[Guide] Zodiac Rend (Season 20)

congrats man, great job

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Hi everyone, it seems that I am doing something very wrong here. While this should be my strongest setup, I feel that playing with BK swords would get me higher clears. I cleared GR115 with BK setup, but when i changed to Ambo+Doom, I kept dying and timed out in GR115. The fury management and slow movespeed made things tedious too.

Please enlighten me on how I can improve. Is it the gear, or I simply lack the skills to wield Ambo+Doom?


To use Ambo’s/Doom, or IPB swords you need to change Whirlwind rune to Wind Shear, and Battle Rage rune to Swords to Ploughshares.

That way you can drop Weapon Master for Rampage.

You have more paragon than me so should be able to do 115 easily.

With those changes if you’re not dying so much, you can swap Nerves of Steel for a more offensive passive, like Berserker or Brawler.

If you check my seasonal Barb you can see my set up. I run IPB swords, but the skill set up is the same.

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First of all, BK to Ambo/Doom is a big jump in terms of required skill so don’t feel bad that you’re dying. Most people transition to Istvan (which is a lot easier to play) before ultimately going to Ambo, but given your paragon I think it’s fine and going straight to Ambo will force you to become a better player faster.

The Ambo setup requires more CDR to play smoothly, so the one single change (other than using the right runes for WW/BR as mentioned above) you can make that will help you the most is adding one more CDR slot to your shoulders. Get a pair with CDR + Rend - easy to find. For now, just reroll the Rend to 8% CDR which will help you big time until you can get a decent shoulder. Also don’t hesitate to add more paragon into vitality until you get the hang of things.

Eventually you’ll wanna replace that primal Ambo with an ancient one since it’s got a wasted stat line (Attack speed is not doing anything for you). The Doom - eventually you’ll reroll the 6% to Area Damage, but if you’re lacking main stat right now I wouldn’t hesitate to reroll it to Vitality for the time being.

Finally - practice, practice practice! With your gear you should be able to get to 120+ easily.

Been playing more zbarb and have some questions:

  1. What’s the optimal allocation of paragon between Vitality/Strength?
  2. Rank these in priority: All Res, Life, Elite Dmg Reduc, Vitality, Strength, Armor
  3. Istvan vs Pig/Storm - which and why?
  4. On Stormshield - what’s more important, stats or 35% (max) block?
  5. Rank these: Sword/Board, Superstition, Relentless, Nerves, Inspiring, Pound Flesh


Question might be better here…

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I looked at that guide - it’s a bit outdated.

See notes for my take on your questions. :+1:

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Thanks Phoenix and Blayze for the tips!

I’ve cleared GR120! Mission accomplished for Season 20!


Thanks for taking the time to answer all the questions, very helpful!

I started with Istvan (which was fine, never felt weak), but switched to Pig/Shield for the tankiness. The CDR difference is only 2% so I figured all the extra defensive stats from pig/shield + blocking was worth the 30% Armor tradeoff, but the top barbs in 4 man are all rocking IB so I must be missing something.

Wow that was quick! Well done man, congratulations.

Looking for suggestions on my current build on what to prioritize upgrading or any swaps I should make, Currently on GR113 but haven’t quite gotten it ran out of time on boss.


136 NS down in 14:13. NA rank#25/World rank#158 when it gets updated.


Gratz again, I was there… sort of! :smile:

Congratulations Chris!

Are you going to try for 137?

I have two Doombringers:

Each has the same damage just about with 20% physical / 10% damage / CDR but the difference is one has strength and one with AD. I am trying to decided what to use as one has 966 strength and the other has 21% AD. With the AD one, it will put me at 160% AD or I can roll with more strength. I do not run metas at all and probably won’t get much more paragon to add to strength. Which would be better to use?

I do have 14 gems at 125 that I managed to level up and will put one more level on each gem then augment my gear at 126 and that should be it for me on this gear.

I managed to do some things this season that I didn’t think I would do:

I ran a 95 in 1:26 the other day, was stoked I finally broke 1:30.
I then got lucky leveling gems and gambling for gloves when Kadala blessed me.

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Depends on what your goals are. For solo pushing, then generally AD, for grouping or casual speed, then the Strength will be better.

Usually I recommend AD, but you are already pretty stacked on AD at 140%. The top barbs on the season ladder generally have ~4-5 slots of AD so I don’t think adding another 20% AD will really move the needle for you. Given your low paragon , I actually think the 966 strength will be better.

Dude… I want your gloves. Your gear is pretty amazing for Paragon 2000… way better than mine. The RNG gods have def been on your side this season.

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I read this and just had to go look.
Hot damn, primal quadfectas with CHC / CHD / AD / CDR.
Very nice, Adrenaline!


Thanks. I was leaning towards the strength. RNG has been awful with FoT this season. Other than that, RNG has been good.

My takeaways this season for me are:

Leveling gems solo is very long and boring. I get to play at my own pace though.
I will augment with 100 level gems when I can next season instead of waiting until I do a 120 with no augments (I did a 122 before I augmented).
Public bounties are not that bad. One bounty done by someone else is one less I have to do.
I really should play zBarb (I posted about this before and how boring it is to me. I fell asleep tanking in WoW. I just enjoy dps.)

Eh I’m thinking I will put the effort form 137 is it looks like I will fall out of top 200 by era end. I am at the point of needed amazing sets of maps and fishing gives me very little enjoyment. In the long run its better to keep farming paragon in 4mans. I need lots of paragon to try and catch some of these higher dudes. I am more about long term progression.
My history compared to the world rank#1 barb clear is as follows
Era 2018-1/105@2508p -25 rank #1
Era 2019-1/116@3309p -19 rank #1
Era 2019-2/131@4247p -15 rank #1
Era 2020-1/136@5064p -11 rank #1