PC Barbarian class extensive guide By Czokalapik Version:1.0.0
of this guide is complete.

Patch accordition


Hero class overview

Information in this guides comes from extensive testing. While most information is correct, formulas found here are unconfirmed. Any tips and strategies are only the author's thoughts and observations.


Barbarian is the first hero in Dungeon Defenders with absolutely no towers, instead of that he can use battle stances and two weapons at a time (Swords, Axes, Hammers, Gauntlets) making him the best DPS class in game, and the most resistant and flexible one by far.

When played well, the Barbarian can be almost invincible and can handle every single mob or group of mobs.
There is a downside of course. You will have to get used to Stances. As there are some rules to remember, and lots of keys to handle, in the heat of battle it can be hard at first.

Barbarians also have another thing that makes them a great DPS class: their Combo.
When holding Left Mouse Button, Barbarian will attack with weapon held in left hand, and when holding Right Mouse Button - with right-hand weapon, but when both Buttons are pressed simultaneously he will do "Double Slice Combo". Combo goes as follows: Weapon 1, Weapon 2, Weapon 1, Weapon 2, Frontial Slice In with both, Frontial Slice Out with both. Frontial Slices finishing combo deal increased amount of damage and its speed depends on weapon speed that started combo.

Initially, the player had to press left and right mouse buttons alternately to create a combo, but soon after Barbarian was launched, patch with option for holding both buttons to fire off combo was released.

Hero Info Screen

Barb hero chart is read a little differently than other characters, because not only Tower stats are converted to Stances stats, but also skills are differently handled in stats. Simplest way will be showing you this in this comparison:

Barbarian Other Classes

Battle Leap and Battle Pound skills are Barbarian's abilities, they act like every other hero skills, but are not split in two different stats in hero tab, they are combined into one hero Ability #1 and both take stat from it.

Battlepoundicon + Battleleapicon

Ability 1 gets stat from Ability 1 Stat.

Stats from Ability# 2 in Hero Info page goes to offensive Stance that can be called third skill as it's also offensive and deals damage: Hawk Stance.


Ability 2 gets stat from Ability 2 Stat.
Tower Stats will be seen as Stances Stats for Barbarian. There is an easy way to check what stance will gain from given stat when you checking an item from different class, because Stances are colored like Tower Stats.
Siphon Stance
Tower Health
Defense Health
Tornado Stance
Tower Damage
Defense Damage
Lightning Stance
Tower Area of Effect
Turtle Stance
Tower Attack Rate
Defense Rate

Stances and Skills overview

Barbarian Stances that can be toggled on and off will drain mana constantly while active, more with every second, you will find more detailed info on that in Theorycrafting section of this guide.

For now let's focus on how Skills and Stances work and what upgrading their stats will give you.

Skill/Stance Info Upgrading Stats
Battle Leap
Battleleapicon30 Mana
When activated this skill will cause Barbarian to jump to closest enemy dealing damage with both weapons when landing.

Increasing Ability 1 Stat will increase damage of Battle Leap.

Battle Pound
Battlepoundicon100 Mana
When activated, skill does damage in short combo, immobilizing player for its duration. Increasing Ability 1 Stat will increase damage of Battle Pound.
Hawk Stance
Hawkstanceicon120 Mana

After activating this Stance/Skill, next attack Barbarian does will deal massive damage with both weapons, but after that Barbarian won't be able to attack for 3 seconds.

Unlike Battle Leap and Pound, you can toggle Hawk Stance off before attacking to cancel it.

Ability 2 Stat determines damage of Hawk Stance.

Increasing Hawk Stance stat won't reduce it's cooldown (time player is unable to attack).

Tornado Stance
Tornadostanceicon10 Mana

Tornado Stance will increase Attack speed by about 70% and Run speed, as well as jump height of Barbarian. It will also add knockback to your attacks.

This will come with a cost though, your attacks will deal 54% less damage. This is for final outcoming damage, both elemental and physical, damage penalty from Tornado Stance is calculated after every other game calculations.

More in this Stat will increase run speed boost as well as knockback bonus.

Increasing Tornado Stance Stat won't increase jump height or attack speed, nor it will decrease damage penalty.

Lightning Stance
Lightningstanceicon15 Mana
Attacks with Lightning Stance active will stun enemies for short time (starting at 2 seconds with no points in this skill) draining percentage of your health with each attack.
HP drain will start at 4% and is not modified by anything in game, resists or Turtle stance won't lower it, and Siphon Stance incoming damage penalty won't increase it.

Increasing Stat of this stance will reduce percentage of health drained as well as stun druration.

Siphon Stance
Leechstanceicon40 Mana

Siphon Stance will heal you by percentage of your maximum health with each hit (minimum 2,5%), but you will take damage increased by 300% (before resistance calculations) while this stance is active.

Upgrading this stat will increase percentage of health gained with each hit.

It will not reduce incoming damage penalty.

Turtle Stance
Turtlestanceicon20 Mana

Turtle Stance willl reduce incoming damage by about 80%, but will also slow your run speed and reduce jump height.

When Turtle is active you are immune to Spider's Web effect as well as any other stun effects. Also you are rendered as heavier with Turtle Stance, so for example ogres won't be able to knockback you as far as without Turtle active.

More points in this Stat will reduce run speed penalty by small amount as well as it will increase damage reduction boost.

It won't reduce jump height penalty.

Choosing Weapon

Like most melee DPS classes it's recommended to use faster weapons with reasonable size, because in my opinion choosing weapons is much like in Squire/Countess case, i'll quote myself on that (from my Squire and Countess class extensive guide):

"You can see some info in Squire and Countess Weapons, but important thing is that not every weapon from each kind have same speed or same damage. For example Backstabber, while being sword is more like Gauntlet when it comes to damage and speed. Also bigger weapons are little slower than smaller ones (even in same category).

Simply because i'm having problems with actually hitting mobs with slow swings of hammers when running through group, and because small weapons (Backstabber) just don't do so much damage to larger groups of enemies i prefer Swords (mid sized or larger ones). That's why Frost Blade, Rapier or Katana are my personal favorites because while still big they are very fast and do high damage per hit.

Reason why i don't like small weapons is simple: in end game content those would only be good for ogres, because positioning yourself to hit smaller moving mobs, or mobs attacking you from every side is just... will result in death eventually from group of ninjas or because of spider web.

More info (with more theorycrafting) about weapons in great article: Extensive Weapon Effectiveness."

One would say that Tornado Stance will increase weapons attack rate, so slower weapons with bigger damage would be better, but i have noticed one thing: i have Frost Blades on my Barbarian and i'm running constantly between mobs on Tornado Stance, they die in an instant, and when i need to focus my DPS on ogre i'm just toggling Tornado off for higher damage.

So in conclusion: with fast weapons with lower damage you will easily kill lesser mobs even with Tornado Stance toggled on, you don't need high damage hammers for that, and when dpsing ogre - still weapons like Frost Blade or Katana will do better damage than any other with or without Tornado Stance. As i mentioned earlier, currently best melee weapons are Frost Blade and Katana.

One thing that could speak in favour of slower weapons is that skills, and more importantly Hawk Stance, deal damage based on weapons damage, so Hawk Stance with Hammers will hit for about two times as much as it would with Backstabbers. But from my experience Hawk Stance is used mainly in PvP. In PvE it's most often used for finishing Ogre or killing groups of ninjas when you are cornered by them.

Elemental Damage Weapons - is it worth it?

There is one more thing players were taking into consideration before, and soon after Barbarian release, and often considering this even now: Elemental Damage upgrading.
Reason for that is simple - two weapons. On normal dps claases upgrading Elemental damage would mean that you couldn't do anything to 1/5 of mobs, on Barbarian you have possibility of one weapon with Physical damage, for element-immune mobs, second with high Elemental Damage, or even both with Elemental Damage, but different one on each weapon.

So is it worth it?
When you are playing insane or lower - sure, i think it is worth trying, but when i tried that with 2k Hero Damage *, fully upgraded Rapier with 70k Poison damage done only half of damage of Ice Sword with 21k Physical Damage.

  • Elemental Damage does not increase with Hero Damage.

So until they will do something with this - don't even think of upgrading Elemental Damage when you are aiming for Nightmare.

