Last Updated: May 24, 2023
Tricky and challenging, yet very effective, the Fey Wanderer is an excellent subclass with a lot to offer to players who know how to use it to its fullest. You can play this subclass like a more typical ranger (Hunter or Monster Slayer for example), but you’re going to miss out on a lot of what really makes the Fey Wanderer shine. Instead, it’s built to lean into a Wisdom-based ranger with more emphasis on spellcasting and Face skills than your typical bow-wielding damage monster.
If you choose to explore the Fey Wanderer, pick up Face skills like Persuasion. That’s normally a difficult prospect for the Ranger, but, thanks to Otherworldly Glamour, you can add both Wisdom and Charisma to Charisma checks, allowing you to be profoundly effective as a Face. You can also create a character who is highly skilled in both Insight and in Charisma-based Face skills at the same time, which is normally difficult to do. Altogether, the Fey Wanderer adds Face to the list of the Ranger’s possible roles.
The Fey Wanderer’s spells and class features lean heavily on your spellcasting ability, which makes it tempting to use Fighting Style (Druidic Warrior), but be cautious if you go this route. Dreadful Strikes only works with weapons, so you shouldn’t rely on things like Produce Flame as your go-to attack option. Shillelagh will work great, though.
Table of Contents
- Fey Wanderer Ranger Features
- Fey Wanderer Ranger Ability Scores
- Fey Wanderer Ranger Races
- Fey Wanderer Ranger Feats
- Fey Wanderer Ranger Weapons
- Fey Wanderer Ranger Armor
- Example Build – Wandering Fey Wanderer
RPGBOT uses the color coding scheme which has become common among Pathfinder build handbooks, which is simple to understand and easy to read at a glance.
- : Bad, useless options, or options which are extremely situational. Nearly never useful.
- : OK options, or useful options that only apply in rare circumstances. Useful sometimes.
- : Good options. Useful often.
- : Fantastic options, often essential to the function of your character. Useful very frequently.
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Fey Wanderer Ranger Features
Because this applies once per target per turn, you’re motivated to attack multiple targets if that’s an option. Ranged weapons work best for this, though they may be difficult for the high-Wisdom build expected of the Fey Wanderer. More likely you’ll want to use spells like Zephyr Strike to quickly move between and attack multiple targets.
: This roughly matches
Hunter’s Mark, but with a lot of advantages. The most obvious benefit is
that it’s free, but it doesn’t stop there. There’s no action costs. It
stacks with Hunter’s Mark’s damage bonus. The damage is psychic, which is
rarely resisted. It only applies once per target per turn, but if you can
hit multiple targets they’ll all take the bonus damage. It also applies on
Opportunity Attacks (Hunter’s Mark does, too, but it’s still really nice).
The one drawback is that it doesn’t work quite as well as Hunter’s Mark does
when focusing on a single target, so Hunter’s Mark may still be worth the
: The vast majority of
the options are only situationally useful, but you do get Misty Step, which
is good on exactly 100% of characters.
- : A strange choice mechanically, but the theme makes sense. Your save DC won’t match a full spellcaster unless you’re using Druidic Warrior to build around Wisdom, and Charm Person doesn’t give you any indication that it worked, so you need to be extremely cautious when using it. You don’t get enough spell slots to cast it repeatedly just to be absolutely sure that it worked.
- : The best teleportation option in combat.
- : Essential in any party. A typical ranger should not be the one casting this, but the Fey Wanderer is an exception. You don’t get the high-level spell slots to make this automatically dispel stuff, and most rangers don’t have the Wisdom to back up the ability check, but the Fey Wanderer is all about Wisdom, so you have a passable chance to succeed on the abilty check. Still, look for buffs like Enhance Ability if you can get them to maximize your odds of success.
- : Less of a go-to combat teleportation option than Misty Step, but it has better range and doesn’t require line of sight, so it’s more powerful outside of combat or if you need to completely escape an encounter. You’ll still get more frequent use out of Misty Step thanks to its Bonus Action casting time and lower-level spell slot requirement, but Dimension Door can get you through walls and locked doors.
- : Situational. Not a great option in combat, but out of combat this provides a passably safe way to scout an area or to trick other creatures if mundane stealth won’t do the trick for some reason.
- : One Face skill and you add your Wisdom modifier to all Charisma checks on top of any Charisma modifier. This is enough to make you an effective Face without high Charisma, but a little bit is still a great idea. You don’t want 8 Charisma dragging you down.
