Welcome to school, everyone! You’re now in Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos, and you’re going to come out on top! In this newest Dungeons & Dragons 5th Edition supplement, there have been a few features added to help adventurers survive their newest expeditions. This guide will explore a specific subset of them. Let’s learn how the Strixhaven 5E Feats will influence your character building, your leveling plans, and your game!
All New Feats from Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos
There are two new feats for characters being made with the Strixhaven ruleset. Those feats are Strixhaven Initiate and Strixhaven Mascot. Overall, these feats are highly flexible and offer quite a large amount of utility. However, they may not stack up to some of the other feat options you have available. We’ll talk about each one so you can make the best choice possible about what paths to take!
This feat has no requirement. Choose a college of Strixhaven from five different options. Each school will allow you to take two cantrips and one 1st-level spell from them. You get a free cast of the 1st-level spell. Otherwise, all of these cantrips and spells are added to your spellcasting, and can use whatever spellcasting ability score that you’d like.
The colleges are as follows:
|College||Cantrip Choices||1st-Level Spell|
|Lorehold||Light, Sacred Flame, Thaumaturgy||From Cleric or Wizard spell lists|
|Prismari||Fire Bolt, Prestidigitation, Ray of Frost||From Bard or Sorcerer spell lists|
|Quandrix||Druidcraft, Guidance, Mage Hand||From Druid or Wizard spell lists|
|Silverquill||Sacred Flame, Thaumaturgy, Vicious Mockery||From Bard or Cleric spell lists|
|Witherbloom||Chill Touch, Druidcraft, Spare the Dying||From Druid or Wizard spell lists|
Overall, this feat rocks. It has great utility in the number and types of cantrips you are offered. The first level spell can come from one of two different spell lists, further boosting your utility.
Each college holds a specific kind of specialization. For instance; Lorehold has a good mix of damage and utility; Prismari is specialized in damage; Quandrix has supportive lists; Silverquill is bard-centric; and Witherbloom is mixed. Of course, these are generalizations from the cantrips. Almost all of these have the choice between one “Prestidigitation-like” spell – Presti, Thaumaturgy, or Druidcraft – and two other options. We recommend taking that Prestidigitation-like spell, as they can offer a wide variety of utility options.
The most important decision is the spell lists. Cleric and Wizard both have insanely powerful spell lists for different reasons. Clerics get stellar level 1s like Healing Word or Cure Wounds. Wizards get great defensive power from Silvery Barbs and Shield. Bards can also learn Healing Word, so legitimately all of these colleges have completely reasonable choices.
When deciding on a college, look at your character and try to ask yourself this; “What spell would get my party out of the worst possible situation when it comes to my turn?” This feat can save the party from a terrible disaster if you play it correctly – be it a Healing Word to revive the cleric or a Goodberry to save everyone during a cave-in. And if you can cast spells, then this is yet another spell known!
However, before you take this feat, we recommend you look at some other feats that are similar. For example, Fey Touched gives you an Ability Score Improvement, the Misty Step spell, and a 1st level spell. However, the 1st level spell is restricted, and you don’t learn any cantrips. Cantrips are strong, yo!
Still, look at your other spellcasting feats before this one. This is good – great, even – but doesn’t offer an ability score improvement or level 2 spells. That can be restrictive.
The second feat is probably stronger, but for good reason. You have to have the Strixhaven Initiative feat to get this one. And you also have to be at least level 4 to get it.
That’s because your Mascot is a familiar. You learn the Find Familiar spell. In addition to standard familiar forms, your Familiar can become one of the following options, based on the College you took from Strixhaven Initiate:
|Lorehold||Spirit Statue Mascot|
|Prismari||Art Elemental Mascot|
In addition, you may use your Mascot’s attack in place of your own whenever you take an Attack action, which takes your mascot’s reaction. Finally, you can spend an action to swap places with your mascot. It must be within 60 feet to do so. You can do this once for free, and then you have to spend 2nd level slots to do it again.
