Shapeshifter Druid Endgame Build for Diablo 4 (Season 1)

Shapeshift between Werebear and Werewolf while you tear enemies apart!




Updated: Posted:

MaulTrampleEarthen BulwarkCyclone ArmorDebilitating RoarShred

Build Introduction

This is your comprehensive guide for building a multi-form Druid who shifts between Werebear and Werewolf, tearing enemies apart with your animalistic rage. Welcome to the Shapeshifter build. This build is focused on cycling our generator, MaulMaul, into dumping our Spirit with ShredShred, all the while staying safe with Earthen BulwarkEarthen Bulwark. This build uses TrampleTrample to dive in and out of combat, as well as having access to top notch defenses with Debilitating RoarDebilitating Roar and Cyclone ArmorCyclone Armor.

Our guide will cover all basic mechanics and deep dive into the optimal setup for skills, paragon and gear for the build. Further down below you will find a supporting YouTube video as well to showcase the build in action.

Strengths and Weaknesses

  • Good defensive skills
  • Great AoE damage
  • Good crowd control
  • Access to movement skill can be used to engage or escape
  • Doesn’t require any Uniques to function
  • Minor Spirit management
  • High skill-level to play effectively

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

Build Requirements

This build has a single Legendary Aspect requirements before it will function properly, but only one of them is non-codex. The list below shows the only Aspect in this build that is non-codex, which means you will need to find them on a Legendary Item and then imprint them onto specific gear.

Required Aspects (Non-codex)

To even begin this build, we recommend you have these three Aspects ready for imprinting at a minimum. For the build it become fully functional, we recommend you have all the Legendary Aspects listed further in this guide for the build to work optimally.

Season of the Malignant

Season 1 Patch Updates

Below is a list of specific changes from the Season 1 Patch Update that affect this build. If any of these changes create significant issues within the build, they will be discussed in more detail under their relevant sections.

  • Fixed an issue where Stormclaw’s Aspect allowed Shred to do extreme amounts of damage.
  • Spirit Glyph’s bonus now affects all damage instead of just Core Skills.
  • Fixed an issue where the automatic transformation from Insatiable Fury would cause the Ursine Strength key passive to not proc consistently.
  • Aspect of Disobedience maximum stacks reduced from 100 to 60, reducing maximum Bonus Armor % from 25-50% to 15-30%.
  • Prime Grizzly Rage now grants Unstoppable for 6 seconds instead of while active.
  • Masochistic now also requires a Lucky Hit chance of 75%.
  • Cooldown Reduction: Reduced by ~30% on gear slots.
  • Significant reductions to Vulnerable and Critical Strike Damage values (needs to be tested more).

Patch 1.1.1

The second major update for Season 1, Patch 1.1.1 released on August 8th 2023, brings some positive changes to Basic Generator Skills for Druids. The changes that directly affect this build are listed below.

  • MaulMaul – Spirit gain increased from 15 to 17.

None of these changes are build-breaking and we still have full confidence in this build.

Malignant Hearts

The theme for Season 1 introduces a new form of legendary gem called Malignant Hearts. There are three types of hearts that need to be socketed into matching colored sockets on all equipped jewelry and one type of heart that can be placed into any socket. For more information about the Malignant Hearts theme for Season 1 check out our Malignant Hearts guide.

Listed below are the Malignant Hearts that are useful for this build, ranked by importance. Stats displayed reflect what a Level 20 character would receive as a drop. Note that this list is based on our early opinions on the Malignant Hearts, and we will update it as and when it is necessary.

  1. Caged Heart of Tempting FateCaged Heart of Tempting Fate
  2. Caged Heart of the Dark DanceCaged Heart of the Dark Dance
  3. Caged Heart of RevengeCaged Heart of Revenge

Video Guide

Please note that since this written build guide is ever-evolving and videos cannot easily be updated, the below video should serve as more of a guideline, whereas the written guide will always have the most accurate information.

Skill Tree Points and Skill Bar

Skill Bar Setup for the Shapeshifter Build (Order does not matter)
Maul Maul Shred Shred Earthen Bulwark Earthen Bulwark Cyclone Armor Cyclone Armor Debilitating Roar Debilitating Roar Trample Trample

Follow the points allocated in the image above for the complete 58 point build. The additional 10 skill points are completed using the Renown system.

