==Summary of the creation process== I really wanted a 2h maul style barbarian. I wasn't really wanting a whirlwind barb since that's what i always played back in the day, so I did some reading around to figure out what viable 2h builds there were. After seeing some of the pit zerker videos i knew i wanted Howl and Berserk to be a part of the build. Most of the non-MF berserk builds focused on warcry or shields which left something to be desired in my mind. I wanted a big maul or axe wielding behemoth and I'm not really a fan of warcry! I found howl & taunt easily covered my crowd control needs (These 2 abilities are OP). Warcry seemed pointless compared to those, especially with Battle Cry to debuff boss/champs (immune to howl/warcry). Howl and taunt seemed more than adequet for crowd control. So i decided to just wing it with a Howling Berserker... Maximus entered Sanctuary, named after my son, and i gathered up some twinking gear from my stash that his fireball/orb sister PrincessElla (named after my daughter) had been farming. You might notice a striking similarity in this post and @jonnyphive 's recent Pat post. Very similar story - using children's names & farming gear for the next "sibling" and very similar build. I found his post just as i was about to enter hell and it was a big help in finishing out my build and i thought it was cool how similar our style was. I started him off rocking Sigons, 2 pc angelics and dual bloodrise maces. I upped his bloodrises for a couple of levels until i could use a Bonesnap, which was pretty quickly replaced with a Steeldriver (what an OP weapon for it's level). That was upped as well once i could support the requirements (lol @ -50% requirements on that thing). I could have beat the game with that weapon, especially upp'ing it to the Thunder Maul but i had a juicy IK maul waiting, so i saved the runes. ==Gear & Stats at time of Patriarch'ing== Helm: GFace w/ 15% IAS/+9 MinDmg jewel Ammy: Angelics Weapon kill switch: IK Maul w/ 40%ED/33%ED+1-18 lightning dmg jewels Weapon caster switch: Suicide Branch + Spirit crystal sword Chest: Treachery wirefleece Ring1: Angelics Ring2: Ravenfrost Gloves: IK Gloves Belt: IK Belt Boots: IK Boots Spoiler: Gear Long Version Raven Frost Ring Required Level: 45 Fingerprint: 0x43ae45c1 Item Level: 87 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +233 to Attack Rating Adds 15 - 45 Cold Damage Over 4 Secs (100 Frames) +20 to Dexterity +40 to Mana Cold Absorb 20% Cannot Be Frozen Immortal King's Detail War Belt Defense: 247 Durability: 22 of 24 Required Level: 29 Required Strength: 110 Fingerprint: 0x35cc12d4 Item Level: 87 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +36 Defense +25 to Strength Lightning Resist +31% Fire Resist +28% Set (2 items): +105 Defense Set (3 items): +25% Faster Hit Recovery Set (4 items): +100% Enhanced Defense Set (5 items): Damage Reduced by 20% Set (6 items): +2 to Masteries Skills (Barbarian Only) (2 items): +50 to Attack Rating (3 items): +75 to Attack Rating (4 items): +125 to Attack Rating Immortal King's Pillar War Boots Defense: 280 Durability: 19 of 24 Required Level: 31 Required Strength: 125 Fingerprint: 0xe52dba35 Item Level: 87 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +40% Faster Run/Walk +110 to Attack Rating +75 Defense +44 to Life Set (2 items): 25% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items Set (3 items): +2 to Combat Skills (Barbarian Only) Set (4 items): +160 Defense Set (5 items): Half Freeze Duration (2 items): +50 to Attack Rating (3 items): +75 to Attack Rating (4 items): +125 to Attack Rating Immortal King's Forge War Gauntlets Defense: 238 Durability: 23 of 24 Required Level: 30 Required Strength: 110 Fingerprint: 0xae16fefa Item Level: 87 Version: Expansion 1.10+ 12% Chance to cast level 4 Charged Bolt when struck +65 Defense +20 to Strength +20 to Dexterity Set (2 items): +25% Increased Attack Speed Set (3 items): +120 Defense Set (4 items): 10% Life stolen per hit Set (5 items): 10% Mana stolen per hit Set (6 items): Freezes target +2 (2 items): +50 to Attack Rating (3 items): +75 to Attack Rating (4 items): +125 to Attack Rating