Game Mobalytics

A Powerful Stun Barbarian Build in Diablo 4 to Decimate Bosses and Elites

Diablo 4
Image credit: Blizzard

As a devoted Barbarian player in the past three Diablo games, I’ve grown weary of the monotonous “spin to win” Whirlwind builds. When Diablo 4 arrived, it received a nerf for being too overpowering, but that didn’t faze me because I had no intention of utilizing it.

My aim was to create a build centered around stunning enemies and inflicting massive damage. It proved effective during the campaign, although it struggled a bit in World Tier 3. However, as I acquired better gear and made a few adjustments, the results have been… quite impressive.

After sharing a gameplay clip showcasing the build’s prowess, I received numerous requests for its details. While I must note that it doesn’t encompass every single aspect, and there’s always room for improvement, I can confirm that it consistently shreds 25-35% of boss health bars with a single swing when properly set up. Furthermore, it can effortlessly dispatch Elites and ordinary mobs as well.

The keys to this build’s success lie in the skills’ stun effects, damage dealt to stunned enemies, the berserk state, and vulnerability. Here’s the breakdown:

Table of Contents

Skills

  • Ground Stomp – This serves as the primary stun skill, affecting multiple enemies within an area of effect (AOE) and dealing substantial stagger damage to bosses. Staggering bosses is paramount for maximizing your damage output. I recommend utilizing the ultimate cooldown reduction node for this skill.

  • Challenging Shout – This skill fills the defensive role within the build. Since it’s not inherently defensive, it provides a 40% damage reduction against enemies when needed.

  • Death Blow – As the main damage dealer, this devastating ability triggers the berserk state, can stun enemies, and has the potential to instantly reset its cooldown upon killing a foe. It contributes significantly to the immense damage dealt to bosses. I’ll explain the mechanics behind it shortly.

  • Call of the Ancients – This is the ultimate I’ve chosen to use. While I cannot assert with absolute certainty that it’s the optimal choice, it has performed admirably thus far and synergizes well with an Affix I’ve incorporated, spawning a champion that mirrors my Core move.

  • Bash – Although less essential for boss encounters, this basic attack possesses the ability to stun enemies every three hits. It proves particularly valuable when facing champions without any other stun options available.

  • Upheaval – This core skill can both stun enemies and trigger the berserk state. With the right passive, it can also apply vulnerability, which is crucial.

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Passives

I won’t list every single passive here, but it’s worth noting the significant ones. Expose Vulnerability allows your Core skill, Upheaval, to apply vulnerability whenever you use Death Blow. Additionally, I recommend Wallop for increased damage against stunned enemies, and No Mercy for an elevated critical hit chance against stunned enemies. Lastly, the Berserk capstone skill ensures near-constant uptime on a 50% damage increase.

Diablo 4
Image credit: Blizzard

Affixes

  • Weapon Masteries get an additional charge – This grants you two charges for Death Blow, enabling two powerful strikes in succession or more opportunities to reset the cooldown by killing mobs. It also adds a stun chance to Death Blow itself.

  • After spending 100 Fury, gain 84% increased damage on your next Weapon Mastery – This effectively doubles your Death Blow’s damage after approximately three Upheavals. It’s best to apply this affix to a weapon.

  • Distant enemies have an 8% chance to be stunned for 2 seconds when they hit you. 80% damage increase to stunned enemies – Undoubtedly the most impactful skill that catapults this build to new heights. While the distant enemy aspect isn’t particularly crucial, the 80% damage increase against stunned enemies is the key component. This percentage is highest when wielding a two-handed bludgeoner.

  • Damaging an elite enemy gives you a barrier that absorbs a significant amount of damage – This is undoubtedly the best defensive skill for this build. When I attach this affix to my amulet, the barrier it provides is triple my actual life. Additionally, I’ve also incorporated other defensive skills such as life regeneration when enemies are nearby.

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Beyond these affixes, the remaining skills are somewhat variable, and I’m still in the process of experimenting with them. Some focus on generating Fury with core hits or extending the duration of the berserk state, while others aim to apply damage-over-time effects with Berserk damage. However, it’s highly likely that there are superior options available, and I’m diligently working on finding them.

The combo behind this build revolves around the following steps:

  1. Apply vulnerability to enemies with Upheaval after initiating Death Blow.
  2. Amplify the damage of Death Blow through Fury expenditure.
  3. Save a Death Blow for when enemies are stunned (as you possess numerous methods to stun enemies).
  4. Hope for a substantial critical hit.

Following these steps, you’ll effortlessly obliterate elites and drastically chip away at boss health bars. Even if you deviate from this particular combo, you’ll still unleash considerable damage, making it suitable for clearing most content. Enjoy!

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