Savage Attacker was a feat that needed some serious buffing from 5th Edition and received just that from the changes made in DnD One. In fact, it’s easy to argue that Savage Attacker was one of the biggest winners in the feat changes and that’s a good thing. This not only drastically improved a feat that needed it, but gave melee builds a power boost that they needed to keep pace with the casters and even many half caster classes.
The DnD One Savage Attacker Feat allows any player character who hits with a weapon on an attack action to make two damage rolls and take the one they prefer. This can be used once per turn, and greatly boosts
Let’s dive into everything there is to know about the newest version of the Savage Attacker feat for D&D!
Savage Attacker Feat DnD One Review
The best way to break down a feat is to check out the exact wording.
From Unearthed Arcana:
You have trained to deal particularly damaging strikes. When you take the Attack Action and hit a target with a Weapon as part of that action, you can reroll the Weapon’s damage dice twice and use either roll against the target. You can use this benefit only once per turn.
Unearthed Arcana, Character Origins (emphasis added)
Let’s break down these benefits in more detail to really get to the heart of what this feat has to offer.
Benefit #1: When you hit a target with a weapon during an attack action, you can roll the weapon’s damage twice and use either roll.
The Savage Attacker feat is simple, which is why it has one benefit and that’s it, but it’s an excellent one for melee fighters like the Fighter, Barbarian, and the Paladin which is technically a half caster but plays very much like a melee character (and rerolling smite damage to get higher damage makes them especially brutal).
This is a vast improvement over the original as you get the option of either roll and get to roll all the damage dice to see how good an improvement you can get – or keep the original roll.
This makes it quite a bit more valuable.
How Does Savage Attacker Feat Measure Up?
This was a clear attempted fix a feat that was trying to make melee fighters stronger but wasn’t doing a great job of it. This is almost a must-take in DnD One for pure melee, and nearly pure melee classes.
This basically gives advantage on damage rolls. Because of how it’s written if you have 2-4 attacks per attack action, you can roll the damage and then choose which hit to use this feat on. That maximizes your damage, and also lets you go nuts any time you have a critical hit.
That makes this even stronger since you get to see the best hit to reroll damage on.
For purely boosting a melee attack, the Savage Attacker feat is fantastic. It’s been boosted in a way that makes the melee classes much more effective and helps them keep pace in middle to higher level campaigns.
While magic casters still might be the big dogs in a high level D&D campaign, this helps close the gap at least a little bit, which is more than previous melee characters could hope for.
Savage Attacker Feat: DnD One Vs 5E
This is a pretty easy comparison. In the original Savage Attacker feat you could reroll damage once and use either roll. With this upgrade you can reroll twice and use any of those rolls. That gives melee builds a tremendous amount of ability to up their damage and makes melee frankly scary at low levels.
To my knowledge this is also the first core book D&D feature that gives more than one reroll, making it really stand out.
Related Article: 5E Savage Attacker Feat Guide
This makes Savage Attacker twice as effective in DnD One compared to 5E because you get two rerolls (and thus three damage rolls to choose from) versus one reroll, and those two damage rolls to choose from.
Who Should Take the Savage Attacker Feat in DnD One?
There are several classes that should consider taking this feat, if not always take it. Those are:
- Melee-based builds of Bard or Warlock
Barbarians and fighters are the obvious ones. They are melee characters through and through and this means that the ability to reroll attack damage every turn is a huge buff to what those characters can do in combat. These characters are going to profit in huge ways from taking Savage Attacker as their first level feat.
For DnD One Savage Attacker will clearly make the list of Best Feats for Barbarians and Best Feats for Fighters, even if it would not have back during the regular 5th Edition days.
Paladins and Rangers should also take this feat. Paladins use most of their magic for smiting, which adds damage to weapon attacks. Since these are often saved for necessary hits or crits, being able to reroll damage and take the better is a big boost to how paladins are built. Rangers get overlooked because they tend to be archers, but a longbow or a crossbow is a weapon.
That means they can reroll damage and since rangers often have damage boosters like Hunter’s Mark and Colossus Slayer, that’s a lot of potential extra damage from being able to roll twice and take the higher number.
In most combat encounters in our years of running 5E D&D campaigns, the Ranger would roll that extra d6 and extra d8 with most attacks, which means they have potential to make a terrible damage roll an extremely powerful one which makes DnD One Rangers a class that will want to take this feat regardless of build.
Potential Wildcard Pick: Druid.
This depends heavily on how the DM of your game rules an important part of the wording for the feat: weapon. If the DM will say the claws or fists of an animal a Druid wild shapes into counts as a weapon attack, they should absolutely pick up this feat.
If the DM rules by letter of the wording and says they do not, then it’s worth the Druid passing on this one for Tough or some other available feats.
So whether or not this makes the list of best feats for Druids depends entirely on whether or not your DM chooses to follow a homebrew rule for D&D or whether they go by the very legalized definitions.
This can go either way, so ask your DM first before making assumptions or putting them on the spot.
DnD One Savage Attacker Feat Final Grade
Savage Attacker desperately needed a boost from its 5th Edition version and that’s exactly what it got. This was a major boost, and a creative way to fix it up without making things too complicated. This is one of the better level one feats for builds that can make use of it, and will almost certainly become a mainstay of DnD One builds.
Other Articles of Interest
- Tavern Brawler DnD One Feat Guide
- Magic Initiate DnD One Feat Guide
- Lucky DnD One Feat Guide
- Healer DnD One Feat Guide
- Lightly Armored DnD One Feat Guide
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.