Half-Elf 5e

Published on June 11, 2020, Last modified on May 5th, 2022

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Artificer: Nothing here for an Artificer.

Barbarian: Being able to take +1 to CON or STR is not enough to make a Half-Elf Barbarian work.

Bard: The +2 CHA, ASI, and skill versatility make this is one of the better races for the Bard class.

Cleric: The CHA bonus is largely unproductive for Clerics, but increasing two ability scores by 1 allows you to boost WIS and CON/STR/DEX to create a rather well-rounded character. Advantage on saving throws against being charmed and immunity to being put to sleep keeps you healing and buffing your party in dangerous situations. The +2 WIS bonus offered by the Mark of the Detection subrace is very tempting for Clerics as it is not offered by many other races. The spells and racial traits are an added bonus.

Druid: The CHA bonus is largely unproductive for Druids, but increasing two ability scores by 1 allows you to boost WIS and CON/STR/DEX to create a rather well-rounded character. Advantage on saving throws against being charmed and immunity to being put to sleep keeps you healing and helping your party in dangerous situations. The +2 WIS bonus offered by the Mark of the Detection is very tempting for Druids as it is not offered by many other races. The spells and racial traits are an added bonus.

Fighter: Being able to take +1 to CON or STR is not enough to make a Half-Elf Fighter optimal.

Monk: CHA is bad but you can increase DEX and WIS by 1. Proficiency in two skills is also a nice bonus.

Paladin: Half-Elves get a buff to CHA and get two free Ability Score Increases (ASIs). This combined with Dark Vision and two free skills make Half-Elves one of the best races for Paladins.

Ranger: The CHA bonus is largely unproductive for Rangers, but increasing two ability scores by 1 allows you to boost WIS and STR/DEX to create a rather well-rounded character. Advantage on saving throws against being charmed and immunity to being put to sleep is nice. The +2 WIS bonus offered by the Mark of the Detection subrace is very tempting for rangers as it is not offered by many other races. The spells are an added bonus to the Ranger's limited spell list.

Rogue: No +2 to DEX will be a huge burden for Rogues, but skill versatility can be important for skill monkeys. If your rogue is going to be the party's face, you can get away with a +2 CHA, +1 DEX, and pickup Deception and Persuasion.

Sorcerer: The +2 CHA, ASI, and skill versatility make this is one of the better races for the Sorcerer class. The Mark of Storm subrace is particularly tempting because it offers a number of spells while keeping with a solid ability mod bonus.

Warlock: The +2 CHA, ASI, and skill versatility make this is one of the better races for the Sorcerer class. The Half-Elf Drow subrace is great because it provides a couple of useful Warlock spells and won't make you burn any of your precious slots for them.

Wizard: Not being able to pick up a +2 to INT is going to make the Half-Elf a tough go for Wizards.

Mike Bernier

Mike Bernier is the lead content writer and founder of Arcane Eye. Outside of writing for Arcane Eye, Mike spends most of his time playing games, hiking with his girlfriend, and tending the veritable jungle of houseplants that have invaded his house. He is the author of Escape from Mt. Balefor and The Heroes of Karatheon. Mike specializes in character creation guides for players, homebrewed mechanics and tips for DMs, and one-shots with unique settings and scenarios. Follow Mike on Twitter.

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