VegaPrime's "Axe-nado" Barbarian

VegaPrime's "Axe-nado" Barbarian

VegaPrime#1203 is tackling the “spin-to-win” Whirlwind build in the most metal way possible: by transforming his Barbarian into an unnatural disaster—a blade-filled maelstrom of death. Play Your Way gets downright badass this week as we take a look at the Axe-nado Barbarian!


About the Build:

Whirlwind builds are coveted by many long-time Barbarians. A flurry of metal and massacres, this classic style reaches back into Diablo’s history. VegaPrime#1203 brings us his own unique twist, running a few unconventional Runes and making an unlikely star out of the Stalgard’s Decimator Legendary weapon. 

This week's build is an all-axes pass to a Whirlwind Barbarian, am I right?

Axes, axes, and more axes. The more colorful theme of this build is an unending barrage of bladed glory, both emanating from your constant Whirlwind and the axes that spawn from Stalgard’s Decimator and Overpower. This theme doesn’t get in the way of the build being brutally effective, and it sets the stage for a hell of a good time.


The Skills:

A fairly sturdy build, you’ll find a fair mix of defensive and offensive options below with plenty of wiggle room to make the Axe-nado your own!

Active Skills:

  • Whirlwind (Blood Funnel)
    • The bread and butter damage dealer of this build
    • The constant danger of being in melee is partially alleviated by the constant healing from Blood Funnel
  • Overpower (Storm of Steel)
    • Able to be used while Whirlwind is active
    • Encourages a Critical Hit-centric stat focus to increase area of effect efficiency
  • Wrath of the Berserker (Insanity)
    • Touts a straight-up damage boost
    • Immunity to movement impairing effects allows Whirlwind to remain active
  • Call of the Ancients (Ancient’s Fury)
    • Provides constant Fury regeneration when paired with the Immortal King’s Call set
    • Great source of additional single and multiple target damage
  • War Cry (Impunity)
    • Direct Toughness boost helps reduce the threat of melee damage
    • Flexible skill that allows you to swap out for other options to fit your style
  • Battle Rage (Marauder’s Rage)
    • Boost to damage for yourself
    • Flexible skill that allows you to swap out for other options to fit your style

Passive Skills:

Alternative Skills:


The Items:

This build has a relatively low point of entry, especially if you’ve already farmed up your Ring of Royal Grandeur and have a few pieces of the Immortal King’s Call set. Overall, there are options here and very few are mandatory.


Armed to the teeth, VegaPrime's Barbarian will rock your Lut Socks off.

Core Items:

Complementary Items:

Recommended Legendary Gems:

  • Bane of the Trapped
    • Level 25+ recommended
    • Helps slow down the runners and ranged enemies that try to escape
    • Provides a substantial damage increase while you wade through enemies
  • Pain Enhancer
    • Synergizes well with the Physical elemental nature of this build
    • Helps cull larger groups of enemies
  • Mirinae, Teardrop of the Starweaver
    • As an area-of-effect-focused build, the powerful single target proc from this gem is very valuable

Recommended Stats:

  • +% Bonus Physical damage will give you the largest damage boost
  • +% Reduction in duration of control impairing effects can help make up for missing items like Ice Climbers or Krelm’s Buff Bracers
  • Critical Hit Chance will help proc the damage from Pain Enhancer and make Overpower available more frequently
  • Prioritize survivability stats, like All Resistance, +% Life, and Vitality so you can stay in the thick of things longer

Recommended Difficulty and Game Mode:

VegaPrime is currently running his Axe-nado build in Normal (Non-Hardcore) mode at Torment VI for bounties and Nephalem Rifts. I’ve experimented a bit with this set on the PTR for Patch 2.1.2, and it’s a fun way to tackle lower tier Greater Rifts, so long as you keep an eye on your Toughness as you climb higher. Barbarians know it’s risky to run in Hardcore, and this build is certainly no exception. Definitely don’t overestimate your survivability if you’ve only got one life to live!


Why We Like This Build:

This build inspires me to load up my music list with heavy metal and wreck some serious face. It takes an iconic and nostalgic build, like Whirlwind, and adds equal parts silliness and badassery. Where do you get all those axes? Realistically, it doesn’t matter—at the end of the day, they’re all going to end up in a demon’s face.


It's like being the Oprah of Barbarians. YOU GET AN AXE, AND YOU GET AN AXE!

Accessibility certainly plays a part as well, and while the Immortal King’s Call set is highly recommended, it’s still possible to make it work without it. Spinning to win is always a lot of fun, and I can’t wait to see how this build works out in the future once we have a whole new set dedicated to this play style! 


Tell Us What You Think!

Do you spin right round, baby, right round? Have you been running a Whirlwind build lately and, if so, how is it different from the Axe-nado? Can you think of a Legendary that would better complement this set? Let us know in the comments!

This wraps up our final Play Your Way feature for 2014, though don’t be afraid to submit your latest builds to us using our handy web form. We’ll be voting on your favorite build next week, so be sure to come back and let us know who you’d like to see featured on our Twitch.tv livestream!

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