Top 10 D&D Druid Best Wild Shapes

DnD Best Wild Shapes
A druid stands, encircled by various beasts and potential wild shapes.

At least half of the classes in DnD are mages or involve some sort of spellcasting, and most DnD players know that druids are among this group of spell-slinging warriors. So, what is it that separates them from a sorcerer? Or a bard? Or a cleric? The answer comes in a druid’s ability to Wild Shape (which starts at Level 2), or to turn themselves into an animal of their choosing without the cost of a spell slot. Not sure what animal to go with? This list can help you figure out the best shape with which to go wild!

Note that this list is taken from all wild shapes for a basic 5e Druid and excludes the Circle of the Moon, which provides additional Wild Shape options.

10. Cat

A black cat sits, watching patiently as magical energy dances around its form.

A cat is one of the most basic Wild Shapes to take but can come in handy given the right situation, especially considering there’s no limitation on how soon this Wild Shape can be used. For its special feature, the cat has Keen Smell, which allows it advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on smell.

Shape details:

  • Challenge Rating: 0
  • Armor Class: 12
  • Hit Points: 2
  • Speed: 40 ft.; 30 ft. climbing
  • Skills: Perception +3, Stealth +4
  • Senses: Passive Perception 13

What makes this shape awesome:

  • A cat is very useful in that it’s unassuming and can be used to spy or gather information without drawing as much suspicion.
  • Its climbing ability allows the cat to see things from high up without needing to fly (meaning there’s no waiting to meet the flight requirement for Wild Shape).
  • Its small size makes it easy to maneuver around.

9. Owl

A snowy owl spreads its wings, the light framing it with a majestic glow.

The owl is most useful for its flight abilities and the additional abilities it has while flying. The main ability is its Flyby feature, in which it provokes no opportunity attacks when it flies out of an enemy’s reach. It also has advantage on Wisdom (Perception) checks that rely on hearing or sight with its Keen Hearing and Sight.

Shape details:

  • Challenge Rating: 0
  • Armor Class: 11
  • Hit Points: 1
  • Speed: 5 ft.; 60 ft. flying
  • Skills: Perception +3, Stealth +3
  • Senses: Darkvision 120 ft. Passive Perception 13

What makes this shape awesome:

  • It has the ability to fly out of an opponent’s reach and not suffer an opportunity attack.
  • It has a high fly speed in comparison to other Wild Shapes of a similar Challenge Rating.
  • It has the ability to fly with darkvision.

8. Dire Wolf

A dire wolf stands atop a stony perch, looking down and snarling at its enemies.

Similar to the normal wolf Wild Shape used at the lowest levels, the dire wolf is a good choice for those looking to enhance their traveling experience with the party. The dire wolf has advantage on any Perception checks that rely on hearing or smell due to their Keen Hearing and Smell. They also have something called Pack Tactics, in which the dire wolf has advantage on attack rolls if at least one of its allies is within 5 feet of the target and isn’t incapacitated.

Shape details:

  • Challenge Rating: 1
  • Armor Class: 14
  • Hit Points: 37
  • Speed: 50 ft.
  • Skills: Perception +3, Stealth +4
  • Senses: Passive Perception 13

What makes this shape awesome:

  • It’s great for tracking or scouting.
  • It naturally has an ability similar to a Rogue’s Sneak Attack, except with advantage rather than extra damage.
  • On their attack, the opponent must make a DC 13 saving throw or be knocked prone.

7. Boar

A boar emerges from the woods, determined and focused on its next goal.

Boars are one of the tanks of the Wild Shape options and can be used at low levels. Although they only have one attack, if the boar moves at least 20 feet straight toward a creature right before hitting with its tusk attack, the target takes an additional 1d6 slashing damage through their Charge feature. The target must succeed on a DC 11 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone. Boars also have a feature called Relentless, which means that, if the boar takes 7 damage or less that would normally knock it unconscious, it’s reduced to one hit point instead.

Shape details:

  • Challenge Rating: 1/4
  • Armor Class: 11
  • Hit Points: 11
  • Speed: 40 ft.
  • Senses: Passive Perception 9

What makes this shape awesome:

  • It allows for additional damage upon rushing an enemy.
  • Similar to half-orcs or an 11th level Barbarian, it can come back with a single hit point rather than be knocked unconscious.
  • Its Relentless feature recharges after resting.

6. Warhorse

An armored warhorse stands tall against a sunset, rearing up as the fading light catches its headdress.

In general, horses are important to have when playing DnD. But they can also come in handy as a Wild Shape. Like the boar mentioned above, warhorses can also charge their enemies. With Trampling Charge, if the warhorse moves at least 20 feet straight towards an opponent right before hitting it, the target must make a DC 14 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone. If knocked prone, the warhorse can make another attack with its bonus action.

Shape details:

  • Challenge Rating: 1/2
  • Armor Class: 11, although can wear armor to increase the AC
  • Hit Points: 19
  • Speed: 60 ft.
  • Senses: Passive Perception 11

What makes this shape awesome:

  • It has decent damage for a low-level Wild Shape, with 2d6 +4 damage on an attack.
  • It allows for party members to be transported on its back or for helping transport goods or carts.
  • A warhorse has the potential to wear armor and increase its Armor Class (DM permitting and generally outside of using Wild Shape within combat).

5. Panther

Shrouded by the shadows of the forest, a panther starts to crouch as it senses an intruder.

