Throwing Barbarian

DwayneGAnd

Diabloii.Net Member
Apparently, the Amazon is not the only character who can fight from a distance. The Barbarian can do this too, just not as effectively due to the lack of cool combat skills when all he has is Double Throw.

Due to the fact that the best self-replenishing weapons are uniques that don't come until later difficulties and that it can get costly and repetitive to visit the town blacksmith to replenish your stock, I found it more effective to use him in melee for now, using throwing only for the most dangerous mobs and for picking off foes across obstacles. Only once you get self-replenishing uniques should you switch to throwing full-time. In the beginning, I pumped Double Swing for the cheap mana attack (later mana free at level 9), then switched to Frenzy once it became effective, though I only kept it at level one. I maxed Double Throw next. I plan to max both Shout and Battle Orders as well, getting a point in Battle Command and in each of the combat masteries, except for Throwing Mastery which will be maxed. The point in Frenzy can be used in melee before switching to throwing for increased movement and throwing speed.

Here is the endgame planned hireling and equipment setup:

Act 2 Nightmare Offensive

Andariel's Visage (increased attack speed, skill levels, and life leech)
Treachery (increased attack speed and chance to cast fade)
Obedience Cryptic Axe (crushing blow)

Helmet: Giant Skull (knockback, sockets, and crushing blow)
Amulet: Highlord's Wrath (increased attack speed and deadly strike)
Armor: Fortitude Archon Plate (increased damage and resistances)
Weapon 1: Warshrike (piercing, deadly strike, increased attack speed, self replenishing)
Weapon 2: Lacerator (chance to cast amplify damage, prevent monster heal, increased attack speed, self replenishing)
Swap Weapons: 2 Heart of the Oak Flails (increased skill levels for prebuffing)
RIng 1: Raven Frost (cannot be frozen, increased dexterity)
Ring 2: Rare Dual Leech Ring
Belt: Razortail (piercing)
Boots: Sandstorm Trek (increased running speed)
Gloves: Laying of Hands (increased attack speed and damage to demons)

I'll have 26 skill points left according to my notes, though I've already gotten both Taunt and Battle Cry which are mandatory for all Barbarian builds. Shout will also be maxed to increase the duration of Battle Orders and Command. And then there's the point in Frenzy. That won't leave me with any skill points left if I do this. How does my equipment and hireling setup for endgame look? Should anything be changed?
 

Valhauros

Diabloii.Net Member
Looks fun, but it's very definitely an 100% endgame build unless you take your very sweet time with movement / exploration so you don't get too much attention, and you probably need good spatial management so you don't screw yourself over. Until then it'd be gruelling to go through the game, and I bet most people would get bored.

Have you tried it yet?
 

Namtar

Diabloii.Net Member
A thrower was one of my first builds when I first got back into Diablo II in 2007 or so and got some sense of what I was actually doing. It ended up being one of the most important characters I used to get items for twinking my subsequent characters, but by now it's been so long I've forgotten some of the specifics.

Due to the fact that the best self-replenishing weapons are uniques that don't come until later difficulties and that it can get costly and repetitive to visit the town blacksmith to replenish your stock, I found it more effective to use him in melee for now, using throwing only for the most dangerous mobs and for picking off foes across obstacles.
Wrong, wrong, wrong. Fake news. Utter poppycock. My thrower was swapping between a few self-found replenishing rare weapons by some time in Act II Normal. And if gear is twinked to a barbarian (with the ostentatious equipment setup presented in your post, that's a guaranteed yes), it's even easier. The mods on replenshing rare throwing weapons are more than sufficient for Normal and Nightmare. Things would slow down if you didn't get very good weapons for Hell, but that's true for most characters. Uniques are great, but it's totally possible to beat the game with rares instead.

