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MF barb build

Discussion in 'Barbarian' started by sorcyone, May 3, 2005.

  1. sorcyone

    sorcyone Banned

    Mar 1, 2004
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    MF barb build

    MF barb build by Sorcyone version 0.80 last updated 27 Apr 2005


    The Barbarian is one of the most durable characters in the game.
    Unfortunately compared to other builds the barbarian is not regarded as effective in mass killing speed or in ability to wear high MF and still be a great killer.
    Equiping a barbarian is also expensive.
    I hope to show here how this can be done inexpensively using items no more expensive than an Ist rune.
    With this build it is not hard to have over +400%MF and still have huge killing power with high survivability due to high life of over 4,000, huge defense over 13,000, 15%DR.


    This is for the average player. I really don't care about those who can afford Enigma/BoTD etc. Besides dual wielding BoTD is risking a dupe poof!
    This build can be put together with all self found items.

    This is a PvM build for ladder but I can imagine it would be quite effective against casters.

    3. STATS

    STRENGTH = enough to wield/wear without needing any strength from Arreats.
    VITALITY = all here for a big fat baba.

    I suggest base DEX since with Arreats +20 and Angelic +10 or Raven +20 you should be able to wield almost any Axe. Add in either Annihilis or a max dam + dex charm if needed.
    Put your points into Vitality to help cope with no shield.
    With top gear you could probably switch 100-200 points into strength instead for more damage.

    4. SKILLS

    Nothing new here.

    BO 20
    WW 20
    Shout 20
    Axe Mastery 20
    Iron Skin 1
    Natural Resistance 1+ depending on other gear, but basically you should max fire and light resistance see below. Light resistance is pretty clear why, fire you should max to protect against #3 danger for this build - undead stygian dolls explosion.
    Battle Command 1
    Find Item 1+
    Howl 1
    Taunt 1
    Battle Cry 1
    Bezerk 1
    Concentrate 1
    Increased Speed 1
    Leap Attack 1
    Prerequisites :
    Increased Stamina 1
    Find Potion 1
    Bash 1
    Leap 1
    Stun 1

    Total 96 which should be complete at level 85.

    Max the first 4 skills in the order shown above.
    I never found the need for War Cry. Howl when needed.
    Some guides recommend 0 for increased speed to help concentrate WW damage. With this build there is no need since the damage is so huge and you have PMH. You want to be able to move quicker under WW. Also with no shield it is dangerous since being slower you will take more hits when WW though a pack.

    Find Item is great but it has severe diminishing returns. 2 points is enough for me to get 47% on switch to echoing weapons at level 89. With high killing speed it becomes less worth the while horking. Of course you always hork champions and similar.

    Find Item
    Mana Cost: 7
    Level 01 02 03 04 05 06 07 08 09 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20
    %Find 13 19 24 29 32 35 37 39 41 42 44 45 46 47 47 49 49 50 50 51
    Level 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40
    %Find 51 52 52 53 53 53 54 54 55 55 55 55 56 56 56 56 56 57 57 57
    Level 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54
    %Find 57 57 57 57 58 58 58 58 58 58 58 58 58 59
    As an academic matter the highest possible Find Item is level 54 which yields 59% chance. This could be achieved with
    3 Amulet +3 Warcries
    6 Helm +3 Warcries +3 Find Item
    2 Armour any +2
    6 dual echoing weapons
    2 SOJs
    1 Arachnid Mesh
    10 Warcry GCs
    1 Annihilis
    1 Battle Command
    2 Skill Shrine
    20 Find Item skill

    Casting rate affects find item. This makes Tal items or dual hotos on switch attractive.
    casting rates :
    Frames  FCR
    13      0
    12      9
    11      20
    10      37
    9       63
    8       105
    7       200

    5. GEAR

    The core of this build is dual wield Oath weapons and upped Skullder's Ire.

    5.1 WEAPONS

    The best weapon combo would be some expensive runewords but as I stated I have put a limit on the cost of any single item.

