Last Updated on January 22, 2023
In Dungeons and Dragons, there are hundreds of magic items from which to choose as a player or as a DM. It can be a bit daunting to look at the list and think you have to read every single one.
Don’t. In this post, we did that for you because we are the deadliest, most knowledgeable, and best-looking nerds on the planet (except for you, of course).
This post is paladin-specific. We will give you a good and thorough rundown of the best magic items for paladins in the published rules of Dungeons and Dragons.
Normally, this is the part where I mention that because no two paladins are the same, there is a huge variety of magic items available, but with paladins…. Eh… yeah, they’re pretty much all different versions of the same badass.
What Makes a Good Paladin Magic Item?
Paladins start with all the proficiencies of a front-line combatant. This means all armor, shields, and weapons.
While it is possible to make a Dexterity-based paladin that uses ranged weapons or even a spell-casting-focused paladin that uses the Blessed Warrior fighting style for the cantrips, these are not only very uncommon, but they are very difficult to build and use.
So when it comes to magic items for the paladin, you’ll want to keep an eye out for any combination of sword and shield for yourself and support items that can reach allies within 30 feet.
A Paladin’s skill set is best used with Strength and Charisma, meaning Athletics, Intimidation, and/or Persuasion.
As a Paladin, the common folk will most likely see you as a leader or a celebrity, so you would do well to manage a crowd with your personality.
There are magic items that can also help with this ability as well as items that can maybe shore up some of the weaknesses in your Dexterity- and Intelligence-based skills.
Paladin Item Quick Charts
- Cleansing Stone
- Moon-Touched Sword
- Potion of Healing
- Veteran’s Cane
- Adamantine Armor
- Warning Weapons
- Periapt of Wound Closure
- Keoghton’s Ointment
- Amulet of the Devout
- Holy Avenger
- Armor of Resistance
- Mace of Disruption
- Animated Shield
- Dancing Sword
- Ring of Regeneration
- Amethyst Lodestone
The 4 Best Tier I Magic Items for Paladins
At tier I, your main concern is beating up the bad guys so that your spell caster friends in the back don’t die so quickly. You’ve either got the most hit points or close to it, and you definitely have the best armor.
Also, your place on the battlefield serves your character’s reputation, which is almost as important.
Paladins are upheld by social and religious order, and to keep your place as a protector of the people, the people need to be able to think you look and act like a leader.
1. Cleansing Stone
When you’re out protecting the village from undead or monstrosities, you’ll need to make sure you don’t come back to the village looking like a monster yourself.
Remember, half of your career is being the visible face of your religious order; you have social standards to adhere to.
Use this stone to cleanse the filth, gore, entrails, and mud from your gear. If only your conscience was as easy to keep clean…
2. Moon-Touched Weapon
At low levels, you will probably be outclassed in the dark against your enemies and monsters. Even with darkvision, you will have a hard time telling friend from foe.
With a weapon like this, you can be a beacon of light against the dark, or whatever. (Sorry, we don’t have many paladins around here, being the BLACK Citadel, and all.)
3. Potion of Healing
Don’t overburden the healer! Yes, you have Lay on Hands, and that helps.
But you will be taking the brunt of the damage for the party, and sometimes, in the face of a seemingly endless horde, touching yourself just isn’t enough. You’ll need a drink too.
4. Veteran’s Cane
With this you can have style AND violence! You can carry it into social situations when a sword is unfashionable yet still be ready for anything.
Just make up a story about taking an arrow to the knee, and everyone will believe you!
The 4 Best Tier II Items for Paladins
In Tier II you are starting to gain something of a reputation for yourself, and your list of enemies will grow from standard humanoid cultists to the monstrous creatures those cultists revere and admire.
You need to look and act the part of the stalwart defender of humanity, civilization, and virginity, or whatever.
1. Adamantine Armor
You are going to be a big, bright, shiny target for your enemies. With that many dice thrown at you, it’s only a matter of time before you are critted upon.
This armor allows you to turn any critical hit into a regular hit. That way you can always look down and say, “It’s just a flesh wound! I’ve had worse…”
Besides, the peasants will be impressed, Your Shininess.
2. Warning Weapons
Again, you will be one of the most attractive targets (except for the bard, of course). With a weapon like this, you will remain vigilant against the evils that threaten you and your *innocent* adventuring party.
3. Periapt of Wound Closure
This is a front-line combatant’s best friend. It will automatically stabilize you if you die.
From there, all someone has to do is give you 1 Hit point, and you can heal yourself up and get back in there. If you die, walk it off.
4. Keoghton’s Ointment
This stuff is like Porter’s Salve or Pepto Bismol for your wounds. It will heal you better than a standard cure wounds and remove poison and disease, and it comes in a big jar.
Everyone should have one of these in their pocket and another one in their bag.
