Help with Zerk Barb


Diabloii.Net Member
Help with Zerk Barb

Ok Ive followed the guide someone posted on these forums a while ago for the berzerker barb, sorry cant remember your name.

So far ive leveled the bar to lev 90.

Ive maxxed...

sword mastery
battle orders
and have put 1 point into ww, resits, stone skin, war cry and battle cry.

The rest i have started to put into howl for the damage benefits.

I have put 145 into strengh as i plan to use fortitude archon plate, base dex and so far ive put 150 into dex everything else into vit.

I dont have any gear atm but I am planning on using fortitude and BOTD collosus blade and a storm shield. Thats all i can afford right now hopefully will find the rest soon.

I was just woundering if anyone could tell me how much dex I would roughly need to get max block with a stormshield. Because I dont have one atm so cant see and I am not tottally sure how max block works. I'm guising 75% is max?

Also has anyone else made a similar build and can tell me roughly how much dmg I will do with a decent BOTD CB and Fortitude? And if I will be able to solo hell.

Any other advice is greatly apreciated.


Diabloii.Net Member
IF it's possible and things are still the same as they are 4 months ago, try and get grief swords phase blade or collosol baldes ( I forgot all the names, Also I belive you are using sword mastery ? ), But on the whole grief is a much better weapon and I believe it's quite a bit cheaper.

The dexterity for max block is around 210?, but this does depend on you level.

EDIT: The raw damage for Ss Fortitude and Botd Cb is around 4k ( with as little strength as possible, However equiping a Grief will give you a higher top end damage.


IMO Any "guide" that directs you to use a shield on a zerk barb is a little wacky. Have you noticed that zerk takes your def to ZERO?

Use a 2-handed weapon for the added damage, and get a might merc with pride for more damage and chance for uninterruptible attack.

With zero defense that shield wont help you much. Any points you put in dex should have gone in vitality.


Diabloii.Net Member
I question....everything

So this is the first time I have ever heard zerker and shield used together. A sheild totaly goes against the build you are using, Zerk is a skill that sacrifices deffence for ar and dmg so even with max block you will get hit while attacking b/c you're def will be 0 for some amount of time however minimal. you're best bet is max resists in hell so you dont get creamed with elemental dmg and high life so you can tank the hits you do take.........just a thought:grin:


Diabloii.Net Member
Yeah, I agree with GreyGhost.

I play single player though, so no dupewords like fortitude etcetera, but my two handed berserker (mauls, no dexterity) could deal out 5K average damage, and had close to 9K health. When you have that much life, you don't need block to stay alive.


Diabloii.Net Member
A shield offers two things... Defence and block, and Berserk only reduces one to zero, not both.

Having a high block rate at 75% will still help immensely while zerking, even when defence is at 0

Skinhead On The MBTA

Diabloii.Net Member
You'll nedd 222 Dex for max block with a Stormshield at lvl99. The shield isn't useless either, because 75% block means 75% of the attacks won't hit you, then you have the 35% damage reduction from the SS on any attacks that do hit you.

Shout is not wasted with Beserk, because every point into Shout gives another 10% damage to the Beserk.

Iron Skin - that would be wasted points if it wasn't a prerequisite for Natural Resistance.


Diabloii.Net Member
SirBeetle said:
likewise, maxing shout w/berserk is just wasting points as well.

You dont understand synergies or something. Maxed shot would give you an additional 200% dam to berzerk. Nothing to sneeze at.

Also, wearing a shield isnt always about defence. Damage reduction is crucial for a zerker (your more likely to get hit) and shields are a great avenue to raise your damage reduction. Furthermore, 1-handed weapons have higher attack speed, more damage in less time. However, this is all opinion.

I'm working on a berzerker barb myself. I plan to post any knowledge I gain on this style of barb.

Taker easy.


Shout is a necessary synergy, even though the defense bonus is negated by using berzerk, that's the price you have to pay.

I would still argue that a shield is a bad decision. The calculation for % chance to block is not as simple as "75% of attacks don't hit you," and you're not calcuating block rate either. Both are calculated on a curve which is based on defense. The total loss of defense outweighs any chance to block that you might have.

In PVM, with most regular monsters berzerk should be a one-hit killer. You should focus on pure damage, high attack rating and good weapon speed. It makes more sense to emphasize your offensive capabilities with this build, because whatever defense you are able to gather will be minimal, and essentially useless. Spend the points in vitality so that getting hit won't hurt so much.

To compensate for your lack of defense, you need to focus on items that will reduce monsters attack rating and defense. Start with your own skills, like taunt, battle cry, etc. Curses such as decrepify, confuse, weaken, and enemy-focused auras like holy freeze and conviction will help you a lot too. Cloak of shadows can be fun to use. These skills are all available on different items in the game.

Also, there are many fast 2-handed weapons of various kinds, especially when you consider runewords, you can choose swords, axes, maces or polearms and still find a fast weapon. The important thing is base weapon speed and fps, not whether the weapon is 1 or 2-handed. There are many 1-handed weapons that won't reach the last breakpoint.

Ethereal weapons like Botd and Eternity will do well with Berzerk, not only for speed/weight but for high damage also, and never need repairs. The Beast runeword can be made in any 5-socket axe, and will add to your damage, speed, and attack rating with fanaticism. Weapons that add inherent elemental/magic damage, such as Famine, are useful also. I think an infinity polearm would be really fun (it's fast with 40% crushing blow and conviction aura).

Offensively, your strategy should be to land the first hit and stun/freeze/blind the enemy in case you need a second hit. Try to stack offensive auras like fanatcisim, concentration (gives chance of uninterruptible attack), blessed aim and might. A fun way to engage enemies is to leap attack at them, which will stun and knock them back, then finish them with a berzerk hit.