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Maneuvers for All Kinds

Maneuvers are really just ways of enhancing an attack. A few Maneuvers are different but mostly they’re just something kind of change to an attack.

There are few ways of gaining Maneuvers in 5th edition:

Becoming a Fighter\Battle Master (PHB 73)

Take the Feat: Martial Adept (PHB 168)

Martial Adept (PHB 168)

You have martial training that allows you to perform special combat maneuvers. You gain the following benefits:

  • You learn two maneuvers of your choice from among those available to the Battle Master archetype in the fighter class. If a maneuver you use requires your target to make a saving throw to resist the maneuver’s effects, the saving throw DC equals 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Strength or Dexterity modifier (your choice).
  • If you already have superiority dice, you gain one more; otherwise, you have one superiority die, which is a d6. These dice are used to fuel your maneuvers. A superiority die is expended when you use it. You regain your expended superiority dice when you finish a short or long rest.

Maneuvers

(PHB 74)

The maneuvers are presented in alphabetical order.

Commander’s Strike. When you take the Attack action on your turn, you can forgo one of your attacks and use a bonus action to direct one of your companions to strike. When you do so, choose a friendly creature who can see or hear you and expend one superiority die. That creature can immediately use its reaction to make one weapon attack, adding the superiority die to the attack’s damage roll.

The Art of War: A Fighter Guide by Koga395

The value of this maneuver ranges quite a bit – it goes from nearly useless if the party has no weapon attackers other than you to amazing with a great single-target damage dealer like a Rogue in the party. Keep in mind that it takes up one of your attacks, your bonus action, and the target’s reaction, so by default this isn’t a great option – it just offers a lot of versatility.

Disarming Attack. When you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you can expend one superiority die to attempt to disarm the target, forcing it to drop one item of your choice that it’s holding. You add the superiority die to the attack’s damage roll, and the target must make a Strength saving throw. On a failed save, it drops the object you choose. The object lands at its feet.

The Art of War: A Fighter Guide by Koga395

Shutting down a single melee attacker can be a strong way to use a Superiority Die. Make sure to use your free “interacting with an object” action to kick away the target’s weapon (or pick it up if you have a free hand), otherwise they can pick it up on their next turn without having to Disengage or take opportunity attacks. If your DM rules that this is ineffective for some reason, this maneuver becomes nearly useless.

Distracting Strike. When you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you can expend one superiority die to distract the creature, giving your allies an opening. You add the superiority die to the attack’s damage roll. The next attack roll against the target by an attacker other than you has advantage if the attack is made before the start of your next turn.

The Art of War: A Fighter Guide by Koga395

You set an ally up for advantage on their next attack. Can be quite strong, particularly with a Rogue (auto-Sneak Attack) in the party, but its usefulness drops as you gain levels and most of your allies have more attacks.

Evasive Footwork. When you move, you can expend one superiority die, rolling the die and adding the number rolled to your AC until you stop moving.

The Art of War: A Fighter Guide by Koga395

This helps you evade opportunity attacks, but it’s no guarantee and eats up your extra damage. Better for archers who find themselves stuck in melee.

[I disagree and have seen this used to great effect simply by having the character move around a target, but getting 1-8 added to their AC!]

Feinting Attack. You can expend one superiority die and use a bonus action on your turn to feint, choosing one creature within 5 feet of you as your target. You have advantage on your next attack roll against that creature. If that attack hits, add the superiority die to the attack’s damage roll.

The Art of War: A Fighter Guide by Koga395

Advantage on your next attack is nice, but this uses your bonus action and doesn’t guarantee damage. You’re better off with Trip Attack, especially with multiple attacks at higher levels or Action Surge. On the off chance you’re multiclassing from a spell-casting class, this can help your powerful attack roll spells like Contagion hit.

Goading Attack. When you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you can expend one superiority die to attempt to goad the target into attacking you. You add the superiority die to the attack’s damage roll, and the target must make a Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, the target has disadvantage on all attack rolls against targets other than you until the end of your next turn.

