Diablo 2 Guide: Vitabarb

This build is aimed to, or if u have one or more below characteristic:

1. Hardcore Player
2. Newbie-average player (we don’t have those uber items)
3. Solo runner
4. Purist / untwinker
5. Barbarian lover

Now lets start…

-ATTRIBUTES DISTRIBUTION-

Strength: base (30)
dexterity: 136
Vitality: rest
Mana: base

-SKILL DISTRIBUTION-

Warcries:

Battle Order: 20p. main skill
Battle Cry : 1p.
Battle Command : 1p.

Masteries:

SWORD MASTERY: 20p. main skill
Throwing : 1p. or more (optional)
Increased Speed : 1p. saves lots of time and even your only life.
Natural Resistance : 1p. pump with +skill items.

Combat Skills:

FRENZY: 20p. main skill
WhirlWind : 1p. Very useful for versatility, escape from being swarmed (sometimes Leap Attack don’t work!), against moving target, quick sweep for those little weaklings and sometimes even larger monster.
Berserk : 1p. Backup skill against Physical Immune

Now, skill and point distribution explanation:

WHY FRENZY? WHY NO SHIELD? WHY SO MUCH VITALITY?

IMO, to be a true barb, we must exploite all his benefits that other class dont have.

1. Barb is the only class who able to double wield and attack at once using both truely.
2. Barb gain the most benefit from every single point invested on Vit (+4) + Battle Order (x2)!

Ofcourse WhirlWind is much better for mass attack, but remember, a wise Hardcore player never jump in to the crowd, he would prefer lure and savely finish them one by one. Frenzy combined with taunt perfectly suits such a strategy.

And now about shield. Well… Vitabarb is kind of opposite of Ironbarb build. Ironbarb is a very expensive build that focus on immense of Defense Rating, it takes lots of uber item! (plz take a look again above who this guide aimed to).
Thats why we invest on immense Vitality. While Ironbarb make sure smallest chance to be hit by monster, we make sure that we able to receive as much hit as possible! Our focus is survivability!

Salvo build is also kind of opposite of Titanbuild. While Titanbuild invest for max strength, we use base strength. That means with the same weapon, titan hit 5 times harder than salvo. But again, titanbuild is another twinked, expensive build that don’t fit poormans pocket.

WHY 136 DEX?

Of all elite weapon (except dagger) PHASE BLADE require the most least attribute points, 136-20(base)= 116 points, so you can invest the rest on Vitality. Remember that our main attack skill is Frenzy and phase blade really suitable for its very fast attack speed (-30), all you need is to reach optimal fps is 40% IAS. Our damage is not high, so we will rely a lot to Crushing Blow, faster and more swing = more Crushing. Another reason using PB is its high minimum damage (IMO having high min dmg is much better than max dmg). Plus PB os the only one handed sword able to spawn 6 socket.

WHY 1 POINT FOR BATTLE CRY?

-50% enemy defense = your Attack rating x 2
-30% enemy damage = your life +30%
you can even get more from +skill item.
Nobody is immune to Battle Cry, even Bosses!

WHY 1 POINT ON THROWING MASTERY?

Again, versatility. investing one point here would benefit alot, you can retreat and double throw those FE/LE/other from a save distance while your melee merc tanking them.

THIS BUILD IS FINISH AT CLVL 67, NOW WHAT ABOUT THE DISTRIBUTION OF THE LEFT SKILL POINT?

it is optional and debatable, here’s the choices:

Berserk : A well balanced char between Physical & Magical attack, you’ll have no trouble against those PI. A very good choice to. Going this path you can equip a shield and lure them fight 1 on 1 to avoid blocklock and interuption.

Double Swing & Taunt : To max out your Frenzy potential, but u’ll never use the DS. Taunt is much usefull but only to lure while Battle Cry is much more effective to weaken enemy defense and attack. If u choose to go this path i reccomend you to max out DS first to gain DThrow synergy bonus.

-GEAR SELECTION FOR EACH DIFFICULTY-

NORMAL difficulty:

Helm: Nadir (RW)
Armor : Stealth (RW), Rattlecage
Weapon: Steel (RW)
Charms: a lot of +str, they are not hard to find!

