[2023] 5e Class Tier List: Who Moved Up, Who Dropped

Last Updated on January 22, 2023

In this article, I’m going to be ranking the 13 classes available to players in Dungeons & Dragons.

Before we get into it, I’d like to make a disclaimer. I am not all-knowing. There, I said it.

I just happen to be some guy with a love for this TTRPG and a bit of insight.

I’m letting you know this because this article is going to have opinions in it, but I’m going to do my best to stay as objective as possible.

While I hope that this article is a valuable resource in choosing which class to play, I want to assure you that there are no bad choices in Dungeons & Dragons.

There are unbalanced classes, classes that are difficult to play, and there are classes that are better in combat than others. Still, if you want to play any character, you should.

The main point of this article is to let you know just how easy that’s going to be.

Our Criteria for Ranking

We use a tier ranking system throughout this website, and in this article we’ll have S, A, B, C, and D tiers that the classes might fall into. For the sake of staying as objective as possible, I’ll describe the different things we’re looking for (and things we’re not looking for) before I just start slapping letters on the classes.

Things We’re Looking For

  • Versatility – How many different ways to play this class are there? Can it fill different roles in the party? Are its abilities useful in many different situations or just a few? There are different ways a class can be versatile, but in general the more versatility, the better the ranking.
  • Thematic Clarity – A class should be simple to understand and explain. A sentence or two should be concise enough to explain how the class works and what its abilities are. This is also where we judge the synergy of a class’s abilities. All of the abilities of a class should fit together like the pieces of a puzzle.
  • Ease of Play – Very simply, how easy it is to understand the abilities and effectively play the class.
  • Subclass Options – Do the subclasses offer a variety of powerful options? 
  • Power Level – Lastly, how powerful the class is has a huge effect on the ranking. A class can excel in any role to be considered powerful, this isn’t restricted to just damage dealers. The question is just how effectively the class fills the roles it sets out to. 

Things We’re Not Looking For

  • Roleplay Value – While there are classes that offer more clear opportunities for roleplay, it’s our opinion here that roleplay is up to the players and not their character sheets. For that reason, we can’t judge a class on its roleplay hooks.
  • Comparisons – This isn’t necessarily a criteria, but we won’t be comparing the classes to each other. Trying to play the game of which classes are better than others makes it impossible to rate a class individually. 

Black Citadel’s Guide to Ranking Subclasses 

  • Orange  – D Tier. Classes that find themselves in the D tier are unbalanced classes that don’t excel in any of the categories we’re looking for. These should be avoided by new players as they are considered too weak, unbalanced, or confusing for any players still getting a grasp of D&D’s mechanics.
  • RedC Tier. Red options can sometimes be situationally useful, and might make for an interesting narrative choice, but are largely less effective than other tiers. Subclasses in this tier are “challenge builds” that experienced players might use to show their grasp of the rules, but new players should tread carefully before playing. 
  • GreenB Tier. A great class that provides a lot of fun options but can be clunky at times. In certain situations, classes in this tier can easily perform on the level of A’s or even S’s, but only in those certain situations. This tier defines the expectations for how a class should play. Generally, classes in this tier are excellent for beginners.
  • BlueA Tier. An excellent choice. Widely regarded as powerful in some way, useful, highly effective. This isn’t the “second best” tier; this is the tier where classes that do everything right end up.
  • PurpleS Tier. The top of our rankings. Classes in the S tier excel in most or every category. They are incredibly powerful on and off the battlefield, offering enough versatility to choose the class time and time again without repeating yourself.

Classes of 5e: Ranked

  1. Artificer
  2. Barbarian
  3. Bard
  4. Cleric
  5. Druid
  6. Fighter
  7. Monk
  8. Paladin
  9. Sorcerer
  10. Ranger
  11. Rogue
  12. Warlock
  13. Wizard

Artificer – A Tier

Summary – The artificer is an exciting class that uses their mastery of invention to bring a mix of spellcasting, martial prowess, and magical item infusions to the game. 

