Upheaval Barbarian Endgame Guide

Last Updated: December 3rd 2023

Season 2 - Blood

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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 overworld. 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. What makes this Upheaval build unique is the combination of Leap, Ring of Red Furor, Banished Lord's Talisman, and Earthstriker.

Individually these components make the build fun, fast, forgiving, tanky and powerful. When they are properly used together, the results are incredible. With a little practice and the right gear, we will find ourselves alternating Leap and Upheaval, with every second Upheaval guaranteed to both Critically Strike and Overpower.

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.

NM DungeonsStrong

Season 2 - Season of Blood

Completing the seasonal questline, partaking in the seasonal Blood Harvest event and collecting Potent Blood are the main ways of obtaining and empowering these abilities. Check out the full Season 2 Guide from Chewingnom to learn more! Helms & Boots can have up to 3 Pacts, Pants can have up to 4, Chests & Gloves can have up to 5 giving you 20 Pacts to empower.

Best-in-Slot Vampiric Powers

  1. Blood Boil (Major) - Guarantees an Overpower every 20 seconds. The Volatile Blood Drops AoE will build stacks of Furious Upheaval.
  2. Metamorphosis (Major) - Evading through enemies curses them and grants you Unstoppable. This can be used to break crowd control and increase your movement speed with Ghostwalker Aspect.
  3. Prey on the Weak (Minor) - Cursed enemies are Vulnerable and take 16%[x] more damage. Some of our passive damage bonuses including Wallop and Two-Handed Axe Expertise rely on the enemy being Vulnerable.
  4. Sanguine Brace (Minor) - Killing enemies gives Fortify and having Fortify over 50% gives +8% Critical Strike Chance. Fortify already increases survivability and Overpower damage. There are other ways to gain Fortify, but this one has the lowest cost and the most benefit.
  5. Ravenous (Minor) - One major drawback of Upheaval is its slow attack speed. This feels bad and leaves you exposed to counterattacks. Running this power allows us to gain a huge boost to our attack speed, which allows us to stay safe and nuke things faster.
Upheaval Vampiric Powers

Alternative Vampiric Powers

  1. Undying (Minor) - heals you for 3% to 6% of your life. We plan to have a large Maximum Life, so this can help quite a lot. However, we won't be casting as frequently as other builds, so this has less value for us. If you want to reduce your damage output and increase your survivability, try running this instead of try using this power instead of Ravenous or Blood Boil.
  2. Resilience (Minor) - damage reduction up to 50% when it is needed most. If you are finding that you're taking too much damage, try using this power instead of Ravenous or Blood Boil.
  3. Hemomancy (Minor) - almost all builds run this skill from the moment they get it. The damage is substantial, it hits everything on the screen, it procs frequently, it heals you, and it's a great way to apply screen-wide Vulnerable and Bleeding. It is so powerful, in fact, that it frequently causes problems. We need to hit enemies with Leap to reset its cooldown, and we can't do that if Hemomancy keeps killing things before we can land on them. We'll forgo running this power, but it still deserved to be mentioned here.

Skill Tree & Gameplay

Lunging Strike will be used occasionally for mobility, to generate Fury, or to help us sync up Earthstriker's Overpower procs. Assign your One-Handed weapons to this skill.

Upheaval is one of the Barbarian's largest AoE skills, and one of 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.

Ground Stomp gives us Fury, resets our Leap cooldown, causes an Earthquake, stuns enemies, and procs Godslayer Crown.

Challenging Shout is there to give us a huge boost to defenses when we Leap into a new group of enemies. It also generates Fury when we're hit. At lower levels when defense is less important and we need more Fury generation, we may swap this out for Rallying Cry.

Leap is the perfect complement to Upheaval. The only problem with this skill is that it can be awkward to aim with a controller. Assign your Two-Handed Slashing weapon to this skill.

Wrath of the Berserker increases damage, movement speed, Fury generation, and gives Unstoppable.

Upheaval Endgame Skill Tree

An ideal combat encounter would play out like this:

  1. We see an elite pack at the edge of the screen. We estimate which straight line through the pack will hit the most elites and regular enemies. We Leap onto one endpoint of that line, making sure to land on two to three enemies to get the full benefit of Giant Strides.
  2. On the way there, once the enemies are in range of our shouts, we use Challenging Shout. It will reduce the damage enemies deal by 40%. We should use this shout first because without it, an errant ranged attack or spell could seriously injure us before we even get started. It is important to be aware of how many stacks of Disobedience we have. When we are just starting combat, we have no stacks, and must rely on Challenging Shout to protect us initially.
  3. When we land, if the enemies are not yet Vulnerable, we evade through the group with Metamorphosis to curse all the enemies. Thanks to Prey on the Weak, the cursed enemies are also considered Vulnerable.
  4. We should have almost full Fury , potentially with maximum stacks of Aspect of Limitless Rage and maximum damage bonus from Edgemaster’s Aspect. Aim down the line of enemies and use Upheaval. It should Overpower, and all the multiplicative bonuses we just stacked up should amplify its already huge damage into the millions.
  5. Run back down the line into the shower of gold and epic loot to collect it all. You might notice the red Blood Boil orbs on the ground - when you touch them, they explode and deal AoE damage to any surrounding enemies. If anything survived at the edge of the Upheaval, they should die to this. Damage from the orbs, and the Earthquake from Leap will also stack your Furious Upheaval buff back up to 6.
  6. If there are more clusters of enemies alive nearby, repeat this process from step 1. Although it's best to evade through enemies before hitting them, it's not always possible or necessary. If evade is on cooldown, instead try to stand in the Earthquake from Leap, and you'll benefit from 25% damage reduction and deal 25% more damage. If Leap is on cooldown, you can Ground Stomp instead to get the same effect and reset Leap's cooldown.

Arsenal System

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.

The Two-Handed Mace is our best option for Upheaval because many nodes, glyphs, affixes and skills provide synergy between Overpower and Two-Handed Mace.

Our Two-Handed Slashing weapon is the best option for Leap because using a Two-Handed Sword makes everything we hit with Leap start Bleeding, which improves our Damage Reduction against those enemies.

For Lunging Strike, we want to use our One-Handed Weapons because they are fastest, which allows us to generate Fury quickly.

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

Resource & Cooldown Management

This build recommends the Ultimate Passive skill Unbridled Rage, which doubles the cost of Upheaval from 40 Fury to 80 Fury . If you do not have very much Resource Generation on your rings or Fury Cost Reduction on your boots and amulet, you will not generate enough Fury with Leap to pay for Upheaval, which makes the build frustrating to play. You may want to use Walking Arsenal instead of Unbridled Rage until you get enough Resource Generation to make Leap generate approximately 80 Fury . Don't be afraid to cast a few Lunging Strike between Leap and Upheaval to build a little more Fury , or to cap Limitless Rage.

The base cooldown of Leap is 17 seconds, so we need to significantly reduce its cooldown in order to use it as a generator. The rare ring aspects Giant Strides and Bear Clan Berserker make a big difference, as do Ranks of Leap on pants and Ranks of Brawling Skills on amulets. The affix Cooldown Reduction on amulets and helmets helps too. Prioritize these affixes in order to make this build viable. If we stack enough of those bonuses, it's possible to reduce the cooldown of Leap down to one second or less.

Before you commit to equipping new Unique items, check if you'll be removing equipment with the above affixes and aspects. If you drop too many sources of Resource Generation, you can't pay for Upheaval with a single Leap. If you drop too many Ranks of Leap or Cooldown Reduction, you may find yourself waiting for Leap to come off cooldown, which hurts your DPS and survivability.

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.


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.

Glyph Leveling Priorities

Level 15

  1. Might
  2. Dominate
  3. Crusher
  4. Territorial
  5. Ire

Max Level

  1. Ire
  2. Dominate
  3. Might
  4. Crusher
  5. Tears of Blood (TEMP)

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. First we need our Vampiric Powers if we haven't already got them all. Second 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 and Abattoir of Zir to level up our glyphs.

Vampiric Powers

Vampiric Powers can be purchased by participating in the Blood Harvest, purchased with Potent Blood, and by completing the seasonal quest line. Acquire these powers and level them up to 3. Note: do not level up Metamorphosis - doing so offers very little advantage, and interferes with Tibault's Will. Although we don't recommend using those pants in this build, you may try other builds that do.

  • Blood Boil purchase with Potent Blood
  • Prey on the Weak purchase with Potent Blood
  • Sanguine Brace participate in the Blood Harvest
  • Ravenous acquired from seasonal quest "A Witness in the Dust"
  • Metamorphosis acquired from seasonal quest "A Serpent Cornered"


Aspects from dungeons

Aspects from Legendary drops: if you find a legendary aspect that's a perfect roll, save it. In addition, if you find any of the aspects listed above or below at any quality, save it unless you already have one of that quality in your codex.

  • Earthquake
  • Limitless Rage
  • Accelerating
  • Bear Clan Berserker
  • Giant Strides (extremely rare - gamble for rings with Obols to increase your chance of finding this)


Ring of Red Furor gives us a reliable boost to our damage. It also gives a huge amount of Resource Generation and Attack Speed which is very valuable and hard to come by. Ring of Red Furor ensures that every other Upheaval will Critically Hit as long as we don't pause too long between casts. If equipping this ring means losing Bear Clan Berserker and increases your Leap cooldown too much, you won't be able to make good use of it. Echo of Varshan has an increased chance to drop Ring of Red Furor, so head over to our Echo of Varshan Boss Guide when you're ready to start farming this ring.

