[Guide] New + Returning Player's Guide (Season 18)


Hi folks. I’ve made this guide a WIKI so that various contributors can edit as needed.

Hello there!

New to the game? Returning for Season 18? First-time Barb? All the above? This is the thread for you!

This thread contains some useful starter info to get you up to speed. Read this carefully and follow the appropriate links. If you have questions, post in the appropriate thread linked below. This is the easiest way to make sure you get accurate, informative replies.

Part 1: The Barb Primer

Here is a brief list of our class's strengths and weaknesses:


  • 5 major builds capable of solo GR 125+ solo, and 1 is capable of 150 in groups

  • Several minor builds capable of 110-115+

  • Some of the fastest speed-farm builds (R6 HOTA, Zodiac WW, and Vile Charge)

  • Excel at solo speed-farming and low GR gem-leveling

  • Most builds are relatively easy to gear

  • Always have a place in groups as a zDPS Support Barb


  • Aside from off-meta speeds, we do not DPS in groups

  • 2 builds are very tough to gear (Zodiac WW and R6 HOTA)

  • 2 builds are very tough to play correctly (Zodiac WW and R6 HOTA)

  • One build requires extreme fishing for good RGs (Vile Charge)

  • No viable generator builds

  • No viable LoN builds

Seasonal Suggestions
Here is a suggested outline to maximize your efficiency in Season play.

  1. Early on, pick a single major build (see below) to use for the Season. For Season 17, Haedrig’s Gift will award you the Legacy of Raekor set which can be used to create two very strong builds–R6 HOTA or, when combined with the Immortal King’s Call set, Vile Charge. Regardless, by the time you are 200-400 Paragon, you should have chosen a major build. This will be the focus as you farm gear and Paragon. Everything you do will help complete this build. You may use a different build to speed-farm.

  2. Farm efficiently using the 1-70 guide found below in Part 2. Farm at a difficulty you can clear Neph Rifts in 2-4 minutes, GRs in 3-5 minutes, and bounties in 5-10 minutes. For bounties, try to do split-farming in groups. Regardless of the major build you chose in step one, it is strongly recommended that you choose one of the following builds as your speed-farm build: R6 HOTA, Vile Charge, Zodiac WW, or Fire EQ.

  3. Collect gear for a zDPS Support Barb (guide links below). Make a separate Barb and get him or her power-leveled to 70. This new Barb will be your zDPS Support Barb.

  4. Continue to farm gear and keys with your main Barb. Farm Paragon, gem upgrades, and gear with your zDPS Support Barb. Funnel all resources into perfecting the major build you chose early on.

  5. Push solo and group GRs.

For a complete breakdown of how to progress from level 70 to end-game content, scroll down to the second part of this post.

Major Builds
Our major builds are all capable of GR 125+ and some can go much higher.

For questions about Raekor HOTA (R6 HOTA), our most powerful solo build, read this guide: [Guide] Raekor HOTA (Season 18)

  • Strongest solo build

  • Fastest speed-farm build

  • Least fishing required for solo GRs


  • Tough to gear properly

  • Tricky to master–takes lots of practice

If you have questions about Charge builds (Vile Charge), or want to know about combining the Immortal King and Raekor sets, read this guide and post in that thread: [GUIDE] VileCharge IK6.RK4 updated for S17


  • Second or third strongest solo build

  • Extremely fast speed-farm build

  • Very easy to gear


  • Tricky to master–takes lots of practice

  • Lots of fishing required for optimal RGs

For questions about Immortal King HOTA (Hammer of the Ancients), consult this thread: [Guide] IK HOTA (Season 18)


  • Fifth strongest solo build

  • Easy to gear

  • Relatively easy to play

  • Not much fishing required for solo GRs


  • Bad at speed-farming

For questions related to Whirlwind, the Wrath of the Wastes and BK sets, the Zodiac Whirlwind build and general WW-related questions, consult this thread: [Guide] Zodiac Whirlwind (Season 18)


  • Second or third strongest solo build

  • Extremely fast speed-farm build

  • Skill overlap with zDPS Support Barb


  • Tricky to master–takes lots of practice

  • Lots of fishing required for optimal maps+mobs

  • Tough to properly gear

  • Less powerful than other major builds early Season

For EQ- or Slam-related questions or for general questions about the Might of the Earth set, consult this thread: COMING SOON


  • Fourth strongest solo build

  • Fast speed-farm build

  • Easiest major build to gear

  • Easiest major build to play

  • Best build for HC players (very tanky)


  • Some fishing required for maps, mobs, and especially for RGs

For questions about zDPS Barbs, including Rat Run Pacman builds and Raekor push builds, consult this thread: [Guide] zDPS Support Barb (Season 18)


  • Required in group play

  • Easy gem upgrades

  • Easy Paragon farming

  • Easy gear and shard farming


  • Tricky to master–takes lots of practice

  • Group success depends on you

Minor Builds
Our minor builds vary in strength. Some are very close to the potential of our major builds.

Pro-Slam remains a popular build and for good reason. So, too, does Frozen Fury, a very similar build. For questions and discussion on either build, check out this thread: [Guide] 2.6.6 MOTE6-IB-Cold/Pro-Slam +121 (Season 18)

Raekor Slam is a fun build that excels at speed-farming T16 solo and in groups. For more info, check out the link above for R6 HOTA.

Frenzy, Weapon Throw, Bash, and Cleave Builds
Sorry, but Barbs have no viable generator builds. You can slap together IK 6 and use whatever supporting legendaries you desire, but these builds are slow, weak, and bad at speed-farming and pushing GRs. Don’t even think about playing these in group rifts.

