Oath of Glory 5E Guide | Theros Glory Paladin Subclass

oath of glory

The Mythic Odysseys of Theros is out, and with it came a new option for Paladins. The Oath of Glory is for Paladins who want – no… need – to be remembered. These are the Paladin equivalent of… Every bard. Except, instead of using skills to be written in history, they use their godly powers to become the ultimate warriors. They think destiny is calling for them… And they, with their allies, will be prepared. Why become a glory hog, rather than a vengeful one? Let’s find out.

Written in History: Oath of Glory 5E Guide

The tenets of Glory are as masculine as you’d expect; Actions speak louder than words. You want to be challenged, and should encourage your allies to face them with you. You need to work that body into a modern Colossus… And you need to overcome failings, since failing dims the glory of you and your allies. A bit of a downer, that last one, but essentially, you gotta become the very best. It’s a pretty loose tenant, but could lead to some cool roleplay moments if your Paladin becomes depressed or something.

The Oath of Glory is one of the most versatile Paladin Oaths currently available, though not exactly impressive by any means. Your spell list has some great utility effects that Paladins don’t have, but suffers greatly from a lot of Concentration effects. You also benefit a lot from using Divine Smite, so you might not even get to cast them very often. You get some movement speed, interesting opportunity attack options, and one of the best level 20 abilities that the Paladin could ask for. It’s a pretty great all-rounder, with the potential to become a top melee damage per round.

Oath Spells

You don’t get any new spells from the mythic Odysseys of Theros, but the list for this subclass does contain some nice options. 

Oath of Glory Spells
  • 3rd Level – Guiding Bolt, Heroism
  • 5th Level – Enhance Ability, Magic Weapon
  • 9th Level – Haste, Protection From Energy
  • 13th Level – Compulsion, Freedom of Movement
  • 17th Level – Commune, Flame Strike

As you can see, 6 of these are buffs. Heroism is a solid damage reduction ability, but does little else. In combats against something like a Mummy, it’s pretty great, especially at higher spell slots. Enhance Ability has a lot of utility, offering 6 different options to your party… None of them are particularly incredible. It’s a solid out-of-combat spell, but the only combat option is Bear’s Endurance, and… Well, Heroism tends to do a better job.

Magic Weapon is great in low-magic settings, but it comes in pretty late here. Not exactly optimal, but can increase your accuracy significantly. Haste is a wonderful spell, giving you the fantastic ability to move fast and attack often. It’s pretty great on you, since Paladins benefit quite a bit from weapon swings. 

Protection From Energy is one of the best defensive buffs in the game; good against dragons and casters and elementals, oh my! You’ll be happy to have this around and should save at least one 3rd level slot in case there are any elemental specialists nearby. Freedom of Movement is either really good or the most useless spell in the game, depending entirely on the encounter. You’ll be happy to have it when it’s good… Otherwise, 5d8 divine smite sounds pretty good.

The non-buffs are pretty diverse. Guiding Bolt is a pretty solid damaging spell; it hits hard for level 1, and grants advantage on attack rolls to whoever it hits. You’ve outscaled its damage being good, but it’s a solid ranged option if you need to spend level 1s. 

Compulsion comes way later and is way less viable. Forcing a target to move in a specific direction is pretty cool… But it gets to choose when it uses its action. And it still gets an action. And it gets to save every round. It’s not exactly awful – especially if someone in your party can cheese opportunity attacks! 

Commune is an information spell; really cool! Paladins don’t get many of those. If you’re desperate for answers, there are worse uses for a level 5 slot. Flame Strike is a fairly weak area of effect spell… But you’re a Paladin. Your area of effects consists of hitting one dude with a sword while telling the other enemies to wait their turn. This is great for you.

Channel Divinity

As with all Paladins, you have two options for Channel Divinity. Unlike all other Paladins, your choices are swole. Your first option is called “Peerless Athlete.” As a bonus action, you gain 10 minutes of being the toughest dude in history, Athletics and Acrobatics advantage, double your weight for all sorts of things, and making jumps is just the easiest stuff in the world. You’re the star of the track meet, the wrestling league, and probably like every other sport combined!