The obvious use case is to take charm/fear effects from your enemies and essentially redirect them back at your enemies. That works great, and can lead to scenarios like dragons being frightened by their own Frightful Presence. To make this as effective as possible, you want allies in your party who can reliably pass saving throws against charm/fear effects. These are nearly always Wisdom or Charisma saves, so high scores in those ability scores and proficiency in the saves both help, but also look for racial traits like Brave and class features which help like Aura of Protection.
The less-obvious use case is using this offensively. If you have allies who can produce charm/fear effects (often spellcasters, but there are non-spell options too), you can capitalize on any creatures who pass saves against your allies’ abilities and force another creature to save against Beguiling Twist.
: Hilarious and very
effective, but likely difficult to use to its greatest potential.
The second benefit allows you to cast a shorter version of the spell without the Concentration requirement, but that’s a really hard prospect with the Ranger’s limited pool of spell slots.
: Summon Fey once per
day for free without the 300gp material component. The spirit’s attack bonus
is based on your Spellcasting Modifier and the spell is heavily dependent on
spell level, both of which are hard prospects for many rangers. But even if
it’s not quite as effective offensively as something summoned by a full
spellcaster, it’s still an effective pet for up to an hour per casting.
- : Misty Step for free several times per day, and you can even bring a friend along! This makes it easy to rescue your friends from grapples or restraints, and you become very hard to keep in one place during combat.
Fey Wanderer Ranger Ability Scores
The Ranger is already somewhat MAD, and Fey Wanderer doesn’t remove that issue. In only medium armor, we still need 14+ Dexterity to max out our AC unless we want to spend a feat on Heavily Armored or take a class dip.
: 14 for AC, but there’s little need for more.
: Concentration, saves, and hit points.
: Fey Wanderer is all about Wisdom.
: Any leftover points go here.
|Point Buy||Standard Array|
Fey Wanderer Ranger Races
Traits like Brave and Fey Ancestry are redundant with Beguiling Twist, but otherwise little changes for the Fey Wanderer compared to other rangers.
Fey Wanderer Ranger Feats
Our reliance on Wisdom and support for Charisma checks does make some changes to our options.
- PHB: +5 to our passive skills on top of proficiency and high Wisdom feels really nice.
- TCoE: The Fey Wanderer’s natural reliance on Shillelagh makes Crusher slightly more appealing, but the 5 feet of movement is really all that we care about so it’s still not a great choice.
- TCoE: We need Primal Warrior, but Fighting Initiate can get us Dueling to further improve our Shillelagh.
- PHB: We have the Wisdom to back up cantrips, so diversifying our Wisdom-based cantrips an do a lot for us. Consider options like Guidance and Toll the Dead from the Cleric or Guidance and Thorn Whip from the Druid.
- PHB: Without a heavy reliance on Dexterity, there’s little reason to go beyond 14 Dexterity for most Fey Wanderers, but if your party also needs a scout, this will solve some problems for you.
Fey Wanderer Ranger Weapons
- : Shillelagh.
- : A staff focus also functions as a quarterstaff, and a quarterstaff works with Shillelagh.
Fey Wanderer Ranger Armor
No different from a typical rangers.
This section briefly details some obvious and enticing multiclass options, but doesn’t fully explore the broad range of multiclassing combinations. For more on multiclassing, see my Practical Guide to Multiclassing.
- College of Eloquence is a natural choice for a dedicated Face. Expertise in several skills and a floor of 10 on our d20 rolls for Deception and Persuasion checks means that we can be unstoppably good with those skills. :
- : With so much dependence on Wisdom, a dip into cleric is a great way to improve our spellcasting, and 1st-level domain features can get us heavy armor, among other wonderful things.
- : With so much dependence on Wisdom, a dip into druid is a great way to improve our spellcasting.
Example Build – Wandering Fey Wanderer
Out of combat, we’re building a Face. In combat, we’re building a highly-mobile Wisdom-based melee build built for hit-and-run tactics.
As we’ve rated Fey Wanderer blue, we’ll use every Optional Class Feature except Nature’s Veil, as we recommended in the Ranger Handbook.
We’ll put our +2 into Wisdom and our +1 into Constitution.
Satyr. It’s hard to find a better Fey Wanderer than an actual Fey. Plus, we get better than normal speed, two skills and an instrument, and Magic Resistance. Altogether, we’re very difficult to pin down in combat and we’re well equipped for everything else, too.
