HotA GR LoD Barbarian Skills and Runes

Last updated on Feb 22, 2023 at 17:00 by Deadset 12 comments

On this page, we explain how to choose and use your skills when playing HotA GR LoD Barbarian in Diablo 3. Updated for Patch 2.7.5 and Season 28.

Active Skills
Left Mouse Button Furious Charge Icon Furious Charge Merciless Assault Merciless Assault Right Mouse Button Hammer of the Ancients Icon Hammer of the Ancients Smash Smash 1 Call of the Ancients Icon Call of the Ancients Together as One Together as One 2 Battle Rage Icon Battle Rage Bloodshed Bloodshed 3 Ignore Pain Icon Ignore Pain Ignorance is Bliss Ignorance is Bliss 4 Wrath of the Berserker Icon Wrath of the Berserker Insanity Insanity
Passive Skills


The build runs several buffs of varying length that you will need to pay close attention to. Battle Rage Battle Rage has a convenient two-minute duration and is not critical to your survival, but Ignore Pain Ignore Pain needs to be re-applied every 11 seconds as soon as it comes off cooldown, as it accounts for a large part of your mitigation. And while Wrath of the Berserker Wrath of the Berserker runs slightly longer (20 seconds), its constant uptime is a vital part of the playstyle and a huge consideration in your skill choices and gearing. Furious Charge Furious Charge will be used for that exact purpose, as you will be scouting with it to get into bigger fights and get your cooldown resets going from fighting enemies. The whole rotation plays around that singular goal however, and is relatively easy to maintain — with the satisfying payoff of mowing demons down with Hammer of the Ancients Hammer of the Ancients Smash Smash as soon as you have created a dense enough pack of them. This is made even easier with the Call of the Ancients Call of the Ancients at your side, protecting you and restoring your Fury.


Skills and Runes

As expected, the focal point of the build is Hammer of the Ancients Hammer of the Ancients — a visceral and thunderous attack with ample supportive legendaries that elevate it to endgame status. The rune of choice is Smash Smash, since its higher base damage overshadows its utility-oriented peers, and its Fire element seals the deal with the multiple Fire-boosting legendaries available (see this build's gear page for more information).

As mentioned above, you will be using a Barbarian mobility staple in order to scout and create the biggest fight possible to brawl in. Furious Charge Furious Charge is a versatile mobility and scouting skill that is based on charges, and is self-sufficient cooldown-wise through the resetting powers of the Merciless Assault Merciless Assault rune.

When it comes to buffs, you have three skills that roughly fall into that category: the offense-oriented Battle Rage Battle Rage, and the protective staples Ignore Pain Ignore Pain and Call of the Ancients Call of the Ancients. Battle Rage Battle Rage is a frequent inclusion in Barbarian builds, as its baseline increase of both Damage and Crit Chance is already excellent, but it also receives a massive AoE damage boon from the rune Bloodshed Bloodshed. While its two-minute duration is convenient, never let the buff fall off in battle — the damage drop-off is significant. Ignore Pain Ignore Pain and Call of the Ancients Call of the Ancients share protective and utility duties in the build. The recommended rune for the former is Ignorance is Bliss Ignorance is Bliss, which introduces some much needed sustain to the build on top of the skill's baseline mitigation. The rune for the latter is Together as One Together as One, which — along with Ancients' Fury Ancients' Fury provided by your legendary shoulder piece — provide a solid base for the build to function on.

Finally, you will be using the Barbarian signature steroid skill — Wrath of the Berserker Wrath of the Berserker — a monstrous amplifier to your Dodge, Crit Chance, Attack and Movement Speed, coupled with the 50% damage multiplier of the Insanity Insanity rune (as well as the power of all the remaining runes, once Mortick's Brace Mortick's Brace is obtained). A large portion of your itemization and stat choices will be dictated by the overarching goal of WotB's permanent uptime.

This concludes the overview of the Active Skills, now let us look through the Passives.



To ensure resource stability, you will be using the passive Weapons Master Weapons Master, along with Remorseless Remorseless in your main hand.

Since the build is able to maintain a stable resource reserve most of the time (mostly due to the mechanics of The Gavel of Judgment The Gavel of Judgment and the Fury restoration from Furious Charge Furious Charge Stamina Stamina), you can take advantage of the additive damage increase of Berserker Rage Berserker Rage.

Despite the decent single target performance of HotA, the universal quality of Ruthless Ruthless still makes it desirable; once you bring your target below 30% health, your damage is boosted with a 40% multiplier, allowing you to finish important fights — especially the Rift Guardian — on time.

Lastly, in order to ensure the permanence of Wrath of the Berserker Wrath of the Berserker and Call of the Ancients Call of the Ancients, you will have to incorporate Boon of Bul-Kathos Boon of Bul-Kathos into the build, as it shaves half a minute off both their base cooldowns.



  • 22 Feb. 2023: Skills and passives reviewed for Season 28.
  • 26 Aug. 2022: Skills and passives reviewed for Season 27.
  • 13 Apr. 2022: Guide reviewed for Season 26.
  • 09 Dec. 2021: Reviewed for Season 25.
  • 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: Revised skill recommendations for Season 18.
  • 13 May 2019: Guide added.
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