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A complete guide to DnD subclasses

Here you’ll find a list of all Dungeons and Dragons subclasses, complete with quick summaries and easy navigation to help you start playing.

DnD subclasses - Wizards of the Coast art of an adventuring party fighting goblins

Even if you know what Dungeons and Dragons class you want to play, there are an enormous number of DnD subclasses to choose from. Many cross over thematically, but each has a distinct identity and its own selection of in-game abilities. What a new player needs is a complete list of the 5e subclasses – and as it happens, here they are.

We cover each of the DnD classes and every character option from every DnD book. You’ll need to head to our other guides if you’re still choosing DnD backgrounds, DnD races, or DnD feats, though.

Here’s an overview of each of the DnD subclasses:

Wizards of the Coast art of an Artificer, one of the DnD classes

DnD Artificer subclasses

The four DnD Artificer subclasses are:

  • DnD Alchemist – Produce useful elixirs, and use your alchemist supplies to heal (or harm) more effectively.
  • DnD Armorer – Don magical armor that keeps you alive while you deal heaps of damage.
  • DnD Artillerist – Want to bring a flamethrower to a sword fight? Now you can – with maximum destruction.
  • DnD Battle Smith – A more defensive Artificer who can bring construct companions to battle.

If you want to learn more about this class in general, here’s a complete DnD Artificer guide that can walk you through. 

DnD subclasses - Wizards of the Coast art of a Leonin

DnD Barbarian subclasses

There are currently nine DnD Barbarian subclasses. These are:

  • Path of the Ancestral Guardian – Summon spirits that defend your party in battle and offer useful insights.
  • Path of the Battlerager – A Dwarf-only subclass with special spiked armor.
  • Path of the Beast – Transform into a Beast when you rage and use your body as a weapon.
  • Path of the Berserker – Frighten foes and make extra attacks when you rage, but the cost is a level of DnD exhaustion.
  • Path of the Giant – Throw your enemies around and infuse your attacks with elemental energy.
  • Path of the Storm Herald – Create an elemental aura that grants you extra damage and resistance to different DnD damage types.
  • Path of the Totem Warrior – Choose a totem animal that gives you a range of combat abilities.
  • Path of the Zealot – Divine powers let you change dice results and basically come back from the dead.
  • DnD Wild Magic Barbarian – Every time you rage, kooky magical effects occur.

Struggling to choose a Primal Path? We’ve ranked our favorites in a dedicated Barbarian subclasses 5e guide, and our full DnD Barbarian guide can advise on all Barb builds. 

DnD subclasses - Wizards of the Coast art of a Dragonborn Bard

DnD Bard subclasses

These are the eight DnD Bard subclasses:

  • College of Creation – Create magical effects, objects, or even sentient household items to help you out.
  • College of Eloquence – You’re a master of persuasion, which inspires your allies to perform better on rolls.
  • College of Glamour – Fey magic lets you charm and command your way through most situations.
  • College of Lore – You know everything about everything, which translates into a lot of successful ability checks and extra spells.
  • College of Spirits – Reach out to spirits who can boost your chances of success and teach you new abilities.
  • College of Swords – You’re still a Bard, but you get a fighting style and some fancy sword attacks.
  • College of Valor – You’re better at weapon attacks, and you make your allies better at them, too.
  • College of Whispers – You can make weapon attacks that deal extra psychic damage, and you’re a master of manipulation and disguise.

Our ranked DnD Bard subclasses guide can help you discover your muse, and our full Bard 5e class guide is a fountain of inspiration, too. 

