Barbarian Guide

How to be a powerful barbarian for dummies

By Bagu the Barbarian


 If you just want to see how strong a feature is then look at the pretty colors and skip the reading.

 If you want to learn about it then do read.

How to be a powerful barbarian for dummies1

My Preferred Barbarian Build:2

Analysis of Class Basic Features5

Ability Score Breakdown6

Class Feature Strength Analysis:7

Notes on Class Features8

Subclass Tier List12

Zealot –  Man too holy to stay dead.14

Ancestral Guardian – Your ghost gramps helps the party19

Totem Warrior – Have animal spirits who lend you their strength25

Storm Herald – You can channel elemental energies and unleash them while you rage                          29

      Races                                                                                                                                                        34

My Preferred Barbarian Build:

This is a step by step guide on my favorite way to build a Barbarian . It's pretty optimized and you are very likely to be powerful if you use this build.

This is NOT the only barbarian build I suggest; it's just what I enjoy playing and it's fairly optimal.

At Level 1:

  1. Read your class features and take a look at my Barbarian Class Analysis if you like.

  2. Pick the Human (Variant Race) .

  3. Take the Polearm Master Feat for an additional attack and Insight skills from your race .

  4. For your ability scores take 16 strength, 14 dexterity, 16 constitution, 8 intelligence, 10 wisdom and 8 charisma if using point buy, otherwise follow the order: Strength > Constitution > Dexterity > Wisdom > Charisma > Intelligence for your ability scores

  5. Forget your Batman backstory… or keep that backstory and change your background to Outlander. Seeing as changing background proficiencies is legal RAW . You are now an Outlander who is proficient in Acrobatics and Stealth so you are still Batman. Outlander makes exploration trivial due to its hilariously strong background feature.

  6. Choose the Athletics and Perception skills from your class skills basic feature.

  7.  You need to pick miscellaneous proficiencies from your background or race such as languages or gaming set proficiencies. I will leave that part up to you as this does not really affect our build 

  8. For your starting equipment:

  1. PAM doesn't work with a Greataxe, so choose a Martial Melee Weapon instead. I recommend choosing a Glaive or Halberd as they deal more damage than the other options. Glaive and Halberd are identical to each other, so it doesn’t matter which of the two you choose.

  2. I would go for the two hand axes rather than a simple melee weapon as they provide nominal extra reach instead of a back-up weapon you’re likely to forget about.

Note: If your Dungeon Master gives you additional equipment or gold then I recommend taking Medium Armor for making your AC 16-17.

  1. Fill your character sheet with all these details if you have not already. Remember to continue updating it as you level!

  2. Review your understanding of your character sheet.

                You don't need to know any part of it by heart but you need to understand what each of your abilities do and roughly how strong each of them are and where to use them. Refer to Barbarian Class Analysis further in this guide for more on how to use each part

At Level 3:

  1. DECIDE WHICH OF THE SIX SUBCLASSES YOU WANT TO PLAY. Just Kidding! You only have four real choices:

  1. Pick Ancestral Guardian if you want to help your teammates, especially if your party is made of squishy backline characters you want to keep protected.

  2. Pick Totem Warrior (Bear) if you want to help yourself and hate elements – you’ll have resistance to (almost) all damage but may suffer for lack of utility (or responses to enemy utility).

  3. Pick Storm Herald if you want to help yourself and you love elements. This subclass is most often taken by players roleplaying a much higher Charisma than is on their sheet.

  4. Pick Zealot if you want to indirectly help by killing the enemy. This subclass is an interesting take on the Barbarian’s lack of utility, it has a lot of unique features that we’ll discuss later.

  1. Once you have chosen your subclass . Read my analysis on the subclass you chose. Check the analysis on all of the 3 subclasses to get an understanding and feel of them if you cannot decide .   

  2. Fill your character sheet with your choice and start kicking ass since you now have your subclass

At Level 4:

  1. You now have the choice between an ability score improvement or a feat.I recommend raising strength by 2 points and not taking another feat just yet. If you want to take a feat then Great Weapon Master is what I would recommend

At Level 8: 

  1. You again have the choice between an ability score improvement or a feat. I still recommend raising strength by 2 points and not taking another feat just yet. If you want to take a feat then Great Weapon Master is what I would recommend

At Level 12:

  1. Now that your core ability score – strength is 20 . You may take all the feats you want or increase constitution. I recommend taking the Great Weapon Master feat rather than increasing your constitution. That fighter had his fun flexing his attacks on us at level 11 …. we need a damage upgrade

At Level 16 : 

  1. This is the time you increase your constitution by 2 points . We got our damage and strength covered so we need HP and AC from Constitution. Now would be a good time to ditch your armor if it's Scale Mail/Breastplate since your Unarmored AC equals your Armored one unless the armor is magical.IIf you are wearing Half Plate then dont remove it just yet.

At Level 19:

  1. This is the time you increase your constitution again by 2 points . Now would be a good time to ditch your Half-Plate unless it's magical. 

Level 20:

  1. Whoa you actually managed to get to level 20 . Please leave feedback on if my guide/analysis helped you

NOTE –  If you want to be a powerful barbarian without the human (variant) race then you are recommended to take a race with strength or constitution (Race Tier List will be made soon) or a race with absurdly powerful racial features such as Aarakocra or Yuan-Ti Pureblood. 

           In that case for ability score improvements , take polearm master at level 4 , get 18 strength at level 8                   and max it out to 20 at level 12. After that point you may choose to either max out your constitution to 20 or take great weapon master and have 18 con.

Additionally do not take the Polearm Master Feat from your variant human race if you take the Storm Herald Subclass.

Both Polearm Master and Storm Aura consume your bonus action .

You can take another powerful feat such as Resilient (Dex/Wis) or Great Weapon Master .

Analysis of Class Basic Features      

Hit Dice – The only class with d12 hit dice. 6.5 average hp per level is very good and almost double of what a wizard or sorcerer gets . 

Armor Proficiencies – The lack of ability to use heavy armor is annoying 

You tend to have higher raw hp compared to the other martials but lesser AC.

You are recommended to buy medium armor when possible to boost your AC.

Weapon Proficiencies – You can use both simple and martial weapons .

You are recommended to use a Halberd or Glaive for Polearm Master  . Use Greatsword or Greataxe if you don't have the feat

Tools – No tools 🙁

Saving Throws – Constitution is a strong saving throw while Strength is a weaker saving throw.

This does not mean Strength is not useful, It just means it's less common.

Skills – 2 skills just like all classes that aren't bards or rogues . 

You are primarily reliant on strength and constitution so it would be wise to pick skills from those two ability scores:

Constitution has no skills and strength has one skill (that does like 3 different things).Athletics is an obvious choice.
The second skill is dependent on your campaign , ability score distribution or preference. I personally go for Perception due to how powerful it is.