As with many other Wild Shapes on this list, panthers are one of the lower-level options that can be useful. This is perhaps one of the best Wild Shapes of the low-level options if only because it has both a Bite attack and a Claw attack. There’s also a feature called Pounce, which is similar to the charge attacks for other Wild Shapes. If the panther moves at least 20 feet straight towards a creature and hits with a claw attack, the target must make a DC 12 Strength saving throw or be knocked prone. When the target is prone, the panther can make a Bite attack as a bonus action. Also, as a feline, the panther has Keen Smell, which allows it to make Wisdom (Perception) checks with advantage when the check is reliant on smell.

Shape details:

  • Challenge Rating: 1/4
  • Armor Class: 12
  • Hit Points: 13
  • Speed: 50 ft.; 40 ft. climbing
  • Skills: Perception +4, Stealth +6
  • Senses: Passive Perception 14

What makes this shape awesome:

  • It has high Stealth and Perception bonuses, plus advantage on Perception with Keen Smell.
  • There’s potential to do a version of a multiattack on a target’s failed Strength save.
  • This Wild Shape has a variety of attacks.

4. Giant Eagle

A warrior rides on the back of a giant eagle as it streaks through the sky, chasing an enemy.

For any basic Druid (meaning one not in the Circle of the Moon), the giant eagle is the best Wild Shape for flight, as it’s sturdy and has a high flight speed as shown below. And, like most birds, it has Keen Sight, so it makes Wisdom (Perception) checks with advantage when the check relies on sight. The giant eagle also has the ability to multiattack, meaning it can make two attacks on its turn.

Shape details:

  • Challenge Rating: 1
  • Armor Class: 13
  • Hit Points: 26
  • Speed: 10 ft.; 80 ft. flying
  • Skills: Perception +4
  • Senses: Passive Perception 14

What makes this shape awesome:

  • It can understand multiple languages.
  • It has a high flight speed.
  • It has the ability to multiattack.

3. Giant Toad

The ground rumbles and cracks as a camouflaged giant toad emerges from its hiding place.

The giant toad is a useful Wild Shape for use both in and out of the water, as it’s able to breathe in both because of its Amphibious nature. It also has a feature called Standing Leap, which means that its long jump is up to 20 feet and its high jump is up to 10 feet regardless of if it’s had a running start. The real merit of the giant toad, however, is its attacks, which have extra features beyond a basic animal attack. A giant toad’s Bite attack does an extra 1d10 poison damage in addition to1d10 + 2 piercing damage, and the target is considered grappled until they succeed a DC 13 Strength saving throw. If the target is Medium or smaller, the giant toad can use Swallow on its next attack after grappling, meaning that the target is now blinded and restrained and takes 3d6 acid damage at the start of the giant toad’s turns.

Shape details:

  • Challenge Rating: 1
  • Armor Class: 11
  • Hit Points: 39
  • Speed: 20 ft.; 40 ft. swimming
  • Senses: Darkvision 30 ft.; Passive Perception 10

What makes this shape awesome:

  • It has the ability to blind and restrain an opponent by swallowing them.
  • It has the ability to do poison damage and grapple on a single Bite attack.
  • It can survive in or out of the water.

2. Giant Octopus

Light from above illuminates a giant octopus as it swims amongst a school of fish.

Although the giant octopus can only breathe underwater with its Water Breathing ability, its Hold Breath ability allows it to hold its breath out of the water for 1 hour, meaning this Wild Shape can be used above and below water. Also, when underwater, the giant octopus has Underwater Camouflage, meaning it has advantage on Dexterity (Stealth) checks. With its Tentacle attack, the giant octopus has a reach of 15 feet and, upon a hit, the target is grappled until it makes a successful DC 16 Strength saving throw. It additionally has an attack called Ink Cloud that recharges after resting, in which a 20-foot-radius cloud of ink extends around the giant octopus and creates a heavily obscured area for 1 minute. During this time, the giant octopus can Dash as a bonus action to escape.

Shape details:

  • Challenge Rating: 1
  • Armor Class: 11
  • Hit Points: 52
  • Speed: 10 ft.; 60 ft. swimming
  • Skills: Perception +4, Stealth +5
  • Senses: Darkvision 60 ft.; Passive Perception 14

What makes this shape awesome:

  • It can survive in or out of the water (for up to an hour out of the water).
  • It has high hit points.
  • There’s the ability to make a quick escape if necessary after using the Ink Cloud.

1. Giant Spider

A giant spider emerges from a web-encrusted patch of trees, looking for its next target.

Being a spider, the giant spider has Spider Climb, which allows it to climb difficult surfaces or upside down without needing to make any ability checks. It also has Web Sense and Web Walker, meaning that the giant spider knows the exact location of any other creatures within the same web and ignores movement restriction by the webbing when in contact with a web. When using its Bite attack, the target must make a DC 11 Constitution saving throw and takes 2d8 poison damage on a fail, halved on a save. If the poison renders a target unconscious, the target is stable but both poisoned and paralyzed for an hour, even after regaining hit points. The giant spider also has a Web attack that recharges on a 5-6, where, if it hits a target within range (30/60 feet), the target is restrained unless they succeed on a DC 12 Strength saving throw on their next action. The webbing acts as a separate opponent with AC 10; hp 5; vulnerability to fire; immunity to bludgeoning, poison, and psychic damage.

Shape details:

  • Challenge Rating: 1
  • Armor Class: 14
  • Hit Points: 26
  • Speed: 30 ft.; 30 ft. climbing
  • Skills: Stealth +7
  • Senses: Blindsight 10 ft.; Darkvision 60 ft.; Passive Perception 10

What makes this shape awesome:

  • It can do up to 16 damage in a round, and the poison damage can cause a poisoned and paralyzed condition.
  • It can restrain a creature, with the webbing acting as another ‘opponent’ for an enemy.
  • It can essentially see in any condition, with a minimum of 10 feet.

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