Raekor 6 Spear- its current state and needed improvements

tldr: Raekor 6 Spear has some problems. There are solutions to those problems.


  • Single target damage is very poor, leading to super-long boss fights.
  • No built-in damage reduction, which can make survival difficult, especially for lower paragon players.
  • The 4-piece “missing life” damage bonus is extremely hard to utilize, especially for lower paragon players.
  • We are more or less “locked in” to a single rune- Boulder Toss- for all solo GR activities.


  • Increase the secondary ability on Skular’s Salvation from 100% to 200% or (better yet) 300%.
  • Add built-in mitigation, of at least 50% total.
  • Have the built-in mitigation scale up, possibly to around 75%, as your health decreases.
  • Have the Skular’s Salvation secondary ability apply to all runes, rather than just Boulder Toss.
  • Double the number of extra projectiles from all Ancient Spear runes other than Boulder toss.

I’d like to go over the current state of the Raekor 6 / Ancient Spear build, how it seems to be doing, and the major issues it appears to be experiencing, according to both me and the feedback of other players.

As it stands now, the major issues are:

  • Single target damage is very poor, leading to super-long boss fights.
  • No built-in damage reduction, which can make survival difficult, especially for lower paragon players.
  • The 4-piece “missing life” damage bonus is extremely hard to utilize, especially for lower paragon players.
  • We are more or less “locked in” to a single rune- Boulder Toss- for all solo GR activities.

Let me talk a bit about each of these issues, as well as some simple solutions.

1: Single target damage is very poor, leading to super-long boss fights.

Boss fight are tough with this build. When playing the progression part of the rift, you can generate both Fury and R6 stacks really quickly, since you get both of these for every target you hit, and the targets are numerous. Against the Rift Guardian, though, you end up in one of two situations. Either you draw a single-target Rift Guardian, and have a hard time building both Fury and stacks, or you draw an RG who summons adds, which makes it a lot harder to stack Stricken.

Either way, boss fights take a long time.

On top of this is the slightly wonky AI for the extra spears, particularly when using the Boulder Toss rune. These often seem to have trouble finding the proper elevation, and will either fly entirely off the screen, or impact on small obstacles.

SOLUTION: Increase the “secondary” effect of the Skular’s bracer. Doubling this (from 100% to 200%) only represents a 50% damage gain vs small numbers of targets. The primary effect of Skular gives +200%, so 3x. This is then doubled (+100%) to 6x. +200% for the secondary would give us 9x. 9x / 6x = 1.5x

Or, if we tripled the secondary (to +300%), this would give us 12x / 6x = 2x, still only doubling the damage vs small numbers of targets.

So, doubling or tripling that secondary would be really good. Hopefully boss fights would feel more “substantial” and less “painful”.

And: if possible, improve the Spear AI, especially for the Boulder Toss rune.

2: No built-in damage reduction, which can make survival difficult, especially for lower paragon players.

Unlike most other 6-7 piece class sets in the game, Raekor lacks any built-in damage reduction. This makes the build very squishy, even when stacking considerable amounts of defense on your other items, skills, etc.

SOLUTION: Add built-in damage reduction. 50% built-in mitigation for a 6-7 piece set is the old “baseline” across the entire game, so getting at least that much (probably added to the 4-piece bonus, as is usual) would be really good. But, read point 3, below, for more nuance on this…

3: The 4-piece “missing life” damage bonus is extremely hard to utilize, especially for lower paragon players.

The issue with this bonus is that it is very hard to get to lower life without simply dying. Part of this is due to the healing mechanisms available to us. Life per Second heals indiscriminately. Life per Fury Spent and Life per Hit heal with each attack, but we are casting both Charge and Spear almost continuously, which will keep us most of the time at full life, with no damage bonus.

And, if you simply wait to throw each spear until the enemies around you have beaten you down to lower life, this slows down your attack rate considerably, to the point that it is an overall damage loss. Plus, it’s very easy to end up taking too much damage, and die.

One alternative is to simply forego all healing sources other than your health potion. But, the result of this is usually that you first go to low life, and then you go to zero life, i.e. you die.

There are mechanisms that help you to survive at lower life, such as the Esoteric gem secondary, or the Relentless passive (particularly when paired with the Crimson set). But, even here, you always seem to have either too much or too little healing. And, you don’t get either of these benefits until you are at least below 50% life, meaning that you can easily be one-shot if your life is in the 50 → 100% range.

SOLUTION: Add built-in damage reduction that scales with your missing life. Several people, including myself, have mentioned the idea of adding a mechanic to the Raekor 4-piece similar or identical to the Necromancer ring Lornelle’s Sunstone, which gives 0.75 - 0.95% damage reduction per 1% missing life.

It doesn’t need to be exactly that mechanic, of course. You could have it be 25% reduction at 100% life, an extra 25% below 75% life, and 25% more (so 75% total) below 50% life.

Or, something else still of that sort. But, however it’s implemented, the idea is: the lower your life goes, the tougher you get.

This mechanic would, hopefully, allow you to get by with almost zero healing (other than your potion), and take much better advantage of that missing life damage bonus.

It would be unlikely to be really OP, since:

a) you would still have to be extremely careful when at/near full life, and lots of high-damage attacks, such as Berserker hammers, Mallet Lord hits, Beast charges, Molten explosions, etc, could still one-shot you.

b) your healing would by necessity be quite poor (if you intend to take advantage of the damage bonus), meaning that while your toughness might be very high, your overall survivability would still not be too great (especially compared to, say, Rend, which is both very tough and heals incredibly well).

One final note on this subject: there has been a little concern that adding a mitigation bonus to the Raekor set would make zbarb more powerful. But, that build really doesn’t struggle with staying alive, even now. Lower paragon players often will carry a Pig Sticker and Stormshield, rather than the IB set, and that more or less erases any problems with survival. So, the addition of some built-in mitigation really just represents the difference between these two weapon setups, which is pretty minimal: maybe a 10% gain in grouping speed or something like that.

4: We are more or less “locked in” to a single rune- Boulder Toss- for all solo GR activities.

Boulder Toss is currently the go-to rune for basically all solo GR activities (obviously, zbarb will still use the Rage Flip rune for group play). This is because of its much higher base damage, as well as the fact that the secondary effect of the Skular’s bracer only works on Boulder Toss.

This is a bit of a shame, because the Jagged Edge rune is incredibly visually spectacular, and in addition, it doesn’t consume all your Fury with each shot, meaning that this rune could see good use for speed farming.

(An aside: yes, you can play with the other 3 runes as well, but all of them are awkward. Ranseur knocks enemies back, which is terrible for grouping/Area Damage, while Rage Flip and Harpoon move enemies all over the place in a way that is rarely constructive).

SOLUTION: Remove the “Boulder Toss only” property from the Skular bracer. After all, why is it there? Even if all runes benefit from that effect, Boulder Toss will still be the best, by far, for pushing GRs. The other runes are already inherently nerfed, so they don’t need another nerf laid on top. (And, this is of course in addition to the increase to the secondary mentioned in point 1).

In addition, consider doubling the number of extra projectiles for runes other than Boulder Toss from 10 to 20. This could allow these other runes, particularly Jagged Edge, to have their own identity and purpose, primarily running speed GRs. The 20 projectiles, rather than only spraying forward, in a sort of cone, could shoot off in every direction. This would be great for running speeds, incredibly impressive visually, and would still not be particularly powerful for higher GRs when compared to Boulder Toss.

So, those are the major issues with the build. But, how is the build, overall?

I would say: decent.

On the PTR, we now have two 150s on the books with this build, though in both cases the player had a huge amount of paragon: 15k for one and 17k for the other. In comparison, the #1 Barb clear on the PTR is a 150, in better time, with 12k paragon, using LOD HOTA. And, based on a growing body of evidence, from both non-season and season 25 clears, we know that LOD HOTA and Rend are really neck-and-neck for power.

In addition to these top clears, we can also take note that clears at lower paragon are significantly lower. The best of these lower clears is GR 135, in about 12 minutes, by Orphan, with about 5k paragon. That’s considerably below what good players can achieve with that amount of paragon, on regular basis, using LoD HOTA or Rend (and that’s on live, so not counting any of the considerable buffs to Rifts being implemented on the PTR).

