Echo Knight Fighter 5e: How To Build & Play an Echo

Normally, fighters can feel incredibly weak outside of battle. Even in combat, most builds just end up doing the same things over again.

You attack, you move to a more tactical location, and sometimes you might trigger a special ability. Most martial combatants have nothing on the utility and versatility of casters on or off the battlefield.

The Echo Knight fighter completely flips that on its head. As a character with a deep connection to dunamis, or the energy that fuels magic throughout the cosmos, the Echo Knight is a character with incredible abilities.

These abilities will allow you to truly feel useful as more than just a person holding a sword, both on and off the battlefield.

Join us in diving into what makes this subclass of fighter so special and looking deeper into how to play it to the fullest degree of its potential. 

Echo Knight Features

3rd Level

Manifest Echo:

You gain the ability to create an echo of yourself within 15 feet of you as a bonus action that last until it is destroyed, until you dismiss it as a bonus action, until you create another echo, or until you are incapacitated. 

The echo is a magical, translucent, gray image of you with 1 hit point, immunity to all conditions, and AC equal to 14 + your proficiency bonus.

Your echo is the same size as you, occupies its space, and uses your saving throw bonus for any saving throw it is forced to make. Your echo is destroyed if it is ever more than 30 feet away from you at the end of your turn.

You can do the following things with your echo as part of your turn:

  • Move the echo up to 30 feet in any direction.
  • Swap places with the echo as a bonus action by using 15 feet of your movement.
  • Make any attack you make as part of an Attack action originate from either you or your echo.
  • Use your reaction to make an opportunity attack from your echo’s location if a creature that you can see within 5 feet of your echo moves at least 5 feet away from it.

Unleash Incarnation:

Whenever you take the Attack action, you can make an additional attack from your echo’s location.

You can do this a number of times equal to your Constitution modifier, regaining expended uses on a long rest.

7th Level

Echo Avatar:

As an action, you can see and hear through your echo. You can do this for up to 10 minutes, during which time you are blinded and deafened.

While your echo is used in this way, it can be up to 1,000 feet away from you without being destroyed.

10th Level

Shadow Martyr:

You can use your reaction to teleport your echo into the way of an oncoming attack against another creature you can see.

The attack is made against your echo instead of the original target. You can’t use this feature again until you finish a short or long rest.

15th Level

Reclaim Potential:

When your echo is destroyed, you can gain a number of temporary hit points equal to 2d6 plus your Constitution modifier, provided you don’t have any temporary hit points already.

You can do this a number of times equal to your Constitution modifier, regaining expended uses on a long rest.

18th Level

Legion of One:

You can use a bonus action to create two echos instead of just one. Both echos can exist at the same time, but if you attempt to create a third, both are destroyed.

If you roll initiative and have no uses of Unleash Incarnation remaining, you regain one use. 

Class-Defining Abilities

  • Echo
  • Teleportation
  • Extra Attacks
  • Battlefield Control

Echo

What is an Echo?

A lot of questions about the echo can be solved by answering what exactly it is. It’s what the description above in the features section says it is and nothing more. 

This means that it is not a creature. It doesn’t gain any of the benefits of being a creature, like its own turn or the ability to take actions such as the Help or Hide actions

It’s also not a spell, meaning it can’t be countered. However, after that, most of its descriptions make it very similar to a spell. 

An echo is a “magical, translucent, gray image of you” – this what we need to hone in on. Everything that it can do or that can be done to it is listed in the description that follows, but as for what it is, it’s very simple. 

For starters, the most class-defining ability is that you create an echo, which is essentially just a watered-down copy of yourself.

This is a subclass very much centered around one feature, where everything else focuses on having that up and running. 

Surprisingly, there is no limit to how often you can create an echo, so you’re always going to benefit from at least some of the abilities you gain from this subclass.

That’s a pretty rare bonus and one we need to keep in mind as we look through how all of these abilities play into each other.

At its basic ability set, the echo is pretty impressive. Its AC is going to start off pretty impressive at 16 and cap out at 20 once you get to 17th level.

Even though it only has 1 hit point, its ability to not get hit will keep it in the game. Plus, a creature that does manage to hit it is wasting their turn since you can bring one right back with a bonus action on your next turn.

Immunity to all conditions means that it can’t be restrained, poisoned, blinded, etc.

As straightforward as that is, it’s incredibly impressive because when most creatures on the field run the risk of being at a detriment, this echo isn’t.

