[Top 5] D&D Best Rogue Race - What's the Best Race for Rogues?

The world of thieves, rogues and people who do their job, but who can do it the best?
The best choices are not always the most obvious

What race should you pick when playing a Rogue?

Dungeons and Dragons ranges widely in its options for races and subraces and it can be incredibly overwhelming to find the perfect one for your everday Assassin.

This list will remind you of some of the best options availalbe for rogues, and perhaps a few you have not thought of up until now, broadening your horizons for your next Arcane Trickster, Thief or Swashbuckler.

5. Hexblood

The Hexblood Race (pictured) as provided in Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft keep it's spot as one of the best customizable races in all of Dungeons and Dragons

As always, Hexblood makes the list, because it's Hexblood. A solid damage boost all around and the ability to pose disadvantages with a knack for customizability. Hexbloods benefit from racial variation in that it makes a large set of subclasses viable, making Hexblood, once again, the master of choices. For more distance-based rogues, you can always get Mobility, Hex for damage bonus, or flight for good ranged capabilities.

I personally find Arcane Trickster the most fun on Hexblood. As you gain more levels, things such as Shadow Blade and similar will give you great choices as concentration spells over other choices, making you an oddly close-ranged build. This, of course, doesn’t limit you from taking Assassin with a bow or another ranged weapon. I could go on and explain more and more combinations, but the point stands that, as usual, Hexblood’s for the customizer.

Why Hexblood is Great for Rogue 

  • The amount of customizability 
  • A large set of viable subclasses
  • Creative uses of blending spells into sneak attacks

Pick Hexblood if…

  • You want a large range of customizability
  • You want a pseudo-magic assassin
  • You want to be solid all around in skills

Hexblood Details: http://dnd5e.wikidot.com/hexblood

4. High Elf

The High Elf (pictured) is a hesistent suprise to most for a thief, but even when using it's other variants like Wood Elf, it becomes more obvious

Booming Blade is just such a good spell on rogues. That is literally it. Why is this higher than Hexblood? Good question. On paper, Hexblood is far more customizable, and normally I would always side with that, however, being able to ignore being slept by magic and having the additional advantage against charms gives you an incredible benefit in your defenses. Having the options of the cantrips is incredibly helpful on top of that, but Booming Blade is still a perfect spell to me.

When it comes to sublclasses, using Assassin at level 5 with the Alert feat gives you an advantage on most attacks, ranged or not, if melee, getting the bonus of a Booming Blade and dealing an average of 1d8+3d6+1d8 with an average of 26 damage per turn, boosted to 34 if the target moves, with a maximum of 50 on a moving target. This high-damage is pretty good for level 5 and is incredibly consistent. Down the line, it only gets better.

Why High Elf is Great for Rogue 

  • High Damage Early Game
  • Cantrip Versatility is Always Amazing
  • Solid Defenses

Pick High Elf if…

  • You want higher damage with Melee Rogue
  • You want focus on spell-blade combat
  • You want to blend magic into gameplay

High Elf Details: http://dnd5e.wikidot.com/elf

3. Kenku

One of the most beloved races of Dungeons and Dragons, Kenku (pictured), always head-canoned to never have the ability to recite it's own spells, so use them to stab enemies instead

I will die on the hill where Kenku is one of the best Dungeons and Dragons races for rogues, since no one ever seems to believe me, so let me convince you. I think one of the best aspects of rogue is the skill-monkeyness of the class, Kenku Recall makes this even more prevalent. First you're getting free skill proficiency, which is solid all-around, but whenever you make a check with a proficiency skill, you can add advantage of it. Just because you want to. That's insane.

Taking level 5 rogue with the Failed Merchant background from Acquisitions Incorporated gives your Investigation and Persuasion skill proficiencies. Adding in Kenku, you get an additional 6 proficiencies in skills. Taking Prodigy at 4 gives you an additional proficiency and expertise as well, giving you a whopping 3 expertise and 9 proficient skills, making you have 3 uses of advantage on any of those. This is why Kenku is awesome for skill monkey rogues, even before that amazing multiclass into Bard, but that’s neither here nor there.

Note: Prodigy is Human, Half-Orc or Half-Elf only, this is working on the basis that your DM is open to letting you use it, Skilled is another solid choice that gives you a combination of 3 new proficiencies in place of Prodigy.

Why Kenku is Great for Rogue 

  • Amazing Skill Array
  • Solid Long-Range Gameplay
  • Being the Face of a Party

Pick Kenku if…

  • You want insane skill coverage

Kenku Details: https://www.tribality.com/2022/02/14/monsters-of-the-multiverse-breakdown-part-two/

2. Kobold

The best Dungeons and Dragons race, Kobold (pictured), according to a forever DM who still hasn't made a character with the race because they removed Pack Tactics... the world's never been the same

I still love Kobolds. It's a biased addiction, I know, but I’m not breaking that impulse as Kobolds are one of the best rogue races in the game in every single form. For the sake of this, I will be referring to the Monsters of the Multiverse Kobold as it is the "Official" version as of July 2022. Draconic Cry is an amazing advantage for in-a-pinch Sneak Attack triggers, and remember how I said Booming Blade was awesome on High Elf? You can get it on Kobold too with Draconic Sorcery.

The reason why I put Kobold so much higher than High Elf though, is because you get the Hexblood’s customizability with the upside of Draconic Cry always being present. Basically, taking the disadvantage of Hexblood and buffing it, as well as the ability to take a booming blade or other options to match High Elf. This is another case of having options being better, in my opinion, than being min-maxed. I also do have a bias towards Kobolds, so I’ll make that clear.

Why Kobold is Great for Rogue 

  • Booming Blade Access
  • Free Sneak Attack Prox
  • Solid Customizability

Pick Kobold if…

  • You want a Hexblood or High Elf Alternative
  • You want options
  • You want sneak attacks prox

Kobold Details: https://forgottenrealms.fandom.com/wiki/Kobold

1. Deep Gnome

No one has run them, because everyone forgets they exist, the Deep Gnomes (pictured) are built to perfection and probably one of the most underutilized races of all time... now give it knives

If you look up the term "undetectable", you will find Deep Gnome rogue in the dictionary. 120ft Darkvision, Disguise Stealth, Nondetection and Svirfneblin Camouflage makes Gnome the master of stealth and sneak. That’s not even counting the amazing defenses of Gnomish Magic Resistance, which will make up for Rogue’s Evasion weak spots. If you want to play THE rogue that everyone knows, there is little more to look at than Deep Gnome.

Deep Gnome benefits by just making Rogue even better at what they do, helping with stealth checks and being more defensively-inclined when caught in the act. Deep Gnome, to me, was written for Rogue, not written haphazardly, much like how Hexblood was written for Warlock, but I digress. It’s a solid foundation of stone with the Rogue. By picking Deep Gnome, you're just making the stone obsidian, with no chance of breaking past it anytime early game.

Why Deep Gnome is Great for Rogue 

  • Solid Additions to Rogue Base
  • Additional Help in Stealth
  • Helpful Defenses

Pick Deep Gnome if…

  • You want an amazing early game
  • You want to be stealth-focused as a rogue
  • You like solid gameplay loops

Deep Gnome Details: https://roll20.net/compendium/dnd5e/Deep%20Gnome%20(Svirfneblin)#content

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