Destruction Manifest: The Barbarian's Handbook

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Destruction Manifest: The Barbarian's Handbook


Gather 'round the fire, young ones. No, you're not here to eat, put that meat away! You are here because I am going to teach you how to destroy things. Why, you ask? Because some things in this world can only be solved by destruction, and I get the fun secondary task of knocking you senseless while I teach you that. Now, get as angry as you can. I'm gonna show you how to turn that anger into power!

Selling Points: Why You Would Want To Play A Barbarian

Since there are more Strikers than any other class in the system, the Barbarian has to be good at something in order to merit being picked over another class. Here are some perks to life as a Barbarian:
  • You hit hard - Even by Striker standards, you will pack a wallop when you hit someone, especially if you decide to focus on charging into the fray and taking the fight to the enemy. Your specialty is usually producing explosive bursts of offense that shorten encounters, though you can produce a consistently high offensive output by continually charging about the battlefield.

  • You can take hits - A prominent feature of the Primal power source is the ability to take a solid hit and keep on going, and you are no exception. You are able to withstand more punishment than most (if not all) other Strikers, which means your are very durable and can thus get your damage across, so this class appeals to the guys who aren't fond of the "glass cannon" archetype.

  • You work well in a team - A final note on Barbarian is how effectively they incorporate aspects of other roles into their game plan. Barbarians in general feature a prominent secondary role they can use to reinforce a party, and the streaky nature of their powers means you are much more dangerous when you have allies to support you.

This Handbook will use the following system for ratings:
Red: Garbage, or completely overshadowed by another option.
Purple: Situationally useful, but overall pretty meh.
Black: OK. You could do worse than pick this.
Blue: Good stuff. You probably want this.
Sky Blue: You want this. Period.
Gold: Why haven't you taken this yet? A defining choice for a build, or even the whole class.

This Handbook covers the following sources:
AP - Arcane Power
AV - Adventurer's Vault
AV 2 - Adventurer's Vault 2
D XXX - Dragon Magazine, issue XXX
DMA 2009 - Dragon Magazine Annual 2009
DP - Divine Power
FRPG - Forgotten Realms Player's Guide
MM - Monster Manual
MM 2 - Monster Manual 2
MOTP - Manual of the Planes
MP - Martial Power
PHB - Player's Handbook
PHB 2 - Player's Handbook 2
PHB 3 - Player's Handbook 3
PHH 1 - Player's Handbook Heroes: Series 1
PHH 2 - Player's Handbook Heroes: Series 2
PP - Primal Power

References (aka will be borrowing shamelessly from):
Barbarian Bruiser, by me:
Crush, by Gnoob:
Improved Initiative v. Quick Draw v. Danger Sense, by various posters:
Melee Weapon Damage Output, by WWAD:
November Errata Mini Item Guide, by Outshined:
The New Bleeder, by VanTrellen:
The San Diego Supercharger, by ShakaUVM:
Theoretical Optimization: The Supercharger, by Xantos000:

Props to:
Everyone posting

Baseline Mechanics: The Destroyer's Visage

HP, Surges, and Proficiencies

Hit Points - 15 + Con score at 1st level; 6 at each level thereafter. You get a large amount of HP for your role, meaning that you're among the tougher (if not the toughest) Strikers out there, especially if you are Con-based.

Healing Surges - 8 + Con modifier. Pretty high for your role, and the gap grows even more if you're Con-based, and you're one of the few characters who can be.

Proficiencies - You start out with good melee weapon proficiencies, but your ranged weapons and armor are rather meh. Ah, well. You can't have it all.


Barbarian Agility - Bonuses to AC and Reflex while wearing light armor are nice to have.

Feral Might

Rageblood Vigor
(PHB 2) - You get THP on a kill, and an encounter power free action charge when you drop someone. Nice.

Thaneborn Triumph (PHB 2) - You get a +to hit bonus when you bloody an opponent (very solid, if a bit unpredictable), and a burst 5 -2 to defense debuff as an Encounter power (TASTY). A good, balanced selection overall.

Thunderborn Wrath (PP) - AoE damage when you bloody someone (makes you great at minion-popping), but the Encounter power is just not as impressive as the other options.

Whirling Slayer
(PP) - You get oversized dual-wielding (only you and the Ranger get this, by the way), shifting for free CA when you bloody an enemy, and shifting for a free attack when you actually drop someone as an Encounter power. You want some fries with that?

Rage Strike - Arguably the weakest feature for the Barbarian, because Rages have awesome effects and using this implies you're going nova, which is usually done better with your multiattacking Encounter powers. It’s gotten more support, thought, so it’s rather useful.

Rampage - Free hits after a critical? Seriously? This is awesome! It may not be as significant on the DPR calculation sheet, but believe me when I say this is felt in combat.

Races: Natural Born Destroyers

Races - PHB

Dragonborn - +2 Strength is solid win. +2 Charisma is just icing for the Thaneborn fellas. Toss in Dragon Breath as an area attack and a reason to keep your Constitution high, and you have one hell of a Barbarian.

Dwarf - The lack of Strength and low speed hurt, but the innate durability of this race is very nice to have. A respectable pick.

Eladrin - The racial bonuses are not that good, but you get great racial support with regards to mobility and wielding Spears (can you say Fey Charge?), so it's actually pretty solid.

Elf - Again, weaker racial bonuses, but good abilities, and higher movement speed. A viable choice.

Half-Elf - +2 to both secondaries, and the ability to steal an at-will from another class (Brash Strike and Twin Strike look particularly nice). A surprisingly strong choice.

Halfling - Barbarians are the stereotypical two-handed weapon wielders, and Halflings are Small, so they got hit hard there (Versatile Weapons are quite simply not as good). Add in the lack of a Strength bonus, and all their useful racial stuff wanes in importance.

Human - An extremely nice choice. +1 to all defenses is made of win, a bonus feat and skill helps, and the racial feats and Paragon Path kick all kinds of hiney. The bonus at-will is actually useful to you as icing on the cake.

Tiefling - The attribute bonuses are in the wrong places for everyone except Thaneborn, and it's not even that good at that point. They have a smidgen of racial support available to them in Hellfire Blood, but it's still a pretty bad choice overall.

Races - PHB 2

Deva - Not exactly the attribute bonuses you're looking for, but the racial abilities do have a touch of synergy.

Gnome - Move along, nothing to see here (lol pun).

Goliath - The stats are in the right places, it packs a bonus to Will (nice to have), and it even has a racial power to resist all. Nice.

Half-Orc - +2 Strength is what you want, +2 Dexterity works if you get a Heavy Blade or Spear (hint, hint), and bonuses to speed while charging and buffing an attack's [W] multiplier are right up your alley. A prime choice for Whirlers and Superchargers.

Shifter, Longtooth - +2 Strength is nice to have, +2 Wisdom can see use, and the racial power is very strong. A good choice for you.

Shifter, Razorclaw - +2 Dexterity instead of Strength and a weaker shifting ability is not so good for you. A bit weaker than Elf, but not terrible.

Races - PHB 3

Githzerai - Very similar to Elves. The abilities are arguably stronger for you (racial feat for Fullblades and damage reduction? Nice...).

Races - Other Rulebooks

Bladeling (MOTP) - Weak racial bonuses, but a very nice racial power makes up for some of it.

(EPG) - Can boost two secondary ability scores, but the rest of the race has zero synergy with the Barbarian.

Drow (FRPG) - The racials are just OK, but the powers are a nice complement to the Barbarian's typically low accuracy.

Genasi (FRPG) - +2 Str is great, +2 Int is useless, but the manifestations are pretty good all around.

(EPG) - ...Aaaaaand skip. The only positive is +2 Charisma, and that will only get you so far.

Warforged (EPG) - These guys rival Dwarves as the toughest guys around, AND they have the +2 to Strength you so crave.

Races - Dragon

Gnoll (D 367) - Dexterity and Constitution are solid bonuses, but what really seals the deal are the bonuses to damage and the incentive to charge a lot.

Minotaur (D 369) - He has descended from the heavens to do battle as a Barbarian. +2 Strength, +2 Constitution AND incentive to charge?! Holy cow (pun intended).

Revenant (D 376) - Solidly placed stats in Dexterity and Constitution, and it has some potential in that it can mooch off another race's goodies. Not a bad idea.

Shadar-Kai (D 372) - Weaker than Eladrin overall (the racial support is simply not as good), but the insubstantial teleportation is marginally more useful to you.

Races - Monster Manuals

Bugbear (MM) - +2 Strength, oversized, and "sneak attack" make a fantastic case, and +2 Dexterity only sweetens the deal. A strong choice, especially for Whirlers.

Bullywug (MM 2) - Solid attribute bonuses, but that’s about it for you.

Doppelganger (MM) - All of the negative aspects of the Tiefling... none of the positive ones. Avoid.

Duergar (MM 2) - Basically a Dwarf who trades some of his toughness for some mobility and a damaging racial power. Solid.

Githyanki (MM) - Meh. +2 Con is OK, +2 Int is a waste, +2 initiative is nice, but I'm just not sold.

Goblin (MM) - Slightly weaker than the Halfling, it has the same racial stat allotments, which are not spectacular for Barbarians, and he's also Small...

Hobgoblin (MM) - These guys are about the same as Half-Elves, sans the beauty that is Dilettante. Ah, well.

Kenku (MM 2) - These guys are more suited for other lines of work than charging in head-first.

Kobold (MM) - Small Gnolls. Small is not the greatest thing to be as a Barbarian, and to boot you don't get a Strength bonus, so it's not very appealing.

Orc (MM) - Another fantastic candidate, he has the same stat allotment as the Minotaur, and has a self-healing ability, and more speed while charging. Nice.

Ability Scores: Mettle Of The Destroyer

Strength - This is your main stat. No exceptions. Boost it every chance you get. (Recommended Starting Score: 16-18, before racial adjustments)

Constitution - Adds HP and healing surges, which are always good to have. Axes require some Constitution investment. Hammers require absolute dedication to it. The only flaw this stat has is that it boosts the same defense as Strength, and Con-based Barbarians don't even care about that. (Recommended Starting Score: 13-16, before racial adjustments)

Dexterity - Gives you Reflex defense and AC in light armor, which can be important. Flails, Heavy Blades, and Spears require investment in Dexterity to varying degrees, with Heavy Blades requiring a smidgen and the rest requiring a bit more. Its true strength, though, is that the Whirling Slayer's riders depend on it. (Recommended Starting Score: 12-16, before racial adjustments)

Intelligence - Your designated dump stat. It has a redundant function with Dexterity on the defensive side of the ball, grants you a bonus to skills you will (hopefully) never have to use, and it aids no weapon group. The only use for it is MC; otherwise, avoid it like the plague. (Recommended Starting Score: 8-10, before racial adjustments)

Wisdom - Helps out your Will defense, which is bound to be pretty low for a non-Thaneborn Barbarian, and also helps you wield Polearms more effectively. Everyone except Thaneborns can consider this about on par with Charisma when choosing where to place their stats. (Recommended Starting Score: 10-14, before racial adjustments)

Charisma - This helps the Thaneborn Barbarians and their rider effects, and also boosts your Will defense, which is probably gonna be low otherwise. The only problem it has is that it will invariably face competition from Dexterity or Constitution for a Weapon Mastery feat, so you probably can't go all-out on the stat boosts for it. (Recommended Starting Score: 10-16, before racial adjustments)

Skills: Talents Of The Destroyer

Skills - Barbarian Class List

Acrobatics - If you have a solid Dexterity score, this is a decent choice. If not, skip it.

Athletics - The only skill that keys off your main stat, and it's actually useful to you.

Endurance - A nice skill for most Barbarians, it makes you pretty self-reliant, and no one really wants to die of mummy rot.

Heal - Your Wisdom may or may not be decent. If it is, consider this skill.

Intimidate - Being scary is what Thaneborn Barb's do. All the other builds can pick it up without too much of a fuss.

Nature - You actually know stuff! Wisdom isn't too high on the priority list for the average Barbarian, though, which reduces its appeal somewhat.

Perception - One of the best skills in the game, bar none. Never a bad snag, especially if you don't have to burn a feat to get it.

Skills – Other

Bluff/Diplomacy/Streetwise - Despite how bizarre it sounds, you can have a socialite Barbarian without too much trouble.

Barbarian Style: How To Destroy

This is a tough choice in your career; it is irrevocable, so choose wisely.

Rageblood Barbarians do one thing, and they do it well; big damage and big toughness. They accomplish this by having a Constitution focus and the most charging incentive of all the Barbarian builds (heck, their Encounter power when they drop someone is a free action charge!). They pay for it in low Reflex and Will defenses, though, and they are kind of a one-trick pony.

Thaneborn Barbarians are a pretty well-rounded Barbarian style, with good defenses, good damage, and debuffs. They're not specialized in any of these areas, and they're not the toughest Barbarians around, but they compensate for it nicely with their abilities and synergies with multiple weapon styles.

Thunderborn Barbarians have some Controller and Defender-like aspects to them; instead of looking to rush in and out of the fight for massive damage, they prefer to rush in, bait weaker opponents close to them, and devastate them all with their AoE abilities. This is made possible by the extra toughness granted by their Con focus. Unfortunately, they suffer from poor Reflex and Will defenses, and are not quite as damaging as their Rageblood cousins.

