Barbarianlevelingmeleeseason 4

Hammer of the Ancients Barbarian Leveling Build Guide for Diablo 4 (Season 4)

A powerful leveling build to help you destroy any enemy crossing your path!




Updated: Posted:

Lunging StrikeHammer of the AncientsWar CryRallying CryChargeWrath of the Berserker

General Leveling Tips

To find out more general information about leveling as a Barbarian in Diablo 4, you can check out our main Barbarian Leveling guide. You can also go to our Barbarian Builds page for a list of other leveling and endgame Barbarian builds for you to choose from.

In regard to leveling up on the seasonal realm, you might also want to check out our season checklist, as it will give you some useful tips and tricks for Season 4 of Diablo 4:

Season Checklist

Build Introduction

This build focuses on using Hammer of the AncientsHammer of the Ancients to quickly decimate groups of enemies and sunder elites and bosses with powerful slams. While leveling, we use the class-exclusive Berserking status effect to increase our damage, movement speed, and resource generation even more, so we can continue smashing away at hoards of demons.

  • Hammer of the AncientsHammer of the Ancients – The centerpiece of the build and your main Fury spender.
  • Lunging StrikeLunging Strike – Our basic attack and Fury generator. This skill provides us with movement, which is invaluable while leveling.
    • Enhanced Lunging StrikeEnhanced Lunging Strike– This gives us a bit more damage and sustained healing while we lunge into packs.
    • Combat Lunging StrikeCombat Lunging Strike– This will help us trigger the Berserking status for a short time, which we will improve with other skills and aspects to increase our movement speed and damage.

The main gameplay loop with these two skills will be diving into packs with Lunging StrikeLunging Strike or ChargeCharge , triggering Berserking, and slamming down with Hammer of the AncientsHammer of the Ancients to finish everything off. This build also has strong single-target damage, allowing us to quickly finish off dungeon bosses or seasonal questline bosses fairly easily.
Now let’s take a look at how we will progress from Level 1 to 50 and jump towards the endgame.

Allocation of Skill points

Our first priority with skills is to descend down the tree as quickly as possible to get all of our skills and the key passive. After we’ve acquired our key passive, we’ll head back up the tree to grab some useful passives or increase the ranks of some skills.

Skill Point OrderSkillSkill Cluster
1Lunging StrikeLunging StrikeBasic Skills
2Enhanced Lunging StrikeEnhanced Lunging StrikeBasic Skills
3Hammer of the AncientsHammer of the AncientsCore Skills
4Enhanced Hammer of the AncientsEnhanced Hammer of the AncientsCore Skills
5Furious Hammer of the AncientsFurious Hammer of the AncientsCore Skills
6Combat Lunging StrikeCombat Lunging StrikeBasic Skills
7Rallying CryRallying CryDefensive Skills
8Enhanced Rallying CryEnhanced Rallying CryDefensive Skills
9Tactical Rallying CryTactical Rallying CryDefensive Skills
10Hammer of the AncientsHammer of the Ancients Level 2Core Skills
11Hammer of the AncientsHammer of the Ancients Level 3Core Skills
12ChargeChargeBrawling Skills
13Enhanced ChargeEnhanced ChargeBrawling Skills
14Power ChargePower ChargeBrawling Skills
15War CryWar CryBrawling Skills
16Enhanced War CryEnhanced War CryBrawling Skills
17Mighty War CryMighty War CryBrawling Skills
18Hammer of the AncientsHammer of the Ancients Level 4Core Skills
19Hammer of the AncientsHammer of the Ancients Level 5Core Skills
20Endless FuryEndless FuryCore Skills
21Endless FuryEndless Fury Level 2Core Skills
22Endless FuryEndless Fury Level 3Core Skills
23SwiftnessSwiftnessBrawling Skills
24Wrath of the BerserkerWrath of the BerserkerUltimate Skills
25Prime Wrath of the BerserkerPrime Wrath of the BerserkerUltimate Skills
26Supreme Wrath of the BerserkerSupreme Wrath of the BerserkerUltimate Skills
27SwiftnessSwiftness Level 2Brawling Skills
28SwiftnessSwiftness Level 3Brawling Skills
29Aggressive ResistanceAggressive ResistanceBrawling Skills
30Battle FervorBattle FervorBrawling Skills
31Battle FervorBattle Fervor Level 2Brawling Skills
32Battle FervorBattle Fervor Level 3Brawling Skills
33Prolific FuryProlific FuryBrawling Skills
34UnconstrainedUnconstrainedKey Passive
35ChargeCharge Level 2Brawling Skills
36ChargeCharge Level 3Brawling Skills
37ChargeCharge Level 4Brawling Skills
38ChargeCharge Level 5Brawling Skills
39Prolific FuryProlific Fury Level 2Brawling Skills
40Prolific FuryProlific Fury Level 3Brawling Skills
41Pit FighterPit FighterWeapon Mastery Skills
42Pit FighterPit Fighter Level 2Weapon Mastery Skills
43Pit FighterPit Fighter Level 3Weapon Mastery Skills
44Imposing PresenceImposing PresenceDefensive Skills
45Imposing PresenceImposing Presence Level 2Defensive Skills
46Imposing PresenceImposing Presence Level 3Defensive Skills
47Thick SkinThick SkinWeapon Mastery Skills
48CounteroffensiveCounteroffensiveWeapon Mastery Skills
49CounteroffensiveCounteroffensive Level 2Weapon Mastery Skills
50CounteroffensiveCounteroffensive Level 3Weapon Mastery Skills
51Heavy HandedHeavy HandedUltimate Skills
52Heavy HandedHeavy Handed Level 2Ultimate Skills
53Heavy HandedHeavy Handed Level 3Ultimate Skills
54WallopWallopUltimate Skills
55WallopWallop Level 2Ultimate Skills
56WallopWallop Level 3Ultimate Skills
57Booming VoiceBooming VoiceBrawling Skills
58Booming VoiceBooming Voice Level 2Brawling Skills
HotA Leveling Skill Bar (Placement of skills is completely optional)
Hammer of the Ancients Hammer of the Ancients Lunging Strike Lunging Strike Rallying Cry Rallying Cry War Cry War Cry Charge Charge Wrath of the Berserker Wrath of the Berserker

