PvP BvC Guide by Yuqing & Co.

maxicek

Moderator
Staff member
Dec 24, 2019
686
645
93
PvP BvC Guide. compiled by yuqing
Originally posted Nov 8, 2007

BvC General Compilation Guide (PvP):
Diablo II: Version – 1.11b.


Table of Contents (General Topics Only):
I. – Introduction
II. – By
III. – About
IV. – What is a BvC?
V. – Why should I play the BvC?
VI. – Goals
VII. – Frames
VIII. – Stats
IX. – Skills
X. – Equipment
XI. – PvP
XII. – Strategies
XIII. – Team Play
XIV. – Mercenary
XV. – Summary
XVI. – Conclusion
XVII. – Special Thanks

I. Introduction:
The BvC is a class that has been explored heavily. There have been many great BvC players that have taken the entire class to a different level. However, all great things come to an end, as soon as people realized that max block heavily cripples this build, this build fell out of favor rather quickly. However, it still remains as one of the most defining and popular builds in PvP today.

This is a relatively long guide as I describe why stuff are used, not just outlining them. If you’re feeling lazy or are just uninterested, you can skip to the very end where there is a summary.

II. By:
This guide was written by me (Yuqing) with comments/opinions/calculations and editing by both Ce Olba and Mainaman.

The works of Ce Olba and Mainaman will be quoted with their names.

This guide was also written with the tests and ideas/theories of McM, Morotsjos and Blobs. Many videos and sites are featured in this guide and they will be credited accordingly at the very end.

III. About:
This guide is written for the general masses by the general masses. It compiles information me and many other people have gathered over several years. BvC does require wealth and that is unavoidable. I write this guide expecting you to know most of the abbreviations and terms though I do describe most of them.

If you have any further questions on abbreviations please visit this following link:
http://forums.diabloii.net/showthread.php?t=538888

Keep in mind that this, like all guides, is only a guideline and while could be followed exactly, shouldn’t be. Improvisation is encouraged after all.

IV. What is a 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.

The name BvC shouldn’t be taken too literally. Although they are great at what they’re built to do: Kill Casters, they also excel against other classes. A well built BvC in the hands of a skill player has the potential to kill every build out there with the exception of a well played BvB (Barbarian vs. Barbarian. Like the name states, it’s built to kill other Barbarians. This is the bane of the BvC build.). BvBs (especially good ones) are practically non-existent these days, so they shouldn’t serve too much a problem either way.

V. Why Should I Play a BvC?
So why should you devote mountains of resources and hours of your life into playing a BvC? There are a few reasons:

  • The potential to beat all characters with the exception of the BvBs.
  • A dynamic moving skill (Whirlwind) allows for a lot of strategy.
  • Unabsorbable damage. (Physical/Magic [Berserk]).
  • Whirlwind is a multi-hitting attack with a greater chance to hit than stationary skills such as concentrate, it also allows a higher chance to trigger mods such as Deadly Strike (2x damage) and Crushing Blow (1/10 of the opponent’s HP in PvP before DR)
  • Allows versatility with gear changes.
  • All Vita build allows for massive life. (Often 7k+ after BO)
  • Great team player due to BO.
  • Difficult to play. *

With pros, there are always cons:

  • Max block heavily cripples this build. A lot of players has max block right now.
  • Although it’s irresistible damage, DR (Damage Reduction [Physical]) can potential half the damage.
  • CtC (Chance to Cast) items do not trigger during WW.
  • WW despite everything else, is item dependant and relies on Attack Rating, you will have trouble hitting some of the higher defense characters without a lot of Attack Rating.
  • It’s cookie-cutter.
  • It requires nearly unlimited wealth to be very successful.
  • Difficult to play. *

*This is both a pro and a con. Some people like the challenge of a harder to play character because it will not be boring to constantly play, always able to improve. And of course there are lazy people that prefer a single button character.

VI. Goals:
  1. Massive Life (At least 6k+)
  2. Ability to hit 50% DR when necessary.
  3. Ability to use widow maker when necessary.
  4. At least 75% all resistance. (Before Anya quest) **
  5. Ability to stack massive resistances and absorb when necessary.
  6. 40% FCR
  7. 48% FHR
  8. 25k+ Attack Rating when needed.

**Anya quest is currently bugged. When you die once, the resistances you get from the quest no longer apply, though they are still displayed.

VII. Frames:
Every action in Diablo is defined by frames. In order to speed up the frames, we use faster hit recovery, faster cast rate or faster block rate. Since FBR is useless to this build, it is not included.

Most commonly, we’ll be aiming for these breakpoints:

FHR Frames
FCR Frames
0% 9
0% 13​
7% 8
9% 12​
15% 7
20% 11​
27% 6
37% 10
48% 5
63% 9​
86% 4
105% 8
200% 3
200% 7​

Underlined and Bolded = most commonly used.
Bolded = less commonly used.

These are the measures of how fast you recover from an attack, and how fast you cast a spell. These can be increased by items with +x% Faster Hit Recovery and + x% Faster Cast Rate respectively.

Some facts to know:
  • There are 25 frames in one second.
  • An attack will send you into Hit Recovery when:
  1. It deals more than 1/12th of your total hit points.
  2. You are currently stunned (white swirl over your head caused by attacks like smite, mindblast, etc.
  3. The cast animation of a spell is fixed. There is no way to increase this. What FCR increases is the duration when your character is in process of casting the spell. (For example: when your character raises their arms in order to teleport. The arm rising is sped up by FCR but the actual white spark of the teleport is not.)
  4. In between FCR/FHR does NOT increase speed. Breakpoints are defined; there is no difference between a 37% FCR teleport and a 62% FCR teleport.

Most of the time, we will aim for 10 frame cast and 5 frame recovery. There are times we need to go beyond this limit such as when facing Ghost Assassins (higher FHR) and Skilled Bone Necromancers (Higher FCR).

Barbarians have the highest FCR along with Sorceresses, so this build uses full advantage of that in order to keep up with casters.

There is a third type of frame that is important to the BvC, and that is attack frame which can be boosted by IAS (increased attack speed). The attributes of this is a bit more complicated and will be discussed later.

VIII. Stats:
The stat of a Barbarian determines a few things:

Strength: Strength allows you to use your equipment, the higher your strength, the heavier equipment you can use. Strength also has a bonus of 1% off-weapon enhanced damage per point for all non-maul/hammer type weapons. But that 1% is not very significant in the end, so it’s best to keep this stat as low as possible.

Dexterity: Dexterity also allows you to use your equipment. But for a BvC, none of the items require a high amount of dexterity with the possible exception of a Widowmaker bow. (146 / 124 / 117 dexterity with base / -15% requirement jewel / Hel rune respectively.)

One point of Dexterity results in 5 points of Attack Rating and every 4 points of dexterity is approximately 1 point of base defense. The most significant part of dexterity is the fact that it increases the chance to block. But for a dual wielding Barbarian that’s insignificant.

Vitality: For Barbarians, and almost all other classes and sub-classes, this is the most important attribute. Higher life = live longer = more damage. Every point of vitality increases base life by 4 for Barbarians. It also grants 1 point of stamina.

Energy: Contrary to Vita, energy is the most useless stat for most classes and sub-classes with the exception of the Energy Shield Sorceress. One point of Energy grants a measly 1 point of mana.

The default stats of a Barbarian are these:
Strength: 30 Hit Points: 55
Dexterity: 20 Stamina: 92
Vitality: 25 Mana: 10
Energy: 10

Each level up yields you: 2 life, 1 mana and 1 stamina.

The BvC is most commonly divided into 2 categories:

Base Stat / All Vita:
Strength
: Base
Dexterity: Base
Vitality: All
Energy: Base

This build is what most people prefer, and probably the most common. It uses the extra stats from Torch / Anni / Enigma and Beast to wear all items. It offers less flexibility than a Barbarian with stats invested but goes without saying has more life.

Stats Invested:
Strength
: 40-60 (Most often, these are not set in stone.)
Dexterity: 40-60 (Most often, these are not set in stone.)
Vitality:Everything you have left
Energy: Base

This build allows you to use fortitude while dual wielding and offers more flexibility due to the ability to use a wider variety of gears than the base vita build. This build allows you to have a Widowmaker without chaining your self to dual Raven Frosts.

You have to figure out how much strength and dexterity you need. It’s impossible for me to determine for you. Find out by putting enough strength for your lowest stat granting item and keep moving up until you can use all of your gear. Same with dexterity.

Ce Olba said:
“The optimal values for Strength and Dexterity without counting any Real-specific items are at 63 Strength and 47 Dexterity.”
All Vita Vs. Invested:
Everyone has different opinions on this. I feel that both builds are very viable, but Invested comes out on top for several reasons. The total difference in life is about 500 after BO. While it is a significant amount, it’s not enough to be game breaking. If you constantly need that 500 life to win, that’s saying a lot. The added versatility allows you to use Fortitude / Widowmaker / CoA without depending on other equipment. And although some people find ways around them, or say they are not needed, it’s impossible to say they’re useless. I my self have had way more duels won for me with the ability to slap on a widow or use a fort than having 500 or so more life. In the end, I can’t really say anything. The end product is still up to you, this is what it’s supposed to be; a general guideline.

BvC vs. BvA:
A BvA is generally a BvC except with lower life and the ability to have max block. This while can be done successfully is extremely hard and requires near infinite wealth. Done incorrectly, a BvA will lose up to 1k – 1.5k life. Because a BvC has the ability to beat all characters except a BvB without a shield, a BvA is commonly not needed.
 
Last edited:

maxicek

Moderator
Staff member
Dec 24, 2019
686
645
93
IX. Skills:
The most common outline for a BvC is as follows:
Combat Skills Tree:
Whirlwind
: 20
Leap (NOTLeap Attack): 14, 20 (Either or)
Berserk: 1-3
Concentrate*: 1
Stun*: 1
Leap Attack*: 1
Bash*: 1

Combat Masteries Tree:
Weapon Mastery
**: 20
Natural Resist: 1-6
Increased Speed: 3-6
Increased Stamina*: 1
Iron Skin*: 1

Warcries Tree:
Battle Orders:
20
Shout: Everything else.
Battle Command: 1
Howl: 1

*Prerequisites without too much additional use.
**Axe is preferred here over swords, for the explanation, please see gear section.

Here's the skill explanation:

Whirlwind: The primary attack of the build, and arguable the best physical attack skill due to the following reason: It moves. Whirlwind will take your character to the selected point while performing a spinning attack. It's conveniently able to dodge attacks otherwise impossible to.

Whirlwind Mechanics:
  • Whirlwind is unaffected by off-weapon IAS. (The IAS has to be on the weapon it self to affect WW).
  • Whirlwind is capped at 4 frames per hit.
  • The layout of the attacks when dual wielding is as follows:
  1. 1. Frame 4 - Primary Weapon
  2. 2. Frame 8 - Primary + Secondary Weapon
  3. 3. Frame 12 - Primary + Secondary Weapon
And so on'¦. Due to this reason, dual wielding has more hits than 2h or single wielding, resulting in more chances to hit (50% more hits) and chances to trigger mods.
  • There is a 4 frame pause between each Whirlwind even if it's not noticeable sometimes. Due to this reason, extremely short Whirlwinds are bad because more time is wasted on the pauses.
  • Due to the movement of Whirlwind, it's possible to hit an attacker and not be hit yourself even though the ranges of your attacks are the same. This is the concept behind Tri-Whirl and clipping.
  • Whirlwind is walking speed client side and running speed server side. This is why long Whirlwinds often desynch.
(McM, Mainaman, Blobs, Morotsjos)

Whirlwind Techniques:
Tri-Whirl (DoD):
The most basic closed shape is the triangle. Likewise this is the shape we are aiming for. Tri-Whirl, also called Dance of Death, involves going around the opponent, rather than straight back and forth. Although it can be any shape, the fastest and most basic shape to perform is the triangle.

