After quite a lot of arm-twisting from Free, I agreed to write this guide on playing H90 (Horde of the Ninety Savages) Frenzy.
Let’s get to it.
For those of you who don’t like reading, here’s a D3 planner link for this build.
For Season 28, you will continue to use the setup in this link, since all the Altar powers basically don’t change your playstyle at all, they just make you tankier and do more damage.
If desired, at low paragon (below 2000) you can also swap out Aughild for Guardian (Bracer + Helm). As long as Guardian is giving you at least 50% total extra Strength, it is equal or greater in value than Aughild.
You will want:
5 Pieces of H90 set (Helm, Gloves, Pants, Boots, and either Chest or Shoulders)
2 Pieces of Aughild set (Bracers + either Shoulder or Chest)
2 Pieces of Endless Walk set (Compass Rose (ring) and Traveler’s Pledge (amulet))
Undisputed Champion (mighty belt)
Band of Might (ring)
Oathkeeper (mighty weapon)
Bane of the Stricken (gem)
Bane of the Trapped (gem)
Simplicity’s Strength (gem)
In the cube:
Bastion’s Revered (2H mighty weapon)
Depth Diggers (pants)
Ring of Royal Grandeur
This is all the gear you’ll need for what I believe to be the most effective overall setup for pushing GRs. There are other variants, which I’ll cover later on.
DESIRED STATS ON GEAR
Please keep in mind that these stat priorities are for players with medium paragon, or more (2000+ Paragon), and don’t include STR on either weapon or gloves. At lower paragon, STR may be more valuable than AS on gloves, VIT may be more valuable than AllRes on shoulders, and STR may be more valuable than IAS or AD on Oathkeeper.
Also note that for secondary rolls, I list “Physical/Arcane” Resist in many places. I think you want to have a few of each type, especially since you cannot dodge arcane beams.
Helm: STR, VIT, CHC, Socket (diamond), CC Reduction, Physical/Arcane Resist
Shoulders: STR, AllRes, AD, CDR, Health Globe Bonus, Pickup Radius
Chest: STR, VIT, AllRes, Sockets (diamonds), Melee Reduction, Ranged Reduction
Gloves: AS, CHC, CHD, CDR, Physical/Arcane Resist, Pickup Radius
Pants: STR, VIT, Frenzy Damage, Sockets (diamonds), Life on Kill, Physical/Arcane Resist
Boots: STR, VIT, AllRes, Armor, Health Globe Bonus, Pickup Radius
Belt: STR, VIT, AllRes, Frenzy Damage, Life on Kill
Bracer: Cold Damage % , STR, CHC, Life per Hit, Physical/Arcane Resist
Ring 1 (CoE or BoM): CHC, CHD, Damage Range (formerly CDR), Socket
Ring 2 (Compass Rose): STR, Damage Range (formerly AS), CHD, CHC, Socket, CC Reduction
Amulet: Cold Damage %, CHC, CHD, Socket, Physical/Arcane Resist, CC Reduction
Oathkeeper: IAS, CDR, Area Damage, Socket, Life on Kill *
Azurewrath: Cold Damage %, Life per Hit, CDR, Socket *
*: Note that Life per Hit on AZ and Area Damage on OK are interchangeable. You can have AD on the AZ and LpH on the OK, instead. If you are having a very hard time staying alive, you can also opt to forego the AD on OK for more LpH instead.
Threatening Shout: Falter
War Cry: Veteran’s Warning
Battle Rage: Bloodshed
Furious Charge: Merciless Assault
Wrath of the Berserker: Insanity
Boon of Bul-Kathos
Rampage (preferred) or Brawler (less so). Both of these skills have issues. In a high push, it’s easy to lose Rampage stacks even in the middle of a big fight, and Brawler is dibs, which gets added to a big pile along with 50% dibs from Falter, 25% from Maniac, 20% BR, 30% on Gear, and 25% from Berserker Rage. As a result, Brawler only adds about 8% damage. For Hardcore, use Nerves of Steel in this spot.
After the 2.7.0 follower update, I believe Enchantress to be the best follower, though you can make any of the three followers work well.
Enchantress is helpful in several ways: with her Prophetic Harmony (+10% CDR) and Focused Mind (+6% AS) abilities, she can allow you to drop AS from one ring, and CDR from another, allowing you to pick up two damage range rolls, which adds around 15% dps. Or, if you want to forego one of those swaps, you can take her Fate’s Lapse (cheat death) ability, to help you stay alive.
So, for skills, take: Temporal Pulse - Prophetic Harmony - Powered Shield - Focused Mind.
And for gear: Smoking Thurible, FoT, Nemesis Bracers, Oculus Ring, and Homing Pads. For a weapon, any 2H weapon without CC. Other than that, gear doesn’t matter, as long as you reach the 25000 Int necessary for her skills to have full effectiveness.
