I'm a relatively seasoned Barbarian player who has been playing since Vanilla. In Season 5, I reached GR78 and placed rank 303 on the leaderboards for the Americas. I did this using this build, Leapquake. While the build is relatively simple to play, it is significantly more consistent than most Greater Rift builds, in that fishing is usually not required in order to progress. This does mean that its damage potential is lower overall than, say, Raekor's, but it is much easier to play, and much less frustrating. I'll go over the basics of the playstyle, as well as anything else that you need to know in order to play.
Skills and Passives
Most of the skills should be fairly self-explanatory, so largely speaking this section will be focused on our runes and passives, and why you take each of them. It will also cover some alternative options, depending on the level of content you're doing.
Leap - Death from Above
Leap is half of the build's name for a reason. It drops an Earthquake wherever it lands, and grants you a massive boost to your Armor through your set bonus. Since the damage of Leap itself is inconsequential, we further boost its defensive capability with Death from Above. This will constantly stun even Rift Guardians, making it extremely difficult for anything to hit you. There is really no alternative to this rune.
Earthquake - Molten Fury
Right off the bat, I want to make it clear that we won't be casting Earthquake manually with this build, but you need it on your bar because Earthquakes cast by Leap will inherit your rune. In the past, we would take the Cave-In rune, but changes to Crowd Control have since rendered that rune significantly less potent than it has been in the past. The upside is that our main ability now deals a much higher amount of damage, at the expense of a lot of control. Earthquake does by far the most damage of any of your abilities, so not putting it on your bars to take advantage of this rune is a big mistake.
Ancient Spear - Boulder Toss
There are two major reasons we use Boulder Toss. Whenever you spend Fury, you will reduce the cooldown on Leap based on the amount spent. This is obviously critical for the playstyle. Moreover, you'll also refill your health if you have Life per Fury on your gear. This is the reason that we want Max Fury in our Paragon as a first priority, as it directly translates to healing, cooldown reduction, and damage, all at the same time. The ability does not actually deal very much damage on its own compared to Earthquake, but it's nothing to sneeze at, either.
Threatening Shout - Falter
This has become a staple in practically every Barbarian build since its introduction, and Leapquake is no exception. Leapquake gets a nice bonus in that Blade of the Tribes will cast a free Avalanche and Earthquake every time you cast this skill. Even better, it's off the global cooldown, so you can cast it whenever you need to!
War Cry - Veteran's Warning
Another obvious Barbarian staple that works with Blade of the Tribes. Veteran's Warning has been shown to be a bigger Toughness increase at high levels of gear, despite the random nature. It's interchangeable with Impunity, if you prefer it. The other runes are not really worth considering for Leapquake.
Wrath of the Berserker - Insanity
A great boost to both your Toughness and Damage. Replaces the old staple of Battle Rage for slightly improved performance.
This works out to be a lot of damage even at lower gear levels, but it is especially powerful at higher grift levels, as the bonus will apply for a significantly longer time. If you are running low level TX rifts, you can swap this for Brawler or Berserker Rage, if you prefer.
Boon of Bul-Kathos
Taken exclusively to reduce the cooldown of Wrath of the Berserker. Since we do not manually cast Earthquake, the cooldown reduction there is not useful to us.
This passive does not require you to actually cast these abilities manually, and will work off both your set bonus as well as Blade of the Tribes. The result is that you gain 30 extra Fury for every leap, and 60 extra Fury for every Shout. This is critical for the build to function, as otherwise you would be generating minimal amounts of Fury.
A staple in almost every Barbarian build. Although some other options may be strictly better for damage, Strength also gives you a huge bonus to your Armor, making this the obvious choice. Even though it doesn't work against most Rift Guardians, it's completely invaluable for the rest of the rift leading up to it. Try to make sure you don't let the stacks fall off!
Nerves of Steel
An obvious choice for higher level grifts, allowing you to cheat death. Usually, you'll take this on your Hellfire Amulet.
The set only needs seven pieces in order to function at a basic level; the 6-piece of the Might of the Earth set, and Lut Socks in the cube. With just these seven items, you can start using the build to farm very high Torment levels. The next most important item is the Blade of the Tribes, which will massively boost your damage output. Note that this weapon will beat out any Ancient weapon you will find, and will even be useful if it was rolled at 61-69. Get it as soon as you possibly can. Band of Might is the next most important item, providing a huge boost to your Toughness. After that, the priority is really up to you. If you need more survivability, go for your Hellfire Amulet with the Nerves of Steel passive. Otherwise, round out the build with Ancient Parthan Defenders and Dread Iron.
There is only one important thing you need to know. You need a certain amount of Fury and CDR in order to use Leap infinitely. This is critical, otherwise the build will feel awful to play. You need at least 33% CDR on your sheet PLUS Max Fury on both your weapon and belt, or you're going to have a bad time. 12.5% from your helmet gem, 10% from Paragon, and 8% on two pieces of gear will do the trick. However, if you don't have Max Fury on your gear, you will need more CDR, up to about 38-40%. If you can't Leap constantly, then get more CDR.
Getting more CDR will allow you to keep up Threatening Shout permanently on enemies. With 33%, you will have roughly one second of downtime on the debuff. This is not critical, however.Other than that, your stat priority is roughly similar to everybody else. Strength, All Resist, Critical Hit Chance, Critical Hit Damage, and all that. Attack Speed notably does nothing at all for this build.
So, assuming you've followed all of the advice above, you're ready to actually head into a Rift and try it out. Luckily, it's very simple. Leapquake follows sort of a rotation, like so:
Leap > Leap > Leap > [Shout] > Boulder Toss > Repeat
It's that easy. You want to cast just one Shout instead of both at once in order to not waste Fury. Usually, this should be Threatening Shout first, to debuff your enemies. On your next rotation, use War Cry. Boulder Toss will reset the cooldown on your Leap, allowing you to repeat the cycle right away.
The Death from Above rune will keep enemies stunned for a significant period of time, helping them stay within your Earthquakes. The Earthen Might passive will completely fill your Fury bar, allowing you to finish them off with a Boulder Toss. If they still aren't dead, repeat the cycle until they are. Note that you should still be using Leap on a single target (in case it wasn't obvious).
Note that we do not manually cast Earthquake. It is a slight DPS loss to cast it manually, plus the animation can leave you vulnerable at high level grifts.
Why Dread Iron if we don't use Avalanche?
Because Blade of the Tribes is casting Avalanche. It doesn't make a huge difference, and there is some argument to be made that Witching Hour might be better. But there aren't many other options.
What 5th passive should I have on my Hellfire Amulet?
You should take Nerves of Steel. Obviously, any of the 5 passives on the amulet is fine.
Why Veteran's Warning instead of Impunity?
Once you're geared up, you'll have plenty of All Resist, so Veteran's Warning will provide more general Toughness. You can use either one, though.
What gems should I use in my chest and pants?
Usually you should be using Rubies, but you can use Diamonds if you find yourself low on All Resist.
Why do you have Earthquake on the bar if you don't use it manually?
For the rune, basically. It provides too much utility to pass up, and works with the free casts from your gear.
I hope you found my guide helpful, and I hope you can fully enjoy Leapquake. Maybe you'll make the leaderboards this Season with your newfound knowledge! Don't hesitate to let me know in the comments if you have any questions, or critique on the guide. I'd be happy to help you out. Happy rifting, fellow Nephalem! You can also add me in game if you'd like to play or have any questions: