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HotA Barbarian Abattoir of Zir (AoZ) Build Guide for Diablo 4 (Season 2)

The best Barbarian build for the Abattoir of Zir!

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Hammer of the AncientsLunging StrikeRallying CryChallenging ShoutWar CryWrath of the Berserker


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This build guide is specifically designed for Season 2 of Diablo 4, and may not be effective for use after the season ends.

Abattoir of Zir (AoZ) Build Introduction

The Abattoir of Zir (AoZ) variant build for HotA Barbarian is a late endgame setup, designed to specifically tackle the hardest content in Diablo 4. This build task is not for the faint of heart and will test your skills against very difficult circumstances. For more information on this endgame activity, check out our Abattoir of Zir Guide.

The Abattoir of Zir is scaled to push you further at each level, racing against a clock and fighting through hordes of hells more powerful demons. This Abattoir of Zir build guide assumes your character is Level 100 and you have proper gear equipped, not just the Uniques, but farmed for a solid set of affixes and aspects for the rest of your gear slots. This is build not meant for a new character; if you are looking for resources on creating a new character using Barbarian, our Leveling Build is what you will want to use. This content was made for characters that have beaten Nightmare Dungeons at level 100, defeated the Endgame Bosses, and completed their Season’s Journey. This build is a high-tier modified version of the HotA Barbarian build.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths
  • Strong AoE damage style
  • Good defensive layers
  • Shout cooldowns are extremely low
  • Easy NM100 Clear
Weaknesses
  • 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. However, for Season 2 rewards will give you access to Aspect of Limitless RageAspect of Limitless Rage.

Required Uniques
Required Aspects (Non-codex)

To begin this build, we recommend you have everything ready as there are no substitutions. For this build to become fully functional and able to fight in the Abattoir of Zir, we recommend you have everything including the Uber unique drop from Duriel the Maggot King.

Season of Blood

Season 2 Patch Updates

The following list details the changes in the Season 2 Update (Patch 1.2.0) that are specific to this build. Check the Changelog for all other guide updates.

  • Resistances now stack additively and no longer become less effective with each additional source, while also contributing their full value to Non-physical Damage Reduction. Resistance values on equipment, Elixirs and Paragon have been increased to more easily reach the new 70% cap. Furthermore, Intelligence now gives +0.025% All Resistance per 1 Intelligence instead of 0.05% All Resistance to compensate.
  • Increased Critical Strike / Vulnerable Damage affixes are now additive with other damage increases instead of being multiplicative. This change is a nerf to make Critical Strike Damage and Vulnerable Damage comparable to other dame increase options. All classes are affected by this change.
  • % Total Armor affix has been increased by 160%.
  • Mighty War CryMighty War Cry – Fortify amount changed from being based on Base Life to Maximum life.
  • Strategic Rallying CryStrategic Rallying Cry – Fortify amount changed from being based on Base Life to Maximum life.
  • Supreme Wrath of the BerserkerSupreme Wrath of the Berserker – Maximum damage bonus is now x100% bonus damage.
  • DecimatorDecimator
    • Previous: Two-Handed Slashing Weapon attacks have up to a 8% chance to make enemies Vulnerable for 2 seconds.
    • New: Each time you make an enemy Vulnerable, your damage is increased by 10% for 5 seconds. Overpowering a Vulnerable enemy grants an additional 10% bonus for 5 seconds.
  • CarnageCarnage
    • Attack Speed maximum amount increased from 8% to 16%.
  • Bone BreakerBone Breaker
    • Previous: Overpowers with your Two- Handed Bludgeoning Weapon Stun enemies for 1 second and grant you 20% of your Maximum Life (273) as Fortify.
    • New: Every 12 seconds, your next Skill is guaranteed to Overpower.
  • WarbringerWarbringer
    • Fortify amount increased from 12% to 15% maximum Life.
  • Blood RageBlood Rage
    • Additional Functionality: Your damage dealt is increased by 25% [x] of the total amount of your Damage while Berserking bonus.

