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    Berserk Barbarian Guide by rking_1_1

    Version: 1.01 | Updated: 07/29/09 | Search Guide | Bookmark Guide

    Berserk Barbarian guide
    Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction for Version 1.12
    By: rking
    0) Keyword System                             [000KeyWd]
    1) Introduction                               [001Intro]
    2) Useful Terms                               [002Terms]
    3) Skill and Stat Selection                   [003Skill]
       -Combat                                    [003Combt]
       -Warcries                                  [003WarCr]
       -Masteries                                 [003Mastr]
       -Order of Maxing                           [003Order]
       -Mastery vs. Synergy                       [003MvsSn]
       -Notes on Berserk                          [003Bersk]
       -Stat Placement                            [003Stats]
    4) Equipment Selection                        [004Equip]
       -Weapon                                    [004Weapn]
       -Shield                                    [004Shild]
       -Armor                                     [004Armor]
       -Helmet                                    [004Helmt]
       -Additional Items                          [004Items]
       -Notes on IK set                           [004IKSet]
       -Jewelery                                  [004Jewel]
       -Charms                                    [004Charm]
       -My Build                                  [004Build]
    5) Mercenary Selection                        [005Mercn]
    6) Play Strategies                            [006Statg]
    7) Frequently Asked Questions                 [007Faqs!]
    8) Everything that's Left                     [008Left!]
    Version History:
    1.01 - Added "Stat Placement" section, notes on two skills in the "Skill
           and Stat Selection" section.
    1.00 - This guide, first release.
    Keyword System:[000KeyWd]
    By using CTRL + F you can search for these keywords and jump to the
    appropriate section of this guide.
    The purpose of this guide is to introduce the Berserk Barbarian, offer ideas
    on how to equip one, set up skills and stats, and tips on playing one. This
    guide is written with solo /players 8 in mind which presents the following:
    -350% Experience gain
    -350% Monster life
    -43.75% Monster damage
    While there are some suggestions of rare items and/or High Rune Runewords, 
    these are included only for sake of completeness. These items are not required 
    for your build to function properly. 
    This guide specifically addresses a max block Weapon/Shield approach. While a
    two-handed weapon approach may work a Weapon/Shield version is much safer.
    The reason I find a Berserker so fun is that it requires a bit more strategy
    than the typical melee build. Without the ability to leech and the drop in
    Defense while attacking you have to think about how to approach each
    situation before doing so. With the wrong strategy you'll find yourself
    dead quickly. The ability to walk through Chaos Sanctuary while Iron Maiden'd
    and kill stuff is enjoyable as well.
    This guide was written in Courier New, 10pt Font, without Word Wrap, and
    for the most part in the Notepad program that comes with Windows.
    Useful Terms:[002Terms]
    Listed below are some of the terms and abbreviations this guide uses, as well
    as what each of these means. 
    AR - Base Attack Rating
    AR% - Attack Rating %
    CB% - Crushing Blow
    CBF - Cannot be frozen
    CTB% - Increased Chance to block
    CTC% - Chance to Cast
    CTH% - Chance to hit
    DGTM - Damage goes to Mana, when you're damaged x% of that total goes to
           Mana. This doesn't make you invincible if combined with ES since
           you still take the damage the monster dealt.
    DR% - Damage reduced by X%, reduces damage by a percentage
    DS% - Deadly Strike
    ED% - Enhanced Damage
    EDef% - Enhanced Defense
    FBR% - Faster block rate
    FCR% - Faster cast rate
    HR - High Rune. Any rune higher than Vex, or any rune that will not drop
         from the Hellforge. These runes are very uncommon.
    OW% - Open Wounds
    PDR - Damage reduced by X, reduces damage by a specific amount
    PLR% - Poison length reduced by X%
    Proc - Short for "programmed random occurrence"
    Slvl - Skill Level
    Skill Selection:[003Skill]
    For the most part skill setup for this build is straightforward, although past
    the "core" skills you can end up with a bit of flexibility. I've broken down
    the skill selections by skill tree below. 
