Elf — Wood Elf Subrace 5E

Hello elves! Welcome to my spellbook and thank you so much for checking out the 11th episode of our elven subrace series. Today we’re going to be going over the wood elf and this should at least currently be the final episode of the elf series. I debated it going through the valenar elf although they are just simple re-skins of the high elf in the wood elf anyways. So the lore is cool behind them but mechanically there are no differences so i don’t really see a point in diving into them.

In any case today we’re going to be covering the wood elf which was one of the most popular choices out of the player’s handbook. Especially for any stealth based characters. Before we dive into its traits however i just want to recommend that you check out full elf race article so you know exactly what your options are and exactly what you’re getting with the elf in whole. We’re really just going to be covering the sub race options in this article.

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So at the very least read the full elf article so you know everything you get. You can do so by clicking on the above given link. In any case let’s dive right in to the wood elf’s description and traits.

Table of Contents


Being a wood elf, you have the different keen senses and intuition, and your fleet feet carry you quickly and stealthily via your native forests. This category includes the wild elves (grugach) of Greyhawk and the Kagonesti of Dragonlance, as well as the races called wood elves in Greyhawk and the Forgotten Realms.

In the Faerûn, wood elves (also called wild elves, green elves, or forest elves) are reclusive and distrusting of non-elves. Wood elves’ skin tends to be copperish in hue, sometimes with traces of green. Their hair tends toward the browns and blacks, but it is eventually blond or copper-colored. Their eyes are green, brown, or hazel.


  • Ability Score Increase: +1 WIS
  • Fleet Of Foot: Walking Speed Increases to 35 Feet
  • Mask Of The Wild: You can attempt to hide even when you are only lightly obscured.
  • Elf Weapon Training: Proficiency with the longsword, shortsword, shortbow and longbow.

Right out of the gate the wood elf gets an ability score increase of plus one to your wisdom which is pretty good. Especially if you’re planning on playing a cleric or a druid. You also get flet of foot which increases your walking speed by 5 to 35 feet which is quite nice in terms of mobility. Mask of the wild however is really their core feature. You can attempt to hide even when you are only lightly obscured.

There are however some caveats to this, it lists the terrains in which you are lightly obscured so it says foliage heavy rain failling snow mist or other natural phenomena. What this implies is you don’t really get this benefit in urban environments only in more kind of natural settings. Are you able to do this? I don’t necessarily know if i like that too too much, most dungeon masters allow you to hide lightly obscured pretty much anywhere.

But rules as written it has to be in a natural environment for you to take advantage of mask of the wild. That being said, however most dungeon masters aren’t super familiar with how sneaking works in 5e anyways. So they’ll probably let you get away with it but just worth having that conversation. They’ll also gain elf weapon training which gives them proficiency with a long sword, short sword, a shortbow and a longbow.

This is a great way of providing range to your character if they might not otherwise have it. This is particularly beneficial if you’re a little bit squishier. That being said! most stealth-based classes already have proficiency with all these so you might not necessarily gain a lot from in that regard. If you’re a druid at least for your early couple levels you’re likely going to spend a lot of it wild shape.

I don’t know how useful this is necessarily, however with certain builds i’d have no doubt this could be useful. Now let’s move on to my personal thoughts.


This is a pretty simple sub-race which is understandable as it’s found in the player’s handbook. I want to say it’s been kind of overshadowed by just the sheer amount of elven sub races in the game. Once again this is our 11th episode of the sub race series so there’s 10 other options that may or may not suit your build a little bit better. Especially with the marked elf being already super stealthy and providing you with a lot more mechanical benefits than the wood elf does.

I feel like most people are just gonna go with that. That being said however, if you are playing in a game where the dungeon master doesn’t allow the marked races then the wood elf becomes significantly more valuable. That being said however, it’s still a fine choice plus one to wisdom is nice. Even if you’re not a wisdom-based caster. Wisdom is some of the cooler skills in the game like medicine checks for example.

In addition to that the wood elf just has a ton of great flavor to them and mask of the wilds is a pretty cool concept and if your dungeon master is a little bit lenient. It could become a really good feature for you.


That being said, if you have any thoughts, questions, concerns, ideas or even stories about the wood elf, be sure to let me know down beneath in the comment section. That being said, i hope you all have a great day and as always happy adventuring.

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