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DnD Wild Magic Barbarian 5e subclass guide

Take a walk on the wild side, and roll up a Wild Magic Barbarian as your next Dungeons and Dragons character - here’s what you need to know.

The DnD Wild Magic Barbarian is – quite literally – full of surprises. When they fly into a roaring Rage, the world around them reacts, producing random magical effects that totally alter a combat scenario. If you want to add a little extra fun to your frenzy, the Wild Magic Barbarian 5e subclass is for you.

We can tell you everything you need to know about this particular DnD Barbarian. Below you’ll find a complete DnD classes rundown of the Path of Wild Magic subclass. Plus, we recommend the best DnD races and 5e feats that complement this Barbarian subclass. With this in hand, you’ll be one step closer to your perfect DnD character build.

DnD Wild Magic Barbarian 5e - Wizards of the Coast art of a Barbarian intimidating a guard

Wild Magic Barbarian 5e subclass features

Here’s every extra feature you gain from choosing the Path of Wild Magic:

Magic Awareness

Level: Three

Spend an action on Magic Awareness, and you’ll become aware of any 5e spell or DnD magic item within 60 feet that isn’t behind total cover. When you discover a spell, you’ll even learn what DnD school of magic it belongs to. You can use Magic Awareness a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus – after that, you’ll need to take a long rest 5e.

Wild Surge

Level: Three

When you rage, you must roll on the Wild Magic table for a random side-effect:

D8 result Wild Magic effect
1 You gain 1d12 temporary hit points, and creatures of your choice that you can see within 30 feet must beat a Constitution saving throw or take 1d12 necrotic damage.
2 You teleport to an unoccupied space you can see within 30 feet, and you can teleport again each turn as a bonus action until your Rage ends.
3 A spirit appears within five feet of a creature (your choice) within 30 feet. It explodes at the end of the current turn, and everyone within five feet must beat a Dexterity saving throw or take 1d6 force damage. You can summon another spirit as a bonus action until your Rage ends.
4 You can change one DnD weapon’s damage type to force, give it the light and thrown properties, as well as a range of 20/60 feet. When it leaves your grasp, it returns to your hand at the end of the turn. This lasts until your Rage ends.
5 If a creature hits you with an attack while you’re Raging, it takes 1d6 force damage.
6 While Raging, you and allies within ten feet have a +1 armor class bonus.
7 Until your Rage ends, the ground within 15 feet of you is difficult terrain for enemies, as plants grow around you.
8 Light beams from your chest, and a creature of your choice that you can see within 30 feet must beat a Constitution saving throw or take 1d6 radiant damage and become blinded until the start of your next turn. You can repeat this as a bonus action each turn.

If you force an enemy to roll a saving throw, the difficulty class is eight + your proficiency bonus + your Constitution modifier.

DnD Wild Magic Barbarian 5e - Wizards of the Coast art of a figure inside a fiery tornado

Bolstering Magic

Level: Six

As an action, you can touch a creature and grant them one of these benefits:

  • For the next ten minutes, they roll an extra d3 on attacks or ability checks.
  • You roll a d3, and the target regains a spell slot of that number or lower. A creature can only benefit from this once per long rest.

You can use Bolstering Magic a number of times equal to your proficiency bonus. A long rest will restore all uses.

Unstable Backlash

Level: Ten

If you take damage or fail a saving throw while Raging, you can spend your reaction to roll on the Wild Magic effects table. If one of the effects is already active, it is replaced by your new roll.

Controlled Surge

Level: 14

When rolling on the Wild Magic effects table, you roll twice and choose your preferred result. If you roll the same number twice, you can choose any effect you like, regardless of the dice results.

DnD Wild Magic Barbarian 5e - Wizards of the Coast art of a Half-Orc

Tips for building a Wild Magic Barbarian

Like all Barbarians, Strength and Constitution are your primary DnD stats. One helps you hit hard, and the other helps you soak up damage.

Dexterity and Wisdom should come next in the priority list. The first keeps you nimble in combat, and the second protects you from abilities that require the game’s most common saving throw. Charisma and Intelligence are dump stats that you don’t need to worry about too much.

Best races for a Wild Magic Barbarian 5e

The Path of Wild Magic is one of the most flavorful Barbarian subclasses, and its random elements mean it can be difficult to optimize. Because of this, many players like to choose their D&D races based on fun rather than function. The Custom Origin rules in Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything mean you can change the stats of any race, too. So go nuts!

If you are looking to optimize though, there are a few races that stand out from the crowd. The first in the Variant DnD Human – a free feat and flexible stats are always a solid option. The DnD Half-Orc is a well-trusted option from the Player’s Handbook thanks to their Relentless Endurance feature.

DnD Wild Magic Barbarian 5e - Wizards of the Coast art of a Bugbear

Looking for something more exotic? We recommend races with a touch of Fey about them. It makes sense flavor-wise for them to have unpredictable magical abilities, and plenty have mechanical bonuses that’ll benefit your Barbarian.

The Satyr, for example, has 35 feet of speed and advantage on saving throws against spells. They can also use their head and horns to make unarmed attacks.

The Fairy gets 30 feet of flying speed, and you get a few minor spells to add to your repertoire. There’s also the Bugbear 5e, who has an extra five feet of reach on melee attacks and can deal 2d6 extra damage to creatures who haven’t taken a turn in combat yet.

DnD Wild Magic Barbarian 5e - Wizards of the Coast art of a human man holding an axe

Best feats for a Wild Magic Barbarian 5e

There are no feats that uniquely benefit this subclass, so any that you’d choose for a Barbarian anyway will suit. A feat that boosts one of your key stats is ideal – Slasher, Piercer, or Crusher all buff your Barb in different ways, depending on how you prefer to deal damage.

Other general combat utility feats also make great selections. Great Weapon Master would be our top choice.

And if you want to lean into the ‘Wild’ side of your Barbarian, you could take Lucky. Luck points that manipulate the results of dice rolls can be surprisingly handy, and it’ll feel like Wild Magic when you alter a result.

Want to carry on your DnD character creation? Here are the best DnD backgrounds you might choose for your Barbarian.