ToV Fighter Guide


The Fighter is a fantastic addition to any party. While their skill and tool proficiencies are extremely limited, Fighters excel in combat. They are durable, have great armor, and provide plenty of damage output. Fighters get more Improvements than any other class, allowing them to easily explore feats without sacrificing crucial ability scores. They also get more attacks than any other class, which can be a lot of fun, and leaves lots of room to use Weapon Options.

Fighters are a great example of “opt-in complexity” in DnD 5e. The core of the class is very simple, but the complexity of the subclasses varies significantly, and you can add more complexity by adding Talents. This makes the Fighter a great choice for players of all experience levels and for players with a broad range of preferences, allowing you to build a character that you find mechanically appealing but without making it more work than you might like.

Talents and class options allow for Fighters to fill a variety of roles, including as a Defender and a Striker, and Fighters work with a variety of interesting builds. You can also explore a role as a Scout if you’re built around Dexterity, allowing you to succeed with skills like Stealth and with tools like Thieves’ Tools.

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.

Changes from 5e

  • Last Stand: Replaces Second Wind. Allows you to spend Hit Dice as a Reaction to taking damage and immediately heal yourself before you take the incoming damage. You can spend hit dice up your PB, but only add your CON modifier once, so it’s more efficient to use this multiple times with 1 Hit Die or to save them for a Short Rest, but this gives you a great way to stay alive in tough fights.
  • Martial Action: Replaces Fighting Style. All of these are activated using a Bonus Action rather than granting a passive benefit, and most only apply to a single attack, making them fantastic for multiclass dips from classes like Cleric and Rogue, but make them less useful for high-level fighters than comparable Fighting Style options in the 2014 rules.
    • Aim: Double PB on your next ranged weapon attack. Comparable to Archery.
    • Guard: Impose Disadvantage on a creature’s next attack (with some conditions). Comparable to Protection, but doesn’t eat your Reaction.
    • Quick Strike: Make two attacks as a Bonus Action when two-weapon fighting. 
    • Wind Up: First successful melee weapon attack against a chosen target within 10 feet takes +PB damage. Comparable to Dueling and Great Weapon Fighting.
  • Action Surge: Now scales to 3 uses per rest
  • Multiattack: Extra Attack has been renamed. Fighters get their 3rd attack at level 9 instead of 11 and their 4th at level 17 instead of 20.
  • Indomitable: Gone.
  • Heroic Boon: Choose to succeed on a failed save a few times per long rest or end negative status conditions from a list a few times per day.
  • Epic Boon: Once on each of your turns add +STR mod or +DEX mod and ignore resistance/immunity when you hit with a weapon.

Fighter Class Features

Hit Points: d10 hit points is standard for martial characters, and it’s plenty to keep you going, especially with heavy armor and abilities like Last Stand.

Saves: Strength saves are fairly rare, but Constitution saves are common and typically very problematic.

Proficiencies: All weapons, armor, and shields, but you get no tool proficiencies, and only two skills.

1: Last Stand: A great way to extend your hit points through a full adventuring day. Note that you only add your CON modifier once each time you use this, so it’s most efficient to use Last Stand frequently with only one Hit Die.

1: Martial Action: Martial Action presents you with a consistent, reliable way to use your Bonus Action.

It’s very easy to overlook that Martial Action also allows you to use a Weapon Option as a Bonus Action. This is a massive tactactical advantage, allowing you to control the battlefield, debuff foes, and otherwise do things that are more interesting than damage.

  • Aim: The attack bonus is excellent, but it’s frustrating that it only works once per turn. This is great for classes with few attacks per turn like the Rogue, but the Fighter gets more attacks than any else, and it’s frustrating to only get to use this on one of them.
  • Guard: Frustrating, limited, unreliable. Use the Bash Weapon Option.
  • Quick Strike: Two attacks instead of one is helpful, but without an ability modifier on the attacks you’re rolling at most a d6 for both of those attacks. This is unappealing until you get to level and can take Two Weapon Mastery. The ability to apply the +PB damage bonus twice in one turn makes two-weapon fighting much more appealing.
  • Wind Up: A modest damage boost. Perfectly fine, but not very exciting.

