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Comprehensive Diablo III Guide

Everything you need--from the basics to theory crafting--to help take you from Noob to Nephalem.


Barbarian Guide

Barbarians are the stout warriors of Diablo 3 who take pride in their ability to take damage as well as dish it out. Depending on how you decide to build the Barbarian he can become an immovable object or a high damage berserker.

The Barbarian’s resource is Fury, which builds up quickly but also depletes over time, rewarding the Barbarian for an aggressive style of play.

Primary Stats: Vitality, Strength, Resistances

Secondary Stats: Attack Speed, Critical Chance/Damage (have to stack both for them to be effective)

Weapons: I’d recommend using a 1-handed weapon (with life on hit) and a shield, since the build revolves around survivability with one of the passives greatly increases armor based on percent. However, a 2-handed weapon will work, but if you go this route try to get one with vitality and strength so it increases your armor as well (and of course don’t forget the life on hit).

Faster, Stronger, Harder, Look I’m a Tank Build – this build is all about survivability, focusing on moves that deal sufficient damage while simultaneously healing the player. In addition the high survivability of this build also makes it great for playing a tank in groups.


Skills (Runes):

Frenzy (Sidearm) – Normally when playing solo I opt for AOE (Area on Effect) attacks to ensure that I’m doing the most damage possible to the greatest of enemies, but Frenzy is just too good to pass up. Even though Frenzy does not do AOE damage, the 15% speed increase stacking up to 5 times for a total of 75% will greatly increase both your damage output and Fury regeneration, not mention your sustain if you have life on hit weapons (which you should!). Also note Frenzy is great for taking on Elite units for its high single target DPS output. Additionally the sidearm rune supplements Frenzy’s weakness allowing for a 25% chance for the Barbarian to throw a piercing axe damaging all enemies in its path.

Rend (Blood Lust) – This helps to make up for Frenzy’s lack of AOE dealing 210% weapon damage as physical damage to all nearby enemies, which is great for clearing minion waves. On top of that Blood Lust allows 9% of the damage dealt by Rend to heal the Barbarian. The lack of a cool down makes this ability perfect for spamming when you find yourself with an excess amount of Fury or in need of additional healing while your other abilities are on cool down.

Furious Charge (Dreadnought) – Another strong AOE skill Furious Charge will cause the player to rush forward, dealing 195% weapon damage to all enemies in its path. Additionally this skill is useful for getting yourself out of difficult situations, propelling the player forward while simultaneously knocking enemies back. Dreadnought is a life saver, healing the barbarian for 8% of his life for each enemy hit by the ability. Thus, make sure to use this ability in large groups of enemies to maximize its efficiency.

Ground Stomp (Wrenching Smash) – This simple yet effective ability causes the Barbarian to smash the ground, stunning all enemies within a 12-yard radius. Every class needs some form of CC to avoid the hard hitting damage that some mobs deal out and this is the Barbarian's. Use this ability when you find yourself cornered by powerful attacks. To make matters even better, Wrenching Smash increases the distance of the stun to 24 yards while pulling the enemies in together. The fact that this move groups enemies up makes it the perfect combo with both Rend and Furious Charge, which are most efficient in large groups of monsters.

Revenge (Provocation) – This ability gives the Barbarian a 15% chance to become active every time he is hit. When activated, the Barbarian will inflict 220% weapon damage to all enemies and heal for 5% of your maximum Life for each enemy hit. What’s the best thing you could ask for with a passive ability? A greater chance of it activating, Provocation increases the likelihood of Revenge activating to 30% every time you are struck. This ability is great for this build as it not only adds additional damage and healing, but its free Rage costs allowing players to use their other abilities more frequently.

Ignore Pain (Iron Hide) – Another simple but sweet move, this reduces all incoming damage by 65% for 5 seconds. This move is perfect for surviving the unavoidable onslaughts of damage that the Barbarian will find himself privy to fighting on the front lines. Iron Hide increase the duration of Ignore Pain for an additional 2 seconds allowing for a little more damage mitigation.


Nerves of Steel – Similar to ‘Seize the Initiative’, this passive allows 100% of your Vitality to be attributed to your Armor. Since as a Barbarian you’ll be balancing Vitality and Strength for both sustain and damage, this will effectively help double your Armor rating.

Tough as Nails – Armor is increased by 25% and Thorns Damage is increased by 50%. Honestly I only take this passive for the 25% Armor increase, but the additional Thorn damage is a nice bonus. Just make sure you don’t sacrifice good equipment to try to stack thorn damage as it’s not worth it.

Superstition – Reduces all non-Physical damage by 20%, additionally when taking damaged from ranged attacks the Barbarian has a chance to gain 3 Fury. Again I take this ability for the 20% reduction in non-Physical damage, but the chance to gain additional Fury is always a nice addition. This ability is wonderful as it helps dilute one of the Barbarians greatest weaknesses (ranged elemental attacks) rounding out this build.


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06/02/2012 at 12:36 AM

Good guide. I learned quite a bit.

I'm still skeptical on the AH. Seems any item worth getting is way overpriced; how can anyone afford the million plus gold some of these items go for? Maybe I'm doing it wrong... I wouldn't be surprised if they tweak the Blacksmith in a future patch, so that they remain competitive with the auction house.

Since we don't have a centralized forum, I'll go ahead and shamelessly plug my battletag.  Its Mongoose#1546. You'll know its me if I have a monk named GoldenArms and demon hunter named Desdemona as of this writing. Hit me up if you want smash/farm whatever.

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