Our Favorite Subclasses – Armorer, Battle Smith

Our Least Favorite Subclasses – N/A

Roles – Support, Healer, Damage Dealer, Blaster

The artificer is the most recently added class to 5e and it definitely shows. Being in playtesting for almost 5e years gave us a finished result that is a cohesive, versatile class with plenty of unique abilities. 

The class is a two-thirds caster with a mix of cleric and wizard spell list at its disposal along with simple weapons, but what really makes it shine is it’s artificer infusions.

This list of abilities lets you create magic items at the start of each day, with different options lending themselves to offensive, defensive, and supportive tendencies.

The class also has one of the most consistent rosters of subclasses. All four options are powerful and cohesive enough to make it into the A or S tiers by our ranking system.

The subclass options also reinforce the versatility. Each artificer specialist excels at a different area of combat and offers more out-of-combat abilities to boot. 

The artificer is by no means the best caster or martial combatant, but it excels at combining the two in a way that sets it apart from the other two-third casters.

If you’re looking to tank there’s a subclass that offers heavy armor proficiency, if you’re looking to hit hard there’s a subclass that offers martial weapons proficiency, and if you’re looking to go ranged or focus on support and control, well there’s subclasses for that too. 

The only thing that makes the artificer anything short of S tier is the vast amount of choices it does give you. This pains me to say because it is by far my favorite class, but it can be a bit overwhelming. No other class has so many options at the start of each day.

The artificer lets you prepare spells along with your infusions and magic items at the end of each long rest. For an experienced player that is comfortable adjusting their playstyle to match the needs of each day, this is amazing.

Unfortunately, for a player that just wants to make their choices as they level up, you can easily get to the point where too much is going on.

The artificer may go far and beyond the S tier in my heart, and the hearts of many, but for the sake of objectivity, it is a solid A tier class. 

Barbarian – S Tier

Summary – Powered by their endless rage, barbarians are masters of the battlefield. They’re hard to knock down and they hit even harder. Barbarians are truly a force to be reckoned with.

Our Favorite Subclasses – Totem Warrior, Wild Magic, Beast

Our Least Favorite Subclasses – Battle Rager, Berserker

Roles – Tank, Support, Damage Dealer

Barbarians are awesome, there’s no getting around it. What makes them such a good class is their commitment to the core ability of the class; rage. This straightforward ability increases a barbarian’s damage, gives them valuable resistances, and gives them advantage on strength checks and saves.

Essentially this is everything you want when you’re carrying around a massive weapon while wearing a loincloth.

The combination of having the best hit points in the game and a hardy natural armor means that even if you aren’t benefiting from resistance to slashing, piercing, and bludgeoning damage, you’re still going to be able to take a beating.

Then as you go through the rest of the abilities we see other things that either make us harder to hit or let us hit harder. It just keeps getting better as you level up. Rage damage scaling with level seems almost too good to be true, but there it is.

Then come the subclasses. There are eight official subclasses at the moment so there’s bound to be a lot of variety, and some are better than others.

What’s important is that even the bad ones keep to the concept of making a barbarian’s rage more powerful while doing so through a variety of exciting themes. No one tries to make a barbarian into a healer, although a few do offer some appropriate supportive abilities.

Perhaps the best subclass, the path of the totem warrior, offers within itself so much variety that you could play 125 different versions of the subclass. Don’t worry though, that’s just three points of decision-making when choosing your totems. 

Bard – A Tier

Summary – Bards are the face of the party, using their mastery over the arts and incredible charisma to cast spells and inspire their allies.

Our Favorite Subclasses – Eloquence, Lore

Our Least Favorite Subclasses – Swords, Whispers

Role – Face, Support, Any

There are three main things that make the bard a great class. Bards have an excellent spell list, the best mastery over skills in the game, and their iconic bardic inspiration. Their versatility in these three areas makes a bard able to fit into any party role.

Starting with their iconic ability, a bard uses their mastery over the arts to dish out inspiration in the form of dice to their allies. Unlike other abilities that boost rolls in specific situations, your fellow players will be able to choose when to use inspiration once you’ve given it to them.

