Frenzy HotNS Barbarian BiS Gear, Gems, and Paragon Points
Below, we detail the items and gems that you should use for your Frenzy HotNS Barbarian in Diablo 3 and why. We also list your paragon points and Kanai's Cube items. Updated for Patch 2.7.5 and Season 28.
Best in Slot Gear and Alternatives
This build hinges on the full powers of the Horde of the Ninety Savages set, taking five of the six available HotNS set pieces and completing their power with a Ring of Royal Grandeur in the jewelry slot of the Cube. The remaining armor slots are taken by two pieces of the craftable Aughild's Authority set, i.e. Aughild's Search (mandatory) and Aughild's Power. This setup greatly increases damage dealt and reduces damage taken from elites and Rift Guardians, which makes it attractive for pushing high Greater Rifts and shines in certain rift compositions. Since this setup requires Ring of Royal Grandeur in the Cube, it will cost you either Convention of Elements (loss of cyclical damage spikes) or Band of Might (significant loss of toughness, not recommended), as well as the life sustain from options like Vambraces of Sescheron. If you set your character up with the Aughild combo (as per our recommendation for high GR pushing), include at least one Life per Hit roll on a weapon or the bracers.
Rolls-wise, this Frenzy-centric build requires Frenzy skill bonuses on both the belt ( The Undisputed Champion) and Leggings of Savages, and tries to spread Attack Speed, Cooldown Reduction and Area Damage bonuses as best it can to accommodate the needs for all three stats in the build. High toughness rolls are preferred on the Skull of Savages (alongside Crit Chance), Markings of Savages and Heel of Savages. The shoulders ( Aughild's Power in our example) need to balance main stats with CDR and Area Damage, while the Claws of Savages prioritize high offensive rolls like Crit Chance, Crit Damage, CDR and — eventually, at high Paragon — rerolling Strength into Area Damage.
Taking enough pieces to obtain the 6-piece bonus of Horde of the Ninety Savages naturally opens a powerful offensive combo in the jewelry: the Endless Walk set, The Compass Rose and The Traveler's Pledge amulet. This jewelry set adds a unique mechanic that slowly increases your damage by up to a 100% if you remain stationary, and drains it away and increases your damage reduction while moving. This dynamic mimics the Frenzy Barb playstyle, as you alternate between Furious Charge bursts of movement in search of the next important fight with extended periods of stationary Frenzy spam. Seek double Crit stats, Area Damage and an open Socket for The Compass Rose and double Crit stats, Cold elemental damage and an open Socket on The Traveler's Pledge amulet. Note that there are viable alterations in your jewelry, such as going all-out on DPS by using Focus and Restraint (and implementing a multiplier in your skills by taking out Furious Charge for Rend), and swapping your amulet to Squirt's Necklace.
Your other ring slot will be taken by the massive damage reduction of Band of Might, which greatly cuts incoming damage for the modest requirement of using Furious Charge at least once every 8 seconds — something you will do naturally with the flow of gameplay. Its ideal stats are Crit Chance, Crit Damage, an open Socket and either Area Damage or a flat Damage increase, with both bringing about equal value to the build.
The Undisputed Champion is a cornerstone legendary in the build, adding the effects of all Frenzy runes for free and amplifying the skill's damage. Note that one of the slots where skill damage for Primary skills (which Frenzy is) rolls is the belt, and try to obtain it. In a perfected roll, you can also try to get Chance to Freeze % in the Secondary stats, which will further improve the uptime of the damage bonus from the 2-piece Horde of the Ninety Savages.
