The Genasi 5e race is imbued with the elemental powers of D&D genies. With four elements to draw power from, these humanoids have highly distinctive appearances and varied abilities. If you’re looking to learn more about each of the Genasi subraces, as well as what to consider when playing one, look no further.
Before you rush to create your DnD Genasi character, here are some other helpful TTRPG guides. We can introduce you to a wide range of DnD races, as well as the DnD classes which work best with them. Then we can help you finalise your build with the right DnD character creator and DnD character sheets.
Here’s a complete guide to the DnD Genasi 5e race:
Who are the DnD Genasi
All Genasi can trace their elemental ancestry back to genies. Whether they have a genie relative or were born somewhere overflowing with genie magic, each Genasi is shaped by the powers of the Elemental DnD Planes.
Physically, this heritage presents itself through the Genasi’s skin colour. D&D Fire Genasi will have red skin, while the Water Genasi are more likely to have a blue hue. Apart from this, Genasi tend to look like any other humanoid, as they take on the physical attributes of their mortal family members.
According to the Elemental Evil Player’s Companion, there are no official Genasi cities or societies in the Forgotten Realms. This means Genasi names and DnD backgrounds tend to match those of the races they grew up around.
Genasi 5e stats
The most up-to-date Genasi 5e stats can be found in Mordenkainen Presents: Monsters of the Multiverse. This DnD book gives all ‘Fantastical Races’ the same rules for DnD stats, as well as more flavour-focused details like DnD languages and life span.
DnD Genasi ability scores can either be:
- +2 to any stat, and +1 to any other stat
- +1 to three different stats
Additionally, the Genasi can choose to speak one language as well as Common. All Genasi are medium or small in size, and they have 60ft of Darkvision. This is where the similarities end, however. Each DnD Genasi has different racial traits depending on the element their genie heritage ties them to: air, fire, water, or earth.
All of the Genasi subraces offer spellcasting abilities, but the 5e spells available will be different for each. During character creation, you can pick Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma as your Genasi’s spellcasting ability.
Air Genasi 5e
The Air Genasi 5e have ties to the Elemental Plane of Air, and their djinn ancestry means they can harness the power of wind. This gives them a higher-than-average speed of 35ft, and they can hold their breath indefinitely when not incapacitated. Air Genasi are also resistant to lightning damage.
The D&D Air Genasi also have access to certain 5e spells, and these can be cast without material components. When creating an Air Genasi character, you’ll start out knowing the Shocking Grasp cantrip. You’ll learn Feather Fall at level three and Levitate at level five. The latter two spells can be cast once per long rest, or you can use an available spell slot.
Fire Genasi 5e
The Efreet of the Elemental Plane of Fire are the ancestors of the Fire Genasi 5e. These fiery-looking characters have a regular walking speed of 30ft, and they’re naturally resistant to fire damage.
They also have flame-based spellcasting abilities. DnD Fire Genasi characters automatically know the Produce Flame cantrip, and they’ll learn Burning Hands at level three. Flame Blade is this subrace’s fifth-level spell of choice. Burning Hands and Flame Blade are (as you’d expect) castable without material components, and you can use them once per long rest if you don’t want to expend a spell slot.
Water Genasi 5e
Water Genasi 5e are born from the elemental power of the Marids. They’re like walking mermaids, with sea-weed-like hair and marine-themed skin tones. As well as a walking speed of 30ft, they can also swim just as well. Water Genasi can breathe both air and water – and they’re resistant to acid damage as an added bonus.
Speaking of acid, Water Genasi can innately cast the Acid Splash cantrip. They’ll learn Create or Destroy Water at third level and Water Walk at fifth level – both of which can be used without material components or spell slots (once per long rest).
Earth Genasi 5e
The Earth Genasi 5e subrace is related to the Dao of the Earth Plane. Their skin is the colour of rock and ground – which you think would let them blend in more easily with humans, but this isn’t always the case. Many may sparkle like a crystal or have glowing cracks in their skin.
Earth Genasi have an average speed of 30ft, but their ancestry lets them walk across difficult terrain with ease. In terms of rules, this means they don’t need to spend extra movement when traversing these areas.
Like the other Genasi, DnD Earth Genasi get access to certain spells as part of their subrace. They start out with the Blade Ward cantrip, casting it a number of times equal to their proficiency bonus per long rest. The next spell they learn is Pass Without Trace at level five, and this can be cast once per long rest (or with a spell slot) without material components.
Genasi 5e classes
The Genasi 5e race used to offer more varied ability scores, meaning each was suited to distinct DnD classes. However, since the Monsters of the Multiverse update, they’ve become more mechanically homogenous.
The upside of this is that you can pick whichever Genasi you like and still plausibly play whatever class you like best. The downside is that none of the Genasi offer anything particularly unique or powerful when it comes to DnD character builds.
If you choose Wisdom as your spellcasting ability, some of the subraces can make could make a serviceable Cleric 5e. The Tempest Domain Cleric can deal maximum lightning or thunder damage, so the Air Genasi could take that Shocking Grasp cantrip and run with the theme.
These Clerics also eventually get a flying speed equal to their walking speed, so the extra 5ft of movement will be a nice boost. Similarly, a Fire Genasi could work as an offence-heavy Light Domain Cleric (though there’s even less synergy here).
The Eldritch Knight Fighter 5e subclass lets you combine spell use and weapon fighting, so this is a plausible choice for any of the Genasi. The Earth Genasi’s innate spellcasting may also give a few buffs to martial classes like the Ranger 5e, but it’s a pretty minor benefit.