D&D 5E What is the perfect Fighter/Barbarian multi-class balance?
Capstones are only worth considering if you actually Play at level Most campaigns tend to end or peter out before lvl
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That's a matter of opinion.
For some people, it's more about the journey than the destination. Knowing that your PC could, eventually, theoretically become awesome is for some people a large part of the appeal of advancement, even if you never actually get there, or if you retire once the awesomeness is achieved (and everything therefore becomes too easy).
I would have less fun playing a Barb 1/Moon Druid X than a Moon Druid X+1, even though the Barb version is more mechanically powerful, because the Moon Druid has a future and the Barb 1/Moon Druid X does not. If however the DM allows losing existing class levels (so that going from Barb 1/Moon Druid 19 to Moon Druid 19 and thereafter to Moon Druid 20 is an option) then I could happily play either one, because they both have the same future. I just hate the thought of getting permanently locked into something un-fun, because at that point what's the point in even playinga game with XP and class advancement? You might as well just play GURPS or Shadowrun or some other game where your PC's stats are largely static, compared to (A)D&D.
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Multiclassing can be useful for roleplaying, so do not make the mistake of thinking this guide is only for min-max-style playstyles. I’m analyzing the Barbarian class as both core and secondary within a multiclass build. My recommendations include combinations that are narratively cool and/or mechanically potent.
Recklessly Charge Ahead to Another Section:
General Multiclassing Notes
Dipping Levels in Barbarian
Path of the Ancestral Guardian
Path of the Battlerager
Path of the Beast
Path of the Berserker
Path of the Storm Herald
Path of the Totem Warrior
Path of Wild Magic
Path of the Zealot
More Barbarian/Multiclassing Content from Flutes Loot!
My multiclassing terminology:
- Core Class: The main class for a character usually holds the majority of level investment for a character.
- Secondary Class: The class that is supplementarily added to the core class.
- Dipping: Multiclassing very few levels into a secondary class.
General Notes on Barbarian Multiclassing
Remember, multiclassing requires minimum ability scores in both new and prior character classes (as described on page of the PHB, or page 10 of Tashas Cauldron of Everything for Artificers). For example, if you are a Cleric and want to multiclass as a Rogue, you’ll need a Wisdom score of 13 or higher and a Dexterity score of 13 or higher. The Multiclassing Proficiencies table is on page of the PHB (or page 10 of Tashas Cauldron of Everything for Artificers).
Here is a summary of class ability score minimums for multiclassing, along with proficiencies gained if a given class is not the class you started with at level one:
- Artificer Intelligence 13: light/medium armor, shields, thieves tools, tinkers tools.
- Barbarian Strength 13: shields, simple weapons, martial weapons.
- Bard Charisma 13: light armor, one skill of your choice, one musical instrument.
- Cleric Wisdom 13: light armor, medium armor, shields.
- Druid Wisdom 13: light armor, medium armor, shields (druids will not wear armor or use shields made of metal).
- Fighter Strength 13 or Dexterity 13: light armor, medium armor, shields, simple weapons, martial weapons.
- Monk Dexterity 13 and Wisdom 13: simple weapons, shortswords.
- Paladin Strength 13 and Charisma 13: light armor, medium armor, shields, simple weapons, martial weapons.
- Ranger Dexterity 13 and Wisdom 13: light armor, medium armor, shields, simple weapons, martial weapons, one skill from the class’s skill list.
- Rogue Dexterity 13: light armor, one skill from the class’s skill list, thieves’ tools.
- Sorcerer Charisma 13: no additional proficiencies.
- Warlock Charisma 13: light armor, simple weapons.
- Wizard Intelligence 13: no additional proficiencies.
You’ll want to perform cost-to-benefit analyses of classes when you consider multiclassing. Every level in a secondary class is an opportunity cost to your core class. Choosing to multiclass as a core-class Ranger is an easy choice since Rangers don’t typically get worthwhile abilities at higher levels. Other classes like Druid and Fighter have excellent level-twenty abilities. It hurts to forego those high-level abilities. However, most campaigns end by level ten, so it’s not often prudent to plan a character with an assumption of reaching level twenty. Speaking of fun concepts, some of my recommendations made the cut mostly because they are thematically cool or unique to D&D.
Dipping Levels in Barbarian
Barbarians get their subclass choice at level three, but levels one and two are not without multiclassing value.
- Level 1: Rage; Unarmored Defense; proficiencies: shields, simple weapons, martial weapons.
- Its important to remember that activating Rage requires a bonus action. If you multiclass in a way that relies on bonus actions, you may need to delay other moves if you want to begin your Rage.
- Level 2: Reckless Attack and Danger Sense.
- Reckless Attack is excellent for gaining advantage if youre willing to take hits in return. If foes have disadvantage to attack you otherwise, your defenses wont suffer as much since the incoming attacks will roll normally.
Several classes can benefit from taking one or two levels in Barbarian. The main reason to dip levels into Barbarian without obtaining a Barbarian Path would be to get Rage. The defensive boost that Rage grants against bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage can effectively double a character’s hitpoints against those damage types. Characters who rely on spellcasting will not want this, and those who don’t invest in their Strength scores will be unable to multiclass levels in Barbarian. Unarmored Defense isn’t typically something that would be specifically multiclassed for since armor is better most of the time.
Reckless Attack can be useful for players to fish for critical hits. The defensive downside to Reckless Attack can be thought of as offset by Rages damage resistance, but only if the character is likely to take basic weapon damage. Danger Sense is great for any character lacking advantage on Dexterity saving throws. The Dexterity saving throw is one of the most common saving throw types, so you can’t go wrong with Danger Sense unless it’s redundant with another feature (Magic Resistance, for example).
Medium and light armor will be redundant to proficiencies of other martial classes; shield and weapon proficiencies will likely be redundant as well. The Rogue may be the exception to the proficiency redundancies. You can create a Rogue character who relies on Strength while still getting Sneak Attack so that a Barbarian may be a good choice for Rogues. This is especially true since the Rogue’s high-level abilities are not crucial to get. You can feasibly build a Rogue with Rage or a Barbarian with Sneak Attack pretty easily, and I actually wrote an article devoted to that concept.
Multiclassing by Barbarian Subclass
While I can’t point out every conceivable potent multiclassing combination, I’ll provide some of my favorites to inspire you! I’ve collected my thoughts by Barbarian subclass for your convenience. My favorites can be found below.
Path of the Ancestral Guardian (XGtE) Multiclass Recommendations
Ancestral Guardian Barbarian (9) / Echo Knight Fighter (4) / War Magic Wizard (7)
This character concept known as the Guardian will initially appear strange, but it’s an effective build to tank for self and allies as long as you understand its tactics. This concept possesses narrative and thematic richness to make the character enjoyable for roleplaying. This Guardian build comes from TreantMonk, and he has a video devoted to explaining it. Basically, you’ll use deflection and damage prevention while placing enemies in positions that put them at a disadvantage in a fight. I highly recommend checking out Treantmonk’s channel and subscribing to it for anyone who likes to learn about optimization techniques. He knows his stuff, and he often inspires me with new ideas on how to play the game.
Ancestral Guardian Barbarian (14) / Peace Cleric (6)
Teamwork makes the dream work! This combination of the Peace Domain and the Path of the Ancestral Guardian comes fully loaded with abilities to protect your allies to keep the team going. The Ancestral Guardian does an excellent job of hindering a foe who would attack others in the Barbarian’s party. By the fourteenth level, the Barbarian will be preventing 4d6 damage as a reaction when allies are attacked, and foes will take retaliatory damage based on prevented damage. The Peace Cleric will form a bond with allies that allows them to teleport to one another’s aid. Allies can also receive 1d4 to add to attack rolls, saving throws, and skill checks for ten minutes once per turn. Everyone will want to be on your team when you play with this combination.
Ancestral Guardian Barbarian (17) / Battle Master Fighter (3)
In addition to supporting your allies with your ancestral spirits (preventing damage and hindering attacks), you can use Battle Master Superiority Dice and Maneuvers to support your allies further. Use Lunging Attack to keep away from a foe’s opportunity attacks, while also using Ancestral Protectors to give that enemy disadvantage on attacks rolls on anyone other than you, then move away so the foe must choose between pursuing you and potentially taking opportunity attacks from your allies, or make attacks with disadvantage against your allies, for whom your Spirit Shield will be a vanguard.
