Skulker 5e

Published on March 12, 2022, Last modified on April 5th, 2022

If remaining unseen and attacking from a distance are among the priorities for your build, the Skulker feat can help you get there.

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What is Skulker in 5e?

We all have seen those iconic scenes: an archer lays in wait, arrow ready to fly to an unsuspecting target. With D&D 5e, we did get a feat that allows you to accentuate that feat, as well as make you stealthier overall.

How does Skulker work?

As long as you have at least 13 Dexterity, you can pick up this feat. Once you do, you get these three abilities:

  • Dim light doesn’t impose any disadvantage on your Wisdom (Perception) checks that require you to see.
  • You can try to hide if you’re lightly obscured from the creature you’re hiding from.
  • As long as you’re hidden from a creature and miss an attack with a ranged weapon attack, it won’t reveal your position.

Those who want to stay hidden at all times want this feat and anyone trying to make a sniper-like build happen.

Is Skulker good?

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

This feat certainly has some use for a very specific build. Being able to hide while lightly obscured is a wood elf trait, and being able to see in dim light comes with Darkvision, so if you are a human rogue or ranger, this could be a good pick-up.

Skulker Interactions

You’d be surprised to learn that there aren’t a lot of interactions with this feat. Because it’s not combat-centric, it often just operates as written. However, there are a few edge cases, such as:

  • For Wood Elves, they can already use their Mask of the Wild ability to count as being lightly obscured in nature.
  • An enemy with blindsight, true sight, or darkvision will negate any hiding attempts with this feat.

Which classes make the most of Skulker?

The color code below has been implemented to help you identify, at a glance, how good the Skulker feat is for a specific class/subclass. It’s not a hard rule, as there are plenty of sub-optimal builds for those who don’t want to min-max and prefer to have fun experiences.

  • Red isn’t going to contribute to the effectiveness of your character build at all
  • Orange is an OK option
  • 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

Skulker is a very build-dependant feat and only works well on those who prefer to play stealthier characters. This means that most classes rule it out unless they forego optimal builds for interesting character design (which we love but isn’t everyone’s cup of tea).

Artificer: In most cases, this feat doesn’t mesh well with artificers unless your DM approves firearms and you opt for some sort of sniper-gun build. Even then, this feat doesn’t work with your Steel Defender or Eldritch Cannon, making it pretty subpar all around.

Barbarian: There’s rarely a situation where a barbarian would be sneaking around with ranged weapons for very long, making this feat useless in most cases.

Bard: This feat makes sense since most bards will be far away from the front line. It allows them to hide and support the team, playing as a pseudo-rogue. This feat works incredibly well for College of Whispers bards, as it will enable them to torment their foes from afar.

Cleric: It’s rare for clerics to be too far away from the frontlines, making this feat challenging to recommend. Trickster Domain clerics might find some use out of it, but the rest of the subclasses won’t benefit.

Druid: Most ranged druids prefer to be spellcasters over ranged weapons, making this feat a little less impressive. There’s probably some good space to explore with a stealthy Wild Shape-based build here, but that only adds to hiding and not to your combat.

Fighter: It’s pretty easy to play a DEX-based, ranged sniper fighter, pairing it with the archery fighting style. Battle Master and Samurai both make great starting options for this build, and you can open it up to multiclassing later for better benefits.

Monk: The only monk subclass made for a stealthy playstyle is the Way of Shadow. While they can’t use ranged weapons, they can still benefit from the feat for ultimate stealth. Way of the Kensei monks can also use ranged weapons, but they aren’t always looking for a sneaky playstyle.

Paladin: There are very few times where a paladin will choose stealth for a very long time. None of the subclasses support a stealthy ranged attack build, so you’re better off skipping this.

Ranger: The ultimate archer class; these are excellent picks if you want to go for a stealthy character. Gloom Stalker, in particular, would benefit the most from this; it pairs perfectly with this style of play

Rogue: Another amazing option for archer rogue builds who have gone with a race that doesn't provide darkvision. Helps you pull off sneak attacks and hide. Still useful without making ranged attacks, though you will find the most benefit from this feat with ranged builds.

Sorcerer: Sorcerers won’t find anything useful out of this feat. They’re much better off spellcasting than wasting their turns hiding with ranged weapons.

Warlock: Unfortunately, eldritch blast just doesn't jive with stealth because only the first beam is rolled with advantage.

Wizard: Wizards won’t find anything useful out of this feat. They’re much better off spellcasting than wasting their turns hiding with ranged weapons.

Conclusion

Taking a stealthy approach to combat and gameplay isn’t for everyone, and 5e offers a few ways to support that playstyle. The Skulker feat sort of doubles down on that idea and gives better options for those who prefer it. However, it doesn’t work with every class because it’s such a narrow playstyle.

What are your thoughts on Skulker? Is there a missed opportunity with this feat we didn’t catch? Let us know in the comments, and make sure your eyes stay sharp!

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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