Here is the endgame planned hireling and equipment setup:

Act 2 Nightmare Offensive

Andariel's Visage (increased attack speed, skill levels, and life leech)
Treachery (increased attack speed and chance to cast fade)
Obedience Cryptic Axe (crushing blow)

Helmet: Giant Skull (knockback, sockets, and crushing blow)
Amulet: Highlord's Wrath (increased attack speed and deadly strike)
Armor: Fortitude Archon Plate (increased damage and resistances)
Weapon 1: Warshrike (piercing, deadly strike, increased attack speed, self replenishing)
Weapon 2: Lacerator (chance to cast amplify damage, prevent monster heal, increased attack speed, self replenishing)
Swap Weapons: 2 Heart of the Oak Flails (increased skill levels for prebuffing)
RIng 1: Raven Frost (cannot be frozen, increased dexterity)
Ring 2: Rare Dual Leech Ring
Belt: Razortail (piercing)
Boots: Sandstorm Trek (increased running speed)
Gloves: Laying of Hands (increased attack speed and damage to demons)
That would do the job, of course. The use of double HotO is especially flamboyant. You could simply use two regular old blue "Echoing" weapons and be fine, but then your switch weapons wouldn't have all those runes in them!

I'll have 26 skill points left according to my notes, though I've already gotten both Taunt and Battle Cry which are mandatory for all Barbarian builds. Shout will also be maxed to increase the duration of Battle Orders and Command. And then there's the point in Frenzy. That won't leave me with any skill points left if I do this. How does my equipment and hireling setup for endgame look? Should anything be changed?
Again, it should do the job. I see maxing Shout as rather wasteful and I'd much rather grab some points in combat masteries.

Andariel's Visage is bad and no one should ever use it. :p

Looks fun, but it's very definitely an 100% endgame build unless you take your very sweet time with movement / exploration so you don't get too much attention, and you probably need good spatial management so you don't screw yourself over. Until then it'd be gruelling to go through the game, and I bet most people would get bored.

Have you tried it yet?
Double Throw definitely isn't the fastest way to do full clears with a barbarian. It's not even in the top 5. But it has some advantages. Spatial management is nice, but not really important. I won't say that it's never boring, and I'll admit that once top-tier items are available, it gets outscaled by Frenzy and such. But it's pretty safe and reliable, and it's not especially dependent on gear. Lacerator makes clearing monsters less tedious, but one could totally progress without it. I think of the Thrower as an excellent early or intermediate build for players who don't have tons of experience and great gear. Being able to attack from a distance and "kite" most monsters adds an element of safety to this archetype.
 

DwayneGAnd

Diabloii.Net Member
how long do rare items take to replenish themselves? According to the Arreat Summit, self replenishing uniques only take a couple of seconds to give back one missile. Rares take much longer so the chance of running out of ammo during a fight is much higher.
 

Namtar

Diabloii.Net Member
how long do rare items take to replenish themselves? According to the Arreat Summit, self replenishing uniques only take a couple of seconds to give back one missile. Rares take much longer so the chance of running out of ammo during a fight is much higher.
Good question. It's been a long time and I've forgotten the details, but I think that there are two different tiers for "replenishes quantity" speed, so it's possible that you were only seeing the slower one, especially if this was at lower levels. It doesn't end up mattering too much, in my recollection, because...
  1. All replenishing throwing items, including uniques, will deplete faster than they can replenish if you're throwing them a lot.
  2. You can carry a few different stacks of throwing items and swap between them. There are practical reasons to do this anyway, if one is playing strategically.
  3. Repairing a stack of throwing weapons costs 1 gold. This doesn't help with ethereal weapons, though.
  4. Throwing weapons replenish in your inventory and when you're just standing around, so unless you're fighting constantly, they last quite a while.
That's not to say it isn't better to switch to uniques when possible. But I'd chalk that up more to how amazing the mods are on those uniques. In fact, Gimmershred doesn't even replenish quantity at all, and yet it's one of the best items for a thrower.
 

Namtar

Diabloii.Net Member
None of my throwing builds have ever had the issue of repair costs for stacks of throwing weapons being too expensive. Repairing armor costs considerably more in most cases. Admittedly, some of those builds spent a lot of time wielding ethereal self-replenishing weapons and couldn't repair the stacks, but still, I see it as a non-issue.
 
Top