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Rend Barbarian Leveling Build for Diablo 4 (Season 1)

To kickstart your journey as a Barbarian in Diablo 4, we present the Rend Barbarian leveling build. This guide will walk you through the process of leveling up a new Barbarian character by harnessing the power of an effective bleed playstyle. So, let’s dive into the details!

General Leveling Tips

Before we delve into the specifics of the Rend Barbarian leveling build, it’s worth noting that our main Barbarian Leveling guide and Barbarian Builds page offer a wealth of general information and alternative builds for both leveling and endgame content. Make sure to check them out to enhance your leveling experience.

To make the most of your leveling journey in Season 1 of Diablo 4, we highly recommend consulting our season checklist. It provides valuable tips and tricks that will optimize your progress. Don’t miss out on this opportunity!

Build Introduction

The Rend Barbarian leveling build is designed to bleed your foes dry. By synergizing Flay, Rend, and multiple sources of Fury generation, you’ll unleash devastating ramping damage-over-time (DoT) effects on your enemies. Additionally, the build incorporates Death Blow, a skill that deals significant damage and can be repeatedly used if it results in an enemy’s demise.

As you progress in the game and reach Level 50 or enter World Tier 3, we suggest transitioning to the endgame guide for Rend to further refine and develop your Barbarian’s potential.

If you’re looking for an alternative leveling build for your new Barbarian character, our Hammer of the Ancients leveling guide is highly recommended. Additionally, our Barbarian leveling page provides a comprehensive overview of all our builds and general tips for effective leveling.

Season of the Malignant

Season 1 Patch Updates

The Season 1 Patch Update brings some changes that may affect your Barbarian leveling experience. Here are the updates worth noting:

  • Cut to the Bone: The Bleeding damage bonus to Vulnerable has been reduced from 6/12/18% to 5/10/15%.
  • Enhanced Death Blow: The damage bonus to Bosses has been increased from 100% to 150%.
  • Hamstring: Slows Healthy enemies only, with the Slow amount increased from 10/20/30% to 20/40/60%.
  • Aspect of Disobedience: The maximum stacks have been reduced from 100 to 60, leading to a reduction in the maximum Bonus Armor % from 25%-50% to 15%-30%.
  • Aspect of Retribution: The bonus damage to Stunned enemies has been reduced from 20-40% to 10-20%.
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In addition to these Barbarian-specific changes, Critical Strike Damage and Vulnerable Damage sources have been globally reduced for all classes. While the build-specific buffs showcase the potential of Rend, Hammer of the Ancients still holds its ground as the preferred leveling build due to its viability.

Best Malignant Hearts for Barbarian Leveling

The Season 1 theme introduces Malignant Hearts, which grant build-altering bonuses. These hearts are categorized into four types, each associated with a specific color that needs to be socketed into corresponding Malignant Sockets on equipped jewelry. Notably, Wrathful Hearts, despite being rare, can be placed in any Socket.

When it comes to socketing, prioritize Malignant Hearts over Skulls in your Jewelry. Malignant Hearts provide an Armor bonus that scales with their Item Power.

Here are the Malignant Hearts that are particularly useful in the leveling journey of a Barbarian, ranked by importance. Please note that the displayed stats reflect what a Level 20 character would receive as a drop:

  1. Caged Heart of The Barber (Wrathful, Super-World Tier III): Critical Strikes and subsequent damage within 2.0-4.0 seconds are absorbed by your target. The absorbed damage then erupts onto surrounding enemies. The stored damage increases by 10% per second. [Fixed in Patch 1.1.1 to work with “on hit” effects and Lucky Hit chance.]

  2. Caged Heart of Revenge (Brutal, Defensive-World Tier III): 10-20% of incoming damage is suppressed. When you use a Defensive, Subterfuge, or a Macabre skill, all suppressed damage is amplified by 250% and explodes, dealing up to 1360-2040 Fire damage to nearby enemies.

  3. Caged Heart of Ignoring Pain (Wrathful, Super-World Tier IV): Incoming damage has a 5-15% chance of being ignored, and you are instead healed for 17-68.

  4. Caged Heart of the Dark Dance (Vicious, Offensive-World Tier III): Every 5 seconds, while above 60% Life, Core Skills cost 68-51 Life instead of your Primary Resource. Skills that consume Life deal 10-20% increased damage.

  5. Caged Heart of Punishing Speed (Devious, Utility): Your Skills have a 20-30% chance to Knock Down all enemies for 1.25 seconds when the Skill’s Attack Speed is higher than 35-20%.

Skill Tree Points

Allocating your Skill Points efficiently is crucial for the Rend Barbarian leveling build. The following table presents the recommended order for assigning your Skill Points. By Level 50, you will have gained 48 points, and an additional 2 points from completing Renown in each Act zone, summing up to a total of 58 points.

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Weapon Expertise System

The specialization of the Barbarian unlocks automatically at Level 15. The Weapon Expertise bonuses level up as you strike with specific weapons. A slotted Weapon Technique applies a Weapon Expertise bonus to all your weapon attacks. To enjoy a 15% separate damage multiplier against Vulnerable enemies, assign Two-Handed Axe Expertise to the Weapon Technique slot.

