Once you get to level 4 in any Dungeons & Dragons 5E class, you have an important decision to make. The choice between an Ability Score Improvement and a Feat is a hard one. It doesn’t help that all of these feats are in five different official sourcebooks! So, as you level to 4 – and past 4 – you might need a quick guide to all of the feat options that you have. This 5E Feat List will give you a very small idea about what each feat does and which ones are useful.
Feats 5E Guide
There are 5 official resources that have feats in them; Player’s Handbook (PHB), Eberron: Rising From the Last War (ERLW), Mordekainnen’s Tome of Foes (MTF), Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything (TCE), and Xanathar’s Guide to Everything (XGE). Of these books, the Player’s Handbook, Tasha’s, and Xanathar’s all have the largest groupings of feats. These books are also the most likely to be allowed in any given campaign.
Aberrant Dragonmark (ERLW)
The Dragonmark system is specific to Eberron, and thus this feat might not be available in every single campaign environment. However, if it’s allowed… This is crazy. You get Constitution, you get a free cantrip and 1st level spell from the Sorcerer List, and you can spend hit dice aggressively. Your options are fairly limited, but you have some shockingly good options like Absorb Elements, Charm Person, Color Spray, Feather Fall, Fog Cloud, Mage Armor, Magic Missile, Shield… All of these are actually really solid emergency options! And getting a free cantrip is never bad; your options here will almost certainly be damage oriented. Green-Flame Blade, Fire Bolt, Infestation… Or, alternatively, you can get minor utility, like with Friends, Light, or Prestidigitation. As for the Hit Dice system… Well, you get to spend a hit dice to either deal damage or “heal” you. The damage can harm allies, so it might be better to leave that alone unless you feel like gambling.
Fun feat! +1 Charisma will keep your Bard or Rogue on the right track. The advantage bonus is fantastic, especially for an Expertise class… But it’s so situational! You really need to know what is going on in the campaign if you want to make your acting skills relevant! The mimicry ability is surprisingly powerful, but once again, it needs the right situation. Disguising is such a difficult task in 5E. Your party will need to work with you while you’re setting up a distraction; perhaps you’re bringing some “dangerous prisoners” into a fortress, or you’re wanting to sneak your way into a noble house. Unfortunately, unless your DM is kind, you can’t disguise others as easily. At the very least, this feat will probably make any stealth mission dice-proof. Now, you just need to figure out when you are allowed to use disguises effectively…
My personal favorite feat! Please excuse my bias. But, +5 to Initiative is so much fun! This is the equivalent of a +10 Dexterity! It’s hard to get quite this much Initiative, and that means you are likely to go first in a ton of fights. Going before someone else might not sound that important. But, that means you can cast Haste on a Fighter, get a Sneak Attack off on the Lich, heal someone who went down last turn… Going first is really strong! The other two benefits are minor but situationally strong; immunity to surprise and immunity to advantage due to stealth can come in handy. However, the real reason to take this feat is the +5 Initiative. If you feel like the fight’s over before it’s begun, or maybe you could save a life if you’d just be a touch faster, then this is the feat for you.
Artificer Initiate (TCE)
This feat is split into 3 benefits, though 2 are quite linked together. The first is you get some Artificer spells; one cantrip and one 1st level. The Artificer spell list isn’t the best in the game, but there are some good options here! On the cantrip side, there’s magic like Fire Bolt, Acid Splash, Booming Blade and Green-Flame Blade, Thunderclap, Thorn Whip, Message, Mage Hand… That’s solid, and it’s just a sample! Your first level options take a lot from Sorcerers and Wizards, but you have definitive winners here. Absorb Elements can save your life, Feather Fall can do the same, and Sanctuary can protect high priority targets. On the damage side… You’re dealing with level 1 spells. Catapult and Tasha’s Caustric Brew are both legitimately good, but nothing impressive. You get a free spell slot to cast your 1st level Artificer spell and can cast it with any spell slot you have. That’s kind of unimportant; the 1st level options you have are situational but not the strongest. Then there’s the benefit that goes outside of spell slots; Artisan’s Tools. That’s fine, but tools are very hard to use without a creative DM. At least you can hold them in the hand while casting Artificer or Wizard spells? Not the best. This feat can open up your spell toolset on a Bard, Druid, Cleric, or Paladin, or allow a Wizard to get a new spellcasting focus.
Time to buff up! You get +1 Strength or Dexterity, so you’re not losing the entire Ability Score Improvement. Standing up quickly isn’t too handy. However, in emergencies, getting 10 feet of movement speed back can save you! Great for ranged or melee characters, since some spells can send you far from the enemy and knock you prone. Spending a feat to prepare for this situation isn’t great, however. Magic might be all you need here. Same thing for the climbing buff, although this has the unique benefit of allowing you to really abuse walls. Find places where your DM will let you scale and get out of melee! The final benefit requires you to need 1 less square of movement for a running jump. This increases your jump by 5 feet, but lets you make a jump from a slightly more cramped area. This feat gives you 1 good stat and 3 heavily situational benefits. That might be worth it on a character that often finds themself prone, or an archer that wants quick escapes. But, this might work for all builds.
Bountiful Luck (XGE)
This halfling-only feat allows you to give your Lucky racial trait to an ally within 30 feet. This is a weird supportive buff which makes your allies super happy! If you’re a Halfling in a class without reactions that you take every turn – like a ranged archer – then this is an interesting choice. You give your friends advantage as long as they rolled a 1… And that’s it. It spent your reaction, and you don’t get to use Lucky on your turn. That’s a lot of restrictions! But, it shouldn’t be understated how useful giving someone another chance on a roll can be. And it’s not like you’re guaranteed to roll a 1 on the turn that you used this feat, right? Always take a glance at your Reactions when you’re a Halfling, because this feat might be an option when you don’t need Ability Score Improvements.
The Charger feat gives you a new action when you use the Dash Action; a bonus action melee attack. Immediately, this makes dash more useful on classes that like 1 good, clean hit. For instance, a Paladin in heavy armor can clear the distance to an enemy quickly before striking them with a powerful Smite. Or a Barbarian can make sure they land the heavy hit after getting close. Now, the other benefit is that if you’ve moved 10 feet, you can add 5 damage to your roll. That’s a lot! Great Weapon Master is considered a must-have feat, and it only adds 10 damage at a negative 5 to the attack! This makes Dash almost worth it… But you don’t get any Extra Attack, you can only use melee weapon attacks, and this is all the feat gives you. It’s never worth it, unless you have a ton of trouble getting to the frontlines.
An actually very strong support feat. You get your half-Ability Score Improvement to Constitution or Wisdom; both solid choices. Cook’s Utensils have great backstory significance; perhaps your character learned to cook after eating half-burnt Bear Meat three days in a row. The tool itself isn’t powerful, but you can use it as part of a short rest to heal 1d8 more health to anyone spending hit dice. Giving your entire party 4 more health on each short rest is significant, especially early on. The final benefit – the biscuits – grant even more healing. 3-6 temporary hit points can be the difference between life and death! Unfortunately, you don’t get many of them. This feat has great flavor, doesn’t cost too much thanks to the +1 Constitution or Wisdom, and grants a surprising amount of healing. This is a delicious option!
Crossbow Expert (PHB).
Crossbow Expert grants 3 benefits; you ignore the Loading Quality of crossbows. That makes crossbows effective on classes with Extra Attack, since they can suddenly make multiple attacks in a turn. You ignore enemies in melee range; that lets you get away with Sword-and-Hand Crossbow builds, or just shoot people right in the face. The final benefit, however, is the one that really matters; as a bonus action, you can shoot a hand crossbow. You just need another one-handed weapon… Like a second hand crossbow! This changes the Crossbow Build from “bow but worse” to “suddenly, I can pump really big numbers with two tiny crossbows!”. This is especially useful since it’s not two-weapon fighting! That means your hand crossbow adds Dexterity to damage. This build can do insane damage for a Ranger or Fighter build, though the Bonus Action does eventually become less impactful.
