Sprint + Whirlwind = Feel like a Barb

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Updated: 6/5/2012

I am updating this thread because it seems many people are missing out on some of the later things I discussed about sprint and builds involving Run Like the Wind rune as a means of DPS and healing from Life on Hit. Originally, this thread proposed what was essentially a kiting build and while it certainly was viable a lot of people felt discouraged by the fact that it wasn't consistent with the theme of a Barb. However, after testing various sprint builds I have found that in general the superior sprint build doesn't use kiting as a primary strategy. Quite the opposite in fact as the more stuff you can hit the better the survivability.

My current build through Act 2 into Act 3.

So to summarize how this build works it is based on Sprint's Run Like the Wind rune to spawn tornadoes that will crit often enough to generate a substantial amount of fury from Battle Rage's Into the Fray. The mechanics of the tornadoes functions similarly to that of whirlwind in that they hit quite a few times very rapidly thus not requiring vast amounts of crit % to function. Combining this mechanic with an adequate amount of Life on Hit will allow a player to not only to output greater AoE damage per target than Frenzy by stacking the tornadoes close together, but will produce significantly more healing per target and will scale proportionally to the number of enemies you are hitting.

The primary drawback to sprint as a means of DPS and healing is that a player must be able to move to create the tornadoes and must be able to get mobs to run through or preferably sit in those tornadoes. This is where Whirlwind with the Hurricane rune comes in and why it is far more effective than kiting builds that use Leap or Furious Charge to get out of bad situations. Because Whirlwind allows a player to pass through enemies the issue of walls, halls, or getting surrounded are no longer a problem and in many cases are now to the player's advantage. A player can drop tornadoes in the dead center of an enemy or pack instead of just next to them or in front of them. This makes stacking easier and more effect, which in turn produces more fury, damage, and healing not to mention has a positive feedback with Whirlwind.

The last component is WotB with the Thrive on Chaos rune. Using this skill and rune together with Sprint and Whirlwind will allow a player to constantly refresh the duration indefinitely so long as the player has something to hit. The reason doing this is so invaluable compared to using Insanity or Slaughter is that it makes crowd control affixes like Jailer, Frozen, or Nightmarish over the entire fight a non-issue and that makes them all the more easier to kill and leaves fewer affixes that are actually deadly. Also, it is the most forgiving when fighting Teleporter, Shielding, Invulnerable, or a ranged enemy type that flees.

Unfortunately, most of the other skills are mandatory with the exception of the primary skill slot. I prefer Bash with Instigation as it gives me the fastest and most reliable fury for when starting on empty or accidentally running dry. Also, with a fast enough weapon speed Bash fury generation is enough to keep WotB refreshed. I wouldn't suggest having a non-primary in the slot as you will regret it when trying to kill a Treasure Goblin or accidentally let Battle Rage fall off and can't refresh it.

Now, this build won't magically carry people into Act 4 and I'm not claiming it is the best build. You will still get your face smashed in upon entering a new Act, but the upside is that it is just as viable as a tank build. So instead of hitting one mob for a puny % of its massive health pool you can be a zooming massive AoE monster that doesn't stop till everything is dead. You can be a Barb.
lolzy build but sounds fun. Go to this build when you're bored or upset haha. I gotta try this.
So the barb plays best running away crapping Tornados out his (or her) !@#$ like they just ate at a very bad mexican resteraunt.

It is very lolzy and fun, but it is also viable. Like I said I only have 10K DPS and I am able to burn down things as if I had more than double that because of stacking the tornadoes. I mean seriously this ties in an ability to get out when you need to kite to heal up while still doing damage, AoE large groups while having ridiculous healing, single target DPS with still ridiculous healing, and if you find an impossible champion pack you can actually run past them.
So the barb plays best running away crapping Tornados out his (or her) !@#$ like they just ate at a very bad mexican resteraunt.


Yes, you can kite if necessary, but again the better your Life on HIt healing and gear is the more you can just circle the group and mow them down.
So barbs aren't support to be tank/spank or mean for dps but rather a barbs are wizards in disguise that casts tornado and running around like a headless chicken, you've outdone yourself again blizzard.