So, it certainly seems that R6 Spear is pretty good, but not as good as these top two Barb builds.

But: much of that has to do with the awkwardness of trying to stay alive while utilizing the 4-piece missing life damage bonus, as well as the poor damage vs single targets. I think that if they fix the 4 issues listed above, the build will be really solid, every bit as good as these two top Barb builds, while not being so OP that it becomes the only Barb build considered worth playing.

This last point, I think, is super important. The Barb class as a whole has drawn recent accolades from major theorycrafters/streamers like Wudijo and top players like 엔류 for its overall level of balance between a bunch of different builds. Besides, Raekor is not, has not ever been, and never will be, everybody’s cup of tea. From my perspective, it would be HORRIBLE to ruin that incredible balance in favor of a single OP build that 25% of players love, another 25% like pretty well, but 50% hate- as seems likely to happen.

Finally, let me touch on one other point that I think is worth mentioning, though I don’t think it rises to the level of a major issue: IK6R4 Charge, aka “Vile Charge”.

This is a build much-loved by some people that has fallen out of use due to low power. The highest it has cleared is 135 with 10k paragon, though this was before the follower buff, which probably added 3-ish tiers, so call that mark 138 @10k today.

You could easily make that build into something decent-but-not-great by tripling the Charge damage bonus on Raekor(4) to 3000%. This would add 7 tiers of damage, and put us at 145 @10k, which is still not as good as Rend, LoD HOTA, IK HOTA, Leapquake, or the new R6 Spear build, even if it receives no further buffs.

Or, you could instead (or in addition), make the missing life damage bonus of the 4 piece a general damage bonus, rather than affecting just Ancient Spear (i.e. “for each missing 1% life, you deal 2% increased damage”). This would also help out that Charge damage. In this case, you would probably want to avoid also increasing the base Charge damage beyond 2000%, to avoid creating an unintentionally too-powerful build.

In any case: the book is open for this build, right now. Why not give it a little love?


It feels kind of buggy too. Sometimes the boulders fly off the screen into the void. If they hit properly the damage boost would be huge.


That’s a fair point. I’ll add a mention of that into “#1”.

Thanks for the detailed report, my friend. It paints a very clear picture. May I suggest adding an abbreviated solutions list to the top portion of your post? I like the in-depth explanations, but it wouldn’t hurt to have a quick-n-easy abstract of sorts in the first section. Something along the lines of:

Solutions At a Glance

  • Increase the “secondary” effect of the Skular’s bracer from 100% to 300% to assist in RG fights
  • Add built-in 50% built-in Damage Reduction or add built-in damage reduction that scales with missing life
  • Remove the “Boulder Toss only” property from the Skular bracer to increase build diversity
  • Address potential bug with Boulders failing to contact targets

I, too, want to see R6 Spear (Boulder Charge? Furious Spear? Mash the “2” key?) shine. I know this thread is focused on the Raekor and Spear changes, but might it be worth addressing Weapon Throw and its desperate need for substantially larger buffs?


Yep, Weapon Throw & BT LoD feels underpowered. But they share the same items and they pair really good with Arreat’s Law. You need to position good cause every enemy close to you messes up your rage generation. But the ceiling of this build is probably around GR 115+.
Maybe someone with more skill could test it out.

Pretty good feedback overall.

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Good idea! I’ll do that now.

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I second this. Rage’s words carry much weight.

It would be cool if they could fit WT into the 2piece bonus somehow. A wild suggestion might include: make it a momentum builder like Gears of Dreadlands to fuel charge and AS damage. Then buff charge damage so it’s a meaningful % of the build’s dps. I am OKAY with it not having any defense, BUT, it needs to deal enough damage to kill stuff without being squished yourself.

Tell you what, I’ll write a separate topic about this tomorrow.


Much appreciated and sorry any inconvenience. Here’s some ideas that have been thrown out there:


Thanks Rage.

As the only reworked set, I think most are hoping that it’ll be at least similar in power with other top builds in the game when S26 goes live.

In general, probably better to over-buff the new set in PTR to make ppl play it more and push it to the limits, and devs will get a good idea of how much to scale it back. As opposed to a weak new set on PTR, and it’ll be less data for devs to find a good power level.


