The Might of the Earth set is, in my opinion, the strongest endgame set for barbarians. It is also the funnest. When I finished my EQ set a couple weeks ago I couldn't find any good guides explaining the details of the build so now after a couple hundred rifts with the build I decided to try and write a detailed guide for new barbarians who are just finishing their sets. Be warned it got a lot longer than I expected so it is quite a read. Hope this can help some people out.
A note; Everything written is for running t4+ rifts using fire damage. I haven't tried out any other elements because they don't seem good compared to fire. If any other barbarians are successfully running t5 or t6 with a different variant of the build I would love to hear about it in the comments but I only have extensive experience with the cookie cutter fire version
Dax#1953 My Profile
If anyone has any gearing questions for barbarians feel free to add me and message me whenever.
Leap: Obviously necessary for leapquake. As for which rune to use, there are two that I consider viable for T3+, Call of Arreat and Death From Above. Call of Arreat in conjunction with Strongarm Bracers gives a large party wide DPS boost as well as stacking the mobs into your AOE. Death From Above provides very powerful CC and can be useful if you or your party is having survivability issues. I feel that these are really the only two options as even without Strongarm Bracers the effective DPS increase of stacking the mobs with Call of Arreat outweighs any of the other damage runes, and the stun from Death from Above provides considerably more survivability than Iron Impact.
Earthquake: Though you don’t need Earthquake on your bar to generate them from leaps selecting it is still absolutely essential. It doesn’t say it anywhere but whichever rune you select for your standard Earthquake is the rune that leaps will generate. This means that we only have one rune option (disregarding cold builds as I have not tried them), Molten Fury. The flat damage increase of Molten Fury is leagues ahead of the other fire runes because of how Weapon Damage % scales in Diablo. The 4500% weapon damage of Molten Fury is more than 3x the 2600% weapon damage of the base Earthquake. The 2 piece bonus of the Might of the Earth set also reduces the cooldown based on EQs generated by Leap, meaning that you will be able to cast this very frequently.
A Fury Spender: Since the Earthen Might nerf/bugfix we do not always have full fury so we need to rely on Earthquakes for the majority of our damage but when Leap is down we can’t just sit around doing nothing. Note that you will sometimes find yourself in a situation where you are out of fury with everything on CD but I do not think that it is worth running a generator just for these short periods.
Hammer of the Ancients: The standard option because in almost all situations it is the best. It has very high single target damage that fills a major hole in the rest of the build. It’s short range is usually a non issue because of our awesome mobility with Leap + Lut Socks. Slam is the only rune option.
Seismic Slam: Recently buffed, on paper this seems a strong option. It has very high damage and great aoe, but I have found it lacking in actual practice. The animation is much slower than Hammer of the Ancients leading to less casts even with identical attack speed. However it can have a place in some group compositions because of it’s great range. If you are running some pieces of IK or other means of free fury generation this can be a strong option. Pick the fire rune obviously.
Whirlwind: This option is the weakest of the three but it does have a place in low torments. If you are running Torment 3 or lower this can be a very low fury option. In general I think the other two options are stronger but if you want a low fury alternative this isn’t the worst.
War Cry: War cry is the unsung hero of almost all barbarian builds. It quietly generates fury and provides a ton of survivability. In a group this could be moved to mandatory but solo there could be builds that don’t use it. If you need more survivability Impunity is usually the best option, but Invigorate is also useful (especially if you have 2 barbs in your group and can run both). Charge provides a lot of fury generation which is a DPS increase. The last two runes are almost never used, because the bonus armor is negligible because of how much incidental armor barbs get from strength already and the dodge chance does not provide as much survivability as Impunity or Invigorate.
Wrath of the Berserker: This is one of the strongest CD’s in the game. The damage and survivability increases are very strong, but the most useful feature is the fact that it renders you immune to all forms of CC. Leap already helps against packs that would usually cause problems for barbs such as jailer, but fighting frozen or nightmarish packs on higher torments can be very difficult without this CD. If you have a Trag’oul Coils and run Wrath of the Berserker I strongly suggest that you carry them and gearswap to reset the CD every time you run across a health pool (Make sure that any wizards are not resetting Archon in your group first though :P). Insanity usually provides more eDPS for this build than Slaughter but with very high crit chance that could change.
Threatening Shout:This is a nice survivability skill that actually generates quite a bit of fury, enabling you to use your spenders more frequently. There are a couple of decent rune choices but in a group Grim Harvest really shines because of the way that health globes work, the additional players are healed whenever any member grabs one of your health globes and at least some will likely appreciate the additional resources from their Reaper’s Wraps.
Battle Rage:This is what I run when I am solo as it is just a very useful damage increase. In party’s I find it less useful because it does not benefit anyone else and your personal dps is a much lower percentage of the total. Marauder’s Rage, Into the Fray, and Bloodshed all provide a nice damage increase and which one is best will vary based on your gear and the difficulty that you are running. In general, unless your crit is very low I find that Marauder’s Rage outclasses the other two but Bloodshed does synergize very well with Hammer of the Ancients.
