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The Diablo II Barbarian is a master of melee and physical combat. Crushingly powerful in hand to hand combat, the Barbarian boasts very high damage and hit points, natural abilities that raise his resistance and defense, and the ability to share powerful bonuses to his party members with warcries.

In the game story, the Barbarian tribes are powerful, nomadic, and misunderstood. Previously seen as savages by most peoples, the Barbarians' culture has become known and respected, even as the Barbarians remain a people apart, living on the fringe of civilization and refusing the influence of those they see as soft and weak.


Barbarian Skills

The Barbarian, a member of any of several tribes on the fringes of civilization, rebuffs the influence of those he sees as soft and weak.

Ceaseless clan warfare and the constant struggle to survive in the hostile wilderness are reflected in the Barbarian's sturdy and powerful frame. Though perhaps lacking the sophistication of city-folk, the Barbarian has an acute awareness of his surroundings. Because of his shamanistic belief in the animal powers with whom he identifies, the Barbarian is sometimes associated with stories of lycanthropy. In fact, he believes he can call upon totemic animal spirits to infuse him with supernormal strengths and abilities, but these only work to improve his already superb battle-tactics.

As you'd expect this is the brawn behind the five characters. The sheer variety of fighting and damage-enhancing skills would have the warrior from Diablo fleeing for mummy's apron. But the most exciting improvement made to the fighter is the ability to wield two weapons at the same time. Allotting points to his 'Double Swing' skill in his Combat Actions tree will optimise this ability, enabling him to perform a quick one two with both weapons. Add a point to 'Bash', and 'Axe Mastery' and you can imagine how powerful this guy can be and all this possible on reaching a character level of only six.

Attribute Starts Per additional point Each Level Up
Strength 30 - -
Dexterity 20 - -
Vitality 25 + 4 to Life, 1 Stamina -
Energy 10 1 Mana -
Stamina 91 - +1
Life 55 - +2
Mana 10 - +1

Being a hand-to-hand specialist he's going to need to watch his health and keep a plentiful stock of health potions. Luckily he possesses 'Find Health Potion' {level one skill} and this will aid him in successfully harvesting a superior health potion from the body of a slain monster. And at higher levels, if he does go charging into a situation he's not ready to handle he has a leap skill that will enable him to jump over the pack and into safety. From there he's more than capable of putting some distance between himself and his opponents as he has the highest amount of stamina and can run for a good old distance before needing to rest to replenish.

To enhance his Combat Skills he has near-on an entire tree dedicated to Combat Masteries. All are Clvl six and below and is the only section of any tree that does not have prerequisites. So basically the first skill point you get you can allot it to any of the six masteries to improve whichever weapon he is using at that time. All masteries are passive so do not need activating, as soon as a single point has been added he will begin to enjoy increased proficiency in that area as they become intrinsic to his character. The more points, the more of a master he becomes in that particular weapon. So a bit of a 'Daniel my son' element there.

Whilst it appears he will not be experiencing too many problems in the early stages of the game he is not going to be able to display as much bravado in later levels where he'll come up against the serious magic-casting monsters. He'll need to watch his resistances as he doesn't really specialise in long-ranged attacks as you'd expect so the chances of him being successfully hit by a spell-caster when going toe-to-toe are touching 100%. Also his 'Natural Resistance' skill doesn't become available until he's reached Clvl 30. The long-ranged attacks that have been confirmed are 'Double Throw' in Combat Skills and of course his 'Throwing Mastery'. However points can't be added to the former until he reaches a Clvl of 12. His starting strength is the highest of all the characters so finding some heavy duty armour ASAP will be his own personal quest. Raising his AC with 'Shout' will only be a temporary stop-gap and as he's not exactly mana-man he'll not be able to do that continuously to compensate for inferior armour.


A varied bunch of skills the Warcries are. There is a lot of variety in this tree indeed, ranging from attack skills to aura-like bonuses to corpse skills. There are actually 7 "War Cries" here, the other 3 are corpse skills, grouped in here by default.

Warcries are cast with a right click, and are a sort of spell. When casting them the Barbarian throws his arms up and his head back and howls. The warcry is shown as a Nova of brightly-colored light moving out from the Barbarian in an expanding ring. All warcries have a distinctive graphic, but the sound the Barbarian makes is a random one each time. The Warcries all have different ranges, with the beneficial aura-like ones generally going nearly full screen, while the attack Warcries that hurt monsters have much less range, usually just a few yards.

With beneficial Warcries, other characters and minions must be in range of the Warcry (basically anywhere on the screen is close enough) when it is cast. They'll then enjoy the benefit for the duration of the skill, which depends on how many points the Barbarian has in it. Beneficial Warcries should be refreshed before they expire. Battle Orders especially, since it adds to the maximum potential hps and mana, and must be filled up with leech or potions.

The three corpse skills are very useful as well. Find Item is one of the most powerful skills in the game, in terms of finding good equipment, and Find Potion can be very helpful also, for the more patient Barbarian. Grim Ward is one of the neatest skills in the game in concept and appearance, but it's hardly needed or used in the game, since the Barbarian is so powerful in other areas that it's icing on the icing on the triple chocolate chip fudge cake.

