Barbarians in 5E absolutely adore ability score boosts. Getting both Strength and Constitution to 20 is a major achievement for this class… And eventually, they both become 24! That’s awesome! But sometimes, a Barbarian wants to be more than just an unapologetic strongman. Some Barbarians want to stretch their arms and legs, and try something new. So, if you want a roadbump in your road to double 20s, or just want to try something new, our Barbarian Feats Rankings will give you some ideas.
Top 10 Barbarian Feats 5E
When Barbarians are brought to mind, a few words also come; Strength, Frontline, Bruiser. So, feats that augment strength, are good for Melee characters, and help you defend allies are important. The listed feats are my belief, and could be easily changed as I experience more and more of Barbarian. Please, comment with your favorite Barbarian feat if you’ve had a good experience with it! For example, Athlete didn’t make the list, but a Barbarian standing from prone and leaping across a chasm to knock a dragon out of the air is probably only possible with that feat!
Cool, the first thing we talk about is a defensive feat. Awesome. The barbarian feats list isn’t off to a hot start, right? wrong.
Resilient is actually insanely strong… Eventually. In the mid-to-late game, Barbarians run into trouble with Dominate Person. Adding proficiency to any chance to avoid getting mind controlled is great. It’s usually all you really need to have a good chance. So, if you’re annoyed with your character getting Charmed or Frightened or… laughing hysterically, Resilient will be useful. Just try to get your Strength to 20 first.
9. Tavern Brawler
If you want to do a Grapple Build, Tavern Brawler is key. This is not to say Tavern Brawler is necessarily a “good” feat. Using improvised weapons in the late game is rough without some DM help, and a d4 on your unarmed strike is pretty bad too. But, if you’re playing a character who is focused on grappling, Tavern Brawler makes your best quality a Bonus Action. That’s good! It lets you quickly move after you punch someone to bring a guy to the danger zone. It also comes with a small Ability Score Improvement.
Want to get right into combat? Charger is… fine, for the job. Barbarians are naturally super fast, so this makes it so you can clear 80 feet and still get a bonus action to swing. That’s good… especially because you get a silly +5 to your damage roll when doing this!
Charger is situational, since it only matters if an enemy is far away from you. But, if you combine Charger with Great Weapon Master, you get a +15 to your damage roll… That’s a huge chunk of someone’s health! Enemies will be horrified of you for a while after that.
7. Mounted Combat
Mounted Combat isn’t… really important. But, if you do any horseback writing (such as being in a Great War campaign), it’s critical for doing anything on horseback. You lower the damage that your mount takes, which can save your Horse’s life. You also force creatures to target you instead of the Horse, which is what a Barbarian does best. Finally, you gain advantage on any Medium creature, since those will be smaller than your standard mount. Perfect! But only take it if you’re mounted 50% of the time or more.
6. Mage Slayer
Another situational feat is Mage Slayer. Mage slayer lets you swing for the fences whenever someone next to you casts a spell. It also gives them disadvantage on concentration checks when you damage them, while giving your saves advantage. That’s amazing! You can sprint at a Lich and they’ll have a hard time escaping you or keeping their concentration. Unfortunately, this feat does nada against non-spellcasters, so you better make it count when a caster is on the field!
The Barbarian gets hit… a lot. Durable offers you an ability score improvement for Constitution, which is nice for your hit point pool. In addition, during short rests, your minimum healing is equal to double Constitution. If you’ve ever been in a Short Rest as a Barbarian and rolled a 1 on your d12, you’ve felt the pain of the wounded Barbarian. Avoid that pain with Durable, and you’ll keep your Constitution relatively high!
Lucky is just a good feat, in my opinion. I love the chance to reroll ones when I can, and being able to also negate dangerous attack rolls is really fun. The main problem with this feat is the 3-per-day limitation, but you get to choose after the dice is rolled (but before the result is called). Thankfully, because 5e’s numbers are so low, you basically always know when a dice is going to miss or hit! So, this can really help boost your damage, protect you from spells, or succeed on lifting that huge door in time to escape.
3. Dual Wielder
Dual Wielder is the best way to handle a Two-Weapon Fighting Barbarian. Dual Wielder provides 3 benefits; +1 to AC while dual wielding (great for your defense), can use two non-light weapons (great for your damage), and you can draw both weapons simultaneously (great for surprises). I don’t put too much stock in the Two-Weapon Fighting Barbarian, which is the only reason it is so low on this list. This makes the Two-Weapon Barbarian build! If you’re going this path, it’s recommended to get a level or two in Fighter or Ranger for the Fighting Style to boost your Bonus Action’s damage.
Barbarians are defenders at heart. You’re always on the frontline, but a huge problem with 5E’s defenders is… creatures can just kinda walk by you. Using the Disengage action, they can slip by with no problems. That changes with Sentinel. Sentinel is the ultimate lock-down feat, preventing everything (except spellcasters) from escaping you for no penalty. It also lets you slap someone if they attack your Monk or Rogue instead of you. Perfect for your role as the frontline bruiser who wants some attention!
See Also: Dex Barbarian Build Guide
1. Great Weapon Master
Barbarians were built with Two-Handed weapons in mind. So, dropping a +10 to damage on a target is amazing. Great Weapon Master is perfect for the Barbarian. You can negate the penalty to attack rolls with Reckless attack, you can gain even more damage with Rage, and Savage Critical will turn a crit into a gigantic chunk of damage. It’s just too good for this class. Not hard to see why this is our favorite of the best barbarian feats.