Barbarians in Diablo 4 are masters of weapons and can dual-wield any weapon available to them. Due to their massive size and ability to dish out insane amounts of damage, the Barbarian class is an all-time fan favorite. For anyone just starting the game, we would actually recommend you pick Barbarian as your first class in Diablo IV.
Barbarians can endure a lot of damage and have high defense. The only areas where they lack are their maximum health pool and movement speed. Agility is never a strong point of the Barbarian class. Their main resource to cast skills is Fury. However, Barbarians’ skills consume a lot of Fury making them highly vulnerable in close-quarters combat.
Barbarians can use shouts that encourage them and their allies and put the fear of death in their enemies. Our Diablo 4 Whirlwind Barbarian build is created around maximizing those strengths and minimizing the shortcomings in the best way possible. Barbarian builds are the easiest of all 5 classes because how straightforward this class is. Deliver maximum damage, receive minimum of it.
Most of the skills are self-explanatory and you can’t go wrong with experimentation. However, the specialized builds in Diablo 4 like Whirlwind Barbarian are centered around a very specific skill supported by a few others. As always, we encourage players to experiment in to come up with their unique builds, but we emphasize following this guide if you are looking for THE best Barbarian build in D4.
- Skills and unlock order
- Barbarian Arsenal
- Playstyle and skill rotation
- Gear, Gems and Stats priority
- Paragon Board
- Unique Items
- Legendary Aspects
- Elixir choices
Whirlwind Barbarian skills progression and unlock order
The bloodthirsty Whirlwind Barbarian build is primarily focused on the Whirlwind core skill. This is an offensive build whose main purpose is to inflict as much damage possible with the possibility of inflicting bleed damage to the enemies in the mix. Here is a list of active skills we will be needing to create this build.
- Lunging Strike (basic)
- Whirlwind (core)
- Rallying Cry (defensive)
- Challenging Shout (defensive)
- War Cry (brawling)
- Wrath of the Berserker (ultimate)
- Unbridled Rage (key passive)
This step is of utmost importance as we will be allocating skill points in the skill trees. The order for purchasing the skills should be followed as if you are trying to create the Whirlwind Barbarian build from the very beginning of the game (it doesn’t matter if you are in the endgame by now).
Here is a list with the preferred order of unlocking the skills from the Barbarian Skill tree in Diablo 4 and upgrading them for Whirlwind Barbarian
|Unlock Order||Skill Name|
|1||Lunging Strike (Rank 1)|
|2||Enhanced Lunging strike|
|3||Battle Lunging Strike|
|4||Whirlwind (Rank 5)|
|7||Pressure Point (Rank 3)|
|8||Rallying Cry (Rank 5)|
|9||Enhanced Rallying Cry|
|10||Tactical Rallying Cry|
|11||Imposing Presence (Rank 2)|
|12||Challenging Shout (Rank 5)|
|13||Enhanced Challenging Shout|
|14||Tactical Challenging Shout|
|15||War Cry (Rank 1)|
|16||Enhanced War Cry|
|17||Power War Cry|
|18||Booming Voice (Rank 3)|
|19||Raid Leader (Rank 1)|
|20||Aggressive Resistance (Rank 1)|
|21||Prolific Fury (Rank 3)|
|22||Hamstring (Rank 1)|
|23||Pit Fighter (Rank 3)|
|24||No Mercy (Rank 3)|
|25||Thick skin (Rank 1)|
|26||Defensive Stance (Rank 3)|
|27||Heavy Handed (Rank 3)|
|28||Wrath of the Berserker (Rank 1)|
|29||Prime Wrath of the Berserker|
|30||Supreme Wrath of the Berserker|
|31||Unbridled Rage (Rank 1)|
As you can notice, we have used all 58 skill points to unlock and upgrade the skills required for Whirlwind Barbarian build in D4. You can remove a few upgrades from passive skills and use those skill points to unlock a few more skills, but it is ill-advised in this case. You will only end up hurting a truly overpowered build in the process.
Whirlwind Barbarian build actively juggles between offense and defense via active skills. Health regeneration and Fortify skills are relegated to the passive portion. This build is incomplete without the ability to go Berserk as a Barbarian which provides our character additional attack power and attack speed. Lunging Strike, War Cry and Wrath of the Berserker enable the players to activate Berserking periodically.
The Whirlwind Barbarian build is also specialized in inflicting status effects like Vulnerable and Bleed on enemies. These all things collectively convert this build into one of the most offensive yet balanced in Diablo 4.
