The Ultimate PvM Axe Frenzy Barb
Table of Contents:
1.) Why a Frenzy Barb?
3.) Skill Allocation.
4.) Stat Points Placement.
5.) Mercenary & Additional Info.
1.) Why a Frenzy Barb?
A Frenzy Barbarian allows you to yield two weapons and achieve very high attack speed and damage levels relatively easily. With such fast attack speed and high damage, Frenzy Barbs are ideal for concentrating their power onto one boss and taking him down easily, or for spreading the damage over several targets. With high enough life and mana leech, Frenzy Barbs virtually never are in need of healing or mana potions. They are able to tank their way through any obstacles, and with the right equipment, even able to take down physical immune (I'll get back to that point later on in the guide.) Also, they make good keyrunner's, as they are able to take down Countess, Summoner, or Nihlathak quickly and easily.
At level 89, my Frenzy Barb has:
-5.6k+ life with bo
-400+ mana with bo (base energy)
-Close to 15k defense with shout (and no shield)
-Holy Freeze Aura, Might Aura from Merc, and Concentration Aura from Merc.
-5k double swing damage, and nearly 10k Frenzy damage.
-Perfect Resists in Hell
In perspective, Frenzy Barbs are built to be leech tanks that can demolish anything in their way very quickly. They are also quite enjoyable to play with as well. I highly suggest you try to make one, and I hope my guide is able to help you :]
For this section, I would like to keep it open to many options. That being said, in bold is the gear that I use, then in parentheses after it are other options you can have. Options that are in italics are cheaper options that still prove very effective. Items that are underlined are runewords. After the parentheses is my explanation for why I use what I use, it's pro's / con's, and and further details on what else you may use.
Weapons - Ethereal Breath of the Dying Berzerker Axe, and Doom Berzerker Axe (Ethereal Oath Berzerker Axe, Butcher's Pupil Cleaver, Guardian Naga Naga, Runemaster Ettin Axe, Death Cleaver Berzerker Axe, Fury Berserker Axe, Honor Berserker Axe, Silence Berserker Axe, Beast Berserker Axe, Ethereal Eternity Berserker Axe, Famine Berserker Axe, Death Berserker Axe, Grief Berserker Axe, Last Wish Berserker Axe)
Personally, I believe that at least one ebotdz is a key part of a Frenzy Barb. It's got all the mods you're looking for, like life leech, mana leech, stat points, high damage and attack speed, and the poison nova casting, which is a big part in killing physical immunes. Equipping two ebotdz would definitely make a very good Frenzy Barb. I use a Doom runeword Berserker too, mainly for the high damage/attack speed, and the very important level 12 Holy Freeze Aura when equipped. This is crucial in both damaging and slowing monsters in an area, perventing them from getting to you and attacking you too fast. The +2 skills and other mods are also very nice. As for other weapons, look for high damage and attack speed first, then go to other mods like leech and such. If you are looking for cheaper alternatives, look up a nice easy to make runeword, like Honor or Wind. They too can be very effective with your Frenzy Barb. Also, on switch, I use 2x +3 warcries one handed weapons. This is crucial to do, and very cheap, for it boosts your BO hugely.
Body Armor - Superior Wire Fleece Fortitude (Chains of Honor, Enigma, Duress, Gloom, Stone, Up'd Shaftstop, Atma's, Corpsemourn, Black Hades, Gladiator's Bane, Leviathan, Black Hades, Tyrael's Might.)
For armor, Fortitude is definitely the way to go. With it's high defense, enhanced damage, resists, life, damage reduction, and damage to mana, it won't let you down. Chains of Honor is also a good resist armor, and Enigma is a good call if you need big strength bonuses, or you just want to teleport.
Helm - Arreat's Face Slayer Guard (Demonhorn's Edge, Halaberd's Reign, Vampire Gaze, Crown Of Thieves, Veil of Steel, Crown of Ages, Giant Skull, Delirium BO Helm)
Again here, Arreat's is your best all around bet. Skills, High defense, Life Leech, Attack Rating, Resistances, Faster Hit Recovery, and strength/dexterity, all render Arreats as the number one choice. I jeweled mine with an Enhanced damage (with other mods) jewel, but also feel free to Um it if you feel you don't have enough resists, or put whatever you want in it. Some people say to Cham your arreats for the Cannot Be Frozen mod, however, my Frenzy Barb uses a Raven Frost that has that mod, so you should definitely use one too, and refrain from inserting a Cham rune into your Arreat's.
Belt - Verdungo's Hearty Coil Mithril Coil (String of Ears, Any rare belt with good mods, Nosferatu's Coil, Immortal King's Belt)
Verdungo's is a great choice here, with it's faster hit recovery, HUGE vitality bonus, high defense, and damage reduction. It's the perfect belt to use for your Frenzy Barb. However, if you'd like more leech and you're low on dough, String of Ears (especially up'd) makes a great belt. It too has very useful mods you can explore with.
Gloves - Up'd Venom Grips (Twice Up'd Bloodfists, Hellmouths, Dracul's Grasp, Soul Drainers, Steelrend's, Immortal King Gloves, Rare IAS / leech / other modded gloves)
I'm a fan of Venom Grips because they're cheap and easy to get, and still have very useful mods. Life leech, crushing blow, enhanced damage, and resists make them a great addition. Probably the best choice for gloves overall, however, are the slightly more expensive Dracul's. They've got even more of what you need, especially some bigtime leech, that all is very important. Don't be afraid to be creative here if you have some rare gloves that you think have the mod's you need. You can work with alot. :]
Boots - Sandstorm Treks Scarabshell Boots (Up'd Gorefoots, Up'd Goblin Toe's, Gore Riders, Infernostrides, Rare modded boots)
I use Treks mainly for the very paramount strength and vitality bonuses. They're one of the Items that can help you to not have to invest as many points into strength, that you can then put towards vitality and thus more life. Gore's are also a good choice with Crushing Blow, so don't be afraid to go with them, and Up them for some extra defense.
