Friday, June 17, 2011

My apologies to the Barbarian

A few posts back I ranked the different pathfinder classes and I placed the barbarian below the fighter. I've spent some time over the last couple days messing around with barbarian builds and really looking at the powers and realized that I've made a mistake. When you try to build a barbarian like a fighter, the fighter will always be better. If you build a barbarian around some key Rage powers, you get a terrifying beast that makes a fighter quiver with fear.

If you just look at the numbers the fighter is better. He hits more often for more damage and has those nifty crit feats. But if you put your optimization hat on you can see how the ole barb can surpass his rival. Let's start with the beast totem line of rage powers. Claws are a great back up weapon, by level 16 you've got a +5 natural armor bonus making your AC better then the equivalent fighter, and at level 10 you get Pounce allowing a full attack after a charge. With the Lunge and combat reflexes feats, the Come and Get Me rage power, and Enlarged the barbarian can make Attacks of Opportunity against anyone that either moves or attacks him within 15'. Against the fighter, the barbarian would reply with 4 attacks of opportunity and then do his own full attack. With a good enough Dex, a barbarian could do over 10 attacks per round most of them AoOs at full BAB.

Superstition gives him an awesome will save (with a big caveat), Reckless Abandon allows him to hit as well as a fighter, and Witch Hunter give a damage bonus against anyone with spells/spell-like powers. The Invulnerable Rager archetype trades uncanny dodge and trap sense for much better DR which really helps a build like this.

This barbarian will need lots of healing available because he is going to take tons of hits but the devastation he can unleash exceeds even what an archer can do.

1 comment:

Thugkhtt said...

I recommend the feat dazzling display for any barbarian build.