Savage Frenzy Barbarian Guide

Introduction

Horde of the Ninety Savages (H90) was introduced in Patch 2.6.8 and made a long time community favorite build, the Frenzy Barbarian (Barb), viable again. It has been tested through the Public Test Realm (PTR) and massive feedback was given by the Barb Community for the Horde of the Ninety Savages (2) Bonus to apply to frozen & stunned enemies as well.

Crazy Attack Speed ✔
High Single Target Damage ✔
Fast Playstyle in Speed Runs ✔
Amazing Buffs for Group Play ✔

Lack of AOE Damage
❌ Cooldown Dependency

Requires Crowd Control
❌ Squishy without Band of Might



Frenzy Solo Speed Runs Greater Rift

Core Setup

Items

  • The Horde of the Ninety Savages is where the majority of our DPS & toughness come from
  • Bastion's Revered is the core item of the build as it makes your frenzy stack up to 10 times, meaning additional damage and damage reduction from the set. Furthermore, this brings some AOE damage to the build by letting Frenzy chain to any enemies within 15 yards.
  • Depth Diggers simply double your damage output
  • The Undisputed Champion gives us a crazy damage increase and you gain all Frenzy-runes (increased Fury generated, 50 % Movement Speed, 30% Chance to Stun for your Horde of the Ninety Savages (2) Bonus and a 25% additive damage increase)
  • Oathkeeper provides 200% increased damage and 1.5x Attack Speed multiplier to all Primary Skills for a total 4.5x DPS boost
  • Optional jewelry items are Squirt's Necklace, Focus & Restraint or Convention of Elements for multiplicative damage and Band of Might for toughness

Global Stat Priorities

Frenzy Attack Speed Breakpoints

Make sure to optimize your Attack Speed to reach certain breakpoints - The Frenzy Barbarian is one of the fastest attacking builds in the entire game due to Oathkeeper and Frenzy multiplicative attack speed bonuses. For more information on the mechanics involved check out our in-depth post here.
When looking at your Attack Speed values for breakpoints, always consider the +15% additive Attack Speed from the dual wield bonus. Furthermore you can have different breakpoints with different weapons as you can see on the table to the right. The goal should be to reach around 9 - 7 frames per attack.
With the extra Kanai's Cube slot during Season 22 we gain Echoing Fury or Istvan's Paired Blades on the different variants boosting our possible attack speed to 6 frames or even 5 frames!

Aim for around 45-50% cooldown reduction to ensure permanent Wrath of the Berserker, use Boon of Bul-kathos and complementary cooldown reduction items like In-geom.

The main skill element and elemental damage bonus from your gear generally does not matter (with a few exceptions as mentioned in the "Variants" below)! Choose the element you have the best gear for (usually decided by the amulet and bracer slots). Make sure to adapt the Frenzy rune accordingly to match your highest element. That means if you have Fire Damage on gear, use Maniac, for Cold use Berserk or Sidearm, for Lightning use Smite and for Physical use Vanguard or the unruned Frenzy.

A common misunderstanding by players is the urge to go for a Physical element due to Battle Rage Bloodshed procs. This is not necessary as Bloodshed does not double dip! That means the elemental damage applies only once on the Frenzy damage instance. The Battle Rage Bloodshed is based on that first damage instance but is not enhanced by elemental damage again. For an in-depth explanation check our this guide!

Item Stat Priorities

SLOTITEMSTAT PRIORITY
1-HandIn-geom
Echoing Fury (Cubed)
The Burning Axe of Sankis
Bastion's Revered (Cubed)
Little Rogue
1. Damage Range
2. Socket Ramaladni's Gift
3. Cooldown Reduction
4. Attack Speed %
5. Elite Damage %
6. Strength
7. Damage %
Off-HandOathkeeper
The Slanderer
1. Damage Range
2. Socket Ramaladni's Gift
3. Cooldown Reduction
4. Attack Speed
5. Elite Damage
6. Strength
7. Damage %
HelmSkull of Savages
Aughild's Spike (Crafted)
1. Socket Flawless Royal Diamond
2. Critical Hit Chance
3. Strength
4. All Resistance
5. Vitality
GlovesClaws of Savages1. Critical Hit Chance
2. Critical Hit Damage
3. Cooldown Reduction
4. Attack Speed
5. Strength
ShouldersSpines of Savages
Aughild's Power (Crafted)
1. Strength
2. Cooldown Reduction
3. Area Damage
4. All Resistance
5. Vitality
Chest Markings of Savages
Aughild's Rule (Crafted)
1. Sockets Flawless Royal Diamond
2. Strength
3. All Resistance
4. Elite Damage Reduction
5. Vitality
PantsDepth Diggers
Leggings of Savages
1. Frenzy Damage
2. Sockets Flawless Royal Diamond
3. Strength
4. All Resistance
5. Vitality
BootsHeel of Savages1. Strength
2. All Resistance
3. Vitality
4. Armor
Left RingRestraint
The Compass Rose
Convention of Elements
Avarice Band (Bounties A3)
1. Socket
2. Critical Hit Chance
3. Critical Hit Damage
4. Damage Range
5. Cooldown Reduction
Right RingFocus
Band of Might
Ring of royal Grandeur (Bounties A1) (Cubed)
1. Socket
2. Critical Hit Chance
3. Critical Hit Damage
4. Damage Range
5. Cooldown Reduction
BracersNemesis Bracers
Mortick's Brace
Aughild's Search (Crafted)
1. Elemental Damage
2. Critical Hit Chance
3. Strength
4. All Resistance
5. Vitality
AmuletSquirt's Necklace
The Traveler's Pledge
The Flavor of Time
1. Socket
2. Critical Hit Damage
3. Critical Hit Chance
4. Elemental Damage
5. Strength
BeltThe Undisputed Champion
Gold Wrap
1. Frenzy Damage
2. Strength
3. All Resistance
4. Vitality
5. Life %

