1.0.6 Barbarian - popular builds, hints and BiS gear setups

  • #1
    1.0.6 BARBARIAN
    by Turtel

    Intro: I've learned some stuff about this game and especially the barbarian class since release and i think its finally time to share and possibly help out some of the newer or casual players, average players might find useful bits of info here too. This guide includes general barb information as well as simplified guides for the more popular builds. As an addition, i've created a barb BiS list of max rolled items for those interested.

    Table of contents:

    Char sheet dps and the importance of EHP+healing
    Fury management

    WW guide
    HotA guide
    WT guide

    BiS gear setups
    Useful links


    AR – All Resistances (Resistance to All Emelents)
    AS – Attack speed (includes ASI and IAS)
    APS – Attacks per Second

    BR:ItF – Battle rage: Into the Fray
    CC – Crowd Control
    CHC – Critical Hit Chance
    CHD – Critical Hit Damage
    HotA – Hammer of the Ancients
    LoH – Life on Hit
    LS- Lifesteal
    MP – Monster Power
    MS – Movement speed
    OP - Overpower
    RLTW – Sprint rune Run Like the Wind
    WotB – Wrath of the Berserker
    WW - Whirlwind

    Char sheet dps and the importance of EHP+healing

    This goes for all builds/classes. I can't help but notice that too many players pay attention to dps displayed on the character sheet tab to such an extent, that it becomes the most important thing to them. Then they set their goals to reach 100, 150, 200k dps etc., like it would be some kind of a magical breakpoint or an indication of how good the character is as whole.

    While i do understand the reasoning, it doesn't justify it (-when it comes to efficiency or playing the game right. I understand casual players simply having fun reaching certain dps).
    The numbers are round, they sound or look good, but that's it. Don't get upset with me, i'm trying to help/explain.

    First of all, your real dps is very different, as in much higher. The char sheet dps is calculated by adding and/or multiplying all your dps stats – weapon dps, bonus min/max dmg, CHC,CHD,APS, primary stat and any buffs and multipliers you have at the time – BR, WotB, frenzy shrine etc. And it's using 100% weapon dmg on a single target.

    You would do that dps by attacking a single target with no ability (remove left click ability or attack with a fury spender while bellow its fury cost)

    Obviously, thats not what really happens when you play. You use abilities (some of which can have increased dmg or CHC from skill bonuses on gear). Take HotA–smash as an example. 406% weapon dmg – that alone more than quadruples the dps shown.

    Secondly, the round numbers are no breakpoints (they might be situationally).
    Consider this. I could reach 100k dps by stacking extreme amounts of AS but low weapon dmg, while you reach it by balancing your stats, or having high dps weapons. We have the same dps on single target, but you will one shot trash on mp1, while i won't.
    Other example is low dps OH as a WW barb.
    So there are many stat combinations to reach certain dps, and while its the same number on paper, its different in a real situation.

    To the point – the goal of stacking dps stats should be to have enough dps to make your run smooth. Be it 1-shotting mobs, having high APS for breakpoints, being able to kill Kulle before enrage etc. Obviosuly MP plays a role here.

    Char sheet dps is a very innacurate measurement for this, so don't hunt any dps stats just for the sake of dps, rather increase it for a reason and with a plan.
    You have to put your gear to the test by doing your regular run and decide what is it that you need/want more of.

    Anyway, the biggest dps loss is dying.
    If you like to be efficient, you cannot die. Kiting is also decreasing your dps output and so you can think of defenses as a form of dps to an extent. Therefor you have to keep your defenses high by stacking enough EHP.

    What is EHP:
    Effective Hit Points. It shows how much damage can you take before dying.
    It's a combination of all your defensive stats, including resists, armor, hp and reductions.
    Dodge, bock, reduced melee/ranged/elites (and single resists higher than rest) can be added to the equation, but should be looked at separetly because they are either situational or have a %chance which can lead to unlucky streaks over short periods of time.

    To reach good amount of EHP, a combination of several defensive stats is required. Understanding which are better than others can make a difference.
    For example comparing cold resistance to physical, the latter is going to come out far ahead, because most attacks are indeed physical. On the other hand, the most deadly are fire abilities.
    Reduction from elites is a strong atribute, because elites tend to do most dmg (remember bosses are elites too), but reduced dmg from X in general is great, because it comes in form of % with high enough values.

    You can use an EHP calculator to see the exact benefits of your defensive stats and abilities/passives.
    However, HP is slightly devaluated by healing. EHP shows how much dmg you can take without recieving any form of a heal, so Vit and Life% should have slightly less values than shown in a calculator.

    Consider the following extreme models which result in same EHP (without dodge), they also have same dps and healing.
    1. 65k hp, 4k armor, 402 AR
    2. 30k HP, 6.3k armor, 720 AR (with Impunity)

    #1 will take larger hits, because the incomming dmg is reduced less than in case of #2. When taking dmg, HP in both cases will be decreased by the same amount in % over time, but not in HP values. So both examples can withstand the same amount of dmg, but when healing comes to play, the 2nd will survive better, because it's easier/faster to heal up low amount of hp. With increasing healing, Vit and Life% lose more value.

    Don't get me wrong though, im not saying you should run around with 25k hp and 12% LS. I'm just poiting out that HP has lower EHP values than shown in calculators, as long as you have some form of healing.
    A healthy amount of HP is important for those cases, when you find yourself in a bad situation. For example WotB falls off, you get jailed in desecration and a beam is cutting you and no mob is close to heal on. You might say it's a matter of good playing, but shit happens even to the best of us. You should have sufficient EHP to survive rare situations like that and HP definetly helps here because stacking reductions/mitigation has its limits and it can be rather costly, while high HP can be cheap to get on some pieces.

