Level Up (A5E) Feats: Winners / Losers

Stalker0

Legend
So now that we have LU, time to dig in and create controversy! Lets start with feats, what feats knocked it out of the park, which ones didn't make it out of the nest?

This is right now a pure read analysis, playtime may change my experience, but lets see how the feats "feel" upon initial read.

Also note, not all feats are listed here. I am only highlighting feats that I think are especially good or notably bad. Feats that are just solid are not noted.

Winners
Bladechanter - A pretty solid buff to this MC combo that I think invokes the "bladesinger" concept in a very good way.

Combat Thievery - Whether your a mist and shade user or just a rogue looking to be more "handsy", this is a fun feat that opens up some new niches and is one where the DM and player can work together to create some neat scenes.

Deadeye (Sharpshooter) - I think this was a solid way to adjust what some consider an OP feat in original. You gain more range without making it ridiculous, and you get a damage boost but not to the extent of the original. So on that alone you might go "well damn this just a nerf". However, I think the introduction of the ricochet free maneuver brings it back, that is a cool and fun way to add more oomph back into the feat without OPing it, and so the final result is a solid package. This is fixing feats done right.

Hardy Adventurer (Tough): Tough was always on the edge of a really good feat, and this little bump brings it up a solid notch. This is now the ultimate "I want to be tough" feat, its simple and awesome.

Martial Scholar - I feel like this will quickly become a go to feat for many characters, just on the fact it increases your exertion pool by ~50%. The fact you get two new maneuvers on top is gravy.

Mystic Arcanist - The ability to adjust your spell list on the fly (ESPECIALLY for the sorceror) is so freakin cool and amazing that this feat becomes solid gold. Its so good I honestly wish the sorc had something like this as a default, as that alone could have singlehandedly saved the class for me.

Spellbreaker (MageSlayer) - This was a decent feat before, but this updated version adds some nice benefits. First, you can now use reach weapons with this ability (a silly oversight of the OG version to me). But the real gem is that you get advantage on spells cast within 30 feet of you. That is a major boost from the 5 feet one before, and suddenly gives them feat a lot more general utility.

Surgical Combatant - this is both a neat flavored feat, and gives a solid skill benefits that is boosted by a very nice combat boost.

Losers
Brutal Attack (Savage Attacker) - This one is generally considered a weak feat in O5e and it has gotten no love in LU, its still just not enough oomph to justify a feat slot.

Fear Breaker - The flavor of this one is cool, and I like the idea of augmenting an existing manuever. That said, this is still a very niche scenario (fear effects tend to be a 1st round hit most of the time, so how often will a character get to crit and apply the bonus to a fear save that will occur later in the round....I think that will be rare). Removing Rattled seems nice...but most of the effects I have seen so far this doesn't happen all that much. I think this feat is just a little too niche, and when I have precious few feats to take something like this goes to the bottom of the line.

Grappler - A weak feat in O5e made even weaker as this feat doesn't provide the "large creature can no longer auto escape grapples" protection.

Keen Mind - This feat is at the bottom of the O5e totem pole to begin with, and now unless you have an 18 or better int, its actually even weaker!

Monster Hunter - This is a grab bag feat that I think is almost there, but the douse manuever is a problem. Its a fine maneuver, but it feels weird with the rest of these abilities, and I think that removes a slot that could have gone to rounded up this feat and making it solid. So the result is a feat that feels clunky when its so close to being good.

Arcanum Master - The ability to choose what type of damage your spell deals is nice.....but not as the capstone of a 3 feat chain. The only reason I see to use this feat is to make everything force or radiant so you can use pure arcanist with it. I mean that's solid, but its not a full feat worth. The other half of this feat pure ribbon and frankly its bad ribbon...becomes what cold hearted DM doesn't allow a player to specify the appearance of their spells? This feat could use some love.

Powerful Attacker (Great Weapon Master) - GWM is commonly cited as an example of an OP feat, one that gives feats a bad name because its so commonly taken. And frankly I think this feat blows GWM out of the water. Now I can cleave whenever I want for free, no crit or drop to 0 required. You do lose the ability to double hit an enemy, but I think this version is just so much more generally useful. Further, the +10 damage is still there but now with disadvantage. The thing is there are so so many ways to negate disadvantage in the game. The old -5 attack was always felt, but its much easier to deal with the penalty in the current version. This feat is on the loser list for still being OP (maybe even more OP) than the original version. Frankly if this just gave the manuever for free (which is an expensive 2 exertion maneuver) that is probably enough.

Stalwart (Durable) - Considering the improvement to tough, was hoping to see some love for Durable, but this feat is still just ho hum.

