Diablo 2 Dragoon Barbarian

Most Diablo 2 players out there know just how cool and powerful the Barbarian is. Here's this hulking brute that can wield melee weapons and swing them around with reckless abandon, have a myriad of skills that take advantage of his brute strength, is tough as the side of a castle wall, and still more agile and mobile than most other character classes in the game. There has got to be something with the Barbarian that most people don't do in this game.

What about going for something crazier and more fun? There is a Barbarian skill that doesn't seem to get enough attention, yet is also one of the moves the character is known for. That's the Leap attack, but that's usually overshadowed by its more damage-oriented cousin, the Whirlwind (dance of death).

Leap is indeed a powerful attack, but it's still the Barbarian jumping at great distances to land on enemies. It's good burst damage, but a lot of people seem to favor other skills for their Barbarians throughout this time. The Leaper Barbarian takes that skill to the next level. If you think "Leaper" sounds too much like "leper" and you don't want to keep calling him that since the Barbarian obviously doesn't have a horrible skin condition, then you may call him "the Dragoon Barbarian."

Focusing on the Leap Skill for the Dragoon Barbarian means you can't build and outfit this Barbarian with stats, skills, and Diablo 2 items like most other Barbarians. For one thing, he won't be as much of a tank and you'll have to be mechanically good in order to use him effectively, thus you will need practice to pull of the perfect Dragoon Barbarian play in Baal runs.

With stats, have only enough Strength for your gear, no points at all on Dexterity and Energy, and the rest of your points on Vitality. As for skills, in the Warcries tab, max out Shout (last skill to max) and Battle Orders while putting a point on Howl and Battle Commands each. In the Masteries tab, max out your Spear Mastery and a point each on Iron Skin, Natural Resistance, Increased Stamina, and Increased Speed. Then with Combat Skills, max out Leap and Leap Attack (they synergize with each other) and a point on Whilwind (your secondary attack).

Using this character is a bit tricky. Leap Attack isn't as straightforward as you may think since it's all about how close you land on your enemy. Landing too close makes the Dragoon Barbarian go through a full attack animation, which wouldn't be good since your attack speed would be really low. Land too far away and it won't do anything. Landing just at the right distance from enemies activates the knockback effect with no additional animation, which is what you want.

Against bosses and champion monsters, the leaps have to be as small as possible to maximize your damage. Leap Attacking just in front of you can produce the best effect, and you can just spam it in in circles or back and forth until the monster is dead. As for mobs, do a Leap Attack to knock them back if they start to close in on you, then use Whirlwind on stragglers. Wearing items with Life Leech also helps.

It's in the left field, but it can be tremendously fun to play a Dragoon Barbarian, especially if you have the right D2 items and know what to do with him. When you think you've done everything in Diablo 2, here's something most people may not have tried before. If you haven't either, try giving this a shot.