Whirlwind Barbarians, have been the most common cookie-cutter build since before synergies existed, and even though the skill still has no synergies, some people will swear by it regardless. Whirlwind has the potential to tear through any and all groups of enemies, which is what you're aiming to do.
Advantages and DisadvantagesEdit
- Cyclones through monsters quickly and easily.
- Easily capable of rushing in Normal and Nightmare.
- You can easily slay bosses.
- You cannot magic find.
- Not a very large damage output.
- Can be glitched into spinning uncontrollably to follow monsters.
Stat Point DistributionEdit
Strength: Enough to wear endgame gear. Calculate this amount ahead of time.
Dexterity: If you choose to use a shield, enough for max block. Otherwise, enough for equipment.
Vitality: Pretty much everything else.
Energy: Although Whirlwind is the most mana intensive of the Barbarian's combat skills (and the only one that increases when leveled), most players opt to leave this at base and instead rely on mana leech and items and skills that increase mana (such as Battle Orders).
Skill Point DistributionEdit
- 20 Whirlwind
- 20 Weapon Mastery
- 20 Battle Orders
- 20 Shout
- 1 Berserk
- 1 Battle Command
- 1 Increased Speed
- 1 Iron Skin
- 1 Natural Resistance
85 Total Skills
7 Total Pre-Requisites
End Result: 92 Skill Point Total (Achieved at level 81 with all skill quests completed)
The rest of your points after this can go into any skill of your choice, such as more Natural Resist or Iron Skin.
- Whirlwind: Self-explanatory.
- Weapon Mastery: The only skill that will boost Whirlwind's damage directly. Choose a weapon type first, obviously.
- Battle Orders: More health and mana is a good thing. A staple skill to any Barbarian.
- Shout: More defense, less damage.
- Berserk: The Physical Immune killer and Iron Maiden loophole. Also a solid smack to any single enemy.
- Increased Speed: This is entirely optional, but whole-heartedly useful.
- Natural Resistance: More resistance, less damage. Also optional if you're going to have max resists with your gear instead.
- Iron Skin: See shout.
- Battle Command: Raises the entire party's skills by one.
Weapon — Given that most weapon masteries are viable for a WW Barbarian there are a variety of options that are viable for weapons. These are merely some of the more popular options:
- Swords: Swords can be dual wielded, wielded in one hand or used in conjunction with a shield, creating several viable options.
- Breath of the Dying: Usually put in an ethereal Colossus Blade to maximize the damage, and because the Rune Word renders the weapon indestructible.
- Death: Indestructibility, potentially high base damage, 50% chance of Crushing Blow and level dependent Deadly Strike makes this a viable alternative to BotD and with slightly easier to obtain Runes. Does lack Increased Attack Speed and dual leech however. Best put in an ethereal Colossus Blade or Colossus Sword to maximize damage output.
- Oath: Up to a possible 340% damage, indestructibility, 50% Increased Attack Speed, attack rating, and damage bonuses to demons for four Runes that are not that difficult to find. Good option if you manage to find an ethereal Balrog Blade or Champion Sword lying around in The Pit.
- Axes: Usually Runewords are put in Berzerker Axes due to their high base damage, range and attack speed. Also offers the option to duel wield, creating many interesting build options.
- Breath of the Dying, Death, or Oath for the same reasons as stated for swords. Ethereal weapons also work best here.
- Doom: Increased damage, deadly strike, attack speed, +2 to all skills plus a high level Holy Freeze Aura to slow enemies. This might be better in a Mercenary's Polearm however.
- Beast: Increased Damage, Attack Speed, and a Fanaticism Aura. Good option if you choose to duel wield with a more powerful weapon in the other hand.
- Polearms: Offers very long range at the cost of the option of using a shield.
- Breath of the Dying: Usually put in an ethereal Great Poleaxe or Giant Thresher to maximize the damage.
- Doom: Increased damage, deadly strike attack speed, +2 to all skills plus a high level Holy Freeze Aura to slow enemies. This might be better in a Mercenary's Polearm however.
- Obedience: Offers a 370% damage boost, Crushing Blow, fire damage through a 50% chance to cast enchant when killing an enemy, and even resistances for five relatively easy to find runes. Good option if you find a five socket Cryptic Axe in The Pit.
- Arreat's Face. No exceptions.
- Shield — Many opt for a two handed build or even a dual wielding build (in the case of sword and axe wielding WW Barbarians) to maximize damage. However some may choose to use shields for extra defence and resistances, and increasing their chances of surviving Hell Difficulty without putting too many points into Iron Skin and Natural Resistance. In that regard viable options are
- Steelrend for more damage.
- Soul Drainer for dual leech.
- Dracul's Grasp for the leech, strength and Life Tap.
- Highlord's Wrath for more attack speed and the Deadly Strike option.
- Mara's for more skills/resists.
Tips and TricksEdit
- Whirlwind everything unless Iron Maiden or a Physical Immune comes into play. Berserk is your best friend there.
- Stack your Crushing Blow, Critical Strike and Open Wound mods.
Player vs. PlayerEdit
Generally, Whirlwind will get the job done for you. Teleport close to them with Enigma if you have it and let loose. Stay away from Hammerdins unless you're good at using Leap to avoid the hammers.