Diablo® III

Zeltak's Guide to the Ranged Barbarian (Madawc Style)

Posts: 44
Hey there, I'll keep this guide as simple as possible to not bore you out with any unnecessary fillers.

I believe my guide is pretty unique (the Weapon Throw part), fun and surprisingly effective if played correctly. Currently I'm at Inferno Act 2, I solo'ed with some cooperative gameplay with my friend to Inferno Act 1, from there I have progressed mostly in cooperative fashion, so I can't claim I have solo'ed everything (yet). ^^

First, take a look at the skill/rune setup that you should strive for:

http://eu.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/barbarian#fSXYdk!YfW!ZccZbZ
(see for suggested variations below at "Passive Skills" & "Other Suggestions" section)

I'll explain the purpose of every skill and rune placement in a minute, but before I do that I want to remind you that some of these runes and skills only become available at higher levels. I would say that from level 35, when you get the Charge! Rune available to your War Cry skill, is where you can start using this setup effectively. Of course, the Dreadnought Rune for your Furious Charge skill won't be available until you reach level 56, you'll have to stick with the Battering Ram Rune on the Furious Charge skill until you reach said level.

As you might have noticed, your primary attack will be Weapon Throw. You have probably realised that using Weapon Throw costs Fury which might make you wonder how one is supposed to use it constantly in combat, the answer is simple, you present a number of skills that generates fury and are still beneficial by themselves as a means of attacking the enemy and you got yourself a nice combination of standard ranged attacks, stuns and life leech.

[SKILL EXPLANATION]

Starting with Weapon Throw itself, you want to go for the Ricochet rune when you are roaming around fighting mobs, this is because the thrown axe will bounce several times making it easier to deal with larger packs of enemies. The added slow effect is crucial for your survivability, by keeping the enemy 60% slowed as you throw your Weapon, you can kite them a lot easier. To use this added slow effect to your advantage, you should always keep a distance between the enemy and yourself.

The method of attack is simple, please view the videos below:

Hell, Act 2, (Part 1) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqvO-YYS7Ek&hd=1
Hell, Act 2, (Part 2) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ai6A5p5jc4o&hd=1


Inferno Act 1, some more gameplay with a friend.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpya4jYgSqI&hd=1

Inferno Act 1, compilation of battles against elite mobs (3 players)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8KLREy62XkE&hd=1

Weapon Throw and a step back, Weapon Throw and a step back, and so forth. By doing this you always maintain a safe distance and you are thus free to dodge any incoming missiles or avoid melee attacks.

However, as mentioned earlier to even perform this strategy and use Weapon Throw in a more "constant fashion" one needs to keep up the fury since the skill will drain your resource.

Therefore, in every battle you initiate with against a mob group you will use a quick and an extremely simple but effective combination of three skills. This combination will give you three things right off the bat with an enemy: Crowd control, damage and most important of all - fury.

What you'll do is the following: You will initiate against any given enemy whether it is a group of mobs or a single target with a Leap, you can put in an Iron Impact rune or Death from Above depending on your preferences, both have their uses.

Immediately, the very second you land you will use the Ground Stomp skill to stun the enemy. Wrenching Smash rune is crucial for the sake of pulling all the nearby mobs together into a one big clump.

Once you have stunned them and pulled the mob towards you (at the same time, thanks to the chosen rune) you will finish off the combo with a Furious Charge. Now before you reach level 56, where you get the Dreadnought rune available, you can't use this charge to life leech a whole pack of mobs (which basically fills you up at full HP instantly) but with Battering Ram you will at least do additional damage and until you reach level 56 you shouldn't be able to be killed by performing this combo. The life leech (Dreadnought rune) is needed in Inferno and by then you have already reached level 60.

Regardless, when you use the Furious Charge ability to finish off the three-step combo, you use it to charge -away- from the pack. Thus you should target the corner of your screen or infact any direction which pushes your character -away- from the mob group as far as possible. Don't worry you will still hit them because you have stunned and pulled them close to you.

This combo can be used anytime during the course of a battle to CC targets, damage them, and generate additional fury for more Weapon Throw attacks.

Now with the generated fury received from this combo (15 x 3), you will waste it all to use the Weapon Throw ability. Remember to always fire and take a step back constantly to maintain distance.

When you run out of fury or when you are close to it, you will use Ancient Spear, the Skirmish rune has been chosen to generate additional fury. If you feel you can maintain enough fury without the extra generated given via the Skirmish rune, you might want to try out the Dread Spear rune, that provides you with life leech.

In any case, this ability will damage a single target and at the same time provide you with enough fury to approximately use two Weapon Throw attacks.

When you have wasted your fury, you'll use your last ability: Warcry with Charge! Rune, this will generate up to 60 Fury (!!!) enough to use at least Weapon Throw four times.

It is up to you whether or not you want to use Warcry first or the Ancient Spear to generate fury during mid-combat, pick your rotation based on the situation at hand. As long as you maintain distance and stack up slow on the enemy they will never reach you.

Leap and Charge can also be used against Jailer, Trappers, Teleporters or Fast affixed elite packs. Aside from generating fury, they are great abilities to avoid damage altogether.

[PASSIVE SKILLS]

Previously I stated that Animosity was a must-have passive skill for this build to work, that is partially true. It's essentially needed on any Barbarian who attempts this build, however, a certain type of Barbarian will be able to maintain Fury if you get items with alot of critical hit chance and damage combined with the No Chance Passive skill. If you feel you perform critical hits regularly, swap out the Animosity for the Ruthless Passive Skill. Going for a two-handed Mace or Axe also boosts your critical hit chance when combined with the Weapon Master passive skill!

[OTHER SUGGESTIONS]

When it comes to gear, my absolutely best advice is, save your money for the Auction House and buy it off there. There is absolutely no point in trying to magic find farming Nightmare or Hell, I tried it, not worth it. Don't upgrade the Blacksmithing either, save all of that money.

As an alternative to Leap or Ancient Spear, depending on your preferences and your ability to keep Fury up during combat, you might want to swap one of them out for the Battle Rage ability combined with either a Marauder's Rage rune for additional damage or Into the Fray rune if you have a good crit ratio.

You may also, depending on your play style, change the rune for Leap from Iron Impact to Death from Above to have an additional way of stunning. I'm sure there is more customization to be played with all optimized around your personal playstyle, stats and equipment.

To maximize Weapon Throw damage, use a two-handed weapon with as high weapon damage as possible. Weapon damage takes more priority over attack speed since your attack method is based on kiting, moving around and firing axes. You want to make big hits, items that increase crit chance and crit damage is good as well. I practically crit every second Weapon Throw.

When fighting bosses or other strong single target mobs, you can change the rune in Weapon Throw from Richochet to Mighty Throw. Your axes won't bounce anymore but they will do 30% more damage and if you are facing a single target, the bounce is useless anyways.

I personally prefer to stack two things, strength (for raw damage) and critical hit rating, because with the No Escape passive ability, everytime I perform a critical hit with Weapon Throw I generate 15 fury. I can also use the same passive skill to spam Ancient Spear, sometimes three times in a row because it will crit every time giving me a quick life boost (with Dread Spear rune) if needed. Remember to get items with all resistance and some vitality as well, you will need it in Hell and it is a requirement in Inferno unless you want to be one-shotted constantly.

With this build you have a huge advantage over other Barbarians who have to face enemies from a melee range, which demands them to go certain builds that in my opinion provide a less dynamic and fast-paced barbarian. They are also constantly in danger against any elite packs with "anti-melee" affixes like Plague, Molten or Frozen.

Your hardest Elite Pack opponent will be one with the Mortar affix since it puts constant pressure on your positioning and you need to stand still for a second to throw an axe, it is however also a great way to practice your kiting ability which is the core of this build (see provided YouTube link).

Practice the three-step ability combo and master the art of kiting -
Become one of Madawc's Chosen.
Edited by Zeltak#2770 on 23/05/2012 22:42 BST
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Posts: 51
Looks fun, going to try it now. :) No escape also looks good as a passive.

Edit: fun build, did some solo farming in act 4 hell and it seemed to work quite well. certainly a change from sword+board standard setup
Edited by Grizor#2510 on 19/05/2012 18:33 BST
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The leap> stomp> charge combo feels pretty common as I started doing it without reading any guides, it just feels right, wrenching smash is obviously amazing.

Iron leap isn't really needed as stomp is instant cast, and theyre gonna be stunned for 4 seconds, the same duration as the iron leap, so it's pretty much wasted, take a different rune.

Throw is cool, but it's not gonna be as effective as seismic slam, runed for only 15 fury you can spam the hell out of it, and it's big damage and big aoe.
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Posts: 44
The leap> stomp> charge combo feels pretty common as I started doing it without reading any guides, it just feels right, wrenching smash is obviously amazing.

Iron leap isn't really needed as stomp is instant cast, and theyre gonna be stunned for 4 seconds, the same duration as the iron leap, so it's pretty much wasted, take a different rune.

Throw is cool, but it's not gonna be as effective as seismic slam, runed for only 15 fury you can spam the hell out of it, and it's big damage and big aoe.


You are completely right, the Leap-Stomp-Charge combo is definitely not something that I came up with or unique in any way, the unique part I guess is the Weapon Throw which is the core of the build.

I will upload shortly a brief clip of me being in Act 3 Hell with my Weapon Throw build. Just to give you a sense of what I'm going with here, it is quite effective (still working in Inferno Act 1 so far). Seismic slam definitely have its advantages I give you that, in the end it's up to the player that is what is so great about Diablo in general.

As for the Iron Impact rune, you are right that the rune isn't useful in that particular three-step combo since you will perform it so fast, all you actually need is the Leap itself. However, Leap with Iron Impact by itself can be very useful on earlier levels. I would on occasion swap that rune out for Death from Above so I can stack two stuns against bosses and elite packs.

One can also sacrifice that ability completely for more pure damage, like Battle Rage combined with a Marauder's Rage rune.

