Best 5E Feats for Clerics

Close up of spilling out dice of different kinds from a dice bag on a character sheet.

Playing Dungeons and Dragons is fun, creative, and excitingly immersive. Knowing what feats are able to best help your character make it through the game helps to add to all of the great aspects of playing, and that can be a challenge when it comes to building a Cleric, a class that might have more viable different builds than any other! So how are you supposed to know which feats are the best feats for clerics?

With so many feats to choose from, these ones come highly recommended by many players. Read on to find out why they work well with clerics, and then decide what best fits your character and campaign!

10. Healer

Healer is considered to be a versatile and useful feat for characters all across this game. For clerics, this option is great because of their nature as defensive characters. One player noted that unlike martial characters, clerics don’t have to attack every time they take an action; therefore, they are able to focus on actions like healing.

On top of that, this is a great option for clerics at low levels. You have limited healing spells, limited gold for expensive healing potions that are rather blah (at best), and Healer makes healing kits incredibly useful in addition to having multiple healing charges that are way above and beyond the lowest two types of healing potions.

The healing for the money is amazing, as we’ve discussed here on Assorted Meeples in our full 5E Healer Feat Guide.

For the Life Cleric, or an unconventional Cleric build that isn’t going to heal much and wants to take care of others just enough not to get yelled at, this is an excellent feat to pick up.

9. Heavy Armor Master

The heavy armor master feat enhances defensive abilities; it allows characters who wear heavy armor to better deflect attacks and even allows characters who wear heavy armor to strike back.

This feat works well with clerics because it enhances their armor class. These characters, as primary healers, need to make it through the campaign in order to make sure that their party can make it through as well. This feat in particular pairs well with the Sentinel feat. This combo allows the cleric to control the frontline of the battlefield and last blow after blow. (More about this next)

One thing to keep in mind with this feat is that it only protects against physical attacks. For protection against magic attacks, players may want to look into feats like Shield Master, or feats that increase alertness. In addition, because the reduction of damage is a fixed amount, Heavy Armor Master isn’t near as good at higher levels.

5E DnD Cleric
Most clerics are healers at least in some respect, so they had better have the AC to wade into the middle of battle and be able to take a hit. Original picture from here on Pinterest.

8. Sentinel

This is one of the best feats for clerics who want to control the battlefield. The Sentinel feat allows the cleric to prevent enemies from leaving their reach, even when they attempt to use the disengage action. This contains threats, allowing other party members to rain in the ranged attacks and supporting spells.

In addition, Sentinel allows the cleric to make an opportunity attack when an enemy within 5 feet of them attacks another target. Unfortunately, this last feature doesn’t work when the other target also has the Sentinel feat. No double-teaming with this feat! Still, to add in reaction attacks on the front line, that’s not nothing and those hits add up!

At lower levels, Sentinel marries really well with the Heavy Armor Master. When you reign in enemies, you are bound to take a lot of hits. Because of this, reducing all bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage from nonmagical attacks can help a cleric survive more blows and maintain control of the battlefield.

7. Shield Master

Shield Master is good to protect clerics against magic spells targeted right at them that require a save. Again, since clerics generally have a higher Armor Class (as natural defensive characters) which protects them from physical attacks, they can use this feat for extra protection from magic spells by turning half damage into know damage thanks to the masterful use of a shield.

Some of the more specific aspects of shield master are that it allows characters to have more flexibility when defending or attacking with a shield. When deciding whether or not to use this feat with a cleric, players should consider how close their cleric will be to a fight. If they’ll be keeping their distance, then this might not apply to the needs of the cleric or party.

However, it’s important to talk with a DM about how AOE effects from a spell are handled since the nature of area of effect and the wording of the feat leave a LOT of gray area for how strong or average this feat is. A DM could rule that this doesn’t apply to AOE attacks, period, end of statement.

DMs could also rule that an AOE attack centered on the cleric could be completely nullified (to the cleric, at least) who has shield master, while general AOEs in the area would not. Make sure to figure out these important details before committing to a shield master build of cleric!

