Whether you are someone who is a longtime fan of the Diablo series or someone jumping into hell for the first time, starting off Diablo 4 can feel overwhelming at the beginning. Between choosing between the five classes, and the number of skills you can equip in each one, it can be difficult to say what you should first invest your points into so that you aren’t starting things off on the wrong foot. After looking around various guides and trying a few out personally, I found the best skills to put your points into so that you can hit the ground running.

Disclaimer: While this is what would be recommended to invest points into, in the end, it is up to you to decide how you want to build your character. You can always refund points you earn and place them into other skills (as long as you have the gold, which at the early levels is practically a free reimbursement). If you feel like something isn’t working out, feel free to try out all the skills and find what you think works well for you. Also, we are going to briefly brush over skills to grab when you’re able to use them. Feel free to level them up as you see fit.

With all that said, let’s get going.

Barbarian: It’s Hammer Time

For those who enjoy the thrill of close-quarters combat, Barbarians are ready to start swinging away. Being able to utilize dual-wielding, double-handed weapons, and a giant hammer, the Barbarian can use all three to the fullest of their capabilities to build up fury and unleash deadly attacks.

With that said, from the various Barbarians running rampage, the good majority of them do tend to favor the giant hammer when starting off. More specifically, the ability “Hammer of the Ancients.” When you pair this with Furious Hammer of the Ancients, this allows you to take out waves of enemies and they explode into bloody chunks under every swing.

Diablo 4 Barbarian Tree

When starting off, you will want to look into using Frenzy as your basic skill and then upgrade it to combat Frenzy. This will let you build up fury as fast as possible so you can start swinging away with your hammer in your Core Skills. When you reach your defensive skills, be sure to take Rallying Cry to boost movement speed and increase the resources you and other allies generate (Tactically Rallying Cry Later).

Finally, to help get you into the fights faster, take Leap under your Brawling Skills (and make it a power leap later) and Death Blow under Weapon Mastery Skills so you can use your most powerful attack continuously when you take out an enemy (and do extra damage against bosses).

As for the Weapon Expertise System you unlock at level 15, many would argue the two-handed sword expertise that enables bleeding over time is the best. Be sure to work with Two-handed swords to increase the rank and give yourself the chance to do extra damage over time.

Druid: Winning by a Landslide

Druids can be particularly flexible depending on what kind of Druid you would want to build. Yeah, it can be very tempting to run around the map as a werewolf or a werebear and those can still be viable choices. However, for some players running through Diablo 4, they have found the most success utilizing the skill “Landslide,” which can crush enemies between two pillars of earth. Not only does do the most damage, but it can also promote a tank build so you aren’t dying so fast.

For your Basic skills, start off with Storm Strike (upgrade to Fierce). This allows the Druid to channel electricity through their weapon and can chain attacks to surrounding enemies. After getting Landslide and making it Primal Landslide for additional damage, consider grabbing Cyclone Armor under the Defensive skills that can push back enemies surrounding you and deal area damage. You can also look into getting Abundance under the Core skills to help you with generating more Spirit to do your more powerful attacks. Finally, when you reach the Wrath skills, grab Trample (and upgrade it to Natural Trample) so you can transform into a werebear and dash through enemies while dealing damage.

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Diablo 4 Druid Tree

If you’re taking too much damage, consider grabbing Earthen Bulwark which sets you up with a Barrier of rocks that can absorb almost half of your base life (and upgrading it to Preserving Earthen Bulwark). You could also consider grabbing the Wolves as companions too if you want. They can help out in fights so you aren’t getting swamped with enemies all attacking you at the same time. Otherwise, if you should be fine without them.

Druids can use Spirit Boons and there is quite a bit to cover there. We’ll be posting a guide for that soon.

Necromancer: A Natural Bone Leader

What is regarded to be the most “Beginner Friendly” of the five classes, Necromancers can also be quite a bit demanding to play as. The reason is that Necromancers can summon up Skeletons to help them fight the forces of hell while also managing other resources like Essence and Corpses on top of that.

For our purposes, the main skill you will want to consider is Bone Spear. It is the Necromancer’s highest damaging move as it goes flying in a straight line and pierces through enemies. As long as you manage your Essence, this skill could very well carry you to the end of the game with few issues or problems.

Diablo 4 Necromancer Tree

When starting, grab Bone Splinters. This will let you fire off three bone splinters to deal damage in a spread shot and generate essence. from there after you got Bone Spear (and upgrade it to Supernatural to make the first hit enemy vulnerable), it is time to grab Corpse Explosion under Corpse and Macabre.

The fun thing about Necromancers is that you can generate corpses to not only summon up more skeletons, but you can use them to set off explosions. While this can be a nice source of damage, this can become even more dangerous with Grim Harvest (also under Corpse & Macabre). What this will do is that for every corpse you use, it will generate Essence (meaning more Bone Spears to toss out). Finally if you feel like you find yourself in a bad spot, go ahead and grab Blood Mist Corpse and Macabre so become untargetable and relocate to a more favorable position.

Book of the Dead

That should get you going as far as skills go, but Necromancers also make use of the Book of the Dead to help them summon up an army of skeletons. Feel free to experiment with what you think works, but if you are looking for recommendations, consider the following:

Reapers as your Melee Skeletons with their second effect choice to give them a chance to generate a corpse for you to use. A powerful attacker that can help you generate more essence sounds like a good plan.

Cold as your Mage Skeletons with their first choice that generates Essence for you when they hit with their attacks.

As for your Golem, that comes down to preference. Bone Golems can force enemies to attack them while Blood Golems can heal themselves by draining health from enemies while also helping to absorb some of the damage you take.