In Season 18, a powerful, fun Legacy of Dreams HOTA build has risen to compete with IK HOTA. You can find a guide for this build here: [Guide] Fire LoN HotA (Season 17)

Top 5 Tier List
For an updated tier list of our Top 5 builds, and for general questions about which build is more powerful and why, consult this thread: Top 5 Solo + Group Barb Builds (Season 18)

Defining Viable
The term “viable” gets thrown around a lot. Let’s define it. And let’s begin with a little honesty: the core loop of D3 game activities is as follows: farm items + keys to do GRs (solo, group, or both).

Full stop. Because there’s literally nothing else to do in the game. Bounties? We only do them for mats. Goblins? Does anyone actually think pets or cosmetics comprise a core game activity? That would be so sad. But the better answer is that none of those activities requires the same level of careful optimization; none of them require you to find ways to tap into a build’s true power potential.

And taking that into consideration, viable builds are those best suited to one or both core activities (solo/group GRs or speed-farming), doubly so if you value efficiency, consistency, and potential. That’s how these builds are ranked, particularly with an emphasis on pushing solo GRs (since Barbs don’t DPS in groups).

And let’s take it a step further. A viable build is one that contends with, or is within 10 tiers of, the strongest possible build for the highest possible solo GR clear. Right now, R6 HOTA can clear GR 134+ and it doesn’t look like that is the build’s ceiling. For now, we will define viable by being within +/- 10 GR tiers of GR 134.

Why is +/- 10 GR tiers important?

It is and it isn’t. 5 GR tiers is a lot of difference–a lot of extra mob HP, a lot more incoming damage, and a lot more damage output required. If we’re talking about how much toughness a build can stack, here’s what you need to survive as GRs get tougher and tougher (image courtesy of Zork):

Now, bear in mind that we don’t always want to tank damage. In fact, a major strategy in end-game GRs is to avoid dangerous sources of damage–arcane beams, molten explosions, and the hard-hitting physical blows from mobs such as Pain Mongers. But Barbs are a melee class (none of our ranged builds are even close to a minor build, don’t waste your time), and we need to be able to tank some damage. The above chart ballparks how much toughness we need to survive the overall incoming damage increase at a given GR tier.

Of course, as you gain Paragon, you gain toughness–Strength boosts damage and Armor, and Armor reduces incoming damage. This is why high-Paragon players can drop a couple of Strength rolls from gear; they can make it up via Paragon. And everyone can boost damage and Armor through Augments. So, let’s take a look at how Paragon effects toughness.

First, take a look at this thread by Zork: Paragon to Toughness

Pay attention to the first bullet point: “Going from 800 to 1800 is ~9GR of toughness worth.”

It should be obvious, but grinding 1000 Paragon on top of your current Paragon should give you about 9 GRs worth of toughness. Does this mean you can now clear 9 tiers higher? Not necessarily. Let’s take a look at Zork’s accompanying spreadsheet: Monster Health, Toughness, and Stricken

Notice how monster health doubles every five GR tiers. To overcome this, you need to increase your damage output by about 17% every five GR tiers. It doesn’t perfectly line up with the toughness needed, and damage is most often where a build starts to falter. Other factors such as Bane of Stricken, Pylons, and AD directly impact this, though it’s difficult–perhaps impossible–to calculate their precise impacts because of the shifting ways they allocate damage output.

But Paragon alone can’t carry a build because the damage and toughness increase from Strength alone will quickly fall behind either monster health or incoming damage.

So, what does this mean for viability?

It means that viable builds can reach the upper tiers by exploiting mechanical interactions that allow them to overcome the toughness and damage barriers, and they either innately have it (like R6 HOTA) or can acquire it via scaling main stat (Zodiac WW).

In other words, look at the top clears. If a build is within 5 tiers of that, regardless of Paragon and main stat, it’s obviously very competitive because it is able to exploit its mechanics to overcome damage and toughness hurdles. And if it can get within 5 tiers, there’s likely a little more juice to wring from the build.

10 tiers represents a much larger difference, but a build that can barely do 100 and a build that can do 110 are in completely different leagues–about 4 million monster HP of difference. Of course, a build that can do 110 can probably do 111 and 112 and so forth. So it’s not the arbitrary GR tier # (124+ in this case) that defines viability, but rather a build’s potential to meet or match (or come very, very close) to that tier range that matters.

Now, that kind of viability is based solely on a build’s power potential–what can it accomplish given skill, Paragon, gems, Augments, great gear, and so forth. And right now, based on what I’ve outlined above, viable builds are capable of 124-134+. In other words, if you’re not playing a build that can do 122+, you’re wasting your time or you have an entirely different goal.

If you don’t care about GR ranks or pushing the leaderboards, you’re welcome to invest in your own goals. Maybe your goal is to clear GR 110 super-fast on repeat. In that case, there are a lot of builds that will be viable for the specific task at hand. The same can be said if your personal goal is to clear GR 105 with whatever set you happen to complete. Or maybe you want to create a new build, something totally out of left field, and your personal goal is to push it to 80 or 90 or even 100. Cool. Good luck. Just remember: that doesn’t make it a viable build.

New + Returning Players: Have a question but not sure where to ask it? Post it here and one of the forum vets will help you.

Forum vets + regulars: Please help new players by referring them to the proper link. The more we consolidate good info, the easier it is for new players to access and utilize comprehensive sources. That way, we avoid thread spam for one-off questions.

Happy posting!

Part 2: 1-70 Leveling Guide and Haedrig Starter Sets

This section is going to provide a step by step guide on what skills to use while leveling and the best steps to take while leveling to maximize your efficiency. This section has been pulled from creators such as Desolacer, Bluddshed, Lord Fluffy and others and combined into a single guide that has worked well for leveling and getting your season started with whatever the free set is for each season.

