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D&D 5E Ranger Rating Thread

Sacrosanct

Legend
Now with Tasha's being official, how would you rank the ranger subclasses? Probably one of the most maligned and picked on classes in 5e to date, there have been several updates to it, which most likely will change how we view them.

Rules:
No Unearthed Arcana content. Official material only, including the changes in Tasha's Cauldron of Everything.
Rank them however you want. Whether that be for optimization purposes, flavor, whatever.

In no particular order:
Fey Wanderer
Hunter
Beast Master
Gloom Stalker
Swarmkeeper
Horizon Walker
Monster Slayer
 

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Sacrosanct

Legend
For me, I'd rank them in this order (weighting personal flavor tastes equally with mechanical effectiveness)

1. Gloom Stalker
2. Swarmkeeper
3. Beast master
4. Hunter
5. Monster Slayer
6. Fey Wanderer
7. Horizon walker

Gloom stalker checks off all boxes. Love it flavor wise, and also very potent mechancially.
The fey wanderer and horizon walker have zero appeal to me flavor wise, so I put them at the bottom.
 

I want to play a Beast Master Ranger now.

Tashas has fixed that for me so much with the Beasts of the Earth.

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Zardnaar

Legend
I just think the beastmaster is bad.

Hunters perfectly fine.

Don't see a lot played and they make a good Archer, melee maybe not the best.
 







MonkeezOnFire

Adventurer
1) Gloom Stalker
2) Fey Wanderer
3) Hunter
4) Monster Slayer
5) Beast Master
6) Swarmkeeper
7) Horizon Walker

I like the strong themes of the fey and shadow rangers. I've also seen a gloom stalker in action pre Tasha's and they are more effective in combat than I think most people that complain about the ranger class realize.

Next for me are the hunter and monster slayer which to me feel a bit too similar, but as a fan of Monster Hunter it's an archetype I quite enjoy.

I'm not a huge fan of pet classes in general no matter how effective they are so the beast master and swarm keeper come next.

Finally the horizon walker is really dependent fluffwise on interplanar travel being more common. I prefer that type of thing being rare and just focusing on the current world in my campaigns.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
I like the strong themes of the fey and shadow rangers. I've also seen a gloom stalker in action pre Tasha's and they are more effective in combat than I think most people that complain about the ranger class realize.

Having played a gloomstalker, and having played with a gloomstalker, I think you're right. It's almost overpowered, at least at low levels. I was a halfling gloomstalker and one-shoted orc sentries for an orc camp one by one without them knowing it. I just stayed hidden (because you can hide from darkvision), and killed one sentry on a tower with the first surprise attack GS get. Then snuck to the next tower, rinse and repeat.
 


Snarf Zagyg

Notorious Liquefactionist
1. Gloom Stalker
What if we made the Ranger, but you know, good?


2. Hunter
What if we made the Ranger, but you know, as a Ranger?


3. Horizon Walker
What if we tried to make a Ranger, but you know, that was interesting?

4. Monster Slayer
"So, have you ever heard of the word cromulent? Let's set that as a design goal. Perfectly cromulent!"

5. Fey Wanderer
We have to make something Fey. Ugh.

6. Swarmkeeper
On the one hand, pets suck. On the other hand ...



7. Beast Master
Finally, I can live out my life-long dream of roleplaying a crazy cat lady.
 

I legitimately do not understand the love for Gloom Stalker. The flavor is cool, but the mechanics are not compelling to me at all.

I assume the draw is the invisibility to darkvision in darkness? In the campaigns we play the only creatures who don't carry a readily available light source essentially at all times are those that are incapable of doing so. And many of those have alternate senses. Further, the ability is just bad if you have PCs that don't have darkvision in the party because they'll be carrying light sources. I suppose it's decent for scouting, but you still need Stealth.
 

Even for creatures with darkvision, dim light sources are useful. Everyone with the skulker feat can hide in the open when there are no light sources nearby. And depending on interpretation even without the skulker feat.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
I legitimately do not understand the love for Gloom Stalker. The flavor is cool, but the mechanics are not compelling to me at all.

I assume the draw is the invisibility to darkvision in darkness? In the campaigns we play the only creatures who don't carry a readily available light source essentially at all times are those that are incapable of doing so. And many of those have alternate senses. Further, the ability is just bad if you have PCs that don't have darkvision in the party because they'll be carrying light sources. I suppose it's decent for scouting, but you still need Stealth.
Dread Ambusher is extremely effective. bonus to initiative, increased movement by 10ft, get an additional attack, and if that additional attack hits, add 1d8 damage. See my comment above about how at level 3, I was 1-shotting orc sentries. Dread ambusher is the biggest draw to this class, IMO, and not darkvision.

Getting a bonus to darkvision and being invisible to creatures who have darkvision when in darkness are also valuable, but not the biggest benefit mechanically for the class.

Later on you get prof in wisdom saves (very big deal) and can essentially reroll missed attack rolls.
 

MonkeezOnFire

Adventurer
I legitimately do not understand the love for Gloom Stalker. The flavor is cool, but the mechanics are not compelling to me at all.

I assume the draw is the invisibility to darkvision in darkness? In the campaigns we play the only creatures who don't carry a readily available light source essentially at all times are those that are incapable of doing so. And many of those have alternate senses. Further, the ability is just bad if you have PCs that don't have darkvision in the party because they'll be carrying light sources. I suppose it's decent for scouting, but you still need Stealth.
I'll second that dread ambush is a good feature. Even in straight forward, normal combats where neither side is surprised getting an extra attack with extra damage on turn 1 is spicy. The burst is good enough that it either takes something out directly or puts something in a position to be taken out by the rest of your party before it causes too much trouble. Especially consider you can cast Hunter's Mark on that first turn since dread ambush doesn't use a bonus action.

In general I find that burst damage is more useful than a consistent but smaller damage buff. Especially in this edition where combats typically only last about 3-4 rounds. The sooner something is taken out of the fight the more of an impact it has on that fight.
 


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