Barbarian Guide v1.1 - Donthaveacow
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Barbarian Guide

by Donthaveacow   Updated to v1.1 on
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                       |  | |  |  |_|  Barbarian                                    
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                       |  | |  |  |_|    Guide                                  
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                   By DontHaveaCow


-What Stats are Important?
-Stat Point Distribution
-Which Skills to Use?
-Choosing your Mastery
-Skill Point Distribution
-Mini Quest Guide
-In-Depth Skill Guide
-War Cries
-Combat Masteries
-Combat Skills
-Battle Techniques
-Last Minute Advice
-Copyright and Trademark information                                                                      

V 1.0 - First Version, need to add descriptions and ratings for skills.

V 1.0c - Version created for use on Games Domain / Console Domain.

V 1.1 - First Update, adding descriptions and ratings for skills, added permission
        for various sites.  Also started walkthrough and battle techniques.  Added
        various tweaks and revisions to certain sections.


Hello, and welcome to my Diablo 2 Barbarian Guide.  I'll give you good advice 
on how to distribute your skill points, stat points, and how to fight 
enemies.  Well, on to the guide!

******************What Stats Are Important******************

For the barbarian, the most important of his stats are Strength, followed 
close by dexterity and then vitality.  You won't be using your mana very 
much if you choose to use your combat masteries for most of your skill 
points.  I suggest that you follow this guide on how to distribute your Stats 

******************Stat Point Distribution*******************

I reccomend that you put 3-5 levels of stats into Strength, then put 2-3 
levels into Dexterity, then 2-4 levels into Vitality.  Follow this path for the
rest of your skill point distribution.  After that, put most of your levels of 
points into strength, second most into vitality, and last put some into dexterity.  
Vitality is important to the Barbarian because you will be using melee weapons most 
of the game, so you will take more damage than other classes will.  Don't forget to
put stats into dexterity or you will end up being unable to hit your target and 
will get hit yourself far too much.  Strength is the main stat of the barbarian, so
make sure to put most of your stat points into it.

********************Which Skills to Use?********************

The skills that are most useful are the combat masteries.  These skills add 
damage and give you better aim with the weapon which is being mastered.  The 
other 2 sets of skills aren't too important or useful with a couple of 
exceptions.  Most beginners put points into warcries and combat skills, but 
you'll soon find out that is the wrong way to go.  If you spend most of your 
skill points on 1 mastery, then you will be quite a formidable barbarian when
you have higher levels.

Here is a chart of a pathway to use.  This path will give you abilities other 
than combat masteries, which I personally don't use, but some do.  This will 
also give you Battle Command, one of the best Warcries in the game.

Barbarian 1

1  - Bash
2  - Howl
3  - Mastery
4  - Saved
5  - Saved
6  - Shout, Double Swing, Leap
7  - Mastery
8  - Mastery
9  - Mastery
10 - Saved
11 - Saved
12 - Increased Stamina
13 - Increased Stamina
14 - Increased Stamina
15 - Saved
16 - Saved
17 - Saved
18 - Iron Skin, Leap Attack
19 - Iron Skin, Leap Attack
20 - Iron Skin, Leap Attack
21 - Iron Skin, Leap Attack
22 - Iron Skin, Leap Attack
23 - Saved
24 - Battle Orders, Increased Speed
25 - Mastery
26 - Mastery
27 - Mastery
28 - Mastery
29 - Saved
30 - Natural Resistance, Battle Command
31 - Natural Resistance
32 - Battle Command
33 - Natural Resistance
34 - Battle Command
35 - Natural Resistance
36 - Battle Command
37 - Mastery
38 - Mastery
39 - Mastery
40 - Mastery

This is another chart, which I used with my barbarian.  It will give you a 
decent amount of masteries and a couple other of the useful skills.  As you 
see, you will have level 14 Mastery before level 30, and at level 40, you will 
have level 20.  After level 40, you will get good resistances, then good speed,
then go from there.  I went all the way to 50 with this chart because I'm only 
level 41 with the first barbarian.I'm level 56 with this barbarian and I perfer
fighting with him, he was much more prepared for the -50 resistance default on 
hell difficulty.

