Grappler 5e

Published on July 18, 2022, Last modified on August 14th, 2023

Master the art of grappling in D&D 5e with our Grappler feat guide. Learn how to control the battlefield and pin your enemies down

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What Is Grappler 5e?

If your character is all about getting up close and personal, using their strength to control the battlefield, the Grappler feat is a perfect choice. This feat allows you to excel in grappling, giving you the ability to pin down your opponents and render them helpless. It’s time to flex those muscles and show your enemies who’s boss!

How Does Grappler Work?

This feat provides two main benefits:

  1. You have advantage on attack rolls against a creature you are grappling.
  2. You can use your action to try to pin a creature grappled by you. To do so, make another grapple check. If you succeed, you and the creature are both restrained until the grapple ends.

Let’s break these benefits down.

The first ability makes your attacks much more likely to hit when you’re grappling a creature. This means that once you’ve got your opponent in your grip, you’re not going to let them go easily.

The second ability allows you to restrain a creature you’re grappling, which can be a game-changer in combat. Not only does it limit the creature’s mobility, but it also gives your allies advantage on attack rolls against it. However, keep in mind that you’re also restrained, which means attack rolls against you have advantage and your own attack rolls have disadvantage.

Is Grappler Good?

We gave Grappler a D Tier rating In our 5e Feats Tier List, making it an underwhelming feat in most cases.

The Grappler feat is a situational choice. It can be very powerful in the right circumstances, but it’s not always the best option. If you’re playing a character who specializes in grappling, such as a barbarian or a fighter, this feat can be a great addition to your arsenal. However, for most other classes, there are likely better feats to choose from.

Grappler 5e Interactions

  • Advantage + Disadvantage + Advantage: Because both you and your target are restrained, you’ll have advantage on attacks against your restrained target and disadvantage because you’re restrained. These cancel out, which brings the first part of the feat into play: you get advantage on attacks against creatures you are grappling. This means that ultimately you’ll have advantage on your attacks against a grappled and restrained target.
  • Restrained is Better Than Prone: A common tactic for grapplers is to knock their target down and grapple them so they can’t get up and therefore get attacks with advantage against them until they can break the grapple. This is all well and good, but if you have allies outside of 5 feet, they will have disadvantage on prone targets, rather than advantage. Restraining a target is a good way to give even your ranged party members advantage on attacks against the target.

Which 5e Classes Make the Most of Grappler?

The color code below has been implemented to help you identify, at a glance, how good the Grappler 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

To make this feat effective, you’ll need to stack into Strength, want to be up close to your enemies, and have some way to survive getting attacks with advantage rained down on your head.

Artificer: Artificers can skip this feat.

Barbarian: A great option for a barbarian, especially if you're going for a grappling build. The advantage on attack rolls and the ability to restrain creatures can be very beneficial in combat. Plus, your Rage gives you advantage on Strength checks, which will make sure your grapple attempts land more frequently.

Bard: Bards can skip this feat.

Cleric: Clerics can skip this feat.

Druid: You can Wild Shape into creatures that can restrain their targets, so there's no use wasting a feat on this.

Fighter: Grapple builds will usually pick up this feat, the Unarmed Fighting Fighting Style, the Rune Knight fighter subclass, and maybe even the Tavern Brawler feat. This is a lot of investment for a suboptimal build, but it can be a lot of fun. If you're not going for this build, skip this feat and choose something that is better value for your investment, like Shield Master.

Monk: While monks would seemingly be a fit for grappling because they are experts at martial arts, they need Dexterity to be effective and grappling only works with Strength. Skip this feat.

Paladin: While the grapple build is a thing, but it is not a very strong option even for fighters and barbarians who can make better use of it. Paladins will struggle even more to make it effective.

Ranger: Rangers can skip this feat.

Rogue: Rogues can skip this feat.

Sorcerer: Sorcerers can skip this feat.

Warlock: Warlocks can skip this feat.

Wizard: Wizards can skip this feat.

Grapple With Your Thoughts

Remember, the most important thing is to choose a feat that fits your character and your playstyle. If you enjoy the idea of wrestling your enemies into submission, the Grappler feat can be a fun and effective choice.

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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