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“You’ll have to deal with me first, dragon!”[PH:75]

Fighter is a martial defender class in Dungeons & Dragons 4th Edition introduced in the original Player's Handbook.[PH:75][Dr398:CCW1]

Class Traits

Fighter overview

Characteristics: You are extremely tough, with a great Armor Class and lots of hit points. You have extraordinary resilience against physical attack. You don’t have much ability to fight at range, but you excel in melee combat. You have special abilities that make it dangerous for enemies to ignore you, so you can contain foes and keep them away from your friends.

Religion: Fighters naturally favor deities of war, combat, adventure, or valor. Bahamut and Kord are popular, as is Avandra. Many unaligned or evil fighters pay homage to Bane, the god of war.

Races: Fighters come from all races. Dragonborn, dwarves, and humans are the most common fighters.

Class Features


From the class skills list below, choose three trained skills at 1st level.

Combat Challenge

In combat, it's dangerous to ignore a fighter. Every time you attack an enemy, whether the attack hits or misses, you can choose to mark that target.

  • The mark lasts until the end of your next turn.
  • While a target is marked, it takes a −minor penalty to attack rolls for any attack that doesn’t include you as a target.
  • A creature can be subject to only one mark at a time. A new mark supersedes a mark that was already in place.
  • When a marked enemy is adjacent to the fighter who marked it, and shifts or makes an attack that does not include the fighter who marked it as a target, the fighter who marked it can make a melee basic attack against it as an immediate interrupt action.[U :6/2008]
  • Note: The basic attack granted by Combat Challenge is not an opportunity attack. The PHB contains some errors (such as the Potent Challenge feat's summary wording on page 197) which mix the two up and create confusion, but WOTC has confirmed that Combat Challenge is not an opportunity attack.

Combat Superiority

Fighters are especially vicious with opportunity attacks.

  • You gain a bonus to opportunity attacks equal to your Wisdom modifier.
  • An enemy struck by your opportunity attack stops moving, if a move provoked the attack. If it still has actions remaining, it can use them to resume moving.

Combat Agility

Fighters who select the Combat Agility class feature instead of Combat Superiority gain combat agility as an at-will power which can be used in place of an opportunity attack.[MP2:6]

Fighter Talents

Fighters can have one of the following talents.

Fighter Weapon Talent

A fighter who selects the Fighter Weapon Talent class feature chooses either one-handed or two-handed weapons. The fighter gains a minor bonus to weapon attack rolls with the chosen type of weapon.[PH:76][Dr398:CCW5]

A human fighter with this class feature can take the Versatile Talent feat to gain this class feature's benefits for both one-handed and two-handed weapons.[MP2:140]

Battlerager Vigor

A fighter who selects the Battlerager Vigor class feature instead of Fighter Weapon Talent gains temporary hit points equal to his or her Constitution modifier whenever the fighter hits an enemy with a close or melee attack, in addition to temporary hit points normally granted by the power (Originally temporary hit points were gained whenever an enemy hits the fighter with a close or melee attack[MP:6]). Additionally, if the fighter misses every target with an invigorating power, the fighter gains temporary hit points equal to the Constitution modifier.[MP:6] The fighter gains these temporary hit points after the attack resolves.[U :12/2009]

Temporary hit points from Battlerager Vigor do not stack with any temporary hit points the fighter already has.[U :7/2009] Originally, Battlerager Vigor temporary hit points stacked, but the July 2009 update removed the stacking to curtail excessive temporary hit point gains.[U :12/2009]

While wearing light armor or chainmail and having any temporary hit points, the fighter gains a minor bonus to damage rolls with melee or close weapon attacks, or a minor bonus to damage rolls if using an axe, hammer, mace, or pick.[MP:6]

Tempest Technique

A fighter who selects the Tempest Technique class feature instead of Fighter Weapon Talent gains Two-Weapon Defense as a bonus feat, regardless of prerequisites. While wielding two melee weapons, the fighter gains a minor bonus to attack rolls with off-hand property weapons. While wearing light armor or chainmail and wielding two weapons, the fighter gains a minor bonus to damage rolls with melee or close weapon attacks, or a minor bonus to damage rolls if using an off-hand property weapon.[MP:7]

Brawler Style

A fighter who selects the Brawler Style class feature instead of Fighter Weapon Talent, while wielding a weapon in the primary hand and having the off hand free or grabbing a creature, gains a minor bonus to AC and another type of minor bonus to Fortitude.

