levelingrangedrogueseason 4

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

Alternate leveling build for a ranged playstyle.




Theorycraft Build Maker and Content Creator

Updated: Posted:

PuncturePenetrating ShotDashConcealmentSmoke GrenadeShadow Imbuement

Build Introduction

The Penetrating Shot Rogue leveling build blasts through even the toughest foes. Penetrating ShotPenetrating Shot always pierces to deal massive hit damage to any enemies in the way. This is your guide to building a character for leveling in Diablo 4, with the optimal setup for Skills, Rotation, and Gear.

While Penetrating Shot Rogue is not the most optimal build for leveling a new Rogue character, it is an alternative option for players who prefer a ranged playstyle. The Dual Core Rapid Fire Flurry or Twisting Blades Rogue builds are our top recommendations for leveling. Check out the Rogue leveling page for an overview of all our builds and general tips for leveling.

Once your Rogue character reaches Level 50 or enters World Tier 3, switch to the endgame guide for Penetrating Shot to continue this build.

Skill Tree Points and Skill Bar

Skill Bar Setup for Penetrating Shot Rogue (order does not matter)
Penetrating Shot Penetrating Shot Puncture Puncture Dash Dash Smoke Grenade Smoke Grenade Concealment Concealment Shadow Imbuement Shadow Imbuement

The following table shows the order in which to allocate your Skill Points for the Penetrating Rogue leveling build. You gain 48 points at Level 50 and 2 points from completing Renown in each Act zone, for a total of 58.

1PuncturePuncture Rank 1Basic SkillBasic Skill
2Enhanced PunctureEnhanced PunctureBasic SkillBasic Skill
3Penetrating ShotPenetrating Shot Rank 1Core SkillCore Skill
4Fundamental PunctureFundamental PunctureBasic SkillBasic Skill
5Enhanced Penetrating ShotEnhanced Penetrating ShotCore SkillCore Skill
6Advanced Penetrating ShotAdvanced Penetrating ShotCore SkillCore Skill
7DashDash Rank 1Agility SkillAgility Skill
8Penetrating ShotPenetrating Shot Rank 2Core SkillCore Skill
9Penetrating ShotPenetrating Shot Rank 3Core SkillCore Skill
10Penetrating ShotPenetrating Shot Rank 4Core SkillCore Skill
11Penetrating ShotPenetrating Shot Rank 5Core SkillCore Skill
12ConcealmentConcealment Rank 1Subterfuge SkillSubterfuge Skill
13Enhanced ConcealmentEnhanced ConcealmentSubterfuge SkillSubterfuge Skill
14Countering ConcealmentCountering ConcealmentSubterfuge SkillSubterfuge Skill
15Smoke GrenadeSmoke Grenade Rank 1Subterfuge SkillSubterfuge Skill
16Enhanced Smoke GrenadeEnhanced Smoke GrenadeSubterfuge SkillSubterfuge Skill
17Countering Smoke GrenadeCountering Smoke GrenadeSubterfuge SkillSubterfuge Skill
18Shadow ImbuementShadow Imbuement Rank 1Imbuement SkillImbuement Skill
19Enhanced Shadow ImbuementEnhanced Shadow ImbuementImbuement SkillImbuement Skill
20Blended Shadow ImbuementBlended Shadow ImbuementImbuement SkillImbuement Skill
21Shadow CrashShadow Crash Rank 1Imbuement SkillImbuement Skill
22Consuming ShadowsConsuming Shadows Rank 1Imbuement SkillImbuement Skill
23Consuming ShadowsConsuming Shadows Rank 2Imbuement SkillImbuement Skill
24Consuming ShadowsConsuming Shadows Rank 3Imbuement SkillImbuement Skill
25Adrenaline RushAdrenaline Rush Rank 1Ultimate SkillUltimate Skill
26HasteHaste Rank 1Ultimate SkillUltimate Skill
27HasteHaste Rank 2Ultimate SkillUltimate Skill
28HasteHaste Rank 3Ultimate SkillUltimate Skill
29ExploitExploit Rank 1Subterfuge SkillSubterfuge Skill
30ExploitExploit Rank 2Subterfuge SkillSubterfuge Skill
31ExploitExploit Rank 3Subterfuge SkillSubterfuge Skill
32MaliceMalice Rank 1Subterfuge SkillSubterfuge Skill
33MaliceMalice Rank 2Subterfuge SkillSubterfuge Skill
34PrecisionPrecision Rank 1Key Passive Skill
35MaliceMalice Rank 3Subterfuge SkillSubterfuge Skill
36Weapon MasteryWeapon Mastery Rank 1Agility SkillAgility Skill
37Weapon MasteryWeapon Mastery Rank 2Agility SkillAgility Skill
38Weapon MasteryWeapon Mastery Rank 3Agility SkillAgility Skill
39Enhanced DashEnhanced DashAgility SkillAgility Skill
40Disciplined DashDisciplined DashAgility SkillAgility Skill
41ConcussiveConcussive Rank 1Agility SkillAgility Skill
42Trick AttacksTrick Attacks Rank 1Agility SkillAgility Skill
43ConcussiveConcussive Rank 2Agility SkillAgility Skill
44ConcussiveConcussive Rank 3Agility SkillAgility Skill
45Stutter StepStutter Step Rank 1Core SkillCore Skill
46Stutter StepStutter Step Rank 2Core SkillCore Skill
47Stutter StepStutter Step Rank 3Core SkillCore Skill
48AgileAgile Rank 1Subterfuge SkillSubterfuge Skill
49AgileAgile Rank 2Subterfuge SkillSubterfuge Skill
50AgileAgile Rank 3Subterfuge SkillSubterfuge Skill
51Precision ImbuementPrecision Imbuement Rank 1Imbuement SkillImbuement Skill
52Precision ImbuementPrecision Imbuement Rank 2Imbuement SkillImbuement Skill
53Precision ImbuementPrecision Imbuement Rank 3Imbuement SkillImbuement Skill
54InnervationInnervation Rank 1Ultimate SkillUltimate Skill
55InnervationInnervation Rank 2Ultimate SkillUltimate Skill
56InnervationInnervation Rank 3Ultimate SkillUltimate Skill
57ImpetusImpetus Rank 1Ultimate SkillUltimate Skill
58ImpetusImpetus Rank 2Ultimate SkillUltimate Skill

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 addition to increased damage.

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

Build Mechanics and Playstyle

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.

Damage is increased further with ConcussiveConcussive, Weapon MasteryWeapon Mastery, ExploitExploit MaliceMalice and ImpetusImpetus.

Smoke GrenadeSmoke Grenade prevents enemies from attacking you, greatly increasing survivability.

Finally, Stutter StepStutter Step, HasteHaste, and DashDash speed up movement for faster farming.

Shadow ImbuementShadow Imbuement is used to help clear packs of enemies and generate Energy with Consuming ShadowsConsuming Shadows.

Lucky Hit

Penetrating ShotPenetrating Shot has a high Lucky Hit Chance of 80% when used with 3 Combo Points, and it has a chance of proccing on every enemy hit by the piercing arrows. Therefore, Countering Smoke Grenade and InnervationInnervation are used for Lucky Hit Effects.

PuncturePuncture can also be used to proc Lucky Hits with 35% chance per blade thrown. This works extremely well with increased Basic Attack Speed and 3 blades thrown per cast on Fundamental PunctureFundamental Puncture.

Status Effects

The Penetrating Shot Rogue utilizes multiple status effects to render enemies helpless. Advanced Penetrating ShotAdvanced Penetrating Shot Slows enemies and Knocks Down elites when cast at full Energy.

Fundamental PunctureFundamental Puncture easily applies Vulnerable to a target with a single Basic attack. In group play, apply this debuff to Elites and Bosses so your teammates deal 20% more damage!

Smoke GrenadeSmoke Grenade is another powerful Crowd Control (CC) in our trapper arsenal. This Skill can be used often to Daze groups of enemies with Countering Smoke GrenadeCountering Smoke Grenade. DashDash also drops an automatic Smoke Grenade with Aspect of Quickening FogAspect of Quickening Fog. Critical Strikes against Dazed enemies knock them down with Trick AttacksTrick Attacks, activating ConcussiveConcussive for increased Critical Strike Chance.

Advanced Penetrating ShotAdvanced Penetrating Shot and Disciplined DashDisciplined Dash both apply Slow to restore Energy with Aspect of the UmbralAspect of the Umbral.

Stack Damage to Poisoned, Vulnerable, Dazed, Slowed and Controlled Enemies on gear and the Paragon Board to scale your damage further.

Damage Rotation

Use the following rotation to optimize damage output.

  1. Use Smoke GrenadeSmoke Grenade or DashDash with Aspect of Quickening FogAspect of Quickening Fog to Daze enemies.
  2. Against large groups of enemies, activate Shadow ImbuementShadow Imbuement for AoE explosions and Energy generation.
  3. Cast PuncturePuncture 3 times to build Combo Points. Try to stay close enough to shotgun elites and bosses to apply Vulnerable and proc Lucky Hit.
  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.

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. The following sections cover the important systems that are essential to improving the power of your character during the leveling process.