Priority SkillsCluster
MaulMaul Level 1, Enhanced MaulEnhanced Maul, Fierce MaulFierce MaulBasic SkillBasic Skill
ShredShred Level 5, Enhanced ShredEnhanced Shred, Primal ShredPrimal Shred, Heart of the WildHeart of the Wild Level 1, AbundanceAbundance Level 2, Wild ImpulsesWild Impulses Level 3, Predatory InstinctPredatory Instinct Level 3, Iron FurIron Fur Level 3Core SkillCore Skill
Debilitating RoarDebilitating Roar Level 5, Enhanced Debilitating RoarEnhanced Debilitating Roar, Earthen BulwarkEarthen Bulwark Level 1, Enhanced Earthen BulwarkEnhanced Earthen Bulwark, Preserving Earthen BulwarkPreserving Earthen Bulwark, Cyclone ArmorCyclone Armor Level 5, Enhanced Cyclone ArmorEnhanced Cyclone Armor, Innate Cyclone ArmorInnate Cyclone Armor, Ancestral FortitudeAncestral Fortitude Level 1, VigilanceVigilance Level 3Defensive SkillDefensive Skill
TrampleTrample Level 1, NeurotoxinNeurotoxin Level 1, EnvenomEnvenom Level 3, Toxic ClawsToxic Claws Level 1Wrath SkillWrath Skill
QuickshiftQuickshift Level 3, Natural FortitudeNatural Fortitude Level 3, Heightened SensesHeightened Senses Level 3Ultimate SkillUltimate Skill
Ursine StrengthUrsine StrengthKey Passives

Boons – The Druid Specialization

Boons are additional buffs provided to the Druid class as part of their specialization. To unlock your Boons, you will need to complete a simple quest on the west side of the map in the stronghold of “Tur Dulra”. This becomes available at Level 15 and should be completed as soon as possible. The Boon mechanic allows you to pick a single buff from each of the corresponding master animals and the addition of a second Boon buff from a chosen master animal you select.

Once you are in the endgame and have completed the skill tree from the previous section, utilize the following set of Boons for the best results.

Boon NameMaster AnimalEffect
WarinessDeerTake 10% reduced damage for Elites
Swooping AttacksEagleGain 10% Attack speed
Scythe TalonsEagleGain 5% increased Critical Strike chance
BolsterWolfFortify for 15% of your Maximum Life when you use a Defensive Skill.
MasochisticSnakeLucky Hit: Critical Strikes with Shapeshifting skills have a 75% chance to heal you for 3% maximum life.

One key boon for this build is Packleader, having our Poison CreeperPoison Creeper up as much as possible to help enhance your control over the battlefield is huge plus. Not only does the immobilize help us manage our TrampleTrample and target specific enemies to smash into nearly by walls. It also assists with increasing our Critical Strike Chance on any enemies trapped by the vines from Poison Creeper.

Paragon Points

We recommend using these Legendary Nodes and Rare Glyphs to truly take this build into the endgame. Note that each Rare Glyph’s information listed below is for the Level 21 version.

Rare NodeEffect
ShapeshifterShapeshifter– Grants +125.0% bonus to all Rare Nodes within range.
– Additional Bonus unlocked after 25 Dexterity points are purchased in the glyph’s range: Shapeshifting has a 20% chance to cause the Skill’s damage to Critically Strike.
Lust for Carnage– Critical Strikes with Werewolf Skills restore 2 Spirit.
UndauntedUndaunted– For every 5 Intelligence purchased within range, you deal +[9.6]% increased damage while Fortified.
– Additional Bonus unlocked after 25 Intelligence points are purchased in the glyph’s range: You gain up to 10% Damage Reduction the more Fortify you have.
Fang and ClawFang and Claw– Grants +[144]% bonus to all Magic Nodes within range.
– Additional Bonus unlocked after 40 Willpower points are purchased in the glyph’s range: While in Werewolf or Werebear form, Close enemies take 12%[x] increased damage from you.
SpiritSpirit– For every 5 Dexterity purchased within range, you deal +[10.4]% increased Critical Strike Damage.
– Additional Bonus unlocked after 25 Dexterity points are purchased in the glyph’s range: Critical Strikes increase the damage an enemy takes from you by x2% for 20 seconds, up to x12%.
WerewolfWerewolf– For every 5 Willpower purchased within range, you deal +[6.24]% increased damage while in Werewolf form.
– Additional Bonus unlocked after 40 Willpower points are purchased in the glyph’s range: You gain 10% damage reduction while in Werewolf form.
ExploitExploit– For every 5 Dexterity purchased within range, you deal +[3.85]% increased damage to Vulnerable targets.
– Additional Bonus unlocked after 25 Dexterity points are purchased in the glyph’s range: Dealing damage to a Vulnerable enemy increases your damage by x1% for 6 seconds, up to x10%.

