Cold-blooded Prince Vegeta - PvP BvC

Gripphon

Active member
Apr 4, 2020
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"Vegeta is extremely aggressive and cold-blooded. Since his childhood, Vegeta has proven himself a ruthless killer."



Allow me to introduce Vegeta, a PvP BvC.

What is BvC?
A BvC (Barbarian vs. Caster) is a build of Barbarian that focuses heavily on anti-caster player kill. It utilizes teleport and Whirlwind while dual wielding two weapons (most commonly axe as it allows the most versatility) to catch and lock opponents in order to kill. Due to the nature of this build, it tends to be one of the most expensive builds to use, but also one of the deadliest when used correctly. Taken from here

Those are some pros and cons as I see it. I can name more things for both pros and cons, but to be short:

Pros:
- huge unabsorbable damage
- huge life
- great area control with Leap
- the potential to beat all characters excluding BvB (barb vs barb)
- challenging to play

Cons:
- block characters cripple him badly
- very very dependent about good ping. Even small delay makes BvC almost impossible to play.
- difficult to play effectively


[highlight]CHARACTER[/highlight]

Name: Vegeta
Class: Barbarian
Level: 97
Power Level: It's over 9000
Build: BvC


Stats:
Strength: 53 (174)
Dexterity: 29 (49-69 depends)
Vitality: 488 (503)
Energy: base, not important

Skills:
Whirlwind: 15
Leap: 20
Berserk: 15
Battle Orders: 20
Axe Mastery: 20
Increased Speed: 1
Natural Resistance: 9 (62%)

Faster Cast Rate: 40 (37 breakpoint)
Faster Hit Recovery: 27-50 (27 and 48 breakpoints)

Almost straightforward skill placement for BvC, with difference I went for high Berserk to have high AR on it and for more damage. Everything else is standard for any BvC I'd say.
Stats are invested in a way so Vegeta can have flexible ring slot, as well he can use CoA when DR is needed.

40 FCR is enough since barbarian shares breakpoints with sorceress, so with 40 he is casting reasonably fast. 50 FHR is also enough when needed since barbarian has great FHR breakpoints. I find 48 FHR breakpoint is good enough in all matches I played so far.


[highlight]EQUIPMENT[/highlight]

Equipment I'm using now is very expensive and very charm dependent to make it work. Shako boosted my life by over a 1000 in primary setup compared to standard Arreat BvC. So far I didn't find some guide suggest using 1.07 Shako as primary helm on BvC, but I find it very superior to Arreat.

Basically, there are two main setups Vegeta is using. 1.07 Shako setup and CoA setup. Shako setup provides huge bonus to life, so Shako is primary BvC setup. CoA setup is here to provide damage reduction when needed. With CoA life is lower, but DR goes way up. Enigma + CoA provide 39% damage reduction which is great, and I can use Verdungo to get 50% DR. Also CoA gives more resistances which is not important since my barb has [email protected] minus cold resist (not important), but overstacking is not a bad thing, especially against lightning and poison. Third setup is only backup one and very situational, pretty much only anti-paladin setup. Then I can use Arreat + Angelic amulet + Angelic ring to boost AR.


Shako setup:
Life: 8139
Life (with Oak): 9571
Mana: 629
AR: 5262 WW, 8393 Zerk, 7080 WW with dual Raven
Defense: 6396




Helm: 1.07 Shako with [email protected]/7fhr jewel
Body: Enigma
Amulet: Highlord's
Weapons: Grief BA (393), Beast BA, both eth atma bugged
Belt: Arachnid Mesh
Gloves: Trang Claws
Boots: Sandstorm (15/15/67)
Rings: Ravenfrost (20/249), Nature's Peace (30 PR)
Switch: Beta CtA (14 BO), Echoing Military Pick FalFalFalFal

Backup Rings: Wisp Projector (20%), Ravenfrost (20/249), Angelic

Shako setup is main setup on my BvC. I use this setup most of time in FFA. It gives me huge life which is pretty much the point why I'm using it. This makes BvC amazingly tanky and durable, like a mountain. Perfect anti-caster setup and only thing that misses is DR % which is only 8% here. 27% hit recovery is enough 90% of time because whirlwind is uninterruptible attack and you can ww out of stun locks easily if needed. Even though Nature's Peace is primary ring, I use enough poison resistance in inventory to have maxed without this ring, so I can easily swap for something else if I want to. 30 poison resist from Nature's is actually overstack, so with few additional poison charms I can overstack a bit more against certain poison characters.

