Whirlwind GR Wastes Barbarian Skills and Runes
On this page, we explain how to choose and use your skills when playing Whirlwind GR Wastes Barbarian in Diablo 3. Updated for Patch 2.7.1 and Season 24.
|Ancient Spear Rage Flip Whirlwind Blood Funnel 1 Ignore Pain Iron Hide 2 Wrath of the Berserker Insanity 3 Battle Rage Bloodshed 4 Threatening Shout Falter|
With a playstyle distilled to its simplest essence, the build opens runs with Whirlwind and rarely, if ever, stops until the run is complete. The Whirlwind Barb thrives in density, where the combination of his gemming and Kanai's Cube options will reset vital cooldowns like Wrath of the Berserker and Ignore Pain. Once a pack thins out and only a few monsters are left standing, make a judgment call — finish off mobs with less threatening affixes, or try to draw them into the next big fight. When properly optimized in both stats and gameplay, you should be able to re-activate Ignore Pain and Wrath of the Berserker as soon as they come off cooldown. Do not neglect to refresh Battle Rage as necessary, and to apply the Threatening Shout debuff on Physical rotation of your Convention of Elements.
Skills and Runes
Whirlwind is the focus of the build, taking on the roles of a primary damage dealer and a movement tool at once. The 6-piece bonus of Wrath of the Wastes set provides you with the Dust Devils rune for free and vastly increases Whirlwind damage, elevating this signature skill to one of the highest damaging spenders in the Barbarian arsenal. Unmatched in maneuverability by ignoring enemy collision, this low cost spender also increases your survivability through the Wastes 4-piece set bonus and the healing of the Blood Funnel rune.
Ignore Pain is one of the most versatile damage reduction tools in the Barbarian arsenal; it instantaneously cuts incoming damage in half and makes you immune to crowd control as a base effect, and you will extend its duration further with the Iron Hide rune.
Another major cooldown consideration — even more impactful than Ignore Pain — is Wrath of the Berserker. A signature barbarian steroid, Wrath of the Berserker grants Crit Chance, Attack and Movement Speed, Dodge Chance and brings a major damage increase through the Insanity rune. All the remaining runes will be obtained by equipping Mortick's Brace (see this build's gear page for more information), further cementing the skill in this slot. Getting to as close to permanent uptime of this skill as possible will be one of your major goals, influencing itemization, passives and Cube options.
Battle Rage is another Barbarian mainstay, boosting both damage and Crit Chance. While it can be considered a fire-and-forget skill with its impressive 2-minute duration, never neglect to activate and keep it up — the benefits provided by its AoE-increasing Bloodshed rune are too good to ignore.
Whirlwind Barbarians have grown to favor strong, ranged crowd control to help create the necessary density for optimal damage output. The recommended skill for this purpose is Ancient Spear Rage Flip whose long ranged pulls are unmatched during the setup of a fight.
On the debuff side, you will be flipping the base damage debuff of Threatening Shout into an increase of damage against affected monsters with the Falter rune.
This concludes the overview of the active skills, now let us look through the passives.
A hurricane of steel both armed and agile, the Whirlwind Barbarian uses the Rampage passive to great efficiency. With the potential to stack up to 25% additional Strength, increasing your DPS and Toughness substantially, it is important to learn to keep this passive up. Always being on the move towards bigger fights, where killing minor enemies will feed your stacks, is crucial.
Since the build is able to maintain a stable resource reserve most of the time (mostly due to the mechanics of the Bul-Kathos set and the Fury restoration from Threatening Shout), you can take advantage of the additive damage increase of Berserker Rage. To ensure the stability of your resource pool, you will also be using Weapons Master for the 2 Fury per Hit from using Mighty Weapons.
An amplifier taken to compensate your greatest weakness, Ruthless makes a tight fit for the troublesome one-on-one fights, where this AoE-oriented build struggles. Once you bring your target below 30% health, your damage skyrockets with an additional 40%, ensuring the mortal blow will be dealt in a reasonable time.
- 22 Jul. 2021: No changes necessary for Season 24.
- 31 Mar. 2021: No changes necessary for Season 23.
- 17 Nov. 2020: No changes necessary for Season 22.
- 12 Mar. 2020: No changes necessary for Season 20.
- 19 Nov. 2019: Guide revised and updated for Season 19.
- 28 Aug. 2019: Skill recommendations have been further revised.
- 22 Aug. 2019: Added a mention 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.
- 26 Nov. 2017: Revisited the skills to reflect the build switching from the Istvan's Paired Blades to the Bul-Kathos's Oath set.
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