Hi all, I finally
finished building my Jav barb to my satisfaction. He’s such fun
(and a bit unusual) that I thought I’d write up one last guide. I
hope you find it useful. Anyway, the Jav barb is kind of a hybrid,
but not really, because he doesn’t switch weapons during a duel.
What he does switch—and very effectively—is his method of
attack. The Jav barb can kill with normal throwing, Double Throw,
WW, and Berserk. Yes—you read that right—WW and Berserk. This
last feature is what makes a Jav barb so fun to play. No one, and I
mean no one, believes that a Jav barb can kill them with melee
attacks. Usually they start to come around when they are picking up
Throwing Mastery: 20
Spear Mastery: 20
Increased Speed: 11
Double Throw: 1
Natural Resist: 1
All Pre-Reqs: 1
To double throw or not to double throw... For me the answer is
obviously no—for 2 reasons. 1) I use .08 Arreat’s face so I
don’t need the AR. This is kind of a cop-out though, since most
people can’t get a legit .08 Arreats that won’t go poof on them.
Don’t despair just yet, though, because... 2) You won’t need the
AR from Double Throw anyway. I’ll cover this in more detail in the
tactics section, but in brief...you will use a shield vs. barbs. Lvl
1 Double throw should be plenty of AR to hit any other class.
I opted for 11 in Increased Speed, because that is what I need to
hit Lvl 14 with items. Lvl 14 gives you 40%, with the returns
dropping off dramatically thereafter. Remember, 40% from Increased
speed gives you much more effective speed that 40% r/w from
Str: 115 (176 with items)
Dex: 164 (209 with items)
This lets you finish out at lvl 93—pretty high, but not
unreasonable these days. (Note: I maxed Spear Mastery last, and you
can get by fine with 15 or so points if you want to stop earlier.)
With this build, you will have a full arsenal of viable killing
skills to throw at unsuspecting (and even experienced) opponents.
But wait—you might ask—isn’t this just a weak version of a
hybrid barb? I would answer wholeheartedly “no.” OK—I don’t
do 4k WW damage...but not that many barbs do. I can dish out,
2600 berserk at 9 frames
2000 Throw damage
All this without having to switch weapons, so I can use +3 Warcry
Javs in slot 2—something your hybrid barb can’t do. That lets me
And personally, I have an S/S Barb. If I want to kill something with
a sword—I’ll use him. If I’m going to use throwing
weapons...I’m going to use throwing weapons.
This is basically the “how do I get there from here” section.
Unfortunately, as with any Barb, Jav Barbs cost a mint to build.
I’ll list what I use and a lower cost alternative when available.
To make this work, you MUST get Cruel Hyperion Javelins. They are
not expensive if you buy them from someone who doesn’t realize how
useful they are (and really...how many Jav Barbs have you seen?);
they are as fast as Winged Harpoons; most importantly, they have
nice 1h Damage. With base speed of –10, they offer the best
combination of speed and all-around damage available—and the only
realistic option for a meaningful 9 frame berserk.
Cruel Hyperion Javelin of Quality
290% ED/+2 Max Damage
113-220 Throw Damage
85-228 1H Damage
Cruel Hyperion Javelin of Slaying
272% ED/+6 Max Damage
107-214 Throw Damage
81-221 1H Damage
As you can see, they pack quite a punch. For pure throwing Max
damage, Cruel Winged Harpoons will easily top Hyperion Javs. But
when you factor in minimum damage, Hyperions close the gap
considerably, and the 1H damage blows Winged Harpoons away.
Like I said, Hyperion Javs are generally inexpensive. While I’ve
heard of serious duelers offering large amounts of SOJs for good
Hyperions (OK...the 1 other guy I’ve come across who plays a
similar barb), I picked up my 290’s for 4 sojs (I got the other
free from a friend). You can also cube them with 3 perfect gems.
In Weapon slot 2, I have 2 echoing Glaives for +6 to Warcry.
I list this second, because this is, IMO, the 2nd most important
piece of gear for the Jav Barb. If at all possible beg, borrow, or
steal—OK don’t steal...we run a nice respectable forum here
—but do anything you can to get a legit .08 Arreat’s Face. Why
.08? Simple—no sockets in Javs=no Eth. The 15% target defense in
.08 Arreats takes care of all you AR worries (and makes the Double
Throw debate moot, as well). The added max damage is a bonus not to
be underrated as well.
If you can’t get an .08 Arreats, an .09 will stand in respectably.
You will suffer from the lack of an ITD-type attack though. Get the
best leach you can afford.
There’s really only 1 choice here: Stormshield, I recommend a –reqs
jewel in it. If you want a stand-in while you are saving up to buy
your Storm, Whitstan’s guard offers good blocking. Really, though,
you need a Storm.