2, 13, 18: Action Surge: One of the best class features in the game.

Subclass: Fighter subclasses are briefly summarized below.

  • Spell Blade: Add spellcasting to the Fighter’s considerable martial prowess.
  • Weapon Master: Gain absolutely mastery of weapons, enabling you to use powerful “Stunts” which add additional effects to your weapon attacks.

5, 9, 17: Multiattack: The Fighter is the only class to get more than two attacks per Multiattack action. This makes it easy to use Weapon Options and makes small bonuses to on-hit damage very meaningful.

10: Heroic Boon:

  • Defiant: Legendary resistances but on a player.
  • Unstoppable: This isn’t bad, but you can use Defiant to prevent these effects from being applied in the first place.

20: Epic Boon:

  • Turn the Tide: A hefty damage boost once per turn with no additional effort on your part.

Fighter Ability Scores

Strength-Based Fighter Ability Scores

Max STR, then split remaining resources between CON and WIS unless your subclass needs something else. Starting with an 18 will leave more for room Talents early in your build, but if you do plan to raise both STR and CON to 20, you may prefer lower STR at level 1 to leave room for higher CON.

Str: Your primary ability score.

Dex: Dump. It’s still helpful for saves and initiative, but you can survive just fine with 8 Dexterity.

Con: Every fighter needs hit points.

Cha: Dump.

Wis: Helpful for Perception and Wisdom saves. If you don’t need Intelligence or Charisma for your subclass, investing in Wisdom is a good choice.

Cha: Dump.

Point BuyStandard Array

Dexterity-Based Fighter Ability Scores

Max DEX, then split remaining resources between CON and WIS unless your subclass needs something else. Starting with an 18 will leave more for room Talents early in your build, but if you do plan to raise both DEX and CON to 20, you may prefer lower DEX at level 1 to leave room for higher CON.

Str: Dump. Strength is nearly useless for Dexterity-based characters.

Dex: The most useful stat in the game. AC, saves, attacks, damage, initiative, and Stealth.

Con: Every fighter needs hit points.

Cha: Dump.

Wis: Helpful for Perception and Wisdom saves. If you don’t need Intelligence or Charisma for your subclass, investing in Wisdom is a good choice.

Cha: Dump.

Point BuyStandard Array

Fighter Lineages

For melee builds, look for damage resistances and other ways to improve your durability. Darkvision is also a great choice since the Fighter typically can’t cast spells.

Beastkin (PG): Avian is perfect for ranged builds, and Durable gives Dexterity-based melee builds a small AC boost compared to Studded Leather. You can also get proficiency with Perception.

Dwarf (PG): Darkvision, poison resistance, and bonus hit points.

Elf (PG): Heightened Senses is great if you’re also proficient in Perception, and Fey Ancestry is occasionally useful, but none of the Elf’s traits are consistently useful.

Human (PG): One skill, one Talent from any Talent list. Fantastic for any class.

Kobold (PG): Fierce is great for any melee build. Truescale is great for Dexterity-based builds because 13+Dex will beat the AC from studded leather until you can get at least +2 armor.

Orc (PG): Stalwart allows you to escape effects like fear and paralysis faster, which is occasionally helpful.

Smallfolk (PG): Grounded is a fantastic defense, especially on a front-line character who will frequently draw attacks. Gnomish provides a fun utility, but Halfling’s protection against charm/fear will do a lot to compensate for the Fighter’s poor mental saves.

Syderean (PG): Darkvision, including 30 ft. in magical darkness, and resistance to necrotic damage. Celestial lets you fly, though only once per day. Fiendish gives you a cool fear aura, though the save DC will be poor since it doesn’t add an ability modifier.

Fighter Heritages

Heritages typically provide a skill proficiency, plus some other unique benefits. Look for options which complement your ability scores and your role within the party.

