The Grappler Feat makes it easier for a player to use the Grapple action. Grapple has been shunned a bit in the past due to its overly complicated rules in Advanced DnD and in the 3.5 edition. The Grapple rules are much easier to figure out in 5e, and the Grappler 5e Feat makes it much easier to successfully grapple.
Prerequisite: Strength 13 or higher
You’ve developed the skills necessary to hold your own in close-quarters grappling. You gain the following benefits:
- You have advantage on attack rolls against a creature you are grappling.
- You can use your action to try to pin a creature grappled by you. To do so, make another grapple check. If you succeed, you and the creature are both restrained until the grapple ends.
- If the target is 2 sizes larger, they do not automatically succeed at on checks to escape the grapple
Source: Player’s Handbook Page 167
Let’s take a look at the advantages point by point.
Having advantage on any roll is always useful, and if your character is going for a grappler build you’re going to want to get as many rerolls as you can.
Remember that the grapple roll is broken down like this:
- Attackers Strength (athletics) Modifier VS. Defenders Strength (athletics) or Dexterity (acrobatics)
- The defender gets to choose which ability check they want to use.
Roll to Pin
The Grappler can pin their opponent, but as a downside both become restrained. This reduces both characters to 0 movement and both will have disadvantage on attack rolls and dex saving throws. Anyone attacking the grappler and the pinned enemy will also have advantage to the attack roll.
It’s not the greatest idea to pin a character in the middle of combat because then both characters lose mobility and have penalties against their attack and defense.
2 Sizes Larger
This is an interesting rule that makes the Grappler much more interesting. Typically you can only grapple creatures smaller or 1 size larger. The rules as they are written state that any creature 2 sizes larger or more can automatically succeed on a check to escape a grapple attack. The Grappler feat ignores this and forces the enemy to make the check instead.
Best Classes for the Grappler 5e Feat
If you’re going for a grapple build in the style of Los Tiburon (Language Warning) then the best class to choose is Barbarian. Their strength-based build goes extremely well with the Barbarian and their rage bonuses will help immensely. They’re also already designed for melee fights, so as soon as the grapple is initiated they can start beating up the grappled character with a one-handed weapon.
I originally thought a Monk would be cool for a Grapple build character, but they primarily use dexterity instead of strength, so unless your DM lets you house rules the grapple rules they’re not going to do well.
Best Races for the Grappler 5e Feat
The Goliath is the best DnD 5e race for a grapple build. They have an impressive Strength bonus and a Constitution bonus. They also are naturally proficient with Athletics which is the main ability used to grapple.