This has several advantages:
  • All linear projectiles will miss you on a successful Tri-Whirl. (Fire bolt, Fireball, Bone Spear, Ice Blast, etc.)
  • It deals damage faster than going straight back and forth between the opponent thus it has a higher chance to lock the opponent in FHR and kills faster.
  • You are less likely to miss because the opponent is encased inside the Tri-Whirl, even if they move; they are likely to be hit if you perform it fast enough.

The perfect Tri-Whirl is supposedly suppose to last 12 frames on each side, meaning (12x3 + 4x3) 48 frames total for a total of 9 hits. This is done by holding down the mouse button, not clicking 3 times. The reason for this is that when holding down the mouse button, there is no chance to you accidentally namelocking the opponent and messing up the whirl. Some people also like to hold down Alt or Spacebar to avoid clicking on them, but holding down mouse button is generally easier. Although the direction of the whirl doesn't matter, clockwise is preferred due to the ability to dodge hammers from a Hammerdin. (Tri-Whirling Hammerdins are NOT recommended however.).

Clipping: This technique is most often used against a Smiter. It involves coming at the target with an angled Whirlwind and turning at a sharp angle to avoid hits. The reason this works is because Whirlwind gets in range to hit, but by the time their attack finishes, you will be out of range again.

WW Away: Useful when you are tapped or dying. Whirlwind away versus melee characters are extremely useful because it's very hard to hit a target moving away from you. If they start to chase you, chances are they will die.

Drive-By / Pass: A Drive-By or a pass is a quick Whirlwind that is used versus certain characters where it's impossible to land a good Tri-Whirl on. This can be used versus some Hammerdins but it's extremely risky. Most often you will be using this on constantly teleporting characters such as Sorceresses or Necromancers.

Desynch WW: This isn't a technique you have fine control over. A long Whirlwind (approximately ¾ to a screen in range) will have the tendency to desynch. This can be useful versus certain characters for a surprise attack, but extremely useful versus Hammerdins especially. In fact, many people will say this is one of the best ways to beat a skilled desynching Hammerdin.

Whirlwind is generally used on the right click so that switching buttons is not needed after a teleport or a leap. Whirlwind is not able to cast CtC skills, such as Life Tap from Dracul's, but it is able to trigger mods such as Open Wounds, Crushing Blow and Deadly / Critical Strike. Whirlwind is also uninterruptible which makes it great to use in order to get out of a stun lock.

Leap: Leap has a knock back affect implanted into the skill. Leap is what defines a BvC. The knock back on leap causes hostile characters in the range of it to be put into double hit recovery. This is your key to catching fast teleporting characters.

Leaping on spot will create a field on knock back that will knock back everything in range. This can be used to knock characters out of minion stack in order to kill them. Leap will also knock characters out of desynch so that's useful to use. Leap will put Amazons into dodge and put Assassins into weapon block.

The knock back radius for the skill is not as listed but as follows:
Leap Radius (Yards) = 1.98 + (Leap Slvl * 0.66).
For example: Level 20 leap = 1.98 + (20 * 0.66)
= 1.98 + 13.2
= 15.18 (yards)

One screen in Diablo 2 is approximately:
11.2 yards for 640 x 480
14.3 yards for 800 x 600


With 14 points in leap plus the basic +5 all skills you will always get (Torch 3 + Anni 1 + BC 1) will always ensure level 19 leap. Leap at level 19 covers 14.52 yards, the minimum for 1 full screen. With 20 base points in leap, you will always have 25 leap; therefore you will cover 18.48 yards which is beyond 1 screen.

Like Whirlwind, leap is also uninterruptible. Leaping in place will make you difficult to hit versus classes such as Kickers / Hammerdins / Tele-Smiters.

Mainaman said:
'Versus Tele-Smiter, leaping is not a good idea since smite is uninterruptible and when they teleport on you, you will eat smites.'

Note: There is a bug in the game regarding when you die or are hit inside leap or Whirlwind animation that disallows the continued use of this skill. To counter this bug, simply rejoin the game.

Note: I stress this point; the skill to be maxed is leap not leap attack as many people have thought. Leap creates a field of knock back without a target. You can simply leap in place. Leap attack does not do this and is pointless thus. Also leap is NOT IAS or FCR based, the animation of this skill is always set and cannot be changed. (This does not include the length of the actual jump.)

Weapon Mastery: Self explanatory skill, increase damage and increase chance to hit. But note however that the 'Critical Strike' on the skill is calculated separately from Deadly Strike.

Battle Orders: Also self explanatory skill, basically double life and mana. Great skill for team duels and it also increases the duration of the 2 other party war cries.

There is a difference in the bonuses provided by Battle Orders depending on the type of life you have. These are separated between Bo-Able and Non Bo-Able life.

Bo-Able Life includes:
  • Your base life based on your base vitality.
  • Pure +Life items (such as Perfect Rubies)

Non Bo-Able Life includes:
  • Life Based on Character Level (such as Shako)
  • Plus Vitality items (Such as Verdungo's)
  • Vitality Based on Character Level
  • +X% to life. (Such as Jah)
The exact same thing is applied to mana.

Natural Resist: Do not max this skill. 4-6 points will be more than efficient as diminishing returns kick in heavily after around 60% (level 13).

Mainaman said:
'If you have good gear 1 point in natural resistance will be sufficient.'

Increased Speed: An important skill despite what many people think. Diminishing returns start kicking in at around 35% (level 9).

Mainaman said:
'A good percentage to aim for is 40%.'

The reason this skill is useful:
This skill increases the speed of Whirlwind, a faster Whirlwind allows for faster Tri-Whirls, which in turn allows for a greater number of them in a shorter period of time. (McM, Blobs)

Of course this can simply be adjusted by performing tighter Tri-Whirls, but that is not practical as decreasing the distance between your self and your target reduces projectile impact time causing projectiles that would've otherwise missed to hit.

A second reason this is useful is versus certain opponents, particularly Necromancers, the ability to out run projectiles. In the case of Bone Necromancers, with 40% Increased Speed, even when decreptified, you will be able to out run Bone Spirits.

Berserk: This is the secondary attack of BvCs. It allows for a strong magic damage attack with the possibility of being chained. Its usefulness is unsurpassed as a support skill because it does what Whirlwind can't:

  • It allows you to attack without moving.
  • It allows you to attack precisely a target inside minion stack
  • It bypasses Bone Armor
  • It bypasses DR
  • It can be "chained" like Tele-Smite.

Berserk does trigger mods such as CtC (life tap from Dracul's) and OW, DS, CB. However, the damage offered by open wounds and crushing blow while trigger, are not converted to magical damage. Deadly Strike and Critical Strike however do double the magical damage when triggered.

Tele-Berserking:
If you already know how to Tele-Smite, then simply skip this part as the concept is identical if not easier.
  1. Namelock your opponent with Berserk on left click.
  2. Switch to throw to prevent walking.
  3. Bring mouse to center of your war cries / auras, around where the bases of your feet are.
  4. Click teleport once.
  5. Switch back to Berserk from throw and re-click.
  6. Repeat 1-5 if target gets away.

A second way is to just namelock your opponent with Berserk, and while you are running towards your opponent, tap teleport and you will end up on top of him and attacking. The downside of this is that it requires movement.

If done correctly, this can be deadly as it allows you to continually attack a character without them getting away. Also, some people prefer Concentrate over Berserk or start with Concentrate and gradually switch to Berserk for the uninterrupted attack. I personally find that unnecessary but you may like it.

Shout: This skill increases the duration of Battle Order, raises your defense and most importantly, raises the damage of Berserk. Although the defense bonus isn't significant with your already low defense, it does sometimes make a difference.

Ce Olba said:
'Most people prefer to dump extra skills into this instead of Berserk because the damage difference is small, while this allows extra defense and duration for BO and BC.'

Battle Command: One point boosted by shout and battle command will net you a good amount of time after +skills. The only effect to increase with skill points is duration, so the point dumping anything into it.

Teleport: Although not a native skill to the Barbarian, it does deserve mention. Teleport allows you to quickly close the distance between yourself and your target in order to attack. When combined with Whirlwind or Berserk, is extremely effective. Keep in mind that teleport can be interrupted, so don't stay there constantly trying to teleport when you're in a stun lock. Run or WW away before you attempt to teleport.

Ideally you want to teleport beside someone when trying to whirl them, as teleporting on top of them is sometimes suicide. But that's often not possible, so a namelock will be one of the best ways to teleport.

X. Equipment: The BvC like all other characters is heavily gear dependant, even more so being a melee character. I will list not list alternatives because sadly, there is most likely none. I will not copy and paste the Arreat Summit into this guide. If you wish to know item stats, please visit the site

Unlike what a lot of people think, the BvC is not all about damage. In fact, damage - while important - is probably one of the least focused areas in terms of gear. For gear, most people prefer to have defense over offense. You have to remember that there are some things that are more important than dealing 12k damage, such as life, Attack Rating, resistance or FHR / FCR. What people generally aim for is:

Life > Resistance / Attack Rating > FCR / FHR > Damage / Defense > +Skills.

While this may vary between people and match up, it a nice guideline.

Attack Speed/IAS:
The speed of your attacks are determined by the type of weapon you are using and how much increased attack speed you currently have. Attacks like Berserk, concentrate and guided arrows are affected by all types of increase attack speed while Whirlwind is only affected by on weapon increased attack speed.

  • Whirlwind is capped at 4 frames per attack.
  • Berserk/Concentrate is capped at 9 frames per attack.
  • Guided Arrows are capped at 8 frames per attack.

Fanaticism is from Beast, and it does not boost Whirlwind Speed. WIAS is the measure of how fast the base weapon speed is. The lower the number, the faster the weapon.

For WIAS [-30] (Phase Blades):
4% IAS on weapon for 4 FPA Whirlwind.
42% IAS total IAS (off-weapon + on-weapon) to hit 9 FPA Berserk.

For WIAS [0] (Berserker Axes):
34% IAS on weapon for 4 FPA Whirlwind.
125% total IAS to hit 9 FPA Berserk.
44% total IAS in addition to level 9 Fanaticism to hit 9 FPA Berserk.

For WIAS [5] (Colossus Blades):
39% IAS on weapon for 4 FPA Whirlwind.
147% total IAS to hit 9 FPA Berserk

For WIAS [10] (Colossus Swords):
44% IAS on weapon for 4 FPA Whirlwind.
174% total IAS to hit 9 FPA Berserk.

Note: Fanaticism was not included for sword type weapons because swords cannot support the Beast Runeword.

These are the frames for Guided Arrows:
Widowmaker Ward Bow [0]:
IAS: 0% 9% 19% 32% 54% 86% 152%
FPA: 14 13 12 11 10 9
8

It's unlikely for you to get past 10 frames with a Widowmaker, any higher will sacrifice other vital stats.