Legendary Aspects

Trickshot AspectTrickshot Aspect can be unlocked in the Codex of Power by completing the Bastion of Faith in Hawezar. Visit the Occultist to imprint this Aspect onto an Amulet for +50% bonus effect.

Higher Tier Aspects with stronger effects can be found on dropped Legendary Items. Salvage unwanted Legendary Items at the Blacksmith to unlock these Aspects in the Codex of Power, and the imprint them onto well-rolled Rare Items. Check the in-depth Aspect and Codex of Power guide for more information.

Listed below are all the Aspects found on Legendary Items that are important for the Penetrating Shot Rogue leveling build. They are listed in order of priority. The best-in-slot Aspects List is in the Endgame Guide for Penetrating Shot Rogue.

Aspect NameLegendary Aspect PowerSource
Trickshot AspectTrickshot AspectWhenever Penetrating ShotPenetrating 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.Bastion of Faith, Hawezar
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.Oldstones, Scosglen
Aspect 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%.Underroot, Scosglen
Aspect of MightAspect of MightBasic Skills grant 20% Damage Reduction for [2 – 6] secondsDark Ravine, Dry Steppes
Rapid AspectRapid AspectBasic Skills gain [15 – 30%] Attack Speed.Buried Halls, Dry Steppes
Accelerating AspectAccelerating AspectCritical Strikes with Core Skills increase your Attack Speed by [15 – 25%] for 3 seconds.Random Drop Only
Aspect of Quickening FogAspect of Quickening FogYou automatically drop a Smoke GrenadeSmoke Grenade at the end of DashDash. Dash’s Cooldown is reduced by [0.25 – 0.35] seconds for each enemy Dazed this way, up to [0.75 – 1.05] seconds.Random Drop Only


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

WeaponRoyal EmeraldRoyal Emerald for increased Critical Strike Damage.
ArmorRoyal RubyRoyal Ruby for increased Maximum Life.
JewelryAny Resistance Gems needed or Royal SkullRoyal Skull for Armor (up to 9,230 Armor cap).


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 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.
  2. Elixir of PrecisionElixir of Precision provides the highest damage output increase, if not already capped at 100% Critical Strike Chance.
  3. Elixir of AdvantageElixir of Advantage increases damage output, if not already capped at 100% Attack Speed bonus from gear and Paragon.
  4. Elixir of FortitudeElixir of Fortitude is the best general purpose option for survivability.

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 during early leveling of a Penetrating Shot Rogue. 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.

When comparing 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.

Tempering Manuals are randomly dropped while leveling, and they need to be found to unlock their usage at the Blacksmith. Highlighted affixes are the the most beneficial temper to prioritize while leveling. All other tempers may not be worthwhile during early levels if you are consistently replacing gear with new item upgrades.

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
Specialist EvolutionSpecialist Evolution (Offensive): Damage per Combo Point Spent
Helm1. Cooldown Reduction, Energy per Second, 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): Maximum Life
Chest1. Ranks to Dark Shroud, Energy per Second
2. Resistances, Armor
3. Maximum Life, Dexterity
Natural SchemesNatural Schemes (Utility): Crowd Control Duration
Worldly EnduranceWorldly Endurance (Defensive): Maximum Life
Gloves1. Ranks to Penetrating Shot, Attack Speed, Critical Strike Damage
2. Resistances, Armor
3. Resource Cost Reduction, Critical Strike Chance
Specialist EvolutionSpecialist Evolution (Offensive): Damage per Combo Point Spent
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): Maximum Life
BootsImplicit Stat: Attacks Reduce Evade’s Cooldown
1. Movement Speed, Energy per Second
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, Cooldown Reduction, Attack Speed
2. Movement Speed, Armor, Critical Strike Chance
Imbuement AbundanceImbuement Abundance (Resource): Shadow Imbue Additional Casts
Specialist EvolutionSpecialist Evolution (Offensive): Damage per Combo Point Spent
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
Specialist EvolutionSpecialist Evolution (Offensive): Damage per Combo Point Spent


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

The Paragon boards in this leveling guide are designed as a temporary setup for characters that have recently reached Level 50. Continue your progress with the fully optimized Paragon setup in the Penetrating Shot endgame guide.

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 (Exploit)

Socket ExploitExploit in the starting board. Prioritize leveling Exploit to 15 for increased radius, as it is needed to allocate enough Strength to activate the additional bonus.

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 (Combat)

Rotate the Cheap ShotCheap Shot 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.

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


  • 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).
  • January 22nd, 2024: Guide updated for Season 3 (Patch 1.3.0).
  • October 17th, 2023: Guide updated for Season 2 (Patch 1.2.0).
  • July 18th, 2023: Guide updated for Season 1.
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