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Dodge Action 5E [Avoid Attacks And Enhance Defense In DnD]

Dodge Action 5E Guide
  Written By: Ashish Arya
Updated On: 12/12/2023
Est. Reading: 12 minutes

As a dedicated player in Dungeons and Dragons, mastering your moves is the key to conquering the gaming realms. One such strategy is understanding and effectively using the ‘Dodge Action 5E

.’ Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a rookie just starting on your fantastical journey, having a solid grip on this maneuver can potentially swing any skirmish or battle in your favor.

The Dodge Action 5E isn’t intricate warfare technology or some arcane magic; instead, it’s a concept that’s about as old as storytelling itself.

It’s a lifeline wrapped up in the game mechanics, ready for your character to use when situations get dicey. Let’s delve deeper into this role-playing staple and reveal how you can turn near-defeat into glorious victory with its proper implementation.

What is Dodge Action 5e in D&D?

In Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition, the Dodge Action is a defensive strategy that you can choose for your character during battle scenarios.

What is Dodge Action 5e in D&D

When you take the Dodge Action, you’re making it harder for enemies to land a successful hit against you. Well, it’s pretty straightforward; any attack roll made against your character has a disadvantage if you can see the attacker.

This means they must roll the dice twice and use the lower result.

The Dodge Action is especially handy when confronted by an overwhelming enemy force or when injured and needing to maintain your ground while allies rally or heal. It uses up your entire turn but could mean the difference between your character’s survival and defeat.

Not only does Dodge throw off attack rolls, but it also gives you an advantage on Dexterity saving throws. These rolls are generally performed when attempting to avoid effects such as traps or spells.

Whether it’s narrowly sidestepping a swinging pendulum blade or slipping out of a sorcerer’s flaming circle, choosing to dodge enhances your chances significantly.

The Dodge action essentially focuses all of your efforts on defense, avoiding incoming attacks and effects that require quick reflexes.

What is the role of the Dodge action in D&D 5e?

In the grand arena of Dungeons & Dragons, you’ll come across varied scenarios where your character might be cornered, outnumbered, or up against a formidable adversary.

What is the role of the Dodge action in D&D 5e

It’s not always about going on an offense with just spells and swords; sometimes, defense proves to be the finest move. This is precisely where the criminally underappreciated Dodge action comes into play.

The Art of Avoiding Attacks

The Dodge action in 5E lets your character harness their agility to avoid being hit by attacks. Unlike other actions, Dodge doesn’t involve striking back at enemies but instead focuses on evading their blows.

When you select this action on your turn during combat, it renders any enemy’s attack roll against you as disadvantaged until your next turn.

In simple terms, each time an enemy attempts to hit you, they have to roll twice and take the lesser result when calculating damage.

By designating your entire turn to avoid attacks rather than launching one yourself, you ask that any harm coming towards you meets resistance already in place.

It’s like being in a fencing match; instead of bearing down on your opponent relentlessly (and risking counter-attacks), adopting a defensive posture can create opportunities for counterplay and maneuvering.

Also Read: Standard Array In D&D 5E [Allocate Ability Scores With Ease]

Achieving Advantage on Dexterity Saving Throws

Apart from causing inconvenience for adversaries vying for your HP pool with their attack rolls, Dodge serves another fascinating function: it provides your character with an advantage on all Dexterity saving throws until the start of your next turn.

Dexterity saving throws are made in response to certain situations, like dodging a fireball or jumping out of an explosion radius – these things require quick reactions or nimble movements.

By allowing this advantage, what happens is if there’s an incident where you need to make such a save while dodging, you get to roll twice and pick the higher value, thus significantly pushing the scales of luck in your favor.

The Dodge action is a key defensive strategy to keep your character out of harm’s reach. While it may seem counterproductive to sacrifice attack opportunities for evasion, remember that in D&D 5E, staying alive and keeping healthy are as crucial as dealing damage.

Doesn’t Consume an Action for Other Actions in the Same Turn

A fantastic feature of the Dodge Action in D&D 5E is its convenient consumption cost. Taking the Dodge action does not preclude your character from performing other actions in the same turn.