    Bash: 1 -             Prerequisite
    Stun: 1 -             Prerequisite
    Concentrate: 1 -      Prerequisite
    Berserk: 20 -         Main skill
    Howl: 20 -            Synergy
    Shout: 20 -           Synergy
    Battle Orders: 20 -   Utility skill/Synergy (to Concentrate)
    Battle Command: 1 -   Utility skill
    Taunt: 1 -            Utility skill
    Weapon Mastery: 1*
    Incr. Stamina: 1
    Iron Skin: 1
    Incr. Speed: 1
    Natural Resist.: 1
    * After finishing the above skill layout, if you need additional AR% or damage
    you can invest the rest of your points here. Otherwise, investing extra points
    in War Cry for a short stun duration, Battle Cry to lower target Defense and
    Damage, or the "Find" skills could be useful.
    Order of maxing:[003Order]
    While one could go about maxing their skills a few different ways this order
    is what I've used a few times in the past and it works rather well.
    1-30) Invest as many points into Shout as you can, try to get this as close to
    maxed by Level 30. This will synergize Berserk well for when you are able to
    use the skill. Invest 1 point in prerequisites and the Masteries skills as
    they become available, as well as 1 point in Taunt when it becomes available.
    30->) At Level 30 max Berserk. After Berserk is finished, finish Shout and
    max Battle Orders. Once Battle Orders is complete, max Howl.
    Mastery vs. Synergy:[003MvsSn]
    You may be wondering why the Weapon Mastery skill is left at 1 point while the 
    skill "Howl" is maxed. "Typical" reasoning for a Barbarian build is 20x Skill,
    Synergy, Battle Orders, Weapon Mastery. 
    Howl offers more ED% per level than the Weapon Masteries and Berserk's AR% is 
    fairly large by itself, and each additional point in Berserk adds 15% more AR.
    With the base AR that you'll have from your equipment the AR% from the Berserk
    skill will prove more than adequate. The Critical Strike% cannot be made up 
    from other skills, however you can find Deadly Strike% sources on various 
    equipment that will be able to make up for what amount your mastery adds.
    Howl also performs a secondary function. A high Slvl Howl can make every
    monster (excluding those that are unaffected by curses) on the entire screen
    run away. Berserk is a slow attacking skill, it's sometimes difficult to take
    on larger packs of fast attacking monsters. Using Howl to send them running
    then picking the ones you want to fight will help keep you alive.
    Should you be unable to make up a sufficient base AR total then splitting your
    points between Howl and Weapon Mastery wouldn't be a bad idea, although it
    isn't hard to obtain a sufficient base AR total from your equipment.
    Notes on Berserk:[003Bersk]
    Berserk is an interesting skill, it converts all your physical damage into
    magic damage. Very few monsters resist this and even fewer are immune. Zombie
    types in Hell Act 2 Lost City, "Ancient" types in Hell Act 2 and Act 5 (guest
    appearance in Worldstone Chamber), and Wailing Beasts in Hell Act 3 are the
    only monsters immune to magic damage. Monsters with the Mana Burn modifier
    have 20% magic resistance as well.
    Because Berserk is magic damage you cannot leech with it. Life Tap does not
    work with this skill either. Crushing Blow%, Deadly Strike%, and Open Wounds%
    mods do work with this skill. Might, Fanaticism, and Concentrate auras will
    increase the damage done. Neither Amplify Damage or Decrepify will increase
    your damage.
    So long as you are attacking with Berserk you are immune from Iron Maiden, as
    this returns physical damage. Since Berserk does magic damage so there is no 
    physical damage to return
    When you are attacking your Defense lowers to 0. Defense comes before blocking
    so blocking is extremely helpful in preventing damage done while Berserk. Due
    to this you may find yourself in "block lock" on occasion. Equipping a shield
    with a high Faster Block Rate% will help lessen the time you spend "block
    Having 0 Defense also brings about another potential problem, you'll get hit
    more often. It is recommended you hit the highest Faster Hit Recovery%
    breakpoint as you can, this will prevent you from being "stun locked" as much.
    Cannot Be Frozen is vital to this build, if you're cold you'll be swinging
    incredibly slow. With Berserk more than some other attacks you need to get
    your attacks out as fast as possible or you'll get overwhelmed.
    Stat Placement:[003Stats]
    There isn't much that can be said to describe this section, it lists how much
    of each stat you'll need to invest.
