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D&D: The New ‘Unearthed Arcana’ Barbarian Hits Brutally Hard

4 Minute Read
Nov 29 2023
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Barbarians get buffed in the latest Unearthed Arcana, with a new feature that makes Reckless Attacks even better all around.

Things are looking up for the new D&D 2024 Barbarian. According to the latest Unearthed Arcana, Barbarians are getting more toys to play around with. As well as a boost to their ability to maintain a Rage throughout the day. So that once you’ve been in more than two fights, you still feel like a Barbarian.

Today we’re going through the new Barbarian in the latest Unearthed Arcana. As part of Playtest 8, one of the final few player-focused UAs for the One D&D Playtest, Barbarians got some upgrades, and there’s a lot to love.

Unearthed Arcana Barbarian – Brutal Strikes And World Trees

When last we left the Barbarian, they had been surprisingly good at juggling weapons. That isn’t necessarily the case anymore, but the new Unearthed Arcana Barbarian has a lot to play around with. Most notably, Rage.

This is a milestone quality-of-life upgrade for the beleaguered berserkers. In the new playtest rules, Rage is now a renewable resource, refreshing a single use after every short rest. This means your Barbarian can be in more fights than before while still feeling like they do the thing that makes a Barbarian feel special.

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The other big thing that the new Unearthed Arcana Barbarians get is a new ability that comes online a bit late, all things considered: Brutal Strike. This replaces Brutal Critical at 9th level. And Brutal Strike is a much better option all around because it doesn’t rely on your Barbarian getting a Critical Hit to actually be of use.

Instead, when you make Reckless Attacks, you can forgo Advantage to deal an extra 1d10 damage instead and gain one of two options: pushing an enemy 15 feet away from you (and you can follow them up to half your speed without provoking opportunity attacks), or reducing the enemy’s Speed by 15 feet until the start of your next turn.

It makes Barbarians more able to position and control the battlefield than they previously could. And though most games will never hit it, at 13th level, this feature improves even more, allowing the Barbarian to impose Disadvantage on the target’s next saving throw or allowing an ally to add your Rage Damage as a bonus to the damage of their next attack.

World Tree Upgrades

World Tree Barbarians got a boost as well. This new subclass seems to be locked in for the 2024 PHB, and as of the latest Unearthed Arcana, it’s looking pretty tanky. Here’s what’s new:

  • When you Rage, you gain [Barbarian Level] Temporary Hit Points
  • The level 6 feature activates at the START of a creature’s turn now
    • Meaning you can teleport enemies or allies to your side if they’re within 30 feet of you
  • Battering Roots now only increases your range during your turn (sadly, but an understandable nerf)
  • Travel Along The Tree has been overhauled to let you teleport in combat while active

Travel Along The Tree, in its reworked form, lets you teleport as a Bonus Action while you Rage (and when you Rage in the first place). It’s a fairly useful combat teleport as well: you can teleport up to 60 feet to an empty space that you can see. And besides that, you can bring up to six willing creatures within 10 feet of yourself (and the range increases to 500 feet). You can only do this once per Rage, but it’s either a fantastic opener, as you charge your whole party into melee range, or a get out of this encounter button as long as you all stay close.

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Look for the new Barbarian in its final form in the 2024 Player’s Handbook!


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Author: J.R. Zambrano
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