Diablo 3 Barbarian Complete Strategy Guide

Diablo 3 Barbarian Complete Strategy Guide by Rhaloz

Barbarian Mechanics

Barbarian Special Traits

The Barbarian, like any other class has a few special traits. The barb can dual wield one handed melee weapon and use the weapon class Mighty Weapon. Because of his battle hardened state he has an additional 30% damage reduction against every damage source. Only the barbarian can wear Mighty Belts. Every point in strength also increase the damage of the barbarians attacks by 1%.

Resource: Fury

The source of the barbs power is fury. It is build up by fury generators and used by fury spenders. The base maximum fury is 100, this can be increased by items and skills. There are three primary fury generators that can be used without interruption and several fury generators with cooldowns. A small amount of fury is gained by taking damage from enemies. As this should be minimized in addition to its random nature, it should not influence your fury calculations.
Fury declines after combat over time down to zero. Breaking objects with a fury generator produces fury and stops the decline of fury for short time. In the present state the fury decline is not very problematic. The amount is small and the time between mob packs is only a few seconds. In addition many cooldown based fury generator give a good chunk of fury and allow the barbarian to replenish his fury at the beginning of a battle.

There are three basic strategies concerning fury generation and use. Every build can be categorized in one of these groups.

Strategy: Fury Supported

This is the base strategy most builds are going to use. The barb settles with a balanced fury generation and spending. The generation of fury normaly variates between 10 and 20 fury per second. After building up a good amount of fury over a few seconds the fury is spend with hard hitting single target or aoe attacks. These “build up” and “burn” phases repeat themselves until all enemies are dead.
The balancing of generation and spending is the cruicial part of such builds. If the fury generation is pushed to much via skills the player will lose damage increasing skills in his build. If the fury generation is to small for the regular use of the fury spender the build will end up fury starved and the actual damage output of the build will be strongly reduced.

Basic Example:

Strategy: Fury Centered

This one is rare. The goal of this strategy is to produce as much fury per time as possible, by all means. Right now there is only one good reason to do this: Wrath of the Berserk with the rune Thrive in Chaos. For every 25 fury generated the active time of WotB is increased by one. With a very high fury generation it should be possible to prolong WotB to near infinite time.
The main problem is the time when you do not hit an enemy. There for your fury generation must exceed even the 25 fury per second. To decrese the “gaps” between fights movement abilities and high movement speed are mandatory. This with the need for many skills to produce fury leaves the player only with a few choices left for open skill slots.
To be able to fight even in inferno defense must also be considered as damage alone will not bring victory. For a good fury centered build you should also include a way to dump your fury everytime you hit max fury.
Later in the game it may be a useful strategy as there are items that grant life for every spend fury.

Basic Example:

Strategy: Fury-less

This is the complete oposite of the fury centered strategy. The goal is to get rid of the dependens of fury generation and spending. This has several advantages. First you can unleash your potential th whole time and not only in “burn” phases. Second with the fury spender out of the way more skill slots are avaible for advanced tactics.
The down side for such build is that you need to come up with skill combinations that can produce comparable damage to fury spender builds. Your damage dealer will be most of the time one or more of the primary fury generators.
As you still produce fury you will end up with max fury all the time. This gives you the oportunity to use one of the most powerful passives the barbarian has to offer: Berserker Rage. This gives you a 25% damage increase for all skills as long as you have max fury. Berserker Rage is the corner stone of nearly all fury less builds. The normal solution for this strategy is to gather as much +%damage increase from skills you can get. This will increase the damage of your primary fury generators up or even beyond the level of the fury spender.
The main disadvantage you will face is the lack of good massive aoe attacks like Seismic Slam.

Basic Example:

Primal Fury – The primary Fury Generator

The barbarian has three primary fury generator at the disposal. Bash, Cleave and Frenzy. They are all melee attacks and spammable. I will provide a short look at each skill with some informations regarding usage and synergies.


A hard hitting single tagret attack with a chance to knockback the target. It produces 6 fury per strike and is the first generator unlocked. The very high base damage with the good fury generation makes this skill a solid choice for a allround build. The knockback can be bothersome against small fry but may help to get some breathing room against a champion mob. Another important point is that Bash produces ludicrous physics effects when you hit a zombie and achieve a homerune.

Clobber: The short stun with the very high proc chance makes fast attack builds preferable for this rune. The stun can make the difference between a deadly 4 times enchanted boss mob or a practice target.

Onslaught: Nearly 200% damage (patch 16) make this rune a real heavy weigth. With this rune you can use your generator as your main single target damage source. But why the strange two small attacks? With the total count of 3 hits per strike you can achieve up to three critical hits and with this Into the Fray from Battle Rage can produce giant amount of fury. The high damage and the possible synergy with ItF makes this rune viable for all but fury less builds.

Punish: Stackable extra damage for all attacks. This rune pushes you whole build and can help you support your main fury spender. The small lifetime of the effect makes it important to close gaps very fast and to be in the midst of battle. Faster attacks allow you to stack the bonus in shorter time. It also ads well to a fury less build as the extra damage will multiplicate with the already high damage bonus from other sources.

Instigation: Plain fury generation. With 12 fury per hit you should be able to fuel your fury spender without any problems. The lack of additional damage compared to Onslaught makes it bit inferior if you can provide crti rating and Into the Fray in your build.

Pulverize: The possible most dmaging rune in the lot. Posssible. You need to hit at least one extra target to get close to Onslaught. The problem of this rune is that there are many better ways to produce constant aoe damage. The basic purpose of Bash is not further supported by this rune. If you wish for some extra aoe dps it is viable but other options should be considered first.


A short range aoe in the forward arc with lightly increased damage. It produces 5 fury per strike and is the second generator unlocked. The base damage is smaller than Bash but the option to hit three or more clustered mobs makes it in many situations the better dps dealer. As mob cluster are common in d3 you will often achieve good results with this generator. To increase the effectivity skills that cluster enemies or mobility skills that help you to get into a mob group are recomanded.

Rupture: Ads a short range explosion when a mob dies through cleave. This effect may also trigger if a mob dies through the Rupture explosion and create a strong chain effect. In tight trash mob grps Rupture can easily top even aoe fury spender in dps. A very hard hitting two handed weapon is mandatory for this rune. The single target damage is very small and should be supported with a high damage single target attack.

