Skill Feats (Skill Focus, Acrobatic, Agile, Alertness, Animal Affinity, Athletic, Deceitful, Deft Hands, Diligent, Investigator, Magical Aptitude, Negotiator, Nimble Fingers, Persuasive, Self-Sufficient, Stealthy) - No. Never. Absolutely not. Not even then.
Armor Proficiency (Heavy) - Not worth it. If you really need the AC, just get mithral plate armor.
Combat Expertise - As it doesn't scale with BAB like Power Attack does, this is a pretty abysmal choice. But it's a prerequisite for Improved Trip, and so for trippers - though it pains me to say this - it's a must.
Improved Disarm - Flick your opponent's épée out of his hand with a flourish! Or, y'know, take the Exorcism of Steel maneuver.
Blind-Fight - A nice feat. Being able to reroll miss chance can be a lifesaver when it comes up, but the real benefit is that invisible attackers get no bonuses against you. It's especially useful because it's a prerequisite for Pierce Magical Concealment, which you should definitely get if you can - it's pure gold.
Combat Reflexes - This one's a great choice. You should have a good Dex, so you'll gain even more benefits than usual - and later on you can use those extra AoOs to fuel Channel the Storm if you choose to go that route.
Improved Initiative - +4 to Initiative is pretty straightforward and pretty delicious. This is always a good standby.
Improved Feint - Have you ever actually seen anyone try to feint? Didn't think so.
Improved Trip - Excellent. It's the cornerstone of every tripper build, and without it you're not much of a tripper anyway.
Whirlwind Attack - It's a fine feat, but is insanely feat-intensive to get. Plus, the Mithral Tornado maneuver does the same thing, and without sucking up half your feats.
Dodge - This is one of the classic trap feats. Avoid it at all costs.
Mobility - Mobility is actually OK, by Core standards. But Tumble is there to help avoid AoOs, anyway, and Dodge as a prereq makes this a no-no. Plus, you can buy the feat with Armor of Mobility from Draconomicon.
Spring Attack - Rather underwhelming, especially since it doesn't allow you to make a strike. With its awful prereqs, this isn't worth it at all.
Exotic Weapon Proficiency - On most melee characters this is on a case-by-case basis, but you take the case-by-case out of it. Weapon Aptitude combined with this feat lets you use basically any weapon ever made: enjoy waking up every morning and deciding what you'll fight with today.
Improved Critical - You can buy this feat, and buyable feats are never worth taking. Skip it and get a Scabbard of Keen Edges or a Keen weapon.
Endurance - This is a pretty terrible feat on its own. However, its saving grace is that it's the gateway to Steadfast Determination, which is awesome. But don't take it unless you're using it as a prereq for that.
Diehard - It boils down to ten extra hit points, and while those can be nice, they're hardly worth a feat. The fact that this requires another mediocre feat, Endurance, makes it completely unappealing.
Improved Unarmed Strike - Play an unarmed swordsage. The only reason you should be taking Improved Unarmed Strike as a warblade is to qualify for the Master of Nine PrC.
Deflect Arrows, Improved Grapple, Snatch Arrows, Stunning Fist - See above. If you're an aspiring Master of Nine, skip Improved Unarmed Strike's offshoots; you'll be feat-starved enough as it is.
Leadership - Many DMs ban it, in my experience. But if you can take it, it's fantastic - caster cohorts are especially useful for buffing purposes. Try not to destroy your game by abusing Leadership (or using it to make yourself the center of the game), though! Leadership is immensely powerful; use its benefits in moderation.
Mounted Combat - Mounted combat is an unconventional style for warblades, but it can be very effective. If you want to give it a try, go ahead.
Ride-by Attack - Not bad at all, and it's a prereq for Spirited Charge, which is essential for every mounted combatant.
Spirited Charge - Triple damage with a lance. Triple damage. Simply amazing, this is the mounted combatant's Leap Attack.
Trample - You probably have better things to spend feats on.
Archery feats (Point Blank Shot, Far Shot, Precise Shot, Improved Precise Shot, Rapid Shot, Many Shot, Shot on the Run, Mounted Archery) - Warblades just aren't suited for archery. However, Eternal Blades have the potential to excel at it.