Swords vs. Axes: Which is better?
This has been a question that has been asked and asked again. While there is no absolute answer, axes are generally preferred due to a few reasons.

Three types of swords are popularly used for Runewords: Phase Blade, Colossus Sword and Colossus Blade.

Compared to the Berserker Axe, two of them are noticeably slower while the last (phase blade) is a lot faster, but also much weaker. With the introduction of Grief, swords quickly fell out of favor. Grief cannot hit the 44% on-weapon IAS needed for a 4 FPA on the Colossus Sword, eliminating that.

The added speed of the Phase Blade does not benefit Whirlwind as Berserker axe is capable of hitting the last breakpoint just as easily. All that's left is a weaker damage.

The Colossus Blade does have a 0.5 higher average damage than the Berserker axe. But it requires 39 IAS, which Grief rarely hits, and most people can't afford. Not to mention the massive amounts of IAS needed for a 9 FPA Berserk.

The colossus sword and blade both have steep strength requirements. That heavily limits versatility, especially with the lack of Beast's 40 strength.

The most defining reason is that Beast cannot be made in swords. If you cannot use the highest damaging combo in the game for Whirlwind and gain no other added bonuses, what's the point?

Weapons:
Weapons are arguable the most important part of a BvC. When dual wielding, one weapon becomes the primary and one weapon becomes the secondary. This is determined by the position where you put them. The order will also affect which is primary and which is not (weapon equipped last is secondary), but after switching weapon slots, your right hand weapon will automatically become primary regardless of previous equip order.

Right Hand/Left Side (Glove Side) = Primary Weapon
Left Hand/Right Side (Boots Side) = Secondary Weapon.


Weapons (primary):
Grief
: Grief's +400 damage is applied to both Min and Max damage making the average damage of this weapon sky rocket. This is by far the strongest weapon with the possible exception of eBotD. The lowest Grief has a higher average damage than a perfect 415% ED eBotD because of this.

eBotD: The primary choice of all melee characters before late 1.10. eBotD has the potential to deal higher max damage than a Grief, but the average damage is nowhere close. In order for a BotD to be close to Grief's damage, it has to be 'built into' meaning utilizing the +30 all attributes on the weapon. But this means heavily cutting down versatility.

Mainaman said:
'Overall Grief is much better than BotD due to its consistent damage output.'

Weapons Comparison:
The following calculations were done by Ce Olba for the weapons Death, Last Wish, Grief and BotD in a Berserker Axe base:

Ce Olba said:
'eBotDZ:
Average damage: 47.5
Ethereal: Yes
+ED%: 415%
+SkillED% :569%
Deadly Strike: 34%
Critical Strike: 22%

Total damage over 40 frames (10 hit checks or 1.6 seconds of constant whirling):
47.5 * 1.5 * 5.15 * 6.69 * 1.4852 * 10 =
71.25 * 5.15 * 6.69 * 1.4852 * 10 =
366.9375 * 6.69 * 1.4852 * 10 =
2454.81187 * 1.4852 * 10 =
3645.88659 * 10 =
36458.8659

GriefZ
Average damage: 47.5
Ethereal: No
+Damage: 400
+ED%: 15%
+SkillED%: 539%
Deadly Strike: 54%
Critical Strike: 22%

Total Damage over 40 frames (10 hit checks of 1.6 seconds of constant whirling):
47.5 * 1.15 + 400 * 6.39 * 1.6412 * 10 =
54.625 + 400 * 6.39 * 1.6412 * 10 =
454.625 * 6.39 * 1.6412 * 10 =
2905.05375 * 1.6412 * 10 =
4767.77421 * 10 =
47677.7421

Last Wish
Average damage: 47.5
Ethereal: No
+ED%: 390%
+SkillED%: 730%
Deadly Strike: 34%
Critical Strike: 22%

Total Damage over 40 frames (5 hit checks or 1.6 seconds of constant whirling):
47.5 * 4.9 * 7.39 * 1.4852 * 5 =
232.75 * 7.39 * 1.4852 * 5 =
1720.0225 * 1.4852 * 5 =
2554.57742 * 5 =
12772.8871

BeastZ
Average damage: 47.5
Ethereal: No
+ED%: 285%
+SkillED%: 765%
Deadly Strike: 34%
Critical Strike: 22%

Total Damage over 40 frames (10 hit checks or 1.6 seconds of constant whirling):
47.5 * 3.85 * 8.65 * 1.4852 * 10 =
182.875 * 8.65 * 1.4852 * 10 =
1581.86875 * 1.4852 * 10 =
2349.39147 * 10 =
23493.9147

DeathZ
Average damage: 47.5
Ethereal: Yes
+ED%: 385%
+SkillED%: 539%
Deadly Strike: 79%
Critical Strike: 22%

Total Damage over 40 frames (5 hit checks or 1.6 seconds of constant whirling):
47.5 * 1.5 * 4.85 * 6.39 * 1.8352 * 5 =
71.25 * 4.85 * 6.39 * 1.8352 * 5 =
345.5625 * 6.39 * 1.8352 * 5 =
2208.14437 * 1.8352 * 5 =
4052.38655 * 5 =
20261.9327

In order from best to worst:
47677.7421 (Grief)
36458.8659 (BotD)
23493.9147 (Beast)
20261.9327 (Death)
12772.8871 (Last Wish)

Note that they are all over the same amount of time (40 frames), but due to the differences in breakpoints, others get less hit checks, others get more.'

Fury: The only reason to ever use this Runeword is due to the massive open wounds it provides. Open Wound bypasses things like Bone Armor and energy shield making it an affective weapon versus bone Necromancers and energy shield Sorceresses. Otherwise, it's not too useful.

Fool's (rare): Extremely rare for a decent one, the only scenario I can think of to possibly use this is versus an extremely well built Tele-Smiter as the added Attack Rating will be needed. The damage is nowhere close to Grief or eBotD so don't stick with it.

Ce Olba said:
'Not to mention fools axes can't compete with Grief damage wise despite the boost in Attack Rating. AR has diminishing returns by the way, and ~35k AR is perfectly enough.'

Grief vs. Fool's Axe:
The following calculations were performed by Ce Olba:

'For a Fool's rare axe to be equal to Grief:

(1.5x)*47.5=447.5
1.5x=447.5/47.5
x= (447.5/47.5)/1.5
x=6.280701754

Meaning that you would need an Ethereal weapon with 528% ED for it to be equal with a +400 Grief. A weapon like this cannot exist.

Let's assume we have the suffixes "of Slaughter" and "Transcendence", meaning we get +20 average damage.

[(1.5x)*47.5]+20=447.5
[(1.5x)*47.5] =427.5
1.5x=427.5/47.5
x= (427.5/47.5)/1.5
x=6

Wow, now we only need 500% ED on a weapon that is Ethereal and has 2 suffixes. We would need Master's, Cruel, Mechanic's, Of Slaughter, of Transcendence, Of Self-Repair, socketed with 2 Shaels, Ohm and Lo rune. Not possible.

Assuming Lvl 99 Fool's:

[(1.5x)*47.5] +44.75=447.5
[(1.5x)*47.5] =402.75
1.5x=402.75/47.5
x= (402.75/47.5)/1.5
x=5.652631579

So now we need a weapon with 466% ED. This can nearly be achieved.

Now, what do we have?
Fool's
Cruel
Master's
of Slaughter
of Transcendence

We still need 40% IAS, 16% ED, a Lo and something to counter the Etherealness. This cannot be done.'

The loss of damage balances out the greater chance to hit. In the end, Grief is still superior to the Fool's axe in almost all cases because of the -25% enemy defense (12.5% in PvP) on it and the additional damage.
 

maxicek

Moderator
Staff member
Dec 24, 2019
686
645
93
Weapons (secondary):
Beast: This is THE secondary weapon for BvCs. This coupled with Grief provides higher average damage than any other weapon set up (there is one exception, but it’s so rare its unpractical). Try to aim for 36 strength or higher as it will allow you to wear CoA with base strength after level 94.

Grief: Grief + Grief yield a higher damage than Grief + Beast when coupled with Fortitude after frame 4 (see explanation below). This damage is
increased even more when you lack +max damage. However, this setup is rarely used and is unpractical, the damage difference is not that huge, perhaps around 100-200. Beast is preferred overall.

Grief and Grief vs. Grief and Beast:
The following calculations were performed by Mainaman outlining Grief + Grief versus Grief + Beast (I couldn't find a way to include the tables, so sorry for the mess):

Mainaman said:
“Some DMG calculations:

Grief + Grief with Arreat and Fortitude:

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Sup 400 Grief​
Sup 400 Grief​

Min Base Damage
21​
21​

Max Base Damage
71​
71​

Min Damage +
400​
400​

Max Damage +
490​
490​

Strength
160%​
160%​

WW ED
152%​
152%​

Mastery ED
168%​
168%​

Other Skill ED
186%​
186%​

Item ED
380%​
380%​

Total ED
1046%​
1046%​

Deadly Strike
72%​
72%​

Critical Strike
22%​
22%​

Crushing Blow
15%​
15%​

Chance to do
78.16%​
78.16%​

Double Damage​

Min Total Damage
4824.66​
4824.66​

Max Total Damage
6429.06​
6429.06​

Max Total Damage
11454.01​
11454.01​

w/ CS+DS​

Avg Total Damage
5626.86​
5626.86​

Avg Total Damage
10024.81​
10024.81​

w/ CS+DS​

WW Frame 4
10024.81​
0.00= 10024.81​

WW Frame 8
10024.81​
10024.81= 30074.44​

WW Frame 12
10024.81​
10024.81= 50124.07​

WW Frame 16
10024.81​
10024.81= 70173.70​

WW Frame 20
10024.81​
10024.81= 90223.32​

WW Frame 24
10024.81​
10024.81=110272.95​

Physical PVP Damage
852.11​
1704.22​

CB Damage
18.75​
0.00​

Total PVP Damage
870.86​
1704.22​

WW Frame 4
870.86​
1704.22= 2575.08​

WW Frame 8
870.86​
1704.22= 5150.16​

WW Frame 12
870.86​
1704.22= 7725.23​

WW Frame 16
870.86​
1704.22= 10300.31​

WW Frame 20
870.86​
1704.22= 12875.39​

WW Frame 24
870.86​
1704.22= 15450.47​

>8 Frame Dmg Potential
2575.08​
6854.37​

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _


Grief + Beast with Arreat’s Face and Fortitude:

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Grief​
285% Beast​

Min Base Damage
27​
88​

Max Base Damage
81​
262​

Min Damage +
400​

Max Damage +
521​
121​

Strength
181%​

WW ED
134%​

Mastery ED
133%​

Other Skill ED
186%​

Item ED
360%​

Total ED
994%​

Deadly Strike
65%​
45%​

Critical Strike
22%​
22%​

Crushing Blow
45%​
65%​

Chance to do
72.70%​
57.10%​

Double Damage​

Min Total Damage
4671.38​
962.72​

Max Total Damage
6585.88​
4190.02​

Max Total Damage
11373.81​
6582.52​

w/ CS+DS​

Avg Total Damage
5628.63​
2576.37​

Avg Total Damage
9720.64​
4047.48​

w/ CS+DS​

WW Frame 4
9720.64​
0= 9720.64​

WW Frame 8
9720.64​
4047.48= 23488.77​

WW Frame 12
9720.64​
4047.48= 37256.89​

WW Frame 16
9720.64​
4047.48= 51025.01​

WW Frame 20
9720.64​
4047.48= 64793.13​

WW Frame 24
9720.64​
4047.48= 78561.25​

Physical PVP Damage
1652.51​
688.07​

CB Damage
0.00​
0.00​

Total PVP Damage
1652.51​
688.07​

WW Frame 4
1652.51​
0= 1652.51​

WW Frame 8
1652.51​
688.07= 3993.09​

WW Frame 12
1652.51​
688.07= 6333.67​

WW Frame 16
1652.51​
688.07= 8674.25​

WW Frame 20
1652.51​
688.07= 11014.83​

WW Frame 24
1652.51​
688.07= 13355.41​

>8 Frame Dmg Potential
2340.58​

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

As you can see the damage output per frame is in favor of Grief + Grief when using Fortitude.

