[Top 5] D&D Best Archer Builds of All Time

D&D Best Archer Builds
A venomous python and his archer companion search for huggable friends in the jungle.

Get your Legolas arm strong, and build the best archer you can.

The archer, a classic build in Dungeons & Dragons, gets less respect than a Rodney Dangerfield bit from 1978.

The ranged combat expert from the oldest living tabletop RPG is a finicky build at best, and is a madhouse of stacked abilities and cross classing at worst.

There are a number of ways to build out the specifications of the master of bows and arrows, but only a few that will remain at the top of the list throughout all 20 levels of your adventures.

Here is our Top 5 Best Archer Builds for you to use the next time you choose to learn the way of the bow in your Dungeons & Dragons game

5. Arcane Archer (Best for DPS & Support Magic)

An arcane archer fires into the storm.

This build, presented as dictated by Taking20 on YouTube, takes the round about way of building an archer by starting in a seemingly unconventional place, 10 levels of Bard. Being a charisma based spellcaster the Bard will have proficiency in deception as well as persuasion, but be sure to take a proficiency in stealth as well. Maxing out your Dexterity and Charisma when you buy your ability scores is the only way to get this arcane archer off the starting line.

At Level 3 you will take the College of Valor option to increase attack and allow your archer to use martial weapons with proficiency, this will open up longbows as a viable option without penalty. The big turn of this class and the opening of the build doesn't come until level 10 of Bard when you will take magical secrets, allowing you to take any spell of any other class from 5th level or below and add it to your spells known list. Taking the Swift Quiver spell at this stage of play gives you the opportunity to make two extra attacks as a bonus action.

What  Arcane Archer Excels In

  • Hitting fast

  • Hitting Hard

  • Hitting a Bunch of Times  

  • Magical support for teammates; buffs, cast haste, healing etc. 

Arcane Archer Details 

  • Bard 11, Fighter 4, Rogue 5

  • College of Valor, Archery Fighting Style, Martial Archetype: Arcane Archer, Roguish Archetype: Assassin 

  • Longbow +3 

  • 20 Armor Class

  • 187 HP

  • +8 Initiative

  • 30 ft. of movement per round

  • Spell Save DC 18 

  • +10 Spell Attack Bonus 

  • 3d6 Sneak Attack 

  • 1d8 +5 Piercing Damage with longbow 

  • Studded Leather Armor +3 

  • Cloak of Elvenkind 

  • Bracers of Archery

  • Amulet of Health 

4. The BugBear Archer (DPS, classic archer style, sneak attack)

About the nipple ring...He says it helps him hide.

The Nerds over at Nerdarchy went back to the lab on this one to give you the excellently crafted classic archer. With 17 levels in Assassin and 3 levels of  the Arcane Archer subclass this bow fighter packs a punch when she draws back on her string. Rounding out the class by choosing bugbear as your character race will boost  sneak attacks, and give you a powerful start to this force to be reckoned with.

What The Bugbear Archer Excels In

  • Stealth

  • Sneak Attacks

  • Being menacing 

  • Hitting as hard as possible

The Bugbear Archer Details 

  • Ambush 2d6 sneak attack, racial bonus

  • Oathbow, magic bow that gives advantage on attacks against Sworn Enemy 

  • 1d8 Piercing Damage 

  • Assassin 17, Arcane Archer 3

  • Advantage on that haven't taken a turn in combat, surprise rolls always critical hit

  • Death Strike, at 17th level deal double damage when targeted creature fails a constitution save 

  • Proficiency in Longbow 

  • Arcane Shot Ability adds up to 2d6 damage on successful hits

  • Studded Leather Armor

3. Miracle Archer (Big Damage, Cleric Spells)

He has divine power on his side.

This entry of our list comes in part from RollingWithAdvantage on YouTube with what they call a Miracle Archer. Take 5 parts Battle-Master Fighter with skills in archery with 2 parts War Domain Cleric and you come out with a divinely inspired archer. Using the power of the gods to make extra attacks and cast some spells will set you right for the first 7 levels of your adventures with this miracle worker of a bowman.

What  Miracle Archer Excels In

  • Direct Hits

  • Powerful Shots

  • Field Control 

  • High Dexterity, High Wisdom

Miracle Archer Details 

  • Sharpshooter Feat, -5 from attack roll, +10 to Damage

  • Battle Master Fighter 5, War Domain Cleric 2

  • Fighting Style: Archery

  • Maneuvers: Precision Attack, Trip Attack, Disarming Attack

  • Longbow 1d8 Piercing

  • War Priest ability, when you make an Attack action you may take one weapon attack as a bonus action

  • Guided Strike, +10 to attack roll

  • Divine Favor Spell, +1d4 Radiant Damage to attacks

  • +16 Armor Class

  • Action Surges allow for repeating attack actions, for a potential 5 attacks in a round when used in conjunction with other abilities 

2. Zen Archer (Critical Hits, Damage Output)

You THINK you want to play a monk that looks and acts like Aang, but trust me you don't.

Once more from the guys at Nerdarchy, this time bringing a different take on an Adventurer's League compliant Wood Elf archer. The Wood Elf variant race gives you proficiency with longbows as a bonus, so if you want to use it's racial stats for anything you've seen on this list it would slot in perfectly. This build is gonna open with a few levels in Monk, taking the Way of the Kensai at 3rd level, and making your longbow act as your monk weapon. At higher levels your longbow can be treated as a magic weapon, and when you couple this stunning achievement of numbers with a few levels in fighter you've just built a critical hit machine like no other.

What Zen Archer Excels In

  • Magical Weapons

  • Dealing Damage

  • Lots of Hits

  • Mobility

  • High Initiative

Zen Archer Details 

  • Monk Way of the Kensei 10, Champion Fighter 10

  • High Dexterity 

  • Proficiency: Acrobatics & Athletics 

  • Sharpshooter, subtract 5 from attack roll, add 10 to damage 

  • Mobile, +10 to movement 

  • Longbow 1d8 Piercing Damage

  • Unarmored 

  • Lucky feat, roll 2d20 for attack actions and take die of your choice

1. Sniper (Ranger)

IF they were close enough to see her her enemies last thoughts would be, "Why does her armor accentuate her cleavage? That has ro chaff--"

Here is one that exists solely to get more range out of his hits. The sniper is a low level ranger that is designed to get you started on the right foot for a real trip down the archer's path. This one is simple take a few levels in ranger and slap the sharpshooter feat on them, and after that give them one big heavy crossbow and you've got a long range pain cannon working for your side in the battle against evil. With the bonus to damage and the bonus to attack this is one archer that can't miss

What Sniper excels In

  • Accuracy

  • multiple hits 

  • superior damage bonuses 

  • staying far away from the big bad evil guys 

  • hitting from long range

Sniper Details 

  • Sharpshooter feat, -5 Attack +10 Damage

  • Ranger 3, the rest is up to you

  • Heavy Crossbow 1d10+3 Damage

  • Studded Armor

  • 15 Armor Class 

  • 28 HP

There you have it, folks, five archers that get right to the point and show you how good a bow and arrow really can be. If you keep your distance and keep your head up perhaps you too can be counted among the best archers of all time. All it will take is a little bit of luck, a lot of patience, and maybe a few trips back to the drawing board.

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