Shout Hammer of the Ancients (HotA) Endgame Barbarian Build for Diablo 4 (Season 1)

A titan that shatters the earth with a godly hammer.




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Hammer of the AncientsLunging StrikeRallying CryChallenging ShoutWar CryWrath of the Berserker

Build Introduction

This is your comprehensive guide for building a titan that shatters the earth with Hammer of the AncientsHammer of the Ancients, a godly hammer of destruction. Welcome to our Shout HotA Endgame build. This build focuses on unleashing AoE attacks against the hordes of hell, crushing their bodies against the earth as you charge forwards through the battlefield seeking a worthy opponent. While this build is similar to our Berserking HotA build, this build cycles through Shouts to achieve most of our buffs.

Our guide will cover all basic mechanics and deep dive into the optimal setup for skills, Paragon and gear for the build.

Strengths and Weaknesses

  • Strong AoE damage style
  • Good defensive layers
  • Shout Cooldowns are extremely low
  • Good escapes to break CC
  • Fury management
  • Cooldown management
  • Positional gameplay

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. You will need the following at to maximize the build to its fullest. These Aspects are all non-codex, which means you will need to find them on a Legendary Item, then imprint them onto specific gear.

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

Below is a list of specific changes from the Season 1 Patch Update that affect this build. If any of these changes create significant issues within the build, they will be discussed in more detail under their relevant sections.

  • Hamstring now only Slows Healthy enemies, and Slow amount increased from 10/20/30% to 20/40/60%.
  • Aspect of Disobedience maximum stacks reduced from 100 to 60, reducing maximum Bonus Armor % from 25-50% to 15-30%.
  • Cooldown Reduction: Reduced by ~30% on gear slots.
  • Significant reductions to Vulnerable and Critical Strike Damage values (needs to be tested more).

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 Tempting FateCaged Heart of Tempting Fate
  2. Caged Heart of RevengeCaged Heart of Revenge
  3. Caged Heart of Focused RageCaged Heart of Focused Rage

You can see major benefits from using Caged Heart of The BarberCaged Heart of The Barber once you have a Critical Strike Chance close to 50% so the majority of your attacks critically hit. However, be aware some on-hit mechanism are still having issues.

Skill Tree Points and Skill Bar

Skill Bar Setup for Shout HotA Barbarian (order does not matter)
Hammer of the Ancients Hammer of the Ancients Lunging Strike Lunging Strike Rallying Cry Rallying Cry Challenging Shout Challenging Shout War Cry War Cry Wrath of the Berserker Wrath of the Berserker

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.

Hammer of the Ancients Barbarian SkillsCluster
Lunging StrikeLunging Strike Level 1, Enhanced Lunging StrikeEnhanced Lunging Strike, Battle Lunging StrikeBattle Lunging StrikeBasic SkillBasic Skill
Hammer of the AncientsHammer of the Ancients Level 5, Enhanced Hammer of the AncientsEnhanced Hammer of the Ancients, Furious Hammer of the AncientsFurious Hammer of the Ancients, Pressure PointPressure Point Level 3Core SkillCore Skill
Rallying CryRallying Cry Level 1, Enhanced Rallying CryEnhanced Rallying Cry, Tactical Rallying CryTactical Rallying Cry, Challenging ShoutChallenging Shout Level 1, Enhanced Challenging ShoutEnhanced Challenging Shout, Tactical Challenging ShoutTactical Challenging ShoutDefensive SkillDefensive Skill
War CryWar Cry Level 1, Enhanced War CryEnhanced War Cry, Mighty War CryMighty War Cry, Booming VoiceBooming Voice Level 3, Raid LeaderRaid Leader Level 3, Guttural YellGuttural Yell Level 3, Aggressive ResistanceAggressive Resistance Level 3, Prolific FuryProlific Fury Level 3Brawling SkillBrawling Skill
Pit FighterPit Fighter Level 3, No MercyNo Mercy Level 3, HamstringHamstring Level 1Weapon Mastery SkillWeapon Mastery Skill
Wrath of the BerserkerWrath of the Berserker, Prime Wrath of the BerserkerPrime Wrath of the Berserker, Supreme Wrath of the BerserkerSupreme Wrath of the Berserker, Heavy HandedHeavy Handed Level 3, WallopWallop Level 3, Tempered FuryTempered Fury Level 1, Invigorating FuryInvigorating Fury Level 3Ultimate SkillUltimate Skill
Unbridled RageUnbridled RageKey PassivesKey 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. Simply 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. Just 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 the how to switch it (Middle mouse button on PC.) 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.

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

Paragon Points

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
TerritorialTerritorial– For every 5 Dexterity purchased within range, you deal +[9.6]% increased damage to Close targets.
– Additional Bonus unlocked after 25 Dexterity points are purchased in the glyph’s range: You gain 15% Damage Reduction against Close enemies.
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.
ExploitExploit– For every 5 Dexterity purchased within range, you deal +[3.85]% 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.
DisembowelDisembowel– For every 5 Willpower purchased within range, you deal +[7.2%] increased Bleeding damage.
– Additional Bonus unlocked after 25 Willpower points are purchased in the glyph’s range: Killing a Bleeding enemy has a 10% chance to reduce the Cooldowns of your Non-Ultimate active Cooldowns by 1 second.
WrathWrath– For every 5 Dexterity purchased within range, Core Skills deal + [7.2%] 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 + [120%] 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.

