Last Updated on January 22, 2023
It’s no wonder that fighters are the most popular class in 5e. They combine equal parts of simplicity, power, and variety, letting players get the D&D experience without juggling too many new rules at one time.
As such, it makes sense that fighters are also most players’ introduction to most mechanics of the game, including magic items.
From flaming swords to marvelous suits of armor, a fighter has a lot of options when it comes to enchanted gear.
Today, we’re going to be taking a deep dive into what makes a good magic item for the fighter class and, of course, ranking a few of our favorites.
So whether you’re a new player just starting out or a DM figuring out what loot to give their new player, this is the article for you.
What Makes a Good Fighter Magic Item?
Fighters are the original martial class. They hit hard and often with whatever their weapon of choice is, and they use whatever benefits they get from their subclass to decimate their enemies.
For this hard-hitting class, magical weapons are definitely a top priority, but just about anything that helps them keep up with casters at higher levels is going to do the trick.
What magic items work for a character is often dependent on how they perform in combat.
Sure, there are plenty of magical items out there that affect exploration or social interaction, but most of those don’t require attunement and can easily be passed around the party for whoever needs them.
In combat, fighters have one of the simplest goals to grasp: hit creatures often. Since you have proficiency in all weapons, you grab a big weapon and then attack with it.
Once you get the Extra Attack feature at 5th level, things really start to kick off because you can now attack twice in every turn you take.
As you level up, this feature improves to the point that you can attack four times with a single action at 20th level.
This is the main way that you bridge the gap between your weapon attacks and the powerful spells a caster might be launching off.
Another benefit of attacking often is that the more you roll, the more likely you’ll end up with a critical hit. Magical items that have special abilities on critical hits are far and above the superior choice for a fighter.
In general though, we want magical weapons because most of them have added damage effects or attack and damage bonuses.
It’s simple math that the more damage we deal in a turn, the faster we’ll take down our enemies.
The other benefit of magical weapons and the reason we should hunt one down as soon as possible is that they allow us to hit creatures with nonmagical resistances.
Sure, this doesn’t help us narrow down our search for the perfect weapon, but it’s good knowledge to know.
There are a few ways that you can build a fighter, even if they all boil down to the same basic goal.
The first breakdown is into melee and ranged fighters, and a further breakdown brings us into battlefield control, high damage output, and support.
Melee fighters use strength, so items that focus on or increase your strength will be excellent.
Of course, this also gives you the general category of weapons that you’ll want to be using. Melee weapons are going to be your go-to.
Ranged is similarly straightforward with a focus on dexterity, which you’ll use for your ranged weapons. A focus on ranged combat might mean that you pick up a few more tricks though.
Magical quivers for your ammunition are a great add-on, while you could easily pick up a few spellcasting items to get some more ranged variety.
Battlefield control is a popular melee playstyle. This kind of build, often including Battle Masters and Echo Knights, is going to focus on protecting their allies and getting their enemies into specific positions.
Tanks are a type of battlefield controller, but they do focus a bit more on taking hits than anything else.
If you’re going for battlefield control, you’ll want the ability to move around the battlefield.
There are a lot of ways to do this with magic items; flight, teleportation, increased speed, and even increased stealth are all ways that an item can help you be exactly where you need to be.
High-damage output is the easiest goal to achieve. The only items you need to achieve this are ones that let you deal more damage with every hit.
It might be smart to keep a variety of specialized weapons, like dragon and giant slayers, so that you’re ready to deal ridiculous amounts of damage in any fight.
Then we have support fighters who try to provide bonuses to their allies.
Battle Masters and Rune Knights each have a variety of ways to boost their allies abilities, but these abilities often pale in comparison to a more traditional support class.
While you could multiclass and run the risk of a M.A.D. build, you can also pick up items that give you the abilities you need.
No matter what build you go for, it’s safe to say that a unique weapon and a good piece of equipment will be plenty to keep you in the fight.
What Are the Best Magic Items for Fighters?
Below are our top three magic items for a fighter to pick up along their travels.
1. Vorpal Sword
Our top item is one of my favorite items in the whole game and an item that plays so perfectly into the fighter’s skill set.
