Barbarian Combat Skills

Diablo 2 Barbarian Barbarian Combat SkillsThe Barbarian Combat Skills are his main techniques in battle. Most players specialize in Whirlwind or Frenzy since these skills can strike multiple targets per use, and supplement those with other support skills. However, it is possible to play successfully just using single target attacks like Bash, Concentrate, and Stun, or to try your hand as a throwing barbarian.


Required Level: 1

Prerequisites: None
Details: Bash adds damage and to/hit, plus a knockback effect that works on most monsters, as well as other players in PVP.

  • Monsters can be “Bash-locked” with a quick weapon; effectively stunning them so they never get to fight back.
  • Bash will not knock back monsters without clear space behind them; another monster, a wall, or even objects like treasure chests and rocks will stop knockback from taking place.
  • None of the Act Bosses may be knocked back.

Early on Bash is a great skill, for the bonus damage and to/hit. The knockback can be a pain at times, as you’ll have to hit, take a step, hit, take a step, etc. If you are killing in just two or three hits, it’s often better to use normal attack. The very low mana cost makes it useful for low level characters, since just about any sort of mana leech will more than refill the Bash cost each hit.

Bash is useful late game for monsters that hit hard or with enchantments, like Mana Burn, Stun, Cold Enchanted, etc. You can get a “Bash-lock” on such targets if you have a fast attack, knocking them into a wall and hitting them faster than they can get off a single swing at you. This can work on other players as well.

The bonus for more than one point in Bash is small, so unless you are doing some sort of single-attack melee Barbarian and want to max it out, just one point is plenty.


  • Receives Bonuses From:
    • Stun: +5% Damage Per Level
    • Concentrate: +5% Attack Rating Per Level
  • Provides Bonuses To: Double Swing

Lore: The immense physical strength of the Barbarian people is widely known, so it should come as no surprise that this is one of the first skills that they develop as a warrior. Summoning up their renowned brute strength a Barbarian can deliver a powerful and painful blow that staggers an enemy from its feet, knocking them back.

Mana Cost: 2

Skill Level Progression

SlvlDamageDamage +X%AR +X%SlvlDamageDamage +X%AR +X%SlvlDamageDamage +X%AR +X%SlvlDamageDamage +X%AR +X%


LeapRequired Level: 6

Prerequisites: None
Details: Leap allows Barbarians to jump over some obstacles, and creates a knockback effect on landing.

  • Leap is very handy to get over rivers, up or down ledges, and move past obstacles in narrow corridors, such as the Maggot Lair.
  • Leap does no damage, but can clear out a fair swath of the screen at higher levels.
  • Leap can be used everywhere, even in levels with a low roof.
  • Like Leap Attack, and unlike Teleport, Leap will not take the Barbarian over walls or other obstacles that block his line of sight.


  • Receives Bonuses From: None
  • Provides Bonuses To: Leap Attack

Lore: Because of his great strength, a trained barbarian warrior is able to perform great leaps. These jumps are noteworthy, enabling the Barbarian to spring free of dangerous swarms of enemies, and landing with an impact that sends them reeling.

Mana Cost:2
Skill Level Progression [e]
SlvlRadius (yards)SlvlRadius (yards)SlvlRadius (yards)SlvlRadius (yards)

Double Swing

Double SwingRequired Level: 6

Prerequisites: Bash
Details: Double Swing only works when two weapons are equipped. This skill quickly swings each weapon once. Both will hit the same target if only one monster is in range; otherwise the second weapon will semi-randomly target an adjacent foe.

You must dual wield to use this skill, it can’t be done with a weapon/shield, or a two-handed weapon. This is a nice skill to use early on if you are going to dual wield, it hits very fast and has an Attack Rating bonus. But it’s not of much use later on, Frenzy is far better, and this only adds to/hit, not damage, so one point is plenty.


  • Receives Bonuses From:
    • Bash grants +10% Damage Per Level
  • Provides Bonuses To: Double Throw, Frenzy

Lore: A Barbarian warrior learns to fight with a weapon in each hand, for after all, are not two weapons better than one? A young Barbarian learns to use both hands independently of each other, striking simultaneous blows at separate targets. As his talent grows in this skill, he attacks with increasing control and accuracy.

  • Figures listed in game for mana cost are inaccurate; these are the true values.

Skill Level Progression

SlvlMana CostAR +X%SlvlMana CostAR +X%SlvlMana CostAR +X%SlvlMana CostAR +X%


StunRequired Level: 12

Prerequisites: Bash
Details: Stun leaves a monster standing motionless, a spinning circle over their head, for some time.

  • This can be used on multiple targets in rapid succession, or to keep one target stunned for risk-free killing.
  • Stun does not add bonus damage, so this is best used when needed for defensive purposes, while other attack skills are utilized to more quickly kill the target.
  • Act Bosses can not be stunned.
  • Most boss monsters, including SuperUniques, have a high resistance to stun, but will succumb to repeated stunning blows.


