The artificer is a class that causes quite a bit of division in many D&D groups. Whether or not guns belong in a fantasy setting, the class itself is quite fun to play. The artificer is balanced and unique to play and has quite a bit of utility outside of combat. If you are looking to play as one for the first time, you should pick your feats carefully as they can be quite frail in combat. This is why our Dungeon Master is making a carefully curated list of the best feats for an artificer in 5e D&D. We are ranking them from best to worst.
Keep in mind that this list is an overall assessment; some are better if you use melee and others when you use ranged attacks.
1. Fey Touched
Fey Touched gives you access to Misty Step on your Artificer, an asset as good as any character that wants to control when and how they are in combat. Since this class has so few divination spells, Fey Touched also gives you the ability to get spells like Bless and Compelled Duel.
Both of these spells have their utility for an artificer. For example, your frontliner is best off with compelled Duel, while an artificer that stays in the back row is better off using bless.
The versatility of Fey Touched and the fact that any type of artificer can make good use of it makes it the overall best feat for an artificer.
2. War Caster
Another great feat that works particularly well on magic-based artificers is War Caster. Usually, you need to have your hands free to cast a spell with a somatic component. The War Caster feat eliminates that need completely. In addition to that useful perk, you also get an advantage on your concentration throws. So, whenever you take damage when engaged in a concentration spell, the odds of the spell being broken are much less.
I am not sure if there is a list out there that does not include Lucky as one of the best feats for an artificer. The feat has a ton of use, is easy to understand, and often gives you exactly what you need in a combat situation. Lucky gives your artificer three luck points for every long rest you take. You can spend one luck point to reroll certain rolls. These are:
- Attack rolls
- Ability checks
- Saving throws
These are also three of the most common rolls in 5e D&D, meaning that you will likely use your feat every time you play.
The overall best feat for an artificer that uses ranged attacks is Sharpshooter. Of course, if you are not a ranged build, you should not pick this one. When you do pick Sharpshooter, make sure that you pair it up with the repeating shot infusion.
When you pick the Sharpshooter feat, you can ignore cover and long-range penalties. Sharpshooter also gives your artificer the ability to exchange a -5 attack roll penalty for a +10 to damage.
Another feat that is great for many characters is Mobile. This feat is best for an artificer that wants to attack fast and get out of danger quickly. Thanks to Mobile, you get a speed boost of 10 feet and can move through difficult terrain without getting a movement speed penalty. Another great benefit is that you can make a melee attack against a creature and then leave combat without provoking an opportunity attack.
6. Magic Initiate
If you are a magic-based artificer, this is one feat you can’t ignore. Magic Initiate allows your artificer to learn spells from other classes. Magic Initiate allows you to pick two cantrips and a level 1 spell from whatever spell list of a class you want. You can cast these spells once per long rest.
Picking the spells can be quite difficult as you literally have hundreds of options and thousands of combinations to choose from.
7. Spell Sniper
Another good option for your artificer build that uses magic is Spell Sniper. You can double the range of spells if they require an attack roll. The feat also gives you the option to ignore half and three-quarters cover when making an attack. While this is a decent feat, I do prefer Sharpshooter in most scenarios. Nonetheless, Spell Sniper is a pretty decent feat for those that enjoy long-range spells and don’t need an extra damage boost.
Observant also makes it onto our list. In my opinion, this is an underrated feat for artificers. Observant gives artificers the ability to be more aware of their surroundings. You get a +1 WIS boost, and you can read lips. On top of that, you also get the ability to notice hidden details, some of which include traps, secret doors, footprints, recently dug-up ground, and changes in the weather.
The artificer – and any other class – can benefit greatly from making more of their saving throws. You can gain proficiency in a saving throw of your choice and increase your ability score by one.
I would suggest you do not pick this feat if you are experienced with the artificer and their fragility. The only exception would be if you are a melee-based one. While not a bad feat, you are better off picking something like Lucky.
Alert is decent but nothing too special. How useful Alert is for your artificer really depends on the number of surprises your DM has in store for you. You get a +5 bonus on initiative rolls, which makes you harder to be surprised by an ambush and enables you to attack first more often in a fight.
In general, I would not opt for this feat. Only when you expect your DM to throw a ton of ambushes your way is this useful for an artificer.
11. Crossbow Expert
To finish off our list of best feats for artificers, we have put Crossbow Expert at number 11. In many homebrews, this feat is also used for a gunslinger build. The feat allows you to ignore the loading property of a crossbow.
In combat, this will allow you to make multiple attacks per turn. You are also allowed to make a ranged attack with a one-handed weapon as a bonus action.
There you have it, 11 feats that would make a ton of sense to pick for your artificer build. As long as you keep in mind that some feats work better on ranged builds and others on melee builds, you will be fine picking any out of the top 6. The other 5 are still strong, but a lot of their utility depends on what your dungeon master has in store for you.