Guillaume's Face Winged Helm Defense: 217 Durability: 35 of 40 Required Level: 34 Required Strength: 115 Fingerprint: 0x24dd0ff7 Item Level: 87 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +15% Increased Attack Speed +30% Faster Hit Recovery +7 to Minimum Damage 35% Chance of Crushing Blow 15% Deadly Strike +120% Enhanced Defense +15 to Strength 1 Sockets (1 used) Socketed: Crimson Jewel of Fervor Crimson Jewel of Fervor Jewel Required Level: 31 Fingerprint: 0x974c0a58 Item Level: 86 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +15% Increased Attack Speed +7 to Minimum Damage Angelic Halo Ring Required Level: 12 Fingerprint: 0x39ec77 Item Level: 45 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +20 to Life Replenish Life +6 Set (2 items): +1032 to Attack Rating (Based on Character Level) Set (3 items): 50% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items (2 items): +10 to Dexterity Angelic Wings Amulet Required Level: 12 Fingerprint: 0x3900d71d Item Level: 58 Version: Expansion 1.10+ 20% Damage Taken Goes To Mana +3 to Light Radius Set (2 items): +75 to Life Set (3 items): +1 to All Skills (2 items): +10 to Dexterity Treachery Wire Fleece ShaelThulLem Defense: 393 Durability: 20 of 32 Required Level: 53 Required Strength: 111 Fingerprint: 0x63ed68f0 Item Level: 85 Version: Expansion 1.10+ 5% Chance to cast level 15 Fade when struck 25% Chance to cast level 15 Venom on striking +2 to Assassin Skill Levels +45% Increased Attack Speed +20% Faster Hit Recovery Cold Resist +30% 50% Extra Gold from Monsters 3 Sockets (3 used) Socketed: Shael Rune Socketed: Thul Rune Socketed: Lem Rune Shael Rune Required Level: 29 Version: Expansion 1.10+ Weapons: +20% Increased Attack Speed Armor: +20% Faster Hit Recovery Shields: +20% Faster Block Rate Thul Rune Required Level: 23 Version: Expansion 1.10+ Weapons: Adds 3 - 14 Cold Damage Over 3 Secs (75 Frames) Armor: Cold Resist +30% Shields: Cold Resist +35% Lem Rune Required Level: 43 Version: Expansion 1.10+ Weapons: 75% Extra Gold from Monsters Armor: 50% Extra Gold from Monsters Shields: 50% Extra Gold from Monsters Suicide Branch Burnt Wand One Hand Damage: 8 - 18 Durability: 15 of 15 Required Level: 33 Required Strength: 25 Fingerprint: 0xcbd05d79 Item Level: 75 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +1 to All Skills +50% Faster Cast Rate +40 to Life Increase Maximum Mana 10% All Resistances +10 Attacker Takes Damage of 25 Spirit Crystal Sword TalThulOrtAmn One Hand Damage: 5 - 15 Durability: 20 of 20 Required Level: 25 Required Strength: 43 Fingerprint: 0xd27ff686 Item Level: 46 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +2 to All Skills +25% Faster Cast Rate +55% Faster Hit Recovery Adds 1 - 50 Lightning Damage Adds 3 - 14 Cold Damage Over 3 Secs (75 Frames) Adds 75 Poison Damage Over 5 Secs (125 Frames) 7% Life stolen per hit +250 Defense vs. Missile +22 to Vitality +96 to Mana +8 Magic Absorb 4 Sockets (4 used) Socketed: Tal Rune Socketed: Thul Rune Socketed: Ort Rune Socketed: Amn Rune Tal Rune Required Level: 17 Version: Expansion 1.10+ Weapons: Adds 75 Poison Damage Over 5 Secs (125 Frames) Armor: Poison Resist +30% Shields: Poison Resist +35% Thul Rune Required Level: 23 Version: Expansion 1.10+ Weapons: Adds 3 - 14 Cold Damage Over 3 Secs (75 Frames) Armor: Cold Resist +30% Shields: Cold Resist +35% Ort Rune Required Level: 21 Version: Expansion 1.10+ Weapons: Adds 1 - 50 Lightning Damage Armor: Lightning Resist +30% Shields: Lightning Resist +35% Amn Rune Required Level: 25 Version: Expansion 1.10+ Weapons: 7% Life stolen per hit Armor: Attacker Takes Damage of 14 Shields: Attacker Takes Damage of 14 Immortal King's Stone Crusher Ogre Maul Two Hand Damage: -10012 - 10899 Durability: 57 of 60 Required Level: 76 Required Strength: 225 Fingerprint: 0x3437613d Item Level: 94 Version: Expansion 1.10+ Indestructible +40% Increased Attack Speed 273% Enhanced Damage +200% Damage to Demons +350% Damage to Undead Adds 1 - 18 Lightning Damage 40% Chance of Crushing Blow Set (2 items): Adds 211 - 397 Fire Damage Set (3 items): Adds 7 - 477 Lightning Damage Set (4 items): Adds 127 - 364 Cold Damage Over 6 