The Blood Hunter is a man changed by tragedy, who has been driven to the extreme fringe of societial kindness as to alter himself to become a monster who will hunt monsters. Geralt of Rivia from the popular video game and TV Series The Witcher is the perfect example of a Blood Hunter. A ruthless and single-minded individual whose sole purpose is to root out those they consider to be monsters and destroy them. Blood Hunters are powerful martial combatants who are proficient in the weirding ways of blood magic, a unique and powerful form of sorcery.
Follow this guide to discover how to best optimize the skills, weapons, features, and abilities for a D&D 5e Blood Hunter class character build. While the options presented here may be the optimal build for a blood hunter (in my opinion), the beauty of D&D character creation is that the only limit is your imagination so feel free to build your character whichever way you want to.
The guide that follows uses a color-coding system to rank the abilities granted.
Blue = An essential, class-defining ability you would be remiss to overlook.
Green = A strong choice for your class.
Orange = Average option, useful in specific circumstances
Red = Below average, extremely situational, or otherwise just bad.
All features and abilities for the blood hunter class are from the core rulebook set (Player’s Handbook, Monster Manual, and Dungeon Master’s Guide). Those from other sources are attributed.
Blood Hunters are a ranger or fighter equivalent. They have the ability to be a primary melee or ranged attacker. They have quite a few tricks up their sleeves by using their blood magic to enhance themselves and debuff their enemies. Blood Hunters pair very well with armored healers like Clerics and Paladins who can provide positioning support in melee combat, or a bulwark in front of a ranged battery. Blood Hunters can choose a subclass that provides them powerful melee striking abilities, weird enhancement, or limited magic.
- Tanky. The Blood Hunter has d10 hit die, which is perfect for a melee-centered character. Their proficiency with Medium armor grants them a decent AC as well.
- Versatile. The Blood Hunter gets proficiency with Martial weapons, a decent selection of skills and tools, and limited magic, allowing them to support any specialized character, or function solo when required.
- Independent. The Blood Hunter has a wide array of tools at their disposal, and can function as a solo adventurer with the right build.
- Magic. The Blood Hunter has access to only a limited number of spells and magical abilities, making them vulnerable to full casters.
- Generalist. Like a Ranger, the Blood Hunter lacks any true specialty. This can be a detriment without a specialist in any one area to back them up for a test that requires full focus on one aspect of play.
Strength: For a melee-weapon build, Strength is King. However, you get plenty of reasons to build around Dexterity instead.
Dexterity: If you’re going light armor and either archery or finesse/light weapons, you need to max out your Dexterity. This increases both your offense and defense.
Constitution: Any melee character needs good hit points, and you’re going to use them as currency so best to have a lot of them.
Intelligence: Your “magic” is based in Intelligence, so don’t sleep on this.
Wisdom: You need wisdom for your tracking skills.
Greyhawk and Forgotten Realms Races
AarakocraEEPC: Dexterity boost and flight, which is the most powerful movement feature in the game.
AasimarVGtM: None of the Aasimar races provide a good base for a Blood Hunter.
Fallen: Poor ability spread.
Protector: Poor ability spread.
Scourge: Poor ability spread.
BugbearVGtM: Strength and Dexterity increases, which aid in your athletic skills. The other Bugbear traits make for a terrifyingly powerful combatant.
DhampirVRGtR: The abilities granted enhance your mobility and lethality without weapons.
Dragonborn: Poor ability spread.
Dwarf: Mediocre, given their focus on Strength or Wisdom, and lack of a Dexterity bonus.
Hill Dwarf: Poor ability spread.
Mountain Dwarf: Poor ability spread.
DuergarSCAG: Strength bonus and magic make it worthwhile for a Strength build, but that’s less than optimal in general.
Elf: Dexterity bonus, Darkvision, and free Perception make this a great choice.
Drow: Poor ability spread.
EladrinMToF: An excellent choice given the teleportation ability for combat maneuverability.
High Elf: The perfect ability spread and a bonus cantrip. Steer away from Green Flame Blade and Booming Blade here, you want to focus on making more attacks rather than a single attack.
Sea ElfMToF: In an aquatic campaign, this is a great choice.
Shadar-KaiMToF: An excellent choice given the teleportation ability for combat maneuverability.
Wood Elf: A solid choice for the stealth abilities.
FairyTWBtW: Flight. That’s all you need to know about this one.
FirbolgVGtM: Not the best choice, but if you’re going Strength-based it’s passable.
GenasiEEPC: The Constitution increase is solid, but there isn’t much else to sell any of these subraces aside from Air.
Air: Dexterity increase is great, but the rest is lackluster as you advance in level.
Earth: Poor ability spread.
Fire: Poor ability spread.
Water: Poor ability spread.
GithMToF: Both of these races have a very poor ability spread for a Blood Hunter.
