The Echo Knight is a dominant fighter subclass that’s also a ton of fun to play. They’re highly mobile and active, offer offensive and defensive perks, and reward creative tactical thinking with regard to positioning and movement.
And on top of everything else, they are extremely effective with certain multiclass combinations.
Right up there with the Battlemaster for top-tier Fighter subclasses, the Echo Knight causes some DMs to question whether their full suite of features borders on overpowered or game-breaking. While they’re certainly strong, they by no means break the game. But they do come with a bunch of vaguely-answered rules questions, unintuitive functionality, and the need for some DM fiat to “work.”
I’ll go over how Echo Knight features work in DnD 5e, tricks for making the most of their features, good multiclass options, and answer some edge-case rules questions.
Echo Knight Features
The Echo Knight has the following features on their spell list:
Manifest Echo – 3rd-level
The signature ability of the Echo Knight Fighter, Manifest Echo is a bonus action that conjures a copy of yourself within 15 feet. It is an OBJECT (not a creature; confirmed by the game’s devs) with 1 hit point and an AC of 14 + your proficiency bonus. It uses your stats for saving throws, but is immune to all conditions.
You can mentally command it (no action required) to move up to 30 feet in any direction — even vertically (confirmed by 5e’s devs). It takes up space and is the same size as you, and if you are more than 30 feet from it at the end of your turn, it is destroyed.
While active, you can:
Swap places. Use a bonus action and 15 feet of movement to swap places with the echo, regardless of the distance.
Attack. When YOU take the Attack action, any attack you make can originate from the echo’s space. You make this choice for EACH attack.
Opportunity attacks. When a creature within 5 feet of your echo moves at least 5 feet away from it, you can make an opportunity attack against it. Even if you’re using a reach weapon, it does not increase the range of opportunity attacks made via your echo — it is always 5 feet.
This is useable an infinite amount of times — no resource cost. However, it does require a bonus action, so you can only use it once per turn.
The echo can move vertically as well as horizontally, basically meaning it can fly, as well as climb, and swim at normal speeds.
For both attacks and opportunity attacks, remember that it’s YOU who’s making the attack, not the echo. So if you have disadvantage because you’re prone (but the echo isn’t), you still have disadvantage on your attack rolls made via the echo.
Manifest Echo Tips
Always keep your echo up. Manifest Echo is the signature ability of the subclass, and it costs 0 resources; only a bonus action. This means that you should always resummon it immediately after it is destroyed, provided you don’t need your bonus action for something more important, like Second Wind.
It also means that Echo Knight Fighters don’t do well as dual-wielders, since two-weapon fighting eats up your bonus action every turn.
Send it for farther attacks. Manifest Echo only despawns at the END of your turn if it’s further than 30 feet from you. And it can move 30 feet in a turn. So, you can move it 15 feet farther than you (45 feet), attack with it, and then walk it back 15 feet closer to you.
Or, you can send it to attack something 60 feet away, let it despawn from distance at the end of your turn, and then just resummon it on your next turn.
Send it for farther teleports. Same tip as above — if you don’t care about losing your echo, you can teleport up to 60 feet in a turn. Basically twice as good as Misty Step, a premier second-level spell. And then you can still run 15 feet after that, for a total of 75 feet of movement in a turn. Every turn, you can do this if you have a bonus action. Absolutely nuts.
Peak through cracks or keyholes to teleport past doors. As long as you can see a location, you can summon your echo there. So if you have a mirror or can peer through a crack, you’re good to go. After that, swap places with your echo, and open the door from the inside for the rest of your crew.
Use Enlarge/Reduce before casting. Your echo is the same size as you. Congrats, you can now park it in a 20-square-foot choke point.
Drag someone off a cliff, then teleport back up. This is your classic Donkey Kong from Smash Bros move. Drag someone off a cliff while they’re grappled. You’ll fall with them, but you can swap places with your echo while that’s happening and get back to safety while your former hug-buddy splats on the ground.
Bring down flyers. For flying creatures who aren’t too high, you can send your echo up to them, then grapple them (it’s an Attack action, after all). If you land the grapple, the flyer’s speed becomes 0, and they start falling without hover. Very niche, but cool when it works.
Do note, however, that the grapple effect will end immediately after being applied, since you are out of reach of the grapple target (you are not your echo). Still, this momentary effect is worth it against flying creatures.
Teleport above someone to knock them prone. Your echo can fly up the Z-axis no problem, so if you position it above an enemy you can drop on them. Using the optional rule from Tasha’s, they have to pass a DC 156 Dex save or split the fall damage and fall prone.
You also fall prone, so you’ll have to use another 15 feet of movement to stand up, but then you can attack the enemy with advantage.
Have it tank. If your DM is forced to attack your echo, that’s a huge win for your party. The action economy is everything in 5e, and you should happily trade a bonus action for an enemy’s action every turn. 16 AC (scaling to 20 over time) is no joke either — enemies will definitely not land all their attacks against your echo.
Plus, the echo takes up space, so you can have them literally block doorways, where an enemy is forced to deal with them first.
Control the battlefield. Enemies trigger YOUR opportunity attack from moving out of the echo’s range. This offers you seriously strong and consistent battlefield control. Now your enemies have to choose between attempting to kill your echo, or risk suffering damage as they run toward more important targets — the rest of your party.
