Playing a campaign going up to level 11 as an Ancestral Guardians Barbarian. I mainly play the role of tank for a Cleric, Hexadin, and Bard.
We are at level 7 and I have all my levels in Barbarian but levels 8-11 don’t look very appealing.
I was thinking of going into revised ranger or Rune Knight Fighter. Before I do that, are there any other classes that would be good to go into for the next four levels, or is there merit to staying barbarian that I don't realize?

Objectives for this multiclass: I'm looking to either increase my damage or my tankiness, although if there's a class with other useful abilities that fit well with the Barbarian I'm open to it.
I'm looking to multiclass into either fighter, rogue, or revised ranger.

14 Strength
16 Dexterity
20 Constitution
10 Intelligence
10 Wisdom
8 Charisma.

I also have a free ASI which I am still figuring out what to do with.

  • 3
    \$\begingroup\$ Revised ranger and rune knight would give different things, so what is your aim here? Also is UA allowed? Because revised ranger isn't official \$\endgroup\$
    – SeriousBri
    Jan 23, 2022 at 8:30
  • \$\begingroup\$ I think this is answerable if you narrow it further to only a couple of options for levels 7-11 but, if you open it up to all other classes including all their sub-classes, plus UA, it won't be. I think if you stick to multi-classing into Ranger or Fighter classes this would be answerable. However, it would be helpful to know what your current ability scores are, too - plus any feats you have. \$\endgroup\$
    – Thank-Glob
    Jan 23, 2022 at 23:13

5 Answers 5


Fighter seems like the most exciting choice. Action Surge once per encounter is a significant damage boost. Your choice of Rune Knight seems reasonable; I imagine you'd take the Stone Rune and Cloud Rune, both of which help prevent damage. The standard Battlemaster Fighter is also a strong choice because the maneuver dice turn into more effects and also additional damage.

Rogue seems like a poor choice for a tank. A tank is expecting to fight monsters solo, ideally multiple monsters at a time; a rogue's Cunning Action is designed to let them escape monsters. The rogue's Sneak Attack doesn't work when fighting solo, unless you combo with the barbarian's Reckless Attack, which is not ideal for someone who's trying to tank.

You didn't specify what conclave of Revised Ranger you were considering, but none of them look very good to me. The most interesting choice is the Beast Conclave ranger, but that seems like a bad choice for a multiclass because (if I'm reading the rules correctly) you'd be starting at tenth level with a standard wolf that was intended to be an ally for a third-level character.

Things to consider:

  • You've written that your attack stat is STR, which is strange because currently your DEX is better. If you're serious about being a tank, you might consider switching to a DEX-based build, with a shield and a rapier. This would get you a high AC and also a good chance to hit.
  • Either way, your attack stat is too low. You should put at least one ASI into your attack stat, and you should consider taking one more level of Barbarian and putting that ASI into your attack stat as well.
  • Normally tanks should take the Sentinel feat, but you've pointed out that your Ancestral Protector Spirit Shield feature is also making use of your reaction.
  • \$\begingroup\$ media.wizards.com/2016/dnd/downloads/UA_RevisedRanger.pdf this is the revised ranger I was considering \$\endgroup\$
    – Convergent
    Jan 24, 2022 at 2:50
  • \$\begingroup\$ I was looking at the conclaves and I see how non of them look very good, I agree fighter would best. Also I have been using strength as my attack stat as I get a slightly higher damage, my dm also told us that there would be a magical greataxe in the next dungeon which I would be using, so I wouldnt be able to use a shield any more. So I could go dex asi for more armor class or into a fighting style feat. Sentinel is not good for me because the ancestral guardians abilities I have make my teamates take nearly no damage anyways. \$\endgroup\$
    – Convergent
    Jan 24, 2022 at 3:12
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ok, I could probably give the axe to someone else, thanks for the suggestions \$\endgroup\$
    – Convergent
    Jan 24, 2022 at 3:31
  • \$\begingroup\$ Doesn't rogue sneak attack combo nicely with barbarian's reckless attack? \$\endgroup\$ Jan 24, 2022 at 12:39
  • \$\begingroup\$ @flaszlok It does but only with finesse weapons like a rapier \$\endgroup\$ Jan 24, 2022 at 13:18

Your options are few.

