[Top 20] D&D Best Paladin Items, Armor and Weapons

D&D Best Paladin Items, Armor and Weapons
A half-orc paladin preparing to do battle with other nerds

With hundreds of magic items, weapons, armor, and shields to choose from, finding the best items for your paladin can be a big project. I’ve compiled a list of the top 20 best items with paladins in mind, presented here alphabetically.


Adamantine Armor 

Adamantine armor is an armor option for anyone proficient with medium or heavy armor. What sets it apart from other armor options is that when the wearer is hit with a critical hit, the critical hit is turned into a standard hit. This makes it impossible to be critically hit by essentially anyone under almost any circumstances. 

Adamantine armor is especially useful for paladins because paladins generally act as their party’s tank and damage dealer so mitigating the risk of critical hits makes for a better tank overall. 

Now, adamantine armor as it is designed, does not add to the wearer's Armor Class so it may not be better than a +1, +2, +3 armor. That being said, not being able to be critted is a big deal and not to be dismissed out of hand.


Why adamantine armor is great for paladins:

  • Keeping yourself from being critted
  • Leaves the higher AC armors for your allies who need it most
  • Gives the wearer nostalgia for Runescape

Armor (medium or heavy, but not hide), uncommon

This suit of armor is reinforced with adamantine, one of the hardest substances in existence. While you're wearing it, any critical hit against you becomes a normal hit.


Amulet of Health

Next on our list is the Amulet of Health. Most of the items on our list are weapons or armor and this necklace is neither but no less useful. The wearer has a Constitution score of 19 while wearing this item which is as close to the maximum as you can get (it’s 20 unless under the effect of a spell or item that takes it beyond 20). A CON score of 19 comes with a +4 modifier to CON checks and saves which is, again, as close to max as you can come without being maxed).

The Amulet of Health is excellent for paladins as paladins are usually the tank of their given party and having a high CON score leads to a high CON modifier which leads to, on average, more hit points which leads to staying in the battle longer and ultimately leads to being a better tank. It also allows you to have CON as a dump stat, leaving you extra Ability Score Improvements to spend on other abilities that paladins need like strength and charisma.

Why the Amulet of Health is excellent for paladins:

  • Increases hit point maximum
  • Makes you harder to kill or infect with poison, venom, etc.
  • Leaves open the opportunity to increase other stats


Wondrous Item, rare (requires attunement)

Your Constitution score is 19 while you wear this amulet. It has no effect on you if your Constitution is already 19 or higher without it. 



Animated Shield

The animated shield is perhaps one of the most useful items for any martial class in D&D and therefore very useful for paladins. Basically, you can tell the shield to animate itself and it will leap up and defend you as if you were using it but will leave your hands free for that good old, Halo 2 dual-wield or for a two-handed weapon.

Paladins really shine when they use their big powerful weapons in combat like greatswords, greataxes, greatclubs, etc. but this usually comes at the cost of not being able to carry a shield and thus not make use of the +2 AC buff from carrying one, The animated shield eliminates that problem but allowing you to both carry a big weapon that deals big damage AND keep your AC high. A win-win, really.

Why the animated shield is good for paladins:

  • Going from a 1d8+str longsword to a 2d6+str greatsword increases your damage output
  • Mitigates the sacrifice of AC for more damage
  • Divine Smite is even MORE effective!


Armor (shield), very rare (requires attunement)

While holding this shield, you can speak its command word as a bonus action to cause it to animate. The shield leaps into the air and hovers in your space to protect you as if you were wielding it, leaving your hands free. The shield remains animated for 1 minute, until you use a bonus action to end this effect, or until you are incapacitated or die, at which point the shield falls to the ground or into your hand if you have one free.

A shield is made from wood or metal and is carried in one hand. Wielding a shield increases your Armor Class by 2. You can benefit from only one shield at a time.