DnD subclasses - Wizards of the Coast art of a Cleric

DnD Cleric subclasses

There are a whopping 14 DnD Cleric subclasses. These are:

  • DnD Arcana Cleric – You’re especially powerful against otherworldly DnD monsters, and you have a particularly potent spell list.
  • DnD Death Cleric – You’re all about dealing necrotic damage.
  • DnD Forge Cleric – Create and wield weapons and armor for the front lines of battle.
  • DnD Grave Cleric – You’re in touch with life and death in equal measure, which is great for both healing and damage-dealing.
  • DnD Knowledge Cleric – You get a heap of extra proficiencies, the ability to read minds, and visions from the past.
  • DnD Life Cleric – The ultimate healing Cleric who can deal a bit of divine damage, too.
  • DnD Light Cleric – Use light to distract enemies and rain fiery hell down on your enemies.
  • DnD Nature Cleric – Charm beasts and commune with nature, while also doing regular Cleric things.
  • DnD Order Cleric – A supportive Cleric that can manipulate the world around them to get results.
  • DnD Peace Cleric – A defensive Cleric that avoids violence, but is surprisingly useful in battle.
  • DnD Tempest Cleric – Use the elements to deal a bunch of damage and move friends and foes across the battlefield.
  • DnD Trickery Cleric – Use illusions to confuse and obscure.
  • DnD Twilight Cleric – A partial martial Cleric who is more effective in the dark.
  • DnD War Cleric – You’re an offensive Cleric who can deal and take some serious hits.

Our full Cleric 5e class guide gives a broader view of this particular class. Plus, if you’re overwhelmed by choice, our ranked DnD Cleric subclasses guide can narrow down your options. 

DnD subclasses - Wizards of the Coast art of Druids

DnD Druid subclasses

The seven DnD Druid subclasses are:

  • Circle of Dreams – You gain Fey blessings that help you heal and discover hidden paths.
  • Circle of Spores – Reanimate the dead and deal damage with necrotic spores.
  • Circle of Stars – Your connection to the stars gives you a better range of spells and various combat abilities.
  • Circle of the Land – Your spells are all based on the land you hail from, and you’re harder to pin down in one place.
  • Circle of the Moon – Stay in Wild Shape for longer during combat, and deal better hits in your beast form.
  • Circle of the Shepherd – Call on animal spirits to boost your abilities, and summon better allies from the natural world.
  • Circle of Wildfire – Summon a spirit ally to fight alongside you, and both help and harm with the power of fire.

Our ranked DnD Druid subclasses guide will tell you how these compare against each other, and you can find a fuller description of each Circle in our dedicated DnD Druid class guide. 

DnD subclasses - Wizards of the Coast art of a Fighter

DnD Fighter subclasses

There are technically 11 DnD Fighter subclasses in the game right now (one unofficial, and the rest from official books). These are:

  • DnD Arcane Archer – Choose from a range of special shots you can make with a bolstered bow and arrow.
  • DnD Battle Master – A variety of combat maneuvers help you turn the tide in battle.
  • DnD Cavalier – You’re a mounted warrior who loves to duel and charge your foes.
  • DnD Champion – A simple Fighter who gets extra combat options and a better chance of scoring critical hits.
  • DnD Eldritch Knight – Steal some spellcasting abilities from the Wizards, and combine them with your Fighter skills.
  • DnD Psi Warrior – Spend Psionic energy dice on a range of abilities, many of which focus on telekinesis.
  • DnD Purple Dragon Knight – A charismatic Fighter who hails from a specific part of the Sword Coast.
  • DnD Rune Knight – Add magical runes to your weapons for a vast variety of combat bonuses.
  • DnD Samurai – A Fighter with a huge pool of temporary hit points to play with, as well as some social skills.
  • DnD Echo Knight – Teleport around the battlefield and confuse the heck out of your enemies.
  • DnD Gunslinger – You’re a Fighter, but now you’ve got a gun.

We’ve created a ranked DnD Fighter subclasses guide to help you find a playstyle that suits you. Plus, here’s a full DnD Fighter class guide to go over the finer points of the class. 

DnD subclasses - Wizards of the Coast art of a Monk

DnD Monk subclasses

Here are the ten DnD Monk subclasses:

  • Way of Mercy – Heal your friends, and hit your foes with a range of negative conditions.
  • Way of Shadow – You’re a master of stealth and can even turn invisible in the right conditions.
  • Way of the Ascendant Dragon – You gain the wings and breath abilities of a literal dragon.
  • Way of the Astral Self – Sprout spectral body parts that can attack or aid you in battle.
  • Way of the Drunken Master – Duck and weave with extra agility, and get a little extra luck on your side.
  • Way of the Four Elements – Channel the elements to cast a range of helpful spells.
  • Way of the Kensei – You’re a weapons master with improved melee attacks.
  • Way of the Long Death – Frighten enemies and steal their life force to give to your friends.
  • Way of the Open Hand – Gain a number of defensive abilities that keep you on top in hand-to-hand combat.
  • Way of the Sun Soul – Attack and defend with the concentrated power of the sun.

