Fighters are well-known in Dungeons & Dragons as the meatheads. They’re bruisers who are more passionate about fighting than breathing, and dedicate their lives to better their connection to their weapon. Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything changes that, just a touch. The Psi Warrior, rather than focusing on their weapons, have unlocked more of their mind. This may be the result of mental training, or a psionic event that has nothing to do with them. Either way, they are now partially psychic, a feat that many intelligent races wish to achieve. How can your Warrior make use of their new power? Check out how, in our Psi Warrior 5E guide!
Unlock Your Mind: Psi Warrior Fighter 5E
The Psi Warrior is a unique Fighter and is a marriage between Battle Master and Eldritch Knight. They are a resource-based character, focused on controlling the battlefield, dealing damage, and protecting their party. In addition, this does strictly more damage than the Battle Master, at the cost of doing less versatility and requiring Intelligence. It has the same problem as the Battle Master, however, in that early on, the limited pool of dice is going to hurt this character’s potential. Thankfully, it quickly improves!
The primary feature of the Psionic Warrior is it’s Psionic Power. At level 3, you gain a pool of dice, equal to twice your Proficiency (4 at level 3, 6 at level 5, 8 at level 9, 10 at level 13, 12 at level 17). These dice are d6s, but increase by one size at level 5, 11, and 17 (d8, d10, d12). You regain all of these dice on a long rest, and can regain one die by spending a bonus action once per rest, short or long. You can currently spend dice on these following class features.
Protective Field. When you or another creature you can see within 30 feet of you takes damage, you can use your reaction to expend one Psionic Energy die, roll the die, and reduce the damage taken by the number rolled plus your Intelligence modifier (minimum reduction of 1), as you create a momentary shield of telekinetic force.
This power is strange. The target has “taken” the damage, so you might know the exact number. If you do, then Protective Field is perfect. You can check with your dice and Intelligence to see if your Field will actually protect the target, and make a decision about whether or not you need to throw it out. This works best when you spend dice to just barely save someone’s life, keeping them up so they can take their turn.
Unfortunately, blocking d6 + Intelligence will rarely make a massive impact, and even d12 + 5 isn’t that good at level 20. Blocking 12 damage is certainly valuable, and can save lives, but it probably won’t even halve the damage. Try to use this to save a life, but consider saving your reaction for opportunity attacks or other reactions if the person might go down anyway or at high HP.
Psionic Strike. You can propel your weapons with psionic force. Once on each of your turns, immediately after you hit a target within 30 feet of you with an attack and deal damage to it with a weapon, you can expend one Psionic Energy die, rolling it and dealing force damage to the target equal to the number rolled plus your Intelligence modifier.
This is your standard use for your Psionic Power. Early on, this is a massive increase to damage, and cost no action to use. So every turn, you can theoretically gain 8 damage for free. That’s great, and that damage racing can make a huge difference during boss fights. However, spamming this will burn through your dice rather quickly. Try to save your dice for major fights, or spend one if your party plans on taking a Short Rest after a fight; always remember that you can recover one dice after a fight!
Telekinetic Movement. You can move an object or a creature with your mind. As an action, you target one loose object that is Large or smaller or one willing creature, other than yourself. If you can see the target and it is within 30 feet of you, you can move it up to 30 feet to an unoccupied space you can see. Alternatively, if it is a Tiny object, you can move it to or from your hand. Either way, you can move the target horizontally, vertically, or both. Once you take this action, you can’t do so again until you finish a short or long rest, unless you expend a Psionic Energy die to take it again.
The final ability that you can use. You can spend an action to give an object or creature flight, but only once per short rest. This lets you use your die to solve problems! That includes things like floating keys into your hand, moving a Large Block onto a button, or flying the Rogue across a gap to get to the trap controls. This is awesome, and it’s so rare for a Fighter to get something like this! This alone solidifies this class as a reasonable replacement for a Wizard, if you so choose to ignore a Wizard.
Of course, this has next to no power in combat, unless you desperately need to reposition someone.
All three of these abilities are reasonable uses of your Die. Just be careful; unlike Battlemaster, you only get one dice back per short rest. That means you should spend at least one before every rest, and spend more if you feel like you must. You might spend more to quickly take down an enemy, save a life, or solve a puzzle.
At level 7, your psionic abilities improve. You gain one more option, and buff your Psionic Strike.
Psi-Powered Leap. As a bonus action, you can propel your body with your mind. You gain a flying speed equal to twice your walking speed until the end of the current turn. Once you take this bonus action, you can’t do so again until you finish a short or long rest, unless you expend a Psionic Energy die to take it again.
This is a pretty impressive bonus action. You spend nothing to get (usually) 60 ft flight? That’s pretty solid, even though it’s only for a turn. This lets you really quickly reposition, chase down an enemy, or solve puzzles requiring mobility. Just make sure you’re over solid ground at the end of your movement; no need to cascade into a pit of lava after!
Obviously, use this once when you want to. It costs no dice the first time that you use it, so you just get to fly once per day. You can spend dice to keep flying, but that’s usually unnecessary. And unfortunately, you are going to fall after a turn that you use this ability, since it ends at your current turn, rather than the start of your next.
Telekinetic Thrust. When you deal damage to a target with your Psionic Strike, you can force the target to make a Strength saving throw against a DC equal to 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Intelligence modifier. If the save fails, you can knock the target prone or move it up to 10 feet in any direction horizontally.
You now have more reasons to apply force damage. Strength saves are relatively rare, as a ton of creatures prefer Dexterity. So, despite the fact that your DC will be relatively low, the enemy’s save will probably not be too high either.
