The crusher feat comes from Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything and is a really interesting addition that many melee fighters will find very interesting and very tempting. It’s also a 5E feat that is absolutely made for the monk. With that said, this is a versatile feat with several moving pieces and worth a deep breakdown to see if it might be right for your next melee-fighting character in an upcoming 5th Edition campaign.
So is the crusher feat worth it in 5E, or should you be looking at another option?
Crusher is a great feat for 5E DnD players using monks or other blunt weapon damage melee characters that adds some serious battlefield control and enemy debuff to strong melee attacks.
This feat won’t be right for every style of melee character, but if you love the look of a war hammer, a mace, or fists of fury, there are some very good reasons to make Crusher a high priority feat for your character.
Breaking Down the Crusher Feat
This is a very powerful feat that won’t necessarily hit the mark with every class, but for certain styles of melee characters this is a great feat that can add some serious power to a party’s frontline!
Directly from Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything:
You are practiced in the art of crushing your enemies, granting you the following benefits:
- Increase your Strength or Constitution by 1, to a maximum of 20.
- Once per turn, when you hit a creature with an attack that deals bludgeoning damage you can move it 5 feet to an unoccupied space, provided the target is not more than one size larger than you.
- When you score a critical hit that deals bludgeoning damage to a creature, attack rolls against that creature are made with advantage until the start of your next turn.
TCE, p. 79
This…this is a promising feat. While most of us choose bladed weapons, there are plenty of good bludgeoning damage weapons out there and for a character who wants to yield a one-handed or two-handed battle hammer, this feat can add a combination of battlefield control and overpowering crit bonuses that makes those natural 20s even more devastating.
In a high-combat style of campaign this can do some serious work.
Benefit #1: Increase your Strength (STR) or Constitution (CON) by one up to a maximum of 20.
Stat boost are always good, though since you are giving up a bigger one for a feat they need to come with more. However, I do like the versatility of this one and being able to choose between two different ability scores, one of which (Constitution) is always beneficial for every class. Solid potential foundation for a feat if the other benefits pan out, and excellent selection of stat boosts here.
Benefit #2: Once per turn, when you hit a creature with an attack that deals bludgeoning damage, you can move it 5 feet to an unoccupied space as long as the target is the same size or only one size larger.
This is actually a pretty solid benefit. It is situational, and probably slightly less useful for Dungeon Masters who don’t tend to break out the maps and the minis, but the ability to open space can be a big deal, especially if a party member who relies on ranged attacks or is a squishy spellcaster is standing beside you when you force an enemy NPC back.
If you have games that involve hazardous terrain, then this can become a LOT of fun!
Benefit #3: If you crit with bludgeoning damage, attack rolls against that creature are made with advantage until the start of your next turn – this applies to ALL attacks from all players.
Oh yeah, this really brings it home. The ability to hobble and opponent so every single attack roll against that same enemy is at advantage for the rest of the party – that’s huge. That means more successful hits, more damage, and a bigger likelihood of someone else doing a critical hit. In group battles this helps winnow out the enemy force quickly.
In a boss fight this can be an absolute game changer. And if a fighter in your party gets to action surge a multi-attack with advantage on each roll…wow. Just wow.
5E Classes That Should Take the Crusher Feat
The obvious one right off the bat is monk. Many monk weapons feature bludgeoning damage, in fact most of them do, and with flurry of blows as a bonus action, that’s a lot of chances to get that critical hit that makes the crusher feat potentially devastating to even a highly powered foe.
Considering many monk attacks will always be bludgeoning damage, that makes the crusher feat a very high priority if not an absolute must-have, for the monk, who already has the ability to be a powerful and dangerous opponent.
Who should take the crusher feat is less based on class of character and more on the weapons used. It doesn’t do any good to a fighter with a sword or axe. But it works great for a fighter with a mace or war hammer.
That said there are certain classes even beyond monk that are going to most likely to take these weapons. Barbarians and fighters jump to mind. Fighters can use any weapon or armor, have extra ability improvements (which are the times when you can go for a feat instead), and that makes fighters a class that can absolutely get the most out of the crusher feat, especially as they get more and more attacks at higher levels.
The barbarian who prefers mace or hammer over sword is also going to like this feat, and I love how the feat fits in with the motif of the barbarian – an enraged warrior who can hit an enemy so hard the enemy is thrown backwards. It works on a story level in addition to a mechanical level.
These are the three classes that are definitely going to find this feat the most helpful the majority of the time in DnD campaigns.
