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Rend Barbarian Leveling Guide

Last Updated: May 16th 2024

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Season 4 - LootC-Tier

Welcome to the Diablo 4 Rend Barbarian Leveling Guide! When played correctly you can gather and kill large groups of monsters in a single swipe with its Bleed. Fury generation is a consideration early on, but once that's solved this build can clear anything in the game.

To support Rend we take a lot of the standard tools for leveling. Flay is our generator because it increases the Bleed damage we inflict and can apply Vulnerable. We then take Rallying Cry for Fury generation and movement speed. Additionally, Leap and Charge are great for mobility and make the leveling process feel very fun and smooth.

This guide takes you all the way through the campaign to Level 50 so you can blast the endgame. Let's get started!

Rend Leveling Barbarian

This build guide takes you through the Campaign and Early Game up to Level 50. Check out Endgame Guides in our Barbarian Guides section!

Pros
  • Satisfying Bleeds
  • High Single Target Damage
  • High Single Target Damage
  • Good Damage without Aspects
Cons
  • Weak Area Clear
  • Limited Range on Rend
  • Requires Gathering Monsters
  • Low Help from Codex of Power

Season 4 - Loot Reborn

In Season 4, the Season Theme revolves around helping out the Iron Wolves. Compared to past themes, this one does not offer any borrowed power as the entire game has been redesigned with new itemization and crafting options, increasing player power substantially across the board. Instead, you can gather reputation similar to the Vampire Bounty Board from Season 2 to unlock rewards that supercharge your leveling journey to 100 with extra items, crafting materials and eventually even a Resplendent Spark to craft an uber unique.

We recommend to follow the seasonal questline until you unlock the reputation system, check which rewards suit you most and then follow your regular leveling path. To learn more, check out our full Season 4 guide for more information.

Skill Showcase

Rend

Rend is our main damage dealer that has tremendous Bleed potential. We run past our enemies to gather them up before turning around, applying our buffs, and sending them to the afterlife. It is strong on single targets but does not have the best clear potential given its short range. Furious Rend helps us with Fury management.

Rend Barbarian Leveling Guide Skill Usage Demo

Skill Tree & Gameplay

Getting Started

To start off we have to put 2 points into Basic Skills to unlock the Core Skill section. Because we are a Bleed build, Flay is the best choice to support this playstyle.

Rend

Rend is the centerpiece of this build. It is a close ranged attack that swipes in an arc shape in front of you. We invest 1 point into Rend before taking Enhanced Rend and Furious Rend.

Shout and Brawling

Our quality of life increases as we pick up Rallying Cry, which is incredible because it gives us Fury generation and Movement Speed. We grab Charge to increase our movement. Make sure you hit enemies to greatly reduce the cooldown. Leap is also taken at this point for even more added mobility and terrain traversal.

Rend Barbarian Leveling Skill Tree
Use the slider on the bottom to see the Skill progression

Key Passive and Ultimate

We finally pick up our Key Passive skill Walking Arsenal, which has great synergy with Relentless Armsmaster. We activate this ability by assigning each of our skills different weapon types and using them in combat. While all parts of this passive are active, we get a substantial boost to our damage and attack speed, as well as a ton of Fury generation. Iron Maelstrom gives us some huge burst damage that covers a large area, and should be used during tougher encounters to quickly dispatch enemies. All of these things combined drastically speed up our leveling process and help alleviate any resource issues that may be present early on.

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

Our choice is simple while leveling as the Rend Barbarian. We automatically get a weapon power from the Two-Handed Slashing Weapon we use, and always apply Bleed. Remember that you must have a weapon leveled up to at least 1 before it can be equipped in the Technique Slot!

Weapon Type - Two-Handed Axes are the best weapons for leveling as a Rend Barbarian. This is because it is very easy to almost always be benefitting from the bonuses against Vulnerable enemies that this weapon type provides.

We assign Flay our Dual-Wield weapons to satisfy this part of Walking Arsenal.

We assign our Two-Handed Bludgeoning weapon to Leap and Charge to meet the final requirement to fully benefit from Walking Arsenal.

Weapon Technique - Enhanced Rend makes it very easy for this build to take full advantage of Two-Handed Axe Expertise from a very low level. This effect stacks when using a Two-Handed Axe as the skill's primary weapon.