Whirling Barbarians do something that is rather uncommon in a Striker (aside from the Sorcerer): they like to spread damage around to multiple targets. While this can be a viable strategy, it gets away from some of what the strongest Barbarian abilities do. Additionally, your lack of a Con focus means that while your defenses will be higher overall, you will go down faster against an enemy that is consistently able to hit you.

Rageblood Vigor (PHB 2)
Pros: High damage, high durability

Cons: Lower defenses, very specialized

Thaneborn Triumph (PHB 2)

Pros: More versatility, better defenses

Cons: Less damage, lower durability

Thunderborn Wrath (PP)
Pros: Control abilities, high durability
Cons: Less damage, lower defenses

Whirling Slayer (PP)
Pros: High area damage, high defenses
Cons: Lack of focus fire, lower durability

Weapon Groups: Arms Of The Destroyer

Weapon Groups

Axes - The members of this weapon group deal a load of damage, though not quite as much as Hammers. They only require a mediocre Con investment, which frees up your stat points to travel elsewhere. To boot, they can all get high crit, which lets you pile on even more damage on a critical. Nice. The Greataxe and Execution Axe are what most Barbarians are looking for (Whirlers should consider the Waraxe in their off hand).

Flails - The fancy moves required for mastery of this weapon basically make it Whirler-only, but it’s a solid choice for them thanks to the Triple-Headed Flail. Unfortunately, that’s about where the perks end, because the feat support does you no favors.

Hammers - Deals a load of damage, even a little on a miss, and give you more toughness due to their ravenous hunger for more Con. Requires unwavering devotion to Con as a secondary stat. The Maul and Mordenkrad are excellent choices here. Whirlers can look at the Craghammer for some solid, reliable damage on the off hand (no way you have the Con to justify using it in your main hand).

Heavy Blades - Their (usually) high proficiency bonus means a better hit rate, which is great for Barbarians. If you take Heavy Blade Opportunity, you can actually play Defender for a while. To boot, the Fullblade has high crit, which is awesome.

Light Blades - Despite how oxymoronic it sounds, a Whirling Barbarian can actually wring some use out a Light Blade (especially one like the Rapier or the Spiked Chain, which deal some respectable damage). No other Barbarian wants to use this weapon group, though.

Maces - Strictly weaker than Hammers at the moment.

Picks - No real support yet. So put it down.

Polearms - Reach is good; not quite as powerful as in 3E, but still nothing to ignore. A destroyer with this is actually defensive in his destruction (and it somehow works...) in that he hits people for getting close to him. Thaneborn Barbarians probably won’t like this path, since Wisdom and them don't really go together, and Whirlers literally can't use them (all of them are two-handed).

Spears - Control is not really the destroyer's thing, but the Greatspear is accurate, damaging, and has reach, and can deal more damage while charging. Whirlers also like the versatility of having a Ranged option in their off hand at all times. Still, the stats are a bit sub-par, so I endorse the choice, but with some reservations.

Staffs - Bad damage, two-handed only, and no perks whatsoever for you. If you MC Wizard (why...?), you might consider this; otherwise, avoid like the plague.

Archetypes: The Ways Of Destruction

1. The Bruiser.

This build is a straight-up melee combatant. It uses heavy weapons to deal as much damage as possible, and looks to control the enemy's positioning by pushing him around and knocking him down. You also have some of the typical Barbarian mobility, so you get to pick and choose the fights you have. Strength and Constitution go all the way up, and stay there.

Feral Might: Rageblood Vigor, Thunderborn Wrath
Races: Bugbear, Dragonborn, Dwarf, Genasi, Gnoll, Goliath, Half-Elf, Human, Longtooth Shifter, Minotaur, Orc, Warforged

Weapon Types: Axes, Hammers
Array: Str 16, Con 16, Dex 12, Int 8, Wis 10, Cha 12

2. The Marauder.

This build is a pretty well-rounded guy, which can go for a multitude of combat styles, be it dual-wielding, a big two-handed weapon, or a reach weapon. Strength and Constitution go up, with Dexterity sprinkled in as needed for a Weapon Mastery feat or the like. If you switch Charisma and Constitution, you can make a perfectly serviceable Thaneborn.
Feral Might: Rageblood Vigor, Thaneborn Triumph, Thunderborn Wrath, Whirling Slayer
Races: Bugbear, Dragonborn, Dwarf, Genasi, Gnoll, Goliath, Half-Elf, Half-Orc, Human, Longtooth Shifter, Minotaur, Orc, Warforged

Weapon Types: Axes, Hammers, Heavy Blades, Spears
Array: Str 16, Con 14, Dex 14, Int 8, Wis 10, Cha 13

3. The Supercharger.

Football references aside, the name says it all: this build looks to crush people by exploiting the awesomeness that is a charging Barbarian. Strength is paramount to success, so that goes all the way up. Dexterity and Constitution are sprinkled in as needed. Your defenses will be low, but that's OK; you are very mobile and extremely damaging. If you believe in mounted combat, getting a horse is lots of fun for it, too.
Feral Might: Rageblood Vigor

Races: Bugbear, Dragonborn, Eladrin, Genasi, Gnoll, Goliath, Half-Orc, Human, Longtooth Shifter, Minotaur, Orc, Warforged

Weapon Types: Heavy Blades, Polearms, Spears
Array: Str 18, Con 13, Dex 13, Int 8, Wis 10, Cha 10

4. The Reacher.

This build looks to dominate its opponents by utilizing a Reach weapon to shove enemies away while dealing damage to them. To that end, it sacrifices Constitution (your defenses will really hit the floor if you do this with Thaneborns) in favor of Wisdom, which is required for most of the feats involving Polearms. If your enemy is foolish, you should be able to rip him apart with this strategy in short order.

Feral Might: Rageblood Vigor, Thunderborn Wrath
Races: Bugbear, Dragonborn, Genasi, Gnoll, Goliath, Half-Orc, Human, Longtooth Shifter, Minotaur, Orc, Warforged

Weapon Types: Heavy Blades, Polearms, Spears
Array: Str 16, Con 13, Dex 14, Int 8, Wis 14, Cha 10

5. The Headsman.

This build is another fairly straight-forward concept; hew into your opponents with raw power, and demoralize them with your terrifying presence. To that end, Strength and Charisma are the order of the day. Heavy armor is a must here, though. You're going to need some Constitution, too; HP and surges are needed on the frontline, and Axe Mastery beckons...

Feral Might: Thaneborn Triumph

Races: Bugbear, Dragonborn, Genasi, Goliath, Half-Orc, Human, Longtooth Shifter, Minotaur, Orc, Warforged

Weapon Types: Axes

Array: Str 16, Con 13, Dex 11, Int 8, Wis 10, Cha 16

6. The Bloody Hurricane.

This build has an interesting approach to destruction; he likes laying into opponents with bursts of damage, hacking at whoever and whatever he can put his blades on. To that end, high Strength and Dexterity are the daily special, to ensure you don’t get hit as often as you hit others, which will be a lot. It also has the cool secondary effect of working with all your riders.
Feral Might: Whirling Slayer
Races: Bladeling, Bugbear, Dragonborn, Elf, Genasi, Githzerai, Gnoll, Goliath, Half-Orc, Human, Longtooth Shifter, Minotaur, Orc, Razorclaw Shifter, Warforged
Weapon Types: Flails, Heavy Blades, Spears

Array: Str 16, Con 13, Dex 16, Int 8, Wis 10, Cha 11

Multiclassing: How Others Destroy

Avenger (PHB 2) - The MC feat itself is the main sell here. Barbarians like to be accurate.

Bard (PHB 2) - Thaneborns may see something they like here.

Fighter (PHB) - This is an awesome option, as the Paragon Paths here are more suited to pure damage than yours. Additionally, Superchargers and Polearm users alike benefit from its support.

Paladin (PHB) - You might find a handful of goodies in here.

Ranger (PHB) - A Whirler looking for focus fire goodies will find much here.

Sorcerer (PHB 2) - It has some raw damage. Thaneborns might be interested.

Warden (PHB 2) - Some solid stuff if you want defense.

Warlock (PHB) - Offers 18+ crits for Radiant Weapon-wielding Students of Caiphon. If you're a Thaneborn, you might even get some use out of the powers. 

Warlord (PHB) - Healing and buffing comes from this MC, which is nice to round you out.

Powers - Heroic Tier: Fundamentals Of Destruction

Level 1, At-Will

Devastating Strike (PHB 2) - Let me get this straight: for +1 average damage per tier over Howling Strike, you give up the ability to use it while charging, and you take a defensive penalty? Pass on this.

Foe to Foe
(PHH 1) - This is a Melee Basic Attack until you drop a non-Minion enemy, at which point it’ll deal an average of +1 damage over a non-charging Howling Strike (during Heroic; for the rest of your career, Howling is strictly better). Absolute and utter garbage.

Howl of Fury (PP) - Though it's a vanilla swing by itself, it's a great minion-popper with anybody that has 12 or more Constitution. Good stuff.

Howling Strike
(PHB 2) - A basic extra-damage swing that can be used on a charge, and gives you a bit more charge speed while raging. This is your bread-and-butter At-Will, because regardless of your build, charging in is what you do.

Pressing Strike
(PHB 2) - This power hands you a bag of everything; it shifts through enemy squares, deals extra damage while raging, and pushes the opponent. Polearm builds owe their viability to this at-will.

Recuperating Strike (PHB 2) - A basic swing with THP attached. It gains some extra THP while you rage, and some extra damage as you level up. It’s solid, but not all that exceptional.

Whirling Rend
(PP) - This is basically Cleave (1-2[W] for a Whirler won’t be all that different from Str mod in damage), with some extra damage while raging. Great for the Whirler, but nobody else wants it.

Level 1, Encounter

Avalanche Strike (PHB 2) - If you're a Rageblood, this will pour on literally hilarious amounts of damage to a single target at low levels (and it's still pretty high otherwise). It imposes a hefty defensive penalty, but they can't hit you back if they're dead.

Bloodletting (PHB 2) - Thoroughly unimpressive.

Desperate Fury (PP) - Big damage, and a reroll should you need it. A very sweet power for Ragebloods.

Escalating Violence (PP) - A swing with a “payback” effect. Thaneborn Barbarians give a buff to an ally, which makes it better for them.

Great Cleave (PHB 2) - It's a close burst attack with a damage bonus based on how much trouble you've managed to get yourself into. Focus fire beats AoE for me, but this is a pretty good one.

Resurgent Strike (PP) - A basic swing, and some condition removal. It’s not bad, but it’s not that impressive.

Shout of Terror
(PP) - A power with some solid mobility denial capabilities, and Thunderborn even get a damage buff out of it, which makes it better for them.

Vault the Fallen (PHB 2) - Howling Strike against two different targets. If you're a Thaneborn, you even get some solid mobility out of it. Not bad.

Whirling Frenzy
(PP) - Whoa. This is some pretty hefty damage for a Close Burst level 1 power. The disadvantage is kind of painful, but it’s still a very good power.

Level 1, Daily

Always Falling Rage
(D 380) - This rage’s effect is about a step away from useless. Are you seriously comparing this to the other powers at this level? You may as well call it "Always FAILING Rage", because that's what it does on a consistent basis.

Blood Bear Rage (PP) - Heavy damage, and a “constrict” sort of effect. This could be useful if grabbing had a bit more support...

Bloodhunt Rage (PHB 2) - A big 3[W] smack, coupled with a decent, if conditional, damage bonus. Solid enough.

Bloodseeker's Rage
(D 380) - A very conditional effect that is strictly worse than Rage Drake’s Frenzy.

Life Thane Rage (PP) - Obviously made for Thaneborn, this heals you and hands out THP. The outlook is rather odd for a Striker (if I’m gonna imitate a Leader, I want the buffing), but it’s not a bad power.

Macetail's Rage
(PHB 2) - A close burst 1 against Reflex for low damage, knocking prone, and THP when you hit for the rest of the encounter. Not really a Striker-y power.

Rage Drake's Frenzy (PHB 2) - 3[W] is nice, and it even packs a buff if the target is bloodied. The effect is conditional, but it is gold against weaker opponents.

Savage Juggernaut Rage
(PP) - A rage that’s better as the encounter progresses. Not that useful unless you’re dropping standard enemies left and right, though.

Skull-Taker’s Rage
(D 380) - +1 to hit? For taking 3 damage every turn? Seriously?

Swift Panther Rage
(PHB 2) - Another 3[W] mega-smack, it hands you a big mobility boost, which can potentially make the Barbarian a charging machine for the duration of the encounter.

Thunder Hooves Rage
(PP) - Essentially +1[W] to all attacks, as long as you move through your enemy’s space in the process. Especially good for those of you who snagged Pressing Strike.

Tyrant’s Rage
(PP) - A solid dazing effect, and an encounter-long ability to clear some space to charge into your opponent, or get away from a sticky situation. Good stuff.

Level 2, Utility

Bounding Stride (PP) - Combat Sprint is simply better in just about every case.

Combat Sprint
(PHB 2) - Good movement, and defense bonuses for doing so. Nice.

Feral Rejuvenation
(PP) - Encounter power that allows you to heal without consuming actions? Sweet.

Primal Vitality
(PHB 2) - A Daily THP boost, which gets bigger if you are raging. Not enough THP to sell me on it.

