Diablo® III

Nephalem Valor-friendly build

http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/barbarian#WeYXgd!Vea!YYZcbb

I've put a lot of thought around this build.

First, the assumptions:
  • I'll always be in a group, be it with friends or just public games.
  • Allies aren't stupid enough to disregard their own defensive skills. I'll do my best to save them, but I ain't responsible for their life, not like an MMO tank.
  • The abilities and runes won't change (much) other than required level which doesn't matter in a level 60 build.
  • Inferno monsters, even the regular "white" ones, have enough health to withstand a 15-second onslaught.
  • Frenzy buff stacks additively to dual wield and other IAS, giving diminishing returns on the latters. In other words, Frenzy is sword & board-friendly, and Inferno-friendly where you'll want defensive stats rather than IAS.

Second, some notes:
  • Main gearing idea is to have as much +life on hit as possible, sword & board style, which should make Frenzy that much safer against uniques and bosses.
  • Ancient Spear's primary use is to bring ranged monsters, especially champions, uniques and bosses, to me so I can stun and Frenzy them down.
  • Ancient Spear(Dread Spear)'s healing is roughly equivalent to an instant Rend(Blood Lust) on 6 targets. Rend's range being rather small, coupled with the inability to use it while running from danger, makes it less than optimal in Inferno, especially in boss fights where the number of targets will be limited.
  • Some go for Bloodthirst to provide healing, but I think this is a bad idea especially in a group situation. Not only the abondance of defensive abilities restrict your ability to deal damage (3% of damage done becomes very small), but the heal only affects you. That's why I go for Pound of Flesh; 25% more health globes isn't a joke, and they'll most likely top you off, and they'll heal your allies too!
  • I've seen first-hand what Bash(Clobber) does on the Skeleton King fight, and it's amazing. That's why I went for Frenzy(Smite).
  • Situational awareness is key to completing Inferno. Improvisation and survival instincts are required to come out of unforeseen situations alive.

Third, the goal: To have everything you need to deal with just about any situation, in order to never swap abilities and thus keep the Nephalem Valor buff.

Here are the situations I thought about.

Solo monsters
If a monster comes out of a barrel, just Frenzy it down.

Pack of regular monsters
Leap into it, move out a bit, Seismic Slam as many as possible, Ancient Spear one and Frenzy it down until the pack is getting close or moving towards an ally, at which point I'll get in there and Ground Stomp + Threatening Shout, then move out and Seismic Slam 2-3 times. Rinse & repeat.

Champion packs
With or without a unique (yellow) monster, the idea is to do roughly the same as a regular pack except to always keep a stun off cooldown for "ZOMG" moments like being trapped by a waller.

I would lead with Ancient Spear and start Frenzying that monster down, then Leap out to the rest of the pack and use Threatening Shout, move out, Seismic Slam a few times. Switch between stuns as the situation dictates. Rinse & repeat.

See below for dealing with the unique monster, if there's one.

Uniques and bosses
Save Ancient Spear for when healing is needed, or if an ally is in danger. Leap in and Threatening Shout, then Frenzy until health is dangerously low, then Ground Stomp and run to gather health globes (Pound of Flesh should help a lot here). Rinse & repeat.

If somehow the unique/boss is immune to stun, definitely save Leap for escape purposes. And if there are adds, as in the Skeleton King fight, use the generated fury to handle them with Seismic Slam.

And if Ancient Spear doesn't work on the boss, at least its damage (and rune healing) will work.
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Posts: 179
Great post! Appreciate you taking the time to write it all up.

I haven't played the beta unfortunately, but I played D2 LOD in HC for more hours than I can count. And watched lots of the youtube videos about the barb, so I have an "ok" idea of the skills in question.

I'm really excited to see if inferno is going to be as tough as people are thinking. A build like this has lots of survivability, and I can see the strategy you have mind. Rather than running in like Rambo with whirlwinds, etc, you'll sort of pick the monsters off the fringe with ancient spear, and control them with seismic slam and ground stomp.

From a glance, I don't know if you have enough abilities to use your fury. I would probably swap out ground stomp with something that used fury instead. I know it will help you control a battle field with the stun, but you already have seismic slam, which provides similar utility.

