Barbarian Class in Diablo 4

Barbarian Leveling Guide in Diablo 4

Our top recommended choice to level as a Barbarian.




Theorycraft Build Maker and Content Creator

Updated: Posted:

Hammer of the AncientsDeath BlowFrenzyRallying CryWrath of the BerserkerLeap

Leveling as a Barbarian with Hammer of the Ancients and Death Blow

The Hammer of the AncientsHammer of the Ancients Barbarian leveling build smashes your foes into obliteration. This is your leveling guide for Diablo 4, with the maximum Skill Point allocation at level 50. With previous beta testing, we currently believe Hammer of the Ancients (HotA) is the best option for leveling a new Barbarian character. Let us go over the build mechanics, character progression, and playstyle!

Furious Hammer of the AncientsFurious Hammer of the Ancients deals 1% additional damage for each point of current Fury. Fill up Fury quickly with multiple sources of generation, and then dump Fury with Hammer of the AncientsHammer of the Ancients to deal massive blows. Death BlowDeath Blow is another highly damaging hit that can be used repeatedly if it kills an enemy.

This leveling build is perfect for players that are used to traditional generator and spender playstyles. Charge up for huge damage numbers with the Hammer of the Ancients Barbarian!

If you are already level 50, you can check out any of our Endgame Barbarian builds.

Level 50/Endgame Hammer of the Ancients Barbarian Build Level 50/Endgame Rend Barbarian Build Level 50/Endgame Whirlwind Barbarian Build

Skill Tree Points

The following table shows the order in which to allocate your Skill Points for Hammer of the Ancients Barbarian leveling. You gain 48 points at Level 50 and 2 points from completing Renown in each Act zone, for a total of 58.

2Enhanced FrenzyEnhanced FrenzyBasic
3Hammer of the AncientsHammer of the AncientsCore
4Enhanced Hammer of the AncientsEnhanced Hammer of the AncientsCore
5Furious Hammer of the AncientsFurious Hammer of the AncientsCore
6Combat FrenzyCombat FrenzyBasic
7Rallying CryRallying CryDefensive
8Enhanced Rallying CryEnhanced Rallying CryDefensive
9Strategic Rallying CryStrategic Rallying CryDefensive
10Hammer of the AncientsHammer of the Ancients Level 2Core
11Hammer of the AncientsHammer of the Ancients Level 3Core
13Enhanced LeapEnhanced LeapBrawling
14Power LeapPower LeapBrawling
15Hammer of the AncientsHammer of the Ancients Level 4Core
16Hammer of the AncientsHammer of the Ancients Level 5Core
17Death BlowDeath BlowWeapon Mastery
18Enhanced Death BlowEnhanced Death BlowWeapon Mastery
19Warrior's Death BlowWarrior’s Death BlowWeapon Mastery
20HamstringHamstringWeapon Mastery
21Death BlowDeath Blow Level 2Weapon Mastery
22Death BlowDeath Blow Level 3Weapon Mastery
23Death BlowDeath Blow Level 4Weapon Mastery
24Death BlowDeath Blow Level 5Weapon Mastery
25Wrath of the BerserkerWrath of the BerserkerUltimate
26Prime Wrath of the BerserkerPrime Wrath of the BerserkerUltimate
27Supreme Wrath of the BerserkerSupreme Wrath of the BerserkerUltimate
28Tempered FuryTempered FuryUltimate
29Furious ImpulseFurious ImpulseUltimate
30Furious ImpulseFurious Impulse Level 2Ultimate
31Furious ImpulseFurious Impulse Level 3Ultimate
33SwiftnessSwiftness Level 2Brawling
34Walking ArsenalWalking ArsenalKey Passive
35SwiftnessSwiftness Level 3Brawling
36Pit FighterPit FighterWeapon Mastery
37No MercyNo MercyWeapon Mastery
38Expose VulnerabilityExpose VulnerabilityWeapon Mastery
39Expose VulnerabilityExpose VulnerabilityWeapon Mastery
40Expose VulnerabilityExpose VulnerabilityWeapon Mastery
41Thick SkinThick SkinWeapon Mastery
42Thick SkinThick Skin Level 2Weapon Mastery
43Thick SkinThick Skin Level 3Weapon Mastery
44CounteroffensiveCounteroffensiveWeapon Mastery
45CounteroffensiveCounteroffensiveWeapon Mastery
46CounteroffensiveCounteroffensiveWeapon Mastery
47Defensive StanceDefensive StanceWeapon Mastery
48Defensive StanceDefensive StanceWeapon Mastery
49Defensive StanceDefensive StanceWeapon Mastery
50Pit FighterPit Fighter Level 2Weapon Mastery
51Pit FighterPit Fighter Level 3Weapon Mastery
52Slaying StrikeSlaying StrikeWeapon Mastery
53Slaying StrikeSlaying StrikeWeapon Mastery
54Slaying StrikeSlaying StrikeWeapon Mastery
55Aggressive ResistanceAggressive ResistanceBrawling
56Prolific FuryProlific FuryBrawling
57Prolific FuryProlific FuryBrawling
58Prolific FuryProlific FuryBrawling

