Paladin Subclasses and Oaths 5e DnD

Paladin Subclasses & Oaths 5e

Paladins are holy warriors. They take an oath to uphold a particular ideal and strict adherence to their oath grants them power. They are a mixture of martial and healing classes.

Their main feature comes in the form of their Auras. Each Paladin has an aura about them that either grants buffs or debuffs to those around them. This often makes them excellent leaders in a party, and simply having a Paladin on the field has changed the tides of battle countless times. 

Paladin Oaths

All Paladins follow a set Order. They each have their own tenets that they try to live their lives by and uphold. At level 3 Paladins are asked to make the final commitment to their order with an Oath. These Oaths bind the Paladin to their tenets, gods, and order forever linking their power with their Oath. 

Here is our ranked list of the Paladin Oaths Subclasses in 5e DnD:

  • #9 – Watcher Oath
  • #8 – Devotion Oath
  • #7 – Glory Oath
  • #6 – Ancient Oath
  • #5 – Oathbreaker
  • #4 – Crown Oath
  • #3 – Conquest Oath
  • #2 – Vengeance Oath
  • #1 – Redemption Oath

#9. Watcher Oath

The Watcher Oath can be found in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything.

Watcher Oath Features

The Watcher Paladin is the last line of defense that you never knew you needed to have. There are creatures from other planes of existence who were worshipped as gods once and they wish to break into our plane of existence and enslave all sentient life once more. 

Paladins who take the Oath of the Watcher are adept at destroying and banishing extraplanar creatures. Their entire skill set is specialized to attack, defend, and banish these monsters. 

Pros of Watcher Oath

When faced with extraplanar creatures the Watcher Paladin is designed specifically to destroy or banish them. There are few character classes and subclasses as equipped to deal with this threat as they are. 

Cons of Watcher Oath 

Their abilities outside of their specialization are just okay. Since they are so specialized they sacrifice adaptability and are simply competent at everything else. 

Expanded Spell List of Watcher Oath

Level 3Alarm
Detect Magic
Level 5Moonbeam
See Invisibility
Level 9Counterspell
Level 13Aura of Purity
Level 17Hold Monster

#8. Devotion Oath

The Devotion Oath can be found in the Player’s Handbook

Devotion Oath Features

Paladins who swear the Oath of Devotion swear allegiance to heavenly angels and benevolent gods. 

These Paladins seek out undead and demonic creatures and destroy them. They have a decent amount of healing and protection spells that you would expect from a Paladin. Typically this is looked at as one of the standard Paladin Oaths and what is typical of the Paladin Class. 

Pros of Devotion Oath 

They have a decent set of abilities that work well together. When players decided to play Paladin, but don’t know what type of Paladin they want to play they’ll typically choose this one. 

Cons of Devotion Oath 

I think the Crown Oath does everything that the Devotion Oath does, but better. 

Expanded Spell List of Devotion Oath

Level 3Protection from Evil and Good
Level 5Lesser Restoration
Zone of Truth
Level 9Beacon of Hope
Dispel Magic
Level 13Freedom of Movement
Guardian of Faith
Level 17Commune
Flame Strike

#7. Glory Oath

The Glory Oath can be found in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything.

Glory Oath Features

Paladins of the Glory Oath look to actions over words. They are completely motivated by completing quests to gain glory and the other members of their order all work together as they believe they are all destined for greatness. Together they train and work tirelessly on their physical form. 

Much like a frat bro. These Bro-aladins have great speed, charisma, and defense.

Pros of Glory Oath 

I love the idea behind the Glory Oath Paladins simply because the way they are written reminds me of frat boys. It’s a lot of fun to roleplay as them simply to make the ultimate Bro. 

Cons of Glory Oath

Their ability set is just ok. There’s nothing really outstanding about the subclass. They require a lot of different feats or ability scores to utilize correctly. Mechanically their abilities and spells work, just not well. 

