Achieving mastery in a certain field of study is a pursuit that many people find appealing. However, others prefer to become a jack of many trades instead of a master of one. For players who just can't quite decide between two classes, Dungeons and Dragons offers a solution through multiclassing. However, as we'll see in this article, some classes make better pairs than others.
Think of a character's multiclass like a well-constructed meal. A delicious dining experience involves foods that accentuate one another's qualities. Wine and cheese, cookies and milk, and meat and vegetables are all good examples. Similarly, players want the classes of a character's multiclass to bring out the best in one another.
Updated by Noah Smith on September 15th, 2021: To keep this article up to date with the current game, two artificer multiclass options were added to give players more options. With new classes and subclasses alike, there are even more interesting and powerful options to multiclass in.
With this multiclass, players are specifically looking to take advantage of the druid of the moon subclass alongside the barbarian path of the totem warrior subclass. All of the features gained from the barbarian class can be taken advantage of while in wild shape form.
As a result, people can become perhaps the tankiest character in the game as far as mitigation is concerned. The build ultimately gains the extra hp of wild shape form, has resistance to all damage besides psychic, can grant advantage on all attacks, and is able to convert spells slots into healing as a bonus action. Add casting barkskin for 16 AC during a wild shape into the mix and the Barbarian/Druid combo becomes an unstoppable force.
Though the eldritch knight fighter subclass is supposed to fulfill the fantasy of a warrior wizard, if players want access to higher level spells the fighter wizard multiclass will better serve those desires.
The way these builds work is by starting off with two levels of fighter in order to pick up the class' 1d10 hit dice, heavy armor proficiency, defense fighting style, second wind, and action surge. Then, invest all other level-ups into wizard.
By fifth level, an eldritch knight has three first-level spell slots. In comparison, a fifth-level fighter/wizard multiclass has access to four first-level spell slots and two second-level spell slots.
Furthermore, the fighter's action surge ability can be used to cast two spells in a single turn. No other class or multiclass in the game is capable of casting two separate spells in one turn, making the fighter/wizard multiclass especially unique.
The Dungeons and Dragons community has popularized this multiclass into what is now referred to as the "coffeelock". The proper combination of these two classes can provide access to an unlimited number of spell slots, which is something many players consider equivalent to breaking the game.
However, in order to achieve these shenanigans, the sorcerer/warlock must take multiple short rests in a row. Many DMs argue that chaining short rests is another way of taking a long rest, which could devolve the game into an argument about rules interpretations.
If people want to try and take advantage of this exploitative build, ask the dungeon master first. Otherwise, this could very well ruin a table's game night.
The rogue/ranger multiclass draws its power from both classes being dexterity-based. It also combines the additional damage dice each class provides on their melee or ranged attacks.
Pair several things together first: hunter's mark, sneak attack, chosen fighting style, and the colossus slayer or dread ambusher feature (depending on the ranger subclass choice). Then, players end up rolling a fistful of dice every time they make an attack.
It's debatable whether to start as a rogue or ranger and really comes down to what saving throw proficiencies people prefer, as well as whether they're willing to wait until level six for the extra attack feature. After taking five levels in ranger for extra attack, dump the rest of the levels into rogue.
Bard/paladin multiclasses function much in the same way as rogue/ranger ones. Instead of taking advantage of the same combat ability score, the paladin and bard make the most of their shared spellcasting modifier: Charisma.
The multiclass works by taking paladin levels until level five, granting access to extra attack. After that, dump the remainder of your levels into bard. The greatest benefit of this multiclass is the access bard gives players to additional higher-level spell slots.
These higher-level spell slots can be converted into divine smites, allowing for some truly staggering nova damage. To put things into perspective, an eighth-level paladin has access to four first-level spell slots and three second-level ones. Meanwhile, an eight-level paladin/bard multiclass gains four first-level spell slots, three second-level spell slots, and two third-level ones.
This might seem like a curious match-up because this pits the player between two controlling entities. As D&D players know, paladins have their sacred oaths and warlocks have their eldritch pacts. Does the player serve a god/goddess or their master?
The lore implications here are massive as a paladin could have a vengeance pact and a Fey pact or another of any cool combinations. Some fans call this multiclass a "witch knight" and it seems like a ton of fun for a veteran player who might want a new challenge. The base guide is to take three Warlock levels and then main Paladin from there.
Reddit user rubychoco99 captures their version of it well in the image on the left above.
Also known as the "Commando" build, a Fighter/Rogue combo has the possibility to put out some serious damage. Veterans of this build recommend going for the "assassin" Rogue build as it allows for great stealth and sneak abilities.
Put three points into Rogue and then however many more into the Fighter class. Even though players won't get their fourth attack as a Fighter, if they get a surprise round with action surge, players can get up to six hits that guarantee critical hits.
Pro-tip: players can do this with ranged attacks instead of melee.
Thematically a bit inconsistent, but the rogue-barian is optimal for one specific feature interaction: Reckless Attack and Sneak Attack. Reckless Attack allows the barbarian to get an advantage on all attacks, and Sneak Attack only activates if the attacker has the advantage.
Otherwise, taking the Path of the Totem Warrior and using the Bear Totem will allow the barbarian to resist everything but psychic damage in a rage. Tack on the rogue's Uncanny Dodge ability, and the rogue-barian will be taking minus 75 percent damage while raging.
An artificer mixed with a barbarian might seem contrary at the beginning, but specifically looking at the Armorer artificer, using the Guardian feature can exponentially increase the barbarian's defensiveness in battle. The Defensive Field feature is usable while raging, giving the tank of the party even more survivability.
While the barbarian will not be able to cast spells while raging, the artificer has an incredible list of utility and support spells for non-combat encounters. Focus on taking non-concentration spells and using the artificer features to boost the barbarian's statistics.
The rogue/artificer combination creates one of the most powerful tacticians in the game. Even with just a two-level dip into rogue, Expertise and Cunning Action can give the artificer great survivability in combat as well as better abilities to create their infusions.
An excellent support character would be a combination of the Alchimist artificer and then any rogue subclass. The dip into rogue allows the Alchimist to maneuver around combat, staying safe while administering potions and infusions to all in need.
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