I play as a Whirlwind-Barb. I'm currently using Grief (Phaseblade - WeaponSpeed: -30) on my main hand and Oath (Highland Blade - WeaponSpeed: 5) on my offhand. I am thinking to create another Grief in a Phaseblade. But I came across something really interesting on Diablo Wiki - Whirlwind:

Dual Wielding. The hit-check alternates between the weapons, producing an overall result of damage about equal to the average of the two weapons. If one weapon is slower, the frame rate will be adversely effected, so it's best to use two weapons with the same frame break (see below), or else just go with a single weapon.

This quote is very confusing and counter intuitive to me. Does this mean that a ww-barb with 1 grief phaseblade does as much damage as one with 2-grief phaseblades? Wouldn't it be great to use a good shield in the offhand if that is the case? In my current case: I should then remove the oath, because it does way less damage than the grief phaseblade. And my plan to create a second grief would be just a waste of a Lo-Rune? Can anyone confirm that?

  • Note that I never played D2, but this would be quite logic: Not quite sure about weapons in D2, but I'd assume they have additional stats which can boost the overall damage. The base WW damage is calculated on the raw weapon damage first, and then the various multiplier are added. So 1 weapon with a high base damage, can outweigth the bonuses them the second weapon, if the average would be too low. Aug 6, 2019 at 14:48
  • @XtremeBaumer The thing with D2 is that Grief is the universally agreed best weapon for melee characters. So my plan is to use 2 of those. The quote says that the hit check alternates between the weapons and produces ~the average of two weapons. Since the average 2 weapons of the same kind is the same as of one of the same kind, why would you use 2? Aug 6, 2019 at 14:53
  • As said, because of the secondary effects the weapon provides, which are added after the base damage calculation Aug 6, 2019 at 15:07
  • @XtremeBaumer Possible, but really not sure how the exact damage calculation algorithm works. A barb expert is needed here :) Aug 6, 2019 at 15:10
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    I think it is suggesting that the faster weapon will be negatively impacted for DPS. Since hit checks alternate between the two weapons in WW, a scenario will occur where the fast weapon will hit, and then the fast weapon will have to "wait" to hit while the slower weapon actually registers a hit and moves back to the faster weapon for hit check again. Since faster dps weapons make up with the lower raw damage with speed, it loses that advantage in WW. If you dual wield for WW, find weapons with the same or very close weapon speeds to avoid this. Or, as the page suggests, go with a 2 hander.
    – king14nyr
    Aug 6, 2019 at 15:30

2 Answers 2


Does this mean that a ww-barb with 1 grief phaseblade does as much damage as one with 2-grief phaseblades?

Yes - the damage comes from one weapon at a time. Since you are using the same base weapon with a runeword in it, the only difference between the weapons would be the percent roll you'd get on it.

Wouldn't it be great to use a good shield in the offhand if that is the case?

No, when you block there is an animation, when you are a WW Barb, you want to continuously move and heal through the incoming damage.

It would technically be a waste to add an additional grief, unless you REALLY want that +life and +mana on kill. All of the other stats on grief count when you hit an enemy.

Although expensive, and basically impossible in single player, top end gear WW barbs use a Breath of the Dying 2-H Mace.

  • So if both Grief weapons have perfect rolls "+2 To Mana After Each Kill" and "+15 Life After Each Kill", it will result in +4 Mana and +30 Life on kill when dual wielding?
    – arghtype
    Aug 7, 2019 at 4:54
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    @arghtype Correct. There are only certain things that doesn't check the +mana +life stack. Mercs, Summoned Skellys, Golems, Assassin Traps, Thorns and Pally Auras don't work. Player kills do count.
    – FoxMcCloud
    Aug 7, 2019 at 5:01
  • @FoxMcCloud I tested this at home a little bit and it really felt like the grief/oath combo was faster. I made 10 trav runs with only grief and 10 with the combo and found that the combo was about 20% faster on average. Ofc the sample size is a little bit small and I retest it when there is more time, but the grief / oath should deal less damage then the single grief. What I got was that the slower combo was faster, so I'm not quite sure. Do you have any source that can confirm? Aug 8, 2019 at 14:02
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    @PaulErlenmeyer Oath gives a ton extra beneficial stuff like preventing monster heal, extra damage against demons, so I'm sure it'll be faster in Trav runs because of all the demons there. You may be doing less DPS overall, but you have 75% extra damage on demons and they can't heal, so that may be helping you through the runs more than stats.
    – FoxMcCloud
    Aug 8, 2019 at 14:07
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    @FoxMcCloud Hehe, didn't take that into account. Bad testing setup :). I'll try it some place without demons. Aug 8, 2019 at 14:18

I think the discription was wrong. The right mechanic is as follows:

When dual-wielding, both weapons try to score a hit against the target. In other words, the game does a hit-check for each weapon. Since both weapons are given the chance to score a hit, the damage done over time is roughly the sum of the damage of both weapons, which is comparable to the damage done whirling with a two-handed weapon. The effect of weapon speed in dual-wielding Whirlwind is as follows. While a target is in range, one of the weapons' speed is constantly used to calculate the next hit-check frame. If there's no target in range, the game will alternate between weapon speeds to calculate the next hit-check frame. The best way to make sure you have maximum Whirlwind speed when dual-wielding is to use weapons that both reach the final breakpoint, like for instance a Lightsabre phase blade and a colossus blade with 40% IAS.

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