In more accessible terms, using Dodge doesn’t mean sacrificing the use of a bonus action or a reaction.

This utilization allows for tactical considerations to run alongside your defensiveness. Perhaps you care to deliver a healing spell as a bonus action, or maybe there’s an enemy you wish to interrupt with an attack of opportunity as they pass by your character?

By using Dodge as your primary action, you’re certainly not inhibiting such choices but rather creating more options for yourself tactically than you may have had otherwise.

Worthwhile for Defensive or Evasive Tactics

But, choosing to use Dodge as an action is about prioritizing personal safety over all else. It’s not something to resort to when on the back foot, necessarily.

But it is more of an agile evasive tactic to get yourself surrounded by enemies whose offensive capabilities eclipse yours. You guessed it right: Dodge can be your way out.

Strategically speaking, performing a Dodge action can put enemies on edge, forcing them into situations where they might overshoot or underestimate their abilities during combat.

It creates uncertainty and apprehension among foes and ensures that your character continues to exist as a threatening presence despite adopting defensive tactics.

An Ideal Tactic when Minimizing Incoming Damage Is Paramount

When caught in difficult situations where damage mitigation is critical, picking Dodge over direct confrontation isn’t only wise but also potentially life-saving. To dodge is not always about escaping but enduring to keep standing even when the odds are stacked against you.

When there’s impending peril that you can forecast, be it in the form of menacing monsters readying their strikes or dark sorcerers weaving potent spells, the Dodge action can help minimize the impact these malevolent assaults would have otherwise had.

The defensive resiliency provided by Dodge lets you weather the storm and provides opportunities to retaliate when circumstances become less severe.

Mistaking the Dodge action as an act of cowardice would be a serious misunderstanding. In fact, it’s quintessential battle artistry at its finest.

After all, Dungeons & Dragons 5E isn’t just about out-hitting your enemy. It’s also about outsmarting and outlasting them.

Explore More: Starting Gold In D&D 5E [Begin Your Adventure With A Bang]

Rules of Dodging in DnD 5e

Braving the mythical realms of Dungeons and Dragons, 5e demands a strategy as fierce as your imagination. One defensive strategy that can throw your foes off balance is the Dodge action, an essential rule to capitalize upon.

Rules of Dodging in DnD 5e

But it’s not enough merely to know about it; you need to equip yourself with its nuances and caveats.

Anyone can use the dodge action

It’s critical to note that the Dodge action isn’t reserved for any specific class or creature; anyone can use it. Whether you’re a daring rogue or a formidable barbarian, this technique is available to enhance your defense.

It’s not merely about using this action. The key lies in understanding when and where it would be most effective during combat sequences.

By effectively incorporating this action into your battle tactics, you give yourself an advantage irrespective of your race or class. The universality of the Dodge action makes D&D 5e an even playing ground for all participants.

Dodge doesn’t help against grapple or shove attempts

Unfortunately, while Dodge excels in several areas, there are certain combat maneuvers that even careful evasion cannot save you from specifically grapple and shove attempts.

In these situations, even if you’re making a great deal of effort to maneuver away from attacks via dodging, an opponent determined to grapple or shove will likely still find their mark due to their tactile nature.

Even though Dodge places attackers at a disadvantage, players should strategize accordingly when they suspect grapples or shoves on the horizon.

Dodge action ends early if your speed drops to 0

One caveat with the Dodge Action is directly tied to your speed pool in D&D 5E: if at any point during combat, you find your speed drop down to zero, be it from some ominous spell cast by a wily mage or crippling injury your time in “Dodge” mode comes prematurely to an end, leaving you vulnerable.

This can add a twist of suspense to your gameplay, as maintaining your speed becomes not just a matter of mobility but also survival. It serves as a valuable lesson in preserving and wisely utilizing your resources.

Dodge doesn’t help against attacks from hidden attackers

Just as pawns on a chessboard can’t dodge a strike if they don’t see it coming, in the world of D&D 5e, you can’t evade an attack from unseen assailants.

This limitation reflects the fundamental reasoning you cannot dodge what you cannot see. Even though you’re attuned to darting and bobbing away from threats when using Dodge action, it’s impossible to anticipate the direction of an attack when your opponents are hiding or invisible.

