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Upheaval Barbarian Endgame Guide

Last Updated: May 19th 2024

Season 4 - LootB-Tier

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Welcome to the Upheaval Barbarian endgame guide! This build combines huge AoE, Critical Strike and Overpower to deal millions of damage to entire rooms full of enemies. This is an ideal setup for nuking bosses and farming elite packs in dungeons and the Helltide. The incredible damage potential of Critical Overpower combined with the enormous AoE of Upheaval makes this a top-tier build for Barbarians. Equipped with the unique weapon Hellhammer, a Barbarian running this build is ready to make almost all endgame content look easy.

This build can guarantee you score Critical Strikes and Overpower frequently, so it has great baseline damage output. It also has better defenses and range than other Barbarian builds, so it's okay to make mistakes. Although this build is very forgiving, it also provides many opportunities for experienced players to make the most of their hard-earned gear and polished skills.

In this guide we teach you all you need to know to be successful with the Upheaval Barbarian in Diablo 4. Let's go!

Upheaval Barbarian Best in Slot Gear

This build guide assumes you have a Level 50 Character and finished the Campaign. Level up with our Upheaval Barbarian Leveling Guide. If you are looking for a different Barbarian playstyle, check out all of our Barbarian Guides.

DifficultyAverage
SpeedfarmingExcellent
NM DungeonsStrong
BossingStrong
DefenseStrong

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 Tree & Gameplay

The Upheaval endgame skill tree is tuned to optimize our damage once we get the Bash Cleaves tempering affix, Moonrise and Adaptability. If we don't have those build-defining tools yet, it is recommended to continue using the Upheaval leveling skill tree. See the section "Progression Setups - Midgame" for more information. Once we transition to the endgame skill tree, we can make the most of the following endgame setup.

Bash is a great choice for most endgame builds. Into the endgame, Bash becomes increasingly attractive due to the Tempering Affix “Bash Cleaves” and the passive skill Combat Bash which allows our build to scale very well with Critical Strike Chance and Overpower damage bonuses.

Upheaval is one of the Barbarian's largest AoE skills, and their hardest-hitting core skills. Furious Upheaval gives it a huge damage bonus, so always try to stack that up before unleashing this skill. Assign your Two-Handed Hammer to this skill.

War Cry increases in value in the late-game when our ability to clear content efficiently (or at all) may be limited by our damage output. Running War Cry also gives us an easy way to gain Berserking, which will free up some skill points.

Leap solves the problems of mobility and Fury generation. For these reasons Leap is highly recommended while leveling or speed farming. As a Mobility skill, it can not be triggered by Yen's Blessing. This is actually an advantage as it helps guarantee that Yen's Blessing unique aspect will always cast a shout.

Charge helps to solve the problem of mobility. As a Mobility skill, Charge can not be triggered by Yen's Blessing. This is actually an advantage as it helps guarantee that Yen's Blessing unique aspect will always cast a shout.

Wrath of the Berserker increases damage, movement speed, Fury generation, and gives Unstoppable. This ultimate skill fits very well in endgame builds with Unconstrained and Tempering Affixes that reduce the cooldown of Wrath of the Berserker.

Upheaval Endgame Skill Tree

Barbarian Weapon Technique

The Arsenal System allows us to use a specific weapon for every attack skill, with each weapon granting different bonuses. We also have what is called the Technique Slot. With this, we can use any weapon of our choosing to always reap the benefit from, regardless of which weapon we have equipped.

In the Technique Slot, the Two-Handed Axe allows us to gain a significant bonus to our damage against Vulnerable enemies. Unfortunately, its secondary effect does not apply here - the limitation of the Technique Slot is that it does not allow us to benefit from the second bonus that is normally gained from reaching rank 10 with any weapon expertise. Make sure to train your Two-Handed Axe expertise up to level 10 to gain the full bonus. You can do this by hitting monsters with a Two-Handed Axe. This should take less than an hour.

Once we switch from the Upheaval leveling build (with Iron Maelstrom and Walking Arsenal) to the endgame build (with Wrath of the Berserker and Unconstrained), we no longer have a reason to swap weapons. At that time, we assign Two-Handed Mace to all of our offensive abilities because of the many bonuses we get from Expertise, paragon glyphs, and passive skills.

Learn more details and how to unlock this class specification in our full Arsenal System Guide.

Resource & Cooldown Management

"Wrath of the Berserker Cooldown Reduction" tempering affix is required on both rings and amulet to make the most out of this build. With optimal rolls we should get the Wrath of the Berserker cooldown to under 30 seconds.

Fury generation should not be a problem with this build. We aim to generate 60 Fury by casting Bash four times followed by Upheaval which costs 40 Fury.