Several other Maneuvers will work well with your supportive playstyle while boosting your party’s damage output. You’re still a Barbarian, so if you need to wail on an enemy without the fancy battlefield tactics, feel free to use Reckless Attack and fish for critical hits while using Maneuvers. Remember Superiority Dice get rolled twice for critical hits just like other damage dice.
Path of the Battlerager (SCAG) Multiclass Recommendations
Battlerager Barbarian (3) / Paladin (17)
This combination aims to take advantage of the Battlerager’s bonus action attack, paired with Reckless Attack to fish for critical hits. A critical hit will allow for supreme smiting and smashing! Pick whichever Paladin subclass sounds fun to you.
Battlerager Barbarian (4) / Armorer Artificer (16)
As a genius Artificer, your Battelrager armor has been modified with Infusions to become even more powerful. You could also go for six levels in Barbarian if you want the temporary hitpoints ability of the Battlerager. You’ll be able to make three attacks per turn and eventually pull enemies closer to attack them as a reaction. Since most people have compared the Armorer to Ironman, this is like the Hulkbuster armor!
Path of the Beast (TCoE) Multiclass Recommendations
Beast Barbarian (10) / Moon Druid (10)
The mutant! While using Wild Shape to transform into actual beasts, you can mutate your beast form using the Path of the Beast’s features that begin when raging with the Form of the Beast feature. You can also still use the passive mutations of the Beast Barbarian’s sixth-level feature, Bestial Soul. I would rule that these bestial class features are compatible with Wild Shape’s rules because these features are based on transformation and are not dependent on the beast form chosen. With this combination, you can become a Giant Eagle capable of swimming or a land shark with grown claws. I’m sure not all DMs would allow this, but it seems to me that RAW would allow it. Your defensive capabilities can be bolstered by growing a tail that parries attacks when you Rage. An innocent beast like a Giant Elk could gain a bite attack that heals itself. This sounds fun to me! As a Moon Druid, you can transform into an elemental at level ten, and that could be really fun to alter with Beast Barbarian mutations.
Beast Barbarian (6) / Mercy Monk (14)
Your bestial heritage has given you regenerative and toxic powers. Your stats will be well-rounded with this build due to multiclassing stat requirements. Focus on Strength for your Monk attacks as you’ll gain Rage damage to each one as long as you’re using melee weapons. Your mutations that manifest from Form of the Beast while raging count as simple melee weapons, so you can add your Rage damage to them. If you read the Monk classs Martial Arts feature, you can use any simple melee weapon as a Monk weapon as long as they don’t have the two-handed or heavy properties. Cha-ching, this combination is money! Your Extra Attack feature will allow you to make three attacks instead of two because of how your Claws work, and you’ll still get unarmed strikes from the Monk class for your bonus action. If you use Flurry of Blows, you’ll be attacking five times per round.
Investing in Strength will boost your jump distances, and the level-six Beast Barbarian feature Bestial Soul will provide Monk-like abilities to achieve amazing stunts. You can flavor your Hand of Harm/Hand of Healing abilities from the Way of Mercy Monk subclass to be using your natural claws (or perhaps teeth and stingers) to inject regenerative cells or necrotic venoms into other creatures.
You can split the levels between Barbarian and Monk anyway you like, and there are pros and cons to whatever split you choose. You can get more feats with an 8/12 split or get more Barbarian features with a 10/10 split. It’s up to you, but the concept seems fun to me. The Beast Barbarian has more chances for synergy with the Monk class due to the simple melee weapons manifested by Form of the Beast.
Beast Barbarian (8) / Kensei Monk (12)
“Hey, Bub I’m Logan, but you can call me Wolverine.” As I mentioned in the combination above, the Beast Barbarian’s Form of the Beast weapons count as simple weapons; therefore, the natural weapons here can be used as Martial Arts weapons. The Kensei can choose weapons like these for Kensei weapon specialization, enhancing the Beast Barbarians natural weapons. This is definitely the type of character that can go on a rampage like Wolverine, cutting through the toughest armor like adamantium claws when the Kensei uses the Sharpen the Blade feature. You won’t regenerate like Wolverine, but you’ll tear things to shreds while resisting weapon damage. Have extra fun by kiting melee foes with the Mobile and Slasher feats as you freely move away to make them chase you with reduced speeds. Slasher will also allow you to freely Reckless Attack as you potentially cause your target to have disadvantage to attack you, canceling out the advantage they’d have against you as you attack recklessly. The 8/12 split is mostly to obtain ASI levels in either class, but you can adjust as you see fit. Make sure your DM will allow you to choose your natural weapons as Kensei Weapons, or you’ll be a sad Tasmanian devil
Path of the Berserker (PHB) Multiclass Recommendations
Berserker Barbarian (10) / Conquest Paladin (10)
This is super gimmicky, but I figured out that there is a cool combination here. The Berserker’s level-ten ability is Intimidating Presence. It can be used as much as you want, but not on the same creature after it passes the saving throw before 24 hours goes by. The Conquest Paladin thrives on fear, emanating an aura that causes frightened creatures to have zero speed while taking psychic damage. Use your Intimidating Presence to frighten someone, then stand ten feet away while using your action to perpetuate Intimidating Presence. Any foe that lacks ranged attacks or spells will probably die just from you slowly chipping away at their hitpoints with psychic damage from your aura while they’re frightened. Since the Berserker Barbarian isn’t a great class, I might only try this for a high-level adventure as a one-shot.
Berserker Barbarian (4) / Champion Fighter (16)
This combination is meant to fish for critical hits. The Berserker can use Reckless Attack, and it gains a bonus action attack when entering a Frenzy. At higher levels, this is four attacks per round rolled with advantage and landing critical hits on The level splits are based on gaining ASI bonuses. You eventually may not bother using Frenzy because you can get bonus action attacks from landing critical hits or kills if you have the Great Weapon Master feat (which I definitely would choose for this character).
Berserker Barbarian (4) / Champion Fighter (4) / Watchers/Ancients Paladin (12)
Crit fishing is fun, but it’s even better with smiting! Berserkers can make more attacks during Frenzy Rage. Champions can crit on a Paladins can capitalize on critical hits with Divine Smite. Since we’re going for Rage, we don’t want to concentrate on Paladin spells, so either subclass indicated would be fine for the Paladin. Having said that, you can pick the one that sounds fun to you. You can also settle for three Fighter or Barbarian levels if you’d rather go thirteen-to-fourteen levels of Paladin to get fourth-level spells.
Path of the Storm Herald (XGtE) Multiclass Recommendations
Storm Herald Barbarian (14) / Genie Warlock (6)
You have become the storm as you freely fly above enemies just out of reach but within your stormy aura. Genie Warlocks at the sixth level gain the ability to fly without concentration for ten minutes several times per long rest. Your main weapon should be a polearm so you can utilize its reach property. Any foes depending on non-reach melee weapons will be unable to hit you unless they switch to ranged attacks. This is the only combination that actually makes me want to play a Storm Herald Barbarian! I would also choose the Tomb of Levistus Invocation because I find that the Tundra option is my favorite storm type for the Storm Herald.
Storm Herald Barbarian (10) / Moon Druid (10)
Jolteon, I choose you! Use Wild Shape to become a furry animal. As your fur stands on end, you Rage, creating static electricity that jolts your enemies like a thunderbolt attack. Super effective! But the fun doesn’t stop there. At level ten, the Moon Druid can Wild Shape into elementals, allowing the storm to come to life truly. This isn’t what I’d call an optimized combination, but it sure sounds cool to play!
Path of the Totem Warrior (PHB) Multiclass Recommendations
Totem Barbarian (11) / Phantom Rogue (9)
You are in touch with the spirits of the dead, creating totems and trinkets that empower you with voodoo magic. You linger strangely in the realm of the living while you enter a spiritual rage that tethers you to mortality. While a Token of the Departed trinket is on your person, you’ll have advantage on Constitution and death saving throws; these trinkets empower your Relentless Rage saving throws to keep you among the living.
With the Bear Totem at level three, you’ll resist all damage types except psychic damage. After you resist damage, you can use your reaction with the Rogue’s Uncanny Dodge to halve the remaining damage, effectively allowing you to reduce incoming damage from one attack per round by 75%.
You can wield a finesse weapon with your Strength and Sneak Attack. Rage damage will further increase your damage output. Gain Expertise in Athletics to grapple enemies with frequent success. You’ll have advantage on grapple checks during Rage. Reckless Attack will enable advantage for attacks so you can gain Sneak Attack damage when youre alone.
