D&D: The Five Most Powerful Multiclass Melee Builds in 5E
Multiclassing makes D&D weird, broken, and fun. Here are five of the most powerful multiclass melee builds in 5th Edition.
The single most beloved yet technically optional rule in D&D is the multiclassing rule. This one rule is responsible for some of the most powerful builds in the game. And that’s true whether you’re going for magic or melee. As a result, there are plenty of guides to finding the best multiclass combinations.
Figuring out which class components fit together is one of the true joys of tinkering with the 5th Edition rules. There are moments when you realize just how these moving parts fit together to open up doors. Or, in this case, to do lots of damage with melee attacks. Here are five of the most powerful multiclass melee builds in D&D.
Here’s one that doesn’t rely too much on magic. This is an outlier for D&D, where most of the best melee characters are looking to find a way to cast spells that they then hit people with. But it brings no end of delight.
Start as a Fighter, and become an Echo Knight. Take two levels of Barbarian so you can rage and make reckless attacks. Then pick up a few levels of Ranger, enough to become a Gloomstalker. From then on, you can go nova with your action surge and Echo Knight attacks to deal massive amounts of damage at any level. This build really comes online at Fighter 5 / Barbarian 2 / Ranger 3. But oh the fun you’ll have along the way.
Great Weapon Mastery is a must. As is savoring the look on your DM’s face when they realize how many attacks you’re making in a round.
Fighter / Wizard
This one is a tried and true classic from the old D&D days. All the strength and resilience of a Fighter, with the magical might of a Wizard. And in 5th Edition, the Fighter / Wizard combo can take many flavors. But one of the best is to take Fighter just enough to become a Battlemaster (for your Maneuvers and heavy armor proficiency). Then the rest of your levels are in Wizard, and specifically in War Mage.
Swing around a greatsword, use a green-flame blade or booming blade for even more damage, and your Warmage abilities play very well with your defenses. You’ll be extremely tanky for a Wizard, and with options like Menacing Attack, Precision Attack, and Pushing Attack working with you, and counterspell helping you Power Surge into your melee attacks you’ll be absolutely stellar.
Take the War Caster and Alert feats when you can to make sure you always go first, and that you can cast spells as an opportunity attack.
This one is a classic 5E combo build. Commonly known as the Hexadin. This combo puts you in Heavy Armor and focuses entirely on your Charisma modifier. So you’ll be the sexiest knight in shining armor, with a ton of smiting abilities.
The classic build is to start as a Paladin, take your 2nd level as Warlock (Hexblade), and then stay with Paladin until your campaign ends in glory or fire. If you can start with Polearm Mastery, from playing a Custom Lineage or variant human, you’ll be ready to go. Take a Spear, get in there, and start smiting away until you run out of spells.
The other big Melee combo. Known as the Sorcadin, this build doubles down on smites, since you’ll have so much more in terms of spell slots.
Sorcadins typically start as Paladins to get their full suite of proficiencies, most especially Heavy Armor and the aura of protection. It’s Paladin 6/Sorcerer X. In many ways, your spell selection as a Sorcerer is even more gravy on top of an already delicious core character build.
Cleric / Sorcerer
Finally, we have the rare melee Cleric / Sorcerer option. This build is mostly Cleric. The sorcerer is there mostly so you can pick up the Green Flame Blade and/or Booming Blade cantrips.
You’ll want to play a Nature Cleric so you can pick up the Druid Cantrip Shillelagh. This gives you the core of your melee might. And as you level up, your Cleric and Sorcerer feature plays well with each other, as you use Green Flame or Booming Blade to cast a spell and make an attack with your Shillelagh. Top all that off with being a full Spellcaster and you’ve got whatever you want at your disposal.