[Guide] Raekor HOTA (Season 20)

Build Introduction and Purpose

Welcome to the Season 18 guide for Raekor HOTA.

This build guide explains in painstaking detail the Raekor-HOTA (R6 HOTA) build, a powerful variant to the IK- or LOD-based HOTA builds. It’s also one of the more difficult to put together in terms of gear, and it requires a lot of skill developed through practice. This isn’t the easiest Barb build, but it is very powerful and offers a unique style of gameplay.

For more information on the Top 5 Solo Barb Builds, check out this thread: https://us.battle.net/forums/en/d3/topic/20752500376#post-1

Disclaimers (click arrow to expand)

I do not own this build. This build, like any build, belongs to the community and is the result of many fellow Barbs discussing, testing, and refining the build. This guide is created by me as an English-language version of Lucioandido’s original Portuguese-language guide. Some of the text was written by me while some of it is a translation from Lucio’s guide.

You can find the original here: https://us.battle.net/forums/pt/d3/topic/20763616199

Read this guide carefully and thoroughly. Even minor deviations from the guide can result in a much weaker build.

Terminology

If you’re new, click the arrow below to expand the terminology section. If you have questions, please do a little research before you ask.

Common Terminology (click arrow to expand)
  • IB = Istvan’s Paired Blades swords set

  • PoC = Pride of Cassius Belt

  • perma-IP = permanent (or nearly) uptime on Ignore Pain skill

  • CoE = Convention of Elements ring

  • dibs = damage increase by skills

  • CHC = critical hit chance

  • CHD = critical hit damage

  • AD = Area Damage

  • OS = open socket

Part 1: R6-HOTA: The Build

R6 HOTA is very demanding in terms of gear and play style, and takes quite a lot of practice to master its very specific style of play.

The build uses the Legacy of Raekor and Istvan’s Paired Blades sets along with supporting legendaries. If you lack the IB set or prefer to play it with two-handed weapons, you can also use The Furnace and Gavel of Judgment, though that will ultimately be slightly weaker.

General Requirements

To properly play this build, you must have the following items and stats:

  • 50-54% CDR (combined total from gear, Paragon, and diamond in helm–see below for CDR calculator)

  • 90%+ AD

  • 20% Elemental damage on Amulet and bracer

  • 600k-850k Life

  • Complete Raekor set

  • Complete IB set

  • Complete Endless Walk set

  • One Band of Might ring

  • One CoE ring

  • Bracers of the First Men

  • Gavel of Judgment (Cubed)

  • Aquila Cuirass (Cubed)

  • Legendary Gems: Bane of Trapped, Bane of Stricken, Gogok of Swiftness or Esoteric Alteration (see below)

If you’re playing in Season 18 and want a step-by-step Season Starter Guide, see the info near the end of this post.

Skills

Here are the essential skills for the R6 HOTA:

Hammer of the Ancients (Smash): This is the build’s main skill and damage dealer.

Furious Charge (Cold Rush): This is the build’s source of mobility. We charge to gain stacks from the Raekor set. These stacks are what make HOTA so powerful. This skill also stacks Stricken on the RG and heals us with Life per Hit. We use the Cold Rush rune to squeeze out just a little more DPS on our Cold CoE cycle, then follow it up with big-time Fire damage. However, the rune used here is not a make or break decision.

Wrath of the Berserker (Insanity): As a separate damage multiplier, this skill is a major booster shot to the build’s DPS. It also boosts your toughness (Dodge) and movement speed. You want this active when you unload on your Fire cycle, but you don’t need it active while building Raekor stacks or moving around the map.

Battle Rage (Bloodshed): Bloodshed is a massive AOE damage boost. Since it does 20% of recent critical hit damage to nearby enemies every second, it scales nicely with attack speed, crit chance and crit damage, and density. You want to spam this skill, but only enough for a little healing via Life per Fury and to keep IB stacks up. Don’t spam this skill non-stop as it may slow down the speed at which you acquire Raekor stacks. Don’t spam this when you’re unloading on your Fire cycle.

Ignore Pain (Ignorance is Bliss): This skill mitigates damage, provides CC immunity, and offers a massive amount of healing. It’s vital to keep this skill up and running as much as possible, but the best time to pop it is halfway between your Physical COE cycles so that it covers both Fire cycles. If you’re a little short on CDR or having trouble managing cooldowns, another option is to use Iron Hide for the extra uptime. This gives you more leeway, but you will lose a lot of healing which, depending on your gear and Paragon, you may need. Note that Resource Cost Reduction will negatively impact the healing from Ignorance is Bliss, so make sure you don’t have any RCR in Paragon or on gear.

Threatening Shout (Demoralize): This skill helps groups mobs and so you can deal damage with AD, Bloodshed, and HOTA. Even better, it also reduces incoming damage. Use this right before you unload with your Fire cycle.

Passive Skills

Passives are key to a winning build. Below I’ll briefly detail the essential passives. I’ll also include a small list of other desirable passives to get on a Hellfire Amulet.

Ruthless: Big DPS boost.

Berserker Rage: Big DPS boost vs single-target RGs.

Rampage: Large DPS boost when unloading on Fire cycle

After those three, you can choose your fourth and fifth passives according to your needs:

Boon of Bul-Kathos: Helps with Wrath cooldown–less important if you use Gogok.

Brawler: DPS boost still active when you dump Fury.

Bloodthirst or Nerves of Steel: If you don’t have Life per Hit on gear, Bloodthirst might be essential.

Other Desirable Passives: Superstition, Tough as Nails, Relentless.

Gear

You’ll need six pieces of the Raekor set, the IB set, the Endless Walk set, and the various supporting legendaries listed above. Though ancient pieces are the goal, ideal rolls take precedence. Good secondary rolls are absolutely crucial for pushing top tiers.

Helm (Raekor)

  • Strength

  • CHC 6% or Vitality (see below)

  • HOTA dmg 15% (or Vitality)

  • OS (diamond)

  • Secondaries: Physical/Lightning resist

  • Augment: Strength

Shoulder (Raekor)

  • Strength

  • All Res

  • AD 20% or Vitality

  • CDR 8%

  • Secondaries: Pickup radius or Health Globe Bonus

  • Augment: Strength

Chest (Raekor)

  • Strength

  • Vitality

  • All Res or Life % or Reduced Elite Damage

  • OS (diamonds)

  • Secondaries: Reduced melee damage and reduced ranged damage

  • Augment: Strength

Glove (Raekor)

  • Strength (or AD 20%)

  • CDR 8%

  • CHC 10%

  • CHD 50%

  • Secondaries: Physical resist, Health Globe Bonus

  • Augment: Strength

Bracer (First Men)

  • 20% Fire Damage

  • Strength or Life per Hit (see below)

  • Vitality or Life per Hit (see below)

  • CHC 6%

  • Secondaries: Physical/Lightning resist, Health Globe Bonus

  • Augment: Strength

Belt (Pride of Cassius)

  • Strength

  • Vitality

  • All Res

  • Life per Fury

  • +6 seconds to Ignore Pain

  • Secondaries: + Max Fury

  • Augment: Strength

Pants (Raekor)

  • Strength

  • Vitality

  • All Res

  • OS (diamonds)

  • Secondaries: Health Globe Bonus, or Life After Kill

  • Augment: Strength

Boots (Raekor)

  • Strength

  • Vitality

  • All Res

  • HOTA dmg 15%

  • Secondaries: Health Globe Bonus, or Life After Kill

  • Augment: Strength

Sword 1 (IB)

  • Strength or 10% dmg

  • 10% CDR

  • Life per Hit or 24% AD (see below)

  • OS (Emerald)

  • Secondaries: Any

  • Augment: Strength

Sword 2 (IB)

  • Strength or 10% dmg

  • 10% CDR

  • 24% AD or Life per Hit (see below)

  • OS (Emerald)

  • Secondaries: Any

  • Augment: Strength

Ring 1 (Compass Rose)

