[Guide] 2Hand Inferno Barbarian

  • #1
    Close to a month ago, I wrote up a guide for a 2hand Barbarian build that I used for almost all of my solo Inferno progression; from the end of Act 1 to Diablo. Since then I've answered a bunch of questions regarding topics that I didn't explain well enough in the first guide, learned some new things about the game, and experimented with a bunch of new builds.

    This version of the guide aims to better explain some of the more popular topics, such as gearing at various levels, what to look for on the AH, minor build variations, coop builds, and high gear requirement builds as well as updates to reflect the changes in 1.0.3.

    If you have already seen my first guide and are looking for only new content, skip down to the gear section.

    My character
    stats: http://i.imgur.com/s6Lrz.jpg
    gear: http://imgur.com/a/9kTek

    Yes, my gear is pretty good. No, you don't need this level of gear to play this build.


    Both videos are unedited/uncut footage intended to give an impression of how the builds play

    Act 3 Champions post 1.0.3 using volcanic whirlwind solo build

    Siegebreaker 5 Valor run pre 1.0.3 using standard build

    Standard Build
    This is the build I used from the end of Act 1 until Inferno Diablo.

    There are a few options for switching around your primary attack and your fury spender, see the section on "Alternative Builds" for more information.

    Frenzy - Your single target damage. Maniac is your go to rune in this build since it increases your seismic slam & earthquake damage. Do note that you can switch this out for Bash-Onslaught if you prefer not to deal with trying to keep Frenzy stacks up.

    Seismic Slam - Primarily used as an "inbetween cooldown" ability. Also extremely good at refilling your healthbar with ignorance is bliss on large groups of mobs. Usually one cast of this ability will bring me back to full when there's 5+ monsters around. Shattered ground is used here as you want the highest damage per cast (the aoe on crackling rift is too small). Strength from earth can work too, it's better when WoTB and/or ignore pain aren't up, but worse when they are. Do note that seismic will only knockback champions with the shattered ground rune.

    Earthquake+Wrath of the Berserker+Ignore Pain - Your "kill the champion packs in 5 seconds" combo. The runes here are definitely non-negotiable. Mountains call on earthquake is important as getting 100 fury for the combo would be very challenging. Insanity on WoTB is used as it doubles your earthquake damage. Ignorance is bliss is used on ignore pain as the life leech works with earthquake making you invulnerable for 5 seconds.

    War cry - Self explanatory, huge survivability increase with the armor and resistances from impunity.

    Passives - Ruthlessness/Weapon mastery: Non situational damage increases. Berserker rage and brawler uptime is sporadic so I avoid those for general purpose farming/boss killing. The last slot goes for whatever passive is more armor for you, either nerves of steel (usually) or tough as nails.

    Gameplay Tactics
    1) Rule #1 for this build: You do not have revenge, you do not have leap or charge, do not get surrounded! This doesn't mean you're going to spend all day kiting, but it does mean that you should make smart use of seismic slam's knockback to ensure that you're not getting melee'd by an entire group of monsters.

    2) My usual tactic for tackling normal mobs is to seismic slam about half of them back and pick off what's left or swing around the side and seismic slam the melee monsters back and then pick off the casters (caster white mobs should die in 1-2 hits). If you're unable to handle normal mobs without using WoTB/earthquake then you're probably not geared enough for whatever you're doing.

    3) For champion packs, if they are melee and your cooldowns are up it should be trivial. If they're ranged, try to seismic slam them against a wall or kite them around a corner and then blow them up. Do not pop ignore pain at the very start of a champion pack. First, you should let your health get very low since it's going to almost instantly bring you back to full anyway.

    4) For bosses, just kill them before they kill you :) Kite around and wait for your ignore pain if you need to. While progressing on content you should actually be doing, your full round of cooldowns should be about half of the boss's HP. The other half just requires some finesse.

