It's no secret that the Echo Knight's description has been... problematic. The sheer number of questions on this site make that evident. As such, I've set out to re-write the Echo Knight's third level abilities in order to reduce ambiguity, simplify interactions with the Echo, and streamline the ability so that it interacts more smoothly with the rest of D&D 5e's ecosystem.

Overall, I hope these changes will reduce frustration for both players and the DM.

The Changes

The Echo Knight's 3rd level abilities are replaced with the following.

Manifest Echo

At 3rd level, you can use a bonus action to magically manifest an echo of yourself.

The echo is translucent, magical duplicate of you and counts as a creature. Its appearance and statistics are exactly the same as your own and it becomes a second recipient for effects active on you at the time of its creation, such as the benefits or detriments conferred by equipment and spells.

The echo lasts until it is destroyed, until you dismiss it as a bonus action, until you manifest another echo, or until you're incapacitated. The echo is destroyed if it takes any damage, or if it is ever more than 30 feet from you at the end of your turn.

The echo acts on your turn with the following conditions:

  • The echo obeys your mental commands (no action required), but otherwise cannot act independently.
  • The echo can move up to its speed.
  • Any action (besides moving) performed by the echo counts as if you had taken the action yourself. As such, any action, bonus action, or reaction taken by the echo uses your own action, bonus action, or reaction, respectively. Similarly, any resources (such as ammunition and Action Surge uses) used by the echo consume your own resources.

When it is manifested, the echo appears in the unoccupied space nearest to you. As part of this bonus action, the echo can move up to half its speed. Additionally, as a bonus action, you can teleport, magically swapping places with your echo at a movement cost of half your speed, regardless of the distance between the two of you.


The key difference between this definition and the existing definition is that the echo takes the player character's statblock as a template. This vastly simplifies the process of determining what the echo is and what it can do. Specifically, this:

  1. Resolves ambiguity around the echo's classification as a creature. The prevailing sentiment is that the echo is, in fact, not a creature, which results in a wide variety of unexpected and often unintuitive consequences.
    • The proposed definition solves this by making it explicitly clear that the echo is nothing more that a fragile duplicate of you which shares your resources. It is clearly a creature, and thus can be affected in exactly the same ways as the player character.
  2. Makes the bounds of the echo's abilities clear.
    • Anything you can do, the echo can do, and vice versa.
  3. Eliminates the inconsistent combination of vagueness and specificity in the current echo's definition.
    • By starting with the player character's statblock, we replace the patchwork definition of the echo with a clear and consistent definition. We eliminate the need for specific numbers and strange, duplicate definitions of existing concepts. For example:
      • The echo's duplicate definition of an opportunity attack is removed.
      • The echo's attacks are entirely its own. Therefore there is no more ambiguity about the mechanics of the action.

The other major difference is the "its appearance and statistics are exactly the same as your own and it becomes a second recipient for effects active on you at the time of its creation" clause.

  1. This eliminates the need to "pretend" that your attacks originate from a different location. Instead, they are simply the attacks of a different creature who shares your statblock.
  2. This eliminates strange interactions with effects like invisibility, where the echo is not invisible but its attacks nonetheless have advantage. Instead, this provides explicit support for the underlying concept by granting effects active on the Echo Knight at time-of-use to the echo. This intentionally increases the echo's potential for interaction with other members of the Echo Knight's party, which I view as a positive aspect of a cooperative RPG.
  3. This reinforces the thematic of the echo being an "alternate timeline" of the Echo Knight.

