Best Diablo 4 Barbarian build: Best skills for the Barbarian
Learn how to make a Whirlwind Barbarian build in Diablo 4
Looking for the best Diablo 4 Barbarian build? The Whirlwind Barbarian is a classic archetype that returns in Diablo 4, and it's incredibly powerful. The Whirlwind Barbarian is delightfully simple and highly effective. It's all about using one skill - Whirlwind - as much as possible. Since Whirlwind is a spender (it spends Fury to cast), we've built around raising Fury generation as much as possible, while also raising your damage and damage resistance so that you deal huge damage while tanking enemy hits.
If you're excited to try out the Whirlwind Barbarian build, you're in luck! In this guide, we break down the best skills, Aspects, Attributes, Gems, and Technique for the Whirlwind Barbarian.
This Whirlwind Barbarian build is primed for the full launch of Diablo 4, covering everything you need to know up to level 50. As we progress further towards level 100, we'll be back with an update on how to use those precious Paragon Points!
Best Diablo 4 Barbarian build
The Whirlwind Barbarian is a Diablo classic, so we absolutely had to build it in Diablo 4. This build focuses on almost-constantly using the Whirlwind skill to clear groups of enemies with ease.
Of course, using Whirlwind spends Fury, so you'll need to use your basic builder to generate Fury between big fights, at least in the early-game. For this build, we'd recommend upgrading various shouts, such as Rallying Cry and Challenging Shout, and using them alongside Lunging Strike to get Fury fast.
Diablo 4 Whirlwind Barbarian build skills
Below, you'll find a full list of the skills that you should acquire for the Whirlwind Barbarian, in order:
|2||Lunging Strike level 1||1 (Basic)|
|3||Enhanced Lunging Strike||1 (Basic)|
|4||Combat Lunging Strike||1 (Basic)|
|5||Whirlwind level 1||2 (Core)|
|6||Enhanced Whirlwind||2 (Core)|
|7||Violent Whirlwind||2 (Core)|
|8||Rallying Cry level 1||3 (Defensive)|
|9||Enhanced Rallying Cry||3 (Defensive)|
|10||Tactical Rallying Cry||3 (Defensive)|
|11||Challenging Shout||3 (Defensive)|
|12||Enhanced Challenging Shout||3 (Defensive)|
|13||Tactical Challenging Shout||3 (Defensive)|
|14||War Cry||4 (Brawling)|
|15||Enhanced War Cry||4 (Brawling)|
|16||Power War Cry||4 (Brawling)|
|17||Whirlwind level 2||2 (Core)|
|18||Whirlwind level 3||2 (Core)|
|19||Whirlwind level 4||2 (Core)|
|20||Whirlwind level 5||2 (Core)|
|21||Rallying Cry level 2||3 (Defensive)|
|22||Rallying Cry level 3||3 (Defensive)|
|23||Rallying Cry level 4||3 (Defensive)|
|24||Rallying Cry level 5||3 (Defensive)|
|25||Wrath of the Berserker||6 (Ultimate)|
|26||Prime Wrath of the Berserker||6 (Ultimate)|
|27||Supreme Wrath of the Berserker||6 (Ultimate)|
|28||Imposing Presence level 1||3 (Defensive)|
|29||Imposing Presence level 2||3 (Defensive)|
|30||Imposing Presence level 3||3 (Defensive)|
|31||Martial Vigor level 1||3 (Defensive)|
|32||Martial Vigor level 2||3 (Defensive)|
|33||Martial Vigor level 3||3 (Defensive)|
|34||Unbridled Rage||7 (Key Passive)|
|35||Challenging Shout level 2||3 (Defensive)|
|36||Challenging Shout level 3||3 (Defensive)|
|37||Challenging Shout level 4||3 (Defensive)|
|38||War Cry level 2||4 (Brawling)|
|39||War Cry level 3||4 (Brawling)|
|40||War Cry level 4||4 (Brawling)|
|41||Pit Fighter level 1||5 (Weapon Mastery)|
|42||Booming Voice level 1||4 (Brawling)|
|43||Booming Voice level 2||4 (Brawling)|
|44||Booming Voice level 3||4 (Brawling)|
|45||Guttural Yell level 1||4 (Brawling)|
|46||Guttural Yell level 2||4 (Brawling)|
|47||Guttural Yell level 3||4 (Brawling)|
|48||Aggressive Resistance level 1||4 (Brawling)|
|49||Aggressive Resistance level 2||4 (Brawling)|
|Renown point 1||Aggressive Resistance level 3||4 (Brawling)|
|Renown point 2||Prolific Fury level 1||4 (Brawling)|
