Being a hero is tough work that requires discipline, training, and pure physical perfection.
The Oath of Glory Paladin seeks to answer the call of glory when they hear it. Destined for heroism and acts that will be inscribed among the greatest of legends, these Paladins spend their time training so that they are ready when that day comes.
Do you hope to one day have your name counted among those legends as well, dear Paladin?
Begin your training with this full guide to the Oath of Glory Paladin in D&D 5e!
What is the Oath of Glory Paladin in D&D 5e?
True to the campaign setting that this subclass first appeared in, the Oath of Glory is reminiscent of the legendary heroes from Ancient Greece. If you’ve ever wanted to evoke the legends of Achilles, Odysseus, or Theseus, the Oath of Glory is for you!
These Paladins hold themselves to the highest of standards both physically and mentally. They take a stoic approach to life and view hardships as mere tests to be overcome. By achieving mastery of both their body and mind, these Paladins also seek to perfect their souls.
Paladins who have sworn the Oath of Glory eagerly await the day when they can begin their own heroic journey. Holding themselves and their companions to the highest standard, they aim to seize that opportunity and go down in legend.
Tenets of the Oath of Glory
Swearing oneself to the Oath of Glory requires a Paladin to live by four tenets. These provide a framework for the discipline necessary to become a legendary hero.
- Actions Over Words: Be known by your glorious deeds and accomplishments, not your words.
- Challenges Are Tests: Face hardships with courage and encourage others to face them with you.
- Hone the Body: Your body is raw stone. Work your body to realize its full potential.
- Discipline the Soul: Marshal the discipline to overcome failings within yourself that threaten to dim the glory of you and your allies.
Role in the Party
The glory and legendary heroics that you crave won’t be found in the party’s backline. As an Oath of Glory Paladin, you belong on the front line so that you can be ready to dash into action at a moment’s notice.
While you are certainly a frontline melee damage-dealer first and foremost, the Oath of Glory extends to your allies as well. Your spells and features add extra support for your party.
By leading the charge and rallying those around you, you create openings for your friends to shine bright as well!
When it comes to creating momentum to carry the party to victory, that starts with you!
Oath of Glory Paladin Abilities
The Oath of Glory Paladin gets a number of features that help them on their great adventure.
Not only will you be pushing yourself beyond the limits of what others might view as possible, but you’ll be bringing out the best in your allies while you do it!
Take a look!
Oath of Glory Spells
Your Sacred Oath grants you bonus spells that are meant to help you and build on your subclass’s theme.
At each of the levels that you see on the table, you gain bonus spells. These spells are always prepared and don’t count against the number of spells you can prepare each day.
If a spell isn’t from the Paladin spell list, it still counts as a Paladin spell for you.
|Paladin Level||Oath Spells|
|3||Guiding Bolt, Heroism|
|5||Enhance Ability, Magic Weapon|
|9||Haste, Protection from Energy|
|13||Compulsion, Freedom of Movement|
|17||Commune, Flame Strike|
Guiding Bolt can be a solid way to gain advantage against an enemy while doing some respectable damage. However, you’re probably so split between Strength, Constitution and Charisma that spell attacks aren’t really your strong suit. Heroism, on the other hand, is a solid buff if you can maintain Concentration.
Enhance Ability is a good spell in a pinch, but use your Channel Divinity for Strength instead. Otherwise this is solid. Magic Weapon is pure value, but once again requires you to maintain Concentration.
I don’t know why Compulsion is on this list, to be honest. Don’t even bother with it. Freedom of Movement is better, but you aren’t likely to find yourself in situations that require it by the time you get it.
These are mostly decent spells but maintaining Concentration on the frontline is very tough.
Channel Divinity (Level 3)
As with all Paladins, you have two options for how to use your Channel Divinity feature. You can use your Channel Divinity feature once per short or long rest.
Peerless Athlete: As a bonus action, gain advantage on Strength (Athletics) and Dexterity (Acrobatics) checks, carry/push/drag/lift twice as much weight, and increase your high/long jumps by 10 feet for 10 minutes.
A duration of 10 minutes means you can likely get some very good use out of this. Lifting heavy things, jumping across deadly chasms, or wrestling an enemy to the ground are all much easier thanks to your incredible athleticism!
Inspiring Smite: Immediately after dealing damage to a creature with your Divine Smite feature, you can use Channel Divinity as a bonus action to distribute temporary hit points to creatures of your choice within 30 feet of you (which can include you.)
The number of temporary hit points equals 2d8 + your level in this class, divided among the chosen creatures however you like.
Not only are you dealing a boatload of extra damage with your Divine Smite, but you’re also providing a solid buff to yourself and your allies while you do it!
Especially as you level up, you’ll probably be keeping these temporary hit points for yourself. However, this can be incredibly useful for turning the tides if you or your allies are taking a beating.
You have to use your Divine Smite to trigger this, so make sure that you aren’t burning through your spell slots!
Also, you will want to make sure you check out my article covering temporary hit points. That will help you get the best value out of this feature more often!
All in all, these are some very solid options for your Channel Divinity!
Aura of Alacrity (Level 7)
At level 7, the Oath of Glory Paladin gains their Aura of Alacrity feature. Make sure your sandals are strapped because it’s time to march!
Your walking speed increases by 10 feet. In addition, if you aren’t incapacitated, the walking speed of any ally who starts their turn within 5 feet of you increases by 10 feet until the end of that turn.
When you reach level 18 in this class, the range of the aura increases to 10 feet.
Few things are as frustrating as having to chase down an enemy that’s just slightly quicker than you.
Where this feature is most useful is at the very start of combat. That extra 10 feet of movement can be very useful in helping your party get to their positions during a fight.
