Paladins can often be an easily overlooked class to create in Dungeons & Dragons. For some, these might not be the most exciting characters to create, but overall they’re good at both offense and defense with some supportive abilities as well. If you give your paladin time to grow and adapt the many useful skills he has on his side, he will be a real boon to your party. Here are some suggestions for you if you are trying to build a paladin to hit your enemies.
Your choice of race for your paladin will leave you with a few viable options that all have their benefits. Paladins will want to have a lot of strength and build for their physical prowess, but be sure to include as much charisma as possible as is their spellcasting ability. Here are some of our favorite picks for Paladins and why you should consider them.
- Aasimar – plus two for charisma and one for constitution if you choose the scourge sub-race or one for strength if the sub-race has fallen.
- Dragonborn – plus two to strength and one to charisma. They have a resistance to the element of their dragon ancestry.
- Dwarf – plus two for constitution and two for strength if you choose the mountain dwarf sub-race. You are proficient in battle axes, hand axes, light hammers, and war hammers.
- Half-Elf – plus two charisma and one to two other abilities of your choice. Master two skills of your choice and gain an advantage over charm. Magic cannot put you to sleep.
- Half-Orc – plus two to strength and one to constitution. When you drop to zero health, you automatically recover one, and critical hits with melee weapons give you an additional damage dice roll. Automatic Bullying Mastery, which works in your charismatic uses.
- Human – plus one for all ability scores. An easy choice if you want a full paladin.
All of the above choices are our favorites for Paladins, but of course choose the race that you think will be the most fun for your Paladin.
When you reach level two, you choose one of four fighting styles that give specific bonuses. In all fairness, all four options are good, so pick the one you want the most.
- Defense gives a bonus to your armor class.
- Dueling gives an additional two to your damage rolls while holding a weapon.
- Great Weapon Combat gives you an extra roll on one or two attack rolls.
- Protection gives enemies a disadvantage on attack rolls when searching for nearby allies.
Although they are not dedicated spellcasters, Paladins do have a few useful spells they can use. From level two, you can use spells enhanced by your charisma modifier. These are the spells that we recommend that you enter at each level. For more details on them, be sure to check out the player manual or check out the D&D Beyond spell list. As with everything else in this article, choose the spells you personally want.
At the third level, you take an oath to the deity you serve to strive for them forever. At the third, seventh, 15th and 20th level, you get certain features depending on your choice. Here are the three sacred paths you can choose from in the order we recommend.
1. Oath of devotion
With the Oath of Devotion, you commit to being courageous, honest, and compassionate to those around you. You have given a lot of thought to your honor and your duty.
You gain these spells when you reach each level.
- 3rd: Protection against evil and good, sanctuary
- 5th: Lesser restoration, zone of truth
- 9: Beacon of Hope, dispelling the magic
- 13: Freedom of movement, guardian of the faith
- 17th: Commune, Flame Strike
At the third level, you gain a sacred weapon and render the unholy. The sacred weapon adds your charisma modifier to your weapon’s attack rolls for one minute. Turn the Unholy keeps demons and the living dead away from you. If they fail a wisdom saving throw, they continually pull away from you.
At the seventh level, you and your teammates within 10 feet cannot be charmed. At level 18, the range extends up to 30 feet.
Purity of mind
At 15th level, you still have protection from evil and good active.
At level 20, you have proven that you are a beacon of light in the world. For one minute, the light shines on you, and creatures within 30 feet of you begin their turn with ten radiant damage. You also have advantage on saving throws against demon and undead spells.
2. Oath of revenge
The Oath of Vengeance paladins are dedicated to eradicating evil from the world. They are always looking to bring them down quickly and mercilessly.
- You add these spells when you reach each level.
- 3rd: Bane, Hunter’s Mark
- 5th: Hold the person, misty stage
- 9th: Haste, energy protection
- 13th: banishment, dimensional gate
- 17th: Hold the monster
At the third level, you gain Abjure Enemy and Vow of Inmity. Abjure Enemy can pick an enemy and make them scared of you and can’t move (if they fail the save). Enmity Vow gives you an advantage against creatures within 3 yards of you.
At seventh level, when attacking enemies of opportunity, you can move half your movement speed to get closer to fleeing enemies.
Soul of revenge
At level 15, Vow of Inmity allows you to use a reaction to attack the affected enemy with your melee weapon if it is in range.
At level 20, you gain the following features for one hour. Wings shoot out from your back and you can fly at a speed of 60 feet, and you emit a 30-foot aura that scares enemies inside who fail a wisdom saving throw and gives all allies an advantage. against them if they are afraid.
3. Oath of elders
The Oath of the Elders sees you fighting to build hope in the world. Looking to encourage others and make the world a little brighter for everyone with the help of nature.
Add these spells to your list when you reach the appropriate level.
- 3rd: Captivating strike, talk to animals
- 5th: Misty Step, Moonbeam
- 9th: Plant growth, protection against energy
- 13: Ice Storm, Stone Skin
- 17th: Communion with nature, Tree Stride
At the third level, you gain the wrath of nature and turn the infidels. Nature’s Wrath allows you to try and trap a nearby creature in sacred vines. If it fails a force or dexterity saving throw, the creature is retained. Turn the Faithless works the same as Turn the Unholy, except it works on fey and demons, not undead.
At 7th level, you and your nearby allies have resistance to spell damage. At level 18, the range is 30 feet.
At 15th level, when your health points drop to zero, you recover one. You also don’t show any signs of age and can’t magically age.
At level 20, you can become an ancient force of nature for one minute. During this time, you heal for ten health each turn, paladin spells become bonus actions, and nearby enemies have disadvantages against your spells.