Alert 5e

Published on March 12, 2022, Last modified on April 4th, 2022

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A +5 bonus to initiative is massive in 5e and going first in initiative can be a huge momentum swinger.

The inability to be surprised and negating advantage from unseen attacks is something any character is happy to have.

This feat is useful for nearly any build, but some builds are going to like it more than others, most notably the Assassin Rogue.

Bard: Being up higher in the initiative order can be very valuable for a bard as it allows them to drop a big spell before the enemy has a chance to react.

Cleric: Being up higher in the initiative order can be very valuable for any class. Clerics will be able to buff their allies right at the start of the fight, but this feat probably isn’t worth it just for that option.

Druid: Being up higher in the initiative order can be very valuable for any class. Druids will be able to land a big spell, buff their allies, or Wild Shape right at the start of the fight, but this feat probably isn’t worth it just for that option.

Monk: Being up higher in the initiative order isn't a big deal for monks.

Ranger: Rangers, especially Gloom Stalkers, like to go first in Initiative.

Rogue: A +5 to initiative is HUGE and helps the rogue (ideally an Assassin build) to be extremely effective. Being immune to surprise attacks is also fantastic.

Sorcerer: Being up higher in the initiative order can be very valuable for a sorcerer as they can go easily go nova with their Meta Magic options.

Barbarian: Barbarians already have Feral Instinct to aid during Initiative rolls. Additional Initiative improvements offer diminishing returns and are therefore wasted.

Warlock: Being up higher in the initiative order can be very valuable for a warlock as they have access to great crowd control spells like hypnotic pattern.

Wizard: Being up higher in the initiative order can be very valuable for a wizard as it allows them to drop a big spell before the enemy has a chance to react.

Mike Bernier

Mike Bernier is the lead content writer and founder of Arcane Eye. Outside of writing for Arcane Eye, Mike spends most of his time playing games, hiking with his girlfriend, and tending the veritable jungle of houseplants that have invaded his house. He is the author of Escape from Mt. Balefor and The Heroes of Karatheon. Mike specializes in character creation guides for players, homebrewed mechanics and tips for DMs, and one-shots with unique settings and scenarios. Follow Mike on Twitter.

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