AoEDamageEndgamefreezeSeason 1

Frozen Whirlwind Barbarian Endgame Build for Diablo 4 (Season 1)

An ice-imbued warrior who freezes any enemies in place and cuts them down.




Updated: Posted:

WhirlwindLunging StrikeRallying CryWar CryLeapCharge

Build Introduction

This is your comprehensive guide for building an ice-imbued warrior who freezes any enemies his WhirlwindWhirlwind touches, pulling enemies towards him as their cries of death are silent and frozen as they shatter to the ground. Welcome to our Frozen Whirlwind Endgame build. This is a blast to play! A spin to win playstyle with Uniques who possess a chance to freeze enemies with every hit. With great mobility, and two sources of Unstoppable, this build makes your enemies’ blood run cold.

Strengths and Weaknesses

  • Amazing single-target and group DPS
  • Strong CC against enemies
  • Strong defenses
  • Good mobility
  • Fury management
  • Requires positioning

To see how this build compares to the other builds on our site, you can check out our build tier lists.

Build Requirements

This build has several Legendary Aspects that are required before it will function properly. The Legendary Aspects you will need the following at a minimum to make the build work at its most basic level. These Aspects are all non-codex, which means you will need to find them on a Legendary Item then imprint them onto specific gear.

In addition, this build uses three required Uniques to activate the cold mechanics surrounding WhirlwindWhirlwind.

Required Uniques
Required Aspects (Non-codex)

To even begin this build, we recommend you have these Aspects ready for imprinting at a minimum. For the build it become fully functional, we recommend you have all the Legendary Aspects listed further in this guide for the build to work optimally.

Season of the Malignant

Season 1 Patch Updates

This build was created within the current Season and utilizes the current in-game information and Aspects. We will note any future changes to this build here.

Patch 1.1.1

The second major update for Season 1, Patch 1.1.1 released on August 8th 2023, brings some positive changes to Barbarian. This includes adjustments to Basic Generator Skills, Key Passives, Skill passives and Legendary Aspects. The changes that directly affect this build are listed below.

Malignant Hearts

The theme for Season 1 introduces a new form of legendary gem called Malignant Hearts. There are three types of hearts that need to be socketed into matching colored sockets on all equipped jewelry and one type of heart that can be placed into any socket. For more information about the Malignant Hearts theme for Season 1 check out our Malignant Hearts guide.

Listed below are the Malignant Hearts that are useful for this build, ranked by importance. Stats displayed reflect what a Level 20 character would receive as a drop. Note that this list is based on our early opinions on the Malignant Hearts, and we will update it as and when it is necessary.

  1. Caged Heart of RevengeCaged Heart of Revenge
  2. Caged Heart of the Malignant PactCaged Heart of the Malignant Pact
  3. Caged Heart of DeterminationCaged Heart of Determination

Skill Tree Points and Skill Bar

Skill Bar Setup for the Cold Whirlwind Build (Order does not matter)
Whirlwind Whirlwind Lunging Strike Lunging Strike Rallying Cry Rallying Cry War Cry War Cry Charge Charge Leap Leap

Follow the points allocated in the image above for the complete 58 point build. The additional 10 skill points are completed using the Renown system.

Priority SkillsCluster
Lunging StrikeLunging Strike Level 1, Enhanced Lunging StrikeEnhanced Lunging StrikeBasic SkillBasic Skill
WhirlwindWhirlwind Level 5, Enhanced WhirlwindEnhanced Whirlwind, Violent WhirlwindViolent WhirlwindCore SkillCore Skill
Rallying CryRallying Cry Level 1, Enhanced Rallying CryEnhanced Rallying Cry, Tactical Rallying CryTactical Rallying CryDefensive SkillDefensive Skill
War CryWar Cry Level 1, Enhanced War CryEnhanced War Cry, Mighty War CryMighty War Cry, Booming VoiceBooming Voice Level 3, ChargeCharge Level 5, Enhanced ChargeEnhanced Charge, Mighty ChargeMighty Charge, LeapLeap Level 5, Enhanced LeapEnhanced Leap, Power LeapPower Leap, Aggressive ResistanceAggressive Resistance Level 3, Battle FervorBattle Fervor Level 3, Prolific FuryProlific Fury Level 3Brawling SkillBrawling Skill
Pit FighterPit Fighter Level 3, No MercyNo Mercy Level 3, Thick SkinThick Skin Level 1, CounteroffensiveCounteroffensive Level 3Weapon Mastery SkillWeapon Mastery Skill
Heavy HandedHeavy Handed Level 3, WallopWallop Level 3Ultimate SkillUltimate Skill
Unbridled RageUnbridled RageKey Passives