Secs (150 Frames) Set (5 items): Adds 204 Poison Damage Over 6 Secs (150 Frames) Set (6 items): Adds 250 - 361 Magic Damage 2 Sockets (2 used) Socketed: Ruby Jewel Socketed: Ruby Jewel of Ennui (2 items): +50 to Attack Rating (3 items): +75 to Attack Rating (4 items): +125 to Attack Rating Ruby Jewel Jewel Required Level: 58 Fingerprint: 0x4fb4d297 Item Level: 80 Version: Expansion 1.10+ 40% Enhanced Damage Ruby Jewel of Ennui Jewel Required Level: 58 Fingerprint: 0x86ec17b0 Item Level: 80 Version: Expansion 1.10+ 33% Enhanced Damage Adds 1 - 18 Lightning Damage Charms: A mix of damage, AR, life, res, and FHR charms to hit breakpoints and fill in stats. Spoiler: Charms Long Version Fine Small Charm of Strength Small Charm Required Level: 21 Fingerprint: 0x353a0bf7 Item Level: 80 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +3 to Maximum Damage +13 to Attack Rating +1 to Strength Ocher Small Charm of Sustenance Small Charm Required Level: 17 Fingerprint: 0xc68a9899 Item Level: 85 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +13 to Life Lightning Resist +7% Fine Small Charm of Greed Small Charm Required Level: 21 Fingerprint: 0xd1cc711b Item Level: 58 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +3 to Maximum Damage +19 to Attack Rating 8% Extra Gold from Monsters Fine Small Charm of Strength Small Charm Required Level: 21 Fingerprint: 0x25c1e9ed Item Level: 48 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +3 to Maximum Damage +15 to Attack Rating +2 to Strength Sharp Large Charm Large Charm Required Level: 21 Fingerprint: 0x2257283b Item Level: 85 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +6 to Maximum Damage +35 to Attack Rating Sharp Grand Charm Grand Charm Required Level: 21 Fingerprint: 0xfccdc86f Item Level: 43 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +9 to Maximum Damage +65 to Attack Rating Small Charm of Vita Small Charm Required Level: 39 Fingerprint: 0x2dfc399e Item Level: 82 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +18 to Life Small Charm of Balance Small Charm Required Level: 29 Fingerprint: 0x536a3484 Item Level: 85 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +5% Faster Hit Recovery Coral Small Charm of Shock Small Charm Required Level: 20 Fingerprint: 0xd9c4a735 Item Level: 80 Version: Expansion 1.10+ Adds 1 - 3 Lightning Damage Lightning Resist +8% Amber Small Charm Small Charm Required Level: 32 Fingerprint: 0x5321b27a Item Level: 80 Version: Expansion 1.10+ Lightning Resist +10% Sharp Large Charm of Incineration Large Charm Required Level: 26 Fingerprint: 0x9c7ac5 Item Level: ** Version: Expansion 1.10+ +6 to Maximum Damage +47 to Attack Rating Adds 10 - 17 Fire Damage Shimmering Large Charm of Inertia Large Charm Required Level: 26 Fingerprint: 0x4a40fff Item Level: 80 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +5% Faster Run/Walk All Resistances +6 Small Charm of Vita Small Charm Required Level: 39 Fingerprint: 0x63a5174d Item Level: 80 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +20 to Life Ruby Grand Charm of Dexterity Grand Charm Required Level: 22 Fingerprint: 0x56c21eb7 Item Level: 80 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +6 to Dexterity Fire Resist +29% Iron Large Charm of Balance Large Charm Required Level: 26 Fingerprint: 0x4f70f25c Item Level: 73 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +8% Faster Hit Recovery +45 to Attack Rating Small Charm of Vita Small Charm Required Level: 39 Fingerprint: 0xe785d782 Item Level: 79 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +20 to Life Merc: Crown of Thieves (no socket) Insight cryptic axe Duriel's Shell Spoiler: Merc long version Name: Emilio Race: Desert Mercenary Type: Off-Nightmare Experience: 74849698 Level: 85 Dead?: false Naked/Gear Strength: 186/206 Dexterity: 150/180 HP: 1767/1903 Defense: 1302/2270 AR: 1913/409382 Fire: 202/162/102 Cold: 199/159/99 Lightning: 169/129/69 Poison: 169/129/69 Crown of Thieves Grand Crown Defense: 299 Durability: 43 of 50 Required Level: 49 Required Strength: 103 Fingerprint: 0xcb2447d2 Item Level: 87 Version: Expansion 1.10+ 9% Life stolen per hit +163% Enhanced