|Renown point 3||Prolific Fury level 2||4 (Brawling)|
|Renown point 4||Prolific Fury level 3||4 (Brawling)|
|Renown point 5||Pit Fighter level 2||5 (Weapon Mastery)|
|Renown point 6||Pit Fighter level 3||5 (Weapon Mastery)|
|Renown point 7||Slaying Strike level 1||5 (Weapon Mastery)|
|Renown point 8||Slaying Strike level 2||5 (Weapon Mastery)|
|Renown point 9||Slaying Strike level 3||5 (Weapon Mastery)|
|Renown point 10||War Cry level 5||4 (Brawling)|
Lunging Strike is your builder in this Whirlwind Barbarian build, generating nine Fury with each hit. That might seem small, but the upgrades will make it heal you and possibly activate Berserking, making it a useful part of the build while levelling.
Whirlwind, the signature skill in this build, does exactly what you'd expect - it causes your Barbarian to spin and swing their weapons, dealing massive AoE damage to nearby enemies. Whirlwind is the best tool in your arsenal for dealing with enemy hordes, so it'll act as your main form of attack.
Enhanced Whirlwind is an essential upgrade, as it generates Fury whenever Whirlwind deals damage to an enemy. For the final upgrade, we'd recommend taking Violent Whirlwind, which increases your damage dealt after channelling Whirlwind for two seconds.
Rallying Cry increases Fury generation by 50% when active, but the Tactical Rallying Cry upgrade will raise that even further. This is a crucial skill for the Whirlwind Barbarian, as it significantly increases the Fury gained by Enhanced Whirlwind and ensures that you won't run out in the middle of a horde.
With Enhanced Rallying Cry, it'll also make you Unstoppable while active. Unstoppable makes you immune to any crowd control effects, and ends any that are currently taking effect. That makes it an easy way to break out effects such as Stun, allowing you to stay in the fight.
As you might expect, Challenging Shout offers another way to boost Fury generation thanks to the Tactical Challenging Shout upgrade, which grants you 3 Fury each time you take damage while Challenging Shout is active.
That might seem risky, as it means you're basically asking to get hit, but Challenging Shout also gives you up to a massive 56% boost in damage reduction for six seconds, making you much less likely to fall in combat.
War Cry pairs well with Rallying Cry, boosting your attack damage so that you can kill enemies faster. This means Whirlwind will be more effective, again lowering the chance of draining your Fury before managing to clear a group of enemies.
With Enhanced War Cry, it'll also make you go Berserk for four seconds, allowing you to make use of any effects that pair with the Berserk effect, such as Battle Frenzy.
Wrath of the Berserker
Speaking of going Berserk, Wrath of the Berserker is your Ultimate for this Whirlwind Barbarian build, and it automatically grants you Berserking and Unstoppable for 5 seconds, while also knocking back any nearby enemies. For the next ten seconds, you'll get a further 5 seconds of Berserking for each time you deal damage with Frenzy.
Easy access to the Berserking effect is incredibly useful, but Prime Wrath of the Berserker makes this even stronger by granting 20% extra movement speed (on top of the 30% bonus already offered by the Berserking effect) and +30% Fury generation. With the final upgrade, Supreme Wrath of the Berserker, every 50 Fury you spend will also increase Berserk's damage bonus by a further 25%.
If you're not sure how to use these skills effectively, follow the attack pattern below:
- Activate Rallying Cry, War Cry, and Challenging Shout.
- Use Frenzy to build your Fury.
- Activate Whirlwind and use it until all enemies are dead, or your Fury is depleted.
- Use Frenzy to generate more Fury, and then Whirlwind again.
- If you're in a particularly tough fight, use Wrath of the Berserker and then repeat the above to quickly destroy any enemies.
