Welcome to the guide for our newest build, Raekor Ancient Spear!
For those of you who don’t like to read, here’s a d3planner link to the most reliable setup in Non-Season: D3planner - Maxroll.gg - Diablo 3 Resource Website Season 28
This setup works for low-paragon and high paragon alike, and has cleared GR 150 at under 3300 paragon.
For Season 28, our setup will vary a bit based on how much of the Altar we have unlocked. Before much is unlocked, I recommend the standard, non-seasonal setup, above. Once the altar is largely unlocked, I recommend this configuration for general pushing.
Since the altar grants us CC immunity, we can get the more reliable mitigation of Stone Gauntlets, rather than Parthans. And since the altar also gives extra defense, we can drop Esoteric for Zei at a fairly early point.
That extra defense will also allow for CoE to replace BoM at much lower paragon than usual (generally not done under about 12k paragon). But in this season that option may be playable as low as 5k paragon or so.
Let’s get started.
INTRODUCTION / NOTES ON THE REWORK OF RAEKOR + SUPPORTING ITEMS
In patch 2.7.3, the Raekor set was reworked. While previously, it boosted all Fury-spending abilities, it is now focused around the Ancient Spear skill, in particular the Boulder Toss rune.
The 2 and 4 piece bonuses still buff Furious Charge, but the 4 piece has now also added a damage bonus to Ancient Spear of 2% damage for every 1% missing life. For instance, if missing 50% life, you would gain a 100% bonus (double damage) to your Ancient Spear.
The 6 piece bonus has been the most heavily reworked. You still gain damage-buffing stacks by charging, but now you gain one stack per enemy hit, rather than one stack for each time you cast Charge. This means you can build stacks considerably more quickly than you used to. The 6-piece also now allows us to build stacks with Weapon Throw.
In addition, when stacks are consumed as you cast Ancient Spear (up to 5 per cast), they now not only give a 5500% damage bonus per stack (27500% total), they also cause your spear to split into up to 10 additional projectiles after it hits its initial target.
Several supporting items also received reworks.
Skular’s Salvation has had its overall bonus increased to buff Ancient Spear by +200%. The secondary bonus, which only works on the Boulder Toss rune, further increases this damage by 100% when you hit 5 or fewer enemies.
The Three Hundredth Spear now buffs both Weapon Throw and Ancient Spear damage by 200%, and also increases the attack speed of Weapon Throw by 200%.
Arreat’s Law also buffs Weapon Throw and Ancient Spear damage by 200%, refunds up to 50 Fury spent by Ancient Spear, depending on your distance from the target (further is better), and generates up to 50 additional Fury, again depending on your distance from the target. In addition, and most importantly, Fury generated by Weapon Throw can go over your normal Fury cap by 200 additional points. For instance, if your regular maximum Fury was 150, Weapon Throw could fill your bubble to 350 points. Since Boulder Toss spends all your Fury and does damage based on how much you spent, this extra Fury can cause a considerable increase in your damage (about a 2.25x multiplier). For further details on how the additional Fury generation works, see here.
This is all the gear you’ll need for The Main Build, which I believe to be the most effective overall setup, for most people, for pushing GRs. There are other variants, using different gear, for pushing, speeds, playing purely as a ranged damage dealer, hardcore/low paragon, and high paragon, and I’ll cover these later on (in the “Variants” section).
You will want:
5 pieces of the Raekor set (Gloves, Shoulders, Helm, Chest, and either Pants or Boots).
2 pieces of the Crimson set (Belt and either Pants or Boots).
2 Pieces of Endless Walk set (Compass Rose (Ring) and Traveler’s Pledge (Amulet)).
Skular’s Salvation or Ancient Parthan Defenders (Bracers).
Band of Might (Ring).
The Three Hundredth Spear (Weapon)
Arreat’s Law (Weapon)
Legendary Gems: Bane of the Trapped, Bane of the Stricken, Esoteric Alteration
Potion: Diamond (extra AllRes) or Unfettered (immunity to Crowd Control)
In the cube:
The Furnace ( helps with elites), or Oathkeeper (helps with generating Fury via Weapon Throw), or Echoing Fury (helps with faster Charging while fighting in density and killing enemies regularly), or Messerschmidt’s Reaver (helps with cooldowns). Furnace is currently considered the #1 choice.
Ancient Parthan Defenders or Skular’s Salvation (whichever you don’t have equipped).
Ring of Royal Grandeur.
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, gloves, or shoulders, or VIT on helm. At lower paragon, STR may be more valuable than AD on gloves, STR or VIT may be more valuable than AllRes on shoulders, VIT may be more valuable than Ancient Spear Damage on Helm, and STR may be more valuable than DMG% on both weapons.
