The Whirlwind Barbarian is among the most popular builds in Diablo 2. He can pierce through any group of enemies, using the Whirlwind skill. It’s a powerful choice for both PvP and PvE solo or with a party.
Whirlwind Barbarian Pros:
- You can easily cyclone through groups of monsters.
- You can utilize any Weapon Mastery, except Throwing Weapon Mastery.
- There are no skills that grant synergies to Whirlwind. Thus, you can invest the skill points as you wish after maxing the primary skills.
- You can rush through Normal and Nightmare mode with ease.
- Slaying bosses is an easy task too.
Whirlwind Barbarian Cons:
- You require having gear with a large amount of mana leech in order to use the skill constantly.
- Certain effects such as the life tap from Last Wish and Dracul’s Grasp won’t trigger when you use Whirlwind.
- Weak versus large groups of enemies with physical immunity. However, one point is Berserk is enough to deal with smaller groups.
- Not a super damage output, as there aren’t synergies to increase damage, apart from the Weapon Mastery.
- Sometimes, a glitch occurs forcing the character to spin towards monsters without control.
Whirlwind Barbarian Skills
Your mains skills you have to invest 20 points are:
- Whirlwind: The build is based on this skill.
- Weapon Mastery: The only skill that boosts directly the damage of Whirlwind. You can choose whatever Mastery you like.
- Battle Orders: It increases the life and mana of you and your party. A useful skill for every type of Barbarian.
- Shout: It enchants the defense of your allies as well.
Other skills that are helpful, but they need just one point:
- Berserk:It’s essential for dealing with physical immune enemies and a counter to Iron Maiden skill. Berserk is a solid attack on any single enemy too.
- Increased Speed:This isn’t necessary, but it’s really useful.
- Natural Resistance:Place at least one point here and the +skill equipment will do the rest.
- Iron Skin:The same as Natural Resistance. Place one point here too.
- Battle Command:It raises your whole party’s skills by 1. If you spent more than a point here it will affect only the duration. However, it receives duration bonus from Battle Orders and Shout skills (which will be maxed).
You will also need to invest 7 points to prerequisite skills, resulting in 92 total skill points. If you complete all skill quests, you can achieve reach this amount at level 81. Spend the remaining points as you wish. Iron skin and Natural resistance are good options though.
Whirlwind Barbarian Equipment
Since Whirlwind Barbarian can choose to invest in a wide variety of weapons, there are plenty of options. The most powerful types of weapons for this build are the Swords, Axes, and Polearms.
- Breath of the Dying: This Runeword is usually placed in an ethereal Colossus Blade in order to maximize the damage. Also, the Runeword makes the weapon indestructible.
- Death: This alternative Runeword offers Indestructibility, high base damage, Deadly Strike effect and a 50% chance of Crushing Blow. It lacks dual leech and Increased Attack Speed though. It’s better to place it in an Ethereal Colossus Blade or Sword.
- Oath: It’s a good option if you have managed to find a Champion Sword or an Ethereal Balrog Blade. It can provide up to 340% damage, 50% Increased Attack Speed, indestructibility, attack rating, and additional damage versus demons. The 4 Runes required are not difficult to find as well.
Axes: The following Runewords are usually placed in Berzerker Axes as they provide high base damage, attack speed, and range. In addition, it enables the option to dual wield, creating many different build options.
- Oath, Death, and Breath of the Dying: For the same reasons as with the Swords. Ethereal versions of weapons are more powerful here.
- Beast: Apart from the increased Damage and Attack Speed, it offers a Fanaticism Aura as well. Thus, it’s a good option if you wish to dual wield (with a stronger weapon on the other hand).
Polearms: This kind of weapon provides a very long range at the cost of not using a shield.
- Breath of the Dying: It works best in Ethereal Great Poleaxe or Giant Thresher in order to maximize the damage.
- Doom: This Runeword is working better if you equip it on your mercenary. It provides a high-Level Holy Freeze Aura (it slows down enemies), increased attack speed, damage, Deadly Strike, and +2 to all skills.
- Obedience: It provides a 370% damage bonus, Crushing Blow, 30% chance to cast enchant when killing a monster, and additional Defense and Resistances.
- Fortitude: It increases Defense, Damage, Resistances and Life points.
- Chains of Honor: Life Leech, Damage Reduction, +2 to All Skills, damage bonus versus Demons and Undead.
- Stone: High Defense, additional Strength, and +15 to resistances.
- Duress: High defense, decent boost to Resistances, physical and cold bonus Damage to Crushing Blow and Open Wounds.
- Treachery: It’s a good option for your Hireling as it increases the Attack Speed and has a chance to cast Venom and Fade.
- Enigma: This option is more popular for PvP fights because it lacks the boost to Resistances but it grants the ability to Teleport. It has a high Defense, +2 Skills, and a Strength boost
- Tyrael’s Might Sacred Armor(with a Pul Rune): It has the advantage of a zero Strength requirement and ‘Cannot be Frozen’ effect.
- Arreat’s Face: It’s powerful for almost all the Builds of the Barbarian.
- Guillaume’s Face: An alternative option for boosting Deadly Strike and Crushing Blow effects.
Shield: Many players chose a two-handed build or a dual wielding build) for maximizing the damage. However, you can use a Shield in order to survive Hell Difficulty without spending many points on Iron Skin and Natural Resistance.
- Stormshield: High Damage Reduction, Defense boost, additional Cold and Lightning resistances.
- Sanctuary: Very high Resistances and Defense.
- Spirit Ward: High Defense and Resistances, blocking, and a chance to cast fade.
- Soul Drainer: Dual leech and a chance to cast Weaken.
- Dracul’s Grasp: Leech, Life Tap, and
- Laying of Hands:More damage versus Demons, increased Attack Speed and additional Fire Resistance.
- Gore Rider: It’s the most popular option for Boots as it offers Deadly Strike, Crushing Blow, and Chance of Open Wounds
- War Traveler: An alternative choice after Gore Rider. It boosts your Stats, Damage and Magic Finding. Gore Riders.
- Verdungo’s Hearty Cord: Damage Reduction, Life boost, and Life regeneration.
- String of Ears: It’s a cheaper option.
- Thundergod’s Vigor: It provides Lightning Absorb and +20 to Strength.
- Highlord’s Wrath: Deadly Strike and Increased Attack Speed
- Mara’sKaleidoscope: More resists and Skills.
- Crescent Moon: Dual leech.
- 2Bul-Kathos’ Wedding Bands rings or one along with a Raven Frost.
- Manald Heal: Mana leech and increased maximum Life.
Whirlwind Barbarian Stats
Strength: Invest as many points as your endgame equipment requires.
Dexterity: If you decide to use a shield, invest enough points for max block. Otherwise, place the number of points that your items require.
Vitality: Spend the majority of your points here. A great life pool is the common trait of the Barbarians.
Energy: Despite the fact that Whirlwind consumes a lot of mana, many players keep Energy at the base. In order counter this issue they use mana leech items and skills that increase mana such as Battle Orders.