Rangers are well known for their connection to nature and ability to traverse its landscapes.
However, what happens when a Ranger receives a gift or blessing from the mystical plane of the Feywild? The answer is a crazy, fun subclass with plenty of tricks to keep you and your enemies on their toes.
What Is a Fey Wanderer Ranger?
The Fey Wandered Ranger utilizes the beguiling influence of The Feywild to improve their martial, magical, and even social capabilities.
While a Fey Wanderer Ranger may not have the direct blessing of an Archfey like some Warlocks do, they do possess many of the same style of tricks that let them weasel through challenges of all types.
The Fey Wanderer Ranger broadens what the Ranger class typically does with its features.
Rangers are adept at the combat and exploration pillars of the game, but the Fey Wanderer subclass has features that help boost these specialties further beyond what is normal.
These boosts are on top of a handful of spells and abilities that let your Ranger act as a socialite without investing into Charisma.
Thanks to the boosts the alternate class features in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything (the same book Fey Wanderer shows up in), the Fey Wanderer will work well in just about any situation.
You won’t shine like other classes do, but being able to participate in any circumstance means you won’t get bored. No one wants a fey creature to get bored!
Really, this subclass is for someone who wants to play a Ranger with a little bit of everything.
You won’t have the crazy burst damage a Gloomstalker can pull off or the companionship of a Beastmaster’s Beast Companion, but a Fey Wanderer can feel confident in their ability to deal good damage, cast helpful spells, and even spin a yarn or two at the local tavern.
Black Citadel Rating System
Color and tier ranking is very helpful when you’re trying to digest a lot of information. In our ongoing series of 5e class guides, we use the following color rating scheme:
- Red – C Tier. Red options can sometimes be situationally useful and might make for an interesting narrative choice but are largely less effective than other tiers.
- Green – B Tier. Solid but nothing that is absolutely critical for a build, or Green can be very good but only in very specific situations.
- Blue – A Tier. An excellent choice. Widely regarded as powerful in some way, useful, highly effective.
- Purple – S Tier. The top of our rankings. Objectively powerful or transformative in some way. No choice in D&D is essential, but these options are worth strongly considering when you create your character.
Our goal here is to provide scannable, but comprehensive, guides for you as you develop your character.
While we might sometimes make reference to unofficial or homebrew content to illustrate a point (or just because it’s too cool not to talk about), every option we suggest is legal in the official rules for D&D 5e as published by Wizards of the Coast.
The Fey Wanderer Ranger’s Defining Abilities
- Scaling bonus damage that doesn’t require action input
- Phenomenal extra spells list
- Socially adept thanks to both spells and class features
A Fey Wanderer Ranger looks to use their ties to the Feywild to harm foes both physically and psychologically.
While many of the Fey Wanderer’s features don’t overtly add to your damage, you can combine many of these features together to get some nasty combos going.
The extra damage from Dreadful strikes isn’t a lot, but getting a free 1d4 of damage each turn with no resource cost on your part doesn’t hurt.
The scaling is a little slow, but you can stack this damage with abilities like Favored Foe and the spell hunter’s mark.
Suddenly, you’re doing your best Rogue impression by adding multiple dice to the first attack you make each turn.
Also, Fey Wanderers have access to an expanded Ranger spell list, much like other newly published Ranger subclasses.
The Fey Wanderer list has some amazing mobility options, like misty step and dimension door, to keep foes within range of your tricks.
Speaking of tricks, the charm person spell might seem odd, but it plays into some of the other features that Fey Wanderers get, for example, Otherworldly Glamour.
Otherworldly Glamour grants a skill proficiency, but in a Charisma skill – something most Rangers don’t gravitate toward.
However, this feature also lets you add your Wisdom modifier to Charisma ability checks, meaning a Fey Wanderer can use their Fey Gift to become the face of the party.
It’s not until 7th level that it’s clear why charm person is on the spell list.
The Beguiling Twist feature makes it easier for you to stick charm effects on foes or NPCs by moving the effect to another creature after the first target makes their save.
Saving spell slots on a half-caster like the Ranger, especially for these out-of-combat spells, goes a long way!
You get another way to use Beguiling Twist at 11th level when the Fey Wanderer unlocks the Fey Reinforcements feature.
This feature grants the summon fey spell and allows you to cast it without needing to concentrate on the spell at the cost of it only lasting a minute.
While that doesn’t seem like much, remember that the Fey Spirit from that spell has a charm effect on its teleport, meaning that you can control which enemies can and cannot target you with attacks between your summoned ally and Beguiling Twist!