    Strength: Take a look at your planned equipment, the Strength requirement on
    it is your goal. You can either invest the required Strength as your base
    amount or you can add up the +Strength totals on your other equipment and
    subtract this total from your required Strength and invest points until you
    reach this total. If your heaviest item requires 150 Strength and your
    equipment (not including your heaviest piece) adds +45 strength then you can
    invest up to 105 Strength. Your equipment will add the other 45 and you'll
    hit your goal.
    Since Strength also adds to your damage total I would recommend investing
    enough base Strength to support your heaviest item, this way the +Strength on
    your other items will add to your damage.
    Dexterity: You'll need max block for this build, so your Dexterity total will
    vary depending on your equipment. You can use the following calculator to
    determine how much Dexterity you'll need for max block at any given level with
    various shields.
    Vitality: The remainder of your stat points should go here, each point in
    Vitality adds 4 Life. This becomes more substantial after Battle Orders is
    figured in.
    Energy: Despite lacking the ability to leech, Berserk has a fairly cheap Mana
    cost. Battle Orders increases your Mana as well, so you won't need to invest
    any points in this stat.
    Notes on Strength/Dexterity glitching: Using charms to support your equipment
    may seem desirable as it lowers the amount of stats you have to invest, this
    can cause many undesirable side effects. Explopyro has allowed me to borrow
    this section of his Wind Druid guide which gives a detailed explanation of
    this bug and why to avoid it.
    "This may not be of concern to many players, but it's well worth knowing about,
    as it can cause serious problems. Many people seem to be unaware of the
    implications of this bug, and it's always bothered me that there seems to be
    so little concern about it.
    The bug actually occurs with both strength and dexterity, as it pertains to
    item requirements, but I call it "the strength bug" for convenience and will,
    for shorthand purposes, discuss strength primarily. Anything I say here
    concerning "strength", "strength requirements", "+strength from charms", etc
    should be understood as applying to dexterity as well.
    This bug occurs when a piece of equipment (usually something with a high
    strength requirement) is equipped by a character without enough strength from
    hard points and other equipped items to meet its requirements. The key here is
    that in order to avoid the bug, the character must have enough strength from
    hard points and OTHER EQUIPPED items, and cannot include strength bonuses from
    the item in question itself, or from charms in the inventory. If charms are
    used to support an item, or if the item is supporting itself (which can occur
    if an item has an innate strength bonus, and was equipped while some other
    item was providing a bonus to strength enough to meet its requirements, and
    the second item was later removed), the bug will result.
    So what is the strength bug? If an item is supported in such a way as to cause
    it, what happens is that the game will only sometimes recognize that the
    character is equipping the item. To the player controlling that character, all
    will seem normal, but in multiplayer games other players will see the
    character as if the item were not equipped.
    That may seem insignificant, and most players tend to think of it as such.
    What's the harm, you might be asking? Isn't it just an aesthetic issue? Why
    should it matter if other players don't see my character looking the same way
    as I do?
    Here's why. Aside from changing the character's appearance, certain items can
    have an effect on the character's animations. This is a problem with any item
    that has a speed-altering statistic (IAS, FCR, FRW, FHR, FBR) or which will
    change the animation used for an attack (weapons, for instance, have a
    different attack animation than the unarmed punch). What will happen in this
    case if such an item is strength-bugged is that the animation will play for
    you at the correct speed, but will be displayed to other players at the speed
    with which it would have occurred if you lacked the strength-bugged item.
    This can and will cause substantial desynchronization problems, as the two
    game clients will receive very different information regarding the character's
    actions. It can also interfere with where the game thinks the monsters are,
    because they may (for instance) have been put into hit recovery by an attack
    that the other player's client doesn't see because it thinks your attack speed
    is slower than it is, so on their screen the monster will continue moving and
    all of a sudden their game has lost track of the monster and displays it in
    the wrong location.
    Likewise, if, for instance, an item provides FRW and is strength-bugged, the
    character's movement speed will be reported differently to both players. Any
    information the other player receives regarding your position will be
    incorrect, and monsters' reactions and positions will be displayed differently
    to both players, which will make it much more difficult to tell what's going
    on (everybody will be seeing something different, and all of the information
    will most likely be wrong).