    For all levels of gear there are a few rules that you should live by:

    1) STR>>>>VIT. This is often a decision you will have to make when comparing gear upgrades. 1 point of STR is always better than 1 point of VIT unless your HP is ridiculously low (see the section on minimum recommended stats). Do note that shoulders and belt slots have higher STR maximums than other slots.

    2) Mitigation is super important and will almost always yield more effective HP than vitality. Aim for all of your pieces to either have all resist or bonus armor. You can strategically gear for bonus armor in slots where all resist is expensive (ex: chest) in order to save lots of gold without sacrificing much mitigation. This Effective HP calculator can help you determine the value of each defensive stat for your character:

    EHP Calcualtor: http://rubensayshi.g...lculator/#intro

    3) Individual resists: Physical and fire are by far the best two. Consider these an added bonus to either armor or all resist on a slot, and I tend to value them at about 1/3 a point of all resist.

    4) Get vitality wherever you can, but having 3-4 high damage items without VIT is perfectly fine and will save you a lot of gold.

    5) Maximize secondary damage stats in the places where they can be the highest. For example, gloves and necks can have the highest crit chance. For more information about maximum affix values see here:

    Max stats per slot: https://docs.google....poYjY5Mnc#gid=0

    6) Weapon type: Swords are far and away the best while Wrath of the Berserker is not up. Since the 100% damage from the Insanity rune is additive with the sword damage bonus, other weapon types tend to close the gap during WoTB. So, you'll want to lean towards sword, but it's not going to ruin you if you settle for another weapon type.

    7) Utility stats: movespeed on boots is excellent. Life on hit is mostly useless. Lifesteal gets good past about 50k damage. Melee/ranged damage reduction is okay, but not worth losing a lot of damage for (i.e. don't use string of ears).

    8) Don't ignore your follower for solo play! I recommend an enchantress with the two aoe's, the armor bonus, and the attack speed bonus. Her aoe's are unaffected by the follower damage penalty, so she'll do quite a bit of damage with decent gear. Get her a decent damage 2hander with high INT/VIT and some jewelery with high INT/VIT (IAS will help her a bit too if you want to spend a lot of gold on her).

    Rough Gear Standards
    Act 1, entry level Inferno

    Your first priorities should be to get all resist in as many slots as possible while maximising your strength.

    Try to meet these minimums:
    Helm, bracers, gloves, and boots: 80 strength, 30 all resist
    Legs and chest(including sockets): 140 strength, 30 all resist
    Shoulders, belt, and neck: 120 strength, 30 all resist
    Rings: 70 strength, 20 all resist
    Weapon: 1100 DPS
    (remember: you can lose the all resist in a few slots in favor of bonus armor to save gold)

    Each of these can be found for about 50k per slot.

    Act 2 and beyond

    Focus on making upgrades that increase strength and/or mitigation and start watching for secondary stats. Even after 1.0.3, attack speed is still very good on rings. Try to balance your crit chance and crit damage, a ratio of around 1 to 5 is an okay rule of thumb.

    By the time you finish act 2, you should be looking at about 25k damage, 600 resist all(with warcry), and 30k HP. For Act 3 and 4, try to have around 35k damage, 800 resist all(with warcry), and 35k HP before you seriously commit to finishing and farming them.

    Auction House Tips
    Mechanical stuff:

    1) If you're not interested in chasing a bid, put in a maximum buyout so you don't have to go through pages of bid-only auctions if you sort buyout ascending.

    2) Most of the time, looking at auctions older than an hour or two is a waste of gold. If an auction is that old, other people have likely already looked at it and decided it's not worth buying. Niche/unpopular items can be the exception to this rule (for example: Barb gear without all resist)

    3) You can bookmark bid-only auctions by bidding more gold than what you have. Your bid will fail, but the auction will show up under your auctions tab.

    4) The way the bidding system works, if you bid higher than the incremental bid increase (the bid that shows up when you press the button), the AH will automatically compete with other bids until it reaches the value you bid as maximum. So for example, if you decide an item is worth 2million gold, but the bid is only at 1million, you can lay down a 2million bid and if nobody else bids on it, you'll end up paying only 1million. The remaining 1 million will get refunded to you when the auction completes.