I also have 63 FCR setup if I want to, in a form of fcr amulet and fcr ring. Pro is higher fcr breakpoint, con is I lose 1 frame Zerk and 17% damage output.


CoA setup:
Life: 6907
Life (with Oak): 8339
Mana: 621
AR: 5130 WW, 8160 Zerk, 6900 WW dual raven
Defense: 6416




Helm: BerBer CoA
Body: Enigma
Amulet: Highlord's
Weapons: Grief BA (393), Beast BA, both eth atma bugged
Belt: Arachnid Mesh, Verdungo (14/40/13)
Gloves: Trang Claws
Boots: Sandstorm (15/15/67)
Rings: Ravenfrost (20/243), Nature's Peace (30 PR)
Switch: Beta CtA (14 BO), Echoing Military Pick FalFalFalFal

Backup Rings: Wisp Projector (20%), Ravenfrost (20/249), Angelic

Whenever I need higher damage reduction %, then I replace Shako with Crown of Ages. This provides two things: 39% DR total and 48% FHR breakpoint. This setup I use when there are multiple physical damage dealing characters in FFA or when I face opponent like that in 1v1. Additionally I can use Verdungo belt instead of Arachnid Mesh to get 50% DR total, and then instead of Highlord's I use 18 fcr amulet. Opponents I might use Verdungo against include Wind druids, Bowazons, Ghosts, Smiters, BvCs and other similar barb builds. Or I can stay with 39% dr total, but I like 50% more.


Arreat setup:
Life: 6993
Life (with Oak): 8425
Mana: 629
AR: 6259 WW, 10008 Zerk
Defense: 6703




Helm: Arreat with 27LR 26AR 8Str 3Max
Body: Enigma
Amulet: Angelic/Highlord's
Weapons: Grief BA (393), Beast BA, both eth atma bugged
Belt: Arachnid Mesh, Verdungo (13/39)
Gloves: Trang Claws
Boots: Sandstorm (15/15/67)
Rings: Angelic, Nature's Peace (30 PR)
Switch: Beta CtA (14 BO), Echoing Military Pick FalFalFalFal

Backup Rings: Wisp Projector (20%), Ravenfrost (20/249), Angelics

This is backup setup for only really specific situations. It's mainly anti-paladin setup and stack setup. It provides some lightning resistance stack, 48% FHR, and most importantly high AR. Paladins usually have high defense, so this setup might come in handy sometimes. I don't really plan to use it until I face several paladins on the battlefield, but sometimes I do use it for fun (cause Shako looks ugly). Lightning resistance stack is useful because of paladin mages who use FoH. It's possible to use second Angelic Ring as well, but I don't find it as useful as lightning absorb + Oak minion which boosts life, eats hammers, eats FoH and many other things.

Now, charms I use on Vegeta.

All resistances: 43/18 GC, 19/5 SC
Fire resistance: 20/11, 20/11, 20/10, 17/10, 16/10, 16/10, 20/8, 20/7
Lightning resistance: 20/11, 19/10, 18/10, 15/11
Poison resistance: 20/10
Life/Mana: 20/14, 20/14, 19/16, 19/16, 20/13, 20/11, 19/14, 19/12
Life/AR: 20/34, 20/32, 20/27, 19/36, 18/35, 17/35, 16/35, 17/31, 20/13/3, 39/131 GC, 41/122 GC

