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Diablo 4 Rogue best build, skills, aspects, gear and gems

If enemies don’t see you, they can’t hit you.

If you're a Game Pass member, Diablo 4 is available to you at no additional cost on both Xbox and PC, and if you're just jumping in, the shadow-lurking Rogue may be your chosen class. If so, you'll no doubt eventually want to know about the best Rogue build.

With the Diablo 4 Rogue, you'll be able to dish out a ton of damage with its varying abilities. That said, you'll need a bit of strategy and forward thinking to fully employ its playstyles and builds.

To help you walk in the shadows and deliver death to hellspawn, we've prepared this guide to run through the Diablo 4 best Rogue build, as well as discussing all the best skills, aspects, gear, and gems you'll want to find and equip.

On this page:

How to play as the Rogue in Diablo 4

When compared to other classes available in Diablo 4, it’s easy to see that although Rogue can deal massive damage, this class has a hard time surviving if not positioned or with the right tools available. Even though the Rogue’s difficulty in staying alive might turn into a problem for players new to the game, focusing the whole build on improving this aspect of the class is a waste. Because of that, your goal as a Rogue must be to kill enemies as fast as possible so they can’t hit you back! Considering these aspects and the whole levelling process, we prepared this build.

So, when playing this build, you must keep a few things in mind. First, you must work around your cooldowns. Sure you have your Basic Attack, but it’s nothing compared to your Core or Ultimate skills. So, avoid jumping into battle with dangerous foes without having at least your Core skill available. Another thing you need to always remember is to engage and disengage quickly. If you’re starting a fight, use all the skills you need to deal damage and then take a safe distance from the confrontation. Now, the last thing you should take as a core mechanic of your character is to use dodge always, either as a gap-closer or an escape. With this in mind, we can discuss how to use your skills.

The rogue in Diablo 4 is great to burst enemies

For this build, what you want to do is to cast Shadow Imbuement, use Shadow Step to get behind your main target or an enemy in the middle of a group, hit Twisting Blade three times, and then use Concealment to disengage and take a safe distance. This is your main rotation, but you must remember to use Death Trap whenever it’s up. Because of its low cooldown – which can get even lower if enemies are killed when you use your Ultimate – it’s not worth it to hold it.

Now, let’s talk about Heartseeker. This is the Basic skill we are running with this build because of the fact you use a bow or a crossbow to attack, allowing you to hit enemies from afar. This isn’t your main source of damage, but it works as a filler, the kind of ability you use whenever you can’t approach enemies or are running from them, waiting for your cooldowns to get back.

By following these instructions and respecting when you can engage enemies, Rogue becomes a powerful and fun class to play.

Current meta and community picks for best Rogue build in Diablo 4

As with many games, Diablo 4 has evolved since its initial launch, with a slew of balance patches, updates, new gear and content, and more. Along with season-specific systems, there's various elements to consider when putting together the best builds and figuring out the current meta.

When it comes to the most popular builds for Rogues, with so many elements to choose from, there are a lot of possible options and combinations. In the one of the game's patches following the launch of Season 3, Rogues saw a number of buffs with attack speed increases to both the Heartseeker and Forceful Arrow skills, with various reworks and damage increases to several others.

The Heartseeker skill on the Rogue's skill tree in Diablo 4.
The Penetrating Shot skill on the Rogue's skill tree in Diablo 4.
Left: The Heartseeker skill on the Rogue's skill tree. | Right: The Penetrating Shot skill on the Rogue's skill tree.

There's even a few buffs to some of the unique items too, such as Eaglehorn, Eyes in the Dark, and Writhing Band of Trickery - each of which sporting damage increases, and a reduced cooldown for the Writhing Band of Trickery specifically.

In terms of what's gaining traction in the community, builds centered around the Barrage and Penetrating Shot skills are two strong recommendations given by website Wowhead, who describes them as a 'versatile, strong damage melee build' and 'high damage single-target ranged build with strong AoE options' respectively.

With more balance changes on the way, new seasons launching every few months, and an upcoming expansion, the game will no doubt see a number of adjustments, overhauls and shakeups to the meta as time goes on. Beyond that, your experimentation and how you like to play will also dictate some of what you find is best, and so it's always worth trying different builds out as you never know what might work.

