LIVE

Berserk Barbarian Guide

Berserk Barbarian

Introduction

The Berserk Barbarian is an unrivaled Elite Hunting powerhouse. Teleport Cast Frames of a Sorceress, unmatched Magic Find stacking, and Find Item make this the best build for farming ultra-rare Unique, Set and Rare items. He is referred to by many different nicknames, such as “Zerk Barb” or just “Zerker”. The “Pit Zerker” moniker pays homage to one of his best known specialties.

The Berserk Barbarian takes full advantage of the ideal loot tables belonging to every Champion, Unique, and Super Unique monster (Elites) in the game. Isolating these money-makers with Howl and potentially double-dipping with Find Item, also called "Horking", makes Magic Finding look clean and easy. Also, Berserk deals Magic Damage so there is hardly an Elite that can withstand its onslaught.

This build performs well in nearly every Farming Spot in Solo gameplay or /Players1 on Single Player. However, it particularly excels at The Pit and Pindleskin farming, with both farms offering distinct advantages. In a Full Party the Berserk Barbarian is best at setting up Diablo for a player looking to reach Level 99. Acquiring Enigma turns this Barbarian into a fast-paced, loot-manufacturing juggernaut.

Ideal Standard Setup

Berserk

Find Item

Howl

Teleport

This build guide assumes you have a Character at Level 75 before transitioning to it. Check out our Barbarian Leveling Guide and our General Leveling Strategies to reach Level 75.

High Mobility ✔
#1 Elite Hunter ✔
Rewarding Solo Play ✔
Farms Virtually Every Area ✔

❌ Weak Boss Killer
Atrocious Density Farmer
Highly Weapon Dependent
❌ Requires GG Gear For True Potential


Sunder Charm Setup

The Berserk Barbarian does not benefit from the new Sunder Charms because Berserk deals Magic Damage. There is no way to further reduce the Magic Resistance of monsters sundered by Black Cleft; this leaves them at 95% Magic Resistance, taking virtually no damage. On top of this, Magic Immunity is uncommon even in the new Terror Zones. And if you do encounter Magic Immunes on this build, 1-Point Concentrate (Physical Damage) is often sufficient to deal with them.


Terror Zones

The new Terror Zone mechanic opens up a wide range of farmable areas. The following list highlights the best and worst Terror Zones for this build. Since this build deals Magic Damage, it farms virtually every Terror Zone efficiently on the Standard setup. Learn more about Terror Zones here and see how they stack up in our Terror Zone Tier List.

Best

Travincal - Bosses, Quick Access, No Immunities
Tristram - High Density, Many Elite Groups, Easy Mobility, No Immunities
Jail - Many Elite Groups, Quick Access, No Immunities
Pit - Easy Mobility, Many Elite Groups, Quick Access, No Immunities
Nihlathak's Temple ONLY - Easy Mobility, Quick Access, No Immunities, Boss

Worst

Lost City + Valley of Snakes + Claw Viper Temple - Trash Mobility, Immunities
Tal Rasha's Tombs - Trash Mobility, Immunities
Kurast Bazaar + Ruined Temple + Disused Fane - Trash Mobility, Immunities
Act 3 Sewers - Trash Mobility, Few Elite Groups, Immunities
The Secret Cow Level - Few Elite Groups, Tanky Enemies, Slow Access


Skills

Put 1 Point into each of the following Skills:
1. Increased Speed
2. Iron Skin
3. Natural Resistance
4. Shout
5. Battle Command
6. Find Item (Max Last)
7. Concentrate

Put 10 Skill Points into this Skill:
1. Battle Orders

Max out the following Skills in this order:
1. Berserk
2. Blade Mastery
3. Howl
4. Find Potion
5. Find Item

Use the Scroll Bar to see Skill Point Progression

Damage

Berserk* is your Primary Damage Skill. It violently swings your primary weapon at the targeted enemy, dealing Magic Damage. You have 0 Defense while using this Skill.

Concentrate* is a Backup Damage Skill to use if an Elite is Magic Immune. It violently swings your primary weapon at the targeted enemy, dealing Physical Damage. You have Enhanced Defense and Attack Rating while using this Skill. This attack cannot be interrupted.

* Increased Attack Speed Skills (IAS)

Utility

Find Item* gives you a second chance at receiving loot when used on a monster's corpse. The % chance is based on its Level and the number of Skill Points you allocate into Find Potion. Your Barbarian's Magic Find stat is taken into account when using this ability.

Howl* causes all non-Elite/non-Boss monsters within its Area of Effect (AoE) to scatter away from you in fear. This Skill's AoE, effect duration, and degree of scatter are all based on its Level.

Battle Orders* is a temporary buff that grants a significant percentage boost to the Maximum Life, Mana, and Stamina of all partied Characters, Mercenaries, and minions within its cast radius.

