Drakewarden Ranger subclass — how to play in DnD 5E

Bond with dragonkind as a Drakewarden Ranger in 5E.

© Dice Cove

Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons (FToD) not only brings us a wide array of new dragons to fight heroically, it also brings us new player options, including this dragon-themed subclass for the Ranger.

A Drakewarden Ranger’s connection to nature is expressed as a draconic spirit, which can take physical form as a drake. As your power grows, you gain new abilities, additionally, your drake grows in size and power alongside you, and gains the power of flight, and eventually becomes strong enough for you to ride.

The following table is provided to help inspire you in deciding the origin of your draconic connection:

1You studied a dragon’s scale or claw, or a trinket from a dragon’s hoard, creating your bond through that token’s lingering draconic magic.
2A secret order of rangers who collect and guard draconic lore taught you their ways.
3A dragon gave you a geode or gemstone to care for. To your surprise, the drake hatched from that stone.
4You ingested a few drops of dragon blood, forever infusing your nature magic with draconic power
5An ancient Draconic inscription on a standing stone empowered you when you read it aloud.
6You had a vivid dream of a mysterious figure accompanied by seven yellow canaries, who warned you of impending doom. When you awoke, your drake was there, watching you.

When you choose this subclass you gain the following features:

Draconic Gift (3rd level)

Your bond with your draconic spirit grants you an understanding and empowered presence, you gain the following:

Thaumaturgy: You learn the Thaumaturgy cantrip, which is a Ranger spell for you.

Tongue of Dragons: You learn to speak, read, and write Draconic, or one other language of your choice.

Drake Companion (3rd level)

You can use an action to magically summon your drake, which appears in a space of your choice within 30 ft of you. The drake is friendly to you and your allies and obeys your commands. The stat block for the drake uses your character’s proficiency bonus (PB) in multiple places.

You determine the cosmetic appearance, such as its color, scale texture, or any visible effects from the element you have chosen for it, these choices have no mechanical impact.

In combat, the drake shares your initiative count but takes its turn immediately after you. The drake can move and use its reaction independently, but will only Dodge on its turn unless you use a bonus action on your turn to command it to take another action. It can take an action in its stat block, or any other action. If you are incapacitated, the drake can act independently and take any action on its turn–not just Dodge.

The drake remains until it’s reduced to 0 HP, until you summon the drake again, or until you die. When it vanishes, anything it was wearing or carrying is left behind.

You can summon the drake once per long rest unless you expend a spell slot of 1st level or higher to summon it again.

Bond of Fang and Scale (7th level)

The bond with your drake intensifies, when you summon the drake it gains one of the following benefits of your choice:

  • The drake gains a swim speed equal to its walking speed and can breathe both air and water.
  • The drake grows wings and gains a fly speed equal to your walking speed.

In addition, whilst your drake is summoned you both gain the following benefits:

Drake Mount: The drake’s size increases to Medium and you can use it as a mount, even if your size is medium. While you are riding your drake it can’t use the flying speed gained from this feature.

Magic Fang: The drake’s Bite now deals an additional 1d6 damage of the type chosen for the Draconic Essence trait.

Resistance: You gain resistance to the damage type chosen for the Draconic Essence Trait.

Drake’s Breath (11th level)

As an action, you or your drake can exhale a destructive breath in a 30 ft cone. Any creature within the cone must make a Dexterity saving throw against your spell save DC, or take 8d6 damage on a failed save, or half that amount. When you use this ability, you choose the damage type from the following: acid, cold, fire, lightning, or poison– and there’s no need to be the same damage type you chose for the drake’s Draconic Essence.

When you reach 15th level in this class, the damage increases to 10d6.

You can use this feature once per long rest, unless you expend a spell slot of 3rd level or higher to use it again.

Perfected Bond (15th level)

Whilst your drake is summoned, you and it gain the following benefits:

Empowered Bite: The drake’s Bite deals an additional 1d6 damage associated with its Draconic Essence, for a total of 2d6 additional damage.

Large Drake: The drake becomes large and it can now use the fly speed granted by Bond of Fang and Scale whilst riding it.

Reflexive Resistance: When you or the drake takes damage, whilst you are within 30 ft of each other, you can use your reaction to give yourself or the drake resistance to that instance of damage.

What do you think of this new draconic subclass for the Ranger? Does the drake steal the place in your heart the Beast Master’s companion held? If you’re interested in more dragon-themed options for your character then check out these draconic feats, or if you’re not sure what you’d like to play, check out our classes section. Until next, may your dice not fall off of the table, and good luck potty training your new drake.