Ability Score Breakdown

Usually for a barbarian:  Strength > Constitution > Dexterity > Wisdom > Charisma > Intelligence


As mentioned above go Strength > Constitution > Dexterity > Wisdom > Charisma > Intelligence if rolling for your scores.

Strength should be your highest stat even though dexterity is usually better for other classes . It is not the case for Barbarians. Most of your class features also improve or are augmented by strength (such as rage or reckless attack). You get initiative from feral instinct and medium armor (which is what you use for most of the game) doesn't really benefit from dexterity higher than 14.


Constitution is usually the second or third highest ability score for most characters including you. Due to unarmored defense, Constitution gives you both HP and AC if you are unarmored (which is good early and late game)

 Not much reason to get dexterity above 14 for most of the game so we pump constitution instead after we max our strength.


Dexterity gives neat stuff like higher initiative or better range attacks so you can be a Bowbarian but it's usually better to just get medium armor when you can afford it. Medium armor is what we use for most of the game and does not benefit from having a  dexterity higher than 14. (Though a higher dexterity does mean a stronger Unarmed Defense…).

Wisdom is less important than the above scores but still powerful. As well as being related to half your skills (Perception, Survival, Animal Handling), it’s a very common saving throw against spells. Barbarians are often the magnet for charm/suggestion/dominate spells, and you don’t want to be the barbarian who turns into a ball of rage and attacks the party Bard.

Charisma is safe to dump. Let your fists do the talking. The only part of your kit that you have that uses charisma is the Intimidation skill. It's also a weak saving throw so you do not really need it that much.

Intelligence is also safe to dump. Let your muscles do the thinking. The only part of your kit that you have that uses charisma is the Nature skill. It's also a weak saving throw so you do not really need it that much.

Class Feature Strength Analysis:

Class Defining, useful almost all the time or just incredibly powerful  :



Reckless Attack

Extra Attack

Primal Champion

Very Strong ,extremely reliable or decently powerful effects that are permanent:

Unarmored Defense (During Tier 1 and 4)

Danger Sense

Fast Movement 

Feral Instinct 

Indomitable Might

Strong but either situational or have some other weaknesses:

Unarmored Defense (During Tier 2 and Tier 3)

Relentless Rage

Persistent Rage 

Hard to evaluate properly :

Brutal Critical

Notes on Class Features

Rage – One of the most powerful class features in the entire game.

It offers multiple extremely potent benefits and can be used multiple times a day as a bonus action (letting you attack as an action).

You have multiple uses of it per long rest and it usually almost always lasts an entire combat (it only ends if you don't get whacked or whack the enemy which is almost never as whacking is easy and getting whacked is easier). 

Advantage to strength checks and saving throws means you can grapple or shove people pretty well or resist them which is neat.

The bonus damage is deceptive and may not look very high but it eventually adds up and makes an impact.

The strongest benefit to rage is resistance to Bludgeoning , Piercing and Slashing damage .

It effectively doubles your HP against weapon attacks and some spells 

Another interesting thing to note is that it doubles heal effectiveness on you if you took damage from only physical attacks.

Unarmored Defense –  The armor class is neat early game but once you get more money you are better off investing in medium armor.

With a 16-14-16 strength/dexterity/constitution, Assuming you invest in strength until level 8 , take a feat at level 12 and invest in constitution afterwards (maxing it at 19).

Until level 16 scale-mail or breastplate offer more class than unarmored defense

Until level 19 half-plate offers more armor class than unarmored defense

After level 19 your armored and unarmored defense is the same so its better to be unarmored unless your armor is magical.

At level 20 its better to be unarmored unless your armor is +3

Reckless Attack – Insanely powerful and lets you have advantage whenever you like.

The downside is not that bad since it may draw aggro from less tanky teammates (who happen to be basically anyone else not a barbarian). 

Also most enemy attack rolls are weapon attacks and not spells so you can take half damage from it during your rage.

Its mostly always better to make the barbarian take the halved weapon attack damage and patch him up afterwards with healing.

On the other hand if enemy doesnt capitalize on the advantage they get against you then its free advantage without downside which can be seen as a win regardless if they attack

you or not.

This feature is also amazing at reducing the penalty of great weapon master . You deal high damage if you have that feat and decide to reckless attack.

Another thing to note is that it increases your chance of a critical hit to 9.5% per attack and the fact that this feature is an amazing finisher to a fight.

The lack of enemies at the end means they cannot capitalize that well on the advantage against you and you having advantage means they die very quickly.

Do note that its not recommended to use this "recklessly" when not in rage.

Danger Sense – Pretty Neat

Passive Advantage on a saving throw is not very common in 5e and you get it at level 2 .

Definitely amazing to have considering how common dexterity saves are and how this lets you pass those saves without investing too much into dexterity.

May be interesting to get resilient dexterity to have both proficiency and advantage.

Also quite thematically interesting that during rage you have advantage on both strength and dexterity saving throws.

Extra Attack – Massive Powerspike.

Twice the attacks . Its doubles the damage you deal (aside from damage you deal on bonus actions such as polearm master or great weapon master attack or damage dealt on

reactions such as opportunity attacks).

Fast Movement – More speed is especially important for melee characters as it helps us close gaps or escape much easier.

10 feet doesnt seem much but this is actually really strong.

Feral Instinct – Kinda removes the penalty of not having high dex with advantage on initiative . Meaning your initiative is about the same as high dexterity characters. 

Immunity to surprise is hard to judge but its definitely useful if you get ambushed often.

Brutal Critical (1 dice) – Critical Hits are not very common so this is a very minor damage increase if not used in conjuction with effects that force critical hits.

Critical Hits happen 5% of the time on average and you usually use a weapon with a damage die of atleast 1d10 as a barbarian

1d10 weapon- Brutal Critical adds 5.5 damage every 20 attacks = +0.275 per attack

1d12 weapon – Brutal  Critical adds 6.5 damage every 20 attacks = + 0.325 per attack

As mentioned earlier reckless attack gives you a 9.5% chance to crit 

1d10 weapon- Brutal Critical adds 5.5 damage every 10.5 attacks = +0.52 per attack during reckless attack

1d12 weapon – Brutal  Critical adds 6.5 damage every 10.5 attacks = + 0.61 per attack during reckless attack

  • For champion fighter multiclass double the damage values shown here

Example – 1d10 weapon- Brutal Critical adds 5.5 damage every 20 attacks = +0.275 per attack

Would instead be 1d10 weapon- Brutal Critical adds 5.5 damage every 10 attacks = +0.55 per attack

You do deal extremely high damage if the enemy is paralyzed through an effect such as hold person or hold monster.

In such a case its a weaker smite that takes no resources.

Can be used to set up really powerful turns with great weapon master and paralyze effects (3 attacks with great weapon master and brutal critical damage is absolutely brutal indeed).

Personal Opinion – 3 levels of champion fighter is NOT WORTH IT.