    It's easy to see why this causes problems. The end result is that it makes the
    information displayed to other players about the game status unreliable:
    monsters may not be where the game is displaying them; monsters may be present
    where the game says there is nothing; projectiles may not be where the game
    tbinks they are, and so on. Being attacked by invisible monsters and being
    unable to harm anything because the monsters you're targeting aren't actually
    there is very frustrating, and can easily get players killed.
    This doesn't just affect the other players, in case you think you can do it
    and get away with being selfish; once the other players start receiving
    incorrect information as to where you and the monsters are located, their
    actions will be affected accordingly, which can then be reported incorrectly
    to you and cause further desynchronization. There is a profound snowball
    effect involved.
    The long and short of this is: it is unadvisable to strength-bug items when
    playing in multiplayer games. I strongly recommend trying to avoid doing this
    whenever possible if there is the slightest chance that the character will be
    participating in multiplayer games or interacting with other characters in any
    way whatsoever. While this may require slightly overinvesting in strength (or
    dexterity, as remember, dexterity requirements suffer the same problem) in
    order to safely equip the items you want to use, I find that much more
    palatable than the alternative. It's just polite not to risk your friends'
    lives, isn't it?"
    Equipment Selection:[004Equip]
    The following is a list of modifiers you'll want on your equipment, as well as
    reasons behind each. Goals for various stats will be listed below also. Keep
    in mind that these are the minimum numbers that I would recommend, if you are 
    able to you should try reaching higher speeds than listed. In the "Everything 
    that's Left" section toward the bottom of this guide are links to an attack 
    speed calculator as well as tables for FHR% and FBR%.
    -IAS%. Berserk is a slow attacking skill, you'll need a lot of IAS% in order
    to increase your attack speed. Minimum recommended attack speed would be 11
    FPA. Using an attack speed calculator will help you determine how much IAS%
    you'll need. 
    -FBR%. You'll spend a lot of time blocking, the faster you can do it the
    better. Minimum recommended would be 5 FPA (20% FBR).
    -FHR%. You'll spend about as much time being hit as you will blocking. Minimum 
    recommended would be 5 FPA (48% FHR).
    As well, in the following sections I'm going to try not to suggest runewords
    containing HRs as they are not available to every person playing and they are
    not required for a character to function. If you have a runeword item that
    contains HRs feel free to use it, but for the purpose of this guide I'll try
    to avoid suggesting them.
    Some of the non runeword items listed are of various degrees of rarity, each
    is possible to find through MF runs with a bit of persistence so I've decided
    to include them as possible choices.
    Below is a list of equipment suggestions, their notable stats, and reasons to
    use them. This is not a complete list, but it should be helpful in giving you
    ideas or pointing you in the right direction for the item you would be most
    happy with. Names listed like "This" are runewords, for the runes required or
    for the complete stats on any of these items you can visit the Arreat Summit,
    link in the "Everything that's Left" section.
    -"Death". 300%-385% ED, 50% CB, 0.5%-49.5% DS (0.5%/level), Indestructible.
    This weapon lacks IAS%, however the damage mods on it are very desirable. It
    should be noted this runeword requires a Vex rune, however I would consider
    this in the realm of possibility even in Single Player if you were to save
    your runes from Hell Forges or Countess runs. Preferred base weapons would be
    an ethereal Berserker Axe or Colossus Sword, otherwise an Ettin Axe or
    Colossus Blade would work.
    -"Oath". 210%-340% ED, 50% IAS, Indestructible. This weapon hits hard and fast
    and since it's Indestructible you can place it in an ethereal weapon. Ethereal
    weapons have 50% extra base damage than their non-ethereal counterparts. For
    best results place this in an ethereal Cryptic Sword, Scourge, or Berserker
    Axe. Otherwise any elite ethereal weapon a Barbarian can equip in one hand 
    will work.
    -Schaefer's Hammer. 100%-130% ED, 2-198 to maximum damage (2/level), 20% IAS,
    20% CTC Level 10 Static Field on striking, 8-792 AR (8/level), Indestructible.
    This weapon does less damage than the runeword suggestions but the AR/Level
    and Static Field proc would be helpful.
    -Stormlash. 240%-300% ED, 1-473 Lightning damage, 30% IAS, 33% CB, 15% CTC
    Level 10 Static field on striking. This weapon is fast and offers some nice
    melee mods. 
