D&D 5E 5E Survivor - Subclasses (Part XI: Rangers)

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
There's well over a hundred and twenty different classes and subclasses in the 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons game, and we're on a mission to determine which one is the Survivor! And this time around, we are comparing all of the ranger subclasses from all of the Wizards of the Coast game resources against each other. The Survivor of this round will advance to the final round, where it will face off against the champions of all the other character classes.

(Yes, I know that we've done a Survivor: Subclasses thread before, but that was a while ago and lots of new subclasses have been released since. Now there are over a hundred and twenty of them, and probably fifteen more will be added by the time I finish typing this sentence. A Survivor thread of that size would be ridiculous.)

SURVIVOR: 5E CHARACTER CLASSES
Round XI: The Ranger


This time around, we're going after one of the most heavily-revised (and revised, and revised, and revised) classes ever published: the Ranger! Seriously, people have been hating on this class ever since it was published, and the devs at Wizards of the Coast have been trying to fix it nine ways till Sunday in various Unearthed Arcana playtests over the years. Heck, the entire core class now has an optional rebuild in Tasha's Cauldron of Everything, and the indignity of Internet "fans" only got louder.

Well, we're going to examine all thirteen of the subclass options (also called "Conclaves") for the Ranger class in 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons. Will your favorite Survive? Does anybody even have a favorite? The winner of this contest will advance to the Final Round, where it will represent ALL Rangers in the 5th Edition D&D game.

The Hall of Heroes
Round I, Artificers: Battle Smith
Round II, Barbarians: Path of the Totem Warrior
Round III, Bards: College of Lore
Round IV, Clerics: Tempest Domain
Round V, Druids: Circle of the Shepherd
Round VI, Fighters: Battle Master
Round VII, Monks: Way of the Kensei
Round VIII, Mystics: Order of the Immortal
Round IX, Paladins: Oath of the Ancients
Round X, Sorcerers: Divine Soul

HOW TO PLAY
  • In this round, only the ranger subclasses are presented.
  • Only the subclasses written by Wizards of the Coast qualify. No third-party entries!
  • Each entry starts with 20 points.
  • Every day, you vote for one subclass that you like, which gains 1 point. And then you vote for a different subclass, which loses 2 points. It is intentional that a negative vote is worth more than a positive vote - first, because it takes something extra to whittle these guys down to size. Second, because.
  • Mark your upvotes in green, and downvotes in red. Or just show them in bold text and use "+1" and "-2" to mark them, if colored text is too difficult on your browsing device.
  • It's easier if you just copy and paste the previous poster’s vote and change the numbers; the Quote function isn't the best for this.
  • You may vote only once per day in each category. This is an honor system, and we are all honorable gamers; please do not abuse it. If this means you vote once at night one day, and once the next morning - that's fine, but don't vote again until the following day. Rule of thumb: if your most recent vote post says "yesterday" in the time stamp, you can vote again.
  • This is just another Internet popularity contest and you do not have to explain an upvote or downvote, but feel free to do so...thos explanations are where the fun is! And the more outlandish, petty, or nitpicky your reasons for voting, the better!
  • When downvotes reach 0 the subclass is removed from the list.
  • Finally, if an entry has one point left, then you have to make the choice to use all of your downvotes to eliminate it; there is no vote splitting. In addition, you can't upvote and downvote the same entry (no "see" votes). And you have to use BOTH YOUR UPVOTE AND DOWNVOTE if you vote.

THE MOST IMPORTANT BITS
Three important points that you must read before voting--
  1. This is just a popularity contest, and it's supposed to be fun. You can cast your votes for whatever reason you want; spite, malice, love or hatred of archery, two-handed weapon dependency, strategic voting, and so on are all perfectly acceptable. But this is for enjoyment only. If you experience anger, hostility, or other evidence of Not Having Fun, you're doing it wrong.
  2. This week (and the next few weeks to come) will feature a list of character subclasses from the Player's Handbook, the Dungeon Master's Guide, Xanathar's Guide to Everything, Tasha's Cauldron of Everything, Unearthed Arcana, Plane Shift, The Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide, and other places. Only the subclasses written and published by Wizards of the Coast are included.
  3. As always, the list is the list. If you have a complaint about the list, please direct it to //dev/null.
So. Onward to the contest!

