Welcome to the Double Swing Barbarian Leveling Guide! Ever since the first Barbarians ventured into Nightmare Dungeons, Double Swing has been recognized as a solid contender for the honor of fastest speed farming and boss killing. What allows it to keep up with the likes of Whirlwind and Hammer of the Ancients is its unmatched Fury efficiency and raw power. But that's not all - it also boasts invaluable ability to passively keep enemies Vulnerable or keep the Barbarian Berserking. Its flexible utility and unmatched efficiency make Double Swing a strong choice in both the early game and the endgame.
Double Swing Barbarians cruise through Capstone Dungeons and Nightmare Dungeons alike, effortlessly slicing through fields of demons like a ninja in a piñata shop.
Where this build really shines, however, is fighting staggered bosses and stunned elites. When Double Swing hits a stunned or staggered enemy, the entire base cost of Double Swing is refunded. If the Barbarian pops all his cooldowns and stacks all his buffs in that moment, he becomes a gasoline-powered meat-grinder that will not rest until there's nothing left of his enemies.
If this sounds like the right build for you, then sit down and buckle up - or better yet, put on some safety goggles - because it's going to get messy.
This build guide takes you through the Campaign and Early Game up to Level 50. Check out Endgame Guides in our Barbarian Guides section!
- Fury Efficiency
- High DPS
- 100% Berserking Uptime
- Fast Attack
- Small AOE
- Must Use One-Handers
- Codex Aspect
- Burns Fury Quickly
Season 3 - Season of the Construct
In Season 3, you obtain the Seneschal Construct through the Season Questline, then collect Governing Stones or Tuning Stones to add attacks and augment them to support your build. Only certain Tuning Stones work with a particular Governing Stone. Look at the bottom of any Tuning Stone tooltip to see if it is compatible with your Construct's currently equipped Stones. Lastly, they can be leveled up by getting duplicates to max out their power. Check out our full Season 3 guide for more information.
- Lightning Bolt - We don't take this Governing Stones for its damage, but instead for its rapid long-range attack.
- Fortify Support - This Tuning Stones takes effect every time the connected skill is used, which makes it work well with fast attacks. This is our only early source of Fortify, which makes it a necessary part of this leveling build.
- Resource Support - This stone is a good choice when leveling, because we need all the extra Fury we can get. Putting this on a fast attack enables us to take advantage of the benefit very often.
- Swift Support - We take this to make the offensive ability even faster, which allows the other Tuning Stones to support us more often.
- Reconstruct - This is one of the best Governing Stones for Barbarian leveling builds. The healing this stone gives is significant, even at its minimum power level. When we find Tactical and Duration Tuning Stones, attaching them to Reconstruct will eventually allow our companion to have 100% uptime on this healing ability.
- Safeguard Support - While the recent patch buffed our offense considerable, we lack the defense to stand toe-to-toe with the toughest foes. This stone helps us avoid becoming a glass cannon.
- Tactical Support - Legendary stones like Tactical may be very difficult to find, and some may not even be obtainable until later World Tiers. However, if you don't have one of these stones, there's nothing else to take its place, so just leave this slot empty until you find this stone.
- Duration Support - By combining Duration and Tactical, we can make the effects of some Governing Stones (and their Tuning Stones) have 100% Uptime.
Flash of Adrenaline is a great Utility type Governing Stone that boosts our damage. However, like Tactical and Duration, it can be very difficult or impossible to obtain in the early game. Once we obtain it, we can use it to increase our damage, but that seems unnecessary. Still, you may want to try using this stone instead of Reconstruct.
Tempest - This offensive AOE Governing Stones is the best option because it persists after the target's death and grows over time, meaning its maximum damage is potentially unlimited. In addition, it is the fastest stone of all, so replace Lightning Bolt with this once you obtain it.
Registered Damage Support - When this Tuning Stone supports AOE attacks, the resulting damage scaling is overpowered in groups of many enemies. When used with Bleeding Support and Tempest, this combination has potential for exponentially scaling damage over time.
Evernight and Genesis are extremely powerful, but they are extremely rare drops from Echo of Malphas, an endgame boss.
Double Swing is our main damage dealer that delivers the highest single-target DPS in the early game. When hitting Stunned enemies, it refunds 100% of its Fury cost, making it the most Fury-efficient skill in our arsenal. Best of all, it enables us to achieve 100% uptime on our Berserking bonus, which is both very valuable in the early game and very difficult to achieve with other means until the endgame.
Skill Tree & Gameplay
To start off we have to put 2 points into Basic Skills to unlock the Core Skill section. Lunging Strike is easily the best choice because it doubles as a mobility skill with infinite dashes. This also increases our damage and Fury generation on mobile Bosses.