A FEW STAT PRIORITIES TO KEEP IN MIND
1- CDR: You generally want to have 46.66 - 50.33% CDR. For the “Main”, Aughild-based setup, this lets you have WOTB up a good amount of the time. And if playing the CoE variant, this range is even more important: it allows you to have WOTB up for 2 CoE cold phases, then miss a full cycle of all 4 elements, then hit the next cold phase after that. Under 46.66%, you lose this synchronization, which can cost you significant damage, and above 50.33%, you are trading away other damage rolls for small gains.
2- AS: Assuming you are using Enchantress with Focused Mind, you want to get Attack Speed on your Oathkeeper and your gloves. This will let you hit an 8 Frame Frenzy Breakpoint (7 Frames when WOTB is active). Beyond these rolls, you have to give up some significant damage in order to stack more AS.
3- AD: You do want some AD in this build, as it will significantly help you to progress in density. IMO, the ideal amount is 94%, which you can get with rolls on your Oathkeeper (or Azurewrath) and Shoulders, plus Paragon.
4- CHC + CHD: You want as much as possible. Do not trade either stat for other rolls.
5- CC reduction: With this build, you are quite vulnerable to CC, as you only have WoTB up about half of the time. 2 or 3 good CC resist rolls on Amulet, Ring, or Helm will help to significantly mitigate this problem.
6- Vitality/Life: Because Simplicity’s Strength heals a % of your maximum life, and because getting one-shotted is a serious concern with this build, it pays to have a decent pile of Vit/Life. You want at least 4500 Vit / 600k life, in my experience.
HOW TO PLAY THE BUILD
This build is sort of an elite hunter. You want to use your Furious Charge to move quickly through the rift until you find an elite, then begin focusing your Frenzy on that enemy. Cast TS: Falter on cooldown, and re-cast Battle Rage and War Cry whenever their duration gets close to running out.
Continue hitting the elite with Frenzy, pausing only to Charge periodically to keep up your BoM and avoid major damage sources like arcane beams, molten explosions, mallet lord hits, etc.
If an oculus ring spawns in a convenient position that will let you continue targeting the elite, charge into it, then resume attacking. If it’s inconveniently placed and/or full of arcane beams, leave it alone.
Bloodshed and AD will kill weaker mobs in the vicinity. As these trash mobs are cleared, the damage of your Bastion’s chain will be focused more and more on the elite, who will also have accumulated a significant number of Stricken stacks.
At this point, assess whether there are other nearby areas of high monster density.
If so, kite the elite to the fresh density, then resume hitting him with Frenzy. The Stricken stacks accumulated on him will help your Bloodshed and AD to clear the surrounding trash faster.
If not (or if the elite is a type that doesn’t chase you, like Wretched Mother or Skeleton Archer), kill him in place.
Now that the follower has been updated and can use FoT + Nemesis Bracers, you get some significant benefits from pylons, but also some dangers. About 1/3 of the time in GRs, Nems will spawn an elite who has Dune Dervishes for minions. The spin attack these enemies perform can reflect the axes thrown by the Frenzy: Sidearm rune back at you. This generally kills you instantly. So, whenever you spawn an elite, you will need to make a quick decision about whether you actually want to fight him, or run away.
Generally, with Power, Shield, and Conduit pylons, you can take down elites even if there are Dervishes around. Shield prevents you from dying, of course, and Conduit kills the mobs without you needing to use Frenzy. With a Power you are in a bit more danger, but you can generally kill the elite and his minions pretty quickly, taking care to stop attacking when the Dervishes are spinning.
Power Pylons best for bursting down large groups of mobs, but are also nice for fighting the RG.
Conduit is good for both elites and trash. In fact, if you grab a conduit and eliminate all the trash surrounding an elite, it may be preferable to quickly check the next screen to see if there is more trash to electrocute rather than spending the remainder of the conduit on killing the elite. This build kills isolated elites very quickly, so quickly killing trash is a higher priority. After the conduit has run out, return and kill the elite.
Channeling pylon is not bad, not fantastic. It helps you move quickly through a rift using charge, and get some extra WOTB uptime.
Shield is good, as incoming damage can be a problem.
Speed pylon significantly increases your damage, your healing, and your stricken stacking. Good stuff.
Once you reach the RG, it’s really just a matter of hitting with Frenzy till he’s dead.
NOTES FOR LOW PARAGON PLAYERS (<800P)
At low paragon, toughness becomes a very significant issue, and this is particularly the case for undodgeable attacks, most notably arcane beams. I recommend that low paragon players skip all arcane packs with more than 3 members. Find a horde/arcane elite? Charge through him, keep going, and don’t stop until you’re a couple screens away!
