PhoenixGod's "Rage of the Maniac" Barbarian

PhoenixGod's "Rage of the Maniac" Barbarian

Get ready to roar with unbridled Fury—the Barbarian is our next class feature and PhoenixGod#1842 is on fire with his Frenzy-focused build in this week’s Play Your Way! 

About the Build:

The Barbarian is known for honing his primal anger into purely destructive forces of nature, bending the elements to his stubborn will and annihilating his enemies with the devastation that follows.

While a typical build will cycle through the Fury resource to accomplish this, PhoenixGod has chosen to avoid spenders in his Rage of the Maniac build, instead making the most out of the Frenzy primary skill and roasting his enemies in the process.

Revenge isn't always best served cold.

Not just another Fire based build, PhoenixGod has a few powerful punches hidden up his sleeve (do . . . do Barbarians have sleeves?) and he makes use of proc and cooldown-based skills such as Overpower and Revenge. These often underappreciated skills have impressive results, delivering quite the wallop when paired with the Berserker Rage passive. Your Fury might not be used actively, but it’s certainly not going to waste! 

The Skills:

The primary theme for this build is a whole lot of buffing and Fire damage. That keeps things simple and flexible, and leaves room for build variety if a different skill (or a build-changing Legendary) shifts your focus. 

Active Skills:

  • Frenzy (Maniac)
    • Primary damage dealer
    • Maniac rune adds a stacking bonus damage buff as well as makes the attack deal Fire damage
  • Revenge (Retribution)
    • Substantial damage dealer
    • Great source of on-demand Healing
    • Retribution rune dramatically increases damage output and makes the attack deal Fire damage
  • Overpower (Revel)
    • Substantial damage dealer
    • Retribution rune dramatically increases damage output and makes the attack deal Fire damage
    • Plays well with Critical Hit Chance, offering a more frequent up-time for area of affect damage
  • Wrath of the Berserker (Insanity)
    • Offers a substantial buff to both Damage and Toughness when activated
    • Insanity rune further buffs Damage dealing capabilities
  • War Cry (Hardened Wrath)
    • Provides a large buff to survivability, especially if your gear is fresh or lacking in Toughness
  • Battle Rage (Bloodshed)
    • Plays nicely with Overpower, stacking additional Critical Hit Chance
    • Offers another small boost to area of effect damage, which cascades beautifully with strong Overpower and Revenge Critical Hits

Passive Skills:

  • Berserker Rage
    • As a no-spender build, you’ll always have the Fury to benefit from this Damage increase
  • Rampage
    • With efficient ways to clear out minor enemies, this is a great buff to have in Rift and Bounty environments
  • Tough as Nails
    • Primarily a source of extra Toughness
    • Consider swapping for Superstition if you feel your Armor total is already substantial
  • Unforgiving
    • Ensures you’ll never run out of Fury and always benefit from Berserker Rage

Alternative Skills:

The Items:

Fire is a fairly dominant element with a lot of supporting Legendary options. That means the Rage of the Maniac build stands on its own and is super flexible in the gear you can equip. If you’re looking to refine your build with specific pieces, though, check out the suggested items below!

PhoenixGod has a great start here, with some craftable items that give a solid foundation and some strong supporting Legendaries. (P.S. We know about the display bug for Goldskin and other chest pieces, we're working on it!)

Recommended Items:

  • Aughild’s Authority (3 Piece bonus)
    • Offers a substantial and easy-to-acquire source of Toughness and bonus Elite Damage
  • Cain’s Destiny (2 Piece bonus)
    • Accessible bonus Attack Speed increase helps get you off on the right foot
  • Magefist
    • Off-slot source of bonus +% Fire Damage makes this an invaluable asset
  • Depth Diggers
    • Most of your damage will come from Frenzy, which benefits from this item’s Legendary affix

Complementary Items:

  • The Burning Axe of Sankis
    • A strong weapon choice that offers bonus +% Fire Damage
    • Great choice if you choose to dual wield
  • Devastator
    • A strong weapon choice that offers bonus +% Fire Damage
    • Craftable and accessible to those getting started
    • Great choice if you choose to dual wield
  • Maximus
    • A strong weapon choice that offers bonus +% Fire Damage
    • If you prefer hefty, two-handed hits, this is a solid option
  • Cindercoat
    • Off-slot source of bonus +% Fire Damage makes this an invaluable asset
      • Note: Because this build uses no damaging Fury spenders, the Resource Cost Reduction for Fire skills isn’t as valuable as it is for other builds

Recommended Legendary Gems:

  • Simplicity’s Strength
    • Most of your damage will come from Frenzy, which benefits from this gem’s Legendary affixes
  • Gogok of Swiftness
    • Stacking Attack Speed is recommended, and this gem can provide a substantial amount
    • Cooldown reduction from the Rank 25 power will help increase the frequency of using Overpower
  • Wreath of Lightning
    • With your frequent attacks, you’ll have plenty of chances to proc this gem’s powerful ability
    • Offers a substantial amount of area of effect damage, which this build can lack with an unlucky streak of Revenge charges

Recommended Stats:

Primarily, you’ll want to be focusing on +% Fire Damage to get the most out of the Rage of the Maniac build. Critical Hit Chance will lower the cooldown of Overpower, though you may consider straight up Cooldown Reduction to increase the uptime of Wrath of the Berserker. Finally, this build is about fast and furious hits, and Attack Speed will always be your friend here, though it’s lower on the totem pole of priority given that Frenzy provides a substantial amount already.

Recommended Difficulty and Game Mode:

PhoenixGod is currently tackling Torment III with ease in Normal mode, but anticipates jumping up a level or two with additional gear. With a nicely rolled Maximus, I was able to easily jump to the same difficulty with minimal other supporting gear pieces. It’s a strong, basic build, but it does lack some of the survivability necessary for comfortable play in Hardcore. Revenge encourages you to be smacked in the face, which is exactly what you don’t want when you only have one nephalem life to live. We’d recommend making some more adjustments for survivability or adding a good escape skill before trying this out with a Hardcore hero.

Why We Like This Build:

There’s plenty of reason to give the Rage of the Maniac build a go. Firstly, it’s accessible and has a relatively low point of entry. Just about any Barbarian can give this a try, and if you happen to have some Fire gear lying around, it just becomes that much more appealing!

That Treasure Goblin knows what's coming — don't let him get away, HulkSmash!

It’s also a simple, easy to learn build that has plenty of support to make it even better. You don't need to worry about a spender, and options like Depth Diggers and Simplicity’s Strength make those Primary skills that much more appealing. If you’re looking for a less complex build for your Barbarian, this is an excellent starting point!

Tell Us What You Think!

Is your Barbarian furiously focused on fire? Do you use spenders, or focus on Primary skills like PhoenixGod? Are you playing your Barbarian in Season 1 and, if so, how has that changed your regular play style? Let us know in the comments!

Got a build you want to share on Play Your Way? You can now submit your build using our new submission form! Got questions about what to submit? Follow the form instructions or check out our forum post for more information. As for next week, we’ll be taking up our sword and board and marching on Westmarch with the Crusader, so get those builds over to us and we’ll see you then!