Edit: The videos are uploaded now:

(Part 1) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RqvO-YYS7Ek&hd=1
(Part 2) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ai6A5p5jc4o&hd=1
Edited by Zeltak#2770 on 20/05/2012 04:01 BST
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Hey i was wondering if u can add a vid of ur equips as well. i need to know what im looking for in order to do this fun build.
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Tested it on inferno and it doesn't really work there.. Sure you can kill trash mobs but every build can do that.
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i do this myself whenever im using a 2hander instead of a shiled + 1h and need to kill sth that would just destroy me if i go near without using heavy defensive cds, 60+ fury shout is also awesome for spamming Weapon Throw.
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heyman, tried te specc and im doing pretty well in inferno, I got one problem tho, what are you doing against those Molten enchanted elites ?
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Posts: 44
20/05/2012 09:09Posted by Amplifier
Tested it on inferno and it doesn't really work there.. Sure you can kill trash mobs but every build can do that.


Hmm, well it seems to work for me against pretty much all Elites with all Affixes except those damn Frogs. They are just like those things that shoot out a tongue, too damn fast.

Don't know what to say if you don't give me more info about your character and what part is not working.

20/05/2012 10:58Posted by Leeroy
heyman, tried te specc and im doing pretty well in inferno, I got one problem tho, what are you doing against those Molten enchanted elites ?


Against Molten enchanted elites it's pretty tricky, since if you jump in and try do a combo you get raped. However, I have stacked up quite a lot of + All res now so I can survive the initial Leap and get back my health through Furious Charge + Dreadnought Rune, I also have Ancient Spear + Dread Spear to constantly get back HP.

In general you have to keep distance and rely more on Ancient Spear and Warcry Charge! alone, kite around and wait for them to replenish so you can use them again for more fury.

I have issues against a specific type of Elite Packs, it is those Frogs, I can handle normals but Elites usually kill me. Either this is about getting better gear so I can do more damage and take more damage or it's simply a flaw of the build. I can't tell you right now since I just started Act 1 Inferno, and I will be away for a week studying for exams. Perhaps you can tell me your progress later.
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85 Human Paladin
14030
Posts: 62
I'm playing a pure defensive barb tank but I still being beaten the living crap out of. Most of the time I find myself being completely useless and so im looking for alternative gameplay styles.

http://eu.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/barbarian#WgRVkP!eVb!YYZcbY

This is my build and it works 20-30% of the time except against rare packs on inferno. I have close to 60 k hp, 200 to all resistance and roughly 18% dodge. It offers a fairly large amount of survivability but close to 0 utility for the group. Sometimes one just can't be even remotely close to the champions due affixes.

Have you tried this build in coop games on inferno? If so, what did your party members think about it?
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It is fun but does not work in inferno. Still cool though for earlier difficulties.
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I've soloed through whole act1 in inferno right now, im doing fine with your specc! Also i've beaten alot of Molten elites now to. Those really hard elites is fast,molten,vortex . thats tricky as hell !

Im at Butcher, downed him to 5-10% 3-4 times now... gues I will beat him very soon.

Thanks for this specc, helped me out alot!

Edit: Ofc I mean Mortar not molten :)
Edited by Leeroy#2443 on 20/05/2012 16:48 BST
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Nice, I like it :)
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90 Orc Death Knight
10270
Posts: 24
Thanks for the tips, having trouble in Inferno atm, so will try your build and tactics out when the servers get back up.
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Posts: 44
Inferno Act 1 showcasing my play -

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9K-XfuREg0&hd=1

Edit: Video has mysteriously gone!
Edited by Zeltak#2770 on 23/05/2012 22:44 BST
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noticed myself on act 3 nm (i m further now, but not inferno by a long shot), that if you do enough damage in 1 hit many mobs get staggered/pushed back a bit*. perhaps having that juicy "grim doom hammer of death" for all the gold on battlenet would make this build able to take on the fast movers through knockbacks. Is it possible that the damage would be high enough to get knockbacks on minions at least, solo?

i imagine this build would scale better than most, since its limited by rage, where other builds are not. thus it gets more efficient and you need to put yourself at risk less.
Edited by lebigmac#2343 on 20/05/2012 21:22 BST
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How did you assign weapon throw to your mouse? mine is standard to keybind #3, if there is a way to re-arrange ur attacks and bind them to any of the 6 options, can someone please kindly inform me how to go about doing this?
much appreciated
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Posts: 44
Some more gameplay on Inferno Act 1 with a friend:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpya4jYgSqI&hd=1

________

How did you assign weapon throw to your mouse? mine is standard to keybind #3, if there is a way to re-arrange ur attacks and bind them to any of the 6 options, can someone please kindly inform me how to go about doing this?
much appreciated


Go to Options > Gameplay > Elective Mode (check the box), now you can freely move around your abilities in your hotkey bars.
Edited by Zeltak#2770 on 20/05/2012 23:32 BST
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Act 1 inferno still allows quite some builds and gear to work. I'm really interested to know how your build holds up in act 2 because that's one hell of a difficulty increase.
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Fun build messing with it right now. Just don't really have the high dps gear for it, since I tried going tanky/dps for inferno and no real dps set atm.
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