Gems

  • Simplicity's Strength is the highest flat damage gem in the game if you are using any sort of Primary Skill. That's what we do, so this one is a no-brainer as it also provides an insane amount of healing thanks to our high Attack Speed
  • Bane of the Trapped is the most common damage gem, and as we are a melee character, the rank 25 effect will slow all enemies within 15 yards providing us a flat 1,6x damage multiplier
  • Other popular choices are Bane of the Stricken as RGK, Boon of the Hoarder for Torment farming and Molten Wildebeest's Gizzard for a shield in combination with Squirt's Necklace for double damage, toughness & insane healing. On a fresh season you can start out with a Bane of the Powerful as well

Skills

  • Frenzy is your main damage dealer. The 15% attack speed you gain to Frenzy per stack (up to 10 times with Bastion's Revered) is additive with itself but a separate Attack Speed multiplier overall and does not diminish the effect of Attack Speed rolls on gear
  • Battle Rage Bloodshed and Threatening Shout Falter have their effectiveness doubled by the Horde of the Ninety Savages (2) Bonus increasing our overall damage significantly
  • War Cry also has its effectiveness doubled by the Horde of the Ninety Savages (2) Bonus giving us an even larger defensive buff
  • Most Builds Variations also use Wrath of the Berserker as an overall stat boost & to gain Crowd Control immunity. You want to pair this skill with Boon of Bul-kathos and complementary cooldown items like In-geom
  • The last skill slot is very situational. Most builds use Furious Charge for mobility and to activate Band of Might or a resource spender like Rend for Focus & Restraint

Passives

  • Rampage is the strongest Barbarian passive there is with its 25% buff to total Strength. It provides a massive boost to both offense and defense (Armor)
  • Berserker Rage since you are almost always at full fury with your fury generating/fast attacking Frenzy
  • Boon of Bul-kathos helps achieve 100% Wrath of the Berserker up time
  • Other damage options include Brawler, Ruthless, Berserker Rage or Nerves of Steel as a defensive touch

Paragon Points

CoreOffensiveDefensiveUtility
1. Movement Speed1. Critical Hit Damage1. All Resistance1. Area Damage
2. Strength2. Critical Hit Chance2. Life %2. Pickup Radius
3. Vitality¹3. Cooldown Reduction3. Armor3. Resource Cost Reduction
4. Maximum Fury4. Attack Speed4. Life Regeneration4. Life per Hit

¹ Add a bit of Vitality if you feel too squishy (a total of 500.000 - 800.00 Life is recommended)

Follower

The Templar is recommended for this build due to his melee range and aggressive AI. When there's a monster in range he will always stand still and fight it, making him very predictable and easy to play around.

For the Skills pick Heal, Loyalty, Onslaught and Inspire. All the alternatives, except Intimidate, include AoE hard-CC, which makes mobs harder to manipulate.

Follower's damage is completely irrelevant, so we stack Attack Speed for more on-hit procs and Cooldown Reduction for more Heals. The items are:

  • Enchanting Favor to make follower immortal
  • Oculus Ring for 85% multiplicative damage boost
  • Hellfire Ring for 0.9% XP boost
  • The Ess of Johan to pull mobs together
  • Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker for the Attack Speed slow
  • Any Shield with Cooldown Reduction

Gameplay

Stack your Frenzy up to 10 times with your Bastion's Revered. Bastion's Revered will make Frenzy chain to up to 10 nearby enemies. This is your only damage dealing skill!
All other skills are there to buff you toughness, damage and movement speed. Keep up most buffs with cooldowns like Wrath of the Berserker, Battle Rage and War Cry. Use Furious Charge or Ground Stomp to keep Band of Might and Focus & Restraint buff. These stun abilities can also be used to proc the Horde of the Ninety Savages (2) Bonus to deal more damage, especially when timed with the Convention of Elements rotation. Use Threatening Shout Falter on elites and on the Rift Guardian as well as trash pulls especially if you play in a group.

