dnd 5e astral elf handbook

Astral Elf Introduction

The Astral Elf is yet another extraplanar elf, joining the Eladrin and the Shadar-Kai in the “we can teleport” club. They also add some extra proficiencies and a just a splash of spellcasting to produce an interesting, versatile race that’s a good basis for many builds.

Notably different from other elves published in Monsters of the Multiverse and later supplements, the Astral Elf’s version of Trance allows them to pick proficiencies in one skill and one tool rather than two weapons or tools. While this limits weapon options (which are helpful for a handful of builds, especially for monks and rogues), an additional skill is often much more valuable.

While they lack a clear niche, the versatility of the Astral Elf’s traits makes them easy to use with nearly any class. You won’t excel at anything in particular, but you can build almost anything and find a way to make the Astral Elf’s traits interesting.

Table of Contents


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.

We will not include 3rd-party content, including content from DMs Guild, in handbooks for official content because we can’t assume that your game will allow 3rd-party content or homebrew. We also won’t cover Unearthed Arcana content because it’s not finalized, and we 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 the article will be updated accordingly as time allows.



Artificers get plenty of tool proficiencies, but few actual skills. Darkvision, two skills, another tool, and the ability to teleport are all fantastic additions to any artificer. You may find that the Shadar-Kai is more durable, but the Astral Elf will be more useful outside of combat. The addition of Sacred Flame also gives the Artificer a reliable source of radiant damage which the Artificer typically can’t produce.


Darkvision and two skills is nice, but it’s also available from numerous other races. Tool proficiencies don’t do much for the Barbarian. Fey ancestry is a helpful protection since mind-affecting stuff often takes front-line martial characters out of combat, and teleporting as a bonus action without a spell is great for a class that’s locked into melee. The cantrips won’t be especially useful, but they offer some minor utility.


Darkvision, two more skills, a tool proficiency that could be Thieves’ Tools, the ability to teleport, and reliable cantrip damage from Sacred Flame. Altogether a fantastic addition to any Bard.


Clerics don’t have great skill options, so more skills and tool proficiencies are often hard for clerics to use in any meaningful way. The Astral Elf’s cantrips are already one the Cleric’s spell list, but one more never hurts.


Druids have the same issues with skills that clerics do, though, with increased reliance on Dexterity, the Druid might find skills like Stealth and tools like Thieves’ Tools more appealing. Access to Sacred Flame offers an easy source of radiant damage that druids typically can’t replicate, though it won’t do any more damage than the Druid’s existing cantrips.


Darkvision, two skills, and a tool give the Fighter some much-needed utility outside of combat. For a Dexterity-based build, that easily makes you an effective rogue replacement. Fey ancestry is a helpful bit of protection since mind-affecting stuff often takes front-line martial characters out of combat, and teleporting as a bonus action is great for melee builds. The cantrips won’t be especially useful, but they offer some minor utility.


Two skills and a tool close the skill gap between the Monk and the Rogue, making it much easier to serve as your party’s Scout. The cantrips are interesting since monks are almost entirely locked into melee, but you’ll generally still do better using darts to attack at range.


Two skills means that you can go beyond Face skills, and the Astral Elf’s access to Sacred Flame means that you may not need to take Blessed Warrior to build a paladin without weapons, though Blessed Warrior to grab Word of Radiance and Guidance is still a great idea for a casting-focused paladin.


Two skills and a tool (which is like Thieves’ Tools) closes the skill gap with the Rogue, but you can get two skills from numerous races and Thieves’ Tools from your background. The cantrips provide some minor utility, but on a typical ranger they’re not going to do anything impressive.

For Druidic Warrior builds, Sacred Flame provides a useful offensive option. If you use Druidic Warrior to take Shillelagh and Guidance, you’re effective in melee and at range, and you can use Guidance to compensate for your relatively low Dexterity when you’re doing Scout things like sneaking and picking locks.


Darkvision and two skills are great on any rogue, and you can use the extra tool for something like Disguise Kit or Poisoner’s Tools. The cantrips aren’t amazing, but Dancing Lights can be a great distraction.


Two skills will help you go before Face skills, and Sacred Flame offers easy access to radiant damage, which most sorcerers have few options to produce.


Two skills will help you go before Face skills, but you can get that almost anywhere. The cantrips are neat, but they don’t add much to the Warlock.


Wizards have few good options for using skills and tools, so the skills are largely wasted. The cantrips are neat, but not particularly helpful beyond the ability to provide radiant damage.