Ignore Pain:A very strong defensive CD, especially when used in conjunction with a Pride ofCassius. In a group on high torment, the Mob Rule rune is very strong if you have very high awareness. For solo runs either Ignorance is Bliss or Iron Hide provide the most survivability. If you are finding that you have the DPS to efficiently clear the torment level that you are running but die frequently to difficult packs this can be a very strong 6th active.
Sprint: Usually considered an autoinclude for most barbarian builds I actually think that sprint is one of the weakest options for filling your final slot. When running solo I do not think that sprint is at all necessary because the massive mobility that Lut Socks give you make it so that you are almost always in combat, and the build already struggles somewhat with fury generation. In a well geared group however running Forced March can greatly increase your clear speed, but be warned that it will be at the sacrifice of your own fury and damage.
Abilities that I dislike:
Overpower:If the killing spree rune was fire this might be a consideration but as is you have to choose between your overpower doing a real amount of damage or getting the crit buff but having it do negligible damage. The build does not hit nearly as quickly as a Whirlwind based build and thus it is very difficult to keep up the crit buff even if you do have it equipped. With Revel selected, Overpower does a nice amount of damage but it usually amounts to the damage that 1 Hammer of the Ancients would every 10 or so seconds which does not warrant a slot that could synergize better with your Earthquakes, such as Battle Rage.
Avalanche:Like a worse overpower, this ability has no synergy and does not do enough damage compared to Earthquakes that you are constantly generating.
Any fury generator: I covered this briefly in the fury spender section but I feel that the amount of time that you spend not Leaping and with no fury is so low that it does not warrant a slot. Running a generator in conjunction with Berserker Rage seems like it could be good, but I have found that they do so little damage that it is better to have the focused damage provided by a spender.
Call of the Ancients: This might be somewhat controversial as I have seen a lot of T6 barbs running 4p Might of the Earth alongside 4p Immortal Kings but I think that this is not very good. On low torment levels it could be very strong to have the pets run cleanup duty picking off all the mobs that your earthquakes miss but if you are able to equip 2 full endgame sets it is likely that you are able to run t5+ and at the higher torment levels the pets just do not have enough toughness to stay alive and do anything meaningful. They do reasonable damage but it is often to the wrong targets. Usually equipping these sets also means running a Ring of Royal Grandeur and no Hexing Pants of Mr. Yan which is a major dps loss.
Rampage: This is probably the only passive skill that I consider mandatory as the buff is simply head and shoulders above all the other options. 25% strength provides a massive dps boost as well as a reasonable survivability increase and if you are playing on a difficulty that you are geared for it shouldn’t be too difficult to keep a very good uptime.
Brawler: Probably the next strongest option for a pure DPS passive after Rampage. Pretty self explanatory.
Weapon Master: If your main hand is a mace or an axe (and it should be), this is probably the third strongest DPS passive but if you have very high crit hit damage this could be better than Brawler.
Unforgiving: If you are running Sprint or Battle Rage or anything else that spends fury instead of generating it this can be a very strong option, giving you a lot more casts of your spender as well as letting you keep up Sprint when there are no mobs (where you need it the most).
Superstition: A crazy good survivability passive as well as generating a non negligible amount of fury. If you are having trouble surviving any affixes this should be your first addition.
Bloodthirst: Very nice healing that scales very well with the secondary health globe bonus. If you can get the gear to support it this passive quickly becomes insanely strong.
I think that these are the strongest passives but there are a ton are very close. The general formula is use Rampage + some combo of survivability or damage to shore up whatever your gear is lacking. This is also an easy way to fine tune your stats for your torment level.
If you have all 4 pieces of the set and a Ring of Royal Grandeur then you have to consider what piece you are able to put in to replace the set piece, as well as what ring you are giving up. If you have decent rolls on all your set pieces I recommend that you use all four because your ring slots are more important than the 4 slots that the set takes. Hexing Pants of Mr. Yan is the only item that may be powerful enough to justify wearing a Ring of Royal Grandeur but I haven’t tested it as I have yet to drop a strength pair of Hexing Pants.
Non Set Options:
Helm: Primary and Crit chance are the only 2 must haves, but a socket is very good as well. Usually the 4th primary is a defensive ability like allres or vitality. I think that Vit is usually better because it rolls up to 750 on helm whereas the allres rolls the regular amount.
Andariels Visage: Hands down the best non set helm. You usually have to sacrifice some survivability but nothing else compares to the % Fire Damage. Ideally it will roll crit chance or a socket naturally so you will be able to roll away the attack speed.
Skull of Resonance: You have to run Threatening Shout obviously but that ability is very good anyways. The charm rate on this helm is very high (25-50% would be my estimate) and the survivability that it affords is immense as any charmed elites are silenced for the duration.
Aughild’s Spike: This is only an option if you are not only missing the set helm but also Cindercoat or Strongarm Bracers, but if that is the case then the 3p Aughild’s set bonus is very good.
Random Legendary with Strength/Crit Chance/Socket/Defensive stat.
Shoulders: This slot has basically no options besides set shoulders. These should almost always be your Might of the Earth Set, but if you haven’t been able to drop them yet then any strength legendary with some combination of vitality, allres, life %, earthquake damage, cooldown reduction, armor is what you are looking for. If you are missing Cindercoat or good bracers Aughild’s is an option here as well but you should really be rolling for earthquake shoulders from Kadala.
Amulet: There are so many legendary amulets with varying procs but none of them are enough stronger than the rest that it will outweigh the stats so you will really just be going with whichever one has the best primaries. The ideal amulet would have Fire Damage %, Strength, 80+ Crit hit damage, 8+ Crit hit chance. There really is no substitute for any of these primaries, they are the strongest by a lot but if you don’t have an amulet like this then cooldown reduction, attack speed, and average damage are the next best stats.
Chest: Strength and 3 sockets are the only must haves on chest. Some combo of allres, vit, and earthquake damage will round out the last slots.
Cindercoat: The strongest chest by a huge margin. Not only does it have fire damage %, the secondary is very powerful, letting you use 30% more spenders between leaps. If you don’t have one this must be your priority because it really is too good.
Random legendary with Strength/3 sockets/All resistance/Vit or Earthquake damage.
Gloves: These will ideally be Pull of the Earth but if not there is a reasonable option in Magefist. The stats you are looking for are Strength/Crit hit chance/Crit hit damage with the 4th primary being either defensive such as Vitality or Allres, or a damage stat such as cooldown reduction or attack speed. High crit chance and damage rolls are the most important feature.
Magefist: Similar to Cindercoat for chest, this is the only real option besides set gloves. If you don’t have set gloves or Magefist roll gloves from Kadala till you have one.
Random legendary with Strength/Crit Hit chance/Crit hit damage
Bracers: The bracers that you wear are really going to define your build more than almost any other piece. Each of the best bracers synergizes with a different skill. You need to have Strength/Fire Damage %/Crit chance and usually a 4th defensive stat unless you happen to have a very nice pair of Lacuni’s Prowlers.
Strongarm Bracers: The secondary on these bracers is just insane, doubly so in group play. It says knockback but it triggers from any form of enemy displacement such as the Leap rune, Call of Arreat. If you have these and don’t need to run Death from Above for survivability do so.
Ancient Parthan Defenders: In combination with Death from Above these provide nigh invincibility. You effectively no longer need to run any survivability and you will be fine. Very strong defensive option.
Reaper’s Wraps: If you are using exceptionally fury intensive skills such as Sprint or Seismic Slam these can provide a lot of extra fury especially if you are also running Threatening Shout with Grim Harvest.
Lacuni’s Prowlers: Attack speed isn’t great for this build but if you have strong survivability already these could be a decent option. You would have to be very lucky/unlucky to have a great pair of these before any of the above bracers though.
Random legendary with Strength/Crit Chance/Fire Damage %/Vit or All resistance.
Belt: The waist slot also has a couple of cool options but as long as Harrington’s Waistguard procs from all clickable objects instead of just chests, it will be the best option. Keeping another belt around to swap to for zones without many clickables can be very useful. The stats you are looking for are pretty uniform for most belts. Strength/Allres/Vit/Life % usually.
Harrington’s Waistguard: The damage bonus on this item is just insane. The proc great uptime and more than doubles your damage while only taking up a secondary affix. Use it if you have it.
Pride of Cassius: A great defensive belt especially in a party with the Mob Rule rune on Ignore pain.
The Witching Hour: A well rolled Witching Hour gives a ton of damage, unfortunately they are very rare. The second best option for those that either don’t have a Harrington or don’t like the micromanagement that it requires.
Chilanik’s Chain: A great belt for clear speed. In a party with others this is probably the strongest option because it not only speeds everyone up it makes less competition for others using Harrington’s.
String of Ears: If you are having survivability issues this belt can be very strong on higher torments. Be careful though as it does not work on all the affixes that you would hope it does.
Hellcat Waistguard: The poor man’s Witching Hour. If you are unlucky with belts and don’t need the toughness this can work in a pinch.
Any legendary with Strength/Vitality/Allres/Life %
Pants: If you are going to run a Ring of Royal Grandeur for any reason then Hexing Pants are the best. There is no other reason to non Might of the Earth pants but if you don’t have either yet there are a few options.
Hexing Pants of Mr. Yan: The only item that is strong enough to be worth giving up a ring slot. With this and Cindercoat all your resource issues are gone and 25% damage is an insane buff. Very easy for us to keep up even while using spenders if you just stutter step between casts.
Pox Faulds: Better than a random legendary because the secondary actually does a nice amount of damage and drops right where the Earthquakes are usually, adding damage to the main pack you are killing. Not worth wearing over Weight of the Earth though.
Rings: The rings you wear are going to be different based on the rest of your pieces because you may or may not need a Ring of Royal Grandeur. I’m not going to list the Royal Grandeur here because you will know if you need to wear it or not. The stats you are looking for on any standard ring are Strength/Crit hit chance/Crit hit damage and either Cooldown Reduction/Attack Speed/Avg damage but most of the best rings have unique primaries that outclass these stats.
Stone of Jordan: Just a broken item. It does way too much damage. BiS for any build. Not rare either so roll from Kadala until you get one, ideally with Crit chance/strength/fire dmg %/elite damage %
Unity: At first glance this seems like just a worse SOJ and in some senses it is, but multiple Unities can provide a lot of toughness. If you are solo with a Unity equipped then putting a Unity on your follower along with the indestructible token will provide you with a 50% flat damage decrease on top of all other toughness. Almost mandatory to run t6 solo.
Rechel’s Ring of Larceny: If you are running Threatening Shout already, using the Terrify rune to proc this speed boost could provide a run speed increase at only the cost of 1 secondary.
Any random legendary with Strength/Crit hit chance/Crit hit damage and either Cooldown Reduction/Attack Speed/Avg damage
Weapons: There are a ton of good weapons in this game and luckily for us one our best is craftable. I’m not going to be able to rank all the weapons because there are so many so I will just list the top few. In general though all that is absolutely mandatory is a socket and strength. These and the strong legendary effects are more important than weapon damage. 2 Handers or shields are not good (yes, even Maximus).
Sun Keeper:The way that elite damage scales with the rest of your gear makes it the strongest effect avaliable. A good Sunkeeper will be the strongest weapon you can equip especially on higher torment levels.
Burning Axe of Sankis / Devastator: Though Burning Axe may be ever so slightly better, these are effectively the same item, but with different names so you can equip both. If you are missing a strong weapon crafting a Devastator should be first on your list.
Thunderfury, Blessed Blade of the Windseeker: Not the strongest in this build but still a very good item. The proc is great and the fact that it is a secondary lets you get Cooldown reduction in the free primary slot which is nice.
Exarian / Monster Hunter / The Barber / Bul-Kathos Warrior Blood: If you can’t get elite damage or fire damage % then crit hit damage is the next best thing. Theoretically there could be a crit chance level where this moves above the fire damage % weapons but I doubt that it is easily attainable.
May I ask why you have a Burning Axe in your mainhand and a Devastator in your off-hand in your profile?? I was under the impression that earthquake damage scaled off of main hand weapon damage, meaning you should have the Devastator in your main hand.
Great guide, but it feels incomplete since you didn't mention anything about cool down reduction.
MotE + Born set is a very popular build. Having less down time on leap means more eDps and more survival.
You maybe surprised that a really well rolled Maxmius is great for EQ as you kite with Maximus affix plus 2handers offer more dmg for EQ. I also disagree with not using shields, 10 crit chance offset the emerald gem on the sockets, plus a well rolled Lidless shield gives you the 20% fire dmg and toughness.
EQ dmg comes ONLY from main hand weapon, if you are not using any fury spender, you should reroll off hand dmg to cool down reduction.
Attack speed is almost a waste stats for EQ barb, that means Witching Hours, or Lacuni is terrible for this build compared to Harrington or strongarms. attack speed doesn't scale with EQ dmg and if you use your fury spender you don't want to deplete them so fast as EQ barb post patch has very limited fury generation unless you go MotE + IK
Thanks for the great info and some gear choices. I had a Skull of Resonance that was sitting in my inventory that I gemmed w/ health (will switch to xp gem) and then replaced Overpower/Crushing with Threatening Shout/Grim Harvest..now I'm a support Barb with TS/WarCry ha.
Great guide, I've been looking for a more comprehensive Fire-EQ guide, and was considering writing one up myself til I saw this one.
I previously ran a complete fire build with MotE, but switched to a CDR based build and have found 'great success' with it (before could only do T4 with CDR of about 30%, now doing T5 with avg. rolled gear focused on CDR). Will link to my toon once I get home, but in the meantime:
EQ - Molten Fury (max EQ dmg)
Leap - Call of Arreat (using Strongarm Bracers, plan on switching to Death from Above once Ancient Parthan Defenders are fixed)
WotB - Insanity (more dmg, and with ~60% CDR, downtime on WotB is about 17 seconds)
CotA - The Council Rises (even with crappy AI, great for taking down bosses/elites. With ~60% CDR, downtime is only about 6 seconds, and survivability seems OK in T5)
2 Free Active Skills depending on situation (see Daxypad's breakdown for which to use depending on your situation)
Passive 1 - Boon of Bul-Kathos (a must with CDR)
Passive 2 - Berserker Rage (25% dmg... you will have a LOT of uptime at max fury)
2 Free Passive Skills - (see Daxypad's breakdown for which to use depending on your situation)
My Current Gear:
MotE - Helm/Shoulder/Hands
Born - Chest/MH
Belt - Harrington
Pants - Yan's
Feet - Lut Socks
Rings - RoRG + SoJ
Bracers - Strongarm
OH - Sun Keeper
Amulet - Golden Gorget/Vaxo
I got some great rolls on the Golden Gorget which is the reason I'm using it, but ideally I should be using Vaxo (have one, but blech rolls). Also, once I get a Tasker, there will be some switching to get the most out of my pets (Vaxo + CotA).
With my current ~60% CDR, I can leap every 4 seconds, downtime on WotB at 17 seconds, and 5 seconds downtime on CotA (if I'm able to get perfect CDR rolls, its 100% uptime for CotA WITHOUT using any IK). Anyway, unless its a VERY dense rift, CD's are usually up when fighting elites. The key to get the most out of Yan's is of course to KEEP MOVING (which you should be doing anyway, collecting health globes for CotA survival + popping chests/objects to get the Harrington buff). Survivability is decent since you're constantly moving (as long as you don't get 'greedy' with your leaps and use the last one to escape from the middle of packs). I'm also eager to try Ancient Parthan Defenders with Death From Above, as that should really help push me to T6 (assuming some additional minor upgrades). But with 2 free passives slots and 2 free skill slots, you can pretty much adjust to your gear. The key point is to choose skills that are based on COOLDOWNS, since you have all that lovely CDR (need to survive more? ignore pain, WotB with dmg reduction, CotA dmg reduction, and all those shouts, not to mention mixing/matching your 2 empty passive slots).
Str --> CDR --> % Fire Dmg --> % Elite Dmg (Sun Keeper 1H, possibly Halycon amulet) --> CHC % <--> CHD % --> Res. All <--> LpS <--> Vit
Some additional comments:
- As BFLI mentioned, MotE + Born set is awesome when stacking CDR and not using a spender(I'm currently at ~60% with the Born bonus). I'm currently using MotE Helm/Shoulder/Hands, with Born Sword/Chest and Yan legs. Just based on my own personal experience, this setup has given me the most efficient as opposed to others combos: MotE + IK (perma-COTA): Main issue is that one loses too many legs with item procs/% Fire Dmg. You end up with only 1 or 2 free slots for a 'good' leg slot (Weapons, Gloves, Belt, Pants). The problem here of course is that the slots that IK slots take up too many additional gear procs/dmg buffs to maximize for T5/T6. I do plan on revisiting this build once I'm able to get some Taskers and after the 2.1 pet AI improvement (MotE - Leg/Shoulder/Head, IK - Belt/Chest/2H + Tasker) but highly doubt if the loss of dual-wielding makes up for the IAS on Tasker for CotA)
MotE + Maximus: Yes, that fire chain is great dmg, but most importantly, I lose out on 20% cooldown reduction.
MotE + Aughild 2pc: See above and below. Lose out on cooldown reduction and additional dmg bonus (15% elite compared to possible 25% from Yan Pants).
MotE + Cindercoat/Magefist/1H Fire Weapon: Again, without a spender (and proper gearing, meaning keeping your max fury as low as possible so it fills up faster) Cindercoat's resource reduction doesn't really assist that much. As for replacing the possible 40% fire bonus you can get with Magefist + 1H Fire Weapon, the Yan pants roll a MINIMUM of 20% (up to 25%) increased dmg (in addition to the resource gen). Additionally, the Born Sword has no set properties, meaning you can get all the important stats on it and put it in your MH (str, socket, weapon dmg, and reduced CD) and assuming you have a Sun Keeper, you put that in your OH and can get Str, Elite Dmg, reduced CD, and a socket by re-rolling the weapon dmg to whatever of those 4 stats you don't get (I know, mace dmg > sword dmg, but unless you get close to a perfect roll on the stats, the difference should be negligable)
** QUESTIONS (some are probably really stupid.... humor me...) **
1) Am I correct in assuming that the EQ ticks update dynamically based on dmg buffs (ie, I drop an EQ, then I pop a chest with Harrington equipped while the original EQ is still going. Will the original EQ's damage get updated with the buff from Harrington, or is it only on a new EQ dropped). Couldn't find the answer to this in Nubtros or other posts, though I'd assume this is the case. Would just like to put it to rest in my brain.
2) Ancient Parthan Defenders ARE bugged right now for Barbs, correct? I think there's supposed to at least be a buff icon once activated?
3) Not a question, but I'm also always looking to improve as well as sharing with the community. If anyone has any comments/questions/criticisms specifically to my build, would be more than happy to answer/explain/listen to improvements.
Fury Spender: Whirlwind - can be use also as escape mechanic, when you are stuck between mobs. (I am using this skill just for this)
Call of the Ancients - this is recommended skill to survive on T5+ in party. If your pets are dying so much, get some all res on your gear. Use Together as One rune, it is almost same like unity+unity when you play solo. Imho I would use this even I have pro party with very good monk. I just dont like to die like a rest of EQ barbs or any other class do. (dont know why ppl do T6 when they die like 5 times per rift... its not fun imho).
tl;dr - Main Hand Born, Off Hand Sun Keeper gives me more CHD and CDR, letting me leap more, EQ more, and use all my cooldown-based skills more. IMHO, this far outweighs the gain from 170.5 weapon damage (and possibly 8% Elite Dmg, as described below) for a CDR FireEQ Barb.
1) As you can see from my profile, I got a pretty crappy rolled Sun Keeper, so in this case, yes, my sword is better than my mace. Also, yes, a lot of my gear is horrible and there were times I rolled the WRONG stat to enchant (le sigh). However, even with this less than ideal setup, I'm able to do T5 in about ~12min (when I have good latency... and by good i mean ~250ms... damn you China...). I do switch around a few skills and passives when doing T5, the setup I have on now with the passives and skill is for T4. Also, my paper DPS is LOWWWWWW, but it just further reinforces my point that a CDR-FireEQ Barb is pretty balls-to-the-walls (plenty of +dmg modifiers though).
2) Also, I was speaking more in terms of a build prioritizing Cooldown Reduction, and trying to squeeze every drop of that stat, which means having to put the Sun Keeper in the OH, even though assuming perfect rolls for both, yes, the weapon dmg would be higher than the sword and with other builds, that would be the case. But to support my point, lets compare having Born & Sun Keeper in different hands:
**quick note, the stats I consider my 'ideal' are based on the above priority in my previous post, which focuses on CDR, Fire/EQ Dmg, Elite Dmg, then CHC & CHD. Also, for simplicity's sake, just going to use max numbers. I AM IN NO WAY A THEORYCRAFTER(IST?) and most of my calculations are based on other website dmg calculators/spreadsheets that seem to be fairly updated, so I am assuming they know what they're doing. If anyone can verify 100% below, or tell me what I'm doing wrong, gladly appreciated**
MH: Sun Keeper - set stats: 1515-2075 HolyDmg, 750 Str, 30%EliteDmg, 1 Open Stat (must choose either Socket:130%CritDmg or 10% CDR)
OH: Born's - set stats: 4 Open (Ideally 750 Str, 10% CDR, Socket, and 8%EliteDmg)
MH: Born's - set stats: 4 Open (Ideally 1367-1882 HolyDmg, 750 Str, 10% CDR, Socket)
OH: Sun Keeper - set stats: 1515-2075 HolyDmg (enchant to Socket or 10% CDR), 750 Str, 30%EliteDmg, and Socket or 10% CDR (whichever rolls)
So with SK/B in MH/OH respectively, one gains 170.5dmg (max+min/2), 8%EliteDmg, but has to make a choice between CritDmg or CDR. Now, in trying to keep a 1:10 ration of CHC:CHD, the socket is an important choice, so let's assume we choose that, losing out on 10% CDR, since CDR has diminishing returns anyway, and with that extra 10% CDR, you'd only gain actually gain about 5%CDR. As opposed to having 2 sockets (260%CHD) and 20% CDR with B/SK in MH/OH respectively, but losing out on 170.5 dmg, and 8%EliteDmg. I'd say that extra socket more than washes out the 8%EliteDmg. But that 170.5dmg is tasty, right? Especially when you consider its only giving up 5% CDR.... BUUUUUUUTTTT... that 5% CDR is actually quite a bit. Consider this:
Max CDR with SK/B: 57.96% /// Leap Downtime: 2.7 seconds
Max CDR with B/SK: 62.16% /// Leap Downtime: 2.28 seconds
Still doesn't seem like much eh? Well, over a minute, that equates to 4 additional leaps, or 12 Earthquakes. On an average/acceptable rift clear, lets say 10 minutes, 40 additional leaps, 120 earthquakes... I can only assume (and again, I realize this is very very basic napkin math that I'm doing) that those extra leaps far outweigh the incremental 170.5dmg gained per earthquake from having Sun Keeper in the MH. (And yes, I realize that 'incremental' is actually quite a bit for 170.5dmg after all buff modifiers are added in, but I still can't believe that those extra earthquakes isn't worth giving that dmg up). If anyone can do the actual math, I would really love to see if my assumption is correct. Again, most of your skills will be Cooldown based, so that extra CDR% also means more WotB uptime, more CotA uptime, more Ignore Pain uptime, meaning MOAR DAMAGE.
Now I realize that we could give up the extra socket instead, and simply have the Sun Keeper with CDR% in the MH, but again, based on my napkin math, it seems to hurt your dps more than putting it in your OH. The reason is based on my stat priorities and ideal gear setup, a CDR Barb lacks a LOT in Crit Hit Dmg. Essentially, you can only get it on 2 or 3 slots (one of them NOT being the amulet), which means you're looking at about 100-150% CHD. An average Barb should be running with at least 30% crit chance (and this is VERY low), which means we need a LOT of help in hitting that ideal 1:10 CHC:CHD ratio. Without that extra socket, you're missing out on 130% CHD. (Now again, I'm making some very broad assumptions, such as how important it is to hit that 1:10 ratio, and would love to see the actual math for it).
Hopefully this addresses your concerns? Again, we're talking specifically about a CDR FireEQ Barb. The additional gains from being able to have both weapons socketed and 20% CDR would in this case outweigh the simple gain of weapon damage.
**EDIT** Did some more crappy napkin math. Seems that the 170.5dmg would equate to about 10% of your characters dmg assuming max stats(dmg, not dps). Even with that, I'd still hold by my case that more uptime on earthquakes and WotB, not to mention other skills, is better than equipping Sun Keeper in MH (again, for this case).
**EDIT** sorry, I'm pretty wordy. Also, don't mean to hijack OP's post! Just tossing in my comments in the spirit of sharing
A few comments/replies, and again, I'm being a bit more specific on what type of FireEQ Barb when talking about equip (CDR), as that build is so far the most experienced/most successful I've been able to run with the gear I've found so far.
@lsdrydge: I agree Aughild is great to use (especially since mats are easy to obtain/craftable), but I'd say specifically for a CDR Barb, its not considered in the optimal gear set. The main reason being that while you'd only need to equip 2 slots (assuming RoRG), the item stats you can of course get off other pieces, so that'd be a wash already (no 'special' affixes for its item slots). So then we look at the bonus: 2 set - 7% melee & ranged reduction, 3 set - 15% increased elite damage, 15% decreased damage from elites. Now based on testing from wonderful theorycrafters, the reduced melee and ranged doesn't work (or is not supposed to work) with the majority of elite affixes (was a post on dfans a few days ago). Additionally, you shouldn't be needing that reduction for white mobs, so we can consider the 2 set pretty useless (so your additive 22% damage reduction is really 15%). Now for the 3 set. More elite damage is of course always sexy, since its on a different multiplier from other bonus dmg sources (again, info from players). However to lose out on 2 possible item procs for that 15% xtra elite dmg just doesn't seem to be optimal (with MotE + Augh, most likely using bracer slot for augh, as well as possibly chest for the other off-piece). There are TONS of sexy bracers, and just as an example with my gear, the Strongarm Bracers would give a minimum of 20% dmg from its lowest proc roll (not to mention the other bracers that may help with Survivability or other niche builds). So yes, definitely great to use, easy to obtain, but I think end-game/T6 wise, there are definitely better options (should they drop of course). But gear-progression wise, this should definitely be one of the first 'off-sets' you can use.
As for optimal CDR, I believe some theorycrafters stated that with a Fury Spender in your EQ build, you should ideally be trying to hit ~40% CDR (although I can't remember if this is after DR or raw CDR stat), which equates to a gem, paragon CDR, and 2-3 equip. slots with CDR. As for a CDR based Barb, you know my feelings on CDR... MOAR!
@zwangsneurose: See above for why no Aughild. As for 2-Hander, I'd say the 2 main reasons for preferring 1-handers:
1) Lack of SEXY 2H Legs - Really, aside from the IK-2H (which you can get %EQ dmg) or Maximus, there is a lack of good 2-handers. Some viable options could include Burst of Wrath for Fury Spender builds (proc: chance to gain 20% resource on kill/object destruction), Cinder Switch (% fire dmg & fireball proc), The Furnace (% fire dmg & proc of 6-8% dmg based on enemy current health). But again, I'd say none of these are as optimal as Maximus (that fire chain.... if you haven't played around with it yet.... do it... In my crap gear, I get about 3-4mil ticks). Additionally, if you follow my build/gear setup and have Yan's pants, you're going to be moving around a lot anyway, meaning getting more enemies to hit that fire chain. I'd even venture to say that Maximus would be the ONLY viable 2H to be used for EQ, however I still can't say if the extra weapon damage washes out the additional stat gains of an extra weapon (I haven't seen anything concrete, just many opinions without concrete numbers, but I still lean towards 2 1-handers until proven wrong).
@Dick3cy: Since the last patch, I've heard fantastic things about Cold EQ Barbs. Is your link your current gear setup/skills? As you mentioned, definitely tons of room for improvement for gear, but if you're able to do T6 cleanly with that current setup, seems very promising and would love to get some more info.
@sgtmajfoley: I used WW for a bit with EQ for t2/t3, but found that the damage just couldn't compete in higher T-levels (others seem to have said this as well). Also, correct use of EQ-set should be more than enough 'escape' skill, and to use WW just to escape seems like a wasted skill slot? Burning Axe & Devestator is great, used that til I switched to Born/Sun Keeper. Hopefully the proc's uptime on Burning Axe isn't considered a bug and won't be nerfed. However, I switched to Born/Sun Keeper simply because after using Yan Pants and leaping correctly, I found I really wasn't being hit as much, and couldn't benefit from the proc as much. I have to absolutely disagree on Thunderfury though, as again, you are giving up too many stats to use it for the proc (of course, this doesn't stop you from tossing it on your follower, which is what I do, to still gain the proc benefit )
@orcjmr & OP: I'd also like to know what he means. Maybe he's mistaken, as off of Nubtros's spreadsheet, did not see anything of that effect.
@Washi: Yes, that is an extreme example based on the item I was able to find, however as I mentioned in my previous post with the breakdown, More CDR = More Leaping = More EQx3. I'd say it would be just as important, if not moreso. Again, my assumptions/calculations might be wrong (I think I'm like... 75% sure I'm right though? Heh), and its of course always fine to disagree, but would love to see some info/description for your position.
@Barb4life: Not sure if you're saying my build is garbage, or the OP's post is garbage. To be fair, he didn't really post a build, but rather presented skill/gear options and his opinion on why he thinks certain ones are viable or not. As for my build possibly being garbage, yes, its very possible. However based on the gear I've been able to find and use, this seems to be the most optimal in terms of kill speed for me. If you'd like to critique my build with your explanation on why you think something isn't viable, more than happy to hear!
On a separate note, I noticed you've had some experience with Boulder barbs (absolutely loved it, used it for t1/t2). Originally I wasn't too sold on EQ set (mostly because it felt clunky with the lack of CDR), so was doing Boulder Barb. My main issue was fury generation (of course), and the amount of stats needed to make it viable (phys dmg %, elite dmg %, chc, chd, fury, and possibly as% & area dmg) but wanted to try again once I got IK set and 300th spear, and use the fury rune. Any chance you have a build you could recommend?
What Ashes said, but a lot of it is mitigation & avoidance as well, and I don't take very much damage to begin with since I'm just constantly leaping around dropping earthquakes and then in the short amount of leap downtime, just running around the edges collecting health globes/opening junk. Remember, when you're up in the air, you're not taking damage, so the more you leap the less damage you take as well. Without really focusing on healing, i'm at just under 16k Life per Second (paragon + item), 8.8k Life per Kill, and 4.1k Life per Hit (which does work with earthquake). This is more than enough that I can run with all offensive passives in T4, and in T5 I usually switch to either Life Regen - Shout passive or Superstition.
Another thing that helps quite a bit are all my pets soaking up a lot of damage too. CotA + Follower, and I also have my Golden Gorget Amulet. While the AI is INFURIATING on the skellies that spawn (the archers are of minor use, the melee ones... I don't think they've ever hit anything), it seems the proc can overlap, meaning tons of skellies that distract the enemy. A lot of people hate this item since the skellies don't spawn until after you're done with battle, but its nice that you go into the next fight avoiding a bit of damage from a pack.
One more thing, 'leaping properly' really helps at avoiding a ton of damage as well, but is something that you can really only get comfortable with with experience. What I mean by this is leaping at edges of packs, not right in the middle. This especially helps if its a dangerous elite pack, but then in this case you use your 3rd leap to drop an earthquake right at the edge of your current 2 other eq's. That way you're out of danger and the elite paths towards you, running through the 2 eq's. You're up in the air by the time they even reach you, and out of danger again. I know this sounds simple and appears to be common sense, but it seems a lot of people's survivability issues seem to stem from being lazy and simply leaping right in the middle of everything, and then getting stuck.
OH YEAH! FOLLOWER! So I use templar and have cooldown reduction stacked on him too, so that's templar healing x2 (heal skill and charge/heal), and also health pot, so about 3 heals on every 25 second window or so, in addition to the other passive healing.
Just another quick note since I have a specific number.
Using www.d3robot.com, seems that an additional 170 weapon dps would only equate to about a 3% increase in damage. I think in this case, the xtra socket would already surpass that 3% increase in damage, so even if the Sun Keeper were max damage, I would still put it in the OH to gain those extra stats (this is assuming d3robot's calculation is correct of course).
Sorry, thought the previous post (where I explained by putting the Born in MH and Sun Keeper in OH, you are able to roll an extra USEFUL dps stat on the Sun Keeper as opposed to vice-versa) would still be somewhat fresh in your mind. Anyway, was just trying to be helpful with some hard numbers from that calculation site that show in some cases, the higher dps range weapon might not always be the most optimal (and again, I'm assuming that website knows what its doing, heh).