Rangers are specialist hunters and damage dealers in DnD 5e. They are adept at both ranged & melee fighting, excellent trackers, and can have magical abilities that supplement their skill set.
Rangers are independent adventurers that are at home stalking through forests in the night or back alleys searching for prey.
Table of Contents
Ranger 5e Conclaves
Today we’re looking at the Ranger and their subclasses called Conclaves. The Ranger Conclaves allow the Ranger to specialize in a particular style of combat and tracking. The Conclaves are dependent upon innate skills, animal companions, or even dark magics.
Here’s our ranked list of Ranger Subclasses 5e DnD:
- #8 – Beast Master Conclave
- #7 – Monster Slayer Conclave
- #6 – Hunter Conclave
- #5 – Fey Wanderer Conclave
- #4 – Swarm Keeper Conclave
- #3 – Drakewarden Conclave
- #2 – Horizon Walker Conclave
- #1 – Gloom Stalker Conclave
#8. Beast Master Conclave
The Beast Master Conclave can be found in the Player’s Handbook.
Beast Master Conclave Feature
The Beast Master Conclave is one of the standard Ranger subclasses. These Rangers represent the connection between society and nature. Beast Master Rangers align themselves with the forces of nature and call upon the animals of the wild.
The Beast Masters gain an animal companion either an actual beast or a primal animal that they can summon to their aid.
Pros of Beast Master Conclave
The beast companion acts as an extra character to the party. They can make additional attacks and act using their natural skills. This is the standard iteration of the Ranger and the Beast Master is the stereotypical Ranger that people think of when considering the class.
Cons of Beast Master Conclave
The Beast Master just isn’t as strong or as versatile as the other subclasses. The Conclave is cool, but the abilities just don’t stack up in comparison.
#7. Monster Slayer Conclave
The Monster Slayer Conclave can be found in Xanathar’s Guide to Everything.
Monster Slayer Conclave Feature
The Monster Slayer Ranger is a skilled specialist that has dedicated their life to hunting and exterminating a particular foe. They know their tricks, patterns, fighting styles, and have studied countermeasures for these monsters that roam the DnD wastelands.
One of the defining aspects of the Ranger is their favored enemy skill. This gives them a ton of different bonuses that stack against a particular foe. The Monster Slayer Conclave takes this one step further and enhances the Ranger bonuses granted by Favored Enemy.
Pros of Monster Slayer Conclave
This Conclave is great for building a custom Ranger for a specific setting. If your players are going into a specific area and are guaranteed to encounter a specific type of enemy, this Ranger subclass is going to be invaluable to the party.
Cons of Monster Slayer Conclave
What happens when the party makes a detour?
Their abilities aren’t as specific as favored enemies, so they’re more useful, but the class as a whole doesn’t seem to be as universal as some of the others on this list. It’s not bad and can be fun, especially if you’re considering a monster-hunter-style campaign.
#6. Hunter Conclave
The Hunter Conclave can be found in the Player’s Handbook.
Hunter Conclave Feature
The Hunter Conclave are weapons specialists. They have trained to take down the largest of foes, engage multiple enemies at once, or soak up damage from all sides.
The Hunter Conclave gets bonuses for a particular style of fighting. They can either focus their damage to take down larger foes, learn to fight multiple enemies at once, or get a generic bonus in combat.
Pros of Hunter Conclave
The Hunter Conclave is an all-around decent subclass. They get useful bonuses to combat and they can dish out serious damage to their enemies.
Cons of Hunter Conclave
The Hunters aren’t the most exciting of the Ranger Conclaves. They don’t get any cool bonuses other than to their dice rolls, and their abilities reflect that. The Ranger class is a middle ground between Fighter and Rogue, and this Conclave reflects that.
#5. Fey Wanderer Conclave
The Fey Wanderer Conclave can be found in Tasha’s Guide to Everything.
Fey Wanderer Conclave Feature
The Fey Wanderer Ranger has somehow connected to the magical realm of the Fey. They gain mystical powers and magic connected to the Faerie world. They are able to charm others and phase in and out of the fey realm.
