A Paladin’s Guide To 5E: A Few Things Every Paladin Should Know In Dungeons And Dragons

A Paladin’s Guide To 5E: A Few Things Every Paladin Should Know In Dungeons And Dragons
Credit: Wizards of the Coast via Youtube

Paladins. If the cleric had a stuck-up older brother, this would be it. They’re buff, they’re beautiful, but they’re not too bright. Paladins typically serve a deity or entity of some sort, but paladins actually get their power from the strength of the Oaths they take and uphold. Oaths as nebulous as Vengeance can serve as the driving force behind a paladin.

The paladin is a half-caster, meaning they have spellcasting abilities, as well as martial prowess. A paladin actually needs 3 stats in order to really excel: Strength, Constitution, and Charisma. Strength will more than likely serve as the attacking stat and given that paladins have proficiency in all armor, shields, and weapons, they’ll be getting a lot out of it.

Charisma and Constitution are pretty interchangeable, as a higher Charisma means a higher spell save DC and better spellcasting all-around. A higher Constitution means you can stay in the fight a lot longer, and save easier against saving throws to keep concentration on spells, most of which your spells require.

Speaking of spells, paladins have a great spell list to choose and prepare from, mostly either dealing damage on hit, such as Blinding Smite. Other spells heal/buff you and your allies, such as Cure Wounds or Greater Restoration.

Paladins are a strong class with a lot of thematic and powerful abilities. Lay on Hands is your most readily available source of healing, being able to choose how much out of your total pool is applied at one time. This feature can also cure disease and poison, too!

There are around 12 Fighting Styles to choose from that will have an impact on your gameplay, depending on what kind of build you’re going for. Great Weapon Fighting is the go-to for most paladins, but any of them would do well. Channel Divinity helps you take out those pesky undead too.

A paladin’s bread and butter is Divine Smite. Divine Smite significantly increases the paladin’s damage, and the best part is that you can decide to use it after you see what you rolled. This means that if you crit a roll, you can choose to burn a Divine Smite. Even better, Divine Smite adds damage to the initial damage roll, meaning that Divine Smite damage also crits. Suddenly, your 2d8 radiant damage suddenly becomes 4d8, and that’s with a small spell slot.

Extra Attack and Improved Divine Smite increases your damage potential as you progress, and Aura of Courage and Aura of Protection provide static buffs in a designated area of effect.

Oaths take this class even further, with 10 different options to choose from. Oaths typically give you another two ways to use your Channel Divinity, and a few powerful abilities thematic to your Oath. Some Oaths focus more on debuffing enemies, whilst others empower you and your allies.

The paladin class is an immensely flavorful class; pick it up if you get the chance for your next game of Dungeons and Dragons!