I am creating this guide for all of the Barbarians out
there who love the class, but are struggling through
certain parts of the game. This guide is meant to carry
you through Inferno and beyond! I will review the
benefits and drawbacks of certain skills and I will also
review the itemization system. Welcome, fellow Children
Most Importantly, I must stress that Barbarians are
EXTREMELY gear-dependent! If you find yourself unable to
progress through Inferno, don't hesitate to go back and
farm Act IV of Hell for cash and a few item upgrades!
There is no shame in this and you must assume that the
natural flow of the game is going to be repetition of
each Act in Inferno until it is on farm status then you
can progress to the next Act.
General Leveling as a Barbarian includes getting up
close and personal with entire groups of enemies. One
build I would recommend for leveling with assorted rune
variants based on your level is
Build. This carried me through every difficulty with
ease. This build uses no Fury and does immense damage!
Initiate with leap, yank everything to you with Ground
Stomp, and AoE like mad! Swap out Cleave for Frenzy
during Bosses. Focus on Strength and Vitality and
anything that increases your damage output beyond that.
Start saving your pennies early though because late Hell
and Inferno require you to make some major item
I must say that there IS such a thing as a cookie-cutter
build in Diablo 3, simply because of the difficulty of
Inferno. Some skills are just too vital to substitute
for anything else. That said, the build I have used is
still incredibly fun and has carried me through Inferno.
(Not easily, but nonetheless) I will discuss why I chose
each skill and passive as well as options for different
NOTE: You NEVER want to switch out your skills or runes
just for a specific fight because you lose all of your Nephalem Valor stacks. The goal of any build is that it
is viable in all situations, whether it's trash mobs,
elites, champions, or bosses.
This is My Current Build
NOTE: I use this as a Sword and Board build, but it is
viable for any weapon setup.
Frenzy + Sidearm- This is the true core of the build.
This damage output of this ability can't be matched by
any other class. You will be amazed at the speed that
bosses drop even in Inferno difficulty. Sidearm is an
incredible skill for AoE damage and hitting those pesky
back-line ranged mobs. It also does very solid damage to
bosses. The only drawback of Sidearm that I have noticed
is the random selection of any target within range,
including destructible barrels, ashes and such. The
other drawback can be a bit infuriating. You engage a
group of enemies, watch a random axe fly off screen,
finish your pack and collect the loot and as you move in
the direction that the axe flew you notice a trail of
gold and catch up just in time to see the Treasure
Goblin go through it's portal. This has happened to me
on several occasions and can be quite frustrating, but
if you are attentive to your surroundings, you will be
just fine. Some would argue that Maniac is a better rune
or that Cleave + Broad Sweep is a better Fury builder,
but after testing both, I strongly disagree. As
mentioned before, the goal is to NEVER have to swap out
your skills and Frenzy + Maniac is only good for single
target fights while Cleave + Broad Sweep is only good
for AoE packs. Sidearm makes clearing trash mobs
incredibly easy and fast, while not sacrificing damage
against a single target foe.
Revenge + Provocation -
This is a staple for any
Barbarian in Inferno mode because of the high AoE damage
and Life Return. Since Life Steal is nerfed to 20% in
Inferno mode, you must rely on other methods for
sustainability and Revenge is just the thing.
Note: As of
5/26/2012 the proc rate seems to have been slightly
reduced as I am not having the constant chain proc
** Since the changes made to Revenge, this skill can be
replaced by either Overpower + Revel (Much smaller AoE
range), or Furious Charge + Dreadnaught to give you an
escape skill as well.**
Ignore Pain + Ignorance is Bliss - Until you are in
supreme gear, this skill is a MUST to survive against
most Champion and Elite packs. Ignorance is Bliss is
great for sustainability even with Inferno reducing it
to 4% of Damage Dealt, it is still enough to restore you
to full heath for it's duration. There are some options
here if you don't need the sustainability. Iron Hide
gives you a bit more mitigation in those crucial spots
while Mob Rule is great for co-op play. Eventually, this
skill can be replaced when your gear alone is enough to
Battle Rage + Marauder's Rage - This skill gives you a
brutal damage boost across the board and should be
sustained at all times.
War Cry + Impunity - Another core of the Barbarian for
obvious reasons. The Armor and Resistance bonuses are
invaluable and this should always be kept active.
Wrath of the Berserker + Insanity - This is the Trump
Card you play when you encounter and Elite or Champion
pack. Not only does this more than double your damage
output, but it gives you a bit of survivability with the
Dodge bonus. I love this ability and even with stable
enough gear for Elites and Bosses, it's still incredible
to use. However, the long cooldown can be a real pain
when you can't kill an Elite/Champion pack without it.
This skill can also be replaced once you acquire enough
gear to kill Elites without it.
Ruthless - I am a big fan of passives that give multiple
benefits, and the damage from this one is too much to
pass up! You will end up stacking Critical Chance and
Critical damage with your gear and this will just
amplify your damage further.
Tough as Nails - Again, a skill with two benefits. While
granting a huge armor bonus, this skill actually
increases your damage output by a substantial amount if
you are wearing 3-4 pieces of Thorns gear doing a base
700-800 damage each. However, you will not be going out
of your way to find Thorns gear during Itemization.
Nerves of Steel - Personally, I am not a big fan of this
skill as it is only one benefit and doesn't grant as
much armor as Tough as Nails. While it is necessary to
reduce the damage you are taking when you first get to
Inferno since most of it is Physical, you will
eventually outgrow the benefit of this. I consider this
the Optional passive slot. Consider other passives such
as Weapon Master, Berserker Rage, or Relentless based on
your personal preference towards offensive or defensive
NOT Superstition - While many may be tempted to take this
skill for the static 20% reduction to all non-physical
damage and a little Fury generation, I will explain why
there are far better options. Throughout Inferno, 90% of
the damage you will take in melee will be Physical.
Also, most of the Non-Physical damage in the game can be
easily avoided with movement and player skill. (i.e.
Pools, Arcane Sentries, Projectiles, etc.)
Now that we have the core build established, lets take a
look at the itemization and what to look for as a
Barbarian. NOTE: All of the following stats are what you
want to look for in RARE quality items. Many Legendary
and Set Items will have unique stats that normally
cannot appear on items in that slot.
These stats are the core of the Barbarian and you should
try to have them on EVERY item:
Vitality - You can afford to stop stacking Vitality
when you reach around 50-55K Health.
Resistance - Does not appear on Weapons, MOST
IMPORTANT CORE STAT.
Once you find an item that has all of the above stats on
it, take a look at the other stats on it to determine
whether it will fully benefit you as a Barbarian.
Many items in Diablo 3 have exclusive stats that only
appear on specific item slots. (Ex. Life Steal appears
only on Rare Weapons and Belts).
The following is a list of crucial stats that appear
only on specific item slots:
Weapon- Attack Speed, Critical Hit Damage, Life on Hit
Shield- Block, Critical Hit Chance, Life %
Helm- Critical Hit Chance, Life %
Shoulders- Life %
Amulet- Attack Speed, Critical Hit Chance, Critical Hit
Damage, Life %, Reduced Damage from Melee/Ranged.
Chest- Life %, Reduced Damage from Elites/Melee/Ranged
Gloves- Attack Speed, Critical Hit Chance, Critical Hit
Bracers- Critical Hit Chance, Reduced Damage from
Belt- Barbarian Skill Bonus: Frenzy/Revenge
Ring- Attack Speed, Critical Hit Chance, Critical Hit
Damage, Life %
Pants- No Noteworthy Stats (See Inna's Glory for MANY
unique beneficial stats)
Boots- Movement Speed
After some toying around with the Life Steal
mechanic in Inferno, even with both a weapon and belt at
3% life steal each, I am still only getting 300-400
health back per normal swing. This concludes that Life
Steal is simply not worth it in Inferno and you are
better off with Life on Hit or Life Regeneration.
Other Stats to Consider:
- Physical Resistance
- Life on Hit
- Has Sockets
- Life Regeneration
- Magic Find
- Chance on Hit Procs (ex. Freeze, Stun, etc.)
- Physical Damage to Attacker
- Crowd Control Reduction (PvP)
With the combination of these stats, you will find
yourself decimating even the mightiest adversaries in
Inferno. If you find an item with all of the core stats
(Str, Vit, AR) in addition to slot specific stats,
consider it a real treasure!
The first item you want to upgrade is your weapon!
Ideally, you want something around 500-600 DPS for a 1H,
and 700-800 for a 2H for Inferno Act I. After that,
ALWAYS upgrade your weakest item first! "You are only as
strong as your weakest link... of chainmail."
As far as gems go, you will want to focus on the
Other: Amethyst or Ruby based on whichever overall stat
is lower between Strength and Vitality.
For followers: I have used the Enchantress with Forceful
Push, Powered Armor, Erosion, and Focused Mind, and
Frighteningly, she can take out entire groups in
The following are the stats to aim for with each Act of
Act I- 30k Health, 12k Damage, 300 Unbuffed All Resist,
Act II- 38k Health, 18k Damage, 450 Unbuffed All Resist,
Act III- 40k Health, 20k Damage, 500 Unbuffed All
Resist, 9.5k Armor
Act IV- 45k Health, 22k Damage, 550 Unbuffed All Resist,
Thank you all for reading and I hope this helps
alleviate some of the anger at the Barbarian class in
the later difficulties. It is far and away the mightiest
of the classes available in Diablo 3, but the Journey
lies in the acquisition of those all-important items to
make you invincible! It is one of the most fun,
rewarding classes in all of Sanctuary! Advice is
welcome, as is constructive criticism, but please keep
your comments positive. I will
consistently keep this guide up to date as changes are
made to the game as well.
It helps to have one item to increase your gold and
health globe pickup radius. It saves you a little time
and grief throughout the game.
99% of your survival rate is going to rely on you
learning the abilities of each individual enemy you
encounter. This will better prepare you for times when
you encounter an Elite or Champion pack that has some
annoying, non-listed ability that they use.
One last thing, I've gotten tons of help from the
Diablo 3 Billionaire guide,
it is a premium guide, so there is a small fee for it,
but well worth it.