Piercer 5e – Explored and Explained

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Dungeons and Dragons is a game with many mechanics that are challenging for newcomers to understand. The game is loved by millions all around the world and its complexity is one of the big reasons for it. With each edition, new mechanics are introduced that players must learn. Today we will be talking about one of those, the piercer feat in DnD 5e.

For those unfamiliar editions are essentially updates to Dungeons and Dragons that happen every so often. These are created to keep the game fresh and provide more content for the playerbase. They are needed since the first edition came out all the way back in 1974. The most up-to-date version is the Dungeons and Dragons fifth edition or most commonly referred to as 5e. Now that you know what 5e is let’s get into the piercer feat.

What is Piercer 5e?

Piercer 5e in DnD is a feat that was implemented into a game with Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything alongside many changes and new subclasses. This feat is one of the three feats added and was designed to help martial classes stay on par with casters without overshadowing them. Piercer is a feat that improves attributes to weapon wielders and grants players the following benefits:

  • Increases the strength or dexterity of your character by one to a max of 20
  • Upon hitting a creature with an attack that deals piercing damage, the player may re-roll one of the damage dice and use that new roll instead. This effect only activates once per turn.
  • Upon landing a critical hit on a creature with piercing damage, the player may roll an extra damage die for that piercing damage.

All of these are great perks that alone can increase the power of a character significantly. Make sure to check out which classes can utilize this feat to the fullest. As well as which classes and sub-classes to avoid it on.

Is Piercer any Good?


Considering what piercer does we would say that it is quite situational and can either do a lot or nothing for a character. If you are familiar with the half-orcs Brutal Critical and the Savage Attacker feat you can get a gist of how it works. It is basically a combination of the two. The best part of piercer is that the damage is not restricted just to melee combat, meaning the feat can be utilized for a ranged build as well. Once this was first discovered many flocked to find the craziest builds that incorporate ranged attacks. However, even the best ones didn’t end up being too powerful. This is mostly because the damage rerolls are a little ambiguous with no official errata.  This leaves the feat up to your DM to interpret and determine the maximum damage output. 

As far as weapons are concerned the spear is the best pair with the piercer in 5e, especially since it’s two-handed. For dexterity classes, the rapier will shine thanks to its high damage that is amplified by the feat. Don’t worry ranged fans, weapons like the bow and crossbow can also use it to reliably increase their damage output.

How Classes Utilize Piercer in 5e

Here we have taken piercer in 5e and tried it with each class in the game. The results may surprise you for some but remember the feat isn’t top tier. We will first start with those that utilize the feat the worst and slowly move upwards to the best users of it. 

Classes that don’t utilize Piercer in DnD 5e all that much


Wizard: Many think that wizards would be among the best users simply because you would get piercing spells. Despite this, the feat is still the skip due to the minuscule damage increase. The feat is only useful, and slightly at best, in horde situations. But realistically there are much better alternatives for this.

Warlock: Just like the wizard you will gain access to a few piercing spells but in the end, they are underwhelming. The damage increase is next to nothing and will drastically decrease efficiency compared to other feats.

Sorcerer: For a sorcerer, this is the easiest choice to skip piercer in 5e. This is because you don’t gain any spells that can utilize the piercing damage and also you get nothing from the stats.

Druid: As a druid, you’ll want to skip piercer since the piercing only works with two spells that aren’t all that powerful. In almost all scenarios other than the Circle of the Moon druid we say to automatically skip this feat. But for that specific build once you Wild Shape the piercing damage can work well sometimes. While still not the best at least you can utilize the feat in some way.

Cleric: A clerics’ main purpose is not to deal damage nor is it anywhere at the top of the priority list. Because of this, the feat can only be used for statistics for supportive and tank clerics. However, for War Domain, Strenght Domain, and Forge Domain this feat actually becomes usable and deals heavy damage.

Barbarian: Barbarian can utilize piercer in 5e but it restricts your weapon to the spear. Yes, this will do decent piercing damage but usually the two-handed options and Great Weapon Master will outperform this feat.

Classes that are Neutral or Benefit Little from Piercer in DnD 5e

Artificer: For a ranged artificer this feat is a great pickup, especially with crossbows. This can be further improved if you dual-wield hand crossbows for the extra crit damage. While a niche builds it can stand on its own and perform well.

Bard: Some dexterity-based bard builds that aim to fight from afar should pick this feat up. This also stands true for College of Swords and College of Valor since you can use rapiers that pierce. While not the best builds for bards this can provide a fun experience for a dungeon.

Classes that Greatly Benefit from Piercer in DnD 5e

piercer in dnd5e

Fighter: Piercer in 5e is a stellar feat for most fighters as most weapons can utilize the feat perfectly. Especially samurai and champions who thrive the most with it. They can get crits a little more often than other classes which is the perfect synergy with piercer. This combination is easily one of the most powerful builds in the game. As for other fighters, any build that focuses on dexterity such as bows, crossbows, and rapiers work excellently.

Monk: Monks utilize piercers really well with the weapon-focused subclasses that use short swords. The Way of the Kensei monk subclass is the best one for this as it synergies perfectly. You can clearly see that this feat was designed to bring monk some strengths in areas where the class was lacking.

Paladin: Piercer for paladins in 5e serves as a small boost to an already lethal kit. It can be utilized by effectively every subclass to some degree and is not a waste of resources. While there are stronger builds for paladins the piercer feat can hold its own as a great build.

Ranger: With the introduction of this feat ranged rangers finally have something to work with. The feat works very well with both the bows and crossbows as a fantastic addition. To make things better the stats are also useful making the feat integrate completely.

Rogue: Rouges get a new build from this feat and a power boost to previously weaker weapons. Shortswords and rapiers were overshadowed by their counterparts but now can actually hold their own. Piercer is easily a must-have for rouges that utilize swords and rapiers in 5e. Without it the difference is too drastic and damage too low.


Piercer is an alright feat in Dungeons and Dragons 5e that can amplify some classes to a whole new level. But at the same time, it is completely useless in other classes, especially casters. Overall the feat is an interesting one that can be devastating in the right hands and situation. It has found a perfect place as a niche mid-tier feat that can change up your gameplay if you wish to do so.

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