Githyanki: Poor ability spread.
Githzerai: Poor ability spread.
Gnome: Gnomes are surprisingly good Blood Hunters given their Intelligence boost and resistance to spells.
Deep (Svirfneblin)EEPC/SCAG: An additional Dexterity increase and Superior Darkvision make this one of the best overall choices for Blood Hunter.
Forest: Another great choice. Dexterity and Minor Illusion for free make this a strong option.
Rock: The only bad choice of the three.
GoblinVGtM: Excellent ability score bonuses, and the mobility to make a dangerous hit-and-run attacker.
GoliathVGtM/EEPC: Good for a Strength-based build, but not much else.
Half-Elf: A good choice for any class.
Standard: Perfectly viable, but not the best option overall.
AquaticSACG: A better choice in an aquatic campaign.
DrowSCAG: A better choice for an Underdark adventure.
Moon/SunSCAG: Flavorful in the right circumstances.
WoodSCAG: A solid pick for a wilderness adventure.
Half-Orc: Use this for a Strength-based build.
Halfling: Dexterity, Lucky, and Bravery are all great for the Blood Hunter.
Lightfoot: Don’t pick this one.
GhostwiseSCAG: Getting closer…
Stout: This is the best version for Blood Hunter. The extra Constitution will go a long way in fueling your magic.
HarengonTWBtW: Rabbitfolk have INSANE mobility, and are a great choice for any class looking to maximize combat tactics.
HexbloodVRGtR: Not the most efficient class, but it is quite flavorful.
HobgoblinVGtM: A solid option given their racial abilities, though the ability score increases could be better.
Human: The Gold Standard for any class.
Standard: Blood Hunter wants to be good at a lot of things, so it actually makes sense to have +1 to all six stats.
Variant: Get that feat at first level.
KenkuVGtM: Dexterity increase and two relevant skills. The theme is odd, but makes sense here.
KoboldVGtM: Pack Tactics is incredibly useful, and for a heavy weapon user it really shines.
LizardfolkVGtM:Poor ability spread.
OrcVGtM:Poor ability spread.
RebornVRGtR:One of the easiest ways to master skills is to become Reborn. You don’t get a lot of flashy abilities, but they count.
TabaxiVGtM: Speed and mobility, with the Dexterity you crave.
Tiefling: Some are good, most are bad.
Standard: Mediocre to bad.
Devil’s TongueSCAG:Poor ability spread.
FeralSCAG: This is the best one available here. You can combine it with one of the archfiend heritage varieties as well.
HellfireSCAG: Poor ability spread.
WingedSCAG: Poor ability spread, but flight counts for something.
AsmodeusMToF: Poor ability spread.
BaalzebulMToF: Poor ability spread.
DispaterMToF: Dexterity increase, and some passable spells.
FiernaMToF: Poor ability spread.
GlasyaMToF: Dexterity increase and some spells you’ll actually use.
LevistusMToF: Poor ability spread.
MammonMToF: Poor ability spread.
MephistophlesMToF: Poor ability spread.
ZarielMToF: Poor ability spread.
TortleXGE/TP: Poor ability spread.
TritonVGtM: Poor ability spread.
Yuan-Ti PurebloodVGtM: Poor ability spread.
ChangelingERLW: You can choose Dexterity to boost, but the rest of the characteristics are still lacking.
KalashtarERLW: Poor ability spread.
OrcERLW: Poor ability spread.
ShifterERLW: Makes sense thematically with Order of the Lycan, but isn’t actually functional enough to consider.
Beasthide: The one to pick for a Strength build.
Longtooth: Dexterity, but nothing else.
Swiftstride: This is just an ok choice for a Dex-based build.
Wildhunt: Dexterity increase, but nothing else worthwhile.
WarforgedERLW: Always play Warforged when the setting allows. You can build the race to fit the class, and get a ton of interesting abilities.
CentaurGGTR: Poor ability spread.
LoxodonGGTR: Poor ability spread.
MinotaurGGTR: Poor ability spread.
Simic HybridGGTR: It’s really hard to find an occasion where this race isn’t the best race available when available.
VedalkenGGTR: Poor ability spread.
OwlinSACoC: Flight, Darkvision, and Stealth. An excellent combination of abilities for a stalker.
LeoninMOoT: A lot of interesting abilities, but nothing optimized for the Blood Hunter.
SatyrMOoT: A small Dexterity increase, and a ton of mobility options coupled with a natural, strength-based attack make this a really tough sell. It’s half useful and half useless, depending on your build.
Hit Dice: d10 is pretty standard for martial classes. Some of your abilities rely on you sacrificing your own hit points, so having a lot of them is crucial.
Weapon Proficiencies: Martial weapon proficiency gives you a great selection.
Armor Proficiencies: Light and Medium armor proficiency means you have to choose between a Dexterity/stealth build as an archer, or a melee-medium armor build.