Now same calculations with Enigma:

Grief + Grief with Arreat’s Face:

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Sup 400 Grief​
Sup 400 Grief​

Min Base Damage
21​
21​

Max Base Damage
71​
71​

Min Damage +
400​
400​

Max Damage +
490​
490​

Strength
160%​
160%​

WW ED
152%​
152%​

Mastery ED
168%​
168%​

Other Skill ED
186%​
186%​

Item ED
40%​
40%​

Total ED
706%​
706%​

Deadly Strike
72%​
72%​

Critical Strike
22%​
22%​

Crushing Blow
15%​
15%​

Chance to do
78.16%​
78.16%​

Double Damage​

Min Total Damage
3393.26​
3393.26​

Max Total Damage
4521.66​
4521.66​

Max Total Damage
8055.79​
8055.79​

w/ CS+DS​

Avg Total Damage
3957.46​
3957.46​

Avg Total Damage
7050.61​
7050.61​

w/ CS+DS​

WW Frame 4
7050.61​
0.00= 7050.61​

WW Frame 8
7050.61​
7050.61= 21151.83​

WW Frame 12
7050.61​
7050.61= 35253.05​

WW Frame 16
7050.61​
7050.61= 49354.28​

WW Frame 20
7050.61​
7050.61= 63455.50​

WW Frame 2
7050.61​
7050.61= 77556.72​

Physical PVP Damage
599.30​
1198.60​

CB Damage
18.75​
0.00​

Total PVP Damage
618.05​
1198.60​

WW Frame 4
618.05​
1198.60= 1816.66​

WW Frame 8
618.05​
1198.60= 3633.31​

WW Frame 12
618.05​
1198.60= 5449.97​

WW Frame 16
618.05​
1198.60= 7266.62​

WW Frame 20
618.05​
1198.60= 9083.28​

WW Frame 24
618.05​
1198.60= 10899.93​

>8 Frame Dmg Potential
1816.66​
4831.92​

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _


Grief + Beast with Arreat’s Face:

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Grief​
285% Beast​

Min Base Damage
27​
88​

Max Base Damage
81​
262​

Min Damage +
400​

Max Damage +
521​
121​

Strength
181%​

WW ED
134%​

Mastery ED
133%​

Other Skill ED
186%​

Item ED
49%​



Total ED
683%​

Deadly Strike
65%​
45%​

Critical Strike
22%​
22%​

Crushing Blow
45%​
65%​

Chance to do
72.70%​
57.10%​

Double Damage​

Min Total Damage
3343.41​
689.04​

Max Total Damage
4713.66​
2998.89​

Max Total Damage
8140.49​
4711.26​

w/ CS+DS​

Avg Total Damage
4028.54​
1843.97​

Avg Total Damage
6957.28​
2896.87​

w/ CS+DS​

WW Frame 4
6957.28​
0= 6957.28​

WW Frame 8
6957.28​
2896.87= 16811.43​

WW Frame 12
6957.28​
2896.87= 26665.58​

WW Frame 16
6957.28​
2896.87= 36519.73​

WW Frame 20
6957.28​
2896.87= 46373.88​

WW Frame 24
6957.28​
2896.87= 56228.02​

Physical PVP Damage
1182.74​
492.47​

CB Damage
0.00​
0.00​

Total PVP Damage
1182.74​
492.47​

WW Frame 4
1182.74​
0= 1182.74​

WW Frame 8
1182.74​
492.47= 2857.94​

WW Frame 12
1182.74​
492.47= 4533.15​

WW Frame 16
1182.74​
492.47= 6208.35​

WW Frame 20
1182.74​
492.47= 7883.56​

WW Frame 24
1182.74​
492.47= 9558.76​

>8 Frame Dmg Potential
1675.21​

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

So the damage from Grief + Grief is better than Grief + Beast especially with Fortitude.

All these calculations are done for perfect gear so they are very subjective, but pretty informative in my opinion.”

Notes: Opponent DR=50%, Opponent Life=5000, Minion=0%. Including +Max Charms, Fanat and Jewel in helm. Level 30 Whirlwind, Level 28 Mastery.

Doom: No real reason to use this weapon other than to BM (Bad-Manner) someone with the holy freeze aura. This weapon is the bane of Smiters and most Amazons.

Wizardspike (um’d): A useful weapon versus ES Sorceresses and Bone Necromancers. It allows you to reach a higher frame while the open wound by passes the ES and Bone Armor. It also allows you to have massive stack. It’s rarely needed though and a personal choice.

Mainaman said:
“Wizzies are not better than 2 Dooms as Doom gives 25% Open Wound. There is no need of Wizzies.”

Why not use Phoenix?

Phoenix requires massive Dex for max block also; the average damage is a lot lower then when dual wielding with Grief + Beast:

Ce Olba said:
“400 GriefZ with Phoenix: 8365 per hit

400 GriefZ with Beast: 6353 per hit alone, 8672 with BeastZ, not counting OW”

Weapons (on switch/BO weapons):

Echo Weapons (Magical): Simple +3 war cry sticks used for prebuffing quickly and effectively. Not too many bonuses. These can potentially come with life tap charges if in the form of a blade/dagger which can be extremely useful. These are often socketed with Fal Runes to prevent being unable to equip items from the loss of strength.

Call to Arms/Hoto: This setup grants the highest level BO at +7. Otherwise not too useful. Shout is lower also.

Doom/Doom: This is one of the most common setups on BvCs. This setup has several advantages at the cost of 2-3 levels of battle orders:

  • Holy Freeze allows you to efficiently dispose any Bowazons and Smiters that happen to come your way.
  • Holy Freeze allows you to kill low HP characters that have been drained by open wound or poison where landing another hit is impossible.

Despite rumors, dual dooms will NOT kill the minions of Wind Druids.

Question: Why not dual CtAs?

Well with the introduction of CtA and oskills, there also came a rule. oskills cannot grant above 3 levels if the skill is native to the class used. What this means is that instead of a 14 level bonus (2 all skills and 3+3 to BO), you instead get 5 to BO (2 all skills and 3 to BO).

Helm:

CoA (Ber + Ber): Crown of Ages. This is the most common helm for public dueling as it allows you to maintain high DR without losing too many vital stats. A perfect BerBer CoA has a total of 31% DR. Plus the 8 from Enigma, it gives you 39, a significant number.

Arreat’s Face: This is a great helm to use when not facing a character that deals physical damage as it gives you higher damage, higher Attack Rating and higher resists than a CoA.

Rare Circlet (20 FCR): A good circlet with visionary mod (+1% Attack Rating /Lvl) and 20 FCR + other gravy mods will be the pinnacle of a BvC’s caster helm. But a circlet like this is very expensive. If you do manage to get one, by all means use it.

Mods to look for (no particular order):

  • Resistance
  • Faster Cast Rate
  • Strength
  • Dexterity
  • Attack Rating
  • Faster Hit Recovery
  • Life

Arreat’s vs. CoA:

I hear this question asked a lot: Which is better to use, Arreat’s or CoA? Well the truth to that question is that they both have their uses. Arreat’s allow more versatility with your other gear because of the lower strength requirement and the stats that it gives. It also has a slightly higher life, AR and damage ratio compared to CoA, but that’s minimal. CoA on the other hand allows for massive DR, and that’s what it’s mainly used for; a BerBer CoA allows for up to 31% DR in it self. It does requires you to have Enigma, TGod’s and Beast equipped in order to use it so it cuts down on gear versatility, but two of those you will probably use anyway, so it’s no big deal. It has most of the useful mods of Arreat’s, with stats, skills and the 20% AR bonus aside.

To sum it up, CoA is used for physically damaging attackers and general public dueling gear because you have no source of DR from anywhere else. Arreat’s is better for most 1 vs. 1 caster situations.

Armor:

Enigma: The armor that defines the BvC. Teleport is absolutely mandatory for this build. This armor was made for BvCs as it provides a huge strength bonus, huge faster r/w bonus and teleport. This will be your main armor and can be used versus every character. Try to have this in a light armor as defense is secondary. Try to take full advantage of its strength bonus by having it in low requirement armors such as Dusk Shroud, Mage Plate or Breast Plate.

Fortitude: The only other armor for BvCs. This armor is not as useful as Enigma but it does serve purposes. Versus Smiters, Fort can be used to provide crushing damage since teleport is not needed. Versus Hammerdins, Fort can be used to increase Widowmaker damage and to make your hits more defined.

Ebug: There is a new bug with armor that allows for the ethereal defense bonus to be applied to times using a cube. I won’t go into details on how it’s done, but armors made using this are referred to as Ebugged.

Belt:

Arachnid’s Mesh: This belt is used because of its faster cast rate. This is used in combination with Trang’s or less commonly Magefists in order to reach the 37% FCR breakpoint.

Verdungo’s Hearty Cord: This belt is used when FCR is secondary to DR. Mainly versus classes such as Smiters, other BvCs, Bowazons and sometimes Wind Druids.

This used in combination with CoA and Enigma will give you 50% DR (cap).

Ce Olba said:
“I never found myself using Verdungo’s Hearty Cord, so I ended up ditching it. The only possible match-up where I can see it as useful is against a very good Smiter. And against the best of those, your chance of winning is already close to pointless, so it ends up being a waste of time.”

Thundergod’s Vigor: Normally this would fall under Absorb, but the strength requirement here deserves to be mentioned in its own section. With a lot of common BvC setups, TGod’s will allow you to use CoA with Fortitude. This is only applicable to an Invested BvC.

65 base strength + 15 Dracul’s + 36 Beast + 40 Torch/Anni = 156

That’s not normally enough to wear Fort along with CoA. However, with the addition of TGods:

156 + 20 = 176.
 

maxicek

Moderator
Staff member
Dec 24, 2019
686
645
93
Gloves:
Trang-Oul’s Claws:
These are used for the 20% FCR which in combination with Arach’s will give you the 37% FCR breakpoint. The only reason these are preferred over Magefists is because of the 30% cold resist it provides.

Dracul’s Grasp: These are your gloves versus characters that don’t need much FCR or characters that require bleeding. (Open Wounds/poison). These, when used in combination with Widowmaker allows for a good open wound damage and the chance to cast life tap.

Dracul’s vs. Steelrends:

The reason that Steelrends are inferior to Dracul’s is because of this:
  • The ED is simply stacked along with Skill ED and other off-weapon ED, meaning the increase is minimal. Open wounds on the other hand, are always strong and are not reduced as heavily in PvP.
  • Steelrends require massive strength to wear.
  • Steelrends has godly 15-20 strength. SO WHAT? They’re the heaviest items you’ll wear. Plus, Dracul’s also has 15 strength that can actually be applied.

