Learn about Minotaurs and how to play as one in D&D 5e
Minotaurs are the bull-like humanoids similar to those found in the Greek legends. They have a large, muscular frame, powerful hooves and deadly horns to boot.
Originating from the Magic the Gathering settings of Theros and Ravnica, they can still be found throughout the planes of the D&D universe too. While their background and temperament can vary between settings, they’re generally a brash and passionate bunch that like to solve problems with their fists (or horns).
With the inception of Monsters of the Multiverse, minotaurs are now more readily available as a race outside of the Ravnica and Theros setting books. Below we’ve outlined everything you need to know about minotaurs, their abilities and how to get the most out of using one as your playable character.
What are minotaurs?
Minotaurs have the head and hooves of a bull but the body of a human, albeit, a very large and often muscular human! Haling originally from the settings of Ravnica and Theros, minotaurs have made their way into the planes to the Forgotten Realms, Eberron and beyond though might rightly be considered one of the rarer races of these places.
Minotaurs are well-known for their battle-loving ways and can often be found swinging a battle-axe or charging into combat with their horns. They are a no-nonsense bunch that prefer brawn to brains. That’s not to say minotaurs are mindless psychopaths, they’re more brash than evil (though an evil minotaur isn’t uncommon).
How to play as a minotaur in D&D 5e
While many minotaurs may fit a certain mindset or culture, as with any race in D&D 5e, minotaurs have a variety of personalities and talents meaning you can play a minotaur any way that you want. However, you may still want to consider how your culture and race has defined you, even if you choose to be an outlier in minotaur society. This might include:
- How do you deal with conflict? – Minotaurs aren’t renowned for their diplomacy. Do you resolve conflict through combat or are you a little different from the rest of the herd?
- How do you treat smaller races? – Minotaurs are large, and tough, and very imposing. Such creatures may find it easy to bully around the smaller races, or at least show them a lack of respect. How do you see other races, especially the smaller ones? Do you only show respect to those stronger than yourself or do you take pity on the puny creatures of the world?
- Why have you become an adventurer? – Many minotaurs love combat and an adventurer might seem like a natural fit for a minotaur, but you may want something more complex than that. Minotaurs in Theros follow a god, are you on a mission for your god? Do you see your physique as a gift from the gods to protect and serve others or do you see yourself as superior and one that should take leadership by whatever means necessary?
Minotaur Features in 5e
|Ability Scores||+2 to one ability score and +1 to another or +1 to 3 different ability scores|
|Traits||Horns, Goring Rush, Hammering Horns, Labrynthine Recall|
|Book found in||Mordenkainen Presents: Monsters of the Multiverse, Mythic Odysseys of Theros, Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica|
If you want to play as a minotaur, your character will have the following traits and abilities:
Horns – You have horns that can be used to make unarmed strikes. When you do this, you do 1d6 + your strength modifier in piercing damage.
Goring Rush – Immediately after you make the dash action on your turn and you move at least 20 feet, you can make one melee attack with your horns as a bonus action.
Hammering Horns – Immediately after you hit a creature with a melee attack as part of the attack action on your turn, you can use a bonus action to attempt to push that target with your horns. The target must be within 5 feet of you and no more than one size larger than you. Unless it succeeds on a strength saving throw against a DC equal to 8 + your proficiency bonus + your strength modifier, you push it up to 10 feet away from you.
Labrynthine Recall – You always know which way is know which way is north and have advantage on wisdom (survival) checks you make to navigate or track.
Which classes are good for minotaurs?
There are 2 versions of minotaur stats available for D&D 5e. The first was published in Guildmaster’s Guide to Ravnica and was republished in Mythic Odysses of Theros. The 2nd version comes from Monsters of the Multiverse and does change things up a bit, more in particularly because you can choose which abilities can be improved. This guide uses the most recent version which comes from Monsters of the Multiverse.
It’s important to note that minotaurs are all about their horns and these rely on strength to get the most out of them. Doing decent damage even when unarmed is handy and getting a free attack when dashing towards the enemy is useful if you’re a martial character. Hammering horns is a great option for controlling the battlefield a bit, you can either push foes out of the way (or into the way if you want to catch them in an area of effect spell for instance or down a chasm). Your mileage here though will depend on your strength though.
Unfortunately, Labrynthine Recall is a little tame as you’re just better at finding your way. This can be helpful in some games but many DMs forego a lot of the survival abilities so can be almost pointless in many games.
Best classes for minotaurs
As you’d expect, minotaurs make great barbarians. Goring Rush means when you dash into close combat, you can still get an attack off while your extra strength also means your Hammering Horns are likely to do what they need to and push enemies around. Even better, these abilities work alongside rage.
Fighters work well for minotaurs too. Just make sure you use a strength-based build rather than a dexterity one to get the most our of your horns. Fighters always need to be close to the action though and Goring Rush will help with that and pushing enemies around is often useful.
While paladins sometimes have to sacrifice a little more in the strength department than barbarians and fighters due to their charisma dependency, they still tend to be strong so can get the most out of the minotaur’s horn abilities. You’ll likely want to be the first into combat as the party tank so Goring Rush is useful to get you there and doing a bit of damage and again, as a protector, Hammering Horns can get enemies out of the way and help you control combat a little better (or shove people into pits).
Worst classes for minotaurs
As you might have guessed, any class with poor strength tends not to get a lot out of being a minotaur. It gets even worse if it’s a class that wants to be away from the melee completely. This is especially the case for bards, sorcerors, warlocks and wizards who will likely have little to do with their horns unless cornered, and even then, are unlikely to have high strength. The one advantage here is that you can be wielding something two-handed like a crossbow and still attack with your horns if you get cornered which at least is handy.