Published on July 5, 2022, Last modified on March 6th, 2023
As a reliable way to increase damage on a variety of weapons, Piercer is solid feat for a wide range of builds in 5e.
Steve Argyle - Wizards of the Coast - Monastery Swiftspear
What Is Piercer 5e?
Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything brought a considerable slew of changes, new feats, and new subclasses. Three of the feats, in particular, were designed to help martial classes stay on par with casters without overshadowing them.
Today we’ll be talking about arguably the most powerful one, the Piercer feat.
How Does Piercer Work?
Like the two other weapon damage type feats, you gain three benefits from this feat:
- You increase your STR or DEX by one to a max of 20.
- When you hit a creature with an attack that dealt piercing damage, you can re-roll one of the damage dice and use that new roll instead. This only works once per turn.
- If you score a critical hit on a creature with piercing damage, you may roll an extra damage die for that piercing damage.
Is Piercer Good?
In our 5e Feats Tier List, Piercer was given a B Tier rating, making it a niche feat that can improve some builds in D&D 5e.
Piercer is essentially the half-orc’s Brutal Critical combined with the Savage Attacker feat and you get to +1 STR or DEX which is a lot of value from one feat.
Something to keep in mind is that this damage isn’t restricted to melee combat, so this is a great feat to pick up for a ranged build as well.
Piercer 5e Interactions
Naturally, there are a few edge cases when discussing feats like this, such as:
- Piercer does not require it to be a melee weapon that deals piercing damage, meaning you can benefit from this with ranged weapons and some spells.
- The damage reroll is a little ambiguous, and there haven’t been any official errata, so talk to your DM to see how they interpret the feat.
Piercer 5e FAQs
Can spells trigger the 5e Piercer feat?
Only two spells in D&D 5e deal piercing damage, ice knife, and thorn whip. They can certainly benefit from this feat, but since spellcasters don’t get as many opportunities to deal damage compared to martial classes, it’s not a wise choice.
What's the best weapon to use with Piercer?
The spear is a great starting weapon for Piercer as it can be wielded with two hands to do 1d8 and can be thrown. DEX-based classes will likely want to use a rapier as it has the finesse property and does 1d8 damage. This feat really shines in conjunction with ranged weapons, like the longbow and heavy crossbow, as a way to reliably up your damage.
Piercing damage used to be fairly uncommon compared to the more popular slashing weapons, but not anymore. With the powerful 5e Piercer feat, you can deal some serious damage at a range or up close.