Weapon Expertise – The Barbarian Specialization

Weapon Expertise is a set of benefits tied to which weapons you use as a Barbarian. To unlock your Expertise, simply hit Level 5 and the tab below will be made available. By using a certain weapon type, you will begin to gain ranks with that weapon as you fight. The ranks are from 0 to 10 and will level up moderately quickly as your character gains experience. Once your expertise hit rank 10, you will be maxed out on the benefit for using that weapon with your skills. As a reminder, to swap your assigned weapon to the skill you are using, go to your Skill selection list (not Skill Tree) and you will see how to switch it. For mouse and keyboard users, you can access this by pressing the middle mouse button. At Level 15, you will unlock the Masters of Battle quest. This quest will be available in the township of ‘Ked Bardu’ from the Forgemaster Gerti. Upon completing this quest, you will unlock the Technique slots as seen below. This will offer you an additional permanent bonus from one of the weapons regardless of whether you have it equipped to a skill or not.

Weapon Expertise Barbarian D4

For the Thorns build, we will be focused on using the expertise of Two-Handed Axe for the bonus damage against Vulnerable Damage.


We recommend using these Legendary nodes and Rare Glyphs to truly take this build into the endgame. Note that each Rare Glyph’s information listed below is for the Level 21 version.

Rare NodeEffect
ExploitExploit– For every 5 Dexterity purchased within range, you deal + [4%] increased damage to Vulnerable targets.
– Additional Bonus unlocked after 25 Dexterity points are purchased in the glyph’s range: When an enemy is damaged by you, they become Vulnerable for 3 seconds. This cannot happen more than once every 20 seconds per enemy.
TerritorialTerritorial– For every 5 Dexterity purchased within range, you deal +[10]% increased damage to Close targets.
– Additional Bonus unlocked after 25 Dexterity points are purchased in the glyph’s range: You gain 10% Damage Reduction against Close enemies.
WrathWrath– For every 5 Dexterity purchased within range, Core Skills deal + [7.5%] increased Critical Strike Damage.
– Additional Bonus unlocked after 25 Dexterity points are purchased in the glyph’s range: Skill that Critical Strike generate 3 Fury.
MightMight– Grants + [125%] bonus to all Magic nodes within range.
– Additional Bonus unlocked after 40 Strength points are purchased in the glyph’s range: You deal x8% increased damage while wielding Two-Handed weapons.
MarshalMarshal– Grants +[125%] bonus to all Magic nodes within range.
– Additional Bonus unlocked after 40 Strength points are purchased in the glyph’s range: After casting a Shout Skill, the active Cooldown of every other Shout Skill is reduced by 1.2 seconds.
IreIre– For every 5 Strength purchased within range, you deal +[5.3%] increased damage while Berserking.
– Additional Bonus unlocked after 40 Strength points are purchased in the glyph’s range: While Berserking, you take 10% reduced damage from Elites.
SeethingSeething– For every 5 Strength purchased within range, you deal + [5.3%] increased damage while wielding a Sword.
– Additional Bonus unlocked after 40 Strength points are purchased in the glyph’s range: While wielding a Sword, you gain 3 Fury when you kill an enemy.

Let’s break down each of these beneficial nodes and where our Paragon Points are positioned in each of the Paragon Boards we use. This part of the build is presented in order of importance. If you do not have enough Paragon Points to use in your Paragon Tree, just slowly work towards each step.