This build comes online at level 12 and the damage increase is extremely minor unless we reckless attack

You guys know what else is good damage if we reckless attack? – Great Weapon Master

Something we could grab at level 12 if we went straight barbarian.

The fighter dip does give us strong features like surge or fighting style but losing the barbarian levels delays our future progression far too much for the benefits to be worth it.

Relentless  Rage – This DC becomes high very quickly and cannot be used too many times reliable.

Due to it setting you to 1 hp , its not too good against multiple enemies as you they have multiple chances to instantly kill you but is better against single strong enemies.

This could be fairly useful often but its too swingy for me to call it good enough.

Brutal Critical (2 dice) – Usually the same as brutal critical (1 dice) except you now outdamage level 1 paladin smite on critical hits.

1d10 weapon- Brutal Critical adds 11 damage every 20 attacks = +0.55 per attack 

1d12 weapon – Brutal  Critical adds 13 damage every 20 attacks = + 0.65 per attack

As mentioned earlier reckless attack gives you a 9.5% chance to crit 

1d10 weapon- Brutal Critical adds 11 damage every 10.5 attacks = +1.04 per attack during reckless attack

1d12 weapon – Brutal  Critical adds 13 damage every 10.5 attacks = + 1.22 per attack during reckless attack

Persistent Rage – Quite interesting and may be useful but I have never seen a barbarian not deal or take damage for 2 turns , so could be niche

This does get hilarious and useful once you hit level 20 as you can choose to almost always be in rage and just refresh it with a bonus action once every ten rounds.

Actually very strong on some subclasses , eg – zealot 

Brutal Critical (3 dice) – Usually the same as brutal critical (1 dice) except you deal the damage of  two level 1 paladin smites in a single critical hit.

1d10 weapon- Brutal Critical adds 16.5 damage every 20 attacks = +0.825 per attack 

1d12 weapon – Brutal  Critical adds 19.5 damage every 20 attacks = +0.975  per attack

As mentioned earlier reckless attack gives you a 9.5% chance to crit 

1d10 weapon- Brutal Critical adds 16.5 damage every 10.5 attacks = +1.56 per attack during reckless attack

1d12 weapon – Brutal  Critical adds 19.5 damage every 10.5 attacks = + 1.83 per attack during reckless attack

Indomitable Might  – Good.  

You probably have a +5 to strength checks and +11 to Athletics checks at this point so this is more of a take a minimum of 15 on the dice roll if you got any lesser.


This clashes with means to increase your rolls such as advantage/proficiency/expertise

This is due to the fact that the feature replaces the entire roll and not the dice roll while ignoring skill modifiers.

You have a +11 to athletics at this point so its a take 9 if it was a dice roll in this case which isnt as strong as take 15 on the dice roll : (

Its exponentially less effective in some cases if you have extremely high bonuses such as from advantage + expertise

Still not a bad feature since you may replace this after you roll and cannot ever lowroll due to this.

Some Math

Level 18 

Strength check has +5 bonus at this point and you have 20 strength

Chance to roll less than 15 normally = 70%

Chance to roll less than 15 during rage = 49%

Athletics check with proficiency has +11 bonus at this point and you have 20 strength

Chance to roll less than 9 normally = 40%

Chance to roll less than 9 during rage = 16%

Athletics check with expertise has +17 bonus at this point and you have 20 strength

Chance to roll less than 3 normally = 10%

Chance to roll less than 3 during rage = 1%

Level 20

Strength check has +7 bonus at this point and you have 24 strength

Chance to roll less than 17 normally = 80%

Chance to roll less than 17 during rage = 64%

Athletics check with proficiency has +13 bonus at this point and you have 24 strength

Chance to roll less than 11 normally = 50%

Chance to roll less than 11 during rage = 25%

Athletics check with expertise has +19 bonus at this point and you have 24 strength

Chance to roll less than 5 normally = 20%

Chance to roll less than 5 during rage = 4%

Primal Champion – This is absolutely amazing.

+2 to attack and damage rolls , +40 to hit points , +2 to strength checks and +2 to two saves you are already so good at.

Also can now make your muscles have much higher armor class than heavy armor o_o

but the true secret capstone is the fact that at level 20 you get INFINITE RAGES.

Amazing on every barbarian but EXTREMELY powerful on some subclasses such as zealot or totem warrior.

Subclass Tier List

This is not exact and it's from my experience. 

It also ranks the subclass POWER LEVEL in a vacuum.

A truly accurate tier list cannot be made as it depends on many factors such as setting , enemies and party composition.

Also the list is unordered , The first subclass in each tier is not necessarily the best one

S TIER =  The Best . Extremely Powerful or Unique subclasses that are strong enough to dominate the campaign.

A TIER = Solid . Still in optimal territory but are outclassed by S tier subclasses in either power or practicality.

B TIER = Meh . Not recommended to play these subclasses as they are clearly worse than S or A tier classes

Barbarian Subclass Tier List (Level 3-5)

A tier –  Honestly nothing is dominant at this point

Barbarian Subclass Tier List Level (6-9)

S TIER – Zealot , Ancestral Guardian , StormHerald (OR) Totem Warrior (Bear)  

A TIER – StormHerald (OR) Totem Warrior (Bear)  (The Choice that isn’t S tier at this point)

B TIER – BattleRager , Berserker 

Barbarian Subclass Tier List (Level 10 – 13)

S TIER – Zealot , Ancestral Guardian , StormHerald (OR) Totem Warrior (Bear)  

A TIER – StormHerald (OR) Totem Warrior (Bear)  (The Choice that isn’t S tier at this point)

B TIER – BattleRager , Berserker

Barbarian Subclass Tier List  (Level 14-19)

S TIER –  Zealot , Ancestral Guardian , Storm Herald 

A TIER – Berserker , Totem Warrior (Bear)

B TIER –  Battlerager 

Barbarian Subclass Tier List  (Level 20)

S TIER –  Zealot 

A TIER – Totem Warrior (Bear),  Ancestral Guardian , Berserker , Storm Herald

B TIER –  Battlerager

* You may notice  "StormHerald (OR) Totem Warrior (Bear)" are  both in S TIER and A TIER.

   This means at any given point one of these two would be S TIER and the other would be A TIER based on what you are fighting.

   Tundra adds HP based tanking that is twice as strong against physical damage and is even better at negating physical damage than any other barbarian

   Totem Warrior adds Elemental Resistance based protection that grants resistance to 9 elements and is the best barbarian feature for taking less damage from magic/elements

   If you notice they both help you tank better but at COMPLETELY DIFFERENT THINGS.

   Storm = Physical Damage Tank but Tundra HP can absorb magic damage but it melts your temp hp twice as quick.

   Totem = Magic/Element Damage Tank but Totem takes half damage from physical attacks due to barbarian rage

   I never noticed this before I started writing this guide and it blew my mind for a few minutes.

