Your choice of class will impact your Diablo 4 experience. Some will find that their enjoyment of the game will depend on whether or not they’ve picked the class that fits them best. However, everyone will eventually discover that some Diablo 4 classes appear to be much more powerful at launch than others.
For the most part, the Diablo 4 team did an excellent job of making every class viable and unique at launch. You can get through as much of the game as you want simply by picking the class you have the most fun with. However, this is still a Diablo game. Some classes are ultimately at least slightly better equipped to handle the game’s various challenges. Hence these rankings.
Actually, I’m going to be ranking Diablo 4‘s classes in two distinct areas: the leveling part of the game and endgame content. Before we get into all of that, though, let’s take a better look at each class in the game and what defines them.
Diablo 4: Every Class in the Game, Reviewed
+ Unrivaled Party Buff Abilities
+ Stat Monsters Who Always Benefit From New Gear
+ Natural Tanks
+ Powerful Weapon Expertise/Proficiency System
– Fury Resource Management Can Be a Problem
– Painfully Slow Levelers
– Limited Early Build Options
– Limited Mobility
Barbarians had it pretty rough during Diablo 4’s betas. While some recent buffs enhanced their global capabilities, it was clear that Barbarians were going to need more gear and skills than the beta gave us access to in order to really shine.
That’s pretty much exactly where Barbarians are at in the early days of Diablo 4. Simply put, leveling as a Barbarian can be a real nightmare. You’re very dependent on acquiring better gear not just for the occasional early Legendary ability but for the raw stats needed to do pretty much anything. Barbarians require a lot of Strength and HP to survive the game’s early challenges. They don’t really have access to a “cheese” ability that helps them avoid certain early hurdles as other classes do.
Mobility and resource management can also be problems for Barbarians early on. Because Barbarians’ primary resource (Fury) doesn’t recharge in the ways that other classes’ resources do, you can’t really sit on it like you can for other classes. There are skills that help mitigate that mechanic, but it is something you’ll have to be aware of. The same is true for the class’ mobility issues. Making the Barbarian more mobile requires you to invest in specific skills. You’re not forced to pick them, but they’re a borderline necessity early on.
Things really do open up for Barbarians in the late game, though. Once you start filling your inventory spots with Legendary gear (or better), Barbarians become an entirely different class. Their extra weapon slots enable them to raise their stats to absurd levels and acquire “extra” Legendary abilities. Furthermore, their unique Expertise/Arsenal systems allow you to make the most out of the weapons you use most as well as the ones you’re not currently using. Barbarians may be gear dependent, but no other class utilizes every aspect of that gear quite as well as they do.
For what it’s worth, Barbarians are also an essential class for endgame multiplayer groups. Their powerful buff abilities allow them to make everyone near them just a little better. They also have the defensive tools needed to soak a lot of damage, which really helps squishier ranged and caster classes reach their full potential.
Look, leveling a Barbarian is going to be rough. If you’re willing to put up with the extra deaths and melee monotony, though, you will be rewarded with a monster of a character.
+ Access to a Comical Amount of Build Options
+ Top Tier Survivability
+ Overpower Greatly Enhances Their Overall Damage Capabilities
+ Incredible Synergy Between Key Legendary Abilities
– Difficult to Level
– Heavily Depends on Gear/Legendary Abilities
– Challenging to Proeprly Master
– Some “Jack of All Trades, Master of None” Issues
Druids got off to a bad start in Diablo 4’s earliest beta, but a recent patch noticeably buffed their overall power level. That update made it much easier to see just how much potential Druids really had.
Diablo 4’s Druids lean into the shapeshifting abilities that we’ve come to associate with the basic class archetype. While you can invest heavily in one Druid form over every other, most Druid builds will utilize a little bit from each of their various forms. For instance, some of the most popular Druid builds at the moment combine powerful elemental magic with the class’ best defensive abilities. Casters with the strength and durability of tanks? Yes, please.
That versatility comes with some notable downsides, though. Druids are often painfully slow levelers who are incredibly dependent on getting high-level gear. Specifically, there are a few key pieces of Legendary gear that contain unique abilities that really unlock the power and potential of the overall Druid class.
Furthermore, you won’t really be able to take full advantage of Druids’ best attributes (including their Overpower enablers and their massive Critical Strike numbers) until you’ve gotten them closer to level 50. You’ll get a taste of their power along the way, but the early game may force you to utilize strategies and builds that you’ll pivot away from in the late game. The nature of that arrangement just contributes to the class’ “difficult to learn, difficult to master” proposition. It’s going to be a long time before you feel like you’ve gotten the hang of this class.
At the moment, though, it really does look like all your investments will pay off. Druids figure to be a truly powerful endgame class that will be able to thrive in various pieces of Level 50+ content as well as easily adapt to a variety of playstyles. Whether you’ll enjoy yourself en route to that endgame destination is the bigger question at the moment.
+ Minions, Minions, Minions
+ Surprisingly Good Survivability
+ Fantastic Levelers
+ Strong Core Casting Skills
– Demand a Lot of Micromanagement
– Incredibly Long Cooldowns
– Minions Become Gradually Less Valuable in the Endgame
– Mobility Issues
Necromancers were a tad overpowered when they debuted in the Diablo 4 beta. The Diablo 4 team addressed that issue by making Necomancer’s minions (the class’ defining feature) much weaker. The nerf worked, though it might have worked a little too well.
The fact of the matter is that Necromancer’s minions are currently incredibly powerful in the early game and become gradually weaker the longer you play. They are a part of pretty much every Necromancer build, but you can’t really build around your minions in the ways that you can could before. That’s an odd dynamic given that they are the class’ defining feature.
That isn’t to say that the minions aren’t powerful, though. You’ll use them to buff your character, tank for you during tougher fights, and even just overwhelm certain enemies. It’s just that Necromancers are going to have to rely on their other tools more often than some players predicted, especially since Corpse Explosion was also recently nerfed. Furthermore, no longer being able to rely on those minions quite as much means that Necromancers’ mobility issues are that much more notable.
However, it turns out that Necromancer’s other abilities are actually incredibly powerful. Most notably, the Necromancer’s Blood and Bone abilities are so much better than some previously suspected they would be. Those Blood abilities make the class so much more durable than RPG casting classes typically are, while Bone skills will actually be the Necromancer’s primary damage source for most of the game. Seriously, the damage output of some of those Bone abilities occasionally borders on broken.
It really does come down to your micromanagement abilities. If you’re ok with keeping up with a lot of mechanics, resources, and some longer cooldown times, you’ll find that Necromancers are surprisingly durable casters (with some melee options) who can often make some ridiculous things happen.
+ Fast and Evasive
+ Great Levelers
+ Incredible Imbument Abilities
+ Numerous Crowd Control Options
– Generally Bad Ranged Build Options
– Incredibly Difficult to Play Well
– Tend to Rely on Certain Legendary Abilities
– Weak Survivability That Must Constantly Be Accounted For
To get right to the heart of the matter, Diablo 4’s Rogues are unique in the sense that their overall power level is closely tied to the skill level of the person playing them.
For instance, you may have seen videos of a Rogue player soloing a world boss during the Diablo 4 beta. Well, it turns out that Rogues are capable of so much more than that. During my time with the retail version of Diablo 4, I sometimes felt like I was breaking the game by playing as a Rogue. I was dancing between groups of enemies while taking little to no damage and ignoring cooldown times as I kept enemies permanently stunned and quickly drained their health. Mastering a Rogue’s positioning, timing, and rotation can make you unstoppable.
However, when things go wrong, they can go wrong very quickly. While Rogues are able to evade a lot of damage, the times they do take hits can instantly spell their doom. Seriously, some of the lesser enemies in endgame dungeons will be able to one-shot them, which is particularly rough when you’re trying to utilize the class’ melee abilities. Furthermore, being a little off on your rotation or positioning means wasting or minimizing the impact of your valuable cooldown periods.
