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Barbarian WW Dual-Wielding: Use a Toothbrush

Posted 28 Nov 2012 by

It’s pretty well known that some skills in Diablo III, when used while dual-wielding, only take their damage from the main hand weapon. One of the most prominent is the little tornadoes left behind by DiabloWikiSprint: DiabloWikiRun like the Wind, and thus when using that skill for a main attack, players are able to avoid the classic problem of dual wielding builds; the fact that it’s harder to find two good weapons than one.

You almost feel sorry for Azmodan.

While most players know that the Sprint tornadoes don’t check the off-hand weapon, there’s a lot of debate about whether or not Whirlwind does. Some players insist that the DPS or attack speed (or both) of your off-hand weapon is a major factor, and others say it doesn’t matter at all. How about someone tests it out, then?

Happily, Hansenvi did and shared his results in a short guide posted in our Barbarian strategy forum.

The test is simple but fair; he took on Inferno Azmodan, on Monster Power 10, three times, while changing nothing but his off-hand weapon. All of the off-hand weapons had a socket and 100% Critical Damage, but none of them had any strength or other stats, and their DPS and speed varied widely. What was the result? Take a look; here are the weapons with their DPS, attack speed, the listed damage in the character window, and how long the total battle took.

  • Heft Revenge, 1059.6DPS + 1.3AS. DPS display: 205k start, 294k WotB. Kill time: 1m54s.
  • Whisper Gambit – 225.6DPS + 1.66AS. DPS display: 143k start, 206k WotB. Kill time: 1m53s.
  • Rakanishu’s Blade – 14.4DPS + 1.44AS. DPS display: 121k start, 173k WotB. Kill time: 1m56s.
  • Yes, that’s correct. The time to kill is identical, or at least within the margin for error of the test, despite the fact that the DPS listed is hugely different depending on the weapon. From this it seems pretty clear that if you’re going to dual wield in the popular and over-powered Barbarian WW/Sprint build, you don’t need to worry a bit about damage on your off-hand weapon. Just go for crit and stats and enjoy the slaughter, while saving up your every penny for the best main-hand weapon you can possibly afford, since it’s what really matters.