Here Are The Most Popular D&D Feats (War Caster Leads The Pack!)

It's time for some more D&D Beyond stats! This time we take a look at the most popular feats! War Caster, Tough, Lucky, and Sharpshooter lead the pack. We recently looked at stats for adventures, classes by tier, subclasses, and multi class combinations.

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The last time DDB looked at this, the number of characters using feats was lower than it is now. Once feats come in properly at levels 4-7, over a third of characters choose a feat. By the time they reach 8th level, half of characters are using feats.


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These are the most popular feats across all classes. A year ago, the dev says that Great Weapon Master was in the top four.



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And here we have the top feats broken down by class.

See the full dev video here.
 

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Russ Morrissey

Russ Morrissey

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
I’m puzzled that feats are less popular with the highest level characters than with characters in the 2nd highest level range.
 

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icedrake

Explorer
I wonder how many of these characters are used in play, or are thought experiments people do as a form of solo play to build a theoretical character.
 


Parmandur

Book-Friend
I wonder how many of these characters are used in play, or are thought experiments people do as a form of solo play to build a theoretical character.

Worth covering again: these numbers are only for characters who have been filtered to reflect those in actual use. Not perfect, but they have methods to eliminate test PCs from the demographics.
 

ClaytonCross

Kinder reader Inflection wanted
Levels 12-16: 58% use feats.
Levels 17-20: 57% use feats.

So what we are saying is that ... Tier IV characters have been .... defeated.


I can leave now; my job is done.

I am thinking based off the previous slides where they pointed out that character play after level 10 drops off, that is simply a result of campaigns restarting at lower level. Not 1% is not much of a variation (especially since these seem to be rounded % so it could be as low as .5%) so I imagine if they are polling only active characters it will fall below and rise above the 12-16 level usage as characters go inactive. This is just where we are right now.

I get that your joking because we have talked quite a bit over the years, this counter point is more for those who are taking your post too seriously in the defense of not using feats. I know your not a fan but there is a majority that does by a 14% gap 57 vs 43. I am actually surprised its as close as it is. Though I am reasonably sure the lead is based more on the joy of customization than on the believe that feats are need for optimization. That's pretty clear to me by the fact they are at 34% at level 4 when even characters that rolled a perfect 18 primary stat would get more out of a +2 to that stat than any feat (we use point by so unlucky players aren't horrible every game, which caps them at 16-17 making that more true).
 

Staffan

Legend
I wonder how many of the Actor bards or Observant monks/clerics/druids, or Keen mind wizards are variant humans who took the feat for the stat bonus.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
Not enough people seem to realise the awesome power of Polearm Master!

Magical polearmns are rare in WoTC adventures. omes down to DM may I, so GWM+ somethign else might be beter.

Babarian raging dual wielding longswords might be another example of doing something similar to PAM bu with more common magical variants.

Sharpshooter+ warcaster are top 5 feats material. So is healer IMHO but its boring and power doesn't always represent popularity.

Every caster seems to know warcaster is good, figured that out in 2014.
 

Staffan

Legend
I'm surprised [Sharpshooter's] not more popular with Fighters. I've been having a great time playing a ranged Battlemaster.

Probably because most people playing fighters would rather mix it up in melee. I mean, ranged fighters are perfectly viable, but it's not the common way to play the class.

That's one of the things I sort of liked about 4e, by the way. It specifically had fighters as being melee-focused. You want to play a dude who shoots people? That's the ranger.
 

iserith

Magic Wordsmith
For some reason, people on message boards always forget that 2/3rds of Sharpshooter is dedicated to boosting accuracy. Despite the accuracy boost being the most powerful and impactful part of the feat (which makes it head and shoulders more powerful than it's cousin, GWM), the -5/+10 mod is all people talk about. It really shows you that people only pay attention to big numbers, despite the little ones adding up to more.

In my experience, most DMs don't really make a big deal about cover, so I bet many people don't see that as the best benefit since cover doesn't come up as much as perhaps it should. (With all the usual caveats about how a game "should" be.)
 

S'mon

Legend
Magical polearmns are rare in WoTC adventures. omes down to DM may I, so GWM+ somethign else might be beter.

