The current expansion rules in The Wild Beyond the Witchlight allowed us to play fairies as a new race option. Until now, they have been a group of creatures found as NPCs, opponents, and random characters.
Now, under these new rules, you can role-play these beings. The Fairy (also known as Fey) is a rare creature, but more appropriately, the term for a family of magical beings originating from the mystical realm of the Feywild. These beings are known for their magical powers, mischievous nature, and close connection to nature.
Fairy 5e Racial Traits
The current rules are very vague when it comes to defining what a Fairy looks like, but this is a good thing. Because the term “Fairy” is more of an umbrella term designed to cover a wide variety of body types, physical attributes, and shapes, the vagueness is deliberately built into allow you to explore the options.
These Fairy folk, or Fey if you prefer, could have gossamer insect wings or walk of bird-like legs. They could be adorned with feathers, barklike skin, or shimmering with patterned hues. Essentially, the Fairy can look however you want, within reason, but as long as it feels nature-driven, wild, and folklorish, you are free to build whatever design you want.
Do you want to be a delicate floaty elf-type sprite? No problem. A bug person? Why not? A gothic moth? Part plant, part humanoid? Tinkerbell? A pixie prankster or a guardian of the greenwood?
Fairy builds give you the most extensive blank slate of any race; use your imagination, and the world is your oyster. You could be an intelligent oyster if you were running a maritime campaign.
Fairy 5e Stats
Fairies don’t have any subraces under this new player-character system. Instead, they use the “lineage” system rather than any racial subset. This means that although Fairies can vary immensely in nature and physicality, they are all one race for the sake of the rules.
Because of this, when it comes to looking closer at the statistics of the Fairy-folk, we are interested in something other than ability scores, as you can effectively pick the bonuses you want, but more concerned with features.
Creature Type: You are a Fey. This is more than just a label and more than just a comment on your size and shape. The fact that you are not described as “humanoid” means that spells that specify that they only affect “humanoids” don’t affect you. Spells charm person, hold person, and dominate person all specify that the designated target must be humanoid. And that isn’t you.
Size: You are small. Although, this is something that you might wish to discuss with your Dungeon Master during the build stage. The lineage rules don’t specify weight and height, and small is a reasonably vague term but 30-40 pounds and 3-4 feet tall sounds about right. However, it might be logical that your Fairy is not just small but tiny, but like I say, one for you and your DM to work out if it fits the campaign world.
Speed: Your base walking speed is 30 feet, which is your flight rate. So more of a gentle hover than a burst of speed, but that feels right too.
Fairy Magic: You know Druidcraft, a cantrip with lots of use. Faerie Fire is great for finding invisible enemies and Enlarge/Reduce has great combat potential for the enlarged option and good scouting potential for the reduced option. It also allows you to choose between Wisdom, Intelligence, and Charisma scores as the casting statistic, making them potentially much more beneficial due to a higher saving throw.
Flight: Having Flight right from level 1 is a massive boon, although you can’t wear medium or heavy armor, but, given that you are a Fairy, that probably never factored into your fighting style anyway. If you want to be one of the fighting classes, then a Dexterity-based one is preferable, but of course, if you are a spellcaster, again, the armor issue was never a concern.
History tells us that DM’s have banned flying character classes in the past because they give too much of an advantage, especially at the lower levels. If needed, work things out with the DM before rolling and introduce a few ways to balance the power of Flight.
Best Classes for Fairy 5e
As the Fairy build process follows the lineage model and this, in turn, isn’t driven by Ability Scores, there is no ideal class, although some may combine with the full scope of the Fairy abilities better than others. But, on paper, at least, all character classes are open for business, be it Fighter, Wizard, Rogue, or anything in between.
The significant consideration is your power of Flight. As you can’t fly whilst wearing medium or heavy armor, it is logical that you should avoid builds that favor such protections. Thoughts initially turn to the spellcasting classes that don’t have access to such armor anyway — Bards, Sorcerers, Warlocks, and Wizards.
