Diablo® III

Barbarian Tank build/Guide (hell/inf)

Hi guys,

Sorry for the wall of text ur about to read there will be no TLDR version as its important for me to fully explain my build gearing and play style in the hopes people out there reading get a better understanding of how to play/build a barb tank or to stop the hating so much on them as tanks or otherwise,

My name is Storm currently lvl 57 barb tank and i just wanted to say a couple things here and give my spec that i have been using from the start of NM mode in the hopes that some people find it useful as there seems to be alot of people really disliking the barb upon reaching the higher difficulties.

I must say my spec is a sword/board spec so DD's need not concern themselves too much, however i have had multiple melee tell me that the only time they could go almost full dmg spec was when i was tanking (they still had good gear and vit tho) so even if ur a DD passing this on to ur barb tank friend may actually allow u to have a better time and more success while doing damage.

My current stats at 57 are:

HP- 64000 (70k with monk hp buff)
armor- cant remember but 73% dmg reduction
resistances- around 12-15% red each.
damage- 3.2k (remember i am a tank)

spec: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/barbarian#bgXVkY!bXV!cYYcbZ

basically the idea here is to keep mobs on u or as close to u as u can so ur DD's can do there thing, whilst being able to take a beating (i have had numerous times on hell where i have been tanking 20+ mobs and 3 out of the 4 of my grp have died and i have solo'd the mobs to death via revenge)

so a brief rundown:

Left click- Cleave + gathering storm

kinds comes late game as u need 55 for the glyph u can use any up till then (i find cleave to be the best for tanking as its aoe, however bash with stun glyph or frenzy with stun are better for bosses) the idea is that one u have mobs on u (see other skills) u cleave the crap out of them and they are slowed so much they cant get to ur dps.

Right Click- Threatening Shout + demoralise

So Aoe dmg reduction + 3 sec taunt = yes pls omg my life is complete (not really that would be sad as f--- but u get my point)

1- Leap + Call of Arreat/Death from above or Furious Charge + dreadnaut

Leap is amazing because it offers so much mobility u can be defensive and jump over terrain and get out of situations where mobs block u in or be offensive and use it to pull mobs to u (the range isnt as big as ground stomp) or for a smaller radius (8y instead of 16y for the grip) u can make leap stun for 3 secs at 60 which combined with ur stomp and taunt is 10 secs at a time u can be sure mobs are on u and not ur dps with only seconds in between before u can repeat, But using leap to stun or pull can leave u in a sticky situation of ur surrounded by mobs and u need to get out asap and u just used ur leap to tank, which is why u may want:

Furious charge + regen glyph- the times u want to get out of a pack of mobs in a hurry is normally when ur low on hp and they just threw down some nasty ability and u need to move it, move it http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dyx4v1QFzhQ thisway u get to get out of that nasty spot as it allows u to go trhough mobs but it also heals u for 8% hp per mob which is great.

this is my only really interchangeable ability

2- Revenge + provocation

Revenge imho is one of the best abilities in game and even more so for a tank, this essentially means the more mobs on ur face the more ur survivability actually goes up, pre 52 use the extra rage and hp glyph and after 52 use the 30% proc chance instead of the 15% + extra heals.

this ability is one of ur biggest sources of dmg along with cleave and the main source of ur hp regen and i have had it heal me for 30k+ numerous times and if u have 10+ mobs on u which i do almost always it is almost always procced) u will learn to love this

3- War cry + invigorate

so 20% armor buff and 10% hp buff and hp regen :O this ability is so so good, nice buff for u and ur grp for me this is like 8k hp alone, obviously less for the dps but its such a huge buff for u and every bit of it helps the grp its great imho (also the hp regen on this plus my passive inspiring presence which i will come to has me at about 1100 hp regen a second combined)

** edit- for those suggesting that i take the extra 20% armor glyph for war cry instead of the 10% hp well its simple why i dont

armor isnt linear, the more armor u get the more armor u then need to get the same gains in reduction

(armor needed to get from 0-5% dmg reuction is very small, armor needed from 70-75% dmg reduction is huge in comparison)

so effectively the better ur gear and the more armor u have standard the less and less benifit u will recieve from the glyph (i think the extra 20% armor is only 2.5% dmg reduction for me atm)

however- the 10% hp glyph actually gets better the better ur gear gets, the more vitality u have and more hp standard the more this increases ur hp, also all of ur ways to regen health through passives and abilities is %hp based so the more hp u have the more hp u can return

so overall at lower gear levels u may wish to use the extra 20% armor but as u get better gear hp glyph wins every time

the only other glyph i would consider is the 15% dodge glyph as flat out avoiding dmg is great. i would say this is probably better for slow swinging hard hitting bosses where ur not gonna get a huge chance to regen alot of hp from abilities.

