Whirlwind Barbarian 2.4 Guide

Table of contents

WW Barb Build Introduction

The WW Barb is one of the most popular character in the game. They are just super easy and fun to play with. They can be utilized for various goals and are a must have character in a party for reasons like casting a high level Battle Orders, Shout and Battle Command on party members, using Taunt on monsters for survivability, or Battle Cry to lower target defense and damage. Their primary attacking skill is Whirlwind, I suggest using Berserk as a secondary as there are some monsters immune to physical damage. They have by far the best survivability among all characters, if you have defensive gear, you can become almost immortal. They also have decent run speed due to the Increased Speed skill, can whirlwind through or leap over mobs. Their damage output is not that high, but in high-end gear your can clear mobs fairly fast. Boss fights are quite difficult. As their single target damage is not too high, it will take you a while to kill bosses like Baal, but in proper gear the whole game can be soloed, even Uber Diablo and Uber Tristram. If you are looking for the most efficient magic find or boss-killing builds, this one is probably not the best fit for you, but if you want to enter parties and have fun, or want a stress-free experience in hardcore, you should give it a shot! In high-end gear, a solo Baal or Chaos run will take you 4-5 minutes.

Table of contents


Pros and Cons

Pros

  • A must have character in parties mainly for defensive reasons
  • Has awesome survivability, probably the best build for Hardcore
  • Decent run speed and can get past any obstacles
  • Budget-friendly gear options are available, but if you want high-end gear it will be extremely expensive.
  • Can solo the whole game in top tier items.
  • Super fun and relaxing to play with for players who enjoy melee builds.
  • Solo Baal or Chaos runs are doable within 4-5 minutes in top-tier gear.
  • The whole party will benefit from your Warcries.

Cons

  • Not an efficient build for boss soloing, Uber Diablo or Uber Tristram
  • Not one of the most efficient builds for Magic Find.
  • Unless you have % Mana stolen per hit on your items, mana potions will be required.

Suggestions

Playing solo: If you want to be able to solo the game, you will need to put at least one skill point on Berserk so you can kill monsters with Immunity. Increased speed, Whirlwind and Leap are useful skills to skip mobs and get to bosses quickly and safely, so it’s a very good ladder starter build. Unless you have top-tier gear, you won’t be able to solo Uber Diablo and Uber Tristram, and even Baal and Chaos runs could cause you difficulties.

Playing in a party: In parties, members can take advantage of your high level Battle Orders, Shout and Battle Command skills alongside other warcry skills like Taunt or Battle Cry. Unless your party has a member with good survivability and teleportation, WW Barbs are the best fit to get to the Throne of Destruction in party baalruns. Using nightmare act2 merc with a Pride Runeword will provide you and the party with Might and Concentration auras that benefit the whole party’s physical damage immensely. You can also loot dead monsters with the Find Item skill, which can be very effective in an 8 player party.

Survivability, Hardcore: Depending on your gear setup, you can become almost immortal on the expense of your damage output. 6k life, 75% all resistances (or 90 in Guardian Angel), 50% Physical Damage Reduction, 75% Block Rate, up to 25k Defense and additional elemental damage absorptions are available. A Raven Frost ring can be useful to have Freeze Immunity, and with %life stolen per hit on your gear you can even forget about health potions.

Damage output: Whirlwind’s damage output is not that great. In top-tier gear you will be able to one-hit many monsters, but killing bosses will still be time consuming. Using an Ethereael Breath of the Dying Ghost Spear or War Pike is probably your best option for mob farming, as they have the highest range-adder, thus your whirlwind attacks will hit a bigger area. These weapons can be preferred for boss fights aswell, due to the difficulty to accurately whirlwind on a boss.

Where to farm: WW Barbs are best fit to farm areas with high monster density. You can use it for Boss farming in case you have high enough damage output.

Magic Find: This build is generally not considered a good fit for magic find, however with 7% Magic Find Small Charms and a Gheed decent gear farming is doable. The Find Item skill can be used to increase your looting chances.

