Uncanny Dodge 5e – (Update!) (Complete Guide – 2023)

Uncanny Dodge 5e

Looking for Uncanny Dodge 5e, you reached the right spot. Here in this post, you will get the complete guide on Uncanny Dodge 5e, a fifth-level rogue feature that looks really good at first glance that many DMs house rules it out of their games. 

Whether you are a new rogue looking to discover how to use a dungeon master or Uncanny Dodge who read the rules for this in-game ability and are wondering if Jeremy Crawford (5e lead designer) has completely lost his mind (he has not, bear with me), we have got you covered. 

Now without further delay let’s start the Uncanny Dodge 5e guide.

Uncanny Dodge 5e

Uncanny Dodge 5e
Uncanny Dodge 5e

Uncanny Dodge is actually a feature of the rogue class in the game. Starting at fifth level, if a rogue is hit by any in-game attack, they can spend their response to divide the incoming in-game damage in half as long as they can actually see their attacker in the game.

Whenever the rogue has a reaction available, they can halve one instance of incoming in-game damage from a ranged, melee, or spell attack every round. 

It is a remarkably easy rule, considering how much people misuse, misunderstand, and generally freak out over it. 

Uncanny Dodge

Starting at fifth level, when an in-game attacker that you can see hits you with an attack, you can actually use your reaction to halve the attack’s in-game damage to you.

Upon first glance, I kind of get why this in-game ability sets the balance brigade all a-trembling in the game.

The power to halve incoming damage? Every in-game round? Why that is basically giving all rogues twice the hit points! I am going to house-rule this out of my game. It is just not fair to the in-game wizard and the player. It is broken is what it actually is. 

Is Uncanny Dodge Overpowered In DnD

Okay, relax, imaginary straw man amalgamation of the several dozen anxious Reddit threads I read while actually researching this post. It is okay Breathe.

(Incidentally, when I typed the main title of this part into Google as part of my research, the computer caught fire and actually started dribbling acid out of the ports of USB. Now it will not actually stop tweeting mean things about Jeremy Crawford’s kids, Send help)

However Uncanny Dodge may initially look like you are actually turning the party’s rogue into an unkillable killing machine (that is exactly what rogues require – more freedom from the consequences of their in-game actions), in practice, this in-game ability is completely balanced.

Many DMs take one look at it and actually think that it’s completely overpowered, mainly for a fifth-level in-game character. Even so, the restrictions on the in-game ability and the significant jump in the power of spellcasters and enemies at the fifth level mean that Uncanny Dodge is completely balanced.

Uncanny Dodge Costs Your Reaction

It costs your reaction, which actually means that you can only use this once a turn in the game.

A rogue who thinks they are hurls and invincible themselves into a mob of opponents or up against a solo in-game monster with multi-attack might get to halve one incoming instance of in-game damage but might still need to weather two or three, even more, attacks before their reaction is actually back up again.

This in-game ability does not make you immortal.

Also, there are many other things for which you might want to use your in-game reaction.

  • Making in-game opportunity attacks
  • Casting a spell like Counterspell or Shield (not something rogues have to worry about)
  • Readying an in-game action

Opportunity attacks are actually the most common use for a rogue’s reaction in the game, and using your Uncanny Dodge means that you sacrifice being able to lock an opponent down.

Then you have actually the fact that, in terms of when to use this in-game ability, you are basically trying to hit a moving target in the game.

Sure, there is an ogre and 3 skeletons that are all going to try and counter you this turn, but which one is actually going to do the most in-game damage? Probably the ogre, but what if he actually rolls kind of low?

What if a skeleton crits and I can not halve the in-game damage? It is really stressful being a fifth-level rogue.

A raging barbarian, on the other side, gets uncanny not care about getting hit in the face for the entirety of their rage, less or more.

Sure, being able to uncanny dodge magical hits and spell attacks is nice, but you actually get to do it once in the game.

Uncanny Dodge Only Works On Attacks In DnD

Uncanny Dodge 5e
Uncanny Dodge 5e

Then, we find that Uncanny Dodge can not reduce all in-game damage, just attacks.

That actually means that damage from most spells (either area-of-effect spells like Fireball that need a saving throw or spells that instantly inflict damage like Magic Missile) can not be halved along with other effects like poison or fall damage.  

Also, damage reduction is really helpful, but Uncanny Dodge is not like the Shield spell, which can prevent an opponent from hitting you.

You also get hit, just for less; transforming a punctured lung into a painful scratch along the ribcage.

That actually means that, while you are good at consistently reducing the in-game damage you take, opponents that inflict conditions (like Gelatinous Cube’s grapple or Ghoul paralysis) are still able to affect you in the game.

Uncanny Dodge Versus Fireball And Extra Attack

Now, let’s discuss where Uncanny Dodge actually fits in with the rest of the in-game party. The fifth level is a major power spike, taking you from the first to the second level of play.

Martial in-game characters gain an extra attack, dedicated spellcasters such as the wizard and the sorcerer can actually start throwing around third-level spells, and the overall toughness of your in-game party is getting to a point where you are going to be able to take on every more powerful threat. 

Uncanny Dodge – far from being overpowered – is in fact a way for rogues to keep up with their in-game allies.

Furthermore, figuring out how to make the rogue – who can’t cast spells or really hang out with the martial in-game characters in the front rank – interact with the rest of the party has been causing designers a headache since the beginning.

Gary Gygax solved the problem in B/X D&D by letting rogues level up quicker than other in-game classes and have the option to percentile-based skills (many grognards argue this creation of a skill system was the beginning of the end of DnD being great, but they probably just require a snack and a hug); 5emakes use of Uncanny Dodge (and Sneak Attack) in the game.

When To Use Uncanny Dodge In DnD?

Earlier, knowing when to use your Uncanny Dodge can actually be tricky in the midst of a large combat encounter in the game.

You do not want to waste it blocking damage from a low-level skeleton when his Ghoul buddy is just behind him sharpening up his in-game claws. 

Specifically, I use this order of operations to decide whether I should use Uncanny Dodge at any given period of time in the game. 

  • Is this the most effective use of my reaction in this in-game round? 
  • Is this the only time I am going to get hit in this in-game round? 
  • Is this the most significant hit I am likely to take this in-game round? 

If the answer to all of the above questions is yes, then proceed an uncanny dodge. 

In my opinion, if I am in a big melee with a bunch of opponents of relatively equal challenge, I like to actually save Uncanny Dodge until an opponent rolls maximum damage or crits.

Then, if a round has almost elapsed and I have not had a chance to actually use it, you can burn it on what looks like the last in-game attack of the turn without worrying too bad.

It is really a very tricky feature to use in a well-optimized way, but any amount of in-game damage dodged is a great thing. 


Hopefully, you like this Uncanny Dodge 5e guide. This guide to Uncanny Dodge, folks – perhaps the most overrated ability in D&D 5e but in fact a surprisingly elegant, well-balanced piece of design in the game.

If you want to ask any questions or share any feedback about the Uncanny Dodge 5e so comment section is always open for you.

More Check –