4- Ground stomp + wrenching smash

great all round spell, stun works on everyone except a couple of bosses, also pulls mobs to u, great synergy with ur taunt and leap into cleave or revenge spam.

Passives:

Nerves of Steel- increases armor by 100% of ur Vit (i currently have 1200 or so Vit so 1200 armor)

Tough as nails- Armor increase by 25% also increase thorns dmg (kinda not taken for this but every little helps)

Invigorating presence- after u use a shout (taunt/dmg red, armor/hp buff for this build or dmg and crit shout for dps) u regen 1% max hp a second also doubles the time on ur shouts (taunt is still 3 sec but the dmg red gets doubles as does the uptime on ur armor buff)

Ok so now u know what i picked and why let me tell u how i use them:

normal mobs/elites (non bosses): basically the idea is to chain ur leap > stomp > and taunt in amongst cleaves to keep mobs on u or close to u 24/7 using revenge as needed to keep ur hp topped (revenge easily heals half my hp with a decent amount of mobs), i Dunno if i am imagining this but since i glyphed cleave to have the 80% slow i have noticed alot more mobs on me even when my taunts and pull to me abilities are down, i dunno if the 80% slow affects the AI so they know they are slowed and just hit whats close (me) instead of chasing a dps- seems so from what i have seen but may be wrong.

Bosses: the only things i change are cleave to bash or frenzy with the chance to stun proc- when i get the increase dmg per frenzy stack at 59 i will take that for those bosses u cant stun, baliel and the black soulstone guy (SS guy can be stunned by stomp but not ur basic attack it seems)

i also swap my dmg reduction shout + taunt (bosses are immune to the taunt) for our 65% dmg cooldown ignore pain + mob rule glyph to give my party the dmg reduction too.

Gear:

ok my gear isnt the best by along way, at least 4 pieces are slightly behind in terms of armor and maybe slightly low in either str or Vit per piece but paying attention to AH and putting in the correct gems makes a world of difference.

i have atm 1200 vit and around 1k str, everything but my wep has an amethist in it (purple gem)

When i look ah its best to search per slot (helm, legs, MH, shield etc etc) in the additional stats bit put str and vit and type in the amounts u currently have (if u dont know this just leave blank, do a search and hover over an item, it will also show ur current item and u can fill in the boxes and search again), next sort by buyout price/armor value/Dps (whatever u like) and see if u can get a good deal

Weapon:

this is very important so i am giving it its own section seperate from gear,

remember the main source of ur dmg is from ur wep

what people seem to think is they need a tonne of str and that a 12.5 dps increase on bracer ot 20 on legs is worth giving up 2-3k hp, well its not

ur main dps stat (str for barbs) is only a multiplier, all ur dmg is based on ur weapon dmg and then thats multiplied by ur dps stat which has its own % multiplier (shown in ur char sheet when u press details)

i wouldnt go all out vitality and ignore str completely but try keep them on balance however if its a piece of gear not ur wep and u would lose a good chunk of hp for a small dps increase i would say no

best thing u can do is keep ur weapon dmg up to date for the biggest dmg increases

what wep stats do i want storm?