    -The Grandfather. 150%-250% ED, 2-247 maximum damage (2.5/level), 50% AR, 80
    Life, +20 all stats, Indestructible. This would be an interesting choice if
    you have one, it offers a nice mix of stats and damage.
    -"Rhyme". 20% CTB, 40% FBR, 25% all resists, CBF. A very budget option, this
    shield offers some nice mods for this build. 
    -"Sanctuary". 20% CTB, 20% FBR, 20% FHR, 50%-70% all resists (varies). This
    shield offers a little of everything, and a lot of resists. If you can get DR%
    or PDR elsewhere this shield is a great choice.
    -Gerke's Sanctuary. 30% CTB, 20%-30% all resists, 11-16 PDR (varies). This
    shield lacks FBR% so you'll need to socket it with a Shael rune. Otherwise, if
    your build is focusing on PDR this shield will be helpful.
    -Stormshield. 25% CTB, 35% FBR, 35% DR, 60% Cold/25% Lightning resists. This
    shield is a nice defensive choice, the DR% on it can free up equipment slots
    elsewhere and the rest of the shield is solid as well.
    -Whitstan's Guard. 55% CTB, 40% FBR. This shield offers the highest blocking
    available in the game, if you are able to make up the Resists and PDR/DR% on
    the rest of your equipment this could be worth considering.
    -"Duress". 40% FHR, 10%-20% ED (varies), 15% CB, 33% OW, 15% all/45% Cold
    resists, 150%-200% EDef. Overall, this may be the best offensive armor choice
    available. OW% can be hard to get elsewhere and this armor offers a lot of it.
    -"Prudence". 140%-170% EDef, 25%-35% all resists, repairs 1 durability in 4
    seconds. Due to the final mod listed you can put this runeword in an ebugged
    ethereal armor and it will result in a very high Defense. Ebugging is
    explained below.
      Ebugging, or Ethereal bugging is something done with a Horadric Cube, an
      ethereal armor, and some socketable items. Ethereal armor has 50% enhanced
      Defense. By using the cube socket recipe on one (Tal, Thul, P.Topaz) the
      ethereal bonus is applied again. 1.5x x 1.5x = 2.25x the base defense of
      a non-ethereal armor. As with everything there's a catch, the sockets are 
      randomly assigned to the armor. Helmets, body armor, and shields can be
      Ebugged, however weapons cannot.
    If you're looking for a high Defense armor this is a nice option.
    -"Treachery". 20% FHR, 30% Cold resist, 45% IAS, 5% CTC Level 15 Fade when
    struck, 25% CTC Level 15 Venom on striking. This armor lacks EDef%, however
    the massive 45% IAS more than makes up for it. The Fade proc will result in
    60% all resists and 15% DR when it's active, however with max block this
    won't go off often enough to rely on.
    -Guardian Angel. 180%-200% ED, 20% CTB, 30% FBR, 15% maximum Fire, Cold,
    Lightning, Poison resists. If you can get the resists elsewhere this armor
    is a nice choice. It offers a *potential* 90% all resists, the additional
    FBR% can help you hit the 4 FPA blocking breakpoint, and the 20% CTB lowers
    your Dexterity requirement for max block. Guardian Angel also looks cool
    while equipped, so style points there.
    -Leviathan. 170%-200% ED, 40-50 Strength, 15%-25% DR, Indestructible, Green.
    This is a very nice defensive armor, offering both sound protection and a bit
    of extra Damage (from the Strength). Plus, this armor's green!
    -Shaftstop. 180%-220% ED, 30% DR, 60 Life. Up this armor and it's a mini
    Leviathan, the DR% and Life will help keep you standing.
    -The Gladiator's Bane. 150%-200% ED, CBF, 30% FHR, 50% PLR, 15-20 PDR. For
    a build focusing on PDR as protection this is a wonderful choice. The high
    required level (85) may put some off, you'll have to plan ahead if you want
    to use this as your final choice.
    If you're planning to use TGB, you can use Iron Pelt to get most of the
    same benefits as TGB. Iron Pelt has 50%-100% EDef, 3-297 Defense (3/level),
    25 Life, and 15-20 PDR.
    -Arreat's Face. 30% FHR, 20% AR, +2 Barbarian skills, +2 Combat skills, 30%
    all resists, +20 Strength/Dexterity. The +skills on this translate to a fair
    amount of additional damage and AR% and the defensive mods on this helmet are
    excellent as well.
