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Comprehensive Level 80 Barbarian Build Guide in Dragon Nest [T4]

Here is a level 80 all-around build guide for Barbarians in Dragon Nest [T4]. This build is good for both PVE and PVP written by a DN SEA player whose IGN is Noobnesz. Check out how he build his level 80 hybrid barbarian below.

Introduction, Scope and Limitation

Hello fellow Barbarians! This is Noobnesz posting, from Springwood. This guide is primarily driven by the lack of Barbarian builds here in this forum. That being said, thank you for not posting many Barbarian builds. You people motivated me post one.

Anyway, the scope and limitation of the skill builds discussed in this guide is only on the PvE-Oriented, and Ladder-PvP builds only. The skill builds that would be presented here are not pure, since I wanted to make Barbarians as functional as possible (having utility skills like side kick, dash blow, soccer kick combo, et cetera). Also, I would not discuss anything related to "softban-PvP", since I am strongly against that kind of gameplay. Take note, I would not cover on the basic combos you can do. If you are here to know about what combos or skill rotations I do, I am sorry to disappoint you at this point in the guide, but I would not be tackling that for now. One tip, though: Play in Ladder! No matter how much they say how imbalanced that system is, I guarantee you that you will find that "imbalance" to be a challenge rather than a let down as you gradually get addicted to it. Make that as your motivation! As a Barbarian, I think there are almost hundreds of skill combination you can do to form a combo. If you have been playing as a Mercenary for some time now, I am sure that you are aware that you can follow up almost every skill you have on your skill tree with another skill, so discussing them one by one would be so time consuming.

The item build recommendations will only cover Enhancement Heraldries, Skill Heraldries and Skill Accessories. I would not elaborate much on which item set or Dragon Jades to use, although I will generalize it in the following statements.

Just make sure to maximize your STR while not sacrificing a lot of your Critical Rate Stat. You are good with 60-70% Base Critical Rate as it will just adjust after you cast Battle Howl and/or Critical Mastery (+20% Critical Rate). The Item recommendations are best suited for casual non-CC players, as it will not involve any CC-obtained items and overly expensive items such as Heraldries with 3rd Stats. If you are here for the Final Damage build, again, I am sorry to disappoint you but I will not discuss anything about FD or its damage calculation. Barbarians can achieve damage outputs almost similar to those people who are built on FD by using a method I like to call Strength Stacking, which will also be discussed on part VI.

It's up to you to whether or not you want to follow this guide religiously. It is all a matter of personal preference and playstyle anyway.

The Skill Builds
Gigantic Bomber PvE Build

Cyclone-Silence Ladder-PvP Build

Okay, Before you go "lol wtf lvl 5 relieve? only lvl 5? much w0w such n00b ur a barb but u no max? lol noob w3w. aso flying sweng? are u ghey? lol ur a noob w3w i h8 u gm please banned this ako n0t suppork", read the small wall of text at the beginning of this page, or even the FAQ section below and contemplate on your existence.

In the next section, I will be covering one and each skill found in the skill tree posted above, be it active or not. I will be discussing each skill with the help of the devices I made, or should we call it the fundamental properties of skills. These are the Damage, Support, and Utility. Also, I would add some of my opinions and insights and overview on the crucial skill point increments using the Analysis device. The number inside the parentheses "()" before the Skill Name reflects the index number of the skill, as shown on the pictures of the Skill Tree on the last section. If a slash "/" is present after the first value of the skill level, it indicates its level on the Ladder-PvP build.

I assume that you all are already aware about the basics of the skill mechanics of Dragon Nest. The levels 6, 11, 16 and 21 are the most crucial increments in almost every skill you will ever encounter in Dragon Nest. This is one proof: a Lv. 5 to Lv. 6 Rising Slash has an attack multiplier difference of 41% (from 244% to 285%) while a Lv. 6 to Lv. 7 Rising Slash has only a difference of 5% (from 285% to 290%). So this answers the question "Should I raise my [skill] to level [not 6, 11, 16]?" The answer is, If you have no other skills hanging at odd skill levels (not 6, 11, 16), go for it. But if you do, make sure to leave those skills first at the said crucial levels, either 6, 11, or 16 before on thinking about inefficiently adding levels to other skills.

Warrior Skill Tree Analysis

(1)Heavy Slash - Lv. 1
Damage: Doesn't deal much damage
Support: No support capabilities
Utility: Flinches the opponent
Analysis: The only thing that keeps this skill in my skill bar is its ability to heavily flinch an opponent. Also, it has a very low cooldown, makes it easily spammable, and a great initiator of combos. Useful in PvP, not much in PvE. Leave at Lv. 1.

(2)Impact Punch - Lv. 1
Damage: Like the Heavy Slash, it does not deal much damage
Support: No support capabilities
Utility: Sends the opponent flying in mid air; an animation canceller
Analysis: This skill is most famous as being a follow-up skill after the heavy slash. Not only that, it has a low cooldown that makes it spammable for combos. Make it as an initiator of combos, or you can use it in the middle of a combo to send the opponent flying in mid air. Great for animation cancelling of Heavy Slash. Leave at Lv. 1.

(3)Impact Wave - Lv. 1
Damage: Not much DPS, uses magic attack as damage multiplier
Support: No support capabilities
Utility: Minor Flinch, that's all
Analysis: This skill is not active on my skill bar. Uses magic attack, useless even if it is enhanced at Lv. 6. Only edgy hipsters use this skill.

(4)Rising Slash - Lv. 11/Lv. 6(PvP)
Damage: This skill can be classified as a DPS skill, as it deals great damage when the level is raised, but deals very mediocre damage if left at a low level
Support: No support capabilities
Utility: Can hit a downed opponent; can raise a person flying in the air; can be followed-up by Soccer Kick Combo
Analysis: This skill must be left at Level 6 or above to have an extra hit on the opponent. A great combo device, and not only that, good DPS for a short cooldown. Must have skill for all Barbarians. leave at Lv. 6 , or preferrably, Lv. 11.

