This is your comprehensive guide for building a master of the Iron Maelstrom. A warrior who can truly unlock its devastating power with little to no effort. Welcome to our Walking Arsenal Endgame build. This build dives head first into packs of enemies and cycles between weapons fluidly, crushing everything around you with a titanic strike using the Ultimate skill Iron Maelstrom. The simplistic flow of this build will leave you in awe as you send the demons of hell back to where they came from.
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
- Amazing AoE DPS
- Iron Maelstrom Cooldown is Low
- Huge Overpowered Hits
- Good Mobility
- Must use different skills, not built to spam
- Skill rotation is very important
To see how this build compares to the other builds on our site, you can check out our build tier lists.
This build has several Legendary Aspects that are required before it will function properly. For 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.
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 Blood
Season 2 Patch Updates
This build has been designed within Season 2 with all mechanics coming from the current patch cycle. Important items to note about Season 2 are:
- Resistances new 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%.
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.
- 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.
- Ravenous (3 Ferocity): Lucky Hit: Up to a 20% chance to increase your Attack Speed by 40% of your Total Movement Speed for 6 seconds.
- 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
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.
|Lunging Strike Level 1, Enhanced Lunging Strike, Combat Lunging Strike||Basic Skill|
|Upheaval Level 5, Enhanced Upheaval, Violent Upheaval||Core Skill|
|Imposing Presence Level 3, Martial Vigor Level 3, Rallying Cry Level 1, Enhanced Rallying Cry, Strategic Rallying Cry, Iron Skin Level 1, Enhanced Iron Skin, Tactical Iron Skin||Defensive Skill|
|Aggressive Resistance Level 3, Prolific Fury Level 3||Brawling Skill|
|Thick Skin Level 1, Defensive Stance Level 3, Counteroffensive Level 3, Pit Fighter Level 3, Death Blow Level 5, Enhanced Death Blow, Warrior’s Death Blow||Weapon Mastery Skill|
|Iron Maelstrom, Prime Iron Maelstrom, Supreme Iron Maelstrom, Wallop Level 3, Heavy Handed Level 3, Brute Force Level 3||Ultimate Skill|
|Walking Arsenal||Key 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.
For the Walking Arsenal Build, we use the two-handed axe Technique to raise our damage against Vulnerable Enemies.
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 our Walking Arsenal build, we will be assigning the following weapons to our skills:
- Lunging Strike – Dual wield
- Upheaval – Bludgeoning
- Death Blow – Slashing
- Iron Maelstrom – Bludgeoning
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.
|Exploit||– 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.
|Territorial||– 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 10% Damage Reduction against Close enemies.
|Mortal Draw||– For every 5 Dexterity purchased within range, Skill that Swap to a different weapon deal + [16.5%] increased damage.|
– Additional Bonus unlocked after 25 Dexterity points are purchased in the glyph’s range: Swapping weapons has a 18% chance to cause the Skill’s damage to Critically Strike.
|Might||– 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.
|Undaunted||– For every 5 Willpower purchased within range, you deal + [8%] increased damage while Fortified.|
– Additional Bonus unlocked after 25 Willpower points are purchased in the glyph’s range:
You gain 10% Damage Reduction the more Fortify you have.
|Ire||– For every 5 Strength purchased within range, you deal +[8%] 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.
|Bone Breaker||– Every 12 seconds, your next Skill is guaranteed to Overpower.|
|Carnage||– While Berserking, Critical Strikes increase your Attack Speed by +2%, up to +16% for 6 seconds.|
|Blood 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.|
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.
- Take the pathway up the right hand side of the board towards the open glyph slot.
- Along route pick up the Rare Node Brawn, this will boost our flat damage and offer us an increase to Maximum Life.
- Now cross over and take the Rare node on the opposite side of the board, Tenacity, for the bonus Maximum Life.
- Insert the glyph Territorial, and take the Dexterity nodes shown to get the bonus. This will help us with fighting Close Enemies and Damage Reduction against Close Enemies.
- Inside the glyph radius, we take both Rare Nodes, Raw Power and Iron Strength, for the increase Armor and Physical Damage boost.
- Finally, path towards the connection point at the top of the board and attach our next Paragon Board, Warbringer.
