Today we create a D&D Battle Mage or Gish character. A melee combat fighter that is able to cast spells to supplement their martial prowess. In this #DnD5e character build we will begin at level 1 and advance through every progression until level 12. Along the way, we will discuss the spells, skills and abilities selected with this build along with the Battle Master Fighter and Shadow Magic Sorcerer subclasses and a recommended path for leveling up.

While I provide a written layout here, I highly suggest watching the detailed video on the Battle Mage character for optimal information:

D&D 5E Battle Mage Character Build – Fighter/Sorcerer

Level 1 – Fighter 1 Sorcerer 0
Easy enough, on this level we begin our adventuring career. For this build we will be playing as a Stout Halfling. Using the Customizing your Origin – Ability Scores rules from Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, we are able to place the Halfling’s +2 and +1 modifier wherever we see fit. In this case, we will strategically place them so that our Strength and Constitution to be 16.

If we use the Standard Array, we can allocate our ability scores as follows:

STR: 16 (15 +1), DEX 12, CON 16 (14 +2), INT 8, WIS 10, CHA 13

Strength will be our prime requisite as we look to capitalize on our to hit and damage bonuses in combat. Since we will be in the thick of melee, Constitution is our next most important score and finally, we need at least a 13 Charisma in order to multiclass into Sorcerer. Checkpoints met.

We have also elected for the 12 in dexterity to help give a slight bonus to initiative and to help with our Stealth. Since we will be wearing heavy armor for most of our adventuring career, stealth checks will be made at disadvantage so every little bit helps.

Speaking of skills, we will be selecting the following:

Level 2 – Fighter 1 Sorcerer 1
While plenty of solid options with regards to Sorcerer Origins are concerned, the main two selling points, in my opinion, for Shadow Magic is the abilities you receive at first level. With Eyes of the Dark not only does our halfling get 120′ Darkvision, but we also get the Darkness spell when we reach 3rd level in this subclass. Now, that is a ways off at the current time, but will be tactically efficient as I will explain later.

The other Shadow Sorcerer ability is Rise of the Grave. With this ability our character has a chance of dropping to 1 hp instead of 0, should they find themselves on the losing end of combat.

With regards to spells, I feel that reaction spells are the bread and butter of a battle mage, so the easy choices are:

Shield: use our reaction to gain +5 to our AC until our next turn
Absorb Elements: use our reaction to gain resistance to an energy damage type (acid, cold, fire, lightning, or thunder) until our next turn. A fantastic spell to lessen the burn of a wizard’s Fireball or other arcane element spells.

We also get to select 4 cantrips. We definitely want a ranged attack so we don’t need to rely on our less than desirable dexterity score for a crossbow. So, Chill Touch seems really good for this. Plus, it fits our character theme. Booming Blade is going to be a powerhouse and will be our primary form of attack until we reach level 5 in fighter and get the extra attack ability. I really recommend watching the 5E Battle Mage Build video for more information on how to use the Booming Blade cantrip. Rounding out the cantrips are Message and Mending for utility, non-combat options.

Level 3: Fighter 2 Sorcerer 1
Not a lot going on here. We get our Second Wind ability from the Fighter class. This will prove beneficial as a way to heal ourselves in the thick of combat

Level 4: Fighter 3 Sorcerer 1
Now things are starting to happen for us. We get to select our Fighter subclass and while I considered fun options such as an Echo Knight, Eldritch Knight or Rune Knight, I finally decided on the Battle Master Fighter. With this we get to pick 3 maneuvers and we can use those maneuvers up to 4 times after a short or long rest by spending a superiority die. The short rest refill is what sold me on this. Having the ability to tack on another 1d8 damage and to get a spell-like effect just intensified the amount of options we have. Eventually, we will have enough Spells and Maneuvers that our combat will never be boring and it will always be effective.

The manuevers I chose are:

When you make a Dexterity (Stealth) check or an initiative roll, you can expend one superiority die and add the die to the roll, provided you aren’t incapacitated.

Again, our stealth is not so good. Adding a supreriority die to that roll will help. At later levels, winning the initiative so we can charge into combat with our Darkness spell might also be a tactical option

Feinting Attack
You can expend one superiority die and use a bonus action on your turn to feint, choosing one creature within 5 feet of you as your target. You have advantage on your next attack roll against that creature this turn. If that attack hits, add the superiority die to the attack’s damage roll.

If we need to hit, then having advantage on our attack will help our cause.

Pushing Attack
When you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you can expend one superiority die to attempt to drive the target back. You add the superiority die to the attack’s damage roll, and if the target is Large or smaller, it must make a Strength saving throw. On a failed save, you push the target up to 15 feet away from you.

A fantastic option to use with our Booming Blade

Stop back by soon… I will add additional levels in the near future! But for now… be sure to watch the video as we level this character up to level 12!

If you would like to check out additional Fighter Multiclass options, check out the Fighter Multiclassing Guide 5E by my friends over at Flutes Loot.

Until then, on to the next!

YouTube video chapters

00:00​ – The D&D Battlemage
00:34 – Level 1 – Fighter Level 1 – Halfling and Fighting Style
04:52 – Level 2 – Multiclass into Sorcerer Level 1 – Shadow Sorcerer Eyes of the Dark and Spells
09:44 – Level 3 – Action Surge – Fighter 2/Sorcerer 1
10:36 – Level 4 – Battle Maneuvers – Battle Master Fighter 3/Sorcerer 1
14:50 – Level 5 – War Caster Feat and Booming Blade – Fighter 4/Sorcerer 1
17:38 – Level 6 – Extra Attack vs Booming Blade – Fighter 5/Sorcerer 1
18:47 – Level 7 – Font of Magic – Fighter 5/Sorcerer 2
19:56 – Level 8 – Metagmagic Quickened Spell / Subtle Spell – Darkness – Fighter 5/Sorcerer 3
23:54 – Level 9 – Fey Touched Feat – Fighter 5/Sorcerer 4
26:08 – Level 10 – Magical Guidance – Counterspell – Fighter 5/Sorcerer 5
27:57 – Level 11 – Strength ASI – Fighter 6/Sorcerer 5
28:30 – Level 12 – Haste – Hound of Ill-Omen – Fighter 6/Sorcerer 6
30:51 – How would you build this character?
31:42 – Shadow Blade Spell and How it Works


  1. Not to sound like I’m nitpicking, but Action Surge also comes online at with your level 2 fighter, in ADDITION to your Second Wind.

    By allowing an additional One-Shot attack, when it is needed most, the Action Surge feature is one of the main reasons I play a fighter. Then again, I am realativly new to the game, so I might be overlooking a vital piece of information.

    1. Hiya Tom! Yeah, HUGE oversight on my part. Action Surge is why I play the game too. I’ll be updating this article soon to reflect that. Thanks for stopping by. Cheers!

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