Mechanics and Playstyle

The Hammer of the Ancients Barbarian leveling build requires some management of resources. Multiple skills are used to generate Fury with Enhanced FrenzyEnhanced FrenzyRallying CryRallying CryPower LeapPower Leap, Furious ImpulseFurious Impulse and Prolific FuryProlific Fury. Once full, dump damage with Hammer of the AncientsHammer of the Ancients while maintaining a high Fury count for optimal DPS.

Death BlowDeath Blow is another skill with high damage per hit, used to finish off enemies in order to reset its cooldown. Weapon Master's AspectWeapon Master’s Aspect gives Death Blow an extra charge in case you fail to kill an enemy with it.

Wrath of the BerserkerWrath of the Berserker is activated against tough elites and bosses for Berserk and Unstoppable.


Survivability is increased by gaining Fortify through Strategic Rallying CryStrategic Rallying Cry and Thick SkinThick Skin. Additional Damage Reduction while Fortified is gained from Defensive StanceDefensive Stance and gear. Fortify also increases damage through CounteroffensiveCounteroffensive and Damage while Fortified stats.


Expose VulnerabilityExpose Vulnerability applies Vulnerable with Hammer of the AncientsHammer of the Ancients after using Death BlowDeath Blow. This can be tricky to keep active during boss fights. Use Death Blow to finish off boss adds and space out your charges if you are using Weapon Master's AspectWeapon Master’s Aspect for more Vulnerable uptime.

Walking Arsenal

The Key Passive, Walking ArsenalWalking Arsenal, provides x45% increased damage with proper weapon swapping. Activating the Dual Wield buff with FrenzyFrenzy and the Two-Handed Bludgeoning buff with Hammer of the AncientsHammer of the Ancients is fairly easy. Assign your Two-Handed Slashing weapon to LeapLeap and Death BlowDeath Blow to activate the final buff. Against bosses, alternate casts of Leap and Death Blow for the most optimal buff uptime.

Walking Arsenal Barbarian buff interface in Diablo 4
Icons Track Weapon Buffs for Walking Arsenal

Damage Rotation

Smash your enemies with the following rotation to maximize damage.

  1. Activate Rallying CryRallying Cry if your Fury is low.
  2. Generate Fury at the start of the fight with LeapLeap and FrenzyFrenzy.
  3. Cast Hammer of the AncientsHammer of the Ancients once every time Fury is full. Continue to weave in generators to maintain a high Fury count for optimal DPS.
  4. Finish off enemies with Death BlowDeath Blow to generate Fury and reset its cooldown. During long boss fights, it should be used constantly when off cooldown.

Weapon Expertise System

The specialization of the Barbarian is automatically unlocked at level 5. The Weapon Expertise bonuses gain levels as you hit with each specific weapon. Assign Two-Handed Sword Expertise to the Weapon Technique slot for the additional Bleed effect.

Weapon Expertise Barbarian in Diablo 4
Select Two-Handed Sword Expertise for the Weapon Technique

Hammer of the AncientsHammer of the Ancients must use a Two-Handed Mace, while FrenzyFrenzy must use Dual Wielded weapons. Once you have Walking ArsenalWalking Arsenal, assign your Two-Handed Slashing weapon to Death BlowDeath Blow and LeapLeap.

Gear Choice and Stat Priority while Leveling

Make sure to pick up all Rare equipment drops that may be upgrades while you are leveling Hammer of the Ancients Barbarian. Save Legendary items with useful aspects in your stash to be used later for extraction and imprinting onto well rolled Rare items.

Prioritize the highest damage per hit weapon setup available. When comparing weapons with similar item levels, Two-Handed weapons are usually preferred.

Listed below are the stat affixes to prioritize on gear for Hammer of the Ancients Barbarian leveling, ranked by their importance. Affixes on the same level have roughly the same importance.

