Channeling the power of pure unfiltered Rage sure does have its benefits. Well, maybe more so in Baldur’s Gate 3. The Barbarian class are the tanks of the game who use their Rage to bolster their damage as well as endure hits more. In this guide, we’ll go through how you can make the best Barbarian and what to expect from their gameplay.
Barbarians in Baldur’s Gate 3
Although Barbarians aren’t renowned for their intelligence or charisma, the game still finds great ways to involve your Barbarian class in regular dialogue and interactions.
General gameplay even acknowledges your slightly unstable temper, as whenever you rage you let out a fierce scream that might even take you – the player – by surprise! There are a number of encounters and interactions unique to Barbarians which adds a significant amount of fun when playing them. But the Barbarian’s main feature comes in their Rage, an ability that basically bolsters all your melee attacks and grants you a variety of abilities.
Barbarians are all about being up-close and personal, there are no ranged abilities in Barbarians nor is there any spellcasting. So you’ll want to focus on getting your Barbarian as close to your unfortunate enemy as soon as possible. Barbarians are reliant on Strength and Constitution, seeing as you’ll need high Strength to deal hefty blows as well as high Constitution to make sure you can actually Tank most hits. With this in mind, we can start planning out your Barbarian.
Best race for Barbarians
You’ll want to put all your points into Strength and Con, then if you’ve got any spare put them in Dexterity. Barbarians are not meant to have high social stats but then again, you might want them! But to get that extra buff for your starting stats, these are the best races to play:
- Shield Dwarf: +2 Con and +2 Strength, there’s nothing more to it!
- Githyanki: +2 Strength and +1 Intelligence. Any buff to your strength is better than none.
- Human: +1 to all stats.
Sadly, Early Access doesn’t have the Barbarian-classic races added just yet. But be sure that when Dragonborn or Goliaths are added, they’ll be the best pick for Barbarians.
Wild Heart or Zealot?
In Early Access, you’ll have the choice between Wild Heart Barbarians or Berserker Barbarians. Both actively bolster the whole ‘tank’ part of being a Barbarian but each takes a different approach to it.
The Wild Heart Barbarians indulge in the more feral nature of your barbarism. You gain the ability to speak with animals, but you also get to select an ‘aspect’ of an animal to take on.
- Bear Heart: While raging, you can use Unrelenting Ferocity, and have Resistance to all damage except psychic damage.
Unrelenting Ferocity lets you heal 1d8+2 hit points as a bonus action, once per short rest.
- Eagle Heart: Foes also have disadvantage on opportunity attacks against you, and you can use Dash as a bonus action. You can also use Diving Strike.
Diving Strike lets you leap down unto a foe below you, dealing Weapon Damage Slashing Damage and knocking them Prone.
- Elk Heart: While raging, you can use Primal Stampede, and your Movement Speed increases by 4.5m.
Primal Stampede lets you charge forward, attacking all hostile creatures in your way. Deals 1d4+2 Bludgeoning damage and knocks targets Prone.
- Tiger Heart: While Raging, you can use Tiger’s Bloodlust, and your jump distance increases by 4.5m.
Tiger’s Bloodlust lets you lash out to attack up to 3 enemies at once. They each take half the damage your weapon usually deals and start to Bleed
- Wolf Heart: While Raging, you can use Inciting Howl, and your allies have Advantage on melee Attack Rolls against enemies within 2m of you.
Inciting Howl allows you to stir your allies’ fervor. Each ally within earshot can move an additional 3m during their next turn.
Each of these abilities is fantastic and although you can only use one in Early Access, later as you level up you’ll be able to select more than one. But if you can only choose one, which is ideal? Our personal favorite is Tiger’s Heart, as it was able to help our Barbarian from getting swarmed by goblins and allowed our other party members to pick them off a lot easier. However, Bear Heart is always a good option too, as it’ll ensure you can take a few more hits. Wolf Heart is fantastic if you’re going for an all-melee party. With your party able to deftly pick apart enemies one by one.
An additional bonus to Wild Heart? You get a cosmetic change in that you have access to facial piercings!
Berzerker is a simple class, where you don’t really need to decide on anything and simply get all the features this class gives you:
- Frenzy: Your Rage turns into a frenzy as you release your unquenchable fury and bloodlust.You gain the use of Frenzied Strike and Enraged Throw. You can also make an Improvised Weapon Attack as a bonus action.Frenzy ends early if you haven’t attacked a creature or taken damage since your last turn.
- Frenzied Strike: As a bonus action, make a melee attack with your equipped weapon, dealing Weapon Damage slashing damage.
- Enraged Throw: Pick up an item or creature and throws it at a target, dealing Bludgeoning damage and knocking it Prone. The damage depends on your strength and the weight of the item. Your Strength also affects how much weight you can throw.
When it comes to Barbarians, they’re great fun. Whilst some classes that aren’t well suited for Scoail based stats might be left aside when it comes to the story, Barbarians still feel relevant and a joy to play as. We would highly recommend playing as a Wild Heart Shield Dward Barbarian to get the most out of the class!
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