(5)Circle Break - Lv. 0
Damage: One of the main DPS skills in the Warrior Tree, deals good burst damage
Support: No support capabilities
Utility: Super-Armor Breaker; can down an opponent on a circular area around the user
Analysis: It's utility is only useful in PvP, as it can down an opponent. This skill can be enhanced when it reaches lvl 6. You can prefer this over the Rising Slash skill if you want a good burst damage.

(6)Highlander - Lv. 1
Damage: None
Support: Grants the whole party protection from death for 60s in PvE, and 20s in PvP
Utility: None, just a support buff
Analysis: One reason why warriors are in demand in nests and raids. Get this skill. No SP required. Why not?

(7)Relieve - Lv. 6/Lv. 5(PvP)
Damage: None
Support: None
Utility: This is an instant self buff; it removes 3 debuffs instantly at Lv. 5, for only at a short cooldown of 25s in PvE, and 45s in PvP
Analysis: Max this as you will encounter mobs inflicting you with status conditions quite often. It's cooldown is only 15s if maxed, which is very useful considering that the PvE build I have given does not include Crisis Howl. Never leave this at Lv. 2, Lv. 4, or Lv. 6 if you are doing a PvP build. Its effects are just the same as that of a Lv. 1, Lv. 3, and a Lv. 5 Relieve respectively. You will just waste 1 SP for nothing. But if you insist on maxing this one out in your PvP build, I recommend using a +1 Skill Accessory so that your investment will not go to waste. See the list below to see how the quantity of debuffs removed and cooldown improves as Relieve is incremented in PvE and PvP.

Relieve PvE Skill Increments:
Lv. 1 - Removes 1 debuff @ 45s cooldown
Lv. 2 - Removes 1 debuff @ 35s cooldown
Lv. 3 - Removes 2 debuff @ 35s cooldown
Lv. 4 - Removes 2 debuff @ 25s cooldown
Lv. 5 - Removes 3 debuff @ 25s cooldown
Lv. 6 - Removes 3 debuff @ 15s cooldown
Lv. 7 - Removes 4 debuff @ 15s cooldown (+1 skill accessory)

Relieve PvP Skill Increments:
Lv. 1 - Removes 1 debuff @ 45s cooldown
Lv. 2 - Removes 1 debuff @ 45s cooldown (same effect as Lv. 1)
Lv. 3 - Removes 2 debuff @ 45s cooldown
Lv. 4 - Removes 2 debuff @ 45s cooldown (same effect as Lv. 3)
Lv. 5 - Removes 3 debuff @ 45s cooldown
Lv. 6 - Removes 3 debuff @ 45s cooldown (same effect as Lv. 4)
Lv. 7 - Removes 4 debuff @ 45s cooldown (+1 skill accessory)

(8)Tumble - Lv. 5
Damage: None
Support: None
Utility: Provides the user a short Iframe during the duration of the skill; hold shift and forward to activate the skill Dash
Analysis: Max this one. Shorter cooldowns means more opportunities for the user to use this skill. Best used for dodging attacks.

(9)Elbow Drop - Lv. 1
Damage: Not much DPS
Support: No Support capabilities
Utility: Used to insult a downed opponent
Analysis: Since you cannot unlearn this, you have no choice but use this as a way of taunting a downed opponent.

(10)Wake Attack - Lv. 1
Damage: More of a utility than a DPS
Support: No Support capabilities
Utility: Once you are downed, press the attack key to counter the opponent with a powerful slash; can knockback opponents
Analysis: You just can't sleep around while you are in crucial moments in the Nest, can you? Also, it is very useful in PvP as it can heavily knock back an opponent in close proximity, even cancel its attack!

(11)Side Kick - Lv. 1
Damage: Not much DPS
Support: No Support capabilities
Utility: Can be used to flinch an opponent, or hit the opponent while he is in mid air. Use this skill on an opponent while he is near a wall to hit him against the wall; this will cause him to be stunned in a short amount of time
Analysis: This is my personal filler skill. Mercenaries are known to have DPS skills with such very long cooldown times. You can't just stand there and look at your party-mates struggling while you are waiting for cooldown, can you? Also, you can't unlearn this, so kick some ass while you're at it!

(12)Drop Kick - Lv. 1
Damage: More of a utility than a DPS
Support: No Support capabilities
Utility: While falling, press Right Click to perform the drop Kick. If successfully executed, the opponent will be sent flying horizontally, making him unable to attack for a few seconds.
Analysis: Small DPS, most big mobs are resistant to its utility. This is a low priority skill for PvE builds. I just learned this skill because I still have extra SP to put into this. Useful in PvP in counterattacking from an aerial position.

(13)Dash - Lv. 5
Damage: No DPS
Support: No support capabilities
Utility: Makes you run like you stole something; can be used to follow-up a forward tumble.
Analysis: Max this one. Who doesn't want to run at full speed?

(14)Sweeping Kick - Lv. 1
Damage: Not much DPS
Support: No Support Capabilities
Utility: This is a follow-up skill for side kick. Best used to deliver the opponent near a wall, if one kick is not enough to stun him.
Analysis: Treat this as a follow-up skill after Side Kick. Another filler skill: you may or may not get this one, but because I love kicking ass, I learned this. Just leave it at Lv. 1.

(15)Soccer Kick - Lv. 1
Damage: Not Much DPS
Support: No support capabilities
Utility: Can be used to powerfully kick stunned opponents, downing them
Analysis: I would not get this if this was not the prerequisite for Soccer Kick Combo. Do not get this if you are not planning to get Soccer Kick Combo (which I highly don't recommend).

(16)Dash Kick - Lv. 0
Damage: Has high DPS if maxed
Support: No support capabilities
Utility: Super-Armor Breaker; follow-up skill to dash
Analysis: If you are a mercenary, you may be familiar with Dash Blow. This skill has very similar function of that of Dash Blow, it just breaks armor. Personally, I did not get this skill because it has a long recovery time, making the character vulnerable to other attacks. Also, this skill has no follow-up skill unlike Dash Blow which can be followed-up with a Soccer Kick Combo.

(17)Aerial Evasion - Lv. 4
Damage: No DPS
Support: No support capabilities
Utility: Can be used by using spacebar after being sent flying in mid-air
Analysis: Higher level means faster cooldown. Faster cooldown means many opportunities of escape during crucial situations. Enough said.

