Diablo 4 beta best builds: Necromancer, Druid, Sorcerer, and more
Give these builds a try while you're hacking and slashing your way through the Diablo 4 Open Beta.
Like every Diablo game before it, creating and using a strong character build is the core of what makes Diablo 4 fun to play. However, since each class has a huge variety of different skills and skill upgrades to pick from, it can be difficult to know which ones you should choose to maximize synergy and optimize combat effectiveness. Even though the Diablo 4 beta only allows you to reach level 25, that still gives you plenty of available skill points to buildcraft with.
Now that the Diablo 4 beta is live for everyone, we've been experimenting with each class and their unique skills and mechanics to find top-tier setups you can use to cut down hordes of hellspawn with ease. In this guide, we'll go over everything you need to know about our favorite build for each class, including builds for both Necromancer and Druid since they're now available to play in the Open Beta.
Diablo 4 beta: Best Necromancer build and skills
- Skills: Bone Splinters, Bone Spear, Bone Prison, Bone Spirit, Decrepify, Unliving Energy, Imperfectly Balanced, Serration, Compound Fracture (x3), Death's Reach (x3)
- Skill Upgrades: Enhanced Bone Splinters, Initiate's Bone Splinters, Enhanced Bone Spear, Paranormal Bone Spear, Enhanced Bone Prison, Ghastly Bone Prison, Skeletal Mage Mastery, Enhanced Bone Spirit, Ghastly Bone Spirit
- Ultimate Skill: Army of the Dead
- Book of the Dead Upgrades: Sacrifice Skeletal Skirmishers, Bone Mage, Iron Golem
Since it became available to play in the Diablo 4 beta, the Necromancer class has proven itself to be absolutely S-tier thanks to its insanely high damage output. With this in mind, we centered this ranged build around taking advantage of some of the best damage options in the Necromancer's kit: Bone spells. Bone Splinters and Bone Spear will serve as your main damage-dealing skills, while you'll use Bone Prison and Decrepify to slow down, crowd control, and weaken incoming enemies. You should also take Bone Spirit, an extremely powerful skill that consumes your Essence to spawn a, well, bone spirit that dishes out phenomenal area-of-effect damage against large hordes.
For your upgrades, we've chosen enhancements that boost your critical hit chance, ramp up your damage output, and apply the Vulnerable debuff (a status effect that causes targets to take 20% more damage). Passive skills like Imperfectly Balanced, Serration, Compound Fracture, and Death's Reach do this as well; investing several points into those last two skills to improve their potency is strongly recommended. This is because Compound Fracture buffs Bone skill damage after several critical strikes, and Death's Reach buffs damage dealt to enemies from range — two effects that you'll be proccing constantly with this setup. Unliving Energy is worth taking, too, as higher maximum Essence will improve the uptime of your Bone magic.
There are several different ways you could use the Book of the Dead to customize your summons for this build, but we've chosen to use them to further enhance your crit chance, debuff combatants, and bring even more Bone-based DPS to the party. First, use the Sacrifice mechanic with Skeletal Skirmishers to gain a permanent 5% increase to your critical hit chance. Then, opt for and upgrade Bone Mages and Iron Golems. Bone Mages will buff their own damage by a whopping 40% after being alive for five seconds, and will also reduce the damage you take when they die from self-damage by Fortifying you. Your Iron Golems, meanwhile, will periodically slam the ground and create shockwaves that apply the Vulnerable status.
Finally, go with Army of the Dead for your Ultimate Skill. When used, you'll summon multiple skeletons from the ground that run towards enemies and then explode, dealing huge damage to any foes caught in the blast. Since you'll be frequently crowd controlling the horde with Bone Prison, Army of the Dead will get a ton of value when you use it.
Diablo 4 beta: Best Druid build and skills
- Skills: Claw, Shred (x3), Blood Howl, Wolves, Rabies, Call of the Wild (x3), Neurotoxin
- Skill Upgrades: Enhanced Claw, Fierce Claw, Enhanced Shred, Raging Shred, Enhanced Blood Howl, Preserving Blood Howl, Enhanced Wolves, Ferocious Wolves, Enhanced Rabies, Natural Rabies
- Ultimate Skill: Lacerate
Similar to the Barbarian, the Druid class excels at close-quarters melee combat, though they also have the ability to use some potent crowd control utility as well. To play to these strengths, we've opted for an aggressive werewolf-focused build that pairs high melee damage with potent poison and slowdown effects. At the build's heart lies Claw, a basic melee skill that transforms you into a werewolf. You'll want to upgrade it to Fierce Claw so that it poisons enemies you hit with it. For your core skill, take Shred and upgrade it to Raging Shred. When used, this skill will consume the Spirit you generate with Claw to launch three devastating strikes in quick succession, dealing heavy damage and inflicting even more poison. This is your main damage skill, so as you level, you'll want to invest a few additional points into it.