Cottage (PG): Temporary hit points for yourself and a growing number of your party members. The skill isn’t great for the Fighter, unfortunately, but the temp hp is enough even without the skill proficiency.

Diaspora (PG): Advantage on saves against fear is helpful for a class that typically has mediocre mental saves.

Fireforge (PG): Fire resistance.

Grove (CRB): A Climb speed is really nice.

Slayer (CRB): Animals become less common beyond very low levels, but Kobold Press has published a lot of higher-CR animals in books like Tome of Beasts, so that may change over time. This gives you Advantage to intimidate a T-Rex, and that’s pretty cool.

Supplicant (PG): Some great tactical options for any melee character.

Fighter Backgrounds

Courtier (PG): Poor skills, but Combat Conditioning and Mental Fortitude are both good Talent options.

Criminal (PG): Excellent for Dexterity-based builds. Stealth, Insight, and Thieves’ Tools will let you provide some capabilities typically provided by a Rogue. Touch of Luck is an easy go-to talent, and since the Fighter rolls so many attacks you’ll generate a lot of Luck very quickly.

Homesteader (PG): Decent skills, but the only easy Talent choice is Aware.

Maker (PG): Difficult skill options, but Trade Skills plus the tool proficiency from the Background can offer some very helpful options outside of combat where the Fighter typically has very little to do.

Outcast (PG): Good skill and Talents, especially on a DEX-based build.

Soldier (PG): The nominal default for the Fighter. Combat Conditioning is great for the Fighter.

Fighter Skills

  • Acrobatics (Dex): Nothing the Fighter does makes use of Acrobatics.
  • Animal Handling (Wis): Not really helpful for the function of the Fighter.
  • Athletics (Str): The only Strength-based skill, Athletics is more than climbing and swimming. You use Athletics for grappling and for pushing enemies, both of which can be excellent options for Fighters.
  • History (Int): History can provide a lot of useful background information. This is especially viable for Eldritch Knights.
  • Insight (Wis): Helpful for a Face, but few Fighters have the Wisdom to back it up.
  • Intimidation (Cha): Very few Fighters will be good with Charisma, but a Purple Dragon Knight with the right skills and background can make a perfectly viable Face.
  • Perception (Wis): One of the most important skills in the game. At least two people in the party should have it, but more is always better.
  • Survival (Wis): Adventuring tends to involve a lot of wandering around in untamed wilderness, so Survival can be very helpful to your party.

Fighter Talents

The Fighter has access to Martial Talents.

Armor Expert (PG): +1 AC and Advantage on saves against being forcibly moved. Not essential, but and easy addition to any build.

Armor Training (PG): This isn’t useful for the Fighter. If you have enough Dexterity that this is appealing, you’re building a DEX-based Fighter and you should be in light armor. If you don’t have enough DEX for this, you’re in heavy armor. Raising the DEX cap on medium armor would raise your AC by 1, but for the same Talent cost you’ll get more benefits from Armor Expert.

Athletic (PG): Double PB on Athletics checks makes Grapple and Shove considerably more reliable, and the improved long jump distance will help you circumvent difficult terrain if you can’t fly.

Artillerist (PG): Without an easy way to get Advantage on your ranged attacks, there’s very little reason to take this.

Combat Conditioning (PG): More hp is great, and the floor on Hit Dice rolls applies to Last Stand so you’ll consistently get more out of your Hit Dice.

Critical Training (PG): Good, but the expanded crit range won’t stack with other features which also let you crit on a 19 like the Weapon Master’s Deadly Flourish. If your subclass doesn’t grant you such a feature, this is a tempting option at high levels when you have multiple attacks, especially if you have a reliable way to get Advantage.

Furious Charge (PG): A good way to close the distance in melee, but you’re likely only going to benefit from this once per encounter since you’ll move into melee and then stay there.

