The release of Diablo 2: Resurrected is just around the corner, and expectant players are likely struggling to decide which class they will play first. While there are plenty of viable choices for opening day, the Whirlwind Barbarian stands out as one of the most enjoyable choices. It may not be the best choice for running through the entire game in Diablo 2: Resurrected, but the Whirlwind Barbarian consistently ranks as one of the most popular builds in the game due to its addictive playstyle.
Despite its simplistic nature – being centered mostly around a single ability – the Whirlwind Barbarian has a reputation for being one of the most versatile builds in the entire game. Unlike other classes in Diablo 2: Resurrected, like the Blessed Hammer Paladin or the Blizzard Sorceress, there are multiple ways to equip the Whirlwind Barbarian. In theory, the build can use just about any weapon in the game, and since the points spent maximizing the build are allocated fairly early, where a player goes from there is entirely up to them.
The Whirlwind Barbarian Excels in Both PvP and PvM
There are few classes that can excel in both aspects of Diablo 2: Resurrected. Not only can the Whirlwind Barbarian hold its own through most difficulties (the Whirlwind Barbarian will admittedly struggle a bit in Hell difficulty), but it can transfer exceptionally well to PvP combat with only a few tweaks. This puts the Whirlwind Barbarian in revered company with the Blessed Hammer Paladin and Blizzard Sorceress. The reasoning is relatively simple: a build that can dish out a ton of damage to monsters is usually a build that can dish out a ton of damage to players as well.
Unfortunately, the Whirlwind Barbarian will struggle immensely in PvP combat without the help of the Engima runeword armor. Since Whirlwind Barbarians rely heavily on staying on top of their opponents, Teleport is essential to close the gap quickly. It’s still possible for players to have a measure of success without Enigma though, and a few weeks after launch, Enigma should start to become relatively accessible as tons of players begin to focus their efforts on creating it.
Whirlwind Barbarian Is Great For Rushing
While the Whirlwind Barbarian may not be the build for dishing out the absolute maximum damage, it definitely ranks among the fastest clears of most areas. For this reason, Whirlwind Barbarians make great characters for rushing other players. Like a Frenzy Barbarian, the Whirlwind Barbarian can gain a lot of mobility from both the Increased Speed skill and Leap, which makes them able to traverse each act at top speeds. Also, since most Whirlwind Barbarians wind up building an Enigma anyways, they can sprint around unexplored areas and teleport when they get stuck.
Once fully built, a Whirlwind Barbarian also has almost no downtime. With the proper amount of mana leech, they don’t need to rely on having a high Energy stat and can continue to use their Whirlwind skill endlessly. This means that whatever they lack in burst potential, the Whirlwind Barbarian more than makes up for in damage per second.
Whirlwind Barbarian Is Flat Out Fun
For some players, this may not be the most compelling reason to play a certain build, but it’s likely the reason why launch day will be filled to the brim with Whirlwind Barbarians. Unlike the Summon Necromancer, which allows the player to sit back and watch as their minions do all the work, the Whirlwind Barbarian requires a lot of active participation. As players traverse their way through the various levels, they will be consuming potions, switching between various warcries, and spamming Whirlwind until their finger falls off.
Of course, this also means that the Whirlwind Barbarian rewards players’ ability, especially in PvP situations. There are certain builds in Diablo 2: Resurrected like Frozen Orb Sorceress or Fist of Heavens Paladin that more or less allow players to run around spamming a single skill, but Whirlwind Barbarians have to get a bit more creative. It’s not enough to simply run and chase down opponents, as players will have to get tricky with their usage of Leap, Teleport, and Whirlwind length in order to maximize their effectiveness.
Diablo 2: Resurrected releases September 23 on PC, PS4, PS5, Switch, Xbox One, and Xbox Series X/S.