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Diablo 3: The Best Barbarian Builds, Ranked

Being the “best” in Diablo 3 is a temperamental experience. You’re always just a recent patch note, a new piece of gear, or another season away from having to overhaul your entire build. That’s part of what keeps the game fresh; you’ve got to be on your toes if you’re looking to conquer the toughest rifts.

The Barbarian is something of an exception to this rule. With heavy melee strikes and a core set of skills to build around, there is far more consistency to the Barbarian than any other class. Even so, it’s worth seeing what little tweaks might make the difference between being middle of the pack and envy of the community.

Whirlwind

  • Active Skills: Ancient Spear (Rage Flip), Ignore Pain (Iron Hide), Battle Rage (Bloodshed), Whirlwind (Blood Funnel), Wrath of the Berserker (Insanity), Threatening Shout (Falter)
  • Passive Skills: Berserker Rage, Ruthless, Weapons Master, Rampage
  • Key Armor Sets: Wrath of the Wastes
  • Key Weapons: Bul-Kathos’s Oath
  • Augment: Strength
  • Gems: Strength
  • Paragon: Movement Speed, Cooldown Reduction, All Resistance, Area Damage

The Whirlwind build is a staple for farming quick paragon points. It might not be number one because of how it performs against bosses, but almost every high-level player uses it secondarily to farm.

Furious Charge

  • Active Skills: Furious Charge (Merciless Assault), Battle Rage (Bloodshed), Wrath of the Berserker (Insanity), Seismic Slam (Rumble), Sprint (Marathon), Call of the Ancients (Together as One)
  • Passive Skills: Rampage, Berserker Rage, Ruthless, Nerves of Steel
  • Key Armor Sets: The Legacy of Raekor, Immortal King’s Call
  • Key Weapons: Immortal King’s Boulder Breaker
  • Augment: Strength
  • Gems: Strength
  • Paragon: Movement Speed, Cooldown Reduction, All Resistance, Area Damage

Nearly every build on this list uses Furious Charge, but this is the only build that actually invests in this basic ability. Beefing up your primary attack makes for remarkably consistent success rates.

Hammer Of The Ancients With Legacy Of Dreams

  • Active Skills: Furious Charge (Merciless Assault), Call of the Ancients (Together as One), Ignore Pain (Ignorance is Bliss), Hammer of the Ancients (Smash), Battle Rage (Bloodshed), Wrath of the Berserker (Insanity)
  • Passive Skills: Ruthless, Berserker Rage, Weapons Master, Boon of Bul-Kathos
  • Key Armor Sets: None
  • Key Weapons: None
  • Augment: Strength
  • Gems: Strength
  • Paragon: Movement Speed, Critical Hit Damage, All Resistance, Area Damage

Most builds rely heavily on set bonuses, but if you have the Legacy of Dreams gem, you actually get a boost for not using sets. This also frees you up to use any legendary piece that you like.

Hammer Of The Ancients With Immortal King

  • Active Skills: Furious Charge (Merciless Assault), Battle Rage (Bloodshed), Wrath of the Berserker (Insanity), Hammer of the Ancients (Smash), Threatening Shout (Falter), Call of the Ancients (Together as One)
  • Passive Skills: Berserker Rage, Rampage, Ruthless, Nerves of Steel
  • Key Armor Sets: Immortal King’s Call, Endless Walk
  • Key Weapons: Istvan’s Paired Blades
  • Augment: Strength
  • Gems: Strength
  • Paragon: Movement Speed, Critical Hit Chance, All Resistance, Area Damage

Many builds dip a toe into the Immortal King’s Call set, but those that fail to complete the set miss out on a 4000% damage increase. It’s very particular about the gear, but there is a definitive payoff at the end of the road.

Hammer Of The Ancients With Raekor

  • Active Skills: Furious Charge (Merciless Assault), Battle Rage (Bloodshed), Ignore Pain (Ignorance is Bliss), Hammer of the Ancients (Smash), Threatening Shout (Falter), Wrath of the Berserker (Insanity)
  • Passive Skills: Ruthless, Berserker Rage, Boon of Bul-Kathos, Brawler
  • Key Armor Sets: The Legacy of Raekor, Endless Walk
  • Key Weapons: Istvan’s Paired Blades
  • Augment: Strength
  • Gems: Strength
  • Paragon: Movement Speed, Cooldown Reduction, All Resistance, Area Damage

Furious Charge is boosted at all three tiers of set bonuses but the last one sets up a devastating attack. You can get five stacks of furious charge and then increase the damage of your next move by 5500% per stack. That’s an additional 27,500% in a single move. Ouch!