Armor of Invulnerability

Armor of Invulnerability is among the best armors in the game and for a good and obvious reason: invulnerability. While wearing it, you’re resistant to all non magical damage (resistant means that you take half damage) and you can “activate” the armor to give you IMMUNITY to all non magical damage for 10 minutes. Each round of combat in D&D 5e is 6 seconds long so 10 minutes is 100 rounds of combat (that's a lot of turns, bro). 

Again, paladins are usually tanks and this armor essentially allows them to multiclass into barbarian a little by giving them constant resistance to non magical attacks, which is crazy on its own, but then you add IMMUNITY sometimes and you have one of the best armor sets in the game for paladin.

Why the armor of invulnerability is excellent for paladins:

  • Resistance to all non magical damage is HUGE
  • IMMUNITY for 10 MINUTES is bonkers
  • Looks stylish


Armor (plate), legendary (requires attunement)

You have resistance to nonmagical damage while you wear this armor. Additionally, you can use an action to make yourself immune to nonmagical damage for 10 minutes or until you are no longer wearing the armor. Once this special action is used, it can't be used again until the next dawn.

Plate consists of shaped, interlocking metal plates to cover the entire body. A suit of plate includes gauntlets, heavy leather boots, a visored helmet, and thick layers of padding underneath the armor. Buckles and straps distribute the weight over the body.


Belt of Dwarvenkind

While being a little skewed towards non-dwarves, a dwarf character can still make use of the Belt of Dwarvenkind. A belt that can be worn by anyone, it gives the wearer a +2 to their CON score and advantage on Persuasion checks on dwarves (hey, buddy, why don’t we not steal from a dragon, hmm?) It also gives you a chance to grow a full beard (isn't fantasy fun?) every morning and gives resistance to poison, darkvision, and the ability to speak dwarvish to any non-dwarf wearer. 

For paladins, their CHA score is just as important as their CON and STR scores so any buffs to those help our holy warriors a lot. Increasing CON is big, too, while also granting the aforementioned resistances and buffs. All of these combine to make for an excellent addition to your paladin build. 

Why the Belt of Dwarvenkind is excellent for paladin:

  • Increases CON
  • Makes diplomacy with dwarves easier
  • Poison Resistance, darkvision, and Dwarvish are all useful on a day to day basis

Wondrous Item, rare (requires attunement)

While wearing this belt, you gain the following benefits:

Your Constitution score increases by 2, to a maximum of 20.

You have advantage on Charisma (Persuasion) checks made to interact with dwarves.

In addition, while attuned to the belt, you have a 50 percent chance each day at dawn of growing a full beard if you're capable of growing one, or a visibly thicker beard if you already have one.

If you aren't a dwarf, you gain the following additional benefits while wearing the belt:

You have advantage on saving throws against poison, and you have resistance against poison damage.

You have darkvision out to a range of 60 feet.

You can speak, read, and write Dwarvish.


Belt of Storm Giant Strength

One of the best items for paladins that isn’t a weapon is the Belt of Storm Giant Strength. It increases the STR of its wearer to 29. Yeah, you read that right. 29. That’s stupid high and it comes with a +9 modifier. Yeah. +9. 

It probably goes without saying why this item made my list but just in case it isn’t, STR is usually the most important ability score for a paladin because they use STR as their attack modifier which means the higher the number, the better chance they hit with an attack. This in turn makes for more frequent hits and therefore more frequent damage. 

Why the Belt of Storm Giant Strength is excellent for paladins:

  • Increases STR score to 29
  • Gives a +9 modifier to STR
  • Makes you as close to the Hulk as you can get without turning green

Wondrous Item, legendary (requires attunement)

While wearing this belt, your Strength score changes to 29. The item has no effect on you if your Strength without the belt is equal to or greater than 29.



Defender is a unique weapon in that it allows the user to increase their AC or attack bonus by up to a +3 and change it once per turn. The change comes at the cost of the attack bonus. For example, you can choose to increase your AC by a +2 but that would decrease your attack bonus to only a +1. Defender is also a +3 weapon to begin with, placing it among the best weapons in the game. 

