Welcome to the Diablo 4 Upheaval Barbarian leveling guide! The Barbarian is a hack-and-slash melee character that uses overwhelming strength to best their foes. They have been a staple class in the Diablo franchise from the beginning. If charging into battle fearlessly is your playstyle, the Barbarian is the perfect choice.
This leveling guide focuses on the new destructive ability Upheaval. It deals tremendous damage at range, allowing you to stay alive easier compared to other Barbarian builds. Our focus is to generate massive amounts of Fury to continuously cast this skill.
Before we jump into the guide, you may be wondering what you should be doing in the Beta to power up. Let's go over the activities in detail that will get you as powerful as possible.
- Complete the Act 1 Campaign (the Yellow quests). This will teach you the story and take you around Sanctuary. You should be level 12 by the end of it if you skip every other activity along the way.
- Complete the first 3 levels of Renown. Renown is your fame in Diablo 4 that has massive rewards. You can complete the first 3 levels in the Beta since the others are locked by higher difficulties. This means you should be spamming Dungeons, Side Quests, Altars of Lilith and Strongholds. Also don't forget to uncover the entire map and activate every Waypoint!
- Kill Ashava, the World Boss. She spawns 9 times during the Server Slam. Here are some critical tips:
- Her Circular Wing Swipe Attack is deadly. The best way to avoid it (even for ranged characters) is to get right next to her as she does it. This is telegraphed by her holding her wing up in front of her face right before she spins twice.
- She is level 25, so you cannot contribute to the fight if you are underleveled. This world boss only allows 12 people to fight her, so if you show up as a level 10, people will hate you, and you won't be able to earn the Cry of Ashava mount trophy. Don't engage her until you are level 20.
- Craft a Poison Resist Elixir before you fight her to make the fight easier!
- Go Explore and Have Fun. Explore the world and look for events. Make an alt and try another build. Go back to some of your favorite dungeons and look for more Legendaries. Do whatever you see fit and have fun!
Alternative, faster, spoiler-avoiding method: If you just want to get to 20 as fast as possible to get the wolf pet and don't care about the campaign or powering up, pick your favorite Dungeon and just run it over and over. A great farming spot is the "Dead Man's Dredge" Dungeon in the South-East of Fractured Peaks, which has an event spawn right in front of door. You can do these in tandem while waiting for the dungeons to reset.
Warning: You can only complete 33/35 Side Quests (29/35 if you're not willing to farm for dropped Side Quest starting items) and 22/23 Dungeons in this Beta. DO NOT WASTE YOUR TIME TRYING TO GET THEM ALL, BECAUSE YOU CAN'T!
Barbarian Skill Progression
Getting Started (Levels 2-3, 2 Skill Points)
To start off we have to put 2 points into Basic Skills to unlock the other sections. Flay is the best option here because it also applies Vulnerable and provides a nice Bleed. We call this gameplay "Flay and Pray" for an obvious reason; it's all we've got! If you want, try Lunging Strike in the beginning for extra mobility, before respeccing to Flay later for Ashava.
Level 2: Flay
Level 3: Enhanced Flay
Unlocking Upheaval (Levels 4-7, 4 Skill Points)
It's always nice when you get your main skill this early. Upheaval is a powerful trash-clearing ability that we use against high density, Elites and Bosses. We'll take the extra damage from Furious Upheaval which helps us clear bosses (the builds main weakness). The gameplay here is simple: Build Fury with Flay, and then Upheaval when you see a horde of enemies or an Elite/Boss.
Level 4: Upheaval
Level 5: Enhanced Upheaval
Level 6: Furious Upheaval
Level 7: Upheaval
Unleashing the Build (Levels 8-17, 10 Skill Points)
Now it's time to add what Barbarians do best: Leap around and belt out our Shouts. With 4 new skills on our bar, our quality of life increases dramatically. First we pick up Rallying Cry, which is one of the best Barb skills period. We now have greatly increased Movement Speed and Resource Generation from it. We also pick up Challenging Shout to gain tremendous damage reduction. Then we grab Leap for mobility (including jumping over walls and cliffs) and Fury generation from Power Leap. Finally we pick up War Cry which gives us extra Damage and Berserking.
Level 8: Rallying Cry
Level 9: Challenging Shout
Level 10: Enhanced Rallying Cry
Level 11: Tactical Rallying Cry
Level 12: Enhanced Challenging Shout
Level 13: Leap
Level 14: War Cry
Level 15: Enhanced Leap
Level 16: Power Leap
Level 17: Enhanced War Cry
Finishing Touches (Levels 18-20 + Renown, 5 Skill Points)
To finish things off we max Upheaval and pick up Raid Leader to keep our teammates alive. We are officially the MVP of the team after bringing 2 shouts AND a massive heal. Barbs are life.
Level 18: Upheaval
Level 19: Upheaval
Level 20: Upheaval
Renown 1: Booming Voice
Renown 2: Raid Leader
Let us throw a few general hints your way to make life easier in the Beta:
- Level Up Your Potion. Many players don't know that 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 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.
- Renown is your Friend. While exploring, take time to gather Renown along the way. It has long-term benefits for your entire account, including more Skill/Paragon points and Potion charges. Renown is gained by activating Waypoints, finding Altars of Lilith, completing Side Quests/Dungeons and rescuing Strongholds.
- Don't Imprint Your Weapon. The most critical piece of gear while leveling up is your weapon, which gets replaced constantly. This makes imprinting a Legendary Aspect on it a waste of resources. Instead, put your best offensive Aspect on your Amulet, which can be used for a long time.
The build presented above gives the smoothest leveling experience and is overall best for any farming you might want to do after reaching level 25. However, there's still plenty of other builds that can clear all the content just fine without being the best.
Now the good news is that you can fully respec your Skill Tree for just 2,000 Gold, which is basically nothing. You can also use any of these builds from level one but costs you 1-2 extra hours to reach the max level.
Hammer of the Ancients is a fantastic skill that may end up being even better than Upheaval. It costs less, deals similar damage and has a better Lucky Hit chance. The downfall is it requires you to be in melee range which can prove deadly at early levels. You can play the exact same build but swap your points over to HOTA to try it out in the Beta!
Rend Thorns Barbarian
Rend is looking better as the patches continue to come out. A full bleed build with the help of Thorns early game may be one of the best leveling experiences. The long term issue is some of the thorns passives have been nerfed, so the endgame will likely have to drop thorns entirely.
See You in the BETA!
The entire Maxroll team will be blasting all BETA long, so lets team up and purge Sanctuary of evil. Enjoy your first taste of the new chapter in Diablo and we'll see you in game! If you haven't already, head over to our Discord and select the D4 role in #roles to stay up to date with our content development. Sanctuary here we come!