Barbarians are a common party member in Baldur’s Gate 3, especially since Karlach is one of the most fun companions you can bring with you on your adventures. They’re built to be damage-dealing powerhouses that can fly into a rage to resist the damage flying back their way. Many popular builds for Barbarians rely on throwing weapons across the battlefield while you make your way to fight up close, with Berserkers getting a free Enraged Throw as a bonus action while they’re in a fury. This special throw attack does extra damage and can knock a target prone. This makes throwing-based weapons especially useful for Barbarians in general. I will run through my favorite weapons to hand off to Karlach or equip to my custom Half-Orc Barbarian, Marshman Dan.
#6 Everburn Blade
The Everburn Blade is one of the best weapons to get you through Act 1 with any great weapon fighter like a Barbarian. It is a greatsword dealing 2d6 worth of damage with every strike, while also applying 1d4 worth of fire damage when you land an attack with it. This little bit of elementally-based damage has lots of applications, letting you burn up enemies that are vulnerable to fire like ice-dwelling creatures or hostile beings made of wood.
While it isn’t as strong or as varied in effects as other two-handed weapons you could use as a Barbarian, it is available early in the game. Getting it will require you to defeat Commander Zhalk at the very start of the game, the devil that is fighting a Mind Flayer on the Nautiloid. Healing the Mind Flayer so it can deal enough damage to wear Zhalk down is a smart use of spell slots, but beware of the Cambion reinforcements that will fly in several rounds into the fight. You can also use the “Command” spell with Shadowheart to attempt to force him to drop his weapon.
#5 Returning Pike
The Returning Pike is the best Act 1 weapon for a throwing-based Barbarian. It gives you a little bit of extra reach in melee combat, allowing you to get more opportunity attacks against crowds of smaller opponents. When thrown, it also returns to your hand, letting you use it turn after turn. You also gain access to the powerful “Rush Attack” ability to avoid opportunity attacks while moving forward with a vicious attack. While it deals slightly less damage than other two-handed weapons at 1d10+1, the various effects of this weapon make up for that flaw. Combine it with the “Sentinel” perk for maximum benefits.
You can get the Returning Pike fairly early on in the game from Grat the Trader, a goblin merchant in the goblin camp during Act 1. Make sure you don’t start slaying goblins until you pick it up!
#4 Adamantine Longsword
The Adamantine Longsword is one of the better options for a Barbarian during the end of Act 1 or the beginning of Act 2, provided you’re running a Barbarian with a shield and versatile weapon rather than one with two-handed weapons. This combo lets you preserve a little bit more of your armor class as a Barbarian. This longsword does extra damage to objects and ignores the slashing resistance that many enemies have.
You get this sword from placing the Longsword Mould and a piece of Mithral Ore into the Adamantine Forge at the end of Act 1. Be careful which items you choose to forge here though, as there are only two pieces of Mithral Ore in the game.
#3 Dwarven Thrower
This Warhammer is another great weapon for any throwing-based Barbarian character, especially a custom Dwarf Barbarian since it gives extra bonuses to Dwarves that use it. As a versatile weapon, you can use the Dwarven Thrower with one hand and use a shield in the other, and it will also come back to your hand when thrown. Dwarves do an extra 1d8 worth of damage with this Warhammer and an extra 2d8 against Large or bigger creatures.
You can buy this hammer from Ferg Drogher in Rivington. Be careful not to approach Ferg with Shadowheart in your party unless you’ve gone down the evil path with Shadowheart, or it will start a dialogue with him that causes him to leave and never return afterward.
Nyrulna is a +3 trident with numerous special features. It returns to your hand when thrown and can’t be knocked out of your hand, and when you throw it you’ll create a 20ft radius thunder damage explosion, inflicting 3d4 thunder damage to anyone caught in the blast. Additionally, you gain a 3m/10ft bonus to your movement speed and jump distance, while also gaining immunity to fall damage. This combination of abilities allows for a wider set of capabilities and strategies for your Barbarian characters. Tridents are versatile weapons so they can be used as a throwing weapon while you’re still holding a shield. It also comes with two special moves, Zephyr Flash which allows you to rush forward and inflict bleeding, as well as Zephyr Break which pushes crowds of enemies back while doing thunder damage.
To get this powerful item, you’ll need to win the jackpot from the djinni Akabi at The Circus of the Last Days in Rivington. There are several ways to do this, like passing a Performance check after you notice that Akabi is cheating, or pickpocketing his ring.
#1 Balduran’s Giantslayer
This will be the strongest weapon in the game for any Barbarian who isn’t using a throwing-centric build. It’s a +3 greatsword with lots of interesting special properties revolving around fighting larger enemies. On any hit you land with the Giantslayer you double your strength modifier when adding damage. For a Barbarian at top level, this is likely an extra five points of damage for every strike that lands. You also gain the ability to take on a giant form once every time you take a short rest. The giant form gives you an extra 1d6 worth of damage with melee weapons, 27 temporary hit points, and advantage on strength checks or saving throws, including pushing targets around. Lastly, it comes with a special attack called “Topple The Big Folk” which deals a ton of extra damage and can knock large or bigger targets prone.
You’ll need to defeat the undead dragon Ansur to collect this legendary sword from his body. You can find and fight Ansur inside The Dragon’s Sanctuary inside the Wyrmway. You’ll be led here after completing the trials of Balduran during the “Blade of the Frontiers” subquest revolving around Wyll.