Inferno Fun ‘n Gun Builds

A couple of player submitted builds that are capable of kicking ass in Inferno, both with video evidence.

The first is the gun, and it’s a Wizard with an unholy amount of damage with Disintegrate in Archon form. The video on YT is called simply “128k DPS,” and you can see why with a view. The mage is routinely popping 100,000+ damage per shot, and with nothing below 15,000, every enemy in the movie dies almost as soon as it appears.

It’s certainly impressive and effective, but is it any fun to play once the thrill of the massacre wears off? There’s debate in the thread, but I don’t see it. Obviously it’s an accomplishment and must have taken a great deal of farming and GAH action to get such incredible damage, and it’s rewarding (though the Wiz never pauses to pick up anything in the entire video), but what’s fun about it? It’s basically god mode, and games get boring in god mode almost immediately.

Hover forward, nuke everything instantly, repeat. There’s not any strategy or skill or even variety, once the item game has been won this comprehensively. It’s like playing a high level char on normal, except you only get to use one skill over and over again (though the drops are a bit better).

For a fun build, here’s a quite viable Whirlwind Barbarian herding and farming in Act 2/Inferno. The video quality isn’t great, but you can see what’s happening clearly enough, and it looks like a lot of fun, to me. He’s very powerful, but his gear is less-than-godly, and the build requires him to use his skill properly to keep the Fury generating. He also uses a handy trick to sort loot that’s not widely-known; hold down Control and when you hover on items on the ground and their full stats will display without having to pick them up.

The character is by Aeriel, and if you check out his thread in the forum you can see his build, all of his equipment, and a bunch of strategy tips as well. The key to the build is a high % chance of critical hit, since that’s what’s triggering more Fury to keep him spinning, as well as the life leech that’s keeping him alive.

Click through for the full details:


  • 52k hp
  • 800-900 all resists (buffed)
  • 10k def (with enchantress)
  • block chance 46%
  • melee damage reduction 22%
  • 16k dps in town (buffed with battle rage, maniac frenzy and berserker – 32k) weapon
  • 780dps sword
  • 33% critical hit chance unbuffed (+56 with revenge, battle rage and berserker)
  • 210% critical hit damage
  • The skills in this build can be seen here. His items are here, or view the thumbnail to the right.

    How does it work? DiabloWikiWhirlwind with [/wiki]Blood Funnel[/wiki] rune heals 1% of max health per each critical hit that lands (afaik there is no penalty for it, unlike for life on hit or external life leech, which don’t regen listed hp, it depends on skill (each has individual penalty), or difficulty (80% penalty for inferno life leech). So that 1% is not that low, given how often whirlwind hits.

    To keep on whirling, we need DiabloWikiFury generation, lots of it, there comes DiabloWikiBattle Rage rune DiabloWikiInto the Fray, which grants 15 fury per crit. With just a couple of enemies it provides unlimited whirlwind (even vs single target we can whirl much longer).

    Another bonus is DiabloWikiFrenzy with DiabloWikiManiac. We get 20% damage with fully charged frenzy, and we can just land one frenzy hit every couple of seconds, to sustain that bonus (that boosts our all attacks, including whirlwind). Frenzy also generates fury if we fight vs single target, and is our main skill then.

    DiabloWikiRevenge is not used as main healer here, DiabloWikiBest Served Cold rune, grants 10% crit chance for 12s, which is ideal for this build. We still have that panic healing button, but I’d rather use this for the crit bonus. Even if you have revenge ready to use, hold it, till 12s crit bonus timer is almost finished, then use it. More crit, means more healing via WW blood funnel.

    Now last part, DiabloWikiWrath of the Berserker with DiabloWikiThrive on Chaos rune. Unlike most barb, who pick DiabloWikiInsanity rune (100% damage bonus for 15s) I find it not that great. Main problem is, monsters in later inferno acts have so much health, we are unable to kill them within 15s of insanity duration. And then we lose all WotB bonuses (dodge, speed, crit), but not just that, the most important, unlisted bonus – immunity to crowd control effects, while under Berserk form.

    That makes us impossible to freeze, teleport, lock by jail monster, and fear doesn’t work against us. It makes battles a lot easier, against most annoying combos of elite traits. The idea is, to increase duration of berserker, through entire battle. This skill is nearly impossible to sustain during normal play, because we can’t charge it up, we can only turn back duration while fighting. If there are big gaps between monsters on map, we will lose the bonus. But if we fight Elite pack, we can sustain WotB, as we have targets to hit. Whirlwind is great fury sink (16 per spin), and we regen huge amounts of Fury, via critical hits. That really works with Thrive on Chaos rune, we need just 2-3 enemies, with more crit gear later on, it can probably work even vs single target.

    As for passive, you can switch to mastery, use it with axe for 10 more crits (I have sword on barb so decided to use ruthless). Two defensive passives, later with better armors, we can probably exchange one with weapon mastery/ruthless if we get enough defense (if there is such thing).

    On a side note, you need decent gear for this barb to work, pretty much same as “boring” revenge tank builds, and some more crit chance on it, so it is even more expensive. But it as result we get faster, and better character, and most importantly more interesting to play, we can use classic barbarian trademark skill – whirlwind.

    I has also tons of room for improvements, more critical chance we collect, the better it works, mainly heals us faster.

    Aeriel answers some more questions about how it works beyond Act 2 (not so well) and if higher critical chance helps (not as much as it should) in the thread, so click to that if you want more details.

    Related to this article
  • Paragon Levels: The Max Level Controversy Revisited
  • One life to live #46: Hardcore Inferno and then what?
  • Patch 1.0.3 Design Preview from Wyatt Cheng

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    25 thoughts on “Inferno Fun ‘n Gun Builds

    1. You can’t make any of these builds without spending 10 million in AH to avoid getting 1 shot.

      • If you want get it in 2 weeks sure but you don’t have to do this in 2 weeks.