    The sustain of healing is of great importance. Depending on the build you play, you should have a good amount of LS and/or LoH. It's also important for fighting reflect damage packs. Life regen is not really a stat to aim for stacking high, it simply happens to be on gear sometimes.
    LS is an amazing form of healing, but depends on your dps and ability/possibility to attack several enemies. Since it scales with dps, you can think of dps upgrades as healing upgrades too. In general you should get more than 3% LS, meaning 1 item is not enough. 5-6 is cool.
    LoH is not suited for every build, but can be great for WW or fast attacking builds, in combination with LS. Amount of healing from LoH depends on the proc coeficient of the ability you use multiplied by LoH amount and your AS/APS (breakpoints may apply).

    Fury management and WotB uptime

    Knowing how to manage your fury is a very important factor for barbs that use fury spenders, to be more succesful. This includes gaining as well as spending fury, especially when it comes to WotB uptime. It depends from build to build and on the given situation at what levels you want your fury to be, but before i explain this, let's take a look at ways of gaining and spending fury.

    Ways to increase fury generation:

    Many builds use/rely on BR:ItF. Here's how it works.
    While under the effects of Battle Rage, Critical Hits have a chance to generate 15 additional Fury.

    This tells us, that stacking CHC is beneficial for fury gen. Do note, that crits have a chance to generate fury, therefor the actual chance can be smaller than your CHC. To calculate the actual chance, you need to look at the proc coeficient of the abilities you are using. Diablofans user ZzEzZ has created a neat spreadsheet that covers this. If you wish to learn about it, visit his thread here: http://www.diablofan...-complete-list/

    Other ways than your heroes CHC to increase fury gen:

    Mighty weapon with Weapon Master (only 1h)
    Animosity (passive)
    Unforgiving (passive)
    IK 5set bonus
    In some cases AS/APS (RLTW)
    Followers – Templar directly, Scoundrel with 3% CHC, Enchantress with AS (for RLTW)

    Spending fury and WotB uptime:

    It is obvious why generating/gaining fury is good. Spending it is equally importnat if you want to have a good WotB (Thrive on Chaos) uptime.

    Thrive on Chaos
    Every 25 Fury gained while Wrath of the Berserker is active adds 1 second to the duration of the effect.

    In order to keep WotB up, you not only need to generate enough fury, but also be able to spend some of it, when you cap it. Sitting at max fury means there's no room to generate more = WotB loses duration.

    You need to use your fury spenders and this often means also BR, eventhough it doesn't need to be refreshed. For example a WW barb often times spams Sprint and BR while holding down the WW button (3 fury spenders).
    The goal is to be bellow max fury, not lower than half (depending on max amount).

    At other times you might find yourself fury starved.
    Limit the usage of fury spenders and/or switch to a fury generator untill at comfortable amount . Fury starvation might lead to WotB expiring, not having fury for sprint between monsters and lowered dps.

    WW barbs might find themselves in a situation where not enough enemies are present (for example golden elite mob alone left alive) and WotB is losing its duration when whirlwinding. If you finish the monster by using bash, while repeadedly pressing sprint + BR, you will gain WotB dura, kill it with high amount of fury left for sprinting to other packs.

    Sometimes it might be helpful to stop using WW, but sprinting and lettign the tornados generate a comfortable amount of fury, then continue WWing.

    Tip: Attacking breakable objects with your fury generator attack is a good way to get some fury when no enemies are around. Some objects are not clickable/targetable (tables etc), but can be still broken by holding the shift key + attack.

    Barb builds

    There are several barb builds that have high dps, are highly efficient or are simply apealing and its fun to play them.
    I will try to describe 3 great builds, which i have experience with. They are all DW builds, i did not play 2h for more than a couple of hours yet, so i'm not going to try and speak of my ass about them untill i test them. However i can point you to some already existing guides if 2h is your thing.

    WW guide

    WW is undoubtedly the most widely used build for some time now, which is understandable. It's still cheap to make it work, it's not difficult to play and it's extremely efficient.

    The build + vatiations


    Instead of OP-Killing Spree, different abilities can be used:
    OP - Crushing advance - very strong dmg reduction and a minor heal from LS
    War cry – Impunity or Hardened Wrath if you lack in the defense departement.
    Rend – To kill mobs with high hp (AoE)
    HotA-smash – For highest single target dmg. I used this variation for uber bosses for a while and it's working great.

    Passives – first 2 are mandatory, last one can vary
    Boon for easier WotB uptime
    Animosity/Unforgiving for fury problems
    Bloodthrist for lack of healing
    Supperstition/NoS/TaN for lack of defense
    Brawler for dps

    How does it work

    WW buid is using abilities that compliment each other and have great synergy

    In short, you run fast and ignore unit colision with WW, tornados spin fast, meaning you crit often, which gives you fury from BR:ItF, which adds duration to WotB. Sweet.

    To make the build work, first of all you need to get high enough crit chance for the BR procs. In general aim for 40-50% CHC, it rely varies, depending on how much fury you are generating besides BR:ItF. See Fury Management section 2 pages above for details.
    CHC can be further increased with OP: Killing Spree if you choose to use it. You can maintain 100% uptime with ease.
    Axe/mace also grants CHC with Weapon Master passive if equiped in MH, however Mighty weapon gives more fury, especially on low MP, at the expense of losing the dps that crits provide.


    In its 3 second duration, 4 tornados are created that spin on 1 place and hit all enemies standing in it. The tornados only apear if you run a certain distance. Standing in place or moving slightly left and right or doing small circles won't spawn any. For the circular movement you can use a waypoint in town to pracice since its about the right size. Run around the outer edge and you got it right.

    Learning how to place tornados correctly in situations that require it, takes a bit of practice if you are new to this ability.
    There are a few basic movements with RLTW.
    Running away from monsters, luring them into your tornados as they follow. This is mostly used on monsters with low HP.
    Circular motion, mostly used on elites, big packs, high hp mobs or a single mob with large enough hitbox.
    Moving back and forth in a straight line (left-right-left; up-down-up...) can be used in a narrow corridor or on a single mob of a smaller size. Some monsters are small and its harder to get all 4 tornados to hit them with a circular motion. If you move in a line with correct length, with the mob being in the middle of it, all tornados will be on top of each other. Requires practice.


