Steady Aim 5e
Published on May 4, 2022, Last modified on June 2nd, 2023
For when you simply need to hit, Steady Aim is there to give you a boost to your attack rolls!
Bayard Wu - Wizards of the Coast - Arbor Armament
Table of Contents
What is Steady Aim in 5e?
With the release of Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything, we saw a slew of new additions to D&D 5e Within these changes was the addition of new optional abilities for classes to pick up or swap for other class abilities. Rogues are no different, with their new ability, Steady Aim, being an option once they hit 3rd level.
When a rogue hits 3rd level, they can choose to pick up this ability (at their DM’s discretion, of course). This doesn’t replace any existing abilities, instead giving them a new bonus attack option. During their turn, they can choose to remain in place and drop their movement speed to 0 in order to gain advantage on their next attack roll in the current turn. However, you cannot have moved during this turn if you want to use this bonus action.
How does Steady Aim work in 5e?
With this ability, any rogue can essentially forego their movement for advantage. This sounds interesting on paper, but in practice, it’s tough to see how good it really is.
When it comes to melee options, rogues already have a huge swath of options to choose from, including two-weapon fighting or even just Cunning Action. In most cases, it’s not worth taking one less attack just to guarantee a hit, even if it triggers Sneak Attack.
For ranged options, though, it also becomes pretty tricky. You’ll already have access to hiding with your Cunning Action, and it already plays well within a rogue’s kit to, y’know, hide. It doesn’t hurt to keep this as an option for times when you absolutely don’t have that luxury, but you shouldn’t rely on it.
When to Use Steady Aim
As we mentioned above, rogues have plenty of uses for their bonus action. So, when is it worth it to forgo not only their bonus action but also their movement for the turn just for the sake of getting advantage on their attack? The main thing to look for when looking to use Steady Aim to its fullest are:
- Ways to get around or mitigate the downsides of not being able move
- Way to make the most of the advantage you get on your attack
Probably the best use for Steady Aim. With a ranged Sharpshooter build, using Steady Aim can offset the -5 penalty to your attack if you want to fish for the +10 damage. The feat further helps with this because you don’t attack at disadvantage when at long range and can ignore cover, meaning you’ll have to move less to get in the perfect position to start taking out enemies. Also, if you’re already far away from your enemies, you won’t have to use Cunning Action to Dash or Hide as they won’t be able to get to you in a single turn anyways.
If you’re looking to dip into rogue for a couple levels for Expertise, Cunning Action, and other benefits, it might be worth sticking around till 3rd level to get subclass features and Steady Aim. Multiclass builds looking for Steady Aim would likely be heavy weapon builds looking to offset the penalty from Great Weapon Master. This is especially poignant for paladins, who can use Steady Aim to fish for crits to they can burst damage with their smites.
If you’re an elven rogue and want to guarantee your hits, picking up Elven Accuracy is a very good way to do so. You’ll be able to provoke advantage on your attacks almost every turn with Steady Aim, which will enable you to get “super advantage” through Elven Accuracy consistently. This is particularly effective if you’ve also invested in Sharpshooter, as mentioned above.
Tabaxi: Feline Agility
Pairing these two is a deadly combo for ranged rogues. With the Tabaxi ability to double one’s movement for a turn, you can easily dash across battlefields to get yourself into position. Then, since you can’t move when using Steady Aim, you end up recharging the Feline Agility too.
One of the important distinctions is that you cannot use your movement if you choose to use Steady Aim. However, when it comes to being mounted, technically, you aren’t moving, the mount is. If you have the mount take its turn before you do, you can move with its movement and still use Steady Aim in the same turn.
When Not to Use Steady Aim
Steady Aim can be tough to fit into builds that rely on mobility and don’t dish out huge damage with singular attacks. For examples of when you’ll want to skip Steady Aim, see below:
With the Swashbuckler’s Panache or the Mobile feat’s ability to move without provoking opportunity attacks after attacking, you’ll definitely want to avoid having your movement drop to 0. Swashbucklers also have ways to do Sneak Attack damage without needing advantage on their attacks, which makes this ability doubly redundant.
If your build centers around attacking with their bonus action, Steady Aim will certainly not be worth it. The one caveat to this would be if you’re fishing for Sneak Attacks and don’t have an ally within 5 feet of your target.
Steady Aim 5e FAQs
Does Steady Aim give you sneak attack?
Yes, as you’ll technically have advantage on the attack roll. You won’t need to rely on other ways to gain advantage.
Can Steady Aim work with melee attacks?
It sure can! However, it competes with a lot of other abilities and feats, so choose wisely.
Can you use Steady Aim for spells?
Yep! The ability only checks for attack rolls, so as long as the spell requires you to make an attack, it’ll work