All of this is on top of the fact that the summoning spells from Tasha’s, including summon fey, tend to be pretty good. These spells give you another body in the fight that can take hits and offer some nice bonuses.
Additionally, the spells do decent damage without you spending more than the spell slot and action to cast the spell.
The fact that the Fey Wanderer can cast this spell once per long rest for free means that you always have the chance to call for help.
The Fey Spirit isn’t very durable, but it is good at skirmishing with foes and confounding them with its Fey Step ability no matter which one you summon.
Finally, at 15th level, Fey Wanderers get the Misty Wanderer ability.
While these Rangers already know the misty step spell, this feature gives them up to five castings of the spell a day for free. If you didn’t have enough mobility before, you certainly do now!
Additionally, Misty Wanderer allows the Fey Wanderer Ranger to treat misty step like a short-range dimension-door ability since they can now take allies along with them.
Dimension door is great for escapes and overcoming the terrain, but the long range of the teleport can be overkill.
With this feature, Fey Wanderers can reserve the big teleports for emergencies and use the freebie misty step castings here for solving mobility issues and moving allies around.
Overall, these abilities make the Fey Wanderer Ranger great for a character looking to blend the guile of the Fey with some powerful nature magic and martial prowess.
These adventurers can get to where they need to be, confuse the enemy with charming effects, and pick off the stragglers all at the same time.
The Fey Wanderer Ranger’s Limitations
- Versatility comes with the cost of not excelling
- Encourages boosting Wisdom, unlike other Ranger subclasses
- Many enemies can ignore the charmed condition, turning off key features of the subclass
The cost for all of these tricks is that it can stretch your Ability Scores thin. Most Rangers can get away with a high, but not capped, Wisdom score since many of the good Ranger spells don’t require saves or spell attack rolls.
For the Fey Wanderer, you almost want to boost Wisdom as much as Dexterity to get your tricks to land.
To make it clear, here’s some of the stuff that ties back to a Fey Wanderer’s Wisdom:
- The spell save DC for charm person and Beguiling Twist
- The ability check bonus from Otherwordly Glamour
- The attack roll for your Fey Spirit
- The number of times you can cast misty step from Misty Wanderer
And that’s just from the subclass! Never mind the fact that Rangers like high Wisdom for their scouting and tracking skills like Perception and Survival or for other Ranger spells.
Since the Ranger class only gets five ASIs over its 20 levels, it can be hard to fit in a high Wisdom with the capped Dexterity/Strength and feats the Ranger wants for combat.
Plus, your Fey Wanderer tricks won’t work all the time. Many enemies are resistant to charms or spells period, while other foes are immune to the condition.
Also, since charm effects tend to call for Wisdom saves and most foes have decent Wisdom, you might find your charm effects don’t go off often depending on the campaign setting you are in.
Take, for example, a campaign focused on fighting undead creatures. Most of these monsters can’t even be charmed, let alone have a good save.
So, while the Fey Wanderer might be good for something like Lost Mines of Phandelver, it’ll hurt for chances to use its tricks in something like Curse of Strahd.
Ultimately, it will be up to the player of the Fey Wanderer to figure out when the best time to deploy the tools of the subclass will be.
A knowledgable player will know these limitations and be able to work around them, perhaps focusing on damage when charm-resistant foes come up.
The Fey Wanderer subclass is one of the more potent ones for Ranger. Still, as it stands, the subclass might not get its tricks off in every fight, forcing the Ranger to get creative or come up with backup plans.
While Fey Wanderer gets great features across all levels of play, it has some nice synergies with other classes.
Most of these synergies either bring more options to the Fey Wanderer to drive home its versatility or double down on some key early features from the subclass to make it shine.
While the Battlemaster Fighter multiclass is probably best as a three-level dip, the Trickery Cleric and Circle of Land Druid multiclass options would be interesting ways to expand on your tricks via spells once you have the features you want from Fey Wanderer.
Battlemaster shows up in a lot of multiclass builds because of how solid the Manuevers are.
These maneuvers give your attacks the chance to apply all sorts of useful effects or crowd-control options, expanding on what you can do as a martial character.
Within Tasha’s, there’s also a wide range of maneuvers that have out-of-combat utility, meaning you can use Superiority Dice almost whenever you like.
Some of the stand-out maneuver options for this three-level are Ambush, Commanding Presence, Disarming Attack, Menacing Attack, Precision Attack, Tactical Assessment, and Trip Attack.
While not a popular choice for multiclassing, Trickery Clerics have a unique Domain spell list thanks to their reverence of a deity of subterfuge or deception.