Budget: The build can work fairly effectively on a tight budget, especially as a party member. If you are looking for high-end items, they will be extremely expensive.

Mana/Life: You will always need mana potions as long as you don’t have % Mana Stolen per hit on your gear. If you don’t want to bother with potions, you can have an act2 merc with an Insight runeword equipped.

Movement/Mobility: The character has good movement speed due to the Increased Speed mastery skill. With Whirlwind and Leap you can easily navigate through obstacles. If you are looking for fast running ability, having 7% Faster Run and Walk on your +skill grand charms can be very useful.

Ubers: WW barbs are not an efficient build against ubers. If you insist to farm them, use survivability gear, have high crushing blow % and aim for high attack rating while using whirlwind. Have a secondary weapon that can cast Life Tap, and always have Life Tap on enemies so you won’t die.

Skill panel: You can spam any skills by holding down the shift button and clicking simultaneously. For the left skill panel, i suggest using Berserk (F1) and Whirlwind (F2). For the right skill panel i suggest Taunt (F3), Battle Cry (F4), Battle Command -cast it twice (F5), Battle Orders (F6), Shout (F7) Town portal (F8).

Mercenary: Use Nightmare Act2 Offensive Merc to increase your damage via Might Aura.


Leveling

During leveling, our aim is to maximize damage output for quick progression, have decent survivability so you won’t die frequently, and have decent movement speed.

Skills: At the beginning use any attacking skills that are available in your Combat skills tree. Put at least one point on your preferred weapon mastery, and put a point on Increased Speed, Iron Skin and Natural Resistances once they become available. Also put a point on Shout, Battle Orders and Battle Command once they are available. At level 30, put a point on Berserk and start maxing out your Whirlwind skill.

Stats: Have enough strength and dexterity to be able to wear useful gear. Put all the remaining stat points on Vitality.

Useful Gear: Lore helm (Ort+Sol), Myth Runeword Body Armor (Hel-Amn-Nef), Crescent Moon Weapon (Shael-Um-Tir), Black Weapon (Thul-Io-Nef), Honor Runeword weapon (Amn-El-Ith-Tir-Sol), Duress Armor (Shael-Um-Thul), Rhyme Shield (Shael-Eth), Lawbringer weapon (Amn+Lem+Ko), Spirit Shield (Tal-Thul-Ort-Amn), Boots with % Movement Speed


Important breakpoints

How it works: Each second in the game consists of 24 frames or “ticks”. Your breakpoints decide how many frames it will take until you can attack/cast a skill/recover from a hit/ block a new hit.

Faster Cast Rate Faster Hit Recovery Faster Block Rate
0% FCR – 13 frames 0% FHR – 9 frames 0% FBR – 7 frames
9% FCR – 12 frames 7% FHR – 8 frames 9% FBR – 6 frames
20% FCR – 11 frames 15% FHR – 7 frames 20% FBR – 5 frames
37% FCR – 10 frames 27% FHR – 6 frames 42% FBR – 4 frames
63% FCR – 9 frames 48% FHR – 5 frames 86% FBR – 3 frames
105% FCR – 8 frames 86% FHR – 4 frames 280% FBR – 2 frames
200% FCR – 7 frames 200% FHR – 3 frames
  • Aim for high Increased Attack Speed for more frequent attack with Whirlwind. Optimally you should have 34+ IAS on Berserker Axes and 44+ IAS overall.
  • Use weapons that have high range adder, like War Pike, Ghost Spear, Great Poleaxe and Giant Thresher. Increased area damage can be beneficial in PVM with Whirlwind.

Build versatility and modifications

Build modifications mostly make sense if you aim to kill Bosses. Use Passion Runeword as a weapon and it’s Zeal attacking skill alongside high Crushing Blow % on your gear to kill strong bosses fast.


Survivability and Hardcore tips

Survivability can be boosted by using a variety of items for difficult situations. In a proper setup, your character can become almost immortal.

Useful skills: Having many skill points on Battle Orders, Shout and Iron Skin all improve your survivability. Using the warcry skill Battle Cry on monsters decrease their damage and further improves your chances to survive. In hardcore make sure to use walk instead of run, so you have better chances of avoiding being hit by monsters.