   So yeah , If the majority of your enemies are physical or psychic damage based – Go for Herald . If the majority are elemental damage based – Go for Totem

   **Or just play zealot amirite…the best defense is the stronk offense**

*Bear Totem is the only reason to play Totem Warrior over the other Subclasses so all mentions of Totem Warrior are level 3 bear totem. 

  Bear is very strong but im personally not a fan of it since I prefer Ancestral and Zealot.

* I consider Storm Herald to only be playable due to the Tundra temp hp so all mentions of Storm Herald are using Tundra .

   TUNDRA is actually an EXTREMELY STRONG feature and the only reason to play the subclass until level 14.


*If your Dungeon Master allows simulacrum cheese with wish then your wizard can grant the entire party resistance to all damage making Bear Totem redundant after level 17.

You can infer from this tier list that Ancestral Guardian , Zealot , Storm Herald and Totem Warrior (Bear) are recommend subclass

Pick Ancestral Guardian if you want to help your teammates

Pick Zealot if you want even bigger damage numbers

Pick Totem Warrior (Bear) if you want to brag about your tankiness

Pick Storm Herald if you want to save a feat slot and instead focus on HP rather than damage or resistances


Zealot –  Man too holy to stay dead.

Extremely Powerful Subclass Choice 

What does it do?  : Boosts damage and makes it harder to die . If you die then its easier to revive you

Who is it for? : This subclass is for those who want to deal the highest possible damage.

Optimization Verdict – Poggers Subclass

LEVEL 3-5 – All subclasses are good at this point


LEVEL 10-13 – S TIER


Level 20 –  S TIER

Feature Mechanics in order as well as Rough Strength of features in a vacuum :

Level 3  – Divine Fury – Additional Scaling Damage (Amazing) 

                 Warrior of the Gods – Forgoing Material Components for Revival (Very good)

Level 6 –  Fanatical Focus – Rerolling Saving Throw (Good but becomes Very Good at max level)

 Level 10 – Zealous Presence – Advantage on attack rolls/saving throws for the party  (Good)

 Level 14 –  Rage Beyond Death – Suppress Death (ABSOLUTELY INSANE)

Notes on Subclass:

– Highest reliable  single target damage potential of all barbarian subclasses as you may make 3 attacks as well as have additional Divine Fury Damage that other barbarians may not get through a feat.

Not to mention that with the Polearm Master feat you have a higher chance of attacking with your reaction as compared to most other barbarians for even greater damage.

Reckless Attack + Attack Action + Bonus Action Attack + Great Weapon Master + Divine Fury Damage + Rage Bonus Damage = Much Stronk

– In my opinion , this is the strongest subclass at endgame and debatably solid A TIER the rest of the game.

  Heavily recommended to play a Zealot Barbarian

– Very Strong in Adventurer's league due to Warrior of the Gods and Acolyte background

– Feat dependent for Maximum Potential so Variant Human race may be a good idea. Great pick if your dungeon master lets everyone take a free feat

– Rage Beyond Death is insanely strong but intentionally trying to fall to 0 hit points is NOT recommended.

Divine Fury (Level 3) – Very Strong feature

Summary/Reasons to why its a good feature :

– Damage scales well thought the game , scales from 1d6+1 at level 3 to 1d6 + 10 at level 20

– Comparable damage to Battlerager level 3 and Berserker level 3 but we can do it without being forced to wear spiked armor/ gaining exhaustion

– Battlerager or berserker cannot take a feat to get your level 3 feature but you can take the Polearm Master feat to get a version of theirs 

– Does not compete with rage on turn 1 of combat , we may gain its benefit even on round 1 as its not a bonus action

– You do not need to spend a bonus action to gain the benefit of this feature . You may additionally do something powerful such as another attack.

– Creatures rarely ever resist or are immune to radiant or necrotic damage . 

Notes on feature:

– Radiant damage is a better choice for Divine Fury . 

Though both are great choices , from a meta perspective – More creatures are resistant or immune to necrotic damage than radiant 

–  Unlike other damage oriented barbarian subclasses , your core feature does not consume your bonus action.

 It is heavily recommended to take the polearm master feat or another way to use bonus action as otherwise it is wasted potential :-:

Warrior of the Gods (Level 3) – Ribbon but Powerful Ribbon

Overpowered in certain party compositions and opens up a new reckless playstyle

Works With:

– Revivify (Saves Diamonds worth 300 gp)

– Raise Dead (Saves Diamonds worth 500 gp)

– Resurrection  (Saves Diamond worth 1000 gp)

– True Resurrection (Saves Diamond worth 25000 gp and holy water) (Works unless it makes you a new body)

Does not work with:

– Reincarnate (Makes you a new body of random race)

– Clone (Completely different purpose as to sole effect of bringing you back to life)

– True Resurrection (Incase it makes you a new body)

Notes on feature:

– Does not work with spells that recreate your body but works with the ones that don't.

– May be needed to ask your dungeon master for their ruling of this feature as its not perfectly clear.

– Very strong in Adventurer's League with Acolyte Background

You get one free spell in your temple per day but need to pay for material components .

This lets you forgo material components for Revival which you may be revived once a day free of cost.

– Opens up a very suicidal  yet effective playstyle that most players cannot usually do.

You may recklessly draw aggro from allies and try to deal as much damage as possible without caring too much about dying.

The cost of bringing you back is not too much as it just takes a level 3 spell to do it (Revivify)

Fanatical Focus (Level 6) – Pretty Good Feature

Once a rage is certainly interesting

Approximate Odds of Rolling a Particular Number:

Target      Chance (Normal)    Chance (Reroll)                          Chance (Reroll + Advantage)

   1                      100%                                100%                                                        100%

   2                       95%                                99.75%                                                     99.99%

   3                       90%                                  99%                                                         99.9%

   4                       85%                                97.75%                                                     99.66%

   5                       80%                                  96%                                                         99.2%

   6                       75%                                93.75%                                                     98.44%

   7                       70%                                  91%                                                        97.30%       

   8                       65%                                87.75%                                                     95.71%

   9                       60%                                   84%                                                        93.6%

  10                      55%                                79.75%                                                     90.89%

  11                      50%                                   75%                                                        87.5%

  12                      45%                                69.75%                                                     83.36%

  13                      40%                                   64%                                                        78.4%

  14                      35%                                57.75%                                                     72.54%

  15                      30%                                   51%                                                        65.7%

  16                      25%                                43.75%                                                     57.81%

  17                      20%                                   36%                                                        48.8%

  18                      15%                                27.75%                                                     38.59%  

  19                      10%                                  19%                                                         27.1%

  20                        5%                                 9.75%                                                      14.26%

Notes on the Feature:

– Its NOT a reaction which is interesting

– Mechanically the same as advantage . Only reason its called as "Rerolling" is so that it stacks with advantage

– Due to the fact that its once a rage , At level 20 once you get infinite rages you may use this once a round by raging with your bonus action every round

This is one of the reasons zealot is S TIER at level 20

– It is better to reroll saves you already are good at to have a very high chance of succeeding

Therefore I recommend using it on Strength , Constitution and Dexterity saving throws

Reasons to use on each:

Strength  -You have both proficiency as well as a high strength score . Not to mention you also have advantage on strength saving throws due to your rage

Constitution – You have both proficiency as well as a high constitution score.

