D&D Beast Master Rangers bring animal companions to the table who can become valuable party members, but the right build is a delicate balance.
For Dungeons & Dragons For players looking to befriend the wild beasts, the Beast Master archetype is one of the easiest ways to bond. The Beast Master Rangers forge a friendship with an animal companion so powerful that the beast will protect its master from evil and follow orders in battle.
Because the actions of the animal companion are directed by the Ranger, that often means giving up the action of the Ranger – but that doesn’t have to be a bad thing. With the right construction, a Beast Master and his companion can both become powerful party members that others will gladly rely on on and off the battlefield.
Maximize strength and dexterity with a boost of wisdom
Strength and Dexterity are the basic stats for any Ranger build. Dexterity makes them agile, agile, and stealthy enough to move around wooded areas silently, and Dexterity contributes to the Ranger’s initiative, granting a higher bonus to both the Ranger and his animal companion. Dexterity also determines armor class, and the Ranger’s DEX skill also influences the AC of his animal companion.
With STR and DEX, wisdom is another important statistic. This affects the skill bonus for abilities like animal handling, survival, and insight, all of which are extremely important to Rangers of any archetype. Handling animals can come in handy, and not just with the Beast Master’s animal companion, but with other animals they may encounter on their journey.
The best racial choices for a beast master
When it comes to choosing a race for a Beast Master, it’s important to take a look at the stat boosts they receive and how other racial abilities can benefit a Beast Master. Also take into consideration how the player’s race will fit into their history and how they became a beast master on their way.
Aarakocra and Kenku are both good choices, as they gain +2 Dexterity and +1 Wisdom. Aarakocra can fly alongside his powerful avian companion, and Kenku can mimic the sounds of his surroundings. Elves are also a great breed for Rangers as they gain an automatic +2 in Dexterity and have dark vision which is great for navigation. Their keen senses warn the Ranger about their surroundings.
Halflings also gain a +2 to their Dexterity and have the Lucky Trait and Agility of the Halflings, making them incredibly stealthy and agile. Scarecrows have +2 Strength and +1 Dexterity, as well as an automatic Stealth skill, while Turtles have +2 Strength and +1 Wisdom.
The best animal companions for beast masters
The Beast Master can choose a pet at level three. The animal cannot be bigger than average and must have a challenge rating of 1/4 or less. Many creatures fall into this category, but some have attributes like stealth, perception, and blind vision that make them better than others.
The Giant Serpent and the Flying Serpent both have extended range, meaning enemies that would otherwise be just out of range are not up to their attack. Both deal a decent amount of poison damage on a successful attack, which is sometimes reason enough to sacrifice the Beast Master’s attack until they get the second attack action allowing at a time. the Ranger and his companion to move in one turn.
Wolves are another great choice. They have 40 feet of movement, which means they could potentially fight before anyone else and can even arrive undetected. Not only are they incredibly stealthy, but they also have keen senses and the ability to knock down enemies. Wolves also have a trait called Pack Tactics which allows them to gain an advantage on attack rolls when the Ranger or his companions are in melee range of an enemy.
Giant wolf spiders are another remarkably stealthy beast – and they’re scary to boot. They can also be used as mounts for smaller Rangers, such as gnomes or halflings. Because they are proficient at stealth and have the ability to climb, they become excellent reconnaissance companions, sneaking through the terrain to spot enemy encampments for a surprise attack.
The best feats for beast masters
Sentinel is a must-have feat for the Beast Master Rangers as they can pass the benefits on to their animal companion. For example, when a Sentinel hits an enemy with an attack of opportunity, their speed drops to zero, making it easier for everyone to get close. Enemies also cannot disengage from Sentinels, meaning they take advantage of an attack of opportunity even if they disengage and try to move away.
Mounted Fighter is a great option for beast masters who choose a pet large enough to serve as a mount. Not only do Mounted Fighters have an advantage over melee attacks against unmounted creatures, but the Ranger can force an attack aimed at his mount on himself instead, protecting his companion. It also grants the mount the ability to take no damage from a successful Dexterity saving throw effect that would otherwise cause it to take partial damage.
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