[5e] Please, help me choose a feat

GaledMORE

Villager
Hello folks, sorry for putting you through the ordeal of reading a textwall written in poor English, but I'm no native speaker and I need an external (and quite urgent) advice for my build.

I'm playing a level 7 Half Orc BattleMaster (STR Build, Dueling Fighting style) wielding a +1 Longsword and a +1 shield. The party I'm in (Rogue, Bard, Wizard, Cleric) is pretty squishy, with only the Cleric being able to take a beating; I'm also the only character that gets in the thick of melee, as the other players prefer a more cautious ranged approach (yes, even the Cleric). So, naturally, I end up filling the role of the tank and I'm always the first, and sometimes to only one, to be targeted during battle. So I need a way to improve my bulk and battlefield control, and I'm thinking of multiclassing into barbarian after level 8 as I have the DEX to pull it off without massive repercussions on my AC... but first I'd like to get a feat and I've been absurdly indecisive about it.
  • On paper, Sentinel looks like a match made in heaven for my fighter and it's my primary choice, but I'm not totally sold on its actual utility. On my table we can go for months without a monster provoking OAs, as the DM loves to throw at us small armies instead of single big monster. My character always get surrounded and beaten by enemies holding their ground, so I won't get much mileage from the speed reducing feature. Is the reaction attack in clutch situations, on top of a possibile maneuver, really worth a feat?
  • Shield master is a close second, seeing as my table rules it without the errata; I can't really use the bash to push prone the opponent without hampering the rest of the party, but the push back is nice for preventing OAs, and the half-evasion comboes really well with the barbarian levels I'm about to take.
  • Resilient Wisdom is always good, as my WIS score is only 10 and I dig the idea of a Steel will fighter.
Based on these limited informations, which feat should I take?
Sorry again for the textwall, and thank you in advance for any suggestion.
 

FrogReaver

Adventurer
Hello folks, sorry for putting you through the ordeal of reading a textwall written in poor English, but I'm no native speaker and I need an external (and quite urgent) advice for my build.

I'm playing a level 7 Half Orc BattleMaster (STR Build, Dueling Fighting style) wielding a +1 Longsword and a +1 shield. The party I'm in (Rogue, Bard, Wizard, Cleric) is pretty squishy, with only the Cleric being able to take a beating; I'm also the only character that gets in the thick of melee, as the other players prefer a more cautious ranged approach (yes, even the Cleric). So, naturally, I end up filling the role of the tank and I'm always the first, and sometimes to only one, to be targeted during battle. So I need a way to improve my bulk and battlefield control, and I'm thinking of multiclassing into barbarian after level 8 as I have the DEX to pull it off without massive repercussions on my AC... but first I'd like to get a feat and I've been absurdly indecisive about it.
  • On paper, Sentinel looks like a match made in heaven for my fighter and it's my primary choice, but I'm not totally sold on its actual utility. On my table we can go for months without a monster provoking OAs, as the DM loves to throw at us small armies instead of single big monster. My character always get surrounded and beaten by enemies holding their ground, so I won't get much mileage from the speed reducing feature. Is the reaction attack in clutch situations, on top of a possibile maneuver, really worth a feat?
  • Shield master is a close second, seeing as my table rules it without the errata; I can't really use the bash to push prone the opponent without hampering the rest of the party, but the push back is nice for preventing OAs, and the half-evasion comboes really well with the barbarian levels I'm about to take.
  • Resilient Wisdom is always good, as my WIS score is only 10 and I dig the idea of a Steel will fighter.
Based on these limited informations, which feat should I take?
Sorry again for the textwall, and thank you in advance for any suggestion.
Take 1 level of barbarian and then take sentinel.
 

Esker

Explorer
Would you say your highest priority is being better able at protecting your allies, or better able at surviving being ganged up on? Sentinel helps you do the first; a level of barbarian helps you do the second.

Shield Master would mostly be a damage feat for you in the context of your table's ruling on it. Since you tend to fight lots of small enemies, the disadvantage to your allies is less worrisome, since you don't need to focus fire as much.

I think @FrogReaver's suggestion is a good one: get that damage resistance a couple times a day when you need it most first, then worry about the feat at level 9.

If you don't think you'll get a lot out of Sentinel being the only melee focused character, you could also consider taking something simple like Tough. Heavy Armor Master is also really good vs Hordes, though I take it you already maxed your STR.
 

