Seismic Slam Barbarian Skills and Runes

Last updated on Aug 28, 2019 at 15:39 by Deadset 14 comments
General Information

On this page, we explain how to choose and use your skills when playing Seismic Slam Barbarian in Diablo 3. Updated for patch 2.6.6 and Season 18.

Active Skills
Left Mouse Button Seismic Slam Icon Seismic Slam Permafrost Permafrost Right Mouse Button Leap Icon Leap Death from Above Death from Above 1 Battle Rage Icon Battle Rage Bloodshed Bloodshed 2 War Cry Icon War Cry Impunity Impunity 3 Wrath of the Berserker Icon Wrath of the Berserker Insanity Insanity 4 Call of the Ancients Icon Call of the Ancients Ancients' Fury Ancients' Fury
Passive Skills

1. Rotation

This build starts runs with an activation of Call of the Ancients Call of the Ancients and Wrath of the Berserker Wrath of the Berserker; both skills are to be kept up throughout the rift using the Immortal King set bonus. While Wrath of the Berserker Wrath of the Berserker needs to be cast on cooldown, only resummon Call of the Ancients Call of the Ancients when one or more of them fall in battle. Make sure to Leap Leap at least once every 8 seconds in order to maintain the massive defensive bulwark of Band of Might Band of Might and the baked-in Iron Impact Iron Impact Armor bonus coming from the MotE set. Finalize your defenses with regular casts of War Cry War Cry. With buffs and safety out of the way, you are free to decimate your foes with Seismic Slam Seismic Slam spam.

2. Skills, Runes and Passives

Your primary damage dealer comes in the form of Seismic Slam Seismic Slam, one of the most visually satisfying Barbarian skills. Seismic Slam Seismic Slam's massive, shuddering tremors are best augmented with the strongest rune, the Cold damage Permafrost Permafrost. You will strengthen the skill's base damage with Might of the Earth's 6-piece set powers and dedicated items like Bracers of Destruction Bracers of Destruction and Fury of the Vanished Peak Fury of the Vanished Peak. Its built-in Chilling effect will serve as a natural proc of Bane of the Trapped Bane of the Trapped, further amplifying damage.

You will be weaving Might of the Earth's base bonuses to the benefits of this build by taking Leap Leap as your mobility skill. Not only will it allow better positioning and fighting options inside the rift, but it will also build up your defenses with the free Iron Impact Iron Impact rune coming from the set's 4-piece bonus. This allows you to pack some additional safety with the stun of the Death from Above Death from Above rune on your bar. Considering Leap Leap is also a proc for the massive Band of Might Band of Might defensive bonus, the utility combo becomes indisputable.

The Immortal King set bonuses allow for the permanent uptime of two hallmark, long-cooldown Barbarian skills: Call of the Ancients Call of the Ancients and Wrath of the Berserker Wrath of the Berserker.

  • The 2-piece bonus removes the duration of Call of the Ancients Call of the Ancients, allowing you to benefit from the trio of warriors until they are killed. Sturdy as they are, powerful affixes and bad fights can result in one or more of them falling in battle — so keep an eye on their counter and resummon immediately. The 4-piece IK bonus assists you with the cooldown reset for a reason — the chosen rune Ancients' Fury Ancients' Fury is the basis of your Fury management.
  • No superlatives should be spared when talking about Wrath of the Berserker Wrath of the Berserker, especially when paired with the damage amplifier of the Insanity Insanity rune. For the sake of brevity, this is the single most powerful self-buff of Barbarians, providing you with significant amounts of Dodge, Crit Chance, Attack and Movement Speed. Easily reaching permanency through the constant Seismic Slam Seismic Slam spam and the Immortal King 4-piece bonus, as well as gaining the effects of all the remaining runes once Mortick's Brace Mortick's Brace is obtained, Wrath of the Berserker Wrath of the Berserker is a fixture to the build.

On the topic of buffs, two additional skills round out the category — the offensive Battle Rage Battle Rage and the defensive War Cry War Cry.

  • Battle Rage Battle Rage is a staple of the class, bumping up both damage and Crit Chance. While its 2-minute duration can catch you off guard, never allow Battle Rage Battle Rage to drop — it is a solid source of damage, especially with the AoE-oriented Bloodshed Bloodshed rune. As this build is limited in sources of healing, you can consider spamming Battle Rage Battle Rage out of combat to heal up through Life per Fury Spent on gear.
  • War Cry War Cry is a two-in-one utility skill that brings extra Toughness with the Impunity Impunity rune. Once activated, the buff lasts for three times the cooldown of the skill — but situations will arise when you need it for the Fury generation, so War Cry War Cry is not as passive as it first seems.

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

A natural inclusion into a Seismic Slam Seismic Slam slam build, No Escape No Escape is taken for the 30% damage multiplier against enemies affected by the skill. The range requirement of 15 yards can be easily maintained with the slowing capabilities of the Permafrost Permafrost rune.

Constantly Leap Leaping from one battle into another, the Seismic Slam Barb can easily incorporate the Rampage Rampage passive. Learning to maximize this passive is important, as it is a true multiplier with the potential to net you 25% additional Strength, increasing DPS and Toughness substantially. Staying at or near the cap can only be achieved if you stay vigilant and on the move, aiming to get in bigger fights, where killing minor enemies will feed your stacks.

With the AoE dominance of Seismic Slam Seismic Slam, it is only natural for a SS Barb to mitigate his single target deficiencies with Ruthless Ruthless. Once you bring your target below 30% health, your damage spikes with a 40% bonus, allowing you to tear down singular high-health priority targets (i.e., Rift Guardians) in a reasonable timeframe.

Your final passive slot is a little more flexible; the default recommendation is the "second life" safety of Nerves of Steel Nerves of Steel, but if you're feeling confident in this sturdy and safe spec, you can swap into the extra damage of Berserker Rage Berserker Rage — your Fury pool will be topped off quite often.

3. Changelog

  • 28 Aug. 2019: Fixed build link.
  • 22 Aug. 2019: Added mentions of Mortick's Brace.
  • 13 May 2019: Guide was reviewed and approved for Season 17.
  • 16 Jan. 2019: Information was reviewed and approved for Season 16 with no changes required.
  • 28 Feb. 2018: Added the guide.
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