Really should have put a difficulty level with each class so new players can know what to expect when they hit inferno with barb.
I went to try out sprint in act 1, which I'm overgeared for at this point, and I found it did do quite a bit of damage. Against a large single target like the butcher it was incredibly effective, especially once you pop wotb. It was much stronger in open areas, in the hallways leading up to the butcher I felt like I could never position correctly due to lack of space. I don't have life on hit gear yet so I can't comment on its effectiveness as a replacement for revenge.

I really want a way to work leap and maybe revenge/ignore pain into this build, as I feel like its hard to sprint correctly in confined areas and leap could help get out of bad positioning mistakes+generates fury+you could use the rune that slows on leaping away or even the stun. Revenge and ignore pain just so you dont always have to be running, you can turn and fight as well. The trouble is everything in your build already works together so well and its hard to replace more than maybe one move (t shout, the slow from which is really good and hard to give up).

Anyways, awesome job coming up with this creative build. Going to experiment with it, I don't know if I'm going to commit full time spots to BR and Sprint yet but you've got me interested
Works with whirlwind too for extra awesome sauce. I actually was able to remove revenge from my skill bar using sprint+tornado instead, with a 2h that has +900 life on hit
Yeah I have 1300 LoH now and in big packs I'm seeing 5-7k a second.
How do you generate rage to keep sprinting?

Whats the gimmick run tight circles around mobs?
How do you generate rage to keep sprinting?

Whats the gimmick run tight circles around mobs?

That's the biggest thing I'm wondering about too.
You use Battle Rage with the fury on crit rune. Each time a tornado crits, which is often, you get fury back. Then you keep sprinting
I hate this game right now for what it is putting me through as far as Act II and this sounds absolutely fantastically fun.
Yes Battle Rage with Into the Fray has a chance on crit to give you 15 Fury. If you have 20% crit or the tornadoes will easily crit enough to return more than you spend. Also, like I said in the OP you really want WotB with Thrive on Chaos. During WotB I have 36% crit and running circles around even a single target keeps WotB up not just permanently, but can actually manage to bring it back to 30secs quickly letting you go as long as you got something to hit.

I forgot to mention you can actually carry people in co-op with this build. I did 4 person co-op with 3 ranged that got 1 shot by butcher's chains and practically soloed him while completely ignoring the fire and I'm a 10k DPS barb. Imagine what just a 30k+ barb with 2 weapons that have 500+ life on hit could do. That is what is so amazing about sprint is that it scales to have both high single target DPS and AoE whilst being a pseudo-range ability that you can kite with and give a greater healing return from LoH.

Finally, there is an exceptionally high value to being able to deal damage while constantly moving. By design mob AI attempts to surround a player. Essentially there is a fix amount of room or slots around our character for standard melee range. If a pack of 10 mobs is in front of you and the first 3 or 4 fill up the front side of the melee area then the rest path around to fill the sides and the back. So even when you are in melee range of a pack by moving you are forcing the mobs that can't reach from your closest side to constantly chase your open side. Add in swing timers and you can basically make it so most of the pack doesn't even hit you.
Can anyone quickly test for me whether weapon master + mighty weapon returns fury on those tornado hits? It'd be cool to swap into the fray for something else ... with so many hits, maybe swords to ploughshares might actually work well? >:)
yup. We should dub it the hongkan build in honor of creativity. I just used this OPs modificiatiions and it works without ne new equipment except 400 hp life on hit sword.

even with my crap 6.7k dps
Im lvl 55 and I'm experimenting with this as well, having come across this thread on accident. I'm using sprint, however whats the deal w/ weapon throw?
Why don't you just use Furious charge w/merciless assault and tornado sprint? You generate a tornado per charge because of the distance...it's much more effective then running around. You'll also be able to hit-stunlock mobs cause of knockback and repeated tornado hits.
Totally the opposite of what I imagine a barb to be, lol
I can confirm that this build is awesome. Fury generation is not a problem after the first sprint. I don't even use a primary ability. I call this the "close kite" build. You're not really running away so much as running circles around the mobs. It's like a manual whirlwind.


Watch this guy's video for a demonstration:


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