How To Build A Path Of The Juggernaut Barbarian In DnD

Barbarians in Dungeons & Dragons excel in close-up combat encounters. This character class is all about getting angry, entering Rage, and dealing massive damage to their enemies. As a front-line fighter, the barbarian’s large pool of hit points (HP) and high damage output make them invaluable for protecting the more vulnerable members of your party.


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The Path of the Juggernaut Barbarian is a great option if you want a character who stands their ground and can move enemies away from allies and into positions of weakness. Players who crave some battlefield control to go along with their Rage bashing should check out this barbarian subclass.


Path Of The Juggernaut Subclass Overview

D&D: Artwork of a Dwarf Barbarian from the Player's Handbook.
Dwarf Barbarian artwork via wizards of the coast

On choosing Path of the Juggernaut at third level, you gain the ability Thunderous Blows. While Raging, successful melee attacks can push their target five feet in any direction. (Pushing any creature huge or larger requires a Strength saving throw.)

Thunderous Blows can help you defend vulnerable members of your party, push enemies off cliffs, set up your ranger for a perfect shot, etc. Thunderous Blows gives the juggernaut some tactical options and is fun for players (and DMs) who like lots of environmental interaction during combat.

Also at third level, Juggernaut Barbarians gain Stance of the Mountain. This allows the juggernaut to use their fury to anchor themselves to the ground below them. While Raging, a juggernaut cannot be knocked prone or moved against their will (as long as they are conscious).

At sixth level, juggernauts gain Demolishing Might. This ability allows the barbarian to deal massive damage to objects and structures. Attacks on objects and structures deal double damage. You also gain 1d8 weapon damage against construct-type enemies.

At tenth level, Juggernaut Barbarians gain Overwhelming Cleave. When you make a weapon attack while Raging, you can make a second attack as a bonus action against another enemy within five feet. You must use the same weapon, and the creature must be within your weapon’s range.

Beginning at fourteenth level, juggernauts can choose to become Unstoppable when entering a Rage. Doing so means for the duration of your Rage, your speed can’t be reduced, and you are immune to the Paralyzed, Stunned, and Charmed conditions.

If you are affected by any of these conditions before Raging, you can use your bonus action to enter an unstoppable Rage to negate the status effects. (In the Critical Role: Tal’ Dorei Campaign Setting, juggernauts suffer one level of exhaustion when their unstoppable Rage ends.)

Best Species For Path Of The Juggernaut Barbarians

D&D - Wulfgar of Icewind Dale by Aleksi Briclot, a barbarian stands outside a building with a warhammer slung over his shoulder.
Wulfgar of Icewind Dale by Aleksi Briclot

For an optimal barbarian, you’ll need to choose a species that’s at least medium-sized. This allows you to use big weapons like great axes and acts as a bulwark against your relatively low armor class (compared to fighters, paladins, etc.). Innate species damage resistances and anything increasing your durability are also welcome.

Spellcasting abilities aren’t of much use to this subclass (at least in combat) as barbarians can’t use magic while Raging. There are no right and wrong choices of species, but the following work great for the Path of the Juggernaut subclass.

Species

Description

Centaur

The centaur’s excellent movement speed and Charge ability make them a fast, effective choice for any barbarian. Centaurs can quickly get into the thick of melee where the barbarian’s abilities are most effective.


Charge is an excellent way to initiate combat on your terms, especially if your barbarian Rages before rushing in. This allows them to use your Hoof attack as a bonus action.

Duergar

Although the duergar’s Enlarge/Reduce ability can only be used when not raging, this species can still make a good juggernaut. Dwarven Resilience offers some protection against poison, Psionic Fortitude gives you advantage on saving throws against the charmed or stunned condition, and Darkvision is always useful.


The elephant in the room here is the duergar sensitivity to sunlight. Unless your campaign is set mostly underground, choosing duergar could create issues. (Or fun roleplaying possibilities, depending on your perspective.)

Goliath

Choosing goliath makes sense for any barbarian from a thematic/roleplaying point of view. But there are also distinct mechanical advantages. As a goliath, you get a +2 to Strength and +1 to Constitution.


When you take damage, Stone’s Endurance allows you to make a reaction roll (d12 + Constitution modifier) and reduce that number from the incoming damage. Goliaths are also resistant to cold (because they are Mountain Born) and naturally proficient in Athletics.

Half Orc

Half-orcs get a +2 to Strength and +1 to Constitution which benefits any barbarian. Their Savage Attack ability gives them bonus damage on critical hits and Relentless Endurance means they can keep fighting after their HP reaches 0. All of these features are perfect for a front-line melee specialist.

Minotaur

Minotaurs have excellent movement speed, natural weapons in the form of their horns, and get a +2 to Strength and +1 to Constitution. Minotaurs can also use their Horn attack as a bonus action if they Dash during their turn.