Weapons-wise, you should be dual-wielding Oathkeeper and a synergistic legendary weapon; your best options being Azurewrath (recommended), The Burning Axe of Sankis, and Echoing Fury. Azurewrath provides up to 20% Cold elemental damage bonus, as well as a ~25% Chance to Freeze on Hit as a guaranteed secondary stat, which feeds into the 2-piece Horde of the Ninety Savages damage buff. The Burning Axe of Sankis is another alternative with a decent elemental damage bonus (up to 20% Fire damage) and a proc-based protective boon that mimics the base Ignore Pain effect. Remember to swap your gear rolls and selected Frenzy rune to match your weapon accordingly. Echoing Fury is an option for roughly the same reasons as the others, although the Fear on Hit is substantially less convenient as a means to proc the set damage. As for your second weapon, both aspects of the legendary power of Oathkeeper — increasing primary skill damage and their Attack Speed — are vital for HotNS Frenzy Barbs. Rolls-wise, aim for high weapon damage range, Area Damage, and Cooldown Reduction on both weapons (if you opt for Azurewrath, go for an Attack Speed roll on the Oathkeeper to ideally equalize its Attack Speed with the sword).
Desired Stats, Breakpoints and Other Notes
For Offense stats, try to obtain Frenzy % bonus on both the belt and pants (maximum of 30%), Cold elemental damage on both the amulet and wrists (maximum of 40%) and Crit Chance and Crit Damage within a 1:10 ratio (ideally over 50% and 500%, respectively). This build attempts a careful balance between Attack Speed, Cooldown Reduction and Area Damage stats. A suggested (but not mandatory — test and see what split you are comfortable with) setup would be to reach 45%+ CDR (achieved through Paragons, Flawless Royal Diamond in the helm), high CDR on both weapons, as well as your Shoulders and Gloves); 110% Area Damage (Paragons, Shoulders, Gloves and a Ring of your choice, for example); and 25% Attack Speed Increase (through Paragons and simply due to dual wielding), which will take you to ~9 frame breakpoint for Frenzy attacks.
For Defense stats, aim for a life pool between 700-750k; dropping as much as you can for offense as you grow accustomed to the build. Your sustain will come from the Simplicity's Strength level 25+ effect and either from the Vambraces of Sescheron, or a Life per Hit roll on one of your weapons (or the bracer) in an Aughild's set, Mortick's Brace or Ancient Parthan Defenders setups.
All augmentations on gear should be done with your main stat, Strength.
Note that the stat suggestions below portray an ideally rolled item with stats listed in relative order of importance. The first four of them are main stats, and the latter two — secondary stats. If your item lacks and is unable to be rerolled into the primary stats outlined below, especially for a stat higher on the list, strongly consider its replacement. Perfecting Secondary stats is mostly a case of hyper-optimization and is not a case for discarding an item, except where noted.
To help you with farming the gear you need for your builds, we have two very useful guides that you can access by clicking the links below: a Salvage Guide to help you quickly check whether or not you can safely salvage a piece of gear and a Legendary Farming Guide to help you efficiently farm legendaries and set items.
Season 28: Altar of Rites
Season 28 comes with the theme of the Altar of Rites — a powerful new account-wide and Season-specific progression system that brings tremendous offensive and defensive buffs to every seasonal character. For virtually all builds and players of all skill levels — from casual to advanced — we recommend progressing through the Altar tree using the path outlined below. The suggested path is geared towards maximum quality of life first, then amplifying damage, and then mopping up the tree with defensive and edge case utility nodes.
Note that while they require reaching them with a Seal, Legendary Potion Powers are not part of the Seal cost system; Potions unlock with a separate resource called Primordial Ashes, obtained from salvaging Legendary or Set items of Primal (red bordered) quality. Upgrade them as soon as possible, and in the order shown below (courtesy of Caleko's Altar of Rites planner).
You can read more on the Altar of Rites, Seals and Legendary Potion Powers in our dedicated Altar of Rites Mechanics guide.
In the Core section, max out Movement Speed to the 25% cap. Normally this is done by dumping the first 50 Core Paragon points into Movement Speed, but if your boots have an imperfect roll with Movement Speed as a stat that you cannot replace, adjust the necessary point investment accordingly by simply subtracting your roll from the 25% max. After that dump as much as you comfortably can into Strength, but feel free to invest into Vitality if you feel yourself lacking in toughness. Investing points into Maximum Fury is not necessary in this build, since it is based purely on generator attacks and does not scale off resources.
