So I've done run with slighly modified version of this barb recently with great success. It is more viable for mxl version that has open wounds mechanics removed, so you are less reliant on fortress, but even in current version with ow, 1pt fortess should do the job (3s cd fortress is mostly for damage).
Don't max fortress, keep it at 1pt, don't put points into daedalus (you may put 1pt in whirlwind or even skip that whole tree, up to you, 4 point difference). Max ancient blood (just make sure base level divides by 4, so you dont waste points), and max wolf companion.
This is great way of getting decent damage, with low strength, bear stance, and relative bad items. Wolves add up to around 2k damage per hit, and it adds 2k to everything, axe thunderfury proc, each projectile of deathgaze, even more % to iceburst. Their curse range also becomes decent.
This way you gonna effectively deal about 2x the damage of standard version of the build, at cost of having long cd on fortress, which you rarely use. Swapping daedalus to ancient blood will surprisingly not cost you life, as both skills grant life, you also gain shitload of attack speed.
Lot of people asked about potential upgrades. There is route to upgrade gear on budget, without going for some crazy pierce crafts that take tons of shrines on average. So cheap upgrades that you can work into your gear as you progress:
- weapon: no cheap upgrades, craft must be really good to be worth swapping tu axe, I'd craft it as last piece. You'd want maximum damage roll ~300, good ed, potentially barb skill, %ar or lucky, pierce if you are very lucky
- gloves: average abadoned crafted gloves, you get %AR on them, you get %dex and flat dex, that already is equal to featherclaw. Any other stats you roll are bonus, along with double mo capability of craft. Ideally you want +all stats roll, they sometimes roll 50ish all stats, +100 life is good, maybe proc, and ofc cold pierce if you are lucky. Overall it is really easy to replace featherclaw with just one abadoned shrine that drops.
- boots: here you can use different shrines, probably best would be quiet, for that vit roll, as we put most points into vitality. And then 50ish all stats, life, whirpool oskill can be sometimes handy, but not needed. Such boots will fit way more MO and defense will be higher as well.
- belt: same as above, but try getting +2 barb skills. Getting some pierce in addition is nice, but not really needed to replace tu.
- helm: if you are comfortable with speeds, you can also replace it with random vit or dex craft (that %AR roll), and get +2-3 barb skills on top, better base defense. These can roll bonus such as ancients hand oskill which is nice, but optional.
- chest: stick to KRA rw, hard to beat. Vit craft with +2skills could potentially compete, they can roll high flat life, but it will be close.
These are items you can easily get with 1 shrine per item (maybe except +skill helmet) and provide in some cases pretty big boost in stats vs TUs.