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Nov 2 2006 04:59pm
The BvC Guide

Note: There are far better BvC players than me, blobs, mcm, luis, mhmx etc. etc. In addition to this, much of what Ive learned about the build/matchups have been from these players and some of them have already made guides, but Im making this guide on this specific forum because it seems to be lacking one. =] Again, I'm not taking credit from practically anything in this guide, merely pointing out who should.

Im going to be outlining this guide in NL form, but it can be easily altered to Ladder with substituted gear.

Background Information: The Barb versus Caster build [henceforth known as BvC] is a Barbarian build specifically designed to do one thing: Kill casters. In this regard it fulfills that goal rather well, and is also able to kill almost all other melee characters. The only serious competition you'll have are Bone necs and Hdins. Anything else can be defeated with ease, and only very minimal gear switching.

Goals to reach with this build
    - Reach the 4 frame WW breakpoint
    - Extremely high Hit Points
    - Maxed resists in hell [Conviction/exceedingly heavy cold mastery/Anya Quest not taken into account]
    - Enough AR to hit consistently against most duelers
    - Reach the 37% FCR breakpoint
    - Have an effective Leap radius
    - Achieve decent percentages of Open Wounds, Crushing Blow, and Deadly Strike.
At level 90 [the bare minimum for this build] you will have 101 skill points to spend.

Skill Setup

20 Axe Mastery
20 Battle Orders
20 Whirlwind
1 in all pre-reqs not listed here
1 Zerk
1 Howl
1 Shout *
1 Increased Stamina
3 Increased Speed
2 or 3 Natural resist
1 Battle Command

Enough points in leap to gain at least lvl 22-24+ with ANY gear set-up*

* You will have some extra skill points, usually. Some people find it in their interest to max shout. I dont find shout very useful, since your defense is already quite low and isnt really an integral part in your build. This may change if you decide to make your BvC capable of going against BvBs, which might require some restructuring of stat points/skill points. I would either 1) Max leap or 2) Find a happy medium between shout and leap skill point distribution. My opinion? Max leap.

Extra stat points are up to you [if you max leap] to distribute between shout or natural res.

Pure Vitality Build

Like the sub-header says, this type is a Pure Vit build.

Strength: Base
Dexterity: Base
Vitality: All
Energy: Base

With pure vit you can use the standard equipment. I feel that pure vit is weaker than a build with STR/DEX invested. What do you do with pure vitality against Hdins? WWing 'blind spots' doesn't work against anyone with half a brain, and if you try desynch WW's, the hdin can just tele around and kill you that way. I'm not saying it's impossible to win using a pure vit build; on the contrary, there have been many instances where I wished I had more HP. But overall, str/dex > Pure vit.

Note: Pure vit is much more feasible than str/dex if you don't have access to perfect/good gear. You don't have as many options, but you can tank still and is overall a good 'beginner' build.


Strength: 64
Dexterity: 57
Vitality: The rest
Energy: Base

The str/dex numbers are based on factors such as; West NL, perfect torch/anni, perfect ravens, etc. If you're not West NL, or don't have access to perfect whatever, DO THE MATH YOURSELF. See how much str/dex you need in order to equip certain combinations of gear before investing. However, expect to invest around the same amount into str/dex. Consider it a guide.

Now that's out of the way: This is the superior build. You have less overall life, but you have way more options in terms of gear swaps. With added str/dex, you can wear a fort, wear it with a CoA, and wear it without +str from boots. You can even use a Widowmaker with Fort. Amazing. This also allows you to use Hsarus instead of Angelics.

Note: You will need some +str gear [will be explained later] in order to equip Fort + whatever. With 64 str base and a perfect 20 stat anni and torch, at lvl 94 you can wear CoA with no other gear other than your Enigma. That's pretty useful seeing as CoA is generally used when it's a non-elemental char, and Gores would be boots of choice. Furthermore, Gores don't have +str. Having to rely as little as possible on +str from equip other than Enigma is nice.


High damage and high life are not the only important things to consider when making a PvP character. There are many factors, such as effectiveness against certain characters, alternate equipment/stat placements for better efficiency, etc. Breakpoints fit into this category. A breakpoint [BP from now on] is a point in which, once reached, your character completes that specific action 1 frame or more faster. For example, the more Faster Cast Rate % you have, the less frames your character will take to complete the animation. For a BvC the two main important BPs are FCR and FHR.

Faster Cast Rate Breakpoints:

0 FCR ---- 13 Frames
9 FCR ---- 12 Frames
20 FCR ---- 11 Frames
37 FCR ---- 10 Frames
63 FCR ---- 9 Frames
105 FCR ---- 8 Frames
200 FCR ---- 7 Frames

The 37 FCR BP [which is underlined] is what I suggest. It's easily attained using 2x FCR rings + an Arachnid Mesh. In my opinion, the 37% BP is very effective. Though not as fast as the 63% BP, it still allows you to catch quick teleporters, but it requires you to put Leap to good use, as well as have better reflexes when tele -> WWing.

The 63% BP is the one that is usually attained on West NL by using Wiz Gloves. Using Wizgloves gives you 50% FCR already, which means you only need 2x FCR or an Arachnid Mesh to break 63%. You could also use a 13% FCR Barb ammy, but you lose the benefits of the Highlords, and I seriously don't recommend that. I use 63% against Necros/some sorcs using Griffons + FCR rings + Arach. I keep the damage but I gain the speed. [Thanks morotjos]

Note on FCR frames: You may notice that the Barb shares the same FCR table as the Sorceress. This is extremely useful, since as well as having a quick, uninterruptible, heavily damaging attack, you also share the best FCR frames in the game.

Faster Hit Recovery Breakpoints:

0 FHR ---- 9 Frames
7 FHR ---- 8 Frames
15 FHR ---- 7 Frames
27 FHR ---- 6 Frames
48 FHR ---- 5 Frames
86 FHR ---- 4 Frames
200 FHR ---- 3 Frames

FHR comes into effect when you're hit by something that puts you into recovery animation. If you have 0 FHR, you'll be recovering at a sluggish 9 Frames, which means you will be dead - guaranteed. High DR and HP won't save you if you're stuck in a stun lock and cannot get out.

With your normal Pubby set up [see below], you'll reach the 48% BP. This allows you to duel effectively, though there may be some instances [such as getting stuck in a trap + MB combo] where you'll need more, or at least leap/WW out of it. 86% is a bit more difficult to get to, since it requires quite a bit more gear changing.

Achieving the best WhirlWind Breakpoint:

If you have a slow weapon, you're not going to reach the 4 frame WW BP. Outisde IAS [IAS that is not on the weapon itself] has no effect on the speed of your WW. This includes things such as IAS jewels socketed in your helm, and the Fantaticsm aura from your Beast.

Since you'll be using a Berserker Axe as the base for your Grief, you will need at least 34 IAS [the Berserkers Axe base speed is 0, meaning that you need it to reach -34 speed] in order to hit the 4 Frame [the last, also] breakpoint. Essentially this will mean that you will be hitting more often per second than if you hit a lower BP.

Your offhand weapon [the weapon that your equip last, this means you always want to equip your Grief FIRST, then your beast/doom/whatever] must also reach 34% IAS, but since all the off-hand weapons you should be using [Doom/Beast] already have at least 40%~ IAS, it's not something to worry about.


These items are not cheap, for the most part. This is an expensive build, built with expensive items. If you cannot afford them, then I suggest you either get them somehow, or try another build.

Main Items:

Helms -

Crown of Ages [Socketed with two Ber runes]: There is really no substitute for this helm, in regards to fighting against physical damage attackers. 31% DR + the other bonuses cut down on a lot of damage you take. This will also be the helm of choice if you frequent pub rooms, being that there are generally a ton of physical damage opponents in there and that the helm also comes with a decent amount of +resist all. If there are none, then of course youll use the next helm.

Arreats Face [Socketed with a 40ed\15ias jewel] : This is the one you'll usually wear when you go after Sorcs, necros, etc. The bonuses make this helm. The 40\15 jewel is for the times you use a Widow Maker, but is also very helpful when you run into a clay golem, since it allows you to Zerk at a reasonable speed [IIRC, itll be the 12 frame BP when youre hit by a clay golem].

Armor -

Enigma: Wyrmhide/Dusk/MagePlate/BreastPlate/low-strength armors. You will not have high base strength with this build, so generally Archon Plate enigmas are out of the question. When killing casters, Enigma is at the top of the heap, with no real competition.