At lower paragon, it can also be quite advantageous to spend some of your time focusing on killing big piles of trash, without elites present. High density white mobs are generally much less dangerous than elites, and if you do a good job of making your way into oculus circles you can clear density quite quickly.
When below 2000 paragon, it may be advantageous to run Guardian’s (Bracer + Helm) rather than Aughild. This gives better toughness, and as long as you get at least 50% extra total Strength from this set, equal or better damage than Aughild.
One final note: you really, really want to have Life per Hit on one of your weapons! It will significantly help to keep you alive!
I have recently revised the “Main” build to use the Aughild set, rather than CoE. While both setups are good, and in terms of max push potential, they are probably almost exactly equal, the Aughild setup is easier to play since it provides consistent toughness and removes the timing and cooldown management needed to line up WOTB and CoE.
The Low Paragon Guardian’s Variant
Swap out the Aughild Bracer + Chest/Shoulder for Guardian Bracer + Helm, and the H90 Chest/Shoulder. At lower paragon (generally below about 1700 - 2000) this gives better toughness than Aughild, and equal or better damage, as long as you are getting at least 50% total extra Strength from Guardian’s. i.e. if you have 10,000 total strength, Guardian’s needs to take you to at least 15000. If you have 15,000, it needs to take you to 22,500, etc.
The CoE Variant (formerly the “Main” build)
Swap out the Aughild Bracer + Chest/Shoulder for Parthans and the remaining piece of H90. Swap RoRG in the cube for CoE. This setup has a bit less consistent toughness, though it can for short periods be hugely durable, due to enemies frozen by Azurewrath proccing your Parthans. It also deals a bit more damage to trash mobs, though a bit less to elites.
The Aughild + Squirt Variant
Wear CoE and BoM, with RoRG in the cube. Wear Aughild Bracers + Shoulders, plus Squirt’s Necklace amulet. With this setup, you are basically banking on finding a Shield pylon at an opportune moment, which will allow you to use the damage bonuses of CoE, Aughild, and Squirt’s all at once. Other than that, you will mostly be getting hit too much to accumulate any Squirt’s stacks, though you might get some stacking vs the RG. In general, I would expect this variant to be worse than the “main” or “CoE” setups, though it could be fun to try.
The High-Healing Variant
Wear 6 pieces H90, Vambraces of Sescheron, and CoE instead of Aughild 2 piece + RoRG. If you use these, you can also switch the Life per Hit on your Azurewrath to DMG%, AD, or STR.
The Mortick’s Variant
Wear 6 pieces H90, Mortick’s Brace, and CoE instead of Aughild 2 piece + RoRG. Makes you very hard to kill during WOTB cycles, but significantly more fragile when WOTB is on cooldown.
The Echoing Fury Variant
Swap Azurewrath for Echoing Fury. EF is the only weapon I think is nearly as good as AZ for off-hand. The downsides are that fear makes enemies run away, and it can be hard at times to keep up your stacks. If desired, you can run the Weapons Master passive instead of Rampage / Brawler. This gives you about +7% damage, without the complications of those other two skills (need to have 3 enemies nearby, or need to keep killing mobs to keep up your buff). Just make sure you are holding EF in your main hand.
The Aquilla or Unity Variant
Wear 5 pieces H90 + Aquilla Cuirass (or, if you have a great pair of Depth Diggers, you can wear those and put Aquilla in the cube), plus a bracer of your choice (Parthans, Morticks, or Vambraces). Or, wear 6 pieces H90 (plus bracer of your choice) and swap RoRG for Unity, also making sure you have another Unity plus an invulnerability item on your follower. Doubles your toughness, but cuts your damage by at least 1/3rd. If you find you are dying a lot, give this a try.
The Sword+Board Variant
Swap Azurewrath for a Stormshield (more toughness) or Lidless Wall (more damage). You want CDR, CHC, STR, and either VIT or Block for Stormshield, and Elemental% for Lidless. If you have Freeze% on belt or Stun% on gloves, this will help your dps since you are dropping the freeze of Azurewrath. Swap Rampage passive for Sword + Board. With the same AS rolls for the main variant, you have an 9F/8F regular/WOTB Frenzy, which is still pretty quick. This variant is probably 3 or 4 GRs behind the “main” build in terms of damage, but you are a bit tougher.
The Two-Hander Variant
Carry Bastion’s Revered (Dmg% - AS - STR) and put Oathkeeper in the cube. Drop damage range on rings, pick up AS on one and CDR on the other. Like with the S+B variant, it is helpful to have Freeze% on belt and/or Stun% on gloves. Also 3 or 4 GRs behind the “main” build, but a lot of fun to play.