Balance alterations:

  1. I removed the "Unleash Incarnation" feature for the simple fact that I believe that this unnecessarily bloats the subclass. In part, this is intended to balance out the increased flexibility gained from allowing spells to affect the echo.
  2. The echo is destroyed by any instance of damage. This reinforces the echo's weakness against area-of-effect attacks, and, importantly, prevents the echo from benefiting from effects which would increase its durability, such as temporary hit points.
  3. The echo no longer has immunity to all conditions. I removed this because it has strange ramifications (like making the echo immune to invisibility), and, honestly, because it has never made sense to me from a thematic perspective.
  4. All references to 15 feet have been replaced with "half your speed" in order to make the definition more simple and more extensible to characters with non-standard speed.
  5. The echo is manifested beside the Echo Knight (instead of within 15 feet) so that the echo cannot be manifested in difficult-to-reach locations. This intentionally eliminates the possibility for manifesting the echo in out-of-reach places or through small gaps in barriers, as I believe that this clashes with the echo's thematic.
  6. The echo has some degree of enhanced non-combat effectiveness because, as a duplicate of the Echo Knight, it can talk and interact with the environment, whereas previously it could only attack. This is an intentional choice selected to reinforce the thematic of the subclass.


I'm interested in answers which analyze whether the Echo Knight is balanced with this third level feature. Specifically, I'm looking for answers which

  • Compare this feature to existing Echo Knight's third level feature.
  • Compare this feature against other Fighter subclasses.

Thank you for reading through this wall of text :).

  • \$\begingroup\$ Could you explain how your changes are supposed to solve more problems that they create? \$\endgroup\$
    – Mołot
    Oct 6, 2021 at 18:28
  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ @Molot I'm going to operate on the assumption that your comment is out of goodwill and direct you to the extensive analysis that I've provided in the second half of my question. \$\endgroup\$
    – Andrendire
    Oct 6, 2021 at 19:20
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Just on an editing level, in the Manifest Echo ability, don't use the word "action" unless you actually mean an Action in combat. I can see what you meant, but the wording there is awkward because you're using two different meanings of "action" in two consecutive sentences. I'd suggest mashing them together: "Any action, bonus action, or reaction performed by the echo counts as [...]" \$\endgroup\$ Oct 11, 2021 at 13:43

2 Answers 2


I see two major problems that make this subclass substantially more powerful with the new wording. The first is mainly relevant if you play using the optional flanking rules, but it's emblematic of the exact reasons this subclass doesn't normally produce a creature.

Adding creatures to combat repeatedly is weird

The ability to produce an allied creature at will as a bonus action under flanking rules will effectively give the fighter advantage on every attack (unless the opponent is extremely large). This is likely an unintended consequence for you.

Of course, people can already add creatures to combat for just this purpose (familiars, notably), but there's usually a cost to doing so, both in resources and action economy. Not so for your echo knight.

And you'll encounter more problems like this, probably many more, when you introduce other class features. Consider the Peace Domain Cleric's sixth level feature:

When a creature affected by your Emboldening Bond feature is about to take damage, a second bonded creature within 30 feet of the first can use its reaction to teleport to an unoccupied space within 5 feet of the first creature. The second creature then takes all the damage instead.

With your current wording, when an echo knight produces an echo while under Emboldening Bond, the echo is as well. Now the echo knight can, with a bonus action, grant themselves advantage on all attacks while producing a resource that can be expended as a reaction to negate a source of damage entirely. You would normally have this ability once per rest at 10th level with Shadow Martyr, but now that the echo is a creature, your cleric friend lets you do it every round (and the damage that would be dealt to the echo is of course irrelevant to you).

I suspect that as you playtest your new wording, you'll encounter a lot of things like this. The fact that the echo is not usually a creature is a defining trait that sets limits on it; you're taking those limits away.

Echo Avatar becomes unreasonable

You asked about the 3rd level feature more or less in a vacuum, but it would be wrong to ignore what this does to the 7th level feature, Echo Avatar. Now that the echo is a creature and has all the capabilities of the original, Echo Avatar becomes... much much stronger.

You can remotely disarm traps more skillfully than mage hand, without line of sight and at no risk. You can parlay with dangerous enemies more convincingly than an illusion. You can deploy magic items or mundane explosives wherever you want - stroll up to the enemy camp with a wand of fireballs - without even risking losing the items.

I'd guess that this ability is just way too powerful for the level. Your change to the 3rd level feature of the echo knight can't be viewed in a vacuum, because it will unbalance future features even in the same class.

