Support Barbarian Guide

Introduction

The Support Barbarian is the ultimate Swiss Army Knife of the support builds in Diablo 2 Resurrected. With its complement of Skills, you drastically increase the survivability of your team, increase the total drops for better farming, apply continuous Crowd Control (CC) to the entire visible screen, and actually offer decent Damage Per Second (DPS). On top of all of these great benefits, the Support Barbarian is an amazing front line tank. Having access to the highest Life pool in the game, and 200% + overcapped Resistances on your primary weapons, you can face tank ANY monster in the game even without a shield.
While there is a "Best in Slot" version of this build, even the Starter version is a completely viable end game build you could take all the way to 99. This makes the Support Barbarian one of the cheapest options for players that love supporting in RPGs and a great entry point for casual players to have a big in-game impact.



Ideal Standard Variant
battleorders
battlecommand
leap
finditem

This build guide assumes you have a Character at Level 75 before transitioning to it. It follows the progression of our Barbarian Leveling Guide and our General Leveling Strategies to reach Level 75.

Easy Playstyle ✔
Incredible Survivability ✔
The Best Support Build In The Game

Potentially Double Loot With Find Item

❌ Relies On Multiplayer Gameplay
❌ Low Solo Play Damage Per Second
❌ Best Gear Deprioritized In Multiplayer

Requires Endgame Gear To Farm Well



Skills

Put 1 Point into each of the following Skills:
1. finditem
2. increasedstamina
3. increasedspeed
4. ironskin
5. naturalresistance
6. leap
7. leapattack

Max out the following Skills in this order:
1. battleorders
2. battlecommand
3. warcry
4. Battlecry
5. howl

Use the Scroll Bar to see Skill Point Progression

Damage

warcry* deals damage in a radius around the Barbarian that deals Physical Damage and also Stuns targets hit by it. With a high amount of Faster Cast Rate, this can quickly CC and kill most monster types in the game.

* Faster Cast Rate Skills (FCR)

Utility

battlecommand* increases every partied Player's Skill level by 1 for every Skill they have some form of + to Skills for.
battleorders* increases every partied Player's maximum Life, Mana, and Stamina by a percentage of their current maximums.
shout* increases every partied Player's Defense Rating by a percentage of their current Defense.
battlecry* reduces target's Defense Rating and Physical Damage from Attack Skills.
finditem* gives monsters a chance to drop items from their Loot Table again. With enough luck, you can effectively double the amount of loot you can find.
leap* is a great mobility Skill that knocks back enemies within it's radius and put them into Hit Recovery.
leapattack* is a great mobility Skill that can travel further than leap, even with only 1 Skill Point assigned. While it doesn't have any knockback, the skill works like a cheap version of teleport as long as no wall-type obstructions are in your way.

* Increased Attack Speed Skills (IAS)
* Faster Cast Rate Skills (FCR)
* Skills that do NOT utilize either FCR or IAS


Attributes

Note: This section provides you with the standard Stat Point allocation. Build Variants can require a different allocation!

Strength

Allocate enough Stat Points into Strength to equip all of your gear. Take into account how much Strength your gear provides when equipped.

Dexterity

Allocate enough Stat Points into Dexterity to equip all of your gear. Take into account how much Dexterity your gear provides when equipped.

Vitality

Allocate any remaining Stat Points into Vitality after meeting Strength, Dexterity and Energy requirements.

Energy

Allocate an appropriate amount of Stat Points into Energy for your Mana costs. You don't gain much Mana from your gear, and your Skills require a lot of Mana.


Essentials

Gear Options

While every Stat in the Desirable Stats column is useful for this Build, we highlighted the Priority Stats in Teal, so you can review the recommended Items and more easily identify the Most Important Stats on them.

Hover over any Item in the Item Options to see a pop-out with the full Item description.

