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The 5 Best Classes for Bugbears in D&D 5e

The 5 Best Classes for Bugbears in D&D 5e

Unleash Your Inner Savage! Discover the optimal class options tailored for Bugbears, famed for their ferocity and stealth.

These classes amplify a Bugbear’s strengths, offering thrilling gameplay choices from brutal melee combat to cunning tactics. Embrace your savage nature with these top picks!

Best Classes for Bugbears

5. Barbarian

Primary Ability Score – Strength

Secondary Ability Scores – Constitution, Dexterity to a lesser extent

Armor Proficiencies – Light, Medium, Shields

Weapons Proficiencies – Simple, Martial

Why the Barbarian?

Bugbear Barbarians will mainly increase their Strength by +2 and Constitution by +1.

Surprise Attack stands out among a Bugbear’s abilities, adding an extra 2d6 damage to an attack and being highly effective when combined with Reckless Attack.

If you want to deal more damage, you can always try to get extra attacks by multiclassing, investing in two-weapon fighting, or going the Path of the Beast’s Claws subclass.

Darkvision and Long-Limbed are also quite nifty to have when you need them.

Recommended Barbarian Primal Paths

  • Ancestral Guardian
  • Beast (For an extra attack)

4. Sorcerer

Primary Ability Score – Charisma

Secondary Ability Scores – Constitution, Dexterity

Spellcasting Ability – Charisma

Armor Proficiencies – None

Weapons Proficiencies – Daggers, Quarterstaffs, Light Crossbows, Darts, Slings

Why the Sorcerer?

Bugbear Sorcerers tend to increase Charisma by +2 and Constitution by +1.

Sorcerers can access Scorching Ray, which deals 2d6 Fire damage and can target up to 3 creatures at base level. Essentially, Surprise Attack will add an additional 2d6 damage to each ray created by Scorching Ray.

Note: Each level above Scorching Ray’s base level increases the ray limit by 1. That means it can have up to 10 rays if you cast Scorching Ray with a 9th-level spell slot.

Scorching Ray might be weak against multiple targets, but against single targets, it deals some serious damage.

The best would be to take two levels in Fighter to gain access to Action Surge, letting you cast Scorching Ray twice in a single turn.

Recommended Sorcerer Origins

  • Aberrant Mind
  • Divine Soul
  • Lunar Sorcery

3. Warlock

Primary Ability Score – Charisma

Secondary Ability Scores – Constitution, Dexterity

Spellcasting Ability – Charisma

Armor Proficiencies – Light

Weapons Proficiencies – Simple

Why the Warlock?

Bugbear Warlocks function a lot like their Sorcerer counterparts in terms of ability score allocation and playstyle.

Bugbear Warlocks can easily pick up Scorching Ray or Eldritch Blast, but it all depends on how many resources you want to allocate to dealing damage.

Note: Scorching Ray is geared more toward dealing a ton of damage, while Eldritch Blast also deals quite a bit of damage. It takes fewer resources and allows you to take on another minor role in your party if the need arises.

If you want to, you can always multiclass into Sorcerer (for Quickened Spell) and Fighter (for Action Surge), letting you cast Eldritch Blast two more times on top of your base action.

Note: Scorching Ray won’t work with Quickened Spell and tends to eat your spell slots if you cast it too much, but it will have higher damage.

Recommended Warlock Otherworldly Patron

  • The Fiend

2. Fighter

Primary Ability Score – Strength (STR-based), Dexterity (DEX-based)

Secondary Ability Scores – Constitution

Spellcasting Ability – Intelligence (For Eldritch Knight)

Armor Proficiencies – Light, Medium, Heavy, Shields

Weapons Proficiencies – Simple, Martial

Why the Fighter?

Bugbear Fighters are common in D&D and often increase one of their primary ability scores by +2 and their secondary score by +1.

The Fighter can make 6 attacks at level 11 while using Action Surge, adding Surprise Attack to each attack that meets its requirements and dealing an extra +2d6 damage each time.

If you want to capitalize on your damage, you might want to get into the fight as soon as possible, so you want high Dexterity to increase your initiative rolls.

Recommended Fighter Martial Archetypes

  • Eldritch Knight (Spellcasting version)
  • Samurai (Go-to Bugbear Fighter build)

1. Monk

Primary Ability Score – Dexterity

Secondary Ability Scores – Constitution, Wisdom

Armor Proficiencies – None

Weapons Proficiencies – Simple, Shortswords

Why the Monk?

Bugbear Monks are even more common than Bugbear Fighters, but mainly choose to increase Dexterity by +2 and either Constitution or Wisdom by +1.

Monks can make the most attacks out of all the classes in D&D, but they are only matched by the Fighter if they use their Action Surge. Their speed and multiple attacks make them the perfect class for a Bugbear.

Multiclassing in a Fighter and Rogue will further increase the damage and amount of attacks you can make.

Bugbears are also sneaky, making it easier for a Monk to act as their party’s Scout or Rogue equivalent.

Recommended Monastic Tradition

  • Way of Mercy

Final Thoughts

Choosing the best class for your Bugbear character in D&D 5e can significantly impact your gameplay depth.

Whether you prefer the hand-to-hand combat of a Monk, the brute strength of a Barbarian, the magical prowess of a Sorcerer, or the demonic magic of a Warlock, each class offers unique advantages and challenges.