Leap/Earthquake MotE Barbarian BiS Gear, Gems, and Paragon Points
Below, we detail the items and gems that you should use for your Leap/Earthquake MotE Barbarian in Diablo 3 and why. We also list your paragon points and Kanai's Cube items. Updated for Patch 2.7.6 and Season 29.
Best in Slot Gear and Alternatives
The build takes advantage of the full Might of the Earth set bonuses, taking all six available pieces and opening up the jewelry slots for the damage multiplication of the Bastions of Will set. Rolls-wise, this Earthquake-centric playstyle makes good use of skill and area damage bonuses across gear (see this build's skills page for more information). Earthquake %, Area Damage and Cooldown Reduction are ideal rolls on the Spires of the Earth; Earthquake % is best accompanied by toughness stats on the Spirit of the Earth. While you can roll Seismic Slam % on both helm and boots, the overall damage coming from the Fury dump will be minimal and these rolls cannot be recommended over toughness stats. Crit Chance, Crit Damage and Area Damage are sought after on Pull of the Earth. Weight of the Earth should be dedicated purely to toughness rolls.
Not skipping on any of the pieces required to obtain the 6-piece set bonus of Might of the Earth opens a powerful offense combo in the jewelry: the Bastions of Will set, Focus and Restraint. These rings offer an unparalleled 2.25 independent damage multiplier as long as you alternate between generating and spender attacks, a requirement which you fulfill via Leap and Seismic Slam. Seek double Crit stats, Area Damage and an open Socket as the best-in-slot stats for both Focus and Restraint.
The recommended amulet is The Flavor of Time, whose revised legendary power now doubles the duration of Pylons — an extremely potent power that, with careful timing, can turn the progressively harder fights in Greater Rifts greatly in your favor. The former recommendation for the slot, Hellfire Amulet of Strength, remains a viable option, especially if you obtain a good roll with a synergistic fifth passive like Nerves of Steel, Animosity or Brawler. A perfect roll would include both Crit stats, elemental damage and an open Socket.
The recommended amulet is Hellfire Amulet of Strength, since it allows you access to an additional synergistic passive like Nerves of Steel, Animosity or Brawler. 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.
Girdle of Giants is the best-in-slot belt for Greater Rift progression, bringing a temporary damage increase to your Earthquakes after using Seismic Slam. Note that this item comes with an innate Attack Speed roll, but it is of little use to the setup and should ideally be rerolled into one of the stats listed below.
You have a degree of freedom when picking out your bracer. For the absolute highest tiers of Greater Rifts, you should lean on the AoE superiority of the build and amp up your survivability significantly by equipping Ancient Parthan Defenders (triggered by the Death from Above stun). An alternative for this slot is Mortick's Brace, which places greater emphasis on progression during your Wrath of the Berserker uptime, and leads to an on- and off-playstyle, where you play more defensively during the WotB downtime. In a Mortick's Brace setup, alter the Leap rune to the pulling effect of Call of Arreat.
You have two crucial weapons for the build, and you will wield one and place the other in the Cube. Blade of the Tribes is a Patch 2.4 addition designed around the Earthquake Barbarian. It matches its imposing looks with a increase to Earthquake damage, and a unique power that turns two utility cooldowns — Threatening Shout and War Cry — into another source of damage, each casting a simultaneous Avalanche and Earthquake upon use. The Furnace provides you with an incomparable source of bonus elite damage, significantly shortening fights with champion packs and Rift Guardians — arguably the most dangerous fights in Greater Rift progression attempts. Ideally, you will be wearing The Furnace and cubing the Blade of the Tribes, due to the superior average damage of Two-Handed Maces.
Desired Stats, Breakpoints and Other Notes
There is a Cooldown Reduction baseline you will be aiming for; Earthquake builds run smoothest past the 33% CDR point, which is easily achievable with a Diamond in the helm, Paragon points and a fully stacked Gogok of Swiftness. For Offense stats, try to obtain Earthquake % bonus on both the shoulders and chest (maximum of 30%), Fire elemental damage on both the amulet and wrists (maximum of 40%), Crit Chance and Crit Damage within a 1:10 ratio (ideally over 50% and 500%, respectively), and Area Damage of 100%+. Earthquake Barbs try to extend their Fury pool due to the set's mechanics, so try to obtain Max Fury on your mighty belt and mighty weapon.