Great Fortitude - Your Fort save will already be quite high, due to a good base save and a good Con. No need to take this.
Iron Will - Like all the save-boosting feats, Iron Will isn't great. But Will is a big weakness for you, and so strengthening it isn't as much a waste as it is with Fort and Ref.
Lightning Reflexes - While not as great as Fort, your Ref save will usually be high enough. Best to look elsewhere.
Power Attack - Simple, beautiful, and awesome. Very few warblades are going to be able to function without it.
Cleave - Definitely worth taking if you're restricted to Core. Otherwise, it's lower priority, but still a good choice.
Great Cleave - Less useful, unless your campaign is high on the mook-killing. If so, give it a spin.
Improved Bull Rush - If you're really into Stone Dragon or have levels in Dungeoncrasher fighter, it's a nice pick. But the real use here is that it's a prerequisite for Shock Trooper, an insanely good feat for chargers.
Improved Overrun - Why are you overrunning, anyway?
Improved Sunder - It's a prereq for Combat Brute, which is the real reason you take this one. Still, you can use it to smash swords, spill potions, or sunder the BBEG's spell component pouch. Plus, you never know when you'll run into any hydras.
Improved Shield Bash - If shield bashing is your thing, this is the gateway feat. But if you're not focused on shield bashing, you shouldn't ever have a shield which you actually hold.
Tower Shield Proficiency - You're a mobile combatant, not a chunk of meatshield. Tower shields limit your mobility too much to be easily viable.
Toughness - This is undoubtedly one of the worst feats ever printed. If you reeeally need more hitpoints, take Improved Toughness instead.
Track - Survival is a cross-class skill for you, unfortunately. It could work, but if you want to play a tracker, consider the Hunter's Sense stance instead.
Quick Draw - Plain and simple, Quick Draw is a fine choice. Worth taking, especially if you're into multiple weapons.
Run - Erm...yeah. This is a trap, and not worth your time.
Two-Weapon Fighting, Improved Two-Weapon Fighting, Greater Two-Weapon Fighting - Tiger Claw provides a massive boost to TWFers, and you can go into the Bloodclaw Master PrC later, if you so choose. TWFing is a good option for warblades, but swordsages are often better.
Two-Weapon Defense - Nooooo. The Two-Weapon Defense line is, in all honesty, a complete waste.
Weapon Finesse - Wielding light weapons are a bad option, since they give you neither the ability to Power Attack or 1.5x your Strength bonus to damage. If you want to play a character like this, consider swordsage as an alternative.
Weapon Focus, Greater Weapon Focus, Weapon Specialization, Greater Weapon Specialization - These four are the classic fighter feats, and thanks to Weapon Aptitude you have nearly exclusive access to them. Unfortunately, they're generally derided as utterly, totally, completely awful, as small, static bonuses don't usually compare with the benefits other feats provide.
But, in Runestar's words:
"These small bonuses are all the more meaningful in the hands of a martial adept.
One difference they have over a fighter is that if you build them around their standard action strikes, combat will typically involve 1 attack each round. Either you hit for a ton of damage, or you miss and don't deal anything. Compared to a fighter who can make 4-6 attacks each round. Assuming you hit with at least 1 attack, you should be doing at least a bit of damage each round.
This makes hitting (and by extension, all those attack bonuses) all the more crucial. Granted, the attack bonus from weapon spec/mastery isn't so attractive when you are limited to 1 attack/round (compared to a fighter's 4-6).
At least for me, I am willing to invest at least 3 feats to acquire melee weapon mastery, and maybe eventually work my way up to weapon supremacy."
Long story short: these feats are OK. Nothing more, maybe a little less. But they're functional, provide solid bonuses, always help, and are simple to keep track of. If you're into optimization, avoid them at all costs, but a warblade who focuses on these two feat trees is a perfectly playable one.
From here on out, the only feats mentioned will be those relevant to the warblade class.
Tome of Battle
Player’s Handbook II
Adaptive Style – With so few maneuvers readied, versatility can be a problem; this feat helps a lot. It’s a great choice for any warblade, though much less crucial than it is to a swordsage.