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.

The next four 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.

Banished Lord's Talisman is incredible for this build. It gives huge amounts of Overpower Damage, Resource Generation, and Critical Strike Chance, all of which we need. On top of that, it gives us another 2 ranks to Upheaval. None of those great affixes can usually be found on amulets. The best part, however, is the unique aspect, which gives us another source of guaranteed Overpower, and more than doubles the damage of any Overpower that also critically hits. However, if equipping this amulet means losing Cooldown Reduction and Ranks of Brawling Skills, it might slow down our Leap, and make this build less viable.

Godslayer Crown is a good addition to this build because it gives a bonus to Cooldown Reduction which we need for Leap. It also gives a large damage bonus when we stun Elites or Bosses, which we will be doing with Ground Stomp and Upheaval. Finally, it stacks up our enemies, which makes it easier to hit them all at once with Upheaval.

We may also find Tuskhelm of Joritz the Mighty and Andariel's Visage. While these are both very good, they do not have the Cooldown Reduction we desperately need.

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. This helm is especially important for this build because we need additional ranks of Leap and Cooldown Reduction to achieve our optimal rotation and maximum DPS. Once you get this helm, you can comfortably equip Banished Lord's Talisman and Ring of Red Furor without incurring a crippling Leap cooldown.

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.

If you find Ring of Starless Skies, throw it in the garbage. Almost all the affixes are terrible, and practically anything you do will break the aspect's effect, including actions that are not skills. This is currently bugged and is virtually useless for all builds.

Nightmare Dungeons and Abattoir of Zir

By now you should be level 100, and whether you got Harlequin Crest and The Grandfather, or just a bank full of Ring of Starless Skies, you should be getting ready to advance to the toughest endgame content: The Abattoir of Zir. To unlock this challenge, you have to complete the Season Journey, which may require you to complete several random tasks, including leveling a glyph up to level 21, and killing Echo of Lilith. Farm glyph experience in the highest tier Nightmare Dungeon you can survive, and check out our Echo of Lilith Boss Guide when you feel like tackling that problem. Once those challenges feel trivial, you're ready for the Abattoir of Zir. Refer to our Abattoir of Zir Campfire Chat review for more information on what to expect on the other side of the bloody rift.

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.

Early Endgame
Pre- Best in Slot
Best in Slot

Once you have completed the leveling guide, only the Codex of Power Aspects are guaranteed. With this setup, you can farm the Legendary Aspects and Unique items you need for the next progression point.


  • Unlock all the Codex Powers and Vampiric Powers mentioned above.
  • Collect a set of Sacred gear in World Tier 3.
  • Gamble for rings with Obols to get Giant Strides since that will be the most uncommon aspect in the build - and the build won't work without it. Save as many of these as you can. Rather than extracting the aspect and imprinting it on a low level ring, you may want to equip a ring with this aspect regardless of the ring's affixes, and do not extract and imprint it until you get a BiS Ancestral ring in World Tier 4.
  • 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.
Midgame Gear


  • This is the midgame version of the build and includes Rallying Cry for mobility and resource generation.
Midgame Skill Tree


Follow the general skill rotation described in the basic gameplay section above.

Hardcore Adjustments

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

  • Focus on Defensive Affixes on your Chest Armor, like Damage Reduction against Distant / Close, etc.
  • Wait for your Cooldowns before you engage monster packs, especially when facing multiple Elites.

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 while Berserking: thanks to Blood Rage, we get a multiplicative damage modifier equal to 25% 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.
  • Strength: after Damage while Berserking, Strength is the highest priority stat for increasing our damage.
  • 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. With Banished Lord's Talisman, this is one of our most valuable stats. Ring of Red Furor reduces its value slightly by guaranteeing Critical Strikes. The Grandfather greatly increases its value by doubling the damage of Critical Strikes.
  • Overpower Damage: additive damage typically falls off in value in the endgame due to how many sources of additive damage we get. Overpower Damage bonuses are typically 4x larger than other additive bonuses, so it's very tempting to pick these up every time you see them. However, consider the size of the additional bonus against the total additive damage you already have. Another 45% Overpower Damage is hard to pass up, but if you already have over 3300% Overpower Damage, another 45% would hardly be noticeable. Still, our Overpowers make up 90% of our damage output, and the value of this stat is inflated by things like Crusher, Brute Force and Banished Lord's Talisman.
  • All Stats: these affixes are valuable not only because they give us more Strength, but also because we need a lot of Dexterity and Willpower to unlock the full potential of all the rare nodes we get in our paragon boards. This improves our damage output more than any additive damage affix except for Overpower.
  • Curse & Vulnerable: Vulnerable enemies take 20%[x] more damage, plus 16%[x] more from Prey on the Weak, plus 15%[x] from Wallop, and 15%[x] from Two-Handed Axe Expertise. Counted together, those bonuses are equivalent to a single 84%[x] bonus. It is very important that we make tough enemies Vulnerable by inflicting them with Vampiric Curse.
  • Full Life and Fortify: the +Overpower Damage we get for having a high Maximum Life, are calculated based on our *current* Life and Fortify. The +8% Critical Strike Chance we get from Sanguine Brace only applies when our Fortify is over 50%. If we are near death, we get nothing.
  • Full Fury: the 30%[x] damage bonus from Aspect of Limitless Rage only applies after we have overproduced 15 points of Fury. The 20%[x] damage bonus of Edgemaster’s Aspect depends on how much Fury we currently have. If we use Upheaval when we are low on Fury, neither of those will help much, if at all.