The Domain list overlaps somewhat with the Fey Wanderer list, but there are some spells here that any Fey Wanderer would love to have, such as disguise self and polymorph.
The features of this subclass aren’t all that special unless you can get creative with Invoke Duplicity.
The main draw of this multiclass is the full caster spell-slot progression, access to unique spells, and a way to recover spell slots via the Harness Divine Power alternate class feature for Clerics.
Circle of Land Druid
Much like the Cleric multiclass, Druid levels are a way to get more spells onto your Fey Wanderer.
While the Cleric will give you many unique staple spells like Bless and Spiritual Weapon, Druid offers more of what the Ranger spell list is good at.
The Circle of Land in particular is nice because of its ability to recover spell slots with Natural Recovery.
When combined with the Circle spells for the different environments, you get a multiclass build that adds both spell depth and access.
The Grassland version stands out thanks to access to spells like invisibility and haste, both of which are awesome for Rangers.
Still, you can make an argument for some other environments too, such as Arctic, Mountain, and Underdark for their access to spells not normally on the Druid or Ranger spell list.
Overall, this is the priority we recommend you place on a Fey Wanderer’s Ability Scores:
Tier II: Constitution, Wisdom
Green – B Tier: Intelligence, Charisma
Absolute Dump Tier: Strength
Strength: With how stretched you think your ASIs are, using two-handed weapons means you’d split between Strength for damage, Constitution for hit points, Dexterity for medium armor AC, and Wisdom for your spells. That’s way too many stats to boost with five total ASIs.
Dexterity: Dexterity offers so much for a Ranger, including your attack and damage bonus with finesse and ranged weapons, your Armor Class, your Initiative bonus, and your ability modifier for key skills like Acrobatics and Stealth. Plus, by focusing Dexterity as your offensive stat, you can ignore Strength and focus on three ability scores instead of four.
Constitution: While having this ability score at a 12 or higher is almost a requirement, it’s hard to get this stat high up when Fey Wanderers want Wisdom and Dexterity, too. Still, you need this ability score for your health and concentration checks, so try to keep it with a positive modifier.
Intelligence: This ability score is useful for knowledge checks, but overall, it doesn’t fit much with the Ranger toolkit. Still, having this at a 10 or 12 is nice for the times knowledge skills come up.
Wisdom: Fey Wanderers rely on their Wisdom more so than other Rangers, meaning you might value this as much or more than your Dexterity. However, as a half-caster, you’ll probably do better making this ability score high at character creation and coming back to boost it later when your Dexterity is capped.
Charisma: Fey Wanderers can be social adepts without boosting this. However, the bonus from Otherworldly Glamour adds to your ability checks with Charisma rather than replacing it. A decent score here means your Fey Wanderer is even better at the talking game!
Given how important Dexterity and Wisdom are to Fey Wanderers, it’s best to keep an eye out for races that boost these ability scores.
Racial abilities can be nice ribbons or extras to have, but Feats tend to be even better for Rangers. So, races that grant those should be considered too.
The rules for the half-elf and variant human can be found in the Player’s Handbook, while the Ghostwise Halfling is in the Sword Coast Adventures Guide.
Half-elves get one of the best racial ability score bonuses, gaining two extra Charisma and then two free +1s to place where you like.
Putting them into Dexterity and Wisdom means that you can make a half-elf Fey Wanderer with solid starting ability scores and a high Charisma to lean into a social role for the party.
While the other racial abilities aren’t amazing, the extra skill proficiencies mean you can snag some social skills without locking in your background to something that gets those skills.
Much like the half-elf, variant humans have a pair of +1s that can go anywhere they like. Use these boosts to round out some odd scores at character creation or boost your Dexterity and Wisdom even higher.
However, the main draw of this race is the free feat at level one. While there are a lot of great and flavorful feats to choose from, the combat standby of Sharpshooter means that a variant human starts off the game as a fantastic archer.
What’s creepier than a Fey Wanderer’s charm? When that charm comes from inside your own mind!
Ghostwise Halflings get a limited-range telepathy in addition to bumps to both Dexterity and Wisdom. This telepathy can be used to get up to all sorts of social hijinks, all without saying a word for others to eavesdrop on.
Plus, Lucky and Brave are great racial features that let you roll your way out of some nasty circumstances.
The great thing about backgrounds in D&D 5e is that they aren’t locked to any particular class or race. In fact, this character choice gives you a way to make some interesting characters with an unexpected set of skills and proficiencies.
