Unearthed Arcana Unearthed Arcana Fighter: Samurai, Sharpshooter, Arcane Archer & Knight

This week's Unearthed Arcana column from WotC's Mike Mearls and Jeremy Crawford gives us four new fighter archetypes: Samurai, Sharpshooter, Arcane Archer & Knight. The Arcane Archer is a master of elven archery, weaving magic into missile attacks; the Knight is able to mark his foes and hold the line; the Samurai gains benefits through sheer willpower; and the Sharpshooter has various ranged combat abilities.

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Well, it seems peoples' guesses were pretty spot on, judging by those archetypes. The link isn't there yet, but I wonder if the knight will get something like stances


Create Magic Arrow. As a bonus action on your turn, you can create one magic arrow in your hand. The arrow lasts until the end of theturn or until it hits or misses a target. You can fire the arrow from a shortbow or longbow. The arrow is a magic weapon that deals an additional 2d6 force damage on a hit.You have two uses of this feature, and you regain all expended uses of it when you finish a short or long rest.

I don't remember there being rules that said shortbow arrows couldn't be fired from a longbow or vice-versa.


I'm getting, like, unhealthy amounts of mad, clicking on that broken link.

I'll quote that for truth. I tried it about six times, then refreshed the article page and tried it another six before trying to see if this thread was up and if anyone had seen it yet.

Definitely a little antsy about it.


They are making ever ready arrow too complicated. just say it's an additional use of arcane arrow and keep it simple. the "get another arcane arrow 1 minute after your final one" seems too messy, and I'd probably just handwave it away to what I suggested anyway.


I like them overall, though not a fan of the Sniper. Just don't really see its place. The Knight is more complicated than it should be. Arcane Archer is great. Samurai is fine.


Man, the knight player is gonna be a dice rolling fool lol. Attacks to the left of me, attacks to the right, here I am... Being able to use multiple reactions in a round (not turn) can be pretty big.

It seems as if the samurai's most important ability is front loaded. I can see level dips into Samurai and then main class as barbarian (although I wouldn't allow this for RP reasons under most circumstances) or paladin or assassin rogues (which I also probably wouldn't allow for RP reasons)

My favorite is the arcane archer. I really like the various arrows.


I'm moderately concerned (I'm sure there's some piece of the sharpshooter puzzle I'm missing) about how Sharpshooter the subclass and Sharpshooter the feat have such great synergy, especially now that you don't need XBE to not worry about fighting distances.

I'm assuming it's a clumsy way of saying that it's an arrow not a bolt, and as such cannot be used on a crossbow of any size.

If that's the case, it's rather unnecessary, IMO. I don't see much of a reason that an arcane archer to be discouraged from using a crossbow, beyond the fact it already takes a feat for a fighter to get the most out of one.


I'm indifferent to all of these. I liked the Scout from Kits of Old more than all of these.

I think the problem i have with the Knight and the Sharpshooter is they are making an archetype out of a feat (sort of).

Mostly looking at the Sharpshooter, as I have an archer in my game.

Steady Aim is problematic, as it overlaps with the benefits of the Sharpshooter feat. I.e. the feat every archer will want to take. (Having the archetype and feat share a name is also poor.)

Having Steady Aim and Rapid Strike both use a bonus action hurts. If you have advantage, you can give it up to make an extra attack. Or you can attack with advantage and add 9+ damage to each hit. Rapid Strike seems like the option that will be used only after Steady Aim is exhausted.
Rapid Strike should probably also be Rapid Shot for simplicity...

I think it should be clarified if the Piercing Arrow ability of the Arcane Archer does the bonus force damage to all targets in the line. If that's so, than should Bursting Arrow do 4d6 damage at level 18?

The Knight's abilities rely too much on having the grid, the idea that if someone move "even 1 foot" for their abilities means it could trigger an almost all cases since people in fights do shift around a bit all the time. They should probably use 5 feet or 1 square in the description.

The Sharpshooter doesn't really work well with weapons that can only be reloaded once per round.


So, quick impressions.

I like the arcane archer. It is incredibly powerful, I think at first blush. An extra 4d6+awesome ability a day until level 15 when I believe the intent is that you essentially get 2, and then 1 for every combat after that. The Ever-Ready arrow gives you another arrow after you have used your last one, which then you use your last one and gain another arrow. I think this is the intent. All of the arrow abilities seem powerful and useful too, but I love Seeking arrow, hit someone anywhere within 600 ft as long as the arrow could potentially trace a path. Very awesome.

I also like the Knight, though... I'm going to need someone to explain to me just what all they can do by level 18.

They can take a reaction for implaccable mark, up to 3 times a rest, and they can do it even if they have used a reaction before since their last turn.

They can take a reaction for Hold the Line, but only as their normal reaction I think

And they can take defender's blade reactions for opportunity attacks period.

If the movement of each monster counts as seperate turn... I think I get it, but I could see a mass of people misunderstanding how these all interact.

And what happens if they take Sentinel? I don't think there is a problem per se, but this is a rather complex set of triggers for a DnD class.

*Reads Samurai*

*Starts frothing at the mouth*

Holy crap this is amazing. Actually, it is a lot of ribbons and defenses, but Fighting Spirit and Strength Before Death are ridiculous. I can interrupt a turn, activate Fighting Spirit, not die, and rip the guy who tried to kill me apart. This is amazing. And fully open to cheese if the person decides to use the entire turn healing so they won't die from the damage that gets applied once their bonus turn ends, but it has so many opportunities for cinematic coolness. Looking at it again... I am a little disappointed I misread delaying the damage to mean you are immune to damage for your bonus turn. You could charge the enemies back line, and get slaughtered by opportunity attacks during your bonus turn, but still incredibly cool.

Sharpshooter is decent, I'm honestly less impressed with it. The problem is that most of it's stuff can be recreated with feats. Mobile, Sharpshooter, and Crossbow expert give me the majority of the sharpshooters stuff, and depending on weapon choice... I still want all three of those feats... which is a lot of wasted ability.

I'll have to consider it a lot more before I decide what I think about it.

Finally, three of these guys get Rapid Strike. How does this work with multiple attacks exactly? If the enemy is lying prone, and you get 3 attacks with advantage.

Do you get 2 attacks with advantage 1 attack without advantage and the bonus action attack or
do you get 4 attacks without advantage

I think you get 2 with advantage and 2 without (and then whether you can take bonus action again while action surging making it 4 with and 4 without) but I could see the other argument because of the language. It is definitely going to need looked at again since it is such a major new feature


First Post
Took a look at the Sharpshooter archetype, and am highly intrigued. You get part of the benefits of the Sharpshooter feat, part of the benefits of the Crossbow Expert feat, and some other nifty tricks. I think the only downside is that I'd probably end up taking the Sharpshooter feat anyway for the -5/+10. For the Snap Shot ability at level 18, it only says that it applies when you take the Attack action during your first turn, it doesn't say anything about it only working once per turn. So I'm assuming if I use Action Surge and take a second Attack action, I get the additional attack both times? Hoo boy, so if I'm a Level 20 Fighter, with an Oathbow against the boss monster, that's....10 attacks with advantage, doing 1d8+5+3d6, plus an additional 10 each if I make them Sharpshooter shots? With an 11th shot if I forego advantage on one for the Bonus Action attack from Rapid Shot?

I'll be in my bunk.


Having done a quick read I like those. The best in this weekly series. I miss the use of superiority dice as they did in the Kits of Old UA. I also would like to have a gladiator archetype. I hope the 2017 mechanical expansion will take in consideration options from previous UA.

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