GaledMORE

Villager
I think self-survival is a tad more important, for now. So yeah, taking a Barbarian level first and choosing a feat second seems like a good idea. I don't know, maybe monsters will disengage more often in attempt to stop my rage, making Sentinel a more appealing choice. If they mob me even more, well... Tough its good enough.
 

Mort

Community Supporter
Barbarian seems a very solid choice.

Is your strength maxed? If not, heavy armor master is a good choice since you tend to fight hordes. Though I think taking barbarian first is likely better.

If you do go barbarian, considering your party makeup and tactics (they stay at range, you're in melee), if you can make 2 more levels of barbarian then wolf totem might be a big benefit (giving everyone advantage against your adjacent opponents). Everyone seems to go bear, but wolf is highly under rated.
 

GaledMORE

Villager
Sadly HAM in incompatible with Barbarian restrictions and, as supposed by Esker, my STR is already maxxed; half a feat would go to waste. I've already planned to go Barbarian anyway, until the supposed end of the campaign around lvl12 or so.
 

delph

Explorer
What about 3 lvls barbarian - ancestral guardian And than mobile feat... When someone slip around you, you come back, hit him And go back...
 

delph

Explorer
Od two lvlsof barbarian to get danger sensei, than shild master And get in middle And your casters send few fireballs arond you... You'll have +7 + Dex + advantage...
 

TwoSix

Lover of things you hate
Od two lvlsof barbarian to get danger sensei, than shild master And get in middle And your casters send few fireballs arond you... You'll have +7 + Dex + advantage...
I know this is a typo, but I really wish there was a class feature called "danger sensei". :)
 

GaledMORE

Villager
Yeah, as I said -barring a sudden death- I'll take four levels of Barbarian
Danger sensei it's fitting for a Monk, but they're already proficient in DEX saves. :' )
 

FrogReaver

Adventurer
I think self-survival is a tad more important, for now. So yeah, taking a Barbarian level first and choosing a feat second seems like a good idea. I don't know, maybe monsters will disengage more often in attempt to stop my rage, making Sentinel a more appealing choice. If they mob me even more, well... Tough its good enough.
A few thoughts,
1. Keep a couple of thrown weapons on you for disengaging enemies

2. I recommend Con or even inspiring leader over tough if you decide to ho this route. Con also helps against some paralazation effects and some of the enemies harder attacks can be Con save based. With rage you won't have any issue surviving attacks especially if there's a healer in the party (it also helps your unarmored defense and by the time you max it, you will have as much ac without armor as medium armor gives you). Inspiring leader gives you and your allies more effective hp in the day than tough does.

3. Reskless attack is also a great ability to punish enemies when they don't focus on you.

4. Given that you are the only tank and getting focused and downed a lot I would suggest bear totem. Higher level enemies are more likely to have elemental attacks.

5. Shield Master isn't good for you because prone makes ranged attacks be at disadvantage and your party is mostly ranged. Avoid this feat unless you just want the defensive aspects (i'd take more con before I would this).

6. I also recomed to strongly take a look at the resilient wisdom feat. It's only a matter of time before something debilates you with a save or suck wisdom saving through spell.
 

delph

Explorer
Can I add my Feats question?
I have an idea about Halfling Battle Master 12/Arcane Trickster 8. It gives me 6 ASi (thinking about BM8/AT12 give 7 ASi, but it have worse dmg ber battle). Rapier + shield. I have chosen some feats, but don't know when taking them.

Resilient Dex (started as fighter, but have odd stat od dex)
Shield Master
Magic initiate (warlock - hex)
Dex +2
Defensive duelant (when I can't do riposte, I'll have really high AC)
Medium Armor Master (not sure, I could cast Mage armor with AC 13 +5 dex + shield. That's good as best medium armor with this feat)

and a pool of others - lucky, bountiful luck, observant (going to the deep dungeon), savage attacker, Resilient Wis, Alert, sentinel, ...

The Idea of character is "hard to hit me" (High AC, High Dex saves)
 

S'mon

Legend
Barbarian is the best way to not die.
However against the minion hordes Heavy Armour Master's -3 damage per hit vs mundane BPS can be very effective too. Worth considering if you don't (edit: didn't) already have STR 20, or if the GM lets you move a stat point.

Edit: Obviously, if you are going Barb, then no point in HAM as you say.
 

delph

Explorer
Can I add my Feats question?
I have an idea about Halfling Battle Master 12/Arcane Trickster 8. It gives me 6 ASi (thinking about BM8/AT12 give 7 ASi, but it have worse dmg ber battle). Rapier + shield. I have chosen some feats, but don't know when taking them.

