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

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

Elves are of magical descent, walking various paths such as Rangers who oversee the forest, sneaky assassin Rogues, powerful nature-obsessed Druids, or arcane-touched Sorcerers or Warlocks.

Elves worry little which path they tread, being free people who embrace a more chaotic lifestyle, though certain paths take them further than others.

Best Classes for Elves

5. Wizard

Primary Ability Score – Intelligence

Secondary Ability Scores – Constitution, Dexterity

Spellcasting Ability – Intelligence

Armor Proficiencies – None

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

Why the Wizard?

High Elf Wizards remain one of the most iconic Wizards in D&D, providing a player with more than enough to become a powerful spellcaster in the future.

The base Dexterity (2) increase gives you durability and extra Perception, helping you get past the earlier levels, and the Intelligence (1) increase provides you with exactly what a Wizard is looking for in a solid race.

Your extra Cantrip is also bigger than you would expect, even if you already start with 3. Having another Cantrip leaves you with a powerful ability that diversifies your Wizard shenanigans.

Recommended Subclasses

  • Bladesinging because of your Dexterity increase.
  • School of Divination because of its wide range of forewarning spells, fitting with Elvish roleplay.

4. 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?

The Elf Fighter isn’t only a powerful class but one that fits with almost any subrace available.

Essentially, a Fighter only needs a STR and DEX increase, which is answered by the Dexterity (2) increase of a standard Elf. 

However, depending on which subrace you choose, different capabilities will be emphasized, allowing you to fill certain roles in your party, like a Face, Scout, or even a Striker.

Recommended Subclasses

  • Battle Master for its versatile combat toolset.
  • Arcane Archer fits the archery and magical aspects that all Elves share.

3. Ranger

Primary Ability Score – Dexterity

Secondary Ability Scores – Constitution, Wisdom

Spellcasting Ability – Wisdom

Armor Proficiencies – Light, Medium, Shields

Weapons Proficiencies – Simple, Martial

Why the Ranger?

Wood Elves are made to be Rangers, excelling in everything that makes a Ranger whole.

Standard Elves are given a perfect Dexterity (2) increase, and Wood Elves have increased Wisdom (1). Therefore, both the Ranger’s physical and spellcasting capabilities are fulfilled.

That said, Wood Elves aren’t the only viable subrace, as the main attractive feature is the bonus Dexterity (2), so you can make any Elf subrace work.

Recommended Subclasses

  • Beast Master fits an Elf well because of their affinity with beasts.
  • Fey Wanderer is quite tricky but very effective, acting as a spellcasting Face that focuses on dealing damage at range.
  • Gloom Stalkers are the kings of the dark and are exceptionally stealthy, fitting a Dark Elf playstyle.

2. Monk

Primary Ability Score – Dexterity

Secondary Ability Scores – Constitution, Wisdom

Armor Proficiencies – None

Weapons Proficiencies – Simple, Shortswords

Why the Monk?

The Wood Elf strikes yet again, being among the best race options for the Monk in D&D.

Since Monks mainly use DEX and WIS, and Wood Elves come with increased Dexterity (2) and Wisdom (1), the most important requirements of a Monk are fulfilled.

Note: Monks rely so heavily on ability scores because their dependence on these statistics is much higher than any other class in 5e. Without these basic scores, a Monk becomes useless.

Recommended Subclasses

  • Way of the Shadow is the perfect stealth-based Monk build and fits even better if you play as a Dark Elf.
  • Way of Mercy capitalizes on the soft nature of Elves, healing allies, and still deals massive amounts of Necrotic and Poison damage.

1. Rogue

Primary Ability Score – Dexterity

Secondary Ability Scores – Constitution, Intelligence (For Arcane Tricksters)

Armor Proficiencies – Light

Weapons Proficiencies – Simple, Shortswords, Rapiers, Longswords, Hand Crossbows

Why the Rogue?

Rogues are deathly simple to understand, needing mainly Dexterity to function flawlessly and receiving a decent Dexterity (2) increase from the base Elf race.

Rogues also have spectacular skills, and the free Perception complements these nicely. Because of not relying on many other ability scores, any Elf subrace works for the Rogue, and depending on what you become, your role and playstyle might differ slightly.

You should also remember how good the Rogue is with Elven Accuracy, combining it with Sneak Attack and Steady Aim (optional class feature) to sow chaos among your enemies!

Recommended Subclasses

  • Arcane Trickster for the magical aspect of Elves combined with their impressive Dexterity.
  • Assassin allows an Elf to operate quietly, and when they do strike, they deal heaps of damage.
  • Scout is perfect for an observant Elf, fitting the playstyle of an Elf quite well and playing a lot like a Ranger but without emphasis on ranged attacks.

Final Thoughts

Each class mentioned above allows you to create an exceptionally powerful Elf character.

However, to do so successfully, you must understand your strengths and weaknesses and try to capitalize on your strengths!