Want the best Diablo 4 Whirlwind Barbarian build? Season 1 is well underway in Diablo 4, and the Barbarian has had it rough. The recent nerfs in Patch 1.1.0 saw its power reduced significantly, as they reduced the strength of the bleed synergies that previously made it one of the best classes. However, it's still one of the tankier options, and with the endgame now being far more deadly, that defense might appeal if you want to tackle some of the tougher late-game content during the Season of the Malignant.
In this guide, we break down the best Whirlwind Barbarian build in Diablo 4, covering the Skills, Paragon Boards and Glyphs, Technique, Aspects, Stats, Gems, and Malignant Hearts that you'll need. This information is current as of Patch 1.1.0, but we'll continue to make changes as future updates arrive.
Best Diablo 4 Whirlwind 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||Furious 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 Furious Whirlwind, which deals some of your Whirlwind damage as Bleed so that we can make use of some pivotal Bleed effects later on.
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 Berserk for four seconds.
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 Lunging Strike.
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:
- Use Lunging Strike to build your Fury, if needed.
- Activate Rallying Cry, War Cry, and Challenging Shout.
- Activate Whirlwind and use it until all enemies are dead, or your Fury is depleted.
- Use Lunging Strike 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 Whirlwind Barbarian build: Best Paragon Boards and Glyphs
Diablo 4's Paragon system unlocks when you reach level 50, allowing you to spend Paragon Points to get powerful passive bonuses that greatly enhance your build.
Below, we break down the best Paragon Boards and Glyphs that you should take for this build, mapping out your journey from level 50-100. For a clearer view of how we've spent each and every Paragon Point, check out our Diablo 4 Whirlwind Barbarian page on the Lothrik build calculator.
Take the path on the right through the rare Brawn node, and then head up to the Glyph socket and insert Territorial. Scoop up as many nearby Dexterity nodes as possible, and then path up to the left, through the rare Raw Power node, and continue up to the Board Attachment Gate. Attach the Warbringer board.
In total, the Starting Board should use 27 Paragon Points.
Warbringer has nodes that increase max Fury, Fury on Kill, and Physical damage that all synergise with this build, making it an obvious place to start.
Rotate the board so that the Glyph is on the lower-right side and that the Legendary node is in the center. Then, path up to the right to the Glyph and insert Imbiber. Get the rare Raw Power and Conditioned nodes, along with any surrounding magic nodes that boost physical damage or Willpower. Scoop up any remaining Willpower nodes near the Glyph, and then move to the Board Attachment Gate. Spend a few points pathing up from there to get the rare Core Reserve node, along with any Fury-based surrounding magic nodes.
To get the Legendary node, head back to the Board Attachment Gate through which you entered and path up and left through the Hungering Fury node. Move towards the center to get the Warbringer node.
In total, the Warbringer board should use 55 Paragon Points.
With Flawless Technique, rotate the board so that the Glyph Socket is on the lower side. This is our main focus here - we don't need the Legendary node on this board. From the left side, path into the center through the rare Havoc node, getting any surrounding magic nodes, and then insert the Marshal Glyph.
Gather at least 40 points of Strength nodes, as well as the rare Heavy Blows and Brash nodes and their surrounding magic nodes, before moving to the Board Attachment Gate on the right side.
In total, the Flawless Technique board should use 39 Paragon Points.
To attach the Hemorrhage board, rotate it so that the Glyph is in the top-right corner and the Legendary node is on the lower left side. Then, head down from the Board Attachment Gate and get the rare Lacerator node, along with any other magic nodes nearby. Then, move up through the Legendary node and the rare Flayer node, once again grabbing any surrounding magic nodes before moving to the Glyph socket.
Insert the Disembowel Glyph and then get as many nearby Willpower nodes as you can to boost its effects. We'd also recommend getting the rare Butcher node, before moving up to the nearby Board Attachment Gate.