Reaping Swing: Extra fury for every enemy hit. Sounds nice but don’t be fooled to believe this is a good choice if you need constant high fury amounts. You need to hit at least two enemies if you wish to compete with Bash-Instigation and three to top it. You will often get three or more mobs together but against few strong mobs you will lose a good bunch of your fury generation adn cripple your spender dps.

Scattering Blast:Extra damage on crit with a knockbck and most likely aoe dps in tight groups. It is good damage upgrade for high crit builds and can produce high amounts of damage in grps. It may be more potent than Rupture if you need to many swings to kill mobs with Rupture. Again the lack of good single target dps screams for hard hitting fury spenders.

Broad Sweep: More damage. Nothing else to say. Damage calculations with equipment should show if this rune is viable compared to Rupture and Scattering blast. The increased damage against single targets can make this to makeshift single target dps skill.

Gathering Storm: Heavy snare for 1 second. In short PvP or tanking if you wish to bind the enemy to your heels.


Frenzy is most likely the most iconic skill in the generator group. With only 3 fury per strike it produces less fury than Bash and a bit more than Cleave if fully stacked. The attack speed increases with every strike up to +75%, you need to refresh the skill every 5 seconds to keep the buff and the buff does only count for Frenzy. The buff stacking is less a problem as it may seem if you use dual wield or one handed weapons as you can bring it up to max under two seconds. It has a very high single target damage. The speed bonus is not shown in the character sheet of your hero. It is added behind the scenes. You need to calculate it yourself to see how fast you become.

Sidearm: A piercing axe with 110% damage at 25% chance is a very strong bonus. It directly increases the skills damage in single target battle by 25% and in groups can produce with a bit luck a good chunk of extra damage. It fully works even without stacked frenzy buff and by this makes it preferable for two handed weapon.

Triumph: A health over time buff after each kill can help you to hold your health pool high and not get diminished by small accumulating damage. It may add to other passive healing sources (Inspering Presence, Invigorate) but is in it self not enough to withstand high grp damage or the attacks of an boss mob.

Vanguard: Fitting the topic of speed this buff will help you to reach your enemies faster and so increase your real overall dps. With fast boots and other speed increases you can become fast enough to ignore other mobility skills. It adds very good into a Wrath of the Berserker Thrive in Chaos build.

Smite: Like the Bash Clobber rune a nice single target stun to take the heat from a hard hitting boss/champion mob. With up to 5 attacks per second you can hope to completly shut up a single mob. Stun reduce in high difficulty level will decrease this effect but it will still ad to you defense.

Maniac: More damage for Frenzy. ONLY Frenzy. In low speed builds this rune exceeds Onslaugth from Bash. The still small fury generation is a problem if you think about supporting a high damage aoe skill like Seismic slam. Weapon Master Mighty Weapons or Into the Fray are very much needed in such a case.

Drop the Hammer! – Hard Hitting Fury Spenders

The barbarian has 4 major fury spender for damage dealing. Hammer of the Ancient, Rend, Seismic Slam and Whirlwind. Each one has a unique mechanic and application area. Let’s take a short look at each individual skill and talk about pros, cons and strategy.

Hammer of the Ancients
The first of the hard hitting fury spender to be unlocked is the Hammer of the Ancient or Hammer or HotA. HotA produces a small radial aoe (10-14 yards?) in front of the caster with high damage and slightly increased critical hit chance. With the cost of only 20 fury it can be chained for quiet some time once you have acquiered end game gear and a good fury supported build. The basic HotA is not overwhelming powerfull as the aoe is rather small and the damage is comparable to damage runed fury generators. Annyhow, in tight mob groups and with a full fury globe it can make short work out of trash mobs. The increased crit chance is a good foundation for crit centered builds. You will need high mobility to get close to your enemies if you think about a HotA centered build.

Rolling Thunder: This rune ads a short conal shockwave to the aoe effect. The Trade off is far smaller damage for the skill. This also does reduce the damage of the original aoe. To be honest this rune is more a downgrade than an upgrade. The damage is so small that you would be better of with a runed Cleave and no fury cost. The increased aoe is often hard to target and also feels kind of small.

Smash: Now we are talking. The aoe is decreased and most of the time it will be just a single target skill but it is one hell of a single target skill. Smash has the highest spammable base damage the barbarian can provide by quiet a lot. With the right setup 8 or more strikes can be produced from a full fury globe. If you search for a skill to bring down boss or champion mobs you have reached your goal. Beware that you need an aoe skill in your setup as this can no longer be considered aoe.

The Devils’s Anvil: Medium snare in the aoe of the skill for two seconds. Simply tank or PvP rune.

Thunderstrike: Every mob in the aoe gets stuned for 3 seconds if you kill at least one mob with HotA. This is one powerfull rune. As trash mobs should die fairly fast you can achieve near stun lock for whole mob pack in front of you. If you time your attacks and alternate with fury generators you should get the fury costs over time for this tactic down to a manageable amount. This defensive upgrade should come in handy once you hit hell or inferno. Pls do not forget that higher difficulty level will have reduced stun times for at least stronger enemies.

Birthright: Crits have a 10% chance to make mobs drop treasure or health globes. Treasure is a nice thing and for a magic find build really interesting as it increases the loot you find but the chance of health globes can be used as survival tactic. In combination with Pound of Flesh passive you can even in a boss fight count on life support with a high crit rate. If you think about using this as main damage skill you should include some damage boosting skill in your build to increase the basic HotA damage.

This skill hits all enemies around you in 12 yards range and makes them bleed for 70% dps per second. It is important to note that the damage is not just your weapon damage buut your dps. It takes attack speed and crit into account. With only 20 fury and a single application for 3 whole seconds it is a very powerful and cheap skill that can buff your other damage skills with this “passive” damage. Rend does not stack with itself but refreshes to max time. On hit effects can only porc on the first tick. This skill is often overlooked by players but it is very potent and all runes are useful too. The small fury cost makes it ideal for a build with low fury gen while it still provides good aoe damage. With a good damage boost one application can become very strong and even kill trash mobs in one go.

Ravage: Right from the start a very strong rune. With 17 yards radius you can easily hit even straglers of a mob grp with one Rend cast. It does not provide any upgrade for single mob encounter or small groups and with the small fury cost one can argue that a second cast of rend could do the job to. Thats right but if you do you lose damage from another skill and you lose dot time on the mobs further away.

Blood Lust: 9% healing from rend damage. With this you do not need to fear mob grps any more. With decent damage you can easily hold your hp at max while your enemies drop dead. Against single target encounters it looses quiet on power but still can provide a bit of healing. Ad life on hit to your weapon and high attack speed and you are set for healing in your build.

Lacerate: Increased damage every second. This is the damage increaseing rune for Rend. Not much explonation needed I think.

Mutilate:Increases the total time to 5 seconds. Less casts mean more time to do something else and less fury spended. Fury should not be a problem but now with only one cast most trash should die as the overall damage is increased to 350% dps. If you want to use a high speed build and rend as much enemies you can get than this rune will be your best friend. Compared to Lacerate the damage per second is lower but the damage per cast is by far higher.

Bloodbath: Enemies killed while bleeding produce a 10 yard bleed for 20% dps for 3 seconds, overall 60% dps. The exact mechanic of this rune is not clear and until we know who it stack or chains it is hard to tell the power of this rune. If it can stack it would be extremly powerfull in tight mob grps.

Seismic Slam
With a giant swing the barbarian produces a wandering shockwave in a  cone in front of him with a very high range. Most likely the most awesome skill the barb has. Enemies inside the con get medium damage and are knocked back (or around) by the shockwave. Trade off for this skill is the very high fury cost with the medium damage and the limited use against enemies directly around you. If you plan to use this skill you should include a mobility skill to get to the perfect fire position and a high fury generation to fuel this expensive skill. It is without any doubt the biggest aoe skill the barb has and as such a sole aoe damager and not useful for single target damage. Combine it with Bash or Frenzy or HotA to get the needed single target damage.

Stagger: A high chance short time stun will stop all hidden mobs in their tracks for sure. Like the Thunderstrike rune for HotA it can be used to for disabling a whole mob grp without giving them the chance to react. Problem is the very high amount of fury compared to the very short stun time. Very high fury generation is needed here.

Shattered Grounds: Increased damage to HotA level and doubled knockback could be considered a heavy weight rune. The good part is that the knockback can give you some breathing room but it also scatters mob groups all over the place and prevents effective chained attacks from this skill. Application situational, maybe with a ranged setup.

Rumble: The aoe creates damage over time to all enemies in the area. Hard to tell right now how strong this rune is as we have no info how long the effect lasts. It is not rune to be spammed and so meant to soften the high hunger of the Seismic slam while still providing extra damage.

Strength from Earth: Only 15 fury per SS. from the most expansive fury spender to the cheapest with one rune. If you plan to use SS as main aoe damage source and want to spam it all day and night you will find no better rune out there. The rune is so potent that I can imagine that it will be nerfed a bit in the future. With this rune the barb can produce as much massive aoe damage as a wiz or dh while still adding the knockback.

Cracking Rift: Instead of a cone just one column of shattering “explosions”. Massive damage for aimed long range punishment. Less efficient than Strength of Earth but the good range with the high damage allows combination with Weapon Throw Ricochet for a full ranged build. It is also a very tactical skill that can produce its best effects when used against clustered mobs or in chocke points like doors or tight hallways. Well aimed can take out the main body of a mob grp in one go with a two handed weapon.

I know you all have waited for this one. WW is back and with a new mechanic to boost.
WW hits all enemies around you with 110% dps per second and is a channeled skill. This means crit and attack speed increase the damage but attack speed also increases fury cost per second euqally. While WW is active you can move with decreased speed. WW hits normally 2.5 times per second for 44% dps. This is important for some runes and procs from skills like Into the fray. With higher attack speed the tick speed does also grow and you get more ticks per time. The basic damage is rather low but if you take into account that it is not weapon damage but dps you make than you understand that it can become rathre powerfull while needing manageable amounts of fury. In contrast to the d2 version is this skill in no way useful for single target damage. Even basic fury generators are more powerful. If you plan on using this skill as main damage skill pls optimize your build to heal and produce fury while you are using WW. If you are in a mob group you want to spin on and on and not to stop to replenish life or fury.

Dust Devils: Extra dmage in form of small tornados increase your damage in aoe situations. A nice upgrade that supports the basic role of WW as moveable short range aoe skill. Compared to other runes it may be subpar as you can not control the tornados and with this you have quiete a random variable in your damage.

Hurricane: Max movement speed while using WW. Right now I see only PvP aplications for this skill or maybe low level farming. As the damage is not increased you can use it only to get faster from mob grp to mob grp and for this we have far better skills. Of course if you are bale to boost your damage really high with gear and skill setup this skill than you can use this rune to advance faster as all mobs die fast enough.

Blood Funnel: Now do you remember what I said about the attacks WW makes per second? With 2.5 attacks per mob in range you can really fast get to a very high healing rate with a good critical chance. Inside a big grp you should not lose much life while decimating the mobs. Set back is that you gain no damage increase and so need longer to kill stuff.

Wind Shear: The second rune that uses the attacks per second from WW. With 2.5 fuy per mob per second you will be able to reduce you fury need to nearly cero ( or beyond) in a mob grp. If you choose this rune you can forget other fury generation through Into the Fray over weapon master as it should be suffice to use a primary fury generator between WW phases to replenish the lost fury.

Volcanic Eruption: Increased damage rune. Simple as that. It has a good reason why this rune comes at 60 as it provides the best damage upgrade for WW. With additional damage upgrades from other skills you will take down mob grps very fast. To use this rune you need a good continuos fury generation most likely Into the Fray or/and Weapon master.

Scream, at the top of your Lungs….The barbarian shouts

The barbarian has 3 shouts at his desposal. The two fury generator War Cry and Threatening Shout and the fury spender Battle Rage. The passive Inspiring Presence does double the duration of all three shouts.

War Cry:
The War Cry is a 30 seconds group buff and does increase the armor of all group members in 50 yards by 20%. It generats 30 fury for every use. 20% armor increase does not change the world but it is a good start. With other armor increasing skills or runes in the mix you can achieve very high armor rates which allow you to wade into the thick of battle without the fear to get overpowered. This skill shines the most with a shield equiped.

Hardened Wrath: The armor bonus increased to 40%. With the sraight double armor bonus the defense increase for you and your grp is good enough to make you use it in any grp situation, as long as no other barb has it in his skill list. If you think about going defense heavy this rune is a must.

Charge!: The fury gain per use is increased to 60. The fury per time is only 2 fury as the CD is 30 seconds but an instant push of 60 fury can be very strong for builds that need a huge amount of fury or builds that have a lack of fury generation at the start of the fight. An example would be Seismic Slam for mid range pounding or a heavy Wepon throw user. PvP also comes to mind.

Invigorate: More life and passive life reg for the whole grp. Yes. For solo use you need to calculate if this or Hardened Wrath would help you more. Builds with many %max health heal abilities can boost their healing by 10% with this rune. In grp situations with many low armor builds this rune outshines Hardened Wrath. It will help wiz and DH and WD to stay alive a bit longer.

Veteran’s Warning: A nice dodge bonus for the whole grp mitigates damage too. Dodge monks will be plsed as they can now evade even bee swarms without breaking a sweat. If you think about using dodge as second defense mechanic you will need this rune without a doubt. The absolut merit of this rune is dependend on your build and equip.

Impunity: 50% more resistance! And its all even physical resistance. Instead of increasing your overall damage you can plan to gear for special zones with known damage types. A high resistance gear stup and good physical resistance can make this rune to the most wanted rune in your setup. Combined with Superstition you can take on act bosse from the “heavy elemental damage” typ without breaking a sweat.

Threatening Shout:
This 25 yards enemy debuff produces 15 fury per use. It reduces the damage of all influenced mobs by 20% for 15 seconds. This is another strong defense skill that comes with a 15 seconds cooldown as such can be used continuously in fight. As it does debuff your enemies it is also a very strong grp skill in particular against hard hitting boss mobs which would otherwise one hit your more frail comrades. Inspiring Presence allows this skill to be used against more mobs at the same time.

Intimidate: Controll over the battlefield is control over the battle is the first step to victory. Slowing down all mobs in the vicinity does give you and your grp a big tactical advantage in positioning and attack/retreat combinations. It allows you to stop boss mobs from eating frail ranged classes and allows you to stick to him like glue.

Falter: Decreased mob attack speed is increased defense for the grp. The bonus holds only 5 seconds and it is not yet confirmed that Inspiring Presence also doubles this effect. Until then it is a bit meager rune bonus, but still a defense upgrade.

Grim Harvest: All you magic find fanatics listen up. Every mob hit by this skill has a 15% chance to drop an additional item. This can be gold or white or blue or rare or legendary. The exact calculation what item can drop is not yet known. Important is that once the mob was hit by this skill it can not drop another item through this skill. If the first attempt failed you will also not get any items from this skill. You have only one shot on every mob.

Demoralize: Everybody wants a piece of you for 3 seconds. Tanking. The only real tanking skill in the whole game. And we have it. yeahhh… As nobody has ever seen this skill in action we do not know if there is a forced melee component to it. If this would be part of it the rune would be a very powerfull tool even in single player games. It has to be tested.

Terrify: Need room to breath or want to safe the !@# of an grp member than use Terrify. The chance per mob is rather low but the flee time is 2.5 second and should allow you to take away some preassure.

Battle Rage:

I’m so angry! Smashhhh. Battle rage increases your damage by 15% and your crit by 3% for 30 second and costs 20 fury. To be honest the fury cost is nothing compared to fury generation in a normal build. It could have been zero without any real effect. The damage increase and crit bonus is on par with other classes bonus damage skills and this without the rune. The runes of this skill make it to one of the most used skills of all barbarian builds. In contrast to the other two shouts does BR only boost you and is not a direct grp skill.

Marauder’s Rage: Bang in ya face. 30% damage increase for all damage you deal. This is huge. If the other runes weren’t so good I would say it is a no brainer but now we have to settle with a very strong buff rune.

Ferocity: Okay every flok has a black sheep and this is it. This rune has won the “needles rune of the year” award in d3 if you ask me. Refresh the skill every 30 seconds and done. If the cost was 60 fury I would see a point or if there was an award for the longest Battle Rage ever with a pony to win..yes this would make sense.

Swords of Ploughshare: While BR is on every crit has a 5% chance to drop health globes. Sounds a bit weak but if you use a high crit build with 50% crit it would mean that every hit has a 2.5% chance to drop a blobe. Put Pound of Flesh in and maybe HotA-Birthright and you will swim in globes. It has to be stated here thay health reg can also be achieved easier and with more steady results with equipment and other skills so this rune is not the best but useful.

Into the Fray: 15 fury on crit modified by skill variables. This rune alone can make your drought fury generation into an overflowing spring flood. With high crit rates and high attack speed or massive aoe you should be able to increase youd fury spender dps by good margine. One of the strongest runes we have.

Bloodshed: Meager 20% damage? Yes meager 20% damage from the crit(!!) damage. hehe. With high crit damage around 400% and high crit rating does this rune transform tight mob clusters into pools of blood. The skill can increase your damage against tight mob clusters by 50% with the correct build and gear setup. Devastating.

Race to Hell – barbarian mobility skills

Before we start to take a look at the skills let’s have a word about mobility in diablo 3. Every class has a certain use for mobility in combat. Melee chars need it to aproach the the mob grps to deliver damage or to catch nasty ranged mobs before they turn you into an hedgehog. Ranged classes need mobility most of the time to avoid ( runing away..hrhrhrhr..) melee attacker and to reposition themselves to unload there heavy skills for the best affect.
All classes do share another important aspect from mobility. Travel between fights. A good part of your game time will be spend walking around in dungeons in the search for loot and monster. The faster you are the faster you can bash the evil critter and the faster you can get the loot. Abilities that allow you to cut this travel time do increase your “real” avarage dps for your run. This is less important when you furst level up but it becomes an issue once you are equipped and do make magic find runs. Hold this in your mind when you design your endgame grinding build.

The barbarian has 3 real mobility skills. Furious Charge, Leap and Sprint. The first two are fury generator and Sprint is a fury spender. All of them are tactical skills which allow you to increase your offense and defense if used the right way.

Leap allows you to jump across the whole screen and above obstacle. You can also use it to change “storeys” in dungeons. On Impact every mob in 8 yards gets hit  a medium snare for 3 seconds and some damage. The animation is quiet fast and allows fast travel. Leap has a 10 seconds cooldown what prevents chained fast travel. You get 15 fury per use. It is one of the best skills for attack and retreat as you can avoid obstacle and break out of mob inprisoning. The short snare allows you to catch your prey even if it tries to run.

Iron Impact: Sometimes the first is the best. 300% increased armor for 4 seconds means near invincibility for a good equiped barbarian in 4 of 10 seconds. Awesome. As this does reduce all damage from all sources it better than Death from above for PvE. If the maximum %dr through armor is capped before 90% things need to be tested in each case to see its use.

Launch: Ads the snare effect also to the launch of the jump. A tactical tool for builds that have a more mobile character and less defense. It allows you to split grps with well timed jumps and to slow chasing enemies and so allow you to take a breath.

Toppling Impact: Kicks away mobs in your landing zone. Definitly nice for ranged bars to get some room in your vicinity in high populated areas of the game. This can be a real life safer and in concert with Avalanche from Ground Stomp may allow you to stay unharmed in tough situations.

Call of Arreat: Draws mobs from 16 yards in and delivers the impact effect. If you try to use the Brawler passive you can choose this to increase your uptime. Pls be aware that 16 yards are not gigant size in d3 and its use is very situational. That said it also helps to gather mobs for a good Cleave hit ratio.

Death from Above: 3 Seconds stun in the landing Zone gives you time to act without getting bothered. It does not prevent damage from ranged enemies tho. In high diff elite mobs will most likely have stun reduction and so decrease the worth of the rune a bit. Together with other stun skills you can produce a nice stun lock setup.

Furious Charge:
Instead of leaping over your enemies you can smash right through them and deal 195% damage to all enemies in your way. Travel can only be straight in a line. The CD does prevent chained use. The small fury gain is a nice extra to the high damage output this fury generator produces. Less mobility compared to leap but far more BOOM. Use a two handed weapon to optimize the damage output.

Battering Ram: Increased damage on your target enemy. A simple damage upgrade that is, compared to the other runes, a bit lacking. Use it until you get better runes or in PvP.

Merciless Assault: The group killer. If you make good use of this skill you can decimate big groups while producing high amounts of fury to finish the rest off. Even in small groups you get a bit of an CD decrease what allows you to charge the next mob grp faster. Maybe the best rune for the skill.

Stamina: 8 whooping fury per enemy hit in addition to the standard 15. Charge through a mob group turn around and unleash your heavy hitting fury spender (WW oder SS) on them. Build with high fury demand should prioritize this over Merciless Assault. Ad in Mighty Weapon Master and one Charge can bring you up to may in a big grp.

Bull Rush: Stun on crit with 100% chance. Another nice stun skill that should find its place in a stun setup. For not stun centered builds are Merciless Assault or Stamina better. Ad Death from Above, Ground Stomp and Clobber and you can send boss mobs to the bench.

Dreadnought: 8% max life per hit.This alone is enough to heal you in any grp fight. With decent defense and good playing you should never have problems with grps. It is no big help in boss fights and you need another healing source here like Dread Spear or +hp on hit on equipment.

The only fury spender in the group. With no CD and medium fury cost it can be chained for travel use. The unruned version is a bit lacking for the fury costs but the rune upgardes do make it worthwhile. Very useful for fury centered builds as they need to reduce time between fights by all means and have far than enough fury to spend. PvP can make use of it to to catch ranged classes. The 40% do stack with your normal increased movement speed.

Rush: Increased dodge while Sprint is up. Very useful for dodge based builds or the little extra defense for normal builds. Be aware that 3 seconds can be short and it can be anoying to refresh it all the time to get the buff. As fury centered skills are often low armor builds this can be real help to reduce incoming damage and a real alternative to Marathon.

Run like the Wind: Extra dps for your build, especially in mob grps. Without testing hard to tell how useful it is. But i can see a synergy with WW as it moves while doing damage. Much experimentation possible with this one.

Marathon: 50% movement speed for 5 seconds. Increases the base effect of the skill. If speed is what you really need than use this rune without fail. The 5 seconds make the refresh time less anoying and fury consuming. The best rune to increase your real avarage dps. Other mobility skills may not be needed in your build.

Gangway: Allows you to break through enemies. To be honest use Furious charge if you want this effect with more damage and fury gain. In the rare cas that you want to skip content you can use it to just get through with it.

Forced March: Team buff for faster grp travel and PvP use. Helps to increase the defense of your grp through avoiding and gives more avarage dps for your grp runs. Make sure you have strong fury generation as this will suck you dry and take away power from your damage fury spender.

In the Heat of Battle – The situational barbarian skills

The barbarian has acces to 3 skills that were called “situational” in earlier stages of the game. They are dispersed in a different way right now but the old name is kind of fitting and so I will present them together and show you why they are situational.

Revenge, Overpower and Ignore Pain do nether cost fury nor do they produce any fury without runes. Each follows a different mechanic for usage and uptime. All these skills are good choices if you think about using a furry less build setup.

Ignore Pain:
Clinch your teeth and get done with it. Ignore pain reduces all incoming damage by 65% for 5 seconds with a 30 seconds cooldown. If we look on damage reduction per time we see about 17% damage reduction. Pls be advised that once you hit a CD spell the CD starts counting and not after the skill finishes working. 17% are very nice for one skill but the real power of Ignore pain is that you can get the high reduction every time you want (if off CD) without any other precondition. This allows you to use it when things go downhill and !@#$ hits the fan. This makes Ignore pain far more usefull especially for builds with less base defense and high damage. High defense is only needed in comparable small time windows for example against boss mobs or right at the start of a big grp battle. Of course PvP use is kind of obvious and follows the same structure.

Bravado: Massive knockback blast in 12 yards around you. This rune supports the basic idea of Ignore Pain to let you walk through a forest of razors and ask for more. This rune will give you a short breathing room or time to run if you must. Good, but other runes seem more potent.

Iron Hide: 7 seconds 65% dr. 40% more protection time is plain awesome. With this rune you can finish smaller fights without ever dropping out of Ignore Pain. For dr it is the best rune. Works quiert nice with CD stun skills like groundstomp, chain them and laugh at the enemy.

Ignorance is Bliss: How true. Time your IP with your hard hitting attacks to get the most out of this rune. Full heal is very possible with enough dps even against single target encounter. In aoe you will drown in green numbers. For overall surviability it is even better than Iron Hide. The plus for this skill compared to Revel or Revenge is the good performance aginst single enemies.

Mob Rule: Your friends will love you. Ignore pain for everybody! Time the use with your friends to get the most out of it. For 5 seconds your team unleash hell without giving an inch to the dark hords. Defense and Offense if used correctly.

Contempt for Weakness: 33% absolut damage reflection. To be honest not very useful in PvE but this can give your PvP oponent a nice suprise. And really the damage for PvE is far to small compared to the very good runes you can get for this skill.

Every hit gives you a 15% chance to activate this skill. The skill stays active for a few seconds and allows you on use to hit every mob around you with high damage and 5% max life reg per hit. This is one of the few skills that really can good use of two handed weapons. The skill was meant to be called “godlike I win button for any grp battle” but this was kind of long. Honestly if you have a solid defense build you will never die as long as enough mobs are around you. Example with 5 mobs around you hitting each once per second you will have a 90% chance for a proc every 3 seconds.

Vengeance is Mine: Ads a nice fury gain and more life per hit. Makes the original good skill even stronger. The bonus fury is nice if you are low on fury gen in your build. It is not good for high fury builds as the generation is to low and to unpredictable. A good starter rune.

Best Served Cold: 10% crit for 12 seconds is a heavy dps gain and a support for every high crit game style. The high uptime with the already discussed high proc chance in grps makes this one a real dps powerhouse. Even against sigle enemies you have a good chance to get full uptime. Very good rune.

Retribution: Increases the damage. Honestly not so good. Dps wise Best served Cold and Provocation are better.

Grudge: This one is only useful for ranged barbs. 24 yards knockback is enough to allow a few more Weapon throws or SS. Very situational, or do you want to gather all mobs after each use?

Provocation: The ultimate rune. with 30% proc chance you will just slam the Revenge button in grp battle. With only 7 hits you get 90% proc chance. There is no way a def barb dies with this in a mob grp. This rune makes the skill a real dps skill for grp battles even more with a two handed wepaon. If you die I personally come and kick your %^- for your stupidity. Fear my Revenge.


A medium damage small aoe 360° attack with 15 sceond CD. Not  so go.. wait! 1 Second CD reduction per Crit (!skill scaling!)! Equip your crit gear and start pounding. With high crit you should get this DC down to 8 or maybe 5 seconds. The good point for this skill compared to Revenge is once the CD is off you can use it any time you want. This can be critical as timing is as important as pure damage. As Revenge this skill works best with 2 handed weapons.

Storm of Steel: Where is the storm? Up to 3 50% ranged attacks against  up to 3 enemies. This was once a powerful rune but now it looks kind of weak. Maybe there is a trick to it but i don’t see it. More hits, a bit more damage okay but other runes are far more impressive.

Killing Spree: 10% crit for 6 seconds. Ad Best served cold in and you get crits all over the place. This does also lower the CD for Overpower. DPS increase and mechanic boost for certain skills. Best damage rune.

Crushing Advance: Damage reflection. Don’t bother for PvE. With the correct setup very strong in PvP even more with Contempt for Weakness.

Momentum:12 fury per hit. This is a very strong rune for high fury builds and mass aoe battles. Completely useless for single encounter tho. It takes a bit of planing to weave this one in abuild without to much furry in grp battle and to few fury in single mob fights. Ad something like Instigation to your build to make single targets not fury deserts. High crit builds with HotA would be a good combination.

Revel: 8% life per hit. Not as strong as Revenge but the tactical advantage to use it as you liek ( off CD) makes it a viable choice. Do not use this rune with Revenge together. You should get enough grp heal from it, take Dread Spear for single target healing to counteract the bad healing against one mob.

Because of the high amount of healing skills in this segment a short word about inferno and healing. You need it obviously. But just stacking healing even powerfull ones like Revenge or Revel does not safe your *!@ in inferno. The blizz devs are kind pissed about the whole “we all will beat inferno like nothing” that was up a few months ago and they pushed the damage in inferno to a point that healing alone is not the answer. The incoming damage in inferno exceeds your life pool by far and you can not hold it up fast enough to counter this huge damage income. The higher you defense the more effective your healing gets. Balacne healing and defense for the best outcome.

The uneven Pack -Ancient Spear, Ground Stomp, Weapon Throw

Today is the selection of “leftover” skills. They are hard to categorize, so I put them together as a group for themselves.

All three skills are very interesting and allow many powerful combinations and in the case of Weapon throw even a very unique playstyle.

Ancient Spear:
The first reaction of people after seeing it first time in action is: Hell yeahhh! This skill is so much style that i pitty all the other classes for not having it. You throw a spear with a chain hit one enemy hard and draw him very fast back to you. It is a fury generator with the common 10 seconds CD. The range is all over the screen but be aware it will grab the first mob it hits! Also big enemies like the skeleton king can be damage but not drawn to you.
A very useful skill for catching caster and ranged mobs or to pick one target out of the pack to take it down before the other to build up fury or to defuse a situation. PvP use is obvious.
The passive No Escape resets the CD of Ancient spear if you crit with it. The skill has not a tracking feature, if th mobs walks away you can miss.

Grappling Hooks: Times three. Three spears within a small cone per ability use. Thats kind of nice to grab more guys per shot. Also with high crit and No Escape you can get lucky and fire several times. The base damage is rather high and a two handed weapon will bring out a good dps.

Skirmish: 30 fury. This rune is maeh. Not bad for high fury supported builds for more instant fury but the other runes seem far superior for this skill. Use only if you really need the extra fury.

Dread Spear: 60% life leach on hit. If you make the math this is with No Escape 122% weapoin damage as health, without a crit. In a high crit build with good crit damage you can get abnorm numbers. Even the 122% with a hard hitting two hander makes this skill the by far strongest instant healing skill in the game. As you can use it against grp and single bosses alike it can be used in any situation. But do not miss. Honestly, aim well.

Harpoon: Mobs on a stick? You pierce all mobs in the way of the Spear and drag them to you. This is the brother rune to Grappling hook. Comparable use. This one is a bit better if you really want one special mob from a group, even if it stands behind a wall of shields. But you may also get fewer mobs per use. Positioning is important here.

Rage Flip: Mega Knockback with increased damage. Very nice against boss mobs for ranged builds or for PvP to get some room. For normal PvE other runes are more potent.

Ground Stomp:Every mob in 12 yards around you gets stunned for 4 seconds and you get 15 fury, nice. 12 sconds CD, this is more than other CD fury generator. This one is one of the strongest tactical defense skills the barb has. In combination with other stun skills can whole grps get stun locked and boss mobs taken out of the game. Beware stun reduction in high difficulty.
This skill is not a total damage reduction as you should not forget that same evil ranged mob grp can still put you in a world of pain.

Deafening Crash: Medium Snare for all mobs in aoe after the stun breaks. For hit and run builds useful, for basic stand your ground builds not. PvP…its kind of obvious. Don’t be to keen on snares. Many mobs and boss mobs have abilities to travel fast or teleport or jump or pull you in aor what not. Not every mob is a mindless slow zombie.

Wrenching Smash: Pulls in from 24 yards before stun. Increases the effect of your stun greatly in groups and allows very good use of Brawler as you will be surrounded by mobs. For the base purpose the best rune. But do not try to bite more than you can chew. Once the stun is up those mobs will be pissed.

Trembling Stomp: Really, 76% weapon damage in 12 yards every 12 seconds. Really? Not worth the rune slot in any way I can think of.

Foot of the Mountain: 30 fury. Like the Skirmish rune a nice fury boost if you really need it and not a bad option for this skill as the other runes are not too potent. Make the math for your fury generation and think about tactical use and decide if you can take the extra mobs from Wrenching Smash or better play it safe with this rune.

Avalanche: Reverse Wrenching smash. Stun +big knockback +small damage. Gives room to breath or distance for ranged builds. For hit and run Deafening Crash seems better. For pure dps Wrenching Smash. Situational. But for the beginnign of inferno viable if you really need a ohh !@#$ button.

Weapon Throw:
This one is a bit of a headache. It is extremely cool to throw giant axes at your enemies and smash their skulls but as it is a ranged skill the question is why would I want it? It also ads a two seconds medium snare which helps the whole ranged idea. You can use this skill as support to take down straglers without much moving or you can try to use it as main damage with the correct rune. Without propper equipment and skill setup this skill is very weak. If you plan to use it you need to make a tailored build for this skill. With reduced fury cost from items and fury gain through the No Escape and maybe Into the Fray and Might Weapon Master you can turn this skill into a real fury generator. In this case it can be used as main attack! If not totally powerful still viable and loooots of fun. Ad some damage boosting skills into your setup to to raise the meager base damage.

Mighty Throw: Higher damage for single target. Exactly what you want if you think about the whole stargler killing thingy I mentioned. Also ranged damage against bosses without taking damage and other more tactical uses. For pure DPS Ricochet is the way to go.

Ricochet: XENA!!!! Yes you can! throw axes that bounce and hit up to three targets each in 20 yards. First COOL. Second I can not believe that they gave the skill such an amazing bounce range. With the mentioned fury setup you can use it as a ranged Cleave. This is the bread and butter skill for a pure ranged barb. No way to get on without it. With good crit rates you should even get a very good fury generation (with fury setup) that allows the use of fury spender. Make sure you have skills that help you to get away from mobs or to make them go away. ! Weak against single enemies! You need to ad some ranged single damage. SS with Cracking Rift is the best I would find.

Throwing Hammer: High stun chance with decent duration. PvP or boss mob killer. With high speed and fury setup you can just stand far away and take them down while reading the newspapaer and drinking coffee…and you will do it as the damage is not so really high.

Stupefy: 20% chance to convert on hit for 6 seconds. Nice idea but not really worth it. Kill it or make it stop killing you. For both cases we do have better runes. But be free to try on your own.

Dread Bomb: Holy cow. Devastating Damage, if you can provide high fury support. This one can be used tactical in a normal fury supported build or used as main fury dump in a fury centered build. The damage can exceed all other aoe skills but you need to make a perfect build for this one. Besides the Ricochet rune most likely the best rune of the lot. Make sure you produce fury like mad in all situations to may out this rune. With 110 fury you can get 300% damage to mobs in the area and 400% (patch18) against the main target. With No Escape 10% more.

Ancient Rage -the mighty high cooldown skills

Barbarian are known to hold a grudge even over generations and over the boundries of death. The high cooldwon skills of the barb do use this imense energy to perform outrages deeds. So never anger a barb or he will kick your !@#  even out of the grave.

The high CD skills are controversal. On one side they are extremely powerful. One alone can end a battle in a few seconds or turn a hard fight into an walk in the park. On the other side the high CD does prevent the use at all times. After using it a big part of your build is not avaible to you. The third point is that the slot you use for the high CD skill does prevent the use of another damaging or supporting skill. This leads to the conclusion that these skills should only be used in setups that are tailored around them. More than this the use of two of them is not a bad idea at all if you think about using the passive Boon of  Bul-Kathos with the 30 seconds CD reduction. You will limit yourself as long the CD is on and your performance will be worse than other builds but on the other hand you will be able to use extreme force in situations that would otherwise overcome normal builds.

Shattering the ground around you and producing an 18 yards aoe field for 8 seconds that deals 250% fire dps every second to all enemies inside of it. CD is 120 seconds and costs are 50 fury. Gather a group of mobs around you or jump right into the middle of a huge pack and unleash this beast to see them all fall. Even normal boss mobs should not be able to withstand this damage with avarage gear. This skill is the best example for the instant defuse of an situation with a high CD skill. The main problem of the skill is not the damage but your own mind set. Once you activated it you can not use it a long time. So you will be cautious to use it. But if you do not use it often the skill loses in performance. You always need to make the decision when it is valid to drop the bomb. The bas fury cost can be a problem for low fury generating builds if you hope to unleash the skill at the beginning of an fight. Keep that in mind.

Giant’s Stride: Like nearly all runes of Earthquake the description is very lacking. Basicly an aura following after/while you use Earthquacke for some time. Extra damage even out of the aoe zone. Supports the basic idea of an heavy aoe dps skill.

Chilling Earth: Heavy snare and cold damage. Drop it and run away while your enemies can not follow you. A strong defense upgrade and useful for more hit and run style builds. On frst glance very strong for PvP but nearly all classes can somehow teleport/move fast away, you need to stun them to hold them in the area. And when they are stuned, why the snare?

The Mountain’s Call: No fury cost and 105 sconds CD. For me the best rune without a doubt. Shorter CD in combination with Boon will give you a 75 seconds CD. This is really nice for such a heavy weapon. The no fury cost is also good as it allows more tactical and free use.

Aftershocks: Again bad description. Extra damage in the area after the end of EQ. Duration is not clear. If you have a stand your ground build you can extend the damage of EQ and take down even the hardest foes (besides act bosse etc). The knockbak will give you a bit defense as the mobs get shacken around. If you prefer more damage per use than more uses from Mountain’s Call choose this rune.

Path of Fire: Bad description..again. Damage in front of you for some time. Basically like Aftershocks but it moves with you. The some reasoning too.

Call of the Ancients:
All d2 vets know those guys too well. Now they will fight with us and help to cleanse sanctuary from evil. No wonder, Arreat is destroyed and they have no where to go and like to hang around where is some fun. 120 second CD and 15 seconds duration. They are time limited pets with 60% base damage each and a nice set of attack skills. They can die by mob damage before the end of the skill time. They are blocker and very good in dealing single target and aoe dps. The one major problem, like with all pet skills is the missing control. The performance may be good or bad you can not take control over their actions. You need to hope that the AI does its best. In PvP definitly a dangerous skill when you meet an enemy without good CC.

The Council Rises: 10% more damage and 100% more armor. The blocker rune. Your old bearded friends will life far longer and so can take the heat of you even in inferno and in the midst of battle. Also a good PvP rune as it allows your ancients to harras your enemies without getting destroyed so easily.

Duty to the Clan: Longer duration equals more blocking and more overall damage. You could say a basic perfomance rune. If you have a high armor count you do not have to worry that they die and so use this rune to hold the tide for whole 20 seconds. The best rune for overall use.

Korlic’s Might: Powerfull but how often does he use it and at how many enemies. On a good day it may decimate whole grps but on a bad day it may not help much. Its more a gamble as the Charge must be used with good positioning to be powerful. Duty to the clan seems better.

Madawc’s Madness: High aoe dps. with the far higher area compared to the Charge the better aoe damage rune. Take it to improve your aoe dps and hope he aims well.

Talic’s Anger: This one is nice. Movement and high damage in a small aoe. Definitly useful even against smaller mob counts. Rivals with the Madness rune but seems to be the better tactical rune as the follow up WW from Talic should hit the mark. I would choose it over Madness and even over Duty to the Clan.

Wrath of the Berserker
You become the incernation of the wrath of your people. You are reaaaaaaaally angry. In a way you could call this skill the essence of the barbarian and the real king of all barbarian skills. Increased crit helps with many mechanics and increases damage. Increased attack speed allows more damage and increased fury generation. Higher movement shorten travel time and so increase real average dps. Increased dodge helps to stay alive and to stand your ground while you split skulls and smash demons. The only thing that hurts is the 15 seconds duration. With 120 seconds CD you need to ask yourself when to use it. The problem is the same as with Earthquake. also the boni are nice they are not as world changing as the other skill in this grp. This will cange heavily with the choosen runes. The initialy 50 fury costs can give you a headache if you want to start a battle with it. CD fury generators with fury runes may help here. In normal combat you should be able to afford it.
For PvP it is a gamble skill. If you can use it without hindrance you can make people hurt like no tomorow but everybody with a bit of a brain will CC you are go for a run the second you turn bad.

Arreat’s Wail: 430% damage and knockback. Better than nothing but honestly no match in any way for the other runes. Take it when you get it and drop once the other runes become avaible.

Insanity: 100% increased damage. Pls put your seatbelts on we are going to kick some $%^.
If not for other damage boosting skills a pure doubleing of our damage. You will deal more than 30 seconds worth of your damage in only 15 seconds. This will make boss fights really short. The overall best rune as it helps with aoe and single target damage. In PvP you will anihilate any oposition if you can get the hold on them. Use snares and stuns and than drop Insanity and end the fight before anybody can stop you.

Slaughter: 150% damage in 15 yards on crit proc. You will never see a grp of mobs fall so dam fast as with this skill and a high crit setup. A WW build that uses this will cut through everything in the vicinity in a matter of seconds. If you have already SS in your build Insanity is most likely better as the big aoe is enough. But HotA or WW builds or even Weapon Throw setups should think about this one.

Striding Giant: 60% dodge from one skill. This is a massive defense increase and may be a good choice in th beginning of inferno when you face act bosses or high dmaging boss mobs. Take Ignore ain into your setup and you can get 22 second of 60-65% damage reduction. In high end gear and balanced builds you should be able to stand your ground against bosses and so make way for Insanity. HC characters should take a look at this one too.

Thrive in Chaos: The basic for fury centered builds. I talked about it in the fury strategy section so only a short comment. ONLY use it if you have a fury centered build. Insanity or Slaugther are far better for all other setups. High Damage over a short time is worth more than a bit more damage a longer time. Kill fast, stay alive.

Clash of Titans -Barbarian Boss Strategies
This segment will hold various strategies to handle the many big boss mobs we meet in d3.  As the game progresses I will ad more boss infos step by step as my time allows. It won’t be a super deep compendium of every dam stat the mob has or how the boss moves his !@#. It is meant to be a help to understand boss mechanics and shall give you tipps how to beat them with regards to some skills we have at our disposal. If you hope to see a full blown voiced video with comments when exactly to move where and to use what attack or the full lore I fear you are wrong here. I basicly asume you have a brain and a understanding how the barb skills work.

The Skeleton King (Leoric):

Big (dead) guy in bad mood with even bigger two handed mace.

This one is a semi boss in the middle of act 1. He is not to hard to beat and does act more as learning by doing example how you should fight boss mobs in d3. Observation->Conclusion-> Destruction. His normal strikes pack a punch and you should ether have high healing or better high defense to take him head on in higher difficulty. He is not the fastes (besides Teleport) and so you can often get some distance to let CD come off or to reorgenize your attack. His attacks are also slow in animation and you can see them coming.

Important Abilities:

Whirlwind: Boss strikes out in front of him while advancing for several seconds. He makes a distinct animation before he starts to swing. Several wind trails will hover around him. In normal you may as a hardy melee char think about just taking it but in later difficulty everybody should stop attacking and get some distance. Ignore Pain would work but you should safe the CD for more pressing times. If you are ranged you are lucky, get some distance and let him hit air while you unload your arsenal.

Teleport: The boss can use a Teleport attack to get close to you in an instant. The moment he gets to you he will deliver a heavy blow. If you try to run from him he will use this to get to you. Before he teleports you can hear a laughing sound in the background. Running from your position is not sufficient to protect yourself against the damage. You need to use a mobility skill like Leap or Merciless Assault to get away. If you can not avoid it use a DR ability (Ignore Pain) to soften the damage. As melee you should not see this one to often but ranged chars need to bet prepared or getting squashed in high diff.

Sumon Skeletons: From time to time the boss will sumon two packs of four skeleton melee warior. Half of them will spawn with shields. These are important. For once they will haras you and you have to take care of them. But on the other side they often enough drop health globes for you to bolster your red globe. If you engage the Skeleton King you should have at least on aoe skill to take care of them fast without to much time loss. Another good approach would be the use of Revenge. The skeletons are not the worst foes and when they hit you you could get some nice procs, killing them, damaging the Skeleton King and boosting your health. This is of course if you have enough defense to take those attacks.

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