Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition offers players the chance to take on the role of powerful characters that they build from the ground up to experience the game’s stories. The ultimate goal for all adventurers is to reach level 20- a goal that is not always obtained from a level 1 starting character but is possible.
Reaching level 20 represents the pinnacle of character power. As a legendary figure that can rival the gods themselves, level 20 players can still be optimized to be the best of the best. In this article, we will outline some classes that can be considered the best level 20 builds in D&D.
Cleric (Forge Domain)
This level 20 Forge Domain Cleric harnesses the holy power of your patron deity to become an unstoppable force on the battlefield. Some key abilities for the class are as follows:
- Divine Intervention – At max level, your connection with the divine reaches its peak. You have a higher chance for your deity to intervene directly with your matters when you are in a time of great need. While the result should be positive for you, the details are decided by your Dungeon Master, allowing them more options to play as well.
- Soul of the Forge – Gain resistance to fire damage and the ability to imbue a nonmagical suit of armor or weapon with a +1 bonus, enhancing your defenses and offensive capabilities.
- Divine Strike – Your weapon attacks now deal additional radiant or fire damage, adding to your already potent combat prowess.
- Blessed Forge – You can create powerful magic items, enhancing your versatility and providing valuable resources for your party.
Druid (Circle of the Moon)
The Druid becomes quite powerful with some creativity at level 20. The Circle of the Moon harnesses the primal forces of nature, allows players to transform into mighty beasts, and unleashes the raw power of the wilderness in its various forms. Your Circle of the Moon Druid build should utilize the following abilities:
- Thousand Forms – Gain the ability to cast Alter Self at will, granting you unparalleled versatility and adaptability. Use the animals you have learned about and came into contact with throughout your journey to overcome various challenges as needed.
- Elemental Wild Shape – Transform into powerful elemental creatures, harnessing their destructive capabilities and bolstering your combat potential.
- Archdruid – You can now use Wild Shape an unlimited number of times and can transform into creatures of any challenge rating, making you a true master of shape-shifting.
- Primal Strike – Your attacks in beast form count as magical for the purpose of overcoming resistance and immunity to nonmagical attacks, ensuring your formidable presence on the battlefield.
Bard (College of Glamour)
Much like the Druid, the Bard is another class that is among the best but may require a different way of thinking to prove the class’ strength. Outside of combat, the Bard is undoubtedly the best for roleplay and conversation-based scenarios.
In combat, Bards gain access to Wish, one of the most powerful spells in Dungeons and Dragons despite the high cost to cast it. Utilizing the Bard College of Glamour, the following key features will keep your level 20 Bard powerful:
- Unbreakable Majesty – As an action, you can project an aura of awe-inspiring presence, causing creatures of your choice to become charmed or frightened. This ability adds a new layer of control and influence over your adversaries.
- Peerless Skill – Your proficiency bonus is doubled for any ability check you make that uses a skill you are proficient in. This feature showcases your exceptional talent and mastery in various areas of expertise.
- Magical Secrets – Gain two additional spells from any class, broadening your spellcasting repertoire and granting access to powerful spells that complement your playstyle.
- Unearthly Glamour – By spending a Bardic Inspiration die, you can create a mesmerizing spectacle, charming creatures and bending them to your will.
Paladin (Oath of Conquest)
The Paladin is our last pure class we consider to be among the best level 20 builds in the game. The Oath of Conquest represents an unwavering force of justice and divine wrath. It leads wars from the frontline and brings about an end to all those that oppose you and your mission. Your keys to success include:
- Invincible Conqueror – Your aura extends an additional 30 feet, making it harder for enemies to resist your compelling presence and bolstering the resolve of your allies.
- Scornful Rebuke – When a creature hits you with an attack, it takes radiant damage equal to your Charisma modifier. This ability punishes enemies who dare to strike you, making them regret their actions.
- Soul of the Conqueror – Gain immunity to being frightened and gain resistance to all damage except for radiant damage. This exceptional resilience makes you an unyielding and unstoppable force on the battlefield.
- Psychic Blades – Channel your divine smites into psychic energy, allowing you to deal additional damage and bypass resistance or immunity to nonmagical attacks.
Fighter (Battlemaster)/Paladin (Oath of Vengeance)
For our final input, we chose a multiclass since they become more popular the higher character levels get. Due to the creativity and freedom that comes with multiclassing, one could argue any multiclass is a contender for best player level 20; however, the level split can make this difficult.
For the Battlemaster Fighter + Oath of Vengeance Paladin, your level split can utilize any combination so long as you reach the following four features minimum:
- Maximize on Extra Attack – With four attacks per turn, your damage output is staggering, especially when combined with smites and combat maneuvers. Be sure to focus on the different levels of the Fighter class to gain more Extra Attacks and maximize your action economy each turn.
- Battle Maneuvers – As a Battlemaster Fighter, you gain access to a variety of combat maneuvers, granting you tactical advantages and control over the battlefield.
- Divine Smite – As a Paladin, you can expend spell slots to deal radiant damage in addition to your weapon attacks, maximizing burst damage potential. Much like how Extra Attack is significant to a Fighter’s kit, Divine Smite is equally significant to the Paladin side of this build. Be sure to maximize its number of uses as far as you wish.
- Aura of Protection – Your aura extends to a 30-foot radius, granting you and your allies a bonus to saving throws, enhancing their resilience in the face of magical threats.
By level 20, players will typically have maximized their Ability Scores due to the many ASI opportunities presented throughout their journey, primarily through leveling up. However, if building your level 20 on paper or planning ahead, prioritize the primary ability score for your class.
For example, Wisdom for the Cleric and Druice, Charisma for the Bard, Strength and Charisma for the Paladin, and Strength or Dexterity plus Charisma for the Fighter/Paladin multiclass.
All of these Ability Scores are considered primary as they influence combat the most through weapon fighting or spellcasting. After maximizing the primary stat, consider your secondary role in the party and focus on maximizing those Ability Scores, such as Charisma for Persuasion checks or Constitution for a higher health pool.
Conclusion on best level 20 character builds
Reaching Level 20 in Dungeons and Dragons 5th Edition is an incredible achievement by the game’s standards. It means you have overcome your Dungeon Master’s challenges and grown into your full potential.
It also means you are ready for the final boss of the game’s story, which will undoubtedly be the greatest challenge you and your party will have ever faced. Using what we covered as the best classes at level 20 in this article, you can help prepare yourself and your allies for the hardships to come.
With some ingenuity, strength, cunning, and trust, your level 20 character will overcome the greatest trial and prove they deserve to be considered among the best of the best across the D&D multiverse.