Review of Unearthed Arcana article “Mystic Class” accessed here:
Part 2: Class Options
In my first article on the Mystic class we discussed the mechanics of psionic casting and here we will delve further into the actual abilities of the class.
For the Mystic intelligence is the most important ability so toss your highest score in that, followed by dex or con to have a decent amount of AC and HP. They receive a D8 as a hit die, so the same as a bard, druid, cleric, or a warlock. Fairly standard. Their proficiencies are on par for a casting class with light armor and simple weapons with int and wis for their saving throws.
At first level the Mystic choose their subclass, referred to as “Mystic Orders”, and the player can choose from Order of the Awakened, Order of the Nomad, Order of the Immortal, Order of the Soul Knife, and Order of the Wu Jen (more on the subclasses in a future article). Their subclass grants them an ability at 1st, 3rd, 6th, and 14 levels.
At level 2 they get “Mystical Recovery” which allows them to immediately recover hit points back equal to the number of psi points they have just spent and they also get “telepathy” which allows them to speak to any creature within 120ft with their mind. I find the mystical recovery ability to be incredibly powerful, where the mystic can use a psionic discipline to cause damage to a target and then immediately after regain hit points. With limiting factors taken into consideration like psi limit and the amount of psi points you receive at any given level I still feel like it is overpowered. When they receive this ability at level 2 they will have access to 6 psi points with a psi limit of 2. So in three quick rounds, using only bonus actions and no spells slots or any other factor in their usage limitation the Mystic can regain what is essentially half of their HP. This of course scales with level but so does the psi points and the psi limit. Compared to the paladin ability lay hands it seems comparable, with the paladin able to dish out more healing at one time and to other people, but since the mystic can use a psionic discipline and then automatically receive healing I feel that this needs more work to be balanced.
At level 4 comes the typical ability score increase but also “Strength of Mind” where the mystic can replace their proficiency in wisdom saves for another save during a short or long rest. I find this ability to be a bit meta, or at least require outside knowledge of enemies to be really effective. If you know you are going to face a medusa for example, you would take a quick power nap and switch your save proficiency over constitution. In other circumstances this ability might be fine but paired with the already powerful “mystical recovery” it makes for a huge defense bonus.
8th level Mystics get access to the “Potent Psionics” ability which grants a bonus of 1d8 psychic damage to any successful weapon hit. At 14th level the damage increases to 2d8. Lastly it mentions that the mystic can add their int modifier to any damage roll made from a successful hit. It is not clear however if this is supposed to occur at 8th level or restricted to 14th level as this comes in a new paragraph after what it mentioned above. We will need clarification from WotC for this.
10th level brings the ability “Consumptive Power” where the mystic can use his own HP to cast psionics instead of his psi points. When doing so the psi point cost associated with the discipline is instead taken from both current and maximum HP simultaneously. Once you use this feature you can’t do so again until you finish a long rest where your HP maximum resets to its former value. I don’t have a problem with this power as it is limited by “once per long rest” which seems to always be a good way of balancing out abilities. If the mystic could use this more than once then I would see a problem with it, especially coupled with “mystical recovery” but as it stands I imagine the typical strategy would be to use the recovery ability to get HP up to its highest, and then use this ability for a final blast of psionic energy, which seems fine.
At level 11 the mystic achieves “Psionic Mastery” which grants 9 special psi points to use on disciplines that require an action or bonus action to activate. I will be honest, I find the description of the ability to be very confusing as it adds some special rules and restrictions that don’t make a lot of sense to me. The article mentions that you can spend these points on one discipline or spread it across multiple but you “can’t also spend your normal psi points on these disciplines; you can spend only the special points gained from this feature.” It’s unclear whether this means that when you activate this ability these 9 points are the only points you can use, or rather the disciples you choose to use with these 9 points cannot be bolstered by the character’s psi points. Due to this confusion I can’t really make a true judgement about this ability. At level 11 the character is sufficiently powerful enough to gain a bonus to their spell casting ability so this is pretty normal but giving them 9 points but restricting on where you can spend them seems strange to me. I can only think that the designers found this ability to be overpowered and tried to limit its use for balancing purposes but missed the mark a bit.
The final class ability at level 20 is pretty epic as we would expect from a character of such power. “Psionic Body” grants the mystic resistance to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage as well as immunity to disease and poison, the character no longer ages, and when your character dies you roll a d20 and if 10 or higher your body discorporates instead of dying and you will reappear a few days later. This is perfectly fine for 20th level and gives some nice flavor to the class.
My overall feelings of this class is that it has some very strong abilities that are either unchecked in their power or improperly restricted. Every class is supposed to have a balance with the others but this seems too strong in most aspects and then limited in confusing ways that make this class hard to understand. The Mystic class has a lot of moving parts to it and it takes a lot of care to introduce a new class that comes with its own new ruleset and I don’t think this UA has really accomplished this. As it stands the class seems like a mess.
Part 3: Subclasses
Part 4: Talents and Disciplines