If you want to stick with the theme of staying a bit at the edges of a fight instead of charging straight in, you could pick up weapon throw in it's place. Maybe get dread bomb rune, heh. Or more likely something like richochet to give you a bit of ranged AOE and helping you further control the battle field.

If you don't want to add a new ability into the mix, you could always get battle rage instead, which wouldn't affect your playstyle much, but just add more damage.

Just my thoughts.

Cheers,

Ramone
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Posts: 189
Nice build, obviously well thought out and balanced between types of encounters.

I haven't seen many (any?) builds that make use of pound of flesh so it'll be interesting to see if it works out for you. I think the reason most don't make use of it is you have to kill mobs before having access to any health globes(unless you have birthright) and in inferno you are going to need the healing before you can kill anything.

One thing I would be concerned about is that you rely on stun a lot and although I can't remember hearing any specifics I can't imagine there is not going to be a hefty amount of stun/fear/immobilize/charm resistance in inferno.
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Thanks Ramone, those are all sound suggestions.

There's another assumption I should have put in there:
  • If D3 Hell = D2 Hell, think what Inferno will be. Until I have a nearly full set of Archon armor with the right stats, I expect nothing less than incoming slaughter.

So my counter-arguments go as follows.
  • Slightly lower damage is better than no damage. If I'm dead, I can no longer deal damage, nor can I help my allies with CC.
  • In terms of single-target damage, Frenzy is pretty up there, especially considering "on hit" effects, so I don't see the need for additional single-target damage abilities. If my target is far away, I can leap to it or pull it to me. I'm not afraid of single monsters, only champion packs and bosses that cannot be stunned (which I don't believe will be a frequent thing).
  • Weapon Throw is definitely a good idea, but in an Inferno setting, I think the only logical rune choice is Throwing Hammer for the high chance for stun... that is if the thrown weapon actually hits the target, and the right one at that. Its usage would be too limited, in my opinion. See my goal in my original post.
  • Because survival is so important in Inferno, no other AoE damage abilities can have as much utility as Seismic Slam, especially in a group setting where monsters aren't necessarily coming at you.
  • With the Strength from Earth rune, Seismic Slam can be used twice as much as without. If you have alot of fury to spend, spamming it will make sure monsters don't bother you for a while. That's plenty of ranged damage for my needs.
  • I personally don't believe in the "OMG I must spend my fury in order to deal decent damage" gospel. Being limited in the number of abilities you can use, and having to focus so much on survival, it is perfectly normal to not spend as much fury as you generate. Like I said above, less damage is better than no damage.
  • Ground Stomp is the single-best defensive ability a Barbarian has that doesn't involve leaping/charging away. Ignore Pain is up there too, but in my opinion has too long a cooldown. I also like the rage generation on Ground Stomp.

So basically, if I'm gonna improve this build, it isn't for the sake of dps, or necessarily for survival, but rather for the sake of utility. All the abilities in this build are useful no matter the situation.
Edited by Arkatar#1387 on 5/2/2012 10:58 AM PDT
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05/02/2012 09:36 AMPosted by Fellspar
I haven't seen many (any?) builds that make use of pound of flesh so it'll be interesting to see if it works out for you. I think the reason most don't make use of it is you have to kill mobs before having access to any health globes(unless you have birthright) and in inferno you are going to need the healing before you can kill anything.
From the Wiki, http://diablo.wikia.com/wiki/Health_Globe
It has been revealed that some, more powerful, monsters that take a huge amount of damage to kill off will drop Globes when their health reaches certain levels (i.e. 75 %/50 %/25 %).


05/02/2012 09:36 AMPosted by Fellspar
One thing I would be concerned about is that you rely on stun a lot and although I can't remember hearing any specifics I can't imagine there is not going to be a hefty amount of stun/fear/immobilize/charm resistance in inferno.
Better this than to expect monsters will come at me and not at my allies. They might be resistant to it, but I don't think immunity will exist outside of specific bosses, if that.