Starting Board

D4 Paragon Board Barbarian
Starting Board
  1. Take the pathway up the left hand side of the board towards the open Glyph slot.
  2. Along route pick up the Rare Node TenacityTenacity, this boosts our Armor and Maximum Life.
  3. Insert the Glyph TerritorialTerritorial, and take the DexterityDexterity Nodes shown to get the bonus. This will help us fight against close enemies.
  4. Inside the Glyph radius we will take both Rare Nodes, Raw PowerRaw Power and Iron StrengthIron Strength, for the Physical damage and Armor boost.
  5. Now take the pathway back down out of the glyph radius and take the BrawnBrawn Node.
  6. Finally, path towards the connection point at the top of the board and attach our next Paragon Board, Decimator.

Decimator (2nd Board)

D4 Paragon Board Barbarian
  1. Path towards the open Glyph slots and pick up the Rare Node DestroyerDestroyer along the way.
  2. Now go straight to the open Glyph slot and insert MarshalMarshal. This Glyph will boost the Magic Nodes in our Glyph radius and help us with Cooldown on our Shouts
  3. Next we will take both Rare Nodes inside the Glyph radius, DemolishDemolish and ArroganceArrogance, both of these Nodes will give us advantages against Vulnerable enemies. Be sure to take the correct Magic Nodes.
  4. Head towards the right hand side of the board and pick up the Rare Node PillagePillage, this node will give us another increase in damage to Vulnerable Enemies.
  5. Complete the top pathway to the connection point, as we will be using this later.
  6. Finally, use the right hand connection point to attach the next Paragon Board Carnage.

Carnage (3rd Board)

D4 Paragon Board Barbarian
  1. Take the pathway towards the open Glyph slot and insert MightMight into the Glyph slot. This Glyph will boost the Magic Nodes within the radius and increases our damage with Two-Handed Weapons.
  2. Inside the Glyph radius take both Rare Nodes, BrashBrash and FierceFierce, these Nodes will grant you an increase in Damage while Berserking and Damage Reduction to Close Enemies.
  3. Now path towards the top connection point and pick up EnragedEnraged to enhance our Berskering.
  4. Continue to the top of the board and attach the next board Flawless Technique.

Flawless Technique (4th Board)

D4 Paragon Board Barbarian
Flawless Technique
  1. Head up towards the Open Glyph slot and insert SeethingSeething  into the slot and take the needed StrengthStrength to ensure its bonus. This amplifies our Sword weapon damage, gives us Fury per enemy killed.
  2. Now take the Rare Nodes inside the Glyph radius called BrashBrash. These will help our defenses against Close Enemies and our offensive Berserking state.
  3. Continue to pathway out of the radius and take the Rare Node HavocHavoc. This increases our Critical Strike Damage and Physical Damage.
  4. Now Return to the Decimator board and attach Weapons Master to the top connection point.

Weapons Master (5th Board)

D4 Paragon Board Barbarian
Weapon Master
  1. Path towards the open Glyph slot and insert IreIre, to increase our Damage while Berserking and decreases the damage we take from Elites while Berserking as well.
  2. Take the
  3. Next, take both Rare Nodes inside the glyph radius, Raw PowerRaw Power and Iron StrengthIron Strength, these will increase our Physical Damage and Armor.
  4. Now head to the left hand side of the board and attach the Bone Breaker board.

Bone Breaker (6th board)

D4 Paragon Board Barbarian
Bone Breaker
  1. Select the Nodes towards the open Glyph slot and insert ExploitExploit, this will increase our damage to Vulnerable Enemies. Be sure to take the needed DexterityDexterity Nodes within the Glyph Radius.
  2. Now take the Rare Node VigorVigor, this will boost your Damage Reduction against Healthy enemies.
  3. Finally, go to the left hand connection point and attach our final board Warbringer.

Warbringer (7th Board)

D4 Paragon Board Barbarian
  1. Take the nodes towards the open Glyph slot and insert WrathWrath, this Glyph boosts our Critical Strike Damage and adds a huge boost to our Fury generation from Critical Strikes.
  2. Now take the needed DexterityDexterity nodes.
  3. Include the Rare node Raw PowerRaw Power, increasing Physical Damage against targets.
  4. This completes the Paragon Tree for this build.