Crusher is a half-ASI feat, which means you get a +1 to an Ability Score. This time, it’s Strength or Constitution! Constitution is always a great option, so this is a good start. Once per turn, you can Move your target for free to an unoccupied space. This can pull it away from its allies, ruin flanking tactics, and force the enemy to be in the range of your Paladin or Fighter with Sentinel. If that wasn’t enough (which it wasn’t really enough), you also get a critical hit buff; allowing all attacks for the next turn to be made with advantage. This is dangerous to that opponent, as long as all members of your party have something with an attack roll. Your entire party can fish for crits. And, if you crit at the start of your Extra Attacks, then the rest will be at advantage! Stellar for a Monk or Fighter with a bludgeoning weapon.
Defensive Duelist (PHB)
A Reaction feat. You get to add Proficiency to your AC. For one attack. Where you just spent your reaction. And you need 13 or more Dexterity. And it only works against melee attacks. Negativity out of the system, this feat can save your life, and it can consistently boost your AC by up to 6 in the late game. That’s a Shield spell every round! That being said… It’s a more restricted Shield spell that doesn’t last as long. While you have access to it more often, the fact that it can be negatively compared to a level 1 spell lowers it’s value as a feat. This would be a more reasonable option if it came with Dexterity, or let you make an attack afterwards. As it is now, there are probably better defensive options out there.
Dragon Fear (XGE)
This Dragonborn-only feat comes with a +1 to Strength, Constitution, or Charisma. Good start! Your other +1 to an Ability Score allows you to roar violently. This roar is a Wisdom Save (DC based on your Charisma Modifier) or they become Frightened. This means that, once per short rest, you can Frighten a 30 ft radius around you. That’s really nice in some situations; if you’re surrounded by angry farmers, this roar would be much better for allowing you to escape without harming people. However, you are giving up a lot for a simple Frighten effect; +1 to an Ability Score cannot be underestimated. You’re replacing better rolls for this Area of Effect… And you know what, it’s not abysmal. If your Dragonborn wants to chase down Frightened enemies, or just wants to be left alone, this is worth considering, especially if your Charisma is close to getting to an even number.
Dragon Hide (XGE)
Like Dragon Fear, this feat starts with a +1 to Strength, Constitution, or Charisma. All great options for this behemoth of a race! First off, you gain 13 + Dexterity Modifier AC, which you can use a shield with. That’s great! Permanent Mage Armor is surprisingly strong, and you can even boost it higher with a shield. Alternatively, this lets you use Bracers of Armor without penalty. Unfortunately, it can be hard to get Enchanted Clothes, or any magical +1, +2, or +3 to unarmored AC. So, you won’t outpace Light Armor in the endgame. However, that’s not all you get. You also get new unarmed strikes that deal 1d4 + Strength. Not too important, due to it being relatively weak, but you’re always wielding a weapon. That can come in handy! The 13 AC lets you ignore armor or Unarmored Defense alike, letting you work with a High Dexterity build. At 20 Dexterity, you’re equal to Plate Mail! If your DM lets you get a +3 Enchantment bonus to AC without wearing armor, you can keep up with the best armor in the game permanently. Talk about a neat deal! And you’re only losing +1 to an Ability Score. Solid for a lighter build.
Drow High Magic (XGE)
This Elf (Drow) feat is… Interesting. To start, you get Detect Magic as an at-will spell. That’s right; no ritual cast, no spell slots required. You just get to cast it as an action, every round if you want to. This is a great time save, and it’s rare that you get a 1st level spell as an at-will effect! If that wasn’t quite enough, you get to cast Levitate and Dispel Magic once per day. Levitate is a surprisingly effective utility spell. You can use it to keep a dangerous melee enemy out of the way, use it to fly someone across a chasm, or use it as a strong Mage Hand. Dispel Magic needs no introduction; you get to just end a spell. That can decimate a combat encounter, since a lot of bosses use magic traps to protect themselves. These are three pretty great spells, and it’s rare that a feat gives you such powerful magic! This is really something to consider if you’re playing a Drow.
Dual Wielder (PHB)
This feat has an offensive, defensive, and utility component to it. It starts with some damage-ish component. Being able to wield non-light weapons boosts your damage dice from an average of d4 or d6 to a d8. That’s usually a +1 to your damage, which is solid. The non-light weapons also tend to have better qualities than light ones, though not by much. This is significant for Strength-based builds, but not all-important. You also get a +1 to AC, increasing your chance to dodge attacks by 5%. Not crucial, but far from bad. You basically have half of a shield on yourself. The final ability gives you some action economy; drawing two weapons at once is great! It means you can be ready for combat in any situation. Unfortunately, this isn’t great. You don’t get the Two-Weapon Fighting Style, so you still don’t add your damage modifier to your second swing; it’s just the +1 to average damage. You also don’t get Dexterity or Strength or anything. So this has a few small improvements without really being needed for any dual wielding build. Great if you have room to grow, but not required for a Dual Wielding build to work.
Dungeon Delver (PHB)
One of the most situational feats in the game, though not necessarily a bad one. Advantage to see things is great, but only to see secret doors? That’s not horrifically important. Slightly more interesting is the buffs you get against traps. You get advantage to dodge them, and you take half damage from them. That means you get 1/4th damage if you save against the trap. Against some traps, this turns it from a one-shot to barely a tickle. Unfortunately, traps that make attack rolls against you don’t become worse due to the Advantage clause. At least they deal less damage if they hit! The last benefit is also pretty useful, allowing you to be the eyes and ears of a party moving full-speed. Dungeon Delver works well for a Perception-oriented Rogue, a Ranger, or any other trap disarmer. Is this feat required? Not at all, you can get away with getting the Observant feat or even Skill Expert. However, this has a ton of fun flavor that can be useful in heavily dungeon-oriented campaigns.
Durable is a strange feat. Instead of increasing your Constitution by 2 this level, you just get to increase it by 1. Instead of your other +1 to an Ability Score, you get guaranteed health regeneration. You cannot roll less than twice your constitution modifier. This makes your short rests roll-proof. The minimum healing you get from each hit dice is now 3xConstitution Modifier. At +3 Constitution, this is crazy! However, this feat makes it harder to get a high Constitution, or harder to get better attack rolls. This is just for Short Rest healing. That’s probably not worth throwing away an extra ability score improvement. It’s too situational, and while the healing is great, it might not be worth the potential to get extra attack and damage. Consider this if you’re a high Constitution class with a Warlock, Sorcerer, Monk, or other Short Rest loving class in your party.
Dwarven Fortitude (XGE)
This Dwarf-only feat offers some valuable healing and durability. You gain 1 Constitution, which can bring an odd amount of Constitution to an even number. +1 Constitution can be very useful, increasing your Health by 1 per level. However, you’re still losing 1 Ability Score Improvement. And what’s the replacement? You can burn Hit Dice to heal in the middle of a Dodge action. Instead of a Short Rest, all it takes is one action. This can be valuable healing during tense situations. And since it’s part of a Dodge action (rather than an Action of its own), you’re still providing your team a valuable, hard-to-hit wall of Dwarf as a shield. For some, that might just be worth the feat slot! However, it suffers from being incredibly defensive, and losing that +1 to Strength or Dexterity can limit how much damage the Dwarf can deal in the long run. Tanking is important, though, so this is very much worth considering for your Dwarf!
Eldritch Adept (TCE)
This spellcaster-only feat has exactly one benefit, though the benefit can be quite great. You get a single Eldritch Invocation. You aren’t considered to be a Warlock of any level (unless you’re already a Warlock), so you just get whatever invocation you qualify for by default. There are a few good ones here, like Permanent Mage Armor, seeing in magical darkness, gaining 6 Temporary Hitpoints at will, and more. In addition, other than getting the Invocation, you can replace it every level like a Warlock could. This means you can have some versatility in what Invocation you want. Going to the Underdark for a while? Take Devil’s Sight. Just got put in prison? Maybe permanent Mage Armor is right for you. However, without getting any Charisma or any ability score, this feat lacks long-term power. It might also be good for a Warlock, since an extra high-level invocation won’t be that bad.
Elemental Adept (PHB)
This spellcaster-only feat is perfect for elemental specialist classes like the Fire Domain. By taking this, you choose one elemental damage type of your choice; acid, cold, fire, lightning, or thunder. When dealing that damage, your damage ignores resistance and can reroll damage dice on a 1 or a 2. This is great if your choice is Fire, since Fireball and fire magic is just that strong. Otherwise, there are a few subclasses that love a single type of magical damage, like Alchemist or Tempest Domain, that can benefit from this. That said, there are a few significant downsides. You don’t get any Mental Stat bonuses, you don’t ignore Immunity, and your options don’t include Poison or Psychic. These limit your late-game power, and don’t solve a huge problem; some monsters will be able to ignore your favorite school of magic anyways. Still, this is a big boost in damage, as long as you have enough specialization in your damage type.
