Blood Hunter/Barbarian – The analysis

Apologies for the late article, life caught up to me.

As per my last article I wanted to bring up some interesting points about the Blood Hunter created by Matthew Mercer from the Critical Role show on twitch. If you do not know what it is I would strongly suggest checking it out to re-kindle your passion for D&D.

I would like to expand on one of the Order that is available to the Blood Hunter class at 3rd level versus the multi-class option. This time I will expand on the Order of the Lycan versus multi-classing the Barbarian as they are both similar in nature. I will go through their pros and cons and then it is yours to decide which path you wish to take. This will cover mostly combat options.

Let me first start with the benefit of taking the Order of the Lycan as your order at 3rd level. As mentioned in my previous articles about the Blood Hunter, the most damage is done through his/her basic attacks therefore you want to increase the Blood Hunter level to increase your Rite damage. If you choose the Order of the Lycan instead of multi-classing you will progress faster with your Rite damage together with increasing your proficiency bonus and known curses. Basically all the perks from progressing with the main class level. Additionally you also get the `Hybrid Transformation` which allow you to go into `rage` mode and you also get a bonus melee damage and bonus AC. The bad part is `BloodLust` which in the event that you fail your saving throw you lose your turn automatically attacking a random nearby creature friend or foe. `Cursed Weakness` basically makes you vulnerable to silvered weapons but who has silver weapon nowadays right? The other abilities that are worth mentioning is `Pack Hunter` which gives you advantage on attack roll when an ally is nearby as well as the access to the `Blood Curse of the Howl`. These are pretty much what you would get for progressing with the Blood Hunter class.

Now the other option is to multi-class barbarian and here are the pros and cons of doing so. I will start with the pros, first you obtain `Rage` increasing your damage and also `Unarmored Defense` which is great if you specialize in Dex. To make the multi-classing effective I would recommend to level the barbarian class to at least level 4 for the `Ability Score Improvement`. This will allow you access to `Reckless Attack` which is amazing with the `Sharpshooter` or the `Great Weapon Master` feat + Rite damage + Rage damage. At level 2 you will have access to `Danger Sense` which honestly is nice since there are so many spells that require Dex saves. At level 3 you get access to `Primal Path` and you have the ability to choose between `Bear`, `Eagle` or `Wolf` for their benefits. You will also have the ability to choose another Order instead of going with the Order of the Lycan thus granting you more options with the Blood Hunter class for example the `Order of the Mutant`. Since none of its abilities requires concentration, you get to drug your character for extra effects. You must also not forget that you have extra hit points when leveling your barbarian class. The cons that I can think of is mainly slowing the progress in the Blood Hunter class therefore slowing your progression towards great Rite damage.

TL;DR

Pros:
Order of the Lycan:-
1. Faster progression to increase the Rite damage and proficiency bonus
2. Hybrid Transformation with bonus AC and melee damage
3. Access to Blood Curse of the Howl

Multi-classing with Barbarian:-
1. Rage feature
2. Danger Sense
3. Primal Path options
4. Extra HP
Cons:
Order of the Lycan:-
1. Cursed Weakness
2. Bloodlust
3. Lower HP

Multi-classing with Barbarian:-
1. Slower Rite damage progression
2. Slower progression towards the increase of your proficiency bonus
3. No access to the Blood Curse of the Howl

Personally I would go with the multi-class option as it seems to provide more benefit for both melee and range weapons. Since Rite is not considered concentration you could potentially become a tanky killing machine who eats monsters for breakfast. Depending on the end level of your campaign the Order of the Lycan damage might come out on top but for most part barbarian seems to be the better choice.

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