Diablo 4 can be a surprisingly tough game. Whether you’re trying to level or working your way through the extensive endgame content, you will likely find yourself hitting a wall from time to time. When that happens, you’re going to want to make sure your character build is optimized.
Diablo 4 is surprisingly generous when it comes to build possibilities There are so many ways to build a viable version of your favorite class, and we’ve barely scratched the surface of what is possible. Even still, a few impressive build options for each of the game’s classes have already emerged. Those are some of the builds we’ll be looking at today.
Before we dive into that, though, here are a few things to keep in mind.
– This is largely intended to be a starter guide. While we will be talking about viable endgame builds, the bigger goal of this article is to put you on the right path rather than show you how to walk every step of it.
– So much of Diablo 4 remains unknown. As such, it’s likely there are Legendary Aspects and Unique items in the very late game that have yet to be discovered. As more of those items are discovered, we’ll be bringing you more information about how to find and utilize them.
– Similarly, this guide will not cover Paragon points. That’s mostly because very few people have gotten to spend any significant time with that mechanic. However, I will be bringing you more about the Paragon system once the tools are available to cover it in greater depth.
– Finally, I used the D4Builds.gg website to construct these builds. It’s an excellent tool, though it’s difficult to properly crop a picture of every build’s full skill tree. As such, you’ll find a link to those skill trees in the sections below.
With that out of the way, here are some of the best builds in Diablo 4:
Diablo 4: Best Barbarian Builds
Thorns Leveling Barbarian Build
Skills: Flay, Rend, Challenging Shout, Rallying Cry, Steel Grasp, Wrath of the Berserker
Key Legendary Aspects: Iron Blood Aspect, Needleflare Aspect, Death Wish Aspect
This leveling Barbarian build is based on two key mechanics: Thorns and Bleeding.
Thorns damage enemies whenever they deal direct damage to you. They don’t even need to be close for the effect to work. As long as the damage isn’t entirely based on a damage-over-time effect, your Thorns will retaliate. While many classes have access to Thorns, Barbarians are uniquely capable of making the most of them. Because Thorns scale with Strength (Barbarian’s most important stat) and because Barbarians have so many defensive options available to them, they can often clear rooms with Thorns alone. You will need to ensure they survive the incoming attacks, but this build is designed to do just that.
Also, while this build will grant you a lot of natural Thorns, you will want to prioritize gear that offers additional Thorns as well as Strength. Thankfully, those seem to be easy to come by.
Bleeding, meanwhile, is a powerful damage-over-time effect that pairs well with melee abilities. With the skills this build utilizes, you should be able to not only deal consistent bleed damage to all nearby enemies but take advantage of various effects that only proc on bleeding enemies. Hamstring, for instance, slows bleeding enemies, which allows you to take advantage of several bonuses that require an enemy to be crowd controlled.
The beauty of this build is how much it accomplishes with a simple rotation. Because most enemies will be damaging themselves simply by attacking you, you can focus on keeping yourself alive and wearing down single targets via Bleed. It’s not the fastest leveling build in the game, but it’s a pretty safe way to clear most of the campaign content. You can probably even use a modified version of this concept beyond that point. Just taunt enemies, let them run themselves into your Thorns, and tear through whatever remains.
Whirlwind Endgame Barbarian Build
Skills: Lunging Strike, Whirlwind, Rallying Cry, Iron Skin, Challenging Shout, Wrath of the Berserker
Key Legendary Aspects: Aspect of the Dire Whirlwhind, Dust Devil’s Aspect, Aspect of Echoing Fury, Bold Chieftain’s Aspect, Aspect of Grasping Whirlwind,
At the moment, some variation of this basic Whirlwind build seems to be the best endgame Barbarian build in Diablo 4. Honestly, this might just be the best overall build in the game.
Whirlwind is an AoE spinning attack that damages anything that gets caught in your way. While powerful on its own, the thing that really makes Whirlwind special is its ability to generate Fury (Barbarian’s primary resource) whenever it hits anything. In fact, super late-game versions of this build replace Lunging Strike with War Cry. That’s because Whirlwind will generate so much fury on its own that you don’t even need the resource-generating primary ability.
Speaking of which, it might not be a bad idea to replace Iron Skin with War Cry early on. War Cry offers a very powerful damage buff that is also useful if you’re playing in parties. Iron Skin, meanwhile, is significantly more powerful whenever you take damage, which will be happening a lot in Nightmare Dungeons. It’s a situational spot.
Every other part of this build is designed to support Whirlwind. Challenging Shout forces enemies to walk into your death zone (while rebuffing their damage), Iron Skin grants you a powerful shield, and Rallying Cry further increases your resource generation while granting you the vital Unstoppable effect. When available, you’ll proc Wrath of the Bersker before initiating Whirlwind to make the ability even stronger.
A player using a variation of this build (with higher-level gear) was able to clear Diablo 4‘s toughest content with surprisingly little trouble. It’s just a perfect combination of AoE and Survivability. Once you start getting better gear, you’re going to want to strongly consider using a version of this build.
Diablo 4: Best Druid Builds
Landslide Lightning Leveling Druid Build
Skills: Storm Strike, Landslide, Cataclysm, Hurricane, Ravens, Cyclone Armor
Key Legendary Aspects: Aspect of the Tempest, Overcharged Aspect, Runeworker’s Conduit Aspect, Aspect of Natural Balance, Aspect of The Aftershock
To be honest, I still think the best leveling build for Druids may be some kind of Werewolf build. That’s at least the build I was planning on focusing on. However, there is something to be said about this magic-based build’s power and fun factor.
The idea behind this build is rather simple. Wait until a group of enemies foolishly get near you and use Landslide to both damage them and trap them between pillars of Earth. Did any live? Fantastic. You can now use your Storm abilities (and flocks of Ravens) to deal an absurd amount of damage to anything that is unfortunate enough to be close to you.
This build excels at turning the area around you into a nearly inescapable death zone. It’s similar to Sorcerer’s Chain Lightning build in that respect, but comes with a few defensive perks that other casters don’t have access to. Besides, this build is less dependent on chaining damage between multiple enemies, which makes it quite good against Elite and Boss targets as well.
If you do prefer melee, look into a Werewolf option for Druid. However, this seems to be a pretty easy and fairly safe way to level the class up without being too dependent on special items.
Pulverize Druid Endgame Build
Skills: Earth Spike, Pulverize, Debilitating Roar, Earthern Bulwark, Trample, Grizzly Rage
Key Legendary Aspects: Shockwave Aspect, Aspect of the Ursine Horror, Aspect of the Rampaging Werebeast
Early tests strongly suggest that Pulverize may be Druid’s best overall ability. At the very least, it’s the skill that’s been the clear star of the earliest Endgame Druid builds.
Pulverize is a powerful AoE attack that also reduces incoming damage by 20% for four seconds. Interestingly enough, Debilitating Roar also reduces all incoming damage by 70% for four seconds. When combined, you’re essentially able to walk into any pact of enemies and deal massive damage while taking little to no damage in the process. It’s quite good.
However, this build really shines when you acquire Aspect of the Ursine Horror. That Apsect turns Pulverize into an Earth skill, which enables it to trigger additional Earth synergies. With those synergies enabled, you’re dealing massive damage, taking no damage, fortifying yourself, and crowd-controlling anything that happens to survive. Again, those are all great things.
This variation on the build uses Earth Spike until you acquire Ursine Horror. That’s because it gives you an extra Earth ability to help trigger some of the Earth-based effects we’re speccing into. It’s also pretty powerful on its own, though I think Maul is a little more consistent. You might want to play with both until you get to the part of the game where the difficulty of the content will make that decision for you.
In any case, you’ll definitely want to try this build out once you acquire a few of the necessary pieces. It’s also pretty strong while leveling, though perhaps not your best overall option early on.
Diablo 4: Best Rogue Builds
Shadow Twisting Blades Leveling Rogue Build
Skills: Puncture, Twisting Blades, Dash, Shadow Step, Shadow Imbument, Shadow Clone
Key Legendary Aspects: Bladedancer’s Aspect, Aspect of Corruption, Aspect of Imitated Imbuement, Aspect of Stolen Vigor
This is the build I used for most of my time with the review version of Diablo 4, and I can tell you that it’s just as good as the theory crafters thought it would be. Hell, it might be better than that.
The keys to this build are Twisting Blades and Shadow Imbument. Twisting Blades is a powerful melee ability that “boomerangs” your blades back to you after they strike an enemy. They also reduce all your cooldowns for every enemy they strike when they return. Shadow Imbument is a powerful effect that causes enemies to explode when they die. If it doesn’t kill them right away, it will eventually deal its full damage to them, which also makes it good against single targets.
So the strategy of this build is rather simple. Kite a pack, strike with a Shadow-imbued Twisting Blades in the middle of the pack (preferably on a larger enemy), then Dash or Shadow step out of the pack. When those blades return, they will deal large amounts of Shadow damage to whatever they strike, reduce your cooldowns, and cause anything they kill to explode for additional damage. When your Shadow Clone ability is up, it will repeat that attack chain for only slightly reduced damage. Nothing will stand in your way for long when all those pieces are put together.