Backup equipment

Big strength of my BvC is his adaptability to many situations, thanks to backup equipment. Some of it you already saw, and some of it I will list now. Backup gear includes:

20% sorb Wisp
20/249 Ravenfrost
Dwarf Star
10 FCR 99AR 28Life 29LR Ring
Angelic Ring
Angelic Amulet
2/18/26LR Amulet
20 fcr amulet with 17 allres and 36 CR (it has 1 Assassin skills, but nevermind)
Arreat's Face with AR/Str/28LR jewel
BerBer CoA
Andariel's Visage with Str Life 25 PR jewel
Verdungo (14/40/13 replenish)
121 Life 15% OW 27LR crafted belt
Gore Rider's
9 dex 33CR 37LR 33PR rare boots for stack
Dracul Grasp gloves (25% OW)
Death's Gloves (PR stack + PLR)
1.07 eth bugged BA Fury
2x LR small charms

Yes, I have many possibilities. I can have massive OW% if I want to, massive AR, 63 fcr, 50% DR, resist stack on everything, sorb... many many things. Everything is in stash normally and I put items on as I see fit. There are more items I could potentially use, but I really think this is enough for any possible opponent really.


[highlight]EQUIPMENT DISCUSSION[/highlight]

Here I will explain purpose of some items.

Echoing Military Pick (FalFalFalFal) - purpose of this item is to boost BO when I buff, but also 40 strength it gives allows me to carry CoA with BO switch as well gaining additional skill to buff. Without 40 strength I can't carry CoA when I use BO switch because I don't have enough strength for it.

Wisp Projector - has Oak minion to boost life and eat projectiles, has lightning absorb. This ring I don't really use because having BvC with this much life and using absorb on top of it is too much in many cases. Using absorb won't help me to become a better player. However, certain situations scream for this ring. For example, when you have to battle against 3 trappers in FFa it can be very annoying. Basically you can't teleport without ending in someones trap field. Then absorb is really good to have. Also Wisp is good against paladin mages who can do tons of damage with FoH under conviction aura.

Second Ravenfrost - serves as additional cold absorb source against cold sorcs. Can be used to get more AR, but it's really rarely useful to use it for that purpose. Discussion and explanation why is that is below under "Attack rating discussion".

Fury BA is something fancy for rare usage when I want massive OW, perhaps against paladins or even bowazons. But nothing too useful, just fancy.

OW belt and OW gloves - obviously for massive OW. Add Gore Rider's on that and you have 50% OW. Nice, right?

20 FCR amulet - for when I don't have fcr anywhere else, 20 is lower breakpoint I can then achieve. Say if I want both OW and 50% DR on barb, this amulet can then be used instead of HLW.


[highlight]BUILD DISCUSSION[/highlight]

It's time to answer the question why did I build BvC this way.

There are two possible end-game ways BvC can be built toward from my point of view. First is to build BvC to have as much AR and max damage as he can. This type of BvC will most probably use 2 Ravenfrosts as default rings, with possibility of one flexible ring slot for some matchups. Those barbs will get up to, or even more than 10k Attack Rating. Philosophy of this barb is "best warrior is the one who can do most damage in least time and still is able to take a hit".

Other way BvC's can be build toward focuses on having as much HP as they can, turning them into huge punching bags. This is best achieved using 1.07 Shako helm and ring with Oak charges, either Wisp Projector or Nature's Peace. Those barbs won't have impressive AR, but their HP will more than make up for it. It is possible to go for this barb variant with Arreat's Face as well, but it's much less effective than using 1.07 Shako because Shako itself boosts life by over 1000. Philosophy of this barb is "best warrior is the one who has greatest durability and still is able to deal good damage".

My goal is to have most durable barb on the battlefield. After playing with both 7k+ AR barb and less than 5k AR barb, I saw AR doesn't really make noticeable difference. Not against weaker defense opponents for sure. But, when I tried to go for as much HP as I can, I suddenly noticed how much stronger my barb became. Oak minion is crazy useful support. He and Shako made my barb so much stronger than he was before. While I lost few thousand AR, I gained so much HP that I didn't really care. Obviously when it comes to BvC, I share philosophy of second build. Really, first thing you notice is how awesomely tanky this barb is. And this is his greatest strength.