SlotItem OptionsDesirable Stats
WeaponWizardspike
Heart of the Oak Flail
Call to Arms Berserker Axe
Suicide Branch
Maelstrom
Spirit Crystal Sword
+ to Skills
+ xx% Faster Cast Rate
Elemental Resist +xx%

xx% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
+ Attributes
+ xx% Faster Hit Recovery
Off-HandWizardspike
Heart of the Oak Flail
Call to Arms Berserker Axe
Suicide Branch
Maelstrom
Ancients' Pledge
Stormshield
Spirit
+ to Skills
+ xx% Faster Cast Rate
Elemental Resist +xx%

xx% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Damage Reduced By xx%
+ Attributes
+ xx% Faster Hit Recovery
+ xx% Faster Block Rate
Weapon-SwapCall to Arms Berserker Axe
Heart of the Oak Flail
Spirit
+x to All Skills
+x to battlecommand
+x to battleorders
+x to battlecry
Off-Hand-SwapCall to Arms Berserker Axe
Heart of the Oak Flail
Echoing Throwing Spear
Spirit
+x to All Skills
HelmetsRare Primal Helm
Echoing Destroyer Helm of the Whale
Lore Horned Helm
+ to All Skills
+ xx% Faster Cast Rate
Elemental Resist +xx%

xx% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Damage Reduced By xx%
+xx to Attributes
Body ArmorEnigma
Skin of the Vipermagi
Smoke
Stealthr
+ to All Skills
+ xx% Faster Cast Rate
Elemental Resist +xx%

xx% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Damage Reduced By xx%
Teleport (From Enigma only)
+xx to Attributes
Glovestrangoul'sclaws
chanceguards
magefist
Safety Crafted Gloves

+ xx% Faster Cast Rate
Elemental Resist +xx%

xx% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Damage Reduced By x
+xx to Attributes
Beltsarachnidmesh
goldwrap
Cobalt Demonhide Sash of the Whale
+x to All Skills
+ xx% Faster Cast Rate

Elemental Resist +xx%
xx% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Damage Reduced By xx%
+ Attributes
Bootsmarrowwalk
sandstormtrek
Aldur's Advance
wartraveler
natalya'ssoul

+ xx% Faster Run/Walk
Elemental Resist +xx%

xx% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
+ Attributes
Amuletsmara'skaleidoscope
Echoing Amulet of the Apprentice
Caster Crafted Amulet
Rare Amulet
+ to Skills
+ xx% Faster Cast Rate
Elemental Resist +xx%

xx% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
+ Attributes
Teleport (From Charges)
Ringsthestoneofjordan
bulkatho'sweddingband
nagelring
Rare Ring
+ to All Skills
+ xx% Faster Cast Rate
Elemental Resist +xx%

xx% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
+ Attributes
Telekinesis (From Charges)
CharmsGrand Charm
Large Charm
Small Charm
+ to Warcries (Barbarian Only)
+ Life
+ xx% Faster Hit Recovery

+ xx % Faster Run / Walk
Elemental Resist +xx%
+x to Attribute
Unique CharmsAnnihilus
Hellfire Torch
+ to All Skills
+xx to all Attributes
All Resistances +xx

Farming Spots

The areas below are efficient farming locations that make use of the build’s strengths. Other farming spots might not be as effective due to immunities or bad layouts.

Anything that has a in the "Starter" column can be farmed with the Starter Variant.

Act 1

AreaStarterRewards
MausoleumAll Item Types
Max Area Level
Leveling
The Countess-Runes
Key of Terror
The PitAll Item Types
Max Area Level
Leveling

Act 3

AreaStarterRewards
TravincalGearing
Runes
Charms / Gems / Jewels
Gold

Act 5

AreaStarterRewards
Eldritch the RectifierGearing
Gold
Leveling
Shenk the OverseerGearing
Gold
Leveling
PindleskinGearing
Gold
Leveling

Mercenary

Act 2 Desert Mercenary

The Act 2 Desert Mercenary is hired from Greiz.
He can be equipped with a Spear or a Polearm, a Body Armor and a Helmet. 
Every Act 2 Mercenary has access to an Aura and uses Jab as his base Attack. The Aura activates once the Mercenary has engaged in combat and remains active between traveling to and from town. The Auras available are based on what difficulty you hire the Mercenary from.


Holy Freeze Insight

Insight, Holy Freeze

Use a Desert Mercenary with Holy Freeze Aura for its powerful Crowd Control. A Mercenary with Might Aura isn’t used, since we don’t rely on his damage or benefit from the Physical Damage increase.
Equip him with Insight for the high Mana Regeneration provided by Meditation Aura.

