Crowd ControlEndgamerangedrogueseason 4

Penetrating Shot Rogue Endgame Build Guide for Diablo 4 (Season 4)

Blast through all foes with massive penetration!

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Lexyu

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Penetrating ShotHeartseekerDashShadow StepConcealmentShadow Imbuement


Build Introduction

The Shadow Penetrating Shot Rogue build blasts through even the toughest foes. Penetrating ShotPenetrating Shot always pierces, dealing massive hit damage to any enemies in the way. Trickshot AspectTrickshot Aspect and Shadow ImbuementShadow Imbuement increases the coverage of Penetrating Shot to easily destroy entire groups of enemies. This ranged build is perfect for players who want a safe and heavy damage dealing playstyle.

If you are interested in a better ranged build, check out the Dual Core Penetrating Shot and Rapid Fire Rogue. The ranged Dual Core build also uses Penetrating ShotPenetrating Shot, but supplements Rapid FireRapid Fire to deal higher single-target damage.

The only starting requirement for this endgame build guide is a character around Level 50 in World Tier 3. Check our Rogue Leveling Guide if you need help getting there.

Strengths and Weaknesses

Strengths
  • Pierces through multiple enemies
  • Ranged playstyle for more safety
  • Plenty of crowd control
Weaknesses
  • Lower single-target damage without Rapid Fire
  • Not designed to tank high incoming damage
  • Combo Points builds require a rotation

To see how this build compares to the other builds on our site, you can check out our build tier lists.

Skill Tree Points and Skill Bar

Skill Bar Setup for Penetrating Shot Rogue (order does not matter)
Penetrating Shot Penetrating Shot Heartseeker Heartseeker Dash Dash Shadow Step Shadow Step Concealment Concealment Shadow Imbuement Shadow Imbuement

The Skill Tree above shows the full allocation of 58 Skill Points for the Penetrating Shot Rogue build. Make sure you obtain the 10 Skill Points available from Renown.

Alternative Skills

HeartseekerHeartseeker allows for the furthest ranged playstyle, with Enhanced HeartseekerEnhanced Heartseeker and Fundamental HeartseekerFundamental Heartseeker providing DPS increases. Alternatively, switch to PuncturePuncture Level 1, Enhanced PunctureEnhanced Puncture and Fundamental PunctureFundamental Puncture for Energy Generation and easy application of Vulnerable.

Penetrating Shot Rogue Specialization

Combo Points is the preferred Rogue Specialization for general farming due to it providing bonus Lucky Hit Chance for Penetrating ShotPenetrating Shot, in additional to increased damage.

Combo Points Rogue Diablo 4
Combo Points Are Counted Above the Skill Bar

Paragon

Paragon unlocks after reaching Level 50, and the progression system offers a considerable boost to character power. The images below provide a visual of each Paragon Board setup for the Penetrating Shot Rogue.

Important Notes:

  • Make sure you select the correct Legendary Boards and rotate them into the correct orientation.
  • Attach Legendary Boards in the correct order, as bonus requirements of Rare Nodes increase with their placement order.
  • Additional bonus requirements on Rare Glyphs may not be obtainable until they gain increased radius range at Level 15.

1. Starting Board (Ranger)

Socket RangerRanger for some valuable damage reduction. The Penetrating Shot Rogue always wields a Ranged weapon for a permanent 10% reduced damage taken.

2. Tricks of the Trade (Turf)

Rotate the Tricks of the TradeTricks of the Trade board 2 times before attachment. Immediately obtain the Legendary node, and then Socket TurfTurf for some valuable Damage Reduction. Prioritize leveling Turf to 15 for increased radius, as it is needed to allocate enough Strength to activate the additional bonus.

3. Cheap Shot (Nightstalker)

Rotate the Cheap ShotCheap Shot board 2 times before attachment. Immediately obtain the Legendary node on this board. Socket NightstalkerNightstalker to reduce the Cooldown of Shadow ImbuementShadow Imbuement by using ConcealmentConcealment. Prioritize leveling Nightstalker to 15 for the increased radius to obtain the additional bonus.