In total, the Hemorrhage board should use 57 Paragon Points.
Blood Rage is our final board, and it's another one that we'll invest heavily into to get both the Glyph socket and Legendary node. To attach it, rotate it so that the Glyph socket is center-left and the Legendary Node is also in the center.
Start by pathing up to the Glyph socket and inserting Bloodfeeder, and then gather up at least 25 points worth of Dexterity nodes nearby. Then, spend some points moving down to the rare Craving node, and get all of the surrounding magic nodes too. Make sure to also do the same for the rare Revel node and the rare Grit node, through which you can also reach the Legendary node and the rare Enraged node.
In total, the Blood Rage board should use 47 Paragon Points.
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 Whirlwind 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 Grasping Whirlwind (Legendary - random drop): Whirlwind peiodically pulls enemies to you.
- Aspect of Berserk Fury (Legendary - random drop): You gain 3 Fury per second while Berserking.
- Aspect of Berserk Ripping (Mournfield - Dry Steppes): Whenever you deal direct damage while Berserking, inflict 20-30% of the base damage as additional Bleeding damage over 5 seconds.
- Rage of Harrogath (Unique Chest - random drop): Lucki Hit: Up to a 20-40% chance to reduce the cooldowns of your non-Ultimate skills by 1.5 seconds when you inflict Bleeding on Elites.
- Aspect of Limitless Rage (Legendary - random 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%.
- Gohr's Devastating Grips (Unique Gloves - random drop): Whirlwind explodes every 2 seconds and after it ends, dealing 16-26% of the total base damage dealt to surrounding enemies as Fire damage.
- 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 Disobedience (Halls of the Damned - Kehjistan): You gain 0.25-0.5% increased armor for 4 seconds when you deal any form of damage, stacking up to 15-30%.
- 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.
- Aspect of the Expectant (Underroot - Scosglen): Attacking enemies with a basic skill increases the damage of your next Core skill by 5-10%, up to 30%.
- Penitent Greaves (Unique Boots - random drop): You leave behind a trail of frost that Chills enemies. You deal 7-10% more damage to Chilled enemies.
- Bold Chieftain's Aspect (Legendary - random 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 Whirlwind Barbarian build: Best Stats
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.
Finally, look for Gear with Cooldown Reduction and Fury Cost Reduction, as you want to use your Shouts and Whirlwind as often as possible. The less time waiting for cooldowns to end or Fury to regenerate, respectively, the more time you can spend spinning through hordes of enemies.
Diablo 4 Whirlwind 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 survivability even higher.
In your weapons, we'd recommend using Skulls for increased Life on kill. That'll help you regain some life as you slaughter the denizens of hell, keeping you up in those tough Nightmare Dungeons.
If there are empty sockets available in your armor, use Rubies to increase your maximum Life. Like above, this will help you tank more hits and ensure that you don't drop in pivotal moments.
We'd usually recommend Skulls in the Jewelry slot, but the new Malignant Hearts are the far better pick throughout Season 1. You can learn more about these in the section below.
Diablo 4 Whirlwind Barbarian build: Best Malignant Hearts
Malignant Hearts are the big new mechanic in Diablo 4 Season 1, and they introduce a new set of powers that you can take advantage of to get a power spike for your build. However, they can only be placed into Infested Jewelry Sockets, meaning that you can have a maximum of three equipped at any time.
Below, we'll list the best Malignant Hearts for the Whirlwind Barbarian:
- Focused Rage: After spending 100-60 Fury within 2 seconds, your next non-basic skill's Critical Strike Chance is increased by 20-30%.
- Ignoring Pain: Incoming damage has a 5-15% chance of being ignored and instead Healing you for 17-68 Life.
- Revenge: 10-20% of incoming damage is instead suppressed. When you use a Defensive, Subterfuge, or a Macabre skill, all suppressed damage is amplified by 250% and explodes, dealing up to 1360-2040 Fire damage to nearby enemies.
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