    As tornados spin, they tick – meaning they do dmg, proc LoH and other effects. More ticks mean more dps, healing and fury.
    The amount of ticks can be increased, by increasing your APS to certain breakpoints.
    The important ones are:

    each of these breakpoints will add 2-3 ticks to your tornados.

    While the dmg of RLTW comes only from your MH weapon, the APS ticks are calculated from, comes from the weapon that was swung last.

    Diablofans user Nubtro made an extensive research and a thread regarding RLTW breakpoints, all credits for the above go to him, please visit his thread if you wish to learn more or just upvote him.


    A fury spender that ignores unit colision, making you very mobile and good at avoiding ground effects. WW alternates weapons, so RLTW benefits, when activated at a time of your fast weapon being in use.

    As you hold down your right mouse button (most common WW binding), simply move your mouse and your character will move where you point. If there are no mobs in your vicinity, but they are following you, there's no need to keep Wwing – to save fury, unless you are capped and need to spend the fury for WotB uptime.

    The Playstyle

    Start by attacking a few times with your fury generator to get some fury. Activate BR and at 30+ fury you can start sprinting + Wwing (use OP at this time if you have it) as long as several monsters are around. If there are enough mobs around and will be in the areas you're heading to, activate WotB.
    Now all you have to do is to press sprint atleast every 3 seconds and holding down the WW button if enemies are around. Don't forget to refresh BR. However, you want to keep your WotB up indefinetly, therefor you need to make sure you generate and spend enough fury, which includes spamming sprint and BR at times as explained in the WotB uptime section (few pages above)

    Ability priorities:
    1. keep BR up
    2. keep WotB up
    3. RLTW
    4. WW (+OP)
    5. Bash/Frenzy


    You need it, you want it.
    Get 24% (=2 items)

    options: 1.Boots 2.Lacuni Prowlers 3.Inna's Temprance 4.Tyrael's might 5. Compass rose (

    1+2 most used, good choice
    2+3 highest dps, lowered defenses. Combine with ice climbers
    4+1 /4+2 most cost efficient, considering no CHC on lacunis. If you don't have gold for a better option, atleast make the best of it at get a good Tyrael's with high dmg to demons.


    As mentioned earlier, you will need a healty amount of CHC to start with. Gloves and amulet should have high values, max on those is 10%, but get it everywhere you possibly can. 1 exception can be Lacuni bracers, since they are rather expensive.

    AS is important for RLTW so try to get some on gloves + rings and Lacunis. You can grab Inna's pants if you have enough defenses elsewhere.

    CHD will come mainly from weapons, but its worth picking up on an amulet too.
    Reason being, ignoring trifecta amulets for reasons, it comes down to CHC+AS or CHC+CHD on amulets. That's 9% AS vs 100% CHD as max values. CHD comes out ahead in its lower ranges, compared to max AS. Max rolls are always pricier.
    STR should be stacked atleast above 2k, as high as you can go. STR also grants 1 armor per, which is not much, but it adds up.

    Avg dmg/min/max dmg – only on jewelry, but worth the roll if its a good avg dmg range. I wouldn't really look at those 9-18 dmg amulets, but in higher ranges its a quite solid stat. I would ignore all +Max dmg items, however +Min dmg is apealing to an extent.


    As we learned earlier, we should be looking at a high dps MH and a fast OH

    MH – high dps, above 1k or more, socket or 90+ CHD, str.
    Obviously, if you can afford it go for CHD + socket and/or LS/LoH

    OH – high dps is not a requirement, rather aim for high AS.
    This weapon should be loaded with stats. With 1 dmg affix (+elemental or phys dmg) the weapons usually range upto around 800- 850 dps. This leaves upto 5 affixes for stat distribution.
    STR+CHD+Socket+healing is what you are looking for.
    Get LS, or if your dps is not high enough, good amount of LoH – atleast 650+

    weapon types:
    MH can be an axe/mace for crit – the most common case, because it increases DPS and fury gen.
    Mighty is a good choice for the fury starved barbs, especially when farming lower Mps with high dps.
    Sword – 15% dmg is usually stronger than 10% CHC in terms of dps. Only go for a high dps sword with high min dmg, IF you have high enough crit chance and good WotB uptime. Not advised for begginers

    Echoing Fury – This is a great weapon, because the +(0.21-0.25) APS is applied to your other weapon as well. It makes reaching RLTW breakpoints a lot easier. You can use it in MH if you don't mind the fears, but they can get quite annoying. In OH it won't proc that often. Try to get one with close to 10% fear on hit (minimum).

    The best 2 options on the 2 random rolls:
    1.Socket (or 9X% CHD) + healing (LS or high LoH)
    2.Socket + CHD

    Defenses and healing

    Get a nice balance of EHP stats, you can use an EHP calc to see stat values. Grab IK 2-3 set, because its good.

    To feel comfortable you should aim atleast at:

    500 AR
    5k armor
    35-40k HP
    2.8-6%LS (+LoH) depending on dps

    The healing stats can vary. You could run pure LS, which you probably will at high DPS, but at lower dmg i'd go for a combination of LS + LoH

    LoH has many sources – weapons and amulet (959), rings (450+), Blackthorn pants (450+), gem in weapons (Don't do it!)


    It's a special item to me, because it has so many posibilities. You can go full dps with quintfecta amulet, a very defensive one (VIT+life% + LoH + AR+reduced dmg from X) or a nice balance. No matter what, you will never fit all the good stats in it. I'd like to mention that i consider a socket in an amulet a waste of a roll, +58 gem isn't even close to what an other mid range roll could be. It has to have sweet other rolls to justify the socket.

    Choose an amulet depending on exactly what are you missing in your gearset, because whatever it is, amulet can roll it (just do your best to include CHC).
    For example, building a fresh WW barb i like to start with 800 LoH, 8.5% CHC. Later droping the LoH for more dps or some HP...
    Choose wisely on this item.

