How does the Shield Master feat interact with a Rogue's Uncanny Dodge and Evasion features?

The Shield Master feat (PHB, p. 170) grants the following benefits:

  • a) add the shield's AC to Dexterity saving throws
  • b) for Dexterity saving throws to do with effect, you receive either no damage on a successful save, or half damage* on a failure

The rogue's Uncanny Dodge feature (PHB, p. 96) lets you use your reaction to only take half damage* done by an attack.

The rogue's Evasion feature (PHB, p. 96) says that for area of effect damage requiring a Dexterity saving throw, you receive either no damage on a successful save, or half damage* on a failure.

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ Would you be able to include what about these three things you want to understand more? For example, I can't see any way that Uncanny Dodge interacts with anything else listed (although the other two obviously have some interactions). Also, what are your goals regarding these interactions? Are you trying to make the ultimate "You will never fireball me again!" build? \$\endgroup\$
    – NathanS
    Feb 7, 2020 at 14:19

1 Answer 1


Same-Character Synergies

Shield Master does three things, but they don't really have good synergy with the Rogue's class abilities.

  • The shove ability seems like it would have some synergy with Sneak Attack, by making the target prone (which grants advantage to melee attacks), but unfortunately the Sage Advice Compendium requires you to complete the Attack action before doing the shove, so the target will not be prone for the character, only allies.
  • The raw bonus to Dexterity saves works, but it's restricted to only single-target effects and Evasion only works with area effects, so there's no synergy there. There is a benefit, but it's not superlative. Unless multi-classing in, a Rogue is proficient in Dexterity saves and likely to have a good Dexterity score. For a character with relatively poor Dexterity saves, it can be a big deal.
  • The third benefit, against area affects, is strictly inferior to Evasion, because it requires a Reaction to invoke while Evasion is automatic. They both do the same thing on a successful save (eliminate the damage), while Evasion also has a benefit on a failed save (half damage) that Shield Master does not provide.

None of these have any interaction with Uncanny Dodge, which provides a benefit against incoming attacks (if there's no attack roll, just a save, it's not an attack and Uncanny Dodge doesn't help.

Cross-Character Synergies

Shield Master is stellar in a party with the right blend. I DM for a group with two melee rogues, a paladin with Shield Master, and a sorcerer with Careful Spell. The sorcerer can drop an AoE DEX-save spell on the three of them every round, because Careful Spell can make all three of them auto-pass, the rogues take nothing via Evasion and the paladin can use her Reaction to take nothing via Shield Master.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ If you really wanted to, you could mention the recent question asking about what effects Evasion actually works against. Or perhaps that it's up for debate whether Evasion and Shield Master would work together in a few small cases \$\endgroup\$ Feb 7, 2020 at 16:03
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    \$\begingroup\$ "Evasion only works with area effects" doesn't seem to be a settled matter: Does Evasion work against effects that don't target an area? \$\endgroup\$
    – Tiger Guy
    Feb 7, 2020 at 21:14
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    \$\begingroup\$ There is synergy if you use your Attack action to grapple before knocking them prone. Unless they break the grapple, they can’t get up. \$\endgroup\$
    – Dale M
    Feb 7, 2020 at 23:01
  • \$\begingroup\$ There's nothing Rogue-specific to that, that's just a smart way to use Shield Master. Furthermore, anybody with Extra Attack can do it without Shield Master. \$\endgroup\$
    – T.J.L.
    Jan 4, 2021 at 13:27

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