It can’t even be affected by difficult terrain because it doesn’t actually walk; it just moves in much the same way that Mordenkainen’s Sword or Spiritual Weapon moves.

Teleportation

That brings us to teleportation. Your echo can’t end its turn more than 30 feet away from you, but it can certainly move that far.

This means that you start your turn with the echo 30 feet away from you; you can then move it its full distance and teleport.

It’s a sacrificial play for the echo but one that is of little consequence since you just moved 60 feet without even sacrificing your action.

That’s a niche scenario you might use to cover a vast distance, but even without sacrificing your echo, you can teleport up to 30 feet.

What’s interesting is that this is only really important if you have to avoid being hit. Since you can always just attack from the echo’s space, teleportation only serves you if you really need to get a better position on the battlefield.

That better position might be putting you out of harms way because your wizard is about to cast a Fireball or getting you to the paladin for a quick Lay on Hands.

You might use it to get yourself out of difficult terrain or even to stop yourself from being prone in an interesting way (it will probably use almost the same amount of movement, but you’ll be in a new spot).

Extra Attacks

The Unleash Incarnation feature isn’t all that we’re discussing here, but we will start with it.

Fighters already get the most attacks. Their extra-attack feature brings them not one, not two, but three extra attacks as part of their attack action by the time they reach level 20.

Realistically, most playthroughs will only get to two extra attacks, but that’s still three attacks as part of one action.

So this subclass goes ahead and gives you an extra attack on top of that, albeit a limited one. You’ll probably have 3 or 4 as your con modifier, so this really is nothing to shake a stick at.

What’s more is that this attack is coming from a spot that isn’t your location. 

Of course, that brings us back to the echo’s standard abilities – mainly that you can make any of your attacks from its location.

Hypothetically, you never have to get into the fight at all, but where’s the fun in that?

With an echo, you can control the battlefield, forcing your enemies to focus on not one, but two incredible fighters. 

Overall Echo Knight

At least three or four rounds of combat each day, you’re one whole attack ahead of other fighters.

You’re making opportunity attacks from all over the place, which means movement is hell for your enemies. And if you teleport wisely, you don’t have to worry about getting touched.

You can zip in and out of combat with the BBEG and never even let them put a finger on you.

Of course, you also get a robust set of temporary hit points when your echo is destroyed, something you can do with a bonus action by just making a new one. 

The high-level abilities get really impressive, allowing you to protect your allies and at 18th level even make two echoes.

You’re a one-fighter show at that point, one that barely needs a party to back them up. 

Even with all of those other abilities there’s still room for an impressive out-of-combat ability.

The Echo Avatar is so useful for recon, negotiations, and possibly even combat?

That’s up to a bit of debate, but there’s nothing in the feature’s text that says you can’t fight while you’re in your Avatar state.

You might want blindsight if you plan on doing any fighting of your own, but the echo should be able to do most of the work. 

Limitations

The echo knight is a class that receives my highest praise. Its only true limitation is the person behind the character sheet.

It takes some level of strategy and creativity to use this to its fullest potential, but even when those are in short supply, it still performs on an S-tier level.

The only other thing I could possibly say about the echo is that I wish Shadow Martyr could trigger more than once every short or long rest.

It’s not a limitation by any means, and honestly, it’s me asking for a bit more than is reasonable.

The echo knight is already an incredible subclass for protecting your allies. This is where that strategy comes in though.

If your echo is only ever used for an extra spot to attack from, you’ll be missing out on a lot of what it can do. 

Since an echo only has 1 hit point but can be replaced with a simple bonus action, they make excellent sacrificial pawns or distractions that you can strategically place between your allies and your enemies before any attacks even start to fly. 

Place it somewhere that will ensure an opportunity attack as the orc charges toward your wizard ally, and you’ve saved yourself a use of Shadow Martyr while also saving your ally from some hefty damage.

Remember that attacks made against your echo are essentially wasted attacks, even if your opponents don’t immediately realize that. 

Building an Echo Knight

Making an Echo Knight is a simple process. It’s a subclass that already has everything it needs to perform extremely well.

Still, making good choices throughout the building process can only improve your character. 

Race / Ability Scores

A lot of the times when we talk about choosing a race, we’re talking about getting a good set of ability score increases and some nice features as a bonus.

Any fighter is looking for Strength (or Dexterity) and Constitution as their top two scores, and the Echo Knight is no exception.

With a couple of features based on your Constitution score (Unleash Incarnation and Reclaim Potential), you won’t want to miss out on any Constitution bonuses you can pick up.