Tool Proficiencies: Having proficiency with a rare tool set like Alchemists’ Tools means you can craft interesting things like Alchemist’ Fire and other tinctures that most classes do not have access to.
Saving Throws: Dexterity is the most common save, and given your propensity to Archery, you’ll be particularly good at evading traps and spells. Intelligence saves are less common.
Hunter’s Bane: You are really, really good at tracking fey, fiends, and undead. In a campaign full of these types of creatures, you’re going to go from prey to predator very quickly.
Blood Maledict: Your Blood Curses are magic-that-isn’t-magic. You have access to a few at first level, and get more as your progress. The option to enhance them is similar to a Sorcerer’s Sorcery Points, but it’s your life, not a secondary pool of resources.
Fighting Style: You have a bunch of weapon-centric options to choose from here. The Dexterity Build wants you to take one of the first two to maximize your damage.
Archery: Accuracy is important. You can’t damage an enemy if you can’t tag them.
Dueling: Keeping one hand free allows you to hol a shield, or use other trinkets.
Great Weapon Fighting: Yes, Geralt uses two Longswords. No, you shouldn’t do that. Removing Strength from the character-building equation gives you more focus on what really matters.
Two-Weapon Fighting: To get the most attacks overall, and make best use of your Crimson Rites, choose this one.
Crimson Rite: The bonus elemental damage from this ability makes it worthwhile to dip into this class from any martial class, and getting larger hemocraft die make it worthwhile to stay. Sacrificing a single die of hit points to deal that die of damage many times over the course of a day make it very worthwhile.
Primal Rites: These are some of the more commonly resisted damage types, but it’s magic damage on top of your normal weapon damage so it’s good.
Rite of Flame: Fire is the most commonly resisted damage type in the game, especially among fiends.
Rite of the Frozen: Cold is another commonly resisted type, especially among fiends, but less so than fire.
Rite of the Storm: Few creatures among fiends, fey, and undead resist lightning, and few creatures outside those types either.
Esoteric Rites: At 14th level you can get some less-commonly resisted damage types.
Rite of the Dead: Necrotic is a rare damage type, but it is resisted by evil things, which you are likely to be hunting.
Rite of the Oracle: Not many creatures resist psychic damage, but a lot of undead are immune to it.
Rite of the Roar: There are very few creatures that resist sonic damage. This is the best option available.
Extra Attack: More attacks mean more bonus damage from your Rites.
Brand of Castigation: Being able to mark and track a creature once per short rest is convenient, but not terribly powerful. The bonus damage is rather nice when combined with your Rites.
Grim Psychometry: A meta-ability that allows your DM to reveal some plot and advance the story.
Dark Augmentation: This is a very useful ability. Provided you’ve got a decent Intelligence, your physical saves get a huge boost. From here on out, you should prioritize maximizing your Intelligence whenever possible.
Brand of Tethering: This is great for fighting fiends and some fey.
Hardened Soul: You don’t want to get suckered into a “role played myself to death” situation, so resisting fear and charm effects puts you squarely in charge of your character’s decisions.
Sanguine Mastery: You’re going to roll multiple Hemocraft dice each battle, so rerolling them maximizes your damage output, and minimizes the hit point commitment to your magic.
Blood Hunter Orders
Order of the Ghost Slayer
The Order of the Ghost Slayer is a righteous warrior who clears the shadows of undeath from sacred places. They are the first and oldest order of Blood Hunters, who discovered Blood Magic in the first place. Zealots of faith, they strive to seek out all forms of undeath and purge them from the world.
Rite of the Dawn: Radiant damage is great for dealing with undead, and gaining resistance to necrotic damage and dealing extra damage to undead make you the perfect lich-hunter.
Curse Specialist: This ability removes the limitations of your blood curses, allowing you to target even those who have been drained of their bodily fluids and reanimated.
Ethereal Step: Teleportation/ethereal movement is awesome for infiltration and extraction.
Brand of Sundering: Extra damage, even a little bit.
Blood Curse of the Exorcist: Bonus blood curse, always welcome.
Rite of Revival: You get one free death avoidance by losing a Crimson Rite instead of dropping to 0 hit points.
Order of the Lycan
This order choses to embrace a terrible curse in order to use its power to hunt and slay greater evils. The brotherhood of the Order of the Lycan undergo a ritual to inflict Lycanthropy on themselves, and spend their lives resisting the primal urges that try to overtake them, while simultaneous harnessing the massive power the curse provides.
Heightened Senses: Advantage on Perception checks is solid. If you’re an investigator or tracker, this will be very useful.
Hybrid Transformation: You have a temporary transformation that allows you to embrace you lycanthropic power. This is your primary combat option in this class.
