The Oath of the Watchers Paladin has taken a solemn vow to protect this world from creatures that lie beyond it.
Whenever these beings come to the Material Plane, wherever they come from, the Watchers Paladin remains vigilant.
To stand against the most fearsome creatures in the multiverse requires discipline, determination, and an ever-watchful eye.
Do you have what it takes to stand against these foes?
This is the full guide to the Oath of the Watchers Paladin in D&D 5e!
What is the Oath of The Watchers Paladin in D&D 5e?
The Oath of the Watchers Paladin is one of two Paladin subclasses published in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything. It appears alongside the Oath of Glory Paladin.
It’s no secret that there are plenty of troubles on the Material Plane. Ferocious dragons, power-hungry liches, and more can threaten entire nations.
But what about the threats coming from beyond the Material Plane?
Grotesque aberrations may seek to devour or enslave innocents who wander too close to them. Fiends appear with the intention of deceiving and corrupting those they encounter.
Even the most seemingly innocent of Fey can cause untold damage on the Material Plane if left unchecked! What would an evil Fey be capable of doing?
Doing their duty as protectors of the veil between planes, the Oath of the Watchers Paladin serves as a sentinel for the Material Plane. They undergo intense training to learn what it takes to stand against all manner of extraplanar creatures.
Even beyond their own post, these Paladins typically communicate through a large network of informants and spies to quickly relay messages throughout the land.
Under their ever-watchful eyes, no evil shall invade the Material Plane.
Tenets of the Oath of The Watchers
The Sacred Oath sworn by Oath of the Watchers Paladins is simple and straightforward. It holds loyalty, observation, cunning, and a strict concept of discipline in high regard.
After all, they must always be ready just in case…
The tenets of the Oath of the Watchers are:
- Vigilance: The threats you face are cunning, powerful, and subversive. Be ever alert for their corruption.
- Loyalty: Never accept gifts or favors from fiends or those who truck with them. Stay true to your order, your comrades, and your duty.
- Discipline: You are the shield against the endless terrors that lie beyond the stars. Your blade must be forever sharp and your mind keen to survive what lies beyond.
Role in the Party
The Oath of the Watchers favors a more defensive playstyle. However, these Paladins also bring some unique arcane utility to the table.
If you really want to get into the theme of this subclass, being sure to grab proficiencies in Perception and Insight is a very good idea. You may even consider the Observant, Sentinel, or Alert feats if you really want to go all-in on being the party’s sentry.
Not only will you be able to reliably stand guard, but you’ll also see right through attempts by creatures trying to deceive or bamboozle you!
Your specific role as an Oath of the Watchers Paladin largely comes down to what kind of adventure your group is playing.
If there are plenty of extraplanar creatures (aberrations, celestials, elementals, fey, fiends) to encounter, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to shine and defend your party. Your character has trained hard for these moments and has plenty of ways to counter these creatures’ tactics and tricks!
If there aren’t many extraplanar threats, you’re mostly relying on your abilities to punish spellcasters that you encounter. It’s useful but much more situational.
Oath of The Watchers Paladin Abilities
Defending against threats from various planes requires a huge amount of training.
I mean, you can’t deal with an elemental like you would a Fey, right?
So, the Oath of the Watchers Paladin gets a list of spells and features that are meant to serve them well across a variety of situations. Rooting out illusions, protecting against manipulations of the mind, and spurring their allies to action are very valuable features to these Paladins.
Oath of The Watchers 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||Alarm, Detect Magic|
|5||Moonbeam, See Invisibility|
|13||Aura of Purity, Banishment|
|17||Hold Monster, Scrying|
Thoughts on the Oath of the Watchers Paladin Spell List
All in all, this is a solid spell list that offers some good utility and useful buffs. It’s especially useful against those creatures that the Oath of the Watchers Paladins defend against!
Alarm and Detect Magic are excellent spells to have, especially in the early levels. It’s useful to have these though having a Wizard or other ritual caster in the party will help you save the spell slots.