The Speed Variant
Swap Azurewrath for In-Geom (DMG%, STR, CDR, Socket). Swap Bane of the Stricken for Wreath of Lightning or Boon of the Hoarder (only for t16s). If you are killing things quickly, you can wear H90 6-piece + Warzechian bracers + CoE in the cube. If you are still killing things quickly, you can swap Depth Diggers for Chilanik’s Chain.
Q: How good is this build?
A: It’s recently been buffed (Feb 2023) and is now a decent, A-tier build, close in power to Wastes Rend and LoD HotA.
Q: What’s the point of having Freeze or Stun on my gear? Doesn’t the Smite rune of Frenzy take care of this for me?
A: Smite only works on the main target you’re attacking. So it’s pretty good when you’re finishing off an elite or killing the RG, but in density, much of your damage is coming via Bloodshed and AD, and because of the way the Bastion’s chain splits up your damage among many enemies, your dps is diminished for every enemy around you that isn’t stunned/frozen. In comparison, freeze rolls on Azurewrath or belt, and stun on gloves, can take effect on every enemy hit by the chain.
Q: I’ve heard this build has some weird interactions with Bane of the Stricken. What’s up with that?
A: The short version: don’t worry about it, just keep hitting those elites. The long version: see this post: [Barb] H90 Focused Feedback - #685 by Rage-13139
Q: Do I want Area Damage in this build? I’ve heard it’s not very good.
A: You heard wrong. You want a decent amount of AD, even though it’s not the be-all-and-end-all for this build like it is for some builds, like Leapquake.
Q: I keep getting one-shotted despite having a ton of toughness on my character sheet. What’s happening?
A: Your sheet toughness is hugely boosted by the H90 2-piece causing War Cry: Veteran’s Shout to give you 60% dodge. But, when attacks do hit you (and some very nasty things, like Arcane Beams and Furious Beast charge attacks, are undodgeable) they can remove 100% of your life in one blow. Try to avoid those sorts of attacks by using Charge to get out of the way!
Q: I can do GR XXX (say, 120) really easily, but GR XXX + 5 (say, 125) feels really hard! What’s happening?
A: The damage you deal with this build doesn’t scale up in density, so at a certain point you will just hit a “damage wall” where you simply cannot kill the mobs fast enough. You’ll need to get better gear, gain more paragon, or upgrade your augments in order to proceed much further.
Q: Do I have to take BR: Bloodshed, or can I take Swords To Ploughshares, for the healing?
A: You need Bloodshed. Progressing through density without it is virtually impossible.
Q: I hear there was a bug with Bastion’s Revered and CoE. What happened with that?
A: It got fixed.
Q: Can I use Pig Sticker as an off-hand? How about Sankis? Or Sunkeeper?
A: Sure, you can use any of those, but they’re all less good than either Azurewrath or Echoing Fury.
Q: Can I replace Trapped, Stricken, or Simplicity’s Strength with Gogok, Esoteric, Mutilation Guard, Bane of the Powerful, or Invigorating Gemstone?
A: Again, you can make any of those swaps, but all of them will ultimately make you weaker rather than stronger. That said, if using Gogok-Powerful-Invigorating sounds like fun to you, then give it a go!
Q: If I want to spend several hours attacking an enemy without actually killing them, is there a certain type of enemy that is better for that?
A: Yes! Skeletons are ideal in this situation.
Q: In season 20, I can use multiple weapon, armor, or jewelry items in the cube. Should I change my cubed gear at all?
A: Not really. The cube options available to you in non-season are still the best options. Bastion’s Revered is obviously obligatory. Nothing else will add as much damage as Depth Diggers. The least bad replacement you could make would be to switch CoE for Echoing Fury, but this is still trading an item that gives you more than 50% extra damage in this build for one that adds about 33% damage, and only then at max stacks (takes you from 8F on Frenzy to 6F).
Q: What are my options for the 4th cube slot in Season 22?
A: Check out this post.
Q: What weapon should I use for season 24 (Ethereals)?
A: I think the highest clears will come with Grandfather equipped, with the power of either Bastion’s or Oathkeeper, and the other in the cube. But, pushing with Grandfather will be very challenging, since you heal considerably less. Using Doombringer, with the power of Bastion’s, Oathkeeper, or Echoing Fury will be much easier to play, and almost as good. If you are lower paragon or don’t want to go super-tryhard, this may be the better setup for you.
Q: What Angelic Crucible power should I use in season 27?
A: The only power Frenzy can really take advantage of is the WOTB “Tempest Rhythm” power. Unfortunately, this damage buff is additive, and Frenzy already carries a lot of additive damage, so expect to see only a 1-2 GR level improvement.
Q: Should I make any changes to the build for Season 28?
A:: Nope. The standard, non-season version will do great for you in Season 28.
Q: I have another question. What do I do?
A: Ask, and I’ll do my best to answer!