Diablo 4 Rogue best skills

In Diablo 4, builds are structured around the skills you use, so picking the right ones is key to success when playing as a Rogue. In the next sections, we are going to cover other elements that are useful, but not as fundamental as the skills:

Basic Node

  • Heartseeker: As mentioned in the previous section, this is a Marksman skill which means you use a bow or crossbow to attack enemies. With this skill, you fire an arrow that seeks enemies, making kiting them easier, and for as long as you keep hitting the same enemy your Critical Strike Chance increases for a certain amount. Enhanced Heartseeker takes advantage of your high chance of landing a Critical Strike by giving you more Attack Speed when this happens. If the enemy is Vulnerable, the effect is doubled. Now, to assist you in scenarios where you have to face groups of enemies – which is basically always in Diablo 4 – you should go for the Primary Heartseeker upgrade that makes your arrows ricochet to an additional enemy.

Core Node

  • Twisting Blades: With this kill, you impale an enemy with your blades, which not only damages them but increases the damage they take from you while impaled. After a short time, the blades return to you hitting enemies on the way back. Once you have Enhanced Twisting Blades the damage caused when the blades return to you is increased. The Advanced Twisting Blades upgrade adds the effect of reducing your active cooldown per enemy the blades passed through to up to a certain amount.
  • Stutter Step: We are choosing this passive because it increases momentarily your Movement Speed when you land a Critical Strike.

Agility Node

  • Shadow Step: Shadowstep is a fun skill and pretty useful. When used, you become Unstoppable and hit an enemy from behind dealing damage and gaining a Movement Speed buff for a short period. With Enhanced Shadow Step and Methodical Shadow Step, you receive a Critical Strike Chance buff and the enemy damaged by this skill now gets stunned.
Rogue's Skill Tree in Diablo 4 is focused on dealing damage and escaping from enemies

Subterfuge Node

  • Concealment: Alongside Shadow Step, Concealment is one of your escape tools. By using it, you gain a form of Stealth for a time. Taking damage won’t take you out of stealth and, when you are in this form, you become Unstoppable as well as receive a Movement Speed buff. Now, you want to have the Enhanced Stealth to gain Energy when you use the skill and the Countering Stealth upgrade which makes your attack that breaks Concealment to be a Critical Strike.

Imbuement Node

  • Shadow Imbuement: When used, this skill adds Shadow Damage to your skills, having two charges. Enemies hit by the imbued skills are infected for some time and, if they don’t die before the infection expires, they take some extra damage, or, if they do, they explode, damaging enemies around them as well. While the Enhanced Shadow Imbuement increases your Critical Strike Chance against enemies that are injured and that have been infected by your skills, the Blended Shadow Imbuement upgrade makes enemies Vulnerable if hit by skill’s explosion.
  • Shadow Crash: While we are only upgrading this skill so we have access to another passive, it can be quite useful due to the fact that it adds to your Shadow damage a chance of stunning enemies.
  • Consuming Shadows: This passive makes it possible for you to unleash sequences of Twisting Blades when facing groups of enemies since it generates Energy whenever you kill an enemy with Shadow damage.
  • Precision Imbuement: Considering we are working to land as many Critical Strikes as possible, this passive is great since it increases your Critical Strike Chance when using imbued skills.

Ultimate Node

  • Death Trap: This ultimate places a trap that when activated deals 250% damage to each enemy in the area. The Prime Death Trap enhancement adds the effect of pulling enemies into the Death Trap area once it’s activated and the Supreme Death Trap upgrade reduces this skill’s cooldown in 10 seconds when an enemy is killed by the trap. You should be running Death Trap with this build because of the fact that finding yourself in the middle of groups of enemies is a regular situation, so it’s easy to hit the maximum possible number of enemies with a cast, and even in single target situations, you can deal a considerable amount of damage without too much preparation.
  • Aftermath: Another good passive we can pick since it restores Energy points after you use an Ultimate Skill.

