Best Rogue Multiclass

Christina Perez
• Tuesday, 15 December, 2020
• 19 min read

Achieving mastery in a certain field of study is a pursuit that many people find appealing. For players who just can't quite decide between two classes, Dungeons and Dragons offers a solution through multi classing.

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Wine and cheese, cookies and milk, and meat and vegetables are all good examples. Updated by Juliet Chillers on September 29th, 2020: Though some fans critiqued D&D 5e at first, it has attracted many new players thanks to its massive build diversity.

All the features gained from the barbarian class can be taken advantage of while in wild shape form. 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 bark skin for 16 AC during a wild shape into the mix and the Barbarian/Druid combo becomes an unstoppable force. The wizard's weak 1d6 hit dice makes the barbarian's resistance to bludgeoning, slashing, and piercing damage during rages a lot less effective.

Live the dream and be a barrel-chested, bald man dressed in a low cut silk robe. The way these builds work is by starting off with 2 levels of fighter in order to pick up the classes 1d10 hit dice, heavy armor proficiency, defense fighting style, second wind, and action surge.

Furthermore, the fighter's action surge ability can be used to cast two spells in a single turn. In other words, this multi class provides players with a multitude of options every turn, but all of them end up being mediocre.

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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.

The bard's song of rest ability can be easily mirrored through spells gained from going straight cleric. 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 to fight style, and the colossus slayer or dread ambushed 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 6 for the extra attack feature. While the monk doesn't have a spell casting ability modifier, access to I points depends on a high wisdom score.

Meanwhile, the wizard class requires a high intelligence score in order to make the most of its spell casting. Additionally, the monk's melee attacks deal damage based on their dexterity or strength modifier.

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Consider the need for every character to put points into constitution and there are too many ability scores that need padding for the multi class to come together. On top of that, the wizard's measly 1d6 hit dice will make it difficult for the character to withstand blows in melee combat.

Instead of taking advantage of the same combat ability score, the paladin and bard make the most of their shared spell casting modifier: Charisma. The greatest benefit of this multi class 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. The warlock/ranger multi class is inefficient due to both classes providing a bonus action concentration spell that increases damage output every turn.

Furthermore, eldritch blast and the ranger's bow compete for action usage without adding anything to each other. Some fans call this multi class a “witch knight” and it seems like a ton of fun for a veteran player who might want a new challenge.

Players are unable to use Martial Arts while wearing armor, so that doesn't have much synergy when it comes to the Paladin class. Though the characters above (Both from Geek & Sundry guides) may look like they have a ton in common, this pair just isn't as good compared to other multi classes.

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Monks rely heavily on team communication and cooldowns while Paladins are great all-around tanks. Though Monks do have spiritual ties, some work as assassins which could be at odds with any given Paladin's goals.

Known colloquially as the “Rage Priest”, the Barbarian Cleric misses out on the best parts of both classes. Chris has written anchor stories for news broadcasts, modules for his D&D group, and is currently working on his first novel.

His hobbies outside of gaming include yoga, reading, bar hopping, and spending time with friends old and new. Artificer spells like mage hand, message, disguise self, and feather fall are invaluable for any rogue who doesn’t want to take the Arcane Trickster subclass, and the Magical Tinkering ability can help clever rogues pull of some good cons.

Infusions can be good as well; a +1 weapon doesn’t hurt, and rogues can make a lot of use of magic items like the bag of holding or wand of secrets. Really, the main use of rage will be the damage resistances, especially since they stack with Uncanny Dodge and (in rarer cases) Evasion.

If you want to be the ultimate skill monkey, take three levels of bard. Many bard spells are good for rogues as well, especially ones who also serve as the party face.

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Knowledge Domain is good for skill monkeys, since it not only gives extra proficiencies, it offers double proficiency in these skills (which, due to wording, stacks with Expertise). The Light Domain ability is good for anyone, but relies on a decent Wisdom score to use multiple times.

If your campaign has a lot of potential assassination targets, it might be worth putting two levels into Grave Domain cleric to get Path to the Grave; if you can cast it stealthily, then get bonus Assassin rogue damage, it can allow you to one-shot most targets. Wild Shape can be good for scouting or infiltration, but otherwise doesn’t overlap with a lot of the rogue’s wheelhouse.

As general martial characters, fighters help rogues out a lot in combat. At three fighter levels, the Battle Master archetype has a lot of combat options for the savvy rogue, and the Samurai gives a bonus proficiency and free advantage three times a day.

One level gets you spell casting (there are a few good rogue utility spells at least) and a Sorcerers Origin ability. An area of effect charm is good, and access to the faerie fire spell is great for rogues.

