Need help building a Barb


Diabloii.Net Member
Need help building a Barb

Hey guys, this is my first post in the forum as im trying to get back into D2 after a 7 year break from the game. I'm trying to build myself a really good barb, something all around. When I say "all around", by that I mean something that can take down monsters and other players alike (if that is even possible anymore). Maybe a really cool WW barb? I have been reading a lot of guids and posts on this forum and some of the terminology seems to confuse me since im basically a noob all over again and a lot has changed. On top of that, the minute I read a strategy, people often come with the typical "oh this sucks, mine will own you" talk without much info as to why. I was wondering if someone out there can help me with a good barb build. Im trying to build a really cool sword oriented barb. Can someone tell me what a good barb build would consist of? What items should I have? What skills should I master?

I greatly appreciate the help and I thank all of you for taking the time out to read this and help me out if you can.

In the name of Zod

Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Need help building a Barb

I'm prejudice toward frenzy barbs. Some cheap ways to get one started are:
Lawbringer runeword in off hand (right slot) built in a 3 socket phase blade: (Amn+Lem+Ko)
The biggest fastest hitting sword you can get in you main hand (left slot)
Treachery armor runeword (Shael+Thul+Lem)
Immortal Kings Boots + Belt + Gauntlets.
Some crafted life leech rings.
Resist all amulet of some kind
Health Charms

Skills based on standard frenzy + synergies. The rest is up to you. You could pump natural resists if you are low on +skills gears. You might want to think about getting what merc and merc weapon you will be after next. Early game I would encourage you to get a holy freeze merc with an Obedience runeword polearm for him. If you can pull this stuff together you will have a build that will keep up in pretty much any game and its not that expensive. Not compared to WW barbs anyhow.


Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Need help building a Barb

this was long, but i was REALLY bored at work! hope you enjoy.

barb's aren't too hard to set up for success with plenty of flexibility, It's what I love about them. Here's a few places to get started:

Pick a main damage approach. the popular ones are WW, Frenzy, Concentrate builds, as well as beserk builds, double swing (slight variation of frenzy), but WW/frenzy/Conc are the 3 most common. there's guides for all of them in the stickies, read up on them and pay attention to the synergies and pick the best ones to max. weaposn mastry is a subset of this...pick based on what you plan on using (or hold off on masteries till you get higher and find your weapon). with respecs it isn't as critical, i often will put a single point in each mastery I think ill use and respec later.

The key with Barb survivability is the battlecries. Just about every build I've seen (aside from singers and eccentric ones) max Battle Orders and Shout, with everything else one pointers (or more pending your desire). The key is that those 1 pointers are still used a ton. You get far more out of them then the single point you put in. here's a few tips on those:

Warcry - crowd control skill #1. stuns mobs for a BRIEF time, but usually long enough to get off something else. like a leap. or a howl. or run screaming like a little girl (I do this allot in hell).

Howl - CC#2 - make em run! I use this far more then warcry, especially on large boss packs in hell. all the mobs BUT the boss run away, and i can take down the boss, eliminating those pesky fenaticism and might auras that they give their packs (thats usually what gets ya, not the boss but the pack of 10 mobs that he has buffed up with his auras). After that the pack is usually easy. this is a popular spot for me to sink extra skill points for the added time/distance.

Grim Totem - Howl not enough control? use GT on a downed mob and they will constantly run away (again except for the boss). You can pick them off 1 @ a time pulling them in with taunt, or if your a WW barb you can just whirl in a tight radius around the totem, they get hit as they come back in (and run back out again hehehehe....)

Taunt - this is great for those irritating ghosts that hang out over the river of flame (where you can't reach them) and drain your mana. taunt pulls them to melee range, and reduces their offensive stats. also good for pulling back individual mobs that are howled. Or puling in ranged archers that wont come in on their own. or pulling a mob off of your merc that is hitting him too hard for your comfort. very flexible tool.

Find Item - Often overlooked, I've gotten a ton of decent stuff off of those extra horks. I make it a point to hork every boss pack i kill, and i hork the non boss mobs in the pack as well, since im already there. best find so far this ladder horking is a Vex off of a little demon thingy in hell act 1. thats just to show that its worth it. hork everything. kill hork kill hork. with this shout barbs essentially have 50% or more loot rolls then any other class.

other things to consider:

1) Beserk - this 1 pt wonder is your Physical immune tool. I never have a need for anything else but this. It helps to have a shield if you're zerking nasty amped packs in hell tho, as it strips your defense, but you still can block. I keep a shield in my inventory, you may want one on switch if you need the speedy access. the ghost packs in hell can hit nasty hard if the boss has auras, the shield can help.

2) keep Concentrate on left click and your other combat skills on right (be it WW, frenzy, whatever). Conc is cheap enough and beneficial enough to use as the default swing if you aren't doing anything else. +defense and no interruption are golden.

3) keep your cries on quick hotkeys! as an example if you have to use howl, its usually because you just WW'ed into a pack of nasties, and the boss has a super mana-burn and your right in the middle when it sucks your mana! that's not the time to fumble for that out of reach hotkey to get a howl off. keep em close and personal.

4) best way to acquire gear as a barb is PGEMS! kill all kinds of stuff, and hork them, and save all your gems, and cube them up. real good end game gear can be had usually for pgems. the uber gear is expensive, but it's not necessary, just makes things quicker. cheap examples are : the IK's set (whole thing is cheap cept the armor, but its a great set), string of ears, goreriders, goblin toes, weapon examples that are cheap but good are: Windhammer (conc and WW builds), schaefers hammer (franzy builds), stormlash (frenzy), etc. all uniques, all end game stuff, all go for pgems (or reasonable runes).

Runewords can come in cheap form too. I highly suggest going to the arreat summit (just google it, i never can remember the actual link hehe), and browse the runewords there. You'd be amazed at the mileage you can get out of mid level runewords.

...yeah I was real bored at work hehe


Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Need help building a Barb

Obilic welcome to the forum :) Here we are welcome to help each other on the post on this forum. Feel free to post on any of the post or make your own post.

Anyways I would say whirlwind barb is a great barb to start out with but consider mana a big problem. A good starter will be the immortal king set if you are poor but be aware the armor is expensive but the rest the gear is very cheap. I remember making my first ik barb and he is hell viable. But there are other great options too. Good luck with the barb that you are planning on making.


Diabloii.Net Member
Re: Need help building a Barb

Heyz also welcome to the forum.

I am also starting sort of a barb. although i have a sorc of 90+ who is getting the gear for him. I would like to add that Oath is always an option with high CB and dirt cheap to make. (since countess is dropping mal / pul regularly. I agree with the merc and the obdience beastly weapon!

I was just wondering, how are you in the gear are you really starting? I am not sure what the best barb is for starters. I have had a ww barb that was extreme geared. (botd / grief / beast / and Last wish. DO you have access to those items.

Lastly it is easier for a Frenzy barb to do Uuber trist so that says something about the PVM capabilities. In addition to that Law bringer in a phase blade is awsome and again really cheap! Good luck building yerself a barb!