There are many dragonborn that cover the world of Dungeons & Dragons 5E. However, most of them come from races of mere chromatic dragons, traditionally evil beings. Thankfully, Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons is out, and it makes a difference between Chromatic and Metallic ancestors! Metallic Dragonborn are not only some of the coolest options that you can take, but are exceptionally powerful. Our Metallic Dragonborn 5E guide will explain why this race is worth trying out for your next build!
Metallic Dragonborn 5E Guide
Metallic Dragonborn are mostly straight upgrades to the Base Dragonborn. Grand, since the original dragonborn left much to be desired as a race. There is almost no reason to take the original over Chromatic or Metallic Dragonborn. However, there are important class features here that make the Metallic Dragonborn really fun to theorycraft with!
Metallic Dragonborn Lore
By nature, Metallic Dragonborn act like standard dragonborn. They have clan structures with strict hierarchies, and act with perfectionist zeal. They are quick to form bonds with strangers that they can trust and eager to prove themselves to those they respect. If you need more information about standard Dragonborn lore, check out our Dragonborn guide.
As Metallic Dragons were less about pure elemental potency and more about durability and creativity, so too do Metallic Dragonborn thrive. They create, explore, and inspire as they pursue mastery through many different occupations.
Metallic Dragonborn Traits
Metallic Dragonborn are medium humanoids with 30 ft walking speed. In addition, each Metallic Dragonborn must choose a Metallic Ancestry. Each Ancestry has a damage type associated with them. The Dragonborn’s scale color is determined by Ancestry, as are all damage type effects that the Dragonborn have access to.
- Brass: Fire
- Bronze: Lightning
- Copper: Acid
- Gold: Fire
- Silver: Cold
We suggest choosing Brass, Gold, or Silver, as Fire and Cold are the most common damage types to resist or deal damage with. Not to say Acid or Lightning are bad at all! Just that you’ll probably get more mileage out of the more traditional options.
Ability Score Increases
The Metallic Dragonborn gains +2 to one ability score of their choice, and +1 to a different one. We recommend granting the +2 to your Weapon statistic or to your class’s casting statistic. The +1 should be granted to a secondary stat that is important to your build, or a defensive statistic.
You may replace an attack with a Breath weapon, which does a d10 of ancestry-typed damage which scales at the same rate as your cantrips. This deals fantastic damage with decent range using your favorite damage type. It can also be used much more leniently, as it no longer requires you to take consistent naps to refresh your charges. This is a great upgrade for the base dragonborn which greatly benefits classes with Extra Attack.
This feature gives you resistance to your ancestry type. Good! This is why you don’t necessarily love Lightning or Acid; you won’t get as much value from this racial feature. Fire and Cold are much more common. This feature is so useful in traditional wizard fights where you can freely deflect a ton of damage.
Metallic Breath Weapon
Such a weird level 5 power! Completely non-reliant on your Breath Weapon charges, this is a once per day ability which can potentially knock out your targets! That’s incredibly worthwhile! All you’re losing is a single action, and you get the chance to force your enemy to sleep. Even if the target is immune to incapacitation, you can at least knock them prone. Pretty great for a melee fighting role!
Wrapping Up The Metallic Dragonborn
The Metallic Dragonborn is basically a base dragonborn with better Breath weapons… and one really weird breath weapon! This can be extremely fun to try out, but is perhaps the least flashy of the three new Dragonborn archetypes. Give it a go if you want to randomly knock out the opponent unconscious.