Monday, September 12, 2016

Unearthed Arcana – The Ranger, Revised (Is this the Ranger we've been waiting for?)

So we've been patiently waiting for Wizard of the Coast's Mike Mearls to finally take another run at the 5E Ranger class from the PHB. After posting several teases last week via his twitter handle, today WOTC released the September Unearthed Arcana article featuring his long awaited Revised Ranger.

This 8 page PDF contains a reworked basic Ranger class as well as several archetypes, now renamed to "Conclaves."   
You can find links to the original article and the download here: Original Article | PDF

“Over the past year, you’ve seen us try a number of new approaches to the ranger, all aimed at addressing the class’s high levels of player dissatisfaction and its ranking as D&D’s weakest class by a significant margin.”

I've take a first pass thru the new class and accompanying conclaves, so let me lay it out for you. The base Ranger receives the following changes:


  • The core defining class ability receives several tweeks
  • Favored Enemy is now split in two; Favored Enemy at 1st level and Greater Favored Enemy at 6th
  • Each version grants a small damage bump (+2 or +4) vs. favored enemies
  • Enemy types are slighly altered, humanoid is now a single group
  • Enemies are also split between Favored and Greater


  • The other defining class ability of the Ranger combines a few new features
  • Now proficient in all terrains
  • Ignore difficult terrain during movement
  • Advantage on initiative
  • First turn advantage on attack rolls against creatures that have not yet acted


  • They can talk to the animals!
  • Concentration based, no need to burn spell slots


  • Formerly "Land's Stride", now changed to grant "DASH" as a bonus action


  • No need for camoflage, remain still to grant enemies a -10 penalty to WISDOM (Perception) checks


  • Receives a slight tweek to allow vs. all opponents instead of just Favored Enemies

The Ranger Archetypes have received a name change and are now called "Conclaves." The Ranger, Revised contains 3 Conclaves. Once big change, but one that makes alot of sense, is moving the Ranger's Extra Attack feature out of the base class and into the Conclaves.


  • A re-conceived Beast Master, this version appears to work much more smoothly.
  • Animal companions are now bonded with their Ranger and can advance some
  • They no longer require a Ranger's actions, they are independent.
  • Coordinated Attack
  • Beast's Defense
  • Storm of Claws and Fangs
  • Superior Beast's Defense


  • Pretty much stays the same as the previous Hunter Archetype.
  • Options from Hunter's Prey
  • Defensive Tactics
  • Multiattack
  • Superior Hunter's Defense


  • Slightly altered version of the same Archetype released in the previous UA on the Underdark.
  • Underdark Scout 
  • Deep Stalker Magic
  • Iron Mind
  • Stalker's Dodge