Skill Tree

Here is the completed skill tree for the build:

Skill Clusters

We are going to take a look at each group of skills in our tree and talk about why we’re taking the skills we are so we can have a good understanding of how the build functions before we transition to an endgame version.

Basic Skills

Lunging StrikeLunging Strike is our choice for the basic skill with this setup. It provides us with near-infinite mobility, allowing us to chase down mobile bosses, treasure goblins, and generate our Fury to spend. Thanks to Combat Lunging StrikeCombat Lunging Strike, this skill can also provide us with one additional source for triggering Berserking.

Core Skills

Hammer of the AncientsHammer of the Ancients is the centerpiece and main skill of this build. We want to cast it as often as we are able into large groups of enemies. The Aspect of Ancestral ForceAspect of Ancestral Force will grant us a damage buff and provide a wider area for this skill, which significantly increases its power. We want to cast this as close to maximum Fury as possible to take advantage of Furious Hammer of the AncientsFurious Hammer of the Ancients. A general guide while leveling is to adopt a 3:1 ratio of Lunging StrikeLunging Strike to Hammer of the AncientsHammer of the Ancients, and as you level up and unlock more skills and more resource generation, drop down to a 2:1 ratio.

Endless FuryEndless Fury is our passive node on this cluster, which will help our Fury generation while leveling, as long as we are using the Arsenal System to assign a 2-Handed Weapon to our Lunging StrikeLunging Strike, and will help make the build feel less resource intensive, especially before acquiring the Resource Generation affix only available on Ancestral Rings.

Defensive Skills

Rallying CryRallying Cry is our main defensive ability. It provides us with on-demand Unstoppable through Enhanced Rallying CryEnhanced Rallying Cry and even more resource generation thanks to Tactical Rallying CryTactical Rallying Cry.

Imposing PresenceImposing Presence will be our passive node here. It provides a substantial boost to your total health pool, allowing us to shrug off more hits and not burn through our potions during more difficult encounters.

Brawling Skills

ChargeCharge is our main brawling skill, and thanks to the buff it received in Season 3, this skill provides a great source of mobility, damage, and yet another method to trigger Berserking, all in one convenient button. It provides some minor crowd control through Enhanced ChargeEnhanced Charge, but the real power comes from the aptly named Power ChargePower Charge, which grants a large amount of built-in cooldown reduction, allowing us to charge far more often.

