Every party in Dungeons & Dragons is as varied in the classroom as it often is in the background. Breaking down into subclasses creates even more differences between group members, ultimately giving each a very specific role as they venture out together. Fighters often rush to the front line, offering protection and cover to the softer members of the group as they take on enemies head-on.
Regardless of which subclass a fighter chooses, there are some things to consider during initial build-up, as well as leveling up that gives them opportunities to expand their arsenal. The right construction ensures that enemies will think twice before attacking the group head-on as they won’t want to approach the fighter.
Focus on the strength and build of the fighter
Being able to push back the enemy and defend the party depends almost entirely on one important statistic: strength. The stronger and more athletic a fighter, the easier it will be for them to launch powerful attacks that will keep enemies focused on them. The fighter can potentially become one of the strongest physically in the party, and it won’t be long before others start relying on them to move heavy objects, carry heavy equipment, or scale difficult terrain for explore the landscape. Getting STR to 20 as quickly as possible should be the top priority for the fighter.
Secondary to STR is the Constitution. Fighters need to be able to take as much damage as they deal, otherwise they quickly fall down and leave the rest of the party vulnerable. CON is essential for creating a deep pool of health that enemies can reduce while holding the line. A high CON will also ensure the fighter’s ability to repel focus-based attacks, and for supernatural knights and other fighters using magic, focus is often the key.
Dexterity is almost equally important to CON. Fighters may not need to be as skillful as thieves, but having the ability to move effectively (and quietly) increases their role as an asset. DEX has also determined their armor class and determines which modifier they use when it’s time to roll an initiative roll.
Best races for fighters
When looking for solid candidates when creating, it’s hard to go wrong with races like Orcs, Half-Orcs, Goliaths, Tortles, Centaurs, Minotaurs, Bugbears, and Dragonborn. Each of these races starts the game with an automatic +2 STR bonus, giving them a head start as they strive to hit 20 STRs. Orcs, Half-Orcs, and Goliaths are particularly powerful races to choose from as they also gain a +1 CON Bonus during character creation.
Not as powerful as the others, the Newt is still a good breed to choose from as they get +1 STR and +1 CON. Leonin starts off with +2 CON and +1 STR, which makes him another powerful choice.
Best subclasses of fighters
There are currently 11 martial archetypes that fighters can choose from at level three, but not all of them are equally useful. Battlemaster is hands down one of the best choices because for the Battlemaster combat is as familiar as breathing. They have Superiority in Combat, which grants special moves that deal bonus damage when used in combat.
The Battlemaster’s bonus damage power increases with the Fighter, starting at d8, reaching a d10 at lv 10 and becoming a d12 at lv. 18. To make them even more useful, they have the option of studying their enemies to determine if or they are not superior or inferior opponents, allowing them to discover information about the enemy’s stats that could prove useful in combat.
The Champion is another great choice because as he level up he can get a critical hit on a roll of 18, 19, or 20. Since critical hits deal double damage, get more of opportunities to achieve this means that this fighter can become a relentless destroyer on the spot.
For those who like to flavor their fights with a magic rocket, Knight Eldritch has a lot of potential. Not only do they have access to a number of useful spells, but they can bind with up to two weapons, allowing them to summon them as long as they are on the same plane of existence. As they level up, Knight Eldritch gains the ability to cast a minor spell as an action and then do a melee attack as a bonus action.
Best weapons and exploits for fighters
One of the best things about fighters is that they are proficient in all armor, shields, simple and martial weapons. This makes them incredibly versatile, and with the boost of a feat like Tavern Brawler, they could even use items in their surroundings like chairs or bottles to create impromptu weapons.
A fighter’s best weapon bets, however, are either a longsword and shield or a two-handed sword. The longsword and shield combo offers decent damage output, while boosting the wearer’s defense. In a real jam, the fighter can even throw the shield and wield the two-handed longsword to increase his damage to 1d10. Greatsword can make it difficult to grab anything else, including a shield, but they deal much better damage because the fighter rolls 2d6, rather than 1d10 or 1d12.
Damage dealt can also be increased by the Great Weapon Master feat, which allows the fighter to take a -5 penalty on their attack to deal +10 additional damage on a successful hit. This feat also allows the fighter to take an extra hit as a bonus action with a melee weapon when he critically hits or reduces an enemy to zero health.
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