The only plus to Steelrends are the extra defense and the 10% crushing blow. But open wounds still prove far more useful than both.

Boots:
Rare Boots: These should be either Tri-Resistance with strength or dexterity or Dual-Resistance with Strength and Dexterity. Faster Run/Walk can also be helpful.

In terms of resistances, Lightning is the most common element, so therefore is the most useful resistance. Cold and Fire are about split even, with fire being a bit more common. But cold is harder to negate, with cold Sorceresses having massive –enemy resistance, so cold is preferred over fire.

Ce Olba said:
“The +stats on rare boots are rather useless, since the only time you will be able to use them is when you use Widowmaker, and when you do, you would usually want to use Gore Riders.”

Gore Riders: The boot equivalent of Dracul’s, generally, when you’re going to be using Dracul’s, you’re probably going to want these as well. It provides nice Deadly Strike, Crushing Blow and Open Wounds and should be used versus melee characters that don’t have elemental attacks.

Jewelry:
Highlord’s Wrath: This is the only choice for an amulet. This amulet provides great IAS and most important, the massive Deadly Strike based on character level.

Despite what people think, this is not just a cheap alternative to a super expensive rare or craft. The deadly strike offered by this amulet cannot be beat. There is no replacement for this as an anti-caster amulet.

Raven Frosts: Also irreplaceable. These rings give you up to 20 dexterity each with 250 Attack Rating. They also come with cannot be frozen and 20% cold absorb allowing you to survive hits from Blizzard Sorceresses which would be impossible other wise.

Angelic’s Halo/Wings: The rings, when coupled with the amulet, give 12 Attack Rating per level. And you can have 2 of them. These 3 items provide the highest source of Attack Rating found in the game and should be put to good use.

Charms: The most common charm setup is 37 Fine Small Charm of Vita. (32020). But there are other setups that can be utilized. A lot of people prefer a combination of Serpents Small Charm of Vita (20/17), Scintillating Small Charm of Vita or Balance. (20/5) and Steel Small Charm of Vita (36/20), along with the Fine Small Charm of Vita. On a Grief + Beast using BvC, max damage small charms will be more effective than pure Attack Rating charms because of the massive added damage. So in this case. 32020s will almost always be more effective than 36/20s.

Mainaman said:
“3/20/20s are always more effective than 36/20.”

Grand Charms are also commonly used. Most famous examples of this are the Sharp Grand Charm of Vita. Which gives more Attack Rating and damage then 32020s but considerably more life. Skillers should never be used, any type. They are inferior to the charms listed in almost every way.

A lot of people like to use massive poison charms on their BvCs. This setup is not recommended because poison can be easily countered and does insignificant damage most of the time in PvP.

Mainaman said:
“Poison length gets reduced by to the duration of venom which is 0.4 seconds IIRC from Grief that’s why poison charms are not good on BvC.”

When selecting a Torch and Anni, remember that attributes are more important than resistances to this Barbarian. Aim for 20 stats if nothing else.

Stash Gear: A stash allows BvC added flexibility, no one’s stash is identical, and copying someone else’s stash will NOT work. You should choose what to put in your own stash. In addition to the items above, these are some of the items that can be potentially useful and necessary:

Absorb Items/Resistance: Self explanatory, items like Kira’s Guardian, hotspurs, wisp projectors, dwarf stars allow you to completely negate elemental attacks. Poison Length Reduction also falls under this category such as Death’s gloves. Though it’s not good mannered to use these, sometimes you will run into idiots who like to town guard, talk trash, etc. It’s best to refrain from them though, as you won’t improve if you constantly rely on these.

Keep in mind that percentage absorb has a cap of 40% while integer absorb has no cap. Plus max resists (such as those offered on hotspurs) are capped at +20% for a total of 95% res.

Mainaman said:
“Good BvC don’t need absorb other than ravens / TGod's, stack Nokozan Relic (Unique Amulet) vs. Fire Sorceress and Ort Kira’s.”

Ce Olba said:
“Absorb on a BvC is a sign of weakness. Every absorb besides of Cold Absorb is a waste of time, since you will have enough resistances anyways.”
Widowmaker: The Widowmaker is a bow that offers you guided arrows as an oskill (skills that every can use such as Teleport from Enigma.) Although some people dislike the use of the Widowmaker, I personally feel that it is a very important part of the BvC build. The BvC can make very good use of the Widowmaker versus all builds. But generally most commonly against BvBs, Hammerdins and some Smiters.

The Widowmaker is NOT used to physically deal damage, though it can. The primary use of the Widowmaker is to provoke aggression and to trigger open wounds. Thus, it can also be useful against defensive Bone Necromancers and Energy Shield Sorceresses. A defensive character that is hit by 1 or 2 Guided Arrows will almost always turn aggressive and start coming after you. That is extremely useful, especially to this build because you have a closed range attack. This can also be used to trigger life tap, which can be game breaking. It can be used to finish off a low hp opponent when landing another Whirlwind hit is unlikely.

FCR Gear: Some people like to carry around a Griffon’s Eye Diadem for the added FCR. I personally don’t find that necessary but it can be done. Many people also like to carry around FCR rings, and while good ones are hard to come by, they can be very efficient, coming with:
  • FCR
  • Resistance
  • Life
  • Strength
  • Dexterity
  • Attack Rating
I’d take a good rare FCR ring over all others.

Mainaman said:
“2x 10FCR/90+ar/70+mana/life/res rings can help to reach 63 FCR breakpoint vs. Casters.”

Attack Rating Gear: Some people like to carry Fool’s weapon around with them and stuff like Angelic’s and Hsarus’. My advice is to either just carry around Angelic’s or Hsarus’ and not both as it’s rarely needed and takes up a lot of room.

Hsarus’: Hsarus’ allows you to have a decent amount of AR, though not as large as dual Angelic’s would give you. The pro of this set up is that it frees up your ring and amulet slots for something for useful, such as Highlord’s and Raven Frosts. Versus opponents such as Hammerdins, where a little bit of AR is necessary, but not a lot, this could be ideal. Hsarus’ aren’t as common as Angelic’s, and even with Hsarus’, an additional source of AR will often be needed versus opponents such as Smiters. Still, many people seem to prefer Hsarus’ over Angelic’s in a public environment.

Shield: Though BvCs typically don’t use shields, I feel like giving it a section here. BvCs have the potential to hit high block (over 65%) using the right gear. While this is rare, it can be used for an easier time to beat some characters.

1. An Elded Stormshield needs 186 dexterity for 75% block at level 90 and 196 dexterity for max block at level 95.

2. Whitstan’s Guard Elded requires even less dexterity at 152 for level 90 and 159 for level 95.

This can be easily achieved when necessary, though it does require some heavy gear change and isn’t practical without good reason. Still, it’s comforting to know it’s there when needed.

Our example Barbarian will be level 95 using Elded Stormshield. We’ll give him 45 base dexterity.

47 Base + 20 Arreat’s + 30 BotD + 20 Tal's Belt + 40 Torch/Anni + 10 Angelic's + (20 Raven) = 176 or (186)


Ce Olba said:
“Using Dual Ravens with Stormshield is pointless. Everything except a BvBs can be beaten without a shield and BvBs have huge defense. Meaning you will want as much +AR as you can get.”

Although this requires a lot of gear, it’s still possible. An all vita Barbarian will obviously have a lower chance to block. But there’s still the Whitstan’s which can be achieved with base dexterity. Just that it lacks the damage reduction of Stormshield.

This is used primarily to give you the edge when facing another BvC, a tough Bowazon, Ghost / WW Assassin or Zealer. If you feel that you need Attack Rating, simply switch out the Tal’s belt for Hsarus’ Belt and Boots. You lose a bit of block, but not much.

You can have 196 for max block at Lvl 95, but that requires dual ravens. It’s primarily used to give you an edge in a duel where you’re really have trouble with and shouldn’t be relied on liberally.


Public Dueling Gear:
This following set up is the most common setup for general public duels because it removes most of your weaknesses while retaining reasonable Attack Rating, FCR and damage. You will want to switch in 1v1 situations but this is best versus random duelers:

Helm: BerBer CoA
Armor: Enigma
Belt: Arachnid’s
Gloves: Trang’s
Boots: Tri-Res Rares
Rings: Dual Ravens
Amulet: Highlord’s
Weapons: Grief + Beast
Switch: Most commonly Dual Doom.

This allows you to have the 37% FCR breakpoint, Cannot be Frozen, 40% Cold Absorb, up to 39% DR, Holy Freeze switch to disable Amazons and Smiters, reasonable mana, reasonable FHR and reasonable Attack Rating.

Socketing your items: Most commonly, weapons are socketed with Ohm, Lo, Um, Ber, Eth or Gul runes depending on what is needed as it varies from item to item. Jewels can also work, such as the Ruby Jewel of Fervor (40ed/15IAS) or the Ruby Jewel of Carnage (40ed/15max).

When socketing armor, do not put jewels with both ED and +x to min or max damage. There is a bug that applies when:
  1. The item already has +max damage, then the Ed% will only apply to minimum damage.
  2. The item already has +min damage, then the Ed% will only apply to maximum damage.
  3. The item already has +max and +min damage, then the Ed% will be useless.

Armors can be socketed with either Jah for life, Ber for Damage Reduction, 40/15 for damage and increased attack speed or Hel for lower requirements. Eld can be used on shields for higher chance to block.

ED vs. +X to Max:
Because of the bug mentioned before, only one of the two can be used on armors, so which one? It depends on your character and the items/skill you will be using. Use the following formula and plug in the numbers your self to see which one is better.

Weapon Maximum Damage = Base Maximum Damage * (1+ (+x % Enhanced Damage)/100) + (+x to Maximum Damage)

Only On-Weapon ED and Max Damage apply here.


Maximum Damage = (Weapon Maximum Damage + (+x To Maximum Damage)) * (1 + Stat Bonus + (+x % Enhanced Damage) / 100)) * 1 (standard attack including WW) or 2 (deadly strike).

Only off-weapon ED and Max Damage apply here. Stat bonus is equal to your strength for non-maul/hammer type weapons.
 

maxicek

Moderator
Staff member
Dec 24, 2019
686
645
93
XI. PvP:
General: There are a few general techniques/strategies you should learn in order to be successful not only with BvC, but with any class in general.

1. Never underestimate your opponent: I have seen so many people lose to others because they underestimated them. It doesn’t matter if it’s a Hammerdin using a Vipermagi; he still has the potential to dominate you.

2. Watch out for desynch and invisible projectiles:
Desynch is when there is a delay/error between the server and your client, so that what you see on your screen may not necessarily be what is actually going on. If you see someone getting stuck on a puddle/tree or disappearing for a period of time, chances are he is desynching and will suddenly appear elsewhere. Desynch most commonly comes from Charging Paladins like Hammerdins, Chargers and sometimes Smiters. Whirlwind also has the ability to desynch often. Most Amazons will often load them selves with over 100% Faster R/W. Though any class can do this, Amazons do this most frequently. Blizzards and Hammers cast off screen also have a tendency to become invisible. So watch out for those as well.

