witch and cat apothecary

My Seven Favorite New Subclasses from Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything: D&D 5e

Featured art “Apothecary Witch” by IrenHorrors. Creative Commons License.
This article contains affiliate links that add gold to our coffers.

I’ve been thinking for months about the fresh subclasses given to players from Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything. Seven subclasses stand out to me as potential concepts for my next D&D 5e character. I’ll share my thoughts for each subclass to explain why it sounds so fun.

To be clear, this is not a list of the best or most powerful subclasses in TCoE, just my favorites. The power creep is real in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything. Several new subclasses, especially Cleric Domains, are incredibly powerful. However, being powerful doesn’t make them tempting to play.

I want to share my seven favorite subclasses from Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything. Remember, comment at the bottom of this article to tell me which subclasses you prefer. I am not considering subclasses that are reprints from previous books for my list.

Here are my seven favorites in alphabetical order by class:

My Favorite Subclasses in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything!

  • Path of the Beast Barbarian
  • Psi Warrior Fighter
  • Way of Mercy Monk
  • Swarmkeeper Ranger
  • Phantom Rogue
  • Genie Warlock
  • Order of Scribes Wizard

I’ll expound below on why I like each of these subclasses.

Path of the Beast Barbarian

Customization is king to me, though I beware of the illusion of choice with some D&D character concepts. The Beast offers the customization of viable choices that I seek. Describing the types of mutations you gain offers much potential for interesting visual descriptions. Artists will enjoy the character art they can churn out for a Beast Barbarian.

Form of the Beast will have varied utility depending on a given situation. The tail is probably the most useful, followed by claws, then bite. Claws are great for adding to action economy. Tail is a defensively credible option for your reaction each round. Bite will be more useful if your party deals non-lethal damage to foes so you can feast afterward (brutal).

Passive abilities are useful to have since they don’t crowd your action economy. Bestial Soul offers several beast-like features to passively adopt into your form, and they can change after resting. These mutations mimic several useful spells, some of which would normally require concentration.

The suggested origins for a character of the beast’s path are useful. You can have heaps of fun with a beastly Barbarian’s origins and self-discoveries during your game. DMs can easily work in your backstory by leaning on this subclass, almost like the add-water backstory effect of Warlocks that DMs enjoy.

This subclass is easily visualized and its mechanics are sound. This Barbarian is truly a beast! I want to play as one.

Psi Warrior Fighter

Both Fighters in TCoE are viable and interesting, but the Psi Warrior calls my name. Wizards of the Coast had an opportunity to finally publish viable, balanced psionic subclasses, and they delivered. I was worried about the mechanics of the Psionic Energy dice. I’m pleased that WotC designed this subclass well, and that the Psionic Energy dice utilize Intelligence modifiers for greater consistency.

Each feature of this subclass sings with its theme. I can easily visualize everything about the Psi Warrior. Visualization is important to me, if you can’t tell. Psychic powers grow for this Fighter, making level ups exciting.

There are several mechanics to the Psi Warrior that I believe are designed just right. The design strikes a balance well between avoidance of game-breaking potential and mechanically remaining a strong archetype. I’ll be playing a Psi Warrior one day, either as a main class or a multiclass.

Way of Mercy Monk

This is the first Monk subclass that deals with the Ki shortage issue. The mask is a fun flavor for the subclass, and the herbalist kit proficiency makes sense. I know players have been mocking the Mercy Monk’s mask because it doesn’t do anything, but there are many details of D&D that mechanically do nothing while encouraging narration and roleplay potential. As I mentioned before, visuals are important to me, too. I hope we get heaps of Mercy Monk concept art in the next few years as more people play it.

The healing and harming abilities are viable! I want Monks to have more healing options, and this delivers. Again, the Ki shortage is addressed as you level up, enabling more usage for the features you pick this subclass for.

I always say that I like subclasses who utilize fringe game mechanics. The Poisoned condition doesn’t come up often for player characters to use. The Way of Mercy Monk can wow other players with its ability to automatically poison creatures.

Whether I play this Mercy Monk like a witchdoctor, plague doctor, or conflicted monk, I plan to have a good time.

Swarmkeeper Ranger

The first thing I noticed about this subclass is that it’s really easy to alter and customize the nature of the swarm you keep. I wrote an article about how the swarm could be sand to emulate the Naruto character, Gaara, for example. The book itself gives suggestions for what kind of swarm you can play with.

You can also become an airborne Ranger with no concentration required. The flying speed is languid, but a Ranger doesn’t need to move much. You can remain out of reach and rain arrows and swarmy bits down on short-ranged enemies.

The abilities are good, the theme is strong, and the subclass’s actively visual nature rings true to me. It’s time for the Rangers to make a comeback!

Phantom Rogue

I love Rogues, but their subclasses are often found wanting. The Phantom Rogue is so unique to the already-cool Rogue class. The artwork for the phantom looks brilliant, too.

It sounds fun to be constantly trapping souls in trinkets to aid ability checks, gain information, and fuel offensive maneuvers. Tokens of the Departed can be unreliable for gaining information since spirits are not obligated to be truthful. Still, I believe many recently-departed spirits will have unfinished business that I can help them with if they cooperate. These spirits trapped in tokens remind me of the Soul Cage spell.

I like the versatility of the Whispers of the Dead feature, allowing me to swap out skill proficiencies while resting. Wails from the Grave scales well, and it introduces a new Rogue mechanic to be mindful of as Sneak Attack can affect a second target.

