A lone barbarian warrior raises his battleworn axe, a hint of schadenfreude in his eyes. Covered in blue tattoos, the warrior taunts his enemies: four bloodthirsty hobgoblins.
Spitting curses, the hobgoblins surround the warrior. With a deranged smile, the barbarian slashes recklessly, raising a cry to the ancient gods. By the time the hobgoblins realize they’ve made a huge mistake, it’s far too late.
The Slasher Feat is meant to enhance the abilities of characters who specialize in dealing slashing damage, particularly with melee weapon attacks. With this feat, characters can take their fighting skills to the next level, punishing enemies with deadly lacerations.
The Slasher Feat comes from Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything. Along with expanded subclasses and character options, this expansion includes several new feats for your D&D characters, as well as additional classes, artifacts, and monsters.
Here’s the description of the Slasher Feat from the book:
You’ve learned where to cut to have the greatest results, granting you the following benefits:
- Increase your Strength or Dexterity by 1, to a maximum of 20.
- Once per turn when you hit a creature with an attack that deals slashing damage, you can reduce the speed of the target by 10 feet until the start of your next turn.
- When you score a critical hit that deals slashing damage to a creature, you grievously wound it. Until the start of your next turn, the target has disadvantage on all attack rolls.
Source: Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything
What Does the Slasher Feat Do?
The Slasher feat was made for characters that love jumping into the middle of the fray with a slashing weapon, such as a sword or battleaxe. With the Slasher Feat, attacks made with slashing weapons become extra potent.
By taking their craft to a dangerous level of expertise, these characters can deliver strategic blows that limit the enemy’s ability to fight back.
Taking the Slasher Feat will also give you a modest boost to your Dexterity or Strength. If you damage a creature with a slashing weapon, that creature’s speed will be reduced by 10 feet for a turn. This is great for keeping enemies from running away during melee combat.
Also, you can grievously wound a creature with your slashing attacks. At this point, your character has achieved mastery with bladed weapons and attacks that deal slashing damage.
As a result, your cuts deliver the maximum amount of pain. Once wounded, a creature you attack with slashing damage will have disadvantage on its attack rolls until the start of your next turn, a useful feature for those who like to get up-close and personal.
Is the Slasher Feat Good?
The Slasher Feat is great for players looking to build expert fighters and masters of the blade or axe. There are plenty of good feats to choose from for characters that love swordplay and close-combat fighting. Feats like Polearm Master or Sentinel are good choices for these types of characters.
But Slasher can be a good option as well, giving characters an edge in melee combat and a minor ability score boost. And for a defensive fighter, this feat is perfect. Those characters who rely on a shield and longsword will see the most utility from this feat.
Characters with the Slasher Feat grievously wound creatures when they deal damage. We might imagine this as slicing a tendon or artery, seriously interrupting the creature’s ability to retaliate and move away. While the effect only lasts a single turn, that’s probably enough to keep you alive.
Oftentimes in D&D, seemingly minor effects can have major consequences. This is especially true when it comes to giving creatures advantage or disadvantage on their attack rolls.
The Slasher Feat will not be a good choice for everyone, however. This feat is mostly aimed at fighters and other melee-based characters, although any character that routinely deals slashing damage could put it to use.
How to Get the Most Out of Slasher
Unsurprisingly, the Slasher Feat pairs well with other feats and abilities that enhance your melee prowess. For example, a character who combines the Slasher Feat with the Mobile Feat gains the benefits of both.
This character could use his or her expertise to take advantage of an enemy’s momentary lack of defense to deliver attacks with near-surgical precision.
Again, the Slasher Feat is aimed at fighter types, especially those with Dexterity based builds. Monks that use slashing weapons could take advantage of this feat too, as can rangers who specialize in two-weapon fighting.
Rogues can also benefit from the Slasher Feat, using it in combination with their Cunning Action and Sneak Attack abilities. By taking Slasher, a Rogue could easily pick off a creature by keeping it at a distance and weakening its attack potential.
Perhaps the ultimate use for the Slasher Feat is with a defensive-based fighter. Using a shield and armor will give a fighter plenty of protection in close-quarters combat, and a longsword is vicious.
For characters that can afford to take multiple feats, taking both Sentinel and Slasher would be a potent combo.
Dealing Slashing Damage
D&D offers a wide variety of weapons, including custom weapons. In order to take advantage of the Slashing Feat, your character needs to deal slashing damage.
These include weapons like a longsword or battleaxe. Other weapons that deal slashing damage include sickles, handaxes, glaives, halberds, and schimatars. Whips also deal slashing damage.
The Slasher Feat doesn’t just apply to weapons, however. Spells that deal slashing damage—cloud of daggers for example—will also trigger the effects of this feat. Creative players could make use of this fact.
Feats aren’t just for players. DMs are free to create NPCs of their own. This can have all sorts of purposes. As the DM, you can create allies and villains alike, taking full advantage of all the game has to offer.
This can be exciting for both the players and the DM. When powerful allies join the party, the players feel like the DM is on their side. And a powerful or mysterious ally can enhance the game by giving the DM a chance to fluidly guide the players through the adventure.
Powerful allies can also come in handy when the party is facing overwhelming odds.
Just like players, DMs can have an NPC learn the Slasher Feat to improve their fighting abilities. Such a character could serve as a useful ally against high-level enemies, taking some of the heat off the players.
A villain with the Slasher Feat has diabolical potential. Every story needs a great villain after all. Creating a villain that the players truly fear isn’t easy, but successfully doing so will make your game more immersive and exciting.
Turning the tables on formidable players can be the ultimate joy for a DM. We know that experienced players love a good challenge. While beginners may be satisfied taking on a group of hungry goblins, more experienced players will find these encounters routine and less engaging.
To create a terrifying villain straight out of a horror movie, try building a Fighter with the Slasher Feat. Now you’ll be the one dealing grievous wounds to the players!
And combining Slasher with Sentinel will allow your villain to take on multiple targets, dealing devastating attacks of opportunity. Toss in a handful of bandit cronies and you’ll have a truly punishing brawl on your hands.
If slashing your way to victory sounds like a swell time, try making a character with the Slasher Feat. A good option for creating the ultimate sword-swinging adventurer, the Slasher Feat can be combined with other feats, spells, and abilities to create unique opportunities in combat.
With the Slasher Feat, players have the chance to obtain mastery and push their combat skills to the limit.
For players who enjoy making interesting builds and those that love nothing more than being in the middle of the action, the Slasher Feat is one of the better choices available.