Helm: STR, Ancient Spear Damage, CHC, Socket (diamond), CC Reduction, Physical Resist
Shoulders: STR, AllRes, AD, CDR, Health Globe Bonus, Pickup Radius
Chest: STR, VIT, AllRes, Sockets (diamonds), Melee Reduction, Ranged Reduction
Gloves: AD, CHC, CHD, CDR, Physical Resist, Pickup Radius
Pants: STR, VIT, AllRes, Sockets (diamonds), Life on Kill, Pickup Radius
Boots: STR, VIT, AllRes, Ancient Spear Damage, Health Globe Bonus, Pickup Radius
Belt: STR, VIT, AllRes, Life%, Life on Kill, Pickup Radius
Bracer: Physical Damage % , STR, CHC, Life per Hit, Physical Resist
Band of Might: CHC, CHD, Damage Range, Socket, Arcane Resist
Compass Rose: STR, Damage Range, CHD, CHC, Socket, Lightning Resist
Amulet: Physical Damage %, CHC, CHD, Socket, Physical Resist, Melee Reduction
Weapon 1: STR, CDR, Area Damage, Socket, Chill on Hit
Weapon 2: STR, CDR, Area Damage, Socket, Chill on Hit
Weapon Throw: Balanced Weapon (builds stacks + Fury at range, and stacks Stricken quickly)
Ancient Spear: Boulder Toss (this is what does your damage)
War Cry: Impunity (extra defense) Note: Players with very high paragon may take TS: Demoralize in this slot, for help with grouping mobs, but I frankly do not recommend this under 10k paragon.
Wrath of the Berserker: Insanity (extra damage, defense, and CC immunity)
Furious Charge: any rune (Raekor 4 gives you all runes) (moving, proccing BoM, building Fury + Stacks)
Battle Rage: Bloodshed (extra damage)
Relentless (this works with the Crimson set to give you an enormous 4x toughness boost when you are below the 35% life trigger point).
No Escape (a 30% multiplier to your Boulder Toss damage as long as the target is at least 15 yards away)
Boon of Bul Kathos (helps you get WOTB up more often)
Rampage (helps with both damage and toughness while fighting, and killing, in density)
If using this setup for Hardcore, replace Rampage or No Escape with Nerves of Steel.
Take Enchantress. CDR is very important in this build, so her Prophetic Harmony ability, which gives 10% CDR, is quite valuable. For her other skills, take Erosion for a small additive damage buff, and Fate’s Lapse for a cheat death. For a level 5 ability, taking nothing is a good option. If you have already selected a skill in that tier and thus need to choose one or the other, take Temporal Pulse.
For gear: Smoking Thurible, Flavor of Time, Nemesis Bracers, Oculus Ring, Krede’s Flame, and Homing Pads. For a weapon, any 2H weapon will do- take Sultan of Blinding Sand if you want her to CC bosses. Other than that, gear doesn’t matter, as long as you reach the 25000 INT necessary for her skills to have full effectiveness.
You can also make Templar work, but his healing abilities can actually both introduce extra danger and reduce your damage. If he heals you fully with his Heal ability, you lose damage from the Raekor 4-piece missing life damage bonus. And if his Loyalty (life regeneration) ability pushes you up over the 35% life trigger point for Relentless, you suddenly lose 75% of your toughness.
Scoundrel is also OK, but you cannot take both of his most valuable abilities (Night’s Veil, his Critical Hit cloud, and Vanish, his cheat death) without equipping his “all skills” token, which usually just results in him being dead most of the time.
HOW TO PLAY THE BUILD
THE PROGRESSION PHASE
Like many other Barbarian builds, you want to seek out big, open maps (Festering, Battlefield, Fields of Misery, etc) with good mob types (Horror/Mother, Lacuni/Phasebeast, Swarms, Chickens, etc), and good density. When you find that density, you want to herd enemies into as big a pile as possible, just by letting them aggro on you and follow you (the build lacks a mechanism for moving enemies around).
Once you’ve let the mobs assemble into a decent heap, just start charging through the pile, tossing a boulder into the pile after each charge. The Stamina rune of Furious Charge generates 10 extra Fury for each enemy hit (on top of the base of 15), so your Fury bubble should fill to 150 with each charge. And you generate 1 Raekor 6 stack for each enemy hit, so you should have plenty of these, as well. You want to keep your charges fairly short in distance, as this allows your Endless Walk damage bonus to stay relatively high.
Activate WOTB whenever you can, to increase your damage.
