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:

  1. Swap places. Use a bonus action and 15 feet of movement to swap places with the echo, regardless of the distance.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

Allows you to take an action to see/hear via your echo for up to 10 minutes, during which time you’re deafened and blinded. You can move the echo up 1,000 feet from you during this time.

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:

Ability Scores

  • Prioritize Strength or Dexterity. Strength is the standard pick for an Echo Knight Fighter, since the features go really well with heavy-hitting two-handers (why use a shield when you’re not going to be in danger anyway?) and weapons with reach, so your echo has a slightly larger zone of control (although opportunity attacks from it are always limited to a 5-foot range).

    And you’ll likely be wearing heavy armor anyway, so there’s really no need to invest in Dexterity for a build like this.

    However, Echo Knight can also multiclass really well, and some of those options favor prioritizing Dexterity over Strength. More on that later.

    • Best Echo Knight Fighter Feats

      • Sentinel

        This is by far the best feat option available to Echo Knights. Any creature you hit with an opportunity attack has its speed drop to 0, including ones triggered from your echo’s location. This drastically increases the level of control your echo exerts over the battlefield — now, enemies aren’t just calculating for a bit of damage taken to get out of the echo’s range. They have to calculate for the chance they’ll be rooted in place for the turn if they even attempt it.

        Sentinel’s second and third bullets actually don’t apply to your echo exactly. Sentinel only triggers when a creature within 5 feet of YOU (not your echo) makes na attack against a target other than you. So, no, you can’t use your reaction to smack an enemy who attacked someone other than you.

        However, the feat also reads “a target other than you” (not “a creature”), so if you’re next to an enemy that attacks your echo (a target other than you), you can react to hit it (from YOUR space).

      • Crusher

        Crusher allows you to push a creature 5 feet per turn when you hit it with bludgeoning damage. Naturally, this pairs well with your echo, allowing you to kite, create space, and just control the battlefield more from a safe distance.

        There’s also some really whacky stuff you can get away with combining Crusher and Sentinel on an Echo Knight. For example, if you attack an enemy who’s 5 feet from your echo and push it away with Crusher, that will trigger the Manifest Echo’s third bullet point (when a creature moves 5 feet away from it, you can use your reaction to make an opportunity attack against it).

        This bullet point doesn’t care if it’s forced movement or whatever; if a creature is within 5 feet from your echo and it moves 5 feet away from it (regardless of how), that triggers your opportunity attack. Like Spike Growth.

        Do note that some DMs might find this a mere semantic oversight from the game’s designers and choose to rule things differently.

      • Great Weapon Master

        When you crit, you get a bonus action attack (which you may not be able to use if you summoned your echo on the same turn). But the second bullet point is what we really care about — taking a -5 attack roll for a +10 damage bump.

        This isn’t anything special for Echo Knights in particular — it’s just a dominant feat that all melee martial characters should consider if they want to boost their damage. Which, in a way, Echo Knights are a tad short on.

      • Warcaster

        Whenever a creature provokes an opportunity attack from you (via you or your echo), you can use your reaction to cast a spell rather than make the OA. It must have a casting time of 1 action and target only that creature.

        This isn’t good unless you actually have spells to cast, obviously. But if you have access to spells via a racial feature, the Magic Initiate feat, or, best of all, multiclassing, Warcaster can be very, very strong. More on that below.

      • DON’T TAKE Polearm Master

        Polearm Master eats up your onus action, which you won’t have a lot of the time, what with summoning your echo. More importantly, the second bullet point that causes creatures to provoke an opportunity attack when they enter your reach doesn’t function with your echo.

        That’s again because of the weird wording of Manifest Echo — opportunity attacks are only triggered when it moves 5 feet from your echo. Polearm Master only applies when a creature enters YOUR reach (not your echo’s).

      dragonborn mini dnd 5e

      Echo Knight 5e Multiclass Options

      Echo Knights are a very strong subclass on their own. But they’re also heavily frontloaded — Manifest Echo itself is silly strong. Sure, you probably want to get 4th-level for an ASI and 5th-level for Extra Attack, but the 7th-level feature that allows you to scout around isn’t essential. It’s cool and definitely useful, but it’s not going to help you in combat.

      These are some of the best multiclass options for Echo Knight Fighters to consider.

      • Ancestral Warrior Barbarian. Barbarian is an excellent subclass choice for an Echo Knight, and not even primarily due to Rage (although that’s nice, too) or Danger Sense (also great). Reckless Attack is the standout class feature here. It allows you to attack with advantage, but creatures have attack advantage against YOU for one round.

        So, if you’re 30 feet away, nice and safe, you can make a melee attack with advantage, and not have to suffer the downside of being easier to hit yourself. Especially if you have Sentinel and the enemies can’t approach you safely…or possibly at all.

        At 3rd-level, go Path of the Ancestral Guardian. With the opening feature, Ancestral Protectors, your echo becomes so much more potent. Now, whenever you’re raging and hit a creature (once per turn), the target has disadvantage on any attacks against targets other than YOU (again, not your echo — just YOU) AND if/when they hit a creature other than you, they only deal half damage.

        Since you’re away from the action doing all this, enemies have no good choices; try to run to attack you (which, you can just totally swap places with your echo next turn, getting yourself out of their range once again) or attack with disadvantage and half damage. Truly a dominant combination.

        This can technically come online at 6th-level, but getting an ASI and Extra Attack are more important overall, so this doesn’t all come together until 8th-level.