Now I'll explain why I think going for massive HP instead of massive AR is so much better choice for my BvC. BvC is a build who must go in the heat of the battle to do something. While doing so, it is extremely hard not to take damage in the process. BvC who can take many hits will have more opportunities to finish off opponents. I played with 7k AR BvC before and compared it with 5k AR BvC I play now. I didn't notice difference in damage output or killing speed, but I noticed how much more durable my barb became when I changed him toward HP variant. Which is exactly what I need. I need barb who can survive anything, especially because all BvC needs to kill many opponents is single good executed tri-whirl, or 3-4 whirlwinds in a row. BvC with 1000 life can still kill someone in less than a second if execution is right. That's very important reason, and a big plus toward HP variant of barb, he will survive more and have more chances to execute good whirlwinds. Fair to say that I never played much with BvC who has 9+k AR, but the time I did I haven't notice any difference in comparison to 5k AR. I could just replace Shako with Arreat and use two Ravenfrosts, that would give me over 8k AR which is pretty high anyway, or use Angelic if I really really want higher AR. But only as backup, not as primary setup or something like that.


[highlight]ATTACK RATING DISCUSSION[/highlight]

Someone might ask, isn't ~5k attack rating... low? Well, I personally don't think so... It's more than enough to deal with casters who usually have less than 2k defense, especially if we include -% defense from Grief.

Here is graph where I compared average damage output with 5k-7k-9k attack rating against random opponent with random defense. 9k AR is taken as high value for AR because it's relatively easy to achieve. I assumed same level of attacker and defender as well as similar damage output of all attackers to keep things simple. Note that high-AR barbs will have a little bit more strength and that will influence damage output as well. Also note that I didn't include -12.5% defense from Grief which hits on every whirlwind checkpoint, and that would reduce ratio between higher AR and lower AR for same defense.




How to read graph?
Green line shows ratio in average damage output between character who uses 9k AR and character who uses 5k AR baced on chance to hit calculations. For example, against 2000 defense opponent character with 9k AR will deal ~14% more damage at average than character with 5k AR because green line is at ~1.14 as shown on graph. Against 10000 defense opponent character with 9k AR will at average do 40% and more damage compared to 5k AR character. Same applies for red and black line. Red line shows ratio in average damage output of 5k AR character vs 7k AR character against opponent with random defense. Black line compares 7k AR character with 9k AR character.

If we consider casters usually carry between 1.5k and 2k defense around (like most characters in pvp fall in this category), improvement from 5k AR to 7k AR is similar as improving damage by ~8%. Which is low improvement since it is not your damage that is improved, but chance to hit. Oak from Nature's Peace gives considerably more improvement than to put second Ravenfrost for additional attack rating in most cases in my opinion. Also, having second Ravenfrost and improving attack rating to ~7k is always an option anyway, but I use two Ravenfrosts mainly because of cold absorb, not to improve attack rating. But it's possible to put two Ravenfrosts to get additional attack rating, ~7k. It might be useful against opponents who have over ~5k defense, but those are rather rare. Let's say opponent has 6k defense and now let's compare 5k AR vs 7k AR. That would be improvement of ~18% damage output. Worth to use Ravenfrost for damage purpose over Oak and possible absorb? I would say: "Not necessarily". However that is my style and my logic behind this, as well as my experience playing BvC's.

Let's compare 9k AR with 5k AR against 2000 defense opponent. First barb would deal ~14.5% more damage than the second barb at average. Considering equipments, second barb would have ~17% more life (excluding bonus from Oak) + Oak minion. Including Oak, second barb would have ~35% more life than first barb. Those numbers are based on my own BvC. So, to go for 15% more damage output at average or for 17-35% life + having minion that can eat projectiles for you? You decide what sounds better for you.