Continue to charge through the mobs, filling your Fury bubble and building R6 stacks, and throwing boulders until most/all of the trash mobs are dead. Only use your health potion when you absolutely need to, since healing to full both negates your 4-piece damage bonus, and can actually put you closer to death (with Relentless + Crimson, being at 25% life and being at 100% life are functionally equivalent).
For most big fights such as this, you generally do not want to use Weapon Throw while the trash mobs are alive. Despite the fact that it can significantly increase your maximum Fury, and thus the damage of your Boulder Toss, it only generates Fury quickly when the mob you hit is far away from you. Therefore, you actually generate Fury (and stacks) significantly more slowly than you do by just charging around. This in turn results in a much lower rate of Boulder production, so you actually end up doing less damage.
Once you have killed the trash, you have two options for dealing with remaining elites.
Option one is to kite the elites to more density, and resume fighting, as described above.
Option two is to try to maintain range from the elites, and use Weapon Throw to build Fury (and stacks). This is much easier to do once most of the trash is dead, and a Boulder consuming a full “Weapon Throw Fury bubble” (350 Fury) does about 2.25x the damage of a Boulder consuming a full “regular Fury bubble” (150 Fury).
In addition, Weapon Throw also attacks really quickly, about 5x/second on average, meaning you can build a significant number of Stricken stacks on an elite in short order. If you choose this option, just keep range from the elite using Charge, hit him with Weapon throw till your bubble is completely full, and then hit him with Boulder Toss, repeating till he’s dead.
Continue this cycle of Find Density → Kill Density → Kite/Kill elite, until you spawn the boss.
You should be aware that if you encounter elites with the Waller affix, you can actually break these down using Boulder Toss! This is a little-known effect of the ability that has been around for quite a while. In my testing on the PTR, it seemed that your original Boulder (the one you throw) would break walls, but that the extra projectiles spawned after impact would not, so keep that in mind.
Play Conduit pylons as usual for most Barb builds, i.e. kill any nearby trash, especially weak trash, and use the pylon to kill elites and big trash (like Furious Beasts, Bogans, Mallet Lords, Punishers, etc).
Channeling pylon gets you 100% WOTB and IP uptime for its duration, as well as a bit of extra damage from more CDR via the Crimson set. Good stuff.
Speed pylon helps you Charge faster, and build Fury with Weapon Throw faster. Not a big buff, but still worthwhile.
Shield pylon is something of a double-edged sword for this build. While it will keep you completely safe, it also prevents you from taking advantage of the missing life damage bonus of Raekor 4-piece, which can be a significant nerf to your damage. The best use of a Shield is probably vs certain Rift Guardians that can easily one-shot you, such as Raiziel or Perdition. If you want the elite that you could spawn from the pylon, but don’t want the damage immunity, you can click the pylon and then teleport to town, which removes the pylon power.
Power Pylon is good for either killing huge pulls of density and elites or for fighting the Rift Guardian.
For most rift guardians, you will want to stay at range as much as possible, build Fury and stack Stricken with Weapon Throw, and hit with Boulder Toss when your bubble is full.
For bosses that summon adds right from the start of the fight, it may be best to stay close to the boss and just hit him with Weapon Throw point-blank, rather than maintaining distance. This is because it will allow you to stack Stricken on the boss, rather than one of his adds, and this will significantly help your kill time. Once you have stacked Stricken for a while (at least 1 minute in a high push) in this way, you can then start fighting at a greater distance, in order to generate Fury faster, and thus produce Boulders more quickly.
I should also mention that it is possible to use the interaction of Boulder Toss with certain obstacles to do more damage to the boss. Ordinarily, when you hit a mob with a Boulder, the extra projectiles that are generated will fly off in a rough conical pattern, landing at various distances, some nearby, some farther away. But, some obstacles will generate collision on the Boulders, causing them to deal their damage to anything near the spot they collide (within 9 yards).
So, if you can get the boss to stand near an obstacle of this sort, you can hit him with a bunch of Boulders at once, which increases your damage significantly. I’ve personally noticed this working on walls in the Barracks map, as well as on the railings of this stairwell in Battlefields of Eternity.
And I’m sure there are many more spots to utilize this effect.
A PEP TALK, OF SORTS
Playing this build is a sort of balancing act.
On the one hand, you want to stay at lower life to utilize the offensive bonus of Raekor 4-piece and the defensive bonus of Relentless (when this kicks in at 35% life, you are actually 40% tougher than you are at 100% life). But on the other hand, you don’t want your life to get too low, because, well, you’ll die.
