Last Updated on January 22, 2023
The versatility of the fighter class allows you to build just about any type of character you want.
Feats embody the spirit of this class and provide you with the opportunity to have your warrior become even more specialized in whichever field you choose.
Choosing from all those options can be overwhelming at times, what with all the terms you need to memorize and stats you must consider.
The goal of this guide is to make that process easier, so you can spend less time worrying about how to build your character and more time being excited to play them.
What Are Feats in 5e and Should I Pick One for my Fighter?
Features, or feats, are special skills that your character has developed through training or some other course of action.
You may already be familiar with class features gained through leveling in your class such as second wind or action surge.
The purposes of these features differ greatly, but they all allow you to do the amazing things that make Dungeons & Dragons so appealing.
As you level up there are certain times when you are given the chance to increase an ability score, a sign that you have trained yourself and become more adept in a certain field.
Another option at these junctions is to choose an optional feat, one that isn’t directly tied to your class. These feats can revolutionize your playstyle and give you some incredibly unique results.
Whether you’re looking to build a witch hunter with the adaptability to overcome any magic foe or a dashing knight whose shield is the only weapon he needs, feats are the thing that will allow you to achieve your goal.
Feats allow fighters to turn their specializations into masteries.
Choosing a feat isn’t for everyone. You should be comfortable with the mechanics of your character as is before choosing one of these options.
It is much easier to increase an ability score at lower levels while you’re learning and come back to feats once you know what kind of character you’re playing.
If you’re confident in your character and ready to take the next step you should choose a feature that enhances or compliments the playstyle of your character.
Incorporating feats will turn your fighter from a skilled combatant to a master of the battlefield.
Best DND 5e Feats Available to Fighters
We break down feats that are important to the fighter class into two categories: General and Specialized .
The Feat name is classified by our ranking system:
- Red – C Tier. Red options can sometimes be situationally useful and might make for an interesting narrative choice but are largely less effective than other tiers.
- Green – B Tier. Solid but nothing that is absolutely critical for a build, or Green can be very good but only in very specific situations.
- Blue – A Tier. An excellent choice. Widely regarded as powerful in some way, useful, highly effective.
- Purple – S Tier. The top of our rankings. Objectively powerful or transformative in some way. No choice in D&D is essential, but these options are worth strongly considering when you create your character.
We will also put one of these tags next to the name for further clarification of how they are used: OFFENSIVE (O); DEFENSIVE (D); UTILITY (U); VERSATILE (V).
General feats have been selected on the premise that they can go well with any fighter build.
If you’re new to DND or don’t want to have a specialized character, these are excellent options that will greatly improve your gameplay without pigeon-holing you.
Mage Slayer ; VERSATILE
- You have practiced techniques useful in melee combat against spellcaster, gaining the following benefits:
- When a creature within 5 feet of you casts a spell, you can use your reaction to make a melee weapon attack against that creature.
- When you damage a creature that is concentrating on a spell, that creature has disadvantage on the saving throw it makes to maintain concentration.
- You have advantage on saving throws against spells cast by creatures within 5 feet of you.
What it does: Damaging a spellcaster gives them disadvantage on their concentration saving throw. Within 5 feet gain advantage on saving throws from spells, as well as the ability to react to cast spells with a melee attack.
Review: When wizards and sorcerers start having a magical battle it can be easy for the person swinging a sword around to feel left behind. This makes you a meaningful part of combat no matter how high-magic a setting you might be in.
The playthrough of this is that you get up-close with a spellcaster and get to deal some damage. If they were concentrating on a spell they now have disadvantage on their save to keep that and you just threw a wrench in their plans.
When it comes around to their turn they try to cast a spell on you but you have advantage on your saving throw, walk out unscathed and get to make what is essentially an opportunity attack on them.
Any fighter who uses melee weapons is going to benefit from this feat time and time again, and because it’s not number based there is no point of diminishing returns as you level up.
Sentinel ; VERSATILE
- You have mastered techniques to take advantage of every drop in any enemy’s guard, gaining the following benefits:
- When you hit a creature with an opportunity attack, the creature’s speed becomes 0 for the rest of the turn.
- Creatures within 5 feet of you provoke opportunity attacks from you even if they take the Disengage action before leaving your reach.
- When a creature within 5 feet of you makes an attack against a target other than you (and that target doesn’t have this feat), you can use your reaction to make a melee weapon attack against the attacking creature.
What it does: Creatures within 5 feet attempting to disengage trigger opportunity attacks. Opportunity attacks stop opponents movement on a successful hit.
Reaction attacks are triggered when an opponent attacks an ally within 5 feet of you.
Review: This is an excellent support feat for the fighter class that relies on supporting your party by doing what you do best, being skilled at warfare. Using your opportunity attacks to reduce an opponent’s speed to 0 is a jaw-dropping ability and would be enough to sell me on this feat.
As a fighter, you want to keep your opponent right where you can hurt them. The next part of the ability triggers opportunity even when your opponent tries to disengage. Those cowards aren’t getting away from you today.
