top of page
  • Writer's pictureArbitrary 20

The Hit and Run Duelist | Unique Melee Build Guide for D&D 5e

Original Video:

*This article is an edited version of the script for this video


Variant Human, Custom Lineage could work as well but I would rather have the 2 +1s over the +2.

Feat: Polearm Master


I know most of you will probably not be able to use them but I feel like I always have to mention the Strixhaven and Dragonlance backgrounds because they’re so good. If you are playing in one of those settings or have a nice DM, these backgrounds are a really good pick.

Ability Scores(point buy):

Str: 13

Dex: 13(+1)

Con: 14

Int: 8

Wis: 9

Cha: 15(+1)

Ability Score Priorities(if rolling):

#1: Cha

#2: Con

#3: Dex

#4: Str

Ideal Equipment:


-Rapier(Level 11+)

-Half Plate

-Shield(Levels 1-10)

-Longbow and/or Daggers(for when you get stuck at range)

Level 1: Warlock 1

-Otherworldly Patron: Hexblade

—Hex Warrior: Medium Armor, Shields, and can attack using Cha on one weapon.

—Hexblade’s Curse: Nice single target damage boost.

-Spells: Armor of Agathys, Shield

Levels 2-8: Paladin 1-7

-Spells: Bless, Command, Aid, Find Steed

-Divine Smite: Usually just save this for crits unless you really need the extra damage

-Fighting Style: Dueling

-Sacred Oath: Oath of Vengeance

—Hunter’s Mark, Misty Step, and Hold Person will all be useful in various situations.

—Vow of Enmity: Another nice single target damage boost

—Relentless Avenger: One of the key features of the build, especially once we reach level 11. I’ll explain the tactics then.

-ASI or Feat: Sentinel

-Extra Attack

-Aura of Protection, one of the best defensive features in the game.

Levels 9-11: Rogue 1-3

-Sneak Attack: With consistent reaction attacks, we should be able to get this twice on most rounds.

-Expertise: Athletics or Acrobatics to avoid grapples. Pick whatever you’d like for the 2nd choice.

-Cunning Action: Dash and Disengage will both be useful for getting in and out of melee

-Roguish Archetype: Swashbuckler

—Fancy Footwork: Free Disengage against a creature when we make a melee attack against them.

—Rakish Audacity: Another way to use Sneak Attack and we can add our Cha to our Initiative rolls.


Run up to an enemy, preferably one that does melee attacks. If you’d like you can use a bonus action to use something like Hunter’s Mark, Vow of Enmity, or Hexblade’s Curse. Make two attacks with your Rapier, which will now be your Hex Weapon instead of the Quarterstaff. Apply Sneak Attack on your first attack that hits if any then use Fancy Footwork to move 5-10 ft away from the enemy, pull out your Quarterstaff in your off-hand, and if your GM allows you can try to taunt them as well. On their turn if they run up to you, you can make an opportunity attack against them using Polearm Master since your holding a Quarterstaff but you’ll make the attack with your Rapier. If you hit you can apply Sneak Attack again and use the Sentinel feat to make their speed 0. Then you can use Relentless Avenger to move half your speed away from them. Ideally this will waste their entire turn and leave them a sitting duck in the middle of the battlefield. This will be our strategy for the rest of this characters career.

DPR Vs 18 AC at Level 11 (1st Level Smite on Crits)

No Advantage: 26.25

With Advantage: 39.8

Hunter's Mark: 32.03

Hexblade's Curse: 36.5

Levels 12-20: Rogue 4-12

-4 ASIs or Feats:

—Fey Touched: +1 Cha, Gift of Alacrity or Silvery Barbs

—Telekinetic: +1 Cha, can potentially get an enemy in or out of melee

—+2 Cha to get to 20

—Alert or Lucky

-Uncanny Dodge and Evasion: Nice defensive boosts.

-Panache: Decent feature for both combat and roleplay situations. It’s nice that its a check and not a save so Legendary Resistance is not an issue.

-Reliable Talent: Nice utility feature.

DPR Vs 20 AC at Level 20 (1st Level Smite on Crits)

No Advantage: 55.64

With Advantage: 76.41

Hunter's Mark: 62.46

Hexblade's Curse: 72.33

Like what you see here? Consider supporting us on Patreon, You'll receive early access to guides like this one and each month we release a D&D 5e homebrew pack containing:

-A subclass

-A magic item, 2 different kinds of printable cards are provided

-A feat

-A spell, a printable handout is provided

-A wild card, which is additional homebrew content we make each month that could be just about anything. An additional subclass, an adventure, etc.

-You'll get access to all the previous homebrew packs as well. Currently, this is 90+ pages of content at the highest tier.

We hope you'll consider supporting but regardless we appreciate you reading this guide and/or watching the video on it and hope you found it helpful!

190 views0 comments


bottom of page