Totem Barbarian (15) / Swashbuckler Rogue (5)
You are a master duelist and showman; you’re used to wrestling with mighty beasts and playing hide and seek with agile creatures of the wilderness. You resist damage with Rage and then halve the resisted damage by reacting with Uncanny Dodge. You Fancy Footwork gives you a portion of the Mobile feat, allowing you to strike then move away. Your Unarmored Movement will make you faster than most opponents, making them unable to catch up to you without using their action to Dash. You can kite melee foes in this way, dashing about and even hiding with your Cunning Action bonus action. Use a Rapier to get Sneak Attack, but focus on Strength so you can get Rage damage.
Totem Barbarian (3) / Moon Druid (17)
I recommend this only for low-level campaigns because it doesn’t feel right to deny a Moon Druid its level-twenty ability. But if you’re playing in a one-off, have fun resisting all but psychic damage as you Rage during your Wild Shaping. You can become an ultra-durable version of any beast as you resist damage and deal more damage when attacking with a beast’s Strength stat during your Rage.
Totem Barbarian (3) / Rune Knight Fighter (17)
Playing up the runic giant-kin theme, you’ll be raging and resisting damage while gaining abilities to increase your size. Becoming larger will enable you to wrestle and grapple with larger creatures than normal. Are you ready to wrestle with a dragon, rolling advantage while raging to grapple it?
Totem Barbarian (16) / Champion Fighter (4)
Combining durability with offensive devastation, the Totem/Champion is a powerful combatant. This character will be a crit-fishing powerhouse after tacking on feats like Sentinel + Great Weapon Master + Polearm Master. Action Surge from the Fighter Class will further improve the Barbarians ability to fish for critical hits when it matters most. The Totem Warriors bear feature at level three (the one pretty much everyone picks) will make the character durable to live long enough in battle to land devastating blows before getting put down. Thats assuming the character gets dropped to zero hitpoints at all (dont count on it). This is one of the classic multiclass combinations of D&D 5e that has been a favorite of Barbarian players since
Path of Wild Magic (TCoE) Multiclass Recommendations
Wild Magic Barbarian (3) / Fey Wanderer Ranger (17)
The influence of the Fey has instilled you with unstable magic when you become emotional. You’re normally a mischievous person of whimsy, but you get upset, things can get crazy. This combination makes for an interesting character narrative, though the synergy is minimal. I honestly don’t love the Path of Wild Magic, so I’m not struck with much else for inspiring multiclass ideas.
Path of the Zealot (XGtE) Multiclass Recommendations
Zealot Barbarian (17) / Gloom Stalker Ranger (3)
You are the shout in the deep that rages against the Underdarks denizens. You are invisible in the dark to creatures relying on darkvision, making you even more terrifying as you rain blows upon them. You have a special attack each round that deals radiant damage and scales with your Barbarian level; your first attack in a combat encounter grants you another attack that deals extra damage. These damage gains will be extra satisfying when you roll their dice twice from your Reckless Attack crit fishing.
Zealot Barbarian (3) / Arcana Cleric (17)
The phoenix will rise from its own ashes… I love the Zealots gimmick being resurrected without needing costly spell components because of the character being chosen by the gods. This got me wondering, “Is there a way for the Path of the Zealot Barbarian to resurrect itself?” I found the answer. The levels work out perfectly between these two subclasses to pull off this trick.
Here’s how it’s done: First, the Zealot Barbarian needs to be level three, so it can be resurrected without needing material components to achieve the revival. Second, the Arcana Cleric needs to have a fifth level or lower spell that can revive a person; Revivify is the spell for the job because the higher-level spell Raise Dead will incur roll penalties afterward. Revivify is a clean revival! Third, the Arcana Cleric needs to reach level seventeen to get the Arcane Mastery feature. For the sixth-level Wizard spell option of Arcane Mastery, choose Contingency. Now the puzzle is complete! Use Contingency to cast Revivify on yourself and store it in the Contingency statuette, with the trigger set to be your own death. You’ll be revived with one hitpoint!
You could even delay the trigger for a few rounds if you think it’ll help avoid trouble. Admittedly, there is one flaw in this plan, so check with your DM; Contingency says you can use a spell that can target yourself. Revivify is only meant to target a recently dead creature, not one that is currently alive. If your DM rules that you use this combination, you’re good to go. It’ll only work at the twentieth level, though. There may be easier ways to get revived without doing it yourself. I enjoyed coming up with this idea regardless of its degree of practicality.
The Barbarian is one of the most complete and well-designed classes in the game. You can gain a lot from even just one or two levels in Barbarian, but a few more levels invested to gain a Barbarian subclass will treat you well; Barbarian subclasses are strong, perfectly complimenting how solid the class design is.
Which of my multiclass ideas did you like? Which ideas would you add to the list? Let me know your ideas by casting Message in the comments below, and I may add your concept to the list if I think it sounds fun and viable.
More Barbarian/Multiclassing Content from Flutes Loot!
Before you go, please consider reading our other articles about multiclassing and about Barbarians:
You might enjoy my class guide for Barbarians on YouTube:
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From increasing utility to developing a beautiful character arch, multiclassing can have multiple benefits—if you choose the right combination. If you’re a little hazy on how to multiclass, see our article that quickly and clearly explains the multiclassing rules and reasons to or not to multiclass.
You can also explore our muticlass builds here.
When building a multiclass, you will choose a class for your Character Level 1. We will call this your “core class.” Traditionally, more levels are taken in the core class than in your secondary class, but that is not always the case. In this article, we will only focus on multiclassing a core class with a secondary class, and no additional classes, though that is always a possibility.
Here we’ll discuss why a class is or is not an excellent core class candidate and which classes mesh well. Remember, when you multiclass, you miss out on the highest levels of your core class.
So what do we consider a good reason to multiclass? From our How to Multiclass in 5e article:
We recommend multiclassing for these three reasons: to pick up armor proficiencies, to gain low-level class skills, or to fit a specific character archetype.
So let’s begin.
Jump to the class you’re most interested in:
If you intend on being primarily an Artificer, we personally love the level-twenty ability of +1 bonus to all saving throws for each magic item you are attuned to (up to 6!). Thats our personal taste because we love that capstone. There is a lot of multiclassing potential for Artificers if you dont plan on getting to level twenty or you dont care for the capstone as much as we do.
The Artificer can be an excellent multiclass for other classes. Taking up to three levels in the intelligence-based Artificer may be beneficial to other classes in order to gain armor and tool proficiencies, magic Infusions (quick magic items or enhanced armor and weapons), and potential subclass features.
You can play the Artificer class with Eberron: Rising from the Last War or Tashas Cauldron of Everything.
Art by Brolo, CC License
Wizards can gain heavy armor proficiency without needing Strength scores of fifteen by taking three levels of Armorer Artificer. Wizards can go with other Artificer levels to gain just medium armor and the proficiencies mentioned earlier. It also allows them to learn Cure Wounds and use their Intelligence modifier to cast it. Awesome!
Artificers may dip three levels in Fighter to get a subclass that benefits melee combat. The Battlesmith Artificer may be especially interested in improving its martial abilities. Action Surge at level two is always great. Heck, you could take a level of Barbarian to get Rage if youre not using heavy armor or relying on spells during combat.
Artificers are incredibly versatile, so multiclassing with them has multitudes of possibilities.
Things to consider:
- A main feature of Barbarians is Unarmored Defense, so armor proficiencies matter little.
- When raging, a Barbarian cannot cast or concentrate on spells.
- Level 20 Barbarians increase their Strength and Constitution maximum scores to Is this something you’re willing to sacrifice for a multiclass that can’t be achieved some other way?
Compatible Barbarian Multiclasses:
Focusing on Strength, a Barbarian/Fighter gains a Fighting Style, Action Surge, a potential to increase crits (especially with Reckless Attack), and possible battle maneuvers. We recommend taking levels in Fighter, but definitely not as many as 5, as Extra Attacks don’t stack.
- If you choose to take three levels in Fighter, Champion is a great archetype for increasing the probability of critical hits. A Barbarian who is Reckless Attacking has advantage, and a Champion can crit on a 19 or a You’ll be increasing your probability of a crit immensely.
- With Path of the Berserker, a Barbarian can make a single melee weapon attack as a bonus action each turn. Add in Extra Attack, and the Champion Fighter archetype, and the number of crits a character makes should skyrocket.
- Conversely, choose the Fighter archetype Battle Master and gain extra maneuverability in battle.