The element of surprise by such concealed attacks effectively neutralizes the advantages of your Dodge action. Henceforth, always be even more mindful of your character’s surroundings while venturing into unknown realms.

Also Read: Point Buy System In D&D 5E [Customize Your Character Abilities]

Dodge works against opportunity attacks

Now for a bit of brighter news – the Dodge action is quite effective when it comes to fending off opportunity attacks. An opportunity attack is provoked when an enemy leaves your melee combat range, providing you a reactionary chance to strike back.

Now, think if this scenario was reversed. In such precarious situations, opting for the Dodge action can add a layer of protection as you navigate around the battlefield or retreat to regroup.

Even with potential opportunity attacks looming, invoking a dodge imposes a disadvantage on those strikes upon you, hence increasing your likelihood of avoiding unscathed massively.

It’s like having a personal defensive shield that tags along in the thick of combat scenarios.

How to Use the Dodge Action in 5E?

Mastering the game of Dungeons & Dragons isn’t only about wielding your sword with precision or summoning potent spells at will.

How to Use the Dodge Action in 5E

The real challenge lies in figuring out when to use the right move at the right time. One such crucial move is Dodge – a handy tool that can turn the tide of a battle if used strategically. Let’s uncover its potential uses:

Use it on High AC Characters

DnD is infamous for throwing curveballs, and sometimes, you might find yourself engaging against high armor class (AC) characters.

These adversaries are tough nuts to crack, and landing an attack on them can be exasperating. This is where your Dodge action should come into play.

By opting for a Dodge action, you’re essentially imposing a ‘disadvantage’ on your opponent’s attack roll against your character – meaning they’ll have to roll twice and pick the lower result.

This substantially reduces their chance for successful hits and buys them some valuable time during critical combat moments.

This tactic also shines bright when you’re up against numerous lower-level enemies – by dodging, you extend your survivability, giving other members of your party more room to handle attacks. It’s all about playing smart rather than hard.

Block Passageways

Intricate dungeons are an integral part of DnD, featuring narrow passageways and chokepoints galore. These can be transformed into strategic hotspots using suitable tactics, specifically using the ‘Dodge’ maneuver.

Imagine a scenario where you stand as the sole barrier between a swarm of antagonizing creatures and your wounded party member who’s busy healing or casting that ultimate game-changing spell.

In this defenseless state, it makes sense to use dodge instead of attacking.

By blocking the passage and activating Dodge action, any attacks against you will be at a disadvantage while protecting teammates behind you in vulnerable states.

Enemies can’t easily move your character while you’re in Dodge mode. Hence, position yourself wisely and hold the line.

These methods reveal that there is more to Dodge than meets the eye. Appropriate placement of characters and smart use of tactics can elevate the gameplay to an entirely new level. Just remember to observe, strategize, and triumph.

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Pair it with Persistent Effects and Spells

Dodge is a savior in the world of D&D that becomes even more powerful when combined with persistent effects and spells.

If you have ongoing damage-dealing effects like the ‘Heat Metal’ spell or ‘Nimbus of Light’ at your disposal, you can cause harm to your enemies while deflecting their attacks using Dodge.

This strategy works in two ways. First, it allows you to maintain damage, and second, the dodge action enables you to reduce the chance of getting hit.

It’s a game-changer since it allows your character to multitask effectively by maximizing your offense and defense simultaneously.

Incorrect utilization can lead to unintended consequences. So carefully analyze your opponents’ moves before pouncing on them with this killer combo.

Use Dodge Before Running Away

Are you planning a hasty retreat? Kick into Dodge mode before you dash. We all know that opportunity attacks can be lethal when trying to retreat from an enemy’s melee range.

If you try running away without any precautions, the enemy gets a free swipe at you, which could spell disaster for wounded characters.

Dodging as a precursor to sprinting away works wonders because it forces adversaries to have a disadvantage on these parting shots, known as opportunity attacks.

So combining Dodge’s action with a strategic issue retreat could save your character from an otherwise nasty ambush or injury.

