The Barbarian is the only class in the Diablo series that has been a mainstay from the beginning. From their origins in Diablo: Hellfire, the Barbarian has been the only class that has braved the trials of Sanctuary. From their stronghold in Harrogath, Barbarians bring the fury with them, along with a plethora of weapons that they can fight enemies with.
The Barbarian is the only class that can wield multiple weapons and alternates between them in battle. Getting to level 100 with a Barbarian can be quite a task since you will have to cut through hordes of enemies that just get more powerful over time. Before we get there, the first major milestone to make it to is level 50.
Getting to level 50 is easier when you know what the Barbarian can do and what skills you will need to level up to get there. That’s why we start with the Barbarian’s skills first.
Diablo 4 Barbarian skills
The Barbarian’s skill tree is divided into six main focuses.
Basic skills: Starter skills to build up the Barbarian’s Fury. Flay: Cut your enemy, causing them to bleed and take damage over time. Lunging Strike: Pounce on the enemy and deal damage to them. Frenzy: Fire a rapid series of attacks that increases your attack speed. Bash: Hits enemies for bonus damage. Every fifth hit stuns the enemy. Core skills: Main damage skills that consume Fury. Rend: Cleaves enemies in an arc, dealing bonus damage and bleeding damage over time. Hammer of the Ancients: Slams your hammer down, dealing massive area damage. Upheaval: Rip the ground apart and fling debris at your enemies to deal damage. Whirlwind: Spin around rapidly to deal damage to all enemies around you. Double Swing: Strike with both weapons at the same time, dealing bonus damage. Defensive skills: The skills that help the Barbarian survive in battle using crowd control. Rallying Cry: Releases a powerful shout that increases your team’s movement speed and resource generation. Iron Skin: Toughen your skin to absorb 50 percent of your missing life in damage. Challenging Shout: Taunts all enemies to hit you while increasing your damage reduction. Ground Stomp: Slam the ground, dealing damage and stunning all enemies around you. Brawling skills: Powerful follow-up skills that complement core skills. War Cry: Releases a shout that increases your team’s overall damage output. Kick: Kicks an enemy in front of you that is knocked back. Enemies knocked down take bonus damage. Leap: Jump up and immediately slam down, dealing damage and knocking back nearby enemies caught in the radius. Charge: Dash forward, skewering all enemies with you, dealing damage, and knocking back all the enemies caught in the charge. Weapon Mastery skills: Skills that help you specialize in certain weapon types. Rupture: Stabs all enemies in front of you. Once the weapon is withdrawn, the affected enemies take bonus damage based on how long they have been bleeding. Death Blow: Launches a powerful attack. If this attack kills an enemy, its cooldown resets. Steel Grasp: Tosses three chains that latch onto enemies, pulling them towards you. Ultimate skills: The most powerful skills that the Barbarian has. Wrath of the Berserker: Knocks back all enemies. For the next few seconds, you become unstoppable while gaining increased damage and movement speed. Call of the Ancients: Summons the three Ancient Barbarians Talic, Korlic, and Madawc to aid you in battle. Each of them has their own abilities. Iron Maelstrom: Launches a flurry of three attacks. Each attack is made in quick succession with a different weapon type. The order of attacks is Bludgeoning weapon, Slashing weapon, and Dual-wielding weapon. They stun, cause bleeding, and deal bonus damage.
The Barbarian has a unique class mechanic in Diablo 4 called the Arsenal system. This mechanic allows them to assign specific weapons to different attack skills, thus letting them equip multiple weapons at a time. These are all the weapons that can be equipped, and eventually, mastered.
Once the Barbarian reaches level 15, they will also gain access to their class-specific quest, which will grant them access to the Technique slot. This slot allows them to use a single weapon mastery of their choice to enhance all attacks and damage dealt whenever they use that weapon, apart from other unique benefits tied to each weapon type.
Since you now know how the Barbarian fights, it’s time to pick the best build to level up with.
Related: All Barbarian Legendary Aspects in Diablo 4 and where to get them
Best early game Barbarian leveling build
Barbarians have a few good builds that help them power through the early stages of the game. While most builds are viable, we plan on going down the classic Whirlwind Barbarian path, a skill that has been a fan-favorite in the Diablo series since the Diablo 2 Whirlwind Barb days.