Adding a few levels of Rogue can beef any Barbarian build. With Expertise, an additional skill, and (if taking two levels) Cunning Action, this is a solid combination. Plus, a Barbarian gains advantage while Reckless Attacking, which gives him automatic Sneak Attack while using a finesse weapon, even while using Strength. For more ideas on how to be a rapier-wielding Barbarian, see our article here.
- We don’t recommend taking more than two levels in Rogue, as none of the archetypes, except maybe Scout, really add much to a Barbarian.
- Note that Sneak Attack won’t be a ton of extra damage, as you’re just taking a few levels in Rogue.
Notable Barbarian Multiclasses:
To make this multiclass work, forego damage-based Bard spells and focus on utility spells that can be cast out of battle. This build is useful for improving grappling and athletics abilities with Jack of All Trades (level 2) and Expertise (level 3).
- Take 3 levels in Bard for the College of Swords (Blade Bard) for extra damage.
Clerics have useful Domain abilities that can be used while raging, and healing can be used outside of battle.
- Death Domain adds additional damage once per rest with a melee attack at level two.
- Strength Domain gives you a Druid cantrip and a +10 bonus to an attack roll, ability check, or saving throw, once per rest.
- War Domain allows you to make an additional weapon attack as a bonus action a number of times equal to your Wisdom modifier and gives you a +10 bonus to an attack roll once per rest.
- Arcana Domain combined with the Ancestral Guardian Barbarian totem can produce an interesting Oracle-style Necromancer.
To best utilize this multiclass, take at least 3 levels in Druid.
- Druids who choose Circle of the Moon gain the ability to Wild Shape as a bonus action while in a rage. Be sure to choose a beast that uses Strength in its attack in order to gain the rage damage bonus.
- Choose the Bear Path of the Totem Warrior to become resistant to all but psychic damage, even while in Wild Shape, and expend your spell slots as a bonus action to heal yourself (Circle of the Moon), to keep the Wild Shape party going. Since you can’t cast while raging or in Wild Shape anyway, this is a great compromise.
- If you wish to focus on the Druid side of this build, see the Druid/Barbarian section of this article
Bard is a pretty versatile core class. Like many other spellcasting classes, Bards use Charisma as their primary stat. Classes that also utilize Charisma are prime candidates to multiclass with Bard. Plus, Bards don’t have many awesome abilities at high levels, so taking a few levels in anything is worthwhile.
Bard by bipicado, CC License
Things to consider:
- Full spellcasters will usually take a hit when multiclassing with other full spellcasters, as they will be unable to reach all high level spells.
- Utilize that high Charisma of a Bard to multiclass with another high-Charisma class.
- Bards aren’t really fighters—they are more utility-based characters, so focus on multiclasses that give more utility (with one exception: a Paladin multiclass).
Compatible Bard Multiclasses:
If you want to be a fighting Bard, this multiclass is probably your best option, as both Bards and Paladins utilize high Charisma. With the addition of a Fighting Style and Smiting at Paladin level two, Bard/Paladins benefit from a Bard’s higher spell slots: the higher the spell slot expended, the more Smiting damage.
- You could choose Paladin as your core class, but Bards at level 10 and 14 get magical secrets to learn 2 highest spells from any class. Thus, it would be more beneficial to use Bard as your core class, as you can get two high-level Paladin spells that would not be available to Paladins who multiclass with Bard.
- All Paladin archetypes mesh well with Bard except Paladin of Ancients, which is only useful if you take 6 levels of Paladin. This is not a great tradeoff.
- Additionally, while taking 5 levels in Paladin gives you Extra Attack, Bard’s College of Valor can give you the extra attack instead.
- Try to get high Bard spell slots by taking as many levels in Bard as you can in order to deal maximum damage from Smite.
As full spellcasters, Bards have great advantage with their spells already. By adding Cleric, a character could have some extra spells prepared. You could also add medium or heavy armor proficiencies, depending on the Cleric’s Domain. We recommend choosing utility Cleric spells like buffs that don’t use modifiers, since Clerics are Wisdom-based.
- Life Domain gives a Bard/Cleric heavy armor proficiencies and enhance healing spells. You will need Strength 13 to wear heavy armor.
- Nature Domain could be thematically cool, as a character will get a Druid cantrip and heavy armor proficiencies (13 Strength required to wear). One could also charm animals in a Snow White-fashion based on Wisdom (if 2 levels are taken).
- Arcana Domain is useful for Bards, but you wouldn’t get armor proficiency. With this domain, you’ll get 2 cantrips and the arcana proficiency. With this, you could always have detect magic prepared.
This is a clever multiclass with nice benefits. A Bard who chooses College of Valor will get armor proficiencies, but a Bard who multiclasses one level with Fighter will get these benefits all the same. Then, the Bard/Fighter could choose a much more beneficial College for greater utility.
Notable Bard Multiclass
Because a Rogue and a Bard both gain Expertise, a character could have up to 8 Expertise skills (if you take 6 levels Rogue). Additionally, Cunning Action is useful for improved mobility. Note here that Sneak Attack doesn’t really do enough damage to matter with a class like Bard that should focus less on damage.
- At 3 levels in Rogue, a Bard/Rogue can choose the Arcane Trickster archetype, which gives the character additional spells, though they use Intelligence instead of Charisma. As an Arcane Trickster, a Bard/Rogue will gain a suped-up Mage Hand.
- A Scout archetype gives a Bard/Rogue double proficiency on Nature and Survival checks at 3rd level, which is essentially the same as gaining Expertise under a different name. Remember, you only add extra proficiency once, so the ‘Survivalist’ feature does not stack with Expertise.
In our opinion, Clerics should just go full Cleric. Clerics have great high-level abilities, and they don’t need to learn spells, just prepare them. With the right Domain, a Cleric will gain heavy armor proficiencies. Additionally, Clerics get a multitude of abilities with Domains and Channel Divinities. You won’t find too many powerbuilds with Cleric as the core class.
For a more in-depth analysis, see our Cleric Multiclass Guide.
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Things to Consider:
- Most Clerics stay out of the melee fights, but if you want a specific Cleric style, like War Cleric, you will find that Cleric/Paladin is your best option.
- We recommend taking no more than two levels of a multiclass with Cleric, as a Cleric gains three uses of Channel Divinity per rest at level 18, which is an invaluable addition.
Compatible Cleric Multiclass
Gaining a Fighting Style and Smite, a Cleric/Paladin gains more martial abilities and attack damage. If a player chooses to take multiple levels in Paladin, his character will gain Extra Attack at level 5, but this risks gaining high-level Cleric spells and abilities.
Druids are a versatile core class based on what team role your character will fill: healer, tank, damage-dealer, support, etc. A Druid can mix with many classes adequately when she chooses efficient spells to aid his focus.
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Things to Consider:
- A Druid uses Wisdom to spellcast, so combining with other spellcasters that use Charisma can be a waste of stats.
- At Level 20, Druids can use Wild Shape unlimitedly, so think carefully about multiclassing and missing out on this ability!
- Druids only wear light or medium armor, which can’t be made of metal, so you won’t multiclass for armor proficiencies.
Compatible Druid Multiclass:
This is by far the most effective Druid multiclass. Dipping even one level into Barbarian will give you Rage and Unarmored Defense. This will permit you a higher armor class than leather armor, which a Druid typically wears, and the ability to rage in beast form, giving you extra damage with Strength attacks, advantage on Strength checks and saving throws, and extra resistances.
- Choose Circle of the Moon archetype to wild shape as a bonus action, allowing you to keep your rage going.
- Taking three levels in Barbarian and choosing the Bear Path of the Totem Warrior will grant you resistance to all damage types except psychic, and you can heal yourself by expending spell slots as a bonus action (if you are Circle of the Moon).
A great nature healer. Taking two levels in Cleric will give your Druid character a Divine Domain and a Channel Divinity, which can add some cool abilities and access to additional spells.
- Choose the Life Domain to gain additional healing per spell (2 + spell level), which means Goodberries restore 4 instead of 1 hit point (a total gain of 30 hit points for a 1st level spell).
Notable Druid Multiclasses:
A single level dip in Fighter will provide a Druid with a Fighting Style and Action Surge.
- Armor proficiencies don’t help Druids very much, but one particular Fighting Style available is Mariner (UA), which will give a Druid a swimming speed, a climbing speed, AND a +1 bonus to AC.