Defense +25 to Dexterity +50 to Life +35 to Mana Fire Resist +33% 94% Extra Gold from Monsters Duriel's Shell Cuirass Defense: 669 Durability: 147 of 150 Required Level: 41 Required Strength: 65 Fingerprint: 0x4eec36b2 Item Level: 59 Version: Expansion 1.10+ +177% Enhanced Defense +107 Defense (Based on Character Level) +15 to Strength +86 to Life (Based on Character Level) Cold Resist +30% All Resistances +20 Cannot Be Frozen +100 Maximum Durability Insight Cryptic Axe RalTirTalSol Two Hand Damage: 127 - 537 Durability: 51 of 65 Required Level: 59 Required Strength: 165 Required Dexterity: 103 Fingerprint: 0xa512dd65 Item Level: 85 Version: Expansion 1.10+ Level 16 Meditation Aura When Equipped +35% Faster Cast Rate 258% Enhanced Damage +9 to Minimum Damage 213% Bonus to Attack Rating Adds 5 - 30 Fire Damage Adds 75 Poison Damage Over 5 Secs (125 Frames) +1 to Critical Strike All Stats +5 +2 to Mana after each Kill 23% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items 4 Sockets (4 used) Socketed: Ral Rune Socketed: Tir Rune Socketed: Tal Rune Socketed: Sol Rune Ral Rune Required Level: 19 Version: Expansion 1.10+ Weapons: Adds 5 - 30 Fire Damage Armor: Fire Resist +30% Shields: Fire Resist +35% Tir Rune Required Level: 13 Version: Expansion 1.10+ Weapons: +2 to Mana after each Kill Armor: +2 to Mana after each Kill Shields: +2 to Mana after each Kill Tal Rune Required Level: 17 Version: Expansion 1.10+ Weapons: Adds 75 Poison Damage Over 5 Secs (125 Frames) Armor: Poison Resist +30% Shields: Poison Resist +35% Sol Rune Required Level: 27 Version: Expansion 1.10+ Weapons: +9 to Minimum Damage Armor: Damage Reduced by 7 Shields: Damage Reduced by 7 Breakpoints: FHR: 86%/142% IAS: 110% 12 Frame FCR: 0/63% Block: 0 Stats (with BO/BC/Shout): Level: 85 STR: 228 (63 from gear) DEX: 76 VIT: 315 NRG: 10 Berserk Damage: 3791-6263 (4713-7481 w/ might) Berserk AR: 15825 Def:3903 Life:3376 (3545 on caster switch) Mana: 275 (494 on caster switch) Resistances on kill switch (w/fade): 14/74 -13/47 13/73 -43/17 Resistances on caster switch (w/fade): 43/75 16/75 42/75 -14/46 ** You can see how much the caster switch helps with pre-fade resistances. MF: 25 GF: 58 Skills: 20 Berserk 20 Battle Orders 20 Howl 19 Mace Mastery 1 each Taunt, Battle Cry, War Cry, Battle Command, Increased Stamina, Iron Skin, Increased Speed, Natural Resistance 1 each Leap, Bash, Stun, Concentrate, Leap Attack, Whirlwind * If I respec to optimize this a bit: leaving out War Cry and possibly whirlwind. I'd also fix my misclick putting 2 points into find item! As i gain more levels i'll finish maxing mastery and work on Shout for synergy bonus and Merc buff. ==Notes on the gear== Few places to optimize here... Need to change the GFace jewel but was just too lazy to bother; the 15 IAS is a waste w/ the IK maul. I was kind of waiting to see what hell brought me, but i really didn't feel i needed anything, except maybe a little more resistance when Fade hadn't kicked in yet. Considering giving this gFace to my merc for bosses and putting a new Um'd or Dun/Dmg jewel GFace on. Or Arreats if i ever find it. Could even try the IK helm for full set if i find it.. I really wanted to replace the low level angelic's set, but my jewelery isn't very good and besides another ravenfrost there really wasn't much else i had that was worth it. Really don't like dropping down below 85% chance to hit w/ this build. I could have waited and found a better 2nd jewel for my IK maul, but i was eager to get to smashing with it. IK partial set bonuses are very good. This set is deceptively powerful because of the partials each piece of gear gets outside of the total set partial bonuses. Hit recovery, life leech, IAS, +combat skills, +attack rating, tons of elemental damage... Merc obviously needs work, but he held his own fine and i never really felt the need to upgrade him. I doubt Insight is really even needed. With angelic's %dmg to mana it seems overkill. Maybe if i was using Enigma I would need it, but I should probably change his weapon (Amn'd Arinoc's needle or something..) I don't have a Reaper's Toll unfortunately. Of course eth versions of all his