Any features that support you are just going to be a bonus.

  • Mountain Dwarf – +2 CON, +2 STR. The best bonus for an Echo Knight, even if the features are a bit lackluster. Poison resistance from Dwarven Resilience is pretty nice though.
  • Goliath – +2 STR, +1 CON. A great class with a feature that protects you from damage also relying on a good constitution modifier.
  • Dhampir – Custom ASI (+2 and +1, or +1 in three scores). The abilities of this class-race combo work so well together. You gain a vampiric bite attack that utilizes your con modifier, one that can regain hit points for you. You also have Spider Climb, a feature allowing you to walk on walls and ceilings with your hands free. Since your echo can move anywhere, you can teleport from ceiling to floor and vice versa, along with a whole lot of other incredible options. 

Feats

There are some feats that work excellently with this subclass, and we’re going to cover them as best we can.

Mobile

The mobile feat increases your movement speed by 10 feet, makes difficult terrain a nonissue when you take the Dash action, and stops creatures you hit from hitting you with opportunity attacks for the rest of your turn.

Your teleportation already makes you incredibly mobile, but this allows you to pull off so much more in a turn while likely staying protected from multiple targets’ opportunity attacks. 

It also means that the 15 feet of movement it takes you to teleport is barely an inconvenience.

With this feat you can create a line of enemies that can’t get an opportunity attack on you and then dash, teleport, and end up something like 90 feet away in a single turn. There’s definitely some incredible synergy here.

Polearm Master

Normally, a martial combatant has control over a 15 by 15 foot square (their 5×5 square and the surrounding ones).

The echo gives you another 15×15 foot square to control, and Polearm Master increases your own effective radius to a 25×25 foot square. 

That’s a lot of numbers, but what I’m getting at is that the Echo Knight already doubles the portion of the battlefield you’re in control of at any given moment.

Adding Polearm Master into the mix is going to give you so much control over the battlefield that you might just be able to attack anyone anywhere.

Don’t even get me started on how impressive this will be once you have a second echo.

Sentinel

This feat is all about improving your opportunity attack. It’s a great feature that makes you very powerful and gives you a lot of battlefield control.

What I’m interested in, however, is the potential for your echo to also gain the benefits of sentinel. 

Since the echo’s text states that “you can use your reaction to make an opportunity attack against that creature as if you were in the echo’s space,” that would suggest to me that any opportunity attacks you make, from either your space or your echo’s space, gain the benefits of sentinel. 

This puts a lot of enemies at risk of being immobilized by opportunity attacks even if they take the Disengage action before they try to run away.

Telekinetic

This is an opportunity for really interesting synergy. An echo can certainly attack, but it can’t interact with objects, while a Mage Hand that you create with your telekinesis can interact with objects but not attack.

Both of these things vanish if further than 30 feet away from you.

Do you see what I’m getting at? You can “attach” your mage hand to your echo and have something that is fully functional for attacking and interacting with objects.

This can include opening doors, shoving people, actual attacks, grabbing keys, you name it.

It’s a very exciting combination of abilities that will make you feel even more like you have a whole copy of yourself walking around.

Multiclass

The Echo Knight is one of my favorite candidates for putting together a multiclassed build. However, that makes it a bit tough to list out all the options present.

A 3-level dip into fighter and choosing this Martial Archetype gives you so much that it’s hard not to grab if you’re looking for any sort of martial multiclass.

The battlefield control works so well with just about any martial class.

Barbarians gain the ability to hit more people. Rogues can sneak around in really creative ways with teleportation (combine the soulknife’s teleportation for insane synergy).

Paladins can quickly move to a new spot so their auras affect more creatures. Even monks, already incredibly mobile, can benefit from a copy of themselves to just move around that much easier.

Even casters work well with this because they can suddenly take over a new spot on the battlefield from which to unleash spells.

I mean, can you imagine a wild-shaped druid with a copy charging around the battlefield? I can.

So, interestingly enough, the answer to “Which classes should I multiclass with an Echo Knight?” is yes. Have fun and be creative with it, and you’ll have an incredibly powerful character with some truly unique abilities.

The echo knight is an awe-inspiring character. Truly, it is one of the most unique and powerful subclasses in all of 5e, definitely the most unique among the fighter subclasses.

Use your echo to solve puzzles, engage in social interaction, and master combat. This is a subclass you’ll want to play over and over again.

As always, happy adventuring.