Leveling 1-70

  1. Create Seasonal Character, log into Adventure Mode, Take Follower weapon, equip your cosmetics and pet (F1) then log out
  2. Complete the Challenge Rift solo or with a group
  3. Set game to Master, log in, and gamble Blood Shards
  • For Barb, your best bet is to roll bracers for Bracers of Destruction and/or Bracers of the First Men, then roll rings for Band of Might (You can also roll for Boots for Lut Socks, especially if MoTE is the free set from Haedrig’s)

  1. Complete a boss bounty (Zoltun, Maghda, Azmodan are best bet here)
  • If playing in a group, have each person create a game and if someone has one of these bounties then everyone jump into that person’s game
  1. Lower Difficulty to Hard and Run:
  • Solo – Massacre Bonuses in Halls of Agony Level 3 or Darkening of Tristram event (Look for Cursed Events)
  • Group – Halls of Agony or Darkening of Tristram Event (Map Levels 1-4 only)
  1. Level 5 Skills:

  1. At Level 8, craft a 2-Handed Axe or Bow and CHECK BACK EVERY 5 LEVELS OR SO!
  2. Levels 10-15, Check Fence Vendors for Damage+ Rings and Amulets and CHECK BACK OFTEN!
  • If Running Solo, stay in Halls of Agony Level 3 on Hard until Level 14, then raise difficulty to Master and continue run HoA 3
  • If in a group, switch it up and run Rifts until 70
  1. Level 11 Skills:

  1. Level 14 Skills:

  1. Level 21 Skills:

  1. At level 23, you have the option of completing bounties for Born and Cains set for XP bonus.
  2. Level 29 Skills:

  1. At Level 33, switch to Fields of Misery if playing Solo
  2. Levels 33-70 Skills:

  1. At Level 40, craft a level 70 weapon and attempt to roll reduced level requirements on it. If successful start at T1 and work up if you are killing easily.

Leveling Tips

  • Keep an Eye out for Leoric’s Crown to use while leveling for bonus XP
  • Red Gems in Helm/Armor and Weapons

If you get either set of Bracers from Kadala then substitute Rend for either HOTA (Rolling Thunder) or Seismic Slam (Stagger) for a MASSIVE DAMAGE BOOST!

Fresh 70 WW Build (can be tweaked depending on drops/Kadala)

  • Craft Level 70 gear (yellow Level 70 gear will be stronger than a sub 70 Legendary)
  • Craft 1-Handed Mighty Weapons for Resource
  • Mighty Belt with LPFS is very helpful for survivability
  • Stat Priority
    • Lightning Dmg
    • CHC
    • CHD
    • Str
    • CDR

Seasonal Sets 4/6p Build Recommendations

Legacy of Raekor

  • Roll Bracers and BoM on Level 1 Barb and cube both
  • Craft Weapon
    • 2H Mace (High Damage)
    • 2H Mighty Weapon (Max Fury/LPFS)
  • Craft Mighty Belt with LPFS
  • Diamonds in Gear/Helm
  • Emeralds in Weapon
  • Stat Priority
    • 20% CDR
    • CHD
    • CHC
    • Physical Dmg

Might of The Earth

  • Roll Lut Socks on Level 1 Barb and put in cube
  • Craft Mighty Belt and Weapon with LPFS and Max Fury
  • Diamonds in Gear/Helm
  • Emeralds in Weapon
  • Stat Priority
    • CHC
    • CHD
    • Str
    • Vit

Wrath of the Wastes

  • Roll Band of Might on Level 1 Barb and put in cube
  • Craft Mighty Belt with LPFS
  • Craft 2H Mighty Weapon
  • Diamonds in Chest/Pants
  • Topaz in Helm
  • Emeralds in Weapon
  • Stat Priorities:
    • CHC
    • CHD
    • Str
    • Skill Dmg
    • Elemental %
    • AS

Immortal King

  • Roll Bracers and BoM on Level 1 Barb and cube both
  • You can switch HoTA for SS (Stagger) if you rolled on the Bracers of Destruction
  • Craft Mighty Belt with LPFS
  • Craft 2H Mighty Weapon
  • Diamonds in Gear
  • Emerald in Weapon
  • Stat Priority:
    • CHC
    • CHD
    • Elemental %
    • Str

Part 3: Season Play & Gear Rolls

If you're very new to the game and just hit level 70, you might be looking at all this info and feeling completely lost.

Don’t worry! In this post, I’ll walk you step by step from level 70 to end-game play. This post is a work in progress and much of it is copied from forum vet Conquistador’s old “Sub-400 Paragon Guide,” so credit to him for most of this information.

Let’s get into it!

Part 1: Get your Set
Your first priority should be follow the 1-70 guide posted above in Part 2, then to get your Haedrig’s Gift set. After that, you need to complete Chapters 2, 3, and 4 of the Season Journey. That will unlock three Haedrig’s Gifts and give you a free class set–make sure you open them all on the same character (your Barb)! The free set this Season is Legacy of Raekor.

To complete those above chapters, set the game on a difficulty you can quickly and easily manage (or that it requires as per the Season Journey instructions).

Here’s a tracker: https://d3resource.com/journey/

You’ll note that by Chapters 3 and 4, you’ll need to be able to tackle tougher content. Don’t worry–as you’re doing your Season Journey, you’ll get legendary and set item drops, and at least a few can be combined into a semi-useful piecemeal build.

Part 2: Set up your Early-Season Build
Now that you have a complete Raekor set, it’s time to set up your early-Season build. Gamble for at Kadala or upgrade rares in the Cube for the following: Istvan’s Paired Blades, Band of Might, Gavel of Judgment, Bracers of the First Men, Pride of Cassius, Compass Rose & Traveller’s Pledge, Focus and Restraint, and various pieces of the Immortal King’s Call set, especially an Immortal King’s Boulder Breaker. You can also farm/gamble/upgrade for Convention of Elements and Ancient Parthan Defenders. If your desired items roll well, equip them.

If you want to gear toward R6 HOTA, use this guide. If you prefer Vile Charge, use this guide.

How you set this build up the builds depends on the items you possess.

