Frenzy Thorns LoN Barbarian Skills and Runes
On this page, we explain how to choose and use your skills when playing Frenzy Thorns LoN Barbarian in Diablo 3. Updated for Patch 2.7.1 and Season 24.
|Frenzy Maniac Furious Charge Merciless Assault 1 Ignore Pain Iron Hide 2 Threatening Shout Falter 3 War Cry Veteran's Warning 4 Wrath of the Berserker Insanity
The playstyle of the build focuses heavily on seeking out and assassinating priority targets like elites and champion packs, skipping even substantial groups of small enemies due to its lacking AoE damage. This mobility is achieved largely through the combination of Illusory Boots and Furious Charge, and you should aim to reset the cooldown of the latter by charging multiple enemies and taking advantage of the Merciless Assault effect. Once you find a suitable target — the aforementioned elites — debuff it with Threatening Shout Falter and start mowing it down with Frenzy. Ideally you will have the Wrath of the Berserker steroid available for any significant fight. Lastly, apply Ignore Pain on cooldown (achieving its permanent uptime through gear and stat rolls) and refresh War Cry as often as you need to maintain its Toughness buff.
Skills and Runes
Similarly to an Invoker Thorns Crusader, you will be applying your Thorns damage through a primary attack; unlike the Crusader spec, you do not require a set bonus to skyrocket your attack speed — Oathkeeper will take care of that. Your primary concern will be to apply attacks as quickly as possible, and no other Barbarian primary does that better than Frenzy and its attack speed stacking mechanic, further enhanced by the cubed Bastion's Revered. The preferred rune for progression is Maniac for its additive increase to your overall damage.
As previously mentioned in the gameplay overview, Furious Charge is included in the build strictly for mobility purposes; allowing you to skip trash packs in search for higher impact enemies to fight. Despite your high cooldown reduction on gear, it is still advisable to take the rune Merciless Assault for its reset mechanic, and aiming to hit at least 2-3 enemies to always have a Furious Charge available.
The remainder of your active skills are split into two rough categories — damage increasing and damage reducing buffs.
The first category includes Threatening Shout Falter and Wrath of the Berserker Insanity. The default defensive role of Threatening Shout is flipped into a 25% additive damage buff against affected enemies in a 25-yard radius, perfectly suitable to a melee spec like the Frenzy Barb. With its generous 6-second duration and the focus of the spec into Cooldown Reduction, you will easily achieve permanent uptime of the buff. Sporting significantly less uptime — around 60% even in highly optimized gear setups — Wrath of the Berserker is nevertheless included for the incomparable stat buffs it provides, along with the humongous damage increase of the Insanity rune (as well as the remaining runes, once Mortick's Brace is obtained). In general, limit the use of this skill to elite engagements; ideally, activate it the moment you reach a Physical cycle of the cubed Convention of Elements, as this will result in two full Physical cycles of the ring while under the effect of Wrath of the Berserker Insanity (see this build's gear page for more information).
The second category consists of the survivability staples War Cry and Ignore Pain. War Cry is a bread-and-butter background buff, increasing your Toughness the most by balancing your high Armor and All Resist with a smattering of Dodge chance from the Veteran's Warning rune. The buff duration long exceeds its modest cooldown, so do not be lulled and let it fall off — it costs nothing to reapply it at regular intervals. In speedruns, War Cry will also add to your (and your group's) movement speed via a worn Chilanik's Chain. In progression however, you will be wearing Pride of Cassius — and for a good reason; Ignore Pain will be the basis of your survivability by cutting incoming damage in half and making you immune to crowd control. Permanent uptime of Ignore Pain is crucial, so the general recommendation is the long-lasting Iron Hide rune, as it demands the least from your gear with its 57% CDR breakpoint. Once fully optimized and past the 63% barrier, you can swap to any rune you fancy — the group-oriented Mob Rule, the speed boosting Bravado, or the burst heal of Contempt for Weakness.
This concludes the overview of the active skills, now let us look through the passives.
The Barbarian answer to Crusader's Iron Maiden, Tough as Nails doubles your Thorns damage — a natural inclusion to a Thorns-based setup. Its Toughness angle is not to be underestimated either, as it boosts your Armor by 25%.
Lacking the Wrath of the Berserker-resetting powers of the Immortal King set, the Frenzy Thorns Barb employs other tactics to lower this crucial cooldown — the inclusion of Boon of Bul-Kathos plays a major part, shaving 30 seconds off the standard 2-minute cooldown.
In a spec that runs no spenders and plenty of generators, including a primary skill and several cooldowns, Berserker Rage has a virtually permanent uptime, and provides a substantial 25% damage increase.
You have a degree of freedom when picking out your final passive slot. A general recommendation is to take Nerves of Steel, the Barbarian version of the standard cheat death passive. As a melee spec that tackles sources of damage spikes (Electrified, Fire Chains) on a regular basis, a fail safe on a 60-second cooldown is never a bad choice. If you feel your toughness is optimized and your life is not threatened, Ruthless is one of the best damage-oriented choices you have available; it highlights the build's single target strengths by increasing your damage multiplicatively by 40% during the last third of your enemies' health.
- 22 Jul. 2021: No changes required for Season 24.
- 31 Mar. 2021: No changes required for Season 23.
- 18 Nov. 2020: Reviewed for Season 22. No changes required.
- 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: Skill 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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