Executioner Barbarian Build

diablo 2 executioner build
Art by Piotr Foksowicz

The Executioner build is a type of Barbarian that specializes in one-hit kills and in crippling its enemies. He utilizes his deadly set of weapons in combination with Deadly Strike, Crushing Blow, and Open Wounds. Executioners are very effective when fighting versus large groups of enemies if they choose the right weapons. Although one hand weapons are effective, the two-handed or dual weapons are even deadlier.

An Executioner player can choose his play style according to his preference.


Executioner Build Skills

Primary skills you should max out (20 points):

If you choose dual weapon set up:

Frenzy: This is your main attack. Since level 20 Frenzy is difficult to control due to the Barbarian’s rapid speed, it’s recommending to invest 10 points in Frenzy. This way, the Executioner will deal a massive amount of damage and can focus on other skills as well.

Weapon Mastery: Invest 20 points in the Weapon Mastery according to your weapon. It raises your attack rating, damage, and Critical Strike chance.

If you choose to play with two-hand weapons:

Concentrate or Leap Attack: Concentrate gives the Executioner a great amount of Defense, Attack Rating, and Damage bonus at the same time. Leap Attack can be deadly, but you may find yourself in trouble versus large groups of monsters because Leap Attack hits only a target at the time. Whirlwind can resolve this issue though, as it allows you to escape or to continue attacking.

If you choose to play with a one-handed weapon and a shield:

Concentrate, Leap Attack, or Berserk: Similar to the two-handed weapon approach, Concentrate grants a large bonus to defense. An executioner carrying a shield can still block attacks, Berserk is an option for maximizing damage in defense. Leap attack is effective for performing hit-and-run tactics quickly.


You can choose your Secondary skills based on your preference. However, the following skills are recommended:

Iron Skin: It provides natural defense and it’s also a prerequisite for Natural Resistance.

Natural Resistance: It’s a passive skill that boosts your resistances. It will help you survive in Hell difficulty. Don’t invest more than 5 points, as the returns are diminishing after this point. Your items can further boost this skill.

Increased Stamina and Increased Speed: They are both helpful skills for every Barbarian but not a priority. They allow you travel much faster.

Shout: It enchants the defense of your party. Place at least a few points here.

Battle Orders: It’s a supportive skill that raises your entire party’s life and mana. The majority of Barbarian builds max this skill, but you don’t have to because it doesn’t boost your damage.

Battle Command: It’s very helpful to raise the skills of your party. Just a point is enough.

Berserk: This converts your physical damage to magical damage. It’s excellent for dealing with physical immunities and for PvP with Necromancers that use Iron Maiden. However, your character is left with zero defenses, risking his life. A shield can help with this issue. Since Berserk provides synergy to Frenzy, invest at least 10 or more points in it.

War Cry: Only a point is enough here to stun groups of enemies.

Battle Cry: Placing a point here is important, as this skill greatly reduces the enemies’ defense


Invest the remaining points to skills that provide synergy. If your main skill is Frenzy, spend your spare points into Double Swing, Taunt, and Berserk.

If your primary attack is Berserk, it’s better to invest on Shout and Howl.

In the case you use Leap Attack, invest points into Leap.

Executioner Build Items


You should find a weapon that has Chance to Ignore target Defense, Open Wounds, Crushing Blow and Deadly Strike. Also Curses such as Decrepify or Amplify Damage are very helpful for maximizing your damage output. There are plenty of choices, like the following suggestions:

Unique Axes: Humongous, Executioner’s Justice, The Minotaur, Tomb Reaver (with 3 Ber Runes).

Rune words: The Last Wish and Obedience, Infinity to Polearms for maximizing your Crushing Blow.


If you are using Berserk, search for a Shield with a high block chance such as Moser’s Blessed or Sanctuary Rune Word.

If you’re using a different skill such as Concentrate or Leap Attack, the Lance Guard or Swordback Hold seem to be the ideal choices.



  • Leviathan


  • Corpsemourn 


  • Duress Rune Word 



  • Gore Rider 


  • War Boots



  • Giant Skull Bone Visage: It provides Crushing Blow and many other bonuses that fit this build perfectly.


  • Arreat’s Face



  • Steelrend Ogre Gauntlets


  • Venom Grip: For Life steal and poison damage.



  • Highlord’s Wrath: It’s the best option for this build as it provides Deadly Strike chance and many other helpful bonuses.


  • Raven Frost


  • Bul-Kathos’ Wedding Band

Executioner Build Stats

Strength: Spend enough points to equip your best gear.

Dexterity: If you play with a shield go for the max block. Otherwise, just place enough points to equip your strongest weapons.

Vitality: Invest the majority of your points here. An Executioner has to be healthy.

Energy: Keep your Energy at the base value.


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