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Unearthed Arcana Unearthed Arcana Returns to Monthly With Some Revised Subclasses

the fighter’s Sharpshooter subclass was, by far, the least popular No one in their right mind liked that abomination. A terrible concept from the start.

the fighter’s Sharpshooter subclass was, by far, the least popular

No one in their right mind liked that abomination. A terrible concept from the start.


Last week, we reached the end of a series of weekly Unearthed Arcana installments, which came out for several months. Today Unearthed Arcana returns to being monthly, appearing on the first or second Monday of a month. To kick things off, we look back at five of the subclasses from the recent series: the barbarian’s Path of the Ancestral Guardian, the bard’s College of Swords, the fighter’s Arcane Archer, the monk’s Way of the Kensei, and the sorcerer’s Favored Soul.

Each of these subclasses was popular in the surveys you filled out, but each one also included things that you wanted to see changed. We examined the survey answers that thousands of you provided, and we revised the subclasses based on your feedback. The results are now here for you to see. We’re also tinkering with other subclasses from the previous series, but we thought these five subclasses would be particularly interesting for you to revisit. Next week, we’ll release a survey so that you can let us know what you think.

The weekly series generated tons of feedback from you, for which we are very grateful. The cleric’s Forge Domain ended up being the most popular thing we released, and the fighter’s Sharpshooter subclass was, by far, the least popular. The most satisfying options—things that were liked by at least 70 percent of you—have a good chance of appearing in future D&D books, after being revised and polished. Thanks, again, for sharing your thoughts on Unearthed Arcana and trying the material out in play!
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Good for the forge cleric. I am not sure it was my favorite of the weekly UA subclasses, but it was definitely in the top 5.

I like the new favored soul. It is like the best of both previous favored souls combined. The swords bard makes for a nice Zorro. I liked the ancestor barbarian before, and I like it now.


Having played a bard of swords for a while, I'm glad they addressed some of my issues with the subclass. Not necessarily in the ways I expected. But at least they acknowledged some of the problems with the original version.

Some of them turned out to be clearer and simpler in execution.

Overall I like how the Blade and Ancestral Guardian turned out.

With Ancestral Guardian, I feel that the ancestor spirits wants to force enemies into a single conflict with their guardian.

The Blade feels like a good take on a melee focused bard.

I know some won't like the fact that the Kensei is no longer one that focuses on a single weapon, as a Kensei can now learn multiple weapons.

With the Arcane Archer I feel that Bursting Arrow should allow a Dex save for half for anyone who's not the primary target. The uses of Arcane Shot get quite a bit closer to the Battlemaster's supremacy die, but fortunately it feels different enough.


I haven't read through them all, yet, but I've got a Favored Soul, in my game. I think I'll be sticking with the previous version. I hate having cure wounds hardwired into the class. Totally ruins it, IMO. The backstory for the FS in my game would have worked extremely well without cure wounds (he had an extra slot, so took it, but sure didn't need to). Having it forced upon the class seems so very limiting.

Empowered Healing compounds the issue, even further, by turning cure wounds from a bonus ability to a forced focus. While there's the possibility that Blessed Countenance could be milked a bit (I'd rather see "pick two Cha skills and gain expertise"), I liked it much, much better.

I prefer Divine Purity over Angelic Form because I've never really cared for wings on the Favored Soul (or as a feature of any other class, for that matter). Having them as spectral, rather than physical is much, much better, though, and I wouldn't have a problem with them sticking around.

So, overall, there is absolutely no feature of the latest Favored Soul that is better than the previous one. At best, an individual feature might be a break even. Some of them are substantively worse. If this becomes the official version (assuming "big book o' crunch, 2017 edition"), it's unlikely to see play at my table.

The two weapon fighting option of the blade is a trap. You can't engage in two weapon fighting if you are using blade flourish... so when you reach level 6, you can either take the attack action and attack twice with a bonus or you use the attack action and attack twice with light melee weapons. The rest of the blade sounds great though.


This implementation of the Kensai doesn't seem bad, per se. The wording of the rules seem a bit clumsy, though. I think I like it better, over all, though.

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