Paladins benefit greatly from high AC, high attack bonus, high damage output, all of which Defender provides. A paladin with these buffs is a terror on the battlefield without adding the ability to change them at will.

Why Defender is excellent for paladins:

  • As a mostly martial class, paladins benefit greatly from a better attack bonus
  • The ability to dynamically change AC and attack bonus mid battle can turn the tide
  • AC is just as important as attack bonus

There’s not a lot more to be said for Defender. It’s a legendary +3 weapon which alone makes it powerful but adding the ability to increase your AC really brings it up to among the best weapons for any martial class but especially paladins.

Weapon (any sword), legendary (requires attunement)

You gain a +3 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with this magic weapon.

The first time you attack with the sword on each of your turns, you can transfer some or all of the sword’s bonus to your Armor Class, instead of using the bonus on any attacks that turn. For example, you could reduce the bonus to your attack and damage rolls to +1 and gain a +2 bonus to AC. The adjusted bonuses remain in effect until the start of your next turn, although you must hold the sword to gain a bonus to AC from it.

Dragon Scale Mail

Next on our list is Dragon Scale Mail. Being a +1 armor it doesn’t add as much to your AC as you might want but what it lacks in AC bonus it makes up for in resistances. Taken from a dragon, willingly or not, it bestows the wearer with resistance to that type of dragon's breath weapon while also allowing them to track that particular type of dragon more easily.

Finding a dragon can sometimes be just as difficult as fighting a dragon. This armor allows the wearer to track dragons (of the armor’s type) within 30 miles while also making it much easier to survive a fight with it. 

  • Why Dragon Scale Mail is excellent for paladins:
  • Paladins fight dragons a lot (a lot of them are evil) and wearing this armor makes it easier
  • Resistance to a certain type of damage 
  • Advantage on saving throws against breath weapons

Armor (scale mail), very rare (requires attunement)

Dragon scale mail is made of the scales of one kind of dragon. Sometimes dragons collect their cast-off scales and gift them to humanoids. Other times, hunters carefully skin and preserve the hide of a dead dragon. In either case, dragon scale mail is highly valued.

While wearing this armor, you gain a +1 bonus to AC, you have advantage on saving throws against the Frightful Presence and breath weapons of dragons, and you have resistance to one damage type that is determined by the kind of a dragon that provided the scales (see the table).

Additionally, you can focus your senses as an action to magically discern the distance and direction to the closest dragon of the type of armor within 30 miles of you. This special action can't be used again until the next dawn.


Dragon Slayer

Dragon Slayer is a +1 sword, usually a longsword but not necessarily, that does extra damage to dragons on a hit. For the purposes of this weapon, “dragon” means any creature of the dragon type which includes a lot of creatures.

Dragon Slayer is the ultimate weapon to use against dragons as no other sword in the official game contributes a 3d6 damage increase for each hit while also still functioning as a useful standard +1 weapon. Dragon Slayer is an excellent choice for any paladin.

Why Dragon Slayer is excellent for paladins:

  • Again, paladins often find themselves fighting dragons and an extra 3d6 per hit can make a huge difference
  • Not only being useful against true dragons but all dragons makes it more than just situationally useful
  • Can still be used as a standard sword against other monsters

Many magic items like this are best used by a DM as a way to balance encounters in favor of their players (you want them to have a challenge but not necessarily get TPK’d). Dragon Slayer is a perfect weapon to give to your paladin player as a way to beef them up for the fight against Tiamat. 

Weapon (any sword), rare

You gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with this magic weapon.

When you hit a dragon with this weapon, the dragon takes an extra 3d6 damage. For the purpose of this weapon, "dragon" refers to any creature with the dragon type, including dragon turtles and wyverns.


Flame Tongue

Flame Tongue is a sword (any sword, really) that, unsurprisingly given its name, sprouts flames from it. It deals extra fire damage on every hit while also acting as a light source. Considered “rare” in the Dungeon Master’s Guide, it can absolutely be a great addition to any paladin build.