  • Receives Bonuses From:
    • Bash: +8% Damage Per Level
    • Concentrate: +5% Attack Rating Per Level
    • War Cry: +5% Duration Per Level
  • Provides Bonuses To: None

Lore: An experienced Barbarian can learn to strike an opponent in areas that promote the maximum effect. By putting enough strength behind a well-placed blow, he can leave an opponent dazed and unable to strike back or flee.

Mana Cost: 2

Skill Level Progression

SlvlAR +X%Duration (seconds)SlvlAR +X%Duration (seconds)SlvlAR +X%Duration (seconds)SlvlAR +X%Duration (seconds)

Double Throw

Double ThrowRequired Level: 12

Prerequisites: Bash, Double Swing
Details: This skill allows the Barbarian to dual wield throwing weapons, and hurl them with either hand, launching about 50% more projectiles per second than he could throwing from just one stack. The barbarian alternates which hand throws, and damage is calculated depending on which weapon is used.


  • Receives Bonuses From:
    • Double Swing grants +8% Damage Per Level
  • Provides Bonuses To: None

Lore: To a Barbarian, fighting with two weapons is considered a fairly simple feat. Not so simple is mastering the art of throwing two weapons simultaneously and accurately. Many young Barbarians are eager to learn this skill, for they will tell you it is concrete proof that they have risen to greatness as a warrior. In truth, they use this skill in tavern games almost as often as they do in battle, winning wagers from unsuspecting drunkards.

If you are doing a dual-wielding Barb you’ll need one point here as a pre-req for Frenzy. Even specializing in this skill you’ll not need that many points, since they only add to your to/hit, not your damage. Max Throwing Mastery out first, since it adds damage and AR, then this if you need more accuracy.

Mana Cost: 2

Skill Level Progression

SlvlAR +X%SlvlAR +X%SlvlAR +X%SlvlAR +X%

Leap Attack

Leap-AttackRequired Level: 18

Prerequisites: Leap
Details: Leap Attack targets a single monster and jumps at it, striking just that monster for substantial damage.

  • Leap Attack is a useful homing skill, and will help the Barbarian finish off fast moving monsters such as Sand Leapers or teleporting bosses.
  • Leap can be used everywhere, even in levels with a low roof.
  • Leap Attack has very long range with just a single point, and is quite helpful to hop over obstacles.
  • Like Leap, and unlike Teleport, Leap Attack will not take the Barbarian over walls or other obstacles that block his line of sight.
  • Leap Attack knocks back monsters near the landing zone, much as Leap does.

One little-known use is to leap over the charging explosive Minions in Act Five. Any of them you pass over in mid air will explode beneath you, but do you zero damage. This can be quite helpful attacking Lasher bosses, or when moving through Worldstone lvl 2.

Most characters are fine with a single point in Leap Attack. Just one is full screen range, you can leap to anywhere you can see. The damage and Attack Rating increase steadily with Leap Attack, and reach very high levels. Slvl 20 is 335% AR and 670% damage, a huge bonus. Leap Attack doesn’t work well on targets that move – once you land where they were, they’ll be out of range. As such, Leap Attack is often best used against enemies with ranged attacks, or with a ranged weapon of your own. If you target something that’s too close to you to leap at, you just do a normal attack, not the bonus damage/AR Leap Attack. Synergies:

  • Receives Bonuses From:
    • Leap grants +10% Damage Per Level.
  • Provides Bonuses To: None

Lore: A young treasure hunter once sought his fortune in a raid for Barbarian gold on Mount Arreat. Hearing tales of the Barbarian people’s expertise in close combat, he hired a phalanx of mercenary spearmen to accompany him, thinking their long spears would force the Barbarian warriors to fight from a distance. He soon learned his mistake as a single Barbarian warrior was enough to slaughter his entire party. Ambushing the raiding party from a patch of scrub grass, the Barbarian leapt over them, slaying one whilst airborne, and skewering two more as he landed. Before the would-be thief could draw a single breath, all of his hired lancers had been dispatched. It was a long walk home.

Mana Cost: 9

Skill Level Progression

SlvlAR +X%Damage +X%SlvlAR +X%Damage +X%SlvlAR +X%Damage +X%SlvlAR +X%Damage +X%


ConcentrateRequired Level: 18

Prerequisites: Bash, Stun
Details: Concentrate is most useful for its uninterruptible nature. Use this to be sure your hits land, even if you are chilled, swarmed by a pack, fighting a monster with a very fast attack, etc.

  • Receives Bonuses From:
    • Bash: +5% Damage Per Level
    • Battle Orders: +10% Damage Per Level
    • Berserk: +1% Magic Damage Per Level
  • Provides Bonuses To: Bash, Stun

Lore: Sometimes a series of blows is not nearly as effective as a single, concentrated strike. A Barbarian trained in this skill learns how to focus his strength into a single blow that cuts through the guard of an enemy and slices through their armor. This technique also puts the warrior in a superior defensive position.

