The Barbarian is a staple class in the Diablo franchise and returns for glory in Diablo 4. They use overwhelming strength and a mastery of weapons to turn battlefields into wastelands. This overview covers their Strengths & Weaknesses, Skills, Passives, Legendaries and much more. Let's jump in and learn about the true god of weapons!
The Barbarian has unparalleled strength and expertly wields multiple weapons during battle. He bellows intimidating war cries and unleashes ground-shaking slams to send approaching hordes reeling. Barbarians are fun to play with fast-paced action and many customization options. Their skills are fueled by Fury, a resource that generates while in battle and depletes slowly outside of it. All Barbarian skills deal Physical damage by default.
- Tremendous Damage. Barbarian Core Skills are devastating, especially when supported by their additional skills and buffs.
- Berserking. The Barbarian is the only class in Diablo 4 with the amazing Berserking buff, which gives them 25% increased damage and 30% Movement Speed.
- Quick Movement. The Barbarian has multiple movement skills and various ways to boost their base Movement Speed both actively and passively.
- Can DPS at Range or while Moving. With skills like Upheaval, Whirlwind, and Call of the Ancients, the Barbarian has many DPS options for different scenarios.
- Very Tanky. Challenging Shout and many bonuses like Fortify make Barbarians very hard to bring down.
- Fury Dependent. Fury depletes over time while out of combat and the powerful Core Skills consume it quickly.
- Long Cooldowns. All your Shouts and Ultimate Skills have long cooldowns. While there are ways to reduce these, they still significantly stall your damage potential in longer fights.
- Close Combat. Most Barbarian builds are melee based and some Elite and Boss abilities can be hard to dodge while close by.
- All Alone. Other than Call of the Ancients, Barbarians can't summon pets to DPS or tank for them.
- Slow Early Game. A fully powered-up Barbarian is one of the scariest opponents you'll ever face, but in the early game they're slow mostly due to poor resource generation.
The Barbarian has the unique ability to equip FOUR WEAPONS at the same time:
- 2x Two-Handed Weapons (Bludgeoning Maces and Slashing Swords/Polearms/Axes), and
- Dual Wielded One-Handed Weapons (Slashing Swords/Axes/Maces)
They can swap between them depending on the ability used, and the Barbarian's Arsenal System lets you choose which Weapon applies to each ability.
The rolled affixes of each Weapon always apply to your damage, however the raw Damage per Second (DPS) of a skill is determined only by the attacking Weapon in the Arsenal System. In other words: your main weapon does your damage, and the others are "stat sticks".
There is one final advantage to holding this many items: more Legendary Powers! These extra powers are very useful and gives the Barbarian a notable advantage.
Skill Tree & Passives
Skill points are unlocked by level-ups and the Renown system. As you spend more points, you unlock multiple categories of skills. Each active skill can be leveled up 5 times (and further with items), increasing their power (usually +10% of the base value) or reducing their cooldown by 5% with each additional rank. After unlocking a skill, you can enhance it with another point and then choose one out of two upgrades to specialize it even further.
In addition, there are passives found all over the tree, attached as optional choices to certain skill clusters. They grant small bonuses to damage, defense or utility under certain conditions and help to round out your build by shifting it further in the direction you want to take. All passives have 3 ranks and usually scale linearly.
Check out our Skill Tree Overview to learn more details.
Basic skills are weak and are used to generate Fury. and apply debuffs like Vulnerable. When you run out of resources, they are useful to finish off small enemies or to add extra damage against an Elite or Boss while you prepare one of your stronger Fury-spending attacks.
These skills are primary damage dealers of most Barbarian builds. They spend lots of Fury but deal much higher damage and hit more targets than Basic Skills. In addition, Core Skills can be amplified by multiple Legendary effects.
- Coming Soon.
These skills significantly boost your defensive capabilities. Many of them also allow you to control enemies and increase your Thorns damage.
Enhanced Rallying Cry
Strategic Rallying Cry
Tactical Rallying Cry
- Coming Soon.
This cluster of skills adds various utility choices to your setup. Generally you want to choose one of these depending on your build and play style to assist you either offensively, defensively, or both.
Enhanced War Cry
Power War Cry
Mighty War Cry
- Coming Soon.
Weapon Mastery Skills
These skills allow you to master your Weapons, dealing significant damage with cooldown based attacks.
- Coming Soon.
Ultimates are high-impact abilities with a long cooldown and need to be built around to be effective, so not every build runs with one of them. Only one can be chosen and only have a single rank with a two-step linear upgrade path that offers no extra choices.