Yes, barb with high AR might be superior against high defense opponents as graph nicely shows. Damage output difference goes over 30% against target with close to 6k defense. But most characters carry between 1500 and 2000 defense and that's why that is most important area to consider for me. While high AR barb might will be better against 6k+ defense characters, for under 6k defense characters it's not that straightforward to determine which barb variant is better. If I include possibility of using second Ravenfrost to get 7k AR, you see how small difference is between damage output of 7k and 9k AR barbs. I mean, life difference is much higher than average damage output.

That's why I don't really consider to be much beneficial to go over 7k AR, difference in damage output is just too low. In my opinion, it is much better option to use Ravenfrost + Nature's Peace to get Oak and have near 7k AR than using 2x Ravenfrost to get minor improvement with 9k AR. I mean, difference between 7k and 9k AR is less than 5% against most opponents and only 10+% against 7+k defense opponents. Against low defense opponents using Oak ring instead Ravenfrost seem much better, it just makes no sense to me to force brutal AR when you gain basically nothing from it while Oak gives considerable improvement in the same time. Same logic applies if we compare 5k and 7k AR since I assume most BvC's can easily reach at least 7k AR with two Ravenfrosts.

For really high defense opponents I have Arreat setup where I can achieve near 11k AR with Oak and without Highlords, or I can try two Angelics for even more AR. But in general I didn't really plan on battling high defense opponents with my BvC, unless it's FFA like that or some 1v1 challenge. I can still kill high defense paladin with 5k AR, but that is in general very hard battle no matter how much AR you have.

After all this short insight into AR and some numbers, you decide would you prefer your BvC to go for high life or high AR. I made decision for myself based on my playing style, my experience and those numbers. But sure high AR barbs have advantages of their own.


[highlight]OAK SAGE[/highlight]

After mentioning Oak so many times by now, I think it's worth it to say a bit more about this minion. Usage of Oak Sage is known since ever, however usage of Oak from rings is kinda new thing. It definitely wasn't popular before, especially wasn't popular to use such ring as main ring because of Oak minion. Yes, I use Nature's Peace as main ring just because of Oak minion, and not only on BvC, but on more builds.

Wat umad bro? Why Oak? He dies from one hit from everything, why is he useful?!
Yes, it is true that Oak dies from everything. But that is exactly why is he here, to die for you. Not only it increases your life by a huge amount (1400+ hp!), but also provides great protection for your character. Some reasons why is Oak such a great support unit to have:

1. Increases your life by a huge amount and effectively reduces damage taken

Yes, Oak dies from everything, but many many times you will take hit with Oak out. In other words, Oak effectively reduces all damage you take with his aura. Let's say you have 8000 life and with Oak you have 9500. Guided arrow which deals 1000 damage hits you while your Oak is out. Your life is now 8500. When Oak dies, you will have same % of life, or 7158 in other words. So, instead of taking 1000 damage, it's like you actually took 842 damage instead. Effect is just like Oak really reduced damage taken by 15.8% just because he was out when you took the hit! Works like this with any kind of damage. This is only from example, it might vary from case to case. But you get an idea.

2. Takes hits instead of you and attracts fire

This is his main purpose while he is out, to take hits for you. Say you battle bonemancer who spamms spirits (you don't say!). There is good chance spirits will aim for Oak instead of you. Isn't it great? Less pressure from spirits, less damage taken, more space to breath etc. Then you battle bowazon. You know how many times guided arrows targeted my Oak instead of me? Countless times. Great, I take less damage because guided arrows got attracted by Oak and wasted bowas damage while I can operate more safely. Oak can also eat hammer instead of you while you can perform whirl on paladin. Even if he doesn't take the hit instead of you, he will still effectively reduce damage taken as explained above. I lost Oak because of FoH many times. Hey, FoH didn't hit me when I was under effect of conviction aura, it wasted hit on my Oak! Oak attracts fire from traps, which means traps are not aiming for you, but waste shots on your Oak while you get the oppening to tele in. Against certain opponents, like ww barbs and such, having Oak out means your effective life is much higher in those clashes if opponent doesn't kill your Oak.

