Level Up (A5E) Queen Bee Berserker Build: A Recap

Unfortunately, the group that I was going to play this character with has been extremely inconsistent, so I decided I didn't want to wait any longer before discussing this unique build. At the bare minimum, making the character gave me a lot of thoughts.
If you want a more detailed breakdown of how the build works, check out this post: Level Up (A5E) - Hard Walled by Queen Bee Berserker Build Idea
In short, the Queen Bee archetype allows you to create a perfectly viable berserker with Strength as your dump stat. Better than perfectly viable—I think this has the potential to create one of the strongest Berserker builds available in A5e.
1) AC. As a regular Berserker, you've got a difficult choice at level 1. Take Juggernaut and have great AC through heavy armor (once you can afford it or steal it), or take Rugged Defense and have an okay AC while naked. Both come with drawbacks. With Juggernaut you need to pay for, find, or loot heavy armor and then maintain it. You won't get the speed boosts of Rugged Defense, and your armor may impose Disadvantage on certain checks. On the other hand, if you take Rugged Defense you become a little MAD. You need Strength to most effectively use the only base weapons that qualify for Furious Critical, but you also need Constitution to fuel the DCs of your various Berserker abilities, and now you need Dexterity to improve your AC. Well, with Queen Bee you can use a finesse weapon and get all the benefits of Furious Critical, so now you can ignore Strength. With point buy and background stat increases you can start the game with a 16 in Constitution and Dexterity (with Rugged Defense, that's a 16 AC naked), and it only goes up from there since you are incentivized to spend many of your ASIs on Dexterity and Constitution.
2) Initiative. Yeah, I know, A5e doesn't have a standardized initiative system like 5e does. I don't care. The tables I play at tend to default to a straight Dexterity roll. Congratulations, your Queen Bee Berserker now has a way better initiative than a regular Berserker, and going first in combat is very powerful.
3) Raw Tank. You have more ASIs freed up to invest in Constitution. That means WAY more hit points, at least earlier on before the other Berserkers catch up. It also means a better AC, so your increased hit points go further.
4) DCs. I mentioned this earlier, but more ASIs freed up for Constitution means better DCs for many Berserker abilities.
5) Feats. Alternatively, now that you feel obligated to spend less ASIs on stats you could pick up one or two extra feats.
6) Grog the Berserker Rogue. Berserkers get a little more skills than fighters do, and many useful rogue-like skills (like Stealth) go off Dexterity instead of Strength. So have fun sneaking behind your enemies, then scaring the crap out of them when you explode into a rage as you jump out of the shadows. (You could also multiclass with Rogue for sneak attack if you felt like it. You are using Dexterity, after all. I don't particularly know why you'd trade for the lower HP and delayed rage progression, but you still could.)
7) Low Maintenance. With even just a dagger in your hand, you are ready for anything. The only class less reliant on its equipment is the Adept, and you will handily out-damage the Adept anyway.

All of this alone is pretty good, but that doesn't even take into account that the Queen Bee is a pretty good archetype on its own. One of my favorite aspects is that you can force enemy spellcasters to rage with you, preventing them from casting spells or concentrating on them. Yeah, a Wisdom is one of the more commonly resisted saves, but remember that your DCs have the potential to be higher than many Berserkers because you can afford to invest earlier in Constitution and this is merely just one option among many. Just barely can't move fast enough to reach the spellcaster this turn? Use your bonus action to try to force it to join your rage. Hit it twice and somehow it's alive and passed its Concentration checks? Well, now you have that Wisdom check as a backup.

Hopefully I get the chance to actually play this build rather than just theorycraft, and if I do I'll come back to talk more about it if I find anything else that's really interesting. In the mean time, I'm always excited to hear about other weird, unexpected builds that people have discovered.
 

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ReadyButNot

Explorer
i didn't really think much of the queen bee when i first read the zeitgeist player content, but looking at this and back again, it honestly seems like it'd be a really fun 3 level dip for a dueling type character. wielding a saber with the force of a greatsword, a silent, simmering fury powering you as you drive your opponent into madness - duelist fighter/queen bee berserker might be the a5e equivalent of battle master fighter/swashbuckler rogue in terms of flavour, honestly. would it work mechanically? i have no clue. do i want to play it? hell yeah. will i? probably not.
 

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