Diablo® III

Barbarian Build and Gear Guide

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BARBARIANS! As we all know the best way to feel like a real barbarian is to have a collaborative comprehensive break down of our skills and stats so we can maximize our effective dps. This guide is to teach players how to gear their barb and to showcase some of the more popular Barbarian builds.

Let’s back track a bit to where I said that we need to maximize our effective dps. I say that with stress on the word EFFECTIVE. You know that number on your character sheet that says your dps? That number means very little if your body has rag-dolled across the screen. To have effective dps you want to be tanky enough to stay in and fight the enemies without having to constantly fall back and potion. But enough rambling. Let’s jump right into it!

GEARING OUT YOUR BEAST:
While gearing your barbarian, or any of your favorite classes for that matter, keep in mind that each item has a maximum stat value that differs for each item slot:
http://www.d3rmt.com/guides/diablo-3-item-stat-maximum-values/
As a barbarian you will want to maximize your Strength and Vitality so take a close look at your shoulders, belt, and chest and make sure you are getting a decent chunk of their primary stats. I also STRONGLY recommend that you get Life Steal on your belt because it tends to get pricey as a stat on weapons.

Some bare minimum goals to try to meet to succeed as the Barbarian:

*35,000 HP* -High amount of life to last through enemy burst damage
*650 of each resist* -[War Cry] runed with [Impunity] helps meet this goal
*40% Critical Hit Chance* -Many of the Barbarian’s skill mechanics require critical hits
*5% Lifesteal* -Life on hit also helps and more is always better

BARBARIAN BUILDS:

********************SPRINT-WHIRLWIND********************
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/barbarian#ahPURk!ZYV!YZcZYc

Example Adaptations of the build:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/barbarian#WhPURQ!ZYV!cZcZYb

Pros:
-Amazing AoE farming capability
-Superior mobility and speed
-Still effective with less gear but lots of room to grow with better gear
-Fastest build for farming on lower monster power levels

Cons:
-Low single target damage on enemies with small frames or enemies that run from you

HOW TO PLAY IT:
This build focuses on the combo of [Whirlwind] for mobility through enemies and [Sprint] runed with [Run Like the Wind] to drop little tornadoes behind you. The tornadoes in your wake and your Whirlwind skill have the ability to gain you Fury when they critically hit enemies because [Battle Rage] runed with [Into the Fray] let you! Because of the amount of fury this generates it allows you to keep up [Wrath of the Berserker] runed with [Thrive on Chaos] for a very very long time. [Bash] with [Instigation] is primarily used as the main attack because it only takes two hits to gain enough fury to start sprinting again.

GEARING FOR THE BUILD:
"Whirlwind damage alternates between Main Hand and Offhand to calulate damage per tick. It's tick rate is based on the attack speed of the next weapon queued to attack at the start of the Whirlwind.

Sprint tornados use strictly Mainhand weapon damage. Its tick rate is based on the attack speed of the weapon last used to attack, prior to popping sprint (the opposite of Whirlwind). More info here: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/6037344497?page=1 "
~CrazyJay

This allows players to focus less on the dps of their offhand but more on the stats it has to offer.

Side Note: A popular weapon for this build is Echoing Fury ( http://us.battle.net/d3/en/item/echoing-fury ) because it adds 0.21-0.25 attacks per second to BOTH weapons. When choosing to use the Echoing Fury I suggest using either a cold damage alternate weapon or a bonus cold damage Stone of Jordan as the fear effect will make the enemy run away from you. Without a slow effect it becomes rather annoying BUT with a slow effect it both locks the enemy out of casting or attacking AND keeps it on top of your tornadoes.

