Baldur’s Gate 3 Wildheart Barbarian Build Guide – In this Baldur’s Gate 3 Wildheart Barbarian Build Guide, I’m going to cover my Barbarian Build for Early Access, and show you what I’ve found to work best. I’ll be doing more Build Guides at the launch of Baldur’s Gate 3, but for now, let’s look at how you can use a Wildheart Barbarian effectively in the first Act of the game.
Be sure to check out our other Baldur’s Gate 3 Builds for Early Access including: Draconic Bloodline Sorcerer, Berserker Barbarian, College of Lore Bard, College of Valour Bard, Oath of Devotion Paladin, Oath of the Ancients Paladin, Oathbreaker Paladin!
Best Baldur’s Gate 3 Barbarian Builds Features
- Abilities: Strength, Constitution
- Subclasses: Berserker & Wildheart
- Unique Feature: Rage
- Hit Die: +12 HP + CON Modifier
Baldur’s Gate 3 Wildheart Barbarian Build Guide
The Wildheart Barbarian is a ferocious and straightforward Barbarian Subclass that focuses on dealing Melee Damage above all else. Unlike the Berserker, they don’t gain access to Bonus Actions such as Frenzied Strike and Enraged Throw. It means that their damage isn’t as high and they don’t engage in Throw often so they can save their Action for impactful attacks. Instead, these Barbarians call forth the aid of a spirit animal to grant additional abilities while Raging.
Wildheart Barbarians are extremely effective at point-blank range because of their Martial Weapon Proficiency. Although they can’t wear Heavy Armour, they continue to be resilient on the battlefield thanks to their high Constitution and AC.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Wildheart Barbarian Character Creation
In this section, we’ll take a look at how to set up your Barbarian during Character Creation for the best results. You don’t have to follow this to the letter, and this will likely change at the full launch of the game. However, this will hold you in good stead during Early Access.
For Background, choosing one that provides you with the Athletics Strength Skill should be acceptable, especially since Constitution doesn’t have Skills related to it anyway. You can then choose a Background that boosts Dexterity and Wisdom Skills like Folk Hero, Outlander, and Urchin to improve Sleight of Hand and Survival.
The first Race that works well for the Barbarian is the Shield Dwarf. This is due to the +2 Strength and +2 Constitution that you gain. Strength boosts the damage dealt by this Class whereas Constitution improves max HP and survivability. Similar to the Berserker, your Wildheart Barbarian won’t be making use of Unarmoured Defense because you’ll benefit more from equipping Medium Armor, which adds the +2 Dexterity Modifier to your AC.
Although you’ll have 17 Strength and 17 Constitution to start with, by the time you reach Level 4, you’ll be able to allocate 1 point each to either Ability thanks to the Ability Improvement Feat. Doing so will yield 18 points for Strength and Constitution. Moreover, the Shield Dwarf grants Darkvision to help land melee attacks in the dark as well as Poison Resistance.
An alternative to this Race is the Wood Half-Elf. This grants you a more balanced Ability Score spread starting at 16 Strength and 16 Constitution by investing 1 point to each respective Ability as part of the Race’s feature. But you’ll only be able to maximize Strength at Level 4 so take note of this. On top of Darkvision, you also gain Fleet of Foot, enhancing your Movement Speed, thereby allowing you to cover more ground as a Barbarian.
Last but not least, if you want to play a Race where you retain 16 Strength and 16 Constitution without any negative Ability Modifiers, then you ought to consider the Human. The only caveat is you don’t get additional perks you otherwise would should you choose the Shield Dwarf or Wood Half-Elf so it’s definitely something to consider.
Skills aren’t super important but given that you’ll have decent Dexterity and average Wisdom relative to Charisma and Intelligence, it’s better to select those that fall under both Abilities. As such, you can also go with Stealth, Animal Handling, and Perception.
Your primary Ability as a Barbarian is Strength to successfully hit targets and to effectively damage them using Melee and Thrown Weapons especially when Rage is active. It also affects your jump distance in addition to your carry weight capacity. For this reason, you’ll want at least 16 in this Ability during Character Creation, and likely 18 later on. Next, you should focus on Constitution for improved survivability.
You can then add points into Dexterity to enhance your AC and then Wisdom but the latter won’t matter much since it won’t influence your damage. However, it’s worth considering that Wisdom will affect the outcome of corresponding Skill Checks. Your Ability Spread should look something like this:
Baldur’s Gate 3 Wildheart Barbarian Level 1
Barbarians are known for their Bonus Action, which is Rage that they immediately have access to at Level 1. What this does in Combat is it allows you to deal +2 extra damage with the Weapons you’re wielding, may it be melee or the objects you’ll throw at enemies.
You also gain Advantage on Strength Checks and Saving Throws, letting you easily traverse areas with climbing or jumping. Remember that it’s crucial to attack a target or be attacked in return in succeeding rounds after you enter Rage, otherwise, this feature will end earlier than 10 turns. To recharge it, you only need to take a Long Rest.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Wildheart Barbarian Level 2
At Level 2, your Barbarian gains Reckless Attack, giving you an Advantage on your Attack Roll while dealing massive Slashing Damage if you’re wielding the Everburn Blade. The caveat is enemies also gain the same Advantage against you. This shouldn’t be a problem given your high HP and improved AC thanks to your Medium Armor. You’ll be able to survive physical hits since Rage grants resistance to Slashing, Bludgeoning, and Piercing Damage so you only take half the damage.
Note, however, that Reckless Attack is only applicable to melee attacks, which means you can’t use this if you plan on throwing a creature or an object at your target.