Hand to Hand (PG): Tempting if you enjoy the Grapple/Shove combo, but I would definitely take Athletic and/or Wrestling Mastery instead. The bits about fighting unarmed are fine, but rarely impactful unless you’re a Weapon Master that likes to use the Cheap Shot Stunt.

Heavy Weapon Mastery (PG): The bonus attack on crit is definitely tempting, especially if you can raise your crit range (Weapon Master crits on 19 with their mastered weapons), but the Bonus Action option is largely useless. If you want to spend your Bonus Action to get a damage boost, use Martial Action (Wind Up).

Opportunist (PG): Excellent on any melee build. Combining this with a weapon with Reach and the Trip Weapon or using Shove allows you to consistently cause trouble for your enemies. The Vanguard Talent also combines very well with Opportunist.

Physical Fortitude (PG): Fighters are already proficient in CON saves, which protects you from these conditions. Still, additional protection never hurts. Note that the Advantage on saves against forced movement won’t stack with Armor Expert.

Ranged Weapon Mastery (PG): Martial Action (Aim) is usually a better choice than the Bonus Action option offered here.

Return Fire (PG): Only situationally useful because a small proportion of enemies use ranged attacks. Many enemies that fight at range will use things like breath weapons or spells which call for a saving throw instead. If you do plan to use this, be sure to favor suitable weapons like bows or tridents.

Shield Mastery (PG): The ability to Shove an enemy prone or Shove them away as a Bonus Action is a huge tactical advantage. The DEX save benefit is also great, providing reliable protection against most area damage.

Spell Hunter (PG): Spellcasters are a minority of enemies, but they are frequently the most difficult for the Fighter to counter because they can frequently target the Fighter’s poor mental saves. This makes you a huge problem for enemy spellcasters. To maximize the benefits, grab Opportunist for Advantage on Opportunity Attacks, find a way to expand your crit range like Critical Training, and take proficiency in Athletics so that you can grapple effectively. Many enemy spellcasters can cast innate spells without components, but humanoid spellcasters often rely heavily on spells with Somatic components which you can fully prevent.

This is a great example of a powerful situational feat. It’s amazing when you run into an enemy spellcaster, and that’s a thing that happens from time to time, but you’re not going to benefit from this feat every game session unless your campaign features spellcasters as enemies more often than an average game. If your campaign sets you against necromancers or a cult of evil wizards or something, this may be unusually useful. Or you might go several levels between fights where this is useful.

Two Weapon Mastery (PG): A tax for two-weapon fighting builds, but absolutely worth the cost. Remember that you need to hit a target with an attack during the Attack Action to get the +PB damage bonus on your Bonus Action attacks, and the bonus only applies to that target. If you have Multiattack, you could hit multiple enemies so that you can get the +PB damage bonus against multiple possible targets, but it’s usually best to focus on killing one enemy instead of trying to guess when you’ll drop one to 0 in the middle of a turn.

The additional attack option is very exciting, but won’t come up consistently. Your best bet is to get yourself Advantage somehow (use the Trip Weapon Option) and find a way to expand your crit range, such as Critical Training. If you can get your speed up to 40 feet or more (the Quick Talent or Longstrider both work), you can also combine the free movement from this benefit with Furious Charge.

Vanguard (PG): Excellent if you have other melee allies, especially if you’re using a Reach weapon. Strongly consider combining this with Opportunist.

Weapon Discipline (PG): An easy addition to nearly any Fighter. However, it locks you into using one weapon, which makes it less appealing to change weapons to use different Weapon Options. That may not be an issue for you, of course.

Wrestling Mastery (PG): If you like grappling (and you should), this is absolutely amazing. The ability to make an enemy Retrained for what is likely the rest of their lives effectively removes most martial enemies from a fight, and if your party can’t spare the attention to use them as a punching bag, you get automatic damage that will gradually wear them down at no further Action cost to you.

However, making an enemy Restrained isn’t much better than grappling them and knocking them Prone via Shove or the Trip Weapon Option. They’ll still have Disadvantage to attack, and you’ll have Advantage to hit them with melee attacks. This also doesn’t cpst a full Action, costing just two of your attacks. As a Fighter with up to 4 attacks, giving up 4 attacks to accomplish what could be done in 1 is a difficult trade.

