Monster Slayer, Horizon Walker & Gloom Stalker Dungeons and Dragons 5e Ranger Subclass Review

Monster Slayer, Horizon Walker & Gloom Stalker Dungeons and Dragons 5e Ranger Subclass Review

54 979 views | 25 Feb. 2018

This is a quick review of officially released Ranger subclasses for Fifth Edition Dungeons and Dragons. The Monster Slayer, Horizon Walker & Gloom Stalker can all be found in Xanathar's Guide to Everything.

In this video I will also discuss the current state of the revised ranger.

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Greggy P

Hi cj I love your vids


26sek. Noice

Alex S

Please keep us posted about these changes

Andrew C

Jeremy Crawford actually addressed this in a podcast on 2017-11-27. I'll link it here(start at 35:44), but here are the main points:

It wasn't in Xanthar's, but they announced in advance that it wouldn't be in it

They are still working on revised Ranger. It's not like it's fate was sunk by low satisfaction or something.

Putting out a "redo" on a core class is something they haven't done before, and it has some complications


Discerning between the PHB Ranger and the UA Ranger was causing confusion

Most people still play the PHB Ranger

Many people love the PHB Ranger

Looking carefully at the Revised Ranger feedback, the dissatisfaction with Ranger was mostly with Beastmaster. They are considering whether they want to "mess around with things around the broken thing" rather than "fixing the broken thing".

One quote at the end of the segment (41:52) sums up the status of Revised Ranger:

We're still looking at how to proceed. It's most likely with the Ranger going to be a much more targeted revision, and it will be optional. Like basically "here's a swap-out, like you take this Beastmaster thing and use this other thing in its place"..Summary by Bob the Average on Rpg stack exchange


The ranger revised is deceptively powerful at the first round of combat, but overall I think it's balanced well.

non sensical

Monster Hunter is supposed to be a Professor van Helsing sort of flavor, or I guess "Dr.Rudolph van Richten" type for the Ravenloft crowd.


Ranger base class is a hot mess. Who wants class features that only apply to a certain terrain or monster type. 80% of the time your class is sub optimal. Meanwhile ranged fighter is always good. Features that only work outdoors? How about features that always work? Limit the effects but make it so that they always work on all terrain and on every foe. Does the utility of a rogue just vanish 80% of your campaign?

Bottom line is the ranger class has a lot of text and is confusing to play and very limited in its utility and power. It needs to be simplified so that the effects are like 2 sentences long and work the same in every terrain and on every enemy type. That way the player doesn't have class regret.

J Vanegas

Can you imagine Nicol Bolas appearing in 5e? like a evil ancient gold dragon+ wizard and planeswalker: BBB for a high level campaign.


So this might be a dumb question, I'm sorry, but I very rarely look into rangers. If I wanted to make a ranger character, is it "just better" to use the UA version, or does the PHB version still work for what it does and is just very much more specific? I want to make a character who's sort of a giant slayer, who starts off protecting their home from giants and then graduates to hunting down other creatures notable for being very large (such as dragons), but the UA Ranger seems to not have any sort of, like, "big creature" option for favored enemy at the early levels. You don't get Giant until level 6 and it feels weird to have a character for whom fighting giants is in their backstory when I don't actually get a boost against giants until level 6.

James Miller

Only other alternate feature I can see coming for sure is Intelligence Warlocks. That's nice and straightforward. Maybe replacing the Bard's countercharm.


Have you done Bard yet??

Badbad Fishy

So I'm a bit late on this but 1 your dm can adjust rangers/use previous editions to supplement the ranger class. People call handbooks rulebooks but it's more along the lines of guidelines. 2 these subclasses aren't probably the best for a player most of the time but let me tell you it's great for npc's and building ranger orders as factions. For example my current campaign has a lot of kingdoms at war with each other. They have no clue about the threats that loom from other plains of existence and the underdark. But the rangers are perfectly aware. That's my 2 cents on it

Rodney Young

I'm trying to build a Horizon Walker for AL. I find the mechanics for the Horizon Walker difficult to manage. Planer Warrior ability that does extra 1d8 force damage is limiting when using a longbow, since the ability has a range of 30 ft, which also could place you within melee attack distance. Also using Planer Warrior requires you to use your bonus action on every turn that you uses it, therefore it doesn't stack well with Hunter's Mark. Hunter's Mark is probably a better way to go over Planer Warrior until you come up to a boss, then Hunter's Mark and attack round 1, then add Planer Warrior and attack on round 2. Ethereal Step also does not work well with Planer Warrior, since both use bonus actions to activate. Any thoughts?


Its Best Boy CJ, hopefully you can do a review of the monsters/creatures sometime

Thilo von Bre

I can understand Wizards wanting to avoid confusion when it comes to the ranger. However, I as a DM starting like the revised Ranger more than the PH one. It feels too... territorial. If you plan on adventuring big time, there will be a time where the ranger is like "Oh, from here on I loose a lot of my features. Let's not go there."
Wizards admitted their... let's call it "problem", but can't follow through now. I for one think that is a little sad.
But on the other hand, I haven't seen the old ranger in action. So... yeah

Blue Mage

I'd say with other classes getting other/optional features, as long as they are optional; like how feats and multi-classing are and even the monster races could be optional. as long as these features come in a different book and it is an optional supplement i'd see it doing well. We did just get XG and it went well as it gives the players more options on what to play. As long as a new DM talks to their players on what they want in their game and could ask to exclude things just so he/she can keep track of the action, more content shouldn't hurt and will give veterens more options to play with. In the game I'm in we have three of the four players playing XG subclasses just because it new mechanics to play with. (Let me say the Monster hunter ranger with the feat to add +10 to damage with a -5 to hit has been wiping the floor with combat encounters.)