Note: For the Steel RW If you your are lucky enough to find some +STR charm soon, you can use Two-handed sword instead of Scimitar. For the runes take your time to run Countess, you’ll find Nadir & Stealth runewords set you free from mana problem. For the two socketed sword and helm, run Charsi (shop, don’t kill her!)

NIGHTMARE Difficulty:

Helm: Any or Guilaume’s Face (need 115 str)
Armor: Any or Rattlecage, Duriel’s Shell (need 65 str)
Weapon: Strength (RW), Bloodletter, Coldsteel Eye
Belt: magic or rare with huge +str
Boot: Gore Rider (need 94 str)
Charms: ibid

Note:
Guilaume’s Face and Gore Rider provide you 35% and 15% Crushing Blow while Strength RW another 25%. If you wear Rattlecage that would means your every hit is fearsome –something CB is the king-. This is ideal for CB but we know resistance are important as well so Duriel’s Shell is good subtitutes for armor.
Run NM Mephisto for the Guilaume’s, Gorerider and Duriel’s. Run normal Pindle or NM Andariel for Bloodletter but be prepared for high repairing cost.

HELL Difficulty:

Helm: ibid
Armor: Duriel’s Shell, Rattlecage, Smoke (RW), Lion Heart (RW), Duress (RW)
Weapon: Strength or Honor Phase Blade (RW), upped Coldsteel Eye
Belt: Any
Glove: Laying of Hands
Boot: Gore Rider

Note:
Phase Blade starts available from Act1 Hell : Tristram, Countess Tower level1-3 and Pit (Pit is harder to run). Duress IMO is the best armor here for the resistance and CB, but need an UM rune.
Run NM Baal, NM izual, and Hell Andariel for the Laying of Hands. Run Hell Countess again and again for the Runes.

Untwinked mostly synonim to low damage, so we must rely more to Crushing Blow especially for late Nightmare and Hell. One exception here is Honor Runewords, it deals enough damage, so for late Hell it is up to you whether to choose CB (Strength RW) or damage (Honor RW) way.

Once again this is Hell and we don’t have much resistant so don’t mess with elemental enemy, Taunt and finish them one by one. Take extra attention when taunting Gloams, taunt then quickly take cover.

Overall, the hardest part to get are socketed Phase Blade and UM rune. If you find a plain Phase Blade then try your luck with the Horadric cube socketing recipe:

1 Ral Rune + 1 Amn Rune + 1 Perfect Amethyst + Normal Weapon = Socketed Weapon of same type

-LEVELING & STRATEGY-

-Pump up your Vit : dex by 3 : 2, or just make sure your dex is 131 at char lvl 53.
-Put one point on BO then leave it, max it out at 62th-80th skill point. One point is enough to survive ’till late NM.
-If u want to invest 2nd point on Increased Speed or Natural Resist, wait untill u have maxed out your BO.
-Don’t get too cool-calm-confidence, even with tons of HP u’d be still in big danger facing large crowd and iron maiden. Be patient.
-Taunt and Bcry is your great companion. Taunt those ranged attacker, minions, etc to finish them step by step. Bcry whoever get nearby.
-Gulp few Antidote Potion before challenging Andariel and Mephisto, this potion will increase your resistance to poison for somewhile. Gulp some thawing potion for Diablo and Izzual as well.
-Get Act2 offensive might mercenary to help your hit power, socket his weapon with Amn or shael.
-To level up faster, kill pack monster as they provide a lot of bonus exp. Nice spot for leveling IMO are: Tristram (a lot of champion, pack, Griswold), Darkwood (tree of Inifus), Frigid Highland and Bloody Foot Hills (Eldritch and Shenk –kill them over and over-) + while questing.

Benefit of Salvobarb :

1. High survivablility
2. High versatility
3. Easy & cheap to build
4. Fast mobility
5. Great for head to head fight vs monster.

Down side of Salvobarb :

1. Lack of hit power
2. Narrow weapon & armor selection
3. Must do some MF run.
4. Less hard heartbeat due high survivability. (one of the benefit of playing hardcore is the ADRENALIN RUSH!)

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