One thing worth pointing out is the value of Bladedancer’s Aspect. This build is viable before you acquire that Legendary Aspect, but you’ll need that Aspect to unleash its true potential. That’s because Bladedancer’s Aspect causes your returned blades to spin around you and deal additional damage to nearby enemies. It’s a massive damage boost that will become necessary at some point.
Finally, I chose Puncture as my primary ability due to its range and synergy with our Vulnerability damage buffs. However, I think you could make this work with a variety of skills in that slot if one happens to fit your preferred playstyle.
Unlimited Death Trap Endgame Rogue Build
Skills: Puncture, Penetrating Shot, Poison Trap, Dash, Dark Shroud, Death Trap
Key Legendary Aspects: Blast-Trapper’s Aspect, Cheat’s Aspect, Aspect of Synergy, Umbrous Aspect, Aspect of Surprise
To be honest, I think Twisting Blades is the best Rogue build at the moment. I’m also not convinced that ranged Rogues will be as good as melee Rogues at launch. However, if you’re looking for something different, I do love a good trap Rogue.
This variation of the trap Rogue concept is built around the Exposure Key Passive ability. When triggered, that ability reduces the cooldown of your Trap skills by 20%. It also drops Stun Grenades that affect anything caught in your traps. Unfortunately, that effect only has a 25% chance of triggering when you score a Lucky Hit. Fortunately, Rogues have quite a few ways to raise their Lucky Hit chance.
When things go right, you’ll basically be able to spam your Poison and Death Trap abilities with little-to-no cooldowns. Combined with everything else we’re taking, that basically means that you’re constantly generating zones of nearly instant death that cannot be escaped. It’s absurdly good and surprisingly easy to pull off.
You have a lot of flex spots with this build, though. I generally prefer Puncture as a primary ability, and Penetrating Shot works well as a set-up or finisher. They also enable you to take some valuable Marksmanship-based Legendary aspects. Similarly, Dark Shroud is a fantastic defensive tool, though you can replace it with Stealth if you find the Aspect that allows you to drop Poison Traps without breaking Stealth. Honestly, I’d still stick with the defensive option, though.
You can also easily work Twisting Blades into this build, but again, the same is true of many Rogue builds. It’s just that good.
Diablo 4: Best Necromancer Builds
Shadow Minions Leveling Necromancer Build
Skills: Reap, Corpse Explosion, Bone Spear, Decrepify, Raise Skeletons, Bone Storm
Key Legendary Aspects: Aspect of Reanimation, Aspect of Decay, Blighted Aspect, Splintering Aspect
As I mentioned elsewhere, Necromancer’s minions are surprisingly weak at the moment. If you want to use minions to level, though, consider checking out this build that takes a slightly different approach to the concept.
The key to this build is Corpse Explosion, but not in the way you think. Rather than use Corpse Explosion for pure damage, we’re instead speccing into the ability that turns exploding corpses into pools of Shadow Damage. When combined with certain abilities, those pools make anything that stands in them susceptible to damage over time as well as buffed minion damage. In other words, that ability is the key to a kind of “trap” Necromancer that can regularly conjure danger zones.
It’s a surprisingly consistent tactic that allows Necromancers to operate at a fairly safe distance and let their minions do a lot more work. You can also choose Blight if you really want to lean into this effect, but the combo of Decripify, Corpse Explosion, and Shadowblight seems to do the job. Besides, Bone Spear is just too powerful to ignore, and Reap offers a little extra synergy.
I don’t think this is the only viable minion-focused leveling build, but it certainly does the job. While you will want to prioritize acquiring Shadowblight-focused Legendary Aspects with this build, many minion-focused Aspects you find along the way will be a big help. Besides, the core of this build works very well for all campaign content.
Bones Endgame Necromancer Build
Skills: Bone Splinters, Blood Mist, Bone Spirit, Corpse Explosion, Corpse Tendrils, Bone Storm
Key Legendary Aspects: Aspect of Swelling Curse, Osseous Gale Aspect, Aspect of Serration, Aspect of Shielding Storm
Once you get over the disappointment of playing Necromancer and not summoning minions, you’ll realize that Bone-based Necromancers are actually incredibly powerful.
The idea behind this build is pretty simple. Create a corpse and then use Corpse Tendrils to pull enemies into the corpse’s area. Once all your enemies are gathered in one place, use Bone Spirit to create what is basically a nuclear explosion. This tactic works on pretty much every major pack of enemies in the game, and it’s also quite good against bosses.