The fighter also gains a minor enhancement bonus to unarmed attacks. This enhancement bonus also applies to grab attacks, and attacks to move a grabbed creature. [U] [MP2:6]

Errata has removed text excluding spiked gauntlet from this bonus.

Arena Training

Arena training allows you to treat all weapons which you are not proficient as improvised weapons. You then get a minor proficiency bonus to attack with improvised weapons. Your attacks with one-handed improvised weapons deal 1d8 damage, and two-handed improvised weapons deal 1d10 damage. [DSCS:86]

When not wearing heavy armor, you get a minor bonus to AC. This bonus increases by the same amount at level 11 and level 21.

You select two weapons as arena weapons. You gain proficiency with these weapons. Any of your feats that grant feat bonuses to attack rolls or damage rolls with one of your arena weapons apply to your other arena weapon as well.

Fighter powers

Fighter powers, having a martial power source, are also called exploits.

At-will attack exploits

1st level

Encounter attack exploits Daily attack exploits Utility exploits

1st level

1st level

2nd level

3rd level 5th level 6th level
7th level 9th level 10th level
13th level 15th level 16th level
17th level 19th level 22nd level
23rd level 25th level
27th level 29th level
Two-handed melee weapon requirement or rider
Free off hand or grabbed target requirement (brawling style)
Invigorating keyword or axe/hammer/mace rider (battlerager style)
Axe rider
Flail rider
Heavy blade requirement or rider
Light blade requirement or rider
Mace or Hammer requirement or rider
Polearm requirement or rider
Shield requirement or rider
Spear requirement or rider
Two melee weapons requirement (tempest style)
Other weapon requirement or rider
Constitution based effect
Dexterity based effect
Wisdom based effect

Fighter feats

These feats have the fighter class, or hybrid/multiclass fighter, as a prerequisite. Additional prerequisites are noted. For example, characters who multiclass into fighter do not necessarily gain the Combat Challenge feature, so may not qualify for feats requiring that feature.

Heroic Tier Feats

Paragon Tier feats

Fighter paragon paths

Refer to the Fighter section in the Paragon Path page or the Fighter Paragon Paths category.

Multiclass fighters

Characters who did not start as fighters and who do not already have a multiclass feat of a type other than multiclass fighter may multiclass as fighters by taking one of the following entry feats.

Fighter entry feat Prerequisites Benefits
Battle Awareness [MP:196] Str 13
Wis 13
Once per encounter, the character can make a melee basic attack as an immediate interrupt against an adjacent enemy that shifts or makes an attack that does not target the character.
Brawling Warrior [MP2:146] Str 13 or Wis 13 Once per encounter, while wielding a weapon in one hand and having the other hand free, the character can take a free action during his or her own turn either to gain a +1 bonus to an attack roll the character just made, or to gain a +1 bonus to AC until the start of his or her next turn.
Cyclone Warrior [MP2:146] Str 13 or Dex 13 Once per encounter, while wearing light armor or chainmail and wielding a weapon in each hand, the character can take a free action during his or her own turn to gain a +1 per tier bonus to melee or close attack damage rolls until the end of the turn.
Student of the Sword [PH:208] Str 13 The character chooses either one-handed or two-handed melee weapons when gaining this feat.

Once per encounter, the character can take a free action to gain a +1 bonus to his or her next attack roll with the chosen weapon type. Hit or miss, that attack marks its target until the end of the character's next turn.

Wrathful Warrior [MP2:146] Str 13 or Con 13 Once per encounter, the character can gain temporary hit points equal to his or her Constitution modifier when hit by a melee or close attack.

In addition, each fighter entry feat grants all of the following benefits:

  • The character counts as a fighter, in addition to his or her original class, for the purpose of meeting prerequisites for feats, paragon paths, etc.
  • The character gains training in one skill of his or her choice from the fighter class skill list: Athletics, Endurance, Heal, Intimidate, or Streetwise.
  • The character may take Novice Power, Acolyte Power, and Adept Power feats to exchange powers for fighter powers.
  • If the character takes a multiclass encounter, a multiclass utility, and a multiclass daily feat (such as Novice, Acolyte, and Adept Power), the character can paragon multiclass in fighter instead of taking a paragon path. Paragon multiclassed fighters select additional fighter powers instead of paragon path powers, and may take the Agile Brawler[MP2:145] feat to gain the Combat Agility fighter class feature.