Dexterity – You probably have a respectable modifier and no proficiency but you have advantage on the saving throw due to Danger Sense 

                                 Strength       Dexterity       Constitution

Ability Score           High             Medium             High

Proficiency              Yes                 No                      Yes

Advantage              Yes                Yes                       No

Zealous Presence (Level 10) – Good Feature

Nothing to see here o_o

It does what it says it does

Notes on the feature:

– Really powerful and useful effect that can win an encounter but you need to use it sparingly. Can be used only once a long rest :-:

– Much more effective if your party has high DPR characters due to granting advantage on attack rolls

   Some fun combos as it can help your rogue sneak easily due to advantage or granting your elven accuracy fighter triple advantage

– Recommended to use against spellcasters 

  Advantage against their spells would certainly prove useful for the entire party,

  Spellcasters tend to have lesser hit points than physical damage enemies and would go down sooner if you have advantage on attack rolls against them


– One thing to note is that the power of this feature depends on how your dungeon master plays the enemies

   Enemies might choose to not use their big spells knowing you have advantage or they may play on the defensive if they know you used this feature.

Rage Beyond Death (Level 14) – ABSOLUTELY INSANE


Zealot barbarian achieves almost unkillability to damage during a rage at this point (Excluding very rare events of massive damage to oneshot you)

Do note you are not immortal and may still be killed by other means

For the uninitiated , please read my article on Rage Beyond Death for more information. The explanation was super long so it needed its own article

Ways you may die and examples to each:

– Massive Damage 

   Threat Level = Low

   Example –  A meteor swarm where you fail the dex save and the caster rolls extremely high damage or a critical hit from Rak Tulkesh

– Effects that prevent healing

  Threat Level = Medium

  Example – Chill Touch or Counterspell

– Effects that incapacitate you for more than a minute  

  Threat Level = High to Very High

  Example – Phase Spider bite attack , Sleep or Banishment

– Effects that forcefully end your rage

  Threat Level = Very High

  Example – Dominate Person or Polymorph

– Effects that instantly kill you

  Threat Level = Very High

  Example – Disintegrate , Power Word kill , Exhaustion or Mind Flayer's Extract Brain

Notes on the Feature:

– This feature is very strong but please do not intentionally try to get to 0 hit points unless in exceptional cases.

– Periapt of Wound Closure is a great item for zealot barbarian at this point

– Spellcasters are bigger threats to you than physical damage monsters so it may be a good idea to kill them first. 

Zealous Presence and your insane DPR helps in accomplishing that.

– It helps if you have an allied caster with counterspell as a lot of the effects that can kill you will be negated 

– Your rage may end if you do not deal or take damage . You may attack yourself or take friendly fire to extend its duration

  This problem is solved once you hit level 15.

– Be mindful of how many rages you have and dont forget to heal to positive hit points before ending a rage.

  Borrowing Goodberries is a great idea to heal by yourself

– Absurdly powerful once you get level 20

   Infinite rages means you may permanently be in rage beyond death and spend a bonus action to regain Fanatical Focus


Ancestral Guardian – Your ghost gramps helps the party 

Extremely Powerful Subclass Choice 

What does it do?  : Boosts Survivability of entire party and draw aggro from enemies.

Who is it for? : This subclass is for those who want to focus on tanking and protecting their allies rather than augmenting their own damage.

Optimization Verdict – Amazing Subclass

LEVEL 3-5 – All subclasses are good at this point


LEVEL 10-13 – S TIER


Level 20 –  A TIER 

Feature Mechanics in order as well as Rough Strength of features in a vacuum :

Level 3  – Ancestral Protectors – Disadvantage to Attack rolls and Damage Resistance (Amazing) 

Level 6 –  Spirit Shield –  Flat Damage Reduction (Amazing)

 Level 10 – Consult The Spirits – Short Rest Spellcasting  (Okay)

 Level 14 –  Vengeful Ancestors – Damage Reflection (Amazing)

Notes on the Subclass:

– This subclass feature is that it fixes a fundamental problem of barbarians which is the inability to draw aggro. 

Barbarians have the ability to take half damage from weapon attacks but enemies can just choose to not hit you.

Enemies may decide  "Oh its useless trying to stab that guy , lets stab the wizard instead who takes 3 times more damage than him"

It may be argued that reckless attack already helps draw aggro but it doesnt completely solve the issue. 

Yes, you're easier to hit, but if the bad guy wants to hit your wizard friend, he doesn't care how easy it is to hit you. He just wants to hit your wizard friend. 

**Sometimes being too tanky makes you bad at tanking**

The Ancestral Protectors feature mitigates this by not only making it harder for the bad guy to hit your allies , but also making his attacks deal less damage to anyone who isn't you.

Before, the bad guy had no real reason to attack you. Now he is forced to attack you as he hits you the best and ALL your allies would be incredibly difficult to kill unless you go down . 

If everyone except you is difficult to hit and takes half damage from attacks , they would go for the player that is causing this effect.

That isnt a a problem for you as you have resistance to Bludgeoning , Piercing or Slashing damage and your wizard lives longer.

– Has 5 ways to encourage people to potentially draw aggro

  – Reckless attack to make yourself an easier target to enemies.

  – Ancestral Protectors to grant disadvantage on attacks against allies

  – Ancestral Protectors to grant allies damage resistance to your allies

   – Spirit Shield to reduce the effectiveness of attacks against your allies

   – Vengeful Ancestors to punish enemies that dont attack you with force damage

– Reckless Attack to draw aggro is NOT RECOMMENDED 

   This subclass already draws enough aggro and reckless attack grants advantage to ALL enemies

   Obviously you use your Ancestral Protectors against the strong enemy who attacks you

Ancestral Protectors (Level 3) – Very Strong feature

Extremely effective aggro pull against a single enemy . 

Does not offer a saving throw or require you to spend action/bonus/reaction  so can be used on the first round of combat

It looks like this during a rage:

Barbarian—> Resistant to bludgeoning , piercing and slashing damage. (Barbarian Rage)

                         Barbarian may choose to gain advantage on strength based attacks but enemies have advantage against him (Reckless Attack)

Party —-> Resistant to all damage from weapon attacks from a single enemy (Ancestral Protectors)

                    Said enemy has disadvantage to hit them. (Ancestral Protectors)

 Notes on the feature:

– Most effective against a single enemy who primarily deals damage through attacks


– It is recommended to use reckless attack sparingly when faced against multiple enemies as this feature only effects 1 enemy.