Battle Command* is a temporary buff that grants +1 to All Skills to all partied Characters, Mercenaries, and minions within its cast radius.

Shout* is a temporary buff that grants a significant percentage Defense boost to all partied Characters, Mercenaries, and minions within its cast radius.

Battle Cry* is an Optional Skill that temporarily reduces nearby enemy Damage and Defense. It is most effective against Act Bosses.

Blade Mastery* passively increases Damage, Attack Rating, and Critical Strike (chance to deal double damage) while wielding a Sword or Dagger Class Weapon. These stats improve with its Level.

Natural Resistance* passively increases All Resistances based on its Level.

Iron Skin* passively grants a percentage boost to Defense based on its Level.

Increased Speed* passively grants Faster Run/Walk based on its Level.

* Faster Cast Rate Skills (FCR)
* Skills that do NOT utilize either FCR or IAS


Attributes

Note: This section provides you with the standard Stat Point allocation. Build Variants may require different allocations!

Strength

Allocate at least enough Stat Points into Strength to equip all of your gear. Take into account how much Strength your gear provides when equipped. Recommended: Put 50-100 additional Stat Points into Strength to increase Berserk's damage.

Dexterity

Allocate at least enough Stat Points into Dexterity to equip all of your gear. Take into account how much Dexterity your gear provides when equipped. It can be helpful to put additional Stat Points into Dexterity to increase your Attack Rating on this build.

Vitality

Allocate any remaining Stat Points into Vitality after meeting Strength, Dexterity and Energy requirements.

Energy

Don't allocate any Stat Points into Energy. This build gets enough Mana from gear, Charms, Battle Orders, Meditation, and Mana Potions.


Essentials

Gear Options

While every Stat in the Desirable Stats column is useful for this build, we highlighted the Priority Stats in Teal so you can easily identify the Most Important Stats on them.

Hover over any Item to see a pop-out with the full Item description.

Important: Make sure you have 0 sources of Cold Damage on your gear, inventory, and Mercenary. Even 1 Cold Damage can shatter Elite Monsters, leaving behind no corpse to use Find Item on. Thus, having a source(s) of Cold Damage significantly lowers your Magic Finding efficiency.

Gear Notes: Any Items with specialized or niche uses have a superscript that refers here.
1) Only use Naj's Puzzler, a Staff of Teleportation, or a Teleport Charge Amulet for Teleport Charges if you have not yet acquired Enigma.

SlotItem OptionsDesirable Stats
WeaponGrief Phase Blade
Grief Zweihander
Oath Highland Blade
Oath Cryptic Sword
Oath Balrog Blade
Unbending Will Phase Blade
Unbending Will Colossus Blade
18% Chance to cast level 18 Taunt on striking
+x to Combat Skills [Barbarian Only]
+x% Increased Attack Speed
+x% Enhanced Damage
Damage +x

-x% Target Defense
+x% Damage to Demons
+x% Damage to Undead
x% Deadly Strike
+ to Attribute
Damage Reduced by x
+x to Life after each Kill
Off-HandGemmed Phase Blade (6x Ist Runes)
Ethereal Gemmed Crystal Sword (6x Ist Runes)
Rune Master (5x Ist Runes)
Blade of Ali Baba (2x Ist Runes)
Gull Dagger (Ist Rune)
Stormshield
Moser's Blessed Circle (2x Ist Runes)
Rhyme
+x% Faster Block Rate
x% Increased Chance of Blocking
+x to Attribute
X Resist +x%
Damage Reduced by x%
Cannot Be Frozen
x% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Weapon-SwapSuicide Branch (Ist Rune)
Wizardspike (Ist Rune)
Heart of the Oak Flail
Gemmed Phase Blade (6x Ist Runes)
Blade of Ali Baba (2x Ist Runes)
Gull Dagger (Ist Rune)
Harmony
Naj's Puzzler1
Staff of Teleportation1
Level 10 Vigor Aura When Equipped
+x to All Skills
+x% Faster Cast Rate

+x to Attribute
+x Life
+x Mana
Increased Maximum Mana x%
All Resistances +x
x% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Level x Teleport [x/x Charges]
Off-Hand-SwapSuicide Branch (Ist Rune)
Wizardspike (Ist Rune)
Heart of the Oak Flail
Spirit Monarch
Gemmed Phase Blade (6x Ist Runes)
Blade of Ali Baba (2x Ist Runes)
Gull Dagger
+x to All Skills
+x% Faster Cast Rate

+x to Attribute
+x Life
+x Mana
Increased Maximum Mana x%
All Resistances +x
x% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
HelmetsHarlequin Crest (Cham Rune)
Harlequin Crest (Ist Rune)
Immortal King's Will
Artisan's Tiara of Luck
Rare Circlet
Berserker's Diadem of the Magus
Tarnhelm
Gemmed Crown (3x Perfect Topazes)
Guillaume's Face (Cham Rune)
Arreat's Face
Crown of Ages
+x to All Skills
+x to Barbarian Skills