We’ve shared our thoughts on which Monastic Traditions are best in this DnD Monk subclasses guide. Or, if you just want to learn more about DnD Monks in general, head to our class guide. 

DnD subclasses - Wizards of the Coast art of a Paladin

DnD Paladin subclasses

There are currently nine DnD Paladin subclasses. These are:

  • DnD Conquest Paladin – You’re extra frightening to enemies, hitting hard with weapon attacks and psychic damage.
  • DnD Devotion Paladin – You’re especially good at smiting the undead and dealing radiant damage.
  • DnD Glory Paladin – You’re especially agile in combat and everyone gets to bask in your glory.
  • DnD Redemption Paladin – Defending your friends from harm is the most important thing, in your books.
  • DnD Ancients Paladin – You and your friends become much harder to kill, and you can call on nature to aid you in combat.
  • DnD Crown Paladin – Take charge by Tanking damage, starting duels, and helping your allies stay alive.
  • DnD Watchers Paladin – You’re particularly powerful in a fight against otherworldly beings.
  • DnD Vengeance Paladin – You’re fueled by rage, which means extra attacks, movement, and an aura of menace.
  • Oathbreaker – You broke your Paladin Oath, so now you deal lots of nasty damage.

We’ve ordered these, from worst to best, in a ranked DnD Paladin subclasses guide. If you’re not quite ready to make an oath, you can also learn more about the class in our full DnD Paladin guide. 

DnD subclasses - Wizards of the Coast art of a Ranger

DnD Ranger subclasses

Here are the eight DnD Ranger subclasses:

  • DnD Beast Master – You bring an animal buddy with you everywhere, and they even help in battle.
  • DnD Drakewarden – Instead of an animal buddy, you get an adorable (and very helpful) little dragon.
  • DnD Fey Wanderer – Use Fey magic to charm, frighten, and deceive others, as well as summon Fey.
  • DnD Gloom Stalker – Sneak around in the dark, taking quick shots and dodges from the shadows.
  • DnD Horizon Walker – Focus on force damage and gain the ability to slip between planes and attack from a distance.
  • DnD Hunter – Become a better fighter against large groups of enemies, or just really large enemies.
  • DnD Monster Slayer – Mark a monster as your prey and cause extra problems for it in combat.
  • DnD Swarmkeeper – You get a swarm of bugs or beasties who will do your dark bidding.

Not ready to choose a Ranger Archetype yet? Here’s our favorites, in the form of a ranked DnD Ranger subclasses list. We can also walk you through your next DnD Ranger build with our full class guide. 

DnD subclasses - Wizards of the Coast art of a Rogue

DnD Rogue subclasses

Currently, there are nine DnD Rogue subclasses to choose from. These are:

  • DnD Arcane Trickster – You’re a Rogue, but also a little bit of a Wizard.
  • DnD Assassin – Kill everyone faster, harder, and sneakier than ever before.
  • DnD Inquisitive – You’re designed to do well in social situations and spot weaknesses.
  • DnD Mastermind – Manipulation is a big part of your battle strategy.
  • DnD Phantom – Talk to ghosts who can teach you new skills and help you deal extra damage.
  • DnD Scout – You’re a master of dodges and ambushes, with maximum agility.
  • DnD Soulknife – You have psychic powers that help you communicate, deal damage, and dodge attacks.
  • DnD Swashbuckler – Fancy footwork, swift strikes, and a beefy Charisma modifier are your bread and butter.
  • DnD Thief – You’re great at climbing, sneaking, and stealing.

We have strong opinions on which Roguish Archetypes are best, so we created a ranked DnD Rogue subclasses guide. Our DnD Rogue class guide can also tell you more about these sneak-thieves in general. 