Plus, the features that come along with these backgrounds can make for some cool story moments if used right.
While a Criminal might have contacts in your world’s crime rings, a Sage could know where to dredge up old or forgotten lore.
These features give the DM a chance to write some cool story hooks for players without having to delve too deep into their own resources for inspiration.
For Fey Wanderers, the background should represent what you were doing before receiving your Fey Gift.
Before the faerie queen Titania or the sinister witch Baba Yaga instilled a fragment of their guile into you, what was your Fey Wanderer getting up to?
The Criminal or Spy background would give your Fey Wanderer a basis for their scouting capabilities.
While also giving you Deception, a skill you won’t have access to as a Ranger before 3rd level, this background also gives you thieves’ tools to put that high Dexterity to good use.
Guild Artisan could be another interesting way to get your start as Fey Wanderer. Getting both Insight and a social skill in Persuasion is nice.
But, the flavor of a tradesman making fine products that earn the attention of a fey creature sounds like a fantastic self-discovery plotline for a character.
Or, to keep things simple, Outlander is the classical background for Rangers of all types.
Rather than getting social skills, you receive skills and proficiencies that display your character’s affinity for the wilderness and solidify your skillset to become a Ranger.
Rangers get access to a good number and range of skills, plus the ability to pick an extra one compared to most other classes.
In total, a Ranger picks three skills from Animal Handling, Athletics, Insight, Investigation, Nature, Perception, Stealth, and Survival.
Bards and Rogues will have more skills and a wider reach, but Fey Wanderers can get extra skills with the Canny and Otherworldly Glamour class features.
Most folks will expect a Ranger to be knowledgeable about the natural world and its navigation, but don’t be afraid to fill in some gaps your party might have with your background choice.
Primary: Acrobatics, Perception, Stealth, Survival
Tier II: Animal Handling, Deception, Insight, Nature, Persuasion, Sleight of Hand
Tier III: Investigation, Medicine, Intimidation, Performance
Absolute Dump Tier: Athletics, Arcana, History, Religion
While optional, feats are a solid choice to boost your character’s specialty or expand on what a character can already do. Fey Wanderers, like other Rangers, love certain feats to boost their prowess even further.
If you’re interested in snagging some feats, Variant Human is a solid place to start since you get a free feat at level one. From there, take a look at some of these choices:
Elven Accuracy: While not available to humans, plenty of archers and finesse-weapon users love this feat.
In addition to adding to an ability score, you get the ability to roll even more d20s to determine your chance to hit, really helping those big hits land home. It’s tough to take this at 4th level, but it’s a solid feat if you can find advantage often.
Lucky: For the non-elves, Lucky makes for a good replacement to Elven Accuracy. While you won’t get the extra d20 on every attack roll with advantage, Lucky dice apply to any d20 roll or opponents targeting you would make.
Turning misses into hits, especially attacks that add extra damager dice, can swing a combat in your favor.
Resilient (Constitution): With how many concentration spells show up on the Ranger list, this feat almost feels like a must-have in higher levels.
Having a reliable way to make concentration checks when you get hit means you waste fewer resources and less time on spells.
Sharpshooter: With the Fey Wanderer’s love of Dexterity, Sharpshooter is a no-brainer for ranged builds.
The extra damage offsets the to-hit penalty in most cases, and between the Archery Fighting Style and spells that grant advantage, this might not matter all that much to your character.
Here’s how the features of the Fey Wanderer play out over the course of the character’s career. This section doesn’t cover everything the Ranger class gets – just the juicy tidbits about using the Fey Wanderer features in play.
Until you choose a Ranger Conclave at 3rd level, you play as a standard Ranger. You’ll have a d10 hit die, proficiency in Strength and Dexterity saving throws, and a decent selection of skills, not counting your race and background.
As for features, Favored Enemy and Natural Explorer let you show off the tracking skills your Ranger developed in their past.
On the other hand, Favored Foe and Natural Explorer give you more general features, like skill proficiencies and extra damage, each turn against any creature you hit.
At 2nd level, you’ll get to choose a fighting style, which generally matches up with the weapon you want to use. Archery, Dueling, and Two Weapon Fighting tend to be the common ones.
Also, you’ll get spells at 2nd level. Choose spells that help you hunt down foes and take them out so that your Fey Wanderer spells don’t overlap with your standard Ranger choices.
At this level, you finally become a Fey Wanderer. Here’s what you’ll snag for yourself:
Dreadful Strikes: An extra 1d4 psychic damage each turn means you’ll add an extra two damage on average or five damage on average at 11th level.