Hydras from your torch will often be able to tell if a desynched paladin is running across your screen as they cannot be fooled. If you really find your self in a situation where you simply cannot find where your opponent is, cast 2 or 3 hydras scattered across your screen to pick up on desynch.

Example of desynch:

Most long range projectiles have the ability to turn invisible after a period of time in the air, most commonly over 1 or 2 screens. Most notably are Guided Arrows and the feared IBS (Invisible Bone Spirit) and fireballs. If you see a Caster or Bowazon standing a few screens away and firing at you, chances are their missiles will eventually turn invisible.

3. Watch out for delayed teleport: A delayed teleport is when your opponent namelocks you with most commonly either throw or unsummon and then suddenly teleports on you unexpectedly from 1 or 2 screens away.



How delayed teleport is done:
  1. Namelock with throw on left click or unsummon on right click depending on character class. For BvCs, you will generally be using unsummon while throw is used for Tele-Berserking.
  2. Quickly switch to teleport and back to your skill when you see your opponent has moved outside of your screen.

Beware of characters suddenly standing still for a period of time as you leave their screen, especially from a character that has teleport (which most do). You can break their namelock by leaving their mini-map. If you see him frequently delayed teleporting, you can set up a trap for him by Tri-Whirling in one area.

For a video on delayed teleport, please visit this link:

4. Watch out for bad-mannered players: If they’re being stupid and talking trash, then either just walk away or squelch. There’s really no point of arguing with people like these, don’t let them get to you. Sadly, people are like these are everywhere, especially in public dueling games.


5. Don’t be afraid to run: If you are dying or cursed (life tap, amplify damage) then don’t hesitate to run. Ignore those people that call you a noob for running, it’s the only counter to some things.

6. Don’t keep using the same strategies over and over again: People will eventually grow out of them and find counters, and then you will find your self in a spot where you’ll be unable to do anything. Some tricks work well, and some don’t. Learn which ones suit you.

7. Raise your screen resolution: 800 x 600 has a larger sight radius than 640 x 480. Use it for PvP to give you an edge.

Penalty: PvP has a penalty of roughly 1/6 (17%). Meaning if you originally did 6k damage, you will now only deal 1k. Hirelings and summons have their damage cut in half versus other players. Iron Maiden’s affect is cut to 1/4th and Auras like Thorns and Spirit of Barbarians that return damage is cut by 1/10th. Duration of spells is unaffected, if your poison dagger originally lasted 50 seconds, it’ll still last 50 seconds.

Knock back: Knock back can be extremely helpful in PvP, but it does have its downsides. While knock back with a Widowmaker can help knock those annoying Hammerdins out of desynch, it can also do so much more not so helpful things. Knock back has the potential to knock a target out of your attack range. The staple for a BvC is to Tri-Whirl in order to lock an opponent and kill. Knocking your opponent out of your Tri-Whirl will give them a chance to escape so knock back is generally not used on BvCs.

Leech: Leech was what kept Barbarians alive in 1.09. That has changed however. Leech has been heavily nerfed. Leech is cut in half in nightmare and halved again in hell. That, in addition to the PvP penalty, meanings you get basically nothing back. Let’s assuming you do 6k damage per hit with a massive 40% leech.

(40/2)/2 = 10
6000/6 = 1000
0.10 * 1000 = 100.


All that damage you deal with so much leech and you only get 100 life back. That 100 is further cut in half when your opponent has 50% damage reduction making it only 50 life back. However, because the PvP penalty does not apply of minions, leech can still be effective versus certain builds. Most notably the wind druid. With 5 wolves and no PvP penalty, it’ll look something like this:

(40/2)/2 = 10
0.10 * 6000 = 600.


That’s quite a bit of life back. You can also leech off monsters, but that is extremely rude and discouraged.

It should also be noted that leech can help you aim your Widowmaker. The leech animation can tell you weather or not you are actually hitting your opponent when they are off screen.

ITD and –x% Enemy Defense:
Well you may think, why bother with all the trouble of Angelic’s or Hsarus’ just to get Attack Rating when your Grief has a sexy mod called Ignore Target Defense?

Sadly, ITD does not work in PvP. It’s a PvM only mod. However, look right under that mod and be amazed. Ever wonder why Grief has -25% enemy defense even though it has ITD? Yes, I know Eth rune gives it, but let’s pretend it doesn’t. Even though ITD does not work in PvP, -x% Enemy Defense does, although at a nerfed rate (1/2 in PvP). This means that an opponent with 10,000 defense will now have:

Defense = 10000 * (1-[0.25/2])
= 10000 * 0.875
= 8750


A difference of 1250 defense. You can see how this can become very useful versus opponents with massive defense. Say -50% Enemy Defense vs. 80k defense.

Defense = 80000 * (1-[0.5/2])
= 80000 * 0.75
= 60000


A difference of 20k defense.

Poison Damage: Poison is a useful but relatively weak type of damage available to the BvC. The reason that it’s useful is because it automatically attacks the HP of your opponent, by passing most barriers. (Bone Armor, Energy Shield, Etc.) The reason that poison should not be relied on to do massive damage is because poison length is also affected by poison length reduction in addition to its damage being affected by poison resistance. A player with 75% PLR and resistance will only suffer ¼ damage at ¼ duration. Not to mention there are antidotes available at Akara.

Poison CAN be used effectively though. But it’s more of a ment1al factor than a physical factor. I like to use one long lasting poison charm, the damage is not that important but it can help. People tend to go overboard when they see poison, putting on massive stack and PLR. That can give you the edge as it makes them nervous and gives you a gear advantage.

Poison duration is also reduced if a skill with lower duration is triggered. With Grief having such a high chance to trigger venom, poison damage is heavily reduced. Poison damage is scaled to the duration and not totaled. So instead of a 400 damage over 4 seconds, it will instead do 40 damage over 0.4 seconds (the duration of Venom).

“Poison’s effect is doubled in Hell, meaning both the Duration and the Damage is doubled.”

For more information regarding poison, please visit this link:
http://www.diabloii.net/strategy/x-articles/taopoison.shtml

Open Wounds, Crushing Blow and Deadly Strike:
Crushing Blow:
Automatically take away a chunk of your opponent’s life.
  • Melee vs. Players and Hirelings – 1/10th of their total HP.
  • Ranged vs. Players and Hireling – 1/20th of their total HP.

Crushing blow is calculated before your normal damage. And multiple items with crushing blow does stack. (20% Crushing Blow on first item and 30% Crushing Blow on second item results in [20%+30%] 50% total crushing blow).

Crushing blow is affected by physical resistance (DR) but only if it’s positive. (Amplify Damage [-100% physical resistance] does not affect crushing blow).

Deadly Strike: Chance to do double damage. Deadly strike is calculated separately from Critical Strike though their affects are the same. Like crushing blow, deadly strike from multiple items also stack.

Total chance of doing double damage = CS + (DS/100)*(100-CS)

CS = Critical Strike while DS = Deadly Strike.

Open Wounds
: Set amount of damage over 200 frames or 8 seconds based on character level (your own). Formula (damage per frame):
  • Clvl=1-15: (9*Clvl+31)/256
  • Clvl=16-30: (18*Clvl-104)/256
  • Clvl=31-45: (27*Clvl-374)/256
  • Clvl=46-60: (36*Clvl-779)/256
  • Clvl=61-99: (45*Clvl-1319)/256

For damage by second, multiply by 25.
For total damage, multiply by 200.

Open Wounds stacks with Poison and cannot be negated.

Minion Stacking: When done correctly, minion stacking can mean the difference between life and death. The BvC can’t really utilize this very well, but it does have the ability to use Grizzly due to Beast. This section will focus more on countering Minion Stack.

There are several ways around Minion Stacking:
  1. Kill – Easiest to explain, if they’re stacking, kill the minions. Recasting will take time, and some minions cannot be recast (Skeletons, Hirelings, Revives).
  2. Leap – Leap will give you a field of knock back that can be used to knock opponents out of minion stack. Most notably used against Summon Necromancers and Wind Druids. Leap 2 – 3 times and your opponent will be out of their stack often times.
  3. Howl – Howl works in PvP. Amazing right? Howl will often make minions run away as long as you are higher level than your opponent. Be noted that this doesn't always work very well.
  4. Berserk – If you can manage to find the actual enemy within all the minions, just Berserk him.

Ce Olba said:
"If you’re against someone who uses minions all the time and you see yourself hitting the minions most of the time, you can carry around a +3 Warcries weapon with Life Tap charges. Put it on your swap, cast Life Tap on the opponent and watch what happens. They HAVE TO re-summon, since Life Tap would otherwise provide you with a practical auto-win. This gives you a perfect opportunity for a delayed namelock which is going to hurt since he doesn’t have the minions anymore.”

Faster Run/Walk: FRW has no breakpoints. You may have seen those Bowazons desynch while running, but the truth to it is that Amazons are NOT the only characters who can do this. Every character with around 100-150% FRW will desynch while running and you may find this helpful versus certain builds.

Prebuffing: Prebuffing can mean one of many things. It can mean putting on additional +skills to make certain skills stronger. (Prebuffing Battle Orders with 2x HOTOS.) or putting on an item in order to make use of a skill that the item has a chance to cast (Fade from Last Wish, Chilling Armor for Fortitude) or using a charges from an item (enchant from demon limb). Depending on where and how you duel, certain prebuffs can be Bad-mannered not to mention time consuming.

Most common prebuffs include:
Level 11 or 15 Fade from Last Wish or Treachery respectively. – Fade is useful because it offers DR equal to it’s level (level 15 fade offers 15 DR, level 20 Fade offers 20 DR, etc.) and it reduces poison duration and curse duration.

Level 15 Chilling Armor from Fortitude. – Chilling armor has a random chance to deflect bolt/arrow type projectiles. This has not been researched thoroughly yet and I’m unsure how it works or weather it’s a bug or not.

This is a video regarding chilling armor:

Level 23 Enchant from Demon Limb – Enchant is by far the most common and useful prebuff for BvCs. It allows you greater AR (

Ce Olba said:
“Prebuffing besides of Fade and Demon Limb is a waste of time and will eat away at your skill. Of course, this does not apply to TvTs, where you’re mainly a BO-golem.”

Body popping and recovery: When you have more than 16 bodies, your items will “Pop” out of your corpse and scatter on the ground. You may sometimes lack the strength or dexterity to put on an item and leave some items in your corpse unable to pick up, so incorporate that in your build. The order the game calculates strength from items is in this order:

  1. Head
  2. Neck
  3. Torso
  4. Right Arm
  5. Left Arm
  6. Right Ring
  7. Left Ring
  8. Belt
  9. Feet
  10. Gloves
  11. Inventory (Charms)

The BvC is a hard character to NK (Naked Kill) because of Leap. Leap knocks back attacks and makes you difficult to hit. If you find your way blocked by things like Bone Prison, simply leap out of way. If you find a Hammerdin spamming on top of your corpse, simply leap until he is out of range. Clearly this won’t work versus experienced players, but experienced players will most likely not NK.

Level: Like all melee characters and all characters in general, the BvC depends heavily on level. But as a melee PvP character, this determines several important things. Higher levels grant many bonuses that should not be over looked:
  1. More life and mana
  2. Higher chance to hit your enemy
  3. Lower chance for your enemy to hit you
  4. More skill points to distribute
  5. Higher level allows howl to work more commonly when needed.

