How to Play as Azula in DnD 5e
Today, I’m building the best antagonist to ever grace television. Princess Azula of the Fire Nation is a deliciously cunning and manipulative person, and I want to approach building her the best way I can. Azula is compared to lightning bending itself. Careful, precise, and deadly. Azula is a genuinely dangerous foe, bringing down an entire government and refuge almost single-handedly.
We’ll start Azula as a Variant Human with +1 DEX/+1 CHA, proficiency with Persuasion, and we’ll give Azula the Prodigy Feat. With the Prodigy feat, we’ll give her proficiency in Deception as well as expertise so that she can be a natural born liar, even from childhood.
Azula is a princess, but she has a very clean set of skills, and Azula is basically a living weapon. Ozai treats her like an elite soldier, and that’s what I’ll make her. We’ll give her the soldier background for Athletics and Intimidation.
Azula is evil, but very calculating and methodical. So while she’s good at sowing chaos, I’d rationalize her as being Neutral Evil, only slipping into Chaotic Evil when her sanity begins to crack in book 3.
Benders in the Avatar world aren’t born able to shoot fire out of their fingertips, so before Azula became a sentient flamethrower, she was a cartwheeling little psychopath with a penitence for lying. The Inquisitive Rogue is astute and clever, reading their opponents, and developing counter tactics. Moreover, I mostly made Azula a rogue to make use of the expertise. Rogues get four skills from the rogue skill list, and we’ll give Azula proficiency in Acrobatics, Insight, Investigation, and Perception. We also get expertise where we can give ourselves double proficiency in two skills at level 1 and another 2 at level 6. We’ll put our expertise in Acrobatics, Insight, Intimidation, and Perception.
DRACONIC BLOODLINE (RED)
We won’t get access to any spells above 6th level, but to be fair, there aren’t very many 7th or 8th level spells that work for Azula. Plus, if we take her to 14 levels in Draconic Bloodline, she’d sprout wings, and we don’t want that. However, Fire Benders learned their art from dragons, so it works. I did consider the blue dragon, as it is associated with lightning, which is pretty much Azula’s signature thing. On top of that, Azula is frequently represented symbolically as a blue dragon. However, Elemental Affinity powers up the element of the dragon, and Azula’s fire canonically burns hotter than other Fire Benders. We even see in The Chase that when she sets a fire, her blue fire cools off into standard orange flames. However, a blue dragon ancestor that super charges her lightning would be appropriate if that’s how you’d prefer to build her.
BASIC BUILD INFORMATION
Inquisitive Rogue (8)
Red Draconic Bloodline Sorcerer (12)
STR 10 DEX 16 CON 16 INT 10 WIS 10 CHA 20
STR 0 DEX 9 CON 3 INT 6 WIS 0 CHA 5
Elemental Adept - Fire
AZULA’S SPELL LIST
C Control Flames, Create Bonfire, Fire Bolt, Light, Lightning Lure, Shocking Grasp
1 Burning Hands, Chromatic Orb
2 Dragon’s Breath, Flaming Sphere, Scorching Ray
3 Fireball, Flame Stride, Lightning Bolt
4 Fire Shield
6 Chain Lightning, Investiture of Flames
AZULA’S CLASS FEATURES
Cunning Action. You can dash, disengage, or hide as a bonus action.
Draconic Resilience. Your Hit Point maximum increases by 12 and your AC is equal to 13 + DEX when not wearing armor.
Dragon Ancestor. You are descended from Red Dragons. You can read, write, and speak Draconic and have expertise on Charisma checks when interacting with Dragons.
Ear for Deceit. You can’t roll lower than an 8 on an insight check to tell if someone is lying to you.
Elemental Adept. Your Fire damage spells ignore Fire Damage resistance, and when you roll a 1 on damage rolls for Fire damage spells, it becomes a 2.
Elemental Affinity. You can add your Charisma modifier to damage rolls when casting Fire spells, and you can use 1 Sorcery Point to gain Fire damage resistance for 1 hour.
Evasion. Successful DEX saving throws reduce damage to 0.
Expertise. Double proficiency bonus on skill checks involving Acrobatics, Deception, Insight, Intimidation, and Perception.
Eye for Detail. You can make a Perception check to locate hidden objects or creatures, or an Investigation check to locate or decipher clues as a bonus action.
Font of Magic. You can convert Sorcery Points into Spell Slots, and Spell Slots into Sorcery Points.
Insightful Fighting. As a bonus action, make an Insight check contested by the target creature making a Deception check. On a success, you can use your sneak attack even without advantage for 1 minute.
Magical Guidance. If you fail to hit with an attack roll, you can spend 1 Sorcery Point to reroll a D20 to try and change your luck.
Metamagic. You gain three metamagic options of your choice. These features are activated by spending Sorcery Points.
Sorcery Points. You have 12 Sorcery Points.
Sneak Attack. Add 4d6 damage to attacks made with advantage. You gain advantage on an attack when an ally creature is within 5 feet of the attack target.
Steady Aim. If you haven’t moved, you can use your bonus action to give yourself advantage on your next attack roll. Your speed becomes 0 for the rest of the turn.
Thieves’ Cant. You can speak and understand the secret language of thieves to relay or decipher cryptic coded speech.
Uncanny Dodge. When attacked by a creature that you can see, reduce damage taken by half as a reaction.
I am very satisfied with how this build came out. Azula has a plethora of Fire and Lightning spells, her flames burn brighter and hotter than most, and she’s also got the tricky nimbleness and talent that she’s known to posses. Thanks to her Insightful Fighting feature, she can pick apart her enemy’s weaknesses and take advantage of them, and ensuring she can always get off sneak attack damage, even in solo combat. Her stats and skills also make sure that she’s not really bad at anything, having a flat 0 at her worst, but never any negative modifiers.
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