6. Tough

Tough is great for clerics (again, because they are defensive characters) because by enhancing their health, they are able to take more damage, therefore being more effective in defending.

This feat gives clerics significantly more hit points. Tough gives +2 HP extra per level. This isn’t a sexy feat, but it’s effective. Who couldn’t use more hit points? And if you’re going to be the healer forced to fight in the middle of the melee, every single hit point can really count.

Because of this, Tough is a great feat for tanky build clerics, and will help you stay up, so you can keep the rest of the party up.

5. Lucky

Lucky is a great feat to have in general, because it allows players to re-roll on saving themselves from attacks. It can be used up to three times a day, and it’s recommended that clerics use it as a defense tactic. Especially for clerics who need to save their health for later in the game, this feat allows them to deflect spells and other attacks so that they can maintain that level of health. The deflection can even be turned into a hit on the attacker!

This is the most banned feat in D&D and is an overpowered one, which is probably why it’s one of the few that was targeted in early D&D 5.5 (I’m sorry, D&D One is not going to stick as a name) testing documents as one to be changed – and the first iteration is still powerful.

Any ability to re-roll a bad roll or just add advantage is incredibly powerful and always a good choice during level up.

4. Inspiring Leader

Inspiring Leader requires a character build to have high charisma, which while not in the main wheelhouse of the cleric, it usually is a good mid-tier stat and that is enough to make this a potentially effective feat.

Inspiring Leader allows a speech to be given to boost up a good number of temporary hit points to all party members, or in fact other friendly NPCs totaling six total characters within listening range of your speech.

This is a big boost, and it scales since the player’s level is part of the temporary hit point boost, meaning this feat continues to get better as the cleric you build continues to level up.

3. Alert

For characters that need to remain on the defensive, this feat is very useful. It allows clerics who have it to avoid being surprised or caught off guard. This is yet another feat that can help clerics to save up their health and avoid unnecessary damage that puts their party members at risk.

The Alert feat also makes it much more likely for clerics to roll a high initiate and go high in each round of combat. In the first round this won’t matter so much for most 5E cleric builds, but in later rounds when you have wounded, having the cleric go top of the round is crucial to keep the party going as long as possible.

2. Observant

This super neat feat is just as helpful as Alert. The observant feat allows a character to continually increase their wisdom and read lips. Regarding the latter trait, this is helpful not only to spot ambushes, but to help characters who are too far for you to hear. This feat also makes it nearly impossible for a DM to sneak anything past you.

This feat is helpful with clerics because it allows them to expand their defensive nature beyond what is immediately in front of them. While more popular with rogues and rangers, there’s no reason other classes can’t make good use of it. It’s a preventative measure that keeps characters on the alert and ready for anything: no more surprises!

1. War Caster

At the top of several lists is this feat! War Caster allows characters to have advantage when rolling saves for concentration-based spells; this works great with clerics because of the amount of magic they have access to. Many important Cleric spells are concentration spells, making it crucial for them to be able to hold concentration when hit by a melee attack, spell, or even an AOE effect.

If you have a cleric who leans more towards being a warrior, then this feat is great, because it enhances their offensive abilities. However, whether a healer or a fighter, this feat is an excellent choice for any cleric.

Best Feats for Clerics: Concluding Thoughts

The biggest problem with determining the best feats for your build is that clerics can vary wildly. I’ve seen heavy armor enemy shredding blenders that were unmatched in combat, unassailable AC 26 healers keeping their idiot party members alive, and a Dexterous light armored cleric of the Trickery Domain dipping into feats like Fey Touched and Shadow Touched to give them ALL the problem making abilities.

In other words, there are very few classes in DnD that have such a variety of builds as Cleric does. These feats are great additions for some builds, but don’t be afraid to experiment if you want to try something new or different. Because I can tell you from experience, War Caster + Polearm Master + Sentinel coupled with Spirit Guardians & Spiritual Weapon make for a beast of a build…if a bit light on the healing side of things 🙂

I hope you enjoyed this article on the top feats for clerics in 5th Edition, and check out some of these articles if you’re interested in more similar topics:

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