Squirrel's "Barbari-care" Barbarian

Squirrel's "Barbari-care" Barbarian

Let's talk about the Health Globe, the unnamed hero of Sanctuary that's always there when you need it most. Some builds rely on these little guys to keep the flow of combat going and healing downtime to a minimum. But today, user Squirrel#1221 brings us a build that transforms our favorite life-giving globules into just what the doctor ordered—miniature warheads of wanton destruction!

About the Build:

Endearingly termed "Barbari-care," Squirrel has put together a build inspired by a single item: Razor Strop. While equipped, this Legendary belt transforms Health Globes into diminutive detonators that, in addition to healing your hero for their normal amount, will also explode whenever picked up, dealing Fire damage to all enemies within 20 yards.

As a result, the skills, items, and core stats in Squirrel's build are focused on three main goals: increasing the number of Health Globes your hero generates, maximizing your hero's ability to pick up Health Globes once dropped (without interrupting the flow of combat), and capitalizing on existing Health Globe-based synergies like Bloodthirst and Jarring Slam. 

Health globes, glorious health globes!
Health globes, glorious health globes!

"This build is theorycrafted based on an item I found before RoS was released, but after Loot 2.0," Squirrel writes in. While he hasn't yet acquired a level 70 version of Razor Strop to explode demonic faces and play doctor for his party members, he's put some careful consideration into the finer points of what would make this build shine—and, of course, be fun to play!

The Skills:

Let's look closer at what it takes to be the ultimate healthcare Barbarian:

Active Skills:

  • Hammer of the Ancients (Birthright)
    • Your primary single-target damage dealer
    • Your primary method of directly generating Health Globes
  • Whirlwind (Hurricane)
    • Secondary damaging ability
    • Pulls enemies in to better capitalize on Hammer of the Ancient’s small area of effect
  • Leap (Call of Arreat)
    • Primary escape ability
    • An additional method of entering the fray and pulling in enemies to mow down
    • As an added bonus, a minor Fury generator
  • Threatening Shout (Grim Harvest)
    • Increases the chance of Health Globe generation
    • Provides some self and group defensive utility
  • Battle Rage (Swords to Ploughshares)
    • Synergizes well with Hammer of the Ancients (Birthright) for both Health Globe generation and dealing additional damage
    • Provides a self-buff to damage
  • Ground Stomp (Jarring Slam)
    • Synergizes with other Health Globe generation abilities
    • Provides additional self and group defensive utility
    • The 4 second stun provided by Jarring Slam gives ample time to collect existing Health Globes for more explosions

Passive Skills:

  • Bloodthirst
    • Supports sustain based on Health Globe Bonuses
  • Animosity
    • Combined with Unforgiving, replaces using a Fury Generator
  • Unforgiving
    • Combined with Animosity, replaces a Fury Generator
  • Weapons Master
    • Offers synergies and supports the use of certain weapons
    • Using Maces or Axes for additional Critical Hit Chance encouraged

The Items:

The core of this build is focused on Razor Strop, as both the inspiration and the linchpin for tying everything together. Even so, there are several items can complement other aspects of this build, both thematically and mechanically.

Squirrel hasn't yet found his 70 Razor Strop, but he has some nice complimentary items waiting!
Squirrel hasn’t yet found his 70 Razor Strop, but he has some nice complimentary items waiting!

Core Items:

These items form the foundation of this build, and are largely necessary in order for it to function.

  • Razor Strop
    • The heart and soul of this build, this is what turns Health Globes into not just a health resource, but a major portion of your damage

Complementary Items:

These items compliment this build and provide synergy with existing mechanics.

Thematic Items:

These items are more of a flavorful addition to this build, if you wish to explore the theme more thoroughly.

  • Gladiator Gauntlets
    • Doctors have to get paid!
  • Unity
    • Medical knowledge (and survivability) grows with unity
  • Sever
    • Every good doctor has a trusty scalpel

Recommended Stats:

Of course, not every slot needs to be a build-changing or complementing Legendary. On your other items, you should look out for the following stats:

  • Cooldown Reduction allows your Fury generating abilities to be used more frequently
  • Critical Hit Chance is a core damaging and healing stat, as it increases the amount of Health Globes available to you
  • Pickup Radius makes it much easier to pick up all those tasty Health Globes
  • +% Damage to Physical Skills improves the effectiveness of your primary damage dealing skills

Recommended Difficulty and Game Mode:

While a mostly novelty build, the core concept behind Squirrel's Barbari-care build excels in group play and, with help from your friends, can provide great utility and additional damage in any difficulty level and any game mode. Given its focus on the Health Globe mechanic, the build thrives in multiplayer games, but can prove just as fulfilling and fun in solo games.

We recommend testing Squirrel's build out, at least to start, in Normal on Master or Torment I; however, it can certainly hold its own on higher difficulty levels. To get a feel for what a similar build might look like in Torment VI, be sure to check out this video by Mikromanus!

Why We Like This Build:

Barbari-care might not be the most efficient or top performing build, but it's certainly game changing. It takes the concept behind a single Legendary item and expands on it, testing the limits and potential of a sometimes-overlooked core game mechanic like Health Globes.

Healin' and Dealin' (damage that is).
Healin’ and Dealin’ (damage, that is).

It also has a strong theme associated with it that's incredibly entertaining to build and play. Barbarians aren't exactly known for their loving or gentle care. If one were to imagine how a Barbarian doctor would actually perform their duties, this is definitely what comes to mind.

Tell Us What You Think!

Squirrel's Barbari-care build is quirky, fun, and can use a variety of different types of gear to produce results. While it's dependent on an individual item to truly shine, the theme remains strong without it and once that item's acquired, this great utility and survivability build has the potential to transform into a solid damage dealer instead.

So what do you think of this build? Is there anything you would change? What kind of improvements do you think you could make? Do you have a similar build, and if so, how is it different? Let us know in the comments below, and don't forget to send your builds to me at TheorycraftThursday@blizzard.com for a chance to be featured in a future edition!