Fortitude: Archon Plate/Dusk. Something with a reasonable str-req and not super ugly. This is generally equipped when you go after different types of Paladins or sometimes other Barbs. It provides 300% ED, making every landed hit insanely damaging.

Jewelry -

Highlords Wrath: Nothing else. +1 skill, lightning resist, 20% IAS [irrelevant with WW, however] and a ton of Deadly Strike makes this amulet very useful.

FCR rings: Preferred stats are FCR/AR/Life/Mana/Res all OR FCR/AR/STR/Mana/Res all.

Weapons -

Grief Berserker Axe: Not a phase blade. Not a Colossus Blade. A berserker axe. This has range 3 and allows you to hit the WW breakpoint with a 34% IAS roll. The ideal Grief is 34%IAS+\+400 damage, but as long as you hit around 380-390, its still good.

Beast Berserker Axe: THE offhand weapon. This thing adds a ton of AR, Damage, and Crushing Blow/Open Wounds. Another thing is that it adds a LOT of strength, which does two things: 1) Adds some damage to your WW and 2) Makes it a lot easier to equip your CoA. It also has some mana related bonuses, but theyre just nice, not game-breaking.

Doom Berserker Axe*: Usually youll want just one for a Doom + Grief kill-a-smiter-bleedfest. However, if you decide to follow blobs\mcms advice, then youll get two. If you go Doom x2 on switch, these will be your Warcry weapons. You lose only +2 to Warcries, but gain damage and the invaluable Holy Freeze Aura [The two Auras will stack, and so will the Resistance]. This still gives a good level BO, and you will #@!& smiters/zons if you decide to use a Doom on them. But anyway, you dont really use them too often, unless youre BOing or teleporting around with both Dooms out to try and kill a slivered dueler. Also, zons/smiters can be beaten without them.

*Doom x2 are considered 'old school' BO weapons. Whatever. They do damage and kill with Auras. They're awesome. However, if you don't like them or want more HP, use 2x HotO's on switch instead.

Belt -

Arachnid Mesh: The only belt you want to use against Casters. It has +skills, slow, +mana%, and most importantly it boasts 20% FCR. The ideal FCR BP you want is to break the 38%, which means youll be wearing an Arachnid Mesh and two FCR rings.


Draculs Grasp: Nothing else. No, dont use Steelrends. Rends are garbage for BvCs. Get the best +strength you can buy [15 str]. Life leech isnt as important, but its nice to have decent leech.

Boots -

Gore Riders: These are your melee boots. They have Open Wounds, Deadly Strike, AND Crushing Blow, which will increase your damage output like hell. Youll use these against Smiters\Zealots\Hammerdins\Windies\etc. In short, duels in which you dont need resists on your boots.

Wraith Brands: Expensive, but undeniably worth it. They have FRW\FHR +19 Strength and triple resists that nearly reach 50 each. These are what you need against Elemental casters. Perm ones will own your finances, though. [West specific]

Imp Shanks: Yep. If you cant afford Wraith Brands, then Imp Shanks are a good 2nd choice. [West Specific]

Charms -

3\20\20: There is no doubt that these are what you want. 34 of these things add an insane amount of life, while giving good damage and AR. Im fairly certain that AR\life SCs are almost as useful, but you do lose some damage in that trade. If you cant obtain 3\20\20s [this is the case if you play ladder], then your next option is to get the best max\AR\life SC\GCs that you can find.

5fhr/5 res all SCs: In addition to giving you an extra 20 res all, this impart 20% FHR, allowing you to hit the 48% FHR BP even without 20% FHR Boots on [i.e. when you use Gores]. Before you ask; no, 5% FHR scs are not bugged to 4% FHR. No. No. No. If you feel like you need specific res, then get 5% FHR/11 whatever res SCs instead. It's up to you.

Hellfire Torch: To a barb, this is basically a slightly beefed up Annihilus. The priority here is the +stats mod. Try to get one with a 20 stat mod and a decent resist mod. Perfect stats allow you to spend all your points into vitality [if you're pure vit] or spend less str/dex [if you're str/dex].

Annihilus: The same as the Hellfire Torch. Resists are a 2nd priority, youre mainly looking for a high +stat mod. My advice would be to find one with perfect stats and good resists, but a crappy +exp% mod. Those tend to cost less than ones with higher +exp%.

Secondary Items:

WidowMaker [Umd or Held] : Useful for when you run across a hammerdin or a V/T. High OW and the inherent GA allow you to take a few shots off, and switch back before the guy charges/teleports on you. The high Dexterity requirement [146] is a problem, though. If you take 2x 20 Dexterity RavenFrosts + 20 stat Hellfire + 20 Stat Annihilus + Arreats Face + Base Dex youre still short 26 stat points. You have to 'Hel' it if you want to use it with base Dex. 'Um' Widow is a possibility for max block and str/dex builds.

Verdungos Hearty Cord: Adds +vit and up to 15% DR, this should NOT be needed. If you understand how to kill smiters/zealots and play safe against druids, then you generally wont need this. The DR from BerBerCoA and Enigma should be enough. Learn how to WW when dealing with different physical damage opponents, and you may not need extra DR at all. I personally don't carry this at all.

Thunder Gods Vigor: An important item. Some lightning based duelers hit extremely hard, and the +10% max res will even the duel out if needed. Note that this is worthless if you don't have stacked resist to begin with.

Demon Limb: Enchant. This will boost your AR [though it gets annoying to recharge it, just rune + cube it], allowing you to hit the higher defense opponents i.e. Hammerdins/smiters/zealots/basically Paladins much easier. Your normal targets wont have much in the way of defense, so this is only used against certain opponents.

Life Tap Wand: This thing is extremely useful when dealing with Bad Mannered Druids/Necros with summons. Basically, if you hit a Life Tapped target, it'll be like drinking a Full Rejuv. This is also useful in stopping Iron Madien from killing you as you plow through Skeletons/Revives. I personally carry a +2 warcries, 10% IAS 25 charges of lifetap War Axe in my stash. I keep the same BO level, and can curse skeles/revives. ^_______________________^

Treachery: One of the only worthwhile runewords in 1.11 [so far], this armor is only used for one thing: Prebuffing. It comes with a chance to cast [CtC] Fade and Venom. If you're allowed to Prebuff, go find a campfire somewhere and sit in there until Fade kicks in. After that, find a group of monsters and mow them down with Berserk/Normal attack. Now you have an extra 60% resist all, curse/poison length reduced by 79%, and an extra 305-325 poison boost to your damage [which is reduced by the PvP penalty, of course].

Rune Loops: Im mentioning these specifically, since these are THE anti-FoH/infinity lightning Sorceress rings. High mana, and 62 lightning resist and 15 fire\cold\poison resistance make two of these rings very useful in nullifying any damage done from FoH, and making the Conviction from Infinity worthless. Use these if you want to force a lightning based dueler select a new character. [West Specific]

Nokazon/Hotspurs/3 Lo helm/Etc. : Are all not needed. Theyre helpful for when youre learning how to play a BvC, but you want to eventually grow out of them. You'll be a better player when you do.

Life/Mana SCs: If you feel that your damage level is fine, but you don't have enough mana, this is another choice. In reality 3/20/20's don't add 'that' much PvP damage, and the AR is not an issue anyways. Life/mana scs allow you to go for longer periods of time without having to consume a mana pot, which is especially useful if you're using Angelics.

Hsarus Boots + Belt/Angelics: Is a special area. Pure vit will generally use Angelics [along with fort] while str/dex builds will use Hsarus Boots + belt [along with fort] instead. Angelics gives you the biggest boost, but gives you terrible mana. Hsarus allows you to keep your Highlords, FCR rings, relatively the same mana levels, and a decent amount of AR. Hsarus in general > Angelics.

A note on WarCry prebuffing items - I didnt mention them because of this; Carrying around 2x +3 Warcry javs, +5\6 BO helm 2x Sojs, and a +3 Warcry Ammy can give you a nicer BO. The problem is that youre going to have to eventually recast everything, which is a giant hassle. It also takes up practically half of your stash space. Its up to you if you feel that BOing without prebuff gear isnt right. I personally prebuffed 5~ or so times total when I did have it stashed. IMO it's almost a complete waste of time, seeing that it must be recasted eventually and that means you have to fiddle in the stash again. It's up to you, however.

Note on other realms: Realms other than West Non-Ladder will not have access to certain pieces of equipment in this guide. This is a list of items that should be available to all realms, regardless of ladder or non.

