Best Feats for D&D Paladins | Arcane Eye (2024)

Published on April 26, 2024

Enhance your Paladin’s abilities with our comprehensive list of feats for Dungeons & Dragons 5th edition. Discover unique feats to amplify your combat prowess and strengthen your divine connection.

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Customizing Your D&D Paladin With Feats

A paladin’s customization doesn’t end with their oath; they can further specialize abilities through a selection of feats.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore the array of feats available in D&D 5e and evaluate their effectiveness for various paladin builds. Whether you seek to become an unyielding defender, a righteous avenger, or a beacon of divine healing, understanding the potential of feats will ensure that every aspect of your paladin’s strength is honed to perfection.

What is this guide?

This guide is meant as a deep dive into the best feats for the 5e paladin. For the full overview of the class, check out our paladin class guide.

To allow you to scan through the options quickly, we use the following color rating scheme:

  • Red isn’t going to contribute to the effectiveness of your character build at all
  • Orange Situationally good, but a below-average option otherwise
  • Green is a good option
  • Blue is a great option, you should strongly consider this option for your character
  • Sky Blue is an amazing option. If you do not take this option your character would not be optimized

Amazing Feats for Paladins

  • Chef: Like clerics, this feat does lean into the piety of the class origin. Plus, paladins don't have a lot of uses for bonus actions compared to other classes so the snacks provide a good bonus to healing on top of your Lay on Hands.
  • Ember of the Fire Giant: While this feat can’t be combined with your Divine Smite, it offers enough value in the ASI, defensive boost, and attack option that it’ll work in just about any paladin build.
  • Fury of the Frost Giant: Perfect ASIs, good defensive boost, and a potent reaction ability. This is a solid choice for paladins as long as you'll be avoiding a Polearm Master or Sentinel build.
  • Gift of the Gem Dragon: This is an awesome ability for paladins, who get to boost their Charisma and gain a powerful defensive reaction.
  • Great Weapon Master: Paladins will adore this feat. It can add tons of damage and works well for all of their subclasses, and they don’t need to compromise their spellcasting for a Heavy weapon. This paired with a Vengeance paladin for Vow of Enmity's advantage on attacks would create a near-perfect killing machine.
  • Inspiring Leader: Perfect mechanically and flavor-wise for Charisma-focused paladins.
  • Lucky: Just a straight-up, damn good feat that's made even better by the paladin's ability to output a ton of damage when they hit. This is especially beneficial because it can result in more crits, which nets more opportunities for supercharged smites.
  • Polearm Master: Paladins love this feat because it provides significant extra attacks. Paladins can use the bonus action and the opportunity attacks to trigger extra smites. Polearm Master, paired with Sentinel and some heavy armor, makes paladins an even more terrifying presence on the battlefield.