Learn more details in our full Barbarian Arsenal System Guide.

Gear Progression & Global 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!

Weapons

Since Rend requires a Slashing weapon, that's the only slot where the DPS matters. All other weapons become stat sticks to fuel its power. The stats to look out for are:

  • 1-H Weapons: Strength, Damage, Life on Hit, Maximum Life
  • 2-H Weapons: Strength, Resource Cost Reduction and Fury on Kill

Only upgrade the weapon you're using for Rend at the Blacksmith and socket them with Amethysts.

Armor

Armor pieces typically grant us Defense and Utility stats, except the Gloves which offer a tidal wave of Offense. Here are the important stats to look for:

  • Helm: Strength, Maximum Life, Fury per Second, Cooldown Reduction
  • Armor: Strength, Maximum Life, Fury per Second, Armor
  • Gloves: Ranks to Rend, Attack Speed, Strength
  • Pants: Ranks to Flay, Strength, Maximum Life, Armor
  • Boots: Ranks to Charge, Movement Speed, Fury per Second, Strength, Maximum Life

Jewelry

Jewelry provides powerful Offensive stats that help us on our leveling journey. Pay close attention to the rolls as higher leveled pieces aren't always better:

  • Amulet: Attack Speed, Movement Speed, Fury on Kill, Cooldown Reduction
  • Rings: Fury on Kill, Attack Speed, Strength

Do not upgrade Armor or Jewelry while leveling. Socket Armor with Rubys and Jewelry with Diamonds!

Read more about itemization in our Damage Explained, Defense Explained, and Stats Explained articles.

Legendary Aspects

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 powers that can significantly help us if we have the funds to imprint them:

Top Codex Leveling Aspects

AspectDungeon
Relentless Berserker's AspectHakan's Refuge - Kehjistan
SlakingMaulwood - Fractured Peaks

Warning: DO NOT imprint your Weapons as they are constantly replaced while leveling. Put Offensive Aspects on your Amulet, Rings, or Gloves instead.

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.

  1. Fierce Winds is one of the best aspects for any Dust Devil build in endgame.
  2. Devilish is another good aspect for Dust Devil builds.
  3. Ancestral Charge turns Charge into one of the best abilities 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Bear Clan Berserker helps to solve Charge's only weakness: it has a cooldown.

How To Level

In Diablo 4 you level by completing the Campaign, collecting Grim Favors for the Tree of Whispers, completing Helltide activities, grinding Dungeons, or interacting with the Seasonal mechanics. While there are many ways to level up in Diablo 4, not all of them are made equal.

Campaign Leveling

  • 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.

Seasonal / Alt Leveling

  • Complete the Seasonal 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 per realm (Softcore / Hardcore).
  • Complete the Dungeons needed for any Legendary Aspects from your Codex of Power.
  • From level 1-50 you should focus on getting experience in Helltides by combining Helltide activities with Grim Favors for the Tree of Whispers or complete Gathering Legion Events.
  • After level 50 you need to balance leveling up, Glyph Experience and participating in Endgame activities like Helltide, Tree of Whispers and Bosses. The fastest experience possible after reaching World Tier 3 is completing Nightmare dungeons with monsters exactly 10 levels above your current level. Check out our Nightmare Dungeon Tier List for the best Nightmare Dungeon layouts!
  • Around level 30-45 you should move to World Tier 3.
  • Around level 50-65 you should move to World Tier 4.
  • Alternatively: Get boosted by a friend to World Tier 4 then leech experience/loot and Glyph exp (post 50), in Nightmare dungeons.
  • Find the most efficient way of leveling your character in detail in our Speed Leveling Guide.

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.
    • 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 30 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.
    • The same happens with World Tier 4 and Ancestral gear.

Summary

  • The Rend Barbarian is a fantastic leveling build in Diablo 4.
  • Generate Fury with Rallying Cry and Flay to unleash Rend on density, Elites and Bosses.
  • Your Two-Handed Slashing Weapon determines the DPS for Rend. The other weapons are then used as Stat Sticks.
  • Look out for helpful Legendary Powers in the Codex of Power.

Credits

Written by Slothmaster
Contributions by Snail

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