    -Guillaume's Face. 30% FHR, 15% DS, 35% CB, +15 Strength. It would be hard to
    top this for an offensive choice, the DS% alone is reason enough to use this
    helmet but the additional mods all assist this build in some way.
    -Kira's Guardian. 20% FHR, CBF, 50%-70% all resists. This is mentioned only as
    a resist solution, if your chosen equipment lacks resists this will be a good
    choice to fix them.
    Additional Items:[004Items]
    The slots for gloves, belt, and boots are pretty flexible for this build. You
    should look at what you're missing from the main equipment, resists/AR%/IAS%
    or whatever and try filling these three spots with those. Suggestions for each
    are listed below.
    -Crafted Blood gloves. You can get 20% IAS, resists, life/mana, and up to 10%
    CB on a pair. A decent choice if anything else.
    -Bloodfist. 10% IAS, 30% FHR, 40 Life. These gloves will help you make up FHR%
    if needed and the Life will be affected by Battle Orders.
    -Lava Gout. 2% CTC Level 10 Enchant on striking, 20% IAS, 24% Fire resist.
    The Enchant proc should go off enough to rely on since you'll constantly be
    attacking. This will give you a 101% AR boost, helpful if you're low on AR%
    from your skills.
    -Laying of Hands. 20% IAS, 50% Fire resist, 350% damage to demons. Demons are
    everywhere, the Act bosses are demons, and 350% extra damage to them could be
    quite helpful. If you don't need additional stats these gloves would be a good
    -Nightsmoke. 10% all resists, 20 Mana, 50% DGTM. The DGTM can be quite helpful
    in keeping your blue orb filled. Up this to Exceptional for the extra potion
    -String of Ears. 10%-15% DR (varies). Mentioned only for the DR%.
    -Thundergod's Vigor. 10% maximum Lightning resist, +20 Lightning absorb, +20
    Strength/Vitality. This is a wonderful belt, the +% maximum and +absorb will
    let some Lightning attacks heal you, and the +stats are nice as well.
    -Verdungo's Hearty Cord. 10% FHR, +30-40 Vitality (varies), 10%-15% DR
    (varies). If you have this use it instead of String of Ears for the DR%. For
    a defensive choice this belt will work well.
    -Goblin Toe. Mentioned only for the 25% CB.
    -Gore Rider. 10% OW, 15% CB, 15% DS, 30% FRW. To be honest, these are pretty
    much standard on most melee builds. These boots enhance your damage output
    quite nicely and the FRW% is helpful for getting away from dangerous
    Notes on IK set:[004IKSet]
    While there are better options than the IK helmet and armor, the Gloves, Belt,
    and Boots of this set offer both nice individual and partial set bonuses.
    Equipping these three items results in the following list of mods:
    IK Gloves. +20 Dexterity/Strength.
    IK Belt. +25 Strength, 31% Lightning/28% Fire resists.
    IK Boots. 40% FRW, 110 AR, 44 Life.
    Partial set bonuses:
    -25% IAS
    -225 Defense
    -25% FHR
    -25% MF
    -+2 Combat skills
    Combined, these three items are a solid choice for this build.
    Diamonds are a girl's best friend, but I'm pretty sure the Barbarian isn't a 
    girl. Below are some suggestions for some jewelery your Berserker might enjoy.
    -Angelic Halo + Angelic Wings. This offers a combined 95 Life and 144-1188 AR,
    (12/Level). If you need an AR solution and can spare the spots this is it. If
    you equip a second ring you end up with 115 Life and double the listed AR.
    -Highlord's Wrath. +1 skill, 20% IAS, 35% Lightning resist, 0%-37% DS (0.375/
    level). If you have sufficient AR and have one of these handy equip it. For
    a melee build there aren't many choices that would be better.
    -Ravenfrost. 150-250 AR, CBF, +15-20 Dexterity (varies), 40 Mana. If you lack
    CBF on your equipment you'll need one of these. Being frozen is very bad for
    this build. Aside from that, the Dexterity and AR will both help your CTH%.
    -The Cat's Eye. 30% FRW, 20% IAS, +25 Dexterity. If you need IAS% but don't
    have a Highlord's this amulet will be helpful. The FRW% will help you get
    around and the Dexterity will help with your AR also.