Feral Might: A decent bonus to melee damage.=
Resilient Hide: +1 AC will go a long way over the lifetime of this character, avoiding countless attacks.=
Predatory Strikes: You don’t need Strength at all once you have this, and can be a fully specialized Dexterity combatant, even when unarmed.=
Bloodlust: You want to activate and dispel your Hybrid Transformation at the correct times, lest this ability force you to attack your friends. This is the only real drawback of this class, but it’s a big one.
Stalker’s Prowess: You can run faster and jump higher.
Improved Predatory Strikes: You gain an increasing bonus to unarmed attacks as you level up. This is great if you crossed into Monk at all, or have any magic items that enhance unarmed combat.
Advanced Transformation: You get an additional use of the Hybrid Transformation feature.Advanced Transformation: You get an additional use of the Hybrid Transformation feature.
Lycan Regeneration: This mitigates your Bloodlust flaw by healing some hit points when below 50%.
Brand of the Voracious: Another mitigating ability for your Bloodlust, and a better brand ability.
Hybrid Transformation Mastery: Unlimited uses of Hybrid Transformation and an additional Blood Curse.
Order of the Mutant
This is a weird one. You basically pledge yourself to painful, and traumatic bizarre experimentation to become a Blood Hunter in the first place, and the Order of the Mutant initiates…keep doing it. You survive on toxic elixirs which alter your biology and make you a better hunter.
Formulas: You gain a few mutagen recipes at 3rd level, and learn more over time.
Mutagencraft: You make mutagen potions for yourself after each rest you complete.
Strange Metabolism: Poison immunity. Poison is one of the most common damage types.
Brand of Axiom: This is a little late to be relevant. Invisible creatures are hard to deal with at low levels, but by tier 3 your party will have multiple ways to deal with them.
Blood Curse of Corrosion: A bonus blood curse.
Exalted Mutation: Instant mutagen replacement, useable once per point of intelligence mod.
Aether: Flight in any form and at any speed is excellent.
Aluring: You probably used Charisma as your dump stat, so this lets you make up for it.
Celerity: This is incredible for a Dex build, as long as you’re not fighting a mage who can capitalize on your detriment to Wisdom saves.
Conversant: This is great for investigation, but otherwise very situational and mediocre.
Cruelty: Never, and I mean NEVER use this when fighting a mage. Yeah, you get bonus attacks, but one spell and you’re down for the count.
Deftness: This is hardly ever useful.
Embers: This is great when your environment is throwing a lot of fire enemies at you, but once again, a Mage who sees you use this is going to blast you with ice so fast it will make your head spin.
Gelid: Same as above, but opposite.
Impermeable: This is tough to use properly. Most piercing weapons can also slash and vice versa.
Mobile: This is the poor-man’s Freedom of Movement which is situational, but very useful.
Nighteye: Darkvision! Turn it off when you go outside.
Percipient: Wisdom saves are common, and usually very important to pass. Charisma saves are few and far in-between.
Potency: This doesn’t seem very useful. You’re probably Dex-based, and have enough to make that your mainstat.
Precision: Critical hits rock, and strength saves are uncommon.
Rapidity: The speed gained far outweighs the detriment.
Reconstruction: Combine this with Rapidity once you can get two effects at once and you negate the detriments.
Sagacity: This pumps up your spell DC a bit with a negligibly detriment.
Shielded: Slashing damage is the most common type of mundane weapon damage and bludgeoning is the least common.
Unbreakable: Bludgeoning damage is the least common type of weapon damage.
Vermillion: Extra use of Blood Maledict, then dispel it before you’d need to make a Death Saving Throw.
Order of the Profane Soul
You could play a Warlock, but no, you’ve got too much HUNTING TO DO to mess around with general infernal/fae/undead/abstract horror meddling. Pledge your cause to one of these powerful beings who will give you direction and power in order to hunt your enemies into extinction!
Otherworldly Patron: Just like Warlocks, you have an otherworldly patron who gives you your magic and guides you in your quests.
Archfey: You start off slow working for a fairy, and don’t quite catch up to the other patrons.
Fiend: Unfortunately, the Fiend is by far the least useful of the otherworldly patrons available.
Great Old One: Chthulhu gives you a great selection of abilities.
Undying: This is a solid choice if you’re not sticking around Blood Hunter, as it starts strong and tapers off, giving you agood reason to multi-class.
Celestial: The healer of the bunch, and by far the best one considering your reliance on your hit points as a resource.
Hexblade: Another dud until very high levels.
Pact Magic: This is the same spellcasting as the Warlock, except you get a ½ progression.
Rite Focus: Using your weapon as your spellcasting focus allows you to cast in combat even while using weapons. You gain additional abilities based on your choice of patron.
Archfey: The ability to detect and deal with invisibility at low levels is very important.
Celestial: You basically get Healing Word. If you’re the only healer, this becomes very important. If not, you have your own healing reserves to use in a pinch.
