Barbarian Leveling Build Guide (Patch 2.7.1 / Season 24)

Last updated on Jul 23, 2021 at 08:20 by Deadset 37 comments

The purpose of the beginner Barbarian guide is to provide you with a build and item recommendations that will reliably carry you from leveling, through the pre-Torment difficulties and get you into low Torment farming, without requiring specific legendary or set bonuses.

This guide is part of our Barbarian Class Hub, which also includes early builds for fresh 70 characters.

1.

Leveling Build

Active Skills
Left Mouse Button Rend Icon Rend Bloodbath Bloodbath Right Mouse Button Whirlwind Icon Whirlwind Wind Shear Wind Shear 1 Ground Stomp Icon Ground Stomp Wrenching Smash Wrenching Smash 2 Leap Icon Leap Iron Impact Iron Impact 3 War Cry Icon War Cry Charge! Charge! 4 Wrath of the Berserker Icon Wrath of the Berserker Insanity Insanity
Passive Skills

Note that while the skills and runes recommended in the build are specifically chosen to be available at an early level and remain a solid pick throughout the leveling and early character progression, you will have to temporarily work with other skills as the build gradually unlocks. To familiarize yourself with the class, experimentation is strongly encouraged.

1.1.

Video Guide

The following video guide was created to accompany the present written guide and demonstrate how to play the build in-game.

2.

Rotation

The build revolves around the DoT superiority of Rend Rend, capable of tagging multiple enemies with a lethal effect while allowing you to move on, increasing leveling and early farming efficiency. To further increase its potency, you will seek out big packs with either Leap Leap or Furious Charge Furious Charge, and draw a crowd towards the carnage with Ground Stomp Ground Stomp Wrenching Smash Wrenching Smash. Buff up regularly with War Cry War Cry, and activate Wrath of the Berserker Wrath of the Berserker whenever you engage elites or a large fight ensues.

3.

Skills, Runes, and Passives

The basis of every build lies in its chosen damage dealing skills. As they invariably require resource or cooldown management mechanics of some sort, and such are scarce for low level and less geared characters, you will focus on fewer damage dealing abilities early on. The typical early game build will feature a dominant damage dealer, a mobility skill, buffs and/or shields, and resource generators (either active or passive). The recommended split is:

  • Slot 1 — Damage dealing ability: Making his own twist of the hit-and-move strategies of power leveling, the Barbarian acquires a powerful DoT in the form of Rend Rend as early as level 5. You will enlarge its radius soon after, taking the Ravage Ravage rune at level 11, and stick with it for a significant portion of your leveling. During the final stretch, and especially once you hit max level, it is recommended to switch to the powerful Bloodbath Bloodbath rune, basically triggering several Rend Rends at the cost of one.
  • Slot 2 — Generator: Since Fury does not replenish on its own and Rend Rend can be a costly ability in the thick of battle, you will need to add some form of resource generation to the build. Early on, primary skills can fulfill the purpose — either AoE like Cleave Cleave (level 3) with Rupture Rupture (level 9), or ranged like Weapon Throw Weapon Throw (level 17) with Ricochet Ricochet (level 25). Midway through leveling, you will gain the Wind Shear Wind Shear rune for Whirlwind Whirlwind, making the spender almost self-sufficient. If you are confident in handling the Barbarian resources at that point, you should add Whirlwind Whirlwind in to significantly boost your damage and improve combat mobility (as channeling the skill removes enemy collision).
  • Slot 3 — Mobility skill: You have two significant options for the role, each bringing its own benefits to the build. Leap Leap is available at level 8, and following the gambling trick outlined in the gearing section, will essentially be tripled by Lut Socks Lut Socks from the earliest character progression stages. This will significantly increase its utility with the Iron Impact Iron Impact rune (level 14), allows it to cover much great distances and makes it generate 45 Fury. If the gambling strat does not work out due to RNG, or you simply choose not to follow it, you still have a great movement tool in the form of Sprint Sprint (level 16), further improved by the Marathon Marathon rune at level 38.
  • Slot 4 — Utility: You can make a definite improvement to your AoE efficiency with Rend Rend by adding Ground Stomp Ground Stomp to the build as early as level 4. As if the base stun effect does not disable monsters enough, you will be improving it with the pull effect of the Wrenching Smash Wrenching Smash rune at the tender level 18, and keeping it throughout the leveling process. The Fury generation aspect is simply gravy on top.
  • Slots 5 and 6 — Buffs: While you can use the protective Threatening Shout Threatening Shout nearly at the start (level 14), it is recommended that you swap it for War Cry War Cry when it becomes available at level 28. The latter has a larger radius of the party-wide buff, synergizes better with farming-oriented legendary effects like Chilanik's Chain Chilanik's Chain, and has a generous restorative rune in the form of Charge! Charge!, unlocking at level 35. Your final active skill slot will be reserved for the trademark Barbarian self-buff, Wrath of the Berserker Wrath of the Berserker, arriving mid-leveling at level 30. Its strongest rune, Insanity Insanity, comes shortly thereafter (level 40) and will remain with you well into the endgame.
  • Passives: Some of the strongest passive options for Barbarians will unlock very early on, adding nicely to a beginner build. Ruthless Ruthless opens up at level 10, and adds a whopping 40% multiplicative damage increase vs. injured enemies — ensuring Rend Rend will finish them off in due time. Nerves of Steel Nerves of Steel comes shortly thereafter at level 13, adding a cheat death failsafe to this head on, in-your-face build. Arguably the most utility-packed defensive passive, Superstition Superstition arrives at the level 30 junction, and adds surprisingly effective, combat-based resource gain on top of its obvious damage mitigation. Unlocking last (level 68), but likely staying forever in your passive selection, Rampage Rampage directly influences damage and toughness by scaling your Strength.
4.

Gear and Stats Priorities

As the leveling process in Diablo 3 is relatively quick, specific legendary recommendations are impossible. During leveling finding upgrades is frequent, so your gear will be swapped in and out within the span of a few minutes. Following the in-game comparison system and the stat priorities outlined in the tables below will result in a solid character throughout the leveling journey.

Note that skill damage and elemental damage recommendations only apply if the majority of your damage is done through that skill or element. For alt characters however, sockets take priority above all other attributes, since you can slot high level gems and benefit massively from their stat increase. For the purposes of an alt character, leveling a Gem of Ease Gem of Ease to level 25 and socketing it in a level 70 weapon will be the single biggest boost you can provide to the leveling process.

5.

Changelog

  • 23 Jul. 2021: Reviewed for Season 24.
  • 02 Apr. 2021: Reviewed for Season 23.
  • 13 Mar. 2020: Reviewed for Season 20.
  • 22 Nov. 2019: Page added.
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