While the features don't really reflect the theme of a van helsing, it leaves the player to come up with a creative reason to why those features are there. Your character could be a sadistic blood-letter who happens to be in tune with the nature of creatures. you use this ability for reading on how to harm rather then how to heal because you like making others feel pain. While the name monster hunter isn't fitting, you don't have to call it monster hunter at your table. At the table we're at we call it sharpshooter just because his shots seem to hit where it particularly stings. (we also have guns in the game but he currently has broken ones.)

Eric Jimenez

Another excellent video. Still a little sad about not having the revised ranger stay. Speaking of which is the whole ua file (artificers, psionics, the extra races etc.) definitely not official now?


Theres 2 versions of dnd, wotc version and jeremy crawford version

Jinx Jade

I’m fine with revising the ranger because the old one was frankly awful but reworking other classes is going too far, the other classes are already strong and fun to play.


Anyone else get a Scientology ad before this video?

Carlos Te

Woooow tha channel is at 21k subs, awsome work :D

Hunter J

I'm having a hard time understanding him lol

Tony F.

Gloomstalker - a specific function...stealth & ambush.

Horizon Walker - a unique style...teleport and bend physics.

Monster Slayer - VERY versatile...know your enemy, damage your enemy, and prevent their game-changing tactics.

Honestly...I was loving the Gloomstalker and Horizon Walker gimmicks...

...but the Monster Hunter thrives in nearly any given situation.


Isn't Monster Slayer the "focus the big guy" subclass?

Spencer Taylor

Yesssssss i’ve been waiting for this!

1st Captain Raldoron

I find Horizon Walkers to be a lot of fun in melee. Especially when I’m playing a feral tiefling! It’s like the opening scene of X2.

You cant beat K

The ranger was revised.


I am loving my Horizon Walker!

Marko Effects Teh Object Thingy

Genre: Horror


What is a "xanathars guide to everything"?

ThePlagueDoctor ,

i have been waiting for horizon walker!

Don't Stop Thinking

I think the alternate features for rangers can serve as a quick fix. But I don't think Wizards should implement it unless they leave the first few levels of class features unchanged. Maybe if level 1-5 is left as is (except for rangers), it can work.

Anthony Doll

It's amazing. I want to create The Undertaker for D&D using the monk class and when I watched your video on the monk subclasses you call out one specific subclass (Way Of The Long Death) as one for an Undertaker build. Now I am looking to create Hellboy for a future campaign using the Tiefling as the race of choice and when I go looking for the right class and subclass for this build you call out the Monster Hunter subclass of the Ranger as the right choice for a Hellboy build. It's almost like I am supposed to be watching your channel for D&D content. Glad I am subscribed already. I wonder what else you got for me on your channel.

Gregory Floriolli

Xanathar’s showed a lot of love for Rangers, good subclasses and decent new spells. The PHB Hunter Ranger is OK. The PHB Beastmaster Ranger needs that Revised Ranger option for it to work. I wouldn’t want to see WotC revise every class but there are a few subclasses beyond Beastmaster Ranger that are traps. I’m looking at you Four Elements Monk and Frenzy Barbarian.

Nicholas Campbell

I love the UA class feature variants. It makes me want to actually play one


Paladins probability need an alternative. What they are in combat could be clearer. I remember wanting to tank and support as a Paladin. Whay ends up happening is I'm doing smites all the time. Im basically a fighter uses magic.


Great video, please do one about sorcerer subclasses :D

Damian Freeman

As far as the ranger is concerned, I hope that when they talk about "alternative features", they basically mean errating it and changing future prints of the PHB to be the revised ranger. Because the PHB ranger is quite frankly awful due to being over-specalised for specific terrains and enemies, thus making them entirely at the mercy of the DM and campaign setting. By contrast the revised ranger is an all-rounder who does a lot better without too much overlap with other classes.

My DM in a campaign where I play a ranger noticed how weak the PHB ranger was after 3 levels and let me upgrade to the Revised Ranger mid-campaign, which was nice.


"There will only be 1 Ranger."

Fine, my group will just use the Revisited stuff anyway and forget your underpowered mess.

DeadMan Mouse

Ph ranger isn't bad. As long as the person who wants to make a ranger talks with his DM before creating the ranger so that they can model him around the run the party will be going through. If you do this right than the Ph ranger with or without the new subclasses is very strong maybe even to strong when built for a specific campaign.


Make a Sorcerer subclasses video pls!


The tweets you showed are really old. Is there any up to date news?


Great job! Really thankful for your hard work. Just to add, Jeremy Crawford fleshed out the character concept of gloom stalker. They are rangers who generally rely on darkness and ambush tactics to hunt their prey. So this could be underdark, deep forests or even dark alleyways. He even cited Batman as an inspiration for Gloom Stalker. So Rogue has the "nature" version with Scout. Rangers now have "urban" version with Gloom Stalker.

martin Campbell

The monster slayer is basically a witcher that's why the name is strange

dragon ball talk

I made a dragon born monster slayer that rides a triceratops n spits poison acidic liquid and gas at same time

Elliot Sponsler

I am so swoon with the Horizon Walker, but planeshifting is such a hard mechanic to incorporate. Not the just the complexity. But just throwing up a middle finger to the DM’s night by doing it a lot of the time.

bob nixon

question im new to 5th ed i was a hard core 3.5 player but im trying to come up wth a char idea what do all you 5th ed experts think about mixing a gloomstalker with assassin?


Wow, this video didn't age well. All this now false information.


Me and my friends change the Detect Portal to work like the Divine Sense ability since we don't do plainscaping


I was thinking Gloom Stalker would make a great Sam Fisher build