Blood Howl, a skill that heals you for 20% of your HP and also buffs your attack speed for several seconds when upgraded to Preserving Blood Howl, serves as both an offensive and defensive utility. Meanwhile, Wolves (with its enhancement and Ferocious upgrade) give you the ability to summon a pair of wolf companions that deal increased damage to the foes you poison and have a 10% chance to Fortify 5% of your HP bar, giving you some helpful damage resistance. By putting several skill points into the Call of the Wild, these wolves will do significantly more damage at all times.
Another fantastic skill to take for this build is Rabies, which hits the enemy you're targeting with an infectious bite that severely poisons them and spreads that poison to nearby foes. This damage stacks with your other poison sources, and with the Natural upgrade, it'll spread much faster. This helps ensure that your wolves will always get the Enhanced Wolves damage bonus against poisoned targets even when you're not directly poisoning the enemy they're fighting with Claw or Shred. Make sure you pair Rabies with Neurotoxin, a passive that slows down every foe you poison so you and your wolves can easily stay on top of them.
For your Ultimate Skill, Lacerate is a great choice. When you use it, you'll become immune to attacks and will rapidly dash between enemies up to 10 times, dealing tremendous damage with each hit. Since you're going to be in the thick of the fray anyway, an aggressive and close-range Ultimate Skill like Lacerate will synergize perfectly with this build and the playstyle it encourages.
Diablo 4 beta: Best Sorcerer build and skills
- Skills: Frost Bolt, Fireball (x5), Teleport, Frost Nova, Ice Armor, Hydra (x5), Meteor
- Skill Upgrades: Enhanced Frost Bolt, Glinting Frost Bolt, Enhanced Fireball, Destructive Fireball, Enhanced Ice Armor, Enhanced Hydra, Summoned Hydra, Enhanced Meteor, Wizard's Meteor
- Ultimate Skill: N/A (Could trade Frost Nova for Inferno if desired)
- Enchantment Slot: Meteor
There are plenty of different ways to build a powerful Sorcerer/Sorceress in Diablo 4, but arguably the most effective approach is to use a combination of Frost and Fire spells. The former will Chill enemies, slowing or even Freezing them. Once they're crowd controlled, you can then incinerate them with high damage and Mana-efficient pyromancies.
At the core of this build is Frost Bolt, which is a very effective basic skill for Chilling, Freezing, and Mana generation once you've enhanced and upgraded it to Glinting Frost Bolt. This is what you'll be using to "prime" your foes before you cast spells like Fireball and Hydra. Your best damage, though, will come from Meteor, which we're putting into the Sorcerer's exclusive Enchantment Slot (requires Level 15) so that it automatically procs when you're near enemies and frees up a slot on your hotbar. Meteor is particularly deadly against Chilled or Frozen targets, as it does huge damage and has a 30% chance to drop an additional meteor if you hit three or more combatants with the enhanced version. This synergizes excellently with Frost Bolt, and also the Wizard's Meteor upgrade that makes meteors immobilize targets.
We've also chosen Teleport and Frost Nova for this build to give it defensive utility. Teleport allows you to quickly put distance between you and your adversaries if they ever get too close, which is important since Sorcerers don't have much health. Meanwhile, Frost Nova is a great close range insta-freeze that can buy you time to retreat (or set up follow-up attacks). Ice Armor is a must-have, too, since it creates a barrier around you that absorbs a good amount of incoming damage. When enhanced, Ice Armor also boosts your Mana regeneration by a whopping 25%.
We haven't chosen an Ultimate Skill for this build, as it does so much damage already that you don't really need one. However, if desired, you could trade Frost Nova for Inferno. This Ultimate Skill summons a massive flaming serpent that severely Burns enemies in a chosen target zone, making it a fantastic crowd control tool.
Diablo 4 beta: Best Rogue build and skills
- Skills: Forceful Arrow, Flurry (x5), Dash, Dark Shroud, Shadow Imbuement, Exploit (x3), Consuming Shadows (x2), Shadow Crash
Skill Upgrades: Enhanced Forceful Arrow, Primary Forceful Arrow, Enhanced Flurry, Improved Flurry, Enhanced Dark Shroud, Subverting Dark Shroud, Enhanced Shadow Imbuement, Blended Shadow Imbuement
- Ultimate Skill: Shadow Clone
- Specialization: Combo Points
This Rogue build takes advantage of the class' versatile ranged and melee options, as we'll be using Forceful Arrow to make enemies Vulnerable from afar before tearing into them with the powerful Flurry skill up close. Shadow Imbuement will further boost our close-quarters combat potential, as it buffs Flurry with Shadow magic and makes it infect combatants it hits. Infected targets explode when killed and deal area-of-effect damage to any enemies around them, which softens them up and makes them easy to finish off. Take the Shadow Crash passive alongside it, which gives all your Shadow damage a 10% chance to briefly stun your target. We also recommend choosing Combo Points as your unique Rogue Specialization once you hit Level 15, as the Combo Points generated with successive Forceful Arrow hits will also improve the potency of Flurry.