While I adore the flavor of this ability, combat application leaves a bit to be desired. You gain some jumping benefits and such, and the Athletics advantage can lead to some grappling builds being much more viable. However, in most situations, this is too specific. You don’t hit someone with Acrobatics, and you don’t actually get any movement speed; pogo-hopping to your opponents doesn’t earn you any extra credit.

The jump stuff could be cool, if you leap into the air and pin a dragon’s wings to it’s side to drop it from the sky… But then your GM is really leaning into the Glory Oath thing. Which I highly recommend them do.

The big problem for Peerless Athlete is your other option, Inspiring Smite. This lets you spend your Bonus Action – post successful Divine Smite – to grant 2d8 + level temp HP, split amongst creatures you choose within 30 ft.

The problem is… Peerless Athlete is so much cooler than this ability. But this has better combat utility. 2d8+3 isn’t anything to shake your nose at. You can also split them, granting multiple party members small health buffers to keep them afloat.

The late game makes this a little bit weak; a maximum of 36 health doesn’t exactly scream “I Channeled Divinity for this.” Don’t get me wrong; if you place this all on one target, they could survive something tragic. But, split out on a party of 4… Giving 8 temporary health just feels bad, doesn’t it? And that’s on a maximum roll.

Don’t sleep on this Channel. It’s a good option, and granting this pile of health to a low HP ally can save them while you deal massive damage… But, do remember Peerless Athlete exists every now and then… And, consider the legend of the Grappaladin from Dungeons & Dragons editions past.

Aura of Alacrity

Your aura is… Alright. At 7th level You gain 10 ft of movement speed. Anyone who starts their turn adjacent to you also gains 10 ft of movement speed until the end of their turn. At 18th level, this scales… to your allies within 10 ft of you.

Uh… Not bad.

This is super useful for a melee weapon build. One of the big problems with being a frontliner in these editions is that your enemies can just out-speed you. So, by getting 10 ft of movement, you might be able to catch up to them. It also lets you have more movement speed to jump with… I guess that might be good for anti-flight? Probably not enough.

Granting that movement speed to allies is nice. In most cases, this’ll give your party a 10 ft boost to getting to their positions to start a fight. Sometimes, you might really help a Rogue get advantage, or boost a Barbarian to get next to a priority target. Unfortunately, since they have to start their turn next to you to benefit from this, you’ll have a lot of frustrating situations where they’re just barely too far.

Even if this ability just increased your movement speed by 10 ft, it’d be exceedingly useful for you. The ally boosting is a cherry on top of this healthy, fit cake.

Glorious Defense

Level 15 is the defensive ability of most Paladins, and yours is a doozy! When you or anyone closeby gets hit by an attack, you can boost their AC by your Charisma mod. If that makes the attack miss, you can beat them with your weapon. You can use this up to your Charisma mod per day.

Two big reasons to want your Charisma up.

So, while you can benefit from this effect, you also have d10 hit dice, heavy armor, and potentially a shield. Your AC is already huge, and you can afford to take a hit. That means you want to be within 10 ft of people who might not have so much bulk so you can save your squishy teammates.

That means that you probably have 2 major options. The first is to have at least one other ally in melee. That can be any class, but the d8 melee characters – Monk, Rogue, or Warlock – would most benefit from this effect. You can protect them, and deal a bit of damage. Win-win! The big problem is that you have to be in range of the enemy to get the full benefit of this. Does that mean you should use a Reach weapon? Maybe. It’d make things easier, right?

The other potential possibility is a ranged build. By having a bow, you can protect your squishy allies from spell attack rolls and then fire back. This build tends to do a little less damage – and doesn’t let you use Divine Smite – but you get to almost always guarantee the Attack… And anything is more than 0! If you decide to go this way, try to have good spells to cast in those slots. Or a Finesse weapon nearby.

Even if you can’t get the attack, your Charisma will likely increase your ally’s AC by 3-4. That’s a 20% chance to make the enemy miss! If your GM is nice and lets you see the results of attack rolls, that’s a real strong insurance policy. Otherwise, it’s still a pretty good chance to save a low health ally.

Keep your glorious friends close! And your vain enemies closer.