Savage Comeback (PP) - It’s a Daily, and it damages you. Is it useful? Certainly, but it has its drawbacks.

Savage Growl (PP) - A smidge of extra damage, and it allows you to double as a Defender for a turn. Could be useful.

Shrug it Off
(PP) - Free saving throws are nice to have, especially because most Barbarian builds are rather susceptible to nasty (save ends) effects thanks to their lower Will defense.

(PHB 2) - A rather conditional non-combat utility. Eh.

Tiger's Leap (PHB 2) - This allows you to grab a big movement boost once per encounter, and it can scale to quite ridiculous proportions. Not sure you need all that moving, though.

Level 3, Encounter

Blade Sweep (PHB 2) - A decent swing, and damage to adjacent Bloodied enemies (all enemies if you're a Rageblood). Nothing spectacular here.

Blood Strike
(PHB 2) - Yet another vanilla choice.

Brutal Slam
(PP) - Hits Fortitude, pushes, knocks prone, and damages another enemy. A pretty good use of a standard action, if you ask me.

Daring Charge (PHB 2) - A decently damaging charge that gets bigger for every OA you provoke. A bit better if you're Thaneborn, as you're less likely to be hit. If you pick this, be sure to retrain it out fast; Howling Strike will soon obsolete it.

Hammer Fall
(PHB 2) - Obsoleted by Brutal Slam.

Reckless Rampage (PP) - It's Daring Charge... but you trade the attack and damage bonus for CA if you get attacked once. Not quite as good, even with the extra movement for Ragebloods.

Rippling Blades (PP) - Take some damage if you miss to get a compensation attack from your ally. That’s good, but the power is pretty vanilla if you do hit.

Shatterbone Strike
(PHB 2) - A beautiful setup punch for any Rage, especially for Thaneborn, where it is nothing short of glorious.

Thundering Howl
(PP) - Some extra damage in a close blast after your attack, and a push. Not much better than Howl of Fury (marginally better for Thunderborn because of the huge push they get, but still unimpressive).

Whirling Step
(PP) - Essentially a Melee basic to one enemy, and 1[W] to two others or you can double up on a single enemy. Whirlers get a solid shift out of it, and that’s why it’s good for them.

Level 5, Daily

Ambusher’s Rage
(D 380) - This mobility benefit is strong, but it’s just too conditional to take seriously.

Ancient Berserkers’ Rage
(PP) - A Rage that offers essentially the effects of two of the better Rages of this level. It does have an unfortunate limitation, however, and that is that your opponent has to be adjacent to you for you to get all the tasty bonuses. You might want to invest in powers that limit your opponent's movement before you give this a go.

Clawfoot Berserker Rage (PHH 2) - A solid “revenge” sort of effect. Not bad.

Earthquake Dragon Rage
(D 380) - If it were ally-friendly, it would be awesome. As it is, use with caution; you don’t want to antagonize your party.

Frost Wolf Rage (PHB 2) - A decent swing that can get bigger if you're willing to provoke an "OA", and it provides a hefty disincentive for enemies to attack you. Solid enough.

Rage of the Crimson Hurricane
(PP) - Now, I’m the first to say I don’t like AoE damage on most Strikers, but this effect is just too awesome to pass up. You spread damage out like candy corn with this baby.

Razor Wind Rage (PP) - Unfortunately for you, criticals are rather hard to come by at Heroic Tier, making this rage benefit conditional. Still, it’s a solid choice, if only because it’s absolutely nuts if it does go off.

Silver Phoenix Rage
(PHB 2) - Decent damage, some ongoing fire on top of it, and regen with a "save your arse" button in your back pocket. Sweet.

Thunder Hawk Rage
(PHB 2) - Whoa. A save-ends daze debuff, and automatic CA for your attacks by knocking an opponent prone before you hit. This is a real good one, even though the damage on the entry attack is a bit lower.

Tiger Claw Rage
(PP) - A sweet benefit if you miss, which gives you a large portion of your damage right back. It also has the welcome side effect of making Power Attack nicer to use.

Vengeful Storm Rage
(PHB 2) - A close burst for decent damage, and piddly damage for adjacent enemies. Not really that appealing to me.

Level 6, Utility

Climber’s Claws (PP) - About as conditional a Utility as you can have. If you can’t reach someone, buy a Grasping Javelin and bring him back down to where you can hit him instead.

Combat Surge
(PHB 2) - Rerolls are nice to have, and you should be raging most of the time anyway.

Inexorable Shift (PHB 2) - A Con-based shift, and some THP on it to boot. Solid.

Instinctive Charge (PHB 2) - A decent Daily buff you can pop off at the beginning of the encounter. Less effective if your Leader is a Warlord, though.

Laugh it Off
(PHH 1) - A very solid “revenge” benefit, and it even comes with a little DR. Sweet.

Loss of Will
(PHB 2) - Though the trigger may not come up as often as you would like, it's great when it does.

Primal Charge
(PP) - It's kind of hard to believe that a move action and a charge won’t get you where you need to go.

Relentless Surge (PP) - Temporary HP, plain and simple. Vanilla, but useful.

Run Rampant
(PP) - It gets rid of mobility denial conditions efficiently, which is good for you, because you like to be able to charge about.

Snarling Defiance (PP) - Better reduction than Laugh it Off, but a weaker buff, and it’s a Daily. Not quite as good for Con-based Barbarians, but everybody else likes it more.

Level 7, Encounter

Blood Sacrifice (PP) - Hefty damage if you hack some life off yourself. Solid.

Curtain of Steel
(PHB 2) - An out-of-turn 3[W] wallop. Thaneborns even get an accuracy boost. Nice.

Fearsome Smash
(PP) - Triggers outside your turn, damages, and debuffs? Man, this is good.

Feast of Violence (PHB 2) - If set up right, this can pack some very high damage. Requires you to risk some hits, but why would you of all people want to play it safe?

Great Shout (PHB 2) - A swing, coupled with a debuff. A bit out of character for a Barbarian, but it's pretty effective.

Harbinger of Doom (PP) - As its name implies, this is a beautiful setup punch for a nova. Better for Thunderborn because of the extra vulnerability they can pile on and for Whirlers because they could rip through a whole throng of standard enemies in short order.

Looming Threat
(PP) - Just let your Defender do his job, eh?

Slash and Slash Again
(PP) - A swing, plus a turn of Rain of Steel. Pretty good.

Tide of Blood
(PHB 2) - The extra damage can go from large to marginal; otherwise, one more vanilla 2[W] attack. Eh.

Level 9, Daily

Black Dragon Rage
(PHB 2) - The damage is kind of low for this level, but the effect is Thunder Hawk Rage's on steroids. Automatic blinding is nice.

Carver’s Raging Glory
(D 380) - You get +5 damage to your next attack after you drop someone. Meh.

Flying Serpent Rage (PP) - A counter-charge move on a Barbarian? I rank it a bit low, but it’s because I think it’s not that easy to trigger. Otherwise, it’s very, very good.

Frenzied Beast Rage (PHH 2) - While I like free damage as much as anybody, bear in mind you’re taking damage to deal it. Use with caution.

Oak Hammer Rage
(PHB 2) - Quite simply, one of the best rages in the Barbarian power list, especially for Bruisers. Knocking prone on any attack is nasty, and dealing extra damage while they are prone means that this rage is not wasted on nova turn. Con-based Barbarians take this. Period.

Rage of the Battle Tyrant
(PP) - The initial blow is sweet, but the rage’s effect seems better suited to a Warlord than it is for you.

Rage of the Death Spirit
(PP) - This is not that great for you (why you would want this level of mass marking is beyond me), but it’s fantastic for any Defender who dips into Barbarian.

Rage of the Primal Banshee
(PP) - Another counter-charge rage (what the hells is going on at this level?!), it’s an effect that I don’t think will see all that much play. Skip.

Serpent Fang Rage
(PP) - Free combat advantage! Get your free combat advantage! Can help you play nice with your party, especially if you have a Rogue as backup.

Stone Bear Rage (PHB 2) - A big resist all bonus for you after a good swing. Solid enough.

Stoneroot Rage (D 380) - The effect is about as good as Stone Bear Rage’s for Thaneborn and Whirlers, and the initial effect packs a (save ends) debuff. Solid overall.

White Tiger Rage
(PHB 2) - Low damage, and a Defender-y side effect. Pass.

Level 10, Utility

Barbaric Instinct (PP) - Gets you out of dazes and stuns. Too bad it’s a Daily...

Barbaric Offering (PP) - A free save with bonuses as an Encounter power. Pretty solid.

Deny Death (PHB 2) - It buys you an extra turn, right when you need it the most. Very solid.

Enraged Surge
(PP) - Free action self-buffing is very nice.

Heart Strike (PHB 2) - More damage is always welcome, especially because you have few stances.

Howl of the Alpha Wolf (PP) - If you dropped an enemy before you busted this out, you can potentially play Warlord for a turn. Nice.

Mountain Roots
(PHB 2) - It's nice to be able to negate forced movement for the rest of an encounter (and have it as an immediate application), especially if your DM likes big pushing Brutes, but it's hardly necessary.

Totemic Scarification (PP) - A poor man’s Throw Caution to the Wind. It’s solid enough.

Wellspring of Renewal
(PHB 2) - It hands you a decent amount of THP, and negates marking, and it all happens as a minor action Encounter power. Sweet.

Powers - Paragon Tier: Massive Destruction

Level 13, Encounter

Ancient Clan Strike (PP) - Big damage, and it gets bigger if you take one for the team. Solid.

Blade Whirlwind
(PHB 2) - A close burst swing for 2[W] that pushes. Meh.

Blood-Frenzy Strike (PP) - A nice nova setup attack, it puts out solid damage and a big vulnerability.

Crack the Skull (PHB 2) - A 3[W] smash against Fortitude (roughly equal to hitting AC) that dazes. Nice.

Fortune’s Favor
(PP) - 4[W], give or take 1[W]. A bit risky, but it's good damage to be had overall.

Iron Breaker’s Shout
(PP) - Now this is a setup attack. A big penalty to all defenses leaves your targets ripe for the slaughter. The Thunderborn rider is marginal, but an extra -1 penalty is still nice.

Rolling Boulder
(PP) - Uh, what? Only any good if you’re deadlocked with one enemy, and that probably means your Defender isn’t doing his job.

Storm of Blades (PHB 2) - Even post-errata, 3 attacks in one standard action still means it’s the running-away-laughing favorite.

Terror's Cry (PHB 2) - A swing, and some crowd-scattering. Solid enough.

Thunderfall (PHB 2) - A swing you can use on a charge, that knocks down and deals good damage. A pretty strong choice, and Ragebloods may look for it again at L17 (we all know what power you’re taking at this level).

Level 15, Daily

Ancient War Band Rage
(PP) - Free combat advantage is always nice to have, and turning 1’s into 12’s on a d12 can conceivably make you deal a whole lot more damage. Nice.

Flameheart Rage
(PHB 2) - A close burst for meh damage and a touch of ongoing damage, with some more damage if you're attacked. Unfortunately, it's all fire damage, which is easily resisted, and the damage is too piddly to be a real deterrent. *sigh*

Frost Hide Rage
(PP) - Isn't this Stoneroot Rage with an element? Pass.

Hunting Lion Rage
(PHB 2) - About as vanilla as they come.

Iron Hammer Rage (PHB 2) - Whack, and push like a madman. Solid.

Rage of the War Bringer (PP) - A very nice damage buff to your entire party if you’re Thaneborn. Not a bad call.

Scytheclaw Rage
(PP) - There are lower-level rages with better effects than this, and I didn’t recommend them. This is just garbage.

Thunderfury Rage
(PHB 2) - Now THIS is more like it. Hitting someone with a Basic Melee as heavy as the Barbarian's is a REAL deterrent, and to boot, the attack itself knocks prone.

Tidal Rage
(PP) - Not that much of a fan, but I will recognize all that forced movement can be useful in certain situations.

Whisper’s Blades Rage (D 380) - You get to deal the initial damage at range to another target as well as your main victim (good), and you can redirect damage for the rest of the encounter. Awesome for minion-popping, but its usefulness wanes somewhat when you’re in a tough fight.

Level 16, Utility

Battle Lust (PP) - Revival ability with a mean buff. Sweet.

Bounding Advance (PP) - Essentially trades your move action for a shift, and allows you to step through opponents. Solid.

Fuel the Fire
(PHB 2) - Since your opponent can’t be forced into the attacks, this can potentially be a wasted power. Pass.

Great Stomp (PHB 2) - This seems a bit... Defender-y for a Barbarian, but it's hardly bad, especially if you don't want your opponents to run away. 

Primal Resistance (PHB 2) - Resist 10 to one element? AND it burns up the Stance slot? It can be decent if you know what you're going up against, but it's not beneficial enough IMHO.

Rampant Malice (PP) - Combines well with Divine Sanctions and Swordmage Aegises, because they can mark from afar, so it’s actually pretty solid.

Scent of Blood
(PP) - A rather conditional trigger, but two very solid buffs, and usable every encounter.

Spur the Cycle
(PHB 2) - This is an extremely powerful ability, because it means you get a shot at downing two enemies in the same turn. Non-Ragebloods worship it because of the action advantage it gives them, and Ragebloods simply go nuts with it.