What seals the deal is that this feat keeps you from benefiting solely yourself. If you’re close enough to a teammate for your foe to be in range of both of you, and the foe chooses them, you get a reaction attack! Now you protec, but also you attac.
Savage Attacker ; OFFENSIVE
- Once per turn when you roll damage for a melee weapon attack, you can reroll the weapon’s damage dice and use either total.
What it does: Lets you reroll damage on melee attacks once per turn.
Review: There’s not much to elaborate on here. What I love, and what makes this good for just about any fighter is that there are no conditions, I mean, except for needing a melee weapon.
Not “when you succeed on a critical hit” or “three times a day” or “once per short rest” this is just every turn.
I’ve witnessed so many situations where someone just needed 3 damage to finish this once and for all, and then rolled a 1. Being able to reroll in that and so many more situations is a gift from Moradin.
Martial Adept ; VERSATILE
- You have martial training that allows you to perform special combat maneuvers. You gain the following benefits:
- You learn two maneuvers of your choice from among those available to the Battle Master archetype in the fighter class. If a maneuver you use requires your target to make a saving throw to resist the maneuver’s effects, the saving throw DC equals 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Strength or Dexterity modifier (your choice).
- If you already have superiority dice, you gain one more; otherwise, you have one superiority die, which is a d6. This die is used to fuel your maneuvers. A superiority die is expended when you use it. You regain your expended superiority dice when you finish a short or long rest.
What it does: Adds two ‘maneuvers’ from the Battle Master subclass to your roster of abilities along with a superiority die. If you already have superiority dice the new die stacks.
Review: Maneuvers are all the amazing things you like to picture your character doing when they’re fighting turned into actual abilities. Each of these abilities are like feats in their own right, built specifically to benefit the fighter class.
Maneuvers range from Commander’s Strike, which allows you to lead another party member to attack in your stead on your turn, to Precision Attack which can allow you to add an additional d8 to your attack roll.
These can be used in different combinations to allow your character to execute exactly the fighting style you want them to.
Whether you’re already a Battle Master looking for more maneuvers early on in the game, or any other subclass who just wants a few of the benefits this subclass has to offer, this is a great feat.
Other feats that will almost never fail to improve your character are as follows:
- Alert; U– Keeps you from being surprised or sneak attacked, and gives you a bonus to initiative.
- Durable; D – Gain a +1 to constitution and your minimum amount healed from a hit die becomes twice your constitution modifier.
- Grappler; O – Generate advantage on grappled enemies if you’re using a one-handed weapon. Gain the ability to pin enemies and restrain them with a second grapple check while grappling.
- Lucky; V- Get to reroll dice at your whim; attack dice, damage dice, skill checks, you name it. Limited to 3 a day, doctors orders.
- Tough; D – Gives an HP increase of twice your level when you get it, and an additional 2 hp each time you level up.
Specialized feats tend to focus on a particular combat style or weapon whereas general feats are going to be helpful in most builds.
I’ve also included feats that pair well together in the specialized category and could be utilized for an optimized build.
Great Weapon Master ; OFFENSIVE
- You’ve learned to put the weight of a weapon to your advantage, letting its momentum empower your strikes. You gain the following benefits:
- On your turn, when you score a critical hit with a melee weapon or reduce a creature to 0 hit points with one, you can male one melee weapon attack as a bonus action.
- Before you make a melee attack with a heavy weapon that you are proficient with, you can choose to take a -5 penalty to the attack roll. If the attack hits, you add +10 to the attack’s damage.
What it does: This allows you to create 10 extra damage at a cost of -5 to your attack roll and generate extra attacks when you knock someone out or roll a critical hit with a two-handed weapon.
Review: While this can be used by any melee weapon fighter, it should only be strongly considered if you use a heavy weapon. The damage bonus is only an option if you are making a melee attack with a heavy weapon in which you are proficient.
The damage bonus is great for a while and even on your worst damage roll you’ll be hitting for 11 which is incredible for lower levels.
At much higher levels this shouldn’t be as high on your priority list because you’ll have gained other class features to improve your damage output.
Take this at early levels if you’re looking to double your damage and your attacks per turn with a heavy weapon.
If you’re solely looking to generate extra attacks you should be looking at Polearm Master for more consistent payoff, relying only on choosing a specific weapon, rather than specific events like a critical hit or incapacitating a foe.
Crossbow Expert is another option more suited for fighters that are fighting with one-handed weapons that will give you an extra attack almost every turn.
Pairs well with:
- Polearm Master; V– Great alternative so naturally, great combo. Glaive, Pike, Halberd all fit into the reach and heavy categories so one of those weapons could capitalize nicely, giving you two bonus attacks in one turn.
- Slasher; O – Most heavy weapons deal slashing damage, and this will allow you to capitalize twice on your critical hits. Other similar feats like Crusher pair just as well if you’re using a different damage type for your primary weapon.
- Lucky; V – Taking risks when making your attack rolls means you’ll want a good way to increase your odds in certain situations.