Frenzy

  • Active Skills: Frenzy (Maniac), War Cry (Veteran’s Warning), Battle Rage (Bloodshed), Furious Charge (Merciless Assault), Threatening Shout (Falter), Wrath of the Berserker (Insanity)
  • Passive Skills: Ruthless, Berserker Rage, Boon of Bul-Kathos, Nerves Of Steel
  • Key Armor Sets: Horde of the Ninety Savages
  • Key Weapons: Istvan’s Paired Blades
  • Augment: Strength
  • Gems: Strength
  • Paragon: Movement Speed, Cooldown Reduction, All Resistance, Life On Hit

This build is all about attack speed and damage building. The Horde of Ninety Savages armor set really throws the damage per strike bonus through the roof.

Seismic Slam

  • Active Skills: Seismic Slam (Permafrost), Battle Rage (Bloodshed), Call of the Ancients (Together as One), Leap (Death from Above), War Cry (Veteran’s Warning), Wrath of the Berserker (Insanity)
  • Passive Skills: Rampage, Ruthless, Boon of Bul-Kathos, No Escape
  • Key Armor Sets: Might of the Earth, Captain Crimson
  • Key Weapons: Fjord Cutter, Echoing Fury
  • Augment: Strength
  • Gems: Strength
  • Paragon: Movement Speed, Cooldown Reduction, All Resistance, Area Damage

The most difficult encounters aren’t against bosses, they’re against elite groups with unlucky benefits. This means eliminating groups becomes more valuable as you crank the difficulty higher.

Leap And Earthquake

  • Active Skills: Earthquake (Molten Fury), War Cry (Veteran’s Warning), Threatening Shout (Falter), Seismic Slam (Rumble), Leap (Death From Above), Wrath of the Berserker (Insanity)
  • Passive Skills: Rampage, Earthen Might, Ruthless, Boon of Bul-Kathos
  • Key Armor Sets: Might of the Earth
  • Key Weapons: The Furnace
  • Augment: Strength
  • Gems: Strength
  • Paragon: Movement Speed, Cooldown Reduction, All Resistance, Area Damage

The Leap and Earthquake build sacrifices a touch of damage from the last build in exchange for mobility. This really helps when enemies are throwing up barriers or if you get overwhelmed and need to retreat.

Rend

  • Active Skills: Ancient Spear (Rage Flip), Rend (Bloodbath), Battle Rage (Swords To Ploughshares), Whirlwind (Wind Shear), Ground Stomp (Wrenching Smash), Wrath of the Berserker (Insanity)
  • Passive Skills: Berserker Rage, Brawler, Ruthless, Boon of Bul-Kathos
  • Key Armor Sets: Wrath of the Wastes
  • Key Weapons: Istvan’s Paired Blades
  • Augment: Strength
  • Gems: Strength
  • Paragon: Movement Speed, Cooldown Reduction, All Resistance, Life On Hit

It’s almost hard to imagine sacrificing Furious Charge for anything, but if you build around Rend, this is the highest damage-output build for Barbarians in the entire game.

Support

  • Active Skills: Furious Charge (Cold Rush), Ancient Spear (Rage Flip), Ignore Pain (Mob Rule), Ground Stomp (Wrenching Smash), Threatening Shout (Falter), War Cry (Veteran’s Warning)
  • Passive Skills: Superstition, Pound of Flesh, Relentless, Nerves of Steel
  • Key Armor Sets: The Legacy of Raekor, Horde of Ninety Savages
  • Key Weapons: Istvan’s Paired Blades
  • Augment: Intelligence
  • Gems: Vitality
  • Paragon: Movement Speed, Cooldown Reduction, All Resistance, Resource Cost Reduction

The community has called this the “support” role, but it’s really playing the role of the main tank. You sacrifice many of your offensive runes and exchange them for area of effect abilities, buffs, and debuffs. If you’re in a group, this build will take you deeper into the greater rifts than any other.

NEXT: Diablo 3: The Best Solo Classes Ranked From Worst To Best

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Hodey Johns is a writer for Game Rant based out of the Rocky Mountains in North Ogden, Utah. He’s had a passion for video games and literature since he was a child growing up along the beach in San Diego, California. As a graduate of Theology from Liberty University, he puts his experience with religion, philosophy, and debate into his work. His other interests include sports, bike riding, and good old-fashioned barbecue.

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