Expanded Spell List of Glory Oath

Level 3Guiding Bolt
Level 5Enhance Ability
Magic Weapon
Level 9Haste
Protection From Energy
Level 13Compulsion
Freedom Of Movement
Level 17Commune
Flame Strike

#6. Ancient Oath

The Ancient Oath Subclass can be found in the Player’s Handbook.

Ancient Oath Features

The fight between good and evil has been going on since the creation of time and the universe. The eternal struggle is ancient and beyond the realm of mortal kingdoms and their bickering.

Paladins that swear the Ancient Oath swear to uphold the forces of good that transcend the realms of mortals. They are the ultimate force of light and can seem callous to the realms or kingdoms in favor of the greater good. 

The Ancient Paladins are a mixture of the Paladin Class and Ranger/Druid Abilities. They have numerous crowd-control options in their spell lists and have a decent amount of healing abilities. 

Pros of Ancient Oath

The Ancient Paladin is a great standard Oath to choose from. Their abilities are all straightforward and useful in a majority of situations. This makes them an excellent choice for beginners in the Paladin Class. 

Cons of Ancient Oath

No real cons here. They’re ok. 

Expanded Spell List of Ancient Oath

Level 3Ensnaring Strike
Speak with Animals
Level 5Moonbeam
Misty Step
Level 9Plant Growth
Protection from Energy
Level 13Ice Storm
Level 17Commune with Nature
Tree Stride

#5. Oathbreaker

The Oathbreaker can be found in the Dungeon Master’s Guide.

Oathbreaker Subclass  Features

At level 3, Paladins commit to their path with an Oath aligning their souls and powers with their chosen order. When Paladins become disenfranchised with their order or reject it outright they become Oathbreakers. 

The Oathbreaker has turned away from their holy order and turned to darker powers.

They gain several powerful new demonic and hellish abilities. Their one bright aura has become a shadow of darkness that swallows light and powers up their fiendish allies. At their highest levels, they become a Dread Lords with powerful psychic and necrotic attacks. 

Pros of the Oathbreaker

These are my favorite Paladins to play as. They’re found in the Dungeon Master’s Guide and typically only meant to be enemies, but it’s a fully playable subclass. They have high damage output and tons of damaging spells. 

Cons of the Oathbreaker

They have to be evil. This can ruin a lot of group dynamics, but morally questionable party members will probably be perfectly fine with having an Oathbreaker in the party. Especially if you already have a Fiend Patron Warlock in the mix. 

Expanded Spell List of Oathbreaker

Level 3Hellish Rebuke
Inflict Wounds
Level 5Crown of Madness
Level 9Animate Dead
Bestow Curse
Level 13Blight
Level 17Contagion
Dominate Person

#4. Crown Oath

The Crown Oath can be found in the Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide.

Crown Oath Subclass Features

Paladins who swear the Oath of the Crown swear oaths to uphold justice and the law and order of society and civilization.

Their abilities revolve around forcing their enemies to engage them in duels and honorable combat. These are great for controlling the battlefield and allow them to tank while the lower health damage dealers can do their thing from afar. 

If one of your lower health allies does end up getting hit, the Crown Oath Paladin can instead take the damage in their place. 

Pros of the Crown Oath

Crown Oath Paladins make excellent defenders, especially when supported by ranged damage dealers. Their ability to force their enemies’ targets is very useful for controlling the battlefield.

Cons of the Crown Oath

They have great abilities, but they’re pretty generic overall from an RP standpoint. They’re sworn to uphold justice…cool. Personally, it feels like you are roleplaying as an upgraded town guardsman. 

Expanded Spell List of the Crown Oath

Level 3Command
Compelled Duel
Level 5Warding Bond
Zone of Truth
Level 9Aura of Vitality
Spirit Guardians
Level 13Banishment
Guardian of Faith
Level 17Circle of Power

#3. Conquest Oath

The Conquest Oath can be found in Xanathar’s Guide to Everything.

Conquest Oath Subclass  Features

Have you heard of the term “Might makes right”?

That’s one of the guiding tenets of the Conquest Oath Paladins. They seek to bring order to the world around them through crushing force. Once they’ve destroyed the previous order they then are known to rule as tyrants with total control.