  Most probably you would use this against a boss and may use reckless attack to furthur draw aggro from him.

  Using reckless attack grants EVERYONE advantage to hit you and the boss may order all his friends to gang up on you which may not end well even if you

  have resistance to physical damage 

– This subclass has synergy with a LOT of things which is wonderful:

– Squishy Teammates that need to be protected and greatly benefit from the half damage

– Highly elusive party members with high armor class so that the disadvantage causes most attacks against them to miss

– Casters with concentration spells (concentration checks are easier due to reduced damage)

– Party Members  that grant disadvantage on weapon attacks so enemies have disadvantage against you too (Example -Cavalier Fighter or another Ancestral Barbarian)

– A party member who reduces the effectiveness of enemy spells (example – a paladin , though ancients works best)


Spirit Shield (Level 6) – Very Strong feature

This is (Arguably) the best level 6 feature among all barbarians.

It looks like this during a rage:

Barbarian—> Resistant to bludgeoning , piercing and slashing damage. (Barbarian Rage)

                         Barbarian may choose to gain advantage on strength based attacks but enemies have advantage against him  (Potential Reckless Attack)

Party —-> Resistant to all damage from weapon attacks from a single enemy(Ancestral Protectors)

                   Said enemy has disadvantage to hit them. (Ancestral Protectors)

                   Barbarian may spend his reaction to reduce any damage a party member takes by 2d6/3d6/4d6 (values depend on level) (Spirit Shield)

Good stuff about this feature:

– IM NOT KIDDING THIS IS HUGE . Barbarian has a core extremely powerful subclass feature at level 3 and 14 while 6 and 10 are generally weaker features.

   Your 6th level feature is definitely a cut above the competition and can be classified as core to your subclass.

– It scales . Reducing 2d6 damage as a reaction would be impressive but doing the same for 4d6 is absolutely insane

– This feature grants us a way to reliably use our reaction (something barbarian generally lacks)

– Flat damage reduction is very rare in 5e and hence also very appretiated

– This can reduce damage from both attacks or spells

– Can be done EVERY round during your rage means you might reduce a deceptively high amount of damage throught the course of the adventuring day.

– It furthur discourages your Ancestral Protector target from attacking your ally meaning you do your job even better now 

Now onto the bad stuff:

– The range of 30 feet may be too limiting at times . Gets especially problematic when some party members such as casters cannot afford to enter the 

   frontlines of combat . 

   The range of this feature also makes the party an easy target for area of effect damage . A good solution to this is being supported in melee with an oath of the ancients paladin.

– This damage reduction occurs BEFORE factoring the damage resistance from Ancestral Protectors or resistance to damage in general.

   This feature has countersynergy with damage resistance.

Example – Assume you are a level 6 Ancestral Guardian Barbarian. Your spirit shield can be used as a reaction to block 2d6 damage (an average of 7)

                   An enemy under your Ancestral Protector hitting your ally for 20 damage would instead only do 10 due to the feature granting your ally resistance to damage.

                   Using Spirit Shield to reduce the 10 damage would not reduce it by 7 (2d6)

                   The Spirit Shield reduction first reduces the 20 damage to a 13 and then Ancestral Protector's halves the 13 to a 6.5

                   The effective reduction in this case is 1d6 rather than 2d6

Conclusion – Spirit Shield would reduce more damage if used on a target that does not have resistance to the damage they are being subject to.

                        Please do note that failing to use this feature in the event the enemy uses damage your ally is not resistant to may not always be the best idea.

Consult the Spirits (Level 10) – Okay feature

Very dungeon master dependent yet both spells are pretty useful.

Its a pretty decent feature considering you can cast spells on short as well as long rests without material components

Do note that using Augury too many times before a long rest as it may give you random results.


Vengeful Ancestors (Level 14) 

Hey a feature that doesnt impose on action economy.

I love how this subclass brings so many effects – resistance , disadvantage , flat damage reduction and damage reflection and all we need to do is to spend our reaction

Good Stuff about the feature:

– Force damage is one of the strongest damage types . Enemies are seldom immune or resistant to it

– This is great as before this point we had multiple ways to discourage enemies from attacking allies but no way to punish them for doing so. 

– Spirit Shield can now absorb an average of 14 (4d6) damage as a reaction . Reflecting all of this damage is usually better than the Divine Fury of even a level 20 zealot barbarian   (average damage 13.5) and a better damage type than necrotic/radiant.

Bad Stuff about the feature:

– Spirit Shield can reduce damage from attacks as well as spells 

   This feature only reduces damage from attacks and will not work against spells

It looks like this during a rage:

Barbarian—> Resistant to bludgeoning , piercing and slashing damage. (Barbarian Rage)

                         Barbarian may choose to gain advantage on strength based attacks but enemies have advantage against him (Potential Reckless Attack)

Party —->  Resistant to all damage from weapon attacks from a single enemy(Ancestral Protectors)

                    Said enemy has disadvantage to hit them. (Ancestral Protectors)

                   Barbarian may spend his reaction to reduce the damage a party member takes from a weapon attack by 4d6 and reflect the reduced damage back to the enemy as force                      damage. (Vengeful Ancestors)       


Totem Warrior – Have animal spirits who lend you their strength

Hard to say what it does due to it having totem choices . 

What does it do?  : It is capable of a lot of things . There are so many options and 125 different types of barbarians you may get. 

Who is it for? : For those who want a layer of additional customization … or for those who want to be resistant to almost all damage

Optimization Verdict – Amazing Subclass

LEVEL 3-5 – All subclasses are good at this point

LEVEL 6-9 –  Could be A TIER or S TIER depending on what enemies you face (Bear Totem)

LEVEL 10-13 –  Could be A TIER or S TIER depending on what enemies you face (Bear Totem)

LEVEL 14  –  Could be A TIER or S TIER depending on what enemies you face (Bear Totem)

Level 20 – Could be A TIER or S TIER depending on what enemies you face(Bear Totem)

The Other Totems could be very powerful but the fact is that Bear Totem completely overshadows all other Totems available at this point in most campaigns and is the only reason to

even consider playing this class over Ancestral Guardian and Zealot is for this Totem.