Many players aim for level 95 as their goal. But I would say level 90 is the bare minimum for this build.

Effects of slow/cold on Whirlwind:
Ce Olba said:
“Neither cold nor slow% affect the actual hit checks of Whirlwind, they only slow down the moving speed of the Barbarian. This can be either good or bad depending on your opponent.”

Keep in mind that wearing heavy armor has the same affects as slow/cold. This is also easily countered by adjusting FRW accordingly.

XII. Strategies: I will only be talking about common builds and not hybrids. For hybrids, just combine the strategies of the two pure classes. Also, these strategies are only meant as a guideline. You can approach this a completely different way and still have equal or greater success. These strategies are not necessarily the best way to go about something, rather the easiest or most common.

Under each section tells you weather Tri-Whirl can be used and additional notes.

Some sections also have videos that show how the duels can go and most of them show how some of the strategies can be applied in an actual duel situation.

Amazon:
Bowazon: Bowazons can be in my opinion, very easy or very hard. Because Whirlwind is a moving attack, even if they run away, you can still teleport and hit them easily. You have to try to close the distance quickly and constantly move in a large circle to avoid guided arrows. Make good use of walls and corners to dodge arrows. Leap will put them in dodge and should be abused. If they use strafe, side step the first few hits and teleport on them, strafe is a slow attack and leaves a huge opening.

Tri-Whirl: Yes
Note: Guided Arrows and Multi-Arrow has the tendency to turn invisible.

Mainaman said:
“Teleport in a closing spiral and when close enough, leap > Tele-Whirl. If they run, namelock Tele-WW along the direction they run.”
Ce Olba said:
“Flashing the Holy Freeze Aura of your dual Dooms while Leaping is a very good strategy since it slows down the D/A/E of the Amazon. This applies to all kinds of Amazons.”

Lightning Javazons: Most commonly they will use Far Cast. For those, all you can do is absorb. For actual Charged Strike Amazons, they will often teleport or run up to you to attack. Tri-Whirl them. A Tri-Whirl done effectively will make Charged Strike miss you, even at point blank range. For those that use Lightning Fury, approach them like a Bowazon, but easier because of slower speed and generally lower damage.

Mainaman said:
“CS Phoenix Amazons with max block are very dangerous since they can do a lot of physical damage; these require very good Tri-Whirls.”

Tri-Whirl: Yes
Note: Lightning Fury can turn invisible also, so be careful of that.

Hybrid Amazons: The most common variation is Jab/Guided + Multi. The skills compliment each other very well and so do the stats with dexterity increasing both damage for bow and block for Java. Most of these will switch to Java/shield when they feel you are close and they will use jab when close and lightning fury when you are outside melee range but close enough to be a threat. You can go about these two ways. You can try to catch them by closing in the distance extremely fast and killing them with bow out. Or you can attempt to tank them and Tri-Whirl. Note however that with a combination of dodge/max block/max DR some of the Amazons will be able to out tank you blow for blow.

Tri-Whirl: Yes, if you feel like you have the edge.

Video of BvC vs. Hybrid Amazon:


Assassin:
Trappers
: I find using Widowmaker to be extremely helpful versus defensive trappers if you don’t wish to resort to absorb. Make quick drive-bys and try not to stay in traps taking pointless hits. Because lightning traps are straight projectiles, running will ensure they miss you. Fire has a shorter range than lightning so it’s easier to avoid. If you find your self being mindblasted, leap or Whirlwind out of range to avoid a stun lock.

Ce Olba said:
“If you’re near the traps of the Assassin, you can count the amount of blasts the traps have fired and base your attack on that, since the Assassin will only recast the traps when they’ve ran out. Which is 10 blasts per trap. Again, this applies to all Assassins that use Traps.”
Tri-Whirl: If they are open, go for it. Otherwise, if you feel that you will take massive damage or are unsure weather will you be able to lock them, don’t.

Ghost and WW-Sin Variants: In terms of both life and damage, you win. In a whirl for whirl situation you will almost always win against a sin with equal wealth. But, because of the stunning capabilities of Ghosts, you have to be careful. If they are able to catch you between Whirlwinds, then you are in trouble. A nice stun lock takes time to setup. Move away once you see them attempt it and attack them when they are busy trying to prepare the traps. Poison Length Reduction can be helpful versus extremely good WW Assassins. You want to constantly whirling because they have the ability to teleport on you at anytime. You lack that ability because they have better stun than you.

Tri-Whirl: Possible but unlikely versus anyone good.

Videos of BvC vs. WW-sin Variants:
Mainaman said:
“Bad example as this Sin is made with impossible to find on Bnet items, and I beat him most of the time on vita BvC (Sote was not vita Barbarian)”


: By far the easiest variations of Assassins. Leap will ensure that they have trouble hitting you. Tri-Whirl when they attempt to attack you. This is an easy win 99% of the time.

Tri-Whirl: Yes

Barbarians:
BvC
: This duel will be all about trying to catch your opponent with a whirl while they are Running / Teleporting / Widowmaking. There will be a lot of whirl for whirl exchanging. Keep your whirls short and leap if your whirl finishes before theirs. They will be knocked back once they come out of Whirlwind giving you an opening. You can use a shield to give your self an edge. You can desynch Whirlwind if you see him using a Widowmaker. He will stand there firing at you while you close in for the kill, heavily damaging him.

Tri-Whirl: Possible but unlikely versus anyone good.

BvBs: I normally just unhostile these. These are the one class you will not be able to beat. You can win versus certain BvBs by having better gear, strategy, build and skill. Widowmaker and teleport whirl to catch them off guard may give you a win. But there’s really nothing you can do to win. You can increase your chance by using a shield. But even then, you’ll just be a mediocre BvA.

Tri-Whirl: Absolutely not, you leave your self open to being hit.

Druids:
Shape-shift: I just dumped all Shape-shift druids together because they really shouldn’t be giving you trouble. Clipping and Tri-Whirl will make them miss you a lot of the times and their damage is lower then that of a Smiter or another BvC. Watch out for Fire Claw and Rabies however, as they do have a lot of punch. They will morph back to human at 1 hp. Switch to Doom to finish them off or just Tele-whirl them.

Tri-Whirl: Yes.

Elemental: Primarily Wind. Wind Druids will often stack 5 wolves + an oak and attempt to minion stack jump you. Counter this by either Berserking him or leaping on spot. Leaping on spot will make him miss his tornados in addition to knocking him back out of the minions. You can use a lot of leech to counter minion stacking, if he sees you constantly healing off the wolves, chances are he’ll stop using them. Shields have a chance to block the consecutive hit of Tornado. But Dual Wielding is still preferred because of the massive damage output. Tornados ARE physical, so DR will reduce the damage taken.

Mainaman said:
“A well built Ele druid will have block and DR, and will be able to tank a BvC, therefore dueling druids requires careful game play and patience.

Leap is a big plus for the Barbarian. After the druid is leaped out of his minion stack, teleport behind him and start Tri-Whirls with the first Whirlwind being parallel to the druid thus avoiding the tornadoes spreading in front of the druid.

Once the minions are killed the druid will retreat to resummon, that’s the time to start on the offensive, chase the druid and WW, don’t let them resummon.”

Tri-Whirl: Yes

Videos of BvC vs. Windy:
http://video.google.ca/videoplay?docid=-349507906072250851

Fire druids have a massive cool down after every attack especially his ranged skills. Stay far away, they will typically cast either fissure or volcano. Once you see the spark of those two skills, teleport to him in order to kill. Make sure you kill him or damage him quickly because Armageddon still does massive damage.

Tri-Whirl: Yes

Summon: Most of these will town hug. Just stay away from them; you can’t kill them in town anyway. The ones that do come out should be a joke. Just make sure you kill their hireling before anything else.

Necromancers:
Summon: They will almost always attempt to jump you. Leap to knock him back and use Howl to scatter his minions. Even if he attempts to teleport away, his minions will still be howled. If you see any openings, use them to kill. Or you can simply just kill all his minions since they can’t be resummoned. If manage to find him in all that mess, then by all means Berserk him, as that’s the easiest way to win. It’s also the only way to win if he BMs and uses Iron Maiden.

Tri-Whirl: No, you won’t get the chance.

Poison: The easiest of the Necromancer variations. Poison takes 2 hits to kill and two novas will not stack, just replace each other. So basically once you are hit, you have a few seconds of “immunity”, utilize that. The center of the nova is always unaffected, so Tele-Berserking works extremely well versus these characters

Tri-Whirl: Yes

Bone: The hardest match up for BvCs in my opinion. A well played max block bone Necromancer are the hardest opponents for any BvC after BvBs. Most Bone Necromancers will follow a train of Bone Spirits in the hopes of them turning invisible and hitting you while you go for them. Counter this by leaping to knock him out of the train. Tele-Berserking can be easier as Tri-Whirling skill bone Necromancers can be next to impossible. Plus, Berserk automatically bypasses Bone Armor as it’s magic damage. You will want a lot of open wounds so that your hits will actually damage him and not be soaked into the Bone Armor. Circle under him before teleporting on top to ensure that his hits don’t automatically hit you.

Bone Spirits will stun automatically regardless if they deal 1/12th of your Health or not. Leap has a chance to “squish” Bone Spirits if you land on them. But don’t go around leaping before a train of spirits because it doesn’t always work. Using a Widowmaker can work, but is ineffective because of the golem they will stack absorbing all the hits. You want to follow him closely once you kill his Golem and Bone Armor so that he will leave an opening when trying to recast. When facing 125% FCR Necromancers, you may need to use a higher frame of teleport in order to catch him easier, but cases like this are very, very rare.

Tri-Whirl: If you can manage to. Tele-Berserking will almost always be easier.
Note: Spirits will turn invisible after you leave the necro's map..

Mainaman said:
“A BvC can outrun Bone Spirits (even when decreptified), making use of the terrain such as corners, houses, etc to hide from trains of spirits is very useful. Necromancers are very mana demanding so a bit more defensive play is worth its while. Unsummon locks are very useful, and once the golem dies the Necromancer will retreat to resummon which is an opportunity to chase and get free hits. 63 FCR (Griffon or circlet + FCR rings / Arach’s / Trang’s) helps a lot in that match up.”

Here’s a video of BvC vs. Bone Necromancer:
 

maxicek

Moderator
Staff member
Dec 24, 2019
686
645
93
Paladins:
Charger: Whirlwind away when you see them charge, that will ensure they stop in order to try and hit you but miss because of the movement of Whirlwind. Because of desynch and never stop moving, charges often have little health and defense because of their massive damage.

Tri-Whirl: No

FoH: You will want to stack enough resists so that you have maxed after Conviction. Versus desynching FoH, absorb will be necessary as there is no way to catch them before they kill you. Make Drive-Bys versus desynching FoH and leave their screen immediately so that they won’t have time to FoH. Conviction is slow, it takes time to “catch” and be in affect. Use this to your advantage by staying away from their screen and attacking in short bursts.

Tri-Whirl: If you can manage to get them to stay still.

Mainaman said:
“Actually FoHers are easy to kill. You namelock them while charging and Tele-WW in the direction they charge, you can also unsummon lock them.”

