Barb: Feats 1

Guide to Barbarian Feats "); //-- By Nuitaran The barbarian is a difficult class to plan Feats for. While it can be tempting to go for all the Two Handed Fighting...

Guide to Barbarian Feats

By Nuitaran

The barbarian is a difficult class to plan Feats for. While it can be tempting to go for all the Two Handed Fighting Feats and equip the biggest Greataxe you can find, a barbarian is already lacking in the area of armor class due to his inability to use heavy armor. Until you get some serious damage reduction, sticking with a shield is your best bet. I would recommend to most barbarians keeping to the Weapon Focus, Shield Mastery, and Critical Hit Feats to truly become the best tank you can be. At any rate, in order to help you spend less time worrying about Feat plans and more time playing the game, I have taken on researching all of the Feats available to barbarians.

We have rated the Feats below based on our experience as to which are going to be most helpful and useful. Feats are rated on a scale of 1-5 with 1 being the worst and 5 being the best. A rating of 1 or 2 means the Feat is pretty much useless to a barbarian and one that you probably want to avoid. A rating of 3 indicates that the Feat can be used with some careful planning, or with certain class combinations. We reserve a rating of 4 only for those Feats that are almost necessary picks for certain types of builds or class combinations. A rating of 5 designates the best of the barbarian Feats and ones players should seriously consider for any DDO Build involving barbarians.

To help you navigate the many Feats, just click on the range of Feats below to move to that spot in the guide:
  1. Acrobatic
  2. Alertness
  3. Athletic
  4. Bullheaded
  5. Cleave
  6. Combat Expertise
  7. Discipline
  8. Dodge
  9. Exotic Weapon Proficiency
  10. Great Cleave
  1. Great Fortitude
  2. Greater Two Handed Fighting
  3. Greater Two Weapon Fighting
  4. Greater Weapon Focus
  5. Improved Critical
  6. Improved Feint
  7. Improved Precise Shot
  8. Improved Shield Bash
  9. Improved Shield Mastery
  10. Improved Sunder
  1. Improved Trip
  2. Improved Two Hand Fighting
  3. Improved Two Weapon Fighting
  4. Iron Will
  5. Lightning Reflexes
  6. Luck of the Heroes
  7. Many Shot
  8. Mobility
  9. Negotiator
  10. Nimble Fingers
  1. Point Blank Shot
  2. Power Attack
  3. Precise Shot
  4. Precision
  5. Quick Draw
  6. Rapid Reload
  7. Rapid Shot
  8. Resilience
  9. Resist Poison
  10. Sap
  1. Self Sufficient
  2. Shield Mastery
  3. Shot on the Run
  4. Skill Focus
  5. Slicing Blow
  6. Snake Blood
  7. Spring Attack
  8. Stealthy
  9. Stunning Blow
  10. Toughness
  1. Tower Shield Proficiency
  2. Two Handed Fighting
  3. Two Weapon Blocking
  4. Two Weapon Defense
  5. Two Weapon Fighitng
  6. Weapon Finese
  7. Weapon Focus
  8. Whirlwind Attack

1. Acrobatic
Official Text: "You have excellent body awareness and coordination. You receive a +2 bonus on Jump checks and Tumble checks."

Comments: This can easily be made up for with skill points. With limited Feat selection, there are better options out there.

Rating: 1
2. Alertness
Official Text: "You have finely tuned senses. You receive a +2 bonus on Listen checks and Spot checks."

Comments: Leave the Listening and Spotting to the Rangers and the Rogues.

Rating: 1
3. Athletic
Official Text: "You have a knack for athletic endeavors. You receive a +2 bonus on Balance checks and Swim checks."

Comments: Balance is becoming increasingly important in DDO thanks to the overuse of Trip by enemies, but doesn't warrant a Feat slot. A good Swim Skill is good for anybody, but items of Water Breathing are far too common to make this boost to the Swim Skill worthwhile.

Rating: 1
4. Bullheaded
Official Text: "You are exceptionally headstrong and difficult to sway. You receive a +1 on all Will saves and +2 bonus on Intimidate checks."

Comments: This could actually come in handy for a Barbarian. Will saves will certainly be an area they will always lack, and if you are a frequent user of Intimidate this might be a viable choice. Make sure it fits in with your limited feat selection first.

Rating: 3
5. Cleave
Official Text: "Activate this ability to attack one or more enemies in an arc in front of you."

Prerequisite: Power Attack

Comments: This should be left to the Fighters. In the future it might become a prerequisite for Epic Level Critical Hit feats, but that is a long time in coming and not worth wasting limited feats on.

Rating: 1
6. Combat Expertise
Official Text: "While using Combat Expertise mode, you trade your attack bonus for extra AC. Casting a spell ends this mode."

Prerequisite: Intelligence 13

Comments: If Improved Trip isn’t in your plan, this feat shouldn’t be either. The tradeoff in Attack Bonus makes most fighters ability to land hits less reliable than my bowels.

Rating: 2
7. Discipline
Official Text: "You are difficult to distract with spell or blow. You receive a +1 on all Will saves and +2 bonus on Concentration checks."

Comments: Look to Bullheaded for something far more useful to a Barbarian.

Rating: 1
8. Dodge
Official Text: "Grants you a +1 dodge bonus to your Armor Class."

Prerequisite: Dexterity 13

Comments: There's never anything wrong with Dodge as getting hit less means staying alive longer. It also leads to spring attack, a feat that I personally swear by. If this one fits into your plan it’s a must have. Barbarians are a little gimped on the AC front due to the lack of Heavy Armor. This can help make up for that.

Rating: 4
9. Exotic Weapon Proficiency
Official Text: "You do not suffer a -4 attack penalty for using one or more of the exotic weapons."

Prerequisite: Base Attack Bonus +1, STR 13 for Dwarven Waraxe or Bastard Sword

Comments: This one will largely come down to personal choice. If you are going to be a Slashing Weapon focused fighter it might be a great choice. Having a d10 damage on a single handed weapon is pretty significant, but powerful Bastard Swords and Dwarven Axes, although more common recently, are still fairly rare. Some people will be content swinging Longswords and Battleaxes. If you desperately want that upgraded damage die, consider a Dwarf Barbarian who gets Dwarven Axes for free.

Rating: 3
10. Great Cleave
Official Text: "Activate this ability to attack one or more enemies in a wider arc than Cleave."

Prerequisite: Cleave, Base Attack Bonus +4

Comments: Forget this one for now. Go back and pick it up when we reach Epic Levels and it will lead to Overwhelming Critical, and maybe even Devastating Critical.

Rating: 1

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Karen is H.D.i.C. (Head Druid in Charge) at EQHammer. She likes chocolate chip pancakes, warm hugs, gaming so late that it's early, and rooting things and covering them with bees. Don't read her Ten Ton Hammer column every Tuesday. Or the EQHammer one every Thursday, either.

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