[Top 5] D&D: Most Versatile Classes

D&D: Most Versatile Class
It depends on how you define "versatility".

One way to interpret class versatility is the ability to create a variety of characters who, despite being the same base class, still drastically differ from one another.

Another is versatility of a singular build – how possible it is to create a well-rounded character of that class that can succeed in most challenges and circumstances. 

Some classes are versatile in one way, but not the other. So which classes have the most options for character customization and let you perform well in the widest variety of different skills and abilities? 

5. Rogue 

While they aren’t heavy-hitters, rogues really shine in their ability to specialize for massive skill check bonuses. They get a variety of skills and increased proficiencies, making it much harder for them to fail any sort of skill check. 

Not only that, but they have a decent amount of subclasses that all feel significantly different from one another in flavor and abilities. 

While not necessarily a bad thing, one factor to keep in mind is the rogue’s general reliance on Sneak Attack. This does somewhat limit their mechanical variety from character to character and subclass to subclass. 

Why Rogues are Versatile

  • Right off the bat, the rogue gets to choose four skill proficiencies at character creation. 
  • They are also proficient in a wide array of weapon types, including ranged weapons like hand crossbows or melee weapons like longswords and rapiers. 
  • Not only are they proficient in many different skills, they also get Expertise at 1st and 6th level which doubles their proficiency bonus for either two skills or one skill and their Thieves' Tools. 
  • Reliable Talent further decreases their chance of failing at a skill check, since it allows the player to treat a roll of 9 or lower as a 10 whenever making an ability check that includes your proficiency bonus.

4. Wizard

The sheer size of the wizard spell list and the way their spellcasting functions make them a really versatile class option. In many ways, they can be prepared for any scenario that comes up. 

They do have a few drawbacks, however. While they can prepare any spell from their spellbook, it takes time to do so. Copying spells into their spellbook also takes time and money. 

Their low hit dice and limited healing spells also impact their versatility. Especially early on, wizards have to be incredibly aware of their fragility in combat. 

Why Wizards are Versatile

  • Wizards have the absolute largest spell list out of all of the classes. This means they have the widest variety of different spells they can learn and cast. 
  • Not only that, but wizards can also learn spells from scrolls found while adventuring which further adds to what they can potentially do. 
  • Wizards can swap out their spells after each long rest. This gives them more flexibility for a wider array of scenarios than casters who have an immutable list of spells that they cannot consistently change. 
  • Wizards have access to Ritual Casting, which lets them cast any spell they have in their spellbook without preparing it or using a spell slot as long as they have ten extra minutes to spare. 

3. Cleric 

Despite being most commonly associated with healers, clerics can really take on any potential role within the party.  

The amount and variety of cleric subclasses really let you create customized builds and characters. With the Players Handbook, Dungeon Master’s Guide, Xanathar’s Guide to Everything, Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide, and Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, there are 14 different subclass options that all play very differently. 

Why Clerics are Versatile

  • Clerics can do so many different things and perform well in so many different roles. They can heal, deal damage, buff, or debuff. They are full spellcasters who can also engage in melee combat because of their general hardiness. 
  • They have some of the widest variety of spells apart from the wizard, while also having access to better armor. 
  • After each long rest, clerics can prepare spells from the entire cleric spell list. This gives them a lot of consistent choice, freedom, and flexibility. 
  • As mentioned before, they have a huge variety of domains to choose from. Each one will let you go towards a different kind of build. 

2. Druid 

Druids are a versatile class that excel in almost any role, with potential as warriors, tanks, healers, or support players. They have full spell progression, unique spell options, good skills, and wildshape. 

Overall, there’s a lot of room for creativity in how you decide to play your druid. This means you’ll always be your party's swiss army knife, capable of excelling in virtually any scenario. 

Why Druids are Versatile 

  • As mentioned above, druids can be great tanks, healers, melee damage dealers, and ranged spellcasters. 
  • They have an incredible spell list with many unique, class-specific options. 
  • Wildshape grants druids a lot of versatility. Since you can turn into so many different kinds of animals, you can continuously adapt to whatever the situation demands. With this ability, they can fly, swim deep underwater, travel through small crevices, scout ahead, or a number of different things that are unaccomplishable for other classes.  

1. Bard 

The "Jack of All Trades" class, bards can truly do anything and be good at anything. With their high amount of skill proficiencies and unique class features, bards can perform the widest variety of tasks and use their varied skills to solve the most problems. 

The fact that their spellcasting ability is Charisma only adds to this flexibility. Not only do they have spellcasting and a huge variety of skills, but they can also function as the face of the party and succeed in most social scenarios and challenges. 

Why Bards are Versatile

  • During character creation bards can choose three proficiencies in any of the skill options, making them ultra customizable. 
  • Bards also have access to Expertise at 3rd level, which doubles two of their skill proficiencies. 
  • Jack of all trades lets you add half your proficiency bonus to any ability check you make that doesn't already include it, meaning that even when bards aren't particularly good at something they still are less likely to fail a skill check. 
  • Through Magical Secrets, bards can learn spells from any other class's spell list. 
  • With CHA as their core modifier, bards can add social skills to their repertoire. Yes, they have spellcasting, tons of customizable skills, and the ability to heal, buff, and debuff – but they can also get the party through any difficult social situation or potentially talk their way out of a battle. 

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Morgan is the newest crypid on the east coast. Legend says she can be summoned with an old Pokemon Crystal cartridge and a copy of Jim Henson's The Labyrinth on VHS.
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