It is no secret that my favorite class in Dungeons and Dragons is the Necromancer. In this article, I will take a closer look at the best race for a Necromancer in 5e DnD. To figure this out, I have a few criteria to decide. Here are what criteria I use to decide on what the best race is:
- Stats that boost INT
- Racial abilities
- Role-playing potential
- Lore and other cool trivia
What races make the best Necromancers in 5e DnD
You might think Hobgoblins are a surprising pick for the best race for Necromancers in 5e, but if you think about it, they make a ton of sense. First of all, Hobgoblins have decent stats for a wizard. They get +2 CON and +1 INT as a bonus.
From a role-playing and role perspective, hobgoblins make an excellent pick for necromancers. First, their abilities are great for wizards, and they use their strong points to cover their weak spots. Next, hobgoblins are natural leaders. If you are going to command an army of undead, you need to be a leader, and Hobgoblins are precisely that!
Tip: if you want to make your undead army even more robust, you should read this article on how to heal undead in 5e Dungeons and Dragons.
The quintessential jack of all trades in Dungeons and Dragons is the human. They are part of almost every single best-off list for a reason. Humans are incredibly versatile and easy to work with.
They rank second on our list for the best race for a necromancer because you can play with the ability scores to make a potent wizard. Of course, the human race, from a role-playing perspective, is excellent for Necromancers. The odds are that you imagine a human when you think about one, making role-play much easier.
Make sure you invest your ability scores into the intelligent stat to boost your necromancy skills, and you will be fine playing as a necromancer or thinking one up as a DM.
3. High Elf
Elves make some pretty decent necromancers. High elves get a free cantrip, the perception proficiency, and the boost in your DEX and INT stat are all fantastic to make a strong necromancer. You get access to Elven weapons too, which is another nice plus. Their racial abilities are pretty okay, too, if you know how to use them creatively and effectively.
The long life span of the elves makes them perfect for Dungeon Masters who want to have a complex villain and a story spanning multiple decades or centuries. Players, too, will be able to use this race for complex back stories or if they are planning on playing long campaigns spanning several (in real life) years.
These reasons are strong arguments to consider the High elves as one of the best races for a necromancer in 5e DnD.
Yuan-ti are snake people generally aligned with evil and considered terrifying foes. They are often found in ancient temples and are associated with dark arts and malicious rituals. If you are looking for a powerful necromancer who has a unique appearance and backstory that make a ton of sense, Yuan-ti is one of the best races for necromancers.
They aren’t the most potent wizards but can still hold their own pretty well. I would not choose to become a sorcerer Yuan-ti who specializes in necromancy. It is a bit too limiting as some of the best spells are unavailable to you, and your +2 CHA bonus does not help a ton but is excellent if you want to command your army.
The Tiefling is another good option that makes a great option if you are looking for the best race for a necromancer wizard in 5e. The +2 charisma bonus and the +1 intelligence bonus you get are both attractive for a Necromancer. You should also pick up the inspiring leader feat to upgrade your army and get more out of your minions.
From a role-playing perspective, you can get a lot out of a Tiefling. They don’t just make very fun demon lords but also are pretty interesting necromancers. If you want to surprise your players as a Dungeon Master, the Tiefling is a great pick.
The Half-Orc is an excellent option if you want a fun necromancer built that isn’t going for maximum efficiency but is still pretty powerful. A martial-type wizard can be pretty interesting. At the same time, the ability scores aren’t that optimal for a wizard necromancer. The half-orc is still a perfect race for a necromancer.
Since they are an oppressed race in DnD and have a lot of lore, it is easy to figure out an exciting backstory. The 17 AC of the Half-Orc is also pretty powerful, as you can easily keep using your concentration spells.
An Aasimar is a fallen angel that has turned its back the gods. They are pretty evil but still lawful. They make the perfect race for evil planners trying to plot revenge on a grand scale. The ability scores of this race are pretty decent for necromancer wizards. However, their true strength comes from their background and the many exciting ways to use this race as a necromancer or a villain.
While I would not suggest playing this race as a beginner, as they are pretty niche and celestial language and are pretty weird to role play with a level 1, they are fantastic as a mid-campaign or end-campaign boss for Dungeon masters.
Best race for a Necromancer in 5th Dungeons and Dragons
If you enjoy playing evil wizards that raise the dead, you have many options to build a genuinely unique character for your D&D 5e campaign. For us, the best race for a necromancer in 5e is the Hobgoblin. While this choice might be surprising if you start playing as the one you will soon notice how perfect this race is for necromancers.
If you don’t want to pick these, you can always rely on the humans to make great evil wizards. However, if you want a complex necromancer with a storyline spanning centuries or grand plans, then the High Elves and the Aasimar are great races to choose for a necromancer.
Knowing how to use these spells optimally to make the perfect necromancer character in D&D will get you quite far!