Living Legend

The final ability is simultaneously standard and oddly frequent. You can use a bonus action to ascend. This gives you advantage on Charisma stuff and lets you guarantee attacks and reroll saves… Though both reroll effects are once per round. Unlike most other Ascension abilities, this refreshes on a short rest or when you expend a 5th level spell slot.

Lots of great stuff here! Advantage on Charisma checks isn’t bad. The Paladin isn’t guaranteed to be the party face, but you’re pretty good at it. Advantage on Persuasion can recover an awful situation… But this isn’t exactly the strongest ability for faces. You could do better.

The rerolling effects are great. They stack with advantage or disadvantage, so you can benefit from all sorts of strong skills. Your weapon attacks becoming guaranteed hits mean you can make sure that you land a Divine Smite once per round… Even if you have disadvantage! That’s a huge increase in consistency, even if it’s usually not too necessary by this point in the game.

Rerolling a save is crucial at this point. You’d hate to get Dominated at level 20 and ruin your glorious ally’s face with a greatsword. This also stacks with advantage. Your saves are already massive, so your advantage will often save you from an awful roll.

Most of these level 20 subclass abilities either refresh on a long rest, or last an hour to compensate. This one lets you expend 5th level slots… And I’d say there’s pretty great reason to! This is a strong effect that probably does better than most 5th level spells (in most situations!). You just become too good at combat to pass this up. Besides, it’s not like you can spend 5th level spells to smite without losing 1d8 damage.

If your campaign goes to level 20, you’ll be in the runnings to have your own era in Theros’s history books.

Best Race for Glory Oath Paladins

The Glory Paladin can get a few paths forwards. If you want just to be a Paladin through and through, boost one of your two major Physical stats; either Strength or Dexterity. Your Charisma is important to make you the Master of Saves and (at level 15) AC alike. Then, Constitution is good so you can take a hit.

If you’re willing to multiclass, you could consider leveling into the Hexblade Warlock and forgetting about Strength or Dexterity. I’d only do that if you knew you’d get higher than level 15 in the campaign, though!


For this class, these Volo’s Guide fish people work perfectly. +1 to Strength, Constitution and Charisma? Sign me up! In addition, you gain a swim speed, some absolutely fantastic utility spells, and can become Aquaman. Cold resistance is a bit niche, but you can resist some huge Area of Effect spells in the late game. Besides, Tritons are a noble race. They’d love to leave their mark on history.


Alright… You’re going to want to use Variant Human from the Player’s Handbook here. You’re gonna want to put your +1’s into Strength and Charisma… And then take either Tavern Brawler or Grappler (Grappler is a little more useful, especially if you want to use normal weapons!). Then take the other at level 4.

Bam. Grappaladin.

This subclass – by granting Advantage on Athletics Checks for 10 minutes – can benefit you immensely for a grapple build. You’ll have advantage to grab people and then, with Grappler, you’ll have advantage on weapon attacks against them, and they’ll be in your holy embrace. Your party can then help in beating the now immobilized opponent down!

This isn’t the best use of this new subclass, but it’s one of the most fun-sounding builds in the game! If you want some glorious combat, try this out. Otherwise, humans can still make use of Great Weapon Master to decimate the battlefield.

Glory Domain Gods

Glory Oath paladins centralize around achievement, athleticism, and heroics. Thankfully, there are plenty of gods who center around physical perfection in any pantheon. Here are some examples that your Paladin might follow.

Ilmater (Faerûn)

The Broken God is not known for pomp and circumstance. Boastful achievements are far from his mind, as he represents an entirely different type of physical strength. Whenever someone cries out under torture, the Crying God is with them, and supports them through the most painful times of their lives. He is the god of the martyrs, and all forget him… Until someone endures.

Ilmater is the Lawful Good god of endurance, suffering, and martyrdom. He is often depicted as a bloodied man whose body was lacerated and abused. His limbs were constantly broken as a showmanship of his domain. He is known for his undying empathy, kindness, and gentle nature. However, in the face of cruelty, Ilmater’s wrath knows no bounds. 

Worshipers of Ilmater are tasked with relieving the suffering of others. They are advocates against torture or unjust prison sentences, and will often perform civil disobedience in protest to unjust events. While they are not encouraged to harm themselves in the line of duty, they are reminded that their suffering means little against the suffering an unjust law may cause. His clergy often attracted the sick, poor, and downtrodden.