The good thing about the skeleton crew is that each can provide some use to you for fighting and survivability. Feel free to mix and match as you progress until you find the right combo (or sacrifice them if you want a bonus for yourself).

Rogue: Twisting The Knife

Rouge can be a delight as a class that can thrive either at close range or from a distance. While they might not be as strong as Barbarians, they use their cunning agility and specialization that can use combo points to deal extra damage (although you may want to consider Inner Sight as the unlimited energy for four seconds can be rather helpful against single targets).

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The Rogue’s skill of choice is Twisted Blades. This impales the target with your weapons and they take additional damage for a time before the blades return to your hands. This can lead to some rather nice burst damage that can take down single targets rather fast.

Diablo 4 Rogue Tree

For the build, take Puncture first (and upgrade it to fundamental). While you do have a ranged weapon, throwing your knives will be more than plenty for both doing damage and slowing enemies. After getting Twisting Blades and upgrading it to Improved, consider taking both Dash and Shadow Step under agility. Dash will let you dash through enemies to do damage while Shadow step can make you unstoppable and let you move through the shadows to backstab an enemy.

From there under the Subterfuge Skills, take Concealment and upgrade it to Countering Stealth. This lets you slip into stealth so you won’t be targeted by enemies (while the upgrade skill will let you do a powerful attack when you are ready to strike). Finally, for the Imbuement skills, you will want to take Shadow Imbuement (and upgrade it to Mixed) while also looking into Shadow Crush and Consuming Shadows. Shadow Imbument will augment two attacks to do Shadow damage while Consuming Shadows lets you generate more essence when enemies die from Shadow damage attacks.

Sorceror: A Shocking Development

Our lovely spellcasters can do quite a bit of damage using Fire, Frost, and Lightning. And as you can tell from the heading, our main focus here will be using lightning attacks to do attacks that will hit multiple enemies at one time. Now, the tricky thing to consider here is how there is a split as to which lightning skill is better. You could take Charged Bolts or Chain Lightning (both can be upgraded to Greater).

Charged Bolts fire off five bolts of lightning through the ground and they travel in an erratic pattern. The key here is that through upgrades, the skill can be rather deadly against individual targets as they can fire off a lightning nova if the same targets get hit by the same cast, or take additional damage if they are stunned.

On the other side, we have Chain Lightning that fires off a Stream of Lightning that can bounce off five targets before disappearing. Keep in mind that by targets, you also count as one too, but you do not take damage. The idea here is that you want to use this when there is a big group of enemies so they can all take a hit from the chain (but if there’s only one target, they are only going to get hit three times as the chain will bounce off twice in the process). However, upgrades can make it where it can do a critical hit each time it bounces while doing increased damage if it bounces off you.

All in all, this is up to you what you want to take. Personally, I did use the Chain Lightning, but perhaps, you can get your mileage with Charged Bolts if you play your cards right.

The Rest of the Build

With so much time focused on the lightning abilities, let’s quickly go over the rest of the skills you can consider grabbing.

Diablo 4 Sorcerer Build

Even though this may sound like you should get all lightning skills, there are just as many Frost abilities that can help you out. Frost Bolt (later upgraded to Glinting) is probably the best of these basic skills as hitting an enemy continuously with it will not only slow them down but can freeze them in place (rendering them unable to fight back). You could also do Arc Lash that can stun enemies for two seconds after ten hits.

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After grabbing your Lightning Core Skill of choice, you will want to grab both Teleport and Frost Nova from the defensive skills. Teleport will help get you out of harm’s way if you are surrounded while Frost Nova can Freeze enemies surrounding you. It can also be a “Get out of Jail” card, but it can be utilized with Mystical to leave frozen enemies vulnerable to attacks if they get hit by Frost Nova.

From there, you should be all set as Sorcerer, but there are other small things you can also consider taking with you. When you do unlock the ability to “Enhance” your abilities, be sure to grab Fireball and put it into the first slot. This will make it so that any enemy that dies will explode into a fire nova. So if you gather a group of weaker enemies together, you can get your own fireworks going. Glass Cannon under defensive skills lets you do additional damage (in exchange for you taking additional damage too) while Ice Armor can help to not only keep you alive, but when upgraded, it can help you regenerate mana quickly.

Final Things of Note

While you might know how to get things going, bear in mind a few things. If you are someone who wants to play all five classes, feel free to do so to find which class works best for you. However, it would be recommended that you try and find at least one to toss some time into before you bounce back and forth.

The reason for this is that as you explore the map, side-quests, and take down strongholds, you can earn completion bonuses for not just that character, but for all characters you use. One of these bonuses is an extra skill point you can invest in (you can earn up to ten). This means if you start a new character, you can have up to ten levels worth of skill points for a level one character. A great way to get the ball rolling on a new run (especially since all characters you create share the gold).

The other thing to share is about the World Tier (or the game’s difficulty). Keep in mind that you can still play Tier 1 and have a good time. You can bump things up to Tier 2 for a harder challenge and 20% additional experience from monsters, but unless you want to challenge yourself, the process may feel slower due to monsters and bosses being more of a trifle to take down. Don’t feel like you have to go into Tier 2 if you’re not ready for it (and by the time you are, you’ll have more than enough at your disposal to take on the challenge head-on.

What do you think?

Are there any skills you would recommend others to try out? What would you suggest are the best methods to level up? And which class have you been using up to now? Leave your thoughts down below and be sure to follow us here at Strangely Awesome for more on Diablo 4 and other things happening in the gaming world.

Skill Tree images were from D4Builds.gg

Diablo 4 is available now on PC, PS5, and Xbox Series X/S.

Michael Solseth
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