7 Best DND 5e Classes with Extra Attack

Unleashing Fury: A Guide to Extra Attacks by characters in D&D 5e

As we plunge into the ferocious thrill of battles in Dungeons & Dragons 5e, one feature often stands out in the spotlight for martial classes weaponry: the Extra Attack. This formidable ability can turn the tides of any combat, making our heroes strike fear into the hearts of their enemies. But what exactly is Extra Attack, how does it work, and how can you best utilize it? This guide will equip you with everything you need to wield this power effectively.

Extra Attack is one of the key features of many martial classes in D&D 5e, granting characters the ability to strike truly devastating blows in combat. By unlocking the potential of Extra Attack, your character can significantly augment their offense, making them a formidable force on any battlefield. From Barbarians initiating their frenzied attacks to skilled Fighters landing a series of accurate blows, Extra Attack becomes a staple, increasing the power and pressure applied by these warriors.

This guide is designed to dissect the concept of Extra Attack, mapping out which classes can utilize it, and precisely when and how it can be triggered. Our aim is to provide a comprehensive understanding of this feature, allowing players to maximize its potential in combat scenarios.

So whether your character is a nimble Rogue looking to bolster their offensive capabilities, a seasoned Fighter trying to land the perfect attack sequence, or a magic-capable Bard willing to engage in melee combat, this dive into the Extra Attack mechanic will prove to be a valuable trove of strategic insights. En garde, let’s delve into the dynamic and exciting world of Extra Attack in D&D 5e!

Unleashing Fury: Understanding Extra Attack in D&D 5e

Extra Attack, a unique feature found in D&D 5e, essentially allows characters to take multiple attack actions in a single turn. Its advent transforms the battlefield, offering an unequivocal edge in skirmishes and extended combat scenarios. Let’s plunge deeper to fully comprehend this potent feature and the rules that surround it.

A Multiplicity of Strikes: The Essence of Extra Attack

At its core, Extra Attack permits you to attack more than once whenever you use your action to attack. Initiated first at level 5 for most martial classes, it upgrades your action economy, affording an additional attack when taking the Attack action on your turn.

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For example, a level 5 Fighter can swing their sword twice instead of once, getting two chances to deal damage. As listed in the Player’s Handbook, the number of attacks may increase with class progression, with Fighters at the far end gaining up to four attacks at level 20.

Extra Attack vs. Multiattack: A Clarification

While Extra Attack and Multiattack may sound similar, they represent distinct concepts in D&D 5e. It’s crucial to avoid any confusion between these two. Extra Attack is a class feature used by player characters, permitting them to make additional attacks when they take the Attack action on their turn.

On the contrary, Multiattack is typically a feature of monsters, allowing them to make several attacks as part of one action, often involving different types of attacks. A dragon, for instance, might make a Multiattack encompassing a bite and two claw attacks, all within the same action. Unlike Extra Attack, Multiattack is not an extension of the Attack action; rather, it’s a separate action altogether.

When does Extra Attack Trigger?

Extra Attack can be triggered whenever you take the Attack action on your turn. It doesn’t matter if this action is your primary action or if it’s granted to you through means like the Fighter’s Action Surge feature.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that Extra Attack does not stack across different classes in multi-classing scenarios, and it does not apply to Bonus Actions or Reaction Attacks. So, if you’ve split class levels between a Fighter and a Ranger, you don’t get two Extra Attacks at level 5 for each class – your Extra Attack benefit derives from your total class level progression in one of these classes.

Grasping the essence of Extra Attack, its distinction from Multiattack, and the parameters of its triggering can profoundly impact your combat strategy and execution, ensuring that your character harnesses their full might in every crucial fight.

Classes with Extra Attack

Let’s look at all the D&D 5e classes with an extra attack.

Barbarians, Monks, Paladins, Rangers

At level 5, these classes indeed make their mark. Receiving the Extra Attack feature stands as a symbol of their enhanced dedication and skill to their chosen path. Barbarians can now unleash their rage more effectively, Monks can ensure their fast strikes land with more impact, Paladins can apply their divine smite with each hit, and Rangers can use their knowledge of enemies for precise multiple strikes. This single additional attack underlines their combat growth and allows players to navigate their characters in combat with improved efficiency and creativity.