+x to Combat Skills [Barbarian Only]
+x to Warcries [Barbarian Only]
+x% Increased Attack Speed
+x% Faster Cast Rate
+x% Faster Hit Recovery
x% Bonus to Attack Rating
x% Chance of Crushing Blow
x% Deadly Strike
+x to Attribute
+x Life
+x Mana
All Resistances +x
Damage Reduced by x%
Cannot Be Frozen
x% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items

Socketed [2]
Body Armor Enigma
Skullder's Ire
Tal Rasha's Guardianship (3-Piece Tal Rasha's Set)
Wealth
Gemmed Dusk Shroud (4x Perfect Topaz)
+x to All Skills
+x% Faster Run/Walk
+x to Teleport
+x to Attribute
Increased Maximum Life x%
X Resist +x%
Damage Reduced by x%
Magic Damage Reduced by x
+x to Life after each Kill
x% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
GlovesChance Guards
Laying of Hands
Immortal King's Forge (3-Piece Immortal King's Set)
Sigon's Gage (3-Piece Sigon's Set)
Death's Hand (2-Piece Death's Set)
Rare Gloves
Blood Crafted Gloves
Trang-Oul's Claws
+x% Increased Attack Speed
+x% Faster Cast Rate
+x to Attack Rating
+x% Damage to Demons
x% Chance of Crushing Blow
+x to Attribute
+x Life
X Resist +x%
x% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
BeltsGoldwrap
Arachnid Mesh
Trang-Oul's Girth
Verdungo's Hearty Cord
Tal Rasha's Fine-Spun Cloth (3-Piece Tal Rasha's Set)
Immortal King's Detail (3-Piece Immortal King's Set)
Sigon's Wrap (3-Piece Sigon's Set)
Death's Guard Demonhide Sash (1 or 2-Piece Death's Set)
+x to All Skills
+x% Increased Attack Speed
+x% Faster Cast Rate

+x% Faster Hit Recovery
+x to Attribute
+x Life
+x Mana
Increased Maximum Mana x%
X Resist +x%
Damage Reduced by x%
Cannot Be Frozen
x% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
BootsWar Traveler
Gore Rider
Goblin Toe
Immortal King's Pillar (3-Piece Immortal King's Set)
Sigon's Sabot (3-Piece Sigon's Set)
Rare Boots
+x to Combat Skills [Barbarian Only]
+x% Faster Run/Walk
+x to Attack Rating
Adds x Damage
x% Chance of Crushing Blow
x% Deadly Strike

+x to Attribute
+x Life
X Resist +x%
x% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
AmuletsCaster Crafted Amulet
Caster Crafted Amulet
Caster Crafted Amulet
Highlord's Wrath
Metalgrid
Tal Rasha's Adjudication (3-Piece Tal Rasha's Set)
Amulet of Teleportation1
Angelic Wings (2-Piece Angelic Set)
+x to All Skills
+x to Barbarian Skills
+x% Increased Attack Speed

+x% Faster Cast Rate
+x to Attack Rating
x% Deadly Strike
+x to Attribute
+x Life
+x Mana
X Resist +x%
x% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Level x Teleport [x/x Charges]
RingsNagelring
Rare Ring
Rare Ring
Dwarf Star
Wisp Projector
Angelic Halo (2-Piece Angelic Set)
+x% Faster Cast Rate
+x to Attack Rating
+x Life
X Resist +x%
Lightning Absorb x%
Fire Absorb x%
Magic Damage Reduced by x
x% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
CharmsFine Small Charm of Good Luck
Steel Small Charm of Good Luck
Shimmering Small Charm of Good Luck
Small Charm of Good Luck
Fine Small Charm of Vita
Steel Small Charm of Vita
Shimmering Small Charm of Vita
Small Charm of Vita
Fine Small Charm of Balance
Shimmering Small Charm of Balance
Fine Small Charm
Shimmering Small Charm
Resistance Small Charm
Sharp Large Charm of Vita
Sharp Grand Charm of Balance
Steel Grand Charm of Balance
Sharp Grand Charm of Vita
Steel Grand Charm of Vita
Sharp Grand Charm
Steel Grand Charm
Shimmering Grand Charm of Balance
Shimmering Grand Charm
Resistance Grand Charm
+x% Faster Hit Recovery
+x to Attack Rating
+x Maximum Damage

+x Life
X Resist x%
x% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Unique CharmsGheed's Fortune
Barbarian Hellfire Torch
Annihilus
+x to All Skills
+x to Barbarian Skills
+x to All Attributes
All Resistances +x
+x% to Experience Gained
x% Extra Gold from Monsters
x% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Reduces all Vendor Prices x%
+x to Light Radius

Farming Spots

The areas below are efficient farming locations that make use of the build’s strengths. Other farming spots might not be as effective due to Immunities or bad layouts.

Anything that has a in the "Starter" column can be farmed with the Starter Build Variant.

Act 1

AreaStarterRewards
The Countess-Runes
Key of Terror
The Pit-All Item Types
Max Area Level
Leveling

Act 2

AreaStarterRewards
Stony Tomb-All Item Types
Max Area Level
Leveling
Summoner-Key of Hate

Act 3

AreaStarterRewards
Arachnid LairAll Item Types
Max Area Level
Leveling
TravincalGearing
Runes
Charms / Gems / Jewels
Gold

Act 4

AreaStarterRewards
City of the Damned-All Item Types
River of Flame-All Item Types
Max Area Level
Leveling
Chaos Sanctuary-All Item Types
Max Area Level
Leveling
Diablo-Uniques
Sets
Leveling

Act 5

AreaStarterRewards
Eldritch the RectifierGearing
Gold
Leveling
Shenk the OverseerGearing
Gold
Leveling
PindleskinGearing
Gold
Leveling
Thresh SocketGearing
Gold
Drifter Cavern-All Item Types
Max Area Level
Leveling
Nihlathak-Key of Destruction
Leveling
Worldstone Keep / Throne of Destruction-All Item Types
Max Area Level
Leveling

Mercenary

Your Mercenary serves an incredibly important role to the overall success of your build. They can be a front line tank, provide a pivotal Aura, and/or deal Physical Damage to kill enemies with Immunity to your Skill set.

Act 2 Desert Mercenary

The Act 2 Desert Mercenary can be hired from Greiz. He can be equipped with a Spear or a Polearm, a Body Armor and a Helmet.
Every Act 2 Mercenary has access to an Aura and uses Jab as his base Attack. The Aura activates once the Mercenary has engaged in combat and remains active between traveling to and from town. The Auras available are based on what difficulty you hire the Mercenary from.

Might Insight

Insight, Might

Use a Desert Mercenary with Might Aura to boost Berserk's damage and help deal with enemies that are Immune to Magic, our primary Damage source. This Mercenary can also execute other Elites and their minions while your are killing your target Elite(s). Equip him with Insight for the high Mana Regeneration provided by Meditation Aura. Guillaume's Face and Treachery improve the Mercenary's damage while completely avoiding sources of Cold Damage (see "Gear Options" above).

Alternatively, equip him with Harlequin Crest, Skullder's Ire, and Tomb Reaver for a maximum Magic Find, Mercenary-killing approach.

Gear Progression

Early-GameMid-GameEnd-Game
Insight
(Any Polearm)
Insight
(Ethereal Elite Polearm)
Insight
(Ethereal Elite Polearm)
Smoke
(Any Body Armor)
Treachery
(Any Body Armor)
Treachery
(Ethereal Body Armor, 700++ Base Defense)
Wormskull
(Helmet With Life Leech,
Resistances, and/or Life)
Tal Rasha's Horadric CrestGuillaume's Face

The Mercenary is hard to keep alive until you have the minimum gear recommended in this guide. Remember you can drag Healing Potions onto the portrait, or shift + 1/2/3/4 to directly feed them a Healing Potion from your Belt. The Mercenary also gains bonus Resistances from Thawing Potions and Antidote Potions.

If your Mercenary dies in battle, you can revive them from any of the Mercenary NPCs in each Act. This does come with an increasing cost, capping at 50,000 Gold. Keep that in mind and decide if the Mercenary is currently worth the cost.

Playstyle

General

  • Equip the weapon you want to use Berserk with (such as Grief) on your main-hand weapon slot (left slot).
  • If you equip Harmony on Weapon-Swap, use its Vigor Aura to quickly travel through town and towards your Farming Spot. If you are using an item with Teleport Charges, use Teleport for short-distance traveling when farming Super Uniques such as Pindleskin. Repair to replenish these Charges.
  • At the beginning of each run, swap to your + to Skills equipment and cast Battle Command 2 times, then Battle Orders and Shout once each. Refresh these buffs as soon as they expire (approx. every 3-5 minutes).
  • Upon encountering an Elite Monster (Unique, Super Unique, or Champion), while on Weapon-Swap, cast Howl as close as possible to it to scatter all nearby minion and regular monsters. Use Teleport to position optimally if you have it.
  • Once a target Elite is isolated, swap back to your main weapon loadout and use Berserk until it is dead - this usually takes 1-3 weapon swings. If you have Teleport and there are other Elites nearby, "Telestomp" them and use Berserk to take them down.
  • Cast Howl at any time to scatter encroaching minion and regular monsters to prevent being surrounded or diluting the corpses on the ground with low priority targets.
  • Once the Elites in an immediate area have been killed, Weapon-Swap to your Faster Cast Rate or Magic Find-granting equipment and use Find Item on each Elite corpse. "Horking" corpses gives a chance of loot dropping a second time!
  • Alternatively, you can use Find Item on your main weapon loadout if it has significantly more Magic Find than your Weapon-Swap. This is especially beneficial when farming Super Uniques like Pindleskin.

