Gruul Anarch 5E Background

Hello adventurers! Welcome to my spellbook and thank you so much for checking out the 25th episode of our background series. Today we have a very cool background in store for us. We are going to discuss about the dnd 5e gruul anarch. At least that’s how i’m pretty sure it’s pronounced maybe an arch drew and arch I don’t know.

In any case this is what we’re talking about today. This particular background is found in the guild master’s guide to ravnica and i gotta say this spell list on it is something rather fierce and its features also overall this is just a really really strong option.

Now if you haven’t checked out the official page of dnd backgrounds ideas in its entirety yet and if you’d like to check out every background in 5e in alphabetical order pretty cool stuff hopefully you’ll enjoy it please go with the given link. Now let’s see its description.


The entire world of Ravnica has been a sprawling metropolis, any way you are one of the native of the wild areas which is still exist – the abandoned districts, the rubblebelts, the overgrown parks, and also the crumbling ruins.

Of course, you are one of the parts of a savage society that mainly clings desperately for the Old Ways – attuned to the nature, also the full of primal rage, and even it has been given a short shift by the world consumed by continuing civilization’s march of progress.

Very cool stuff…now looking at its spell list….man there’s some good stuff in here.

Gruul Guild Spells

In terms of additional cantrips you have access to you’re looking at Fire Bolt and Produce Flame. Additional first level spells include compelled duel, speak with animals and thunderwave, additional second level spells are beast sense and shatter, additional third level spells conjure animals and conjure barrage, additional fourth level spells are dominate beast and stoneskin and the 5th level spell is destructive wave.

Prerequisite: Spellcasting or Pact Magic class feature

For the sake of you, the spells on this Gruul Guild Spells table has been added to the spell list of your spellcasting class. (If you are a multiclass character with multiple spell lists, these spells are added to all of them.)

  • There are a lot of absolutely amazing spells in this list. Firebolt has incredible range for a cantrip and provides a decent amount of utility as well.
  • The comepelled duel is arguably one of the paladin’s best spells in the game and you gain it to your spell list just for being you sly dog. This is especially amazing for the blade locks there so just bear that it mind.
  • Speak with animals and thunder wave are also both pretty good in their own right. And you also get shatter at the second level very nice to beast sense is alright as well.
  • At third level conjure animals and conjure barrage that’s nuts both of these are in my opinion top tier spells. Conjure barrage is arguably one of the best spells, the ranger has access to the outright and once again you gain access to it.
  • Just for being you lucky dog, dominate beast and stone skin are quite good and destructive wave is pretty and nuts. If memory serves it gets you like 10d6 of damage.
Spell LevelSpell
CantripFire Bolt, Produce Flame
1stCompelled Duel, Speak With Animals,Thunderwave
2ndBeast Sense, Shatter
3rdConjure Animals, Conjure Barrage
4thDominate Beast, Stoneskin
5thDestructive Wave

So, Fueled by a fire of rage that is burning within your heart, of course your magic is almost always accompanied by the fiery effects, like the flames smoldering behind either of your eyes or dancing over your hands.

Very nice stuff! That being said, you know if you don’t want to have these particular backgrounds in your game, just say you don’t allow any of the ravnica backgrounds and that’s really it. That being said, this is allowed in your game, this is a very very strong choice.

It’s not my favorite of the guild masters guide backgrounds but it is a pretty damn good nonetheless and has kind of a cool description you’re kind of an outsider you prefer nature all that good druidic stuff right. Now let’s quickly take a look at its mechanics here.


Under skill proficiencies you are now proficient in animal handling and athletics. This is one of the few backgrounds that gets athletics as a proficiency. Currently i think the only one we’ve covered is athlete that gets you athletics but you get it here too. Just because you know you’re awesome.

Under tool proficiencies you gain access to the herbalism kit which is a great option. Under languages you can pick between draconic, giant, goblin or sylvan. I’d probably push you to either draconic or goblin. Goblin’s one of my favorite languages by the way. Especially at early levels of play, it’s super awesome.