1. get highest damage spread possible (ability dmg comes from the dmg spread e.g a 3-5 dmg wep with a 1 sec speed would be 4 dps but ur dmg multiplier from str would multiply anywhere between the 3-5 wep dmg)

the easiest way to explain is that a 1h and 2h wep may have the same dps but the 2h will hit alot harder this is because its alot slower at attacking so its dmg per second may be the same as a 1h but as it has maybe double the attack speed it means its dmg spread would also be double in this case allowing for much larger hits even though the damage per second is the same)

2. does it have a socket? if so then u just added alot of dmg to ur weps dmg spread = more dmg for ur dmg modifier = huge dps gains :)

3. does it hav good stats?

this is ur lowest priority on a weapon i have seen so many people take weps with tiny damage because they have super high stats on them and this is so bad because ur dmg modifier from ur str multiplies ur wep dmg spread so u can have 100000000000 str but if u have no dps on ur wep 100000000000x 0 still equals 0

however if u can find a wep with a high dmg spread and a socket and desirable stats then ur laughing and u will probably use it for a good while, but most times u can settle for the high dmg and socket with small stats on there

alot of people dont realise yet how str and wep dmg work together so u can find sick dps weps with sockets and low stats for cheap cheap cheap on ah

also i should explain when i say u want a high dmg spread this doesnt mean u want a big gap between the min and max dmg on ur wep this means u want the min and max to be as high as possible.

I search the AH after every act or maybe more just to see if there is good deals on there.

GEAR IS PROBABLY THE MOST IMPORTANT THING TO KEEP UP TO DATE WITH IN GAME AND A PROMINENT REASON WHY PEOPLE HAVE A HARD TIME AND CLAIM BARBS CANT CLEAR STUFF AFTER NM, KEEP UR GEAR UP TO DATE AND I PROMISE U WILL SEE RESULTS.

It's kinda late and i made this in the spur of the moment to try help out some fellow barbs or grp with barbs, so i am sure in my haste and tiredness there are mistakes pls if u see one or have any questions let me know and i will try to fix it or reply to u ASAP.

Ty for taking the time to read my wall of text however if it helps anyone out there it was worth me typing it out and hopefully worth the read.

Storm
Edited by Stormscythe#2990 on 5/19/2012 8:52 PM PDT
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so here are my specs for INFERNO

regular trash: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/barbarian#bgXVkY!beV!cYccYZ

changed my passives to incluse superstition and my leap now stuns and war cry from max hp to dodge %

elite packs: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/barbarian#bgXVkY!TeV!cacccZ

ok shout now slows passives include 20% cc reduction with chance to heal u and war cry changed from dodge to resistance

most elite packs have super gay combos where is more favorable to kite than stand in melee this allows u to so this, u have better resisitances, perma slow on enemies (stuns if u need) and if u get cc'd u have cc reduction and a change to get 15% max hp heal (which as a tank is alot of hp)

Bosses: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/barbarian#WRXVkY!UeV!YYcccZ

dmg red and slow changed to 65% dmg reduction for grp

cleave changed to frenzy + chance to stun (if the boss cant be stunned switch to dmg per frenzy stack)

passives changed to include relentless, under 20% hp u have a 50% dmg reduction (20% hp sounds like ur on deaths door already but with tank hp this passive has saved me on bosses a couple of times already)

war cry choose resistance or dodge depending on the boss

I am trying to keep my 5 stacks for better lootz yo, cant change abilities:

if u dont wanna change cause ur trying to keep ur stacks from elite kills so u get better boss drops then iw oudl stick with the elite pack spec, bosses imho are easier than these packs so having the best spec to clear the packs is the way to go

will update if i find better than this as i play on
Edited by Stormscythe#2990 on 5/23/2012 3:41 PM PDT
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Did you just make all this up because you have 2 defensive skills (leap and stomp)!
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05/19/2012 07:13 PMPosted by DirtyAguiler
Did you just make all this up because you have 2 defensive skills (leap and stomp)!


Ok took me like 45 mins to type this up (i am a terrible typist) and this is the first response i get -.-

there is a box u can check in gameplay options -elective mode i think its called- that allows u to place skills where u want (u can have more of one type on ur bars - in this case 2 defensive)
Edited by Stormscythe#2990 on 5/19/2012 7:17 PM PDT
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i have level 60, but less str and vita (around 5k health with shout), also better dps just because my weapon probably is stronger due to being level 60(4k dps). But I have much more int and resist, around 40% reduction.

skills are very similar. Only thing I dislike about tank barbarian is that you can't utilize your fury at all :(