Also keep in mind that the Advantage benefit only applies on the check to initiate or escape a grapple. It doesn’t apply to your opposed checks to maintain a grapple, making it easier for enemies to escape. Strongly consider taking Athletic instead. It’s not as flashy, but the mathematical benefits of doubling your PB on Athletics checks is hard to beat.

Magic and Technical Talents

1st-level talents from the other lists may be available from your Lineage, your Heritage, your Background, or your Subclass. Keep in mind that these Talents may not be better for your build than the Talents which you can access normally.

Aware (PG): A floor on initiative rolls can be very helpful for low-DEX characters. The bonuses to your passive skills and protection against hidden enemies are both helpful, especially if your WIS is low.

Field Medic (PG): The Medicine skill is largely useless, so the first bullet rarely matters. The healing action is helpful for rescuing downed allies in combat, but most of the time you’ll use it before a rest to get everyone in the party some extra healing. In-combat emergency healing should be handled with Healing Word, or you can use potions. The reroll on the Hit Dice is also nice, but Combat Conditioning will be more impactful for the Fighter.

Hard Target (PG): Tempting to protect your weaker saves, but Mental Fortitude will provide broader protection.

Mental Fortitude (PG): Mental saves are the Fighter’s greatest weakness, and some protection against them can be very helpful.

Quick (PG): Bonus speed and the ability to run up walls are both helpful for melee builds, allowing you to get into melee more easily. If you also have Furious Charge, raising your speed from the standard 30 feet to 40 feet will allow you to move away, then immediately charge an enemy.

Trade Skills (PG): Fighters don’t get many skills, so this is a great way to expand your capabilities outside of combat. If you’re building around the Grapple/Shove combo, the second bullet is a good replacement for Athletic.

Touch of Luck (PG): Fighters make more attacks than most characters, which means that you’re going to miss more attacks than most characters. This allows you to rapidly generate Luck.

Fighter Weapons

The Fighter is proficient with martial weapons. Which weapons are most effective for you is difficult to predict; there are few poor martial weapon options, and the choice largely comes down to what fits your character’s tactics.

Pay special attention to Weapon Options. These can provide powerful effects in place of dealing damage, and a weapon with a more useful Weapon Option may be more appealing than a weapon with slightly better damage.

Beyond that, a few weapons have some nuance that’s easy to miss:

  • Crossbow (Hand or Heavy) (PG): There is very little reason to use a crossbow. The Heavy Crossbow does slightly more damage than the Longbow, but the moment that you get Multiattack, that stops mattering.
  • Javelin (PG): The go-to ranged option for STR-based builds. If you’re built around STR, be sure to bring a few so that you’re not helpless against ranged enemies.
  • Trident (PG): A javelin is typically a better choice because it deals the same damage and has better range. The Trident’s advantage is the unique ability to disarm an enemy at range. Disarm isn’t always useful, but it’s good to have it as an option.

Fighter Armor

The Fighter is proficient with heavy armor and shields. What you choose to wear largely comes down to whether you’re building around STR or DEX.

  • Chain Mail: Free starting armor for heavy armor users. Works fine until you can afford Full Plate.
  • Full Plate (PG): The armor of choice for Strength-based builds.
  • Half Plate: Half-Plate will be your best AC for DEX-based builds until you hit 20 DEX. However, Disadvantage on Stealth might be a problem for you, so if you’re trying to be sneaky you’ll want Studded Leather instead.
  • Leather: Free starting armor for light armor users. Upgrade as soon as you can afford it.
  • Studded Leather (PG): The go-to option for Dexterity-based builds once you hit 20 Dexterity. Until then, medium armor will get you more AC. Keep in mind that even with 20 Dexterity, Full Plate provides marginally better AC. However, a Dexterity-based Fighter likely doesn’t have the Strength to get past Cumbersome.


