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

D&D Best Fighter Builds, D&D Fighter Builds
Master of the battlefield!

Most adventurers have a strong fighter or two in their parties. In my D&D 5e gaming group, one of the players half-jokingly refers to his fighter character as a “meat shield”, as he is front and center and takes the brunt of the attacks while the rest of us heal and plunder (I play a rogue assassin) and so far, we manage to survive the encounters.

Although a necessary staple for a party, the fighter is also an exciting character to play! Before you create your next fighter, read on to find out some of the best D&D Fighter Builds.

5. Arcane Archer, Elven

When I think of an Arcane Archer, the character Legolas from Lord of the Rings comes to mind. These fighters have a magical touch as they combine the use of magic and bows! In addition, they are excellent to have around in campaigns for long-range combat. Read on to find out how Arcane Archers can be an asset in your next adventure!

What Arcane Archer Excels In

  • Arcane Archers who are Elven gain +2 for Dexterity and obtain Elven Accuracy. Elves also have darkvision and can choose one cantrip of your choice from the wizard spell list.
  • Most fighters have strength as their highest ability score. For the Arcane Archer, dexterity is the highest ability, followed closely by intelligence. (This blows the fighter stereotype out of the water!)
  • Unlike other fighter archetypes, Arcane Archers are more advantageous from a distance: the longer the distance, the better!

Build details

  • At 1st level, with Archery Fighting Style, you would add +2 to ranged weapon attack rolls. At 3rd level, you would formally achieve the Arcane Archer Archetype and choose two Arcane Shot options.
  • At 4th level, take the racial feat Elven Accuracy from Xanithar’s Guide, and increase dexterity, intelligence, wisdom, or charisma by +1, and whenever you have advantage on an attack roll, using any of those four, you can reroll one of the dice once. As a High Elf, your starting Dexterity score increases by +2 and your Intelligence score increases by +1.
  • At 6th level, take the feat Sharpshooter. Their long-range attacks are not a disadvantage and ranged attacks ignore half and three-quarters cover, and take -5 penalty on the hit to gain +10 for damage.
  • Arcane Archers also use a longbow and find a source for magic arrows. At 7th level, you will be able to make normal arrows magical when you fire them.
  • At 8th level, develop the feat Fey Touched. You can cast Misty Step to teleport up to 30 feet away. In addition, you can have one other 1st level spell without a spell slot. Also, increase Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma by +1.

4. Battlemaster, Dragonborn

Maneuvering is the name of the game with Battlemasters! The Battlemaster is considered as the artisan of the fighter classes, fancy on their feet yet effective and strong. Read on to find out more about these renaissance fighters and how they can add both strength and intelligence to a campaign!

What Battlemaster Excels In

  • Battlemasters are great to have in up-close and personal combat.
  • Both attack and defense are strengths for a Battlemaster! Use a Glaive or Halberd - a two-handed weapon with reach (adds +5 feet of range for attacks) and high damage (1d10 slashing).
  • Commander’s Strike, Disarming Attack, and Evasive Footwork are a few of the abilities that Battlemasters could have.
  • Dragonborn Battlemasters gets Strength +2, and a breath weapon and damage resistance based on draconic ancestry (cold, fire, lightning, etc.)

Build details

  • At first level, start out with a Great Weapon Fighting style (reroll the damage die on a 1 or 2 with a two-handed weapon)
  • By 3rd level, you gain the Battlemaster archetype and learn three Combat Superiority maneuvers to start with. Good choices to use are Maneuvering Attack (lets an ally move half-speed as a reaction without provoking opportunity attacks), Lunging Attack (which increases your attack 5 feet, for a total of 10 feet if you are using a reach weapon), and Ambush (add a superiority die to the initiative roll). You start with four superiority dice to power these maneuvers. Also, take proficiency in Smith's Tools to sharpen blades and repair armor.
  • At 4th level, take the feat Polearm Master. With that, you get a bonus action to attack with the other end of the weapon, and opportunity attacks within reach.
  • Sixth level Battlemasters earn another Feat, so take Durable: you increase Constitution by 1, and when rolling a hit die, the minimum is twice your Constitution modifier.
  • At the 7th, 10th, and 15th levels, you learn two additional new maneuvers. You can also replace one you know with a new one.
  • By 8th level, you gain a feat, so choose Great Weapon Master, which gives a bonus melee attack on critical hits, or Martial Adept, which is two more maneuvers and one extra superiority die.

3. Eldritch Knight, Half-Elf 

An Eldritch Knight is a useful character for a campaign, because this fighter archetype is a dangerous
combination of charisma, fighting, and magic. When you choose a half-elven race for this character, there are additional benefits. Read more to find out why and how you can build your Eldritch Knight to be a powerful asset to your next adventure!

