I am a bit of a barb purists. I have this admittedly obstinate vision of what a barb should be, but invariably it differs from what a barb is in the reality of the game. I do not like shields- I hate being a meat shield pounded upon while everyone else does DPS goodness. I am not fond of two-handers either- IMHO they are slow and boring and well…just not fun. And while for this build daggers would be ideal due to their speed, they are stabby-stabby and have no place in the hands of barbs- they are for assassins and wizards. Barbs should be raging, in-your-face, bloody and messy and yet skilled with their weapons of choice!
WW builds are good and they were great in D2, but my favorite build was the good ole frenzy barb. Speed kills, and in D2 as I would zip from mob to mob I was always entertained. But we all know this isn’t D2. WW barbs rule the days- they are speed farming maniacs and arguably the most powerful build in D3. WW is great but it is a build I cannot play in D3…so, back to square one. I wanted to develop a frenzy based build that I can use dual wielding, yet survivable. I started of using Revenge- it was a great skill and increased survivability but to be honest it didn’t work as well as I wanted. My issue was finding a fury dump, so that I could extend Wrath of the Berserker (a skill that to me just oozes frenzy barb) using the Thrive of Chaos runs. Eventually I just spammed battle Rage as a fury dump, and while it extended WotB noticeably, it was still lackluster as in higher MP’s Wrath would run out of steam. It was workable, just not ideal.
So I began to experiment and I found the answer. An answer so nice that my Wrath buff timer will actually go backwards. So nice that even with my relatively modest gear, I can still effectively solo farm MP8. WW barbs are no longer the only build that enjoys nearly limitless Wrath buff! Now granted, this build is NOT as efficient as Wrath for farming, BUT for group play I find it very nice as the barb isn’t always sprinting ahead.
or, if you prefer a link to Blizzard's skill planner as well:
Frenzy/Maniac: this serves as your primary means of damage, your vehicle for fury generation and the primary source of life gain and with a total of 75% increase attack speed makes life on hit much more efficient and increases damage
Wrath of the Berserker/Thrive on Chaos: This gives you HUGE buffs in all relevant areas: 10% CTC (which makes Battle Rage/Into the Fray an even more efficient fury generating tool) , 25% Increased Attack Speed (again making life of hit more efficient and increasing damage) as well as 20% dodge chance and 20% movement speed bonus. In addition
War Cry/Impunity: just too good not to have, it allows you to focus less energy and gold in building resistances and more in other areas, such as LoH, attack speed and primary stats.
Battle Rage/Into the Fray: This buffs damage and CTC, but most importantly enhances fury generation significantly, thus extending WotB. It is also a fury dump.
Rend/Bloodlust: This serves as your primary fury dump, but also is great AOE for those large trash mobs. It also helps greatly with survivability. Best of all, it does not interrupt the animation for Frenzy. This was the missing piece of this build, and quickly replaced Revenge on my skill bar
Ignore Pain/Ignorance is Bliss: This is your emergency button if things get too hot, such as you are walled in and can’t step out of 4 stacks of desecrate and plague or if for some reason you are still on your WotB cool down and you aggro a mob.
Rend/Bloodlust gets replaced with Hammer of the Ancients: the massive crits with HotA is great against a single, large target such as Seigebreaker.
Ignore Pain/Ignorance is Bliss is replaced with Sprint: use this when farming or magic finding when you are over geared for the MP to increase efficiency.
Ruthless: for the 5% CTC/50% CD buff
Weapons Master: If using a sword or dagger, you get a straight up 15% damage bonus. But if you don’t have the CTC where you want it, use an axe in your main hand for the 15% CTC buff.
Tough as Nails or Nerves of Steel: whichever gives you a higher armor buff. Try them both with and without your enchantress to see what is best for you in the situation you are in (single player farming, group play, etc)
The theory is the same as the Whirlwind barb: you are dumping fury and in turn are quickly replenishing in order to extend WotB and gain its massive benefits at least as long as needed to kill the mob or boss you are fighting. Especially in confined areas such as Vault of the AssasinI can have enough time left on WotB to find the next mob, at which point I am able to reverse any elapsed time on the buff timer, bringing WotB up to full again. During the less mobile boss fights such as Azmo, once I trigger WotB it rarely expires, and I usually have a full buff timer left.
Due to the onset of diabetes, I have peripheral neuropathy in my hands, making playing a WW difficult. This is what led to developing this build, and I have to tell you this is the CM Wiz of the Barbarian world. Once you trigger WotB, it is “face roll key mash” time, and you just mash buttons two and three (Battle Rage and Rend) as fast as you can, while holding down the left mouse button for Frenzy. Of course, you must be aware of the situation you are in, such as shielding, walls and desecrate stacks, but that is pretty much applies to all builds anyways.
You prioritize both strength and vitality just as any other build. Outside of that, you want:
CTC: this is needed in order to take advantage of Into the Fray. Shoot for 40%
Life on Hit: this is your primary means of survival. Get it. Get it now. Per Jarth Mader’s Life on Hit statistics sheet Frenzy has a LoH proc rate of 75%, making it one of the most efficient abilities for LoH at the barbarian skill-set.
IAS: you get a 75% bonus from Frenzy and 25% from WotB, but you can never have too much. Why? Because IAS will make your LoH and fury generation more efficient.
These three items take priority. After these, you have:
Critical Damage: best way to increase overall damage. Both weapon’s should have a socket and an emerald in it. In addition an innate roll is great and gives you at best 200% CD per weapon, for a total of a maximum of 400% CD. At 40% CTC, this follows the generally accepted 10:1 CD to CTC ratio.
Life steal: helps with survivability, especially at higher DPS levels. When I have everything humming, my paper DPS is 255k, and this is when life steal is great. Also, with Rend only getting 33% on the initial hit (this is according to Jarth Mader’s Life of Hit statistics sheet- but I am not sure if that is accurate. I think Rend does not benefit from LoH at all, as his description seems to conflict with known Rend mechanics) life steal enhancing LoH is really nice.
Movement speed: this simply helps get you from one mob to another faster, thus conserving precious seconds on your WotB buff timer.
Some final notes
This, as anything, is a continuously evolving process. As facts are discovered about the game and patches and expansions are released, I am sure this will change. I didn’t talk abut gear, but I will note that my weapons of choices is dual leeching, socketed sword with and innate CD modifier which will give you up to +400% CD. The swords have an innate 1.40% attack speed, which is best attack speed, other than daggers. If you can get an 11% IAS mod, then go for it. If you need more CTC, get an ax. I am no min/maxer, so others reviewing this may make a contribution to improve the build, or you make it to match your play style. I encourage this, as that is what I did until I found something that worked for me.