Echoing Weapons

A good plan is to find two echoing weapons, and use them on your weapon switch. Echoing is a prefix that gives +3 to all Warcries, and obviously two of these gives +6 to every skill in this tree. You switch weapons, cast Battle Orders and any others, then go back to your normal weapons. Dual Echoing is very useful for Find Item and Potion also, taking them instantly to Slvl 7 (or higher, with other equipment) which is good odds on both.

You can use +2 sounding weapons also, but obviously they are not as good. Any time you are in town, check the NPC for echoing weapons, and since most Barbs spend some time shopping for a big weapon at some point, you should find Echoing stuff at the same time. Buy anything you can dual wield with this bonus, normal weapons if possible, since they have lower Str/Dex/Level requirements.

More Barbarian Warcries stats and details.

Combat Masteries

Masteries increase the Barbarian's efficiency in the use of weapons such as swords, axes, pole-arms and even ranged attacks with his Throwing Mastery. A Barbarian needs to pick one mastery (or possibly two if you go with Throwing) and stick with it, eventually putting the maximum 20 skill points into it. Bonuses from your Masteries add to your damage with every attack skill, so should be maxed out first. If you are using mostly Whirlwind but with some Berserk, some Leap Attack, and some Frenzy, more points in your mastery will make all of those more effective.

Other than the six weapon masteries, there are four other passive skills in this tree, all of which deserve at least one point. Increased Stamina is helpful, though not mandatory. Increased Speed is the same, basically a luxury, but running faster means you get to each battle quicker, move faster in town, can escape trouble more rapidly, and is just generally more fun. It's hard to resist a point there. Iron Skin is helpful for your defense, and Natural Resistance is one of the most useful skills in the entire game. Certainly the other six character classes would trade most any of their skills to for one that gave them free resistance.

Critical Strike

All the Weapon Masteries give a % chance of hitting for double damage, just like the Amazon's Critical Strike skill. This bonus is calculated after all other damage, including bonus from strength and skills, so it doubles the total damage, often a number in the thousands. This has always been the case, but the double damage bonus was not displayed in the skill description before D2X.

Slvl1 Slvl5 Slvl10 Slvl15 Slvl20
3% 13% 17% 19% 20%

More Barbarian Combat Masteries stats and details.

Combat Skills

The true Barbarian skills, all sorts of "hit things hard" abilities with some classic names such as 'Bash', 'Stun', and 'Berserk'. All very savage-sounding and just what you'd expect a Barbarian to possess. In addition to these single hit skills, there are crowd control attacks that hit multiple targets, and ways to increase your attack speed. More variety than you might expect.

There are two ranged attacks here, and the extremely useful Berserk, enabling the Barbarian to do by far the most non-physical damage of any combat character in the game.

All of these skills work well with the Barbarian's Masteries, which add to his weapon damage when using any sort of attack. Warcries are helpful also in many cases.

More Barbarian Combat Skills stats and details.


It is said that when the world was very young the tribes of the Northern Steppes were given sacred charge. Somewhere deep within the great mountain Arreat, lies a source of great power, crucial to the well-being of all humanity. The tribes act as guardians of this artifact, and through this sacred duty, have shaped their way of life in observance of this power.

Steeped in mystery and tradition, these people refer to themselves as the Children of Bul-Kathos, the great and ancient king. To better protect their lands from outside forces they adopted a nomadic lifestyle, frequently moving within the confines fo the Steppes and maintaining few permanent settlements. Isolating themselves from the world outside their territories, they eschew the use of magic and complex machinery, as they believe these things can only weaken the resolve developed over so many years.

The Children of Bul-Kathos have developed a kinship with the land and have learned to harness the primal energies in nature to enhance their own substantial physical prowess. Because of this, and their freedom from the trappings of the outside world, the Western Kingdoms has historically referred to these tribes as barbarians, an epithet that belies the rich cultural and spiritual history these people possess. Although some trade with these curious folk, they do so only along the outmost borders of their lands. All intrusions into the territory surrounding Mount Arreat are forbidden, and warriors from the northern tribes are quick to thwart any incursions.

Every attempt at conquest has always been met with fierce and decisive resistance in an account of one skirmish, hordes of Barbarian tribesmen silently appeared where none had been but moments before. Their bodies painted in mysterious designs, the tribesmen descended on the invaders, howling as the charged like the fierce mountain winds. Fully half of the trespassing soldiers immediately dropped their weapons and fled, the remainder were set upon by the Northmen with a fervor that none of the battle-hardened invaders had ever witnessed. No quarter was asked and none was given, but in the end, when the outlanders sounded a full retreat, no chase was given either . . . at least none that could be observed.

It is interesting that recently, since news of Diablo's re-emergence has spread, a small number of Barbarian warriors has been seen roving the lands outside the Steppes, prepared for war and seeking information regarding the recent activities of the Prime Evils.

Traits and Abilities

A fetish barbarian

Renowned for their awesome combat prowess as well as their arrogant demeanour, the Barbarians appear to be perpetually girt for battle. Through harsh conditioning, the Barbarians excel in physical combat and tremendous feats of strength. They derive their power chiefly from intense physical training, but also tap primal energies from the living world around them. They can manifest these or add to their already considerable catalogue of superhuman feats of strength and power.