Need help with my Barb.

Barbarian
Hey all,

First time posting here on the Barb forums. As a quick backstory, I played D3 pretty avidly for a while after launch, but two months in I became burned out and took a break. That said, two weeks ago I decided to come back, and am enjoying some of the changes made to the game quite a bit, such as Monster Power.

Now, of course, I missed a lot when it comes to gearing priorities and theorycrafting over the past eight months, so am quite clueless as to what exactly I need to do in terms of gearing to get my barb where he needs to be for MP10 soloing. When I left the game way back in July, it was still all about survivability and resists, but now most of the stat priorities seem to have shifted to CD and CC to be able to keep up with the insane health pools presented by MP10. I've also heard quite a bit about two builds in particular, WW and HotA, both which seem to be doing quite well.

So, my question is, how should I go about gearing up my barb? I've bought a few items off the AH to try and make the jump from complete survivability to DPS, but before I start to really commit to gearing I decided it would be best to come here and ask for some advice from experienced players. As my gear stands, I'm only able to solo up until MP2 before I run into survivability issues, and because of the half year break I took, I do not have anywhere close to enough gold to straight up buy my way to MP10 (unless I head over to the RMAH).

So, to any Barb vets willing to give an inexperienced player some help, what's my best bet in terms of gear choices? I know the question is quite general, but for right now, what I need most is a general answer to bring me up to date on the class.

Thanks in advance!

TLDR: Coming back to the game after an extensive break, need help gearing my Barb.
Hi Zev,
Welcome back!
Others here know far more about gearing, but here's what I see taking a quick look at your build:
1) Some LS would be nice. Probably belt is the easiest place to get that and some extra strength. Seems like 2k is a sweet spot for +str, but that's just from eyeballing profiles here.
2) vit is low. i've seen some folks deal with it by insuring there's a bit of vit in most pieces. others load up in spots (same with other stats).
3) Skorns are great, but I think you'd be better off with an LS skorn (which are pretty pricey) or an IAS Skorn (more reasonable). Those may be down the line though.
4) probably obvious, but upgrade gems as you can.
5) new chest piece with 3 sockets. there are many options here, but IK's eternal reign is one very popular option. I've seen folks have good luck crafting these as well. Won't be end-game quality, but that's not what you're looking for right now.
6) you might want to try rend:blood lust to keep life up if your having survivability issues.
7) seems like more attack speed would be good, but it won't be cheap as you would be losing CC or CD, or buying trifectas (which are usually pretty pricey).

Hope this helps.
for gearing, item choices, I am going to recommend you to drop in to phat's thread or nived's thread. They can definitely help you out there.

As for your current choice of skills, HoTA + WW? May I ask why? If you want to do pure HoTA, go HoTA + Rend, if you go pure WW, go WW + sprint. If you want to do HoTA hybrid, replace bash with sprint, if you want to do Rend hybrid, replace bash with Sprint, place HoTA with Rend. Sprint / Run like the wind is the soul of a ww build, it should always included.
Thanks for the responses guys, will definitely be looking into other, more theorycrafting-related threads to get an idea of the exact stat breakdowns. One thing I've noticed while looking at some of the top Barbarians gear sets via DiabloProgress is that, even with the high DPS, these players are all surviving MP10 with only ~500 AR and no LS. I know there's the passive but that's still only 3% of damage back, which seems low considering the damage output in the higher difficulties. Maybe I'm just missing something there.

As for my own build, I've been switching a few abilities in and out just for testing purposes, which is why it may have seemed odd when you took a look at it. The reason I swapped out Sprint was because I was having trouble keeping my Fury up, but I've watched a few Barb soloing videos since then and it seems that speeding through levels and kiting is the solution to that. I was also using WW in AoE scenarios, and HotA for single target DPS, but again, it seems like there are ways to workaround the single targeting by just kiting more.

The biggest issue for me right now is just acquiring all the gear needed to start seriously progressing. I'm not one to play the auction house, and I want to avoid the RMAH if I can (because once I start dropping money there I know it'll get out of hand), so it seems like I may just need to buckle up and start grinding for gold. Makes me regret the months I took off to play other games :P.

Anyways, any other helpful advice will be much appreciated ;).
Some of those barbs on dprogress are just competing for sheet dps or ehp and have very poorly balanced setups.

I would definately recommend having at least two slots of life steal, three at low-mid dps levels.

That's not to say that 3% lifesteal isn't viable however, if your dps and damage reduction are high enough it is plenty of healing for most scenarios. However, certain mob types or affix combination can seriously stress your healing threshold which is why it isn't recommended.

Eg) Reflect mobs by themselves are manageable with only 3% lifesteal. Reflect mobs with electrified/plague/molten/healthlink/succubus debuff/whatever other bull!@#$ is not manageable for most setups if you only have 3% lifesteal.

As for fury management, keep in mind that mobs on low mp will be dying so fast that it is going to be incredibly difficult to maintain wrath, especially with such low attack speed. Until you can bump up the difficulty level you may want to consider dropping wrath for a defensive skill or a fury generator (such as furious charge [merciless assault]).
Okay, so I've been screwing around with my build some more, and have decided that I simply do not enjoy playing any build that involves Sprint (hate having to keep it up), therefore any WW build seems to be out of the question.

That said, I do like HotA, but am having trouble surviving even the lower MP levels without the LS from WW, which leads me to believe that I am doing something drastically wrong. I know my gear is far from being ideal, but I'm figuring that a decent build should be able to at least keep me alive in MP1/MP2. Right now I'm using Bash to gain Fury, and using Overpower and HotA to pump out damage. I'm also keeping Battle Rage and War Cry up, which leaves me with one slot left to fill. I hear a lot about Rend being real good, but to be honest I can't see what the benefits of it are, as is wastes all my HotA Fury.

Anyways, pretty sure I'm just not understanding something, so if I am indeed completely lost, please let me know :).
Bad gear is still bad. Without a proper foundation to work on, you will have trouble getting a decent build to work. Most of the builds require a minimum amount of stats.

Rend: Blood Lust = free damage and healing for 5 seconds; lets you hammer away without worrying too much about healing. Drop a Rend before you start hammering.

If you wish to test the HotA/Rend build on a budget, I would recommend you re-balance your gear. Use Blackthorne's Surcoat (minimum 170+ Vit) + Blackthorne's Jousting Mail. Change the rare belt to Immortal King's Tribal Binding (minimum 170+ Str; gives you LS + 2 piece IK bonus).

If you don't mind losing 12% movement speed, use a budget 170+ Str Ice Climbers to boost your AR. With all the above changes, you should have about 40K Life and a little over 400 AR. That should be enough for low MP. You should be able to drop War Cry in favor of Rend: Blood Lust.

Use the HotA Thunderstrike rune if you're farming. The stun is invaluable when fighting large packs. You can drag elites to white mobs and use them to keep the elites stunned.

For higher MP, you will need to use WotB Thrive on Chaos.

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