In the Offense section, max out CDR, Crit Chance, Crit Damage and Attack Speed in that order. In Defense, prioritize All Resistance, then Life %, then Armor, and finish off with Life Regeneration. In Utility, build up Life on Hit and Area Damage first, then finish off with Globe Radius and Resource Cost Reduction.
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 when in melee range, which is where the Frenzy Barb fights by default.
Simplicity's Strength is one of the best DPS gems you can take for the build, as it was changed into a separate damage multiplication source to primary skills in Patch 2.4.1. Upgrading with a steady pace of half a percent per gem level, it quickly becomes a priority and a fixture in your gem choices. Its buffed healing secondary effect is just icing on the cake.
Introduced in Season 4, Bane of the Stricken occupies the third and final jewelry socket in GR progression. Building up your damage multiplicatively in prolonged fights and with a level 25 bonus specifically targeting Rift Guardians, this gem is tremendously helpful even in single target-heavy builds such as this one. Note that if you are doing lower tier Greater Rifts for farming or gem leveling purposes, you should exchange this gem for the universal, well-rounded bonuses of Bane of the Powerful.
When it comes to gear gems, you will start out progression by slotting the highest available level of Rubies in the chest and pants sockets. Ideally, these will all be Flawless Royal Ruby as soon as possible. As you grow in Paragon (bulking up Strength in the Core section) and aim for higher tier and more dangerous GRs, you will transition those gems into the defensive Flawless Royal Diamond. There is no specific breakpoint where you do that; the rule of thumb is to make the change as soon as you feel the lack of toughness impede your progress. Since this is a CDR-dependent build, a Flawless Royal Diamond in the helm will be necessary. In your weapons, use Flawless Royal Emeralds for the Crit Damage boost.
|Torso and Pants||
For more information about gems, please refer to our guide on gems.
Tucked away in the cube, Bastion's Revered offers a key legendary effect for the build — the extension of Frenzy stacks from 5 to 10. The result is a whopping 150% increase to Frenzy attack speed at cap, as well as a 25% damage buff from Maniac and 50% additional movement speed from Vanguard.
Depth Diggers are a natural inclusion in this generator build, since by cubing them you gain the maximized 100% damage increase to your generator (multiplicative damage source as of Patch 2.4.1).
In a mixture between the Horde of the Ninety Savages and Aughild's Authority sets, you will have to place Ring of Royal Grandeur in the jewelry Cube slot in order to maintain the full bonuses of both valuable sets.
The Kanai's Cube can be used for much more than simply extracting Legendary powers from items. Please refer to our Kanai's Cube guide for more information.
The recommended follower for this build during solo GR progression is the Scoundrel due to his powerful crit buff, allowing you brief windows of extra damage that are well suited to the strengths of this build.
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.
You have two viable potion options for this build; either lean into extra health sustain with Bottomless Potion of the Leech for its Life per Hit bonuses, or try to compensate for your lack of permanent CC immunity due to lesser WotB uptime with Bottomless Potion of the Unfettered.
- 22 Feb. 2023: Added Season 28 Altar of Rites recommendations.
- 26 Aug. 2022: Added Season 27 Angelic Crucible recommendations.
- 14 Apr. 2022: Guide reviewed for Season 26.
- 09 Dec. 2021: Added Season 25 Soul Shard recommendations.
- 22 Jul. 2021: Added recommendations for Season 24 ethereal weapon.
- 06 Apr. 2020: Included additional gearing options. Minor clarifications and fixes.
- 28 Mar. 2021: Revised desired stats section and added a follower recommendation.
- 18 Nov. 2020: Revised weaponry choices. Added S22 Cube recommendation.
- 30 Jun. 2020: No changes required for Season 21.
- 07 Mar. 2020: Clarified the general preference toward Azurewrath / Mortick's Brace at the high end.
- 06 Mar. 2020: Guide added.
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