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War Caster 5E Feat Explained 2024 [How To Use In DnD 5E?]

War Caster 5E Feat
  Written By: Ashish Arya
Updated On: 10/26/2023
Est. Reading: 9 minutes

The mystical world of Dungeons and Dragons can sometimes feel as vast and complex as the most intricate maze. However, unlocking its secrets can give you an exhilarating sense of achievement- a truly unforgettable experience.

Take War Caster 5E, for example. It’s a feature that many players overlook, and yet it holds unbelievable potential for transforming your gameplay.

As you leap into action, casting spells or brandishing weapons, there’s something incredibly satisfying about seeing the dazzling effects of your chosen persona in full swing.

So, let’s shed some light on War Caster 5E and unravel the many possibilities it lays bare for your D&D adventures.

This feature isn’t just elegant showmanship; it’s about understanding your capabilities and utilizing them to their fullest advantage to rule the game.

What is War Caster 5E?

In Dungeons & Dragons, feats are special abilities that enhance your character’s powers or skills. Among these, War Caster is a standout.

So, exactly what is War Caster 5E? Effectively, it is a feat that lets your character perform magical spells even when their hands are full.

Enabling you to cast spells while holding weapons or shields, this feat gives an edge to those who want to fuse magic with combat prowess.

The ‘5E’ in the name refers to the fifth edition of Dungeons & Dragons, where this exciting feature can be utilized. Essential for spellcasters in battlegrounds, it powers up your gameplay by maintaining concentration more effectively and lending extra punch to opportunity attacks.

How does the War Caster feat work in 5E?

Navigating through Dungeons and Dragons is not simply about grand quests and arcane lore; it also entails strategic gameplay decisions.

How does the War Caster feat work in 5E?

The War Caster feat in 5E is a prime example of these strategic choices, giving your characters more versatility in combat.

If you’ve ever fancied slinging spells while wielding weapons, then this is the pick for you! Let’s dive into how each aspect of this intriguing feat works.

Use Hands

The very essence of the War Caster 5E feature lies in the nimble hands of your characters. Imagine being surrounded by enemies, your sword or shield clutched tightly while you plan your next move.

Even in such situations, a normal spellcaster would be at a disadvantage due to the need for free hands to cast most spells.

With the War Caster feat, spellcasting remains possible even while brandishing weaponry or shields. This not only grants greater flexibility on the battlefield but also keeps your character protected during combat.

Whether it’s preparing a devastating thunderous smite or maintaining steady defense with a shield — you’re all set to confront any given situation thanks to this unique feature.

Cast Spells as Opportunity Attacks

In the throes of battle, swift reactions can make all the difference between triumph and defeat. With War Caster 5E, opportunity attacks become more than just physical strikes — they turn into potential spellcasting showdowns!

When an enemy leaves your reach, you have a chance to launch an opportunity attack as a melee strike. War Caster elevates this by allowing you to replace that melee attack with an impactful spell.

Bear in mind that similar rules apply: target must be within range, and casting time must be of one action. The versatility this combination offers can completely shift battle dynamics, favoring both offense and strategy.

The Advantage of Concentration Saves

War Caster also shines bright in the domain of concentration saves. In the chaos of combats, concentration is crucial for maintaining any ongoing spells.

If you get hit in battle while casting a spell, a concentration save is needed to determine whether you can hold onto that spell.

This is where War Caster 5E adds immense value by granting an advantage on these saves. Regardless of the din of battle or the ferocity of enemy strikes, your character can keep their focus due to this added stability.

From keeping control over battlefield-shaping spells to sustaining damage enhancements, this advantage can significantly bolster your chances of maintaining command over prolonged battles.

With all these facets at your disposal, War Caster allows you to amalgamate physical prowess with magical savvy seamlessly. As an enriching gameplay feature, it offers increased tactical flexibility while making your hero more formidable in battle. So, explore more strategies exploiting these aspects to brew up engrossing D&D encounters.

Also Read: Warlock 5E Class Guide DnD [Abilities, Playing Styles, & Tactics]

What are the rules for War Caster in 5E?

In Dungeons & Dragons, each feat comes with a unique set of rules. These directives contribute to the game’s nuanced mechanics – building an engaging gameplay experience.

War Caster is no exception to this phenomenon. To fully harness the potential of the War Caster feat, understanding its rules is essential.

War Caster Requires a Free Hand for Interaction

The first thing you should know about War Caster is that it requires a free hand to cast spells that require material components.

Casting requires at least one free hand, but what makes this rule interesting is that it allows you to use the same hand holding your material components or focus on performing somatic gestures, effectively leaving your other hand free for combat or defense.

This flexibility can potentially tip combat situations in your favor. However, be aware that special arcane gestures must still be made to cast these spells, and these gestures cannot be performed if you’re restrained or if both of your hands are occupied.

War Caster Only Allows You to Target One Creature

Another key rule for War Casters relates to targeting during opportunity attacks (OAs). While it’s tempting to deploy powerful AoEs and area-of-effect spells when enemies trigger OAs, you must remember the feat only lets you target one creature.

This means if you’re using your OA spell cast option provided by the feat, multi-target spells like Fireball and Cone of Cold can’t work unless they can be targeted specifically at one creature. It’s all about the precise application of power as opposed to broader strokes.

Opportunity Attack

Let’s talk about a fundamental rule regarding opportunity attacks (OAs) with War Casters – holding consequences even for ranged spell attacks.

Anytime an enemy creature triggers an OA from you — usually by moving out of your reach – you can use your reaction, permitted by the War Caster feat, to cast a spell at it instead of swinging a weapon.

Challenging is the fact that if the enemy creature is within 5 feet, you’ll be making your attack at a disadvantage. This rule ensures game balance by presenting risks alongside rewards. It makes you think twice about the tactical decisions, providing a more dynamic combat arrangement.

Also Read: How To Calculate Armor Class 5E? [Detailed Steps & Examples]

How to Use War Caster in 5E?

Understanding how to employ the unique capabilities of the War Caster 5E can elevate your gameplay. This secondary expertise allows you to wield spells effectively while engaging in combat, creating a strategic advantage on the battlefield.

How to Use War Caster in 5E

Two critical actions should be kept in mind when utilizing War Caster: using the Booming Blade and avoiding spells that require multiple saving throws.

Use Booming Blade

A shining example of a spell that complements War Caster perfectly is the ‘Booming Blade.’ This cantrip, or relatively low-level spell, becomes available to Sorcerers, Wizards, and Warlocks.

When cast with this feat on an opportunity attack, you make a melee attack against a creature and cause thunder damage if it willingly moves before your next turn.

The beauty of employing Booming Blade lies in its synergy with War Caster – any enemy foolish enough to provoke an opportunity attack receives instant payback with thundering force.

This creates a potent deterrent against enemies planning on escaping or shifting their positions without disengaging first.

So, if your character focuses on concentrating spells and delivering potent melee hits simultaneously, capitalizing on Booming Blade with War Caster is an assured game changer.

Don’t Cast Spells That Have Repeated Saving Throws

While the perks offered by War Caster are aplenty, knowing what not to do with this feat is equally crucial for effective gameplay. Avoid casting spells that have repeated saving throws. The reason lies in the nature of how saving throw spells operate within 5E.

Such spells require targets to make a save at cast time (to dodge or mitigate effects) and subsequent saves for ongoing effects over different durations- rounds, minutes, or even longer. So why limit these? Well, because they don’t necessarily mesh well with your War Caster abilities.

Although initial concentration checks might be passed due to the War Caster’s advantage, repeated saving throws could result in concentration breaks. And a lost concentration is a wasted opportunity in the world of D&D.

With War Caster, veer towards spells that pack their punch in instantaneous effects, a single swoop where your victim either saves or doesn’t. This way, you maintain full potency with your concentration advantage and avoid the potential pitfall of broken spell efforts.

Using War Caster 5E effectively means playing to its strengths and compensating for its limitations. Birth unprecedented tactics on the battlefield by mastering these techniques—your adversaries wouldn’t know what hit them.

Is War Caster a Good Feat in 5E?