Flame Tongue is especially useful for paladins because of their Divine Smite ability  The sword itself does its standard damage which in this case will be a greatsword. So, on a hit, it does 2d6+ your STR modifier. If it is aflame, it deals an additional 2d6. With Divine Smite, it does an additional 2d8. All of this adds up to a potential damage, in one hit, of 45 (assuming you have a +5 to STR). 

Why Flame Tongue is excellent for paladins:

  • All that extra damage is crazy
  • Lighting up everything within 80 feet is extremely useful for those without darkvision
  • It can be any sword, not just a longsword

Weapon (any sword), rare (requires attunement)

You can use a bonus action to speak this magic sword's command word, causing flames to erupt from the blade. These flames shed bright light in a 40-foot radius and dim light for an additional 40 feet. While the sword is ablaze, it deals an extra 2d6 fire damage to any target it hits. The flames last until you use a bonus action to speak the command word again or until you drop or sheathe the sword. 


Frost Brand

Frost Brand is another sword, essentially the other side of the coin from Flame Tongue. It does some additional cold damage on a hit and also bestows the wielder with resistance to fire damage. It also extinguishes any flames within a certain radius whenever you draw it from the sheath.

Frost Brand is an excellent choice for paladins for all the above reasons but none more so than the fire resistance it grants. Resistance to any type of damage is wonderful but fire is one of the most common damage types so if I could only choose one resistance, it would be that one. 

Why Frost Brand is excellent for paladins:

  • Some extra cold damage
  • Fire Resistance
  • Sheds a bit of light in freezing temps

Weapon (any sword), very rare (requires attunement)

When you hit with an attack using this magic sword, the target takes an extra 1d6 cold damage. In addition, while you hold the sword, you have resistance to fire damage.

In freezing temperatures, the blade sheds bright light in a 10-foot radius and dim light for an additional 10 feet.

When you draw this weapon, you can extinguish all non-magical flames within 30 feet of you. This property can be used no more than once per hour.


Giant Slayer

Giant Slayer is an axe (any axe) that functions similarly to Dragon Slayer except that its extra damage is done to, you guessed it, giants. Some of the coolest and most unique items in D&D are also some of the most situational. 

For paladins, any weapon that gives additional damage is a huge plus. Giant Slayer also has an additional function against creatures of the “giant” type: it can sometimes knock them prone while doing an extra 2d6 damage on a hit. With the “prone” condition giving advantage to any melee attacks made against the prone creature, this is a big deal.

Why Giant Slayer is an excellent choice for paladins:

  • Extra damage 
  • Inflicting the “prone” condition
  • Any weapon with an attack bonus is beneficial

Weapon (any axe or sword), rare

You gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with this magic weapon.

When you hit a giant with it, the giant takes an extra 2d6 damage of the weapon's type and must succeed on a DC 15 Strength saving throw or fall prone. For the purpose of this weapon, "giant" refers to any creature with the giant type, including ettins and trolls.


Headband of Intellect

Stepping away from weapons for a moment brings us to the Headband of Intellect. It increases the INT stat of the wearer to 19 provided that they don’t already have an INT score of 19 or higher. 

What makes the Headband so useful for paladins is their penchant for using INT as a dump stat as they don’t really use INT for anything other than saving throws. Using the headband greatly increases the INT modifier which, in turn, makes for a much easier time surviving against creatures that target INT like illithids or psionic creatures.

Why the Headband of Intellect is excellent for paladins:

  • Increases the wearers INT to 19
  • Increases the INT modifier to a +4
  • It possible to not have any low stats (unlikely, though)

Wondrous Item, uncommon (requires attunement)

Your Intelligence score is 19 while you wear this headband. It has no effect on you if your Intelligence is 19 or higher without it.


Holy Avenger

If there was one weapon in all of D&D that was created and designed specifically for paladins, it would be Holy Avenger. It basically takes one of the best moves paladins have, Divine Smite, and allows you to do something similar more often. This weapon is not only a +3 sword that can only be attuned to by a paladin, but also deals an extra 2d10 against fiends and undead on a hit.