05/02/2012 09:36 AMPosted by Jolts
If you're always in a group why not just go with a pure defensive build? You don't have ignore pain which IMO is necessary for a barb who plans to be tanking a lot of mobs.
I did make the assumption that my group will be expected to take care of their own defense, that I will help them as I can but will not act as though they are defenseless. You can look at my reply to Ramone for the reason behind not picking Ignore Pain. Furthermore, IP only helps if I'm the monsters' target. As far as I know, short of the Threatening Shout(Demoralize) 3-second taunt, there's no easy way to ensure the monsters won't go for the highest damage source, which is almost certain not to be me.

05/02/2012 09:36 AMPosted by Jolts
Since Seismic is your only fury spender I think you'd also be better off with the stagger rune, then you could take out ground stomp and replace the leap rune to the armor rune
For one, Stagger rune isn't a 100% stun, is limited to the monsters in front of me, and the stun duration ain't nearly as long. Also, what am I to do if I need a stun and I don't have 30 fury? With the Strength from Earth rune, I can use Seismic Slam twice for the same cost, resulting in twice the damage and twice the knockback. That's more useful to me than "a high, though not certain, chance to stun for 1.5 seconds".

Same goes for the "armor rune" on Leap. If the monsters head off towards an ally, the armor buff is wasted, whereas the stun helps no matter what.
Edited by Arkatar#1387 on 5/2/2012 11:01 AM PDT
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90 Human Paladin
11005
Posts: 14
One note on stuns: if they are modeling D3 on D2, there will be hefty CC time reduction at higher difficulties. For example, in D3 Hell CC lasted only 25% of what it did on normal. While we can't predict the exact amount of reduction, I think it will be safe to assume that there will be CC reduction, and in Inferno it will be fairly punitive. I would guess a minimum of 50% time reduction, but I've seen other people guess 75% to 85%.

For that reason, I'd personally suggest changing out at least one or two of the stun skills/runes and get either more passive or active life regen/steal. Even if stuns remain effective in Inferno, I would still try to get more passive life regen; if you get chain CCed, no active skill will save you.
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Those are all very valid points, Rosenkavalir. Thank you.

If stuns turn out to become almost useless at Inferno, I think I'd go for something more in the lines of health increase and passive regen. Something like the following build: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/barbarian#WekSgd!XeT!YYbcbb
  • War Cry basically replaces Tough as Nails, except it provides the armor buff to the whole group.
  • War Cry's Invigorate rune will passively boost the group's survivability.
  • Adding Inspiring Presence to provide passive regen. Increased shout duration is nice.
  • Pound of Flesh replaced by Juggernaut for CC's to not affect me as much and have the potential for a big passive heal.
  • Furious Charge with heal rune to replace Leap. Same cooldown, but can be used for a big heal with decent damage if charging through a pack.
  • Keeping the stun rune in Frenzy for interrupt purposes.

Thanks again for your insight.
Edited by Arkatar#1387 on 5/2/2012 1:52 PM PDT
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05/02/2012 01:52 PMPosted by Jolts
Monsters tend to attack whatever is closest to them. Unless you're partying with other melee you should have most of the threat as a (good) barb.
I played a DH at some point in the beta, and my gear was so beyond that of my public group allies that the Skeleton King was always targetting me even though there were at least 2 melee on him.

It'll be interesting to see how this truly pans out.
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I went with the assumption that the CC reduction would be very heavy. This is what I came up with, personally. I went with the assumption, as well, that I was partied in a synergistic group.

General dungeon crawling tanking build (Non-boss encounters):
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/barbarian#bXRekg!beU!ZaYacY
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/follower#!!0001

Physical Boss damage tanking build:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/barbarian#aXRUkg!baU!YaZaYY
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/follower#0100

Non-physical Boss damage tanking build:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/barbarian#aZRdkg!eTU!YcZbcY
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/follower#1100

Ideal partner :
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/monk#WYXRQg!cZV!ZaZYYb
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/follower#!!0101
Two things: this is a thread about Nephalem Valor builds, and groups cannot have followers.

Giving situational builds is off topic.
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Posts: 179
Thanks Ramone, those are all sound suggestions.

There's another assumption I should have put in there:
  • If D3 Hell = D2 Hell, think what Inferno will be. Until I have a nearly full set of Archon armor with the right stats, I expect nothing less than incoming slaughter.