Act Bosses

  • Optional: Cast Battle Cry near Act Bosses before slaying them with Berserk. This is especially helpful for reducing Diablo's Life on the "Chaos Prep" Build Variant (see "Build Variants" below).

Immunities

  • Upon encountering Magic Immune Unique monsters, isolate them with Howl and “Telestomp” them to allow your Mercenary to deal Physical Damage with Jab. Supplement additional Physical Damage with your 1-Point Concentrate.
  • Skip Unique monsters that are both Magic and Physical Immune.

Late-Game


Optimal Loot/Experience Farming Strategies

  • The Pit Solo - This loot-farming strategy is the source of this build's "Pit Zerker" nickname. The Pit is a Max Level Area with many low Life Elite Monsters, making it a goldmine for the Zerker with his Find Item Skill and high Teleport mobility. Farm this area Solo on B-Net or /Players1 on Single Player.
  • Pindleskin and/or Thresh Socket Solo - No build can take advantage of these easily accessible Super Unique loot piñatas like the Zerk Barb can. "Hork" Super Unique corpses for a chance to get 4 items per kill! Pindle and Thresh are fairly easy to kill, allowing you to maximize your Magic Find using items such as Immortal King's Will. You can even choose to forgo the Cannot Be Frozen stat entirely. Farm these Super Uniques Solo on B-Net or /Players1 on Single Player.
  • Uber Keys - Traveling to, isolating, and killing the Key Bosses is a breeze for any fully-geared Berserk Barbarian using Enigma.
  • Chaos Sanctuary Preparation in a Full Game - The Berserk Barbarian is uniquely equipped to isolate and destroy the Seal Bosses in Chaos Sanctuary. Even in a full game, this build can spawn Diablo incredibly fast by focusing on popping Seals and assassinating the Seal Boss Super Uniques. See the "Chaos Prep" Build Variant to learn more about this strategy.

Breakpoints

Breakpoints in Diablo 2 are the minimum values required to reduce the frames of an action. Below are the important breakpoints considered for this build. For more information on the mechanics involved, check out our in-depth Resource: Breakpoints.

Faster Cast Rate (FCR)

Faster Cast Rate speeds up your casting animation for spells. Aim for the 105% FCR Breakpoint on Weapon-Swap for Enigma Teleport cast speed on the Standard Build. Build Variants require different values. Note: FCR only controls the animation speed of the Character, and not any internal Cooldowns spells have.

Frames13121110987
FCR09203763105200

Increased Attack Speed (IAS)

Increased Attack Speed speeds up your attack animations. Weapon Bases have different IAS Breakpoints. Reach the 42% IAS Breakpoint on the Standard Build. Consult the d2planner for other bases.

Grief Phase Blade & Unbending Will Phase Blade

Frames1211111099
Berserk IAS0513194272

Grief Zweihander

Frames14131211111099
Berserk IAS061630425289142

Oath Highland Blade

Frames1514131211111099
Berserk IAS041123395263105168

Oath Balrog Blade

Frames1514131211111099
Berserk IAS091830486375125200

Faster Hit Recovery (FHR)

Faster Hit Recovery is not required for survivability on this build, and focusing on it interferes with the primary objective of stacking as much Magic Find on your gear as possible. Certain Breakpoints are utilized by Build Variants, however.

Frames9876543
FHR0715274886200

Hardcore

For all Hardcore gameplay, your primary focus is increasing your Resistances, Damage Reduction, Chance to Block and Maximum Life. This can mean sacrificing overall power level for a more secure playstyle.

The Berserk Barbarian can become Hardcore viable with key changes to Gear, Stat Point allocation, and Skills. Review the changes below before building this character in Hardcore, as some of these changes differ significantly from the Standard Build.