Vampiric Power Tier List

Season 2 introduces Vampiric Powers that provide build-altering bonuses. We start by spending Potent Blood, which is acquired from vampiric enemies, to unlock and upgrade your Vampiric Powers. Make sure your equipped chest armor, pants, gloves , boots and helm contain the appropriate Vampiric Pacts (Ferocity, Divinity and Eternity) that match the activation costs needed to unlock a Vampiric Power.

A Vampiric Curse status effect has been added to complement the new powers: killing an enemy affected by your Vampiric Curses will store their soul. Casting a Defensive skill will unleash your stored souls to attack nearby enemies. You can store up to 8 souls total.

Listed below is the tier list for Vampiric Powers , ranked by importance to this build. Stat values displayed reflect a maximum level 3 Vampiric Power. Also, please note the list below is our theory-crafted recommendations compiled without testing. Until the Season 2 is live, we cannot test the validity of these choices.

Minor Powers:

  • Resilience (2 Eternity): You gain 1% Damage Reduction for each 2% Life you are missing.
  • Sanguine Brace (1 Divinity, 1 Eternity): When you kill an enemy, Fortify for 6% of your Base Life. While you have more Fortify than half of your Maximum Life, you gain 8% Critical Strike Chance.
  • Prey on the Weak (2 Ferocity): You deal 16% increased damage to Vulnerable enemies. Enemies are Vulnerable while affected by a Vampiric Curse from your other Vampiric Powers.

Major Powers:

  • Accursed Touch (6 Divinity): Lucky Hit: Up to a 44% chance to inflict Vampiric Curse on enemies. Enemies with the Vampiric Curse have a 15% chance to spread it to other surrounding enemies. Accursed Souls deal 200% increased damage.
  • Metamorphosis (2 Ferocity, 2 Divinity, 2 Eternity): When you Evade you turn into a cloud of bats, becoming Unstoppable for 4 seconds. Enemies along your path take 160% Physical damage and are inflicted with Vampiric Curse.

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, Combat Lunging StrikeCombat Lunging StrikeBasic SkillBasic Skill
Hammer of the AncientsHammer of the Ancients Level 5, Enhanced Hammer of the AncientsEnhanced Hammer of the Ancient, Furious Hammer of the AncientsFurious Hammer of the Ancients, Endless FuryEndless Fury 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, Imposing PresenceImposing Presence Level 3, Martial VigorMartial Vigor Level 3Defensive 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 2, Aggressive ResistanceAggressive Resistance Level 3, Prolific FuryProlific Fury Level 3Brawling SkillBrawling Skill
Pit FighterPit Fighter Level 3, Thick SkinThick Skin Level 1, CounteroffensiveCounteroffensive Level 3Weapon 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, WallopWallop Level 3, Brute ForceBrute Force 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.

Weapon Selection

Barbarians have an unique mechanic in Diablo 4 where you can assign a weapon type to certain skills. This is a critical component for all builds to function properly, and failure to match your weapon to the proper skill may cause the build to perform poorly. For this build, we will be assigning the following weapons to our skills:

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 +[10.0]% 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.
CrusherCrusher– For every 5 Strength purchased within range, you deal +[5.3]% increased damage while wielding a Mace
– Additional bonus unlocked after 40 Strength points are purchased in the glyph’s range: While wielding a Mace, you deal 30%[x] increased Overpower damage.
Tears of BloodTears of Blood– For every 5 Core Stats purchased within range, you gain + [2]% increased damage.
– Additional Bonus Grants +50.0% bonus to all Rare nodes within range. Bonus increases by 10% every 10 levels.
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.
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.
Blood RageBlood Rage– Killing a Bleeding enemy has 10% chance to grant Berserking for 5 seconds. Your damage is increased by x25% of your Damage while Berserking bonus.
DecimatorDecimator– Each time you make an enemy Vulnerable, your damage is increased by 10% for 5 seconds. Overpowering a Vulnerable enemy grants an additional x10% bonus for 5 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. Path up the left side and head up towards the open glyph slot, taking TenacityTenacity and the Magic Nodes around it for the bonus in Life and Armor.
  2. Loop around to 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.
  3. Next, path towards the glyph slot and insert CrusherCrusher, this glyph will grant us increased damage with maces and a bonus to our Overpower.
  4. Take the Rare Nodes Iron StrengthIron Strength, these will gives us another some flat armor increases.
  5. Head to the top of the board and attach our next Paragon Board, Carnage.