  • CHC 6% or Strength (see below)

  • CHD 50%

  • CDR 8%

  • AD 20%

  • OS

  • Secondaries: Physical/Lightning resist, Health Globe Bonus, or Life After Kill

  • Augment: Strength

Ring 2 (CoE)

  • CHC 6% or Strength (see below)

  • CHD 50%

  • CDR 8%

  • OS

  • 195%+ elemental damage bonus

  • Secondaries: Physical/Lightning resist, Health Globe Bonus, or Life After Kill

  • Augment: Strength

Ring 3 (Band of Might)

  • CHC 6% or Strength (see below)

  • CHD 50%

  • CDR 8%

  • OS

  • 75%+ damage reduction

  • Secondaries: Physical/Lightning resist, Health Globe Bonus, or Life After Kill

  • Augment: Strength

Amulet (Traveller’s Pledge)

  • 20% Fire Damage (if you can’t roll elemental damage here, Strength or Average Damage are also options)

  • CHC 10%

  • CHD 100%

  • OS

  • Secondaries: Physical/Lightning resist or Health Globe bonus

  • Augment: Strength

Legendary Gems

  • Bane of Trapped: Pure DPS

  • Bane of Stricken: Pure DPS on the RG

  • Gogok of Swiftness (high-Paragon for CDR and Dodge) or Esoteric Alteration (low Paragon for mitigation–see below)

Cube

  • Gavel of Judgment

  • Aquila Cuirass

  • CoE or Band of Might

If you don’t have a good IB set or can’t get the necessary rolls on your weapons, you can use Furnace and Gavel instead. Cube your worse weapon or the one with the lower legendary affix and try to get the following rolls on your weapon:

Furnace or Gavel

  • 10% CDR

  • 24% Area Damage

  • Life per Fury or Life per Hit (depends on item)

The better option is, of course, to have a perfect Gavel for its + Max Fury secondary, but it’s hard to get one with a perfect legendary affix. The more likely route is to equip Furnace and Cube Gavel. This build variant deals more elite damage, but has several drawbacks. First, you lose two attack speed bonuses–one from dual-wielding, and one from the IB set. That means you’ll attack slower, stack Stricken slower, and burn through fewer Raekor stacks per Fire Cycle. Against elites and RGs, the extra elite damage almost makes up for this, but you’ll also miss out on the extra damage and Armor offered by the IB set. This means you’ll be slightly more squishy. You’ll also lose 1 CDR roll and 1 Area Damage roll, and this will effect you much more in the higher GR tiers.

I estimate a 2-5 tier gap between using this variant and the IB set, but the gap could be much larger. If you want the best possible results with this build, use the IB set.

Part 2: How The Build Works

R6-HOTA requires you to master the following play cycle:

  1. Group density and elites.

  2. Build Charge stacks and maximize Endless Walk damage bonus via wall-charging.

  3. Unload during your Fire cycle and begin the process anew.

While doing this, you have to stay alive. That’s it. Very simple on paper, but quite difficult to master. Learning the build often feels like learning to use your off-hand for very precise tasks. It takes some practice.

Here are some tips from top worldwide player 엔류:

Well, one simple rule is do not wall charge while Ignore Pain is not active. During that time, charge at mobs and utilize EW’s defensive buff. You can find this in my video. And when IP is active, spamming battle rage will help you to keep wall charging.

When you get a good map like festering woods or battlefield, and enough density, try to kill all elites regardless of its affixes. Generally, Juggernaut, Illusionist, and Wormhole elites are very annoying for this build.

If you use Eso, try to get more physical resistance and melee damage reduction on your secondary rolls. For example, my physical resistance is 17XX(others are 12XX) and I have 12% melee damage reduction. Maybe these are the main reasons I withstand incoming damage in GR 110+.

It’s important to note that 엔류 has cleared GR 120 with less than 2k Paragon. He also pushed 110+ with less than 1k Paragon and no Augments. Not everyone can do that–he’s incredibly skilled–but it goes to show you what this build is capable of when played properly. R6 HOTA is insanely powerful.

In addition, here are my own observations from learning and pushing 105+:

  • AD makes a huge difference. Getting 80+ AD is essential.

  • Don’t fight every elite. If they run away or scatter, they’re not worth it unless they’re in some seriously thick density.

  • Elites that are soft or rely on melee, on the other hand, can be fought regardless of density. If you see a lone pack of blues and can easily sucker them into some wall-charging, go for it. This is provided you can wipe them out in 2-3 Fire cycles, max, and that you’re not behind on the timer. If you’re behind, skip them.

  • It’s okay to stop and explode a juicy pack of trash even if there are no elites. Of course you should scout for elites, but if there are none nearby (or no good ones), feel free to spend a Fire cycle annihilating some density.

  • It’s also a good idea to skip bad maps and mob types. This build is fast and can skip whole floors without much trouble. If you have a terrible map that’s mostly empty, skip it and see what’s on the next floor. R6 HOTA is less fishy than other builds, but that doesn’t mean you can waste time on empty floors with elites that like to run away.

  • Conduits don’t require as much scouting as other builds because you can spend a Fire cycle mid-Conduit to wreck an elite pack while the others take damage. If you have 1-2 packs and good density, pop that Conduit. Yes, it’s better to get 3 packs and nuke the trash first, but if that scenario doesn’t present itself, pop it and zap everything along your way.

  • Channeling Pylons = free damage because Wrath and IP will be up 100% of the time. If you get one, scout for extra elites and density before you pop it. This makes wall-charging much, much safer.

  • Speaking of wall-charging, like 엔류 mentioned don’t be afraid to STOP wall-charging and get away when IP is down. Deaths in this build are really bad because they can wipe out tons of Charge stacks.

How The Build Deals Damage

R6-HOTA deals damage in several ways:

1. Hammer of the Ancients: Obvious, right? When your Fire cycle is up, HOTA does incredible damage. When you’re not on your Fire cycle, you’re just tickling mobs. This is definitely a nuke build. Your HOTA damage is directly buffed by the Endless Walk bonus and your CoE Fire cycle. Together, they give you a 4x damage multiplier during your Fire cycle. When you add that to Bracers of the First Men, Stricken stacks, the Gavel’s multiplier, and Wrath’s additional multiplier, it adds up to a truly incredible amount of damage.

2. Bloodshed: This skill adds up to a ton of extra damage. It’s hard to quantify what this adds up to over the course of a rift because it depends, again, on density, but keep in mind that the power of Bloodshed directly corresponds to the number and strength of your crits in a given time frame. That means when you unload on your Fire cycle, Bloodshed is doing insane damage.

3. Area Damage: AD does significant damage. It also turns elites into damage batteries while they’re alive. 80% is good, 90% is great, and 100%+ is optimal.

Notes On Gear

Here are a few important thoughts to keep in mind about your gear:

Vitality: Generally speaking, you want between 600k-850k Life. This isn’t a hard rule; many experienced players push with less. But if you’re new to the build or still learning its nuances, you want a bigger Life pool. Don’t be afraid to pump Paragon points into Vitality if necessary. There may also be times when you need to sacrifice a roll (such as All Resist on chest) for Life %.

CHC and CHD: Your CHC and CHD should be roughly at a 1:10 ratio while all buffs are active, thus if your CHC is 50% while Wrath and Battle Rage are up, your CHD should be at 500%. See the FAQ for an excellent calculator to help determine how to achieve this ratio and when or where you should trade-off.

CHC/CHD Trade-Off: If you have CHC on both rings, you can drop CHC from helm for Strength or Vitality. You may also have to sacrifice a roll of CHD for CDR depending on your gear. However, as you gain more Paragon and can put more points into Vitality, the optimal rolls on your helmet are Strength, CHC, and 15% HOTA damage.

