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Barbarian Build Leap/Earthquake with Might of the Earth (Patch 2.4.2 / Season 7)

Last updated on Jul 26, 2016 at 13:49 by Deadset 77 comments

Table of Contents

Patch 2.4 marked the return of the Earthquake Barbarian with a revision to the Might of the Earth set, along with a slew of synergistic items that reinforce the build's damage and survival in high Greater Rifts. This build offers a decent balance between AoE and single target potential, along with a hefty amount of crowd control, and is available in both solo progression and speedfarming variations, explained in that order.

The build requires the following set pieces:

1. Builds

Solo Progression Solo Progression Alternative Speedruns
Active Skills
Left Mouse Button Earthquake Icon Earthquake Cave-In Cave-In Right Mouse Button Ancient Spear Icon Ancient Spear Boulder Toss Boulder Toss 1 Battle Rage Icon Battle Rage Bloodshed Bloodshed 2 Leap Icon Leap Death from Above Death from Above 3 Threatening Shout Icon Threatening Shout Falter Falter 4 Wrath of the Berserker Icon Wrath of the Berserker Insanity Insanity
Passive Skills
(battle.net link)
Active Skills
Left Mouse Button Earthquake Icon Earthquake Cave-In Cave-In Right Mouse Button Seismic Slam Icon Seismic Slam Strength from Earth Strength from Earth 1 Battle Rage Icon Battle Rage Bloodshed Bloodshed 2 Leap Icon Leap Death from Above Death from Above 3 Threatening Shout Icon Threatening Shout Falter Falter 4 Wrath of the Berserker Icon Wrath of the Berserker Insanity Insanity
Passive Skills
(battle.net link)
Active Skills
Left Mouse Button Earthquake Icon Earthquake Cave-In Cave-In Right Mouse Button Ancient Spear Icon Ancient Spear Boulder Toss Boulder Toss 1 Battle Rage Icon Battle Rage Ferocity Ferocity 2 Leap Icon Leap Death from Above Death from Above 3 Threatening Shout Icon Threatening Shout Falter Falter 4 Wrath of the Berserker Icon Wrath of the Berserker Insanity Insanity
Passive Skills
(battle.net link)

2. Rotation

The build begins runs by casting the Battle Rage Battle Rage buff, maintained throughout the rift's duration. The typical rotation during a fight is a triple Leap Leap into the thick of enemies, with a Threatening Shout Threatening Shout interwoven between Leap Leaps to debuff your opponents, and if it is off cooldown — applying Wrath of the Berserker Wrath of the Berserker for the boost of damage, toughness, and utility. You can also trigger your own Earthquake Earthquake on cooldown, without affecting the Leap Leap-induced Earthquake Earthquakes. Once you have exhausted your cooldowns, dump all your Fury with a well-placed Ancient Spear Ancient Spear Boulder Toss Boulder Toss shot, instantly resetting Leap Leap for the next round of devastation.

3. Skills, Runes and Passives

Earthquake Earthquake is the primary damage dealer of the build, but the majority of its triggers will come from Might of the Earth's 4-piece set bonus via Leap Leap. Nevertheless, it is important to have it on your skill bar, as the set Earthquake Earthquakes will inherit the rune you have selected, and one more Earthquake Earthquake under your control is welcome damage. Despite not being the highest damage rune, the enemy pulling potential of the physical Cave-In Cave-In makes it the preferred choice because of the sheer control you exert over combat. While the remainder of the guide assumes you have picked Cave-In Cave-In for its utility, it should be noted you can gamble on good density rifts and attempt to best your leaderboard position with the highest damage dealing rune, Molten Fury Molten Fury. If you choose to do so, swap the elemental damage on gear from Physical to Fire.

The physical synergy ties into the spenders of the build, with two viable skills vying for the spot. Ancient Spear Ancient Spear Boulder Toss Boulder Toss is a long range, small radius nuke that dumps all of your Fury and packs a punch. At the same time, it triggers the Might of the Earth 2-piece bonus, instantly resetting the Leap Leap cooldown for the next rotation. Alternatively, you can switch into Seismic Slam Seismic Slam; while it will reset Leap Leap slower (triple hit versus a single Boulder Toss Boulder Toss), it brings significantly better AoE and decent sustain from the Strength from Earth Strength from Earth rune.

Battle Rage Battle Rage is a staple buff of the Barbarian that boosts your damage directly along with your Crit Chance, and adds a devastating source of AoE damage with the Bloodshed Bloodshed rune. Its generous 2-minute duration makes Battle Rage Battle Rage prone to falling off due to forgetfulness, so make a point to spare the 20 Fury and re-cast it every now and then. Once you group up enemies with Cave-In Cave-In, Bloodshed Bloodshed becomes a significant factor in your damage, reinforcing its reign over the other runes. In speedfarming where you can overkill on damage with a well-equipped character, you can swap Bloodshed Bloodshed for the movement speed boost of Ferocity Ferocity.