Useful items: Wearing a Phoenix Monarch will provide you Redemption Aura that helps immensely with healing. Having close to the 50% physical damage reduction cap can be achieved by using  Crown of Ages helm and Verdungo belt, or by wearing Stormshield and a Verdungo belt or String of Ears. % Life stolen per hit on your rings, amulets or other items can also help boost your survivability. Guardian Angel armor can be used to increase your maximum resistances, and for elemental damage absorption, The rising sun amulet (fire absorption), Dwarf star ring (Fire absorption), Hellmouth gloves (fire absorption), Wisp projector ring (lightning absorption), Thundergod’s Vigor belt (lightning absorption) or Raven Frost ring (cold absorption) are your options.

Defensive requirements:

To have high survivability, i suggest the following:

  • Have at least 75 allresist on Hell. Items that can help are Annihilus, Hellfire Torch, Um rune socketed in Helm/Shield for Allresist, Mara’s Kaleidoscope,  5 Allres Small Charms,  15 Allres Grand Charm
  • Have enough Dexterity to have 75% Chance to Block.
  • If your Character is Hardcore, Have 50% Physical damage reduction and also wear elemental damage absorption items. Wearing Guardian Angel Armor for 90% allresist is suggested, upgrade as many unique items as possible for higher defense, reaching the 86% FHR breakpoint also helps. Have your belt full with Full Rejuvenation potions.

Skills

 

Necessary / Useful skill tree points

Combat skills

  • Bash (1 point)
  • Leap (1 point)
  • Stun (1 point)
  • Concentration (1 point)
  • Leap attack (1 point)
Warcries

  • Howl (1 point)
  • Taunt (1 point)
  • Battle cry (1 point)
  • Battle Command (1 point)

Combat masteries

  • Increased stamina (1 point)
  • Increased speed (1 point)
  • Natural resistance (1 point)

Attacking Skills

Whirlwind (20 point)

This is our primary attacking skill both in PVE and PVP.

Berserk (1 point)

This is our secondary attacking skill against monsters with Physical Immunity.

Warcries

Battle Orders (20 point)

Using BO increases your life and mana tremendously. It also effects your party members.

Shout (20 point)

Using shout increases both your and your party’s defense immensely.

Combat Masteries

Weapon mastery (20 point)

Max out your weapon mastery for your preferred weapon of choice

Iron Skin (Remaining Points)
Iron Skin provides additional defense, however unlike Shout it won’t effect your party.

Stats

Strength Just enough to be able to wear your items. With Hellfire Torch, Annihilus and other items equipped, many points can be spared.

Dexterity Just enough to have 75% Chance to Block.

Vitality Spend all your remaining points on it.

Energy Don’t spend any points on it.

You can re-stat your character by the quest reward of Akara’s Act1 Den of Evil Quest, or by using Token of Absolution


Item setups

Ladder starter setup

Cost-effective build to start out at a new ladder season

Helm: Lore / Peasant Crown / Immortal King’s Helm

Amu: Any amulet with +skill ot + all resistances

Weapon: Oath runeword in Eth Weapon

Switch Weapon: Magic weapon with +3 to warcries

2nd weapon: Oath runeword in Eth Weapon

Switch 2nd weapon: Magic weapon with +3 to warcries

Body Armor:  Myth Runeword Body Armor (Hel-Amn-Nef) / Immortal King’s Armor

Belt: String of Ears / Immortal King’s Belt

Rings: Raven frost + Rare or Crafted rings with % life and mana stolen per hit

Gloves: Dracul’s grasp / Venom Grip / Immortal King’s Gloves

Boots: Tearhaunch / Immortal King’s Boots

 

Charms: Any charm with +skill, life or resist

 

Mercenary Type: Nightmare Difficulty, From Act 2, Offensive (Might Aura)

Helm: Tal Rasha’s helm

Body Armor: Treachery (Eth bugged armor base preferred)