Never occurred to me to worry about having a magic weapon when my non magical one is doing 60-80 damage a round at level 5. :D

The great thing about polearm master is how it stacks with greatweapon master and barbarian reckless attack. I get 3 attacks with advantage at -5/+10 from 10' away (2 d10s and if neither killed foe a bonus 1 d4, plus Rage & STR added to all, x2 Rage if GM allows Slayer Barbarian from Primeval Thule), then step back and get a fourth attack as a reaction when enemy enters my reach.

Barb-5 STR 16 human barbarian with gw & pm has 2 points of Rage & is hitting for (3x advtg & -5 reckless gwm) d10+15, d10+15, d4+15, and a reaction (standard bonus) for d10+5.
 
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Zardnaar

Legend
Never occurred to me to worry about having a magic weapon when my non magical one is doing 60-80 damage a round at level 5. :D

The great thing about polearm master is how it stacks with greatweapon master and barbarian reckless attack. I get 3 attacks with advantage at -5/+10 from 10' away (2 d10s and if neither killed foe a bonus 1 d4, plus Rage & STR added to all, x2 Rage if GM allows Slayer Barbarian from Primeval Thule), then step back and get a fourth attack as a reaction when enemy enters my reach.

Barb-5 STR 16 human barbarian with gw & pm has 2 points of Rage & is hitting for (3x advtg & -5 reckless gwm) d10+15, d10+15, d4+15, and a reaction (standard bonus) for d10+5.

And then you come across somehtign requiring a magic weapon and the magic longsword or great sword (that are more common) deal more than you.

But yeah I would put PAM in the top 5 feats along with warcaster, healer, sharpshoter and GWM. CBE is good but really needs sharpshooter to shine, all those 5 feats I listed are great all by themselves though warcaster might get competition from resilient: con
 

ClaytonCross

Kinder reader Inflection wanted
I looked over this and thought nothing surprising here.... until I saw "Warcaster" as the #1 feat for paladin....Am I missing something? Why would Warcaster be a priority on class known for focusing their spell slots on smite damage? I know they have some concentration spells (Shield of Faith being a big one maybe the biggest) but when I see paladins in combat tanking hits in the thick of melee and not using the opportunity attack spell and when they cast the are usually out of combat when sheathing or setting down their weapon making the casting somatic components while holding a weapon not so useful. I don't see many paladins trading a concentration spell for 2 chances for mighty smiting. Polearm master for a third smite and heavy weapon master for better tanking make perfect since. It just makes me scratch my head a little.

Are Oath of Devotion's Beacon of Hope spell is good but doesn't seem enough to justify it alone. Oath of Vengeance's Hold Person/Monster combine with could make the a popular choice for them I guess and being the second most common subclass selection. Perhaps the Paladin muti-classes with Warlock, Sorcerer, and Bard to a lesser extent are raising this?

... but if your only using it for concentrations saves why not Resilient (CON)? Paladins are not proficient with con saves if concentration is your only goal then this is more effective and has broader useful implications. Its kind of surprising to me to see a half caster melee class with a priority of burning spell slots by not casting spells focusing on a feat that allows for combat cast and spell reaction attacks.


Are Paladin using "Thunderous smite" and/or "Blinding smite" spells as opportunity attacks enough to justify this feat?

Note: I have yet to play a paladin in 5e so I may very well be missing something. Just curious.
 
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S'mon

Legend
And then you come across somehtign requiring a magic weapon and the magic longsword or great sword (that are more common) deal more than you.

Never seen this come up; admittedly I've never played at high level. But I'd think my approach still does well vs critters with Resistance, though a backup +1 greatsword might be handy.
 

Mistwell

Crusty Old Meatwad (he/him)
I wonder how many of the Actor bards or Observant monks/clerics/druids, or Keen mind wizards are variant humans who took the feat for the stat bonus.

In the right hands, a bard with the Actor feat can be devastating. The bard in our party has that feat, as his only feat, and he's worked wonders with it.

It's also, however, how he ended up impregnating a succubus. So there's that.
 

