Core points of Gamers


Core points of Gamers

15 Best Feats For Fighters In D&D 5e, Ranked

For many players new to Dungeons & Dragons, the fighter class is fairly easy to learn and can offer a simple play style. Standard fighter builds can let the player focus solely on melee weapon attacks without having to worry about a large spell list. That doesn’t mean fighters are bland, however. Like any class in D&D, fighters can be as complex as the player who plays them.

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Fighters can be frontline attackers, support tanks, or even spellcasters. A fighter’s playstyle is determined largely by their subclass, but also by the feats players take. Fighters get more Ability Score Improvements (ASI) or feats than any other class, making them one of the most powerful, versatile classes in the game.

Updated November 17th by Isaac Williams: Fighters live and die by their feats, getting more than any other class. A fighter character might end up taking more feats than the rest of the party put together. As such, this list has been updated to include even more of the best choices for a fighter.

15/15 Mounted Combatant

Player’s Handbook pg. 168

Mounted combat is a very situational thing in Dungeons & Dragons. Much of the game takes place indoors, underground, or in cramped areas where mounts aren’t useful. In wide-open terrain, however, a horse or similar mount is very powerful. They only get better with the Mounted Combatant feat.

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A fighter with Mounted Combatant has advantage on attacks against all creatures smaller than their mount while riding. This is one of the best sources of advantage in the game against most humanoid or similar enemies. Its other features shore up mounts’ weaknesses. This leaves fighters with free advantage and huge mobility, with far fewer downsides.

14/15 Alert

Player’s Handbook pg. 155

A party fighting off attackers on the cover of Sword Coast Adventurer's Guide DnD setting book.

Surprised is one of the more common conditions in Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition. When one side manages to attack the other unaware, the other side loses an entire round of turns. This is a lot of lost potential damage, particularly for fighters and their many attacks. Giving the other side a round where the players are Surprised can turn a fight against the party quickly.

The Alert feat prevents a character from being Surprised. A fighter can use it to slay an enemy, present a more appealing target, or get into a better position during an ambush. Its other features, like a bonus to initiative and denying unseen enemies advantage, just make it even better.

13/15 Heavy Armor Master

Player’s Handbook pg. 167

A fighter standing near a dead giant in DnD

Fighters start with proficiencies in all weapons, armor, and shields. It’s clear from the beginning what role a fighter will play in a D&D party and what their main duties will be. Fighters hit hard, but they also get hit a lot. The Heavy Armor Master feat is a great option for any fighter who battles on the frontlines.

Heavy Armor Master not only increases the player’s Strength score, it also lets the player reduce any non-magical bludgeoning, slashing, and piercing damage by three. Three might not seem like a lot, but this damage can build up over many attacks. Particularly at early levels, it can be the difference between life and death.

12/15 Crusher, Piercer, & Slasher

Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything pgs. 79, 80, & 81

A Fighter charging into battle in DnD

Fighters are proficient in all weapons, so players are pretty spoiled when it comes to deciding what kind of weapons their fighter will take into battle. The Crusher feat increases a character’s Strength or Constitution score, whereas the Piercer and Slasher feats increase Strength or Dexterity.

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With this trio of feats, every kind of D&D fighter will find something to love. Each feat increases either the damage or effectiveness of a weapon of that damage type, giving the character new options in combat and enhancing their critical hits with added effects.

11/15 Gift Of The Chromatic Dragon

Fizban’s Treasury Of Dragons pg. 17

A Dragonborn Barbarian attacking in DnD

Fighters get their damage from making more attacks than other classes. Many characters get two at base, while a twentieth-level fighter can make at least four attacks per turn. Any ability that provides a damage bonus to every attack is even better for fighters than it is for other classes.

Gift of the Chromatic Dragon lets a character buff their attacks with an additional d4 damage for a minute. This doesn’t seem like much, but it can add up with a fighter’s many attacks. Its other feature, letting a fighter resist damage of certain types, makes the fighter that bit harder to kill.

10/15 Fey Touched

Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything pg. 79

A Sorcerer in DnD casting a spell at a white dragon

Fighters generally aren’t known for their spellcasting, but with the right mechanical choices, a fighter can tap into the many spells D&D offers. Choosing the Eldritch Knight archetype is one surefire way to get access to spells, but feats are another great option.

The Fey Touched feat adds even more to a spellcasting fighter’s arsenal. The feat allows the player to increase their character’s Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma score and grants them the Misty Step spell and one 1st-level spell of their choice. Fighters can use this feat to get new combat tricks or even give themselves some out-of-combat utility.

9/15 Fighting Initiate

Tasha’s Cauldron Of Everything pg. 80

A fighter wielding a single sword in Dnd

Fighters get the widest array of Fighting Styles out of any class. The Champion fighter archetype is the only character type in all of 5e that gets two Fighting Styles, rather than one. However, some players may want to go even further. Fighting Initiate gives a character yet another Fighting Style.

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A fighter can use this to become incredibly versatile. A character with both Dueling and Archery can hold their own at any range. Alternatively, some Fighting Styles, like Defense, Interception, or Blind Fighting, grant abilities that can be used in tandem with another Fighting Style. If a character wants to be a master combatant, Fighting Initiate is one of the better feats in 5e.