Diablo 4 Barbarian build: Best Technique
In Diablo 4, the Barbarian has access to a unique Arsenal system. This system lets the Barbarian use multiple weapons, automatically switching between them to use your active skills. It's a confusing system on the surface, but it actually requires very little interaction as you do not need to change weapons manually.
As you use different weapon types, you will rank up their respective Expertise. Each weapon type has an Expertise rank that you can increase with the Barbarian, and increasing the Expertise rank of a specific weapon will grant passive effects that apply specifically to that weapon.
However, when you reach level 15, you can select an Expertise to use as a Technique. When used as a Technique, the selected Expertise bonus will apply to all weapons, regardless of their weapon type.
For your Technique, we'd recommend selecting the Two-Handed Sword Expertise, which turns up to 20% of the damage you deal into Bleed damage. Bleed is incredibly powerful in Diablo 4, and granting 20% of the damage dealt by skills such as Whirlwind the Bleed effect will make you rip through enemies far faster.
Diablo 4 Barbarian build: Best Aspects
As you explore Side Dungeons or find Legendary Gear in Diablo 4, you will gain access to Aspects. These are Legendary effects that you can apply to almost any piece of Gear, making them far stronger and more in line with your build.
Below, you'll find the Aspects that we'd recommend using for this Whirlwind Barbarian build:
- Aspect of Ancestral Echoes (Ancient Reservoir - Hawezar): Lucky Hit: Damaging enemies with Leap, Upheaval, or Whirlwind has up to a 40% chance to summon an Ancient to perform the same skill. Can only happen once every 5 seconds.
- Aspect of Berserk Fury (Legendary Drop): You gain 3 Fury per second while Berserking.
- Aspect of Echoing Fury (Sirocco Caverns - Kehjistan): Your Shout skills generate 2 Fury per second while active.
- Aspect of Limitless Rage (Legendary Drop): Each point of Fury you generate while at Maximum Fury grants your next Core skill 1% increased damage, up to a total of 15%.
- Aspect of the Dire Whirlwind (Garan Hold - Scosglen): Whirlwind's Critical Strike Chance is increased by 3-8% for each second it is channeled, up to 9-24%.
- Aspect of Anemia (Kor Dragan Barracks - Fractured Peaks): Lucky Hit: Direct damage against bleeding enemies has up to a 30% chance to Stun them for two seconds.
- Edgemaster's Aspect (Oldstones - Scosglen): Skills deal up to 10% increased damage based on your available Fury when cast, receiving the maximum benefit while you have full Fury.
- Bold Chieftain's Aspect (Legendary drop): Whenever you cast a Shout skill, its cooldown is reduced by 1-1.9 seconds per nearby enemy, up to a maximum of 6 seconds.
Diablo 4 Barbarian build: Best Attributes
For our Whirlwind Barbarian, we'd suggest focusing on gear that raises your Strength stat, as this will increase your damage. This will affect all skills, including Whirlwind, and help you kill enemies slightly faster. It'll only be a small increase, but that still means bigger damage numbers and, ultimately, faster kills.
Secondly, we'd opt for gear that boosts your Willpower, as this will raise your Fury generation. We've already covered this a lot in the skills section above, but it never hurts to have a little more Fury coming your way from all sources. More Fury means more time spent Whirlwinding in crowds of enemies, and that's where our Barbarian build thrives.
Diablo 4 Barbarian build: Best Gems
Gems are items that you can slot into gear for additional effects, and we can use them in our Whirlwind Barbarian build to push Fury generation even higher.
To increase Fury generation, you'll need to use Rubies. Insert a Ruby into any available sockets on your weapons to ensure that you're getting every possible drop of Fury.
If there are empty sockets available in your armor, use Topaz to decrease the damage you take from enemies. This will grant you a little more survivability when using Whirlwind in a crowd, ensuring that you can tank through enemy attacks while delivering high DPS.
That wraps up our Diablo 4 Whirlwind Barbarian build guide. If you're looking to try more classes, take a look at our Diablo 4 Rogue build guide, Sorcerer build guide, Druid build guide, and Necromancer build guide.
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