Diablo 4: Most Broken Barbarian Builds For the Endgame

Barbarians may be Diablo 4's most powerful Endgame class, but they'll feel next to useless without the right builds and gear.

Diablo 4
Photo: Activision Blizzard

Much like Druids, Barbarians struggled during Diablo 4‘s betas. However, long-time Diablo fans knew that the class would find its way once the game really started to open up. Well, that’s exactly what happened. In fact, Barbarians have arguably been the most “nerfed” class in Diablo 4 since the game’s launch.

Those recent alternations leave Barbarians in a strange place. Their build diversity was already lacking, and their most viable early builds were quickly nerfed. However, it turns out that Barbarians are still ridiculously powerful in the Endgame., You just have to know what makes them tick and how to support that strategy. Of course, that’s what we’re here to do.

As with our other recent builds, this article will (temporarily) not cover Paragon Boards. That’s largely because Paragon boards are still being optimized and because

Diablo 4: Best Barbarian Endgame Build - Whirlwhind Shout Barbarian

Diablo 4: Best Barbarian Endgame Build – Whirlwhind Shout Barbarian

Skills: Whirlwind, Rallying Cry, Challenging Shout, Ground Stomp, War Cry, Wrath of the Berserker

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Key Legendary Aspects and Unique Gear: Razorplate, Gohr’s Devastating Grips, Temerity, Aspect of Echoing Fury, Needleflare Aspect, Bold Chieftain’s Aspect, Edgemaster’s Aspect

Full Skill Tree

No build has been nerfed quite as hard or quite as often as Whirlwind Barbarian. While Whirlwind Barbarians are nowhere near as strong as they used to be, they’re still incredibly powerful compared to most other things out there.

First off, let’s talk about this build’s lack of a Basic skill. After all, there are many versions of Whirlwind Barbarian that utilize Lunging Strike. Not only does Lunging Strike offer a sneaky way to get around Barbarians’ mobility problems, but it obviously generates Fury as the other Basic skills do. You can run Lunging Strike in this build well into the endgame if you choose to do so.

However, your ultimate goal with Whirlwind Barbarian is to no longer rely on a basic attack. So what do you do to generate Fury? Well, Whirlwind will actually generate most of its own Fury thanks to the upgrades we’re taking, especially if you’re attacking massive packs of enemies. Aspect of the Echoing Fury (which grants you Fury while your Shouts are active) also ends up generating a ton of resources when paired with Bold Chieftain’s Aspect. Realistically, though, you’re going to have to rely on a basic skill to generate Fury until you’re able to get a good roll on those items and supplement your Fury reserves through your gear.

So what eventually replaces Lunging Strike? Well, Ground Stomp is the most popular choice at the moment. It’s an incredibly effective AoE stun effect that can also reduce your Ultimate cooldown or generate Fury (we’re going with the former). Iron Skin is another interesting option, especially since you can convert its Barrier to extra damage via Legendary Aspects.

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Beyond that, this build is pretty simple. Group enemies together, pop all of your shouts (as well as Wrath of the Berserker), and use Whirlwind to cleave everything. That’s pretty much it. You’ll obviously throw Ground Stomp into that rotation if you’re using it, but Whirlwind and your Shouts will do all of the work in most situations. While this build definitely performs better against packs of enemies rather than single targets, the endgame version of this concept does just fine in either situation.

This version of the build also runs the “Thorns” package. While “pure” Thorns builds that rely entirely on getting hit are incredibly gimmicky outside of PvP, Thorns naturally enhance the basic Whirlwind strategy. After all, you’re going to be using Challenging Shout in every fight, and Challenging Shot basically forces enemies to be damaged by your Thorns. It can be a pretty valuable damage boost that doesn’t require you to do anything besides choose slightly different gear.

If you’re leaning into the Thorns package, then a high-roll Razorplate is an invaluable part of this build. If you’d prefer not to run Razorplate, though (or if you just can’t find it), then you should be able to pick up a decent amount of Thorns through your skills, Emeralds, and what you naturally find on gear. If you’d prefer to not use the Thorn package at all, then you’ll probably want to lean more into the Fortify/Barrier aspects of this strategy instead and adjust your skills as needed.

Finally, please note that Barbarians are more stat dependent than a lot of other classes. Crucially, you’re going to need a lot of Strength to make any Barbarian build work. Beyond Strength, anything that helps your Fury generation/maximum Fury should be considered a priority. Equally important is anything that you can pick up to help reduce your Shout cooldown times. For that matter, it’s not a bad idea to keep an eye on gear that grants you extra Shout ranks. Finally, Critical Strike Damage and Critical Strike Chance will become much more important in the endgame. Vulnerable damage is also pretty powerful, though you’ll need some Paragon Board help to really make the most of that stat.

Diablo 4: Best Barbarian Endgame Build - Hammer of the Ancients Barbarian

Diablo 4: Best Barbarian Endgame Build – Hammer of the Ancients Barbarian

Skills: Lunging Strike, Hammer of the Ancients, Challenging Shout, Rallying Cry, War Cry, Wrath of the Berserker

Key Legendary Aspects and Unique Gear: Temerity, Aspect of Ancestral Force, Conceited Aspect, Aspect of Echoing Fury, Bold Chieftain’s Aspect, Aspect of Limitless Rage, Edgemaster’s Aspect

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Full Skill Tree

While Whirlwind is still a popular choice for most Endgame Barbarian players, Hammer of the Ancients offers the viable alternative that this class really needed.

Hammer of the Ancients is a pretty straightforward melee attack. You slam your weapon down, deal damage in the surrounding area, and repeat as needed. It’s pretty strong on its own, but what makes it really special are all the ways that you can buff that damage. For instance, casting Hammer of the Ancients at full Fury can make it 100% more powerful (if not more). Picking up Unbridled Rage can add another 135% to that total. You can enhance that multiplier further through Edgemaster’s Aspect, Conceited Aspect, and Aspect of Berserk Ripping.

By funneling as much damage into Hammer of the Ancients as possible, we create a very simple (yet effective) strategy. Most of the time, you just need to cast every Shout in your arsenal, pop your Ultimate, and use Hammer of Ancients. What follows is a sight to behold. I’ve seen a properly geared Barbarian deal over 10 million damage with a single Hammer of the Ancients strike. That’s obviously not a consistent damage goal, but even “lesser” Hammer of the Ancient strikes can crit into the millions. That makes this build especially good against bosses, Elites, and…well pretty much most other things.

So what’s the catch? Well, the short answer is “Resources and stats.” Unlike Whirlwind, Hammer of the Ancients does not generate its own Fury. Unfortunately, it not only uses quite a lot of Fury but it depends on a high Fury pool for its core damage multiplier. For those times when Hammer doesn’t just destroy everything in front of it, you might find yourself waiting for your cooldowns to expire before you can really go in again. You will be getting some Fury generation through your Legendary Aspects, but those don’t entirely solve the issue.

However, there are things we can do to combat that problem. Most importantly, you should be prioritizing gear that increases your max Fury or your Fury generation. That will not only help your Hammer of the Ancients damage, but it will decrease your possible downtime. Strength is obviously also incredibly helpful, but Dexterity is actually a touch better in this build due to the value of Critical Strikes. Cooldown reduction is also always nice, but you’re really looking for Fury and Dexterity (as well as Critical help) when possible.

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If you get the right gear and the right stats, this build really is nutty. Just know that every swing of the Hammer really is a soft gear check and will constantly remind you if you’re not yet as powerful as you need to be. The upshot of that system is that this build scales very well with every upgrade you’ll get for the rest of the game.