    HotA guide

    This is an overall strong build, focused on a strong and fast melee attack, while maintaining high run speed and efficiency to a decent amount. Personaly, this is the build that reminds me of a proper barbarian more than others mentioned in this guide.
    You have an easier time picking up items with this build, because monsters die right next you, so backtracking is never needed. It has a very high WotB uptime and in my opinion one of the easiest to maintain. However, it has higher gear requirements than WW or others.

    The builds

    http://us.battle.net...URQP!ZYS!YYbYZc thunderstrike farming build
    http://us.battle.net...kRQP!ZYd!cZaYZc smash uber build

    I'm going to describe the build i use for farming (gear/xp/keys) in most detail.

    First of all – how does HotA work?

    The crits
    For 20 fury you smash the ground for high weapon damage, alternating weapons and hoping to get a fury refund. The rune Thunderstrike has a 0.66% proc coeficient, meaning about 2 in 3 hits should proc BR:ItF with 100% CHC. However HotA cowers a large enough area to hit multiple enemies, thus increasing the fury generation dramatically.

    100% CHC is what you want to reach for best results and its easier than it sounds.
    HotA has a 1% increased CHC for every 5 fury that you have. That translates to 20% CHC (for HotA only!) at 100 fury. Most players have more than a 100 max fury (IK belt, SoJ, etc), but lets assume 100, also because you won't be at fully fury at all times.

    20% fury + 10% WotB + 10% OP + 3% BR + 3% Scoundrel = 46%

    54% CHC needed from gear and passives to reach a 100 with 100 fury.
    Max CHC from gear is 65% so it's quite doable as long as you prioritize CHC on your items.

    Don't be discouraged, the build works great with lower CHC, but 100% is the long term goal.
    Also, a bit more than that is not a huge waste, because you won't be at max fury at all times.
    Remeber that max fury is not that bad stat for this build, but don't value it exactly at 5fury=1%CHC.
    The real value is a lot lower than that.

    Tip: Stone of Jordan can roll Reduced fury cost of HotA by upto 5, while sacrificing 6% CHC, it's an effective way to keep your fury levels stable even at jsut -3 fury cost. It also adds upto 15 max fury, which can translate into 3% extra CHC when capped and the elite bonus is just sweet. Add cold dmg if you are rich, so to speak.

    The stuns
    Thunderstrike rune stuns enemies for 3s within 10 yards of an enemy killed by it. This is very helpful and you should learn how to use it in your advantage.
    First of all, it's very useful to kill small mobs near elites that flee (occultists, shamans, spearmen) and also mobs can't use abilities/buffs when stunned (occultists, tremors, any elite affixes), allowing you to kill them faster.
    Secondly, constant stunning of enemies allows you to have slightly lower defenses on lower MP s.

    The movement
    HotA button does not need to be repeatedly pressed. Hold down the button, it acts like an auto-attack and you can use to it move your character. No need to use left click for movement (unless HotA is left click, duh), simply use the HotA button and run into enemies with it.

    AS increases the rate at which you attack with HotA (and its animation), therefor i think of AS as a movement speed stat as well. As you kill an enemy, your character continues moving. Sooner the animation is over, the faster you start running to the next one. You can notice this especially when one-hitting mobs – AS won't ....kill them harder in one hit, but it lets you continue moving faster.

    Keeping fury levels high

    Keeping fury at or close to max is important for clearing speed.
    Your goal is to attack groups of mobs, rather than a single mob. Obviously that is often times unavoidable. Simply bash from time to time when fury levels start dropping.
    Again – SoJ helps on single targets.

    The Playstyle

    Start by Bashing to gain fury. Activate BR and OP, if fury is high enough, start smahsing stuff with HotA and activate WotB + Sprint.

    Now you simply hold down the HotA button and aim at enemies/position to move, while your mouse is at medium distance from your char (not too close, else you'll hit less enemies, too far and you wont hit the close ones).

    Press sprint every 4-5 secs, press OP every 1-6 secs, BR when at max fury while attackign large amount of monsters.

    Keeping up WotB is rather easy, HotA + sprint/5s is sufficient in most cases, other times simply add BR or sprint spam to add some WotB dura, but you need large amount of mobs for this.
    Try to finish fights with high leftover fury for sprinting to next packs.

    You WILL be losing some fury, so use bash to get it back. It's more efficient to bash once or twice early, as in at 80 or so fury, rather than spending it all and then having to bash 7 times. You want to get back to your highest CHC possible, which will allow you to generate fury easier.

    In short, here are the ability Priorities:
    1.Keep BR up
    1.Keep WotB up
    2.Keep Sprint up
    3.Keep OP up

    I would record many videos for this guide, but unfortunately my PC is not strong enough for that. I made atleast 1 though. Excuse the quality, the video is recorded in a window and low details, yet i was still lagging, resulting in WotB loss and some inefficiency. The video is sped up slightly to reduce the visibility of lags. It's something.



    For uber bosses you should change the build around a little. You want high single target dps so Smash is the rune of choice. I'd like to mention that it has a 0.8 proc coeficient so it's easier to keep smashing without too many frenzys/bashes.

    If you are looking for max dps, Frenzy- maniac is the way to go. It takes a while to build up fury with it, but once you have it it's fine. You will have to hit Frenzy once every 4 seconds to keep the buff it provides up at 5 stacks. If that doesn't fit your playstyle, stay with Instigation.

    Sprint is no longer a requirement, so this ability slot becomes a matter of taste, but sprint could be usefull still (especially for NV hunting).
    You won't need 5s duration on it so you can choose the RLTW rune for healing yourself from range and maybe killing adds, but i prefer either Rush for the dodge or Forced March.

    If you decide Sprint is useless, you can pickup War Cry- Hardened Wrath or Impunity; whichever is more beneficial in your current gear... or basically any ability you'd like, be it defensive, offensive or utility.

    As 3rd passive i like to use Bloodthirst for high MP, otherwise Animosity or whatever suits you best.

    Tip: It's rare, but it's possible to hit 2 targets when they are close to each other if you position yourself (or the bosses/adds) correctly. The Lifestealing is immense when hitting 2 targets.


    As i mentioned at the start of the HotA build section, this build has a bit higher requirements. You'll want a chunk of everything. The build itself works with high crit chance alone, but loses most of its efficiency if you don't 1-shot majority of trash and especially if you die.


    CHC – I would advise to aim as high as you can afford, close to 50% is great
    CHD – Great stat, since you constantly crit. Get it on weapons and amulet, if resources allow, anywhere else too. Rememer – when using a dps calculator, the values for this stat are a bit higher in reality than shown in a calc, because of the CHC from fury.
    AS – Also strong, but hard to get on a budget. It helps with WotB uptime so try to have it on 2 pieces or more. Once you build strong dmg per hit, you will strive for a lot of AS.

    Avg dmg, STR and weapon dmg all matters, don't neglect any of them.
    Min dmg > Max dmg. They both increase your dps on paper equally, but Min dmg is the one that helps you one-shot mobs, logically.

    I know i'm being vague here, but i really can't just say 'get X amount of Y and you'll be awesome'.
    Building your dps is a combination and balance of all dps stats. In the end, what you're aiming for is 1-shotting trash on a given MP, so you'll have to see for yourslef.


    Get 24% obviously. Lacunis + boots and the regular. You could go Innas temprance + Lacuni with Ice Climbers w/o MS if you feel like spending, just makes sure to compensate the EHP you lose on pants.
    On the other hand, if your pockets aren't that full you can pickup a good Tyraels Might, as long as you farm A3. Get high %dmg to demons (15 is max) and some Vit or sockets. It comes cheaper than IK chest and other MS item, and can actually do more dmg in A3.


    HotA benefits from weapon dmg and it alternates weapons.
    Therefor both of your weapons should be strong.

    You want the classical – STR/CHD/Socket with high dps.
    Atleast 1 of your weapons needs LS. Don't neglect it, you need it. It should be on your belt as well. You could use Bloodthrist, but Boon is better and so are other passives (-for farm runs, Bloodthirst is great for high MP Ubers). You don't wanna run into reflect damage packs or stand in desecation/arcane beams while surrounded with low LS. Staying alive is gold.

    As far as weapon types go, axe/mace in MH is too good, unless you have extreme crit, then you could try a sword with high min dmg. OH doesn't really matter, as long as its min dmg is not too low. I'd avoid daggers for this reason. Choose the AS of the weapon depending on your taste.

    Echoing Fury needs mentioning, because its awesome. The +APS is perfect, it's generally harder to achieve such speeds with AS on armor. The fear proc you ask? It's not very annoying, because monsters are stunned most of the time so they stay in place. If you happen to fear one too far, simply switch to nearest target... he will come back.

    As long as both weapons are of the type you want to benfit from Weapon Master, it does not matter in which hand it's equiped for HotA and Bash damage. I'd still put the higher dmg range weapon in MH though, because of OP.


    As long as you keep stunning most enemies (high dps + correct positioning), you can have a bit sub-par defenses if you want to save some gold.

    I would still advice to have proper EHP, because shit happens.

    Try to aim at about 470+ resists, 5k+ armor, 35k+ HP and 5+% LS **
    ^this is for farming build, more for ubers^

    IK 2set would be a shame to ignore, i personally use 3set
    Reduced dmg from melee (and ranged and elites) is awesome.
    I also use Litany of Undaunted and i've noticed the difference after obtaining it. Highly recommending it if you need survival against elites/bosses, since those are the ones you take dmg from.

    Physical and Fire resist also need mentioning. These stats counter the most deadly elements, therefor should be valued accordingly, since their price is still lower than what they're really worth. They roll upto 60, they are great to have on shoulders/boots/pants in addition to AR.

    LoH is not working good for this build – dont buy it, LS is extremely strong.

    Tip: If you are in a situation like me, where you don't need IK boots for set and Ice Climbers are out of your price range, Fire Walkers are a great choice, because they can roll upto 269 STR for nice dps, and very nice defenses (Vit/AR/FR/melee reduct 4%).
    The fire they leave behind is actually a constant fire, burning 1-2 yards 360 degrees around your character (as well as leaving a trail), destroying any breakable object you run nearby. The reason i like this, is because i don't need to bash doors, just run through them without stopping. Small thing, but hey.

    **For reference i am able to do MP10 without dying with ~600 AR, 6k armor, 5.3% LS from items +bloodthirst for safety, 36-45k hp (depending on which helm i use), 13% melee and 6% elites reduct. Anything similar to this should survive mp10 with no problems (this includes A1-2-3 and ubers, both solo or grouped).

    WT guide

    This build is fun and its quite effective. You effectively become a ranged class, having it easier to kill ranged mobs, also because your main attack applies a slow. You can also attack bosses like Magdha from a safe distance and deal some serious dmg.

    Builds and variations


    There are a lot of variations in this build.
    You can go WT ricochet for aoe (lower fury returns on 1 target) or Mighty Throw for great single target dps
    You can actaully use RLTW if it's your kind of thing.
    BR:ItF if you dont have reduced WT cost

    Now, the 2 empty slots can be filled with variety of things:
    You need an Initial fury generator :
    - War cry- charge will get you started right away with 60 fury, Impunity/HW if you need the def.
    -Ancient Spear - Skirmish with only 10 sec CD and 30 fury. Other runes viable too.

    For 2nd slot you can choose
    OP - killing spree, the 10% crit helps with fury and increases dps.
    Some ppl like to use HotA ,Rend or even Leap in this build, not my thing but it's your choice.
    Seismic Slam - Rumble is not such a bad choice, combined with Mighty Throw. It changes the build a bit - in short: you AoE with SS and keep fury up with WT.

    I hope this made sence, because there are many ways to make the build work and it depends on your taste i guess.