The Art of War: A Fighter Guide by Koga395

Would be a strong choice, but it’s usually worse than Menacing Attack, which protects you as well and restricts the target’s movement. Does have some value against creatures immune or resistant to fear – also note that this is effective at range if the target can’t get to you.

Lunging Attack. When you make a melee weapon attack on your turn, you can expend one superiority die to increase your reach for that attack by 5 feet. If you hit, you add the superiority die to the attack’s damage roll.

The Art of War: A Fighter Guide by Koga395

Five feet of reach on your turn is too situational to be useful – a little better when you already have a polearm but still not very good.

[This is great for 2nd line combatants. or even to someone with a polearm (15ft of reach! Plus extra damage!!]

Maneuvering Attack. When you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you can expend one superiority die to maneuver one of your comrades into a more advantageous position. You add the superiority die to the attack’s damage roll, and you choose a friendly creature who can see or hear you. That creature can use its reaction to move up to half its speed without provoking opportunity attacks from the target of your attack.

The Art of War: A Fighter Guide by Koga395

Very useful when you need to pull an ally out of a bad situation, and can help move them into attacking position as well.

Menacing Attack. When you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you can expend one superiority die to attempt to frighten the target. You add the superiority die to the attack’s damage roll, and the target must make a Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, it is frightened of you until the end of your next turn.

The Art of War: A Fighter Guide by Koga395

Fear gives your enemy disadvantage on attacks (and ability checks) as long as they can see you, and prevents them from moving closer to you as well. Protects you and your party!

Parry. When another creature damages you with a melee attack, you can use your reaction and expend one superiority die to reduce the damage by the number you roll on your superiority die + your Dexterity modifier.

The Art of War: A Fighter Guide by Koga395

Helps mitigate damage – a good one to pull out if your back is to the wall. Relies on Dexterity, so not a good choice for Fighters without it.

[not as useful as Evasive Footwork – which increases your AC for as long as you move each turn.]

Precision Attack. When you make a weapon attack roll against a creature, you can expend one superiority die to add it to the roll. You can use this maneuver before or after making the attack roll, but before any effects of the attack are applied.

The Art of War: A Fighter Guide by Koga395

This one doesn’t appear to add extra damage, but then you realize it can be used to turn misses into hits. Even better for Sentinels [Feat] that stop movement on a successful opportunity attack.

Pushing Attack. When you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you can expend one superiority die to attempt to drive the target back. You add the superiority die to the attack’s damage roll, and if the target is Large or smaller, it must make a Strength saving throw. On a failed save, you push the target up to 15 feet away from you.

The Art of War: A Fighter Guide by Koga395

Shoving an enemy 15 feet is a useful tool to have in your box, particularly if your DM loves precipices and lava pits. Note that you can always give up an attack to take the Shove action, which moves them 5 feet. Less useful if you have the Shield Master feat, but still shoves much farther.

Rally. On your turn, you can use a bonus action and expend one superiority die to bolster the resolve of one of your companions. When you do so, choose a friendly creature who can see or hear you. That creature gains temporary hit points equal to the superiority die roll + your Charisma modifier.

The Art of War: A Fighter Guide by Koga395

Damage mitigation for the squishies (or other tank) on your team, and the only good reason for the Battle Master to have a solid Charisma. It does tie up your bonus action, though.

[not terribly useful it doesn’t progress with levels etc. – perhaps if changed to superiority die roll + your level + Charisma modifier.]

Riposte. When a creature misses you with a melee attack, you can use your reaction and expend one superiority die to make a melee weapon attack against the creature. If you hit, you add the superiority die to the attack’s damage roll.

The Art of War: A Fighter Guide by Koga395

An extra attack – plus Superiority Die damage – on a reaction is amazing and useful in just about any fight. Obviously competes for other uses of your reaction.

