Resilient Feat in 5e: Great for Casters, Better Than War Caster?

Last Updated on December 21, 2021

Using the right feats is a good way to get some advantage over other players. However, all feats have some upsides and downsides according to your race, class, and playing style.

In this article, we will clarify everything you should know about the Resilient feat.

What Is the Resilient Feat in D&D 5E?

The Resilient feat slightly increases the chosen ability score and gives you proficiency in saving throws using the chosen ability. Plus, the feat requires no prerequisites, meaning that any class or any race can use it.

Although anyone can use Resilient, it’s a must-have feat for spell casters.

Let’s keep in mind the fact that when you take damage while concentrating on a spell, you need to make a Constitution saving throw in order to sustain the Concentration.

So, let’s assume that you take Resilient feat very early in the game, either at the first or fourth level, for the Constitution ability. That way, probably, it’s also going to give you an extra +1 to your Constitution modifier.

At level one, you will get +3 to your Constitution saving throw.

As you begin to level up, very quickly it’s going to be +4 and then +5. Note that the tiny boost to your constitution will also give you an extra hit point per level and affect all your constitution saving throws in the game.

However, it might be tricky to decide between Resilient and War Caster feat. Both feats are literally golden, so let’s see which one you should use as a spell caster.

Resilient vs. War Caster | Which Option Is Better?

With a War Caster feat, you will have an advantage on Constitution saving throws and will also be able to perform the somatic components of spells even if you have a weapon and a shield equipped.

If you are a full caster, you will be using a fair amount of concentration spells.

So naturally, both War Caster and Resilient feat seem to be good options, and it might be hard to make a decision because both feats are quite good.

Both feats will help with your Concentration, so there is no definite winner. Now, let’s consider a few more things.

War Caster might seem like a more interesting choice since it allows you to cast certain spells even with both hands tied up while still giving you an advantage on Constitution saving throws.

That’s a huge bonus since most Constitution saves are going to be around DC 10.

Another enticing element about the War Caster feat is that instead of making an opportunity attack, you can cast a spell as long as it targets that one individual that caused the opportunity attack.

It can be really great in hands of certain casters. For example, Warlocks can cast Eldritch Blast, a high-volume spell that almost mimics a full attack sequence of a Fighter.

So, a Fighter can get an Opportunity attack, but they would only get that one, singular attack.

However, a War Caster feat in a hands of a Warlock can cause a result of three Eldritch Blast spells in a single casting.

It would extract a lot of value from a War Caster in addition to the advantage to your Constitution saves. Especially if you consider The Hexblade, your Warlock will be quite powerful.

On the other hand, let’s assume that you are playing as a Paladin. If you are going to cast and not smite, you are probably going to cast from the very beginning in most cases.

Obviously, you are going to have a free hand, so do you need a War Caster? Of course, you don’t.

If for any reason you want to cast a spell in the middle of combat, a War Caster might come in handy, but it’s not necessary.

Clerics might have to cast a spell at any given moment in combat, so if you are a Cleric, a War Caster would be an excellent choice.

Since they have access to shields and armor, most Clerics also use martial weapons. However, if you don’t, it doesn’t mean you should necessarily choose War Caster.

Why Choose the Resilient Feat?

Having all that said, why don’t you use War Caster instead of Resilient? Well, in the long term, a Resilient feat seems to be better.

If you are going to take Resilient early in the game, that +1 from Resilient is most probably going to give you an extra +1 to the Constitution modifier.

So at level one, you will get a +3 to your Constitution saving throw. As you begin to level up, it will be +4 and then +5 very quickly.

The fact is that Consitution saving throws happen a lot during the game. For example, for a Twilight Cleric, their Channel Divinity will be canceled out if they are incapacitated.

There are a lot of Constitution saving throws that, if you fail them, you will have an incapacitated condition. 

Note that Constitution and Wisdom are the two that have the greatest penalty if you fail since they also come with a condition penalty that you really don’t want.

Summary

If you are a caster, the War Caster feat might seem more appealing and also more interesting to play with.

However, if you choose the Resilient feat, you will have more benefits in the future.

It’s not a huge difference, but the Resilient still edges it out during the mid-game and toward the end.