Another reason that Holy Avenger excels in the hands of paladins is its ability to create an aura that grants advantage on saving throws against magic to allies that only gets better with time.

Why Holy Avenger is an excellent choice for paladins:

  • Extra damage to fiends and undead (paladins main enemies)
  • The magic resistance aura
  • +3 magic weapon only useable by a paladin

Weapon (any sword), legendary (requires attunement by a Paladin)

You gain a +3 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with this magic weapon. When you hit a fiend or an undead with it, that creature takes an extra 2d10 radiant damage.

While you hold the drawn sword, it creates an aura in a 10-foot radius around you. You and all creatures friendly to you in the aura have advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects. If you have 17 or more levels in the paladin class, the radius of the aura increases to 30 feet. 

Manual of Bodily Health

Crossing into uncharted territory brings us next to the Manual of Bodily Health, an enchanted book that can help you increase your CON stat (I need this in real life). Spending time and energy reading and learning from this tome will increase your CON score by 2 while also increasing your maximum score in that stat.

For paladins, CON is almost as important as STR as it directly influences how many hit points you have. With paladins usually playing tanks, a high CON score can keep them in the fight longer while also helping stay safe from poisons and venoms.

Why the Manual of Bodily Health is excellent for paladins:

  • Increasing your CON score
  • Increasing your CON modifier
  • That’s it, really…

Wondrous Item, very rare

This book contains health and diet tips, and its words are charged with magic. If you spend 48 hours over a period of 6 days or fewer studying the book's contents and practicing its guidelines, your Constitution score increases by 2, as does your maximum for that score. The manual then loses its magic, but regains it in a century.


Ring of Spell Storing

We couldn’t have a list of powerful magic items without adding some bling, right? Just kidding. The Ring of Spell Storing is a very powerful, albeit unorthodox, item for any half-caster. While not being able to hold spell SLOTS, it can hold any spells cast into it up to 5th level. 

Paladins are what some refer to as “half casters”, meaning they can only cast spells up to 5th level instead of going all the way up to 9th. This means that the Ring of Spell Storing is perfect for them. The best way to use it would be to cast a high level spell into it before taking a long rest and replenishing the spell slot before taking it into battle with you, essentially giving you an extra spell to use.

Why the Ring of Spell Storing is excellent for paladins:

  • Storing spells means having more spells
  • Frees up spell slots for Divine Smite
  • Looks like a Sling Ring from Marvel’s Doctor Strange

Ring, rare (requires attunement)

This ring stores spells cast into it, holding them until the attuned wearer uses them. The ring can store up to 5 levels worth of spells at a time. When found, it contains 1d6 − 1 levels of stored spells chosen by the GM.

Any creature can cast a spell of 1st through 5th level into the ring by touching the ring as the spell is cast. The spell has no effect, other than to be stored in the ring. If the ring can't hold the spell, the spell is expended without effect. The level of the slot used to cast the spell determines how much space it uses.

While wearing this ring, you can cast any spell stored in it. The spell uses the slot level, spell save DC, spell attack bonus, and spellcasting ability of the original caster, but is otherwise treated as if you cast the spell. The spell cast from the ring is no longer stored in it, freeing up space.


Ring of Three Wishes

The second ring on our list is the Ring of Three Wishes. Wish is the most powerful (and therefore dangerous) spell that a player can cast in D&D and so a ring that allows the wearer to cast wish three times is a force to be reckoned with. Once it has been used three times, it loses all of its magical properties and just looks nice.

To be honest, this item could be in the Top 5 most powerful items across all of 5e but the reason it’s so good for paladins is that paladins are usually morally just, self-sacrificial types and the ability to cast a wish spell can make or break that desperate moment when you can’t see another way to beat the monster or save the king, etc. 

Why the Ring of Three Wishes is excellent for paladins

  • Creates awesome role play opportunities
  • It can literally do anything you can think up, provided that the DM okays it
  • Could potentially bring someone back from the dead

Ring, legendary

While wearing this ring, you can use an action to expend 1 of its 3 charges to cast the wish spell from it. The ring becomes nonmagical when you use the last charge.


