Tabaxi 5e Guide
Published on January 15, 2021
Matt Stewart - Wizards of the Coast - Ajani's Sunstriker
What is this guide?
This guide is meant to give you an idea of whether or not the Tabaxi 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 Tabaxi. 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 Tabaxi?
Tabaxi originate from a jungle far away from where most adventures take place in the Forgotten Realms. These tall, feline humanoids tend to remain with their clans in their homeland, but some of been known to travel far and wide to uncover the world’s mysteries and find treasure. Tabaxi are strong athletes with heightened senses, making them powerful in combat and proficient hunters.
Tabaxi are a playable character race found in Volo’s Guide to Monsters.
Ability Score Increase: DEX is by far the most common +2 racial bonus, but CHA pairs nicely for many builds.
Size: Medium is the typical size of most races, and is neither good nor bad.
Speed: Tabaxi have standard walking speed, but the racial trait Feline Agility makes Tabaxi one of the most mobile races in D&D.
Darkvision: Darkvision is always great, but its advantage can be ruined if your party members do not also have it.
Feline Agility: Feline Agility is just fantastic. Doubling your speed at will can be very useful in a pinch, and it recharges very easily by simply not moving for a turn. Even if you don’t choose to recharge it, you can still move at regular speed on your turn.
Cat’s Claws: The best part of Cat’s Claws is that Tabaxi get a climbing speed, making your build even more mobile. Using claws to attack is less exciting, unless you really want to do an unarmed attack with slashing damage instead of bludgeoning damage.
Cat’s Talent: Perception and Stealth are some of the best skills to be proficient in, so naturally picking these up for free is great. Even if you don’t intend to make a stealthy character, being proficient in Stealth could save you and your party from being detected in a dangerous situation.
Which Classes Work With Tabaxi?
DEX and CHA is a strong combination for a number of different classes. Tabaxi come with Darkvision, great mobility, and Perception and Stealth proficiencies, making them ideal for stealth builds. Any character that likes to fly around the battlefield, namely those that want to be up close and personal with their enemies, will benefit as well.
Artificer: Artificers need INT to be effective.
Barbarian: Barbarians really need a STR bonus to be effective. This is disappointing because the mobility options of Feline Agility and Cat’s Claws could be very interesting for Barbarians.
Bard: While there are many races that give a 2 CHA bonus, most Bards can get away with the +1 CHA, especially if they can make use of the Tabaxi’s DEX bonus with a melee build. Bards also love skill proficiencies, so the two free skills that Tabaxi get is very tempting.
Cleric: Being a full caster class, Clerics really need a WIS bonus to be at their best. There are Clerics that build around DEX, but the lack of WIS is simply too much of a handicap.
Druid: Druids need WIS to be effective.
Fighter: DEX-based Fighters work with Tabaxi, since bows and finesse weapons can apply DEX instead of STR. CHA however is largely wasted on most Fighters, and Rogues can usually do CHA related things with a much higher degree of success.
Monk: DEX is the best stat for the Monk, and the Tabaxi’s movement options synergize with the Monk’s class features to make them one of the most agile people in a fight. CHA however is usually a dump stat for Monks, who need to focus on DEX, WIS, and CON, leaving no room for the other stats.
Paladin: Paladins are one of the better classes for a Tabaxi, as they love stacking AC and cast their spells with CHA. Pick up some STR for attacks and armor, CON for hit points and CON saves, and you have yourself a well-rounded Paladin.
Ranger: DEX is an important stat for Rangers, but Rangers would much rather see WIS or CON as a secondary ability score increase. The added mobility and free skills do compliment Rangers, so this is a middle of the road pick for Tabaxi.
Rogue: Tabaxi were basically made to be played with the Rogue class. DEX and CHA are exactly what most Rogues look for, and the skill proficiencies, climbing speed, and Darkvision all fit in perfectly. With two free skill proficiencies, a Tabaxi Rogue could easily be proficient in nearly half of the skills. To top it all off, combining the Rogue’s Cunning Action to Dash as a bonus action and the Tabaxi’s Feline Agility means that a character could move up to 120 feet in a single turn while still able to make an attack!
Sorcerer: DEX makes the class less squishy and CHA is the most important ability score for Sorcerers. The rest of the racial traits are not very useful since there is usually a spell that can achieve the same thing.
Warlock: Tabaxi Warlocks face similar issues as Sorcerers in that the racial traits are just not very useful.
Wizard: Wizards need INT to be effective.