Support Barbarian Skills and Runes
Table of Contents
- ×Skills and Runes
- +Gear, Gems, and Paragon Points
Below, we explain how to choose and use your skills when playing Support Barbarian in Diablo 3. Updated for patch 2.6.1 and Season 15.
The other pages of our Support Barbarian guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.
|Furious Charge No rune chosen Ground Stomp Jarring Slam 1 Ancient Spear Rage Flip 2 Threatening Shout Falter 3 Ignore Pain Mob Rule 4 War Cry Veteran's Warning|
The Support Barb assumes a leader position in Greater Rifts, controlling fights for the DPS characters to clear in relative safety. Furious Charge headlong into the rift, aggroing and drawing enemies into a big pile near your DPS teammate(s) with Ancient Spear through the Rage Flip effect. The support Barb will also be responsible for several crucial party buffs and debuffs. You will make monsters more susceptible to damage through Threatening Shout Falter, while supporting your allies with Ignore Pain Mob Rule and War Cry Veteran's Warning on cooldown. Ground Stomp Jarring Slam is not only a utility stun at your disposal, but also a targeted tool to feed Health Globes to your Witch Doctor DPS (stacking Gruesome Feast).
2. Skills, Runes and Passives
The build purposefully lists no particular rune for Furious Charge, since you can take any rune you like and still receive the benefits of all five runes from the 4-piece set bonus of the Raekor set — a vital part of the playstyle, as it brings its signature mobility. The cooldown reduction of Merciless Assault, the freezing effect of Cold Rush and the double charge effect of Dreadnought work together to supercharge your scouting potential, not to mention a lifesaving proc of Band of Might.
What can be considered the signature move of the Support Barb, as well as the source of long range crowd control, Ancient Spear is taken with either of the displacement runes — Rage Flip or Harpoon. The guide recommends Rage Flip, as it complements your ahead-of-group scouting better, and by dragging behind you results in a slightly longer distance pull than the competing Harpoon, albeit with a slightly higher skill cap to use. Regardless of your choice, use Ancient Spear liberally to group big groups of enemies tightly together, benefiting the AoE of your DPS allies.
Besides the excellent crowd control, the support Barbarian implements four utility skills — split in half between enfeebling the enemy and strengthening his allies.
You will be flipping the base damage debuff of Threatening Shout into an increase of damage against affected monsters with the Falter rune. You will also need to use Ground Stomp regularly into packs your group has engaged; not only to add a helpful stun, but also to produce Health Globes from the Jarring Slam rune. This is important due to Globe-reliant bonuses for your DPS teammates, such as the Gruesome Feast passive for Witch Doctors.
War Cry is a two-in-one utility skill that brings extra Toughness with the Veteran's Warning rune. The buff has a fire-and-forget nature with its double screen (100 yard) radius and a duration three times the natural cooldown — but situations will arise when you need it for the Fury generation, so War Cry is not as passive as it first seems.
Arguably the most important toughness increase you can provide to the party, Ignore Pain takes on a role of a group-wide buff with the rune Mob Rule. With a generous, screen-wide range of 50 yards, this versatile damage reduction tool cuts the incoming hurt in half for you and by a quarter for party members, and provides immunity to control-impairing effects (stuns, freezes, immobilizes, etc.) The potency of Ignore Pain is a major reason for the cooldown reduction focus of the build, as well as the necessity for Pride of Cassius to reach permanence of the buff.
This concludes the overview of the Active Skills, now let us look through the Passives.
In a proper setup, your DPS teammates will not be the only ones benefiting from Health Globe generation. You can take great advantage of it yourself through the Pound of Flesh passive, granting you a substantial increase of movement speed (20% at 5 stacks, not affected by the 25% cap), along with some helpful health sustain.
A passive you will not see outside support setups, Inspiring Presence is a pure utility addition that doubles the duration of War Cry and Threatening Shout. On top of that, it supplies the party with a %-based life regeneration effect with a humongous range that you constantly refresh.
To strengthen a build that frequently scouts dangerous, unexplored territory and dives headfirst into the fray, you will be taking Sword and Board. Synergizing nicely with a worn Stormshield, this passive will cut incoming damage by another 30%, as well as improve Fury management with a 20% reduction.
Your final passive slot is more flexible than the rest; a commonly suggested choice is the Nerves of Steel cheat death, allowing you a free pass from burst affixes once every minute. Other viable options include the strong mitigation of Tough as Nails, bringing in a physical protection counterpart to the elemental resistance of Superstition, or the near-death bulwark of Relentless.
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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