Smite/Zeal: Well played Smiters are an extremely hard match up for BvCs. You’ll want to clip those using extremely angled Whirlwinds. Versus players that Shift-Smite, either using Widowmaker to make them move, or simply clip them until they die. Against those that chase, WW Away until they either give up or die. Against Tele-Smite, you want to Whirlwind in a 45 degree angle to the left or right of the Smiter, which will ensure he doesn’t hit you and you hit him. Versus desynch smite, you want to constantly whirling, defense and block are cut while in charge, if you can catch him before he can smite you, then you have the upper hand. You will need a lot of Attack Rating, so expect to use Hsarus’ or Angelic’s, especially versus Tele-Smite, because no movement = no defense cut. Higher FRW can also be helpful if you want to avoid being hit by Tele-Smite. If you find your self life tapped, simply run away until the duration runs out. There’s no other way. If they charge you, Whirlwind away. Treat Zealers exactly like Smiters, except they don’t have an auto hitting massive damage stunning skill.

Mainaman said:
“1. Shift Smiter is easy to kill with clipping.
2. Charging Smiter is easy to kill with WWing away.
3. Tele Smiter requires good technique: running + WW in random directions with random length; don’t leap a lot.”

Tri-Whirl: No, you will typically want to clip and move away.

Videos on Tele-smite:

Hammerdins: There are generally two ways to approach Hammerdins. One is to use Fort and Widow to force aggression. The second is to use Enigma and Desynch WW to slowly chip away at their life.

When using Fort and Widow, you want to never stand still. If you see the Hammerdin constantly teleporting in front of your WW and blocking your path, start running away as they are trying to box you in a field of hammers. You want to make long Whirlwinds to catch him and use widow to force him to come to you. Use leap to knock him out of desynch. When he teleports on you, you want to quickly whirl right and then left before moving away. If you feel that you don’t have the reflexes to do that, you can simply just whirl down. Leap will also ensure that he is unable to hit you by simply teleporting on you. Fortitude allows you to have massive damage killing the Hammerdin a lot easier than normal. This setup uses running and leap to get out of unwanted situations.

However, even with leap and running, your mobility is limited versus a desynching/teleporting Hammerdin. You will find that at higher skill levels, Enigma will often be needed because pro-Hammerdins will have the ability to trap you inside a field of hammers where a fortitude set up is unable to get out of. To beat those types of Hammerdin, desynching Whirlwind is needed. Due to the 45% Faster R/W on the Enigma and your Increase Speed, you will desynch a lot. Make long whirls a where you predict the Hammerdin will be. Many people argue that this is the sole way to kill extremely skilled Hammerdins. Obviously without fort’s massive damage bonus, you will need many more hits, which is why fort is generally preferred versus new-mediocre Hammerdins and Enigma for skilled Hammerdins.

Tri-Whirl: No
Note: Hammers will turn invisible if cast outside of your screen or while desynched.

Examples of Fortitude and Widowmaker use versus Hammerdins:
http://video.google.ca/videoplay?docid=9157380454810804862

Mainaman said:
“Here is how things look from Hammerdins prospective (a friend of mine vs. me)”:

Sorceress:
Fire/Lightning/Orb: I grouped these three together because they all have a simple straight projectile attack. Fire has more spam ability than lightning and orb with a higher range while lightning generally has a large area due to charged bolt and is capable of slowly chipping away at life. Orb has a massive on screen range but is weak unless hit directly. Generally what you want to do is leap > teleport > Tri-Whirl. When you see knock back, teleport to that area and perform a small whirl. I don’t find most fire/light Sorceresses a big problem.

Tri-Whirl: Yes
Note: Fire and Lighting have the tendency to invisible.

Videos demonstrating usage of leap against Sorceresses:
http://video.google.ca/videoplay?docid=4597447344624608103
http://video.google.ca/videoplay?docid=2883553367469921436

Blizzard: Blizzard Sorceresses don’t have a dependable spamming skill and generally most are open after a blizzard because of cool down. You don’t want to run around too much as that puts you at a greater risk of running into an invisible blizzard. Dual ravens are not only recommend but most of the time necessary if you wish to survive more than 1 or 2 hits. If they start camping in Blizzard, use leap to knock them away. If they continue to do that, start running away and they will often follow. Otherwise, threat them like any other Sorceresses using leap to knock back and Tri-Whirl too kill. In the case of blizzard, it should be noted that sometimes quick passes can be more effective than Tri-Whirl, especially if they Blizz them selves.

Tri-Whirl: Yes
Note: Blizzard will turn invisible if cast outside your screen.

Energy Shield: These deserve their own section with all the Bmana (Sorceresses that utilize bugged charms with 70 mana and 15 life) Sorceresses about. The most effective way to come at these is with open wounds. You can either use a Widowmaker to trigger them or just make quick passes. If they stand still and you get the chance, Tri-Whirl.

Tri-Whirl: Yes

Video demonstrating techniques versus ES:

Mainaman said:
“Good Sorceresses are tough to beat with Tri-WW, one need to use a lot of OW/Venom (prebuff from Arach’s) Tele-WW pass by or one Tri-Whirl then Tele away to wait for OW, rinse and repeat.”



XIII. Team Play: When dueling in teams, there are a few aspects to consider as a BvC.
You have to ensure that your party members are protected, even if it means using your self as a distraction. You will most likely NOT be the main damage dealer of a party.

  • Ensure that everyone gets a high level BO.
  • Protect your team, using your self as a distraction.
  • Pick off targets you are good at. Sorceresses come to mind.
  • Make opportunities. If you see a Bowazon attacking your team, don’t just stand there. Either attack to distract or make use of leap to stop them.
  • Work as a team; don’t go charging in alone as that will be of no help.
Certain characters make excellent teammates for the BvC and have excellent chemistry. I feel that the following characters particularly match (no particular order):

  • Wind Druid (Able to cover for what you may have trouble with, in particular Hammerdins and Bone Necromancers)
  • Bone Necromancer (Amp)
  • Trapper (Leap + Mindblast = massive stun)
  • Hammerdin (no real explanation needed here, Hammerdins are practically effective combined with anything.)

For 2v2s, I generally find that Bone Necromancers work the best with a BvC because there are two types of irresistible damage, both long range and short range. The two characters also compliment each other very well with BvCs able to cover the Necromancer’s weaknesses (ES Sorceresses and Wind Druids) and giving a high level BO. The Necromancer can double your effective damage output with Amplify Damage and covers your weaknesses, being block characters and especially BvBs.

XIV. Mercenary: Although a mercenary has limited use, it can be used as a few extra stash spots when necessary. If you just can’t find the space to fit that extra Fortitude in your stash, then by all means put it on your mercenary as you’ll have access to it when needed without having to mule.

A mercenary used successfully can get you quite a few kills and give a temporary boost and I say temporary cause the average life span of a mercenary is around 5 to 30 seconds.

There are really only a few types of mercenaries I would recommend:

Act 2 Nightmare Defensive (Holy Freeze)
: Probably the most popular mercenary, slow helps a lot. But for this build, which primary focuses on anti-caster, the usage can be limited. Because of its aggression, it often dies before it even slows anything, so not too useful in the end.

Act 2 Nightmare Offensive (Might): In my opinion, the best mercenary for the BvC. Along with a Pride pole-arm, this guy can dish out massive damage for both it self and you. More damage is always useful, and this mercenary can give you that extra edge when you need.

Act 2 Normal/Hell (Prayer): Ever since the introduction of the Insight Runeword, this mercenary has been gaining popularity. This is more of an anti-caster/BM mercenary (but using a mercenary is BM anyway). Because Prayer synergizes with Meditation from Insight, you basically get double the healing rate. Also you don’t run out of mana when teleporting so it’s useful against casters.

Note: Try to create your weapon in a Giant thresher or Thresher. The most common ones are made in an Eth Colossus Voulge, which is actually the weakest weapon due to the base weapon speed over time. Strive for Thresher or Giant thresher or even Cryptic Axe.

Act 1: Fire does more damage but requires Faith. Faith’s Fanaticism stack with Beast’s so it’s not that useful. But it can be used to snipe down some of the weaker casters. Cold allows you to have an Ice bow giving you the benefit of Holy Freeze.

In the end, none of the mercenaries will make a dramatic difference. But still, it’s best to pick one that’s best for you just in case.

For more information on Mercenaries in general, please visit this page:
http://strategy.diabloii.net/news.php?id=580
Ce Olba said:
“In general, the only real use of a Mercenary is to put some gear on it. Thus, an Act 1 mercenary can be extremely useful as they can hold your Widowmaker, your Kira’s and your Fortitude or Duress.”

XV. Summary:
Goals:
  • 37% FCR breakpoint
  • 48% FHR breakpoint
  • 4 frame Whirlwind
  • At least 10,000 Attack Rating
  • Max if not stacked resistances
  • Reasonable versatility

Stats:
Either base or enough Str and Dex for necessary gear switches such as fortitude, Widowmaker, Crown of Ages, etc. The rest goes into Vitality.

Skills:
Combat Skills Tree:
Whirlwind: 20
Leap (NOT Leap Attack): 14, 20 (Either or)
Berserk: 1-3
Concentrate: 1
Stun: 1
Leap Attack: 1
Bash: 1

Combat Masteries Tree:
Weapon Mastery
: 20
Natural Resist: 1-6
Increased Speed: 3-6
Increased Stamina: 1
Iron Skin: 1

Warcries Tree:
Battle Orders
: 20
Shout: Everything else.
Battle Command: 1
Howl: 1

Gear:
Most common public setup:
Helm: BerBer CoA
Armor: Enigma
Belt: Arachnid’s
Gloves: Trang’s
Boots: Tri-Res Rares
Rings: Dual Ravens
Amulet: Highlord’s
Weapons: Grief + Beast
Switch: Most commonly Dual Doom.

Charms can include a combination of Max/Attack Rating/Life, Attack Rating/Life, Mana/Life, FHR/Life and Resistances/Life depending on what you need. Of course make room for Torch and Anni.

XVI. Conclusion: The BvC is a fun and versatile build and I hope you enjoy it. Thank you for taking your time to read this guide and I hope it has helped you in one way or another.

The final product will be something like this with Public Gear at Level 90 (not based on specific stats with decent items):

  • 6.5-7.5k life after BO.
  • Max Resistances in hell.
  • 10-15k Attack Rating
  • 500-700 Mana
  • 34-39% Damage Reduced
  • 10 Frame (37%) FCR Breakpoint
  • 5 Frame (48%) FCR Breakpoint
  • Approximately 1.5-3.5k on-screen Grief WW Damage.
  • Approximately 2-6.5k on-screen Beast WW Damage.
  • Approximately 1-3k on-screen Grief Berserk Damage.
  • Full Screen or Off-Screen Leap.

Most of the calculations used in this guide can be found here:

http://strategy.diabloii.net/news.php?id=551#General Breakpoints

XVII. Special Thanks:

-Mainaman and Ce Olba for their contributions to this guide.

-McM, Blobs, Luis, Morotsjos and various other people I’ve shamelessly mooched information off of for this guide.

-The entire DII forums from which 90% of the information came from.

-The various authors of the videos including McM, Mainaman, ThatWasShockin, mysticdragon.

-Thyiad, Sunbearie & Team, Bkelly and Dracoy & Co for their individual guides which I have referred to in this guide.

-Aleksander (ZoSo) and Marcio (Slider-Ghost/KoS) for making D2 fun for me.

-Jess and Matt for all their testing.

-Anyone I’ve missed, I’m sure there are some.


Thank you for taking your time in reading this guide.