Let's get weird
Variety is the spice of life, especially when you're killing demons and fallen angels by the thousands. If you've been playing Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls since launch, you've no doubt got your min-maxed, all-out DPS build down pat. But when you're not farming for full level 70 set pieces or chasing after Legendary gear with perfectly rolled stats, why not have a little out-of-the-box fun? Diablo 2 has tons of wacky themed builds, like the Fishymancer, Wolf-Barb, Melee Sorceress, Whirldwind Assassin, Fire Claw Druid, and plenty more. With these Reaper of Souls builds, you can achieve that same level of creative zaniness in Diablo 3--and still manage to kill monsters with surprising efficiency.
We asked Blizzard Entertainment writer Alex Ackerman for the wackiest, goofiest, and most unconventional Diablo 3 builds fit for those inventive Nephalem out there. She most definitely delivered, with one crazy character spec per class (six in all) and the means to make them possible. If you want to stand out from the pack, these flavorful builds are guaranteed to surprise and impress your regular Nephalem Rift crew.
Traveling Zoo (Demon Hunter)
If you played Diablo 2: Lord of Destruction, you probably recall how the Druid class could create a veritable army of animal companions at his side. Turns out, Diablo 3's Demon Hunter can carry on this beast master tradition, provided you've got the right skills and gear. "Why stop at just one four-legged companion when you can have all of them?" asks Ackerman.
Of all the wacky builds on this list, this one's probably the most gear-dependent. First, you'll need any four pieces of the Embodiment of the Marauder set, excluding the chest; the set bonus makes your Companion spell call all animal types to your side ("This is important," Ackerman stresses). For the chest piece, you'll want to equip Cloak of the Garwulf, which grants you two additional Companions. "Now, give your Demon Hunter the Companion skill [with the Wolf rune], throw on your gear, and BOOM--instant Doctor Doolittle," says Ackerman. "To complete your build, equip the Cluckeye bow to replace your standard pointy projectiles with chickens. Youre welcome."
Chicken of Doom (Witch Doctor)
Ever since The Legend of Zelda: A Link to the Past, we've known just how deadly video game chickens can be. This amazing Witch Doctor build turns you into a certifiable Chicken of Doom--a detonating piece of poultry that can clear rooms full of monsters in no time flat. "The main skill that makes all of this work is Hex with the Angry Chicken rune," says Ackerman. "This will transform you into a chicken for a few seconds thatll explode dealing 1350% weapon damage to enemies within 12 yards." Yes.
But the madness doesn't end there. "Use Tribal Rites to reduce the cooldown of your Hex by 25%, throw on Grave Injustice for additional cooldown reduction, and hit up an Empowered Shrine for even more cooldown buffness," adds Ackerman. "From here, all you have to do is one thing: run straight into the biggest group of bad guys you can find and enjoy the trail of destruction (and feathers) you leave behind."
Burnt Popcorn (Monk)
"Some builds are fairly simple, relying on an item or two that go really well with a certain skill," notes Ackerman. This Monk build is the perfect example of that kind of spell-item synergy in action. "Take Exploding Palm--an epic skill on its own (enemies burn, lots of fire; it's awesome)," says Ackerman. "Then equip the Essence Burn rune and slip on The Fist of AzTurrasq to become a fire-flinging badass!"
Fist of AzTurrasq boosts the damage of the eruption from the on-death effect of Exploding Palm, creating a chain-reaction of combustible carnage when fighting a large pack of enemies. "Exploding Palm one guy to light the proverbial match and be on your way," says Ackerman, "kicking ass and taking names as you watch your enemies light up, fly into the air, and explode. Kinda like (burnt) popcorn." If you really want to turn up the heat, you can also add the fiery Epiphany spell with the Inner Fire rune to your skill rotation.
Electric Trampoline (Wizard)
The Wave of Force ability has a pretty excellent animation, with the Wizard leaping into the air with a blast of pure energy and liquefying any unfortunate ghouls beneath them. But such a sweet spell gets criminally underused by the Wizard community. "Wizards use their bodies as vessels for powerful arcane energy," says Ackerman, "but with all that built-up energy, surely they have to let it all go wild from time to time right?" This build, made by player Jaetch, lets you do just that, jumping around like you're at a rave and zapping hordes of baddies in your wake.
"Youll need a few key items for this build, such as the Fulminator sword and Harrington Waistguard belt," notes Ackerman. The former amps up all your lightning damage, while the latter gives you a serious damage boost any time you loot chests, corpses, or loose stones (which is often). "Next, make sure youve got Wave of Force with the Static Pulse rune on," says Ackerman. "Now just turn on your favorite EDM track, spam the heck out of Wave of Force, and go boing, boing, boing," presumably until everything's dead.
Earth, Wind & Fire Barb (Barbarian)
Do you consider yourself a gentle giant, smashing faces in one moment and dancing to "Let's Groove" in the next? This Barbarian build was made with you in mind; a destructive tribute to the elemental styling of the R&B/disco band of the same name. The actual skill composition for the Earth, Wind & Fire Barb might seem like it's all over the place, but fear not--Ackerman's here to detail the optimal ability rotation for this build.
"To start things off, Leap into action with the Call of Arreat rune just to provide a little extra shock. Follow that up by getting your opponents quaking in their boots with the Ground Stomp skill and Scattering Blast rune," says Ackerman. "But were just getting started. Pull your enemies to you with Earthquake and the Cave-In rune, and watch the earth crumble at their feet. Get a nice, fury-driven gust going with Whirlwind and the Hurricane rune to suck up anyone trying to escape your grasp. Finish them off by burying them in rubble with Avalanche, throwing on the Tectonic Rift rune to be able to store additional charges."
Marvel-ous Hero (Crusader)
Take a little bit of the mighty Thor and his powerful, electrified hammers. Add in a dash of Captain America's chain-slamming shield throws. Shake it up and drop it into the realm of Sanctuary, and you've got something akin to this thematic Crusader build. "I bet you were thinking wed say to equip Odyn Son, but no--were looking at Justinians Mercy, to gain the effect of Blessed Hammers Dominion rune," says Ackerman.
This Legendary flail will automatically make your holy hammers will orbit you as you move, no rune necessary. "This frees you up to use any other rune on that skill; we think Thunderstruck is a nice choice to add to this builds vibe," says Ackerman. "Next, equip your shield, specifically Jekangbordthis heroic shield buffs your Blessed Shield ability to ricochet off an additional four-to-six enemies, much like a certain patriotic Captain." To top it all off, Ackerman recommends that you Transmog your headgear into a Stechhelm. "Its look is very 'Im jealous of my brother and hate my father, lets cause trouble!' if you get what I mean," says Ackerman.
Slaying outside the box
That's but a mere sampling of all the zany, off-the-wall builds that are now possible in Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls. Got any personal favorites you'd like to share? Leave us a comment below with whatever crazy themed build you've seen or concocted yourself!
And if you're looking for more, check out our Diablo 3: Reaper of Souls review and our guide on how to Build a bangin' gaming PC for less than $1,000.