Barbarian 2

1  - Howl
2  - Mastery
3  - Mastery
4  - Mastery
5  - Mastery
6  - Shout
7  - Mastery
8  - Mastery
9  - Mastery
10 - Mastery
11 - Mastery
12 - Increased Stamina
13 - Increased Stamina
14 - Mastery
15 - Mastery
16 - Mastery
17 - Mastery
18 - Iron Skin
19 - Iron Skin
20 - Iron Skin
21 - Iron Skin
22 - Iron Skin
23 - Saved
24 - Battle Orders, Increased Speed
25 - Increased Speed
26 - Increased Speed
27 - Saved
28 - Saved
29 - Saved
30 - Natural Resistance, Battle Command
31 - Natural Resistance, Battle Command
32 - Natural Resistance, Battle Command
33 - Natural Resistance
34 - Battle Command
35 - Mastery
36 - Mastery
37 - Mastery
38 - Mastery
39 - Mastery
40 - Mastery
41 - Natural Resistance
42 - Natural Resistance
43 - Natural Resistance
44 - Natural Resistance
45 - Natural Resistance
46 - Increased Speed
47 - Increased Speed
48 - Increased Speed
49 - Increased Speed
50 - Increased Speed

This barbarian is the most extreme and IMHO the most powerful one.  He is quite
focused in a couple areas,but he is the mightiest one of all.  Using other 
skills is tempting, but if you stick with this, its greater than the rest.

Barbarian 3

1  - Mastery
2  - Mastery
3  - Mastery
4  - Mastery
5  - Mastery
6  - Mastery
7  - Mastery
8  - Mastery
9  - Mastery
10 - Mastery
11 - Mastery
12 - Mastery
13 - Mastery
14 - Mastery
15 - Mastery
16 - Mastery
17 - Mastery
18 - Iron Skin
19 - Iron Skin
20 - Iron Skin
21 - Iron Skin
22 - Iron Skin
23 - Iron Skin
24 - Iron Skin
25 - Iron Skin
26 - Iron Skin
27 - Iron Skin
28 - Mastery
29 - Mastery
30 - Natural Resistance
31 - Natural Resistance
32 - Natural Resistance
33 - Natural Resistance
34 - Natural Resistance
35 - Natural Resistance
36 - Natural Resistance
37 - Natural Resistance
38 - Natural Resistance
39 - Natural Resistance
40 - Natural Resistance
41 - Natural Resistance
42 - Natural Resistance
43 - Natural Resistance
44 - Natural Resistance
45 - Natural Resistance
46 - Natural Resistance
47 - Natural Resistance
48 - Natural Resistance
49 - Natural Resistance
50 - Mastery

This is a chart sent in to me by Mike Smith.  He uses spear mastery and ironskin
and whirlwind.  He has a nice chart goin on, so I can reccomend using it if you
are going to use spears(which I still don't use except with amazons).

1 save
Act 1 quest reward: save
2 save
3 save
4 save
5 save
6 leap and spears mastery
7 spear mastery
8 spear mastery
9 spear mastery
10 spear mastery
11 spear mastery
12 spear mastery, bash, stun
Act 2 quest reward: save
13 spear mastery
14 spear mastery
15 spear mastery
16 spear mastery
17 spear mastery
18 leap attack, iron skin, spear mastery
19 spear mastery, iron skin
20 spear mastery, iron skin
21 iron skin
22 iron skin
23 iron skin
24 iron skin
25 iron skin
Act 4 quest reward: save, save
26 iron skin
27 iron skin
28 iron skin
29 concentrate
30 whirlwind, natural resistance
31 whirlwind, natural resistance
32 whirlwind
33 whirlwind
34 whirlwind
35 whirlwind

Always Remember, these charts are not meant to be followed exactly.  The person
who plays as the character should adjust them to fit their own needs.  Some 
people find items that make learning skills such as Iron Skin and Natural 
Resistance not as useful, but most don't and need these skills to become 
powerful enough to handle hell difficulty.

If you would like to send a copy of a skill point distribution chart to me, 
send it to and you will be credited with making
it and I will post it if it has any validity at all.  And don't even think 
about sending in another person's chart, as you will be exiled by many people 
and sites such as GameFAQs.  The owner of GameFAQs feels the same way as I do
towards people who try to take credit for other people's work:  They will die!
Ok, so maybe they won't die, but they're not gonna be!

********************Choosing your Mastery*******************

Choosing what weapon you master is as important as anything else in the game.  
Make sure that you stick with your choice of mastery, for if you change, you 
will be handicapped because of your poor judgement.  Also, Polearms arent quite
as strong, but they also have a longer range.  Maces, on the other hand, are 
only good during certain circumstances. I've seen barbarians that are quite 
strong using Spears, but I think that you should just be an Amazon if you want 
to do Spears or Throwing. 

