Half-elves are a versatile and popular race in Dungeons & Dragons 5e, thanks to their combination of elf and human traits. With their access to a wide range of abilities and skills, half-elves can make effective characters in almost any class. In this blog post, we'll take a closer look at the Top Ten best playable classes for half-elf characters in D&D 5e.
* Because numbering the choices is somewhat arbitrary, I instead portioned the choices into the Top Tier (4 entries), Mid Tier (4 Entries), and Bottom Tier (2 Entries).
TOP TIER CHOICES
Half-elves make great bards, as they have the charisma bonus from their elf heritage and the versatility provided by their human bloodline. They have a wide range of spells at their disposal, as well as excellent skills in persuasion and deception.
With their +2 Charisma, their Ability Score Improvement, and their skill versatility, the Bard is arguably the best choice for half-elf characters in terms of pure stats.
Half-elves make excellent paladins, thanks to their high charisma and versatility. They can be effective tanks on the front line of battle, or they can take on a support role, healing and buffing their allies.
With the +2 Charisma buff that half elf characters enjoy, and two free Ability Score Increases - not to mention the Darkvision and two free skills, half elf Paladins are some of the best Paladins in the entire game.
Half-elves make great sorcerers, as they have a natural aptitude for magic from their elf heritage and can leverage their human side to gain more spells and cantrips. They can also make great blasters, using spells like Fireball and Lightning Bolt to deal massive damage.
The +2 to Charisma is highly desirable for Sorcerers and gaining bonuses with the half elf Ability Score Increases is a massive bonus on top of that, coupled with the skill versatility that comes with being a half elf. Half elf Sorcerers can become very powerful.
Half-elves make great warlocks, especially those who focus on the Charisma-based abilities like Intimidation and Persuasion. With their elven heritage, they also have access to Darkvision, which can be a valuable asset when navigating dark environments.
Half elf Warlocks are some of the best Warlocks in the game with the +2 to Charisma, the Ability Score Increases, and your choice of skills. This goes double for half elf Drow Warlocks who are able to get more spells with bonus inherent spells that don't eat up spell slots.
Half-elves make decent rogues, especially those who focus on the Charisma-based abilities such as Persuasion and Deception. They also have access to the elf's darkvision, which can be incredibly useful for sneaking around in the dark.
Not being able to get +2 to Dexterity isn't going to be particularly useful to a Rogue, but as the party's leader the +2 Charisma and +1 Dexterity will suffice. Plus the Skill Versatility is still nice for a Rogue character.
Half-elves make okay rangers, especially those who focus on the Charisma-based abilities such as Animal Handling. With their elven heritage, they also get proficiency with longbows and other ranged weapons, making them effective at attacking from a distance.
Even though the +2 bonus to Charisma is largely wasted on Rangers, you're still able to use the Ability Score Increase on any combination of Strength, Wisdom, or Dexterity to create a decent enough Ranger.
Half-elves make great druids, as they have the wisdom bonus from their elf heritage and can use their human bloodline to gain additional proficiencies. They can also be effective in combat, thanks to their ability to shape-shift into different animals.
The +2 to Charisma doesn't really help a Druid, but with the Ability Score Adjustment you can boost any combination of Wisdom and then either Constitution, Strength, or Dexterity to create a well-rounded half elf Druid. Any other racial traits or spells are just an added bonus.
Half-elves make okay clerics, thanks to their high charisma and potential wisdom bonuses. They can be effective healers, as well as effective combatants, thanks to their access to spells and abilities that can turn the tide of battle.
Pretty much exactly like the Druid, the Cleric relies on Wisdom so the Charisma buff won't do you any favors but with the Ability Score Adjustment you can boost Wisdom and then either Strength, Constitution, or Dexterity to round out the half elf Cleric's abilities.
BOTTOM TIER CHOICES
Half-elves aren't the best fighters, but those who focus on the Charisma-based abilities like Intimidation and Persuasion can be useful. With their elven heritage, they also have access to Darkvision, which can be a valuable asset in combat.
You can still give the Fighter +1 to Strength and Constitution - so there's that at least, but the +2 Charisma buff is sort of wasted.
Half-elves aren't the best Monks, either, but can still be passable thanks to their versatility and the bonus traits that come with their ancestry.
Much as with the Fighter class, Monks will find the +2 to Charisma somewhat lacking in use but at least with the Ability Score Increase they can receive a +1 to Dexterity and Wisdom, giving the half elf Monk a little punch.
In conclusion, half-elves can excel in a wide range of classes, thanks to their combination of elf and human traits. Whether you prefer to play a social butterfly, a magic-wielding powerhouse, or a stealthy rogue, there is a half-elf character class that will suit your playstyle. So go ahead and experiment with different combinations and see what works best for you! These decisions above are purely stat-based, and obviously not counting the updated optional rule of using no racial bonuses. Play what character most excites you, but perhaps these stats can inform you better about your choices. Let us know about your half-elf characters below! - Joe