Whirlwind Barbarian Endgame Build Guide

Last Updated: August 6th 2023

Season 1 - Malignant

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The Whirlwind Barbarian Guide provides an iconic playstyle that is loved by many - the classic "hold down one button and destroy everything in my path" playstyle, or as it is more commonly known, "spin to win."

Whether it's speedfarming, pushing Nightmare Dungeons, or anything in between - Whirlwind does it all. It is extremely versatile in both what it can accomplish and also in its choice of gearing. Feel like bludgeoning your foes to death in a whirling fit of rage? Pick up that Two-Handed Mace and go ham. Want to just spin faster and rip things to shreds? Then dual-wielding a One-Handed Mace and One-Handed Sword might be for you.

In this guide, we'll focus mainly on the former choice, as it offers us the most power for much of the endgame. But early on, we'll also get a little taste of a dual-wielding setup to help start us out, and even explore an optional endgame variant of it with a build-enabling Unique item.

If this sounds like your idea of a good time, then let out your loudest Rallying Cry as we Whirlwind our way through this Endgame Barbarian Guide.

War Cry

Rallying Cry

Challenging Shout


Iron Skin


Two-Handed Mace Expertise

Two-Handed Axe Expertise

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

Spin to Win
Simple Gameplay
Versatility in Building

Excellent for Speed Content ✔

❌ Small AoE
❌ Melee Range
Requires Fury Management
Heavily Reliant on Cooldowns

Season 1 - The Malignant

Players on the Eternal Realm should ignore this section of the guide. This build is designed to work without Caged Hearts, though it can be enhanced by them.

Diablo 4 Season 1 introduces a new questline to hunt Malignant Monsters across Sanctuary. Defeating them drops Caged Hearts that are placed in Jewelry infested sockets to gain build-altering powers. Check out the full Season 1 The Malignant guide from Chewingnom to learn more!

  • There are 32 Caged Hearts divided into 4 different colors, 1 color for each type:
    • Vicious: Orange, Offensive Power
    • Brutal: Blue, Defensive Power
    • Devious: Pink, Utility Power
    • Wrathful: Black, Super
  • The first 3 must be socketed into their respective infested socket color, while the 4th can be placed into any infested socket.
  • Once socketed, they cannot be removed. Instead they can be broken down into Invokers to target farm the Caged Hearts you want inside Malignant Tunnels.
  • Higher powered Caged Hearts drop at higher levels.

With this in mind, let's look at the top 3 best Caged Hearts (and alternatives) for this build:

Best-in-Slot Caged Hearts

  1. Caged Heart of Focused Rage (Vicious, Offensive): After spending 100-60 Fury within 2 seconds, your next Non-Basic Skill's Critical Strike Chance is increased by 20-30%.
  2. Caged Heart of Revenge (Brutal, Defensive-World Tier III): 10-20% of incoming damage is instead suppressed. When you use a Defensive, Subterfuge or a Macabre skill, all suppressed damage is amplified by 250% and explodes, dealing up to 1360-2040 Fire damage to Nearby enemies.
  3. Caged Heart of The Barber (Wrathful, Super-World Tier III): Critical Strikes and all subsequent damage within 2.0-4.0 seconds is absorbed by your target. Then, the absorbed damage erupts onto surrounding enemies. Stored damage is increased by 10% per second.

Alternative Caged Hearts

  • Caged Heart of the Dark Dance (Vicious, Offensive-World Tier III): Every 5 seconds while above 60% Life, Core Skills cost 68-51 Life instead of your Primary Resource. Skills that consume Life deal 10-20% increased damage.
  • Caged Heart of Tempting Fate (Vicious, Offensive-World Tier III): You gain 40-60% Critical Strike Damage but your Non-Critical Strikes deal 20-15% less damage.
  • Caged Heart of the Calculated (Devious, Utility-World Tier III): After spending 150-200 of your Primary Resource, your next attack Stuns enemies hit for 2 seconds.

Skill Tree

Active Skills
Passive Skills

Active Skills

  • Lunging Strike is needed to progress the skill tree.
  • Whirlwind is the core of our build. Violent Whirlwind is our enhancement of choice since we are making use of the Two-Handed Mace.
  • Rallying Cry provides us multiple buffs, including Fury regeneration, movement speed, and the invaluable Unstoppable effect while active.
  • Iron Skin is used in combination with Aspect of the Iron Warrior to boost our defenses and provide us another source of Unstoppable, if needed.
  • Challenging Shout boosts our defenses even higher with its massive damage reduction and health increase, while also Taunting any monsters in range.
  • Enhanced Kick is a valuable tool that we use to extend the Vulnerable effect, especially on Bosses. With good positioning, it also Stuns Elites and normal enemies, allowing us to capitalize on our crowd control related damage bonuses and multipliers.
  • War Cry grants us the Berserking buff and a generous multiplicative damage boost while active.
Final Skill Tree

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.

