A lot of build guides I've seen suggest you should dip into Fighter in order to get heavy armor proficiency. But that doesn't seem right since the multi-class rules in the PHB (p164) does not list heavy armor as a proficiency you get.

Have I misunderstood something? Is there a way to get heavy armor by multi-classing into fighter?

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    – V2Blast
    Commented Mar 17, 2019 at 3:30

2 Answers 2


What you've missed is that if you take a Fighter level first, it gives you heavy armour. Likewise, one of the main reasons people recommend Fighter dips is that if you take it at first level, you get the enormously useful Constitution saving throw proficiency. So when a guide recommends a Fighter dip, it's generally recommending starting with a level of Fighter, then taking further levels in what you actually want to do.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ That's a helpful distinction. Is it still called "dipping" if I take the minor class first? \$\endgroup\$
    – M.T. Black
    Commented Mar 17, 2019 at 2:53
  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ @M.T.Black: It can be, I suppose, as long as it's not your "main class" - the one you intend to take the most levels in. \$\endgroup\$
    – V2Blast
    Commented Mar 17, 2019 at 3:31
  • 9
    \$\begingroup\$ @MTBlack Yes, especially if you don't start at level 1, so you never actually play as a pure Fighter. \$\endgroup\$
    – Miniman
    Commented Mar 17, 2019 at 3:55
  • \$\begingroup\$ Maybe it's just me but, getting a special bonus if you choose something as your first level class would seem like a feature designed to discourage dipping, even if ineffectively. \$\endgroup\$ Commented Jan 29, 2022 at 16:54

You are not missing something. Multiclassing into fighter only gives light and medium armor proficiency (as well as shields and simple and martial weapons). You would have to also take the Heavily Armored feat to get heavy armor proficiency.

Somewhat oddly, while multiclassing into cleric only gives light and medium armor plus shields, it also gives you full access to the cleric domains, several of which give heavy armor proficiency. It doesn't seem quite fair that fighters don't get that, but there it is.

Perhaps fighter was considered too attractive of a "dip" with fighting style and second wind also at first level and very attractive additional features at second and third. But that's just speculation. Whatever the reason, if you want heavy armor proficiency from fighter (or paladin), you need to take that as your first-level class.


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