Frenzy HotNS Barbarian RGK Variation
Horde of the Ninety Savages Frenzy Barbarian Rift Guardian Killer Variation
The HotNS Frenzy Barbarian can deal reasonably well with the role of a Rift Guardian Killer in high tier Greater Rifts. Although the build is not considered the best for the role, it can viably take the RGK spot and serve in a non-competitive party composition.
The Rift Guardian Killer role demands focus from the character entirely into single target damage, eschewing any consideration for Area Damage or trash killing purposes. Your skill and especially your gear choices will reflect that.
|Frenzy Maniac Ancient Spear Rage Flip 1 War Cry Impunity 2 Threatening Shout Falter 3 Battle Rage Bloodshed 4 Wrath of the Berserker Insanity|
When serving as the Rift Guardian Killer, most of the Frenzy HotNS Barb rotation remains the same as the solo progression build. You will still be applying the trio of shouts — Battle Rage, War Cry and Threatening Shout — whenever applicable, either to refresh their duration or affect a newly engaged group of enemies. Frenzy — either empowered by Wrath of the Berserker, or on its own — will be your main damage dealer, and its tremendous attack speed in conjunction with a socketed Bane of the Stricken will be taking the Rift Guardians down. Your value to the group comes in the form of toughness buffs (the aforementioned War Cry), as well as an additional long range pull via Ancient Spear Rage Flip.
Adapting Skills and Passives
The vast majority of your skill and passive selection will overlap with the base Greater Rift progression build, with minor adjustments to accommodate the group progression playstyle.
- The Frenzy HotNS Barb retains nearly all of its GR solo skill setup, using Battle Rage Bloodshed, Threatening Shout Falter and War Cry (albeit with Impunity for a greater team benefit) as the Shout-related set base, as well as Wrath of the Berserker for its tremendous self buffs during damage output. The Passives lineup sticks with staples like Ruthless, Boon of Bul-Kathos and Berserker Rage. The final slot can be either Nerves of Steel during high end group GR pushing, or altered to Rampage during slightly lower XP farm.
- It should be noted that due to the focus on this group variation on pure attack speed and Rift Guardian killing, you will be dropping the solo staple Azurewrath and its Freeze mechanics for more generic, element-neutral equipment (see below).
- Deviating from the main build, you will be using Ancient Spear Rage Flip as an efficient way of spending Fury for the Focus and Restraint bonus, while also assisting your support with pulls. When you are still learning the build, or if you are too bothered by the lack of mobility in such a setup, you can alter this skill slot to Whirlwind Wind Shear for a cheap repositioning tool (which will still proc the ring set bonus).
Most of the gear from the Greater Rift solo progression build will still make sense for the group RGK variation, but a few alterations will be necessary in order to maximize your potential in this role.
You will be wearing the entirety of the Horde of the Ninety Savages set, but when it comes to gear rolls, you can drop any consideration of Area Damage rolls from the Spines of Savages and Claws of Savages. You will maintain the overall direction with stat priority over the rest of the gear, getting Frenzy skill bonuses on both the belt ( The Undisputed Champion) and Leggings of Savages, focusing on high toughness rolls on the Skull of Savages (alongside Crit Chance), and committing fully to it on the Markings of Savages and Heel of Savages.
Unlike solo progression where there is room for preference, Mortick's Brace is the mandatory bracer for RGK, as you will focus entirely on damage and leave mitigation and healing considerations to your Support teammates.
There is some room for variation in your jewelry, either by trying to balance some survivability in your setup (generally recommended), or fully glassing out for the purposes of your group.
In a more balanced spec, you will be wearing the Endless Walk set — The Traveler's Pledge and The Compass Rose along with a Convention of Elements, which provides at least a measure of protection as you move from fight to fight. If you choose to commit fully to glass cannon damage dealing however, you can squeeze out every last bit of DPS with a combination of Focus and Restraint, plus a Squirt's Necklace. Naturally, you will be proccing the generator portion of Focus and Restraint with Frenzy, and you will have to pull with Ancient Spear (or tap Whirlwind for a second) to maintain the spender half of the bonus. Squirt's Necklace provides a massive damage bonus with an equally painful damage intake trade-off, which you will be able to mitigate in groups thanks to the Support characters.
Weapons-wise, you will maintain Oathkeeper from the main build, but solo-oriented choices like The Burning Axe of Sankis and its extra survivability, and the Azurewrath and its hard CC procs have no place in group progression. In their stead, you have the choice between Pig Sticker for its unrivaled attack speed and elite damage capabilities (preferred for high end group GR progression) and Sun Keeper for its generic elite damage bonuses (for GR group XP farming).