Let’s break down each of these beneficial Nodes and where our paragon points are positioned in each of the paragon boards we use. This part of the build is presented in order of importance – so if you do not have enough paragon points for use in your paragon tree, just slowly work towards each step.

Starting Board

Starting Board
  1. Head up the right hand side and pick up the Rare Node PrimePrime. This will give us some flat damage and an increase to our Maximum Life.
  2. Next, continue towards the open Glyph slot and insert ShapeshifterShapeshifter. The main purpose of this Glyph is to amplify the surrounding Rare Nodes and some gains to Critical Strike Damage.
  3. Inside of the Glyph radius pick up Rare Nodes ImpelImpel and ResolveResolve. These Nodes will increase our Resistances and offer us a flat damage increase.
  4. Be sure to collect the DexterityDexterity Nodes beside ResolveResolve to complete the bonus for ShapeshifterShapeshifter.
  5. Head down on the left side and pick up the Rare Node TenacityTenacity.
  6. Finally, head to the top of the Board and attach our next Board, Lust for Carnage.

Lust for Carnage (2nd Board)

Lust for Carnage
  1. First, head towards the Rare Node FerocityFerocity, pick up the additional Critical Strike Damage node. This Node continues to build up our Critical Strike Damage bonus.
  2. Next, move towards the Legendary node Lust for CarnageLust for Carnage and select it.
  3. Continue towards the middle of the Board and select the Glyph Node. Insert our next Glyph, UndauntedUndaunted.
  4. Follow the image above, select RegenerativeRegenerative inside the Glyph radius. These Nodes offer us some damage increases and a small healing bonus.
  5. Be sure to collect enough IntelligenceIntelligence Nodes to collect the bonus for UndauntedUndaunted before moving on. This will enhance both our damage and Damage Reduction while Fortified.
  6. Now before you head towards the attachment point on the right hand side of the board drop down and pick up the Rare Node Wild's CallWild’s Call. Be sure to path through the Magic Nodes to focus on the Attack speed bonuses.
  7. Head towards the right side of the Board and attach our next Board, Inner Beast.

Inner Beast (3rd Board)

Inner Beast
  1. Take the pathway towards the open Glyph slot, picking up the Rare Node NimbleNimble. This will enhance our Attack speed and damage.
  2. Move towards the Glyph slot on this Board and insert the Glyph WerewolfWerewolf. This Glyph adds to our offenses and defenses while in Werewolf form.
  3. Next off the nodes inside the Glyph radius, ensuring you have both Rare Nodes, ShapeshifterShapeshifter and DeterminationDetermination. These two Nodes will enhance our armor and damage. Be sure to select the correction Magic Nodes surrounding each one.
  4. Now follow the pathway up to the top of the board, picking up the Rare Nodes TenacityTenacity and HavocHavoc. These will boost our health pool and Critical Strike Damage.
  5. Before we continue, take note that this board has three attachment points. As we work through the next three boards, please come back and refer to the image above to follow the proper pathways.
  6. Now head to the bottom of the paragon board and attach our first of three connections, Thunderstruck.

Thunderstruck (4th Board)

  1. Path towards the empty glyph slot, picking up the Rare Node HubrisHubris for the damage reduction from Vulnerable enemies.
  2. Head towards the Glyph slot and insert Fang and ClawFang and Claw. Focus on the WillpowerWillpower nodes inside the Glyph’s radius for the bonus damage to Close Enemies.
  3. Now head towards the Rare Nodes DelugeDeluge, taking the Magic Nodes that boost our Critical Strike Damage.
  4. This board is now complete, head back to the Inner Beast board and follow the pathway to the right hand side of the board, and attach Survival Instincts.

Survival Instincts (5th Board)

Survival Instincts
  1. Take the short pathway towards the Rare Node BulwarkBulwark. This will give us enhanced fortification for generation and damage reduction.
  2. Take the Magic Nodes for the bonus to Damage Reduction while Fortified.
  3. Now return the paragon board Inner Beast and take the upper pathway to the new attachment point, add the paragon board Heightened Malice.

Heightened Malice (6th Board)

Heightened Malice
  1. Take the pathway towards the Glyph slot, pay attention to the image above and follow the nodes closely. First, we take the Rare Node Nature-bornNature-born and the surrounding Magic Nodes.
  2. Next move toward the other Rare Node before the Glyph slot and selecting Sinking FangsSinking Fangs and the corresponding Magic Nodes.
  3. Now you can take fill the Glyph slot with ExploitExploit. Be sure to select the DexterityDexterity Nodes shown above, this will increase our Damage against Vulnerable enemies.
  4. Take the attachment point on the left hand side of the board and attach our final board Constricting Tendrils.

