The slasher feat is one of a trio of feats that was released with Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything that focuses on giving bonuses to weapon type or attack type. This is a way to help further buff martial classes whether they use blunt force, piercing force, or in this case slashing damage weapons. The slasher feat is for the player who scoffs at barbarity of crushing weapons as well as the finesse of a piercing attack.
Generally, experienced 5E players agree that the slasher feat is a good but not great feat designed to increase the effectiveness of slashing weapons. Most often this feat will work best for fighters, barbarians, and druids.
Why is this a feat that finally fits most druids? How does it compare to the Piercer or Crusher feats?
We have all the answers you want and more with our in-depth feat guide on the Slasher 5E feat and whether or not it’s right for your next character build.
Breaking Down the Slasher Feat
The slasher feat focuses on the characters wielding weapons, or using attacks, that inflict slashing damage. This feat offers some interesting benefits and is worth a deeper breakdown.
Directly from Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything:
You’ve learned where to cut to have the greatest results, granting you the following benefits:
- Increase your Strength or Dexterity by 1, to a maximum of 20.
- Once per turn when you hit a creature with an attack that deals slashing damage, you can reduce the speed of the target by 10 feet until the start of your next turn.
- When you score a critical hit that deals slashing damage to a creature, you grievously wound it. Until the start of your next turn, the target has disadvantage on all attack rolls.
Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, p. 81
How do these break down into real life D&D campaigns at the table?
Benefit #1: Increase your Strength or Dexterity by 1 up to the maximum of 20.
The stat boost is nice since it minimizes the loss from taking a feat over an ability score, but as I’ve made clear with these guides that works as more of a safety net than a major boost.
However, the slasher feat’s choice between a +1 Strength boost or a +1 Dexterity boost is a perfect bit of versatility, because this means every weapon is covered as they all use one stat or the other.
Benefit #2: When you hit with a slashing damage attack, reduce the speed of the target by 10 feet until the start of your next turn.
I’m sure there must be some situations where this matters…but yawn and meh. If you’re in melee you closed the distance anyway. So it’s not about mobility at that point which makes this feel like a benefit that doesn’t matter, doesn’t come into play, or it’s just, it’s just meh.
I’m not sure what they were envisioning with this one.
Benefit #3: When you score a critical hit via slashing damage, the target has disadvantage on all attack rolls.
This is actually a very good benefit, and in my mind it is definitely the strongest part of this particular feat. Because this doesn’t just give the enemy disadvantage in attack rolls against you, but disadvantage on all attack rolls until you start your next turn. Your front line will appreciate the extra assistance.
Weapons That Cause Slashing Damage
- Sickle 1d4
- Whip 1d4
- Scimitar 1d6
- Handaxe 1d6
- Battleaxe 1d8
- Longsword 1d8 (1d10 if two-handed)
- Glaive 1d10
- Halberd 1d10
- Greataxe 1d12
- Greatsword 2d6
5E Classes That Should Always Consider Taking the Slasher Feat
The two major fighter classes of barbarian and fighter are both ones worth considering with this feat. They are melee, and through common builds they have the ability to use slashing weapons that are most common, which are the big 2-handed damage dealers. These classes also have the AC to forgo the shield and wield big time slashing weapons.
Fighter also has the extra ability score improvements that lets them use reach weapons like the halberd, add Sentinel and Polearm Master, and then add slasher on top of it.
The other interesting pick is Druid. The Druid class doesn’t get a lot of love with feats, but a major part of that is because of their unique build of magic wielder and wild shape. They need those ability scores and because of the shift from one role to another, there aren’t a lot of feats that just work with them throughout.
Many of the favorite animal forms the Druid takes will use slashing damage – making this an interesting feat for the Druid who might tank or might want to attack and then move around the battlefield. Thorn Whip is also a popular Druid spell that also uses slashing damage and therefore would still count.
It may or may not be ideal for the build, but you should at least consider it.
