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Immortal King HotA Barbarian Guide

Last Updated: July 7th 2024

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Introduction

IK HotA Solo Push

Hammer of the Ancients (HotA) is a pretty iconic Barbarian skill. Originally used at the start of Season 4 as main damage dealer before being replaced by the infamous Static Monk, it has been then used in Season 5 by the zBarb due to its old Birthright rune iteration:

Critical Hits have a 10% chance to cause enemies to drop a Health Globe.

This effect in conjunction with Solanium and the special Critical Hit Chance buff from HotA allowed the zBarb to produce countless Health Globes in order to generate Resource for the damage dealer.

Nowadays, Hammer of the Ancients is one of the few Barbarian skills making use of the Immortal King's Call set. It provides a 4,000% damage bonus and has loads of new complementary item options. Keeping up Wrath of the Berserker and Call of the Ancients permanently is essential to this build.

This is an Area Damage (AD) build, since Hammer of the Ancients can proc it. This is further enhanced by HotA's high Critical Hit Chance (see Mechanics) in combination with the crazy Attack Speed granted by Bracers of the First Men, allowing for great burst damage. Let's get into the current variation of this build and its rotation based playstyle!

Very Tanky ✔
Fast Attack Speed ✔
Easy Resource Management ✔
Very High Critical Hit Chance ✔

Static Playstyle
Lack of overall Damage
❌ Band of Might Dependency
❌ Low Area of Effect Damage

Core Setup

Core Item Build

Items

  • Immortal King's Call (6) Bonus for the damage buff and cooldown reducing mechanics.
  • The Gavel of Judgment for its huge separate damage multiplier and its Fury generation effect. Cubing it allows us to use two 1-Handed Weapons for more Attack Speed and Critical Hit Damage.
  • Bracers of the First Men and Remorseless are the other core items granting us HotA damage and Attack Speed multipliers for crazy damage output.
  • Fury of the Ancients allowing us to have both great Fury generation from Ancients' Fury and 50% damage reduction from Together as One.
  • Echoing Fury provides us with a ludicrous 75% Attack Speed bonus even if its default Chance to Fear on Hit is very annoying with our high Attack Speed.
  • Mortick's Brace grants us all runes of Wrath of the Berserker. We use Insanity by default for its 50% separate damage multiplier but we gain Thrive on Chaos' Life per Fury Spent (we do spend a lot with HotA) and 50% damage reduction from Striding Giant.
  • Convention of Elements is another separate damage multiplier, giving you triple damage during your Fire cycle.

Global Stat Priorities

This build gets a lot of Attack Speed for free from Echoing Fury and Wrath of the Berserker. With Pain Enhancer boosting our Attack Speed even further we land on crazy Breakpoints for both Weapons as long as we have plenty of enemies around us (for in-depth mechanics check here).

We do not need any Cooldown Reduction (not even from a Flawless Royal Diamond in the helm) as we get crazy resets from Immortal King's Call (4) Bonus when we use Hammer of the Ancients and spend Fury.

Assembling the Build

Item Stat Priorities

Gems

Skills

Passives

Paragon Points

Follower

Gameplay

Hardcore

Variants

GR Solo Push
Group Speed Greater Rift
Echoing Nightmare
Solo Greater Rift

Concept & Gameplay
Keep your main focus on small high progression trash monsters like Vile Swarms or Dark Hellions while you damage Elites in the process. Play an open map ideally where you can finish off the already damaged Elite Packs with a 60 second Conduit Pylon enhanced by your Followers The Flavor of Time.
Always start off by casting your Battle Rage Bloodshed. Use Ancient Spear Rage Flip to drag enemies along and create big pulls while moving around with Furious Charge Merciless Assault. Burst them down on your Fire Convention of Elements rotation for massive damage and Area Damage.

Setups
There are not many alternatives here. If you struggle to survive you can take in Relentless or Nerves of Steel instead of Brawler.

IK HotA Group Speed Greater Rift

Concept
This builds has been one of the best in the past and even made it into the group META years ago. It is rather weak nowadays compared to the Whirlwind Rend Barb. We focus on full Area Damage and Attack Speed and now don't need Ancient Spear Rage Flip anymore. We take War Cry instead to boost us and our teammates! This META is played with a Molten Wildebeest's Gizzard which provides a shield to keep up Squirt’s Necklace for even more damage.

Gameplay
Hammer of the Ancients will proc your Immortal King's Call (4) Bonus like crazy allowing for a permanent Wrath of the Berserker and Call of the Ancients up time. Keep up damage and toughness buffs and burst on Fire Convention of Elements right after for example a zBarb uses Ground Stomp Wrenching Smash to group up enemies for massive Area Damage.

Setups
If you are struggling with toughness add a Band of Might instead of Convention of Elements. If you still can’t keep the Squirt’s Necklace buff, switch from Bastions of Will to Endless Walk set, dropping Squirt’s Necklace entirely.

Echoing Nightmare Setup

Concept
For more information, check out our full Echoing Nightmare Guide and take a look at our Echoing Nightmare Build Tier List and our META post for the best strategies! This build is decent for this game mode. Typically we utilize a Greater Rift pushing build with a few tweaks.

Changes

  • Swap Bane of the Stricken for Gogok of Swiftness since we are fighting hordes of enemies.
  • Swap Ancient Spear for Threatening Shout Falter to increase DPS.
  • Reroll Area Damage to Average Damage as we do not need to make huge pulls.


Gameplay

  1. Reach Wave 100 and click Speed Pylon to boost your mobility and dodge Green Meteors.
  2. When you are more than 40% overwhelmed click Power Pylon.
  3. When you are more than 60% overwhelmed click Channeling Pylon and Conduit Pylon.
  4. After all Pylons expire, run away from monsters and dodge everything to squeeze out an extra 3-5 tiers.

Always start off by casting your Battle Rage Bloodshed. Keep Wrath of the Berserker and Call of the Ancients Together as One up at all times. Gather the enemies and stop moving around to get the offensive buff from the Endless Walk set. Then attack with your main damage attack Hammer of the Ancients, ideally timed with your Fire Convention of Elements rotation for maximum damage output. Make sure to keep attacking to get plenty cooldown resets from Immortal King's Call (4) Bonus to keep up Wrath of the Berserker and Call of the Ancients.

Mechanics

Hammer of the Ancients & Critical Hit Chance

Battle Rage Bloodshed

Summary

  • Always keep up Wrath of the Berserker and Call of the Ancients
  • Furious Charge every 8 seconds for Band of Might.
  • High Damage potential in a very small area of effect with Hammer of the Ancients.
  • Very fast Attack Speed and cooldown resets with Immortal King's Call (4) Bonus
  • One of the most iconic Barbarian builds right next to the Whirlwind Rend Barb.
  • You almost always see high yellow Critical Hit Numbers.

This build has been one of the best in the past and even made it into the group META years ago. It is a really cool and fun build to play and Barbs can only hope for some love to this classic build in the future Patches!

Credits

Written by Rob. Introduction by Chewingnom.
Reviewed by Northwar & Raxxanterax.

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