8/15 Shield Master

Player’s Handbook pg. 170

An Oath of Conquest Paladin in dark armor DnD

The Shield Master feat ensures a fighter is protected even when there are no support characters around. Fighters are most commonly found in the center of the battlefield, so they need to be protected. Shields can bump a fighter’s AC, but taking the Shield Master feat gives them more protection than ever before.

With this feat, players can add their shield’s AC bonus to Dexterity saving throws. It also gives them a version of the rogue’s Evasion ability, letting them completely negate damage when they succeed on a Dexterity saving throw. On top of its defensive features, it also lets a fighter shove creatures away or prone with a bonus action.

7/15 Tough

Player’s Handbook pg. 170

Berserker Barbarian in dnd facing off against a wolf

Fighters in D&D are expected to hit things and can expect to be hit right back. While wizards and sorcerers usually prefer to cast spells at safe distances, most fighter builds require the character to be up close and personal with their targets.

For those warriors who fill the role of party tank, the Tough feat is a must-have. Tough increases a fighter’s hit point maximum by an amount equal to twice their level and will increase it even more with each level up. Paired with a high Constitution score, the Tough feat will allow fighters to weather all manner of punishment.

6/15 Magic Initiate

Player’s Handbook pg. 168

A spellcaster maintaining concentration in Dnd

Spellcasting is one of the most useful and versatile tools in Dungeons & Dragons. Even fighters who don’t get spellcasting from their subclass might want a small amount of magic ability. The Magic Initiate feat is perfect for this. It gives the player’s choice of a single first-level spell to cast once per day, and two cantrips to use at will.

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Fighters can use Magic Initiate to improve their martial prowess or fill holes in their abilities. Cantrips like Minor Illusion or Prestidigitation can give a player a huge amount of out-of-combat utility. Spells like Hex are invaluable with a fighter’s many attacks. In general, most fighters can benefit from at least some spellcasting.

5/15 Lucky

Player’s Handbook pg. 167

A dnd 5e dark elf battling an immense armored skeleton

The Lucky feat is one of the best feats in D&D, giving a player three luck points. They can use a luck point to reroll an attack roll, ability check, or saving throw. These three encompass most of the significant rolls in D&D 5e. With the Lucky feat, a character gets to succeed more often at anything they turn their mind to.

A character can even use luck points on enemy rolls, potentially causing their enemy’s attack to miss or saving throw to fail. This feat is especially useful to fighters when fishing for critical strikes on their attacks or attempting to dodge an enemy’s devastating swing.

4/15 Sentinel

Player’s Handbook pg. 169

A fighter wearing heavy armor in DnD

Tanking can be difficult in 5e. Enemies might just walk past the fighter and focus on their more fragile teammates instead. The Sentinel feat makes a player’s opportunity attacks far more devastating for enemies and forces all attention on them.

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When a player hits with an opportunity attack, the enemy’s speed becomes zero, trapping them in place. Creatures also provoke their opportunity attacks even if they use the Disengage action. Additionally, when an enemy attacks another creature, a fighter with the Sentinel feat can use their reaction to make a counter-attack.

3/15 Polearm Master

Player’s Handbook pg. 168

A DnD Fighter wielding a glaive.

Polearm Master is a fantastic feat for any fighter specializing in reach weapons. Its benefits also extend to some non-reach weapons, like spears and quarterstaffs. When attacking with one of those weapons, the feat allows the wielder to make a bonus action attack with the other end of the weapon. For fighters, more attacks are always a good thing.

Additionally, when wielding any of those weapons or a pike, creatures provoke opportunity attacks when they enter that weapon’s reach instead of when they leave it. This gives yet another attack a fighter can make in a single round. Polearm Master famously combines incredibly well with the Sentinel feat, as it essentially allows a fighter to lock down a 10-foot area in all directions around them.

2/15 Crossbow Expert

Player’s Handbook pg. 165

A DnD fighter wielding a pair of hand crossbows

Crossbow Expert is ideal for many ranged fighters. It doesn’t just improve their ranged capabilities; it gives them some flexibility when enemies close to melee range. Crossbow Expert lets players ignore the disadvantage normally imposed on making ranged attacks against creatures within five feet of them. It also lets them ignore the Loading feature on crossbows, which is essential for making multiple attacks.

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When a player attacks with a one-handed weapon, they can make a bonus action attack with a hand crossbow they’re holding. This includes a hand crossbow, meaning Crossbow Expert can effectively give a crossbow-wielder an additional attack per turn. Overall, this feat makes fighters extremely dangerous to enemies all across the battlefield.

1/15 Great Weapon Master & Sharpshooter

Player’s Handbook pgs. 167 & 170

DND warforged wielding a large sword

The Great Weapon Master and Sharpshooter feats are some of the best in the game, but they are especially effective for fighters. For melee-focused fighters, Great Weapon Master grants an additional attack when the fighter score a critical hit or reduces an enemy to zero hit points. Before making a melee attack with a heavy weapon, they can also reduce the attack roll to gain +10 to the damage.

Sharpshooter provides the same attack roll reduction/damage buff, but to ranged attacks, and lets the player ignore the disadvantage imposed on long-range attacks. These feats are some of the best damage increases in all of 5e. Particularly with a fighter’s many attacks, they turn a character into a force to be reckoned with.

NEXT: Every D&D Class, Ranked By Combat Ability

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