D&D Best Ranger Subclass (All Ranger Subclasses From Weakest To Strongest)

Warden of the forest

Rangers are skilled in melee and ranged combat, and can dance deftly in and out of combat. Their skills are valuable against all types of enemies, even if they tend to significantly harm a specific type of foe.

In 5th edition of Dungeons & Dragons, Rangers are scouts, trackers, and hunters. With unique mastery of weapons and a wide variety of skills for stalking even the most elusive of prey.

Be they bounty hunters, protectors of nature, or trackers, rangers are one of the most iconic classes in Dungeons & Dragons, with a wide array of subclasses to flavor and distinguish your character with.

Like with all classes, however, some subclasses, or conclaves as they call it, are more circumstantial than others, leading to the belief that some are better than others.

While this isn’t wholly true, the practice has proven that some conclaves are more “overall” powerful than others, and, to help you make out the straw from the hay, we’ve compiled a list of the worse to best conclaves for your ranger!

Keep in mind that this list is a wide generalization, as some modules and particular adventures let some conclaves outshine the others.

8. Horizon Walker

These rangers guard the world against extra-planar threats. Seeking out portals, venturing into other planes as they work to preserve the balance between the planes.

Sadly, this conclave has amazing roleplaying potential, but its features fall short.

First of all, most rangers don’t lean heavily on wisdom, making their extra spells nice to have but not something you’ll be relying on too much.

Then, their ability to detect portals is far too circumstantial to come into play often, and even then, it’s often overshadowed by a proper arcana check.

Overall they work, however other subclasses simply have more to offer. As they grow in levels, they become more fun to play, but it’s usually at those same levels that most campaigns tend to end.

Why Horizon Walker is OK:

  • Most of their features rely on you playing a campaign focused on other planar travel.
  • The class picks up at 11th level. If your campaign is going to last for a while, however, this is good since you´ll get to enjoy the best features of the conclave.

Horizon Walker details: http://dnd5e.wikidot.com/ranger:horizon-walker

7. Monster Slayer

Specialized in hunting down vampires, dragons, evil fey, fiends, and other magical threats.

They come packed with extra spells, the ability to ascertain a creature’s strength, bolster their damage, and foil spells and teleportation attempts!

The issue with them is that their combat prowess relies on marking foes. They can only mark one foe at a time, making them amazing duelists, but they struggle when facing several foes at a time.

Why Monster Slayer is Ok:

  • Their Hunter’s Sense ability is just a glorified Intelligence check, gleaming information most Dungeon Masters divulge anyways.
  • Marking a creature costs a bonus action, but it can be done infinitely, so it’s extra damage without consuming resources.
  • Their hallmark abilities would be top tier if they weren’t limited to one per rest uses.

Monster Slayer details: http://dnd5e.wikidot.com/ranger:monster-slayer

6. Beast Master

A classic two-for-one special. Beast Masters embody the friendship between civilization and the beasts of the world.

They work in a partnership with an animal companion and most faithful friend.

This subclass has been updated to make it more viable with better animal companion rules since all of their features revolve around working in tandem with their beasts.

Why Beast master is OK:

  • Your animal companion is the central pillar of the conclave, with the new update, it’s easier to come up with animals to aid you, and they have a broader range of abilities.
  • Now, your Primal Companion can be commanded with a Bonus Action, making it more viable at lower levels since you no longer have to sacrifice your one action to make your beast participate.
  • The only problem with this conclave is that, if you are ever separated from your beast, or it dies, you are essentially gimped until you can get a new one.

Beast Master details: http://dnd5e.wikidot.com/ranger:beast-master

5. Hunter

Hunters develop specialized combat techniques to use against dangerous threats. They can focus on facing off against rampaging hordes, huge monsters, and even tenacious beasts.

This conclave is the standard for rangers: They can choose between several specializations in combat, honing their abilities to become a one-person army.