Healing and Life per Hit: Healing occurs in three ways in this build: spamming Battle Rage, Life per Fury, and Life per Hit. The first two are connected. If you have Life per Fury on gear and/or through IP, you’ll heal by spamming Battle Rage (yes, that counts as Life per Fury) and using HOTA. When it comes to Life per Hit, you want it on at least one piece of gear (two is optimal). If you have the Paragon and skill to pull it off, the best place to get it is on bracers instead of Vitality. That can be tricky, and for many players, it’s much easier to get it on a sword in place of AD. That will lower your maximum damage potential, but many top clears have been made with Life per Hit on a sword. Please note that you can only get Life per Hit to roll on a sword that has a native Strength roll. You can also get it on your bracer in place of Strength or Vitality. This is very important for healing. Life per Fury on belt isn’t a bad idea because it will stack with IP’s healing.

Rolls on Belt: Your PoC must have 6 seconds. If it doesn’t, you’ll likely need to use Iron Hide on Ignore Pain, and that means you’ll miss you out on a lot of healing when you start hammering. For a secondary on your PoC, you want + Max Fury. This boosts your DPS via synergy with HOTA’s mechanics.

CDR: This is arguably the most important stat in the build. You need enough cooldown to keep perma-IP and to greatly reduce Wrath’s cooldown. How much CDR you have depends on whether or not you’re using Gogok or Esoteric as your third gem. Regardless of gem choice, max CDR rolls are required on the following items: shoulder, gloves, both swords, and one ring. You also need max CDR from Paragon and a diamond in your helm. This will be a base sheet CDR of 50.05%.

If you use Gogok, you can stick with the base requirement above. Gogok will add enough extra CDR to make your CDR concerns non-existent.

If you use Esoteric, you need max CDR on your second ring. This will bring your sheet CDR to 54.04%.

Remember: CDR is the most important stat in this build! Here’s a great little calculator to help figure out how your CDR is going to add up (for helmet, always enter 12 for the diamond): http://rerollcalculator.com/CDR

Keep UP IB Stacks: Another reason to keep spamming Battle Rage is that it builds IB stacks. Having these is a key to surviving and dealing damage.

Rolling Swords: Here are your stat priorities:

  1. CDR

  2. AD

  3. Life per Hit

  4. Strength

Here are the basic requirements for your weapons:

  • They must be Ancient–this is not negotiable. If it’s early Season or you haven’t found Ancient swords yet, work with what drops.

  • They must have max (or close) CDR.

  • One sword should have Life per Hit.

  • At least one sword should have Area Damage

  • It’s likely that they’ll both have Strength, but in certain cases (especially for high-Paragon players) you can roll off the Strength for more important stats.

If you have questions about how to roll your swords, ask in this thread. Don’t ruin a weapon because you rolled it before checking here!

Other Secondary Rolls: As mentioned before, Physical resist and reduced melee damage help you stay in the fight. If you find that you rarely die during a rift, but get one-shotted by the RG, it means you’re missing these crucial secondary rolls (or don’t have enough Life).

Gogok vs Esoteric: If your Paragon is low, you may not be able to withstand incoming damage while building Endless Walk stacks. If that’s the case, consider switching Gogok for Esoteric. This will give you much more elemental mitigation. You can also do the same with a DPS passive like Brawler and switch it to Superstition. Generally, I recommend you stick with Esoteric until 2500+ Paragon.

Gear Gems

Use rubies until incoming damage starts to become a serious problem. After that, switch to diamonds. If you have lots of high Augments on gear, you may even be able to stick with rubies until 100+.

Paragon Distribution

Max it all except Resource Cost Reduction–RCR bites into the healing from IP. Don’t have enough paragon? Drop and give me fifty.

Part 3: How To Play The Build

Okay, so, you have the gear, the skills, and the gems.

But Free, you ask, how do I Diablo?

Do the pre-rift check. Are you wearing the right gear? Do you have the right items active in the Cube? Are your legendary gems at least five to ten levels higher than the tier you’re about to attempt? If yes to all of the above, go up to the rift pylon and caress it.

Greater Rift Progression & Wall-Charging

Enter a Greater Rift. Charge forward until you find some elites. Are they worth fighting? If so, Charge off to see if there’s more nearby. Along the way, you want to collect trash and aggro them into following you. If your first floor is empty or the elites are awful, skip it and head to floor two. R6-HOTA is much more lenient than other Barb builds in that you don’t have to get a GG floor one to keep playing the rift. You will want a Conduit somewhere along the way with which you need to kill at least three elite packs. If you can tank affixes, a five-elite Conduit is even better, but considering that you need to thin out trash before you pop the Conduit, this can be ultra dangerous. Find a good spot and group your density with Threatening Shout. Now it’s time to talk about wall-charging.

To push this build to its limits, you must master wall-charging. To properly wall-charge, you must find a piece of architecture in the map–often a wall of some sort, but other surfaces work. Move your mouse beyond the actual physical limit of the wall in a straight(ish) line and leave the cursor there. In other words, the mouse cursor should be more or less straight in front of your toon and outside the boundary of the wall into which you’re charging, and it should not move. I repeat, once you’ve found the sweet spot, don’t move your mouse cursor. Now, if you have mobs around you, enough to reset Charge’s cooldown from the Raekor set bonus, and you’ve positioned yourself properly, you can endlessly charge at the wall without moving or sliding off to the side. This will build Raekor stacks but it won’t count as actual movement. Two things will happen:

First, you’ll lose Endless Walk’s damage reduction.

Then you’ll gain 100% increased damage from Endless Walk’s stationary affix. This additional damage multiplier is the key the build. You want that 100% increased damage when you unload on your Fire cycle. If you don’t have this bonus, you’ll be doing significantly less damage. Remember, the Endless Walk damage bonus is like 2x Wrath of the Berserker! This is also healing you via Life per Hit, so wall-charge in density whenever possible.

It bears repeating: Wall-charging is an essential part of this build. If you don’t master it, you will limit your potential.

One last note about wall-charging: According to 엔류, using Force Move still helps a little bit with stacking speed. If you’re able to use Force Move while wall-charging, you may find that you acquire more Charge stacks in a shorter amount of time. Ping also effects your ability to stack, but that is largely out of your control.

DPS Cycle

Got your Endless Walk stacked up? Fire cycle ready to pop? Wrath off cooldown? Ready to deal damage?

Just as CoE is about to cycle off Cold, pop Threatening Shout, then pop Wrath. Then start hammering elites. If there’s a nearby Oculus bubble, zoom over to it and start hammering–but only if this keeps you in range of an elite. Remember, you really, really need to hit elites with your hammer. You deal all your damage in 5 second windows. We call these Fire cycles. If you miss it or hit it late, wait, build more stacks, and catch the next one.

It’s likely that most of the trash will die on your first Fire cycle, but as you go up in GR tiers, elites will take multiple Fire cycles to kill. An important skill to learn is estimating how many cycles it will take to kill an elite after the first. If you can kill the elite in one more, stay and finish the kill. But in most circumstances, you’re better off hitting them with Demoralize and leading them to more density (and possible more elite packs!). Group them together, and hammer the ever loving !@#$ out of them (when your Fire cycle is up). With luck, you’ll have a few elite packs in the mix.

As a general rule of thumb, it’s not worth it to stay in one place for more than three Fire cycles to kill elites. Even if it’s a yellow, you’re going to break even on the time invested versus the progress gained from purple orbs.

Making Smart Decisions

The type of mobs you engage will begin to determine your success almost as much as the map tile. For example, if you have lots of spiders, zombies, skeletons, Horrors, and Grotesques, you’re in good shape. If you have summoners and Hellions, you’re in great shape! If the rift is filled with Armaddons, Shamans, Succubi, and Morlus, quit and re-make. In other words, mobs that easily grouped and will follow you are good, and mobs that like to run away are bad. At 90+, mob types mean the difference between continuing in the rift and leaving to remake.

Rinse and repeat. Ideally, you don’t want to stop and fight for anything less than 8-10% progression worth of density if there’s no elite. And generally, you don’t want to stop unless there’s an elite pack or two you can nuke.