Pros of Fey Wanderer Conclave
Most Rangers have a few extra spells that give them an edge, but the Fey Wanderer’s extra spell set is one of the better ones. The Fey magic they have access to is incredibly powerful and allows them to bounce in and out of a battlefield. Their charm abilities are also potent and can turn the tide of battle.
Cons of Fey Wanderer Conclave
They don’t get as many combat bonuses as some of the other subclasses, but the Fey Wanderer is one of the more magically inclined subclasses which makes up for it.
#4. Swarm Keeper Conclave
The Swarm keeper Conclave can be found in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything.
Swarm Keeper Conclave Feature
While the stereotypical Ranger has an affinity with an animal or spirit animal, the Swarm Keeper builds a bond with nature through… well, a swarm. These Rangers Bond with nature is represented through a swarm of insects that do their calling, a swarm of birds, or even pixies. Their power is in their numbers and they can call upon the swarm to aid them in combat.
Pros of Swarm Keeper Conclave
First, the Swarm Keeper is just plain cool. Thematically and for RP purposes, a Ranger that calls upon a swarm of creatures to do their bidding is one of the coolest things I’ve seen in D&D.
Second, the actual abilities of the Swarm Keeper Rangers are actually pretty cool. They give limited flight, extra damage, and damage reduction.
Cons of Swarm Keeper Conclave
They don’t have as big a spell list or nearly as potent as the Fey Wanderer, but the Swarm Keeper’s abilities are just so cool thematically that I overlook that. It’s one of the most interesting Conclave subclasses, but the next three on the list are, without a doubt, stronger.
#3. Drakewarden Conclave
The Drakewarden Conclave can be found in Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons.
Drakewarden Conclave Feature
The Drakewarden’s connection to nature allows them to channel one of the greatest creatures in the DnD world, dragons. The Drakewarden manifests a draconic spirit that can aid them and grows larger and stronger as the Ranger grows in power.
Pros of Drakewarden Conclave
The Drakewarden gets a dragon companion similar to the Beast Master Conclave, but instead of a bear or a wolf, the Drakewarden gets a dragon that gets bigger as the Ranger levels up.
It’s way stronger than any beast companion and can even be used as a mount once it gets large enough. It completely blows the Beast Master out of the water in terms of combat ability and utility.
Cons of Drakewarden Conclave
The only real con for the Drakewarden is the theme. It forces your animal companion to be a dragon, and if you don’t want a dragon-heavy campaign that could be problematic.
#2. Horizon Walker Conclave
The Horizon Walker can be found in Xanathar’s Guide to Everything.
Horizon Walker Conclave Feature
Horizon Walkers are extra-planar warriors. They can easily move between the different planes of existence and work to ensure that outside threats don’t cross between the different realms.
Pros of Horizon Walker Conclave
The magical abilities of the Horizon Walker are off the charts. They have a host of incredible magic spells that they can use and their natural abilities have some high-damage spells as well.
Cons of Horizon Walker Conclave
There’s not much bad I can say about the Horizon Walkers. They may not fit within a setting that doesn’t rely heavily on jumping between the different planes of existence.
#1. Gloom Stalker Conclave
The Gloom Stalker can be found in Xanathar’s Guide to Everything.
Gloom Stalker Conclave Feature
Gloom Stalkers frequent the Underdark and other shadowy areas of the world. They work best in the shadows and are a perfect mixture of Rogue and Ranger.
Pros of Gloom Stalker Conclave
The Gloom Stalker is a fantastic class. They are one of the best infiltrators in the game. Their spells allow them to disappear into the shadows and when they can’t simply disappear they have some abilities that give extra damage and allow the Gloom Stalker to attack multiple times.
Cons of Gloom Stalker Conclave
They are a hybrid between Rogue and Ranger, but they don’t have the Ranger’s Backstab ability. They won’t be able to replicate the sheer damage that a Rogue can do, but they have more abilities than the standard Rogue.
Before starting GameCows with his wife Kendra, he used to teach English Language Arts in the US. He combined his love of gaming with education to create fun game-based learning lessons until he eventually decided to run GameCows with Kendra full-time. He’s known for pouring over rulebooks in his spare time, being the rule master during game night, and as the perma DM in his DnD group. Bryan loves board games, writing, traveling, and above all his wife and partner in crime, Kendra.