Feats are an alternative power boost that players can choose when they would typically get an Ability Score Increase.
By choosing to take a Feat instead of an ASI, they gain access to the Feat’s skills and abilities, which go beyond the scope of regular class training.
How Does Mounted Combatant Work?
Mounted Combatant offers boosts and buffs to players who wish to engage in mounted combat.
While a mounted player receives innate buffs simply by being mounted, adding the Mounted Combatant Feat to their repertoire makes them an even more formidable foe when mounted.
The Players’ Handbook states the following for Mounted Combatant:
You are a dangerous foe to face while mounted. While you are mounted and aren’t incapacitated, you gain the following benefits:
• You have advantage on melee attack rolls against unmounted creatures that are smaller than your mount.
• You can force an attack targeted at your mount to target you instead.
• If your mount is subjected to an effect that allows it to make a Dexterity save to take only half damage, it takes no damage if it succeeds and half damage if it fails.
One of the primary features of Mounted Combatant is that it does not have an Ability Score prerequisite.
With no prerequisite Ability Score, any character can take and utilize the skills that it provides. This versatility is a crucial piece of Mounted Combatant’s power.
The first feature of the Mounted Combatant Feat is that you have advantage on melee attack rolls against unmounted creatures smaller than your mount.
Since a mount must be at least one size class larger than its rider, that’s almost every humanoid for a Medium-Sized character. Guaranteed advantage while mounted is a huge boost to players.
Being able to force attacks away from your mount is a great way to protect your horse.
A mounted warrior will find that their mounts are subject to most attacks as they provide many features for their riders.
Chargers are costly and hard to replace, so taking damage in place of your mount is a great way to protect your investment.
Mounted Combatant also protects your mount from AoEs, which require a Dexterity save by granting them immunity to damage if they make the save.
This can help protect your horse from spells like Fireball, which can’t be redirected to the rider.
Is Mounted Combatant Good?
Mounted Combatant is suitable for those who will be mounted most of the time.
It may sound like a “duh, obviously!” moment, but it’s worth saying that if you don’t plan on being mounted for the majority of combat, you should probably take the ASI or another Feat.
Mounted Combatant is ideal for players who have acquired a mount and want to bolster their mounted combat while protecting their gold investment.
There are a few more situations where Mounted Combatant loses a lot of its “oomph.” If the combatant is usually riding a Medium-Sized mount, they lose out on the first feature more often than not.
Also, players who won’t be making many melee attacks might want to pass on Mounted Combatant since they won’t get the Feat’s guaranteed advantage.
What Mounts Are Out There?
There are plenty of mounts out there that players can look into. We’ll cover the mounts from the Players’ Handbook and go over the pros and cons of each one.
The Donkey or Mule is the most cost-efficient mount you can buy at the price of just eight gold pieces.
Unfortunately, Donkeys and Mules are considered Medium-Sized animals, so only Small-Sized races like Goblins will be able to ride them as a mount.
However, if you aren’t looking to start riding right away, Donkeys and Mules can carry up to 420 lbs. of stuff that you can use to jumpstart your adventure! That’s 52.5 lbs. of stuff per gold piece!
Mastiffs are another mount for Small-Sized players. They cost 25 gold pieces, which makes them very affordable still. However, they can only carry 195 lbs. of stuff, so they’re significantly less cost-efficient.
The Pony is the last of the mount options designed explicitly for Small-Sized creatures.
A Pony will run you 30 gold pieces and can carry 225 lbs. of stuff. It’s actually very less gold efficient than the Mastiff, which has about 7.8 lbs. per gold piece versus the Pony’s 7.5 lbs. per gold piece.
The camel is a fantastic budget option for Medium-Sized creatures who need a mount.
Coming in at 50 gold pieces and 480 lbs. of load-bearing, the Camel is one of the most cost-efficient mounts that a Medium-Sized adventurer can rely on.
It carries about 9.6 lbs. per gold piece spent and provides a tremendous amount of utility for players looking for a rideable mount.
Draft horses are the first of many horses that players can purchase. They cost 50 gold pieces and have a load-bearing capacity of 540 lbs., making them the most gold efficient mount at this price point.
Draft horses can also be ridden by Medium-Sized players, which allows players to take advantage of mounted combat.
They’re a little slower than other horses and even camels, but they have a more robust load-bearing capacity to make up for it.
Riding horses are a good in-between choice for a Draft horse and a Warhorse. Riding horses come for 75 gold pieces and have a load-bearing capacity of 480 lbs.
They can move 10 feet farther per turn than a camel, so what they lose in load-bearing efficiency, they gain back in movement efficiency.
Elephants are the ultimate load-bearing mount. An Elephant costs 200 gold pieces in Fifth Edition and can carry up to 1320 lbs.
It’s also classified as a Huge Monster, so creatures riding it will get Advantage when making melee attacks against anything Classified Large or smaller.
Overall, the Elephant represents the most cost-effective all-around mount. Its Stomp and Gore attacks deal the most damage of any non-exotic mount in the Players’ Handbook.
Its Trampling Charge and movement speed are weaker than that of the Warhorse but are still respectable when combined with the raw power of Stomp and Gore.
The Warhorse is the ultimate combat mount. The Warhorse allows players to carry as much weight as a Draft horse while moving as fast as a Riding horse.
It does clock in at 400 gold pieces, though, making it very cost-inefficient compared to other mounts. The Warhorse is the best mount for combat alone.
It doesn’t come with the same load-bearing efficiency of mounts that are more designed for carrying equipment and loot, but you’ll be rewarded with more combat efficiency for your mount.
What Synergizes Well With Mounted Combatant?
Mounted Combat synergizes best with characters who can wield weapons with Reach-like spears.
It’s important to remember that you do not occupy the same space as your mount when mounted. Instead, you occupy a space above the mount, just as if you were levitating.
When mounted on a regular horse or warhorse, you’ll need at least a 10-foot reach to hit people on the ground; glaives, pikes, lances, halberds, and whips can all achieve this.
However, if you are mounted on an elephant, you’ll need to use a ranged weapon since elephants are generally 9-10 feet tall and will add their height to the reach you need to make a melee attack.
Mounted Combatant is an incredible feat that players can take if they regularly engage in mounted combat. It offers additional combat prowess and helps players who have invested in a mount protect their investment.
As always, the most crucial part of any Dungeons & Dragons game is that you are having fun! Just because a Feat isn’t ideal doesn’t mean your character can’t take it for roleplay purposes.
Good luck, have fun, and happy questing!