While reading some answers, I have found that people say things like:

"Combat Expertise, Dodge, Mobility, and Spring Attack are all quite weak."

Is there a resource that performs a ranking of most or all of the feats in D&D 3.5e based on how strong or weak the said feat is, like the class tier system?

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    \$\begingroup\$ This is perfectly answerable, even if it's a simple "no." We have a similar question asking about the class tier system, which does happen to exist. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk Jul 29 '16 at 12:53
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    \$\begingroup\$ Related: How can I become a better judge of a feat's value? \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk Jul 29 '16 at 12:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ Please note that just as the tier system, this would be an arbitrary scale that assumes you are playing your game their way. If you don't, then the scale does not apply. So any scale will always be opinionated except for a few feats that simply do the same just better (i.e. granting +3 instead of +2 for the same roll). \$\endgroup\$ – nvoigt Jul 29 '16 at 13:26

There are far, far too many feats to attempt to do this. There are also too many different possible use-cases, wherein a feat is only useful in combination with other options.

Which isn’t to say it’s impossible to judge feats in a vacuum. As you say, some are clearly stronger than others. Dodge, Mobility, Spring Attack, Whirlwind Attack, Weapon Focus et al., are pretty much garbage. Combat Expertise and Point-blank Shot are almost negatives, since you’re forced to take these crappy feats in order to get decent ones like Improved Trip or Rapid Shot (or, for that matter, the equally-taxy Precise Shot so you can actually be functional as an archer). And that doesn’t even get into the real stinkers, like Toughness or the feats that give a +2 bonus to two skills.

And compared to these you have incredibly powerful feats like Leadership or Natural Spell. Quicken Spell. Divine Metamagic, from Complete Divine. Even below that tier, though, you have the decent feats, the ones you are happy to take on the right character: Improved Trip, already mentioned, or Weapon Finesse.

But these are just examples, and aside from Divine Metamagic, examples drawn only from Player’s Handbook. They do give some insight though: good feats open up new abilities, from the extra attacks from Improved Trip or Rapid Shot, to the complete game-changers of Leadership or Natural Spell. Bad feats only add small, static numbers to things. Really bad feats only add small, static numbers to unimportant things,1 like skill checks or AC vs. a single opponent.

So that should draw your attention to feats that promise letting you do something you couldn’t before, rather than feats that offer a small, incremental improvement in something you could already do. Specializing is important in 3.5, to be sure, but feats are scarce and precious; they should be dramatically improving our specialization, not adding a tiny bonus on top. And there are feats that can dramatically improve most things, so the weak ones need not be taken.

The best way to find these feats, to become familiar with these options, is to read handbooks for playing classes. You don’t need to bind yourself to a pre-set build; personally, I find that boring (though I completely understand that actually digging for options is dreadfully boring to others, and recommend pre-set builds if that is your preference). But handbooks give you a sense of your options, what’s out there. They start to separate the wheat from the chaff.

  1. To be sure, bonuses to skill checks can be important, as can extra HP. But +2 or +3 to these things almost never will be.
  • \$\begingroup\$ You may want to revisit this per the edited question (a clearer yes or no and maybe move the editoralizing to the linked question) \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk Jul 29 '16 at 12:53
  • \$\begingroup\$ @mxyzplk Honestly, it seems most like I should move my answer to the other question—I was basically answering the other question before it was asked by way of a frame challenge. \$\endgroup\$ – KRyan Jul 29 '16 at 13:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ Sure, that's cool. \$\endgroup\$ – mxyzplk Jul 29 '16 at 13:34
  • \$\begingroup\$ I would definitely upvote this answer on the other question. You migth also want to add that if you can buy the effect of a feat, then taking the feat itself becomes less attractive (as feats are very scarce), and many minor static bonuses (such as the Dash feat: +5 ft. to your speed) can be bought for cheap (Boots of Striding and Leaping (5,500 gp): +10 ft. to your speed). \$\endgroup\$ – Matthieu M. Jul 29 '16 at 16:20

I've never seen a ranking list like that. If you have an idea of what you want to do, you could try browsing the Giant in the Playground 3.5 forums for similar builds and looking at the feats they took and why.

If a list exists anywhere on the internet, its probably somewhere on those forums.


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