The Bard’s biggest strength, versatility, makes it difficult for adventurers to choose which Feats best fit their character.
It’s well known that Bards are one of the best classes in D&D, as their skills, spellcasting ability, and monstrous utility make them much more than mere minstrels. You seldom see Bards that aren’t useful to their parties.
However, with that said, choosing the appropriate Feats for a Bard can build on their already powerful abilities, making them even more helpful than previously mentioned.
Luckily, this guide lists some of the Feats that fit Bards the best, helping adventurers to lean towards carefully thought-out decisions rather than rushed ones.
Best Bard Feats in 5e
When you gain this feat, your HP maximum will increase by an amount equal to twice your level. After that, your HP maximum will increase by an additional 2 HP whenever you gain a level.
Bards have quite the problem with their low Hit Die, so you solve part of the problem by getting Tough.
It does take some time to kick in and make meaningful differences, but you can always use your abundance of healing spells to just heal your missing HP.
14. War Caster
Practicing casting spells in combat means you gain the following benefits:
- Gain advantage on Constitution saving throws you make to maintain Concentration on a spell when taking damage
- You may perform somatic components of spells when you have a shield or weapons in one or both hands.
- A hostile creature’s movement, provoking an opportunity attack from you, lets you use your reaction to cast a spell at the creature. The spell must target only the creature and have a casting time of 1 action.
Note: You must have the ability to cast at least one spell to be able to take War Caster.
Bards that want to pursue melee-spellcasting combinations should definitely consider taking War Caster.
It works well with Booming Blade and affects your Concentration saves, so you won’t have too many problems when fighting in close combat with a chance to be hit.
13. Dungeon Delver
You are alert to main traps and secret doors in dungeons, gaining the following benefits:
- Gain advantage in Wisdom (Perception) and Intelligence (Investigation) checks to detect if there are secret doors
- Gain advantage on saving throws to avoid or resist traps
- Gain resistance to damage dealt by traps
- Fast pace traveling doesn’t impose the -5 passive Wisdom (Perception) penalty
Many parties make the Bard their “skill expert,” and if the campaign you’re playing involves a lot of dungeon crawling, consider taking Dungeon Delver.
Both War Caster and Dungeon Delver are pretty situational, so treat them as such and don’t mindlessly choose without a valid reason for doing so. Feats are helpful and scarce, so don’t waste them!
12. Defensive Duelist
Wielding a finesse weapon you have Proficiency with and being hit with a melee attack by another creature means you may use your reaction and add your Proficiency bonus to your total AC for the attack, potentially having the attack miss you.
Note: Your Dexterity must be 13 or higher to gain Defensive Duelist.
Certain Bards (Valor) tend to go for Finesse weapons and increase their Dexterity by quite a bit.
Defensive Duelist helps your AC when facing a single enemy. The only problem is that when faced with more than one enemy, Defensive Duelist will lose a lot of value.
Gain Proficiency in any combination of three tools or skills you choose.
As I’ve already mentioned, Bards are made the “skill experts” of many parties.
So, having more skill proficiencies as a Bard isn’t a bad thing at all, making Skilled a pretty good Feat to take if you’re going for that build.
10. Ritual Caster
You’ve learned a few spells that you can cast as rituals. These spells are all written in a ritual book, which you must keep in hand while casting a spell.
Choosing this feat gives you a ritual book with two 1st-level spells you choose. Choose one of these classes: Wizard, Warlock, Sorcerer, Druid, Cleric, or Bard. The spells must be chosen from that class’s spell list, and the spell must have a ritual tag.
The class you chose determines the spellcasting ability modifier for your spells: Intelligence for a Wizard, Wisdom for Clerics and Druids, and Charisma for Bards, Sorcerers, and Warlocks.
Coming across a written spell, like a wizard’s spellbook or a magical spell scroll, might allow you to add it to your ritual book. However, the spell must be on your chosen class’s spell list, the spell’s level cannot be higher than half your character level (rounded up), and it must be a ritual spell.
Copying a spell takes 2 hours per level of that spell, costing 50 GP power level. The cost represents the Material component you’ll need to expend as you try to master the spell and the rare inks used to plot it down.
While Bards can already cast Ritual spells, Ritual Caster provides you with a ritual book, allowing you to have more spells to your name without having to permanently learn them, which is limited.
That means you’ll be able to permanently learn better higher-level spells, and you keep some useful lower-level spells.
9. Skill Expert
You may increase one of your ability scores by 1, but only to a maximum of 20, and you’ll gain proficiency with one skill you choose.
Then, you may choose one skill you have proficiency with, gaining expertise with that skill and doubling any ability checks made with it.
The chosen skill must be one that isn’t currently benefiting from a feature (like Expertise), which can double your proficiency bonus.
Skill Expert gives you one more skill, an ability score increase, and lets you gain expertise in a skill is fantastic.
If you already have a Feat or two, Skill Expert can easily be incorporated into your build without much sacrifice.
You are skilled at dramatics and mimicry, gaining the following benefits:
- Increase Charisma by 1 (maximum of 20)
- Gain advantage on Charisma (Deception) and Charisma (Performance) checks when trying to convince others you are a different person.
- You may mimic the speech of another person or sound from a creature. You must’ve heard the source speaking or making the sound for at least 1 minute.