Gear Changes

  • Damage Reduction: Equip Stormshield instead of a Gemmed Phase Blade to keep your Hardcore Berserk Barbarian alive. Its % Damage Reduction, Increased Chance of Blocking, and Resistances drastically increase your survivability while using Berserk. You can still stack some Magic Find here by socketing an Ist Rune.
  • Stacking Resistances: Stack your Fire/Lightning/Cold Resistances beyond the default maximum values of 75 each (175 total in Hell). Stacking 85 additional Resistances in Hell completely negates the Conviction Aura of any Elite Boss or the Oblivion Knight's Lower Resist Curse. Beware of encountering both at the same time! Consider the primary damage type(s) of the monsters in the area you want to farm. Spirit Monarch and Wizardspike are the best options for stacking Resistances on your Weapon-Swap. Spirit Monarch also grants Chance to Block for safer Teleporting in addition to + to Skills for improved Battle Orders and Find Item. Charms, Jewelry, Boots, and Gloves are ideal sources of Resistances for your main weapon loadout.
  • Faster Hit Recovery: Aim for the 27% Faster Hit Recovery Breakpoint with your Charms. This provides additional safety while casting Teleport on Weapon-Swap where you have no Chance to Block. However, when on your main weapon loadout with maximum Chance to Block (75%), Faster Hit Recovery is not as important.

Stat Point Changes

  • Only allocate enough Stat Points into Strength to wear Stormshield.
  • Allocate enough Stat Points into Dexterity to achieve maximum Chance to Block (75%).
  • Put all remaining Stat Points into Vitality.

Skill Point Changes

  • Max out Battle Orders before putting additional Skill Points into the Find Item Synergy Find Potion.

    See the "Hardcore" Build Variant below for additional suggestions and visuals.

Build Variants

Starter

Setup

The Starter variant of the Berserk Barbarian meets the minimum gear requirements for farming the Starter tagged areas in the "Farming Spots" section above. These areas can be Solo-farmed by this setup (/Players1 on Single Player) in both Nightmare and Hell difficulty. For Party play you can use Berserk to pick off stragglers and use Find Item on monster corpses left behind by members of the Party. An Unbending Will is a strong, relatively easy to acquire weapon that provides this build with sufficient power. Beyond a decently strong weapon, make sure to prioritize Magic Find, Attack Speed, Attack Rating, Resistances, Cannot Be Frozen, and Life/Attributes on your gear. A Harmony on Weapon-Swap allows this build to travel faster. Follow the Barbarian Leveling Guide to get your Barbarian to Level 75.

Mercenary

The Starter Berserk Barbarian uses an Act 2 Might Mercenary with Insight for Damage and Mana Regeneration. Mercenaries require Resistances, Life Leech, and/or Damage Reduction to stay alive. Smoke is a cheap Body Armor option for Resistances, while Wormskull is a Helmet option that provides Life Leech.

Skills

Prioritize maxing Howl and Find Item. Also allocate additional Skill Points into Natural Resistance if needed.

Put 1 Point into each of the following Skills:
1. Increased Speed
2. Iron Skin
3. Natural Resistance
4. Shout
5. Battle Command
6. Concentrate

Max out the following Skills in this order:
1. Berserk
2. Blade Mastery
3. Howl
4. Find Item

Put 10-15 Skill Points into these Skills:
1. Battle Orders
2. Find Potion

Attributes

Allocate enough Stat Points into Strength to wear all of your gear and enough Stats Points into Dexterity to achieve maximum Chance to Block (75%). Put all remaining Stat Points into Vitality.

Budget

Setup

The Budget Berserk Barbarian is a solid setup for Solo-farming Pindleskin, Thresh Socket, Eldritch the Rectifier, and Shenk the Overseer - the easily accessible Super Unique monsters in Act 5. Several Terror Zones are also solid for this build. Farming Travincal Council Members can be particularly fruitful on a slightly modified version of this build with more Fire Resistance and Dwarf Stars. Without Enigma you lack the ability to quickly travel to and traverse many of the Farming Spots, such as The Pit, that the Standard Berserk Barbarian excels in. However, while using a Harmony on Weapon-Swap, you can quickly run through town to the Portal or Waypoint where the Act 5 Super Uniques are located. You can also use a Teleport Charge Amulet for limited travel and repositioning capabilities. The Budget Zerker makes use of several lower-end gear options that still provide decent Damage, Attack Rating, Magic Find, and the Cannot Be Frozen stat.

Mercenary

Similar to the Standard Build, the Budget Berserk Barbarian uses a Might Mercenary with Insight, Treachery, and Tal Rasha's Horadric Crest. This Mercenary is better at surviving and dealing damage than the Starter one, but uses easier to acquire Bases/options compared to the Standard one.

Skills

Spread your Skill Points evenly among Battle Orders, Find item, and Find Potion. Also allocate additional Skill Points into Natural Resistance if needed.

Put 1 Point into each of the following Skills:
1. Increased Speed
2. Iron Skin
3. Natural Resistance
4. Shout
5. Battle Command
6. Concentrate

Max out the following Skills in this order:
1. Berserk
2. Blade Mastery
3. Howl

Put 10-15 Skill Points into these Skills:
1. Battle Orders
2. Find Item
3. Find Potion

Use the Scroll Bar to see Skill Point Progression

Attributes

Allocate enough Stat Points into Strength and Dexterity to wear all of your gear. If you are lacking Attack Rating (below 9000), allocate up to 50 additional Stat Points into Dexterity to improve your Hit Chance. Put all remaining Stat Points into Vitality.