    Once you get your fury flowing, simply throw axes at stuff while sprinting. Farm runs with Ricochet are great in areas with high mob density, but can run you dry on fury on single targets, so be careful. Mighty Throw is much better against single targets fury-wise (and dmg-wise obviously) Don't let your BR fall of and same goes for WotB. If you are having fury troubles even at high CHC, you might consider lowering your WT cost further.

    Reduced fury cost of WT

    WT has a 10 fury cost. This can be reduced by certain items by 5 per item. However, even if you have 10 fury cost reduction, WT will retain its minimal 1 fury cost, therefor a -5 and -4 item will cap you.

    Items able to roll WT cost reduction:
    Any belt
    Stone of Jordan
    Mara's Kaleidoscope

    With enough WT fury cost reduction (varies; between 5 to 7), you will lose the need for BR:ItF as long as your CHC is high enough, to generate fury from No Escape, Allowing you to use Marauders Rage instead of an extra 15!% dmg

    I strongly suggest getting it on a mighty belt, preferably IK, because its cost effective and you are not really missing out on super important stats on a belt (WH doesn't count, you need the LS anyway).

    SoJ or a good Mara's are really expensive, but if you can get one of those, have fun with nearly free WT



    300th spear is a special weapon designed specially for WT barbs. It can roll upto 50% dmg increase to WT and Ancient Spear, which makes it hard to match, atleast upto higher-mid ranges. It also has 12% MS, meaning you only need 1 more MS item. The 1 random roll it has needs to be a socket or close to 100% CHD though and try get as close to 50% on WT as possible.
    This weapon is used in OH.

    For MH you want an axe or mace with STR/socket /CHD .. and LS. Those are rather expensive, but as long as LS from belt is sufficient, you can save some gold other wise you need to drop CHD for LS from either MH or OH.

    EF is a good MH for this build too with the +APS, the feared mobs should be slowed from your attacks, but you're ranged anyway, so its easier to kill them.


    Stack CHC to about 50% for nice fury gen. AS helps out with keeping out WotB, get some on rings and gloves.

    Unfortunately, you cannot afford to go for a Witching Hour as i mentioned, because you depend on LS and reduced fury cost of WT from a mighty belt. You don't have a free passive for Bloodthirst without a singificant dps loss and your OH doesn't have LS.

    Since you have MS on your OH, you can choose to get Lacunis, Inna's or some boots. It purely depends on the rest of your gear setup.
    Get the lacunis only if you can get them with CHC. Get Inna's only if you won't miss the potential AR and high Vit from other pants. These 2 items have AS, while no other in the same slot do, so it might be worth to grab one of them. Ice Climbers are a solid choice for boots and they don't have base MS.

    Eventhough you are ranged, you will tank some mobs and unless you chose leap, you dont have any escape mechanics except running (which means no dps = no healing), so don't neglect defenses.

    I'd suggest getting a few IK parts. Belt + chest for 2 set and the helm is very solid too, unless you get a mempo.

    BiS gear setups

    update: The 1.0.7 version can be found here : http://www.diablofan...65#entry1121965

    In this section, which could be thought of as a whole different topic, i will build several gear setups using max rolled items. Understandably, an idividual will not be able to collect this kind of gear, so it's only for reference, checking the few pices you possibly could aquire etc.

    Please let me know if i made the yellow weapons wrong (or any item).

    Balanced barb setup (sword) - http://d3up.com/b/214083#gear
    Balanced barb setup (axe) - http://d3up.com/b/245502
    Glass cannon – http://d3up.com/b/244920#gear

    Skorn - http://d3up.com/b/245576
    Skorn glass cannon - http://d3up.com/b/245584#gear

    -once i get some reactions to these, i will be adding more setups (WT variations, Doom Hammer/Decapitator, high EHP...)


    Some items have the Indestructable affix! This simply means there was no dps affix posibility and it's up to the player to choose the last affix. I could've just added +Armor for highest EHP, but i think other stats might be viable, such as +7 Pickup Radius or 60 phys/fire resist.

    Reason for no IK 2set is that the only real option would be gloves, which would result in a trade of 80 AR +100VIT for 60AR+reduced from melee 5% and 342 regen., which is a -90,690 EHP change (-25058.9 melee EHP) and 0 dps change.

    Depth Diggers : http://d3up.com/i/3237573
    can be used for a
    -6,808.71DPS Change (varies)
    +125,148.43EHP Change
    In the DW balanced.

    WH can be switched with IK belt http://d3up.com/i/3237374 for
    -67,441.43DPS Change (varies)
    +70,157.99EHP Change
    And +3% LS, 15 fury, barb skill bonus - such as Bash+14% or WT-5
    in DW balanced

    Additional hints/tips/tricks

    You can leap while immobilized
    You can use leap to make shortcuts by leaping to an area that has a different altitude or has no straight path to it.
    You can charge through frozen explosion and avoid getting frozen (needs good timing)
    Ignore Pain can be used while CC'd (stunned etc.)
    When enemies are stunned, they will not reflect damage for the duration.
    EF fears enemies exactly away from you – by positioning yourself you can control the direction of the fear, for example to a corner or to a wall.
    When comparing items (weapon and ring), holding alt will compare to your OH or right ring, works on links too.
    When doing uber bosses, wander away before you start, take any waypoint and build up fury. I usually go to Fields on Misery and search for the Warden, while my party members start the event. It's easier to start a fight with some fury + you will most likely find the Warden and hurt him a bit, before you're done with all 3 ubers.

