The Charger Feat is definitely built with a very specific type of character build in mind. Charging straight into the fray with a seemingly reckless abandon, using the momentum to add extra damage to the swing of a sword or axe, or maybe just throwing a shoulder to shove an enemy into a disadvantageous position.
The Charger feat is make for melee characters looking to become the unstoppable force hitting the battlefield with an impossible to ignore speed and force before adding to the frenzy of the fray.
The One DnD Charger feat gives players a +1 to DEX or STR, increases speed of the Dash Action, and adds bonus damage to an attack after a charge that can be exchanged for forcibly shoving an enemy up to 10 feet away.
Let’s dive in!
Charger Feat DnD One Review
The best way to break down a feat is to check out the exact wording.
From Unearthed Arcana, Expert Classes 2022:
Prerequisite: Proficiency with any Martial Weapon
You have trained to charge headlong into battle, gaining the following benefits:
Ability Score Increase: Increase your Strength or Dexterity score by 1, to a maximum of 20.
Improved Dash: When you take the Dash Action your Speed increases by 10 feet for that action.
Charge Attack: If you move at least 10 feet in a straight line immediately before hitting with an attack as part of the Attack Action on your turn, choose one of the following effects: gain a +1d8 bonus to the attack’s damage roll, or push the target up to 10 feet, provided the target you want to push is no more than one Size larger than you. You can use this benefit only once on each of your turns.
Unearthed Arcana, Expert Classes 2022
Now that we see the feat in its entirety, let’s break it down in more detail benefit by benefit to really get a good idea of what this has to offer.
Benefit #1: Increase your Strength or Dexterity score by 1.
Classic either/or to get a partial ability score improvement as part of a feat, and this one makes sense as it’s a martial feat and lets you pick from the two main ability scores attached to melee attacks.
Benefit #2: When you take the Dash Action your speed increases by 10 for that action.
Nothing spectacular, but it’s a very smart way to mechanically create the adrenaline rush of a berserker-style charge. Added to a barbarian or monk who have the mobile feat or additional movement via a homebrew D&D reward, and you a scary fast enemy for one turn, but it’s not an earth-shattering benefit in any way.
Especially since most classes have to take the Dash action as an action, thus negating a chance for a charge attack that turn. Unless you’re a class that can take it as a bonus action.
Benefit #3: If you move at least 10 feet in a straight line immediately before hitting with an attack you add a +1d8 bonus to the damage of your attack roll if you hit, or you can choose to push the target up to 10 feet as long as it’s one size bigger than you or smaller.
Being able to add extra damage is always a good thing, and adding it on the charge again thematically makes sense and makes this a tempting Monk Feat or Barbarian Feat since those classes tend to have extra movement and dive right into melee in many cases.
How Does The Charger Feat Measure Up?
The Charger feat is okay. When it’s effective, it’s very effective. Assuming your character is designed so you can take the Dash Action in the beginning of a battle using your Bonus Action and thus still have your Action available for a super-charged attack, it becomes even better since you get at least one use per battle, potentially.
That said, a single d8 or a shove isn’t a feat feature that is going to light the world on fire. This is aimed only at a limited number of classes and in fairness aside from Barbarians and Monks, there are Paladin and Fighter builds that won’t have any problem justifying taking this feat depending on the style of play.
And a Paladin charging in, getting a critical hit, and then adding a smite definitely has the ability to make a devastatingly effective first impression in battle.
Charger Feat: DnD One Vs 5E
So how does the classic 5th Edition version of the Charger feat measure up in comparison to the new One DnD version that has been released via Unearthed Arcana?
Let’s take a look at what’s changed to find out.
Related Article: 5E Charger Feat Guide
The DnD One version of the Charger feat added a few benefits that weren’t in the 5th Ed version. This includes making it a half-feat by giving the player a choice between a +1 Strength or a +1 Dexterity. The +10 feet to movement when using the Dash Action is also a new feature, really adding into the idea of an adrenaline surge when charging.
The most interesting difference is what will get most veteran players’ attentions, as well. Originally Charger gave a +5 damage on a hit when you charged and then attacked. This has been changed to an extra 1d8 which is actually a debuff based on the math since there’s a 37.5% you do more damage, 12.5% chance you hit the same, and a 50% chance that you do less damage.
However, this also allows the doubling of that damage with a critical hit, which means when you get lucky and hit big, you can suddenly hit very big.
Despite this minor debuff in damage, overall the DnD One version is stronger because of the extra movement to Dash speed, the ability to shove instead of attack, and getting a +1 ability score to boot.
Who Should Take the Charger Feat in DnD One?
There are multiple classes who could take the Charger feat, but this feat isn’t so strong that it’s one I’d put into the should take/must take category for any class. Depending on the build you can make arguments for Fighter, Barbarian, Monk, or Paladins taking this feat, or even a Ranger built for melee in group combat.
There are also some potentially interesting builds using the Druid since the benefits of this would still remain while in animal form, even if I wouldn’t call this a conventional Druid Feat by any measure.
This is an average feat with moments where it’s really good. It can work in certain builds, but it’s not going to set any worlds on fire. It’s a C+ to B- range level feat and there’s really not that much more to say about it.
DnD One Charger Feat Final Grade
Charger is an interesting feat, and there’s no denying that there are times when it can be enormously useful or powerful. The Dice Gods help any DM who has some big bads standing near a cliff, ledge, or lava flow when a character with the Charger feat shows up. But those are very situational and so the benefits of the feat are what they are, and that’s an average to slightly above average feat that works with many melee builds.
And so a B- or C+ is about the right range for where this grade should fall, with the understanding that there are precise moments when this leaps up to being a much more powerful feat in those situations.
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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.