I have 2 armors I use:
4 Socket Wire Fleece: 60% IAS, 43% Enhanced Damage, +10 Minimum
If I feel like dropping about 85 stones (and if I had them to
drop—I’m pretty much tapped out after building my 2 barbs ),
I’d make a 60% IAS, 120% ED. +15 Max armor (where I duel
60/160’s are banned—and as dupes, many disappear anyway).
For my purposes, though, my IAS/ED armor works fine. And since I
made it, I know it’s not going anywhere. I wear the shaft vs.
Barbs, and the IAS/ED vs. everyone else,
including—ESPECIALLY—Zons (more on this later).
Note: You can pick up any normal dusk shroud, wire fleece,
etc., in a cow run and use a normal socket quest on it for a
guaranteed 4 sockets. Add 4 plain IAS jewels and you get a
functional stand-in that performs the most critical role of this
armor—the 60% IAS.
Cat’s Eye...really your only choice. IAS, R/W, and Dex—the only
thing it’s missing is +skills, but we can’t always have it all.
Raven Frost: Mine is 20/163 simply because I never got around to
upgrading it, and with .08 Arreats I don’t really miss the AR. You
MUST wear one of these (or something with “Cannot be Frozen” on
to cast fire, brimstone and flames at me, but I use Raven Spiral
(West Pre-Xpac Dupe—Dual Leech, AR, Dex, Resist All) here. I have
a legit dual leech with AR I found way back on my very first barb
from NM Ormus (it took me weeks before I understood why everyone was
so hyped up about dual leeches...didn’t Ormus always pass them out
in NM?), but it’s on my S/S (who is, btw—100% legit). If
everyone dueled 100% legitly, I would, too. But I’m not gong to
kill myself trying to find the prefect legit item when everyone I
know uses the easy to acquire dupes.
If you don’t want to use/can’t afford the Raven, use a legit
dual leech if you have it, or any leech + AR ring here. Note: If you
don’t get mana leech here, you may be on a long and exasperating
search for Cruel Hyperion Javs of the Vampire.
Which Brings us to my...um...er...Imp Shank Boots (Another West Pre-Xpac
Dupe—Dual fastest, +Str, +Resists). One last rationalization seems
in order here. The only dupes I use are pre-XPac Dupes. They won’t
disappear on you, and if Blizzard really wanted to get rid of them
they could have easily deleted them all upon conversion.
In addition to any qualms you may have about dupes, I realize Imp
Shanks are very expensive. Good Alternatives are low MF% War
Travelers, IK Boots, Aldur’s Boots, or Rare boots with Fastest R/W
and Fastest Hit Recovery (added stats or resists would be helpful
I use rare gloves with 20 IAS, dual stats, and 3 resists (legit,
too). Any Gloves with 20 IAS are a good start. Adding leech would be
nice, too. In a pinch you could use one of the set 20 IAS gloves.
I use 2 Belts, and I keep Meaning to pick up a third:
7/15 String of Ears (too lazy to trade for an 8/15)—I wear this
vs. Zons or any melee class.
added dex and damage is nice vs. Spell casters when you don’t need
is a nice belt to use against sorcs and FoH Pallys. I’ve just
never got around to getting one because the sorcs that can kill me
don’t do it with TS...they do it with Orb.
None of these belts are particularly expensive.
You will obviously want to socket everything you can. In case you
don’t know, you should trade for clean items (unless you know and
trust the trader)—the odds of an item being duped go up
dramatically if it has a good jewel in it. Trading for duped jewels,
on the other hand, makes no difference as long as you put the item
in a socket. After you socket it, a duped jewel is just as good as a
legit jewel (which is just as well since there is no way to tell).
For your jewels, you will have 4 goals:
Max Damage (or Min Damage)
I use (or plan to in 1 case) the following:
Arreats: 39% ED/+14 Max
Jeweled Wyrmhide: 25% ED/15% IAS; 18% ED/15% IAS; +5 Min/15% IAS; +5
Stormshield: 36% ED/-15 Reqs
Shaftstop (Still need an ED/IAS jewel—probably going in the 30
range—about 6-8 SOJs)
The rationale behind these jewels is fairly straightforward. First,
the strength req on Storm is way too high for this build since javs
don’t require much str, hence the –reqs jewel. The best 2nd Mod
for –reqs (at least IMO) is ED.
The other jewels all relate to the IAS I need to max Double Throw
and Berserk. In short, you need 55% IAS to hit the normal throw
breakpoint for 10 frame throwing. Since my gloves and ammy give 40
IAS, I need 15 more. The ED/IAS on the Shaft fits the bill. I could
have opted for ED/IAS in the Arreat’s, but that would have been
wasted when I switch to the jeweled armor (see below), and it also
renders the Arreats kind of worthless for anyone other than a throw
barb...and there’s no point in that.