      • Gloomstalker Ranger. Gloomstalkers are a great subclass on their own, but paired with Echo Knight, you can do some truly silly things. For example, with their 3rd-level feature, Dread Ambusher, you can have a truly explosive first round. Follow along.

        On your first turn, when you take the Attack action, you can make one additional weapon attack that deals +1d8 if it hits. Okay, that’s 2 attacks so far. Now, throw in Extra Attack (3). Now throw in Action Surge (2 more attacks, 5 total). Now throw in Unleash Incarnation, which you can use every time you take the Attack Action (which has happened twice), so we’re now up to 7 total attacks on your first turn, one of which gets +1d8 damage on hit.

        Sure, that’s a lot of resources you’re using (only one Action Surge per rest, and only 2-3 Unleash Incarnations per long rest), but dear god, you can do A LOT of damage with 7 attacks.

        Okay, one more thing for funsies. If an ally casts Haste on you before the fight starts, you can even get that up to 8 attacks. Sadly, Crusher only works once per turn, so you can’t totally rearrange enemy positioning with this trick.

      • Undead Warlock. Known as the Ghostlance build (created by Tabletop Builds — highly recommend you read their full article on this character build), the Undead Warlock has a lot to offer the Echo Knight Fighter. First off, Form of Dread allows all your attacks to force a Wisdom save or frighten the target — of you, not your echo. So, bam, your kiting ability just got even stronger.

        But the real reason we want to dip into Warlock is for Eldritch Blast and, more specifically, the Repelling Blast Eldritch Invocation, which pushes a creature hit by Eldritch Blast to be moved 10 feet away from you. With Warcaster, we can cast this when an opportunity attack is triggered from our echo.

        And at this point, we’re level 5, so Eldritch Blast has two attacks, each of which can push an enemy 10 feet away. Make them frightened, push them away, and they can never approach. Throw in Sentinel into the mix, and enemies really don’t stand a chance of ever getting into range.

        You only suffer attack disadvantage on ranged attacks when an enemy is within 5 feet of YOU (not your echo), so you don’t have to worry about that either. And even if an enemy does somehow get in range, you can swap places with your echo or just make 2 disadvantaged attacks; one will likely land and push them away. If it’s the first attack, the second won’t have disadvantage anymore anyway.

        This all comes online at 5th-level, by the way. At this point, you can do whatever you want. You don’t really need Extra Attack, since Eldritch Blast is your main source of damage. But +1 level in Fighter will get you an ASI, so that’s probably worth it. A one-level dip into Sorcerer is always good, if for nothing else than to get Shield.

      Echo Knight Strengths and Weaknesses


      • Mobile. There is no Fighter who is half as mobile as an Echo Knight Fighter. Beyond some hyper-cheese builds, there’s really no class that can touch Echo Knights in terms of mobility. Think about it — can any other class move 75 feet in a turn, every turn at the measly cost of a bonus action?

      • Tactically interesting. Mobility is part of why Echo Knights are interesting to play, but it’s not the whole story. With two entities providing battlefield control (you and your echo), your DM is never going to have an easy time positioning creatures or targeting who they want to target.

      • Battlefield control. With Sentinel, you become a consistent source of lockdown for your party, all from a position of safety.


      • Worse against hordes. The more attacks your DM has at their disposal, the easier it is to simply remove your echo from play. There’s still an opportunity cost to this (your allies aren’t getting hit), so it’s not a terrible weakness.

      • Bonus action requirement impedes certain playstyles. Two-weapon fighting especially is pretty much out of the question for Echo Knights, and Polearm Master is basically useless as well.

      • Challening to play. Echo Knights have a lot of weird things going on, and their interactions with other abilities aren’t always obvious. This means it’s not a beginner-friendly subclass to play, nor to DM.

      Is the Echo Knight a Good Subclass in 5e?

      Yes, Echo Knight is a good subclass in 5e. In fact, it’s got my vote for the strongest Fighter subclass available in 5e. Battle Master is also a favorite that rewards creative tactical thinking, but I think Echo Knight is its equal in that category, and far superior in terms of mobility and overall utility.

      It’s stupidly mobile, offers incredible battlefield control, and is tactically interesting to play.

      Roleplaying an Echo Knight

      Echo Knight’s magic comes from Dunamis, “the primal magical energy of potentiality and actuality,” according to Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount. But you don’t have to roleplay your Echo Knight as some kind of Shrodinger Warrior (although that does sound kind of cool).

      Here are some ideas for roleplaying your Echo Knight Fighter:

      • A tragic tale. Your sibling/love/friend/comrade was killed in a tragic event. Now, you summon “their fading shade from an unrealized timeline” to aid you in battle. Yes, I know Manifest Echo is an “echo of yourself,” but there’s no harm in flavoring it otherwise.

        Of course, since your echo is going to die A LOT, this may seem disrespectful to keep their shade around as a shield…

      • A self divided. You had a simple life of a warrior. Until your mind was broken by an aberration you encountered. Now, two minds and two spirits inhabit your mind, only split when you Manifest your echo.

        This could play like a Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde type scenario or something less sinister. Maybe your “shadow half” is simply mischievous or bent on some weird obsession. It might even hold the secret to a past you don’t remember at all (talk about easy retconning for your backstory!)

        Perhaps you struggle with this “demon” inside you until you learn that it’s a powerful ally and, at the end of the day, accept it as a shard of yourself.

      • A narcisissist. You loved yourself well, and only lamented that the greatest tragedy of your life is that you would never be able to witness your martial prowess as an observer. Until one day, your self-love actualized into a shadow of yourself, every bit as beautiful and worthy of admiration.

        Finally, you can see yourself as others have…and fly around and stuff.