Great feedback. I’ll just use this page to reiterate my desire to see the 2pc changed to “a charge is refunded upon hitting an enemy” (not just 1).

Also throwing in more support for Vile Charge via opening up the 4pc to include Charge, as well as Ancient Spear (or a boost to all damage, only if that doesn’t unintentionally take the focus off spear/charge).

I think Vile Charge is a great build in itself, just needs a bit of a boost to keep it competitive.

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Hmm, well, with the new Crimson-including setup, we’re often touching 60% CDR, which reduces the cooldown of Charge to 4 seconds. Merciless Assault refunds 2 seconds per enemy hit.

Hit 1 enemy: charge refunded.
Hit 2 enemies: 4 seconds refunded, 4 - 4 = 0 seconds cooldown.
Hit more than 2 enemies: also 0 seconds cooldown.

There’s no skills other than Spear or Charge that could really benefit from that bonus. IK6R4 gives a huge bonus to Charge, and is pretty much completely item locked, since you have almost every slot, including weapon and belt, filled with set pieces. And R4 can’t be combined with any other 6-piece bonus.

Well, what are the top builds? Probably Inna Earth, LoD WOL, and DH Marauder. The last of these, anyway, is maybe something like 1 tier stronger than Rend or LoD HOTA (Marauder does 150 around 8k paragon, the 2 Barb builds can do it around 10k, damage difference between 8k and 10k is about 20%).

I think that with a more reliable utilization of the missing life damage bonus, some built-in toughness, and an increase to the single-target damage, this build could definitely hit that “1 tier stronger than Rend” mark.

Too much stronger than that, and our hard-earned balance will be gone. People will start feeling like they have to play Raekor, even if they don’t like it. We’ve been there before, and lemme tell ya, it sucked.

And then of course the set will get nerfed to death 1 season later. No thanks.


Post is up:

Weapon Throw: What the Hell? - PTR Feedback - Diablo 3 Forums (blizzard.com)


Hopefully there will be a PTR update sometime this week with tweaks to the current items.


the reason I like mess reaver in the cube is that the little stuff like charge, all your shouts, ignore pain is always up. Zerker downtime is very low too.

Yeah, I think it’s a great gear choice, at least up to a certain level of pushing. Above a certain level of difficulty, I think we may not get enough procs out of it to make it really worthwhile.

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yeah, its not so great on the boss unless you get hamlin.etc.

So, we obviously got some changes to Raekor: namely the addition of Weapon Throw into the set.

IF, the majority of the time, we can generate a full “WT” Fury bubble (350 Fury), and get plenty of R6 stacks, using Weapon Throw, in the same time it took us previously to get a full “regular” Fury bubble (150), then we’re basically getting a 2.5x damage bonus.

I have my doubts about whether that will actually be the case in serious pushing, but we’ll see.

To paint a picture of how strong the build would be if that held true:

엔류 did 150 on the PTR, in about 13:45, with 12k paragon. At 12k paragon you’ll have roughly 70k Str. Just divide that amount by 2.5.

70000 / 2.5 = 28000 Str needed to clear 150, which is around paragon 3500. That’s… pretty strong!

Of course, at lower paragon, you may need to stack more defensive buffs, or play more defensively, either of which will lower your actual dps. And, I’m pretty confident that not all of that 2.5x damage bonus will materialize in actual gameplay. It’s pretty hard to keep mobs far away from you in a densely populated rift, which means less Fury generated via Weapon Throw, which means less damage.

Still, if the build were to go live in its current state, I can pretty confidently say that R6 “Boulder/Throw” would be the strongest of all Barb builds, at least for high pushing.

@GeSche#2535 , you care to do any further testing with this updated version? It would be good to get your take on it.

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For the rift it changes not much just makes you a bit squishier (since you need to drop either ip or warcry) bossfight is quite a bit better.

At my paragon though maybe not even usefull on bossfight if you fish for a good wall to stack 10 boulders on boss and power bossfight in theory is already like 1 min only.

Idk what to rly think about the changes just take they make the build even squisher which isnt good for most people and i wouldnt recommend it to many casual people currently.

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