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. However, you can't use any of your special senses, such as darkvision, unless your new form also has that sense. (p. 64 PHB)

Blindsight is a sense in RAW (p. 9 MM).

Blind Fighting

You have blindsight with a range of 10 feet. Within that range, you can effectively see anything that isn't behind total cover, even if you're blinded or in darkness. Moreover, you can see an invisible creature within that range, unless the creature successfully hides from you. (p. 41 TCE)

From my reading of this, I would get the blindsight sense from the class feature and it isn't necessary for there to be a special part of the bear's body because every race with the class feature can use it. Thus, if I were to change to a bear, I would use this fighting style and therefore gain blindsight in the new form too. If I don't use this fighting style I won't get anything in the original form. Therefore, the blindsight provided by the class feature is independent from the race and I can use it whenever I want to use it.

Is this interpretation correct?

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    – Someone_Evil
    Commented Sep 20, 2022 at 14:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ Related on Do the Alert and Lucky feats carry over when in Wildshape? \$\endgroup\$
    – NotArch
    Commented Sep 20, 2022 at 15:40
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2 Answers 2


RAW : You cannot use blindsight while wild shaped

The first part of the description states, emphasis mine :

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.

Looking only at that, whether you can or cannot use your fighting style would be up to the DM, since there is no clear rule on whether a bear can or cannot use such a feature.

However, the following part puts a specific restriction on the benefits you're allowed to use while wild shaped :

However, you can't use any of your special senses, such as darkvision, unless your new form also has that sense.

This part is a specific exception to the previous text. It is made obvious by the use of "However", which explicitely refers to the previous rule about keeping features. Because of that, it seems obvious that any special sense obtained through a feature also cannot be kept.

In 5e, specific rules beat general rules. In our case, the rule "you can keep your features while wild shaped" is less specific than "among the features you can keep while wild shaped, you cannot keep special senses".

Because of that, with the rules as written, you cannot use your blindsight while wild shaped.

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    \$\begingroup\$ What senses provide blindsight? \$\endgroup\$
    – SeriousBri
    Commented Sep 20, 2022 at 15:48
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    \$\begingroup\$ @SeriousBri Blindsight is itself defined as a sense in the rules. dndbeyond.com/sources/basic-rules/monsters#Senses \$\endgroup\$ Commented Sep 20, 2022 at 16:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Matthieu Can I use a fighting style in bear form? Because it provide the blindsight. \$\endgroup\$
    – Exa
    Commented Sep 20, 2022 at 17:11
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Exa I have edited my answer to cover more clearly the fact that while you may be able to use a fighting style while wild shaped, there is a specific exclusion for blindsight. \$\endgroup\$
    – Matthieu
    Commented Sep 21, 2022 at 8:35
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Matthieu, FWIW, you earned my upvote through our discussion \$\endgroup\$
    – nonymous
    Commented Sep 22, 2022 at 21:24

If your wildshape is physically capable of having a fighting style, it should benefit, probably

A straightforward RAW reading of those two sentences, together, says, no. However, there a few confounding factors.

  1. Blind Fighting was released with TCoE, well after the above clause from the PHB. So, it is entirely possible that the PHB rules were written without any anticipation for an edge case like Blind Fighting.

  2. Multi-classing is complicated. As Crawford suggests, there are different ways to interpret multiclassing rules. If a DM rules that class features are to be kept strictly separate, a paladin's class may not be subject to the same restrictions of a druid's in wildshape.

  3. Specific beats general. Wildshape is general class feature, whereas Blind Fighting is a specific class feature. Though the exact sense of "general" and "specific" aren't totally clear here.

In my personal opinion, the provisionsal

However, you can't use any of your special senses, such as darkvision, unless your new form also has that sense.

reasonably refers to innate physical traits of the creature. Hence, wildshape's operation on them.

If a tiefling has darkvision as a function of her species, and then wildshapes into a different eyeless species, she shouldn't retain darkvision. However, if the eyeless species has a different special sense, she gains it. This implies that sense is tied to shape. But, a fighting style is not necessarily tied to shape; they only correlate ("so long as the new shape is physically capable").

A fighting style is a learned skill, usually a class feature or feat. With styles like Great Weapon Fighting, Dueling, this much is obvious. And the text corroborates this; c.f. the feat Fighting Initiate:

Your martial training has helped you develop a particular style of fighting. As a result, you learn one Fighting Style option of your choice from the fighter class.

A paladin, in particular, earns their fighting style at level 2.

Starting at 2nd level, you adopt a particular style...

Since the fighting style, and vicariously the sense, is acquired, it is not a function of shape so much as of skill. So, arguably, it should not necessarily suffer the consequences of changing shape.


Consider a real-world example, the echolocation (blindsight) of a bat, which is a function of it's innate physiological structure--it's shape. The blindsight of a bat is a function of its shape, whereas the blindsight of the Blind Fighting style is a function of training. So, if you want to play with a bit more fidelity to reality, you might rule that the benefits are retained.


A conservative leaning DM who is sympathetic to the "realistic" argument could still argue that the style, and vicariously the sense, is tied the the shape of the creature insofar as nuances of coordination, precision, and balance are prerequisites. So a shape that very closely approximates the humanoidoriginal is necessary to gain some kind of blindsight.

Alternatively, a conservative DM may rule that the carried over "class features" may strictly refer to the Druid Class because they were not written with the optional multiclassing rules in mind.


Would a wildshaped druid still be able to practice the fighting style of Interception? Unarmed Fighting? Tunnel Fighting? That depends on entirely on its situational shape. So, the same should apply to Blind Fighting ...

... if the new form is physically capable of doing so


Who knows? The wording of the rules gives no further clarification on the origin of the sense. The clause

You have blindsight with a range of 10 feet.

could refer to a preternatural awareness of your surroundings, operating entirely through intellectual and/or spiritual faculties--precisely those faculties that compose the Druid's immutable mind and spirit throughout the wildshape.


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