For this purpose of this guide, the Two-Handed Mace is our main weapon of choice. Though other weapons have their advantages, this one in particular offers us the most value in terms of pure damage output. While the Critical Strike Damage multiplier offered by its Arsenal bonus might seem highly situational at first glance, we are built to take advantage of it more often than not, since we are constantly afflicting our enemies with Stun and Vulnerable effects through multiple sources.

In the Technique Slot, the Two-Handed Axe further allows us to capitalize on this by increased our damage to 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.

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

Paragon Board

Though it is entirely possible to begin the early endgame leveling process with the Two-Handed Mace setup, we recommend starting out with a Dual-Wielding setup - a One-Handed Sword along with a One-Handed Mace. The reason for this is simple: Fury management can lead to a frustrating and unpleasant leveling experience. This setup and paragon board help ease the pain by giving us more sources of Fury regeneration so we can just keep on spinning. This will take us to around level 90, but it's certainly possible to switch before then - the layout and initial placement of our boards also make the transition very simple.

Scroll the Slider to see progression

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


We need to level up our Glyphs to activate their Additional Bonus with surrounding nodes. For some Glyphs, we max our bonuses by allocating every relevant node in range, while on others we take the minimum required for the Additional Bonus only. Because Glyphs at level 15 increase their radius, we need to prioritize leveling them by completing Nightmare Dungeons. After that, we prioritize leveling our strongest glyphs to level 21.

Placeholder Glyphs

These Glyphs are only used while leveling because some of our endgame Glyphs can't be activated until they reach level 15. Don't level these Glyphs up because you will replace them later.

  • Seething

Glyph Leveling Priorities

Level 15

  1. Exploit
  2. Wrath
  3. Territorial
  4. Might
  5. Undaunted
  6. Marshal

Level 21

  1. Exploit
  2. Wrath
  3. Marshal
  4. Might
  5. Territorial
  6. Undaunted

Optional Glyphs

This Glyph is not used in our final setup, but is useful for for speed content where extra damage or defense isn't needed. It allows us to keep our Shouts off cooldown more often.

  • Disembowel

This Glyph is used in an optional Endgame variant and can be ignored entirely if this version is of no interest.

  • Ambidextrous

There are a total of 225 Paragon Points. Starting with level 50 you gain 4 Paragon Points per level, plus 20 from Renown, and 4 from Altars of Lilith.


The Whirlwind build is entirely melee-focused, as one might expect. We hold down our spin button, and everything around us dies. The gameplay loop goes something like this:

  • Approach enemies and use Challenging Shout, War Cry, and Rallying Cry. This is the preferred order, since it allows Challenging Shout to come off cooldown first thanks to Bold Chieftain's Aspect. This is important because it is one of our best sources of damage reduction.
  • Hold the Whirlwind button down and just spin (in game).
  • Iron Skin is there for emergency situations to break crowd control if Rallying Cry falls off, and for more damage reduction thanks to Aspect of the Iron Warrior.
  • Use Kick to finish off enemies that outlast our Exploit Glyph's Vulnerable window. With good aim, a solid Kick against a wall or other obstacle will also Stun so we can deal massive damage.
  • If we become overwhelmed, the best option is to retreat and wait for our Shouts to come off cooldown before engaging again. Fight smarter, not harder.

Resource & Cooldown Management

In order to play this build effectively, attention is required in overcoming our Fury-spending issue, which can be a massive drawback early on. The use of Unbridled Rage makes this problem even more severe. Here's what we do to help it:

  • Use Tactical Rallying Cry. This is one of our main sources of Fury regeneration and we make sure this is active during any major fight.
  • Fury Cost Reduction on gear. We prioritize this on our Boots and Amulet.
  • Resource Generation on our Rings. While damage stats are always more appealing, they mean nothing if we can't cast our skill.
  • Aspect of Echoing Fury grants us up to 4 Fury per second while we have one Shout active, and 12 if all of our Shouts are active.
  • Enhanced Whirlwind itself give us back Fury for each enemy we hit. This makes it ideal to always be fighting large groups of enemies when possible.
  • Lunging Strike acts as a Fury generator when used.
  • The Two-Handed Mace Expertise inherently gives us a chance to gain Fury on hit. It's not exactly reliable, but it's there.