Also the fact that I would have to draw 125 such tables if I decided to rate all the possibilities…

These are the features I recommend (Incase you aren't interested in reading about the ones I don't recommend):

Level 3 – Bear

Level 6 – Either Bear or Eagle

Level 14 – Either Eagle or Wolf

Feature Mechanics in order as well as Rough Strength of features in a vacuum :

Level 3 – Totem Spirit 

Bear Totem – Elemental Damage Resistance (Absolutely Insane )

Eagle Totem – Bonus Action Dash (Good . Not good if you have Polearm Master)

Elk Totem- Bonus Movement Speed (Okay.Better than Eagle Totem only if you use bonus reliably)

Tiger Totem – Longer Jumps (Really Weak)

Wolf Totem- Granting Advantage  (Depends on Party)

Level 6 – Aspect of the Beast

Bear Totem – Double Carrying Capacity + Advantage on strength checks to push/lift/break (Good)

Eagle Totem – 1 Mile Vision . No disadvantage on perception in dim light (Good)

Elk Totem – Double Travel Pace of party (Depends on Campaign)

Tiger Totem – Additional Skills (Good if you don't have what it offers)

Wolf – Move and track creatures stealthily (Depends on Campaign)

Level 10 – Spirit Walker – Ritual Spellcasting (Decent)

Level 14 – Totemic Attunement

Bear Totem – Granting enemies disadvantage (Strong Yet Unreliable )

Eagle Totem – Flying Speed (Very Good)

Elk Totem – Knock Prone as bonus action (Okay)

Tiger Totem – Bonus action attack (Very Good unless you have Polearm Master)

Wolf – Automatic Knock Prone (Good)

Notes on the subclass:

– Most of the features in this class has multiple choices so ill be roughly be evaluating each of them individually.

Do note that im only rating the general power level of the feature based on the campaigns I play in and this does not hold true for all campaigns.

Some of the features could be very powerful or very weak based on the campaign.

Examples -Bear Totem is considered the best level 3 feature but its considerably weaker in a setting with little elemental damage or magic.

                    Elk Totem doubling travel time could be insane in some campaigns and useless in ones where travel is skipped or is uncommon.

– Do consider that the only reason I advocate this class to be as powerful as Ancestral , Zealot or Herald is due to Bear Totem.

  The non-bear features could be powerful but are generally weaker than +damage , making party tankier or giving temporary hit points

Level 3 Analysis –  Bear Totem would probably be one of the strongest features in the game.

                                Attacks are half as effective on the Barbarian due to rage while spells are fully effective and this was a weakness of the class

                                This feature almost completely removes that weakness by granting us resistance to a staggering 9 damage types .

                                It also does this for free (No action economy cost ) and lasts until our rage ends . This helps us utilize its benefit even on the round we rage unlike other features that                                           require us to spend our bonus action and doesn't need us to "trigger" it on later rounds

                                Even though some iconic enemies such as Mind Flayers , Normally speaking Psychic is NOT a damage type you see often from enemies.


                                Eagle Totem has a strong effect but bonus action movement is not working picking over Bear Totem in my opinion . It also doesn't let us use Polearm Master .

                                Disadvantage to opportunity attacks is also pretty neat and mitigates the weakness of running around.

                                This feature lets a barbarian move 80 feet a round after level 5 (You get a +10 bonus to speed) . 90 feet a round if Wood-Elf Barbarian.

                                Something that irks me about this feature is the inability to use it the round you rage.


                                Elk Totem adds a passive movement speed buff without an action economy cost .

                                30–> 45 speed is a 50% increase , but at level 5 all barbarians get +10 speed . 40–> 55 is less considerable and is a 37.5% increase so you could say it gets worse.

                                Fairly powerful feature but I feel its worse than Bear. Also do note that unlike Eagle Totem this does not grant disadvantage against opportunity attacks


                                Tiger Totem seems very weak .This definitely isn't on par with the other options. Could be useful but only in very niche cases and not as much as the others. 

                                Wolf Totem is the only totem here that increases party dpr . Its not a weak effect but it range is short and it depends on how many melee attackers your party has.

                                Definitely a Solid feature if the majority of your party are melee attackers but not individually worth taking otherwise.

Level 6 Analysis – Bear Aspect doubling carrying capacity is useful but not the reason you usually pick this feature . The advantage on push/lift/carry out of rage is very strong .

                                It does require you to creatively use it but its very fun to use. I personally use it to kick down doors rather than opening them like a normal person.


                                Eagle Aspect has a very powerful effect and is generally regarded as the best level 6 choice . Its not as dominant as bear totem was at level 3 but its still

                                quite a powerful feature in its own right.


                                Elk Aspect is very situational . It depends on how your Dungeon Master does travel rules and how often your party travels.

                                If your party travels a lot or has a time constraint to get to a location . This feature becomes extremely powerful and game altering .


                                Tiger Aspect is NOT a weak feature . These are good skills … which means we usually already have the majority of them.

                                Strength has 1 skill , constitution has none and we probably have dexterity as our third highest score.

                                So you probably already have both Acrobatics and Stealth or at least one of them.

                                Do take this feature if you did not take Athletics and Stealth at character creation.  


                                Wolf Aspect is also very situational and depends on Dungeon Master / Party just like Elk Aspect . Though the effect does seem quite niche when you compare it.

                                Being able to track or move stealthily could be useful in a hunting campaign but generally even in a travel campaign , moving twice as fast is usually better.

Level 14 Analysis – Bear Attunement is not a weak feature but I would definitely not recommend it . Frighten Immunity is very common at this point so this feature is unreliable.

                                  That aside its a good combo with Wolf Totem (Level 3) as you grant your allies Advantage and enemies Disadvantage.

                                  Reminds me of that time when my party member took this in a onshot and called himself "BearWolf" and roleplayed as Beowulf

                                  Eagle Attunement is very good . Flying speed is poggers in 5e . Do be careful about fall damage though as you fall at the end of your turn if you remain in the air.

                                  I usually pick this since it doesnt consume my action/bonus/reaction , is extremely reliable and lets me do something I normally would not be able to do.

                                  Elk Attunement is an okay feature by itself but its not great when compared to Wolf Totem.

                                  The capability to deal 2d8 damage and impose a condition is not worth requiring your enemy to fail strength saving throw.

                                  The Polearm Master bonus action deals more damage than 2d8 at this point (d4 + 5 + Rage Damage Bonus + Potential Magic Weapon/GWM > 2d8)

                                  So if you have the Polearm Master Feat then


                                  Tiger Attunement lets us get Polearm Master without spending a feet and deals more damage  but requires us to move towards our enemy. 

                                  I usually recommend taking Polearm Master early for an extra attack out of rage so this really depends on whether you want to sacrifice early game effectiveness


                                  Wolf Attunement is good . Knocking a creature prone without offering a saving throw is quite strong.

                                  A guarenteed prone is useful in a lot of cases and could be worth taking even though this competes with Polearm Master.

                                  Something interesting to do is use your bonus action to knock a creature prone and then gain advantage on both your attacks on your action without reckless attack.

                                  Such a build prefers Great Weapon Master over Polearm Master.

Storm Herald – You can channel Elemental Energies and unleash them during a rage

What does it do?  : Deals Area of Effect Damage , Single Target damage or Grants Temporary Hit Points

Who is it for? : For those who want to come the closest to Barbarian Magic or for those who want to be ridiculously tanky against physical attacks,

Optimization Verdict – Amazing Subclass

LEVEL 3-5 – All subclasses are good at this point

LEVEL 6-9 – Could be A tier or S tier depending on what enemies you face 

LEVEL 10-13 -Could be A tier or S tier depending on what enemies you face

LEVEL 14  – Could be A tier or S tier depending on what enemies you face

Level 20 – Could be A tier or S tier depending on what enemies you face 

You gain 3 Storm Aura’s and you may activate one of them as a bonus action.