Paragon Board

Carefully check your Paragon Boards to ensure correct board rotation. Glyphs go from a radius of 3 to 4 when they reach level 15!

← Scroll to Level →

Level the Paragon Board by scrolling. Each step optimizes progression.

Glyphs

We need to level up our Glyphs to increase their power and activate their Additional Bonus with surrounding nodes. Glyphs have a radius of 3 by default, this increases to 4 at Glyph level 15. Complete Nightmare Dungeons to obtain Glyph experience.

Note that there are some Glyph position swaps and a few adjustments to surrounding Paragon nodes once they reach level 15. See the last two steps in the Paragon progression above for details. The setup displayed by default is the final version of the build.

Glyph Leveling Priorities

Level 15

  1. Might
  2. Undaunted
  3. Revenge
  4. Marshal
  5. Ire
  6. Crusher
  7. Territorial

Max Level

  1. Might
  2. Undaunted
  3. Revenge
  4. Marshal
  5. Ire
  6. Crusher
  7. Territorial

Also check out our dedicated in-depth guides to learn more about Paragon Boards and Glyphs.

Endgame Progression

When you start diving into the Endgame, you don't have all the tools available to achieve the final build versions. Let us guide you through different progression points to give you a smooth transition from our Leveling Guides to the final build version.

Progression Goals

Starting at level 50, we'll need to take a few steps to bring this build fully online. we'll need to start collection all of our aspects. Third we need to fight tough bosses to target farm our Uniques. Finally, we should farm Nightmare Dungeons to level up our glyphs.

Unlock the following Aspects from Dungeons if you haven't already added them to your codex by salvaging a Legendary item with that Aspect.

Find the following Legendary Aspects either as a random drop or by gambling with Obols.

  • Accursed Touch
  • Limitless Rage
  • Accelerating
  • Moonrise
  • Adaptability

Acquire the following Unique items either as a random drop or by farming specific Boss drops.

  • Hellhammer is our unique of choice for this build because it gives up to 6 ranks to our core skill Upheaval. We should have 9 ranks without it (5 base, +4 from gloves) so this should bring us up to 15 ranks. This makes Upheaval capable of dealing more damage than almost every other skill available to Barbarians. In addition, this unique weapon increases the size of Upheaval's AoE. Together, those effects mean we can wipe out entire groups of enemies with a single swing of our hammer. The Beast in the Ice has an increased chance to drop Hellhammer. Check out The Beast in the Ice Boss Guide for more information.
  • Yen's Blessing allows us to keep up our chosen shout (normally War Cry) almost 100% of the time.

The following Uber Uniques can be farmed from from Duriel, King of Maggots, so when you're ready for that challenge, head on over to the Duriel, King of Maggots Boss Guide to learn more.

  • Harlequin Crest takes this build to another level. It is an extremely rare drop that is a huge benefit to almost every build for every class, so if you get one, equip it immediately and never take it off.
  • The Grandfather is another extremely rare drop that is highly sought-after by almost all players and every build. The affixes are not great, but the unique aspect is incredible. Our Best in Slot build gives us over 75% chance to Critically Strike with Upheaval. This sword will double the damage of every one of those Critical Strikes. Having this weapon practically doubles our damage per second.
  • You may also find Doombringer and Melted Heart of Selig. These are good items to equip if you feel like you need more defense, but they will cause us too lose too much offense. This build is already very safe and defensive, so using these two items would make us less balanced and slow us down too much.

Learn more details and how to farm Legendary Aspects and Uniques in our General Farming Guide.

Progression Setups

Follow the build's gearing progression from level 50 to 100, including the changes that need to be made as you obtain Legendary Aspects and Uniques.

Midgame
Endgame
Best in Slot

Once you have completed the leveling guide, you can farm the Legendary Aspects and Unique items you need for the next progression point. The Leveling build is viable

Gear

  • Unlock all the Codex Powers mentioned above.
  • Collect a set of Sacred gear in World Tier 3.
  • Start farming Living Steel in Helltides and complete whispers to stockpile gold and Varshan Body Parts. Do not use these in World Tier 3 - it's best to save them for later.
  • You can transition to the endgame progression setup when you find Bash Cleaves tempering affix, Moonrise and Adaptability.
Midgame Gear

Skills

  • In this stage of progression we use the Upheaval Leveling Build skill tree.
Leveling Skill Tree

Gameplay

Alternate casting Bash and Upheaval. Use either Charge or Leap once every 10 seconds to keep Walking Arsenal up.

In this setup, you have access to most Unique items and Legendary Aspects. This allows you to pilot this build at its peak efficiency. You should be capable of clearing all content with this setup. Let's take a look at the changes you need to make to implement it.

Gear

By this point we've acquired all the regular unique items in our build except the ultra rare Harlequin Crest and Grandfather.