Reductions to our Cooldowns (Shouts) are equally as important. Without ways to drastically mitigate their downtime, the build becomes weaker, slower, clunky, and unfun. We solve this by doing the following:

  • Rolling Cooldown Reduction wherever we can get it. In our case, the Helm slot as well as the Amulet.
  • Imprinting the Bold Chieftain's Aspect - this is a major obstacle unless we're lucky, since it is quite rare to find. It saves us up to 6 seconds on each of our Shouts under ideal circumstances, and is pretty much required to make the build feel smooth. Acquiring this should actively be one of our first priorities.
  • The Marshal Glyph.
  • Disembowel. Though not entirely required later on, it works wonders as long as we are applying Bleed.

Endgame Gear & Skill 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

Many of our Skill choices depend on what Legendary Aspects and Unique items are available to us. While we can guarantee that everyone has access to the same Codex of Power Aspects, the progression might be different for everyone!

  1. Unlock the following Aspects in your Codex of Power:
  2. Find the following Legendary Aspects by farming in Dungeons, Nightmare Dungeons, Helltides, through the Tree of Whispers, or gambling with Obols:
    • Bold Chieftain's: Gamble Rings
      • During Season 1, this can be obtained by completing Chapter 2 of the Season Journey.
    • Exploiter's: Gamble Boots
    • Limitless Rage: Gamble One-Handed Weapons
    • Smiting Aspect: Gamble One-Handed Weapons
  3. Find the following Unique items by farming in Dungeons, Nightmare Dungeons, Helltides. Note: You cannot gamble Unique items with Obols!
    • Rage of Harrogath
    • Ramaladni's Magnum Opus
    • Penitent Greaves

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

Progression Setups

Early Endgame
Late Endgame

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.

Upon finishing the leveling process and approaching the endgame grind, many of the Aspects we use are already available to us from the Codex of Power. There is no reason we shouldn't put them to immediate use, since they can be imprinted as often as needed as we upgrade our gear. We'll start by doing the following:


Helm, Pants, Armor

  • Disobedience
  • Iron Blood
  • Numbing Wrath

Gloves, One-Handed Weapons

  • Berserk Ripping
  • Retribution
  • Expectant

Two-Handed Weapons

  • Dire Whirlwind
  • Edgemaster’s


  • Ghostwalker


  • Anemia


  • Echoing Fury

This gives us a functional build to begin farming with. Some Fury issues will likely be present early on until we find the required gear to solve them, but we have to start somewhere - don't let this be discouraging.

Starter Gear


The preliminary version of our build makes a few changes to the skill tree to compensate for our lack of gear and to better suit our dual-wielding playstyle. Specifically:

  • Early on, Lunging Strike earns a slot on our active skill bar for several reasons. Firstly, it helps mitigate Fury issues that are likely to be present when starting out, since it acts as a generator when it is used. Secondly, it allows us to use Aspect of the Expectant, a Codex power that we have guaranteed access to so long as we complete the Dungeon that rewards it. Finally, as the name implies, it allows us to lunge forward into enemies to quickly initiate combat or even traverse the map as long as we have a target.
  • Furious Whirlwind is taken because our 1-Handed Sword allows us to benefit from its Bleeding effect in various ways.
  • Swiftness helps improve our mobility in the early stages of the endgame, where we are mostly focused on speed running content to improve our character as quickly and efficiently as possible.
  • Since we now apply Bleed, a point in Hamstring allows us to also Slow enemies. This is a simple way to benefit from any generic crowd control related damage modifiers during the initial gearing phase.
  • It also gives us access to consistent uptime on No Mercy, another passive that we take early on, without having to rely on random Stuns.

Optional Considerations:

  • Call of the Ancients can be used as a crutch early on if we are really struggling for single target damage. Move points from Kick to this skill if it becomes an issue.
Starter Skill Tree


The playstyle of this early version differs slightly compared to that of the endgame build. Instead of just whirling into every fight, we want to start off by using Lunging Strike to build our Fury reserve and to make use of Aspect of the Expectant. Once we have stacked it up a bit, we can continue holding down Whirlwind as normal.

Build Scaling & Stat Priorities

The answer to many questions can be found in the following section.