Fiend: The Rite of Flame is the worst of the Rites available to you.
Great Old One: Crossbow Expert, two-weapon fighting, and the critical hit ratio they provides makes this pretty good.
Hexblade: A small damage boost that is less impactful than some f the other potential abilities.
Undying: Anything you can do to regain hit points is wonderful. Being able to heal whenever you kill something makes you a very economical hunter.
Mystic Frenzy: This is very good with Booming Blade/ Gren Flame Blade, as you won’t lose your extra attack by casting the Cantrip.
Revealed Arcana: You gain a spell based on which patron you chose.
Archfey: Blur is exactly the melee buff you need.
Celestial: restoration spells are absolutely critical when you need them, so having access to this makes you better than an auxiliary healer.
Fiend: Scorching ray is outperformed by many other spells you have at this level, and your melee weapons as well.
Great Old One: Detect Thoughts is useful in infiltration, but it’s lack of combat applications makes it a waste for you.
Hexblade: Branding Smite is good, but your other damage boost abilities outmatch it at low levels.
Undying: a solid debuff in blindness/deafness, but unless you’re beefing up your Intelligence having a save-or-suck debuff that might whiff in lieu of making attacks would give me pause.
Brand of the Sapping Scar: Causing disadvantage on saves against your spells means you otherwise bad single-target debuffs can actually land, giving you a great chance to do big things.
Archfey: Single target debuffs are less effectual at this level.
Fiend: Fireball at level 15 is too little too late. It’s your only real crowd-controll option, but it’s underwhelming by now.
Great Old One: Haste is the best spell in the game.
Undying: Another single-target save-or-nothing debuff.
Celestial: Reviving an ally is crucial, expecially as a secondary healer. Catching your cleric when he falls could turn the tide of a battle.
Hexblade: Buffs are better than debuffs, and blink is one of the best ones.
Blood Curse of the Soul Eater: And a bonus blood curse to top it all off! A perfect end to a fun subclass.
Acrobatics: Athletics is more useful.
Animal Handling: Unless you’re taking a mount, skip it.
Arcana: Great for identifying your foes and what magic they might bring to bear.
Athletics: Jump, climb, shove, etc. You’ll use this one a lot.
Deception: Not your forte.
History: Not your responsibility.
Insight: It’s definitely worthwhile to detect fey and fiends in disguise.
Intimidation: Actions speak louder than words.
Investigation: You should have good enough Intelligence to use this frequently.
Medicine: Not your job, though with all the bleeding you do, you might consider it.
Nature: As a hunter, this could be crucial to your tracking when not using Survival.
Perception: Another Hunter essential.
Performance: Dancing is forbidden.
Persuasion: Not your specialty.
Religion: Not your concern, unless you’re making a pact with an otherworldly entity.
Sleight of Hand: Not super important, but might come in handy (pun intended).
Stealth: Hunting is reliant upon stealth.
Survival: Tracking relies on this, but you have so many bonuses to it, you can safely skip proficiency as long as your Wisdom is up to snuff.
Acolyte: Not good for Blood Hunter.
Charlatan: Sleight of Hand and Disguise kit, but other backgrounds are better for being a Rogue-like.
City WatchSCAG: Two skills from your list, and two languages.
Clan CrafterSCAG: Skills and tools you’re not interested in.
Cloistered ScholarSCAG: A choice of skills from your list and two languages.
CourtierSCAG: Insight, but you don’t need persuasion.
Criminal: Stealth and Thieves Tools.
Entertainer: Not good for Blood Hunter.
Faction AgentSCAG: A very good choice of skills, two languages, and useful equipment and connections.
Far TravelerSCAG: Two good skills, but less than other backgrounds otherwise.
FeylostTWBtW:Not good for Blood Hunter.
FisherGoS:Not good for Blood Hunter.
Folk Hero: Not good for Blood Hunter.
Guild Artisan: Not good for Blood Hunter.
Haunted OneVRGtR: A choice of skills from your list, languages, and good equipment selection.
Hermit: Not good for Blood Hunter.
InheritorSCAG: Two good skills, an inheritancs, and some solid starting gold.
InvestigatorVRGtR: A choice of skills from your list, two good tools, and expensive equipment.
Knight of the OrderSCAG: Nothing useful.
Lorehold StudentSACoC: You’re not interested in the skills or spells this background offers.
MarineGoS: Two skills off your list and vehicle proficiency.
Mercenary VeteranSCAG: Nothing useful.
Noble: Not good for Blood Hunter.
Outlander: Two skills off your list.
Prismari StudentSACoC: Aggressive cantrips and two decent skills.
Quandrix StudentSACoC: Useful cantrips, two good skills, and a tool proficiency.
Sage: Not good for Blood Hunter.
Sailor: Two good skills and vehicle proficiency.
ShipwrightGoS: Not good for Blood Hunter.