Building a Rogue is also a complicated process. While Rogues have access to ranged and melee skill options, it’s becoming clear that their melee abilities are significantly more powerful. To be more specific, pretty much any viable endgame build for Rogues will rely on the Twisting Blades skill. From there, though, you do have quite a few options in terms of your Imbument preferences, crowd control abilities, and evasive/defensive skills. It’s just that there are a couple of skill slots that are essentially locked in, as well as a few Legendary abilities you pretty much have to have.
It’s just tough to “review” the Rogue when a great Rogue player will pretty much be unstoppable and every other Rogue player will constantly struggle to be perfect in the ways that the class demands. They have all the potential in the world but need to constantly avoid a series of pitfalls to reach that potential.
+ Fantastic Solo Play Levelers
+ Various Skill and Build Options
+ Absurdly Powerful AoE Abilities
+ Not As dependent on High-Level Gear or Specific Legendary Abilities as Other Classes
– Terrible Survivability
– Occasional Resource Issues
– Incredibly Long Cooldown Times
– Doesn’t Scale as Well With Late-Game Gear and Upgrades
A lot of Diablo 4 beta players discovered that Sorcerers can quickly become comically overpowered. They were by far the fastest leveling class during the beta periods, and that hasn’t really changed in the retail version of Diablo 4.
Simply put, no other class can clear a screen of enemies quite as quickly as the Sorcerer can. Due largely to the sometimes surprising strength of their Chain Lightning ability, they can turn a few simple attacks into massive AoE damage that either kills enemies eventually or simply obliterates them right away. The only other class ability that came close to consistently matching Sorcerer’s AoE clear speed was Necromancer’s Corpse Explosion, and that got nerfed. Besides, Sorcerers have access to a variety of powerful AoE skills.
Sorcerers are also surprisingly capable of taking on (and taking out) massive solo targets. While a few recent nerfs did impact their solo target damage output somewhat, they’re still capable of deleting boss health bars at the press of a few buttons.
Most importantly, Sorcerers may be the most approachable class in the game in terms of their potential power level vs. their difficulty of use. You’ll figure them out right away, and you’ll start tearing through enemies as soon as you unlock your first couple of abilities. You don’t even really need the best Legendary gear as soon as other classes do. Your primary abilities are powerful at the start of the game and remain fairly powerful throughout.
However, that is also one of the class’ biggest weaknesses. Whereas other classes scale a bit more obviously with the gear they receive and use new abilities to enable powerful new playstyles, Sorcerers don’t really evolve in the same ways. It’s not a massive drawback given their base power level, but you can certainly argue that other classes start to challenge (or surpass) their overall power levels in the late game. It also means that playing as a Sorcerer can be somewhat boring in the long run.
Sorcerers are also classic glass canons that can sometimes rely on a few key skills with surprisingly long cooldowns. At higher difficulty levels, you may find yourself relying on those cooldowns more than you did before. If you find yourself waiting for that cooldown at a bad moment, you’ll suddenly realize that it doesn’t take much for a Sorcerer to get in over the heads, especially if you haven’t invested fairly heavily into your defensive abilities. For what it’s worth, Sorcerers also don’t bring much to a multilayer party besides pure damage.
Sorcerers are undeniably strong levelers who will probably be many players’ first class. Where they go from there, though, kind of depends on the person playing them.
Diablo 4: Every Class Ranked Worst to Best For Leveling
I’m defining “leveling” as the process of getting from Level 1 to Level 50. For most players, that process will encompass the entirety of Diablo 4‘s campaign. The faster that class gets you through that part of the game while dying the least, the higher their rank.
Druid or Barbarian could easily take this spot, but I think the complexity of the Druid class ultimately makes them the worst leveling class in Diablo 4.
There are a couple of viable leveling builds for the Druid in Diablo 4, but they tend to rely on acquiring certain pieces of gear and spamming certain skills. Furthermore, there’s a good chance your Druid leveling build will be different from your Druid endgame build, so you may not be able to master the skills you’ll eventually be using along the way. In fact, how you level may be entirely dependent on which pieces of gear you get at what times.
