In the basic set there is an NPC, a fighter, who has a Parry reaction that lets him roll 1d6 and reduce damage. I also remember seeing the parry power/action in some beta rules.

I don't (yet) have the PHB—is there something like that? A feat maybe?

I've always liked the idea of parry being for all characters, not just a fighter thing, but I want to know the official rules.


3 Answers 3


Yes, there is a feat (Martial Adept) that any character can take, which allows you to take two combat maneuvers and gain one superiority die. If the character is not a Battlemaster Fighter, they will not have other superiority dice, in which case the one they gain is a d6.

One of those combat maneuvers is 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 D&D Basic Rules v0.1 and later include a "Dodge" combat action (p. 72), available to all characters, which gives you advantage on dexterity saving throws and disadvantage to anyone who attacks you.

This is a similar effect to the optional "parry" rule from 2nd edition, or the "fighting defensively" rule in 3rd.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I know this option, but I dont like it as a parry action, seems something different, the fact of spend a reaction to cancel an attack action seems more "parry" to me. Thanks for responding anyway. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 22, 2014 at 5:56

There is a "Defensive Duelist" feat which uses a reaction to potentially cause an attack to miss you. You can use it all day long, which the exception that you can only use one reaction per round (core rule). Only works with finesse weapons.

It has a minimum Dex pre-req. to take, and obviously you cannot pick it up until your class grants you an Ability Score Improvement (which you can then swap out for the feat, if your group uses the optional feats rule).


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