Double Swing is the centerpiece of this build. It features great synergy with Stuns and Berserking, so we will focus our build on those mechanics. The only drawback of Double Swing is a short range. Fortunately we can alleviate that problem by picking supporting skills that stack up enemies in front of us while also Stunning the enemies and giving us Berserking.
Brawling and Steel Grasp
To complement Double Swing, we will use Leap, Charge, and Steel Grasp. In a basic sense, these abilities help us get close to enemies and sometimes help stack them up for us, which makes Double Swing feel very satisfying. To make things even better, we can make these skills Stun the enemy and give us Berserking. As we level up, we will focus on collecting the following passive skills and Legendary Aspects. We will need Anemia, Concussion, Weapon Master, Battle Fervor and Fighter's Steel Grasp. We will use Outburst and Tough as Nails to ensure all the enemies around us are Bleeding.
Key Passive and Ultimate
We finally pick up our key Ultimate skill, Wrath of the Berserker and our Key Passive skill Unconstrained, which has great synergy with Supreme Wrath of the Berserker: in addition to making it much easier to maintain 100% uptime on Berserking, Unconstrained also raises the base Berserking damage bonus from 25%[x] to 100%[x], which Supreme Wrath of the Berserker doubles up to 200%[x].
Check out our Renown Guide to unlock all your additional rewards efficiently.
Barbarian Arsenal System
The Arsenal System allows Barbarians to use a specific weapon for every attack skill, each granting different Bonuses. The Technique Slot grants us 1 additional Arsenal Power of our choosing for every attack. The Weapon Expertise bonus we get from our currently equipped weapon and the Weapon Expertise bonus we get from the Weapon Technique slot stack with each other.
Unlocking the Arsenal System
The Arsenal System automatically unlocks when you reach Level 5. Opening the Expertise tab (Shift + C) shows all the different weapon types and their bonuses when using them. The Technique Slot unlocks at Level 15 via the Masters of Battle quest in the Dry Steppes which is very easy to complete. Simply walk northeast of town, kill some enemies, then walk west to a cave to slay the beast. After returning to town the Technique Slot will be yours!
How the Arsenal System Impacts Leveling
Weapon Type - Two One-Handed Maces are the best weapons for leveling as a Double Swing Barbarian. One-Handed Mace Expertise gives us a large bonus to our damage against Stunned enemies, and we will frequently Stun enemies with this build. In addition, once we learn Concussion, we should almost always use at least one Mace. We also perform Lunging Strike with One-Handed Weapons because we use Lunging Strike to generate Fury, and since One-Handed weapons are the fastest option, we generate the most fury per second with them.
We assign our Two-Handed Bludgeoning weapon to Leap and Charge in order to maximize the chance that Concussion will Stun enemies hit by these skills.
Weapon Technique - Assign the One-Handed Mace Expertise to your Weapon Technique slot because this makes every attack deal up to 20%[x] extra damage to Stunned enemies.
Learn more details in our full Barbarian Arsenal System Guide.
Gear Progression & Stat Priorities
Leveling up in Diablo 4 is similar to most other ARPGs and MMOs - we're at the mercy of what drops. For the most part this means replacing Rares with better Rares all the way up to 50. If you're lucky enough to find some Legendaries or Uniques they can provide a significant power boost (discussed in the next sections). Assuming you don't find any of those, let's look at some key stats to look for along the way:
Hint: Press SHIFT over an item to compare it to what you're wearing!
Since Double Swing can only use One-Handed Weapons, that's the only slot where DPS matters. Prioritize high weapon DPS above everything else on your One-Handed Weapons, but make sure you always have at least one Mace equipped.
If you have multiple weapons with the same DPS prioritize the one with the following affixes: Damage to Close Enemies, Damage with Core Skills, Damage while Berserking, and Strength.
Only upgrade the weapons you're using for Double Swing at the at the Blacksmith and socket them with Chipped Sapphire.
Armor typically grants us Defense and Utility stats, except the Gloves, which offer a multitude of Offensive options. Here are the important stats to look for:
- Helm: Maximum Life, Total Armor, Cooldown Reduction
- Chest Armor: Maximum Life, Total Armor, Damage Reduction from Close Enemies
- Gloves: Ranks of Double Swing, Attack Speed, Critical Strike Chance
- Pants: Ranks of Charge, Ranks of Leap, Berserking Duration
- Boots: Movement Speed, Berserking Duration, Fury Cost Reduction
Jewelry provides powerful Offensive and Defensive stats that help us on our leveling journey. Pay close attention to the rolls as higher leveled pieces aren't always better:
- Amulet: Movement Speed, Ranks of Brawling Skills, Fury Cost Reduction
- Rings: Critical Strike Chance, Maximum Life, Damage to Close Enemies
The Codex of Power is a collection of Legendary Aspects you can imprint onto Rare or Legendary items at the Occultist. They unlock after completing specific Dungeons located around Sanctuary. For leveling, there are a few Aspects that are particularly impactful on this build and should be obtained as soon as possible:
Top Codex Legendary Aspects
|Kor Dragan Barracks - Fractured Peaks
|2. Unrelenting Fury
|Hallowed Ossuary - Fractured Peaks
|Oldstones - Scosglen
Learn everything about the Codex of Power here.