Additionally, you gain a passive known as Danger Sense. What this does is make you more attuned to your surroundings. So you’ll likely improve the chances of avoiding damage from traps, surfaces, and even Spells since you gain an Advantage on Dexterity Saving Throws. Remember that it’s only applicable if you’re not incapacitated or blinded.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Barbarian Level 3
At Level 3, you’ll be selecting the Wildheart Barbarian, which is significantly different from the Berserker. You gain access to several Bestial Hearts, each providing you with various combat abilities while Rage is active. Out of the 5, the ones that I find useful, especially for the Shield Dwarf whose Movement Speed is limited, are Eagle Heart and Elk Heart. To maximize Reckless Attack, you’ll need to always be next to your target, and both of these provide good opportunities to do so.
Eagle Heart inflicts a Disadvantage on the enemy’s Attack of Opportunity against you, thereby reducing the chances of getting hit when you move out of their melee range. What’s more, is that you’ll need to position yourself at a higher elevation than your target (at least 2m even if it says 1.5m in the description) to trigger Diving Strike so you can lunge at and knock them Prone. In succeeding rounds, your Wildheart Barbarian is able to use Dash as a Bonus Action to run toward other enemies with ease.
Conversely, Elk Heart boosts Movement Speed and lets you use Primal Stampede in the same turn. Primal Stampede allows you to charge in a straight line, possibly knocking multiple enemies Prone. As a result, everyone in the party gains an Advantage on their Attack Rolls as long as they hit them up close and personal.
Furthermore, because of the Wildheart Barbarian’s affinity with nature, they’re able to cast Speak with Animals to gain insight into the minds of creatures wandering around.
Baldur’s Gate 3 Barbarian Level 4
At Level 4, you can choose a Feat, and here you’ll be taking Ability Improvement to place 1 point into Strength and Constitution, amounting to 18 each if you’ve chosen the Shield Dwarf Race. Doing so will not only boost your Attack and Damage Rolls due to the +4 Strength Modifier but also bring your max HP by up to 45, which is huge!
Baldur’s Gate 3 Barbarian Level 5
At Level 5, you gain the much-anticipated Extra Attack, which lets you make another attack using your Melee Weapon. In a single turn, you’re able to perform 2 Reckless Attacks to increase the chances of slaying your target outright. Just avoid being surrounded by several enemies beforehand since they also gain Attack Roll Advantage against you. It’s also worth noting that Extra Attack doesn’t apply to most of your Bestial Heart Abilities. For instance, if you were to use Primal Stampede, you’ll need to wait for your next turn to activate Reckless Attack.
When it comes to the Wildheart Barbarian’s Equipment, I prefer wielding Two-Handed Weapons like the Everburn Blade, which you get by killing Commander Zhalk of the Nautiloid, because of their massive damage. In addition to Slashing Damage, the blade inflicts Fire Damage and can set the surrounding on fire when combined with barrels of oil or Grease. Remember that you’re not limited to Reckless Attack since you have several Weapon Actions like Cleave and Lacerate to attack multiple targets and to inflict Bleed, respectively.
In terms of Armor, you’ll be sticking with Medium Armor in Early Access so either Lae’Zel’s Githyanki Half Plate or Scale Mail +1 should give you 17 AC. If you go for a One-Handed Weapon and Shield setup, you’ll further boost your AC to 19. This is going to be better than not equipping Armor at all because Unarmoured Defense only grants a total of 16 AC.
For Accessories, you’ll want to equip the Haste Helm, Reason’s Grasp, and Silver Pendant. Haste Helm from the Blighted Village is especially useful for a Shield Dwarf to improve Movement Speed at the start of combat while gaining a +1 Dexterity Saving Throw bonus. Reason’s Grasp from The Risen Road gives you the option to gain temporary HP if you choose to end Rage early or after every combat encounter. You can then wear the Silver Pendant to make use of the Guidance Cantrip for Ability Checks.
At Levels 4 & 5, you can change Bestial Hearts to try out the other spirit animal abilities. Wolf Heart is good if you intend to partially take on a support role, especially if your party is mostly comprised of Martial Classes and none of you has Bless. It inflicts Rage: Wolf Heart’s Prey on the target. This status effect causes your party to gain an Advantage on Melee Attack Rolls against the same enemy. Just take note that the Wildheart Barbarian needs to be nearby for it to take effect. Plus, they gain extra Movement Speed with Inciting Howl.
Alternatively, if you’re no longer having issues with Movement Speed, I suggest taking Tiger Heart. Aside from raising your Jump distance, you gain access to Tiger’s Bloodlust, which can be used twice thanks to Extra Attack. Not only do you inflict Bleed on at most 3 enemies, but you’re also able to deal massive damage, especially if you’ve chosen the Great Weapon Master Feat at Level 4.
For this Feat, you need to set Strength and Constitution to 16 each in Character Creation to save points on other Abilities. To improve your chances of hitting targets despite the -5 Attack Roll penalty that you get from Great Weapon Master, you’ll want to at least include an ally who can cast Bless on top of the Advantage you have from Reckless Attack. Once dealt with, your overall Melee Damage will always include a +10 boost, which is huge!
Lastly, if you’re unable to acquire the Everburn Blade, you can go for the Sword of Justice Two-Handed Weapon from Anders but it’s not because of Tyr’s Protection. Tyr’s Protection requires Concentration. This can’t be maintained after activating Rage, which is always the case with the Wildheart Barbarian Build. But like the Everburn Blade, Sword of Justice also has Cleave and Lacerate.
Stay tuned for more Baldur’s Gate 3 content as we update the other Builds, and be sure to drop by our Twitch Channel if you have questions about the game. If you need something specific, check out our Baldur’s Gate 3 Wiki which is being worked on night and day!