If you feel too squishy, you’re probably tackling content that is too difficult. Lower the difficulty. You can also swap a DPS passive for a defensive passive and make sure you have All Resist on chest, pants, boots, and belt.

Also–and this is essential–make sure your Follower has an Oculus ring. This is often overlooked, but is absolutely crucial!

Part 3: Build for Success
As you work on your early-Season build, you need to start building for future success. First, let’s talk about gems. et your Gems and Level them up! Seriously, I have lost count of the number of noobies who haven’t got gems or leveled them up or who still think it’s okay to play with unsocketed jewelry. Legendary Gems trump any available stat on amulet and rings and they get better the higher their rank.

Start with leveling Bane of the Trapped, and the following high value gems, all of which should be leveled to 25+:

  • Bane of the Trapped

  • Taeguk

  • Bane of the Powerful

  • Bane of the Stricken

  • Esoteric Alteration

  • Zei’s

  • Pain Enhancer

  • Gogok

  • Wreath of Lightning

  • Toxin

The following gems are not required in ANY currently useful Barbarian build. You can level these last as you’ll mainly use them to Augment your armor at a later date are:

  • Moratorium

  • Enforcer

  • Molten Gizzard

  • Invigorating Gemstone

Kanai’s Cube
You HAVE to get Kanai’s Cube. Find it in Ruins of Sescheron.

Cube powers that are Good and Important for Noobies:

  • Upgrade Rare Item (more on this later)

  • Extract Legendary Power (extract the most important ones, usually build or utility related, and don’t waste bounty mats on extracting nonsense like Trang Oul’s Coils).

Don’t waste time and mats with the following cube powers while you are still a Noobie:

  • Reforge Legenday – waste of mats

  • Convert Set Item – waste of mats

  • Remove Level Requirement – stupid

  • Convert Gems – may be useful for early game if you run out of rubies for whatever reason (but use carefully if gold is scarce)

  • Convert mats types – occasionally useful when desperate but it costs DBs.

As for Augment Item, you’re unlikely to have sufficient gems (and if you do have them they would be low-ish level, and if you do you are unlikely to have fantastic rolled ancients to augment them on). So it’s practically out of the question. It’s a necessary end-game thing to do, but not worth it for Noobs.

Farming Better Gear
Now you’ve got the basics covered, how do you gear up to Ancient gear? Keep on rifting and farming, and hoping that RNG delivers? “Loot share?” (this is valid and okay but somewhat limited because really great loot will be kept not shared – more on this later). Randomly try your luck with Kadala? Ask around the forum “What is the best way to farm Focus and Restraint?”

These are not great strategies at all. In fact the strategy to "play the game for as many hours as you can and hope for the best", which is an apt summary of most Noobies, totally sucks.

Actually, there are only 4 things you gotta do.

  1. Cube for Weapons

  2. Kadala for Armor

  3. Natural drops for Jewelry

  4. Mats are precious, don’t waste mats[/ul]

If you follow this advice, you should be well-geared within a week. Here’s an explanation of each point.

1. Cube for Weapons
The Upgrade Rare Item function in Kanai’s Cube is by far the best way to get you your build-defining weapons, including ancient versions.

What you want are yellow 1H swords or any 1H or 2H Mighty Weapons (which are exclusive to Barb), which once upgraded in the Cube will get eventually net you the Istvan’s Paired Blades set and various Barb-exclusive Mighty Weapons, such as Blade of Tribes, Gavel of Judgement, etc.

For this reason one key aspect of your gameplay from now on, all the way till you roll a GG end-game ancient weapon, will be to pick up ALL 1H and 2H Mighty Weapons that drop, and buy ALL 1H and 2H Mighty Weapons from the vendors in whatever town you’re in. NO EXCEPTIONS TO THIS.

Keep the yellows in your stash and once you have enough mats (especially DBs), go to Kanai’s cube, insert the correct mats and bingo! you get a Legendary weapon, guaranteed. You’ll of course get a few Madawc’s Sorrows and Ambo’s Pride (which are useless) while Upgrading Rare–but that’s par for the course. By my reckoning, within 15-20 tries you would expect to nail a IKBB/GOJ/FOTVP/Blade of Tribes. If your RNG is super, you might even get an ancient. But if your RNG is bad, do another 10. And another 10. Then rinse and repeat until you get top-rolled ancients.

Remember, even if you get a crappy Gavel of Judgement, you can still Cube it for its full power. And right now, Cubed items are more powerful than equipped items since Cubed items automatically give you their full legendary power.

Keeping the above in mind, in addition to picking up weapons (NO EXCEPTIONS TO THIS) you will also collect the following crafting mats:

  • Deaths Breaths

  • Veiled Crystals

  • Arcane Dust

  • Reusuable Parts

Get them any way you can, as fast as you can. Remember, your strategy is not really to wait for RNG drops, it’s to get the 4 mats in volume. Then take whatever blood shards and legendary items which you get along the way, as a bonus.

2. Kadala for Armor
Kadala is for armor only. Never ask her for weapons and jewelry, she will rob you. Once in a blue moon she may hand a friend a GG ancient Sword of Awesomeamazingballs, but rest assured you’re being stupid if you ask her for weapons and jewelry.

There are a few important exceptions to this such as getting Band of Might. Here’s a snippet from forum vet Tom to explain further:

I am not sure if you have got your Band of Might yet. If not, create a level 1 barb and gamble ring. There are only 2 possible rings (BoM and Leoric Signet) in the ring pool when your toon is level 1. It is the fastest and cheapest way to get your first BoM. You will get a level 16 BoM but it doesn’t matter. All you need is its legendary power. So you may simply cube it.

Band of Might is essential in many of our strongest builds, so getting one early is a very good idea. Having the Band of Might power in the Cube will more or less make you invincible during your Season Journey.