Mana Cost: 2

Skill Level Progression

SlvlDefense +X%AR +X%Damage +X%SlvlDefense +X%AR +X%Damage +X%SlvlDefense +X%AR +X%Damage +X%SlvlDefense +X%AR +X%Damage +X%


FrenzyRequired Level: 24

Prerequisites: Bash, Double Swing, Double Throw
Details: Frenzy allows the Barbarian to strike and move much faster, with any skill. Use Frenzy to speed up, then switch to other skills for a hyperfast attack.

  • Frenzy requires dual weapons to use.
  • Frenzy powers up, getting faster and faster for several hits.
  • There is no visual indicator of Frenzy; no swirling lights or color changes, though swings create a sort of slashing graphic through the air.
  • The Barbarian moves at a frenzied pace for 6 seconds after the last successful Frenzy hit. Land another hit with Frenzy before the 6 seconds run out, and refresh the Frenzy for another 6 seconds.
  • The bonus damage from Frenzy only applies to hits using the Frenzy skill itself. The speed transfers to other skills, but not the damage bonus.
  • Try Leap Attack while Frenzied for laughs.


  • Receives Bonuses From:
    • Double Swing: +8% Damage Per Level
    • Taunt: +8% Damage Per Level
    • Berserk: +1% Magic Damage Per Level
  • Provides Bonuses To: None

Lore: Although a Barbarian is capable of calculated blows and tactical fighting techniques, it is his fierce passion for battle that distinguishes him in battle. While using this skill, a Barbarian drives more and more force into each successive blow as his anger and bloodlust mounts.

Mana Cost: 5

Skill Level Progression

SlvlDmg. +X%AR +X%Attack Speed +X%Walk Run Speed +X%SlvlDmg. +X%AR +X%Attack Speed +X%Walk Run Speed +X%SlvlDmg. +X%AR +X%Attack Speed +X%Walk Run Speed +X%SlvlDmg. +X%AR +X%Attack Speed +X%Walk Run Speed +X%


WhirlwindRequired Level: 30

Prerequisites: Bash, Leap, Stun, Concentrate, Leap Attack

Details: Whirlwind is the Tasmanian Devil of Barbarian skills, turning the character into a spinning death-dealer, capable of passing through huge mobs and hitting dozens of targets with a single use of the skill. There are dangers as well, and a great many details to grasp in order to use this skill expertly. So complicated is Whirlwind that we’ve put all the details on a separate page.

Synergies: None

Lore: Of the Barbarian people, the Tribe of Thunder was the first to draw upon the primal forces of the weather. Tornadoes would ravage their plains as summer turned to the harvest season. The shaman of the tribe would interpret the tornadoes as an omen of evil during times of peace, and as a harbinger of great victory during wartime. Observing the strength of the whirlwind, these Barbarians learned to emulate the swirling mיlange of the cyclone in their attacks. As time went on and the tribes intermingled, the ability to attack in the manner of the whirlwind was passed down to all of the Barbarian people.

Skill Level Progression

SlvlMana CostDamage +X%AR +X%SlvlMana CostDamage +X%AR +X%SlvlMana CostDamage +X%AR +X%SlvlMana CostDamage +X%AR +X%


BerserkRequired Level: 30

Prerequisites: Bash, Stun, Concentrate
Details: Berserk gives the Barbarian a way to deal a huge amount of magical (non-physical) damage with a melee attack, saving him from needing to use elemental damage weapons to kill Stone Skin and Physical Immune monsters.

  • Berserk deals no physical damage, so it can not steal life or mana.
  • Berserk can be safely used against the Thorns Aura, or while cursed by Iron Maiden.
  • The Barbarian’s defense drops to zero immediately after using this powerful skill. Since every hit will land with zero defense, using a shield can be a hindrance, inducing block lock.

Synergies: Berserk receives bonuses from:

  • Receives Bonuses From:
    • Howl: +10% Magic Damage Per Level
    • Shout: +10% Magic Damage Per Level
  • Provides Bonuses To: Concentrate, Frenzy

Lore: There is a fine line between passion and rage, something the Barbarian warrior knows well. A Barbarian must learn to tread this line while separating one from the other and drawing strength from both. One of the most powerful combat skills a Barbarian can learn is to cross that line into rage, expending the sum of his energy and slaying everything without regard for consequences. When you have slain all of your enemies, what is left to fear?

Mana Cost: 1

Skill Level Progression

SlvlAR +X%Magic Damage +X%Duration (seconds)SlvlAR +X%Magic Damage +X%Duration (seconds)SlvlAR +X%Magic Damage +X%Duration (seconds)SlvlAR +X%Magic Damage +X%Duration (seconds)