(18)Physical Mastery - Lv. 7
Damage: None
Support: None
Utility: A passive skill, raises the Maximum HP of the character
Analysis: Max this one. Who doesn't want to be healthy? Also, you will be acting as a semi-tank in nests. You will need more HP to drown so you can achieve much less riskier STR Stacking. Most of the time, you will need your HP to be below 20% in order for your Physical Attack to be maximized right? So you don't want that 20% to be relatively small, since you will be dealing enemies in close range with that HP most of the time.

(19)Mental Mastery - Lv. 1/Lv. 7(PvP)
Damage: None
Support: None
Utility: A passive skill, raises the Maximum MP of the character
Analysis: MP consumption for Mercenaries in PvE is no problem. Our skills have longer cooldowns compared to other classes, so we won't be needing that much MP per unit time. We rely much on our normal attacks, as well. Also, when you are in parties, there's almost always a Sorceress to provide you with Meditation Buff or Bringers to heal your MP. So, Leave it at Lv. 1 or you can just skip learning this skill at all. In PvP, however, you will need every MP there is in the world. That being said, max it in your PvP build.

(20)Mind Conquer - Lv. 1/Lv. 6(PvP)
Damage: None
Support: None
Utility: A passive skill, raises the amount of MP recovered per second
Analysis: Just as I have said earlier in the analysis of MP Mastery, Sorceresses and Bringers would aid you in your MP needs in PvE, so you can just leave this at Lv. 1, or completely skip this skill. I learned this due to the fact that I stil have extra SP. In Ladder-PvP however, every drop of MP recovery is very crucial in winning a match so max this one for your PvP build.

Mercenary Skill Tree Analysis

(21)Stomp - Lv. 6/Lv. 12(PvP)
Damage: Decent damage output on a circular area around the user
Support: No support capabilities
Utility: Flinches the opponent; Slows down opponents
Analysis: Leave it at Lv. 6 in PvE just to make the EX version unlocked. Also, it provides slow for minor mobs. Because some of the Bosses in Nests and Dungeons are resistant to its slow debuff, its level is not recommended to be raised higher than 6. In PvP, however, this must be maxed as it provides movement speed reduction for opponents. I also recommend using a skill accessory for this skill if you are following the PvP build. See the list below to see how the slow percentage and duration increase as Stomp is incremented in PvP.

Stomp PvP Skill Increments:
Lv 1. - Slows opponents by 6% for 1.5s
Lv 2. - Slows opponents by 8% for 2s
Lv 3. - Slows opponents by 10% for 2.5s
Lv 4. - Slows opponents by 12% for 3s
Lv 5. - Slows opponents by 14% for 3.5s
Lv 6. - Slows opponents by 16% for 4s
Lv 7. - Slows opponents by 18% for 4.5s
Lv 8. - Slows opponents by 20% for 5s
Lv 9. - Slows opponents by 22% for 5.5s
Lv 10. - Slows opponents by 24% for 6s
Lv 11. - Slows opponents by 26% for 6.5s
Lv 12. - Slows opponents by 28% for 7s
Lv 13. - Slows opponents by 30% for 7.5s (+1 skill accessory)

(22)Demolition Fist - Lv. 11/Lv. 1(PvP)
Damage: Deals great damage on a small area in front of the character
Support: No support capabilities
Utility: Flinches the opponent; knockback
Analysis: This is a must-have skill for all Barbarians. Fast cooldown while having a decent AoE, this skill proves to be one of the most required skill for Barbarian. Leave this at Lv. 11 in PvE. In PvP however, it is unreliable due to its slow casting time. It gives the opponent to escape just before this skill is cast. Execute this in the middle of a combo you wish to conclude. Never start a combo with this skill, as its too unreliable and risky.

(23)Circle Swing - Lv. 15
Damage: Deals heavy damage on opponents in a large area around the character
Support: No support capabilities
Utility: Sends the opponents flying in mid-air; Super-armor breaker; flinches opponents; can hit a downed opponent, provided that the initial cast position is near the downed opponent
Analysis: This is one of the Big Four skills of Barbarians, the others being Whirlwind, Ring Bombs, and Rolling Attack. This is my favorite skill. Not only it provides much greater damage and much lower cooldown time than Ring Bombs, this skill is very reliable in both PvP and PvE: You do not need to aim this anywhere, just press the key, and the next thing you will see, is mobs flying in mid air! Since this is one of the main DPS skill of a Barbarian, Max this one. I also recommend adding +1 skill ring to this one for a whopping 80% difference in damage multiplier! (from 773% to 853% in PvE). See the list below to see how the damage increases as Circle Swing is incremented in PvE.

Circle Swing PvE Skill Increments:
Lv 1. - Physical Attack: 407% + 832
Lv 6. - Physical Attack: 556% + 9930
Lv 11. - Physical Attack: 705% + 25417
Lv 15. - Physical Attack: 773% + 37025
Lv 16. - Physical Attack: 853% + 48257 (+1 skill accessory)

(24)Whirlwind - Lv. 13
Damage: Does maximum damage to opponents near the whirling rage of the Barbarian
Support: No support capabilities
Utility: Flinches the opponent; can hit a downed opponent, provided that the initial cast position is extremely near the downed opponent; can be maneuverable, meaning, you can control which way the skill will be going (can be acheived by panning the screen using the mouse)
Analysis: This is one of the Big Four skills of Barbarians, the others being Circle Swing, Ring Bombs, and Rolling Attack. Max this one. Even provide a skill ring if available. No need to further elaborate on this skill. See the list below to see how the damage increases as Whirlwind is incremented in PvE.

