The Barbarian plays out very similarly to the Diablo 2 version, a brutish, strong tank and melee warrior. He wields heavy weapons and armor and like the original Barbarian is heavily reliant on having good gear. The energy resource for Barbarian skills is called Fury. If any of you have played WoW, it is similar to the Rage system used by Warriors and Feral Druids. If not, don’t fret, it is a relatively simple idea. There are skills that generate Fury and skills that consume Fury when you use them. The skills that generate Fury generally do less damage, and the skills that cost Fury do more damage and are more explosive/situational.
How can I dominate with the Barbarian?
Barbarians get in the face of the enemy – they are constantly in the front lines and in the middle of the action. They can wear heaviest armor in the game, along with the biggest axes. They can buff up the stats of those in their party via war cries. You should choose a barbarian if you like to face your opponents head on and make them feel your wrath on a personal level. Take a look at the Active Skills and Passive Skills section to get an idea of the skills you would be using as a barbarian.
This guy clearly looks ready to dominate.
For your active skills, let us highlight Cleave, Hammer of the Ancients, Leap, Overpower, and War Cry. These give a great overview of the types of attacks you will be using as a Barbarian. For optimal Barbarian builds to DESTROY anything and to not even flinch against the strongest powers of hell and Diablo himself, check out our premium Barbiarn guide today!
- Cleave – This is a Fury generating move – 5 fury per attack. The description from Blizzard reads “Swing your weapon in a wide arc to deal 120% weapon damage to all enemies caught in the swing.” This move will be part of your bread and butter for taking down groups of enemies.
- Hammer of the Ancients – This is a Fury consuming move – 20 Fury each time you use it. The description reads “Call forth a massive hammer to smash enemies directly in front of you for 200% weapon damage. Hammer of the Ancients has a 5% increased Critical Hit Chance.” Again, this move will be used for groups of enemies right in front of you.
- Leap – This is your primary move for getting in and out of battle. It generates 15 Fury and has a 10 second cooldown. In addition, it deals “85% weapon damage to all enemies within 8 yards of your destination and slowing their movement speed by 60% for 3 seconds.” If any of you out there have played Diablo 2, you will recognize this as an iconic Barbarian skill.
- War Cry – This is a buff to yourself and your party. You literally “Unleash a rallying cry to increase Armor for you and all allies within 50 yards by 20% for 60 seconds.” Since you will be in the front lines with the enemy, an increase in armor is definitely essential.
Hammer of the Ancients
In addition to your Active Skills (skills that you have to click or keystroke to activate), there are Passive Skills that you do not have to do anything to activate. They are simply in effect as long as you have the skill enabled. For the Barbarian, they generally come in the form of boosting the skills you use or passively allowing you to live longer. Here are a few passive skills to give you an idea of what they look like:
- Bloodthirst – “Gain 3% of all damage done as Life.” This added boost will help any Barbarian. The math is simple – inflict more damage on your enemies and you will live longer. Period.
- Brawler – “As long as there are 3 enemies within 8 yards, all of your damage is increased by 30%.” As you can see, this Passive Skill rewards the Barbarian for having many enemies around him. Probably not ideal for some boss fights, but for general dungeon crawling this will be quite helpful.
- Inspiring Presence – “The duration of your shouts is doubled. After using a shout you regenerate 1% of your maximum Life per second for 60 seconds.” For a Barb using shouts, this will be essential – especially before heading into a boss fight. Having a longer shout duration will allow for Fury that would be spent on another shout to be used for a damaging attack instead.
Items and Equipment
The massive strength of the Barbarians allow them to use weapons and armor that lesser heroes are just unable to utilize. For instance, they can dual-wield normal weapons like swords and enchantments, along with the ability to block their foes with shields. The Barbarians are unique in their ability to use Mighty Weapons and Belts. This equipment contains stats and bonuses that are unique to the Barbarian alone.
Massive axe for massive strength.