War Cry Barbarian Guide

Introduction

The War Cry Barbarian (or Singer Barbarian) decimates its foes with the raw power of his powerful warcry while being able to stack some of the highest Magic Find of any build in Diablo 2! With the incredible mobility of teleport granted by Enigma, and Crowd Control (CC) afforded by warcry this Barbarian can get into, and destroy every farming area in the game. Where it really shines is Elite Sniping and target farming specific Bosses. With massive Better Chance to Find Magic Items on the Weapon Swap and a high level finditem, this Barbarian build is only rivaled by even more niche Barbarian builds, as the best Magic Finder in the game!



Ideal Standard Variant
warcry
battlecommand
battleorders
finditem

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

Easy Playstyle ✔
Incredible Survivability ✔
The Most Magic Find Possible ✔

Build Benefits Scale With Skill Level ✔

Repetitive Playstyle
Requires High APM For Efficiency
❌ Cannot Farm Act Bosses Efficiently
❌ Best In Slot Gear Is Difficult To Acquire



Skills

The Singer Barbarian commits most of its Skill Points to the Warcries and Combat Masteries trees, with a Skill Point put into leap.

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

Max out the following Skills in order of priority:
1. battleorders
2. warcry
3. Battlecry
4. taunt
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* will increase every partied Player's Skill level by 1 for every Skill they have some form of + Skills for.
battleorders* will increase every partied Player's maximum Life, Mana, and Stamina by a percentage of their current maximums.
shout* will increase 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 monster corpses 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 will knock back enemies within it's radius and put them into Hit Recovery.

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


Attributes

Strength
In this build, we allocate enough Stat Points to Strength to equip all of our gear. Be mindful of how much Strength your gear needs and how much it provides when equipped.

Vitality
After you put your points into Strength and Dexterity, make sure to check if it is recommended to put Stat Points into Energy. Meet the suggested amount of Energy and put any remaining Stat Points into Vitality.

Dexterity
In this build, we allocate enough Dexterity to equip all of our gear. Be mindful of how much Dexterity your gear needs and how much it provides when equipped.


Energy
In this build, we don't allocate any Stat Points into Energy. This build gets enough Mana from gear, buffs, Charms, and Mana Potions.


Miscellaneous

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
+ to All 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
Spirit
+ to All 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 Crystal Sword+x to All Skills
+x to battlecommand
+x to battleorders
+x to battlecry
Off-Hand-SwapSpirit Monarch+x to All Skills
HelmetsArreat's Face
Rare Primal Helm
Echoing Destroyer Helm of the Whale
Lore
+ to All Skills
Elemental Resist +xx%

xx% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Damage Reduced By xx%
+ Attributes
+ xx% Faster Hit Recovery
Body ArmorEnigma Wire Fleece
Skin of the Vipermagi
Smoke
Myth
Stealth Studded Leather
+ 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)
+ 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
+ Attributes
Beltsarachnidmesh
goldwrap
Cobalt Demonhide Sash of the Whale
Verdungo's Hearty Cord
String of Ears
+ 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's Soul
+ 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
+ to Skills
+ xx% Faster Cast Rate
Elemental Resist +xx%

xx% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
+ Attributes
Teleport (From Charges)
Rings thestoneofjordan
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
+x to Skill [Barbarian Only]
+x% Faster Hit Recovery
+x to Attribute
+ Life
X Resist +x%
x% Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Unique CharmsGheed's Fortune
Hellfiretorch
Annihilus
+x to Barbarian Skill Levels
+x to all Attributes
All Resistances +xx%
Better Chance of Getting Magic Items
Reduces all Vendor Prices x%

Farming Spots

The areas below are well suited for this build to farm efficiently. While this build can also farm other areas, we’ve selected these specific areas to make the most use of the build’s strengths. Please take special note of the danger level, clear speed, item types, and Immunities that define these areas.

Anything that has a in the "Starter" column can be farmed with the Starter Variant.
While there are other Farming Spots in the game, some Builds struggle to efficiently farm those Areas. This may be because the Monsters in the Area are Immune to your primary Damage type, or the Build lacks mobility to quickly progress to its objectives.

Act 1:

AreaStarterDangerRewardsImmunities
MausoleumLowAll item types
Max Area Level
Leveling
Lightning
The Countess
(Forgotten Tower Level 5)
-MediumRunes
Key of Terror
Fire, Cold
The PitMediumAll item types
Max Area Level
Leveling
Fire, Lightning, Cold
Andariel
(Catacombs Level 4)
-LowUniques
Sets
Jewelry

Act 2:

AreaStarterDangerRewardsImmunities
Ancient TunnelsMediumAll item types
Max Area Level
Leveling
Magic, Fire, Lightning, Cold
Summoner
(Arcane Sanctuary)
LowKey of Hate

Act 3:

AreaStarterDangerRewardsImmunities
Lower Kurast-LowRunes
Runeword Bases
Charms / Gems / Jewels
Jewelry
Fire, Lightning
Travincal-HighGearing
Runes
Charms / Gems / Jewels
Gold
Fire, Lightning, Cold
Mephisto
(Durance of Hate Level 3)
-MediumUniques
Sets