Constricting Tendrils (7th Board)

Constricting Tendrils
  1. Path towards the Glyph slot and insert SpiritSpirit, be sure to take all the DexterityDexterity nodes for the bonus damage to Critical Strike Damage.
  2. Our last step is the Rare Node CourageCourage. Select the Magic Nodes for the bonus maximum life. This paragon tree is now fully complete.

Paragon Board images courtesy of d4builds.gg.

Mechanics and Playstyle

The mechanics are very cyclical in this build. We build up our Spirit with MaulMaul, adding increased generation with AbundanceAbundance and Rapid AspectRapid Aspect for increased Attack speed, followed by dumping all of our Spirit with ShredShred. Shred is heavily augmented for Critical Strike Damage from our Paragon tree and several Aspects to enhance our core skill. These Aspects are:

In addition to the Aspects above directly amplifying our ShredShred, we use one more aspect to dramatically increase our damage to surrounding enemies. The Stormclaw's AspectStormclaw’s Aspect takes a percentage of our Shred’s Critical Strike Damage and blasts enemies with Lightning damage. This is free damage, all from the Aspect itself. Add to this our defensive skills and the ability to jump into enemies or escape from them with TrampleTrample, a skill that grants Unstoppable, and we have a good balance of both offensive and defensive capabilities to go from pack to pack without the need to stop.

Damage Rotation

The playstyle for this build is difficult to describe, as you often play this build very situational. The great thing about his build is the options you have to go about tackling (literally, if you want) any group of enemies. Let’s start with our basic rotation using MaulMaul and ShredShred. First, use your Maul to build up your Spirit and smack your enemies around while they begin to collect around you. This is where Debilitating RoarDebilitating Roar can prove to be valuable, as you cut your incoming damage down using the 70% Damage Reduction bonus. Once everything is close enough to you, start to off load your Spirit with ShredShred.

Now the fun begins, while you dash around with ShredShred you will begin to unleash Lightning damage all over the enemies. This is from Stormclaw's AspectStormclaw’s Aspect, our free damage modification to Shred, and it will pack a punch. This is because Shred is affected by not only our Paragon bonuses for Critical Strike Damage, but several of other of our Aspects (as discussed in the Build Mechanics) to harness Shred’s power even higher, which in turn means more AoE Lightning damage hitting enemies all around you.


That’s the basic loop for our damage, but what gives us so much more is our other abilities: TrampleTrample is a great example. Trample can be looped into your attack patterns to offer you the opportunity to slam enemies into nearby objects or walls for bonus damage. In addition to the extra damage, Trample makes you Unstoppable so it can not only be used for an extra attack, but also to create some space in a tough fight.


Cyclone ArmorCyclone Armor uses the Aspect of Cyclonic ForceAspect of Cyclonic Force which dramatically enhances the damage reduction from Cyclone Armor to include Physical Damage Reduction. This gives us a huge advantage in a difficult situation: activate your Cyclone Armor and free yourself with the knockback to readjust, all while being covered by a strong defensive layer with reduced Damage Reduction.

Earthen BulwarkEarthen Bulwark this skill is we use to gain Unstoppable. With an increase in Elites and Enemies that have the capability of completely locking you down, we have added an additional defensive layer to push back against this. This becomes even more critical as you scale into higher Nightmare Dungeons.

Gear Choice and Stat Priority

As you begin to farm in World Tier 3 and 4, Rare and Legendary item drops will begin to appear with some regularity depending on your luck. We recommend saving the targeted Legendary items that have the needed Legendary aspects listed below. We also recommended to keep multiple copies of the build’s Aspects in your Stash for future upgrades.

As for the Rare items, you will need to inspect each one for targeted affixes for use in each specific slot and do your best to match the recommended rolls. We have listed our targeted affixes in order of importance. Check the chart below and make note of what affixes you are searching for when you see a Rare gear piece drop.