There are basically two options to go with this subclass: multi class with another martial class with higher defense (like Fighter or Monk) and just dive into the thick of it, or go ranged and use the Blunderbuss modal to inflict flanked on yourself all the time. Keep in mind the Blunderbuss modal does cause friendly fire, so you may find yourself killing your tank with your highly damaging Street fighter AOE bullet spread.

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Your Sneak Attack skill only provides +20% damage instead of +30%, but in exchange, you get a bunch of very powerful Illusionist spells. Even a vanilla Fighter/ Roguemulticlass is extremely powerful because both classes are full to the brim with passive bonuses that benefit one another.

In fact, the only major downside to this combo is that Ever exists, who is a perfectly competent and decently built Fighter/ Rogue that you can recruit immediately at the start of the game. Rogue really helps shore up some of the Ranger’s downsides: namely lack of damage boosting skills and escape options.

Finally, Ghost Heart/Assassin is a great build because with an Aqueous using a stealth skill and then blasting out a shot can produce devastating burst damage. This is a bit of a gimmick, but the Assassin bonus works on spells as long as you cast them from stealth.

That means you can cast huge AOE spells like Fireball and have them benefit from all the Assassination bonuses. Game Guides, Reviews, Fiction, and even Essays, so be sure to take a quick look at the Main Page before you go, because if you liked this article, there's sure to be lots more content you'll enjoy on the rest of the site.

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However, taking up to three levels in the intelligence-based Artificer may be beneficial to other classes in order to gain armor and tool proficiencies, magic Infusions (quick magic items or enhanced armor and weapons), and potential subclass features. A main feature of Barbarians is Unarmored Defense, so armor proficiencies matter little.

Barbarian/Fighter Focusing on Strength, a Barbarian/Fighter gains a Fighting Style, Action Surge, a potential to increase cries (especially with Reckless Attack), and possible battle maneuvers. We recommend taking 1-3 levels in Fighter, but definitely not as many as 5, as Extra Attacks don’t stack.

If you choose to take three levels in Fighter, Champion is a great archetype for increasing the probability of critical hits. With Path of the Berserker, a Barbarian can make a single melee weapon attack as a bonus action each turn.

Add in Extra Attack, and the Champion Fighter archetype, and the number of cries a character makes should skyrocket. With Expertise, an additional skill, and (if taking two levels) Cunning Action, this is a solid combination.

We don’t recommend taking more than two levels in Rogue, as none of the archetypes, except maybe Scout, really add much to a Barbarian. Note that Sneak Attack won’t be a ton of extra damage, as you’re just taking a few levels in Rogue.

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Death Domain adds additional damage once per rest with a melee attack at level two. Strength Domain gives you a Druid can trip and a +10 bonuses to an attack roll, ability check, or saving throw, once per rest.

War Domain allows you to make an additional weapon attack as a bonus action a number of times equal to your Wisdom modifier and gives you a +10 bonuses to an attack roll once per rest. Arcane Domain combined with the Ancestral Guardian Barbarian totem can produce an interesting Oracle-style Necromancer.

Druids who choose Circle of the Moon gain the ability to Wild Shape as a bonus action while in a rage. Be sure to choose a beast that uses Strength in its attack in order to gain the rage damage bonus.

Choose the Bear Path of the Totem Warrior to become resistant to all but psychic damage, even while in Wild Shape, and expend your spell slots as a bonus action to heal yourself (Circle of the Moon), to keep the Wild Shape party going. Classes that also utilize Charisma are prime candidates to multi class with Bard.

With the addition of a Fighting Style and Smiting at Paladin level two, Bard/Paladins benefit from a Bard’s higher spell slots: the higher the spell slot expended, the more Smiting damage. You could also add medium or heavy armor proficiencies, depending on the Cleric’s Domain.

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Life Domain gives a Bard/Cleric heavy armor proficiencies and enhance healing spells. Nature Domain could be thematically cool, as a character will get a Druid can trip and heavy armor proficiencies (13 Strength required to wear).

A Scout archetype gives a Bard/ Rogue double proficiency on Nature and Survival checks at 3rd level, which is essentially the same as gaining Expertise under a different name. Remember, you only add extra proficiency once, so the ‘Survivalist’ feature does not stack with Expertise.

Additionally, Clerics get a multitude of abilities with Domains and Channel Divinities. Druids are a versatile core class based on what team role your character will fill: healer, tank, damage-dealer, support, etc.

This will permit you a higher armor class than leather armor, which a Druid typically wears, and the ability to rage in beast form, giving you extra damage with Strength attacks, advantage on Strength checks and saving throws, and extra resistances. Choose Circle of the Moon archetype to wild shape as a bonus action, allowing you to keep your rage going.

