Introduction

Aasimars are the go-to option for players who want to play a character with clear celestial influence. They have been through several major design changes over the years (see Aasimar Versions, below), but the celestial theme and some of their traits have remained a constant.

The version of the Aasimar published in Volo’s Guide to Monsters gets three subraces to choose from. While it’s never explicitly stated, it’s implied that the Protector and Scourge are intended to be good-aligned, while the fallen is intended to be evil-aligned. From a more mechanical perspective, the three subraces provide a different ability score increase and transformation, making each viable in different sets of builds and classes. Of course, with the custom origin rules in place, the difference between the three comes down to their transformation.

The transformations all apply a damage boost which applies to damage you deal on your turn with an attack or a spell. Since the transformation only works for one minute per long rest, you want to get as much mileage as possible. If possible, use multi-target effects like AOE damage spells, or make numerous attacks in the same turn. Keep in mind that the damage is reduced by resistances, targets passing saving throws, etc. so if you rely on AOE damage spells you’ll likely want to apply the bonus damage to a target that fails its save.

The updated version of the Aasimar published in Monsters of the Multiverse shares similar transformation effects to the version in Volo’s Guide to Monsters, but with a Bonus Action activation and severely reduced damage. The core concepts of the transformations are the same, but Radiant Consumption no longer hurts you, so all three options are at least worth considering for any class.

The DMG version of the Aasimar, often overlooked by most groups, is still a perfectly functional race. It shares the original Protector Aasimar’s ability score increases, and their Darkvision and damage resistances, but instead of Healing Hands, Light, and Transformation, the variant Aasimar just gets some innate spellcasting.

Table of Contents

Disclaimer

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.

  • Red: Bad, useless options, or options which are extremely situational. Nearly never useful.
  • Orange: OK options, or useful options that only apply in rare circumstances. Useful sometimes.
  • Green: Good options. Useful often.
  • Blue: Fantastic options, often essential to the function of your character. Useful very frequently.

I will not include 3rd-party content, including content from DMs Guild, even if it is my own, because I can’t assume that your game will allow 3rd-party content or homebrew. I also won’t cover Unearthed Arcana content because it’s not finalized, and I can’t guarantee that it will be available to you in your games.

The advice offered below is based on the current State of the Character Optimization Meta as of when the article was last updated. Keep in mind that the state of the meta periodically changes as new source materials are released and this article will be updating accordingly as time allows.

RPGBOT is unofficial Fan Content permitted under the Fan Content Policy. Not approved/endorsed by Wizards. Portions of the materials used are property of Wizards of the Coast. ©Wizards of the Coast LLC.

Aasimar Versions

The Aasimar has the most complicated version history of any race except the Eladrin. There are effectively 5 versions of the Aasimar, and no one can fault you for getting them mixed up.

The first version of the Aasimar was published in the Dungeon Master’s Guide as an example how to create your own homebrew race. This version is typically referred to as the “Variant Aasimar”, which is confusing because it’s not a variant of anything. This version of Aasimar was somewhat flashier than many of the core races, so in 5e’s early years most people didn’t consider it usable. But wasn’t any more powerful than the races in the Player’s Handbook, and as 5e’s race options have proliferated, the Variant Aasimar has become more accepted as newer races options prove that similar races aren’t going to break your game.

The second verison of the Aasimar was a complete rewrite, and while there are clear thematic similarities and some overlapping traits, the official Aasimar is technically a different race (at least mechanically). This version introduced three Aasimar subraces with their now-signature transformation trait.

Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything gave us two more versions when the custom origin rules were introduced, affecting both pre-existing versions of the Aasimar.

Most recently, Monsters of the Multiverse gave us the 5th version of the Aasimar, reprinting it to match updates to race design concepts. Like other races, the updated Aasimar uses the new ability score increase mechanics (+2/+1 or three +1s) and has a few other big changes. Healing Hands now uses a pool of d4’s, so the amount healed starts higher at low levels but has a lower average than the original progression.

More notably, the Aasimar’s transformation trait was totally rewritten. Subraces were removed, the transformation was delayed to 3rd level, and now rather than a subrace you select one of the three transformation options available to the original subraces. The activation action was reduced to a Bonus Action and the damage was reduced to your Proficiency Bonus, so while it’s much easier to fit into a turn, it’s also much less impactful. Radiant Consumption also no longer hurts you.

Aasimar Classes

This section assumes that you’re using the option “Customizing Your Origin” rules presented in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything. If you’re not using those rules, scroll down to the next section.

