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D&D 5E Guide: How To Multiclass – Fighter

5 Minute Read
Sep 20 2021
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Multiclassing in Dungeons & Dragons opens up a door of possibilities for PCs. Today we’re taking a look at how you can multiclass if you’re a Fighter.

Fighters are the most popular class in Dungeons & Dragons, and a big reason for that is that they’re so straightforward and accessible that just about anyone can play one. They’re the easiest class to pick up and play, they are incredibly strong in the early game (which is often most people’s exposure to D&D), and they are just plain fun. As a result of this accessibility and the broad synergy that’s inherent to the core part of the Fighter, they’re also one of the most popular choices to multiclass. Let’s take a look.

Fighters are skilled with the blade or bow or whatever weapon they decide to pick up. But they’re so much more than just skilled soldiers. They are tough, some use magic, and most have a trick or two that plays extraordinarily well with other classes. It all comes down to a few things that fighter gets early on.

We’re talking about Second Wind (which lets you heal yourself) and more importantly, Action Surge, which is one of the best abilities in the game. This ability alone is often why characters will pick up two levels of fighter. With Action Surge, once per rest you can gain an additional action on your turn, which every other class loves. Spellcasters can cast two spells or cantrips, but even if you’re not doing magic, there’s always something to be gained from another action.

But what if you are playing (mostly) a Fighter? Then there’s a few things to consider, but generally you can either look to complement your martial abilities or look for extra abilities to help round out the fighter’s limited focus.

Fight Better

Perhaps the best thing you can do as a fighter’s is multiclass into a class that makes you fight harder, better, faster, or stronger. You’ll need a strength or dexterity score of at least 13 to multiclass out of fighter, which makes it easy to multiclass into barbarian or ranger, and if you’re looking to deal extra damage, these two classes are some of the best options.

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Barbarians and fighters give you access to increased fighting abilities. With barbarian rage and the increased damage from reckless attacks, you get a lot out of just two levels. Mechanically speaking, though, there’s a lot more depending on how you stretch out your levels. Totem and Zealot barbarians pair especially well with fighters, enabling them to buff themselves up or sustain through tough fights.

Rangers and fighters make for some fantastically versatile range combatants. You’ll need a Dexterity and Wisdom of 13 to qualify, but it gets you access to so many tools for dealing extra damage. Like hunter’s mark and the extra damage dealing options of a ranger subclass, and that’s before we add in spells–you can stack on a surprising amount of damage to every arrow. Pick something like Battlemaster Fighter or Arcane Archer and you’ll watch the damage climb.

Paladins and fighters are another great mix. If ranger supports fighters being ranged, then paladin is a way to make your melee mightier. You’ll need a Strength and Charisma of 13, but if you manage that, picking up even 2-3 levels of paladin is a tremendous force-multiplier for your melee attacks. This is one of the few classes to combo alright with Eldritch Knight (though even that’s tricky), but Divine Smite and features like the Oath of Vengeance’s bonus damage will make your melee attacks go further and faster. It’s not necessarily the fastest spell progression, as multiclass spell progression is slower–but if you want to add some extra divine might, fighter/paladin can be a great way to go.

Well-Rounded Education

Outside of that? Fighters often pair well with a class that gets them extra abilities outside of combat. This is where the classic fighter/rogue combo fits in, as well as options that just take the excellent chassis of a fighter and slap magic on it wherever they can. Let’s take a look..

Rogues and fighters can be tricky to balance, because rogue really really wants to focus on rogue to make the most out of sneak attack, and fighter rewards you the higher level you go as a fighter with more attacks, but if you can balance out what you want out of each of them (typically 4 or 6 levels of fighter and layer in Rogue to taste) you’ll find that you have all the skills you could possibly need, and you’ll always have something to do with one of your bonus actions. Even just picking up two levels of rogue gets you a lot of bang for your buck.

Warlocks and fighters mix together surprisingly well. Fighters can actually enable the Pact of the Blade option without having to rely on the Hexblade Patron, which means you can pick up one of the other patrons as a subclass and get real creative. If you want a lot of flexible options that keep your fighter ready with a bit of magical mischief, Fighter/Archfey Warlock or Fighter/Infernal Warlock are a  great way to go. Pick pact of the blade, and you’ll probably still want Eldritch Blast because it’s that good of a ranged weapon, but you’ll be able to use all the melee abilities that most warlocks never mess with.

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Clerics and fighters are another powerful combo. The trick here is to figure out how much Cleric you want. Even a little bit opens up a ton of options. The downside to this class is you often miss out on some of the more powerful higher level cleric spells if you take, say, three levels of fighter before picking up three levels of cleric. And fighters want three levels of cleric for the extra Spiritual Weapon which can help their bonus action damage routine very well–but if you hit higher levels, fighter/cleric can bust out a great deal of magical damage combo’d with a surprising amount of staying power.

Anyway that’s what it looks like when multiclassing as a fighter. The tricky thing is to figure out just how much fighter you want–but hopefully these combos will get your brain cooking.

D&D 5E Fighter Guide

Happy Adventuring, and let us know your favorite fighter multiclass builds in the comments!

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