Leap/Earthquake Barbarian Skills and Runes

Last updated on Jun 14, 2018 at 11:34 by Deadset 175 comments

Table of Contents

General Information

Below, we explain how to choose and use your skills when playing Leap/Earthquake Barbarian in Diablo 3. Updated for patch 2.6.1 and Season 15.

The other pages of our Leap/Earthquake Barbarian guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.

Active Skills
Left Mouse Button Earthquake Icon Earthquake Molten Fury Molten Fury Right Mouse Button Seismic Slam Icon Seismic Slam Rumble Rumble 1 Battle Rage Icon Battle Rage Swords to Ploughshares Swords to Ploughshares 2 Leap Icon Leap Death from Above Death from Above 3 Threatening Shout Icon Threatening Shout Falter Falter 4 Wrath of the Berserker Icon Wrath of the Berserker Insanity Insanity
Passive Skills

1. Rotation

The build begins runs by casting the Battle Rage Battle Rage buff, maintained throughout the rift's duration. The typical rotation during a fight is a triple Leap Leap into the thick of enemies, with a Threatening Shout Threatening Shout interwoven between Leap Leaps to debuff your opponents, and if it is off cooldown — applying Wrath of the Berserker Wrath of the Berserker for the boost of damage, toughness, and utility. You can also trigger your own Earthquake Earthquake on cooldown, without affecting the Leap Leap-induced Earthquake Earthquakes. Once you have exhausted your cooldowns, dump all your Fury with a well-placed Seismic Slam Seismic Slam Rumble Rumble shot, instantly resetting Leap Leap for the next round of devastation.

2. Skills, Runes and Passives

Earthquake Earthquake is the primary damage dealer of the build, but the majority of its triggers will come from Might of the Earth's 4-piece set bonus via Leap Leap. Nevertheless, it is important to have it on your skill bar, as the set Earthquake Earthquakes will inherit the rune you have selected, and one more Earthquake Earthquake under your control is welcome damage. For high end Greater Rift progression, it is recommended that you take the highest damage dealing rune, Molten Fury Molten Fury, and gamble on good density and monster types.

Reworked in Patch 2.5, the Seismic Slam Seismic Slam Rumble Rumble emerges as the most synergistic spender for Earthquake builds. Not only does it dump your entire Fury reserve (tying into the Might of the Earth 2-piece bonus for instantaneous Leap Leap resets), but also triggers the effect of the Girdle of Giants Girdle of Giants mighty belt to ramp up the Earthquake Earthquake devastation.

Battle Rage Battle Rage is a staple buff of the Barbarian that boosts your damage directly along with your Crit Chance. Two runes are favorable for GR progression: Swords to Ploughshares Swords to Ploughshares can offset your lackluster health sustain, while Bloodshed Bloodshed will provide superior AoE damage. In general, the generous 2-minute duration of Battle Rage Battle Rage makes it prone to falling off due to forgetfulness, so make a point to spare the 20 Fury and re-cast it every now and then. Finally, it is worth mentioning that you can viably alternate to War Cry War Cry Veteran's Warning Veteran's Warning in this slot for extra Toughness, if you feel your survivability is lacking in high tier content.

Leap Leap is a skill of manifold utility in the build. First and foremost, it delivers the bulk of your damage by casting Earthquake Earthquake at your landing location through the Might of the Earth 4-piece set bonus. Second, it gains the benefits of the Iron Impact Iron Impact rune for free (again, from the 4-piece MotE), skyrocketing your Armor with a 150% buff for 4 seconds. Third, by taking the Death from Above Death from Above rune, you gain a 3-second stun on affected enemies. And last but not least, it remains a movement skill that can take you over gaps and obstacles, ensuring a getaway from harm.

Flipping the traditionally defensive Threatening Shout Threatening Shout skill into a debuff, the Falter Falter rune makes affected enemies more susceptible to damage but leaves their damage unchanged — a drawback that should be negated by the hard CC at your disposal. The Threatening Shout Threatening Shout radius is conveniently larger than the Earthquake Earthquake, ensuring all combatants will be debuffed.

The signature barbarian steroid Wrath of the Berserker Wrath of the Berserker is strengthened further by the damage rune Insanity Insanity. While the skill has significantly lower uptime compared to Immortal King-based builds, you still cut the cooldown by a decent margin with the passive Boon of Bul-Kathos Boon of Bul-Kathos, allowing you to take advantage of the Dodge, Crit Chance, Attack and Movement Speed bonuses often enough.

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

Rampage Rampage is a staple in Barbarian endgame builds, as they often emphasize swift movement from battle to battle, seeking and creating additional density through skills and trash killing efficiency. The Earthquake Barbarian is no exception. With the potential to stack up to 25% additional Strength, increasing your damage and toughness substantially, it is important to learn to keep this passive up. Always being on the move towards bigger fights, where killing trash enemies will feed your stacks, is crucial.

The second endgame passive staple is Ruthless Ruthless, a multiplicative damage bonus that benefits you more the tougher your enemy is. Once you bring your target below 30% health, your damage is boosted by an additional 40% — especially useful on Rift Guardians, ensuring the end of the fight will be ahead of the timer.

Earthen Might Earthen Might is a logical passive inclusion in the build, ensuring you will easily cap on Fury with a triple Leap Leap and Threatening Shout Threatening Shout rotation, ready to dump with a Rumble Rumble and begin the cycle anew.

Taking advantage of two thirds of the Boon of Bul-Kathos Boon of Bul-Kathos utility, the Earthquake Barbarian enjoys significantly lower cooldowns on both his on-bar Earthquake Earthquake and the powerful self-buff Wrath of the Berserker Wrath of the Berserker. Higher uptime of the latter is especially important when Greater Rifting, where the damage and survival bonuses of Wrath of the Berserker Wrath of the Berserker can make the difference for a successful clear.

About the Author

This build is presented to you by Deadset, one of the very few professional Diablo 3 players. Deadset regularly publishes video guides on Youtube and streams on Twitch, where you can see how this and other builds play out in practice.

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