Your low mental stats means you can't multiclass to anything particularly exciting. Ranger, for example, requires 13 Wis. Unless your GM is waiving these requirements, options like going Sorcerer for Quickened Booming Blades (to punish foes if they try to move away and get an extra attack) or Druid (to be a raging bear tank) are not available to you.

For Your ASI: Sentinel. Your class ability to reduce incoming damage by 2d6 is not hugely meaningful at this level and it will get less and less meaningful as time goes on and enemy damage goes up. Using a Reaction to stop someone from moving for that turn is far more meaningful, as a big bad melee monster cannot now go and attack your Bard 3 times for 1d10+9 with additional poison, he must instead attack you.

Likewise - I am unimpressed with the class abilities barbarian has given you at 6th and 7th level. Ask your GM if you can retrain those to another class.

Classwise, your GM waiving multiclassing requirements would deeply impact you. Your options would be many, and seriously change the way you play your barbarian. As is, without investing 2 ASI's into a mental stat, the only two classes you can multiclass to are fighter or rogue. Let me repeat that - the ONLY two classes you can multiclass to are fighter or rogue.

Of those two, you pick Fighter.

People will often suggest fighter because of Action Surge. Fighter is in general just generically good and people therefore suggest it as default. However here, i'd suggest other things, but you aren't allowed to take those other things, so.

Why Fighter? Two things.

Tunnel-Fighting (UA, Fighting Style) - Your question mentions the Revised Ranger, which is Unearthed Arcana and not from a published book. Therefore I will assume that provisionally, UA content may be allowed at your table. Tunnel Fighting is perfect for tanks with the Sentinel feat. It allows you to make opportunity attacks without using up your Reaction, by expending your bonus action to enter a specific stance (if you move you must re-enter the stance). Likewise it lets you use up your reaction to hit someone who moved even inside your reach. This makes your tanking a lot stronger and better. Potentially infinite enemies could get hit this way if they all have to move 'past' you and you hit all your attacks (the classic 'man in a tunnel' scenario this fighting style refers to).

Echo Knight (Sub-Class) - This sub-class allows you to expend your bonus action to create an 'Echo' in a location. This Echo can take opportunity attacks for you if enemies leave its threatened area (as if it were you). This synergizes with Tunnel-Fighter & Sentinel heavily, by creating two 'threatened zones' where enemies basically cannot leave without first destroying the Echo (it has 1 hp, but you can create it again on your turn) or knocking you unconscious.

Echo Knight also lets you 'Unleash Incarnation' to get an extra attack on an Attack action, which is okay, Con times per long rest, which is better as it uses your humongous Con stat for something.

You can't set up your Tunnel Fighting stance and create the Echo on the same turn, as both use your bonus action. But creating the Echo may let you avoid moving - as you can attack and take Opportunity Attacks from it, thus letting you preserve your Tunnel Fighting stance for longer - or the fragility of the Echo may mean you prefer to move up and activate tunnel stance personally. Either way, if you can stand still, you can extend your 'zone of no u' by creating the Echo on your 2nd turn, doubling your potential for stopping people getting past you to the squishy casters.

If Tunnel Fighter is not allowed, you instead take Dueling. +2 to Damage isn't nothing (if you use a shield). Otherwise you take Superior Technique, and learn Goading Attack and the one that lowers enemy move speed.