Glory Paladins of Ilmater are the faces of the church. Rather than loudly boasting about meaningless tasks, these paladins fight cruelty and share stories head-on. They are responsible for showcasing feats of physical endurance and defying human durability to bring attention to a cause. By turning the Glory Paladin’s natural affiliation with honing their bodies to a new task, Ilmater shapes them into tools for positive change in the world.

Kord (Greyhawk)

Lightning strikes in the center of an arena, flinging dust and debris every which way. The eight-pointed star of The Brawler rests on the lapel of a gladiator, diving towards her glory. The audience watches with baited breath through the rainy air as the warrior slays the beast in front of her, cheers erupting through the air. This barbarism and sport is exactly what she had trained all her life for, and she holds her symbol for all to see.

Kord is the Chaotic Neutral god of athletics, sports, brawling, and storms. He shows himself as a gigantic, muscular man wearing dragon’s skin, or a top-tier athlete in the flesh. He cares for little else than the conquering of tasks and overcoming cowardice. Bravery is the best thing that a mortal can have, and to better oneself should be all that occurs.

Worshipers of Kord believe in his dogma to the bitter end, which is often on a battlefield. By showcasing strength, one can win their place in the Hall of the Valiant beside their god. They are often tasked by their god and each other with overcoming a grand obstacle, each working to their limits to someday show their strength in the eyes of the god.

Glory Paladins of Kord represent the best that he has to offer. His immense strength flows through their veins, and he tasks them with grand challenges that only the best can take on. Rather than bow meekly to those who oppress, the Glory Paladin betters themselves so that, one day, they can best their opponents in battle. And, if they should die on the battlefield, then they are welcomed to heaven in open arms. Truly, the epitome of the god’s will in the flesh.

Lathander (Faerûn)

Who prays to the Morninglord on this day? A mother, whose newborn infant is sick with filth fever. A merchant, whose stock is on its way through a dangerous land. Travelers who, by moving through a shortcut, find themselves lost as the sun slowly comes up. The Commander of Creativity watches over all of humanity and brings them the hope that they need to see the next dawn.

Lathander is the Neutral Good god of renewal, dawn, fertility, and youth. He is shown as a gigantic man, whose visage radiates the sun in his smile. This god wears bright, beautiful clothing to replicate the beauty of flowers. He is known for his gorgeous optimism and, occasionally, his brash naivete. While he is known to anger, his dogged determination for altruism and want for positive change is much better known. 

Worshipers of Lathander are the first to accept new laws and policies that could benefit others. They see the next dawn as a new chance for growth and consolidation. They are somewhat unorganized, as their youthful optimism replicates their god’s, and new members are often shifted about the hierarchy. However, none can relent against the clergy’s determination and spirit.

Glory Paladins of Lathander replicate the god’s love for physical betterment and aspirations for a brighter day. They seek glory not just to tell a fantastic story, but to ensure the next sunrise is better than the last. Their every Smite is in the name of positive change, and they hone themselves to keep themselves in fit, fighting shape. They are the vanguards of the dawn, and should take themselves very seriously.

Example Feats for Glory Oath Paladins

Glory Paladins offer a powerful supportive toolset in standard fights. Your feats should supplement that playstyle while offering additional utility and damage bonuses. 


Crusher, and its sister feat Slasher, each offer unique benefits for the Glory Paladin. This feat gives you +1 Strength or Con, letting you boost your health or keep up with Strength-based attack rolls. More importantly, landing attacks with bludgeoning weapons allows you to move enemies around. By shifting enemies out of powerful positions, you can disrupt buffs or let more melee allies at them. In addition, if you use the Flanking ruleset, you can also get advantage slightly easier! On a critical hit, all attacks get advantage against the target, too! That can lead to a bunch of spells and attacks landing and bursting the target. Overall, a great support feat for a level where you don’t need +2 Strength or Constitution.

Fey Touched

If you need to round out your Charisma, there are few feats that can do that better than Fey Touched. This stellar feat gives you that +1 to Charisma, which can round out an odd score. What’s better, though, is the ability to cast Misty Step once per day for free. While the Glory Paladin doesn’t have too much trouble getting to targets, it is imperative that you are in melee combat for Smites. As a Bonus Action, you can zip 30 feet in any direction and be ready to bring down the hammer! And, you learn the spell, meaning you can burn 2nd level spell slots on it if needed.

