Path of the Storm Herald Barbarian Subclass Guide

Path of the Storm Herald Barbarians transform their rage into swirling primal magic. Using their fury, these Barbarians can tap into elemental magic to devastate their opponents.

Training alongside Druids and Rangers, Storm Heralds are capable of enduring even the harshest environments.

Unleashing Elemental Fury

As a Storm Herald Barbarian, you can call upon the power of the elements to enhance your combat abilities. Your magical powers draw from nature and allow you to tap into the power of the environment.

When you rage, you can choose to transform your fury into elemental energy. This energy can take different forms, depending on your needs in battle.

You can use the anger that lies within you in many ways. As a Storm Herald, you can conjure the elements to deal extra damage, grant yourself resistance to certain types of damage, or even empower your allies with elemental energy.

You can choose one of the three following environments: desert, sea, or tundra. Your aura’s effect will be dependent on your chosen environment. You are also able to change your environment choice whenever you gain a level in this class.

Black Citadel’s Ranking and Tier System

Color and tier ranking is very helpful when you’re trying to digest a lot of information. In our ongoing series of 5e class guides, we use the following color-rating scheme:

  • RedC Tier. Red options can sometimes be situationally useful and might make for an interesting narrative choice, but they are largely less effective than other tiers.
  • GreenB Tier. Solid but nothing that is absolutely critical for a build, or Green can be very good but only in very specific situations.  
  • BlueA Tier. An excellent choice. Widely regarded as powerful in some way, useful, highly effective. 
  • PurpleS Tier. The top of our rankings. Objectively powerful or transformative in some way. No choice in D&D is essential, but these options are worth strongly considering when you create your character.

Our goal here is to provide scannable but comprehensive guides for you as you develop your character.

Stats and Abilities for Storm Heralds

As a Storm Herald Barbarian, you have a few fundamental abilities that you will want to focus on.

You’ll want to make Strength your highest ability score, followed by Constitution. These two ability scores are essential for any melee-focused character, and you will be doing a lot of melee damage.

It can be smart to invest in your Dexterity score as well. This will help you stay alive in combat. Your storm aura extends 10 feet from your in every direction, so you’ll need to be up close and personal to utilize your powers.

Rage and Unarmored Defense are both key class features for Barbarians. Your Rage allows you to enter a state of frenzy, giving you increased strength and durability. It also produces your Storm Aura, which you can activate as a bonus action.

Unarmored Defense allows you to use your Constitution score to determine your Armor Class rather than wearing armor. Your storm powers will grant you resistance to the elements and protect you in severe places.

The Storm Herald’s Strengths

The Storm Herald Barbarian is an excellent choice for those who want to play a character who will defend nature and the environment. This subclass can add an exciting layer of roleplaying to your character, allowing you to take their personality and drive outside the “rage machine” that some Barbarians become.

This subclass also works well with characters who want to deal elemental damage or have more control over the battlefield. The Storm Herald’s ability to change their environment choice means that they can adapt to different situations as they come up.

Storm Heralds are the ultimate survivors with their high Constitution scores and unarmored defense. They are tough to kill and able to survive in almost any environment.

The Storm Herald’s Weaknesses

One of the weaknesses of playing a Storm Herald is that you can only change your environment when you level up. This can be a problem if you find yourself in a situation where your chosen environment is not helpful. 

For example, your fire-based aura will not be as effective if you are fighting an enemy with fire resistance. Players can overcome this problem by planning ahead and choosing their environment based on the type of enemies they expect to face.

Another weakness of the Storm Herald is that they are not as effective at dealing damage as other Barbarian subclasses. Storm Heralds focus more on control and utility than on raw firepower. This can be a drawback in situations where you need to deal a lot of damage quickly, such as against a boss monster.

Storm Herald Class Features

The Path of the Storm Herald teaches Barbarians to draw on the power of the storm to survive in any environment and meet any challenge. If your aura requires an opponent to make a saving throw, the DC is 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Constitution modifier.

Storm Aura

A Storm Herald’s aura has an effect that activates whenever they enter a rage. The effect can be activated again on each turn as a bonus action.

Desert: The desert aura will deal 2 fire damage to anyone within 10 feet of you. The amount of damage dealt increases as you gain levels.

Sea: With the sea aura, you’ll be able to force a creature in your aura to make a Dexterity saving throw. If they fail, you’ll deal 1d6 lightning damage. As you level up, the amount of lightning damage you deal increases, up to 4d6 at level 20.

Tundra: Calling upon the aid of icy spirits, you can use your aura to grant your allies temporary hit points, protecting them from suffering. 

Storm Soul

From 6th level onwards, you receive benefits from the storm even when your aura isn’t active. The advantages depend on the environment you selected for your Storm Aura.

Desert: You’re at home in the hottest climate and don’t suffer the effects of extreme heat, as described in the Dungeon Master’s Guide. You also have a resistance to fire damage and set items on fire just by touching them!

Sea: Channeling the soul of the sea, you’ll gain resistance to lightning damage. You’ll also be able to breathe underwater.

Tundra: The storm of the tundra makes you resistant to cold damage and the effects of extreme cold. You can also freeze water with just a touch.

Shielding Storm

At 10th level, you learn to channel your mastery of the storm into a protective aura. Creatures that you choose within your Storm Aura have the damage resistance granted by your Storm Soul feature.

Raging Storm

At level 14, your storm aura becomes more powerful.

Desert: When a creature in your aura hits you with an attack, you can use your reaction to make it attempt a Dexterity saving throw. The creature takes fire damage equal to your Barbarian level if it fails the save.

Sea: When you attack and hit a creature inside your aura, you can use your reaction to force that creature to make a Strength saving throw. If the save fails, the creature is knocked down by the power of the sea.

Tundra: After your Storm Aura’s effect is activated, you can select one creature to be susceptible to its power within the aura. That creature must pass a Strength save, or their speed will become 0 until the start of your next turn as magical frost overtakes them.

Roleplaying a Storm Herald Barbarian

When creating a Storm Herald Barbarian, consider why your character has chosen this path. Are they seeking to protect their home from harm? Do they hope to commune with the elements? Or do they simply enjoy the thrill of battle?

Most Storm Herald Barbarians are Chaotic Good as they believe in the power of nature and the need to protect it. However, there are those who follow other alignments.

As a Storm Herald Barbarian, you might…

  • Team up with a Ranger or Druid to solve an environmental crisis.
  • Use your abilities to protect your village from raiders or monsters. 
  • Have been trained at an elite lodge in a harsh, remote area.
  • Forge close bonds with your fellow adventurers in place of the tribe you left behind.
  • Harness the power of nature to become a fearsome warrior on the battlefield.

Your motivations and backstory will help determine your place in the world and how you interact with those around you. Keep that in mind when you create your character, and try to develop a well-rounded personality that you’ll enjoy roleplaying.

In the end, it’s really up to you how to roleplay your character. Just have fun with it, and run any ideas you have past your DM.

Rage and Thunder

The Path of the Storm Herald Barbarian is a subclass that gives you access to strong elemental abilities. Whether you’re looking to protect your allies or lay waste to your enemies, this subclass has the potential to make you a force of nature. 

So, go out there and make some thunder! Prepare to harness the power of the storm.