Normally, knocking the target prone will be the option. It gives you advantage on attack rolls, forces the enemy to spend movement to remove it, and might give other melee allies advantage. However, it gives ranged allies disadvantage; a badly-timed prone might cause more harm than good! Try to coordinate with your party to maximize how useful Telekinetic Thrust is.
Alternatively, you can move the target, which is solid. 10 feet isn’t too much, but you can force an enemy into a corner, off a bridge, or into a fire. This is more motion than the Battle Master feature allows, and you can force a target to move quite far away from you. Nice, legitimately solid versatility!
Both of these features are stellar, and you have enough dice that you should consider burning Psionic Power much more now. You still only regain one per short rest, however, so be careful!
At level 10, you gain a defensive ability.
The psionic energy flowing through you has bolstered your mind. You have resistance to psychic damage. Moreover, if you start your turn charmed or frightened, you can expend a Psionic Energy die and end every effect on yourself subjecting you to those conditions.
This… isn’t amazing.
Resistance to psychic damage is fine, but tends to be incredibly niche. Few enemies actually use psychic damage, and only a few spells deal it. So your resistance is going to be relatively weak.
If that wasn’t bad enough, you don’t gain immunity to charm or frighten; you have to spend a resource to gain immunity! That’s kind of trash. You’d prefer to be able to spend your dice on attacks or good damage resistance.
Does that mean this isn’t nice? No, something is better than nothing. Charm can keep you from fighting a boss, as can Frighten. If you are being completely blocked out of a fight, of course it’s better to spend the die so you can dive back in. Since your Wisdom save won’t be too high, you’re fairly likely to get Charmed or Frightened anyways.
So, if you’re getting Charmed, just save your Indomitable and burn a die instead.
Bulwark of Force
At level 15, you gain an additional defensive ability that is useful, and doesn’t cost a die the first time. Nice!
You can shield yourself and others with telekinetic force. As a bonus action, you can choose creatures, which can include you, that you can see within 30 feet of you, up to a number of creatures equal to your Intelligence modifier (minimum of one creature). Each of the chosen creatures is protected by half cover for 1 minute or until you’re incapacitated.
Once you take this bonus action, you can’t do so again until you finish a long rest, unless you expend a Psionic Energy die to take it again.
Essentially, you cast Shield of Faith (+2 AC) on your party (hopefully) for a minute. That’s pretty great! This greatly improves your party’s durability, making boss fights 10% easier to survive. Well, most boss fights; half cover doesn’t do much against magic!
Is this worth spending a die? Probably, +2 to AC for everyone is a fairly stellar buff! If you’re worried about a hard fight, this is a pretty worthy bonus action to use. However, against boss fights, it might be better to lance them with psychic energy and hope to destroy it before it can make any attack rolls. That can be a pretty hard decision to make! We recommend using this ability only if you’re worried that a fight is going to take a long time, and there are at least some enemies that will probably make attack rolls. If a fight takes 30 seconds, this might be better than adding a d12+5 to a single damage roll.
The level 18 ability of the class is basically a spell-like ability.
You can cast the telekinesis spell, requiring no components, and your spellcasting ability for the spell is Intelligence. On each of your turns while you concentrate on the spell, including the turn when you cast it, you can make one attack with a weapon as a bonus action.
Once you cast the spell with this feature, you can’t do so again until you finish a long rest, unless you expend a Psionic Energy die to cast it again.
The Telekinesis spell is pretty fantastic, especially when you can make a bonus action swing every round. As a reminder, Telekinesis spends your action to either lift and restrain creatures by using a Intelligence check vs their Strength check, or you can move something that weighs at least half of a ton. This can include disarming a creature.
Depending on the fight, this is great. It also lasts 10 minutes, where you can constantly hamper different opponents with telekinetic lifting. That’s both hilarious, and potentially very strong! You do have significantly worse damage while using this; one attack is much lower than four. Make sure your party can pick up your slack while you’re pinning down an enemy!
Is Telekinesis worth a die? Yes! If you need to become a combat controller rather than a damage dealer, this is a crazily effective spell for marking a target for death. However, spending your free use on basic enemy trash might not be the best idea. Make sure you have a good reason to use this before you pop it!
Best Race for Psi Warrior Fighters
The Psi Warrior still requires a primary Strength or Dexterity attribute to deal damage. Then, Intelligence is required to improve your damage and DCs. After that, you can consider Constitution to stay alive on the frontlines.
Because of how many bonus actions this class uses, consider doing a non-Two Weapon Fighting build. Psi Warriors make great use out of two-handed weapons, or the Dueling fighting style. The Psi Warrior can also be ranged without much issue at all; just be within 30 feet.
The Githyankai from Mordekainnen’s Tome of Foes are the perfect psionic warriors. They have the perfect stats for a Strength build; +2 Strength, +1 Intelligence. They gain an additional skill proficiency, which is fantastic. The Martial Prodigy skill is wasted, but at least they have Githyanki Psionics to add even more versatility to this class! Considering these guys are actually psychic, this only makes sense!
These basic elves are arguably better than the Githyanki, if it wasn’t for flavor. The High Elf is the choice for the alternate build; +2 Dexterity, +1 Intelligence. This lets them be ranged, or a Finesse build. High Elvs also waste Elf Weapon training, but have a Cantrip from the Wizard list to help their versatility. Elves are great in general, too, since they are hard to Charm, gain Perception for free, and can see in the dark. They are also haughty enough to really push the Psionic supremacy idea, which might be a neat character arc to go through!
Conclusion – Our Take on the Psi Warrior
Psi Warrior is both fantastic and unique. Tasha’s Cauldron is full of classes like this; check out the book or see some of the other subclasses to see for yourself! The Psi Warrior fills the role of the standard fighter, but adds a ton of extra out-of-combat versatility to the mix. It’s heavily resource-intensive, but a good use of these dice will make you incredibly useful!