With the discovery of Dunamancy in the Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount comes the usage of new magic. That’s a really good thing for Wizards, who have a penchant for wielding magic, but… What about our sword-swinging friends on the Martial side? Well, don’t worry. As members of the mysterious Kryn Dynasty, Fighters have learned to use Dunamis to summon themselves from different timelines to fight alongside them. So… If you’re a butterfly, don’t read any further. This is about to get temporally wacky with our Echo Knight 5E Guide.
Fight with Clones: Echo Knight 5E Guide
The Echo Fighter uses the amazing Dunamis magics to replicate themselves in combat. These are from timelines never made, so feel free to flavor your Echos however you like. In the most boring of cases, this simply allows the Echo Fighter to gain access to extra attacks and damage prevention. However, unlike a lot of Fighter subclasses, this one allows you to get really creative on the battlefield.
Your bread-and-butter comes at level 3, normal for a martial archetype. You use a bonus action and summon an echo of yourself within 15 ft. This lasts until you dismiss it, summon a new one, or get K.O.’d. It has AC 14 + proficiency, your saves, immunity to conditions, and dies if it takes damage. It can move 30 ft per round, but can’t get more than 30 ft away from you or it fizzles. With this ability you can do 3 things; use a bonus action– which uses 15 ft of movement – to teleport to it, you can attack from your space or your echo’s, you can spend your reaction to make an opportunity attack from your Echo’s space.
Ever wanna tag team with yourself? Now you can!
One of the worst parts about the echo is the 1 hit point rule. Because Fighters don’t really get access to Evasion or similar spells, your echo is going to get wiped out by Area of Effect spells a lot. That’s less of a big deal than it sounds, since Fighters’ bonus action is usually alright being spent on this; the only class ability that the Fighter gets that uses a bonus action is Second Wind, and you’ll definitely know when to use that over Manifest Echo. Usually when your arm just got blown off.
Another weird thing that isn’t specified is if it can jump or climb. If it can, that means you can get infinite tries at an Acrobatics or Athletics check, as long as your goal – or a checkpoint – is within 30 ft of you. Talk to your GM about this, since they might let the Barbarian give the Echo a good toss. And then you can teleport to it.
Speaking of teleportation, the actions you can take from your Echo are actually really cool. The teleportation is sweet, and you can attack around corners with ranged weapons or fight two different enemies with melee ones. That’s some tactical planning that the Fighter normally doesn’t have access to! The opportunity attack thing is tricky. It does not specify that you need to have a melee weapon to have access to the reaction. While it is suggested that you use melee weapons for the rest of the subclass, this might be another point where you talk to your GM. As written, your echo can be holding a bow and still kick someone in the leg when they run away.
Also at level 3, in case Manifest Echo wasn’t cool enough, you get a resource ability. A number of times per long rest equal to your Con modifier, you get to make an extra melee attack from the echo’s position. This can be activated whenever you make the Attack action.
This is kinda like the War Priest ability of the War Cleric. Unlike the War Cleric, Fighters really like to make the Attack action. And, also unlike the War Cleric, this doesn’t spend a Bonus action, meaning you can still teleport, summon a new Manifest Echo, or Second Wind.
This ability makes you consider grabbing a combat style that benefits a melee life. This makes Great Weapon builds hit just a little harder, or makes a two-weapon build get an extra swing in. Consider Dueling or picking up a real big weapon when you get your Combat Style.
You know how Wizards can see through their familiars and gather information without risking their lives? Well, now you can too. You can spend an action to put your senses into your echo. Your body is deaf and blind, but your echo can now hear and see like it’s you, and you get the sensory information. You spend 10 minutes, or however long you want, in your echo, and it can now go up to 1,000 ft away without being destroyed.
1n terms of information abilities, how good is this? It’s actually pretty decent.
Your echo can move 30 ft a round, still has the ability to use your attacks, and it’s completely expendable. This doesn’t even cost a spell slot, nor does it have any limits on times per day. Enemies can still see it and destroy it quite easily, but it does have surprisingly high AC, so it might take them a while.
In combat, this ability does very little. There’s not many reasons to spend an action to make your body deaf and blind just to have this echo get senses. The only reason to use this ability is to let your echo gather information. Sure, the teleport ability still works with this, which lets you shift your body 1,000 ft in a round. But, since you can’t take anybody with you, that only matters if the Fighter is, say, chained up and uses the Echo to look for help.