    For charm selection, try to pick a balance of the following that will assist
    your build the best. Whenever possible try to use a charm with a second mod
    on it. These are what I would recommend, not a complete list of choices that
    would be viable to this build.
    Grand Charms:
    -Sharp GCs. 49-76 AR, 7-10 maximum damage.
    -Steel GCs. 88-132 AR. 
    Small Charms:
    -Fine. 10-20 AR, 1-3 maximum damage.
    -Steel. 25-36 AR.
    Amber. 10%-11% Lightning resist.
    Emerald. 10%-11% Poison resist
    Ruby. 10%-11% Fire resist.
    Sapphire. 10%-11% Cold resist.
    +Skill charms (Combat, Masteries, Warcries) aren't going to be very helpful,
    they won't increase your damage enough to be worth taking the place of a Sharp
    or Steel one. Torch/Anni if you have them, but they are in no way needed.
    My Build:[004Build]
    This is what I ended up with on my most recent Berserker, don't take this as
    the "recommended" setup but instead as a suggestion.
    Arreat's Face - socketed with an IAS/AR jewel
    "Death" ethereal Ettin Axe
    "Sanctuary" Hyperion (70% resists)
    Leviathan - socketed with an IAS/Poison resist jewel
    Lava Gout
    Thundergod's Vigor
    Gore Rider
    Cat's Eye (wouldn't mind Highlord's)
    2x high Ravenfrost
    Torch (for sillies)
    Mix of Steel and Sharp GCs
    Amber SC, Fine, and Steel SCs
    75/75/85/75 resists
    Skills used:
    20x Berserk
    20x Howl
    20x Shout
    20x Battle Orders
    1x Prereqs
    1x Taunt
    1x Battle Command
    1x Non weapon related Masteries skills
    6x Axe Mastery
    Mercenary Selection:[005Mercn]
    I recommend an Act 2 (Normal) Town Guard, Prayer Aura, equipped with an
    "Insight" weapon. Since you don't leech you'll need healing somehow, with this
    mercenary setup you'll be receiving double Prayer's healing. Once from the
    Prayer aura itself and again from the Prayer synergy to the Meditation aura
    on "Insight". With this setup you should notice your red and blue orbs filling
    quickly when out of combat and they should stay close to full even in heavy
    Should you find yourself wanting more damage or capable of keeping up with
    potions either of the following mercenaries should be helpful.
    -Act 1 Rogue (Normal). Inner Sight lowers monster defense, at higher levels it
    lowers it by a large enough number to be noticeable. This can help your CTH%
    quite a bit if you have a low AR total.
    -Act 2 Town Guard (Normal), Blessed Aim. Similar to the above, if you have low
    AR this mercenary's aura will increase your AR which will help your CTH%.
    -Act 2 Town Guard (NM), Might. If you are comfortable with your AR and/or you
    just want more damage this mercenary's aura will increase your damage.
    Regardless of which mercenary you choose equipment for your hired help should 
    include the following mods:
    -Life Leech
    Optional mods would include:
    -+Skills (for a Prayer/Insight setup)
    Play Strategies:[006Statg]
    Again, the most important thing to remember with this build is that you can't
    leech Life or Mana from your targets. This removes from the field the most
    basic and "standard" strategy of rushing in and attacking things until they
    die while you leech back life to survive. Below are some tips that should help
    you survive.
    -You can use Howl to get monsters running, then use Taunt to pull monsters to
     you one at a time. This will prevent you from being swarmed. Using Howl to
     clear monsters around the Champion/Unique monsters will help you single them
     out, especially useful if they are Cursed or have an aura.
    -Taunting monsters can prevent them from using their special attack, most of
     the time it's more desirable to have monsters swinging at you than firing
     destructive lightning bolts...
    -You can lure small packs of monsters from their main group to deal with them
     in your time. This can be helpful in wide open areas where you could get
     surrounded with no escape. Taking your time usually results in your survival.
    -You can go fishing. Use your mercenary as a lure, run toward a pack and wait
     for your mercenary to run toward the group. When he/she has a small group's
     attention run back toward the clear area you were working in before. This
     is safer than the above method, when your mercenary cooperates that is.