Bladesingers, Bards (College of Swords/Valor)

Bladesingers and certain subclasses of Bards also receive the Extra Attack feature, albeit a tad later than the other martial classes. At 6th level, these classes come into their own. The feature supplements their existing abilities, enabling them to stay toe-to-toe with pure martial classes when the situation demands it. Bladesingers can weave their blade and magic more effectively while Valor and Sword Bards can blend their singing swords and enchanting melodies with an additional hit. Though they might carry specific subclass conditions, their unique blend of martial prowess and magical capability is enhanced, keeping them versatile and robust in combat.


When it comes to taking full advantage of the Extra Attack mechanic, no class does it better than the Fighter. Fighters are truly in a league of their own where Extra Attack is concerned. At level 5, like other martial classes, Fighters gain the capacity to attack twice each turn. However, they don’t stop there. Uniquely, as Fighters progress, they achieve a second Extra Attack at 11th level, and finally a third at 20th level. This unprecedented access to up to 4 attacks per turn firmly establishes the Fighter as the indisputable master of martial multiattacks – a testament to their absolute dedication to martial arts and unmatched battle prowess.

How Does Extra Attack Work?

The Extra Attack feature can be a game-changer on the battlefield. However, understanding its mechanics and how to effectively use it can make the difference between a successful strategy and a tragically botched attack. In this section, we will explore the various facets of this potent ability.

Mechanics of Attacking Twice Instead of Once

At its core, Extra Attack is a unique feature enabling certain classes to double their offensive capabilities in a single stroke. When they reach the appropriate level, these classes can attack twice, rather than once, whenever they take the Attack action on their turn. This effectively doubles their combat potential, leading to a drastic increase in their damage output. It’s a straightforward yet powerful advantage, ramping up the pressure exerted on enemies and allowing the heroes to clear threats more rapidly.

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Limitations and Conditions: When It Triggers, When It Does Not

Despite its power, the Extra Attack isn’t without conditions and limitations. Firstly, it’s crucial to note that this feature only triggers when you choose the Attack action. This means other actions like casting a spell, using an item, or attempting a special ability won’t activate your Extra Attack.

Additionally, the Extra Attack feature does not stack between different classes. This means that a rogue who also has levels in fighter won’t get two Extra Attacks—one from each class. It’s also important to note that bonus attacks granted by spells or special abilities don’t count as Extra Attacks and therefore aren’t affected by these restrictions.

Interaction with Other Actions and Abilities

Understanding how Extra Attack interacts with other actions and abilities can add another level of strategic depth to your combat decisions. For instance, the fighter’s Action Surge ability can be a perfect complement to Extra Attack, as it allows you to take another action on your turn, which could be yet another Attack action.

On the other hand, some abilities may seem like a good fit but don’t actually mesh well with Extra Attack. For example, a Warlock’s Eldritch Blast cantrip requires the Cast a Spell action, not the Attack action, and thus does not benefit from the Extra Attack feature.

By understanding the fine print and nuances of Extra Attack, you can maximize its use and synergize it with your other abilities to devastating effect.

Strategies and Combat Scenarios

Wielding Extra Attack effectively can dramatically impact the outcome of a fight. Learning how to adapt this feature to various combat situations and synergize it with other class abilities will lend heavily to your success on the battlefield. In this section, we will delve into the strategic application of Extra Attack, providing tips for maximizing damage along the way.

Tactical Use of Extra Attack in Different Combat Situations

Extra Attack’s utility is broad, adaptable for various combat scenarios. For example, against a single powerful enemy (like a boss), focusing all your attacks on that one target can maximize damage and theoretically shorten the duration of combat. On the other hand, when facing multiple lower-level foes, spreading out your attacks can potentially neutralize several threats in one turn. Hint: this is particularly beneficial if your character possesses effects that trigger on a hit, such as the Paladin’s Divine Smite or a Ranger’s Colossus Slayer ability.