Carnage

Carnage
  1. Now go straight to the open glyph slot and insert Tears of BloodTears of Blood into the glyph slot. As you can see above we will take this entire board, to maximize our glyph damage potential.
  2. Next we will take both Rare Nodes inside the glyph radius, BrashBrash and FierceFierce, these nodes will give us increased Damage while Berserking and Damage Reduction against Close Enemies.
  3. Take the path to the left hand side of the board and pick up the Rare Node EnragedEnraged.
  4. Finally, use the left hand-side connection point to attach the next Paragon Board, Blood Rage.

Blood Rage

Blood Rage
  1. Now path towards the open glyph slot, inserting IreIre into the slot. This boost our damage while Berserking and grant us Damage Reduction while Berserking.
  2. Inside the glyph radius pick up the Rare node GritGrit to boost our Damage Reduction against Bleeding Enemies.
  3. Head to the Legendary Node Blood RageBlood Rage and take it. This will help with our Berserking sustain and a small damage boost.
  4. We will also be the Rare node EnragedEnraged for boost to our Berserking.
  5. Now go back to the Carnage Paragon Board and take the right hand connection point and attach Warbringer.

Warbringer

Warbringer
  1. Take the pathway upwards and pick up the Rare Node Core ReserveCore Reserve and only take the Magic Nodes shown above.
  2. Path towards the open glyph and insert TerritorialTerritorial into the slot. This glyph will help us against Close Enemies with a damage increase and Damage Reduction.
  3. Inside the Glyph radius take both Rare Nodes, ConditionedConditioned and Raw PowerRaw Power, these Nodes will grant you an increased Berserking Damage and give you an increased Damage Reduction for Close Enemies.
  4. Head towards the Rare node Hungering FuryHungering Fury and take it, including the Magic Nodes around it.
  5. Finally, path towards the top of the Paragon Board and attach Bone Breaker.

Bone Breaker

Bone Breaker
  1. Take the Rare Node VigorVigor along the pathway to the open glyph slot.
  2. Head towards the open glyph slot and insert MarshalMarshal, this will boost all the magic nodes inside the glyph radius.
  3. Take the other Rare Node BrutalityBrutality for the increase in Overpowered damage.
  4. Path to the left side of the board and attach the Paragon Board Decimator.

Decimator

Decimator
  1. Now take the path to the open Glyph slot and insert MightMight, this will increase our damage while two-handed weapons and boost the Rare nodes inside the glyph radius.
  2. Next, take the Rare Node ArroganceArrogance for the increased Damage Reduction from Vulnerable Enemies.
  3. Lastly, we take the Legendary Node DecimatorDecimator for the bonus to Overpower hits against Vulnerable enemies.
  4. This completes the Paragon Tree for this build.

Paragon board images courtesy of d4builds.gg.

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. Start to use Lunging StrikeLunging Strike to get healing and Critical Strikes will extend your Berserking. We then bring out your Hammer of the AncientsHammer of the Ancients to smack down the enemy, using up your Fury as much as you can. Our Fury generation should be quite high with all our shouts running, but we do have the option of activating Wrath of the BerserkerWrath of the Berserker and take them down any Elites or Bosses quickly. 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. To get Overpower hits you can use some of the triggers below:

Berserking

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. The secret to keeping us in Berserking is the use of Relentless Berserker's AspectRelentless Berserker’s Aspect. This Aspect has a Lucky hit chance to extend our Berserking duration, as you increase your power and Critical Strike Chance this will become very easy to maintain. We also use the Legendary Node on our Paragon board Blood RageBlood Rage to add to our Berserking sustain.