Before we get to the feat overall, let’s talk about each of the mascots.
Spirit Statue Mascots are exceptionally durable with d8 hit dice and above-average AC. It’s medium size. Twice per day, with a touch, it can grant a d4 to one ability check of the creature’s choice for one round. Solid choice! Instead of a scout, you get a relatively durable companion who can buff your party for out-of-combat situations. A distraction is always nice, but this guy is useless for scouting.
Art Elemental Mascots are frail, with terrible AC and HP. It has resistances to cold and fire and immunity to poison. It has a ranged and melee attack, which is nice, and blinds enemies when it dies. Finally, once per day, it can attempt to target a creature within 30 feet and charm it. Not amazing. It’s small which can allow it to stealth relatively easily, but suffers from bad dexterity. Its death explosion might be the best part of it, which is not what you want from a familiar. It has the best damage of the familiars, but an average of 6 isn’t exactly pushing any envelopes.
Fractal Mascots are incredibly interesting. It has solid durability – 12 AC and 27 HP is good – and is immune to poison. It has two great abilities. It can move through objects at half speed, and it can become Tiny or Medium, Large, and Huge as bonus actions. The moving through objects makes this an absolutely absurd scout. It can actually walk through doors to check out a scene. And because it can shrink to Tiny – where it can have advantage on stealth checks and attack rolls – it becomes an insane scout! While Medium or larger, it gets advantage on strength checks and saving throws, and its attack deals a lot of force damage. This is probably the best mascot. Quandrix gets everything good!
Inkling Mascots are reasonably durable and can fly. They are immune to a ton of conditions but suffer from awful eyesight. Thankfully, it can easily move though walls and is godlike at stealth! It can hide as a bonus action in the dark, and has a +5 innately. Ink Spray, a 1/day action, can blind a creature for an easy escape – or easy target. Not a bad scout at all, and the flight makes this thing useful. A close contender for best choice!
Pest Mascots are actually pretty tanky with 13 AC and 22 health. They regenerate HP every turn and deal damage to grappling creatures. Sadly, that’s it. And since the pest is tiny, this thing is little more than a glorified worm. How are you going to get things to attack it when they might accidentally step on it? It’s hard to make it threatening and it’s not even as tanky as the Spirit Statue.
This is a solid feat, though not necessarily a must-have. Strixhaven Initiate is an alright feat, but having to take that just to take this means you’ve lost four Ability Score Improvements.
The colleges that make this feat worth it are Quandrix and Silverquill. Lorehold is also fine as well. Prismari’s art elemental relies far too much on a 1/day charm to be useful to you, and the Performance skill is weak in 5E unless the DM loves it. Witherbloom’s pest suffers from being a tank-focused familiar… without being a tanky familiar. And not having the ability to scale in health. And being the size of your foot.
The teleportation between you and your familiar is stellar. With the Fractal Mascot, this lets you teleport through walls easily. The Inkling can get you to heights you could never have teleported to otherwise. Even the Pest can be inconspicuous and sneak you into a party!
The ability to allow your familiar to attack is weird, because none of the familiar’s attacks do anything. Even at level 4, the ability to deal 6 average damage is starting to become weak. And its not like the familiars are very accurate to begin with. The Art Elemental does okay damage at range, but your action is likely more important than that. Your familiar should either be out-of-combat, or using its specific ability.
This feat is hard to justify. The familiar options are good – great, even. But you’re not empowering yourself to the degree that you could have.
If your party needs a scout, or even a distraction, then this might be worth considering. Definitely consider it if you’ve already taken Quandrix or Silverquill as your Strixhaven Initiate feat!
Wrapping Up The Strixhaven Feats
Phew! We got ourselves some completely fair and valid feats! That’s a breath of fresh air after Tasha’s gave us god-tier ones… Though, it is a bit sad that these guys might not be worth it compared to those flashy feat options. Oh well! These can fill holes in your team more than any other feat, so we recommend checking them out the next time you make a caster.