Then, there’s the free 1st level spell. Magic like Hex and Hunter’s Mark are both great Concentration options, but Paladins have too many of those. Instead, Silvery Barbs can help your support build by keeping people alive from a distance. And, that’s a really solid reaction to just have around!


This feat’s more funny than good, but we have to mention some use for Athletics here! Grappler is a feat that lets you gain advantage on attack rolls against a target you have grappled, and allows you to attempt to pin a grappled creature, restraining them. This is one of the most potent support feats in the game, letting you restrict an enemy and yourself to benefit your allies. Since you can get advantage on Athletics Checks, you’re actually pretty likely to succeed. A one-handed Paladin build can make use of this… And they can also take Tavern Brawler to attempt to grapple as a Bonus Action! This featline might not be optimal, but it makes clever use of your high Athletics… So, it’s gotta be worth something!

Polearm Master

Another Players Handbook feat, Polearm Master replaces your Ability Score improvement for two potent benefits. First, you get a bonus action attack which hits for 1d4. That’s good, since it allows you to possibly land 3 smites per round without buffs and without sacrificing your Ability modifier to damage. In addition, you get to make opportunity attacks when an enemy enters your range. Since most polearms have Reach, this means you’ll be stabbing people often. Keep them at bay, and they’ll start becoming scared of you! A consistent reaction for most combat situations.


Tough is probably the most simple feat in the game. You get +2 HP per level. That’s it. That means you basically gain +4 Constitution, in terms of HP. By level 20, you can take another hit before going down. That might not sound great, but that can be the difference between life and death. And, since you’re a decent emergency healer, any extra turn you can get is very worth it!

Multiclassing for Glory Paladins

Glory Paladins, unfortunately, are one of the very few oaths with an excellent level 20 option. However, that is not always worth it! So, if you want to multiclass, here are a few options for you.


The Fighter is the classic 2 level multiclass, since it just has so much at level 1 and 2. At level 1, you get an impactful bonus action in Second Wind and a Fighting Style… The best Fighting Style selection out there! Getting something even as simple as Defense can be really handy. Then, at level 2, you gain Action Surge. Just in case you thought 2 Smites per round wasn’t quite enough! An excellent choice for Paladins who need to burst something down.


Warlocks, specifically Hexblades, are great dips for the enterprising Paladin. So, getting two levels in that class is not a bad idea! You can use Charisma for attack and damage, freeing up Strength or Dexterity to be dropped entirely. You can also use your free hand for Eldritch Blast, an impressive ranged option that only gets better with levels. Invocations are also very, very good! Overall, this is a great idea for a Paladin who doesn’t want to worry as much about keeping up with Strength.

Suggested Glory Paladin Backgrounds

A high priority for your background should be to secure Perception as a trained skill. You can do this through your choice of race, but backgrounds tend to be easier. And thankfully, there’s an excellent Glory Paladin background in the Player’s Handbook itself! We’ll list that one first, and a few other options right after.


Hidden right in the Player’s Handbook is an excellent background for any character: Sailor! Sailor comes with Athletics – the most common skill for movement – and Perception – by far the most rolled skill in the game! Your tool proficiencies are lackluster, though navigator’s tools can theoretically save you from getting lost. Good luck making Water Vehicle proficiency work, though. Your equipment is actually solid, coming with a club, rope, and some money. Really good, though realistically the perception proficiency is crazy good.

Ship’s Passage is a situationally crazy feature. If you ever need to travel on water, you actually get some heavy discounts if your DM is cool with it. But, if you’re not going to the water… Uh oh. Don’t worry, this background is still fantastic even if you don’t use the class feature. 

Boros Legionnaire

This Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica background offers a ton of different options for the Paladin. Your skill proficiencies are fine, locking you into Athletics and Intimidation. While these are options you already had available to you as a Paladin, you still benefit from having open slots to take things like Persuasion and Insight. You also get a Gaming set for money and strong languages like Celestial or Draconic. Finally, the gear that you get are all fairly unique… Especially that angel’s wing feather!