Artificer

Healing Hands can take some pressure off of you to select healing spells, and Celestial Resistance provides damage resistances that the Artificer can’t provide on their own. Radiant Consumption is good for melee builds, and Radiant Soul provides temporary flight if you’re not high enough level to infuse Winged Boots.

Barbarian

Two damage resistances, a minor healing option, and Darkvision provide a lot of things that barbarians can’t provide on their own. The Aasimar’s transformation is easy to fit into a turn since many barbarians don’t use their Bonus Action on every turn. Radiant Consumption is likely your best Celestial Revelation option since barbarians struggle to handle crowds. The damage isn’t massive and the AOE isn’t very big, but it’ll add up quickly in a crowded melee fight.

Bard

Healing Hands reduces the need for you to learn healing spells, but I would still learn Healing Word because it’s such a good spell. Celestial Revelation offers some helpful utility options, but the damage boost is often difficult because so many of the Bard’s best options don’t deal damage. Necrotic Shroud can be helpful for melee bards, especially if combat is getting too intense for you, but any bard can make good use of Radiant Spirit’s temporary flight.

Cleric

Healing Hands will save you a spell slot, and Celestial Resistance will protect you from damage types which many clerics need to worry about from other clerics and from undead. Necrotic Shroud is good for clerics built for melee, and works very well alongside things like Word of Radiance and Spirit Guardians. For less durable clerics, Radiant Soul’s flight provides a great flight option which clerics often can’t match.

Druid

The Aasimar works for the Druid for the same reasons that it works for the Cleric. Radiant Consumption is really only useful for Circle of Spores, but Radiant Soul is still the best for the majority of druids.

I’m not certain which of the Aasimar’s traits work while using Wild Shape, and the answer to that determines whether or not this is useful for Circle of the Moon. Whatever the answer is, I think Celestial Resistance and Celestial Revelation would follow the same rule. I love the idea of a bear suddenly glowing and growing angelic wings, but I have no idea if it’s allowed. As a DM I would allow it, but talk to your own DM before you settle on the character concept.

Fighter

Radiant Soul provides easy flight that works in heavy armor, and even if you don’t need the flight, the damage boost is nice. If you don’t care about flight, Radiant Consumption is great for handling crowds. Healing Hands is nice for sharing (you have Second Wind for yourself), and Celestial Resistance provides resistances that you can’t get from most magic items or from spells that your allies can cast.

Monk

Radiant Consumption is good if you worry about crowds and Radiant Soul provides flight that most monks simply can’t match. Two damage resistances are great on the monk since monks are relatively frail compared to other front-line martial classes, and most monks don’t have built-in healing options, so Healings Hands is useful if your allies go down.

Paladin

Radiant Consumption is great for crowds and Radiant Soul gets you flight in heavy armor. Necrotic Shroud is an option since paladins have decent Charisma, but the fear effect isn’t great unless you’re going for Oath of Conquest.

Ranger

Melee rangers should consider Radiant Consumption and ranged rangers should go for Radiant Soul. Healing Hands removes the temptation to learn Cure Wounds as an emergency healing option, leaving room in you limited spells known for more interesting things.

Rogue

Melee builds might take Radiant Consumption to handle crowds, but crowds are not a great situation for rogues unless you’re hiding in them. More likely you’ll go for Radiant Spirit.

Sorcerer

Radiant Spirit is your best option. Necrotic Shroud looks tempting because the DC is Charisma-based, but the range is tiny and if you’re stuck in melee it’s probably not going to save you. You either need to Disengage or teleport.

Warlock

For hexblades, Necrotic Shroud and Radiant Consumption are both options. I’m hesitant to recommend Radiant Consumption as a way to handle crowds because even hexblades are fairly frail, so wading into a crowd is dangerous. It’s typically best to pull back and cast Hunger of Hadar. Necrotic Shroud’s fear option isn’t great, but the DC is Charisma-based so if anyone’s going to use it successfully it’s a hexblade.

For other warlocks, Radiant Spirit is your best option by far.

Wizard

Radiant Soul gets you flight and a damage boost without Concentration. But if that’s all you’re here for, a flying race like the Fairy or the Owlin is probably a better choice. The Aasimar’s damage resistances are difficult for the Wizard to replicate, and with nearly no healing options Healing Hands is a good way to save a dying ally.

Aasimar Classes (Customizable Origins, DMG Variant and VGtM)

This section assumes that you’re using the option “Customizing Your Origin” rules presented in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything. If you’re not using those rules, scroll down to the next section.

