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DnD Horizon Walker 5e guide

Find out about the Horizon Walker 5e - with a breakdown of the key features of this DnD Ranger subclass, and a little advice on its best builds.

DnD horizon walker art showing a sword wielding warrior

The Horizon Walker 5e is a type of Ranger that interacts with the multiverse, perhaps hunting tricky foes across different planes or seeking to preserve the balance between worlds. In battle, they can zip around the battlefield, dishing out extra damage. Whether you’re gearing up for a multiversal campaign or just want a class that’s simple but effective, we’ll teach you this Ranger subclass’ main features and build options.

If you know you want to play a Ranger 5e, but haven’t quite decided between the DnD Horizon Walker, or other great options like the Gloom Stalker 5e, you might want to take a look at our DnD Ranger subclasses guide. And if what you find here leaves you unsatisfied, you can go back to the drawing board with our extensive guide to all the different DnD subclasses.

Now, read on to find out more about the plane-powered Horizon Walker Ranger:

Art showing a mage going all blurry

Horizon Walker spells

The Horizon Walker 5e gets access to a range of DnD spells unique to this Ranger subclass. Most are based around mobility or the multiverse, and every one of them can be pretty useful.

Level Spell
3rd Protection from Evil and Good
5th Misty Step
9th Haste
13th Banishment
17th Teleportation Circle
  • Protection from Evil and Good: A powerful buff that can protect you or a friend against a wide range of common DnD monster types.
  • Misty Step: A classic spell for getting up in a vulnerable enemy’s face or for getting out of danger when your HP runs low.
  • Haste: Another strong offensive buff, one you’ll likely cast on yourself so you can keep your damage output high. You do need concentration 5e to maintain the spell, so this is one worth planning around.
  • Banishment: A powerful spell that can remove the strongest foe from the equation. It is a bit sad when it whiffs, however, and your Horizon Walker Ranger may not have the best spell save DC.
  • Teleportation Circle: A classic utility spell that’ll make overland travel encounters a thing of the past.DnD horizon walker art showing a ranger looking at a dragon

Horizon Walker 5e subclass features

Here are all the unique features and abilities you’ll unlock as your Horizon Walker Ranger progresses and levels up.

Detect Portal

Level: 3rd

When you first select the Horizon Walker 5e subclass, you get the ability to detect planar portals. You can magically sense their distance and direction, within one mile of you.

Obviously, the usefulness of this ability is going to depend heavily on your DM, and what kind of DnD campaign you’re playing in. In a nautical campaign where you’re traveling between islands, it might never come up. In a multiverse campaign that involves visiting multiple DnD planes, it might be a vital piece of your party’s toolkit.

Planar Warrior

Level: 3rd, upgrades at 11th

Fortunately, the Horizon Walker 5e gets another 3rd level ability that’s immediately strong. The flavor of this ability is you can channel the power of the multiverse into your attack. Mechanically, what happens is you target a creature as a bonus action. The next time you hit them with a weapon attack, all your damage becomes the force type, and you deal an extra 1d8 damage (2d8 at level 11).

Obviously that’s pretty fantastic. Free bonus damage is never something to sniff at, and here you even get to access one of the best DnD damage types, which almost nothing can resist. The only downside is that this uses up your bonus action on most turns, making some feats less viable.

You also need to consider whether it’s worth using your built-in Hunter’s Mark (which also uses the bonus action) in combat, or just ignoring it altogether to keep the force damage flowing.

art showing a man with half ghostly hands

Ethereal Step

Level: 7th

Another feature that looks to hog your bonus action, but luckily this one you’ll use outside of combat more often than in it. Each short rest you can cast a special variant of the spell Etherealness, which only lasts one turn instead of 8 hours.

This single feature can give the Horizon Walker 5e some functionality similar to the DnD Rogue. Locked doors will present no obstacle for you, and you can invisibly slip through a wall, or past a guard, with ease.

Distant Strike

Level: 11th

Distant Strike is like a mini Misty Step that you get to use every time you attack. Not only do you get to teleport 10 feet on each attack, if you’re able to attack two different creatures with the ‘attack’ action (super easy for a martial class like the Ranger, which automatically unlocks Extra Attack at 5th level) you can make another free attack against a third opponent.

It’s not perfect when you really need to focus fire on one creature, but whizzing around the battlefield, whittling away the enemies’ forces or taking down a pack, is one of the coolest aspects of the Horizon Walker.

Spectral Defense

Level: 15th

After so many abilities based on movement and dealing damage, it seems a little odd that the Horizon Walker’s capstone ability is one that’s purely defensive. Spectral Defense lets you slip between planes to resist damage. Whenever you take damage, you can use your reaction to gain resistance to it.

It’s a pretty simple and straightforward effect, but it gives this Ranger subclass a lot more staying power in a fight. It’s similar to the Rogue’s Uncanny Dodge, just granting resistance instead of automatically halving incoming damage. In most cases, that’s pretty much the same thing.

Art showing a drow ranger

Best Horizon Walker 5e builds

You don’t have to do too much work to make a powerful Horizon Walker 5e build. A DnD elf or DnD halfling is often a good choice for this subclass, simply for the bonus to dexterity.

One of the interesting things about the Horizon Walker is that some of the go-to DnD 5e feats for Rangers are not such appealing options for this subclass. For instance, with multiple abilities utilizing your bonus action, you probably don’t want to take Crossbow Expert.

Sharpshooter is also less clear cut, since missing more often will reduce the damage of your Planar Warrior ability. You might want it just for the mitigations to long-range attacks, however, since this can make your extra attack from Distant Strike very simple to pull off.

With some of the more popular Ranger feats looking less tasty, what feats should you take? Well, Elven Accuracy is always a great option if you’re playing an elf Ranger. Or you could not worry about synergy so much, and round out your character a bit more with a feat like Skill Expert.

For more DnD content, check out our lengthy guides to all the different DnD races and DnD classes.