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

There are many stats and status effects that generate on gear, but many are not important for your build. See below for a general breakdown as well as a per slot priority list in the list.

  • Helm: Godslayer Crown
    1. Cooldown Reduction
    2. Maximum Life
    3. Increased Damage for 3 seconds (60%)
    4. Crowd Control Duration
    5. Damage
  • Otherwise Look For: Iron Blood
    1. Cooldown Reduction
    2. Damage while Berserking
    3. Total Armor
    4. Strength
  • Chest Armor: Disobedience
    1. Total Armor
    2. Elemental Resistance
    3. Damage Reduction from Close Enemies
    4. Damage Reduction while Fortified
    5. Damage Reduction
  • Gloves: Earthquake
    1. Ranks of Upheaval
    2. Critical Strike Chance
    3. Attack Speed
    4. Strength
    5. Overpower Damage
  • Pants: Bul-Kathos
    1. Ranks of Leap
    2. Total Armor
    3. Damage Reduction from Close Enemies
    4. Damage Reduction while Fortified
    5. Damage Reduction while Injured
    6. Damage Reduction
  • Boots: Perpetual Stomping
    1. Movement Speed
    2. Elemental Resistance
    3. Elemental Resistance
    4. Elemental Resistance
  • Two-Handed Bludgeoning Weapon (Mace): Hellhammer
    1. High Damage per Second
    2. Ranks of Upheaval
    3. Damage Reduction from Burning Enemies
    4. Damage to Burning Enemies
    5. Damage with Two-Handed Bludgeoning Weapons
    6. Burning for additional damage over 4 seconds
  • Otherwise Look For: Limitless Rage
    1. High Damage per Second
    2. Damage while Berserking
    3. Strength
    4. Overpower Damage
    5. All Stats
    6. Damage to Close Enemies
  • Amulet: Banished Lord's Talisman
    1. Critical Strikes that Overpower Deal Increased Damage (120)
    2. Resource Generation
    3. Critical Strike Chance
    4. Overpower Damage
  • Otherwise Look For: Accelerating
    1. Ranks of Brawling Skills
    2. Cooldown Reduction
    3. Fury Cost Reduction
    4. Movement Speed
  • Rings: Ring of Red Furor
    1. Resource Generation
    2. Attack Speed
    3. Strength
    4. Bonus Critical Strike Damage (30)
    5. Maximum Fury
  • Otherwise Look For: Giant Strides and Bear Clan Berserker
    1. Resource Generation
    2. Critical Strike Chance
    3. Damage while Berserking
    4. Maximum Fury
  • Dual-Wield Weapon 1 (Mace): Accelerating Aspect
    1. Damage while Berserking
    2. Strength
    3. Overpower Damage
    4. All Stats
    5. Damage to Close Enemies
  • Dual-Wield Weapon 1 (Mace): Earthstriker's
    1. Damage while Berserking
    2. Strength
    3. Overpower Damage
    4. All Stats
    5. Damage to Close Enemies
  • Two-Handed Slashing Weapon (Axe): Edgemaster
    1. Damage while Berserking
    2. Strength
    3. Overpower Damage
    4. All Stats
    5. Damage to Close Enemies

This build benefits a lot from the following Consumables:

  • Elixirs: If you got unlucky with Total Armor rolls use an Iron Skin Elixir to make up the difference. If you got unlucky with Resistance rolls and are have less than 70% resistance to any element, use an elemental resistance elixir like Elixir of Fire Resistance or Elixir of Magic Resist to meet or exceed the 70% soft cap. If your armor and resistance are solid, use Elixir of Fortitude increases your life and damage via Overpower.
  • Incense: Reddamine Buzz increases both our life and our damage.

FAQ & Mechanics

How do I assign my weapons to the correct slot?

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

Can I play this build from level 1?

Why Rubies instead of Sapphires or Topazes in Armor sockets?




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, the only downside is its long reload time. Assuming you spend that reload time running from one pile of destruction to the next unexplored room, you don't really feel any drawbacks. Pray you land a Hellhammer, because this build is a real blast!

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Written by Slothmaster
Reviewed by Wudijo and Snail

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