Escape with ease. Getting out of melee range usually incurs opportunity attacks. But with your ability to teleport to swap places with your echo, you can always get out of these situations scot-free.
You MIGHT also be able to get out of grapples with this, but since you need to spend 15 feet of movement to teleport, and the grappled condition brings your speed to 0, your DM might rule that the teleport isn’t usable while grappled. Although the game’s devs have said the Freedom of Movement gets over this hump, so the echo swap might also work this way at your table.
Be untargetable by many spells. Many spells can only target a creature — honestly, most of them. So your echo is basically a spell-immune badass who’s also immune to all conditions. So, you can stand behind cover, poke out to make your echo attack, then go back to hiding so that neither you nor your echo is vulnerable to spellcasting on your turn.
Unleash Incarnation – 3rd-level
Allows you to make one additional MELEE attack from the echo’s position when you take the Attack action. Useable a number of times equal to your Constitution modifier, and uses are recharged after a long rest.
Unleash Incarnation Tips
Save it for when it matters. The 2-5 additional melee attacks that this feature allows per long rest (Constitution modifier-dependent) don’t work out to a whole lot of extra damage. However, in situations where you’re sure that an enemy is low on health and will act next in the initiative order, the value of eliminating them quickly skyrockets. Make them your focus with this feature.
Pair it with Action Surge. These additional melee attacks can be used EACH TIME you take the Attack action. So if you take the Attack action twice, you can use Unleash Incarnation twice. Combined with Extra Attack, you can net yourself 6 total attacks in one term — talk about going nova.
Save it for when you have advantage. Hey, the additional attack isn’t guaranteed to hit, so if you’re just playing the numbers and trying to guarantee you don’t waste a use of this feature, waiting for advantage (or an attack boost like Bless) is a smart call, all else being equal.
Don’t worry too much about your Con mod. While you might be tempted to change how you build your character to get more extra attacks out of this feature, it’s really not worth it. Some feats are incredibly strong on Echo Knights (more on that later), as is maxing out your Strength modifier.
You only have so many ASIs to spend, and gaining +1 additional attack per day is not worth altering your build priorities over.
Echo Avatar – 7th-level
However, you cannot attack or swap places with the echo while this is active, according to 5e’s rules designer.
Echo Avatar Tips
Scout ahead. The #1 thing that players use this feature for is to scout up to 1,000 feet in any direction without putting yourself or your party in much danger. Sure, your echo is fragile and will get one-shot by anything that hits it, but it also costs no resources to re-conjure.
Plus, your echo can FLY, meaning you can get a bird’s eye view of an outdoor environment at any time. One thing I will say is that TECHNICALLY, your echo cannot interact with objects (it’s not mentioned in the discrete list of things it can do), so it might be thwarted by any door put in its way, if your DM chooses to play this by the book.
While not in the feature’s description, the devs have confirmed that you can’t teleport to or attack from your echo while you’re using this ability, so long-range assassination/teleportation is out of the question.
Trigger traps. While it’s unclear from the spell’s description whether your echo has WEIGHT, it definitely “occupies space” and “is the same size as you.” To me, that means it does have weight, and can therefore be your disposable minesweeper for every dungeon run (for pressure plates and the like, anyway).
Shadow Martyr – 10th-level
Before an attack roll is made against a creature you can see, you can use your reaction to move the echo to the targeted creature, and the attack roll is made against your echo instead. Recharges after a short or long rest.
There is NO RANGE LIMIT on this — as long as you can see the creature, your echo can teleport to them to be their Shadow Martyr.
Shadow Martyr Tips
Wait for a deadly blow. This sacrificial ability only works once per rest, so you oughta make it count. Either wait until you know an ally is so low that one more hit will bring them down, or when a squishy in your party is being attacked by something that will most definitely land a brutal hit on them.
Especially look out for attackers whose attacks have nasty rider effects, like a mimic’s pseudopod or a wight’s life drain.
Sadly, the attack roll doesn’t happen until after you use this ability, so you can’t just save it for a critical strike.
Reclaim Potential – 15th-level
When your echo dies from damage (rather than dismissing it or moving out range), you can 2d6 + Constitution modifier temporary hit points, if you don’t already have THP. Useable a number of times equal to your Constitution modifier. Recharges after a long rest.
Reclaim Potential Tips
Be a tanky beast. Your echo is going to die ALL the time. And that’s a good thing because it’s a waste of an enemy’s action at the cost of your bonus action — a worthy trade. But once the DM has baddies with multiattack in their arsenal, it won’t be hard to dispose of your echo and threaten your party all at once.
But with Reclaim Potential, that’s fine — great, actually. You’ll get ~10 average temporary hit points it happens, which adds up to a significant boost in your character’s overall survivability. And you were already impossible to pin down…
Legion of One – 18th-level
Manifest Echo now creates two echos instead of one. If you create a third, both the original two are destroyed.
You also get +1 use of Unleash Reincarnation (the 3rd-level feature) whenever you roll initiative.
Legion of One Tips
Dominate. Honestly, having two echos just makes this subclass silly at this point. More opportunity attacks, more teleport options, and more defensive shields for your enemies to waste their turns destroying.
How to Build an Echo Knight in 5e
Here are a few general tips for building an Echo Knight: