Barbarian Chained Spear PvP Build Guide
Being a melee class, this build for PvP as a Barbarian in Diablo Immortal focuses on hit-and-run tactics while delivering heavy bursts of damage with the Chained Spear skill.
This build is molded by the needs of melee combatants during PvP in Diablo Immortal, leaning heavily onto hit-and-run tactics and focusing on turning the Barbarian into the incessant threat the class was always meant to be. All it takes is to catch an opponent unaware, Sprint into reach and combo a devastating one-two punch of Chained Spear and Cleave to end them. Undying Rage and careful strategic play will keep you alive and coming back for more carnage.
If you are interested in approaching a different type of content, please see our other Barbarian builds below.
The realities of PvP combat in Diablo Immortal all but require of Barbarians to use Undying Rage, timing its use as they dive into the thick of combat. Proccing its effect will allow you to heal back to full life, and retaliate in kind, but be cognizant of its downtime and try to play defensively when it is unavailable. Scout around the battlefield, looking for unsuspecting victims to pick off; once you spot a suitable target, Sprint in and toss a Chained Spear to chunk it down. As you reach the opponent(s), Cleave them down with your available charges and Frenzy the remainder of the opposition. After that, dive out of combat with Sprint once again, and assess your available cooldowns and charges. When Undying Rage is available, you can rinse and repeat the process outlined above.
Skills and Alterations
Primary Skill: Frenzy seems to be designed to be played around high Restless Demon uptime, offering a consistently available Ultimate asset with legendary gem combinations of Zod Stone and Ca'arsen's Invigoration. It is otherwise a single-target-oriented Primary Attack powerhouse that is hard to fit in other content, but finds its rightful place in PvP duels.
Main Damage Dealer: Cleave is a versatile damage-over-time skill that hits surprisingly hard in single-target situations despite its sweeping visuals. Its supporting legendary items overwhelmingly focus on improving its AoE capabilities; its most powerful enhancements come from the broadening of its effective area with Svot's Reach and the chain reaction damage triggered by Virulent Fist.
- Alternative: Another amazing option for a main damage dealer is the Barbarian bread and butter, Whirlwind. Its channeled nature fits precisely in the gap left between waiting on cooldowns and Primary Attack spam, forming the signature Barbarian rotation of using cooldowns, spinning Whirlwind to depletion, and finishing off stragglers with the Primary. The skill has several standout legendaries; most notably The Gathering for its potent pulling effect, as well as The Tempest for the radius increase.
Secondary Damage Dealer: Chained Spear offers a decent combination of damage dealing and control, and its supporting legendary items can enhance it one way or the other. It is advisable to lean into its nuke aspects with the legendary effect of Crusher Rig and improve its AoE with Obin's Many Fingers, but you can also consider going into hard CC territory with Cracklefell or Impaler's Breath.
- Alternative: Another amazing option for a secondary damage dealer is Furious Charge. Despite its baseline mobility functions, it is also a hefty nuke — providing you with a dashing skill that also deals heavy damage along its path. Dashing skills will always be useful in challenging PvE content, since you will need ways to get out of harm in a pinch.The true strengths of Furious Charge shine through in PvP however, since the immediacy of the charge plus the surprising amount of damage dealt can almost instantly net you a kill.
Mobility: Sprint is the cornerstone mobility skill for Barbarians, fit for almost all forms of content except situations where the need for survivability (Challenge Rifts, Helliquary) or smaller spaces (Kion's Ordeal and, to a lesser extent, Path of Blood) dictate the use of other skills. Sprint's usefulness during leveling and general PvE/PvP content cannot be understated; this should be your go-to mobility skill early on, with other options being considered for niche purposes.
Survivability Buff: Undying Rage is a survivability powerhouse, allowing you to endure massive bursts of damage through simply out-healing them. This becomes increasingly valuable in progression forms of content like Challenge Rifts and especially Helliquary, as well as PvP situations where you need to outlast the burst coming your way as you close the distance to the enemy. In the Diablo Immortal beta, it had no supporting legendaries, but was still deemed a valuable addition to Barbarians.
Equipment is split into Primary (right side of character screen) and Secondary (left side).
Primary equipment includes the Main-hand, Off-hand, Head, Shoulders, Chest, and Legs slots of your character sheet. These slots can — and should — be filled by Legendary items, since their legendary powers and ability to be socketed with Legendary gems vastly overpowers lower tier gear. Of course, these slots will be temporarily filled with Common (Grey), then Magic (Blue), and then Rare (Yellow) gear, before graduating into Legendaries (Golden).
The suggested Legendaries for Chained Spear Barbarians are:
- Main-hand: Svot's Reach — This legendary axe increases the reach of Cleave, turning its arc into a full, 360 degrees circle. With proper pulling technique and positioning, this can effectively double or even triple the DPS of this hard-hitting skill. If you opt for a Whirlwind-centric version of this build, use The Tempest as your main-hand weapon for the increased area of effect.
- Off-hand: Obin's Many Fingers — This legendary axe adds two additional Chained Spear projectiles, turning the skill's basic conal area of effect into a fearsome arc that easily finds targets to pierce through.
- Head: Second Breath — This legendary helm increases the duration of Sprint by 30%, greatly improving your overall speed and, more importantly, extending your Crowd Control immunity and passability uptime.
- Shoulders: Broken Grasp — Considering the importance of Sprint in PvP and the unfavorable position of melee-heavy characters like the Barbraian, a survivability piece that improves your Dodge chance is definitely not misplaced.
- Chest: Crusher Rig — This legendary chest alters Chained Spear from harpooning chains to massive, crushing boulders. It provides the opening volley for your rotation, and hits incredibly hard if you manage to shotgun its effect from a shorter distance. If you opted for a Whirlwind-centric alternate build, use The Gathering instead; this legendary chest adds tremendous pulling power to your channeling (working in both PvE and PvP environments).
- Legs: Any Good Roll — A Chained Spear-centric build has no specific legendary legs piece to strive for, so simply use your best rolled item in this slot.
Secondary equipment includes the Amulet, Rings, Hands, Waist, and Feet slots of your character sheet. These slots can — and should — be filled with Set items, since the bonuses they form once completed vastly overpowers lower tier gear. Of course, these slots will be temporarily filled with Common (Grey), then Magic (Blue), and then Rare (Yellow) gear, before graduating into Sets (Green). Secondary equipment can only be socketed with Normal gems.
The recommended Set for Chained Spear Barbarians is Grace of the Flagellant, which increases channeled, continual and persistent ground damage effects, as well as rewarding continuous attacks against a chosen target. The set consists of:
- Open Gut (Waist) — Farmed at Pit of Anguish in Difficulty Hell I and above.
- Torn Sole (Feet) — Farmed at Mad King's Breach in Difficulty Hell I and above.
- Bloody Hand (Hands) — Farmed at Cavern of Echoes in Difficulty Hell II and above.
- Slit Throat (Neck) — Farmed at Temple of Namari in Difficulty Hell II and above.
- Severed Thumb (Ring 1) — Farmed at Destruction's End in Difficulty Hell IV and above.
- Broken Palm (Ring 2) — Farmed at Kikuras Rapids in Difficulty Hell IV and above.
The set bonuses of Grace of the Flagellant are as follows:
- 2-piece Set Bonus: All continual damage, Channeled damage, and persistent ground damage increased by 15%.
- 4-piece Set Bonus: Each time you damage an individual enemy 5 times, you will do additional damage to that enemy.
- 6-piece Set Bonus: Each time you deal damage, you have a 4% chance to unleash a lightning strike, dealing damage to all nearby enemies and Stunning them for 2 seconds. Cannot occur more than once every 40 seconds.
Regardless if you opted for a Cleave-centric or Whirlwind-based variant, this set makes a nice addition to a PvP-oriented Barbarian.
Improving your attributes in Diablo Immortal generally revolves around increasing the total amount of Combat Rating, or CR. Every primary attribute point (Strength, Fortitude, Vitality, Willpower, and Intelligence) grants you 1 point of CR.
The priority attribute for Barbarians is Strength, which gives +0.3 Damage per point; given otherwise identical options, use the one with higher Strength to increase your DPS. Second in the priority order is Fortitude, which adds to your Armor Penetration — indirectly increasing damage dealt by also improving your crit chance. This attribute suffers from diminishing returns due to crit caps, but is still quite valuable. Third in the priority order is Vitality, which simply increases your Life total; the longer you can stave off death, the better.
Stat priority order and stat benefits for Barbarians are as follows:
- Strength — Grants +0.3 Damage to Barbarians, and +1 to your total CR.
- Fortitude — Grants +0.1 Armor Penetration, which affects your crit chance. It also grants +0.1 Armor; Armor increases your Block chance, and blocking attacks mitigates 20% of the damage dealt. More mitigation is never amiss, and even more so when dealing with riskier content like the Helliquary. It also adds +1 to your total CR.
- Vitality — Grants +3 Life; the more you can add to your total health pool, the better. This is especially true for melee classes like the Barbarian, and Barbs specifically thrive on percentage-based healing skills. This attribute also adds +1 to your total CR.
- Willpower — Grants +0.1 Potency and 0.1 Resistance. Potency increases the duration of harmful effects that you inflict on your foes. Resistance lowers the duration of harmful effects inflicted by your enemies on you. This attribute also adds +1 to your total CR.
- Intelligence — Grants +1 CR. This attribute does nothing else for Barbarians, and should be avoided as much as possible.
Secondary (Special) Attributes
You should not put an emphasis on Special Attributes when considering between gear pieces. This is due to the overpowering importance of Primary Attributes and your CR total. That being said, the better Special Attributes are the two Crit Stats (Critical Hit Chance and Critical Hit Damage), Cooldown Reduction, Beneficiary Effect Duration, and Movement Speed. You can also consider Increased Damage to Players for PvP gear.
Pieces of Primary Gear that you upgrade at the Blacksmith attain up to three additional Bonus Attributes for Reforging at Ranks 6, 11, and 16. These Bonus Attributes belong to "families" (outlined and ranked below); a Family Bonus can be unlocked if all three Bonus Attributes are from the same family. Multiple Primary Gear pieces can have the same Family Bonus to improve your proc chance. The process of Reforging is done with the Reforge Stone consumable. Note that only Primary Gear pieces can be reforged; Secondary Gear pieces cannot.
- Tremor Stone is the most valuable bonus for general content, as its Family Bonus adds a crowd control proc and extra damage to your Primary Attacks.
- Vengeance Stone brings a single target-oriented Family Bonus that becomes increasingly important as you push the difficulty of the content you are doing, i.e. Challenge Rifts. Pair it with high Attack Speed choices like Frenzy to have a chance at finishing off Boss fights within the timer.
- Wildfire Stone is mostly valuable due to its innate attributes, as it brings valuable Critical Hit Chance to the table. The Hydra summon from the Family Bonus is mostly an extra minion to soak up damage.
- Barrier Stone has a Family Bonus that brings some much needed mitigation to Barbarians, a class that face-tanks all of its damage. The absorption shield is paired with some excellent innate attributes like Damage Taken Decreased and Block Chance, which further reduce incoming hurt.
- Jolt Stone offers situationally valuable bonuses; it has Beneficial Effect Duration Increased as an innate attribute, which is decent for groups, and a Cheat Death proc which is never amiss when soloing content. Its Family Bonus brings soft CC to attackers, which is decent mostly for PvP.
- Ravager Stone offers summoner-oriented innate attributes that are all but useless to Barbarians (unless you hyper-specialize in Ancient summons). Its Family Bonus requires enemies to be slain to proc, significantly diminishing its usefulness when doing progression content like Challenge Rift bosses and Helliquary.
Normal and Legendary Gems
As per tradition for Diablo games, socketed gear allows you to insert beneficial gems according to your needs. In Diablo Immortal, gems are divided between Normal Gems (socketable in Secondary Gear) and Legendary Gems (socketable in Primary Gear).
Normal Gems can only be socketed in Secondary Gear. Normal gems are divided into Red, Blue and Yellow sockets, and their priority is listed below. Priority-wise, gems are decent power increases to your character, but should never come at the cost of Primary Attributes and your CR score. Go for Red and Blue gems over Yellow if possible, as they provide a stronger bonus overall.
- Red Sockets: Prioritize Tourmaline as it provides a straight Damage increase. Ruby is also decent for the Life increase, but only if you lack Tourmalines.
- Blue Sockets: Prioritize Sapphire, which increases your Armor Penetration, and your Critical Hit Chance stat as a result. Note that Crit Chance provided from Sapphires has diminishing returns, capping out at 33%; when benefits from ArPen get too insignificant, swap to Aquamarine. Aquamarine provides Armor, which is a decent source of damage mitigation.
- Yellow Sockets: Prioritize Citrine for the Potency gains, increasing the duration of harmful effects you inflict on enemies; however small its benefits, they trump the Resistance effects provided from Topaz.
Legendary Gems can only be socketed in Primary Gear. They provide unique and very powerful bonuses on top of a robust stack of stat increases. Legendary Gems are found in Elder Rifts enhanced by the Crest consumables, as well as through crafting at the Jeweler in Westmarch.
Early on in Barbarian character progression, you should use common, 1- and 2-Star Legendary Gems like:
- Fervent Fang — Can be obtained from the Battle Pass, saving you some Crests. Provides a stacking damage increase against a target with successive attacks; great for single target damage.
- Los-Focused Gaze — Provides increased damage to Charge skills, improving both Cleave and Furious Charge (if it is present in your setup). It also makes them more frequently available through its recharge bonus. Remember to alternate this slot to Trickshot Gem if you are using a Whirlwind-based variant.
- Everlasting Torment — For the mere cost of a critical hit, this gem inflicts a considerable DoT and an Attack Speed increase to boot. Even at a low quality, this gem starts off with incredible stats and fits nicely from the get-go.
- Ca'arsen's Invigoration — Half of the Primary Attack-Ultimate combo, this gem increases the speed and damage of Primary Attacks, fitting nicely into a build that utilizes Frenzy to finish enemies off.
- Zod Stone — The other half of the Primary Attack-Ultimate combo, this gem increases the duration and damage of Ultimate skills, allowing for unparalleled uptime of Restless Demon.
- Power & Command— When timed correctly, this gem will provide a decent boost to your Primary Attack damage. Note its rotating bonus, alternating between Primary Attack- and Cooldown-boosting at 9 second intervals, and try to fit your Chained Spear and Cleave usage in the Cooldown half of its bonus.
When perfecting your character for endgame content, the 5-Star Best-in-Slot Legendary Gems for Barbarians include:
- Blood-Soaked Jade — With its Damage and Movement Speed increases, it is largely considered to be the best legendary gem in the game for pretty much all forms of content.
- Seeping Bile — The value of this gem scales with the number of attacks you inflict, fitting well into Attack Speed-heavy Barbarian builds. With a considerable damage proc and a spreading effect, it is one of the best additions to your legendary gem lineup.
- Frozen Hearth — With percentage-based mitigation against ranged damage, this is one of the strongest defensive legendary gems you can support your character with.
- Blessing of the Worthy — Barbarians thrive at melee ranges and sustain a lot of attacks, making the retaliation proc of this gem quite valuable. Note its scaling off maximum Life, which turns the Barb's considerable health pool into a makeshift nuke.
- Chip of Stone Flesh — This is a PvP powerhouse of a gem, inflicting hard CC and increasing damage dealt on affected targets. It also provides decent value for progression content.
- Phoenix Ashes — A cheat death proc is never useless; considering the damage intake Barbarians have to deal with in progression content, its value grows even more.
Paragon Points are character-specific progression system that allows you to advance in power after you reach maximum level. Each level gives you a Paragon point to spend into currently available nodes on the five Paragon Trees. While Paragon Trees are specialized for certain tasks, you should always keep in mind the tenets of character building — increasing damage and mitigation as much as you can. Paragon specialization for PvP-oriented players is a little different to general PvE strategies, prioritizing the mitigation of the Survivor tree first, and swapping into the PvP-centric Gladiator tree later. Always keep in mind that the (circular) Persistent Attributes are always active once leveled, but the (square) Specialization Skills are only applied when their respective Paragon Tree is active.
- Survivor Tree: The defensive bonuses of this tree function in PvP, which cannot be said for the other default tree (Vanquisher) — making Survivor the preferable tree for PvP-focused players. Pick up the first five Life nodes at the top, then a point in Unyielding. Then, go down and max out Armor, and pick up the one-point Escape Artist. Go back to the upper row to max out the second, 20-point Armor node, and finish the row with one point in Stalwart. Return to the middle row, max out the 15-point Life node and finish the row with a single point in Precognition. From Precognition, go straight down and max out the Damage node. This puts you at Paragon 79.
- Vanquisher Tree: Move over to that offense-oriented tree for a short while, allocating 5 points in the Damage nodde in the middle, picking up Zeal on the way, and spending another 14 points in the Damage node directly below. This puts you right at Paragon 99.
- Gladiator Tree: This tree unlocks at Paragon level 100, and is entirely dedicated to PvP bonuses. It makes the most sense to respec your Paragon points completely and delve directly into this tree. Max out the middle and top rows of the Gladiator tree (granting you Life, Damage, Resistances and Armor Penetration, alongside unique bonuses like Quick Witted, Cheat Death and Uncontrollable), costing you exactly 63 Paragon points. Spend the remaining points on the Vanquisher tree (the lower left corner of 5-point Damage node, Zeal and 25-point Damage node), and Treasure Hunter tree (5-point Armor node).
- Treasure Hunter Tree: Pick up Swift Learner, then the 15-point Damage node. Go over to the Soldier Tree and take Hold Formation, head down to the 15-point Resistance node, and then further down to the 15-point Damage node.
- Life and Utility pickups: In the Vanquisher tree, pick up the 25-point Life node straight across Zeal, and get the 1-point Judgment to finish off the middle row. Get the 5-point Life node right at the start of the Survivor tree, then the 15-point Life node in the first column of the Soldier tree. Continue in the Soldier tree — right across the Life is the 1-point First Aid, just below is the 1-point Combat Veteran, and then — the 1-point Battle Morale. Pick all these 1-point wonders up for a nice increase of overall utility.
When you turn in Bestiary pages, you will receive a class-specific consumable. For Barbarians, this item is the Horn of Arreat, which increases all damage done by yourself and your nearby allies by 10% for 20 minutes. Be generous with its use, especially in party content; buffs like these are what make the Barbarian an invaluable member of the group.
- 30 May 2022: Guide created.
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