Looking at the equipment you have the gruul insignia, hunting trap, herbalism kit, skull of a boar, beast-hide cloak, set of traveler’s clothes and a pouch containing 10 gold piece.

  • Skill Proficiencies: Animal Handling, Athletics
  • Tool Proficiencies: Herbalism Kit
  • Languages: Choose one of Draconic, Giant, Goblin, or Sylvan
  • Equipment: A Gruul insignia, a hunting trap, an herbalism kit, the skull of a boar, a beast-hide cloak, a set of traveler’s clothes, and a pouch containing 10gp (Azorius 1-zino coins)

Pretty good stuff! It’s actually a rather long list in comparison to most of the other backgrounds, the hunting trap is pretty interesting as well. If you’re not super familiar with how the hunting trap works, essentially you can affix it to the ground or you can attach it to an object by using a heavy metal chain or spike or what have you.

The creature that steps onto the plate must make a DC13 dexterity saving throw or take 1d4 piercing damage and stop moving so movement speed gets reduced to zero and until it breaks free from the trap, its movement is limited by the length of the chain or whatever it is it’s attached to and it requires a dc13 strength check to free itself or have another creature for you.

Each fail deals one piercing damage to the trapped creature, if you combine this with the herbalism kit and maybe the poisoners kit as well. it could make for a pretty damn effective tool especially at those earlier levels of play. Outside of that the skull of a bore beast tied cloak which is kind of there for the flavor but that hunting trap is probably the star of the equipment in my opinion. Now let’s move on to its feature this one is called rubblebelt refuge.

Feature: Rubblebelt Refuge

You’re an intimately familiar with the areas of city which is most people shun: ruined neighborhoods where wurms rampaged, overgrown parks which no hand has tended in the decades, and even the vast, sprawling rubblebelts of the broken terrain that has been civilized folk have long abandoned.

You could even find a exact suitable place for you and even for your allies in order to hide or rest in those particular areas. So, in an addition, that you can find the food and also fresh water in all of these areas for yourself and almost up to five other people per each day.

This is really really incredible if you riskin this to make it so any area of wilderness applies with this feature. I might make it where you have to spend like a short rest worth of time kind of running around and becoming familiar with the area or some ritual you perform if you’re something like that.

However man this is pretty dang good, sadly it kind of replaces the utility aspect of the ranger relatively quick, finding a safe area with access to food and fresh water is pretty dang important. Especially if you’re planning on taking a long or even several short rests in the woods. Very interesting stuff and i like it. Now let’s move on to some suggested characteristics here.

Suggested Characteristics

These Gruul ways are not even the ways of civilized folk, and of course the Gruul also have the little patience for the sake of social niceties. But they usually have a cherished traditions and also the values, just like an important to them like some of the different values held by the urban and cosmopolitan culture of Ravnica.

Personality Trait

For the personality trait i went with “Unlike people, the beasts of the wild are friends who won’t stab me in the back.”

d8Personality Trait
1Unlike people, the beasts of the wild are friends who won't stab me in the back.
2Go ahead and insult me - I dare you.
3I scorn those who can't survive away from the comforts of the city.
4Don't tell me I'm not allowed to do something.
5Laws are for people who are afraid to face their inner beasts.
6I smear the blood of my enemies over my skin.
7I was, in fact, raised by maaka.
8HarrRRAAGGHH! [I rarely form a coherent sentence and prefer to express myself by breaking things.]


Under ideal “Anarchy. No person or law or custom can tell another what to do and this will take you towards the chaotic direction.”

1Clan: My clan is all that really matters. (Any)
2Anarchy: No person or law or custom can tell another what to do. (Chaotic)
3Nature: We weren't born tame or domesticated, so we shouldn't have to live that way. (Neutral)
4Might: The strongest are meant to dominate the weak. (Evil)
5Rage: AAAAAARRRRggggh! [To live is to feel and express the rage burning in your belly.] (Chaotic)
6Tradition: The Old Ways must be preserved and upheld. (Any)


Under Bond “I am determined that one day i will lead my clan—or a new one.”