Unbridled Key Passive increases attack of all skills by 135% but at the cost of 100% more Fury. We don’t recommend unlocking this skill if you don’t have proper Fury regeneration skills and passives enabled. Stick with the Unconstrained key passive until then. This is just a small overview of how all these skills will come into play and support each other to create a near-perfect barbarian build in D4.
Arsenal Weapon Technique for Whirlwind Barbarian
The Arsenal system in Diablo 4 is a unique mechanic that is exclusive to the Barbarian class. It allows them to equip up to 4 weapons at a time and switch between these Barbarian weapons on the fly.
Barbarians can also apply special weapon upgrades according to their weapon classes. There are four weapons classes available for Barbarians; Axe, Sword, Polearm and Mace. All these weapons can be dual-wielded making the total number of combinations up to 8.
Each combination out of 8 has its unique ability known as Expertise. Only one expertise can be equipped at one time. For the Whirlwind Barbarian build in D4, we will be selecting and upgrading Two-handed Axe Expertise. The Two-Handed Axe Expertise increases damage by up to 15% against Vulnerable enemies.
Previously, we have invested a lot of points to unlock skills that can actively inflict a Vulnerable status effect on enemies. This expertise will only complement our efforts in dealing a lot more damage.
Diablo 4 Whirlwind Barbarian playstyle and skill rotation
The purpose of creating a whole Barbarian build in Diablo 4 around Whirlwind and Berserking is to inflict maximum damage to the enemies while keeping Fury regeneration and inflicting Vulnerable. Below are the different components of this Whirlwind Barbarian build in D4 that keep it functional and highly effective even when you switch to world tier 4.
Fury is the main resource to cast skills for the Barbarian class. Sadly, most skills chew through Fury like a paper straw. Conserving and regenerating Fury is our main focus to keep our character alive. Here is a list of a few skills, items and glyphs to keep your Fury afloat.
- Lunging Strike: This skill generates 9 Fury by attacking enemies for 30% damage.
- Enhanced Whirlwind: This skill grants 1 Fury by hitting a normal enemy and 4 Fury by hitting Elites.
- Tactical Rallying Cry: This skill generates 20 Fury and allows you to generate 20% more resources.
- Tactical Challenging Shout: This skill allows you to gain 3 Fury every time you are hit.
- Prolific Fury: This passive skill increases fury generation by up to 18% while in Berserk mode.
- Prime Wrath of the Berserker: This ultimate skill increases fury generation by up to 30%.
- Aspect of Echoing Fury: This legendary aspect generates Fury with shout skills per second. It stacks Fury for the time shout skills are being used.
- Wrath Glyph: This Rare glyph generates 3 Fury per critical strike.
The ultimate goal of the Whirlwind Barbarian build is to achieve a Berserker state and maintain it for as long as possible. Berserker allows additional attack power to all skills and massively increases Barbarian’s movement speed.
- Combat Lunging Strike: This skill grants you additional 1.5 seconds for Berserking if you manage to land a critical hit with it.
- Enhanced War Cry: This enhancement grants players additional 4 seconds for berserking by using War Cry skill.
- Wrath of the Berserker: This ultimate skill grants berserking and Unstoppable to players for the next 5 seconds.
- Unconstrained: This key passive allows the players to use berserking for an additional 5 seconds with 25% more damage.
- Relentless Berserk’s Aspect: This legendary aspect has a chance to increase Berserker duration by 1 second by using core skills. In case of critical strikes, this bonus increases to 2 seconds.
A lot of active and passive skills generate various bonuses when a Whirlwind Barbarian delivers a critical strike. Technically, this build revolves around one main aspect described below.
- Aspect of the Dire Whirlwind: This legendary aspect increases the chance of critical strike by using Whirlwind skill by up to 24%.
Whirlwind Barbarian Damage Rotation
Allocation of skills and learning their effects is useless unless you have a complete grasp of the damage rotation mechanism. Diablo 4 allows only a few active skills to be used. You can always replace the skills, but it is out of the question during a heated battle sequence.
Players must have a set of active skills to be used in a particular order. For specialized builds, this order remains the same no matter what kind of enemies you encounter.
Here is a list of skills that you need to rotate to inflict maximum damage on your enemies while keeping your Whirlwind Barbarian healthy and alive.
- Tactical Rallying Cry
- Power War Cry
- Tactical Challenging shout
- Battle Lunging Strike
- Furious Whirlwind
- Supreme Wrath of the Berserker
The first three skills are powerful buffs that make Barbarian nigh invincible and a perfect killing machine. Tactical Rallying Cry increases your resource generation by up to 56% and movement speed by 30% for the next 6 seconds. Its enhancements make you unstoppable and further increase resource generation.