The vorpal sword, easily one of the most powerful swords in the whole game, is something that any fighter should be putting at the top of their Christmas list for sure.
Weapon (any sword that deals slashing damage), legendary (requires attunement)
You gain a +3 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with this magic weapon. In addition, the weapon ignores resistance to slashing damage.
When you roll a 20 on an attack roll with a Vorpal Sword, assuming the target creature has at least one head, you cut it off. If the creature needs its head to live (it’s not a hydra, for example), it dies.
If the creature is immune to slashing damage, it is immune to this effect.
Also, creatures without a head, creatures that don’t need a head, creatures with legendary actions, or creatures so large that the DM rules that a single sword blow couldn’t sever its head are also immune.
Such a creature instead takes an additional 6d8 slashing damage from the blow.
The reason this makes it to the very top of our list is that it plays perfectly into everything we’re looking for.
It’s a +3 weapon, the highest bonus we can get in 5e, that ignores resistance to the damage type it deals. That alone would be reason enough to pick this bad boy up.
Fortunately, there’s a lot more. Or rather, one more huge thing.
When you roll a 20, you cut a creature’s head clean off. Most of the time this will immediately kill the creature you’re fighting. That is insanely powerful.
This means that this weapon has the potential to “deal more damage” than a spell like Power Word: Kill, a spell that is entirely designed to kill creatures on the spot.
This would be an amazing weapon for anyone, but there’s a reason it’s so high on the list for fighters specifically.
Fighters get the most out of the Extra Attack feature. They have the highest chance of rolling a 20 or a critical hit out of any other class in the game.
Especially if you’re making good use of your action surge, you’ll be averaging around 16 critical hits in every combat once you reach 11th level.
So enjoy as your vorpal blade goes snicker-snack and all your enemies go galumphing back.
2. Hammer of Thunderbolts
This weapon is great for fighters because it eliminates the need to worry about any other item attunements. That’s because you can’t even wield this mighty hammer without already having two specific items attuned.
Hammer of Thunderbolts
Weapon (maul), legendary (requires attunement)
You gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with this magic weapon.
You must be wearing a belt of giant strength (any variety) and gauntlets of ogre power to attune to this weapon. The attunement ends if you take off either of those items.
While you are attuned to this weapon and holding it, your Strength score increases by 4 and can exceed 20 but not 30.
When you roll a 20 on an attack roll made with this weapon against a giant, the giant must succeed on a DC 17 Constitution saving throw or die.
The hammer also has 5 charges. While attuned to it, you can expend 1 charge and make a ranged weapon attack with the hammer, hurling it as if it had the thrown property with a normal range of 20 feet and a long range of 60 feet.
If the attack hits, the hammer unleashes a thunderclap audible out to 300 feet.
The target and every creature within 30 feet of it must succeed on a DC 17 Constitution saving throw or be stunned until the end of your next turn. The hammer regains 1d4 + 1 expended charges daily at dawn.
Proficiency with a maul allows you to add your proficiency bonus to the attack roll for any attack you make with it.
This item, combined with the belt of giant strength, is going to put your strength score up to at least 25 but likely even higher. That alone is enough to make this pretty terrifying for anyone silly enough to cross your path.
But, as with all good weapons, there’s a lot more than just the ability to hit someone really hard.
First of all, this has a chance of immediately killing giants that you attack with it, and as we know, you’ll be getting a lot of critical hits.
Then, this has charges that you can use to essentially cast a unique spell. This attack lets you hurl the hammer and create an enormous thunderclap that stuns creatures in a 300-foot radius.
Being able to incapacitate one or two creatures is one thing – but every creature that fails their save within a 300-foot radius?! That is absolutely incredible and can basically win you any fight you’re in.
This item isn’t quite as strong as the other two I’ve listed, but that’s by design. I wanted to include a lower-rarity weapon that would still feel just as powerful at its tier of play.
Realistically, this might even end up dishing out more damage than a Hammer of Thunderbolts would, and this is only a rare item.
Weapon (any sword), rare (requires attunement)
You can use a bonus action to speak this magic sword’s command word, causing flames to erupt from the blade. These flames shed bright light in a 40-foot radius and dim light for an additional 40 feet.
