[Top 3] D&D Best Fighter Builds of All Time

DnD Best fighter builds
She sizes up the competition to figure out how much sword cleaning she has to do after she wins.

What are the best fighter builds for a D&D Campaign?

I know what you are thinking, “I love fighters in D&D!” Well I do too! That’s why I am bringing you my top 3 best fighter builds of all time! There is little more satisfying than smashing an orc’s head with a shield bash or relieving a head from its resting place atop a pair of shoulders. Take a look at these three builds to create a war machine in your party!

3. Samurai

Heavily armored Samurai is ready for battle

Imagine, walking the countryside, a quiet, mysterious person on a personal quest of retribution. A group of bandits attack, and this character cuts them all down in just a few rounds. That is what I envision with this samurai build! It is an amazing addition to any party.

Excellent in…

  • Single weapon fighting
  • Compatible with a shield if you so choose
  • Great at being an attack beast! By level 20, they can attack 4 times per round


Most DM’s require you to build your initial stats based on the point purchase system. If you use this method, here is how you need to allocate your points:

  • Strength 8 - only governs carry speed and some uncommon saves.
  • Dexterity 15 - This is your attack skill, so MAX IT OUT!
  • Constitution 14 - very helpful for con saves
  • Intelligence 10 - I don’t use this very often
  • Wisdom 13 - You definitely don’t want to be dominated in a fight! I value this because it boosts your mental saves
  • Charisma 12 - Why not!? I like to play a smooth talker 

I really like playing the human or human variant race for this build because you immediately get +1 on all your ability scores! 

We need to talk proficiencies for this build. At level 1 you are allowed two proficiencies. I take Perception and Athletics for mine because I like to be able to see things and pull off some incredible maneuvers in combat.

This build really pulls together the Dueling fighting style for me. I envision using a single sword, no shield, and dominating the battle field. In addition to taking Dueling, when you reach level 3, go ahead and tag on your Samurai Martial Archetype. This will give you an extra proficiency bonus. I usually pick up Persuasion. 

ASI’s and Feats

Let’s talk about the Ability Score Improvements and feats shall we? For this build, we are going to take more ASI’s in the early game and fewer feats because it makes sense to max out the attack skill early. 

  • Level 4 - 2 points into Dex from the first ASI
  • Level 6 - another 2 points in Dex. Do I see a pattern here? 
  • Level 8 - 2 points in Constitution because your Dex is maxed out 
  • Level 12 - Pick up the Durable feat to boost your Con by 1 and keeps the minimum amount of HP regained to twice your modifier. A nice little bit of help when healing
  • Level 14 - Grab that Mage Slayer feat. This can shut down an enemy caster! It gives you an attack of opportunity if an enemy casts a spell within 5 feet of you, when you attack a concentrating caster, they receive disadvantage on their save, and you get advantage on saves if an enemy casts a spell within 5 ft of you
  • Level 16 - Pick up Alert. This gives you +5 initiative, cannot be surprised if you’re conscious, and creatures don’t gain advantage on stealth rolls against you
  • Level 19 - Finally, Lucky is an amazing feat! It gives you 3 luck points per long rest to spend on rerolling saves, attacks, and ability checks


Since Dexterity is our main stat, we want to use leather armor. It allows you to use your full Dex modifier to AC right away. Starting a campaign broke as a joke, you should still be able to purchase this armor right away. Studded Leather is ideal. 

For your primary weapon, pick up a longsword. I know, I know, it isn’t a katana. Maybe you can persuade your DM to work one in the story somewhere so you can be a real Samurai!

2. Traditional Archer

Taking aim at an orc's head

The archer is one of my all time favorite classes to play in all RPG games. I didn’t put it at 1st place because there is another fighter that I feel is a little better. Being able to snipe enemies at 240 ft from behind cover makes this a real contender on this list. 

Excellent in…

  • Sniping
  • Multiple bow attacks in a single round
  • Stealth (if that tickles your fancy)


Just like last time, we are working on the point purchase system when assigning stats. This is what they should look like:

  • Strength 8 - The archer isn’t a heavy armor, two handed toting Orc, so we just don’t need this skill
  • Dexterity 14 - We are focused on this because of sneak possibilities and attacks
  • Constitution 14 - Always good to be able to pass a Con save
  • Intelligence 8 - Not really needed in this build 
  • Wisdom 15 - This is mostly used because of the mental saves 
  • Charisma 12 - I like a smooth criminal when I play an archer!