4. Exploit Weakness (Combat)

Rotate the Exploit WeaknessExploit Weakness board 2 times before attachment. Immediately obtain the Legendary Node on this board. Socket CombatCombat to gain Critical Strike Damage for an increased damage bonus on PrecisionPrecision.

5. No Witnesses (Exploit)

Rotate the No WitnessesNo Witnesses board 3 times before attachment. Socket ExploitExploit for increased Vulnerable damage and additional Vulnerable application. The Legendary Node on this board is not utilized.

Paragon Board images courtesy of d4builds.gg. Click this link for the Paragon planner.

Gear, Gems, Elixirs, and Stats

Season 4 brings an incredible shift in character progression systems. The major rework to itemization and crafting in Patch 1.4.0 changes the core mechanics of Diablo 4, and the changes will remain in effect beyond Season 4. For further details, read the overview in the Tempering and Masterworking section.

Legendary Aspects

Listed below are all the best-in-slot Aspects for the Penetrating Shot Rogue build. Salvage Legendary Items with higher Aspect values to unlock them in the Codex of Power, and then imprint them onto Legendary Items with the preferred affixes.

Gear SlotAspect NameAspect Power
Ranged Weapon (replaced by SkyhunterSkyhunter)Edgemaster's AspectEdgemaster’s AspectSkills deal up to [10 – 20%] increased damage based on your available Primary Resource when cast, receiving the maximum benefit while you have full Primary Resource.
AmuletCheat's AspectCheat’s AspectYou take [15.0 – 25.0%] less damage from Crowd Controlled enemies. Whenever a Crowd Controlled enemy deals direct damage to you, gain 15% Movement Speed for 2 seconds.
Dual-Wielded Weapon Slot #1 (replaced by CondemnationCondemnation)Aspect of RetributionAspect of RetributionDistant enemies have a 10% chance to be Stunned for 2 seconds when they hit you. You deal [15 – 30%] increased damage to Stunned and Knocked Down enemies.
Gloves (optional replacement with Fists of FateFists of Fate)Accelerating AspectAccelerating AspectCritical Strikes with Core Skills increase your Attack Speed by [15 – 25%] for 3 seconds.
Ring Slot #1 (replaced by Ring of Starless SkiesRing of Starless Skies)Rapid AspectRapid AspectBasic Skills gain [15 – 30%] Attack Speed.
Dual-Wielded Weapon Slot #2 or Ring Slot #2Aspect of the ExpectantAspect of the ExpectantAttacking enemies with a Basic Skill increases the damage of your next Core Skill cast by [5 – 10%], up to 30%.
Dual-Wielded Weapon Slot #2 or Ring Slot #2Trickshot AspectTrickshot AspectWhenever Penetrating Shot damages an enemy, 2 additional arrows split off to either side. These side arrows deal [10 – 25%] of Penetrating Shot’s Base damage and do not split.
Helm (replaced by Harlequin CrestHarlequin Crest)Aspect of MightAspect of MightBasic Skills grant 20% Damage Reduction for [2 – 6] seconds
ChestUmbrous AspectUmbrous AspectLucky Hit: Critical Strikes with Marksman Skills have up to a [40 – 60%] chance to grant a free Dark Shroud shadow.
Pants (replaced by Tibault's WillTibault’s Will)Aspect of DisobedienceAspect of DisobedienceYou gain [0.6 – 1.1%] increased Armor for 4 seconds when you deal any form of damage, stacking up to [36 – 66%].
BootsRavager's AspectRavager’s AspectShadow Step has an additional Charge. Killing an enemy with Shadow Step refunds a Charge and increases the damage of Shadow Step by [1 – 6%] for 2 seconds, up to [5 – 30%].

Gems

Listed below are the best Gems to socket into gear for each item type.

SlotGems
WeaponRoyal EmeraldRoyal Emerald for increased Critical Strike Damage.
ArmorRoyal RubyRoyal Ruby for increased Maximum Life or Royal TopazRoyal Topaz to prevent deaths from chain Crowd Controls.
JewelryAny Resistance Gems needed or Royal SkullRoyal Skull for Armor (up to 9,230 Armor cap).

