The Sticky Barbarian

Ranged enemies are traditionally hard for melee to deal with. This build takes as many skills as possible that negate the advantage ranged enemies have. A combination of distance closing skills and Stun effects shuts down any ranged enemy. The name “sticky” comes from the idea that the Barbarian is literally stuck to them and doing massive damage. The enemy can’t do anything to get the Barbarian off them.

While this is a fun build for PvM, I it is actually better for PvP. It is a gear dependent build. Most of the chosen skills include some survivability aspect, but that only helps so much when you Leap into a group of enemies, for example. In PvP though, it is usually a 1 vs. 1 situation, and focusing down a ranged player is a viable strategy.


  • A melee build without the traditional melee constraints.
  • Stun-heavy build keeps enemies in place for massive damage.


  • More gear dependent than other builds, thus more costly.
  • Few area damage skills makes large groups of weak enemies slower to kill.


Mouse Left-Click – Bash (Clobber)

Bash is the best single target Fury generator. Well, Frenzy does more damage once charged up, but ranged enemies that get away from you make Frenzy hard to keep up. Bash is much more reliable. The base skill has a chance to Knockback the target, but Knockback is really counter to staying close to ranged monsters. Instead, the Clobber rune’s Stun effect will keep them from getting away.

Mouse Right-Click – Seismic Slam (Stagger)

Seismic Slam is the one area damage skill for dealing with cannon fodder. It does a Knockback and has a slow animation, so it should not be used against ranged monsters unless they are near a wall. The Stagger rune adds a high chance Stun effect. This does not replace the Knockback effect. The skill can do both effects on the same enemies.

Keyboard 1 – Leap (Call of Arreat)

This is the most obvious skill for catching up with ranged monsters. It does fairly low damage, but the real benefit is the 60% Slow to enemies within 8 yards. Just getting close to a ranged monster is not good enough. They will usually start running away immediately, and you can get blocked by their minions. Having a Slow effect helps quite a bit. Leap also ignores movement impairing effects. If a monster Prisons you, Leap can still be used. Your Barbarian will leap to the location. Once it gets to that location though, you will have to wait for the Prison to wear off.

The Call of Arreat doubles the radius to 16 yards and also pulls the enemies towards you. Not only will you Slow more enemies, you will also pull them into melee range. Just right for bashing them that hopefully procs a Stun.

Keyboard 2 – Ancient Spear (Harpoon)

When Leap is on cooldown, you get to use Ancient Spear. It functions like Leap in reverse. Instead of your Barbarian going to the target, the target gets pulled to your Barbarian. It also does pretty good damage and roots the target for 1.5 seconds. The only hard part is targeting a ranged monster. They tend to be mixed with melee monsters, and Ancient Spear only hits the first target in the way. Taking the Harpoon rune fixes that problem. The Ancient Spear then pierces through all enemies in the line, pulling them all back. You can reliably target a ranged enemy in the group and pull him back.

Keyboard 3 – Furious Charge (Battering Ram)

Here’s another ability like Leap, just a little more offensive. It does twice the damage of Leap to all enemies in the Charge line, but does not slow them. It’s a great way to finish off damaged enemies that may have gotten away from Leap or Ancient Spear. It’s even better with the Battering Ram rune. The damage at the destination is boosted by 88%. That makes it roughly 3 times the damage of Leap.

Keyboard 4 – Wrath of the Berserker (Striding Giant / Thrive on Chaos)

This is the “Beast Mode” skill. When you are surrounded by enemies and taking heavy damage, pop this cooldown and annihilate everything. The best rune is based on your gear situation. If you are still gearing up, you may want more survivability. Later, you can take Thrive on Chaos. You have 4 Fury generating skills in this build, so you will have no trouble adding more time to the skill.

Empty your Fury globe with several Seismic Slams. Wait for Leap, Ancient Spear, and Furious Charge to be off cooldown. Finally, use Wrath of the Berserker. You will get at least 2 seconds added on the duration. By the end of the duration, you will also have a full Fury globe ready for Seismic Slams.

Passive 1 – Pound of Flesh

The passives here are mostly centered on survivability. You get a lot of Stuns out of your active skills but few direct defensive bonuses. You already move around a lot with this build through the 3 mobility skills. That works really well with Pound of Flesh. You can easily access any globe on the battlefield. Boosting the health globes just makes sense.

Passive 2 – Superstition

This is a great way to reduce elemental damage. It basically free Resist All, without physical resistance. A lot of the ranged monsters use magical attacks, so a lot of enemies you counter are giving you 3 extra Fury every time they hit you. This also synergizes well with the Wrath of the Berserker Thrive on Chaos rune. More Fury means more Beast Mode.

Passive 3 – Tough as Nails / Nerves of Steel

While Tough as Nails does give a bonus to Thorns damage, it’s really for the 25% Armor bonus. Nerves of Steal also gives an Armor bonus, based on Vitality instead. Your choice should be based on your Armor and Vitality levels. With the maximum Armor values you will get around 2000 Armor from Tough as Nails, but with the maximum Vitality Nerves of Steel gives closer to 3000 Armor. So Tough as Nails will be better for all but the most dedicated players.

Weapon Types

This build involves a lot of cooldown skills. The best weapon type for that is a Two Hand weapon. The weapon speed doesn’t really matter much here. Attack speed doesn’t help when you are waiting on skill cooldowns. Go with whatever you can find or afford with the highest DPS. Just make sure it is a Two Hander. For tips on gearing other item types, check out The Stats You Want in Diablo 3, my short reference for the good item affixes that all classes want.


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