Something to bear in mind: Sometimes, you’ll need to skip whole floors. Let’s say you get a great floor 1 – Festering Woods with fatties, skeletons, and a three-pack Conduit. Awesome! Then you hit floor 2 and it’s an empty Westmarch with bad mobs. What do you do?

Skip it. Get to the exit as fast as you can. And pray for a good floor 3.

Sometimes, you’ll get a great floor 1 only to have floors 2-7 ruin your push. It happens. A lot. R6-HOTA isn’t as fishy as some other builds (Zodiac Whirlwind, for example), but fishing is still a required part of the game.

Fighting the Rift Guardian

When the RG shows up, wall-charge and hammer to win. The best RGs to fight spawn additional monsters (referred to as adds). Trust me – you want bosses that spawn adds, because adds proc Bloodshed and AD. Saxtris and Hamelin are the very best RGs to fight, but be very careful with the latter; Hammy’s rat swarms can deal tons of damage, so killing him is about dodging the swarms and letting Stricken do the work. Stonesinger is great because you can easily lead him into a corner. Man Carver is a great RG; avoid his big-damage hammer strike and his charge. Other than that, there’s not much he can do to kill you if you have 800k Life.

Voracity can kill a push attempt. At higher tiers, you may have a lot of trouble tanking his poison cloud. Deal some damage, then move away and force him to chase you. Bosses that don’t spawn adds and like to run around such as Tethrys, Choker, and Agnibiddy-boody are not your friends. If you’ve got less than 2 minutes on your timer and no Power or Conduit pylon in sight, leave game and make a new rift. Speaking of Pylons, if possible, save a Power for the boss. Conduits should be used to clear elites from the rift, particularly in density. For more information on Pylons, see below.

Bosses that like to zoom around like Raziel, Ember, and Sand Shaper are nightmares to fight. Remember, you want RGs that let you wall-charge them.

Be careful with bosses who use hard-hitting Physical attacks. If you don’t have lots of Physical resist stacked on gear, you may get one-shotted. When exactly this occurs depends on several factors including Paragon, main stat, and overall toughness. This is why pumping Paragon points into Vitality is a good idea, particularly if you’re pushing the limits of what a given Paragon and main stat range can accomplish in terms of GR tiers.[/ul]

Pylon Management

Proper Pylon management is an essential part of pushing GRs. Below is S4’s edited explanation of how Pylons spawn in GRs and what you can do to use them to your advantage. Credit and thanks to S4 for permission to include this info:

There is a whole science to how and where pylons spawn in a map.

  • Pylons are progression based with a chance for an early pylon right at the GR entrance with minimal progression.

  • In any given GR, you will not spawn all 5 possible pylons. No matter how carefully you play, 4 is all you will get, leaving an element of "randomness" ("Will I get the Shield or Power for RG?").

  • On average you can assume that you require 20% progression between pylon spawns. Each purple progress orb is worth 1%, so yellows will grant 4% while blues will grant 3%. This is in addition to the progress gained for killing trash. Note that progression granted by trash varies by mob type.

  • Progression needed is measured from the spawn time of your previous pylon, not from the time when you last used a pylon. This is why you can get a pylon immediately after a juicy Conduit.

  • The last possible opportunity to spawn a pylon is at 99% progression. Not 95%, not 92%, and not 90%. It’s 99%. Of course, you can get one a little early if your previous pylon spawn was at 50-60%, but if you had 3 pylons already with 3rd at 70%, 4th spawns at 99%.

  • Pylons have fairly defined spawning points on each map so strategic play is required to best utilize them. At times, you may want to go to the next level of the GR to explore one tile (one area of the map floor) if you have a Conduit at the exit and you know you will get 3 yellows + some trash in order to prevent a new pylon from spawning at that next floor’s entrance. You may also manipulate the odds in your favor by saving the Conduit and surrounding trash, going to the next floor and gaining your 99%, then returning to the previous floor with the Conduit and killing the trash to spawn the RG. This will leave the Conduit for the RG!

  • By default you can assume 20/40/60% GR progression as your pylon spawn points. If you get one at 80%, you will not get one at 99%. If you avoid the spawn locations of pylons around 80, you may get one further down the road, closer to the RG fight. It takes a bit of practice, but you can eyeball your progression, as well as recognize future progression based on elites and mob type in density.

  • The best way to learn all of the above is to grind GRs, particularly in groups with other knowledgeable players. This translates directly into the "skill" aspect of GR pushing.

The Hired Help

You can take either the Enchantress or the Templar. It’s currently unclear which is better.

For both characters:

  • Immortal Token

  • 85% Oculus

  • Any amulet aside from Dovu, Ess of Johan, or Overwhelming Desire. You don’t want charms ruining your grouping.

  • Stack attack speed and CDR on their gear[/ul]

If you pick Enchantress, don’t use any of her first two skills–both are detrimental to pushing. If you pick the Templar, make sure he has the healing ability and doesn’t aggro mobs away from you. Personally, I avoid CC-causing items on followers because I prefer to be in full control of mobs.

Common Problems

Listed below are some common problems people have with the build. If you’re experiencing one of these problems, read through the solution. If that fails to fix the problem, post with questions. Whenever possible, take screenshots and be as specific as possible.

1. Dying During Rift

Cause: This is normally caused by trying to tank too much incoming damage or messing with too many nasty mob/elite types. Another cause is that you’re not using Charge to its full capacity. You may have let IP drop. You’re not spamming Battle Rage to heal. You may not have enough Life per Hit on gear.

Solution: You need to spend some time figuring out what’s going to really hurt. Don’t have a few Physical resist secondary rolls? Pain Mongers and Dark Berserkers might one-shot you. Use Charge to reposition when necessary. Yes, you need to wall-charge to build stacks and keep your Endless Walk bonus, but you can’t deal any damage if you’re dead. Don’t stand in molten. Make sure you have diamonds in your armor pieces. Make sure you have 750-850k Life. Get Life per Hit on at least one piece of gear. Spam Battle Rage while you build Charge stacks! Also, never let IP drop!

2. Dying Vs RG

Cause: See above.

Solution: Some RG’s are a nightmare to fight. Voracity? You’ll need to kite him away from his gas clouds or you’re dead. Rime? Dont try to tank stacked ice circles. Hamelin? Don’t let the rat swarms stack on you. Make sure you have 750-850k Life. See other solutions about healing above.

3. Can’t Keep Perma-IP

Cause: Totally normal. Even with Gogok and max CDR rolls, you won’t have 100% perma-IP.

Solution: Get more CDR (see the gearing guide above). If you have all the CDR you can get, remember to stop wall-charging while IP is down. Only wall-charge when IP is active or you know for certain it is safe. Activate IP halfway through your Physical COE cycle to cover both Fire cycles.

Part 4: Greater Rift Tiers, Paragon, and Augmentation

At some point, you’ll hit a wall and will fail to clear a particular Greater Rift tier over and over. Welcome to the Greater Rift Fishing game.

GR Fishing, also referred to as I Hate This Game, is inevitable. At some point, every build will encounter this painful part of the game. This is because of the infinitely scaling nature of Greater Rifts and the fact that the game hates you. To minimize frustrations, let’s talk about how to prepare for success.

Paragon is one of the single-most important factors in successful Greater Rift clears. But remember that past 800 paragon, 1 Paragon point equals 5 points of Strength. This means that 300 Strength through Augmentation is equal to 60 paragon levels above Paragon 800. So, if you’re Paragon 800 and you Augment all 13 pieces of gear with 300 Strength, you are, for all intents and purposes, paragon 1580. This is called Effective Paragon, a slightly wordy way of summing up the value of someone’s main stat.

What does this mean?