When I do switch to double throw, the 60 IAS form my jeweled armor
brings me to 100, which hits the 4.5 frame (IIRC) break point for
double throw. Just as importantly, it also hits the 9 frame
breakpoint for both normal throw and berserk (again, more on this
later). Since I don’t have to have the IAS from the Arreats in
either scenario, ED/MAX is the best choice for it.
Again, though, these jewels are very expensive. You can (I did) get
by with lesser jewels in your items:
plain ED jewel
socket armor: 4 plain IAS jewels
Stormshield: plain –reqs jewel or Hel rune (Trading for a Hel’ed
Storm is an exception I would make to the “trade for clean
items” rule. There is almost no chance these items are duped, and
they go for a substantial discount over a clean Storm.)
Shaftstop: plain IAS jewel
In your charms, you
are looking for 5 things (in no particular order):
Speed is key for this build, both to dodge barbs and to pursue other
classes. I like 150-175% on barbs. This is not as hard to come by as
you may think. Here’s how I get to 160%:
- Imp Shank—30%
- Charms—60% (12
2) Faster Hit
need 30% to hit the first break point. With 20% coming from Imp
Shank, you only need 2 FHR SCs to hit it.
Skills: I have
1 +1 Masteries GC with about 25 Life. I chose to add this to get my
Increased Speed to lvl 14, get my Natural resist to the point where
all my resists are maxed in Nightmare (where I primarily duel), and
to boost both my throwing and melee damage. 1 Masteries charm is a
good investment IMO.
You will need to balance your life and damage needs. I think 3500
life makes for a very durable barb. That leaves me some space for a
couple straight damage charms (I have a 10 Max GC and a 3 Max SC
with 2 Dex). I have a few Life/Max charms, but most of my best
charms are on my S/S—as my senior barb he still enjoys right of
If you are lacking in a particular resist (notably cold or
lightning) here’s the place to compensate. Ideally, you can get
your resists as a 2nd Mod for one of the above charms.
That last point applies to all charms. In a perfect world, we would
all have fine/sharp/shimmering charms of vita/r/w/fhr. In the real
world, good single mod charms can carry you a long way.
OK—enough about putting your barb together. What do you do once
you’ve made him? Simple—go wreck some havoc on the unsuspecting.
Here’s how I approach the different situations.
Aiming: this is the most important thing you need to learn as a
thrower. Sometimes you will want to lock on and fire away. Other
times you will want to lead your opponent and fire ahead of them so
they can run into your javs. Figuring out when to do what will take
practice. The only hard and fast rule I can give is that if someone
is predictably circling you...lead them into your javs. Other than
that you will have to practice and adapt. Oh—remember that you can
hit people from off the screen. Make use of that fact to get people
to chase you (when you want them to, that is) and to nail them from
Left Button: Berserk—always. I never switch this one
Right Button: Throw (or Double Throw)/WW—switch as appropriate.
When to Whirl
Again, you will have to practice. One of the best features of this
build is its unpredictability. For example, get a barb chasing
you...nail him with a few javs...clip him with a quick WW while he
is on the run...then hit and run again. Mastering the attack switch
is the hardest (and most fun) part about a jav barb. Practice,
practice, practice. And...oh yeah...when you see the yellow crossed
javs—time to switch to WW.
This is the funniest aspect of the Jav barb. Loaded up with r/w
speed and sporting a 9 frame berserk, it is VERY easy to run up to
most characters (NOT Barbs—and generally not SORCS) and dispatch
them with 1 or 2 berserks. Nothing is more satisfying than hearing
the zons piss and moan while they pick up their corpses. Simply put,
NO ONE expects 2k+ Berserk out of a jav barb. It is so effective,
that it is basically my approach of choice vs Zons, Necro, most
Pallys, and some Assassins. A little desync along the way doesn’t
hurt your cuase either.
Sorcs are the reason I made this guy to begin with. Sure, if I load
up my S/S with absorb, I can bore most Sorcs to death. In a fair
fight though, good—even average Sorcs wear out WW barbs. Enter the
double thrower. With 4.5 frame double throw you are a veritable
machine gun. Obviously, I use my 2 jav set-up with the IAS armor. I
also wear Razortail for this match-up (I’d wear T-Gods if I ever
remembered to trade for 1).
If the Sorc is a poor teleporter (or does not have particularly good
fast cast gear), get close and fire away. Game over. One handy trick
is to click on the Sorc and hold down the mouse once their name
appears (name lock). You will track them and nail them when they
stop to cast.
