Learn all about the githzerai
Centuries ago, the githzerai were enslaved by the illithid (though githzerai and githyanki were all simply known as gith back then). Through this ensalvement and the rigorous experiments placed on the gith, they have developed natural psychic abilities. The githzerai hone these abilities more than the githyanki, training their minds rigorously in their fortresses on the plane of Limbo. Most githzerai have an intense hatred of mind flayers and the githyanki though most choose to isolate themselves from their enemies and others. Despite this, some do strike out on their own throughout the planes, becoming adventurers. You can learn about the githzerai and their abilities in our guide below.
Githzerai Features in 5e
|Ability Scores||+2 to one ability score and +1 to another or +1 to 3 different ability scores|
|Traits||Githzerai Psionics, Mental Discipline, Psychic Resilience|
|Book found in||Mordenkainen Presents: Monsters of the Multiverse, Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes|
If you want to play as a githzerai, your character will have the following traits and abilities:
Mental Discipline – Your innate psychic defences give you advantage on saving throws against the effects of the charmed and frightened conditions.
Psychic Resilience – You have resistance to psychic damage.
Githzerai Psionics – You know the mage hand cantrip and the hand is invisible when you cast this spell with this trait. Starting at 3rd level, you can cast the shield spell and at 5th level, can cast the detect thoughts spell, both without requiring material components. You can only do this once until you’ve completed a long rest. You can also cast these spells using any spell slots you have of the appropriate level. You can use intelligence, wisdom or charisma as your spellcasting modifier (you choose when you create your character).
Which classes are good for githzerai?
The githzerai have a stronger set of abilities than their githyanki cousins though their abilities are especially defensive minded. Advantage on saving throws against charmed and frightened conditions is excellent for any class, but especially those with low wisdom. Psychic damage isn’t overly common but resistance to it is great. You also get an invisible mage hand, shield (an excellent defensive spell and it’s a reaction so not wasting actions or bonus actions) and detect thoughts. All of these are useful spells that you can get more out of with natural spell slots too.
Best classes for githzerai
Bards make a great class for githzerai. Mental discipline is especially useful on class that typically has low wisdom (as they’re pumping ability points into charisma, dexterity and a bit into constitution). The best spell available to githzerai isn’t on a bard’s spell list but can be repeat cast so becomes even more useful for a class that can’t take a huge amount of damage. Detecting thoughts and the various usages of mage hand also fit very nicely with a bard’s role in the party.
Rogue’s benefit from githzerai spells even more than bards as detect thoughts and mage hand work well for subterfuge and shield is great for when your subterfuge doesn’t work. The only disadvantage here is that most rogues don’t get spell slots for repeat castings, though you could take the arcane trickster subclass to overcome this issue.
Rogues also tend not to have a high wisdom so advantage against charmed and frightened conditions is very helpful. Psychic resistance is also helpful no matter your class.
Paladins benefit a lot from the extra protection of shield which, with a paladin’s potential to already be heavily armoured, can make them extremely difficult to damage. This works even better for paladins as they can have multiple castings of shield. Although paladins can gain immunity to being frightened, advantage against charmed is still helpful. On top of this, psychic resilience is useful for paladins too.
Worst classes for githzerai
The githzerai traits tend to be quite universally useful for most classes meaning there aren’t really any bad choices for githzerai. If we’re nitpicking, barbarians will get little use out of shield as they’ll often be raging so won’t benefit from the spell. Monks need mental discipline less than most due to their high wisdom though they will still benefit from advantage against charmed and frightened.