    5) Searching for legendaries: If you're looking for a particular legendary but don't want to have to look through 50 pages for a particular random attribute, do this: set the quality to legendary (sets are also considered legendary), set the level min and max to whatever the legendary is, set one or two of the affixes to one or two of the predetermined stats on the legendary, then choose whatever random affix you want.

    For example: You want a Lamentation with 50 all resist and frenzy damage. Choose mighty belt legendary, level 60-60, Lifesteal>0, Barbarian skill Frenzy>0, All resist>50.

    Specific AH queries:

    Chests: I'd almost always recommend a bonus armor chest over an all resist chest since the difference in gold between the two tends to be huge. Since chests have no secondary damage stats, finding one with physical or fire resist isn't very hard.

    Example chest query: Strength>120, Has sockets>3, Armor>0. Sort armor descending and look for ones with either physical or fire resist.

    Helms: A purple gem is going to almost always be worth at least 100 VIT and sockets tend to cost less than vitality. If you don't have the gold to throw down on a helm with both VIT and a socket, lean toward just a socket.

    Amulets: Amulets are another slot that I would recommend watching for +armor items if all resist is too expensive for you. Amulets can have very high strength, crit chance, and crit damage, so there's potential to spend a lot on damage stats even if you're resorting to bonus armor.

    Legendaries to watch for:

    There's a number of legendaries that can either be really good mid to high end gear choices. By the time you're looking to start Act 3, you should consider scouring the AH for some of these legendaries:

    Sage's Seekers with strength or strength+vitality
    These boots come with decent all resist, bonus armor, and movespeed. Rares can be comparable/better, but you're looking for 4-5 properties wheras Sage's Seekers are mass crafted by a lot of people and are easy to find.

    Firewalkers with all resist and high strength
    These are the "I've got too much gold" version of the Sage's Seekers. You can find firewalkers with well over 200 strength and up to 80 all resist, but you're going to be paying A LOT. They're worth a mention for the uber rich, but most people should stick to Sage's Seekers.

    Lamentation with all resist and either bash or frenzy damage.
    This is a staple at higher gear levels. Up to 12% on your primary attack, lifesteal, a good amount of strength, and a legendary-only 1% crit. You could potentially find comparable rares, but it's another case of having to look for a lot of properties.

    Andariel's Visage with strength
    This helm is nice for a few reasons: 1) Reasonably priced helms are a pain in the neck to find on the AH. 2) If you can spare the all resist and vit, you can get a raw strength Andy's for pretty cheap and it's a pretty huge amount of damage 3) If you are willing to pay a good bit, you can still get one with resists or health. Andy's fills a niche on the low and medium gear spectrums for one looking for high damage on a helm.

    Hierophant's Seal with all resist
    If you're doing a lot of Act 3, the bonus damage vs demons on this ring is highly underrated. The other preset properties are not bad either. You can often find these rings for very cheap considering how much damage you'll gain.

    2Piece Natalya's with strength on boots and strength+allresist on ring
    The 2piece bonus for Natalya's is awesome (7% crit). However, given the new increased demand from demon hunters looking for the 4piece, acquiring even a strength version of this set is ridiculously expensive. This is another super high-end expensive pickup.

    Inferno Diablo
    Here's the build I used:

    The changes from the standard cooldown build are:

    Sprint in place of Seismic slam - The reasoning here is that other than melee attacks, 100% of the damage on the fight is avoidable. Sprint in circles and wait for ignore pain and/or your other cooldowns to come up and you'll win.

    Call of Ancients in place of Earthquake - The duration on COA is longer than earthquake, so you can spread out your damage more in phase 2. I actually managed to make my first COA of phase 2 get me through two of the shades. I used the damage/armor rune, but I think that the duration rune would be just as good, if not better.