stuff would be great. PrincessElla's merc has a VampGaze but i didn't want to steal gear from other chars. One of the favorite parts of my gear setup was my caster switch. I'm sure i could have optimized these a little more, but this switch was awesome. It gave me +3 skills, huge boost to resistances, stats, faster r/w, 63% FCR breakpoint, 142% FHR breakpoint, and other utility. Using this for buffing was nice, very fast and boosted buffs. Using it for find item was awesome, could hork a whole pile of corpses super fast. Using it for howl & battlecry was amazing.. nothing interrupts you when you cast that fast and have that amount of FHR. This fit w/ my playstyle of running, howling away fodder, and smashing bosses/interesting monsters very well. On this switch i also had around +75% FRW. ==Playstyle== I have to say, this was one of the most fun characters i remember playing in D2. The playstyle was very fun. You have crowd control and utility for just about every situation imaginable. As i briefly noted above, having super fast R/W speed and Howl really made questing smooth and fun. Tons of annoying monsters like jungle flayers and mosquitos? Hah, Howl and keep running for something more interesting. Swarmed by frezy death lords? Hah, Howl & taunt each one back individually. Gloams got you down? Juke the lightning with your 75% FRW and Taunt them. They stop shooting you and kindly walk right up to you so you can smash their face. Taunt has VERY generous targetting so you just spam click around the edge of the screen and you can grab them all (same thing for pesky archers). Ooo, juicy boss pack but surrounded by 100 annoying monsters? Howl! Challenge the boss, defeat him in 1v1 combat. Boss or Champions hitting you too hard? Battle Cry to reduce their damage and defense signifcantly and smash!. Not to mention killing everything in 1-3 hits is really fun Having a 12 frame 2h attack was awesome. With good FHR and a fast attack, you have a significantly more reliable berserk attack. Early on in the game i did have issues with getting interrupted a lot and stuck in hit recovery animations forcing me to use Concentrate a lot. Once i had Treachery and hit 13 FPA w/ Steeldriver that all changed. With IK Maul it got even better @ 12 FPA and I was able to handle multiple monsters much easier. As to be expected with a shieldless and 0 defense build, you will take damage so you will use pots more than other characters, but it wasn't too bad. I never found myself suffering from a lack of pots. Being able to hork bosses/champs really keeps your supply of reds and purples up to par. You also have concentrate/whirlwind as backup skills to leech with for some extra sustain if you want to save some reds. This build really allowed you to fight what you wanted to fight and skip what you wanted to skip or manage them in bite sized chunks. Extremely safe build, even with no defense or shield. Howl is seriously OP, and taunt is great. Really fun being able to focus on boss/champs while questing ==Questing and challenges== Overall questing went very smoothly. I did a single play through everywhere (no grinding or farming) until i needed a couple levels at the end to hit 85. I played on /players8 the whole way until hell where i used /players 3 until i got my IK maul and went up to /players5. WSK i set it back down to /players3 which almost felt like cheating, but it kept things moving smoothly and dying in 1-3 hits. I kept forgetting to reduce /players on act bosses which made for some looonnggg bossfights lol. Those were the only times my potions supply was challenged. I had to use concentrate a lot to avoid running dry, hence the longer fights. Duriel was a pushover on all acts. I always had some source of cannot be frozen and just toggled between berserk and concentrate as needed. Nihlathak is a breeze since you don't kill any of his monsters, just howl them away and go berserk him a couple times. Hell baal was annoying simply because he wouldn't stop teleporting. I never had a baal fight involving so many teleports. Leap attack was very handy here as it allowed me to jump straight to him and avoid the knockback spell. 