When you really want to bring the pain in combat, it’s seriously worth considering the Great Weapon Master feat in D&D 5e.
This feat is one of the most popular and powerful feats in the game. It can greatly enhance the combat abilities of characters who use heavy melee weapons.
Essentially, the Great Weapon Master feat allows you to make more powerful attacks with heavy weapons, but at a cost.
So if you’re playing a character who wields a heavy weapon (like a greatsword or halberd), it’s time to learn how to throw that weight around!
This article will cover everything you need to know about the Great Weapon Master feat in D&D 5e!
What is the Great Weapon Master Feat in 5e?
If your character is charging into battle with a two-handed greatsword or another heavy weapon, you’ll want to consider taking this option.
When you take the Great Weapon Master Feat, you gain the following benefits:
- You can choose to take a -5 penalty to your attack roll when you make a melee attack with a heavy weapon that you are proficient with. If the attack hits, you add +10 to the attack’s damage.
- When you score a critical hit with a melee weapon or reduce a creature to 0 hit points with one, you can make one melee weapon attack as a bonus action.
This is useful for characters that want to deal a lot of damage in a single hit. The -5 penalty to your attack roll might seem like a significant drawback, but the +10 to the attack’s damage can make a huge difference.
If you’re confident in your character’s ability to hit their target, taking the penalty can be well worth it.
The second benefit of the Great Weapon Master Feat is also incredibly useful. It allows you to make an additional melee weapon attack as a bonus action when you score a critical hit or reduce a creature to 0 hit points.
This can be especially effective when combined with the first benefit, allowing you to deal a massive amount of damage in a single turn!
Not to mention it adds even more “oomph” to your character’s action economy!
Why the Great Weapon Master Feat is Useful
The Great Weapon Master feat is a powerful tool in the arsenal of anyone who wants to deal massive amounts of damage in melee combat.
One of the main reasons why the Great Weapon Master feat is so useful is that it can help players take down tough enemies quickly.
For example, you might be facing a monster with a huge pool of hit points. Something like a Frost Giant immediately comes to mind.
Using this feat can help you smash through their defenses and deal a significant amount of damage with each hit!
Of course, this feat can also be especially useful in situations where time is of the essence. When you’re racing against the clock to stop a ritual or prevent an enemy from escaping, you want to be efficient.
But don’t forget that the Great Weapon Master feat can also help you deal with groups of enemies!
When facing multiple foes, it’s often more efficient to take out one or two targets quickly rather than trying to chip away at all of them.
By buffing your damage output, you can focus your attacks on the most dangerous enemies and potentially even take them out in a single blow! With so much concentrated damage, you can quickly begin reducing the overall threat level of the encounter.
Finally, the Great Weapon Master feat is useful because it can help your allies make the most of their resources.
In D&D 5e, resources such as spell slots and many class features are limited. Naturally, players need to use these wisely.
By using the Great Weapon Master feat, you make it easier for you and your allies to conserve resources by taking out enemies quickly and efficiently.
This allows your party members to save their spells and abilities for more challenging encounters later on.
Related: Feats in D&D 5e Explained
How to Use Great Weapon Master Effectively in 5e
Great Weapon Master is a powerful feat in D&D 5e that allows you to deal massive damage with heavy weapons. However, it’s important to use it effectively to get the most out of it.
Here are some tips on how to use it effectively:
1. Choose the Right Weapon
Great Weapon Master only works with heavy weapons, so it’s important to choose the right weapon.
The six weapons you can use with Great Weapon Master are the Glaive, Greataxe, Greatsword, Halberd, Maul, and Pike. Each of these weapons has its own advantages and disadvantages, so choose the one that fits your playstyle and character build.
2. Take Advantage of the -5 Penalty
When you use Great Weapon Master, you can choose to take a -5 penalty to your attack roll in exchange for a +10 bonus to damage.
This can be a powerful tradeoff, but it’s important to use it wisely.
Consider using it when you have advantage on your attack roll, or when you’re facing an enemy with a low AC. Characters who can reliably get advantage (like Barbarians with their Reckless Attack) especially love this feat!
3. Combine with Other Feats or Abilities
One of the coolest things about this feat is that it can become even more powerful when combined with other feats or abilities.
For example, the Savage Attacker feat allows you to re-roll damage dice. This can be especially useful when you’re dealing extra damage with Great Weapon Master.
Other abilities, such as the Paladin’s Divine Smite or the Barbarian’s Rage, can also be combined with Great Weapon Master for even more damage.
4. Use with Care
While Great Weapon Master can be a powerful tool, it’s important to use it with care.
Taking a -5 penalty to your attack roll can be risky, especially if you’re facing a tough enemy. Consider using this only when you’re confident you can hit your target, or when you’re facing a weaker enemy.
Frequently Asked Questions – Great Weapon Master in D&D 5e
The Great Weapon Master feat can be used with any melee weapon that you are proficient with and that has the “heavy” property. This includes weapons like greatswords, greataxes, glaives, halberds, pikes, and mauls.
No, the Great Weapon Master feat can only be used with heavy melee weapons. It does not apply to ranged weapons like bows or crossbows.
Yes, the Great Weapon Master feat can be used with opportunity attacks. However, keep in mind that the -5 penalty to attack rolls still applies. So you may want to consider whether the risk is worth the potential reward.
Yes, the Great Weapon Master feat can be used with any attack made with a heavy melee weapon, including extra attacks granted by abilities like the Extra Attack feature.
Yes, the Great Weapon Master feat can be used with critical hits. If you score a critical hit using this feat, you will double the damage dice and then add the extra damage.
So a critical hit with a greatsword (2d6 damage) would deal 4d6 damage + your Strength modifier + 10 (from GWM) + any other damage modifiers.
You can then make another attack as a bonus action thanks to GWM’s second benefit!
No, the Great Weapon Master feat can only be used with heavy melee weapons that you are proficient with. If you are not proficient with a weapon, you cannot use the feat with that weapon.
Conclusion – Great Weapon Master in D&D 5e
Overall, Great Weapon Master is most effective for characters who specialize in melee combat and use Heavy weapons. It’s so good that it almost seems to become mandatory!
Of course, it’s especially useful for characters who have high Strength scores and can easily hit their targets. The extra damage from the feat can help to quickly take down enemies.
However, it’s important to use this feat strategically. Be sure to weigh the risks of taking the attack penalty against the potential benefits of dealing extra damage.
With the right approach, though, the Great Weapon Master feat can help you become a true powerhouse on the battlefield!