Elven Accuracy (XGE)
This elf-only feat will be useful to any archers out there… Sometimes. First of all, you basically get a free ability score upgrade. You can’t put it into Strength or Constitution, but you can put a +1 into any other ability score! That’s realistically very useful, since Elves are probably a Dexterity build in the first place. Where does the other +1 go, though? Well, when you have advantage on any non-Strength or non-Constitution attack roll… You can reroll one dice. So, Advantage is now essentially three rolls, where you roll 2 dice and then reroll your worst dice. That’s pretty cool! But, there are a few obvious problems. It requires advantage, which can be tricky to acquire at all times. You also must reroll and take the new result, according to the wording. The good news is that this benefit applies to all attacks you make with advantage, not once per round. That means that classes like Monk or Fighter that can attack many times can benefit fully from this! This is great for Dexterity builds or weird Warlocks, but only with good combos.
Fade Away (XGE)
This gnome-only feat grants a pretty stellar reaction. You start by being able to increase Dexterity or Intelligence by 1; two great choices for a Gnome, which tends to be either an Artificer or a Wizard. The other +1 to an ability score is instead a reaction. You can turn invisible after taking damage, and the invisibility lasts until the end of your next turn… Or until you make an aggressive action, such as dealing damage or forcing a saving throw. This means you get a Reaction Invisibility, which can save your life! Or, if you’re against a bunch of Wizards… They can just fireball-nuke your square. A lot. So this reaction works well if you’re getting jumped by rogues or other martial characters, and gets worse the more magic the enemy has. Either way, this can get you out of a pinch! Unfortunately, it is once per rest, limiting how often you can escape with it. For squishier gnomes, this is a worthwhile consideration. Knowing its limits is critical, though.
Fey Teleportation (XGE)
This feat is only available to the High Elf subrace, without DM intervention. As a result, it is fairly specialized. You gain Intelligence or Charisma, which is solid for casters. Considering you’re a High Elf, the Intelligence is the more likely choice and tends to work on a few Rogue builds. Charisma still works well if you want to play a High Elf bard or something. You also learn a language; Sylvan. Sylvan is actually really great, since a lot of fey want to talk with the party before attacking. This can allow for more creative diplomacy, but it isn’t incredibly versatile; you already know Elvish! Finally, you get to cast Misty Step once per day, and can regain the cast on a short or long rest. Misty step is a fantastic bonus action spell that gives you really good mobility. The ability to regain a strong, 2nd level spell on a short rest is significant! And it’s really good that you get it back on short rests; otherwise, this feat would be totally eclipsed by Fey Touched! Consider this if your High Elf needs a good mobility option, and Misty Step is hard to acquire otherwise.
Fey Touched (TCE)
If Fey Teleportation was good, Fey Touched is arguably better. You start by increasing a mental stat by 1. This makes this feat great for any caster, and any non-caster that still is interested in their mental stat game. However, this feat is definitely caster-friendly; you learn Misty Step as a spell, can cast it with any spell slots that you have, and gain a free daily spell slot for it. While the free slot is not as flexible as it was for Fey Teleportation, the ability to have it written on the feat that you can use other spell slots for it is very nice. If that wasn’t enough, you also get another 1st level spell. And your options are surprisingly good! You can get aggressive spells like Hunter’s Mark and Hex, or buffs like Bless or Gift of Alacrity, or crowd control like Hideous Laughter. It’s a surprisingly good list! And this 1st level spell gets a free spell slot and joins your spell options. This is an absolutely insane package, and is one of my favorite feats.
Fighting Initiate (TCE)
The Fighting Initiate feat lets you sprinkle a Fighting Style into your build, as long as your class is proficient with any Martial weapon. You get to take a single Fighting Style. Let’s talk about those fighting styles, because that’s the only thing this feat gives you. Fighting styles give you quite a bit of damage; Dueling gives you +2 damage on each attack, Two-Weapon Fighting gives you up to +5 damage on your Bonus Action. That’s not a lot, however, and arguably isn’t worth the more consistent Ability Score Improvement. Archery is interesting, since few Feats can give bonuses on attack rolls, but only after maxing out your Dexterity. Some weird options include Superior Technique (Though, Martial Adept is a better version of this style), Interception/Protection for tanky Barbarians or Rangers… And Unarmed Fighting. Taking Unarmed Fighting as a Human Monk might sound unnecessary, but it actually gives you a damage buff early on. And then, later, you can take another fighting style that works better, like Superior Technique, Blind Fighting, or Archery. However, in the long run, this feat doesn’t give much more than a small boost to damage. If you’d rather have that then +2 to your Ability Scores, then consider this feat as just a no-nonsense boost to your combat abilities.
Flames of Phlegethos (XGE)
This tiefling-only feat provides you some fiery benefits. First, you get a +1 to Intelligence or Charisma. These are the two standard lines of caster class that Tieflings like. Perfect! Then, you get to reroll fire damage if you rolled 1. This boosts damage very slightly, since you can only activate it on 1s… And you could just get another 1. Still, better than nothing! Finally, you gain a shield of flame that deals 1d4 damage to melee attackers. 2 damage (on average) to melee attackers might not sound like a lot… And it isn’t. Every point of damage matters, though, and this adds an extra effect to your fire magic. I wouldn’t take this over Elemental Adept in most situations. However, the boost to your stat and the extra little flame barrier can be a fun build path that doesn’t absolutely ruin your character. Go tieflings!
The Grappler feat is famous for its uselessness, but let’s go over the benefits. First, you need more than 13 Strength to even get it. When you Grapple a creature, you gain advantage on attack rolls against that creature. This is a legitimately useful upside that gives you a fairly consistent reason to grapple an enemy. Grappling in 5E is essentially a way to keep your opponent from moving and nothing else. Now, you get to keep them from moving while consistently punching them in the kidney. That’s not meaningless, though it’s far from great, since Grappling is such a difficult thing to do in 5E. The other benefit of Grappler is that it provides the Pin action. The Pin action requires you to make a grapple check to Restrain yourself and the creature. That’s right; you restrain yourself. If the opponent has even a single friend, you’ve just given them advantage on beating the crap out of you. Sure, your allies can do the same thing to the target that you’ve pinned, but surely there’s a way to get advantage on attacks that doesn’t require you to paralyze yourself! Grappler doesn’t give many benefits, and the first benefit is actually okay! But, Tavern Brawler or even getting the Unarmed Combat Style can be more useful for your grappler in the long run.
Great Weapon Master (PHB)
Great Weapon Master is one of the greatest feats in the game, and for a specific reason. The one everyone knows is that you can lower your accuracy to deal a massive amount of bonus damage. Specifically, you take a -5 to the attack roll to deal +10 more damage. That’s a great trade! Against enemies that you know have low AC, you can rely on the dice to increase your damage by 10. 10 damage is massive, especially for classes that can hit multiple times like Fighter. On the other hand, classes like the Barbarian or Paladin can get ways to either get advantage on attack or get a massive boost to accuracy, further increasing their chance to get this big damage boost! However, there is another benefit; when you critical hit or kill someone, you get to make another swing as a Bonus Action. This means your Fighter can make 5 swings with a two-handed weapon! That’s really hard to deal with, and is almost certainly worth losing that ASI. For any class that plans on wielding a weapon in two hands, this must be considered for your final build! Though, please consider getting your Strength high enough to make even a -5 negligible.
Before you take this feat, make sure your Dungeon Master is alright with you selecting Firearm feats. This ain’t too useful without firearms! You boost your Dexterity by 1, which is perfect for firearms. This’ll increase your damage and survivability quite a lot, all by itself! However, you didn’t take the Gunner feat to get some Dexterity. You get Firearm Proficiency. These weapons tend to be stronger than Crossbows by 1 or 2 Damage Dice sizes. For instance, a Musket hits for 1d12. That’s great! This is a solid damage boost to your Crossbow build, though your range will tend to be slightly lower. In addition, you ignore the loading property of guns, which lets you make multiple attacks in a round. Great for any character with Extra Attack in their pocket, or characters that want to Two-Weapon Fight. Finally, you don’t need to worry about melee combat. You can shoot people in the face, no problem! All in all, if you want to shoot people really well, Gunner is the way to go! This doesn’t necessarily work better than bows or crossbows, but if your DM wants to use guns, then consider this feat!