With that said, gamble armor at Kadala. Pants, Boots, Shoulders, Bracers, Gloves, Chest, Helm, Belt. In that order. Rinse and repeat. Until you get absolutely top rolled ancient armor in every slot.

For belts, you should note that buying them at Kadala is gonna be more difficult than the other categories because K doesn’t distinguish between Mighty Belts and regular belts. As a result, you’re better off saving Mighty Belts you find and upgrading them in the Cube.

So again, when you’re doing your Torment 1–Torment-whatever runs, or Gem-leveling runs - the focus isn’t on waiting for items to RNG drop, which can get quite disheartening and take weeks and weeks. The focus is on shards and mats. If you get a goblin pack, get the Blood Thief and Mats Collector first! And on your way, you can also keep an eye out for yellow 1H or 2H Mighty weaps.

In between all those runs, you’ll be accumulating alot of GR keys. So definitely, interspersed with regular rifts, run your GR keys for loot and gem upgrades. GRs are great for legendaries per hour and blood shards per hour (but you depend on RNG for what type of legendaries drop for you).

3. Natural Drops for Jewelry
The only time when you’ll be depending on RNG would be for jewelry. You don’t buy them at Kadala because they’re expensive (rings cost 50 shards and you’ll end up with hundreds of Manald Heal and Stolen Rings before getting a Unity, and amulets are even worse at 100 shards). Neither do you cube for jewelry, because, well, you need the mats for your weapons (and maybe belts).

The good thing is, jewelry drops pretty often. By my own unscientific observation, rings or amulets drop in nearly every single TX rift I do and probably at least 70% of Grifts over 40. And nowadays there are a ton of useful and decent rings: COE, Unity, Zodiac, Focus and Restraint, Band of Might, Compass Rose… the list goes on. There’s a good chance you can get a decent ring doing all that farming and your chances of getting decent rings and amulets is reasonably good. For amulets, spend some time farming HF keys and share them with friends. HF ammies are a lot of RNG but useful ones stay with you for a very long time and they are worth the investment.

4. Mats are precious, don’t waste mats
As I said earlier, you’ll need mats for Kanai’s Cube and a whole host of other things in the game. Mats are precious, don’t waste em. Avoid wasting mats by taking these steps:

Here are some basic rules for re-rolling gear.

  1. Don’t reroll non-ancient gear if you can. The important thing is to get the correct arrangement of stats and be done. For example, you have non-ancient EQ helm with Str, Vit, and Regen. Reroll regen to Crit Chance – any crit chance roll will do (4.5% to 6%), don’t bother rolling it perfect to 6% that because it will get replaced by an ancient soon enough.

  2. For ancient items, if the best rerolls are gonna make the item good don’t spend too many mats trying to make it the best it can because it is fundamentally limited. For example you have an ancient gloves, with 800+ Str and Vit, 8.5% crit chance. Do you roll up to 50% chd? I’d say no. 45% will be fine, the gloves will never be GG so try to get another that will.

  3. Only when you’ve got absolutely top potential ancient items, then you spend whatever mats you need to get those top rolls. Eg, Mara’s Kaleidoscope with socket, 10% cc and 19/20% elemental damage – in such a case don’t hesitate to break your bank to roll up to 99% or 100% crit damage.

Reforge Legendary
Just to keep this short – Reforge Legendary is, by its design, a huge and unreasonable mats sink. It is not for when you’re starting out. Try your luck, once in a while, but in general, stay away.[/ul]

Part 4: Optimization

The number of people running around with Life Regen, Thorns, and a whole other bunch of useless stats on their gear makes me sad. This is apart from the people who think it is okay to run around without socketed jewelry.

It is of course true that D3 game mechanics are opaque and inconsistent, but it is completely not an excuse to have dumb stats on gear. Here’s a basic primer:

  • All jewelry must have a socket

  • All jewelry must have CHC and CHD – the third roll depends on build and needs

  • All weapons will have Strength and two other stats (not including the base damage range)

  • All weapons must have sockets. If they’re Ancient weapons, you give them a socket through Ram’s Gift consumable items. Emeralds always go in weapon sockets.

  • Shoulders, chest, belt, pants, and boots must have Strength, Vitality, and All Resist. Shoulders will have different or additional stats as dictated by builds. Boots will always have a relevant skill damage. Belts will also need either Life % or Life per Fury depending on build.

  • Gloves will have Strength, CHC, CHD, and one other roll depending on build needs (most often Area Damage or CDR).

  • Helmets will have Strength, Vitality, and one other roll depending on build needs. Later on, many builds trade Vitality on helmets for skill damage.

If you follow this simple formula, you’ll quickly compile really good gear. Leaderboards tell us what stats are good and no one on the leaderboards uses Life Regen!

Here are some other generally sound tips for emerging Noobish Barbies:

  1. Build up your Kanai’s Cube library by extracting legendary powers from legendary items; you will need bounty mats to do so (remember never to run bounties alone).

  2. Join Communities for loot sharing, and a good clan if possible. Remember though that loot sharing is somewhat illusive, the best loot will almost always be kept by its finder – the main idea is that loot share is for plugging gaps in what you don’t have, rather than to obtain GG ancient upgrades for end-game pushing.

  3. Do rifts and GRs at a difficulty which you can comfortably manage. D3 is all about killing stuff, and the faster you kill the more drops, mats, and XP you get. The game however scales such that if you go too low the XP you get becomes meaningless, so find a balance where you can kill comfortably (meaning, reach and kill the RG in a regular rift within 2-4 minutes) and at the same time get decent loot XP and mats.

  4. Don’t forget to accumulate GR keys by doing normal rifts, you will need them to level your gems and they get burned super quick in group play.

Understanding Damage

At first, damage in this game might seem simple. Bigger numbers on items is better, right?