Elixirs

Visit the Alchemist in any main town to craft helpful Elixirs that increase stats and experience gain for 30 minutes. Make sure to forage plants and pick up the necessary crafting materials during your adventures; they randomly spawn around the world. Elixirs can also drop randomly from enemies and chests during many activities in Diablo 4. Listed below are the best Elixirs to consume, ranked by importance.

  1. Elixir of AdvantageElixir of Advantage increases damage output, if not already capped at 100% Attack Speed bonus from gear and Paragon.
  2. Elixir of ResourceElixir of Resource greatly helps with Energy issues, if you do not already have the appropriate Energy gear. This elixir is highly recommended for starting characters to maintain casting of Core Skills.
  3. Elixir of FortitudeElixir of Fortitude is the best general purpose option for survivability.
  4.  Elixir of Iron Barbs Elixir of Iron Barbs can provide a high amount of Physical Damage Reduction. Armor becomes more effective as you approach the Armor cap (9,320 against monster level 100 and above).
  5. Specific Resistance Elixirs can be utilized to survive against Uber Bosses with elemental attacks.

Return to the Alchemist again when you reach Level 20, 30, 45, 60, 70, 80 and 90, to upgrade your potion. The extra healing is essential to survival.

Stat Priority and Tempering Affixes

Listed below are the affixes to prioritize on gear for Penetrating Shot Rogues. Each line of affixes are listed in order of importance. Affixes on the same line are considered to be equally important, but their benefits may vary depending on how much is stacked or other character stats. Bolded affixes are the most important targets for Masterworking upgrades.

When comparing Legendary weapons with similar item levels, Crossbows are preferred over Bows for the better implicit stat and Weapon MasteryWeapon Mastery bonus. Daggers are beneficial for faster Combo Point generation, while Swords offer a boost to PrecisionPrecision with the Critical Strike Damage implicit.

PrecisionPrecision increases the priority of Critical Strike Damage to scale the bonus multiplier, while reducing the need for Critical Strike Chance.

The priority order of Resistances is Lightning > Poison > Fire > Cold > Shadow. Maximum Resistance is 70% by default for each element and can be increased to 85% by various sources.

Check the Tempering and Masterworking section for more details on Blacksmith upgrading.

SlotGear AffixesTempering Affixes
Weapons1. Maximum Life, Critical Strike Damage
2. Dexterity, Vulnerable Damage
Core Augments — RogueCore Augments — Rogue (Weapon): Chance for Penetrating Shot Projectiles to Cast Twice
Marksman FinesseMarksman Finesse (Offensive): Critical Strike Damage
Helm1. Cooldown Reduction, Ranks to Shadow Imbuement
2. Resistances, Armor
3. Maximum Life, Dexterity, Lucky Hit Chance
Natural SchemesNatural Schemes (Utility): Crowd Control Duration
Worldly EnduranceWorldly Endurance (Defensive): Armor or Maximum Life
Chest1. Ranks to Dark Shroud
2. Resistances, Armor
3. Maximum Life, Dexterity
Natural SchemesNatural Schemes (Utility): Crowd Control Duration
Worldly EnduranceWorldly Endurance (Defensive): Armor or Maximum Life
Gloves1. Ranks to Penetrating Shot, Critical Strike Chance, Attack Speed, Critical Strike Damage
2. Resistances, Armor
3. Maximum Life, Dexterity, Vulnerable Damage, Lucky Hit Chance
Marksman FinesseMarksman Finesse (Offensive): Critical Strike Damage
Natural SchemesNatural Schemes (Utility): Crowd Control Duration
Pants1. Resistances, Armor
2. Maximum Life, Dexterity
Natural SchemesNatural Schemes (Utility): Crowd Control Duration
Worldly EnduranceWorldly Endurance (Defensive): Armor or Maximum Life
BootsImplicit Stat: Attacks Reduce Evade’s Cooldown
1. Movement Speed
2. Resistances, Armor
3. Ranks to Dash, Maximum Life, Dexterity
Natural MotionNatural Motion (Mobility): Movement Speed
Natural SchemesNatural Schemes (Utility): Crowd Control Duration
Amulet1. Ranks to Weapon Mastery, Critical Strike Chance, Cooldown Reduction, Attack Speed
2. Movement Speed, Armor
Imbuement AbundanceImbuement Abundance (Resource): Shadow Imbue Additional Casts
Natural MotionNatural Motion (Mobility): Movement Speed
Rings1. Attack Speed, Critical Strike Damage
2. Resource Cost Reduction, Vulnerable Damage, Resistances, Maximum Life
3. Dexterity, Lucky Hit Chance, Critical Strike Chance
Imbuement AbundanceImbuement Abundance (Resource): Shadow Imbue Additional Casts
Marksman FinesseMarksman Finesse (Offensive): Critical Strike Damage

