Barbarian Volcano Build

Volcano Barbarian Build submitted by EvilixGaming.

Description: This build relies upon using Whirlwind with the Volcanic Eruption rune in concjunction with wearing items that have the affix Fire Skills Deal +X% Damage.



How It Works:
The Volcanic Eruption rune increases the damage of Whirlwind to be 188% of your weapon damage as Fire. When you wear items with Fire Skills Deal +X% Damage, it does not just tack on the +X% to the base skill damage -- instead, it add +X% to your total DPS. So if you have 50k base DPS, an item with Fire Skills Deal +20% will give you an increase of 10k DPS.


  • Option 1 - 2 Hander - Maximus: In 1.0.4 Maximus received a significant buff. Not only does it have a chance to summon a powerful ally, it also increases Fire skill damage by 15-25%. Try to pick up one with Lifesteal and Strength -- but realize that they can become very expensive, very quickly.
  • Option 2 - Dual Wield - The Burning Axe of Sankis: A relatively cheap alternative to Maxmus, but works almost equally as well. It increases Fire skill damage by 5-25% and also has Life On Hit along with some random affixes. You can only wear one of these, but you can use it as an offhand and go with a mainhand that has higher DPS. Since it's an axe, if you use the passive Weapon Master you will get +10% Crit which helps to make up for the loss of the Demonic Slave. You may need to get some additional Lifesteal or LOH with this weapon.
  • Magefist: Best in slot for this build. Adds +10-20% Fire skill damage along with 3% fire damage and 4% attack speed. Also has two random affixes so try to get some with +Crit % Chance and Strength. These gloves are extremely cheap right now but if this build becomes popular they will definitely go up in price. I was able to pick my pair up for 100k gold.
(Optional) Boots:
  • Firewalkers: These boots are pretty nice and fit the theme of the build, but are not best in slot unless you have an insane pair. The Fire trail ticks for ~3k every second and I believe does not gain damage from the +X% to Fire Skill Damage affixes. The Fire Trail actually does a good amount of damage to enemies since you move so slowly while casting Whirlwind.

  • Primary - Cleave w/ Reaping Swing: This skill is used to generate fury for casting Whirlwind. You can also use Bash w/ Clobber but Cleave has worked better for me.
  • Secondary - Whirlwind w/ Volcanic Eruption: The centerpiece of this build. Does an enormous amount of DPS when combined with +X% Fire Skill Damage items.
  • Battle Rage w/ Into The Fray: Has a chance to grant 15 fury upon crits. The proc rate appears to be pretty high -- I am able to whirlwind almost infinitely with only 36% crit.
  • Berserker w/ Insanity: Immunity to CC and 100% increase in damage. Should be saved for Champion and Rare packs.
  • Earthquake w/ Mountain's Call: 2000% Weapon Damage as Fire over 8 seconds. Mountain's Call removes the fury cost and reduces the cooldown to 105 seconds. If you pop Berkserker and the drop Earthquake Elite packs will melt in seconds. The 100% damage increase makes mountains call do +4000% weapon damage as Fire and if you combine that with the +X% Fire Skill Damage we get from our gear, it's just ridiculous.
  • Warcry w/ Impunity: Pretty standard, increases resists and armor.
  • Animosity: Increases maximum fury and helps with fury generation.
  • Ruthless: Increases crit chance and damage.
  • Variable: If you're using a Burning Axe of Sankis you may want to go with Weapon Master for the +10% crit chance. I'm using Bloodthirst as my gear isn't perfect and lifesteal works great with this build. You could also go with Superstition, Tough As Nails, or Nerves of Steel.

Use Cleave to generate fury, keep Battle Rage up, and Whirlwind until stuff dies. When you encounter Elite packs just pop Berserker and drop Earthquake.
  • Life: You're going to want a decent amount of life, within the range of 35-45k+.
  • Lifesteal/LOH: Lifesteal is better than LOH for this build because you're going to be doing insane amounts of damage. Lifesteal is very important, I have 7.1% Lifesteal from my gear alone.
  • Resists: Not extremely important, 350-450 works fine if you have a good amount of lifesteal. 500+ in each would be optimal.
  • Armor: Same as resists, but aim for 6k+.
  • Strength: More Strength means more armor, damage, and lifesteal -- the most important stat!

Volcano Barb vs. Tornado Barb:
This build is quite different from the Tornado Barb in a number of ways, and each has it's own pros/cons.
  • Tornado Build Damage: The majority of your damage comes from the Tornados spawned by Run Like The Wind. Whirlwind w/ Hurricane is primarily used to move quickly through mobs so you can spawn more Tornados. Whirlwind only deals 145% base weapon damage and the Tornados do 60% weapon damage based solely off of your main hand.
  • Volcano Build Damage: Your damage comes from Whirlwind. You're doing 188% weapon damage and +X% of your total DPS based on your +X% Fire Skill Damage. Whirlwind does a TON of damage w/ this build and more than makes up for the loss of Tornados.
  • Why No Sprint: Sprint is actually a huge DPS loss for the Volcano build. This is mainly because the +X% Movement Speed does not work with Volcanic Eruption. Also, the damage from the Tornados is less than the DPS you get from Volcanic Eruption and not worth the Fury you spend. This is really what serperates the builds -- Tornado Barbs are all about moving quickly and dropping Tornados, wheras Volcano Barbs are about getting in your face and melting you with Whirlwind.

I played a Tornado Barb for ~2 months so I think I can give you guys a pretty good idea of they differ.
  • DPS: About equal, but a Volcano Barb requires almost no ramp up time so it is more consistant. Tornado Barbs likely have higher maximum DPS, but it's tough to tell. The Volcano Barb definitely kills stuff more quickly.
  • Ramp Up Time: The Volcano Barb really excels here. Since your DPS primarily comes from Whirlwind, all you have to do is Cleave and then hold right click for stuff to die. With the Tornado Barb you have to Bash, Sprint, run in circles, and then Whirlwind. I found the Tornado Barb to be slightly annoying in coop games since everyone moved slower than I did and I would have to ramp up my fury for every fight.
  • Movement: The Tornado barb is obviously superior when it comes to movement. You can just run through levels and let your trail of Tornados kill trash mobs. However, this is one of the things that made the build become stale to me. I always felt as though I should have 100% uptime on Sprint and that made farming feel more like a job. With the Volcano Barb, you can go at your own pace and not feel pressured to run from pack to pack since you're not losing DPS without having Sprint up.
  • Survivability: Very close, but I have to give the edge to the Volcano Barb. This is because the ramp up time of the Tornado barb can sometimes cause you to die. Since you're only one swing away from maximum DPS with the Volcano barb, you die less often because you don't need to drop Tornados to heal. Tornados can also be difficult to place in crowded areas so healing is not always guaranteed.
  • Final Verdict: It's up to you. I currently like the Volcano Barb more because it is less stressful and has awesome eye candy. The Tornado Barb may be slightly more efficient for farming, but Diablo has always been about trying whacky builds and the Volcano Barb is a blast -- watching stuff light on fire and explode is pretty damn cool. The gameplay feels very different and you really have to try it to see what I mean.
TL;DR Tired of Tornado Barb? Why not Volcano Barb?