Key Passives Node

  • Momentum: In the last node of your Skill Tree, you want to pick this passive, since it increases your Damage Reduction, Energy Regeneration, and Movement Speed when you reach three stacks of Momentum which you get by hitting an enemy from behind with a Cutthroat skill.

Diablo 4 Rogue best gear

As you progress in Diablo 4 as a Rogue and start dropping Legendary gear, you should focus on the ones that can improve the efficiency of your skills. Pieces of equipment that increase your Critical Strike Damage, Critical Strike Chance, or Ultimate Damage are extremely useful. While it’s uncertain whether you can find a piece with all three attributes or not, you should prioritise Critical Strike Chance and Critical Strike Damage. Pieces that also increase your Physical Damage or Life Regeneration are also solid options.

At the same time, when considering pieces of equipment that have the basic attributes, you should focus on the ones with Dexterity. This is the Rogue’s most important attribute since it increases Skill Damage, followed by Intelligence to increase Critical Strike Chance.

In Diablo 4, Rogues should use pieces of gear that increase their damage

Diablo 4 Rogue best aspects

When it comes to aspects for Rogues in Diablo 4, there are four outstanding options that you should look for and use with this build. First, we have the Bladedancer’s aspect which adds a new effect to the Twisting Blades skill. When used with this aspect, the blades orbit around you for a time after they return to you, dealing damage to nearby enemies. This is a great addition to the build, making it possible to re-engage in battle easily.

Because we are running Shadow Step with this build, the Aspect of Surprise is also a good option because whenever you use this skill it will leave a trail of stun grenades. A good tool to control groups of enemies. A third aspect that can be quite useful to you is the Ravager’s Aspect that grants you a second charge of Shadow Step and if you kill an enemy using the skill, its damage is increased for a brief period of time.

There are good aspects for the Rogue in Diablo 4

Alternatively, you might want to replace the Surprise or Ravager's Aspect with the Edgemaster's Aspect instead. When the Edgemaster's Aspect is equipped, Skills deal increased damage based on your available Primary Resource when cast, so the more Primary Resource you have when casting, the more damage your Skill will do. If you're focusing on Critical Strike stats, this can make your Rogue produce incredible damage, but keep in mind the best damage potential still relies a little on luck.

Diablo 4 Rogue best gems

The gems you want to use for this Rogue build in Diablo 4 are chosen following the same idea applied to the equipment. Because we want to increase some important numbers, you should look for Emerald for weapons. This gem increases Critical Strike Damage to Vulnerable Enemies when used in weapons.

A second good option is Sapphire which increases your Critical Strike Damage to Crowd Controlled Enemies.

A solid option to equip in your Armor pieces is the Skull gem, which increases the Healing Received. Although you don’t have many sources of healing as a rogue, this will make your potions more potent.

Gems are an useful recourse for Rogues in Diablo 4

How Seasons affect Rogue builds in Diablo 4

With the seasonal structure present in Diablo 4, you'll be looking at new content and systems being implemented into the game on the regular, with new gear to earn and builds to try out.

Whilst a few aspects of the new seasons are permanent additions - such as balance passes and certain new rewards and gear - other aspects such as season-specific features are only present for the duration of the season, and then they are removed when that season ends.

For example, in the Season of the Construct, you're able to obtain and upgrade a spider-like Construct companion that'll aid you in combat. This is a feature that will leave the game after the season's conclusion, but other new pieces of gear and armour will not.

An example of one of the season-specific systems - this is for Season of the Construct, and shows the customisation and upgrades that can be applied to the Construct companion you can utilise during the season.
The upgrade and customisation screen for Season of the Construct's companion that accompanies you in combat. | Image credit: Activision Blizzard

We should call out however, that some of these season-specific items do return at a later date - we've seen this with some of the the Malignant Hearts that have returned as Rings the following season, whilst Vampiric Powers from Season 2 have been reprised as Legendary Aspects in Season 3.

With this format and a lot of different elements at play, you'll be getting more varied and experimental sandboxes each season that will open up new opportunities to test out builds, both new and old.

For more on Diablo 4 and it's various systems, be sure to check out our comprehensive tips and guides page for more, as well as our pages on other builds for the other classes, including the Sorcerer, Barbarian, Druid, and Necromancer.

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