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 29: Paragon Cap
Season 29 introduces a season-specific cap to stat benefits from Paragon levels, all while updating how Paragon point distribution is handled. For the duration of this Season, you can only assign 800 Paragon stat points to your character, removing the long-standing practice of main-stat stacking (with some gearing implications — see below) after you reach Paragon 800.
On top of that, you could only allocate 50 Paragon stat points to each of the four stats in a given Paragon category (Core, Offense, Defense, and Utility). In Season 29, you can allocate up to the full 200 points per category into any attribute, allowing you to more easily reach necessary build breakpoints (as outlined in the Gear page of the guide) for Cooldown Reduction, Resource Cost Reduction, etc.
With the changes to Paragon in mind, we recommend using the following Paragon distribution for this build:
- Core: Movement Speed: 200 points.
- Offense: Critical Hit Chance and Critical Hit Damage: Allocate points so they are as close to the desirable 1:10 ratio between the two stats, as displayed in your Character Details sheet. For dual-wielding 1-handed builds, this is usually achieved with 150 points into Critical Hit Chance and the remaining 50 into Critical Hit Damage.
- Defense: Life and All Resistance: Allocate points to maximize survivability; for Barbarians, this is usually achieved by evenly splitting 100 points into Life (directly increasing your Health pool) and All Resistance (to complement the naturally high Armor stat of Strength-based characters).
- Utility: Area Damage: 200 points.
Season 29: Gearing Considerations
In terms of gear, keeping the Paragon cap in mind is paramount, as it stymies the traditional endless supply of main stat after Paragon 800. This means re-rolling mainstat off your gear is no longer desirable, and full equipment augmentation with your main stat is even more critical. Additionally, you should take a careful look at your build and consider if you can fit the following changes to strengthen your damage and survivability:
- Guardian's Jeopardy: This is a craftable armor set, and the recipe for its creation drops from Bounty farming. Guardian's 2-piece provides a decent damage reduction bonus, but the true powerhouse of the set is the 3-piece bonus, which nets you an additional 100% of your main stats from equipped items. This is a tremendous benefit in an 800 Paragon capped Season. If the Guardian set can fit into the build with minimal sacrifices (other craftable sets, tertiary damage multipliers, etc.), consider its implementation. The available pieces are Guardian's Aversion (Wrists), Guardian's Case (Waist), and Guardian's Gaze (Head). Of course, you can wear 2 pieces of the set and complete the full 3-piece bonus with a Ring of Royal Grandeur (found from Act I bounty caches).
- Endless Walk:This is a jewelry set consisting of The Traveler's Pledge (Amulet) and The Compass Rose (Ring), and is randomly found through farming, gambling Blood Shards, and/or Kanai's Cube recipes. The Endless Walk set is a nice compromise between damage bonuses (building up while stationary) and defensive bonuses (building up while moving). It can replace glass cannon choices like the Bastions of Will set ( Focus and Restraint) and Squirt's Necklace with acceptable losses to DPS.
- Unity: A character wearing this ring, along with another Unity on their follower plus an immortality relic for them (i.e., Enchanting Favor), will reduce their damage taken by 50%. Unity can roll excellent offense-oriented stats and has an innate Extra Damage to Elites roll, which somewhat offsets losing all-out offense jewelry.
You will maintain the same legendary gem setup as the solo GR progression build, with Bane of the Trapped, Simplicity's Strength and Bane of the Stricken remaining as your most desirable gems. The Frenzy Barb's ability to quickly stack the latter opens its viability in the RGK role in the first place.
|Torso and Pants|
For more information about gems, please refer to our guide on gems.
Adapting Kanai's Cube
Both Bastion's Revered and Depth Diggers are maintained from the main solo GR progression spec, as they are mandatory for the function of the build overall. Bastion's Revered extends the stacking mechanic of Frenzy and provides a valuable damage chaining effect (although less pronounced in the RGK role), while Depth Diggers are a straight up DPS increase in Primary skill-focused build.
Your final Cube slot depends on your jewelry setup, as explained above. In the general Endless Walk-wearing version, you will be cubing Squirt's Necklace for an extra source of damage multiplication. In the daredevil Focus and Restraint wearing version, you will be amping up your DPS even further with a cubed Convention of Elements.
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.
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.
- 13 Sep. 2023: Added Season 29 Paragon Cap and Gearing recommendations.
- 22 Feb. 2023: Added Season 28 Altar of Rites recommendations.
- 26 Aug. 2022: Added Season 27 Angelic Crucible recommendations.
- 10 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 information. Minor clarifications and fixes.
- 28 Mar. 2021: Revised skill recommendations.
- 18 Nov. 2020: Revised rune and weaponry choices. Added S22 Cube recommendation.
- 30 Jun. 2020: No changes required for Season 21.
- 09 Mar. 2020: Page added.
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