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LoD HotA Barbarian Guide

Last Updated: January 10th 2024

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Introduction

LoD HotA Solo Push
View all variants

Hammer of the Ancients 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Barbarian skills making use of the Legacy of Dreams setup as the Immortal King's Call set 4,000% damage bonus is pretty outdated these days and, with loads of new complementary item options over the years, it gets even less attractive. Hence Legacy of Dreams is the setup of choice as it wins both in terms of damage output and toughness.

This is an Area Damage (AD) build, since Hammer of the Ancients can proc it. This is further enhanced by the benefits from Ground Stomp Wrenching Smash pixelpulling and the innate HotA 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
Band of Might Dependency
❌ Need Ancient Items for LoD
❌ Low Area of Effect Damage

Core Setup

Core Item Build

Items

  • 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.
  • Cindercoat is the reason we play Fire Element to further gain 20% damage and most importantly 30% Resource Cost Reduction to Fire Skills for Smash.
  • 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. In-Geom replaces it in Speed Runs.
  • 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.
  • Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac is essential as you have very high Attack Speed and want to ensure permanent uptime of Wrath of the Berserker. Leoric's Crown helps us with massive Cooldown Reduction.
  • Band of Might is used for its tremendous 80% damage reduction procced by either Ground Stomp or Furious Charge.
  • Convention of Elements is another separate damage multiplier, giving you triple damage during your Fire cycle.

Global Stat Priorities

Hammer of the Ancients Attack Speed Breakpoints

This build gets a lot of Attack Speed for free from Echoing Fury and Wrath of the Berserker. With just the guaranteed Attack Speed rolls on Echoing Fury and The Witching Hour we comfortably land on the 13 frames Breakpoint for both Weapons (for in-depth mechanics check here). Going for the next Breakpoint is not worth the investment, so you shouldn’t have Attack Speed anywhere else.

Even though we do have Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac with high Attack Speed we still want to get around 40-50% Cooldown Reduction to ensure 100% Wrath of the Berserker as well as Call of the Ancients Together as One uptime. This is essential to maintain our 250% damage increase from Remorseless. We further reduce the cooldown of both skills by using Boon of Bul-kathos.

Assembling the Build

Item Stat Priorities

Gems

Skills

Passives

Paragon Points

Follower

Gameplay

Hardcore

Variants

Nephalem Rifts
GR Solo Push
GR Group Trash Killer
Echoing Nightmare
Torments Key Farming

Concept
The HotA barb is not the best Barb key farmer. That title belongs to the Whirlwind Rend Barb. However this can be a decent alternative if you want to change things up a little bit with a permanent Furious Charge, once In-geom is active, combined more area of effect damage with Hammer of the Ancients Rolling Thunder. With the follower emanation system it is actually best to play Stone of Jordan here and go full Fire with Magefist while still doing Physical damage.

Gameplay
Keep your buffs on cooldown and utilize In-geom by charging from pack to pack and kill the enemies while force attacking on them with HotA.

Setups
For group Torment farming we take Nemesis Bracers, Avarice Band, Gloves of Worship, The Flavor of Time back into the setup and play Physical damage on gear.
In the Planner on the right we take a full movement speed approach. Feel free to drop these 2 movement speed skills for anything you want like War Cry for Toughness and fury or Battle Rage Bloodshed for Critical Hit Chance and the additional damage buff. At medium Paragon levels (2000+) you can even drop Bane of the Trapped to take in Wreath of Lightning for additional Movement Speed.

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 The Flavor of Time.
Always start off by casting your Battle Rage Bloodshed. Use Whirlwind Dust Devils to drag enemies along and create dense pulls with ground stomp wrenching Smash while moving and resetting your skills with Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac. Cast Wrath of the Berserker and Call of the Ancients Together as One when you have a bunch of enemies grouped up. Burst them down on your Fire Convention of Elements rotation for massive damage and Area Damage. On the Boss use Whirlwind Dust Devils to stack Bane of the Stricken efficiently and proceed to hammer it down!

Setups
Here you can also take Aquila Cuirass for another Toughness boost. Andariel's Visage without the 6% Critical Chance roll can be an offensive option.

LoD Hota Group Greater Rift

Concept
We take in Squirt's Necklace instead of Hellfire Amulett as we gain additional shields and toughness in group play for example by adding a zMonk to the party. This leaves us with double damage as long as our shields remain up!

Gameplay
Cast your Wrath of the Berserker and Call of the Ancients every 20s. Burst on your Fire Convention of Elements with Hammer of the Ancients Smash after your supports group up the monster to deal massive Area Damage. Communicate your rotation with your group or they can use this link to help keep track of Convention of Elements cycles. Don’t forget to use Furious Charge once in a while to refresh Band of Might buff.

Setups
Here you can also take Stone Gauntlets or Aquila Cuirass for another Toughness boost. Andariel's Visage without the 6% Critical Chance roll can be an offensive option.

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 builds and 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.
  • Switch Ground Stomp to Furious Charge for better mobility.
  • Swap Whirlwind to Threatening Shout Falter to increase DPS.
  • Reroll Area Damage to Average Damage as we do not need to make huge pulls.


Gameplay

  1. Click Speed Pylon instantly to boost your mobility and dodge Green Meteors.
  2. Around Wave 90, click Channeling Pylon and Power Pylon.
  3. After Wave 100, use Conduit Pylon.
  4. At Wave 122, stop attacking and run to the corner to let the timer run out.

Always start off by casting your Battle Rage Bloodshed. Drag enemies together while moving and resetting your skills with Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac. Cast Wrath of the Berserker and Call of the Ancients Together as One when you have a bunch of enemies grouped up. Burst them down on your Fire Convention of Elements rotation for massive damage.

Video Guide

Mechanics

Hammer of the Ancients & Critical Hit Chance

Battle Rage Bloodshed

Summary

  • Put together the core items and level up the Legacy of Dreams gem.
  • Always keep up Wrath of the Berserker and Call of the Ancients.
  • Furious Charge or Ground Stomp 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 Obsidian Ring of the Zodiac.
  • One of the most iconic Barbarian builds right next to the Whirlwind Rend Barb.
  • You almost always see high yellow Critical Hit Numbers!

Credits

Written by Rob. Introduction by Chewingnom.
Reviewed by Northwar & Raxxanterax.
Shoutout to Kozmikpulse for insights on the Solo Push variant.

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