Strength of Enduring Pain
(PP) - Too conditional for my taste.

Level 17, Encounter

Blood-Spattered Frenzy (PP) - Whirling Frenzy, minus the drawback, with +1[W] on the main hand, and can target Reflex. A bit overdue, but you’ll take it.

Devastating Blow
(PHB 2) - Big damage, and big AC penalties if you're a Thaneborn. Nice.

Frightening Strike (PP) - A 3[W] swing with a debuff. It’s OK, but you have better options at this level.

Lines of Rage
(PP) - 4[W], with an option to deal more if you take a little damage. With all the charging buffs you have available at this point in your career, Shoulder Slam will easily out-damage this power.

Mountain Grasp
(PHB 2) - Low damage, and a Defender-y effect. CA is not enough to make up for it.

Shoulder Slam (PHB 2) - A swing while charging, with a follow-up against someone else. If you're a Rageblood, this is hilariously accurate, and will deal good damage if you're a charger-type. Nice.

Stone-Splitting Roar
(PP) - A low-damage swing, followed by AoE damage + debuff. Pretty good.

Threatening Fury (PHB 2) - Decent damage, and a "damned if you do, damned if you don't" side-effect. Too bad it only works at full efficiency in a 1-on-1...

Vigorous Strike (PHB 2) - Swing + THP. Too vanilla for my taste.

Whirling Skirmish (PP) - Trades in some of the close burst damage for mobility. Solid enough.

Level 19, Daily

Desert Wind Rage (PP) - So... how does AoE damage in 5 squares keying off your best stat sound? While I do realize it's fire damage and thus a common resistance, the fact of the matter is that it's still a great power.

Elder Tuskbrother Rage
(PP) - Can be used while charging (WIN), comes in for solid damage, and has an OK push-oriented effect. Pretty sweet.

Fortune’s Ravagers Rage
(D 380) - Solid damage, and a very conditional trigger for big damage outside your turn (how many times do you get critted on?). Meh.

Ghost Viper Rage
(PHB 2) - The damage is OK, but the effect is weak. Pass.

Hydra Rage (PHB 2) - Following up after your miss is a solid ability on its own merits.

Primal War Band Rage (PP) - Similar to L15’s Ancient War Band Rage, but no 1-to-max damage effect. Solid because of the long range for the CA, but you have better choices here.

Rock Tree Rage
(PP) - Triggers outside your turn for very big damage, and offers free attacks for enemies coming in. Downright tasty.

Storm Drake Rage (PHB 2) - A swing for OK damage and some ongoing, with a effect that knocks opponents down for attacking you (and deals a touch of damage). Could be worse.

Voracious Predator Rage (PP) - A hefty benefit when you drop someone. Solid.

Winter Phoenix Rage
(PHB 2) - Ahh, immortality. The regeneration afforded by this rage is HUGE. You even get a revival and some damage attached. Beautiful, even if your Constitution isn't through-the-roof.

Powers - Epic Tier: Absolute Destruction

Level 22, Utility

Blood Seeker’s Pursuit (PP) - Shifting, and some THP. Not a bad deal for an Encounter power.

Brutal Payback
(PP) - Again, I ask you; how many times do you get nailed by a critical? Probably not enough to justify taking this power.

Emboldening Courage (PP) - Again, you play Warlord for a bit. Since you should always start encounters with a charge, this can give the party a positioning edge in the early rounds.

Last Stand
(PHB 2) - 5 damage per turn to yourself, to remain standing. Can be good if you find yourself with no healing and in a need to finish the fight, but otherwise...

Primal Instinct (PHB 2) - Blindsight is not that bad a benefit, though losing your Stance slot for it hurts.

Primal Vigor
(PHB 2) - Enormous resist all, for one turn, that triggers on a hit. Sweet.

Raging Resurgence
(PP) - Relying on your enemy to miss in order to trigger a Daily healing power doesn’t sound too appealing.

Unexpected Clarity
(PP) - Unexpected nova is a better explanation of what this power does. If you crit, you go nuts. Enough said.

Untouched (PHB 2) - A bunch of saves, with bonuses. If it only were an immediate reaction...

Level 23, Encounter

Arcing Throw (PHB 2) - Ranged attacks on a Barbarian with your Melee weapon for 5[W]?!?! Not as useful as it seems at first glance (you should have no problem reaching your opponents with your mobility, and Ranged attacks lose a lot of the damage modifiers you want to be applying).

Berserker’s Flurry (PP) - A mild upgrade over Slash and Slash Again. Solid, but I expected more at this level.

Berserker's Shout (PHB 2) - Big damage, and a debuff (kind of weird, but hey).

 Especially sexy for Thaneborns, who get to slap on a huge penalty.

Crater Fall (PHB 2) - A good swing that can be used while charging, and it tosses your opponent across the battlefield, knocking down anyone in the way. As a side benefit, the push allows you to charge again.

Cutting the Path (PP) - Punch through the line and get the enemy you want. Solid enough.

Fatal Strike
(PHB 2) - Healing is rather sparse among monsters, and the damage is not the highest.

Feral Scythe
(PHB 2) - A vanilla close-burst attack. Yuck.

Leaves Before the Wind
(PP) - Sliding? Seriously? At this level?

Rabid Beast
(PP) - It may have been a worthy pick if it allowed you to charge. As it is, not so much.

Staggering Strike (PHB 2) - The damage is really low for this level, but stunning is still great.

This One is Mine! (PP) - The buff and the power itself do not have any synergy with each other at all, but the damage is solid.

Level 25, Daily

Ash Hammer Rage (PHB 2) - High damage (7[W]) and 10 + Cha THP every time you hit. Solid.

Blood Hunger Rage (PHB 2) - Big damage (7[W] is nothing to ignore), and you get to slap on a dazing debuff and a conditional bonus to attack as a kicker. Could be worse.

Blue Dragon Rage
(PHB 2) - Lower damage than any other rage at this level, AND it has a weaker effect. Yawn.

Circle of Blood Rage
(PP) - A close burst for solid damage, and an attack buff. You probably won’t get more than 3 enemies in there, but +3 to hit is sweet.

Clawed Ancestor Rage (PP) - Grabbing as a minor action, and some solid damage. Now this is a grabbing rage that’s worth looking at.

Rage of the Unbridled Beast
(PP) - Good damage, and an AC debuff, and free attacks! Sweet.

Raptor’s Eye Rage (PP) - The attack rerolls, and so does one die of your damage. Solid enough.

Stone Tempest Rage
(PHB 2) - Big damage, and you get the highest crit rate in the game so far. Very nice for a Barbarian.

Level 27, Encounter

Blood Wrath (PHB 2) - This is actually a very good power. It has Daily-esque damage in 5[W], hands out a crazy hit bonus for Ragebloods, and even has a hit bonus if the target is bloodied. Unfortunately, it's at the same level as Hurricane of Blades...

Bonebreaker (PHB 2) - An out-of-turn swing for fairly good damage, and more damage if the target moves further. Solid.

Butcher's Feast
(PHB 2) - Big damage (6[W]) and hands out free attacks (with bonuses for Thaneborn)? Sweet.

Crippling Assault
(PP) - A charge with big damage, and a vulnerability buff. Nasty.

Frenzied Scramble (PP) - Another Whirler rehash. It’s OK.

Hurricane of Blades
(PHB 2) - Even post-errata, this power is absolutely nuts. 4 attacks for 2[W] each is an enormous amount of damage, more than perhaps any Encounter power in the game. No way you’re taking anything else at this level.

Menacing Blow (PP) - Good damage, an AC debuff, and CA. Solid enough.

Rampaging Dragon Strike
(PHB 2) - ...Just not that impressive.

Savage Ancestors Strike (PP) - You can hack off some HP for extra accuracy, and the attack itself deals solid damage and buffs your attack rolls.

Terrifying Howl
(PP) - A smack for rather low damage, and some immobilization, and an attack buff if you’re Thunderborn. Not that hot compared to the other options available.

Level 29, Daily

Ancient Forebears’ Rage (PP) - Solid damage, and 1’s and 2’s turn into max damage. Pretty cool if you roll a lot of damage dice.

Crimson Phoenix Rage
(PHB 2) - I'm not a fan of close bursts, and the damage is mediocre, but that's where the flaws end. +1[W] to all at-wills (Superchargers especially like this), AND it makes you unkillable. Nice.

Rage of Retribution (PP) - Give damage back when you get hit. Pretty solid.

Rage of the Primal Beast
(PHB 2) - 5[W] and ongoing 10 is OK damage, and the to-hit bonus can be absolutely insane. In reality, you’ll see that you won’t be fighting too many opponents at these levels (and they’ll all be tough-as-nails).

Rage of the Thundering Rhino
(PP) - The attack itself is solid, but the effect is limited to basic attacks. Meh.

Thunderstorm Rage (PP) - The initial attack stinks, but +2[W] on all your attacks (provided you hit twice) is sweet. Solid overall, if only because you have to hit twice.

Winter Ghost Rage (PHB 2) - +1[W] over Rage of the Primal Beast, but the effect is MUCH weaker. Winter Phoenix Rage's immortality is nice, but this isn't much to talk about.

World Serpent Rage
(PHB 2) - You can use it while charging, it packs large damage, and it hands out free attacks and/or damage bonuses. Need I say more?

Recommended Feats: The Teachings of Destruction

Class Feats

Heroic Tier:

Bloody Triumph
(PP) - A nice buff for Thaneborn or any ally who happens to take a crack against the enemy the Thaneborn bloodied up.

Deadly Rage
(PHB 2) - More damage while raging. Sure, why not?

Fearsome Charge (PP) - Pushing on a charge lets you charge again more easily, and it also plays nice with the Bruiser build.

Hide Armor Expertise (PP) - A decent AC fix for pure Con-based Barbarians in Heroic Tier. It scales horribly, though, so it'll likely have an expiration date sometime in Paragon or Epic, depending on your build.

Hurl Weapon (PP) - A pretty good feat, but there are other priorities to be addressed in this tier. And Javelins and the like have properties you can’t grab for an Axe or Hammer. But still, this has economy on its side.

Improved Rageblood Vigor (PHB 2) - More THP on a kill. Solid.

Improved Roar of Triumph
(PHB 2) - A very nice boost for Thaneborns.

Reckless Charge
(PP) - It grants you accuracy while charging. Who cares about -2 AC?

Swift Slayer (PP) - Increases the shifting distance for the Whirling Slayer's ability on a drop.

Whisper’s Advice (D 380) - This damage bonus is conditional, but hefty. Rather campaign-dependent, but it will see play if you fight a lot of Elites and/or Solos.

Paragon Tier:

Charging Rampage
(PHB 2) - Your Rampage feature just got range. Combine with Howling Strike for more fun.

Double Lunge (PP) - +Strength to damage for the Whirler's ability on a kill. Decent.

Explosive Rage Strike (PP) - If you have the feat to spare, this can help you deal some very respectable damage to more than one opponent.

Rageblood Recovery (PHB 2) - Conditional healing is still healing.

Thaneborn Advance
(PHB) - Big repositioning power for a Thaneborn. Nice.

Thirsty Blade (PP) - If you like charging into crowds, this could be useful.

Thunderous Cry
(PP) - Now THIS makes War Cry worthwhile. Free CA is sweet.

Epic Tier:

Enduring Rage
(PHB 2) - Ragebloods can take a lickin' and keep on tickin'.

Primal Resurgence
(PHB 2) - Power recovery for getting Bloodied? No way you don’t grab this feat.

Overpowering Charge
(PP) - So you get to deal massive damage AND knock them down, so they can’t run from you, then you charge them again and repeat the cycle? Holy...

Second Skin
(PP) - More AC than Armor Specialization (hide), and it even has a (conditional) attack bonus attached. If there was ever a time for retraining, this would be it.

Slayer’s Shift (PP) - Shifting can set up charges, so this is not that bad an idea.

Thaneborn Conqueror (PHB 2) - A decent debuff for your Roar of Triumph.

General Feats

Heroic Tier:

Armor Proficiency (PHB) - With the advent of Hide Armor Expertise, this is essentially Thaneborn-only.

Poison Inured (D 373) - Can conceivably make you almost immune to poison, especially if you're a Dwarf.

Power Attack (PHB) - With the ways to collect attack bonuses available to you, it's not impossible to use this feat, and it packs extra damage (especially for two-handed weapon wielders). 

Powerful Charge
(PHB) - Charging is usually a big part of what you do, so this is a worthy pickup.

(PHB) - More HP is good for you, because you love being in the front lines, so you're bound to get hit.

Two-Weapon Defense (PHB)
- +1 AC and +1 Reflex for a feat is a pretty good deal.

Two-Weapon Fighting (PH
B) - The feat itself is weak; the feats it opens up are not.

Weapon Expertise
(PHB 2) – Take this feat; you’re literally hurting your character if you don’t.

Weapon Focus
(PHB) - Damage bonus, which is awesome for a Striker.

Weapon Master (D 382) - A great way to increase your versatility in combat, or just plain be able to hit with your Javelin more often.

Weapon Proficiency
(PHB) - Bigger and better weapons await...

Wintertouched (MP) - Useless until you pick up Lasting Frost, but mighty when you do.

Paragon Tier:

Agile Opportunist
(PHB 2) - A nice feat to work with your Leader if he’s slide-oriented.