- Action Surge is helpful for any class, but for a spellcaster, a Druid can cast two non-bonus action spells in one turn. And a character regains his use of Action Surge after only a short rest.
- There are not many Fighter Archetypes that mesh well with Druids, unfortunately. A Druid shines best when he focuses on utility spells above damage output or weapon attacks. While there are many spells that deal sufficient damage, there are more Druid Utility spells that rock. So a Druid that wants to gain a Fighter Archetype should focus on one that provides additional utility, especially to spellcasting.
- Scout (UA) is possibly the best Fighter archetype to combine with Druid, as a character will gain proficiencies in three new skills and superiority dice bonuses for skill checks and armor class.
Taking one level in Monk will give a Druid extra AC with Unarmored Defense (AC = 10 + Dex + Wis, which is great for Druids, who use Wisdom for spellcasting). Taking more levels in Monk can provide extra utility like speed and dodging/disengaging/dashing, but the tradeoff is fewer Druid spell slots. For this build, it is better if you’re more Druid than Monk.
For a player who wants to be an effective weapon-wielding Druid, the Druid/Ranger multiclass is probably the best option. As a half-caster, Rangers will augment a Druid’s spellcasting with additional spells (starting at level 2). At first level, a Ranger can choose a favored enemy against which he can track better. With Natural Explorer, he gains a favored terrain; and at second level, a Ranger gains a Fighting Style. This can give bonuses to ranged weapon attacks (Archery), gain a swimming and climbing speed while increase AC (Mariner, UA), or remove disadvantage for close-quarters shooting while giving a +1 bonus to attack rolls (Close Quarters Shooter, UA).
A Druid/Ranger that desires Extra Attack will take five levels in Ranger. Thus, the character must find an archetype that synergizes with Druid.
- Beast Master will give you a companion to control on your turn. You command actions such as Attack, Dash, Disengage, Dodge, or Help. At level 5 Ranger, you also get to attack in addition to your beast.
- Hunter will give a Ranger extra abilities with attacking, such as damage bonus or an additional attack.
A Druid/Ranger should focus his attention on a Druid Circle and spells that augment weapon fighting or increase utility, so the Circle of the Moon is out of the running.
- Circle of the Land returns spell slots and provides new spells like Misty Step, Silence, Spider Climb, and more. At Druid level six, difficult terrain costs no extra movement, which can be helpful for a ranger who fights at a distance and has to close that distance fast.
- Circle of the Shepherd (Xanathar) allows a Druid to summon spirit auras that give advantage on attack rolls, along with bonuses to summoned creatures.
- Here are three articles on Druid spells that greatly increase utility: Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3
Fighters may benefit greatly from a few levels in another class. Requiring a 13 minimum in Strength or Dexterity to multiclass, this class pairs well with Rogue and Barbarian, as well as Ranger and Warlock.
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Things to Consider:
- Focusing on physical Strength, Fighters pair well with other physical stats-based classes.
- Extra Attacks don’t stack, so keep your multiclass level low if the other class has this feature.
- Fighters have proficiencies in all armor and often wear heavy armor, but that is not required.
Compatible Fighter Multiclasses:
Probably the most synergetic multiclass for a Fighter, dipping a level in Barbarian as a Fighter will give Rage abilities, which give advantage to Strength checks and saving throws, damage resistances, and increases damage. A Fighter/Barbarian will not utilize his Heavy Armor proficiencies, as one cannot rage in Heavy Armor, but that is made up for with Unarmored Defense, which allows a character to add his Constitution modifier to his AC.
Taking a second level will add Reckless Attack, giving a character advantage on all Strength-based melee weapon attacks, as well as Danger Sense, where a character has advantage on Dexterity saving throws against attacks that can be seen.
- Take advantage of the Reckless Attack by choosing the Fighter archetype Champion, which scores a critical hit on a weapon attack roll of 19 or 20, increasing the probability for a critical hit.
With the addition of a skill proficiency, Expertise, and Sneak Attack, a Fighter/Rogue is a winning multiclass. Taking expertise in athletics, and gaining Cunning Action at level two (dash, disengage, or hide as a bonus action) will help a fighter hone his grappling maneuverability. Also, having a proficiency in Thieves Tools is always helpful. Don’t count on Sneak Attack adding too much damage, as it’ll be low as a low-level Rogue.
See our Ultimate 5e Rogue Fighter Multiclass Guide for our analysis on this multiclass combination.
I would argue that a player shouldn’t take more than two or three levels in Rogue when multiclassing with a Fighter, as he’ll miss out too much on awesome high-level Fighter abilities. If you choose to go to level three, here are two opportune Rogue archetypes that mesh well with Fighter:
- Assassin: gain advantage on attack rolls against a creature that hasn’t taken a turn yet. Also, any hit you score against a creature that is surprised is a crit. Recall that at level 5, Fighters gain Extra Attack, which means more hits with advantage. Combine this with the Alert feat (+5 to initiative) to ensure success! See this Arcane Archer Assassin build.
- Swashbuckler: Prevent creatures from having opportunity attack against you and gain Sneak Attack when you and your foe are secluded.
Notable Fighter Multiclasses:
Become a versatile Fighter with this combination. Choose a favored enemy, gain advantages on difficult terrain, and choose an additional Fighting Style at level two to become an adept fighter and a natural party leader. With the addition of Hunter’s Mark at level two, no enemy can easily escape you.
You basically can’t go wrong with any archetype. Just choose what style of fighting you want to achieve, and you’ll find a great combination.
See our Arcane Archer/Hexblade multiclass Hexarcher here.
Thematically, this is a very cool multiclass. Gain some impressive Invocations to beef up your utility or weapon damage, and score some wicked Patron abilities.
- Despite the fun build, this can be a weak multiclass, as some of the Pacts do not mesh well or are redundant with Fighter abilities.
- However, combine this multiclass with a few more classes and build a powerful death-dealer.
Like Cleric, we recommend building straight Monk for newer players. With an incredible reach of abilities and skills, Monks do not benefit much from an addition of another class. If you do want to multiclass, keep in mind that Monks already have a variety of options for their actions and bonus actions. Multiclassing can be rewarding for Monks who are mindful of their already-crowded options.
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Things to Consider:
- Monks get a high quantity of attacks. If you multiclass, focus on abilities to beef attacks.
- Monks have Unarmored Defense, so armor proficiency does little for a Monk.
Compatible Monk Multiclasses:
To gain the most from your multiple attacks, a Ranger’s Hunters Mark will add 1D6 to each of a Monk’s Fury of Blows. However, instead of multiclassing, you could choose the Magic Initiate feat to gain the Warlock spell Hex and gain the same 1d6 damage boost without compromising a level in Monk.
Two levels of Rogue will give you Cunning Action; this will save you ki points for disengaging and dashing because Rogues can do some of these usually-ki-expending actions as a free bonus action. Rogues will also get Expertise for stealth bonuses to Shadow Monks. This is a great example of synergy that enhances a Monks abilities and ki conservation without overcrowding a characters options.
Some of the biggest min/max builds in Dungeons and Dragons involve Paladins who dip into other classes. Paladins can multiclass into anything to gain more spell slots and abilities. Our caution: at what point are you no longer a Paladin? Think more about your character background with this multiclass and less about how much damage output you can achieve.
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Things to Consider:
- Paladins utilize Charisma.
- Paladins are half spellcasters and could benefit from the addition of full spellcasters.
- Paladins have more prerequisites for multiclassing: Strength 13 and Charisma 13, plus whatever stat they need to meet with their new class.
- A Paladin’s Smite benefits from higher-level spell slots
Compatible Paladin Multiclasses:
With the addition of a Sorcerous Origin, Metamagic, and full spellcasting, this is a powerful build. Like Paladins, Sorcerers focus on Charisma, which means compatible stats for spellcasting.
- We recommend taking at least three levels of Sorcerer to gain the “Quickened Spell” Metamagic option, which will allow a Paladin to attack AND cast a spell as a bonus action.
- Add additional damage for Divine Smite using higher spell slots from the Sorcerer addition.
- You will also want to take at least three levels in Sorcerer in order to gain second-level spells. As written by Gastronomie on Giant in the Playground, a Sorcerer can gain the second-level spell Hold Person and cast it as a bonus action with Quickened Spell. If the spell succeeds, the target is paralyzed, which means any melee weapon hit is an automatic critical hit. Then, with his action, a Paladin/Sorcerer can make a melee weapon attack and auto-crit. Add in Smite, and this is an incredible amount of damage.
