Seismic Slam Barbarian Skills and Runes
On this page, we explain how to choose and use your skills when playing Seismic Slam Barbarian in Diablo 3. Updated for patch 2.6.9 and Season 21.
|Seismic Slam Permafrost Leap Death from Above 1 Battle Rage Bloodshed 2 War Cry Veteran's Warning 3 Call of the Ancients Together as One 4 Wrath of the Berserker Insanity|
This build starts runs with an activation of Call of the Ancients and Wrath of the Berserker; both skills are to be kept up throughout the rift using the cooldown resets coming from the equipped Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac. Make sure to Leap at least once every 10 seconds in order to maintain the massive defensive bulwark of the Iron Impact Armor bonus coming from the MotE set, ideally aiming for Oculus Ring procs spawned by your follower. Finalize your buffs with regular casts of War Cry and Battle Rage. Once all your various buffs are in check, you are free to decimate your foes with Seismic Slam spam — ideally at a distance that would maintain your No Escape damage buff.
Skills and Runes
Your primary damage dealer comes in the form of Seismic Slam, one of the most visually satisfying Barbarian skills. Seismic Slam's massive, shuddering tremors are best augmented with the strongest rune, the Cold damage 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 and Fury of the Vanished Peak. Its built-in Chilling effect will serve as a natural proc for both Fjord Cutter and Bane of the Trapped, further amplifying damage (see this build's gear page for more information).
You will be weaving Might of the Earth's base bonuses to the benefits of this build by taking 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 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 rune on your bar.
Two hallmark, long-cooldown Barbarian skills are present in the build: Call of the Ancients and Wrath of the Berserker. Both skills should reach overlap with enough Cooldown Reduction on gear and an equipped Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac, discussed further in the Gearing page.
- Call of the Ancients summons a trio of warriors at your side for 20 seconds; while their damage is negligible, the utility they bring cannot be ignored: you will reduce incoming damage in half via the rune Together as One, and gain the resource management benefits of Ancients' Fury by cubing Fury of the Ancients.
- No superlatives should be spared when talking about Wrath of the Berserker, especially when paired with the damage amplifier of the 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.
- 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 to drop — it is a solid source of damage, especially with the AoE-oriented Bloodshed rune.
- War Cry is a two-in-one utility skill that brings extra Dodge with the Veteran's Warning 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 is not as passive as it first seems.
This concludes the overview of the Active Skills, now let us look through the Passives.
Constantly Leaping from one battle into another, the Seismic Slam Barb can easily incorporate the 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, it is only natural for a SS Barb to mitigate his single target deficiencies with 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.
Taking advantage of two thirds of the Boon of Bul-Kathos utility, the Seismic Slam Barbarian enjoys significantly lower cooldowns on both Call of the Ancients and Wrath of the Berserker. This greatly eases the strain on your CDR requirements, as well as the Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac resets.
A natural inclusion into a Seismic Slam slam build, 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 rune. Note that in Hardcore (or if you simply want to play it safer), this slot can be swapped into the Nerves of Steel cheat death.
- 12 Mar. 2020: No changes necessary for Season 20.
- 19 Nov. 2019: Guide revised and updated for Season 19.
- 28 Aug. 2019: Fixed diablo3.com 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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