DnD subclasses - Wizards of the Coast art of a Sorcerer

DnD Sorcerer subclasses

These are the eight DnD Sorcerer subclasses:

  • Aberrant Mind Sorcerer – You’re all about telepathy and extra psychic damage, as well as protecting yourself from that very thing.
  • Clockwork Soul Sorcerer – Balance the world with abilities that keep your foes from gaining advantages over you.
  • Divine Soul Sorcerer – You’re friendly with the gods, who grant you divine spells, extra healing, fancy wings, and a few lucky dice rolls.
  • Draconic Bloodline Sorcerer – Depending on what kind of dragon you have ties to, you gain extra elemental bonuses (and a pair of wings).
  • Lunar Sorcery Sorcerer – Your changing abilities are based on the three phases of the moon.
  • Shadow Magic Sorcerer – Teleport through shadows and summon a spooky dog to be your friend.
  • Storm Sorcery Sorcerer – Fly, control the weather, and deal major damage with stormy attacks.
  • Wild Magic Sorcerer – Random effects take place every time you use some magic, and you can bend luck in your favor.

Need help choosing a Sorcerous Origin? You can find the rules for each in our DnD Sorcerer class guide, as well as our personal opinions on each in our ranked DnD Sorcerer subclasses guide. 

DnD subclasses - Wizards of the Coast art of a Warlock

DnD Warlock subclasses

Here are the nine DnD Warlock subclasses:

  • DnD Archfey Warlock – Fey trickery lets you charm others, create illusions, and turn invisible.
  • DnD Celestial Warlock – Heal others and deal a heap of extra radiant damage.
  • DnD Fathomless Warlock – Summon tentacles to fight on your behalf and use the power of the waters to your advantage.
  • DnD Fiend Warlock – Call on fiendish favors to change fate mid-fight.
  • DnD Genie Warlock – Find sanctuary in a Genie’s bottle, and gain small wishes from your patron.
  • DnD Great Old One Warlock – Gain the powers of telepathy, and manipulate the minds of your foes.
  • DnD Hexblade Warlock – Your hexes give you bonus damage and help you dodge attacks
  • DnD Undead Warlock – Transform into a frightening figure with extra hit points, or leave your body entirely and roam the world as a spirit
  • DnD Undying Warlock – A range of abilities makes you hard to kill in almost every way possible.

We’ve ranked these in order in our DnD Warlock subclasses guide. And, for a full rules rundown of each, head to our DnD Warlock class guide. 

DnD subclasses - Wizards of the Coast art of a Wizard

DnD Wizard subclasses

There are 11 possible DnD Wizard subclasses for you to choose from. These are:

  • DnD Abjuration Wizard – Protect yourself with arcane wards and cast better Abjuration spells.
  • DnD Conjuration Wizard – Teleport and conjure objects, and create stronger summons.
  • DnD Divination Wizard – Reroll dice you don’t like and gain supernatural powers of perception.
  • DnD Enchantment Wizard – Charm creatures, alter their memories, and hit multiple targets with Enchantment spells.
  • DnD Evocation Wizard – Cast super powerful Evocation spells that won’t hurt friends that get caught in the firing line.
  • DnD Illusion Wizard – You’re the best at creating believable illusions, including ones of yourself.
  • DnD Necromancy Wizard – Steal the life force of creatures you kill, and create zombies.
  • DnD Transmutation Wizard – Change the shape of ordinary objects and people, or alter the condition of these things entirely.
  • DnD War Magic Wizard – You create power surges that make your spells hit harder in combat, and you’re better able to defend against damage.
  • DnD Chronurgy Wizard – Mess with time itself to gain a range of combat advantages.
  • DnD Graviturgy Wizard – You can alter the very air around you to manipulate the battlefield and deal more damage.

Our full DnD Wizard class guide includes an overview of each. Plus, we’ve ranked each option in our DnD Wizard subclasses guide.

Now you’ve started thinking about your DnD character build, it’s time to grab a DnD character sheet and start playing.