Gift of the Chromatic Dragon 5e

Published on August 18, 2023

Embrace the power of the chromatic dragons and unleash their elemental fury upon your foes.

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What Is Gift of the Chromatic Dragon 5e?

The Gift of the Chromatic Dragon is a feat that allows characters to tap into the elemental might of chromatic dragons. By harnessing this power, characters can imbue their attacks with elemental energy, gaining the ability to deal additional damage based on the type of chromatic dragon they channel. Whether it’s the searing flames of a red dragon or the corrosive acid of a black dragon, this feat lets you bring a taste of draconic wrath to the battlefield.

How Does Gift of the Chromatic Dragon Work?

This feat provides several benefits related to the chromatic dragons:

  1. Choose a type of chromatic dragon: red (fire), blue (lightning), green (poison), black (acid), or white (cold). You imbue a simple or martial weapon and it deals 1d4 extra damage of the chosen type.
  2. When you take one of the damage of one of the types listed above, you can use your reaction to gain resistance to that damage. You can use this reaction a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus.

Each of these abilities’ uses reset after a long rest.

Let’s break these down:

Being able to add 1d4 of an elemental damage type to your weapon attacks is a solid damage boost for martials, especially because this doesn’t require concentration so it can stack with a ranger’s hunter’s mark, paladin’s smite spells, and can be used while raging for barbarians. It’s also nice that you can change these damage types with each usage to best tailor it to the enemy you’re fighting.

The reaction-based resistance to elemental is also a really good defensive ability. It’s very comparable to absorb elements, but you don’t get to output any of the damage you resist. But, seeing as this can be used numerous times per short rest by non-casters makes it a tempting ability.

Is Gift of the Chromatic Dragon Good?

In our 5e Feats Tier List, Gift of the Chromatic Dragon was given a B Tier rating, making it a niche feat that can improve some builds in D&D 5e.

The Gift of the Chromatic Dragon is a versatile feat that offers both consistent bonus damage and a solid defensive ability. Elemental damage is common enough that you’ll likely be avoiding damage most combats with this feature. If damage vulnerabilities were more common in D&D 5e, this would be an even better feat. But, unfortunately, they’re quite rare.

Which 5e Classes Make the Most of Gift of the Chromatic Dragon?

The color code below has been implemented to help you identify, at a glance, how good the Gift of the Chromatic Dragon 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

Seeing as the damage is specifically for weapons, this is certainly a feat that only marital characters would want. Because the damage is added to each attack, the more times you can attack, the better this feat will be. Lastly, it can be used by melee or ranged weapons, which means most martial builds can use this to good effect.

Artificer: Can be a good option for artificers that want to be in the fray, like Armorers and Battle Smiths, or even ones that are just attacking with a crossbow. If you've got a consistent use for your bonus action, losing a turn of this ability could impact it's effectiveness because combats are usually quite short in D&D 5e.

Barbarian: Extra damage resistances and boosted attacks are always a good thing. Unfortunately, you won't be able to pop this and Rage on your first turn, so your barbarian won't usually be fully online till the second round of combat.

Bard: Most bards don't make weapon attacks, so they can skip this. For Valor and Swords bards, this is okay, but they don't normally make enough attacks in a single combat to make this worthwhile. Plus, they have Bardic Inspiration or heat metal as bonus actions, which may interfere with activating this ability.

Cleric: Even martial clerics won't be attacking enough to make this worthwhile. Plus, they have spiritual weapon as a bonus action that they usually want to get active and start swinging with ASAP.

Druid: Druids usually won't be making enough weapon attacks to make this worthwhile.

Fighter: Fighters attack a lot, and can use Action Surge to double the amount of attacks they get access to in a turn. That, plus the damage resistances, make this an ideal feat for fighters.

Monk: This would be awesome for monks except for the fact that unarmed strikes won't activate the bonus damage. It gets slightly better if you use Tasha's Ki-Fueled Attack optional rule, but you'll still have to burn resources to make this feat more effective.

Paladin: This is a decent improvement both offensively and defensively for paladins. They don't make an overwhelming amount of attacks, so the damage boost won't be all that impressive.

Ranger: Rangers have plenty of ways of eking out extra attacks. Plus, they can combine this with hunter's mark for even more boosted damage. Also, it works whether you're going for a Strength, Dexterity, or ranged build.

Rogue: Rogues don't normally attack enough to make good use of this feat.

Sorcerer: The damage resistance is nice, but you might as well just stock absorb elements.

Warlock: Warlocks don't attack with weapons nearly enough to make this feat worth it.

Wizard: The damage resistance is nice, but you might as well just stock absorb elements.

Mike Bernier

Mike Bernier is the lead content writer and founder of Arcane Eye. He is a Adamantine best-selling author of Strixhaven: A Syllabus of Sorcery on DMs Guild and is a contributing author at D&D Beyond. Follow Mike on Twitter.

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