Warbringer (2nd Board)
- Path towards the open glyph slot and insert Mortal Draw. This glyph will help us gain a chance to Critically Strike with a skill while weapon swapping.
- Next we will take both Rare Nodes inside the Glyph radius, Raw Power and Conditioned, these nodes will grant us an increase in Physical damage and Resistances.
- Head towards the left hand side of the board and attach the next Paragon Board Carnage.
Carnage (3rd Board)
- Take the pathway towards the glyph slot and insert Ire into the glyph slot. This glyph will boost our damage while Berserking.
- Inside the glyph radius take both Rare Nodes, Brash and Fierce, these Nodes will grant you an increased Berserking Damage and give you an increased Damage Reduction for Close Enemies.
- Now path towards the bottom connection point (for use later) and pick up the Rare node Enraged.
- Next path to the left hand connection point (for use later) and pick both, Berserker and Carnage, these will amplify our Berserking.
- Complete the path upwards to the attachment point and attach the next board, Blood Rage.
Blood Rage (4th Board)
- Head up towards the open glyph slot and pick up Rare Node Enraged, this will increase our Berserking Damage and duration.
- Now take the Legendary node Blood Rage for the chance to gain Berserking if a Bleeding Enemies dies.
- Path to the glyph slot, picking up Grit along the way, and insert Undaunted. This will help us increase our damage while Fortified.
- Now take the other Rare Node inside the glyph radius, Revel. These will help us increase our damage to Bleeding Enemies.
- Now continue to the left hand connection point and attach the Bone Breaker Paragon Board.
Bone Breaker (5th Board)
- Follow the pathway to the Legendary node Bone Breaker.
- Pick up Bulwark along the way. This will increase defenses while Fortified.
- Now that this board is complete, go back to the left hand connection point on the Carnage Paragon Board and attach Decimator.
Decimator (6th Board)
- Select the path towards the open glyph slot and insert Might, this will boost the Magic nodes inside the glyph radius.
- Next, take both the Rare Nodes, Demolish and Arrogance, for the Damage Reduction and damage increase against Vulnerable Enemies.
- Now head back to the Carnage paragon board and use the bottom connection point to attach our final paragon board Weapons Master.
Weapons Master (7th board)
- Select the nodes towards the open glyph slot, and insert Exploit for the increases in damage against Vulnerable Enemies.
- Take the needed Dexterity nodes to boost your damage output.
- Lastly, take both the Rare Nodes, Raw Power and Iron Strength, this will increase our Physical Damage and Armor.
- This completes the Paragon Tree for this build.
Paragon board images courtesy of d4builds.gg.
Build Mechanics and Playstyle
The playstyle for this build is designed behind a single major component; weapon swapping. This opens us Critical Strike chances, lowers the cooldown on Iron Maelstrom and unlocks our Key passive Walking Arsenal. To accomplish all of this weapon swap, we assign different weapons to each of our skills. Then we simply cycle our skills as we play normally, following a very simple rotation which we will be using to stay in Berserking.
- Lunging Strike has a chance to push us into Berserking if we hit a Critical Strike.
- If Upheaval hits 2 enemies or a boss, you will gain Berserking.
- Death Blow is our best shot at gaining Berserking as it just needs to hit a single enemy to trigger, and thanks to Weapon Master’s Aspect, we’ll have two chances to do this. Death Blow will reset its charges if we kill an enemy with it.
So we simply build out a pattern:
- Lunging Strike leaps towards and enemy or pack of enemies.
- Follow up with an Upheaval, causing AoE damage to the pack of enemies.
- Now, we finish off their health with Death Blow – this gains the benefits from our Unique two-handed Overkill – making the attack have a nice wide arc to the attack so hits are easy to make.
These cycle will be repeated over and over, keeping you in Walking Arsenal the entire time and using Rallying Cry to keep our Fury up. We also gain the advantage of Overpower strikes with Earthstriker’s Aspect. Then we can use all of this build up to strike down the entire screen using Iron Maelstrom. The cooldown timer on our Ultimate is also lowered non-stop by us constantly switching weapons, and we gain massive damage from Berserking and Walking Arsenal, making our Ultimate devastating, especially if we hit an Overpowered strike.