This build will also allow us to transition into an end-game build that uses the same core skill, so it makes sense to practice and get good with Whirlwind before you get there. The first 15 levels are the most essential to get through, so these are the skills you need to pick up.
To start off, we begin with Lunging Strike as your main Fury generation tool, with the improvements granting us life steal and a chance to cause bleeding on enemies hit. This is essential to keep up your Whirlwind since it is going to be your main damage source in this build. The enhancements to Whirlwind will give you increased Fury generation when you hit enemies and cause more bleeding.
Once you’ve got your early offense ready, it’s time to throw in some utility for crowd control. Rallying Cry and War Cry are the two best shouts to get early with an emphasis on improving Rallying Cry first. The improvements grant you increased Fury regeneration and will make you unstoppable. Once the shouts are maxed we can move on to other things.
The next priority is getting to level 30. This is what your progression would look like.
Level 16: Leap Level 17: Enhanced War Cry Level 18: Power War Cry Level 19: Enhanced Leap Level 20: Power Leap Level 21: Hamstring Level 22: Raid Leader Level 23: Booming Voice Level 24: Aggressive Resistance Level 25: Call of the Ancients Level 26: Prime Call of the Ancients Level 27: Supreme Call of the Ancients Level 28: Booming Voice Level 29: Booming Voice Level 30: Pressure Point
Leap is the main addition to our skills since it allows for easy traversal. The enhancements further reduce the cooldown of Leap when you hit no enemies and grant you bonus Fury if you hit at least one. Since your abilities induce a lot of bleeding, Hamstring fits in ideally to slow down bleeding enemies as a form of crowd control.
This is also where we get the powerful Call of the Ancients. Their enhancements add several effects to the already powerful Ancients such as bonus damage, bonus attack speed, increased Fury regeneration, slows, and stuns. Apart from Whirlwind, this one ability can do it all.
Aggressive Resistance will make sure your defenses are up when you go Berserk while Booming Voice further increases the potency of your shouts. Pressure Point makes it so that your Whirlwind has a chance to turn enemies vulnerable.
The next 20 levels will be focused on getting your key passive and complementary talents.
Raid Leader makes the most of your shouts by allowing you to heal yourself and your party. The key passive of choice to assign here would be Unbridled Rage because it more than doubles the damage of your Whirlwind (while making it cost double as well). Expose Vulnerability will increase the chances of making enemies vulnerable during Whirlwind after you use a Weapon Mastery skill.
Prolific Fury and Pit Fighter go hand in hand because your Fury will be topped up while you deal increased damage to close enemies. This will prime you for the last few levels before you hit level 50.
Level 41: No Mercy Level 42: No Mercy Level 43: No Mercy Level 44: Heavy Handed Level 45: Heavy Handed Level 46: Heavy Handed Level 47: Pressure Point Level 48: Pressure Point Level 49: Thick Skin Level 50: Counteroffensive
The final talents in this build just bolster your already impressive damage output even further. No Mercy and Heavy Handed will increase your critical hit rate and critical hit damage respectively when enemies are crowd controlled while you wield a two-handed weapon.
Thick Skin will fortify you each time you take direct damage and Counteroffensive will increase your damage output while you are fortified for over 50 percent of your life. These two talents are complementary with even a single value point invested paying dividends down the line.
And finally, the Arsenal Technique slot will be filled by the Two-Handed Sword Expertise talent. This is because we will be primarily using a two-handed sword weapon for Whirlwind and this talent will add bonus bleeding damage to your attacks. Upon killing an enemy, you will deal additional bleeding damage on your attacks for a few seconds, making it even more valuable to have.
Now that you have hit level 50, it would be time to switch to an end-game build. Make sure you stock up on the necessary gems and gear needed before you switch to the end-game variant. The end-game Whirlwind build is the natural progression of this build and will help you clear all sorts of content till you get to the coveted level 100 spot.
About the author
Freelance gaming writer for Dot Esports.An avid gamer of 25 years with a soft spot for RPGs and strategy games.Esports writer for 2 years and a watcher for 12 years.Aspiring author.Dad to a host of animals.Usually found trying to climb ranks in Dota 2, plundering the seas in Sea of Thieves, or mining rare minerals in Deep Rock Galactic.