RANGER SUBCLASSES
=====================================

Beast Master (Player's Handbook)
Deep Stalker (Unearthed Arcana, "The Ranger, Revised", 2016)
Drakewarden (Fizban's Treasury of Dragons)
Fey Wanderer (Tasha's Cauldron of Everything)
Gloom Stalker (Xanathar's Guide to Everything)
Guardian (Unearthed Arcana, "Ranger", 2015)
Horizon Walker (Xanathar's Guide to Everything)
Hunter (Player's Handbook)
Monster Slayer (Xanathar's Guide to Everything)
Primeval Guardian (Unearthed Arcana, "Ranger and Rogue", 2017)
Skirmisher (Unearthed Arcana, "Ranger", 2015)
Swarmkeeper (Tasha's Cauldron of Everything)
Wanderer (Unearthed Arcana, "Ranger", 2015)
 

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CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
Beast Master 20
Deep Stalker 20
Drakewarden 20
Fey Wanderer 20
Gloom Stalker 20-2=18
Guardian 20
Horizon Walker 20
Hunter 20
Monster Slayer 20
Primeval Guardian 20
Skirmisher 20
Swarmkeeper 20+1=21
Wanderer 20
 

RoughCoronet0

Dragon Lover
Beast Master 20
Deep Stalker 20
Drakewarden 20
Fey Wanderer 20
Gloom Stalker 18
Guardian 20
Horizon Walker 20
Hunter 20
Monster Slayer 20
Primeval Guardian 20
Skirmisher 20-2=18
Swarmkeeper 21+1=22

Wanderer 20
 

gwek4580

Explorer
What are the Guardian and Wanderer compared to Primal Guardian and Fey Wanderer?

Edit: found the article. Seems almost like apples and oranges.
 
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gwek4580

Explorer
Beast Master 20
Deep Stalker 20
Drakewarden 20
Fey Wanderer 20
Gloom Stalker 18 - 2 = 16
Guardian 20
Horizon Walker 20
Hunter 20 + 1 = 21
Monster Slayer 20
Primeval Guardian 20
Skirmisher 20-2=18
Swarmkeeper 21+1=22
Wanderer 20
 

Beast Master 20
Deep Stalker 20
Drakewarden 20 + 1 = 21
Fey Wanderer 20
Gloom Stalker 16
Guardian 20
Horizon Walker 20
Hunter 21
Monster Slayer 20
Primeval Guardian 20
Skirmisher 18 - 2 = 16
Swarmkeeper 22
Wanderer 20
 

JEB

Legend
Beast Master 20
Deep Stalker 20 - 2 = 18
Drakewarden 21
Fey Wanderer 20
Gloom Stalker 16 + 1 = 17
Guardian 20
Horizon Walker 20
Hunter 21
Monster Slayer 20
Primeval Guardian 20
Skirmisher 16
Swarmkeeper 22
Wanderer 20
 

Smarmot

Explorer
Is the Wanderer the Ambuscade Ranger? Perhaps it should start at 5 points!

Oh wait. That must be the Guardian (= Stalker and Seeker.) Yeah I don't think Wanderer is a subclass at all. (Just a heading in the article.)
 

Beast Master 20
Deep Stalker 18
Drakewarden 21 + 1 = 22 Really, did you expect me to vote for anything else? Besides, it's what the Beastmaster wishes it could be.
Fey Wanderer 20
Gloom Stalker 17
Guardian 20
Horizon Walker 20
Hunter 21
Monster Slayer 20
Primeval Guardian 20
Skirmisher 16
Swarmkeeper 22 - 2 = 20 Real talk, I have mild arachnophobia IRL and some insects can trigger it if they look too spider-like.
Wanderer 20
 

JEB

Legend
Is the Wanderer the Ambuscade Ranger? Perhaps it should start at 5 points!

Oh wait. That must be the Guardian (= Stalker and Seeker.) Yeah I don't think Wanderer is a subclass at all. (Just a heading in the article.)
Yeah, there are no Skirmisher or Wanderer subclasses in that Unearthed Arcana, but there are Seeker and Stalker subclasses. The choices should be renamed, and @RoughCoronet0 and @DeviousQuail should get the chance to reassign their downvotes if they want to.
 


niklinna

Legend
Beast Master 20
Deep Stalker 18
Drakewarden 22
Fey Wanderer 18
Gloom Stalker 17
Guardian 20
Horizon Walker 20
Hunter 22
Monster Slayer 20
Primeval Guardian 20
Skirmisher 16
Swarmkeeper 20
Wanderer 20
 