Standard

Setup

This is the Standard Best in Slot (BiS) Berserk Barbarian featured in the beginning of the guide. It is the balanced "jack-of-all-trades" version, capable of performing the most tasks well. This variant is the point of comparison for all other variants. It prioritizes Magic Find while maintaining solid Damage and Teleport mobility. This setup achieves the 105% Faster Cast Rate Breakpoint on Weapon-Swap. It is strong for Solo-farming The Pit, the Zerk Barb's best Farming Spot. The vast majority of Terror Zones are also efficiently farmed with this setup. A quick swap to Immortal King's Will achieves maximum Pindleskin farming efficiency as well. Highlord's Wrath along with additional Fire Resistance/Fire Absorb makes this an excellent build for farming Travincal.

Mercenary

The Standard Berserk Barbarian Mercenary is an Act 2 Might Mercenary with Insight, Treachery, and Guillaume's Face. Andariel's Visage can be used for increased survivability. Alternatively, Harlequin Crest, Skullder's Ire, and Tomb Reaver can be equipped on the Mercenary if you are having him kill Elites for maximum Magic Find.

Skills

Put 1 Point into each of the following Skills:
1. Increased Speed
2. Iron Skin
3. Natural Resistance
4. Shout
5. Battle Command
6. Find Item (Max Last)
7. Concentrate

Put 10 Skill Points into this Skill:
1. Battle Orders

Max out the following Skills in this order:
1. Berserk
2. Blade Mastery
3. Howl
4. Find Potion
5. Find Item

Use the Scroll Bar to see Skill Point Progression

Attributes

Allocate enough Stat Points into Strength and Dexterity to wear all of your gear at a minimum. Allocate 50-100 additional Stat Points into Strength to increase Berserk's damage, and thus one-shot potential. Additional Stat Points into Dexterity can improve your Chance to Hit. Put all remaining Stat Points into Vitality.

Mobility

Setup

This variant achieves the 200% Faster Cast Rate Breakpoint on Weapon-Swap by using Arachnid Mesh, Trang-Oul's Claws, 2x Rare Rings with 10% Faster Cast Rate, a Rare Diadem with 20% Faster Cast Rate, and a Caster Crafted Amulet with 20% Faster Cast Rate. Prioritizing fast Teleport cast speed, this elite setup is optimal for farming Uber Key Bosses (e.g. Nihlathak) and Chaos Seal Popping. This variant is strong in any Farming Spots, including Terror Zones, which require traveling long distances between Elite Packs or to the Farming Spot itself. The Mobility Berserk Barbarian sacrifices Damage, Damage Reduction, and Magic Find.

Mercenary

Just as on the Standard Build, the Mobility Berserk Barbarian Mercenary is an Act 2 Might Mercenary with Insight, Treachery, and Guillaume's Face.

Skills

Put 1 Skill Point into Battle Cry to kill Act Bosses quicker (like Diablo). The rest is the same as the Standard Build.

Put 1 Point into each of the following Skills:
1. Increased Speed
2. Iron Skin
3. Natural Resistance
4. Shout
5. Battle Command
6. Find Item (Max Last)
7. Concentrate

Put 10 Skill Points into this Skill:
1. Battle Orders

Max out the following Skills in this order:
1. Berserk
2. Blade Mastery
3. Howl
4. Find Potion
5. Find Item

Use the Scroll Bar to see Skill Point Progression

Attributes

Allocate enough Stat Points into Strength and Dexterity to wear all of your gear at a minimum. Allocate 50-100 additional Stat Points into Strength to increase Berserk's damage. Put all remaining Stat Points into Vitality.

Chaos Prep

Setup

Chaos Preparation or "Chaos Prep" is all about Solo spawning Diablo in Chaos Sanctuary inside a Full Game (7-8 Players) as quickly as possible for a Player trying to reach Level 99. Diablo in High Player Count is a significant source of Experience for a Level 97-98 Character. With the advent of Terror Zones, Chaos Prep is no longer part of the core leveling meta. However, it can still be efficient when D or F Tier Terror Zones are active (see our Terror Zone Tier List). This Berserk Barbarian variant excels at taking down the tanky, dangerous Seal Bosses, in addition to "chunking" Diablo. Highlord's Wrath, Guillaume's Face, Laying of Hands, and Gore Rider provide this setup with high Damage output. Rare Rings, each with 10% Faster Cast Rate, allow you to maintain the 105% Faster Cast Rate Breakpoint on Weapon-Swap. Stormshield socketed with a Shael Rune gives this build much needed Damage Reduction, Increased Chance of Blocking, and Faster Block Rate. Verdungo's Hearty Cord provides additional survivability. Magic Find is a secondary focus on this version of the Zerk Barb.