Great Feats for Paladins

  • Agent of Order: Pump your Strength, Constitution, or Charisma and get the ability to output extra damage and potentially lock down a target for a turn. This is a great ability for paladins who would love being able to follow up their Stasis Strike with an attack with advantage so they have a higher chance of landing smites.
  • Alert: Being tanks, paladins want to be between enemies and the squishier party members. Alert will help with this by allowing paladins to go up higher in initiative. Combined with the Sentinel feat, this can make your paladin an extremely effective tank. Another reason paladins like going higher in initiative is that they have solid burst damage from of their smites, so they have the opportunity to take an enemy out of the fight before they have a turn in combat.
  • Crusher: This is a great secondary option for most paladins if you don’t want to go the polearm route. They have access to all the weapons this feat wants, and they get plenty of mileage out of the manipulation.
  • Divinely Favored: Grabbing some ranged cleric cantrips can help fill a gap in the paladin's playstyle. Also, grabbing an extra 1st-level spell and some free spellcasting never hurt.
  • Fey Touched: Misty step is great for any paladin and the CHA can be used to buff your spellcasting modifier. As for 1st-level spells to pick up will want hunter's mark to boost their damage, any other than Oath of Vengeance who already gets it as part of their Oath Spells.
  • Guile of the Cloud Giant: This is actually a pretty decent ability for non-Sentinel or Polearm Master paladins. Giving yourself resistance to an attack's damage can help with survivability and the free teleport can help you navigate the battlefield. Plus, you can pump Strength, Constitution, or Charisma.
  • Heavy Armor Master: Damage reduction like this is a massive boost to being able to stay alive through fights, especially good on builds not looking to use a shield.
  • Mage Slayer: As long as you have plenty of spellcasters in your campaign, paladins can make great use of Mage Slayer. As most paladins are frontline warriors with access to their own magic, it makes them great candidates to close in on enemy casters. It's important to note that you can smite with the reaction, meaning you can easily take out tough casters with ease.
  • Magic Initiate: Magic Initiate is a stellar choice for paladins, as it opens up for more utility and some impactful spells. Wizard offers the most here, as it can give you booming blade for damage and one of many utility spells afterward.
  • Mounted Combatant: Great option for paladins as they have exclusive access to the find steed and find greater steed spell. Even at lower levels, getting advantage on your attacks can lead to potent critical hit smite damage. Once you hit 13th level and gain access to 4th-level spells, the Pegasus from find greater steed can give you a massive advantage in combat.
  • Orcish Fury: Half-Orcs are a very synergistic race for paladins and this feat adds additional utility to martial builds. It's a half-feat so it provides an STR or CON bonus, provides additional damage once per rest, and provides an extra attack when you use your Relentless Endurance feature.
  • Piercer: An excellent addition to an already lethal kit. Your typical Great Weapon Master/Sentinel/Polearm Master paladin will want to add this feat in, as it works with spears (which are polearms!).
  • Resilient: Excellent option if you'll be playing a build that uses concentration spells like haste. Seeing as paladins don't get proficiency in CON saving throws, this can go a long way to keep your concentration spells up and running. Seeing a paladins don't need War Caster because they can wear their spellcasting focus on their shield, Resilient (CON) will likely provide more value.
  • Righteous Heritor: Beyond being very on-brand for a paladin, this can offer a huge amount of damage mitigation each long rest, for both you and your allies, as long as you're not going for a Polearm Master or Sentinel build.
  • Rune Shaper: Paladins normally focus their spell slots on Divine Smites, so this is a good option to get (eventually) 3 extra 1st-level spell slots you can use for spells.Disguise self can go well with your Charisma, and one of the AoE will be particularly effective as you'll be in the fray quite often.
  • Scion of the Outer Planes: Picking up a ranged damage cantrip will nicely fill out the paladin's mostly melee repertoire. The associated damage resistance is a solid bonus.
  • Second Chance: A pretty solid way to make your tanky halfling paladin more tanky, especially if you'll be getting into fights often. This is a good opportunity to boost Charisma if you ended up with an odd score after character creation.
  • Sentinel: Sentinel is an amazing way to get extra attacks as a paladin, which means more smiting. Enemies will likely focus on squishier teammates rather than the buffed-out paladin in full platemail, Sentinel allows you to come to your party's aid in those circ*mstances. This feat works very thematically with the Oath of the Crown subclass and can be paired with Polearm Master for a devastating combo.
  • Shield Master: This is a solid use for your bonus action if you don’t already have a use for it. Knocking a creature prone gives the rest of your party advantage, but keep in mind that this is only available afteryou have taken an attack action.
  • Soul of the Storm Giant: Most paladins will want to stack into Strength, get up close, keep enemies within their attacking range, and try to avoid damage so they can keep swinging. This feat will do wonders for all of those aspects.
  • Strike of the Giants: The wide variety of effects you have to choose from can help your paladin specialize into a playstyle. Hill Strike or Fire Strike will likely be your best bet, but Storm and Frost Strike can help with tanking playstyles. Make sure to check out which 4th-level giant feat you'll want to take, because the Strike option you take when you pick this feat will dictate what's available.