Silverquill StudentSACoC: Two good skills, and access to silvery barbs.
SmugglerGoS: Not good for Blood Hunter.
Soldier: Athletics, but nothing else meaningful.
Urban Bounty HunterSCAG: Two skills from the Rogue list and tool proficiencies.
Urchin: The best option for Rogue-like Dexterity-based abilities.
Uthgardt Tribe MemberSCAG: Mediocre skill selection and not much else.
Waterdhavian NobleSCAG: Not good for Blood Hunter.
Witchlight HandTWBtW: Not good for Blood Hunter.
Witherbloom StudentSACoC: Two good skills, and herbalism in addition to solid cantrips.
Alert: Skip it.
Athlete: You’re going to be good enough at your skills without this.
Actor: Not your cup of tea.
Charger: A possible use, but you want to make many attacks.
Crossbow Expert: A great choice if you picked Archery as your fighting style, however you have some competition for uses of your bonus action.
Defensive Duelist: This is a great way to increase your AC, but only works against a single attack each round.
Dual Wielder: You can pick the fighting style for two-weapon fighting.
Dungeon Delver: Typically Rogues look at this. You should get something more combat-focused.
Durable: More hit points are a must for your blood magics.
Elemental Adept: Doesn’t work with your Crimson Rite.
Grappler: Not suited for Blood Hunter.
Great Weapon Master: Don’t pick this, use Dex weapons.
Healer: You’re not a primary or even secondary healer, though in a small party lacking a medic you need this.
Heavily Armored: If you aren’t prioritizing stealth, and especially if you odn’t have much in the way of Dexterity, this is a great option.
Heavy Armor Master: This is deep in the feats list, but if you’re going variant human you can have it online by level four.
Inspiring Leader: You probably don’t have enough Charisma to make this worthwhile.
Keen Mind: Take magic initiate and learn some useful spells instead.
Lightly Armored: You already have Light armor proficiency.
Linguist: Irrelevant in most campaigns, otherwise use magic.
Lucky: Always a good choice.
Mage Slayer: This makes a lot of sense thematically, and is pretty solid.
Magic Initiate: A great way to pick up some cantrips and a utility spell.
Martial Adept: Relatively weak outside of the Fighter class.
Medium Armor Master: You’re likely going to be wearing Medium armor, so make the most of it.
Mobile: If you’re dual wielding or otherwise trying to be a skirmisher, this is a decent option.
Moderately Armored: You already have Medium armor proficiency.
Mounted Combat: Useful, but overkill most of the time.
Observant: Only if you’re the trap-springer/scout.
Polearm Master: This is an awesome feat on its own, but unless you’re great weapon fighting you don’t need it.
Resilient: You can always use more toughness.
Ritual Caster: Not useful.
Savage Attacker: Not a very good feat.
Sentinel: Combat strategy feats are always a good choice, but it depends on your personal play style. This is a great feat for you if you’re guarding mages or other squishy characters.
Sharpshooter: In a Dexterity build this could be useful.
Shield Master: A solid feat if you took Duelist and are using a shield.
Skilled: You should have enough skills from your clas and background, but if you find yourself falling short this will be your best bet.
Skulker: Middling usefulness, even on a stealthy build.
Spell Sniper: Not useful for Blood Hunter.
Strixhaven InitiateSACoC: Magic Initiate is a better choice, and most of the spells provide by this feat are irrelevant to you anyway.
Strixhaven MascotSACoC: Having a pet to do recon while hunting gives you a tactical advantage.
Tavern Brawler: Not useful for Blood Hunter.
Tough: You always need more hit points to fuel your class abilities.
War Caster: Not useful for Blood Hunter.
Weapon Master: Not useful for Blood Hunter.
Weapons and Armor
You have proficiency with Martial Weapons, so your main priority is your fighting style. If you go archery, you can use a long bow and/or hand crossbow. For Duelist, you’ll want a rapier and a shield for maximum effectiveness. You will be proficient with light and medium armor, so the choice depends on your Dexterity score and whether or not you’re trying to be stealthy. Medium armor is your best bet for lower Dexterity and a disregard for stealth, otherwise you’ll want to wind up in studded leather.
Blood Curse of The Anxious: This is a great amplified ability if you’re working with a spellcaster throwing Debuffs out.
Blood Curse of Binding: Binding a creature gives you positioning or an avenue to escape. Either way, this is an invaluable ability.
Blood Curse of Bloated Agony: This is excellent when fighting anything with multiple attacks. It’s useless against spellcasters, or large monsters with a single attack.
Blood Curse of Corrosion: Inflicting poison and damage can practically turn off a melee opponent.
Blood Curse of the Exorcist: Situational to use, but powerful and really, really important to have in case one of your allies becomes possessed or charmed.
Blood Curse of the Eyeless: A reaction power! Those are rare, and add a huge action economy to your build.