    One of the advantages of Oath is that it is not hard to make - you need a Mal rune and a 4 socket eth elite Axe. This is also kind of handy since the highest rune I have is a Mal.
    You do want eth for the extra damage. Do not consider non eth. Since the charges cannot be restored in an eth item if you think the HoW/iron Golem charges are useful then think again. The HoW and IG will disappear every time you switch to your dual echoing weapons, and anyway there is no way HoW will compensate for the lesser damage you will have from an non eth weapon.

    I quite like the Eth Oath Ettin Axe since it is usable from Level 52 and has requirements of low strength and dex reqs, and I have found 2 of them.
    A good place to look for these elite items is the pits or scavenge Hell cow games.
    Any unsocketed ethereal should be picked up and socketed using the cube formula :
    1 Ral Rune + 1 Amn Rune + 1 Perfect Amethyst + Normal Weapon = Socketed Weapon of same type
    and hope you get 4 sockets.
    If the item is superior (you wish!) then you will have to use Larzuk. He will always give the maximum number of possible sockets so a Bezerker Axe will always get 6 sockets.

    Oath 4 Socket Swords/Axes/Maces
    Shael + Pul + Mal + Lum
    30% Chance To Cast Level 20 Bone Spirit On Striking
    +50% Increased Attack Speed
    +210-340% Enhanced Damage (varies)
    +75% Damage To Demons
    +100 To Attack Rating Against Demons
    Prevent Monster Heal
    +10 To Energy
    +10-15 Magic Absorb (varies)
    Level 16 Heart Of Wolverine (20 Charges)
    Level 17 Iron Golem (14 Charges)

    Since you are WW the bone spirit is not so useful. Indestructible saves you from the hassle of repairing - which I currently find a real problem with Death Cleaver since the durability is so low - only 26.
    The Damage and AR to Demons is nice especially for pit or Boss runs.
    The Prevent Monster Heal is very useful. This opens up the alternative of using poison and swishing through whole packs initially.

    Any 1H Axes and any sword or Mace will make lwbp.
    Oath can be used from as low as level 49 (Mal rune) depending on weapon used.
    Only the following 12 weapons can have ethereal Oath and be dual wielded by a barb. I present them in order of preference. Range 3 is nicest. Damage is a major consideration. Dex req is also a consideration. You need 2 weapons. You can mix weapons but you must stay in the same class since it is too costly to push 2 masteries.

    WEAPON          DAMAGE  SOCKS   RANGE   LEV     STR     DEX
    Berserker Axe   47.5    6       3       64      128     49
    Colossus Sword  48      5       3       60      172     85
    Balrog Blade    45      4       3       53      175     77
    Ettin Axe       49.5    5       2       52      135     35
    Small Crescent  49      4       2       45      105     73
    Colossus Blade  45      6       3       63      179     100
    Scourge         41.5    5       3       57      115     67
    Highland Blade  42      4       3       49      161     94
    Champion Sword  39      4       3       57      153     93
    Cryptic Sword   41      4       2       61      89      99
    War Spike       39      6       2       59      123     44
    Conquest Sword  45      4       1       58      132     102
    So far I have found 4 socket eth: 2 Ettins and 1 BB. BB is the most popular since it is easy to find.
    I recommend sticking to Axes since the swords have high dex reqs. But whatever you can get will decide which weapon class you choose.
    I place the CB and HB lower because of the high dex req.
    Note Scourge gets the +50% damage to Undead bonus for maces.
    Phase Blade cannot be ethereal so it is rejected.
    I found dual wielding Oath + Death Cleaver quite effective too. You get the PMH from Oath enhancing the Death Cleaver. It also is a nice filler until you can lay your hands on 2 Oath weapons. Upped Butchers Pupil (socket with 15IAS jewel or Shael) is an awesome weapon, and as are any of the elite 1H axes.


    You will want dual echoing weapons on switch. Base dex means it's a bit harder to find ones you can wield. At a pinch you socket with Hel or -req jewel or Perfect amethysts.
    If not then I suggest you socket with MF jewels or dual Ist as this will be useful when horking.
    Up to Level 45 dual spirit swords is good. The extra fast cast makes buffing and horking very quick.
    The ideal setup would be dual hoto. The 80% faster cast makes a massive difference with Find Item. You go from 13 to 9 frames, almost 50% faster. This is also one of the reasons to use Tal set items with a barb. Use 3 items then the belt and armour add 20% faster cast taking you from 13 to 11 frames.

    5.3 NON-WEAPON
    Balanced MF Build at Level **:

    24 Arreats upped (Ptopaz)
    134 Skullders Ire upped (Ptopaz)
    0 String of Ears upped
    40 Chance Guards upped
    0 Gore Rider upped
    0 Highlords
    0 Ravenfrost
    0 dual leech ring or at least mana leech. With MF and faster cast would be nice.
    204 charms
    402 total MF

    Note you can use Enigma instead of Skullders. You will lose about 48MF.
    I use the ravenfrost for the AR, to keep moving fast, and I only have 15% cold resistance.
    You should aim for about 300 MF at least 3% mana leech and 6% life leech.

    For more MF :
    50 Shako
    30 Goldwrap/Tal Belt
    25 Amulet +2 with MF, dual leech and faster cast or echoing with MF.
    80 dual 40 MF rings
    185 more
    587 total MF

    Cheaper gear :
    Angelic Amulet
    Angelic Rings x 2
    Angelic Armour Ptopaz
    IK items
    Guilliames Face

    Gheeds, plenty of AR + life, max dam, life and resist charms, some poison.

    Angelic Armour is surprisingly good. If wearing 2 angelic rings + amulet the armour adds some nice properties :
    +1 skills
    +50 mana
    +50 Fire resist
    3 DR
    +124 % Magic Find (50 each ring 24 Ptopaz)
    368 defense

    And it's damn cheap ! And you get these wonderful properties from level 12, well the ptopaz from level 15.

    With base dex it's very easy to get over 4,000 life.

    A good amulet would have +2 barb dual leech MF and fast cast. Crafting a caster amulet is not a bad idea.

    5.3 Belt Slots
    Your belt has 16 slots.
    Your belt should have 2 columns for full rejuvs, 1 column for super Mana potions, and 1 for 3 identify scrolls and 1 tp (town portal).
    You need mana potions against mana burns otherwise you would just use Full Rejuves.
    Placing scrolls in your belt allows you to have more charms instead of tomes.
    Note if you pick up an identify scroll it will automatically add it to your belt but only if you have one already on your belt. And under the same proviso Shopkeepers will fill your belt column with a shift-right - the same as with potions. What I do is place tp scroll in top slot, identify scroll in bottom, then shift-right click will fill the remaining 2 slots with identify scrolls to fill the column.

    5.4 Charms
    Your inventory should have 31 squares for charms, 1 for keys, leaving 8 squares to pick up items.
    Because of the base dex, this build is AR hungry. You should add charms with AR + life or AR + max dam.
    Eg. using a 100 AR 20 life GC will save you 20 dex which equals 80 life.
    You might want to raise your lighting resistance up a bit to at least 50%. Add in some 20 life charms, and as many MF charms as you can. The best charms for this are LC with 35 life and 6% MF. These are excellent value and much better than stacking 20 life and 7%MFSC. Only LC and GC can have both life and MF.

    Guilliame's Face. (30% FHR 15% Deadly 15 Strength 35% Crushing Blow !!!. the Crushing blow makes this a serious alternative to Arreats. I don't know why other guides do not mention this. It is especially attractive if you can't get a good weapon).
    Wilhelm's Pride (5/5 leech 10% cold res and with Guilliame Face get +35 life) for the mana leech.
    Now if you have gone as far as the helm and belt, then throw in Whitstan's Guard and Magnus' Skin for 80% MF and other nice full set properties.
    Laying of Hands.
    War travellers - but you lose a lot of damage from gore IMO not worth it, you are better off filling up with MF sc even as low as 4% and keeping gore on.
    Tal Armour + Belt + helm. The extra fast cast is useful for horking.
    Tal Amulet + Belt + Amulet (yes! amulet for 65%MF 33% light resist 42 mana 50 life)
    Chance Guards
    75/30 Nagels
    Barb amulet with MF
    Stealskull - the stats are bad but it fills the mana leech need.
    IK Helm - again the stats are bad but it has the most MF.
    Dual leech rings with AR and MF and faster cast.
    Goldwrap - as with War travellers you will sacrifice too much just for 30MF, stick with the ears.
    Wilhelm's Pride 5/5 leech belt to open up glove slot for Chancies.