Wrath of the Berserker
Prime Wrath of the Berserker
Supreme Wrath of the Berserker
- Coming Soon.
These passives are located at the very bottom of the Skill Tree and couldn't be reached in the preview version. They are extremely powerful and define the overall playstyle of your build. Similar to Ultimate Skills, only one of them can be chosen!
Unique Class Mechanic - The Arsenal System
The Arsenal System is the unique Barbarian class mechanic in Diablo 4. It allows them to use a specific Weapon for every attack skill that grants different bonuses. The Technique Slot is unlocked via a quest chain at level 15 which allows you to use an extra weapon power all the time.
Check out our Barbarian Arsenal System post for more details on this system.
The four core attributes provide the following to the Barbarian:
- Strength: Skill Damage (10% per 100), Armor (1 each)
- Intelligence: All Resistances (5% per 100)
- Willpower: Resource Generation (10% per 100), Healing Received (10% per 100), Overpower Damage (25% per 100)
- Dexterity: Critical Strike Chance (2% per 100), Dodge Chance (2.5% per 100)
Strength is considered the main attribute as it multiplies all your damage done. Dexterity and Willpower are also useful for their offensive and defensive bonuses, while Intelligence does next to nothing. Some items can roll bonuses to attributes and later on Paragon boards allow stacking the right stats for your character. In addition, you may find hidden Altars of Lilith in the open world that unlock a permanent bonus for all of your characters.
Check out our Stat Overview to learn more.
Legendary aspects offer another important avenue of build customization. They can be either found as a Legendary item drop or imprinted on a rare item at the Occultist. Aspects with dynamic values are +100% effective on Two-Handed Weapons and +50% effective on Amulets.
Check out our Legendary Aspects Overview to learn more details.
Codex of Power
The Codex of Power is a collection of Legendary Powers that the Occultist can freely craft on any rare or legendary item for a cost. Each power has to be unlocked by completing a specific Dungeon once and always comes with their minimum value if they have a dynamic value. As of right now, most maximum values are unknown and left out from this list. Certain effects with flat damage, Life or Barrier values scale either with character level or item power.
Listed below are all the Barbarian Legendary Aspects and the ones available to all classes. Check out our Codex of Power Overview to learn more.
|Defensive Aspect of Bul-Kathos||Light's Refuge - Hawezar|
|Defensive Aspect of Disobedience||Halls of the Damned - Kehjistan|
|Defensive Aspect of Might||Dark Ravine - Dry Steppes|
|Defensive Aspect of Numbing Wrath||Heathen's Keep - Hawezar|
|Defensive Aspect of Tempering Blows||Defiled Catacomb - Hawezar|
|Defensive Aspect of the Deflecting Barrier||Lost Keep - Hawezar|
|Defensive Aspect of the Iron Warrior||Carrion Fields - Dry Steppes|
|Defensive Aspect of the Protector||Lost Archives - Fractured Peaks|
|Iron Blood Defensive Aspect||Forgotten Ruins - Kehjistan|
|Defensive Aspect of the Crowded Sage|
|Protecting Defensive Aspect|
|Steadfast Berserker's Defensive Aspect|
Powerful items with unique effects and fixed stat rolls can drop in World Tier 3 and above. The following Uniques are exclusive to the Barbarian:
|Fields of Crimson|
|Gohr's Devastating Grips|
|Rage of Harrogath|
|Ramaladni's Magnum Opus|
Check out our Uniques post to learn more.
- Barbarians are powerful, mobile and tanky, but they fight alone, have to be in close quarters, and struggle with resource generation early on.
- They deal Physical damage with melee attacks.
- Fury is their primary resource. It degenerates slowly and has to be generated in battle to unleash powerful attacks.
- With Four Weapons equipped at the same time, they have advantages from Weapon swaps, extra stats and additional Legendary Powers.
- Core Skills deal massive damage at the cost of significant Fury.
- Barbarians bring incredible utility from their shouts, making them a strong choice for group play.
- The Arsenal System is the unique Barbarian class mechanic in Diablo 4. It allows them to use a specific Weapon for every attack skill that grants different bonuses. The Technique Slot gives one additional weapon power at all times.
Written by Raxxanterax, Rob.
Reviewed by Aristotelian, Echohack.
- 9 May 2023
Updated from the Diablo 4 Beta.
- 7 December 2022
Article Created from the Press Release Version of Diablo 4.