Follow this with an offensive buff, Power War Cry. This brawling skill increases your damage by 15% for the next 3 seconds and makes you go Berserk for 4 seconds. Its enhancement increases the damage output by an additional 10% if you are surrounded by at least 6 enemies.
Tactical Challenging Shout weakens the nearby enemies, and they deal 48% less damage to the players. Its enhancements grant players 3 Fury every time they take damage and increase the maximum life by 20%.
With all the major buffs active, now is the time to go primal. Close the gap with your enemies by using Battle Lunging Strike. This offensive skill deals 30% damage to the enemies. Immediately follow this up with Furious Whirlwind.
As the name suggests, this skill makes Barbarian attack close enemies rapidly and deal 24% damage. Its enhancements grant you 1 Fury for every direct hit to an enemy and 4 Fury for direct hit to an elite. Furious Whirlwind also inflicts 40% of slashing weapon’s base attack power as bleed damage to enemies.
The grand finale starts with casting Supreme Wrath of the Berserker ultimate. This skill knocks back all the surrounding enemies and grants players Berserking and Unstoppable for next 5 seconds. Its enhancements increase fury generation by up to 30% and movement speed by up to 20%.
Wrath of the Berserk gets 25% additional attack power for spending 50 Fury. This rotation deals insane amounts of damage to close enemies. With a lot of passives, Whirlwind Barbarian in D4 constantly recovers health and pulls far enemies close to deal additional damage. All of this is compounded by the additional bleed effect.
Gear, Gems and Stats priority
There are 4 primary character stats in Diablo 4 which are same for all 5 classes. These stats can be upgraded over time and each stat generates two effects upon upgradation, primary and secondary. These stats scale differently for each class.
Here is a list of all 4 stats in the order in which you should be prioritising them in your gear and Paragon points
Strength has a direct impact on skill damage and armor. Each point in strength for Barbarian class increases skill damage by 0.1% and armor by 1.
Dexterity improves chance for a critical strike and dodge. Every increment to dexterity for Barbarian class increases critical strike chance by 0.02% and dodge chance by 0.025%.
Willpower is associated with resource generation, overpower damage and healing received for Barbarian class. Increasing willpower also increases Fury regeneration by 0.1%, overpower damage by 0.25% and healing received by 0.1%.
Intelligence has no primary effect on Barbarian class. However, it increases Barbarian’s resistance to all elemental attacks by 0.05% as a secondary effect.
The best possible combination of gems for the Whirlwind Barbarian build is as follows (you can try other combinations that match your playstyle more).
|Weapon||Emerald||This green gemstone in weapon slot increases critical strike damage against vulnerable enemies by 12%.|
|Armor||Ruby||This red gemstone in armor slot increases maximum life by 4%.|
|Jewelry||Skull||This unique gemstone in jewelry slot increases armor by 250.|
Endgame gear for any class or build is basically determined by the affixes you have in various armor pieces. Given the Whirlwind Barbarian build we are aiming for, here is a list of supporting item affixes in Diablo 4 that will turn your character into an insatiable bloodthirsty monster.
- Increased DPS
- Increased ranks of Skills and Passives
- Increased Cooldown Reduction
- Increased Fury Regeneration
- Increased Critical Strike Chance
- Increased Bleeding damage
- Increased Vulnerable damage
- Increased damage to Close enemies
- Increased damage by Berserking
- Increased Attack speed
- Increased Healing from items and enemies
- Increased chance to Dodge
Endgame sequences in Diablo 4 heavily rely on Paragon board system. After reaching level 50 in Diablo 4, players stop earning skill points altogether. They are replaced by Paragon points (4 points per level) and a new mechanic called Paragon Board unlocks.
This board allows the players to earn special passive bonuses in the form of nodes and glyphs. A list of the nodes and glyphs we will be needing for our specialized Barbarian build is as follows.
- Brawn: This rare node increases physical damage by up to 20% and maximum life by 4%.
- Territorial: This rare glyph allows the players to deal 2% additional damage to close enemies for every 5 dexterity purchased.
- Iron Strength: This rare node grants up to 200 Armor and 10 Strength.
- Raw Power: This rare node increases physical damage by up to 20% and strength by 10.
- Hunter Killer: This rare node inflicts up to 32% additional damage to Elites and grants 14% additional movement speed for killing one.
- Marshal: This rare glyph grants a 25% additional bonus to all magic nodes in the vicinity. It also decreases cooldown of shout skills by 1.2 seconds.