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, so if you do not have enough Paragon Points for use in your Paragon Tree, just slowly work towards each step.

Starting Board

Starting Board
  1. We are going to head up the right hand side of the board and take the Rare Node BrawnBrawn. This node will give us a small increase to our Maximum Life and Physical damage bonus.
  2. Now take the Rare Node TenacityTenacity on the left hand pathway,
  3. Next path towards the Glyph slot and insert TerritorialTerritorial, this glyph will grant us increased Damage towards Close Enemies. Be sure to collect all of the DexterityDexterity Nodes shown above.
  4. Take the two Rare Nodes, Raw PowerRaw Power and Iron StrengthIron Strength, these will gives us another Physical damage boost and some flat armor increases.
  5. Head to the top of the board and attach our next Paragon Board, Decimator.

Decimator (2nd Board)

Barbarian D4 Paragon Board
  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 Rare Nodes in our Glyph radius and help with our Shouts Cooldowns. It is Strength based so be sure to take the StrengthStrength nodes shown above.
  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 both pathways to the connection points shown in the image above.
  6. Finally, use the top connection point to attach the next Paragon Board, Flawless Technique.

Flawless Technique (3rd Board)

Barbarian D4 Paragon Board
Flawless Technique
  1. Path towards the open Glyph slot and insert IreIre. This Glyph will boost our damage while Berserking and give us Damage Reduction against Elites.
  2. Take the single Rare Node BrashBrash, this will offer us some Damage Reduction against Close Enemeis. Be sure to pick the correct Magic Nodes surrounding each of them.
  3. Head out of the Glyph radius and pick up the Rare Node HavocHavoc. This node will increase our Critical Strike Damage and our Physical Damage output.
  4. Now Return to the Decimator Paragon Board and take the connection point on the right hand side. Attach the Paragon Board Carnage.

Carnage (4th Board)

  1. Take the pathway towards the Glyph slot and pick up the Rare Node EnragedEnraged and only take the Magic Nodes shown above.
  2. Now insert MightMight into the Glyph slot. This Glyph will boost the Magic Nodes within the radius and grants us more Two-handed weapon damage.
  3. Inside the Glyph radius take both Rare Nodes, BrashBrash and FierceFierce, these Nodes will grant you an increased Berserking Damage and give you an increased Damage Reduction for Vulnerable Enemies.
  4. Path towards the bottom of the Paragon Board and attach Blood Rage.

Blood Rage (5th Board)

Blood Rage
  1. Head towards the open Glyph slot and insert DisembowelDisembowel, this Glyph is will help us with our Cooldown reduction as we kill Bleeding Enemies.
  2. Take the two Rare Nodes, GritGrit and RevelRevel, these Nodes will boost our offenses and defenses against Bleeding Enemies.
  3. Path to the right hand side of the board and attach the Paragon Board, Bone Breaker.

Bone Breaker (6th Board)

Barbarian D4 Paragon Board
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. Lastly, take the Rare Node VigorVigor for the Damage Reduction against Healthy Enemies and a small damage increase.
  3. Now head to the top of the board and attach our final Paragon Board, Warbringer.

Warbringer (7th Board)

  1. Select the nodes towards the open Glyph slot, and insert WrathWrath for the boost to Critical Strike and Fury gains on Critical Strikes.
  2. Take the need DexterityDexterity Nodes to boost your damage output.
  3. Lastly, take the Rare Node Raw PowerRaw Power, this will increase our Physical Damage.
  4. This completes the Paragon Tree for this build.

Paragon board images courtesy of

Mechanics and Playstyle

The opening mechanic on this build is to literally smash a pack of enemies in a single blow. However, you need to have built up your Fury using Rallying CryRallying Cry and War CryWar Cry to start Berserking. Lunging StrikeLunging Strike should be periodically weaved through out the rotation to gain Fury, keep your bleeds renewed, and benefit from the healing it provides. As you come across Elites or a Boss, activate Wrath of the BerserkerWrath of the Berserker and take them down. Overall, this is a brawling style of gameplay, grouping up packs of enemies while you position yourself to strike all of them together. It may take some getting used to, but eventually, you will naturally charge through packs of enemies while you spam your targeted Hammer of the AncientsHammer of the Ancients.


Being in a state of Berserking is a critical component of this build. We mainly trigger the state through our War CryWar Cry and Wrath of the BerserkerWrath of the Berserker. Our Shout is the main trigger we will be cycling as much as possible with a due to its short cooldown, while our Ultimate will be used to combat Elites and Bosses. This build focuses on several sources of Bleed to trigger DisembowelDisembowel to help keep our Shouts Cooldown as low as possible. You should be able to maintain Berserking using War Cry with relative ease.

