Diablo 2 Barbarian Starter Build

Diablo 2 Resurrected is a coming back to good old classics. You will need to play much to achieve meaningful results. Some of the best Diablo 2 builds are described in our post here. As for this post, you will find the best starter build for Barbarian in Diablo 2. It will let you have a cheap and smooth start.

Whirlwind Barbarian

Barbarian is a versatile melee fighter (who is good at throwing weapons). In his arsenal, there are many useful skills that will not only help him to cope with dangerous demons but also increase the damage to his allies. This is a pretty standard WW (Whirlwind), assuming the class IK set (Immortal King). It will allow you not only to play solo on Hell Difficulty but also to farm runes/gold effectively.


  • Primary Skills: Whirlwind.
  • Useful Skills: Warcries, Leap Attack and Berserk.
  • All Skills:
    • Warcries: Battle Orders (20), Shout (20), Battle Command (1), Howl (1), Arctic Blast (1).
    • Combat Masteries: Mace Mastery (20), Iron Skin (1), Natural Resistance (1), Increased Speed (1), Increased Stamina (1).
    • Combat Skills: Whirlwind (20), Leap Attack (1), Berserk (1), Leap (1), Stun (1), Concentrate (1), Bash (1).

Your core Whirlwind skill needs no introduction – Spin to Win! This AoE attack turns demons into loot in a matter of seconds. The only thing that will be useful for new players is a little explanation of the mechanics of this skill in Diablo 2:

Barbarians wielding weapons with slow Whirlwind speeds should try and keep their whirls very short, so as to take full advantage of the 4th and 8th frame “free” hits. Hold down the Whirlwind button and hover the cursor just right after the place where the Whirlwind starts. The free hits are taken and almost immediately after it, the Whirlwind stops. Then, since the Whirlwind button is still being pressed, a new Whirlwind starts and we get back the free hits of frames 4 and 8. Keep doing this in a triangular pattern. By using this technique you minimize the time under which your weapon slows down whirlwinds. This tactic is used by many Barbarians online and is nicknamed “The Dance of Death”. This is because you keep spinning close to the target, not zig-zagging in long lines back-and-forth.

Barbarian also has Warcries – Battle Command, Battle Orders and Shout. Try to keep them always active, reapply them as they run out. Leap Attack is a very useful skill to close the distance or catch up with fleeing enemies. The Berserk attack deserves special attention. It completely converts damage to magic damage, allowing you to deal with Physical Immune monsters faster. Most importantly, you don’t take damage from Iron Maiden (reflects damage) and Thorns if you use this skill.

If you do not plan to collect the IK set or will use another type of weapon, then level up the corresponding Mastery (passive skill) instead of Mace Mastery.

Skills Progression

New skills are unlocked at 1, 6,12,18, 24 and 30 levels. Invest one point at a time in the skills recommended below as they become available, and then max out the primary skills. After the basic build is completed, the remaining points can be distributed in any skills you like.

  • Level 1: Bash, Mace Mastery, Howl.
  • Level 6: Shout, Leap.
  • Level 12: Increased Stamina, Stun.
  • Level 18: Leap Attack, Iron Skin, Concentrate.
  • Level 24: Battle Orders, Increased Speed, Frenzy.
  • Level 30: Whirlwind, Battle Command, Berserk, Natural Resistance.
  • Order of Maxing Skills: Whirlwind, Battle Orders, Mace Mastery.
  • Rest Points: Shout, Iron Skin.


Most players level up Strength and Dexterity in order to be able to wear suitable equipment. Energy is ignored (at high levels due to equipment and the increase in mana per level, there are no problems with mana), and the remaining points are invested in Vitality to increase the maximum amount of health.

  • Strength: 125-150 (depends on your equipment)
  • Dexterity: None
  • Vitality: 250+ (all remaining points)
  • Energy: None
  • Progression: At low levels put points in Strength to be able to use better equipment. Remaining points put in Vitality.


Considering that this is a starter build, it is implied that the player will not have any good items or Uniques/Runewords, but only equipment that was obtained during levelling. Therefore, there will be only recommendations on what will be most useful for this build.

  • Recommended Stats: Increased Defense and Damage, Attack Rating, Attack Speed, +X to Skills, Life, Resistances, Faster Hit Recovery, Faster Run/Walk. Great offensive modifiers: Crushing Blow, Deadly Strike and Chance of Open Wounds.
  • Weapon and Shield: Weapons with high base Damage, +X% to Enhanced Damage, Attack Rating, Attack Speed and Crushing Blow/Deadly Strike/Chance of Open Wounds.
  • Armor: High Defense stat, Life, Resistances and modifiers such Crushing Blow, Deadly Strike and Chance of Open Wounds. +to All Skills will be great. Barbarian helms – +X to Barbarian Skills and/or +1-3 to Whirlwind. For Boots Faster Walk/Run is a good bonus.
  • Jewelry: Amulets with +X to All Skills (or +X to Combat Skills) with Life, Life Leech, Attack Rating or Resistances. For rings – Life, Life Leech, Attack Rating or Resistances. Recommended to have at least one piece of equipment (jewelry or armor) with Mana Leech.
  • Charms: Grand Charms with +1 to Combat Skills, other Charms with Life, Attack Rating, increased Damage (Min or Max), Resistances or Attributes (if you need more Strength).
  • Magic Find: X% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items (MF) on items would be a nice bonus. This will help you get good Rare or Unique equipment faster.

Recommended Uniques: Guillaume’s Face (Helm), Laying of Hands (Gloves), String of Ears (Belt), Gore Rider (Boots), Raven Frost and Manald Heal (Rings).

Recommended Runewords: Strength (Melee Weapons), Honor (Melee Weapons) and Black (Clubs, Hammers or Maces). Full Starter Runewords list here.


Optimal for this build would be Act 2 Offensive Mercenary (Might). He can be recruited in the city in Act 2 (Difficulty Nightmare). Try to equip your mercenary as you level up, so he does not die so often and be useful. Another important feature is that the equipment your mercenary uses does not break, so ethereal items will be perfect.

Good stats for mercenary equipment: damage, life leech, high defense, resistances and damage reduction.
Weapon example: Steel Pillar or Tomb Reaver
Armor example: Stone Runeword (Shael + Um + Pul + Lum) or Shaftstop
Helm example: Vampire Gaze

With this Diablo 2 Barbarian Starter Build you will have a chance to complete the game. If you want to see more complicated and better builds read Diablo 2 Resurrected Classes’ Builds or check directly Diablo 2 Barbarian Builds.

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