War CryWar Cry is a supportive skill that provides us with a damage increase. Enhanced War CryEnhanced War Cry provides us with another source of on-demand Berserking, and Mighty War CryMighty War Cry gives us some Fortify every time we press it. In general, we will want to use this against Elites, Bosses, or large packs.

SwiftnessSwiftness is a passive movement speed buff, which is always a high priority in any type of content.

Aggressive ResistanceAggressive Resistance is taken for some damage reduction while we are in the Berserking state.

Prolific FuryProlific Fury provides us with a nice boost to resource generation during Berserking.

Battle FervorBattle Fervor is our main method of entering Berserking while leveling. Thanks to ChargeCharge‘s built-in cooldown reduction, any time we charge into a pack, we will go Berserk for at least 3 seconds.

Weapon Mastery Skills

Pit FighterPit Fighter is a nice damage-amplifying passive that increases our damage to close targets, which is every target we’ll be smashing with Hammer of the AncientsHammer of the Ancients, and gives some defensive value by making us take less damage from far away enemies trying to snipe us off-screen.

Thick SkinThick Skin grants a minor amount of Fortify while leveling, helping us survive when we take on big groups.

CounteroffensiveCounteroffensive gives us another damage multiplier while we have at least half of our life Fortified, something we will be able to do pretty easily through some Aspects and other skills.

Ultimate Skill

Wrath of the BerserkerWrath of the Berserker is our ultimate of choice. It grants us both Berserking and Unstoppable for 5 seconds, and any time we use Lunging StrikeLunging Strike for 10 seconds after, we will gain Berserking again if it falls off, giving us high uptime.

Prime Wrath of the BerserkerPrime Wrath of the Berserker enhances our ultimate with some movement speed, which is always nice, and resource generation, allowing us to keep smashing.

Supreme Wrath of the BerserkerSupreme Wrath of the Berserker gives us a massive multiplier for spending Fury during Berserking. This damage bonus lasts until you lose that particular Berserking status, so we will aim to keep as much uptime on it as possible to maintain this buff.

Key Passive

UnconstrainedUnconstrained is our key passive of choice. With all the various methods to trigger Berserking, and thanks to a large buff this skill got in Season 3, it provides us with much easier management of our Berserking timer and grants us another massive damage buff while we’re in it.

Barbarian Mechanics

There are two main mechanics we will be interacting with while leveling. These are the Arsenal System, which lets the Barbarian hold more weapons than every other class, allowing for extra stats and legendary aspects, and Berserking, which is a class-unique status effect that we can trigger through certain skills and conditions.

Arsenal System

The Arsenal System allows us to wield four weapons and assign specific weapon types to specific skills, as well as granting us passive bonuses through Weapon Expertise. At Level 15, we will receive our class quest to head over to Ked Bardu and begin unlocking the full power of these bonuses. Each weapon provides a bonus while you’re using that type of weapon. After completing the quest, we will acquire the Technique Slot, allowing us to assign one weapon’s expertise bonuses to us at all times, even if we are not using that weapon type.

Remember, you must have a weapon type leveled to at least Level 1 to assign it to the Technique Slot. For leveling, we will be using 2-Handed Sword Technique which applies bleeds from all of our attacks and is a strong leveling option. Once we get further into the game, we will be switching to the 2-Handed Axe Technique for its strong damage multiplier once we have a reliable way to apply the Vulnerable condition so we can take advantage of it.

As a final reminder, our main attacking skill, Hammer of the AncientsHammer of the Ancients, requires that we use a 2-Handed Mace, which means we will always be benefiting from this specific Weapon Expertise bonus, so it is a poor choice for our Technique Slot.

For weapon assignments, we will want to assign the 2-Handed Slashing Weapon to Lunging StrikeLunging Strike, the highest DPS weapons we have to ChargeCharge, and Hammer of the AncientsHammer of the Ancients cannot be assigned as it requires the 2-Handed Bludgeoning weapon. This setup allows us to take advantage of a few weapon swap powers we may want to use, such as Earthstriker's AspectEarthstriker’s Aspect.


