Diablo 3: Rethinking the Might of the Earth Set

Thus far, we’ve only been given a slight glimpse into the next patch’s revamped set of the Demon Hunter Shadow Bane set. Of course, one of the major goals mentioned by the developers was to make all sets feasible and bring up current sets and older sets to a competitive level. In this blog, I want to share some thoughts on the Barbarian Might of the Earth set, also known as the Leapquake set.

The Might of the Earth set was originally a decent Torment 6 set prior to the revamp of Raekors and the introduction of Greater Rifts. Once Raekors became viable and both the Immortal Kings and Wrath of the Wastes set became really high end builds, Might of the Earth became filler until Barbarians managed to obtain the other three sets. However, the Might of the Earth set had some interesting concepts because it wasn’t the type that gave flat main stat boosts but tried to provide additional abilities to make the playstyle more interesting.

Currently, the biggest problem with Might of the Earth set is just lacking raw damage output. At best, it can do T6 with a lot of boosts from fire damage enhancing abilities (like Cindercoat). Also, it requires Lut Socks to allow Barbarians to perform multiple leaps and stack Earthquakes in an area.

The next major issue is a general lack of defense. Most 6 set bonuses have some form of defense built in on top of providing a massive damage boost. It is possible to combine a set like this with another set such as Immortal Kings but generally pure sets tend to perform better than hybrids. Also, it’s probably desirable in designing a set like this (or re-designing) to attempt to make the pure build more desirable than a hybrid (*Cough* Delsere’s *Cough*).

Lastly, one naive yet necessary way to look at a set is how it fits with Focus/Restraint. While a set shouldn’t be built purely around those rings, it’s hard to deny the importance those rings bring to doing high damage and allowing one to progress in Greater Rifts.

Given these parameters, here’s my thoughts on revamping the set. First, my biggest hope for the revamped sets is that the developers won’t make them all 6 set types. One great thing about sets like Immortal Kings, Tal Rasha’s and Innes is having alternative slots beyond shoulders, legs, hands, feet, helmet and chest. That provides more opportunities for hybrid builds while still having room for a pure build.

Part of the way the newer sets have worked out is adding non-set pieces that compliment a build (for instance, Hunters Wrath for Unhallowed Essence). I would like to see that avoided here because having a set belt, jewelry or weapon slot as part of the set means more flexibility in having combinations with other sets and slots, which in turn offers more build opportunities. While the build diversity probably will not determine the one’s ability to push Greater Rifts, it still offers more interesting setups, which is always a plus to the game.

Next, in focusing on the damage aspect, we have to re-examine the focus of the build: Leap and Earthquake. The nice thing about this set up is that it works well with Focus/Restraint right off the bat since Leap is a generator while Earthquake is a spender. The big thing here is that we need to increase the damage of Earthquake or eliminate the dot-like effect, similar to how Jade Harvester’s set converts a witch doctor’s dots to do the total damage of the dot upfront.

I think that the dot is fine so the next thing would be to increase the damage. A few things that can occur here is increase the radius of the earthquake area and/or boost the damage by 100-200%. The problem though is that you need to get mobs into the area of the earthquake for this to work.

So one solution is to give Leap all runes. Let’s make that the 4 set bonus. The bad part is that Toppling Impact and Call of Arreat are somewhat mutually exclusive. However, Iron Impact would handle the boost in defense. Perhaps, Toppling Impact can be changed to avoid the hurtling aspect and thus allow Call of Arreat to draw mobs in. Alternatively, you could create another item like a Mighty Belt or Bracers that eliminate the effect and increase the damage.

Another issue is that Leap has a 10 second cooldown. Lut Socks in some ways eliminates part of this by allowing barbarians to leap three times in a row. However, it simply isn’t enough. One idea here to change the way Lut Socks operates in making Leap a spender, similar to how Aether Walker converts Teleport into a spender. Doing this turns a Barbarian into a Hulk-like monster where he can just jump around smashing things about.

Of course, this switch creates a new dilemma where Leap no longer is a generator, thus negating the Focus/Restraint side of things. To offer some economic use of items, my suggestion is to make Dread Iron into a best-in-slot type of item for the LeapQuake build. If we re-visit the idea of adding runes to Leap, then what we can do is provide Iron Impact as a bonus rune (maybe it can be a shoulder piece alternatively). Then the Belt will have barbarians take Ground Stomp to pull mobs together after landing as well as triggering Avalanche and planting Earthquakes on the ground. Also, Ground Stomp acts as a generator so barbarians can just spam Leap so long as they have fury and hit Ground Stomp in between.

Lastly, we’ll need a weapon to compliment this set. It can be part of the set or perhaps a two handed mighty weapon (perhaps a large club?) It should boost the damage of Earthquake somehow. A few ways would be to double the number of Earthquakes, consume a dot or just a raw boost in the damage.

So if we changed the way the set bonuses operate, here’s one possibility given the above:

  • 2 set – Cause Earthquake after using Leap (switching from the current 4 piece)
  • 4 set – Add Leap gains all runes (or at least Iron Impact)
  • 6 set – Damage with Avalanche, Earthquake, Leap and Ground Stomp increased by 100-200%

I’m not a huge fan of the current 2 set bonus where Earthquake’s cooldown is reduced by 1 second for each enemy killed. I feel that Leap should just automatically create the earthquake upon landing. The cooldown aspect really should be applied to Leap somehow. If Lut Socks doesn’t change, then perhaps the 4 set bonus should be reducing cooldown for all four above abilities. In that situation, perhaps the Iron Impact rune can be added through Shoulders or Bracers.

The nice thing about the set up of this build is that you gain tons of movement through Leap, especially if Leap can be turned into a near continuous chained ability. With the four abilities listed above, you’ll have 2 action slots remaining, unless you decide not to rune Earthquake or Avalanche. I can imagine using Wrath of the Berserker and War Cry or Ignore Pain. The only must-have passive might end up becoming Earthen Might. That would be useful if Leap ends up becoming a Fury spender.

At any rate, this is just some ideas given the way sets have been revamped. The main thing I would like to see is mostly just continuous leaping once you gain your 6 set bonus along with a few specialty items. In short, a green guy jumping all around causing immense destruction.

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