D&D: The 10 Best Feats For Tank Characters

2022-07-16 02:25:00 By : Mr. Ray Feng

Pick only the best feats for your tanky characters whenever you start up a campaign in Dungeons & Dragons.

Your group has assembled, and they are ready to face the challenges ahead of them. However, they are not the ones who will be literally ahead of them. That job falls to you, the tank, also known as the defender. Contrary to what we are accustomed to in most video games, playing a tank in Dungeons & Dragons works a bit differently. Not only high health and armor class are important, but being able to control the battlefield is just as important to you.

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There are quite some interesting feats to help you as the levels go by, and they allow some powerful builds for your character. You can become the ultimate shield, or you can be quite destructive by yourself, and make sure your enemies will not reach your friends.

An underrated feat that is actually useful to pretty much any character, this one can make quite the difference against surprise attacks. Not only do you get a nice initiative bonus (something tanks can sometimes lack), but, as long as you're not sleeping, surprise attacks will not affect you and enemies won't have advantage by attacking you with stealth. By never being surprised, your reactions will work just fine, and you won't lose your turn, so you'll be able to fight and protect your friends.

This one will require specific builds, usually where you rely on dexterity rather than strength to fight since it only works with finesse weapons (though you can have a finesse one and fight with strength still). Basically, when you receive an attack, you can use your reaction to add your proficiency bonus onto your armor class, and potentially make said attack miss. This one is more to protect yourself than anyone else, but it's a good way to save your skin against difficult foes focused on you. Just be mindful with your reactions, since tanks can rely on a lot of them.

To control your enemies' movement is an amazing power to have. Not only do you get to use your reaction to hit enemies that are attacking your friends, but whenever you get an opportunity attack, you'll drop your target's movement to zero (if you hit them, that is). This allows you to prevent enemies from running away from you (you get the opportunity even if they disengage) and helps you stop enemies who are passing through you to get to a friend of yours. Not to mention it makes a powerful combo with the next feat...

At first, this feat would suit better an offensive character rather than a tank, especially considering you'll have to give up on a shield to use this feat. However, it still is a good option if you're the off-tank, or if you also want to cause some damage.

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Working only with glaives, spears, halberds, and quarterstaves, it gives you an extra attack and, more importantly, allows you to cause an opportunity attack when someone enters your reach as well as when they leave it (and with these weapons, your reach is now 10ft rather than 5ft). If you combine that with Sentinel, which drops your target's movement to zero when you hit them with an opportunity attack, you can prevent enemies from even reaching you by combining these feats.

If you intend to be a more traditional tank, you'll likely have a shield with you. That said, this feat can give you quite a few perks. First, you can knock enemies prone with a bonus action (as long as you use your main action to attack), which makes your melee party members very happy. Second, this feat helps you a lot with dexterity saving throws, something heavy armor characters are usually not good at. Not only you can add your shield AC to the saving throw, but you can use your reaction to only receive half of the damage (or none, if you pass the saving throw) when you're attacked with a spell that forces these types of dice rolls. This is superb, considering that dexterity saving throws are the most common ones among spells.

This feat will improve both your defense and offense, at least when it comes to fighting spellcasters. Whenever you're 5ft away from someone who dares to cast a spell, you can use your reaction to attack them. But wait, there's more. If you were the target of the spell, and it requires any sort of saving throw, you will do it in advantage (just keep in mind that the 5ft distance also applies to this part). Plus, if they have a concentration spell going on, their concentration saving throw will be done at disadvantage, making it even more likely for the spell to end.

Now that feats against magic is out of the way, time to focus on physical damage. Since there's a good chance you'll be using heavy armor, this one is a good ally. Every time you receive non-magical bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage, the damage is reduced by three. Sure, three isn't that big of a number, but this works like a passive ability that takes three from every attack. Got hit four times in a row? That's a minus 12 overall. This will help your overall resistance and could be the reason you didn't fall after a ferocious attack. Your strength ability score also increases by one, so that's pretty neat too.

As the name implies, you have to be a Dwarf for this one, and it can help you a lot at staying alive. One very good action for when you're surrounded (as a tank often is) is the evade action when you forego a chance to attack to protect yourself and give disadvantage to all who choose to attack you instead.

What this feat does is, whenever you decide to use evade, you have the option of using one of your hit die right in the middle of the fight, healing you for a total of whatever you roll plus your constitution modifier. Basically, you can protect yourself and heal a bit during combat. Not to mention a plus one to your overall constitution score.

Another race-specific feat, this time for the Dragonborn. This race has a neat ability which is the breath weapon, an area attack based on an element you choose when creating your character. With this feat, you can instead attempt to make every creature you choose (and who can hear you) to be frightened of you. By forcing your enemies to run away from you, it gives your allies some space in desperate situations. It lasts for one minute, which is quite a few rounds during combat, and with good positioning among you and your friends, they won't be able to attack anyone. Unless they have ranged attacks, but still. This one also gives you one point to your ability score, this time on charisma.

Sometimes, what a good tank needs is just a health buff. With tough, you get two extra hit points every time you level up, giving you a total of 40 extra health by the time you hit maximum level. It's a pretty simple and straightforward feat, but extra hit points can always end up being handy, especially when your AC is not being enough to block most attacks. Classes such as barbarians can get to crazy amounts of health by using this feat, and even if you get it later down the line, the feat will make up for all the levels you already got. Plus, if you're interested in being a Dwarf, Hill Dwarves get an extra hit point every time they level up, giving you a plus three total.

NEXT: Best Magical Items For Melee Characters

Freelance writer assigned to writing Lists in TheGamer. Passionate about video-games, especially platformers and hack n' slash games.