In short, look at a player’s Effective Paragon when trying to evaluate a clear. Yes, Paragon is important–it boosts your Life through Vitality, for example–but main stat contributes directly to damage and Armor. Assuming your gear is great and you have considerable skill with the build, here are some current conservative estimates:

  • GRs 70-100 ~ Paragon 300-1000 (no Augments)

  • GRs 100-105 ~ Effective Paragon 1001-1500

  • GRs 105-110 ~ Effective Paragon 1501-2000

  • GRs 115-120 ~ Effective Paragon 2001-3000

  • GRs 120-130+ ~ Effective Paragon 3001-4500+

No doubt you’ve heard about players beating GR 120 with less than 2k Paragon back in Season 15. It’s true and I highlight the videos in this guide. But there are two things to keep in mind. First, those are exceptional players who fish a lot of keys and play a lot of Diablo. In short, they’ve put in a lot of time and practice. Second, their gems are very high (110-120+) and thus their effective Paragon is much, much higher than an un-Augmented Paragon 2k player.

If I were you, I would start Augmenting when your gear is pretty close to finely tuned–with any luck, about the time you’re ready to push 90+. Before that, take the time and learn the build without Augments.

Part 5: Step-by-Step Season Starter Guide

If you’re a Seasonal player and want to put this build together, use this step by step guide.

  1. Get to Level 70. Do this as quickly as possible, preferably with groups who will carry you.

  2. Get all 6 pieces of the Raekor set. They don’t have to be pretty, but you need that 6-piece bonus.

  3. Roll the set pieces as closely as you can to the parameters in Part 1: The Build. Get your gear as close as possible. You probably won’t have a complete IB set so . . . .

  4. Cube a Gavel ASAP. Then use either Furnace (for low GRs) or In-geom+Sankis (for speed-farming Neph Rifts). With this setup and 500 Paragon, you should be absolutely crushing T13 and GR 60-85. If you’re squishy, use Trapped, Esoteric, and Boon+Gold Wrap. You probably won’t have a complete Endless Walk set either so use what have (any Fire amulet + Avarice and SoJ works for speed-farming).

  5. Farm an IB set. It might be easier to upgrade rares. While you’re doing this, farm mats in Bounties and Neph Rifts. Farm an Endless Walk set–be prepared to upgrade LOTS of rares!

  6. When you have a decent IB set, equip them, get a stack of 300-500 GR keys, and start speed-farming GRs (pick a tier you can clear 100% of the time in 3-5 min) to collect items, shards, and level gems for Augments.

  7. Progress from there.

This build is incredibly powerful, so here are some things to keep in mind as you gear up in Season 18:

  • CDR on everything. It’s the most important stat on your gear.

  • CHC is the second most important stat (except on helmet).

  • Don’t be afraid to pump Paragon points into Vitality! This build feels squishy when you’re learning the ropes and it has more than enough DPS to lose some Strength.

  • Getting a good Endless Walk set is the hardest part in terms of gearing. Be prepared to spend some serious time on this. But hey, at least you don’t need a Hellfire for this build.

  • Try to farm in groups, preferably with people who won’t slow you down. Remember, efficiency is key: you want to clear your Neph Rifts in 2-4 minutes (for keys and DBs only), 3-5 minutes for all legs, DBs, mats, and keys. When speed-farming, play the build as an elite hunter. Don’t bother fighting packs of trash unless they’re huge.

  • What’s the right difficulty? Easy. Can you one-shot elites in a Neph Rift? Maybe two-shots? That’s the right difficulty.

Part 6: Modifications for Speed Farming

In addition to being a top-tier push build, R6-HOTA makes for one of the fastest, strongest T16 speed-farm builds in the game! Here’s what you do:

  • Swap the IB set for In-geom and Sankis (for the Fire damage)

  • Swap CoE and Compass Rose for Focus and Restraint

  • Swap Traveller’s Pledge for any Fire/CHC/CHD amulet (Star is great here)

  • Swap Stricken for Bane of Powerful

  • In the Cube, use Band of Might (if you feel squishy) or Avarice (faster clears)

  • Swap Berserker Rage for Boon of Bul-Kathos (make sure you still have lots of CDR stacked)

Then go elite hunting. Even without CoE, you should obliterate them in one or two hammers.

Some folk suggest using Envious Blade instead of Sankis, but I’m not a fan of that for two reasons. First, you should be one-shotting most everything because this build has tons of burst damage. Second, it’s much harder to get a good Envious Blade (it’s a bounty cache item) than it is a good Sankis.

If all you use this build for is speed-farming, you can ignore most of the CDR and AD requirements listed above. If you can’t maintain perma-IP, do the following:

  • Swap Esoteric or Gogok for Boon of the Hoarder

  • Swap PoC for Goldwrap

Kaboom! You’re ready to crush most any Torment!

If you still feel squishy, wear a Fire immunity amulet and boost Vitality through Paragon.

Part 7: FAQ, GR Clears, & Archived Analysis

The following FAQ has a lot of great information. If you’re new to the build, make sure to read through this.

FAQ (click arrow to expand)

Q. Is this build stronger than IK6+R4 (Vile Charge)?
A. Yes.

Q. I can’t max CDR on one or more pieces of gear. What should I do?
A. Don’t panic. You’ll have to make do with what you have until you find or craft upgrades. If you’re a few points off the required amounts (2-5%), don’t sweat it. Your Wrath cycles won’t synch up and you might have one or two seconds of downtime on IP, but it’s not the end of the world. If the gap is much bigger, you may need to stop pushing, farm mats and gear, and get that CDR bumped up. You can also try using Gogok to make up for the problem, but if you have low Paragon, you’re going to have a tough time mitigating damage. In that case, swap a DPS passive to Superstition.

Q. Can I forget about wall-charging?
A. Not if you want to push this build to its (and your) limits. Wall-charging is essential. It’s easily worth a few GRs on top of your current potential.

Q. If I use the build for speed-farming, does it still need all the CDR?
A. No. If you’re using the build for speed-farming, you can forgo some or most of the CDR. You won’t need perma-IP, though it helps, and there’s not much point to worrying about Wrath when you’re crushing T13 in under 2 minutes. See above for more info.

Q. Is this the strongest Barb build?
A. Yes.

Q. The other Charge build, Vile Charge, requires lots of fishing. Is this build similar?
A. Nope! Of all our builds, this requires the least amount of fishing for maps, mobs, and RGs. It’s incredibly good at killing elites and RGs. Some elites are going to give you trouble–you definitely don’t want to fight Shielding on their own, and you definitely don’t want multiple Arcane packs melting you with their lasers–but this build is so dang powerful that not much else matters. When it comes to RGs, you don’t want ones that move around a lot, but you can fight them if you have enough time.

Q. What do you think of red-pillers and MRAs?
A. They’re human trash whose philosophies are so misinformed and bigoted that I don’t even know where to begin.

Q. Living on a razor’s edge?
A. Balancing on a ledge.

Sample Gameplay Videos

For high-level gameplay that shows off wall-charing, RG fights, and proper grouping, check out these end-game clears:

Gameplay Video (click arrow to expand)

Clear 1 (GR 124): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxi5XCR6A8E&feature=youtu.be

  • See below for a video analysis

Clear 2 (GR 123): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B7iGnDhVro0&feature=youtu.be

Clear 3 (GR 122): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFOJry41khc&feature=youtu.be

  • See below for a video analysis

Clear 4 (GR 120): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZXBgrib2i-4&t=449s

Clear 5 (GR 119 under 2k Paragon!): https://youtu.be/5pl8K5hDtpU

Clear 6 (GR 120 under 2k Paragon!): https://youtu.be/yv1J2SEgkuI

Lucio has cleared 125! No video, but clear screen here: https://imgur.com/a/wuH63IG

Finally, though there is no video, 엔류 recently cleared GR 120 at 1500 Paragon! You can see the leaderboard detail here: https://imgur.com/Nkyncdw

It goes without saying that such an accomplishment makes him the undisputed master of the build.

VIdeo Analysis

To help you understand the finer points of the build, I’ve done a few analyses of some top clears. You can find the full analyses and links to the videos below.