I’ve seen a few different versions of this build that run some slightly different abilities in the other skill spots. Corpse Explosion is the one I’m least sold on, though the Shadow pool this version generates does allow you to use it as a damage filler between Bone Spirit attacks. Blood Mist is a vital evasion ability, and Bone Storm is a fantastic buff that also provides offensive and defensive benefits. For the most part, though, this build really is all about that core rotation.
As far as leveling goes, I do think you can use a modified version of this build throughout the campaign. However, it is a touch more dependent on certain Legendary Aspects compared to the previous Necromancer build. It is, however, a very nice late-game build that should only get better once additional Bone-enhancing equipment is discovered.
Diablo 4: Best Sorcerer Builds
Lightning Leveling Sorcerer Build
Skills: Arc Lash, Charged Bolts, Teleport, Ice Armor, Hydra, Unstable Currents
Key Legendary Aspects: Aspect of Overwhelming Currents, Stable Aspect, Aspect of Abundant Energy
Diablo 4‘s earliest beta made it clear that Lightning-based Sorcerers were going to be powerful levelers. Despite nerfs to their previously overpowered Chain Lightning attack, they still are. It’s just that you’ll have to rely on a slightly modified strategy this time around.
This particular build relies on the synergy between your two earliest abilities: Arc Lash and Charged Bolts. Arc Lash can easily stun enemies, which is fortunate since Charged Bolts is significantly more powerful against stunned enemies. Those two abilities will carry you through a surprising amount of early-game content. Many of the abilities and gear you grab from there will be used to enhance those effects.
Elsewhere, Hydra offers a nice damage boost against bosses and other single targets. Ice Armor and Teleport give us the defense/evasion help we so separately need, while Unstable Currents is just a powerful Ultimate that synergizes with everything else. Again, though, the beauty of this build is its simplicity. Two very reliable and fairly cheap abilities will get you through a lot of early challenges. From there, you can enhance the basic strategy you’ve been using all along.
On that note, the Legendary Asepct options for this build are pretty interesting. I tend to favor increasing damage over taking survivability perks (especially if this is just your leveling build), but the latter option is perfectly viable. Anything that grants you bonuses against Crowd Controlled or Stunned enemies should be incredibly powerful in this build. It’s just a matter of figuring out what you need most when the game gets more challenging (assuming you stick with this build).
Ice Shards Endgame Sorcerer Build
Skills: Frost Bolt, Ice Shards, Frost Nova, Ice Armor, Teleport, Ice Blades
Key Legendary Aspects: Aspect of Frozen Memories, Aspect of Piercing Cold, Frostblitz Aspect, Aspect of Biting Cold
Endgame Sorcerer Builds are becoming a bit of a “Fire vs. Ice” debate. Lightning still seems viable, but Fire and Ice seem to be the stars of the late-game show. While I’ve seen some Fire Sorcerer builds I really like, the power level of a good Ice Sorcerer seems much more obvious at the moment.
The heart of this build is the Ice Shards Enchantment. That enchantment automatically summons Ice Shards that target nearby Frozen enemies. Think of it like a magical automated Gatling gun. Any time you freeze an enemy, they are assaulted by a barrage of magical missiles that can’t be avoided. It’s an incredibly powerful ability.
As such, this build is designed to freeze as many enemies as possible as often as possible. So far as that goes, the star of the show is Frost Nova. Since Frost Nova automatically freezes enemies, it automatically triggers the Ice Shards effect. Granted, Frost Nova has a very long cooldown time, but that’s why we have Ice Blades and Frostblitz Aspect. Ice Blades not only reduce your other cooldown times but can actually automatically trigger a Frost Nova (with our selected skills). Frostblitz Aspect grants us an additional Frost Nova charge at the cost of additional cooldown time. However, that’s not really a problem due to Ice Blades’ effect.
We’re obviously also taking any passives that enhance our effects against Frozen or Chilled Enemies. With the right combination of abilities, you’ll constantly be freezing enemies and then dealing massive damage to them even when Frost Nova is down.
The rest of this build is admittedly up for debate. I generally love Frost Armor, especially since its Barrier effect lets us take some powerful defensive Legendary Aspects. However, Deep Freeze is another interesting defensive option. Similarly, Teleport doesn’t offer any obvious synergies, but it’s generally too good to pass up in most builds. I suppose you could eventually replace Ice Blades with Blizzard and tweak the build around that, but Ice Blades feels really strong at the moment. If you’re going to swap in Blizzard (which is a great ability), though, that’s probably the move.
I’ve also seen some variations on this concept that incorporate Fire abilities, which also seems pretty good. The point is that you need to grab Ice Shards Enhancement as soon as possible. Anything you can do to support that ability will make you more powerful.