Optimizing your damage in Diablo III is all about stacking the right kind of numbers. Here’s a brief overview of how damage is calculated:

Weapon Damage
Weapon damage is the foundation of (almost) all the damage you deal. There are exceptions, like Thorns damage, but most of the damage you deal is built from one base number: weapon damage. This means bigger weapon damage is always better right?

Not always. See, Weapon damage is calculated by a variety of factors, the most important of which is the base damage range. This can be seen directly under the big damage numbers when you mouse-over your weapon. You’ll want a weapon with the highest possible base damage range, but in many instances, you’ll need to re-roll a different property on the item. The rolls you want on weapons vary from build to build, but there are several key traits that all truly great weapons should have:

  • Highest possible base damage range
  • Socket
  • Area Damage

The only exceptions to this are Thorns and zDPS builds, and even they require sockets in the weapons.

Skills act as multipliers to your weapon damage. Generally, the bigger the multiplier offered by a skill, the more damage a skill will deal. But this also depends on how the skill works, how its different runes further modify this, and how different types of elemental damage complicate matters.

Items typically offer two kinds of modifiers to your damage:

  • Additive Bonuses: These combine with other additive bonuses, such as damage increased by skills (dibs), into one large total. That total is then applied to the damage you deal as a multiplier. Since all additive sources are combined into a total multiplier, this means that stacking too many additive sources will offer diminishing returns. Generally speaking, additive bonuses are not as powerful as multiplicative bonuses, though there are exceptions. Additive bonuses show up on your character sheet and are easily calculated. Some examples of this are the Battle Rage skill, Rend’s Mutilate rune, and the Taeguk legendary gem.

  • Multiplicative Bonuses: Each multiplicative bonus acts as a separate multiplier. This means the more separate multipliers you stack from items, the more powerful you will be. Unlike additive bonuses, multiplicative bonuses don’t show up on your character sheet and aren’t taken into account when comparing the damage between two items. Very often, you’ll equip a better, more powerful item with a bigger, better multiplier only to see your sheet damage drop substantially. This makes it hard to evaluate gear, so make sure you ask questions in the relevant build guide. Some examples of multiplicative bonuses include the Wrath of the Berserker skill, most of the orange legendary affixes found on items, and the Bane of the Trapped legendary gem. In most instances, multiplicative bonuses are much stronger than additive.

The key to maximizing your damage output is to stack as many multipliers for a skill as possible. For example, in the IK HOTA build, we receive multiplicative bonuses for the Hammer of the Ancients skill from the following items:

  • The IK set’s 6-piece bonus
  • Gavel of Judgment
  • Bracers of the First Men
  • Wrath of the Berserker

Note that only two of those multipliers, those deriving from Gavel and Bracers, are specific to HOTA. The multipliers from Wrath and the IK set are “global” modifiers and work on any skill that deals damage.

There are some general rules to follow when considering items, multipliers, and damage bonuses:

  • Focus on stacking bonuses for one skill. Some builds buff more than one skill, but it’s rare for more than one skill to deal meaningful damage. That will hopefully change in the future.
  • When comparing two of the same item, the one with the bigger multiplier will, in most instances, be the superior item.
  • Elemental damage on gear (Physical, Lightning, etc.) is always a separate multiplier and thus very valuable.
  • Multiplicative bonuses often come with a very specific language (“X skill deals XXX% increased damage”). So do additive bonuses (“Enemies take XX% increased damage from…”).

For a great video guide to damage, check out this tutorial by Filthy Casual:

Finally, if you have questions, do some homework on these forums–and especially in this thread. If that doesn’t provide you with an answer, post in this thread and I or another forum vet will assist you.

Finally, you’re welcome to add me in-game: Free#1746

If I’m farming keys and you’d like me to carry you through some content, you’re welcome to join. I’ll even donate any gear I find that you need. I do have a couple of conditions for joining me:

  1. I farm T16 and I do it pretty fast. You’ll need to be able to survive T16 and you’ll need to keep up. If I’m playing with new or low-Paragon players, I’ll intentionally slow down a little, but my slowed-down speed is much, much faster than public rifts.

  2. You’re welcome to ask me questions while we play, but I don’t want to have to stop and answer questions every five seconds, especially if it is stuff covered in this thread.

  3. I ask for no payment of any kind. Nothing. My assistance is, well, FREE. :slight_smile:

Part 5: Skill Coefficients

The following information was copied from Nubtro's old thread. If you're not testing for a new patch, you can probably ignore this information.

1.000 Frostbite
1.000 Onslaught
1.000 Punish
1.000 Instigation
0.333 Pulverize

0.667 Rupture
0.667 Reaping Swing
0.667 Scattering Blast
0.400 Broad Sweep
0.667 Gathering Storm

0.750 Sidearm
0.750 Berserk
0.750 Vanguard
0.750 Smite
0.750 Maniac

Weapon Throw
1.000 Mighty Throw
0.333 Ricochet
1.000 Throwing Hammer
1.000 Stupefy
1.000 Balanced Weapon

Hammer of the Ancients
0.400 Rolling Thunder
0.667 Smash
0.667 The Devil´s Anvil
0.667 Thunderstrike
0.667 Birthright

0.250 Ravage
0.333 Blood Lust
0.333 Lacerate
0.333 Mutilate
0.333 Bloodbath
0.333 on kill Bloodbath

Seismic Slam
0.333 Stagger
0.333 Shattered Ground
0.111 Rumble (main)
0.111 Rumble (each tremor)
0.333 Strength from Earth
0.333 Permafrost

0.200 Dust Devils (WW)
0.200 Dust Devils (tornado)
0.200 Hurricane
0.200 Blood Funnel
0.200 Wind Shear
0.200 Volcanic Eruption

Ancient Spear
0.4710 Ranseur
0.3925 Harpoon (2 procs)
0.4710 Jagged Edge
0.4710 Boulder Toss
0.3925 Rage Flip (2 procs)