Whirlwind PvE Skill Increments:
Lv 1. - Physical Attack: 750% + 1612
Lv 6. - Physical Attack: 1012% + 21866
Lv 11. - Physical Attack: 1274% + 47598
Lv 13. - Physical Attack: 1334% + 57366
Lv 14. - Physical Attack: 1364% + 62859 (+1 skill accessory)

(25)Cyclone Axe - Lv. 1/Lv.2(PvP)
Damage: Deals ultimate damage to opponents around the cyclone
Support: Great crowd control
Utility: Sends the opponents whirling around the eye of the tornado, making them vulnerable for further attacks on the outside; provides Iframe for the user
Analysis: Barbarian's Ultimate skill. In PvE, Leave this at Lv. 1 just to unlock the Barbarian skill tree. Your main Ultimate skill in PvE is Gigantic Bomb from now on. Just use this skill for utility: crowd control. For DPS, especially, burst damage, see Gigantic Bomb. But since you will need as much utility and Iframe in PvP as possible, you need to max this. You have no reason to use Gigantic Bomb in Ladder as it can be cancelled and dodged effortlessly by the opponent.

(26)Flying Swing - Lv. 1
Damage: Deals much burst damage to enemies in front of the character
Support: No support capabilities
Utility: Super-armor breaker; sends opponents flying through high air; provides Super-armor and 70% Damage Reduction to the user; maneuverable, can be aimed a few seconds right after the initial cast
Analysis: Although this skill has lots of utilities, and not to mention, decent damage output, it does not fit my playstyle. It has a very long casting time, making me vulnerable to attacks if not used in the right time. I believe this skill is not that reliable compared to other skills, that's why, like the Demolition Fist, I do not use this skill. If you are good enough and aiming for more burst damaging skills, invest on this one. But personally, I won't recommend it since there are better skills out there than this one (although it has higher damage output than its counterpart, Stomp). In PvP, I use this skill to tank heavy damaging skills such as Tracking Arrows EX.

(27)Punishing Swing - Lv. 1
Damage: Not much damage output
Support: No support capabilities
Utility: Flinches the opponent; the only long-range damaging skill in the Barbarian Skill Tree
Analysis: Leave this skill at Lv.1, for utility/prerequisite purposes. Not very reliable, since you need to aim and approximate the angle first to make sure it hits (considering the physics engine for Dragon Nest is corny. Yes, I'm taking a piss at you, devs ;]).

(28)Ring Bombs - Lv. 15
Damage:Deals great damage to short-medium range in front of the caster
Support: No suport capabilities
Utility: Sends opponents flying in high-air; can also be used to hit downed opponents; maneuverable for a short period of time after the initial cast, it can be directed at what lateral angle from the character will it explode
Analysis: This is one of the Big Four skills of Barbarians, the others being Circle Swing, Whirlwind, and Rolling Attack. Since this is considered to be one of the main DPS skills of a Barbarian, max this one. This skill is not as reliable as Circle Swing (since you have to correctly estimate the range on where it would explode and has a longer cooldown time in PvE), but it provides better burst damage if it hits successfully. Just like the Circle Swing, I recommend using a skill accessory for this one if you are planning to max it and raise it further to Lv. 16. See the list below to see how the damage increases as Ring Bombs is incremented in PvE.

Ring Bombs PvE Skill Increments:
Lv 1. - Physical Attack: 381% + 480
Lv 6. - Physical Attack: 521% + 5729
Lv 11. - Physical Attack: 661% + 14664
Lv 15. - Physical Attack: 725% + 21361
Lv 16. - Physical Attack: 800% + 27841 (+1 Skill accessory)

(29)Rolling Attack - Lv. 13
Damage: Deals severe damage if all hits are successful
Support: No suport capabilities
Utility: Sends opponents flying in high-air with the caster; can be used to hit downed opponents (provided that it is cast at the right position and at the right time); maneuverable only at the initial time of casting (use directional keys to aim the skill right after it is cast)
Analysis: This is one of the Big Four skills of Barbarians, the others being Circle Swing, Whirlwind, and Ring Bombs. This skill is not reliable, and very hard to master. But when mastered, it could deal severe damage to all entities that are hit with it. This is a great skill to cast before Whirlwind. Max this one, this is a main DPS skill, and provide Skill Ring if available. See the list below to see how the damage increases as Rolling Attack is incremented in PvE.

Rolling Attack PvE Skill Increments:
Lv 1. - Physical Attack: 785% + 2358
Lv 6. - Physical Attack: 1060% + 31978
Lv 11. - Physical Attack: 1334% + 69609
Lv 13. - Physical Attack: 1397% + 83896
Lv 14. - Physical Attack: 1429% + 91943 (+1 Skill accessory)

(30)Gigantic Bomb - Lv. 2/Lv. 0(PvP)
Damage: Deals great burst damage to all opponents in front of the user
Support: No suport capabilities
Utility: The initial hit will flinch and down all the opponents that are hit, and the second hit will send them flying through mid-high air
Analysis: The mother of all burst damaging skills of a Barbarian. If executed correctly, synergized with offend hit, enhanced taunting howl, toughness buff, bone crash, party support buffs, and all the energy in the known universe and beyond, it could achieve ridiculous amounts of burst damage. Max this in your PvE build. Do not learn this if you are planning a Ladder-PvP build. Why? Reasons: Slow casting time, can be cancelled easily by opponent, one shot only therefore casting this will be a huge waste if it misses, can be dodged effortlessly, no Iframe, the list goes on.

(31)Crisis Howl - Lv. 0/Lv. 1(PvP)
Damage: Not much damage output, more of a utility
Support: No support capabilities
Utility: Flinches the opponent; possibly stuns them, depending on the amount of Stun stat
Analysis: Do not get this skill for PvE. If you are following this guide religiously, you might be aware that you have maxed your Relieve. Use that instead of this. It will be kind of difficult or awkward not to have this at first, but you will get a hang of it. Also, 3SP isn't worth it. The only acceptable reason to get this one is if you are not aiming for Devitalizing Howl, which also consumes 3 SP upon learning. So make a wise decision. In PvP, however, it can save your life as tables can be turned around during clashes by this one simple skill. I recommend learning this if you are planning a PvP build.

