Recently I've come across the Barbarian's Tiger Totem's 3rd level ability, whose only benefit is jumping:

Tiger. While raging, you can add 10 feet to your long jump distance and 3 feet to your high jump distance. The spirit of the tiger empowers your leaps.

Since rage is something that usually happens in combat rather than outside of it, that got me thinking if there were other uses of jumping beyond clearing obstacles in combat.

So, yeah. What can a Barbarian use jumping in combat for, beyond clearing obstacles?

  • 2
    \$\begingroup\$ While I agree the answer to this is fairly broad in that it's "about anything you can think of man, that's like asking what good is walking," I don't think it makes the question itself too broad (as long as people refrain from answering with super specific single uses of jump). Reopening, I'll reclose if it goes off the rails. \$\endgroup\$
    – mxyzplk
    Dec 23, 2016 at 3:57

3 Answers 3


It reduces the effects of battlefield control on the Barbarian.

The benefits are minor, but can be significant in the right situation. The primary ability of the Barbarian is Rage, which among other things:

When you make a melee weapon attack using Strength, you gain a bonus to the damage roll that increases as you gain levels as a barbarian.

Thus, the classic barbarian build utilizes melee attacks. They are not usually envisioned as ranged attackers. True, they can throw a weapon, but then they have lost their attack. They can also use missile weapons, but then they lose some of the power of their main class feature.

This makes barbarians easy to nerf by an opponent with some degree of battlefield control. Shooting arrows at them from a cliff top or the other side of a chasm, or flying just above their head, or any other way they can deliver damage to the barbarian from a vantage point of remaining out of melee weapon range.

The Jumping ability of the Tiger Totem can reduce this weakness by giving the barbarian some recourse toward reducing their disadvantageous position. Now they can jump up that cliff, over that chasm or just up to get the person buzzing over their heads. It's true that the enemy could still be too high or far to reach (the extra jump isn't that much), but the Tiger Totem jump does seek to reduce the number of circumstances where the barbarian cannot respond due to distance.


On a flat boring battlefield: not much.

On a multi-level battlefield with raging fires, deep chasms and the Macguffin of power dangling over a bottomless pit: huge. Right up to the point where someone gains the ability to fly, after which: not much.

  • 1
    \$\begingroup\$ I feel this answer is focused more around the question "How useful is jumping," rather than "What can a Barbarian use jumping in combat for, beyond clearing obstacles?" \$\endgroup\$
    – Adam
    Dec 23, 2016 at 13:48

This is one of those circumstances where a feature's usefulness is pretty much limited to your imagination.

Beyond clearing obstacles, some uses might be:

  • Enhancing your jump (like with the Jump spell, or your barbarian's features) or being so strong that you can jump and swing a melee weapon at things which are hovering/flying above you.
  • Flavor in attacks/finishing moves. i.e. "I kill him by jumping into the air as high as I can and driving my blade down like a guillotine"
  • Taking a running long jump into somebody as a more unique way of making a shove attempt

Those are the things which pop off the top of my mind. I'm sure more will come up to you as your adventures unfold.


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