As you reach level 4 and beyond, you have a choice between getting Ability Score Improvements or Feats. Feats are some of the coolest aspects of Dungeons & Dragons 5E, but it can be hard to fit them into a build. This can be especially hard for a Bard, who wants high Charisma and Dexterity. However, there are a ton of great feats for the Bard to try out! Our Bard Feats 5E guide will help you decide on some cool abilities to consider for your character.
Top 12 Bard Feats for 5E
Before you get your Bard some feats, we highly suggest using Ability Score Improvements to get your Charisma to 20. High Charisma boosts the effectiveness of your spells, how many Bardic Inspirations you have, and other class abilities.
12. Shadow Touched
The shadow touched feat is great because it does a lot and has some flexibility. This feat offers bards two spells that can be cast without the use of a spell slot once per day. These spells include invisibility and another first-level spell of your choice. The spell must be chosen from specific schools of magic, namely Illusion or Necromancy.
11. Ritual Caster
The bard is a caster, and the class is known for its wide range of useful spells. One area where the bard is pretty constricted is when it comes to ritual casting. As a jack of all trades, it only makes sense for the bard of the group to have the added flexibility of casting certain spells without the use of a spell slot. If you have questions about this use of magic in general, be sure to see our ritual casting guide.
To start, we have an ability with great flavor but not fantastic results. You gain +1 Charisma (or Intelligence/Wisdom), which can help soothe the pain of picking a Feat over an Ability Score improvement. The cooler parts come from abilities; you can speak telepathically to a single creature who shares your language. That’s cool, since the Bard is good at talking and learns a good number of languages. Not too useful most of the time, though. You also learn Detect Thoughts, a spell on the Bard spell list. However, it’s a niche spell that the Bard doesn’t want to spend a precious Spell Known slot on. Now you don’t have to! Nothing great here, but awesome flavor and you don’t waste much.
Actor was made for bards, which is why it’s hard to put it this low. But the benefits are bad. +1 Charisma is great for you, but the upsides are so minor. You are much better at pretending to be a different person, and you can attempt to mimic the sounds of a specific person. Don’t get me wrong; this can open up options for you. Instead of wiping out a dungeon full of Bandits, you can pretend to be an outside guard and join them. Fun! However, your chances of even being in a situation where this matters is low.
8. Skill Expert
Bards are incredibly good at skills, but they can always be better. You get a +1 to a Score of your choice (like Charisma and Constitution). The proficiency in a skill of your choice doesn’t matter much for a Bard, but the Expertise that you get might! That means you can really boost your out-of-combat utility, which a Bard loves to do! You already have quite a bit of Expertise skills, so plan ahead! You’ll have 4 total by level 10.
Telekinetic works like Telepathic; you can boost 1 mental score by +1, and then you learn a spell and a special ability. The spell this time is Mage Hand… Which is a Cantrip. However, your Mage Hand is special; you don’t show any signs that you cast it, the range is boosted to 60 feet if you already knew how to cast it, and the hand is invisible. That can actually be very sneaky and fun to use! Then, you gain a Bonus Action; shove someone 5 feet. That might not seem useful, but you can push an enemy out of Melee Range of you, allowing you to escape and then cast a spell. That’s legitimately strong positioning!
6. Metamagic Adept
This is a relatively low-power feat. You just get 2 metamagic skills and 2 Sorcery points to use them on. However, the Bard can use metamagic really well. Extended Spell can allow you to control someone for a long, long time. Twinned Spell can double the effectiveness of a spell you’ve cast. There’s a bunch of good synergies to test out, and the Bard spell list is just weird enough to work!
5. Inspiring Leader
As part of a short rest, you can give everyone a quite impressive shield! At level 20, you can give 6 creatures (including yourself) 25 HP. That’s significant! It can soak up a hit and keep someone from going unconscious. It takes no resources to do this, too; it’s just some free health that you can replenish during a Short Rest. It might not be the most health, and it doesn’t give any Ability Scores or anything like that. But, in the late game, this can be a lifesaver.
Bards roll a lot of Ability Checks. And if you’ve played a bard, you know how painful a natural 1 on that Persuasion check can be. That’s where Lucky comes in handy! The ability to reroll 3 d20s throughout a day can be a life-saver. However, it comes at a cost; you get no ability score improvements. That’s fine, though. As long as you use Lucky defensively to save your life, then you’ll always find Lucky to be a good use of your time.
3. War Caster
If you plan on wading into melee, you’re going to want to look at War Caster. War Caster lets you become a menace on the frontlines; you are harder to knock out of your concentration, it’s easier to wield your weapons, and you can use spells to make Opportunity Attacks. Picture it; the enemy walks out of your range, and you say “I cast Hold Monster.” That’s going to make your DM so mad… And that’s so worth it! War Caster is even worth it even if you just want to keep your Concentration spells active.
2. Fey Touched
Fey Touched is just a good feat. You get +1 Charisma (or Intelligence/Wisdom). You get Misty Step, one of the best spells in Dungeons & Dragons 5E for repositioning and movement… Which is not on the Bard spell list! You get another 1st level spell; this can include good buffs like Bless, as well as aggressive spells like Hex or Hunter’s Mark. It’s simple, and it’s a great way to add new spells to your list.
Alert might not seem that impressive at the outset. It’s rare that a creature will ambush you, so you’ll rarely be Surprised. It’s also rare that a creature will be entirely invisible… Though it’s nice to ignore the Advantage when it does happen. No, what really matters is the +5 to Initiative. That’s a gigantic chance to go first. As a Bard, going first means you can Banish or paralyze an important target before a fight begins. Or, you can buff your party with Bardic Inspiration or Flight as the battle begins. Once you take this feat once, you’ll see how influential it is to your game plan.
Conclusions – The Best Bard Feats
We hope this changed how you think about Bard feats and the bard class in general. Did we miss any feats? Are Mobile Bards the best thing since sliced bread? Should we invest in Medium Armor Bards as soon as possible? Leave a comment below with your favorite Bard Feats!
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