Paragon board images courtesy of

Build Mechanics and Playstyle

This build fears nothing, jumping into action with WhirlwindWhirlwind and watching the enemies freeze all around you. First, we use our LeapLeap on top of a pack of mobs, this will activate a state of Berserking for 3 seconds as long as you hit one enemy. It will also give you 40 points of Fury for you to start spinning with Whirlwind. Next, you want to activate of your Rallying CryRallying Cry. This will keep our Fury generation high and also increase our Movement Speed so we can head towards the next group.

As you move pack to pack, you will be assisted by Aspect of Grasping WhirlwindAspect of Grasping Whirlwind which will drag mobs towards you as you blast them with ice. Your War CryWar Cry skill is used when you need to jump back into a state of Berserking. Another way to accelerate yourself between packs of mobs is to use your ChargeCharge skill which will also trigger a State of Berserking if you hit at least 1 enemy, just like your LeapLeap. By using these two skills (Charge and Leap), we can effectively keep our Berserking State active constantly.

This rotation of leap-frogging to groups of mobs, keeps us in control of how many mobs we drag into the fight. This keep you in control of your positioning and allows you to maximize the number of mobs we are hitting at one time. The more mobs, the more you freeze and the more Cold Damage that hits the enemy.


Berserking gives us a base increase of 25% damage and 30% movement speed. We also benefit from the passive Aggressive ResistanceAggressive Resistance for an increase in our Damage Reduction. We will gain the benefits of Berserking whenever we hit an enemy with LeapLeap and ChargeCharge through the passive Battle FervorBattle Fervor. We can also instantly go into a state of Berserking through our our shout, War CryWar Cry. With all of these options available to you, staying in a state of Berserking will be relatively easy.

Cold Mechanic

This is really where the fun of the build is. We use three different Uniques in combination to create devasting results while we use WhirlwindWhirlwind as a trigger. Let’s look at those Uniques below:

  • AzurewrathAzurewrath – this weapon offers a freeze and a burst of Cold Damage on a Lucky Hit.
  • FrostburnFrostburn – these gloves offer a second chance for a Lucky Hit to freeze the enemy.
  • Penitent GreavesPenitent Greaves – These boots amplify the freezing duration and keep enemies chilled all around you.

While each of these may not seem overly significant, it is the combination of them that really brings this build to a whole new level.


If you find yourself overrun while playing this build, you have two options to reset the playing field. Rallying CryRallying Cry and ChargeCharge both have the ability for you to become Unstoppable, allowing you to find an escape path from almost every situation. This is especially helpful if you run into a pack of Elites or a Boss that has the ability to crowd control you non-stop. While the build itself fights in close proximity to the enemy, we wanted to ensure you have a way out if you need it.

Gear Choice and Stat Priority

As you begin to farm in World Tier 3 and 4, Rare and Legendary item drops will begin to appear with some regularity depending on your luck. We recommend saving the targeted Legendary items that have the needed Legendary aspects listed below. We also recommended to keep multiple copies of the build’s Aspects in your Stash for future upgrades.

As for the Rare items, you will need to inspect each one for targeted affixes for use in each specific slot and do your best to match the recommended rolls. We have listed our targeted affixes in order of importance. Check the chart below and make note of what affixes you are searching for when you see a Rare gear piece drop.

Gear SlotTargeted Affixes
Helm1. Cooldown Reduction
2. Total Armor
3. Maximum Life
4. Strength
5. Damage while Berserking
Chest1. Total Armor
2. Damage Reduction from Close Enemies
3. Damage Reduction while Fortified
4. Damage Reduction
5. Strength
Gloves FrostburnFrostburn
Pants1. Total Armor
2. Damage Reduction from Close Enemies
3. Damage Reduction while Injured
4. Damage Reduction while Fortified
5. Maximum Life
6. Strength
BootsPenitent GreavesPenitent Greaves
Amulet1. Cooldown Reduction
2.Ranks of Heavy HandedHeavy Handed
3. Total Armor
4. Damage Reduction while Injured
5. Movement Speed
6. Fury Cost Reduction
Rings1. Critical Strike Chance
2. Vulnerable Damage
3. Resource Generation
4. Critical Strike Damage
5. Damage to Close Enemies
6. Damage while Berserking
Weapons1. Vulnerable Damage
2. Critical Strike Damage
3. Strength
4. Damage to Close Enemies
5. Damage to Bleeding Enemies
6. All Stats
Please note our Paragon tree heavily stacks Armor nodes in this build, Total Armor amplifies this effect adding to our survivability.