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 our Practical Guide to Multiclassing.

  • Barbarian: Rage and Reckless Attack are both tempting. Unarmored Defense is a great AC option for lightly-armored fighters, but if magic items are an option you may do better in +X armor.

Fighter Magic Items

Common Magic Items

  • Anklet of Alacrity (PG): +PB to initiative, no attunement, won’t conflict with other magic items that you care about, and costs as little as a greatsword at just 50 gp. Stellar on literally any character.
  • Bracers of Baleful Reprisal (PG): With decent AC you’ll likely draw a lot of attacks which will miss you. Imposing a -1d4 penalty on your attacker’s attacks is a serious penalty. Sure, it only lasts until they miss another attack, but if that penalty causes even one missed attack, that’s a pretty great use of your Reaction.

Uncommon Magic Items

  • Boots of Striding and Springing (PG): Jump distance is Strength-based, and tripling your jump distance makes it easy for STR-based Fighters to jump over difficult terrain unimpeded.
  • (PG): An inexpensive way to get resistance to a common damage type.
  • Cloak of Protection (PG): Excellent on any character.
  • Eyes of the Eagle (PG): Advantage on most Perception checks is fantastic, especially if you’re proficient and have passable Wisdom.
  • Periapt of Wound Closure (PG): This will dramatically improve your sustainability. The benefit applies when you use Last Stand.
  • Stone of Good Luck (PG): Good on any character.
  • Weapon, +1PG: Fighters are all about weapon attacks, so a numeric bonus to attack and damage is hard to beat. As you gain levels, weapons more interesting than a +X bonus to attack/damage may be more interesting and more effective, but at the Uncommon rarity nothing can compete with a +1 Weapon for your offensive needs.

Rare Magic Items

  • Amulet of Health (PG): If you’re not going to reach level 20 (most campaigns never come close), there’s little incentive to raise your CON to 20, making this an easy choice. If your CON is already good or if you plan to increase it over time, get a Belt of Dwarvenkind instead.
  • Armor, +1PG: +1 AC, no attunement. Nothing fancy, but very effective.
  • Belt of Dwarvenkind (PG): A lot of great stuff on one item. Darkvision, poison resistance, +2 CON up to the usual max of 20, a language, and a nice beard. Wear this until your base CON reaches 20, then trade it to an ally if you don’t need the other benefits anymore.
  • Flametongue (PG): More attacks than anyone else means more chances to apply the damage boost.
  • Mantle of Spell Resistance (PG): Fighters are extremely vulnerable to mental effects, many of which come from spells, so resistance to those effects is very helpful.
  • Periapt of Proof Against Poison (PG): 500 gp, immunity to poison, no Attunement required. Absolutely stellar.
  • Ring of Protection (PG): More expensive than a Cloak of Protection with the same effect, but you can only wear one cloak, so a ring may be easier if you have a cool magic cloak. The two also stack, providing a ton of protection.
  • Ring of Resistance (PG): Great for common damage types like fire.
  • Sword of Wounding (PG): A little bit of extra damage, but CON saves tend to be high, so don’t expect damage stacks to stick around. The healing prevent almost never matters except against enemies with Regeneration, and even then your allies will be dealing damage, too. This is slightly better for the Fighter than for other martial characters simply because you can apply damage stacks faster than anyone else with your unusually large number of attacks.
  • Weapon, +2PG: Mathematically spectacular. It’s difficult to beat the math here.

