Berserker Build

Pros/Cons, skills, and stat point distribution for the Diablo 2 Berseker Barbarian build

diablo 2 berseker barbarian build
Art by n1agara

The Berserker build is the Barbarian’s ultimate damage build.


  • The Berserkers deal massive magic damage with each hit
  • They can override physical immunities
  • They aren’t affected by Necromancers’ Iron Maiden.


  • The Berserk skill brings the character’s defense to zero
  • It’s impossible to leech life and mana because the damage from Berserk is magical. However, the damage potential can surpass this handicap.

There are two main sub-builds for the Berserker Barbarian:

  1. Shielded build:
    • It requires a good and probably expensive shield with high Block Rate for protection and Faster Block Rate.
  • It requires an excellent and usually very expensive 1-handed weapon (probably an Axe) with massive damage to maximize the potential of Berserk.
  1. Non-shielded build
    • It requires some practice in using Howl, War Cry, Leap Attack and Taunt for in order to avoid damage and stay protected.
  • It requires only a decent high-speed rare 2-handed weapon such as a Shal’ed Steeldriver or a Ribcracker (the best option).

Berserker Build Skills

Below are your main skills that you need to invest many points in:

  • Berserk:The build is designed around this skill. Spend 20 points here for its massive damage potential.
  • Weapon Mastery:After you choose your weapon type, max out this skill as it greatly boosts your damage output.
  • Battle Orders:It provides more health and mana. It’s a useful skill for every Barbarian.
  • Shout:It provides synergy to Berserk. On its own, it grants more defense and less damage. However Berserk removes all of your defense anyway. It’s less useful than Howl on a non-shielded build, but it’s more useful than Howl on a shielded build.
  • Howl:It provides synergy to Berserk too. Howl is a vital tool for a non-shielded build as it grants Crowd Control, scaring monsters away.
  • War Cry:It’s an extra skill for controlling crowds and preventing damage to a non-shielded build. You might have to divert here some or all points from Shout and your Weapon Mastery (on a non-shielded build).


In addition, you should consider placing a point in the following skills:

Whirlwind: It lets you leech mana and life when you need it. Also, it’s useful when there are too many monsters to kill just with Berserk.

Increased Speed: It’s useful but entirely optional.

Natural Resistance: It provides more resistance. It’s optional too.

Iron Skin: It’s similar to Natural Resistance but it provides physical defense.

Battle Command: It raises the entire party’s skills by 1.

Taunt: It prevents powerful ranged monsters from attacking you with ranged attacks.

Battle Cry: It reduces the damage and defense of nearby opponents. It’s helpful for killing Bosses.

Berserker Build Items




  • Breath of the Dying: Place it in an ethereal Berzerker Axe or an Ethereal Colossus Blade for maximizing damage.
  • Grief: Massive Damage, Deadly Strike, additional damage against Demons. Also, the +Life After Each Kill helps you to overcome the inability of Berzerk’s life leech.
  • Death: It’s better to place it in an Ethereal Berzerker Axe.
  • Last Wish: Damage Boost, Crushing Blow and a chance of casting fade.
  • Oath: High Damage, indestructible, and bonus damage versus demons.
  • Beast: Increased Damage, Attack Speed, and Fanaticism Aura.
  • Doom: +2 to Skills, increased Damage and Attack Speed and Holy Freeze Aura.



  • Breath of the Dying in an Ethereal Great Poleaxe or Giant Thresher, Ethereal Colossus Blade, Thunder Maul, Ethereal or Ogre Maul.
  • Doomin a Cryptic Axe or other Elite Polearm.
  • Last Wish in a Giant Thresher, Great Poleaxe, or Glorious Axe.
  • Obedience in a Cryptic Axe or in another Elite Polearm.
  • The Reaper’s Toll: The high chance of casting Decrepify
  • Bonehew: It offers high Damage and up to 2 sockets.
  • The Cranium Basher: High Damage and Crushing Blow.
  • The Grandfather: Indestructible and boost to maximum
  • Doombringer: Indestructible and chance of casting Weaken.


Your Armor choices are somehow limited because your defense is lowered to zero with each attack, no matter how high. Thus, Damage reduction bonus would be better for this build.

  • Chains of Honor: life regeneration, +2 to all skills, 8% Damage reduction, and additional Resistances.
  • Enigma: Teleport, +2 to skills, Damage reduction and life per kill
  • Treachery: Increased attack speed and chance of casting fade.
  • The Leviathan: Indestructible, 22% damage reduction and a great boost to Strength.
  • Shaftshop: Boost to life, 30% Damage Reduction.


  • Arreat’s Face: No exceptions.


  • Stormshield: It is the best choice.
  • Phoenix: For more damage.


  • Steelrend: More damage,
  • Soul Drainer: Dual leech,
  • Dracul’s Grasp: Leech, Strength and Life Tap.


  • GoreRider


  • Sandstorm Trek
  • War Traveler


  • Verdungo’s


  • String of Ears


  • Thundergod’s Vigor



  • Highlord’s Wrath:More Attack Speed Deadly Strike
  • Mara’sKaleidoscope: Μore skills and resists.



  • Dual Bul-Kathos rings or just one along with a Raven Frost.

Berserker Build Stats

Strength: You should have enough energy to equip your endgame items.

Dexterity: If you play with a Shield invest enough points for max block. Otherwise, spend enough points to equip your weapons or nothing if your weapons don’t require Dexterity.

Vitality: Spend all the points left here, especially if you play without a shield.

Energy: Although you can’t leech mana using Berserk, leave this attribute to its base value. Let the items and potions help you with your mana issues.

Tips and Tricks

  • Berserk can kill almost every enemy in fewer than 3 hits, even inHell mode. With max block or War Cry and Howl, it’s unlikely that enemies will manage to hit a Berserker even if he has zero defense.
  • If you need to leech life and mana, use Whirlwind.
  • Whirlwind can also help you versus too many enemies that are hard to kill with Berserk.
  • Try to stack your Open Wound, Crushing Blow, and Critical Strike effects.
  • If you carry a Shield, avoid moving a lot while you the defense-reduction effect is active.


  • In PvP fights it’s possible to kill enemies with just one hit as high magical defense is difficult for enemy players to acquire. However, it’s difficult to PvP with a non-shielded build because Howl doesn’t work on players. Further, you will need Enigma to teleport close to your opponents and finish them.