Video Analyses (click arrow to expand)

Video Analysis 1

Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jxi5XCR6A8E&feature=youtu.be

0.00–1.30

Lucio has a GG map (Festering Woods) and some great mobs. He starts the run by collecting density and building stacks. This also gives some of the evil wizard dudes time to transform (0.28, top right). Once transformed, they are worth more progression.

Something you’ll notice: Whenever possible, Lucio will charge to an Oculus bubble to increase his DPS. He’s also using Rampage to good effect; as mobs die, his Strength increases, and since mobs die fast on a Fire cycle, Lucio can spike his DPS every time he unloads. Watch his Rampage stacks–he goes from 0 to 25 in a flash!

Something else you’ll notice: In most circumstances, Lucio will only DPS when he is able to coordinate it with using Wrath of the Berserker. This is done to maximize his DPS. You should get 2 Fire cycles per Wrath cycle and you should be able to repeat this (provided you have R6 stacks) every 15-20 seconds.

1.31–2.30

By 1.37, Lucio has caught up to the timer and hit the corner of the map. Festering offers good T-tiles (intersections of two or more map areas) that allow for excellent grouping of density. He also spots his first pylon–a Conduit!

A less experienced player won’t wait wait. She’ll group two or three elites, pop the Conduit, and collect the orbs.

So why does Lucio wait so long to use the pylon?

Simple: He knows Festering is a GG map and he is fighting some very good mobs. He knows that if he goes forward, he will definitely find more elites and trash, and since R6 can quickly clear trash, he can save the Conduit for more elites. He also knows that he won’t spawn another pylon until he has cleared 20-40% more progression, and since he has a Conduit here (and it’s practically impossible to spawn the RG on the first floor), he wants to minimize the number of potential pylons that could spawn here. In other words, he doesn’t want to risk spawning a Power pylon at the exit where it could very well get wasted.

2.31–4.30

Pause the video at 2.50. See that density? That’s beautiful. That’s perfect. Right there, he’s sitting on about 10-12% progression not including the elites. And remember, he’s only uncovered about a third of the map! By this point, Lucio probably knows that he can get 50-70% progression just on the first floor. He definitely doesn’t want another pylon showing up here. And he still hasn’t used that Conduit. . . .

He spends some time clearing out trash before scouting the next T-tile to find more trash and elites. He unloads two Fire cycles, then moves up to the next intersection and does the same.

4.31–5.40

More elites! More trash. He knows those blue zombies won’t follow him all the way back to the Conduit, so he’s going to have to take them out where he found them. By 5.30, he has done exactly that and still has more trash to kill. He’s also ahead of the timer, at around 45% progression, and still has more trash to kill. And, of course, he still has the Conduit and three more elite packs a few screens back.

5.41–7.15

Finally! Time to take the Conduit!

Lucio uses the first few seconds to nuke some trash, then moves around to dish out as much damage as possible to elites. Note that he uses this time to build stacks and only unloads to whittle down the high-HP yellow.

At 6.20, he finds the exit and a second pylon. Luckily, it’s a Shield. Since there are no dangerous mobs at the exit, he’ll kill trash and take the pylon just before he exits the map.

Note that by 7.01, he has killed most of the trash around the exit. So why does he stick around? Because those big horrors with the spikes growing out of them are worth some good progression. He can squeeze in one more Fire cycle before Wrath is on cooldown. It’s a no-brainer.

7.16–11.15

Floor two. Not a good map. But the phase beasts and zombies are worth major progression and he’s minutes ahead on the timer (around 65-70% progression). He spends time clearing out packs of trash. The elites at 8.15 are dangerous–Arcane, Shielding–and phase beasts hit pretty hard. Lucio has got to be very careful here since he’s running with less CDR and thus has more downtime on IP.

He knows he can’t kill Shielding elites there, so by 8.33 he moves on to find more density and, hopefully, the map exit. The density at 9.50 is promising so he spends some time hammering the crap out of it. The elites there are frozen, so he has to be extra careful when IP goes down. He makes one last trash pull at 10.35 and the mobs here are very dangerous. Two Fire cycles later, he’s at 98% progression and on Floor 3.

11.16–end

Power pylon and enough density to spawn the RG. Provided the RG isn’t terrible, this is GG for sure.

Note that he dismisses his follower. This is a smart move when fighting the RG. You don’t want the follower to aggro the RG and potentially lure it away from where you can wall-charge. Unless you absolutely need your follower, dismiss him or her when the RG spawns.

Lucio takes some time to lure Voracity into position, then starts building stacks. All Lucio has to do is stack Stricken, unload a few Fire cycles, and wait for the last minute to pop Power. Why wait? Because the more Stricken stacks he has on the RG, the more the Power pylon will boost his DPS. Remember: never take a Power as soon as the RG spawns!

Luckily, Voracity behaves, and Lucio only has to make minor adjustments to keep wall-charging. At 0.58 seconds left, he pops Power, then kills the RG in one Fire cycle.

Great clear from a great player!

Video Analysis 2

Video Link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eFOJry41khc&feature=youtu.be

0.02–0.24

These twelve seconds tell you a lot. First, look at the map. Festering Woods! That’s the second best map you can get (the best is, of course, Battlefields of Eternity). But the mobs are mediocre at best. Worse, that elite pack is terrible–skeleton archers with Shielding. They like to run away and they like to block damage. When you’re pushing your top power potential, you can’t waste time on crap like that. Note that he spent exactly 2 Fire cycles gathering density and building stacks before unloading. All in all, he made about 1-2% progression there.

Lucio decides to move ahead, gather some more density.

0.30–0.45

He rounds up some more mobs. What he’s got here, that’s what you want–about 1 or 1 and-a-half screens worth of mobs. It’s bad, low-progression trash, and as a result, he won’t get much here. He unloads one Fire cycle, then aggros the next elite pack. Unfortunately, these elites are also terrible. The ice porcupines like to stay at range and tend to back away if you close to melee.

By 45 seconds, Lucio has moved into the T-tile of the map to try and get even more density. He knows he can’t kill those elites (or the skeletons he left behind), and he knows this map lacks good mobs and isn’t very dense, so by now–just 45 seconds into his push–he has to bet on a Conduit or Power with 2-4 elite packs and some good maps+mobs on the next few floors. If he doesn’t get some combination of that stuff, this run is toast.

0.45–1.15

Things aren’t looking good. The new elite is a ranged wizard goat (which in any other context is !@#$ing awesome) and there’s not much density here. One of the elite packs is Frozen, and if you’re not careful, that can be a major problem. Again, he’s not spending more than a Fire cycle or two to kill some trash before he moves on to gather more density. Right now, he’s relying on Area Damage to whittle down the elites and hoping he can get them to tag along across the map to (hopefully) more density and a Pylon.

1.15–2.25

The map isn’t dense, so Lucio has to zip around, try to aggro what there is, and bring it all together near an intersection (T-tile). Pay attention to 2.23 or so, right about the time he comes back to the blue pack of ice porcupines. Notice how in his absence they spread out and got bored? That’s why they’re bad elites. Low aggro mobs. Some mobs will chase you to the ends of a map. Others will forget about you as soon as you’re a screen away.

2.25–3.55

Lucio spends some time repeating the above: aggro some mobs, kill on a Fire cycle, and repeat. He can’t really kill these elites in this situation–they’re too spread out. And the new blue pack he finds at 3.07 doesn’t help much; those dudes like to stay at range and throw stuff. Worse, it’s a Illusionist pack, and they tend not to follow. Not good. Really not good. And there’s not much density around him.

Pop-Quiz: If so many things are going wrong in this rift, what’s going right?

Take a few seconds before you look at the answer.

Give up?

Pylon management. He’s been very careful about how much of the map he uncovers, never uncovering potential Pylon spots early. Luico didn’t get a Pylon at the start of the rift, so he knows he’s likely to get one right around 20% progression. And since he has 2-3 elite packs nearby, if it comes up a Conduit or Power, he’s going to get ahead of the timer. If, on the other hand, it’s something else… well, that means he wasted time. It wouldn’t kill the rift because it’s still possible to get a Conduit or Power with elites on the next map, but it would be yet another thing bad about this already bad rift.