(32)Taunting Howl - Lv. 5
Damage: Not much damage output, constant at 100% Physical Attack regardless of level
Support: Can used to provoke mobs, since it provides 12000 threat to the user at Lv. 1, and 22800 if maxed
Utility: Flinches the opponent, reduces its Physical, Magical, and Critical Rate Stats for 10 seconds; in PvE, if enhanced by Critical Mastery, it consumes 5% of the user HP when used, but raises his own STR for 50% for 10 seconds (see Critical Mastery on the Barbarian skill tree for further explanation)
Analysis: This is like a "mini Havoc Howl", just that it can be cast quickly, it reduces Critical Rate of the opponent and gives threat to the user. You will need this skill for your STR Stacking routine, enhanced by the Critical Mastery passive. Max this for 13 a second cooldown on PvE. Just be careful not to use this much if you are going solo, since it consumes 5% of your HP every time you use it (assuming you learned Critical Mastery). So if you do not have a healer around, or you do not have health potions with you, doing a little math, you can only use this for only 20 times before you are dead (20 x 5% = 100% HP, derp).

(33)Havoc Howl - Lv. 4
Damage: Fairly high damage output
Support: No direct support capabilities
Utility: Reduces the opponent's Physical and Magical Attack stats by 60% for 20 seconds both in PvE and PvP; maneuverable, can be aimed around the user after casting
Analysis: Max this one. No class is resistant to its debuffs, so again, max it.

(34)Devitalizing Howl - Lv. 1/ Lv. 4(PvP)
Damage: Not much damage output
Support: No direct support capabilities
Utility: Removes an opponent's buffs, and restrict it from using skills
Analysis: Leave this skill at Lv.1 in PvE, solely for use against the Minotaur's infamous berserk buff in Black Dragon Nest. If you don't want to dedicate in Dragon Nests, do no get this one and invest in other skills, such as the Crisis Howl or Ring Bombs. Treat this one like the Havoc Howl, use this in appropriate situations. It is not maneuverable (it cannot be aimed once you cast it!), so make it count. You will need to max this one if you are planning a good PvP build. It can disable your opponent completely for 4.2 seconds, leaving you room to attack, or stack more debuffs depending on the situation. I consider it a game changer, if you ask me.

(35)Battle Howl - Lv. 5
Damage: None
Support: Provides 2250 Physical Attack, 20% Stun Rate, and 6200 Critical Rate for 180 seconds for the user's teammates
Utility: Oh, I forgot, see those stats up there? Yeah. You also get them after you cast this baby.
Analysis: Max this and definitely add a skill ring for this one (5886 Physical Attack and 11480 Critical Rate at Lv. 6! Holy Meatballs.). Treat this as a permanent party buff since it provides the buff for 180 seconds at a 10 second cooldown. Cast and Forget!

(36)Iron Skin - Lv. 4
Damage: None
Support: No support capabilities, selfish buff
Utility: Provides maximum super-armor and 60% damage reduction for the user for 30 seconds
Analysis: This is a "selfish" Howl Charging. Max this one for maximum damage reduction. Best used in rotation with Howl Charging for permanent super-armor.

(37)Dash Blow - Lv. 1
Damage: Not much damage output
Support: No support capabilities
Utility: Sends the opponents in front of the user flying in mid-air; Can hit downed opponents; Can be followed-up with Soccer Kick Combo
Analysis: Leave this skill at Lv.1, unless you consider "tumbling and uppercutting everyone you see every 2.6 seconds" as a hobby

(38)Soccer Kick Combo - Lv. 1
Damage: Not much damage output
Support: No support capabilities
Utility: Downs the opponents around a small area of the user
Analysis: Leave this skill at Lv.1. This skill is pretty nifty as it can be used once every second (in theory, of course, since it has only 1 second cooldown!). Use this skill by right clicking after you have finished using either of the following skills: Soccer Kick, Rising Slash, Dash Blow, and Circle Swing EX.

(39)Toughness - Lv. 5
Damage: None
Support: No support capabilities
Utility: A passive skill providing 15% Physical Damage reduction to the user immediately after it has been learned; if the user is hit while his HP is below 50%, provides the user with a buff that adds 20% more Physical Attack Power for 60 seconds
Analysis: It is recommended to max this one, since mercenaries are considered to be semi tanks. Mercenaries are also combo-based both in PvE and PvP. Why am I saying all of this? It is because you can't afford hide and disrupt your combo just because you want to cower from all those heavy damage right? Right. Max this one. You are really missing out if you do not do so. Also, you should be doing damage while tanking instead of running away, considering the cooldown time of your skills are so long! Make each second count by doing some damage instead of hiding like Gosuk! But if you really insist on not getting this one, just at least leave it at Lv. 1 for the buff that provides 20% physical attack. I know you want that... Don't you? See the list below to see how the physical damage reduction increases as Toughness is incremented in PvE.

Toughness PvE & PvP Skill Increments:
Lv 1. - Physical Damage reduced by 3%
Lv 2. - Physical Damage reduced by 6%
Lv 3. - Physical Damage reduced by 9%
Lv 4. - Physical Damage reduced by 12%
Lv 5. - Physical Damage reduced by 15%

(40)Howl Charging - Lv. 5/Lv. 1(PvP)
Damage: None
Support: Provides teammates with "practically maximum" super-armor in PvE, and 30% physical/magical damage reduction
Utility: You get the stats mentioned above, plus 99.76% HP in PvE, 1% in Pvp.
Analysis: Now this is what I call awesome. Not only it provides your teammates with support, it also raises your maximum HP by 99.76% your current HP, practically double! Take note, this does not "heal" your HP, but rather "drowns" your current HP. For example: you have 100 HP, and after you cast the buff, you will now have 200 HP due to the buff (99.76% of your current 100 HP is 99.76, add it to itself, [100 + 99.67] you get 199.76, rounded off to 200). You will now notice that there is a big black empty space on your HP bar. Do not fret. It did not eat your HP, it just "drowned" it, so to speak. You will see similar results when you expose yourself to the Spirit of Genie provided by Kali. As a matter of fact, you can stack them to achieve more than a million HP! I've done that myself. Now if you do a little more math, you would also notice that your current HP is now 50%. You know where I am going here right? It means that you just now need to be hit by the opponent to in order for your Toughness and Offend Hit Buffs to activate (+20% Physical Attack from Toughness, and +40% STR from Offend Hit). Synergize this with Bone Crash and Taunting Howl, you get ludicrous amounts of Physical Attack gains. This is the very essence of STR stacking. In Ladder PvP, however, you will just be fighting all alone, so its support capabilities are somewhat useless. It's MP consumption is getting larger if you raise its level, and you do not want large MP consumption in Ladder, so leave this at Lv. 1 for emergency purposes only. Also, STR Stacking does not work in PvP either, so again, leave this at Lv. 1.

