Duelist barb/fighter (5e Optimized Character Build)

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main build will be with a normal shield although you could pick up an animated shield which would boost your damage potential and give you more AC.Animated Shield

now the idea of the build is basically being able to tank and avoid most of the issues aka 22 AC (with no + or magical items) and high chance to avoid most saving throws while still doing good damage and having options.

1. Stats

2. Races

3. Classes

4. Feats

5. Gear

1: Stats

Well the idea is maxing out constitution and dexterity since in 5e dexterity is the all and mighty stat of defence + dmg + the main saving throw.

now the con + dex will be our only real stats to worry about, wisdom if you got extra points and possibly charisma for rp reason.

2: Races

Now for the races any will do but here are my favorite.

Human variant: Is pretty self explanatory for the extra feat.

Half orcs: Now i would not suggest it but I can see the use of savage attack and relentless assault along a +1 to con.

Hill Dwarf: For the con bonus and dwarven toughness which you could stack up with the tough feat.

Drows: For natural stat bonuses and rapier.

Gnomes: My personal favorite for gnomes cunning (advantage on all int/wis/cha saving throws against magic) which i will be using in the build.

3: Classes

Basically we are going 3 barbarian / 17 fighter


What we want out of the 3 levels into barbarian is

Rage: Such a good tanking skill along with advantage on strength checks although were not focusing on strength at all it can still come in handy.

Unarmored Defense: This is our main AC source which is one of the main reason we want con + dex maxed out 10 + dex modifier + con modifier as your AC and allows you to still use a shield.

Danger Sense: Gives us advantage on dexterity saving throws against effects you can see (it says see but I am pretty sure they mean sense else way why would deafened affect it right),you cant be blinded, deafened or incapacitated to benefit from it.

Primal Path: Bear Spirit enhances our rage giving us resistance to all damage except psychic damage.

It is a valid option to only take 1 or 2 levels in Barbarian. However, 3 is optimal.


Now fighter is amazing because it compliment most builds and gives you a lot of feat options.

Fighting Style:

Basically there's 2 path here to take which mostly depend on your DM allowing animated shield or not.

First option is grabbing dueling for the +2 to dmg rolls as long as you have a shield and one weapon and at level 10 grabbing protection.

Second option is grabbing two weapon fighting allowing us to dual wield rapiers which let you add your ability modifier to your bonus attack and at level 10 grabbing protection (assuming you got animated shield this is optimal).

Third option is grabbing dueling and later on when you got animated shield grabbing two weapon fighting so you're still good at the beginning and still somewhat optimal but missing out on protection which is kinda cool for your teammates (allows you to give disadvantage against someone attacking a teammate that is within 5 feet of you).

Second Wind:

Free hp if you're struggling not all that useful but can come in handy i suppose.

Action Surge:

Literally doubles your damage or options.

Basically gives you 2 turn in 1 and at level 17 you can use it twice before resting although you cant use both in the same turn.


Lets us reroll saving throws that we fail (if you do so, you must use the new roll unspecified if you can use more then one in a row i would assume not)

can use it 3 time before resting at level 17.

Martial Archetypes:

We are going Champion here

Improved Critical:

Basically let us crit on 19-20.

Remarkable Athlete:

Starting at level 7 you can add half your proficiency bonus (round up) to any strength, dexterity or constitution check you make that does not already use your proficiency bonus

this is kinda cool since we are barbarian and fighter our dexterity checks do not really benefit of our proficiency bonus (which the feat resilient can adjust).

Additional Fighting Style:

Basically pick protection/dueling/two-weapon fighting depending on the prior choice.

Superior Critical:

Let us crit on 18-20 rolls.


Here I will lay out some options and some mandatory in my opinion (basically as long as you max out the needed stats pick as many feat as you see fit).


Shield Master: I believe if you have the animated shield this still works as it says " as if you were wielding it " in the description.

Lets you shove a creature within 5 feet of you with your shield as a bonus action (if you chose the attack action).

Lets you add your shield's AC bonus to any dexterity saving throw you make against a spell or other harmful effect that targets only you.

If you are subjected to an effect that allows you to make a dexterity saving throw to take only half damage, you can use your reaction to take no damage if you succeed on the saving throw blocking it with the shield.

Resilient: Since we cant add our complete proficiency to dexterity saving throws or wisdom (I am unsure if you can chose this feat more then once that will probably be up to your dm) basically we need it to maximize our defenses for dex or wis saving throws the 2 big saving throws in the game dex being physical dodge and wisdom usually mental.

+1 to any stats you chose to a maximum of 20 (str/dex/wis/int/cha).

You gain proficiency in saving throws using the chosen ability.

Dual Wielder: If you go two-weapon fighting.

Gain +1 AC when dual wielding.

You can use two-weapon fighting even if your weapons are not light (lets go double rapiers).

You can draw or stow two one handed weapon when you would usually only be able to do 1 at a time.

CrossBow Expert: If you chose ^ Dual Wielder and wanna go double hand crossbow (not that you could not use 2 rapiers + 2 hand crossbows but that's up to you)

You ignore the loading property.

Being withing 5 feet of a creature does not impose disadvantage on your attack rolls.

When you use the attack option with a one handed weapon can use a hand crossbow you are holding to attack as a bonus action.

Other options:

Tough: Gives us 40 hp lets us be tankier.

Sentinel: Lets you be a *** and lock down people against you possibly.

Mage Slayer: If you are dueling a caster and want to be a *** to casters in general.

Lucky: Gives you a lot of options to control how some situations turn out.

Defensive Duelist : Not a favorite as it use a reaction but in a 1v1 situation duel it is pretty handy.

Sharpshooter: If you chose to use a hand crossbow or to dual wield them along (dual wielder + crossbow expert)

Attacking at long range does not impose disadvantage on your ranged weapon attack rolls.

Your ranged weapon attacks ignore half cover and three-quarters cover.

Before you make an attack with a ranged weapon that you are proficient with you can choose to take a -5 penalty to the attack roll. If the attack hits, you add +10 to the attacks damage.


Now I am not gonna go into depth with magical weapon your DM will come up with but the basics which this build rely on.

You have to use finesse or light weapons in this aspect the rapier is the best option for us for melee you could also opt for a hand crossbow kinda mix or carry 2 of each if you are dual wielding and want extra options or a fucking whip if you wanna be edgy and cool (although for reach a hand crossbow will always be better then whip in general).

Again these ^ are non magical weapon if your DM chose to spoil you with anything better go for it.

Obviously animated shield really makes this build shine out in my opinion and is not that rare in the dungeon master item rarity.

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