The best Paladin feats in DnD 5e are those that complement their playstyle and base class features well. Paladins are naturally good at big burst damage via their Divine Smite and smite spells, party support and healing via things like Aura of Protection, Lay on Hands, and their suite of spells, and absorbing damage as the group’s tank with high AC (armor class), big hit point pools, and defensive spells.
Paladins are also often the party’s “Face” who deals with social skill checks, since they are incentivized to increase their Charisma for spellcasting and Aura of Protection.
Then there’s the divide between sword-and-board Paladins, who have more survivability but less damage, and two-handed Paladins, who hit harder and offer more battlefield control in some cases.
With all these factors in mind, I’ve broken down the 11 best Paladin feats into three categories, depending on your playstyle: damage-focused, tank-focused, and utility/support.
DnD 5e Best Paladin Feats (Damage)
1) Polearm Master
Get a bonus action melee attack whenever you take the Attack action with a glaive, halberd, quarterstaff, or spear, which deals 1d4 + attack modifier bludgeoning damage. Additionally, when a creature enters your reach with one of those weapons, they provoke an opportunity attack from you.
More attacks are always welcome on a Paladin, and there’s not really much competing for your bonus action anyway. More chances to land a critical hit and throw down massive damage with Divine Smite are the main benefits, but the extra bit of damage is nice regardless.
Getting more opportunity attacks is also fantastic, making it impossible for enemies to get around you or even approach you in tight spaces, especially if you’re using a glaive or halberd, which have a 10-foot reach. This also pairs extremely well with Sentinel, which we’ll get into soon.
If you opt for a quarterstaff or spear and a shield, you’ll be much tankier, and you’ll also have good reason to pick up the Dueling fighting style for +2 to hit, making all these extra attacks and opportunity attacks land 10%+ more often.
When you hit a creature with an opportunity attack, its speed drops to 0 for the rest of their turn, creatures who take the Disengage action still provoke your opportunity attacks, and when a creature makes an attack against a target other than you, you can use your reaction to make a melee weapon attack against them.
This offers you huge battlefield control, and puts enemy creatures in a lose-lose-lose position. Either they try to run away from you, risking being stuck in place regardless (even if they Disengage), attack one of your allies, thus triggering an attack from you, or they attack you, the character who likely has the highest AC in the group — exactly what you want as a tank.
With a reach weapon and the Polearm Master feat, you have insane battlefield control; whenever a creature comes within 10 feet of you, they trigger your opportunity attack and are stuck in place if it lands, before they can even get within reach of you to make a melee attack. If you can get any two feats on a Paladin, Polearm Master and Sentinel are the absolute best combination.
3) Great Weapon Master
Whenever you land a critical hit or kill a creature, you can make one melee weapon attack as a bonus action, and before you make a melee attack with a heavy weapon, you can take -5 on the attack roll for +10 attack damage.
This offers you a huge increase to your damage and an even greater incentive to land critical hits. With Extra Attack, you can afford to miss once if you hit big on one attack, and with the Great Weapon Fighting fighting style, you can reroll 1s or 2s on your damage rolls. And when you do get to trigger that exrta bonus attack, you can make a ton of attacks per turn, which is always a great thing for Paladins.
Overall, I think this is not as special or fun as the Polearm Master/Sentinel combination, but it does offer more consistent high damage. You’ll be worse at tanking, though.
4) Mounted Combatant
Melee attack advantage while attacking unmounted creatures smaller than your mount, the ability to redirect an attack at your mount to you instead, and your mount takes 0 damage on a successful Dexterity save or half on a failed one.
If you’re using a warhorse (large beast) from the Find Steed spell that Paladins get, you’ll have advantage on all attacks against medium, small, and tiny creatures, which covers most of the foes you’ll face in DnD 5e. That’s a massive boost to your damage output, thanks to more attacks landing, more critical hits, and more big burst damage from Divine Smite.
You’ll also get huge mobility with this tactics, doubling your normal movement speed. The second two parts of the feat are good for keeping your mount alive and well, which is important when you’re relying on it so much for your build.
DnD 5e Best Paladin Feats (Tank)
5) Shield Master
After taking the Attack action, you can use a bonus action to shove a creature within 5 feet, your shield’s AC applies to Dexterity saving throws on effects that target only you, and you can use your reaction to take no damage on a successful Dexterity save or half damage on a failed one.
Being able to shove AFTER taking the Attack action means you can’t shove a target prone before attacking it to gain attack advantage on the attack. However, with Extra Attack, you can attack once, use Shield Master to knock them prone, then make your second attack with advantage.
Plus, if you have melee allies in range that go before the enemy’s turn, they’ll get to attack the creature with advantage as well.
The bonus to your Dex saves sadly only applies to effects directly targeted at you, so it’s not going to help with Dragon’s Breath and many other area-of-effect spells and abilities that force Dex saves. But the third bullet, reducing damage from Dex-save-based effects, will still cut the damage from these spells and abilities down considerably.