This feat has two facets to it, which is nice. The first is that when you stabilize a creature with a Healer’s Kit, the creature also heals 1 HP. That’s fantastic! That use of the Healer’s kit just pulled someone out of unconsciousness. Having that body in the fight will be essential in hardcore fights, and gives you a reason to pull out a healer’s kit during a fight. The other benefit of the Kit is strong in a similar way. You can spend an action to heal someone for 1d6+4 + Total Hit Dice HP; for instance, on a level 4 character, this action heals for 1d6+8. This healing is limited to once per short or long rest. That means you can use it to bring someone up from the ground with a decent pile of hit points to work with. However, this healing is limited, so you can’t have it active all the time. Luckily, the first benefit isn’t limited! That being said, Healer is no replacement for Healing Word or Cure Wounds, and those spells have a little bit more versatility to them. This feat is a lot to spend for healing. However, in a party with characters that like taking short rests… It’s actually not that bad. It’s worth playing around with if you are a character with feats to spare and are expected to support your party.
Heavily Armored (PHB)
This feat is only available to characters with Medium Armor Proficiency. In return, you get +1 Strength and Heavy Armor Proficiency. The Strength is nice, because wearing Heavy Armor actually can take a lot out of you. Having high enough strength to ignore the downsides comes in handy for melee builds. It also boosts the damage of most melee characters, so a great +1 Ability Score Improvement! Heavy Armor is the best armor in the game; Plate Mail outdoes all armor (unless your DM gives you a way to get above 20 Dexterity). So, if you want to maximize your durability, Heavy Armor is the way to go! This is a great feat for classes like Cleric or Ranger who wants to go into melee without any Dexterity. But, it’s also fine for any class that just wants a tiny bit more than what Medium Armor can get them.
Heavy Armor Master (PHB)
For any Heavy Armor proficient character that wants to take their durability to the next level, you… Probably should look elsewhere. Heavy Armor Master increases your strength by 1. For most Heavy Armor Builds, this is good. You want some Strength to wear heavy armor without being punished with movement speed reduction. It also increases most characters’ melee damage by a bit. Always nice! Now, the other benefit is that you take less non-magical physical damage while wearing Heavy Armor. How much less, you might ask? 3. You take 3 less damage from these attacks. Now, this isn’t nothing. There’s a surprising amount of non-magical damage sources even in the late game, such as from large animals. And taking 3 damage from all of those natural attacks can be enough to save your life. However… It’s 3 less damage from fairly specific sources. This can save your life, but so can Toughness. And that helps soak damage from Magic, too!
Infernal Constitution (XGE)
A perplexing Tiefling-only feat. Infernal Constitution boosts your Constitution by 1. A good start! Constitution boosts means you will eventually get your health up, and every Modifier on Constitution is your Level in extra health! Very nice way to get beefy. That’s far from all, however; you get Resistance to Cold and Poison damage. Those damage sources are actually really popular amongst monsters. So many of them do Poison damage that it feels like you’ll have a 50/50 shot of getting your Poison Resistance in a fight! Cold isn’t too bad either, though it gets better if you know you’re getting into a frost-based campaign. Finally, you have advantage on saving throws to avoid getting Poisoned. Poisoned is a very annoying status condition, so it is quite nice to be able to shake it off fairly reliably. If you are a tanky Tiefling character who needs health for any reason, Infernal Constitution might be worth your while!
Inspiring Leader (PHB)
A peculiar feat. You need 13 or more Charisma to get it, and it grants you exactly one benefit; after a 10 minute period, you grant 6 characters your Level + Charisma in Temporary hit points. You can refresh these temporary hit points after a short rest. Now, there’s actually a pretty big benefit to this. Let’s say you get this feat at level 4, and you have 16 Charisma. This feat, at the end of every short rest, increases the health of your entire party by 7. That’s pretty wild! And, at the endgame, you give everyone 25 health instead. Depending on the size of your party, that’s up to 150 health after a rest. Spells can somewhat replicate this, but you get a surprising amount of value out of this feat. Especially for parties with Warlocks or Monks, who appreciate consistent short rests! Perfect for the supportive Bard or Paladin who want their party to be safe.
Keen Mind (PHB)
Keen Mind is a flavor-oriented feat, which kind of stinks in traditional dungeon-crawler campaigns. It boosts your Intelligence by 1, which is a good start. Intelligence is a niche mental stat, best on Artificers or Wizards. However, you can get this on Eldritch Knights or Arcane Tricksters without getting too far behind the curve. The next few benefits are cute, but won’t help out in a fight. You always know which way is north, you know how long it is before the next sunrise or sunset, and you have a photographic memory of a month. So, you’re a compass, a calculator, and an encyclopedia. The first two benefits can usually be handled by someone with an alright Survival check. However, when underground, it can be hard to keep track of that stuff. Perhaps then, you might want to do a bit of extra feat work to help your party stay on track. The final benefit is actually pretty interesting. A photographic memory is hard to come by, though it can be emulated with Intelligence checks. If you have this feat, it might be easier to recall what someone looked like or what a specific emblem was shaped like, or a conversation that you’ve heard before. That way, you don’t need to rely on your DM being nice; you have the benefits right on the paper! Try it out during a particularly roleplay-oriented campaign.
Lightly Armored (PHB)
Lightly Armored is nice and simple. You get +1 Strength or Dexterity. Either of these stats are good, but Dexterity is the best stat in the game. If you’re not trying to use Strength to destroy your opponents, you should get Dexterity to increase your survivability. Then, you get proficiency in Light Armor. Light Armor gives you a +2 to your AC without needing a Shield or any magical items. This is not as good as Mage Armor (until you get magical sets of armor), but it also doesn’t take any spell slots. In general, by the time you can take a feat to get light armor proficiency, Lightly Armored should always be better than Mage Armor. However, it’s always important to improve your Ability Scores and the effectiveness of your magic. Consider whether saving 1 Level 1 spell slot is worth a feat before you definitively take this feat.
Linguist is one of those feats that gets so overwhelmed by magic that it feels hard to use. We’re starting with a +1 to Intelligence; great for an Artificer or Wizard, or for a late-game option on a subclass with Intelligence scaling. If you don’t need it for magic, it’s almost worthless. Now, the interesting parts of the feat are the benefits. You learn 3 languages. Picking up languages like Draconic, Sylvan, Dwarven, Celestial, Infernal… They can really positively impact your campaign! However, there is a slight downside… Comprehend Languages is a 1st level spell. This can overcome a lot of barriers to understanding right away. Comprehend Languages does not allow for two-way communication, but one-way can do plenty. Languages are only useless with the 3rd Level spell Tongues, and 3rd level spell slots are pretty stellar! The other benefit is being able to create a cypher, a hidden code that you can teach to others. This is cool! It’s pretty hard to break the cypher, too; DC 26 at 20 Intelligence, level 17+. However… Magic can read your cypher. That stinks a lot! Depending on your DM, Comprehend Language might be enough to render your cypher mute. However, a DM that likes this feat might make Comprehend Languages fail, and then it’s a lot harder to break with magic. Super unique feat, but overwhelmed by the strength of language magic.
Everyone has rolled bad dice at the worst possible moment. Lucky is exactly the feat to counter this problem. You get a storage of 3 Luck Points that refreshes every day. Those luck points can be burnt on an attack roll, ability check, saving throw, or attack roll against you – after the dice is rolled, but before the DM says whether or not it failed. The luck point lets you roll another d20 – unaffected by advantage or disadvantage – that you can choose to use. This feat only has one upside, but you can use it three times a day. And what a benefit! A lot of problems in 5E comes from the dice failing to help you out; crit failing a Disintegrate attack roll, failing the DC to resist Hold Person, and so much more. Lucky gives you another shot to get out of those dreadful situations; not a guarantee of success, but better than any other feat in the game could provide. If you don’t need any stat boost, this is almost certainly the feat to go with!