Street Fighter (Tavern Brawler) - Another weak feat just begging for some improvement, another missed opportunity.


Oddities
In this section I'm just noting some things that seem strange but didn't cause any real power adjustments to feats.

Bladechanter - This slightly implies that seen spell components still require a free hand (they don't according to the book). It just implies it never outright states it.

Newborn - You could cut the language of this feat in half if you just say the Bite is a finesse weapon. The feat just uses sentences to describe the bite....as a finesse weapon. We have those keywords for a reason, no reason not to use them.
 

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So now that we have LU, time to dig in and create controversy! Lets start with feats, what feats knocked it out of the park, which ones didn't make it out of the nest?

This is right now a pure read analysis, playtime may change my experience, but lets see how the feats "feel" upon initial read.

Also note, not all feats are listed here. I am only highlighting feats that I think are especially good or notably bad. Feats that are just solid are not noted.

Winners
Bladechanter - A pretty solid buff to this MC combo that I think invokes the "bladesinger" concept in a very good way.

Combat Thievery - Whether your a mist and shade user or just a rogue looking to be more "handsy", this is a fun feat that opens up some new niches and is one where the DM and player can work together to create some neat scenes.

Deadeye (Sharpshooter) - I think this was a solid way to adjust what some consider an OP feat in original. You gain more range without making it ridiculous, and you get a damage boost but not to the extent of the original. So on that alone you might go "well damn this just a nerf". However, I think the introduction of the ricochet free maneuver brings it back, that is a cool and fun way to add more oomph back into the feat without OPing it, and so the final result is a solid package. This is fixing feats done right.

Hardy Adventurer (Tough): Tough was always on the edge of a really good feat, and this little bump brings it up a solid notch. This is now the ultimate "I want to be tough" feat, its simple and awesome.

Martial Scholar - I feel like this will quickly become a go to feat for many characters, just on the fact it increases your exertion pool by ~50%. The fact you get two new maneuvers on top is gravy.

Mystic Arcanist - The ability to adjust your spell list on the fly (ESPECIALLY for the sorceror) is so freakin cool and amazing that this feat becomes solid gold. Its so good I honestly wish the sorc had something like this as a default, as that alone could have singlehandedly saved the class for me.

Spellbreaker (MageSlayer) - This was a decent feat before, but this updated version adds some nice benefits. First, you can now use reach weapons with this ability (a silly oversight of the OG version to me). But the real gem is that you get advantage on spells cast within 30 feet of you. That is a major boost from the 5 feet one before, and suddenly gives them feat a lot more general utility.

Surgical Combatant - this is both a neat flavored feat, and gives a solid skill benefits that is boosted by a very nice combat boost.

Losers
Brutal Attack (Savage Attacker) - This one is generally considered a weak feat in O5e and it has gotten no love in LU, its still just not enough oomph to justify a feat slot.

Fear Breaker - The flavor of this one is cool, and I like the idea of augmenting an existing manuever. That said, this is still a very niche scenario (fear effects tend to be a 1st round hit most of the time, so how often will a character get to crit and apply the bonus to a fear save that will occur later in the round....I think that will be rare). Removing Rattled seems nice...but most of the effects I have seen so far this doesn't happen all that much. I think this feat is just a little too niche, and when I have precious few feats to take something like this goes to the bottom of the line.

Grappler - A weak feat in O5e made even weaker as this feat doesn't provide the "large creature can no longer auto escape grapples" protection.

Keen Mind - This feat is at the bottom of the O5e totem pole to begin with, and now unless you have an 18 or better int, its actually even weaker!

Monster Hunter - This is a grab bag feat that I think is almost there, but the douse manuever is a problem. Its a fine maneuver, but it feels weird with the rest of these abilities, and I think that removes a slot that could have gone to rounded up this feat and making it solid. So the result is a feat that feels clunky when its so close to being good.

Arcanum Master - The ability to choose what type of damage your spell deals is nice.....but not as the capstone of a 3 feat chain. The only reason I see to use this feat is to make everything force or radiant so you can use pure arcanist with it. I mean that's solid, but its not a full feat worth. The other half of this feat pure ribbon and frankly its bad ribbon...becomes what cold hearted DM doesn't allow a player to specify the appearance of their spells? This feat could use some love.