For your better built and played sorcs, though, this won’t be
enough. They can teleport faster than you can turn and fire, and
they can teleport far enough away so you lose name-lock. Your best
bet (and this won’t work all the time against the best sorcs...but
it is your best bet) is to run to a corner. By sitting in a corner,
you limit their teleport radius, and you can blanket the area with
javs—greatly increasing the chance that you will hit them.
Whatever you do, don’t chase a good sorc. Make them come to you.
Using this approach, I abuse poor sorcs (including most pubby
sorcs—even in Hell) beat decent sorcs far more often than I lose,
and hold my own against all but 1 or 2 of the best.
Again you will want to go with 2 Javs and Double Throw. You can do a
lot of damage to Necro who is just off your screen with Double
Throw. You can also do a LOT of damage to Necro with 9 frame
berserk, and with a good WW. The attitude you take will depend on
how good your opponent is. You can dispatch most Necros with Double
Throw. You can also kill all but the fastest and best played very
easily with berserk. WW is also a viable option. If your opponent is
good, you can play more conservatively and nail him from off the
screen with double throw. Then you can switch tactics accordingly if
he decides he has to close the gap. In short, you have a lot of
options which you will need to practice to decide which best fits
your style (lately I’ve been favoring the berserk approach simply
because it is unexpected and funny). Don’t be lulled into a false
sense of security, though. Good Necros are tough.
Gogo 9 frame Berserk. This is the best way to kill Zons I have come
across. DR Zon? No problem. Try a 2600 berserk on for size. Wear
your Storm with your best jav, add your IAS armor and your String.
Get them on the run and keep after them. Unless they are slow and/or
knockback zons, chances are you’ll get them to desync and/or stop
too long to shoot and nail them with a berserk or 2 before they can
wear down your life. After you kill them try not to gloat...too
That said, some zons will still give you trouble. True hybrid zons
can hit fast enough when jabbing to keep you from wiping them out
with berserk very readily. And some times the desync gods will smile
on the Zon. All in all though, I like my chances against Zons with
Hit and Run Here. 1 jav + Storm, String, and Shaft. Make them come
to you. If they are really good, they will deal more WW damage than
you, so only hit them with WW when they are on the move or when you
are out of javs (hopefully when they have very little life left).
Think Muhammad Ali here—stick and move...stick and move. Your
biggest problem here is the same desync that helps you vs. the other
classes. If you find yourself in the middle of a WW—stop
running!!! Tank it as best you can with your shield then get on your
horse again. And if you happen to get a barb stuck in WW lock, nail
them mercilessly. Lead them all over the map, pummeling them until
you are sure they are dead. Then run them into a tree or something.
If you are facing a hybrid, try to get him to waste his javelins
first (another handy feature about hyperons is the 100 stack size as
compared to 80 for winged harps). Nail him from afar whenever he
switches to javs, but most importantly keep running.
All in all though, Barb vs. Barb against a good barb is a tough
match-up for a Jav barb. Desync is a tough foe to beat when he also
has 3k+ ww.
Same approach as with barbs, but they are much less dangerous. Hit
and run. One thing, if you find yourself being attacked, use WW to
both nail them and free yourself up to resume the chase (them
Treat melee Pallys like Barbs and Druids. They should pose you few
problems. Deal With FoHers like you would with necros and
sorcs—although you might want a shield here, depending upon how
good your opponent is (meaning how versatile). The only way to know
for sure is to pick an approach and see what happens. Change gear
accordingly after the first go around.
In general, I wear a shield against assassins. If they are weak or
pure trappers, 2 Javs is better. For melee assassins, ww and berserk
both work well. For trappers use ww to break MB/WoF lock. Nail them
with berserk if they don’t have enough fast cast. Otherwise, keep
them under pressure with javs and use your WW to finish them.
I generally go with jav + shield for team duels. I will usually wear
my IAS armor and String, switching to Shaft if the other side has a
Zon/Necro combination that is giving us trouble. In a team duel, you
can act as tank, fire support, and finisher, so you make a very
versatile teammate. Your exact approach varies too much depending
upon the make-up and skill level of the other team to address here.
Again, you will have to practice.
Gogo Cow Level leech... Seriously, though, I can actually kill
things in 8 ppl cows with both WW and berserk (I go jav + Storm, IAS
Armor, String). If I team up with a necro we make very short work of
even large groups of cows. Best of all, repair costs are VERY low.
All in all, I love my jav barb. He’s been a great diversion and
change of pace from my S/S barb. Best of all, he’s fairly original
and never fails to elicit either laughter or grumbling. Anyway, I
hope you found this useful. Feel free to give me comments and
feedback, and look me up on West if you ever want to try me.