by Delos

My Swordmage Fighter Subclass in D&D Next

By Jacob Zimmerman

Welcome back. This time around, I’ll be taking a small break from Fate to talk about D&D Next, since, as you’ve likely seen from Delos’ previous several posts, our group has started a D&D Next campaign recently. Also, the latest (and last, except for possibly an update for Druids) playtest packet just came out on Monday.

In this article, I’ll be showing you a possible Fighter subclass/build to create a Swordmage. It’s something I came up with, so it’s definitely not official. There’s another version of a Swordmage build, but for the Mage class at Danno’s Lair. At the bottom, I present how you can take this build and apply it to a few other classes for a slightly different feel.

I tried to have all the cool stuff from the 4E’s version, and I made it so you weren’t restricted just to swords. I will truly appreciate feedback on this. So, without any further ado, I present to you my Swordmage Fighter subclass.

Path of the Swordmage

Level Feature
3 Swordmage Magic
7 Attack Casting
10 Swordbond, Spell Proficiency
15 Natural Teleporter, Teleportation Defense
19 Battle Magic

Swordmage Magic

This reads a lot like the magic sections of the other classes. Here are the finer points:

  • Choose a class’s spell list – you can only learn spells from that list. Despite this being a swordMAGE, I think it’s better to open up all sorts of spell lists.
  • You must choose one school of magic (evocation, transmutation, etc); this is the only school of magic you’re able to learn through this class feature. Feats and Multiclassing can let you broaden your scope, but, within this class build, you can only learn spells from that school.
  • Your casting ability is the same as that for the class from which you took the spell list.
  • You know one cantrip and for other spells, you know a number of spells equal to 1 + ½ your Fighter level.
  • You do not get to add your proficiency bonus to your spell bonus for spell DCs or attack spells.
  • You have the same spells/day table as the Ranger class.
  • EDIT: You may only cast one spell per turn that has a casting time of one action

Attack Casting

At level 7, casting a spell that takes an action to cast counts as making attack for the sake of the Extra Attack feature.


At level 10 you gain the ability to bond with your weapon. By spending 1 hour of meditation with a chosen weapon you are proficient with, you forge a special bond with it. As a standard action, you can call your bonded weapon to your hand from up to 50 feet away.You can forge a bond with a different weapon using the same meditation process (for instance, if you acquire a new weapon that has magical abilities). If you forge a bond with a different weapon, the old bond dissipates.If your bonded weapon is broken or damaged,you can spend 1 hour of meditation to recreate the weapon from a fragment. (This process automatically destroys any other fragments of the weapon in existence,so you can’t use it to create multiple copies of a broken weapon.)

Spell Proficiency

Also at level 10, you can now add your proficiency bonus to your spell bonus EDIT: , provided that you’re wielding a weapon that you are bonded to.

Natural Teleporter

Starting at level 15, you have another movement type of Teleportation with the same distance as your normal movement speed. With teleportation, you can travel to any point that you can see within your movement range without provoking opportunity attacks. You may teleport any number of times during your turn until you’ve used up your entire movement amount.

Teleportation Defense

Also at level 15, as a reaction, if an ally you can see is hit by an attacker you can see, you can teleport to be adjacent to your ally or the attacker (or both, if possible), and you can either add your proficiency bonus to the ally’s AC for defending against the triggering attack or you can make an attack against the attacker.

Battle Magic

You gain this at level 29. This is the same as the Bard’s Battle Magic feature; as a swift action, you can cast any spell that normally takes an action to cast.

Swordmage-ish Options for Other Classes

Paladin’s Oath of the Sword

Level Feature
3 Attack Casting*
8 Swordbond, Spell Proficiency (Paladins and Rangers don’t get it naturally!)
13 Natural Teleporter
15 Teleportation Defense**

*I haven’t picked any oath spells – suggestions?
**I’ve considered moving this up to level 18 and giving this Battle Magic – thoughts?

Barbarian’s Path of Shaman Warrior

Level Feature
3 Swordmage Magic (possibly restricted to the Druid spell list)
6 Attack Casting (also applies for raging, determining if you’ve attacked during the rage and makes it so you can cast while raging.
10 Swordbond, Spell Proficiency
14 Natural Teleporter, Teleportation Defense

Rogue’s Street Magician

Level Feature
3 Swordmage Magic
6 Cunning Casting*
9 Swordbond, Spell Proficiency
13 Natural Teleporter**
16 Battle Magic

*Rogues don’t get an Extra Attack (WHAT!?). Cunning Casting allows you to cast a spell for your Cunning Action
**Teleportation Defense just doesn’t sound like something a Rogue would have…


Let me know in the comments what you think; I’m really interested in feedback. If the suggestions are good enough and require a significant change, I’ll do an update post later.


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