Defensive Aspects

Aspect of Berserk RippingAspect of Berserk Ripping adds Bleeding to all targets and grants us increased Damage Reduction against Bleeding Enemies through our Paragon Tree. The Bleeding effect 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 further enhanced through our Paragon Tree. 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.

Season 2 Update (1.2.0): Critical Strike Damage and Vulnerable Damage affixes are changed to be additive with other damage increases. All additive damage increases of the same amount are equal in value, as long as their conditions are active.

Gear SlotTargeted Affixes
HelmHarlequin CrestHarlequin Crest
Chest1. Total Armor
2. Damage Reduction
3. Damage Reduction while Fortified
4. Maximum Life
5. Damage Reduction from Close Enemies 
Gloves1. Critical Strike Chance
2. Attack Speed
3. Ranks of Hammer of the AncientsHammer of the Ancients
4. Strength
5. Lucky Hit Chance
PantsTibault's WillTibault’s Will
Boots1. Movement Speed
2. Resistances
3. Fury Reduction Cost
4. Strength
AmuletBanished Lord's TalismanBanished Lord’s Talisman
Rings1. Critical Strike Chance
2. Max Fury
3. Maximum Life
4. Overpower Damage
5. Critical Strike Damage 
Weapons1. Strength
2. All Stats
3. Core Skill Damage
4. Overpower Damage
5. Critical Strike Damage
6. Damage to Close Enemies

Please note that these affixes are you need to survive in this Endgame dungeon, you can stray from the recommended affixes, but the build may suffer. You have been warned.

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 and Unique Items for Abattoir of Zir

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
HelmHarlequin CrestHarlequin Crest
ChestAspect of MightAspect of MightBasic Skills grant 20% Damage Reduction for [2.0-6.0] seconds.
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.
PantsTibault's WillTibault’s Will
BootsRelentless 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 2 seconds. Double this duration if it was a Critical Strike.
Amulets(50% bonus)Banished Lord's TalismanBanished Lord’s Talisman
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)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.
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 1Aspect of Ancestral ForceAspect of Ancestral ForceHammer of the AncientsHammer of the Ancients quakes outwards, dealing [32-50]% of its damage to enemies.
Dual-wield weapon 2Earthstriker's AspectEarthstriker’s AspectAfter swapping weapons 8 times, your next attack will Overpower and deal [30-50%] increased Overpower damage.

Gems

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

  • Weapon: Royal RubyRoyal Ruby increases our Overpower Damage.
  • Armor: Royal RubyRoyal Ruby for Maximum Life.
  • Jewelry: Royal DiamondRoyal Diamond for All Resistances, however, certain bosses may require you to switch to their corresponding resistances.

Elixirs and Health Pots

Listed below are the best Elixirs to consume for Abattoir of Zir, ranked by importance. Elixirs that are not available at the Alchemist can only be found as drops. Open Splitting Steel and Mystery Chests in Helltides to farm non-craftable Elixirs.

  1. Heady Iron Barb ElixirHeady Iron Barb Elixir (non-craftable): Essential to cap Armor against high level enemies, especially in higher AoZ Tiers. Alternatively, Heady Iron Barb Elixir can be crafted at the Alchemist.
  2. Elixir of Combatant FortuneElixir of Combatant Fortune (non-craftable): Lucky Hit Chance provides more chances to hit with our Skills.
  3. Heady Crushing ElixirHeady Crushing Elixir (craftable): Increases our Overpower damage for our build.
  4. Heady Precision ElixirHeady Precision Elixir (non-craftable): Provides the highest source of Critical Strike Chance from an Elixir, if not already capped at 100%. Alternatively, Heady Precision Elixir can be crafted at the Alchemist.

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.

Changelog

  • December 13th 2023: Build Creation for Abattoir of Zir.
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