Mage Slayer (PHB)
Do you hate magic users? Well, Counterspell isn’t the only option! Mage Slayer is a melee-centric feat for antimagic brawlers. To start, you can use a reaction to attack a creature within 5 feet of you. You have a chance to instantly disrupt a concentration spell or just nuke them with Rage damage. Speaking of Concentration, the caster gets disadvantage on the save to concentrate on the spell. If you’re dealing good damage with your attacks, then this almost guarantees that they’ll drop their spell. Finally, if the caster targets you while within 5 feet of you, you have advantage on the save. That’s somewhat niche, but if a caster gets scared and tries to use magic to shake you off of them, you get two chances to save. Great! You wanted to be in melee anyways, so now you’re just going to be a massive threat. Enough creatures in 5E use magic to make this feat at least somewhat useful in most combats. You may want to have a talk with your DM before locking this in, though.
Magic Initiate (PHB)
This feat has been relatively outclassed by this point, but let’s go over it. Choose a spell list from the 9th level casters. From that caster’s spell list, you get to learn 2 cantrips. That’s pretty good to start; very few feats have this many cantrips for you, and most casters have some trouble getting the cantrips that they want. This gives you a few more options. In addition, you learn a 1st level spell and get a free cast of it. That’s… not quite as good, since it’s a 1st level spell at minimum level, but you also learn it permanently. This is a great way to give classes different utility options; Healing Word on Wizard, or Floating Disk on Cleric, just for some examples. However, at this point, feats like Fey Touched or Artificer Initiate give very slightly better effects for the cost of a feat. If Magic Initiate gave a +1 to the mental stat that the class casted with, then it’d be much more useful.
Martial Adept (PHB)
Martial Adept is proof that Battlemaster is perhaps the most interesting Fighter archetype. You get two Maneuvers from the Battlemaster list. These Maneuvers can do things like knock an enemy prone, push them back, or deal damage to two enemies. In order to use these maneuvers, you need Superiority Dice. This feat gives you one, a d6, that you can use. This dice refreshes on short rests. For Barbarians, Monks, or Paladins, this offers a very unique utility aspect to weapon swings. However, you get one Maneuver per short rest. While increasing your damage by 3.5 on one swing per rest isn’t bad, you really need to get good use of those maneuvers! For the Battlemaster archetype, this feat becomes significantly different; you get an extra dice that scales with your level, and two extra learned maneuvers. That is much more interesting! No matter what class you use with this feat, it’ll make you very dangerous for one attack per short rest, which can ruin bosses and normal enemies alike.
Medium Armor Master (PHB)
If you’re proficient with Medium Armor, this feat might be worth considering. First of all, you no longer take the Stealth penalty that some Medium Armor provides. That’s great, since the Breastplate is the best Medium Armor, and does make it very hard to stealth. Now, you ignore that and can wear armor that’s just slightly worse than Full Plate at 14 Dexterity. However… Now, you can make it better! You increase the maximum Dexterity to your AC by 1! So, your Breastplate can be 18 AC, as long as you have 16 or more Dexterity. And you don’t have to worry about any stupid Strength requirements! In the long run, this might not always be better than Heavily Armored, since that gives you some extra statistics. But, this is a great option for high Dexterity builds, such as Rangers, that want just a touch of extra AC.
Metamagic Adept (TCE)
Metamagic Adept pulls from the Sorcerer class. You get two Metamagic options. For the uninitiated, you can choose options like reducing your spellcasting speed to a Bonus Action, double the length of your spell, or protect allies within the radius of your spells. However, you can’t just cast all of your magic with these bonuses! You get 2 Sorcery Points to spend on this magic, which refresh on a long rest. In general, this is very, very good. On a Sorcerer, you get 2 more points to play with and two more Metamagic to work with. That means you basically have all of the Metamagic options at maximum level. So much to do! On non-Sorcerer classes, this is still great. Once per day, a Warlock can cast a spell and then Eldritch Blast. Twice per day, a Wizard can use a 2 minute Hold Person. The options are quite vast! However, you don’t get any statistical bonuses and you only get 2 points ever! That’s very restrictive. Your burst of magical potential is extremely strong, but that’s all this feat does for you. Very good consideration for a Sorcerer, though.
Mobile is a very interesting feat, for quite a few reasons. You start with a 10 foot movement speed boost. For a melee Fighter or Paladin, this is very enticing. You can get right up into the enemy’s grill and start ruining them with 10 extra feet of speed. You can argue that most fights don’t really need this extra speed, since 30 foot speed is pretty hard to beat. However, some DMs might let flying characters, like Aarakocra, get that speed to Flight. That’s pretty great! And it’s not even the end of the feat. The Dash action to ignore difficult terrain is admittedly pretty whatever. If you Dash, your movement speed doubles. So it’s already “negating” difficult terrain. Now, you’re almost guaranteed to get 80 feet of movement. That’s… kind of nuts. Some creatures have trouble racing you, and difficult terrain races are yours by default! Finally, melee attacks negate a creature’s ability to make attacks of opportunity. So, instead of the Withdraw action, you can take the Attack action! Very good action economy, and will keep Rogues and Monks very safe. Whether all of those minor benefits are worth your Feat slot… That’s up to you! If you have trouble chasing down magic users or archers, this might be what you need.
Moderately Armored (PHB)
This feat is available for characters who have Light Armor proficiency. To start, you gain +1 Strength or +1 Dexterity. Immediately, this means you gain half of your ASI, which is nice! Dexterity will almost always be the best choice here, but if you want to go Strength Rogue, you could take far worse feats! Dexterity is just better for Saving Throws, Defense, and attacking with ranged weapons. However, that’s not the reason that this feat exists. You get Medium Armor proficiency! This proficiency is pretty stellar, but only for builds that don’t want to get to 20 Dexterity. Bards and Rogues really like Dexterity, but Bards might not be able to reach that 20 mark; Medium armor can be a nice middle ground. Warlock is in a similar boat! So, for any of these classes that really want to consider working towards higher Base AC, this is worth considering.
Mounted Combatant (PHB)
This is a weird one, extremely situational. Mounted Combat grants benefits only to creatures that are riding a Mount, such as a Horse or Wardog. It allows you to get Advantage on attacks that are smaller than your mount. For Horses, that gives you advantage on attacks against Medium or smaller creatures, which is a significant number of monsters. Good start! You can also redirect attacks aimed at your mount to you. Depending on your mount, you may have more or less health, or AC, than it. So, this can be useful to ensure that enemies are attacking the target with higher HP or AC. Finally, your mount gains Evasion; takes half damage from spells or effects that use a Dexterity Save, and ignores the damage entirely if it saves. This massively reduces the effective damage that your character takes from Area of Effect spells like Fireball. Mounted Combatant is worthless on any class that doesn’t grant a Mount… Which is all of the classes in the game! If you can find a way to get a strong mount, like a Griffon or T-Rex, then this starts looking a bit better.
A very fun feat! You start with +1 to your Intelligence or Wisdom. Great for casters or any character that’s looking for some Wisdom! Monks or Rangers can take this just fine. The actual meat and potatoes are the lipreading and passive bonuses. Lipreading lets you ignore whispers or the silent spellcasting to get a better understanding of situations around you. This will probably not be useful all the time, but can be really cool for Social campaigns. The other benefit is more universally good; you get +5 to your Passive Perception and Passive Investigation. That’s big! At 10 Wisdom and no Perception Proficiency, that’s a 15 DC to sneak around you! That’s crazy! And you’ll probably be on a class that can see around them, like Rogue or Ranger. In that case, you can get 20+ Perception without even looking for anything! Really annoying for a DM to deal with, and potentially worth the lost ability score point by itself!
Orcish Fury (XGE)
This Half-Orc only feat is perfect for a burst of damage, and not much else. You start with +1 Strength or +1 Constitution. Both of these options are fine; Strength is a great boon for your standard Half-Orc, and it works well for any melee builds. Constitution is more generally useful, since it increases your HP, but it doesn’t help you do any additional damage. The other benefits are situational as heck; once per short rest, you get to add an extra weapon damage dice to a hit. This hit is added to the base damage of the attack. That’s pretty weak… But maybe not as weak as you might expect. That’s because it increases on a critical hit. So, for a Greataxe build, you deal 2d12 base damage, and then a critical hit deals 2d12 more damage! Then you get your extra damage die! So, with this feat in hand, your Greataxe Crit can deal 5d12 damage. Absolutely insane! That’s like a high level spell! If that wasn’t enough, you get a final attack when you pop your Relentless Endurance. That’s… Okay. It requires an enemy to be in range, so easier to do with a ranged attack. A reaction to attack is perfectly acceptable, but you don’t want to pop Relentless for no reason. This is a great feat for a weapon-based Orc build! Check it out if you have an odd number of Constitution or Strength.