    I can't really say too much about the fight since I found it to be pretty easy, but the important things I found were:
    1. Pop cooldowns right at the start of the fight to burn through phase 1 but then STOP and wait for you cooldowns before going into phase 2.
    2. Manage cooldowns in phase 2 such that you have one for every shade. If you can get to phase 3 the fight's pretty much yours.
    3. Free melee time in phase 3 when Diablo casts the lightning inferno. Just sprint behind him and whoop his ass for a few seconds.
    4. Dodge the bone cages and fire void zones or you'll lose.

    Lastly, if you don't plan on going in with nephelem valor, you can charge up full fury in town with this little trick:
    • Switch one of your passives to Unforgiving.
    • Switch your shout rune to Charge
    • Pop your shout, wait for it to cooldown, switch the rune back to Impunity and shout again
    • Switch Unforgiving back out for your original passive
    Now you get to start the boss at full fury and get your burn on that much quicker, yay!

    Alternative Builds
    The following are situational spin-offs of the standard cooldown build.

    I've rated the single player builds by their normal monster, melee champion, and ranged champion killing efficiency. I've rated the coop builds by their sustained damage (inbetween cooldowns), cooldown burst damage, crowd control, and tankiness.

    Try experimenting with different combinations to find what suits your playstyle.

    Singleplayer Builds
    All builds in this section include: Earthquake, WoTB, and Ignore pain.
    Note: remember to check if tough as nails is more armor than nerves of steel for you.

    Frenzy-maniac, Seismic-shattered ground
    normal: D
    melee champion: A
    ranged champion: B

    This build has the strongest cooldown damage since maniac increases earthquake and seismic slam. Seismic slam does the highest damage per cast since you have the maniac buff and the shattered ground rune.

    Frenzy-maniac, Seismic-strength from earth
    normal: B
    melee champion: A
    ranged champion: D

    This build sacrifices damage per cast on seismic slam in favor of more damage per fury spent. Seismic during cooldowns is weaker since you spend more time for the same amount of damage, but between cooldowns you can more easily clear our normal monsters.

    Bash-onslaught, Seismic-strength from earth
    normal: B
    melee champion: B
    ranged champion: C

    This build is the best for spamming seismic slam. If you're having a lot of trouble with normal monsters and think you have enough headroom on elites, consider giving this one a shot.

    Bash-onslaught, Seismic-shattered ground
    normal: C
    melee champion: B
    ranged champion: A

    This build is the best for killing ranged champion packs since bash has no ramp up time and shattered ground pushes champions back. Middle of the road normal monster and melee champion killing potential compared to other builds.

    Multiplayer Builds
    Builds here are much less standardized than the singleplayer templates since monster health scales too high for you to kill champion packs within cooldowns. As such, consistant damage, tankiness, crowd control become more important.

    All builds in this section include Leap-iron impact and Ignore pain

    Frenzy-sidearm, Seismic-shattered ground, WoTB
    sustained damage: C
    cooldown burst: B
    crowd control: D
    tankiness: C
    ideal player count: any

    This build is a more defensive version of the single player build. Leap-iron impact is taken in place of earthquake as a defensive cooldown and out. Frenzy-sidearm is taken to compensate for the loss of area of effect damage. Seismic slam is runed for shattered ground for the knockback utility on champion packs.

    Frenzy-maniac, Seismic-strength from earth, WoTB
    sustained damage: B
    cooldown burst: C
    crowd control: n.a
    tankiness: C
    ideal player count: 2

    This build maximizes sustained damage on seismic slam at the cost of utility. Sidearm is dropped since you have enough aoe damage through seismic.

    Bash-onslaught, Seismic-shattered ground, Threatening shout
    sustained damage: D
    cooldown burst: n.a
    crowd control: A
    tankiness: B
    ideal player count: 4

    This build drops all cooldowns in favor of more stackable group utility and tankiness. Shattered ground for knockback, onslaught to fuel the knockback, leap as a defensive cooldown, and threatening shout for group damage reduction and a snare. I recommend only playing this build in a 4 player co-op environment.