DirtyAguiler// go to option you can change one of the option so you can allocate any skill you want to any slot. You can have 3 wraths even
Edited by Inyeol#2168 on 5/19/2012 7:20 PM PDT
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I am a level 55-56 Barb in A3 Hell, I agree with pretty much everything thats been said here. I play with a DH and sometimes a Monk as well. I am lagging much behind you as I just hit A3 but I have about 46k+ HP unbuffed and around 70% Damage reduction from armor. I was playing damage spec with a 2H until A2 Hell when Champions started rolling me, I switched over and have had ZERO problems. The only few times I will die is if I get freeze/jailed and then the stupid lazers like 3 shot me. Other than that its tank and my DH spanks.

Storm, Have you considered using Furious Charge with Dreadnoght? I have REALLY liked it for the extra health regen and I have also really liked changing out Inspiring Presence for Superstition for the 20% Damage reduction from non physical.

My build looks like this: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/barbarian#bgSVYk!bVe!cYccZb

I have thought about switching out revenge for Leap + Stun in Inferno just because I have heard that it is near impossible to tank and spank so until I am geared enough I may just want the extra stun for mobs to help Stun lock and Kite for my DD. Who knows, well see how that goes.

As far as builds go however, If you dont like being a tank, for now, you have picked the wrong class. Reroll a wiz/DH/WD if you wanna DPS.

I am hoping eventually Blizz will either balance the DPS builds or that gear will make inferno possible for a DMG Barb, but for now. Barb = Tank.

Good post. Very informative. Wish I woulda seen something like this before Hell and it would have saved me time.
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My skills are frenzy with stun, charge with dreadnought, wrenching stomp, demoralizing shout, revenge, and ignore pain.

But yeah you seem to know your stuff well and agree with most of the stuff. few differences but I think it just comes from the preferences.

But I'd really love to see blizz changing something so full tank barbs can utilize fury, or change balances so we can actually spend a slot in fury spender.
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Posts: 331
I notice you don't have any rage spenders...my build is very similar to yours except I use Berserker Rage so I don't waste the fact that I have so much rage always. What are your thoughts about ignoring the resource?
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I am a level 55-56 Barb in A3 Hell, I agree with pretty much everything thats been said here. I play with a DH and sometimes a Monk as well. I am lagging much behind you as I just hit A3 but I have about 46k+ HP unbuffed and around 70% Damage reduction from armor. I was playing damage spec with a 2H until A2 Hell when Champions started rolling me, I switched over and have had ZERO problems. The only few times I will die is if I get freeze/jailed and then the stupid lazers like 3 shot me. Other than that its tank and my DH spanks.

Storm, Have you considered using Furious Charge with Dreadnoght? I have REALLY liked it for the extra health regen and I have also really liked changing out Inspiring Presence for Superstition for the 20% Damage reduction from non physical.

My build looks like this: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/barbarian#bgSVYk!bVe!cYccZb

I have thought about switching out revenge for Leap + Stun in Inferno just because I have heard that it is near impossible to tank and spank so until I am geared enough I may just want the extra stun for mobs to help Stun lock and Kite for my DD. Who knows, well see how that goes.

As far as builds go however, If you dont like being a tank, for now, you have picked the wrong class. Reroll a wiz/DH/WD if you wanna DPS.

I am hoping eventually Blizz will either balance the DPS builds or that gear will make inferno possible for a DMG Barb, but for now. Barb = Tank.

Good post. Very informative. Wish I woulda seen something like this before Hell and it would have saved me time.


ye i have thought about trying charge for the hp regen on demand as well as overpower with the hp regen will test them as i unlock them (overpower glyph is 59)

also as for passives presence to superstition is a great idea i also like juggernaut for those elites with rediculous cc (20% duration reduction and a chance to get 15% max hp is actually great) switched to that a coupel of times when the goings got tough

so far only died like 4 times on hell and thats because of giants in the caves finding that guys blood which hit like a truck anyway and there was 3 + chains + jail (root) + desecration (fire on the ground) my dps got destroyed and i didnt last in melee long, but i wanted them dead so we persevered lol
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05/19/2012 07:26 PMPosted by Shasta
I notice you don't have any rage spenders...my build is very similar to yours except I use Berserker Rage so I don't waste the fact that I have so much rage always. What are your thoughts about ignoring the resource?