3.55–5.30

Lucio is falling behind on the timer. The map isn’t dense, the mobs and elites are bad, and he still doesn’t have a Pylon. He needs to make something happen and fast. He moves ahead to gather more density, but there’s not much more than 3-5% progression there. He nukes it, then spends another Fire cycle whittling down the already hurt elites (4.35). That lets him almost break even. But it’s not enough.

He moves further ahead, rounding up density, killing as he goes. Things are looking really bad. Any other build, I might say quit and re-make. But R6 HOTA can, with a single Pylon, leap ahead of the timer and stay there without much worry. All he needs is one thing to go his way…

5.30–6.36

And then he gets that one thing. He finds a Power Pylon.

On the one hand, this sucks, because he knows he can’t spawn the RG on this floor and use it for that. On the other hand, this Pylon could save his entire push. He moves back, aggros two old elites, then moves forward to find another. Near the exit, he finds a third elite pack. He herds them to the Pylon and at 6.05 he pops it. Note that he’s on Physical CoE when he pops it, which means he only has to wait 8 or so seconds to unload on his Fire cycle. His Power Pylon and Wrath last exactly two Fire cycles. In that time, he kills all three elite packs.

If this had not happened, it is very doubtful Lucio would have cleared this rift. Never underestimate the importance of Pylon management.

6.36–7.35

Good news! Map 2 is a desert corridor. For some builds, this is RIP. For R6 HOTA, this is great. Easy to gather density, easy to wall charge. This is a good map to get. Even better: the mobs. He’s got zombies, zombie spawners, fatties, and Phase Beasts. This is about as good a mob combo as you can ask for. The only problem early on is the density.

7.35–8.10

After nuking a pack of trash, Lucio finds two elite packs. Mortar can be dangerous for this build, especially when paired with Frozen, and those rock dudes have large health pools. Lucio is going to have to play this carefully to kill this…

8.10–10.30

This is the moment where everything turns around. See that at 8.10? That corner–that exact corner–is what he needed. Zombies + spawners to keep making density. A little further down, fatties, skeletons + spawners, and Phase Beasts. Two elites behind him. If Lucio plays this right (spoiler: he does), this rift should be his.

Notice at 9.07 that his follower gets stuck in the far left zombie pack. That’s bad. It means the follower is aggroing those mobs to attack her, preventing them from moving to melee Lucio. At 9.12 he corrects it, moving around to re-position his Enchantress, and at 9.19, just as he’s settling in for his Cold cycle prep, he moves to stand on top of her, insuring maximum possible aggro. This is some seriously smart play often overlooked by less experienced players.

He kills the blue pack in two more Fire cycles, then moves down to aggro a new elite (yellow fattie) and herds it all together at the choke point–the corner where the spawners have been making zombies this whole time. Even though he’s barely ahead of the timer, he’s going to fine provided he gets this all lumped together quickly. He’s also still got the old yellow snake elite, so there’s some serious progression for the taking.

10.30–11.40

After he kills the snakeman elite, it’s time for Lucio to herd the yellow fattie to some new density. He also knows it’s been 20%+ progression since his last Pylon and he’s overdue. If he could find a Conduit and another elite or two with this kind trash, well, that’s GG right there.

And at 10.35, that’s exactly what he gets. Conduit. T-tile intersection. Good trash and, not far away, the exit. He spends some time gathering density and whittling it down on a Fire cycle, then pops the Conduit for quick kills.

11.40–15.00

The next map is Arreat Crater. These can be good or bad, but that Conduit on the last floor put him way ahead of the timer, so he should be fine. He uses the last of the Conduit to kill trash and quickly spawns the RG.

Good news! It’s Voracity!

If you have the Paragon to tank his farts, you can beath him.

Lucio maneuvers the RG close enough to wall-charge him on the middle pillar. He only ever moves away when IP is down. Otherwise, the fight is straight-forward. He builds two cycles worth of stacks and unloads with Wrath. Stricken is doing a lot of work here. So is the potion of Regeneration.

Rank 2 with a few seconds to spare.

Change Log

Below is a complete log of changes and edits to this guide.

Change Log (click arrow to expand)

5/5/2018: Guide created.

5/6: Updated all sections and added videos and info about wall-charging.

5/7: Updated skills, How to Play, Followers, Speed-Farm setup, and more. Many tanks to Tee and everyone for helping!

5/11: Updated to include Lucio’s 121 clear.

5/23: Updated to include clear video #4.

6/27: Updated CDR requirements and provided a link to the CDR calculator. Also updated the FAQ, big time.

7/3: Added play tips to OP, edited most sections, and fixed typos.

7/25: Fixed typos, clarified sections.

1/20: Updated to Season 16

7/9: Posted in migrated forum.

8/15: Updated to Season 18.

4/8: Updated to Season 20

6 Likes

Great work! :hammer:

Perfect Guide btw still some old typos

Reduced Elite Damage > All Res > Vitality / Life % (since able to add Vit via paragon points)

15% Life -> LpFS (same reason as above + some space for LpH -> AD / Bloodthirst -> Offence / Ignorance is Bliss -> Iron Hide & CDR -> Offence)

15% HotA skill > AD > 10% Dmg >> LpFS (instead of LpH)

15% HotA skill > 6% CHC (btw need both) >> Vit

LpH best places: Bracers >> Rings > Amu > Weapon (less offence loss)

1 Like

[New] Echoing Fury + Sun Keeper / The Burning Axe of Sankis also viable option
(75% IAS + 30% Elite Dmg / 20% Fire Dmg + 25% extra MS) vs (30% IAS + 30% Dmg + 30% Armor) - not so obviously what is better
Especially for speedruns / farming / etc
O/c some toughness loss - a kinda offence as defence
Btw we don’t have to spam fury every 5 sec to keep bonuses alive

1 Like

Manowar,

Thanks for the catches. I fixed some typos, but others I’m not so sure about.

Fixed for Life per Fury, but I don’t understand what you’re getting at with the part in the parentheses. When you’re typing this out, can you please avoid short hand?

Gavel doesn’t roll 15% HOTA damage. I’m not sure what you mean. Fixed the Life per Fury on Gavel/Furnace.

If you have CHC on both rings, amulet, and bracer, and max Fury in Paragon, and you can swap a CHC roll on Helm for HOTA. It’s obviously best to have CHC and HOTA dmg, but most players will want that Vitality until 4-5k Paragon.

I don’t agree. True, dropping AD for Life per Hit on a weapon means a damage loss, but Life per Hit on weapons returns much more than it does on rings and bracer. LpH is hard to roll on bracers, and only the Compass Rose can get it, but they’re already hard enough to get with good stats. LpH is not an option for amulets–can’t give up the trifecta there.

Agreed, can be a good option for speeds, but I doubt it will be better than IB for pushing. Can you test it and let me know? The toughness loss is a big deal for most players–this is already a squishy build.

It does. 10-15% to 15 Barbarian skills. HotA is one of them

Personally, 600k life was quite enough for me to do GR110+ when I was below 1900 paralvl

Meant it exactly
Bracers are the cheapest way to get LpH (at the cost of Vit)
For other items (weapons / jewelry) the replacement price is much higher in terms of damage loss
My only LpH source are Bracers (just 11 975 pts)

Nvm. These were my (obvious) thoughts of how LpFS can make life easier )

Sorry, it’s my fault, Professor, if I misled you, but I was talking about Gavel - only it has both LpH & LpFS options (imho LpFS > LpH for healing), Furnace has only LpH - so express your personal opinion considering this )

What’s about new Season 18 items?

Could we replace Pride of Cassius and Endless Walk with Captain Crimson and The Flavor of Time? 4 of 5 pylons boost our damage greatly.