Avenging Strike – Cha is a dump stat for you, so there’s no reason to take this, anyway.
Blade Meditation - Very similar to Weapon Specialization, even more so because you have Weapon Aptitude. Skip it.
Evasive Reflexes – Pretty sweet. You never know when a little extra mobility can come in handy, but you can be darn sure it will.
Martial Stance – Stances are rare and precious. You should usually get enough, but it certainly doesn’t hurt to get an extra. This also lets you branch out of the warblade disciplines if you’re so inclined; if you spend a feat on Martial Study (Crusader’s Strike), which can help low-level survivability a lot, you might as well take this feat to get the Thicket of Blades stance.
Martial Study – Like stances, you can never have enough maneuvers. Then again, you can, to a limited degree, buy maneuvers with the appropriate items (the Crown of White Ravens and its ilk). Nonetheless, as I mentioned above, getting Crusader’s Strike can boost your early survival capacity (but remember - maneuvers gained through Martial Study can't be traded away).
Rapid Assault – It’s…ok. But frankly, Weapon Specialization is better.
Song of the White Raven – For bard/warblades, it’s absolutely awesome. But unless you plan on taking bard levels, you obviously don’t want it.
Snap Kick – Very nice! If you’re fighting unarmed (likely because you’re a Master of Nine), it’s a great pick.
Sudden Recovery – Erm. No. Using this feat prevents you from using a strike anyway, so you might as well just take the opportunity to refresh every maneuver rather than just one.
Superior Unarmed Strike – Heck, if you’re fighting unarmed, you might as well take it.
Vital Recovery – It’s only useful during the low levels, so you might as well just grab Martial Study (Crusader’s Strike) instead.
Unnerving Calm - While Diamond Mind is one of the best disciplines available, this feat disappoints. Don't bother.
Ironheart Aura - Like many of your bonus feats, Ironheart Aura at first seems underwhelming. But it's a requirement for Stormguard Warrior, which is par exsalonce.
Stone Power - It's good in and of itself, and the fact that it's a prerequisite for Shards of Granite only sweetens the deal. But be warned: as you level up, it decreases in effectiveness.
Tiger Blooded - If you're a shifter or have levels in barbarian, look no further; take it in a pinch. But obviously, otherwise you don't want it.
White Raven Defense - Far from fantastic, but it leads to Clarion Commander, which is very nice.
Clarion Commander – Following Up and Perpetual Flank can be pretty useful, the latter especially if there’s a sneak attacker in your party.
Perfect Clarity of Mind and Body – Try saying that as a free action. Even if you do, it should only be to trash the thing, because it’s terrible.
Reaping Talons – It’s slightly better than Perfect Clarity of Mind and Body, but not by much. Skip it.
Shards of Granite – Eviscerating Strike is just awesome. If you’ve taken Stone Power, pick this one up as well.
Stormguard Warrior – Now this? This is where it’s at. In tandem with Robilar’s Gambit or Karmic Strike, Channel the Storm can rack up some really mean bonuses, and Combat Rhythm can up your punch considerably.
Acrobatic Strike – This is all right. The bonus is somewhat situational, and by the time you’re level 9 there are better feats to choose from. Conversely, there are worse ones.
Active Shield Defense – If you’re playing a sword & board tank, this can be excellent. However, for a tanking role it’s usually best to use a reach (and often tripping) weapon, which makes it less useful.
Adaptable Flanker – You’ll definitely see use if there’s a sneak attacker in the party, but it sucks up your swift action, which means no strikes for you.
Agile Shield Fighter – It’s completely essential for shield bashers, though awful for anyone else.
Armor Specialization – DR 2/- simply isn’t worth a feat, especially at the high levels.
Bounding Assault – Spring Attack is awful. You better not have invested the feats in it, but if you have then you can consider this. You might also want to consider another gem from the PHBII – retraining.
Brutal Strike – Love it. It helps a lot to take Shock Trooper as well: that way you can increase your PA damage (and thus this feat’s save DC) without worrying about missing. And combine with Three Mountains Strike for more goodies.
Combat Acrobat – Quite nice. And you’ll likely have the skill prereqs anyway.