Blood Curse of the Fallen Puppet: This is really fun when fighting hordes of enemies.
Blood Curse of the Howl: Inflicting AoE fear can scatter enemies.
Blood Curse of the Marked: Extra damage, but only a bit and hard to activate.
Blood Curse of the Muddled Mind: Very situational, mostly useful against full casters, which are rare.
Blood Curse of the Souleater: Self-feeding advantage.
Blade Ward: Use Dodge.
Booming BladeSCAG: This is really good until you get your second attack, then it diminishes slightly.
Chill Touch: Unless you really want a specific damage type, use eldritch blast.
Create BonfireXGtE: It requires concentration, but you’re going to be concentrating on hex most times.
Eldritch Blast: Your main damage-dealing spell. If you’re not using a ranged weapon, grab this. Force damage is nearly unopposed with resistances.
Friends: This spell is tough. The fact that if you successfully use it, the target KNOWS once it wears off can put it into danger territory most times.
FrostbiteXGtE: Low damage, but the disadvantage could come in handy in certain circumstances.
Green-Flame BladeSCAG: Another really good choice for a melee attack augmentor, but beware of losing out on damage from extra attacks.
InfestationXGtE: It uses constitution saves, which are usually high on monsters.
Lightning LureTCoE: You’re a melee kinda guy, right? GET OVER HERE!
Mage Hand: This is a solid cantrip for anyone. Action at a distance is a very useful effect.
Magic StoneXGtE: Eldritch Blast is better.
Mind SliverTCoE: Psychic damage on an Intelligence save makes a lot of sense. It’s a seldom resisted damage type as well.
Poison Spray: Low damage.
Prestidigitation: A great catch-all magic effect.
Sword BurstTCoE: A decent AoE. But there are better options.
ThunderclapEEPC: Thunder damage is worse than Sword Burst’s force damage, and Thunderclap uses Constitution saves, which tend to be high.
Toll the Dead: This is on par or slightly worse than eldritch blast in almost all cases. If you’re dealing with high AC, use this. If you’re dealing with low AC, use eldritch blast.
True Strike: Just attack twice. Especially once you have two beams on eldritch blast this isn’t useful anymore at all.
Armor of Agathys: It protects, it attacks, and it scales with level. Your armor is probably better, but this is a good spell.
Arms of Hadar: Hadar has better things to offer if you wait for it. This spell is decent, but the problem is how picky you have to be since you have so few spell slots.
Cause FearXGtE: Fear is on theme for you, and pretty useful against groups of lesser intelligent enemies.
Charm Person: Strictly out-of-combat use. If you used Charisma as a dump stat you can’t break their hostile demeanor with charm, use magic!
Comprehend Languages: Situational, but useful.
Expeditious Retreat: If you’re a ranged character, distance means less to you than a melee character. It also requires concentration, which is better spent on hex.
Hellish Rebuke: You don’t have enough expendable spell slots to use this frequently. If you get it from the tiefling race, it’s fantastic, but otherwise too much of a resource suck for what it is.
Hex: Your first words as a pact magician should be hex. even before you learn to cast eldritch blast, you should be spewing hex.
Unseen Servant: This is barely ever useful beyond doing menial tasks you don’t want to get your hands dirty doing.
Witch Bolt: It’s got good damage, but it gets outclassed by eldritch blast once you have two beams.
Cloud of Daggers: All they have to do is move and they get out of it. If you’ve got a way to trap the enemy in place, this is just decent.
Crown of Madness: This is one of the worst mind control spells out there.
Darkness: This spell is indispensable.
EarthbindXGtE: You’ve got great ranged spells, ranged weapon proficiency, you don’t need things to land.
Enthrall: Not a very good spell overall. It’s very limited in scope, duration, and effect compared to most other mind control spells.
Hold Person: A great control spell, but only for humanoids.
Invisibility: Absolutely one of the best spells available to you. You can scout and infiltrate with the best of them once you get this.
Mind SpikeXGtE: Low damage for a second level spell.
Mirror Image: A pretty good melee defensive buff.
Misty Step: Bonus action teleportation.
Ray of Enfeeblement: Not a good spell. This is a waste of a second level spell slot.
Shadow BladeXGtE: You’re either going to use your weapon or use eldritch blast.There’s no need for this in any circumstance.
Shatter: Your earliest AoE with a range.
Spider Climb: A reliable mobility option before you get fly.
Suggestion: You can do a ton with this, mostly out of combat.
Counterspell: One of the essential spells for any caster.
Dispel Magic: Another essential spell for any caster
Enemies AboundXGtE: One of the few examples of mind control done perfectly. Any time you’re fighting a group of enemies with a brute, beast, or equivalent, target them with this. If you hit the lowest Intelligence save with it, they’ll be yours for a while.