War Caster ; OFFENSIVE
- Prerequisite: The ability to cast at least one spell
- You have practiced casting spells in the midst of combat, learning techniques that grant you the following benefits:
- You have advantage on Constitution saving throws that you make to maintain your concentration on a spell when you take damage.
- You can perform the somatic components of spells even when you have weapons or a shield in one or both hands.
- When a hostile creature’s movement provokes an opportunity attack from you, you can use your reaction to cast a spell at the creature, rather than making an opportunity attack. The spell must have a casting time of 1 action and must target only that creature.
What it does: Gain the ability to perform somatic elements with a weapon in hand. Provides advantage on saving throws for maintaining concentration spells and allows you to make opportunity attacks with spells so long as they are one action and single target.
Review: The abilities that it grants you are essential to have a character who fully utilizes both aspects of combat. The ability to perform somatic components of a spell while holding a weapon means being ready to cast a spell at any moment, not having to draw and sheath your weapon constantly.
This is a feat for spellcasting fighters only.
Being able to make opportunity attacks with either form solidifies the advantage you have in combat.
You’re not going to be casting Fireball at every creature that bumps into you, but being able to Frostbite an enemy going after one of your weaker party members on a whim could save the day.
This really feels essential enough to Eldritch Knight that I’m surprised it isn’t a feature you gain from the sub-class itself.
Pair well with:
- Spell Sniper; O – Doubles the range of your spells! Get into close quarters combat with one foe and shoot a few spells off at another even if they’re under up to three-quarters cover.
- Linguist; U- A utility feat that will increase your intelligence (your spellcasting ability) and let you make cyphers so your party can have some real fun out of combat.
- Mage Slayer; V– As a melee spellcaster you should be able to defend against spells as well.
Crossbow Expert ; OFFENSIVE
- Thanks to extensive practice with the crossbow, you gain the following benefits:
- You ignore the loading property of crossbows with which you are proficient.
- Being within 5 feet of a hostile creature doesn’t impose disadvantage on your ranged attack rolls.
- When you use the Attack action and attack with a one-handed weapon, you can use a bonus action to attack with a hand crossbow you are holding.
What it does: Disregard loading properties of crossbows and disadvantage within short range. Gain the ability to make a bonus action attack with a hand crossbow after an attack with a one-handed weapon.
Review: I could’ve just as easily chosen Gunner or Dual wielder for this slot, but I personally love the idea of a Van Helsing-esque character exploring the forgotten realms with his crossbows, just decimating monsters.
This and other combat specialization feats allow you to do the things you want to do with your chosen combat style. For crossbow fighters that means ignoring loading properties, which normally slows down combat and makes crossbows feel less viable.
It also means getting to use a hand crossbow as an efficient bonus attack if you’re using a one-handed weapon (did someone say dual crossbows?).
Pairs well with:
- Sharpshooter; O– Allows you to effectively deal impressive damage from any range and at almost any target without worrying about disadvantage to your ranged attack.
- Piercer; O – Since crossbows deal piercing damage you’ll be able to reroll your damage once per turn and deal massive damage on critical hits. The soft ASI in Strength or Dexterity is a nice bonus too.
- Poisoner; O – Poisoning your ammunition means dealing just that much more damage.
Each weapon damage type has its own feat Crusher (bludgeoning), Slasher (slashing), Piercer (piercing). These are excellent if you are going to build around one specific weapon or weapon type.
Other specialization feats that deserve an honorable mention are as follows:
- Dual Wielder; V – Makes two weapon fighting feasible by allowing you to draw or sheath two weapons in the action space of one, as well as giving you a +1 to AC while dual wielding.
- Gunner; O – Dexterity +1. Gain proficiency in firearms and ignore their loading properties.
- Polearm Master; V – Gives reach weapons a bonus attack with the blunt side of the weapon (d4 bludgeoning). Opportunity attacks become the range of your reach weapon.
- Sharpshooter; O – Let’s ranged weapons specialists ignore up to three-quarters cover and provides a damage boost of +10 at the cost of -5 to your ranged attack roll. Long ranged attacks no longer impose disadvantage.
- Mounted Combatant; O – Gives you advantage while attacking creatures smaller than your mount, while mounted. Allows you to take attacks in place of your mount. Mounts take half damage instead of full and no damage instead of half when making dexterity saves.
- Shield Master; D – Add shield AC bonus to dexterity saves against single target spells or other harmful effects. Take half damage instead of full and no damage instead of half when making dexterity saves. Gain a bonus action of shoving with your shield.
Do Not Take These Feats as a Fighter:
The following feats grant proficiencies that you already have as fighter and as such hold no purpose:
- Lightly Armored
- Moderately Armored
- Heavily Armored
- Weapon Master
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As a kid, I was often told to get my head out of the clouds and to stop living in a fantasy world. That never really jived with me, so I decided to make a living out of games, stories, and all sorts of fantastical works. Now, as an adult, I aspire to remind people that sometimes a little bit of fantasy is all you need when life gets to be too much.