Be one with the light…armor. This is a guide into all things related to the Lightly Armored feat in DnD 5e. Stats, build ideas, and reasons why you should and shouldn’t take this feat.
This is one of those low- to mid-range tier feats that would cause some players to overlook it, but it does fit into some niche builds. Let’s get into it, shall we?
What Is the Lightly Armored Feat in DnD 5e?
The Lightly Armored feat grants you an additional +1 to your strength or dexterity score, up to a max of 20, of course. It also grants you proficiency in light armor, allowing classes that don’t have proficiency in it to gain proficiency and ignore any disadvantage rolls.
You have trained to master the use of light armor, gaining the following benefits.
- Increase your Strength or Dexterity score by 1 to a maximum of 20.
- You gain proficiency with light armor.
Source: Player’s Handbook
What Classes Should Take This Feat?
Lightly armored doesn’t have a prerequisite, so you don’t need any other stuff to take it, which is nice. It does provide a +1 to Str or Dex, so that can be of benefit.
The biggest and most important benefit to this feat is the light armor proficiency. Now I know what you’re thinking, “Don’t most classes have light armor proficiency anyways?”
Yes they do, but there are three classes that don’t start with it: Monks, Sorcerers, and Wizards.
So Lightly Armored on a monk can make him not need to have a high Wisdom…if he’s willing to forsake save DCs on his stunning strike and any subclass features that call for saves.
Even then, Lightly Armored will only increase AC by 1 to 2 points. +2 to Dexterity will always increase the AC of somebody who isn’t wearing armor by 1 point.
Heck, a Monk with odd Dexterity and odd Wisdom gets 2 points of AC out of splitting his ASI between them and increases a lot more than if he took Lightly Armored.
Then again, Lightly Armored is a half-feat that can increase your Dex by 1, so you could get 2 or 3 points of AC out of it.
Sorcerers are a different story, especially if you’re not a draconic bloodline sorcerer. Those guys have a scaling ac ability, so for them this feat doesn’t provide much benefit, but for all the other subclasses, it certainly does.
It’s especially nice for a wild magic sorcerer who does not want mage armor to count against his (quite limited!) number of spells known, making it a viable option.
Alternatively, you could multiclass in something that does have light armor proficiency, but if you’re not a fan of multiclassing or just not interested, then take this feat!
Wizards don’t have light armor proficiency to start with, and if you’re not willing to multiclass, then consider taking this feat.
It’s also beneficial if you happen to come across a nice piece of enchanted light armor and worry about not having proficiency (which would mean that you couldn’t cast spells), but if you take this feat, you’ll be able to wear whichever light armor you want.
Artificers who also lack the proficiency can take this feat if they’re looking to don the armor that they infuse.
I’ve Heard This Feat Sucks…
I won’t lie, there are other options. With the way 5e is currently, multiclassing provides far more benefits – granting proficiencies, new class abilities, and in some cases spells.
All of which can put this feat to shame.
I stated above that if you’re not a fan of multiclassing and looking for some proficiency in light armor in order to wear that fancy armor of fire resistance that you’ve just acquired, then pick this feat and put that new armor on before one of your party members does.
The stat increase isn’t nothing to write home about, but it’ll provide some benefit no matter which class you’re playing.
It’s niche – arguably only 1, maybe 2 classes really get use out of it – but it’s not useless, and the fact it CAN be useful coupled with the completeness of having a feat for all three kinds of armor is probably worthwhile.
In the end it’s ultimately up to you. Some players enjoy having a page full of feats, so this could be just another one to add to your collection if that sounds like you.
For others, you may think that this feat is entirely useless, and it’s true that it doesn’t rank high on the feat-tier list, but I personally don’t think it’s a bottom-tier feat.
There are classes that it can work for, but at the end of day it’s up to you!