Please note that these affixes are the recommended picks for this build, but that is simply our opinion. Other affixes could certainly work instead of the ones listed above, but may not be optimal. Also, there are several very specific affixes that are required to make the build work, they are as follows:

  • Total Armor
  • Rank ups to selected Skills
  • Berserking Increases – damage and duration

A final point on acquiring the right Affixes and Legendary Aspects, use your Obols to target farm them. Obols are awarded from many different activities in the game, you will always stockpiling them until you hit your maximum. Instead of just randomly spending them on a random pick, use them to target what you might be missing from this build. It is a great way to target a specific slot of loot and find what you need.

If you are interested in checking out a new tool for gambling Obols check out this link below from Icy Veins.

Obol Gambling Optimization Tool

Legendary Aspects

Listed below are all the best-in-slot Aspects found on Legendary items that are important for the Cold Whirlwind Barbarian build. Aspects from the Codex of Power can be used if you cannot find the proper Legendary drops, but they have weaker effects. Extract Aspects from lower level Legendary items and imprint them onto better Rare items with preferred stats. The endgame itemization goal will be to imprint Aspects with the best values Ancestral Rare items with Item Power above or as close to 800, then upgrade them through the Blacksmith. Each aspect is listed with its matching gear slot. Do your best to keep each aspect in the slot it was posted with.

Gear SlotLegendary AspectLegendary Aspect Power
HelmAspect of Grasping WhirlwindAspect of Grasping WhirlwindWhirlwind periodically Pulls enemies to you.
ChestRelentless Berserker's AspectRelentless Berserker’s AspectLucky Hit: Damaging an enemy with a Core Skill has up to a [22-40%] chance to extend the duration of Berserking by 1 second. Double this duration if it was a Critical Strike.
PantsAspect of Numbing WrathAspect of Numbing WrathEach point of Fury generated while at Maximum Fury grants [X] Fortify.
BootsPenitent GreavesPenitent Greaves
Amulets (50% bonus)Aspect of DisobedienceAspect of DisobedienceYou gain [0.25-0.50%] increased Armor for 4 seconds when you deal any form of damage, stacking up to [15.00-30.00%].
RingAspect of Echoing FuryAspect of Echoing FuryYour Shout Skills generate [2.0-4.0] Fury per second while active.
RingBold Chieftain's AspectBold Chieftain’s AspectWhenever you cast a Shout Skill, its Cooldown is reduced by [1.0-1.9] seconds per Nearby enemy, up to a maximum of 6 seconds.
Bludgeoning Weapon (200% bonus)Aspect of the Dire WhirlwindAspect of the Dire WhirlwindWhirlwind’s Critical Strike Chance is increased by [3-8%] for each second it is channeled, up to [9-24%] .
Slashing Weapon (200% bonus)Aspect of Limitless RageAspect of Limitless RageEach point of Fury you generate while at Maximum Fury grants your next Core Skill [1-2%] increased damage, up to [15-30%].
Dual-Wield Weapon 1AzurewrathAzurewrath
Dual-Wield Weapon 2Dust Devil's AspectDust Devil’s AspectWhirlwind leaves behind Dust Devils that deal [X] damage to surrounding enemies.


Listed below are the best gems to socket into gear for each slot type.

Elixirs and Health Pots

Visit the Alchemist in any main town 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, or the Assault ElixirAssault Elixir to increase Attack Speed.

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.


  • September 1st 2023: Build Creation Season 1.
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