Diablo 4 is finally out in the wild and players are experimenting with the game’s five classes, trying to figure out what best suits their preferred playstyle. If you’re tackling the Barbarian class, there are a few decent options for builds, but none are as destructive as the Hammer of the Ancients (HotA) build. Today we’re going to explore the various skills and abilities that you need in order to craft the build with this handy guide.
It’s worth noting that the Barbarian is probably the class that takes the most amount of time and dedication in Diablo 4 to become completely viable. You may start off a bit weak and squishy in the initial levels before you can start unlocking skills that better your chances at survival or offer greater offensive capabilities. Thankfully, you can start honing the Hammer of the Ancients build fairly early on in the game before it becomes incredibly powerful for endgame.
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Diablo 4 Hammer of the Ancients Barbarian Build Guide
Firstly, here’s the list of skills and abilities that you’ll need in order to start building the Hammer of the Ancients Barbarian:
- Frenzy: Frenzy is your Basic Skill. Successfully hitting enemies with Frenzy offers you a brief attack speed increase (stacking up to 3 times). Throw one point into Frenzy as soon as possible and devote points upgrading Enhanced Frenzy and Combat Frenzy.
- Hammer of the Ancients: Hammer of the Ancients is your Core Skill for this build and requires you to max out all five points in addition to upgrading Enhanced Hammer of the Ancients and Furious Hammer of the Ancients. You can hit a relatively small area in front of you for great AoE damage. This move consumes Fury, but you can mitigate that expense with various gear buffs.
- Leap: Finally, Leap is the skill that brings this build together, allowing you to leap from a distance and slam down on enemies with Hammer of the Ancients. You’ll want to invest one point in the basic skill before upgrading to Enhanced Ground Stomp and Strategic Ground Stomp.
- Iron Skin: Iron Skin is an important Passive Skill. This gives you a barrier that absorbs damage for a short duration. Since you’re always at close range with melee attacks, Iron Skin greatly increases your defensive capabilities. Pour one point into it then upgrade further with Enhanced Rallying Cry and Strategic Rallying Cry.
- Death Blow: A Passive Skill working hand-in-hand with Iron Skin for this build is Death Blow. This allows Barbarians to attempt a killing strike. If it kills an enemy, the skill’s cooldown resets. You’ll only need one point each for the basic skill, Enhanced Rupture and Warrior’s Rupture following the upgrades.
As for Barbarian Aspects, there are a few to consider:
- Aspect of Ancestral Force – Hammer of the Ancients quakes outwards, dealing 32% of its damage to enemies.
- Aspect of the Iron Warrior – Iron Skin also makes you Unstoppable.
- Veteran Brawler’s Aspect – Each time a Core Skill deals direct damage to an enemy, your next Charge or Leap deals x15% increased damage, up to 225%.
As a final note, it’s worth going after The Butcher’s Cleaver for this build, obtained by fighting the randomly spawning demon, The Butcher. The drop rate for this weapon is quite low so you might need to take a few good cracks at it. Once obtained, the cleaver slow an enemy by 45% following a critical strike. It also deals increased damage to wounded enemies.