Whether you’re fighting or smiting, being a Paladin is pretty great. Here are the five best Paladin subclasses.
Paladins are a class of special bean unto themselves. Where Fighters rely on strength of arms, and magic-users relied on spells, Paladins get to blend both. And in 5th Edition, one of the best things you can be is a Paladin. In fact overall, Paladins are one of the stronger classes. Not overpowered, but they’re good enough that subclass almost doesn’t matter. Even so, the right subclass can take you even further.
With an array of Oaths that you can swear to follow and uphold what should you pick? Do you Devote yourself to healing the needy? Do you swear an Oath of Vengeance? For our money, these are the five best fighter subclasses in 5th Edition.
Oath of Watchers
Oath of the Watchers Paladins are one of the new Paladin subclasses introduced in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything. They’re dedicated to protecting the mortal realm from extraplanar threats, and if that sounds rad? Congratulations, you’ve got good taste.
They’re also one of the better Paladin subclasses out there. Just being a Paladin gets you so much good stuff it’s hard to stand out, even the weakest Paladin subclasses have a lot going for them. But, the Oath of the Watchers gets you some pretty spicy bonus spells, most notably Counterspell, so you can shut down spellcasters. And at level 7 you get to give everyone within 10 feet of you that you choose your proficiency bonus to their initiative. Which is huge.
Oath of Glory
Oath of Glory Paladins are great. They’re charged with heading out to kick butt in the name of adventure and greatness. They’re also able to use their Channel Divinity to give their allies temporary hit points at a rate that scales extremely well with level.
Alongside all of this, you get to be a Paladin. And you get to be a Paladin that can cast Haste. And Heroism. Sure, it has its flaws: the Aura of Alacrity is one of the worst auras you can get. But it’s not enough to deny the utility of this Paladin flavor, or to give it a place of honor among the top five.
Oath of Vengeance
The Oath of Vengeance Paladin is all about pursuing evil and making sure justice is meted out. Usually at the point of a sword. But hey, this is D&D. Most things are meted out at swordpoint.
Like the Oath of Glory you get some amazing spells on your list with this subclass. Only it’s even better. Not only do you get Haste, you get Misty Step at 5th level, which is amazing for anyone, especially a Paladin. On top of that, you can use your Channel Divinity to frighten one creature for a full minute, or to halve the speed of your target even if they save.
This lets you shut down or at least severely inconvenience a foe. Or you can Channel Divinity to give yourself advantage against one creature until you drop it. And at 7th level, your Aura is a fantastic ability that won’t always come up, but will feel great whenever it does. You get to move as part of your opportunity attacks.
Oath of Devotion
Probably the most classic Paladin, and consequently one of the strongest. The Oath of Devotion is the one to take if you want to feel the most like a Paladin. It’s also one of the best ones you can pick up.
You get decent spells and your Channel Divinity lets you add your Charisma modifier to your attack rolls, ensuring that you can hit a target even harder. Of course, you’ll want to make sure you don’t use it on a trivial fight–it lasts a minute but if you shut the enemy down after two rounds, was it worth it?
Even so, this Paladin gets Dispel Magic and Lesser Restoration, making it even Paladin-ier.
Oath of Conquest
The only thing better is probably the Oath of Conquest. Which is one of the least Paladin-y Paladins. But people love it, and it’s not hard to see why.
This is the Paladin all about fear and loathing (and not just in Las Vegas). You get Command and Spiritual Weapon, which can help you in a fight. As well you get Fear, which as a spell plays extremely well with your Subclass.
The whole subclass fits together. Every element feeds into the rest. Your Channel Divinity options either make you hit real hard, turning a miss into a hit OR you can frighten each target you choose within 30 feet. And you want to do that, because when you do, you start damaging your enemies.
At 7th level your Aura of Conquest immobilizes and damages any creature within 10 feet of you that is frightened of you. It’s the gift that keeps on giving.
What are your picks for best D&D Paladin Subclass? Let us know in the comments!