It doesn’t especially matter. I’d love to use Feylost from Wild Beyond the Witchlight, but flip it so we’re a fey who got lost and stuck on the material plane. Regardless, we’ll modify our background to end up with two skills and two tools/languages.
Skills and Tools
We get Performance, Persuasion, and one instrument from our race. We’ll take two skills and two languages (pick whatever you like) from our background, so we’ll put them into Insight and Intimidation (we’ll save Deception for Otherworldly Glamour at level 3). From our class skills we’ll take Nature, Perception, and Survival.
Nature, Performance, and Survival won’t do much for us, but we have all of the Charisma-based and Wisdom-based skills that we care about.
We want to avoid feats that use our Bonus Action because we need that free for Shillelagh and for several of our other spells, including Zephyr Strike. We want one hybrid feat to increase Wisdom, so we’ll take Gift of the Gem Dragon, but almost anything will work in that slot. Skill Expert would be an easy replacement.
We have two open spaces for ASIs or feats. Alert would make our passive skills absurdly high. Skill Expert would make another Face skill absurdly good. Fighting Initiate (Dueling) would be fine, but the +2 damage feels pretty silly at levels 16 and 19 alongside roasting people with Ashardalon’s Stride. Crusher could be fun, but won’t be amazing. Mobile adds more speed, but we don’t need most of the feat because we get those benefits from spells.
|Level||Feat(s) and Features||Notes and Tactics|
– 2 languages
|At this level we’re a little behind a typical ranger. For starting gear, grab scale mail, two short swords (which you’ll then sell), either pack, and the longbow and arrows. Buy yourself a shield if you can.|
Use the longbow for now unless you need to get into melee, in which case a short sword and a shield will do fine.
|2||Fighting Style (Druidic Warrior)|
– Produce Flame
– Ensnaring Strike
|We go for Druidic Warrior because we’re Wisdom-based. Produce Flame is for the attacking at range, which we’re pretty bad at unless we have a cantrip to do it with.|
Shillelagh works with staves, which can be used one-handed. If we take a staff (not a quarterstaff, it needs to be a focus), it functions as a quarterstaff and a spellcasting focus at the same time. It won’t totally replace Warcaster, but it’s pretty close, and many of our spells either have a material component or only have Verbal components, so we won’t need to drop our focus often.
Shillelagh only last for one minute, but doesn’t take Concentration. If your DM allows it, and repeating the Verbal components won’t cause trouble, cast it repeatedly any time that you might encounter danger to save yourself the Bonus Action when combat starts.
If you go into combat without Shillelagh running and need to cast a different spell that turn (Zephyr Strike, etc.), consider drawing a dagger.
For our leveled spells we’ll take Ensnaring Strike and Longstrider. Longstrider raises our speed to 45 feet, and Ensnaring Strike lets us pin down single foes who are giving us trouble.
|3||Ranger Archetype: Fey Wanderer|
Dreadful Strikes 1d4
Fey Wanderer Magic
New Spells Known
– Charm Person (free)
– Speak with Animals (free)
– Zephyr Strike
|Between Favored Foe, Dreadful Strikes, and Shillelagh, we can do 1d8+2d4+3 damage per hit. That’s pretty good.|
Otherworldly Glamour gets us proficiency in Deception, and allows us to add our Wisdom modifier to all Charisma checks. With Expertise in Persuasion, that gets us a total modifier of +8 at this level. Thanks to Speak with Animals, we can even apply our absurd Persuasion to beasts!
We learn Zephyr Strike so we can get into some hit-and-run tactics. We won’t need it all the time right now because we can frequently stand in melee and trade blows, but once we get Extra Attack we’ll want to be mobile so that we can spread Dreadful Strikes around.
|4||Feat: Gift of the Gem Dragon (Wis 17 – > 18)||Gift of the Gem Dragon gives us a defensive way to use our Reaction in situations where we don’t anticipate making opportunity attacks. It matches our spellcasting save DC, which will keep pace with full casters.|
New Spells Known
– Beast Sense (free)
– Misty Step (free)
– Enhance Ability
|Extra Attack and 2nd-level spells. In combat, we now start relying on hit-and-run tactics when facing multiple foes. Use Zephyr Strike to prevent opportunity attacks and try to apply Dreadful Strikes to two targets. If you don’t need to remain in melee with an enemy to keep it from running off to attack your frail allies, end your turn out of reach and force enemies to come to you. Zephyr Strike’s Bonus Action casting time will compete with Shillelagh, so start combat with Shillelagh then bring in Zephyr Strike if necessary. You have very few spell slots.|
We pick up Enhance Ability to further improve our Charisma checks. +11 to Persuasion with Advantage is really good.
