Simic Hybrid 5e Guide
Published on July 6, 2021
Bram Sels - Wizards of the Coast - Growth-Chamber Guardian
What is this guide?
This guide is meant to give you an idea of whether or not the Simic Hybrid 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 Simic Hybrid. 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 Simic Hybrids?
Simic Hybrids are the product of experiments conducted by the Simic Combine on the plane of Ravnica. The magic used to fuse different life forms together has resulted in extensive and varied biological enhancements found in the test subjects. The Simic Combine now also creates humanoid hybrid subjects which they hope to use as an army. Although humanoid hybrids have been known to leave, they are then considered an outcast from the Combine and will have difficulty gaining the trust of the other guilds of Ravnica.
Simic Hybrids are a playable character race found in Guildmasters’ Guide to Ravnica.
Simic Hybrid Traits
Ability Score Increase: +2 CON and +1 of your choice is amazingly versatile. Every class is happy with this stat line, although some builds prefer +2 in their main stat.
Size: Medium is the typical size of most races, and is neither good nor bad.
Speed: Simic Hybrids have a standard walking speed of 30 feet.
Darkvision: Darkvision is always great, but its advantage can be ruined if your party members do not also have it.
Animal Enhancement: Simic Hybrids get one Animal Enhancement at 1st level and one at 5th level, offering even more versatility to this race. Some of these options also change your physical appearance. The options are as follows:
1st Level: Three good options for three different situations. Take whichever one you think is more likely to come up: falling, climbing, or swimming. In all likelihood, having a climb speed will prove more useful than the other two.
- Manta Glide: Similar to the Feather Fall spell but you get some horizontal movement as you fall (or rather, glide). As a caster, this is near useless because you can pick up the Feather Fall spell at level 1, but non-casters may find this useful, especially if they want to engage in some daring manoeuvres.
- Nimble Climber: Climb speed is useful for sneaky characters like Rogues. Once players in your party can fly and teleport around Nimble Climber becomes less exciting, but it’s still nice utility nonetheless.
- Underwater Adaptation: Someone in your party is bound to have a Water Breathing spell or potion at some point, but you never know when you will find yourself in the situation where you suddenly need to be able to swim fast and breathe underwater.
5th Level: The 5th level Animal Enhancements are more varied than the 1st level ones and provide more opportunity for your to customize your character.
- Grappling Appendages: Melee builds can have a field day with this enhancement. The damage isn’t bad and you get to try to grapple as a bonus action on a hit. This is a good way to get in some damage and keep your enemy in place while your allies pummel them on their turn.
- Carapace: Free AC is one of the best things you could hope for in a racial trait. This doesn’t work with heavy armor users, but they usually aren’t struggling for AC anyways.
- Acid Spit: The damage isn’t bad and it scales as you level up. The main issue here is that the save DC uses your CON modifier. Your CON won’t be terrible because Simic Hybrids get +2 CON, but Acid Spit’s save DC will still likely be lower than it could be.
Which Classes Work With Simic Hybrids?
The main draw of Simic Hybrids is the sheer flexibility that comes from their Ability Score Increases and Animal Enhancements. Every class will be happy as a Simic Hybrid, although there are always other races that will be more optimized for any given build.
Pretty much the only differentiation between the color grading below is how focused the class is on pumping CON. For MAD classes like Clerics, Monks, and Paladins, CON is usually an afterthought once primary ability scores are established.
Artificer: Artificers would love to +2 INT right off the bat but INT racial bonuses are rare enough that Artificers will be happy with the +1. Carapace is a good choice for the squishier caster classes but will be wasted if you end up going for an Armorer Artifcer build.
Barbarian: Barbarians love CON and STR, so choose your ability score accordingly. Nimble Climber, Grappling Appendages, and Carapace are all amazing choices for any Barbarian build.
Bard: Bards will want to choose CHA as their +1 ability score. Melee Bards could enjoy Grappling Appendages but Carapace is usually a smarter pickup.
Cleric: Clerics are usually pretty MAD (multi-ability dependant). While CON is always worthwhile, many Clerics would prefer to +2 WIS. That said, the Simic Hybrid’s ability score is still solid and their features are stellar. Keep in mind that Carapace won’t work with heavy armor and, if you’re going for a heavy armor build you will likely be in melee more often, so pick up Grappling Appendages instead.
Druid: WIS is really the only choice for the flexible ability score and the CON won’t go to waste. Carapace is great as Druids often have a tough time pumping up AC, but keep in mind that while in Wild Shape the Animal Enhancements won’t work. The 1st-level Animal Enhancements are solid ways to avoid having to burn a Wild Shape for something as simple as gliding, breathing underwater, or climbing.
Fighter: Fighters can be built for either STR or DEX. An interesting option is to choose Grappling Appendages and go for a STR build, picking up the Grappler feat somewhere along the way. The Grappler feat is typically considered underpowered, but if there were a chance to make it work it would be here. With the amount of attacks you get as a Fighter you can build a really scary close-range grappler.
Monk: DEX is your best choice for the ability score and CON is useful, but Monks are typically looking for a race that can give them access to both DEX and WIS. Monks typically fight unarmored and in melee range, making Carapace a nice addition.
Paladin: Paladins can be built in many ways and are multi-ability dependent, so the flexible ability score can go to STR, DEX, or CHA. Keep in mind that Carapace won’t work with heavy armor.
Ranger: DEX is likely the choice here and will make the character stronger overall than WIS. Rangers can struggle with hit points due to their meager hit dice, making the CON bonus very useful. Nimble Climber and Carapace are the likely go-to Animal Enhancements for Ranger builds.
Rogue: Getting to +1 DEX is your best choice for the ability score, though Rogues typically prefer being able to +2 DEX as it is their most important Ability Score by far. As a sneaky character, Nimble Climber will make your life a lot easier unless you are going for the Thief subclass which already provides this feature.
Sorcerer: CHA is your only reasonable option for the flexible ability score. Carapace is a good choice for the squishier caster classes.
Warlock: CHA is your only reasonable option for the flexible ability score. Carapace is a good choice for the squishier caster classes.
Wizard: INT is the best choice for the ability score, but DEX could also work if you are building a melee Bladesinger. Carapace is a good choice for the squishier caster classes and is even more tempting for a Bladesinger.