Support Barbarian Skills and Runes

Last updated on Jun 14, 2018 at 11:34 by Deadset 42 comments

Table of Contents

General Information

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.

Active Skills
Left Mouse Button Furious Charge Icon Furious Charge No rune chosen Right Mouse Button Ground Stomp Icon Ground Stomp Jarring Slam Jarring Slam 1 Ancient Spear Icon Ancient Spear Rage Flip Rage Flip 2 Threatening Shout Icon Threatening Shout Falter Falter 3 Ignore Pain Icon Ignore Pain Mob Rule Mob Rule 4 War Cry Icon War Cry Veteran's Warning Veteran's Warning
Passive Skills

1. Rotation

The Support Barb assumes a leader position in Greater Rifts, controlling fights for the DPS characters to clear in relative safety. Furious Charge Furious Charge headlong into the rift, aggroing and drawing enemies into a big pile near your DPS teammate(s) with Ancient Spear Ancient Spear through the Rage Flip 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 Threatening Shout Falter Falter, while supporting your allies with Ignore Pain Ignore Pain Mob Rule Mob Rule and War Cry War Cry Veteran's Warning Veteran's Warning on cooldown. Ground Stomp Ground Stomp Jarring Slam 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 Gruesome Feast).

2. Skills, Runes and Passives

The build purposefully lists no particular rune for Furious Charge 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 Merciless Assault, the freezing effect of Cold Rush Cold Rush and the double charge effect of Dreadnought Dreadnought work together to supercharge your scouting potential, not to mention a lifesaving proc of Band of Might 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 Ancient Spear is taken with either of the displacement runes — Rage Flip Rage Flip or Harpoon Harpoon. The guide recommends Rage Flip 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 Harpoon, albeit with a slightly higher skill cap to use. Regardless of your choice, use Ancient Spear 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 Threatening Shout into an increase of damage against affected monsters with the Falter Falter rune. You will also need to use Ground Stomp 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 Jarring Slam rune. This is important due to Globe-reliant bonuses for your DPS teammates, such as the Gruesome Feast Gruesome Feast passive for Witch Doctors.

War Cry War Cry is a two-in-one utility skill that brings extra Toughness with the Veteran's Warning 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 War Cry is not as passive as it first seems.

Arguably the most important toughness increase you can provide to the party, Ignore Pain Ignore Pain takes on a role of a group-wide buff with the rune Mob Rule 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 Ignore Pain is a major reason for the cooldown reduction focus of the build, as well as the necessity for Pride of Cassius 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 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 Inspiring Presence is a pure utility addition that doubles the duration of War Cry War Cry and Threatening Shout 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 Sword and Board. Synergizing nicely with a worn Stormshield 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 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 Tough as Nails, bringing in a physical protection counterpart to the elemental resistance of Superstition Superstition, or the near-death bulwark of Relentless 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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