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5E New PHB Racial Tier Ratings


Well with the new details about changing the racial ability packages and proficiencies I thought I would review the races as it changes things up a bit.

They will be rated purely on mechanics. There's no real way to quantify role-playing. They will be rated on the following scale.

S. Excellent
A. Good
B. Average
C. Poor
D. Rubbish

There are only 3 races I regard in S tier. They are Variant Human, Half Elf and Yuan Ti. Aarakocraa would also be there.

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Dwarves are generally one if the better races in the PHB. Well with the new rules they won the lottery. They all have a tool proficiency, and racial weapon proficiencies they can do whatever they like with. On top of some great racial abilities.

Hill Dwarf
Before the hill dwarves made very good clerics and Druids. While not that exciting they now make very good anything with extra hit points on top of the default Dwarf abilities. Outclassed in Spellcasting classes however by their Mountain Dwarf cousins. Can compete well in martial classes and perhaps Dragon Sorcerer. Overall A tier imho.

Mountain Dwarf

Kaching!!! They just won the genetic lottery award. While ENworld was quick to pick up on how good they are as wizards and sorcerer's the two floating +2 to ability scores makes them great at anything espicially the SAD type classes (Fighter, rogue, clerc, wizard etc). Medium armor proficiency is great on various spellcasting classes but they can also swap their racial weapons for things like rapiers and longbows. They can also swap their martial weapons for more tools.

Any lore bard, cleric, wizard, Sorcerer with a 14 or higher dex benefits from this espicially at low levels. Even classes that don't care about medium armor profiency and racial weapons still benefit from the unique ability boosts and excellent Dwarven bonuses. Overall the Mountain Dwarf is now S tier.
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Ability score no longer matter and Elves get the new generic +2/+1 that most races get.

The Wood and High elves both get a skill and 3 martial weapons. For the most part this probably means swapping the longsword for a rapier or 3 tool proficiencies for those classes with martial weapon proficiency.

The winner here is the wood elf. The high elf only gets a bonus cantrip that's still keyed off intelligence. The wood elf is more useful for a wider variety of classes. Still Elves win big just based on having 3 martial weapons as proficiencies.

Drow also get a similar boost with the only real drawback still being sunlight sensitivity.

Overall Elves generally are A tier. They're very good at everything now and make great tool monkeys.



The only real advantage halflings now get is their good racial abilities and the have the new generic +2/+1 most races get. They are just a race now so are a B tier or B+ being generous.

Human (Default)
The default human doesn't really benefit in any way and is obsoleted by floating ability scores for everything else. D tier.

Human Variant.
A minor nerf but a bonus feat is still a bonus feat. The vuman was S tier and retains it's ranking.

Floating ability scores are an improvement but every race now gets that. Still underpowered, still C tier.

Easy to rate. Just a race, B tier and probably B- as the Halflings is better. At least you're not a Dragonborn or human.

Half Elf.
The only real change here is +2 charisma is now a floating +2. This is better than most races due to still having +1 to two scores. Half Elf obsoletes a lot of races mechanically. Remains in S tier.

Half Orc
Just a race. Still leaning heavily towards a melee character but you don't suck. B tier not bad, not good just purely average.

The Tieflings was almost good and with variants in other books it's very good. With floating abilities this is a big bump in power relative to other races since the rest of the package was good. Going to be generous and put it in A tier. Probably not as good as an Elf but better than the B tier races.

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