With individual spell slots per class, and utilizing Charisma fully, a Paladin/Warlock is a great multiclass option that could provide for some interesting backstory and character development. Focus on spellcasting abilities and Invocations that supplement your melee attacks.
- Warlocks are unique in that their spell slots return after only a short rest. Paladins who require spell slots for Smiting are at a huge advantage by gaining a few Warlock spell slots.
- Paladins could benefit from Warlock’s Invocations that provide ranged attacks, but other Invocations could provide much more enticing utility, in and out of battle.
- Many Warlock spells do not require concentration, such as Mirror Image, Armor of Agathys, or Arms of Hadar. These can buff your Paladin/Warlock in battle significantly without compromising utility.
See our powerful Aasimar Paladin/Warlock build (with a dash of Rogue)
Notable Paladin Multiclasses
Also utilizing Charisma for spellcasting, a full-casting Bard is a great class to add into a Paladin build. Gaining higher-level spell slots to expend on Smite and skills such as Jack of All Trades, you really can’t go wrong with a Paladin/Bard. Choose a Bardic college at level three to increase damage output, utility, or the appearance of an honorable leader.
- College of Lore provides three additional skills and the ability to negate a foe’s damage dealt or skill check.
- College of Satire gives many benefits that a Rogue would grant, such as Thieve’s Tools proficiencies and Cunning Action, as well as a climbing speed and reduced fall damage.
- College of Swords provides additional damage and attack utility.
- College of Whispers deals psychic damage with a weapon attack and helps you to frighten a creature
The Ranger is a functional class that has pretty solid utility while still open to diverse development with the right multiclass. On their own, Rangers can be regrettably one-dimensional, but with the addition of the right skills, they can really shine.
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Things to Consider:
- Rangers multiclassing have quite a few prerequisites: they need Dexterity 13, Wisdom 13, and to meet whatever stat the new class requires.
- Rangers use Wisdom for spellcasting.
- Rangers are half spellcasters.
- Hunter’s Mark is very useful and applied to all attacks. Focus on a multiclass that grants multiple attacks.
Compatible Ranger Multiclasses:
Rogue and Ranger are very compatible with Dexterity as a main stat.
- Taking three levels in Rogue, a character can choose the Rogue Scout archetype. This will enhance any Ranger’s monster-hunting utility.
With the addition of Action Surge and a supplementary Fighting Style, a Ranger/Fighter will gain an additional action per rest, allowing Hunter’s Mark to rack up, and possible extra damage or AC boost. Ranger/Fighters will also gain proficiency in Heavy Armor, which can be beneficial.
This can be a powerful build. Use your bonus action to dual wield, utilizing Hunter’s Mark more effectively. You’ll use two light melee weapons and get two uses of hunters mark per turn. Stack this with a Ranger’s Extra Attack, and you’ve got 2x attacks per turn. Then Smite!
See our Ranger Paladin Multiclass Analysis article for our take on which archetypes and Oaths blend best.
With the addition of spells, heavy armor proficiency, and some cool Domain abilities, adding in a few levels of Cleric to a Ranger can only help.
Notable Ranger Multiclasses:
There are many directions you could go with this, but the most impactful one would be a Hexblade Pact. This build pays off after a few rounds, as the following abilities take some actions and bonus actions to set up.
- With the Hexblade Pact, for one minute, the Hexblades Curse will add your proficiency bonus to weapon damage. Also, critical hit at 19 or Combine this with Hunter’s Mark and Extra Attack for great damage.
- Additional Invocations can increase utility or damage and provide unique character development.
See our magic-based archer multiclass Hexarcher here.
Rogues are versatile and combine well with just about any other class. However, while Rogues can gain useful abilities through multiclassing, Rogues generally do well on their own. Take note of what you’ll miss out on by multiclassing before you take the plunge.
Take a deeper plunge into multiclassing Rogues in this article.
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Things to Consider:
- The more levels of Rogue you have, the more Sneak Attack damage you’ll deal.
- Rogues get many skills and Expertise in skills, which still focusing on damage output. Let your multiclass focus on damage output as well, or ways that you can bolster your damage.
- Rogues only gain Sneak Attack when they have advantage or a flanking friend. Some multiclasses will help you gain advantage without sacrificing too many levels of Rogue or other Rogue qualities.
Compatible Rogue Multiclasses:
Gain a second Fighting Style, an Action Surge, and, if you take three levels, a helpful archetype. Take five levels for an Extra Attack and an additional ability score improvement, but risk dampening your Sneak Attack. Armor proficiencies may or may not help here, as it is sometimes disadvantageous to stealth in medium armor.
See our Ultimate 5e Rogue Fighter Multiclass Guide for an in-depth analysis on how Rogue and Fighter synergize.
- Take three levels of Fighter and choose the Battle Master archetype. Feinting will give you advantage as a bonus action against a foe with an addition of 1d8 damage. Riposte will allow you to attack a foe that misses you outside of your turn, allowing you to add your Sneak Attack and the extra 1d8 damage.
- Pair Action Surge with the Assassin archetype for major damage output.
- See our Rogue/Fighter build here, in which we analyze the maximum damage on a first turn at level 16 (spoiler alert, it’s over ).
Notable Rogue Multiclasses:
Both classes gain Expertise. If you want a character that has many skill proficiencies and high rolls with those skills, I highly recommend a Rogue/Bard multiclass. Swashbuckler Rogues will benefit from the Charisma investment that comes with Bard levels. Arcane Trickster Rogues will gain more spells and spell slots in thanks to the full spellcaster levels of the Bard.
These two classes share many thematic similarities that lend well to roleplaying choices. There are many subclass archetypes that can lend well to one another. I recommend keeping an eye on which subclasses of Bard will not use bonus actions too often because Rogues have the Cunning Action feature that uses their bonus action. In this context, the Bardic College of Swords (XgtE) and the College of Valor (PHB) look to be strong multiclasses for any Rogue.
I wish to note that we previously suggested that Reliable Talent could stack with Jack of All Trades, but it has been clarified in Sage Advices Compendium that this combination will not work.
This is a multiclass that could possibly maximize your character.
- Take the Cleric Grave Domain to get Channel Divinity in order to mark someone so that they take double damage. As a Rogue assassin, you could potentially do up to hundreds of damage.
- Example: see our Assassin of the Grave build.
Similar to but less damage-dealing than Wizards, Sorcerers are full spellcasters with little defense (no armor proficiencies). With the addition of sorcery points and Metamagic, Sorcerers have a few Strengths over Wizards to balance out their weaker spellcasting.
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Things to Consider:
- Sorcerers utilize Charisma for spellcasting
- Sorcerers are full spellcasters
- Sorcerers start with no armor proficiencies
- The Sorcerer as a core class seems to shine brightest in a support role. Make this your focus when multiclassing. If you want to be a min/max player, we recommend you find a new core class. Dorgenedge on Reddit makes a great argument for this and how to play a Sorcerer.
- Focus on buffs and aiding your teammates, and you’ll surmount any spellcaster in utility.
Compatible Sorcerer Multiclasses:
This is a nice combination, as Warlocks regain spell slots on a short rest. Also, both classes use Charisma for spellcasting, and Warlocks come with their own spell slots.
- We recommend taking the Pact of the Tome to learn three additional cantrips from any class’s spell list for free.
- Archfey is a beneficial Patron, and you will gain great utility spells unavailable to Sorcerers, like Faerie Fire and Calm Emotions. Fey Presence is a great way to take enemies out of the battle temporarily.
- Hexblade provides armor proficiencies and a few spells. This is a good compromise for gaining melee abilities in case you’re in a bind.
- The Raven Queen grants access to the Sanctuary spell, which is a great buff for your allies. You will also gain utility through Sentinel Raven.
- Look for Invocations that provide utility or buffs.
Notable Sorcerer Multiclasses:
Clerics provide armor proficiencies, domain spells, and extra utility. You basically can’t go wrong with a Sorcerer/Cleric combination. However, Clerics utilize Wisdom for spellcasting instead of Charisma, which may weaken your utility slightly.
- Focus on Cleric Domains that provide additional support abilities.
Taking one or two levels in Fighter is a perfect way to gain defense without compromising too many levels in Sorcerer. Gain Action Surge for the chance to cast an additional non-bonus action spell on a turn, which is imperative when buffing or debuffing in battle.
- We recommend taking fewer than three levels, as there is not really any synergetic Fighter archetype to a Sorcerer.