Build Scaling

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


Fury and Cooldown Reduction:

  • As explained earlier, our Fury and Cooldown management is instrumental to use success as a Whirlwind Barbarian.
  • With the Unbridled Rage passive (which is a huge multiplier to our damage), Whirlwind has an extremely high rate of Fury consumption. In order to be able to channel this skill continuously, we need to put a lot of effort into maintaining its regeneration. One main source of this is the Aspect of Echoing Fury in combination with our Shouts. To have our Shouts (and Fury generation) up as much as possible, we invest into Cooldown Reduction which is further bolstered by the Bold Chieftain's Aspect and Marshal.
  • Cooldown Reduction is available on Helm and Amulet.
  • Resource Generation is available on Rings.
  • Fury Cost Reduction is available on Boots and Amulet.

Weapon Damage:

  • Our Whirlwind only scales off the weapon that we are currently using. This means that in all other weapon slots, the only requirement is an item level of 725 or more (to maximize ranges on the stats that can roll.) Weapon damage does not matter.

Critical Strike Damage:

  • We have many sources of this. All Critical Strike Damage rolls on our weapons apply to us even if we are not using them, including the Royal Emeralds socketed within. For this reason, Swords are ideal for these slots since they naturally roll with a Critical Strike Damage implicit.
  • Heavy Handed and the Two-Handed Mace Expertise are separate multipliers to our Critical Strike Damage.
  • The Wrath Glyph.

Critical Strike Chance:

  • Critical Strike Chance is a priority roll on Gloves and Rings.
  • We get a nice chunk of this from Aspect of the Dire Whirlwind after we begin channeling.
  • No Mercy is used as a source of Critical Strike Chance in various stages of the build.

Vulnerable Damage:

  • The window in which enemies are Vulnerable is generally when we deal the most damage, because this effect acts as its own separate damage multiplier. We can increase this multiplier drastically through gear and the passive tree.
  • The Two-Handed Axe Expertise is another multiplier to our Vulnerable damage.
  • Exploit allows us to inflict Vulnerable whenever we initiate combat, and is our main source of application. However, once its duration ends, we have to wait quite a while for its effect to activate again.
  • For this reason, Enhanced Kick is useful for when we are no longer benefiting from Exploit.

Damage from Stuns:

  • Aspect of Retribution.
  • Wallop.
  • Two-Handed Mace Expertise.

This build benefits heavily from inflicting Stun, and we aim to do so as often as we can with help from Concussion.

Limitless Rage and Edgemaster’s:

  • These Aspects are damage multipliers that significantly increase their effectiveness when we are capped or overcapped on Fury, another reason why our resource management becomes so important.

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 & Gear Options

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.

Put in the following Gems into your gear:

  • Royal Sapphires in Helm, Chest Armor, and Pants.
  • Royal Skulls in Jewelry.
  • Royal Emeralds in all weapon slots.

This build benefits a lot from the following Consumables:

  • Elixirs: Iron Skin Elixir, Elixir of Fortitude, Precision Elixir, Elixir of Savagery, Elixir of Combatant Fortune, Elixir of Resourcefulness
  • Incenses: Song of the Mountain or Reddamine Buzz

Refer to the table below to see the best rolls for every slot ranked in order of importance:

Bludgeoning Weapon

One of:
Limitless Rage
1. High Damage per Second
2. Vulnerable Damage
3. Critical Strike Damage
4. Strength
5. All Stats
6. Damage to Close Enemies
7. Damage with Core Skills
Dual Wield
Weapon 1
One of:
Berserk Ripping
Dire Whirlwind
1. Vulnerable Damage
2. Critical Strike Damage
3. Strength
4. All Stats
4. Damage to Close Enemies
5. Damage with Core Skills
Dual Wield
Weapon 2
One of:
Berserk Ripping
Dire Whirlwind
1. Vulnerable Damage
2. Critical Strike Damage
3. Strength
4. All Stats
4. Damage to Close Enemies
5. Damage with Core Skills
Slashing Weapon
One of:
Limitless Rage
1. Vulnerable Damage
2. Critical Strike Damage
3. Strength
4. All Stats
4. Damage to Close Enemies
5. Damage with Core Skills
HelmOne of:
Iron Warrior
Iron Blood
Numbing Wrath
1. Cooldown Reduction
2. % Total Armor
3. Strength
4. Maximum Life
5. All Stats
6. Crowd Control Duration
ChestOne of:
Iron Warrior
Iron Blood
Numbing Wrath
1. % Total Armor
2. Damage Reduction while Fortified
3. + Ranks of Challenging Shout
4. Damage Reduction
5. Damage Reduction from Close Enemies
6. Maximum Life
GlovesOne of:
Berserk Ripping
Dire Whirlwind
1. + Ranks of Whirlwind
2. Critical Strike Chance
3. Lucky Hit Chance
4. Strength
5 All Stats
6. Critical Strike Chance Against Injured Enemies
7. Lucky Hit: Up to a 5% Chance to Restore Primary Resource
PantsOne of:
Iron Warrior
Iron Blood
Numbing Wrath
1. % Total Armor
2. Damage Reduction while Fortified
3. Damage Reduction
4. Damage Reduction from Close Enemies
5. Maximum Life
6. Damage Reduction from Distant Enemies
Boots Ghostwalker1. Movement Speed
2. Fury Cost Reduction
3. Strength
4. Damage Reduction while Injured
5. Fortify Generation
6. All Stats
7. Movement Speed for 4 Seconds After Killing an Elite
AmuletDisobedience1. Cooldown Reduction
2. Fury Cost Reduction
3. + Ranks of the Wallop Passive
4. + Ranks of All Defensive Skills
5. + Ranks of the Counteroffensive Passive
6. + Ranks of the Heavy Handed Passive
7. Movement Speed
RingsBold Chieftain's
Echoing Fury
1. Resource Generation
2. Vulnerable Damage
3. Critical Strike Chance
4. Critical Strike Damage
5. Maximum Life