I put Shield Master in the “Paladin Tank Feats” section, but really, it could fit in the damage or utility/support categories as well — it’s just an all-around good feat for a sword-and-board Paladin.
6) Heavy Armor Master
+1 Strength and take -3 damage from nonmagical bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage.
This damage reduction is very strong at early to mid levels, when magical attacks are less common, and 3 damage represents a significant slice of your hit point pool. The half-ASI (Ability Score Improvement) is also a nice damage boost if you’re sitting at an odd-numbered Strength ability score.
However, the value of -3 damage per hit drops off considerably in the later game, so you might consider skipping this one if you know your campaign is going past level 10.
7) Resilient (Constitution)
+1 Constitution and proficiency in Constitution saving throws.
This gives you more hit points if you’re sitting at an odd-numbered Constitution ability score currently, and proficiency in Con saves is useful for A) concentration checks, which you’ll be making a lot of as a melee half-caster, and B) all the dangerous enemy abilities that rely on Con saves.
8) War Caster
Advantage on Constitution saving throws to maintain concentration, can perform somatic components of spells while hands are full, and can cast a spell as a reaction if a creature provokes your opportunity attack.
If your DM is a stickler for rules around having a free hand for the somatic component, War Caster is kind of necessary to be a sword-and-board Paladin who wants to cast spells with somatic components WITHOUT material components (otherwise you can use the same hand as your shield is holding, which has your holy symbol affixed; dumb and counterintuitive RAW, but it is technically the rules).
The ability to cast a spell in place of an opportunity attack isn’t that great for Paladins, unless you find a way to get Booming Blade somehow.
The advantage on concentration checks is why we’re really here, since you’ll be making a lot of these checks as a melee character with many great concentration spells. But while the advantage on concentration checks is nice (better than proficiency at most levels), I think Resilient (Constitution) is the overall stronger choice for a Paladin tank.
DnD 5e Best Paladin Feats (Utility/Support)
9) Inspiring Leader
Take 10 minutes to give your allies temporary hit points equal to your level + Charisma modifier, which can’t be gained again until a creature finishes a short or long rest.
Your Charisma modifier should naturally be high as a Paladin, and this just thematically with the class — giving a speech that heartens your allies before a righteous battle against the horrible evil that only your party can stand against.
And these temporary hit points add up to quite a bit. At 5th-level with a +2 Charisma modifier, you’re giving 28 temporary hit points to a party of four players. Do that twice a day, and you’ve provided 56 temporary hit points worth of damage prevention — quite a lot for a 5th-level party. And the natural scaling keeps it relevant right through the late game.
10) Fey Touched
You get Misty Step (a 2nd-level spell that allows you to teleport up to 30 feet for a bonus action) and a 1st-level spell of your choice from the Divination or Enchantment school of magic. You can use each of these spells without expending a spell slot once per long rest, and can cast them using spell slots if you have them. You also get +1 Charisma, which hopefully brings up your Charisma modifier, since that’s quite important as a Paladin.
Paladins lack mobility, and Misty Step patches this weakness in their kit. This can make a big difference in saving an ally, getting in range to protect allies with Aura of Protection, or just getting somewhere you couldn’t get to otherwise.
As for a free 1st-level Enchantment or Divination spell, I recommend Bless. It’s a straightforward buff for yourself and two other allies; +1d4 (2.5 average) on attack rolls and saving throws for one minute (concentration permitting). While Paladins already have Bless on their class spell list, it’s great to be able to cast it once a day without expending a spell slot and being able to prepare an additional Paladin spell as well.
Paladins don’t get many spell slots, so essentially getting +1 1st-level and +1 2nd-level spell slot is quite an impactful addition.
11) Magic Initiate
Learn two cantrips and one 1st-level spell from the class spell list of Bard, Cleric, Druid, Sorcerer, Warlock, or Wizard. You can cast the 1st-level spell once per long rest.
The popular choices for a Paladin who chooses Magic Initiate are the Booming Blade and Green-Flame Blade cantrips, for extra damage and utility. Booming Blade deals an extra 1d8 thunder damage if a target you hit willingly moves before the start of your next turn making you a stickier tank, and Green-Flame Blade allows you to hit an enemy near your initial target for a bit of extra spread damage.
Find Familiar is a good 1st-level spell option that allows you to summon an ally for up to 1 hour. While it cannot attack, it can use the Help action to get advantage on your attack rolls. The best option is the Owl familiar because it has Flyby, a trait that causes it to not provoke opportunity attacks. This means it can dip in, Help you get attack advantage, and then fly up, out of range of melee attackers, without being at risk at any point.
Good Paladin Feats Runners-up
These feats are neat and can be fun on a Paladin, but I don’t think they’re “optimal.” That said, they’re worth considering if they suit your character’s backstory, role in the party, or you just think they’re nifty and would be cool in your campaign or with your party composition.
Elven Accuracy (Elf or Half-Elf only)
Lucky (good on literally every character, but boring)