Leap Leap is a skill of manifold utility in the build. First and foremost, it delivers the bulk of your damage by casting Earthquake Earthquake at your landing location through the Might of the Earth 4-piece set bonus. Second, it gains the benefits of the Iron Impact Iron Impact rune for free (again, from the 4-piece MotE), skyrocketing your Armor with a 150% buff for 4 seconds. Third, by taking the Death from Above Death from Above rune, you gain a 3-second stun on affected enemies. And last but not least, it remains a movement skill that can take you over gaps and obstacles, ensuring a getaway from harm.

Flipping the traditionally defensive Threatening Shout Threatening Shout skill into a debuff, the Falter Falter rune makes affected enemies more susceptible to damage but leaves their damage unchanged — a drawback that should be negated by the hard CC at your disposal. The Threatening Shout Threatening Shout radius conveniently matches the Cave-In Cave-In pull range, ensuring all combatants will be debuffed.

The signature barbarian steroid Wrath of the Berserker Wrath of the Berserker is strengthened further by the damage rune Insanity Insanity. While the skill has significantly lower uptime compared to Immortal King-based builds, you still cut the cooldown by a decent margin with the passive Boon of Bul-Kathos Boon of Bul-Kathos, allowing you to take advantage of the Dodge, Crit Chance, Attack and Movement Speed bonuses often enough.

Notice that you will not be including Avalanche Avalanche on your skill bar, but you will still receive its base effect from Blade of the Tribes Blade of the Tribes; this unruned effect is still synergistic due to its physical element.

This rounds out the overview of the Active Skills, now let us look through the Passives.

Rampage Rampage is a staple in Barbarian endgame builds, as they often emphasize swift movement from battle to battle, seeking and creating additional density through skills, and trash killing efficiency. The Earthquake Barbarian is no exception. With the potential to stack up to 25% additional Strength, increasing your damage and toughness substantially, it is important to learn to keep this passive up. Always being on the move towards bigger fights, where killing trash enemies will feed your stacks, is crucial.

The second endgame passive staple is Ruthless Ruthless, a multiplicative damage bonus that benefits you more the tougher your enemy is. Once you bring your target below 30% health, your damage is boosted by an additional 40% — especially useful on Rift Guardians, ensuring the end of the fight will be ahead of the timer.

Earthen Might Earthen Might is a logical passive inclusion in the build, ensuring you will easily cap on Fury with a triple Leap Leap and Threatening Shout Threatening Shout rotation, ready to dump with a Boulder Toss Boulder Toss and begin the cycle anew.

Taking advantage of two thirds of the Boon of Bul-Kathos Boon of Bul-Kathos utility, the Earthquake Barbarian enjoys significantly lower cooldowns on both his on-bar Earthquake Earthquake and the powerful self-buff Wrath of the Berserker Wrath of the Berserker. Higher uptime of the latter is especially important when Greater Rifting, where the damage and survival bonuses of Wrath of the Berserker Wrath of the Berserker can make the difference for a successful clear.

4. Best in Slot Gear and Alternatives

The build takes advantage of the full Might of the Earth set bonuses, taking all six available pieces and opening up the jewelry slots for the damage multiplication of the Bastions of Will set. Rolls-wise, this Earthquake-centric playstyle makes good use of skill and area damage bonuses across gear. Area Damage and Cooldown Reduction are ideal rolls on the Spires of the Earth Spires of the Earth, alongside Toughness stats. Earthquake Earthquake skill % bonuses are best accompanied by Toughness stats on the Spirit of the Earth Spirit of the Earth. Spender skill damage (either Ancient Spear Ancient Spear or Seismic Slam Seismic Slam, depending on your preference) can be rolled on helm and boots, but it is advisable to only take it on the Foundation of the Earth Foundation of the Earth as the fourth primary stat, and leave the high Strength, Vitality and Crit Chance rolls on Eyes of the Earth Eyes of the Earth. Crit Chance and Crit Damage are sought after on Pull of the Earth Pull of the Earth, alongside Strength and Vitality. Weight of the Earth Weight of the Earth should be dedicated purely to Toughness rolls.