Endgame Gear

Skills

  • We change from Violent Upheaval to Furious Upheaval.
  • We now transition to using the Endgame Skill Tree. We put more points into Bash and fewer into Charge and Leap.
  • We switch from Rallying Cry to War Cry and drop Battle Fervor.
  • We drop Furious Impulse and pick up Wallop, Heavy Handed and Brute Force.
  • We drop Iron Maelstrom and Walking Arsenal and pick up Wrath of the Berserker and Unconstrained.
Endgame Skill Tree

Gameplay

In this setup we cast Bash four times and Upheaval once. This may seem like a DPS loss compared to alternating Bash and Upheaval because Bash is weak. However, with Bash Cleaves tempering affix, Moonrise and Adaptability, Bash may actually hit harder than Upheaval. After spamming Bash a few times, Combat Bash, Furious Upheaval, Expectant and Limitless Rage greatly increase the damage of Upheaval.

In this setup, you have access to all Unique items and Legendary Aspects. This allows you to pilot this build at its peak efficiency. Let's take a look at the changes you need to make to implement them.

Gear

  • We add Harlequin Crest and The Grandfather and shuffle a few Legendary Aspects around.
Best in Slot Gear

Skills

  • This is the same setup as before.
Best in Slot Skill Tree

Gameplay

Follow the general skill rotation described in the previous section.

Hardcore Adjustments

Hardcore requires you to build into more defenses. Here are some tips to successfully navigate this build through potentially dangerous situations:

  • Run Challenging Shout instead of War Cry. Add a single Crowd Control Duration tempering affix to your chest, and Challenging Shout should have 100% uptime with Yen's Blessing automatically casting it approximately every 8 seconds.

Check out our dedicated in-depth guide to learn more survival tricks in Hardcore.

Build Scaling & Stat Priorities

Learn all you need to know about how to scale this build into endgame.

Damage
Defense
  • Critical Strike Chance: although we don't stack Critical Strike Damage, this stat makes a big difference due to the inherent 50%[x] damage bonus that all critical hits receive. In addition we get Heavy Handed for another multiplier. Eventually we get The Grandfather which doubles the damage of Critical Strikes. Combat Bash makes our Critical Strikes with Bash guarantee that our Upheaval will Overpower. With ideal gear, it is possible to get 100% Critical Strike Chance with this build. With maximum rolls on every piece of gear, Greater Affix and 3 Masterwork Criticals (procs) we should get up to 99% Critical Strike Chance.
  • Attack Speed: We get Attack Speed on our jewelry and gloves.
  • Ranks of Upheaval: We get Ranks of Upheaval on Hellhammer and on our gloves, as well as Harlequin Crest.
  • Ranks of Bash: We get Ranks of Bash on our Pants and from Harlequin Crest.
  • Bash Cleaves: This tempering affix greatly increases the damage and functionality of Bash.
  • Strength: Strength is valuable for increasing our damage as well as armor.
  • Damage while Berserking: thanks to Blood Rage, we get a multiplicative damage modifier equal to 10% of our total Damage while Berserking. This scales extremely well into the endgame when our total additive damage is so large that adding anything except a multiplicative bonus is just a drop in the ocean.
  • Damage while War Cry is Active: This appears in the same Tempering Recipe as Damage while Berserking. This may be slightly more valuable than Damage while Berserking once Blood Rage is capped with 300% Damage while Berserking.
  • Damage while Wrath of the Berserker is Active: This appears in the same Tempering Recipe as Damage while Berserking. This may be slightly more valuable than Damage while Berserking once Blood Rage is capped with 300% Damage while Berserking, as long as we have plenty of Wrath of the Berserker Cooldown Reduction tempering affixes on rings and amulet.
  • Resistances: As we approach endgame, we focus on capping all of our elemental resistances at 70% through affixes on armor pieces and Jewelry sockets. If possible, get one Legendary ring with implicit affix Fire Resistance, and another with implicit Cold Resistance. We will complement these rings with clusters of Fire Resistance and Cold Resistance in our paragon boards.
  • Armor: Similar to resistances, we aim to hit the 85% damage reduction armor cap which requires 9300 armor.
  • Vulnerable: enemies that are Vulnerable deal less damage to us because of paragon nodes we got in the Decimator board in the glyph radius.
  • Bleeding: enemies deal less damage to us because of paragon nodes we got in the Blood Rage board in the glyph radius. To make enemies bleeding, we need one "Ranks of Outburst" tempering affix, and one "Ranks of Tough as Nails" tempering affix.
  • Healthy: we also picked up Damage Reduction While Healthy nodes in the Bone Breaker board in the glyph radius.
  • Fortify: We use Bash to maintain a Fortified state for some free Damage Reduction.