Weapon: Insight in an elite two-handed ethereal Polearm


Advanced setup

Able to solo the game

Helm: Arreat’s face (Socket it with Um rune)

Amu: Mara’s Kaleidoscope / Highlord’s Wrath

Weapon: Breath of the Dying in Eth elite weapon / Grief Berserker Axe

Switch Weapon:  Magic weapon with +3 to warcries

Shield: Stormshield / Phoenix Monarch

2nd Weapon (Dual wield setup): Breath of the Dying in Eth elite weapon / Grief Berserker Axe / Beast Berserker Axe / Doom Berserker Axe

2nd Switch Weapon: Magic weapon with +3 to warcries

Body Armor: Fortitude Archon Plate / Sacred Armor

Belt: Verdungo / String of Ears

Rings: Bul Katho’s rings / Raven Frost / Rare or Crafted rings with % life and mana stolen per hit with other useful stats (Strength, Dexterity, +resists, +life)

Gloves: Dracul’s Grasp

Boots: Eth Sandstorm Trek / Gore rider (Upgrade it if you have enough Strength)

 

Charms: Annihilus, Hellfire torch, Magic Grand Charms (+1 to Warcries or Combat Skills or Combat Masteries), Magic Small Charms (with +all resistances, +life, +max damage, + attack rating or + defense)

 

Mercenary Type: Nightmare Difficulty, From Act 2, Offensive (Might Aura)

Helm: Andariel’s Visage / Guillaume’s Face / Tal Rasha’s Horadric Crest / Vampire Gaze (Ethereal bases, socketed with Um rune are preferred)

Body Armor: Treachery (Eth bugged armor base preferred)

Weapon: Pride / Insight  (in an elite two-handed ethereal Polearm, preferably cryptic axe)


Top tier damage setup

High dps and clearspeed

Helm: Arreat’s face (Socket it with 40ED/15IAS jewel)

Amu: Highlord’s Wrath

Weapon: Breath of the Dying in Eth elite long range weapon

Switch Weapon: Magic weapon with +3 to warcries

2nd Switch Weapon: Demon Limb (To cast Enchant)

Body Armor: Fortitude Archon Plate / Sacred Armor

Belt: Verdungo / String of Ears

Rings: Rare or Crafted rings with % life and mana stolen per hit with other useful stats (Strength, Dexterity, +resists, +life)

Gloves: Dracul’s Grasp

Boots: Eth Sandstorm Trek / Gore rider (Upgrade them if you have enough Strength)

 

Charms: Annihilus, Hellfire torch, Magic Small Charms (with +all resistances, +life, +max damage, preferably 3max 20attack rating 20life Scs)

 

Mercenary Type: Nightmare Difficulty, From Act 2, Offensive (Might Aura)

Helm: Ethereal Andariel’s Visage socketed with Um rune

Body Armor: Ethereal Fortitude Runeword in an eth bugged body armor

Weapon: Ethereal Pride in an elite two-handed Polearm (preferably Cryptic Axe)


Magic find setup

High dps and clearspeed ◆

Helm: Harlequin Crest Shako (Socket it with Ist rune)

Amu: Mara’s Kaleidoscope / Highlord’s Wrath

Weapon / dual wield: Breath of the Dying in Eth elite weapon / Grief Berserker Axe

Switch Weapon: Magic weapon with +3 to warcries

2nd Switch Weapon: Demon Limb (To cast Enchant)

Body Armor: Enigma Dusk Shroud/ Archon plate 

Belt: String of Ears

Rings: Rare or Crafted rings with % life and mana stolen per hit and Magic Find %

Gloves: Upgraded Chance Guards

Boots: Upgraded War Traveler

 

Charms: Annihilus, Hellfire torch, Gheed’s Fortune, Small Charms with 7% Magic find (and also @all resistances if possible)

 

Mercenary Type: Nightmare Difficulty, From Act 2, Offensive (Might Aura)

Helm: Delirium bone visage

Body Armor: Ethereal Fortitude Runeword in an eth bugged body armor

Weapon: Ethereal Pride in an elite two-handed Polearm (preferably Cryptic Axe)

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