Fear: A great non-lethal AoE that can disarm or disable a group of enemies quickly.
Fly: The best mobility spell available. There aren’t any better modes of movement better than flight, and this does exactly what you need it to, every time.
Gaseous Form: Situational, but very useful for infiltrating a secure location.
Hunger of Hadar: Here’s where Hadar shows us his real power. The only downside is that it doesn’t scale upwards with level.
Hypnotic Pattern: If fear was your method of dispersing a crowd, this is your way of containing them.
Intellect FortressTCoE: If you’re facing casters who are using any sort of illusion or enchantment magic, this is utterly devastating to them.
Magic Circle: The fact that you can’t use this in combat due to its long cast time makes it borderline useless. Protection from evil and good is the lower level analogue you’re looking for in that regard.
Major Image: Illusion magic caps out here, giving you unlimited potential to create illusions.
Remove Curse: Skip it if you have a cleric available, but don’t sleep on it if you don’t.
Spirit ShroudTCoE: Not the most useful thing.
Summon Lesser DemonsXGtE: This is just a chaos spell. You don’t get to control the demons it summons.
Summon FeyTCoE: The better option than the above, but still not your strongest summoning option.
Summon ShadowspawnTCoE: Getting warmer…
Summon UndeadTCoE: There we go. Now you can summon ghosts, which can fly and move through walls to eternally torment your foes.
Thunder StepXGtE: It’s misty step with a damage component, but it takes up your action. It’s great for when you aren’t going to make a weapon attack or cast eldritch blast for whatever reason, but otherwise just using misty step and making a weapon attack or castingeldritch blast in the same turn will likely work better for you.
Tongues: Chances are you’re not the face of the party, so this isn’t super important, but it is situationally useful.
Vampiric Touch: This spell rocks. It lasts for a whole minute, so all your attacks within that time period can potentially benefit from casting this once.
Banishment: This is great if you’re fighting an extraplanar foe, as you can deport them to their home dimension. It scales with level, but will cap out when you get your last spell level.
Blight: By this point it’s hard to justify learning a single-target spell when you have so few spell slots and so few enemies. If it’s single target, it’s going to need to hit harder than this to be worth it.
Charm MonsterXGtE: This is the kind of single-target spell you should be taking. It can prevent or end a combat, and has roleplaying potential, not just a debuff.
Dimension Door: Misty step is adequate most of the time, but this is a higher level improvement.
Elemental BaneXGtE: There’s a very short list of things that resist force damage, so just stick to eldritch blast and you’ll do fine. Watch out for those Helmed Horrors!
Hallucinatory Terrain: Great for setting up an ambush, but not much else.
Shadow of MoilXGtE: Refresh yourself on the sightlines rules, and you will see how strong this is. It creates an advantage for you and a disadvantage for your enemies, amplifying the perceived usefulness.
Sickening RadianceXGtE: Another very useful, powerful, and complicated spell.
Summon AberrationTCoE: The options available here are all great.
Summon ConstructTCoE: The creatures summoned with summon aberration are strictly better in combat, but some environmental circumstances might facilitate this over that. If you’re underwater or in the vacuum of space, summoning a robot is better than something that needs to breathe.
Summon ElementalTCoE: This is easily outclassed by the other options available at this level, unless you need a specific movement type or damage type.
Summon Greater DemonXGtE: Again, you can’t maintain control of the demon easily, and run the risk of it turning on you or acting unpredictably.
Artificer: You don’t get too much synergy even after a few levels.
Barbarian: Rage is great, but you don’t get too many of them to overshadow the increasing effectiveness of your blood curses.
Bard: You’re better suited taking Rogue or Wizard to get the utility Bard provides.
Cleric: You’re probably making Wisdom your dump stat, so you might not even qualify for this class.
Druid: Another Wisdom class you can’t use.
Fighter: Fighting style, Heavy Armor Proficiency (if you take it at level 1) and a bunch of great combat options if you take a few more levels.
Monk: The extra attacks provided by Flurry of Blows are awesome for your Crimson Rite, but you don’t want to get stuck using only monk weapons.
Paladin: Fighter is better.
Ranger: Fighter is better.
Rogue: Skills, stealth, sneak attack…need I say more?
Sorcerer: Wizard is better.
Warlock: Wizard is better.
Wizard: Intelligence-based spellcasting, which is right up your alley. However, he wizard’s spellcasting does not stack with your pact magic, so you’ll end up levels behind in both.
DMG Dungeon Master’s Guide
EGtW Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount
ERLW Eberron: Rising from the Last War
EEPC Elemental Evil Player’s Companion
GGtR Guildmasters’ Guide to Ravnica
MM Monster Manual
MToF Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes
PHB Players Handbook
SCAG Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide
TP Tortle Package
VGtM Volo’s Guide to Monsters
XGtE Xanathar’s Guide to Everything
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