If you are wielding a Piercing weapon at all, Piercer might look quite juicy. +1 Strength or Dexterity is a good start. Strength and Dexterity are great for their specific build paths. Dexterity gives you damage, AC, and good saving throws, so it’s generally more useful. However, if you’re using a Spear build, the Strength might be more handy. Piecer also gets rerolls for a single damage dice. Ever been disappointed by your Rapier hitting for 1? This gives you another chance at life! For a Rogue, this can really help your Sneak Attack out quite a bit. That’s not all; critical hits deal 1 extra damage dice to the target, added onto the end of the critical hit damage. This is a minor boost in damage, but a much-loved one. This gives another dice for you to reroll with the first benefit, too! Both of these benefits are minor, but you get to use it every round in combat! That’s gigantic, and it comes in handy for any ranged build, Rogue, or many other builds! If your goal is to be more consistent with damage, and you like Rapiers or other piercing options, you can do much worse.
Well, isn’t this a spicy feat name? You start by ignoring Resistance to Poison. That’s a solid start, since many creatures resist poison. That doesn’t make Poison too good, since many creatures (like Constructs or Undead) completely ignore Poison damage. However, it certainly improves how good Poison is, especially against humanoid targets. You can also poison weapons as a bonus action, vastly improving how good poison can be. That’s great action economy; you don’t need to prepare before a fight and only poison a single dude! Great action improvement. Finally, you can make poison with 50 Gold that deals 2d8 Poison Damage and the poisoned condition with a DC 14 Constitution saving throw. All in all, if you want to poison people, this is a great feat to help you out! Spending a bonus action to add 9 average damage to an attack is actually quite solid. As long as your poison can deal any damage to your target, you’ll be hurting people a lot!
Polearm Master (PHB)
Polearm Master is a simple feat, with a simple goal; to show why spears are the greatest weapon in the world. Attacking with a glaive, halberd, quarterstaff, or spear grants you a bonus action to hit with the other side of the weapon. The bonus action deals d4 damage and uses the same modifier as the starting attack. So, for classes that don’t have great bonus actions – like Artificer or Fighter – this can boost damage by a lot. The Modifier is more important than the small dice size here, since you can still deal your Strength or other modifier to the damage. In addition, when a creature enters your range, you get an opportunity attack! That’s really strong! Creatures can’t just charge at you and dance around your range. You get that one stab at them! If only it was easier to get more reactions so you could really take control of this feat… Oh well! It’s still a big boost to your damage.
Your Half-Elf, Half-Orc, and Human have the chance to learn new things… Very fast! To start, you gain 3 proficiencies; in a skill, tool, and a language. Skill proficiency is solid. For combat, skills like Acrobatics or Athletics can help you escape bad situations. Deception, Intimidation, and Persuasion can let you be a good party face. And Perception is really strong all the time! Tools are less impactful; just pick one that fits your background! Smith’s Tools or Thieves’ Tools are typically a touch more powerful. Finally, the language is whatever. Just choose one that you like the sound of, or pick one like Draconic, Sylvan, or Elven that a lot of people know. The final benefit is granting Expertise to a skill that you have. Expertise doubles your proficiency bonus to that skill; so, if you had +3 Proficiency bonus, you grant +6 to a skill with Expertise. Great for increasing consistency at the skills that you do for your party! Choose this carefully, and maybe talk with your party beforehand! This feat is great for skill monkeys… But it might be overshadowed by Skill Expert. The Tool and Language are not worth -1 Ability Score!
Resilient might be the most simple feat in the game, but is it important! It grants +1 to any Ability Score, which is half of what you would have gotten with a basic Improvement. That’s solid, but where did the other +1 go? Well, you get a Saving Throw proficiency. For any class that isn’t Monk or Paladin, saving throws are rough. The Monk is the only class in the game that naturally grants Proficiency in saving throws that aren’t their starting 2. Resilient grants you one extra, as long as you choose an Ability Score that you don’t have proficiency with. That’s solid! For classes like Cleric, you can get Strength saves. For Ranger, you can get Wisdom saves. That’s good for the Fighter, too! Saving throw proficiency can sometimes save your life; getting up to +6 to a save is worth quite a bit! If you can make use of the Ability Score Improvement, this feat is an easy choice!
Revenant Blade (ERLW)
This Elven feat comes with a Strength or Dexterity +1, and you know how much I like those! Elves usually prefer Dexterity, and this feat is a massive improvement to Dexterity builds that use this weapon. Why is that? Well, you get to apply the Finesse Property to your double-bladed scimitar! That means your 2d4 weapon is a Dexterity-based weapon, and that means you get to use the special Bonus action with Dexterity, too! Really good for characters that want to specialize in an admittedly powerful weapon. If that wasn’t enough, while wielding the scimitar, you gain +1 to AC. That’s stellar, since you can’t really have a shield while doing this build. A really wacky Fighter build, or a niche Rogue option, that can actively decimate your enemies, but at a cost of -1 Ability Score. If you want to ditch everything and use this Eberron weapon, go for it! Make sure your DM plans on giving you opportunities to improve your Scimitar in the future.
Ritual Caster (PHB)
This… Is a weird one. If you have more than 13 Intelligence or Wisdom, you can accept this feat. You learn two 1st level spells from any 9th level caster. Those spells must be able to be casted as Rituals. You can cast them as rituals now, using the original casting modifier; Charisma for Bard, Sorcerer, and Warlock, Wisdom for Cleric and Druid, and Intelligence for Wizard. In addition, you can learn additional spells by writing them in the ritual book from a spell scroll or a Wizard spellbook. That’s… Not bad! You basically have a little book to keep a bunch of Ritual spells in, vastly improving utility. Ritual spells can do a lot! And you don’t even need to be a spellcaster to take this feat, so a Fighter can cast Detect Magic or Comprehend Languages. Great utility, especially if your DM likes to hand out spell books or scrolls!
Savage Attacker (PHB)
This feat is a single sentence. You can reroll a weapon damage roll once per turn. This can lead to high damage potential, since you get to choose between the two options. But… Why? How about taking Piercer to get the ability score and critical hit bonuses? Or taking Great Weapon Fighter or Sharpshooter for +10 damage? Why not take Weapon Master for more weapon options and better accuracy? This feat is useful, don’t get me wrong. But, it’s so one-dimensional and bland that it can’t really be called a top-tier pick. Perhaps consider it on a Half-Orc build with Barbarian to maximize damage, or a Rogue that has high deviation between damage rolls. But… only after you max out your Strength or Dexterity.
Second Chance (XGE)
Halfling only feats usually go after your Luck theme, and this one is no different. You start with +1 to Dexterity, Constitution, or Charisma. Great stats for a Halfling! Dexterity is great generally for weapons, AC, and saves. Constitution gives Health and saves. Charisma is really specific, but Halflings make fantastic Charisma casters! However, instead of another +1 to an Ability Score, you can use your reaction to make a creature reroll an attack against you. This refreshes on any rest, or if you roll initiative at the start of combat. So, once per fight, you can try to negate an attack roll. This isn’t foolproof; your reroll can still hit you, and you could even get really unlucky and just get critically hit in the face. But, it’s a second chance! For a squishy character, it might be worth the safety once per fight. For a frontline character, negating a crit or potentially a hit that might bring you down? That’s worth something, right? Great defensive option, but only for those who like rolling dice.
This is the best feat in the game if your goal is to annoy your DM. Sentinel gives 3 benefits; when striking with an Opportunity Attack, you reduce the target’s movement speed to 0. You can take an opportunity attack even if an opponent Disengages. And, you can take an opportunity attack against someone if they target someone else that isn’t you while you’re in melee range. This is a huge deal! You can very easily protect your squishy casters with your threatened squares by literally forcing the boss to stop moving. You can also punish enemies for swinging at your Monk or Rogue with an opportunity attack that cripples them. This is actually a valid damage buff, since you have a high chance of making opportunity attacks. But, you’re basically saying “Come hit me!” You better have the health, AC, and saving throws to tank for your team if you take this feat! If you do, your team will fall in love with you.