Most subclasses improve upon bardic inspiration in some way, making that core ability even more flexible depending on your bardic college.

Then they have a spell list that lets them heal, support, deal damage, or fill plenty of utility needs. They even get to choose spells from other class spell lists through the magical secrets feature at 10th level.

Spells like Vicious Mockery, Hideous Laughter, and Synaptic Static are staples of the spell list, along with plenty of other illusion spells that are limited to your imagination (and DM’s permission). 

The bard is also a class that excels out of combat as much as they do on the battlefield. They’ll easily be one of the most charismatic, but it doesn’t stop there.

They’ll also have proficiency in the most skills (easily getting 10 out of 18), expertise in a few skills, and then get to use half their proficiency bonus on everything else thanks to jack of all trades. 

A bard is the best class for making skill checks, and it’s also among the most efficient support classes. They can move towards offensive spells while still helping their allies or they can take on the role of buffing and healing the party. It’s all up to how you want to play.

All of this can put a lot of pressure on the bard to stay focused on what everyone is doing around them, and that’s if they’ve managed to choose the right list of spells for their playstyle.

Experienced players will shape reality while new players will almost definitely feel overwhelmed. Since this class has so much potential that can easily be wasted, it fits squarely in the A tier, easily swinging higher or lower depending on the player.

Cleric – B Tier

Summary – Clerics channel the power of the gods they worship into control over the battlefield. The clearly defined domains all point towards very specific playstyles that open up many doors for players.

Our Favorite Subclasses – Forge, Life, Peace, Tempest

Our Least Favorite Subclasses – War, Arcana, Knowledge

Roles – Healer, Tank, Control

Let’s start off with the shocking news. There are fourteen different cleric domains, an insane amount of subclasses. I know I said I wouldn’t be comparing, but the only class to come close is wizard with 13, every other class doesn’t even pass 10.

Clearly, there are some options when you’re building your cleric. It’s no surprise that several of those subclasses make it into the S tier and several are… not as good. 

Clerics are often pigeonholed as the healers of the party due to a spell list that favors quite heavily toward handing out hit points. Fortunately, each domain offers up their own list of domain spells that let you be more than just the health slave. 

The central ability of any cleric is their channel divinity. At the base class you can use this to turn undead or regain spell slots, but you’ll probably be using your subclasses option much more frequently.

These domain versions let you do anything from increasing your attack rolls to healing the entire party to giving out a continuous supply of temporary hit points. Rest assured, there’s a channel divinity for you.

As for the rest of the class features themselves, they’re pretty dismal. A few features focus on dealing with undead, and then we’re at our 10th level feature where we can try to get divine intervention.

Unfortunately, until 20th level you have at best a 19% chance of success when trying to call upon your god. Then once you do, it’s highly up to DMs discretion to see what happens, and it can feel either game-breaking or amazing depending. 

The best things for clerics are going to happen when they choose a good subclass and good spells and the tendency to be pigeonholed can really stifle excitement for anyone that doesn’t want to fit into the healer niche. This is a great class, but it fits into the B tier for me.

Druid – C Tier

Summary – Druids harness their connection to nature into powerful spells and charge into battle in a variety of wild shapes.

Our Favorite Subclasses – Moon, Stars

Our Least Favorite Subclasses – Wildfire, Dreams

Roles – Ranged Caster, Tank, Healer, Control

Druids have a very unique set of abilities that come directly from the powers of nature. No conversation of druids would ever be complete without bringing up wild shape.

This feature lets a druid transform into any number of beasts and tear up their foes. The ability is great because it lets the class focus on their spellcasting ability without having to build up incredible AC, strength, constitution, dexterity, or even hit points. Most of those are just going to come from their beast form.

The druid does fall into a trap though. There is one subclass, the circle of the moon, which is leagues beyond any other subclass in terms of potency. It sets players in a difficult position of choosing a mediocre subclass with a theme they enjoy or taking the clearly good subclass and being a powerful druid.

Subclasses like the necromantic circle of spores druids with their fungal form or the wildfire druids that conjure up a wildfire spirit instead of changing form themselves just end up falling to the wayside.