Ground Stomp
0.250 Deafening Crash
0.200 Wrenching Smash (2 procs)
0.250 Trembling Stomp
0.250 Foot of the Mountain
0.250 Jarring Slam

0.333 Iron Impact
0.333 Launch (takeoff)
0.333 Launch (impact)
0.200 Toppling Impact (2 procs)
0.200 Call fo Arreat (2 procs)
0.333 Death from Above (2 procs)

0.0056 Run like the Wind
0.0056 Gangway

Ignore Pain
0.000 Bravado

0.200 Storm of Steel (main)
0.200 Storm of Steel (axe)
0.333 Killing Spree
0.333 Crushing Advance
0.333 Momentum
0.333 Revel

0.333 Blood Law
0.333 Best Served Cold
0.333 Retribution
0.333 Grudge
0.333 Provocation

Furious Charge
0.500 Battering Ram
0.500 Merciless Assault
0.500 Stamina
0.500 Cold Rush
0.500 Dreadnought

0.080 Volcano 25 total
0.045 Lahar 1 on cast + 9
0.000 Snow-Capped Mountain bugged
0.050 Tectonic Rift 1 on cast + 9
0.050 Glacier 2 on cast + 9

0.050 Giant’s Stride 2 on cast + 15
0.050 Chilling Earth 2 on cast + 15
0.040 The Mountain’s Call 2 on cast + 15
0.050 Molten Fury 2 on cast + 15
0.050 Cave-In 3 on cast + 15

Wrath of the Berserker
1.000 Arreat´s Wail
0.250 Slaughter

Archived Seasonal Info For Other Sets

Part 1: Get your Set

Your first priority should be to get your Haedrig’s Gift set. There are plenty of “starter” builds out there so feel free to google some and use them. After that, you need to complete Chapters 2, 3, and 4 of the Season Journey. That will unlock three Haedrig’s Gifts and give you a free class set–make sure you open them all on the same character (your Barb)! The free set this Season is Immortal King’s Call, our general set, so if you’re determined to play IK HOTA or Vile Charge this Season, you’re in good hands once you open that.

To complete those above chapters, set the game on a difficulty you can quickly and easily manage (or that it requires as per the Season Journey instructions).

Here’s a tracker: https://d3resource.com/journey/

You’ll note that by Chapters 3 and 4, you’ll need to be able to tackle tougher content. Don’t worry–as you’re doing your Season Journey, you’ll get legendary and set item drops, and at least a few can be combined into a semi-useful piecemeal build.

Part 2: Set up your Early-Season Build
Now that you have a complete Immortal King set, it’s time to set up your early-Season build. Gamble for at Kadala or upgrade rares in the Cube for the following: Bracers of the First Men, Band of Might, Gavel of Judgement, Furnace, and Ancients’ Fury. You can also farm/gamble/upgrade for Standoff, Parthans, and several pieces of the Legacy of Raekor set for to start putting together a Vile Charge build. If your desired items roll well, equip them.

If you want to spec toward IK HOTA, follow this guide: COMING SOON

If you want to spec toward Vile Charge, follow this guide: COMING SOON

How you set this build up the builds depends on the items you possess. If, for example, you don’t have Istvan’s Paired Blades, you can use two fast one-handed weapons for IK HOTA. I recommend Pig Sticker and Axe of Sankis for attack speed and Fire damage respectively. And if you spec toward Vile Charge, you should aim to equip the IK Boulder Breaker with Standoff in the Cube.

Haedrig’s Gift will be Wrath of the Wastes which, when combined with either the Bul-Kathos’s Oath or Istvan’s Paired Blades sets, will let you access the Zodiac Whirlwind build. However, be warned that Zodiac WW is weaker than all other major builds until it reaches 3-4k Paragon; even then, it is still our 3rd strongest build. If you love Whirlwind, stick with the build. If you want something more powerful, I recommend you spend time farming gear for either R6 HOTA, Vile Charge, or IK HOTA.

If you want to stick with WW this season, this build will take you from Normal to T10. After that, you’ll need to transition to the full Zodiac WW build (https://us.battle.net/forums/en/d3/topic/18706416963). If you don’t want to stick with WW, you can use this build to farm other sets.

How you set this build up depends on the other items you possess.

If you have the Bul-Kathos’s Oath set, use this build: https://www.d3planner.com/172053862

  • For your second ring, use a Stone of Jordan or any decent CHC/CHD/Strength ring.

  • Gear should be rolled as noted below in Part 4. Swords should be rolled as per the link above.

  • Ideal amulet is Hellfire but a good Mara’s, Star, or Eye of Etlitch will work for now.

  • Ideal belt will be Witching Hour or Lamentation, but most belts work for now.

If you prefer to use Istvan’s Paired Blades, use this build: https://www.d3planner.com/316836060

Though Rend is not used in the end-game WW build, it is very powerful early in the Season. By T11 or so, Rend’s power will begin to sharply decline. By that point, you should be prepared to switch to the full Zodiac WW build.

Note that the BK build focuses on Physical damage while the Istvan’s build focuses on Lightning damage. That means you’ll want the corresponding elemental damage type on bracers and amulet.

If you don’t have the BK or IB sets, don’t sweat it. Use your best one-handed weapons and match the corresponding elemental damage type. For example, if you have a good Doombringer and Axe of Sankis, you’ll want Blood Funnel as your WW rune and Physical damage on your bracer and amulet (there are no viable Fire-based WW builds). If you have a Fulminator, build around Lightning damage. You can also build around Cold damage with the Hurricane rune–just make sure Battle Rage has the Swords to Ploughs rune.

2. Kadala for Armor

With all the mats farming and gem-leveling you’ll be doing, presumably you’re gonna score some Blood Shards. What do you do with them? What if you’ve already got your 6 piece WW set but don’t have, say, BK swords? Do you ask K to pony them up?