Maxperson

Morkus from Orkus
Beast Master 20
Deep Stalker 18
Drakewarden 22
Fey Wanderer 18
Gloom Stalker 18
Guardian 20
Horizon Walker 20
Hunter 22
Monster Slayer 18
Primeval Guardian 20
Skirmisher 16
Swarmkeeper 20
Wanderer 20
 


Skayaq

Explorer
Beast Master 20
Deep Stalker 18
Drakewarden 23
Fey Wanderer 18
Gloom Stalker 18
Guardian 20
Horizon Walker 18
Hunter 22
Monster Slayer 18
Primeval Guardian 20
Skirmisher 16
Swarmkeeper 20
Wanderer 20
 

CleverNickName

Limit Break Dancing
Sorry for the delay; I was finishing up the last three episodes of The Midnight Club.

Yeah, I went back and forth with the Guardian, Seeker, and the Stalker. Because like other UA playtests, things get...weird.

What are the Guardian and Wanderer compared to Primal Guardian and Fey Wanderer?

Edit: found the article. Seems almost like apples and oranges.
See, these three subclasses are a part of a rewrite of the 2015 Ranger re-write (Unearthed Arcana #8, released on 9 Sept 2015), which refers to them as "Paths" instead of the usual "Conclaves." The goal of this Unearthed Arcana was to make a more powerful ranger class that focused more on having a spirit animal companion instead of being a half-caster. It was written in response to feedback on the Ranger being underpowered, and lacking the animal companion of previous editions. And like everything else Ranger-related, it...wasn't very well-received.

Since I made the decision to include all subclasses, and these are technically subclasses of an Unearthed Arcana class revision...I was kind of in a corner. In the end, I decided to include them both for the sake of completeness, and also to invite some discussion about the Unearthed Arcana 2015 Ranger playtest. These three subclasses depend on the Spirit Path ability of the UA playtest, and were only described for the first 5 levels of the class (instead of all 20 levels), so they're missing the 6th level abilities and up...but here they are. It was only the 8th UA written for 5E, and WotC was still trying to figure out the playtest format...I thought it would be fun to dig it out, dust it off, and give it a read again after 7 years.

Those of you who voted for/against these three subclasses: let us know what you liked (or didn't) about them. I genuinely want to know! The Ranger gets so much hate on these boards, even after the WotC developers go through the extra trouble to completely rebuild it...I'd like to learn why. I mean, it's not like it's anything ridiculous like a bard.

Hopefully this is the weirdest one. There will be other UA content in the remaining Survivor threads, but this one is probably the one that's gonna feel the most "off" compared to the others. Well, except for maybe Strixhaven...
 
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Tonguez

A suffusion of yellow
Beast Master 20
Deep Stalker 18
Drakewarden 23
Fey Wanderer 18
Gloom Stalker 18
Guardian 20
Horizon Walker 18
Hunter 22
Monster Slayer 16
Primeval Guardian 20
Skirmisher 16
Swarmkeeper 21 - I like my Snow White Ranger with her swarm of blue birds
Wanderer 20
 

Beast Master 20
Deep Stalker 18
Drakewarden 23 - 2 = 21.. Drake is overrated..or something..
Fey Wanderer 18
Gloom Stalker 18
Guardian 20
Horizon Walker 18
Hunter 22
Monster Slayer 16
Primeval Guardian 20
Skirmisher 16
Swarmkeeper 21 + 1 = 22..unusual (even by D&D standards) character concept.. I like..
Wanderer 20
 

Beast Master 20
Deep Stalker 18
Drakewarden 21 + 1 = 22 Ezekiel is to dragons as flies are to...fruit. :p
Fey Wanderer 18
Gloom Stalker 18
Guardian 20
Horizon Walker 18
Hunter 22 - 2 = 20 Trimmin' the hedges
Monster Slayer 16
Primeval Guardian 20
Skirmisher 16
Swarmkeeper 21
Wanderer 20
 

Lycurgon

Adventurer
Beast Master 20
Deep Stalker 18 - 2 = 16
Drakewarden 22 + 1 = 23 Recently finished playing Netherdeep as a Kobold Drakewarden. Great subclass.

Fey Wanderer 18
Gloom Stalker 18
Guardian 20
Horizon Walker 18
Hunter 20
Monster Slayer 16
Primeval Guardian 20
Skirmisher 16
Swarmkeeper 22
Wanderer 20
 

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