Who wouldn’t want to be a weapon master? That sounds like the type of a feat that a fighter or other martial class would leap at, right? Who doesn’t want to master even more weapons? While the name of the weapon master feat sounds great, unfortunately that’s the last part of this feat that is going to
The Weapon Master feat is a 5E D&D feat that gives a +1 DEX/STR ability score improvement and added proficiency in 4 weapons of the player’s choice from the simple or martial weapons groups.
So how does this stack up in a practical way at the table? Let’s dive into this feat to find out.
Breaking Down the Weapon Master Feat
Let’s take a look at this feat by starting with the exact wording from the Player’s Handbook.
Directly from the Player’s Handbook:
You have practiced extensively with a variety of weapons, gaining the following benefits:
- Increase your Strength or Dexterity score by 1, to a maximum of 20
- You gain proficiency with four weapons of your choice. Each one must be a simple or a marital weapon.
The Player’s Handbook, p. 170
Let’s break down these feat benefits in more detail here.
Benefit #1: Increase your Strength or Dexterity score by 1 up to a maximum of 20
These half ability score boosts help lessen the loss from taking a feat as opposed to a normal ability score boost. However, I also think that means this type of a benefit really doesn’t count as a major benefit in most cases. The STR/DEX makes sense for martial classes as options, but also makes this a pretty underwhelming benefit for a feat.
This also puts a lot of weight on any other benefits to make up the slack.
Benefit #2: You gain proficiency with four weapons of your choice. Each one must be a simple or a martial weapon.
This is basically more or less crap with RAW and what’s available. While the introduction of exotic simple or marital weapons in the future could changed that, or getting a DM to homebrew rules like making them monk weapons for a monk might change a few things, but right now with the system where it’s at this is an incredibly underwhelming feat.
As for questions about whether or not this applies to ranged weapons, it seems like that since ranged weapons are still martial in nature, that this does indeed apply to them.
5E Classes That Should Take the Weapon Master Feat
There are no classes that should have the weapon master feat as a high-priority feat. This doesn’t give nearly enough to justify taking it, and both Paladins and Fighters already have everything this feat could offer. Great Weapon Master is a feat that actually makes more sense for most melee classes.
There aren’t many feats where I can easily and confidently say that no build should look at it, but unfortunately weapon master feat is one of them.
5th Ed Classes that should always take the Weapon Master Feat:
5E Classes That Should Consider Taking the Weapon Master Feat
Even with a DM who doesn’t allow multi-classing at all, which I have yet to run into, it’s still hard to see how extra weapon proficiency gives any advantage to a player over taking the full stat boost or even taking a +2 CON for the hit points or a +2 Wisdom for the important skill and save boosts.
This is just a clunker as far as that goes and the class of weapons just doesn’t come into play enough to make a difference for any class who is looking to add something of value to the build, and it’s even on the low side as far as flavor goes.
This is just a weak feat that doesn’t have much to offer.
5th Ed Classes that should consider taking the Weapon Master Feat:
5E Classes That Should NEVER Take the Weapon Master Feat
All of them. While there might be a really situational time where you’re trying to turn a d6 to a d8 for a dual wielder, allow a player a heavy crossbow versus a hand crossbow, or a rogue or something, even then that’s an example of focusing in so intently on the trees that you miss the forest with any type of helpful or reliable build.
At this point much like some of the other weak feats that are in 5E, the weapon master feat just isn’t a fit for really much of any build. I don’t like just dumping on a feat, but at this point there isn’t much good to say about the WM feat.
5th Ed classes that should never take the Weapon Master Feat:
Final Feat Grade for 5E Weapon Master
Weapon Master Feat Grade: F
Is the 5E Weapon Master Feat Worth It?
No. There just isn’t a good reason for taking this feat at all. There’s not enough variety in weapons to justify such a move, and one class of fighter or paladin would almost certainly always be a better move. This is one of those feats that feels similar to the moderately armored feat or medium armor master where you need to have them for mechanical reasons but they just don’t excite you at all since the built-in alternatives in the system are simply better.
There is no good reason for taking this feat, so it’s best to just skip it and use that ability score improvement or feat on something better.
Weapon Master Feat FAQ
What is the best way to gain proficiency with more weapons in 5E?
Multiclass into one level of fighter or paladin. Both of these give you proficiency in every type of armor and weapon, not to mention the other benefits of these classes that come from level one are far superior to the weapon master feat.
Do you need the weapon master feat to take great weapon master in 5E?
No. Despite similar names, these are two very distinctive feats that are not related to one another.
What’s the point of the weapon master feat in 5th Ed?
As 5th Edition stands now, there isn’t much. Maybe some flavor text, but that’s a lot to spend a feat on. Most discussions I’ve seen online seem to think that there was an expectation for exotic weapons or other weapon classes or mechanics that either weren’t implemented or haven’t been implemented yet.
Otherwise, this feat doesn’t seem to make any sense. It does give a feat option for players who want more proficiencies in games when DM refuses multi-classing, thus cutting off multi-classing 1-2 levels of fighter or paladin. Even so, that doesn’t make it a good pick.
Can the weapon master feat give me proficiency with versatile weapons?
As long as those weapons are simple or martial, then yes, those are weapons that the weapon master feat can grant proficiency in.
Other DnD Articles You Might Enjoy
- 5E Fighting Initiate Feat
- Martial Adept Feat
- Savage Attacker Feat
- Most Overpowered Feats
- Best Feat Combos 5E
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.