This guide was updated on 10/16/2012 for patch 1.0.5!
- Some skills were changed from the original build to make farming MP10 more efficient
- A video was added to show you the effectiveness of the build (MP6 was used since MP10 can be boring to watch)
Since this site won't let me post links, you will just have to visit the site manually. The video can be found on YouTube at the following address: watch?v=yV3RnWdc8qU (ex: youtube/watch?v=yV3RnWdc8qU)
I have been messing around with barbarian builds for a while and have tested out most of the popular builds. However, I still felt that they did not compliment my personal play-style. Coming from a background in MMO's since my departure from Diablo2 in 2003, I have become use to tank roles and always try my best to play such a role when possible. So, I fiddled with skills until I created a new tanking build that I believe to be original.
I call this build the "Blade Dancer", because between rend, revenge and your shouts - it looks like some sort of tribal dance of death.
Please refrain from making fun of the build if it has been done before or even if you feel like it is a bad build. This has been working for me, and even though I have terrible gear, I feel extremely durable and still have good damage output. I have been literally just standing in all kinds of junk while battling elite packs, and while my health does dip because I am so under-geared, I don't die. With that said, no build will make you invulnerable and your success with it has a lot to do with the player. I am only sharing this to help others that might have a mindset like my own, and are tired of the usual builds.
While you can't actually fill a role of a traditional tank, you can become quite beefy and support your party. Don't expect to see record shattering damage output. However, do expect to be an extremely durable barbarian with respectable damage output, and the ability to take one hell of a beating.
Blade Dancer does have a few disadvantages compared to other builds. However, these minor annoyances are easily overcome with efficient execution of your skills and good resource management. Here are a few tips for maximizing your success with this build:
1) Due to not having a fury builder, you will often find yourself with little to no fury when initially going into battle. War cry will provide you enough fury to use either rend or battle rage at the beginning of the fight. After this you will naturally gain fury through combat. Honestly, fury becomes a non-issue when dealing with large groups of enemies, so there is nothing to really worry about.
2) Your performance is greatly tied into your buffs and correct timing of your cooldowns. Keeping your buffs up 100% of the time is rather simple; if you use war cry to generate enough fury to cast battle rage then you will be able to cast battle rage again when it reaches about one second left on its duration since the entire duration of battle cry is about the same as the global cooldown on war cry.
3) You will lack mobility. If this truly bothers you, replace battle rage with either sprint or leap. You will gimp your damage output if you decide to do this.I do not recommend this approach because the overall loss of damage really is not worth the mobility you gain. In all honesty, I do not find the lack of mobility to be a problem at all.
4) Make good use of revenge and rend. Time these abilities correctly for optimal healing and damage. It may take you a little while to become familiar with effective positioning if you have never used them before. However, once you begin to use them effectively, it increases your overall effective health and damage dramatically.
5) When gearing up make sure to get a shield with the highest possible crit chance. Doing this allows you to switch out your battle rage rune to bloodshed, and with a good bit of crit, will increase your overall damage by a large margin. It is also important to place emphasis on strength, vitality, and resist all as your primary stats. Strength ensures your damage is maintained at respectable levels while vitality and resist all will increase your durability. Important abilities used in this build are based on a percentage of your overall health so it is important to not neglect vitality, as it will be crucial if you want this build to succeed. This is a big reason why the build is effective with poor gear and becomes extremely powerful with even minor gear improvements.
6) Player reaction is extremely important when using this build. If you miss a key ability at the right moment, you will die. Become more familiar with positioning and correctly timing your abilities before you complain. Due to this margin of player reaction, some may not find this to be enjoyable. Just to repeat myself for clarity: Slow reaction time will almost always result in your death or horribly inefficient farming.
Left-Click: Rend with the Blood Lust rune.
When you spam rend on a group of enemies you will quickly gain large portions of your health back. This is your primary attack, and you should use it as fury permits. The larger the group, the more effective it is. I am unsure if there is a limit to the amount of enemies it can affect at one time.
Right-Click: Revenge with the Provocation rune.
This will be your secondary ability which you will use to keep yourself alive during semi-difficult encounters. The rune will allow revenge to heal you for large chunks of health upon using it. Use this on cooldown, and never miss a chance to hit enemies with it.
Bar1: War Cry with the Impunity rune.
This will be one of your primary buffs. It will help increase armor and resistances. With the Invigorate rune it will also increase your overall health, which is a really import part of this build, you to gain a lot of extra health without sacrificing damage output. Since this will also apply to party members, it is a very strong group buff. You will gain more overall damage reduction if you choose to use the Impunity rune. However, in 1.0.5 that rune will be nerfed and I suspect Invigorate will be superior.
Bar2: Battle Rage with the Maurauder's Rage rune.
Well, this will increase your damage by a lot, and this is the part of the build which helps you maintain respectable damage output. Feel free to swap out the rune if you would like something more useful than a flat damage increase. I recommend using bloodshed if you have decent crit chance, because I believe it help increase overall damage even further. However, the original rune selection is a valid choice, and I used it when I was not even geared enough to be doing the content I was progressing in.
Bar3: Overpower with the Revel rune.
This ability was added to replace threatening shout with the falter rune that the original build used. I found in higher MP levels the added damage from overpower was a far greater asset to the build. Also, the 8% heal from the revel rune more than makes up for the lack of attack speed reduction in most cases.
Bar4: Ignore Pain with the Ignorance Is Bliss rune.
This will absorb a huge amount of incoming damage while also rapidly increasing your health on each successful hit. I find that in conjunction with the previously mentioned buffs, this ability is truly strong. With your other buffs maintained 100% of the time and your debuff being effectively used, ignore pain is a huge boost to effective health when it is truly required. I suspect that when doing ubers with friends that I might switch to the mob rule rune, but that really is yet to be tested.
Passive 1: Nerves Of Steel.
Gain more armor through having more health. This is a key passive, please do not replace it.
Passive 2: Bloodthrist
life steal has been significantly more valuable in 1.0.5, and I find this quick 3% boost to life steal is one of the best passives that can be utilized until you can afford to purchase more life steal gear. When you get better gear and can afford to lose this 3% LS, feel free to replace it with either inspiring presence or something to increase your damage. It is up to you and how comfortable you feel trading more damage for less durability.
Passive 3: Superstition
This is an extremely important passive, as it flat out decreases magical damage by 20% and gains fury upon most ranged attacks. This is a very key talent, please do not replace it.
You don't need a lot of gear to farm Monster Power 6+. In really terrible gear (0 LoH, 6% LS, 700 res all before buffs, 32k buffed damage) I can clear MP10 without too many problems. In MP10 I can actually die some, but it is not that difficult to survive in for me unless I simply don't play smart. The only bad part with MP10 is that I can't kill things fast at all. However, that is more of an issue of my really crummy gear than this build. If anything, this build is the only reason I can kill anything in MP7-10.
I would have loved to post this on the official forums, but my account has been banned on Battle.net's forum system for over a year. If someone would like to post it there for me, I would appreciate it. Just give credit to Knightmare (Battle Tag: Knightmare#1653) so I can get the love/hate/questions directed to me personally.