Finally, Druid’s jack-of-all-trades nature means that they just don’t necessarily excel at anything in the early portions of the game. Having to potentially learn so many skills and strategies just to keep up with the loot hand that fate deals you makes leveling as a Druid a rather unique challenge.
Barbarians are much better than they were in the earliest Diablo 4 betas, but they are still painfully slow levelers.
The good news is that Barbarian’s simple play style, simple leveling rotation, and incredible core defensive abilities make them so much more user-friendly than Druids in the early portion of the game. The bad news is that most early Barbarian builds are painfully slow and can really struggle during boss fights and similar encounters. Like Druids, they are also gear-dependant to the point that you’ll probably need to farm extra dungeons while leveling more than you will have to do with some other classes.
Barbarians’ accessibility is honestly an underrated attribute given how you’ll be able to start learning the class’ endgame strategies throughout the leveling process, but they are objectively weak levelers in the grand scheme of things.
I think most people will rank Necromancers higher than this, and I can certainly see why. Their minions can essentially automate parts of the leveling process, and their Blood abilities greatly enhance their overall survivability. It’s also pretty easy to lean into their Bone skills early on and use those as your primary source of leveling damage.
However, Necromancers are much slower than the next two classes we’re going to talk about. That not only limits their evasion options when things get tough during combat, but it means that they can literally be slower levelers during many parts of the campaign. Some new players may also struggle to really get the hang of managing their minion mechanics, though that’s a temporary hurdle.
Still, Necromancers are significantly better levelers than Druids and Barbarians. You can easily work your way through the campaign with them with relatively few headaches.
Yes, Rogues are a complicated class compared to the competition. However, the need to truly master a Rogue doesn’t really kick in until the later parts of the game. Along the way, you’ll find that Rogues are gifted speed levelers.
Rouges can speed clear a lot of early content with a simple Twisting Blades/Shadow Imbument build that is viable for most of the game. More importantly, their already top-tier movement speed is greatly enhanced by certain skills that allow them to clear campaign content at speeds most classes simply can’t match. There’s a very good chance the fastest campaign completion time will be set by a skilled Rogue player.
While Rogues greatly benefit from a few key Legendary skills during the leveling process, they’re blessed with enough utility options to ensure you can make the most out of the gear pieces you acquire. If you’re a certain kind of Diablo veteran, Rogues might be your best leveling option.
For as powerful as Rogues and Necromancers are during the leveling process, Sorcerers feel like the clear winner of this category.
Easy to learn and pretty easy to master, the Sorcerer’s low barrier of entry gives them an immediate advantage over the class competition. More importantly, their accessibility has little to no impact on their overall early power level. Your first few skills will help you to clear out the majority of early content, and those skills only get better as you progress through the campaign. You’re even blessed with the powerful Teleport ability for the times you need to get out of danger or simply get through a dungeon as quickly as possible.
For the majority of players, Sorcerers are going to be your best option for clearing the campaign as quickly as possible.
Diablo 4: Every Class Ranked Worst to Best For the Endgame
Diablo 4‘s “Endgame” is basically everything that happens after the campaign between levels 50 and 100. In this case, though, these rankings are largely based on each class’ viability in the latest parts of the game. The better a class is expected to perform in the toughest Nightmare Dungeons (and similar content) the higher their rank.
Necromancers find themselves at the bottom of this list for a very simple reason. For as powerful as their minions are in the early part of the game, they are just not currently equipped to survive the toughest endgame content.
Right now, Necromancer’s minions just get demolished by some of the endgame enemies you’ll find in Nightmare Dungeons. Their fragility makes true minion-based builds nearly impossible to commit to, and it also means that you’re unable to rely on them to enhance your other abilities and strategies as you are during the leveling process. Without those minions, Necromancers’ low mobility and long cooldown times become much more notable liabilities.
