing haste or enlarge effects on enemies.
  • Interception, Protection, and Defense styles shore up survivability in melee range.

Advanced Maul Tactics

Mastering advanced tactics separates novice maul monkeys from transcendent hammer saints. Let's explore specialized techniques to dominate your next dungeon raid.

Against swarms, use the maul's beak or spike to impale multiple creatures in a single swing. When hordes surround you, a broad sweeping attack becomes deadlier than measured power strikes.

Rush spellcasters before they unleash potent spells. A round spent stunned by your stampeding maul attack is one less round hurling fiery death. Choose Crusher to also push enemies farther from your party's squishier members.

Use the maul's sheer weight to smash through barriers. Weak doors and barricades shudder before your weapon's unyielding mass accelerated into a dead sprint.

Knock enemies prone to gain advantage and incentivize allies to pounce. When foes drop, maul power attacks gain access to juicier damage multipliers from critical hits.

Carry alchemist's fire and oil to coat your maul's head for added elemental punishment. Just be sure to wash off any flammable fluids before entering towns. You know how concerned villagers get around armed lunatics drenched in volatiles.

Most importantly, don't forget your maul's spike! Puncturing hide after your crushing force softens its resistance adds insult to injury. And don't just use it offensively—the beak also doubles as a makeshift climbing pick in a pinch.

Honing Your Legend

Legendary warriors deserve legendary weapons. While most mauls appear mundane, exceptions exist that can etch your name into the tomes of history. These fabled arms hold power to reshape realms.

The Maul of Titans bears dwarven runes granting it the ability to obliterate structures and objects with triple damage strikes. Those lacking herculean strength need not apply, however—all others face grievous attack penalties.

Matalotok's abyssal black steel channels the demon lord Kostchtchie's penchant for delivering chilling blows. Icy strikes sap life from enemies, transferring vitality directly to its infernal owner.

Pyremaul's smoldering opal head wreaths this maul in undying flame. The weapon evolves through dormant, awakened and exalted phases, growing deadlier as its owner achieves greater conquests.

Even deities revere legendary mauls, as evidenced by the Magmahammer of Dumathoin. This epitome of dwarven craftsmanship harvests the rage of volcanoes, unleashing fiery strikes burning hotter than dragon breath.

While ownership of these fables remains elusive, nothing prevents warriors from naming their mauls in hopes of one day joining the pantheon of legends.

Think Like a Maul

Mauls may seem one-dimensional—what you see is what you smash. But just as a swordsman visualizes an extension of their blade, you must also think like a maul to fully harness its capabilities.

The maul's multifaceted head combines a bone-cracking mallet for pulverizing force with a spike for penetrating strikes. Mastering transitions between these aspects in battle takes time.

Visualize the maul as an amplifier, transferring your strength into raw kinetic energy through the handle into the head. The weapon isn't doing the work—it merely focuses and intensifies your power.

Be deliberate in your intent. Power attacks require commitment, not just physically but mentally. Hesitation or distraction diminishes the damage of your blow.

See beyond the weapon. The maul simply channels your raging spirit, giving it form. Its ultimate purpose isn't destruction—it's releasing your inner serenity through iron, blood and bone.

By embodying the maul, you transcend a mere warrior. Others simply wield steel. But you become an extension of the weapon itself. Therein lies the path to true mastery.

Parting Thoughts

The maul's sheer stopping power, versatility and psychological intimidation cannot be understated. It is far from a crude instrument relying solely on strength. Proper technique and strategy elevate it to a refined tool for discerning warmongers.

This guide only skims the surface of the maul's depth. Forging your own legend requires surpassing the wisdom herein through firsthand experience. So don't just read about the maul—grab one and start smashing! Just mind the noise complaints from your neighbors.


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