The Power of the Fighter - Death Machines Unleashed

ELCR Optimization Players

Unleash the Epic Fighter with the Epic Legacy Core Rulebook!

Fighters are often perceived as D&D’s simplest and most straightforward class, specializing in martial prowess and raw physical power. However, when it comes to high-level gameplay, Fighters truly come into their own as unparalleled death machines. Conventional wisdom touts spellcasters as the top dog, but this is often the result of “white room” theory crafting and a misunderstanding of the fighter’s potential. So lets delve into the many aspects that make high-level Fighters formidable opponents and essential assets to any adventuring party.


The Art of the Attack: Action Surge and Extra Attack

One of the most defining features of a Fighter is their ability to make multiple attacks per turn. Thanks to their Extra Attack feature, high-level Fighters can make up to four attacks every round. When combined with the Action Surge ability, which allows them to take an additional action during their turn, Fighters can unleash a staggering eight attacks in a single round, a feat unmatched by any other class in the game.

While feats are an optinional rule, they are also standard for most tables. So Great Weapon Master or Sharpshooter are an absolute must for a fighter, augmenting the aforementioned combo with a truly ludicrous ten additional damage per hit, up to eighty additional damage. And guess what, next turn a tier 4 fighter can do it again. Putting between 120 – 160 damage down two turns in a row. No other class even comes close to that kind of potential, and most need multiclassing to even compete.


Supreme Survivability: Second Wind and Indomitable

In addition to their offensive prowess, Fighters also possess exceptional survivability. Their Second Wind feature allows them to heal themselves on demand in a nonmagical way, making them more resilient and less reliant on healing spells from their allies. Don’t underestimate this feature, as many have. Healing spells can be countered, or allies blocked from aid. Too often we have seen fighter players forget they have this feature when they are desperate for healing. Furthermore, the Indomitable ability grants Fighters the chance to reroll a failed saving throw, providing them with an essential safety net against debilitating spells and effects. Remember, fighters get additional ability score increases, so putting those into scores you lack proficiency in is very helpful for this feature. Pick up the Resilient feat for an additional saving throw proficiency, and this feature goes from good to great!


The Mastery of Combat: Weapon and Armor Proficiency

Fighters are skilled in the use of all types of weapons and armor, granting them unmatched versatility and adaptability in combat. This mastery allows them to switch between different fighting styles, engage in both ranged and melee combat, and optimize their damage output depending on the situation. Moreover, their proficiency in heavy armor bolsters their defenses, enabling them to withstand even the most punishing attacks.

While plate armor is a tasty option, a Dexterity based fighter is no joke. A longbow, the Sharpshooter feat, and the right subclass can turn the typecast frontline fighter into a living piece of artillery that makes dragons quiver in fear.


Specialization through Archetypes: Champion, Battle Master, and Eldritch Knight

Fighter archetypes provide unique abilities and playstyles, allowing players to tailor their characters to their preferred combat style. The Champion archetype focuses on critical hits and raw damage output, while the Battle Master offers a more tactical approach with their array of combat maneuvers. The Eldritch Knight combines martial prowess with arcane spellcasting, adding a touch of versatility to their arsenal. There are more subclasses beyond these three, but they all have something in common: they have unique strengths. Eldritch Knights can use their action surge to cast two spells in one turn, while champions are the only class in the game with improved critical hit ranges. Battlemasters are among a handful of characters that can disarm and trip their opponents. Lets see how tough a balor looks without his infamous lightning sword. Uniqueness in capability also feels great at the table. As a fighter, you can be satisfied knowing the thing you just did is well beyond what anyone else can do. Sure, its not as fancy as a meteor swarm spell, but there is no way that wizard can take a critical hit from the tarassque and walk it off like a boss.


A Glut of Ability Score Improvements (ASIs)

Fighters receive more ASIs than any other class, making them prime candidates for optimizing ability scores and acquiring feats. This abundance of ASIs allows them to maximize their primary ability scores, such as Strength or Dexterity, while also investing in secondary attributes like Constitution for added survivability. Furthermore, the option to take feats instead of ability score increases can grant Fighters unique abilities and combat options that further enhance their effectiveness in battle. This is also a huge strength when looking for fun and flavorful options. The fighter can afford less than optimal uses of their ability score increases in favor of more narrative ones. Invest in your fun with confidence, knowing you will still be an optimized death machine when it really counts.



High-level Fighters possess a rare combination of offensive might, defensive capabilities, and versatility that sets them apart from other martial classes. With their unrivaled number of attacks per round, exceptional survivability, and the ability to specialize through archetypes and ASIs, Fighters can truly become death machines unleashed on the battlefield. Do not underestimate the power of a high-level Fighter, for they can stand toe-to-toe with the most formidable foes and emerge victorious.


Until Next Time,
The 2CGaming Team

Older Post Newer Post

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published