Powerful Attacker (Great Weapon Master) - GWM is commonly cited as an example of an OP feat, one that gives feats a bad name because its so commonly taken. And frankly I think this feat blows GWM out of the water. Now I can cleave whenever I want for free, no crit or drop to 0 required. You do lose the ability to double hit an enemy, but I think this version is just so much more generally useful. Further, the +10 damage is still there but now with disadvantage. The thing is there are so so many ways to negate disadvantage in the game. The old -5 attack was always felt, but its much easier to deal with the penalty in the current version. This feat is on the loser list for still being OP (maybe even more OP) than the original version. Frankly if this just gave the manuever for free (which is an expensive 2 exertion maneuver) that is probably enough.

Stalwart (Durable) - Considering the improvement to tough, was hoping to see some love for Durable, but this feat is still just ho hum.

Street Fighter (Tavern Brawler) - Another weak feat just begging for some improvement, another missed opportunity.


Oddities
In this section I'm just noting some things that seem strange but didn't cause any real power adjustments to feats.

Bladechanter - This slightly implies that seen spell components still require a free hand (they don't according to the book). It just implies it never outright states it.

Newborn - You could cut the language of this feat in half if you just say the Bite is a finesse weapon. The feat just uses sentences to describe the bite....as a finesse weapon. We have those keywords for a reason, no reason not to use them.
Great job and I agree with almost everything you have written. Personally I love Monster Hunter, in fact it is my favorite feat now in the game. The Douse maneuver is meant for the iconic action of throwing holly water on a creature and to me is very the magical appropriate.
 

ArcaneOverride

Villager
I think the Eldritch Archer feat chain is amazing! Its a huge improvement over the Arcane Archer from o5e. It gives abilities that are useful, very flavorful, and can be used most rounds. It makes the character a magic archer instead of someone who occasionally dabbles in magic archery

The first character I am going to be playing in LU is going for that feat chain.
 
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Newborn - You could cut the language of this feat in half if you just say the Bite is a finesse weapon. The feat just uses sentences to describe the bite....as a finesse weapon.
If they didn't use the wording "Finesse," then that means they didn't want it to qualify for Sneak Attack. Adepts experience something similar when they get the ability to use Dexterity for their Adept Weapons, including unarmed strikes, but it does not count as Finesse—therefore no Sneak Attacks.
 

I love the new feats in general, but removing my ability to get a feat at first level (through a Heritage/Culture) means that I doubt I will take advantage of them often unless they are absolutely crucial for my build. This is mostly because I usually play with groups that do Point Buy—if I roll for stats and start with an 18, you can bet I'm taking a feat at level 4.

I love the idea of the multiclass feat chains, but I'm really hesitant to give them a try. Feats are expensive in 5e, especially if you are using point buy—and you don't get them often. Having to take three levels in two different classes means that, at the earliest, you won't be able to get your first feat until level 7—you could then follow it up with the second feat in your chain at level 8 if you wanted to—but that's still a long time for the benefits to come online, and it leaves you with a lot of levels where your classes won't mesh well and you're missing out on 5th-level power boosts. Since most campaigns spend the strong majority of their time in tiers 1 and 2, not really being able to take advantage of multiclass feat chains until near the end of tier 2 feels really late. (For people who spend most of their time in higher levels, and thus this doesn't really matter, I'm mildly jealous.) That all said, I think this is a criticism of O5e design more than A5e—I'm really glad that A5e included these features! I just don't think the engine that A5e is building on was well-designed for it. Feat chains that don't require multiclassing, on the other hand, seem much more reasonable to me.
 


Stalker0

Legend
That all said, I think this is a criticism of O5e design more than A5e—I'm really glad that A5e included these features! I just don't think the engine that A5e is building on was well-designed for it. Feat chains that don't require multiclassing, on the other hand, seem much more reasonable to me.
I do think its a fair critique of A5e though. The majority of new feat content provided was these multiclass feats....which are things players cannot use until 7th level. Therefore that is a significant piece of content that many groups may not use until late in their campaigns.
 

Morrus

Well, that was fun
Staff member
I do think its a fair critique of A5e though. The majority of new feat content provided was these multiclass feats....which are things players cannot use until 7th level. Therefore that is a significant piece of content that many groups may not use until late in their campaigns.
We felt that we support higher level play better, and that our sweet spot level range is wider than O5E's, which meant we could include player options designed to span that level range.
 

Stalker0

Legend
We felt that we support higher level play better, and that our sweet spot level range is wider than O5E's, which meant we could include player options designed to span that level range.
I would also imagine that groups that like the "crunch" of LU are generally a bit more hard core and may like higher levels more....so it does make sense that the target audience goes a bit later than the standard.
 

We felt that we support higher level play better, and that our sweet spot level range is wider than O5E's, which meant we could include player options designed to span that level range.
Ah. Well, if that was the goal, you absolutely succeeded—these feats definitely seem designed to span a longer distance than many campaigns.
 

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