Arreats Face, Crown of Ages, Highlords Wrath, Gore Riders, Draculs Grasp, Enigma, Grief, Beast, Arachnid Mesh, Doom. These items listed are those that are essential, and are also able to be found or traded for on every realm, West or otherwise.

Most every realm will have their own set of duped boots [regarding non-ladder], rings and charms. However, if you don't want to use duped items, you can always go legit. Mods to look for on duped/legit: On duped boots, triple resists, +strength, 30% FRW, 20% FHR on boots. If you're looking for legit boots, then you have a small problem. You can't get +strength on boots anymore, only +dexterity, which is far less useful and the max is +9. So the best you can hope for is +dex along with resists and some FRW. On rings, 10% FCR, +strength, + AR, +resist all, + life and mana. For charms, you just want to get the best max\ar\life charms you can possible get. An inventory full of SCs will give you more life, while an inventory full of GCs with SCs at the bottom will give you slightly higher damage and AR. It's up to you, but I prefer SCs, since the GC's AR and damage advantage isn't that huge.

Public Dueling Setup:

Helm: Crown of Ages
Armor: Enigma
Amulet: Highlords Wrath
Belt: Arachnid Mesh
Rings: Raven Frost x2
Weapons: Grief Berserker Axe + Beast Berserker Axe
Weapon Switch: Doom x2 [or other BO weapons]
Gloves: Trang Gloves
Boots: Wraith Brands [substitute Imp Shanks if you cant get Wraith Brands]

This provides good resists, decent damage and good survivability in pub rooms.
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Nov 2 2006 04:59pm
PvP Section:

Basic BvC dueling tips you need to know -

A )Triangle Whirlwinds - AKA the Triwhirl AKA the Dance of Death [DoD]. You need to know this and you need to practice this. You need to be able to do this correctly; this is how you'll do much of your damage.
    - Correctly TriWhirling means that you don't accidently click on the opponent themself, you don't get nearly as much damage going 'through' them than going around them. It also means that you don't whirl too long.
    - If you do the Triwhirl correctly, the target is in trouble. Not only will they be taking the most damage that you can give them, there is a good possibility that they'll be take a heavy hit and be put into hit animation, prolonging the time that you're able to WW them.
    - Generally speaking, you do not want to NL [name-lock] whirl. NL whirling will get you hits, but far less than if you were able to do a proper triwhirl. Most of the time you will probably NL whirl, but what you want is to teleport next to your target, and begin triwhirling that way. You're assured to get more hits in than if you NL whirled.
    - Some opponents you don't want to TriWhirl on, learn who these opponents are.

B )Leap - This skill is god. GOD. Leap has a knockback/stun radius. Anything caught within this radius will be pushed back and put into recovery animation.
    - Against stationary Hammerdins, Leap is useful in forcing them to leave the safety of their hammer field. Leap, Leap, Leap then switch to a widow and fire a few shots off if they're smart enough not to tele on you. Switch back and continue dueling. If they're stupid enough to teleport on you, start WWing clockwise, NEVER through the Hammerdin. If you know that their teleport is coming, short WW left to right and vice versa instead, this will get damage on them and allow you to get away.
    - Against teleporters, this is extremely useful. Leap -> Teleport -> Triwhirl. That is what you're always looking to do against Sorcs/necros/whatever.
    - Leap has no diminishing returns. The more you put into it, the bigger the area of effect it will have. IIRC, a lvl ~25+ leap will cover your entire screen in 800x600 mode. If you maxed out leap and it's reaching the higher levels, you'll actually start stunning crap OUTSIDE of your screen, meaning run-away sorcs will still get caught.

C )Desynching WhirlWinds - Like Paladins, you can desynch your character by using a skill. Unlike Paladins, you cannot shift charge around to make yourself disappear as easily. But you can still do it.
    - Two words. Long Whirlwinds. WW's have a tendency [if you've made them long enough] to desynch your character from the gamescreen. IIRC, [can't remember exactly, usually not on the recieving end of a desync WW] it will sometimes look like your WW is going slooooooowwwwww. But that is only on your opponents screen. On your side, you're WWing at the normal speed, nothing seems wrong. WW speed is at run speed on server side, but it's at walk speed on client side [credit to mhmhx]. You can kill people when it looks like you were still coming at them, or long gone, or even no where near them.
    - This can be very useful in a number of instances. You can teleport to where you think someone will be/is, then do long WW's in that area. It's very likely you'll get a good amount of damage if you guess correctly. [credit to blobs]
    - Actually putting desynched WW's into use takes some practice, and some experience. Desynched WW's are not a game-breaking technique, they're a nice addition to a Barbs gameplay, and can seriously wreck your opponent's day if used correctly.
    - Realize it won't happen all the time. You can WW long for an hour and there is a possibility nothing will happen. Just deal with it.

D )Name-Locking - A very useful trick, it allows you to imitate AA and catch people that would have usually been long gone.
    - Namelocking [NL from now on] works like this: Let's say you have Berserk on your left click skill. Click on a friend who has teleport and you'll start running towards him. Have the friend teleport away so that he's offscreen. Notice that you're still running towards him? That's what NL is. After he's off screen, switch your right-click skill to teleport [keep in mind you are always holding your left click [berserk] down]. You'll teleport on your friend and if your mouse cursor has been recentered, you'll be able zerk almost immediately. People will complain that it's AA, since you're no where near them, but that you landed on top of them anyway. Whatever.
    - Berserk NL is the one you'll use most of the time. However, sometimes you don't want to be running towards the opponent with a NL. That's the time you use your Unsummon skill. You have to work this one differently, however. Have Unsummon hotkeyed, then use it in place of Berserk [Unsummon will be a right-click skill rather than left, though]. Your Barb will turn and face the direction in which the guy you NL'ed is at that moment. Switch to teleport and then switch to WW and WW him. Unlike the left-click NL, you can't simply switch to teleport and begin using the left-click attack - you're not holding left click down, so nothing will come out unless you switch to WW/Berserk after you teleport. Personally I use Unsummon NL more often than left-click Zerk NLs.
    - Another important thing to understand is how you get a NL in the first place. When you feel that the opponent you're dueling is too jumpy, or has too good of FHR to allow you to Leap -> Teleport -> WW, then you can get a NL. Leap, if they're on your screen, aquire a left-click NL, then keep it till you think they're doing something that requires them to be stationary. If you guess right, you'll teleport on them and get a few zerks in. Once you get more used to it, then you can Unsummon NL and get WWs in, instead.

E )Against Minion-Stackers: You will have a difficult time killing Necros/Druids who 'stack' if you don't understand how it works.
    - "Minion stacking", or simply "Stacking" comes into play quite often in PvP. People who have minions [skeletons, mercs, wolves, etc. etc.] are literally buried underneath all of them. This doesn't sound very useful until you realize that click and hold melee has an insanely difficult time damaging the other player[barring a NL]. You simply can't click on that player; there is so much crap in the way that you're only able to click on the minions.
    - Stacking happens in two instances. 1) When you venture far, far away from you minions and they teleport back on you for a split second [not all the time, most of the time they'll respawn in your screen, but not on you] and the most common 2) When you teleport. When you teleport, ALL of your minions will be on you, and if you're a necro with like 40+ skeletons/revives, you're just going to see a jumbled mass of sprites in the middle of your screen.
    - Normally when you teleport, half a second later all your minions start walking in different directions. But when you teleport on a TARGET, your minions will stay where they are [which is directly on top of you, giving you the stack] and attack whatever is closest.
    - WW will kill minions, but it won't touch the Necro/Druid so much, untill you wipe out enough of the minions to uncover him. The problem is, when you're dueling someone who can just recast his minions, it just becomes a war of attrition - one you will probably never win. So how do you win against this?
    - Leap. Leap will knock everything on the screen back, and stun them. If they're in the knockback radius, minion stack goes away. Most of the minions will be pushed off of him. This clears the path for a tele -> WW. Some minions will still be around, which would take some of the damage for the target, but if you have a good set-up, you'll plow right through them and hit the other player. This is more important when you've been Iron Maidened. You will probably kill yourself if you hit a minion. To solve this problem, either use a lifetap wand [only if it's a completely BM duel] or tele -> zerk instead.
    - Howl is an alternate method of scattering minions. If you don't like leap/have a lifetap wand, Howl is a possible method you can use.