    High Gear Dependency Whirlwind Builds
    These whirlwind-centric builds are what I've been using since 1.0.3 in both single player and cooperative. The monster damage nerfs that came with the patch enabled traditional whirlwind play (non tornado) at high gear levels. You'll want to have at least 800 resist all, 50k damage, and a source of life leech (in addition to your passive) before you transition to these builds. There is a link to a video showing the single player build near the top of this post.

    Here's a few things you may not know about whirlwind:
    1. There is no unit collision during whirlwind. You cannot get surrounded since you can whirlwind through monsters.
    2. You are immune to displacement (knockbacks, vortex, etc) while whirlwinding
    3. Whirlwind hits twice as often as your weapon speed but for half as much damage as the tooltip says. This is good because you'll have a more steady stream of lifesteal.

    Wrath of the Berserker
    normal: A
    melee champion: B
    ranged champion: C
    sustained damage: A
    cooldown burst: B
    tankiness: B
    ideal player count: 1-2

    Bash is taken to fuel whirlwind and since frenzy stacks are hard to maintain between whirlwinding. Leap is taken since whirlwind requires you to be in the thick of all the monster damage.

    normal: A
    melee champion: A
    ranged champion: D
    sustained damage: A
    cooldown burst: n.a
    tankiness: A
    ideal player count: 3-4

    WoTB is dropped since champion health outscales your damage and revenge is picked up in its place. You are now the ultimate whirlwind tank machine, go get em!

    Frequently Asked Questions
    Q. "I am having trouble killing nonelites with the regular cooldown build"

    A. Try making better use of seismic slam. Separate the monsters with the knockback so that you're not tanking the whole group at once. Use frenzy/bash exclusively on the last few so that you have fury built up for the next group. Also, give one of the alternative solo/group play builds a shot, some of them have an easier time on normal monsters.

    Q. "This build requires too much gear!"

    A. All melee builds require a certain level of gear, there's really no way around it. With some frugal AH shopping, you can gear up for Act 1 with less than half a million gold, which I think is pretty average for barb
    and monks. From there on out, just farm up until you're ready for the next act.

    Q. "Why don't you have any life on hit or lifesteal (in the standard build)?"

    A. Champion packs should be dying during ignore pain, or shortly after, so sustain isn't important there.
    Health globes and health potions, with the occasional ignore pain, will get you through normal mobs as long as
    you're smart with seismic slam.

    Q. "I can't find a good sword, will weapon type X work?"

    A. Yes. Don't go using a crappy sword if you can get a better weapon of another type. Use whatever is available to you. Just if it comes down to sword vs X, all things equal, you probably want the sword.

    Q. "Why don't you use the Bul'kathos passive to reduce your cooldowns?"

    A. It's not very often I run into more than one champion pack per 2 minutes. On the offchance that I do,
    careful melee kiting and seismic slam kiting are often good enough. With the damage reduction in 1.0.3, there's
    a lot more room for error when you're kiting too.

    Q. "Does weapon speed/increased attack speed affect earthquake damage?"

    A. Yes http://www.clicktolo...lswithcooldowns

    Feel free to post any other questions, comments, or suggestions
  • #2
    Hey very thank you for this guide, I use the almost same build, except I use revenge instead of seismic slam.
    But I can't get rid of revenge it heals me too much. But in A3 I really start to see the need of seismic slam.

    I can't figure what I should change in my stuff to outcome revenge's heal. I run:

    50k Hp
    7k3 armor buffed
    650 all resist buffed
    35k dps 30% crit 221% damage 3% life leech belt

    Should I take a new weapon with life leech? or more tanky gear?
  • #3
    Quote from disko22560

    Hey very thank you for this guide, I use the almost same build, except I use revenge instead of seismic slam.
    But I can't get rid of revenge it heals me too much. But in A3 I really start to see the need of seismic slam.