Sweeping Attack. When you hit a creature with a melee weapon attack, you can expend one superiority die to attempt to damage another creature with the same attack. Choose another creature within 5 feet of the original target and within your reach. If the original attack roll would hit the second creature, it takes damage equal to the number you roll on your superiority die. The damage is of the same type dealt by the original attack.

The Art of War: A Fighter Guide by Koga395

Helps against hordes, but there are much better characters for dealing AoE damage and your superiority die alone won’t drop most CR 1/2 creatures or higher. Can take down an already injured creature, however.

Trip Attack. When you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you can expend one superiority die to attempt to knock the target down. You add the superiority die to the attack’s damage roll, and if the target is Large or smaller, it must make a Strength saving throw. On a failed save, you knock the target prone.

The Art of War: A Fighter Guide by Koga395

Mediocre until you get your second attack, but Advantage on an entire attack routine, especially an Action Surged one, adds loads to your damage while restricting mobility and possibly helping a teammate. Serves a different purpose for Archers – you’ll want to finish your routine with this, as it’ll give you disadvantage on ranged attacks but slow down anyone trying to reach you. Any fighter can give up an attack to Shove and knock a creature prone, but this is much more efficient. Note that this is mostly redundant for fighters with the Shield Master feat and the Strength/Athletics bonus to use it.

rpgbot@rpgbot.net at http://rpgbot.net/ has some additional thoughts on these as well in their DnD 5e – The Fighter Handbook

Additional Maneuvers

*Hammer and Anvil. As an Action, you spend a superiority die to make an attack against an adjacent creature, the creature must make a Wisdom saving throw. If they fail, your target immediately provokes an opportunity attack from any ally within melee range, as long as your ally can see your target.  

*Hold the Line. As a reaction when a creature within melee range of you tries to move at all, even 1 foot around you, you can expend one superiority die  to make a melee weapon attack against that creature. If you hit, the targets speed is reduced to 0 until the start of its next turn.

*Captains Move. After taking an opportunity attack you may spend a superiority die to allow a single ally within 30 feet who can hear and see you to instantly move 10 feet + the superiority die roll.

*Out-Maneuver. As a bonus action you can expend one superiority die and reduce an opponent  initiative by that amount. The opponent must be within 30 feet of you as well as see and hear you.  The opponent’s initiative cannot be reduced below 1.

*Painful Strike. When you damage a creature with a weapon attack, you can expend one superiority die to add it to the damage roll. You can use this after rolling damage. If the attack causes the target to make a Constitution (Concentration) saving throw to maintain concentration, it has disadvantage on that save.

*Prepared. When you make an Intelligence, Wisdom, or Charisma saving throw, you can expend one superiority die and add it to your roll. You can use this feature before you learn if the save succeeded or failed.

*Warning Shout. As a reaction, when an ally within 60 feet who can hear and see you is the target of a spell, you may spend one superiority die to grant that ally the ability to use their reaction to gain advantage on their saving throw against that spell. If the spell has no save your ally gains resistance against that spell’s damage instead.  

*Battaglia: When you hit a creature you can see with a dagger, you can spend one superiority die to add it to your damage roll. In addition, any die in this damage roll that results in its maximum value is rolled again, adding the result to the final damage dealt. A die rerolled through this feature that results in its maximum value cannot be rerolled again.

*Coudray: To use this maneuver, you must be wielding a shield. As a bonus action, spend and roll a superiority die. Until the beginning of your next turn, reduce the damage from all weapon attacks against you by the amount rolled.

*Kinsale: To use this maneuver, you must be wearing a cloak and have one hand empty. When you are hit by a melee weapon attack, spend a superiority die and add its result to your Armor Class. If this causes the attack to miss, the target must make a Strength saving throw. On a failed saving throw, the weapon used to attack you drops at the creature’s feet.

*Moriscato: To use this maneuver, you must wield two weapons, one of which is a dagger. When you attack with your dagger and have advantage, you may spend a superiority die to roll two dice of the same type and add them to your damage roll.