Hybrid fighters

A character may be created as a hybrid of fighter and another class other than fighter. The hybrid fighter bonus to defense is +1 Fortitude. The hybrid's fighter class feature is Combat Challenge (hybrid), which is the same as Combat Challenge except that it can only mark enemies attacked using fighter class powers or fighter paragon path powers.

When a hybrid fighter gains the Hybrid Talent feat, he or she chooses one hybrid talent option from either of his or her hybrid classes. The fighter hybrid talent options are:

Combat Specialty
The hybrid fighter gains one of the following fighter class features: Combat Agility, or Combat Superiority.
Fighter Armor Proficiency
The hybrid fighter gains armor proficiency with leather armor, hide armor, chainmail, scale armor, light shields, and heavy shields.
Fighter Combat Talent
The hybrid fighter gains one of the following fighter class features: Battlerager Vigor (hybrid), Brawler Style, Fighter Weapon Talent, or Tempest Technique. Battlerager Vigor (hybrid) is the same as Battlerager Vigor except that the bonus to damage rolls isn't gained if the hybrid fighter is wearing light armor or chainmail.[PH3:144]


A fighter can use the rules for the original fighter class (weaponmaster) or one of the other subclasses.


Main article: Weaponmaster

Weaponmaster is the subclass of fighter introduced in the Player's Handbook. Weaponmasters are pure defenders.[PH:75]

The "Class Compendium: Weaponmaster" article in Dragon #398 redefined the original fighter class as the weaponmaster subclass, and in the process, made a few changes. Consequently, Wizards of the Coast made the article available to download without a subscription, as an update to the original fighter class.[Dr398:CCW1]


Main article: Knight

Knight is a subclass of fighter introduced in Heroes of the Fallen Lands. Knights are pure defenders.[HotFL:123]


Main article: Slayer

Slayer is a subclass of fighter introduced in Heroes of the Fallen Lands. Slayers are both strikers and defenders.[HotFL:146]

Character optimization


  • Battlerager Vigor received changes to prevent excessive temporary hit points and therefore ignore all standard monster and minion attacks. Previously, it granted temporary hit points whenever the enemy hit with a melee or close attack, and a cumulative increase in temporary hit points when attacking with an invigorating keyword. Additionally, the temporary hit points are assigned only after the attack, preventing the character from gaining both benefits at the same time.
  • Brawler style received updates:
    • The minor bonus to AC and the other minor bonus to Fortitude apply when grabbing a creature
    • The Proficiency bonus with unarmed attacks was changed to an enhancement bonus [to prevent excessive bonuses from multiple sources].
    • Text excluding spiked gauntlets from the bonus was removed.


A dwarven fighter

Fighter is one of the oldest classes in Dungeons & Dragons as it was in the original version of the game. Each edition has a Fighter class option, but the approach in doing so has changed over the editions. In 4th Edition, the fighter is similar to its 3rd Edition counterpart with a lack of main features to focus on building a unique one from the options given.

Suggested Builds

Great Weapon Fighter

You’re interested in dealing out the most damage you can. You prefer big two-handed weapons such as the greatsword or greataxe. You’re more interested in fighting hard than fighting smart. Your best ability score is definitely Strength. A good Constitution improves your ability to use high damage weapons, such as axes and hammers. Plus, extra hit points always help.[PH:76]

Feat Power Attack (Human feat:

Action Surge)[PH:76]

Skills Athletics, Endurance, Intimidate
At-Will Powers cleave[PH:76], reaping strike[PH:76]
Encounter Power sprinting sweep[PH:76]
Daily Power brute strike[PH:76]

Guardian Fighter

To fight better, you fight smarter. You’re willing to trade offense for superior defenses and better ability to control the battlefield around you. You fight with a heavy shield and a good one-handed weapon, such as a longsword, f lail, or battleaxe. Like the great weapon fighter, you make Strength your best ability score. After that, prioritize your Dexterity to take advantage of weapons that can be improved by , or your Wisdom to make the most of the combat superiority class feature. You’re hard to hurt and hard to move away from.[PH:76]

Feat Weapon Focus (Human feat:

Human Perseverance)[PH:76]

Skills Heal, Intimidate, Streetwise
At-Will Powers sure strike[PH:76], tide of iron[PH:76]
Encounter Power covering attack[PH:76]
Daily Power comeback strike[PH:76]

See also


External Links