Right now, it’s not clear how much of a buff Necromancers can reasonably expect to receive before they become the powerhouse problems they were in the early Diablo 4 betas. At the moment, though, they really do need some endgame love.
Sorcerers may honestly be a better endgame class than I’m giving them credit for, After all, they are damage powerhouses that can wipe out a screen of enemies as quickly as those enemies spawn. Someone will surely find a way to make them work when Diablo 4’s toughest content starts throwing small armies of boss-level enemies at you.
At the moment, though, making Sorcerers work as well in the endgame as they do early on is a bit of a puzzle without an obvious solution. Their glass canon nature is fairly easily exposed by enemies that can not only better withstand the class’ AoE damage but one-shot a sorcerer from a variety of angles. Because Sorcerers don’t scale quite as well with gear and Legendary/Unique abilities as other classes do, it’s not entirely clear which build/playstyle will allow them to easily overcome some of those daunting endgame challenges with the tools currently available to them.
It’s going to take a long time to notice any significant drop in the Sorcerer’s overall power level, but they are simply eclipsed by some other classes in the endgame.
Yes, Rogues are an incredibly complicated class. Yes, they can get absolutely deleted by some of the endgame super enemies that you will be facing. Diablo 4’s final challenges will be properly tough, and some players will find that they are simply easier to overcome with other classes.
However, Rogues clearly have the potential to do a lot of crazy things in the endgame. If you’re able to master their evasive techniques and find a little extra defensive support through Legendary and Unique gear, then the sky isn’t even the limit for what Rogues can potentially do for you. They can solo world bosses, they can pepper an area with traps, they can backstab enemies and turn them into living bombs, and they can stunlock even the toughest enemies in a variety of ways.
Again, if you can find a way to stay alive as a Rogue (either through evasiveness or cheesing your way through enemy damage) then you should be able to handle any endgame challenge.
Honestly, Druids are probably “1B” on this list. If I’m splitting hairs, though, I’ll simply say that Barbarians are a little more accessible and have some more obvious paths to endgame victory. Also, while Barbarians and Druids are both great group classes, Barabrains may be a touch better.
Again, though, we’re talking about degrees of differences. Druids will absolutely be a top-tier endgame class that will be able to cruise through the most difficult content in ways that are going to shock people. Druids just scale so well with all of the gear they’ll receive, and some of the synergies between their late-game Legendary and Unique abilities basically feel like you’re unlocking a new skill slot. At present, I think that Druid’s Werebear form and the obvious synergies that go with it will be an early star. However, there are so many mechanics in the class that can theoretically support each other if the right conditions are met. Early tests reveal that some of those synergies can make wild things happen, and we’ve barely scratched the surface of what will be available in the final game.
Ultimately, that may be the best reason to give them the top spot on this list. I can’t imagine the number of times a Druid would need to be nerfed before they would stop being a viable endgame class. Hell, you could build a pure support Druid and still get invited to any endgame party.
The only thing more obvious than how much it’s going to suck to play as a Barbarian from Levels 1-50 is how incredible it’s going to be to play as a Barbarian from Levels 50-100.
It’s really pretty simple. Barbarians’ gear dependency makes them a nightmare to level early on and a dream to level in the late stages of the game. So many of their skills (most notably Whirlwind) get better throughout the game with each new piece of gear that you unlock. Given the power level of the gear you’ll unlock in the late game (and how much of it you’ll acquire), Barbarians tend to become gradually more powerful throughout the entire game in ways that other classes do not.
Most importantly, Barbarians’ natural tankiness makes them uniquely prepared to survive some of the endgame punishment that other classes simply won’t have an obvious answer for. As noted above, they also have access to some of the absolute best support skills in the game. Early tests have shown that Barbarians can survive in solo encounters against enemies almost 50 levels above them, and we know that Barbarians are an essential component of any great Diablo 4 group that will try to run that same content. Put it all together, and you’re left with the conclusion that Barbarians are the only class that we know will thrive in the toughest Diablo 4 endgame content as soon as the game launches.