So my counter-arguments go as follows.
  • Slightly lower damage is better than no damage. If I'm dead, I can no longer deal damage, nor can I help my allies with CC.
  • In terms of single-target damage, Frenzy is pretty up there, especially considering "on hit" effects, so I don't see the need for additional single-target damage abilities. If my target is far away, I can leap to it or pull it to me. I'm not afraid of single monsters, only champion packs and bosses that cannot be stunned (which I don't believe will be a frequent thing).
  • Weapon Throw is definitely a good idea, but in an Inferno setting, I think the only logical rune choice is Throwing Hammer for the high chance for stun... that is if the thrown weapon actually hits the target, and the right one at that. Its usage would be too limited, in my opinion. See my goal in my original post.
  • Because survival is so important in Inferno, no other AoE damage abilities can have as much utility as Seismic Slam, especially in a group setting where monsters aren't necessarily coming at you.
  • With the Strength from Earth rune, Seismic Slam can be used twice as much as without. If you have alot of fury to spend, spamming it will make sure monsters don't bother you for a while. That's plenty of ranged damage for my needs.
  • I personally don't believe in the "OMG I must spend my fury in order to deal decent damage" gospel. Being limited in the number of abilities you can use, and having to focus so much on survival, it is perfectly normal to not spend as much fury as you generate. Like I said above, less damage is better than no damage.
  • Ground Stomp is the single-best defensive ability a Barbarian has that doesn't involve leaping/charging away. Ignore Pain is up there too, but in my opinion has too long a cooldown. I also like the rage generation on Ground Stomp.

So basically, if I'm gonna improve this build, it isn't for the sake of dps, or necessarily for survival, but rather for the sake of utility. All the abilities in this build are useful no matter the situation.


Sounds good, I can see why you like ground stomp, and truthfully, throw looks a little lackluster...I couldn't see myself using it regularly if I also had ancient spear. Your build definitely looks like it would have lots of tools to control a battlefield, which will undoubtedly come in handy in inferno.

It may very well be that all that utility will be required or optimal to make it through inferno. Blizzard has made these skills available to us, so it makes sense to use them! You would definitely be a great utility group member with that set up. If you find that both ground stomp and seismic slam aren't required, you can always just change it up a bit.

On that note, I think I would lean towards battle rage if the extra utility of ground stomp showed to be excessive. I would probably consider battle rage with swords to ploughshares rune. Might help with some extra health globes!

Cheers,

Ramone
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Another passive to consider would be relentless. If you get under 20% health you can spam seismic slam and buy time to GTFO and regroup.

The merciless assault rune for FC is nice...hit 5 and cooldown is gone. This might be more useful in going after casters than spear.
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05/03/2012 12:09 PMPosted by DarthSidious
Another passive to consider would be relentless. If you get under 20% health you can spam seismic slam and buy time to GTFO and regroup.
Too situational for me, but thanks for the suggestion.

05/03/2012 12:09 PMPosted by DarthSidious
The merciless assault rune for FC is nice...hit 5 and cooldown is gone. This might be more useful in going after casters than spear.
Again a bit too situational for my taste. I'll definitely use Furious Charge with Merciless Assault while leveling, since health shouldn't be an issue, but in Inferno I think the healing will be handier (don't know if you saw my 2nd build at post #8 above).
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Posts: 250
The thing I like most about this game so far is that out of all the builds posted in this forum, I have not seen any two that were the same. And some people said there would be no customization in D3.
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Posts: 26
Why Threatening Shout with Grim Harvest and not Demoralize? Wouldn't the aoe taunt be much more useful?
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05/04/2012 01:46 PMPosted by Jivanmukta
Why Threatening Shout with Grim Harvest and not Demoralize? Wouldn't the aoe taunt be much more useful?
I like loot. And the idea is to not get hit by too many monsters, not get them to focus on me. As a barbarian I might be better suited to take punishment, but that doesn't mean I believe I'll survive a bunch of mobs very long at Inferno difficulty.
Edited by Arkatar#1387 on 5/4/2012 6:46 PM PDT
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