Absolutely, War Caster is a superb feat in 5E. It’s particularly beneficial for characters who blend spellcasting with physical combat. The War Caster feat plays a pivotal role in enhancing your survivability and versatility on the battlefield.

Primarily, this feature grants three significant benefits:

  • Perform Somatic Components: Now you can freely cast many spells even with your hands full.
  • Advantages of Concentration checks: This paves the way for maintaining control over ongoing spells while amidst the throes of combat.
  • Spells as Opportunity Attacks: When a foe provokes an opportunity attack, you get to strike with a spell instead of a mundane melee hit.

These elements combined can greatly empower your character, making War Caster not just good but fantastic for any serious spellcaster.

Also Read: Drakewarden Ranger Subclass [How It Changes Your DnD Gameplay]

Best classes and subclasses for War Caster DnD 5e

Exploring the terrain of which classes and subclasses make the best use of the War Caster feat in DnD 5e can quite accurately be compared to finding a secret gem in a vast fantasy world.

Best classes and subclasses for War Caster DnD 5e

This feat not only enhances your character’s prowess but also offers new, exciting angles for gameplay.


Bards bring a magical flavor to every adventure party. Naturally eligible for War Caster due to their spellcasting abilities, the bard can use this feat to weave spells while strumming their lute or brandishing other implements or weapons.

Picture this: you are playing your tune, inspiring your companions, when suddenly an Orc charges you! With War Caster, you smoothly transition from strings to spells without missing a beat, providing both defense and attack.


A Cleric with a War Caster is like having a holy warrior who marries divine powers with robust defense capabilities. Given that Clerics often serve dual roles – as healers who need to maintain concentration on healing spells and as frontline fighters.

The benefits of War Caster are manifold. It gives them an added layer of versatility, enabling them to protect allies while casting potent spells.


In the fluid world of Druids, where shape-shifting forms are at the heart of all they do, being able to cast spells even in combat-heavy scenarios is invaluable.

The ability of Druids’ beast form not usually allowing spellcasting can be complemented by War Caster, making these nature whisperers even more formidable.


Wizards have superior magic but are often physically vulnerable. Imagine a wizard making his way through an enemy fortification with only his staff and spellbook, ducking blows while trying to unleash powerful magic.

It doesn’t work too well, right? Enter War Caster; it allows wizards to focus on their incantations, even amidst frontline combat.

Arcane Trickster Rogue

These Rogues bank on their stealth and spells to trick and control the battlefield. On the one hand, you have a deceptive rogue with tricks and illusion spells up his sleeve.

Add War Caster, and you have a master manipulator who can cast spells while engaging physically with foes or disappearing.

Eldritch Knight Fighter

An Eldritch Knight Fighter epitomizes the fusion of weaponry and magic. Naturally drawn to arcane magic, Fighters choosing this subclass gain the ability to cast spells.

Adding War Caster literally puts the power in their hands by allowing spellcasting even while wielding weapons or shields in both hands.

Each of these D&D character classes comes with its unique flair and concentrated essence – mastering their respective abilities can turn the tide of battle in your favor.

When it comes to War Caster 5E, understanding how best to use it within your chosen class ultimately depends on how well you comprehend your role in the adventures lurking within dungeons yet unexplored.

Also Read: Artificer 5E Guide 2024 [Level Up Your D&D Gameplay]

FAQs about War Caster 5E

What does the War Caster feat accomplish in DnD 5E?

War Caster enables your character to perform somatic components of spells even when your hands are engaged.

How does War Caster impact multi-tasking in combat situations?

It allows you to cast spells even while holding weapons or shields, boosting your adaptive response in combat scenarios.

Can every class benefit from the War Caster feat in DnD 5E?

Primarily, spellcaster classes such as Bards, Clerics, Druids, Wizards, Arcane Trickster Rogues, and Eldritch Knight Fighters can take full advantage of this feat.

Does the War Caster feat impede any spellcasting abilities?

No, it does not hinder any abilities; rather, it enhances your spellcasting by providing more flexibility during combat.

Is there any prerequisite for choosing the War Caster feat in DnD 5E?

The ability to cast at least one spell is a requirement to opt for the War Caster feat.


  • 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!