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4 ways to play a Fighter in D&D 5e

The Fighter: A versatile warrior who can control the battlefield and protect their allies or go on the aggressive and unleash an assault on their enemies. This blog will highlight 4 unique ways to play this core class.


1. The Defensive Tank:

A Fighter that is designed to take damage and boast high defenses to continue fighting and hold the frontline in a battle.

Races:

The best base races to use as defensive tanks:

  • Half-Orc - Bonuses to strength and constitution as well as combat and endurance bonuses

  • Dwarf - Constitution bonus and defense and combat bonuses

Attributes:

The best attributes to focus on when building a tank fighter are as follows:

  • Constitution - Allows for high health and useful saving throws for resistance related things

  • Strength - Good for frontline damage and grappling and Athletics checks

  • Dexterity - Good third attribute for the initiative bonus

Fighting Style Options:

Possible fighting styles for defensive tanks:

  • Defense - Bonus armor class for wearing armor

  • Great Weapon Fighting - Rerolls on bad rolls when wielding a two handed weapon

Martial Archetype Options:

Martial archetypes picked at level 3 for defensive tanks:

  • Battle Master: Gain Maneuvers to enhance your defense and fighting potential

  • Rune Knight: Use Runes to enhance your gear and gain abilities from them

2. The Protector:

A Fighter that aids their allies and take the enemies assault for their party to control the battle from the heart of it.

Races:

The best base races to use as a protector:

  • Human - Bonuses to all attributes and is also helpful in your protector roleplay with an extra language and the extra attribute buffs

  • Dwarf - Constitution bonuses and extra defense and resistance bonuses

Attributes:

The best attributes to focus on when building a protective fighter are as follows:

  • Constitution - Allows for health and saving throws to soak damage for your allies

  • Strength - Good for grappling and keeping enemies focused on your fighter

  • Wisdom - Good to have as a third attribute for RP based interactions like survival and medicine to help your allies

Fighting Style Options:

Possible fighting styles for protectors:

  • Protection - Incur disadvantage on enemies that are attacking nearby allies

  • Interception - Reduce damage dealt to nearby allies

Martial Archetype Options:

Martial archetypes for protectors:

  • Banneret - Inspire and buff your allies

  • Echo Knight - Create a magical echo of yourself to aid your group in battle

3. The Melee Damage Machine:

A Fighter that dishes out damage in close range and unleashes their fury on their enemies.

Races:

The best base races to use as melee damage fighter:

  • Dragonborn - Strength bonuses and resistances with an added breath attack as well

  • Half-Orc - Strength and constitution bonuses with attack abilities and roleplay enhancements

Attributes:

The best attributes to focus on when building a melee damage fighter are as follows:

  • Strength - Best stat when it comes to attack focused fighters

  • Dexterity - Attacks with finesse as well as initiative bonus and skill bonuses

  • Constitution - Third stat for health to allow to stay in the fray longer

Fighting Style Options:

Possible fighting styles for melee fighters:

  • Two-Weapon Fighting - Bonuses to dual wielding melee weapons

  • Unarmed Fighting - Bonuses to unarmed attacks if you want to be a brawling character, also extra damage on grapples

Martial Archetype Options:

Martial archetypes for melee fighters:

  • Champion - More chance to get critical strikes and also athletic bonuses

  • Battle Master - Gain maneuvers that you can use in your offensive onslaught

4. The Ranged Warrior:

A Fighter that drifts from the stereotypical style of fighter and outputs damage from a distance.

Races:

The best base races to use as a ranged warrior:

  • Elf - Dexterity bonuses and heightened senses for ranged fighting

  • Human - A good spread of bonuses and good for roleplay

Attributes:

The best attributes to focus on when building a ranged fighter are as follows:

  • Dexterity - Good for ranged attacks and finesse weapons

  • Strength - For when taken to melee and also for thrown attacks

  • Charisma - Bonuses for roleplay situations

Fighting Style Options:

Possible fighting styles for ranged warriors:

  • Archery - Bonuses to bow attacks

  • Thrown Weapon Fighting - Bonuses to throwing weapons

Martial Archetype Options:

Martial archetypes for ranged warriors:

  • Arcane Archer - Gain arcane boosts for your archery attacks

  • Psi Warrior - Enhance your attacks with psionic energy


These are 4 ways that you can play fighter and enhance them with all the tools fighters gain but there are many other ways to play fighter and this is just a guide to help you get started and navigate your character into a solid theme that also enables for rewarding combat and roleplay. Thanks for reading and feel free to share any feedback, insights, or any other themed fighter builds you have in the comments below!

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Nickolas Metcalf
Nickolas Metcalf
Nov 11, 2022

This was awesome and informative!!! Thank you!! Im a damage machine with the champion archtype

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