Helpful Legendary Aspects
If you're lucky enough to find a Legendary while leveling, chances are it'll be an upgrade for you and you should equip it immediately. However, they are not all created equal, and some of them can accelerate your journey tremendously. Let's look at the top powers you could find and how to take advantage of them.
- Ancestral Charge turns Charge into the best ability in the game. With this Legendary Aspect equipped, if we have both Iron Maelstrom and Charge on our skill bar, we use Charge. Sometimes it takes longer than the cooldown just to find a monster that survived.
- Brawler - in case you are worried that having our strongest ability hit the entire screen every five seconds won't be enough power, this Legendary Aspect is for you. If even a single enemy dies to Charge, it sets off a chain reaction and every enemy we touch turns to dust.
- Veteran Brawler, while not as powerful as the previous two aspects, is also very useful. The only down-side is that you have to hit things with a Core Skill to benefit from it, which can be difficult when Charge leaves nothing but ashes in its wake.
- Bear Clan Berserker helps to solve Charge's only weakness: it has a cooldown.
How To Level
You level in Diablo 4 by completing the Campaign, collecting Grim Favors for the Tree of Whispers, grinding Dungeons, or interacting with Seasonal mechanics. While there are many ways to level up in Diablo 4, not all of them are made equal.
- For your first character in Diablo 4, completing the Campaign provides the best gameplay experience and gives you access to key unlocks like your Mount.
- If you don't have your Mount, you MUST progress the Campaign until you complete the quest Donan's Favor at the start of Act 4.
- After obtaining your Mount you can skip the remainder of the campaign at any time.
- The Campaign is the slowest way to level, but it's worth experiencing the Campaign and Diablo 4's storyline at least once.
- To play Seasonal Content you need to have completed or skipped the Campaign.
- Complete the Season questline, progress your Seasonal Journey to unlock Legendary Aspects, and work on your Seasonal powers.
- If your account is below Rank 5 Renown in each zone, focus on completing your Renown.
- This only needs to be done once.
- Complete the Dungeons needed for any Legendary Aspects from your Codex of Power.
- From level 1-50 you should focus on getting experience, by completing dungeons with high monster density like the Domhainne Tunnels, or Sirocco Caverns.
- After level 50 you need to balance leveling up, Glyph Experience, and participating in endgame activities like Helltide, and Bosses.
- Alternatively: Get boosted by a friend to World Tier 4 then leech experience/loot and Glyph exp (post 50), in Nightmare dungeons.
Leveling Tips and Tricks
Let's look at some tips and tricks to remember when leveling up!
- Level Up Your Potion. You need to farm materials to upgrade your character's potion.
- Make sure you collect all materials as you explore Sanctuary, especially Gallowvine which is used in many Elixir recipes!
- Compare your Items... Literally. Press Shift over an item in your inventory to compare it to what you're wearing.
- This makes it easy to determine what is and isn't an upgrade.
- Don't Imprint Your Best Aspect Onto Your Weapon. The most critical piece of gear while leveling up is your weapon, which gets replaced constantly.
- This makes imprinting a Legendary Aspect that CANNOT be found in the Codex of Power onto your weapon a bad idea in the long run.
- While leveling, only imprint Legendary Aspects from the Codex of Power onto your weapon if any at all.
- It is a better idea to put your best Offensive Aspect on your Amulet, which can be used for a long time.
- Sacred is just better. Between level 45 and 50 you're able to beat the Capstone Dungeon and enter World Tier 3, you gain access to powerful Sacred items which have higher item power and better stats. Getting a Sacred weapon significantly improves your farming speed.
- There's little point to entering World Tier 3 before 45 because that's the minimum level where you can equip Sacred items.
- The same happens with World Tier 4 and Ancestral gear at level 60.
- The Double Swing Barbarian build is one of the smoothest leveling builds. It deals the highest single-target DPS, has the highest Fury-efficiency, and can give us 100% uptime on Berserking or Vulnerable.
- Its only weakness is a short range and small area of effect, which we will solve with Steel Grasp. This has the added benefit of making enemies Vulnerable, which increases our damage more than usual via Wallop.
- Double Swing is uniquely positioned to benefit the most from recent buffs to both Berserking and Charge.
- No Barbarian build is better at early-game boss fights. Double Swing is an excellent choice if you are trying to tackle a Capstone Dungeon at low level.
Written by slothmaster
Reviewed by wudijo