Very Rare Magic Items

  • Animated Shield (PG): A hard choice for the Fighter since you have Martial Action to use your Bonus Action.
  • Armor, +2PG: +2 AC, no attunement. Nothing fancy, but very effective.
  • Cloak of Displacement (PG): A fantastic defensive option.
  • Dancing Sword (PG): A hard choice for the Fighter since you have Martial Action to use your Bonus Action.
  • Dwarven Thrower (PG): A +3 warhammer that you can throw effectively. This is a great choice for STR-based builds.
  • Frost Brand (PG): Not good enough for this rarity. Get a Ring of Resistance.
  • Nine Lives Stealer (PG): Not better than a +2 sword in any meaningful way. The insta-kill effect is barely functional.
  • Spellguard Shield (PG): Great, but a Mantle of Spell Resistance is cheaper and doesn’t prevent you from using two-handed weapons.
  • Manuals of Advantageous Exertion (PG): Stellar on any character. Absolutely worth dropping all of your gold to get as many as you can find.
  • Vicious Weapon (PG): Trash. A +1 weapon is better. I don’t know why this is Very Rare, but you’ll have to ask the original 5e designers to explain it. At least the gp value is plausible.
  • Sword of Sharpness (PG): Amusing, and the natural 20 effect is similar to a low-budget Vorpal Sword, but not especially effective.
  • Weapon, +3PG: Mathematically spectacular. It’s difficult to beat the math here.

Legendary Magic Items

  • Armor, +3PG: +3 AC, no attunement. Nothing fancy, but very effective. It feels underwhelming at this rarity, but the math is good.
  • Vorpal Sword (PG): With up to 4 attacks per turn, you’re more likely to roll a natural 20 than most characters, and therefore decapitate your target.

Fighter Example Build – Ghada Zayd, Valiant Six Weapon Master Fighter

The Valiant Six are six official characters representing some of the playable classes in Tales of the Valiant. This build starts from the options selected for the official pregen character, and takes the build from 1 to 20. It’s also limited to the options in the free Black Flag Reference Document, making it easily accessible for players who haven’t yet bought a full copy of the Tales of the Valiant rules.

The official pregen build for Ghada gives us her Lineage, Heritage, Background, starting Talents, and some of her class choices. However, it doesn’t specify how her Improvements were spent, so we’re left to reverse-engineer her Ability Scores.

Ability Scores

The Valiant Six apparently use the Standard Array rather than point buy.

We don’t typically include ability scores at every Improvement in the table below, but since this build is based on a level 4 pregen, we’re making an exception.

Level 1Level 4Level 20


Human. This gives us one skill proficiency and one Talent.


Nomadic. The ability to recover from a level of Exhaustion on a short rest might be nice if you’re marching great distances, but in most games it’s not impactful.


Outcast. We can’t quite guess what options Ghada takes from her background, unfortunately.

Skills and Tools

Through some combination of her Lineage, Class, and Background, Ghada is proficient in Athletics, Insight, Perception, Stealth, and Survival. All fairly standard skills for the Fighter, and a good use of her ability scores.

Ghada is also proficient in Herbalism Kit and Dice, both from her background.

Improvements and Talents

At level 1 we take Alert and Armor Expert. Both are great additions to our combat capabilities.

At level 4 we take +2 Strength.

At level 6 we take +1 Strength and Vanguard.

At level 8 we take +1 Strength and Opportunist.

At level 12 we take +1 CON and Physical Fortitude.

At level 14 we take +1 CON and Combat Conditioning.

At level 16 we take +2 CON.

At level 19 we take +2 CON.


LevelTalents and FeaturesNotes and Tactics
1Talent: Alert
Talent: Armor Master
Martial Action: Guard
Last Stand
Alert makes us more reliable on initiative rolls. Armor Master gives us +1 AC and advantage on some very specific saves.

Martial Action (Guard) allows us to defend our allies in melee. The positioning is difficult, but if you have other allies fighting alongside you in melee, it can work.

Guard requires us to use a shield, so we’re going for sword-and-board for our whole career.
2Action Surge (1/rest)Always excellent.
3Subclass: Weapon Master
– Handaxe
– Longbow
– Longsword
The benefits of Mastery are excellent. The damage reroll is fine, but the ability to use a Weapon Option and still deal damage is the real prize here. That’s effectively the benefits of an additional attack once per turn, including when we make an Opportunity Attack.