Early-GameMid-GameEnd-Game
Insight
(any Polearm)
Insight
(Elite Polearm)
Insight Thresher
Smoke
(Any Body Armor)
Treachery
(Any Body Armor)
Fortitude
(Preferably Ethereal)
Any Helmet
with Resistance / Life
Tal Rasha's Horadric CrestAndariel’s Visage
(Preferably Ethereal)

The Mercenary is hard to keep alive until you have the minimum gear recommended in this guide. To help survive various scenarios, remember you can drag Healing Potions onto the portrait, or shift + 1/2/3/4 to directly feed them a Healing Potion from your belt. The Mercenary also gains bonus Resistances from Thawing Potions and Antidote Potions.

If your Mercenary dies in battle, you can revive them from any of the Mercenary NPCs in each Act. This does come with an increasing cost, capping at 50,000 Gold. So keep that in mind and decide if the Mercenary is currently worth the cost.

Your Mercenary serves an incredibly important role to the overall success of your build. They can be a front line tank, provide a pivotal Aura, and/or deal Physical Damage to kill enemies with Immunity to your Skill set.

Playstyle

Solo General

  • With your battlecommand, battleorders, and shout you can effectively double or even triple Life, Mana, and Skill power.
  • Using leap by targeting right on top of your Barbarian initiates very fast "short hops" which get the full benefit of your leap radius. At high Skill levels this pushes every monster on the visible screen and put them into Hit Recovery.
  • Use taunt to manipulate Ranged monsters as well as high danger targets, which moves towards your position until they get into melee range and begin attacking again.
  • Use howl to literally scare off everything other than the bosses of Elite packs to better target valuable targets and not waste time clearing through trash mobs.
  • The Support Barbarian's Best in Slot gear mimics the War Cry Barb to a degree that does allow for Solo farming with decent efficiency.

Multiplayer General

  • In Multiplayer games your primary concerns are buffing and Crowd Control (CC).
  • With your battlecommand, battleorders, and shout you can effectively double or even triple your team member's defensives.
  • Using leap by targeting right on top of your Barbarian initiates very fast "short hops" which get the full benefit of your leap radius. At high Skill levels this pushes every monster on the visible screen and put them into Hit Recovery.
  • After your team finishes mopping up the Elite packs, you can use finditem for an extra chance of finding good loot.
  • If you're partied with a lot of Attack Skill users and there is no Necromancer for curses, you can use your battlecry to reduce monster's Physical Damage and Defense to increase your parties' Hit Chance.
  • Use taunt to manipulate Ranged monsters as well as high danger targets, which moves towards your position until they get into melee range and begin attacking again.
  • Once you kill your targets, make sure to finditem for chances at extra loot.

Immunities

  • The Support Barbarian does not have a method for removing Immunities to its Damage types. Ignore monster with Physical Immunity.

Late-Game

  • Once you have access to teleport you can begin Telestomping Elite packs, howl to clear minions if things get dicey, but typically just spamming warcry because the Stun effect permanently CC's most monsters.
  • Because of your damage type, and DPS you want to focus clearing densely packed areas and ignore act Bosses. Their Physical Damage Reduction and high Life totals typically make them inefficient targets.

Breakpoints

Breakpoints in Diablo 2 are the minimum values required to reduce the frames of an action. Below are the important breakpoints considered for this build. For more information on the mechanics involved, check out our in-depth Resource: Breakpoints.

Faster Cast Rate (FCR)

Faster Cast Rate speeds up your casting animation for spells. Aim for at least the 200% FCR Breakpoint. Note: FCR only controls the animation speed of the Character, and not any internal or global Cooldowns spells have.

Frames13121110987
FCR09203763105200

Faster Hit Recovery (FHR)

Faster Hit Recovery increases survivability. Aim for at least the 48% FHR Breakpoint.

Frames9876543
FHR0715274886200

Hardcore

For all Hardcore gameplay, your primary focus is increasing your Resistances, Damage Reduction, Chance to Block and Maximum Life. This can mean sacrificing overall power level for a more secure playstyle.
This build can become Hardcore viable with key changes to the Skills, Stat Point allocation, and items. Review the changes below before building this character, as they may differ significantly from the normal build.

