Barbarian Build Leap/Earthquake with Might of the Earth (Patch 2.5 / Season 10)
Table of Contents
- 1. Builds
- 2. Rotation
- 3. Skills, Runes and Passives
- 4. Best in Slot Gear and Alternatives
- 5. Paragon Points
- 6. Gems
- 7. Kanai's Cube
- 8. Follower
- 9. ChangeLog
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:
- Helm: Eyes of the Earth;
- Shoulders: Spires of the Earth;
- Chest: Spirit of the Earth;
- Gloves: Pull of the Earth;
- Pants: Weight of the Earth;
- Boots: Foundation of the Earth.
|Earthquake Molten Fury Seismic Slam Rumble 1 Battle Rage Swords to Ploughshares 2 Leap Death from Above 3 Threatening Shout Falter 4 Wrath of the Berserker Insanity|
|Earthquake Cave-In Seismic Slam Rumble 1 Battle Rage Ferocity 2 Leap Death from Above 3 Threatening Shout Falter 4 Wrath of the Berserker Insanity|
The build begins runs by casting the Battle Rage buff, maintained throughout the rift's duration. The typical rotation during a fight is a triple Leap into the thick of enemies, with a Threatening Shout interwoven between Leaps to debuff your opponents, and if it is off cooldown — applying Wrath of the Berserker for the boost of damage, toughness, and utility. You can also trigger your own Earthquake on cooldown, without affecting the Leap-induced Earthquakes. Once you have exhausted your cooldowns, dump all your Fury with a well-placed Seismic Slam Rumble shot, instantly resetting Leap for the next round of devastation.
3. Skills, Runes and Passives
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. Nevertheless, it is important to have it on your skill bar, as the set Earthquakes will inherit the rune you have selected, and one more Earthquake under your control is welcome damage. For high end Greater Rift progression, it is recommended that you take the highest damage dealing rune, Molten Fury, and gamble on good density and monster types. During lower GRs or normal rift speedruns, you can alternate to the rune Cave-In for the convenience of the pulling effect. Adjust elemental damage on gear between Fire and Physical according to your variation of choice.
Reworked in Patch 2.5, the Seismic Slam Rumble emerges as the most synergistic spender for Earthquake builds. Not only does it dump your entire Fury reserve (tying into the Might of the Earth 2-piece bonus for instantaneous Leap resets), but also triggers the effect of the Girdle of Giants mighty belt to ramp up the Earthquake devastation.
Battle Rage is a staple buff of the Barbarian that boosts your damage directly along with your Crit Chance. Two runes are favorable for GR progression: Swords to Ploughshares can offset your lackluster health sustain, while Bloodshed will provide superior AoE damage. In speedfarming, where you can easily overkill on damage with a well-equipped character, simply swap to the movement speed boost of Ferocity. In general, the generous 2-minute duration of Battle Rage makes it prone to falling off due to forgetfulness, so make a point to spare the 20 Fury and re-cast it every now and then.
Leap is a skill of manifold utility in the build. First and foremost, it delivers the bulk of your damage by casting Earthquake at your landing location through the Might of the Earth 4-piece set bonus. Second, it gains the benefits of the 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 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 skill into a debuff, the 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 radius is conveniently larger than the Earthquake, ensuring all combatants will be debuffed.
The signature barbarian steroid Wrath of the Berserker is strengthened further by the damage rune 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, allowing you to take advantage of the Dodge, Crit Chance, Attack and Movement Speed bonuses often enough.
This rounds out the overview of the Active Skills, now let us look through the Passives.
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, 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 is a logical passive inclusion in the build, ensuring you will easily cap on Fury with a triple Leap and Threatening Shout rotation, ready to dump with a Rumble and begin the cycle anew.
Taking advantage of two thirds of the Boon of Bul-Kathos utility, the Earthquake Barbarian enjoys significantly lower cooldowns on both his on-bar Earthquake and the powerful self-buff 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 can make the difference for a successful clear. Note that you can drop this passive in an In-geom-reliant speedrunning build, taking a farm-appropriate passive like Pound of Flesh.
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. Earthquake %, Area Damage and Cooldown Reduction are ideal rolls on the Spires of the Earth; Earthquake % is best accompanied by toughness stats on the Spirit of the Earth. While you can roll Seismic Slam % on both helm and boots, the overall damage coming from the Fury dump will be minimal and these rolls cannot be recommended over toughness stats. Crit Chance, Crit Damage and Area Damage are sought after on Pull 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 and 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 via Leap and Seismic Slam. Seek double Crit stats, Area Damage and an open Socket as the best-in-slot stats for both Focus and Restraint.
To complete the jewelry, you have a number of options for the amulet slot. A crafted Hellfire Amulet with good rolls and a solid fifth passive ( Nerves of Steel, Animosity, Brawler) is easily the best, and only rivaled by immunity amulets like Mara's Kaleidoscope and Xephirian Amulet. A perfect roll would include both Crit stats, elemental damage and an open Socket.
Girdle of Giants is the best-in-slot belt for Greater Rift progression, bringing a temporary damage increase to your Earthquakes after using Seismic Slam. When doing Torment runs, the extra Earthquake damage can be overkill, so you can easily replace this belt with Goldwrap — working alongside Boon of the Hoarder and a cubed 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 should lean on the AoE superiority of the build and amp up your survivability significantly by equipping Ancient Parthan Defenders (triggered by the Death from Above stun). During low tier GRs or normal rift speedruns, avoid the overkill in toughness by swapping to Nemesis Bracers, which will cut down clear times by spawning additional elites.
Finally, 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 damage, and a unique power that turns two utility cooldowns — Threatening Shout and War Cry — into another source of damage, each casting a simultaneous Avalanche and Earthquake upon use.
5. Paragon Points
In progression, your three jewelry sockets will be taken up by the legendary gems Bane of the Trapped, Bane of the Stricken, and Esoteric Alteration. When speedfarming, Bane of the Stricken will be replaced by Bane of the Powerful and in Torments, Esoteric Alteration will be swapped out for Boon of the Hoarder.
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 stun, making it an integral part of this crowd control-heavy setup.
Introduced in Season 4, 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 for its overall damage and toughness increase.
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 edges over other defensive options like Molten Wildebeest's Gizzard and Mutilation Guard. In Torments, you can swap this gem out for Boon of the Hoarder to encase yourself in a near-impenetrable layer of defense and speed from the interaction with the worn Goldwrap and cubed Avarice Band.
|Torso and Pants|
7. Kanai's Cube
Cubing 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 smaller when speedfarming, and swapping this cube slot for In-geom will provide you with a steady flow of Wrath of the Berserker activations, greatly improving clear speed.
A former best-in-slot item for the build, 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.
You have two viable routes to take in the jewelry slot of Kanai's Cube during Greater Rift progression. If you intend to push this build to its limits and do not care about overall safety of the build, you can gamble on favorable rift and monster composition by taking the full offense power of a Convention of Elements. A hardcore- and beginner-friendly alteration in the slot is Band of Might, offering 60% damage reduction for the modest requirement of Leaping at least once every 8 seconds. As a final note, during Torment farm you can use Avarice Band in conjunction with a worn Goldwrap and a gemmed Boon of the Hoarder to bolster and speed yourself up significantly.
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+ show all entries - show only 10 entries
- 28 Mar. 2017: Revised the guide to its full Seismic Slam transition, refined stat choices.
- 05 Jan. 2017: No changes needed for Season 9.
- 21 Oct. 2016: No changes needed for Season 8.
- 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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