All D&D 5E Ranger Class Changes (2024)

Prepare for the hunt with the Ranger in the latest Unearthed Arcana for Dungeons and Dragons.

Image via Wizards of the Coast

The newest Unearthed Arcana is out, and with it comes some changes and reworks for the tracker and explorer of the D&D world, the Ranger. The new Unearthed Arcana materials are part of the ongoing playtests ahead of the 2024 release of the new Core Rulebooks, and the Ranger has had some much-needed changes to make it a more exciting class to play.

With new feats, changes to multiple subclasses, and reworked classics, the Ranger looks to be getting some new combat capabilities and exciting choices, giving the class some much-needed love and attention.

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The D&D Ranger’s New Class Features & Powers

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The Ranger has received some new features that add to its combat capabilities, and also now has the Weapon Mastery that adds more dynamic gameplay in combat and with their weapons. They also have had a few changes from previous Unearthed Arcana’s to balance out their toolkit.

  • Weapon Mastery provides weapons with unique effects that are used in combat, with different weapons having different effects, giving Martial classes a bit more depth and weapons more nuance.
  • Conjure Barrage is a 9th-level feature that now gives the Ranger the Conjure Barrage spell and always has it prepared.
  • Conjure Volley is a 17th-level feature that works similarly to Conjure Barrage, giving players the Conjure Volley spell as well as always having it prepared.

How D&D Has Changed The Ranger’s Existing Powers

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The Ranger has seen several of its feats get a rework and its spellcasting, with Cantrips now out of the picture in favor of Weapon Mastery, and some of the staple Ranger features getting made better and more worthwhile tools for the class.

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  • Spellcasting has received three changes for the Ranger that are as follows:
    • Spell preparation is no longer tied to the level of Ranger’s spell slots.
    • Rangers can change one prepared spell when finishing a long rest.
    • Rangers no longer have cantrips as in previous playtests. Instead, they receive the Weapon Mastery feature.
  • Deft Explorer has replaced the Expertise feature seen in previous playtests. Now, Deft Explorer will include one Expertise choice and the ability to choose two terrains from arctic, coast, desert, forest, grassland, mountains, swamp, or the Underdark. Additionally, Rangers will now have Advantage on Nature checks on their chosen terrains and Advantage on Survival checks when tracking creatures in them.
  • Favored Enemy has been moved to 2nd level and no longer removes Concentration from Hunters Mark; instead, it allows the Ranger to cast the spell without expending a spell slot equal to your Wisdom modifier, and regain them on a Long Rest.
  • Nature’s Veil will no longer use spell slots, and has been moved to a 14th level feature.
  • Tireless now has the ability to give Temporary Hit Points as an action equal to 1d8 plus your Wisdom modifier, and you can use this action equal to your Wisdom modifier. You regain your uses after a Long Rest.
  • Feral Senses has returned to being an 18th-level feature.
  • Foe Slayer has been improved and returned to being a 20th-level feature and is no longer limited to being used once a turn.

How D&D Changed The Ranger Subclasses

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Image via Wizards of the Coast

The newest Unearthed Arcana has also seen some changes to several Ranger subclasses, including Beast Master, Gloom Stalker, and Hunter. These changes are as follows:

Beast Master: Primal Companion makes its return from Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything and becomes the focal point of the subclass and is unlocked at 3rd level. This allows the Ranger to summon a beast of land, sea, or sky to assist in combat, which shares your proficiency bonus and acts after your turn. Exceptional Training now allows you to command your beast to use its Bonus Action to take the Dash, Dodge, Disengage, or Help Action, and the beast’s attacks can deal force or normal damage. Lastly, Bestial Fury now allows our beast to benefit from the effect of Hunters Mark.

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Gloom Stalker: The Dread Ambusher feature will now allow Rangers to deal extra damage more often instead of only during the first round, and now can inflict the Frightened condition on enemies it damages. This can be done as many times as your Wisdom modifier and is refreshed on a Long Rest. Umbral Sight will now increase Ranger’s Darkvision range to 60 feet if they already have the feature. Stalkers Fury has been redesigned to enhance the effects of Dread Ambusher and now has extra effects you can apply. These being:

  • Sudden Strike – You can make another attack with the same weapon against a different creature that is within 5 feet of the original target and that is within the weapon’s range
  • Mass Fear – Each creature within 10 feet of the target must make a Wisdom saving throw against your Spell Save DC. On a failed save, a creature has the Frightened condition until the start of your next turn.

Shadowy Dodge will now allow you Rangers to teleport immediately after an attack misses, and the feature will now work against attacks that have Advantage.

Hunter: Hunter’s Prey has been reverted back a bit and now contains the three feature options from the 2014 rules. However, Giant Killer has been renamed to Retaliator and will now work on enemies of any size. Hunter’s Lore had been moved from 6th-level to 3rd-level. Defensive Tactics returns, but now contains Evasion, Uncanny Dodge, and a new option, Hunter’s Leap. Superior Hunter’s Prey has replaced multiattack at 11th-level and now lets you choose another option from the Hunter’s Prey options. Finally, the Superior Hunter’s Defense will let you choose an additional option from the Defensive Tactics options.

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With these changes, the Ranger looks to be a far more interesting class with better options for gameplay. Features like Tireless, Feral Sense, the reworked Deft Explorer, and the multi options in subclasses all make the Ranger a more diverse class that will now be able to hold its own in combat while also utilizing the more unique elements, like beasts and various tactics, to make them more engaging.