On the one hand, you need some healing, because you can’t go through a whole rift on a single life bubble. But on the other hand, you need to tightly control your healing, so you don’t lose too much damage, from the Raekor 4-piece missing life damage bonus, or make yourself really vulnerable by going just above the 35% life trigger point for Relentless.
On the one hand, you can actually build Fury (and Raekor 6-piece stacks) really quickly, and do extra damage, by staying at range and using Weapon Throw. But on the other hand, your Parthans only help defend you when there are mobs near you that are Frozen/Stunned, and it’s also really hard to keep enemies away from you, in order to properly generate that Fury with Weapon Throw.
These are all things you need to keep in mind while playing this build. But, at the end of the day, you do not need to, and probably cannot, balance all of these concerns perfectly. Just do the best you can. And, as always, practice makes perfect- this stuff will all get easier as you gain experience with the build.
This setup swaps out Parthans for Pride of Cassius and War Cry for Ignore Pain. You have more consistent damage mitigation overall, but less maximum mitigation in density than you do with Parthans, so you may want to put some extra paragon points into Vitality. IP also makes you CC immune, so no more getting Frozen or Jailed!
The Low Paragon or Hardcore build
This setup moves one of your spears to the cube and swaps in a Stormshield, while using the Sword + Board passive. Like Relentless, this passive gets a bunch of extra juice from the Crimson set, since RCR gives you extra toughness. You also take Nerves of Steel rather than No Escape.
You could also use No Escape and Zei, rather than NoS and Esoteric, if you are just low paragon (not Hardcore). And if you want a bit more offense still, you can use a Lidless Wall (ideal rolls are Physical%,CHC, CDR, RCR, Maximum Fury, and Physical Resist) instead of a Stormshield.
This setup is for those who want to try to fight their foes from a distance as much as possible. It crams in about as much CDR as possible (including replacing Bane of the Trapped with Gogok), and utilizes Call of The Ancients: Together as One both for toughness and to block enemies from getting close to you. This is important because you can only generate Fury efficiently (via Weapon Throw / Arreat’s Law) when mobs are at a distance from you, and it also maximizes the damage bonuses of Zei and No Escape.
Because, ideally, mobs will be a considerable distance from you, the setup drops BR: Bloodshed. There are quite a few things you can put in this slot on the bar… I picked Avalanche: Snow Capped Mountain, for both grouping and a slow/chill on mobs to keep them away from you. And with this much Fury and CDR, the skill resets every time you cast Boulder Toss. If you don’t like using Avalanche, you could pick War Cry or Ignore Pain, for toughness, Threatening Shout, for another slowing (Intimidate), grouping (Demoralize), or damage buff (Falter) mechanism.
If you don’t want to use Endless Walk, you could swap to CoE + Squirt’s, or a Hellfire. Or, wear both CoE and a Flavor of Time. This actually lets you reach 78% CDR, enough to have 100% uptime on both WOTB and COTA. You can then equip your follower with an Ess of Johan, which helps with grouping/slowing enemies to keep them out of your face.
Finally, if you want more damage, and are not as squeamish about having downtime on WOTB and COTA, you can used Trapped rather than Gogok. If using this option, you may need to play “keep-away” while COTA and WOTB are down, since you will be considerably less tough (also losing the dodge of Gogok). And also note that you will definitely want to take Avalanche: Snow Capped Mountain in this case, since you need a mechanism to CC mobs at a distance.
This setup swaps out the Endless Walk and Crimson sets for all 6 pieces of Raekor, the Pride of Cassius belt, Focus & Restraint rings, and Squirt’s Necklace amulet, while Stone Gauntlets and Band of Might take the place of Parthans and RoRG in the cube. The big benefits of this setup are its more consistent damage mitigation and its 100% uptime on IP, which gives you permanent CC immunity.
The downsides are its somewhat lower damage than the “main” build and the fact that it only gets half as much value from Relentless, meaning it may be more difficult to stay at low life without dying.
Another Focus + Restraint setup, this time adding a whole bunch more defense and healing on top. We carry a Stormshield and take Sword + Board, wear Pride of Cassius and put Stone Gauntlets in the cube. We take Esoteric. We take Nerves of Steel for a cheat death, as well as Bloodthirst and Battle Rage: Swords to Ploughshares for a crapload of healing.
You are 100% CC immune due to full IP uptime, and can have over 2 billion toughness even at 1k paragon (1.5 billion even with no augs). We do not take Relentless because you will basically never be below 35% life. BR: StP heals you every time you Charge or use Weapon Throw, and Bloodthirst heals you for 400,000 life every time you cast a Boulder, unless you are stacking up your Fury with Weapon Throw, in which case it heals you for 900,000 life. The downside of this build is that it does a good bit less damage, especially since it is more or less incapable of making use of the missing life damage bonus.