Use It as Default Action

Not sure what move should be your go-to during uncertain moments? Make Dodge your default action. If you’re uncertain about what moves an opponent will make, or if there are too many variables in play, it’s safe to go into dodge mode as this offers broad protection against various threats until you figure out your next best course of action.

Think of Dodge as an insurance policy that costs nothing but can potentially save your character from harm during situations where risk is high and information is limited.

Staying alive is just as important, if not more, than defeating adversaries. Dodge should be your trusty tool for survival during unexpected combat twists.

Utilizing Dodge isn’t about fearing a fight. It’s about mastering your enemy’s movements and orchestrating your tactics to have an upper hand in combat situations. So the next time you’re in a bind, remember to use Dodge strategically and watch it swing battles in your favor.

Characters That Interact With the Dodge Action

In Dungeons and Dragons, different characters have unique ways of interacting with the Dodge Action 5E.

Characters That Interact With the Dodge Action

Some classes, such as the Monk or race like a Dwarf, have abilities that amplify their defensive capacities when they opt to dodge during a combat round.

This is exactly what makes D&D such an intricate and captivating game – every player brings something unique to the table.


Monks are one of the character classes that heavily interact with the Dodge action in D&D 5E. They possess an ability called “Patient Defense,” which allows them to use their bonus action and one Ki point to take the dodge action.

By adopting this self-protective posture, they primarily encourage foes to attack them instead of their lesser-armored party members.

This tactic is especially useful when faced with powerful enemies who land hits quite frequently, as granting them a disadvantage can potentially mitigate against substantial amounts of damage.

Monks at higher levels can use their bonus actions more liberally due to an increased Ki pool. This means they can afford regular use of Patient Defense while maintaining their offensive prowess through other Ki-driven techniques such as Flurry of Blows.


Dwarves (though not a class but a race) have characteristics that make using Dodge Action quite advantageous. Dwarves inherently come with superior resilience, exhibited by their solid stamina and impressive constitution score.

While they may lack the skills of other races or classes (like Monks), they make up for it in raw tenacity and endurance.

A Dwarf’s ability to keep stable footing even on rough terrain ensures that even when attempting to dodge, they won’t find themselves in compromised positions.

While using Dodge actions, a dwarf character’s resilience can save attacks from spells requiring Constitution saving throws.

Due to their trait called “Dwarven Resilience,” dwarves possess an advantage on saving throws against being poisoned, and they have resistance to poison damage.

This further strengthens their defense when they’re dodging attacks that might carry poisons or toxic afflictions.

Also Read: Spell Attack Bonus 5E D&D [Improve Your Magic Attacks]

FAQs About Dodge Action 5E

What does the Dodge action do in D&D 5e?

The Dodge action focuses entirely on avoiding attacks. It imposes a disadvantage on attack rolls against you, making you harder to hit, and it lets you make Dexterity saving throws with an advantage.

Can any character use the Dodge action in the game?

Yes, any character can utilize the Dodge action in D&D 5E, regardless of their class or race. It’s a universal strategy that all players can employ to evade enemy blows.

Does a Dodge action provide any benefit against spells?

Yes and no. If a spell requires an attack roll against your character, Dodge imparts a disadvantage on that roll. However, if the spell requires you to make a saving throw, Dodge can only provide an advantage if it’s a Dexterity saving throw.

How does using the Dodge Action affect my movement speed?

Using the Dodge Action itself doesn’t affect your movement speed at all! You’re free to move up to your maximum speed while dodging.

Can I perform other actions after taking a Dodge action?

The Dodge is an ‘action’ in itself, meaning it consumes your standard action for the turn. If you have other abilities that grant bonus actions or reactions, those could potentially still be performed.


  • Ashish Arya

    I'm a tech enthusiast and lifelong gamer, hailing from the beautiful city of Chandigarh. My passions range from immersing myself in worlds like GTA V, COD, SIMS, Roblox and Minecraft to exploring the latest innovations in laptops and technology. Armed with a Bachelors Degree in Computer Application, I love sharing my insights through writing and engaging with fellow enthusiasts. Join me on my journey through the ever-evolving realms of gaming and tech!