Scimitar of Speed

Coming back to weapons brings us to the Scimitar of Speed. As a martial class, paladins gain access to extra attack at 5th level and that essentially means that they get a free attack every time they use the attack action in combat. The Scimitar of Speed allows the user to make ANOTHER attack per turn as a bonus action which combines to make 3 attacks in one turn at early levels and more at higher levels. 

Paladins excel at one thing above all else and that is damage output, so wielding a weapon that allows for another chance at damage every turn is a big deal. On top of that, paladins are usually proficient with scimitars and therefore can add their proficiency bonus to the bonus action attack the scimitar provides.

Why the Scimitar of Speed is excellent for paladins:

  • Looks awesome
  • Allows for an additional attack on top of whatever attacks you’re already using
  • Higher overall/potential damage

Weapon (scimitar), very rare (requires attunement)

You gain a +2 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with this magic weapon. In addition, you can make one attack with it as a bonus action on each of your turns.

Proficiency with a scimitar allows you to add your proficiency bonus to the attack roll for any attack you make with it.


Vorpal Sword

While Holy Avenger is the strongest weapon designed for paladins, the Vorpal Sword is the strongest weapon designed for anyone using a martial class. This sword, on a critical hit, will usually decapitate the creature it hits. That’s it. It’s dead. Some creatures, however, like ancient dragons, liches, etc., cannot be decapitated by it by will still take an extra 6d8 from the crit which is still astronomically high damage especially considering that it’s likely not the only attack you have on that turn.

For paladins, the Vorpal Sword would make a strong weapon even without the decapitating ability as it is a +3 weapon to begin with (meaning that you have a +3 to attack and damage rolls). At this point, decapitating a creature on a crit is just icing on the cake.

Why the Vorpal Sword is excellent for paladins:

  • The 5% to kill a creature every time you hit it
  • A 5% chance to deal an extra 6d8 every time you hit a creature
  • The bragging rights you’d get for killing that alpha werewolf before it even gets to move

Weapon (any sword that deals slashing damage), legendary (requires attunement)

You gain a +3 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with this magic weapon. In addition, the weapon ignores resistance to slashing damage.

When you attack a creature that has at least one head with this weapon and roll a 20 on the attack roll, you cut off one of the creature's heads. The creature dies if it can't survive without the lost head. A creature is immune to this effect if it is immune to slashing damage, doesn't have or need a head, has legendary actions, or the GM decides that the creature is too big for its head to be cut off with this weapon. Such a creature instead takes an extra 6d8 slashing damage from the hit.


Shields (+1, +2, +3)

A mundane but no less important item to remember is the shield. A normal, mundane shield adds a +2 to the wielder’s Armor Class but you can also get shields that add more, up to a +5 with a +3 shield as the AC bonus stacks. Therefore, a +1 shield actually adds a +3 AC bonus due to the fact that it already adds the +2 as a shield and the extra +1 as a +1 shield. This makes for some interestingly high AC possibilities.

I may sound like a broken record here but paladins are usually the tanks and therefore a high AC can make all the difference in how long a paladin can stay on the front line absorbing damage and a higher AC is the best way to make that happen. 

Why a +3 shield is excellent for paladins:

  • Higher AC means better tanking
  • You can always unequip the shield to two-hand your weapon
  • Some shields come with extra buffs beyond just the added AC bonus

Armor (shield), very rare

While holding this shield, you have a +3 bonus to AC. This bonus is in addition to the shield's normal bonus to AC.

A shield is made from wood or metal and is carried in one hand. Wielding a shield increases your Armor Class by 2. You can benefit from only one shield at a time.

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As a bard, Mack enjoys the simple things in life like giving his friends buff and giving the orcs debuffs. A fantasy nerd at heart, he spends his free time exploring any magical world he can find.
Gamer Since: 2010
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