Barbarian Skill Tree Analysis


(41)Offend Hit - Lv. 4

Damage: Pure Damage is added to a hit if this skill activates successfully
Support: No support capabilities
Utility: Passive skill that provides a 40% chance of dealing additional pure damage to opponents based on the current maximum Physical Attack power; provides additional STR to the user depending on how much HP the user currently has
Analysis: Max this skill. Considering it has only a 2 second cooldown, matching it with a higher percentage of activity means dealing mini-burst damages every 2 seconds provided that you attack fast enough that you do not let it be idle for even a short moment. This provides pure damage, so it neglects any defence stat your opponent is having. The amount of damage done is dependent on the exact number of your Physical Attack power. Not only that, it also provides the user with a buff that adds +90%, +60%, or +40% STR, provided the user is hit while having only 20%, 40%, or 60% HP, respectively. A good rule of thumb: the lower the HP, the better. This is why we need Toughness. We wouldn't want a risky way to maximize Physical Attack Power. Got it?

(42)Bone Crash - Lv. 11
Damage: Very High Burst Damage
Support: Provides a "Bone Crash" debuff to every opponent that is hit, regardless if the attack is blocked or not
Utility: Bone Crash debuff for 15 seconds: pure damage for every hit on the opponent having the debuff; provides the user with additional Physical Attack Power equivalent to 50% of his current STR for 30 seconds in PvE; maneuverable, it can be directed where to land after casting
Analysis: The Barbarian's Signature Skill. You are not called a true Barbarian if you do not have this one maxed. This is a great support plus burst damage skill that provides +4400 pure damage to anyone who has the Bone Crash debuff. It is ultimately recommended to have a skill ring on this one so it could achieve a whopping +4800 pure damage per hit at Lv. 12. Yes, you read it right, pure damage. This means even though you play in adjusted maps (Lagendia Exploration, Dark Lairs, Treasure Stages, etc.), you will still get the same pure damage per hit you can as in non-adjusted ones (Nests, dungeons, etc.). And this is not even the fun part. After being cast, it provides the user with an additional Physical Attack Power equivalent to 50% of that of his current STR for 30 seconds, regardless whether or not the attack hit or missed. Yes, you heard me. Thirty seconds. You just need two seconds after the buff is depleted before casting this again, since Bone Crash has only 32 seconds cooldown. That is like practically having a permanent Physical Attack Power Boost! And you do not even need to harm anyone to have the buff activated! You could just basically hit the ground with this skill and still have the Physical Attack Power Boost. Best synergized with Whirlwind, Cyclone axe, and other similar multiple-hitting skills (ehem... Arrow Shower), making the Barbarian objectively better than it's tankier counterpart, the Destroyer, in providing support plus DPS in raid parties. Pure damage also applies in PvP, just that it is adjusted. Max it anyway, because I don't see why not.

(43)Stomp EX - Lv. 1
Damage: Extra range damage is +2% of that the original stomp
Support: No direct support attributes
Utility: Slow, 5 meter version
Analysis: Learn this skill. Wider range means a better potential for higher damage output and debuff range.

(44)Demolition Fist EX - Lv. 1
Damage: +30% additional damage on top of the original Demolition Fist
Support: No support capabilities
Utility: Passive: enhances your ordinary Demolition Fist; 70% stun chance when hit successfully using the Right Click button after casting
Analysis: Absolutely zero SP required, so get this one!


(45)Circle Swing EX - Lv. 1

Damage: Additional +30% damage on top of the original Circle Swing
Support: No support capabilities
Utility: Passive: enhances your ordinary Circle Swing; Sends opponents flying in mid-air after doing an uppercut using the Left Click button after casting; Can be followed-up by Soccer Kick Combo using the Right Click button after the uppercut
Analysis: Again, zero SP required. What's your excuse for not learning this one? Plus, it utilizes the Soccer Kick Combo. Also, it makes your ordinary Circle Swing 20 percent cooler by adding that awesome crimson red visual effect after you cast this. So, there's that.

(46)Whirlwind EX - Lv. 1
Damage: +30% full hit damage
Support: No support capabilities
Utility: Passive: enhances your ordinary Whirlwind; increases hit count, damage, spinning speed, and AoE of Whirlwind
Analysis: Learn this skill. Why? Because.

(47)Critical Mastery - Lv. 1
Damage: None
Support: No support capabilities
Utility: Passive skill that provides a buff that increases in Critical Rate by 20% in PvE, and 10% in PvP for 10 seconds after using either Battle Howl, Taunting Howl, or Havoc Howl; Passive: enhances Taunting Howl (see Taunting Howl for further explanation)
Analysis: This skill is appealing not because of its ability to provide additional critical rate, but because it enhances Taunting Howl. This is also one of the reason why Barbarians are much more superior compared to Destroyers in terms of STR Stacking. The Verdict? Learn this skill in both PvE and PvP. That +10% critical rate in PvP is much more than you think it is.

(48)Bone Crash EX - Lv. 1
Damage: +50% Extra Damage
Support: No support capabilities
Utility: Use left-click after using Bone Crash to lift enemies up in the air. Very useful in PvP, as it can give you an oppotunity to reset your combo cycle.
Analysis: Learn this one. Deals extra damage, does a utility of lifting your opponents, what's there to hate?

Item Build Analysis

This section of the guide will be dedicated to my own personal recommendations for the items best suitable for a Barbarian in both PvE and PvP environments. No set combinations, suffix, potential, and dragon jades recommendations will be given here as I will only discuss Enhancement Heraldries, Skill Heraldries, and Skill Accessories. As said in the introduction of this guide, no expensive items, nor CC-exclusive items will be involved. The following analyses are made in conjunction with the given skill build above. Therefore, maximum effectiveness of the following item builds will only be experienced if the skill build was exactly followed.

