Choose the Barbarian class if you want to experience the brutality of melee combat in its full, blood-drenched glory. The Barbarian deals in charging, slicing and smashing demons to a pulp — enraged with maddening frenzy, but standing strong and unrelenting through mighty war cries. You will build up your energies by rampaging around in combat, leaping and shouting, and channel the built up Fury into massive, sweeping strikes. The Barbarian is the epitome of a ruthless brawler in Diablo 3.
To go in-depth with the possible playstyles of the Barbarian class, refer to our specific build guides (see links below). If you are looking for some quick tips and tricks on learning the Barbarian, consider the advice on this page.
Diablo 2 Barbarian Builds
If you were looking for Diablo 2 content, please refer to our Diablo 2 Barbarian Builds.
Test the Big Spenders
In general, Diablo 3 builds revolve around a certain highly damaging skill or alternate form to slaughter hordes of monsters with. In the case of the Barbarian, this is the entire Secondary skill category ( Hammer of the Ancients, Rend, Seismic Slam, Whirlwind and Ancient Spear), plus some outliers ( Frenzy and Furious Charge). Get a feel for these skills — do you like the way they play out? Do you sense the pattern in their resource management? Can you predict the positioning required to deliver the most damage possible from your selected skill?
Pick one of the listed skills above that you like the most, then take a peek at our endgame build for said skill; try to play out in your head how the full rotation works. Early on, you might have to take an endgame build and adapt it a little — lacking the necessary legendary and set bonuses, you might suffer from lacking Fury and long cooldowns. Taking out a utility skill and adding a generator like Frenzy might be a better route.
Wrath of the Berserker
There is a reason Wrath of the Berserker is part of any Barbarian build that hopes to accomplish endgame solo content. This is a monster of a cooldown, increasing your base offensive stats by various percentages, and it can be further augmented with powerful runes like the damage amplifying Insanity or the protective Striding Giant. The highly sought after Mortick's Brace legendary grants you all the runes, for even greater mayhem!
Note Wrath of the Berserker's high cooldown, but be aware the class is able to work around this restriction; whether through the 6-piece bonus of the Immortal King set, cooldown reducing powers such as Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac, Messerschmidt's Reaver and In-geom, or simply a passive like Boon of Bul-Kathos.
War Cry and Battle Rage
These two utility skills are a staple combo in many Barbarian builds; matching in universal usefulness and mirroring in purpose, they are seen almost as frequently as Wrath of the Berserker. War Cry will bolster your defenses significantly, and sports massive uptime; use the Impunity rune earlier in character progression, then transition to Veteran's Warning in the endgame. Battle Rage is an offense-oriented inclusion, most frequently with the area damage boon of Bloodshed.
Mobility is a huge part of character progression in Diablo 3, and it is a rookie mistake to skimp on movement options in favor of more damage or defense. While one of the major endgame playstyles revolves around Leap (refer to our Earthquake Barbarian guide), the remainder turn to Furious Charge.
The reason lies in the rune Merciless Assault, whose self-sufficient cooldown reduction teaches you a number of valuable Barbarian lessons; judicious and precise use of movement, spotting big fights (to reset the cooldown with) and general fighting awareness with respect to highly damaging elite affixes (i.e. frozen pulses, molten explosions, etc.)
Learn the Arsenal of Items
Builds and skill choices are obviously important, but at the end of the day Diablo is a game about farming and equipping the right items. Learning which items will benefit your class the most, and then target farming them through gambling, upgrading rares into legendaries at the Cube and even reforging them into better rolls is crucial.
All 6-piece class sets (Immortal King, Raekor, Wrath of the Wastes, Might of the Earth), as well as the 2-piece weapon set Bul-Kathos, bring a valuable and powerful playstyle to the class. Barbarians also have the class-specific Mighty weapons and belts, which are suitably valuable for the class — legendaries like Blade of the Tribes, The Gavel of Judgment, Pride of Cassius and Girdle of Giants, among others. To learn more about the barbarian sets, please use the links below.
Bracers are also a vital slot for the class, with immensely impactful legendaries like Mortick's Brace, Bracers of the First Men and Skular's Salvation. Shoulders follow closely behind, with Fury of the Ancients and Vile Ward. Lastly, jewelry like Band of Might, Skull Grasp and the aforementioned Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac should always be kept in mind.
A Final Tip
The Barbarian thrives in exploiting massive groups of small enemies as he thrashes through the Rift. This is heavily implied by class-defining passives like Rampage and Ruthless, which focus on minion slaughter and dealing with its aftermath, respectively. As you learn this dynamic, never hesitate to include a fail-safe passive in the face of Nerves of Steel.
- 29 Oct. 2019: Page added.
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