Armor Specialization
(PHB) - Scale Armor Spec. is spectacular, but Hide and Plate Armor Spec. is just OK.
 Still a worthwhile grab for any front-line character.

Deadly Axe (PHB) - This is a nice feat, but most Axes you will be using have high crit already, so it's only really good for Halberd users and Whirlers who like Axes (and both these types are rare).

Great Fortitude/Iron Will/Lightning Reflexes (PHB) - Boosts your non-AC defenses, which will likely need boosting (except maybe Fortitude).

Hammer Rhythm
(PHB) - Rewards you for having a big Con and wielding a Hammer. Woo-hoo!

Heavy Blade Opportunity
(PHB) - It helps you punish enemy over-extension, and it makes Glaive Polearm builds tick.

Lasting Frost
(PHB) - Infinite CA and +5 damage with Wintertouched and a Frost weapon; cold resist is a hurdle, but it can be overcome.

Paragon Defenses
(PHB 2) - For when you just don't have the 3 feats to burn on boosting your defenses.

Polearm Gamble
(PHB) - This allows you to be defensive in your destruction by whacking anyone who dares come near you. Be warned; making this work at full steam usually requires a pretty extensive dip in Fighter.

Reserve Maneuver
(PHB 2) - Versatility notwithstanding, this feat also allows you to swap out a lackluster Paragon Path power for something a touch more... palatable.

Spear Push (PHB) - More control for your push powers. Can be an option if you like Polearms.

Two-Weapon Opening
(PHB 2) - Essentially, Whirlers get Rampage twice. That is an awesome benefit to have.

Uncanny Dodge (PHB) - OK, but it's better if you get Polearm Gamble.

Unfailing Courage (D 377) - Healing on an AP is a good deal if you ask me.

Epic Tier:

Axe/Bludgeon/Flail/Heavy Blade/Light Blade/Pick/Spear Mastery
(PHB) - Whatever your weapon may be, now's the time to pick up the mastery feat. Improved crits for everyone!

Blind-Fight (PHB) - Helps you deal with Invisible enemies.

Epic Fortitude/Epic Reflexes/Epic Will
(PHB 2) - Now this is what I call defense-boosting.

Epic Resurgence
(PHB) - A pretty cool power recovery feat. If you're a Demigod, retrain it out at 30th; you won't need it after that.

Robust Defenses
(PHB 2) - +2 to all your NADs. Nice. 

Triumphant Attack
(PHB) - There's no denying it’s a nice feat. The question is: do you have the room for it?

Racial Feats - Heroic Tier


Adaptable Breath (D 365) - Useful for punching through resistances to your breath weapon.

Dragonborn Frenzy
(PHB) - Damage bonus while bloodied. Nice to have.

Enlarged Dragon Breath (PHB) - 5 x 5 AoE as a minor is an action well spent.

Hurl Breat
h (D 365) - Probably the only way you're doing ranged AoE. Enjoy.


Dodge Giants (PHB) - After a certain point in time, almost everything you will be fighting will be Large or higher, so it's a +1 untyped bonus to AC and Reflex after that.

Dwarven Weapon Training
(PHB) - Pick this before Weapon Focus, and retrain it out at Epic tier (unless you're using a Superior weapon, in which case you just pick Weapon Focus up at Epic).


Eladrin Soldier
(PHB) - Pick this before Weapon Focus, and retrain it out at Epic tier (unless you're using a Superior weapon, in which case you just pick Weapon Focus up at Epic).

Feral Fey Step
(PP) - Can be used to retreat from a sticky situation, or to ram right in one more time. Either way, it’s a good pick.


Earthshock Master/Firepulse Master (D 367) - Make good racial powers a bit better.

Extra Manifestation
(FRPG) - Adds versatility to your racial arsenal.

Primordial Surge
(D 367) - THP for using a good power is nice.


Goliath Greatweapon Training
(PHB 2) - One of the reasons why Goliath Barbarians are front-runners.

Markings of the Blessed (PHB 2) - Rerolling a save is never bad.

Markings of the Victor
(PHB 2) - Rerolling an attack every encounter? Sweet! This is especially good for those of you who like to dive headfirst into combat, as it greatly boosts your accuracy on that opening charge.


Anger Unleashed
(PHB 2) - An attack bonus is never bad.

Savage Assault (PHB 2) - Debuffs on your racial power. Solid.

Thirst for Battle
(PHB 2) - +3 initiative, and a healing surge. Nice.


Action Surge
(PHB) - In case you were wondering, this is why people play Humans.

Human Perseverance
(PHB) - +1 to saving throws, no questions asked. Hard to ask for more.

Stubborn Survivor
(FRPG) - Saving throw bonuses are good (and hard to find, especially ones this big), so more fuel for playing human (and for burning your AP's).


Goring Shove
(D 369) - Combined with Opportunity Gore, this wreaks havoc on enemy tactics.

Greathorn (D 369) - If you plan on using Opportunity Gore, you might as well make the damage a bit better.

Opportunity Gore
(D 369) - Makes Minos serious mobility stoppers.


Gorebrute Charge (PHB 2) - +3 damage while charging and shifting. Solid.

Longtooth Spirit Shifter
(PP) - More regeneration is a worthy investment.


Hellfire Blood
(PHB) - It can help you make up the attack bonus gap, but it has drawbacks (fire is easily resisted, and Flaming weapons are almost as expensive as the weapons with a higher bonus).

 Still, making up the gap from your lower Strength is nice.


Warforged Tactics
(EPG) - The conditions for it are easy to fulfill, and it hands out a hit bonus. No reason why this shouldn't have this feat if you're a 'forged.

Racial Feats - Paragon Tier


Admixture Breath (D 365) - Your breath weapon is genuinely hard to resist.

Dragonbreath Warrior (MP) - A +1[W] boost for using a minor action attack is solid.

Empowered Dragon Breath (PHB) - Though it doesn't help your Dragon Breath blast minions into piles of slag (since they only have 1 HP), it DOES make it useful against other kinds of enemies.


Dwarven Durability
(PHB) - Every Dwarf should take this feat, regardless of class, especially you, being a tough guy type.


Shocking Flame (FRPG) - Even more damage, and this one scales!


Fierce Charge (D 367) - A solid feat to buff your racial Encounter power, though you already have half of it in Howling Strike...

Swift Bite (D 367) - Some goodness for bloodying an enemy. Solid enough.


Unyielding Stone (PHB 2) - A nice jump in THP when you use your racial power. Can make you hilariously hard to bring down.


Versatile Master (PHB 2) - Whoa. Half-Elves just got a MAJOR boost. No reason to ever skip out on this feat, ever.


Strength from Pain (PHB 2) - Big damage for a turn when you're bloodied. Nice.

Unrelenting Assault (PHB 2) - Damage on a miss is nothing to sneeze at.


Action Recovery
(PHB) - Could prove useful in shaking off whatever's holding you down.


Beast Within (D 369) - +1 to hit AND damage while bloodied is sweet.


Beasthide Shifting (PHB 2) - A little damage resist while shifting. Solid.

Cliffwalk Shifting (PHB 2) - Increases your movement options. Nice.

Racial Feats - Epic Tier


Double Manifestation
(FRPG) - Versatility meets power. Win.


Brutal Charge
(D 367) - Can you say charging Hurricane of Blades? This alone makes the Gnoll race a lot better. Don't you dare miss out on this awesomeness.


Ancient Stone
(PHB 2) - And the pseudo-invincibility continues!


Ferocious Critical
(PHB 2) - ... Seriously? Wow, man. Just... wow.


Uncanny Scent
(D 369) - If you can afford the Wis, take this feat.


Burst of Savagery (PHB 2) - A decent extra "oomph" feat.

Multiclass Feats


Disciple of Divine Wrath
(PHB 2) - The powers don't offer much, but two turns of Oath of Enmity are sweet.


Battle Awareness
(MP) - If you can afford the required Wisdom, you're likely a Polearm user, and thus want this feat.

Student of the Sword
(PHB) - Opens up great Paragon Paths, and it's actually a decent feature.


Warrior of the Wild
(PHB) - Hands you a nice damage spike once per encounter.


Defender of the Wild (PHB 2) - The synergy is there as far as stats go; not sure about the theme...


Pact Initiate (PHB) - Your only choice for Caiphon's madness (well, that and ).


Student of Battle (PHB) - Healing and buffing is pretty sweet.

Notable Feats from Other Classes

Any Martial Class:

Epic Recovery (MP) - Dwarven Barbarians particularly like this.

Martial Freedom (MP) - Save bonuses against annoying conditions.

Martial Mastery
(MP) - Could be nice if you've poached some goodies from a martial class.

Stoneheart Warrior (MP) - Free action healing is nice.


Draconic Arrogance
(MP) - Dragonborn only, but it sure makes Bruiser and Polearm builds look a heck of a lot nicer.

Fey Charge
(MP) - Eladrin only, but it sure makes charging nice.

Mobile Warrior (MP) - A solid feat for Polearm wielders and Superchargers alike.

Polearm Momentum
(MP) - What makes Polearm builds really tick.

 Unfortunately, it requires you to stretch your stats somewhat.

Surprising Charge (MP) - A good reason to wield a Spear and charge into the fray.

Unstoppable Charge
(MP) - A great feat for Barbarians in general.


Impetuous Charger
(MP) - Thaneborn Barbarians rejoice! Now you can do your job and give out buffs simultaneously!

Paragon Paths: Exemplars of Destruction

Barbarian PP's

Ancestral Weapon (PP) - Despite some slight conceptual inconsistency (I thought Ragebloods were the secondary Defenders; why is the healing surge ability keyed to Charisma? ), this is a very solid Paragon Path.

Bear Warrior
(PHB 2) - Solid powers and features all around; there's not a weak link in here. The Daily power is particularly nice.

Building Thunder (PP) - A path dedicated to buffing Thunder attacks. Pretty solid.

Calm Fury
(PP) - Buffs your at-wills, but most importantly, makes Rage Strike very powerful, which in turn makes your nova potential go up. Sweet.

Death’s Thane (PP) - A fantastic Utility power redeems what is otherwise a rather unimpressive Paragon Path.

Fearbringer Thane
(PHB 2) - One of the worst Paragon Paths ever printed. A waste of ink, much less your time.

Frenzied Berserker
(PHB 2) - The Warpath PP feature single-handedly slays what could have been a pretty good Paragon Path.

Stonefire Rager (PP) - A good mix of offense and defense in the powers and features. Very solid overall.

Twinclaw Slayer
(PP) - I find the features to be unimpressive, but the powers are just plain awesome, so it’s still a good choice.

Wildrunner (PHB 2) - Mobility is nice, and this path has a LOT of it. It is a rather bland option, though.

Winter’s Fury (PP) - A decent Paragon Path, if Cold is your thing (and it is for some Barbarians).

Other PP's


Draeven Marauder
(D 365) - Slippery, and very good with a Spear. Not a bad choice, especially if you don't mind being a more unorthodox sort of Barbarian.
 To boot, you can spend your points however you like, because Weapon Mastery is already covered.

(MP) - A great path to round your character out on the defensive side of the ball. It hands you +10 max HP right off the bat, as well as strong powers and numerous ways to resist all damage and shake off conditions, which is especially great for the Ragebloods and Thunderborn, since their Reflex, and Will defenses tend to be rather low.

Giantslayer (MP) - Considering that most enemies will be Large or larger, this PP's additional effects will actually see play, making it a very solid choice.

Iron Vanguard
(PHB) - Ragebloods and Thunderborn have a multitude of push effects, and thus appreciate the strong mix of offense and defense this path has.

(PHB) - The catch-all path you can swap in for, this offers great features, including an accuracy bonus. The powers kind of suck, but it's still a worthwhile grab.

Polearm Master (MP) - A very powerful control PP, it's a solid choice for Polearm builds.


Horned Champion (PHB 2) - Great if you want to double as a Defender, and he has multiattacking and stunning built in.

Storm Sentinel
(PHB 2) - If raw toughness is what you seek, this is your Path. The features are solid, and the Daily power turns you into a Stormwarden. Nice. 


Student of Caiphon
(D 366) - Though the Encounter attack power might or might not be useless to you, pick up a Radiant weapon and it doesn't matter; you’re here for the ridiculous critical rate.


Battlelord of Kord
(MP) - Some nice nova-power synergies with Thaneborns.


Adroit Explorer
(PHB 2) - Beautiful power recycling benefits (and bonuses for being bloodied up, too). A prime pick.

Beastblooded Minotaur (D 369) - Great control benefits if you're willing to wield a Polearm.

Bloodfury Savage
(PHB 2) - You hit like a truck, and you move about quickly. Nice, especially for Whirlers.

Moonstalker (PHB 2) - If you're knocking folk prone a lot, give this a look.

(PHB 2) - Some strong racial support from this path.

Warforged Juggernaut
(EPG) - A very powerful Path that emphasizes a charging offense and a strong defense in equal measure.

Wildfire Genasi (FRPG) - This racial path's powers and abilities are surprisingly strong, which is tempered by the fact that AoE is usually not your job.

Epic Destinies: Destruction Personified

Barbarian ED's

Darklord (D 372) - Get your inner Grim Reaper on.

Deadly Trickster (PHB) - This is only a choice for Whirlers and Thaneborn that are willing to pay the skill tax, but it has some cool features you can take advantage of.

