Warning It appears that you may be blocking the ads, and we are fine with it (read more here). That said, it would really be awesome if you decided to whitelist our website or make a donation :) You can also send us Bitcoins (1DEkropiHPWBmfJxogFaXQscfzhmdpTti4)!

Whirlwind Wastes Barbarian Skills and Runes

Last updated on Jun 26, 2017 at 11:34 by Deadset

Table of Contents

General Information

Below, we explain how to choose and use your skills when playing Whirlwind Wastes Barbarian in Diablo 3. Updated for patch 2.6 and Season 11.

The other pages of our Whirlwind Wastes Barbarian guide can be accessed from the table of contents on the right.

Active Skills
Left Mouse Button Ground Stomp Icon Ground Stomp Wrenching Smash Wrenching Smash Right Mouse Button Whirlwind Icon Whirlwind Wind Shear Wind Shear 1 Ignore Pain Icon Ignore Pain Ignorance is Bliss Ignorance is Bliss 2 Wrath of the Berserker Icon Wrath of the Berserker Insanity Insanity 3 Battle Rage Icon Battle Rage Swords to Ploughshares Swords to Ploughshares 4 War Cry Icon War Cry Veteran's Warning Veteran's Warning
Passive Skills

1. Rotation

With a playstyle distilled to its simplest essence, the build opens runs with Whirlwind Whirlwind and rarely, if ever, stops until the run is complete. The Whirlwind Barb thrives in density — either natural, or built up through Ground Stomp Ground Stomp Wrenching Smash Wrenching Smash — where the combination of his gemming and Kanai's Cube options will reset vital cooldowns like Wrath of the Berserker Wrath of the Berserker and Ignore Pain 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 Ignore Pain and Wrath of the Berserker Wrath of the Berserker as soon as they come off cooldown. Do not neglect to refresh helpful buffs like Battle Rage Battle Rage and War Cry War Cry as necessary.

2. Skills, Runes and Passives

Whirlwind 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 Dust Devils rune for free and vastly increases Whirlwind 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. Note that your rune will vary according to content and your chosen weaponry; by default, for solo GR progression we recommend Istvan's Paired Blades and the resource stabilizing Wind Shear Wind Shear rune. If you go for Bul-Kathos's Oath set (recommended in the speedfarm variation — check the relevant section), swap to the healing Blood Funnel Blood Funnel rune.

Ignore Pain 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, but also gains powerful healing side properties from the Ignorance is Bliss Ignorance is Bliss rune. Considering Ignore Pain Ignore Pain is a major factor of your survival, you will be wearing Pride of Cassius Pride of Cassius and optimizing stats to reach its permanent uptime in high Greater Rifts.

Another major cooldown consideration — even more impactful than Ignore Pain Ignore Pain — is Wrath of the Berserker Wrath of the Berserker. A signature barbarian steroid, Wrath of the Berserker Wrath of the Berserker grants Crit Chance, Attack and Movement Speed, Dodge Chance and brings a major damage increase through the Insanity Insanity rune. 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 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 runes are too good to ignore. In the default GR progression spec with Istvan's Paired Blades, the Swords to Ploughshares Swords to Ploughshares rune will bring massive health sustain. When using Bul-Kathos's Oath, you can also dabble into the Bloodshed Bloodshed DPS increase — excellent for low-to-mid GR content.

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

Whirlwind Barbarians have grown to favor strong, short range crowd control in the face of Ground Stomp Ground Stomp, augmented with the pulling aspect of the Wrenching Smash Wrenching Smash rune. If you favor precise, longer range pulls over the centered AoE of Ground Stomp Ground Stomp, you can swap this skill out for Ancient Spear Ancient Spear Rage Flip Rage Flip.

This concludes the overview of the active skills, now let us look through the passives.

While Boon of Bul-Kathos Boon of Bul-Kathos has threefold utility, the Whirlwind Barbarian narrows it down to its single most powerful bonus — lowering the cooldown of Wrath of the Berserker Wrath of the Berserker by half a minute. Working in conjunction with Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac to bring you permanent uptime of your ubiquitous Berserker steroid, this passive is considered mandatory for the playstyle.

A hurricane of steel both armed and agile, the Whirlwind Barbarian uses the Rampage 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.

An amplifier taken to compensate your greatest weakness, Ruthless 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.

Your final passive slot is flexible, with a number of viable and useful options. If you feel the need for additional damage, you can take Berserker Rage Berserker Rage and gamble on densely packed rifts. A second life is never a bad option, making Nerves of Steel Nerves of Steel another attractive pickup.

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.

Force desktop version
Force mobile version