With Weapon Options therefore much more accessible to us, their benefits become even more important. Handaxe provides Hamstring, Longsword provides both Disarm and Hamstring, and Longbow provides Pinning Shot, though we’ll never use it. Choose Longbow as one of Ghada’s mastered weapons is a waste, but the Weapon Master doesn’t offer a way to retrain.

If you’re playing this build in a real game, pick a STR-based weapon instead of the Longbow. Javelin is a great choice. Also, changing either Handaxe or Longsword to get different Weapon Options will offer better tactical options. I really like Trip on this build, especially once we pick up Opportunist.

While we have access to any of the Weapon Master’s talents, we’re limited by our equipment. Ghada uses a shield and one-handed weapons, which tells us what Stunts we can use: Cheap Shot, Make it Count, Parry, Redirect, Riposte, and Tactical Retreat. Redirect and Riposte are likely to consume most of your Stunt uses.
– STR 16 -> 18
Not very exciting, but always helpful.
5Multiattack (2)Double our damage output. Remember that Mastery only works once per turn.
– STR 18 -> 19
– Talent: Vanguard
Vanguard lets us protect our allies even more than we already can with Martial Action (Guard).

The third bullet of the Talent specifies that you need to Ready and then attack with a melee weapon. This is intended to let you Ready to attack charging enemies, but RAW it also works when throwing a weapon. You can Ready to throw a handaxe, getting +PB to attack and damage, and then apply the benefits of Mastery on top of all of that.

Even better, the Make it Count Stunt should work with the Ready tactic here, adding +10 to the attack and your Fighter level to damage, making the attack basically impossible to miss and adding a pile of extra damage.
7Deadly FlourishThe first bullet says “make a ranged weapon attack”, not “make an attack with a ranged weapon”, which means that technically you can throw things. This probably won’t work with thrown weapons, unfortunately, so we won’t get much use out of this.

The second bullet is for melee builds like us.
– STR 19 -> 20
– Talent: Opportunist
Our Opportunity Attacks are now very scary. We now have some additional ways to trigger them, we make the attacks with Advantage, and we can apply the benefits of Mastery on hit. At this point, we almost want enemies to attack our allies just so that we can get a free attack.
9Multiattack (3)Even more damage!
10Heroic Boon: DefiantExcellent insurance against failed saves, especially on our weak mental saves.
11Advanced StuntsNew Stunts!

Bulwark is great. Our AC should be 21 by now (Full Plate, Shield, Armor Master) unless we’ve found magic items. Preemptive Strike feels like it should work with our Opportunity Attack tactics, but it’s not an Opportunity Attack. Rapid Release can let us throw a handaxe as a Bonus Action if we can’t get into melee for some reason. Wrestler’s Clutch is amazing; grapple an enemy and beat on them until they’re not a problem.
– CON 14 -> 15
– Talent: Physical Fortitude
Protection against some problematic physical conditions if it gets past Defiant.
13Action Surge (2/rest)
Defiant (2/long rest)
No tactical changes; just more of what we love about the Fighter.
– CON 15 -> 16
– Talent: Combat Conditioning
A massive pile of additional hit points, and the minimum roll on Hit Dice also applies when we use Last Stand, making the feature even more useful.
15Grand FinaleGood insurance if you’re having trouble finding time for a Short Rest.
– CON 16 -> 18
More hp, better saves.
17Multiattack (4)
Defiant (3/long rest)
More damage output, better protection against saves.
18Action Surge (3/rest)3/rest is enough that in many groups you can use Action Surge every turn, then immediately take a Short Rest. Imagine making 8 attacks ever turn forever. That’s the dream.
– CON 18 -> 20
More hp, better saves. With 20 CON, Combat Conditioning, and Last Stand, folks are going to have a hard time killing us. With Physical Fortitude and Heroic Boon: Defiant, they’ll have trouble incapacitating us.
20Epic Boon: Turn the TideOnce on each of your turns (so no Opportunity Attacks, sadly), +20 damage on hit. You get 4 attacks, and it’s stunningly unlikely that you will miss all 4.