Out of all of the classes in the game, the Ranger was the one most due for a Fey collaboration. They wander through nature all the time, exploring and testing, documenting and pushing. Why wouldn’t something corrupt them with whimsy and chaos? It took until Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything before we got an official look at what the Fey Ranger looks like. Originating from the FeyWild, you now represent both mortal and fey, and are the bridge between them. Your blades sing with the fury of the first worlders, and your heart dances to the same music. Does that make you an unreliable ally in a dungeon? See if it does, in our Fey Wanderer 5E guide!
Embrace Your Chaos: Fey Wanderer 5E
The Fey Wanderer is a pseudo-problem solving Ranger. The damage increases that it gets are somewhat minor compared to the pure utility that it digs up. They also gain some slight ability to talk to others; not nearly as much as a Rogue or Bard, but there’s something there.
To begin, you attain your only ability which gives you a flat buff to your damage at level 3.
You can augment your weapon strikes with mind-scarring magic, drawn from the gloomy hollows of the Feywild. When you hit a creature with a weapon, you can deal an extra 1d4 psychic damage to the target, which can take this extra damage only once per turn.
The extra damage increases to 1d6 when you reach 11th level in this class.
Some small damage once per turn. Adding 3-4 to your attack damage on average isn’t bad, but it is sad to see that it’s only once per round.
On the bright side, the wording of this feature doesn’t say you can’t attack multiple different creatures on the same turn to spread the damage; two-weapon fighting, for instance, you can hit 3 creatures for 3d6 total additional damage at level 11. That’s pretty minor, but the damage can add up!
Usually, though, you’re just hitting a tiny bit harder every turn, as long as they aren’t resistant or immune to psychic damage. Very few creatures are… Unless they don’t even have a semblance of a brain. This is only bad against things like Constructs or Oozes, then.
Fey Wanderer Magic
Like most of the newer Ranger subclasses, the Fey Wanderer gains a few spells to play around with. In addition, you have a small fey boon, such as growing antlers or flowers out of your hair, or your shadow dancing in the corner of one’s eye.
The flavor aspects of the class will either make you more noticeable and loved, or hated. Most good people like Fey for some reason or another, so it should just be purely cosmetic. If you’re worried about getting tackled in the streets for being a fey, try not to choose 5 or 6 and you should be fine.
Onto spells! Charm Person is a powerful debuff against humanoid creatures, forcing the creature to target someone other than you. Charm won’t keep them from beating the crud out of your party, unfortunately, but at least you’re safe? Use this to keep a massive Fighter from turning you into paste, but otherwise you’re a fairly durable class.
Misty Step is one of the best ways to spend a 2nd level spell slot, so you learning it permanently is fairly fantastic. Being able to reposition 30 feet as a bonus action via teleportation comes in handy a ton, especially as a ranged character. You’ll find yourself using this in fights and to solve puzzles way more than you might think!
Dispel Magic is a decent effect, though you have a lower chance of succeeding a dispel check than your standard caster. Still, you can throw Wisdom dice at someone to try and bring down a major magical effect, and who knows? If you’re lucky, then your level 3 ranger spell might take down a level 9 buff on a Lich. That’d be super worth it!
Dimension Door is like Misty Step’s older brother, one who I find to take way too much time. Still, Dimension Door is a great teleport. 500 ft tends to get you past most puzzles, and having a Ranger use it can be nice. Scout ahead, and then teleport back if problems arise. Perfect! Though you might want to use this to ambush an unsuspecting group of enemies, or escape from a dungeon, so choose wisely! You don’t have many 4th level spell slots to toss around.
Finally, Mislead. One of my personal favorite spells, but you get it so late. At level 17, hard non-combat encounters will see right through your disguise. If it does work, the invisibility lasts for an hour and your illusion can actually hold a conversation or do some basic actions. That’s pretty cool! An interesting option for a sneaking build… But once again, a little too late to be useful.
Really fun, versatile spell list! This is a good setup for a Ranger, since it has a ton of out-of-class utility for the ranger to use.
Finally, at level 3, you gain some face skills. Surprising!
Your fey qualities give you a supernatural charm. As a result, whenever you make a Charisma check, you gain a bonus to the check equal to your Wisdom modifier (minimum of +1).
In addition, you gain proficiency in one of the following skills of your choice: Deception, Performance, or Persuasion.
Wisdom is much more useful for you than Charisma, so you’ll have more than you used to have. You won’t be the belle of the ball, but you can hold your own in a conversation with a Charisma of 0. That’s pretty nice! Rangers don’t usually have that much agency in social environments or outside of combat. But you can!
You also gain a free skill proficiency, which sadly doesn’t include intimidate. Deception and Persuasion are both perfect choices, depending on your character’s preference. Deception is better for a sneaky thief archetype, and thus you can lie out of bad situations when you’re seen out of stealth.
Persuasion, however, is good if you want to be more direct and sincere, which can fit a Ranger’s personality wonderfully. Besides, a sneaky thief might be better suited for the Rogue class!
Performance is sadly a little too niche to be chosen here. You’re much, much better off with a skill that most DMs will be more likely to have you roll. Perhaps choose performance if your Rogue has all of your Face skills handled and you feel like having fun. But it just doesn’t have enough support.
At level 7, you get a defensive ability. And… I guess it fits?
You have advantage on saving throws against being charmed or frightened.