This means your backliners can hopefully get to a safe distance while you are making it easier for your frontliners to engage the enemy. Used well, that 10 feet bonus can easily line a Rogue up to start landing Sneak Attacks right from the start of combat.
I’m not going to say that this is the most amazing and game-changing aura that a Paladin can get. But it does provide enough of an extra boost that it can greatly affect your entire party’s performance for the better.
Positioning is an oft-neglected aspect of combat in D&D with huge repercussions. Giving yourself and your party a leg-up in that regard means there’s a fair bit of value here!
Glorious Defense (Level 15)
Regular readers will know how much I absolutely LOVE features and effects that can come in clutch at the last second.
This is one such feature and it’s freaking great!
When you or another creature you can see within 10 feet of you is hit by an attack roll, you can use your reaction to grant a bonus to the target’s AC against that attack, potentially causing it to miss.
The bonus equals your Charisma modifier (minimum of +1).
If the attack misses, you can make one weapon attack against the attacker as part of this reaction, provided the attacker is within your weapon’s range.
You can use this feature a number of times equal to your Charisma modifier (minimum of once), and you regain all expended uses when you finish a long rest.
So, you’re using one reaction to give yourself or your ally up to a +5 bonus to their Armor Class and also getting in a counterattack to boot!
If you’ve got a squishier party member next to you, this gives you a reliable way to defend them. If you’re finding yourself with no allies next to you, it might just save your own life too!
To get the best use out of this, you want to make sure you can easily hit enemies.
Using a weapon with the Reach property (like a Halberd) lets you cover a lot of ground with this feature. Or you could have a ranged weapon, though Dexterity isn’t typically the Paladin’s strong suit unless you’re going for a very specific build.
If I had to pick one selling point for the Oath of Glory Paladin, it would almost certainly be this!
Living Legend (Level 20)
At level 20, even the Gods know your name and speak of your deeds. All your training, discipline, and tests of endurance have paid off.
You are now a Living Legend whose name will never be forgotten.
The legends of your deeds and accomplishments empower you with several benefits for 1 minute. How’s that for some bravado?
You can use this feature once per long rest unless you spend a level 5 spell slot to use it again.
You are blessed with an otherworldly presence and gain advantage on all Charisma checks.
Once on each of your turns when you make a weapon attack and miss, you can cause that attack to hit instead.
If you fail a saving throw, you can use your reaction to reroll it. You must use this new roll.
This is a fantastic capstone feature both mechanically and thematically for the Oath of Glory Paladin.
Gaining advantage on Charisma checks is nice, but the real draw are the other benefits you get from this feature.
Because activating this lasts for 1 minute, you’ve got 10 rounds that you’re guaranteed to hit at least once. Especially against the colossal enemies you’re facing at this level, that’s a fantastic opening to deal some very heavy damage by adding in your Divine Smites.
Similarly, potentially turning a failed saving throw into a success for the low cost of a reaction is splendid. Effects that you’re saving against at this top tier of play are bound to be wicked so that extra chance to succeed is very useful!
If you need to dig deep and use this a second time, it is well worth it for a level 5 spell slot!
There’s a strong vibe of “looking to the past” within the Oath of Glory Paladin’s theme. Filled with awe and wonder at the legends of heroes of old, these characters are determined to follow in their heroes’ footsteps.
The tenets of the Oath of Glory give you a strong basis for informing how you might play an Oath of Glory Paladin.
While you don’t have to base your character on the Ancient Greek heroes of legend, it can give you a great starting point when fleshing out who your character is. Much like the legendary Spartans, you are resolved to return home with your shield or on it.
But here’s the cool thing…
More than any other Paladin subclass (or even any subclass in the entire game), you don’t need a particularly huge reason for going on an adventure. The adventure and the legends that will come from it are likely motivation enough!
If there was ever a perfect match, it’s the Oath of Glory Paladin and a Valor Bard. After all, who else is going to hype you up as much as a Valor Bard while also helping pen your legend!
Is the Oath of Glory Paladin Good?
For as long as I can remember, the Greek legends have always captivated my imagination. At least thematically, I love everything about the Oath of Glory Paladin.
But I do need to remove the personal bias here and talk about the mechanics…
It seems like people bash this subclass a lot. Some criticisms are definitely valid, but I would never say that this is a bad subclass option.
The only downsides to the Oath of Glory are a less than stellar aura at level 7 and a spell list that doesn’t play to the subclass’s role as well as it could.
The Oath of Glory’s spell list is heavy on concentration spells which don’t mix well with your role on the party’s front line. You’ll want to make sure to take the Resilient feat with a focus on Constitution.
But most Paladins are slow to use their spells for things other than Divine Smite. A “meh” spell list is certainly not enough to put the Oath of Glory in a dumpster tier.
Is the Oath of Glory mechanically the best Paladin subclass? Not necessarily.
But it is certainly not bad and can easily make for the type of bold, larger-than-life hero that every D&D game needs.
Not only does the Oath of Glory Paladin have what it takes to lead the charge, but they’ve also got a kit that’s great for helping bring out the best in their allies as well!
Related: See where the Oath of Glory lands in the full Paladin Subclass Ranking!
Conclusion – Oath of Glory Paladin in D&D
It’s difficult to fully express how badly I’ve wanted to either play or run a Theros campaign. As I said, I have a deep and lifelong love for those classic legends from Ancient Greece. If and when I can finally get a Theros game going, I absolutely plan on playing an Oath of Glory Paladin!
Not that they’re necessarily limited to the Theros setting, but you get what I’m saying.
From everything I’ve seen or heard, I am fully aware that I’m probably in the minority with my opinions about this subclass.
But I’m curious to know your thoughts on the Oath of Glory of Paladin. Leave a comment below and let me know what you think about this subclass!
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