Our entire build is made to amplify our damage and crush everything we fight, but it does leave us open to attacks. For this we have added Iron Skin as our shield against Damage. This simple Barrier and heal will keep us out of harms way and carry us through a difficult fight. This is amped up further with the defensive aspect, Aspect of the Iron Warrior, for even more Damage Reduction.
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 Slot||Targeted Affixes|
|Helm||1. Cooldown Reduction|
2. Ranks of Death Blow
4. Maximum Life
5. Damage while Berserking
|Chest||1. Damage Reduction while Fortified |
2. Damage Reduction from Close Enemies
3. Damage Reduction
4. Maximum Life
5. Ranks to Rallying Cry
|Gloves||1. Critical Strike Chance|
2. Ranks Of Upheaval
4. Attack Speed
5. Lucky Strike
|Pants||1. Damage Reduction while Fortified|
2. Damage Reduction while Injured
3. Damage Reduction from Close Enemies
4. Maximum Life
5. Damage Reduction
|Boots||1. Movement Speed|
3. Fury Cost Reduction
4. Damage Reduction while Injured
5. Movement Speed for 4 seconds After Killing an Elite
|Amulet||1. Cooldown Reduction |
2. Fury Cost Reduction
3. Movement Speed
4. Ranks of Brute Force
5. Damage Reduction
|Rings||1. Critical Strike Chance|
2. Overpower Damage
3. Critical Strike Damage
4. Maximum Life
2. Overpowered Damage
3. Critical Strike Damage
4. All Stats
5. Damage to Close Enemies
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.
- Fury Cost Reduction
- Rank ups to selected Skills
- Cooldown Reduction – this is mainly for our Iron Maelstrom.
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
Listed below are all the best-in-slot Aspects found on Legendary items that are important for the Double Swing 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 Slot||Legendary Aspect||Legendary Aspect Power|
|Helm||Aspect of Disobedience||You gain [0.6-1.1]% increased Armor for 4 seconds when you deal any form of damage, stacking up to [36-66]%.|
|Chest||Aspect of the Iron Warrior||Iron Skin grants Unstoppable, and [18-28]% Damage Reduction.|
|Gloves||Accelerating Aspect||Critical Strikes with Core Skills increase your Attack Speed by [15-25]% for 5 seconds.|
|Pants||Aspect of Might||Basic Skills grant 20% Damage Reduction for [2.0-6.0] seconds.|
|Boots||Weapon Master’s Aspect||Your Weapon Mastery Skills have an additional Charge. Lucky Hit: Damaging an enemy with a Weapon Mastery Skill has up to a [37-55%] chance to Stun them for 2 seconds.|
|Amulets (50% bonus)||Banished Lord’s Talisman|
|Ring||Aspect of Berserk Fury||You gain [3-6] Fury per second while Berserking.|
|Ring||Ring of Red Furor|
|Bludgeoning Weapon (200% bonus)||Overkill|
|Slashing Weapon (200% bonus)||Aspect of Encroaching Wrath||After spending 100 Fury, your next Weapon Mastery Skills deals [82-100]% increased damage.|
|Dual-Wield Weapon 1||Edgemaster’s Aspect||Skills 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 2||Earthstriker’s Aspect||After swapping weapons 8 times, your next Skill will Overpower and deal [30-50]% increased Overpower Damage.|
The chart below is our recommendation for Uber Uniques that will work within this build. However, all Uber uniques are extremely powerful and can shine in different situations. Good Hunting!
|Harlequin Crest||Yes||Aspect of Disobedience will move to the Pant Slot|
|Melted Heart of Selig||No|
|Ring of Starless Skies||No|
|Doombringer||Yes||Edgemaster’s Aspect will be dropped|
|The Grandfather||Yes||Aspect of Encroaching Wrath will be dropped|
|Ahavarion, Spear of Lycander||No|
Listed below are the best gems to socket into gear for each slot type.
- Weapon: Royal Ruby for Overpowered Damage.
- Armor: Royal Ruby for Maximum Life.
- Jewelry: Royal Diamond for All Resistances, however, certain bosses may require you to switch to their corresponding resistances.
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 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.
- October 27th 2023: Build Creation Season 2.