Not skipping on any of the pieces required to obtain the 6-piece set bonus of Might of the Earth opens a powerful offense combo in the jewelry: the Bastions of Will set, Focus Focus and Restraint Restraint. These rings offer an unparalleled 2.25 independent damage multiplier as long as you alternate between generating and spender attacks, a requirement which you fulfill by alternating Leap Leap and Ancient Spear Ancient Spear. Seek double Crit stats, Area Damage and an open Socket as the best-in-slot stats for both Focus Focus and Restraint Restraint.

To complete the jewelry, you have a number of options for the amulet slot. A crafted Hellfire Amulet Hellfire Amulet with good rolls and a solid fifth passive (Nerves of Steel Nerves of Steel, Animosity Animosity, Brawler Brawler) is easily the best, and only rivaled by immunity amulets like Mara's Kaleidoscope Mara's Kaleidoscope and Xephirian Amulet Xephirian Amulet. A perfect roll would include both Crit stats, Physical elemental damage and an open Socket.

Dread Iron Dread Iron has been reworked into a mighty belt tailored after Earthquake Earthquake builds, offering four primary stats for optimal tankiness and a bonus fifth in the form of an Avalanche Avalanche skill bonus — up to the whopping 200%. For the Seismic Slam Seismic Slam variation however, it is necessary to swap into Girdle of Giants Girdle of Giants for its Earthquake Earthquake damage amplification. When doing Torment runs, both the extra Earthquake and the extra Avalanche damage will be overkill, and you can easily replace this belt with Goldwrap Goldwrap — working alongside Boon of the Hoarder Boon of the Hoarder and a cubed Avarice Band Avarice Band, this legendary will render you practically immortal as long as you pick up gold.

You have a degree of freedom when picking out your bracer. For the absolute highest tiers of Greater Rifts, you can gamble on the AoE superiority of the build and amp up your survivability significantly by including Ancient Parthan Defenders Ancient Parthan Defenders into the build (triggered by the Death from Above Death from Above stun). When playing the Ancient Spear Ancient Spear variation in low to mid tier Greater Rifts, you can speed up your Rift Guardian clear by taking Skular's Salvation Skular's Salvation bracers; doubling the base damage of Ancient Spear Ancient Spear Boulder Toss Boulder Toss and adding another 150% as long as you hit 5 or fewer enemies, this legendary item will help you break through the high HP bottleneck. When playing the Seismic Slam Seismic Slam variation in low to mid tier Greater Rifts, you should swap into Bracers of Destruction Bracers of Destruction to ramp up your spender damage by up to 400%. Finally, if you are confident in your damage and survivability in speedruns and neither of the aforementioned options assists you much, you can safely swap into Nemesis Bracers Nemesis Bracers to cut down clear times by spawning additional elites.

Finally, Blade of the Tribes Blade of the Tribes is a patch 2.4 addition designed around the Earthquake Barbarian. It matches its imposing looks with a hefty 200% increase to Earthquake Earthquake damage, and a unique power that turns two utility cooldowns — Threatening Shout Threatening Shout and War Cry War Cry — into another source of damage, each casting a simultaneous Avalanche Avalanche and Earthquake Earthquake upon use.

Slot Pieces Stat Priority
Head
  1. Strength
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Socket
  4. Vitality
  5. Ancient Spear or Seismic Slam %
Shoulders
  1. Strength
  2. Vitality
  3. Area Damage
  4. Cooldown Reduction
  5. Earthquake %
Torso
  1. Strength
  2. 3 Sockets
  3. Vitality
  4. Earthquake %
Legs
  1. Strength
  2. Vitality
  3. 2 Sockets
  4. All Resistance
Hands
  1. Strength
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Critical Hit Damage
  4. Vitality
Feet
  1. Strength
  2. Vitality
  3. Ancient Spear or Seismic Slam %
  4. All Res
Waist
  1. Strength
  2. Vitality
  3. All Resistance
  4. Life per Fury Spent
Wrists
  1. Strength
  2. Physical %
  3. Critical Hit Chance
  4. Vitality
Ring #1
  1. Critical Hit Chance
  2. Critical Hit Damage
  3. Socket
  4. Cooldown Reduction
Ring #2
  1. Critical Hit Chance
  2. Critical Hit Damage
  3. Socket
  4. Cooldown Reduction
Amulet
  1. Critical Hit Chance
  2. Critical Hit Damage
  3. Socket
  4. Physical %
Weapon
  1. High Damage Range
  2. Strength
  3. Socket (preferably from Ramaladni's Gift Ramaladni's Gift)
  4. Life per Fury Spent
  5. Vitality

5. Paragon Points

Slot Paragon Points
Core
  1. Movement Speed up to 25% cap
  2. Maximum Fury
  3. Strength
  4. Vitality
Offense
  1. Cooldown Reduction
  2. Critical Hit Chance
  3. Critical Hit Damage
  4. Attack Speed
Defense
  1. All Resistance
  2. Life %
  3. Armor
  4. Life Regeneration
Utility
  1. Area Damage
  2. Life on Hit
  3. Gold Find
  4. Resource Cost Reduction

