Barbarian Passives

Most of the Barbarian Passives revolve around damage buffs, toughness buffs and Fury generation. Below you can find a list that should answer any questions regarding every passives mechanic and its use:


The 10% increase in Fury generation is a straight multiplier to your sheet generation but additive with Hexing Pants of Mr. Yan and Inspire for example. The +20 Maximum Fury is the same as you can get from items & Paragons and added to your Fury pool.

Best use
Weak passive for Fury generation
This passive is used in Hammer of the Ancients build variations as the Maximum Fury increases Critical Hit Chance from Hammer of the Ancients.

Berserker Rage

Gain 25% additive damage when you are at 95% Fury or higher. Snapshottable for example by Damage over Time skills like Rend etc.

Best use
Very useful offensive passive
Loads of builds that have no problems staying near Maximum Fury like the Furious Charge build, the Hammer of the Ancients build or the Frenzy build can make good use of this passive. It is even used in variations of the Whirlwind Rend Barbarian.


Gain 996 Life per Fury Spent. This effect is immensely outweighed by skills like Wrath of the Berserker Thrive on Chaos in combination with Mortick's Brace (5,364) or just by the bonus on a Mighty Belt with 1215.
This passive can be enhanced by optimizing your gear with secondary rolls. The Maximum Health Globe Healing Bonus is:

38,625 * 6 = 231,750 (Ring, Ring, Amulet, Shoulders, Chest and Boots)

without a Shield. At 1% that yields you an additional 2,317 + the base 996 for a total of 3,313 Life per Fury Spent.

Best use
Niche recovery passive
Only useful if combined with the right gear rolls and even then barely used as the Barbarian is pretty tanky on its own with its base 50% damage reduction.

Boon of Bul-Kathos

Reduces the base cooldown of Wrath of the Berserker, Call of the Ancients by 30 and Earthquake's by 15 seconds. This reduction is applied to the base skill, before the game takes any Cooldown Reduction into account.

Best use
Nice passive often used to optimize Wrath of the Berserker uptime
Used by pretty much all builds that use Wrath of the Berserker as a buff.


An easy 20% additive damage increase as long as there are 3 or more enemies with a 12 yards range around the player. This effect can be snapshotted by Damage over Time skills like Rend etc.

Best use
Widely used
Amazing for big and small trash pulls. It even works for single blue Elites with no trash around. Very limited use on Rift Guardians as most of them don't spawn minions to have 3 monsters around you to get full benefit.

Earthen Might

You gain 30 Fury in an instant on activation of Avalanche and Earthquake. Also works with items like Blade of the Tribes and Dread Iron when using War Cry, Threatening Shout or Ground Stomp.

Best use
Super niche use
Singnature passive for the Might of the Earth Earthquake build.

Inspiring Presence

Straight up doubles your shout duration, works for War Cry and Battle Rage but not for Threatening Shout debuffs. On top of that this passive increases Life Regeneration for the entire party by a 3% of the Maximum Life of each party member.

Best use
The #1 support passive
Used by almost every zBarb version there is, but barley used on any damage builds as there are better defensive alternatives.


This passive reduces control-impairing effects by 50%, just like the secondary roll that can be found on items like Rings or Helms (secondary stat). It is multiplicative to these effects so you can never reach 100%. Additionally whenever a control-impairing effect is cast on you there is an around 25% chance to recover 20% of your Maximum Life. If the player is already immune to control-impairing effects from Ignore Pain or Wrath of the Berserker however, the chance to recover Life can not proc.

Best use
Never - stronger alternatives available
Almost never used due to Ignore Pain and Wrath of the Berserker granting you full control-impairing effect immunity already and there are better life recovery options for Barbarians like Life per Fury Spent.

Nerves of Steel

If you take fatal damage instead of dying this passive reduces your life pool to 15% of your Maximum Life. Instead of making you immune to damage like the cheat death passives of other classes, this passive reduced all damage taken by 95% for 3 seconds. That mean you can can still die in these 3 seconds! However it is unlikely especially when combined with Relentless.

Best use
The cheat death passive for Barbs
Used in most builds, especially at lower Paragon levels.

No Escape

Increases the damage of Weapon Throw, Seismic Slam, Ancient Spear and Avalanche by 30% multiplicatively to all enemies that are 15 or more yards away.

Best use
Strong offensive passive that is used in the unique Might of the Earth Seismic Slam ranged Barbarian build.

Pound of Flesh

2% Life regeneration (based on your Maximum Life) and 4% Movement Speed increase when picking up a Health Globes. Health Globes picked up by party members count as well. The Movement Speed is additive and can exceed the 25% sheet limit.