*Roux: When you roll a Dexterity or Intelligence saving throw, you may expend one superiority die to add it to that roll. When an ally adjacent to you rolls a Dexterity or Intelligence saving throw, you may expend a superiority die and add half its result to the roll.

*Rowan: When you roll a Strength or Constitution saving throw, you may expend one superiority die to add it to that roll. If you fail the roll anyway, you may take damage equal to the superiority die result to succeed instead. This damage may not be reduced or avoided, and goes to current hit points rather than temporary hit points.

*Displaced Hand/Vachir: When you roll initiative, you may spend a superiority die to attack with a ranged or thrown weapon. If this attack roll hits, the target takes damage equal to the amount rolled on the superiority die plus any bonuses from magical effects on the weapon.

*Dane’s Bulwark: To use this maneuver, you must be wielding a shield. When an effect would knock you prone or force you to move through any means other than teleportation, you may spend a superiority die. Add the result to any saving throw or ability check to resist this movement. If you fail the saving throw or ability check, you may spend your reaction to take damage equal to the superiority die result. If you do, you are not moved or knocked prone. This damage may not be reduced or avoided, and goes to current hit points rather than temporary hit points.

*Lost Blades of Mazhan: When you attack with an off-hand weapon as a bonus action, you may spend one superiority die. Roll one die of that type for each attack roll you have missed in this turn and add the result to the damage roll of your off-hand attack.

*Sand Spire: To use this maneuver, you must be wielding a spear, glaive, halberd, or pike. When an enemy you can see within your reach makes a weapon attack against one of your allies, you may spend a superiority die to make an opportunity attack against that enemy, adding the superiority die result to your damage roll.

*Shieldeaters: When you roll initiative and you are not wearing armor or wielding a shield, you may choose to expend a superiority die. For the duration of that encounter, your Armor Class is 10 + the die’s result + your Dexterity modifier.

*Silver Swordsmen: To use this maneuver, you must be wielding a silver, or silvered, weapon. When you are the target of an effect that deals necrotic damage, spend and roll a superiority die to add its result to your Armor Class (if this is a weapon or spell attack), or your next saving throw (if a saving throw is necessary).

*Iron Temple: When you roll a Wisdom or Charisma saving throw, you may expend one superiority die to add it to the roll. When an ally within 30 feet rolls a Wisdom or Charisma saving throw, you may use your reaction to expend a superiority die and add half its result to the roll.

*Sovereign Knights of the Council Fire: When an ally adjacent to you takes damage from a weapon or an effect that allows a Dexterity saving throw, you may expend a superiority die to reduce the damage taken by the die’s result. If you are wielding a shield, add the higher of your Strength bonus or Dexterity bonus.

*Tiger’s Claw: When you use the Attack action to make melee attacks with a one-handed weapon, you may spend a superiority die to fire a loaded flintlock pistol as a bonus action. You may expend a number of superiority dice up to the number of your melee attacks in this turn that hit; add the value of those dice to the damage of your flintlock pistol.

*Cursewardens: When you fail a saving throw against a spell of 1st level or higher, you may expend a superiority die to inflict that much necrotic damage to the spell’s caster.

Some Battle Master Maneuver Ideas from Reddit user supreme_slayer

Battle Inspiration – When either you or a friendly creature you can see within 30 feet of you makes an attack roll, you can expend a superiority die to roll the die and add half the result to that attack roll. You can do this before or after the attack roll is made, but before you know whether or not it was a hit. If choosing another creature, you must use your reaction to use this maneuver, and the creature must be able to either see or hear you to benefit.

Blinding Attack – When you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you can expend one superiority die to strike a particularly sensitive area or throw something into its eyes. You add your superiority die to the attack’s damage roll, and the creature must make a Constitution saving throw. On a failure, the creature is blinded until the end of the current turn.