|6||Roving||Our land speed is now 40 before we look at spells, and we get matching climb/swim speeds. Longstrider improves all three to 50, so we can match a riding horse.|
New Spell Known
|Beguiling Twist’s Advantage on saves against Charmed/Frightened is great, and covers many non-spells which induce those conditions, such as a dragon’s Frightful Presence or a vampire’s Charm.|
The Reaction mechanic is primarily defensive for us unless someone in your party can produce those effects with spells like Cause Fear or Hypnotic Pattern.
There’s no specific 2nd-level spell we need at the moment, so pick one that works well for your party. Aid and Pass Without Trace are both great choices.
|8||ASI: Wis 18 -> 20|
|9||New Spells Known|
– Dispel Magic (free)
– Speak with Plants (free)
– Ashardalon’s Strike
|3rd-level spells brings Ashardalon’s Stride, which is spicy Zephyr Strike. In encounters with numerous foes, upgrade to Ashardalon’s Stride and run between them with your total 70 ft. move speed (40, 10 from Longstrider, 20 from Ashardalon’s Stride) to get the guaranteed 1d6 fire damage hit your two favorite enemies with your shillelagh.|
We also get both Dispel Magic and Speak with Animals for free, giving us another way to benefit from Otherworldly Glamour’s Wisdom bonus to Charisma checks.
|10||Dreadful Strikes 1d6|
Hide in Plain Sight
|Dreadful Strikes improves ever so slightly.|
Tireless is extra nice since we’re Wisdom-based.
New Spell Known
– Summon Fey (free)
|Fey Reinforcements gets us Summon Fey for free once per day. Summon another satyr (Mirthful Fey Spirit) and high-five them, then have it run around charming enemies.|
|12||Feat: Resilient (Con 15 -> 16)||Proficiency in Constitution saves makes it easier to maintain our favorite Concentration spells (which are most of the Ranger’s worthwhile spells), and raising our Constitution to 1 also gets us a bunch of additional hit points.|
|13||New Spells Known|
– Dimension Door (free)
– Locate Creature (free)
– Guardian of Nature
|4th-level spells gets us Guardian of Nature. If you’re facing a big single foe, it’s a better option than our hit-and-run tactics. Use the Great Tree option and get to work. Advantage on attacks will be a big boost to your damage output, the difficult terrain will make escaping you difficult, and, between proficiency and Advantage on Con saves, your Concentration is as safe as it can be.|
You can also upcast Ashardalon’s Stride to add another +5 feet of speed and 1d6 damage. Perfect for roasting crowds.
|14||Vanish||Combat going poorly? Hide! If you’re already running Shillelagh and Zephyr Strike/Ashardalon’s Stride, you can run to cover and hide between turns.|
New Spell Known
|On top of being able to cast it as a spell, you can now cast Misty Step for free 5 times per day.|
|16||ASI / Feat: Any||–|
|17||New Spells Known|
– Commune with Nature (free)
– Mislead (free)
– Steel Wind Strike
|5th-level spells brings some exciting options, but it’s hard to pick what works for us.|
Steel Wind Strike feels like an obvious choice. We have high enough Wisdom to back it up, and the 6d10 damage is hard to beat. But for the same spell slot, Ashardalon’s Stride gets us guaranteed 3d6 damage per target per turn, doesn’t have a 5-target limit, and with 80 feet of movement we can reach numerous targets and still have our Action to bonk stuff. A second turn can easily put Ashardalon’s Stride ahead of Steel Wind Strike, and the gap gets bigger the more targets are in an encounter.
Steel Wind Strike’s appeal is the speed at which it functions and that it doesn’t require Concentration. If you’re running an existing Concentration spell (Guardian of Nature or Ashardalon’s Stride), you can cast Steel Wind Strike for a big burst of damage. Guardian of nature (Great Tree) even gives you Advantage on the spell attacks!
|18||Feral Senses||Not quite blindsight, but darn close.|
|19||ASI / Feat: Any|
New Spell Known
|20||Foe Slayer||Once per turn, +5 (from our Wisdom) to attack or damage with an attack against the target of our Favored Foe feature. This is not very good, and we probably haven’t used Favored Foe for a very long time.|