Good Feats for Paladins

  • Actor: While not the best fit thematically, paladins could make use of the Charisma boost for their spellcasting and auras. The mimicry effects could also enable a more well-rounded build overall.
  • Baleful Scion: This is a solid way to keep your paladin healed up so they can use their healing resources elsewhere.
  • Durable: A paladin with a +5 Constitution and the Durable feat will recover at minimum 15 hit points with a single Hit Dice roll. This is a solid amount of healing, especially if you can find a way to roll Hit Dice mid-combat (like with the Dwarven Fortitude feat or a caster buddy with wither and bloom).
  • Elven Accuracy: You can definitely pick up this feat if you want to go with a Dex paladin. You’ll be best off going as an Oath of Vengeance paladin since you can get easy advantage with your Channel Divinity.
  • Fighting Initiate: Many of the Fighting Styles available overlap with the paladin selection, so double-dipping isn’t terrible. The biggest problem is that this competes with more powerful feats like Polearm Master and Sentinel, which outclass this feat.
  • Gift of the Chromatic Dragon: This is a decent improvement both offensively and defensively for paladins. They don't make an overwhelming amount of attacks, so the damage boost won't be all that impressive.
  • Gift of the Metallic Dragon: Paladins will love to have access to the pseudo-shieldeffect, but thecure woundswon't feel that impactful because they already have Lay on Hands. Still, a free prepared spell and extra spell slot isn't anything that's going to be detrimental.
  • Mobile: Because they lack range options and their Divine Smite is melee-only, battlefield navigation can make or break an encounter for paladins. With Mobile, you can move further and don't have to worry as much about opportunity attacks, two very useful aspects when you need to get around in the fray.
  • Slasher: Complements builds nicely that know they will use slashing weapons. Reducing speed allows you to chase down enemies you hit so they stay away from your more vulnerable allies.
  • Squat Nimbleness: Mountain dwarves make awesome paladins because of their +2 to Strength and Constitution. The extra speed is welcome here to get you to the front lines quicker, as is the ASI to Strength and proficiency in Athletics.
  • Telekinetic: In general, Telekinetic offers some decent utility to paladins. Mage hand isn't a spell they normally get access to, the bonus to CHA is always welcome, the only issue comes with the bonus action Shove. Paladins who normally stick to Divine Smites will favor this feat because there is really no other use for their bonus action. Paladins that like to mix it up and use theSmite-based spells may find a bit of contention for their bonus action. That said, paladins don't have a ton of spell slots so the bonus action Shove can still be useful in this circ*mstance once the spells run out.
  • Tough: Fighters already have a d10 hit dice and don't have as many ASIs as fighters to spend on Tough. Combined with their Lay on Hands ability and healing spells, paladins should look elsewhere for feats before turning to Tough.
  • Vigor of the Hill Giant: This can be fine for paladins who want some extra hit points. Plus, seeing as you're usually in the fray you're more likely to be targeted by effects that try to move you.

Situationally Useful Feats for Paladins

  • Athlete: You get an ASI to Strength and some minor movement buffs, but nothing amazing for a paladin.
  • Defensive Duelist: DEX paladins do exist, so it's not a terrible idea. However, there are so many better feats for Paladins to get. It gets lost in the crowd, but it becomes a better option at level 12 and beyond when it scales up.
  • Dual Wielder: Paladins usually only get two attacks, so a third attack as a bonus action can help boost damage. It's main benefit will be if you miss your first two attacks, then you'll get another chance to land an attack and smite on your turn. That said, a feat like Great Weapon Master or Sentinel is going to benefit the paladin's playstyle much more than this feat will.
  • Eldritch Adept: Most of these invocations are utility spells, which can work well since paladins have so few spell slots. Being able to cast detect magic at will is pretty handy but not as good as some other feats. Paladins who multiclass into Hexblade warlocks should value this feat much higher, though, as it gives them access to the entire list of invocations.
  • Grappler: While the grapple build is a thing, but it is not a very strong option even for fighters and barbarians who can make better use of it. Paladins will struggle even more to make it effective.
  • Keenness of the Stone Giant: While the 1d10 + prone stone throw is a great bonus action for paladins to have, they'll be hard-pressed to hit if they're attacking from within melee range. Paladins aren't really effective at long-distance, but spending an entire feat to remedy that is too much investment.
  • Martial Adept: While paladins would love having access to the Battle Master's maneuvers, only getting one dice and it being a d6 drastically limits the effectiveness of this feat.
  • Metamagic Adept: Most of the time, paladins will want to hang onto their precious spell slots for Divine Smites. Picking up this feat definitely allows for some versatility in the paladins casting, like being able to double the targets of buffs/healing. Most of the time, this spell is a pass for paladins, unless you're very dedicated to your spellcasting.
  • Spell Sniper: This can net your paladineldritch blast, which makes this feat interesting at the very least. Normally, paladins aren't equipped for ranged battle and are better off in the fray.
  • Tavern Brawler: Paladins can't smite with unarmed strikes so you'd have to use improvised weapons for this feat to be effective. Seeing as paladins don't normally have a lot of options for their bonus action, this could be beneficial. Unfortunately, the tradeoff of damage just likely isn't worth it.
  • War Caster: Paladins interact with War Caster in the same way as clerics. This is because they both have the ability to adorn their spellcasting focus on their shield and can both be heavy armor + shield-wielding melee spellcasters. The ability to cast spells with a single target as an opportunity attack isn’t particularly appealing to paladins as they will want to use their weapon attack + smite instead. The benefits of having advantage on CON checks to maintain concentration will vary widely from subclass to subclass. For instance, the Oath of Vengeancehas plenty of powerful Oath Spells that require concentration but the Oath of Glory does not. For paladins looking to maximize their concentration potential, it might be more worth it for paladins to take Resilient (CON) instead of War Caster. This is because it provides an ASI to CON as well as proficiency to CON saving throws.