(PHB) - Still arguably the best Epic Destiny for any character, and you are no exception.

Eternal Seeker
(PHB) - The mix-and-matching part is very appealing, and it only gets better as more material is released. Right now, it's downright awesome for anybody.

Fang of the World Serpent
(PP) - A very powerful offensive PP, it offers a whole grab bag of effects to make your offense better.

Fury of the Wild (PP) - It has some solid features, but it's not quite at the level of some of the other choices here.

Glorious Spirit (PHB 2) - A solid overall ED, but it's not mind-blowing.

Harbinger of Doom (PHB 2) - Another solid, but not spectacular ED.

Harper of Legend (D 367) - Has an entry fee in skills, but it's solid enough.

Honored Ancestor (PP) - Too defensive for a Barbarian, if you ask me.

(D 372) - Huh?

Mythic Spirit (PP)
- Its features are OK, but there's nothing that pushes it above the competition.

Primal Avatar
(PHB 2) - Awesome flavor; weak abilities.

Prince of Hell
(D 372) - A touch off-kilter with what your job is, but the benefits are nice (especially the summons).

Punisher of the Gods
(D 372) - If there is an ED that can challenge Demigod's supremacy, this is it. The benefits you get on criticals are downright INSANE (even post-errata).

Reincarnate Champion (PP) - Racial shenanigans galore!

Ruler of Winter (D 372) - You don't do a lot of (save ends) shenanigans, but the features are still pretty good, and it helps if you like Wintertouched/Lasting Frost.

Storm Sovereign (D 372) - A pretty nice choice if you're gonna go for Constitution, but it seems better suited to a Warlock.

World Tree Guardian (PP) - This may be a defensive PP, but the fact that you are so ridiculously hard to kill makes it worth a look.

Other ED's

Eternal Defender
(MP) - A strong path, it offers a bonus to Strength, oversized, and other nice goodies.

Mythic Sovereign
(D 367) - Because recycling Hurricane of Blades sounds like fun.

Undying Warrior (MP) - Immortality is fun. That alone justifies this ED.

Equipment: Tools of Destruction


Level 2+

Dwarven Armor (Chain, Scale, Plate) (PHB) - Healing as a free action that doesn't spend a surge, and a bonus to Endurance checks as a bonus? OK!

Screaming Armor (Hide, Scale, Plate) (AV) - A free bonus to Intimidate, and a nifty debuffing power (with range, no less). A solid choice

Shadow Hound Armor (Hide) (AV 2) - A nice defensive bonus to have when you get banged up.

Level 3+

Bestial Armor (Leather, Hide) (AV) - A free attack with a bonus after a charge? Sweet.

Level 4+

Battle Harness (Cloth, Leather, Hide) (D 368) - An initiative bonus is never bad (even if it doesn’t stack with a Warlord’s buff), and Quick Draw for free doesn’t hurt either. A pretty good choice.

Verve Armor (Scale, Plate) (AV) - This armor basically says, "I get up from being down," once per day.

Level 5+

Agile Armor (Chain, Scale, Plate) (AV) - Only usable by Heavy Armor wearers, and not really worth it until Paragon Tier, but good enough during Epic that it’s worth mentioning.

Level 7+

Marauder's Armor (Leather, Hide) (AV 2) - Some solid defensive bonuses for charging about. Hardly bad, but I would be looking for offense right now.

Level 9+

Solar Armor (Scale, Plate) (AV) - I'm not a friendly-fire supporter, but Laser Clerics' at-will damage is pretty piddly, so getting hit by your Cleric to trigger a Healing Surge may not be that bad an idea (and you might even get THP or a save in return for it if they hit you with Sacred Flame!).

Level 10+

Lifeblood Armor (Hide) (PHB 2) - If I’m reading this right, this grants you free HP just for using a short rest (which you will do; you want your Encounter powers back). Whoa.

Level 13+

Rageblood Armor (Hide) (PHB 2) - Healing for raging and damage rerolls? A worthy pick.

Level 14+

Displacer Armor (Cloth, Leather, Hide) (AV) - A fantastic property for Barbarians of all stripes. A prime choice.

Level 15+

Bloodvine Armor (Hide) (PHB 2) - Expensive, but the power can help you stay alive. Worth a look.

Trollskin Armor (Hide, Scale) (PHB) - Regen is always great to have.

Level 18+

Driftmetal Armor (Chain, Scale) (MOTP) - A smidge of elemental resistance, and an easy-to-use power that hands out an attack penalty. Solid.

Level 19+

Great Cat Armor
(Hide) (AV 2) - More mobility never killed anybody.


Level 3+

Cunning (Any Melee) (AV) - If you like (save ends) effects, this is the weapon for you.

Frost (Any) (PHB) - Combines with Wintertouched and Lasting Frost for eternal combat advantage and +5 damage. Better than ever, thanks to other items helping it beat cold resistance.

Frost Fury Waraxe (Axe) (AV 2)
- Pretty solid extra damage, and it has cold damage attached to it.

Inescapable (Any) (AV) - Buffs your attack bonus after a miss. Solid.

Luckblade (Heavy Blade, Light Blade) (AV) - Rerolls, which are great.

Paired (Any One-Handed Melee) (AV) - Some pretty good economy for your weapons if you dual-wield.

Quick (Any) (AV) - Free basic attacks are fun.

Vanguard (Any Melee) (AV) - Bonuses to damage while charging, and a pretty sweet buffing power if you're a Thaneborn. Nice.

Level 4+

Battlecrazed (Axe, Heavy Blade) (AV) - Some hefty extra damage while you’re bloodied, and its power makes you “bloodied” for 2 turns. Nice.

Harmony Blade (Heavy Blade) (AV 2) - You essentially get Two-Weapon Opening for free, plus Whirling Rend packs a debuff. Consider it.

Rending (Axe) (AV) - This turns an Axe crit into something genuinely fearsome.

Level 5+

Flaming (Any) (PHB) - This weapon is OK by itself, but it's great for Tieflings, thanks to Hellfire Blood.

Lightning (Any) (PHB) - Makes Stormsoul Genasi very, very happy.

Level 6+

Grasping (Polearm, Spear) (AV) - What every Barbarian wants on his Javelin. Grab your enemies and bring them down where you can smack them.

Level 8+

Dread (Any) (AV) - Slaps out defensive penalties like it's nobody's business.

Level 10+

Berserker (Axe, Heavy Blade) (PHB) - A damage bonus for a penalty to all defenses, but resist all might be worth it, especially because you get +2 to hit as well. Unfortunately it’s real expensive...

Level 12+

Jagged (Axe, Heavy Blade, Light Blade) (AV) - Improved crits at LEVEL 12!!!!!!!!

Level 13+

Bloodiron (Any) (AV) - Your criticals are so nice, they damage twice.

Thundergod (Any Melee) (AV) - Only worth it at Epic Tier, but +2d6 damage on a charge is nothing to sneeze at.

Level 14+

Battlemaster's (Any) - An extra go with Hurricane of Blades for an Item Daily? I'm in.

Level 15+

(Any) (AV) - This lets you play nice with Divine classes, and smacks undead around pretty well. Too bad it’s so expensive...

Reaper’s Axe (Axe) (AV 2) - Free attacks AND free shifting when you drop an opponent. Awesome.

Level 30

Vorpal (Axe, Heavy Blade) (PHB) - Kill it with damage. Too bad it’s an endgame weapon...

Arms Slot Items

Level 4

Counterstrike Guards (L4/14) (AV) - A decent item, it grants you more attacks.

Level 5

Quickhit Braces (L5/15/25) (AV) - Some decent damage for Whirlers, but only if both attacks hit. Better if you’re getting an item bonus to damage from another source (like Radiant Weapons).

Level 6

Iron Armbands of Power (L6/16/26) (AV) - No real reason to not wear them.

Level 10

Barrage Bracers (AV 2) - A bonus to attack when you score a hit. Nice.

Bloodsoaked Bracers (L10/20/30) (AV) - If you're OK with your damage being a huge spike instead of a steady flow, this is the item for you. Be warned, though; it doesn’t stack very well with other sources of damage.

Level 19

Trollhide Braces
(L19/29) (AV) - Regen is always a solid choice.

Feet Slot Items

Level 2

Acrobat Boots (AV) - Cheap, and they let you stand up as a minor action (a very useful property).

Boots of Adept Charging (AV) - Dirt cheap, and they give you some extra mobility after a charge.

Level 7

Boots of the Fencing Master (AV) - Rewards you for moving around. What's not to like?

Level 8

Boots of Quickness (L8/18/28) (AV) - A decent boost to your Reflex defense.

Level 9

Boots of Eagerness (AV) - Pretty cheap, and they pack a power you might just keep for the rest of your days...

Level 10

Boots of Sand and Sea (AV) - This is a cheap speed boost that also allows you to swim if you're in light armor. Not bad.

Boots of the Mighty Charge (D 381) - Hurricane of Blades on a charge. Need I say more?

Level 12

Battlestrider Greaves (PHB) - The cheapest speed boost available for heavy armor users.

Level 16

Survivor’s Boots (AV 2) - Yeah, they require you to be bloodied, but after that, you can pretty much do whatever you want in combat. That's gotta be worth something.

Level 22

Boots of Speed (AV) - +2 to speed and a decent power.

Level 24

Boots of Caiphon (AV 2) - They sap your HP, but it’s probably less damage than you would take for eating an OA, especially at these levels, and you ARE moving with a minor action...

Level 25

Sandals of Avandra (AV) - Expensive, but very powerful and allow for crazy mobility.

Level 28

Boots of Teleportation (AV) - Get them if you can afford them. That is all.

Hands Slot Items

Level 3

Gloves of Piercing (PHB) - Real cheap, and they should punch through most resistance to your attacks if they're not element-based.

Level 5

Parry Gauntlets (AV) - If you like to second wind, you might want to pick this one up.

Level 10

Dwarven Throwers (AV) - This allows you to make a basic attack with your main weapon at range once per encounter. Pretty cool.

Level 11

Gloves of Ice (L11/21) (AV 2) - More damage for your cold attacks, or punch through cold resistance. Glorious, especially with Frost Weapons.

Level 13

Gloves of Missile Deflection (AV) - Some solid resistance against Ranged attacks.

Level 18

Gauntlets of Destruction (PHB) - A superior version of Brutal 1. Sweet.

Head Slot Items

Level 4

Casque of Tactics (L4/14/24) (AV) - An initiative bonus is good for anyone.

Level 6

Horned Helm (L6/16/26) (PHB) - Extra d6's while charging. Super awesome.

Level 8

Coif of Mindiron (L8/18/28) (AV) - Protects against an increasing array of mental conditions (albeit only against Will) as an ENCOUNTER POWER. Sexy.

Level 9

Helm of Battle (L9/19/29) (PHB) - Initiative bonuses for everyone!

Level 12

Charger's Headdress (AV 2) - Accuracy bonuses while charging are always appreciated.

Level 15

Carcanet of Psychic Schism (AV) - Slaps a penalty on you, but it sure beats being incapacitated.

Level 21

Coif of Focus
(AV) - Comes by later in your career, and burns up a Magic Item Daily, but negating Daze or Stun is awesome.

Level 22

Helm of Ghostly Defense (PHB) - Helps you take the sting off your opponent’s hits.

Level 23

Eye of Awareness (AV) - A decent bonus to Will defense, and a huge initiative boost on top of that.

Neck Slot Items

Level 2+

Badge of the Berserker (AV 2) - Cheap, and allows you to charge into any mess without having to worry about getting hammered coming in.

Cloak of Resistance (PHB) - Decent resistance for a turn.

Level 4+

Cloak of Distortion (AV) - Forces your enemies to get in close enough for you to engage them if they want to hit you with any kind of regularity.

Level 8+

Steadfast Amulet (AV) - This prevents daze or stun. 'Nuff said.

Level 9+

Amulet of False Life (PHB) - Your healing surge value in THP is a sweet ability, even if it's a Daily.

Level 10+

Periapt of Cascading Health (D 369) - Ends one effect per encounter, no questions asked. Win.

Level 13+

Amulet of Scales (D 365) - Scaling, immediate-application, encounter-long resistance to a keyword (which includes Arcane, Weapon, and the like, by the way) is nice.

Level 14+

Flamewrath Cape (AV) - Offers a nice damage boost, as well as disincentive for enemies attacking you. Only for one turn, though.

Timeless Locket (AV 2) - Turn a Minor into a Standard? Sign me up!

Level 15+

Brooch of Vitality (AV) - More HP is NICE, especially the Epic Tier versions.

Cloak of Displacement (AV) - A nice bonus to AC and Reflex until you get hit, and a pretty cool power. Worth a look.

Necklace of Fireballs (AV) - Defense that packs some decent offense.

Torc of Power Preservation (AV) - It retains Encounter powers when you use them. Need I really say more?

Level 30

Scarab of Invulnerability (PHB) - Makes you immune to everything for a round. Sure, it's a Level 30 item, but you will enjoy the short amount of time you'll have it.


Level 13

Ring of Giants (D 378) - A sweet bonus to critical hit damage, and push 2 + prone on any attack can come in handy.

Level 14

Ring of Fury (D 366) - When you're bloodied, you let it be known.

Level 16

Ring of Protection (PHB) - Generic defensive item. Useful, though it's about as exciting as watching grass grow.

