Leonin Guide 5e

Published on February 2, 2022, Last modified on May 19th, 2022

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What is this guide?

This guide is meant to give you an idea of whether or not the leonin will be right for your 5e character build.

The color code below has been implemented to help you identify, at a glance, how good that option will be for your leonin. 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 Leonin in 5e?

Source: Mythic Odyessys of Theros

Leonin are noble, fierce creatures native to the plains of Oreskos on Theros. They typically live in nomadic tribes and tend to have an unfavorable view on outsiders. Leonin are quick to anger and will retaliate against even the slightest insult to their honor or pride. Larger than most humanoids, most leonin have powerful builds which, when combined with their sharp claws and teeth, makes the formidable foes.

Leonin 5e Traits

Ability Score Increase: +2 CON is useful for just about any class (who doesn’t want more hitpoints?), but the +1 STR narrows the viability of this array for most non-martial classes. Typically, CON is a secondary or tertiary focus, so getting +2 to it and a bonus to STR can leave most builds looking for spellcasting modifiers or DEX high and dray. This array is great for classes that want to get down and dirty in combat.

Speed: An extra 5 feet of walking speed is solid for closing the distance with enemies or keeping your distance, depending on your build.

Darkvision: Darkvision is always great, but its advantage can be ruined if your party members do not also have it.

Claws: Natural weapons aren’t all that useful unless you’re in a situation where you don’t have your gear, which makes this ability situationally useful.

Hunter’s Instincts: Solid choice of skill proficiencies that will benefit just about any build.

Daunting Roar: An AoE frighten effect has a bonus action is some serious value. This ability only works within a 10ft radius and uses your CON modifier, so it is ultimately best for martial builds.

Which 5e Classes Work With Leonin?

Due to the ASI array and Daunting Roar ability, leonin make exceptional martial builds that are focused on closing with the enemy and dishing out damage.

Artificer: Nothing here for an artificer.

Barbarian: Perfect ability score array, the bonus to your walking speed can help you close with enemies, and your Daunting Roar can provide a massive debuff to enemies you're in close quarters with. What's not to love?

Bard: Nothing here for a bard.

Cleric: Nothing here for a caster cleric. Melee clerics can make use of the Daunting Roar if they get their CON high enough.

Druid: Nothing here for a druid.

Fighter: Perfect ability score array, the bonus to your walking speed can help you close with enemies, and your Daunting Roar can provide a massive debuff to enemies you're in close quarters with. What's not to love?

Monk: The bonus to CON can help with your meager durability and the Daunting Roar is an excellent ability to have if you get surrounded. Your natural weapons unfortunately don't add anything to your Martial Arts ability.

Paladin: Perfect ability score array, the bonus to your walking speed can help you close with enemies, and your Daunting Roar can provide a massive debuff to enemies you're in close quarters with.

Ranger: Nothing here for a ranged ranger. Melee rangers can make use of the Daunting Roar if they get their CON high enough.

Rogue: A leonin would make for an interesting rogue build. The bonus to your speed is solid, as is the Darkvision and proficiency to Perception granted by Hunter's Instincts. The Daunting Roar feature would work well on a more "brawler" focused rogue who has a pumped CON and isn't afraid of going toe-to-toe with baddies.

Sorcerer: The +2 CON is okay for hit points and concentration checks, but not getting a CHA or even DEX bonus really hurts. The Daunting Roar ability can help you get out of situations where you find yourself surrounded, but so could a misty step.

Warlock: The +2 CON is okay for hit points and concentration checks, but not getting a CHA or even DEX bonus really hurts. The Daunting Roar ability can help pad your meager spell slots by giving you some additional combat resources but, with a 10-foot radius, won't be effective unless you're playing a Hexblade or find yourself surrounded.

Wizard: The +2 CON is okay for hit points and concentration checks, but not getting an INT or even DEX bonus really hurts. The Daunting Roar ability can help you get out of situations where you find yourself surrounded, but so could a misty step.

Sources Used in This Guide

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.

2 thoughts on “Leonin

  1. Have you considered the fact that Leonin could make a decent Wizard? No bonus to INT is obviously a disadvantage, but the CON buff is nice for holding concentration, not to mention the roar can get you out of a spot where your Wizard is pinned in between a rock and a hard place. Especially if your party is rolling for stats, it seems like you could do pretty well as a Leonin Wizard

    1. I’d say that, even if you’re playing with Tasha’s Customize Your Origins rules, leonin are subpar wizards. The Daunting Roar feature is really the only thing that a wizard would use from the leonin’s racial traits and even then is way worse than something like the fear spell. When you compare the leonin to a yuan-ti or satyr that have resistance against magic, or a fairy that grants flight and spells the leonin comes out way behind.

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