Bloodletting Strike – When you hit with a weapon attack, you can expend a superiority die to attempt bleeding the target dry. The creature must make a Constitution saving throw. On a failure, the creature begins to take damage equal to your superiority die at the end of each of its turns. This effect automatically ends if the creature regains any of its hit points, or if it or a creature within 5 feet of it uses its action to stop the bleeding. Undead, elementals, and constructs are immune to this effect.

Commander’s Eye – At the start of your turn during combat, you can expend a superiority die to quickly take in your surroundings. You can make either an Intelligence (Investigation) or Wisdom (Perception) check to notice or identify something within your range of vision, and you add your superiority die to the result.

Deny Death – When you or a friendly creature adjacent to you makes a death saving throw, you can expend one superiority die to invoke the fighting spirit. Add your superiority die to the saving throw’s result, and if the save succeeds (and was not a 20), the creature automatically stabilizes. You must use your reaction when performing this maneuver on another creature.

Disorienting Blow – When you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you can expend a superiority die to strike the creature with a disorienting blow that makes it unable to discern friend from foe. You add the superiority die to the attack’s damage roll, and the creature must make a Wisdom saving throw. On a failed save, it is charmed by you until the end of your next turn.

Disrupting Attack – When you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you can expend one superiority die to attempt to disrupt the creature’s concentration. You add the superiority die to the attack’s damage roll, and the creature has disadvantage on any Constitution saving throw it must make to maintain concentration as a result of the attack.

Distant Attack – When you make an attack with a ranged or thrown weapon, you can expend a superiority die to double the normal range of the weapon, and increase the maximum range by the same number of feet added, for the remainder of your turn. If your initial attack hits, add your superiority die to the attack’s damage roll.

Glancing Blow – When you miss with an attack roll and did not roll a 1, you can expend a superiority die to make the attack a glancing blow. The creature takes half the damage your weapon would normally deal on a hit, plus half of your superiority die, all rounded down.

Grabbing Attack – When you hit with a weapon attack, you can immediately expend a superiority die to attempt a grapple against the hit creature, dropping or sheathing a different held item if necessary to gain a free hand.

Hobbling Strike — When you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you can expend one superiority die to strike a crippling blow, temporarily hindering the target’s mobility. You add the superiority die to the attack’s damage roll, and the creature must expend an additional foot of movement for each foot of its movement it uses (except teleportation) until the end of your next turn.

Hurricane Strike – As an action, you can expend a superiority die to make a spinning attack, striking all nearby foes. Each creature within 5 feet of you must make a Strength saving throw. On a failure, a creature is pushed 5 feet away from you and takes bludgeoning damage equal to your superiority die.

On Guard – When you miss an attack made as an opportunity attack using your reaction, you can expend one superiority die to immediately regain use of your reaction for the round. You cannot use this reaction to respond to the same action which triggered your initial opportunity attack.

Pinning Attack – When you hit a creature with a weapon attack, you can expend a superiority die and add it to the damage of the roll. In addition, that creature must make a Dexterity saving throw. On a failure, the creature is effectively pinned in place, reducing its speed to 0 until the end of your next turn. The creature or another, adjacent creature can use its action to free it from this effect. Creatures with the ability to move through small cracks or objects are immune to this effect.

Prepare For Battle – When a friendly creature within 30 feet of you is surprised but you are not, you can immediately expend one superiority die to spur the creature into action and allow them to act on their initiative count. However, that creature cannot take bonus actions, make more than a single weapon attack, or cast a spell except a cantrip during that round. A creature must be able to see or hear you to benefit from this maneuver.

Shake It Off – When either you or a friendly creature within 30 feet of you that can see or hear you makes a saving throw to end an effect on themselves, you can expend one superiority die as a reaction. Roll your superiority die and add it to that saving throw.

Strip Defenses – When you hit a creature with an attack, you can expend a superiority die to temporarily shed away the creature’s special defenses. The next time that creature takes damage or makes a saving throw that it would apply its resistance to (but not immunity or legendary resistance) before the end of your next turn, the damage or effect ignores that resistance instead.

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