Psychic damage is a consistent damage type, so this extra damage should land pretty often.
Fey Wanderer Magic: None of these spells show up on the standard Ranger spell list, meaning each one adds new options to your Fey Wanderer.
Charm effects, teleportation, and dispelling effects are all handy and expand your bag of tricks.
Otherworldly Glamour: A skill proficiency and boost to Charisma skills are nice, but given how many Charisma-based classes are in the game, you might have a hard time shining with this.
Still, if one of those teammates needs backup, you’re right there!
Beguiling Twist: The ability to turn charm and frighten effects as another target means that status condition has another chance to stick without wasting the resource.
It’s worth remembering that this works on any charm or fear, not just your own. So, see if you can queue up some team attacks with your partymates!
Fey Reinforcements: There’s a lot packed into this ability! A free spell, free casting of that spell, and the ability to make the spell not require concentration for the price of only having the spell for a minute?
Most fights don’t last for a minute, meaning this can be up for the whole fight whether your foes like it or not!
Misty Wanderer: Just like Fey Reinforcements, extra castings of spells are good, especially when they are as good as misty step.
In addition, turning the spell into a mini dimension door means these free castings allow your character to be repositioning royalty for themselves and their allies.
Example Build Progression From 1st to 20th Level
If you want to use the power of the Feywild to beguile foes and slice through both flesh and mind, then follow this list of build choices across all 20 levels of play:
- Ability Scores (Standard Array): Strength (8), Dexterity (15), Constitution (13), Intelligence (10), Wisdom (14), Charisma (12)
- Race: Variant Human
- Ability Score Increase: Dexterity +1 (16), Wisdom +1 (15)
- Size: Medium
- Speed: 30 feet
- Skills: You gain proficiency with one skill of your choice (Persuasion).
- Feat: You gain one feat of your choice (Sharpshooter).
- Languages: Common, Elven (race), Sylvan, Gnomish (Deft Explorer – Canny)
- Armor: Light and medium armor, shields
- Weapons: Simple weapons, martial weapons
- Tools: none
- Saving throws: Strength, Dexterity
- Background: Outlander
- Skills: Persuasion (race), Athletics, Survival (background), Insight, Perception, Stealth
- Expertise: Stealth (Deft Explorer – Canny)
- Hit Dice: 1d10 per Ranger level
- Hit Points at 1st Level: 10 + Constitution modifier
- Hit Points at Higher Level: 1d10 (or 6) + Constitution modifier
- Leather armor
- Two shortswords
- Explorer’s Pack
- A longbow and 20 arrows
- A quarterstaff
- A hunting trap
- A set of traveller’s clothes
- 10 gp
Take Favored Foe over Favored Enemy: This gives you the ability to something like hunter’s mark against a foe regardless of its creature type.
Take Deft Explorer over Natural Explorer: Favored terrains are fun, but the movement and skill benefits from Deft Explorer are more broadly useful.
Choose Stealth as your skill of choice to gain expertise in with the Canny feature.
- Fighting Style: Choose Archery to offset the penalty from using Sharpshooter.
- Spellcasting: Choose the spells goodberry, hunter’s mark, and zephyr strike (found in Xanathar’s Guide to Everything).
- Ranger Conclave: Fey Wanderer
- Dreadful Strikes
- Fey Wanderer Magic
- Otherworldly Glamour: Choose Deception for the skill proficiency
- Choose Primal Awareness over Primevil Awareness for access to more spells.
- Learn the cure wounds spell.
- Ability Score Improvement: +2 Dexterity (18)
- Extra Attack
- Learn the pass without trace spell.
- Deft Explorer Improvement: Roving
- Beguiling Twist
- Learn the summon beast spell (found in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything).
- Ability Score Improvement: +2 Dexterity (20)
- Land’s Stride
- Learn the spell plant growth.
- Choose Nature’s Veil over Hide in Plain Sight for a better way to hide on average.
- Deft Explorer Improvement: Tireless
- Fey Reinforcements
- Learn the spell conjure barrage.
- Feat: Skill Expert (+1 Wisdom (16), Intimidation Proficiency, Perception Expertise)
- Learn the spell freedom of movement.
- Misty Wanderer
- Learn the spell conjure woodland beings.
- Feat: Resilient (+1 Constitution (14), Constitution saving throw proficiency)
- Learn the spell conjure volley.
- Feral Senses
- Ability Score Improvement: +2 Wisdom (18)
- Learn the spell steel wind strike (found in Xanathat’s Guide to Everything)
- Foe Slayer