All 3 auras are powerful but I consider Tundra to be the best and the reason to play this subclass.

Generating temporary hit points is something most barbarian subclasses are not capable of and dramatically increases your tanking ability during rage against Bludgeoning , Piercing or Slashing Damage .

Desert and Sea aura are not a good reason to play this subclass as in most cases the damage increase they give is generally inferior Zealot barbarian for Divine Fury + Polearm Master

It would be comparable to Divine Fury but since this feature uses our bonus action its significantly worse damage wise due to being unable to use Polearm Master


This subclass is for making you tank , damage wise its inferior to zealot so all subclass features that grant us damage are in general not useful as compared to ones that improve survivability.

Level 3 – Storm Aura 

Desert – Area of Effect Fire Damage(Okay but not great)

Sea – Dexterity Saving Throw or Lightning Damage (Okay but not great)

Tundra – Area of Effect Temporary Hit Points (Very Good)

Level 6 – Storm Soul 

Desert – Resistance to Fire Damage and don’t suffer the effects of extreme heat (Good)

Sea – Resistance to Lightning Damage and you can breathe underwater (Good)

Tundra – Resistance to Cold Damage and don’t suffer the effects of extreme cold (Good)

Level 10 – Shielding Storm – Grant allies benefit of Storm Soul (Good)

Level 14 – Raging Storm 

Desert – Reaction to deal half level fire damage on attack hit(Good)

Sea – Reaction to force strength save and knock prone (Good)

Tundra – Free Action force strength save to reduce speed to 0 (Very Good)

Storm Aura (Level 3) 


This is interesting. Martials having confirmed area of effect damage is quite impressive and this feature could be very dominant early game.

Unfortunately as the game progresses . having a bonus action attack is usually more powerful than this feature unless you can consistently deal damage to 2-4 creatures per round.

Something not very easy to do due to how small the radius of the feature is.

Another thing to note is that fire is one of the most commonly resisted damage types in the game so this may not be effective against a sizable amount of monsters.

Sea . 

This is okay . This is definitely worse than a melee attack augmented by Divine Fury (Zealot Barbarian Level 3 feature)

Okay this is definitely not what we want . If we wanted damage we would have gone zealot and do a better version of this feature…without spending our bonus action


Now this is amazing and the main reason I would pick this subclass. 

Temporary Hit Points is basically akin to healing except it doesn't stack with itself but can be applied on top of Max HP.

You may be thinking "But this is Desert Aura that gives you hit points rather than deal damage , the values and range is the same too . Why is it that much better?"

Tundra is better for the following reasons:

– Its easier to coordinate with allies.

   This feature grants temporary hit points to all creatures of your choice within range.

   You may grant the benefit of this feature to multiple allies by asking them to be in range.

   Quite easy to position allies this way . You cannot actually decide the position of your enemies and being able to damage multiple is not in your hands.


– Features that help you tank/heal are generally better than damage increasing features if the values are the same for barbarian.

   Temporary hit points are EFFECTIVELY DOUBLED due to rage granting resistance against Bludgeoning , Piercing and Slashing Damage

   A level 3 Storm Herald activating this feature gains 2 temporary hit points . The enemy has to actually deal 4 damage to break through these temporary hit points due to the resistances

   from rage. 

– Tundra saves a lot of resources be the end of the day.

   Being able to grant the party more hit points than cure wounds every round for the duration of the entire fight and doing so for almost all fights throughout the day is extremely powerful


Some Things to consider regarding Tundra or Storm Herald in general:

– You cannot use Polearm Master / Light weapons since you already spend your bonus action.

   This diminishes your role as melee DPS but its usually fine.

   The massive survivability you offer the party is usually enough to cover the loss in damage.

   Casters could focus on dealing damage or utility and expend slots generally meant for healing which are not as needed anymore.

– Maximizing Tundra Aura involves grouping your party within 10 feet of you.

   This makes you vulnerable to area of effect features such as a Fireball Spell .

   Therefore care must be taken in grouping up against enemies that have a decent probability of having such effects.

   An interesting solution to this could be someone else in the party playing an Ancients Paladin.

   They give the party bonuses to save to avoid such effects while also granting resistance to damage against them if they are spells.

   Your temporary hit points are twice as effective against attacks due to rage . Your Ancients Paladin friend makes it effectiveness double against spells too .

– Temporary Hit points don't stack. 

   This is very important

– You gain the benefit of the aura the turn you rage. Other features that use your bonus action do not activate the round you rage , Storm Herald is unique and strong that way.

   Being able to use it round 1 makes a lot of difference considering most fights last 3-4 rounds.

Storm Soul (Level 6)

Giving you a resistance to damage type is pretty neat.

Its not as flashy as other level 6 features but since you gain all auras at level 3 and it does not consume your action/bonus/reaction which is nice.

Its also very versatile and adaptable as it provides benefits like climate resistance or swim speed and the damage types you gain resistance to are quite common.

Fire/Lightning/Cold are some of the most common non BPS damage types .

During combat you could change the aura to Desert if you fight an enemy that deals fire damage and so on to gain resistance against their damage.

Unfortunately if an enemy deals fire damage reliably then they are probably also immune to fire damage so that should be something worth considering.

Shielding Storm (Level 10)

Your level 6 feature is good . Granting your allies its benefit is obviously good too.

Raging Storm (Level 14)

You now have a way to reliably use your reaction.

All 3 of them are pretty strong but we obviously go for only Tundra in most cases.

Considering  we may only use the Raging Storm feature that corresponds to your Storm Aura 

These features are not strong enough for us to consider not using Tundra as our Storm Aura in most cases

Analysis anyway :

Desert – This is Divine Fury but slightly worse numbers and damage type wise and also consumes your reaction .

Decent amount of damage but dealing damage isn't something a Storm Herald Barbarian should really be interested in doing

This is certainly useful against some enemies but in general I wont recommend using this as a staple

Sea  – Strength Saving Throw to knock someone prone as a reaction is pretty good.

There are no given size limits and prone is a pretty fun condition as once this feature succeeds , you may take your attack action and attack with advantage on both your attacks.

This also applies to other melee party members who go after you.

Tundra – This is what we almost always use . The above options are not good enough to choose over the Tundra Storm Aura'

Dexterity Saving throw to reduce a creatures speed to 0 is pretty strong . Especially helps ranged party members or spellcasters .

Another funny thing about this completes destroys enemy ranged attackers as being within your range and not able to move away means they have disadvantage on attack rolls.


Not doing this part until tasha releases

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