What Eldritch Knight Excels In

  • Because Half-elf Eldritch Knights are charming themselves, they have an advantage vs. charm spells.
  • Half-elf Eldritch Knights have darkvision; they are great to place in front or the back of a party to detect monsters!
  • These fighters also cannot be put to sleep by magic.

Build details

  • At first level, choose the Defense Fighting Style and gain +1 in Armor Class (AC).
  • Half-Elf Eldritch Knights have the charm with a +2 Charisma bonus. Choose Intelligence and Constitution at +1 each, to boost hit points and spellcasting.
  • Third level Eldritch Knights will officially earn the archetype and learn two cantrips of choice. In addition, you can gain three 1st level wizard spells from the Abjuration and Evocation schools. Good starting choices include Blade Ward, Shocking Grasp, Chromatic Orb, Magic Missile, and Shield.
  • It is advisable to choose a high-damage one-handed weapon (like a longsword) until you reach 4th level when you can take the War Caster feat, then a two-handed weapon or add a shield. With the feat War Caster, you can perform the somatic components of spells even when using both hands for weapons or a shield, and cast a spell as an opportunity attack reaction.
  • Sixth level Eldritch Knights have the option to improve Intelligence by +2, or Intelligence by +1 and Dexterity or Strength by +1.
  • At 8th level, gain the feat Lucky (spend a luck point to roll an additional d20 for attacks) or you can choose Magic Initiate (learn two new cantrips with one 1 st level spell from your choice of class.)

2. Champion, Half-Orc

My friend’s archetype for his fighter character is Champion. This is a physically astute and buff fighter type! If you want to add an additional level of fierceness to your fighter, you may want to make your champion a half-orc. Read on to find out more about the Champion build!

What Half-Orc Champion Excels In

  • Also known as a critical hit monster, this build is all about rerolling attack dice to get a critical hit (also known as a crit), and rerolling damage dice to get the maximum.
  • At 3rd level, if you roll a 19 or 20, you critically hit your target!
  • Half-Orcs also have savage attacks! On a crit, roll one additional damage die and add to extra damage.

Build details

  • This build is all about rerolling attack die to get a critical hit, and rerolling damage dice to get the maximum. Having a Greatsword is good because it is a two-handed sword with 2d6 slashing damage.
  • At 1st level, this fighting archetype has a Great Weapon Fighting style (reroll damage die on a 1or 2 with a two-handed weapon).
  • Third level Champions have Improved Critical (19-20) and eventually gain Superior Critical (18-20).
  • Fourth level Champions gain a feat, so choose Great Weapon Master for a bonus melee attack on a critical roll, or Savage Attacker (reroll damage and take either total).
  • At sixth level, Champions earn another Feat. Take Lucky, then you can spend a luck point to roll an additional d20.
  • Tenth level Champions earn a 2nd Fighting Style. Choose Superior Technique or the Feinting Attack Maneuver, which is a bonus action to feint and the next attack has advantage.

1. Samurai, Dragonborn

Calculated, sleek, and stealthy, this Samurai archetype is found in Xanathar's Guide to Everything. This is a fun and useful fighter type to play because of the strength bonus and the Dragonborn Samurai’s ability to breathe cold, fire, or lightning based on draconic ancestry. Read more to find out why a Samurai would be an asset to add to a party!

What Samurai Excels In

  • At 3rd level, Samurai may pick up a language of choice; this is unusual for a fighter.
  • Dragonborn Samurai also gains +2 in strength.
  • There are also proficiency bonuses that Samurai can choose from at 3rd level: History, Insight, Performance, or Persuasion!

Build details

  • Use heavy slashing damage weapons such as a Greataxe, Greatsword, or Longsword.
  • At 1st level, you can use the Superior Technique Fighting Style option and choose Pushing Attack to push the target up to 15 feet away. With an Action Surge starting at 2nd level, you can act again on the same turn and hit it with your breath weapon!
  • At 3rd level, Fighting Spirit gives you advantage on an attack and temporary hit points as a bonus action.
  • At 4th level, take Slasher as a feat. You can increase Strength or Dexterity by 1, reduce the speed of a target hit by your slashing damage, and your critical hits cause the target disadvantage.
  • At 6th level, the feat Fighting Initiate lets you take another Fighting Style that helps with the weapon that you have chosen.
  • At 15th level, get the Samurai feature Rapid Strike. If you have advantage (as from Fighting Spirit), you can give up advantage to make an additional attack. Two attacks are better than one!

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As a Pokemon Trainer by day and a bard or cleric by night, I enjoy the spoken and written word by candlelight.
Gamer Since: 1983
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: D&D
Top 3 Favorite Games:Baldur's Gate, Diablo, Resident Evil HD Remaster

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