You’ll likely get great mileage out of See Invisibility if you’re going against extraplanar creatures. Since you’re expected to be engaging in melee combat, being able to see your enemies is vital. Moonbeam is a good spell with some decent damage and the added bonus of ruining shapeshifters’ day.
It’s always nice to have a Counterspell in your back pocket just in case. It’s a bit dicey if you aren’t focusing on your Charisma, but still handy to have. Nondetection is situationally useful depending on what enemies you’re facing and how strategic your party is, but it makes sense on this list.
Banishment is a great inclusion on this list both mechanically and thematically. Once again, your Charisma modifier will largely be what determines if this is useful or not.
Aura of Purity is an excellent defensive buff for you and your party. Advantage on saves against a huge number of conditions, resistance to poison, and immunity to disease perfectly fit what the Oath of the Watchers Paladin is all about.
Scrying is a useful option to have, but it’s another one that you’ve hopefully got a friend with more spell slots to cast. Hold Monster is an amazing spell if you have enough Charisma to make the save DC harder to beat.
Related: The Best Paladin Spells By Level in D&D 5e!
Channel Divinity (Level 3)
As with all Paladins, the Oath of the Watchers Paladin has two options for how to use their Channel Divinity. You can use this feature once per short or long rest.
Watcher’s Will: As an action, you can choose a number of creatures you can see within 30 feet of you, up to a number equal to your Charisma modifier (minimum of one creature).
For 1 minute, you and the chosen creatures have advantage on Intelligence, Wisdom, and Charisma saving throws.
Spells and effects that require you to make saving throws of these skills tend to be very dangerous.
An enchantment could force an ally to turn on the party or run away in fear.
Failing an Intelligence save against a Mind Flayer’s Mind Blast could leave you stunned and mere seconds away from having your brain devoured!
Giving yourself plus a number of your allies equal to your Charisma modifier advantage on mental saves for 1 minute can make a huge difference against certain enemies.
Abjure the Extraplanar: As an action, you present your holy symbol and each aberration, celestial, elemental, fey, or fiend within 30 feet of you that can hear you must make a Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, the creature is turned for 1 minute or until it takes damage.
A turned creature must spend its turns trying to move as far away from you as it can, and it can’t willing end its move in a space within 30 feet of you.
For its action, it can use only the Dash action or try to escape from an effect that prevents it from moving.
If there’s nowhere to move, the creature can take the Dodge action.
This is similar to the Oath of Devotion Paladin’s Turn the Unholy feature. Only you’re affecting five types of creatures.
If you’re playing an adventure with plenty of these types of enemies, this is exceptional. You’re basically removing several enemies from the combat.
Aura of the Sentinel (Level 7)
There’s a strong advantage to going early in combat. You can deal a ton of damage to your enemies before they can even try to swing at you!
With the Oath of the Watchers Paladin’s Aura of the Sentinel, your party will have no problem leaping into action!
When you and any creatures of your choice within 10 feet of you roll initiative, you all gain a bonus to initiative equal to your proficiency bonus.
At level 18, the range of this aura increases to 30 feet.
When you get this feature at level 7, that’s a +3 bonus to you and your nearby allies’ initiative rolls. As you level up and your proficiency bonus increases, this will only get better!
Once you hit level 18, it’s a whopping +6 bonus to you and your allies within 30 feet!
This is an excellent feature that will let you and your allies hit the enemies fast and hard!
Vigilant Rebuke (Level 15)
Dealing some payback to creatures who try to mess with your party members’ minds is some fun and instant karma.
Whenever you or a creature you can see within 30 feet of you succeeds on an Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma saving throw, you can use your reaction to deal 2d8 + your Charisma modifier force damage to the creature that forced the saving throw.
If you’ve used Watcher’s Will from your Channel Divinity, you’ll likely get some great use out of this. It’s fantastic for its purpose with the Oath of the Watchers Paladin’s theme.
That said, these saves tend to be much more uncommon when you’re not going against extraplanar creatures.
At the risk of sounding like a broken record, this is one of those features where you need to have an idea of what kind of adventure you’re going to be playing.