If you want to take up arms and join the martial classes, consider those who rely more on Dexterity than tough and heavy armor, those who depend on deftness over physical defense, and agility over armor.
This opens up Barbarians, Monks, Rogues, plus Fighters, and Rangers, who are built around their Dexterity score rather than their Strength.
But this doesn’t mean that if you want to build a hard-as-nails Fairy Knight Paladin, you can’t. It just means that in doing so, you will lose the ability to fly. It’s a high price to pay and might be worth going for a different race if you want to be a front-line tank.
The flight ability gives you fantastic maneuverability options when in combat, and when you are still negotiating the early levels of the campaign, this is a huge advantage.
If you opt for a Fairy build that can use ranged attacks and spellcasting, you quickly find that many dungeon enemies and wilderness opponents can’t reach you. You can also use this dexterous maneuverability to run in and out of combat as your hit points, and health levels dictate.
Fairy 5e Builds
The wide range of options open to the Fairy when choosing a class means that there are some fantastic combinations.
Artificer – The Artillerist is an excellent option for fairy Artificers. You get to make the most of your Flight to fight at range right from the lowest levels, and you can employ Faerie Fire to get Advantage on attacks from your Force Ballista canons. Armorer Artificers in infiltrator armor will find the same strategy most effective.
Bard – Flight is an excellent ability for any spellcaster, and innate spellcasting offers a few extra spells per day. However, given your size, Faerie Fire is already on your spell list, and Enlarge/Reduce might only sometimes be helpful.
But any Bard build is still a good option for a Fairy, but avoid building with melee in mind, even if you want to explore the College of Swords or College of Valor. Your abilities lay elsewhere.
Cleric – Clerics don’t get access to Faerie Fire, so the Fairy race neatly adds that to the spell arsenal, meaning that on top of the benefits of gaining Advantage on attacks, it provides an elegant and inexpensive counter to invisibility.
Druid – For a spellcasting-focused Druid, the Fairy’s Flight is an excellent ability to draw on; staying out of reach is the perfect compensation for the Druid’s poor durability.
Druids can already cast Faerie Fire, and, again, your size means that Enlarge/Reduce is only sometimes a great option, but think of it as a little bit of extra spellcasting to pad your spell slots.
Ranger – Faerie Fire provides a valuable Advantage, powering up your damage output with your ranged attacks, and Flight makes it easy to remain safely out of harm’s way. Consider the Sharpshooter feat and Crossbow Expert to maximize Faerie Fire as your preferred tactic.
Rogue – Flight, as always, is a huge asset but more so for the Rogue than other classes, allowing you to stay comfortably out of reach, even more so when combined with Cunning Action. Faerie Fire provides a great way to get an Advantage on attacks, which is especially great for Arcane Tricksters who can re-cast it using their prepared spell slots.
Rogues rely less on Concentration, so Faerie Fire fits easily into your tactics. With Cunning Action’s ability to Disengage as a Bonus Action, you can quickly dash in and out of melee, attacking with Advantage (and choosing Booming Blade to really ruin the target’s day) before flying safely out of danger.
Fairy 5e FAQs
Is Fairy a playable race 5e?
Fairy creatures have always been found in the rules as encounters and opponents. Still, with the publication of the additional rules provided by Wild Beyond the Witchlight, they are now playable characters.
What class is best for a fairy?
As the rules for playing a Fairy are not tied to Ability Scores, all classes are permissible. However, some powers, such as Flight, make heavily armored class options less desirable.
How old is a Fairy 5e?
Although they mature at the same age as humans, Fairy generally lives around 350 years old, with some recorded at over 500 years old.
What size is a Fairy 5e?
The rules state that the Fairy are Small in size though their varied nature might mean that DMs might consider allowing some to be Tiny if it feels proper and balanced for their campaign.