Act 4:

AreaStarterDangerRewardsImmunities
River of Flame-HighAll item types
Max Area Level
Leveling
Fire, Lightning, Cold, Poison
Chaos Sanctuary-HighAll item types
Max Area Level
Leveling
Fire, Lightning, Cold
Diablo
(Chaos Sanctuary)
-MediumUniques
Sets
Leveling (Level 97-99)

Act 5:

AreaStarterDangerRewardsImmunities
Eldritch the Rectifier
(Frigid Highland)
LowGearing
Gold
Leveling
Cold
Shenk the Overseer
(Bloody Foothills)
MediumGearing
Gold
Leveling
Cold
Pindleskin
(Nihlathak's Temple)
HighGearing
Gold
Leveling
Poison
Nihlathak
(Halls of Vaught)
-HighKey of Destruction
Leveling
(Level 97-99)
Fire, Lightning, Cold or none
(Depends on his Affixes)
Worldstone Keep / Throne of Destruction-HighAll item types
Max Area Level
Leveling
Physical, Magic, Fire, Lightning, Cold, Poison
(Depends on monster spawns)
Baal / Waves
(Worldstone Chamber /
Throne of Destruction)
-HighUniques
Sets
Max Area Level
Leveling
(Baal for Level 97-99)
Magic, Fire, Cold, Poison
(on Waves)

Mercenary

Your Mercenary can serve an incredibly important role to the overall success of your build. Whether it’s serving as a front line tank, bringing a pivotal Aura to your arsenal, or employing Physical Damage to kill monsters with an Immunity to your skillset.

Act 2 Desert Mercenary
The Act 2 Desert Mercenary can be 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
We recommend using the Holy Freeze Aura version, as it provides us with a large amount of Crowd Control. Since we are not relying on the Mercenary dealing damage, and we don’t benefit from the Physical Damage increase of the Might Aura.
Insight provides us with a large amount of Mana Regeneration through the 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)

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.

Playstyle

Solo General:

  • With your battlecommand, battleorders, and shout you can effectively double or even triple Life, Mana, and Skill power.
  • 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.
  • Prioritize hunting Super Uniques to get the greatest benefit from your Magic Find and finditem.
  • leaping onto a pack like Pindleskin gives you just enough time to begin using warcry to quickly CC and begin damaging your targets. This will typically give your mercenary enough time to finish approaching and they should be able to get a few hits in before the boss of the pack dies.

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 War Cry 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

For more information on the mechanics involved, check out our in-depth Resource: Breakpoints.

All builds rely on specific Breakpoints for effectiveness throughout the game. Meeting Breakpoints for Cast Rate, Hit Recovery, and Block Rate increases the rate of casting spells, recovering from big Damage, and blocks by 1 Frame per Breakpoint.

Faster Cast Rate (FCR)
Faster Cast Rate controls how fast our Character casts Spells. In this build we aim for 200% Faster Cast Rate, which is achieved with the suggested gear. Note: Faster Cast Rate only controls the animation speed of the Character, and not any internal or global Cooldowns your spells have.

Cast Rate Breakpoints

Increased Attack Speed (IAS)
We do not target a specific Attack Speed Breakpoint. We do not rely on attacks to deal Damage.

Faster Hit Recovery (FHR)
Faster Hit Recovery controls how fast our Character finishes the Hit Recovery animation. In this build we aim for 48% Faster Hit Recovery, which is achieved with the suggested gear and Charms.

Hit Recovery Breakpoints

Faster Block Rate (FBR)
We do not target a specific Block Rate Breakpoint. We do not rely on Chance to Block in this build.

Faster Run Walk (FRW)
There are no Breakpoints for Faster Run / Walk. With the recommended gear you will reach 140% Faster Run / Walk. Please refer to Run / Walk Mechanics for more details.

Hardcore

For all Hardcore gameplay, your primary concern 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 Monarch 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 will find it difficult to farm anywhere other than the "Starter" Farming Spots until you are able to stack more survivability and + to All Skills. Remember to swap to your secondary weapon slot for prebuffing and casting finditem. Once you have access to Magic Find alternatives, these should replace your weapon swap. You should prioritize Resistances and + to Warcries in your Charm selection until you can upgrade your gear.

Mercenary
Our Mercenary's Insight Partizan will be our only real option for maintaining Mana while spamming our Skills. Keeping high Life and Life Stolen per Hit gives him a decent chance of staying alive until we have successfully CC'ed whatever monsters we're farming.

Skills
The Singer Barbarian commits most of its Skill Points to the Warcries and Combat Masteries trees, with a Skill Point put into leap.

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

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

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

Damage

Setup

This Setup sacrifices 1 Frame off our cast speed, and some Magic Find to gain a much higher + to All Skill and ends up increasing our warcry DPS by ~1,000. This is typically better suited for target farming a particular Super Unique pack, as you will kill more quickly, but also need to reset games faster.

