Great Weapon Fighting 5e: Fighting Style


Sacrifice a little protection for big time damage with massive weapon by taking the Great Weapon Fighting style for the fighter at character creation.

Great Weapon Fighting 5e

The Fighter class gets the option to choose a fighting style at 1st level. There are a few to chose from including: Archery, Dueling, Defense, Protection, Two Weapon Fighting, and Great Weapon Fighting. Each fighting style offered has benefits that distinguish them significantly from the other choices. Choosing a fighting style is one of the first steps to flavoring the fighter character. Great Weapon Fighting utilizes attacking with both hands on the same weapon to the characters advantage.

When you roll a 1 or 2 on a damage die for an Attack you make with a melee weapon that you are wielding with two hands, you can reroll the die and must use the new roll, even if the new roll is a 1 or a 2. The weapon must have the Two-Handed or Versatile property for you to gain this benefit.

Other Fighting Styles

  • Archery: You gain a +2 bonus to Attack Rolls you make with Ranged Weapons.
  • Defense: While you are wearing armor, you gain a +1 bonus to AC.
  • Dueling: When you are wielding a melee weapon in one hand and no other Weapons, you gain a +2 bonus to Damage Rolls with that weapon.
  • Protection: When a creature you can see attacks a target other than you that is within 5 feet of you, you can use your Reaction to impose disadvantage on the Attack roll. You must be wielding a shield⁠.
  • Two-Weapon Fighting: When you engage in Two-Weapon Fighting, you can add your ability modifier to the damage of the second Attack.

Great Weapon Fighting Build

The fighting styles provided to the fighter to choose from are not meant to be the central point of a build. They are provided to give unique flavor to a class that for a long time has felt very vanilla. That being said, it is important to take into consideration what your vision for the character is. That could be swinging around a massive greatsword, deflecting attacks directed at your companions with your shield, or landing multiple blows with a pair of daggers.

Your vision for the fighter should include the weapon they plan to use. Great Weapon Fighting style allows for a benefit on weapons with the two-handed or versatile property.

The versatile property allows a one-handed weapon to be used with both hands dealing extra damage. This is not a great option to use with the fighting style. The damage is low and while it does increase the overall damage the average increase is minimal.  

The ideal combination is to actually utilize a great weapon, sword or axe, or any other two-handed weapon. The typical damages for these weapons are two dice combinations (2d6). This allows for a significantly higher minimum damage and an increased opportunity for maximum damage.


The key point to remember is, fighting styles are more flavor than function. They provide a little boost for creating a unique, specialized style of fighter. The fighting styles are not meant to be the central part of the build but definitely should be considered to be functional with the intended build. 

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