Their duty to order is higher than their duty to ease the suffering of others. 

To that end, they have numerous offensive abilities and crowd control abilities. They cause fear to their enemies on the battlefield and get a huge bonus to their accuracy, ensuring that they strike at their enemies.

At later levels, they will constantly exude an aura of fear, and simply hitting Conquest Paladins will cause damage to the attacker. 

Pros of Conquest Oath

These Paladins thematically are extremely fun to play. They’re tyrants but don’t necessarily have to be evil, and their ability set is a nice mixture of control abilities and damage-dealing abilities giving them a nice mixture of skills. 

Cons of Conquest Oath 

Their thorn ability with Scornful Rebuke isn’t nearly as powerful as the Redemption Paladin, and their spells and ability lean heavily on Charisma builds. 

Expanded Spell List of Conquest Oath

Level 3Armor of Agathys
Level 5Hold Person
Spiritual Weapon
Level 9Bestow Curse
Level 13Dominate Beast
Level 17Cloudkill
Dominate Person

#2. Vengeance Oath

The Vengeance Oath can be found in the Player’s Handbook

Vengeance Oath Subclass Features

Paladins who witness atrocities or failed to stop tragedies typically swear Oaths of Vengeance. They believe that the end justifies the means and that their soul’s purity is less important than stopping creatures and monsters from wreaking havoc on the innocent. 

Vengeance Oath Paladins are offensive Paladins and have no support or defensive abilities other than ones granted from the standard Paladin class. 

They can move quickly through the battlefield while immune to opportunity attacks and can force their targets to simply stop moving while being rushed by the Vengeance Paladin.

Their highest level of ability turns them into an avenging angel. They sprout wings and spread an aura of menace to their enemies, while the Vengeance Paladin can fly straight at them. 

Pros of Vengeance Oath

The Vengeance Paladins are fantastic attackers. It’s similar to the Ranger class in that they’re specifically designed for hunting down and killing individual enemies. Their skill set allows them to move quickly and deal with hit-and-run attacks while controlling the battlefield with their auras. 

Cons of Vengeance Oath 

They have virtually no support abilities. Paladins typically are looked at as leaders of a group, but the Vengeance Paladins have only one goal and that’s to strike down their enemies. 

Expanded Spell List of Vengeance Oath

Level 3Bane
Hunter’s Mark
Level 5Hold Person
Misty Step
Level 9Haste
Protection from Energy
Level 13Banishment
Dimension Door
Level 17Hold Monster

#1. Redemption Oath

The Redemption Oath can be found in Xanathar’s Guide to Everything.

Redemption Oath Subclass Features

Paladins that take the Redemption Oath believe that most if not all creatures can be redeemed. Most Paladins would see a lich and immediately be bound to destroy it due to their oaths. The Redemption Paladin on the other hand would try to redeem the lich’s soul and only move to destroy it as a last resort. 

Their abilities are geared toward nonviolent solutions. They require a high Charisma and Constitution, relying less on strength than other Paladin Oaths.

Redemption Paladins can take wounds in place of their allies, and when being attacked by their enemies, they have a thorn effect that reflects damage back on their attackers.  

Pros of Redemption Oath

Redemption Paladins are incredibly useful on the battlefield. They can end combat encounters simply by standing in the middle of the field. Their Thorns effect basically bounces back damage to their enemies, and they can regenerate health when lower than half. This makes them incredibly hard to kill, and dangerous to attack. 

Cons of Redemption Oath

Their primary abilities require them to be targeted and hit. This means they’ll need as much armor as they can get and an incredibly high constitution to ensure they have the most hitpoints possible. 

Expanded Spell List of Redemption Oath

Level 3Sanctuary
Level 5Calm Emotions
Hold Person
Level 9Counterspell
Hypnotic Pattern
Level 13Otiluke’s Resilient Sphere
Level 17Hold Monster
Wall of Force
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03/26/2023 03:34 am GMT

Check out our Paladin Class Guide and Paladin Spells.

Paladin Subclasses and Oaths 5e DnD
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