F )Berserk: A useful skill. Its main selling point is the very heavy magic damage you can deal with just 1 skill point invested into it.
    - While usuable against almost every dueler, most of the time you will be using this against Necromancers. If you're able to leap -> stun, you can potential kill him in 1 - 3 Zerk hits. One to break Bone Armor, then one or two to kill him [barring block]. It's not normally used against Necros, however. WW is superior in every situation except for..
    - Necromancers using skeletons/golem/revives/Iron Maiden. Using WW while Iron Maidened will kill you. Not because you're hitting the Necromancer, [Curses in general suffers a heavy penalty when it's PvP. Iron Maiden returns 1/6th damage when calculating the attackers damage, and then it gets hit again with another 1/6th penalty on it's way back {the returned damage}] you'll be killing yourself on his minions. The IM curse will be working with its full power if you touch a minion. You literally cannot WW at all if you want to not kill yourself.
    - Berserk can partially solve this. Berserk is mainly magic damage. Iron Maiden won't turn the magic damage back against you, so this is a viable skill in this situation. Leap to knock all of the minions off the Necro, teleport over and start Zerking. This seems like the perfect solution except for a few things - You're able to be slowed by the golem, the attack can be blocked, and the Necro can still move/fight back. While this is a solution, keep these things in mind.


Smiters: Once upon a time, this was a near unknown class. Now, with the advent of Grief, they've become some of the more common duelers. The most common variation of the Smiter is the V\T [Smite/FoH]. But for this section, I'm going to talk about the Smiter, aka. the pub build. A smiter, even with the absolute best gear possible, should never, ever beat a well played BvC. If you understand how to 'clip' the smiter, then he will get few, if any, smites in on you.

Gear to wear: Crown of Ages, Highlords, Gore Riders, Enigma, Arachnid Mesh, Eagle Turn x2, Grief + Beast, Draculs. On switch: Doom x2. If you are good enough, you can drop the CoA, but most likely you'll want that as a buffer in case something goes wrong. If you're really nervous about getting hit, you can drop the Arachnid Mesh and use a Verdungos Hearty Cord. High DR on the Verdungos is not needed, as you have 31 [CoA] + 8 [Enigma] = 39. So 11% DR will do, just try to get a 40\11 if you can. If this is a semi-GM duel, then prebuff with Treachery for the added DR/curse reduction length. An alternate setup is wear CoA with Fort for extra damage.

A smiter will have range 3, this is the maximum range of a Berserker Axe. There are three types of smiters. One, the most common, is the overly aggressive smiter. He will chase/charge/whatever to get within range and smite you. This is by far one of the easiest duels, bar none. All you need to do is Whirl away from him. If he runs/walks at you while holding smite down, he will never get a hit in. He has to pause in order to Smite you, but when he does pause, your WW has carried you out of range, after you've gotten your hits in. If he runs, he'll die very quickly [your block drops to 33% of its original effectiveness when you run]. If he walks he'll still die, just slower than if he ran at you. If you're still feeling kind of pressured by the smiter, then swap out your Doom x2 and use a WidowMaker. WW/Leap almost a screen away, fire off a few shots. Switch back and WW to cover yourself in case he's charging. Even if he desynchs, all you need to do is to tele away, then leap to knock him out of charge desynch for a moment. If you see him, then react accordingly. Tele away, fire a few shots off and WW.

The second kind of smiter is one that realizes that chasing you while you WW away is suicide, and is content to make you come to him. Unfortunately for the smiter, Whirlwind is a dynamically moving attack. Clip him and he's in trouble. 'Clipping' involves doing extremely angled WW's that barely touch the smiter. Let me see if I can get a little diagram up.

O = smiter
X = Barb
/ = WW path
Note: The periods are simply spaces, pretend that they're not there.

This is an example of clipping.
Stage one-

Stage two-


By following this [very] rough diagram, you're able to inflict at least 2 hits from your WW, while the smiter will either swing and miss, or get 1. Obviously you're not to stop the WW where that line ends, you can see you'll be too close. Simply WW a bit further away, and begin that again. This trade is in your favor. You have a better attack and, more importantly, much more life. If you continue to trade in this manner, there is no way he'll win. If you are hit with Life Tap, skip down a little to figure out what to do.

The fun begins when the Smiter realizes that he's dying, and starts to predict where your WW will go. If he can do that, he'll walk right into it, and start smiting. Follow this diagram, and you can beat that.

O = Smiter
<- O = Smiter Moving to your left to intercept the WW
X = Barb
Y = Where the first short WW ends
/ or \ = WW path

Let's say that you decide to WW left this time, but you know the Smiter is going to walk in your path and smite you. In this case, you do a short WW going up and left, but make it very short, then start another WW, but at a much wider angle and going to the right instead. Look:




The reason why the second WW is angled like it's not going to hit anything is because of this; WW is not a blink and you're gone attack. The smiter will see your second WW. He may or may not react quickly enough. In the case he does react quickly enough, he'll most likely run back in the same direction to try and score a hit. Since the WW is angled like that, by the time he gets there, you're practically gone. His running back to get to you has turned this completely whiffing WW into a clipping WW, and you didn't have to do too much. If he doesn't react fast enough, or doesn't take the bait, that's fine. Nothing has changed, keep dueling.

If you get lifetapped [it's inevitable], just stay away. Stay a screen or so away from the Smiter, he literally cannot do a goddamned thing. If he get's pissed and heads back to town, well that's too bad. You're not stupid. You know that if he gets a hit off he'll have practically used a Full Rejuv, so why help him win? If he gets impatient and chases you, trying to score that hit in, just WW away. Stay away from puddles, they'll slow you down and allow him to Smite. But yes, WW away, back out to a fullscreen if you want. Once there, if you have a Widowmaker on switch, fire off 1 or 2 shots and switch back. Short WW away, Leap [this is to catch if he's desynching his way to you, then figure out what to do from there.

Never try to use your Widowmaker when you're less than 1 screen away. At the very least, try to ensure that there is something in his way that would make a short, direct charge impossible. If you're too close, you will definately not have enough time to switch back to Grief + Beast before he comes at you.

The final type is a smiter who understands that sitting still or chasing will lead to death. This smiter will inevitably desynch/teleport their way into your WW path, and try to kill you that way. This basically ends up being a mindgame. Random WW's can work, but if they're too long you'll get yourself killed easily. Keep them short, and try to be constantly moving as to not get tele-smited or charged. Still shouldn't be a losing matchup for you.

Bad Mannered Solution: If, and ONLY if, you're still getting owned by a pure smiter, you have two choices. 1) Pick a hammerdin [lol] or more seriously, use a Doom. Doom + Clegaws if you have to. This is only if you seriously cannot take them; I've never had to do this and I'm not the best player there is, either. But if you do this, you have a gross advantage on him.
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Nov 2 2006 05:00pm
PvP Section: Continued:

Blizzard Sorceress: Until Grief came out, I would have called the various forms of a Blizzard Sorceress the most common pub room dueler [this is due to people bringing in their Magic Find Sorcs]. However, a well-built Blizzard Sorc can be a pain in the ass. They don't necessarily have high defense/life, but they do pack on a heavy amount of damage, and can 1-2 KO many characters. Understand how Blizzard works, and pay attention to the habits of your opponent, and it won't be as difficult as it looks.

Gear to wear: Arreats Face, Enigma, Highlords Wrath, RavenFrost x2, Arachnid Mesh, Wraith Brands, Grief + Beast. On Switch: Doom x2

Using this gear set up, you're able to tank a few blizzards. This is quite fair - You don't get 1-2 hit killed by the buggy blizzard, and it won't take 30+ blizzards to kill you. It gives you both a fair chance, so this is what I recommend.

Unless the Blizzard Sorc has Max block, it is more than likely they will run as soon as they see you head in their direction. Without max block or a strong Energy Shield, Blizzard Sorcs tend to die very quickly against Triwhirls. Sorcs tend to cast blizz in the top corners of their screen, which means they'll generally attempt to get below you and fire a few off. Don't let that happen.

If the sorc has max block and/or a strong Eshield, then the duel becomes more difficult. If she's able to tank you, there is no way in hell you're going to be able to get off more than 1 Triwhirl without being seriously hurt, especially if she already had a blizzard over her head before you started.

If she can tank you and still fire off blizzards, then it's time for a change of tactics. Do not NL triwhirl her, you'll take heavy ass damage and tip the scale in her favor. Instead, teleport next to her and do long WW's that move away from her, usually up. For some reason it seems that if you WW up, even if there is a blizzard out already, you seem to be hit less or possibly not at all. If she begins to run and try to lure you into Blizzards, predict where she'll be next and tele + desynch whirl, or simply whirl long towards that area.

IF you have good enough gear to survive getting killed quickly, then you might try Triwhirling her.

A possible switch to have instead of the Doom x2 can be a Widowmaker. Firing a few shots to force the Sorc to change positions has its uses, especially if it brings even part of her sprite on screen. Fire a few shots, switch back and leap a couple times in place. This assures you that if she makes the mistake of teleporting in your screen to fire a blizzard off, that you'll stun her and be able to end the match.

Bad Mannered Solution: Use two 'Um' Wizardspikes, Blood Loops x2, Wraith Brands, Arachnid Mesh, Highlords and and thawing pot prebuffs. You can even use a 3 socket Thul helm if you need it. You're now able to tank an immense amount of blizzards, while you bleed her with the OW. Your total Cold resist: 150 [Wizardspikes x2] + 56 [Nat res] + 48 [Wraith Brands] + 128 [Blood Loops x2] + 90 [3 Thul Helm] + 40 [Anni + hellfire] = 512 Cold resist. 512 - 100 [Hell Penalty] - 250 [Cold Mastery] - 35 [5 Facets] = 127 Cold resist. That's max Cold Mastery AND 7 Facets. If you wanted to, you could get a 3 Ohm helm and get 90% Cold resist, all you'd need would be some Thawing pots.

This set-up also gives you a ton of FCR, you pass the 8 frame FCR breakpoint easily, which should allow you to catch her with even less effort. WW her, let her bleed for a little bit, WW her again, let her bleed and she should be down to very little life at this point. Switch to dooms and tele by her, or even in the same general vicinity and the Dooms should kill her if you bled her enough.

Bow Amazon: Usually known as Bowzons, the good ones you run into will remind you of the Buriza/pierce days, but are far, far less overpowering. Most Bowzons will be using Faith, which increases their damage by a significant amount [this is also due to the fact that they don't need as much IAS from gear anymore, due to the Fanaticism aura] and will feature Guided Arrow and knockback.

Gear to wear: Crown of Ages, Enigma, Eagle Turn x2, Highlords, Draculs Grasp, Gore Riders, Arachnid Mesh, Grief + Beast. On switch: Doom x2.

There are two types of Bowzons that you'll encounter. The run of the mill stand-still-and-fire-till-your-GA-gets-something pub Zons, or the players that will make use of one of the Zons greatest strengths: Desynch.

First off, the pub zons are what you'll encounter most of the time. They'll stand in some open spot [or a house..] and continually launch GA. Sometimes they'll move a little, then fire more GA. These are very easy. Simply show yourself to them on their minimap, then get off their map. It's easy to tell if the Bowzon can see you on their map; if you can see them, they can see you. smile.gif After doing that, make a wide circle around them. The reason for that is because most likely they'll be launch GA towards the spot in which they saw you. Some Zons will run backwards a little while firing - if you aren't careful, the Zon will see you on her map while you're trying to get behind and then it's back to square one. Make it wide enough, and she won't be able to see you on the map, even if she runs backwards at an odd angle. After you do that, simply teleport on her and IMMEDIATELY WW. Immediately. If you hesitate and teleport on top of her while she's firing, some GA will make their way back and hit you. That's not a problem, since you can WW straight through even while being hit by GA. The problem is if you get hit by GA and she's able to run off. This also means you have to have good control over your Triwhirls. If she gets away and your WW is really long, she'll launch a crapload of GA and you're in trouble. But in actual duels, crap Zons like that die very easily. Just circle, teleport and kill her. Also, why would you teleport and hesistate? If you do that, you need to practice more. Teleport -> WW. Teleport -> WW. Next.

The more difficult Zons will be the ones that desynch. Zons can desynch by doing one simple thing: Run. Heavy amounts of FRW and running arround in irregular patterns is enough to cause the server to desynch during your duel, which is the only difficult thing about the match. To solve this, if she starts running in one direction, teleport there and whirl long [desynch WW] in the place where she'll be heading. More often than not, she'll run into you [since you're both desynching it's a little difficult to plan out a safe direction]. Instead of using long WWs aimed ahead of the zon, you can WW long in the same direction she was running i.e. kind of chase her with long WWs. If she stops running and you're desynching your way to her, there is a very good chance she'll be in your way while you're spinning around.

Some zon's end up being hybrids, having a shield on switch to tank you if you manage to get near them. Make sure your WW's are tight. Sloppy WW's tend to get you Lightning Fury'd to death.

If you're being chased by GA, never try to teleport away. The 37% FCR BP is adequate for teleing, but not when you have a row of GA following you. You will almost always get hit by the trailing GA, which leads to the rest coming in and taking a chunk out of your life. If you're being chased, WW behind a nearby rock or tree, or leap behind a rock/tree/wall. Terrain is important. If you are dueling in a rock/tree/wall-heavy area, keep that in mind. Hiding behind one of them can save you a lot of HP. You can also leap away from the trailing GA, then teleport if you don't see any in your immediately vicinity.

Practice with desynch WWs against Zons. After a while, you can sort of get a feel if they're going to run a different way, and thus WW long in that area instead.

Bad Mannered Solution: Doom. A Bowzons strength is her speed [pretty much desynch] and mobility. Doom takes that away. If you really want to end the match quickly, equip Doom + Grief. Get the Zon on-screen and Leap a few times once she gets frozen by the aura. Once she goes into dodge animation, it's over. Teleport over while she's stuck in a very long dodge animation and Triwhirl her. She'll get dodge locked and the most she can do is to Save -> Exit. Seriously. It's that hopeless. However, some zons can somehow get out of that if you're sloppy. Don't do random, panicky triwhirls if you miss her. She'll just get out and you'll be wasting your own time.

Lightning Trapper: Generally regarded as one of the more annoying characters to duel against [TGing/NKing with traps is the stupidest thing ever, it's just asking for a sorbing for life]. However, a well played trapper can be a threat, especially if they're able to dupe you a few times into WWing the wrong direction, all the while you're getting hit by traps and the trapper is Mind Blasting you. There are two main set-ups for trappers; HotO + Shield, and Dual Claw trappers [CC from now on]. While I'll be breaking both builds down individually, I feel that CC trappers are the overall better dueler.

Gear to wear: Arreats Face [if you find out that the trapper has an ungodly Mind Blast level, I'd suggest to then equip a Crown of Ages, but this is ultra rare], Highlords Wrath, Grief + Beast, Draculs Grasp, Wraith Brands, 2x Eagle Turns, Arachnid Mesh, Enigma, 2x Doom on switch.

As for playstyles, there are vastly different kinds you may duel against. Most of the pub goers you'll find are Hoto + Spirit users, that like to sit in their trap fields in the hopes of catching someone with a MB so that the traps can stunlock them further. The more difficult ones you will face will never run or walk, which makes it difficult for you to catch them. These will also use bogs to screw up your WWs, either by blocking you completely or forcing the WW to go in some awkward direction, and all the time you'll be hit by traps/MB.

As for the pub goers, they're pretty simple. Many of them will not have max block [or if they do, they'll have terrible HP since Spirit [the most common shield pubs have apparently] is horrible for blocking]. Most of them will sit in their traps and try to MB you. Recall that WW allows you to break out of stun locks, regardless of FHR. If they just sit there and MB, just get within rage of the traps so that they start firing. If the trapper is stupid, she'll let you exhaust them but stay there anyway while recasting. As soon as you see her recasting, just tele -> WW and kill her. Easy.

If at any time you see stun swirls over your head, teleport off screen and loop around her, then teleport in and triwhirl her to death. Alternatively, if you have maxed res or absorb, just teleport in and kill her.

Eventually you'll meet trappers that, while they cast a field like the pub-goers [this one is also a pub-goer] but they won't stay in it - they'll stay near it, however. These are basically the same duelers. Leap a few times to get her attention; most of the time they'll move forward and try MBing you. As soon as they do that, tele -> WW. Others will move away from you, putting the traps between you and them. However, these defensive players won't start off behind the traps, which means you can get somewhat close, and leap a few times to force them back. Once they start moving back, teleport towards them, leap once, then teleport behind them [they're running back at this point] and triwhirl. Or you can just skip the whole 2nd leap and teleport behind to kill. Up to you.

