Gith 5e Guide

Published on August 6, 2021

What is this guide?

This guide is meant to give you an idea of whether or not the Gith will be right for your character build.

The color code below has been implemented to help you identify, at a glance, how good that option will be for your Gith. This color coding isn’t a hard and fast rule; there are plenty of sub-optimized options out there that will be viable to your party and will be fun to play.

  • Black is a trait shared by many races and or will not impact the effectiveness of your character build
  • Red isn’t going to contribute to the effectiveness of your character build at all
  • Orange is an OK option
  • Green is a good option
  • Blue is a great option, you should strongly consider this option for your character
  • Sky Blue is an amazing option. If you do not take this option your character would not be optimized

Tasha's Cauldron of Everything Update

Tasha's Cauldron of Everything has added the "Customizing Your Origin" option that may affect the ability score increases, languages, and proficiencies in this guide. To read more about this, visit our D&D Race Guide.

What are Gith?

The Gith, once servants of the mind flayers, overthrew their masters to obtain freedom. After their victory, two factions quickly formed with opposing views on how they should move on with their lives. 

The Githyanki are angry at their circumstances, believing they have the right to to kill whoever and take whatever they want. Their hatred for the mind flayer still runs very deep and they wish to destroy them all. On the other hand, the Githzerai have chosen to cut themselves off from the world, taking refuge in an impenetrable fortress and only venturing out to eradicate nearby mind flayers.

Even now, the Githyanki and Githzerai have inconsolable differences and will kill each other on sight.

Gith are a playable character race found in Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes.

Gith Traits

Ability Score Increase: +1 INT is pretty bad. Very few classes need INT and most that do want +2. Luckily the Gith subraces add more meaningful ability score increases to this baseline, but they don’t really pair well with INT.

Size: Medium is the typical size of most races, and is neither good nor bad.

Speed: Gith have a standard walking speed of 30 feet.

Gith Subraces

Githyanki

Githyanki have a bizarre mish-mash of ability scores and traits. They don’t seem to be designed for any one class or build, though the spells offer good utility to all.

Ability Score Increase: STR and INT don’t really go together, though STR builds can just ignore the INT if necessary.

Decadent Mastery: Learning languages isn’t too exciting, but a free skill proficiency is a nice bonus.

Martial Prodigy: This trait is interesting because it allows INT spellcasters a chance to use medium armor and wield swords. Martial Prodigy opens the door for some unique character builds, even if they aren’t optimized. STR builds will flat out ignore this because they will likely already have access to the weapons and armor.

Githyanki Psionics: These spells don’t require components and use INT as the spellcasting modifier.

  • 1st Level – Mage Hand: Every party likes to have a character with Mage Hand to grab hard to reach objects or to open a potentially trapped door or chest.
  • 3rd Level – Jump: Increasing jump distance is rarely useful and is severely outclassed by other movement spells. Even one free cast per long rest isn’t enough to make this spell useful. 
  • 5th Level – Misty Step: Misty Step is the staple movement spell for those classes lucky enough to have access to it. It can be cast as a bonus action and avoids opportunity attacks. A free cast once per long rest adds great utility and can act as a get out of jail free card.

Githzerai

Githzerai also have strange ability scores. The racial trait is generally more useful than that of the Githyanki and none of the spells are a miss.

Ability Score Increase: WIS and INT don’t really go together since spellcasters either use one or the other, though WIS builds can just ignore the INT if necessary.

Mental Discipline: Charmed and Frightened are very annoying conditions in the best case, and really deadly in the worst case. Having advantage against these conditions will make it far less likely that you succumb to them.

Githzerai Psionics: These spells don’t require components and use WIS as the spellcasting modifier.

  • 1st Level – Mage Hand: Every party likes to have a character with Mage Hand to grab hard to reach objects or to open a potentially trapped door or chest.
  • 3rd Level – Shield: The Shield spell is awesome when a devastating attack comes your way. Being able to cast it for free once per long rest could absolutely save your life on more than one occasion.
  • 5th Level – Detect Thoughts: Useful spell for interrogations, or to determine if there are any hidden creatures near your location.

Which Classes Work With Gith?

The Gith are not an optimal choice for any class. You are pretty much guaranteed to have a wasted ability score increase or a racial trait that leaves you wanting something else. Still, Gith can be a lot of fun when not aiming to make the most powerful character possible.

Artificer: Since both subraces come with INT, they are both reasonable choices for Artificers. Githyanki are cool if you want to try a melee build, and Githzerai are for those that want to take a more defensive approach.

Barbarian: +2 STR means the Barbarian is happy as a Githyanki, even if Martial Prodigy is a complete waste of a racial trait. While it’s funny to have spellcasting on a Barbarian, you won’t be able to cast them while in a Rage.

Bard: Bards need CHA to be effective.

Cleric: Both subraces are a decent option for Clerics. Githyanki is great for those that want to swing a lot of weapons, and Githzerai is better for those that want to hang back, cast spells, and play defensively. 

Druid: Druids are one of the best options for a Gith, namely the Githzerai. Githzerai offer more survivability, which Druids sorely need, and +2 WIS goes a long way for this class. If the +1 INT were DEX or CON the Githzerai would be perfect for a Druid.

Fighter: Most Fighters will be just fine as a Githyanki, and Eldritch Knights are a perfect fit. Martial Prodigy is a wasted racial trait as Fighters have access to all the weapons and armor already.

Monk: WIS is important for Monks, and the Githzerai comes with WIS and some solid defensive options. The issue is that DEX is even more important, and that’s sorely missed here.

Paladin: STR is good for Paladins, but they are too multi-ability dependent to waste an ability score increase on INT. Nothing besides the STR on the Githyanki is interesting for a Paladin.

Ranger: WIS is good for spellcasting, but Rangers typically need more DEX than WIS. The rest of the traits of the Githzerai are quite good, but not really enough to make up for the lack of DEX. STR is also a tricky option for Rangers, though there are much better races to try to make it work.

Rogue: Rogues need DEX to be effective.

Sorcerer: Sorcerers need CHA to be effective.

Warlock: Warlocks need CHA to be effective.

Wizard: Since both subraces come with INT, they are both reasonable choices for Wizards. Githyanki is interesting for the additional armor options, while Githzerai offer good protection from conditions. The spells, while useful as a free cast, can all be obtained by Wizards already.

Roland Drews

Roland Drews is a content creator and editor at Arcane Eye. When he isn't watching basketball or noodling on his guitar, you can find Roland reading, writing, or playing D&D. He currently lives in Bonn, Germany with his girlfriend Jess.