In short, even though Oak dies from everything, you will still take many hits while he is out effectively recuding damage taken, he will attract fire from you, he will take hits for you. Can you blame me for loving Oak so much? If you can't really understand why is Oak useful, then perhaps you should try to use it. However I don't guarantee Oak will be as useful for everyone as it is to me, it might depend on a playstyle. But I guess everyone can understand why is Oak very useful in many situations and why I consider him to be such great improvement over anything else.


[highlight]BVC IN PVP[/highlight]

Now I'll tell something about how it is to play with BvC in PvP. First thing you can notice is that BvC is one of the most challenging builds to play. He heavily relies on good reflexes and great Whirlwind control. Also, it's very ping dependent. Any ping above 150 cripples BvC significantly. You will whirlwind in place too many times and it can be annoying. Sometimes BvC feels like totally different build when played in ideal conditions and when played under slight ping.

BvC is not exactly among stronger PvP builds these days. Perhaps he was in the past, perhaps he is when played under ideal conditions, but in regular SPF PvP matches BvC is definitely not a winner. You will die many times and that is something you must accept as BvC player, just like ping issues. But all this makes every kill even more enjoyable. BvC himself can be very enjoyable to play, at least to me he is. Whirlwind is very unique diablo skill and no matter how many times you use it, you still find it challenging every time. Leap is wonderful skill, puts targets in range into double hit recovery, which opens space for BvC to attack with teleport + WW combo. But, acting fast is the key, opponent won't just sit like a duck and wait until you jump in and WW him.

Even though guides might give impression that BvC is some offensive monster that goes full attack almost all the time, and some BvC videos on youtube showing people playing BvC like maniacs going full offensive... well, I don't perceive BvC to be such build. Before anything else, BvC is tank to me. He can take tons of damage. His offensive capabilities are not that great, it requires perfect ping in the first place and great timing + reflexes in second. It's very hard to perform good whirlwind on someone, harder than it might look. You will fail many times, thats normal.

Every player will develop his own way to play certain build. I play BvC both offensively and defensively, combining aggresive and passive playing, sometimes waiting for opponent to make a move, sometimes waiting for an opportunity, sometimes going straight to reckless attack and so on. I try to be unpredictable. Well, my playing style with BvC is more to the defensive side + waiting for opportunity rather than going to attack and create opportunity myself. I played more aggressively before and I just ended dead more times than needed. When I started to combine defensive and offensive playing, I had much more success. Also, it's extremely hard to play offensively because of ping issues with whirlwind skill, which is another reason why I feel much more comfortable with reserved playing. Before my goal was to kill opponent as fast as possible, now my primary goal with Vegeta is to stay alive, and kill opponent in the process when opportunity shows. This seems to work very well, I can even win some FFA matches with Vegeta here and there. 1v1 is a different story, there I didn't have much success.

BvC is build with steep learning curve. But that is among things I like about that build. Don't get discouraged reading all this, I just try to be realistic to explain what to expect when playing BvC. Make the build and try it yourself. You might enjoy it!


[highlight]CONCLUSION[/highlight]

Vegeta is powerhouse BvC with tons of life and, as all BvC's, huge damage output. He can deal with nearly anything, having less troubles with some builds and more troubles with the other. Very very expensive to build him this way, but I'm more than pleased with the looks of him now.

History of Vegeta:
He ran a lot of Travincal, several thousands runs. He was first barb I leveled to 94 there. Then I participated at winter MFO with him and won in Pindle category. After that leveled him up to 97 at Baal and respeced him to be PvP beast.

Future plans:
Well, roll a better Grief? Better roll of Beast? Possibly, but who knows when will that happen. Get better charms too. Perhaps better backup rings and amulets too. But other than that, Vegeta is finished and has reached his final form in which he can become anything I want with couple of gear switches.


Thank you for reading!
 
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