Hardcore

This build can be played in Hardcore but is not particularly HC friendly. Make sure to always use Band of Might and run Nerves of Steel.


Variants

Nephalem Rifts
Torments Low Paragon

Concept
The Whirlwind Rend Barb is already a very fast & fun speed farm build, but it can get kinda boring after some time and the Frenzy Barb is a great alternative to get keys and has one big advantage over the WW Barb: The easy Cain's Destiny switch for 25% more keys.
The concept behind this is to store two pieces of Cain's Destiny in your Inventory & a Convention of Elements with a Bane of the Stricken socked into it. Convention of Elements always starts the element rotation in alphabetical order when equipped, so for Barb it starts on Cold. After Cold comes Fire. So for this Torment version of the build it is ideal to play with Cold or Fire element. It takes a few seconds for the boss to spawn, and depending on when you equip the Convention of Elements you can get the damage buff immediately and kill the boss within seconds even without the Horde of the Ninety Savages (6) Bonus.

Gameplay
Keep yours buffs up and utilize In-geom by jumping from pack to pack using Furious Charge and killing the enemies by attacking with Frenzy. Remember to switch to Cain's Destiny for optimal Greater Rift Keystone farm efficiency!

Setups
With High Paragons (around 4000) we can switch to a non Band of Might setup. Now we can use Rechel's Ring of Larceny to further boost our Movement Speed.
For even more movement speed buffs we can drop Gold Wrap and take Chilanik's Chain in the cube paired with War Cry Veteran's Warning. This buff also affects our party members and is more than welcome in Torment groups, It also adds a bunch of toughness due to our Horde of the Ninety Savages (2) Bonus doubling effect.

Solo Speed Greater Rifts
Frenzy Solo Speed Runs Greater Rift

Concept
You can also farm solo speed runs with this build quite efficiently especially when adding in Echoing Fury during Season 22. This build has very high damage output especially to Elites and the Rift Guardian. Furthermore you are pretty mobile due to Frenzy's movement speed & Furious Charge. On top of that Barb comes with a high natural toughness thanks to 30% base damage reduction, allowing you to die less and keep up Pools of Reflection.

Gameplay
Try to keep up the cooldown buffs at all times by jumping from elite to elite to regain your In-geom buff. You can force attack a lot by using the default shift key and always try to Furious Charge the elite before attacking them to keep up Band of Might. This also freezes the enemies to proc the Horde of the Ninety Savages (2) Bonus for double damage and is the reason to use Furious Charge Cold Rush. The Rift Guardian dies super fast as the single target damage output of the Frenzy Barb is just insane.

Setups
We can play a slower-paced build with the Endless Walk set by dropping Band of Might at high Paragon or Convention of Elements at low Paragon and Squirt's Necklace. Also switch Molten Wildebeest's Gizzard to Bane of the Powerful for more damage to Elites.
Now we play a 48 second Wrath of the Berserker rotation with our 16 seconds Convention of Elements. You will only lose 1 Cold rotation each 48 seconds while you can do full damage on the other 2.

You can checkout a Gameplay Video here.

Solo Greater Rift Push
Solo Push Greater Rift

Concept
The Horde of the Ninety Savages set can also be used for some decent solo clears. It is not the best Barb build in that regard as it lacks area of effect damage. In here with Frenzy we are more of an Elite and high progression trash monster hunter! We go for a Fire Elemental Damage build here, which allows us to use The Burning Axe of Sankis for the extra 20% Fire damage as well as 35% damage reduction (specific info in the mechanics section below). During Season 22 we can fit in Aughild's Authority for a nice Bonus against Elites and more damage reduction!

Gameplay
Keep damage and toughness buffs on cooldown & burst during the Fire Convention of Elements cycle. Focus on making big pulls as it is important because of Battle Rage Bloodshed and Area Damage value despite this being a single target build. Make sure to not lose your Rampage stacks while creating pulls and moving. Try to gain bane of the stricken stacks even during the Rift on Yellow and Blue Elites by staying close to them and making sure you hit them with your Frenzy. Use Furious Charge mainly for skipping, keeping up your Band of Might and repositioning for Oculus Ring procs. Be careful to not die during your Wrath of the Berserker downtime!