FrogReaver

As long as i get to be the frog
I looked over this and thought nothing surprising here.... until I saw "Warcaster" as the #1 feat for paladin....Am I missing something? Why would Warcaster be a priority on class known for focusing their spell slots on smite damage? I know they have some concentration spells (Shield of Faith being a big one maybe the biggest) but when I see paladins in combat tanking hits in the thick of melee and not using the opportunity attack spell and when they cast the are usually out of combat when sheathing or setting down their weapon making the casting somatic components while holding a weapon not so useful. I don't see many paladins trading a concentration spell for 2 chances for mighty smiting. Polearm master for a third smite and heavy weapon master for better tanking make perfect since. It just makes me scratch my head a little.

Are Oath of Devotion's Beacon of Hope spell is good but doesn't seem enough to justify it alone. Oath of Vengeance's Hold Person/Monster combine with could make the a popular choice for them I guess and being the second most common subclass selection. Perhaps the Paladin muti-classes with Warlock, Sorcerer, and Bard to a lesser extent are raising this?

... but if your only using it for concentrations saves why not Resilient (CON)? Paladins are not proficient with con saves if concentration is your only goal then this is more effective and has broader useful implications. Its kind of surprising to me to see a half caster melee class with a priority of burning spell slots by not casting spells focusing on a feat that allows for combat cast and spell reaction attacks.


Are Paladin using "Thunderous smite" and/or "Blinding smite" spells as opportunity attacks enough to justify this feat?

Note: I have yet to play a paladin in 5e so I may very well be missing something. Just curious.

Paladin multiclass with bard/sorcerer is fairly common. Maybe the multiclass characters coupled with guides always recommending high concentration saves are enough to put it at 1.
 

ClaytonCross

Kinder reader Inflection wanted
Paladin multiclass with bard/sorcerer is fairly common. Maybe the multiclass characters coupled with guides always recommending high concentration saves are enough to put it at 1.

It still seems like Paladin/X would favor Resilient CON over Warcaster but then its possible this metric includes X/Paladin and if your primarily a warlock, bard, or sorcerer you might have taken for that then taken 2 level of paladin for armor proficiency and smite incase of melee engagement. It that case It would make more since.
 



Zardnaar

Legend
An overabundance of Charisma based character classes who might take advantage of such a feat. Combine that with martial feats that are equal to PAM is usefulness.

And those chasima based classes are also very powerful as well (Paladin, Warlock DPR, Lore Bards).

And Sorcerers are a lot better than they get credit for. Sorcerer+ warcaster means you flunk very few con saves short of somethign like Dragon breath. Its 1 in 400 except vs uber damage to get the DC higher than 10. Best buffer in the game and you can be something like the divine soul and pick up spirit guardians mixed with green flame blade and do alright in melee as well. Mountain Dwarf for example with rolled stats of cha 16+.
 

Parmandur

Book-Friend
I looked over this and thought nothing surprising here.... until I saw "Warcaster" as the #1 feat for paladin....Am I missing something? Why would Warcaster be a priority on class known for focusing their spell slots on smite damage? I know they have some concentration spells (Shield of Faith being a big one maybe the biggest) but when I see paladins in combat tanking hits in the thick of melee and not using the opportunity attack spell and when they cast the are usually out of combat when sheathing or setting down their weapon making the casting somatic components while holding a weapon not so useful. I don't see many paladins trading a concentration spell for 2 chances for mighty smiting. Polearm master for a third smite and heavy weapon master for better tanking make perfect since. It just makes me scratch my head a little.

Are Oath of Devotion's Beacon of Hope spell is good but doesn't seem enough to justify it alone. Oath of Vengeance's Hold Person/Monster combine with could make the a popular choice for them I guess and being the second most common subclass selection. Perhaps the Paladin muti-classes with Warlock, Sorcerer, and Bard to a lesser extent are raising this?

... but if your only using it for concentrations saves why not Resilient (CON)? Paladins are not proficient with con saves if concentration is your only goal then this is more effective and has broader useful implications. Its kind of surprising to me to see a half caster melee class with a priority of burning spell slots by not casting spells focusing on a feat that allows for combat cast and spell reaction attacks.


Are Paladin using "Thunderous smite" and/or "Blinding smite" spells as opportunity attacks enough to justify this feat?

Note: I have yet to play a paladin in 5e so I may very well be missing something. Just curious.

D&DB statistics on have demonstrated that people aren't really optimizing (a minority of Warlocks take Eldritch Blast as a spell, for example). Is War Caster ideal for a Paladin? Nope. But if someone likes the flavor, they'll take it.
 

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