With the addition of the Customizing Your Origin rules, the only thing which distinguishes aasimar subraces is the subraces’ transformations, and matching the transformation to your class is an important decision. Fallen is great for classes that are sometimes in melee, but aren’t built to be a front-line defender, like the Rogue. Scourge is good for durable front-line classes with big piles of hit points like the Barbarian or the Fighter, as well as classes with the ability to heal themselves like the Cleric and the Paladin. Protector is great for spellcasters and ranged attackers because it offers flight without Concentration, allowing you to stay in the air even if you take a few hits.

Artificer

The Fallen Aasimar works for melee artificers and the Protector Aasimar works for ranged artificers, though the Fallen Aasimar’s Charisma-based save DC will be a problem. The Scourge is too risky with the Artificer’s d8 hit points and limited healing capabilities. The Variant Aasimar works, but the innate spellcasting doesn’t add anything that the Artificer needs and can’t already provide.

Barbarian

The Protector Aasimar gives the Barbarian easy access to flight, and the damage bonus will be reliable thanks to Reckless Attack. Scourge is a very tempting option for the Barbarian because it both helps to handle crowds as well as focusing on large single targets. You can even use Healing Hands while raging, though the healing isn’t big enough that it’s worth the action unless it’s an emergency.

Bard

The Aasmiar’s innate spellcasting is a good complement to the Bard’s capabilities, and the damage resistances are nice for a fairly frail class. For melee bards, the Fallen Aasimar’s Necrotic Shroud is a great crowd control option with a Charisma-based DC. For bards focusing on spellcasting, Protector is an easy choice. The DMG Variant Aasimar’s additional spellcasting is tempting, but doesn’t add anthing that the Bard can’t already do.

Cleric

The Aasimar’s innate spellcasting is redundant with the Cleric’s features, especially for the DMG Variant Aasimar. Even so, the Scourge Aasimar’s Radiant Consumption is a tempting option for a class with abundant magical healing, and the Protector Aasimar gives and easy option for flight in combat which can often be difficult for clerics to find.

Druid

The Aasimar’s innate spellcasting is redundant with the Druids’s features, especially for the DMG Variant Aasimar.

It’s unclear which, if any, of the Aasimar’s racial traits work while wildshaped. The Aasimar draws their unique racial traits from their celestial lineage, so it makes sense that they wouldn’t work in a different form, but you could also argue that things are more spiritual than biological. Talk to your DM about it.

Fighter

The Aasimar’s innate spellcasting doesn’t help the Fighter much, but the damage resistances are hard to replicate and can protect the Fighter from powerful foes like celestials and undead. Fallen is a tempting option, but most fighters won’t have the Charisma to make Necrotic Shroud’s DC reliable. Scourge can work, but the self-inflicted damage from Radiant Consumption is difficult to manage without a lot of built-in healing. Protector is probably the easiest choice, allowing melee builds to get into melee with flying foes and allowing ranged builds to get out of reach.

Monk

The Aasimar’s innate spellcasting does little to help the Monk, but the damage resistances are just as useful as they are for other martial classes, and Transformation offers an enticing damage option for a class which can make so many attacks right from level 1.

With no dependency on Charisma, the Fallen Aasimar’s Necrotic Shroud won’t have a reliable DC. The Protector Aasimar’s flight may be useful, and Unarmored Movement’s speed bonus will apply to the flight speed. Scourge looks tempting on a melee class, but with few healing options it’s a hard choice. It may work for Way of Mercy, provided that you’re willing to spend Ki to heal yourself repeatedly in combat.

Paladin

Every variety of aasimar works for the Paladin. Fallen works great for a high-Charisma build, so Blessed Warrior builds are an excellent choice. Protector is a natural choice, allowing you to handly flying enemies without relying on allied spellcasters or magic items. Scourge is great for handling crowds, which is normally hard for the Paladin due to their almost complete lack of area damage options. The DMG Variant Aasimar provides early access to spellcasting options which paladins don’t normally get until well into their career due to their slow spellcasting progression.

Ranger

Protector’s flight is great for the Ranger. Scourge may also work, but the Ranger’s healing options are very limited, so be cautious about your hit points.

Rogue

The Aasimar provides some magical options not normally available to the Rogue, but subclass options are difficult. Protector is almost certainly your best choice.

Sorcerer

The Aasimar offers access to some options which the Sorcerer can normally only get from Divine Soul. Fallen looks tempting due to Necrotic Shroud’s Charisma-based DC, but most sorcerers don’t want to be in melee to use it, so stick to the Protector Aasimar for flight or the DMG Variant Aasimar for access to Lesser Restoration.