Berserking is a unique status effect for the Barbarian class. When it triggers, we will gain a damage multiplier and movement speed for a certain amount of time. We can increase the value of this damage buff through various skills, passives, and aspects, as well as through the paragon board once we move into the endgame. While leveling, we will be triggering this status pretty reliably through Battle FervorBattle Fervor whenever we hit something with ChargeCharge. We are also able to enter it on-demand through either War CryWar Cry or our ultimate Wrath of the BerserkerWrath of the Berserker. Lastly, we have a chance to enter it early on whenever we critically strike with Lunging StrikeLunging Strike, thanks to Combat Lunging StrikeCombat Lunging Strike. Our key passive, UnconstrainedUnconstrained, provides us with a substantial buff to this status, so we will want to be in it as often as possible while fighting.

Gear Affixes

Below, you will find a list of the recommended stats to look for on each piece of gear. Remember, that while leveling, you will be swapping gear often as you find more and more powerful items. The stats below serve more as guidelines than hard rules. We will also be listing a Tempering Affix that is useful to have while leveling, keep in mind that Tempering is more of a late-game system and the continual change of gear while leveling means that tempering a piece may burn through your materials faster. Non-Ancestral Items can only have one temper applied to them so we will only be listing the most valuable temper should you wish to use them before transitioning into an endgame build.

Gear SlotTargeted AffixesTempering Affixes
Helm1. Strength
2. Cooldown Reduction
3. Maximum Life
1. Challenging Shout Cooldown Reduction (Barbarian StrategyBarbarian Strategy – Defensive)
Chest1. Strength
2. Maximum Life
3. Needed Resistance
1. Challenging Shout Cooldown Reduction (Barbarian StrategyBarbarian Strategy – Defensive)
Gloves1. Attack Speed
2. Critical Strike Chance
3. Ranks to Hammer of the AncientsHammer of the Ancients
1. Damage with Two-Handed Bludgeoning Weapons (Arsenal FinesseArsenal Finesse – Offensive)
Pants1. Ranks of ChargeCharge
2. Strength
3. Maximum Life
1. Challenging Shout Cooldown Reduction (Barbarian StrategyBarbarian Strategy – Defensive)
Boots1. Movement Speed
2. Strength
3. Fury Per Second
1. Movement Speed (Natural MotionNatural Motion – Mobility)
Amulet1. Movement Speed
2. Cooldown Reduction
3. Critical Strike Chance
1. Resource Generation with Two-Handed Bludgeoning Weapons (Weapon Attunement — BarbarianWeapon Attunement — Barbarian – Resource)
Rings1. Critical Strike Chance
2. Attack Speed
3. Fury on Kill
1. Resource Generation with Two-Handed Bludgeoning Weapons (Weapon Attunement — BarbarianWeapon Attunement — Barbarian – Resource)
2-Handed Weapons1. DPS (Bludgeoning Weapon Only)
2. Strength
3. Maximum Life
4. Attack Speed
5. Fury on Kill
1. Hammer of the Ancients Size (Furious AugmentsFurious Augments – Weapons)
1-Handed Weapons1. Strength
2. Maximum Life
3. Attack Speed
4. Fury on Kill
1. Hammer of the Ancients Size (Furious AugmentsFurious Augments – Weapons)


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

  • Weapon: TopazTopaz for Basic Skill Damage (before Level 40) RubyRuby for Overpower damage (after Level 40)
  • Armor: RubyRuby for the increase to Maximum Life.
  • Jewelry: DiamondDiamond for the All Resistances.

Legendary Aspects

Below, you will find the Legendary Aspects to use while leveling. All of them can be found in the Codex of Power and provide a good source of damage and utility. We don’t recommend placing these on your weapons, as you should aim to replace your weapons very frequently, and imprinting them can waste valuable resources and time. That said, we will still list some options here in case you want to imprint on them. 