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Weapon Assignments for Arsenal Selection

To fully harness the benefits of Walking Arsenal, periodically rotate through all your Barbarian weapon slots. Assign the following weapons to their respective skills:

  • Flay: Dual Wielded-Weapons
  • Rend: Two-Handed Slashing Weapon
  • Death Blow and Leap: Two-Handed Bludgeoning Weapon

Mechanics and Playstyle

The Rend Barbarian leveling build requires resource management and strategic skill usage. Multiple skills are employed to generate Fury, including Rallying Cry, Power Leap, Furious Impulse, and Prolific Fury. While generating Fury, utilize Flay as a Basic Attack to stack Bleeds. Once Fury is accumulated, spend it on Rend to apply the most potent Bleed effect.

Death Blow is another powerful skill that deals high damage per hit. It is primarily used to finish off enemies and reset its cooldown. Weapon Master’s Aspect grants an extra charge to Death Blow, ensuring its availability even if it fails to kill an enemy.

When facing tough elites and bosses, activate Wrath of the Berserker to gain Berserk and Unstoppable effects. Additionally, Hamstring applies Slow to enemies already suffering from Bleeding, triggering damage bonuses against Slowed and Crowd Controlled targets.

Fortify

To enhance your survivability, prioritize gaining Fortify. Strategic Rallying Cry and Thick Skin provide Fortify, which grants additional Damage Reduction. Equip suitable gear with Defensive Stance and other Fortify-related stats to bolster your defenses. Fortify also increases your damage output through Counteroffensive and Damage while Fortified.

Vulnerable

To expose the vulnerability of your enemies, use Rend after executing Death Blow. Maintaining Vulnerable can be challenging during boss fights. Utilize Death Blow to finish off boss adds and space out your charges if you are using Weapon Master’s Aspect for increased Vulnerable uptime.

Walking Arsenal

The key passive, Walking Arsenal, grants a 45% damage increase through proper weapon swapping. Activating the Dual Wield buff with Flay and the Two-Handed Slashing buff with Rend is relatively straightforward. Assign your Two-Handed Bludgeoning weapon to Leap and Death Blow to activate the final buff. Against bosses, alternate between Leap and Death Blow for optimal buff uptime.

Damage Rotation

To maximize your damage output, follow this rotation:

  1. Activate Rallying Cry if your Fury is low.
  2. Generate Fury at the beginning of each fight using Leap and Flay.
  3. Cast Rend against tougher enemies when Fury allows.
  4. Finish off enemies with Death Blow to reset its cooldown. During long boss fights, use Death Blow whenever it’s off cooldown to benefit from Berserking and the Two-Handed Bludgeoning buff granted by Walking Arsenal.
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Gear Choice and Stat Priority while Leveling

While leveling your Rend Barbarian, be sure to pick up any Rare equipment drops that might serve as upgrades. Reserve Legendary items with valuable aspects in your stash for later use — you can extract these aspects and imprint them onto well-rolled Rare items. Keep in mind that weapons are frequently replaced during the leveling phase, so avoid imprinting valuable extracted aspects onto them.

Utilize all four weapon slots available to Barbarians to deliver maximum damage. Prioritize higher DPS values on all your weapons.

Below is a list of stat affixes that you should prioritize on gear for the Rend Barbarian leveling build. They are ranked by their importance, with affixes on the same level having roughly equal significance.

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Legendary Item Aspects

Unlocking Aspects in the Codex of Power requires completing the corresponding Dungeons where specific Aspects drop. Aspects found on dropped Legendary Items carry stronger effects than those applied through the Codex of Power. It’s worth noting that certain Aspects can only be obtained by finding them on legendary items and are not accessible through the Codex of Power. Extract Aspects from unusable Legendary Items and imprint them onto well-rolled Rares. However, avoid imprinting valuable extracted Aspects onto weapons, as weapons are frequently replaced during leveling.

For more comprehensive information on Aspects and the Codex of Power, refer to our dedicated in-depth guide.

The following Aspects are particularly important for the Rend Barbarian leveling build and are listed in order of priority.

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Gems

Socketing the right Gems into your gear can significantly enhance your effectiveness as a Rend Barbarian. Here are the best Gems to consider for each slot type while leveling:

  • Weapon: Socket a Sapphire to gain Critical Strike Damage against Crowd Controlled Enemies.
  • Armor: Socket a Sapphire to boost your Damage Reduction while Fortified.
  • Jewelry: If you’re playing Season 1, prioritize Malignant Hearts in your Jewelry sockets. Otherwise, use Royal Skulls to increase your Armor.

Elixirs and Health Potions

To further augment your capabilities, craft helpful Elixirs at the Alchemist. These elixirs provide temporary stat boosts and increased experience gain for 30 minutes. Ensure you forage for plants and collect the necessary crafting materials during your adventures, as they randomly spawn throughout the world. Craft the highest available Assault Elixir to gain Attack Speed.

As you progress, revisit the Alchemist at Level 20, 30, 45, 60, 70, 80, and 90 to upgrade your potion. The additional healing provided by upgraded potions is essential for survival.

Changelog

  • August 1st, 2023: Guide created.

By following the Rend Barbarian leveling build and implementing these strategies, you’ll be well-equipped to conquer the challenges of Diablo 4. Now, grab your weapons and embark on a thrilling adventure as a mighty Barbarian!

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