Gear SlotTargeted Affixes
Helm1. Cooldown Reduction
2. Basic Attack Speed
3. Maximum Life
4. Willpower
5. Total Armor
6. Ranks of Poison Creeper
Chest1. Damage Reduction
2. Maximum Life
3. Damage Reduction while Fortified
4. Damage Reduction from Close Enemies
5. Damage Reduction from Distant Enemies
6. Damage Reduction from Poisoned Enemies
Gloves1. Critical Strike Chance
2. Rank Up ShredShred
3. Attack Speed
4. Werewolf Critical Strike Damage
5. Willpower
6. Lucky Strike Chance
Pants1. Damage Reduction
2. Damage Reduction while Fortified
3. Damage Reduction While Injured
4. Damage Reduction from Close Enemies
5. Damage Reduction from Distance Enemies
6. Damage Reduction from Poisoned Enemies
Boots1. Movement speed
2. Damage Reduction while Injured
3. Willpower
4. Spirit Reduction
5. All Stats
6. Fortify Generation
Amulet1. Cooldown reduction
2. Damage Reduction while Fortified
3. Damage Reduction While Injured
4. Damage Reduction from Close Enemies
5. Movement
Rings1. Vulnerable Damage
2. Critical Strike Chance
3. Critical Strike Damage
4. Maximum Life
5. Werewolf Critical Strike Damage
2-handed Staff1. Vulnerable Damage increase
2. Willpower
3. Critical Strike Damage
4. Increased Damage to Close enemies
5. Werewolf Critical Strike Damage

Please note that these Affixes are the recommended picks for the blank, but that is simply our opinion. Other Affixes could certainly work instead of the ones listed above, but may not be optimal. There are several very specific Affixes that are very helpful with this build, they are as follows:

  1. Cooldown
  2. Rank Up ShredShred
  3. Damage Reduction (Close Enemies, Fortified, Injured)

Please note the recent Season One Balance changes have lowered the amount of Cooldown Reduction found on gear by 30%. This may cause this build to feel more sluggish while Cooldowns are finishing, we plan to revisit this once Season One begins.

A final point on acquiring the correct Affixes and Legendary Aspects, use your Obols to target farm them. Obols are awarded from many different activities in the game, you will always stockpiling them until you hit your maximum. Instead of just randomly spending them on a random pick, use them to target what you might be missing from this build. It is a great way to target a specific slot of loot and find what you need.

If you are interested in checking out a new tool for gambling Obols check out this article below from Icy Veins.

Obol Gambling Optimization Tool

Legendary Aspects

Listed below are all the best-in-slot Aspects found on Legendary items that are important for the Shapeshifter Druid build. Aspects from the Codex of Power can be used if you cannot find the proper Legendary items, but they have weaker effects. Extract Aspects from lower level Legendary items and imprint them onto better Rare items with preferred stats. The endgame itemization goal will be to imprint Aspects with the best values Ancestral Rare items with Item Power above or as close to 800, then upgrade them through the Blacksmith. Each aspect is listed with its matching gear slot. Do your best to keep each aspect in the slot it was posted with

Gear SlotLegendary AspectLegendary Aspect Power
HelmAspect of Cyclonic ForceAspect of Cyclonic ForceCyclone Armor also provides Physical Damage Reduction. In addition, Cyclone Armor will also be applied to all nearby allies.
ChestAspect of MightAspect of MightBasic Skills grant 20% Damage Reduction for [2.0-6.0] seconds. 
GlovesAspect of RetaliationAspect of RetaliationYour Core skills deal up to [20-40]%[x] increased damage based on your amount of Fortify.
PantsSkinwalker's AspectSkinwalker’s AspectWhen you use a Shapeshifting Skill that changes your form, gain [X] Life. If you are at full Life, gain the same amount as Fortify
BootsGhostwalker AspectGhostwalker AspectWhile Unstoppable and for 4 seconds after, you gain [10- 25%] increased Movement Speed and can move freely through enemies.
Amulets(50% bonus)Accelerating AspectAccelerating AspectCritical Strikes with Core Skills increase your Attack Speed by [15-25]% for 5 seconds. 
RingEdgemaster's AspectEdgemaster’s AspectSkill 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.
RingRapid AspectRapid AspectBasic Skills gain [15-30%] Attack Speed.
2-handed Weapon(200% bonus)Stormclaw's AspectStormclaw’s AspectCritical Strikes with Shred deal [20-30]% of the damage dealt as Lightning Damage to the target and surrounding enemies.


Listed below are the best gems to socket into gear for each slot type.

  • Weapon: Royal EmeraldRoyal Emerald for critical strike damage to Vulnerable enemies.
  • Armor: Royal RubyRoyal Ruby for an increase to Maximum Life.
  • Jewelry: Exclusively using our Malignant Hearts for these slots.

Elixirs and Health Pots

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. Use an Elixir providing any Resistance you need most, or the Assault ElixirAssault Elixir to increase Attack Speed.

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.


  • August 10th 2023: Full build review and adjustments for Season 1 Patch 1.1.1
  • August 8th 2023: Added notes about Patch 1.1.1.
  • August 4th 2023: Malignant Hearts and Paragon sections updated for clarity.
  • July 19th, 2023: Season of the Malignant section added.
  • July 18th, 2023: Reviewed and altered build with Season One Patch Notes.
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