I dont have an issue with either using rage spenders or hording rage its all down to what abilities u want to use, i find for now my build to be the best for doing what i want to do which is take as much punishment as possible while keeping mobs on me and off my dps

i have used seismic slam and stagger before for more cc but its only a frontal stun and its not always easy to have all mobs in its path, and when tanking alot of mobs ur spamming revenge or charge if u use that anyway

however i will say for tanking fewer than 5 or so mobs seismic slam + stun glyph would probably work out really well

Remember in hell and more so in inferno u will be changing ur set up alot in between packs depending what ur facing, not just on bosses

its just about knowing what to use and when to use it.
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Will edit into my main post but for those suggesting that i take the extra 20% armor glyph for war cry instead of the 10% hp well its simple why i dont

armor isnt linear, the more armor u get the more armor u then need to get the same gains in reduction

(armor needed to get from 0-5% dmg reuction is very small, armor needed from 70-75% dmg reduction is huge in comparison)

so effectively the better ur gear and the more armor u have standard the less and less benifit u will recieve from the glyph (i think the extra 20% armor is only 2.5% dmg reduction for me atm)

however- the 10% hp glyph actually gets better the better ur gear gets, the more vitality u have and more hp standard the more this increases ur hp, also all of ur ways to regen health through passives and abilities is %hp based so the more hp u have the more hp u can return

so overall at lower gear levels u may wish to use the extra 20% armor but as u get better gear hp glyph wins every time

the only other glyph i would consider is the 15% dodge glyph as flat out avoiding dmg is great. i would say this is probably better for slow swinging hard hitting bosses where ur not gonna get a huge chance to regen alot of hp from abilities.
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Updated to talk about weapon in detail and more ability and glyph choices for slot 1
Edited by Stormscythe#2990 on 5/19/2012 8:44 PM PDT
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If you don't have ignore pain (any runes are really viable) for inferno you'll die A LOT, especially with only 12-15% resistance. Also the war cry invigorate rune is decent, but the last rune that gives +resistances and armor is way more viable.
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05/19/2012 08:57 PMPosted by OoOoOo
If you don't have ignore pain (any runes are really viable) for inferno you'll die A LOT, especially with only 12-15% resistance. Also the war cry invigorate rune is decent, but the last rune that gives +resistances and armor is way more viable.


ye i mean like i said i am posting what has worked for me well so for, when i step into inferno tomorrow if find my spec isnt cutting it then i will make the appropriate modifications to my spec and change my guide to reflect that my current build is great for anything up to and including hell and make a seperate abilility/glyph section specifically to inferno

the main issues i see occurring are with resistances or lack there of and the amount of CC so i might use both superstition and Jugg as passives as well as the resistance glyph
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i have not played barbarian in hell or inferno just a disclaimer, but how do you feel about life on hit or life steal on weapons, and the bloodthirst passive
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05/19/2012 09:04 PMPosted by Kaiserfeuer
i have not played barbarian in hell or inferno just a disclaimer, but how do you feel about life on hit or life steal on weapons, and the bloodthirst passive


i wouldnt rate it from a tank standpoint as what ur talking about is % of dmg done and as a tank thats not gonna be huge where as ur abilites are % max hp which is great also u cant afford the 3% lifesteal passive (maybe in normal or the first 2 acts nightmare) as the other passives are needed much more, if u have the lifesteal on wep it wont hurt as long as its not taking away from other stats but dont aim for it

if ur talking from a dps stand point it shouldnt be too hard to get 5-6% lifesteal maybe more if ur dw and the amount fo dmg u can do as a dps this should be enough to top u up or give some nice constant regen if ur taking occasional dmg but if ut standing in the wrong place or ur tank fails then it wont help u for long
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Very helpfull, thanks for the guide.
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Hi. i'm level 51 barbarian and is not going so great. i have changed my build sins reading the post and is been going better. i just would like to know what is the best way to play weapon wise. is it 2 1handed or 1 one handed with a shield or 1 2 handed?
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AND ONCE YOU REACH INFERNO UR ALL GOING TO DIE!
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