If you aren’t fighting creatures that commonly force their foes to make these types of saving throws AND you and your party are able to make those saves, you won’t get much use out of this.
Mortal Bulwark (Level 20)
Finally, we come to the Oath of the Watchers Paladin’s capstone feature. Defending the mortal realms from the dangers that lie beyond, you are a powerful and divine sentry.
In other words, you are the Mortal Bulwark!
As a bonus action, you gain several benefits for 1 minute. You can use this feature once per long rest unless you expend a level 5 spell slot to use it again.
So let’s see what features you get!
You gain truesight with a range of 120 feet.
We’re off to a great start! No more falling for illusions or shapechangers’ tricks! Plus you don’t have to worry about not being able to spot invisible enemies!
You have advantage on attack rolls against aberrations, celestials, elementals, fey, and fiends.
Considering your area of expertise, this is just purely great!
When you hit a creature with an attack roll and deal damage to it, you can also force it to make a Charisma saving throw against your spell save DC.
On a failed save, the creature is magically banished to its native plane of existence if it’s currently not there. On a successful save, the creature can’t be banished by this feature for 24 hours.
If you’ve got a good Charisma score, you can banish a ton of enemies within Mortal Bulwark’s duration.
Just note that this only works if you’re not on their native plane. If you go to the Lower Planes and try to banish the fiends you find there, they’ll probably start laughing.
Oath of the Watchers Paladins have dedicated their lives to fighting beings from beyond the Material Plane.
When you’re making one of these characters and looking for ways to connect them to the adventure and party, it’s best to start with their Sacred Oath.
What events happened in your character’s life that would prompt them towards swearing this Oath?
Perhaps they had been captured by Mind Flayers and were very narrowly saved by other Paladins of this oath. Choosing to take a stand against horrors like this, they trained night and day so that they could join those ranks.
They might have watched in horror as some cult released a horde of fiends into the world. Standing against the fiends to protect the people of their village, they were invited to swear the Oath of the Watchers when word spread of their deeds.
To be vigilant is to know the dangers that threaten you. You cannot blink or relax your duty for that is when these beings will surely strike.
An Oath of the Watchers Paladin fills an important role within their party. They are the ones who stand guard and protect the party at any cost.
Sure, you might come across as slightly paranoid. But that doesn’t mean that you’re wrong…
We are not alone…
Is the Oath of The Watchers Paladin Good?
The Oath of the Watchers Paladin is a situationally useful subclass that heavily depends on what enemies you’re facing.
In a campaign that features plenty of creatures that the Oath of the Watchers Paladin has bonuses against, they’re great! I would even say that their specialization makes them incredible in those games!
But that specialization comes with a downside…
Unless you’re going up against aberrations, celestials, elementals, fey, or fiends reliably throughout the adventure, you won’t be able to take full advantage of this subclass’s features.
If you’re considering playing an Oath of the Watchers Paladin, make sure that you and your group have a Session Zero that includes the types of enemies to be encountered.
Few feelings are as bad as having features that you just can’t get use out of and this is the best way to avoid that situation!
If you expect to encounter plenty of aberrations, elementals, fey, celestials, and/or fiends, this is a fantastic subclass. Otherwise, it’s just too specialized to fit in comfortably with campaigns that don’t feature those types of enemies.
Related: Check out my ranking of every Paladin subclass in 5e!
Conclusion – Oath of The Watchers Paladin in D&D
We honestly don’t have many specialist-type subclasses in D&D 5e.
While every subclass has certain things that they excel at and that will fit better in some campaigns than others, most tend to be pretty general and adaptable to most games.
The Oath of the Watchers benefits heavily from knowing what kind of game the group is playing. That’s a point that I just can’t stress enough.
If you’re wanting to play a Paladin and know that you’ll have plenty of extraplanar enemies to battle, this is a fantastic pick. Otherwise, your spells and features aren’t going to be as useful as they could be in a campaign that they were better suited for.
Still, it’s a cool concept with plenty of awesome ways to help the party in the right campaign!
But what do you think about the Oath of the Watchers Paladin in D&D 5e? Let’s chat in the comments!
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