This is the crazy setup that high paragon (13000+) players have used to get 150 clears in very low time (as little as 5:21). BoM is replaced with CoE, and Esoteric with Zei. Typically, a ton of paragon is loaded into vitality in order to stay alive. Not for the low-paragon, the Hardcore player, or the faint of heart.
This is a setup you can use for running speed GRs. You take Focus + Restraint for consistent damage, and Squirts + Molten Wildebeest’s Gizzard to take as much advantage as possible of the damage buff. In-Geom takes your weapon cube slot (or you can carry it and put one of your spears in the cube), or you could use Messerschmidt’s here. Or, for somewhat higher speed GRs, stick with Furnace. We put PoC in the cube armor slot and wear Witching Hour for some extra dps.
I left Weapon Throw on the bar, since it is handy for generating some extra Fury and stacks, if you are running low, vs small numbers of targets, as well as for one-shotting the boss. If desired, you could replace Weapon Throw with TS: Falter, for a bit of damage without needing to stop and Throw, or with War Cry if you feel like you need a bit more defense.
For T16s, you could run Goldwrap instead of Witching Hour (still nice to keep PoC in the cube for CC immunity) and Zei or Trapped for Boon of the Hoarder.
This is another speed setup, this time using Jagged Edge. It is really only good for T16s, but Jagged Edge looks amazing, so it’s nice that this setup lets you use it for something.
Q: How good is this build?
A: Extremely good! Raekor Ancient Spear is the strongest Barbarian build and one of the strongest builds across all classes. It has cleared 150 both at quite low paragon (~3300) and in a quite short amount of time (5:21).
Q: Is wall-charging still a thing?
A: Not really. Now that you get one Raekor 6 stack per enemy hit, you can get a lot more stacks (and Fury) by charging through mobs in open space, rather than banging against a wall.
Q: If I’m using Oathkeeper or EF as one of my 3 weapons, can I carry it and put one of my spears in the cube?
Q: What percentage of my damage is dealt by Weapon Throw? Or by Furious Charge?
A: 0%, in both cases. But, those skills are still essential for moving around, generating stacks and Fury, proccing BoM, stacking Stricken, etc.
Q: What setup should I use for Echoing Nightmares in season 26?
A: For softcore, I’d suggest you use the Focus and Restraint setup. Since mobs in Nightmares can’t be frozen/stunned, you can’t really use Parthans for defense. This setup has reliable mitigation, does good damage, and is 100% CC immune. Just swap out Stricken for another gem- Powerful, Esoteric, or Gogok. You should also swap out Squirt’s for Hellfire Amulet, since Nightmares do not have Shield pylons. Pick up Ruthless, for damage, or Nerves of Steel / Tough as Nails / Superstition for toughness.
In hardcore, use the Immortal setup. Nightmares are pretty dangerous in HC, and you don’t wanna die. Swap Stricken for Gogok (or if you want to be extra immortal, Mutilation Guard). Again, you should also swap out Squirt’s for Hellfire Amulet, since Nightmares do not have Shield pylons. Pick up Ruthless, for damage, or Nerves of Steel / Tough as Nails / Superstition for toughness.
Q: What Angelic power should I use in Season 27?
A: For Season 27, you can use “the Main Build” or any of the variant setups, and sanctify a piece of gear with the WOTB “Tempest Rhythm” power. This will be the simplest setup to play.
However, the best setup for the season will replace Weapon Throw with WW: Dust Devils, and use the WW power. You will pull mobs into a big pile with WW, then build Raekor stacks and Fury with charge, and kill the mobs with Boulder toss. You will want to save a pylon for the Rift Guardian. Build Stricken stacks on the Guardian for 1-2 minutes with WW, then trigger the pylon. Pull the spawned elites on top of the Guardian, then Charge and throw Boulders until he dies.
Q: How will the build be different in Season 28?
A: The Altar adds a lot of passive power. We’ll do more damage, be tougher, immune to CC, and will move around faster. That’ll let us use a slightly different gear setup (2nd link at the top of this guide). We’ll also get extra powers like gaining Fury on Crit, and spawning Triune Circles and shrine abilities when we use our potion.
The main change is that we may want to stand in a Triune Circle, if we get the red/purple (damage) one, when we throw our Boulders. In high density, the “Fury on Crit” power may refill our bubble to max after each toss, in which case, just keep throwing Boulders as fast as you can until you run out of Raekor stacks. Then refill the stacks by Charging around, and repeat.
Q: I have another question, what do I do?
A: Ask, and I’ll do my best to answer!