In addition, whenever you or a creature you can see within 120 feet of you succeeds on a saving throw against being charmed or frightened, you can use your reaction to force a different creature you can see within 120 feet of you to make a Wisdom saving throw against your spell save DC. If the save fails, the target is charmed or frightened by you (your choice) for 1 minute. The target can repeat the saving throw at the end of each of its turns, ending the effect on itself on a successful save.
Advantage against charmed and frightened is good. These are two rather devastating debuffs which keep your weapons from meeting your enemy’s face. So advantage on those rolls can swing a fight into your favor! That being said, these two debuffs are a little specific. Only a few monsters in the game have such reverence towards emotion effects. And hopefully Fey Wanderers won’t be kicking the crud out of fey!
Thankfully, you don’t just get advantage. You can also redirect fear or frighten effects. This is a good use of your reaction, especially since you get to choose which option to throw. Frighten is better to protect your allies, while Charm is great at protecting yourself. They get a save every turn, which is frustrating, but the reaction doesn’t take any resources on your end, other than your reaction. This is basically a Charm spell for free! You just need someone to cast a charm or frighten spell first… And then your party member beats the Wisdom or Charisma save… Which can be admittedly hard to make.
At level 11, you can start really using that influence you have in the courts to your advantage!
The royal courts of the Feywild have blessed you with the assistance of fey beings: you know summon fey. It doesn’t count against the number of ranger spells you know, and you can cast it without a material component. You can also cast it once without a spell slot, and you regain the ability to do so when you finish a long rest.
Whenever you start casting the spell, you can modify it so that it doesn’t require concentration. If you do so, the spell’s duration becomes 1 minute for that casting.
The Fey Spirit that you summon with this ability is by no means weak. Admittedly, you’re a Ranger, so it’ll never dominate the battlefield. It’s health is locked at 50, you’ll only deal up to 1d6+8+1d6, and it’s AC will never rise too far. However, as a summon by itself? It’s fairly brutal! The Fey Step bonus action is rather powerful, since it can be used every turn to mess up fight scenarios. It’s Shortsword is very much worth your Bonus Action, as it can tear apart weaker enemies.
For a third level spell, this is a brutal summon! Fuming gives it more damage, Mirthful can be useful in a many-monster scenario, and Tricksy can allow for quick escapes. You can really work with this fey, since it has so many different options! In general, Mirthful seems to be best to avoid a constant flow of monsters, but Fuming might be better for damage per round.
Definitely use the free one, whenever the occasion comes up! The additional Summon Feys can be useful if you need another ally in a fight. And thank goodness you don’t need to drop 300 gold on it!
Your final ability is a way to use Misty Step with no spell slot, at level 15. Maybe a bit late, but hey, better than never!
You can slip in and out of the Feywild to move in a blink of an eye: you can cast misty step without expending a spell slot. You can do so a number of times equal to your Wisdom modifier (minimum of once), and you regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.
In addition, whenever you cast misty step, you can bring along one willing creature you can see within 5 feet of you. That creature teleports to an unoccupied space of your choice within 5 feet of your destination space.
Considering how much I gushed about Misty Step, you better believe I love this part!
You may or may not have 20 Wisdom by now. Let’s assume you have 18; you just got 4 2nd level spell slots. With a pretty great spell in them.
And if that wasn’t enough, Misty Step can teleport two people! So, let’s say your adventuring buddy is in a cage above a dragon horde. You can teleport in, grab them, and teleport out, all without spending a single spell slot! That’s pretty thrilling!
Use Misty Step whenever your position seems even a little bad, and a move action just doesn’t quite cut it. This is still a resource, mind you, so you’ll not want to throw it out at every point of every day. But you can really feel free to burn Misty Steps if you need to.
Best Races for Fey Wanderer Rangers
The Fey Wanderer is a Ranger at heart; building it with Dexterity is naturally good, with Strength being an option if you wish. Unlike most Rangers, having a high Wisdom score is required to be a good Fey Wanderer; most of the class features here dwell on spell DCs or attacks at some level!
Mark of Passage Human
This dragonmarked race from Eberron: Rising from the Last War is partially here for fun. +2 Dexterity, +1 Floating is perfect; you should put the +1 in Wisdom. You have 35 ft movement speed, are great at Acrobatics check, and can cast Misty Step once per rest. While perhaps unnecessary, that misty step will be useful until level 5, and then you’ll have a pretty great option for future combats that doesn’t cost a spell slot. The Mark of Passage Spells are admittedly a little minor, since Misty Step and Dimension Door are both on your list already. But there are 7 other spells that you might find handy. And now you can be the bridge between the realms and be a messenger between them too!
The Firbolg are humanoids with fey ancestry, a natural pick for a Fey Wanderer! These gentle giants have +2 Wisdom, +1 Strength; try to get your Dexterity high enough for Medium armor! Firbolg Magic is great for social situations, as is Speech of Beast and Leaf. You can really embrace the “fey” part of your class with these guys… Or use Hidden Step to get the drop on some poor, unsuspecting soul! These guys are a ton of fun, and a worthy pick for a Strength Ranger!
Conclusion – Our Take on the Fey Wanderer 5E
The Fey Wanderer is fun, and has a legitimately large amount of utility to work with; Tasha’s Cauldron is great for that kind of thing! If you want a strange scout with a ton of teleportation, and even the ability to lie, then you can’t go wrong with this subclass!