Taking three levels in Barbarian and choosing the Bear Path of the Totem Warrior will grant you resistance to all damage types except psychic, and you can heal yourself by expending spell slots as a bonus action (if you are Circled of the Moon). Druid/Fighter: A single level dip in Fighter will provide a Druid with a Fighting Style and Action Surge.

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Armor proficiencies don’t help Druids very much, but one particular Fighting Style available is Mariner (UA), which will give a Druid a swimming speed, a climbing speed, AND a +1 bonus to AC. A Druid shines best when he focuses on utility spells above damage output or weapon attacks.

So a Druid that wants to gain a Fighter Archetype should focus on one that provides additional utility, especially to spell casting. Scout (UA) is possibly the best Fighter archetype to combine with Druid, as a character will gain proficiencies in three new skills and superiority dice bonuses for skill checks and armor class.

Taking more levels in Monk can provide extra utility like speed and dodging/disengaging/dashing, but the trade off is fewer Druid spell slots. As a half-caster, Rangers will augment a Druid’s spell casting with additional spells (starting at level 2).

This can give bonuses to ranged weapon attacks (Archery), gain a swimming and climbing speed while increase AC (Mariner, UA), or remove disadvantage for close-quarters shooting while giving a +1 bonus to attack rolls (Close Quarters Shooter, UA). Requiring a 13 minimum in Strength or Dexterity to multi class, this class pairs well with Rogue and Barbarian, as well as Ranger and Warlock.

Extra Attacks don’t stack, so keep your multi class level low if the other class has this feature. Fighter/Barbarian: Probably the most synergetic multi class for a Fighter, dipping a level in Barbarian as a Fighter will give Rage abilities, which give advantage to Strength checks and saving throws, damage resistances, and increases damage.

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Take advantage of the Reckless Attack by choosing the Fighter archetype Champion, which scores a critical hit on a weapon attack roll of 19 or 20, increasing the probability for a critical hit. Don’t count on Sneak Attack adding too much damage, as it’ll be low as a low-level Rogue.

If you choose to go to level three, here are two opportune Rogue archetypes that mesh well with Fighter: Assassin: gain advantage on attack rolls against a creature that hasn’t taken a turn yet.

Recall that at level 5, Fighters gain Extra Attack, which means more hits with advantage. Just choose what style of fighting you want to achieve, and you’ll find a great combination.

Gain some impressive Invocations to beef up your utility or weapon damage, and score some wicked Patron abilities. Despite the fun build, this can be a weak multi class, as some Pacts do not mesh well or are redundant with Fighter abilities.

Like Cleric, we recommend building straight Monk for newer players. With an incredible reach of abilities and skills, Monks do not benefit much from an addition of another class.

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Monk/Ranger : To gain the most from your multiple attacks, a Ranger’s Hunters Mark will add 1D6 to each of a Monk’s Fury of Blows. This is a great example of synergy that enhances a Monk’s abilities and I conservation without overcrowding a character’s options.

Some of the biggest min/max builds in Dungeons and Dragons involve Paladins who dip into other classes. Paladins have more prerequisites for multi classing: Strength 13 and Charisma 13, plus whatever stat they need to meet with their new class.

With the addition of a Sorcerers Origin, Meta magic, and full spell casting, this is a powerful build. Like Paladins, Sorcerers focus on Charisma, which means compatible stats for spell casting.

Paladin/Warlock : With individual spell slots per class, and utilizing Charisma fully, a Paladin/Warlock is a great multi class option that could provide for some interesting backstory and character development. Focus on spell casting abilities and Invocations that supplement your melee attacks.

Warlocks are unique in that their spell slots return after only a short rest. Many Warlock spells do not require concentration, such as Mirror Image, Armor of Agatha, or Arms of Hadar.

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Paladin/Bard : Also utilizing Charisma for spell casting, a full-casting Bard is a great class to add into a Paladin build. Gaining higher-level spell slots to expend on Smite and skills such as Jack of All Trades, you really can’t go wrong with a Paladin/Bard.

Choose a Bardic college at level three to increase damage output, utility, or the appearance of an honorable leader. College of Satire gives many benefits that a Rogue would grant, such as Thieve’s Tools proficiencies and Cunning Action, as well as a climbing speed and reduced fall damage.

The Ranger is a functional class that has pretty solid utility while still open to diverse development with the right multi class. Rangers multi classing have quite a few prerequisites: they need Dexterity 13, Wisdom 13, and to meet whatever stat the new class requires.

Ranger/Fighter : With the addition of Action Surge and a supplementary Fighting Style, a Ranger/Fighter will gain an additional action per rest, allowing Hunter’s Mark to rack up, and possible extra damage or AC boost. Use your bonus action to dual wield, utilizing Hunter’s Mark more effectively.

Ranger/Cleric : With the addition of spells, heavy armor proficiency, and some cool Domain abilities, adding in a few levels of Cleric to a Ranger can only help. Additional Invocations can increase utility or damage and provide unique character development.