    5.6 MERC
    Might merc of course. Suggested weapons :
    up to level 75 - Kelpie Snare or Insight eth Partizan and later any Insight eth elite polearm.
    from Level 75 - Reapers Toll.

    A good alternative if you can find one is a big fast weapon with % chance to cast amp damage.

    Endgame :

    Reapers (Shael)
    upped Gaze (IAS jewel)
    upped Shaftstop (IAS/resist jewel or Um)

    The extra speed on the Reapers makes a huge difference - triggering Decrepify earlier and more often. You will already have enough leech from the gaze and Reapers itself. IAS on a Thresher is very good value. From :
    Weapon Thresher / Drescher   Skill Jab
    IAS     Frames  Attacks per second
    0 %     7.5     3.3
    8 %     7       3.5
    22 %    6.5     3.8
    44 %    6       4.1
    75 %    5.5     4.5
    142 %   5       5

    6. DANGERS

    1. Mana Burn. Bezerk away! Or Decrepify / Amp Damage from your Merc. Use mana potions (not rejuves) to trickle back your mana.
    2. Iron Maiden. Bezerk away! or use very small whirls. Or howl and shown them your derriere. Blizzard should have given this the same reduction as in PvP. You will only encounter Iron Maiden in WSK and CS.
    3. Undead Stygian Dolls. Since you have no block and their explosion ignores defense they can be a problem.
    4. PI mana burns. Let your merc tank since he has no mana and Bezerk away! Or Decrepify / Amp Damage from your Merc and use long whirls.



    Some minor facts I have observed.

    1. Concentrate will only use one weapon. The weapon picked is the first one wielded so if you remove a weapon, for example to charge up with demon limb, remove the weaker. Similarly when doing quests such as hellforge you will need to wield the Hammer then pick and drop back in your other weapon or it will keep saying "impossible" because it will be trying to use the first wielded weapon.

    2. I have observed by watching duration decrease WW will always use one weapon about twice as often as the other. I was should have but did not determine if this was just always left hand weapon or first weapon as above with Bezerk. I noticed this while leveling use 2 identical Aldurs, and am unable to confirm more since Oath does not lose duration. Hence you should always make sure your better of 2 weapons is left hand and placed in first until someone confirms which is the case.

    3. Dual wielding does awesome damage ! Much more than single. You also get affects such as crushing blow triggered more often. Hence items like Guilliames Face actually compete with Arreats.

    Places to MF in order of preference :

    Travincal Council
    WSK all levels + Throne of Destruction
    Ruined Fane (In Kurast Causeway)
    Disused Reliquary (In Kurast Causeway)
    River of Flame
    Ancient Tunnels (under Lost City)
    Chaos Sanctum - I don't do due to Oblivion Knights
  2. batuchka

    batuchka IncGamers Member

    Jul 16, 2003
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    Hi there! Great guide and i think it addresses the need for a mf barb build for players with limited resources so bravo :D I have some questions though :

    1) If one goes with an oath ettin wouldn't we lose out in range as ettin is range 2? I would have thought a eth small crescent would be better if range 2 is ok as it always gets 4os (via larzuk) but dex req a bit higher....

    2) I understand why this build puts a point in increase speed (shieldless) Is it true that with heavy armor/base r/w a duel wielder hits more per WW? If so would a Goblin Toe be ok for really poor players? Is it adviseable to have slower r/w with this build?

