Which Rogue subclass should you pick? (DnD 5E)

A rogue is just a dual-wielding thief, aren’t they? How do they really vary? 

D&D 5E has many sub-classes to choose from, spanning several core books. Here are some quick summaries of each subclass, which will give a bit of insight to the theme, generalized game mechanics, and the likely play style to expect. This list isn’t the way you are expected to play the subclass, but my own interpretation of what the subclass archetype is trying to be. Your interpretation may differ, and if it does, please share how!

Akali (League of Legends)

Assassin (PHB)

Theme: Slinking in the shadows, waiting to ambush, and dealing death without even being seen.

Game Mechanics: Skilled with poison, disguise, and dealing damage at the start of combat.

Play-style: You know when to initiate combat, and when to hide if you can’t.

Robin Hood (English Folklore)

Thief (PHB)

Theme: The prototypical purloiner of other people’s property.

Game Mechanics: More bonus actions, like sleight of hand during combat, and better climbing speed.

Play-style: You like to be crafty with various items and objects, even if they’re not yours.

Vin (Mistborn)
Art by Manuel Veloz Aguilar

Arcane Trickster (PHB)

Theme: A magic wielding thief with a penchant for fiddling with things from afar.

Game Mechanics: Limited spell access, with a telekinetic focus (mage hand). Check our article for the Best Rogue Spells to see what they can do.

Play-style: You like to interact with the things around you, and poke at danger, all from a safe distance.

Tyrion Lannister (A Song of Ice and Fire / Game of Thrones)

Mastermind (Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide, Xanathar’s Guide to Everything)

Theme: A leader in combat who no one saw coming.

Game Mechanics: Help allies do additional actions, disguise skill, and insight to enemy stats.

Play-style: You’re quick to find enemy weakness and can rally allies to take advantage of your knowledge.

Dread Pirate Roberts (Princess Bride)

Swashbuckler (Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide, Xanathar’s Guide to Everything)

Theme: Dealing damage while moving all over the battle map, taunting while you run around.

Game Mechanics: Deal damage, and then disengage without penalty. Also some tank abilities!

Play-style: You hit, and then quickly run out of range. You like the chase, and and know that you can’t be caught.

Nancy Drew (Nancy Drew Mystery Stories)

Inquisitive (Xanathar’s Guide to Everything)

Theme: Incredibly perceptive, with an eye for weakness, treasure, and illusions.

Game Mechanics: Focus on perception abilities, coupled with insightful sneak attacks.

Play-style: You seek out truth, and use that knowledge to your own personal gains, or the defeat of your enemies.

Daryl Dixon (The Walking Dead)

Scout (Xanathar’s Guide to Everything)

Theme: Like the druid, the scout enjoys being wild and untouched. Also known as The Loner Rogue.

Game Mechanics: Moves in response to enemies, and skilled in natural survival.

Play-style: You like being self-sufficient, and you work well without supervision.

One Reply to “Which Rogue subclass should you pick? (DnD 5E)”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.