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Rogue /Fighter : Gain a second Fighting Style, an Action Surge, and, if you take three levels, a helpful archetype. Feinting will give you advantage as a bonus action against a foe with an addition of 1d8 damage.

Pair Action Surge with the Assassin archetype for major damage output. See our Rogue /Fighter build here, in which we analyze the maximum damage on a first turn at level 16 (spoiler alert, it’s over 250).

These two classes share many thematic similarities that lend well to role playing choices. I wish to note that we previously suggested that Reliable Talent could stack with Jack of All Trades, but it has been clarified in Sage Advice’s 2019 Compendium that this combination will not work.

Similar to but less damage-dealing than Wizards, Sorcerers are full spell casters with little defense (no armor proficiencies). With the addition of sorcery points and Meta magic, Sorcerers have a few Strengths over Wizards to balance out their weaker spell casting.

Dorgenedge on Reddit makes a great argument for this and how to play a Sorcerer. Focus on buffs and aiding your teammates, and you’ll surmount any spell caster in utility.

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Sorcerer/Warlock : This is a nice combination, as Warlocks regain spell slots on a short rest. We recommend taking the Pact of the Tome to learn three additional can trips from any class’s spell list for free.

Archway is a beneficial Patron, and you will gain great utility spells unavailable to Sorcerers, like Faerie Fire and Calm Emotions. Fey Presence is a great way to take enemies out of the battle temporarily.

This is a good compromise for gaining melee abilities in case you’re in a bind. The Raven Queen grants access to the Sanctuary spell, which is a great buff for your allies.

Sorcerer/Cleric : Clerics provide armor proficiencies, domain spells, and extra utility. We recommend taking fewer than three levels, as there is not really any synergetic Fighter archetype to a Sorcerer.

By gaining light and medium armor and shield proficiencies, a Sorcerer/Paladin finds a way to defend himself. Divine Sense is a nice ability that a Sorcerer wouldn’t get otherwise, as Detect Good and Evil is not among his spell list.

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However, at this point, I would recommend using Paladin as your core class and taking a few levels in Sorcerer. Great damage dealers for melee or ranged attacks while also providing excellent utility with Invocations, a Warlock is a formidable class that could benefit from a few levels of the right multi class.

Warlock/Paladin : With two levels in Paladin, a Warlock will gain armor and shield proficiencies, Divine Sense, a Fighting Style, Lay on Hands, more spell casting, and Smite. Armor and shield proficiencies will help defend your Warlock character.

Divine Sense allows you to know if unworldly foes are around, which can combine well with the Warlock spell “Protection from Evil and Good.” A Fighting Style can help boost AC. You could also take the Close Quarters Shooter to bolster your ranged spell attacks, like Eldridge Blast.

Lay on Hands won’t provide much healing at such a low Paladin level, but it can help in a bind. Plus, Warlock regain spell slots with a short rest, giving you more uses of Smite than a typical Paladin.

You won’t get the rage bonus (that’s only for melee attacks), but you will get advantage on Strength checks and saving throws and resistances. Warlocks tend to stay out of melee battle, but a Barbarian multi class could allow you to get right into the thick of it.

Warlock/Fighter : While this is a good multi class, The Hex blade Patron provides the same proficiencies while also granting a Charisma modifier bonus to attacks and critical hits on a 19 or 20. Add in a Fighting Style and Action Surge, and you could find yourself with a great multi class.

Similar to Wizard, would it be more beneficial to take your first level in Fighter for the weapon, shield, armor and Constitution saving throw proficiencies; extra hit points; and equipment? Notably defenseless, Wizards benefit greatly with a few levels of multi classing that provide extra defense.

Wizards excel with high level spells, so keep your multi class low. Life Domain also allows a character to gain heavy armor proficiencies while also boosting healing spells.

Wizard/Fighter : This combination will, again, provide proficiencies with armor, which will help a Wizard defend himself. Plus, a Wizard will gain just a few extra hit points with the Fighter levels she takes.

Fighters start with more hit points, better defense- and attack-based equipment, Strength and Constitution saving throws, and different skills than a Wizard, though some of them overlap. Wizard equipment like a spell book and a component pouch can be acquired in-game, and starting on a quest to find those things could provide for fun role-play.

Additional Wizard/ Rogue utility: take the Thief archetype and use Fast Hands to attempt, as a bonus action, to steal an enemy Wizard’s components or spell book to make them essentially useless. Keeping in mind the three main reasons to multi class (armor proficiencies, low-level class skills, character development), choosing the right combination is key.

If you don’t expect to gain those sweet high-level abilities, multi classing could be a fun and powerful choice that improves your character’s utility and damage.

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