This is a table of which masteries are good choices:

   ________ ________ ______ ________ ______________
  |Mastery |Strong? |Handed|  Sets? | Good Choice? |
  |Sword   | yes    |  1/2 |  Yes   |   Yes        |
  |Axe     | yes    |  2/1 |  Yes   |   Yes        |
  |Polearm | yes    |  2   |  Yes   |   No         |
  |Spear   | kinda  |  2   |  Yes   |   Be Amazon  |
  |Mace    | yes    |  1   |  Yes   |   No         |
  |Throwing| no     |  1   |  No    |   Be Amazon  |
   -------- -------- ------ -------- --------------

Sword -

Swords are among the strongest weapons in the game up until the end.  Some 
swords are very strong, but I haven't come across any that are stronger than the 
other 1 handed classes by very much near the end.  They are quite strong if you
decide to use them 2-handed.  This will decrease your defense a little bit, but 
considering how powerful your weapon will be is sometimes good enough of a trade

Axe -

Axes are definitely one of the strongest weapons in the game.  The strongest axes
are 2 handed, but they also have decent attack speeds.  Most other 2-handed 
weapons don't have very good attack speeds.  This is a common choice of mastery, 
and its my favorite class.

Polearm -

Polearms are pretty strong, but the strongest of these have slow attack speeds.  
If you choose polearms, you might want to consider using Frenzy so that you have 
a good attack speed.  Near the end of the game, I haven't found too many strong 
polearms, but I've seen a couple.  Unfortunately, they didn't have a very good 
attack speed.

Spear -

Personally, I don't like using spears.  Their only advantage is their range, and
I'd rather just choose a polearm if I want to attack with a range.  I also haven't
found very many strong spears myself.  I tend to only use spears when I'm playing
as an Amazon.

Mace -

This is an interesting class.  At the beginning, they're only strong vs. undead.
But near the end, they become very strong.  Mauls are considered maces, and I 
have found that Mauls are very strong.  Until act 4, you should consider imbuing
a mace so that it will be tolerable using a morning star or the like until mauls
are available.

Throwing -

1 word for this choice: Sucks  You can't have unique, rare, or magical throwing 
weapons, and there aren't very many strong throwing weapons out there.  Stay away
from this mastery unless you have due cause.  I take it back, just stay away from

********************Skill Point Distribution****************

Choose your mastery, and put most of your points into that.  Get a couple of 
levels of Leap Attack near the beginning of the second act and use it to escape 
battles if you need to.  Some people like to use this skills in the other 2 sets 
instead of the masteries, and I have 1 thing to say to that:  Whatever floats your
boat! :)  The skills in Combat Masteries are quite useful if you use 1 type of 
weapon, so I can reccomend using them for a good bit of your points.  All the 
skills in combat masteries are passive, meaning that you don't have to pick that 
skill specificly to use it.  They are always in effect, no matter what.  Just make 
sure to put a good few of your skill points into your mastery of choice (Only if
that "Floats your Boat").

**********************Mini Quest-Guide**********************

Act 1

Quest 1 - Den of Evil

Obtained from: Akara

Objective: Kill all the monsters in the Den of Evil.

Reward: 1 Skill point from Akara.

Method of Completion: Find the Den in Blood Moor and kill all the monstes there.

Quest 2 - Sister's Burial Grounds

Obtained from: Kashya

Objective: Kill Blood Raven.

Reward: Ability to hire Rogues and 1 free Rogue.

Method of Completion: Go to the area called Burial Grounds outside Cold Plains
                      and kill Blood Raven.

Quest 3 - The Cairn Stones

Obtained from: Akara

Objective: Save Deckard Cain.

Reward: Free identify of items from Cain and a Ring from Akara.

Method of Completion: Go through the Underground Passage to the Dark Wood and 
                      get the Scroll of Inifus from the Tree of Inifus.  Take
                      the scroll to Akara and she'll translate the runes on it.
                      Then go to the Cairn Stones in Stony Field and use the
                      Scroll and touch the stones in the order which is written
                      on the scroll.  Go through the Portal and rescue Deckard 
                      Cain.  Then talk to Cain and Akara at Camp.

Notes: Take Wirt's Leg from his body so that you can get to the Cow Level.  Put
       Wirt's Leg and a Tome of Town Portal into the Horadoric Cube (obtained 
       in Act 2) and transmute them to make a red portal to the "Moo Moo Farm"
       More commonly known as the Cow Level.  You have to have beaten the game
       for this to work and it must be done in the Rogue Encampment.

Quest 4 - The Forgotten Tower

Obtained from: Moldy Tome

Objective: Kill the Countess.

Reward: The riches in the 5th floor(find them after you kill the countess).

Method of Completion: Read from the Moldy Book.  Then, when you get to the Black 
                      Marsh, there is a tower somewhere.  Go to the 5th floor of  
                      the tower and kill the Countess.

Quest 5 - Tools of the Trade

Obtained from: Charsi

Objective: Get her magic smithing hammer from the monastery.

Reward: Charsi will imbue an item. (Make it rare)

Method of Completion: Go into the Monastery Barracks and kill the smith and take
                      the Horadoric Malus.  Return the Malus to Charsi to get the

Notes: You may want to save your Imbue until you get to Act 4, and then imbue a 
       gothic plate or something to that effect.  This way, you will get a good 
       rare armor before fighting Diablo.

Quest 6 - Sisters to the Slaughter

Obtained from: Cain

Objective: Kill Andariel.

Reward: None.

Method of Completion: Go through the catacombs of the monastery and kill 
                      Andariel.(She is on the 4th floor)

**Under Construction**

********************In-Depth Skill Guide********************

The most useful Barbarian skills (IMHO) are the skills on the Combat Masteries 
tab.  Other skills are useful, but I perfer having the passive skills so I 
don't have to use them manually and I can use more than 1 at a time.  Here are 
descriptions of the skills.    I am adding ratings on a scale of 1-10 for each 
skill and a paragraph telling if I found the skill useful or not and some 
various tricks that you can do using them.

**************************War Cries*************************

Description: Makes enemies run away
Level: 1
Previous Skill: None
Rating: 3
Not very useful unless you're being killed by a large group of enemies and 
the skill is at a level high enough to make them run very far.

Find Potion
Description: Find potions on dead bodies
Level: 1
Previous Skill: None
Rating: 6
Free potions, but only some of the time.  Not very useful as potions 
aren't very expensive.

Description: Makes enemies attack
Level: 6
Previous Skill: Howl
Rating: 2
This is useful for getting the Fetishes and Fallen type enemies to stop 
running, but I find that they're not too hard to chase down.

Description: Improves you and your party's defense
Level: 6
Previous Skill: Howl
Rating: 6
A nice skill to have, it doesn't last long enough to be effective enough
for me.  adds 290% damage at level 20, so thats pretty good.

Find Item
Description: Find items on dead bodies
Level: 12
Previous Skill: Find Potion
Rating: 7
Free items is a definite money-maker, so I used this skill a little.

Battle Cry
Description: Decreases enemy defense and damage
Level: 18
Previous Skill: Taunt
Rating: 5
Pretty nice to have, combined with taunt, you can take some enemies out 
very quickly.

Battle Orders
Description: Add to max mana, life and stamina of party
Level: 24
Previous Skill: Shout
Rating 6
Doesn't add as much as it could have, but its useful nonetheless.

Grim Ward
Description: Make a totem that scares away enemies
Level: 24
Previous Skill: Find Item
Rating: 3
What happened to howl? Just use howl if you want to scare them away.

War Cry
Description: Hurt and stun enemies
Level: 30
Previous Skill: Battle Cry, Battle Orders
Rating: 6
Nice skill, but not economical on mana.  Doesn't stun for long enough 
either, so thats no fun.

Battle Command
Description: Adds to party's skill levels
Level: 30
Previous Skill: Battle Orders
I really like this skill, giving stat points out is nice, even if
its temporary.

**********************Combat Masteries**********************

Rating: 9
Adds damage and accuracy, 2x damage and 3x accuracy at level 20.  One 
of the best skills in the game I think.  Its nice that you can use 
this skill set and use other skills simulatiously. ie- you could use 
sword mastery and use bash to have extra damage from both bash and 
the mastery.

Sword Mastery
Description: Improves sword damage and accuracy
Level: 1

Axe Mastery
Description: Improves axe damage and accuracy
Level: 1

Mace Mastery
Description: Improves mace damage and accuracy
Level: 1

Pole Arm Mastery
Description: Improves polearm damage and accuracy
Level: 6

Throwing Mastery
Description: Improves throwing weapon damage and accuracy
Level: 6

Spear Mastery
Description: Improves spear damage and accuracy
Level: 6

Increased Stamina
Description: Increases stamina
Level: 12
Rating: 6
Not very useful, as you'll need to add to your vitality anyways.  But
for the people who get the heavy armor quickly and run out of stamina
fast, this is nice to have.

Iron Skin
Description: Improves defense
Level: 18
Rating: 8
Defense is a major stat in the game, so this skill is a major skill to

Increased Speed
Description: Increases walk\run speed
Level: 24
Previous Skill: Increased Stamina
Rating: 7
Being faster is always a plus, especially if you've got really heavy 
armor and need to speed up.

Natural Resistances
Description: Increases resistances
Level: 30
Previous Skill: Iron Skin
Rating: 8
Best way to prepare to fight in Hell difficulty that i know of.  Adds
60 something to all resistances at level 20, so your default 
resistances will be higher than 0.  And if you can manage to get this 
in nightmare, then you will be very resistant to elements.

***********************Combat Skills************************

Description: Hits harder, knockback
Level: 1
Rating: 5
Useful at the start, but requires that you put points into energy, 
which I don't like doing with barbarians.

Description: Jump in or out of battle
Level: 6
Rating: 5
Very good skill to have, but is quickly topped by Leap Attack.

Double Swing
Description: Attacks 2 targets at once, if not 2, 1 twice
Level: 6
Previous Skill: Bash
Rating: 8
Some people get Mana Draining items and use this and don't lose any
mana, which essentially doubles their attack power.  This is another
one of the best skills out there.

Description: Stuns target
Level: 6
Previous Skill: Bash
Rating: 5
Stunning enemies would be better done if combined with bash.

Double Throw
Description: Throw 2 things at once
Level: 12
Previous Skill: Double Swing
Rating: 3
Barbarians aren't meant to use ranged attacks as their main attack, so this
isn't too useful.

Leap Attack
Description: Leap and attack in 1 motion
Level: 18
Previous Skill: Leap
Rating: 8
Getting in and out of battles quickly and having an attack right away is a
great move to have.

Description: Not interuptable and improves defense
Level: 18
Previous Skill: Stun
Rating: 6
Only good if your attack rating is terrible.  Adding to defense is nice, 
but I haven't found this skill too useful.

Description: The more hits you make, the faster you get.
Level: 24
Previous Skill: Double Throw
Rating: 7
This skill is very helpful in defeating Diablo if you get it leveled up
high enough.  Also useful for battling Izual and other strong baddies.

Description: Spin with your weapons
Level: 30
Previous Skill: Leap Attack, Concentrate
Rating: 8
If you get this skill to about level 5 or 6, you start doing extra damage
instead of half damage and you really are a whirlwind of death and destruction.  
I didn't use Whirlwind very much, but some people love it.  Also, it has been 
dumbed down a little bit since version 1.03.

Description: More damage and accuracy, but less defense
Level: 30
Previous Skill: Concentrate
Rating: 4
I don't like the trade-off with damage and defense, so I didn't use this.

***********************Battle Techniques********************

This is a collection of Battle Techniques from many sources, you know who 
you are, and thank you for your support.

1)  Just use whirlwind to take out your enemies.  A good way to do this 
is if you have a sorcoress with you, get her to freeze the enemies with 
frost nova or blizzard.

2)  Get a socketed weapon and put a perfect Saphire and a Skull on it.
Then, Bash, Double Swing(make 2 weapons for double swing), or something
like that to kick their butts with ease.  If you are more powerful than
all the enemies and kill them in 1 hit, then don't use the saphire.  The
saphire will slow the enemies down with ice, and the Skull will drain 
their mana and health.  If you don't need the saphire, its nice to add
a second skull and use Whirlwind or another powerful attack.

3)  Do the trick above with a spear or polearm of some sort and have long
range and still drain their hp and mana.  This is nice because of the range
and most socketed polearms and spears have 3 or 4 slots instead of just 2 
or 3 on swords and axes.  You can really get some drain going with this.

4)  Pump a few points into frenzy, and a put a couple into stun.  Put frenzy
on the right click, and stun on the left click.  When fighting bosses, start
up frenzy, then switch to stun.  Between having fast attack speed from frenzy, 
and you stunning them, they won't be able to attack.  Easy kill.

*******************Last Minute Statements*******************

Always remember, money can buy anything in this world other than love, 
happiness, and experience points.  Peace!

***************Copyright and Trademark Information**********

Diablo, Diablo 2, the barbarian class, and any other information directly 
pertaining to Diablo 2 is copyrighted by Blizzard.  This FAQ is intended to be 
used as a help to get through the game and is not meant to harm anybody in 
anyway.  I am not affiliated with Blizzard in any way, nor am I bound by any 
contracts other than the end-user license agreement with them.

This FAQ is copyrighted by the Author, referred to as GPS.  All rights 
reserved.  You may not place this FAQ on yoursite without the permission of 
the author.

People who have donated information:

Nicholas Vu
Mike Smith
Jonathan Soule
Nathan Hebert

Sites allowed to post this FAQ:

GameFaqs -
Games Domain / Console Domain -
Game Advice -

********************Contacting the Author*******************

The Author can be messaged on under the username DontHaveaCow.  Or 
I can be E-Mailed at