The Polearm Master feat was taken in almost every 5E campaign we ran in the past, and why not? Who doesn’t like a little bit of extra reach, and of course, it was one half of the most overpowered feat combination in all of 5th Edition, something our Cleric used to devastating effect in multiple campaigns.
The One DnD Polearm Master feat allows a player to increase their STR or DEX by 1 (player’s choice), use a bonus action to make a d4 bludgeoning attack with a heavy polearm weapon, and use a reaction to make one Melee Attack against any creature that enters the reach of that weapon, which is usually 10 feet.
So does this hold up to its 5th Ed companion and can the classic Polearm Master-Sentinel combination still in play or has the feat changed too much? Let’s dive in and find out.
Let’s dive into the Polearm Master feat and see what it brings to the table in the new One DnD/6E system.
Polearm Master Feat One DnD Review
The best way to break down a feat is to check out the exact wording.
From Unearthed Arcana:
Prerequisite: Proficiency with Any Martial Weapon
You have trained extensively with pole weapons that have Reach, granting you the following benefits:
Ability Score Increase. Increase your Strength score by 1, to a maximum of 20.
Pole Strike. Immediately after you take the Attack Action and attack with a Weapon that has the Heavy and Reach properties, you can use a Bonus Action to make a Melee Attack with the opposite end of the Weapon. The weapon’s damage die for this attack is a d4, and it deals Bludgeoning Damage.
Reactive Strike. While you are holding a Weapon that has the Heavy and Reach properties, you can use you Reaction to make one Melee Attack against a creature that enters the Reach you have with that Weapon.
Unearthed Arcana, Expert Classes 2022
Lets break these benefits down one by one to see how they hold up.
Benefit #1: Increase your Strength by 1, to a maximum of 20.
Makes sense as a +1 to the core stats. This is a rare one where there isn’t a choice, but it actually makes sense for the Polearm Master feat seeing as how these are going to be bigger, heavier weapons. To master them to the extent where you can react and attack or use a bonus action to attack, you would need to be strong.
Benefit #2: Pole Strike – Immediately after taking an Attack Action and attacking with a weapon that has the heavy and reach properties, you can use a bonus action to make a melee attack with the opposite or “butt” end of the weapon. The attack damage die is a d4 and this is Bludgeoning Damage.
This isn’t a huge bonus, but it does give some ability to attack with the bonus action without taking penalty, which not every class has. Since most DMs who allow the off-hand attack as a bonus action make it so it must happen with light weapon, but the pole strike is an okay little bonus. It’s hard to get excited about a d4+STR bonus for damage, but it is an added bonus that works with RAW games.
Benefit #3: Reactive Strike. While holding a weapon that has heavy and reach properties, you can use your reaction to make one melee attack against a creature that enters the reach you have with that weapon.
Very few classes have the ability to use a Reaction, which makes any benefit that gives some use to reaction a good thing. Reactions are extremely rare among martial classes, meaning most of the times a Fighter, Paladin, or Cleric who takes this feat will finally have a way to use a reaction, which most builds would not have had previously.
Giving a martial character a zone of control and an extra attack per turn is a good boost.
How Does Polearm Master Feat Measure Up?
This isn’t an overwhelming feat, but it’s one that adds a lot of nice benefits. A +1 STR is okay, but nothing that’s going to rock a character build. It’s better to have than not and makes it easier to go from an odd number to an even one.
The pole strike is okay if you have nothing else to do with a Bonus Action. No one is going to be overwhelmed by it and it’s not going to be a game changer in any situation. Especially since this only comes into effect when you’re already in combat.
Getting Reactive Strike is great because it adds a reaction and allows you to inflict extra damage in a turn when you otherwise wouldn’t be able to. This is the strong part of the feat and still works with the Polearm Master-Sentinel build, even if that classic OP build is partially nerfed on the Sentinel feat side of things.
This is a solid feat, and it still does well with the classic Sentinel pairing, but it’s not one that’s going to blow you away.
Polearm Master Feat: One DnD Vs 5E
So how do these two versions of Polearm Master compare? They’re actually extremely similar, with the only major difference being that with the One DnD version of the Polearm Master Feat you get the +1 Strength.
Related Article: 5E Polearm Master Feat Guide
Everything else is the same other than some minor wording changes to bring the new feat in line with how mechanics are going to be addressed in the new system. Because of that One DnD Polearm Master Feat is the superior one because +1 Strength is better than not having +1 Strength, when all other things are equal.
Who Should Take The Polearm Master Feat in One DnD?
Any Polearm Master + Sentinel build. This can work especially well with Fighters, Paladins, Clerics, and Barbarians. These melee classes are generally strong, they have builds that can take advantage of this combo, and they tend to get the most out of the feat as it is currently written.
With that said, this is also a feat that is based on a specific type of build as none of these classes should look at this feat as a “Should Take” or “Must Take,” it all depends on the build and weapons that the player is going to use with their character.
DnD One Polearm Master Feat Final Grade
The Polearm Master is a B grade, in part because of what it brings to the table but also in large part because of the combination builds it brings to the table. Action economy is a huge part of D&D and so when you can add 1-2 potential attacks that otherwise wouldn’t be there in a round, that’s something that is worth paying attention to.
Other D&D Articles of Interest
- Best Feats for Fighters
- Best Feats for Clerics
- Best Feats for Paladins
- What Are Core Stats in D&D?
- Lawful Good Alignment Guide
- Chaotic Good Alignment 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.