    -You are immune to Iron Maiden since you do Magic damage, although you must
     remember that the Finger Mages in Chaos Sanctuary can drain your Mana. If
     your Mana goes to 0 when you attack with Berserk you hit with a normal
     attack and you may still die.
    -Concentrate is synergized by Battle Orders, which means you have a method
     to kill Magic immunes. It might be a bit slow but it will work. You have no
     need to worry about these.
    Frequently Asked Questions:[007Faqs!]
    1) Do you accept questions?
    A - No, so stop asking! Seriously, if you have a question please email it. My
        contact information is at the bottom.
    2) Did I see this guide formatting somewhere else?
    A - Yes, I hope. I wrote a mercenary guide and I borrowed the formatting from
        that since it seemed to have worked last time.
    3) What's wrong with a two-handed Berserker?
    A - Honestly, if you like the idea then do it. My problem with that build is
        that you end up with no blocking, so if you get surrounded it's more
        likely that your journey's over. A weapon/shield build is much safer, so
        that's why I went with it.
    4) Could this build work in Hardcore?
    A - Perhaps. I was able to solo the game on /players 8 with 0 deaths. It was
        a bit slow in some areas but I never felt worried that I was going to die.
        I don't know enough about HC to be able to say for sure, but with the high
        Defense, max block, and Howl/Taunt skills this is a very safe build to
    Everything that's Left:[008Left!]
    This section contains anything that doesn't fit in the above sections and
    includes links to helpful resources, credits, as well as contact and legal 
    - http://diablo3.ingame.de/tips/calcs/weaponspeed.php?lang=english
      This is an IAS% calculator you can use for figuring out the speed of
      your mercenary's attacks.
    - http://www.classic.battle.net/diablo2exp)
      The Arreat Summit, which has a large assembly of item and skill stats.
    - http://www.mannm.org/d2library/faqtoids/stattab_eng.html#fhr
      Lists a table of FHR% for each class and mercenary.
    - http://www.mannm.org/d2library/faqtoids/stattab_eng.html#fbr
      Lists a table of FBR% for each class.
    -Explopyro, for much help and permission to borrow from his Wind Druid guide
     (http://www.gamefaqs.com/computer/doswin/file/370600/56837) his "THE STRENGTH 
     BUG" section. Thanks.
    -In no particular order, Kel, Ras Algethi, Mrengineer1, Lucas, and
     anyone else from d2offline.info that I forgot for reading through this and
     offering suggestions.
    -The Amazon Basin (http://www.theamazonbasin.com/d2/forums/index.php?), for 
     all the hard work they do in an attempt to understand everything that happens 
     in Diablo 2, as well as everyone there who was so kind to review my guide
     and point out suggestions and errors. Thank you, all.
    -The Arreat Summit (http://classic.battle.net/diablo2exp), for a wealth of
     knowledge I've looked over countless times, as well as equipment stats.
    -GameFAQs (http://www.gamefaqs.com), for showing me that anyone can write a 
     guide if they try hard enough.
    Contact me:
    If you wish to, you can contact me at rking12345678@gmail.com. Things that are
    alright to send to me include:
    -Constructive criticism, if you have something to say that could be helpful and
     if you say it nicely then I'm more than glad to listen..
    -Suggestions, if I missed something useful or obvious and you think it belongs
     let me know so I can add it.
    -Corrections, I'd hate to be offering incorrect or incomplete so if I did
     either of these please let me know.
    -Advice, this is my first guide so any help would be welcome.
    You can keep the following to yourself, as any of this does no good to anyone.
    -Hateful comments, I have feelings too.
    -Requests to be in the credits section, if you want in then contribute!
    -Criticism that serves no purpose other than "trolling", if you didn't like
     this guide that's your right and I'd actually like to know why. Telling me I
     wasted X amount of your life reading it or saying anybody could do better
     will not go over well and you'll likely be permanently ignored by me.
    -Spam, I get enough of this as it is so you can keep your share.
    This may be not be reproduced under any circumstances except for personal, 
    private use. It may not be placed on any web site or otherwise distributed 
    publicly without advance written permission. Use of this guide on any other 
    web site or as a part of any public display is strictly prohibited, and a 
    violation of copyright.
    All names are copyright Blizzard and/or their respective owners.
    Original content and format copyright 2009 Royce King 

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