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All Ways to Get a Reaction Attack in D&D 5e

Here are all ways to get Reaction attack in D&D 5e through feats, class features, spells, races, and magic items.

Weaponizing your one Reaction per turn reliably is a surefire way to boost your overall damage and action economy. I wanted to outline every feat and early-level feature that allows you to damage enemies with a reaction. Here are all ways to get a reaction attack in D&D 5e.

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All Methods to Get a Reaction Attack in D&D 5e

There are plenty of ways to make attacks as a Reaction besides the standard Attack of Opportunity. Similar to our article on weaponizing your Bonus Action, below you’ll find a list of all feats, class features, spells, races, and magic items that allow you to attack with a Reaction. Some of them are weapon attacks, and some are spells or spell-like abilities, so feel free to pick and choose them based on your build. All the Reaction attack class features will be multiclass friendly and handpicked for you to be able to get them with a 1 to 3-level dip in a class.

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Reaction Attack Feats

These are all feats in D&D 5e that allow you to attack using your Reaction, and I’ll point out which ones are weapon attacks and which ones are spell-like abilities:

  • Sentinel: Allows you to make a weapon attack as a Reaction against a creature who makes an attack against a target other than you while within 5 feet of you.
  • Polearm Master: Allows you to make a weapon attack as a Reaction with your polearm against a creature who enters your reach.
  • War Caster: Allows you to use a single-target spell instead of a weapon attack when enemies provoke AoO. I like combining this with weapon attack spells like Booming Blade.
  • Mage Slayer: With this feat, if a creature casts a spell while within 5 feet of you, you can make a weapon attack against it as a Reaction.
  • Martial Adept: Allows you to take the Riposte or Brace maneuvers which both allow you to make weapon attacks as a Reaction.
  • Magic Initiate: Allows you to take the Hellish Rebuke spell from the Warlock list which deals damage to an enemy that attacks you if they fail a Dexterity saving throw.
  • Gift of the Gem Dragon: If you have this feat and a creature deals damage to you within 10 feet, you can, as a Reaction, force it to make a Strength saving throw or take 2d8 damage and be pushed 10 feet.
  • Fury of the Frost Giant: If you have this feat and a creature deals damage to you with an attack roll within 30 feet, you can, as a Reaction, force it to make a Constitution saving throw or take 1d8 plus proficiency damage and have its speed set to 0 until its next turn.

Note that some of the latter feats have limited uses or prerequisites.

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Reaction Attack Class Features

There are also some class features you can grab with a one to three-level dip in certain classes like:

  • Fighter: At level 3, the Battle Master subclass gets maneuvers like Riposte and Brace which allow you to attack as a Reaction. Riposte activates if an enemy misses you and Brace activates if an enemy approaches you.
  • Ranger: At level 3, the Hunter subclass gets Hunter’s Prey and can choose Giant Killer. This ability allows you to use your Reaction to make a weapon attack against a Large creature that attacks you within 5 feet.
  • Cleric: At level 1, the Tempest Domain subclass gets you Wrath of the Storm, which allows you to, as a Reaction, force an enemy that attacks you in melee to make a Dexterity saving throw or take 2d8 damage.
  • Druid: At level 2 the Circle of Spores subclass gets you Halo of Spores which allows you to use your Reaction to force an enemy within 10 feet of you to make a Constitution saving throw or take scaling necrotic damage.
  • Monk: At level 3, all monks can use Deflect Missile to reduce the damage of a ranged attack, and if they negate it fully, you can throw the projectile back as a Reaction at the cost of a ki point.
  • Paladin: At level 3, the Oath of Redemption subclass gets Rebuke the Violent, which allows you to use your Reaction to force an enemy that deals damage to an ally within 30 feet to make a Wisdom saving throw or take the same damage it just dealt.

If your build focuses on weapon attacks, then the Fighter and Ranger options are your best bet. If you’re going for a Rogue build, I recommend the Fighter option since it allows you to proc Sneak Attack twice in one round, once on your turn and once as a Reaction.

Reaction Attack Spells

The only low-level Reaction attack spell that you can realistically multiclass dip for is Hellish Rebuke. It states that you can cast it as a Reaction, which you take in response to being damaged by a creature within 60 feet of you that you can see. The spell deals 2d10 fire damage or 1d10 more for each spell level above 1st if the attacking creatures fail a Dexterity saving throw. It’s an excellent way to weaponize your Reaction, but the problem is that the only class that gets it is the Warlock, which doesn’t have spell slots to spare.

That said, I highly recommend it for other spellcasting classes through the Magic Initiate feat. You can even get it through the Tiefling race and subraces.

Reaction Attack Races

The only race in D&D 5e that can attack with a Reaction is the Tiefling and its subraces because they get Hellish Rebuke. As discussed above, this is a damage spell that is activated as a Reaction. This way, you don’t have to pick Warlock but can instead take it on a Wizard or Sorcerer, who have drastically more spell slots to cast it with. I even once took it on a Fighter for a once-per-long rest cast.

Reaction Attack Magic Items

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When it comes to Reaction attack magic items, there aren’t any early-game options, unfortunately. That said, there are plenty of legendary magic items that allow you to attack with a Reaction so check with your DM if you can find one in-game. They’re as follows:

  • Blood Fury Tattoo: Allows you to make a melee attack as a Reaction against a creature that damages you. From Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything.
  • Sword of Answering: Allows you to make a melee attack as a Reaction against a creature that damages you in your reach. From the Dungeon Master’s Guide.
  • Sword of the Paruns: Allows you to use your Reaction to give a creature within 60 feet of you a free attack. From Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica.

That’s it for my list of all ways to get a Reaction attack in D&D 5e. For more articles on D&D, check out the top 10 D&D 5e spells we need in Baldur’s Gate 3.


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Author
Gordan Perisic
From playing RPGs and dungeon mastering for his D&D group to reading novels and scribbling about his fantasy setting, Gordan is a full-time nerd and devoted writer for GameSkinny. He loves to overshare and discuss literature, music, animation, and trees with fellow geeks. Also, he may or may not cook too much food for his friends. Cholesterol is one hell of a drug.