The free set this Season is Might of the Earth, our Leap-Quake set, so if you’re determined to play Fire or Physical EQ this Season, you’re in good hands once you open that.

To complete those above chapters, set the game on a difficulty you can quickly and easily manage (or that it requires as per the Season Journey instructions).

Here’s a tracker: https://d3resource.com/journey/

You’ll note that by Chapters 3 and 4, you’ll need to be able to tackle tougher content. Don’t worry–as you’re doing your Season Journey, you’ll get legendary and set item drops, and at least a few can be combined into a semi-useful piecemeal build.

Part 2: Set up your Early-Season Build
Now that you have a complete Might of the Earth set, it’s time to set up your early-Season build. Gamble for at Kadala or upgrade rares in the Cube for the following: Bracers of Destruction, Band of Might, Blade of Tribes, Fury of the Vanquished Peak, Furnace, Girdle of Giants, Focus and Restraint, and Lut Socks. You can also farm/gamble/upgrade for Convention of Elements and Ancient Parthan Defenders. If your desired items roll well, equip them.

To optimize your EQ build, consult this guide: https://us.battle.net/forums/en/d3/topic/20759299966

Blood Shard usefulness
Diablo "Builds" and "Rolls"
Top 6 Solo + Group Barb Builds (Season 18)
[Guide] Zodiac Whirlwind (Season 18)
Looking for advice
Can Someone Offer Advice with my R6 HOTA Build?
pinned #2


Filthy Casual just posted a great damage guide for new players on his YouTube channel:

He’s done a great job of breaking down the basics and clarifying some of the more confusing parts of D3’s damage mechanics (“Why isn’t X showing on my sheet?”).

Give it a watch!



I’ve put together a 1-70 Barb leveling guide plus starter builds for once you first hit 70 and then builds to use for each of the sets as you acquire Haedrig’s gift. Do you want me to add it to the original post and if so where or just add it as a comment and then go from there?


Awesome! Maybe we can make it “Part 2” and re-number the others accordingly? I would paste it after Part 1, Header it as such, and, then we can edit as needed. How does that sound?


Just added it. Had to of course edit some links since I don’t have full TL 3 but other than updating those let me know your thoughts.


Awesome work! I edited the links to work, so it should all be good now.

If anything isn’t showing up properly, let me know and I’ll tweak it.

Thanks for your contribution, Bass. You’re already a tremendous asset to the community!


Hey, all. I posted a section on damage in Part 4. Give it a read and let me know if I need to correct anything.



Nice looking Wiki Free. It’s nice that we can put pictures in posts now for these kinds of posts.


Free I cleaned up my imgur links for the 1-70 part of the guide so once you fix the links they’ll show the whole image now directly in the post instead of needing to click the link to see the full image. Also the damage section looks good!



I think I fixed all the links. This guide is better than ever!


I just noticed I need you to correc the rune for Seismic Slam under Leveling Tips. Looks like I started to type Rumble but stopped, realized that was wrong, then never changed it lol

Can you please make that Stagger? Thanks!


Fixed! Thanks for catching that!

Let me know if there’s anything else that needs to be corrected or tweaked.


Thanks bud! I’ll give it a full read over this evening.


********** 1-70 in 1-1,5 hrs ***********
(Since 2.6.5)

  1. New seasonal character
  2. Challenge Rift for mats (35 x DB + A1-A5 mats + shards + gold)
  3. Blacksmith -> lvl 12 -> [lvl 70] Rare 2H-MW
  4. Follower’s weapon (Enchantress’ Dagger better)
  5. A3 -> Kanai’s Cube (KC)
  6. Upgrade Rare 2H-MW (KC/r3) for GoJ/FotVP/BotT (1 try, btw 3 of 6 = 50% chance)
  7. Kadala (@ lvl 1) for PF pants (1st) > BotFM/BoD bracers >> LS boots > BoM ring
  8. Cube it (KC/r1)
  9. If got (GoJ+BotFM) / (FotVP+BoD) -> Goto T1-4
  10. Lvl 8/10 -> dmg rings/amu
  11. Every 4-5 lvl -> 2H-Swrd (Axe): (8) 15 (16) 19 (21) 23 27 (29) 32 (37) 38 (41) 44
  12. Lvl 40 -> 2H Mace 70 level with CC -> RLR (Up to 30)
  13. Profit

(*Opt: Puzzle Ring (31 lvl, Kadala@24 lvl) + Custerian WGs (lvl 34, Kadala@27 lvl) -> Vault)


I’m not really sure what you intend. You posted that without context. Can you clarify?


His version of new seasonal character lvling guide.
It works if you can get lucky on both the MW and RLR weapon, otherwise scratch it…


I have a pretty comprehensive leveling guide already in the OP. I don’t know how much value that adds other than maybe some certain rNg aspects you can go for at certain levels.


Yes, I read it carefully
There isn’t the most important point
MAIN VALUE IS: Since last patch (2.6.5) we can GET GoJ / FotVP / BotT @ lvl-1 (due to 35*DBs addition to Challenge Rift Cache) -> so immediately (if lucky, 50% chance) goto T2+ -> level-up 1-70 in 1-1.5 hrs
(Like I did in S17)
Feel Free :wink: to add this [the only but significant] point to yr GUIDE if needed

Upd: One more point:

  1. PF pants are 1st choice as a huge help to get a massacre bonus - just run into mobs (3+) crowd with any 2H-Weapon to melt them
  2. Pox Faulds + Lut Socks [+Weapon Throw] = permanent massacre bonus (@ A1 HoA3 / FoM)
    So actually U don’t need much most of skills - just Run’N’Throw (better Jump’N’Throw) thru the crowd :wink:


Not exactly
We need RLR (reduced level requirement) on lvl 70 Rare 2H-Mace @ lvl 40+ - it’s almost 100% in some tries (common mats required)