It will be possible to have Wraith of the Berserker on every fire cycle (with the passive). And may be replace Aquilla Cuirass with Mortick’s Brace.

Is it worth it?

Damage from Captain Crimson is additive, and also there’s no way it can reach the 100% that you get from EW, so it’s going to be a significantly worse option.

As for Mortick’s, that will probably be a bit worse than Aquilla, since you don’t have 100% uptime on WOTB. Aquilla protects you all the time, not just when you’ve got WOTB active. Mortick’s is certainly an option, but not really a superior one.

That said, if it sounds like fun to you, give it a go.

Edit: apparently Captain Crimson’s was changed to be multiplicative after the PTR. Even so, it’ll still give you less damage than EW.

You’re right! I never realized that!

Still, it’s kind of pointless unless it rolls native or on a Primal. You would likely be better off with CDR and AD on the weapon, and by the time it matters in terms of Paragon, you should be using the IB set.

That’s a fair point, but not realistic for most players. Still, I amended the Notes on Gear section to discuss this, and I do point out that bracer is, at higher Paragons, the best place to get Life per Hit.

As for Life per Fury, that’s all I have listed on Gavel or Furnace, and I’m of the opinion that it’s better than Life per Hit until you go with the IB set.

Yes and correct. Still not worth slotting it into the build. That or Aughild.

EW gives you 100%. CC gives you 85-90%. But FotT also gives you some damage. I assumed that CC < EW < CC + FotT.

For example, with Gogok you have max CDR rolls on the following items: shoulder, gloves, both swords, and one ring - 57.8% total. With CC you replace CDR on the gloves with AD and replace AD+CDR on the rings with DMG. So you get about 85% to you damage: 60% from CC multiplied by about 16% from rings. (You see theoretically CC can give you over 100% bonus to damage - some directly from the set property and some indirectly by replacing CDR stats with offensive stats).

Well, give it a go and see how it works. That’s really the only way you’ll be able to tell if it’s working out well or not.

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Is there any video for fasts with this build (T16 and/or GR)? I have tried it but it takes me 3-4 min for GR while with Zodiac WW takes 1.5-2 min. I want to know what I do wrong.

UPDATE

Updated the guide to S20. Don’t think anyone is playing this build anymore, but for any potential stalwarts, there you go.

As always, let me know if there are any errors or omissions.

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this season you can add the one handed mighty weapon on the cube, but yeah is not going to give much more than already do

It’s been quite a while since this build has gotten any play, but that may change with the new leaderboard filters incoming!

So I wanted to go over how this build might look now.

Here’s a build link: https://maxroll.gg/d3planner/517638750

Let me go over a few of the gearing choices I made here:

1: Why no IB?
Because there’s no room for it. Remorseless, with its 3.5x multiplier to HOTA damage, is way too good to give up, no matter how cumbersome it might be in this build.

2: Why Sankis, and not Echoing Fury?
I was a bit torn on this one, and I could well turn out to be wrong. But this build has to balance between building up stacks and then spending them. With EF, you only get the buff when you kill things, and it only lasts 5 seconds. That means that during most of your “building up stacks” time, you’ll get no benefit, and when it comes time to spend those stacks, you’ll blow through them all before you’ve reached the end of your CoE Fire phase. That means you won’t see nearly as big a dps gain as you might expect. Also, fearing enemies while you’re charging around is a pain. On the other side of the equation, Sankis not only gives you a nice flat buff to Fire damage, it also occasionally increases your toughness, which can be very helpful.

3: Why Esoteric and not Gogok?
This one might end up coming down to the personal preference of the player, or end up splitting along paragon lines- Esoteric for lower paragon, Gogok for higher. We saw lots of good clears with both options back in the day. But, with Remorseless now in the build, we are going to be playing a few GR levels higher, which means more incoming damage to weather. We’ve also lost the IB armor bonus. In addition, I think it is likely that we won’t have Ignore Pain on the bar anymore, either. So that means incoming damage is going to be a real problem, and Esoteric (plus copious Physical Resist rolls) will help with that.

4: Why no Ignore Pain?
No room on the bar. COTA, WOTB, HOTA, Charge, and BR: Bloodshed are locked- absolutely essential. That leaves just one spot remaining. For lower paragon players, it may be necessary after all to take IP. But, this means losing TS: Demoralize, which not only helps with survival via the 20% damage debuff, it also significantly increases your damage by packing mobs together. So: take IP if you absolutely must (in which case, you can also take Pride of Cassius)… but TS: Demoralize is probably going to give the highest clears.

5: Why Witching Hour?
If you’re not taking Pride of Cassius, this option adds some dps. Other options are Vigilante Belt (extra roll of CDR lets you pick up an extra AD or damage range roll on a ring) or String of Ears, for extra toughness.

6: Why Aquilla and not Mortick’s?
Because you also need to stay alive when you don’t have WOTB and COTA active. You’ll get a significant toughness buff from COTA:TaO when it’s active, but this is only about 40% of the time. Putting even more of your eggs in the WOTB + COTA basket means you’re likely to die while you’re building up stacks.

7: Why no RoRG + Crimson?
Because it’s less damage than the other options. EW adds more damage than Crimson (+100% vs +50-65%), and in this build, CoE actually adds the full +200% damage, since all of your attacking happens during your Fire phase. And if you drop BoM, you will do 0 damage, since you will always be dead. As for the added CDR, even the +20% you get from Crimson is not enough to get you up to the 65% you need to catch the higher CoE/WOTB breakpoint (you can make it to that point if you use Crimson + Gogok). Also, catching the higher breakpoint is not as good as it sounds, since it gives you only 12 seconds after WOTB goes down to build your stacks up again. In actual gameplay, you will miss out on a lot of the “on paper” damage from that higher breakpoint. If you did want to run Crimson, you would drop EW, wear Crimson Belt + Boots, wear CoE + BoM, put RoRG in cube, and wear a Hellfire for an extra passive (with FoT on a follower).

8: Why Bloodthirst as a passive?
Same reason there’s LPFS on your Remorseless-- for the healing. You’re still going to need to spam BR, for the healing (it used to both heal you and keep up IB stacks). With no Mortick’s, and no IP, you are going to be pretty short on healing.

9: Why Berserker Rage + Brawler as passives, rather than Ruthless + Rampage?
Ultimately, you could use any combo of those 4 abilities. Rampage has the highest benefit “on paper”, but you are going to drop stacks a lot since you only kill things in 5 second windows. Berserker and Brawler each give around +15% damage, which is better than what you get from Ruthless.

10: How do I play this build, again?
You charge around, spamming BR, for healing, and TS: Demoralize, to aggro mobs. Try hard to avoid getting frozen, since you don’t have IP anymore (if you do get frozen, having several good CC reduction rolls will help a lot). Collect the mobs by a wall. Begin wall-charging at least 8 seconds before your CoE Fire phase begins. Just as you reach Fire, pop WOTB and COTA, then hit your enemies with HOTA. If an Oculus circle spawns in a convenient place with Fire time left to spare, charge into it and keep hammering. When Fire has passed, resume wall-charging till it returns, then hammer your foes again. Once WOTB and COTA drop, repeat this cycle.

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You almost had me there, until I read wall-charging. Not my cup of tea, I’ll pass on this build for the new leader boards.

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Haha, yeah… though, have you ever tried it? I seem to be in the minority, but I never really had the same problem with it that other folks did. The main objections seem to be: 1) It’s an unintentional mechanic, and 2) It’s silly.

Unintentional, I’ll grant, but as for silly… isn’t jumping up and down like a jackrabbit, or spinning around and farting out tornadoes… also kind of silly?

Yeah, but neither of those involve repeatedly face-planting a wall on purpose. :wink:

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I would argue that wall charging is the most barbarian thing barbs can do. I mean what is more intimidating then some crazy barb slamming into a wall? All the non barbs will run in fear when someone actually tries this build again. Twirling like a ballerina or hopping around like a kangaroo just looks silly.

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