Ghost Walk is incredible. It’s a Rogue that can walk through walls! Tokens of the Departed can allow you to use Ghost Walk multiple times instead of long resting. The way the tokens fuel the Phantom Rogue’s abilities makes me think moral dilemmas are bound to arise where the Phantom must choose between getting caught and the life of a collateral creature.

Death’s Friend will gift trinkets each long rest, allowing the Phantom to avoid moral dilemmas later when trying to repeatedly use its features. The extra Sneak Attack damage to a primary target is clutch, too. It’s like a soft critical hit when dealing more damage with Death’s Friend at high levels.

Overall, the Phantom is a little slow to get going, but it breaks the Rogue subclass mold by scaling really well. I could have fun playing a Phantom Rogue to level twenty if I wanted to be a purist with no multiclassing.

Genie Warlock

I’m a huge fan of the Bag of Holding, and this subclass comes with one that I can live in (perfect). The Genie’s Vessel will be fun to invent for my character’s unique style. The Genie’s Wrath ability for a slight damage boost is also nice.

The expanded spell lists are interesting and welcome. I love subclasses that have genres within them, multiplying the options available to a D&D 5e player. The Genie Warlock spells are mostly good, too. The stand-out spell, though, is Wish. A high-level Genie Warlock can cast any spell using Wish while ignoring material components. *Owen Wilson “Wooow”*

Speaking of wishes, you gain a Limited Wish for lower level spells. Sure, you’ll probably need to rest a few times before you can use Limited Wish again, but the point is that you’ll be glad you have your wee wish when the need is dire. Make sure you know lots of spells though!

Flight is a big selling point for the Genie Warlock. Hovering without concentration is commonly useful. Many enemies won’t have a way to ground you once you’re airborne, allowing you rain Eldritch Blasts or whatever you like upon the chumps you’re combating.

Noble Genies make excellent patrons, too. Patrons often act as double-edged swords for DMs to mess with players, and genies are perfect for that. Embrace the art of the twisted wish/pact when you bargain with genies! You ain’t never had a friend like them…

Order of Scribes Wizard

Spell scrolls could be used much more in D&D 5e. The Scribe Wizard is the subclass I’ve waited for that utilizes scrolls more than any other class. Any subclass that enhances the playability and fun of a fringe game mechanic is worth playing, to me.

The roleplaying potential of the manifested mind of the Scribe Wizard’s spellbook is vast. I’d love to create a personality for my spellbook to compliment my character and my character’s familiar. The manifestation is useful beyond roleplaying, too.

I also want to use the colorful quill that couples with the spellbook. It sounds amusing to have a versatile writing tool that can change colors and erase with a swipe. I plan to get a lot of use from my Wizardly Quill, just like when I was a kid in grade school sharpening pencils down to their erasers.

I’ll gladly school my enemies with my book-smart Scribe Wizard.


Which subclasses in TCoE stand out to you? Which ones have you tried? Let me know your thoughts and experiences in the comments.

If you enjoy musing about subclasses in D&D 5e, you may enjoy this other content. We have plenty of articles for you to enjoy, so we hope you’ll stick around Flutes Loot and engage with our growing community.

Take care, and happy adventuring to you!

4 thoughts on “<b>My Seven Favorite New Subclasses from Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything</b>: D&D 5e”

  1. I am a huge fan of nearly all the new subclasses. I think they add so much flavor and versatility to the classes that has been lacking. I just created a Satyr, Genie Warlock in a pick up game that me and some buddies are rotating as GM in. It has been a ton of fun. My vessel is a ring that I wear. He also has a ring of spell storing…you guessed it…double pinkie rings.

    I realized the other day when I got grappled by some nasty shadowfell creature and he had his claws dug into me that I could insta escape it by just entering my vessel. So that was a fun realization.

    Anyway. I’m having a blast with Eggsy and I can’t wait to get to try out another of the new subclasses as well.

    Thanks for all the articles!

    1. Hi Ian,
      Good to hear from you again! It has been a while. 🙂
      I hadn’t considered how well the Genie Warlock can escape with the vessel. That’s a smart idea! And I agree that many of the TCoE subclasses are packed with potential. I always enjoy getting new play material in this way.

  2. Ouch. You just abandoned my favourite new subclass – who can not love a subclass that lets you hurl exploding flumphs at random? Anyway, I suspect the Wild Magic Barbarian will be popular with lots of players who don’t really care about optimsation as the random yet very fun nature of the Wild Surge table. Plus Bolstering Magic is a rare opportunity for the Barbarian to do some support work for the party (though most barbarian players probably aren’t going to pick a barbarian because they want to play a support character).

    1. Hi Stephany. I’m not a stranger to less-optimal character concepts if they’re fun, but the gimmick of this subclass doesn’t appeal to me. I actually think it’s not ‘wild’ enough, and many of its abilities focus on becoming *less* wild. I can enjoy randomness when it’s fun, which is why I play this game of dice rolls! I feel like people playing the Wild Magic Barbarian will enjoy it for a short time. I wouldn’t play it long-term. I have no doubt that many people this subclass; wild magic tends to inspire polarized opinions of devotion or revulsion, haha.
      I like the support aspect of the Wild Magic Barbarian, which is unique. When this subclass was in UA, I was really excited about the ability to help allies regain spell slots. Unfortunately, they nerfed it in the official publishing to the point that it doesn’t excite me anymore.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Scroll to Top