Barbarian features in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything is able to provide one of, if not the most powerful barbarian subclass, and make your barbarians even stronger!
The barbarian features in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything are a bit much. While a good book is meant to just provide options, the new barbarian features in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything provide a power spike to every barbarian without sacrifice or choice. Tasha’s also has one of, if not the most overpowered subclasses available for the barbarian.
This is a great summary for what Tasha’s does to the barbarian, but why is it more powerful overall? What is this extremely powerful subclass? Let’s dive right into it!
Barbarian Optional Class Features
The barbarian features in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything add optional features to just buff up your barbarian if the DM allows it. If you are wondering if you should use Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything then check out our review on it and see if the book is right for your game!
Now that you have decided to use Tasha’s you will need to know what barbarians get from this add-on. First off, you get extra skills. Primal Knowledge gives you 2 extra skill proficiencies in total to make you have more roleplay potential. This isn’t a huge game changer, but it is an attempt to make the barbarian not just a hit and tank class.
At 7th level, the barbarian gains Instinctive Pounce. This makes the barbarian able to move at half speed when they rage. Fairly simple, and not extremely powerful, just useful in niche situations.
These optional class features give the barbarian a bit of a boost. They don’t really solve the issues that the barbarian class has. First, barbarians have problems hitting things that can fly and don’t want to be hit. Second, they don’t do much outside of combat.
While Primal Knowledge gives the barbarian a bit more in the roleplay category, it doesn’t help give them more flavor. That is left fully to the player and subclass as the barbarian by itself is just a hit-it-and-kill-it character. For the first issue, it might be best to give the barbarian a flaw of some sort. This makes them have to rely on others, or supplement their weakness in a different way. This is good, and I am glad they they haven’t taken that away with these optional features.
The added features for the barbarian give you brand new abilities. This is in contrast to other classes, which only give you more customization options. Because of this, the power increase to the Tasha’s barbarian is potentially greater than what we see with other classes.
The barbarian features in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything give two new subclasses to chose from.
- Beast-I want to be a were creature!
- Wild Magic-I am a gambler and I want everything!
We will go over both subclasses and compare them, but I am sure you have one question. How good are they?
Since the PHB there has always been one subclass for barbarian that is above every other. The Totem Barbarian. You might have some cool tricks and deal more damage with other subclasses, but the Totem Barbarian provides insane options. Remember how we talked about the problems a barbarian has? Eagle Totem lets you fly to solve that problem. Dying? Bear has you covered. Giving everyone advantage in melee? Done in the most overpowered way.
Do any of the new subclasses compare to this? In short, yes. There is one subclass that is insanely powerful, and one that is pretty average.
Beast: I would give this subclass a C+ tier rating. It’s not extremely powerful and doesn’t add too much except flavor. A fun subclass, but by no means as powerful as the Totem, Zealot, or other subclasses.
Wild Magic: I would give this subclass an A (or even an S) tier rating. This one is strange. Either you get lucky, or you don’t. You either play till a high level, or you don’t. As this class progresses it keeps getting better and better. To the point where you can control wild magic that is always beneficial to you, and some abilities are quite broken.
We will cover the Beast Barbarian first, and then the Wild Magic Barbarian. With that, let’s dive into these subclasses!
Path of the Beast
You want to be a were-creature, but you want to be a barbarian. It is a tough decision, but with this subclass, you do not need to choose! You get to use the Path of the Beast, my friend. It is all about becoming a beast and embracing your inner animal. You even get to chose why you are able to turn into a beast!
Form of the Beast:
This is one of the more interesting barbarian features offered in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything. When your rage you get a supernatural weapon that helps you out. You can chose the form of the weapon each time you rage, which can be broken down like this:
Bite: Lets you deal 1d8 damage and self-heal through eating your enemies.
Claws: You get two attacks for the price of one. Each attack only does 1d6, but you get to attack twice so you could do more damage.