Combat Tactician – This just confuses me. Taking Weapon Focus and Weapon Specialization nets you +1 attack and +2 damage; taking Dodge and Combat Tactician gets you +1 AC (sometimes) and +2 damage (occasionally). Outperformed by the Weapon Focus/Spec line; ouch.
Cometary Collision – Really nice for intercepting charges, and the attack/damage bonuses are just gravy. And it has the same prereqs as Shock Trooper, which means you often won’t have to throw out any feats to qualify.
Crushing Strike – Look, if you’ve already gotten Melee Weapon Mastery, it’s time to pull out. If you fight with a bludgeoning weapon, check out Brutal Strike and Three Mountains Strike instead.
Defensive Sweep – Ooh. Very, very nice for tanks.
Driving Attack – If you can bully your DM into letting it work with single-attack maneuvers, this is an excellent choice. Otherwise, best left alone.
Fade Into Violence – What sort of warblade are you? Your job is to be out there taking hits and winning glory, not cowering and creeping around.
Flay – Very bad. No sort of half-competent foe will lack an armor bonus to AC.
Grenadier – Maneuvers don’t work with splash weapons, so specializing in them is hardly a good choice.
Hindering Opportunist – A vast majority of the time, an AoO from you will be much more helpful than a +2 on an ally’s attack.
Intimidating Strike – A very solid choice if you have ranks in Bluff. Just make sure you don’t take so many penalties to your attack roll that you miss.
Indomitable Soul – Really good. The prereqs can be annoying, but luckily, both can be taken as bonus feats.
Leap of the Heavens – If you focus on jumping, the competence bonus will likely be lost on you. Nonetheless, this is a nice choice for a dragoon build.
Lunging Strike - …Look, just 5-foot step up to them.
Melee Evasion – You may notice that the effect is almost identical to the Wall of Blades counter. Skip it.
Melee Weapon Mastery – This is the reason you take Weapon Focus and Weapon Specialization. Investing three feats into these can be an excellent choice, but after getting it this one I advise you to pull out.
Overwhelming Assault – “Only a fool ignores the deadly threat that you present”. You got that right, PHBII; unfortunately, you won’t get very far by assuming every enemy you meet is a fool.
Rapid Blitz – Okay, so you ignored my earlier advice about retraining. I suppose that if you’re still alive by 18th level, Spring Attack hasn’t completely ruined you…but for the love of the gods, don’t throw any more feats down the drain. How do you expect to beat the BBEG with Spring Attack? Also: retraining. Look into it.
Robilar’s Gambit – Pure awesome. Robilar’s Gambit is spectacular for just about any warblade; you can’t go wrong with free attacks.
Shield Sling – As a shield fighter, you’ll be strapped for feats enough as it is. You can’t really afford branching out into thrown weapons.
Shield Specialization – By itself, Shield Specialization isn’t great, but it opens a lot of doors when it comes to shield fighting. If you’d like to go that route, it’s basically a must.
Shield Ward – If you use a shield, you could do much worse. Ultimately, a solid pick.
Short Haft – It sucks up swift actions, which for you is terrible. A much, much better option is just to grab Exotic Weapon Proficiency and use a spiked chain or meteor hammer.
Slashing Flurry – An extra attack is very nice, though the prereqs can be a drag.
Spectral Skirmisher – If you’re invisible a lot, it’s not too bad. But there are better options, and many foes will eventually have Blindsense, Blindsight, or True Seeing.
Stalwart Defense – Hindering Opportunist is bad. Stalwart Defense is worse.
Steadfast Determination – This is a really good feat, especially because Endurance can be picked up as a bonus feat. It makes a key weakness, Will saves, dependent on your second most important stat, Constitution.
Trophy Collector – If you’ve invested 6 ranks in Craft (taxidermy), you’re already a taxidermist. You don’t need a terrible feat to prove it.
Two-Weapon Pounce – Bloodclaw Master and the Pouncing Charge maneuver provide nearly the same bonus, and without sucking up a feat.
Two-Weapon Rend – TWFing is already feat intensive, but if you can spare more then this is a strong choice. Quite a bit of bonus damage.
Versatile Unarmed Strike – Can be quite handy for overcoming DR. If you’re up against things like zombies and skeletons, it can be a good pick.