If Tunnel Fighting isn't allowed, you may wish to take Battle Master instead of Echo Knight. It depends entirely on how many short rests your party typically gets/takes between encounters. Battle Master's superiority dice can be used to taunt enemies or lower their move speed, or give disadvantage (such as on your second attack/second target - the first already gets disadvantage from ancestral guardians), as well as adding to damage, and they recharge on short rests. Echo knight extends the range of your Sentinel reaction attacks to give you more options there, and gives you extra attacks per long rest. If using a 2-handed weapon, echo knight will be a bit better, if sword and board, battle master a bit better, etc, but it's all very minor at this stage.

Your real best option is tunnel fighter and the ability to become a wall that enemies must overcome before they can get close to your allies.

After level 3, Fighter doesn't grant many class features you care about. At level 4, you get another ASI, and can spend it on something. Strength, perhaps. None of the feats are super useful to you after Sentinel. Great Weapon Mastery is the only exception - with Reckless Attack, you've got a chance of hitting vs the lower-AC enemies even with the -5, but it means you can't use a shield.

You could multiclass to Rogue if you wanted to get expertise in some skills (like Athletics, perhaps - if you planned to use the Grappling battle master maneuver to grab onto people after hitting them, or something) after level 3, or you could take more barbarian levels, it doesn't really matter. Out of the classes available to you, the meaningful abilities are largely exhausted unless you plan to go many more levels past 12.

  • \$\begingroup\$ +1 for echo knight, best barbarian multiclass option in general \$\endgroup\$
    – SeriousBri
    Jan 25, 2022 at 10:00

Rogue or Fighter, personally leaning towards Rogue

Some considerations: I assume RAW for lack of knowledge about DM houserules. The only classes you can multiclass into with your stats are Rogue and Fighter. The other classes require one of charisma, wisdom or intelligence to be at least 13. When tanking, you try to prevent your friends (and you) from taking damage. Offense is the best defense: The faster you defeat your enemies, the fewer opportunities they have to hurt your allies. Dealing more damage is going to prevent more damage than healing or additional defenses (on top of your already very good defenses) would.

That said, both Fighters and Rogues excel at dealing damage. Let's see what these classes have to offer.


Additional proficiencies: none. You already have all proficiencies you gain when multiclassing into Fighter.

Hit die: d10, highest you can get from any non-barbarian class

Level 1: Fighting style: There are several good options for tanking

  • Defense: +1 AC, but requires armor which you probably shouldn't wear. Medium armor is worse than your unarmored AC and heavy armor prevents raging.
  • Interception/Protection: use your reaction to protect your allies. Since you already have a feature that imposes disadvantage, Interception is superior here
  • Dueling: +2 damage when you attack with 1H weapons (allows shields)

I personally would pick dueling, because damage > defenses, and I assume you will want to use a shield.

Second wind: Heal 1d10+fighter level HP. Ok self heal, will be useful often because you expect to take a lot of damage, although you have a bard and a cleric in your party. Unfortunately for you, this does not scale with CON.

Level 2: Action surge. Extremely powerful ability for martial characters. Combining this with reckless attack to attack four times with advantage will devastate your enemies. However, you can only use this once between short rests. Unless your DM allows you to short rest after every fight, this is less often than once per encounter.

Level 3: There are several options here that help you tanking. As so often, the Battle Master is probably your strongest choice. Goading attack, Bait & Switch and Riposte are some of the best maneuvers for straight up tanking in my opinion, but the subclass is very adaptable and you can tailor it to your liking. You can however only use four between short rests.

Level 4: ASI or feat. I would pick +2 DEX and focus on using finesse weapons. Pick up a ranged weapon while you're at it.


Additional proficiencies: 1 skill from the class list, thieves' tools, thieves' cant

Level 1:

Expertise: Double proficiency for two skills you are proficient in. Makes your character more useful and versatile outside of combat. Alternatively, you can put this into athletics to succeed on grapples/shoves in combat more often.

Sneak attack: Very high single target damage (2d6 by 3rd level, equal to a greatsword hit), synergizes with Reckless Attack, which means you can reliably trigger this ability every singly turn as long as you are not disadvantaged. Requires a finesse weapon, which you probably should be using anyways with your stats. Note though, that you can wield a finesse weapon with STR and benefit from both sneak attack and rage bonus damage.

