D&D Best Barbarian Subclass [All DnD Barbarian Subclasses From Weakest To Strongest]

Some people can't help but be angry. Conflict is all that these vicious spirits know, whether it is in the customs of their people, the ferocity of their passions, or the roar of combat. They are not soldiers or professional fighters; rather, they are savages, hired muscle, masters of brutal martial arts, creatures of slaughter, and spirits of war.

Barbarians are excellent fighters, with the skill and tenacity to take on opponents who are supposedly considerably more skilled than they are. Barbarians dash ferociously into combat and destroy anybody who stands in their way, their fury giving them courage and daring beyond that of most other fighters.

In 5th edition of Dungeons & Dragons, barbarians can choose from up to eight subclasses (from official sources), These primal paths give barbarians plenty of flavors to play with.

Between picking your race, playstyle, and all other aspects, it can be daunting to settle for just one primal path. Worry not, for we have made a list to explain the pros and cons of these subclasses to help you make your choice!

Keep in mind that every table is different, some campaigns might allow certain characters to shine more than others.

8. Berserker

The archetypal Barbarian is the Berserker. This is a good option if you enjoy anger and ruining people's faces. This subclass, however, is often overlooked because of its hallmark ability, Frenzy, and Exhaustion rules.

Exhaustion is the Berserker's main issue. Frenzy is wonderful, but it's just too expensive.

One level of exhaustion won't be too difficult for you to handle, especially as Rage confers Advantage on Strength checks, largely nullifying the effects of one degree of exhaustion, but any more than that can cripple your efficiency.

Why the Berserker is Ok:

  • You get an extra attack as a bonus action, perfect for sword & board and two-handed builds.
  • You can counter charms, making you impossible to mind control.

Berserker: http://dnd5e.wikidot.com/barbarian:berserker

7. Battlerager

The main catch of the Battlerager is the ability to wear spiked armor. The downside? your Primal Path will become useless if you are unable to obtain spiked armor for whatever reason, or if your armor is stolen from you.

With this subclass, your AC is set at 16 even with your spiked armor, partially offset by your d12 hit dice.

Although the class features give you some great damage possibilities, they aren't as exciting or useful as those of other subclasses, and since you're stuck with spiked armor, you can't take advantage of half-plate or unarmored defense as other barbarians can.

Although the racial constraint is annoying, a dwarf would still be a decent pick because of the dependence on Constitution.

Why Battlerager is Ok:

  • If your ability scores are low, spiked armor can help keep your AC competitive.
  • You have a reliable source of damage paired up with a unique battle style.

Battlerager details: http://dnd5e.wikidot.com/barbarian:battlerager

6. Ancestral Guardian

This archetype greatly enhances the Barbarian's skill as a Defender while downplaying their function as a Striker.

The Ancestral Guardian will be particularly helpful if you have squishy allies, as practically every party does.

This is especially true if your weak allies aren’t built for melee, frequently drawing attacks.

The archetype's one flaw is that it doesn't grant you any abilities that boost your ability to deal damage, thus you must have another Striker in the group to make up for this.

Why Ancestral Guardian is Good:

  • Once you activate your rage, you have no other abilities that require your Bonus Action, making two-weapon-fighting viable.
  • You greatly improve your team’s survivability with your spirit shield, saving your companion’s life reliably.

Ancestral Guardian details: http://dnd5e.wikidot.com/barbarian:ancestral-guardian

5. Storm Herald

Path of the Storm Herald is an excellent choice for beginner players but is nonetheless complex and interesting enough for seasoned players while being a relatively simple subclass to play despite relying heavily on the Bonus Action.

For gamers who might have problems making decisions, it offers a single choice point that you can switch every time you level up your barbarian, and all three options are respectably good.

Why Storm Herald is Good:

  • You have enough options to keep your class spicy, from desert to sea.
  • Once you activate your rage you get an aura that affects enemies around you, making your power a terrain feature.

Storm Herald details: http://dnd5e.wikidot.com/barbarian:storm-herald

4. Beast

This subclass is the ideal balance between durability and damage output, avoiding the "Tank Fallacy" that many other barbarian subclasses experience.

The Path of the Beast has several decision points for customizing your build, but unlike totem barbarians, this allows you to alter your decision every time you rest or rage. This lets you respond to situations quickly rather than just gritting your teeth and charging at whatever comes your way.

Why the Path of the Beast is Good:

  • Every time you rage you can choose one of several natural weapons, each one changing your combat style and role in a battle.
  • You get extra sustainability as well as a decent mix between offensive and defensive choices.

Path of the Beast details: http://dnd5e.wikidot.com/barbarian:beast

3. Wild Magic

The Path of Wild Magic Barbarian is a choice for players who appreciate a little chaos and unpredictability in their game, much like the Wild Magic Sorcerer.

As you advance in levels, you can eventually expect to roll more frequently on the Wild Magic table, possibly even every round.

It's crucial to remember that Path of Wild Magic has a separate Wild Magic table.

The Sorcerer was the target audience for many of the effects on the original Wild Magic table. More importantly, even though they are all unpredictable, all of the impacts are positive.

Many of them offer continuing advantages that continue throughout your Rage, and many of those advantages are very amazing.

Why Wild Magic barbarian is Great:

  • You get access to magical powers that help you bypass challenges most other barbarians cannot.
  • As you grow in power, you unlock abilities that support your teammates.

Wild Magic barbarian details: http://dnd5e.wikidot.com/barbarian:wild-magic

2. Zealot

The Zealot is a fantastic option for players who frequently die or for players looking for a mechanically straightforward build because it significantly eases death recovery and survival while still dealing respectable damage.

It doesn't have very strong offensive powers beyond doing damage, though, as many of its abilities are focused on keeping you alive.

Why the Zealot is Great:

  • It’s one offensive ability grants you extra radiant damage that scales with your level. You can pierce through most common resistances.
  • Coming back from the dead is no joke. Not only do you make one of the most prohibiting spells (raise dead, revivify, etc) easy to cast on you, you eventually grow into a nigh immortal avatar of battle.

Zealot details: http://dnd5e.wikidot.com/barbarian:zealot

1. Totem Warrior

These barbarians take a spirit animal as a guide, guardian, and source of inspiration, making the Path of the Totem Warrior a spiritual adventure. Your totem spirit gives you extraordinary strength during fight, feeding your barbarian anger with magical tinder.

The majority of barbarian tribes view a totem animal as related to a specific clan.

It is uncommon for a person to have more than one totem animal spirit in such circumstances, though there are some exceptions.

The Totem Warrior has more customization options than any other barbarian subclass, but it is also more difficult to design because there are so many decision-making opportunities.

Why Totem warrior is Great:

  • You can custom-build your totemic warrior, picking only the choices that fit your adventure better.
  • Most totem warriors pick the bear totem at 3rd level, as they should since it makes you resistant to all but 1 type of damage.

Totem warrior details: http://dnd5e.wikidot.com/barbarian:totem-warrior

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