This build is powerful when a Paladin is the core class, but, since Paladins are half-spellcasters, this can dampen a Sorcerer’s spellcasting abilities.
- By gaining light and medium armor and shield proficiencies, a Sorcerer/Paladin finds a way to defend himself. Choose the Defense Fighting Style at level 2 to gain even more AC.
- Divine Sense is a nice ability that a Sorcerer wouldn’t get otherwise, as Detect Good and Evil is not among his spell list. Also, this ability utilizes Charisma, which a Sorcerer covets.
- Though Sorcerers often focus on spellcasting, a Sorcerer/Paladin could focus on weapon fighting and choose buff spells. However, at this point, I would recommend using Paladin as your core class and taking a few levels in Sorcerer. See the Paladin section for more details on why this is preferred.
- For a Sorcerer to focus on damage-dealing spells, we recommend taking only one level in Paladin for the proficiencies or finding another way to gain armor proficiencies.
Great damage dealers for melee or ranged attacks while also providing excellent utility with Invocations, a Warlock is a formidable class that could benefit from a few levels of the right multiclass.
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Things to Consider:
- Warlocks utilize Charisma in spellcasting.
- Warlocks have their own set of spell slots when multiclassing with other spellcasters.
- Warlocks are proficient in light armor, but there are some Patrons and Invocations that provide additional armor proficiencies.
Compatible Warlock Multiclasses:
With two levels in Paladin, a Warlock will gain armor and shield proficiencies, Divine Sense, a Fighting Style, Lay on Hands, more spellcasting, and Smite.
- Armor and shield proficiencies will help defend your Warlock character.
- Divine Sense allows you to know if unworldly foes are around, which can combine well with the Warlock spell “Protection from Evil and Good.”
- A Fighting Style can help boost AC. You could also take the Close Quarters Shooter to bolster your ranged spell attacks, like Eldridge Blast.
- Lay on Hands won’t provide much healing at such a low Paladin level, but it can help in a bind.
- Recall that Warlocks have special spellcasting rules and get their own spell slots apart from spellcasters they multiclass with. However, you can use those spell slots to cast spells from the other class. This means that you can gain a few Paladin spells and cast them with your Warlock spell slots, up to fifth level. Also, both classes utilize Charisma for spellcasting, so your stats are compatible!
- Smite is key in this build. Smite benefits from high-level spell slots, which we just discussed. Warlocks won’t take a spell slot hit from multiclassing with another spellcaster, so you have plenty of high-level spell slots to use with Smite. Plus, Warlock regain spell slots with a short rest, giving you more uses of Smite than a typical Paladin.
With the addition of a Sorcerous Origin and Metamagic at 3rd level, and a few supplementary spells, a Warlock/Sorcerer can have some bolstered spells.
- Empowered Spell allows you to reroll damage dice.
- Extended Spell doubles a spells duration if it normally lasts one minute or longer, but the extended duration cant exceed 24 hours.
- Quickened Spell allows you to cast two non-bonus action spells in one turn, provided one spell is a cantrip.
- Subtle Spell allows you to cast a spell without somatic or verbal components.
- Twinned Spell allows you to target more than one creature with a spell.
Notable Warlock Multiclasses:Wizard
Warlocks and Barbarians have some surprising synergetic components.
- Though a Warlock/Barbarian can’t cast a spell in Rage, he can still use non-spell Eldritch Invocations. You won’t get the rage bonus (that’s only for melee attacks), but you will get advantage on Strength checks and saving throws and resistances. Just remember you still have to deal or take damage to keep your rage.
- A Warlock/Barbarian will also gain Unarmored Defense, which could be valuable.
- Warlocks tend to stay out of melee battle, but a Barbarian multiclass could allow you to get right into the thick of it.
While this is a good multiclass, The Hexblade Patron provides the same proficiencies while also granting a Charisma modifier bonus to attacks and critical hits on a 19 or However, if you wish to take a different Patron, a Warlock/Fighter multiclass can help bolster defense. Add in a Fighting Style and Action Surge, and you could find yourself with a great multiclass.
- Similar to Wizard, would it be more beneficial to take your first level in Fighter for the weapon, shield, armor and Constitution saving throw proficiencies; extra hit points; and equipment? Warlocks don’t require equipment for spell casting, so you would just be missing out on a few Warlock proficiencies, like saving throws and skills.
Things to Consider:
- Wizards excel with high level spells, so keep your multiclass low.
- A Wizards level 18 ability Spell Mastery is incredible. You dont want to miss out on it.
Compatible Wizard Multiclasses:
Take one or two levels in Cleric to get armor proficiencies.
- One level with the Forge Domain from Xanathar’s Guide to Everything will grant heavy armor proficiencies as well as give a bonus to AC to a suit of armor until the end of your next long rest.
- Life Domain also allows a character to gain heavy armor proficiencies while also boosting healing spells.
- Order Domain gives heavy armor proficiency and allows an ally, when you cast a spell on that ally, to use a reaction to attack a creature that you can see.
- Look for other Cleric domains that provide armor proficiencies.
This combination will, again, provide proficiencies with armor, which will help a Wizard defend himself. Another cool feature is the use of Action Surge to cast two spells in a turn, provided neither spell is cast as a bonus action. Plus, a Wizard will gain just a few extra hit points with the Fighter levels she takes.
- One consideration is taking the level of Fighter first, then taking levels in Wizard. Fighters start with more hit points, better defense- and attack-based equipment, Strength and Constitution saving throws, and different skills than a Wizard, though some of them overlap.
- Wizard equipment like a spellbook and a components pouch can be acquired in-game, and starting on a quest to find those things could provide for fun role play.
Notable Wizard Multiclass:
Gaining proficiencies in light armor, a Wizard/Rogue will gain a much-needed boost in AC. Plus, additional skills gained are worthwhile: one skill from the Rogue’s skill list, thieves’ tools, Expertise, and, at second level, Cunning Action to help a defenseless Wizard effortlessly flee from foes.
- Additional Wizard/Rogue utility: take the Thief archetype and use Fast Hands to attempt, as a bonus action, to steal an enemy Wizard’s components or spell book to make them essentially useless. Bonus, you keep whatever you take!
Keeping in mind the three main reasons to multiclass (armor proficiencies, low-level class skills, character development), choosing the right combination is key. Before you multiclass, check with your DM about what level you’re going to reach in your campaign. If you don’t expect to gain those sweet high-level abilities, multiclassing could be a fun and powerful choice that improves your character’s utility and damage.
See all of our multiclass builds here.
Happy Tuesday everyone! Its the perfect day to go grab some dollar margharitas at your favorite chain neighborhood restaurant and then settle down to read about multiclassing! Today well be talking about a simple yet effective multiclass, so lets dive right in!
While the last two multiclasses we looked at dabbled into some spellcasting, today well be looking at a completely martial multiclass. As usual, well start at looking at some similarities and differences between the two classes!
To start off, both classes are martial classes, with no base spellcasting. They both are very beefy, with fighters having a d10 hit die and barbarians having a d12 hit die. Both of them will more often than not be building Strength, and both get proficiency in all weapons. They also both have proficiency in Strength AND Constitution saving throws, so you wont have to worry about deciding between saving throws. Lastly, neither get any tool proficiencies, so pick your background wisely!
Unlike the other classes weve gone over, theres a lot more in common between these two than there are different. Perhaps the biggest difference is that Fighters get proficiency in Heavy Armor, while Barbarians only get up to medium. The only other real difference in the base class is starting equipment, where the Fighter wins out with generally more favorable equipment.
Through Passion, I Gain Strength
When combined, you get a powerhouse of a tank thats able to dish out tons of damage and slurp up even more.
The Fighters first few features will be helpful for just about any class, with Second Wind giving you a bonus action heal and Action Surge effectively doubling your damage output, movement, or whatever else youll be using your action for. Fighters only really get Indomitable as another class feature, so the class is very front loaded, making it great for multiclassing.
The Barbarian is a crazy strong class with only a few levels as well, granting you Rage which will make you infinitely tankier, better at grappling, and deal a bit more damage. Danger Sense and Reckless Attack are incredibly strong abilities, alleviating your non-proficient Dexterity saves and making you hit more consistently. Combine Reckless Attack with Action Surge, and youll be putting the hurt down while making yourself a bigger target which is exactly what you want to do! Barbarains always want to be getting hit, so along with Second Wind youll be able to stay in the fight longer and keep on fighting.