The circle of the moon druid just doubles down on wild shape’s potency, letting you transform into higher CR beasts and even into elementals.

Were the base options for wild shape a bit stronger, this huge discrepancy in subclasses wouldn’t cause a rift in the druid community. Instead, druids that want to be impressive spellcasters, conjurers, healers, or anything else have to really work to play on a higher tier.

Because of all this, the druid makes it into the C tier. Druids really show what it means to be in the C tier. They’re still an exceptional class, one that holds a special spot in my heart.

If you’re playing a druid, it’s because you want to have fun with the roleplaying of a nature-based caster (or be part of the circle of the moon) not because you want to have the most powerful character at the table.

Fighter – S Tier

Summary – Fighters use abilities like action surge, second wind, and extra attack to be the most feared martial characters in the game. This class definitely sets the standard for what it means to carry a weapon in D&D 5e.

Our Favorite Subclasses – Battle Master, Echo Knight, Rune Knight, Eldritch Knight

Our Least Favorite Subclasses – Purple Dragon Knight, Arcane Archer

Roles – Damage Dealer

In 5e, there are several martial classes that each fill their own niche. This hasn’t always been the case, and any martial class that exists today has previous incarnations of the fighter to thank. We’re not here to talk about the past though and thankfully the fighter holds true to its history. 

What it means to be a martial class is that you’re focused on using weapons to deal a lot of damage. Instead of fitting into different gimmicks, the fighter just does this often and well.

The class features let them take more actions and more attacks, with the fighter’s extra attack bringing it all the way up to three attacks per turn. They then get the most fighting style options which mean you’ll be the best at using the types of weapons you choose.

Aside from a feature that gives fighters a way to heal themselves, that’s pretty much all that the class focuses on. It’s simplicity done right. Any new player could be thrown into the fighter class and feel like an absolute superhero without having to open the player’s handbook once. 

Of course, the subclasses offer up a lot of variety and let you do more than just hitting things if that’s what you’re looking for.

From the master of tactics, the battle master, to the fighter that comes with some arcane knowledge, the eldritch knight, you can really play a style that feels thematically similar to most other classes just by choosing the right subclasses, feats, and fighting styles. 

If all that wasn’t enough, fighters get more ASIs than any other class. You can boost your ability scores up to the max and still have plenty of room left over to pick up a healthy list of incredible feats to really make your fighter your own.

The fighter is the best new player class but that doesn’t mean it isn’t absolutely amazing for any level of skill. For these reasons, the fighter is 100% in the S tier of 5e classes.

Monk – D Tier

Summary – The wise monk channels their ki into martial prowess and dashes gracefully across the battlefield. Their practice of the martial arts sets monks apart.

Our Favorite Subclasses – Shadow, Kensei. Open Hand

Our Least Favorite Subclasses – Sun Soul, Four Elements

Roles – Melee, Support

Monks take an interesting approach to combat, using martial arts and simple weapons to fight swiftly and gracefully rather than trying to deal a lot of damage with big weapons or attacks.

Their unarmored movement makes them easily one of the fastest characters in 5e and their practice of martial arts means that they don’t need huge weapons to deal a lot of damage.

Ki can be a bit hard to manage. It’s a pool of energy that lets you do several different things, some of which come in through the subclass you choose. For this reason, they’re similar to a two-thirds caster, except their spells are things like flurry of blows, patient defense, and step of the wind.

In fact, most of their many features require using ki in some way to pull off an ability.

In many ways, spell slots are much easier to manage. While you might have several spells, it’s pretty clear which spells you need to cast at which time. Ki points are hectic, with potentially several abilities that you might want to use at the same time to have a really powerful turn.

For this reason, new players should really stay away unless they want to get the hard classes out of the way first.

There’s also the matter of the subclasses. While some are really cool and have awesome themes, there’s not a single subclass I’d be willing to rank in the S tier. Each comes with their flaws or clunky mechanisms and are weighed down by the base mechanics of the monk.