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. Sustain is an issue for Earthquake Barbs, and you will mostly heal in Life per Fury Spent bursts with Rumble; thus try to obtain a LpFS roll as the fourth primary stat on your belt.
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. Max out Fury next, due to the interaction with the Might of the Earth set bonus. 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.
In the Offense section, max out CDR, Crit Chance, Crit Damage and Attack Speed and in that order. In Defense, prioritize All Resistance, then Life %, then Armor, and finish off with Life Regeneration. In Utility, build up Area Damage and Life on Hit first, then finish off with Globe Radius. Resource Cost Reduction should be skipped, as it directly interferes with Life per Fury Spent stats on gear, and you manage Fury just fine with your multitude of Fury-generating skills and Earthen Might.
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 2-handed builds, this is usually achieved by spending all points on Critical Hit Damage. For dual-wielding 1-handed builds, this is generally 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.
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, and is otherwise kept up with the Death from Above stun, making it an integral part of this crowd control-heavy setup.
Introduced in Season 4, Bane of the Stricken takes a firm slot in the second 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 AoE heavy builds in their struggle against single target, high HP enemies. Note that if you are doing lower tier Greater Rifts for farming or gem leveling purposes, you should exchange this gem for the universal, well-rounded bonuses of Bane of the Powerful.
To imbue your character with more of the vital cooldown reduction — necessary not only for lightning-fast Leap resets, but also shortening the downtime of Wrath of the Berserker — you will do well to take Gogok of Swiftness in your third and final gem slot. The gem's scaling Dodge bonus adds welcome extra protective utility.
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. While it is a fairly easy build cooldown-wise, you should still make use of the easy CDR source coming from a Flawless Royal Diamond in your helm. In your weapon, use a Flawless Royal Emerald for the Crit Damage boost.
|Torso and Pants|
For more information about gems, please refer to our guide on gems.
As described above, you will be cubing your weaker roll between The Furnace and Blade of the Tribes in the weapon slot. Ideally, the cube slot will be taken by Blade of the Tribes to secure the maximum Earthquake damage increase, while enjoying the superior average damage of the two handed mace in your hands.
A former best-in-slot item for the build, Lut Socks find a new home for their power in Kanai's Cube, making way for the full set and offense jewelry. This does not lessen their impact in the build, and they remain a key piece for the playstyle by allowing three Leaps within a 2-second window before the cooldown begins.
You have two viable routes to take in the jewelry slot of Kanai's Cube during Greater Rift progression. The general recommendation for this slot, especially for high-end pushing and Hardcore, is Band of Might. It offers the massive 80% damage reduction for the modest requirement of Leaping at least once every 8 seconds. You can also gamble on a favorable rift and monster composition by going glass cannon with the full offense power of 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.
The recommended follower for this build during solo GR progression is the Scoundrel due to his powerful crit buff, allowing you brief windows of extra damage that are well suited to the strengths of this 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.
Two legendary potions can be considered useful in an Earthquake Barb build. Bottomless Potion of Amplification adds some extra healing to your Life per Fury Spent tactics with Rumble. Alternatively, Bottomless Potion of the Diamond can be a straightforward addition that simply layers a short All Resist protective coating after drinking (All Resistance is the preferred form of mitigation stacking for Strength-based characters, since their mainstat scales Armor already.)
- 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.
- 13 Apr. 2022: Guide reviewed for Season 26.
- 09 Dec. 2021: Added Season 25 Soul Shard recommendations.
- 22 Jul. 2021: Added S24 Ethereal recommendation.
- 31 Mar. 2021: Revised gearing recommendations and added follower recommendation.
- 18 Nov. 2020: Revised main hand recommendations to match the changes to Blade of the Tribes. 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.
- 28 Aug. 2019: Minor clarification to the gear and stat recommendations.
- 22 Aug. 2019: Item recommendations are revised for Season 18.
- 13 May 2019: Guide was reviewed and approved for Season 17.
- 27 Jan. 2019: Updated the Season 16 Cube recommendation.
- 16 Jan. 2019: Added suggestions for the baseline Ring of Royal Grandeur for Seasonal characters.
- 31 Oct. 2017: Some wording updates to the gem and jewelry sections (without changes in the recommendations).
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