Druids and Barbarians are the two “worst” leveling classes in Diablo 4 by a considerable distance. Both classes excel in the Endgame, but getting them there requires a ton of patience and a lot of gear. Of course, having the right leveling build doesn’t hurt. That’s obviously what we’re here to talk about today.
Just note that this is a pure leveling build for Barbarians. That is to say that it’s intended to get you from level 1-50 as painlessly as possible. While you can continue using this build in World Tier 3, its power level falls off considerably at higher difficulty levels. At that point, you’ll want to consider swapping to one of Barbarians’ best Endgame builds.
Diablo 4: Best Barbarian Leveling Build – Bleeding Death Blow
Skills: Frenzy, Rend, Rallying Cry, War Cry, Death Blow, Call of the Ancients
Key Legendary Aspects: Aspect of the Umbral, Aspect of Echoing Fury, Aspect of Might, Aspect of the Expectant
Full Skill Tree
This low-frill, high-kill build tries to solve Barbarian’s three biggest leveling issues: resources, survivability, and consistency.
So far as all of that goes, Rend and Death Blow are the hearts of the build. Rend can’t compete with Whirlwind and Hammer of the Ancients in the endgame, but it’s a leveling monster. When paired with Hamstring (and essential Passive ability), it enables numerous crowd control synergies. It also refunds a generous chunk of Frenzy with every blow. Most importantly, it generates a ton of Bleeding damage against single targets and large packs of lesser enemies.
That brings us to Death Blow. Death Blow is an incredibly powerful strike that deals bonus damage against bosses (something leveling Barbarians will need). Crucially, though, you can pick up a Passive that resets its cooldown whenever you use it to kill an enemy.
Once you have that Passive, the strategy with this build is simple. Swipe at a pack of enemies with Rend, wait until you’re reasonably sure you can kill one with Death Blow, and use Death Blow. Thanks to this rotation, Death Blow should be available during the majority of most fights. In those situations, Death Blow will also end most fights. You may have to pull bigger packs of enemies than you’d usually be comfortable with, but that’s actually an advantage for leveling Barbarians. This strategy obviously won’t work during a lot of boss fights, but Death Blow is powerful enough against bosses to remain valuable. Otherwise, Rend’s Bleeding effect will help you during those encounters.
This build is faster than a lot of leveling Barbarian builds, minimizes the class’ resource generation issues (thanks to its minimal required strikes), and performs remarkably well during boss fights (though that remains a weakness). It’s not particularly exciting in any notable area, but it is efficient in most aspects of the game. As a leveling Barbarian, that’s exactly what you’re looking for.
The rest of this build supports that strategy. The recently buffed Frenzy is a fantastic resource generator that also provides some nice passive bonuses. Rallying Cry and War Cry are just too powerful to replace, though I did try to experiment with Charge and Leap. Ultimately, though, you just can’t replace that Shout synergy during the leveling process. Meanwhile, Call of the Ancients is just the best leveling Ultimate by a considerable distance. It basically allows you to solve all Barbarian leveling problems by hitting a button once every 50 seconds.
When leveling, you’re trying to get to the upgraded version of Death Blow as soon as possible. From there, go back and pick up Hamstring and all Booming Voice upgrades. You can then pick up Call of the Ancients and upgrade everything else as you see fit.
For the Legendary Aspects, I largely focused on Aspects you can farm from the Codex of Power. Of course, you will want to keep an eye out for some of the more powerful Legendary Aspects you may pick up along the way. Generally speaking, leveling Barbarians rely on those Aspects more than a lot of other leveling classes. As such, it’s rarely a bad idea to prioritize them when gearing if they offer any kind of notable benefit to your play style. Otherwise, focus on Crowd Control amplifiers once you have Hamstring in order to maximize your early damage potential.