Unique Items

Listed below are the recommended and optional Unique Items for the Penetrating Shot Rogue build. Each item description includes the most important affix to target for Masterworking upgrades.

  • SkyhunterSkyhunter (recommended) synergies well with PrecisionPrecision to guarantee Critical Strikes, increase damage, and restore Energy.
    • Masterworking Priority: Ranks of the Exploit Passive
  • CondemnationCondemnation (recommended) provides a 1.4x multiplier that works well in this Combo Points build.
    • Masterworking Priority: Basic Skill Attack Speed or Critical Strike Damage
  • Tibault's WillTibault’s Will (recommended) provides a damage multiplier and Energy generation effect, in addition to a Damage Reduction from Close Enemies affix that is not usually obtainable in the Pants slot. Activate the unique effect with Shadow StepShadow Step. Optionally, Subverting ConcealmentSubverting Concealment can replace Disciplined DashDisciplined Dash for a second source of Unstoppable.
    • Masterworking Priority: Damage Reduction from Close Enemies
  • Harlequin CrestHarlequin Crest (recommended) provides a good amount of offense and defense, if you are lucky enough to find this Uber Unique Item.
    • Masterworking Priority: Cooldown Reduction
  • Ring of Starless SkiesRing of Starless Skies (recommended) is an Uber Unique Item that provides a highly valued 1.4x multiplier. The downside is the unique effect requires some management to ramp up and maintain the buff stacks.
    • Masterworking Priority: Critical Strike Chance
  • Fists of FateFists of Fate (optional) increases overall damage by 50% with a 300% value on the unique effect. They are comparable to well-rolled Legendary Gloves with Ranks to Penetrating ShotPenetrating Shot, Attack Speed, Critical Strike Chance, and an Offensive Aspect. The downside is the drastic damage range of the unique effect can cause an inconsistency in the hits required to kill enemies.
    • Masterworking Priority: any affix

Season 4: Loot Reborn

The following list details the changes in the Season 4 Update (Patch 1.4.0) that may pertain to Penetrating Shot Rogues. Check the Changelog for all the other guide updates.

  • Exploit WeaknessExploit Weakness
    • Maximum increased damage buffed from 15%[x] to 25%[x].
  • SkyhunterSkyhunter
    • Damage bonus increased from 10-30% to 20-40%.

Advanced Information

Additional details are provided in the following sections for a more in-depth explanation of the Penetrating Shot Rogue. Read this advanced information after understanding the basic overview of the build in the previous sections.

Build Mechanics

The Penetrating Shot Rogue build is fairly simple to play, but has some complex mechanics to learn. Penetrating ShotPenetrating Shot has a focused Area of Effect (AoE) in a straight line that can be hard to utilize. Trickshot AspectTrickshot Aspect helps overcome this downside by adding more arrows to increase coverage and help clear packs of enemies.

When fired at full energy, Advanced Penetrating ShotAdvanced Penetrating Shot applies a slow to normal enemies to activate Cheat's AspectCheat’s Aspect and knocks down Elites to help you survive. Penetrating Shot also has a high Lucky Hit Chance when fired with 3 Combo Points to activate Umbrous AspectUmbrous Aspect for Dark ShroudDark Shroud stacks. Dark Shroud is not equipped on the Skill Bar.

Shadow StepShadow Step Stuns enemies for safety and activates Tibault's WillTibault’s Will for more damage. Ravager's AspectRavager’s Aspect allows more usage of Shadow Step to break Crowd Controls with Unstoppable.

