Tuesday 19 June 2012

Barbarian Guide to Sprint/Charge/Leap builds

Build here: http://us.battle.net/d3/en/calculator/barbarian#WXkiUS!ZYe!cacYZc Forgive the long text, but I go into detail about exactly HOW to play this build.

This is a variant of the sprint-tornado builds that have been circulating Reddit the last few days but adds a new tweak: Leap and Furious Charge allow you to more strategically place tornadoes at a faster rate. Also, this build is more versatile and does not have impossible elite comps to worry about (shielding molten wallers...). So far, I am easily clearing a3 Inferno with it with very bad gear: 33k health, 550 resists, 900 life on hit and 4800 armor.

If you've used a sprint build, you know that placing your tornadoes is key, and if you do, you can get 8+ hits per second going with overlapping tornadoes, giving you 7000+ life regen per second while Into the Fray keeps your rage at max, allowing for infinite sprinting. But, it can be hard to place your tornadoes properly when you're getting knocked back, walled, or cornered. Thus, mobility is key for getting down the insane regen.

The exact mechanics of laying tornadoes are still unclear, but they seem to place tornadoes on intervals of distance-traveled without stopping. So, if you leap or charge, you instantly leave 2-3 tornadoes on the ground because you traveled pretty far.

The proper strategy for this build is:
  • Get your buffs up
  • Start sprinting away from the pack of elites until they are in a straight line following you.
  • Refresh sprint, Leap behind the line (drops 2-3 tornadoes instantly), then immediately Furious Charge back to where you started (dropping 1-2 more tornadoes).
  • At this point, you have about 6000 regen per mob being hit by the 5 tornadoes, and so you can survive turning around to build 5 stacks of frenzy (for 20% more damage with Maniac). Skip this step if the mob can literally one-shot you.
  • As soon as your tornadoes stop spinning, kite away for 4 more seconds getting the elites back in a line, turn around to refresh frenzy, and at this point your Leap/Charge cooldowns are ready again.
  • Repeat from the top infinitely.
It can be tricky keeping the 5 stack of frenzy up, but if you lose it it's no big deal, just less damage.
The key advancement for this build besides getting tornadoes down faster is that Iron Impact allows you to ignore most elemental damage abilities. The skill gives you 300% more armor for 4 seconds after leaping, which raised my armor mitigation to like 89.5%, quadrupling my EHP. Thus, you can safely leap into molten trails, poison or even arcane beams and survive long enough to get the charge off and out of the mess (you're often 1 shot with the standard sprint builds in this scenario making them 1-trick ponies and easily countercomped). As you charge through the pack, you gain an additional 8% health per mob hit, which almost always tops me off. This combo makes just about any combination of elite characteristics easily manageable.
Your mileage may vary with this build, but I feel like it is a much more robust, well-rounded version of the sprint-tornado builds that have been lolling about lately. Also, it doesn't feel as gimicky as those builds (or the 5-second burst builds).
I hope this is helpful to someone!
For more details:
One thing I forgot to add: Another reason why this build is more well-rounded against the various elite types is because:
  • leap can jump over walls
  • furious charge can break out of jailers
  • both leap and furious charge can help you never get cornered and always avoid arcane beams and other hazards
  • fear is a non-issue because as you run away feared, you are still dropping tornadoes and still doing damage and getting regen
  • most other abilities, such as freezing orbs or long-animation 1-hit meleers, are effectively countered by your inherently superfast movement speed, allowing you to get out of harms way very easily.
Why I don't have Wrath of the Berserker:
I tried it, and it certainly made some elites easier, but it felt too unreliable for me because it did almost nothing against the elites I had the hardest time with: shielders, invulnerable, or wallers (because I couldn't keep the rage gen high enough). If I had a 7th skill, that's what it would be, but the only skill I could drop for it would be War Cry, which just lowered my EHP too much. Once over-geared I expect to be able to resubstitute it in. It's great for farming though, but now that i'm in Act 4, I need to be able to survive some 1-shotting abilities, which requires War Cry.