While their abilities are great, their features are similar to other classes, possibly stepping into another player’s territory.

Why Hunter is Good:

  • From taking down enormous foes or facing off against hordes, hunters are specialized warriors that excel in their fields.
  • You develop features similar to other classes, from the ability to hit multiple foes with a single attack to a rogue’s evasion.
  • While this conclave’s features are great and powerful, they can feel bland since they are all combat related.

Hunter details: http://dnd5e.wikidot.com/ranger:hunter

4. Gloom Stalker

Perfect for survival campaigns!

Gloom Stalkers are at home in the most inhospitable places of the world. Where most fear to delve, they adventure boldly, seeking to ambush their prey before they can threaten civilization.

With extra spells and a kit geared toward striking fast and striking hard, Gloom Stalkers are the perfect skirmishes to face foes in their home turf.

Why Gloom Stalker is Great:

  • With Improved darkvision, Proficiency in Wisdom Saves, Imposing disadvantage on enemy attacks, and even becoming invisible against dark vision, these rangers are perfect for campaigns in the dark corners of the world.
  • As their name implies, they cannot only fight but also make for excellent scouts and trackers as they can only fool a dragon’s senses in its own lair.
  • If your campaign doesn’t have much room for stealth, then you are going to miss out on most of your class features.

Gloom Stalker details: http://dnd5e.wikidot.com/ranger:gloom-stalker

3. Drakewarden

Unlike the beast master, these rangers’ connection to the natural world takes the form of a draconic spirit.

These drakes are by far the strongest companions available in 5th edition. They can empower your attacks, are immune to a type of damage, and have a lot more independence than other companions.

Why the Drakewarden is Great:

  • They have the best companion in the game.
  • The action economy can be exploited when played properly.
  • As you grow in power, so does your pet. Unlike most classes, your pet has minor support abilities that empower you too!

Drakewarden details: http://dnd5e.wikidot.com/ranger:drakewarden

2. Swarmkeeper

Animal lovers and then some, Swarmkeepers have a magical connection with swarms of nature spirits that becomes a potent force in battle.

Unlike most pet-control classes, the swarm acts as boons and utility features for your ranger. From increasing damage dealt to forcing your targets to save against undesirable effects.

Why the Swarmkeeper is Great:

  • Damage, movement, utility. Swarmkeepers have it all.
  • Take an unusual twist on pet management as you coexist with your swarm.

Swarmkeeper details: http://dnd5e.wikidot.com/ranger:swarmkeeper

1. Fey Wanderer

Coming in hot with the powers of the feywild, the Fey Wanderer has a lot to offer for players willing to use it.

You get permanent extra damage, more spells, wisdom to charisma for social roles, and elusive, they have it all to be excellent combatants, scouts, and yes, even the party’s face!

Why Fey Wanderer is Great:

  • They get scaling, psychic damage to their attacks every round.
  • Utility, combat, and social skills are all part of their kit, making them stand out when compared to other conclaves.
  • As they grow in power, each of their new features can benefit the whole party in one way or another.

Fey wanderer details: http://dnd5e.wikidot.com/ranger:fey-wanderer

You May Also be Interested In:

[Top 5] D&D Best Archer Race - What's the Best Race for Archer

[Top 10] D&D Best Utility Magic Items That Are Excellent

[Top 15] D&D Best Very Rare Magic Items That Are Excellent

[Top 10] D&D Most Useful Languages To Know

[Top 12] D&D Best Non Magical Armor And Why They're Great

More on this topic:

Born in a land where the sun forever blazes comes a man with an undying love for gaming, Jose enjoys nothing more than spinning tales about the multiverse of creativity to captivate and inspire.
Gamer Since: 2008
Favorite Genre: RPG
Currently Playing: World of Warcraft
Top 3 Favorite Games:Dragon Age: Origins, Dark Souls: Prepare To Die Edition, The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim - Dragonborn

More Top Stories