While the monk presents an interesting theme and can be an incredibly fun character for someone that has a strong grasp of 5e’s mechanics, I have to put it in the D tier. At the end of the day, it’s far too confusing and different from the normal mechanics off the game to go any higher. 

Paladin – S Tier

Summary – Knights sworn to uphold the tenets of their oath, paladins are a wonderful merging of the fighter’s martial ability and the cleric’s spell list. May their swords smite all in their path.

Our Favorite Subclasses – Vengeance, Redemption, Ancients

Our Least Favorite Subclasses – Crown, Glory, Devotion

Roles – Support, Tank, Healer, Damage Dealer

Deus vult! Sorry, I can’t talk about paladins without throwing that line in. Paladins are not necessarily holy knights, but that feeling definitely spreads throughout the class in nothing but good ways. 

Let’s start with my favorite part of the class; smites. Smites are a really good representation of what a paladin is. They’re spells you cast when you attack with a melee weapon to deal incredible amounts of extra damage.

Smites are so integral to the paladin class that they even have a class feature devoted to a divine smite, essentially the free automatic paladin spell.

Paladins make use of their divine powers to sense evil and good or cast spells that buff their allies and debuff their foes. For a two thirds caster they have a hefty spell list and each subclass comes with their own well themed oath spells as a bonus.

They’ve also got plenty of auras to make their nearby allies just that much stronger in and out of combat.

Paladins get use of fighting styles, albeit a smaller crop then fighters do, but the ones they do get are incredibly useful and make their martial side truly dangerous.

Also from the fighter’s playlist, paladins get extra attacks. Even if their spell slots are getting a bit dull they can still swing their weapons for some incredible damage. 

This isn;t necessarily a class feature, but paladins have the most magic weapons specifically designed to be attuned to them. It’s a good sign and means you’ll probably end up with a powerful weapon that you develop a deep bond to.

Paladins are an S tier class through and through. They offer up plenty of variety through their subclasses, spellcasting, and martial abilities without ever toeing the line of confusion.

Everything they get plays perfectly together to make a great class for beginners and experienced players alike.

Sorcerer – A Tier

Summary – Granted their power at birth, sorcerers have a deep connection to their magic, manipulating it to serve their needs.

Our Favorite Subclasses – Aberrant Mind, Divine Soul, Clockwork Soul

Our Least Favorite Subclasses – Storm Sorcery

Role – Ranged Caster, AOE Caster

The sorcerer is an incredibly simple yet powerful class of caster that is born with their magic from some birthright, ancestral gift, or other exposure to cosmic forces. Full casters tend to lean heavily on their spellcasting rather than a list of features, and that holds true with this class.

Really, there is only one feature of sorcerers that matters, and that is metamagic. Sorcerers use a pool of sorcery points to manipulate their spells or create more spell slots for themselves. Boom, there we go.

The metamagic options are really cool and unique, allowing you to duplicate spells, make them stronger or in some way enhance the abilities in a way that no other class really can.

After that every other base class feature just enhances your metamagic/ sorcery points. That’s where we get into the subclases, all of which come online at first level. Sorcerer subclasses really inspire you to stay in the class all the way to the end, since most bring in some really incredible capstones at 18th level.

Besides that, the subclasses offer a steady stream of features that vary greatly. I can genuinely say that every subclass has a cool and powerful theme, even if some of them are executed a bit poorly.

Those semi-decent subclasses are really more problems of mechanics than being poorly written, and I can write that off. 

Since sorcery points are so integral to the subclass I do wish that there were more or a more steady way to keep them coming back. It sucks having to choose when to expend those points and when to save them.

However, I can also recognize that a larger pool would probably make sorcerers the best casters in the game and essentially break spells, so… I’m torn.

I put the sorcerer in the A tier as recognition for the difficulty of having two pools to worry about (sorcery points and spell slots), but everything else about the class is wonderful because it is a wonderful class. 

