Level Up (A5E) Fighter Specialization: Best Maneuvers


While combing through the maneuvers, I developed my list of maneuvers I think are really good for Fighter's to specialize in.

Ultimately the best specialization have several traits from this list:
  • 2+ exertion cost
  • Allows multiple attacks (to maximize the +2 damage per attack)
  • Uses a saving throw.
  • General/Spammable Maneuvers (as opposed to more niche ones that will see less use)
  • Scalable, aka a maneuver I will keep forever and not swap out (technically you cannot retrain specializations by the letter of the RAW)

So here is my short list:

1st Tier
  • Catch your Breath: Doubles your healing with this maneuver, if your focusing on toughness this is great.
  • **Lean into It: Checks all the boxes.
  • Striding Swings - This is a maneuver I could use quite a lot especially at lower levels, and its still a useful one later on.
  • Mounted Charge - If your doing a lot of open field combat, you can get a lot of use out of spamming this one.
2nd Tier
  • Twist the Blade - What's nice about this one, is because you get the damage bonus on the triggering attack, you actually get double the benefit since you know its a crit. However, this is not a scalable maneuver if you plan to extend your crit range.
  • **Stunning Assault - This may be the GOAT maneuver for specialization, checking all the boxes on the list. At 3 exertion its sometimes a bit pricey, but at 2....I would use this all day everyday.
  • Primal Intercept - Decent one to spam extra attacks.
3rd Tier
  • Missile Volley - Lots of attacks and reduced exertion cost = lots of bonus damage.
  • Heightened Reflexes - Getting +2 reactions for 1 exertion opens up a lot of combos.
  • Whirlwind Strike - Similar to Missile Volley
  • Instinctive Counterattack - One exertion for a straight up extra attack with +2 damage, oh yeah.
  • Disarming Assault - Decent for more damage and better disarm.

4th Tier
  • Spinning Parry - Probably rare for a Fighter to specialize in a mist and shade maneuver, but this one is pretty solid. 1 exertion makes this very spammable, and a bonus on stun dcs is never bad.
  • Mistaken Parry - Its all about the parries at 4th tier!

5th Tier
  • Blinding Strikes - Spammable blind with extra damage sounds pretty good. At 2 exertion this maneuver becomes a lot more generally useful.
  • Tidal Parry - Helps the spam and the save to avoid damage, so pretty solid.
  • United we Stand - If you rule that all attacks the maneuver generates triggers the damage bonus, than this one can generate a whole lot of damage.
  • Furious Barrage - Makes the really damage maneuver even more high damage.

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One cool combo for "double specialization" is Heightened Reflexes + Instinctive Counterattack (requires 15th level fighter).

Heightened Reflexes provides extra reactions which are converted into attacks with Instinctive Counterattack.

1 exertion = +1 attack (just IC)
4 exertion = +3 attacks (HR + IC)
6 exertion = +4 attacks (HR + IC, max HR)

And all of these attacks have +2 damage. Probably the strongest "damage nova" for maneuvers that I find in my quick searching.

For those scoring at home, a super high level fighter with +6 prof bonus could make 6 attacks a round for 3 rounds straight, all with +2 damage (which would probably be a big THW)

Now at 20th level, you can choose instinctive counterattack to be free. That turns into

0 exertion = +1 attack
1 exertion = +3 attacks
2 exertion = +4 attacks

Such a fighter can make 7 attacks a round for 6 rounds straight. Now that's 20th level!
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