Resilient Dex (started as fighter, but have odd stat od dex)
Shield Master
Magic initiate (warlock - hex)
Dex +2
Defensive duelant (when I can't do riposte, I'll have really high AC)
Medium Armor Master (not sure, I could cast Mage armor with AC 13 +5 dex + shield. That's good as best medium armor with this feat)

and a pool of others - lucky, bountiful luck, observant (going to the deep dungeon), savage attacker, Resilient Wis, Alert, sentinel, ...

The Idea of character is "hard to hit me" (High AC, High Dex saves)
answer to myself - first feat will be for 50% Dex Resilient -> +1 Attack, +1 Dmg, +1 AC, +4 Dex saves + 1 dex Skill checks
after it, it's blurry... thinking about magic inititate - 2 attacks + riposte/opportunity attack * hex = 3k6 dmg per round + some cantrips...
 

Esker

Explorer
answer to myself - first feat will be for 50% Dex Resilient -> +1 Attack, +1 Dmg, +1 AC, +4 Dex saves + 1 dex Skill checks
after it, it's blurry... thinking about magic inititate - 2 attacks + riposte/opportunity attack * hex = 3k6 dmg per round + some cantrips...
What order are you planning to take your levels?
 

delph

Explorer
Now I'm 1/1 started as fighter, and plan to go Fig 6 (7)/ Rog 4 (10)/ Fig 12 (16)/ Rog 8 (20)
Dex 17
 

Esker

Explorer
Now I'm 1/1 started as fighter, and plan to go Fig 6 (7)/ Rog 4 (10)/ Fig 12 (16)/ Rog 8 (20)
Dex 17
I think Resilient (DEX) at 5th is reasonable, since it boosts your DEX while giving you something else too, though I might rather have the Halfling feat Second Chance for that --- would give you a way to cancel crits, which AC can't do. On the other hand you will eventually have a lot of things competing for your reaction.

Something to think about: When you are Fighter 5 / Rogue 1 and leveling up to 7th, is there a feat that's worth more to you than cunning action? If not, just take Rogue 2 instead. And then, if you're Fighter 5 / Rogue 2, is there a feat worth more to you than three cantrips and three spells known? If not, just take Rogue 3.

If your really focused on being hard to kill, you might even want to consider going to Fighter 1 / Rogue 8, for all of the great defensive benefits arcane tricksters get at those levels: Shield at Rogue 3, Uncanny Dodge at 5, Evasion and Mirror Image at 7.

Note that magic initiate warlock will only allow you to cast your spell once a day, even if you later gain spell slots from arcane trickster, since you won't be a warlock. So you can potentially get 3d6 damage for a few rounds (if you get a reaction attack every round). It may be worth it; cantrips are nice to have, and it would give you a little bit of "burstiness" for the big fight of the day, as opposed to slightly higher damage all the time, as from maxing DEX.

You could consider Magic Initiate (Wizard), which would give the cantrips plus a spell that, once you get to Rogue 3 you can cast with your regular spell slots. You could take Find Familiar, which you would rarely need to cast more than once a day anyway, or take Shield, which frees up your "any school" pick at Rogue 3 (although RAW you can't cast it with your hands full without war caster). No point in taking Mage Armor before your DEX is maxed, but you could take that with an AT pick later if you wanted.

I'm not sure I'd take either of those at 7th over just the +2 DEX, though.

If you are playing the tank and staying next to enemies on purpose (as opposed to using cunning action disengage), then you should probably take Sentinel at some point. It complements riposte, since you use it when they attack somebody else, and gives you another way to get an off-turn sneak attack.

Lucky is always good, and fits well with a Halfling.

I think what I'd probably do if going to Fighter 5 first is take Second Chance at 5th, then go Fighter 5 / Rogue 3 (take Shield), then grab +2 DEX at 9th and your favorite feat at 10th: maybe Magic Initiate (Wizard) for Find Familiar or Mage Armor, maybe Medium Armor Master, maybe Lucky.

Then I'd be Fighter 6 / Rogue 4. If I'm leaning hard into tanking, I'd probably go Rogue 5-7 next for Uncanny Dodge and Evasion, as well as Mirror Image (and trade up a spell for Shadow Blade too; it's just too good not to grab, especially since you have two attacks). Then get to Fighter 8 / Rogue 8 for two more feats.
 
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