Hardcore Adjustments

  • We can opt for more defensive oriented passives, such as Imposing Presence , Martial Vigor, and Aggressive Resistance. These can replace Heavy Handed, Wallop, or Counteroffensive .
  • Prioritize more defensive rolls on gear, such as Maximum Life on Rings.
  • The Tenacity cluster can be taken on the Bone Breaker paragon board and is a great option for some extra defense.

Level 100 Endgame Variants

You can optimize your build further for certain endgame activities, such as Speedfarming, Nightmare Dungeon Pushing, etc. Let's take a look at the changes we need to make to achieve the best results in them.

Nightmare Dungeon Push
Ramaladni's Gift

The Speedfarming setup makes you more efficient in farming the Open World, Helltide zones, Tree of Whispers, regular Dungeons, and Nightmare Dungeons below Tier 50.

Our optimized endgame build is already pretty well-suited for speedfarming most content, but if more speed is desired and losing some damage or utility isn't too much of a hindrance, there are some small adjustments we can make. The gameplay loop doesn't change, we're just trying to speed it up.


  • Ghostwalker is imprinted on our Boots.
  • Grasping Whirlwind is imprinted on our Gloves.
  • We take Relentless Berserker's on our Helm, while also prioritizing Berserking Duration on gear. The goal here is to maximize Berserking uptime to benefit from its damage and movement speed bonus, and also its ability to reset our cooldowns thanks to the the combination of Berserk Ripping (our only source of Bleed) and Disembowel.

With many sources of Movement Speed, it is possible to overcap (we only need +100% additional to reach that cap). However, on the Barbarian this is not such a bad thing since we are always penalized while channeling Whirlwind.

Optional Considerations:

  • Rage of Harrogath can be used in the Chest Armor slot for content where defensive stats aren't as needed. In tandem with Disembowel, it allows tremendous uptime on our Shouts.
Speedfarming Gear

Skill Tree

  • Swiftness is taken for more Movement Speed.
  • Wrath of the Berserker for even more Berserking uptime, Movement Speed, and Boss damage.
  • Hamstring and No Mercy combo for a little extra damage.

Optional Considerations:

There are several other skills for the last slot that have uses and are largely player preference - choose what feels best! You can stick with Lunging Strike or Kick, or try:

  • Leap for some terrain traversal.
  • Ground Stomp in combination with Earthquake Aspect for extra damage and Wrath of the Berserker resets.
  • Steel Grasp for pulling enemies, Berserking, and additional Vulnerable uptime.
Speedfarming Skill Tree


  • Replace Undaunted with Disembowel.
  • We reallocate nodes from Tenacity to Hunter Killer on the Weapons Master Board to pick up some extra Damage to Elites as well as Movement Speed. The remaining points are allocated to Inner Strength on the Bone Breaker board.


Furious Whirlwind vs. Violent Whirlwind

Why not use Gohr's Devastating Grips?

Why am I running out of Fury?




Unbridled Rage

Video Guide

coming soon!


The Whirlwind Barbarian, henceforth known as spinny boy (or girl), offers a comfy and enjoyable way to experience all that the game has to offer. Dungeons? Spin. Helltide? Spin. Uber Lilith? Maybe spin. A lot. Basically, whatever it is you wish to accomplish, the answer is more than likely spin. And perhaps a Kick mixed in somewhere, because why not.

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Written by snail
Contributions by Rob2628, Raxxanterax
Reviewed by wudijo

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