General Enhancement Heraldries

  • Bear - Raw STR is needed by any Barbarian. Top priority heraldry.
  • Destruction - Barbarian is P. Attack based. Another Top priority heraldry.
  • Wind - This works best with Fatal, increases P. Attack and Critical Rate & Resistance.
  • Fatal - Provides higher critical rate on top of Battle Howl and Critical Mastery.
  • Iron Wall - Provides Higher Physical Defense on top of Toughness.
  • Tent - Barbarians are very vulnerable to M. Attacks. Tent nullifies magic.
  • Health - Provides HP, works best with Howl Charging.
  • Life Vitality - Provides even more HP, works best with Howl Charging.

PvE Skill Heraldry and Accessory Configurations
PvE Skill Heraldries:

  • Whirlwind +20% Damage
  • Gigantic Bomb +20% Damage
  • Circle Swing +20% Damage
  • Ring Bombs +20% Damage or Taunting Howl -12% Cooldown

PvE Skill Accessories:

  • Whirlwind +1 Necklace or Ring Bombs +1 Necklace
  • Circle Swing +1 Earrings
  • Battle Howl +1 Ring
  • Bone Crash +1 Ring or Taunting Howl +1 Ring

Analysis:

  • Since Whirlwind is the main DPS skill of the Barbarian, you will need to raise its damage even further. The best way to do this is by using a Skill Necklace in conjunction with a skill enhancement heraldry.
  • If you do not have plans to increase Whirlwind further, you can use a Ring Bombs +1 Necklace to achieve its peak increment of Lv. 16.
  • In order for a Barbarian to maximize his burst damage capabilities, Gigantic Bomb must be raised a step higher by using a +20% damage heraldry.
  • Because Circle Swing is hanging on Lv. 15, we must raise its level to the peak increment of Lv. 16 by using a Skill Earring. To further raise its DPS, we must use a +20% damage heraldry.
  • Battle Howl Provides the user and his party members with a pseudo-permanent buff that increases raw Attack and Critical. We would want to raise the said stats even further. To do this, we use a +1 Skill Ring.
  • If one wants to achieve permanent Attack Power Buff provided by Critical Mastery-Enhanced Taunting Howl, we must lower its cooldown time to 10 seconds. To do this, a +1 Skill Ring is sufficient, but if this is not enough for some reason, use a -12% cooldown heraldry in conjunction with it to further reduce the cooldown time to 8.8 seconds.
  • Bone Crash is best used against mobs with special resistances. Raise Bone Crash's pure damage output by using a +1 skill ring.

PvP Skill Heraldry and Accessory Configurations
PvP Skill Heraldries:

  • Whirlwind +20% Damage
  • Cyclone Axe -12% Cooldown Time
  • Circle Swing -12% Cooldown Time or Devitalizing Howl -12% Cooldown Time
  • Rolling Attack -12% Cooldown Time or Havoc Howl -12% Cooldown Time

PvP Skill Accessories:

  • Whirlwind +1 Necklace
  • Stomp +1 Earrings
  • Battle Howl +1 Ring
  • Bone Crash +1 Ring

Analysis:

  • Since Whirlwind is the main DPS skill of the Barbarian, you will need to raise its damage even further. The best way to do this is by using a Skill Necklace in conjunction with a skill enhancement heraldry.
  • Cyclone Axe is considered to be the best utility skill of Mercenaries in PvP, and we need more opportunities to cast this rather than damage. To do this, we must reduce its cooldown by using a -12% Cooldown Time Heraldry.
  • Not only it gives superior damage output, Rolling Attack also gives the Mercenary another means of escaping or mobilizing during a Ladder-PvP Match. To have more opportuities to cast this, use a -12% Cooldown Time Heraldry.
  • To do more combo routines, we need to reduce the cooldown time of our "uppercut" skills. One such skill is Circle Swing. Not only it provides SA-breaking abilities, its damage is also decent. Use a +1 skill Earrings in conjunction with a -12% cooldown time heraldry.
  • Battle Howl Provides the user with a pseudo-permanent buff that increases raw Attack and Critical. We would want to raise the said stats even further. To do this, we use a +1 Skill Ring.
  • Pure damage is very vital to winning a Ladder-PvP match, especially when the opponent has ridiculous equipments with special resistances. Thankfully, we have Bone Crash. Raise it's skill level by using a +1 skill ring, as it is very well synergised with Whirlwind EX or Cyclone Axe.
  • For more opportunities of casting Devitalizing Howl in a time-critical Ladder-PvP match, use a -12% Cooldown Time Skill Heraldry. It reduced its cooldown time from 27s to 23.8s, best used in synergy with Stomp which only has 18s cooldown (5.8s waiting time).
  • In mirror matches, being the one to cast the first skill gives you the upper hand. That being said, If you are against a fellow Mercenary, to make sure you are the first to cast Havoc Howl, equip a -12% Cooldown Skill Heraldry to reduce its cooldown from 125s to 110s. That's just 20s after the opponent can use his Ultimate (Cyclone Axe or Gigantic Bomber). So if in 20s after his Ultimate has cooled down and he does not use it yet, you may have the chance to weaken the blow by using this skill.

Strength Stacking (STRacking)

This section of the guide will be dedicated for the discussion of the best thing about a Barbarian. This is the very reason why anyone would love to play a Barbarian. This is the thing that separates a Barbarian from all other classes in the game, the very definition of superiority of damage output over a Destroyer: a Barbarian's ability to do Strength and Physical Attack Stacking.

So what exactly is STRacking? STRacking is just a fancy word I have come up with, a spoonerism of STR and stacking. Basically, this is the process of casting and activating STR and physical attack boosting buffs through certain methods and ultimately achieving a significant boost in Physical Attack. This is only exclusive for the Barbarian class, and its significant effect only works in PvE.

To put it into perspective, STRacking allows a Barbarian to boost his stats from this:
Before STRacking, Town Stats

To this:

After Perfect STRacking

"So what is this so-called method?"
"What should I do in order to achieve perfect STRacking? Does it have to be in order?"
"What are the skills necessary to achieve this?"

All of those questions will be answered! Read on!