Setups
Feel free to change Endless Walk to The Flavor of Time for an insane Conduit Pylon and Unity to gain even more toughness. If you feel like you are dying too much, switch Weapon Master to Nerves of Steel.

Group Rift Guardian Killer
Rift Guardian Killer Greater Rift

Concept
There are only a few options for efficient Rift Guardian Killers (RGK'S) without any environmental seasonal themes like in S19 or S21:
The uncontested #1 is the Heaven's Fury Crusader. #2 is hard to tell but Frenzy Barb is up there right next to the in 2.6.9 buffed Impale Demon Hunter. The Frenzy Barb fills this spot with some very nice buffs to the group: Threatening Shout Falter & War Cry as well as a 2nd pull ability with Ancient Spear Rage Flip.
Due to Season 22's extras Kanai's Cube slot we can fit the Istvan's Paired Blades in this setup to further boost our damage, attack speed and toughness. We can even reach the 6 frame breakpoint for Frenzy with 5 stacks up!
A downside to the Frenzy Barb just like with the Impale Demon Hunter are Rift Guardians that can spawn minions like Crusader King or Choker. Bastion's Revered splits the damage if there are multiple targets around, so you lose a ton of damage on every Rift Guardian with minions. On single targets however the build is super fast and stacks Bane of the Stricken like a maniac due to its high attack speed.

Gameplay
Keep damage and toughness buffs on cooldown & burst during the Convention of Elements cycle with a stun from the groups zBarb for the Horde of the Ninety Savages (2) Bonus. Make sure the group does not stun the boss off rotation to prevent Crowd Control Resistance during the important damage phase. Assist your group by gathering monsters using Ancient Spear Harpoon!

Setups
You can build a setup with the The Compass Rose and The Traveler's Pledge in combination with Band of Might for more toughness at lower Paragon levels. If you want to deal even more damage switch out Nerves of Steel for Weapons Master for another 8% additive damage bonus! If you have problem getting stuck drop Ancient Spear Harpoon and take Whirlwind Wind Shear.

You can check out a 2 minute Greater Rift Guardian Gameplay Video here.


Video Guide

Torment Frenzy Barbarian Gameplay

Mechanics

Dual Wield

When Dual Wielding in Diablo III you gain a +15% additive Attack Speed bonus. The Attack Speed Calculation looks like this for each Weapon:

APS = Base Weapon Speed * IAS on Weapon * ( 1 + ( Additive Attack Speed ) / 100 )
APS RGK Mighty Weapon : 1,3 * 1,07 * ( 1 + (10 + 25 + 15 + 7 + 7 ) / 100) = 2.28
APS RGK Pig Sticker :  1,6 * 1,07 * (1 + ( 10 + 25 + 15 + 7 + 7 ) / 100) = 2.63



Now your weapons alternate with each Frenzy hit. For in-depth Attack Speed mechanics check out this post.

Horde of the Ninety Savages (2) Bonus

  • Battle Rage: Doubles every number except duration and ranges
  • War Cry: Doubles every number except duration
  • Threatening Shout: Doubles damage reduction, damage and fear duration. The taunt is bugged/way too short and the slow goes 60% to 90%
  • Enemies take double damage only from Barbarians using the Horde of the Ninety Savages (2) Bonus and only when they are affected by a fear, freeze or stun

Battle Rage Bloodshed

A great offensive skill in this build further enhanced by the Horde of the Ninety Savages (2) Bonus. This skill has been changed a lot in the past as it was a source of multiple bugs like double dipping of Physical damage etc. Here are the current mechanics:

  • Releases a 20 yard wave around you character every second
  • Damage is calculated from sum of your recent critical hits
  • The damage wave itself is not amplified by any damage bonuses, including Physical or any other Elemental Damage
  • Does not work with Area Damage
  • Diminishes the value of Area Damage

The Burning Axe of Sankis

  • 35% damage reduction
  • 4 seconds duration
  • 4 seconds cooldown
  • Roughly 10% chance to proc when hit
  • Stacks with Ignore Pain
  • Does not provide crowd control immunity

Summary

  • Lack of AOE damage but high single target potential
  • A very decent Rift Guardian Killer with nice benefits to the entire group
  • One of the fastest Bane of the Stricken stacking builds in the game
  • With Band of Might you can face tank enemies and just hold down Frenzy until they die

Credits to
Northwar for mechanical testing
wudijo for mechanical testing

I personally love the Frenzy Barb build as it is a fast and very active playstyle. I hope this build can get some more love in the future, for example by addressing the Bastion's Revered multiple target damage problem or by increasing the builds total damage output by around 25-50%. With such a change it will come closer to match the AoV-Crusader in terms of kill speed and give more RGK options to the player base. One can always hope for the next patch but meanwhile enjoy blasting, my fellow Barbarians!
Rob