The spec I recommend and use personally is:http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/barbarian#WQVikP!cYZ!abcacZ
However, let’s take a closer look at this spec and talk about other options as well.
Frenzy – Sidearm
I have a love hate relationship with frenzy. On one hand it provides the highest single DPS of any of our primary abilities. On the other hand, you need to commit to your target without moving to gain maximum benefit from it. This translates to your performance dropping drastically while moving compared to other abilities such as cleave. Regardless, the single target DPS of 5stack frenzy cannot be ignored. Additionally, side arm complements dual wield rather well as you get more procs. With high weapon damage, side arm procs can really put a dent in swarms of mobs as well as provide even more single target damage. Lastly, side arm crits can lower the cooldown on overpower.
Overpower – Crushing Advance
Even with such an offensive setup, you want to have access to at least one ability that provides a good amount of mitigation. While ignore pain is probably better in this spot, crushing advance does have its advantageous. First, overpower deals 165% weapon damage which is fairly decent. Next, it has a shorter cooldown than ignore pain. With enough critical chance overpower can reach extremely low cooldowns to the point where you can have the crushing advance buff up constantly. Lastly, crushing advance’s unique property of reflecting damage allows it to synergize extremely well with life on hit. Even with life steal, crushing advance can nearly negate the damage from plague or trails of molten.
Revenge – Provocation
220% weapon damage that’s AoE and heals for 5% life. This is one of the best abilities barbarians get. Excluding dual tornado and weapon throw builds, every serious spec should be running this. At my current gear level critical revenges will sweep entire waves of mobs in one go, while regular hits will provide enough damage to stagger mobs. The healing provided by revenge is also substantial and smart use of the skill is one of the keys to playing a good barbarian.
Battle Rage – Marauder
Marauder provides a very large DPS boost that should have 100% uptime in combat. There’s not much to be said here other than it providing more actual DPS than Bloodshed.
War Cry – Impunity
Resist mitigation is extremely vital to survival. One of the biggest things you will have trouble with as a dual wield barbarian will be ranged enemies with damaging ground abilities such as molten and plague. Impunity gives you a whopping +50% resist which is huge and in my opinion mandatory on any barbarian venturing into inferno.
Wrath of the Berserker – Insanity
This is the best ability in the game, period. WoTB by itself provides you with 15seconds of 10% critical chance, 25% attack speed, 20% dodge, 20% movement speed, and immunity to crowd control effects. If that wasn’t enough, insanity provides 100% additional damage during the duration. Due to the huge boost in damage, life steal scales insanely well with it. There have been times when I was at 5% hp, jailed with a full elite pack about to deliver the killing blow to me, and I simply popped Wotb to end up moments later at full health with another NV stack.
Demonic Tremor elites with shielding fast? WOTB
Phasebeast with nightmare fast? WOTB
Goat caster with molten knockback jailer? WOTB
Angry significant other nagging your head off? WOTB
WoTB is simply too good not to use.
25% more damage is huge. This spec runs no rage dumps and builds fury quite fast so it’s pretty easy to keep this up.
I use this for the added critical chance via mace. Remember, weapon mastery only looks at your main hand weapon when determining the type of benefit provided.
Critical chance and damage, nuff said.
Now that we’ve discussed some of the choices made into the spec I currently use, let’s take a look at some other options I recommend regarding abilities.
Cleave – Broadside
While the AoE capabilities of this ability and rune setup are well known, there is another huge benefit this package provides over frenzy. With cleave you can effectively move in between weapon swing delay with the goal of keeping mobs in front of you instead of surrounding you. This method not only prevents you from getting trapped within swarms of mobs, but also lowers your exposure to enemy attacks. This also works wonders against arcane enchanted, molten, fire chains, etc. This tactic can also be used with frenzy, though is nowhere near as effective.
Ignore Pain – Iron Hide/Ignorance is Bliss
It is common to run into situations where you will likely be exposed to extremely high damage output for short periods of time. This includes being vortexed into multiple arcane beams, being forced to run through damaging ground abilities to avoid being trapped and killed, engaging hard hitting monsters with the succubus debuff up, etc. Sometimes in situations like the ones I just mentioned crushing advance simply will not cut it for mitigation. Enter ignore Pain. As the name suggest, IP allows you to shrug off just about any amount of damage thrown at you for its duration. Additionally, when IP is combined with WotB, your barbarian will often be able to stick onto a target without having to worry about the 10000 arcane beams rotating on top of them. Often times, all you need are a good 5-7 seconds of uninterrupted damage output with WotB to cripple an elite pack. In the end, Ignore Pain should be brought in over Crushing Advance when the content you face is very challenging.
Furious Charge – Dreadnought
Dreadnought is an outstanding ability which gives you tons of healing potential and good mobility. It also packs a decent punch at 195% weapon damage. Additionally, it can be used to interrupt attacks from enemies through the built in knockback. An important property to note with charge is that you are immune to CC effects while the charge is in effect; this extends to the very last few frames of the charge attack animation. You can also charge while jailed which can definitely be lifesaving in certain situations.
Leap – Iron Impact
Leap with Iron Impact is another excellent tool. Not only does it give you extremely high mobility, but also provides you with a huge boost in mitigation for 4 seconds. This package is also very versatile as it can be used both offensively and defensively. Offensively it can be used to quickly close the gap on a high priority target. Defensively it can be used to escape fatal situations in a pinch. Combined with a fairly low cooldown and 300% armor buff, this is another VIP skill that you should strongly consider.
Threatening Shout – Falter
One of the most dangerous enemies of dual wield, and melee in general, are the Demonic Tremors in act3. Their high damage output combined with their knockback and built in shielding truly makes them a difficult foe to engage. Often times I have found that the protection of IP, Iron Impact, and Crushing Advance is wasted when Demonic Tremors decide to randomly shield during the duration of these abilities. A fantastic solution I have found has been Threatening Shout (TS) as its effects can be kept up indefinitely. The flip side is that TS is particularly weak against ranged enemies that have a tendency to split up, thus lowering your chances of tagging all of them with the shout.
Nerves of Steel, Tough as Nails, Inspiring Presence
I’ve grouped these together as they serve the purpose of improving your survivability. If you find yourself taking too much damage in your ventures, try replacing one of your offensive passives with one of these. In general, nerves of steel will provide the most armor gain for someone with a decent amount of vitality. Inspiring presence scales with hp and provides you with great sustain.