If you’re playing Pillars of Eternity 2 (POE2) as a Barbarian, you’ll want to know what the best subclass and multiclass options are, or else you’ll be stuck on the character select screen for hours. This guide has you covered by letting you know which Pillars of Eternity 2 Barbarian subclasses and multiclass combinations are generally considered the best.
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Pillars of Eternity 2 Barbarian Subclass Options
There’s nothing wrong with a pure Barbarian. It gets all the Barbarian goodness each of the subclasses gets, so you’re good to go there. It’s not ideal, though, because unlike some other classes, the Barbarian subclass penalties are pretty manageable overall, so pure Barbarian misses out on some of the perks you’d get from other Barbarian options.
Berserker – Pillars of Eternity 2 Barbarian Subclasses
Berserker is essentially a straight upgrade to the Barbarian class, taking its signature ability (Frenzy) and vastly improving it by giving it better stat bonuses as well as an additional 30% crit chance.
The downside is fairly significant: the Barbarian becomes confused, takes a small amount of raw damage over time, loses 10 deflection and its health is obscured while Frenzy is active. Basically all you have to do is equip the Devil of Caroc breastplate, which prevents basically all the negative ramifications of Berserker’s frenzy. Devil of Caroc is pretty much the best armor for a Barbarian anyway, regardless of subclass, so you’re not really giving anything up.
Corpse Eater – Pillars of Eternity 2 Barbarian Subclasses
Corpse Eaters are able to restore health and Rage by devouring any Kith, Beast or Wilder corpses on the battlefield. In battles where these enemy types exist, this ends up actually being a fairly significant advantage.
The amount of health and Rage that you restore is pretty significant. As a downside, all your skills cost an additional Rage point. In effect, this means Corpse Eater is significantly stronger than a pure barbarian when facing certain enemy types and significantly weaker when not. Personally, I don’t like that kind of situational dependence, so Corpse Eater wouldn’t be my go-to choice.
Mage Slayer – Pillars of Eternity 2 Barbarian Subclasses
Mage Slayer basically gives the Barbarian the ability to slaughter mages with ease. It gains 25% spell resistance and its attacks passively disrupt spellcasting. The downside is that they can’t use potions or scrolls which is not terribly noticeable unless your playstyle is highly reliant on consumables. This is not only a good class option for a Barbarian but a good multiclass option for any character desiring to specialize in wrecking magic users.
Fury Shaper – Pillars of Eternity 2 Barbarian Subclasses
Fury Shaper gets a bunch of totems, sort of like Shamans in World of Warcraft. They get a totem that increases ally attack speed, a totem that passively casts Fear on surrounding enemies, and a totem that gives teammates lifesteal.
The downside is that if a totem is destroyed, the Fury Shaper takes damage and is weakened for the rest of the battle. The totems are extremely powerful and they’re not that difficult to defend, so there’s not much of a downside at all if you’re careful.
There’s no real reason to ever choose a pure Barbarian over this subclass because even though the Fury Shaper has decreased Will (not terribly significant), if you never cast the totems, you are functionally no different than a pure Barbarian anyway. I’d say this is tied with Berserker as the best Barbarian class.
Pillars of Eternity 2 Best Barbarian Multiclass Options
Especially if you’re going for the Fury Shaper subclass, which requires power level 8 for its lifesteal totem, Barbarian is, in general, a pretty self-contained kit.
Wizard – Pillars of Eternity 2 Barbarian Multiclass
This is a surprisingly powerful combo because the Wizard basically allows the Barbarian to cast tons of defensive buffs and maybe a big AoE nuke before popping Frenzy and getting into the thick of it. Additionally, spells benefit from the Frenzy bonuses, so you might find yourself speed-casting magic missiles and fireballs all around the battlefields. I’ve personally played through the game with this build and it laid waste to my enemies.
Fighter – Pillars of Eternity 2 Barbarian Multiclass
The main things that Fighter adds to the Barbarian arsenal are defensive abilities and accuracy. Devoted/Berserker is an incredibly potent melee fighter.
Skald – Pillars of Eternity 2 Barbarian Multiclass
Since Barbarian is beefy and is capable of getting in the thick of things, it does a great job taking advantage of the Skald subclass bonus, which gives a bonus to phrase generation on critical hits.
That about covers it when it comes to the best Pillars of Eternity 2 Barbarian Subclass and Multiclass options. Check out the games section for more game guides and other game-related content, and click here for more articles related to Pillars of Eternity 2.