DnD 5e - The Minotaur Handbook
Last Updated: june 19th, 2020
RPGBOT uses the color coding scheme which has become common among Pathfinder build handbooks, which is simple to understand and easy to read at a glance.
- : Bad, useless options, or options which are extremely situational.
- : OK options, or useful options that only apply in rare circumstances.
- : Good options.
- : Fantastic options, often essential to the function of your character.
I will not include 3rd-party content, including content from DMs Guild, even if it is my own, because I can't assume that your game will allow 3rd-party content or homebrew. I also won't cover Unearthed Arcana content because it's not finalized, and I can't guarantee that it will be available to you in your games.
The advice offered below is based on the current State of the Character Optimization Meta as of when the article was last updated. Keep in mind that the state of the meta periodically changes as new source materials are released and this article will be updating accordingly as time allows.
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Minotaurs now appear as playable races in both Guildmaster's Guide to Ravnica and Mystic Odysseys of Theros. Their lore varies between settings, but minotaurs as a playable race are notably different from the Minotaurs listed in the Monster Manual. Where the Minotaur monster is a fiend, the Minotaur race is a humanoid. They have also lost their signature ability Labyrinthine Recall, which calls back to the greek mythological minotaur which was imprisoned in a labyrinthe. The playable version of the Minotaur is a minotaur in name and shape, but the similarities are purely cosmetic. The real-world mythology of the Minotaur is wholly absent from the playable race.
Mechanically, the Minotaur is a spectacular front-line martial option. Strength and Constitution are unremarkable but still fantastic, but the Minotaur's real appeal is in its other traits. Minotaurs can use their horns as natural weapons, notably dealing 1d6 damage rather than 1d4 like every other published race. But that alone still makes them no better than manufactured weapons. Goring Rush and Hammering Horns are what make the horns matter. Goring Rush provides the most important part of the Charger feat, while Hammering Horns allows you to push enemies 10 ft. away as a Bonus Action, giving the Minotaur two powerful tactical options right at 1st level. You also get a free skill, but it's a Face skill which may be hard to use.
Classes (Default Rules)
This section assumes that you're not using the option "Customizing Your Origin" rules presented in Tasha's Cauldron of Everything. If you are using those rules, scroll up to the previous section.
No Intelligence increase
Goring Rush gets you into melee as fast as possible, which is right where the Barbarian wants to be.
Proficiency in Intimidation/Persuasion is nice, but it's really not enough. You could try a Valor Bard, but in medium armor a Strength-based build is very MAD because you need 14 in Dexterity and good scores in Strength, Constitution, and Charisma which is very hard to accomplish.
No Wisdom increase, and the Minotaur's traits which use Bonus Actions make it hard to split your focus between swinging a weapon and casting spells with your Bonus Action.
No Wisdom increase, and none of the Minotaur's important traits function while in Wild Shape.
Goring Rush and Hammering Horns are absolutely spectacular for the Fighter. Goring Rush gets you into melee quickly, and Hammering Horns allows you to tactically reposition foes without cutting into your attacks. Be sure to avoid builds which rely heavily on your Bonus Action like two-weapon fighting so that you can capitalize on your racial traits.
No increases to either Dexterity or Wisdom, and Strength-based monks simply aren't viable.
Not such an easy choice as the Barbarian or the Fighter, but still a great option. While Charisma is very helpful for the Paladin, they don't strictly need an increase at 1st level. Strength and Constitution work fine, and the free Face skill will save you a skill proficiency if you're serving as your party's Face.
Strength-based builds are difficult, but possible. Goring Rush and Hammering Horns could be useful for the Ranger, but it's still a difficult build.
The minotaur has nothing to offer the Rogue except a skill proficiency.
No Charisma increase.
No Charisma increase.
No Intelligence increase.