In short: be extremely careful

If you hand a player this subclass, be clear: this is going to cause problems. The original caused problems, and this will cause new and different ones. You need to be ready for that, and be ready to quickly make rulings that make sense, or else you're going to experience emerging gameplay patterns that you might not like.

I don't have much love for the original wording of the subclass, but what it's trying to do is so inherently complicated that attempts to "fix" it need to acknowledge the difficulty of the task.


The changes have, in some ways, made the subclass more complicated; at the very least, there are still questions

First, quoting features and the questions I have after reading them:

Any action (besides moving) performed by the echo counts as if you had taken the action yourself. As such, any action, bonus action, or reaction taken by the echo uses your own action, bonus action, or reaction, respectively.

If the echo casts a spell, who must enemies be able to see in order to use counterspell? How does this work with object interactions? Can the echo summon its own echo? What happens when it tries to do so? When taking the Attack action with Extra Attack, must each attack come from the same source or can the first be from the fighter and the second from the echo?

The echo is translucent, magical duplicate of you and counts as a creature. Its appearance and statistics are exactly the same as your own

What are "statistics" and how can it appear exactly the same as the fighter while also being translucent? If you have a magic item does the echo get one, and if so, can it be handed off to another party member? Are gold and spell components similarly doubled, allowing for vanishing spending money and a loophole around consumed components?

Additionally, as a bonus action, you can teleport, magically swapping places with your echo

Can you have the echo initiate the teleport to change who loses half of their movement?

I would also say that the use of "half speed" instead of "15 feet" is actually worse. It means faster characters (which are far more common than slower ones) have a higher cost for the same action. It also might cause some questions about how much speed is actually leftover: If it costs half of your 35 speed, do you have 15 or 20 left afterwards?

The changes have, probably, made the subclass weaker, or at least very different

You said yourself that you made the echo weaker in several ways including removing immunity to conditions, removing Unleash Incarnation, removing the benefits of temporary hit points, and removing the range at which the echo could be summoned.

To compensate for these losses, you've added, as far as I can tell, two things:

  1. It is now explicitly a creature

  2. It has out-of-combat utility

The first one is, in some ways, actually yet another downgrade. Yes, the echo can now gain the benefits of some spells, but usually those spells would be better cast on the fighter anyway as they are less likely to die, so not much is gained here. Furthermore, enemy spells can now affect the echo, while before, a spell that damaged creatures may not have been able to affect the echo they now very much can.

The second is a massive change in the subclass as a whole. The echo is no longer a combat aid but instead an entirely new party member: they can put on new clothes, don a new name, and so forth.

And that second benefit All comes under the control of one player, giving them an advantage and more screen time over the other party members since they can effectively play two characters at once. That may not be a problem at a specific table, but I would be cautious about it.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Excellent comments. I do want to point out some nuances that substantially affect some of your points, however. The echo is unable to summon new echos because its actions count as the actions of the original. Therefore summoning an echo would cause it to be destroyed (wording might need to be adjusted but this was my intent). Additionally, the Echo Knight is not an echo so the echo cannot initiate teleportation with the Knight. As for the comments on movement costs; these are intentional and take inspiration from rules for standing up. Your points are valid, however. \$\endgroup\$
    – Andrendire
    Oct 6, 2021 at 19:44
  • \$\begingroup\$ As a comment on "statistics"; this is a term that's used in plentitude for spells like polymorph and simulacrum. \$\endgroup\$
    – Andrendire
    Oct 6, 2021 at 19:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Andrendire 1. Even if the echo is destroyed when summoning its own echo some of the wording that refers to "you" would become... complicated. 2. Ah, I see the wording now: "swapping places with your echo", subtle, but fair. 3. More of a sidenote, but I do also houserule standing up to cost 15 feet at my own tables. 4. Statistics is used to refer to monsters and creatures with statblocks not player characters. Furthermore, people don't agree what statistics means (or at least now how it work with polymorphing) \$\endgroup\$ Oct 6, 2021 at 21:06

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