Ranger – D or B Tier*

Summary – Rangers are masters of exploration. They focus on certain enemies and terrain and call upon the forces of nature to guide their martial capabilities

Our Favorite Subclasses – Revised Beastmaster, Gloomstalker, Drakewarden

Our Least Favorite Subclasses – Beastmaster, Monster Slayer, Hunter

Roles – Exploration, Damage

I do not like the ranger class, but I’m going to do my best not to hold that against them here, so let’s get into it. Rangers are to druids what paladins are to clerics.

They use a mix of druid and other nature-based spells to enhance and supplement their martial abilities. As with paladins, rangers get extra attacks and a choice of fighting style in a smaller capacity than the fighter class does, but in the right capacity for a two thirds caster. 

The rest of the features are where it gets interesting, and are why this actually gets two different rankings. We’re now seven years into 5e and there have been a lot of changes to the game as a whole.

Plenty of new subclasses and mechanics have made their way through playtesting in Unearthed Arcana and ended up on the pages of sourcebooks.

What that means for ranger is that there are some vastly different ways to play the class as of the publication of various supplemental source books.

Originally, features like natural explorer and favored enemy felt like traps. Choosing a specific type of environment and a specific enemy to be good at facing is a nice concept that doesn’t actually lend itself to playing in a diverse campaign. It meant realistically shooting yourself in the foot 75% of the time, or in the knee… with an arrow. 

Now we have replacements for four of the core ranger abilities that are so much more versatile. Instead of choosing a favored enemy, you can now target a foe as a bonus action, essentially giving you free access to the ranger’s best spell, hunter’s mark.

Instead of camouflaging yourself against a tree or wall (so weird), you can make yourself invisible at 10th level. 

WotC saw the contempt the community had for the features of the ranger class and improved upon it. If you take the original features, you’re going to end up with a D tier class, but fortunately, the new options really make a difference.

The versatility of the abilities and the almost rearrangement of what it means to be a ranger make the class a B. 

You still have to deal with mostly sub-par subclasses, but that’s turning around quickly. New additions like the revised version of the beastmaster subclass and the drakewarden which is coming out soon in Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons are making the ranger class one that I might actually play sometime in the near future. If WotC keeps up the good work we may actually see this once D tier class become a solid A tier.

Rogue – B Tier

Summary – Masters of stealth, rogues present the ultimate opportunity to become a thief, assassin, or any character you can imagine that sneaks through the night.

Our Favorite Subclasses – Soulknife, Swashbuckler, Arcane Trickster

Our Least Favorite Subclasses – Inquisitive, Phantom

Roles – Infiltration, Striker

Rogues are by far the class with the most edge, but they put it to good use. Focused almost entirely on stealth, rogue’s main ability is their sneak attack.

This ability lets them deal massive amounts of damage provided certain conditions are met. Fortunately, these conditions are often met thanks to the rogue’s ability to slip away into the shadows.

Most of their combat-focused features make them very good at getting away in a pinch. This is almost necessary because rogues will almost always be wearing light armor, and they don’t necessarily have the greatest hit points.

Their durability comes from not getting hit, so if you’re not great at avoiding oncoming attacks and being efficient with your actions, you might feel like you’re made of glass.

Rogues are almost as good at skills as bards. They also get expertise along with an ability at 11th level, reliable talent, which lets them treat rolls of 9 and lower as 10s if they’re going to add their proficiency.

When most of their abilities are focused on sneaking around (stealth, sleight of hand, acrobatics, deception) this means that they’re going to be the hidden face of the party more often than not. 

Rogue subclasses are exciting because of the themes they give us the opportunity to explore. They’re also exciting because most of them just make the sneak attack ability that much better.

This is a situation where the good subclasses are really good and the bad subclasses are pretty trash, but fortunately, there’s a decent balance between the two. 

Rogues may be limited to very few weapons, but that doesn’t mean you can’t switch the theme of a weapon. You can call a rapier a katana if you want to, so long as you keep to the appropriate stats.

Rogues are a B tier class not because they can’t be incredibly powerful, but because they need to be in the right hands to be so. If you’re offended by the B tier ranking, take it as a compliment, it just means you know how to become the night.

