Best 5E Feats for Paladins

Paladins are righteous warriors who swear an oath to spread and protect light and justice wherever they go. They are Charisma based warriors who have such a strong unwavering belief and confidence in their sworn oath that it creates a bond that funnels that (often) divine power through them. Their sheer belief and confidence results in a heavily armored warrior (half-caster) who is most known for being able to SMITE their opponents in the name of their faith, but what are the best feats for Paladins to help boost them on their quests?

Knights attacking castle at night

The 10 Best Feats for Paladins

The life of a Paladin contains much hardship and sacrifice, these are some of the 5E feats that can best help to lessen the burden of a Paladin as they journey to complete their quest.

Thanks to multiple oaths and relatively low needs when it comes to ability scores, there’s a lot of options for displaying many different flavors of Paladin and these feats are some of the best ones available for doing just that.

10. Healer

The Healer feat grants the character the ability to get additional bonuses from using a healer’s kit, and as we discussed in our healer feat guide, it’s a very underrated feat especially at lower levels. Considering lay on hands is a major part of the Paladin’s abilities, a Paladin choosing to provide healing isn’t out of character at all.

With the Healer feat you basically:

  • When you use a healing kit to stabilize a dying creature not only does the treated stabilize but they get 1 HP and therefore it is mechanically conscious
  • You can spend an action to use one use of a healer’s kit on a conscious character to give them 1d6 + 4 + HD hit points, with HD being the number of hit dice that character has. At low levels, this makes it an incredibly effective healing potion.

Having the ability to deliver massive healing falls in line with what a Paladin might be doing, in addition to giving the Paladin a valid route to serve (to some extent) as the emergency healer in a party that was extremely unwise and has six players and yet not a single other character with any healing ability at all (and yes, speaking from experience here).

How does this help a Paladin?

  • Paladins aren’t normally able to heal beyond the Lay on Hands action, so this adds a new and extremely useful tool to their arsenal. Especially if their party doesn’t already have a Healer, and flavor-wise strongly fits with the image of paladins serving their party as part of questing to serve their god and fulfill their oath.
Healing hands definitely fit in with a Paladin’s build.

9. Heavy Armor Master

In order to use this feat, a character must first have proficiency in heavy armor. That’s pretty much a given with virtually every Paladin build, and heavy armor master, takes it to the next level.

Heavy Armor Master means that the armor of characters with this feat is able to deflect attacks that might normally kill them. This feat increases a character’s strength by 1 point per level they have up to a maximum of 20.

While characters with this feat are wearing heavy armor the damage they receive from piercing, bludgeoning, or stabbing attacks is reduced by 3. This is huge at low levels, but even more dangerous enemies at high levels are often so because they get 3-5 attacks per turn. Getting brutalized by 5 hits is a little less terrifying when you can take 15 damage off that total, since this attack damage is taken off of every single hit.

How does this help a Paladin?

  • Paladins already have proficiency in heavy armor so they qualify for this feat. This makes the heavy armor they wear more effective at protecting them from attacks as it’s currently the only example of outright non-magical damage mitigation in all of 5E.

8. Inspiring Leader

Silver king's crown on stone

If a character has a Charisma score of 13 or higher, they have access to this feat. Inspiring Leader gives the player 10 minutes to spend inspiring up to 6 friendly creatures within 30 feet of the player (self can be included). Each creature can gain temporary hit points equal to the Inspiring Creature’s level + their Charisma modifier.

Considering the Paladin’s casting stat is Charisma, this fits right in and even allows for the occasional inspiring speech to fire up the group and get them charging forward. The inspiring leader feat fits right in with them both in mechanics and flavor.

How does this help a Paladin?

  • Paladins swear oaths to their deities, promising to uphold the ideals of light and justice. Inspiring others is already a goal of theirs, so being able to use this to strengthen their comrades suits Paladins extremely well. Paladins love to strengthen those around them who they consider honorable so this can also be a Paladin’s way of showing his party members that he believes that they are worthy companions, and a lot of temporary hit points is a great way to start the battle.

7. Mage Slayer

Mage Slayer is most useful in melee attacks against spellcasters, and experienced D&D players are no stranger to this feat. With this feat, a character gains the ability to react to any spell cast within 5 feet of them with a melee weapon attack against the spell caster.

If a creature concentrating on a spell is damaged then they have disadvantage on their saving throw, making it more likely they will fail and the spell will drop. With Mage Slayer, the character also has advantage on any saving throws against spells cast towards them from a creature within 5 feet of them.

How does this help a Paladin?

  • Paladins are heavy armored frontline fighters all the way, and because of this need to be wary of spellcasters, and want every opportunity possible to strike at enemy spellcasters, who are often the most dangerous enemies. The ability to counteract spells in a melee attack would definitely come in handy, and this is often the only reaction a paladin will have, giving them at least a chance to do something in these circumstances.

6. Magic Initiate

Magic initiate is one of the most powerful feats as it grants characters access to several cantrips and spells that aren’t normally available to every class.