Mercenary

The Chaos Prep Berserk Barbarian uses an Act 5 Bash Mercenary equipped with Lawbringer for its Sanctuary Aura, which is highly effective at controlling the Undead enemies in Chaos Sanctuary. Its Decrepify proc is also helpful against Diablo and the Seal Bosses. Guillaume's Face and Treachery provide this Mercenary with much needed Damage, Attack Speed, and survivability. Having Cold Damage is not a major concern on the Chaos Prep variant.
Note: You can also use the Standard Mercenary with Vampire Gaze instead of Guillaume's Face if you value Mana Regeneration more than Crowd Control.

Skills

Skill allocation for the Chaos Prep Berserk Barbarian prioritizes Damage output. Put 20 Skill Points into both Howl and Battle Orders to max out Berserk Synergies. 1 Skill Point into Battle Cry provides you with a valuable Skill that greatly improves your Chance to Hit. Use it on Diablo before lowering his Life for a quick finish by the Player seeking Level 99. Additional Skill Points into Natural Resistance provide this setup with stacked Resistances. Skill Points into Find Potion and Find Item are a lower priority for this variant.

Use the Scroll Bar to see Skill Point Progression

Attributes

Allocate an additional 50-100 Stat Points into Strength beyond your gear requirements to increase Berserk's damage and enough Stat Points into Dexterity to achieve maximum Chance to Block (75%). Put all remaining Stat Points into Vitality.

Hardcore

Setup

For the Hardcore mode variant, aim for 50% Damage Reduction and maximum Chance to Block (75%) to guard against taking extreme amounts of Physical Damage. Additionally, overcap Resistances beyond the natural cap of 75% if possible to counteract hostile Conviction or Lower Resist. This setup achieves the 105% Faster Cast Rate Breakpoint on Weapon-Swap. For overall safer Farming Spots such as The Pit, you can opt to maintain higher Magic Find by using a Gemmed Phase Blade socketed with 6x Ist Runes like on the Standard Build. However, you are much more vulnerable to dangerous enemies such as Dark Archers without Chance to Block and increased Damage Reduction. Consult the "Hardcore" section for more detailed information.

Mercenary

Your Mercenary's survival is directly correlated to your survival in Hardcore. Because of this, the Hardcore Berserk Barbarian Mercenary uses Andariel's Visage for its Life Leech and Attack Speed stats. And just as on the Standard Build, he is an Act 2 Might Mercenary that uses Insight and Treachery.
Note: Do not hire a Holy Freeze Mercenary for improved survivability. It shatters corpses with its Cold Damage, limiting use of Find Item.

Skills

Max out Battle Orders before putting additional Skill Points into the Find Item Synergy Find Potion.

Put 1 Point into each of the following Skills:
1. Increased Speed
2. Iron Skin
3. Natural Resistance
4. Shout
5. Battle Command
6. Find Item
7. Concentrate

Max out the following Skills in this order:
1. Berserk
2. Blade Mastery
3. Howl
4. Battle Orders
5. Find Potion

Use the Scroll Bar to see Skill Point Progression

Attributes

Only allocate enough Stat Points into Strength to wear all of your gear and enough Stats Points into Dexterity to achieve maximum Chance to Block (75%). Put all remaining Stat Points into Vitality.


Video Guide

Video Guide by DarkHumility

Summary

  • The Berserk Barbarian uses a skillful combination of Teleport, Howl, Berserk, and Find Item to efficiently farm for the rarest items in the game.
  • Cast Teleport, Howl, and Find Item on your 105% Faster Cast Rate Weapon-Swap for quick and seamless use.
  • Wear budget gear, such as Unbending Will, Oath, and Trang-Oul's Girth, to get a functional Berserk Barbarian setup before you have acquired best in slot gear.
  • Take advantage of the Berserk Barbarian's strengths by farming Elite Monsters in The Pit and the Super Unique Pindleskin in Solo gameplay or /Players1 on Single Player. Many Terror Zones are also highly efficient farms.
  • Stack as much Magic Find as possible while avoiding any Cold Damage on both your Barbarian's and Mercenary's gear so you don't shatter corpses needed for Find Item!

We hope you enjoy this build! Quickly isolating Elites and assassinating them for a chance of double loot is extremely fun and rewarding. Now get howlin', slashin', and horkin'!

Good luck!


Credits

Written by DarkHumility
Reviewed by MacroBioBoi and Lexyu


Changelog

Oct 4th 2022
Updated to Patch 2.5 Added Sunder Charm and Terror Zone sections

Apr 25th 2022
Updated to Patch 2.4