I got the 4e core books when they first came out. On browsing through them, I thought that a Dragonborn Warlord would be a fun combo to play. But D&D is not a game my group wants to play, so the books sat there, essentially untouched.

Fast forward a few years, and my son is reading my 4e books and talking about starting a new game for his friends with them. I do some research, and find that Essentials seems to be the new hotness, so I get him the Monster Vault because everyone says the Monster Manual in my core set is badly broken. I get him the Rules Compendium because the errata for the DMG is seven million pages long. And I get him the two "Heroes of..." books because that's the kind of dad I am.

So my son has started his game and it's going swimmingly and he assures me that Essentials is great and way better than the old(!) core 4e books he started with. I take a look at his collection to see what a Dragonborn Warlord looks like in Essentials...and there isn't one.

Where did it go? Was it eliminated because it was broken? Or boring? Or upopular?

What if I still want to play one? Can I use the Warlord from the PHB? Is there another "Heroes of..." book on the way with the Warlord in it?

  • \$\begingroup\$ I was sad about the lack of the Warlord as well. As one of the PHB Core classes, I think it was the best built. I have read rumors online that the Warlord will get the "Essentials" treatment in the next Heroes of __ __ book, here is to hoping there is some truth to those rumors! \$\endgroup\$ Jun 18, 2011 at 3:38
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    \$\begingroup\$ Is it just me, or do you have to keep buying a whole lot of books to play this 4e game? \$\endgroup\$
    – Joe
    Nov 10, 2011 at 20:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Joe - I don't think so. I think you could grab the Rules Compendium, a "Heroes of..." book, and the Monster Vault and pretty much be done. That's only 3 things to purchase - which isn't bad for the RPG world. As with many games, you can keep buying a while lot of books, but I don't think you have to. \$\endgroup\$
    – gomad
    Dec 9, 2011 at 17:00

3 Answers 3


I do not know if a Warlord is coming soon for sure, but here is my assumption:

A recent errata presents a reworked Warlord called the Marshal. I assume that one is coming soon since there will be a book coming out in a few months called Heroes of the Feywild.

As to the Warlord from the PHB, the short answer is yes.

The Essentials in a way is designed to either be a little more simplified in some cases to bring new players in or more advanced in other cases (Like how Wizards now have Mages which adds slightly more complexity to the game than their Wizard counterparts).

Any "Heroes of" book can work with any of the PHB 1-3 books as well as the Power supplements whether its meant as a combination of party members between both Essentials and non-essentials as well as power access.

And while you didn't ask for it, the change to the Marshal is because all classes that are the same will be put in as a sub-class if you will. Example:

  • Fighter's Subclasses are Weaponmaster (PHB Fighter), Slayer, Knight
  • Wizard's subclasses are Arcanist (PHB Wizard), Mage
  • Warlock's Subclasses are Warlock (may be changed soon), Hexblade, Binder
  • etc etc.

Hope this helps!

  • \$\begingroup\$ What errata refers to the PHB Core as Weaponmaster, Arcanist, etc? I had no idea there was an actually worded distinction now. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 18, 2011 at 14:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ This came for the last 2 and a half months when they were starting back up their routine errata updates. Like one of the answers below mentions about the Warlord update so I won't re-link it. Another is the Fighter that I linked. In a way, it makes sense to do it this way because its now hard to call yourself a fighter as a Slayer when your role is Striker instead of Defender. \$\endgroup\$
    – zapoqx
    Jun 19, 2011 at 20:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ This link is now broken. \$\endgroup\$
    – Bacon Bits
    Feb 14, 2022 at 22:36

Wizards released a PDF version of updated Warlord (the Marshal). This article is not behind a paywall.


  • \$\begingroup\$ This article presents the PH1 warlord in the same format as other essentials builds. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 23, 2011 at 0:35

The Warlord as you know it didn't exist until its introduction in the D&D 4e PHB. Since half the point* of Essentials is to harken back to the roots of D&D, "new-fangled" classes and races like the Warlord and Dragonborn weren't included in the initial release. (An Essentials-style treatment of Dragonborn have since been added in Heroes of the Forgotten Kingdoms, and it's likely the Warlord and other "non-traditional" races and classes will get the same treatment at some point.)

That said, the classes and races in the PHB can be freely used alongside Essentials classes and races. You don't have to limit your game to only what is in Essentials unless you or your son have a particular desire for an Essentials-only game.

* The other half of the point is a streamlined, errata'd set of books.

  • \$\begingroup\$ A-HA! OK. I thought the point of Essentials was to integrate several years of errata and playtesting into the 4e ruleset. I didn't know it was a response to the Old-School movement, too. Now I get it. I have so much to ask you. So much, that I'm writing a new question. Hope you'll answer it. \$\endgroup\$
    – gomad
    Jun 18, 2011 at 15:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ There's a lot of insight to be had by noting that Essentials marks the beginning of the Mearls Era of D&D 4e, and going and reading his blog posts and other articles. He has talked a bunch about the old-school inspirations in his 4e design work. (Hello, rust monster!) \$\endgroup\$ Jun 18, 2011 at 16:02
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    \$\begingroup\$ That doesn't seem correct to me. Dragonborns are part of the essentials line, as are tieflings and hexblades. \$\endgroup\$
    – GMNoob
    Jun 18, 2011 at 18:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ @GMNoob I'll edit my answer to be clearer about what I meant, but you're right: Dragonborn are in Essentials. They weren't in the first release, but were added later in a Heroes of ___ book. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 19, 2011 at 16:45

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