Its kind of incredible how well all of the abilities synergize with each other. Reckless works hand in hand with Action Surge, Rage works with Second Wind, and once you get into subclasses, things start to get extra spicy.
Through Strength, I Gain Power
Speaking of subclasses, lets start to get into how youd go about building one of these guys. More often than not youll want to be taking your first level into Barbarian, since you wont be wearing Heavy Armor and youll start with an extra 2 HP. Though youll get a little less starting equipment, all you really need is a Greataxe and some real cojones.
When it comes to levels in each class, I dont think you should go past level 3 in either class. Your subclass will give you such a big powerspike, and after that a few of the abilities are pretty redundant. If you find that you want more feats than class abilities, go into Fighter. If you want all the Barbarian class features, go into Barbarian. Simple as that! Personally Id go 3 levels in Fighter and the rest in Barbarian, but if you end up rolling real bad for stats theres nothing wrong with grabbing a few ASIs and maybe going up to Fighter 7 or 9/Barbarian 13 or
When it comes to subclasses, if youre investing into Barbarian, Champion Fighter is an obvious choice. Doubling your crit chance with abilities like Brutal Critical will cause your damage to spike super hard in physical combat. Battle Master grants you options to crowd control enemies or, if youre going Totem of the Wolf, grant your allies attacks and really drive home the pack tactic theme. As for Barbarian subclasses, just about anything can work. Totem Warrior is a solid choice all around, Zealot will let you add some religious flair to your character and backstory, and Berserker combined with Champion Fighter will turn you into an actual terror on the battlefield.
With that, we finish one of the most solid martial multiclasses! Though I havent tried this one myself, Ive seen it at the table and it does its job so incredibly well. Have you played this multiclass? Tell us about it on our Twitter or Instagram! Thank you all so much for reading, and well see you guys next week!
Tags: barbarian, barbarian 5e, dnd fighter, fighter, fighter 5e, fighter barbarian, fighter barbarian multiclass, multiclass 5e, multiclassing
5e multiclass barbarian fighter
Dungeons & Dragons: How To Multiclass As A Barbarian
By Patrick Tierney
Being a barbarian in Dungeons & Dragons is fun, but sometimes it can be nice to mix things up after days of smashing and raging.
Being a barbarian is fun, but sometimes it can be nice to mix things up. Take a break from all the raging and smashing and cool down with a few levels of another class. However, not all classes mesh well with barbarians. Here’s a guide for what works and what doesn’t.
There’s not much here. Artificers are focused on utility and barbarians are not. Barbarians can’t cast spells while raging, and artificer spells don’t help barbarians most of the time. Level 2 infusions can have value, but mostly for the +1 weapon or +1 shield infusions, and that’s a waste of two whole levels if your party finds, say, a magic weapon or shield.
The Bardbarian is a much better utility multiclass. Barbarians can take three levels in bard, which gives them useful spells (utility, since barbarians won’t need damage spells), Bardic Inspiration (usable during rage and a good use of bonus actions), and the College of Swords subclass (which increases burst damage). Adding Expertise your Athletics skill makes your Bardbarian a great grappler too.
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Barbarians can’t cast spells during rage. That wording is very specific, they can’t cast spells. Clerics get a lot of early-level abilities that aren’t spells, which means that they have a lot of synergy with barbarians. Depending on how you’re building your barbarian, you can take one or two cleric levels. One level gets spellcasting and a subclass ability, two levels get Channel Divinity. Aggressive cleric domains are good for this; War Domain gives a number of extra bonus action attacks and attack roll bonuses, and Death Domain gives a little extra damage. Path of the Storm Herald barbarians synergize especially well with Tempest Domain barbarians. Plus, this gives access to the entire cleric level 1 spell list, letting you have access to some emergency healing.
Druid is the most powerful spellcaster class to dip into as a barbarian. You should take at least two levels and choose Circle of the Moon to get the Combat Wild Shape ability. Rage persists when you use Wild Shape, so you can easily rage, turn into a Dire Wolf, and go to town on an enemy. It can even be beneficial to take a third level of druid to get significantly more spell slots. This can seem counterintuitive because barbarians can’t cast spells while raging, but Circle of the Moon druids can expend spell slots (not cast spells) to self-heal during Wild Shape, making you the tankiest furry in the game.
Multiclassing into fighter is simple, but good. Fighter abilities are good for barbarians up through level 3, so it’s worth taking levels depending how much you want to commit. Taking the Dueling or Great Weapon Fighting styles are great depending on what weapon you use. If you take three levels, both the Battle Master archetype and the Champion archetype are good, offering combat moves or a wild amount of crits, respectively.
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Not worth it. Unarmored Defense doesn’t stack, and using Dexterity for monk weapons doesn’t proc extra barbarian rage damage. There is nothing good about this multiclass.
This option is decent. Dipping one level into paladin is strictly better than dipping one level into fighter; it has the same good powerful weapon fighting styles, plus emergency healing and a free utility power. Two levels gives minimal spellcasting and Divine Smite, which is nice bonus damage but won’t scale. There are some interesting options at three paladin levels, but none that are worth the investment.
Not a great option. The level one abilities can work well for roleplaying a barbarian tracker, but are otherwise not amazing. The fact that you can’t get a fighting style until 2nd level is not ideal, especially when it doesn’t include Great Weapon Fighting. Also, so much of ranger combat potency relies on hunter’s mark, which barbarians can’t use during rage.
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Multiclassing into rogue is a mixed bag. Again, expertise allows any barbarian to become an expert grappler. However, Sneak Attack damage is only okay, since it requires using a finesse weapon. If you’re willing to be the only rapier-wielding barbarian you can still use it, but since the damage scales with rogue levels, it will lag at higher levels. On the other hand, Reckless Attack guarantees that the Sneak Attack damage will apply. Putting a second level into rogue gives Cunning Action, which is mostly useful for the extra dash that allows barbarians to chase down enemies and maintain rage.
If you want to multiclass into sorcerer, take only one level and take it for the flavor and utility of the Sorcerous Origin abilities. The Wild Magic, Divine Soul, and Shadow subclasses are good for this. Still, if you want Wild Magic as a barbarian, check out the Path of the Wild Soul subclass in Unearthed Arcana.
Like the sorcerer, it’s only worth taking one level of warlock for the subclass abilities. However, one subclass stands ahead of the crowd, the Hexblade. The Hexblade’s Curse ability grants bonus damage which scales with proficiency, meaning it will keep up even when you level up as a barbarian, and twice as many crits, which is compounded by the advantage granted by Reckless Attack.
This is nothing. The first level is only spellcasting, which barbarians can’t use while raging and none of the second-level abilities are good enough for a barbarian to justify a less-than-useful first level.
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Thread: barbarian/fighter multi-class.
Fighters are good for quick dips, and as a Barbarian, it fits really well.
However, it's helpful to point out that fighters are built to run off of short rests (Second wind grants hit points every short rest, and action surge recharges that way too), while Barbarian runs on daily abilities (rage). The more you put into fighter, the better you'll perform on a short-rest/consistent basis, since going farther into fighter makes your second wind better, but it means that you lose out on extra daily rages, and the extra earlier rage damage. Additionally, Fighter 5 is essentially going to be a dead level for you, since you're only getting an extra attack that you could have obtained later. If you kept going to fighter 11, you'd get a third attack, which would be fun, but your campaign probably won't last that long
However, assuming that you intend to play a low-level campaign, you could adopt a feat-less build with the available materials here: Be a sword (or battleaxe) and board barbarian, and then grab the dueling fighting style from the fighter, boosting your damage by 2 for every attack. With an average starting character's strength (16, a +3 bonus), you'll be able, at level 2, to deal 1d8+7 per hit while raging (d8+str+dueling+rage bonus). That's a hefty, consistent hit at early levels. On top of that, you can add the shield to your AC, giving you a respectable AC, making you a tank extraordinaire. This build isn't as crazy as some out there, but it doesn't rely on feats, so you don't have to take dead levels in fighter (beyond the level 1 dueling fighting style). At this point, you could progress along barbarian for your totem (your choice; I won't tell you what to do) or you could take some more fighter to get a level 3 ability in a fighter archetype (champion is a good choice, since you likely won't want too much more from fighter). This build frees up your ASIs at mid-levels for your stats, which barbarians need desperately, since they want a maxed-out Strength, Dexterity, AND Constitution.
However, if you want feats, shield master would be an excellent choice since it could essentially replace the wolf totem ability
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