Tail: Reach and the chance to add 1d8 to your AC as a reaction. This could make an attack miss you.
All three of these forms are good for different situations and useful depending on what you want to be. Tank, damage dealer, or just have reach and maybe some AC. Not a bad 3rd level ability.
You can now swim, climb, or jump better while also making your natural weapons become magical in nature. The magical weapons is a nice touch, but the others are situationally okay. Not the best feature, but also not the worst.
You can deal extra damage or make an enemy attack another if they fail a save, and if you haven’t run out of uses based on your proficiency bonus per long rest. Too many ifs and conditions. It can be a good ability in the right situation, but with that many conditions it makes it hard to say that this ability is powerful.
Call The Hunt:
When you rage you can give others 1d6 extra damage, and yourself 5 temporary hit points for whoever accepts this ability. The maximum number of allies you can give this to is equal to your constitution modifier. That’s pretty good ability. Not overpowered, not amazing, and not bad. Just good.
Path of Wild Magic
As a barbarian, do you want to use magic and be a better wild magic user than a Wild Sorcerer? Well, the Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything barbarian does! The wild magic that you use has no negative side effects, all are purely beneficial, and lets you do everything.
You can now sense magic and tell what school it is a limited number of times per long rest. This doesn’t really make much sense for a barbarian, but you can do it. Not overly powerful, just something to add to this subclass.
When you rage you roll 1d8 and gain an effect.
- AoE Damage and temporary hit points when you enter a rage.
- Every round you have Misty Step.
- A free force damage bomb every round.
- You have a boomerang weapon.
- Whenever you are hit with an attack roll, the target takes 1d6 force damage. (Not as a reaction, just whenever.)
- You and your allies gain +1 AC.
- You have a 15ft aura of difficult terrain for enemies so that they can’t get away.
- Enemies make a constitution save or take damage AND be blinded. You can do this every round.
As you can see, these are all extremely good. They solve many of the barbarian’s combat problems and make you better at just about everything. Every single ability can be used well. Even number 6 could have you give the ‘tank’ a boost to AC which makes them even more untouchable. The only thing keeping the wild surges from being hands down the best rage in the game is that it is random. Still, you can adapt to this and make one amazing barbarian!
A: give a party member 1d3 to attack or saving throws for 10 minutes.
B: Roll 1d3 and give a target that many spell slots. You can use this ability once per target per long rest.
You should always use option B if possible, because it is pretty strong. Once again a strange ability for a barbarian, but still useful. This is a great ability.
After taking damage or failing a saving throw while raging, you can chose to create a new wild magic effect. This starts to take the variability out of wild magic surges, but still makes it questionable if you should re-roll your surge benefit or not. It just gives you a way to avoid what the dice give you.
Remember how I just said that your surges were still random? Well, now you can pick from two different surge options. This makes you able to do just about anything in any which way you want. If you still don’t get a good ability when raging, use Unstable Backlash. This works on that as well.
This is a very powerful subclass. If you are able to make it to level 14 this subclass is hands down the most powerful and probably best barbarian out there. Until you get there, this subclass is still capable of anything, but once again the key phrase there is capable. It doesn’t mean you will get what you want. This is why it might not stack up to the Totem Barbarian, but it is still an excellent subclass.
The barbarian features in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything are a little bit stronger than the previous ones. They don’t have to give up anything for their optional features and just get, get, get! The quality of what they receive is questionable, but getting something for free to give you more options is always nice.
The subclasses are wildly different from one another. While Path of the Beast just gives you a bit of flavor Path of Wild Magic is insanely powerful. If you are looking for power and will have a long campaign, then definitely chose Path of Wild Magic. In a longer campaign, it might even be better than Path of the Totem!
This has been our analysis on the barbarian features in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything. I hope that it helps you with your own games and whether or not you should use either of these subclasses and class optional features.
This has been Wizo and until next time, keep rolling!
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