Our Damage Explained article explains how to scale your Offense.
Learn all you need to know to scale Defense with our Defense Explained Article.

Stat Priorities

Choosing the right stats for your gear can make or break your build. You won't always find perfect stats (also known as affixes or modifiers) though, and you may need to make a tough choice between two good pieces of equipment. Use the following list of priorities to compare your gear and pick the best.

Helm: Harlequin Crest (Best-in-Slot)

  1. All Stats
  2. Cooldown Reduction
  3. Maximum Life
  4. Resource Generation

Otherwise Look For: Iron Blood

  1. Strength
  2. Armor
  3. Resistance to All Elements
  4. Maximum Life

⚒️Imposing Presence
⚒️Outburst

Chest Armor: Relentless Berserker

  1. Strength
  2. Armor
  3. Resistance to All Elements
  4. Maximum Life
  • ⚒️Imposing Presence
  • ⚒️Outburst

Gloves: Accursed Touch

  1. Critical Strike Chance
  2. Ranks of Upheaval
  3. Attack Speed
  4. Strength
  • ⚒️Tough as Nails
  • ⚒️Damage while War Cry is Active

Pants: Might

  1. Ranks of Bash
  2. Strength
  3. Armor
  4. Resistance to All Elements
  • ⚒️Imposing Presence
  • ⚒️Outburst

Boots: Yen's Blessing

  1. Damage Reduction from Close Enemies
  2. Casting a Skill has a chance to cast ...
  3. Movement Speed
  4. Vulnerable Damage
  5. Lucky Hit: Up to a 5% Chance to Restore 29.3% Primary Resource

Otherwise Look For: Ghostwalker

  1. Movement Speed
  2. Strength
  3. Armor
  4. Resistance to All Elements
  • ⚒️Movement Speed
  • ⚒️Tough as Nails

Two-Handed Bludgeoning Weapon (Mace): Hellhammer

  1. High Damage per Second
  2. Ranks to Upheaval
  3. Damage Reduction from Burning Enemies
  4. Damage to Burning Enemies
  5. Damage with Two-Handed Bludgeoning Weapons
  6. Upheaval ignites the ground ...

Otherwise Look For: Limitless Rage

  1. High Damage per Second
  2. Strength
  3. Critical Strike Damage
  4. Maximum Life
  • ⚒️Bash Cleaves
  • ⚒️Damage while War Cry is Active

Amulet: Moonrise or Limitless Rage

  1. Critical Strike Chance
  2. Ranks of Heavy Handed
  3. Ranks of Brute Force
  • ⚒️Wrath of the Berserker Cooldown Reduction
  • ⚒️Damage while War Cry is Active

Ring: Expectant

  1. Critical Strike Chance
  2. Attack Speed
  3. Resistance to All Elements
  • ⚒️Wrath of the Berserker Cooldown Reduction
  • ⚒️Damage while War Cry is Active

Ring: Adaptability

  1. Critical Strike Chance
  2. Attack Speed
  3. Resistance to All Elements
  • ⚒️Wrath of the Berserker Cooldown Reduction
  • ⚒️Damage while War Cry is Active

Dual-Wield Weapon 1 (Mace): Edgemaster

  1. Strength
  2. Critical Strike Damage
  3. Maximum Life
  • ⚒️Bash Cleaves
  • ⚒️Damage while Berserking is Active

Dual-Wield Weapon 1 (Mace): Moonrise or Accelerating

  1. Strength
  2. Critical Strike Damage
  3. Maximum Life
  • ⚒️Bash Cleaves
  • ⚒️Damage while Berserking is Active

Two-Handed Slashing Weapon (Sword): The Grandfather

  1. All Stats
  2. Maximum life
  3. Damage

Otherwise Look For: Limitless Rage

  1. Strength
  2. Critical Strike Damage
  3. Maximum Life
  • ⚒️Bash Cleaves
  • ⚒️Damage while War Cry is Active

This build benefits a lot from the following Consumables:

  • Elixir of Fortitude, or Heady Assault Elixir
  • Incenses:
    • Type I: Ancient Times
    • Type II: Spiral Morning or Reddamine Buzz
    • Type III: Chorus of War

FAQ & Mechanics

Once a guide is released, many players have questions on why and how we are approaching certain choices. In this section you can find the answers to the questions that have been asked the most.

How do I assign my weapons to the correct slot?

I'm constantly running out of Fury, what should I do?

Fortify

Summary

The Upheaval Barbarian is a unique build that feels both chill and explosive. Capable of destroying anything and everything with the click of a button. Pray you land a Hellhammer, because this build is a real blast!

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Credits

Written by Slothmaster
Reviewed by Wudijo and Snail

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