Vexing Flanker – Honestly, I’d tend to pick Weapon Focus over it (in my book, a constant +1 tops a situational +2). Seeing as Weapon Focus isn’t a great feat, that doesn’t say much about Vexing Flanker.
Weapon Supremacy – You won’t qualify for this until 20th level, which means you won’t be able to take it until 21st. But if a friendly caster can spare a heroics spell, this is an brilliant candidate – and if you qualify, you should take it at 21st without a thought.
Brachiation – If you encounter a lot of rough terrain, it might be useful. But this ages by high levels, and aging feats often aren’t a wise choice.
Brutal Throw – A nice choice for a Bloodstorm Blade who wants to save swift actions.
Combat Intuition – Meh. Not usually a wise choice to invest in Sense Motive, and even ignoring that, this isn’t a very spectacular feat.
Danger Sense – Rerolls are awesome, and initiative can be crucial. This is a very solid pick.
Death Blow – Ooh, nice. Very cool if a party caster is fond of hold spells (and who wouldn’t be?). Even better because you can use that standard action to refresh maneuvers.
Deft Opportunist – Far from bad, and especially nice if you have Karmic Strike or Robilar’s Gambit.
Dive for Cover – While rerolls are, as I’ve said, great, your Reflex save will usually be high enough. And while failing a Will save can mean losing a battle, failing a Reflex save often just means taking some extra damage.
Dual Strike – Not strictly bad for a TWFer, but you’ll often be too feat-strapped to afford it.
Expert Tactician – If you’re an AoO build, this can amount to giving allies bonuses against the foe you’re fighting every round. But they’re small bonuses, and only last for a round; not really worth a feat.
Force of Personality – Cha is your only dump stat. Avoid it like the plague.
Goad – Based on Cha, and it’s a mind affecting ability, which can be guarded against without a lot of trouble by the mid levels.
Hear the Unseen – You can buy it with a Blindfold of True Darkness or get it with the Hearing the Air stance. Never, ever learn this.
Improved Diversion – Why the heck would you want to make a diversion in the first place?
Insightful Reflexes – Actually, since you already add Int to Reflex saves, this just makes your Reflex save worse.
Leap Attack – Sheer, pure awesome. A really easy Jump check (and you should have the Jump ranks anyway) gets you get an enormous multiplier on your Power Attack damage – wow.
Open Minded – You should have enough SP for your needs, and even if you don’t then you shouldn’t waste a feat on this.
Oversized Two-Weapon Fighting – This is the same deal as Monkey Grip, doubly so. That is, it’s awful and you should steer way clear of it.
Power Throw – If you specialize in thrown weapons, you should go Bloodstorm Blade, and that PrC gives you the same benefit as this feat.
Clever Wrestling – By the high levels you should always get a ring of freedom of movement anyway, making this a wasted choice. The very circumstantial prerequisite doesn’t help.
Close-Quarters Fighting – While you will, as I said above, want a ring of freedom of movement, extra attacks are very yummy; it also helps offset the usually large gulf between your grapple checks and that of a grapple-oriented opponent. A good choice, and in every way superior to Clever Wrestling.
Dash – Five extra feet of movement is very nice. Five extra feet of movement is also not worth one of your precious feat slots.
Defensive Strike – Considering that Dodge is an awful feat and the Fight the Horde use of Stormguard Warrior is better, this is just terrible.
Earth’s Embrace – If you want to grapple, warblade isn’t the best choice. And you should be aware that this feat becomes much less useful when you start facing lots of crit-immune enemies; nonetheless, it’s an okay choice if you qualify.
Eagle Claw Attack – Your Wisdom won’t be high, and even if it were…how often will you be attacking objects?
Eyes in the Back of Your Head – Even if it were a constant +2 AC, it wouldn’t be worth it. As is, it’s just pathetic.
Extra Stunning – If you have Stunning Fist, you might as well take this. But you will be feat-starved as an unarmed combatant, make no mistake, so only pick this if you can afford it. It goes without saying that non-unarmed combatants should never even consider this.
Faster Healing – You should always heal between fights, anyway. And if you can’t, somehow I don’t think one extra hit point will be much help.