Note that if you'd prefer to focus completely on melee, you could swap out Forceful Arrow and its upgrades for a close-quarters basic skill like Blade Shift or Invigorating Strike. However, we like pairing Forceful Arrow with Flurry so that you can effectively fight at any range. One of the best things about the Rogue is that they're incredibly adaptable, so we've chosen to lean into that with this build.
In addition to the above skills, you should also invest in Dash, Dark Shroud, Exploit, and Consuming Shadows. Dash is a fast movement skill with two charges, and it's incredibly useful as a tool for offensive or defensive repositioning. Dark Shroud envelops you in protective shadows that each provide 8% damage reduction, and
the Subverting Dark Shroud upgrade will also make these shadows boost your movement speed. Exploit is also strong, as it provides you with a small, but valuable damage bonus against enemies either above 80% (Healthy) or below 20% (Injured) HP. Finally, Consuming Shadows synergizes well with Shadow Imbuement, as it replenishes a good chunk of the Energy resource you need for your skills whenever you kill something with Shadow damage.
For your Ultimate Skill, Shadow Clone is the best overall choice. As its name suggests, Shadow Clone creates a copy of you that mimics your attacks for 15 seconds. Even though it only does 60% of your damage, the clone is still an extremely helpful ally that will make battles against tough foes much easier.
Diablo 4 beta: Best Barbarian build and skills
- Skills: Flay, Whirlwind (x5), Rallying Cry, Leap, Death Blow, Thick Skin, Booming Voice (x3)
- Skill Upgrades: Enhanced Flay, Battle Flay, Enhanced Whirlwind, Violent Whirlwind, Enhanced Rallying Cry, Tactical Rallying Cry, Enhanced Leap, Power Leap, Enhanced Death Blow, Fighter's Death Blow
- Ultimate Skill: Call of the Ancients OR Wrath of the Berserker
- Main Arsenal Weapons: Two-handed sword, two-handed axe
As Diablo 4's dedicated brawler class, Barbarians are most effective when they're right up in the face of their enemies and viciously slashing them to pieces. To play into those strengths, we've centered this build around generating tons of Fury and weakening foes with the Vulnerable and Bleed status effects with Battle Flay, and then shredding their health bars with the area-of-effect Whirlwind melee. If anyone survives your onslaught, you can finish them off with Death Blow, a skill that gets an instant cooldown refresh whenever you get a kill with it. Note that you can use any slashing weapons you want for Flay and any weapon at all for Whirlwind, but we like two-handed swords and axes since they have an excellent balance of reach, speed, and damage, and also provide buffs (extra bleed damage and increased damage against Vulnerable targets) that synergize very nicely with the rest of the build.
Another great skill to take is Leap, which gives you a strong initiation attack that can be used to instantly close the distance (the Power Leap upgrade makes this move generate Fury for you). There's also Rallying Cry, which buffs your movement speed and Fury generation for six seconds by 30% and 50%, respectively. This buff is also applied to nearby allies for three seconds, making it a great skill in co-op. We also recommend picking up the Thick Skin passive for extra durability since it grants Fortify — a status that reduces incoming damage by 10% — to a small portion of your HP whenever you get hit. Consider getting the Booming Voice passive as well, as it increases the length of your shout-based buffs (in this case, Rallying Cry's) by 10%.
For your Ultimate Skill, both Call of the Ancients and Wrath of the Berserker are great options. Call of the Ancients is generally better for solo play in most situations since it allows you to summon three powerful Barbarian allies that rapidly use the class' various skills, but Wrath of the Berserker shines in co-op scenarios since it significantly improves your damage and movement speed, allowing you to perform your job as the team's brawling tank better.
Diablo 4 is slated to fully launch on June 6, 2023, with the Open Beta expected to run from March 24-27 for all players. It has the potential to be one of the best Xbox games for fans of dungeon crawlers and hack-and-slash combat, and we can't wait to jump in now that the beta is live.
Diablo 4: Ultimate Edition
The Ultimate Sacrifice from your wallet to our Blessed Mother, the Ultimate Edition of Diablo 4 comes with a bunch of cosmetics, the Premium Battle Pass and 20 tier skips for you to enjoy once the full game is released.
Buy on: Xbox (opens in new tab) | PC (Battle.net) (opens in new tab)
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Brendan Lowry is a Windows Central writer and Oakland University graduate with a burning passion for video games, of which he's been an avid fan since childhood. You'll find him doing reviews, editorials, and general coverage on everything Xbox and PC. Follow him on Twitter.