Specifically, I'm looking for an answer to the first effect of the Poisoner feat:

"When you make a damage roll that deals poison damage, it ignores resistance to poison damage." Tasha's Cauldron of Everything (p. 80)

My question is: for a wildshape form that has innate poison like a poisonous snake, or a giant spider, does this effect apply to an attack made in that wildshape form?

This quote from the Player's Handbook (p. 67) also comes to mind:

You retain the benefit of any features from your class, race, or other source and can use them if the new form is physically capable of doing so.

So naturally, it seems the question becomes if it counts as "physically able" to use natural poisons like artificially refined poisons.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I suppose someone could also ask a related question if the infestation or poison spray cantrips are affected by the feat as well. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 30, 2022 at 17:24

1 Answer 1


You keep the independent benefits of the feat in wildshape form

As you correctly indentified, the feat is a feature granted by your class (or possibly race if you are a variant human), and will be available to your new form if it is physically capable of using it.

The Sage Advice Compendium in an answer to a question about Crossbow Expert made it clear that each bullet of the abilities granted by a feat should be seen in isolation:

When designing a feat with a narrow use, we consider adding at least one element that can benefit a character more broadly—a bit of mastery that your character brings from one situation to another

(In that case, being an expert in crossbows helped ranged spell attacks, which have nothing to do with crossbows, even though the feats introduction text says "Thanks to extensive practice with the crossbow, you gain the following benefits".)

As a consequence, when you attack with a poison bite or sting in your shapechanged form, the poison damage caused will ignore resistance.

I still would check with my DM: the framing language of Poisoner states:

You can prepare and deliver deadly poisons, granting you the following benefits

Your DM might not agree with the rulings in the SAC, and rule that due to this context, the benefits only apply to poisons that you did prepare, not to natural poisons.

  • \$\begingroup\$ The sentence you quote in no way implies that you get the following benefits with poisons you prepare. It says you can prepare and deliver [poisons], granting you X benefit'. There's no 'when'. Or 'if'. Or 'while'. Nothing indicates the benefits are during or in the use case of. Even if you take an extremely unusual reading of 'can' and 'granting', one of the two listed states is 'delivering'. A snake's bite delivers poison. Deadly poison, even. This implication you are making here, even as a maybe, does not follow the rules of the english language at all. \$\endgroup\$
    – user2754
    Commented May 31, 2022 at 5:28
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ @user2754 I think you mean there is no forced connection between "prepare" and "deliver", so the ability to deliver is sufficient to trigger the benefit? I think such a reading is also possible. A DM still could read it differently and claim that "prepare and deliver" belong together and refer to the same poison. That reading is implicit in the original question, that asks if it is OK to substitute natural instead of artificial poisons, so I think it makes sense to address it. In the end, the DM will make a ruling, no matter what we or SAC say, so it is better to clarify with them. \$\endgroup\$ Commented May 31, 2022 at 5:41

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