Unless you are in Ravnica, you may need to alter your Feature a bit. However, getting simple equipment for garrisons and some medical attention at said locations is not a bad thing to have! Talk to your DM about working this into other campaign settings, and you’re set!


If you want options outside of the normal Paladin skill set, a background like Criminal could do. Deception and Stealth are definitely out-of-the-ordinary, and work well for a Dexterity Paladin. Gaming sets are whatever, but Thieves’ Tools are exceptionally common to use, and you’ll be a good choice for a backup rogue! Your equipment is also fine, boasting that 15 gold belt pouch! 

Your feature should come in handy fairly often, as long as your DM is nice about it. It’s one of the more flexible background features in the game. So, really solid if you can twist it and make it work! You can also use the Spy background, if you’re worried about your Paladin being seen poorly.

How to Play Glory Paladins

Out of Combat

  • Use Your Skills! Skills are the most common thing for a Paladin to use in non-combat situations. Remember what you have and that a lot of skills are vague for a reason. Using Intimidate to stare down an animal might just work out for you! Be creative and you’ll be rewarded… most of the time.
  • Remember Your Spells! Paladin spells are not the most varied, but they can always transfer any situational magic into Smites. So, don’t be afraid to prepare some spells for out-of-combat scenarios! Magic like Purify Food and Drink can literally save lives, if you have it ready.
  • Peerless Athlete is Great for Emergencies. Peerless Athlete lasts for 10 minutes and gives you advantage on common movement skill checks. Use it! It’s much better to be safe than sorry, and you’ll get it back during a Short Rest.

In Combat

  • Utilize Inspiring Smite when Possible. Inspiring Smite turns a high-damage burst option into one that also “heals” your party. The usefulness of this ability cannot be understated, especially early on. It scales poorly, but it’s still free health! Dump it all on the front line and watch as enemies bounce off of your free health.
  • Position Yourself for Aura of Alacrity. 10 speed is nothing to sneeze at. Try to give the benefit to as many people as possible at the start of the fight! Then, try to keep people inside of it through clever positioning. You should be able to at least keep melee fighters, like Monks or Barbarians, within it!
  • Glorious Defense is an Amazing Reaction. Use it! Make sure that, if you think the campaign will go on for a while, that you have an ally in melee that you can give this to consistently. +5 to AC by endgame is quite a lot, and you get a free attack afterwards!
  • Living Legend is worth the spell slot. Guaranteed hits on a class with Divine Smite and even better advantage on saving throws? That’s really good! This is almost always worth the spell slot, since it doesn’t even take up Concentration. You don’t have many 5th level spell slots, but using this three times a day might be worth it!

Glory Paladin FAQ

What Book is Glory Paladin in?

You can find the Oath of Glory in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything or the Mythic Odysseys of Theros. Tasha’s Cauldron tends to be better for weird archetypes like this, since it also comes with plenty of other options!

Is Glory Paladin a Good Oath?

Glory Paladin is fine. Your Channel Divinity options don’t scale well, but the movement speed and supportive options make you the best friend of your Melee damage dealer. Your freely prepared spells are also fairly impactful.

What Alignment is Best for a Glory Paladin?

Glory Paladins can actually be any alignment, since pursuing glory and bodily perfection can be applicable to any alignment. However, they tend to lean towards Good or Neutral, since they naturally want to help their allies also pursue great acts.

Glory Paladin Example Build

Let’s get swole! Our DM wants us to make a character using the Player Handbook’s Race rules, Standard Array for stats (15, 14, 13, 12, 10), and normal starting equipment. That’s not too bad for us! Our race should be something with Strength – or Dexterity – and Charisma. Strength is for beating up enemies and landing hits, while Charisma improves our saving throws and our legitimately excellent late game class features.

Our DM is also letting us use the Changeling race from Eberron: Rising from the Last War. This race gives us +2 Charisma, +1 Strength (or Dexterity), get free proficiency in Deception and Insight, and learn a ton of languages. We also get the exceptional Shapechanger ability, which works well in espionage and some social scenarios. The two languages will be based on what languages our party knows and what is common in our community. We’ll select the Sailor background to get fantastic skills and some okay extra gear.