While the sword is ablaze, it deals an extra 2d6 fire damage to any target it hits. The flames last until you use a bonus action to speak the command word again or until you drop or sheathe the sword.
This item is very straightforward, and that’s one of the things we love about it. An extra 2d6 damage is essentially an entirely new attack since it’s as much damage as the best weapon, a greatsword.
Wielding this weapon means you’re getting around some damage resistances, dealing a whole lot of damage, and enjoying the added benefit of a light that’s way better than a torch for exploration.
For just a rare item, what more could you ask for?
Other Magic Items for Fighters (at Every Tier of Play)
The rest of the items we’ve chosen are listed in no specific order. These are just some excellent items that you’ll enjoy the benefits of if you happen to come across them in your next campaign.
Efficient Quiver (Uncommon)
This is more than just a nice piece of equipment for archers.
You can store up to 60 arrows, 18 javelins, and 6 bows (or similar objects to each category) in its three extradimensional spaces for easy access, and the whole thing weighs no more than 2 pounds!
Boots of Striding and Springing (Uncommon)
These boots prevent your walking speed from being lowered. This means that magic entanglements and difficult terrain are nothing to you, and you get to enjoy combat and exploration unhindered by normal obstacles.
Mithral Armor (Uncommon)
Mithral armor is a blessing of a material for armor. Its magically light nature makes it so that any armor you wear doesn’t impose disadvantage on stealth checks.
While you’re probably not trying to be as stealthy as a rogue, any little bit is always helpful.
Sentinel Shield (Uncommon)
This shield, emblazoned with an eye on the front, gives you advantage on initiative and perception checks.
Since these are arguably the two most important skill checks in the game, this is insanely useful, especially early on.
+X Weapons/Armor (Varies)
The entire category of basic weapons and armor that give you a +1,+2, or +3 bonus is just so useful.
While it’s nice to have extra bonuses like flame damage or severing heads, sometimes all you need is a little bonus and the fact that you have magical equipment.
Boots of Speed (Rare)
These boots double your speed for a total of 10 minutes each day. That’s 10 combats or more if you really stretch it out.
Click these boots and use the dash action, and you’ll likely be moving 120 feet in a round (20 feet per second), which is absolutely incredible. It’s not quite as fast as Usain Bolt, but combat is a marathon, not a sprint.
Cloak of Displacement (Rare)
The cloak of displacement is frankly a piece of equipment that everyone should get to use at least once.
It makes you appear to be not quite where you are, giving disadvantage to attack rolls made against you until someone is able to hit you.
With a high AC, this cloak runs a very real possibility of completely protecting you from every attack in an entire combat.
Dragon’s Wrath Weapon (Varies)
Not only do these weapons come in all shapes and sizes and give a bonus according to their rarity, but they also deal extra damage based on the color of dragon they are associated with and have a number of other abilities.
This is just such a fantastic weapon and a great way to get your hands on some of the harder-to-access damage types like psychic and force.
Ring/Cloak of Protection (Rare)
Both of these items give you a +1 to your AC and saving throws. Throw them together, and you get +2, a respectable bonus to your defenses before we even look at armor.
Weapon of Certain Death (Rare)
This almost made it to the ranked section and for good reason. When you deal damage with this, it prevents a creature from regaining hit points until the start of your next turn.
Keep dishing out damage to one creature from turn to turn, and they are, most certainly, going to die.
Watchful Helm (Very Rare)
This helm gives you a +1 to AC, advantage on sight-based perception checks, and the ability to cast See Invisibility on yourself.
Essentially, it’s a boost to armor, and it keeps you incredibly alert of what’s going on – what more could you want?
Fighters are a fantastic class, and while some might think they’re overly simplistic, they really shine once you get a magical weapon in their hands and let them start swinging.
I hope one of these items called to you, and remember, the best swords have names.
As always, happy adventuring.
- About Author
- Latest Posts
As a kid, I was often told to get my head out of the clouds and to stop living in a fantasy world. That never really jived with me, so I decided to make a living out of games, stories, and all sorts of fantastical works. Now, as an adult, I aspire to remind people that sometimes a little bit of fantasy is all you need when life gets to be too much.