The 4 Best Tier III Magic Items for Paladins
Tier III is where things start to get real. If you aren’t inspiring large groups of less-powerful allies or charging full on into the worst of villainous strongholds, you aren’t doing it right.
And if you made it this far, you are definitely doing something right!
This list is composed entirely of Rare items. Check out our post on that here.
1. Amulet of the Devout
As a Paladin, your Channel Divinity isn’t as important as your Smite or Aura abilities, but they are a great supplement to your spells, and they recharge after a short rest.
This amulet gives you extra uses of your signature Channel Divinity as well as increases the DC for all of those concentration spells you keep casting.
2. Holy Avenger
This is the signature blade of the paladin class. A Holy Avenger screams “Paladin” as loudly as a pair of nunchaku scream “Monk.” This sword is like a miniature paladin by itself!
It specializes in fighting fiends and undead (+2d10 radiant damage!), emits an aura that gives advantage to all saves vs. magic, and has a base +3 to attack and damage. This is your weapon, and no one else can use it.
3. Armor of Resistance
By now, you should know what you’re fighting and what they can do. As the main warrior dishing it out the bad guys, you will be a prime target.
Take care of yourself by gaining a resistance to their prime mode of attack.
4. Mace of Disruption
This is a must for you, holy warrior. You are granted an additional 2d6 radiant damage on an attack against fiends and undead, and you shed light like some holy, radiant… night light. Like, a beacon against the dark that makes little scared people feel safe!
Consider using this weapon as an off-hand weapon with your Holy Avenger in the other hand, provided you have taken the necessary feats and abilities to fight with two weapons.
The 4 Best Tier IV Magic Items for Paladins
At Tier IV, you are a paragon of virtue and might. Most likely, anywhere you walk on the Material Plane will be safe for you, and the locals will straighten up to gain your approval.
At this tier, you are more likely to vanguard the invasion into the hells, or the shadowfell, or the underworld to combat evil at its source!
1. Animated Shield
Did you pick up that Mace of Disruption I advised during tier III? Good! Now is the time to activate this animated shield so that you can use both weapons while still maintaining your shield bonus to AC!
2. Dancing Sword
Let’s say you haven’t gotten your animated shield yet. That’s fine, get the Dancing Sword! That way you can have a sword that attacks when you attack so you can attack while you’re attacking!
3. Ring of Regeneration
Don’t forget to take care of yourself as much as you can so that the healers can help the less-fortunate and weaker party members and innocent bystanders.
This ring will keep you healing over time so that you can walk tall and never be healed in public.
4. Amethyst Lodestone
This is an interesting one. Not all paladins gain the ability to fly, which is a bit unfair if you ask the paladins.
An item like this will not only grant you that ability, but it will also allow you to pin your enemies down so that you don’t need to fly.
The Best Legendary Item or Artifacts for Paladins
One of my favorite plot hooks is to give a 1st-level character a magic item that is WAY above their tier of play and let that item be the plot hook.
For example, I once ran a game for a tiefling warlock, and I gave him the opportunity to steal a Staff of Fire from a BBEG.
The first five levels were all about him on the run from anyone who wanted that item for themselves. Plus, since he had a Staff of Fire, I could wildly overpower him with bad guys to force him to use the staff.
These items are a bit different than simply the highest-tier, most powerful items in the game. These items are plot hooks in and of themselves. They can be powerful MacGuffins suitable for staging an entire campaign.
These are the world-enders and the world-creators. As the DM, you should have a blanket rule that there are 0 artifacts in your world unless you explicitly say so.
If you want to include such a powerful story tool in your game and give it to your paladin, consider these two.
Axe of the Dwarvish Lords
This item would be amazing for a Dwarven Paladin to have. However, if you don’t have a Dwarven Paladin, you can simply change the race requirement and the backstory to suit your game.
Possessing this Axe would certainly create both fame and infamy for your player and would provide you with an excellent campaign overview that you can simply import from the book into your game.
Book of Exalted Deeds
This book does nothing if it is stolen, so if your player read the book and received the benefits, your job as a DM would be to continually put them in moral quandaries and dilemmas to challenge their virtues and place their benefits in jeopardy.
For example, a group of wanderers has asked your paladin to free a village from their mayor and overlord who happens to be a vampire that feeds regularly on the townsfolk.
However, your player discovers that the wanderers are a pack of werewolves that wish to raid the town at will but cannot because the vampire also protects the villagers.
Does your paladin slay the vampire to free the village only to open them up to werewolf attacks or worse?
Or does the paladin try to slay both groups of predators, only to leave the villagers open to attacks from some other threat in the future?
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I played the game a lot as a kid, back in first edition. Over the past few years since 5e was released, I’ve really started getting back into it. Currently, I run a campaign online for some friends and my brothers, and we also play a side-sesh just to mix things up.