75% crushing blow really helped and he never cloned so that was nice. Nothing really notable on the other act bosses, just your basic attrition slug fests on high /players. The main weakness of this build is being swarmed by multiple bosses and champions. It's rare, but when it happens it's rough because the bosses and champs are immune to howl. At this point you have 6-8 souped up monsters with mods & usually cursed hitting you at once. Battlecry is your only tool, which is pretty fantastic and mitigating the incoming damage. I usually BC'd then stutter stepped around trying to force them to move while i attacked to reduce the number of incoming attacks. And of course lots of pots. One of the most memorable moments was hell Act 5 bloody foothills. I don't know if i got a glitched map or what, but it spawned with an ungodly amount of skeleton fire archers EVERYWHERE. It was hilarious. I mean it was like the game triple spawned them or something. Had i been on another character it probably would have been painful, but Maximus just dodged the arrows w/ his super fast RW speed and howled them away. Hellforge wasn't great, but ok i guess. A Hel and a Lem, at least both useful runes. For drops.. not a lot of good stuff (not surprised since i ran 0 MF). I did find some nice base items for runewords though. A few eth armors i ebugged for future merc armors and some white weapons/armors i'll try my luck at socketing later. I found 2 cat's eye ammy's and and Blackhand key. ==My near death moments== - NM Act 2 palace cellar.. i ran into a room loaded with archers and mages and just wasn't expecting the influx of damage, and where i learned how the Howl level vs. monster level works. I ALMOST died there. Purples saved the day long enough manage them. In hell i was ready for it with a nearly maxed howl, and just ran in howling/taunting through it and killing the bosses and fun monsters lol. - Hell act 1 pits: Cursed multishot archers almost did me in, i just wasn't expecting it. Again, purples saved me long enough to get the crowd control rolling. This is also when i really developed the caster switch stutter step howling technique. Running at +75% FRW and 63% FCR breakpoint w/ maxed out Howl allows for complete control of the screen and all enemies. - Hell Act 2 Tal's Tomb. Not sure why, but this place was brutal. Tight quarters with massive monster density, magic immunes, and tons of boss packs.. the vipers + wraiths + Unravellers + mummy poison clouds + skelles... place just seemed to have my number and was killing my merc really quick. Just way too cluttered to really process what was happening and kill efficiently. I ended up howl-skipping a lot of this and just cleared the Oriface room. Duriel was actually a reprieve from the rest of the tomb lol. - Hell Act 3 Travincal council: I tried to take them head on and i almost paid for it with my life. Purples + howl plus caster switch GTFO run speed helped make it out so i could fight them in smaller chunks lol. - Hell Ancients: My first and only death. Eager to finish the game, I was level 83 when i challenged them. I must have had an unlucky spawn, because i got 1-shot by a leap attack. I decided to level to 85 doing Chaos Sanc. Next time it was much much easier. No 1 shots or even near-1 shots. I almost wonder if Fade wasn't active when i challenged them the first time... - Hell WSK - Lister. This wasn't really a near-death, because i expected his pack to be nearly impossible. I tested the waters and it just wasn't happening. I drug them out and speed-demoned back to throne room and skipped them. All in all, loved the build, would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a different style of barbarian. That said, I'm not sure what i want to do with him now. Grinding exp on this character is probably not something i am going to do. No AOE damage on area clears for XP is A LOT of clicking and very time consuming. So he'll probably linger under level 90 for the foreseeable future. Might throw a few MF pieces on him for a poor man's pindle/pit zerker (like shako and wartravs)... who knows! lol. Thank you all ! Sorry for the lonnnnnnggg post.