Warlock – S Tier

Summary – Warlocks channel the magic of their patrons into powerful spells and eldritch invocations.

Our Favorite Subclasses – Hexblade, Fiend

Our Least Favorite Subclasses – Undying

Roles – Damage, Support, Tank, Ranged Caster

Get ready to cast some eldritch blasts, it’s time for the warlock. Of all the full casters this class may just be my favorite.

Rather than being limited to spells alone, or being pigeonholed into a healer role, warlocks get to really build their own character through pact boons, eldritch invocations, and the exciting subclasses they have available.

Where the sorcerer gets a few metamagic options and the cleric has their couple ways to channel divinity, warlocks have eldritch invocations. These smaller features which you get to choose at various levels (up to 8 invocations at 18th level) really change the gameplay of your warlock and let you customize your own playstyle.

They feed into the themes of warlock and benefit your other main features like your pact boon or your spellcasting.

Which brings us to pact boons. There are four boons at the moment, blade, chain, talisman, and tome, each letting you do unique, exciting, and powerful things. These pact boons almost feel like mini versions of subclasses with the variety that they bring to the table.

Blade favors a more martial style, tome lets you choose cantrips from other class spell lists, chain makes a familiar, and talisman makes you exceptionally good at ability checks.

Then of course we have the spellcasting. While warlocks might not have as massive a spell list as wizards, they have spells that are consistently right for them. And they have arguably the best cantrip in the game, eldritch blast.

It’s a cantrip so integral to the warlock class that there are several eldritch invocations that improve it. Get it, eldritch… it’s all coming together.

Warlocks of course have their patrons, and the subclasses offered are pretty varied. Hexblade definitely stands out as the most potent, even if it does pull away from a spellcasting focus, but it’s not so far above the other subclasses that you’re forced to choose it.

With all the variety and power available, the warlock is certainly an S-tier class. It’s abilities don’t cross the line into confusion and over-complication, rather they synergize and make the class an all around blast to play.

Wizard – A Tier

Summary – A wizard studies to no end to become the most powerful caster imaginable.

Our Favorite Subclasses – Divination, Enchantment, Necromancy

Our Least Favorite Subclasses – War Magic, Transmutation

Roles – Blaster, Support, Utility

Wizards are by far the most varied caster class, even compared to the cleric who actually has more subclasses. The variety for a wizard comes from their extensive spell list, a list that seems to only grow with each new piece of published material.

Of course, they do have 13 different subclasses, which is in fact the second most subclasses of any 5e class.

Wizard is a very simple and straightforward class, focused entirely on casting spells. No gimmicks show up until we get into the subclasses. The few features a wizard gets besides its spellcasting just make them better subclasses.

Replenishing spell slots more often than other classes and being able to prepare spells at the end of each long rest from their spellbook makes them ready to cast at any moment. 

They also pick up features near the end, at 18th and 20th levels, that allow them to cast spells without expending spell slots. There you go, that’s the wizard class.

Subclasses of wizards devote themselves to different schools of magic. This brings us very straightforward themes for the subclasses and abilities that often directly relate to the type of spells you’ll be casting most often.

Not to mention it makes choosing spells a lot easier when we know what kind of magic our subclass excels in. 

The wizard is an A tier class. It definitely can excel when you choose an exceptional subclass, but short of that it still does everything right.

Newcomers to the game that are excited to cast spells will have an easy time casting away once they figure out how spell slots work, and that’s just part of the game.

3 thoughts on “[2023] 5e Class Tier List: Who Moved Up, Who Dropped”

  1. Man do you really play past tier 1?

    You put all the martials at S tier and all full caster at A tier at best, what is your problem?

    And cleric at the same tier of ranger??

  2. I’ve been stuck on 3.5e all these years, but now my son is joining a group at school so time for him (and me, why not) to learn 5th ed. Many thanks for this article as it gives us a nice summary so we aren’t overwhelmed on day 1. Great stuff!

  3. Druid lower than rogue when it’s better at everything a rogue does AND is a full caster, interesting…

    Yeah this list is pretty useless. It doesn’t apply to 5E at all really.


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