Clerics are easily one of the most diverse and interesting classes in Dungeons & Dragons 5e, combining healing and support magic with devastating offensive spellcasting, not to mention the ability to hold their own in melee.
This is largely due to the impact of a cleric’s Divine Domain (the flavor of god or goddess they serve), which can range from gods of fire and forge to impish tricksters and even the goddess of death herself.
If you’ve chosen to play a cleric, it’s probably because you like having choices when it comes to the way your character develops.
Clerics can be devastating offensive nukers, stalwart tanks, healers, and even utility and more socially focused members of an adventuring party.
If you want to keep on making choices as you level up — choices that can potentially take your cleric in new and interesting directions or just help you do what you’re already doing but better — then you might want to consider feats.
Feats are an optional rule for Dungeons & Dragons 5e that let you forgo an ability score increase in favor of giving your character new abilities.
If you’re happy with your ability scores and want to add a little flavor, utility, or survivability to your cleric, check out our guide to the best feats for clerics below.
Should I Even Take a Feat?
Now, it’s worth noting that clerics can be quite multi-ability-dependent (MAD), meaning they require high scores in multiple abilities.
Clerics fuel their spellcasting with Wisdom, need a high Constitution to keep themselves healthy (ah, the joys of playing a class that everyone thinks is “tanky” when you have a d8 for a Hit Die), and, depending on their chosen domain and playstyle, may need a good Strength or Dexterity to remain viable in combat.
Now, some clerics are less MAD than others and therefore make better candidates for a feat or two.
A life domain cleric that sits at the back and throws out healing spells, for example, has little use for anything but a good Wisdom score.
Also, unless you’re playing a cleric with a domain that’s explicitly about punching stuff, you’re going to want to forgo using weapons pretty much altogether. This isn’t the 1980s, you know.
Clerics don’t have to be fighters when their spells run out. Why waste precious actions swinging hammers around when you have Sacred Flame on tap?
Therefore, if there’s a feat that interests you, as long as you’re happy with your current Wisdom score (you should aim to get it to 16 at the very least at 1st level, and then up to 18 at 4th, and to 20 as soon as possible after that), then a feat might be the way to go.
Also, while it’s important that you feel happy with your ability scores before you put an ASI into a feat, some feats also grant you a +1 bonus to an ability score, which helps lessen the pain of having to choose between one option or the other.
What Are the Best Feats for Clerics in DnD 5e?
Considering what good candidates clerics are for feats, there aren’t actually all that many options that are unequivocally good for this class.
Sure, there are plenty of feats that work fine on a cleric, but there are very few that are downright awesome.
In a way, I find this quite liberating; you’re free to grab just about anything you think is cool or interesting because it’s all just kinda viable.
Nevertheless, some feats are more equal than others, and these three options are the best choices for a cleric.
Source: Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything
Prerequisite: Spellcasting or Pact Magic feature
You learn the sorcerer’s gift for manipulating spells and how they work.
- You learn two Metamagic options of your choice from the sorcerer class. You can use only one Metamagic option on a spell when you cast it, unless the option says otherwise. Whenever you reach a level that grants the Ability Score Improvement feature, you can replace one of these Metamagic options with another one from the sorcerer class.
- You gain 2 sorcery points to spend on Metamagic (these points are added to any sorcery points you have from another source but can be used only on Metamagic). You regain all spent sorcery points when you finish a long rest.
This little dip into the sorcerer class’s party trick is a strong choice on any spellcaster, and the cleric is no exception.
Gaining access to a few metamagic options, like Twinned Spell, Heightened Spell, Quickened Spell, and Subtle Spell, can all be very impactful — just pick some options that synergize with the kind of spellcasting your cleric does best.
If you’re playing a damage-focused cleric, Empowered or Transmuted spell can be a great way to maximize your AoE harm.
By contrast, if you’re playing more of a healer, then Twinned Spell applied to Cure Wounds effectively lets you double your healing output in a round — or Quickened spell lets you heal an ally and blast an opponent with Sacred Flame.
Gift of the Gem Dragon
The draconic gifts introduced as part of Fizban’s Treasury of Dragons can potentially bestow powerful abilities on player characters, depending on the type of dragon that bestows them.
This Feat infuses you with some of a gem dragon’s psionic power, which manifest as the following effects:
Ability Score Increase: Your Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma score increases by 1 to a maximum of 20.
