5E Horde of shifter barbarians, prepare for the deluge!

Sacrosanct

Legend
OK, the title is a bit hyperbolic lol. But looking at the new revised races in Eberron compared to UA, and the wisdom shifter now has an ability that while shifted, no creature within 30ft will had advantage on attacks against you.

So...

I immediately see a wave of shifter barbarians with reckless attack heading my DMing table way...
 

Leatherhead

Possibly a Idiot.
It's not that great: Barbarians have a problem with Bonus Action Scarcity as is.

Rage is a Bonus Action.
Shifting is a Bonus Action.


I predict to see Kalashtar Bear Totems with Resistance to Everything and advantage on WIS saves for virtually no weaknesses though.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
It's not that great: Barbarians have a problem with Bonus Action Scarcity as is.

Rage is a Bonus Action.
Shifting is a Bonus Action.


I predict to see Kalashtar Bear Totems with Resistance to Everything and advantage on WIS saves for virtually no weaknesses though.
Reckless attack doesn't require rage. And shifting is durational, right? So you're not really using up bonus actions during combat to have this combo
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
AH. ok. So basically one encounter per rest. Still pretty good, essentially giving your barbarian advantage on all melee rolls for an encounter while not suffering disadvantage against most attacks they'd face.
 
I pointed this out earlier, the real drawback it that +2 wis +1 dex isn't well suited to barbarian, which is why I kind of suggested a 2 level dip was the way to go. Moon druid could be good, depending on your DM. I don't think there is anything RAW to stop you shifting whilst wildshaped, but...

Another good one would be rogue (scout would fit the theme) - advantage on every attack = sneak attack, although Reckless Attack only works on strength attacks.

A crit fishing build would be another option, perhaps with Champion Fighter and GWM.

I don't envision hordes of them though...
 

BookBarbarian

Expert Long Rester
Honestly Reckless Attack makes starting with 14 Strength on a Barbarian Hardly noticeable.

15, 14, 15, 8, 14, 8 bumping Str and Con at level 4 would be a Solid Barbarian. The only thing that would really suck is not being able to get GWM at level 4.
 

5ekyu

Adventurer
Honestly Reckless Attack makes starting with 14 Strength on a Barbarian Hardly noticeable.

15, 14, 15, 8, 14, 8 bumping Str and Con at level 4 would be a Solid Barbarian. The only thing that would really suck is not being able to get GWM at level 4.
I do agree here. Had a halfling or goblin barbie who used shortsword 14 str, 16 dex, 16 con. When raging used strength with reckless. When normal, used finesse. Had bow for range (sharpshooter iirc.)

Works fine and AC is bigger early.
 

Sacrosanct

Legend
Honestly Reckless Attack makes starting with 14 Strength on a Barbarian Hardly noticeable.
I don't know, I think the difference between gaining advantage on all melee attacks for an encounter per rest is pretty noticeable compared to getting the +1 to hit and damage gained from the extra STR. The added hits can certainly make up for the loss of the extra point of damage (you're not doing the extra damage if you're not hitting).
 

BookBarbarian

Expert Long Rester
I don't know, I think the difference between gaining advantage on all melee attacks for an encounter per rest is pretty noticeable compared to getting the +1 to hit and damage gained from the extra STR. The added hits can certainly make up for the loss of the extra point of damage (you're not doing the extra damage if you're not hitting).
I may have phrased that poorly, or I am misunderstanding you. As it seems like we are in agreement.

I meant the -1 to hit from starting with 14 instead of 16 becomes hardly noticeable except against very high AC bosses, as Advantage on Attacks is a much larger die roll modifier. The minus 1 to damage is even more negligible as it only happens on hits you've already landed.
 

BookBarbarian

Expert Long Rester
Does the Shifter THP fade after the Shift is over? From what I see it doesn't, So Shifting in the first combat and Raging in the second still has some synergy if there were THPs left over.
 

TwoSix

The hero you deserve
Meh. If your concern is that powergamers are going to flock to this option, I can tell you that I, as a powergamer, have little to no interest in this option.

Barbarian Rage is already incredibly strong defensively (especially as a Bear Totem), and lets you shrug off the increased number of hits you take from using Reckless Attack. Ablating a piece of that already reduced damage only once per short rest just isn't that interesting, especially on a race that isn't getting a Str increase. Especially since it only applies to attacks within 30', and as a Barbarian, I'm way more concerned about eating ranged damage, since I can't handle that as easily by running up and smashing it.
 
Barbarian Rage is already incredibly strong defensively (especially as a Bear Totem),
I think the point of this would be to build a barbarian who focused on offence, not defence, and also one that wasn't so dependant on the quickly-used-up resource of Rage. I wouldn't pair it with bear totem.
 

TwoSix

The hero you deserve
I think the point of this would be to build a barbarian who focused on offence, not defence, and also one that wasn't so dependant on the quickly-used-up resource of Rage. I wouldn't pair it with bear totem.
If I'm going offense, I'm sacrificing both a 16 Str at level 1 and either PAM or GWM by going Shifter over V-Human. I might sacrifice one or the other for a defensive boost, but not both.

And to reiterate, I'm not arguing that it's bad, I actually think it's a pretty strong combo. It just isn't enough to shift the "meta" of best builds away from V-Human and cause the "deluge of shifter barbarians", per OP. Contrast this with Changelings getting +3 to Cha and being able to start with 18 Cha, which definitely puts Changelings on the top tier with V-Humans and Half-Elves for Cha-focused builds.
 
It pretty much make the point of why powergaming is bad: you end up with Vuman the ONLY valid option for a barbarian.

But if I where a powergamer I would never make a barbarian in the first place, which kind of counters it, maybe...
 

TwoSix

The hero you deserve
It pretty much make the point of why powergaming is bad: you end up with Vuman the ONLY valid option for a barbarian.

But if I where a powergamer I would never make a barbarian in the first place, which kind of counters it, maybe...
If you want to make a Shifter Barbarian, I don't see why you wouldn't. It's a good combo! Good powergaming understands that you don't always play the most damaging build possible. You absolutely can put in constraints based on concepts you want to do in the game, and then make the best choices within those constraints. But if your concept is "hard hitting melee character", shifter wouldn't be my choice to use with barbarian.
 
But if your concept is "hard hitting melee character", shifter wouldn't be my choice to use with barbarian.
And Barbarian wouldn't be my choice either. Choosing either the shifter race or barbarian class are equally sub-optimal choices for maximising melee DPS.
 

Zardnaar

Legend
I find people are more likely to play non Optimally with rolled stats.

If you get a 16 plying an interesting race often takes precedence over starting with an 18.

Not all the time. Not to many players like starting with 14 or 15 primary.
 
It's not really an issue with my players, they tend to ignore optimisation all together.

There is another synergistic wrinkle in the Eberron book, although it's not completely new: bugbear + Assassinate.
 

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