Rogues have quickly become my favorite class in Diablo 4. They’re quick, they’re powerful, and they can be built in various ways that are equally viable.
At the moment, though, most Rogue builds typically emphasize either Trap, Melee, or Ranged-focused strategies. While some of those strategies are a touch better than others at the moment, you really can tear through most Endgame content with the right build that emphasizes any of those major areas. As you probably guessed, those are the builds we’re focusing on today.
As before, though, you won’t find a full Paragon Board breakdown in these builds quite yet. Paragon Boards are still being optimized (as are the tools needed to cleanly share that information). However, we should be updating these builds soon as that information and those tools become available.
Diablo 4 – Best Trap Rogue Build: Unlimited Death Trap
Skills: Puncture, Twisting Blades, Dash, Shadowstep, Poison Trap, Death Trap
Key Legendary Aspects and Unique Gear: Blast-Trapper’s Aspect, Bladedancer’s Aspect, Ravager’s Aspect, Mangler’s Aspect
There’s a strong case to be made that this is the absolute best build in the game at the moment for the majority of Endgame content.
This build is all about Death Trap. A fully-upgraded Death Trap will suck enemies into a black hole and repeatedly damage them. It’s fairly strong on its own, but its cooldown time is frustratingly prohibitive. However, by taking the Exposure Key Passive and utilizing Twisting Blades’ cooldown reduction perk, you can actually have Death Trap active for 95% of most fights. In enemy-heavy areas (most notably Nightmare Dungeons), it’s remarkably easy to reduce Death Trap’s cooldown time to pretty much nothing.
Aside from Death Trap and Twisting Blades, Poison Trap is the most important part of this build. The Poison effect itself only does a moderate amount of damage, but Poison Trap’s guaranteed knockdown effect is the perfect companion to Death Trap. Pull a large pack, suck them in with Death Trap, lay down a poison trap that can’t be avoided, and lay waste to your helpless enemies with Twisting Blades while enjoying all of your various Trap-based perks. It’s unbelievably powerful and remarkably consistent.
Puncture is the obvious Basic Skill choice largely due to its fast attack speed and easy Vulnerability procs. Shadow Step is also irreplaceable. It makes you Unstoppable, it stuns enemies, and it always puts you in a relatively safe position. Dash…is interesting. While it’s the least valuable overall skill in this kit, it will help you escape bad situations and speed clear dungeons. If you feel like you can improve this build’s natural defenses through other means (which is incredibly difficult), you could replace it with Shadow Imbument. Dark Shroud is also a good option if you need another defensive option.
I’m also choosing Preparation over the more popular Specialization choice, Inner Sight. Preparation not only further reduces Death Trap’s cooldown but it resets your other abilities when you use your Ultimate. That means that you can easily lay down two Poison Traps in a short amount of time as well as guarantee yourself an always helpful Shadow Step. Against bosses, though, you might want to swap over to Inner Sight.
While this build can struggle slightly against more powerful bosses, you’re rarely going to be facing enough of those to worry about it. Instead, you’ll be laughing at the ways this build safely and quickly dispatches massive packs of mobs.
Diablo 4 – Best Melee Rogue Build: Twisting Shadow Blades
Skills: Puncture, Twisting Blades, Dash, Shadow Setp, Shadow Imbument, Shadow Clone
Key Legendary Aspects and Unique Gear: Bladedancer’s Aspect, Aspect of Imitated Imbuement, Vengeful Aspect, Aspect of Might, Aspect of Stolen Vigor
I really tried to insert a good Flurry build into this spot for variety’s sake. While there are a few Flurry builds out there that I do like (such as this one), I ultimately found that Twisting Blades is just a touch better in most situations.
This is one of the oldest Rogue builds that players stumbled upon, and it still works remarkably well. Honestly, there’s really not much to this build. Imbue your weapons with Shadow, hit a pack of enemies with Twisting Blades, Dash, or Shadow Step, to another pack, and let the returning Twisting Blades hit everything in between them and you. Shadow Imbument will cause your enemies to explode, Twisting Blades will reduce your cooldowns, and you’ll be dancing around so often that you’ll rarely have to worry about eating a hit.