- Warbringer: This legendary node grants 12% of your maximum life as Fortify for spending 75 Fury. It stacks.
- Wrath: This rare glyph inflicts 1.5% more critical damage from core skills by purchasing 5 dexterity. It also generates 3 Fury.
- Imbiber: This rare glyph deals 2.5% more damage to enemies while being healthy. It also increases healing by potions by 30.
- Exploit: This rare glyph deals 1% more damage per 5 dexterity to vulnerable enemies. It also turns normal enemies into vulnerable upon taking damage.
- Disembowel: This rare glyph deals 2% additional bleed damage for every 5 willpowers.
- Brash: This rare node decreases damage from close enemies by up to 9%. It also grants 10 Strength.
- Havoc: This rare node increases damage by critical strikes by up to 30% and by physical damage by up to 10%
For stat upgrades, go with the priority we have listed above in the Stats priority section. However, you also need to make sure you are activating the bonuses provided by these Paragon glyphs. So, if you need to invest in a less useful stat for one of these glyphs, don’t hesitate to do so.
Unique items play an extremely important role in creating the Whirlwind build with bleed effect. Though the unique items are endgame gear and obtaining them is a whole journey in itself, for the Barbarian class the effort is well worth it.
To become the most powerful Barbarian, we strongly recommend finding and equipping the following unique items for Barbarian in Diablo 4.
Rage of Harrogath: This unique chest armor increases the chance for the non-ultimate skills to cooldown 1.5 seconds faster after inflicting the Bleed effect on the elites. This is a Lucky Hit. Additionally, it increases Thorns, critical strike chance against elites, physical damage and less damage taken from bleeding enemies.
Gohr’s Devastating Grips: These unique gloves make the Whirlwind explode once it ends. This delivers a massive 26% of the total damage of the first 100 hits to the enemies. It also adds additional ranks to the Whirlwind skill and increases attack speed and the amount of Fury on killing enemies.
Temerity: These unique pants grant a barrier up to 80% of your maximum life after using healing items/skills that heal you beyond your maximum life
Legendary Aspects for Whirlwind Barbarian
Legendary Aspects in Diablo 4 are affixes that can only be obtained from either Codex of Power or by looting a legendary gear. These aspects then can be applied to any rare or legendary items to transfer their properties.
Aspects from Codex of Power can simply be transferred to any rare or legendary gear items. However, aspects from gear first need to be removed with the help of an Occultist and then apply to the desired gear.
We have compiled a list of our favorite legendary Barbarian aspects for the Whirlwind build in Diablo 4.
Aspect of the Grasping Wind: This legendary aspect makes Whirlwind pull enemies close to the player.
Aspect of the Dire Whirlwind: This legendary aspect increases the critical chance of Whirlwind by up to 24% (usually stacks 3% per second).
Aspect of the Expectant: This legendary aspect increases the damage of Core skills by up to 30% for using them after a basic skill.
Edgemaster’s Aspect: This legendary aspect makes the skills to inflict up to 20% more damage. However, it depends on the number of Fury players have. 20% is for the maximum amount of Fury.
Aspect of Echoing Fury: This legendary aspect generates up to 4 Fury per second by using Shout skills.
Bold Chieftain’s Aspect: This legendary aspect reduces the cooldown of Shout skills by up to 1.9 seconds per enemy. The limit is however 6 seconds per skill cooldown reduction.
Aspect of Limitless Rage: This legendary aspect increases the damage of core skills by up to 30% for generating more Fury once your Fury reaches its maximum limit. However, damage increases by 2% per second.
Conceited Aspect: This legendary aspect deals up to 25% more damage with barrier activated
Elixirs and Potion choices
The Whirlwind Barbarian build in Diablo 4 is primarily focused on dealing as much damage to close enemies as possible. The whole purpose of this build is to be offensive and ignore the damage received from the enemies. This always comes at the cost of being at risk of losing health during a battle sequence. For this build, we will be relying on active healing with the help of potions and elixirs.
Upgrade healing potions to increase their effectiveness. Elixirs are one-time use-only items that grant special bonuses for up to 30 minutes. Elixirs can be crafted in towns by providing the required resources to Alchemists.
Here is a list of preferred elixirs for the Whirlwind Barbarian build.
- Elixir of Fortitude: Increases the maximum life of Barbarian by 30% for the next 30 minutes.
- Iron Skin Elixir: Increases the armor of Barbarian by 900 for the next 30 minutes.
- Strong Vampirism Elixir: Heals the Barbarian for 1% of his maximum life for next 30 minutes.