War Ring (AV) - Adds a little more 'oomph' into your criticals.

Level 18

Bone Ring of Better Fortune (AV) - Since this halves all necrotic damage, it can potentially be better than a lot of resistance.

Ring of Ramming (AV) - Hands you a bit more 'oomph' on those pushes Bruisers and Polearm Barbarians like so much.

Level 19

Grace Ring of Prowess (AV 2) - A solid power that lets you rev up for +2 to hit before teeing off.

Level 20

Ring of Action Reversal (AV 2) - A hefty bonus to initiative checks, and a sweet benefit should you miss with an Encounter power.

Level 21

Ring of Heroic Insight (AV) - Allows you to buff yourself pretty well once per day.

Ring of Tenacious Will (AV) - Makes Thaneborn as tough as their Con-based counterparts.

Level 22

Blink Ring (AV) - Teleportation is nice to have as a Striker.

Level 23

Greater Ring of Invisibility (AV 2) - Invisibility every encounter, and concealment the whole way after a milestone. Wow.

Level 24

Golden Ring of Teros (AV 2) - +2 to AC and Fortitude is nice to have, even if it’s conditional.

Level 27

Avandra’s Ring (AV 2) - Ignoring difficult terrain is pretty cool. Too bad it shows up so late...

Ring of the Phoenix (AV) - A pretty sweet revival ability.

Shadow Band (AV) - You can't really argue against +2 to all defenses as a static property...

Level 28

Ring of Elemental Mastery (MOTP) - Allows you to shave some elemental resistance off your opponent, or flat-out ignore it after a milestone. Solid, especially for people looking to abuse the Frostcheese combo.

Level 29

Ring of Free Time (AV 2) - Expensive, but resist all 5 is nice, as is an extra minor action every turn to pull off all those Utility powers simultaneously.

Level 30

Dauntless Champion’s Ring (AV 2) - For all you non-Demigods out there (you know who you are).

Nullifying Ring (AV) - A capstone defensive item. Pretty nuts... if you can foot the bill.

Waist Slot Items

Level 8

Belt of Lucky Strikes (D 365) - A free attack after you miss is a solid benefit.

Belt of Vim (L8/18/28) (AV) - Reinforces your strongest defense.

Level 10

Diamond Cincture (L10/20/30) (AV 2) - Non-surge healing, and a bonus a to Fortitude. Tasty.

Level 11

Backbone Belt (AV) - A nice boost for your Second Wind. Dwarves in particular love this.

Healer's Sash (L11/21) (AV) - Anything that allows you to heal your allies is at least worth mentioning, even post-errata.

Totemic Belt (AV) - Buffs for charging are always welcome. They stack poorly with other buffs, though.

Level 15

Belt of Giant Strength (PHB) - A meh offensive Daily buff, but a pretty cool bonus to skills.

Girdle of the Umber Hulk (L15/25) (AV) - A solid burrow power, and a boost to Fortitude.

Level 16

Girdle of the Dragon (L16/26) (AV) - Fortitude boost, and an OK attack power.

Level 18

Belt of Mountain Endurance (D 365) - Glorious. +Str to surge value and an AP benefit, all in one package.

Level 19

Belt of Breaching (AV 2) - Healing as you chug on. Solid.

Level 23

Belt of Vitality (AV) - Gets you up when you're down, and boosts Fortitude. Could be worse...

Level 25

Belt of Titan Strength (PHB) - A strong buff for one turn, and strong skill bonuses.

Level 28

Sash of Regeneration (AV 2) - Regen while bloodied is nice.

Miscellaneous Items

Dragonshard Augments:

Level 2

Eberron Shard of Lightning (L2/12/22) (EPG) - A great incentive to wield Lightning weapons.

Khyber Shard of the Fiery Depth (L2/12/22) (EPG) - Incentive for wielding Flaming weapons.

Siberys Shard of Merciless Cold (L2/12/22) (EPG) - Yet another reason to like Frost weapons.

Level 3

Siberys Shard of Radiance (L3/13/23) (EPG) - Another selling point for the Radiant weapon.

Wondrous Items:

Level 12

Foe Stone (AV) - Cheap, and it pinpoints your opponent’s weakest defense at will. Somebody in the party has to have this; why not you?

Level 16

Solitaire (Aquamarine)
(AV) - Free attacks after a critical are nice.

Level 21

Solitaire (Cerulean) (AV) - Expensive, but getting rid of (save ends) effects this easily should be.

Level 26

Solitaire (Violet)
(AV) - Free AP’s after a crit are awesome.

Tactics: The Way of the Destroyer

After some analysis and playtesting, I believe that the following guidelines are key to playing a successful Barbarian.

1. Be aware of how you destroy.

The first step to playing a successful Barbarian is identifiying what the particular build does the best. This depends on the combat style you have chosen, which I will detail as follows:

• Rageblood - This build feels and plays like a Brute; you're big and tough, and you deal a whole lot of damage. That means you charge into the frontline, taking some of the heat off your Defender (also known as "off-tanking") as you hew into enemies left and right. Occasionally, though, you may want to use the mobility you are afforded by charging to get through the enemy frontline and beat up on the squishiy target. Remember that you have no marking ability, so you can't protect the squishies in your party.
• Thaneborn - This build also functions as a Brute, but it has a strong hint of Leader; the array of buffs and debuffs you carry can make life a lot easier for your companions. You like being on the front-line as well, but you're not equipped to be in there as long as, say, a Rageblood, so you'll have to work more closely with the party Defender.
• Thunderborn - This build is an interesting mix of Brute and Controller; you have positioning abilities galore, and plenty of AoE-style damage as well as solid single-target swings. Like the Rageblood, you can "off-tank", so the front-line is your place to be. Additionally, you are very proficient at dealing with minions, so getting swarmed happens less often to you.
• Whirler - This build diverges from the others in that its play style is more of a Skirmisher than anything else; you weave in and out of the fight, dealing out damage indiscriminately to anything that you happen to come across along the way. Like the Thaneborn, you're not as tough as some of the other Barbarians, so the Defender needs to help keep your nose clean. Also, your emphasis on area damage means that if you can catch enemies in clusters, you can maximize your damage potential, so look for allies to help you place enemies where you want them to be.

2. Crush 'em.

A Barbarian is a Striker first and foremost. That means your responsibility is to get to the most annoying enemy, and cave his skull in. The order in which the following points are illustrated indicates the priority you should place on the aspects that entails.

• Smack them around. Damage is one of your strong points, and you should emphasize it even further. There is no control like bringing your enemy down to 0 HP. This means that damage should be your primary (not only) consideration when evaluating a choice. Anything that boosts accuracy, damage, or allows you to squeeze off multiple attacks in the same action (or even outside your turn) is particularly prized for damage output.
• Get in their grill. All the damage in the world won't help you if you can't get to your opponents, so look for abilities that help out your mobility. Barbarians are one of the most (if not the most) mobile pure Melee classes in the game because or their charge-happy bent, so take advantage of this to get where you need to go.
• Hobble them. Another way to hamper your chosen opponent is via conditions and other maladies. Barbarians are a bit lacking in the more traditional action denial status effects, such as dazing or stunning, but make up for it with a multitude of mobility denial effects, such as knocking prone, immobilizing, pushing, or slowing. This limits your opponent's options, and is particularly valuable against enemies that are trying to get to your back rank.

3. Get tough.

Because of your strong damaging potential, you will be a prime target for (usually unwanted) enemy attention. Although you are overall more durable than other Strikers, even you can't handle getting hit by everybody all the time. So, some suggestions for staying on your feet:

• Move around. If they can't reach you, they can't hit you. You have the virtue of being able to initiate an assault from afar, thanks to your charging potential, so use that to your advantage. Move about while picking off individual targets, unless you get a prime opportunity to take out your target by charging in. If you do, at least try to make it easier for your party to get your skillet out of the fire.
• Tank up. They can't hurt you if they can't hit you, so high defenses go a long way in keeping you up and running without drawing time and resources away from the rest of the party. This has a caveat in that there is a limit to how much offense you should sacrifice; you are a primarily offensive character, and that is what your selections should be geared to, for the most part. After that has been taken care of, invest in your defense. You are more durable than other Strikers (you're probably more durable than some Defenders as well), so this is a bit less of a priority than it is for others of your role, but don't ignore it.

4. Look out for your teammates.

You may be tough, but you have a tendency of getting in a whole lot of trouble in combat, so you might wanna stay on your buddies' good sides. Defenders can wade into the melee with you and watch your back while you beat someone up, Leaders can keep you up and running after you've gotten yourself in a jam, as well as turn you into something even more unstoppable, and those fancy Controller folk can deliver you your opponent bound, gagged, and tied up with a large bow. Help them out when you can, even if it means taking a gamble; gambling is kind of what you do for a living. And remember; if you help them, they usually will help you.

All this being said, don't make the mistake of believing that the rest of the party is your personal squad of minions, ready to do whatever you suggest at a whim just because you said so; such has been the downfall of many an arrogant Striker.

5. Apply force judiciously.

Having a good understanding of a given tactical situation can save your party more time and HP than any damage combo you (or anyone else) can cook up. Learn when to stick to your guns and fight conservative, and when to gamble more resources to end the encounter faster.

Barbarians in particular face an interesting conundrum in that their Dailies are Rages, and will usually hand out a buff until the end of the encounter. This can tempt you into front-loading the Rage as your first attack of the encounter. Unless you're sure that it's a boss fight, resist that temptation; try to gauge the strength of your opponents. If they offer up some stiff resistance, fire away. If not, you just saved yourself a Daily power, which you can unload on the next encounter as a Rage Strike for a whole lot of damage.

6. Balance specialization with versatility.

A Barbarian is fairly straightforward in his methodology: charge right up to it and hit it over the head until it stops moving. Look out for ways to expand your options, so that you don't end up being a one-trick pony. Don't sacrifice too much for versatility, though; you want to be good at what you do, and that mostly involving beating things over the head with heavy objects.

Sample Characters, Level 1

Dragonborn Barbarian - "The Executioner"

Male dragonborn Barbarian 1 (Thaneborn Triumph):

Ability Scores: Str 18, Con 13, Dex 11, Int 8, Wis 10, Cha 18

Initiative: +0; Speed: 5

HP: 28; Bloodied: 14; Surges: 9 (7 HP)

AC/Fort/Ref/Will: 16/16/10/14

Basic Melee: Greataxe (+6 vs. AC, 1d12+4 damage [1d12+16 on a crit])
Basic Ranged: Handaxe (+6 vs. AC, 1d6+4 damage)

Racial Powers: Dragon Breath (Fire)

At-Will Powers: Howling Strike, Pressing Strike

Encounter Powers: Escalating Violence

Daily Powers: Swift Panther Rage

Trained Skills: Athletics (+8), Endurance (+5), Intimidate (+11)

Feats: Armor Proficiency (chainmail)

Gear: Greataxe, handaxe (3), chainmail armor, standard adventurer's kit, 5 gp

Goliath Barbarian - "The Bruiser"

Male goliath Barbarian 1 (Rageblood Vigor):

Ability Scores: Str 18, Con 18, Dex 12, Int 8, Wis 12, Cha 10

Initiative: +1; Speed: 6

HP: 33; Bloodied: 16; Surges: 12 (8 HP)

AC/Fort/Ref/Will: 15/16/12/12

Basic Melee: Maul (+6 vs. AC, 2d6+6 damage)
Basic Ranged: Throwing hammer (+6 vs. AC, 1d6+4 damage)

Racial Powers: Stone's Endurance

At-Will Powers: Howling Strike, Pressing Strike

Encounter Powers: Avalanche Strike

Daily Powers: Thunder Hooves Rage

Trained Skills: Athletics (+10), Endurance (+8), Nature (+8)

Feats: Goliath Greatweapon Prowess

Gear: Maul, throwing hammer (4), Hide Armor, standard adventurer's kit, 5 gp

Half-Orc Barbarian - "The Storm"

Male half-orc Barbarian 1 (Whirling Slayer):

Attributes: Str 18, Con 13, Dex 18, Int 8, Wis 10, Cha 11

Initiative: +4; Speed: 6

HP: 28; Bloodied: 14; Surges: 9 (7 HP)

AC/Fort/Ref/Will: 18/16/15/10

Basic Melee: Bastard Sword (+7 vs. AC, 1d10+4 damage)
Basic Ranged: Javelin (+6 vs. AC, 1d6+4 damage)

Racial Powers: Furious Assault

At-Will Powers: Howling Strike, Whirling Rend

Encounter Powers: Whirling Frenzy

Daily Powers: Swift Panther Rage

Trained Skills: Acrobatics (+8), Athletics (+8), Endurance (+7)

Feats: Weapon Proficiency (bastard sword)

Gear: Bastard Sword, Battleaxe, Javelin (2), Hide Armor, standard adventurer's kit, 0 gp

Human Barbarian - "The Conqueror"

Male human Barbarian 1 (Thaneborn Triumph):

Attributes: Str 18, Con 13, Dex 14, Int 10, Wis 8, Cha 14

Initiative: +2; Speed: 6

HP: 33; Bloodied: 16; Surges: 9 (8 HP)

AC/Fort/Ref/Will: 16/17/14/14

Basic Melee: Fullblade (+7 vs. AC, 1d12+4 damage [1d12+16 on a critical])
Basic Ranged: Javelin (+6 vs. AC, 1d6+4 damage)