Jewelry - Angelic Wing's Amulet, Angelic Halo Ring, and Raven Frost Ring (The Cat's Eye, Metalgrid, Atma's Scarab, Highlord's Wrath, Crafted or Rare Modded Amulet with +Barb Skills, Bul Kathos Ring, Nature's Peace Ring, Rare modded ring.)
Dirt cheap, but so important. Angelic Amulet, along with 1x Angelic Ring, give your character a much needed HUGE attack rating bonus, as well as dexterity and life. They're easy to get and very important to have for a Frenzy Barb that needs to have high accuracy in hitting his targets. The Raven Frost Ring too is very important, with it's bigtime dexterity and Attack Rating mods, and the very important Cannot Be Frozen mod I mentioned earlier. I think that this ring/amulet combination is the most effective way to go, and it's also very cheap and easy to get. Great news for you, bad news for monsters.
What you want to keep in your inventory is basically what you'd expect for any melee character, and may contain all or any of the following charms:
-Barbarian Hellfire Torch (High Stats)
-Annihilus Small Charm (High Stats)
-Max Damage/Attack Rating/Life Small Charms
-Poison Small Charms
-Faster Hit Recovery Small Charms
-Warcry Grand Charms with life or goldfind mods (I take warcry over Barb Combat GC's, but that's just me.)
3.) Skill Allocation.
I have spent alot of time trying to figure out what Skill Trees to work with to make the most effective Frenzy Barb, and I believe what I have to be a very good strategy to allocate your skill points. Hopefully you'll agree too.
20 Points into Axe Mastery
20 Points into Battle Orders
20 Points into Double Swing
20 Points into Frenzy
One point into:
-Double Throw (pre-req)
-Natural Resists (I put 2 points into it to reach the cap, and it got me up to just enough for full resists.)
-Taunt* (Adds damage to Frenzy Attack, 1 point is important to put into here.)
-Shout (pre-req and more)
Rest of your points fill into:
-Increased Speed if you desire
4.) Stat Points Placement.
This is quite simple. A Frenzy Barb wants to have enough strength and dexterity to use his equipment, and no more. The rest of your points, pump into Vitality. Be careful not to use too many strength or dexterity points, because they'll only go to waste.
My Base Stat Values (No Items Equipped):
With Items Equipped:
5.) Mercenary & Additional Info.
The Attack Damage of a Frenzy Barb is by no means limited to just what he is wearing. A correctly equipped act 2 mercenary can make a huge improvement in your Barb's damage and PvM abilities. For my Barb, I use an Act II Nightmare Offensive Mercenary, who has a Might Aura that increases his and your own attack damage. This is a hugely important bonus that will help your Frenzy Barb Alot, so I suggest an Act II Nightmare Offensive (Might Aura) Mercenary. Also, by himself, your Mercenary will be very helpful in killing off monsters and distracting bosses.
My Mercenary uses the following equipment, all of which is pretty expensive. The Items in the parentheses after the initial item are other good choices for your mercenary.
Weapon - Ethereal, Superior Pride Runeword Colossus Voulge. (Other choices include: Bonehew, Infinity, Insight, Ethereal Breath of the Dying Polearm Weapon, Rift, Obedience, Doom, Tomb Reaver)
The Pride Runeword, although slightly expensive to make, has a mod that is a gigantic boost to your Barb's attack. A Mercenary equipped with a Pride weapon has a level 16-20 Concentration Aura, which even further increases your Barb's damage, and also increases the mercenary's. Any other high damage polearms are also good choices, sometimes for cheaper.
Armor - Ethereal Fortitude Sacred Armor (Other Choices Include: Corpsemourn, Stone, Duress, Gloom, Chains of Honor, Ethereal Shaftstop, Ethereal Leviathan.)
If made out of a glitched ethereal armor, a high fortitude can reach upwards of 3,000-4,000 defense. Along with it's resists, life, and enhanced damage mods, it's the perfect Mercenary Armor. Anything else that's high defense, and preferably ethereal is also a good choice.
Helm - Ethereal Andarial's Visage (Vampire Gaze, Crown of Thieves, Nadir Runeword, Ethereal Crown Of Ages, Delirium Runeword)
Andarial's Visage is a very good mercenary helm, especially when ethereal, that has all the important mods and high defense that your mercenary needs. Definitely your best bet for maximum effectiveness.
Playing strategy with a Frenzy Barb is pretty simple. Set your left-click normal attack as double swing (good for when you're mana burned and need to leech some back), and your right hand skill as Frenzy. With enough leech, your Frenzy Barb can tank nearly anything, and won't need much potion assistance. I keep my belt stocked with full juvies for when I need a quick heal, but I rarely have to use them. With your +3 warcries sticks on your switch weapons, make sure that before every run you cast Battle Orders, Battle Command, and Shout for yourself and for any other members that are in your party, which add the huge life, skill, and defense bonuses.
In the end, I hope that this guide was able to assist anyone that is looking into making a Frenzy Barb, and that it's useful and helpful. Thank you for reading my guide, and I will be glad to make changes, updates, or answer any questions you may have that I might have left in the dark. :]