Diablo 3 Barbarian Group Play Build Guide

Diablo 3 Barbarian Group Play Build Guide by Rhaloz

This time we will talk about the barbarian as a group member.

There are two basic ways to confront grp playing. The first is the solo variation. You use your solo setup and do not care to much about the other player. Meaning, you play in a grp but you play alone. If you think about this it makes the whole coop thing kind of useless, but it is possible. Most likely you want to play with people or even more likely with friends. In this case you want to contribute to your grp and you want to synergize with your friends chars. From now on we will talk about the second option.

What can a barbarian contribute to a grp? Support or tank or boss dd. Before you all start screaming you want to make damage let me tell you that every char in every playstyle in d3 is a damage dealer. This will never change. The question is what do you do besides damage dealing?

The Tank: Because of our archtype people think a barb should tank and blizz somehow thinks this is a good idea. They gave us the only real tank skill in the game: Threatening Shout-Demoralize. Threatening shout reduces all damage dealt by the mobs by 20% and the rune makes them attack you for 3 seconds. This is a wonderful opener to get them all together around you. Your friends with high aoe dps will be happy to unload all kind of pain on those clustered enemies (and on you poor soul). This clustering alone will increase your grps dps by quiet a margin. The shout can be used every 15 seconds for first aggro at every new grp.

The whole thing has one big flaw. You have to life through the gigantic damage the mobs will unload on you. For this you need extreme high defense. A shield is a given also War Cry with Impunity or Hardened Wrath and the defnese passives Nerves of Steel and Tough as Nails. Revenge with Provocation will be your best friend and you will most likely hammer it all the time. Relentless is a passive I normaly do not choose. But for theis line of work it can help you to stand the extra two or three seconds until your grp finishes the job.

Your primary fury generator should be Cleave with ether Broad Sweep or Gathering Storm for extreme CC to hold even boss mobs right on your side. Cleave will give you the most damage in most situations. Of course you will in the end confront boss mobs and you want to hold on to your NV buff so switching here. DPS or CC decide on your own.

Your fury spender should be close range. HotA or Rend or even WW are possible options.
HotA with Birthright can give you hp globes and a bit extra loot. For this variant Pound of Flesh is a nice replacment for Relentless.  WW with Windshear and enough mobs around can give endless spinning or with Blood Funnel high life reg. Also moving while damage dealing and tanking can bring tactical advantages. My personal favourite here is Rend. Ravage, Blood Lust or Lacerate all these runes are good and allow 360° aoe damage. You can tag all mobs around you and Cleave in the meantime.
The last skill slot should be used for mobility. You do not want to drag your grp dwon with slow speed. You as tank needs to be first at the mobs and for this we will use Leap-Iron Impact. Defense an high mobility with added fury generation. The CD is short enough to use it in every fight.
If you are really commited to the tanking job you should start to gather some defense gear. High HP, armor and resistancea re mandatory. Extra damage reduction from affixes and damage converted to life is also a nice addition. If you can spare the affixes a bit throns can increase your dps nicely as you get hit all the time and Tough as Nails gives a 50% bonus.


This is of course only one way to do it. Important points are that you stay alive no matter what. Supporting the grp is not the main goal. If you fall the rest will get into trouble really fast as they will have optimized their builds for tank gameplay.

The Supporter: Don’t ask what can the grp do for you but what you can do for the grp. The barbarian is the defense booster for the grp. His grp skills are meant to bolster the defense or more precise the damage mitigation. Most of the classes use CC or avoidance to deal with the monster damage. If those tactics fail they get high damage with lacking damage mitigation. Here we can jump in and help.

We have four skills to increase the group performance for defense. The first and obvious choice is War Cry with Hardened Wrath or Invigorat. Veteran’s Warning is avoidance and Impunity will only work on yourself (pretty sure because of wording in tooltipp). If you have a tank in your grp he will most likely be pleased by Invigorate. This skill alone will make playing in grp far safer for every member. The second skill is of course the Threatening Shout. The damage reduction is will safe lives and Grim Harvest can give you a bit extra for your effort. The third skill is Ignore Pain with Mob Rule. Take it. Now your ohh !@#$ buton is the whole grps ohh %^-* buton. It will safe your tank, cc or pure dd in many situations. Drop it when a ranged becomes clustered or the boss hammers the tank with special skills or when you …again… pulled another mob grp to the already 15 mobs around your team.

The last skill is not a direct damage decrease but it can help to push the performance of your team. Sprint with Forced March gives increased travel speed and mobility on the battle field. Repositioning an aiding friends can be a bit quicker and of course running away from a really bad enchantment boss mob. You can only use this skill if you have a massive fury generation on your build. DW with Weapon master and/or Instigation comes to mind.
You do not need to take all skills at the time but two would be nice and you will see that mob killing becomes less stressful and dying rare.
The extra defense from these skills do not cripple you in damage dealing. Adapt to the increased defense with more offensive choices in the rest of your build.

The Boss DD: Barb and DH are the two classes with the highest single target continuous dps in the game. If you make a special build for it you can become a real king slayer. Of course all classes can make high single target damage but the barb can put out a bit more. This can of course be pushed further if you have buffs and debuffs from your grp like Mantra of Conviction-Overawe or Marked for Death-Grim reaper and many more.

If you decide to go this way you have ether to accept that you will perform less well in all other situations or you have to drop NV for respecing. Your choice.

We want the highest single dps we can get for unlimited time and enough defense healing to stand to the end. This leads us straight to a fury centered build with WotB-Thrieve in Chaos.
Dual Wield and damage equip should be mandatory. Healing from +hp on hit and ll are extremely important. With high attack speed and high damage we will have less defense and we must balance this with far high healing. The healing a monk can provide us in no way enough for the task so don’t bother.

Build: This is MADNESS

Take dw axes/maces and stack crit and critd. If not caped we will reach 100% crit and so put a multiplicator of 4 or even 5 on our base damage. With dw and WotB we should get 4 attacks per second and the damage boostes will multiply this by x (stacking of damage boost still unknown). With high end gear you will reach 1 million dps and with grp support even 2 million dps. Everything short a one hit will not kill you even with 3% ll.

As bosses use aoe and spawn adds you should still get nearly full uptime on Revenge and Overpower will be a short CD for you. Leap is import to follow your prey where ever it goes.

If you want to max your grps performance than work out the basic strategy of your grp. Optimize your builds for the best synergy and do not use abilities that need you to be the one who kills the mob. Be polite and help when somebody is in trouble. Trade loot and have fun together. Eat fresh food and trink enough to stay concentrated. Once in the while stopp and go out into the sun and breath fresh air. If it is already night time than you have played all day and you should stop and maybe call your boss and explain why you were absent all day…

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