5th Ed Classes that should always look at taking the Slasher Feat:
5E Classes That Should Consider Taking the Slasher Feat
Clerics and Paladins are the other martial classes that could take the slasher feat. Most of the time these classes tend to take weapons that do piercing or blunt force damage, so the slasher feat isn’t going to be as useful.
However, if you’re doing a Cleric build with sentinel, polearm master, glaive/halberd as a weapon, and spirit guardians for the spell – then adding even a little bit more with slasher could be the coup de grace to your DM’s sanity.
A Paladin who for story reasons chooses to use a longsword or other slashing weapon may also find this feat worth considering, although for many the need for three strong ability scores will often outstrip the need for a feat – or make them very selective of the one that is taken.
5th Ed Classes that should at least consider taking the Slasher Feat
5E Classes That Should NEVER Take the Slasher Feat
Well this is a long list. Spell casters will never want the slasher feat for the obvious reason: it’s melee based and isn’t going to do them any good. Then there are the other martial builds that have specific traits that make the slasher a losing feat.
Monks deal much more blunt force or piercing damage, and with Wisdom and Dexterity as such important stats, but also with a need for Constitution because of a smaller hit point die, they need more ability score improvements in addition to being more tempted by the mobile feat to build off their strengths.
Rogue would seem like a good fit, but the problem is you need to use a finesse weapon or you can’t use sneak attack. And when it comes to slashing weapons, the strongest finesse weapon that does slashing damage does 1d6.
Which means you’re giving up a 1d8 rapier to take the feat…and giving up +1 or +2 potential damage from every single attack for the Slasher feat….No. Just no.
Then there’s the ranger. In theory, you could use this with a ranger designed for melee close combat, but that’s like 3% of builds and again has them using weaker weapons than they can otherwise wield which is just not a good idea.
If you’re making a build with one of these classes, just move on to other feats.
5th Ed classes that should never take the Slasher Feat:
Final Feat Grade for 5E Slasher Feat
Slasher Feat Grade: B-
Is the Slasher 5E Worth It?
This can be a strong feat, but it just doesn’t feel as strong as piercer or crusher among the three feats. You’re gaining the ability to basically impose disadvantage on an opponent’s attacks for a round if you crit on them in exchange for giving up one +1 ability improvement. When put that way, it doesn’t quite hold up as well as the others.
This isn’t bad by any extent, and it adds a nice little extra bit to slashing weapons or attacks that many melee class characters are going to use anyway, but it is so situational that it won’t come up as often. The even more damaging part? The best slashing weapons are two-handed.
And since classes like fighter or barbarian tend to use those, they are going to be looking for better feats for adding damage to them than slasher can actually provide.
So this is a B. It’s a good feat, but it’s not special and it’s not that competitive with Great Weapon Master, a 5E feat that is pretty much a necessity for the brute melee characters who want damage output above all else.
Slasher Feat FAQ
Is the slasher feat any good in 5E?
While it has its situational users, the slasher feat has limited use in-game. This feat is often best for a Druid that rolled high stats and whose favorite wild shape forms use slashing damage, or barbarians who load up to get as many crits as possible. It’s not a bad feat, but it isn’t overly strong, either.
Is the slasher feat underpowered?
Compared to other similar feats, slasher is definitely underpowered. While situationally beneficial it doesn’t have the punch that other melee based feats provide.
Is the Piercer, Crusher, or Slasher feat the strongest of the three?
Generally speaking Crusher is considered the strongest of these three feats followed very closely by Piercer with Slasher far behind. While some may prefer Piercer over Crusher, it’s clear that Slasher is the weakest of the three.
Other DnD Articles You Might Enjoy
- Piercer 5E Feat
- Crusher 5E Feat
- Crossbow Expert 5E
- Fighting Initiate 5E
- Sharpshooter 5E Feat
- Best Feats for Barbarians
- Best Feats for Druids
- Best Feats for Fighters
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.