Warlock

The Warlock offers a lot of great options for the Aasimar. Fallen Aasimar are a good choice for hexblades built for melee, and the Protector is a great option for caster warlocks looking to get off the ground occasionally. Scourge may be hard due to the Warlock’s d8 hit dice and lack of healing options. The DMG Variant Aasimar may work for celestial warlocks looking to serve as their party’s healer, offering access to Lesser Restoration so you can do more than just restore hit points.

Wizard

The Protector’s access to flight is an easy option for the Wizard, but few of the Aasimar’s other traits directly benefit the Wizard.

Classes (Classic Rules, DMG Variant and VGtM)

This section assumes that you’re not using the option “Customizing Your Origin” rules presented in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything or the updated version of the race published in Mordenkainen’s Monsters of the Multiverse. If you are using those rules, scroll up to the previous section.

Artificer

Bad ability spread. The damage boosts from Transformation would work great, but without and Intelligence increase you’ll lag behind other artificers most of the time.

Barbarian

The Fallen Aasimar’s Strength bonus and their Necrotic Shroud ability work fine for the Barbarian, but the Aasimar’s other subraces and the core racial traits do very little for the Barbarian.

Bard

A +2 Charisma increase is a great start for a bard, and Healing Hands and Light Bearer provide magic options which will open up space in your cantrips and spells known.

Your choice of subrace will likely depend on your subclass. Fallen Aasimar might work as Sword or Valor bards, but Strength is generally a poor choice for bards planning to use weapons. Scourge Aasimar works great offensively, but you’ll fall behind expected attack bonus and damage with weapons until you pick up at least one Ability Score Increase, and the Bard doesn’t have enough hit points for the Scourge Aasimar’s Transformation to be safe. Protector Aasimar offers access to flight, making it a safe option for bards focused on spellcasting.

Cleric

Despite their Charisma increase offering very little to clerics, the Aasimar still makes a decent cleric. Resistance to necrotic and radiant damage is great for a class which frequently confronts celestials and/or undead, and Healing Hands is a useful complement to your healing spells..

Protector Aasimar is the go-to option for aasimar clerics because of their Wisdom increase, and Radiant Soul allows you to fly and deal a bunch of extra damage for one minute per day. Scourge and Fallen Aasimar can both work depending on your choice of domain and your role in the party, but your spellcasting may lag behind at low levels until you pick up some Ability Score Increases. If you don’t want to deal with Transformation, the DMG Variant Aasimar’s innate spellcasting could be a good option.

Druid

The Protector Aasimar provides a Wisdom increase and access to flight when you need it in combat, plus the innate spellcasting nicely complements the Druid’s spellcasting.

It’s unclear which, if any, of the Aasimar’s racial traits work while wildshaped. The Aasimar draws their unique racial traits from their celestial lineage, so it makes sense that they wouldn’t work in a different form, but you could also argue that things are more spiritual than biological. Talk to your DM about it.

Fighter

Purple Dragon Knight is the only archetype where Aasimar is a truly good fit, especially for a Fallen Aasimar. Scourge Aasimar are fine, but their lack of a Strength or Dexterity increase can be crippling for a low-level fighter until you pick up a few ability score increases.

Monk

Almost nothing useful for the Monk.

Paladin

Aasimar make natural paladins. Charisma supports many paladin features, and Blessed Warrior makes a Charisma-heavy build not just possible but also very effective. Scourge aasimar are a great option for durable paladins, and fallen aasimar are great offensive options, and their flavor makes sense for oathbreaker paladins. Protector aasimar typically work better as clerics, but the flight is still very appealing. The DMG Variant Aasimar’s innate spellcasting offers access to Lesser Restoration long before the Paladin would normally get it, making it a tempting option in a party without a cleric or a druid.

Ranger

Nothing useful for the Ranger.

Rogue

Bad ability spread.

Sorcerer

A Charisma increase is the most important part of your race selection for the Sorcerer, but the Aasimar also gives you resistance to two damage types and an option for healing which arcane spellcasters usually can’t replicate.

Protector is an easy choice for spellcasters because it provides access to flight without Concentration. Scourge may be an option for sorcerers worried about being pulled into close quarters, but Radiant Consumption will burn through your hit points very quickly.

Warlock

Like the Sorcerer, the Warlock needs Charisma first and foremost.

Protector is an easy choice for spellcasters because it provides access to flight without Concentration. Scourge may be an option for sorcerers worried about being pulled into close quarters, but Radiant Consumption will burn through your hit points very quickly.

Wizard

Bad ability spread.