Axethrower Build

diablo 2 axethrower build
Art by EnriqueNL

The Axethrower, also known as the “Madawc build”, “Double Throw Barb” or “Circus Barb” is a ranged build that uses Throwing Weapons like Javelins, Knives, and Axes. Its primary attack is the Double Throw skill and Howl; Taunt and Battle Cry are the supportive skills.



  • A more defensive build often keeps your character unharmed.


  • It is able to attack only one target at a time.
  • It deals less damage than other popular builds of the class.
  • Throwing weapons cannot be socketed. This means that no runeword, rune, gem or jewel can be inserted.


Axethrower Build Skills

The main skills you need to invest 20 points in are:

  • Double Throw: It’s your primary attack. It throws two weapons at an enemy with a brief delay.
  • Double Swing: It attacks two enemies at once or a single enemy two times if there is only one target. You should max out this skill because it boosts the Double Throw.
  • Throwing Mastery: It increases your critical strike chance, attack rating, and damage when using throwing weapons.

Other skills that need at least 1 point:

  • Battle Orders: It increases the life and mana for you and your allies.
  • Shout: It boosts the defense for you and your party. Invest a few points here.
  • Battle Cry: It makes your enemies weaker reducing their damage and defense, resulting in easier Boss fights.
  • Howl: It forces the enemies to run away, keeping you safe in the case you’re surrounded.
  • Taunt: It taunts monsters to attack you in melee, disabling ranged enemies’ attacks.
  • Iron Skin: It increases your defense. Don’t spend more than a point here.
  • Natural Resistance: It increases your resistances. Place 1-3 points in it.
  • Battle Command: It’s a nice buff for your party, increasing all members’ skills by 1 point. Don’t invest more than a point.
  • Bash: It serves as a prerequisite for Double Throw and Double Swing.

Optional Skills

  • Berserk: It’s helpful for dealing with physical immune enemies. The drawback is that it’s a melee attack and it doesn’t benefit from Throwing Mastery. Further, it needs 2 points in prerequisite skills. You can take advantage of a Helm that grants +1 point to Berserk in order to avoid investing points in the skill.
  • War Cry: It’s an alternative for Howl. However, it needs to be max out in order to be as efficient as Howl.

You should have 19 points left if you are at the maximum level.

If you don’t use Axe Mastery, you should avoid investing any points into Leap Attack because it doesn’t receive a bonus from Throwing Mastery.

Try to stack the effects of Critical Strike, Open wounds, and Crushing Blow. Also, the mana and life steal items will greatly help you keep your character alive and ready for battle.

Axethrower Build Items


  • Wraith Flight: For High damage, Life and Mana Steal
  • Lacerator: Open Wounds and 33% Chance To Cast Level 3 Amplify Damage when Attacking.
  • Demon’s Arch: Life Steal, Lightning and Fire Damage. The Ethereal version is better.
  • The Scalper: If you upgrade the Ethereal version to a Flying Axe, it has a massive damage output.
  • Gimmershred: It provides high elemental damage, so it’s very helpful for killing physical immune monsters.
  • Warshrike: 50% Deadly Strike, and 33% chance to pierce (it stacks with Razortail as well, reaching 66% chance).

The Axethrower cannot use rune words in his weapons.  He can craft a pair of Blood Throwing Axes though that will help him a lot early on until he can get some stronger rare or unique throwable weapons.



  • Arreat’s Face: +2 All Skills, Resistances, Life Steal, additional Attack Rating.
  • Andariel’s Visage: +2 All Skills, Life Steal, increased Attack Speed, Strength Bonus.
  • Guillaume’s Face: Deadly Strike and Crushing Blow.
  • Dream: Resist All +20, Level 15 Holy Shock Aura, Chance to cast Confuse.
  • Stealskull: Increased attack speed and Dual Leeching.
  • Vampire Gaze: Dual leeching and Damage Reduction.
  • Tal Rasha’s Horadric Crest: Dual Leeching and Resistances.


  • Fortitude
  • Chains of Honor
  • Duress
  • Treachery
  • Enigma


  • Nosferatu’s Coil: For increased attack speed, slowing enemies and life leeching.
  • String of Ears: Life leeching and physical damage reduction.
  • Arachnid Mesh: +1 All Skills, slowing targets and increased mana.
  • Verdungo’s Hearty Cord: It provides a great vitality boost and damage reduction.
  • Death’s Guard: Cannot be Frozen
  • Razortail: Adds a 33% chance to Pierce target when attacking.


  • Laying of Hands: For 20% Increased Attack Speed and +350% Damage versus Demons.
  • Soul Drainer: Dual leeching and lowering Monster Defense.
  • Dracul’s Grasp: Massive Life leeching and Open Wounds.
  • The Hand of Broc: Dual leeching.
  • Steelrend: Crushing Blow and additional damage.


  • Gore Rider: Open Wounds, Deadly Strike, and Crushing Blow.
  • Goblin Toe: Crushing Blow (25% chance)
  • War Traveler: Additional Damage, Stats bonuses, and Magic find.


  • Highlord’s Wrath: +1 All Skills, Deadly Strike and increased Attack Speed.
  • Telling of Beads: Poison and Cold Resistance, +1 to All Skills.
  • The Eye of Etlich: Life Steal, +1 to All Skills, Cold Length.
  • Atma’s Scarab: Chance To Cast Amplify Damage when attacking, additional Attack Rating.


  • Bul-Kathos’ Wedding Band: +1 All Skills and Life bonus.
  • Raven Frost: Cannot be frozen effect and additional Attack Rating.
  • Cathan’s Seal: It’s a useful ring for the earlier stages of the game.


  • Annihilus
  • Hellfire Torch
  • Pestilent Small Charms of Anthrax: For massive poison damage.
  • Fine Small Charms of Vita: +3 Maximum Damage, +20 To Attack Rating, +20 to Life.

Axethrower Build Stats

  • Strength:Invest 127 points here, as they are enough to use all throwing weapons. If you desire more Strength, you have to sacrifice health points.
  • Dexterity:If you will use a mercenary with Blessed Aim, spend 145 points here to be able to equip all throwing weapons in the game. Otherwise, invest more than 200 points.
  • Vitality:Spend all your remaining points here, as your health points matter.
  • Energy:Don’t waste any points on your mana pool.

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