At-Will Powers: Howl of Fury, Howling Strike, Pressing Strike

Encounter Powers: Escalating Violence

Daily Powers: Thunder Hooves Rage

Trained Skills: Acrobatics (+6), Athletics (+8), Endurance (+5), Intimidate (+7)

Feats: Toughness, Weapon Proficiency (fullblade)

Gear: Fullblade, Javelin (4), Hide Armor, standard adventurer's kit, 5 gp

Minotaur Barbarian - "The Gorer"

Male minotaur Barbarian 1 (Rageblood Vigor):

Ability Scores: Str 20, Con 15, Dex 13, Int 8, Wis 10, Cha 10

Initiative: +1; Speed: 6

HP: 30; Bloodied: 15; Surges: 10 (7 HP)

AC/Fort/Ref/Will: 15/17/12/10

Basic Melee: Fullblade (+8 vs. AC, 1d12+5 damage [1d12+17 damage on a critical])
Basic Ranged: Javelin (+7 vs. AC, 1d6+5 damage)

Racial Powers: Goring Charge

At-Will Powers: Howl of Fury, Howling Strike

Encounter Powers: Avalanche Strike

Daily Powers: Tyrant's Rage

Trained Skills: Athletics (+9), Endurance (+6), Perception (+7)

Feats: Weapon Proficiency (fullblade)

Gear: Fullblade, Javelin (4), Hide Armor, standard adventurer's kit, 5 gp

Shifter Barbarian - "The Butcher"

Male longtooth shifter Barbarian 1 (Rageblood Vigor):

Ability Scores: Str 18, Con 13, Dex 15, Int 10, Wis 15, Cha 8

Initiative: +2; Speed: 6

HP: 28; Bloodied: 14; Surges: 9 (7 HP)

AC/Fort/Ref/Will: 16/16/13/12

Basic Melee: Glaive (+6 vs. AC, 2d4+5 damage)
Basic Ranged: Javelin (+6 vs. AC, 1d6+4 damage)

Racial Powers: Longtooth Shifting

At-Will Powers: Howling Strike, Pressing Strike

Encounter Powers: Great Cleave

Daily Powers: Swift Panther Rage

Trained Skills: Athletics (+8), Endurance (+7), Nature (+8)

Feats: Weapon Focus (heavy blades)

Gear: Glaive, Javelin (4), Hide Armor, standard adventurer's kit, 10 gp

This Handbook covers the following sources:
AV - Adventurer's Vault
D XXX - Dragon Magazine, issue XXX
FRPG - Forgotten Realms Player's Guide
MM - Monster Manual
MOTP - Manual of the Planes
MP - Martial Power
PHB - Player's Handbook

I feel something is missing from that list ... still no idea what, hmm. O ya PHB2

sorry could not resist is probably just a copy past thing.
Yeah, I still haven't gotten PHB II, so I'm not adding that stuff yet. I'll have it by the end of the month, so I figured I might as well get started, since I called dibs on this Handbook.

And besides, I have the Rageblood Barb; I'll just talk about him for a while.

By the way, how do you like the picture on top?
So... Rageblood + Iron Vanguard + knocking prone rages, yes yes? :D
So... Rageblood + Iron Vanguard + knocking prone rages, yes yes? :D

Don't forget Draconic Arrogance. :D
Pic is good for a barbarian.
Sweet, another LDB bible! Can't wait :D

You, sir, get a preemptive
Quick note: Warlocks can also be CON-based.

Yeah, they're not as tough as Barbarians, but just pointing out that Barbarians aren't the only striker that gets a kick out of CON.
I think the fact that he forgot the warlock in that statement speaks volumes in and of itself.
Sweet. Been looking forward to another LDB handbook, and one on a favored class of mine too!
Quick note: Warlocks can also be CON-based.

Yeah, they're not as tough as Barbarians, but just pointing out that Barbarians aren't the only striker that gets a kick out of CON.

Whoops, thanks.

Also, no comments on the pic?
Pic is good for a barbarian.

Nope, no one commented :-p

5e houserules and tweaks.

Celestial Link Evoking Radiance into Creation

A Party Without Music is Lame: A Bard

Level Dip Guide


4e stuff

List of no-action attacks.
Dynamic vs Static Bonuses
Phalanx tactics and builds
Crivens! A Pictsies Guide Good
s to intentionally miss with
Mr. Cellophane: How to be unnoticed
Way's to fire around corners
Crits: what their really worth
Retroactive bonus vs Static bonus.
Runepriest handbook & discussion thread
Holy Symbols to hang around your neck
Ways to Gain or Downgrade Actions
List of bonuses to saving throws
The Ghost with the Most (revenant handbook)
my builds
F-111 Interdictor Long (200+ squares) distance ally teleporter. With some warlord stuff. Broken in a plot way, not a power way.

Thought Switch Higher level build that grants upto 14 attacks on turn 1. If your allies play along, it's broken.

Elven Critters Crit op with crit generation. 5 of these will end anything. Broken.

King Fisher Optimized net user.  Moderate.

Boominator Fun catch-22 booming blade build with either strong or completely broken damage depending on your reading.

Very Distracting Warlock Lot's of dazing and major penalties to hit. Overpowered.

Pocket Protector Pixie Stealth Knight. Maximizing the defender's aura by being in an ally's/enemy's square.

Yakuza NinjIntimiAdin: Perma-stealth Striker that offers a little protection for ally's, and can intimidate bloodied enemies. Very Strong.

Chargeburgler with cheese Ranged attacks at the end of a charge along with perma-stealth. Solid, could be overpowered if tweaked.

Void Defender Defends giving a penalty to hit anyone but him, then removing himself from play. Can get somewhat broken in epic.

Scry and Die Attacking from around corners, while staying hidden. Moderate to broken, depending on the situation.

Skimisher Fly in, attack, and fly away. Also prevents enemies from coming close. Moderate to Broken depending on the enemy, but shouldn't make the game un-fun, as the rest of your team is at risk, and you have enough weaknesses.

Indestructible Simply won't die, even if you sleep though combat.  One of THE most abusive character in 4e.

Sir Robin (Bravely Charge Away) He automatically slows and pushes an enemy (5 squares), while charging away. Hard to rate it's power level, since it's terrain dependent.

Death's Gatekeeper A fun twist on a healic, making your party "unkillable". Overpowered to Broken, but shouldn't actually make the game un-fun, just TPK proof.

Death's Gatekeeper mk2, (Stealth Edition) Make your party "unkillable", and you hidden, while doing solid damage. Stronger then the above, but also easier for a DM to shut down. Broken, until your DM get's enough of it.

Domination and Death Dominate everything then kill them quickly. Only works @ 30, but is broken multiple ways.

Battlemind Mc Prone-Daze Protecting your allies by keeping enemies away. Quite powerful.

The Retaliator Getting hit deals more damage to the enemy then you receive yourself, and you can take plenty of hits. Heavy item dependency, Broken.

Dead Kobold Transit Teleports 98 squares a turn, and can bring someone along for the ride. Not fully built, so i can't judge the power.

Psilent Guardian Protect your allies, while being invisible. Overpowered, possibly broken.

Rune of Vengance Do lot's of damage while boosting your teams. Strong to slightly overpowered.

Charedent BarrageA charging ardent. Fine in a normal team, overpowered if there are 2 together, and easily broken in teams of 5.

Super Knight A tough, sticky, high damage knight. Strong.

Super Duper Knight Basically the same as super knight with items, making it far more broken.

Mora, the unkillable avenger Solid damage, while being neigh indestuctable. Overpowered, but not broken.

Swordburst Maximus At-Will Close Burst 3 that slide and prones. Protects allies with off actions. Strong, possibly over powered with the right party.

Whoops, thanks.

Also, no comments on the pic?

The pic is kinda cool, but I think we can find better! Something more iconic for a barbarian!

I found a pretty neat Warforged barb you could use. Thanks to reho for creating such an awesome pic. Its based on a cool D&D mini too!

I'm not sure how to upload images on here though >.> sorry The old frenzied barb would be cool too

Nope, no one commented :-p

Gaaah! My apologies to grailhawk.

@Melik: Hmm, this is a very nice pic... I'll have to think about it...
Thanks for starting the handbook, a good beginning!
One aspect I slightly disagree with is the negativity towards the dwarf. The 2nd wind / minor action comes in handy for a class that is used to losing HP. Dwarven Weapon Training is a great thing to have for 2H hammer and axe barbarians. The racial bonus on CON is a secondary stat - that's better than what the Eladrin has.
Hey LDB,

I feel like I never contribute to these things, so despite this being pre-emptive I'm going on book as suggesting the Barbarian is one of the better homes for the human racial paragon path, Adroit Explorer.
Eladrin have an AC boosting stat, when combined with Barbarian Agility (or whatever the class feature is called) will make Eladrin some tough barbarians (in that they are hard to hit), as well as a Will boost (meaning their AC and Will is going to be respectable). The teleport is great for Barbarians, and Eladrin have excellent feat support for spears (the weapon used by the Supercharger).
I just don't know if the Barbarian specific feats are going to be hard to qualify for an Eladrin, and most of their spear related feats require multi-classing in Rogue or Fighter.

Co-author on AoA 2-3 and 4-1.

Hey LDB,

I feel like I never contribute to these things, so despite this being pre-emptive I'm going on book as suggesting the Barbarian is one of the better homes for the human racial paragon path, Adroit Explorer.

Indeed it is.

@Elwyndas: Maybe so. I might make them Blue, but I think I'd need a little more racial support to do so.
Nice to see you hard at work, L_D. I'll be happy to help with the handbook as soon as I can get my paws on a PHB2. I think we're going to have a field day finding subjects who are strong in The Force (of brokenation). :P
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
Nice to see you hard at work, L_D. I'll be happy to help with the handbook as soon as I can get my paws on a PHB2. I think we're going to have a field day finding subjects who are strong in The Force (of brokenation). :P

Same here; I'll be doing Rageblood until then. I thought I'd jump the gun, though, since a lot of material is available for them.

I am hoping for a lot of powers that require a two-handed weapon, so that two-handed weapon fighters (finally) get some love.
Very cool that you're doing this handbook LDB. From what we've seen already the Barbarian should be an impressive striker.

Dwarf is Blue just by the very fact that Cloak of the Walking Wounded exists. You trade a bit of offense for incredible durability. A Bloodrager Dwarf could have around 17-21 surges. So the Dwarf can reliably heal up to at least half his HP's every encounter as a minor action. Martial MC'ed Dwarven Bloodragers can do this two times per encounter and as a free action.
I'd feel sorry for the poor bastards. If the only way to compensate is through a single encounter power per encounter from another class, they are really ****ed. Hopefully, Martial Power 2 will give them enough love to put them on par without screwing the other builds (we can give up hope on SnBers, though...).

PS: BTW, we already have stats for PHB2 races, with a full write up. Want me to link to them so that you can check them out?
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
I'd feel sorry for the poor bastards. If the only way to compensate is through a single encounter power per encounter from another class, they are really ****ed. Hopefully, Martial Power 2 will give them enough love to put them on par without screwing the other builds (we can give up hope on SnBers, though...).

PS: BTW, we already have stats for PHB2 races, with a full write up. Want me to link to them so that you can check them out?

Enjoy. Half-orcs have an absolutely BADASS power in the way of adding an extra W. It mightn't be that good, but the idea behind it is AWESOME.

Edit: Incidentally, it also includes a description of the Thaneborn below. Don't you just love your fellow gamers? :D
Mountain Cleave Rule: You can have any sort of fun, including broken, silly fun, so long as I get to have that fun too (e. g., if you can warp reality with your spells, I can cleave mountains with my blade).
I am subscribing to this like I subscribe to all your handbooks Lord Duskblade! You are an optimization guru!
I am subscribing to this like I subscribe to all your handbooks Lord Duskblade! You are an optimization guru!

Thanks, Zousha. It means a lot.
Here's me being helpful. A weapon group thingy, just for you! :D

Weapon Groups:
Axes: Axe feats like CON, which all Barbarians like to have anyway. Thaneborn Barbarians will probably favor these weapons.
Flails: Flails do good damage, but the DEX costs are just a little too high.
Hammers: The Rageblood Barbarian's weapon of choice. Hammer Rhythm is just a natural fit with the build.
Heavy Blades: A high proficiency bonus is always welcome, although Heavy Blade feats require some investment in DEX, which of course takes away from your primary attributes.
Light Blades: Low damage and high DEX requirements mean these are bad choices mechanically, and really, these weapons are just... undestructive in general.
Picks: No real feat support, even now. Leave these guys alone.
Polearms: Extra reach is always helpful. Most Barbarians will generally go for the Halberd or the Glaive.
Spears: Again, a DEX-type weapon, but spear push synergizes well with the many Barbarian pushing powers. Combine it with Polearm Gamble for even more awesome.
I have to agree for every single one of these ratings. However, Thaneborns like Axes and Heavy Blades, so I'll put 'em up to Sky Blue. Thanks, m'Lord. :D
How about this for a pic, its what i use for my barb on character builder
I like it. Consider it stolen, brother.
I figured. It just reeks power.
Yes! Now i see the phrase "Conan, what is the Meaning of life?";)
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