Frenzy Thorns LoN Barbarian BiS Gear, Gems, and Paragon Points
Below, we detail the items and gems that you should use for your Frenzy Thorns LoN Barbarian in Diablo 3 and why. We also list your paragon points and Kanai's Cube items. Updated for Patch 2.7.1 and Season 24.
Best in Slot Gear and Alternatives
As this is a Legacy of Nightmares set spec, you have considerable freedom in picking out the rest of your gear slots. As a rule of thumb, focus on Thorns and remember the rings' requirements for ancient items, as well as their restriction on other set bonuses. You can run individual set pieces with beneficial stats, as long as they do not form any set bonus.
The Legacy of Nightmares set is a 2.4 rework, allowing you to run any legendary item combination while not losing out on the damage amplification and reduction associated with the traditional 6-piece sets. As long as the two rings — The Wailing Host and Litany of the Undaunted — are the only active set bonus you have equipped, every Ancient item will greatly increase your damage dealt and reduce damage taken. In the stats, try to obtain a combination of Cooldown Reduction and Attack Speed. Note that this is one of the few builds that retain the Legacy of Nightmares combo over obtaining the same benefits via the Legacy of Dreams legendary gem, as the loss of any of the legendary gems outlined below is a bigger loss than any potential ring jewelry you can use in this build.
The recommended amulet is Hellfire Amulet of Strength, since it allows you access to an additional synergistic passive like Nerves of Steel or Ruthless. The former favorite The Flavor of Time should now be slotted on your follower, and its power will be transferred to your character via the Emanate mechanics.
Your helm is best taken by a Leoric's Crown — this helm doubles the effectiveness of its slotted gem, becoming the single most powerful source of cooldown reduction offered by a legendary item — 25% with a Flawless Royal Diamond. A notable alternative for the slot can be a well-rolled Andariel's Visage with Physical elemental damage, necessitating that you cube Leoric's Crown and restrict yourself to just one of the synergistic legendary bracers discussed further.
Two protective items in the chest and belt slots provide the bulk of your defenses during progression. Aquila Cuirass will halve incoming damage as long as Fury does not dip below 90% of its reserve, which is effectively a permanent bonus in this pure generator spec. Being able to disregard your roll on the unique affix range is a great boon, as Thorns is not an inherent roll in the secondaries, making stats harder to perfect. The unique affix makes a world of difference on Pride of Cassius however, and you should seek out the longest 6 second extension of Ignore Pain to reach permanent uptime of your key survival cooldown more easily.
St. Archew's Gage are the recommended gloves for the build; previously a support spec staple, they enjoy a rampant growth in popularity due to the Legacy of Nightmares set and their own powerful property. Shielding you with an absorption field that more than doubles your maximum health, St. Archew's Gage offers a temporary defensive edge when engaging an elite — often enough time for this assassin playstyle to whittle the enemy down.
Any legendary pants with the appropriate stats (high Toughness and secondary Thorns) can fill the legs slot, but your best-in-slot choice would be a solitary set item — Blackthorne's Jousting Mail. As long as it does not form a set bonus (remember the build requirements!), it will not break your damage multiplication bonuses and you can enjoy its Patch 2.7-revised power — the inclusion of an elemental damage affix as a 5th stat, removing the need to create a WD alt for the former favorite for the purpose, the Swamp Land Waders. You will be aiming for a Physical elemental damage roll, which Thorns damage benefits from. A lucky roll can even include Thorns in its secondaries.
When played correctly, few affixes can catch you as you Furious Charge your way around combat; even more so if you take advantage of the Act II cache legendary Illusory Boots, which make you immune to getting cornered, regardless of density and monster speed. Another option for the slot are Ice Climbers, which will not only remove two deadly sources of crowd control, but also reduce cold damage as a whole.
With its addition, Mortick's Brace overwhelms practically all other options for the slot for Barbarians. This class-specific legendary bracer grants you the effect of every Wrath of the Berserker rune: from the staple 50% damage increase of Insanity, through the burst damage additions of Arreat's Wail and Slaughter, to the protective and utility bonuses of Striding Giant and Thrive on Chaos.
Truly deprived of a recommended legendary for the slot, the shoulders can be taken by your best rolled ancient item. Minor benefits can be found from options such as Death Watch Mantle and Pauldrons of the Skeleton King, but they cannot be considered a necessity by any means.