Synergies with Other Class Features and Abilities

When considering strategic uses of Extra Attack, you shouldn’t overlook potential synergies with other class features and abilities. For instance, a Barbarian’s Rage ability grants extra damage on melee weapon attacks, which is then effectively doubled with the use of Extra Attack. Similarly, a Paladin’s Divine Smite allows you to expend a spell slot to deal radiant damage in addition to the weapon damage—this can also be utilized on each strike provided by Extra Attack.

Tips for Maximizing Damage Potential

Ultimately, the objective of the Extra Attack feature is to maximize damage output, so embracing strategies that further this goal is advisable. Firstly, using powerful weapons with high damage dice can compound the effects of Extra Attack. Additionally, ensure you’re familiar with your class’s abilities and spells that can augment your attack power—then use them in conjunction with Extra Attack for truly earth-shattering results! And lastly, remember that while Extra Attack is a potent tool, it’s just one piece of your combat arsenal—use it alongside other tactics and strategies to ensure victory in every battle.

Common Misconceptions and Clarifications

When utilizing the Extra Attack feature, it’s critical to have a clear understanding of the rules to avoid confusion and maximize the ability’s potential. This section aims to address some common misconceptions and provide a clear explanation of the Extra Attack mechanics.

Addressing Common Player Confusions

One of the most popular misunderstandings revolves around the misconception that Extra Attack can result in three, four, or even more attacks in a single turn. However, extra Attack only allows one extra attack when a player takes the Attack action, barring the Fighter class, which at far higher levels, can make up to three extra attacks.

Another frequent confusion often emerges between Extra Attack and Multiattack. These are not the same. Multiattack is mostly a feature for creatures in the Monster Manual, not player characters. A player character does not gain the ability to use Multiattack by virtue of having Extra Attack.

How Extra Attack Differs from Other Similar Features

D&D boasts various features that might resemble Extra Attack in principle, but their mechanics differ. For instance, the Monk’s Flurry of Blows grants additional attacks, but it utilizes a Bonus Action and Ki points, unlike Extra Attack, which only requires an Attack action.

Additionally, the Rogue’s Sneak Attack provides extra damage, but this doesn’t allow another attack—it merely amplifies the damage of a single successful attack.

Understanding these distinctions is crucial to proper gameplay and strategy. Remember, clarity in these mechanics can turn a good player into a great one!

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The Extra Attack feature in Dungeons & Dragons 5e is an invaluable asset to martial classes, increasing their combat prowess by allowing more attacks during a single action. Its applications in varied combat scenarios, along with the potential to combine it with other class features and abilities, makes Extra Attack a dynamic, potent tool that can unquestionably turn the tide of a battle.

Embracing the depth and complexity of the D&D ruleset, we encourage players to explore and experiment with the classes that offer Extra Attack. From the nimble Monk’s precise strikes to the brute strength of a raging Barbarian’s takedowns, Extra Attack can transform your character into a formidable warrior. By understanding its mechanics and using it strategically, you can maximize its potential, leading to rewarding and thrilling gameplay.

At its heart, D&D is a richly intricate and dynamic game, and the inclusion of features like Extra Attack emphasizes this. Through the chaos and unpredictability of battle, a well-timed Extra Attack can become a game-saver, solidifying its importance in the class toolkit. As you navigate through your D&D journey, remember to never underestimate the power behind each Extra Attack, for it might be the difference between a narrow defeat and a glorious victory!

Heidi Jiang

LitRPG Author Heidi Jiang

A native Hoosier her whole life, Heidi Jiang discovered her love of gaming at an early age. She’s a big fan of the Super Mario series ... and any book with a mushroom on the cover. In all seriousness, she loves reading and playing just about anything when she finds the time. She currently resides in Indiana with her husband, a dog named Lucky, a cat named Oliver, and a couple children rapidly heading toward being teens. Over the years, Heidi Jiang has been a book reviewer, freelance copy editor, editor at a small publishing company, and executive editor at her school’s literary magazine.

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