    - more to come

    Useful links
    A few links/websites not directly related to barbs, that you might find useful (some are mentioned in above sections).

    http://www.d3rmt.com...ximum-values/�� -Max stats for every item slot
    http://diablonut.inc...s.com/affixes�� - Affix database
    http://diablo-3-gem-...com/index.php�� -Gem crafting calc
    http://rubensayshi.g...lator/#intro��- EHP calc
    http://d3up.com/ - a wonderful website. DPS/EHP build calculator with all the details you want to know, supports char importation, building your own items and guides.
    http://www.diablofan...ency-mechanics/ - rltw mechanics and breakpoints
    http://www.diablofan...-complete-list/ - proc coeficients

    Here are the names/nicks of the people that helped me expand my knowledge and (indirectly) shape this guide:

    Aaron Cox (d3up)
    Nubtro (DF)
    Demokin (DF)
    ZzEzZ (DF)
    and more

    End notes: Please help me improve this guide by correcting mistakes (including grammar), wrong assumptions/information and adding something relevant or expanding some sections. The guide is never finished, but i'll try to add/update when time allows me.
    I will be improving the WT build and possibly adding extra builds

  • #2
    Awesome guide! Any chance you could add info on shields and sword+board builds? I know they're pretty unpopular these days because they're not considered very efficient, but inefficient doesn't mean unviable. Anyway, regardless, this is a great guide.
  • #3
    Exceptional guide, turtel.

    I've discovered an alternative build to the HoTA farming build you have listed that I believe deserves some mention.

    Instead of WoTB, I've switch to Furious Charge - Merciless Assault.
    Why you ask? Several reasons!

    1- Less gear dependent as it frees up a passive slot to shore up armor, pick up extra damage with brawler, or lifesteal if you don't have it on a weapon or belt... makes the HoTA build MUCH more accesible!
    2- Does GREAT damage, and usually will have no cooldown
    3- is a GENERATOR, not a spender!
    4- It's a great "oh shit" button for the immobility of the build when WoTB isn't active.

    Anyways, it's something I think you should look into! I've found it to be exceptionally powerful, and less stressful (I hate worrying about keeping WoTB up!!)

    Thanks again!
  • #4
    Quote from jrojason

    I've discovered an alternative build to the HoTA farming build you have listed that I believe deserves some mention.

    Thanks for reminding me.
    I could've sworn i wrote down alternatives for each build, but apearently HotA has just 1. Maybe they got lost in editing...

    Anyway, i will fix it when i'll have time and i will also answer RMrulz question about SnB buidls and shields and improve WT guide + fix some other stuff that needs it (for example, BiS chest might be wrong oh and Page Down navigation is broken).
  • #5
    Quote from Turtel

    Quote from jrojason

    I've discovered an alternative build to the HoTA farming build you have listed that I believe deserves some mention.

    Thanks for reminding me.
    I could've sworn i wrote down alternatives for each build, but apearently HotA has just 1. Maybe they got lost in editing...

    Anyway, i will fix it when i'll have time and i will also answer RMrulz question about SnB buidls and shields and improve WT guide + fix some other stuff that needs it (for example, BiS chest might be wrong).

    Awesome, keep up the truly excellent work. Those of us that benefit from these things and aren't so good at theorycrafting ourselves greatly appreciate the effort!
  • #6
    Quote from RMrulz

    Any chance you could add info on shields and sword+board builds? inefficient doesn't mean unviable.

    Sure. I won't put it directly in the guide, but i'll post my 2 cents on SnB barb.

    This item slot has the potential for highest defenses of any items and it has chance to block, which is a great way to mitigate incomming damage.


    There are 2 factors about blocking. Block chance and block value.

    Block chance means how often a block can occur, normally shields range from 10 to 20% base b.chance, with the exception of Stormshields, which have 10-25%. Block chance can be further increased by up to 9% block chance affix that can roll on shields, but can also be found on certain legendary items, such as Justice Lantern, Helm of Command etc.

    Block value is the amount that incoming dmg will be reduced by. It cannot be increased by any other items, rolls or abilities.To my knowledge, all attacks and attack types can be blocked. Damage is blocked AFTER mitigation. If the incoming dmg is equal or lower than your block value and it's successfully blocked, you will take 0 damage.


    There are many downsides of haveing a shield equiped, which is why most ppl don't use them (anymore), like losing the 15% IAS from dual wielding, no posibilities for CHD, LS/LoH etc. but lets focus on what they do or can have.

    Next to block, shields also have an exceptional amount of base armor, resulting in a great dmg reduction boost.
    Primary stats go as high as 350 and there are some very desirable stats that can't be on usual weapons, like AR, upto 10% CHC, 16% life, reduced dmg from X, CC reduction (for PvP) etc.

    When choosing a shield, try to aim for 63 or 62 for high base armor, but obviously if lower has insane rolls then by all means, use it.
    Try to avoid shields with low block chance, 17% as a bare minimum for rares (thats base block - not including block% affix), about 30% for Stormshields (including block affix).

    There are only 2 dps stats on shields - STR and CHC, so they should both be of high priority. Rest of the stats should be some good mixup of defensive stats (i like vit+life%), maybe some extra block %. Skill bonuses can apear on shields, but they are limited.

    If you choose to go for a Stormshield, there's only 1 random roll, so it should be CHC (unless you really don't care about dps). Then the downside is that you won't be getting any HP out of it, but it already has strong defenses so just make up for it elsewhere. The super high block it can have is priceless and so are the other stats.

    SnB barb:

    Majority of barbs used to play SnB when D3 was fresh, including me, but recently i haven't touched my shield, so this might be innacurate.

    I used to play this build longest : http://us.battle.net...#WSXVkP!!acaccZ
    I'm sure it still works, and nothing can kill you with it, but it's really slow compared to todays standars. It's also heavily customizable.

    I've experimented with other builds in 1.0.3, such as http://us.battle.net...an#acUR!ZY!YabY which is based on huge range of ravage rune and moving fast from pack to pack with sprint. Very customizable.

    The thing with SnB is, that since you are dropping efficiency anyway by using a shield and the game has been nerfed several times, you can simply play nearly any build you want and it will be viable. You can even play standard builds like WW with a shield, no problem.

    So the build is entirely up to you, but when creating one, try to cover all the bases.