    2. This is basically what D2X was for many years. I’m not sure what kind of game people were expecting or wanting – but this is what you did in D2. Blast through on easy mode. I’m personally still having fun (and nowhere near that level of easy-mode)

    3. They’ve said they won’t be nerfing anything just because players find something godly powerful, but oh man that Archon video… lol

      That WW character rocks. I wonder if that’s the same Aeriel from the Median XL forums…

    4. As someone who is currently running the same area in act 3 Inferno with a wizard at 45K DPS, I can tell you that this video is pretty deceiving on difficulty. In fact, I expect it was done in multiple takes, with the ‘best’ runs put together. Some specific notes:
      – You have no panic buttons in Archon mode (unless you take a rune that costs you 25% DPS for teleport or slow time).
      – The character is extremely squishy, just take a look at his health the few times he does get hit. He probably even died at 2:26 and cut that bit out.
      – Archon only works if you keep killing fast enough to keep the cooldown from running out, one slowdown or mistake (or time to pick up loot), and you have what’s left of your two minue cooldown to look forward to before you are effective again.
      – He ran into some easy boss packs, but some usually trivial mods can give you serious trouble as an archon working like this, including things like shielding and vortex.
      – This area is way easier to farm than most because you have Tyrael tanking for you, because it is long small corridors ideal for the disintegrate from archon and because it doesn’t have any of the nasty act 3 spawns you find in other areas.
      – This build depends on energy armor (force armor) being up to avoid spike hits, but you cannot refresh it in archon mode. In fact, you see the video cutting out just as it is about to run out the first time and again at the end just after it runs out.
      In short, this may be an effective farming build, but it has some serious problems as well and things are way harder than they ever were for a well-geared sorc in D2X. In fact, I can guarantee this build would be hopeless in hardcore, even with perfect gear.

      • Exactly. The wizard build is exactly what inferno should be like at the highest of levels. You own but if you make small mistakes it can cost you your life.
        I mean, come on, it’s SC anyways. If you really want thrill roll a HC character. It doesn’t get more thrilling than that.

      • Totally agree. Archon may have some viable uses clearing out trash, but I personally don’t care for it due to the cooldown. I try to avoid any skills with long CD’s. I would rather be doing a consistent amount of high damage (not spikes of uber damage) and still have some survivability and flexibility when encountering nasty champion packs.

      • Cooldown starts going down as soon as you cast the skill, so if you screw up once, it doesnt mean you have to wait 2 minutes to recast. You can also ( if you’re in Archon so long that shield drops ) click it off and recast buffs, and have the skill ready for more facemelting.

    5. Still, I would love to know how this char is built, I mean, 125K dmg, that’s crazy, glass canon all the way.

    6. “gear is less-than-godly”

      The Barbarians Helm is worth at least 8 Million alone.  Everything combined is probably 25 – 30 Million worth.

      Just for Act2 :). Barbs ftw

    7. How stupid is this thing that you are saying? You actually want to be able to solo inferno easy without spending at least 10 million? (which is totally manageable if you actually try)

    8. But it is Aeri[b]A[/b]l 🙂

      I’d say you need rather good items to make whirlwind work. It becomes A LOT harder in act 3, where you just need some defensive buff to go into melee, which I believe is game design. 

    9. This is why softcore is a complete joke of a game. And only complete noobs play it. Think about it. Everyone is going full DPS build. There is no variation. Except melee cant do that and is screwed.

      • I play softcore. Tell me why I’m a noob and what ‘noob’ means in this context.



        • In this context I mean “noob”, as in easy mode. There is no risk. You get away with the dumbest of builds. Namely, full DPS builds. The funny part is that this wizard is actually not effective. A demon hunter wouls be much better at doing his job. If you’re a casual gamer. I dont expect you to understand act3 and 4 inferno. Also act2 is easy compared act3+. That barb is probably stuck there untill he get 1000 life on hit.

          • There is the risk of dying, which you try to avoid just as a hardcore player does.
            You might as well say that people who play chess are noobs because nothing bad happens if you lose 😉 The other guy does not get to punch you in the face, for instance.
            A good player will challenge themselves to play well and not die regardless of the mode because they have internal standards and do not require external punishment in order to hold themselves to those standards. That is the hallmark of being an adult :/

            I play both, btw. But really, folks have to stop with this “only the way I prefer to play is OK” thing.

      • The lvl 60 HC Barb who died because he was clicking around in the menu during combat sure seems like a noob to me…

    10. ‘only complete noobs play it’. How about people who *don’t* fancy starting again after a death? Maybe they don’t have the hours to invest into re-levelling a death, or for whatever reason.  No denying HC offers thrills and spills and, yes, you do need to have skill to pull it off. But what about people who want to play the game sans the stress and futility of losing it all? I’m not saying HC is pointless, I’m just saying it’s not for everyone. Not everyone enjoys risking everything at the casino, and please remember the VAST majority of players are on SC. So in your books, only the tiny % of genuine HC’ers aren’t noobs? Charming. As to there being no variation, well inferno IS tough and does require survivability too. Even SC’ers will get decimated with flat out DPS builds so I really don’t think you concern is valid.  

    11. I have spent well over 15 million on my Barb, with 120 hours into once character. Even using all defensive skills a barb cannot handle anything from late act 2 onward… 

    12. And we all know what classes had farmed these viable items for ‘viable’ Barb in Act 2 Inferno, haha. Nice balance Blizz. Maybe just that Jay Wilson forget about him saying that magic finding WILL NOT RESTRICT YOU IN GEAR AND CLASS CHOICE. So sad.

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