I feel the best race for this build is the Wood Elf. Mainly because of the +2 to your Dex skill. That really comes in handy with an archer!

Pick up Insight and Acrobatics for your first proficiencies. Acrobatics is super helpful in climbing to a nice sniping perch to put some arrows in the necks and eye sockets of your enemies.

The Archery Fighting Style gives you +2 on all ranged attack rolls. What a BEAST! The little extra will make the difference between a hit and miss many times throughout your campaign. At level 3, pick up the Dueling Archetype so you can be deadly with swords as well!

ASI’s and Feats

Many people I’ve played D&D with want to take as many feats as possible, but for this build, we are going to max out our Dex skill and boost our Con before we take any feats. 

  • Level 4 - 2 points in Dex
  • Level 6 - 2 more points in Dex
  • Level 8 - 2 points in Con. These are going to be incredibly helpful on Con saves. They are really common in every campaign
  • Level 12 - 2 points in Con
  • Level 14 - 2 points in Con
  • Level 16 - 2 points in Con
  • Level 19 - Lucky! Use them luck points on rerolls for all saves, attack, and ability checks!


Obviously, we are focusing on long bows for this character. I’ve played a character that had a Long bow and short bow so I could shoot twice with my bonus action. Most common though, is to have a short sword as a back up if those baddies get too close. 

We should also stick with Leather armor for this one as well. Studded leather to be exact. You can add your Dex modifier to your AC. Super helpful!

1. A Tank to be Reckoned With

Orc intimidating the battlefield

Who doesn’t love a good tank in their party? I picked this as my number 1 because of the amount of pain this tank can take as well as the damage this beast can deal. This build really is double trouble!

Excellent in…

  • Defensive and offensive battle
  • Protecting other party members
  • Being an all around beast


  • Based on the point purchase system, this is how we should build this character:
  • Strength 15 - This is for heavy armor and our attack skill
  • Dexterity 10 - We really don’t want to put very many points here since it isn’t our attack skill
  • Constitution 15 - Worth the purchase! It helps on the all so common Con saves
  • Intelligence 8 - Not too important
  • Wisdom 14 - Mostly because of the saves
  • Charisma 8 - More braun, less brain

Let’s pick up a half-orc for this build. That will get you a +2 on strength and +1 on constitution.

The proficiencies we are focusing on will be Perception and Athletics. I’m a sucker for the Perception proficiency, and Athletics will help with battle maneuvers. 

Now we are going to take the Dueling fighting style so we can use a long sword and shield. The nice thing about Dueling is that it is 100% compatible with a shield. At level 3, pick up the Battle Master Archetype and get Precision Attack, Riposte, and Trip Attack maneuvers.

ASI’s and Feats

I always love this part because this is where the build really happens. Following this thread will make you a tank to be reckoned with!

  • Level 4 - ASI +1 strength and +1 to constitution. We need these stats HIGH!
  • Level 6 - +2 to strength. This is our attack skill, so boost it
  • Level 8 - +2 to constitution. Like mentioned earlier, con saves bro!
  • Level 12 - Take the Sentinel feat. This really beats up enemies with attack of opportunity perks
  • Level 14 - Shield Master feat gives you some awesome perks with your shield
  • Level 16 - Heavy Armor Master is next. This gives you +1 on strength if not already maxed, and non-magical damage is reduced by 3.
  • Level 19 - +2 in Wisdom for those mental saves


This will be simple and straightforward. Pick up a long sword for your primary weapon and a few daggers for backup and concealment. 

For armor, the heavier the better! Plate armor is ideal since Str is our attack statl. Also, pick up a shield right away. There is no reason to not use one for this character.


More on this topic:

A loot-seeker that emigrated from the warm south of Mississippi, to the murderous tundra of Wisconsin. Rhese is a bard by passion. Travelling far and wide to share the tales of his conquests!
Gamer Since: 2000
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: Borderlands 3, Elder Scrolls Online, Dragon Age: Inquisition, and Witcher 3
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