First, select a class such as Bard, Cleric, Druid, or Warlock. This feat then allows characters to choose any 2 cantrips from that class’s spell list. Along with the cantrips, the character can also gain the ability to cast any 1st level spell from the same class’s spell list. In order to cast the spell again, a long rest must be completed.

The Bard and Warlock spell lists tend to be the most popular for Paladins, since they all use charisma as a casting stat, and those classes have excellent cantrips and first level spells that fit in perfect with what a Paladin can do and makes them much more effective on the casting side of being a half-caster, giving them more options than a simple smite.

How does this help a Paladin?

  • The Magic Initiate feat is a way to expand a character’s magical tool kit without having to multiclass.
  • Gives access to decent damage, protection, or healing cantrips/first level spells to help strengthen the Paladin’s toolbox

5. Mounted Combatant

mounted knight charging in the sun

The Mounted Combatant feat grants characters additional battle benefits whenever they are mounted and unincapacitated. They have advantage on melee attack rolls over unmounted enemies who are smaller than their mounts.

Characters with this feat are also able to force attacks that are directed towards the mount to go towards themselves instead. If their mount is subjected to an effect that allows it to make a Dexterity save to take only half damage, it takes no damage if it succeeds and half damage if it fails.

This is specific to a custom build, but if you are building for mounted combat and have a wizard who enjoys casting the Find Steed or Phantom Steed spells then this could be an excellent feat to pick up, especially if you keep carrying a pike or lance around.

How does this help a Paladin?

  • A noble knight deserves a noble steed! Paladins are often running into battle against scores of the enemies of all that is good. Being able to do so suits their aesthetic and makes them more effective as well as a more inspiring figure. Being granted extra advantages whilst on horseback will also allow Paladins to maintain momentum when they are leading a charge by keeping their mount safe and having a higher likelihood of being able to swat enemies out of their path.

4. Lucky

This feat gives a character incredibly good luck, and it is hands down the most broken feat in all 5E D&D. It grants 3 luck points. Luck points can be used to roll an additional d20 for an ability check, an attack roll, or a saving throw. A luck point can also be used to roll an additional d20 when an attack roll is thrown against the Lucky character. The Lucky character can choose whether the attacker’s roll or their own roll is used against them.

Luck points are restored after a long rest.

How does this help a Paladin?

  • This one is more generally helpful than it is specifically good for Paladins. Being able to reroll a d20 for any of the situations outlined by this feat could easily make the difference between life and death for a character. Being able to reroll a failed save, a failed attack, and then mess up an enemy’s critical makes this feat incredibly overpowered.

3. Polearm Master

While a character with the Polearm Master feat is wielding either a glaive, halberd, pike, quarterstaff, or spear, other creatures provoke an opportunity attack from them just by entering the reach that character has with that weapon.

When the Polearm Master takes the Attack action and attacks with only either a glaive, halberd, quarterstaff, or spear, they can use a bonus action to make a melee attack with the opposite end of the weapon. This attack uses the same ability modifier as the primary attack. The weapon’s damage die for this attack is a d4, and it deals bludgeoning damage.

How does this help a Paladin?

  • Although Paladins are not best known for their use of staffs or spears or the like, if they lose their usual artillery, then this feat would give them some increased adaptability. Polearm master is amazing when paired with Sentinel and the key to this one is using a reaction to attack from someone else’s movement, something that usually does not occur and keep in mind, unlike other classes the Paladin can add a smite if they hit to increase damage.

2. Resilient

Armored paladin praying in desert

The Resilient feat is a half feat that allows a player to choose a +1 to any ability score and the player gets proficiency on all saving throws for that improved ability score. This can be a way to get proficiency in a strong secondary stat or help shore up weaknesses that the DM likes to use to trip up parties (hello, Intelligence saving throws).

Solid feat for most classes including the Paladin.

How does this help a Paladin?

  • Paladins give a ton of boons and boosts to their party just by being there, especially in mid to high levels. Resilient helps them save against enemy attacks, and that can prevent a charmed paladin from dropping his bonuses on his party mates and moving them to the attacking enemies.

1. Sentinel

Characters with the Sentinel feat are constantly on high alert and watching for any chink in their enemy’s armor or a moment of weakness or any other form of an enemy’s defenses being dropped.

When a Sentinel character hits a creature with an opportunity attack, the creature’s speed becomes 0 for the rest of the turn. Their enemies have no escape. They provoke opportunity attacks from a Sentinel character even if they take the Disengage action before leaving the Sentinel’s reach.

When a creature makes an attack against a non-Sentinel target then the nearby Sentinel is able to use their reaction to make a melee weapon attack against the attacking creature.

How does this help a Paladin?

  • Paladins are not known for their cowardice, and this gives them the ability to prevent their enemies from making the cowardly choice of running from a fight. There’s also a reason this is referred to as “The Rogue Killer” feat.

In Conclusion

Paladins are a class that are a ton of fun despite a simpler build, or maybe partially because of it. Instead of having to choose one feat in between a 3 stat build, they can build with multiple feats to create the paladin in the flavor with the additional powers and abilities that you would want to see.

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