Shadow Clone is actually the flex spot here, though I find that it makes this build sing. It greatly increases your overall damage output in the majority of encounters without forcing you to change your strategy, and it can be buffed by certain Legendary Aspects as well as gear that affects either Ultimate damage or Shadow Clone damage. You could replace it with Concealment, Poison Trap, or Poison/Ice Imbument, but Shadow Clone is the obvious choice for a good reason.
Inner Sight is our Specialization of choice, though Preparation isn’t a bad alternative if you’re committed to the Shadow Clone package. Inner Sight lets you make the most out of those Edgemaster’s damage windows, though, so it ends up being slightly better.
Momentum should absolutely be your Key Passive pick. Its uptime is remarkably consistent with this build, and it just makes everything you’re already doing that much more powerful. Again, the core rotation of this build is incredibly powerful and very simple. Whatever you can do to enhance the power of that rotation is probably the right move.
Speaking of which, it’s rarely a bad idea to emphasize survivability as you work your way through harder content. Movement Speed and Crowd Control can help you push through some of those late-game hurdles, though you will want to ultimately focus on your Critical Strike damage and Critical Strike chances once you’re confident in your ability to stay alive.
Diablo 4 – Best Ranged Rogue Build: Rapid Fire Rain of Arrows
Skills: Rapid Fire, Dash, Concealment, Poison Imbument, Shadow Imbument, Rain of Arrows
Key Legendary Aspects and Unique Gear: Word of Haken, Aspect of Repeating, Accelerating Aspect, Aspect of Corruption
Ranged Rouges lag behind their melee counterparts at the moment, and Rain of Arrows is generally considered to be one of the worst Ultimates in the game. So why would you ever run both of those things in the endgame?
The answer is “Word of Hakan.” In fact, don’t even think of running this build unless you have found a pretty good version of that Unique item. It will not work nearly as well, and you’ll quickly become frustrated. Once you don have that item, though, things really start to open up.
Word of Hakan imbues all of your Rain of Arrows arrows with all three Imbument effects (Shadow, Poison, and Cold). Packs of enemies will simply be deleted by this ability, and any Elites or bosses that may survive contact with it will wish they hadn’t. It’s basically an “I Win” button that has one significant downside: its long cooldown time.
That’s where Rapid Fire and Preparation come in. Preparation reduces your Ultimate cooldown time when you spend 100 Energy. Rapid Fire uses a ton of energy, but it restores a good portion of it when it damages a Vulnerable enemy. With some of the Vulnerable effects we’ll be taking (Concealment and Shadow Imbument, most notably), it’s surprisingly easy to use Rapid Fire as a source of almost infinite mana generation. As such, it’s also easy to spam Rapid Fire and gradually reduce your Rain of Arrows cooldown time.
That’s also why this build doesn’t run a basic skill, though you won’t really be able to skip your basic skill until you’re sufficiently geared. Until then, you can actually run a variation of this build with Puncture in the place of Dash. Puncture is a fantastic overall ability that also gives you another Vulnerability proc, which feeds into your main strategy.
Poison Imbument and Dash are the flex spots in this build. I love the bonuses you get from Poison, and it’s also great against bosses and other tough targets. I suppose you could swap it for Cold Imbument for more Vulnerability procs, but Poison feels better in most situations. You could also try running all three Imbuments by swapping Dash with Cold Imbument. That does open up a ton of synergy possibilities with your various Legendary affixes, but it’s also a pretty awkward playstyle that starts to make this build a bit more gimmicky. Shadow Step is another interesting substitution for Dash if you find yourself in need of another Unstoppable effect.
One other thing to consider with this build is your Movement Speed. It’s not as easy to keep your distance with Rapid Fire as it is with other Marksman abilities, so you will occasionally want to occasionally get out of the way or simply improve your position. Movement Speed accomplishes both of those things, especially if you’re not opting to run Dash. Critical Strike is also incredibly important with this build, though anything that enhances your Imbued should be a priority whenever possible. When it comes to survivability, though, you’re mostly going to look for escapability over things that allow you to stand there and eat raw damage.
Ultimately, the Rain of Arrows, Rapid Fire, and Shadow Imbument package feels viable and incredibly powerful well into the Endgame. How you tweak this build from there may depend on what kind of Nightmare content you start running and how you prefer to tweak your playstyle.