MAIN HAND:
-High Damage (Spear/Mace/Mighty Weapon/Echoing Fury) with as many of the following stats in this order of importance: Crit Damage / Socket (for more crit damage) / Strength~Vitality / Lifesteal / Life on Hit

OFFHAND:
-High Attack Speed (Dagger/Sword/Echoing Fury) with as many of the following stats in this order of importance: Lifesteal / Crit Damage / Socket (for more crit damage) / Strength~Vitality / Life on Hit / Attack Speed

********************Two-Hander + Hammer of The Ancients********************
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/barbarian#aZPcRk!ZYV!YZcZYc

Adaptation Examples:

Giant Hammers:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/barbarian#aZPcRk!ZYW!bZZZYc
Jump Stun Lock:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/barbarian#ZcXYRk!ZhW!ZZcZYc ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zbC74NdDvkw )

Pros:
-Best single target damage build
-Room for adaptations to the primary build
-Effective build for higher monster power levels

Cons:
-Slower at AoE farming than other builds
-Easy to get trapped/surrounded without mobility skills

HOW TO PLAY IT:
This build abuses the Critical Chance benefit of [Hammer of the Ancients] with [Battle Rage] runed with [Into the Fray]. While near full fury Hammer of the Ancients tends to just roll into more crits and pay for itself. The ability [Rend] runed with [Blood Lust] abuses the two handed damage to give a massive amount of life steal in an aoe making this build very survivable with less need to stack as much lifesteal. If you run into enemies that are hard to be near there is no harm in running in close, using Rend, and then backing off while Rend does its work. Keep in mind that the higher you keep your fury the more likely your Hammer of the Ancients will crit its target.

GEARING FOR THE BUILD:
Because your attacks are slower with a two-hander it takes time for your swing animation. Because of this it’s important to have a larger than normal health pool. I suggest at least 40,000 health. Make sure you are getting at least 200 vitality from your chest and have it socketed with 3 amethysts. When looking at weapons look for high amounts of critical hit damage and a socket followed by as much combined strength and vitality as you can get.

Side Note: Popular Weapons for this build include Fury of the Vanished Peak ( http://us.battle.net/d3/en/item/fury-of-the-vanished-peak ), Immortal King's Boulder Breaker ( http://us.battle.net/d3/en/item/immortal-kings-boulder-breaker ), and Skorn ( http://us.battle.net/d3/en/item/skorn )

********************WEAPON THROW********************

Harpoon-Rend Combo
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/barbarian#fdPcRk!ZYf!aYcZYc

Single Target/Boss Focused:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/barbarian#fdPQRk!ZYf!accZYc

AoE Farmer:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/barbarian#fePgRk!Zhf!ZbcaYc

Pros:
-Being ranged lets you gear yourself more offensively

Cons:
-Requires a lot of Critical Hit Chance to be effective

HOW TO PLAY IT:
This build focuses on the combo of the passive [No Escape] with the skill [Battle Rage] runed with [Into the Fray] to generate lots of fury and sustain [Weapon Throw] as a fury spender. With enough critical hit chance you will end up gaining lots of fury to dump on additional fury spenders like [Rend]. Keep in mind that this build is to allow your barb to focus on more offensive stats so you shouldn’t be trying to stay in melee range like you may be used to.

GEARING FOR THE BUILD:
This build is stressed very highly on Crit Chance and Crit Damage. Try to work towards 60% Crit Chance. Much like the Whirlwind Build you will want to focus your main hand weapon primarily on damage and your offhand primarily on attack speed. With this build though you will want to focus more on Crit Damage on your weapons. The lifesteal from your belt should sustain you well enough if you keep your distance from enemies so you won’t need to look for it on weapons.

Side Note: An easy trap to fall into is buying The Three Hundredth Spear ( http://us.battle.net/d3/en/item/the-three-hundredth-spear ). I recommend against getting this as a weapon. Firstly it only has room for one random magic property and you can’t get both a Socket and Crit Damage on it. Secondly it is only a level 59 and its damage is lower by comparison. Lastly it is a Spear and you won’t gain critical bonus from it with the Weapon Master passive.