Mountain Dwarf

Mountain Dwarfs get the usual dwarven +2 to Constitution. But as the largest and tallest of the dwarven species, they also get a +2 to Strength. Dwarven Resilience also benefits a front-line class like the Path of the Juggernaut, and Darkvision is always nice to have.


If you liked the sound of a duergar juggernaut but didn’t like the sensitivity to sunlight, mountain dwarf is the way to go.

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Best Ability Scores For Path Of The Juggernaut Barbarians

D&D Barbarians

Like most barbarians, Path of the Juggernaut barbarians should focus on their Strength, Constitution, and Dexterity scores. The juggernaut is a front-line melee powerhouse that needs to be strong, durable, and athletic for optimal performance.

Intelligence and Charisma are typically stats to avoid for a Barbarian, with Wisdom being just slightly more useful.

Feel free to create whatever type of juggernaut gets you excited to play. The suggested stats only consider optimal mechanical play. A fun roleplaying experience looks different for everyone!

Using D&D’s point buy system, the ability scores below would make a good start.

Strength

Dexterity

Constitution

Intelligence

Wisdom

Charisma

15 (+2)

14 (+2)

15 (+2)

8 (-1)

10 (+0)

8 (-1)

Split images of D&D art showing a Barbarian threatening a knight and a female Barbarian.

Feat

Description

Alert

The Alert feat gives you a +5 bonus to Initiative. As a powerful Juggernaut, this feat often allows you to strike first in combat. This can be a huge advantage to the party, sending in a heavy hitter to take out the most dangerous enemies first.


Alert also means you can’t be surprised while conscious and attackers don’t get advantage on rolls against you when you can’t see them.

Charger

When using your action to Dash, you can use your bonus action to either make a weapon attack or shove the enemy. If you move at least ten feet in a straight line before using your bonus action, you gain two possibilities.


Either you get a +5 bonus to the attack’s damage roll, or you can push the target ten feet away. This feat benefits the juggernaut by giving them even more mobility and options for controlling enemy placement on the battlefield.

Crusher

Taking the Crusher feat allows you to increase your Strength or Constitution to a max of 20. Once per turn, while using a bludgeoning weapon, your attack can move an enemy five feet into an unoccupied space.


Also, when you score a critical hit that does bludgeon damage, you gain advantage on attack rolls against that creature until the start of your next turn.

Durable

The Durable feat gives you a +1 increase to Constitution (to a max of 20). But it also means when you roll a hit die to regain hit points (HP), the minimum number of HP regained equals twice your Constitution modifier. This acts as an insurance policy against bad rolls during rests.

Mage Slayer

If a creature within five feet of you casts a spell, you can use your reaction to make a melee attack against it. Also, when you damage a creature focusing on a spell, that creature has disadvantage on its next saving throw to maintain the spell.


You also gain advantage on saving throws against spells cast by creatures within five feet. The Mage Slayer feat can be a great way to take out magical threats to the party.

Tough

When you take the Tough feat, you increase max HP by a number equal to twice your level. Your max HP also increases by 2 every time you level up after taking Tough. Extra HP is always useful for a melee fighter with a relatively low AC like the juggernaut barbarian.

Great Weapon Master

When using a heavy weapon that you’re proficient with, you can choose to a take -5 penalty to your attack roll to gain a +10 damage bonus should the attack hit. Also, when you score a critical hit with a melee weapon or reduce an enemy’s HP to 0, you can make another melee attack as a bonus action.

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Best Starting Equipment For Path Of The Juggernaut Barbarian

five armored knights ride armored horses
Valiant Endeavor by Antonio José Manzenedo 

As a barbarian, greatswords, greataxes, and mauls help you deal maximum damage early on. These weapons have decent reach, high damage potential, and become even more devastating once you take the Great Weapon Master feat.

Glaives and halberds also work with Great Weapon Master but might not feel as appropriate for a juggernaut barbarian.

Statistically, the greatsword edges out the greataxe for damage potential. This is because greatswords roll 2d6 for damage as opposed to the greataxe’s 1d12. Rolling 2d6 makes a one impossible and consistently rolls higher numbers than rolling a single d12. But number-crunching isn’t everything.

Another classic weapon choice for barbarians are hand axes. These weapons’ 1d6 damage seems weak until you realize that, as light weapons, hand axes allow you to make an additional attack with the second axe as a bonus action. Hand axes can also be thrown to sustain Rage when enemies are out of reach.

Upgrading to larger axes is also possible with the Dual Wielder feat.

Barbarians can use a shield while still benefiting from their Unarmored Defense. Pairing a shield with a greatsword (which the barbarian can wield one-handed) makes for a very effective front-line powerhouse early game.

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