Feats. There’s so many feats and in so many different books. Which ones are the top picks? Of course, you know this depends on your character, but that’s also the problem: there’s so many feats for so many different characters, so there’s a lot of choices.
We will list out some of the top choice feats that we have found for fighters. These are based on our experiences and will definitely vary from game to game, so we’re going to assume that you’re playing in the traditional D&D high fantasy setting with a mix of role play and combat.
Be sure to check comments too, because while we’re only picking a few to highlight, there are many good choices and the D&D community is fantastic for giving arguments for how one spell may be better than others.
Great Weapon Master
Try to add a large bonus to your damage at the gamble of lowering you likelihood of landing the hit. Make an attack with a -5 to your attack roll to get +10 to your damage. If you manage to bring a target down to 0 hp, you can make an additional attack as a bonus action.
If you like to gamble to do more damage, this feat is perfect. The penalty to the attack roll is pretty large, so if you have bonuses to help compensate, then this is a great choice.
When you hit a creature with an opportunity attack, their speed becomes 0. Even if a target uses disengage action, you can still make an opportunity attack. And likely the biggest appeal, if a create within 5ft of you makes an attack against anyone other than you, you can use a reaction to make a melee weapon attack against them.
This feat gives more action economy to your fighter which otherwise does not get many. It is also a great choice for tanking: taking hits and attention away from your allies. Sentinel is especially a great pick at later levels when encounters start to have multiple enemies, moving and engaging the battlefield.
As long as you’re using a glaive, halberd, or quarterstaff, this feat adds more actions to your class. Polearm master will let you make an addition bonus action attack with the opposing side of your polearm (1d4 damage). Although this is a small piece of damage, it adds up, and since fighters do not get many bonus action choices, this may be a perfect fit to your arsenal.
On top of the bonus action attack, when an enemy gets within reach of you (usually 10ft) you can make an opportunity attack. If this is combined with sentinel, it could prevent the target from even being able to make a melee attack!
Similar to Great Weapon Master, Sharpshooter let’s you gamble for +10 damage to your attack by taking -5 to your attack roll. Arguably more beneficial, this feat also lets you ignore half cover and three quarters cover AC bonuses that targets get, and you no longer get disadvantage at long-ranged attack rolls.
If you intend to be a dedicated long-range fighter, this is really a must-have feat, because it will enable you to be effective at much greater distance, and no targets can rely on cover from you anymore. The extra damage might be worth the gamble, so long as you have extra bonuses to help compensate.
This feat can work well for ranged fighters who want to occasionally use melee, because it will negate the disadvantage you normally get on attack rolls with targets in 5ft. If you make an attack with a one-handed weapon, you can then make a bonus action with your hand crossbow, adding a powerful bonus action to your repertoire. On top of it all, being able to ignore loading properties keeps you consistently in the fight without worrying about reloading.
Heavy Armor master
This feat gives you a +1 to strength, half as good as the ability score improvement, but it also gives you damage reduction: any bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from non-magical weapons have their damage reduced by 3.
The trade off here is a balance between a small bump in your strength and reserving your hit points. If you’re in a position where you are taking hits for your team, this is a great choice to try and retain your health.
Being a defensive fighter, you may want to focus on opening all the options that you can with shields. This feat will allow you to make a bonus action to shove a creature within 5ft of you. Additionally, if you aren’t incapacitated, your shield’s AC can be added to any Dexterity saving throws. Lastly, you can use your shield as a reaction to take no damage if you are subject to something that makes you do a dexterity saving throw to take only half damage.
So long as you intend to constantly use a shield and favour a one-handed weapon, this is a fantastic feat. Not only with the shield itself increase your AC now, but you will get a dexterity bonus that you are probably lacking because of focusing on strength or constitution. Fighters do not get many bonus actions either, so adding any option is great, albeit shoving is very dependent on the environment.
Magic for fighters can be a tough balance unless you are an eldritch knight, but the ritual spells are very forgiving for time and need. By choosing this feat, you will have a ritual book which will have two 1st level spells from one of these classes: bard, cleric, druid, sorcerer, warlock, or wizard. You will then be able to cast these spells – which do not need spell slots – as you need.
Find Familiar would be a top choice as you could depend on the familiar for additional actions, such as Help to give you advantage on attacks, notwithstanding the limitless other possibilities a familiar adds.
Gotta go fast?! This feat adds 10 ft to your speed, ignores difficult terrain when you dash, and you can now make melee attacks and run away without provoking opportunity attacks. If you are aiming to focus on dealing damage and keeping distance, this is a great choice to poke an attack and keep yourself safely away.
One of the most versatile feats, luck gives you 3 luck points which can be used to roll an additional d20 whenever you make an ability check, saving throw, or attack. You can also use this on oncoming attacks made against you.
While this feat gives an advantage on any type of roll you need, it is especially useful if you are focusing on critical hits, like the champion build.