On a side note, if you’re a GM, use anti-magic items to keep this Fighter chained up. None of these abilities say they require somatic components!
Now, you can kill you from another timeline! Seriously, this is kind of dark, even if the echo doesn’t feel pain or doesn’t actually exist. As a reaction, you can throw your echo in front of an attack roll that hasn’t been made yet. Your echo takes the attack roll instead of the creature. This refreshes with any kind of rest.
In terms of damage prevention… This ability is as good as it gets. Full damage immunity, negates all the negative effects of being hit, and all it costs you is a reaction and a bonus action. That’s frightfully good. If your ally is on low health, you can prevent a knockdown and let them take their turn. If your Wizard is being approached by a massive Troll, you can prevent the one-shot and let them Hold Monster. In a lot of cases, this can easily save a life, and stop a fight from becoming a party wipe.
However, do keep in mind that your Echo can only be 30 ft away from you. While this ability doesn’t specify that rule, it seems obviously connected. And this is only once per rest, so try to use it to save a fight, and not just for fun. Reactions are pretty important for Fighters.
Now you can send your echo to their death. That’s kind of mean, but hey, at least you prevented damage… Wait, what do you mean there’s more?
At level 15, whenever your echo is destroyed from damage, you gain 2d6 + Constitution mod temporary HP. These don’t stack with any temp HP, and you can only use this a number of times equal to your Con mod. This refreshes on long rests.
In terms of damage prevention, this got really good, really fast. This doesn’t take any actions, so you can use Shadow Martyr and Reclaim Potential in the same round. This isn’t too much temporary health – 2d6 + 5 at the highest Con possible for a Fighter – but do this 5 times and you’ve gained a respectable amount of damage reduction.
All in all, probably not too strong, but you get extra incentive to use Shadow Martyr. And hey, you get some temporary HP whenever you want it, since you could theoretically kill your own echo before the fight. That’s a bit of a jerk move, but temp HP is temp HP.
Legion of One
The final ability is quite a doozy… But the name could have been a 300 pun. I would have loved that.
At 18th level, you get 2 echos when you Manifest. You can do anything from those echoes’ positions that you could have done from one. Also, if you start a combat with no Unleash Incarnations, you gain one.
Admittedly, the first part of this ability is only solid. Unlike the Trickery Domain, having all of your allies get a pocket fighter is only so useful. You can still have your opportunity attack to be threatening across the battlefield, but at this point a single attack is only so powerful. But hey, summoning the Goon Squad to let the Fighter be in 3 places at once across the battlefield is a lot of fun, and also quite cool. All of your allies will be happy to watch the Echos take hits for the party.
The Unleash Incarnation buff is actually pretty decent. You essentially start every combat with a minimum of one extra attack. Like I said earlier, this is a bit weak by level 18, since the Fighter is balanced around swinging 4 times a round. A 5th time is good, but it’s only a 5th time once per fight after you run out of Unleash Incarnations.
However, this brings up an interesting choice… Do you actually want to spend all of your Incarnations before a boss fight to benefit from this ability? Or do you want to save it for a threatening fight? Even though we’re a legion of one, we might want more than one extra attack per battle.
Best Race for Echo Knight
With two abilities completely reliant on Constitution, it might feel right to focus on that. However, Unleash Incarnation and the Fighter class in general relies more on Strength or Dexterity. Either path works, but a melee build is somewhat more likely. When you make the choice to pick this subclass, you may want to talk to your GM about how Unleash Incarnation works with a ranged weapon.
Within the pages of the core rulebook resides one of the best choices for this class; the Half-Orc. With +2 Strength, the Half-Orc presents a massive threat to the battlefield. And now… There’s two of them! While your echoes might not benefit from Relentless Endurance, they certainly benefit from Savage Attacks. And what is more “Menacing” than one half orc? Two. And one of them is a ghost.
Race Notes: Clone Everything
The Fighter is one of the most versatile classes in the game. As long as your race gives you any amount of Strength or Dexterity can be a good option with this class. Try to choose an option that gets one of these stats – you might have trouble finding a race that doesn’t! – and stroll into town with a copy of yourself.
Conclusion – Our Echo Knight 5E Guide
This may not be the strongest Fighter subclass ever devised. But it has a weirdly potent amount of utility and tactical prowess that it should not be ignored. Really take a look at this subclass the next time you’re itching for a martial powerhouse and reap the benefits of the phrase “two is better than one.” Curious about what else the Wildemount book has in store? See our rundown of the Wildemount Subclasses for more!