Speed Farming Barbarian HotA Build with Immortal King (Patch 2.7.6 / Season 29)
Immortal King HotA Barbarian Speed Farming Variation
The Immortal King HotA Barbarian can deal reasonably well with Normal Rift and Bounty farming all the way through the highest Torment difficulties. The build variation suffers from minor inconveniences compared to top tier speed farming builds (conflicting bracers, competing belts), but otherwise handles the task with ease. We have solo speed GR rankings and solo speed T16 rankings if you want to know more about which builds are best for speed farming.
Within the limited scope of regular difficulties, the necessary damage and toughness to triumph over the enemy is significantly smaller. Thus, your best course of action is to improve utility and speed.
|Furious Charge Merciless Assault Hammer of the Ancients Smash 1 Battle Rage Ferocity 2 Sprint Marathon 3 Wrath of the Berserker Insanity 4 Call of the Ancients Together as One|
When you are speed farming regular rifts, parts of your playstyle will adapt to the lowered challenge and focus more on speed and utility.
Activate Call of the Ancients and Wrath of the Berserker as soon as you start a run, and keep both skills up throughout the rift — a task made infinitely easier with the Immortal King set bonus. Remember that Wrath of the Berserker needs to be cast on cooldown, but only resummon Call of the Ancients when one or more of them die off. In a speedfarming build, take advantage of the burst potential of HotA builds and try to jump from elite to elite, killing trash enemies as collateral damage instead of them being the focus. Furious Charge will alternate with Hammer of the Ancients at regular intervals to maintain the Focus and Restraint damage bonus. Keep Battle Rage up at all times and Sprint in between packs if necessary.
Adapting Skills and Passives
Parts of the skill and passive selection will overlap with the base Greater Rift progression build, but others will have to change according to the task at hand. Ability to cross over great distances faster and more efficiently take precedence.
- Hammer of the Ancients remains the main damage dealing skill, along with the highest damage dealing rune — Smash.
- Furious Charge retains its role as a movement skill, along with the cooldown-resetting powers of the rune Merciless Assault.
- Battle Rage is present in the speed farming build as well, but the rune is swapped from the progression-oriented Bloodshed to the extra movement speed of Ferocity.
- When you are solo speed farming, use the slot usually occupied by Threatening Shout for the short bursts of speed from Sprint Marathon — useful when there is no one to Furious Charge to, and especially so in Bounties. If you are clearing standard rifts with a group, you can consider using War Cry in this slot and cubing Chilanik's Chain for the party-wide movement speed buff.
- Both Call of the Ancients Together as One and Wrath of the Berserker Insanity are still part of your skill lineup.
- Rampage, Berserker Rage and Ruthless are still a solid foundation of your passive selection.
- You can change the flexible fourth passive slot from progression staples like Nerves of Steel to the globe-consuming Pound of Flesh to further speed up your clears.
Most of the gear from the Greater Rift progression build will still make sense for speed farming, but a few variations will be necessary in order to maximize your productivity and momentum during regular Rift clears.
The six pieces of the Immortal King set, the Fury of the Ancients, and Bracers of the First Men worn during progression are still required during speed farming. Note that the bracers are the Kanai's Cube recommendation for Mortick's Brace, depending on your better rolled item. A former contender for the slot, Nemesis Bracers, can now be allocated to the follower and their unique power will still apply to you due to the Emanation system.
During standard rift speed farming, the timing and positioning-reliant bonuses of the Endless Walk set and Convention of Elements are greatly diminished in usefulness. Instead, you should amplify your damage potential and capability to oneshot elites by incorporating the Bastions of Will jewelry set: Focus and Restraint. The two rings offer an unparalleled 2.25x multiplier as long as you alternate between a generator and spender attacks — a requirement that is easily fulfilled by weaving a regular Furious Charge into your Hammer of the Ancients spam. Lastly, complete the jewelry with Squirt's Necklace, which adds another damage multiplier to the build at the cost of increasing damage taken, and with the condition of "not getting hit" — a limitation to a melee-only build that you will get around by socketing either a Molten Wildebeest's Gizzard (if you are farming low tier GRs), or Boon of the Hoarder (if you are farming T16 standard rifts).
Weapons-wise, you will be using the utility-driven combo of In-geom and Remorseless. The former will ensure an unbroken chain of Wrath of the Berserker activations despite the lesser HotA spam in standard rifts, while the latter will reward you for it with a massive damage bonus to your main damage skill while you keep WotB and Ancients active.
Death's Breath Farming
While we recommend that you use a Raekor Boulder Toss build for Death's Breath farming, Immortal King HotA builds are also able to include the Sage's set for the extra materials. You will simply need to:
- Replace two Immortal King set pieces with two Sage's Journey items of your choice — you have Sage's Apogee, Sage's Passage, Sage's Purchase and Sage's Ribbon available (ideally not the belt, since you will lose out on the extra Fury from Immortal King's Tribal Binding). Taking back Immortal King's Boulder Breaker into the build, at the expense of faster weaponry.
- Dropping Avarice Band from the cube for Ring of Royal Grandeur, which helps to maintain the full set bonuses of the two sets.
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.
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: Maximum Fury: 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 dual-wielding 1-handed builds, this is usually 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 remains a universally desired damage amplification gem.
Boon of the Hoarder is a great speed farming inclusion, as it increases both your gold income (necessary for empowering GRs) as well as your movement speed. If you are farming Greater Rifts (where gold does not drop) or if you are doing a Death's Breath farming alteration, you can use the defensive bulwark of Molten Wildebeest's Gizzard to safekeep your Squirt's Necklace damage bonus.
Bane of the Powerful is one of the best speed farming gems, as it offers a 20% multiplicative damage increase after killing an elite pack with a scaling duration of 1 second per level, starting out at a generous 30 — meaning you can afford to leave the gem at level 25 for a while in early progression and work on your more important gems. Its secondary bonus is a further increase in damge dealt and a reduction in damage taken from elites, solidifying its spot as a farming staple.
|Torso and Pants|
For more information about gems, please refer to our guide on gems.
Adapting Kanai's Cube
You will maintain The Gavel of Judgment (in the weapon cube slot) and either Bracers of the First Men or Mortick's Brace (in the armor cube slot — choice depends on your weaker rolled item), as these items provide indispensable bonuses for the performance of a HotA Barbarian.
Avarice Band is an Act 3 cache legendary ring that increases your gold and health globe pickup radius as you pick up gold, stacking to the massive, half-screen circle of 30 yards — all for a generous 10 second duration. When cubed, its legendary power will greatly assist you in maintaining the movespeed bonuses of Boon of the Hoarder, as well as Pound of Flesh. If you are uncomfortable with your toughness however, you can stick with the mitigation powerhouse Band of Might.
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 standard rift farming for keys is the Enchantress due to her numerous utility bonuses, allowing you to smooth out your speed runs even further.
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.
The preferred potion for this build is Bottomless Potion of the Leech due to its Life per Hit bonuses, which synergize perfectly for the high attack speed and sustain-through-attacks playstyle of the build.
- 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: Slight revision of wording, gem options; added S24 Ethereal recommendation.
- 30 Mar. 2021: Added follower recommendation.
- 18 Nov. 2020: 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: Revised and update for Season 19.
- 28 Aug. 2019: Further revised skill and item recommendations.
- 22 Aug. 2019: Item recommendations were revised for Season 18.
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