Level 2: Cunning action: Not super useful for you, but don't underestimate the added mobility this feature offers.

Level 3: Subclass. Best option here in my opinion would be Scout. Scout's are somewhat "ranger light" and, ironically, make better rangers than some of the weaker ranger subclasses. Fits well with a wilderness-loving barbarian. You gain expertise in survival and nature, which could benefit your party (as far as I see you don't have a dedicated "nature type"). The skirmisher ability allows you to reposition yourself in reaction to enemy movement.

Level 4: ASI or feat. I would pick +2 DEX and focus on using finesse weapons. Pick up a ranged weapon while you're at it.

Conclusion: If you desire raw combat power, pick Fighter. On the other hand, if you want to diversify your character and feel more useful more often outside of combat, while having at least comparable damage output, you should pick Rogue. Depending on what skills your Bard picked up, your party would benefit from some skill versatility.


Writing for D&D Beyond, James Haeck suggests Fighter:

Once you reach 5th level or anytime thereafter, you may also wish to multiclass into fighter for 3 levels to improve your raw damage output. Pick Great Weapon Fighting as your Fighting Style and choose the Champion archetype to gain the Improved Critical feature, which synergizes well with the barbarian’s Brutal Critical feature (and potentially the half-orc’s Savage Attacks trait as well).

In addition to a Fighting Style, Action Surge and Second Wind would probably also be useful to a barbarian.


4 levels is a lot. There's obviously a ton of options with no real right answer. My favourite utility dips are rogue and warlock.

For you Warlock provides short rest spell casting. You also gain access to the powerful invocations and pact boons. These can provide features such as the ability to seen in all darkness, read all writing, cast false life (free temp hp) at will, upgrade eldritch blast to pull/push creatures, gain a familiar, gain a lot of cantrips, etc. Some of the subclasses that may be useful for you include Celestial which gives you access to healing spells and even a bonus action heal, the Fiend allows you to regenerate some hp when you down an enemy, or the Undead which gives you temp hp and makes you frighten enemies.

Rogue's main utility comes from cunning action, which allows you to use dash, disengage, and hide as bonus actions. This allows you to move around a lot more and control the battlefield. As for subclasses, arcane trickster is always useful as it gives you spellcasting so you can get a lot of utility, Scout allows you to move up to half your speed as a reaction when an enemy ends its turn within 5ft which is very convenient to reposition, Swashbuckler allows you to deny enemies attacks of opportunity (again, handy to control the battlefield), and gives you another option for activating your sneak attack.

Those are my two choices, you'll notice they both centre around utility. Warlock opens up a lot of ways to get hp/temp hp, while rogue increases your mobility/battlefield presence. Both classes have access to spell casting which greatly increases your options.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Warlock may not be an option, unless their DM is willing to waive the multiclass ability requirements, as their charisma is 8. Even if they can, some of the things you list wouldn't be of much use (less HP from fiend, inaccurate eldritch blast, etc) \$\endgroup\$
    – StephenTG
    Jan 24, 2022 at 13:16
  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ Warlock is off the table because my friend is already warlock, and as you pointed out my ability score is too low. \$\endgroup\$
    – Convergent
    Jan 24, 2022 at 14:16
  • \$\begingroup\$ Rogue I realized is not good because a lot of its abilities are focused around me moving around the battlefield and not getting hit, which is not good as a tank. \$\endgroup\$
    – Convergent
    Jan 24, 2022 at 14:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Convergent Preserving HP makes you a better tank, anything that reduces the damage you take makes you a better tank. If someone walks past the front line and you run after them and take a few OAs that's bad, much better to be able to disengage and follow. Unless your fights are just "stand in 1 spot and attack", having the utility to disengage/dash as a bonus action is massive. \$\endgroup\$
    – user73918
    Jan 25, 2022 at 1:37

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