Your weapon and offhand slots will be split between Thorns and Frenzy synergy (see this build's skills page for more information). On the Thorns side, you will be using the dedicated Hack axe; its unique property applies up to 100% of your Thorns damage to every attack, properly benefiting from all sources of bonus damage as of Patch 2.4.1. On the generator front, you will be wielding Oathkeeper — its damage-increasing component will be neglected, but the Attack Speed increase to Frenzy is vital. Rolls-wise, remember that Thorns specs do not take Weapon Damage into account, and both your weapons will be pure stat sticks that need Strength, Cooldown Reduction and Attack Speed; then, their damage range ideally gets rerolled into Life per Hit (or one of the missing aforementioned stats).
In Season 24, your ideal weapon during Greater Rift solo pushing will be The Grandfather, whose unique and massive average damage increase and unrivaled skill and pure stat bonuses will outperform any other alternatives. It needs to be rolled with the weapon power of Oathkeeper and will ideally have the Brawler passive. Learn more about Ethereal weapons in our Ethereal mechanics guide, and read up on how to farm them in the Ethereal farming guide.
Desired Stats, Breakpoints and Other Notes
As a rule of thumb, Cooldown Reduction is the third primary alongside Strength and Toughness stats that is vital to balance into your gear, as your survivability and damage buffs are all cooldown-reliant. With the full 6-seconds extension on Pride of Cassius, the lowest breakpoint for permanent Ignore Pain Iron Hide is 57%. Pushed further to 63%, you will have permanent uptime on all Ignore Pain runes.
Another important primary stat to factor in is Attack Speed, as Thorns application is directly tied to the speed of your Frenzy attacks. It is generally recommended to reach at least 1.84 sheet Attacks per Second prior to any buffs (3 maximized Attack Speed rolls on gear plus Paragons), as this will result in the respectable 7 frame Frenzy animation breakpoint when fully buffed.
For Defense stats, aim for a life pool between 700-900k; dropping as much as you can for offense as you grow accustomed to the build. You will mostly sustain through Life per Hit on gear, with at least one high roll in your setup, but ideally two (optimal slots are the two weapons and/or bracer).
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.
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. Putting points into extra resources via Maximum Fury is not necessary.
In the Offense section, max out Cooldown Reduction and Attack Speed first; Thorns damage cannot inflict Critical hits. 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 continue with Globe Radius. Resource Cost Reduction should be maxed out last, since this is a no-spender build, and Fury management is irrelevant.
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, making it an excellent companion to this Frenzy-centric build.
Added in Patch 2.4, Boyarsky's Chip fulfills a simple and straightforward purpose: increasing your Thorns damage. Its taunting level 25 property is just added value on top, making it easy to stick elites close to this assassin-like playstyle.
Introduced in Season 4, Bane of the Stricken occupies the third and final 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 during the takedown of the biggest bottleneck in GRs, the scaling HP numbers.
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. This build is highly Cooldown Reduction dependent, which means a Flawless Royal Diamond is necessary in your helm. In your weapons, use Flawless Royal Topazes for the Thorns 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 in GR pushes, or 50% additional movespeed from Vanguard when speedfarming.
You can cube Vambraces of Sescheron early on for an easy source of sustain, or speed up your rift clear times with Nemesis Bracers once you include enough Life per Hit on gear. A third alternative is to cube Leoric's Crown, if you have stumbled upon a well-rolled Physical Andariel's Visage to wear.
The jewelry slot in the cube is best taken by Convention of Elements, whose rotation is key in maximizing the burst potential of the spec. Matching your Wrath of the Berserker activations with the beginning of a CoE Physical cycle will allow you two full cycles at your best offensive potential, adding an impactful timing element to an otherwise simple playstyle.
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 Enchantress, due to her cooldown reduction- and increased attack speed bonuses, both of which are helpful to the needs of a critless, Thorns-based 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.
The preferred potion for this build is Bottomless Potion of the Leech due to its Life per Hit bonuses, which synergize perfectly for the high attack speed and sustain-through-attacks playstyle of the build.
- 22 Jul. 2021: Added S24 Ethereal recommendation.
- 31 Mar. 2021: Adjusted gear recommendations and added follower recommendation.
- 18 Nov. 2020: Added S22 Cube recommendation.
- 30 Jun. 2020: No changes required for Season 21.
- 12 Mar. 2020: No changes necessary for Season 20.
- 19 Nov. 2019: Guide revised and updated for Season 19.
- 22 Aug. 2019: Item recommendations have been revised for Season 18.
- 13 May 2019: Guide was revised with additional recommendations for Season 17.
- 16 Jan. 2019: Information was reviewed and approved for Season 16 with no changes required.
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