Then you'll meet some of the more difficult CC trappers. These duelers will generally be Faded, and try to lure you into their fields by taking bits of damage off of you with MB. They will always have a Shadow out and will alternately run and teleport at times. Trappers that run will have more problems than trappers that solely teleport. If they run they're far more vulnerable to Leap lock and desynch WWs. Another important thing of note is that they won't have the minion stack the Shadow gives them when they tele. When they run, try to teleport next to them and WW in the same direction - short. If you WW long you either have terrible AR and are hoping that the Sin will just run alongside you till you get a hit, or you're retarded. Doing a short WW allows you to see if you hit the trapper, and if you do it gives you the perfect opportunity to turn the initial WW into a tri-whirl. You do have a choice if you hit with the initial short WW. If you feel that you've made the WW slightly too long, don't do a second WW; just leap. If the trapper is doing anything but teleporting away at that point, they'll get caught and then you can end the match. However, if the WW is just right, then just triwhirl.

The most difficult CC trappers are a pain. Their damage and their durability are also better than the others, but it will be their playing style that will be the biggest challenge. They will rarely, if ever, run. Most likely, they will never run. This means they will have full weapon block AND a minion stack to protect them in case you land a successful tele -> WW on them.

These trappers are very tricky; they will lead you into multiple instances where you take several shots of bolts + MB, and by them time you're able to tele -> WW them, they're gone. If you find yourself locked up by multiple sentries and MB, WW and Leap are two skills that will let you get out [you'll take damage, but you won't be stuck]. Play by a corner, if possible. If you get locked up, Leap or WW out, then continue to WW/Leap at angles until you're behind the corner, away from the traps. Sometimes Leap will 'break'. You'll lag during an attempted leap [happens most often when you're getting hit with MB + traps] and actually just leap in place. After that, leap won't work until you re-enter the room. Annoying, yes.. but that's how the game is.

Understand that as soon as you have swirley's over your head, the next hit will get you in hit recovery. Try to avoid charging in until you get a feel on how the trapper plays. Or at least how many times her traps have fired so far.

The best time to go on the offensive is when the trapper is recasting her traps. You won't have a free tele -> WW; traps will still be out and the Shadow will be blasting you as well. Once you figure that the traps are about to fire their last few shots, stay close if possible. A good trapper will know when their traps are about to expire - they'll be constantly renewing their field if you let them. What you can do is chase them around their field, forcing her to continue moving and be unable to renew her field while her original traps exhaust themselves. To do this you have to have good control and namelocking skills. If she gets away for even a second, chances are that you'll lose her completely and she'll reset the field.

The main point of the duel is to force her to move when she doesn't want to - i.e. when her traps are disappearing. She has no real way to damage you if the traps are gone and she's being chased. Keep the pressure up, but don't continually chase through sentry fields - you'll get owned. Get a NL -> tele -> WW and you can end the duel within 2 triwhirls, unless she has high life [4k+] and her claw block saves her for several hits.

Bad Mannered Solution: 3 Lo helm with life, Wisps, Tgods, and high enough DR should completely negate a trapper. Some trappers have fire traps as a back up, but who cares? Just WW her then.

Fire Sorceress: These come in two main variants: Vita and ES. I feel ES will cause you more problems, since they're able to tank you pretty well if they have a very high ES and mana level.

Gear to wear: Arreats Face, Enigma, Highlords Wrath, Grief + Beast, Eagle Turn x2, Draculs Grasp, Arachnid Mesh, Wraith Brands. On switch: Doom x2.

ES FB sorcs are annoying. They're able to tank rather well and many times have maxed block. They can run and spam and almost force you to run into fireballs while you chase them. But there's something to counter that..

Don't chase them.

You can stand around a corner or a wall and let it absorb shot after shot. If the sorc just keeps spamming and you don't feel like chasing her, sit there. If they come after you, get a quick tele -> WW and hope that you've triggered OW. Even if you're not sure, play defensively for 8 seconds and let OW run its course. Do it over and over and try to bleed the sorc to death. This is only if the sorc does too much damage to you, and you're unable to tank for some reason. If the sorc is like the 80% you run into pubs, just tele -> WW and kill them. Max block and/or ES require OW killing. It's pretty much the easiest and safest way to win.

If the sorc is a 200% FBer that just runs away from you and spams all day, then you have a right to just sit by a corner and let her waste her time. Obviously the sorc letting you hit her is out of the question, but a dueler that runs away 2-3+ screens away from you for no real reason is an idiot. This applies to every class, btw.

Bad Mannered Solution: Hotspurs, Nokazon, Dwarf x2. You can still get 40% FCR with trangs and Spider, and you should be practically invulnerable to them.

Hammerdins [and Hammerdin hybrids]: A very difficult duel. Even if your opponent is the dumbest dueler in the world, his hammers are still unresistable. Mess up too much against them, and you'll be playing catch up against a dueler that is perfectly suited to being completely defensive. I'll be breaking these down by sub-categories.

Pure hammerdin: These guys are in my opinion, the weakest of all hammerdins types. All they basically do is just hammers. No charge, no FoH, no smite. Just hammers. Against hammerdins that teleport on you and try to hammer you to death immediately, it's very easy. As soon as he blinks on you, WW to your right, then your left, then down. This assures you instant damage on the Hdin [if it passes his block], and pretty much no danger to you. If you feel your reflexes aren't that quick, just WW down when he teleports on you. Same result, just slightly less damage. If you're feeling really confident, then you can triwhirl him right when he teleports on you. I don't recommend this, seeing if you screw up you'll be caught in his hammer loop.

The other way they can kill you is by desynching. Charging around enough will desynch them from your screen, rendering them invisible to you until they're in your face and hammering. Most of the hdins you meet will suck at this. They'll try to desynch in a semi-circle around you, never coming close and hoping you'll try to tele -> WW them. Just leap. Leap continuously. Mix the leaping up with WW's that travel away from where you saw the hdin last. If you see the hdin charging along a straight path, teleport in front of where he's going and WW, thus making a + kind of sign. NEVER try to WW alongside the hdin, that requires extremely strict timing in order to get it right. If you try that and screw up the timing, you're going to get hurt, guaranteed. He'll be charging below your WW and casting hammers, while you're WWing into his hammers the entire time.

The better duelers won't allow you to cut them off. They'll desynch in extremely random patterns and if you try to randomly WW, you run the risk of running into invisible hammers. This is where I use a Widowmaker. The GA itself doesn't do too much damage; it's the OW that will force the hdin to play a little more aggressively. Most likely you'll be pure vit, meaning you'll be using Enigma + Widow.. In that case, you have much more mobility, but less damage than the fort set-up. You're able to teleport away, fire a few GA, then switch back to your axes. With that setup, you want to get some distance from the hdin, then fire some GA off. If you're not near any bogs/rocks/trees or anything that will disrupt your WW, then WW long and random away from the Hdin. If the opportunity presents itself, teleport in front of him and cut him off with a WW. Be very careful when you have your bow out. It's very easy to believe that he's no where near you while you're firing GA, only to find yourself getting teleported on and killed. If you see the hdin charging away from you, feel free to fire a few more shots than you normally do. If you do not see the hdin on your map/screen, fire 1 or 2, never more. Any more than 1-2 shots will allow a desynching hdin [who was actually on your map but you couldn't see him] to stop desynching and tele -> hammer you.

Tele -> hammer can be very effective, if you let it be. Don't get careless and spam GA like a bowzon.

If you have a Fort, then it's a lot different. You don't have NEARLY the same mobility as an enigma user has [lack of teleport and 45% FRW]. You have to rely on your massive GA damage and WW long and completely random as hell to desynch yourself as your defense. If he desynchs you with charge, you can desynch him with WW. You have to leap a bit more using Fort, since you can't teleport yourself out of a corner if you get trapped. The upside is that your GA will hurt, a lot. It can still be blocked, but if it gets through, you have 300% more ED on that arrow, in addition to OW. Nice. Note: The Fort set-up is only for people that have str/dex invested into their build. I feel that base vit sacrifices a bit too much AR [2x Ravenfrosts instead of angelics, in order to use the Widow] for the Fort option. Also, it takes a lot more patience to understand what you need to do, using a Fort. It's very cumbersome, and you'll die a lot if you're not careful or experienced with it.

Bad Mannered Solution: There is none. Lol. They're hammerdins, what can you BM them with as a Barb? The most you can do is pot, and attack him while he's BOing, if you're trying to BM.
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Nov 2 2006 05:01pm
PvP Section: Continued:

Mage: In my opinion, Mages are very strong. When built properly, a Mage is very well rounded, having a strong FoH and an equally strong Hammer skill. However, if you're prepared against a Mage, basically it's like fighting a slightly weaker Hdin.

