Everything You Need to Know About the War Caster 5e Feat

War Caster is a valuable feature and one that any player or Dungeon Master will inevitably come across. It can change the entire feel of a fight and give your players a way to cast even more spells during battle.

Not only that, but it has a significant storytelling element for DMs and players alike. These give this feature so much potential and

Join us as we walk you through the basics of this feature, from its bonuses to its determinants, and then how DMs and players can use this feature to the best of their abilities. By the time you’re done reading this, you’ll be a veritable expert on War Caster!

War Caster Basics

War Caster 5e (also known as Battle Caster) is a feature available to any player character (PC) who can cast a spell. That is the only prerequisite for the feature, which means many characters can access this skill.

While some features are more for character flavor, there are some great bonuses. Not only that but there are infinite applications for this feature you can find in the Warcaster feat 5e description. Let’s jump right in!

Feature Bonuses

Your character has learned how to cast spells and maintain them during times of great stress. Combat can be chaotic, and characters can quickly lose focus on their concentration spells, but not you.

The feature gives you the following perks:

  1. You have advantage when rolling Constitution saving throws to maintain concentration after taking damage.
  2. While both hands are full of weapons or shields, you can use somatic components to cast different spells.
  3. When an enemy takes an action that would cause an opportunity attack, you can use a spell to make an opportunity attack instead of only using a weapon.

These boosts can change a battle and put the power back into your party’s hands. If your character has this feature, you can find new ways to get involved in fights.

All of these bonuses are invaluable during fights. These basic mechanics are the most straightforward way to show that War Caster is the perfect feature for any 5e player character who casts spells.

Casting Spells and War Caster

Since War Caster is a feature exclusively for characters who can cast spells, the feature rules primarily impact casting classes, such as wizards and clerics.

This feature relates the most to concentration spells and maintaining them. However, cantrips are also impacted by this feature. We’ll go over both of these types and how War Caster can be helpful.

Concentration Spells

Concentration spells are defined as spells that require complete focus and concentration to cast. These spells often have notes that explain concentration rules for each spell. They can be found at all different levels and have various effects.

Since over 200 spells in 5e D&D require concentration, you will use one someday if you play a spellcaster. Some concentration spells have firm casting times and limits, but others require a Constitution save to maintain concentration. Sometimes, this is because of the spell’s power, but a saving throw may also be needed when your character takes damage. This is where War Caster can come in.

Since your character gets advantage on Constitution saving throws to maintain concentration, you’ll have a higher chance of keeping your spells. This is invaluable for a spell caster with a lower Constitution than other classes or player characters.

Cantrips

Cantrips are spells that your character can cast at will. These are typically lower-level spells, but a notable few have much more significant potential and can be used during high-level fights and out of combat.

Cantrips may also involve maintaining concentration, and Warcaster 5e is an invaluable resource to have. This can also give you even more damage opportunities.

For example, if you have an offensive spell that you want to use against a target, you could cast it as an opportunity attack. Alternatively, you could launch an important cantrip with somatic components while holding a shield and a weapon.

There are no specific rules about cantrips in the Player’s Handbook, so that you can use all of these rules to your heart’s content! While some DMs may invoke table rules about cantrips and features, the rules themselves only note that this feature helps concentration spells and opportunity attacks.

Casting As An Attack of Opportunity

One of the best bonuses from the War Caster feat 5e is casting spells as an opportunity attack. This is something no other casters can do without spells already active. This completely changes the game for casting classes and their roles in combat.

There are a couple of notes for this part of the feature:

  • The spell may only take one action to cast.
  • The spell may only target one creature.

While this does lock out some of the highest level, most powerful enchantments, there are still so many spells you can choose to cast. With almost 500 unique spells in vanilla D&D 5e and an infinite amount in homebrew D&D 5e, there are no limits to what your character can do with these bonuses.

On top of that, you can stack two War Caster 5e feat bonuses to get truly damaging effects. Specifically, since your character doesn’t need the somatic components of spells, your character can unleash all kinds of different spells during combat.

How Can You Take the War Caster Feature?

You can take the War Caster feature in several ways. The easiest way is to use the variant level-up bonus rule to take a feature instead of an attribute bonus. However, you can also work with your DM to figure out a particular time to take the feature instead of then.

While this means that you won’t take an attribute bonus on a certain level up to where you get access to, you do get to take this incredible feature. If you take War Caster early enough, you have plenty of opportunities to take future attribute level-ups.

You might also have a DM who is willing to work on custom features that they can give out outside of the level-ups. For example, if your character had a specific experience, they give you a special bonus and award you War Caster as a feature.