Gear SlotLegendary AspectLegendary Aspect Power
HelmAspect of MightAspect of MightBasic Skills grant 20% Damage Reduction for [2.0-6.0] seconds.
ChestAspect of DisobedienceAspect of DisobedienceYou gain [0.6 – 1.1%] increased Armor for 4 seconds when you deal any form of damage, stacking up to [36 – 66%].
GlovesAspect of Ancestral ForceAspect of Ancestral Force (MUST HAVE!)
Relentless Berserker's AspectRelentless Berserker’s Aspect (If Ancestral Force is on your Bludgeoning Weapon)
Hammer of the AncientsHammer of the Ancients quakes outwards, and its damage is increased by [5%-15%]

Lucky Hit: Damaging an enemy with a Core Skill has up to a [22-40%] chance to extend the duration of Berserking by 2 seconds. Double this duration if it was a Critical Strike
PantsIron Blood AspectIron Blood AspectGain [2.0-4.0%] Damage Reduction for each Nearby Bleeding enemy up to [10-20%] maximum.
BootsGhostwalker AspectGhostwalker AspectWhile Unstoppable and for 4 seconds after, you gain +[10 – 25]% increased Movement Speed and can move freely through enemies.
Amulets(50% 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
RingAspect of Vocalized EmpowermentAspect of Vocalized EmpowermentYour Shout skills generate [6-10] Fury per second while active.
RingAspect of Unrelenting FuryAspect of Unrelenting FuryKilling an enemy with a Core Skill refunds [10.0-20.0%] of its base Fury cost. Can only happen once per Skill cast.
Bludgeoning Weapon (100% bonus)Aspect of Ancestral ForceAspect of Ancestral Force (MUST HAVE!)
Aspect of the ExpectantAspect of the Expectant (If Ancestral Force is on your gloves)
Hammer of the AncientsHammer of the Ancients quakes outwards, dealing [32-50]% of its damage to enemies.

Attacking enemies with a Basic Skill increases the damage of your next Core Skill cast within 5 seconds by [5-10%] up to 30%
Slashing Weapon (100% bonus)Aspect 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.
Dual-Wield Weapon 1Rapid AspectRapid AspectBasic Skills gain [15-30%] Attack Speed.
Dual-Wield Weapon 2Earthstriker's AspectEarthstriker’s AspectAfter swapping weapons 8 times, your next skill will Overpower and deal [30-50%] increased Overpower damage.

Capstone and Early Paragon

Once you hit Level 50 with this build, you will be ready to tackle your first Capstone Dungeon and unlock World Tier 3. This will allow you to move towards the endgame and begin collecting Sacred Items, for more power, as well as Legendary Aspects not in the Codex of Power, and, of course, begin earning Paragon Points. If you would like to keep smashing, you should look to transition into the Endgame Hammer of the Ancients build to keep crushing demons into mush as you move into later world tiers and Nightmare Dungeons.

Early Paragon Boards

Starting Board

  1. We begin by heading left and grabbing TenacityTenacity and the surrounding magic nodes
  2. Next we move up to grab our first glyph socket and slot in ExploitExploit once we have it. We then grab enough Dexterity nodes around it since it won’t be level 15 yet to have the improved radius.
  3. Next grab Iron StrengthIron Strength and head up and out of the northern gate to connect our next board


Rotate this board three times before attaching it.

  1. We want to start by heading left to grab Hungering FuryHungering Fury and some fury nodes nearby to smooth out our rotation
  2. Now we head to the glyph socket and slot in a MarshalMarshal glyph once we have it. With the low radius we can grab just enough strength to activate it
  3. Grab Raw PowerRaw Power and ConditionedConditioned to help activate the glyph’s secondary effects
  4. We then make our way to the right and out where we will connect the Carnage board. From here we recommend making the transition to our Endgame Hammer of the Ancients Barbarian Build and begin farming World Tier 4 and Nightmare Dungeons.

Paragon Board images provided by

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. We recommend using Elixir of AdvantageElixir of Advantage for the attack speed or Elixir of ResourceElixir of Resource but while leveling, any Elixir will do, as they all provide a 5% to 8% increase to your experience gains, making you level that much faster.

Return to the Alchemist again when you reach Level 20, 30, 45, 60, 70, 80, and 90, to upgrade your healing potion. The extra healing they provide will be essential to surviving as you advance.


  • May 7th 2024: Guide restructured, updated for season 4, added early paragon boards.
  • April 4th 2024: Ownership of page transferred, page restructured for improved readability, explanations, and options.
  • February 6th 2024: Adjustments to build.
  • January 21st 2024: Season 3 speculative changes.
  • October 23rd 2023: Revamped build for Season 2.
  • October 13th 2023: Build adjusted to prepare for Season 2 launch.
  • September 16th 2023: Leveling Guide revamp.
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