Firstly, you have to be educated about both the active and passive skills that come to play when you execute this technique. They are:
  • Toughness Buff
  • Critical Mastery-Enhanced Taunting Howl
  • Bone Crash
  • Battle Howl
  • Howl Charging
  • Offend Hit Buff

Second, you must know how to "drown" your HP and what is its significance in the routine. There are two categories of HP Drowning: Absolute and Additive HP Drowning.
  • Absolute - Your current HP value is absolutely affected. This is achieved when you are damaged by monsters, when you do self-inflicting damage such as the Critical Mastery-Enhanced Taunting Howl, or if you unequip your set.
  • Additive - Your current HP stays the same, but it is drowned relative to the amount of new HP added. This is achieved when you cast Howl Charging, or expose yourself to the Spirit Genie Buff by Kali, or if you put on new equipments while in dungeon.

The significance of HP drowning is that it is the only way to activate two significant buffs involved in the STRacking routine. Toughness Buff only activates when you are hit while having less than 50% HP left, and Offend Hit Buff is only maximized when you are hit while having less than 20% HP left.

Lastly, you must know the method. Now this is the most important part. To achieve "Perfect STRacking," you must perform these 10 easy steps:
  1. Unequip your whole set, from helmet to secondary weapon.
  2. Re-equip your set. You will now notice that your HP is now drowned.
  3. Cast Battle Howl (+5886 P. Attack for 180 seconds at Lv. 6).
  4. Cast Howl Charging (Extra defense, because you want to get hit; further HP drowning to make sure the Offend Hit buff activates at its full potential).
  5. Your HP should be below 20% by now. Always double check this.
  6. Cast Iron Skin for extra protection (optional).
  7. Be hit to activate Toughness Buff (+20% Physical Attack for 60 seconds).
  8. Be hit to activate Offend Hit Buff (+90% STR for 20 seconds; buff will refresh everytime you get while while having HP lower than 20%).
  9. Cast Critical Mastery-Enhanced Taunting Howl (+50% STR for 10 seconds).
  10. Cast Bone Crash (50% the current STR that was stacked is converted to Physical Attack for 30 seconds)
This is a video of me casting Gigantic Bomb without any buffs:

This is a video demonstrating the true potential of Gigantic Bomb with Perfect STRacking.

Honestly, the raw values shown in the video does not impress me, nor have I aimed it to impress other people. It is the significant difference in damage that is to be appreciated.

What do I consider "Perfect STRacking"?
Simply speaking, Perfect STRacking is achieved when all STR and attack power enhancing buffs are activated in their most highest potential. Imperfection occurs when even at least one of the many buffs are not optimized. For example: a Barbarian's HP did not drop to 20%, so his Offend Hit Buff will not provide +90% STR that it is supposed to give.

CAUTION: This method is not advisable if running solo on a long dungeon or if no healer is present in the party because using Taunting Howl while in the state of Additive HP drowning practically increases the amount of HP consumed directly proportional to the amount of HP added by the skill that causes the said HP addition (Spirit of Genie, Howl Charging, et cetera). See videos below for proof.

Normal use of Taunting Howl, no additive HP drowning, absolutely 5% of HP consumed.
466218 HP [100%]  to 442907 HP [~95%]


Taunting Howl while in the state of Additive HP drowning (Howl Charging)
466218 HP [100%] to 420373 HP [~90%]

What the heck happened?
HP consumption of Howl Charging is not fixed in terms of raw value, and is dependent of the current total HP of the user. It will always consume 5% HP of the current total HP, and not 5% of the original HP of the user. That being said, always anticipate an increase in Taunting Howl HP consumption every time you are executing additive HP drowning (e.g. Howl Charging, Spirit of Genie, et cetera).

Frequently Asked Questions 

Do you follow you own builds religiously? 
In terms of skill builds, yes I do. I actually own a skill expansion just to accomodate those two builds I have presented. In terms of item builds, not quite. I have a hybrid configuration of heraldries to accomodate both of my PvP and PvE needs. I would sometimes swap out heraldries for new ones for me to experiment on, same goes with the accessories.  

The MMOsite DN Skill Simulator says that Taunting Howl does not change cooldown per level increase but in-game, it is otherwise. Why is that?
It is just an error. Always test in-game, and do not depend blindly on third party simulators. 

What's with all these HP coditions in STRacking? I'm confused! Any tl;dr versions? 
Lower your current HP to as low as 20%, get hit once, or if you want, twice to make sure, cast Taunting Howl, Bone Crash, and DPS away! Congratulations, you just performed a perfect STR Stacking on a Barbarian! 

How much is the Critical Rate cap now? How can I achieve it? 
As far as I know, the critical cap is somewhere at 121,000. If you want to achieve this without any doubt, make sure your town stats is at 69%, and as you cast Critical Mastery (+20% critical rate) everytime, your critical rate will be adjusted to reach the cap of 89%. Which Elemental Conversion Jade is strongest for Barbarian? None. Generally speaking, Elemental Conversion Jades make Barbarians weaker due to the fact that it subtracts 30% Elemental Attack from the moment you equip it. When going solo, it is still advisable to go pure Physical Attack rather than to equip an elemental conversion jade. In parties, however, it is advisable to study the party composition first before equipping an elemental conversion jade. If most members have Light Buffs or Light Resistance debuffs, then go for Lightning ECJ. If most members have Dark Buffs or Dark Resistance debuffs, then go for Abyss ECJ, and so on. To answer your question briefly, there is no universally strong Elemental Convesion Jade. 

How do I achieve a perfect Mercenary tree (133 SP allocated in Mercenary tree)? 
Allocate 49 SP on the Warrior tree and 25 SP on the Barbarian Tree. 

Why is Relieve on an awkward skill increment (Lv. 5) on your Ladder-PvP Build? Why not max it? 
If you have read the whole guide, Relieve Lv. 5 gives the same effect as Relieve Lv. 6 in PvP. So don't waste that 1 SP! 

Where do I grind from Lv. 70 to Lv. 80? 
Fortunately, you are a Barbarian. There no problem in soloing dungeons because of your inherent Toughness, and Dash that makes you clear them faster. You can go solo Hard mode on these dungeons: 

Lv. 70-75: Abyss Of Heat 
Lv. 75-80: Wailing Wall