This feature might be awarded to all of the casters in your party if you all fought well in a specific encounter. These are all things your DM has to decide and work with. Some DMs may put their foot down and only hand out features at predetermined times, such as level-ups.

When Should You Take War Caster?

The sooner you take this feature, the sooner you can optimize its bonuses. Ideally, you’ll want to take War Caster by the eighth level so you can maximize its usefulness.

That isn’t to say taking it at even higher levels is bad, per se. You won’t get to use this feature as much, and it may go by the wayside. The lower your level, the more you can use it and the more XP you could hypothetically earn after fights.

Should You Take 5e War Caster?

This is a complicated question, but the short answer is that you should take the War Caster feat 5e. If you have a spellcasting player character, War Caster is a crucial feature to have. The perks associated with this feature will do nothing but help your character and give them more abilities.

Not only are there flavor reasons, but there are also classes that specifically benefit more than others from this feature, and it gives your character a unique opportunity. If you have a caster, you should look into taking this feature whenever you can.

Flavor Reasons

There aren’t only practical benefits to War Caster; there are flavor reasons to choose this feature.

For example, if your cleric was a military medic, they may have seen combat before and would know how to maintain concentration during fights. Alternatively, an Arcane Trickster rogue may have experienced battles from their time living on the street.

The War Caster feature is valuable and can give your character even more depth. They can also give your DM new ways to make plots for your character creatively. Your DM can bring in new stories related to fights your character has been in and give you new chances to roleplay your character.

Class Benefits

Specific classes will benefit from War Caster more than others. If you are playing one of those classes, you should look into taking the War Caster feature as soon as possible.

Specifically, spellcasting classes that have lower Constitution scores can benefit from this. Having advantage on Constitution saves is invaluable if you’re already bad at the stat.

This also applies to specific subclasses or multiclass players. An Arcane Trickster rogue with poor Constitution and no other spellcasting boosts can use their advantage to maintain their subclass feature spells.

The best classes to take the War Caster feature are:

  • Wizards
  • Clerics
  • Arcane Trickster Rogues
  • Warlocks
  • Rangers
  • Paladins
  • Druids
  • Bards

That is quite the list of classes and subclasses! There is only one class that I wouldn’t immediately recommend War Caster for. Those are sorcerers.

While they need to use spells, sorcerors already have proficiency in Constitution saves and do not need one of the significant boosts that War Caster offers. Additionally, since a large portion of the Sorcerer spell list is made of area of effect spells, they may not need other boosts related to Attacks of Opportunity.

That being said, every spellcasting class can find some use. While Sorcerers may not need the advantage on Constitution saves, they may want to take advantage of not needing somatic components to cast.

Unique Feature Bonus

Finally, players may gloss over a particular part of Warcaster 5e when looking at the stat block. This is a unique feature that no other characters will have: casting spells as an attack of opportunity.

In base D&D 5e, you are not allowed to cast new spells to make an Attack of Opportunity. You can only attack with already active spells. 5e Warcaster changes the rules and lets your character do precisely that.

Suddenly, your wizard can cast spells as an Attack of Opportunity. This unlocks almost every spell in your arsenal to unleash upon an unfortunate enemy. As long as it takes one action to cast and target one enemy, you could turn the tide of the fight with a well-placed Polymorph or Eldritch Blast.

War Caster, Is It Worth It?

Was Caster is an incredible feature for any spellcaster to take in D&D 5e. Not only does it have many practical benefits, but it can also be a helpful storytelling feature and improve your overall plots. Most spellcasting characters will take this feature, so DMs and players need to understand this incredible feat.

FAQ

Is War Caster Good 5e?

War Caster is one of the most impressive feats that D&D characters can take. It is versatile and vital for any high-level caster. Not only does it give you advantage to maintain spells during combat, but it also allows you to cast spells as an opportunity attack.

What Does War Caster Do 5e?

War Caster gives your character a better chance with maintaining concentration on spells during combat, performing somatic components of spells while armed, and casting spells as an opportunity attack.

Can You Use Eldritch Blast with War Caster?

Yes, you can. There are no notes in the Player’s Handbook that would stop a player from using Eldritch Blast with D&D 5e War Caster. As long as they are focused on the same target, nothing will stop the process.

Can You Cast Cantrips With a War Caster?

Yes, you can cast cantrips with the War Caster feature. The feature says that spells that cost one action to cast and target only one enemy are allowed. Since cantrips are spells and many are for individual targets, War Caster applies to them.

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Written By Jake Morley

D&D Enthusiest and RPG Nerd

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