Telekinetic Reprisal: When a creature within 10 feet deals damage to you, you gain the ability to use your reaction to strike back at them with a blast of psionic force.
The creature that attacked you must succeed on a Strength saving throw with a DC equal to 8 + your proficiency bonus + the ability modifier of the score increased by this feat.
On a failed save, the creature takes 2d8 force damage and is pushed up to 10 feet away from you. On a successful saving throw, the creature takes half damage and isn’t pushed.
You can use this feature a number of times per long rest equal to your proficiency bonus.
Clerics don’t generally get much use for their reaction in combat, so being able to leverage it into some guaranteed damage and a push effect (basically the Thunderwave spell) is great — especially since the damage type is force and will therefore almost never be resisted or negated.
This feat is probably best on War and Forge domain clerics who like to wear heavier armor and hang around on the frontline.
You have inexplicable luck that seems to kick in at just the right moment.
- You have 3 luck points. Whenever you make an attack roll, an ability check, or a saving throw, you can spend one luck point to roll an additional d20. You can choose to spend one of your luck points after you roll the die but before the outcome is determined. You choose which of the d20s is used for the attack roll, ability check, or saving throw.
- You can also spend one luck point when an attack roll is made against you. Roll a d20, and then choose whether the attack uses the attacker’s roll or yours. If more than one creature spends a luck point to influence the outcome of a roll, the points cancel each other out; no additional dice are rolled.
- You regain your expended luck points when you finish a long rest.
Okay, there isn’t anything about this feat that makes it specifically good for clerics; Lucky is just good on any and all characters.
Being able to give yourself advantage and your enemies disadvantage is just so huge and perfect for those clutch moments when you really have to land a spell attack.
Other Cleric Feats To Consider
Just because a feat isn’t mechanically amazing or a must-have for your build, it doesn’t mean that it can’t be an interesting mechanical or thematic choice.
As always in D&D 5e, it’s very hard to make a mechanical decision so bad that it’s going to seriously impact your fun, unless you’re playing at a very power-gamey table.
Mostly, just go with what you think feels right for your character or seems fun.
With that in mind, here are some more feats that can make a really fun addition to just about any cleric.
Prepare delicious meals every time your party takes a short rest, allowing your allies to regain an additional d8 of health when they burn a Hit Die.
This is not only really evocative of Buddhist monk temple cooks, who traditionally make meals for anyone and everyone visiting their temples (seriously, go check out that one episode of Chef’s Table about the Korean nun), but anything that gives you party a bigger pool of hit points is going to reduce the need for you to spend all your precious spell slots healing them.
For clerics who like to mix it up at close quarters, the fighting initiative feat can give you a much needed edge by granting you a Fighting Style.
For medium-armor clerics looking for some survivability, I’d choose Defense, although something like Protection could also be useful.
A brilliant, versatile feat that lets you grab a couple of cantrips and a 1st-level spell from any spell list.
Now, clerics already have access to most things they need, but a juicier damage cantrip in the form of Eldritch Blast or the 1st-level druid spell Goodberry (when twinned with the Life Domain Cleric’s Disciple of Life feature, it lets you heal a 40 hp with a single 1st-level spell slot) is awesome.
With a great mixture of passive Perception and Investigation buffs, an ability score increase, and some nifty lip-reading, Observant is one of the best utility feats in 5e for players who want to find all the clues, dodge all the traps, and see the monsters coming before the monsters see them.
The Resilient feat grants you a +1 ability score increase and proficiency in saving throws with that ability.
Clerics already have proficiency in saving throws with Wisdom (and Charisma, which is basically useless), so Constitution is a great fit here, making it easier to maintain concentration on spells as well as resist the effects of poison and exhaustion.
An ability score increase, proficiency, and expertise in a new skill are a great way to make your cleric feel like a real expert at something.
A great feat to grab at 1st level if you’re playing a Variant Human or a Custom Lineage character.
A slightly edgier riff on the Magic Initiate feat, Shadow Touched gives you the Invisibility spell and one 1st-level spell of your choice from the necromancy school.
Great for doubling down on the energy of Grave, Trickery, or Twilight domain clerics.
An all around powerful feat that’s perfect for recreating your favorite moments from the Exorcist or just getting enemies to back up out of melee range with your sick, invisible Mage Hand.
That’s it, folks. We hope this guide was enough to get you started down the road to the wonderful world of feats and that your cleric build feels all the more interesting for it.
Until next time, happy adventuring.