Todds' IK Zerker guide (hc) Okay I don’t tout myself as the hardcore god, but I have been playing this game for about 4 years and hardcore four about 3. So anyhow there’s my credentials. So, you want to make a barb and not a conc one or a frenzy. Zerk is viable in hell, I have made a zerk barb (In hardcore no less) and am quite pleased with him, although in the start of the build I had my doubts. Zerk is a boss killer period, you won’t be great at crowds although you can deal with them. This makes this build a good mf’er because all of us know that killing bosses will give you good stuff. So that’s the upside of beserk, killing bosses doing huge irresistible damage, immune to Iron Maiden (you know that curse those Ob knights cast on you in Worldstone and Chaos Sanctuary ) and awesome AR. The downside is your defense is 0 nada nothing. Some people believe that Zerk just lowers your defense no you have no defense when swinging your weapon. Now this is where people say put on a shield but I have found doing this makes you more in trouble than not having a shield. Block lock although not as bad as in 1.09 is still there, and the fact that your only using one hand for your weapon means you won’t have great damage, and with zerk killing fast is your best defense. This build is based around the IK set, not the Armour but all the pieces, angelic ring and ammy plus a raven frost. Getting the pieces to IK isn’t that hard, prolly the hardest piece to get is the hammer and raven frost ring. So here’s the build: Stats: Str: 135 (I’ll explain later) Dex: base Vitality: the rest Energy: base Now this is a no dex barb. I built this guy in Hardcore so, well living is a little more important than in softcore, so I hel’d the IK maul. I checked in the ias breakpoints and found that putting one 15 ias jewel (or shael) in the maul with the extra ias from the IK gloves was fine, and putting another 15 ias jewel in the maul wouldn’t get past the next break point. (I could be wrong but it’s fast enuff for me in hc) So you are saying how do I hit with base dex, well angelic and zerks AR bonus will take of that. Right now I have 3.6k health with lvl 25 BO, you will probably have more because I kinda put a little too much in Strength. With zerk you won’t need anymore than base energy, you will have to drink pots but …who cares zerk doesn’t leech so you will be drinking rejuvs to stay alive. Point Allocation: WarCries: Howl: 20 Battle Orders: 20 Shout: 20 Find Potion: 1 Taunt: 1 Battle Cry: 1 Battle Command: 1 Plus requirements So how does the Zerker survive, it’s howl, it totally owns. It stops range monsters, clears up packs, separates uniques from their packs and stops all of these monsters from hitting you. Also howl is a synergy so it pumps damage for zerk. The only downside of Howl is that it doesn’t work on Champions or Uniques, Champs are a pain for a zerker, which is why you have a backup skill Conc.to wack them, and a trusty cold mage, to slow them down. Dealing with one monster (uniques) is not a problem, battle cry them and kill them. Combat Skills: Zerk: 20 Plus requirements Masteries: Mace Mastery 3-5 pts Iron skin: 1 Natural resists: 3-5 You should be able to get to these points by lvl 90. Right now my baba is 79 and I am maxing shout it’s lvl 16 with skill pluses. Why did I leave shout till last well I found maxing howl a lot more useful. Till you are lvl 76 with the IK maul you won’t be killing that fast and having 23 seconds of free time to taunt or cry enemies or have your merc freeze them so you can wack them is real nice. Don’t get me wrong though, when you put on the Maul you ARE a BESERKER and omg the killing power is awesome. He can out kill my sorc which is a Meteor/Orb one with +4 to all skills. He can’t still kill big packs of monsters as fast as she but tight groups or bosses whoops em. He can kill Hell Andy in 10 hits..Nice eh. Choice of Merc: Cold Mage Why a cold mage well this guy is in HC, you could go Might if you’re in SC but I found that zerk with IK is enuff killing power for me. Also I plan to eventually to do Hell Diablo runs and having a cold mage will make him (like me) immune to Iron Maiden. Resurrecting a merc at 50k a pop isn’t fun. Also the cold mage will render small packs of monsters frozen stiff, giving you tons of time for you to wack them and finish them off. Plan of Attack: Enter an area howl all monsters if there is an unique battlecry him and finish him off. The unique will still keep coming at you because he is immune to howl At your leisure, taunt and pull the rest of the monsters in then warcry (or merc will freeze) and kill them. If you’re feeling gutsy you can just warcry the pack and wack them but this is pretty dangerous unless you have a lot of warcry charms to hold up the stun duration. Champs switch to Conc, battlecry if needed to finish them off. Right now in Act 1 hell with the IK I don’t switch to conc I just battle cry and wack those champs that’s how fast zerk kills. Gear: Starting gear: Twitchroe Irathas helm, and gloves Angelic ammy and ring Bonesnap Irathas belt This set up gives you good ias, and resists that’s all you need as a zerker. Midgear: Twcithroe (couldn’t let go the ias) Magnus gloves Sting of Ears (damage reduction) Raven frost (AR and cannot be frozen) Unique +2 Barb skill helm with life Blood Tree War Stump (fastest 2 handed weap you can get your hands on plus resists) End Gear: IK helm, maul, belt, gloves and boots High defense Smoke (although duriels shell would be better) Angelic ammy and ring Raven So needless to say I am pleased with the character. Right now he’s running pit and hell Andy nooo problems. Dealing 3-6k damage a wack at very fast attack speed. Don’t get me wrong you got to play smart, just cause you can kill fast doesn’t mean you can’t die. Having 0 defense sometimes means your health bulb will go down to half before you jug back some rejuvs (hence the point in find potion) I also joined a necromancer, frenzy baba and we whooped Hell Baal and Hell Diablo. The frenzy baba had nature’s peace so at that time I had 4.2k health with oak sage.