New DnD subclasses include fisty punchman and tree boi

Two new DnD subclasses are added with the latest Unearthed Arcana, which includes a tree-powered Barbarian and fist-fighting Fighter.

Two new DnD subclasses have arrived with the latest Unearthed Arcana playtest, providing brand new options for a pair of DnD classes, the DnD Barbarian and DnD Fighter. One of these subclasses is a magical world tree warrior with funky root powers which do everything from healing to teleportation. The other is far more straightforward: it hit things good.

First off is the Path of the World Tree Barbarian, who all believe they are linked through rage (whatever that means) to the Norse world tree Yggdrasil. At level 3 this lets you heal yourself and dish out temporary hit points, but from then on the powers get more aggressive, allowing you to teleport creatures towards you or push or pull them with your weapon from afar.

The capstone power, unlocked at level 14, is Travel Along the Tree. This works a lot like the Teleport 5e spell, except your starting point can be any large tree, rather than a teleportation circle. Obviously there are more trees around than magic circles, though it seems your destination will still need to be an arcane ring.

Meanwhile, the Fighter’s Brawler subclass, naturally, focuses around unarmed combat and improvised weapons. When you pick this at level 3, you deal more damage with your fists and can apply weapon mastery properties to random objects. You then get better at that most treasured of technique, the 5e Grapple, while levels 15 and 18 further boost your damage. There’s nothing super flashy about this subclass, but it does what it says on the tin.

In terms of the reception to these new subclasses, the Path of the World Tree barbarian seems to have been received more positively, and we saw many fans on Reddit and Twitter describe the Brawler Fighter as underwhelming. However, a note above this subclass explains that the 2024 Players Handbook will include new DnD magic items that will make unarmed combat much better, presumably to provide a boost to this subclass, and other punch-powered classes, like the infamously weak Monk 5e.

For more information on current subclasses, and who should have them, check out our DnD classes or DnD races guides. And if you’re wondering how to level up a 5e character, this guide to the best DnD feats will steer you in the right direction.