MAIN HAND:
-High Damage that grants Crit from Weapon Master (Mace/Axe/Echoing Fury) with as many of the following stats in this order of importance: Crit Damage / Socket (for more crit damage) / Strength / Vitality

OFFHAND:
-High Attack Speed (Dagger/Sword) with as many of the following stats in this order of importance: Crit Damage / Socket (for more crit damage) / Strength / Vitality /Attack Speed
Edited by Swarm#1662 on 11/13/2012 3:59 PM PST
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*reserved*
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Posts: 6
*reserved just in case...*
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I liked this guide. Back when I was playing my barb, I went with the "tank and stack all resist" way of doing things, since everyone was doing that. Things seem to have changed recently, so I'm looking to get back into things and take a more offensive approach to the barb. It's certainly a heck of a lot more exciting just to think of it.

I might just go ahead and try these builds to see which one suits me best. However, my question is: Is there a build out there that is more: Dual wield/ Life on hit/ frenzy based?

I really like that playstyle. Does anyone have any tips for an inexperienced barb who wants to do such a build? What are some important things to keep in mind when gearing for that? I'm assuming "stack attack speed whenever possible" is the biggest tip of them all, but what else? What do I need to know about my weapons? What are some mechanics that I might not know about just from game tooltips? etc etc...
Edited by Boss#1285 on 11/13/2012 3:13 PM PST
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Posts: 6
I tried a Frenzy-Dread Bomb build a while back that was pretty fun: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/barbarian#WfPQRk!ZdV!cccbYc

It's based around getting crits with frenzy to fuel fury gain and then drop dread bomb nukes.

I would suggest an Echoing Fury with a decent damage offhand for a frenzy build. Lifesteal on both weapons and belt if you can.
Edited by Swarm#1662 on 11/13/2012 3:34 PM PST
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Nice guide you have written here.

However, you wrote the following about WW and RLTW:

GEARING FOR THE BUILD:
For weapons keep in mind that the Damage of your Sprint and Whirlwind is based off the damage of your main hand. HOWEVER The proc rate (Tics per second) of your Sprint and Whirlwind is based on the Attack Speed of your Offhand. This allows players to nearly completely ignore the dps of their offhand and instead focus on the stats it has to offer.


However, in this thread:
http://us.battle.net/d3/en/forum/topic/6037344497?page=1
it is explained differently, based on next/previous swing. To summarize that thread:

WW alternates between MH and OH to calulate damage per tick. It's tick rate is based on the attack speed of the next weapon queued to attack at the start of the WW.

Sprint RLTW nados use strictly MH weapon damage (as you stated). It's tick rate is based on the attack speed of the weapon last used to attack, prior to popping sprint (the opposite of WW).

Just though I'd point out the discrepancies of your claims to those of another barb. I'm new to barb myself, trying to learn as much as I can, and I want to make sure other new barbs are informed as well.

Again, thanks for this thread!
Edited by CrazyJay#1952 on 11/13/2012 3:42 PM PST
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Posts: 6
Thank you! I will correct the guide accordingly.

You are now part of the guide CrazyJay. Thank you for the input.
Edited by Swarm#1662 on 11/13/2012 3:57 PM PST
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Posts: 6
If anyone else has corrections or additions that can be added to this guide please feel free to contribute.
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Tough as nails, superstition and nerves of steel are pretty much 3 defensive passives you'll be swapping in or out depending on your current armor / resists.

I'm a new-ish barb, running Rend/Hota with a skorn and it's a good build but the problem is without proper fury management you tend to run out real quick (I'm horrible at it, so IK's 5 piece set was a good investment for me). Thing to remember with HotA is that if you get a "bad crit run" and your fury starts dropping really quickly when spamming it, might be worth it to pause and get off a few bashes instead to refill your fury pool. The fury-crit chance of hota + into the fray is really something that feeds off itself after all.

Question for the pros - How much resists and armor are you guys running for mp8 or 9 with only 3% lifesteal and little/no Loh?
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