The Barbarian in 5e is a beast when built right, dominating the front line of a battlefield; taking a ton of damage whilst dishing just as much out in return. This Min/Max guide focuses on the Beserker Sub-Class and will discuss what to take and when in order to optimize the class.
As ever, we are using a standard 27 point and a chosen class, which in my opinion is the best Barbarian race; the Goliath. With classes, multi-classing is viable but will be discussed in this post.
STR: 14 | DEX: 14 | CON: 15 | INT: 8 | WIS: 12 | CHA: 8
This then gives, with Racial Bonuses:
STR: 16 (+3) | DEX: 14 (+2) | CON: 16 (+3) | INT: 8 (-1) | WIS: 12 (+1) |
CHA: 8 (-1)
- Unarmored Defense
What makes the Barbarian a Barbarian; gives you resistance to physical weapon attacks and +2 damage to melee hits. Lasts for a minute and you get more rages as you level up.
Allows you to use your Dexterity and Constitution modifiers for your AC. So with our build, you’d have an AC of 15 starting out. You can also use a shield and maintain this.
- Reckless Attack
- Danger Sense
Allows you to attack with advantage for your turn, but opponents attacking you also get advantage. Risk and reward embodied.
As a Barbarian, you may not be the smartest but your natural ability means you get advantage on dexterity saves from sources you can see. For example, a cave-in or a fireball coming toward you.
This is the level where we can select Path of the Berserker which grants:
As a bonus action, you go into a frenzied rage. This gives you an extra attack as a bonus action. At lower levels this is great. However, when you end your rage, you gain one level of exhaustion. Don’t get too many else you become a liability.
At level 4 we get the first stat improvement or chance to take a feat. I am personally a fan of taking Sentinel as soon as possible because it gives the Barbarian a reaction during a combat round and prevents wounded foes from retreating.
You have mastered techniques to take advantage of every drop in any enemy’s guard, gaining the following benefits:
- When you hit a creature with an opportunity attack, the creature’s speed becomes 0 for the rest of the turn.
- Creatures provoke opportunity attacks from you even if they take the Disengage action before leaving your reach.
- When a creature within 5 feet of you makes an attack against a target other than you (and that target doesn’t have this feat), you can use your reaction to make a melee weapon attack against the attacking creature.
- Extra Attack
- Fast Movement
This allows the Barbarian to make a second attack as part of an attack action.
Like raging, providing you aren’t wearing heavy armor, you gain +10 feet of movement per turn. Important for moving around the battlefield and getting attacks in on enemies