6. Gems

In progression, your three jewelry sockets will be taken up by the legendary gems Bane of the Trapped Bane of the Trapped, Bane of the Stricken Bane of the Stricken, and Esoteric Alteration Esoteric Alteration. When speedfarming, Bane of the Stricken Bane of the Stricken will be replaced by Bane of the Powerful Bane of the Powerful and in Torments, Esoteric Alteration Esoteric Alteration will be swapped out for Boon of the Hoarder Boon of the Hoarder.

  • Bane of the Trapped Bane of the Trapped is a potent source of additional damage, as it is its own multiplier in your total damage calculation. The gem procs itself with its level 25 property, and is otherwise kept up with the Death from Above Death from Above stun, making it an integral part of this crowd control-heavy setup.
  • Introduced in Season 4, Bane of the Stricken Bane of the Stricken takes a firm slot in the second jewelry socket. Building up your damage multiplicatively in prolonged fights and with a level 25 bonus specifically targeting Rift Guardians, this gem is designed to assist AoE heavy builds in their struggle against single target, high HP enemies. In farming content the value of this gem diminishes greatly, and it is best replaced by the speedrun staple Bane of the Powerful Bane of the Powerful for its overall damage and toughness increase.
  • Esoteric Alteration Esoteric Alteration is the strongest mitigation gem available, and its impact is noticeable in an all-in, facetanking build like the Earthquake Barb. Improving your elemental resistances with every gem level, as well as providing you with a last line of defense against one shots through the level 25 property, Esoteric Alteration Esoteric Alteration edges over other defensive options like Molten Wildebeest's Gizzard Molten Wildebeest's Gizzard and Mutilation Guard Mutilation Guard. In Torments, you can swap this gem out for Boon of the Hoarder Boon of the Hoarder to encase yourself in a near-impenetrable layer of defense and speed from the interaction with the worn Goldwrap Goldwrap and cubed Avarice Band Avarice Band.
Slot Gems
Jewelry
Helm
Torso and Pants
Weapon

7. Kanai's Cube

The Kanai's Cube recommendations are as follows: The Furnace The Furnace (Progression) or In-geom In-geom (Speedfarm) for the weapon slot, Lut Socks Lut Socks for the armor slot, and Band of Might Band of Might (Progression) or Avarice Band Avarice Band (Torments) for the jewelry slot.

  • Cubing The Furnace The Furnace provides you with an incomparable source of bonus elite damage, significantly shortening fights with champion packs and Rift Guardians — arguably the most dangerous fights in Greater Rift progression attempts. The time and danger associated with these fights is significantly lesser when speedfarming, and swapping this cube slot for In-geom In-geom will provide you with a steady flow of Wrath of the Berserker Wrath of the Berserker activations, greatly improving clear speed.
  • A former best-in-slot item for the build, Lut Socks Lut Socks find a new home for their power in Kanai's Cube, making way for the full set and offense jewelry. This does not lessen their impact in the build, and they remain a key piece for the playstyle by allowing three Leaps within a 2-second window before the cooldown begins.
  • Introduced in Patch 2.4, Band of Might Band of Might offers superior mitigation for the build when progressing GRs: 60% damage reduction vs. 50% for Unity Unity, as well as independence from a follower, all for the modest requirement of casting Leap Leap at least once every 8 seconds. Notably, extremely high-end clears with Earthquake Barbs have abandoned the protection of Band of Might Band of Might, gambling on favorable rift and monster composition and taking the full offense power of a cubed Convention of Elements Convention of Elements. As a final note, during Torment farm you can use Avarice Band Avarice Band in conjunction with a worn Goldwrap Goldwrap and a gemmed Boon of the Hoarder Boon of the Hoarder to bolster and speed yourself up significantly.

8. Follower

For more information regarding followers, we advise you to read our Follower Guide, which contains detailed advice for choosing the skills and the gear of your follower.

9. ChangeLog

  • 26 Jul. 2016: Updated the guide for Patch 2.4.2 and included variations for both high GRs and speedruns.
  • 18 Apr. 2016: Slight revision to stat preference and gemming.
  • 21 Jan. 2016: Build and Battle.net link were listing Berserker Rage instead of Earthen Might. This has been fixed.
  • 11 Jan. 2016: A full revision of the build reflecting Patch 2.4.
  • 24 Aug. 2015: Added Kanai's Cube recommendations for Patch 2.3.
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