    I can't figure what I should change in my stuff to outcome revenge's heal. I run:

    50k Hp
    7k3 armor buffed
    650 all resist buffed
    35k dps 30% crit 221% damage 3% life leech belt

    Should I take a new weapon with life leech? or more tanky gear?

    You're not going to see big enough returns to justify life leech until around 50k damage, I wouldn't even worry about it right now. Try to get your mitigation up higher because you're just barely making the cut for A3 as is. With more mitigation, health globes and health pots go a lot further to keeping you alive.

    Then there's also just smart use of seismic slam to minimize how much tanking you have to do. You can see some of that in the Siegebreaker video I linked.
  • #4
    okay thx for the tips :)
  • #5
    nice guide :)
  • #6
    good work bro . I played 2h before the inferno nerf ( 1400 wep ) had around 8% lifesteal overall / 80k dps with rage marauders and i found lifesteal very very bad. The main thing that gave me hp back was ignorance and revenge ( had 850 all ress buffed , over 1100 phys i think ). The only problem i had with this spec were ranged with nightmarish but oh well it was fun :D. Will gear my barb soon for 2h rape to see hows it going on
  • #7
    amazing guide ty
  • #8
    Well done. I've been looking for a more aggressive build to try out on my barb which won't cost me an arm and a leg.
  • #9
    In your "stats" you show 5.90% Life steal, but in your gear you only have the 2.90% from the belt. Were you using the "Bloodthirst" passive earlier?
    As for my own experience; I feel a difference around 5-6% Lifesteal at even 40K DPS with this build. I am using a 2h Mace and have Crit Hit Chance at 44% with Crit Damage at 280% and I can see my Health refill as the the Seismic Slam crits the little minions. Thank you for the informative post.
  • #10
    Thanks for that guide, it was really helpful to me. After starting Inferno last week on my Barb, I felt the need to improve my gear greatly. With this guide I was able to find some good pieces in the AH for cheap (e.g. 960DPS Sword with 100Str&Vit, 7% IAS and 55% Crit-Dmg for only 9k, the seller must have been drunk obviously :D )

    After investing 120k I am now looking at 22k DPS, 1400 Str, 41k HP, 1100 Vit, 7,1k Armor and 550 Res All with Warcry/Impunity, 16,5% Crit and 185% Crit-Dmg with Ruthless-Passive, but no LoH or Life Leech.
    Act 1 is a piece of cake now and I can farm it easily with 5 stacks valor for more gear. Act 2 Progress is going not that good, I am getting 2-3 Hit from most of the mobs, Champs rofl-stomp my face :(

    Getting gear upgrades at the AH is getting really expensive now, and my Butcher-Runs only wielded good ilvl63 boots so far :(
    After switching back to the typical sword&shield&LoH strategy I can make some progress in Act 2.
    So 2Handed Barb is still more gear dependend than Tank-Barb, or in other words more expensive. But Tanky-Barb sucks :(

    I want to add that Relentless Passive does magic things with champion packs. After getting down under 20% you are quite immortal and can spam seismic slam when your fury is full to rip Champs without them getting anywhere near you. Saved my arse lots of times while making Butcher runs. For now I will stick with Relentless instead of Weapon Master until I get more and better gear.

    But good guide anyway. Thumbs up!
  • #11
    I may just be a noob or something but when I cleard inferno I never used sismic slam to me it looks very unattractive vs revange seeing the huge amount of damage and surival that you gain by using it vs sismic slam espcially when like me you are only at around 40k dps .
  • #12
    Great guide, I'm using a Hierophant's Seal with 68 strength as random stat and really love it.

    There is 1 thing I noticed the other day is that damage modifiers work additive instead of multiplicative. For example frenzy maniac, weapon master sword, wotb insanity, berserker rage would be +160% damage(20+15+100+25) instead of +245% if it would have been multiplicative. Do you know if things like +damage against demons or +frenzy/bash damage work additive as well?
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