Diablo 3 Barbarian build guide


The mighty Barbarians of Mount Arreat are undeniably Diablo 3's most savage melee fighters. We've put together a list of the most fun and effective builds we've created for these battle-raging behemoths. Our Diablo 3 class build guide has builds for every class in Diablo 3 : Barbarian , Demon Hunter , Monk , Witch Doctor , and Wizard . Be sure to check back often—we're updating it almost every day.

6/4: Added Infernal Barbarian

Barbarian builds

Barbarian build: Inferno Barbarian

See the build: Infernal Barbarian

As a melee class, the barbarian has a rough time of things in Inferno, and building him as a pure tank is surprisingly ineffective in terms of keeping you from dying horribly. The biggest dangers in D3's top difficulty are those deadly combinations of prefix mobs you'll come up against (such as Molten Waller Jailer). You need to be tough, but it's just as important to have great mobility and stun resistance. Start with your bread-and-butter Frenzy/Hammer of the Ancients combo runed for Triumph and Thunderstrike, giving you some decent lifesteal and a 100% proc stun. Stuns are probably the best tanking abilities in the game in Diablo 3, due to the sheer number of enemies. A stunned enemy is dealing no damage to you at all, making it more valuable than damage mitigation.

Furious Charge with Merciless Assault is something I can't seem to ever justify giving up, no matter what kind of build I'm going for. A spammable (if you aim it right) AoE attack that generates fury and can get you out of sticky situations is just too good in too many ways to not take. Ignore Pain should be used sparingly, only when you know there's a big damage spike coming (such as being stunned next to something that's about to explode and spew acid all over you.) Sprint and the Gangway rune give you one more way to get out of trouble fast, and make sure you control the where and how of each engagement. War Cry , and especially the Impunity rune, will boost your ability to soak all kinds of damage amazingly.

You'll notice the passives here aren't the straight armor buffing ones. The fact is, in Inferno, it doesn't really matter how much armor you have. If you get stunned and/or surrounded at the wrong time, you're going to die even if you're encased in metal and made entirely of granite. Superstition will save you from that nasty elemental damage that bypasses your armor, while Relentless and Juggernaut kick in when death is near to give you half a shot of wading out of the fray alive. You may be hearing words like "impossible" getting thrown around in regard to the barbarian on Inferno, but with this build, you'll at the very least make those elites work for their kills.

Preferred stats: Vitality, Strength, Armor, Movement Speed

Barbarian build: The Mighty THOR

See the build: The Barbarian as Thor

What better role model for your barbarian than the God of Thunder himself?

Bash and Hammer of the Ancients make you feel like a true Asgardian, sending out lightning bolts and shockwaves that stun and toss around your enemies. Leap is about as close as you'll get to modeling the son of Odin's flight ability. Obviously, Weapon Throw with the Throwing Hammer rune is essential. And when the fighting is the thickest, pop Call of the Ancients to summon Thor's loyal companions, the Warriors Three! Your passives make you even mightier when outnumbered and ensure that no foe can escape from Midgard's greatest protector.

Preferred stats: Strength, Weapon Damage, Vitality

Barbarian build: The Speed Freak

See the build: The Speed Freak

Preferred stats: Movement Speed, Strength, Attack Speed, Weapon Damage

Barbarian build Diablo 3 Inexhaustible

Barbarian build: The Inexhaustible Berserker

See the build: Inexhaustible Berserker

RAAAAAGE! This build is all about maximizing your "enrage powers," making you a self-buffing death machine. Your key skills are Battle Rage and Wrath of the Berserker . The first is your everyday use enrage which, with this build, should be active more or less at all times with only one trigger at the beginning of combat. Wrath of the Berserker is your "hard enrage," which you'll have to use more sparingly. Since crits extend the duration of your Battle Rage, dual-wield works best, with either a mace/axe (crit chance from Weapons Master ) or spear (attack speed from Weapons Master) in the main hand. Frenzy , with its quick blows, leads to more crits and is a natural primary skill. Leap and Furious Charge keep you in the thick of things, where you need to be, while generating extra fury. Hammer of the Ancients with the Smash rune is a great Elite/Boss killer.

Note: At higher levels, you may want to swap out the Ferocity rune on Battle Rage for Into the Fray, essentially turning Battle Rage into a "piggyback" to extend the duration of Wrath of the Berserker.

Preferred stats: Attack Speed, Crit Chance, Strength, Weapon Damage

Barbarian build Diablo 3 knockback

Barbarian build: The Punter

See the build: Barbarian Punter

Half the fun of playing a Barbarian is watching bodies fly in every direction as you smash your way through the herd. This build maximizes the simple joy of ragdoll physics by giving you every opportunity to proc knockback effects. Your primary skill Bash has a 20% chance to send people packing while generating Fury to unleash your three major corpse-tossers: Seismic Slam, Ground Stomp and Earthquake --all runed to boost the potency of their aoe knockbacks. Furious Charge and Threatening Shout ensure you stay alive to keep kicking the undead to the curb. The passives Brawler, Juggernaut and Unforgiving stops your compulsive need to punt people from hurting your damage output.

Preferred stats: Knockback Chance, Strength, Weapon Damage

Barbarian Diablo 3 build tank

Barbarian build: The Immortal Tank

See the build: Barbarian Immortal Tank

Some of us don't want to die. There's no shame in that--you're brave simply for stepping outside your home to battle the hoards of undead. I dare anyone to call you a sissy when you're on the front lines, entering a Frenzy and bloodletting everything in sight with Rend (both of which heal you, don't worry!). Revenge let's you turn incoming damage into an aoe attack with massive health regen. If things get hairy, a correctly runed Ignore Pain can turn most any bad situation around, coupled with a War Cry if your allies are in trouble as well. But a good tank always has a backup plan for his backup plan, so keep Wrath of the Berserker in your back pocket for those truly desperate situations. Protective passives like Pound of Flesh, Inspiring Presence and Superstition will help keep you hacking and slashing unfettered.

Preferred stats: Armor, Vitality, Elemental Resistance, Strength

Jody Macgregor
Weekend/AU Editor

Jody's first computer was a Commodore 64, so he remembers having to use a code wheel to play Pool of Radiance. A former music journalist who interviewed everyone from Giorgio Moroder to Trent Reznor, Jody also co-hosted Australia's first radio show about videogames, Zed Games. He's written for Rock Paper Shotgun, The Big Issue, GamesRadar, Zam, Glixel, Five Out of Ten Magazine, and Playboy.com, whose cheques with the bunny logo made for fun conversations at the bank. Jody's first article for PC Gamer was about the audio of Alien Isolation, published in 2015, and since then he's written about why Silent Hill belongs on PC, why Recettear: An Item Shop's Tale is the best fantasy shopkeeper tycoon game, and how weird Lost Ark can get. Jody edited PC Gamer Indie from 2017 to 2018, and he eventually lived up to his promise to play every Warhammer videogame.