A very important thing to remember in this duel is that you need lightning resistance. If you don't, you'll get chipped to death by a desyching FoH that will prove very difficult to pin down [especially if you panic when you see that you're dying]. If you're a pure vit build, you can swap out your helm for a Kiras w/ an Um or a high light res jewel. Add in the Wbrands, the Anni + torch and your nat resists and you'll be able to reduce his FoH to something you can ignore. From that point on it becomes another Barb vs Hdin match, albeit with him zapping off like 50 health every so often with his FoH.

If you use the Fort build, then you have the added resist Fort will give. You can keep your Arreats in that case; the ED and the IAS is useful for your Widowmaker. Use a Tgods if you want [I don't care what you say, the absorb on Tgods is nothing. NOTHING.], this will help you out against his FoH. Again, this turns into a Barb vs Hdin match, with him having an extremely weak FoH to poke you with. Any time his aura comes on, or a lightning bolt comes down to hit you, you can fire a few shots off with your Widowmaker.

Even though you negated his FoH, it will still be doing damage. Don't think that you'll be able to be completely defensive if you run into hammers that knock you down to around 500 life. He can zap you until you die, especially if you have that low life and use the Fort set-up.

Liberator: Quite probably the strongest of the Hammerdin Hybrids. It combines Hammers plus a very strong charge back up [Grief]. This gives the Paladin two types of attacks that cannot be negated, thus slightly edging the build over the Mage in most peoples opinions.

Basically, fighting a Liberator is fighting a Hammerdin who still retains very high damage Hammers, but also will be able to pop you hard if you pull out your Widowmaker, almost immediately. Simply put, this is one duel where you have to play smart and drag out the match. He has to either 1) Catch you in a Hammer loop, 2)Catch you with invisible hammers or 3) Charge you to death if you don't have high enough FHR [or just charge and kill you if you're damaged enough]. You, on the other hand can only kill him realistically with WW. GA will help whittle him down, but the best Liberators have around 4k health and max block, so don't think you can kill him with GA alone.

The Widowmaker is your best tool in this fight. Recall that I had just said you can't rely on it to kill him? That's not what you're going to use it for. You're going to get your OW as high as possible, and bleed the Liberator whenever it gets past his block. The problem is you have to be extra careful with using the Widow. Pulling it out at the wrong time will give your opponent a clear charge shot at you, probably locking you up until you die [which, if he's using a Grief, won't be long]. Make completely sure you can see him on your map [map, not screen], and even then only fire a few shots. You have 300+ arrows, don't worry if you miss several times, the point is to get him to play more offensively. If you can force him to go on the offensive, then you can duel him like a normal Hdin, i.e. trying to cut him off if he's desyching in long charge paths, and randomly desyching your own WW from time to time.

Always keep in mind that the room for error against a Liberator while using your Widowmaker is much smaller than a normal Hdin. Pull out your Widow while he's desyching in your screen? Charge -> Charge -> Charge -> Dead. However, with some patience and experience, you can hold your own.

Vindicator/Templar: Also commonly known as the V/T, these can be very dangerous if you're not careful. Most are well balanced [seeing as you don't need that much invested into smite, as Grief already creates most of the damage for you], and are strong defensively. They're able to whittle you down with FoH and smite you if you get desperate and try to WW throught them.

Gear to wear: Crown of Ages, Fortitude/Enigma, Highlords Wrath, Angelic Amulet + Rings x2, Thunder Gods Vigor, Wraith Brands, Grief + Beast.

Basically this is a smiter with an annoying secondary attack. The big thing in this duel is your lightning resistance. If it's < 85%, you're not going to do that well. If it's REALLY low, you're probably just going to get FoHed a few times before dying. You have to do some math here:

-125% from Conviction + -100 from Hell Mode + -25% FoH scepter [Usually not included, but it's always a good idea to be on the safe side]. That adds up to -250%.

If you're using the ideal setup , your resists should look like 54% [Natural res] + 30% [Fort, if using it] + 48% [Wraith Brands] + 40% [Anni/Torch] + 30% [CoA]. That comes out to 202% That's a difference of 48% resist. That's not good. To counter that, there are a few possibilities.

1. Berserker Axe socketed with 6 high resist % lightning jewels. An option, but you lose a ton of damage and other mods. Not particularly useful.

2. Different gear setup. This involves using Hsarus boots + belt for the AR, which allows you to use 2x FCR rings with lightning res and highlords.

3. 10x 20 life/11 lightning resist SCs in stash. This is the better option for most people. Having this means you lose a little damage and AR [the AR loss is generally not that bad], but you gain 110% lightning resist, which gives you far more than you need, so you could possibly swap out your Wraith Brands for Gore Riders instead, but that requires a base str of 53 [if you're using a Fortitude], along with a 30 str belt. This is probably the setup most people will use, but the stash space is an issue.

So to that 202% [most people don't have perfect gear, but it's easy to get even plain 11% light res SCs] add 110%. That's 312%. Subract the negatiave resists and you'll end up with 62%. That's not enough, if the guy is packing a FoH scepter [which most V/T's won't]. You can generally bet that he won't carry it, and thus you can add 25% to your total resist for a total of 87%. That's enough.

If you're REALLY paranoid about FoH [or want to be prepared in case someone has a FoH scepter], then you have more options to choose from:

1. More resist SCs. About 3 or 4 more. This'll add an extra 33% or 44% to your total.

2. Wear a Rune Loop. This only applies to West Non-Ladder. A RLoop gives 62% lightning resistance. You can sacrifice the AR for better survivability and more mana if you need to.

I typed up a lot of stuff, but the idea is this: Shut down his Conviction. FoH alone isn't what kills most BvCs, it's the lack of resists. So basically you need to counteract -250%~ lightning resist. Once you're able to do that, he's stuck with smite. It shouldn't be too hard after you stack him. He can also chip you slightly with FoH, but unless you're down to 100 life, it's negligible.

If you're West Non-Ladder, you can use: CoA + Fort + Hsarus boots + Belt + Rloop x2, Highlords, Dracs and Grief + Beast. On average that's around 313 light resist. That should be enough.

Bone Necromancer: In .09 this was your toughest opponent, due to the insanely damage and bone armor the marrow bug gave them. Like the Hammerdin, Bone Necs deal magic damage, which is virtually unresistable. Like all casters, they come in two forms: block or vit. Block necs are incredibly tough. Not only must you bypass their 75% block, but you have to also destroy their bone armor in order to lock them down properly. The upside is that they're more prone to block lock, which is good for you. Pure Vit necros cannot take as much damage [statistic-wise], but are harder to pin down due to the lack of block-lock. If you get a triwhirl on them, it must be VERY tight, or else they'll get away and recast their armor meaning you'll have to chase them, again.

Most necros follow the 'train' pattern. They fire off a row of spirits [or a crowd, whatever] and teleport through it. Their hope is that the spirits turn invisible and you try to jump them, and in turn run into several of the shots. Avoid this by leaping perpendicular to where he originally came from, in order to bump him out of the train. Then try to jump them.

Basically it's just-
    - Avoid random spirits
    - Stay near a wall to hear if invisible spirits are hitting it
    - Keep your triwhirls tight
    - Use hit and run tactics with OW
    - Try to finish him off with 2x Doom switch [the aura] if you see his life is pretty much gone
    - Watch out for puddles, they'll mess your WWs up
That is basically true for all duels, but against necs it's more prevelant. Just stick the basics.

Note: You can 'stomp' Spirits using leap. It happens randomly, and you can never rely on it, but it's actually possible to land on a Spirit that's trailing you with leap [literally land on it] and take no damage. DO NOT EVEN TRY TO USE THIS AS A STANDARD TRICK AGAINST NECS. IT'S NOT CONSISTENT. But it's possible, which is why I listed it.

My own Barb

level 93

45 str
47 dex
Res vit

6.2k AR for WW with caster gear on [WTF 6k? Yes.]
6,749 life with caster gear on

630-1738 Grief
805-3038 Beast

At times his life dips into 6.3k. I'm not worried about that. I knowingly built him like this. I didn't build this barb to just fit the acronym B.v.C. I built this barb so that he'd kill EVERYONE.

True/False Section:

Steelrends are the best choice.
- False. FALSE. Steelrends are terrible gloves compared to Draculs. At most, Rends have ED and crushing blow, while Draculs have life leech and more importantly, Open Wounds. Also, Draculs have a +strength stat that is actually useful. So what if Rends add 20-30 to strength, WHEN THEYLL BE THE HEAVIEST ITEM YOULL HAVE?