    3) O/T : heard ed/max is bugged in weapon this patch - true? If so is an ohm a better option?

    4) Since we are going shieldless wouldn't items like nightsmoke belt that gives damage to mana be an option as well? I've threads stating it works more efficiently in hell compred to mana leech (esp unleechables).

    5) Lets say i go with swords (with sword mastery) - is it possible to kill stuff in hell with upped high ed alis?

    Thank you for sharing your ideas with the guide :D Hope you could share your thoughts and cheers!
  3. LprMan

    LprMan IncGamers Member

    Oct 11, 2003
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    Ed/Max and Ed/Min are bugged in armors/shields/helms. In weapons they work correctly
  4. sorcyone

    sorcyone Banned

    Mar 1, 2004
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    Yes range 3 is much preferred. I only used Ettin because that is all I had. The best by far would be Beserker Axe which is at the top of the list. Small Crescent would only be better than Ettin in the sense that it is easier to find.
    BB is just as easy to acquire and has range 3 and would be preferable to a Small Crescent. What I do is look for any eth weapon in the top half of my list and use the cube formula to socket. This way you find find an unsocketed eth Beserker Axe and you might get 4 sockets.

    With slower movement speed you do not get more hits, you just stay in range longer. The idea of this is to concentrate you damage to achieve kills before regeneration affects your damage. However with Oath you have the wonderful PMH, and with dual Oath you kill so fast you actually want to move faster rather than slower. Goblin Toe is quite good, but I would find the slow rund speed annoying. Slow run speed is fine against the Travincal council but runing throught the pits you want to move faster.

    Yes nightsmoke has great damage to mana. I could have mentioned damage to mana items. I prefered not to limit my equipment and instead use mana potions.

    Ali is too slow. It does not make the lwbp and the damage is way too low. You will kill much much slower. Oath has 3 times the damage plus much higher speed.
  5. batuchka

    batuchka IncGamers Member

    Jul 16, 2003
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    Wow thks guys! Thankfully ed/max is not bugged in weapon so yay :p Ah i see how pmh makesit so that a slower r/w is not very desireable wth going shieldless as well :D Hmm this is a matter of preference but i found an eth zerker and didn't gamble on any cube recipes and Mr Larzuk gave me 6os so i could make ebotd as the recipe is like russian roulette and i don't find eth zerkers very often hehe. Oh i was meaning upped alis on switch for killing blow ...but i did the dmg calculations and even perf ed upped ones prolly won't do much dmg...not to mention it won't hit lwwp too :( Good job writer and cheers!
  6. kakarot

    kakarot IncGamers Member

    Jul 18, 2004
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    why not the 'ol titan-pole build for mf? i fail to see the benefits over it :D
  7. sorcyone

    sorcyone Banned

    Mar 1, 2004
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    Yes the old Tomb Reaver is a nice balanced weapon good for MF. The only problem is the lack of damage. Dual Oath you will do nearly twice the damage. Need I say more ?

    Consider a perfect Tomb Reaver will have 347.5 damage, and a perfect Oath ettin 325. With WW dual wielding hits once on the first hit check then twice thereafter. Hence with dual wielding you make long whirls to maximise the damage. The beauty of OATH is the PMH allows this to be efficient. Now you are doing nearly twice the damage of a Tomb Reaver, and with effects such as Crushing blow applying twice as often too.

    Even a Zodded ethereal perfect Tomb Reaver will do less damage.
  8. sorcyone

    sorcyone Banned

    Mar 1, 2004
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    Yes Mr Larzuk will always give the max sockets with a zerker is 6. If you want 4 sockets you should use the cube formula which generates a random number 1-6 then reduces the number to meet the max socket for that weapon. Eg if the maximum is 4 then you have a 50% chance to get 4 sockets.
    I often use the cube formula since it is quite cheap and the only way to get less than the maximum sockets without finding one already socketed.
  9. Tor Land

    Tor Land IncGamers Member

    Aug 6, 2005
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    How would using dual oath compare to using full IK ?

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