At this point, after talking with the party, it’s determined that we’re going to be the only one relying on Strength. So, we’ll be a Strength build! Let’s go for a two-handed weapon build, like a Halberd.

5E Glory Paladin Build
Race: ChangelingAbility Scores: STR 16 (15 + 1), DEX 10, CON 13, INT 8, WIS 12, CHA 16 (14 + 2)Proficiencies: Intimidation, Persuasion, Athletics, Perception, Navigator’s Tools, Water Vehicles, Deception, InsightStarting Equipment: Halberd, Greatsword, five Javelins, Priest’s Pack, Chain Mail, Holy Symbol, Club, Silk Rope, a Rabbit’s Foot, Common Clothes, 10 gpLanguages: Common, Dwarven, Elven
LevelsNew FeaturesChoices To Make
1-Divine Sense
-Lay on Hands
Thankfully, we’ve already made our choices! Our race, background, and class is all we have to consider. We’ve decided to go for a two-handed damage paladin rather than a high AC choice. Thankfully, you have time to change your mind! If you are getting hit too often, invest in a shield and find a one-handed weapon.
2-Divine Smite
-Fighting Style
-1st Level Spells
We actually have a ton of choices this level!Fighting Style: As a two-handed build, we have quite a few options. Interception is reasonable, as is Great Weapon Fighting to prevent terrible damage. But, we’re going to go with Defense. Defense improves our durability by a small, but significant, margin. It also lets us pivot to sword and shield with no problems.Spells: Paladins have a complex relationship with magic. You get to prepare from the full spell list every single week. So, it’s important to sit down and read this every now and then. Bless and Shield of Faith are great Concentration spells. Wrathful Smite is a solid debuff to bring to a fight, though generic Divine Smite tends to be better if you want damage.
3-Divine Health
-Oath Spells
-Channel Divinity: Peerless Athlete
-Channel Divinity: Inspiring Smite
You’ve finally become a Glorious Paladin! Sadly, we’ll almost always use our Inspiring Smite during fights, rather than the Peerless Athlete Channel Divinity option. But, Inspiring Smite is actually extremely strong, swinging the total health in a fight by a large margin!In addition, we have a few new spells. Guiding Bolt hits like a truck, and Heroism is a fine spell to counter Frightened. Actually solid level 1 options here!
4-Ability Score ImprovementWe have quite a few choices here. We could get a feat, but I don’t think our Paladin has the stats to do so effectively. We could get +2 to Strength or Charisma, which would be a huge boon for our character’s future. But… I think we can plan for the future. here. I’m going to choose to get +1 to Constitution, +1 to Charisma. I want to take feats later on that improve our Charisma a touch. So, by leaving us on 17 Charisma, a future feat that gives us a +1 to it can round out an 18! In addition, we get 4 health and better Constitution saving throws. What’s not to like?
5-Extra Attack
-2nd Level Spells
Welcome to 2nd level spells! We automatically know Enhance Ability and Magic Weapon, two solid buff options. We can instead focus on situational spells like Lesser Restoration or Find Steed, since we can always turn them into Smites!
6-Aura of ProtectionThis is the point where our Charisma being at +3 really matters. That’s a big boost to our saving throws! Keep cycling through spells; weird ones like Locate Object helps in out-of-combat scenarios, and Prayer of Healing can help your cleric restore hitpoints outside of combat.
7-Aura of AlacrityYour high movement speed is a great reason to be playing a Glory Paladin! Move into position to give priority targets your +10 to movement speed. Or, just keep it on yourself. It’s even great if you’re doing nothing but being fast! Keep cycling spells. 1st level spells like Command or Compelled Duel can restrict enemy options and make fights easier.
8-Ability Score ImprovementThis is where our plans come together! Let’s take Fey Touched this level. This gets our Charisma to 18, which is good. More importantly, we get Misty Step. Even though we have a +10 to movement speed, the ability to get to your target fast as a Bonus Action on a Paladin is game-changing. If an enemy Wizard is flying, you could pop into the air and swing at them on your way down. By taking Misty Step and Silvery Barbs, we can have fantastic mobility and defensive options to use and abuse!
9-3rd Level SpellsLevel 3 spells are here, and they’re okay on the Paladin’s list. For our Oath, we get Haste and Protection from Energy. Haste is an insane grab, giving us two actions in a round to Smite! This will consistently take up our Concentration slot. However, we can back it up with solid options like Dispel Magic to help us deal with problems that Smite doesn’t deal with.