Best use
Another passive usually used by the zBarb in Speed META runs like Rat Runs to move and scout faster.


1% increase Strength for for 8 seconds after killing an enemy, up to 25 stacks. That means 25% multiplicative damage increase and 25% toughness increase at full stacks as Strength provides you Armor as well. There's only a single timer for all 25 stacks and it refreshes on every kill. The only downside of this passive it that is is hard to impossible to keep on Rift Guardians when solo pushing. This passive can be snapshotted by Damage over Time skills like Rend.

Best use
The strongest Barbarian passive and one of the strongest passives in the entire game, used by almost every damage dealing build there is!


When you drop below 35% Life you gain 50% multiplicative Resource Cost Reduction, 50% multiplicative damage reduction and double your Life per Fury Spent.

Best use
One of the best toughness passives in the game. Great combination with Nerves of Steel as mentioned above and with Captain Crimson's Trimmings for even more damage reduction by the reduced resource costs. Mostly used in the zBarb build but also has implications in some solo push builds.


You deal 40% more multiplicative damage to all enemies below 30% health. This bonus is very strong in solo gameplay as you usually gain the full benefit. In group, however, it is a bit weaker due to The Executioner killing enemies below 10% life and Frailty 15% or 18% life Frailty Early Grave. The total damage buff is visualized here:

TypeTotal Damage Multiplier
Solo - Base9.4%
The Executioner6.8%
Frailty Early Grave4.4%

Most people treat Ruthless as 40% damage bonus that's active 30% of the time. However, due to this very damage bonus you will spend less than 30% of the time fighting the last 30% of mob's HP. So the best way to calculate this bonus is by thinking in terms of Time To Kill (TTK). TTK is always inversely proportional to your DPS so if you figure out the new TTK, it's easy to get DPS bonus from there.
Let's say normally your TTK is 100s - and now we add Ruthless:
It's 70s for the first 70% and 30/1.4 = 21.43s for the last 30%. TTK is 91.43s
so the DPS is 100/91.43 = 109.375%, that is 9.4% bonus DPS you get from Ruthless

With Frailty it's similar: TTK is 85s base
with Ruthless it's 70s + 15s/1.4 = 80.71s
DPS gain is 85/80.71 - 1 = 5.3% bonus DPS

The final formula is ((100 - execute_threshold) / (70 + (30 - execute_threshold) / 1.4) - 1) * 100%

Best use
One of the few multiplicative passives the Barbarian has. Very useful in solo has you don't have The Executioner or Frailty curse there that diminishes the effect.


A small Esoteric Alteration passive that also adds Fury generation. With 20% damage reduction from all non-Physical attacks it is not as strong as Esoteric Alteration, but with the added chance to gain 2 Fury on elemental attacks it is used sometimes. The chance to gain Fury is higher on single target attacks but lower on damage over time or AoE attacks.

Best use
Generally there are better toughness passive available. It can be used on a zBarb or even for some DPS builds at very low Paragon levels.

Sword and Board

While a Shield is equipped you gain 20% multiplicative Resource Cost Reduction and 30% multiplicative damage reduction.

Best use
Only used on zBarb, a good toughness passive when using a Stormshield, for example in 2-Player Push.

Tough as Nails

This passive increases your Armor by 25% additively and doubles your Thorns damage.

Best use
Another toughness passive that can be used at very low Paragon level zBarbs. In the past this passive was also utilized in Frenzy Thorns builds.


Another Fury passive that generates 2 Fury per second. This can be enhanced by the Animosity passive and by using Hexing Pants of Mr. Yan or Inspire from the Templar.

Best use
Weak passive
Again a passive than can be used on zBarbs or even some Torment Key farming builds.

Weapons Master

One of most flexible Barbarian passives. Depending on the Weapon type you wear you get an individual bonus:

Weapon TypeBonusInfo
Swords/Daggers8% damageAdditive, used as Frenzy Rift Guardian Killer in combination
with Pig Sticker sometimes
Maces/Axes5% Crit ChanceNice to have, but Barbarians already have many
different ways to increase Critical Hit Chance
Polearms/Spears8% Attack SpeedAdditive, useful if needed for 1 or 2 extra Attack Speed breakpoints
Mighty Weapons2 Fury per hitCan also be increased by the Animosity
passive and by using Hexing Pants of Mr. Yan
or by Inspire from the Templar

If you are dual wielding you can only get the bonus from the Weapon type that you hold in your Main-Hand (on the left below your Gloves and Shoulders).

Best use
In general there are better offensive passive available
The Dagger bonus is used as Frenzy RGK in combination with Pig Sticker sometimes while the Mighty Weapons bonus is used mostly in Torment farming.


Written by Rob

Reviewed by Raxxanterax