Succeeding on a Wisdom (Insight) check, which is contested by your Charisma (Deception) check, will allow a listener to determine whether the effect is faked.
Bards are known to have high Charisma, and when you’re in a highly social game, taking Actor will just further increase it.
While Actor is situational, since many campaigns involve some type of NPC dialogue, it’s a really good Feat to pick up.
7. Gift of the Chromatic Dragon
Manifest powers from chromatic dragons, gaining benefits:
Chromatic Infusion allows you to use a bonus action and touch a martial or simple weapon, infusing it with one of these damage types: Poison, Lightning, Fire, Cold, or Acid.
For a minute, the weapon now deals an extra 1d4 damage on a hit of the infused damage type. After using this bonus action, you can’t do so again until after finishing a long rest.
Reactive Resistance lets you use your reaction to give yourself resistance to whichever damage you took out of the following types: Poison, Lightning, Fire, Cold, or Acid damage.
The reaction can be used a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus, and you’ll regain all uses whenever you finish a long rest.
Reactive Resistance acts as a form of Absorb Elements, and Chromatic Infusion is a great ability to use on your party members.
Compared to other Feats, Gift of the Chromatic Dragon has many applications in most campaigns, and the added damage you can imbue an ally’s weapon with is also an excellent buffing ability.
Gain 3 luck points. When making an attack roll, ability check, or saving throw, you may spend one luck point to roll an additional d20.
You may choose to spend one luck point after rolling the die but before the outcome is determined. You then choose which d20 will be used for the attack roll, ability check, or saving throw.
You may also spend one luck point when an attack roll is made against you, rolling a d20 to choose whether the attack uses your roll or the attacker’s.
More than one creature spending a luck point to influence the outcome of a roll will cancel each other out, and no additional dice will be rolled.
Expended luck points are regained when you’ve finished a long rest.
Lucky is one of those Feats that just works in any class, so if you want to take a Feat but are worried about whether it’s good or not, just take Lucky. There’s not much that can go wrong with choosing Lucky.
5. Fey Touched
Gain the following benefits:
- Increase Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma by 1 (maximum of 20)
- Learn Misty Step and one 1st-level spell you choose. The 1st-level spell must be Divination or Enchantment, and both spells can be used without expending a spell slot.
Casting a spell this way means you cannot cast it like this again until you’ve finished a long rest.
These spells can also be cast using spell slots of the appropriate level, and these spells use the spellcasting ability increased by the feat.
One of the go-to spells that most characters go for after getting Fey Touched is Misty Step, which you can’t usually get and is exceptional on a Bard, as is with most other characters.
You gain the following benefits and choose one ability score:
- Chosen ability score increased by 1 (maximum of 20)
- Gain Proficiency in the chosen ability in saving throws
Resilient is a lot like War Caster, but it gives proficiency with Constitution saves, not Constitution saves only for Concentration.
Resilient is the go-to Feat if you want to keep your Concentration up, and the fact that it provides an ability increase makes it easier to incorporate into your build.
3. Magic Initiate
Choose a class: Wizard, Warlock, Sorcerer, Druid, Cleric, Bard. Learn any two Cantrips from the class you chose.
Also, choose a 1st-level spell from the class’s spell list. Using this feat allows you to cast the chosen spell at its lowest level. A long rest allows you to use the spell in this way again.
Spellcasting ability depends on the chosen class: Intelligence for Wizard, Wisdom for Cleric or Druid, and Charisma for Bard, Sorcerer, or Warlock.
Much like Fey Touched, Magic Initiate lets you gain access to a lot of powerful low-level spells you otherwise couldn’t have selected.
2. Metamagic Adept
Exert your will on spells, altering how they function:
- Learn two Metamagic options you choose from the Sorcerer class. Only one Metamagic option may be used when casting a spell unless it says otherwise.
Reaching a level granting the Ability Score Improvement feature lets you replace one Metamagic option with another from the Sorcerer class.
- Gain 2 sorcery points for Metamagic (added to other sorcery points from other sources, but only works for Metamagic).
All expended sorcery points can be regained when you finish a long rest.
Note: You must have the Spellcasting or Pact Magic feature to be able to use Metamagic Adept.
Metamagic Adept is exceptional on any spellcaster.
Clerics can choose to empower damage spells, extend buffing spells, or even increase the range of the spell.
There are up to 11 options that are all exceptionally powerful.
1. Inspiring Leader
Spend 10 minutes inspiring your companions, choosing up to six friendly creatures (including yourself) within 30 feet of you who can hear, see, and understand you.
Each chosen creature gains temporary HP equal to your level + your Charisma modifier. A creature cannot gain the temporary HP from this feat again until it has finished a short or long rest.
Note: Your Charisma must be 13 or higher to obtain Inspiring Leader.
One big problem in a party is healing, and Inspiring Leader beautifully addresses that problem.
The temporary HP gained from it is one of the best ways to reduce your party’s need for healing in combat.
Bards have one ideal problem: too many choices. The versatile nature of the Bard makes it so that many Feats just work on the class, and if you want to come to a conclusion, you’ll have to look at what you want.
In other words, the best Feat for you might not be the best Bard Feat, but it will work the best in that circumstance, even if other Feats are objectively better than others.
So, choose well, but don’t break your head about it, as Bards have so many options that making one or two mistakes while creating one won’t handicap you much.
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