Fist of Iron – Take this, and gain 1d6 extra damage a few times a day. Or take Weapon Specialization, and gain +2 damage all day. Yeah, it’s actually eclipsed by Weapon Specialization. What does that say about it?
Fleet of Foot – Pick up the Twisted Charge skill trick. It’s two skill points rather than two feats.
Flying Kick – If you fight unarmed and charge regularly, it’s all right. Otherwise, it sucks.
Greater Kiai Shout – It’s good for dispatching mooks, but you normally want to dump Cha.
Greater Resiliency – Wizards thought DR was spectacular, and handed it out to player characters accordingly stingily. Unfortunately, it’s far from as great as they thought, and DR 1/- is a waste of a feat.
Greater Two-Weapon Defense – This is an awful line of feats. Just…no.
Hold the Line – Extra attacks are always good to have, and out there on the front lines you’ll see charging opponents more than most.
Improved Buckler Defense – The old trick of wearing and enchanting a buckler is now viable for TWFers as well. But it’s probably wiser just to get an animated shield – TWFing will suck up your feats as it is.
Improved Combat Expertise – Honestly, I have no idea why this wasn’t just wrapped into the original feat. But if you took Combat Expertise, you might as well take this so that you can use it to its full potential.
Improved Toughness – Improved Toughness isn’t the best feat to take, but it’s loads better than its counterpart. If you really want extra hit points, you can do much worse than this one.
Improved Two-Weapon Defense - I hate to sound like a record, but this is a terrible, terrible, terrible line of feats.
Improved Weapon Familiarity – Because you have Weapon Aptitude, this is nothing but a worse version of Exotic Weapon Proficiency.
Karmic Strike – Pure awesome. This is one of the only reasons you should take Dodge, and it’s quite the incentive. Requires more investment than Robilar’s Gambit, but its effects are better and it can be taken at a lower level.
Kiai Shout – If you have 13 Cha, this isn’t too bad an option. It’s best used in campaigns where you expect to face large numbers of low-level enemies.
Monkey Grip – It’s a trap! All this really equates to is a couple more points of damage.
Phalanx Fighting – “If you are using a heavy shield and a light weapon”. Why the heck would you be doing that? The only time you should be is if you’re TWFing with a light weapon in your off-hand and an animated shield…but by the time you can afford an animated shield, +1 or +2 AC will be quite an obsolete bonus.
Pin Shield – The extra attacks from your off-hand weapon are much more valuable than denying your opponent their shield’s AC bonus.
Power Critical – You already have a bonus from Battle Ardor, and if you’re pursuing the Weapon Focus tree, your unclaimed feats are very precious.
Prone Attack – If you fall down a lot, this helps. You’re also not a great warblade. Anyway, this is the epitome of mediocrity. Lousy prereq, solid but situational bonus. You can usually do better, but if you like this one, you can also do a lot worse.
Roundabout Kick – Really nasty (for your opponents, that is). If you can reliably score unarmed crits, it’s just brutal.
Shield Charge – If shield bashing and tripping are your thing, this is excellent – and it’s a requirement for Shield Slam, too!
Shield Slam – Just fantastic for shield bashers. It’s a Fortitude save, yes, but a pretty high DC, and dazing an enemy for a round is often equivalent to killing them.
Throw Anything – Very nice. Bloodstorm Blades will get this automatically, but even if you don’t plan on throwing regularly, it’s still very solid.
Combat Brute – Momentum Swing. Oh yeah. This is amazing for any warblade.
Elusive Target – Remember how I said that Karmic Strike was one of the few reasons to take Dodge? This is another. Negate Power Attack is simply insane; Diverting Defense is excellent; for trippers, Cause Overreach is wonderful. Wear Armor of Mobility from Draconomicon, and you only have to take one prerequisite feat.
Formation Expert – Decidedly meh. If you’re defending Osgiliath, that’s one thing, but you usually won’t see a lot of use out of this feat.
Giantbane – Mediocre. It’s not a great choice, but it’s a fine one.
Raptor School – Dreadful.
Shock Trooper – Insane. Heedless Charge is the clear standout: it’s totally essential for chargers, and amazing for just anyone.