Defensive Aspects

Aspect of Berserk RippingAspect of Berserk Ripping and Iron Blood AspectIron Blood Aspect provides us with a unique defensive layer while Bleed enemies around us. These two aspects combine to give us a significant increase in our Damage Reduction based on the number of bleeding enemies near us. We support this further by our Paragon Tree for even more Damage Reduction against Bleeding Enemies. The Bleeding effect also occurs automatically while you are Berserking, you don’t need to trigger anything or do anything special. While there will be some adjustment to keeping your Berserking going, with a decent amount of duration on your items you will find this to become very routine.

We also you Fortification to add another layer of health to ourselves from two of our Shout augments, Strategic Rallying CryStrategic Rallying Cry and Mighty War CryMighty War Cry. Being Fortified is enhanced further through the use of our gems: Royal SapphireRoyal Sapphire and our Paragon Board. This effect happens naturally through the course of gameplay and will be constantly topped off. Lastly, we have Challenging ShoutChallenging Shout. This skill is used for those crazy situations when you need a huge boost of Damage Reduction to deal with a sudden rush of enemies or spike in damage taken.

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. Basic Attack Speed
3. Damage While Berserking 
4. Maximum Life
5. Maximum Fury
6. Strength
Chest1. Damage Reduction
2. Damage Reduction while Fortified 
3. Damage Reduction from Close Enemies 
4. Damage Reduction Enemies that are Bleeding
5. Maximum Life
Gloves1. Critical Strike Chance
2. Ranks of Hammer of the AncientsHammer of the Ancients
3. Attack Speed
4. Strength
5. Critical Strike Chance Against Injured Enemies
Pants1. Damage Reduction
2. Damage Reduction while Fortified
3. Damage Reduction from Close Enemies 
4. Damage Reduction from Enemies That Are Bleeding
5. Berserking Duration
6. Maximum Life
Boots1. Movement Speed
2. Damage Reduction while Injured
3. Fury Cost Reduction
4. All Stats
5. Movement Speed for 4 seconds After Killing an Elite.
6. Berserking Duration 
Amulet1. Cooldown Reduction
2.  Rank Up WallopWallop
3. Damage Reduction
4. Fury Cost Reduction
5. Movement Speed
Rings1. Vulnerable Damage
2. Critical Strike Chance
3. Critical Strike Damage
4. Resource Generation
5. Damage With Berserking 
Weapons1. Vulnerable Damage
2. Critical Strike Damage
3. Core Skill
4. Strength
5. Damage to Close Enemies
6. Damage while Berserking

Please note that these Affixes are the recommended picks, 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:

  1. Ranks of select skills
  2. Resource Generation – Any additional Fury generation allows us to keep our pool topped off and keep on spamming .
  3. Fury Cost Reduction – This is a very important Affix to focus on, especially because we take the Key Passive Unbridled RageUnbridled Rage that doubles the cost of our skills.

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

Below you will find the optimal setup for Legendary Aspects for the Shout HotA build. Each aspect is listed with its matching gear slot. Do your best to keep each aspect in the slot it was posted with.

Listed below are all the best-in-slot Aspects found on Legendary items that are important for the Shout HotA 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.

Gear SlotLegendary AspectLegendary Aspect Power
HelmIron Blood AspectIron Blood AspectGain [2.0-4.0%] Damage Reduction for each Nearby Bleeding enemy up to [10-20%] maximum.
ChestAspect of Numbing WrathAspect of Numbing WrathEach point of Fury generated while at Maximum Fury grants [X] Fortify.
GlovesAspect of Berserk RippingAspect of Berserk RippingWhenever you deal direct damage while Berserking, inflict [20-30%] of the Base damage dealt as additional Bleeding damage over 5 seconds.
PantsAspect of MightAspect of MightBasic Skills grant 20% Damage Reduction for [2.0-6.0] seconds.
BootsEluding AspectEluding AspectBecoming Injured while Crowd Controlled grants you Unstoppable for 4 seconds. This effect has a [40-20] second Cooldown.  
Amulets(50% 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%].
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 Ancestral ForceAspect of Ancestral ForceHammer of the AncientsHammer of the Ancients quakes outwards, dealing [32-50]% of its damage to enemies.
Slashing Weapon (200% bonus)Edgemaster’s AspectEdgemaster’s AspectSkills deal up to [10- 20%] increased damage based on your available Primary Resource when cast, receiving the maximum benefit while you have full Primary Resource.
Dual-wield weapon 1Accelerating AspectAccelerating AspectCritical Strikes with Core Skills increase your Attack speed by [15-25]% for 5 seconds. 
Dual-wield weapon 2Aspect of the ExpectantAspect of the ExpectantAttacking enemies with a Basic Skill increases the damage of your next Core Skill cast by [5-10]% up to 30% 


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

  • Weapon: Royal EmeraldRoyal Emerald for critical strike damage to Vulnerable enemies.
  • Armor: Royal SapphireRoyal Sapphire for an increase Damage Reduction while Fortified.
  • Jewelry: Exclusively using our Malignant hearts for this slot.

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.


  • August 7th, 2023: New Format and Build revamp
  • August 2nd, 2023: Patch 1.1.1 section added with build specific changes.
  • July 20, 2023: Guide updated for Season 1.

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