Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Thunder Barbarian (HotA)

This guide is for solo farming on low monster power. The name come from the Rune Thunderstrike or the Rune Rolling Thunder of the skill Hammer of the Ancients. This is a very effectiv and fast playstyle and makes a lot of fun.


Hammer of the Ancients (Thunderstrike)
best choice
cost 20 fury
325% weapon damage - in front of you
1% increased crit for 5 fury you have
Whenever you kill an enemy with HotA, every other enemy within 10y is stunned.

Hammer of the Ancients (Rolling Thunder)
alternative if you have items which reduce  HotA fury costs
cost 20 fury
275% weapon damage 22yards in front of you
1% increased crit for 5 fury you have

Hammer of the Ancients (Birthright)
alternative if you have very good gear and want more drops
cost 20 fury
325% weapon damage - in front of you
1% increased crit for 5 fury you have
Critical hits have a 10% chance to drop treasure or health globes.

This runes work better then rune smash on low monster power, because smash has a lower aoe effect.
Thunderstrike is the best rune.

2nd Skill - Sprint (Marathon)
cost 20 fury
movement speed bonus 50% for 5 sec

You run faster and longer then with the rune run like the wind.

3rd skill - Batle Rage (Into the Fray)
cost 20 fury
increase damage by 15%
critical hit chance 3%
critical hits generate 15 fury

4th skill - Wrath of the Berserker (Thrive on Chaos)
every 25 fury you generate adds 1 second to the duration effect

5th & 6th skill - free to choose
These skills depend on your gear and playstyle.
How much additional defense do you need/want?
How do you want to start the fight if you don't have any fury?
Do you wear any items with reduced hota fury costs?
How much crit do you have and how good can you maintain 100% wotb uptime?

Fury Generator
Bash (Instigation)
WarCry (Charge) - also adds a little bit defense
Overpower (Momentum)

Overpower (Killing Spree)

Overpower (Crushing Advance)
WarCry (Impunity)

My suggestion is get one fury generator and depending on your gear an offensive or defensive skill.

Passiv 1+2
Ruthless + Weapon Master

Passiv 3 - free to choose
These passiv depends on your gear and playstyle and which skills you have choosen as 5th and 6th.

Fury Generator
Unforgiving (I use this)
Animosity - also adds additonal crit if you have a full rage


Tough as Nails
Nerves of Steel

Skill Calculator - Basic Skills
Skill Calculator - Example 1 with Bash + Warcry
Skill Calculator - Example 2 with Overpower + Warcry
Skill Calculattor - My Skills for MP1 with wearing Leoric's Signet and Goldskin

How this build work & Playstyle

For a smooth and fast playstyle we need 2 one-hand weapons.

After generating some fury and activating battle rage our main attack is Hammer of the Ancients (HotA).

HotA costs 20 fury and we will generate 15 fury for every critical hit (18 fury if we have the passive Animosity). This means we need a high critical hit chance and we must hit more then one target most of the time.

Further we can reduce the fury costs by wearing a Stone of Jordan and/or Mara's Kaleidoscope with reduced fury costs for HotA. To reduce the fury cost is not mandatory, but it helps to have an easier start to generate fury.
Furthermore there is to say, that too much fury cost reduction can be counterproductive to maintain Wrath of the Berserker. Then you must spent your fury with spamming Battle Rage or Sprint.

More fury increases our critical hit chance of HotA.
basic 100 fury => +20% crit
We can have a way more max fury with items or passiv Animosity, which will help us a little bit.

High crit hit chance from gear + ruthless 5% + weapon master 10%+ wotb 10% + battle rage 3% + fury 20% + overpower (killing spree) 10%
=> leads to very high critchance (70-100%)

The mechanic that we spent and generate fury in the same time, is the basic to maintan Wrath of the Berserker.
To increase our uptime of Wrath of the Berserker we must attack constantly, therefore we have sprint which helps us with traveling between groups of monsters. Further we must decrease the time to loot, which is often a problem for many players. You can't loot all and you must loot fast to be effective.


We fight with 2x one hand weapons.
The mainhand should be an axe or mace for additonal crit.
Both should have high dps, a socket and critical hit chance and if you can afford strength.
Also an Echoing Fury without critical hit chance is a good option. The %fear doesn't bother us, because most monsters should die with one hit.

24% Movement Speed is for every farming barbarian a must have.

Our belt should have life steal and 15 additional fury.

For Farming exp I suggest Leoric's Signet and a Hellfire Ring.
If you don't farm exp or don't want wear a Leoric's Signet, you should take a rare one with critical hit chance or a Stone of Jordan for reduce fury cost.

Critical Hit Chance is the most important stat after reaching a good amount of Strength, Vitality and All Resistance.

If you have 2 perfect emeralds in your weapons then in the most cases you don't need any additonal critical hit damage to oneshot most monsters. Additional critical hit damage will only increase your charakter screen dps, but not your real dps or your farm speed.

Thats why the 2nd important stat for you will be increased attack speed (ias) to reduce the time where you stand still and attack.

minimum Startgear for MP0

Weapons (Mace or Axe)
800 dps with >60% crit and a socket (best emeralds you can afford)

Gloves, Belt, Helm, Shoes
cheap IK Set Pieces

cheap Tyrael'S Might with Strength and maybe low vitality

cheap Vile Ward with Strength or rare with Vitality, Strength, all resistance

rare with Vitality >190, All Resistance, 2 Socket

rare with critical hit chance >4%, Vitality >120, (Strength)

rare with critical hit chance >9%, Vitality >180, (Strength, Socket)

Ring #1
Your best Hellfire Ring with Strength. If you don't have one now take a rare ring linke ring #2.

Ring #2
rare with critical hit chance >5%, Strength >100, (Socket, Vitality)

Barbarian Guide Overview


  1. Aint Freenzy beeter than bash?
    More APS -> Mode Hits -> More Crits -> More fury gain (battle rage)

    1. if you are attacking with your fury generator for a longer time yes it could be better, but if you want fast 20 fury for your next sprint or hota you only need to attack 2 times with bash and get 24 fury even if you not crit.

  2. Hey,
    your Blog is really great and so are your articles and guides; I totally enjoy them.
    But I would like to ask you something: I'm not the best and not the worst player, but I have no chance to win a PvP game. Do you know any way to enhance my gamingstyle ? To become better, to earn more gold and so on ?
    I'm searching for a good guide, I tried it with the free guides, but they're to difficult for me.

    1. I don't understand what you mean with:
      "I'm not the best and not the worst player, but I have no chance to win a PvP game."

      D3 is a very fast game and therefor you must play fast.
      Standing around and looking around what drops, thats not d3.
      To earn more gold you must farm efficient and then hope for a lucky drop for millions.

      Often listen to music helps to increase your aggressiv playstyle. (I mean this in a positiv way)

      Competiton against yourself or your friends also helps to increase your efficient. Note your exp, farm for a hour and then note again your exp. So you get an accurate nummber of how much exp you earn per hour and in the next hour you try to beat this.
      Very important for this is, that you don't miss good rares or legendary drops. If you only try to push your exp and don't loot anything this is also contraproductive. You should loot fast and only necessary items.

      Or playing with a friend who should have a very fast playstyle and charakter. Then you can pushing him and yourself for fast runs, but be aware that both know your farming route.