1I am determined that one day I will lead my clan - or a new one.
2I would give my life for my clan chieftain.
3The chieftain of another clan has a grudge against me.
4I am devoted to a sacred site in the midst of the rubblebelt.
5My weapon is made from the first raktusk I ever hunted.
6GrrrRRAAAAGGHH! [I will do anything to prove myself greater than my siblings or ancestors.]


Under flaw ” If you question my courage, i will never back down.”

1If you question my courage, I will never back down.
2HrrrGGGAAAARRuuuh! [My anger in battle led to the death of a loved one.]
3I'm as stubborn as a batterboar.
4I'm so convinced of my superiority over soft, civilized people that I'll take great risks to prove it.
5I'm easily manipulated by people I find attractive.
6I'm not actually all that angry.

D&D Gruul Anarch Contacts

All the members of the Gruul Clans are rely on each of the other even like they vie for territory and also the glory. Even though their encounters with the members of other guilds are much more frequently violent than the friendly, but occasional bonds do form.

Gruul Contacts

1One of my parents is a renowned warrior in my clan.
2My sibling has the ear of the clan chief.
3I have cousins in a different clan.
4When we were younger, I was romantically involved with a prominent warrior in my clan.
5A druid in my clan believes I have a destiny to fulfill.
6The warrior who trained me remembers me for my exceptional potential.
7My clan chief killed one of my parents, who had challenged the chief for leadership of the clan. Some combination of resentment and remorse stirs the clan chief to help me sometimes.
8I made a strong impression on Borborygmos.

Non-Gruul Contacts

1An Azorius arrester thinks I can be reformed.
2A Boros soldier gives me gifts in exchange for information about other clans' movements.
3I once caught and released a Dimir spy.
4I consult with a Golgari shaman for spiritual guidance at times.
5Roll an additional Gruul contact; you can decide if the contact is an ally or a rival.
6An Izzet scientist blames the Gruul for the destruction of his life's work in a raid, but seems to think that I'm not like other Gruul.
7I foolishly borrowed money from an Orzhov syndic to indulge a shameful vice.
8A close friend left our clan and joined the Cult of Rakdos.
9A distant relative is trying to recruit me into the Selesnya Conclave.
10I stopped a Simic biomancer from trapping wild beasts to perform vile experiments on them.

This is pretty cool and embodies the warrior spirit as far as i was able to do. These particular character suggestions may lead to a character that genuinely just favors his furry friends over of the human ones and to be fair who could really blame them from time to time you know i’m pretty sure we all feel that way.

That being said, they might not react kindly towards any sense of authority and they may want to always do things their own way even if it’s the less logical option. That being said, let’s get to my personal feelings on the gruul anarch.


Overall, i think it’s an incredibly strong background to go with the fact that it has athletics in its mechanics make it really helpful for those squish your casters out there. In addition to that having that extended spell list is super nice. I really do think the class that would work best with this for the most part is the hex blade, warlock being able to take advantage of that spell list in addition i mean just compelled duel alone would be such a strong choice for them.

That being said, looking at their mechanics having some degree of stealth might be worthwhile especially if you’re planning on using the hunting trap. Having a poisoner in your party would go a long way as well with this particular background. Rubble belt refuge is a really strong feature to have however unlike a lot of these other ravnica themed backgrounds.

This one is going to be less useful in cities and primarily focused in the wilderness. So it might be able to compensate for your party members deficits in that regard. However that’s kind of up to party composition. Overall i really like it, very strong choice there’s also a lot you can do flavor wise with it. Which is pretty cool.


That being said, let me know what you think of the gruul anarch down beneath in the comments section. Be sure to mention any thoughts, questions, comments, or concerns you may have regarding it and feel free to share any stories you have as well. That being said, i hope you all have a great day and as always happy adventuring everyone.

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