Shadow Touched (TCE)
This feat is great for stealthy-minded individuals. You increase a mental score by 1. This will probably be whatever mental score you cast spells with, since this feat is significantly better with spell slots in mind. That’s because you learn Invisibility! This is a spell that you can cast with your own spell slots, and you get a single free one to cast a 2nd level version of Invisibility. You also learn a 1st level Illusion or Necromancy spell. Invisibility is a fantastic spell to have learned at all times! Unless the enemy has a magical way to see you, you’re getting a good chance to avoid damage, even if they know what square you’re in! The more magical the enemy, the worse this gets. And against hordes of melee bandits, Invisibility can literally win you the fight! The 1st level spell is not quite as impactful; 1st level Illusion spells aren’t great after level 2. And Necromancy isn’t much better, though you can still get some potent debuffs and situational spells. All in all, perfect for any character who really likes to use Invisibility and wants some extra benefits alongside it.
Sharpshooter is often said to be one of the best feats in the game for a ranged build. And there’s quite a few reasons for that! First of all, you ignore the long range penalty. This is huge; you quadruple the range of most bows and crossbows. However, this is only significant if you’re chasing an enemy down, or are in a wide open area. Otherwise, it’s rare to need more than 100 feet of range. Perhaps more useful in standard dungeon crawling campaigns is the ability to ignore almost all cover. As long as you can see them, you ignore penalties that you’d normally get for cover. That’s stellar! This grants +2 or +5 to your attack roll if enemies are trying to hide from your arrows. Super good accuracy buff. Finally, you may apply a -5 to your attack roll to deal +10 damage. That’s huge! If you are a Fighter, you can do upwards of 50 extra damage a round, if you can rely on your enemy’s low AC. Even Rangers still get 20 damage per round from this feat, and they have additional ways to be accurate. Sharpshooter is a pretty stellar damage (and even accuracy!) boost for your standard Ranged build. Consider it once you are comfortable with your Dexterity.
Shield Master (PHB)
This feat is rarely remembered, and that’s a shame. It’s actually not bad! To start, you gain a bonus action; if you attacked, you can shove. So, you can roll the contested Athletics check to move someone 5 feet. This rarely matters at all, but can be good for if you want to combo with a Polearm Master and force the enemy to reenter threatened squares. In some cases, this is an “extra attack”, if you really wanted to shove someone into a lantern or a wall or deal extra damage before repositioning them. The second benefit is much more interesting; adding your shield bonus to Dexterity saves. Unfortunately, the effect can only target you… Which means most Dexterity saves ignore this. Still, you can jump out of the way of a few deadly single-target spells, and adding a +5 to your saves (with a fully enchanted shield) is just as good as Resilient. Finally, you can spend a reaction to take no damage when you would have taken half damage from a Dexterity save. This can be life-saving; half damage from the average Fireball is still 14 damage, which hurts a lot! Spending a reaction to ignore that damage is great health efficiency, and might be worth it. Especially now that your Dexterity is much better! All-in-all, the Dexterity save and Shield Bash benefits might be too situational to make Shield Master worth the feat slot. Might be worth considering for team combos.
Skill Expert (TCE)
Skill Expert is really nice! First, you get your +1 to any ability score. Great start! You are only losing a +1 to an Ability Score, which is much better than most feats offer you. Then, you get two benefits; you become proficient in 1 skill. That skill can be any on the list; it doesn’t have to be related to your +1 Ability Score at all. Then, you gain Expertise to any skill you are proficient in. Expertise means you gain double your proficiency; so, this gives your skill a +3 to +6 to a skill of your choice. This is great! You can really focus on your personal role in the party in a way that only Bards and Rogues can do. For instance, a Ranger can become extremely good at Perception, or a Fighter can dominate enemies with Athletics. The extra skill proficiency is nice, too! If you care about skills at all, and want immense consistency with a specific skill that your party relies on you to roll, this feat is where it’s at!
Skilled is like Skill Expert but worse. Well, arguably. Skilled gives you 3 Skill Proficiencies, or you can take Tool Proficiencies instead. So, in a vacuum, this isn’t stellar. This is one of the ways that classes like Monk or Ranger can get Thieves’ Tools proficiency, but a Background would always be a slightly better option than a feat. 3 skills isn’t anything to sneeze at, though. It’s a big burst to versatility and lets a single character solve many more problems with more consistency. However… Skill Expert has this beat. By a lot! You’re on a team for a reason; let your team members help out your skills, while you focus on what your character is good at. Skilled just takes away far too much power from your character, and only rewards you with small versatility.
Skulker isn’t great. It’s a stealth feat, available for characters with 13 or more Dexterity, with a few benefits. First, you only need to be lightly obscured to hide from a creature. This is good; it increases a Rogue’s ability to go back into stealth after revealing yourself. The second benefit lets you miss ranged attacks without revealing yourself. This is awful! Who wants to plan around missing when you have advantage on attacks? I guess it helps when both advantage dice screw you over and you need another chance. This does have a very funny benefit, however; you can actually sling arrows from darkness, and nobody gets another shot at seeing you. Just lead enemies to where you want, since you’ve technically not hit anybody! A really funny way to emulate illusion magic with just a feat. Finally, you get to see in Dim Light without penalty. For some races, like any with Darkvision, this is beyond useless. Unfortunately, Skulker gives you nothing but tiny benefits. If you really want help with stealth, it might be better to choose Shadow Touched and get Invisibility, or Skill Expert for more consistent Stealth rolls.
The Slasher feat is specialized for Slashing weapons. Shocker! You get +1 to Strength or Dexterity, which is perfect for the melee builds that this is used for. Most Slashing weapons lack the Finesse property, so make sure you’re building your character properly beforehand! Slasher’s first benefit reduces movement speed by 10 feet whenever you strike a target. This is normally quite useless. However, for a defender build, 10 feet might be the difference between your Wizard getting bodyslammed or not. Good placement makes Slasher work much better! Though, don’t get me wrong; it’s still not great to only reduce speed by 10 feet. A lot of dangerous enemies can use Misty Step or other teleports to get past the front lines, or they have 80 or more feet of movement speed. If you critically hit the target, then the target has disadvantage on all attack rolls. This is great to counter melee or bow-wielding attackers and make them nearly useless for a round! However, this ability does nothing to casters, who can just target Saves and ignore their disadvantage. Overall, this feat might be the weakest of the Crusher/Piercer/Slasher trio. But, it’s still a +1 to a stat and can be a good zoning tool. Not useless, but consider your other options first.
Spell Sniper (PHB)
Spell Sniper is an immensely niche option, but can have some surprising uses. First of all, you double the range of attack roll spells. This rarely comes into play; dungeon halls rarely get larger than 100 feet, and many attack roll spells come with 120 ft range. However, getting creative with your surroundings or fighting in open fields, you can safely bombard enemies from such a ridiculous range that they can do nothing to stop you! This with Scorching Ray on a Sorcerer using Distant Spell has a range of 480 feet! Enemies with 30 ft move would have to take the dash action every single turn for 8 turns to catch up to you! Potentially more importantly, Spell Sniper lets you ignore non-full cover. This means that enemies hiding from your magic do not benefit from cover unless you can’t see them at all. Rarely comes into play, but when it does, it gives you +2 to +5 to your attack roll. Finally, you get a ranged attack cantrip. Your list is limited, but dealing d10 damage with Firebolt will never be bad. Realistically this feat only works for meme moments where you dunk on someone from a mile away… Or for an Eldritch Blast Build, to make your Warlock extremely safe and accurate with Eldritch Blast bombardments. Overall, not very good. Only take it if you think the campaign will work with your massive range.