Shadow StepShadow Step and DashDash are Cutthroat Skills that can be used before Penetrating ShotPenetrating Shot to gain the damage bonus from Tricks of the TradeTricks of the Trade.

Smoke GrenadeSmoke Grenade is not equipped on the Skill Bar, but is instead auto-casted through Aspect of Quickening FogAspect of Quickening Fog by using DashDash. Use Dash offensively to land on top of enemies and Daze them. Enhanced Smoke GrenadeEnhanced Smoke Grenade is also allocated for enemies to take 25% increased damage.

SkyhunterSkyhunter and Tibault's WillTibault’s Will provide plenty of Energy generation. Resource affixes on gear may not be necessary once you obtain the Unique Items. Consuming ShadowsConsuming Shadows Rank 3 can be allocated if additional Energy generation is needed. Take extra points out of Dark ShroudDark Shroud for this setup.

Damage Rotation

Use the following rotation to optimize damage output.

  1. Cast HeartseekerHeartseeker up to 3 times to build Combo Points.
  2. Initiate combat with one of the following Skills:
  3. Activate Shadow ImbuementShadow Imbuement for increased damage and explosions.
  4. Line enemies up to piece through them with Penetrating ShotPenetrating Shot.
  5. Repeat the rotation. Try to cast Penetrating ShotPenetrating Shot while you have full Energy to activate Advanced Penetrating ShotAdvanced Penetrating Shot and Edgemaster's AspectEdgemaster’s Aspect.

Tempering and Masterworking

The Season 4 update (Patch 1.4.0) introduces a rework for itemization. Tempering and Masterworking brings the biggest change to itemization since the release of Diablo 4, so make sure you understand the new systems explained in this section.

The amount of affixes on items has been changed to reflect its rarity: Normal Items have no affixes, Magic Items have 1 affix, Rare Items have 2 affixes, Legendary Items have 3 affixes, and Unique Items have 4 affixes. Upgrading a Rare Item to a Legendary Item by imprinting a Legendary Aspect from the Codex of Power will not add a third affix. Therefore, Legendary Items are superior to lower rarity items for a min-maxed character.

Greater Affixes are a newly added mechanic that increases the value of an affix by 50%. Ancestral Legendary Items and Unique Items can now drop with up to 4 Greater Affixes! Search for items with your preferred Greater Affixes to upgrade with Tempering and Masterworking.

Tempering and Masterworking is an important system, even mandatory in the endgame, for character progression. You are able to add 2 additional affixes on any Rare Item or Legendary Item, exclusive to the Tempering System. An Ancestral Legendary Item can have up to 5 total affixes! Unfortunately, Unique Items cannot be tempered to add affixes.

Masterworking uses new crafting materials found in The Pit to further enhance the stats of an item. These upgrades can be applied on an Ancestral Legendary Item that has its Tempering Slots filled out. Unique Items can be upgraded with Masterworking right away, as tempering does not apply to them. Each item has 12 upgrade slots. On upgrade Ranks 4, 8, and 12, a random affix is increased in value by 25%. Every other upgrade Rank applies a 5% increase to all affixes on an item. Attempt to apply the bonus 25% upgrade to your preferred affix multiple times by resetting the Masterworking Ranks to repeat the process.

Obol Gambling

Obol gambling is a great way to potentially find item upgrades or items missing from your build. Use Obols on your target equipment for a chance to receive Greater Affixes. Check out the new tool from Icy Veins for gambling Obols in the link below.

Obol Gambling Optimization Tool

Changelog

  • May 15th, 2024: Priority Affixes updated with game changes made since the Season 4 PTR.
  • May 14th, 2024: Guide updated for Season 4 (Patch 1.4.0).
  • March 5th, 2024: Guide updated for the Mid Season 3 Update (Patch 1.3.3).
  • January 22nd, 2024: Guide updated for Season 3 (Patch 1.3.0).
  • November 15th, 2023: Paragon Board images added.
  • October 17th, 2023: Guide updated for Season 2 (Patch 1.2.0).
  • July 18th, 2023: Guide updated for Season 1.
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