10-Aura of CourageThis aura is situational, preventing us from being Frightened and letting us walk to our allies to prevent them from being frightened, either. Make use of it when you can! You may find yourself reminding your DM about it every now and then.Our spell choices continue to matter a lot! Make sure you’re choosing good ones, like Revivify, to help support your party.
11-Improved Divine SmiteYour weapon attacks hitting harder is very important. Really good, even! Remember that you have this on every swing. But, your choices are still restricted to spells. Make sure you make the most of them with options like Remove Curse and Magic Circle in emergencies.
12-Ability Score ImprovementSo here, the path splits just a bit. On the one hand, we want +2 Charisma to get to 20. But, if we haven’t been lucky with magical items, we may need +2 Strength so we stop missing as much. In our campaign, we’re lucky enough to have a DM who gives us Belts of Giant Strength, so we actually don’t need Strength improvements. Instead, let’s just take our Charisma boost. Now, we can hand +5s to Saving Throws and will eventually have a fantastic DC of 19 for our spells!
13-4th Level SpellsLevel 4 is here! Our spells from our Oath are Compulsion and Freedom of Movement. While impressive spells by themselves, they do need specific scenarios to shine. We can supplement them with spells that are more commonly useful in combat, such as Banishment.
14-Cleansing TouchCleansing Touch is an impressive method to Dispel Magic. However, it only works on creatures. Don’t rely too much on it! You can rely on spells like Death Ward or Staggering Smite, both impressive combat options that provide either guaranteed defense or impactful combat disruption.
15-Glorious DefenseThis impressive reaction is the whole reason we’ve been interested in weapons with Reach. Being able to give a Shield worth of AC and then beat them over the head? Sign me up! Try to always be in range of the pesky enemies who are trying to harm your friends.And check out some of the utility options at level 4, as well! Find Greater Steeds and Locate Creature can come in handy, if you prepare them with a plan in mind!
16-Ability Score ImprovementNow that our Charisma is high, we can very freely take some solid feats to support our party. We can take Tough for health, War Caster for better Concentration, or Polearm Master for better battlefield control.We decide to go for War Caster to keep Haste and other buffs online more often. We can also do fun things like Banish instead of opportunity attack.
17-5th Level Spells5th level spells are very impactful. We get Commune and Flame Strike for free; one situational out-of-combat spell and the other an expensive fireball. We’ll rarely use these spell slots, but we can supplement them with magic like Holy Weapon to deal massive single-target damage in combat.
18-Aura ImprovementsNow that our auras are 30 feet, we no longer have to awkwardly maneuver into places where our buffs affect as many people as possible.Our spell list continues to be important! Check out spells like Summon Celestial in combat and Raise Dead for emergencies!
19-Ability Score ImprovementOnce again, we should probably take a feat here. Tough is great, but Polearm Master gives us a consistent bonus action, a great reaction, and some area control. We’ll go with Tough if we’re worrying about our durability.Multiclassing: Now would be a fine time to multiclass into a Fighter for Action surge to make the highest impact turns possible. But, we’ll assume we’re making a pure Paladin.
20-Living LegendLiving Legend is an excellent use of a 5th level spell slot. Be sure to use it in (and out!) of fights. It’s a very high impact ability that guarantees damage and almost guarantees Charisma checks!Keep cycling through spells at this point. Magic like Geas can be useful in endgame campaigns.

Conclusion – Our Take on the Glory Oath Paladin

The Glory Oath is… Interesting. One of the two Theros subclasses, It has a few great abilities for a melee Paladin 5E build, but requires at least one other melee character to be viable. It can also be used for a ranged build if you want, but the Paladin benefits so little from ranged options – without a Ranger multiclass or something – that it’s unrealistic. If you want a versatile build – or advantage to bodyslam a dragon – the Glory Oath is right for you.

1 Comment

  1. Enhance Ability (choosing Dexterity) gives you an hour of advantage on initiative rolls (since they are a Dexterity ability check). so that is a very solid buff to have active while walking through a dungeon.

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