1DPS value on all weapon slots
2Rank of Hammer of the Ancients and Death Blow
3– All Damage
– Damage to Close, Slowed, Crowd Controlled and Healthy Enemies
– Damage with Mace, Core and Weapon Mastery Skills
– Damage while Fortified, Berserking and Healthy
– Vulnerable Damage
– Critical Strike Chance and Damage
– Attack Speed and Basic Skill Attack Speed
– Strength
4– Damage Reduction
– Damage Reduction while Fortified
– Any Elemental Resistances
– Armor
5– Crowd Control Duration
– Cooldown Reduction
– Movement Speed
– Life

Legendary Item Aspects

Aspect of Ancestral ForceAspect of Ancestral Force can be unlocked in the Codex of Power by completing the Sunken Ruins in Scosglen. Visit the Occultist to imprint this Aspect onto an item. Aspects from the Codex of Power can be used often on weapons. Avoid imprinting valuable extracted Aspects onto weapons, because they get replaced often while leveling.

Listed below are the Aspects found on Legendary items that are important for the Hammer of the Ancients Barbarian leveling build. They are listed in order of priority.

Aspect NameLegendary Aspect PowerSource
Edgemaster's AspectEdgemaster’s AspectSkills deal up to #%[x] increased damage based on your available Primary Resource when cast, receiving the maximum benefit while you have full Primary Resource.Oldstones, Scosglen
Aspect of Ancestral ForceAspect of Ancestral ForceHammer of the Ancients quakes outwards, dealing #% of its damage to enemies.Sunken Ruins, Scosglen
Weapon Master's AspectWeapon Master’s AspectYour Weapon Mastery Skills have an additional Charge. Lucky Hit: Damaging an enemy with a Weapon Mastery Skill has up to a #% chance to Stun them for # seconds.Random Drop Only
Aspect of the ExpectantAspect of the ExpectantAttacking enemies with a Basic Skill increases the damage of your next Core Skill cast by #%[x], up to 30%[x].Underroot, Scosglen
Aspect of MightAspect of MightBasic Skills grant 20% Damage Reduction for # seconds.Dark Ravine, Dry Steppes
Aspect of DisobedienceAspect of DisobedienceYou gain #%[x] increased Armor for 4 seconds when you deal any form of damage, stacking up to #%[x].Halls of the Damned, Kehjistan
Rapid AspectRapid AspectBasic Skills gain #%[+] Attack Speed.Buried Halls, Dry Steppes
Aspect of Encroaching WrathAspect of Encroaching WrathAfter spending 100 Fury, your next Weapon Mastery Skill deals #%[x] increased damage.Random Drop Only
Aspect of the Relentless ArmsmasterAspect of the Relentless ArmsmasterGain #%[x] increased Fury Generation while all damage bonuses from the Walking Arsenal Key Passive are active.Calibel’s Mine, Scosglen
Aspect of Giant StridesAspect of Giant StridesReduces the Cooldown of Leap by # seconds per enemy hit, up to a maximum of # seconds.Random Drop Only
Aspect of Echoing FuryAspect of Echoing FuryYour Shout Skills generate # Fury per second while active.Sirocco Caverns, Kehjistan
Aspect of Unrelenting FuryAspect of Unrelenting FuryKilling an enemy with a Core Skill refunds #% of its base Fury cost. Can only happen once per Skill cast.Hallowed Ossuary, Fractured Peaks
Ghostwalker AspectGhostwalker AspectWhile Unstoppable and for 2 seconds after, you gain #%[+} increased Movement Speed and can move freely through enemies.Broken Bulwark, Scosglen
Iron Blood AspectIron Blood AspectGain #% Damage Reduction for each Nearby Bleeding enemy up to #% maximum.Forgotten Ruins, Kehjistan
Battle-MadGain Berserking for # seconds after swapping weapons # times.Random Drop Only


Listed below are the best Gems to socket into gear for each slot type for Hammer of the Ancients Barbarian leveling.

  • Weapon: Emerald for Critical Strike Damage to Vulnerable Enemies.
  • Armor: Sapphire for Damage Reduction While Fortified.
  • Jewelry: Any Gem that gives the Resistance type you are lacking the most.

Elixirs and Health Potions

Visit the Alchemist to craft helpful Elixirs that increase stats and experience gain for 30 minutes. Make sure to forage plants and pick up the necessary crafting materials during your adventures; they randomly spawn around the world. Use an Elixir providing any Resistance you need most, Assault Elixir for Attack Speed or Precision Elixir for Critical Strike.

Return to the Alchemist again when you reach Level 20, 30, 45, 60, 70, 80 and 90, to upgrade your potion. The extra healing is essential to survival.