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DnD Oath of Vengeance 5e subclass guide

The Dungeons and Dragons Oath of Vengeance 5e Paladin believes in protecting the weak and righting wrongs - with smites, spells, and steel.

DnD Oath of Vengeance 5e - Wizards of the Coast art of a Paladin fighting a monster

A DnD Oath of Vengeance Paladin is about as close as this class gets to Batman. Justice is your primary motivation, but there’s a dark edge to your Oath. After all, it’s revenge you’ve promised to bring to evil-doers. An eye for an eye is your motto – no mercy, no stopping. If this sounds like a Paladin you can get on board with, we’ve got a handy Oath of Vengeance 5e subclass guide to help you start playing.

If you want to learn more about the DnD Paladin in general, our dedicated DnD classes guide can teach you more. Here you’ll find all the specifics of this one DnD subclass, including the DnD races and 5e feats to complement your DnD character build.

Here’s everything you need to know about the DnD Oath of Vengeance:

DnD Oath of Vengeance 5e - Wizards of the Coast art of a Paladin in full metal armor

DnD Oath of Vengeance Tenets

An Oath of Vengeance Paladin swears to punish the deserving. Justice is more important than anything else, and it’s their job to make sure individuals who cause harm get their just deserts. These are the core Oath of Vengeance tenets:

  • Fight the Greater Evil – Target those hurting the world the most first, regardless of personal grudges or outside pleas.
  • No Mercy for the Wicked – Those who do evil never get to escape justice.
  • By Any Means Necessary – You must destroy the evildoers you set out to punish, whatever the price.
  • Restitution – Justice also means helping those hurt by evil acts, not just avenging them.

If you’re playing a Vengeance Paladin, you might work with your DM to establish some more tenets, or tweak these to fit the particular DnD god you worship. Whatever your tenets become, be sure to remember them during your DnD campaign. Failing to follow them will turn you into an Oathbreaker – a different DnD Paladin subclass entirely.

DnD Oath of Vengeance 5e - Wizards of the Coast art of a Paladin

DnD Oath of Vengeance subclass features

As you gain DnD level ups, you’ll unlock various Oath of Vengeance subclass features. These are:

Channel Divinity

Level: Three

A Vengeance Paladin gets two versions of Channel Divinity. The first, ‘Abjure Enemy’, lets you frighten an enemy. Simply use your action to say a prayer and show off your holy symbol.

If a target you can see within 60 feet fails a Wisdom saving throw, it’s frightened for one minute or until it takes damage, and its speed becomes zero. On a successful save, it isn’t frightened, but its speed is halved for the same duration. Fiends and undead have disadvantage on the saving throw, but any creature that’s immune to being frightened remains unaffected.

The second Channel Divinity option is ‘Vow of Enmity’. As a bonus action, you can say a vow, targeting a creature you can see within ten feet. This gives you advantage on attack rolls against the target for one minute. The effect ends early if it drops to zero hit points or becomes unconscious.

Oath Spells

Level: Three

Each DnD Paladin gains access to a list of Oath Spells when they choose their subclass. For the Vengeance Paladin, these are:

Paladin level Spells
3 Bane, Hunter’s Mark
5 Hold Person, Misty Step
9 Haste, Protection from Energy
13 Banishment, Dimension Door
17 Hold Monster, Scrying

There aresome excellent DnD spells in this selection. Hold Person, Hold Monster, and Banishment all help you manipulate the battlefield. Similarly, Bane and Hunter’s Mark can force your foes’ hands and make them attack specific targets. With Misty Step, you can hop from place to place with ease, too.

DnD Oath of Vengeance 5e - Wizards of the Coast art of a Paladin fighting goblins

Relentless Avenger

Level: Seven

When you successfully hit a creature with a DnD opportunity attack, Relentless Avenger lets you move up to half your speed immediately after the attack. This movement counts as part of your reaction, and it doesn’t provoke any further opportunity attacks from nearby enemies.

Soul of Vengeance

Level: 15

If a creature you’ve targeted with Vow of Enmity makes an attack, Soul of Vengeance lets you spend your reaction to make a melee DnD weapon attack against that creature. This only triggers if the target is in range, though.

Avenging Angel

Level: 20

This feature quite literally turns you into an Avenging Angel. Spend an action, and you get the following for an hour:

  • Wings with a flying speed of 60 feet
  • An aura with a 30-foot radius that frightens enemies if they start their turn in range and fail a Wisdom saving throw. Attacks against frightened enemies have advantage.

Once you’ve used this feature, you’ll need a DnD long rest before you can use it again.

DnD Oath of Vengeance 5e - Wizards of the Coast art of a Paladin holding a shield

DnD Oath of Vengeance build tips


When it comes to DnD stats, Paladins have a lot to juggle. They need great Strength for weapon attacks, Constitution to help them survive on the frontline, and a decent Charisma score for spellcasting. When it comes to prioritizing, we recommend tackling them in this order: Strength, then Charisma, and then Constitution. Everything else can be dumped to save points for these three stats.


There’s a huge number of suitable races for a Vengeance Paladin, especially with the custom ability score rules in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything. That being said, we have a few favorites:

  • DnD Dragonborn – Mainly picked for their Strength and Charisma buffs, but resistance to an extra DnD damage type never hurts.
  • DnD Dwarf – If you want to build a Tank-y Paladin, the Mountain Dwarf covers your Strength and Constitution. Dwarves also get plenty of proficiencies and resistance against poison.
  • DnD Half-Elf – +2 to Charisma and +1 to two other ability scores is an excellent spread for a Paladin. Plus, you can choose extra proficiencies or DnD cantrips from the various subraces.
  • DnD Half-Orc – Gets buffs to Strength and Constitution, plus the Relentless Endurance feature, which staves off DnD death saves if you ever hit zero hit points.
  • Variant DnD Human – With so many stats to balance, a free feat is incredibly valuable. Plus, you can put your stat boosts wherever you like.


If you’re tempted to choose a feat for your Vengeance Paladin, there are three standout options:

  • Fey Touched – +1 Charisma and the ability to cast Misty Step for free once a day. This means you can save an extra spell slot for some Paladin smiting.
  • Polearm Master – Combine this with a Versatile weapon and the Dueling Fighting Style, and you can make double the attacks with a +2 attack bonus.
  • Sentinel – You can make opportunity attacks more often, and they’re much more effective.

For more character options, here are the DnD backgrounds you might consider for your Vengeance Paladin. We can also help you find the right DnD character sheets and DnD dice for your first session.