If you lose to someone, its time to swap equipment to counter their build.
- False. If you lost to Build A, its not time to bring out the absorb or Doom to completely counter it. Its time to understand what youre doing wrong, and try something new. If you want to be a counter-dueler thats fine, but itd be far easier if you made a Paladin build. sleep.gif

Leap is useless.
- False. Leap is an insanely useful skill. You can use it to knock desynchers back into view, catch 200% FCR teleporters, knock people back from behind walls, and the list goes on. Unless you're the god at name-locking, you're going to need some form of Leap.

A BvC can match any opponent in the game.
- True. As much as people hate this build [which I cant blame, Ive seen a bunch of idiot pub BvCs around, of course there are other reasons], if played well, it can demolish every other build in the game. The only two builds who should give you the most trouble would be [as I explained earlier] a well-played Bone Necromancer, and a BvB. Until you get enough experience with this build, the best Bone Necros will probably wreck you every time. At best you will go 50\50 with them, and that should satisfy you. A BvB will kill you every time unless you either 1) Slap on a Duress or a Fortitude and swap other equip or 2) Tele + Widow them. Thats all you can really do, imo.

You can kill even the best duelers with low tier gear. It just comes down to skill.
- This is sort of a trick question. The answer is yes and no. Once equal gear comes into the equation, then it comes down to skill. But Im sorry to say, your Sigon wearing, Ferocious Giant Axe of the Lamprey wielding version of the BvC will fail. Trust me.

This guide is still somewhat incomplete, but I updated some items and reworked/reworded some things to make it better overall.

Thanks goes out to the Barb players that answered my questions/and or gave a ton of information that was extremely helpful when I was first starting out; mcm, morotsjos, blobs, and luis. Also a thanks to those I neglected to mention.

This post was edited by De4dEyE on Nov 2 2006 05:05pm
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Nov 2 2006 05:15pm
didnt read all.. but seems quit nice!
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Nov 2 2006 06:14pm
Thanks. Basically I made it more organized/easier to read, while I updated certain portions of it. Apparently there is still no druid section.. whoops. I sort of rushed through during the 2nd look at it after the bolding/coloring [that took forever], so there may be typos and whatnot.

Lemme know.
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Nov 2 2006 06:20pm
nice restructure, you made a great guide better readable!
but you should complete the pvp section with some important builds smile.gif
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Nov 2 2006 07:00pm
Pretend this is in the guide somewhere

Angelics VS Hsarus:

Angelics is the most common combination used to gain AR. 2x Rings and the Ammy will give you a ton. On older barbs, that was seemingly the only choice. Somewhat recently, Hsarus has come onto the main stage.


    - HUGE AR increase
    - 10 dex which is helpful using a Widowmaker
    - Green itam
    - Slightly more life given than Hsarus
    - 3 stash spots
    - Huge loss of damage [you lose your Highlords]
    - 300 mana on avg. using Angelics
    - Resists are relatively low [Boots]
    - ONLY 300~ MANA

    - Around 2x mana pool of Angelics
    - Better resists [5 sources of resist, Hsarus Boots, Hsarus Belt, Highlords, and 2x FCR rings]
    - Much more damaging [Highlords is still there]
    - Green itam
    - More customisable
    - Only 3 rows of mana pots :[
    - Takes up more stash
    - Not as much AR as Angelic ring x2 + ammy [when I checked it, Hsarus gave around the same amount of AR as 1 Angelic ring + Amulet]
Hsarus provides a good amount of AR compared to Angelics, but provides much more bonuses, such as damage/mana/resists. This is only really an issue with the fort setup.

Fort Setup

Angelics Setup
    Belt with +30 str/fhr/life/resist
    Resist boots w/ +str
    Grief + Beast
    Widowmaker on switch
Hsarus Setup
    FCR rings x2
    Hsarus Belt
    Hsarus Boots
    Grief + Beast
    Widowmaker on switch
If you're pure vit, you're sort of screwed. You'll be 27 dex short of using a 'Hel' WidowMaker, which means you need 2x Raven Frosts. This in turn screws your AR. You 'could' use boots with high +dex, but then you're short of str. You'd have to find like 20 str gloves or add in a str ring [which further messes/uglifies your setup] in order to attempt wearing this all. In the end, you can forgo using a Widowmaker, but that's the whole point of equipping the Fort in the first place: So your widowmaker hurts like hell. Either or, both setups generally assume that you have str/dex invested. Just do the math.

This setup isn't bad. It gives insanely good AR, but crappy mana and mobility [which is a given, since you're wearing Fort now]. In reality you can switch out your +str boots and +str belt for the Hsarus combo, but that means you have a least one FCR ring with str, or 2x FCR rings with str on both. How much str you need depends on what your base str is. In this case I'll do the math for you. Note: These calcs are assuming you just want at least the Fort, NOT Fort + Widow.

Base str - 30
Torch - 20
Anni - 20
Dracs - 15

= 85

You need to be able to equip the Fort [103 str req for Archon], equip your Arreats [118 str req] and equip your Axes [138 str req]. Since the only sources of str are your FCR rings [since you've gone with Hsarus], you need to do the math. 103 - 85 = 18 str, so you need 18 str at the very least. Then there's 118 [Arreats] - 85 = 33 str. If you want to use Hsarus with fort, you need 2x rings with a combined str of 33. However, once you're able to equip your Arreats, everything else falls into place. As soon as you're able to get 118 str, the +str mod on Arreats will automatically allow you to use your Axes [118 + 20 str = 138, just enough for Berserker Axes]. Then you can go around with Hsarus + Fort, congrats.

If you're around 64/57, then you don't have worry about any +str rings unless you're using a CoA + your Fort. If you're using CoA + Fort, you need at least +19 str from a ring [64 base + 20 anni + 20 torch = 104 + 15 dracs + 19 str = 138 str then you need your Beast to have at least +36 str, then you can wear your CoA] in order to use it. It's not that difficult, so..

Fort provides unique advantages. The mods and CTC on it are useful, but of course it's the 300% ED that makes it so useful. It hurts. A lot.

Note: These are old calcs that were done in a rush, however I feel they show the difference between Fort widow and non-Fort widow

Widow without Fort [Enigma]
    7337 - 7013 - OW = 324

    7013 - 6863 = 150

    6863 - 6635 = 228

    6635 - 6165 - OW = 470

    6165 - 6028 = 137

    6028 - 5899 = 129

    5899 - 5750 = 149

    5750 - 5363 - OW = 387

    5363 - 4730 - OW = 633

    4730 - 4589 = 141

    = 2748/10 = 274 av
Widow with Fort
    7337 - 7175 = 162

    7175 - 6793 = 382

    6793 - 6543 = 250

    6543 - 5872 = 671

    5872 - 5061 - OW = 811

    5061 - 4483 = 578

    4483 - 4032 = 451

    4032 - 3750 = 282

    3750 - 3417 = 333

    3417 - 3262 = 155

    = 4075/10 = 408 av
Everytime you see 'OW' in the calculations, that means in that shot [10 shots per test] OW triggered and I added the damage in. Notice how Fort avg. damage is higher. Also notice that OW triggered 4x [four times] during the Enigma testing compared to the 1 time in Fort testing, but yet the Enigma damage is overall much lower. Fort makes your Widow hurt quite a bit. For specifics sake, I tested on a friends BvC that had approx. 8% DR and no shield. Throughout the test I had Dracs and Gores equipped, along with Highlords, but I was lazy and don't want to seperate the DS% on the account of it not being that important to show the difference. 7,337 was his HP at the start of the test, I wanted to get it over quickly, so instead of healing in between shots [which is pointless, really] I just shot him, made sure OW didn't trigger [and if it did, I waited till it was over], then repeated the process. Fairly simple.

The avg. damage doesn't take into account the block % an opponent may have, because this test was simply done to show that Fort > Enigma in terms of boosting your Widow damage. Enigma Widow relies on OW more than actual damage, while Fort Widow does heavy damage at the start, and OW is just extra.

All this work for what? For Hsarus. Hsarus makes it easier to stack against a Mage/ V/T while also making you more damaging. You get more mana, more damage, enough AR to hit those hybrids, and in the Mages' case, a very powerful long range tool [the Widow]. Try it out. Or do the math, whatever. Fort is a great addition to your barb.

This post was edited by De4dEyE on Nov 2 2006 07:05pm
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Nov 2 2006 07:17pm
wow gfg

alot of time/ effort put into this guide
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Nov 2 2006 07:32pm
yea gg lots of time into this i can tell... hopefully will get sitckyed
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