Friday 1 May 2015

Cookie cutter group play WW guide

How to be a useful fast barb

Useful fast barb is the cookie-cutter spec for group play barbarians. With this spec, barbs are probably the best class right now for clearing out trash mobs and providing some neat party buffs (mostly speed ones). This spec is primarily used for greater rift speed-runs, but it also works excellently for group T6 rifts & bounty farming.

Step 1: Gear

If you don't have six pieces of the WotW set, go out and find them. If you've only got five, you can substitute the focus & restraint for a RoRG and something else, but you'll lose a lot of damage so just go find six okay?
  • Helm, chest, shoulders, pants, boots, and gloves are all WotW pieces. There isn't really any flexibility here at all.
  • Weapons are a pair of Bul-Kathos (lovingly termed the 'Burger King' henceforth) swords.
  • Rings are the ubiquitous Focus & Restraint pair. These provide a ton of damage. If you don't have the pair yet, you should run a Convention of the Elements and Leorics or whatever. Just find them. Obviously if you only have five of the six set pieces, run a RoRG until you get the last one.
  • Amulet just use something with hella dps. Hellfire amulets are probably BiS (there's a lot of good passives for a ww barb), immunity amulets & eye of etlich (ranged dmg reduction) come close second.
  • Bracers are pretty flexible. Lacunis or Steady Strikes are probably the strongest since you can use the innate IAS% rolls to help you reach new WW/DD breakpoints. Failing that, Reaper's Wraps are a solid choice for more resource generation. Nemesis bracers will make you very popular with your crew.
  • Belt is flexible too, but it should be a Chilank's chain for the movespeed buff. Witching hour is good too for DPS obviously if you need to carry your team (or maybe you just hate them and want them to stay slower than you that's fine too). Kotuur's Brace and String of Ears are solid choices for HC players.

Step 2: Skills

  • Whirlwind obviously. Blood Funnel is the most popular choice as the healing makes you more robust. Also it's physical damage, so you can use it with the Pain Enhancer gem for even more damage. Some people seem to use Wind Shear but personally I've never seen the point - you shouldn't really be having fury problems with this spec.
  • Bash - punish only to proc the extra 50% damage buff from your Focus & Restraint, and also give you a little damage boost in the process. This slot is pretty flexible - use any generator you like.
  • Wrath of the berserker - Insanity is kind of a no brainer. You get a huge damage boost, movespeed, survivability, and CC immunity. It has a long cooldown, but when doing fast GRs you'll probably find a channeling pylon every run so you can keep it up a reasonable amount of the time. Or you can use...
  • .. [alternative] Overpower - Momentum instead of WotB if you are having fury problems or cba with long-cooldown skills.
  • Battle Rage. Bloodshed is great for more damage. Alternatively if a few members of you team are using Reaper's wraps,Swords to Ploughshares is a popular choice for more health globe fun.
  • Sprint - Forced March - give your team a movespeed boost. If you use Marathon, you're a scumbag. Think of the team.Unless of course you're running bounties or solo, then Marathon is a must-have.
  • War Cry - Impunity - toughness boost for you & your team and also the skill that procs Chilank's Chain for even more team move-speed fun.

Step 3: Passives

These are pretty much listed in order of how good they are for this spec.
  • Weapons master - with the burger king swords, this will give you a ton of fury generation whenever you're hitting stuff. If you're using wind shear you could probably drop this, but frankly I don't know why you'd want to :)
  • Rampage - useful fast barbs are best at clearing out trash and this skill synergises with that really well. More damage & armour from all that strength juice is great.
  • Berserker rage again is a really good choice. When you're spinning through large packs you will have near full fury, so this +25% damage boost is a no brainer. It can be a little tricky to keep up against RGs or elites, but barbs this build isn't really meant for single target dmg anyway.
  • Brawler - huge damage boost when spinning through packs, easy enough.
  • Situational: Nerves of steel - if you find yourself dying more than 1-2 times per rift, swap in this skill. A couple of deaths are okay, but as your death timer creeps up you're slowing your whole group down.
  • Situational: Other defensive passives like superstition or the +armour one I always forget the name of are fine if you need them. Hopefully as your gear improves you can try and wean yourself off these skills.

Step 4: Gems

Again in order of how great I think they are. Pick three.
Taeguk is a must have since it's really easy for a WW barb to keep up stacks.
Bane of the Trapped is a no-brainer for most classes - doubly so for melee classes like barbs.
Bane of the powerful is a big damage buff that when you're running quickly you can keep up 95% of the time.
Pain Enhancer is an okay choice, but most of the time you'll be spinning through packs and not on them so you probably wont get the most out of the IAS% increase.
Step 5: The end

Congratulations you're now a super useful fast barb. Most of this is gleaned from having watched Alkaizer play so I can't take any credit for it.