Radiant Damage

Paul Smart

Good evening everyone

I am interested in what people think is the best Radiant damage dealer. Is it a cleric? A divine soul sorcerer? A paladin? If you were building a character who focused on radiant damage how would you do it? Thanks.

Note on Races:

Races allowed are anything in the Players Handbook or Volo's Guide. Everything else is on a case by case basis so I am assuming no. Also, no bugbears for some reason.

I am thinking either Assimar or Variant Human (magic initiate feat) are the best but do not know.

Note on multiclassing

While not outright banned this is highly discouraged so I am trying to keep this to one class.
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It's not "Rouge"... That's makeup.
A Sorcadin like a Paladin 2/Divine Soul Sorcerer X would have access to Paladin Smites which do Radiant damage, many more spell slots and higher level spell slots to burn for Smiting than a pure Paladin, and access to all of the Cleric's various Radiant damage spells to boot. So that gets my vote for overall best Radiant damage dealer. (Paladin 6/Divine Soul Sorcerer X is another good division of levels for a Sorcadin, for a bit more Paladin abilities and melee capability in exchange for a bit less spellcasting and smiting than a 2/X split.)

Make it a Protector Aasimar or Scourge Aasimar for a bit of additional racial Radiant damage.

Another option would be a Light Cleric, whose Channel Divinity Radiance of the Dawn does AOE Radiant damage, and who also has access to the various Cleric Radiant damage spells.

Or there are Sun Soul Monks, whose Radiant Sun Bolt means you are able to do Radiant damage with each of their Attacks. And with each attack doing Radiant damage, they might even be able to edge out the Sorcadin for highest total overall points of Radiant damage in a day, although it's spread out over numerous smaller amounts of Radiant damage.
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Hunter 11 / Ghostslayer 5 gets you 1d6 Radiant Damage (+Wisdom vs Undead) against up to 25 targets every single round.
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Yup, I'll second what @RogueJK said: for burst/single target radiant damage, a sorcadin would be the way to go (if multiclassing); for consistent/AoE radiant damage (and if needing to stay single classed), light cleric.

As a light cleric, at level 10 you can cast spirit guardians twice a day at 5th level (and all other fights at lower levels) for 5d8 radiant damage (save for half) each round to everything within 15' of you; twice per short rest you can do 2d10+10 (save for half) to everything hostile within 30' of you (stacking with spirit guardians damage since that requires no action after the first round), and the rest of the time you can use guiding bolt on targets at range, or word of radiance for 2d6+WIS to everything within 5' of you.

Though at high levels the single classed crown for boss-fight radiant damage might be the divine soul sorcerer. You have spirit guardians and guiding bolt, just like the light cleric, but instead of 2d10+level AoE twice, you get Crown of Stars, for 4d12 as a bonus action every round. On top of that you can reroll low damage dice on everything with empowered spell metamagic, and if you're a scourge or protector aasimar you can stack yet more damage.


BEST: Paladin can smite away with radiant damage and go nova against single targets. Consistent and baked into the class.
GOODER: Clerics can do AoE and control spells with radiant damage. Again, baked into their default class. Use Light Cleric for even more firepower.
GOOD: Sorcerers (Divine Soul) can emulate Clerics, but add other Metamagic options too. But much narrower spell list to pick from (learned spells vs prepared).
DECENT: Warlock (Celestial) can be effective, but more dependent on short rests so campaign factors need to be looked at.
MEH: Monk (Way of Sun Soul) is an option, but the Monk chassis gets the bulk of their abilities, so the subclass doesn't quite pack the solar punch that a Paladin or Cleric would get in their base features.