5th Ed Classes that should always take the Crusher Feat:
- Barbarians who use blunt weapons or are built for unarmed combat
- Fighters who use blunt weapons or are built for unarmed combat
- And any melee class using clubs/hammers instead of blades.
5E Classes That Should Consider Taking the Crusher Feat
The classes that fall here are going to be classes that sometimes go into melee combat but often do other things, so they may concentrate on feats that do other things. But in the right situation, or if the find themselves having to tank more than expected, this is a pretty good feat to have in the back pocket.
Our group had a nature cleric who found himself casting Shillelagh for combat all the time after his spells had been cast and he would have loved to have this feat added to his repertoire of tricks. This is also good feat for a Druid who likes his/her stat rolls and wants to save those wild shapes or finds themselves being the only healer in a party early on, forcing them to keep humanoid form.
The image of a paladin or cleric wielding a battle hammer fits…and it can even be one of those rare places where mechanics in 5E DnD hit roleplaying. The force of the faith flowing through the holy warriors under the guidance of their guides as the righteous fury pushes enemies back…and makes them vulnerable to attack for an entire round.
If your character will find him/herself in melee multiple times throughout the campaign and wielding blunt weapons, this is worth a look if you don’t need all your ability score upgrades or other feats that are mandatory for your class to grab.
5th Ed Classes that should consider taking the Crusher Feat: Any melee class that uses blunt force weapons instead of more conventional bladed weapons like Paladins, Clerics, or Druids (because of the Shillelagh spell when not in wild shape form counts as bludgeoning damage).
5E Classes That Should NEVER Take the Crusher Feat
This one is pretty obvious and has the usual list of suspects. Classes that are built for range combat, casting, or almost primarily use non-bludgeoning damage weapons won’t have a use for this.
Because of that these classes should never even consider the crusher feat in 5E 99.9% of the time:
This is a feat that just isn’t going to do the work that you would want or it won’t do any use period. Because of that you can skip crusher when playing one of those classes.
*In the extreme rarity of designing a melee ranger built for dealing with hordes (Two-Weapon Fighting, Horde Breaker, Multiattack Defense, Whirlwind Attack) might consider using two flails or warhammers just to get the benefits that this feat can give. But I’ve never seen a build even close to this…though truth be told now I’m kind of eager to build this dual-wielding melee ranger.
5th Ed classes that should never take the Crusher Feat: Artificer, Bard, Ranger, Rogue, Sorcerer, Warlock, Wizard
Final Feat Grade for Crusher 5E
Crusher Feat Grade: B+
Is the 5E Crusher Feat Worth It?
For a character that is built the right way, absolutely! The crusher feat, in my opinion as a player and DM, is the best of the three solid feats that give extra “specialist” bonuses to melee fighters. While the ability to move an enemy that gets hit will only be situationally useful, when that gets added to a +1 stat boost and the exceptional bonus from a critical hit, and when this feat pops off it can be an outright fight changer.
If the right character is built for it, this feat can be an excellent top off. It’s definitely worth a look and is a pretty strong and versatile feat that many players will get a lot out of.
Crusher Feat FAQ
Does the crusher feat for crits from attack rolls getting advantage until the next round apply to attack spells?
If the spell requires an attack roll to hit, that caster gets advantage when a PC with the crusher feat critted on an enemy. In that situation the key is that all attack rolls get advantage until that PC’s next turn. This includes spells that require an attack roll.
Does the crusher feat apply to slings?
The crusher feat is based around bludgeoning damage so the damage done by a ranged attack with a sling would qualify. This is a creative use for the crusher feat, though not likely to come up too often.
Are there feats like crusher for other melee weapons?
Slasher and Piercer are feats offered from Tasha’s for 5E that are similar to Crusher, just for different types of melee weapons. They all give slightly different effects based on what happens with a crit, and it’s generally accepted that crusher will likely be the best of the three in the average DnD campaign.
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Proud to embrace the locally created moniker of “Corrupt Overlord” from one of the all time great Lords of Waterdeep runs, Shane is one member of the Assorted Meeples crew and will be hard at work creating awesome content for the website. He is a long-time player of board games, one time semi-professional poker player, and tends to run to the quirky or RPG side of things when it comes to playing video games. He loves tabletop roleplaying systems like Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, Werewolf, Fate, and others, and not only has been a player but has run games as DM for years. You can find his other work in publications like Level Skip or Hobby Lark.