Fighting Initiate 5e

Published on March 12, 2022, Last modified on May 26th, 2022

Fighting Initiate allows you to pick up a fighting style for a passive boost to your martial character. This is a fairly niche feat that only certain builds are interested in.

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What Is Fighting Initiate 5e?

Compared to spellcasters, martial classes can often feel like they lack variety or versatility. With the release of Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, a new feat specifically designed for martial classes attempts to give a little extra choice to every martial class: Fighting Initiate.

Can Fighting Initiate improve martial classes? And is this feat as good as its magical counterpart, Magic Initiate? Let’s find out.

How Does Fighting Initiate Work?

Fighting Initiate is one of the most straightforward feats. When you select this feat, you can choose one of the Fighting Styles from the fighter class. If you somehow already have a Fighting Style, you can’t pick the same one again. Additionally, whenever you reach a level where you can pick up an ASI, you can swap this Fighting Style for any other one.

Note that only those characters that can use martial weapons can choose this feat.

Is Fighting Initiate Good?

We gave Fighting Initiate a C Tier rating In our 5e Feats Tier List, making it a below-average feat in D&D 5e.

While the initial idea is great, this feat just lacks the power it needs to be a truly sought-after feat. Most builds that use fighting styles will get access to the ones they need through their class features. Even if you don’t have access, taking a dip into the fighter class provides a d10 hit dice, tons of good proficiencies, a fighting style, and second wind.

Which 5e Classes Make the Most of Fighting Initiate?

The color code below has been implemented to help you identify, at a glance, how good the Fighting Initiate 5e feat is for a specific class/subclass.

  • Red isn’t going to contribute to the effectiveness of your character build at all
  • Orange Situationally good, but a below-average option otherwise
  • Green is a good option
  • Blue is a great option, you should strongly consider this option for your character
  • Sky Blue is an amazing option. If you do not take this option your character would not be optimized

Fighting Initiate is best on builds that:

  • Need a specific Fighting Style that isn’t already available to them.
  • Are martial classes that want to get the Blind Fighting Style.

Artificer: Battle Smiths get access to martial weapons so they can choose this feat. Archery is a good choice for ranged builds and Defense or Protection would work if you want to tank.

Barbarian: There are a few styles here that are worth considering, mainly Blind Fighting and Great Weapon Fighting.

Bard: Most bards won't be able to this feat. College of Swords already get one fighting style, which will be all that subclass will ever need. College of Valor bards, on the other hand, don't get any fighting styles so they could certainly benefit from the AC buff of Defense or the damage boost of Dueling

Cleric: War and Forge Domain clerics can benefit from Great Weapon Fighting, Dueling, or Defense depending on your build.

Druid: Because most melee druids will be in Wild Shape most of the time, the only Fighting Style that will work is Blind Fighting. It is a stellar feature, but some animals will already have this, making it a “good enough” option.

Fighter: Picking up an additional Fighting Style is pretty neat, and most work pretty well with one another. Your choice of Fighting Styles is very build-dependent, depending on if you fight with a bow, two-handed weapons, etc.

Monk: Most monks can probably benefit from a few of these, especially Way of the Kensei monks who can use a wider array of weapons. The unarmed Fighting Style does increase damage, but at that point you could just use a weapon like a quarterstaff.

Paladin: Many of the Fighting Styles available overlap with the paladin selection, so double-dipping isn’t terrible. The biggest problem is that this competes with more powerful feats like Polearm Master and Sentinel, which outclass this feat.

Ranger: Like paladins, this overlaps with the selection rangers begin with, but unlike them, there aren’t a lot of benefits from an additional Fighting Style outside of Archery for those that only use bows. Melee rangers who want to sword-and-board might want this, but that's it.

Rogue: The Fighting Styles have some interesting options for rogues. Archery will make damage more consistent for bow users. Blind Fighting is great for fighting in the dark, something a sneaky rogue often wishes to do. Additionally, seeing invisible creatures can be quite helpful.

Sorcerer: Sorcerers don’t meet the requirement of having proficiency in a martial weapon.

Warlock: Only Hexblades can acquire this feat, and even so, there are better feats to choose from that make a Hexblade far more powerful.

Wizard: Only Bladesingers can acquire this feat, but it isn’t worth it as there are some feats that drastically boost the power of the subclass.

Fighting Initiate 5e FAQs

Does Fighting Initiate give you a second Fighting Style?

Yes, it can if you already have a Fighting Style.

Can I change my Fighting Style 5e?

With this feat, you can change your Fighting Style whenever you would gain an Ability Score Increase.

Can I take Fighting Initiate twice?

You cannot take a single feat more than once unless the feat says otherwise. This feat does not allow you to.

Can you pick the same Fighting Style twice?

You cannot take a Fighting Style twice, As per page 72 of the Player’s Handbook.

Conclusion

Unlike its magical counterpart Magic Initiate, this feat falls flat in most applications. The Fighting Styles in 5e are fine on their own but are nowhere near as powerful as three spells.

The difference between casters and martial classes is massive, and this feat is proof of it.

How do you feel about this feat? Do you think it could be improved in some way? Let us know down below!

Jeff Nabors

Jeff Nabors has been playing D&D ever since he stumbled upon the 3.5E core books in his high school library. When he isn’t running a campaign or designing a game, you can find him on Twitch, writing about game design, or staring off into the endless abyss.

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