Mercenary
Since we are at the 105% FCR BP we drain Mana at exceptionally high rates and the Insight Thresher helps to mitigate that.

Skills
The Singer Barbarian commits most of its Skill Points to the Warcries and Combat Masteries trees, with a Skill Point put into leap.

Put 1 Point into each of the following Skills:
1. finditem (If needed based on Primal Helmet Staffmods)
2. increasedstamina
3. increasedspeed
4. ironskin
5. naturalresistance
6. leap

Max out the following Skills in this order:
1. battleorders
2. warcry
3. Battlecry
4. taunt
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, 75% Chance to Block, overcapped Resistances, and Faster Hit Recovery. We use a Stormshield Monarch to achieve many of these goals while maintaining high + to All Skills. We also swap to a Caster Crafted 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.

Skills
The Singer Barbarian commits most of its Skill Points to the Warcries and Combat Masteries trees, with a Skill Point put into leap.

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

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

Use the Scroll Bar to see Skill Point Progression

Attributes
With our gear we need 130 Dexterity to reach 75% Chance to Block. The remainder of our points get put into Vitality.

Magic Find

Setup

This Setup reaches the 200 FCR BP (max cast speed) and stacks incredibly high amounts of Magic Find on the primary weapon swap, and additional Magic Find on the secondary swap for using finditem on Super Unique monsters. It also maintains high + to All Skills for warcry damage and battleorders buffing.






Mercenary
Since we are at the 200% FCR BP we drain Mana at exceptionally high rates and the Insight Thresher helps to mitigate that.




Skills
The Singer Barbarian commits most of its Skill Points to the Warcries and Combat Masteries trees, with a Skill Point put into leap.

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

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



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

Use the Scroll Bar to see Skill Point Progression


Mechanics

Teleport

  • Teleport instantly moves you to a selected square on the visible screen in which you can stand. The game will try to to place you within a small radius around your cursor even if it would be impeded normally.
  • Teleport is not obstructed by walls or other impediments but can fail if your cursor is not completely passed those impediments when cast. Your Mercenary and Minions will be teleported with you, Traps will not.
  • Certain Minions in large quantities can become “stuck” in position after teleporting. Move away from that position to give them the chance to spread out.
  • You can “extend” the visible screen by opening UI-windows like the Inventory or the Character screen. Continuously cast Teleport and drag your mouse to the edge of your screen.
  • The Mana cost of Teleport decreases with additional Skill Levels down to 1 Mana per cast.
  • You can use “ESC” to open the menu in single player to pause the game after a Teleport to determine if you are safe.

Leap

  • Able to leap over all objects including "vented" walls (i.e. jail bars, and grates in sewers) but not over solid walls. Your landing zone can be a maximum of 20 yards away at max level.
  • Melee and ranged attacks fired while the Barbarian is directly overhead can hit. Normally ranged attacks will miss otherwise.
  • Your items in the Inventory, Belted Potions, and your Weapon Swap are not available while leaping.
  • Leap Knockback and Hit Recovery are always applied to any monster within range of the radius.
  • Actrivating Leap while hovering the mouse directly over the Barbarian without any monsters targeted will initiate a "short hop" which moves the Barbarian less than 1 yard and still applies the maximum knockback.

battleorders

  • The % increase applies to base Life/Mana. This is calculated including the Bases Character Life per level, Vitality Points, and any + xx Life from items. More flat +xx Life on items equates to more bonus Life after the buff.
  • Can be applied to partied Players, Pets, and Mercenaries.
  • Any new application of battleorders replaces any active buffs. If battleorders is applied with additional + to Skills from any sources (i.e.Skill Shrines), recasting the Skill after the effect has run out will lower the overall effect to the current Skill level.

warcry

  • Applies a complete incapacitation to normal and Minion monsters. Has a 10% chance to apply to Elite monsters.
  • When successfully applied, the monster is incapable of taking any actions for the length of the Stun. The maximum length is 10 seconds.
  • The stun can be applied every 6 frames or .24 seconds (see Next Hit Delay Resource).
  • Can be blocked by monsters with Chance to Block.

Summary

  • warcry applies a very powerful stun once it lands on monsters. Committing to spamming the Skill if often safer than kiting or moving.
  • At high FCR breakpoints warcry DPS is truly impressive and mops up Elites quickly.
  • The Barbarian is nearly unkillable once fully buffed. Don't be afraid to jump into danger to offer your team that vital support.
  • The Singer Barbarian is a powerful support in Multiplayer, even when fully committing to damage output.
  • finditem nearly doubles the amount of drops you get off monsters, and benefits from Magic Find.

Guide by MacroBioBoi

I hope this guide inspires you to try the "Singer Barbarian". If Karaoke isn't your thing, at least you'll enjoy the benefits of the fastest casting frames, and highest Magic Find Diablo 2 has to offer. Once you begin raking in the GG drops you'll understand why this build is just so unbelievably strong.

Good luck! In Bocca al Lupo