Stat Point Changes

  • We place 130 points into Dexterity to hit 75% Chance to Block with Stormshield Monarch

Skill Point Changes

  • We put 20 points into ironskin for Defense instead of howl.

Item Changes

  • We swap out key pieces for more survivability. Stormshield for Physical Damage Reduction and Chance to Block.
  • Corruption Clasp Amulet for more Life, Resistance, and Dexterity over Faster Cast Rate.

Build Variants

Starter

Setup

The starter setup is actually good enough to take you all the way to level 99 and offer almost all the benefits your team might be looking for. Since it is lacking in +x to All Skills gear, it's buff potential and DPS suffer but other than the Runewords and Charms, every piece of gear can be purchased from a Merchant or Gambled relatively early. The Charms equipped represent a larger selection of less ideal Charms you would have acquired during the leveling process to level 75. This Setup is not recommended for a Single Player playthrough.

Mercenary

Since this Setup is aimed at Multiplayer, and the majority of the time monsters are knocked back by leap, most Mercenaries are fairly pointless. The Act III Mercenary gives us some additional CC and slight damage output.

Skills

Put 1 Point into each of the following Skills:
1. finditem
2. increasedstamina
3. increasedspeed
4. ironskin
5. naturalresistance
6. leapattack

Max out the following Skills in this order:
1. leap (To 16 Yards)
2. battleorders
3. battlecommand
4. warcry
5. Battlecry
6. howl

Attributes

We put enough points into Strength and Dexterity to use our gear and then put the remainder into Vitality.

Standard

Setup

This Setup gets to the highest possible level for our buffs with a Skill Level 55 battleorders. Since we use dual Heart of the Oak Flails we can prioritize maximum +x to All Skills on our Amulet and Helmet and still be overcapped for Resistances and have the 105% Faster Cast Rate Breakpoint. We also have max battlecry for the highest possible DPS on our main weapon swap. This Setup does well on Multi and Single Player.

Mercenary

Since we are at the 105% FCR BP we drain Mana at exceptionally high rates and the Insight Thresher helps to mitigate that, from its meditation Aura.

Skills

Put 1 Point into each of the following Skills:
1. finditem
2. increasedstamina
3. increasedspeed
4. ironskin
5. naturalresistance
6. leap
7. leapattack

Max out the following Skills in this order:
1. battleorders
2. battlecommand
3. warcry
4. Battlecry
5. howl

Use the Scroll Bar to see Skill Point Progression

Attributes

Our gear wears itself and allows us to commit every Stat Point into Vitality.

Hardcore

Setup

The biggest changes in this Variant are prioritizing Physical Damage Reduction, max Chance to Block, overcapped Resistances, and Faster Hit Recovery. We use a Stormshield to achieve many of these goals while maintaining high +x to All Skills. We also swap to a Corruption Clasp Amulet to shore up some of our Dexterity and Life.

Mercenary

Since we are at the 105% FCR BP we drain Mana at exceptionally high rates and the Insight Thresher helps to mitigate that, from its meditation Aura.

Skills

Put 1 Point into each of the following Skills:
1. finditem
2. increasedstamina
3. increasedspeed
4. ironskin
5. naturalresistance
6. leap
7. leapattack

Max out the following Skills in this order:
1. battleorders
2. battlecommand
3. warcry
4. Battlecry
5. ironskin

Use the Scroll Bar to see Skill Point Progression

Attributes

With our gear we still need 130 Dexterity to reach max Chance to Block. The remainder of our points get put into Vitality.


Summary

  • Leap can literally lock down any entire screen's worth of monsters. Try "short hopping" to quickly gain control of a situation
  • The Barbarian is nearly unkillable once fully buffed. Don't be afraid to jump into danger to offer your team that vital support.
  • warcry applies a very powerful Stun once it lands on monsters. Committing to spamming the Skill is often safer than kiting or moving.
  • The Barbarian is the best support in the game, and an auto include in every group.

Being able to support your buds while doing good damage and increasing the chances at GG drops makes this build incredibly fulfilling to play. Try this out during the next Ladder reset and confidently say, "I call support this time!".

Good luck! In Bocca al Lupo


Credits

Written by MacroBioBoi
Reviewed by Teo1904