    Defense - If your gear is not enough, choose abilities to help with it.
    OP crushing advance has insane reduction and does dmg too
    War Cry, either armor or resist rune
    Ignore Pain - works even while stunned
    passives: Though as Nail, Nerves of Steel, Superstition

    Mobility - If you don't run with WotB, you should have atleast 1 ability that gets you out of sticky situations.
    Furious Charge or Leap- works even when immobilized
    Merciles Assault rune of charge provides extreme mobility when used on several enemies
    WW - ignores unit colision

    Sustain - Again, if you don't heal enough from gear alone, get some ability for it
    Revenge-Provocation provides awesome healing on aoe packs as well as aoe dps, but can only be used when you are attacked. (increasing dodge reduces the chance of revenge proccing)
    Furious charge - Dreadnaught is awesome because it falls into 2 categories (mobility+sustain)
    passive: Bloodthirst

    Now that that's sorted, you need to choose how you want to kill stuff.
    You need a fury generator and you can have, but don't need a fury spender. I'd highly advice to choose atleast 1 AoE ability or a rune that does AoE dmg.

    Fury generator (left click button) can be any of the three (or possibly WT if you have gear with reduced cost for it + no escape passive)

    If you choose a fury spender, it would be smart to also have battle rage - into the fray to allow you using the spender multiple times or even infinitely without running out of fury.
    Rend is a nice choice, but Seismic Slam can be a lot of fun too, or just HotA.

    Gearing is basically the same as for any other build, but you can have lower defenses because of your shield. Crit chance is important for many abilites to work better, so always have that, combined with crit dmg. AS can be very useful with some abilities, a lot less with others - you need to detect this on your own.
    Since you only have one weapon, make sure its a strong one, preferably axe or mace, but swords can shine with some frenzy builds.
    Depending on your dps output, you might want some LoH next to your lifesteal from belt.

    I'm sorry i couldn't give you a specific build, but hopefully you can build your own and have fun with it. When ill have time i will grab my shield and play around with some abilites for a while and come back to you with results.
  • #7
    Really helpful guide +1 !
  • #8
    Thank you so much, I quit the game entirely due to being forced to go sword and board ages ago. Six months later, I'm back and I'm glad to see these builds as effective and working! I refused to be a Barbadin. It is good to see that the devs got the message we're beasts, not knights.
  • #9
    I play a Rend/Hota barb that isn't nearly as effective as the builds you posted but gets the job done even in mp10 and could work for fresh barbs/players, let me know if you want me to post it :D
  • #10
    Quote from WhamBamRock

    I play a Rend/Hota barb that isn't nearly as effective as the builds you posted but gets the job done even in mp10 and could work for fresh barbs/players, let me know if you want me to post it :D

    Yeah so far i only mentioned (popular) dual wield effective builds, so they all include Sprint and WotB, but there are many variations i didn't mention. For example you can add Rend to the HotA build (with smash rune) and it's playable with both 2h or dual wield that way. Its very nice for high MPs actually (and effective with DW as long as you keep Sprint and WotB)

    If you have something to add, share or discuss, be it builds or anything relevant, please feel free to do so (no need to ask). Once i'll be updating the guide (which is getting postponed a lot), i'll add anything useful found in comments.
  • #11
    This guide is virtually unreadable to me. There is an over-saturation of acronyms, some of which aren't even included in the key. It's not even English anymore. Could you make a acronym-free version?
  • #12
    Quote from TweleTrains

    This guide is virtually unreadable to me. There is an over-saturation of acronyms, some of which aren't even included in the key. It's not even English anymore. Could you make a acronym-free version?

    I'm sorry for this barrier in my guide. Honestly, i didn't think about it when writing it. I have listed the acronyms/abbreviations that are may be less common (of course i might have forgotten some), but i assumed the rest of them would be the ones that (RPG) players are familiar with. Now i realize not every diablo player has played a game before, where he would meet these acronyms. Sadly, i won't re-write the guide, since i'm barely even updating it and finishing unreleased sections, so i won't spend time on that, sorry. I could add some more in the key if that helps.

    Here's a rather large list of acronyms, put together by Jaetch: http://www.diablofans.com/topic/77606-diablo-iii-urbandictionary/
    Hopefully this will help. I understand in order to read my guide properly, you'd have to learn the acronyms, rather than look them up each time you have to, but i can't do any better at the moment.
  • #13
    Thanks for the fast response, and thanks for the link. I will get deciphering right away! I always have problems with acronyms, even in real life, so gaming communities are often hard for me to keep up with. So far Diablo III has been mostly trial and error for me, but this looks like good information that will be worth me putting time in learning acronyms for.
  • #14
    hey turtel.
    first of all, congratulations for your winning!
    second, thanks for the detailed guide!

    and third, here goes my question: you gave a reference for the values of defense you use to play @ MP10 with the HotA build (" ~600 AR, 6k armor, 5.3% LS from items +bloodthirst for safety, 36-45k hp, 13% melee and 6% elites reduct"), but you did not tell about your damage.

    The thing is, I have a Skorn with a good strength and crit cmg amount but no LS. Right now I can't afford one. And the other choices are 2W or SnB. I got a decent shield, that I think would be better than any offhand I can afford. But my main hand is still weak.

    With SnB It takes me a good amount of time to kill an elite in MP7. Not so with the Skorn. Could you give me an advice for what should I aim, considering my budget of less than 5M? My profile is Jejeba86-1399 on the US servers. Thanks in advance!
  • #15
    Nice guide , helps a lot to understand some things :)
  • #16
    I have been wondering if there is any point where using the birthright rune for hota is worth it. Lets say there are no problems with staying alive. Is it always better to use smash for the higher damage, potentially doing a higher mp level at the same speed? I guess it depends more on wotb uptime and wether you are one shotting enemies?
  • #17
    its same like 1.0.7 patch ?
  • #18
    Thanks for the great guide
  • #19
    thank you for the nice guide!
  • #20
    Well done, sir ;3
    ✯ ✯ ✯ ✯ ✯ YAVYRED ✯ ✯ ✯ ✯ ✯
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