But lets talk about Elemental Damage for a while, assume i'm talking abount insane or lower:

What are upsides and downsides of this? Downside is that both Skills and Hawk Stance are based on physical damage, also Genie gives mana based on Physical damage you deal. Also with two weapons with different Elemental damage you will be dealing only half of damage to two kinds of mobs. And of course elemental damage won't get nothing from Hero Damage stat.

Upside is that when you will be damaging mobs without immunities for your weapons, you will increase greately your damage output as Elemental Damage upgrades better than Physical.
Even if monster will have immunity for one of your weapons, second one will do much more damage than physical one.

I'd seriously consider this option if you are playing with builders that use Darkness Traps often, as they will strip any immunity from monsters.

But again, skills and Hawk will do much less with Ele Weapons, this shouldn't be much of a problem in later content, as i noticed very little players use Hawk in end-game, because during 3 seconds cooldown they would do similar damage to mobs doing normal combo as Hawk would, not mentioning Skills, that are not used almost at all by most of players.

Stats building

Barbarian is more complex hero than any other by far. Classes with towers can be DPS or builders, building them as dps follows almost same pattern for every class as stats connected to damaging and surviability are most important in end game content, and creating Builder is also simple, choose what given hero should do with his/hers towers and build stats based on this function.

With Barbarian there are many other varibles to take in consideration, and many other surviability options than simple resists and health.

For now i can tell you that like every other DPS class, Barbarian should be addition to builders in first place. Most of maps, survivals or challenges wouldn't be doable without good tower hero. That's why you should play carefully, shouldn't die at all or at least too much, and you should help your builders.

Stats that you always should have in decent amount are:

  • Hero Speed (maxumum in game is 99)
  • Casting Rate on at least 300, and 700+ in later game content - you will be best for repairing and upgrading, extremally fast run speed and high jumps with Tornado, when needed you can guard yourself with Turtle and heal with Siphon.
  • Health should be almost paired with damage, as sometimes even good Stance Dancing won't save you.
  • and of course - Resists as high as possible because you will be running between monsters almost most of the time, this is especially important on Nightmare

Personally i'm trying to keep ratio of 2,5:3 of hero health : hero damage, while keeping hero speed at 99+ and casting rate at at least 600-700.

Basically i'm following same patter as in my Countess case:

Weapon Damage > Hero Damage > Hero Health + 99+ Hero speed and decent casting rate

And for Nightmare:

Resists > Weapon Damage > Hero Damage > Hero Health + 99+ Hero speed and and decent casting rate

Find more information about what stances to level up here: Gameplay Tactics section (UNDER CONSTRUCTION!), where after some gameplay examples i will tell you my recommendations, and explain why i think it will be best.


Again i will quote myself from my Squire and Countess class extensive guide as i think Barbarian, when it comes to pets, is much like any other melee DPS hero.

"Melee classes have more pets to choose from than ranged classes, even because Squire Guardian is rarely used by ranged classes as it requires to be close to barricades. Also dps pets on ranged classes sometimes just don't shoot projectiles because they are too far. Melee can get dps ranged pet with extremely slow projectile speed because the 'projectiles will hit, unlike in ranged class case. Also melee dps class can use melee dps pet for same reason.

In early game you will just get what is given to you, but in late games my recommendations are:

  • Have good Genie, so you won't be having problems with upgrading defenses, 5000 base damage on genie should be enough, as further increasing it's damage (mana return) is waste of points. For example 5000 base damage on genie can give you up to 280 mana per it's animation (~3seconds), and 10000 base damage can give you up to 329 mana per ~3 seconds, and that are lots of upgrades. I'm always upgrading good genie to ~5000 and putting rest of upgrades in Hero Damage, as this pet is used only in first waves.
  • Have good App/Hunt guardian when def is upgraded - those will be pets you'll use most often in later games, and those pets will be required by many players hosting games you will join.
  • as DPS have Squire Guardian, sometimes it can be useful
  • as DPS have decent DPS pet, as i mentioned earlier - it can be melee, it can be ranged with extremely slow projectile speed - it doesn't matter in your case (my personal favor is Serpent with low projectile speed."

Choosing what pet is best for you, especially among DPS pets is a matter of every player, i have found good serpent to be best for me, others prefer physical dmg pets. But always have good Genie and App/Hunt guard - those are fundamental in most games, every other pet is addition that can be used, but unfortunately won't be in most games.

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