[Top 3] D&D Best Melee Classes

D&D Best Melee Class
Knights in shining armor are always flashy, and also the first to be toasted.

[Top 3] D&D Best Melee Classes

While it can be fun to sit back and do everything from a safe distance, somebody always has to run up and do something because melee is where a lot of bonuses lie. Not to mention, if you play right, you won’t even need a weapon. So here are my top picks for making a melee character.

3. BarbarianA barbarian wielding a Greataxe

Some people like to run in headfirst without a backup plan. Those people are probably barbarians. With a heavy focus on strength and a lot of survivability, Barbarians can run into battle screaming at the top of their lungs and still come out alive.

Why Barbarians are Great for Melee:

Rage (1st): Additional damage on Strength-based melee attacks, Advantage on all Strength Checks and Saves, and you gain resistance to Bludgeoning, Piercing, and Slashing damage for 1 minute if you attack, or are attacked. You cannot wear heavy armor with this.

Unarmored Defense (1st): While not wearing armor, your AC adds Constitution and Dexterity.

Reckless Attack (2nd): Gain advantage on attack rolls at will.

Danger Sense (2nd): If you aren’t Blinded, Deafened, or Incapacitated, you have advantage on Dexterity Saving Throws you can see.

Extra Attack (5th): You can attack twice in one action.

Fast Movement (5th): Your movement speed increases by 10 feet while not wearing heavy armor.

Feral Instinct (7th): You have advantage on Initiative rolls, and as long as you aren’t incapacitated, you can act normally on your first turn when surprised provided you rage first.

Brutal Critical (9th, 13th, 17th): when you land a critical hit, you deal 1 additional damage die (determined by the weapon) each time it improves.

Relentless Rage (11th): If you are raging and take damage that would knock you out, but not kill you; you can make a Constitution Save. If you succeed, you get back up, though the save gets tougher.

Persistent Rage (15th): You rage cannot end early anymore unless you fall unconscious, or end it yourself.

Primal Champion (20th): Your Strength and Constitution increase by 4, and so does the maximum for said scores.

You essentially become a man who is far too angry to die.

Barbarian Details: https://www.dndbeyond.com/classes/barbarian 

2. MonkA monk

As a master of the martial arts, a monk is capable of keeping a single target down or spreading damage around several targets, as well as being nimble and slippery. Perhaps not as slippery as Rogues, but slippery enough to make them a good choice.

Why Monks are Great for Melee:

Unarmored Defense (1st): When you aren’t wearing armor, Wisdom, and Dexterity both increase your AC.

Martial Arts (1st): All monk weapons including your fists can use Dexterity instead of strength, you can make an unarmed attack as a bonus action after attacking, and your damage die can’t be lower than your martial arts die.

Ki (2nd): A highly valuable resource that can be used for cool tricks (Each one uses 1 Ki point):

Flurry of Blows: Attack twice in a bonus action.

Patient Defense: Dodge as a bonus action.

Step of the Wind: Disengage or Dash, and double your jump distance as a bonus action.

Unarmored Movement (2nd): You move faster without armor.

Deflect Missiles (3rd): When you get hit with a ranged attack, you can catch it, or throw it right back with a Ki point.

Slow Fall (4th): You don’t take as much fall damage if you can react.

Extra Attack (5th): You can attack more times as part of your action.

Stunning Strike (5th): If you hit an enemy, they need to make a Constitution Saving Throw, or they lose their next turn, and it becomes easier to hit them until your next turn ends.

Ki-Empowered Strikes (6th): Your fists are magical without actually being magic, and bypass resistances that magic weapons can bypass.

Evasion (7th): If you can make a Dexterity Saving Throw that allows you to take half damage upon success, you take half damage on failure and no damage on a success.

Diamond Soul (14th): You become proficient in all saving throws, and if you fail a save you can re-roll it and take the new roll for 1 Ki point.

Empty Body (18th): You can spend 4 Ki points and an action to become invisible for 1 minute with resistance to all damage except force damage stacked on top of all that. You can also spend 8 Ki points to go on a spiritual journey through the astral plane.

Perfect Self (20th): If a fight starts and you don’t have any Ki points, you regain 4 of them.

Jackie Chan!

Monk Details: https://www.dndbeyond.com/classes/monk

1. RogueA rogue with a Rapier

With their reliable ability to dish out massive amounts of damage, and stay slippery, a rogue is one of the best ways to take out any enemy in only a few well-played rounds. And if you can get the drop on an enemy, there is nothing scarier than all the damage dice they roll combined with a critical hit. Rogues don’t need to hit you often; they only need a few good blows.

Why Rogues are Great for Melee:

Expertise (1st): if there’s a skill you really don’t want to fail (like stealth), this can make it ridiculously easy to do, so you can get surprise rounds easily so long as your DM does surprise rounds.

Sneak Attack (1st): This starts at an innocent 1d6, and grows by 1 every odd level. If you can get a friend near your chosen enemy or any good source of Advantage on them, you can deal that sneak attack damage once every turn you can hit them! Just make sure your weapon is ranged or has the finesse property.

Cunning Action (2nd): You can Dash, Disengage, or Hide as a bonus action.

Uncanny Dodge (5th): If an attacker you can see hits you with an attack, you can use your reaction to take half damage, plus resistances.

Evasion (7th): Just like monk, if you need to make a Dexterity Saving Throw that lets you take half damage on a success, you instead take half damage on failure and no damage on a success.

Blindsense (14th): If you can hear, you know where your enemies hide. Within 10 feet of course.

Slippery Mind (15th): You become proficient in Wisdom Saving Throws. You just do not care.

Elusive (18th): No attack roll has advantage against you if you aren’t Incapacitated. I mean it doesn’t help against Stunning Strike, but this is incredibly handy to have anyway.

Stroke of Luck (20th): Once per short or long rest if you miss an attack, or fail an ability check, you can just say: I’m feeling lucky, and that is a natural 20.

The barbarian takes most of the damage, while you take out their weak points. Also, all the daggers!

Rogue Details: https://www.dndbeyond.com/classes/rogue

Well, it’s not always the easy choice, especially when there are so many great ways to play. It can be really hard to find what works best for you, especially when you can’t even figure out which class you want to play. But that’s what these articles are for, is helping you to make the tough decisions as to what you want to play. But as always, it is your character, build it how you wish, and let your DM know what your plans are from Session 0, or even beforehand if possible. Well wishes to all, and may the dice roll in your favor.

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