Bad Feats for Paladins

  • Cohort of Chaos: Unfortunately, this is too unpredictable to be a efficient use of a feat.
  • Crossbow Expert: Like barbarians, paladins don’t want to be out of melee for long. You’re much better off with melee-centric feats like Great Weapon Fighting or Polearm Master.
  • Elemental Adept: Paladins don’t deal enough damage of a single element to make this count. You’re better off with Great Weapon Fighting or Sentinel.
  • Fade Away: Not only is the gnome race not good for paladins, the ASIs from this feat don't match your priorities. The invisibility can be helpful for getting advantage for Great Weapon Master or Divine Smites, but this feat is still not worth the resources.
  • Fey Teleportation: A couple of subclasses already get access to misty step, making this feat useless for them. As far as the other Oaths go, this isn’t a bad feat, but I still feel that Fey Touched does everything this does and more.
  • Gunner: Dexadins are a thing, but they don’t stick to range. Using firearms takes away one of the best aspects of a paladin (the smites), so you’re really only hurting yourself with this feat. You’re better off with a melee weapon and Polearm Master to capitalize on the class’ strengths.
  • Healer: With Lay on Hands and your healing spells, you'll have access to all the healing you'll need.
  • Heavily Armored: Paladins already have heavy armor proficiency.
  • Keen Mind: Nothing here for a paladin.
  • Lightly Armored: Already has access to light armor at the start.
  • Linguist: Paladins might not get much use out of this feat, unless they're playing a more scholarly or diplomatic character.
  • Medium Armor Master: Paladins don't really have a viable Dexterity build, so you're much better off going with heavy armor.
  • Observant: Both of these stats are dump stats for paladins, so you’ll feel extra awful with this feat—there are a ton of feats at your disposal, such as Sentinel or Polearm Master.
  • Outlands Envoy: One free casting of misty step and an ASI isn't enough to make paladins want to take this feat. If you want to add some magic to your paladin's repertoire, Fey Touched will be much more impactful.
  • Planar Wanderer: Even with the tailorable damage resistance, this feat just isn't worth it for a paladin.
  • Poisoner: Skip. Paladins have too many other resources, like smites and spells, that will take up their bonus actions. Plus, there are a plethora of better feats for them to choose from that synergize with their gameplay.
  • Revanent Blade: Paladins aren't usually one for Dexterity builds, so stick to maxing out your Strength and using heavy weapons.
  • Ritual Caster: Paladins won't want to invest the Intelligence or Wisdom necessary to take this feat when they could just take Magic Initiate.
  • Savage Attacker: Even though this feat is best with heavy weapons, which fits the paladin's playstyle, it's much more worth it to go with Great Weapon Master or one of the Tasha's weapon feats.
  • Shadow Touched: Unfortunately, due to their heavy armor proficiency, paladins will rarely ever be a steathy class. Oathbreaker paladins are the only subclass who would benefit from this, as they get access to an additional inflict wounds for free.
  • Sharpshooter: Paladins don’t get any benefits from dealing ranged damage and would rather be up close and personal.
  • Skill Expert: Paladins have way too many better feats to pick up first. Unless you’re going for a niche build, you probably only want to consider this if your campaign gets to level 12 or higher.
  • Telepathic: Nothing here for a paladin.
  • Weapon Master: Paladins already have access to all weapons they need.

Sources Used in This Guide

  • BR: Basic Rules
  • GotG: Bigby Presents: Glory of the Giants
  • SotDQ: Dragonlance: Shadow of the Dragon Queen
  • ERLW: Eberron: Rising from the Last War
  • EEPC: Elemental Evil Player’s Companion
  • EGtW: Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount
  • FToD: Fizban's Treasury of Dragon
  • GGtR: Guildmasters' Guide to Ravnica
  • MotM: Monsters of the Multiverse
  • MToF: Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes
  • MOoT: Mythic Odyessys of Theros
  • PAitM: Planescape: Adventures in the Multiverse
  • PHB: Player's Handbook
  • SAiS: Spelljammer: Adventures in Space
  • SCoC: Strixhaven: A Curriculum of Chaos
  • SCAG: Sword Coast Adventurer’s Guide
  • TCoE: Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything
  • TTP: The Tortle Package
  • WBtW: The Wild Beyond The Witchlight
  • VRGtR: Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft
  • VGtM: Volo's Guide to Monsters
  • XGtE: Xanathar’s Guide to Everything

Other Paladin Guides

  • Paladin 5e Overview
  • Paladin Races
  • Paladin Spells
  • Paladin Subclasses Overview
  • Oathbreaker
  • Oath of Vengeance

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Mike Bernier

Mike Bernier is the lead content writer and founder of Arcane Eye. He is a Adamantine best-selling author of Strixhaven: A Syllabus of Sorcery on DMs Guild and is a contributing author at D&D Beyond.Follow Mike on Twitter.

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