Squat Nimbleness (XGE)
Hey short stuff! What’s up? This feat might be good if you want to close the gap between you – a Dwarf or a Small Size race – and those of standard heights. First, you get +1 Strength or Dexterity. Great start! Dexterity is useful for almost any class, and Strength is a big benefit for Dwarfs or other Melee builds that like heavier armor. That’s far from all! You get 5 feet of movement, which equates to another square. That’s good for keeping up with your foes in a fight, and can be a gigantic boon in crowded fights. You also gain a skill proficiency, but only in Acrobatics or Athletics. Both of these feats deal with performing feats of movement, but Athletics tends to come up a lot more often. Acrobatics is still quite useful, but Athletics is more often the go-to choice. Finally, you are great at escaping grapples; you get advantage when you use Acrobatics or Athletics to escape a grapple check. Good! That makes you less likely to be eaten by oozes or dangerous Tigers. Overall… Not bad! It gives you an Ability Score Improvement, movement speed, a skill, and some situational defense. Consider it if you’re small!
Svirfneblin Magic (MTF)
Deep Gnomes come with deceptive magic. If you are one, you can get some insane magic! This feat lets you cast Nondetection at will. That’s absurdly specific, but against magical bosses, you can keep yourself safe. Sure, whatever. You get three more spells to help flesh this feat out, though these spells can only be casted once per day. Blindness/Deafness can ruin a physical-based boss, which can easily save the party from a lot of pain. Blur is useful, granting you an easy way to hand out disadvantage on attack rolls if you’re a Frontliner, like a Rogue. Disguise Self isn’t useful in a fight, but can allow for funny and creative solutions to problems. Overall, this feat comes with two good spells and two heavily situational ones. However, one of those situational spells is active 100% of the time, and the other is really funny. This can be worthwhile once your main statistic is at 20.
Tavern Brawler (PHB)
This is one of the few Player Handbook feats that can grow into a full build. To start, you get +1 Strength or +1 Constitution. Good start! Both of these are good for a melee build. Constitution will be better in general, especially if you’re going for a Monk concept. You gain proficiency with Improvised Weapons. That… Doesn’t matter at all. The issue is that DMs can choose if you can use your proficiency modifier with an improvised weapon anyways. I suppose this feat allows you to use whatever you want without asking the DM, which saves time. But, Improvised Weapons that aren’t similar to a weapon deal 1d4 damage. That’s not fantastic. Also not fantastic is boosting your Unarmed Strike damage to d4. Obviously, 1d4 is much better than 1, the standard damage for an Unarmed Strike. So, at least you’re getting upgrades! Finally, when hitting with improvised weapons or your fists, you can grapple as a Bonus Action. Grappling isn’t great, but getting it as a Bonus Action? That’s fine. This feat grants you enough small benefits that you can consider it if you’re going for an Unarmed Fighter or a weird Rogue build. It is also arguably the best Grappling feat… Other than maybe Skill Expert.
Your mind goes far beyond the meager realms known by most! To start, you gain a +1 to any mental stat of your choice. Perfect for casters, and non-casters can still benefit off of the better saving throws or class features based on your mind! Then, you learn Mage Hand. You get to cast it with no components, and it’s invisible. In addition, if you can learn it from a spell list, you gain +30 feet of range to it. What a fun buff to this spell! Mage Hand is already a pretty stellar utility spell. Now, you get to do it with no sound or motion components, nobody can see it, and it has 60 ft range if you have it already! While not horrifically helpful in a fight, this is a fun buff to play around with! Already a good choice for an Eldritch Trickster! If that wasn’t enough, as a bonus action, you can push someone who is within 30 feet of range, you can force a Strength saving throw. This saving throw forces the target to get pushed 5 feet towards you or away from you. Creatures can also willingly fail this. That’s some very, very basic stuff. But, you can get interesting with this. Against enemies, this small push can be enough to force a target out of range of being able to melee you. Alternatively, you can pull someone close enough to get destroyed by your Sentinel tank! For allies, this can be 5 extra feet of movement, which can save them from attacks of opportunity or put them in range to ruin a caster’s life. For any casters, this is 100% a reasonable choice for a utility spell.
Telepathic is pretty much what it says on the tin; you have the limited link to other’s mind that psychics need to prove themselves! You start with a +1 to a mental stat of your choice. Great for casters or some Martial classes, and a great start to any feat! Then, you have two benefits. First, you can speak telepathically within 60 feet. This telepathy is language-dependent, and the target can’t respond. But, this is pure, silent communication between you and a target. You can ignore Silence or any sort of barrier that might prevent noise (but not sight!). And you can freak out anyone who might not trust telepaths! Good stuff. The other option is that you learn Detect Thoughts, and can cast it once per day as a level 2 spell. Also good stuff! Detect Thoughts is great for gathering information from tight-lipped targets. It also can allow you to find intelligent invisible characters, letting it be useful for a combat situation. Solid stuff! Because Telepathic is language-based, you’re going to want Detect Thoughts as part of why you want to get this feat. You’ll also probably want to be a class that can get Tongues, as long as your DM allows it to be used with Telepathy.
Tough is a simple feat. 2 HP per level is extremely useful; it makes a Fighter as tanky as a Barbarian, or a Wizard as tough as an Artificer. That might sound minor, but you’ll get up to 40 HP by level 20. Usually, that means you can survive one full extra turn of combat! Essentially, this feat boosts your Constitution by +4, rather than the +2 that you’d normally be able to get. However, you do not get the boost to Saving Throws or Constitution-based class features. So, Tough is really only here to let you get punched in the face just a bit harder. Great for classes that need the extra hit! However, if you are a caster with spells like Invisibility or other defensive options, this might not be necessary. Think about what magic you have access to before spending a feat on nothing except extra health.
War Caster (PHB)
A spellcaster-exclusive feat, War Caster is perfect for any magic user that wants to be able to be face-to-face with the enemies they sling spells at. To start, you get advantage on concentrating on spells due to taking damage. Concentration spells are very, very strong. So, having a bit of an extra shield against dropping these spells is a great start to a fight! Do remember that you only get this advantage from taking damage, however. That’s why you have a few other features! You can use weapons or shields to perform Somatic components. This rarely comes up; most DMs don’t check to see if a Cleric has a free hand. But, for DMs that are picky about this stuff, you have written evidence that you’re good. It also makes it easier for non-Holy Symbol classes to wreak havoc with weapons. Finally, you get to make attacks of opportunity with magic. That’s brutal! You can punish someone for leaving your threatened squares with Hold Person, or Disintegrate. That’s absolutely wild! If you want your Cleric, Druid, Warlock, or any other melee caster to be feared on the frontlines, this feat is a must!
Weapon Master (PHB)
Have you ever played a Cleric or Warlock, and just wished that you could swing weapons with the best of them? Well, with this feat you can! You start with a +1 to Strength or Dexterity. Good start, considering you’re trying to get weapon proficiency! Dexterity does tend to be a touch easier to use, with bonuses for your AC and being a more targeted saving throw. But, if you’re trying to be a Strength Wizard, be my guest! Otherwise, your benefit is 4 weapon proficiencies of Simple or Martial quality. These can be any weapons, and you should almost always pick Martial Weapons. Simple Weapons aren’t bad, but they usually deal less damage or have additional penalties that make them hard to use. For great Martial Weapons, you can choose weapons like Longbows, Rapiers, Longswords, Greataxes, or any others! However, this feat is going to need some planning. If your class doesn’t have Martial Weapon proficiency, it might be because your character is better at casting. For Rogues, make sure your weapon qualifies for Sneak Attack; it has to be Finesse or a Ranged Attack. As long as you’re going to make good use of the weapon, Weapon Master is a great way to get your proficiency without multiclassing.
Wood Elf Magic (XGE)
Do you wish your Wood Elf was a bit more in tune with nature? Well, now you can! This Wood Elf only feat comes with one druid cantrip of your choice. These are somewhat restricted; no Prestidigitation or Message or Mage Hand. But, you can go with Druidcraft, Frostbite, Guidance, Magic Stone, Mending, Shape Water, and Thorn Whip! Good choices here. That’s not all, however. You get to cast Longstrider and Pass Without Trace once each without spending a spell slot. Longstrider is a bit situational, since 10 feet is just not all that much. However, starting a dungeon with it can make it quite effective for your melee combatants! Pass Without Trace allows you to sneak around with ease. +10 to Stealth is absurd! This combo doesn’t really work too well together, but PWT is a stellar spell that can really mess with how a DM sets up encounters. This feat is probably not worth losing an important Ability Score Improvement, but could be fun for your level 12 feat. Try it with your next Wood Elf!